SANDAG’s Gary Gallegos: ‘Transit is not going to work for every person in the region’

Gary Gallegos

By Sam Ollinger / BikeSD

“We are not going to put everybody on a bike, we are not going to take everybody out of their car, transit is not going to work for every person in the region.” – Gary Gallegos, executive director of SANDAG, San Diego’s Metropolitan Planning Organization. January 8, 2014.

“the SANDAG plan is to spend more than half the $204 billion on mass transit, adding five new Trolley lines, 32 new rapid bus lines and 275 miles of new bikeways, as well as 160 miles of freeway lanes intended to help transit and encourage carpools and van pools. The net effect would be to reduce county greenhouse gas emissions by considerably more than state targets.” – UT Editorial Board

I don’t know what sort of drugs the UT Editorial Board is consuming, because if they bothered to read SANDAG’s own analysis they would have seen that implementing the existing Regional Transportation Plan (scheduled for a SANDAG board vote on October 9th) in its current form is going to increase the region’s greenhouse gas emissions.   [Read more…]

The Movement for a Balanced Transportation Future In the San Diego Region

Photo by Roebot

By Monique López, policy advocate at Environmental Health Coalition

We all need to move, and how we move influences our quality of life. The time of our commute, the safety of our sidewalks, the quality of our air and the type of transportation options we have determine how well we live our lives. On October 9, 2015, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will decide how to invest $204 billion into our region’s transportation infrastructure.

This decision is critical to our livelihood. That much investment will have a tremendous impact on the lives of everyone in our region, particularly the lives of those in San Diego’s urban core where freeways intersect neighborhoods and transit, biking and walking infrastructure is scarce.

How these funds are invested will determine whether our region takes a step toward becoming a forward-thinking, sustainable place or whether we remain driving in circles, stuck in the incessant traffic jam that is our car-first mentality.   [Read more…]

San Diego Brewery May Be ‘Selling Out’. Does It Matter?

elysian sucks

By John P. Anderson

San Diego County has a large beer industry, there are currently more than 110 active breweries. Along with high numbers, San Diego has earned a reputation as a leader in the craft beer industry. Many would rank it as the top craft beer city/region in the United States – whether it is the top dog or in the top five isn’t especially important. It’s a leader however you measure – top ranked beers, top ranked breweries, number of breweries, or gallons produced annually.

So InBev and MillerCoors come to town and write a check with a bunch of zeroes, hope someone takes the offer, and then do their best to make sure that as few people as possible know that a big brewery now owns the “little guy”. So does it matter if a brewery is owned by a person in your neighborhood or a large corporation like InBev? For many it does.   [Read more…]

The Swarm


By Jeeni Criscenzo

How about something lighter this week? Any analogies in this story to present day issues are purely coincidental and of your own making.

This morning (Sunday) I was browsing through Facebook, delighted to see that while Saturday’s unusual thunderstorms may have literally dampened the Pride Parade, they certainly did not dampen the spirit of an event makes me very proud to be a San Diegan.

Scrolling down, one of the posts about the rain was from a good friend who lives in El Cajon who wondered about the flying insects that were in her pool and seemed to attack her as soon as she went out the door. I imagined that the rain had caught some passing swarm by surprise and brought the whole mass down into her yard.   [Read more…]

If You Google “Pint of Science…”


By Mukul Khurana

Pint of Science is not the kind of event one thinks of when looking for things to do around town. But San Diego is changing. Not only has the cultural and art scene been steadily changing for the better in the past decade or two, but even the content is getting “meatier.” Cleverly, one of the first events locally was titled: “Science of San Diego: Beer, Brains, and Beaches.”

That describes San Diego pretty well and it also shows that the organizers have a sense of humor. The idea of pairing beer and science makes sense as a way of making the average San Diegan interact with science on a casual basis. Not all of us are involved in PhDs.   [Read more…]

Barrio Bits: Barrio Logan Planning Group Begins, SD Workers Center to Open, Break Down Borders Run, La Bodega’s Anniversary y más!

By Brent E. Beltrán

This is the first in what I hope will be a bi-weekly column within my Desde la Logan column that will highlight the various happenings in the barrios of San Diego. I can’t cover everything but I can highlight those things that I feel deserve to be seen and read about. It’s a work in progress so bear with me.

