Nostalgia and Anticipation at the OB Town Council

October 24, 2014 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The OB Town Council met for the last time this year on Wednesday, October 22. The usual full house at the Masonic Lodge was down in numbers – only about 50 people there – including the board members. (The general opinion was that the World Series had lured some people away who are usually there.)

As always, the public had a lot to say, and the government was well represented, although the fire department officials who were there to be introduced ran out to an emergency call instead.

But most of the program was about the OB Town council itself, looking back at a year of accomplishments, and looking forward to the busiest time of year – the holidays. October is the last meeting of the year because the OB Town Council is busy with what’s coming up.

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6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

October 21, 2014 by Source
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by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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In Defense of Uncertainty in the Development Approval Process

October 21, 2014 by Source

By /San Diego UrbDeZine

giant question markNobody likes uncertainty.

Certainly not the developers of a billion dollar mixed-use project that encounters community opposition due to traffic impacts. Nor the public transportation agency that runs into fairy shrimp on the future route of a trolley line. Nor the city planners for multifamily housing around a transit station that face a revolt from their single-family neighbors.

Hence, there is a concerted effort by planners and policymakers locally and statewide, to reduce uncertainty in development project approvals. It takes the form of reducing discretion of public bodies, streamlining permit approvals through the use of specific plans and categorical exemptions, reforming the California Environmental Quality Act, and limiting opportunities …

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“Preserve Point Loma” Mobilizes Against The Point Loma Summit Project

October 20, 2014 by Source

Editor: The following is a media statement by Preserve Point Loma, a new grassroots group from the Peninsula.

Point Loma Citizens Organize to Oppose La Playa 4 Lot Sub-Division on Steep Hillside

Preserve Point Loma, a newly created grassroots citizens group announced its opposition to the 4 lot proposed subdivision “The Point Loma Summit” on the old Jessop estate on La Crescentia Drive. “The site contains environmentally sensitive steep and unstable hillsides and sets a bad precedent for future deviations and variances to the San Diego City land use policies detrimental to our community character.” said Marcie Rothman, co chair of the group.

“This project is in violation of our adopted Peninsula Community Plan and contains deviations to the existing Zoning Code regarding access, setbacks and height,” said Bill Moody, a member of Preserve Point Loma.

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Review of Melvin Seals and Jerry Garcia Band at Winston’s

October 20, 2014 by Source
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Seals isn’t merely continuing to play Garcia’s songs; he and his band continue to push the jams in the bold and exploratory directions the Jerry Garcia Band was always known for.

by Greg M. Schwartz /Popmatters / Oct 17, 2014

It was a Friday night in Ocean Beach, where a hippie haven oasis exists in what is otherwise considered more of a conservative town. Deadhead culture thrives here on Ocean Beach’s main drag on and around Newport Avenue, an area that feels like a cross between LA’s Venice Beach and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. Winston’s Beach Club doesn’t quite stack up to Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in the Bay Area, but the club has been helping to keep the vibe alive by featuring the Electric Waste Band covering the Grateful Dead every week for over two decades.

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The Secret of the San Diego Growth Machine: Another Case for Nancy Drew

October 17, 2014 by Source

Nancy Drew silhouetteBy Norma Damashek

Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory that would unite the forces of nature (he had his eye on relativity and electromagnetism).

I, too, have been searching for a unified theory—albeit a more modest one—to unite the forces of nature (human, in this case) that make San Diego the chronically backwater/ amorphous/ uninspired/ tunnel-visioned/ closed-shop/ quasi-corrupt/ rigidly-manipulated/shady city it is.

Come join the search. Just follow the trail of clues, click on a sampling of news links about San Diego, and you’ll discover a unifying theme that even Einstein would find surprising.

Clue #1: City governments are not bush league versions of the ones at the top. …

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Councilman Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Winter Homeless Shelter

October 15, 2014 by Source
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Compromise Means Barrio Logan to Host this Year But Not in 2016

By Brent E. Beltrán /

With his back against the wall, and a community within his district upset with the continued siting of the winter shelter in their neighborhood and the negative impact it brings, Councilmember David Alvarez stepped up and brokered a compromise.

Though the shelter will return this coming winter the City Council voted unanimously (with Councilmember Marti Emerald absent due to health reasons) with Mr. Alvarez’s motion to not have the location at Newton Avenue and 16th Street in Barrio Logan considered by the Housing Commission in 2016.

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Who Runs San Diego? Some Taxpayers Are More Equal Than Others at the County Taxpayers Association

October 14, 2014 by Source

The Nerd, the Negotiator, the Pretender and its Protégé

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

This week’s article is a little more complex than some of our previous looks at Who Runs San Diego?. When David (Cory Briggs) slays Goliath (Hoteliers Financing District) – that’s a good story!

