It doesn’t take the recently released Point in Time Count report to know that the number of unsheltered people in downtown San Diego is exploding. Seeing every vacant lot encircled with blue tent and tarp encampments propped against chain-link fencing, has ceased to evoke alarm. It’s now the norm.
Last week, homeless advocates, including myself, confronted the mayor for authorizing installation of a $57,000 rock bed under an overpass where homeless people frequently camped. On social media, we were accused of being bleeding hearts who were giving aid and comfort to creatures who don’t deserve our concern. They called the ugly barrier that was built without a shred of effort to be attractive, a “rock garden”! When one of our group spoke at City Council about the inhumanity of using pest-control tactics to repel human beings, two councilpersons actually giggled!
When did we get to be so heartless and mean? When did it become acceptable to scorn those who are less fortunate and mock those who are compassionate? [Read more…]
Anatomy of a successful press event
Some days I marvel at the value of the network of good people that has grown in our community—people involved in so many different areas, all so critical, who come together to support one another in our various efforts. Without that, we could have never pulled off the very successful action on Tuesday April 19 in protest of the City’s reprehensible decision to fill an underpass in Sherman Heights where homeless people take shelter with rocks.
This was a case where all systems were running at peak performance. For the sake of all of those younger people who are just starting to dip their toes in the art of community organizing, here’s how it goes when you have a cadre of like-minded friends to call upon for a cause. (I’m using actual first names here because all of those people deserve the kudos.) In the end, that’s more valuable than a pile of money and hired hands. [Read more…]
By Olympia Andrade Beltrán
Brown skinned and beautiful,
Island girl the youngest of six.
Inner fire bursting forth from dimpled smiles.
Her Island rises up from the streets of Sherman Heights,
a great temple where love and family are revered.
Ancient smells of chocolate and roasted chiles
mixed with silky ballads of Jorge Negrete
coloring her walk to Stockton Elementary school
with piñata vibrant flair.
Obsidian hair, wild and unruly,
whips behind her as she defies gender stereotypes
with a line drive to center field.
Playground boys high five her when the game is over,
despite sideways glances from starch pressed girls
tightly clutching their school books. [Read more…]
By Brent E. Beltrán
Candles. Photos. Marigolds and other flowers. Some favorite foods. Maybe a beer or shot of tequila. We all remember differently our loved ones who have passed.
Some remember with regret, others with joy, sadness, longing. But we remember.
Death is but a natural part of life. We carry our dead with us in our hearts and some are hoisted upon the bony blades of their forbearers. But we remember. [Read more…]
Doug Porter recently wrote about the after hours demolition of one of San Diego’s two remaining historic Saltbox houses. The Bernie Michels-Thom Carey house at the corner of Florida Street and El Cajon Blvd was bulldozed by contractors working for developer HG Fenton this past Friday, May 29.
San Diego 6News has reported that the demolition permit may have been issued in error and that the city’s Development Services Department is conducting a “forensic review.” If that is the case, it is one helluva oops. A dozen red roses and a Hallmark card won’t put humpty dumpty back together again. [Read more…]
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…]
The San Diego Free Press receives emails about quality of life issues from residents across the city and county. These issues receive little if any media coverage and inadequate attention from policy makers and enforcement agencies. We have decided to provide a civic forum for those issues in our weekly Street Beat column.
Sherman Heights Street Conditions
Sherman Heights resident Remy Bermúdez sent the following email to Councilman Alvarez, Mayor Faulkner and Council President Gloria: [Read more…]
By Brent E. Beltrán
The holidays are upon us and the time for gift giving is here. Instead of shopping at the malls and giving your hard earned cash to a corporation why not purchase items from local artists and artisans?
Here is a short list of holiday art bazaars and small businesses that deserve to be patronized this holiday season. [Read more…]
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…]
Lack of Interpreters is a Life and Death Situation for Many
By Lorena Gonzalez
There are more than 50 languages spoken more comfortable and proficiently than English by the residents in the South Bay and Mid-City San Diego neighborhoods I represent. Throughout California, this challenge is shared by more than 6.5 million Californians, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Ordering food. Asking for directions. Attending school. Interviewing for a job. Filling prescriptions. Rescheduling appointments.
No situation involving a language barrier is as frightening, though, as one that risks the life of a loved one. [Read more…]
Read Tacos. Eat Poetry.
By Brent E. Beltrán
Has it already been twenty years since a band of guerrilla word slingers thought to share poetry with taco shop patrons? Apparently so, as the Taco Shop Poets are back in poetic motion for a gig at The Front in San Ysidro.
Founding Taco Shop Poets member Adolfo Guzman Lopez told me “it’s been 20 years since the idea for taco shop poetry was put in motion. We’re presenting the group’s 2011 book Sugarskull Sueños at the Tijuana book fair and what better place to reflect on our personal journeys as Mexican Americans, Chicanos, Latinos, cuarentones, border vatos, and fathers than a homegrown community space in San Ysidro.”
