Holiday Noir

December 17, 2014 by Source

Christmas-2011-Sale-Slider1By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

I woke up early Bloody Wednesday. I could hear the alarm on my Sig Sauer Smartshot pleading for attention. It’s automatic loader had failed and the diagnostics were blinking error 1037, error 1037, error 1037…

Of all days, Bloody Wednesday, Christmas Eve, my companion gun’s auto-feed goes manual. I’m going to lose precious seconds loading and reloading manually at the mall.

I’ll have no advantage over the last-minute shoppers who’d put off shopping until the last minute for no good reason.

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The Season for Mindless Consumerism

December 16, 2014 by Source

mindlessThis Christmas, put your money to better use than thoughtless gift-giving.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

‘Tis the season for mindless consumerism.

I love giving gifts when they’re from the heart. But I hate giving or receiving presents if they’re things nobody needs, given out of a sense of obligation.

Here’s a story that illustrates what I mean. Back in college, a friend of mine approached me and said, “I just want to give you a heads up, my new girlfriend bought you a gift.”

Uh-oh, I thought. I didn’t even get him a gift,

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A Call for Councilwoman Zapf to Do the Right Thing by Lori Saldaña

December 16, 2014 by Source

occupy-SD-lincolnclubinviteDear Councilwoman Zapf:

When you were elected to the San Diego City Council 4 years ago, to represent my Clairemont neighborhood, I was willing to give you a chance.

After all, you claimed to be sensitive to working class issues, as asmall business owner. And you have mentioned having Mexican-American family members, which made me hopeful you would find common ground with the growing Latino community in my native Clairemont.

But this week, your staff’s comments about how she “wanted to shoot” the “… idiot” protesters at a City Council event displayed a shocking lack of awareness about public safety, civil disobedience, efforts to achieve social justice, and the constitutional right of Americans to use peaceful protest to communicate with elected officials.

And what makes this latest situation even worse: it was the SECOND time a member of your staff displayed this tone deaf, cavalier disrespect towards public protest.

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Vacation Rentals In San Diego Under More Scrutiny

December 15, 2014 by Source

Vacation rental property owners targeted for missing tax payments

meet-the-5-biggest-airbnb-hosts-being-targeted-by-new-yorks-top-lawyerBy John P. Anderson / San Diego Free Press

I have a small cottage that I rent out to visitors via the vacation rental website Airbnb. The cottage is on the same property as my home and I did not think that vacation rental taxes in San Diego applied to my situation.

The taxes in San Diego for vacation rentals are the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and tourism marketing district (TMD) assessment. The rates for a property like mine from these taxes total 11.05% of gross rent – 10.5% TOT and .55% TMD, there is also a higher 1.45% TMD rate that applies to lodging businesses with 30 or more units.

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“OB Time”: the Old OB Hippie – Proud of OB Coming Together

December 11, 2014 by Source
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But Not So Much of Other Things
Yup, kids, the Old OB Hippie is full of pride these days about OB (… but not so much from other stuff) and how the community came together around the annual OB Holiday Parade.

The OB Parades are always a gas, but this year was special, as the OB Town Council, who hosts the parade, named the OB Community Plan as the “Grand Marshal” of the parade! Wow! This is tremendous – and I’ve never in all my decades seen the local town council join up in solidarity with the local planning board like this. Plus I don’t think there’s ever been a Grand Marshall that hasn’t been an actual person. I could be wrong, and I’d love to know if I was on this. But this is / was very significant in this community’s history.

The OB Parade always has surprises and fun floats and entries. This year, the “OB Pause” was crazy great. They had a airplane outline in lights and then they all came to a halt. …

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The Silliness of the Council President Selection Drama

December 10, 2014 by Source

Purple SmileBy Norma Damashek

San Diego can be such a silly city. For proof, consider the oddly loopy hubbub that surrounds this year’s annual City Council ritual of choosing a council president.

People (many of whom should know better) have been turning themselves inside out over the roaring-hot question: will Todd Gloria be awarded a third term as council president or will another council member (presumably Sherri Lightner) get a turn to be the council’s presiding officer?

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San Diego’s Canvass for a Cause–A Cause to Support

December 10, 2014 by Source

Strictly radical, always queer

canvas for a cause

By Anna Prouty

Canvass for a Cause was founded in 2009 as a queer canvassing organization focused on marriage equality. It quickly grew into the intersectional queer safe space and radical activism community it is now.

