San Diego’s Two Borders Can Be Challenging

July 23, 2015 by Source
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By David Helvarg /Blue Frontier / July 16, 2015

I lived for a decade in San Diego and reported on its two borders, the Pacific and Mexico. I recently returned to spend a few days in my old haunts including Ocean Beach, La Jolla and the border.

I visited with Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at its meandering cliffside campus in La Jolla. She told me of many new initiatives taking place there including a soon-to-be-created center for climate impacts and adaptation, a center to look at more traditional hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, ongoing work with creating ocean observation systems and a center on the ocean and human health that will go beyond our traditional focus on seafood safety and harmful algal blooms – or even bio-prospecting for the next cancer cure.

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Jerry Brown Gushes About “fighting climate change” at Vatican As He Fracks California

July 22, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his “green” image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown on July 21 urged the world’s mayors to “light a fire” and “join California in the fight against climate change.”

Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“We have fierce opposition and blind inertia,” Brown claimed. “And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition.”

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Think Whole Foods is a Ripoff? It’s Worse Than You Thought

July 21, 2015 by Source

Faith Gardner / Daily Kos

Whole Foods Market store

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods you’ve probably been shocked at the prices. But a recent investigation shows that not only are its products overpriced, it’s also dishonest—and its shady practices when it comes to weighing and mislabeling may be illegal.

The investigation looked at products that are weighed and labeled and found a “systematic problem” whereby customers were routinely overcharged for things like nuts, snack foods, poultry and other grocery products.

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Can a Child Born in the US Sponsor Their Immigrant Parents for Legal Status?

July 20, 2015 by Source
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Questions and Answers with Carlos Batara

Our Child Was Born In The United States. Can My
Husband And I Get Green Cards Through Her Citizenship?

By Carlos A. Batara

Question:

“My husband and I would like to know if we become permanent residents. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen. She is three years old right now. Can we get green cards through her? Both of us came to the United States on student visas. We met in college. We fell in love. Our visas have not expired.” (Submitted by Paula G., Corona, CA)

Answer: Maybe. But not at this time.

Let me briefly explain.

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San Diego Gardening: How to Ditch the Lawn

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Connie Beck

You probably realize by now that the most water­-wasting thing in your landscape is your lawn. So how to get rid of the existing lawn so you can plant a beautiful new drought tolerant landscape this fall…

If it is a cool season type grass (fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass types) then your removal is easy. You can quit watering and cover it with 6” of mulch after mowing it to the ground. Or you can mow it to the ground and dump 3” of compost on it and then turn it over, using a spading fork or a rototiller. If you have ANY bermuda grass or St. Augustine this won’t work. You will have to work on those areas in one of the following ways.

The best bet for removing a bermuda grass or St. Augustine lawn is available to you right now. It is called Solarization and it works beautifully, though your neighbors may wonder what you are doing.

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‘It’s Not Socialism, It’s Democratic Capitalism’

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

In a recent interview about the groundswell of popularity for Bernie Sanders, Richard Wolff, author of “Democracy at Work, a Cure for Capitalism,” opined that we are seeing a new form of socialism that doesn’t give the power to the government, but rather focuses on –

“changing the way we organize enterprises, so they stop being top-down, hierarchical, where the board of directors makes all the decisions, and we move to this idea which is now catching on: cooperation, workers owning and operating collectively and democratically their economy and their enterprise.”

Instead of looking at this as a new kind of socialism, I like to think of it as a new kind of capitalism—democratic capitalism, where workers are actually free.

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ALEC and Sempra Energy: the Attack on Rooftop Solar in San Diego

July 16, 2015 by Source

Solar Panels, Navy, Old Town

By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is lead on attacking rooftop solar by working to end “net energy metering” (NEM), where homeowners and businesses are paid for (net) energy they generate above their own use. Their role in states like Arizona is outlined in The New Yorker Article “Power to the People” (Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous) by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

NEM is now the subject of intense proceedings at the California PUC which so far this past year hasn’t seen a fossil power plant or utility rate restructuring scheme they don’t like. This is the same PUC which is under investigation by the State Attorney General for improper communications between regulators and the regulated utilities.

