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San Diego Fire Updates

KPBS’ broadcast tower at Mount San Miguel (along with several other towers) has burned in the fire. They’re now broadcasting from FM 94.9, streaming online from both kpbs.org and fm949sd.com, as well as through cable television.

KPBS News is using Twitter to post up-to-the-minute information as it comes in:

Live San Diego Fire Updates on Twitter

Check out this Google map for fire perimeter, evacuation shelters and residential evacuations:

San Diego Fire Perimeter, Evacuation Shelters, Residential Evacuations

My family in Escondido was evacuated but, thankfully, their homes are fine. Here are some of my brother’s pics:

Taken on the evening of 10/21/07. We were forced to evacuate the next morning. Escondido, CA. — Smokey Sunset, originally uploaded by prgibbs.

About 3:30AM looking southeast from Old San Pasqual. This is a very short distance from our house. Escondido, CA. — Fire!, originally uploaded by prgibbs.

An easterly view of our home just prior to our evactuation at approximately 6:30AM on 10/22/07. Escondido, CA. — Evacuation #1, originally uploaded by prgibbs.

About 7:30AM on 10/22/07 looking south on Orange Ave., Escondido, CA. — Orange Ave., originally uploaded by prgibbs.

About 8:30AM on 10/22/07. Looking southeast from my parent’s yard. This is a full color photo, not sepia. Escondido, CA. — Smokey Sky, originally uploaded by prgibbs.

Shortly after 9:00AM, we received another evacation notice. Me posing before we hit the road…again. Escondido, CA. — Evactuation #2, originally uploaded by prgibbs.

Tijuana, Baja California Election 2007

We pulled into the parking space and hopped out. I slung the camera from my neck, twisting the branded strap so the words “Canon EOS Digital” didn’t show.

Polling Location

I’m fascinated by Mexican elections. It’s so simple and straightforward. Just paper ballots and a black crayon.

Recibiendo las Boletas
Poll workers check voters’ national ID card to confirm registration records before giving ballots.

I watched the 2006 presidential election count in my mother-in-law’s neighborhood. She was serving as a poll worker. Representatives from each party were present, collectively counting and sorting each ballot. The public oversight, caution and security I saw that day inspired much more faith in the final count than the electronic voting machine I would use months later.

"El Voto Es Libre Y Secreto"
A man slips his votes into the ballot box slots after marking his votes in the white booth.

This time, I had my camera. I wasn’t quite sure if I was allowed to be wandering around photographing everything. As I tried to join Rosario in the makeshift voting booth to photograph the ballots, a poll worker asked me to move away. As I framed up a nearby shot, he told me I wasn’t allowed to take photographs.

Ballot Boxes

I heard a woman mumbling a few feet away, “Ustedes viniendo acá, cochinando la elección. You people come here making it a dirty election.” I turned and asked what she was referring to. She seemed startled that I was challenging her passive-aggressive muttering. “Qué estoy haciendo mal con mi cámara? Quienes son ‘ustedes’? What am I doing wrong with my camera? Who are ‘you people’?” She didn’t catch the quotation marks in my inflection, and responded by saying “Soy ciudadana como tú. I’m a citizen same as you.” She walked away with her daughter before I could say any more.

As we got in the car to leave, I noticed a teenager in a group of poll workers with a video camera. My first thought was that the poll workers acted hypocritically, letting her shoot video but not letting me take photos. But when I realized she was shooting the license plate of our car, it all made sense. The woman had been referring to our California plates, showing contempt for us as “outsiders.”

"Yo Voté"
Purple ink marks voters’ thumbs after leaving their prints in the registry.

nathangibbs.com on iPhone

nathangibbs.com on iPhone, originally uploaded by Nathan Gibbs.

Photo taken, uploaded and posted here all from inside an Apple store using demo equipment (Safari on iPhone, Photo Booth on MacBook).

Photos from Comic-Con International 2007

Comic-Con Press Badge

I’ll be shooting at Comic-Con this weekend. Look for photos in the KPBS Flickr account along with contributions from other staff, including Beth Accomando and Angela Carone who will be blogging.

In the meantime, take a listen to Beth’s Comic-Con preview for KPBS or her NPR feature on Comic-Con’s Eisner Awards.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

SENTRI: Privileged Border Crossing

Privileged Crossing
Before approaching the border agent in the SENTRI lane, the RFID card and windshield-mounted sensor show the agent a photo of who to expect. For many, there’s a bit of mystery surrounding the golden ticket we call the SENTRI pass. To get it, you have to submit your weight in paperwork — birth certificate, passport, social security card, drivers license, residence and employment history, vehicle docs (VIN, plates, registration, insurance), proof of residence, employment, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. They run a background check and laser-scan your fingerprints. It’s straight out of Gattaca.

[ view more images of border crossing | slideshow ]



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