Student posters celebrate Freedom of Speech.

Free Speech, Press and Society.
Free Speech, Press and Society.

I was making my way through downtown this morning when I spotted something important that I’d like to blog.

As I walked past the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse, I noticed a new crop of student posters has appeared in the building’s windows. These posters were submitted by local kids for the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2019 Law Week Poster and Video Contest.

The theme this year is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.

We the People...
We the People…
Natural Rights. First Amendment.
Natural Rights. First Amendment.
Free As a Bird. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Free As a Bird. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Freedom. Rights. Responsibility.
Freedom. Rights. Responsibility. May all our voices be heard!
Express your opinion. Peacefully protest or assemble.
Express your opinion. Peacefully protest or assemble.
Liberty requires freedom of expression for everybody.
Liberty requires freedom of expression for everybody.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is vitally important to me. I’m a writer.

If you value individual liberty and a free and open society, its protections are fundamental.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Student art recognized by the Congressional Institute.

Lady of the Garden, Veronica McFarland, acrylic. San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.
Lady of the Garden, Veronica McFarland, acrylic. San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.

High school students from the San Diego area have been recognized for outstanding achievement. Their artwork has been displayed inside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC!

Some of that excellent art can now be seen at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

The exhibition is titled An Artistic Discovery. These expressive pieces were created by students who attend schools throughout the 53rd Congressional District, which is represented by Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Check out a few examples that caught my eye during my visit yesterday to the San Diego History Center!

A wall inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park features art created by students in local high schools.
A wall inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park features art created by students in local high schools.
An Artistic Discovery is an exhibition that showcases the artwork of students in the 53rd Congressional District. Winning works are displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.
An Artistic Discovery is an exhibition that showcases the artwork of students in the 53rd Congressional District. Winning works are displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.
Our Future, Chivone Brittney-Dawn Cervantes, oil paint. Diego Hills Central Charter School.
Our Future, Chivone Brittney-Dawn Cervantes, oil paint. Diego Hills Central Charter School.
Deliberate Red, Maryann Lee, watercolor and colored pencils. Bonita Vista High School.
Deliberate Red, Maryann Lee, watercolor and colored pencils. Bonita Vista High School.
Black Woman, Danielle Simone Grimes, acrylic. Morse High School.
Black Woman, Danielle Simone Grimes, acrylic. Morse High School.
Pure Joy, Julianna Pantoja, colored pencil. Otay Ranch High School.
Pure Joy, Julianna Pantoja, colored pencil. Otay Ranch High School.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Great ideas at South Bay Earth Day!

People have gathered in Chula Vista's Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!
People have gathered in Chula Vista’s Memorial Park for South Bay Earth Day!

Today I headed to Memorial Park in Chula Vista to check out South Bay Earth Day!

This cool annual event inspires community members to save water and energy, protect the environment, and keep our corner of the planet beautiful and clean.

I walked about and learned all sorts of useful information at many booths. I read about environmental projects that are being undertaken by the City of Chula Vista and various nonprofit organizations. I saw how community members are working to improve their neighborhoods.

These photos contain many great ideas. Click the images of signs to enlarge them for easy reading. Much of the information is of special interest to residents in San Diego’s South Bay. If you live elsewhere, perhaps you will be inspired, too!

