Mid-Ocean Plastics Cleanup Schemes: Too Little Too Late?

July 1, 2014 by Source

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Sarah “Steve” Mosko, PhD / Boogie Green

Imagine using a thimble to empty a bathtub, with the faucet still running. That’s how experts on ocean plastics pollution generally see schemes focused on extracting the debris from the open ocean instead of strategies to prevent plastic waste from getting there in the first place.

Interest in methods to rid the oceans of plastic debris is motivated by very real threats to the entire ocean food web. The “North Pacific Garbage Patch” is the most studied of the five subtropical gyres, gigantic whirlpools where waste is picked up and concentrated by slow-swirling currents. There, plastic debris already outweighs zooplankton, tiny creatures at the base of the food web, by a factor of 36:1, according to the latest trawls by the Algalita Marine Research Institute in Long Beach, CA.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Point Loma Reader Rant: The Developer Stereotype Exists for a Reason

June 24, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Reader Rant: The Developer Stereotype Exists for a Reason

By Geoff Page

Many of us have probably complained about stereotypes at one time or another because they are often too broadly and unfairly applied. But, as most of us also know, stereotypes are like that snowball that is started by rolling a small stone through the wet snow, buried in there somewhere is a bit of truth.

The stereotype I want to talk about here was what I witnessed at the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s (PCPB) monthly meeting on Thursday, June 19. This was a perfect example of the developer stereotype. And, hopefully, this little piece will help inform more people about this project, the so-called “Point Loma Village,” some of whom may not know about it and may want to. Let me give some project details first before telling my story.

Read the full article → 72 comments

Peninsula Community Planning Board Puts the Brakes on “Point Loma Village”

June 23, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peninsula Community Planning Board Puts the Brakes on “Point Loma Village”

By Tony de Garate/ Special to the OB Rag

An architect may have been mistaken about zoning regulations when he drew up plans for a three-story, mixed-use project with 17 luxury condos and retail space in Roseville, the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) decided June 19 at its monthly meeting.

Tony Cutri, architect and vice president of Martinez + Cutri Corp., said the project provided 42 parking spaces – 11 for retail, 31 for condos. But a resident, Marian D’Angelo, said she had researched zoning ordinances and spoken to city planners who told her parking requirements were higher.

By a 9-1 vote, the board decided …

Read the full article → 17 comments

Hit and Run Takes Life of Woman Near I-8 On-Ramp

June 21, 2014 by Source

An unidentified white woman in her twenties, was apparently killed by a hit-and-run driver early Saturday, June 21st. Her body was seen around 6:00 a.m. near the eastbound on-ramp of I-8, right off Ocean Beach.

Police said her injuries were consistent with being hit by a vehicle. If true, she is another victim in a string of San Diego hit-and-runs of late.

Her body – seen by a passing motorist – was found in pickleweed and brush in the 4600 block of Nimitz Blvd. There were no witnesses.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Surfrider Celebrates 10th Annual International Surfing Day with Free Event in Ocean Beach

June 20, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Surfrider Celebrates 10th Annual International Surfing Day with Free Event in Ocean Beach

From Surfrider Foundation Press Release

Celebrate the Surfrider Foundation’s 10th Annual International Surfing Day!

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter is teaming up with FM949 to host a free family-friendly in Ocean Beach. During the day, the Surfrider Foundation will be set up, along with a local surf school who will be offering free group lessons at 3pm and 4pm (limited spaces available), and local surfboard shapers who will be showcasing some of their boards.

