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

September 29, 2014 by Source

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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.

After reviewing the proposed lease, I asked the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA) to determine whether it was consistent with best practices of other cities, and whether a longer-term lease would be in the City’s long-term economic interests.

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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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Who Runs San Diego? … How Do You Solve a Problem like Sea World?

September 19, 2014 by Source
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Shamu, we hardly knew ye

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By Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

For most of us it has been a slow, painful process to understand that our love affair with cute, cuddly, smiley Shamu has made us participants in a cold-blooded business that imprisons and mistreats sentient, social creatures in ways that turn the stomach and shock the conscience.

Concerned environmentalist and civic leaders have been telling us for years that the capture of orcas was nasty and brutal

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Elected Office – Battle Lines Are Drawn

September 19, 2014 by Source

cash-grabBy Lori Saldaña / Part Two of Four

In Part One of this series, Lori Saldaña discussed her motivations and personal considerations leading up to her run for the California Assembly in 2004.

At the end of yesterday’s installment, she’d just been told by a Los Angeles woman’s organization at the end of a fundraising presentation that they viewed her a good candidate for school board, not the statehouse.

They ultimately endorsed my opponent- a woman with no prior elected experience who had worked as a pollster for the state teacher’s union. Fortunately, I was unwilling to accept these evaluations as the final say on my qualifications to run, or my ability to serve in state-level office.

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Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity epidemic, scientists say

September 19, 2014 by Source
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Drinking diet soda could cause weight gain, obesity, even diabetes research suggests

CBC News /September 17, 2014 1

Artificial sweeteners may exacerbate, rather than prevent, metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, a study suggests.

Calorie-free artificial sweeteners are often chosen by dieters in part because they are thought not to raise blood sugar levels.

In Wednesday’s issue of the journal Nature, researchers report that artificial sweeteners increase the blood sugar levels in both mice and humans by interfering with microbes in the gut. Increased blood sugar levels are an early indicator of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic disease.

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San Diego Really Has All the Weather

September 18, 2014 by Source

juncocanche21

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United Nations Rebukes America for Criminalization of Homelessness

September 18, 2014 by Source
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By Carey L. Biron / Inter Press Service / News Report / Nation of Change / Sept. 7, 2014

A rebuke comes from the United Nation as a pattern of U.S. homeless laws violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as the majority of the homeless are minorities.

A United Nations panel reviewing the U.S. record on racial discrimination has expressed unusually pointed concern over a new pattern of laws it warns is criminalizing homelessness.

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Scientists Find ‘Direct Link’ Between Earthquakes and Process Used for Oil and Gas Drilling

September 18, 2014 by Source
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By Emily Atkin / Climate Progress – News Investigation / Nation of Change / Sept. 17, 2014

The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing is “directly linked” to the increase of earthquakes throughout the U.S. And the likelihood of these quakes getting stronger is in our future.

A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have found evidence “directly linking” the uptick in Colorado and New Mexico earthquakes since 2001 to wastewater injection, a process widely used in the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and conventional drilling.

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The Shameful Truth About the Naked Juice Class Action Lawsuit Settlement and What American Consumers Can Do About It

September 17, 2014 by Source

By Max Goldberg / Living Maxwell

naked-juice-lawsuit-settlementLast week, Naked Juice agreed to settle a very important class action lawsuit which accused the company of deceptive labeling.

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Elected Office – Motivations and Considerations

September 17, 2014 by Source

From Flickriver/San Diego Shooter/Pride 2010

By Lori Saldaña

Part One of Four

As I listen to news reports on Hillary Clinton’s activities in Iowa, and the “Ready for Hillary” campaign theme that has spread for the past year, I think of my own motivations and considerations when I first discussed the possibility of becoming a candidate for State Assembly 12 years ago.

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Bill Fulton: Appellate Court Upholds Coastal Commission’s Tough Stance on Encinitas Seawall

September 16, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following was written by Bill Fulton, San Diego’s former Planning Director. The Court of Appeal here in San Diego (Calif 4th District) just ruled in favor of the Commission’s requirement about how long private sea-walls can remain without being re-approved. We reported on this two months ago.

By William Fulton / Calif. Planning & Development Report / Sept 13, 2014

In a split decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld the Coastal Commission’s conditions on two property owners’ reconstruction of a seawall in Encinitas after it was destroyed in a storm, including limiting the new seawall’s permit to a 20-year term.

The majority ruling by Presiding Justice Judith McConnell is written much like a dissent, whereas the dissent by Justice Gilbert Nares reads like a majority opinion. …

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Nine Months Into $15 Minimum Wage – WA State Town Prospering

September 16, 2014 by Source
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By Nathaniel Downes / Addicting Info / Sept 14, 2014

In January, the town of Seatac, Washington, put in to effect a new $15 per hour Minimum Wage. No ramp ups, no tiered implementation. One day it was the state standard, the next, the highest minimum wage in the nation. The Koch Brothers sank a fortune to fight this measure, which fell on deaf ears as the town rejected their trickle-down theories and instead voted for the measure. The result is that for one town, they became a test bed, to put the theories behind trickle-down economics to the test.