When some (Sea World and certain electeds) tell us it’s OK to imprison and mistreat our sweet Shamu, LOTS of folk get mad. When our CD2/lifeguard good guy (Ed Harris) takes on tenants (Belmont Park) that seem a little moochy, you can pump your fist.

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Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

October 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is taken from a talk given by Professor Peter Bohmer at the Radical Ecology Conference, in Portland, Oregon on September 6, 2014. Bohmer currently is a faculty member in Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Washington state. He lived in Ocean Beach in the Seventies and taught at SDSU. Many of the lessons Bohmer learned were from experiences here in San Diego and OB during the heady days of the 1970s.

By Peter Bohmer

I have been asked to share my experiences and knowledge of government repression with you not to scare you but so that we can deal with it and build stronger and more effective movements today for social, environmental and economic justice, locally, nationally and globally.

First a few comments.

We live in a society that is very unequal and growing more so. 50 million are below the official poverty line, and 10 million are officially unemployed and another 10 million have given up looking or are working part-time and want to work fulltime.

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Reader Rave: “Scott Peters Is a Congressman Who Won’t Embarrass Us”

October 10, 2014 by Source

By Bill Reedhead

Greetings from Ocean Beach!

I really hate like hell doing this — contacting those fortunate enough to be included in my personal Rolodex file [Ed.: Bill gave us permission to repost his email.] This, in order to deliver a tawdry pre-Election Day pitch for a political candidate I haven’t actually met. Or especially care to meet.

But, if the current polls are correct, those of us residing in the 52nd Congressional District could, for the next two years, find ourselves having to answer an awkward question: …

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Lobster Diving At Night Can Be Deadly – Five Deaths Since Beginning of Lobster Season in Southern Calif

October 8, 2014 by Source
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Fatalities Include One in Mission Bay

MISSION BAY Jeffrey Logandro, 38, of Carlsbad died in the San Diego Mission Bay Channel after he began to struggle near the surface of the water Oct. 1.

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By Megan Nicolai / OC Register / Oct. 8, 2014
There was a scramble on the deck of the Magician, a scuba dive boat, as 20 men and women threw on scuba gear in a race to be the first to descend on the unsuspecting lobsters feeding below.

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Point Loma Residents’ Complaints of Cañon Street Truck Noise and Speeding Not Resolved

October 8, 2014 by Source
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By Rika Davis / Special to the OB Rag

Residents of Cañon Street just over the hill from OB in Point Loma have been dealing with traffic issues for years.

The street, though just two lanes and lined for a stretch with single-family residences, is a major thoroughfare for the neighborhood, with trucks rumbling through on their way to make deliveries to the Fresh & Easy shopping center at the top of the hill, or to Naval Base Point Loma, or to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

There’s also the matter of car traffic, which comes whizzing downhill at speeds well in excess …

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Are You Smart Enough to Be a California Voter?

October 7, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña

What's My Line(DISCLAIMER: This is a lighthearted look at a serious topic: how to read a California State Voter Information Guide. No names or facts have been changed to protect the innocent. Read it with a grain of salt, a sense of humor, and/or an open mind.)

The official voter information guide has arrived in the mailboxes of Californians all over the state! Have you checked it out yet, and started reading through its pages? Or is it sitting under a pile of bills, letters and other papers, where it will remain until a few days, or hours, or minutes before you realize it’s Election Day?

Don’t delay- find it! Open it!! Read along!!!

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Who Runs San Diego? : The City’s Dubious Partnership with Sea World

October 3, 2014 by Source
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Well, this is a fine kettle of fish…

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Womans Democratic LogoSan Diego taxpayers find ourselves as mainly unwitting, possibly unwilling and almost certainly undercompensated partners with a corporation in a Sea World of hurt.

In July, 2013 the documentary Blackfish about the 2010 death of a Sea World trainer finally caught the public’s attention after decades of challenges to Cetacean captivity. The 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove also raised questions about the possibility that Sea World obtained dolphins from the horrific Taiji dolphin drive.

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Getting Past Facebook’s “Like” Button

October 3, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña

Like button“You like me! You really LIKE me!” – paraphrasing Sally Field, winning an Academy Award for her lead performance in “Norma Rae” in 1979, pre-Facebook.

I recently posted on my Facebook page about taking a sabbatical from clicking “Like.” I encouraged people to share it, not just like it, and had only a few results.

