A Double Standard for Democratic Party Endorsements – Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego

April 16, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part three of a five part series running this week at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press. Here is Part One which covers her early encounters with Filnerand, and here is Part Two which describes the indifference she met when she tried to alert Democratic Party leadership.

Part 3: Endorsement Roulette

By Lori Saldaña

roulette-wheel BBy early 2012 I was campaigning full time, struggling to raise money, and trying to earn the Democratic Party endorsement. The grassroots, progressive delegates were with me, but the more moderate Democratic faction did all they could to block my State Party endorsement.

A short time after I had shared my concerns about Filner he announced his engagement. Privately, I suspected this was done to counter my allegations. When I encountered Filner at campaign events we kept our distance, and I was never introduced to his fiancee.

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Sex, Power, and Politics in San Diego – Trying to Blow the Whistle on Bob Filner

April 15, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part two of a five part series running this week at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press. Part one covers her early encounters with Filner.

PART TWO: Party Politics

Close-up of a young woman with adhesive tape over her mouthBy Lori Saldaña

I first contacted Jess Durfee [County Democratic Party leader] in August 2011. I recounted the Filner actions and allegations, and urged him to meet with Filner to determine if these were accurate accounts, and, if so, to take action to ensure the behavior would stop.

I reported Bob Filner’s bad behavior to the San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman for pretty simple reasons: I believe women deserve to be treated with respect. I also feared he would ultimately be “outed” with disastrous impacts on others.

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Lori Saldaña: Sex, Power, and Politics in San Diego – the Run Up to the 2012 Election

April 14, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic Party establishment. This is a part one of a four part series running this week in the OB Rag and in our online media partner, the San Diego Free Press(which may eventually end up as a book).

PART ONE: Filner Clears the Field

filnersexismBy Lori Saldaña

In December 2010 I termed out of the California Assembly after serving 6 years; 3 terms were then the maximum allowed. In the summer of 2011 I prepared to teach a class in the Women’s Studies Department at San Diego State University on “Sex, Power and Politics,” and, as redistricting was concluded, decided to run for Congress in the 52nd district in California. As I began preparing to teach and run for Congress, I began hearing stories from women who told me they had been harassed by then-US Representative Bob Filner, who appeared to be the only Democratic candidate for Mayor of San Diego.

Filner did a good job of clearing the field.

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Fukushima Meltdown – US Sailors Sue Japanese Electrical Company

April 14, 2014 by Source

050629-N-5060B-006By Kathleen Gilberd

Three years ago, a massive earthquake led to a triple melt-down and explosions at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was sent to Honshu Island, where the reactor is located, to render aid as part of Operation Tomadachi (Friendship). With the ship as close as a mile off shore, sailors worked 18-hour days to rescue civilians in the radiation area.

Now sailors from the Ronald Reagan have filed a one billion dollar class action suit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner of the nuclear plant, alleging that they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, far in excess of what TEPCO told the Navy to expect. There are over 100 plaintiffs in the class action, which was filed in San Diego on February 6

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Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent

April 14, 2014 by Source
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By Norman Solomon / NormanSolomonwebsite

The most renowned media critics are usually superficial and craven. That’s because — as one of the greatest in the 20th century, George Seldes, put it — “the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.”

No institutions are more image-conscious than big media outlets. The people running them know the crucial importance of spin, and they’ll be damned if they’re going to promote media criticism that undermines their own pretenses.

To reach the broad public, critics of the media establishment need amplification from . . . the media establishment. And that rarely happens unless the critique is shallow.

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5 Popular Home Products That Can Be Surprisingly Toxic

April 14, 2014 by Source
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If you thought you were safe from pollutants around the house, think again.

By Cliff Weathers / AlterNet

We love the convenience and the comfort they bring us, but some of our most popular consumer products can come at a heavy price to our personal health. We all try being careful, removing the known hazards from our households, yet there are many products that you likely have in your home that you probably didn’t know were toxic. Here are five that might shock you:

1. Candles.Few things are better at adding atmosphere to a room than candles. But as those candles fill the room with warm light, they’re also filling it up with harmful gases and sediments. …

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The Shopping Mall’s Socialist Pre-History

April 11, 2014 by Source

via WikipediaThe inventor of the American suburban shopping mall was a socialist. Could his creation have been saved?

By / Jacobin Magazine

The American landscape is littered with hundreds of dead shopping malls. In places like the vast Buckingham Square Mall in Aurora, Colo., which has stood empty since 2007, the indoor fountains have stopped running, but the prosthetic plants inside remain eerily green. More will join them. It’s said that 15% of American malls will close in the next ten years.

