Love Your Wetlands Day in Mission Bay – Sat., Feb. 4th

February 1, 2017 by Source

Come Out to Love Your Wetlands Day 2017

Come on out to the eleventh annual “Love Your Wetlands Day” which will be held on February 4, 2017 from 9am till 4pm.

This means enjoying the Kendall-Frost/Northern Wildlife Reserve in the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park – it’s the only remaining saltwater wetland in Mission Bay and is normally closed to the public due to its fragile nature.

The Reserve is at 2055 Pacific Beach Drive in Pacific Beach.

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Reader’s Rant: Peninsula Planning Board Chair Prevented Community from Important Questioning of City Development Director

February 1, 2017 by Source
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Lost Opportunity to “Grill” Director Vacchi Over 30-Foot Height Enforcement

By Geoff Page

I want to relate some observations and opinions about the 30-foot height discussion and the sorry appearance of Robert Vacchi, Director of the Development Services Department (DSD), at the January 19 monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). I wrote a report of the meeting that appeared in the OB Rag last week but that report was an attempt at an objective account of the meeting; my opinions, and I have a few, were held in check.

Let me start my piece with a little background. Recently, the editor of the OB Rag drafted me into his informal and diverse staff to provide regular reporting on the Midway and Peninsula monthly planning board meetings. To his credit, the editor is making a real effort to provide as much news as he can about the community around us, if he can manage to cajole enough folks to help. The main focus is OB, of course, and Point Loma, but also beyond.

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San Diego Is First California City to Approve Adult-Use Cannabis Sales at Medical Dispensaries

February 1, 2017 by Source

By TG Branfalt / Ganjapreneur

San Diego California’s city council unanimously voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales at the cities current 15 medical dispensaries once the voter-backed program is fully implemented, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Officials also indicated they would consider regulations later this year that would permit commercial cannabis cultivation, testing, and distribution.

A “sunset clause” is included in the measure, which requires the council to vote whether or not to allow cultivation within nine months.

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Defending the Earth from Donald Trump

January 31, 2017 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Progressive

As a coastal developer, Donald Trump has bulldozed ancient sand dunes and opposed offshore wind turbines (because they “ruined the view”) in Scotland, sought to build seawalls and fill in (smother) seagrass meadows and coral reefs in Florida, and built golf club luxury homes on a geologically unstable bluff in California where the eighteenth hole had earlier fallen into the sea.

Myron Ebell, the man Trump tapped to oversee the transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency, is a well-known climate-change denier from the libertarian (and partly fossil fuel funded) Competitive Enterprise Institute. In the past he’s worked as the D.C. lobbyist for Chuck “Rent-a-Riot” Cushman, one of the more extreme leaders of the Wise Use movement of the 1990s. Ebell also promoted “safer cigarettes” (the “clean coal” of our lungs) with funding from Philip Morris.

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Eye-Witness to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

January 27, 2017 by Source

Editor: Barbara Zaragoza, one of the editors of the San Diego Free Press – media partners of the OB Rag, traveled to Washington, DC for the inauguration protests held last weekend. Her main goal was to participate in the Women’s March held on the day after the inauguration, January 21. She’s been filing photos and reports since. And here is her eye-witness report from that historic Saturday.
By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

The Women’s March in Washington D.C. did not encompass a single issue. As the California Senator Kamala Harris explained during her speaker presentation:

‘You want to talk about women’s issues? Let’s talk about national security. You want to talk about women’s issues? That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about health care. Let’s talk about education. Let’s talk about criminal justice reform. Let’s talk about climate change.

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ACLU Announces First Legal Action On Trump Conflicts Of Interest

January 26, 2017 by Source

By ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

The American Civil Liberties Union has taken legal action seeking documents on conflicts of interest and violations of the Constitution and federal law posed by President Trump’s and his family’s business interests.

The organization also released a Seven-Point Plan laying out how it intends to challenge other Trump policies and protect the Constitution.

The efforts are made possible by the organization’s new Constitution Defense Fund, which was established following the election.

The first legal action is a Freedom of Information Act request

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Compassion as a Radical Act

January 25, 2017 by Source

compassionBy Dave Patterson / Vets for Peace

On a cold night in January I joined Stan Levin and Gil Field delivering sleeping bags to the San Diego homeless, what we call the compassion campaign. Dealing directly with the homeless is painful because there they are in our faces with their cold, hunger and suffering laid bare.

What’s surprising is the number of people with just a thin blanket that will decline a sleeping bag because others nearby need it more. How ironic that people with nothing can have more compassion than those of us with plenty.