I suspect, as far as Facebook is concerned, I’m dead. I haven’t “liked” anything in weeks — …

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October 2, 1968: the Mexico City Massacre – We Won’t Forget

October 2, 2014 by Source

by Daniel Hernandez / Intersections / October 2, 2008

[Forty-six] years ago today the Mexican government opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, killing still-unknown numbers of students, bystanders, and demonstrators. The operation was a brutal smashing of the grassroots movement for social reform that had swept across Mexico and the world in that turbulent year, 1968.

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Living on the Edge in San Diego, the Nation’s Most Biologically Diverse County

October 1, 2014 by Source

By Elliott Kennerson / San Diego Free Press

vernal-pool-shrimp_headerLet’s play a game. Name an endangered species from San Diego.

Anyone say vernal pool fairy shrimp? Doubtful, because when you think of San Diego, you don’t usually think of a one-inch long crustacean that you can’t even eat.

You said panda, right?

Though San Diego is the most biologically diverse county in the nation, according to the Nature Conservancy, with 200 or so threatened or endangered species, (the fairy shrimp among them), this town is much more famous for its beloved Zoo and our lately less beloved Sea World, animal parks that host tons of diversity, of course, most of it exotic.

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Who Runs San Diego? Deals Like the One Proposed for Belmont Park Amount to a War on Taxpayers

September 29, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: The following is by C0uncilman Ed Harris, who further explains his position on the recent rejection by the San Diego City Council of a proposed lease for the operators of Belmont Park. See our earlier post about Harris’ position.

Guest column by Councilmember Ed Harris

Recently, the City Council was asked to grant an extension to the lease at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings, wanted the Council to approve a deal that would extend its current lease to 55 years. Pacifica has held the lease for two years.

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – An Unprecedented Win

September 29, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / Part Four of Four

Saldana smilingIn Part Three Lori Saldaña discussed the realities of putting together a door-to-door campaign.

I’ll always remember the shock, joy and celebration my volunteers, friends and family experienced when the first voting results came in on Election night, shortly after 9 pm. I was leading in the 3-way results by 10 points, with 40% of the vote going to me and 30% going to each of my two opponents. The number varied little over the ensuing hours, ultimately staying there for the remainder of the night.

We had overcome the odds and won big, despite being outspent by a ridiculous amount.

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OB Town Council: Board Election Results and Project Ideas

September 26, 2014 by Source
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The “New Look” of the OBTC for 2015

By Lois Lane, photos by Meredith Lane

The OB Town Council meeting on September 24 announced the newly-elected members of the Board of Directors. Due to take their places at the October meeting, the Board of Directors consists of new members, some re-elected members, a new appointee, and those board members still serving their unexpired term.

They are:

New:

  • Jill Chorak,
  • Julie Eramo,
  • and Melanie Williams

Re-elected:

  • Nate Bazydlo,
  • Giovanni Ingolia,
  • Trudy Levenson,
  • and Zachariah Rowland
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Reader Rant : ‘I watched the City Council debate on the Belmont Park lease and agree it’s not favorable to you and me.’

September 25, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader

It was interesting to watch the San Diego City Council meeting on the proposed lease for Belmont Park – last Monday, Sept. 22nd – to listen to who said what, how they said it and what they meant when they said it. Watch it for yourself.

For an oceanfront piece of property, the City of San Diego AKA you and me, has only collected annual rental income of $61,000 averaged. No, that number is not missing a zero! That’s $5,083 per month.

No matter who takes over the lease, the city is on the hook to pay for the repairs to the Plunge. Prior lessees were responsible for maintenance but that didn’t always happen and the city did little to enforce the terms of the lease and now the Plunge is a mess!

If Pacifica Enterprizes, the current lessee, does the repairs they get a rent credit.

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Peninsula Planners Protest “Portugal Place” Project

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Point Loma Planners Believe City Allowed Developer to Build Condo Complex Over 30 Foot Height Limit

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Did the developers pull a fast one – with the help of a compliant Development Services Department staff at City Hall – when they built a four-condo structure featuring three stories over semi-underground parking in Roseville?

The Peninsula Community Planning Board is sending a letter of protest to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, alleging the city allowed the developer to exceed the 30-feet height limit when they built condos named Portugal Place at 3102-3104 Avenida de Portugal and 1120-1122 Locust St.

The board approved the letter 12-0 at its monthly meeting Sept. 18 at the Point Loma/Hervey Library.

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Midway Planners : Orange Cones and Jack Hammers Are a Comin’

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Report of Midway Planners Meeting of September 17

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

If you use Midway Drive during the course of your day, consider yourself warned: orange cones and jack hammers are coming.