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Why Suburbanites Contribute More to Climate Change

July 15, 2015 by Source

suburbia1By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

More and more Americans are taking responsibility for their personal contribution to global climate change by driving fuel efficient cars, insulating their homes and switching to energy efficient lighting and household appliances.

However, even someone that’s gone to the extremes of traveling only on foot or bicycle and forsaking home heating, cooling, lighting, food refrigeration and cooking will likely shrink their carbon footprint by only about a third. That’s because roughly two-thirds of Americans’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are embedded instead in consumption of other goods and services, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Global Development (CGD), a non-profit policy research organization.

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council: Vote “No” Today on Stadium EIR

July 14, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The views expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and staff of the OB Rag.
_________

Dear San Diego City Council:

As a sports writer and stadium activist, I urge you to vote ‘NO’ with regard to ITEM-S500: Establishment of Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to AECOM Agreement for Environmental Review Services. (Mission Valley Community Area. District 7.)

In 2009, I broke the story for SanDiego.com that the Chargers had re-engaged city officials and the focus for a new stadium had turned to downtown. Since then, I have built a strong relationship with the team and spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Chargers beat writer for CBSsports.com.

With deep knowledge of the stadium issue, I am extremely concerned that a ‘YES’ vote will cost the city

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California Should Be a “No ALEC Zone”

July 14, 2015 by Source

ALEC American Legislative Exchange CouncilBy Francine Busby / San Diego Democratic Party

Sometimes we just need a little sunshine. That shouldn’t be too much to ask here in Southern California. Unfortunately, a dark cloud is headed our way in the form of a shadowy lobbying organization that buys loyalty from state legislatures with untraceable corporate dollars and threatens the very fabric of our democracy.

Exaggeration? Not even a little. Concerned yet? You should be.

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How to Fix California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

July 14, 2015 by Source

housing-construction

California should require developers to include affordable housing for a fifth of all new projects

By / San Diego UrbDeZine

As the economy improves, California’s affordable housing crisis is worsening. The average rent in California ($1,240) is almost fifty percent higher than the national average. This is pricing out our state’s low-wage blue collar workers, who have flat incomes and rising commutes. It would take a service worker in San Jose 20 years to save up enough to buy a home.

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A Critique of the Austerity Proposal for Greece

July 13, 2015 by Source
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A Critique of the July 10th, 2015 Austerity Proposal for Greece from Syriza; There is an Alternative!

by Peter Bohmer / July 11, 2015

It is increasingly likely although not a done deal that Greece will come to an agreement with the 19 European Union countries that use the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (the troika) in the next week or so.

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San Diego Gardening in July: It’s about the Water!

July 13, 2015 by Source

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

tomato on vine

Friends—India and Pakistan had devastating heat waves in June. This makes my whine about too much heat in San Diego gardens a bit of a whine. Nonetheless, the heat in my La Mesa garden just about did my veggies and me in. I thought I was watering deeply only to discover that I was not.

San Diego County has many water districts, each of which has warned consumers about percentage of water reduction for their residential customers. Be sure you know how much water reduction is required (read mandatory) in your neighborhood.

We all waste more water inside and outside our homes than we realize and it really must stop. Here’s how to be water wise in the garden in July and probably August.

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More Memories of “Red House” of Ocean Beach

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Since we were alerted to the Centennial of OB’s famous “Red House”, we asked fellow travelers who once lived there or lived in OB during the Seventies who had memories of the political house and its residents. Here is another “memory” of Red House, by Dickie.

By Dickie

I moved into Red House on March 1, 1973, one of 6 activists to take occupancy beginning a long stretch of time when Red House was identified as a center of the OB community movement.

We were community and antiwar activists and we had been living for a month across the street on Cape May in the little 4-in-a-row fourplex we called the “Barracks” because it was all activists living there.

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Improving Parks in Ocean Beach – 2 Projects, 1 Area

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Report on the OB CDC Meeting

By Lois Lane

The Ocean Beach CDC met Thursday, July 9, at the OB Rec center, as usual. The meeting was called to order by the President, Tom Perotti, with the primary topic being, the usual, the Veterans Plaza and the Children’s Play / Lifeguard Fitness

Plans for the Veterans Plaza has been submitted to the City of San Diego Development Services Department (DSD). This is called the “Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza-CDP”, an application for a Coastal Development Permit, submitted on 16 June.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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Sign the Petition to Stop Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Hit the link and sign the Petition that calls on the San Diego City Council to ban the nightly fireworks at SeaWorld.

