Who are the homeless of San Diego? Yearly reports from several agencies reveal tragic glimpses of the humans everyone labels home-less. Homelessness has existed since the beginning of History, so I used to be just as jaded and callous as other people who always assumed the lot would always consist of the stereotypes: criminal offenders, the mentally ill, the infirm, addicts and other varieties of outcasts. [Read more…] about Urban Street Symbols: Hidden Messages in the Metropolis
One crucial aspect of contemporary debates on spatial politics, socioeconomic stratification, and immigration is the issue of public transit. Prior to the question of a person’s right to be in a city (or supposed lack thereof in the case of undocumented immigrants), there is the question of a city’s duty to provide feasible means for moving around in its space. Albeit mundane, it is a key factor determining a person’s economic and educational opportunities, to name only two. And it hardly bears mentioning, but moving around in San Diego all but requires a car. [Read more…] about Public Transit as a Social Justice Issue
Barrio Logan is little known to most San Diegans – beyond being a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood near downtown. Yet it is one of San Diego’s most historically significant and culturally important neighborhoods.
“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego? Please call and ask him.” That was the headline in an ad Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, ran this past week targeting 2nd year City Council member Chris Cate, who is on the leadership committee of the No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First! coalition. [Read more…] about Why does Dean Spanos hate the homeless?
Dear Chairman Merrifield and Commissioners:
On behalf of the San Diego Environment + Design Council, we are submitting the following comments. [Read more…] about Open letter to San Diego Port Commission about “world class waterfront” development proposals
As a homeless man in San Diego for the past two years, I’ve had time to research important bits of data scattered across the local news and public resources. What are the costs of paying for emergency room visits, for the crimes brought on by destitution and vagrancy versus this idea? Let’s begin. [Read more…] about A Heartfelt Emergency Housing Plan for the San Diego Housing Commission
“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News. He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.”
Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life. [Read more…] about Overpassing the value of public space
I’m Orlando Barahona and this is the first account of my experiences as a homeless man in San Diego. One aim in writing this editorial is to raise a sharp awareness of a homelessness crisis I have experienced that cannot be ignored any longer: men, women and entire families are on the streets or in sub-par dwellings; the other is to dispel the myth that anyone who enters adverse situations cannot recover. [Read more…] about An Inside View of Homelessness in San Diego
At first glance, the recent East Village Convadium proposal has many appealing qualities: it is an attractive, modern complex with many interesting features. However, the Charger’s owners hope to capitalize on the recent trend in California and use the ballot initiative process to “expedite” California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, and for good reason. The flash and hype of the ballot initiative covers many significant, unanswered questions about potential cost overruns and environmental impacts that may cost San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. [Read more…] about A Football Stadium in East Village? Not so Fast
On the subject of a potential downtown San Diego East Village NFL stadium, some proponents have asserted that Indianapolis’s downtown Lucas Oil Stadium was a catalyst for redevelopment and revitalization. I recalled that Walter Scott Chambers III, urban planning wonk and owner of the blog Great Streets San Diego, had moved to Indianapolis. Ironically, his last article in that wonderful but now-dormant blog, was entitled 5 Key Indicators That Your City Is Not A World Class City. Number 4 of the 5 was “It has a Civic Center, a Sports Multi-Complex, an Arts District, an Entertainment District (any or all of the these).” Anyway, I reached out to him by email to see what he thought of the use of Lucas Oil Stadium as a shining example of an NFL stadium catalyst for downtown revitalization (nevermind that East Village is already “revitalizing” at boom-times speed without another stadium). Here’s what Walt said, sans the niceties at the beginning and the end of his email: [Read more…] about Is Indianapolis a good comparison for a San Diego Charger downtown stadium?