John Patrick Ford

John Patrick Ford is a free-lance writer based in San Diego.


The immigration reform legislation before Congress has become the favorite kickball of this session. Despite a reasonable effort passed by the Senate with a bipartisan majority a year ago, the House of Representatives has shelved immigration legislation. Reasonable folk believe it must be addressed to stop the gridlock at the Mexican border.

One of the most significant discoveries of the second millennium, nuclear power, was conceived by a physicist who is relatively unknown outside his circle of accomplished colleagues. He didn’t receive a Nobel Prize for his genius, but those who did based on his theories credit him for the concept.

A dedicated new board of directors teamed with determined employees and association members to rescue San Diego Opera from the brink of bankruptcy. In just four weeks the successful drive to raise $2.4 million was a great vote of confidence from mostly small donors, many of whom never gave money to the opera company before.

As an adjunct to my series on health care issues, I have a report on the new Jacobs Medical Center under construction on the UC San Diego Health System campus at a cost of $839 million.

It was a spirited gathering for the special members’ meeting of San Diego Opera last week. Concerned patrons and subscribers spilled their enthusiasm and frustration over the future of opera in San Diego with comments and advisory resolutions to a receptive board of directors led by President Carol Lazier.

In San Diego it’s easy to say, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” with the ocean and bays on the western frontier. Yes, there is an inexhaustible supply of water out there, but not for human consumption.

Last week was a hectic test of survival for San Diego Opera. Chaotic meetings reduced the board of directors into opposing factions and put management out of touch with a new power bloc.

Animal lovers are freaking out over the perceived treatment of the orca whales that are the celebrity stars of SeaWorld’s Shamu show. They claim keeping these striking wild mammals in captivity to entertain thousands of spectators is cruel and inhumane.

What new word or saying do you find to be overused and should be banished from our language? Everyone has a candidate, but the choices vary by generation, age groups and the use of social media.

It was a solemn occasion at the recent performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” by San Diego Opera. The board of directors shocked the community and the international opera world the previous day by announcing the opera company would cease operations at the end of the 2014 season.

It has been more than two years since I last wrote about Japan. Not much has happened there except the usual political merry-go-round with premiers leaving, and then coming back, with mixed results. That has been just one reason that the nation’s economy has been stagnant for two decades.

Inequality has been a buzzword for some time. Now it is upgraded into being a national issue when President Barack Obama tossed out his views in his State of the Union address.

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