Construction of Navy ship ‘Harvey Milk’ begins

Harvey Milk way back in the day

” Construction began Friday on the future Harvey Milk, a fleet oiler named for the slain gay rights leader and the first openly gay man elected in the state…Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1978 and was assassinated 10 months later by an ex-supervisor. His life was the subject of the 2008 film “Milk.”

” Almost 30 years before his election, Milk was a Naval dive officer based in San Diego. His nephew, Stuart Milk, attended Friday’s event and said naming the ship after his uncle sends a message to people around the world…

Milk said his uncle was forced to resign from the Navy in the 1950s after being caught in a San Diego park popular with gay men. To be honored now with a ship showed how much things have changed, he said…

” Fleet oilers like the future Harvey Milk are used to replenish fuel oil and dry goods to Navy ships at sea. The Milk will be the second ship in the new John Lewis class of fleet oilers. The future John Lewis, named for the civil rights leader and congressman, also is being built at NASSCO San Diego.

Crap, backwards, bigoted culture can be defeated. No one ever said it was easy. Just necessary.

Teacher stalked by ex-husband – so Catholic school fires her!

A San Diego-area teacher was fired because her stalker ex-husband was due to get out of jail soon and could show up at her school, district officials said.

Carie Charlesworth…was let go by the San Diego Roman Catholic diocese because of concerns her former spouse could pose a threat to staff and students at the Holy Trinity School in El Cajon once he was released from San Diego County jail.

Martin Charlesworth was sentenced to jail for domestic abuse and stalking after he went to Holy Trinity in January in violation of a restraining order. The unannounced visit caused a lockdown and brought police to the campus.

The education department of the diocese said in its termination letter that Mr. Charlesworth had a 20-year record of abuse and violence toward women and they did not want to risk a confrontation on school grounds.

Carie Charlesworth told the Los Angeles Times she was stunned at losing her job after 14 years with the diocese and was considering both a lawsuit and a career change. Her ex-husband’s attorney told the newspaper Martin Charlesworth had meant no harm by his January visit and had only wanted to discuss details of their child-custody arrangements.

Surely no one is surprised at what passes for care and concern for women and children by the Roman Catholic Church. Or for that matter – local law enforcement.

Time after time, we learn of wives beaten or murdered by the criminal thug they’ve gotten a restraining order against. The lack of concern, the inability of law enforcement to provide protection, say, comparable to a bank vice-president is common. My disgust with a religion that turns its gold-encrusted back on women’s real needs time and again – just moved up another notch.

Candy maker’s “Jolly Lollys” are marijuana-based — Busted!

With Halloween right around the corner, police said several University at Buffalo students were having a special treat of candy-flavored marijuana when they got spooked by a raid Thursday.

Alexander J. Zito was throwing a party for the students at his Delaware Avenue apartment when Buffalo narcotics detectives arrived to discover chocolate-flavored marijuana, hard candy containing marijuana, 640 “Jolly Lolly” marijuana lollipops and 5 pounds of regular marijuana…

Zito, 26, allegedly arranges to obtain the marijuana on trips to California under the guise that it is for medicinal purposes and then has it shipped here through the U.S. Postal Service. Medical marijuana in California is legal under state law, but that is not the case in New York…

Though Zito claimed to be unemployed for two or three years, he apparently was prospering. Police found records indicating his rent was paid six months in advance and the furniture in his residence was brand new. Business cards, Mulhern said, also were found stating Zito was the proprietor of a medical marijuana shop in San Diego…

But different forms of marijuana were not the only thing Zito had, police said. Hashish and crack cocaine also were found at his residence. He was charged with felony possession of marijuana and cocaine.

Now, if we were rid of the anachronistic and absurd laws making this behavior illegal, he could have turned himself into Buffalo’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Albeit, in a decriminalized environment, Zito would have had to conform to useful business protocols – like paying taxes.

Permission granted: Gay troops OK to march in parade in uniform

From last year’s parade in San Diego

The Defense Department…announced it is allowing service members to march in uniform in a gay pride parade for the first time in U.S. history.

In a memorandum sent military-wide, the department said it was making an exception to its policy that generally bars troops from marching in uniform in parades unless individuals get approval from their commanders.

The Defense Department said it was making the exception for San Diego’s Gay Pride Parade that will take place Saturday because organizers had encouraged military personnel to march in their uniform and the event was getting national attention.