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A Couple of Heartless Transactions at Union Bank

December 10, 2014 by Source

union bank logoBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

So, this 71-year-old with the income of a teenager walks into an uptown branch of Union Bank. He had just $28.75 in his checking account following his open heart surgery two weeks before on Nov. 17.

This was his first chance to get to the bank to take up some issues.One reason he had so little money had nothing to do with the bank’s operations. He’d had an angiogram and an EKG earlier in the month – stuff the medical world must do before doctors can open everything up to repair floppy heart valves – and the upfront co-pays were about $160 more than he’d anticipated. Those and smaller amounts for medicine accounted for the couple of hundred he hadn’t factored into demands on the checking account. …

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The Reader Edited Out Author’s “Favorite Part” on His OB CVS Article

December 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Reader Edited Out Author’s “Favorite Part” on His OB CVS Article

Editor: Our friends at the San Diego Reader recently published writer Tony de Garate‘s latest update on the CVS Pharmacy coming into Ocean Beach. But they edited out his “favorite part” – a comical reference to the fact the giant drugstore may not have its alcohol license for its scheduled opening in January 2015. We now include that part in a full publication of his original piece below, with the edited out section in italics.

Maybe it’s no Boston, but the city of Lowell, Mass. is not without its charms. It’s the fourth largest city in the state and has been home to such notables as Ed McMahon, Bette Davis and Jack Kerouac. It cemented its cred for Yankee ingenuity in 1880, becoming the first city in the nation to use telephone numbers.

Today, the national retail chain CVS Pharmacy has more than 5,000 outlets, but the first one opened in 1963 in Lowell. CVS, according to “Fun Facts” on the city of Lowell’s website, was an acronym for Consumer Value Store.

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Midway Planners: 2 Large Projects Could Bring Major Changes to Area

December 5, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

Midway residents and business owners have long wondered what the future holds for two of the juiciest pieces of available property in the neighborhood: the bare two-acre lot adjacent to the West City Continuing Education Campus of the San Diego Community College; and the long-vacant former Cabrillo Hospital building.

The community college district property has been empty for five years. It was left over and declared surplus after the 2009 construction of a new campus at 3249 Fordham St.That same year, Sharp Cabrillo Skilled Nursing Center departed the four-decade-old, 10-story building at 3455 Kenyon St., a stone’s throw from the West City campus.

The community learned about two projects that could bring about big changes in population and demographics at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group Nov. 19.

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Peninsula Community Planning Board: ‘If you build it, tell the truth.’

December 4, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peninsula Community Planning Board: ‘If you build it, tell the truth.’

Historic Treadwell House, a 60 Foot SDG&E Tower Allowed and the “Monster Perpetual Rehab”

By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

If you build it, tell the truth.

That seemed to be the message the Peninsula Community Planning Board was trying to send in opposing Carleton Row Homes, a four-unit condo project at 3015-21 Carleton St. in Roseville, at the board’s monthly meeting back on November 20.

In a stunning 12-0 vote, the board sought to strike a blow against a proposal members characterized as containing “two levels of subterfuge,” and riddled with “euphemisms” and “gibberish.”

“I think it’s time to put our stamp on our community and state we aren’t going to put up with this,” board member Dominic Carnevale said in making the motion against the project.

But proponents for the applicant, Acropolis Developments, defended the proposal as conventional and straight-forward, and charged the board’s action ran contrary to years of precedent.

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Study models the past to understand the future of strengthening El Niño

December 1, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Study models the past to understand the future of strengthening El Niño

by Kelly April Tyrrell / UM-Madison News

It was fishermen off the coast of Peru who first recognized the anomaly, hundreds of years ago. Every so often, their usually cold, nutrient-rich water would turn warm and the fish they depended on would disappear. Then there was the ceaseless rain.

They called it “El Niño” — The Boy, or Christmas Boy — because of its timing near the holiday each time it returned, every three to seven years.

El Niño is not a contemporary phenomenon; it’s long been the Earth’s dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Niño will respond. …

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The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

December 1, 2014 by Source

The-Food-Waste-Fiasco-776x415

By Rob Greenfield

You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.

-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.

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Students Fear that UCSD Administration Will Evict CHE Cafe During Thanksgiving

November 21, 2014 by Source

From Media Advisory – CHE Cafe

On Wednesday, November 19, UCSD administrators decided to seek a writ of possession to enforce an earlier unlawful detainer judgment and evict the CHE Cafe Cooperative and any students from the cafe space it has continuously occupied for over 34 years.

