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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Workshop on Saratoga Park Slated for April 8

April 1, 2014 by Source
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OBCDC Holding Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Improvements for Park at Foot of Saratoga Ave.

The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation is sponsoring the first of several public meetings and workshops on their proposed improvements for Saratoga Park, this one to be held on Tuesday, April 8th. It will be at the OB Rec Center.

According to the OBCDC press release, the workshop purpose is a discussion on conceptual improvements, which include:

  • a small children’s playground,
  • fitness stations and
  • individual seating
  • and related improvements

Saratoga Park is located located at the foot of Saratoga Avenue, west of Abbott Street immediately north of the parking lot at the Lifeguard Station.

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City’s Decision to Install “No Turn on Red” Signs at Voltaire and Catalina Is Flawed – Signs Should Come Down

March 31, 2014 by Source
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Editor: In January our Judi Curry warned readers that the City was no longer allowing right turns on red at the intersection of Voltaire Street and Catalina Boulevard. Geoff Page – a former member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board – vowed to get to the bottom of it. So, here is his the result of his research and analysis.

‘No Right Turn On Red’ Signs at Busy Intersection Should Be Removed

By Geoff Page / Special to the OB Rag

It has taken longer than I hoped but I do have the story about the No Right Turn On Red sign installed at Catalina/Famosa and Voltaire last September.

The road to this information was much longer than it should have been, considering the subject matter, and it required patience and aggressive persistence. The shame of it is that this isn’t a scandalous expose; this is information about placement of traffic signs. The signs are on southbound Famosa at Voltaire. Famosa becomes Catalina once you cross Voltaire. The turn restriction is from southbound Famosa to westbound Voltaire.

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Slightly Stoopid’s Miles Doughty on Ocean Beach Life, Tour Life, and Taking Control of Their Destiny

March 31, 2014 by Source
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By K.C. Libman / Phoenix New Times

Few bands remain as succinctly Californian and categorically challenging as San Diego’s Slightly Stoopid. Signed to the late Bradley Nowell’s Skunk Records in 1995, they’re an act that’s been a signed Golden State institution for almost 20 years, carving out their niche by pulling together a variety of genres into a melding that’s all their own. Having been road dogs for the entirety of their career, even after two decades, they still wouldn’t have it any other way, tribulations and personalities aside.

“You can’t be lazy as a touring artist,” says frontman and founding member Miles Doughty.

“So many bands just want that quick success when you need to have longevity. We’ve never been a band that’s exploded on the radio, that had any Top 10 singles, but we’re a band that draws people to shows, and that’s the difference — we can always tour. We strive to have the longevity in being on the road.”

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Review: the Brown Bag Deli

March 31, 2014 by Source
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By Kathy Blavatt

Brown Bag Deli
1912 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92106
http://brownbagsd.com

For a couple years in the 1980s, my husband and I lived in Roseville, and Brown Bag Deli was our favorite deli (besides Pomas). Located on Rosecrans across from NTC, Brown Bag Deli is much like its name, very basic when it come to atmosphere.

What made my early experiences of this deli special was the heavenly smell of fresh baked bread coming out of their large ovens in the early lunch hours.

The sandwiches are delicious, reasonably priced and there is a long menu list to choose from. The large size can easily be split between two people. Also, they have 3-foot and 6-foot sandwiches that can feed large groups and parties.

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A Green Balboa Park Centennial Celebration for 2015

March 31, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / San Diego Free Press

green globeAs George Santayana famously observed: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But in the case of the Pan-American centennial planning, organizers need to learn from the history of the event to help them re-create its grandeur and appeal, and make the 2015 Balboa Park centennial a celebration of innovation, rooted in the first Exhibition’s origins.

Here’s a brief statement of the original events’ main theme: “The purpose of the Panama-California Exposition is to illustrate the progress and possibility of the human race, not for the exposition only, but for a permanent contribution to the world’s progress.”

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CicloDias to Hit Pacific Beach – Sunday, March 30

March 28, 2014 by Source
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OBceans planning on riding from OB

The next CicloSDias is Sunday, March 30, 2014, 10am-3pm. This time it’s about introducing Pacific Beach up to La Jolla to this amazing open streets event. Check out the route above.

Decorate yourself, decorate your bike and join us for the first ever CicloSDias Bike Parade!

When: 11:30am, March 30th.

Where: Cass and Garnet HUB

A friendly panel of judges will determine the winners. Top 3 in store for some great prizes!

See you on the 30th for a Car Free PB!

Folks from OB will be congregating at the Robb Field Skate Board Park.

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OB Bike-Share Locations to Be Revealed by End of Month

March 28, 2014 by Source
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5 Bike-share locations where customers able to check out 3-speed bicycles

By Tony de Grata

The locations of the five stations in Ocean Beach where bike-share customers will be able to check out a comfortable, easy-to-ride three-speed should be revealed by the end of the month, according to Brian Genovese, senior engineer in the city’s Transportation and Stormwater Department.