Barrio Logan Planning Group Holds First Meeting
Barrio Logan finally has a planning group! And I’m on it!

On January 20 the Barrio Logan Planning Group held its first meeting ever at Woodbury University School of Architecture. The meeting was attended by more than 65 people plus the fifteen appointed planning group members that were able to make it. The large crowd was a good start and shows the interest that community members have in getting involved in Barrio Logan.

Maritime industry made it very clear that they were upset with David Alvarez not appointing anybody of their liking to the group. Well boohoo! Elections have consequences and the consequences for their B & C referendum is them not (yet) having a seat on the planning group. There’ll be plenty of opportunities in the future for them to worm their way onto the group. Until then they can give public comment.   [Read more…]

What a Difference a Few Decades Make : An Interview with Kevin Beiser

By Judi Curry

As a public school teacher beginning my career in the early sixties, I have seen the pendulum swing many ways in the past fifty years. (Fifty Years! My God!) Perhaps one of the biggest swings was from the professional organizations of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to the American Federation of Teachers ( AFT) and other labor organizations.

As a member of “management” later in my career, I have been disillusioned with professionals (educators) belonging to labor organizations, because I have always felt that the “product” – read children – we deal with cannot be “recalled” to put in a missing part. We get one time to do it correctly, and God help us all if we are not successful.   [Read more…]

Veterans For Peace Give Out 2,300th Sleeping Bag Set in Downtown San Diego

By Gil Field

Veteran members, associate members, and friends and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, Chapter #91 are proud to announce that in October 2014 the 2300th sleeping bag set was given out to the homeless in downtown San Diego!

It is through the generous on-going financial contributions of friends and the general public that our Compassion Campaign is able to indefinitely continue this humane life-saving program.

In December 2010 the San Diego chapter of the national Veterans For Peace organization began the “Compassion Campaign” — an outreach effort to help displaced homeless veterans. Ignited by conversations with many homeless veterans on the street in downtown San Diego, the chapter membership determined that the lives of homeless veterans and non-veterans downtown could improve significantly if given basic equipment – like a sleeping bag, as many were sleeping rough on hard pavement each night with only a light blanket, their jacket, or nothing.   [Read more…]

6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal

by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.   [Read more…]

Three Years Ago this Month the Occupy Wall Street Movement Burst Upon San Diego

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

It was October 7th, in the year 2011, that the Occupy Wall Street movement hit San Diego.

In a huge outpouring of demonstrators, up to 4,000 San Diegans marched through the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego – mainly protesting for social and economic justice, against the state of the economy and the role of banks and Wall Street responsible for the financial downturn. Occupy San Diego was born in a giant – for San Diego – protest in solidarity with the rest of the country and particularly those in New York City – where the Occupy movement began.   [Read more…]

Latino Playwright Herbert Siguenza Brings El Henry and Abbie Hoffman Into the 21st Century

The first of a two-part interview with the influential Culture Clash teatrista

By Brent E. Beltrán

I’ve had the honor to work within the Chicano arts and culture community for over fifteen years as a publisher, curator, writer, organizer, volunteer and patron. I’ve met many wonderful and talented artists throughout this time.

One of them, Herbert Siguenza, gave me a call the other day and said he and his three year-old daughter Belen were across the street from my apartment to get a paleta from Tocumbo Ice Cream. He wanted to know if my son Dino and I were available to join them. Never wanting to miss out on a good conversation Dino and I decided to go meet up with them.

When we arrived Belen was splashing about in the Mercado del Barrio fountain and Dino quickly joined her. After the children got soaked we walked over to Tocumbo’s.

Since I had been meaning to interview Herbert regarding his new play El Henry I decided on the spot to interview him right outside the ice cream parlor. I opened my Voice Memos app on my iPhone and starting asking questions. This is the first of two parts. Minor editing was done to help the the piece flow.   [Read more…]

San Diego Artist Isaias Crow Seeks Crowd Funding for a Friend

COMPASSION Fundraiser to Raise Money for a Lost Soul on Hard Times

By Isaias Crow

You know why I have so much passion in creating workshops that promote inner-peace and positivity via the arts and why part of my artistic career is to promote other artists? Because what I want for me – I want for everybody else. I find it to be of great joy when I give to others just as I have received from others. I am paying it forward.

Now, I find myself in a position where I am asking from you.

