By Doug Porter
The stench of hate rolled over South San Diego this week as the Voice and Viewpoint, a newspaper that has traditionally represented the opinions of the old school Black community, made their endorsements for the District 4 City Council special election, slated for March 26th. (See more coverage on this contest here.)
Read it for yourself:
Dwayne Crenshaw, who lists himself as a Community Nonprofit Director/Educator looks and sounds like a great candidate, however, Mr. Crenshaw has a tremendous amount of baggage from the issues surrounding his days with the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils (CNC). His openly confessed gay lifestyle is at odds with a great deal of the District’s African American residents in spite of his family’s history in the community. His positions in leadership and advocacy in the Gay community does not lead itself to the building of the kinds of coalitions between the religious and civic community that the Fourth District has enjoyed in the past and needs to build on during this critical period of restructuring. Mr. Crenshaw is not our choice at any time for this position.
Crenshaw responded forcefully over at SDGLN.com, pointing out the history of anti-gay bigotry directed at his campaigns. In the 2004 campaign, the V&V went so far as to say he ‘had bad judgment because God’s judgment was against gays’.
What even more outrageous is the candidate who did get the V&V backing, Barry Pollard, seems to have not noticed the paper’s bigotry in his haste to celebrate the endorsement, touting it on both his Facebook and Twitter accounts:
Rec’d the endorsement of Voice and Viewpoint Newspaper today! Both papers, The Monitor & the Voice! So honored, and proud 4 our community!
— barry Pollard (@BarryBpollard) March 21, 2013
Democratic chair Francine Busby responded to the editorial, tweeting, “V & V homophobic comments about D. Crenshaw betray San Diegans’ record of electing LGBT officials who serve with dignity & diligence.”
UPDATE: Candidate Myrtle Cole released the following statement Friday afternoon: I vehemently oppose discrimination in any form whether it be racism, sexism, or homophobia. Hate speech, such as the recent comments in the Voice and Viewpoint, has no place in our political discourse. It is divisive and tears us apart when we need to be working together to address the issues important to the residents of District 4- safer streets, infrastructure, and job creation
TMD to Filner: It’s Our Way or the Highway for Tourism Employees
After losing a preliminary ruling (one that’s likely to remain in force) in court yesterday, officials with the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) are standing by their position that negotiations over release of $30 million in marketing funds tied to a five year agreement will not take place.
UPDATE: Judge Timothy Taylor has ruled in Mayor Filner’s favor.
Despite a statement from Mayor Filner’s office saying he’s ready to negotiate a new agreement with the TMD, as UT-San Diego reports this morning, hotel officials continue to say that the only outcome other than complete capitulation by the Mayor is hardship for employees.
“I believe that the TMD contract is flawed and could potentially cost taxpayers millions, so I refused to sign it,” he [Filner] said. “It is now time to return to the negotiation table. … I am prepared to work out a deal that is good for the taxpayers and the city.”
TMD Chairman Terry Brown, who heads Atlas Hotels, including the Town & Country Resort and Conference Center in Mission Valley, said the board was “disappointed” by the judge’s tentative ruling. But he pinned his hopes on a City Council vote, scheduled for Tuesday, that would reaffirm approval of the original agreement.
“It is important that the thousands of men and women who work in the tourism industry can continue to generate the hundreds of millions of dollars of economic benefit that visitors bring to our economy,” Brown said in a statement.
Precise grammar counts for something in this world, as it turns out from reading Judge Timothy Taylor’s ruling. The judge’s decision hinged on the use of “an” instead of “the” in the city council resolution.
“The Nov. 26, 2012, resolution authorized the mayor or his designee to ‘enter into an agreement’ with the TMD, the judge said. “It did not say ‘the TMD agreement’ or ‘the TMD agreement attached hereto.’ ”
In addition, Taylor said, the council resolution “‘authorized’ action; it did not ‘direct’ action.
“Plainly the 2012 resolution granted the mayor the discretion to determine the final form of agreement between the city and the TMD,” he added.
The UT-San Diego’s reporting on this decision included a claim by TMD board member Robert A Raunch that the current standoff has already led to a ‘projected $20 million loss in hotel business’ citing data from the last five weeks in year-over-year occupancy and room rates.
This claim is used to justify a quote from Raunch, whose company manages Hilton properties:
“I do wish Mayor Filner would think of who he works for and not be thinking to be beholden to the unions. He works for the city of San Diego and its residents and should do what’s right for the economy, and he’s destroying it right now.”
The cancelled advertising campaign TMD officials are bemoaning was not even slated to begin until later in the year.
Victory at the Public Utilities Commission Hearing
Community and environmental groups’ efforts at marshalling public support paid off yesterday when the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously denied SDG&E’s proposal to procure power by building two fossil fuel plants, slated for areas in Otay Mesa and near the Mission Trails Park.
