By Doug Porter
It’s taken six years, hundreds of meetings and $45,000 raised via grassroots fundraising efforts to launch KNSJ/89.1, a community media outlet ‘by, of and for the people’. And they’re launching tomorrow, Thursday July 4th with a full day of live broadcast plus audio and video streaming on KNSJ.org.
The public is invited to come down to the World Beat Center at 2100 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park to participate in the live broadcast, talking about how to shape this community radio station to meet the needs of San Diego’s diverse population.
Officially known as KNSJ 89.1 Descanso; (Descanso is the FCC’s “city of record”), the station’s call letters reflect its mission: Networking for Social Justice. The main studios will be located in El Cajon, with a transmitter and tower at over 6200 feet in the Laguna Mountains.
They believe KNSJ’s signal will be heard in car radios from the US-Mexico border to Highway 52, from the East County mountains to the bay, covering all of central San Diego. Programs will also be available through live streaming at KNSJ.org
While the bulk of KNSJ’s programming will be news and education and the station largely run by volunteers, the operation is pledging to train scores of “citizen journalists” to “report on the untold stories of those who have been ignored by the commercial media.”
Music broadcast from KNSJ will heavily feature local musicians, and they are looking to make a special connection with local bands, writers, and performance artists.
The July 4th kick-off will include Miriam Raftery, editor of East County Magazine, former City Councilman Floyd Morrow (who has invited Mayor Bob Filner), San Diego City Council members and other community icons to celebrate the launching of the new listener-supported radio station. Local musicians will offer fireworks-music in the evening until midnight.
Efforts will be made throughout the day to raise the $35,000 (in pledges and on-line donations at KNSJ.org) to keep the station on the air and hire its first Station Manager.
KNSJ has reached out to former broadcasters and listeners of KLSD, San Diego’s last effort at progressive station. Program hosts with previous radio experience, include Enrique Morones, Makeda Dread & Douglas Holbrook. They hope to mix local producers with national programming from Pacifica, the BBC, Thom Hartman & Amy Goodman. For more information email info@KNSJ.org or click onto www.KNSJ.org.
Following Up on Goldsmith’s First Amendment Follies
The San Diego City Attorney’s fifteen minutes of infamy just keeps on going. You’d think that things would be settling down now that Monday’s not guilty verdict in the #ChalkGate case is fading into the background. But you’d be wrong.
UT-San Diego has written an editorial gently admonishing Goldsmith, calling his office’s actions an “unforced error”.
We think Jan Goldsmith has a strong record in his four-plus years as San Diego city attorney. But in the case of a San Diego man who repeatedly protested at Bank of America branches with criticism written in easily removed chalk, his office lost its way.
It was no surprise Monday when a jury found Olson not guilty, accepting his depiction of his protest as an exercise of his First Amendment speech rights.
Sorry guys, your City Attorney with a strong record had his guy step in and get the judge to agree that Jeff Olson was not allowed to even mention the First Amendment. From the original reporting at the Reader:
On one side sat Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old political activist who protested against the bailout of the big banks early last year. On the other side was Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard and law student and city attorney employee William Tanoury. Also accompanying Hazard were two other representatives from the City Attorney’s side.
For Olson, and any free-speech advocates and political activists, the day couldn’t have gone much worse.
Judge Shore granted Hazard’s motion to prohibit Olson’s attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial.
“The State’s Vandalism Statute does not mention First Amendment rights,” ruled Judge Shore.
Then again, facts have never been that big a deal with the UT-San Diego editorial board.
I much preferred Scott Lewis’ take over at Voice of San Diego. He followed up on the City Attorney’s office statement following the verdict, seeking clarification on the mention of “strong public reaction to this case and the jury’s message” and was told the days of sidewalk chalking prosecutions were likely over.
So there you go, folks. Whether you’re a labor organizer, anti-abortion activist, lone-wolf anti-bank voice or even just a kid, the city attorney’s office doubts you’ll face his wrath in the future, if you chalk up a sidewalk in anything close to anger.
As he sets new guidelines for his beleaguered neighborhood prosecutors, the city attorney might want to incorporate a simple rule: Don’t prosecute people for stupid things.
The Selected Transcript and Nothing But…
San Diegans for Open Government Attorney Cory Briggs was last heard of for suing City Councilman Todd Gloria for emails and texts from his personal accounts relating to agenda items considered this year.
Now he’s suing the City Attorney for failing to respond to a public records request for unreleased portions of transcripts of a closed City Council session including the entire controversial exchange between Deputy City Attorney Jones and Mayor Filner.
Less than two days following the dust up, Goldsmith’s office released carefully edited notes to news media known to be unfriendly to the Mayor purporting to show Filner asking for police assistance in ejecting Jones on the basis that he was disrupting the meeting.
He has since refused to release further transcripts surrounding events that occurred at that session, even though the first disclosure was not authorized by the City Council, as required by law.