The parade last year had the largest contingency of active-duty troops participate before the military lifted its ban on openly gay service members. Last year, participants wore T-shirts with their branch name…

“San Diego Pride is honored to have the privilege of celebrating our country and our service members with dignity and respect,” he said. “The fight for equality is not over, and it is not easy, but this is a giant leap in the right direction.”

“I think many people thought after ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was gone, discriminatory things would be eradicated,” said former sailor Sean Sala, who led the campaign to have troops in uniform in the parade. “But now these parades have become a very sticky subject as far as commanders using their own discretion because they are showing either a bias toward a pride parade, or the right view, which this is about recognizing who people are.”

Sala says more than 300 service members have signed up to participate this year. It was unclear how many will wear their uniform.

Bravo. Another step forward for gay Americans in the military. No one ever said it was going to be easy – even with a president who manages to roll out support in the better-late-than-never flavor. The alternative is the dude who couldn’t care less.

If anyone in my family back in New England reads this post – remember our Cousin Billy, please.

Car2go has 6,000 electric car sharers in San Diego in first 100 days

For some people, buying an electric car is a long-time dream. For others, the excitement comes simply from driving one and not having to worry about the hassles of vehicle ownership. Turns out, there are at least 6,000 such people in San Diego, CA, where Daimler’s easy-access car-sharing program, Car2go, reported that many users in the program’s first 100 days. Car2go is also happy to note that the 300 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive models that are in use there now means that, “for the first time in the history of North America, an entire city has access to emissions-free automobility.”

Car2go started operationg in San Diego in November of 2011 and more than 25,000 all-electric trips have been taken thus far. At the beginning, around 500 rentals were happening each week. Now, it’s up to 3,500

The press release is a little dry – but, it’s an interesting read on where the project is coming from and where it’s going.

Single workman in Yuma causes power outage affecting millions

Oops! A single worker caused the massive blackout across the Southwest on Thursday night, the power company admitted.

The blackout, which left about 5 million people without power, may be one of the biggest caused by human error…Officials believe the outage, which hit at 4 p.m. Thursday, happened when a power worker removed a piece of equipment at a substation. According to the power company APS, there should have been some safeguards that would have limited the outage in most cases.

“Operating and protection protocols typically would have isolated the resulting outage to the Yuma area,” APS said in a press release. “The reason that did not occur in this case will be the focal point of the investigation into the event, which already is under way.”

It took more than 12 hours for power to be restored for people affected by the outage, an area that ranged from Mexico to Southern California to Arizona.

“There appears to be two failures here – one is human failure and the other is a system failure. Both of those will be addressed,” Damon Gross, a spokesman for Pinnacle West Capital’s Arizona utility Arizona Public Service, told MSNBC.

They’re going to smack the capacitor that had to be replaced on its bottom with a battery cable. Hopefully, they won’t be as severe with the poor bugger who was just trying to replace it.

The fact remains that for systems as critical as this more than simple redundancy is required. Allotting only one person isn’t sufficient – you need someone to say “Check!” Saving chump change and leaving room for a failure the size of a small country ain’t the way to manage complex infrastructure.

American military marches openly in San Diego’s Gay Pride parade

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

About 200 active-duty troops and veterans wearing T-shirts advertising their branch of service marched Saturday in San Diego’s gay pride parade with American flags and rainbow banners, marking what is believed to be the first time a military contingent has participated in such an event in the U.S.

Many of the active-duty troops said they were moved to come out because it is time to end the military’s ban on openly gay troops. The march comes a day after a federal appeals court reinstated “don’t ask, don’t tell” but with a caveat that prevents the government from investigating or penalizing anyone who is openly gay.

National Guard member Nichole Herrera, 31, said she didn’t think twice about marching, even though the policy is back on the books. She said she was “choked up” several times as she walked down a main thoroughfare in San Diego, a major Navy port.

“This is one of the proudest days in my life. It’s time for it (the policy) to be gone,” Herrera said. “I’m a soldier no matter what, regardless of my sexual orientation.”

The crowd roared as the group waving military flags and holding placards identifying their military branch walked past the thousands.

Every branch of service was represented Saturday, including the Coast Guard. Marines and sailors ran out carrying their branch’s flags over their heads. One Marine stopped to pose with two towering bikini-clad blondes in stiletto-heeled boots.

Onlookers stepped into the parade route to salute them.

Bravo! The salute is overdue. Wish my cousin Billy was alive to see the Navy allow him public pride.