Read the full article → 0 comments

More on UCSD’s Che Cafe: Alumni Appeal to Save the Historic Cafe

June 20, 2014 by Source

Dear UCSD Activist Alumni,

By Monty Reed Kroopkin

ucsd alumniThe OB Rag and San Diego Free Press have published a fine article, written by the Che Cafe Collective. Please circulate it widely. OB Rag / SDFP editor, Frank Gormlie, is an alum of UCSD. Alumni of the UCSD co-ops are mounting a call for all alumni to write to the University telling them we are cancelling the “planned giving” that we previously intended to do upon our demise, until and unless they back off and treat the Che Cafe and all the co-ops with proper respect.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché Cafe at UCSD

June 20, 2014 by Source

che cafe logoBy Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Increase In C-Sections Matches Rise In Fetal Protection Efforts, Reproductive Legislation

June 20, 2014 by Source

Think you always have a choice over how to give birth? Think again.

By Michele Goodwin / AlterNet

2630317821_896fe43240_z[1]When most women become pregnant, understandably they believe the choice of how they give birth will remain theirs; whether to deliver vaginally or through cesarean surgery or where to give birth, at home or at a hospital. Decades ago, those decisions were well within the domain of pregnant patients whose reproductive liberty and autonomy interests gained constitutional recognition in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

After all, whose body is it anyway? But what may have seemed clear-cut decades ago, is now put to the test by doctors and lower courts.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Ché Café Served 30-Day Eviction Notice, UCSD Cites Code Violations

June 19, 2014 by Source

Statement and press release from the Ché Café Collective

che-cafe[1]By Davide Carpano, student at UCSD and member of the Ché Café Cooperative

The Ché Café, a 34-year-old student-run cooperative at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has been under attack by the administration for the past two months and was served with a 30-day notice of eviction on June 13, 2014.

The notice was given to the students and their lawyer during a meeting initiated by the University to discuss on the future of the Ché. The student members of the Ché were under the impression that this meeting was part of the informal mediation and dispute resolution process they had requested several weeks ago.

Read the full article → 1 comment

The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

June 19, 2014 by Source

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

warispeachBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil. The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.

The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop. Insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

The US military is the largest single consumer of energy in the world. If it were a country, the Department of Defense (DoD) would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and just ahead of Sweden.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

June 18, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn / Consortiumnews.com

We came dangerously close to nuclear war when the United States was fighting in Vietnam, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told a reunion of the Stanford Anti-Vietnam War Movement in May 2014. He said that in 1965, the Joint Chiefs assured President Lyndon B. Johnson that the war could be won, but it would take at least 500,000 to one million troops.

The Joint Chiefs recommended hitting targets up to the Chinese border. Ellsberg suspects their real aim was to provoke China into responding. If the Chinese came in, the Joint Chiefs took for granted we would cross into China and use nuclear weapons to demolish the communists.

Read the full article → 1 comment

June Notes from the Garden

June 16, 2014 by Source

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

tomatoes

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

Here’s good news for everyone. Ninety-five percent of all the insects you find in your garden are beneficial! Before you use or purchase any chemical (read toxic) solutions, you can first check online at the UCDavis Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site. Take a photo of your suspicious little bug and check it at the IPM website to be sure what your insect is and what, if anything, to do about it. Often times you can put some water and a drop or two of dish soap into a plastic spray bottle and that will do the trick (aphids come to mind). Remember to spray UNDER the leaves as well as the tops. I find this website very reassuring because I can’t remember everything, but I can remember where to look for information.

It is early June here in San Diego and you can still plant all your summer vegetables.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Channel 10 News: “Petition: Lack of development restrictions could wipe out the character of Ocean Beach.”

June 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Channel 10 News: “Petition: Lack of development restrictions could wipe out the character of Ocean Beach.”

Editor: Tonight, Friday the 13th, Channel 10 News broadcast a story about the current fight to maintain OB’s character, having interviewed Mindy Pellessier and Frank Gormlie earlier in the day. Michael Chen, the reporter, had been struck by Gormlie’s article, How OB Stayed “OB” and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach.

By Michael Chen / ABC Channel 10 / Friday, June 13, 2014

OCEAN BEACH – A proposed tweak in the Ocean Beach community plan has led to what some are calling an all-out fight over OB’s soul.

At Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach, there are signs of a building fight. For several days, owner and former OB planning board chair Mindy Pellissier has been busy collecting signatures.

“What’s at stake is the character and heart of Ocean Beach,” said Pellissier.

Read the full article → 12 comments

Don’t Walk Away from War : It’s Not the American Way

June 13, 2014 by Source

By Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch.com

thEYHT689LThe United States has been at war — major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, air strikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts, and covert actions — nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began. That’s more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the historical record, those conclusions should be staring us in the face. … So here are five straightforward lessons —

Read the full article → 0 comments

Warm-Water Fish Caught Early Off San Diego Signals Large-Scale El Niño, Oceanographers Report

June 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Warm-Water Fish Caught Early Off San Diego Signals Large-Scale El Niño, Oceanographers Report

By Susan Murphy / KPBS / June 11, 2014

Above-average sea surface temperatures are developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The weather phenomenon, called El Niño, changes the heating pattern of the atmosphere and pulls the Pacific jet stream farther south. It has the potential to play havoc on weather systems across the globe, causing heavy rain and mudslides in some areas, drought in others, and disrupting the marine food chain.

Previous strong El Niños caused above-average rainfall and coastal erosion in San Diego. In 1997-1998, the event was credited with dumping 17 inches of rain at Lindbergh Field.

“This looks really a lot like the ’97-’98 El Niño event, which was one of the biggest ones ever recorded,” said Tim Barnett, marine research physicist emeritus with Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Tipping Point: Now Even Congress Is Worried About SeaWorld’s Captive Orcas

June 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Tipping Point: Now Even Congress Is Worried About SeaWorld’s Captive Orcas

By Melissa Cronin / The Dodo

“The interesting thing about tipping points is that you never know quite when you’re at the top — you need to keep pushing tenaciously until the momentum is unstoppable,” Louie Psihoyos, executive director of Oceanic Preservation Society said in reaction the Congress’ push to protect orcas.

“The momentum against cetaceans in captivity is now reaching that apex — when Congress acts quickly and unanimously on anything you know we are about to see the summit of that tipping point. SeaWorld investors should be running from the exits like rats from a ship.”

After 20 years of a failure to update regulations on captive marine mammals, a pair of Congressmen have successfully passed an amendment that will force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update their rules that protect captive orcas and other marine mammals on Wednesday.

Read the full article → 6 comments

What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

June 11, 2014 by Source

mjwhatThe largely misunderstood distinction now has two correct answers.

By Angela Bacca / AlterNet

What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? The short answer: semantics. The long answer: the difference is a largely misunderstood distinction that now has two correct answers, a legal one and a scientific one. And like all things proven by scientists, it is somehow up for public and political debate.

Thanks to nearly 80 years of federal cannabis prohibition, public knowledge on the topic is limited to rumors and misinterpretations perpetuated online—everything from “hemp plants are male and marijuana plants are female” to “one is a drug and the other is not.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

40 Members of Congress Call on USDA to Revise Rules for Captive Marine Mammals

June 10, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for 40 Members of Congress Call on USDA to Revise Rules for Captive Marine Mammals

Is the Tide of Public Opinion Turning Against Marine Parks Like SeaWorld?

By Alicia Graef, /EcoWatch

The tide of public opinion appears to be taking a serious turn against marine parks like SeaWorld as concerns about the consequences of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity continue to grow. Now members of Congress have added fuel to the fire with a letter criticizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to address regulatory upgrades for marine mammals in captivity for almost two decades.

In a bipartisan letter sent to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Congressmen Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and 38 members of Congress called on the agency to take immediate action to adopt long-overdue rules addressing the care of captive marine mammals

Read the full article → 0 comments

How the Monkeys from Ocean Beach Started the San Diego Zoo

June 6, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for How the Monkeys from Ocean Beach Started the San Diego Zoo

by Lois Lane

THEN: The Balboa Park Panama Exposition of 1915 celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal. Our own OB Col. Charlie Collier (sometimes called the founder of Ocean Beach) served as the mastermind for the original Exposition, when City Park was renamed Balboa Park.