Now Goldsmith is refusing to participate in any future closed sessions of the City Council, saying that he cannot stand by while his employees are ‘abused’ by the Mayor.
City Council President Todd Gloria sent a letter to both Filner and Goldsmith after learning of the suspension of closed sessions on Monday.
“I believe you both love San Diego. I think you’re both aware that your relationship is a distraction that is affecting our ability to run an efficient and effective organization for the benefit of our citizens. The City can’t go on this way,” wrote Gloria. “I urge you to put our city and our citizens first and consider using a mediator to resolve this dispute quickly.”
Attorney Cory Briggs is also seeking release of comments made by council members present at the time the confrontation. From Dorian Hargrove’s coverage at the Reader:
“The city attorney’s amateurish response will not stand in court,” wrote Briggs in a July 1 email.
“Anyone who reads the Brown Act can see that it does not “authorize” closed-session political pissing matches. Even if the pissing match between Filner and Jones was “authorized” for closed session, it would have been illegal to release any portion of the transcript. So either the unredacted transcript should be released, or the city attorney should be prosecuted for the crime he committed when he released the redacted transcript to the press.”
The inevitable court battle over the un-redacted transcripts might be a hard fight for Goldsmith. In 2005, in the case of County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Union of American Physicians and Dentists) (2005)130 Cal.App.4th 1099 , 30 Cal.Rptr.3d 708, the court ruled that “the law makes all of the minutes from a closed meeting privileged. If, indeed, portions of a closed meeting were improperly closed, then it seems to me that minutes dealing with those aspects are not protected under that and should be disclosed.”
Pink Sneakers vs Barefoot and Pregnant
The stand-off in the Texas legislature last week, when Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis successfully stopped a restrictive abortion bill with an 11-hour filibuster, may have grabbed the attention of the national media, but it’s just one small part of a comprehensive national assault aimed at women.
After failing to achieve their aims by cheating—trying reset computer times to make a roll call vote appear to have been complete prior to a midnight deadline—Texas GOP Governor Rick Perry simply called another ‘special’ legislative session, giving anti-choice forces an entire month to pass a bill setting impossibly high bars for health-care providers and women seeking abortions.
Ohio Governor John Kasich approved five anti-abortion amendments this week when he signed the sate budget bill. Kansas, Indiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Alabama all had laws go into effect recently that negatively impact women’s choice in reproductive matters.
In North Carolina, anti-choice legislation has been bundled with measures aimed at placating right wing paranoia over so-called Sharia law. Without actually calling out Islamic law by name (a 2010 ballot measure doing so was eventually ruled unconstitutional in Oklahoma), the bill restricts the use of “foreign law” in North Carolina courts. Oh, and only one clinic offering abortion in the entire state will remain open.
Now wannabe presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has announced he’ll introduce an antiabortion bill in the US Senate later this month.
This legislation, rhetoric about the sanctity of life notwithstanding, serves only one purpose and that’s to maintain or even expand the subordination of women. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s alleged concern over “life” is belied by his frequent approval of executions in the Lone Star State.
As recently as 50 years ago, thirty six states had legislation on the books prohibiting or restricting the sale and advertising of contraception. These laws stretched back almost a century, reflecting an underlying theological belief that contraception was lewd, immoral and promoted promiscuity.
The idea that women could or should have a say in reproductive matters started out with radicals like Emma Goldman, whose Free Speech League influenced nurse Margaret Sanger, whose mother had been through 18 pregnancies in 22 years, and died at age 50 of tuberculosis and cervical cancer.
The idea that women could not or should not have a say in reproductive matters can be traced back to the 17th century “Natural Law” philosophers, who drew upon Greek writings about human nature that concluded only the rational and civilized male Greek citizen had a “divine spark” or “soul” within him that existed independent of the body.
Natural Law led to “Natural Theology” which draws up Biblical references to conclude that women (and when it was fashionable, slaves) were inferior beings that needed to be ruled by those whose superior soul made them closer to God.
This brings us back around to the Christian fundamentalist forces controlling much of the modern Republican party. Fighting these battles based on the premises Natural Theology is just part of much larger cultural assault (with a strong economic component) whose ultimate goal is the theocratic state.
Notice that there are no laws regulating the male role in the reproductive process. Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner’s observation “the least we can do is return the favor” when introducing legislation last year requiring a man seeking drugs for erectile dysfunction to provide his doctor with a notarized affidavit from at least one sex partner saying he had such symptoms in the previous 90 days speaks to the inherent sexism in such laws..
Imagine Iran, only with Christians in charge. Such an entity can only exist based on inequality. And that’s their ultimate vision.
On This Day: 1863 – The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, PA, ended after three days. It was a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated. 1937 – Del Mar race track opened. 1971 – Jim Morrison (Doors) died in Paris at age 27.
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