About 2 months ago a good friend of mine called me and asked me to assist him in co-curating an art exhibition in a space he had acquired. When I met him seven years ago, he was a successful pastor at a local San Diego church, so naturally I was intrigued in what he was envisioning plus, I had not seen my friend in several years.

I invited him into my sacred space – my home and welcomed my partner Irene to join us in the conversation being that my friend (whose name we’ll keep anonymous – so we’ll call him JP) wanted to share some exciting news with us as he had put it.   [Read more…]

Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

Día de los Muertos Commemorated for Thousands of Years in the Americas

By Brent E. Beltrán

Los días de los muertos have been commemorated for thousands of years in the Americas. It started in what is now México and has spread throughout the United States and the world. Today these days are celebrated by people of many different colors and cultures.

November 1 is Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) when deceased children are honored and November 2 is known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where we pay tribute to adults who have passed away. These dates correspond with the Christian holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day.   [Read more…]

Leapin’ Lizards, It’s Words Alive! Encouraging Lifetime Learning through Literacy

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

For a good time, call maestra Amanda at (858) 274-9673.

This San Antonio-born Texas rose will explain everything you need to know about joining Words Alive, a local literacy non-profit now seeking adult volunteers for this school year which runs from October through May.

If you’re into reading stories aloud and think you would enjoy doing same for pre-school kids who return the favor by imagining you are nice, fun and funny – Words Alive is meant for you.

Or, if survivor teenagers are your cup of tea, you can lead a monthly book discussion for determined high school students from the County’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools. There’s a volunteer writing-help brigade as well – part of Words Alive’s Adolescent Book Group.

Not to worry about feeling insecure: all WA volunteers work in pairs or groups.   [Read more…]

Bicycle Expressways for San Diego


August 11th was CicloSDias in San Diego. Sections of 30th and Fern streets were closed to motor vehicles; cross streets were blocked off and traffic monitors helped motorists cross the river of bicycles. Some say not quite a river, more like a creek.

Bicycling in San Diego has some serious advocates, including the San Diego Bike Coalition. They see benefits for San Diegans if we switch to using bikes more often than cars. As a bike rider, I agree with them. The challenge in front of us is how to grow a bicycle culture.

Along 30th Street I saw many fancy bikes with riders dressed in those colorful skin tight outfits. I also saw some unique forms of self-propelled transportation. I was hoping see folks wearing regular clothes as if they were going to school or work – but then it was Sunday plus CicloSDias is only once a year at that.

Given the agreeable weather, San Diego has been a great place for recreational biking. In the 70’s a familiar (now unfriendly) voice advocated for building bike paths and adding bike lanes. Roger Hedgecock had some success, including getting a path around San Diego Bay built that was recently expanded and improved. Bike friendly policies were promoted. So workers could ride to work employers were encouraged to provide shower facilities and bike storage lockers. I rode 7 miles to work, for a while. Taking a shower at work was less than pleasant.
  [Read more…]

Why People Are Protesting Drones in San Diego

The New York Times has posted an excerpt on-line from “The Way of the Knife: The C.I.A., a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth,” to be published by Penguin Press on Tuesday.

The story starts out telling us the story of Net Muhammad, a Pashtun rebel hiding in the South Waziristan province of Pakistan. His death in June 2004, along with several others, including two boys, ages 10 and 16 was the opening salvo in what has become the newest secret war.   [Read more…]

People’s Power Assembly Convenes in San Diego to Fight Police Brutality and Killings

By Carl Muhammad

San Diego — “When we fight for justice and we want something that represents our struggle and actually represents the community to monitor the police, what do we get? Bureaucratic positions that are made, and they don’t represent our interests, do they?” Larry Hales, a national organizer for People’s Power Assemblies, asked the crowd. “No!” they responded.

“You see, we have to fight for real representation and the representation is us. And that is what we mean by ‘People’s Power Assembly.’”
  [Read more…]

Where’s Planning in San Diego? Moving Beyond Process and Delivering Results

By Beryl Forman

Once San Diego fulfilled its quest of becoming a sprawled out metropolis, narrow minded city officials questioned the purpose of future planning. To some, development is equivalent to planning, so with no more available land to build, the value of planning was in question. Aside from accepting that our county had become a sprawling mess, good planners would argue that the objective of contemporary urban planning is to ‘Return to the Center”, to improve the life and environment our city’s dense urban neighborhoods. With a new found interest in urban living, San Diego’s city leaders and urban planners alike are proudly re-examining the purpose of planning.

