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Ethnic markets and community food security in an urban “food desert” - Pascale Joassart-Marcelli, Jaime S Rossiter, Fernando J Bosco, 2017
"In recent years, the concept of food desert has come to dominate research and policy debates around food environments and their impacts on health, with mounting evidence that low-income neighborhoods of color lack large supermarkets and therefore may have limited access to fresh, affordable, and healthy foods. We argue that this metaphor, which implies an absence of food, is misleading and potentially detrimental to the health of poor and racially diverse communities because it ignores the contribution of smaller stores, particularly that of so-called ethnic markets. Current applications of the food desert concept in this setting reflect classed and racialized understandings of the food environment that ignore the everyday geographies of food provision in immigrant communities while favoring external interventions. Our investigation of ethnic markets in City Heights, a low-income urban neighborhood in San Diego with a diverse immigrant population, offers evidence of their positive role in providing access to affordable, fresh, healthy, and culturally appropriate foods. Our results contribute to research by providing a nuanced description of the food environment beyond access to supermarkets, focusing specifically on immigrant neighborhoods, and pointing to ethnic markets as valuable partners in increasing food security in diverse urban areas."
2017  sandiego  cityheights  food  supermarkets  markets  fooddeserts  race  ethnicity  class  culture  geography  immigration 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Finding a cure for the ‘Huffman virus’
"It's barely 9 a.m. and the humidity is already stifling what would otherwise be a mild August day. In front of a Tudor-style cottage in City Heights, charming with its pitched roof and multi-paned windows, there's a single tree casting shade across the sidewalk.

It's an oasis amid all the concrete. On either side of the Tudor—the only single-family home that remains on this particular stretch of 36th Street—are faded apartment buildings fronted by multiple parking spaces. Next to those are more drab apartment buildings and more parking spaces. It's a scene that repeats up and down the street.

Dubbed "Huffman six-packs," after developer Ray Huffman, these buildings, squeezed into narrow lots meant for single-family homes, are the result of hasty, shortsighted urban planning.

"Utilitarian" is how Hanan Bowman, housing director at the City Heights Community Development Corporation, puts it. Huffman-style properties were built fast to meet a perceived economic threat, he says. With new Mission Valley shopping centers luring consumers away from neighborhood businesses, midcentury Mid-City—North Park, City Heights, Normal Heights, Hillcrest, University Heights and Kensington— needed more density to help those businesses compete. In the late 1960s, Huffman started buying up single-family homes in the Mid-City area and replacing them with eight- to 10-unit apartment buildings (though few are six units, the "six-pack" tag stuck). Other developers, like Conrad Prebys' Progress Construction, followed, using Huffman properties as a model. It wasn't until the 1980s that city planners tried to curtail this sort of development. "San Diego's unhappy history of higher-density housing," is how a 2004 article in smart-growth magazine The Urbanist put it, with the consequence being a lingering hostility to any effort to increase density.

"They weren't really all that well-constructed," Bowman says of Huffman-style apartments, with "the parking in the front taking up a significant percentage of the lot space, the monolithic face of the buildings and such—while utilitarian and purposeful in the '60s and '70s, today is not appropriate for the look of the neighborhoods."

"Subdivided into meaninglessness," says Stephen Russell.

Russell's standing in the lone tree's shade, looking at the two buildings next to it. The architect and board president of the City Heights CDC is both fascinated and frustrated by Huffmans, so much so that in 2010, while at the NewSchool of Architecture, he wrote a thesis on how to revitalize older neighborhoods—Mid-City being his focus—that have been plagued by this sort of piecemeal development. What he set out to do, he says at the end of the 142-page study, was "to find a ‘cure' for the ‘Huffman virus.'"

Ideally within a year, a City Heights Huffman will become Russell's laboratory. Last month, the City Heights CDC was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to help with the purchase and rehab of a Huffman property, which Russell will use as a case study. The question to be answered: "Can the Huffman structure be sufficiently rehabilitated, both its footprint and its street appeal," Bowman says. "Or, from a cost-benefit perspective, is it more efficient to tear it down and rebuild?"

The project's still in the early stages, and the CDC will have to cobble together money to acquire the building. The goal is to make the project replicable while also being mindful of the challenge of preserving the neighborhood's affordability. City Heights includes some of the poorest census tracts in the county, and older housing stock, like Huffman properties, are de-facto affordable housing.

"How do we come up with a solution that the market isn't going to seize on and do what the Huffmans did and just destroy all the affordable housing?" Russell says. "Because in many cases, you can't even replace what is there under the zoning.… With public monies, foundation monies, there may be a formula that works for the affordable-housing market."

The goal isn't to add density, but to better accommodate it. The density's already there: According to census data, more than half of City Heights households are considered overcrowded under standards set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Huffman-era properties are typically one-bedroom units, many no larger than 500 square feet.

"These places aren't so very dense— what they are is they're crowded," Russell says. "We've crowded everybody in this little footprint in small units."

To address the need for multi-bedroom units, the project will look at whether Huffman-era buildings were constructed in a way that would allow them to be reconfigured into a mix of unit sizes, going up to a three-bedroom space. Another option is looking at whether the parking spaces that front the properties could accommodate a couple town-home-style units.

Huffman-era apartments are defined by long stretches of driveway that allow for four or five parking spaces in the front of the building. Another four or five spaces in the back give each unit dedicated parking. But, at the same time, those front lots reduce the amount of on-street parking while also undermining public use of the sidewalk.

"You've pretty much abandoned [the sidewalk] to a car that uses it 15 seconds a day," Russell says. "Parking doesn't have to drive all of this."

So-called "reverse-diagonal" street parking—angled parking that you back into—is one option to replace those dedicated spaces. It's bike and pedestrian friendly and has been used successfully in cities like Seattle, Portland and Austin, Russell notes in his thesis. Community lots are another option. "We [need to] get past the idea that I have to have my space in front of my place," he says.

Many of the buildings have an illegal extra space, Russell points out, where the owner pulled out landscaping and poured in concrete. Some owners simply replaced the landscaping with concrete to cut back on maintenance costs. All that impermeable surface means that when it rains, polluted run-off is going into the city's storm drains. Getting rid of the front-of-building parking spots would allow for landscaping that would capture that run-off.

(There's a five-block area in City Heights that Russell refers to as the "magic blocks" because there's not a single multi-family unit. Those blocks lack the alleyways for extra parking, making the lots unattractive to developers.)

The CDC, right now, is just focusing on the acquisition and rehab of one property. But as Russell walks through the neighborhood, he can't help but see the bigger picture. He has a map with him, showing the redevelopment potential of each parcel in a four-block area of City Heights. All those Huffmans surrounding the Tudor cottage are "frozen" parcels—dark blue on the map. The rule of thumb, he says, is that for a property to be attractive to investment, a developer would need to be able to double or triple its current density. That worked great for Huffman and others who purchased single-family homes and replaced them with multi-unit dwellings. But those sites, in response to Mid-City's Huffmanization, have since been down-zoned, meaning that unless a developer can combine parcels into a larger project, this isn't an area that's going to attract market-rate development.