Over a hundred people showed up at the meeting, held at the County of San Diego Operations Center in Kearny Mesa. County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts opposed the Quail Brush plant, which area residents claimed would adversely impact Mission Hills Park.
The victory may have only been temporary however, as CPUC President Michael R. Peevey, who has been accused of favoritism towards fossil fuel contractors, left the door open for future requests. “If SDG&E is able to amend the contracts we declined and bring them back to us, we will consider them. San Diego is going to need plants with flexible operating qualities in the very near future.”
Petition Demands Protection for Free Speech in San Diego
I don’t always agree with activist Bryan Pease, but I can’t dispute his passion for the cause of preventing cruelty to animals. And I’m urging you to listen to his arguments for and consider signing his petition aimed at stopping the San Diego City Attorney from prosecuting people who peacefully picket at the Sport Arena.
Every summer for at least the past seven years, when Ringling Brothers has come to Sports Arena in San Diego, other animal protection volunteers and I have passed out flyers near the ticket booth educating circus-goers about how Ringling employees beat elephants with bullhooks, shock them with electric prods, and keep them chained up for their whole lives, and how the USDA has levied major fines against Ringling for Animal Welfare Act violations. Most people who stop to take a flyer are genuinely concerned about these facts and thankful for the information.
In the past, whenever security for Ringling has called the police, the police have explained to them that we protesters are within our rights. The San Diego Municipal Code section requiring individuals to leave areas that are open to the public when asked to do so by the owner has a clear exception for peaceful picketing activity. (SDMC section 52.80.01).
Last year, however, things were different. Private security guards were encouraged by the SDPD officers to make a citizen’s arrest. A citation ended up being issued, and the case was allowed to go to trial. And this apparently is now the way things will be.
The petition, to be sent to the City Attorney, the City Council and the Mayor’s office urges prosecutors not to usurp the role of the legislature and re-write laws as they would like them to read, but to enforce laws as they are written.
Baby Pictures of the Universe
Oh wow. Sometimes I can’t help the geek in me. From today’s NY Times:
Astronomers released the latest and most exquisite baby picture yet of the universe on Thursday, one that showed it to be 80 million to 100 million years older and a little fatter than previously thought, with more matter in it and perhaps ever so slightly lopsided.
The microwaves detected by the Planck date from 370,000 years after the Big Bang, which is as far back as optical or radio telescopes will ever be able to see, cosmologists say. But the patterns within them date from less than a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, when the universe is said to have undergone a violent burst of expansion known as inflation that set cosmic history on the course it has followed ever since. Those patterns are Planck’s prize.
Analyzing the relative sizes and frequencies of spots and ripples over the years has allowed astronomers to describe the birth of the universe to a precision that would make the philosophers weep. The new data have allowed astronomers to tweak their model a bit. It now seems the universe is 13.8 billion years old, instead of 13.7 billion, and consists by mass of 4.9 percent ordinary matter like atoms, 27 percent dark matter and 68 percent dark energy.
Krugman Explains the Cyprus Crisis
Columnist Paul Krugman did a credible job of shedding some light on the latest European financial crisis that threatens to end civilization as we know it (at least according to some hysterical reporting) in today’s New York Times.
It seems as though a whole lot of Russian money got exported to banks in Cyprus to avoid taxes. The banks took the oligarchs’ money and bought into Greek banks, which then tanked. Now the EU has stepped in, demanding draconian measures. Or else.
From the Times:
Now what? There are some strong similarities between Cyprus now and Iceland (a similar-size economy) a few years back. Like Cyprus now,Iceland had a huge banking sector, swollen by foreign deposits, that was simply too big to bail out. Iceland’s response was essentially to let its banks go bust, wiping out those foreign investors, while protecting domestic depositors — and the results weren’t too bad. Indeed, Iceland, with a far lower unemployment rate than most of Europe, has weathered the crisis surprisingly well.
My guess is that, in the end, Cyprus will adopt something like the Icelandic solution, but unless it ends up being forced off the euro in the next few days — a real possibility — it may first waste a lot of time and money on half-measures, trying to avoid facing up to reality while running up huge debts to wealthier nations. We’ll see.
But step back for a minute and consider the incredible fact that tax havens like Cyprus, the Cayman Islands, and many more are still operating pretty much the same way that they did before the global financial crisis. Everyone has seen the damage that runaway bankers can inflict, yet much of the world’s financial business is still routed through jurisdictions that let bankers sidestep even the mild regulations we’ve put in place. Everyone is crying about budget deficits, yet corporations and the wealthy are still freely using tax havens to avoid paying taxes like the little people.
So don’t cry for Cyprus; cry for all of us, living in a world whose leaders seem determined not to learn from disaster.
On This Day: 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill legalizing the sale and possession of beer and wine containing up to 3.2% alcohol. 1963 – The Beatles’ first album, “Please Please Me,” was released in the U.K. 1972 – The Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment. It was not ratified by the states.
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