Traffic along the entire length of Midway Drive, one of the most heavily-traveled and retail-oriented arteries in the Peninsula area, will be reduced by at least one lane because of a three-year, $25.5 million project to replace worn-out sewer and water mains.

And because of proximity to residential areas and hotels, it’s unclear how much – if any – of the construction may take place at night, said Kevin Gibson, project manager for Rick Engineering, during a presentation Sept. 17 at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group (MCPG). …

COME INSIDE FOR OTHER MIDWAY PLANNERS NEWS

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – “We Walk, We Win”

September 24, 2014 by Source

we walk we winBy Lori Saldaña / Part Three of Four

In Part 2, Lori Saldaña discussed the path to her decision to mount a grass-roots campaign for the California Assembly in 2004. She really didn’t have a choice: all the political pros around thought she was too much of an outsider.

__________

I decided to give up on getting support from Sacramento. My volunteers and I adopted the motto “We Walk, We Win.” A typical weekday would be: make calls to raise money in the morning (rarely more than a few hundred dollars), walk precincts in the afternoon (rarely actually talking to voters at that time of day), then teach in the evening. On weekends I would walk 4 precincts: 2 on Saturday, 2 more on Sunday.

Between these activities, I was looking after 2 houses and providing care for my mother and grandmother, whose illnesses had required additional surgeries and hospitalizations.

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Marjorie Cohn: Obama Declares Perpetual War

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / Sept. 15, 2014

President Barack Obama escalated the drone war he has conducted for the past five and a half years by declaring his intention to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, or ISIL. Since August 8, Obama has mounted at least 154 airstrikes in Iraq. He will send 475 additional US troops, increasing the total number in Iraq to about 1,600.

Obama announced he would conduct “a systematic campaign of airstrikes” in Iraq, and possibly in Syria. But, not limiting himself to those countries, Obama declared the whole world his battlefield, stating “We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are . . . if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

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What’s up with all the penguin stencils around Ocean Beach?

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader:
Hey, what’s up with all the penguin stencils (some call it “graffiti”) around OB? What the heck is going on?

Someone is using a penguin stencil to paint a penguin with a heart just about everywhere. It’s on a utility box or sign or someplace every other block. There are a bunch around the 8 freeway ramp.

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Newly-Renovated OB Episcopal Church Center Dedicated

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Hannah Wilder

Over 200 people attended an open house at the newly renovated Episcopal Church Center at 2083 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, Friday, September 12. Open to the community, the affair mostly drew people from the congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego; pastors from nearby churches and neighbors also attended.

The facilities were renovated as part of the diocesan Build the Serving Church capital campaign, which focused, in part, on creating a new center for the diocese. Working with Platt Whitelaw Architects, Canon Nancy R. Holland remodeled the rooms in order to maximize multi-purpose use. Every effort was made to use earth-friendly materials, and to optimize the free flow of air and light.

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Annual Fundraising at Pancake Breakfast Scores Big for OB Town Council

September 22, 2014 by Source
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Overcast skies didn’t appear to keep anyone away from the beach on Saturday morning, as hundreds of locals descended on the Ocean Beach Pier for the OB Town Council’s annual pancake breakfast.

The cooler temperatures may have even helped turnout, providing a respite from the seemingly never-ending heat wave that’s pummeled the county, as lines formed early and stayed strong through the morning, with Council volunteers hustling to serve a crowd of the hungry and civic-minded. Workers fought to stay cool inside the Walk On Water Café near the end of the pier, with the kitchen operating at full capacity and three extra griddles fired up to assist in pancake production.

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Earthdance in Ocean Beach at Winston’s: Saving the Planet Through Music

September 22, 2014 by Source
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By Christina Dallenbach

Many of the Climate March participants in downtown San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 21, found their way back to Ocean Beach, where Earthdance festivities, though organizers had cross-promoted the climate march, had been underway since 2 p.m.

Scott Stephens, front-man for Liquid Blue , an OB-based band known for its social activism and billed as “the world’s most traveled band,” said a healthy crowd had been stopping by for different portions of the event, though the venue really started to fill in the late afternoon as the justice-minded turned their attention from the People’s Climate March to Earthdance.

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San Diegans Turn Out for March for the Climate

September 22, 2014 by Source
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By Chris Dallenbach

Sunday was a busy day for activism in San Diego and around the world, as 1,000 or more people filled Civic Center Plaza downtown to demand leadership from government in taking action to stem the tide of climate change, taking part in the People’s Climate March.

The event world-wide featured more than 2,700 demonstrations including an event that drew an estimated 400,000 people in New York City.

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