Condo conversions—where apartments are upgraded and turned into condominiums, offering a way around the down-zoning conundrum—prettied up Huffman properties in neighborhoods like North Park, Hillcrest and University Heights. But, largely unregulated, the conversions—which took rental units off the market, many of them affordable to lower-income folks—became another example of how not to revitalize an area. Russell says that regulations put in place by the City Council a few years ago have made City Heights unattractive to developers looking to make quick money from a condo conversion.

"Dark blue," Russell says, pointing to one of the Huffman parcels on 36th Street. "If you tore it down, you could put up half of what's on the site."

"What we did is we acted against perceived crowding by saying, ‘Stop, no more development," he adds. "So, now we're stuck with exactly what we have. It isn't going to change, and is this what we want? No, we want to stop this from happening after it happened, as is so often the case.""
kellydavis  stephenrussell  cityheights  sandiego  apartments  huffmansix-packs  urbandevelopment  urban  parking  sidewalks  density  architecture  1960s  conradprebys  progressconstruction  history  rayhuffman  mid-city  northpark  hillcrest  normalheights  universityheights  kensington  housing 
february 2016 by robertogreco
The Neverending Hunt for Affordable Housing Funds
"Q: One of the big criticisms that comes up in any discussion of affordable housing is that it costs too much to build. How do you handle that argument?

A: We build things like four-bedroom apartments. Three bedrooms, you’ll find in upscale new developments that that are high- to mid-market, truly market rate. Here, the market would never produce them. So, we’re building things that the market doesn’t do and doesn’t do for a reason.

Housing traditionally does not serve all classes. When you go back in history, what you typically have is tenements. You have naturally affordable housing that is obsolete or substandard and therefore not commanding a market price. It’s cheap because it’s not the most desirable. And so that’s how, in most of human history, the poorest people have lived in undignified conditions. Our goal as an organization is to try to provide dignified, safe housing for all members of society.

Q: What about for-profit developers who say, “Just make it easier for us to build market-rate housing, just increase the supply and then there’s … ”

A: The trickle down? There’s some truth in that. If you want to talk mega economics and go back to [urbanist and activist] Jane Jacobs , she will talk about diversity as being desirable and one of the diversities is diversity of [housing] tenure — the types, sizes, whether people rent or own. Diversity of age is valuable because … in an ideal world, you’re constantly providing almost enough housing so that there is always stuff falling into lowercase-a “affordability” — hopefully it’s not too obsolete and not too degraded.

But we have these incredible housing cycles of boom and bust, so we have big gaps in when housing is aging. There hasn’t been enough housing produced here. I think you’d have to go back to maybe the ‘60s to find a time when enough housing was being produced. … So that’s that boom-and-bust cycle and suddenly nothing older’s coming on the market and suddenly, boom, everything is aged out to 30 years. If we could smooth out the cycles, that would certainly help.

But the core issue: Is just gross supply part of the formula? And the answer is yes, of course. But can we build our way out of it? There’s some builders who are sitting on subdivisions because they know they can make more money releasing it in tranches over time. They have 10, 20, 30-year business plans. Are there people saying, “Release us to build and we shall build,” who actually have land they could build on? There are some of those, yes. Is it too difficult to build? It can be.

Q: But then you have communities that absolutely don’t want you to add another unit of housing.

A: The question of density is key. From an environmental standpoint, we know that the “City of Villages” is essentially a climate action plan, if you will, of transit-oriented development, really focusing on transit and putting the density in the right place where people can live rich, fulfilled lives within a narrow walking radius.

We’re going to have to work to see that enough multifamily land is zoned. Look at where we are right now. This zoning doesn’t exist everywhere in the city. We couldn’t do this and just replicate it down the street. The issue of density is, one, we have to get more multifamily zoning. In every community plan update we do, we have to look at where it makes sense. And then we have to show how it improves quality of life and I think we’re starting to get more examples.

When [Metro Villas] was being built, there was a lot of community opposition, “We don’t want more affordable housing.” Well, now we hear, “We want to see more things like this.” It’s the high point of the neighborhood. We have marvelous, beautiful examples of affordable housing being the finest housing in the community.

Similarly with density, people are screaming to get into North Park, they’re screaming to get into Little Italy. We simply have to do a better job of demonstrating the quality of life benefits and actually funding improvements to the public realm that make it so that it is more desirable … so that it has a vibrancy as opposed to a crowdedness. Is it crowded or is it vibrant? It really depends on all of these other environmental cues and how did they get there? Are you sitting next to cars and parking or are you in a plaza? All these different kinds of elements come together."

[See also: and ]
sandiego  housing  2015  stephenrussell  affordablehousing  funding  redevelopment  cityheights  density  metrovilla  landuse  class 
december 2015 by robertogreco
untitled space
"our primary purpose: provide the artist + public with a new form (and forum) for art based research, practice, and/or exhibition. untitled space is a 63 sq. ft. 1967 chevy bread-van. autonomous, non-profit, and often out-of-pocket, we allocate the necessary resources required for executing approved projects."

[See also: ]
art  sandiego  cityheights  trucks  mobility  lcproject  openstudioproject  untitledspace  pop-ups 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Restoring justice, fairness | City Heights Life
"Something had to be done.

According to a study by a team of Harvard University researchers, the San Diego Unified School District’s policies on discipline were not only flawed, but also unfair. Students of color were suspended or expelled at highly disproportionate rates, and parents complained that suspensions were doing little more than contributing to their children falling behind in their studies.

San Diego Unified last year embarked on a pilot Restorative Justice project at several campuses, including Hoover and Crawford high schools in City Heights, to focus more on facilitation and peer mediation practices to resolve disciplinary issues.

Suspensions have plummeted. Behavior has improved. And leading the charge is Crawford, which is in a league of its own with a teen court, peer mediation program and restorative circles – all led by students who undergo extensive training at the Crawford Educational Complex’s School of Law and Business.

“What they are doing is impressive,” said Ciria Brewer, Dean of Students at Hoover High School. “It’s something we’d like to replicate.

On June 3, Crawford students led an in-depth Restorative Justice workshop at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego to educate nearly 100 district teachers, staff members and administrators, as well as student leaders, on how to implement student-led restorative practices at their respective high schools.

“The point of restorative justice is to try to improve the person, make the offender own up to what they did, acknowledge the problem, and make things whole again,” said Alan Obregon, a senior who oversees the Crawford program. “Getting suspended doesn’t really do anything except set a person back on his assignments. It doesn’t improve a person’s behavior.”

Obregon speaks from experience. He was suspended several times while in middle school.

“Restorative practices and restorative justice improve the school culture,” said school board President Marne Foster. “We’re looking at the harm that was committed and working to see how we can prevent that harm from happening again.”

Not everyone is eligible to take part in such proceedings. Only first-time offenders are allowed the option of having a hearing at Crawford High School’s Teen Court. Retired attorney and School of Law and Business instructor Steve Luttbeg serves as judge, and students serve as jurors. The offender – who must admit his or her guilt before being granted a “trial” – is seeking only an alternative to a more serious punishment, including possible incarceration.

Sentences can range from counseling and tutoring for those involved in fistfights to working on campus beautification projects for those who have marred property with graffiti.

“The cost alone is significantly less than the cost of sending someone to Juvenile Court, and you’re also giving the person a second chance,” said Phuong Pham, a junior who oversees the Crawford High School Teen Court program.

