Peter Ruscitti: ‘OB Community Plan’s Goals to Maintain Small-Scale and Harmony between New and Existing Housing.’

August 1, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peter Ruscitti: ‘OB Community Plan’s Goals to Maintain Small-Scale and Harmony between New and Existing Housing.’

“…variances for FAR should be discouraged except in true exceptional circumstances.”

By Peter Ruscitti

My name is Peter Ruscitti, and I’m the chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. I’m also a property owner in OB and a professional planner. I’m going … to address some of the concerns that the Planning Board has faced with our Community Plan— particularly the variance language contained in Recommendation 4.2.9 and elsewhere.

I would like to make clear the intent behind this language and the position of the Planning Board on variances. The Planning Board will always review applications for variances on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are consistent with the Community Plan— whose goals include maintaining small-scale development, and achieving harmony between new and existing development.

We recognize that special circumstances may exist that could justify a particular variance, and that variances in themselves are not necessarily inconsistent with the Community Plan.

We just want the Community Plan to be clear that variances— particularly for FAR— should be discouraged except in truly exceptional circumstances.

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Gio Ingolia: The OB Community Plan “Ensures Our Small-Town Feel”

July 31, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first of several we hope to publish of the speeches given by OB planners at the July 29th City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan.

By Giovanni Ingolia

My Name is Giovanni Ingolia and I am the Co-Chair of the OB Community Plan update Sub-committee. I have also served 8 years on the OB Planning board and a former Chair.

This plan has been a collaborative effort from a myriad of community group and citizens of Ocean Beach.

Overall the plan meets the needs and desires of the community including but not limited to our transportation desires, historic preservation, and community character.

Unfortunately the Planning Commission has recommended more permissive language to the Community Plan when it comes to our community character as it relates to bulk and scale.

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Reader Rant: An End To Our Commercial Zones?

July 31, 2014 by Source
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By Dave Little

A gated residential community is coming to a commercial zone near you.

This development may or may not be in compliance with the City’s Land Use Code and very likely will not have public notice nor any community review.

Recently the City has allowed development of residential gated communities to take over commercial space with only token commercial areas to satisfy the “mixed use” requirement. The commercial units are entirely outside the gates of the residential area.

More importantly, the City has ignored the commercial off-street parking requirement in the Land Use Code. Not having off-street parking forces commercial parking for customers and clients into the streets.

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OB Residential Sales: Abbott Street Triplex Sold to Point Loman

July 31, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Residential Sales: Abbott Street Triplex Sold to Point Loman

It took $827,000 to take an Abbott Street triplex off the market.

The recently renovated 3 unit at 2033-35 Abbott Street was sold to Point Loman Dak Ang Yeng, who lives at 1853 Venice St., San Diego 92106, just up the hill from OB.

Leonard W. Tobey sold the property which is assessor’s parcel 448-101-36.

The construction of the 2-story building in the front, and the unit in the rear of the property was in 1954.

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A Saturday Well Spent at Comic-Con

July 29, 2014 by Source

ComicCon 2014 courtBy Court Allen

Saturdays have a special meaning for me. I’m not alone in this, to be sure. Saturdays are a universal holiday; a weekly respite.

My personal feelings about Saturdays are related to childhood. After a long week of school and the tribulations of growing up, Saturday was the prize – a day of freedom, adventure, parties, special events, or the ultimate possibility – a day spent exploring my imagination. Remember Saturday morning cartoons (better than the rest of the week’s cartoons), or Creature Feature in the afternoon (coolest. thing. ever.)?

Saturdays are the best day of the week, and how you choose to spend them is the real stuff of life. In fact, a few years back I attended a funeral service for a man whose primary tenet in life was to make the most of time away from work. He was famous among friends and family for his belief that there were only so many Saturdays in an average human life, so they must be spent well. A sentiment with which I agree.

