By Doug Porter
As City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer fades into the sunset (or not, if he runs for Mayor in a recall election), things are starting heat up in the race to find his replacement.
Current Councilmember Lori Zapf, whose residence was moved into the redrawn district boundaries, is the best known candidate, bringing along the advantages of her incumbency in D6 and the support of the local conservative establishment.
But challenger Ed Harris is about to get some attention, even if it’s of the unwanted type. A group lead by activist Bryan Pease is opposing his candidacy on the grounds of Harris’ past statements and actions about the La Jolla seals, along with other stances they consider anti-environmental.
Harris, who is currently a San Diego lifeguard, appeared at numerous meetings of the City Council and Coastal Commission opposing plans to allow a rope barrier to encourage a safe viewing distance, according to the group.
UPDATE: Reader Joe Cava points out that Harris proposed a compromise solution for the Children’s Pool. From the La Jolla Light:
The city currently installs a rope barrier at Children’s Pool during the seals’ pupping season, from Dec. 15 through May 15. The compromise calls for replacing the 4-foot high, 152-foot long rope barrier with boulders, which would close off 75 percent of the beach for seals during pupping season, and 25 percent of the beach during summer, when the marine mammals are not as plentiful.
Harris, who has witnessed the evolution of the seal issue during his more than two decades as a lifeguard at Children’s Pool, said a better compromise favoring shared beach use by humans and seals is needed to ease the polarization and tension that has developed in recent years.
“We are opposed to the year-round rope because it’s not going to solve the problem,” Harris said. “It’s going to perpetuate the problem — but we believe in a compromise. … We respect the seals and think they should have a place to pup and do everything else.”
UPDATE #2: I found this article at SDNews.com which brings up the questions about whether the ‘plan’ was suitable or realistic:
While some called the plan a “refreshing” and “fair” alternative to the problems at the contentious beach, others said the plan is not a practical solution.
“The rope can work,” said Dr. Jane Reldan, docent for the La Jolla Friends of the Seals, urging trustees to support the city’s recommendation for a year-round rope barrier. “The idea of moving boulders is a very strange idea … The issue on the table is not Ed Harris’ suggestion in the 11th hour when the Coastal Commission and the city posted the proposal for the city to have the year-round rope permit application.”
She also said moving the boulders would be nearly impossible due to the sheer weight of the rocks and argued that Harris’ plan for dredging portions of the sand each time the boulders are moved to decontaminate the beach would still not reduce bacteria levels to a point that is safe for human activity.
There are few issues that have raised more passions in the community in recent years than the treatment of the ever increasing number of harbor seals hanging around the Children’s Pool Beach.
The San Diego Police Department says that police have responded to “numerous calls for service at Children’s Pool involving alleged incidents of threatened assault and intimidation” between seal advocates, swimmers and divers, and that in some cases citations have been issued or people taken into custody. A La Jolla man was indicted for sending e-mailed death threats to a seal advocate who was videotaping interactions between divers and seals, and to the Animal Protection and Rescue League.
In January, 2013 Mayor Bob Filner approved the installation of a camera (donated by the Western Alliance for Nature which is owned by a former CA Coastal Commissioner) in order to monitor the seals,their behavior and people.
This camera (with night vision) was installed on the abandoned lifeguard tower. Harassment was witnessed almost immediately after the camera was installed. After video of the abuse went viral, people were outraged and Mayor Filner ordered the Children’s Pool (akaCasa Beach) closed at night to protect the pregnant seals and newborn (and recently born) pups.
Pease and his supporters say candidate Ed Harris has in the past actively encouraged tourists to harass seals on the beach in La Jolla.
They’re planning to picket his kickoff campaign event this weekend. A Facebook page has been set up to encourage participation at the Point Loma event.
I am NOT Trayvon Martin…
People unhappy with the verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman continued to protest in cities around the country yesterday and the vast majority of the protests were peaceful.
Not very exciting, huh?
But, since the news media lives by the credo “if it bleeds, it leads”, much of the press led off today’s editions with stories about the two places where a few people got violent.
Compare this coverage by Allison Kilkenny at The Nation…
Rallies for slain teenager Trayvon Martin continued across the country on Monday, the third consecutive night of such protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman. While the media at times seemed to be hoping for race riots, these gatherings have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and supporters of the Martin family say they have planned future demonstrations.
