Virtually all the news media in America’s Finest City have been breathlessly reporting on the vandals that trashed the lily pond in front of the Botanical Building on Saturday night. And, at least from what I saw on twitter yesterday, lots of people were very angry about the damage done to the park. Here’s a 39 second video of the chaos that ensued.
What started as a public late night water pistol showdown at the big fountain in Balboa Park got out of hand as a crowd, variously estimated at between 1500 to 2000 people arrived at midnight for the social media-driven event. Although some organizers claimed that they originally expected about 100 people, over 6000 invites were sent out via a Facebook event page (since deleted), with over 1000 people RSVPing for the occasion.
The primary organizer for the “2nd Annual Water Gun Fight in Balboa Park” was Ken St. Pierre, until recently Sales Director for San Diego Gay and Lesbian news and San Diego Pix, owned by Jonathan Hale (partner of Carl DeMaio). A recent press release from Hale media indicated that Pierre is leaving that organization to accept a similar position with the ultra-luxe Riviera Magazine. The event was promoted in SDGLN last Thursday:
And this Saturday, we have a very unique and unusual event coming up: A midnight water gun fight in Balboa Park being organized by Ken St. Pierre and others. The idea is to “… meet at the large fountain in front of San Diego Natural History Museum at 11:45 pm (near Park Boulevard). First “squirt” will be at the stroke of midnight and then it is a free-for-all of water gun madness!!!”
The event is BYOWG (bring your own water gun) and pool attire is suggested, as everyone will be getting soaking wet. The fascinating thing is, this event has already generated LOTS of attention; as I write this over 900 people have already indicated themselves as “Going” on Facebook, and organizers are hoping the event will continue to go viral and attract over 1,000 potential attendees. So yeah, this should be interesting!
A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department told reporters that the damage that resulted from water pistol showdown is being treated as a felony vandalism case because of the high dollar value associated with damage to the plants, the hardscape, and the historic fountain. Balboa Park officials are saying the lily pads and the fish living in the pond may die as a result of the damage caused by the crowd, with damages expected to cost more than ten thousand dollars.
It’s a conspiracy!… this little ol’ project (SD Free Press) is just two months old, and we’re very pleased to say that we’ve struck a positive chord with plenty of people. Our statistics are going up, up, up (last week we averaged 1300 unique viewers daily, almost double what it was a month ago) and we’ve had lots of interest from people wanting to contribute their time and talent. (This is an all volunteer project, by the way.) So yesterday we hosted the first “get together”, with 35 people who are involved with or want to be involved with bringing neighborhood news and progressive views to San Diego. It was an experience in empowerment as people from different causes, neighborhood and disciplines got, I hope, an inkling of what could be the future of citizen journalism here in America’s Finest City. I joked that this confab was the beginning of the end for Doug Manchester and his sick and twisted vision. And who knows, it could be! I’m sure we’ll do this again in the fall, so stay tuned…
The robo-signing credit card crisis… The New York Times today runs with a story that I suspect will grow in significance over the coming days, as they point out that the same types of issues that have beset banks are now emerging in legal actions aimed at collecting credit card debts around the nation. The Times account reports that many of the lawsuits filed by companies like like American Express, Citigroup and Discover Financial are relying on erroneous documents, incomplete records and generic testimony from witnesses. Attorney Peter Holland, who runs the Consumer Protection Clinic at the University of Maryland is quoted, saying : “This is robo-signing redux.” Despite this reliance on faulty and incomplete evidence, the financial industry is winning a vast majority of its legal actions for the simple reason that borrowers rarely show up in court to contest them.
Dougie Manchester’s big pout… I guess that I’m just immune to the UT-San Diego’s Sunday front page pleas (editorials) for various Republican candidates. Yesterday’s fishwrap wanted us to know just what a wonderful choice Paul Ryan was as VEEP candidate….blah, blah, blah.
What was much more amusing was the editorial that actually appeared on the editorial page. Entitled “Port shows its bad faith yet again”, publisher Manchester’s minions dutifully took the Port of San Diego to task for daring to interfere with their grand plan to build a football stadium (with taxpayer monies) on the waterfront. The Port authority announced a long-term contract with Dole fruit this week for 22 acres at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, where 95,000 containers of fruit are unloaded from ships annually. Whether or not this was a good deal merits further investigation; telling a company that has a giant-sized economic foot-print in the region to “beat it” (their alternative was to move operations to Ventura County) so you can built a sandbox for your wealthy friends is just plain ridiculous.