I spent this past Saturday at Comic-Con. It was the ultimate Saturday, …

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Lori Saldana’s North Pacific Dispatches: an Alaskan Cruise, Sans Cocktails

July 29, 2014 by Source

Alaska 1By Lori Saldaña

Background: Two weeks ago I got a call from a friend who has captained merchant and research ships around the globe for many years. We’ve known each other’s family for decades, and have done some local sailing off San Diego.

He recently retired from Scripps in La Jolla, and now coordinates research vessels out of Moss Landing, near Monterrey. He called to ask: have you ever been to Dutch Harbor Alaska? What he really meant was: want to volunteer on a research cruise?

So… that’s where I will be for the next two weeks: aboard the R/V Point Sur, helping collect ocean water samples from the Bering Sea off Alaska and northern Pacific, as we cruise back to California.

I left San Diego late Saturday night (July 26), spent a few hours in Seattle before a 6 am flight, and just finished breakfast in the Anchorage airport (surprisingly tasty, in Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling cafe: “America’s most Northern Brewery.”) Interesting decor.

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Lessons for a New Gilded Age: Labor Studies Courses at City College

July 28, 2014 by Source

history-labor-unionsBy Kelly Mayhew

There’s been a lot of discussion of economic inequality recently in wake of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

As many economists have observed, American workers are more educated and more productive than ever and are driving record profits for corporations while they’re seeing their wages stagnate or decline as the wealth accumulated by the top 1% of earners has skyrocketed. Robert Reich has been on a crusade to emphasize the historic importance of our current economic inequality crisis, and people like Paul Krugman have noted that we are living in “a new gilded age.”

Here in San Diego we are in the midst of seeing this writ large as the battle to raise the minimum wage rages on with a community-labor alliance advocating for the rights of low-wage workers while the city’s economic elite push back hard.

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Timeline and History behind the Che Cafe dispute at UCSD

July 25, 2014 by Source

Historical Timeline and Parties Course of Dealing

By Che Cafe Collective

A. Inception to 2008

The Ché Café Collective began approximately 34 years ago, on or about May 1, 1980. Since that time, the Ché Facility, 1000 Scholars Drive South, has been leased continuously by Plaintiff from Defendant, the Regents of the University of California. It has been and currently is used to operate a café, library, and a music-and-theater programming space, and to host other student organizations and events.

As one of the original buildings of Camp Matthews, the Ché Facility was originally used by the University of California, San Diego (“University”) as a diner and cafe in the 1960’s, called “The Coffee Hut.” It is known as the original student center. When there was an attempt to turn it into a faculty club, students argued that since student fees had paid for the building and its maintenance for many years, students should rightly take possession and operate it from that time forward.

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OB Town Council: ‘Happiness is within your reach when you live in Ocean Beach’

July 25, 2014 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Everybody was happy. The determined OB Town Council had formulated a plan that routed the forces of anarchy at the marshmallow wars on the Fourth of July. It was also awards night, where 10 lucky and deserving recipients got grants from the Town Council for their projects.

The Town Council meeting on July 23 began with congratulations all the way around for the success of their “Mallow Out” campaign. The doom-sayers who predicted riots were proved to be wrong. Reported later by the Surfrider Foundation, the trash pickup the next day was dramatically reduced from 1802 pounds of trash in 2013 to 621 this year, not all of it marshmallows, of course.

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Who Runs San Diego? Introduction to a Series

July 24, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Eva Posner & Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Relationships and money trails tell us who wields the power in our community.

It is hard to imagine, that in the 5th largest county in the United States, only a handful of people have any real influence on the day to day decisions that effect the lives of over 3 million people. But it’s true. And a lack of voter participation isn’t helping.

In both the February 2014 election to replace Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego and in the June primary voter turnout was abysmally low. Overall voting turnout in the County in June was an anemic 27.2%, but many precincts registered in the single digits.

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Going to San Diego Comic-Con? Put On Your Mask for the Surveillance Camera Network

July 23, 2014 by Source

SDPD Camera NetworkBy Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

In the TV series Person of Interest, two government artificial intelligence programs—one gone rogue—can access virtually every surveillance camera across New York City, including privately operated ones in places like parking garages, hotels, and apartment complexes. The creators of the show try to stay one step ahead of modern technology. So the question is: do cities really create a network of interconnected private and public security cameras?