Chula Vista's beautiful Memorial Park provides a bit of green in an urban setting.
Chula Vista’s beautiful Memorial Park provides an oasis of green in an urban setting.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
The City of Chula Vista has various programs that help to protect the environment and improve quality of life.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
Earth Month Calendar of Events for the City of Chula Vista, which includes volunteer opportunities like the Creek to Bay Cleanup.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
City of Chula Vista, Leaders in Innovation. Programs include smart irrigation, traffic signals, sustainable buildings and drones.
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
Activities at South Bay Earth Day include making art. I enjoyed seeing neighbors creating colorful tie-dye!
This work of art created from a gourd was one of many amazing pieces from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Some great artists had booths. A horse etched and painted on a gourd from Dream Job Craftworks by Kathy Page.
Southwestern College had an assortment of native succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. They can provide water saving ground cover for one's yard.
Southwestern College had an assortment of succulents at its Sustainable Landscape Practice table. These native plants can provide water saving ground cover for your yard.
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made of mostly plastic trash found on beaches!
Mel Clarkston of LetsGetTrashed.Art shows her mosaics made mostly of plastic trash found on beaches!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
An amazing Golden State mosaic made from small bits of litter!
The San Diego Fixit Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
The San Diego Fix-it Clinic had a table at the event. No need to throw certain things away. They repair many broken items for free!
Every month, the San Diego Fixit Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
Every month, the San Diego Fix-it Clinic will repair broken things like electronics, appliances, and even clothes!
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
The City of Chula Vista Sustainability Commission had a table and interested visitors.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and styrofoam.
One of their displays compared the biodegradability of paper, different plastics and Styrofoam.
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
A perfect, sunny spring day at South Bay Earth Day!
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
Sign explains how the City of Chula Vista is developing an Active Transportation Plan to help guide future pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
This table explained a very cool Seed Library concept.
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
The Otay Ranch branch of the Chula Vista Public Library has a Seed Library. Community members can take seeds to plant, or donate harvested seeds back to the library!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event!
Of course, recycling stations could be found all around the South Bay Earth Day event.
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned at the Surfrider Foundation booth that the 3rd Annual March For Clean Water is next weekend in Imperial Beach!
I learned from some Girl Scouts that chemicals in certain sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
I learned from some Girl Scouts that certain chemicals in sunscreens harm coral reefs. Safe active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!
Community members learn how to protect the environment at South Bay Earth Day!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Marine Corps Recruit Depot brass plaque at City Hall.

A large plaque presented by Marine Corps Recruit Depot to the City of San Diego commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United States Marines.
A large plaque presented by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to the City of San Diego commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United States Marines.

A couple mornings ago, when I visited the San Diego City Administration Building’s lobby, I noticed a large brass plaque in a glass display case against the east wall. The shining badge-like plaque is several feet in length.

Upon closer inspection, I read the words:

Marine Corps Recruit Depot
San Diego, California
Department of the Navy
United States Marine Corps
Presented to City of San Diego
by the
Officers and Enlisted Personnel
Marine Corps Recruit Depot
on 10 November 1975
The 200th Anniversary of the Corps

A smaller descriptive plaque on top of the display case reads: “This plaque is made from brass shell cases of ammunition fired by Marines in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.”

I’ve searched the internet for information regarding this fantastic Marine Corps Recruit Depot plaque, but have found nothing.

Does anyone know its history?

Where was it made? Was it presented to the City of San Diego back in 1975 during a special ceremony? Has it always been on display inside City Hall?

Please leave a comment if you have any additional information!

A closer photo of the shining brass plaque, which is on display inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building.
A closer photo of the shining brass plaque, which is on display inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building.

(Another amazing Bicentennial Plaque–one presented to San Diego by the United States Navy–can be seen on the Embarcadero near the USS Midway Museum. To read a fascinating article about the origin of that historic bronze plaque, and see photos of its forging, click here!)

Historical exhibit features archives at City Hall.

A display during Archives Month includes photograph of the City Clerk's office in San Diego, circa 1890.
Historical exhibit during Archives Month includes an old photograph of the City Clerk’s office in San Diego, circa 1890.

Through the end of October an interesting exhibit can be viewed inside the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building, in one corner of the City Information Center. A collection of documents and historical objects has been placed on public display, to celebrate the City Clerk’s 2nd Annual Archives Month.

The theme in 2018 is The Framers. The exhibit focuses on the history of San Diego from the 1850s through 1905, a formative period that included multiple city charters and changes in type of government.

Not only can visitors see official city documents from that period, but there are many interesting historical artifacts, including objects that were once commonplace in the lives of San Diego residents.

