Photograph by Matthew Suárez
Presidio and park – ready by this weekend?
The anti-Hispanic efforts orchestrated to distort the 250th anniversary of San Diego’s foundation by using Kumeyaay descendants to perpetuate the hypocritical racist agendas of some are pitiable (“San Diego’s Presidio is crumbling”, City Lights, July 10).
They seek to minimize the historical facts that San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Gaspar de Portolá, Father Junípero Serra and our ancestors, the Soldados de Cuera from the Real Presidio de Loreto during the 1769 Portolá expedition. They plan to stage an aberration of a one-sided celebration event fully dedicated and inclined mostly to enhance the Kumeyaay historical perspective. There is no role for the thousands of descendants of the Soldados de Cuera evident in this event’s program.
Iris Engstrand: “I’ve been agitating for a long time.”
On this July 16, the event coordinators will be taking over this historical date and location where the Mission and the Presidio were originally founded at today’s Presidio Park 250 years ago. In 1767, King Carlos III of Spain empowered Don José De Galvez to organize an expedition to Alta California to establish missions to convert natives to Christianity and presidios to protect San Diego and Monterey. The presidios were also founded as a colonial strategy against Russia’s intentions to colonize these territories and to provide safe harbors to Spanish galleons from the Manila trade against British pirates. Galvez designated Gaspar De Portolá as governor of California to command a sea and land expedition and Father Junípero Serra to preside over a mission system that provided the natives with both religion and the necessary skills to survive in a settled agricultural community. These soldiers, missionaries, and natives of the 1769 Portolá expedition opened the main trail of the Camino Real spanning the length of the Baja California peninsula, achieving a monumental quest of historical proportions by giving birth to Alta California, where they explored the northern coast, discovering San Francisco and founding Monterey.
They established the main presidios, missions and first families of Californios in the old pueblos of the Spanish colony of the 18th Century. In addition, the Spanish soldiers who founded Alta California have been officially accepted as Sons of the American Revolution for their contributions to America’s War of Independence.
On July 19, 2017, our bi-national initiative donated a plaque to the city of San Diego on behalf of all descendants, to honor the men of the 1769 Portolá Expedition; this unveiling event took place at the Serra Museum at Presidio Park with representatives of the state of California, city of San Diego, San Diego History Center, California Mission Foundation and the Consul General of Spain, a ceremony escorted by the Soldados de Cuera from the presidios of Santa Barbara, Tucson and Tubac, Arizona and the San Diego Color Guard. The Kumeyaay were invited and listed on the program, but arrived protesting against Spanish colonization to disrupt this ceremony. With all due respect to this Kumeyaay group, it should not be forgotten that many tribal members carry Spanish DNA and Soldados de Cuera family names, making all of us cousins.
We sympathize with their cause and grievances but the real demise of California’s native tribes came with the 1849 Gold Rush and its aftermath, not during the Spanish Colonial period. Nevertheless, no matter what these anti-Hispanic groups try, they will never succeed in their futile attempts to erase the names of San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, the name of the great state of California, or take away the historical legacy of this region founded by our ancestors and the first families of the old Californios. This 250th anniversary could have been a great opportunity for all native, Spanish, Mexican, Anglo-Saxon and all descendants of the Soldados de Cuera to gather and celebrate in joyous harmony the foundation of San Diego, the birth of Alta California, our shared heritage and today’s interracial reality. “All historical grievances and injustices are solved with harmony, not with hate.”
- Ignacio Felix Cota
- Baja California
Miranda Escoto has refused settlements of $12,501 and $46,000. “I don’t want the money,” she says, “I want people to know the school district covers for abusers.”
I keep reading negative things about Sweetwater: The Sweetwater UHSD, the Sweetwater Authority, and the Southwestern College District.(“Miranda Escoto tried to report abuse of students,” City Lights, January 23). Are you folks who actually live in that territory, called “Sweetwater”, ever going to finally throw the bums out, and elect responsible representatives for your municipal boards? The Sweetwater Authority was just editorialized in the San Diego Union Tribune for their inappropriate vote approval adding themselves to the staff medical insurance, and for their lack of transparency (records) of official meetings. Sweetwater UHSD has long been in the news for budget busting – something that the District likely will never recover from. And what’s with Southwestern College, when they decided to shell out $330K for an HR director? That’s a lot of money for a human resources director, a position that is often considered as 3rd-tier management.
- Gerald Lance Johannsen
Hair cutting history
I had to smile when I read your “Cut Your Own Hair...Seriously” (Suit Up, July 4)...My husband cut his own hair from the time we married in 1962 until he passed away in 2013. The funny thing was, he was an M.D. and being a practical, self-sufficient man, just kept on doing what he always did. An amazing man in many ways, only one of many qualities I will always remember.
From left to right: The “Bunch of Pussies” patch, so called because, according to a letter provided to the Navy Times, Gallagher responded to criticism that it was extremely unnecessary to train troops by placing them in daytime live-fire situations by saying that his junior SEALs — several of whom testified against Gallagher — were “all a bunch of pussies” who needed the kind of engagement where “you need to focus on your field of fire or else you could take (a bullet) to the side of the head.” (The pussy in question notably wears a bell around its neck, much like the cat in the Aesop’s Fable, which serves to warn of its approach. This is taken as a reference to Gallagher’s decision to, as prosecutors put it, “spread rumors about his teammates to members of the SEAL community, describing them as cowards who were afraid to go out on missions,” even going so far as to “tell the new chain of command for teammates who had transferred.” Gallagher’s attorney did not deny the accusation, but preferred to call it “telling the truth.”) Second is the Snowflake patch, with its obvious designation of the young SEALs as members of the overly-emotional, easily offended, conflict-averse Generation Snowflake. (“This all started because these kiddies thought I was stealing from their care packages, and they get grumpy when they don’t get their afternoon milk and cookies,” Gallagher has been reported as saying. “So they ganged up and formed the military equivalent of an online mob and tried to cancel me. But the Navy isn’t Twitter, thank God.”) Finally, the Navy SQUEALs patch, wherein SQUEAL stands for Sissified Quisling Unable to Endure Actual Leadership. Because, as Gallagher’s attorneys put it, “Those little piggies tried to go wee, wee, wee all the way home, but the Big Bad Wolf was too smart for them.” A fourth patch, depicting a bulls-eye target and intended to be worn on the helmet, was considered but ultimately rejected. After all, said Gallagher, “We’re a brotherhood.”
Yeah, this concerns the July 11 Reader, San Diego on the QT, page 14 (“Motion underway to re-try exonerated Edward Gallagher following Duncan Hunter’s statement of support,” San Diego on the QT, July 12). The middle paragraph there, or the second paragraph, I guess, you have a sentence there [containing] “adversely affects,” and then in brackets “sic”, “the morale of our war fighters.” Well, I’ve got news for you. That is the right usage of the word affect. For Godsakes, I mean I get so fed up with people always writing “impact” because they don’t know the difference between “affect” and “effect” and in this case somebody uses “affect” properly and some lame brain on your staff puts a “sic” after it in brackets. That is the correct use of the word “affect” for godsake. I mean what kind of assholes are you, and you know the same kinda idiots that say “gender” instead of “sex” say “impact” because they don’t know the difference between “affect” and “effect.” Well this is “affect” used properly, and some lame brain on your staff puts “sic” after it in brackets. “Adversely affects the morale.” Yes it’s a bad “effect” on morale, but it adversely “affects” morale. What kind of assholes do you have editing your stuff for Godsakes.