Yes, they do. If you’re going to San Diego Comic-Con (and the Person of Interest team is), you’ll want to pull on your Batman mask or slather on the Sith paint if you’re passing any of the marked locations on this new map. You might very be under surveillance as part of the San Diego Police Department’s “Operation Secure San Diego.”

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More Bare Facts About San Diego Government: How We Got From There to Here

July 23, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumberRunner

BoomOrBust-LargeAround this time last year San Diego’s former mayor Bob Filner was forced out of office. As it happens, he was the first bona fide “strong mayor” our city has yet seen.

We voters had no choice but to wield our black markers once again and fill in the ballot bubble to select a new mayor. The winner this time around was Mr. White Bread personified, Kevin Faulconer.

San Diego’s lead newspaper, the U-T, summed up the occasion in a neat sentence: “At least the day brought us one step further from our time of scandal and farce.”

The UT likes to play coy. They know perfectly well that scandal and farce are what make our city tick.

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California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers

July 22, 2014 by Source

contaminatedwater[1]By Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

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9 Marijuana Policies from Around the World that Are Way Ahead of the U.S.

July 22, 2014 by Source

mjworldThe U.S. is far behind when it comes to drug laws that actually make sense.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

Some Americans, stuck in the Nixon-era “war on drugs” mentality, are panicking about the “unknown dangers” and “potential risks” of loosening marijuana policy in the U.S. Those people have failed to look outside of the U.S. bubble and see that many nations have already implemented health-based, sensible marijuana laws and practices with overwhelming success.

In the U.S. today, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana (New York just this month) and two (Colorado and Washington) have legalized pot for recreational use (although it’s worth noting that in many states medical marijuana laws are severely restricted). The majority of American medical doctors think medical marijuana should be legal and the majority of American voters think it should be legal and regulated like alcohol. However, it remains safe to say the U.S. is not at the global forefront of progressive, sensible marijuana policy.

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Summer gardens coming on strong in San Diego!

July 21, 2014 by Source

By Susan Taylor

artichoke flower

Hello fellow gardeners. How does your garden grow? Here in San Diego it is mid-summer with temperatures in the mid 90s, five miles in from the beach and further east. Watering enough? Perhaps you have over watered your tomato vines as I have, resulting in way more vine than fruit. Might be time to fertilize your beds with an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion. If you have garden veggies that are looking stressed from the heat and are not productive, do pull them out—there’s time to re-plant beans, squash, basil and other herbs.

In San Diego it is still too early for fall planting, let’s hang back a bit. If you have stone fruits they should be ripening nicely and good luck with keeping the birds from getting their fair share! This wasn’t a good year in my garden for …

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Jewish Voice for Peace San Diego Condemns the Israeli Offensive in Gaza

July 21, 2014 by Source

By David Deutsch, Jonathan Graubart, and Avital Aboody/ Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego

hold israel accountableJewish Voice for Peace San Diego (JVPSD) is the local chapter of the national Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to the pursuit of peace, social justice, equality, and human rights in Israel-Palestine.

While most mainstream American Jewish organizations have long abandoned moral responsibility when it comes to Palestinians, we insist upon holding Israel accountable for its crimes, which include a nearly fifty-year occupation, a denial of Palestinian self-determination, repeated war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.

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The End of Pot Prohibition As We Know It

July 21, 2014 by Source

potprohibitionWithout federal leadership, you can count on marijuana legalization to keep spreading one state at a time.

By Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins / OtherWords

How much longer will it take before the United States declares a truce in the Drug War?

This latter-day prohibition is taking an immense toll. And the stakes ought to be low, given that most Americans don’t want anyone jailed for being caught with small amounts of pot.

But it does require some courage to pipe up. So thank you, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, for joining the swelling chorus that wants to see marijuana legalized.

