San Diego at Large

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

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

by Frank Gormlie 10.08.2014 Activism

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.

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

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

by Brent E. Beltrán 06.25.2014 Desde la Logan

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.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Artist Isaias Crow Seeks Crowd Funding for a Friend

San Diego Artist Isaias Crow Seeks Crowd Funding for a Friend

by Source 06.22.2014 Arts

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.

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Thumbnail image for Junco’s Jabs: San Diego’s Maritime Industry Feeding at the Electoral Trough

Junco’s Jabs: San Diego’s Maritime Industry Feeding at the Electoral Trough

by Junco Canché 06.03.2014 2014 June Primary
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Thumbnail image for Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

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

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.24.2013 Arts

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.

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

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

by Source 09.12.2013 Culture

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.

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Thumbnail image for Bicycle Expressways for San Diego

Bicycle Expressways for San Diego

by Source 08.22.2013 Activism

By JEC

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.

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Thumbnail image for Why People Are Protesting Drones in San Diego

Why People Are Protesting Drones in San Diego

by Doug Porter 04.07.2013 Activism

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.

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

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

by Source 03.17.2013 Activism

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.’”

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

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

by Source 03.08.2013 Encore

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.

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

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

by Source 02.03.2013 Books & Poetry

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.

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

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

by Jim Bliesner 01.20.2013 Encore

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.

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

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

by Source 12.31.2012 Activism

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…

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Thumbnail image for Buried News Story of the Week

Buried News Story of the Week

by Source 11.18.2012 Media

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.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Flowers at the Balboa Park Botanical Garden

Field of View: Flowers at the Balboa Park Botanical Garden

by Annie Lane 11.11.2012 Culture

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.

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Thumbnail image for A Restaurant Review – D.Z. Akins

A Restaurant Review – D.Z. Akins

by Judi Curry 11.11.2012 Business

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.)

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Thumbnail image for End Shadow Government in San Diego and California: Elect Bob Filner and Frustrate Charles Munger and Company

End Shadow Government in San Diego and California: Elect Bob Filner and Frustrate Charles Munger and Company

by Jim Miller 11.05.2012 Culture

If you can get past the multi-million dollar glut of garbage that Carl DeMaio and his sleazy allies are throwing at Bob Filner in the closing days of the election, the choice San Diegans face is a simple one: do you want the same old moneyed interests running San Diego or do you want to take a step toward a more democratic city government that listens to the voices of ordinary citizens more than to the pleas of the plutocrats?

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Thumbnail image for Put the “Public” Back in Public Transportation

Put the “Public” Back in Public Transportation

by Source 11.02.2012 Government

Sustainability 101: Put the Public Back in Public Transportation – Part 1

By Terrie Leigh Relf Reprinted from the OB Rag

With this first introductory segment on public transportation, I wanted to raise just a few points. The next segment will feature a few anecdotes I’ve been collecting. I hope that you, dear reader, will also chime in so I can include your experiences as well.

For those of you who know me, I don’t drive, and have never had a license. I am therefore dependent upon my feet, public transportation, and the goodness of others to get where I need to go. Since I live in OB, I can walk most places, but when I leave this walker’s paradise, I mostly rely on the bus and trolley.

Other riders have their reasons for using public transportation, such as the following:

  • Limited parking where they work or attend school
  • The cost of parking garages and lots
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Thumbnail image for The Educated Voter – San Diego School Board Races

The Educated Voter – San Diego School Board Races

by Doug Porter 11.02.2012 Activism

This is Part One of series on ballot choices in San Diego that relate to our schools.

There’s been a war going on over San Diego Unified’s Board of trustees for a long time now, and this year’s races for school board are just the latest skirmish.

There are two contests for seats on the San Diego Unified School Board and they’re both important.  Politicians (of all stripes) are prone to saying “it’s about the children” whenever they talk about education, but the fact is there are many other issues at play. Candidates for our local top spot all have preened before the cameras touting their education platforms, when the reality is that the School District is financially and politically independent of the City Government.

The Mayor and the City Council can’t actually do squat about what’s going on with schools.  Change, when and if it comes to local schools, is through the Board of Trustees, popularly known as the school board.

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New Poll: Filner Ahead by 7 Points Over DeMaio

by Staff 11.01.2012 Government

A brand new poll by Pharos Research Group just out shows Congressman Bob Filner ahead of Councilman Carl DeMaio by 7 points.

According to the polling, 47.5% of likely voters in San Diego would vote for Filner and 40.7% are for DeMaio, with 11.9% undecided.

There was also good news for Filner in the polling of favorable / unfavorable numbers. His favorable/unfavorables have improved from a week ago. His numbers come in at48.85/51.55 compared to 42.51/57.49, a week ago. Councilman DeMaio’s numbers come in at 35.31/64.69 compared to 37.75/62.25, a week ago.