These photos provide a small sample…

An exhibit in the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building. The Framers, City Clerk Archives, National Archives Month, October 2018.
History comes to life in the lobby of the San Diego City Administration Building. The Framers, City Clerk Archives, National Archives Month, October 2018.
One document on display is the Charter for the City of San Diego by the Board of Freeholders elected December 5, 1888.
One document on display is the Charter for the City of San Diego by the Board of Freeholders elected December 5, 1888.
Record of Common Council no. 22, May 1, 1905 - October 2, 1905. Typed Minutes.
Record of Common Council no. 22, May 1, 1905 – October 2, 1905. Typed Minutes.
Petitions to the Common Council, 1872-1916. Historical Preservation of San Diego's History.
Petitions to the Common Council, 1872-1916. Historical Preservation of San Diego’s History.
One display of historical photos and letters concerns the rainmaker Charles Hatfield, engaged in 1915 by San Diego's city council to fill the Morena Dam Reservoir.
Old photos and letters concerning the infamous rainmaker Charles Hatfield, engaged in 1915 by San Diego’s city council to fill the Morena Dam Reservoir.
Dress, circa 1900. From the San Diego State University School of Theater, Television, and Film Historical Collection.
Pink and white dress, circa 1900. From the San Diego State University School of Theater, Television, and Film Historical Collection.
Exact replica of the Bicentennial Key, 1776-1976, Independence Hall. It was presented by the California Locksmith Association to The City of San Diego.
Exact replica of the Bicentennial Key, 1776-1976, Independence Hall. It was presented by the California Locksmith Association to The City of San Diego.
Mexican Coat of Arms. Gift from Sister City Tijuana.
Mexican Coat of Arms. Gift from Sister City Tijuana.
Numerous documents and articles recall the history of San Diego city government in the second half of the 19th century.
Numerous documents and articles recall the history of San Diego city government in the second half of the 19th century.
Free Holders Agreement, January 10, 1889 and Letter for Charter to be Published in Newspapers, March 4, 1889.
Free Holders Agreement, January 10, 1889 and Letter for Charter to be Published in Newspapers, March 4, 1889.
Douglas Gunn Mayor's Message, November 25, 1889.
Douglas Gunn Mayor’s Message, November 25, 1889.
More documents from the late 19th century provide examples of early council letterhead.
More documents from the late 19th century provide examples of early council letterhead.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Loving bench plaques near Coronado’s City Hall.

Plaque on a bench. In loving memory of Linda Sanford Fleming our Coronado Queen. July 4, 1938 - May 6, 2005. From her devoted family and friends.
Plaque on a bench. In loving memory of Linda Sanford Fleming our Coronado Queen. July 4, 1938 – May 6, 2005. From her devoted family and friends.

During my walk last Saturday I rested for a bit on a bench near Coronado’s City Hall. After looking about the beautiful place, I noticed most of the nearby benches featured memorial plaques. I read a few and was touched by words of love and optimism.

Perhaps you’d enjoy seeing a few of these plaques…

A few beautiful paths near Coronado's City Hall feature benches where one can rest and enjoy the day's sunshine.
A few tranquil paths near Coronado’s City Hall feature benches where one can rest and enjoy the day’s sunshine.
A plaque on another bench. In loving memory - Clarence and Mary Muirhead - 65 year Coronado residents fondly remembered by their family.
A plaque on another bench. In loving memory – Clarence and Mary Muirhead – 65 year Coronado residents fondly remembered by their family.
Bicyclist rides past City of Coronado City Hall, next to San Diego Bay.
Bicyclist rides past City of Coronado City Hall, next to San Diego Bay. Coronado Shores buildings, near the Pacific Ocean, rise in the background.
In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
In honor of Sue and Bill Williams. Look at the sunny side and make your optimism come true.
In honor of Sue and Bill Williams. Look at the sunny side and make your optimism come true.
More benches by the bay offer a view of boats in the nearby Glorietta Bay Marina.
More benches offer a view of boats in the nearby Glorietta Bay Marina.
In memory of Kathy Griffin, beloved daughter and sister. July 25, 1959 - July 28, 2006. What we have lost Heaven has gained. Love family and friends.
In memory of Kathy Griffin, beloved daughter and sister. July 25, 1959 – July 28, 2006. What we have lost Heaven has gained. Love family and friends.
In loving memory of Lloyd McKinley Harmon. August 1, 1891 - September 16, 1968. Mayor of Coronado in 1952 and 1953 ... and Olive Genevieve Harmon. July 4, 1907 - April 3, 2005.
In loving memory of Lloyd McKinley Harmon. August 1, 1891 – September 16, 1968. Mayor of Coronado in 1952 and 1953 … and Olive Genevieve Harmon. July 4, 1907 – April 3, 2005. Absent but Dear.
A sailboat out on the wide blue water.
A sailboat out on the wide blue water.
Ensign Van Andrew Wilson, U.S. Navy SEAL. September 3, 1982 - January 26, 2006. His training was finished here. He achieved his goal. The greatest mission lies ahead.
Ensign Van Andrew Wilson, U.S. Navy SEAL. September 3, 1982 – January 26, 2006. His training was finished here. He achieved his goal. The greatest mission lies ahead.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

8 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking in San Diego.