At Hoover High, restorative circles are now the norm when students act out in class. An adult will lead the discussion, asking everyone how a particular incident affected them and allowing them an opportunity to address it. In other cases, students will meet with Brewer or Terry Johnes, who also serves as a Hoover High School dean of students, for a mediation session.

“There’s a reason behind every behavior, and what we’re trying to do is get to that underlying reason so that behavior doesn’t happen again,” Brewer said.

How well is restorative justice working? “The difference from when I walk on campus today compared to when I walked on campus five years ago is night and day,” Luttbeg said. “This is the future of how to build a campus environment that is safe and that is conducive to learning.”

Justine Darling, restorative practices coordinator with the National Conflict Resolution Center’s City Heights office, agrees. Darling is working with the campuses involved in the pilot project.

“Restorative practices are becoming more mainstream as schools look for more creative ways to engage students in correct behavior,” she said. “We want to make sure students stay in school, but are still being held accountable.”

The program seems to be working. The district saw a 57 percent reduction in expulsions during the academic year that just ended. The decrease was even more pronounced at Hoover High School, where restorative justice so far is limited to restorative circles and mediation, both of which are led by administrators and teachers.

Still, the number of suspensions at Hoover has fallen from 310 in 2013-14 to 61 this year, Johnes said.

“We’re not seeing kids being suspended five or six times a year, coming back to school and engaging in the same behavior,” Johnes said. “Kids are still being held accountable for their behavior, but the accountability is changing and their behavior is changing. Staying home and playing Xbox all day is not constructive. Our goal is to keep students in school in an environment that is conducive to learning.”

The old system was blatantly unfair, the study said.

“Beginning at the preschool level, students of color are suspended or expelled at nearly three times the rate of white students,” the Harvard study found. “The discrimination in application persists even once we account for differences in economic status. We now know that this unequal treatment at school meaningfully exacerbates the achievement gap and is often the initiating force in a vicious cycle of discipline, absenteeism, truancy, academic struggle, and eventual dropout.”

Administrators concede not everyone is happy with the shift in policy.

“A lot of parents will say, ‘What are you going to do to them? How are they going to be punished?’ ” Brewer said. “You could do a lot of things, you could mete out a lot of punishments, but it won’t necessarily change someone’s behavior.”"
sdus  sandiego  schools  hooverhighschool  crawfordhighschool  2015  restorativejustice  behavior  discipline  cityheights 
july 2015 by robertogreco
CURMUDGUCATION: Can We Rebuild Social Capital?
"Can We Rebuild Social Capital?
I often disagree with his answers, but Mike Petrilli frequently asks excellent questions.

In the recent National Review, Petrilli is spinning off Robert Putnam's latest book about America's children and discussing the idea of social capital. The problem is simple, and clear:"the fundamental reality of life for many children growing up in poverty in America today is the extremely low level of 'social capital' of their families, communities, and schools."

The problem with any deliberate attempt to build social capital, as Petrilli correctly notes, is that nobody has any idea how to do it. Petrilli accuses Putnam of suggesting that we throw money at the problem. Well, I haven't read the book yet (it's on the summer reading list), so I can't judge whether Petrilli's summation is correct or not.

But Petrilli himself offers three strategies for addressing the issue. And as is often the case, while he raises some interesting and worthwhile questions, his line of inquiry is derailed by his mission of selling charters and choice.
1. Invite poor children into schools with social capital to spare.

No, I don't think so. Social capital is about feeling supported, connected, and at home in your own community. You cannot feel at home in your own community by going to somebody else's community.

Schools contribute to social capital by belonging to the community, by being an outgrowth of the community which has significant role in running those schools. Inviting students into schools that are not in their community, that do not belong to those students and their families-- I don't think that gets you anything. Social capital finds expression in schools through things like evening gatherings at the school by people from the community. It depends on students and families who are tied through many, many links-- neighbors, families, friends. It depends on things as simple as a student who helps another student on homework by just stopping over at the house for a few minutes. These are things that don't happen when the students attend the same school, but live a huge distance apart.

Making a new student from another community a co-owner in a school is extraordinarily different. But anything less leaves the new student as simply a guest, and guests don't get to use the social capital of a community.

2. Build on the social capital that does exist in poor communities.

The basic idea here is solid. Putrnam's grim picture aside, poor communities still have institutions and groups that provide social capital, connectedness, support. I agree with Petrilli here, at least for about one paragraph. Then a promising idea veers off into shilling for charters and choice.

Education reformers should look for ways to nurture existing social capital and help it grow. Community-based charter schools are one way; so (again) is private-school choice.

Churches, service organizations (in my neck of the woods, think volunteer fire departments), and social groups (think Elks) are all community-based groups that add to social capital. Unfortunately, as Putnam noted in Bowling Alone, those sorts of groups are all in trouble.

One of the fundamental problems of social capital and these groups is a steady dispersing of the people in the community. People spend too much time spreading out to come together. Spreading them out more, so that their children are all in different schools and no longer know each other-- I don't see how that helps. Social capital is about connection.

3. Build social capital by creating new schools.

Exactly where does a high-poverty community come up with the money to build a new school? The answer, he acknowledges, is for charter operators to come in from outside and create a new school from scratch. He also acknowledges that it's an "open question" whether such schools create any new social capital.

I would also ask if it's really more inexpensive and efficient to spend the resources needed to start a new school from scratch than it is to invest those resources in the school that already exists. Particularly since with few exceptions, that new school is created to accommodate only some of the students in the community. If the community ends up financing two separate but unequal schools, that's not a financial improvement, and it is not creating social capital.

Do we actually care?

In the midst of these three points, Petrilli posits that growing social capital and growing academic achievement (aka test scores) are two different goals that are not always compatible, and we should not sacrifice test scores on the altar of social capital.

On this point I think Petrilli is dead wrong. There is not a lick of evidence that high test scores are connected to later success in life. On the other hand, there's plenty of evidence that social capital does, in fact, have a bearing on later success in life. High test scores are not a useful measure of anything, and they are not a worthwhile goal for schools or communities.

Petrilli's is doubtful that lefty solutions that involve trying to fix poverty by giving poor people money are likely to help, and that many social services simply deliver some basic services without building social capital, and in this, I think he might have a point.

And it occurs to me, reading Petrilli's piece, that I live in a place that actually has a good history of social capital, both in the building and the losing. I'm going to be posting about that in the days ahead because I think social capital conversation is one worth having, and definitely one worth having as more than a way to spin charters and choice. Sorry to leave you with a "to be continued..." but school is ending and I've got time on my hands."
socialcapital  mikepetrilli  petergreene  community  communities  busing  education  schools  testscores  testing  poverty  cityheights  libraries  reccenters  connectedness  support  edreform  reform  robertputnam  society  funding  neighborhoods  guests  connection  academics  inequality  charterschools 
june 2015 by robertogreco
LISC San Diego
"The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) was founded in late 1979 with the support of the Ford Foundation to develop local leadership and build strong community-based development organization. LISC is America’s largest community development support organization. We provide financial, organizational and management support to local organizations dedicated to revitalizing its community and improving the quality of life residents nationwide.

LISC San Diego emerged as a strong partner for many local community development organizations. Since 1991, LISC San Diego and its affiliates have invested more that $212 million towards the construction of over 6,000 affordable housing units and more than a million square feet of commercial space throughout San Diego County.

Our Mission
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity — good places to work, do business and raise children.

