By Brent E. Beltrán
One year ago today, October 12, 2012, my first Desde la Logan column was published here at San Diego Free Press. To date I’ve written forty-nine pieces: forty-four Desde la Logan columns and five articles on Comic-Con. If I had more time I probably could’ve written fifty more.
Like all SDFP writers I do not get paid to write. I write because the stories that I want to share rarely, if ever, get covered by the mainstream press. And the community I live in and write about doesn’t get much positive media attention.
I’ve taken it upon myself to cover the stories and issues that don’t get covered. To unashamedly champion the places, people, issues and causes that are near and dear to my community and myself.
And I do so from my totally biased, lefty Chicano perspective. That is who I am. And that is where I’m coming from. I don’t hide it. Nor should I. This is my community. I write about what is going on here and the issues that are relevant.
Over the last year I’ve written numerous articles about the events, people and places within Barrio Logan and the other historic barrios of San Diego.
I’ve written about my apartment complex, the opening of the first major grocery store in the area since Safeway on Imperial closed in the early 1970’s and the opening of a family owned ice cream chain. All within the Mercado del Barrio that is adjacent to Chicano Park.
I’ve done numerous stories on Chicano Park. Including ones on the park receiving the Grand Orchid, on lowriding in the park on New Year’s Day, on college students helping paint a mural, on it being designated a historical site, and on Logan Heights veterans being memorialized there. I’ve also asked people, what does Chicano Park mean to you?
I’ve supported the arts by doing pieces on The Roots Factory, the opening of Casa Galería, a graffiti art tour, the return of the Taco Shop Poets, a documentary on San Diego lowrider history and for Barrio Art Jam/Barrio Film Festival. I have also interviewed The Front’s Leticia Gomez Franco on their día de la mujer event and I’ve done columns on Ruben Torres’ HeART of Lotería and Lucha,
I’ve interviewed a bullfighter, a wolf and a finder of lost names. I wrote about a creepy rich guy looking for a Latina girlfriend. I’ve written about loving thy neighbor, Native people Idle No More, Trolley Dances and a groundbreaking for a college in Barrio Logan.
To help highlight events that I think needed more publicity I started a monthly column within my column called Las Monthly Ondas. Every monthly edition features a story on an upcoming event and lists other happenings I think people should check out. It goes live the first of every month.
I’m not the only one in my family that has written for SDFP. Since I’ve come aboard my wife Olympia wrote a piece on Danza Azteca and my brother Mikey Beats’ Peruvian travelogue was published (I & II, III, IV & IV.5, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and Epilogue) in total.
In addition to my writing duties here at SDFP there are other things that I’ve taken on. I helped organize the Freeps’ community coverage of Barrio Logan in April. I have volunteered to keep the site’s event calendar up to date (though I could probably do a more consistent job of that). And I’ve been recently added to the SDFP Editorial Board and at some point in the near future hope to take on editor du jour duties.
My first year here has gone by relatively pain free and I am happy to be a writer for San Diego Free Press and a member of its Editorial Board. I’m pleased that they have given me the opportunity to share the stories of my community to the public at large.
The articles that I have contributed are just a small part of what goes on within my community of Barrio Logan and the other historic barrios of San Diego. There are so many more stories to tell about the people, places and issues that are vital to these communities. I only wish that I could cover them all.