City Heights Up Close and Personal by Anna Daniels (Editor)
This column focuses on the hyperlocal issues facing City Heights with genuine compassion and a keen perception. It is the distillation of Anna Daniels’ experiences and observations of the confounding, sometimes dazzling and always changing urban landscape that she calls home.
Daniels left a moribund Western Pennsylvania mill town the year that Richard M. Nixon was not impeached for crimes against the American people, and set off in search of truth, beauty, justice and a beat I could dance to. Here I am.
Desde la Logan by Brent Beltrán (Editor)
Brent E. Beltrán is a third generation pocho and second generation San Diegan that lives next door to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. He’s the former publisher of Calaca Press, is married to his dreaming heart watcher and is the proud father of a preschool Dino-saur. He writes the somewhat irregular column Desde la Logan and is on the Barrio Logan Planning Group.
To this day, Beltrán claims he is no writer — a little ironic given the prolificacy of this column. It is through Desde la Logan that some of San Diego’s biggest political players, artists, organizations have contacted Beltrán for information and input regarding what was before a little known and very misunderstood Barrio Logan. Desde la Logan offers an important historical account of the Chicano movement in San Diego and provides us with a glimpse into Beltán’s personal life.
El Machete Illustrated by Eric J. Garcia
Known for mixing history and culture with contemporary themes, Eric J. Garcia always tries to create art that is much more than just aesthetics. Born and raised in Albuquerque’s South Valley, Garcia earned his BFA from the University of New Mexico and went on to get his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Field of View by Annie Lane (editor)
It really is true: a picture can say a thousand words. This column showcases local and national sights through a lense instead of a pen (or keyboard). Some galleries are taken with a real camera, complete with all the bells and whistles, while others are snapped with Annie Lane’s trusty dusty iPhone. Lane doesn’t have any formal training, just a passion for taking pictures and longing to capture than one, unique moment in time.
From the Soul by Ernie McCray
There are really no words to express the beauty, honesty and insight with which Ernie McCray writes. We’ll let his bio do the work: Ernie McCray was raised in a loving and alive home, in a black neighborhood filled with colorful characters in Tucson, Arizona. Such an environment gave him a hint that life has to be grabbed by the tail as tight as a pimple on a mosquito’s butt. With no BS and a whole lot of love. So, from those days to now he get up every morning set on making the world a better place. He’s always on his good foot (an old black expression), and hopes his writing reflects that.
Geo-Poetic Spaces by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes
A weekly poetry column by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes, award-winning local author. Heidrick-Barnes was born and raised in San Diego, California. He attended Herbert Hoover High School and went on to study Religion and Theology at the University of San Diego. His book Intimate Geography, published by Ragged Sky Press, won the 2012 San Diego Book Award for Poetry. Ish, as he prefers to be known, has also written lyrics for German musicians Andrea Hörkens and Thomas Roderburg (Tender Art).
History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights by Maria Garcia
For more than a year Maria Garcia wrote this column as a weekly installment in the San Diego Free Press, richly detailing through photos and first-person accounts this incredible bit of history, which spanned the early part of the twentieth century and ended in the early 1970s.
Neighborhood House, a progressive era settlement house that provided education, health and recreational services throughout the working class and largely Mexican American community of Logan Heights is the narrative focus—and the unmistakable heart—of the series. The significance of Neighborhood House to Logan Heights residents and the Mexican American community is conveyed through a series of interviews which Garcia began as a class project while she was attending San Diego State University in the early ’70s.
Junco’s Jabs by Junco Canché
Junco Canché, the Chicano Punk Rock Artesano, was born in the US and raised in Mexico. His influences include cartoons, punk rock, manga, and Mayan codexes . Before SDFP, Junco drew cartoons for El Coyote Online, La Prensa News, and the Southwestern College Sun.
Latinos In San Diego by Maria Garcia
More far ranging geographically, Maria Garcia once again is using the interview and personal narrative form to present the ways that Latinos have continued to shape the history of San Diego. It appears the third Saturday of every month, and is a fascinating introduction into the lives and struggles of Latinos throughout San Diego who have persevered and made a difference for the betterment of their communities.
Looking Back at the Week by Brent Beltrán
This column features links to articles from the previous week from SDFP’s regular and at-large contributors including Doug Porter, Frank Gormlie, Jim Miller, Ernie McCray, John Lawrence, Anna Daniels, Junco Canché, Brent E. Beltrán, and many others. In case you missed their articles during the week this will be your chance to catch up on what they’ve been writing about.