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Early Speculation on County Supervisor Races

January 25, 2017 by Source

County Supervisor

By Don Greene / San Diego Free Press

While it seems the dust is just beginning to settle on last November’s election, it is a perfect time to begin to look at the 2018/2020 County Supervisor elections and take a look at the players we either know or have heard will be making a run.

The last election put Kristin Gaspar into office in the Third District, replacing incumbent Dave Roberts. This put the composition of the Board back to “all Republican.” This could be disastrous moving forward, especially in the land use arena. Projects like Merriam Mountain, Lilac Hills Ranch, Safari Highlands Ranch and others in the North County could be given the green light by an all Republican, pro-development Board.

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Crowd at Peninsula Planners’ Meeting Disappointed by City Presentation on 30-Ft Height Limit

January 24, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

A sizeable crowd attended the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) regular monthly meeting last Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library.

Usually it’s a sparse audiences for planning board meetings, but of particular interest to many in the in attendance was the appearance of Robert Vacchi, Director of the Development Services Department (DSD) – there to make a presentation on the 30-foot height limit.

Vacchi Presentation on 30-Ft Height Limit Disappoints

During Vacchi’s presentation – which was listed as the second information item on the otherwise non-crowded agenda – he explained that the city had performed a height analysis on the controversial Emerson and Evergreen project in Roseville and determined the project met the requirements.

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PETITION: Use Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot as a SafePark-Camp for the Homeless

January 24, 2017 by Source

Sign the Petition
By Women Occupy San Diego

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer touts the 640 of 3000 miles of City street repaired during his 32 months in office. Good for you, Mr. Mayor, this shows you can accomplish something when you set your mind to it.

NEXT UP: Get people made homeless by the past 6 years’ replacement of 10,000 units of affordable housing by market-rate housing, vacation rentals, hotels, offices and retail OFF THESE STREETS.

Now that the Chargers have announced they are moving to L.A. — YOU can make that GARGANTUAN parking lot at City-owned Qualcomm Stadium into a network of SafePark (people sleeping in their vehicles),

COME INSIDE FOR THE PETITION

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Mayor’s Office Put on the Hot-Seat at Midway Planners’ Meeting

January 24, 2017 by Source
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Issue of Homelessness in Midway Area Dominates Monthly Meeting

By Geoff Page

The Mayor’s Office was put on the proverbial hot-seat during the recent Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group (Midway) monthly meeting – held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at the San Diego City College – West City Campus on Fordham Street Room 208. (The meeting is ordinarily held the third Wednesday of the month, the Thursday meeting was a one time occurrence.)

The meeting started at 3:00 in the afternoon and continued until 5:00. There were not enough board members present to constitute a quorum but this was not a serious problem because no action items, requiring a board vote, were on the agenda.

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An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Trump

January 23, 2017 by Source
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An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Trump – and the Modern Republican Party

By Scott Stephen

Since the Civil War, there has been no greater political divide than in America today. Keeping a friendship alive with someone in the opposing party is quite challenging. I count many Republicans among my good friends, relatives and business associates. Some of these folks have been extremely loyal to me over the years.

If you’re my friend, I truly love you whether you’re a Democrat, Green, Republican or Libertarian. And I generally avoid political discussion with friends who have opposing views unless I sense those opinions are not deep rooted. Despite my efforts, I have lost a few friends along the way mostly due to Facebook posts which offended some individuals. Many of these same lost friends had themselves posted political articles that often bothered me but it has been my policy not to comment on a friends post unless I agree with it or in cases where the information is false and/or has been debunked.

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Women’s March San Diego: Somewhere Near Sanity

January 23, 2017 by Source

Near Sanity

By Bob Dorn

At 9:30 am on Sunday, January 21st, the No. 7 bus driver stopped for us even though he’d lighted the “Out of Service” banner. He told us with a smile “room for two more.” Passengers were butt to butt and belly to belly. A woman said she loved my hat: I’d cut out the letter N and O, for NO, and taped them to the red baseball cap I hadn’t been wearing lately out of fear I’d be considered a TrumpLump.

By the time we’d arrived at Broadway at the 12th Ave. Transit Center crowds on foot were already heading toward the Civic Center. Cars and buses could only inch along beleaguered Broadway. So we jumped off the bus at 4th Ave. and headed north to B St.

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Obama Commutes Sentence of Chelsea Manning

January 18, 2017 by Source

President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who leaked American military and diplomatic activities in 2010, and who had become a cause celebre over those years. This act likely saved her life.