The Ocean Beach stations will be among the 180 to be installed under a 10-year agreement between the city and Florida-based DecoBike, the company that won the contract last year to run a bike-share program in San Diego. The system should be up and running sometime this year, according to DecoBike press releases.

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The Ocean Beach Campaign Against Starbucks 13 Years Later – Part 2

March 27, 2014 by Source
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By Marc Snelling

The Story of How Ocean Beach Took on Starbucks

Part 2

The building being leased by Starbucks at 4994 Newport, like the Strand also had historical significance. Built in 1927 as a branch office for the Bank of Italy, it incorporated graceful interior features including antique mahogany furniture, chrome iron tellers windows, and marble. Ocean Beach Historical Society president Carol Bowers contacted Starbucks asking them to preserve the unique features of the building.

She was told that a “design team” would contact her to address her concerns. While she was waiting for the call that never came she walked by the site and saw that the arched windows and loft that had housed the former vault had already been walled off. Trees that had been growing int he parking lot had been removed. “So much for Starbucks touted community involvement” she wrote in a May 24th editorial for the Beacon.

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Love Transcends Borders and Legal Status

March 27, 2014 by Source

Juan and Alma in love.Shameful immigration policies separate loved ones

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Love doesn’t recognize borders. It doesn’t know if the person you love has papers or if they have done time for youthful indiscretions. None of that matters to love because love transcends all. My cousin Alma, who grew up on 29th St. near K St. in Grant Hill, knows about this kind of love. She and her children live it every day.

My cousin fell in love with, and eventually married, her husband Juan. Him not having legal status to live in the US didn’t bother her whatsoever. She was in love and her heart didn’t care if the man she wanted to be with was allowed to be in this country legally or not. Juan and Alma in love.

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What’s with all those protests at SeaWorld?

March 27, 2014 by Source
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By Barb Dunsmore / Special to the OB Rag

When it comes to impassioned feelings about Sea World, most readers of the OB Rag are well aware that much has recently been written, discussed, filmed, and documented. The world began to take notice with the release of Gabriella Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish. It started with ripples of awareness that have now become waves of deep concern. The worldwide anger the movie unleashed is nearly impossible to ignore.

While SeaWorld was celebrating their 50th anniversary last Friday, everyday citizens, myself included, were standing on Sea World Drive protesting 50 years of inhumane captivity, drawing attention to what we, and a growing number of people around the world see as a new vision for SeaWorld: the recently proposed California Captive Orca Welfare and Safety Act – AB 2140. A new vision that could be a win-win for the orcas and SeaWorld alike, where the orcas would finally be free from the confines and cruel control inflicted upon them daily.

Who are we that protest you ask?

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Outgoing CEO Paul Jacobs to Shareholders: Tell Your Congressman to Give Qualcomm a Tax Break!

March 26, 2014 by Source

pauljacobs1By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

In his final message after more than eight years as chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Paul Jacobs on March 4 gave employees shareholders what he called a “homework assignment.” “Send your Congress people your opinion that you’d like American companies to be able to bring offshore money back to the United States to either reinvest or return to shareholders”, said Jacobs, now executive chairman of the San Diego based chipmaker, which has $21.6 billion in overseas profits.

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Attacks on Pregnant Women’s Rights on the Rise Across America

March 26, 2014 by Source

Marlise Muñoz was removed from life support, but a growing pattern of state intervention in pregnancies threatens women from Alabama to Wisconsin.

By Michele Bratcher Goodwin / Alternet

pregnant-belly-with-hands-300x3001In Texas, hospital officials refused for over two months to remove 33-year-old Marlise Muñoz, who was declared brain dead, from life support because of her pregnancy. A court ruling on Friday ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to take Munoz off life support in accordance with the family’s wishes, and her body was disconnected from machines on Sunday, Jan. 26.

The tragedy of Muñoz’s case is that it fits a terrible pattern of state interventions in women’s pregnancies.

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The Story of How Ocean Beach Took on Starbucks

March 25, 2014 by Source
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By Marc Snelling / Special to the OB Rag / Mar. 25, 2014

Part 1

Thirteen years ago today – March 25th, 2001 – the first No Starbucks in OB protest took place. Hundreds gathered at the corner of Newport Ave and Bacon St to send a message to the corporation that the community did not want their store.

OB got the message, Starbucks corporate HQ didn’t.

Starbucks is back in the news this month opening another controversial San Diego location. After a vote allowing a Starbucks to replace the the fair-trade Espresso Roma Cafe, two UCSD students stand accused of arson and ‘eco-terorism’ for lighting fires in Price Center restrooms to prevent the opening.

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Point Loma Planners: Election Results, “Monster House”, Pipeline Repair, Drunks and Marshmallows

March 25, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Six members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) were selected by voters in annual elections held March 20 at the Point Loma/Hervey Library.

Two incumbents – Peter Nystrom and Paul Webb – were returned to office for three-year terms. Voters also elected three newcomers:

  • David Dick, the top vote-getter among all 10 candidates;
  • Don Sevrens;
  • and Jon Linney.

Incumbent Mike Ryan, who serves as the board’s first vice chair, tied for fifth with Linney and agreed to complete the one year remaining on an existing vacant position.