To expand on this subject, panelists Bill Anderson, former director of Planning for the City of San Diego, along with Mike Stepner, former city architect, and Howard Blackson, local urban designer seen at the forefront our city’s urban issues, spoke at February’s C3 (Citizens Coordinate for Century 3) breakfast dialogue.   [Read more…]

47th Annual Local Authors Exhibit – Last to be Held at the “Old” San Diego Library

By Mic Porte

Friday evening, February 1, 2013, the San Diego Library hosted its 47th annual Local Authors exhibit and reception, one of the last events to be held at the “old” downtown library on E and 9th St.

Four hundred new titles published by San Diego County residents in 2012, both hard copy and e-books, were on display, as proud authors, new and confirmed, accepted their medals and photo ops, shared a delicious buffet, and networked. Many were nostalgic about these old library walls, and the changing era of reading and books, many excited about the future of digital publishing.   [Read more…]

Clybourne Park at the San Diego Repertory Theatre – A Review of the Friday Night Performance

By Jim Bliesner

The first act of Clybourn Park, now at the San Diego Repertory Theatre is about “white flight” or “block busting” set in 1959. The second act is about “gentrification” and “new urbanism” set in 2009. In the first act a black family is buying a home in a traditionally Caucasian neighborhood. In the second act, the same house is being sold by a black couple to a young Caucasian couple moving back into the city wanting to remodel and add onto the old house. If this was San Diego the play would be called Sherman Heights or Golden Hill and cover the same period. The play is about a real phenomenon across the American urban landscape and alive today.   [Read more…]

Ten Reasons that 2012 was an Unprecedented Winning Year for San Diego Region Working Families.

by Lorena Gonzalez

Workers throughout the United States and in San Diego faced unprecedented challenges this year. A full scale attack on middle-class wages and benefits, along with a tough economy, made 2012 seem like a very long year for middle and working class folks. But, when it was all said in done, this year should leave a smile on our faces in San Diego – and these are 10 of the reasons why…   [Read more…]

Buried News Story of the Week

By Bob Dorn/Special the SDFP 

The Ayn Randians in the leadership of The Reader can usually be counted on to keep the San Diego diocese safe for local conservatives, relying on snark to make clear they belong to neither party, nor to the city’s rulers, and especially not to the rest of the city’s readership.    Last week, though, the weekly wetted down the dynamite in a piece of work from their fearless, bright and always readable Don Bauder.  The story, a failure by UT-San Diego’s chief executive officer, John Lynch, to pay $23,332 worth of property taxes on a house he owns here, was relegated to page 50, and pared to just three long paragraphs. Two of those were dedicated to Lynch’s own explanation of how it came to be he’d failed to pay.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Flowers at the Balboa Park Botanical Garden

The Balboa Park Botanical Garden is a delicious reprieve from politics. There are more than 2,100 permanent plants on display, so this is really just a snippet. I focused on the orchids this trip because I find their complexity fascinating from an evolutionary standpoint. The Garden, which is open Friday through Wednesday and is free to the public, also features cycads, ferns, tropical plants and palms, among other varieties.

All photos by Annie Lane.   [Read more…]

A Restaurant Review – D.Z. Akins

I was born and raised in the “borscht belt” of Los Angeles. I graduated from Fairfax High School, just steps away from one of the more famous deli’s in the United States – Cantor’s -.  It is impossible to tell you how many times I ate at Cantor’s; and even now I frequently have them send me some of their raisin pumpernickel bread.

When we moved to San Diego in 1966, the only Jewish Deli around was “Ross-Sands”, located in the old Sav-On shopping center off of Rosecrans in Pt. Loma. When they closed, it left an emptiness of traditional deli’s for quite some time, even though one of the sons – Myron Ross – went to work at the deli at Fed Mart for a few years. (Interesting to note that Myron is now a musician, having played for George Gobel, Buddy Greco, Andrew Sisters, Kay Starr, and many Las Vegas type shows, Ben Blue Review, Frank Sinatra Jr., Frankie Laine, Earl Grant, Tommy Noonan, Jane Russell, Connie Francis, etc. He has lost most of his vision but still continues to play and draw crowds.)   [Read more…]