Now, nine months on, we are witnessing one of the most dramatic recoveries in the Pacific Northwest.

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Community Energy in San Diego Threatened by “Poisoned Chalice” Electric Rate Fix

September 15, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

This – below – was one of six parting observations offered by Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron when he resigned from the PUC due to serious health issues in January of this year:

poisoned chalice “… with the passage of AB 327, the thorny issue of Net Energy Metering and rate design has been given over to the CPUC. … recognize this is a poisoned chalice: the Commission will come under intense pressure to use this authority to protect the interest of the utilities over those of consumers and potential self-generators, all in the name of addressing exaggerated concerns about grid stability, cost and fairness.

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Lori Saldana: San Diego Needs to Regulate the Initiative Industry

September 15, 2014 by Source

Sign-Petition-300x226By Lori Saldaña

It’s time to point out the obvious: San Diego is becoming a city governed not by democratic process, and not by elected officials who achieved office after being supported by the most voters. It is increasingly run by checkbook politics, flush with funds deposited by businesses intent on overriding the votes of the City Council.

Former Mayor Sanders may have left City Hall, but he learned how to take the power with him. For the past year he has been able to demonstrate this power by pushing aside Council policies on community planning and now minimum wage. He is actively supporting conservative interests that hire signature gatherers to do this dirty work in public, while he and others in the Chamber ranks raise and bundle money and write checks behind the scenes.

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Who Runs San Diego? Six False Premises for Convention Center Expansion

September 12, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

In 2009, then Mayor Jerry Sanders, the hotel industry, the Chamber of Commerce et al. decided that it was a really keen idea to expand the Convention Center.

They guessed that it would cost about $520 million to build and that there was a BIG market for expanded convention centers, and they warned us that Comic-Con would move on if we didn’t expand the Convention Center. They knew they could never convince enough people in San Diego to agree to pay for this idea so they created a special financing district comprised of just hoteliers.

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American Football Fantasy

September 12, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

football punchI enjoy American-style football because I enjoy the variety of plays, the effort, the amazing feats that occasionally occur during a game. The incredible runs. Completed forward passes. (I think the forward pass is one of the finest inventions of mankind) Intercepted passes and run backs from kickoffs.

I only played dis- or intentionally un- organized football in various intramural and amateur leagues or just plain back lot, mud ball where we refereed ourselves. We sanctioned players who wanted to hurt people. We loved playing the game.

What can we do to incentivize that part of the game and dis-incentivize all the behavior that is really just sanctioned violence …

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Senator Al Franken : Citizens United Is Money Laundering

September 11, 2014 by Source
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By: Jason Easley / Politicususa / September, 9th, 2014

As the Senate continues to debate final passage of a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) came to the Senate floor and called Citizens United money laundering that was made legal by the Supreme Court.

During his remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Franken said,

This is real, M. President: spending by outside groups more than tripled from the 2008 presidential election to the 2012 presidential election, when it topped a billion dollars – that’s billion with a “b.” What happened in the interim? Well Citizens United was decided in 2010 – the floodgates were opened.

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KPBS Review of “Psycho Beach Party” at OB Playhouse

September 11, 2014 by Source
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Review: “Psycho Beach Party,” Ocean Beach Playhouse, Sept. 12-14

By Beth Accomando / KPBS / Sept 10, 2014

What better way to escape the summer heat than with some local theater productions that might be flying under the radar.

First off, hit the beach with the newly formed Ocean Beach Ensemble Experiment. The Ensemble describes itself as “a collaborative theatre experiment that encourages the development of provocative, innovative, and unusual theatrical works. Like Ocean Beach itself, our Ensemble embraces a playful and off-kilter celebration of the funky, the bizarre, and the unique, utilizing performance, music, art, and dance.

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Councilman Ed Harris: “Why I voted to increase the minimum wage in San Diego.”

September 11, 2014 by Source
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By Ed Harris

Last weekend I was outside the Trader Joe’s at Liberty Station where I met Pete.

Pete is from Los Angeles and came down to San Diego to obtain signatures opposing the minimum-wage ordinance. I listened to him talking to a woman about the ordinance, and since Pete wasn’t completely forthcoming with his information, I felt compelled to intervene.

I introduced myself as one of the San Diego City Councilmembers who voted in favor of the ordinance. I then asked the woman if she knew what she was signing. “Not really,” she said. When I asked Pete why he was gathering signatures, he told me, “Hey, I’m just trying to make a living.” (People collecting signatures make between $5 and $7 per signature.)

I supported an increase in the minimum wage because an additional $1.50 over three years is a fair compromise. That pencils out to $12 a day more for minimum wage workers. …

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