Our Role
LISC San Diego’s role is to convene partners, build coalitions, invest public and private funds, and support community revitalization to help San Diego thrive with healthy places to live, work and play. This comprehensive approach is captured through LISC’s “Building Sustainable Communities” initiative which broadens opportunities for local residents through quality housing, better education, broader job choices, safer streets, improved personal health, new economic opportunities, and stronger personal finances.

Financial Investments
LISC provides loans, lines of credit, grants and recoverable grants, and equity investments to help community developers and other partners revitalize their neighborhoods. Community projects typically include: for-sale and rental housing; community facilities such as child care centers, schools, health care facilities, and playing fields; and economic development projects for retail and commercial buildings.

Technical Assistance & Organizational Support
LISC offers a wide range of technical assistance to local organizations to undertake projects and programs intended to support its community. For example, we provide training opportunities, best practices resources, workshops and conferences, and local technical assistance in such areas as: real estate development; staff capacity and skill building; organizational development, expansion and crisis intervention; and the effective execution of services under successful proposals."

[See also: ]
sandiego  cityheights 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Hundreds of Kids Arrested on an Unproven Hunch | Voice of San Diego
"It was a typical curfew sweep in City Heights and part of a dramatic rise in curfew enforcement by the San Diego Police Department. Police began conducting regular sweeps in 2008 and have since expanded their use to much of the city’s urban core.

In these neighborhoods alone, police have more than tripled curfew arrests in the last five years, forcing hundreds of more children to pay fines, participate in weeks-long diversion courses or fight police in court. And all of it’s been done on an unproven hunch.

When pushed to justify the arrests, police and elected leaders have claimed the sweeps are responsible for a recent drop in crime. They cite isolated crime statistics or anecdotal stories, but never an analysis of whether the program has actually been effective. No analysis has ever been done.

Proponents have argued their program saves lives and prevents kids from becoming victims of violent crime. They’ve also argued it prevents kids from becoming perpetrators of crime by pulling them from a dangerous environment and educating them about the risks of staying out late.

But an analysis of juvenile crime statistics by challenges whether either of these claims are true. Neighborhoods without the sweeps have reported greater drops in crime in the last five years than those with them.

VOSD reached that surprising conclusion by examining the two metrics of juvenile crime often cited by the program’s proponents: the number of violent crime victims and the number of juvenile arrests police made during curfew hours.

Where regular curfew sweeps have happened for at least the past two years, police reported a 47 percent decline in victims in the last five years. Where they haven’t happened, police reported an additional 17 point decrease."

[more on San Diego, City Heights, and curfews:

A reader's guide:
"The program’s proponents here argue the sweeps have reduced crime by removing kids from a dangerous environment. They say children are less likely to become victims or perpetrators of crime when they’re not out on the streets.

But our analysis of crime trends questioned whether that’s true. In the past five years, places without the sweeps have reported equal or greater drops in crime than those with them.

It’s still unclear why law enforcement agencies across the state have reduced curfew arrests, though several criminologists suggested it may be related to funding. Hit by the economic decline, agencies across the state have cut their budgets or shifted resources in recent years."
"Some residents and advocates have also expressed concern that the sweeps overreach and unnecessarily introduce good kids to the criminal justice system. While police often highlight arresting gang members, the program has also prompted them to handcuff kids walking home, still wearing soccer cleats.

Police have collected stockpiles of documents on their arrests and how the kids have been punished over the years, but haven’t taken the next step to figure out if those kids re-offend.

The new effort, Brown said, is only meant to examine whether the program’s educational aspects could be more effective, not whether the sweeps themselves have been.

Most kids found violating curfew are arrested and then given a choice about how to resolve their tickets.

They can pay a maximum $250 fine, fight the ticket in court or enroll in the diversion classes. The classes aim to educate at-risk youth about the dangers of crime, drugs and gangs, and why police conduct the sweeps." ]
sandiego  cityheights  curfews  lawenforcement  discrimination  2012  2010  children  youth  teens  racism  racialprofiling  police  policy  data  keegankyle 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Without the Farmers Market Life Would be Dreadful - YouTube
"City Heights residents and community members talk about how the local farmers market impacts their life. From vendor, to customer, and organizer, all agree that the market enriches their life and their wellbeing.

Edited by Darius Cade

This video was filmed, produced, and edited by the youth filmmakers with the Teen Producers Project at the Media Arts Center San Diego. For more information visit us online at and"
sandiego  cityheights  macsd  2014  farmersmarket  food 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Global High - San Diego Magazine - March 2001 - San Diego, California
"If you want to gaze into the face of San Diego’s future, stand at the flagpole of Crawford High School at 2:20 p.m. and absorb the cries, colors and costumes of America the diverse. Hold on to the flagpole, or you will be carried away by cheerleaders in pleated red-white-and-blue Colts skirts; sloe-eyed Cambodians with shining black hair; dark-eyed Somalis in flowing robes; Mexicanas in miniskirts and blue mascara; cholos in Pendleton shirts and baggy jeans; African-Americans in hip-hop gear; white punkers with dyed-green hair.

Erected in 1957, Will C. Crawford High (named for a former schools superintendent) is a comprehensive school serving 1,500 students from the San Diego neighborhood around 54th Street and El Cajon Boulevard. According to California Department of Education statistics, Crawford is the most diverse high school in the state. California is the most diverse state in the United States. America is the most diverse country in the world. If you could see the world through the eyes of Crawford students, what would it look like?

Nearly four years ago, at the end of a school day, Crawford students leaving the campus confronted a melee near the flagpole. Two guys had bumped into each other and started fighting. Friends joined in. Within minutes, dozens of Somalis were fighting a larger number of African-Americans, Samoans, Asians and Latinos. Girls in veils hurled shoes; girls in miniskirts shouted insults. The fight spilled down the steps into the street.

To one African-American, it looked like a rumble without reason. Homies called him to fight the Africans, but he hung back. Jowahir Mohamed, a Somali community aide, rushed to quiet tempers. In her view, it was a stupid fight that had gotten out of hand, not a reflection of deeper ethnic hatreds.

Within minutes the police came; the fight was brought under control. No shots were fired; no one was seriously injured. Arrests were made, ringleaders suspended. The crowd dispersed, kids sent home.

But that was not the end of the story. The media reported that a riot between Africans and African-Americans had broken out at Crawford High. San Diegans who tuned in to TV reports came to believe Crawford was an explosive, ethnically divided school. Although the fight lasted perhaps a half-hour, Crawford still bears the stigma.

By sheer coincidence, I arrived at Crawford to serve as a writing mentor a few days after the so-called riot. Julie Elliott, the principal then, was more upset by the exaggerated media accounts than by the relatively small number of students who had broken rules and were being disciplined. She was enthusiastic about Crawford’s culturally rich student body. The surrounding neighborhood was a landing zone for refugees from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. In a world atlas, she traced their homelands; it looked like a Cold War map of U.S. military interventions from Vietnam to Somalia.

Ironically, children of war were relocated from the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods to one of San Diego’s most dangerous neighborhoods, where they competed with established residents for housing and jobs. No wonder Crawford High School was a flash point for cultural conflict. Yet Elliott claimed it was really the opposite. Who was right?"