Originally started as a large, loose knit group of mostly Chicano and Latino raconteurs the Taco Shop Poets almost singlehandedly helped recreate the California spoken word poetry scene. They eventually whittled themselves down into a tight collective of border bards that have toured the nation and beyond. Their influence on the Chicano poetry world can still be felt today even though they’ve been relatively dormant the past few years. [Read more…]
By Doug Porter
So much news, so little time… Here is today’s roundup.
A fifty eight page report from State Auditor Elaine Howle examining the City of San Diego’s practices regarding permitting for construction projects has raised serious ethical and legal questions about a Walmart location under construction in Sherman Heights.
Community groups opposed to the destruction of the Historic Farmer’s Market building in Sherman Heights were joined by organized labor in protests and lawsuits aimed at halting Walmart. But their complaints fell of deaf ears as city officials claimed all appropriate reviews had been conducted and touted the mega-retailers plans to create jobs in business-friendly San Diego.
Now it’s come out that the City didn’t even issue permits until after construction was underway, even after the lawsuits were filed. [Read more…]
By Avital Aboody
About one year ago I moved from Los Angeles to San Diego and began working as the Project Coordinator for the Greater Logan Heights Community Partnership (GLHCP), a collaborative of community-based organizations serving Logan Heights, Memorial, Sherman Heights, Grant Hill and Stockton. These five neighborhoods are bounded by Route 94 to the north, 1-15 to the east, and 1-5 the south and west.
The GLHCP is an outgrowth of the Neighborhood First Initiative piloted by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in 2008. The group formed as an earnest effort to unite community-based organizations and empower residents to take action to create sustainable change in their neighborhood. Before taking this job, I had never heard of any of these neighborhoods, let alone the varying names that are used to refer to them collectively. But as I launched into my work, I quickly learned the significance of names in this community. [Read more…]
In an old Victorian house located on Island St. in the barrio of Sherman Heights sits San Diego’s newest art gallery. Casa Galería, located at the historic Founders’ House, is managed by the Historic Barrio District Community Development Corporation (HBD CDC). The HBD CDC is a nonprofit organization committed to addressing the needs of the communities of Sherman Heights, Logan Heights, Grant Hill, Memorial and Stockton. The Historic Barrio District presents itself as a Mecca of art, culture, history and activism that promotes community pride, economic opportunities and a healthy environment for all of its residents.
The HBD CDC’s latest project, among their many, is Casa Galería. Casa Galería is a community space dedicated to cultivating and celebrating Chicano/Latino arts and culture in San Diego’s historic barrios. The gallery will provide a space for local and international Chicano/Latino artists to showcase their art and will embrace visual, literary, musical, textile and craft artists by presenting quality work that will engage the residents, neighbors and the San Diego community at large. [Read more…]
by Remigia (Remy) Bermúdez
According to witnesses, passers-by and police officers, at approximately 5:30pm on Monday (October 1st) an altercation that started in Logan Heights at 22nd Street and the southern side of Imperial Avenue resulted on a man stumbling down at the corner of 22nd and L Streets in Sherman Heights bleeding from repeated stab wounds. According to a SDPD press release, sent to this San Diego Free Press’s (SDFP) contributing writer, the man died en route to the hospital. Homicide detective Lt. Duran added, “The deceased victim has been identified, but his name will be withheld until his family can be notified.”
It was like a scene from a movie, as the SDPD corded off the area with yellow plastic tape, topping fences of surrounding properties in the eastern and western sides was 22nd Street from L Street heading southerly through what appeared to be Commercial Avenue. The area remained cordoned off from around 6pm Monday evening through Tuesday’s morning hours of October 2nd to protect evidence from being disturbed, according to SDPD officers.
The first media on the scene was the San Diego Free Press, as this contributing writer lives nearby. [Read more…]
By Nadin Abbott
The rally started at the Golden Hill park and made its way to the Sherman Heights Farmer’s Market — the future site of a new Walmart.
As the marchers came down the street, chants could be heard: “Walmart escucha, estamos en la lucha.” (Walmart listen, we are in the fight). “One, 2, 3, 4, we don’t want your Walmart store. Five, 6, 7, 8, Walmart discriminates. “¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!” (The people united, will never be defeated.)
Nearly 1,000 people attended the demonstration, according to Lorena Gonzales, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Labor Councils. They came together from local unions and a long list of community groups to demand that Walmart treat its workers fairly. [Read more…]
An analysis released yesterday by the Center for Policy Initiatives based on recently released census data shows more than a third of San Diego County residents are living with economic hardships. The report says that across most industries in San Diego County, the spending power of the average paycheck is dropping, with inflation-adjusted earnings decreasing in 10 of the region’s 15 largest industries, compared to 2007, and more people falling into poverty in last year.
Other Stories in Starting Line Today: The Art of Park(ing) Day, San Diego’s Largest Rally Ever Against WalMart , Lim(p)baugh Blames Shrinking Penis on ‘Feminazis’, Imperial Beach MediPot Supporters Beat the Bushes, Quail Brush Power Plant Foes to Rally, North Park Officially Hip Now and so much more! Come on inside and catch up! [Read more…]