The first openly gay general… Doesn’t merit any coverage in today’s UT-SD, but it was big news in other newspapers around the country, including the dailies in Los Angeles, Seattle and New York. Army reserve officer Tammy Smith was promoted to brigadier general on Friday, coming out of the closet by having her wife pin her star to her uniform at a ceremony at the women’s memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Though it’s doubtful, according to a spokeswoman for OutServe, that Smith is the only gay officer of flag rank in the United States military, her public acknowledgment is a significant milestone.
A crusade for justice starts here… An alliance of groups, known as the “Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity”, calling for an end to the war on drugs, began a month long campaign Sunday in San Diego with a gathering at the US-Mexico border, a rally at Chicano park, along with vigil and forum at the University of San Diego. Headed by Mexican peace activist Javier Sicilia, whose son was killed by drug gang members last year, the coalition backing the caravan includes nearly 100 organizations. An estimated 60,000 people have been killed in Mexico because of the failed war on drugs, according to the group. The caravan heads to Los Angeles today, and will visit two dozen US cities before it ends up in Washington DC next month.
Say what? Activist Bryan Pease reported a conversation with Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio via twitter yesterday, saying that the City Councilman told him that “he wants to undo the year round rope for La Jolla seals he voted for and the Coastal Commission approved.”
What kind of weather do we have? NBC/7 News posted a bit o’fluff this weekend about a list compiled by the Weather Channel that named San Diego as one of the two “safest weather” cities in the west (The other was West Honolulu). We’re told that the list was created by compiling data on weather events deemed dangerous by the National Weather Service, including flooding, lightning, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, snow and ice storms, extreme heat, extreme cold, high winds and rip currents.
This morning NBC/7 News sent out a tweet warning that the national weather service was predicting 700 lightning strikes for San Diego County. Calfire information reported yesterday that there were 635 strikes in the county. Just sayin….
Romney watch…On Friday challenger Mitt Romney was angrily denying Senator Harry Reid’s insinuation that he’d paid no taxes in the past. On Saturday he picked a running mate whose budget plan would zero out his taxes. A spokesperson for the Romney’s presidential campaign has told the press that “several” years of tax returns from potential vice presidential picks were requested. However, only two years of those returns from Vice Presidential candidature Paul Ryan will be released for public scrutiny.
And so the “tax watch” goes on. After all, Mitt’s father, former Michigan Governor George Romney, began the voluntary practice of financial transparency when he volunteered to turn over, in his case, 12 years of tax returns to an inquisitive reporter in 1967. 2012 candidate Romney reportedly provided 23 years of returns to John McCain’s vetters when he was up for the vice presidential nomination four years ago. His refusal to release more than two years of returns is based on what he says is a fear that the Obama campaign and the media will distort the contents of any other returns.
Sarah Palin has a ‘church lady’ moment… In a Facebook rant that started out as a salute to the GOP 2012 ticket, former Vice Presidential candidate and reality TV host Sarah Palin took off on a tangent trashing California as the embodiment of everything that those satanic Democrats want to do to America. Here’s the money quote, as reported in the Chicago Tribune:
“The Golden State once boasted the entrepreneurial innovation of Silicon Valley,” Palin wrote in her almost 1,200-word post, “the American creative engine of the arts, economically powerful and beautiful cities from San Francisco to San Diego, and fertile farmlands that helped feed the nation.”
Never mind that the Golden State attracts more venture capital that the other 49 states combined, according Standard & Poor’s, or that California’s job growth rate is more than double the national average, or that exports—including agricultural products—are at record highs; Palin goes on and on with what the Business Insider called an “epic tirade.” I’m personally sick and tired of our State being called out by factually challenged GOP goons. If it’s so bad, why doesn’t Romney move his summer home in La Jolla elsewhere? And why do all these Republicans keep showing up to raise money here if we’re already on a fast track to become the next “Greece”?
Tweets of the Day:
Point Loma Dem Club @PointLomaDem: If Paul Ryan popped up in the first ten minutes of a Law and Order episode, you’d be all “oh, he’s the killer”. (via @bazecraze)
helen (@liberalchik) RT @OTOOLEFAN: RT @jbendery: In 13 years, Paul Ryan only passed two of his bills into law. One named a post office. huff.to/TvdgID
Quote of the Day: “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” John Kenneth Galbraith (1977)
On This Day: In 1846 the American Flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles, In 1912 the first experimental radio license was issued to St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia In 1967 the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Joan Baez to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. because of her opposition to the Vietnam War.
On This Day: Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Escondido (Welk Resort 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive)3 – 7 pm
Fun Stuff: Hey kids! Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio is hosting a fundraiser at the Hard Rock Hotel on Tuesday, August 28th, from 6-8pm. It’s being billed as “Rock Out with Reform”; one free drink ticket per paid guest, maximum contribution $1000. RSVP
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.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.