From Petition:

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis,every day for 3 months straight during the summer season alone. They are damaging the overall physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration. Humane societies across North America report that after firework displays they are swamped with calls about lost dogs and cats. Dogs are brought to shelters with paws bloody from running or torn skin from tearing through a backyard wooden fence or, worse, crippled from being hit by a car.

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Property Management Co. Responses to Charges of Tenant Abuse on Saratoga

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of providing a platform and encouraging a debate and discussion over the alleged abuse of their tenants on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach, the following is an unedited response by Torrey Pines Property Management, written by Andrew “Andy” Parashos, their Senior Vice President.

By Andy Parashos

In response to the mentioned article, please know that Torrey Pines Property Management has been successfully managing commercial and multi-family properties throughout Ocean Beach for over thirty years.

The property at Saratoga has been under our management since February of this year. The physical conditions leading to those described in the article existed long before our management, and were detailed in a property inspection report conducted during the purchase process. It was this information, along with new ownership’s desire to own a property they would be proud of, that lead to the repair, renovation and remodeling that is currently underway.

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OB Time – Kudos to Town Council and Questions for Police and Planning Board

July 9, 2015 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks Writes

Once in a while I have to emerge from my folded yoga position and comment on local happenings around the Village of OB.

Praise be to the OB Town Council – for they have led the way for a second year in a row with their “Mallow Out” campaign against the marshmallow wars of yesteryear. For the second July 4th in a row, there were hardly any marshmallows thrown down around the beach once the fireworks ended.

I did hear about a little good-natured throwing contest of marshmallows and firecrackers between people on the beach and some folks up in a balcony at the new condo complex at Saratoga Park.

But some said it couldn’t be done – but they did it. Some say it’s spoiling all the fun – but it was spoiling our environment. ,,,

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When You Get a Plastic Bag, What Should You Do With It?

July 9, 2015 by Source
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A Treatise on Plastic Bags – Part 1

By Lois Lane

Walking home from Newport, I saw on my journey the nefarious “newsprint in plastic bags” on the sidewalk and in people’s yards. Were these the San Diego Union Tribune Ads, topic of a recent OB Town Council meeting? Closer inspection revealed them to be the Peninsula Beacon. What is it with these plastic bags?

Although the obvious and correct answer is “do not use them,” we all have plastic bags that come into our homes, one way or another. They may even be grocery bags or bread in a bag. If you order any product on-line, it is delivered in a plastic bag, and the contents of the plastic bag is in a plastic bag.

Recycling them is not as simple as it might be.

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Calendar for Green Activists for July 2015

July 8, 2015 by Source
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July Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

July 9th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “I Am” – is a 2010 documentary by commercially successful director Tom Shadyac.

July Events NOT at the Ocean Beach Green Center

July 9 Thursday 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Solar for Homeowners

July 11 Saturday 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Come help plan for the upcoming events in San Diego on climate action. Meetings on Saturdays at People’s Co-op in the community room, 4765 Voltaire St.

July 11 Saturday 1:00 – 3:00 1oo Year Centennial of the Red House – OB’s famous activist house from the 1970s has been preserved by the Gawronskis, and they’re having a celebration at the place itself.

July 11 Saturday 9:00 a.m. Friends of Famosa Slough work parties . Meet along W. Pt. Loma Blvd about 200 feet east of the corner of Famosa Blvd. and W. Pt. Loma Blvd Nature and Bird Walks July 18 Saturday 1:00 p.m. .

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An Inside Look at ‘A Green Alternative’ in Otay Mesa – San Diego’s First Licensed Medical Pot Shop

July 8, 2015 by Source

AGreenAlternativeAn Interview With CEO, Dr. David Blair

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

Eye On The Locals: I’m a curious person and when I see something historic happening in my community, I feel an urgent need to document and ask questions. When A Green Alternative opened in Otay Mesa on March 20, 2015 — only two blocks from a major U.S.-Mexico port of entry — I couldn’t help but find out more.