The biggest shopping mall in the world, the New South China Mall in Dongguan, is also a dead mall. Opening in 2005, it boasted seven zones, each based on major international cities and featuring including a replica Arc de Triumph and a Venetian canal complete with gondolas. However, the mall has remained 99% vacant since its opening. Aside from a cluster of fast food restaurants near its entrance, the mall is a network of vast, empty atria and mothballed cinemas and roller coasters.

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Carl DeMaio’s À la Carte Campaign

April 11, 2014 by Source
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Editor: OB and Point Loma plus much of the Mission Beach and PB areas are within the 52nd Congressional District that Democrat Scott Peters now holds. His main opponent in the upcoming election is our old friend Republican Carl DeMaio, former mayoral candidate for San Diego. (We call him ‘friend’ because he always gives us so much to write about.)

By Lucas O’Connor

Carl DeMaio is running for Congress. You may have heard. And even though he’s had the misfortune of writing down and voting on major issues for more than a decade, so far his campaign is predicated on hoping that nobody notices in spite of article after article after article after article chronicling his career.

The attempts to fake a newfound moderation on social issues have been well chronicled, but if you don’t believe him, don’t ask him… He refuses to talk about civil rights issues even as the Republican leadership Carl’s running to empower continues going along with Tea Party extremists and holding votes on exactly those issues. It’s not clear if anyone’s really sat down yet and explained to Carl that you can’t actually be an à la carte Congressman, but he seems committed to trying anyhow.

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OSHA Wins Case Against SeaWorld Involving Death of Orca Trainer

April 11, 2014 by Source
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From OH&S / Apr 11, 2014

OSHA has won the appellate case involving its enforcement case against SeaWorld of Florida LLC following the death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau on Feb. 24, 2010. A 2-1 decision issued April 11 by a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that SeaWorld “recognized its precautions were inadequate to prevent serious bodily harm or even death to its trainers and that the residual hazard was preventable.”

“The remedy imposed for SeaWorld’s violations does not change the essential nature of its business,” the majority opinion written by Judge Judith W. Rogers states. “There will still be human interactions and performances with killer whales; the remedy will simply require that they continue with increased safety measures.”

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Surf Film Festival Looking for San Diego Venues

April 11, 2014 by Source
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By Promise Yee

The California Surf Festival will be showing three epic surf films at three locations in San Diego County this spring and summer. This is the sixth year for the film festival that screens surf films with amazing cinematography and compelling story lines.

“Half the surf movies out there don’t have storylines,” Sam Zuegner, California Surf Museum operations manager, said. “We focus on the other ones.

“When you see the world’s best, you’re watching an artist.”

The California Surf Museum, located in Oceanside, holds the film festival as a community outreach each year. The films share the beauty and history of the sport.

“We want to make sure we’re a well-rounded museum,” Zuegner said. “It’s a fundraiser in part, but it’s more community outreach.”

“We want to give back to the community. There’s no other surf film festivals.”

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Cal State San Marcos to Study Surfing’s Exercise Value

April 11, 2014 by Source
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From a CSUSM press release

On any given day along San Diego County’s 70 miles of coastline, thousands of surfers may be spotted in the ocean, riding waves or patiently waiting for the next one.

A new study underway at California State University San Marcos seeks hard, scientific data on whether amateur surfing is more than just fun — whether it also provides a dynamic physical workout.

A research participant at California State University San Marcos simulates paddling on a swim bench modified with a surfboard. Photo courtesy of the university A research participant at California State University San Marcos simulates paddling on a swim bench modified with a surfboard. Photo courtesy of the university

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Politicians Who Oppose Marijuana Legalization Are On the Wrong Side of History

April 9, 2014 by Source

marijuanademrepsA majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

By Tony Newman via AlterNet

A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization – yet not one sitting governor or U.S. Senator supports it, according to a New York Times piece.

Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. 43 years after President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” the U.S. arrests 650,000 people a year for marijuana possession – yet marijuana and other illegal drugs are as available as ever. Thanks to the drug war, the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

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Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

April 9, 2014 by Source

cows1By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs – even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

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Lori Saldaña: “The Night I Decided to Stop Going to Sea World.”

April 9, 2014 by Source

Seaworld-Orlando-Shamu-1514By Lori Saldaña

I was born in San Diego, and my family began attending Sea World back in the 60s when it had a Japanese Garden and pearl divers (I still have a pearl ring, a birthday gift one year).

Then, it was a very different place than it is today: quieter, smaller scale, and more about Pacific Rim culture than theme park shows. We went often, and not just as casual visitors. Since my father was a journalist, and Sea World knew the value of cultivating relationships with the media, we would often attend special events throughout the year, including a lavish annual kick-off party that marked the start of their summer season, complete with a preview of the newest Shamu show.