The final vote totals of the six winners were: …

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Marijuana Legalization is Coming to California, But What Path Will it Take?

March 24, 2014 by Source

MJcaliflagA breakdown of the initiatives in the state

By Chris Conrad / The Leaf Online

With four marijuana legalization initiatives vying for the California ballot, one thing is clear: All four sets of reforms are better than the state’s current prohibition. The initials and names are confusing, but the core question is, which one or ones will voters get to vote on?

The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) has been gathering signatures the longest. TheMarijuana Control, Legalization and Regulation (MCLR) is the longest and took in the greatest amount of direct input from the public. A third version was drafted by a group of long-time reform activists, including remnants of the unsuccessful 2010 Prop 19 campaign. None of these has visible financial backing to make the ballot.

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The Beacon vs Papa Doug Manchester

March 21, 2014 by Source
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Editor: In a recent editorial entitled” David or Goliath? Who really has your community’s best interest at heart?”, the leaders of the San Diego Community Newspaper Group came out charging against the area’s mega-press, the U-T San Diego and its head, Papa Doug Manchester. This is news and is worth sharing, as SDCNG publishes the Beacon as well as the Beach & Bay Press.

EDITORIAL: David or Goliath? Who really has your community’s best interest at heart?

by San Diego Community Newspaper Group

There’s a battle for freedom and independence going on.

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San Diego to Hold Hearing on Raising Minimum Wage – Monday, March 24

March 21, 2014 by Source

By Miriam Raftery / East County Magazine

Should workers have the right to earned sick days? Should the minimum wage be raised in San Diego? A City Council committee will hold a hearing on these issues on Monday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.

A new organization, Raise Up San Diego will hold a rally outside Council Chambers at 202 C Street in support of these proposals.

“Come be part of history as the Improving Wages and Working Conditions measure is introduced at the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee,” an e-mail invitation from the organization states.

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Seattle Police Re-examine Kurt Cobain Death

March 21, 2014 by Source
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By Casey McNerthney and Amy Clancy / KIRO 7

Nearly 20 years after Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home near Lake Washington, Seattle police have reexamined the case.

Last month, police developed four rolls of film that had been sitting for years in a Seattle police evidence vault. The 35 mm film was processed by the King County Sheriff’s Office photo lab under high security.

Though the pictures have a slight green tint because of deterioration, police say they more clearly show the scene than the earlier Polaroid photos taken by investigators.

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A New Vision for Sea World at 50!

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Concerned San Diegans Will Display a Message on SeaWorld’s 50th Anniversary

From Concerned San Diegans

Concerned San Diegans will display a message for A New Vision for SeaWorld on its 50th Anniversary, outside the location where it was founded. March 21, 2014, is the 50th Anniversary of SeaWorld, which started right here in San Diego. San Diegans concerned for the safety and welfare of the captive orcas and their human trainers will once more demonstrate outside the entrance to SeaWorld San Diego.

This Demonstration will be different in showcasing a new vision for Sea World in the 21st Century, based upon Dr. Naomi Rose’s proposal for seaside sanctuaries to which captive marine animal performers can retire and as recently proposed in AB 2140, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act.

WHEN: Noon to 3 pm on Friday, March 21, 2014

WHERE: Sea World Drive at Sea World Way, San Diego

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Another Medical Marijuana Loss for DA Dumanis

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Jury Verdict- Victory in People v Dennis and Deborah Little

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access /March 18, 2014

Dennis and Deborah Little were vindicated in Vista court – March 17th, each of one count of possession for sale of marijuana and one of cultivation. The happy moment was shared with several jurors who lingered and hugged the traumatized couple, their attorneys and supporters in the halls outside Judge Munroy’s courtroom.

The Little trial began in earnest when a jury was finally seated, on March 11, last week. It took quite some time for the judge to find and dismiss those potential jurors who said they would be biased – most of those dismissed directed bias toward prosecutions and one hopes it can’t be long before San Diego District Attorney stops bringing sick patients like the Littles to court.

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My Wanderings Around OB

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is the first of what we hope is a regular column by a local, Chuck Cofer, in describing and photographing what he sees in his walking and biking around OB.

By Chuck

Noticed a few interesting items on my morning walk 3-17-14 and thought some OB Rag readers might also find them interesting.

Monday morning I walked to the bottom of the beach stairs at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. These three men were picking up large amounts of garbage left my weekend revelers. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover but my human instinct told me they did not own property on the cliffs above. I thanked them for their efforts and continued on as they continued to work.

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Putting Our Financial Well Being Above Our Children’s Ability to Survive a Warming Planet

March 20, 2014 by Source

earth-on-fireBy John Lawrence and Frank Thomas / San Diego Free Press

Each year there are more extreme weather events not only in the US but all over the world. Most scientists agree that, as more carbon dioxide is pumped into the air and the gaseous composition of the atmosphere is changed, extreme weather events are more likely to happen.

As the earth warms due to greenhouse gasses (GHGs), polar and glacier ice melts and more moisture is held in the atmosphere which is deposited in torrents of precipitation.

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