Jeeni Criscenzo is a semi-master of many trades, but first as a writer. Her serious hearing problems most likely steered her toward this preference for communicating, in both prose and poetry. Most of her writing reflects her passionate advocacy for those experiencing homelessness — particularly women and children. She’s no stranger to the San Diego City Council and other officials who hold the keys to housing justice, peeling away at the bureaucracy, and speaking up for the voices that have no value to the status quo.
North of the Fence by Barbara Zaragoza (Editor)
Orginally publishing from her own online news organizatio, South Bay Compass, Barbara Zaragoza’s ever-impressive and always comprehensive coverage of South Bay news and events has expanded the reach of the San Diego Free Press to areas that are not only underserved, but under-reported. Her column, North of the Fence, appears every Friday and discusses issues such as high school sex abuse scandals to slumlord housing actions that would leave struggling families homeless. She also covers South Bay election cycles and human interest stories.
NumbersRunner by Norma Damashek
Norma Damashek is a long-time civic activist who focuses on promoting decision-making that serves the public good. She has spearheaded community-based coalitions and served on city and regional-government task forces and as past president of San Diego’s League of Women Voters.
Damashek’s column is not for the light of heart. She tackles the insanity that can come with politics and the ensuing bureaucracy head on, cutting each thoughtful position she takes into palatable, bite-sized pieces for even the most uninitiated.
Progressive San Diego by contributors at large
This column was inspired by Dave, a reader in Liverpool, UK, who contacted the San Diego Free Press because of plans to visit our city. He asked one simple question: What are some progressive places to visit?
That got us thinking. There’s nothing really available online that’s broad and comprehensive with regard to San Diego’s progressive history and locales — a directory of sorts. This column aims to change that by featuring a person, place or thing that has done something to contribute to our important cause and culture.
Readers Write by readers and contributors at large
Much like a Letter to the Editor section, this column includes responses to topics on all subjects. These authors are not normally regular contributors to the San Diego Free Press, but are readers who are passionate enough to speak out about current issues of concern and interest. If you are interested in submitting and editorial, please submit your commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
San Diego Commons at the Crossroads by contributors at large
San Diego Commons at the Crossroads examines the process by which the city of San Diego sells its real estate assets and who benefits. It applies the criteria of the degree to which these transactions are transparent, accountable and accrue to the public good.
San Diego Noir and Sunshine/Noir II by various local authors
This column showcased excerpts from Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana, an anthology of local writing about San Diego. As City Works Press co-editor Jim Miller says in his introduction: “… San Diego is still a city in need of a literary voice, a cultural identity that goes beyond the Zoo, Sea World, Legoland, and the beach. With Sunshine/Noir II we persist in our romantic, perhaps Sisyphean, effort to address this need and expose the true face of “the other San Diego.”
The book gained national recognition when National Geographic Traveler recently listed it as a must read before visiting the San Diego/Tijuana region. To buy a copy of Sunshine/Noir II or any other San Diego City Works Press book go here.
The Starting Line by Doug Porter (Editor)
Doug Porter reads the daily fishwraps so you don’t have to. The Starting Line is available Monday through Friday, and highlights everything from headliners to tidbits that would normally get overlooked.
Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35-year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He’s won awards for ‘Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial’ from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
Under the Perfect Sun by Jim Miller
This column explores the political, social and economical imperfections of “America’s Finest City.” Jim Miller, a professor at San Diego City College, is the co-author of Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See and Better to Reign in Hell, and author of the novel Drift. His most recent novel on the San Diego free speech fights and the IWW, Flash, is on AK Press.
Who Runs San Diego? by The Democratic Women’s Club and other guest contributors
The Who Runs San Diego? series is a project of the Democratic Woman’s Club, and published weekly in the San Diego Free Press. The Democratic Woman’s Club mission is to promote Democratic Party principles, including equality of opportunity, a level playing field, and fair and equal treatment for all. Topics have ranged from SeaWorld to the Lincoln Club to Belmont Park, among others.
The primary author of this column is Linda Perine, the President of the Democratic Woman’s Club. She was chair of the LGBT Redistricting task Force in 2011 and served as Mayor Filner’s Director of Community Outreach.