To read more about David Charles Collier, look him up on Wikipedia, where you will see a link back to the OB Rag’s Part Four in Quest for OB’s True Birthday and Founder.

Serving at his own expense, Col Collier discovered his money had run out and resigned as President before the event took place.

NOW: The designated Balboa Park Centennial Inc. was given $2.8 MILLION by the city for the 2015 Centennial. The committee spent all the money on salaries for themselves, salaries for their friends, and a trip to Panama. What to do?

Read the full article → 8 comments

The National Football League Has a “Donald Sterling” and it’s Daniel Snyder – Owner of the Redskins

June 5, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for The National Football League Has a “Donald Sterling” and it’s Daniel Snyder – Owner of the Redskins

By Beau Grosscup

Hours after the private racist statements of Donald Sterling, the NBA Los Angeles Clipper’s owner became public, millions of people, from players, owners, fans, indeed the whole sports industry and many in the general public went appropriately apoplectic. In unity they said the National Basketball Association must take decisive action. Clipper players engaged in symbolic acts of protest before their first playoff game. Threats of player and fan boycott preceded the second game.

Outraged at Sterling’s racism, Americans inside and out of the sports world waited to hear what action NBA commissioner Adam Silver would take. It had to be of consequence, they insisted, a strong message that racism in today’s society is socially unacceptable. Silver banned Sterling for life from NBA events. Arguing Sterling violated Article 13, Section d. of the NBA Bylaws,Silver said he would push Sterling to sell the Clippers. A month later the team was sold to a new owner.

Read the full article → 20 comments

Extreme Weather Watch: May 2014 – Fires Explode in San Diego, Floods Inundate Balkans

June 4, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

More than eight major fires and several smaller brush fires were burning from May 14 to May 17 in San Diego County during an unseasonal heat wave fueled by high Santa Ana winds.

Temperature records were set – highs of 97 in San Diego and 104 in both Escondido and El Cajon on May 15. More than a dozen southern California cities broke or tied high temperatures Wednesday, May 14.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Why Goats Are Coming to An Urban Backyard Near You

June 2, 2014 by Source

Quieter than dogs, but just as affectionate, goats produce delicious milk and cheese. But they’re not for everyone.

Urban_goat

By Jill Richardson / Alternet

Believe it or not, chickens are not the only farm animals turning up—legally—in cities. Goats are now legal (with some limitations) in Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Pasadena, St. Louis, Oakland, Portland, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Berkeley, and St. Paul.

But do goats belong in a city? Strangely enough, goats can actually make nice neighbors, so long as their owners have a good fence. But, as a new generation rediscovers agriculture, they are also finding out that raising goats, particularly if you wish to raise them for milk, takes work.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Inside the U.S. House’s Historic Vote on Medical Marijuana

June 2, 2014 by Source

mmjcongressAn amendment that would prohibit the Fed from interfering in state medical pot laws is still up in the air.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

The GOP-controlled House surprised just about everyone when it voted 218 to 189 for a pro-medical marijuana amendment on Friday. The amendment, tacked onto the much larger criminal justice funding bill (H.R. 4660), would prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal taxpayer funds to interfere with medical marijuana laws in 22 states that have passed them.

The House vote was historic. It was the first time since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that the majority of a chamber of Congress voted in favor of something that would alter national marijuana policy.

Unanswered questions linger about the amendment, however …

Read the full article → 2 comments

Reader Responds to Planning Commission Discussion

May 31, 2014 by Source

Editor: There has been an entire discussion occurring in the comments to Friday’s post “Planning Commission Approves OB Plan Update But With New Language that Guts its Teeth on Variances“. Seth Connolly – a current member of the OB Planning Board – shared his thoughts and we liked them for their clarity so much that we repost it here.