Despite a resolution by the UCSD Associated Students Council asking the Chancellor to not proceed with posting a 5-day notice to vacate, and 14,000-signature petitions and open letters demanding that UCSD stop the eviction actions against the C.H.E. Cafe, delivered to the Chancellor earlier this month, action by the administration to evict the CHE Cafe continues rather than negotiations for a new lease agreement with the Co-op.

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“OB Time” – Shrooming in Joshua Tree

November 21, 2014 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks – Writes

Shrooming in Joshua Tree is one of my most favorite things to do. I haven’t done it really for decades, but I did it last weekend. Are you shocked? Are you shocked I would put it in a headline?

Well, I’m here to tell it like it is.

Besides being a naked effort to attract young readers to my column, I wanted to push the online OB Rag more in the direction its original predecessor was – a “real” underground newspaper. The original Rag published in the first half of the 1970s. It and other allied alternative newspapers in San Diego, like The Door and The San Diego Street Journal, would publish articles about drugs, their effects, reviews, exposing undercover cops, blah blah blah. Other underground newspapers – like the Berkeley Barb – would even post drug prices and qualities.

So, I’m here to be real honest with my readers. I took shrooms – psychedelic mushrooms – last weekend in Joshua Tree.

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Keeping Up With OB’s Slightly Stoopid in New Hampshire

November 21, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Keeping up with OB’s iconic band, Slightly Stoopid, here’s a review from a New Hampshire online mag. They played at the Whittemore Center Arena on Nov. 15th in Durham, NH .

From NewHampshire.com

While it’s a rare commodity for a band to tour as consistently as Slightly Stoopid, the group’s diligent commitment to live music provides some insight into their loyal fan base and unique creative metamorphosis throughout their 17-year existence.

Though it’s been a couple of years since the release of their last studio album, Top Of The World (August 14, 2012), the Ocean Beach, California-based group—…

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Lessons Learned from What Was Lost at Sunset Cliffs Park

November 20, 2014 by Source
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By Bruce Coons

Sunset Cliffs Park was originally landscaped in 1915 by sporting goods magnate Albert Goodwill Spaulding at the cost of two million dollars. It was to be given to the City of San Diego with the provision that they maintain it.

This bequest consisted of landscaped walkways along the cliffs with rustic railings, pebbled steps and stairways, palm thatched shelters with benches, Japanese-style rustic arched bridges, caves with stairway access, even a 15 x 50 foot saltwater swimming pool carved into the natural rock that cleaned itself with every high tide. This was a major tourist attraction of which there are many postcards from the time around today that attest to its popularity.

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Ferguson Organizers say State of Emergency Violates Laws, Thwarts Civil Liberties

November 19, 2014 by Source

Governor’s declaration ‘only threatens to stir up tensions and denigrate the peaceful efforts of countless non-violent activists’

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Ferguson October

In the wake of Governor Jay Nixon’s Monday afternoon declaration of a state of emergency in Missouri, activists and civil rights groups are speaking out against a move they say threatens the civil rights of protesters on the ground in Ferguson.

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Women’s Perspectives and Changing Roles In the US and Iraq War

November 17, 2014 by Source

By Lori SaldañaLeigh_Ann_Hester_-_high_res women in the military

In March 2010, Katherine Bigelow made history at the Academy Awards, by winning in the Best Director category. This was the first time a woman had done so in the Academy’s history. She won for her film “Hurt Locker,” about men who disarm IED’s (improvised explosive devices) in Iraq.

“Hurt Locker” was also was named Picture of the Year, and won for Best Sound Editing- so congratulations for all that, too, Ms. Bigelow. Well done.

If you haven’t seen it, “Hurt Locker” is an amazing and suspenseful film — with hardly a woman character in it.

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Stand with Indigenous Peoples, Stop the Pipelines

November 17, 2014 by Source

As so often happens, Native Americans are leading the fight to save the world.

Moccasins on the Ground workshop where participants are trained in the skills, tactics, and techniques of nonviolent direct action.By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

While half of the world’s species are disappearing, while the remaining 48 hunter/gatherer societies are literally fighting for their survival, while 32 million acres of rainforest are cut down a year, and while three hundred tons of topsoil are lost a minute, we are again at war with those who would destroy the planet.

