The Starting Line – San Diego’s ‘Drone Zone’ Attracts National Protests

For many months now San Diego Veterans for Peace have been staging a weekly vigil outside the General Atomics plant in southeasternPoway. It’s a difficult place to protest, parking is very limited, the elements can be harsh and some locals have been hostile.

None-the-less, the group shows up every Thursday afternoon. They stand by the side of the road holding signs reminding passers-by that drones are indeed weapons of war and not just some abstract toy the military plays with. The Vets for Peace say they’ve been surprised at how supportive people who working in the nearby plant have been.

It’s certainly not the flashiest demonstration; there are no celebrities, no acts of civil disobedience and news coverage is a rarity. But, like the drip-drip-drip of a leaking roof, the cumulative effect of the Vets for Peace presence is starting to be felt.

Today (3:30pm, Scripps Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way) there will be a TV crew from PBS, getting advance footage for next weeks’ national-wide April Anti-Drone Days of Action.

Next Wednesday (April 3) a nation-wide coalition of anti-war and privacy groups will kick off a month long series of protests with a rally in New York, followed by three days of protest outside the facilities of companies that make drones, including the local General Atomics facility, which makes Predator and Reaper drones.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Obama’s Second Term: Will Reactionaries Turn the Dream into a Nightmare?

It was a busy weekend, chock full of news. President Obama took the oath of office Sunday, as required (today’s festivities are merely a show), hundreds of thousands of American participated in Days of Service, tens of thousands of guns rights-types rallied for Guns Across America/Gun Appreciation Day, five people were killed in New Mexico by a teenager wielding a semi-automatic rifle and five gun enthusiasts were wounded by accidental discharges of firearms at guns shows around the country.   [Read more…]

Lawsuit Challenges Massive Expansion of San Diego Landfill

from the Center for Biological Diversity

Three conservation groups filed a lawsuit this week challenging the city of San Diego’s decision to triple the amount of garbage that can be processed daily at the Sycamore Landfill and allow operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The lawsuit, filed by Preserve Wild Santee, the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Chaparral Institute, is aimed at protecting people and wildlife, and encouraging a transition toward more sustainable and efficient solid-waste processing. Left unchallenged, the Sycamore Landfill’s overall disposal capacity would more than double, increasing by approximately 82 million cubic yards to 153 million cubic yards.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – The Sordid Saga of Judicial Candidate Jim Miller, Jr.

San Diego’s legal establishment is rolling out the big guns today at a noon press conference on the sidewalk in front of the Superior Court building downtown. They’re gathering a gaggle of retired judges, prominent attorneys and past heads of the local Bar Association to make sure that the public is aware that judicial candidate Jim Miller, Jr. has been rated as “Lacking qualifications” in the race for Office 25 of the San Diego Superior Court.

  [Read more…]

Field of View: A San Diego Birding Tour

To celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday, my family took her out on birding tour extraordinaire―complete with personal guide Claude Edwards, co-founder of the San Diego Bird Festival and bird expert for the past 40 years. His knowledge was only surpassed by his enthusiasm.

I had no idea what to expect, and was mostly just looking forward to my mom’s reaction given her recent passion for bird watching. The adventure that unfolded opened my eyes to a completely different world. We saw more than 20 different types of birds―from a Red-shouldered Hawk and Black-crowned Night Heron to a Great-tailed Grackle and a Red-winged Blackbird. And a whole host of others.   [Read more…]