According to the New York Times:

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Apple Tree Supermarket Has a New Sign

January 18, 2017 by Source

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From the Women’s March on Washington: Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles

January 18, 2017 by Source

OVERVIEW & PURPOSE

The Women’s March on Washington is a women-led movement bringing together people of all genders, ages, races, cultures, political affiliations and backgrounds in our nation’s capital on January 21, 2017, to affirm our shared humanity and pronounce our bold message of resistance and self-determination.

Recognizing that women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, we have outlined a representative vision for a government that is based on the principles of liberty and justice for all. As Dr. King said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

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My Neck

January 17, 2017 by Source

By Anne Haule / Musings of a Boomer Feminist

Photo of hands palm downI love Nora Ephron’s book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck”. I have been feeling bad about my neck since I was about 55. As the years passed, my feelings grew as my weight increased and my necked sagged. All my photos are full face – no side shots allowed.

At 62 I had a consult with a plastic surgeon. When I told him I wanted to lose weight, he told me to wait on the surgery until I reached my weight loss goal – no point in sucking out the fat, cutting the muscles and stretching the skin just to have it sag again on an otherwise svelte neck – assuming I actually lost the weight.

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Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

January 17, 2017 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

As the new year dawns, most of us need to reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively.

Unfortunately, far too many of those active in immigration circles are caught in the “feel sorry for myself” moment. With a new president, one who has articulated strong law enforcement measures, about to take office, the “doom and gloom” sentiments of immigrants and their advocates are deafening.

Yet, stop for a moment and reflect back to 2009 and 2013. What has really changed in immigration law since that time? In the majority of cases, my office helps immigrants under the same rules that existed back then.

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OB Library Friends to Meet in the New Library Annex – They Need You and You Need Them

January 16, 2017 by Source
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The Ocean Beach Library Friends sent out an online newsletter with their upcoming calendar the other day and we want to share it with our readers:

The OB Library Friends proudly announce that the OB Woman’s Club has awarded us $1,500! We will use the money for programs and the summer reading program. Thank you to the OB Woman’s Club —you are such a backbone for the Ocean Beach community.

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Homeless Advocates Plan Response Tonight To Mayor Faulconer’s 2017 State Of The City Address

January 12, 2017 by Source

By Women Occupy San Diego

Press Conference & Performance by the Voices of Our City Choir
THURSDAY, January 12, 2017, about 7:30-8:30pm (following Mayor’s State of the City)
Horton Plaza Park (Near 4th & E/across from the Balboa Theater)

After attending the Mayor’s 2017 State of the City address at the Balboa Theater, Women Occupy San Diego, Voices of Our City Choir and other concerned San Diegans will gather nearby to share reactions to what he proposes as solutions to homelessness.

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Opinion: Five Reasons Why We Must Build a New Chargers’ Stadium

January 11, 2017 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Let’s cut to the chase. San Diego must have a new football stadium for five good reasons.

1. We have already solved the problem of homelessness.

The mayor has made it his priority this year; so that is fixed. Forget that the official count of those on the streets is now 8,700 — an increase of almost 3 percent from last year.

The city can and does just move them out of sight (so if you can’t see them, they don’t exist). Move them from downtown to Hillcrest. From Mission Hills canyons to the bridges and overhangs near Fuller Liquor and along the San Diego River. Ocean Beach doesn’t count because everyone there looks almost homeless.

No need to waste precious money on the homeless. Build a stadium. Let the homeless sleep in the old one.

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Living in OB

January 11, 2017 by Source
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By Miles Himmel / The Following Story

It starts like a riddle. What gets older, but never changes?

While the waves crash along the shore and the wind blows the palm trees from side to side. An aroma feels the air right about the time as the sun fades away. And sure, the people get older, but no matter what, Ocean Beach never dies.

I finally left the warmth of my parents home about two years after graduating from college. I never intended to stay as long as I did, but when my dad passed away, I lived with my mom as we both coped from my dad losing his life to cancer.

As I looked for my first place to live away from home in San Diego, I wanted a fun place. Not somewhere in the suburbs. I had spent my childhood out in the boonies, away from the action. This was my only time to be somewhere loud and fun! I looked downtown, too expensive. I looked in Barrio Logan, nothing for sale.

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The Destruction of Experience: How Ecopsychology Has Failed

January 11, 2017 by Source

Ecopsychology

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

I do not remember the first time I saw my mother’s face, though I know she remembers the first time she saw mine. It was the very beginning of my life, my birth. I do not remember the first time I saw my mother’s face, but, I do remember the first time I saw my mother’s face at what would have been the end of my life after I tried to kill myself.