"As students gather peaceably around the flagpole, I wonder about their future. Will they acquire the skills and economic power to help guide our community into this 21st century? Or will these bright-eyed students be shunned? Will the doors of opportunity open, or will they be trapped in dead-end jobs?

I wish I were more hopeful. Outside Crawford’s gates, differences aren’t always tolerated. If the doors of opportunity slam in their faces, the brightness will fade from San Diego’s cheeks, and our future in the global economy will dim.

The view from the flagpole is not black and white but a color field of impressions on a pointillist canvas. Up close, contrasts are heightened. But from a distance, their faces add up to a compelling portrait of San Diego’s future.

As I head north across the Great Divide of Interstate 8 toward La Jolla, Crawford High disappears into smog. In sprawling suburbs, money buys distance from people who are different. It’s an old story: density and diversity versus space and uniformity. Yet loneliness howls in the hubcaps of fleeing commuters. Pink stucco developments shut spiked gates against the tide of demographic change. Yet locked in gated communities there is a yearning for the “other”—to taste the caviar of diversity.

And then I remember the words of Jawahir Mohamed, a rainbow-robed Somali role model. Jawahir’s eyes twinkle like desert stars beneath her midnight-blue scarf. She laughs: “If you want to travel to Asia, Africa and South America, save your money. Just come to Crawford High!”"

[Part of this series:
crawfordhighschool  2001  sandiego  cityheights  colinadelsol  diversity  schools  education  california 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Wandering The City Heights Data Desert | KPBS
"For a foundation that's made such a public commitment to turn City Heights around, you'd expect its president to come to an interview armed with statistics that trumpet the group's accomplishments in the community. That didn't happen with Robert Price of Price Philanthropies.

"We haven't focused so much on statistics," he said. "We're more about doing. We feel that if we're doing enough good things here, a lot of it will stick and help people."

Price Philanthropies has transformed the physical and nonprofit landscapes of City Heights, developing more than 50 acres with affordable housing, a police station and library. It's spent about $100 million on resident leadership programs during the past decade."

[See also: ]

[Cross-posted to: and ]

[See too the comments here and on the same cross-posted at VOSD. Ignore the immigrant hater “California Defender” and consider the following:

Ann Martin: "The lack of a measurable impact of all the dollars invested demonstrates that concentrating socially and economically disadvantaged people in one area does not provide a benefit to them. This "urban apartheid" contributes to the problem. If the City mandated that affordable housing units will be built as a percentage of every new development (actually built, not pay to get out of it), people in the situation that the folks in City Heights are in can then live everywhere throughout the City. They would have access to the same high performing schools, live in areas with lower crime rates, more parks and other amenities, be closer to better jobs, and be able to escape the cycle of poverty and despair that permeates the disadvantaged areas of the city."

Matt Wattkins: "Strikes me that any organization seeking to do good things in a beleaguered community has to straddle a line: how to make things better for residents while still keeping it affordable to live here. (I am a City Heights home owner/resident.) City Heights is within walking distance of North Park and Kensington and Normal Heights. Those neighborhoods are among the most desirable neighborhoods south of the 8. (I'd argue there are no more desirable neighborhoods anywhere in San Diego county; Normal Heights is easily the most walkable neighborhood in the city.) Those neighborhoods have also gentrified relatively recently, so it doesn't take much imagination to see that process encroaching east of the 805 and south of Meade. White collar families like my own are already buying into City Heights because property values are relatively reasonable (my house located a mile west of its current location would cost 2-3 times what I paid), and it has walkable amenities and fairly quick access to Adams Ave. and 30th St., i.e. a 10 minute bike ride. I mean, if a Trader Joe's had gone into the Albertsons spot instead of El Super, I think affordable housing in our community would have been doomed within a decade. (And it's not terribly affordable now; rent for a stand-alone house with 2 or more bedrooms runs $1500+/month.)

Anyway, neither the article nor the study mention quality of life improvements to the neighborhood; the Urban Village complex is always in use. Our library is open longer hours than most libraries in the city; our Starbucks is bustling; the playground is teeming with kids; the rec center and swimming pool offer great classes; every evening (it seems) there are soccer or baseball games on the playing fields, and local youth swarm the walkway doing tricks on skateboards and BMX bikes. We have a brand new YMCA going in on El Cajon; a couple of walk-in health clinics, pretty good transit access, some really great city parks (Azalea Garden, Hollywood) and a lot of potential in our canyon spaces, with teams of folks currently doing monthly maintenance in Olivia, Swan, and Manzanita Canyons. Most of these things are directly or indirectly a result of philanthropic dollars in our community. It's hard to quantify their impact, but similarly hard to argue that they don't improve the quality of residents' lives."

Chris Brewster: "Interesting to note that on Price Charities’ tax forms (apparently a different but related organization) the highest paid executive is Sherry Bahrambeygui. According to these forms her reportable compensation from related organizations was approximately: $1.8 million in 2010; $3.79 million in 2011 (plus $60k in other compensation); and $7.9 million in 2012 (plus $56k in other compensation). Rather astounding actually, but perhaps there is a back story?"

Dan Beeman: "adly the wealthy are manipulating the "public" system. Here we see two large conflict of interests, by two different media companies that are not asking the hard questions. This will continue to happen until we get the rich out of the media business, and trying to control community/public by their wealth. Remember they are not dumping all this money in without getting tax credit and/or write offs, it is not about being altruistic, but generally about getting their way by paying out some tax credit donations while were caught up with the long time bills. Here it was first the tenants of the housing, and businesses along 44th St/Fairmount area. We the City constituents and taxpayers are still paying off the Redevelopment loans, loan financing and insurance, plus other costs. Also the private landholders lost lots of land that is now off the tax rolls because they are either non-profits and/or government owned.

You see the report didn't say anything about the cost of living increases in the area/community. It also didn't mention the costs of the new schools, redevelopment loans, or other government funding put into the area. It didn't tell about what businesses failed or moved: ie tortilla store, 2 auto dealerships, the old Albertsons, etc. The new national franchise stores pay higher rent, increasing the market rate commercial rent in the area, as well as adding lots of other new commercial spaces that do the same! These higher rental rates, and astronomical new property values kill small businesses while also hurting families. The national franchises bring a few new management positions, but mostly pay low wage/limited to no benefit jobs, that many times get HUGE government tax credits! So when the BIG corporations don't pay their fair share of the taxes who do you think pays for it? YOU!! the "weak" taxpayer! They didn't make one mention of the higher cost in gasoline/fuel and/or the huge rate of inflation for vehicles. But they don't want to mention these things. They want you trapped in public transportation that also pays low wages to their workers while giving the private corporation and Billionaire CEO/owner that runs it huge profits.

