San Diego Public Market is on its way to becoming a reality, having surpassed its kickstarter.com crowd-sourced goal of raising $92,000 in half the time (seven days) allotted. As of this morning 1130 backers had pledged $116, 643 towards rehab costs for the two acre plus space, located in Barrio Logan, not far from Petco Park. The additional funds over the original target will be used towards the launch of the Food Hall and the Market Kitchen at the market.
Plans for the market include two days a week with farmers’ stalls, booths with local crafters and artists, music festivals, movie nights and quinceañeras, chef’s tasting events and art exhibits, along with the occasional Chaldean Festival, Chinese New Year’s parade, Filipino fiesta or charity fundraiser. The weekly farmers markets in the space will begin within a few weeks. The idea is to create a City Public Market along the lines of Seattle’s Pike’s Place, San Francisco’s Ferry Building or Barcelona’s La Boqueria.
People wishing to contribute volunteer time and effort towards getting the space up and running are encouraged to send an email to:firstname.lastname@example.org. Founders Catt White and Dale Steele ask that you include a contact number, and a little bit about your time and talent: what kinds of things do you like to do and what kind of days and times are you available. They’ll be putting together volunteer gatherings starting next week.
Redefining Rape, Redux…. Missouri Congressman and Senatorial candidate Todd Akin made the news yesterday after he told Fox KTVI-TV during a interview in which he was defending his view that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape:
First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
The implication of his position was that, if a woman was raped and became pregnant, she must have actually wanted it and, therefore, it wasn’t really rape. After a frenzy of reporting from the national news media, the lawmaker tried to walk the comment back, saying that he’d “misspoke.” A decade old report in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine says that:
Pregnancy following rape is a continuing and significant public health issue. We estimate that the 333,000 sexual assaults and rapes reported in 1998, along with many more unreported, were responsible for 25,000 pregnancies. Potentially, as many as 22,000 such pregnancies could be prevented if all women who were raped received prompt medical services, and if not already protected against pregnancy, were provided with emergency contraceptive treatment.
This isn’t the first time that he’s sought to impose his narrow-minded beliefs on the public. Congressman Akin, along with vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and most of the House GOP, co-sponsored a bill last year that (the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act) would have narrowed the already-narrow exceptions to the laws banning federal funding for abortion—from all cases of rape to cases of “forcible rape.” Legal experts said that the bill’s language would have excluded statutory rape victims and others from obtaining abortions through Medicaid. Republicans, who abandoned that language after public outcry and a protest campaign, resorted to a back door legislative maneuver that sought to maintain the narrowed definition.
Protecting kids against “gay cures”... California state legislators are negotiating on the final languages changes on first-of-its-kind law SB 1172 that would place limitations on what parents can do to “cure” same sex attractions in their children. The legislation, pushed for by a coalition of gay rights groups led by California Equality, would ban all sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) treatment for minors, and is expected to be sent to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature sometime in September.
The final language for the act will define SOCE as any therapy whose sole purpose or aim was to change a person’s sexual orientation from same-sex to opposite-sex attraction. Banned SOCE treatments would exclude psychotherapies that provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices and do not seek to change sexual orientation.
Opposing the law are libertarian and conservative political organizations like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a nationwide group of conservative mental health providers based in Salt Lake City. They maintain that this legislation would unconstitutionally prohibit speech, violate privacy and personal autonomy rights, place the state in the middle of theological disputes and clash with other laws. Leading resistance to the act in Sacramento is the Pacific Justice Institute. Governor Brown has given no indication as whether or not he will sign the measure.
Poway Predator Protest successful… About a dozen members of San Diego Veterans for Peace staged the first of a series of weekly demonstrations last Thursday outside the General Atomics factory in Poway where the Predator Drone is made. They received a phone call just before setting up at 4PM from an employee inside the plant, who thanked them for being outside. The caller said that, while he believes in the technology of the drones themselves, he is terrified of the unwarranted application of them without proper oversight. Which is exactly the point that the vets were hoping to make to the general public.
Three San Diego TV stations came by and conducted interviews and KPBS provided both radio and internet coverage. The vets say that they received very positive support from the passing motorists and employees of General Atomics on their way home. They plan to return this week, and each and every Thursday, from 4-6 PM, at the corner of Scripps-Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way. For more information, emailDave Patterson.
Bill collectors’ blues…The LA Times features an investigative piece today on abusive behavior by debt collection agencies, citing San Diego’s Encore Capital Group Inc as one of the bad actors in the industry. The company, which buys unpaid bills from businesses, has been on the receiving end of a significant number of legal actions from both state attorneys general and consumer lawyers. These suits allege that Encore or its numerous subsidiaries used false and faulty affidavits in court cases relating to debt collection, similar to the manner that banks were accused of using robo-signed papers in filing foreclosure documents. The company told the Times that it has corrected past problems.