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Thumbnail image for Why Carl DeMaio Has Made San Diego the “Battleground City” for his Radical Privatization Agenda

Why Carl DeMaio Has Made San Diego the “Battleground City” for his Radical Privatization Agenda

by Frank Gormlie 10.31.2012 Activism

DeMaio Carries the Radical Right’s Agenda of the Private Ownership of (Our) Government

It was in the middle of April back in 2011, and a couple hundred local Republican bigwigs were holding a gala “unity night” at the Kona Kai on Shelter Island. Mayor Jerry Sanders was joining Republican Councilman Kevin Faulconer, other honchos and establishment types from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Club, the Taxpayers Association, plus cadres of right-wing activists – all coming together in an orgy of unified puffery. They had come together to celebrate the launch of a ballot initiative that would severely undercut the power of public sector unions to bargain for their members in San Diego.

One of the heroes and firebrands of the local rightwing, Carl DeMaio got up and made a speech. Somewhere in his spiel, he challenged the gathering with a question – a question that would define the coming year and months in San Diego. DeMaio – a City Councilman – called upon his audience and asked them: “Are you ready to make San Diego the Wisconsin of the West?” His fellow Republicans cheered. They were ready, as was described by the rightward SDRostra.com

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Thumbnail image for U-T San Diego publishes questionable mayoral poll

U-T San Diego publishes questionable mayoral poll

by Source 10.21.2012 Government

From LGBT Weekly / October 21, 2012

The San Diego U-T published a poll suggesting that Carl DeMaio is ahead in the mayoral race by ten points. Shocking. You mean Doug Manchester and the U-T have conducted a poll that supports his candidate, DeMaio? No other poll has shown DeMaio in the lead. So I guess the cheese stands alone, as the old nursery rhyme goes. We in the LGBT community know that the U-T coverage of the mayor’s race has been cheesy at best.

Let’s analyze the actual U-T poll. First the margin of error is +/- 4%. That means that you can subtract 4% from DeMaio and add 4% to Filner. That would mean DeMaio could be as low as 42% and Filner as high as 40%. Hmm, that would make it a 2% lead for DeMaio. Of course, there are more issues with the headline and the poll.

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Thumbnail image for Are Parks Like SeaWorld Harming or Helping Killer Whales?

Are Parks Like SeaWorld Harming or Helping Killer Whales?

by Source 10.20.2012 Culture

Alternet / By Jill Richardson / Oct. 3, 2012

This article was published in collaboration with GlobalPossibilities.org.

To a child, SeaWorld can be a magical place. To many adults, it’s boring. To a killer whale — or orca — it might be hell. Nowadays, the show going on in Shamu Stadium is called Believe. Attractive trainers in blue wetsuits dance on stage, direct the orcas to do various stunts, and toss the whales treats of fish – but the trainers no longer do the “hot dog” stunts of flying out of the water and through the air on the rostrum of the ocean’s top predator. (The rostrum is the part of the whale you might imagine would be its nose.) People who saw these impressive stunts at SeaWorld on previous trips might anticipate them and then remember the reason the trainers are out of the water: a SeaWorld orca killed a trainer in February 2010.

When a male orca named Tilikum dragged Dawn Brancheau, one of SeaWorld’s most senior trainers, into his tank on Feb. 24, 2010, she became his third human victim.

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Thumbnail image for Ruocco Park – San Diego’s Newest Park, Right on the Waterfront

Ruocco Park – San Diego’s Newest Park, Right on the Waterfront

by John P. Anderson 09.23.2012 Culture

An official ceremony at 10 a.m on Thursday, Sept. 20, featured San Diego officials cutting the ribbon to welcome the public to Ruocco Park. Located at the intersection of West Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, the park covers 3.3 acres and offers views of the San Diego Bay, Coronado Island, and downtown San Diego.

Ruocco Park was funded jointly by the Port of San Diego, the San Diego Foundation, and the downtown Hyatt. The Port contributed $3.3 million and the Hyatt contributed $.5 million. The San Diego Foundation contributed $3.5 million, $1 million of which is reserved for funding future maintenance. The funds from the San Diego Foundation allowed for the installation of public art and upgrades to the park that would not have been possible with the Port and Hyatt funding alone. Ruocco Park is the 18th public park located on Port land and brings the total amount of land dedicated to parks to 153 acres.

(Photo gallery inside)

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San Diego City Council Passes Two Measures to Hold Banks Accountable for Abandoned Homes

by Staff 09.20.2012 Activism

Certain circles of San Diegans are celebrating. The article in the UT San Diego yesterday [Wed. Sept. 19] said it all:

The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously approved two out of three ordinances designed to keep banks accountable for distressed homes.”

The two ordinances passed will arm San Diego with more methods and ways to monitor and hold property owners responsible for abandoned properties, and they also will require banks that conduct business with the city of San Diego to provide information on lending, foreclosures and service to minority communities. The third ordinance will not be discussed until October.

Progressives who worked on these issues are giving thanks to the leadership of Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Tony Young. A broad coalition had come together to apply pressure and the San Diego City Council passed the Abandoned Properties Ordinance and the Responsible Banking Ordinance the same evening.

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