Rachel Thompson of the Junior League San Diego introduces District Attorney Summer Stephan during the Fifth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Rally.
Rachel Thompson of the Junior League San Diego introduces District Attorney Summer Stephan during the Fifth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Rally.

Today I walked up to Balboa Park to experience the 5th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Rally. The event was organized by the Junior League of San Diego, and brought together most of the key players in San Diego’s fight against human trafficking.

While legislative progress has been made in the fight, the terrible problem of human trafficking persists. I learned San Diego sees far too much of this type of crime because of our city’s proximity to the Mexican border and its status as a popular tourist destination.

Many tables were set up at the event containing literature about how concerned citizens can take action. Everyone was encouraged to spread the word and increase awareness and involvement throughout the community.

I thought my blog could possibly provide a bit of help. Here are eight things that you can do to learn about and fight against human trafficking in San Diego:

1. Learn how to recognize victims of human trafficking. The following three photos contain vital information that you can use and share.

A flyer from the Office for Victims of Crime provides key information on human trafficking, including warning signs. (Please click this image to enlarge for easy reading.)
A flyer from the Office for Victims of Crime provides key information on human trafficking, including warning signs. (Please click this image to enlarge for easy reading.)
Information from Homeland Security's Blue Campaign explains the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling.
Information from Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign explains the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling.
A checklist of human trafficking indicators. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
A checklist of human trafficking indicators. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

2. Support the Alabaster Jar Project. This organization empowers survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. They provide a safe living environment and transitional housing, plus an array of support services and educational opportunities. Located in San Diego’s North County.

3. Become involved with CAT, or Churches Against Trafficking, a network of churches in San Diego that together provide service, resources and prayer to help solve a difficult problem in our community.

Churches Against Trafficking is a network of churches that provide service, resources and prayer in San Diego against human trafficking.
Churches Against Trafficking is a network of churches that have joined together to provide service, resources and prayer in San Diego against human trafficking.

4. Support the Lynch Foundation For Children. They are working to prevent human trafficking through education. They also assist in locating and recovering runaway children, and support victims’ services.

5. Learn about and possibly volunteer with the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC), an alliance of government and nonprofit agencies in the United States and Latin America convened along the U.S.-Mexico Border Region to combat slavery and human trafficking. Their 24-hour Emergency Trafficking Hotline is 619-666-2757. The hotline serves victims of trafficking, community clinics and doctors, social service agencies, concerned citizens and law enforcement personnel.

6. Visit the Sex Trafficking Resource Center page of the San Diego Public Library website and learn more facts about this difficult but very important subject. The web page includes a variety of resources, including helpful links specifically for youth.

7. Visit the San Diego District Attorney’s human trafficking online¬†page. It’s a resource that contains a good deal of vital information, including Signs of Human Trafficking, What You Can Do, Community Resources and Safety Tips.

The FBI had literature available concerning human trafficking. The phone number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is 1-888-373-7888.
During the event, the FBI offered literature concerning human trafficking. The phone number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is 1-888-373-7888.
Can you see her? It's time to open our eyes. Victims of the sex trade, domestic servitude, and forced labor have been invisible, until now.
Can you see her? It’s time to open our eyes. Victims of the sex trade, domestic servitude, and forced labor have been invisible, until now.

8. Check out these other local shelters and organizations. They need mentors, volunteers and resources:

Children of the Immaculate Heart

Generate Hope

Mary’s Guest House

North County Lifeline

PLNU Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund

Shining Stars

Salvation Army’s Door of Hope

San Diego Youth Services

These citizens are working to stop human trafficking. Will you join them?
These citizens are working to stop human trafficking. Will you join them?

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