…to this tale of woe from the Associated Press, which made front pages around the country…
Protesters ran through Los Angeles streets Monday night, breaking windows, attacking people on sidewalks and at one point raiding a Wal-Mart store, while others blocked a major freeway in the San Francisco Bay Area in the third night of demonstrations in California over George Zimmerman’s Florida acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Yup. The were crazy black people running loose on the street, just like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and other old white guys on TV predicted.
Then there was this lede from the Los Angeles Times:
A peaceful protest of the George Zimmerman verdict in Los Angeles turned violent Monday after youths broke away from the main demonstration in Leimert Park, stomped on cars, broke windows, set fires and attacked several people.
KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV reporter Dave Bryan and his cameraman were among those who came under assault. One of the two journalists was taken to a hospital with a possible concussion, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman told The Times.
Meanwhile here in San Diego, the organizers of Sunday’s march and rally in City Heights have announced plans to march again on Sunday July 28, 2013 and to continue to show support for Trayvon Martin and his family.
The NAACP has announced a national petition drive urging the US Department of Justice to press forward with an investigation over whether or not George Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin’s civil rights.
And in the world of the interwebs, Gawker.com is up with an interesting story about a ‘reverse protest’, one where the intentions (of protesting the injustice and racism of the case) are the same. And it all started with, as things are wont to do these days, a Facebook posting:
Congressman Darrell Issa’s Plan to Save WalMart
What? Save WalMart? Aren’t they the largest retail company in the US? Doesn’t the Walton family (and their heirs) hold as much wealth as the bottom 40 percent of Americans combined?
The WalMart corporation has been moving into urban areas in recent years and it semsas though some city folk aren’t so thrilled about it. Here in San Diego, the city council passed an ordinance (requiring an economic impact study) that was rescinded after WalMart waved a bunch on money in front of City Council members and promised free ponies for everybody.
In Washington DC, the City Council recently passed an ordinance aimed at making large retailers in the city to pay their workers a living wage—specifically $12.50 an hour. The bill was widely seen as targeting WalMart, which has been planning to open no fewer than five stores in the city.
The company is now threatening to pull out of the District’s three poorest neighborhoods unless the DC’s Mayor Vincent Gray exercises his veto powers. Gray, who faces re-election next year, has said what he’ll do. (mmm…cash or votes?…cash or votes?…)
But just in case the WalMart magic doesn’t work, Congressman Darrell Issa’s standing at the ready to save the day. In his role as Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has oversight over DC, Issa’s sure to do the right thing for his corporate masters, according to an article in Mother Jones.
This sort of congressional meddling in DC affairs is maddening, but expected. Just in the past year, Congress has tried to force on DC all sorts of measures they can’t necessarily force on the rest of the country, or even their own states. These include legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks (based on discredited fetal pain research), let people carry concealed weapons, cut budgets for transportation, and create more vouchers for private religious schools.
You may have heard about the battles going on in Texas, as the Legislature has considered (and finally passed) yet another round of restrictive anti-abortion legislation. They’re so ‘pro-life’ there that the State just recently carried out its 500th death penalty execution since the ban was lifted in 1982.
The current round of legislation has emerged as a national focal point for the issue. And the really poor taste award on this matter goes to Fox News contributor Erick Erickson, who, after the bill was passed, urged liberals to bookmark a website that sells coat hangers.
But wait! It gets better! (Or Worse, depending)
From Media Matters:
Erickson has produced a long list of sexist comments, recently claiming that female breadwinners conflict with “biology” and “the natural world” and are “tearing [society] apart.” Last September, Erickson referred to the first night of the Democratic National Convention as “the Vagina Monologues” and later apologized.
UPDATE: On his Redstate blog, Erickson offers “My Sincere Apologies to the Kid Killing Caucus,” saying that he was “mocking [the] hyperbole” of “feminists and other pro-abortion activists” – who he terms “kid killers” and says “really are as humorless as they are stereotyped to be.” He concludes, “you have my apologies for offending you for thinking I was being serious instead of accurately realizing I was mocking you and your outrageous hyperbole and lies.”
UPDATE 2: In a subsequent Redstate post, Erickson says he deleted his tweet “when it appeared the left-wing activists were not just polluting my twitter feed, but also harassing the company selling coat hangers.”
And the rebranding of the GOP continues….
NOTE: In an attempt to keep this site from being All Bob Filner All the Time, I am leaving coverage to others for a few days. There are no bets riding on this promise.
On This Day: 1945 – The United States detonated the first atomic bomb in a test at Alamogordo, NM 1966 – In London, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker formed the band Cream 1969 – Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, FL, and began the first manned mission to land on the moon.
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