(Editor: The OB Rag covered its opening back in March.)

A Green Alternative is the first medicinal marijuana dispensary that has legally opened in the City and County of San Diego. It’s a historic moment, highly controversial and located in my neck of the wood–the South Bay. So I walked right up to the storefront security guard and asked for an interview.

As the CEO, Dr. David Blair, later told me: he asks his staff not to treat people the way they would like to be treated, but to treat people the way …

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History of the Original OB Seagull Logo

July 6, 2015 by Source
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By Bob Sorben – Creator of the Original OB Seagull

Back in the 50’s and early 60’s we all hung out on the beach at the foot of Newport. OB was ruled by the locals and the defense of our beach town from outsiders was almost tribal. We fought with other local communities whenever an occasion arose. Of course, there were always fights amongst ourselves, and some just liked to fight.

The Point was actually broken up into clubs and each had followers, but we intermingled as one. The Sunset Surfers of the 40’s & 50’s and, the Qwiigs Surfing Club, which dated back to the 30’s were the beginning.

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The “Mallow Out” Campaign for Ocean Beach Continues for July 4th

July 3, 2015 by Source
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OB Town Council: Thanks for Taking Pledge – and Asks for Volunteers for “Peace Patrol” and Day After Clean-Up

Editor: From Gretchen Newsom, Chair of the OB Town Council, is all about the the continuation of the successful “Mallow Out” campaign for the second July 4th in OB in a row.

THANK YOU for taking the pledge to ‘Mallow Out!’ Your solidarity and support will help keep our streets, beaches, and ocean clean, enhance public safety, and help our local economy thrive.

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The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

July 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Henry Adams was right.

A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops. Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life. As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power.

Does Legal Neutrality Exist?

This belief came under heavy attack at law school. At law school, one of my first year professors repeatedly asserted that the law was neutral. Despite trying, I was unable able to buy into his proposition. It did not fit my reality.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: “We Are Satisfied With The Stones”

July 1, 2015 by Source

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By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

The pohaku stopped the Thirty Meter Telescope construction last Wednesday. They began appearing on the Mauna Kea Access Road like raindrops. First, they were sprinkled lightly underfoot. A small rock here. A larger one there. The cops cussed and swore as they tried to remove them from the path of their seemingly unstoppable paddy wagons.

As the cops ascended, washing over the lines of Mauna Kea Protectors standing in their way, small piles grew into a drizzle of stones formed in the gathering fog. Then, the pohaku became a downpour. Looking up the road half-a-mile, I saw heavy boulders standing up, marching to meet us, making it impossible for the TMT construction crews and their police escort to climb any higher.

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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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People Watching at the OB Street Fair – a Photo Gallery

June 29, 2015 by Source
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Here is Albert C Elliott’s black & white photo gallery on people watching at the Ocean Beach Street Fair 2015.

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How to Measure the 30 Foot Height Limit in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

June 29, 2015 by Source
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By Geoff Page

There continues to be confusion as to how to measure a building so that it conforms to the 30-foot height limit. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how this was calculated but learned some things had changed.

I also learned that the Development Services Department (DSD) has started using a twisted interpretation that resulted in a building on Avenida de Portugal being 36 feet high.

I would like to explain what I have learned about how height is to be measured. There are three issues.

The first issue is the question of where on a lot the measurement is taken from. The second issue is wording that the City has brought into the measurement language.

The third issue is the worst one, allowing measurement from future structures on a site, not existing conditions.

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Debate Over Rock Church’s Decision to Refrain From Feeding and Clothing the Homeless

June 26, 2015 by Source

WorkingStandDownBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A recent post on the Facebook page for Homeless News San Diego showed a letter from the Rock Church regarding a change in policy for feeding homeless people.

Part of one sentence was highlighted:

refrain from feeding homeless people on the streets, as well as distributing items such as clothing and blankets.

The post indicates there were 107 shares and 206 comments!

I can’t recall ever seeing an issue evoke such passionate responses from so many people with opposing, yet reasonable points of view.

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