This is what I’m thinking about as I hold my fifteen-month-old baby nephew Thomas while he falls asleep.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Denounces Trump’s “Horrifying” Education Pick

January 11, 2017 by Source

Betsy DeVos

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

In a scathing memo sent Monday to Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined a growing chorus of opposition to the nominee, probing her past support for “privatizing and defunding K-12 education” as well as her “paper-thin record on higher education and student debt.”

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Study Recommends Reforms for San Diego’s Transit Oriented Development

January 9, 2017 by Source
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Study’s Proposed Expansion of Floor Area Ratio Will Not Fly in Ocean Beach

Editor: Much of following is from a Press Statement by Circulate San Diego.

Transportation and land use think tank Circulate San Diego published a report on Monday, Jan. 9 on how the City of San Diego can better facilitate transit oriented development (TOD).

Circulate San Diego’s report titled “Transit Oriented Development” outlines a variety of policies the City of San Diego can implement through city-wide municipal code updates. To promote more TOD, the report details proposals covering a variety of policies, from reform of parking requirements, updates to traffic models, and implementation of the City of San Diego’s groundbreaking update to the Affordable Homes Bonus Program.

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Trump Foes Issue Call to ‘Resist Fascism’ – Urge Millions to Rise Up

January 5, 2017 by Source

‘Millions must rise up in a resistance [to] stop the Trump/Pence regime before it starts!’

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

“No! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America!” the ad states. (Image: RefuseFascism.org)

Thousands of activists, journalists, scientists, entertainers, and other prominent voices took out a full-page call to action in the New York Times on Wednesday making clear their rejection of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence with the simple message: “No!”

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Just Say No! to Minimum Wage Surcharge on Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurant Bills

January 5, 2017 by Source

By John Loughlin

Restaurateurs make a political statement by adding a surcharge to ‘cover’ the cost of paying the poorest workers a higher wage.

The Union-Tribune article helpfully provides a list of restaurants to boycott as well as some to support.

Back in May 2016, David Cohn speaking at a CREW event:

“It is so easy to vote for that [minimum wage] increase, but it is going to really raise your cost of entertainment and spark a new round of inflation that we haven’t seen since the 1970s.”

He was reported as predicting that the results could lead to menu prices increasing a minimum of 30% over the next few years. From Jan 1, 2017 the Cohn Restaurant Group is adding a 3% surcharge to cover ‘mandated’ cost increases.

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Veterans For Peace Statement on Syria

January 2, 2017 by Source

Veterans for Peace logo: dove with olive branch superimposed on army helmetBy Veterans for Peace

The war in Syria has been ongoing for five years, with the situation in Aleppo, once Syria’s most populous city, having deteriorated over the past four years into a multi-proxy war and a humanitarian disaster.

We have seen strong disagreements within the peace movement on the reasons behind this war, and on what our response should be. Those disagreements even exist within our ranks. As we struggle through the complexities of the war, we recognize that most of us are far removed from it, fortunate to be safe in our homes and able to voice these disagreements without fear of reprisal.

However, our mission at Veterans For Peace has not changed. We oppose war.

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The Obstacles to Navigating San Diego’s Housing Crunch

December 30, 2016 by Source
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By David Jackson / San Diego UrbDeZine

A Population Boom and a Housing Crunch. Rising prices and short supply are making it increasingly difficult to pay the rent in San Diego. If you’ve attempted to search for a place to rent in San Diego you’ve probably encountered more than a few roadblocks and had your fair share of frustrations. The challenges multiply if you’ve tried to find something affordable anywhere near where you work.

Housing prices have soared over the last several years to the delight of homeowners and landlords, but to the dismay of renters, especially those with lower incomes. The effects are being felt most directly by low income residents and millennials. New low income housing is needed in the short term with further developments in the coming years to prevent the city’s housing crisis from turning into an economic one.

A study by the London Group published by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce highlights one of the root causes for the housing shortfall, a lack of new building permits being issued in San Diego County.

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Why We Still Need Feminism

December 28, 2016 by Source

Woman holding sign with heart-shaped cut-out reading: My Body, My Business, Mind Yours

Until recently, American women didn’t even own their own bodies.

By Jill Richardson / Other Words

From his campaign rhetoric to his transition appointments, our next president has placed himself squarely in a conservative movement calling itself the “alt-right.” That movement, the Los Angeles Times reports, “generally embraces and promotes white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny.”

As a privileged, white, and heterosexual woman, I’ve never considered my rights under attack to the same degree as the other groups in that list. But to this incoming bunch, feminism is a dirty word.

Maybe it’s time to review what feminism is, and why it emerged in the first place.

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