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Supreme Insanity: How the High Court is Killing Our Democracy

April 7, 2014 by Source

RooseveltBy Jim Miller

Last week was a very bad week for American democracy. With the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, the Supreme Court of the United States dealt a sweeping blow to existing campaign finance laws that seek to limit the influx of money in American politics.

In the wake of the Citizens United case that opened the door for big spending by Super PACS and dark money, this ruling takes another step towards plutocracy by striking down overall limits on campaign contributions. By doing so McCutcheon rudely thrusts us further into a new Gilded Age where our economy and our politics are thoroughly dominated by a small minority of the opulent.

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SeaWorld Attendance Drops Amid Blackfish Controversy

April 4, 2014 by Source
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By Hugo Martin / LA Times / April 2, 2014

Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year.

The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group.

The notice said attendance for the three-month period that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.

In previous reports, SeaWorld officials noted that attendance numbers may change with the shift of holidays in the calendar. Easter, for example, took place in the first quarter of 2013, but in 2014 the holiday falls in the second quarter.

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UCSD Graduate Students Strike After Just Demands Not Met

April 4, 2014 by Source

Strikers disrupt classes and block public thoroughfares in protest against unfair labor practices while upper level administrators continue to receive exorbitant salaries and enjoy a culture of lavish living

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Grad student strikers and their allies block a pedestrian walkway at UCSD.

Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2865 initiated a two-day strike Wednesday, April 2nd, that will end today Friday, April 4th. The strike at UCSD is part of a statewide action occurring at all the campuses of the University of California for these reasons.

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Prune Nourry: French Artist’s Terracotta Daughters Are on the Move

April 4, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following article and photos were sent to us from Paris, France, by Mic Porte, a community activist who lives in Pacific Beach who is visiting Europe with her daughter.

By Mic Porte

I love Paris, the city where people will stand attentively in line for hours to view an art exposition. Galleries, book stores and theaters are always packed. In France, food is art, clothing is art, life is art, and art is in their hearts from the beginning of recorded time– think of the beautiful Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings.

French children are taught art appreciation from day one and it reflects in the architecture and design and lifestyle all around the country. Visual art. The French invented photography and cinema to further the reach of art for the modern world. They are not afraid to expand the boundaries of acceptability, always challenging our perspective of the world, from Impressionism to Dadaism.

The 2014 Spring Equinox heralds the arrival of one of their own, Prune Nourry, young woman sculptress and multimedia artist, and her astonishing and powerful army of Terracotta Daughters, come to Paris to change the world. There is one word to describe this art show: Awesome.

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The Blue Dot Refill in OB: First Eco-soap Self-serve Refill Store in San Diego

April 4, 2014 by Source

By Joe Moreno

What happens when a lawyer leaves Corporate America to get in touch with her inner hippie?

She opens San Diego’s first eco-soap self-serve refill store in Ocean Beach to do her part to keep our world plastic-free. Less than a month ago, Deidre Prozinski opened Blue Dot Refill next to Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Co-op on Voltaire Street. Within days of hanging out her shingle – and without any marketing or advertising – she hit her first milestone: $100 in sales in a single day, thanks, in part, to being right next to a co-op with like-minded customers.

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Point Loma High School Takes Honors as Best Surf Team

April 4, 2014 by Source
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from Surfer Today

Point Loma High School has conquered the San Diego stage of the 2014 Oakley High School Surf Team Challenge, held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, California.

Ten teams of four surfers each from area high schools competed in the fun rippable swell on offer.

But at the close of the final, only one team could claim the honor of best San Diego area High School Surf Team and this year’s honor went to Point Loma High School.

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If We Don’t Connect It to Race and Class, Then Green Politics Is Just High-End Consumerism

April 4, 2014 by Source

greenpovertyInstead of advocating “green” lifestyles that are financially and culturally inaccessible to millions of Americans, artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph proposes we ask a single, crucial question that connects race, class and ecology: What sustains life in a community?

By Marc Bamuthi Joseph / Creative Time Reports

As environmentalism goes mainstream, corporations are marketing the word “green” as a panacea for the world’s climate crisis. Today the word describes a set of prescribed, mostly consumerist actions: buy local, organic and fresh; go vegan; eat in season; skip the elevator; take the stairs. “Green” has come to mean shopping at Whole Foods and possessing a Prius. Meanwhile, leading corporate polluters like BP and Exxon Mobil place commercials on CNN advertising their “green” practices.