Washington State to Legalize it? The Seattle Times reports that tens of thousands of people descended on that city’s waterfront park this weekend for the start of what has been billed as the nation’s largest pro-marijuana rally. Washington State’s voters are considering a measure this fall that would legalize recreational use of pot for adults. Organizers of the event, billed as Hempfest, were expecting at least 150,000 people over the three days of the event. Participants filled the 1.5-mile long park under a blazing sun Friday afternoon, stopping at booths advertising colorful glass pipes, hemp clothing and medical marijuana dispensaries. Oregon and Colorado have similar legalization efforts on this fall’s ballot, and polling in Washington State shows that the measure has a decent chance of passing.
Long Beach City Attorney threatens newspaper… The OC Weekly reports that Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon is threatening legal action against the LB Post, for reporting on police misconduct during a raid on the THC Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary.
During the raid, a camera captured one officer stepping on the neck of an employee who was lying face down on the ground. Then, after the cops noticed they were being filmed by security cameras, they tried to smash the recording equipment. Not a smart move.
LB Post publisher Dezire Lumachi received a letter demanding that their reporting on the police raid be retracted, threatening unspecified legal action if they did not comply. The American Civil Liberties Union has responded on behalf of the paper with a three page letter that points out that the City Attorney’s office could find itself in violation of state law that prohibits the filing lawsuits purely to stifle free speech.
Did going to the beach make you sick?.. The Surfrider Foundation has come out with a new water quality and ocean illness reporting tool that allows users to share their stories and see where others are getting sick. The Foundation points out that water pollution at the beach can cause many sicknesses and could potentially create long-term health issues. Illnesses associated with polluted ocean water include stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis.
Surfrider’s crowd-sourced illness reporting tool can be accessed here. Anyone can easily provide basic info about how and where they got sick, allowing others to see where pollution hotspots are. There is even a tool for setting up alerts, so users can receive an email when someone reports an illness in a specific area.
The end of the line… Hillcrest’s Whistle Stop Train Shop is closing up shop for good come August 25th, according to a report in the Uptown News, bowing to slow sales and a world where model train fans are a dying breed. The store has seen three locations over its 63year history, moving from downtown to Hillcrest in 1949. It has been operating at 3834 Fourth Avenue since 1975.
In recent years the Whistle Stop has specialized in what those in the model railroading hobby call “HO scale” and “N scale” trains, along with related supplies and an extensive collection of railroading literature. They’re hoping to sell off their remaining inventory this week, with many items at significant discounts. The closure leaves San Diego with two remaining retailers for model train buffs: Frank the Trainman in North Park and Reed’s Hobby in La Mesa.
Activist San Diego is hosting a three panel forum this evening (Monday) at the Joyce Beers Center (3900 Vermont Street) in Hillcrest. Entitled “The Loss of Public Space and Growth of Corporate State”, the meeting will consist of panels on the Jacobs Plan (Balboa Park), theStruggle against Wal Mart (Sherman Heights) and Increasing Police Brutality (San Diego & Anaheim). A couple speakers will share 15-20 minutes of information on each topic, and then the entire group will be invited to discuss possible solutions or next steps for another 15-20 minutes. The program will run from 7 to 9:30pm. For more information go here.
Mitt Watch…. Senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie, was trotted out before the press this weekend to announce that the former Massachusetts governor would release his 2011 return by Oct. 15, or about three weeks before the Nov. 6 election. He declined to give an exact date for the release. GOP Presidential candidate Romney has released his 2010 tax return and estimates for 2011 but does not plan to reveal more years of returns. In April, he requested an extension from the Internal Revenue Service to file his 2011 tax forms, while estimating his tax liability at $3.2 million for last year. Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom brushed off inquiries into the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s tax returns Sunday, telling CNN that “taxes are not an issue.”
GOP lawmakers go for a swim in the Sea of Galilee… Washington’s Politico reported yesterday on an FBI investigation into the behavior of a group of 20 lawmakers and senior aides last year during a ‘fact finding’ trip to Israel underwritten by the American Israel Educational Foundation, a group related to AIPAC, the prominent pro-Israel advocacy group. The federal probe looked into allegations about heavy drinking by the Congressional group and an incident where Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea.
Senior GOP lawmaker Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was not present during the incidents covered in the probe, reportedly scolded the group on the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip. No formal allegations of wrongdoing have emerged from the FBI investigation. The Politico reporter was able to confirm that Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) were among those who jumped in the water.
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Regina Schrambling @gastropoda
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On This Day: In 1866 The National Labor Union in the U.S. advocated an eight-hour workday. In 1969 Frank Zappa disbanded the Mothers of Invention right after an eight-day tour in Canada. Zappa said that he was “tired of playing for people who clap for all the wrong reasons.” In 1977 Voyager 2 was launched by the United States. The spacecraft was carrying a 12 inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.
On This Day: Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Escondido (Welk Resort 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive) 3 – 7 pm
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.