Saturday, July 13, 2013

Governor signs measure to grant local lifeguards same benefits as other public safety employees

Block’s SB 527 earns bipartisan support

SACRAMENTO—San Diego’s fulltime lifeguards will receive the same workers’ compensation benefits as other public safety employees under a bill signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.

SB 527, authored by Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego), would ensure that the approximately 90 lifeguards employed by the City of San Diego would receive enhanced compensation for injuries sustained while on the job. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

“Lifeguards frequently perform tasks similar to police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. They also suffer injuries from difficult water and coastal cliff rescues and perform hazardous duties such as making arrests,” Block said. “Our lifeguards help ensure that beach goers and tourists can enjoy our beautiful coastline with a sense of security.”

Block said lifeguards perform 4,000 to 6,000 water rescues and 40 to70 cliff rescues on an annual basis, along with other duties such as enforcing State Fish and Game laws and interacting with Homeland Security to protect coastal areas.

While lifeguards are classified as police officers, firefighters and EMTs, their disability benefits mirror that of non-safety employees. Other injured public safety employees receive a leave of absence of up to one year without loss of salary. City lifeguards are excluded from this benefit and receive the temporary disability benefits paid to non-safety employees.

SB 527 was sponsored by the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council and received bipartisan support in both houses.

SDCDP Special Meeting

In light of recent developments, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby has issued the following statement:

"The Party has supported Bob Filner's vision for listening to neighborhoods, celebrating diversity, investing in working families, and embracing progress. San Diegans voted for him because of his vision."

"However, sexual harrasment is unacceptable at any level of government or workplace."

"Given that we've learned a few specifics regarding this matter, my next step is to convene an special meeting of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee to address this issue."

"I have heard from many of our constituents about their concerns that this scandal is drawing attention away from the important issues our city faces. Our priority is to ensure that the Office of the Mayor is leading San Diego effectively."

Friday, July 12, 2013


San Diego Democrats for Equality has a history of fighting for and defending issues and candidates who protect the rights of women and all workers on the job. We support and defend a woman's right to choose and the empowerment of women, and we actively promote qualified political candidates, including female and LGBT candidates, who support our mission and platform.

Like many San Diegans, we were alarmed by the third party public accusations of sexual harassment concerning our mayor. Mayor Filner's response this afternoon includes an open admission to having "failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them." These behaviors stand in direct conflict with the values of Democrats for Equality. We are deeply disappointed in the mayor's behavior and saddened that any employee under his leadership received such inappropriate treatment.

The actions that the mayor announced to address these issues are necessary first steps. Over the years our club has seen the ability of a number of elected officials to transform the way in which they treat issues and constituents. This experience confirms our belief that individuals do possess the capacity for change and we expect no less from Mayor Filner.

The mission of the San Diego Democrats for Equality is  to secure for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people the equal human rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution of the United States; to foster the ideals of the Democratic Party; and to contribute to the Party's growth and influence.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Statement on Harassment Allegations Against Mayor Filner

Several media outlets today reported on sexual harassment allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner that are due to be detailed in a press conference tomorrow. In the absence of more information, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby has issued the following statement:

"The San Diego County Democratic Party has learned today about harassment claims involving Mayor Bob Filner. I take allegations of sexual harassment very seriously, as does the Democratic Party.

"The information currently available about these claims is not specific, and key questions remain to be answered both by Mayor Filner and those leveling these charges.

"In the meantime, we join other San Diegans in seeking more details and awaiting the Mayor's response."

Monday, July 8, 2013

KNSJ Radio Provides Prompt Wildfire Service Alert for Chariot Canyon Fire; Wastes no time stepping up to serve the community

SAN DIEGO – KNSJ 89.1 FM Descanso, San Diego County’s newest 5 day old FM radio station, wasted no time showing other local media outlets what prompt coverage looks like, being one of the first sources to report on the Chariot Canyon Fire that began burning near Julian around 1:00 pm Sat, July 6. By 1:30 pm, KNSJ and their news partner East County Magazine (operator of the Viejas Wildfire and Emergency Alerts) broadcasted a wildfire alert over the airwaves warning East County residents of the (at that time only 50 acre) fire burning in the area, and posted an article on the ECM website

KNSJ reporters were on the scene Sunday afternoon and evening following the situation closely and will continue coverage of the Chariot Canyon Fire Monday, July 8 at 8 am in the KNSJ morning news show and through out the day as needed.  With temporary closures on the Sunrise Highway, mandatory evacuations, and the wind changing the direction of the fire in minutes, KNSJ’s prompt and continuous detailed coverage of the Chariot Canyon Fire provides pertinent and timely information to keep residents near the fire safe and calm in a tumultuous situation.  

The fire spread to 1,400 acres by 8:45 am Sunday, with mandatory evacuations called by 12:30 pm, yet most local media outlets were still not covering the fire until later Sunday afternoon.  Not even the free San Diego County emergency phone app  was updated with the news as of 1:30 pm Sunday, when the fire was nearing 1,700 acres. As of 4:30 am Monday the emergency app says the last update is from 1:11 pm Sunday, and gives outdated information about the closure of Sunrise Highway and one of the evacuation sites.  The KNSJ Radio wildfire and emergency alerts provides a new public service that San Diego residents can rely on for accurate and up to date information during wildfires and other emergencies.

About KNSJ Radio
KNSJ Radio 89.1 FM Descanso is a listener-supported, community-based, educational radio station of, by and for the richly diverse people in the San Diego border region.  The mission of KNSJ is to provide high quality radio for those people and viewpoints which have traditionally been excluded by the commercial media, especially those cultural, ethnic and social groups who have been historically marginalized.

Initial tests of the KNSJ Descanso signal received reports of various signal strengths heard in Mission Valley, Hillcrest, Balboa Park, Kensington, Kearny Mesa, City College, Little Italy, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Golden Hills, City Heights, Sierra Mesa, Rolando, SDSU, Barrio Logan, Pine Valley, Alpine, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Mt Helix, Santee, Jamul, Rancho San Diego, Casa de Oro, National City at 8th St. to Chula Vista at H St., in Chula Vista along I-5, near 10th Ave and the 163, at the downtown airport, on the east side of the Pt. Loma hill, on I-805 in Chula Vista to the 94, on I-805 at Market Street, on 6th Ave through Banker’s Hill, on the I-15 at Miramar and Aero Drive, on Route 52 from the I-15 to I-5, on the I-5 S-curve, on the Coronado Bridge,  and on the125 north to Grossmont College