This is just a few of the truths that should be known in projects like this. Be aware next ten years they will be looking to steal property from Barrio (already happening), Sherman Heights and SE San Diego via Civic San Diego and more eminent domain. And once again you will flip for the bills while the rich gain lots of property, huge tax credits, and write offs. Just like they have gentrified North & South Park, they will continue to steal the property, hope, and money from the poor. All while patting you on the head and kissing your cheek. Good luck City Heights, you will continue to be in my prayers."]
cityheights  sandiego  2014  data  statistics  pricephilanthropies  californiaendowment  crime  employment  income  meganburks  unemployment  healthinsurance  inequality  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  corporations  eminentdomain  taxes  costofliving  funding  government  redevelopment  incentives  charitableindustrialcomplex  capitalism  power  control 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Land & Freedom: Talking Food Systems
[See also: ]

"Documenting the growth of urban agriculture and local food systems in several underserved San Diego neighborhoods, including some populated by recent refugees, this interactive multimedia project examines how communities are developing creative responses to the issues of hunger, limited access to healthy food, underemployment, and urban blight. Short video stories narrated by urban gardeners and farmers’ market advocates will be available online; the website and its contents, including a “storymap,” will be accessible by mobile devices through QR coded plaques. A public program during the summer harvest season in 2014 launched the website and provides additional opportunities for community engagement.

Media Arts Center San Diego partnering with Project New Village, Bayside Community Center, Humanities advisor A.L. Anderson-Lazo, Ph.D., and local residents from San Diego’s City Heights, Linda Vista, and Southeastern San Diego communities address the history and present-day growth of urban agriculture and neighborhood scale food systems through location based first person visual stories. The project compiles diverse stories of residents from underserved San Diego urban communities in an online interactive multimedia map; to offer a genuine look at where the food system falls short; and at the same time to provide a model of empowerment that envisions a healthier community of greater access and equity.

This project is based on and expands upon the research of Food Ways and Food Scapes by A.L. Anderson-Lazo, Ph.D. and Co/LAB.

For more information or to schedule a screening/presentation in your community, please contact Land & Freedom project director Brian Myers,
(619) 230-1938

This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit"
sandiego  gardening  food  urbanfarming  urban  urbanism  urbangardening  2014  agriculture  urbanagriculture  local  cityheights  lindavista 
november 2014 by robertogreco
A City Heights Ballroom Stuck in Redevelopment Limbo - YouTube
"Situated on one of City Heights' busiest street corners, University and Euclid avenues, the Silverado Ballroom is easy to miss. Its street level windows advertise discount furniture, like many others in City Heights. Its peachy beige color fits right in, too.

But look up and the picture changes. Elegant art deco curves on the second level begin to tell a story of 1930s glamour, couples reuniting at postwar dances and visits from music legends like Kitty Wells — if you can look past the peeling paint and ragged curtains.

As a perpetual stream of cars and buses zoom past, the Silverado Ballroom is stuck.

It was slated for restoration this year under an agreement between building owner David Chau and the city, which approved $1.5 million in redevelopment funds for the project.

But in 2011, the state pulled the plug on redevelopment, absorbing the funds to balance its budget and throwing $220 million in City Heights projects in limbo.

The decision also put Chau, a computer engineer and entrepreneur, in a precarious financial situation.

He's already sunk $170,000 of his own money into the restoration — money he says is his fair share for the project, which would yield an event space he could rent out for parties and weddings.

But Chau has also lost about $100,000 in rent money after relocating his tenants shortly before redevelopment ended. He was weeks away from construction at the time. Since then, Chau hasn't been able to find new tenants because he can't guarantee a long-term lease.

"I can't afford to keep the building vacant," Chau said.

Jeff Graham, president of Civic San Diego, the successor agency for the city's former redevelopment outfit, said relief could come this summer. The state is expected to tell the city whether it can spend proceeds from bonds the city previously sold against property tax increment increases.

Graham said, however, that since the bonds won't cover the whole lot of City Heights projects in limbo, Civic San Diego will likely ask community members to reprioritize. Some pending projects could fall to the bottom of the list; others could remain stalled as Civic San Diego looks for money elsewhere.

Chau and Silverado would be up against infrastructure projects residents have long rallied for — better sidewalks, more streetlights and fewer neglected foreclosures.

But City Heights also has a soft spot for the ballroom.

By Brian Myers and Megan Burks"
cityheights  history  redevelopment  2013  sandiego  brianmyers  meganburks 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Community Mourns Closing of Urban Greenspace - YouTube
"A group of volunteers and patrons of Antonio's Nursery got together one last time to recall the good times of the short lived micro farm on 44th Street near University Avenue.

It's hard to imagine that weeks ago the lot was full of natural life. Visitors from the surrounding neighborhood stopped by to browse the flowers, trees and edible plants. Some purchased the plants to grow at home or were there to seek gardening advice from Antonio himself.

Others were just there. To them, the nursery offered an escape from the grey urban landscape and an opportunity to meet others. Tall corn and sunflowers blocked the view of asphalt streets and traffic. A small awning created a shaded meeting space.

"It wasn't just a business," said Andrea Carter, a frequent visitor of nursery.

Her sentiment was echoed by the others. In a neighborhood with great residential density and a lack of nature, parks and recreation centers, the nursery was a substitute for the community spaces newer, less dense neighborhoods might have.

Antonio's nephew Hector said the community needs green space where folks living in the city can learn about growing plants.

"It's basically a City Heights Balboa Park, without us having to go to Balboa Park," Hector said.

Antonio is a familiar face around City Heights. For years he's been growing and selling flowers across the alley at the IRC New Roots Aqua Farm and down the road at the City Heights Farmers' Market.

Some say before Antonio rented the vacant lot, an old decaying house sat empty on the property for some time and drug dealers moved in. In an attempt to rid the bad elements from the neighborhood, the house was demolished and the lot was enclosed with a chain link fence.

Antonio saw the vacant lot as an opportunity to expand his nursery operation. He leased the property at the beginning of the year and quickly turned it in into an urban oasis.

Neighbors quickly noticed the changes Antonio was making. Rich Macgurn is a caretaker at the nearby Remedy Garden. He said Antonio is magic with his hands and would often take stubborn seeds to Antonio to sprout and return as plants.

"He made this space look so alive. There were so many people coming in and out," Macgurn said. "It was really vibrant."

Unfortunately for Antonio, he was unaware of the zoning restrictions the property has. When city code enforcement officers showed up a few months after he broke ground, he was told he would need to cease operation of the nursery immediately.

Antonio and volunteers have since removed the plants and farming equipment from the lot. The few fruits hanging from vines on the fence are the only relics remaining of the once productive nursery. It's now just another familiar site in City Heights: a vacant lot collecting wind blown debris.

Nursery volunteer Ricardo Cantano said spaces like the nursery help shape a better community and this zoning restriction hinders the momentum.

"Regardless that that was the reason, I feel that the good impact in the community was bigger and there has to be a better way," said Cantano.

Andrea Carter said that because the nursery offered public, health, environmental and community benefits, Antonio should have been given more support to bring the lot up to code.

"We should be moving in this other direction of creating more of these kind of spaces and facilitating them to exist, not making it difficult for people who are not sophisticated in permitting and zoning," she said.

By Brian Myers"
sandiego  cityheights  2013  antonio'snursery  gardening  urbangardening  urbanfarming  brianmeyers 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Taxi-Turned-Uber Drivers Get a New Lease on Life - YouTube
"San Diego cab companies insist they aren’t losing customers to the mobile rideshare app Uber. But they are losing money because of it.

The cash is following cabdrivers, who are making the jump to Uber in droves.

“I don’t have a customer problem. I have enough customers to fill these cabs everyday,” said Anthony Palmeri, who owns taxi dispatcher Yellow Radio Service. “My owners don’t have enough drivers to drive the taxicabs, so the cab sits idle.”