There have been many wars fought on behalf of our life-giving land in North America. The overwhelming majority of those killed in defense of the land have come from peoples like the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Sauk, and the Apache. Native Americans have long stood in the way of this destructive culture.

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Wind and Solar Create More Jobs When They’re Locally Owned, Report Finds

November 17, 2014 by Source

When it comes to providing jobs and money to towns and cities, not all renewable energy is created equal.

Everybody_Solar_RTP_install

By Kayla Schultz / Yes!

At [September’s] People’s Climate March, among the most popular signs were ones supporting renewable energy like wind and solar as the best way to avoid a climate catastrophe. …

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Speeder on Rosecrans Damages Speed Warning Light

November 11, 2014 by Source
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This is what’s left of the Speed Warning Light on Rosecrans, 2 blocks south of Talbot, which was hit by a speeder Saturday night, Nov. 8th.

There is no speed warning sign on the south side of the street.

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Veterans Day 2014

November 11, 2014 by Source
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In observance of Veterans Day 2014, we turn to a series of posts that our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, has been running this week, “War and Peace Week”.

War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press by Anna Daniels

Drill Team (a paean, not to the war machine) by Jay Powell

…MORE INSIDE …

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Hold on to Freedom

November 11, 2014 by Source

War-on-TerrorSBy Bob Dorn

Freedom. A word we don’t hear lately, cheated of life by politicians who told us that’s what wars are for.

After all those wars fought in its name, did we lose the concept, freedom? What took its place? Hate? Maybe that’s what’s left. … We’ve been suffocated by war; our culture is dying from it.

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OB Time – the Old Hippie Writes

November 7, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first post of a regular column that the OB Rag hopes to publish weekly, “OB Time – the Old Hippie Writes”. Let us know how you feel or what you think about it.

Hey, kids – that’s right – I am an old hippie and here we are – in “OB Time”.

Do you know what OB Time is? If you have to ask, I guess you don’t live here. It’s why the annual Holiday Parade starts at 5:05 p.m. and not 5 sharp. It’s reflective of how laid back OB is. We don’t care about time. We’ve dropped out of the ol’ rat race. That corporate rush-rush-rush life style is a downer, man. OB Time is also why …

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Parsing the Pitchmen for Plots in a Political Graveyard

November 7, 2014 by Source

max headroomBy Bob Dorn

Get ready for the message: Democrats need to move toward the center. That’s it, that’s all you need to know from the political professionals whom we pay to tell us who we are and what we think.

Picture them. You have Brian Williams, the hippest of that knot of strange guys in a hotel bar who anchor the nightly news of the three traditional used-to-be’s: ABC, CBS and NBC. …

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OB Woman’s Club 90th Anniversary Fundraiser: “Roaring 20s” – Friday, Nov. 7th

November 7, 2014 by Source
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The Roaring 20s are back!

Friday night at the OB Woman’s Club fundraiser spectacular! Nov. 7th – 6 – 10pm

2160 Bacon Street

Music by : As You Like It

Food $10 …. Prize Drawings … Entertainment … Silent Auction

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Massive Dumping of Fracking Wastewater into Aquifers Shows Big Oil’s Power in California

November 4, 2014 by Source

california-fracked-315x288By Dan Bacher

As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.

The Center said the wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking (hydraulic fracturing) fluids and other pollutants.

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Point Loma Democrats Review the Propositions – Didn’t we hire the Legislature to do this?

October 31, 2014 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The Point Loma Democrats met Sunday, October 26 at their usual venue, the Point Loma Assembly building.

Before the panel discussion of the propositions started, Ed Harris, still our councilmember, was there to fill us in on the Belmont Park proposed lease extension to 55 years. His take is that this will not come back to the City Council before he leaves office. He had an additional piece of information – the current lease requires the tenant to spend 2.5% of gross revenue on improvements. The proposed lease removes this requirement. This makes the proposed lease even worse than he originally projected.

Attended by about 50 people, the main meeting was devoted to the Propositions, and it was a spirited presentation,

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More Photos from the ‘Great OB Flood’ of January 2010

October 29, 2014 by Source
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Our set of photos taken during the last ‘great flood’ in OB – January 2010 – sparked the following response from local Mark Dodge. Mark sent us the following photos. He told us:

I was living at the end of Cape May at the time but parking in a garage on Narragansett. I parked, started home and just happened to have my camera. I had also almost gotten swamped on Bacon St between LB and Brighton. The water was up near the bottom of the doors of my Ford Ranger.

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