By Seth Connolly

Speaking as a private citizen, I think there are a number of issues here beyond blanket terms such as “property rights” or “gentrification”. Property owners have the right to develop their properties within the bounds of the codes that everyone else has to adhere to, and hopefully, with strong consideration to policy documents such as the OB Precise Plan. Understand that while some of this is discretionary, this code is the *law* and not some arbitrary guideline to follow. Whether or not one likes the 0.7 FAR with 25% dedicated to enclosed parking or finds it too restrictive is about as relevant as thinking a 0.08 blood-alcohol content is too low for one to get a DUI.

The variance process exists to address special circumstances, and not to provide an end-around for some to buy their way out of the law.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Junco’s Jabs: San Diego’s Maritime Industry Feeding at the Electoral Trough

May 30, 2014 by Source

juncochanche03

Read the full article → 0 comments

Community Plans – Both of OB and Barrio Logan – Discussed at OB Town Council

May 30, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Community Plans – Both of OB and Barrio Logan – Discussed at OB Town Council

by Lois Lane

The OB Town Council meeting on Wednesday, May 28, focused on Community Plans – the one in Barrio Logan under attack and the OB Plan hopeful of approval.

If you have read your ballot by now – A YES vote on Propositions B and C preserves the 2013 Barrio Logan community plan resulting from the city’s community process and approved by the San Diego City Council. Challenged by the shipyard interests, a NO vote will overturn the approved plan.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Man Can’t Live on Cabbage Alone

May 29, 2014 by Source

Americans need credible nutrition advice they can trust, not a choice between quacks and “experts” sold out to junk food companies.

cabbage-faceBy Jill Richardson / OtherWords

I ran into an acquaintance recently and he told me he’d started seeing a new nutrition expert. “You know what?” he said, “It turns out I’m gluten intolerant.”

OK. Him and everyone else. I told him I was glad he found an expert who could help him.

A week later I saw him again. “I went back to the nutritionist,” he said. “I can’t have nightshades either.” That means no more potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, or eggplant.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Howard the Homeless

May 28, 2014 by Source

via Eric at Flikr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/penforhire/27223428/By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

About 50 feet away, at another bench, a metals guy with two giant white bags calls out, as I take a rest, “Can you play something.”

It’s not exactly a question, but it’s no insult either. It is an interruption, but then so is the trumpet played in the park.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Science Debunks 10 Biggest Pot Myths

May 28, 2014 by Source

marijuanascienceBy any objective analysis, cannabis and cannabinoids exceed the FDA’s existing standards for medicine.

By Paul Armentano / AlterNet

Medical cannabis opponents are fond of promoting many myths and misconceptions about the herb. Here are the facts.

Medical cannabis is too dangerous to recommend as a medicine
The cannabis plant and its biologically active constituents, known as cannabinoids, possess an impressive safety profile compared to other conventional therapeutic agents. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, marijuana possesses an estimated dependence liability of less than ten percent. (Others have acknowledged that pot’s true dependence potential is likely even lower.)

Read the full article → 1 comment

New Report Exposes Government Spy Network Employed Against Occupy Movement

May 27, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for New Report Exposes Government Spy Network Employed Against Occupy Movement

by Michael Steinberg / blackrainpress – Indybay.org

A report released just recently detailed a government spy network that was employed to monitor the Occupy movement “hour-to-hour” during 2011.

The Washington DC- based Partnership for Justice Fund just released an investigative report, “The Hidden Role of Fusion Centers in the Nationwide Spying Operations against the Occupy Movement and Peaceful Protest in America.” It took two years to carry out this investigation. Its principal authors are PFJF members Maria Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo.

Fusion Centers, funded by hundred of millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security, sprung up across the nation after the 911 attacks. Their mission was ostensibly to fight terrorism. But ten years later they made fighting the Occupy Movement their Number 1 priority.

Read the full article → 0 comments