The people who own cabs, and the city permits to operate them, often don’t make their living from actually picking up passengers. Their income comes from leasing the vehicles to drivers, who pay them an average of $400 a week and take home whatever profits are left over.

By Megan Burks

Read more at Speak City Heights,

Video Production: Brian Myers, Media Arts Center San Diego "
sandiego  cityheights  uber  taxis  transportation  labor  2014  meganburks  sharingeconomy 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Bikes del Pueblo Seeks Permanent Space to Help Mid-City Residents With Bike Repairs - YouTube
"A flat tire or a broken chain is all it takes to put a bike out of service if the cyclist doesn’t know how to fix the problem or can’t afford a mechanic.

Eleven year old BMX rider Erick Mwesa found that out last week. Biking allows him to get to school in the mornings so his mother can drive to work. A couple of mechanical issues could mean being tardy to class or a major disruption in his mom’s schedule.

That’s where Bikes del Pueblo steps in. Seven years ago a group of volunteer bicycle mechanics started helping and educating the City Heights bike community about repairs and maintenance. They provide the tools and assistance to fix common bike issues.

Mwesa heard about the group’s assistance from a friend at school. He biked over to the City Heights Farmers Market Saturday on a flat tire to visit the Bikes del Pueblo booth, where the group operates its weekly bicycle workshops.

Volunteer mechanic Olivier Clerc diagnosed the problems and Mwesa soon had tools in hand to disassemble his bike. Clerc worked with Mwesa for about 20 minutes, teaching Mwesa what he needed to do to fix the bike, but never actually doing the work himself.

That’s because Bikes del Pueblo is built on a foundation of education and self-sufficiency. Volunteer mechanic Leah Shoecraft sums up their services.

“If you have some issue with your bike, you bring it by and we’ll walk you through the steps on how to repair it. So in the future if that happens again, you’ll be able to do it yourself,” she said.

The organization has started to grow. It has more volunteers, it’s filed for nonprofit status and it has more donations of bike parts than it has storage space.

Currently, other than the four hours on Saturdays, Bikes del Pueblo resides in the basement and backyard of Clerc’s house. To continue to expand, the group took to the online social fundraising platform Indiegogo to raise enough money to move into their own venue in City Heights.

“We want to be open every day and help people fix their bikes every day,” said Clerc.

Ending their campaign on Tuesday night, Bikes del Pueblo is about a third way to their fundraising goal.

By Brian Myers
Editor: Megan Burks

[Disclosure: Brian Myers volunteered with Bikes del Pueblo from 2007 to 2008.]"
sandiego  cityheights  bikes  biking  bikesdelpueblo  2014  brianmyers  leahshoecraft  olivierclerc  erickmwesa 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Traveling Stories
"Traveling Stories is a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time & inspire a love for reading everywhere. Your donation today gives a child the chance to fall in love with reading for the first time!

We are active both locally and internationally!

Since 2010 we have established seven international libraries and two local Story Tent programs with free literacy coaching for at-risk kids.

Our long-term goal is to establish libraries in every book-poor village around the world & to have Story Tent programs in every State!

Our strategy is to offer Traveling Stories Social Franchises for those who want to start an international library or Story Tent, but don't want the bother of starting their own nonprofit."

[via: ]
sandiego  cityheights  literacy  books  libraries 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Fact Check: The Squeaky Wheel Approach to Pothole Repairs | Voice of San Diego
"Let’s take a closer look at the data. The district with the fewest potholes filled last year was District 9, which includes City Heights. City Heights is an old neighborhood, which means it likely had a good share of potholes to fix. Yet, District 6 had six times more pothole repairs than District 9 last year. The key factor here is the likely difference between the number of actual potholes and the number of pothole complaints.

For whatever reason, there were likely a lot fewer pothole complaints in City Heights than Clairemont. Clairemont was probably a squeakier wheel, and it got the city’s grease.

Repairing potholes based on complaints struck city auditors as inefficient and unfair. In a report issued last year, auditors determined that fixing potholes proactively by neighborhood would save time and money, patch more potholes and ensure that communities across the city were treated more equitably.

The city still uses complaints to determine where potholes need to be fixed. But pothole repair crews now also drive to different neighborhoods in the city and fix the ones they see, too. The city publicizes where the pothole repair crews will be every day.

Assuming the city’s new system worked, this year’s data should show fewer disparities among Council districts.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning."
cityheights  sandiego  streets  politics  policy  inequality  2014  clairemont  repairs  class 
may 2014 by robertogreco
"SoBiTV is a cable broadcaster dedicated to creating and distributing entertainment content for Asian American Audience."

Found a link to this site on Google Maps at:
3303 40th St
San Diego, CA 92105
sandiego  local  media  cityheights 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Resources | Price Charities
"The City Heights Support Services Snapshots are a compilation of organizations working in City Heights, a community in the Mid-City area of San Diego. Each snapshot lists information about an organization, their programs, and the population they serve.

Hopefully this will be a helpful resource for organizations and residents as they work together to meet the needs of the City Heights community.  

Please contact Phillip Barbour, with questions or comments at:

Unless otherwise specifically stated, the information contained herein is made available to the public by Price Charities for use as a resource document. Price Charities developed the City Heights Support Services Snap Shots with the intent to transmit information to strengthen networking between organizations. Price Charities compiled all information with the express permission of the appropriate entity, neither Price Charities nor any other agency or entities named hereof assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information.

View the City Heights Support Services Snapshots

View a pin map of the services "
cityheights  community  pricecharities  sandiego  organizations  maps 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Welcome to CicloSDias San Diego, California
""Ciclo­vía," which translates to English as "bike path" was coined in Bogota, Columbia, a city that began experimenting with its model Ciclovia initiative in 1974 as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. CicloSDias San Diego is modeled after similar car-free events held in cities around the world, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As of 2012, some 80 Open Streets initiatives are held regularly in North America. CicloSDias is all about connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. CicloSDias San Diego will bring families outside of their homes to enjoy car free streets. The message is clear – we all want a clean, healthy and vibrant San Diego.

CicloSDias welcomes everyone in San Diego to walk, ride, stroll and enjoy our streets. Approximately 5.2 miles of city streets will be opened to families, pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, skateboarders, and anyone else interested in using this public space in a new way.

The event will include a “Hub” in 4 different neighborhoods in San Diego – City Heights, Logan Heights, North Park, and South Park. These Hubs will feature CicloSDias merchandise, showcase event sponsors, and host a bicycle repair booth. Event participants are encouraged to check-in at each Hub and receive a free entry into our Bike raffle.

San Diegans will experience a free ‘open street’ event with activities along the route. Shops and restaurants will be open for business and neighbors and friends from all over will make our streets come alive."
sandiego  bikes  biking  community  ciclovia  ciclosdias  cityheights  loganheights  southpark  northpark 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Ocean Discovery Institute
"For the past decade, Ocean Discovery Institute has been empowering urban and diverse young people to protect our ocean and natural environment, improve the health of our communities, and strengthen our quality of life. Ocean Discovery Institute is the only non-profit in the San Diego region expressly dedicated to educating urban and diverse youth through ocean science.