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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Extreme Weather Watch: March 2014

April 3, 2014 by Source

Winter Weather Made a $55 Billion Hit to US Economy

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

weather5The winter of 2014 broke records and budgets. NBC News reported that the economy took a $55 billion hit because of the extreme winter weather. There was $5.5 billion in damage to homes, businesses, agriculture and infrastructure.

Cities had additional costs for salt for roads and asphalt for potholes. There were more than 30,000 potholes in Toledo, OH alone. The companies that supply salt and asphalt are making a fortune. This winter also saw 79.3 inches of snow falling in Chicago where there were 23 days below zero.

In California drought covers 99.8% of the state. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically holds at least half of all the water that will flow to the state’s farms and cities each year, is at just one-fourth of its normal level.

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CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

April 3, 2014 by Source

By Greg Miller, Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima / The Washington Post / March 31, 2014

A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

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UCSD Grad Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

April 3, 2014 by Source

UCSD grad students protesting.Doctoral students rally against the 18 Quarter Limit

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — Students at the University of California, San Diego stormed the Office of Graduate Studies Tuesday, April 1, to protest a controversial employment policy implemented across the University of California.

The “18 Quarter Limit” restricts doctoral students by only allotting them 18 quarters to be teaching assistants, readers, or graduate student researchers. Such positions, if secured, reduce a graduate student’s tuition from roughly $5,200 a quarter to a mere $196. The action came on the eve of the two-day strike that will be held April 2nd and 3rd at UCSD.

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“If I could sit down with SeaWorld executives, I would share my vision …”

April 2, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

If I could sit down with the Sea World executives, I would share my vision for their new park.

Since I’m an incurable optimist I believe that wishes do in time come true. I’ve dedicated my life to talking and writing about the power of hope — even when all seems so hopeless. Indeed, one of the most famous Holocaust survivors was the one who told me that “Even if the end of the world would be imminent, you still plant a tree today.” Those words were expressed to me years ago by the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank. He gave me hope as he did a worldwide global family.

So surrounded by others who are strong believers in seeing a harmonious world for orcas, dolphins, indeed, all captive beings I appeal to Sea World to “sea” your next 50 years as the one we all wish to celebrate.

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Reader Rant: OB Needs More Tenants On Planning Board

April 2, 2014 by Source

By OB Joe

Just noticing that there are 5 potential open seats on the OB Planning Board, I have a special plea to the Board:

Please Appoint Some Tenants !

Six out of every 7 OBceans are people who rent – tenants. And from I can remember of the goals of the OB Planning Board in the beginning – yea, I was there – the planning committee is supposed to represent and reflect the makeup of the citizens, property owners and businesses of OB.

But 6 out of 7 are renters, who don’t own property and who don’t own businesses. In my interpretation, that means that the Board ought to have a large majority of renters on it.

So how many tenants or renters are on the present OB Planning Board?

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Wanderings in OB – Our Concrete Canvases

April 2, 2014 by Source
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By Chuck Cofer

On my recent OB wanderings I tried to document some of the “concrete canvases” that decorate our sidewalks and buildings.

I’m not sure where the line is between illegal graffiti and art but in general I feel these colorful, inspirational, informative, historical, and sometimes humorous works represent the freedom of expression and lifestyle many OBceans revel in.

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So They Are All … All Honorable Men

April 2, 2014 by Source

honorable menBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

San Diegans are no dummies. We know what happens to politically independent, outspoken, public-minded individuals who are brash enough to shake things up. They get maligned, noogied, humiliated, sent packing. Open your mouth too wide in this city and… you’re dead meat.

So we’re polite and genteel. Why look for trouble? Yes, the public gets screwed over and over again but we’ve learned to turn the other cheek. Forgive and forget — that’s our MO.

We swoon over the nice guys, especially the ones with agreeable manners. Like our avuncular ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, our puckish council president Todd Gloria, our sunkissed mayor Kevin Faulconer — honorable men beyond public reproach. Even when they’re plotting to pull the rug out from under us.

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“You know you’re from OB if …”

April 1, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Some folks in and around OB have started a facebook page entitled “You know you’re from OB if …” and people post comments about their memories of OB past. This latest one by local Melissa Brown was particularly endearing and so we repost it in its entirety.

By Melissa Brown

You know you’re from OB if you …

  • Remember Steve Rogow and The Ram Band, Slant or The Balzi Band set up on the grass both in between Hodads and the sand, or the grass on the pier side of the lifeguard tower.
  • Remember the same bands plus the Hurricanes playing at LeChalet.
  • Went to parties at Red House and saw either The Ram Band or Jambalaya play
  • Spent countless hours sitting on the wall outside the arcade next door people watching with Adam and John
  • Drove out at dog beach and got your car stuck in the channel when the tide rose.
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