WHY THE OCEAN? The ocean and our coastlines are an extraordinary educational resource intrinsic to San Diego. All of the primary concepts in science and conservation can be taught through ocean science including: mathematics, engineering, physics, biochemistry, geology, astronomy, ecology, physiology, molecular/biotechnology, environmental sciences, technology/computer science, and biomechanics. Using the ocean as an educational tool capitalizes on young people’s instinctive attraction to the sea and builds knowledge of our planet’s defining feature.

Ocean Discovery Institute heads up a series of initiatives that incorporate education, scientific research, and environmental stewardship. Currently these initiatives reach 5,000+ low-income students and community members each year. All of Ocean Discovery Institute’s programming is provided tuition-free. To ensure continued effectiveness, regular program assessments are conducted by a professional external evaluator with a doctorate from Harvard University."

[New building going up in City Heights: ]
sandiego  ocean  science  oceans  oceandiscoveryinstitute  cityheights  youth  openstudioproject  environment  education 
july 2013 by robertogreco
The Episcopal Refugee Network of San Diego
[See also:

"Burma Refugees Struggling to Adjust in City Heights"

"Finding Their Way Home: Burmese Refugees Establish a Community Center"

"Burmese Refugees Making Home in San Diego

Karen Organization of San Diego ]

"The Episcopal Refugee Network of San Diego is a non-profit organization that started to help refugees in San Diego County, from many countries of origin. Most of our early clients were from Sudan, but now we also serve many Karen and Karinni refugees from Myanmar (Burma), and Bhutanese and Iraqi refugees."

"The Episcopal Refugee Network provides one-on-one tutoring for 95 young people from Burmese mountain groups. The majority are Karen but we have numbers also from the Karenni, Chin and Shan peoples. This program is offered in an elementary section and a secondary section each week at St. Mark’s Church in City Heights, San Diego. We have a program at St. Alban’s Church Hall in El Cajon City. More volunteer tutors will enable more children to be accepted into the El Cajon program twice a week.

Each week the children learn and practice basic reading and math skills. They also receive enrichment in current events, geography and map skills, research skills, and poetry. Field trips to art, history and science museums, and sporting events enhance their learning experiences. Positive reports from San Diego teachers have let us know we are helping these children."
sandiego  refugees  volunteering  myanmar  iraq  sudan  cityheights  elcajon  openstudioproject  episcopalrefugeenetwork  burma  karen 
june 2013 by robertogreco
City Heights Educational Collaborative
"The City Heights Education Collaborative is an innovative educational initiative that partners three San Diego Unified School District schools in City Heights with San Diego State University School of Education, San Diego Education Association and Price Charities.

In addition to the goal of inner city children achieving educational excellence, the three schools (Hoover High, Monroe Clark Middle and Rosa Parks Elementary) also operate as "community schools" providing comprehensive health and social services to students and their families."
cityheights  sandiego  education  openstudioproject  sdusd  sdsu  pricecharties 
june 2013 by robertogreco
City Heights Intitaive | Price Charities
"City Heights is a vibrant urban community east of downtown San Diego consisting of 16 defined neighborhoods. Approximately 74,000 people live in a 4 square mile area, making it the most dense community in the San Diego region. A significant number (42.4%) of residents are foreign born with a majority migrating from Latin America, Asia and Africa. Only 63% of adults have a high school diploma, 33% are not English fluent, and 27% live in poverty."

[See also:,_San_Diego ]
cityheights  sandiego  openstudioproject  demographics  neighborhoods  pricecharities  2011 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Speak City Heights
"Speak City Heights is a media collaborative aimed at amplifying the voices of residents in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods, City Heights.Through reporting and multimedia projects from our partners—KPBS,, The AjA Project and Media Arts Center San Diego—the collaborative will help residents and policymakers frame a discussion about what constitutes a healthy community, its barriers and how they’ll overcome them in City Heights.

Why City Heights? Its transformation from a sleepy San Diego suburb to the city’s dense, urban core has given way to a diverse community of immigrants and refugees. This vibrant state of flux both inspires and challenges the neighborhood. It is among San Diego’s poorest, lacking quality housing, updated infrastructure or easy access to healthcare and nutritious food."
sandiego  education  learning  speakcityheights  cityheights  voiceofsandiego  kpbs  mediaartscenter  macsd  aja  ellatino  youth  media  multimedia  communities  community  activism 
january 2013 by robertogreco
A Culture Clash Where Three Neighborhoods Meet - Survival
"South of El Cajon Boulevard, ethnic business leaders and nonprofit advocates…hoped the five acres would become an international marketplace or affordable housing complex.

North of El Cajon Boulevard…saw the vacant lot as an opportunity to finally lay claim to the boulevard, a hodgepodge of ethnic mom-and-pop shops they rarely visit. They wanted something transformative: a Trader Joe's or a Henry's, and maybe a park — but not affordable housing…

Todd Gloria, the area's city councilman, was pleased with the decision to put a YMCA there…

…A few Talmadge residents recently sued the San Diego Unified School District over plans to install stadium lights on the Hoover High football field, saying they feared nighttime events would bring a flood of traffic. But the school largely serves poor students from City Heights, and the lights' supporters said allowing evening events would give students from neighborhoods south of El Cajon Boulevard safe options for nighttime activities."
cityheights  sandiego  talmadge  kensington  neighborhoods  2011  development 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Kids Make the Next Move, and the Next, and the Next - Schooled: The Education Blog
"Educators often bemoan the revolving door of teachers in and out of disadvantaged schools. But the revolving door of kids is no less worrisome. Switching schools again and again can handicap children academically. They miss some lessons and repeat others. Kids who move more than twice are roughly half as likely to do well on a national reading test than those who haven't moved at all, according to one study.

Their classmates suffer from the churn too, as teachers try to juggle new kids with old ones. "You're always reteaching," said Becky Benitez, a teacher who has spent a dozen years at Marshall. That goes for everything from rounding decimals to how to line up for lunch. Any day can be the first day of school."
emilyalpert  schools  sandiego  continuity  education  learning  cityheights  marshallelementary  busing  2011  stacimonreal  moving 
april 2011 by robertogreco
City Heights Free Skool
"You have reached this page because the City Heights Free Skool is being censored by UC Chancellor Mark Yudof. We stand in solidarity with the B.A.N.G. Lab for worldwide social revolution. Our site is having technical difficulties related to the UCSD administration's decision to cut off network access to the B.A.N.G. lab. We will be back soon." [9 April 2010]

[See also: ]
cityheights  community  education  sandiego  ucsd  banglab  freeschools  activism  censorship 
april 2010 by robertogreco
MySpace - City Heights Free Skool
"The Free Skool works to facilitate a learning exchange as an instrument for individuals who want to learn in an open environment. Students are encouraged to follow their own interests. Free Skool is designed to stimulate curiosity and encourage cooperation. We believe that the most meaningful learning occurs in an atmosphere allowing opportunities for students to be self-directed, self-motivated and self-disciplined. We are a resource that provides free alternative educational opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds. The Free Skool also works for profound social change by serving as a model for education in the future." From the site that is down:

"You have reached this page because the City Heights Free Skool is being censored by UC Chancellor Mark Yudof.

We stand in solidarity with the BANG Lab for worldwide social revolution. Our site is having technical difficulties related to UCSD administration's decision to cut off network access to B.A.N.G. lab."

[Other site down: ]
ucsd  sandiego  cityheights  freeschools  activism  bikes  computers 
april 2010 by robertogreco

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