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The World We’ve Constructed Is Far Beyond George Orwell’s Worst Nightmare

July 18, 2014 by Source

georgeorwell1984Orwell’s chilling vision of the future in ’1984′ is happening today in the form of media manipulation and unnecessary wars.

By John Pilger / AlterNet

The other night, I saw George Orwell’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.

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The Little Thing Our Cities Can Do to Inspire Millions More People to Bike

July 18, 2014 by Source

Photo Credit: Dimitri Naumov

Protected bike lanes help riders feel less exposed to danger, and are also appreciated by drivers and pedestrians, who know where to expect bicycles.

By Jay Walljasper / AlterNet

You can see big changes happening across North America as communities from Fairbanks to St. Petersburg …

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Lady Parts Justice Launches in 50 States

July 17, 2014 by Source

National movement using humor and outrage to remove bodily autonomy-hating local politicians from office

it's_a_man's_world_unless_women_voteBy ladypartsjustice

Lady Parts Justice is the first not safe for work, rapid response reproductive rights messaging hub that uses comedy, culture and digital media to get people off their asses and reclaim their rights.

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Two Out of Every Three Americans Now Live in a Constitution-Free Zone

July 16, 2014 by Source
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Thanks to the militarization and expansion of the “border” region, 197 million Americans now live within the jurisdiction of US Customs and Border Patrol.

By Todd Miller / The Nation / July 15, 2014

Shena Gutierrez was already cuffed and in an inspection room in Nogales, Arizona, when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent grabbed her purse, opened it, and dumped its contents onto the floor right in front of her. There couldn’t be a sharper image of the Bill of Rights rollback we are experiencing in the US borderlands in the post-9/11 era.

Tumbling out of that purse came Gutierrez’s life: photos of …

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California Passes Drastic Water Restrictions Effective August 1st

July 15, 2014 by Source
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Fines of up to $500 for watering gardens or washing cars – Southern Calif water use actually increased 8% since Gov. Brown declared emergency in January

By Ian Lovett / New York Times / July 15, 2014

With rainfall this year at historically low levels and reservoirs quickly dwindling, California officials on Tuesday approved the most drastic measures yet to reduce water consumption during the state’s increasingly serious drought, including fines of up to $500 per day under some circumstances for watering a garden, washing a car or hosing down a sidewalk.

The new measures come in response to an apathetic public that has ignored repeated pleas to save water since Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency in January.

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July 15 Is the Deadline for Comments to FCC on Net Neutrality

July 15, 2014 by Source

FCC tweet
Breaking news: Because of an overwhelming response from progressives fighting to protect an open and free Internet, the FCC just extended the deadline for public comments until this Friday, July 18.

By John Loughlin

According to John Oliver, the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are “featuring Sting.” He went on to explain that Net Neutrality is “actually hugely important.“

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OB Historical Society: “World War II Comes to OB” – July 17th

July 15, 2014 by Source

Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents

“WWII Comes to O.B.”

Featuring Dedi Ridenour
Thursday, July 17, 7PM
at P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

Be transported back to the frightening start of WWII in O.B. by hearing an Ocean Beach native Dedi Ridenour tell of hearing “WAR IS DECLARED!”,

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Reader Rant: Surf School Takes Too Much Space on Beach and in Water

July 14, 2014 by Source
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By Albert Elliott

This involves an incident I had on July 11th with Pacific Surf Schools in Ocean Beach.

I have heard people complaining about the amount of space both ON THE BEACH and IN THE WATER the surf school (Pacificsurf.org) has been taking down at the beach. On the 11th, someone had gone to the lifeguards and asked how much space the school was allowed and can they rope off the area to save it.

The lifeguards told the surf school to remove their rope.

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18 Million Americans Suffer from GMO and Gluten Intolerance

July 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for 18 Million Americans Suffer from GMO and Gluten Intolerance

NationofChange
Gluten intolerance is a hot issue these days. Research estimates that over 18 million Americans now have a gluten sensitivity. These new gluten sensitivities are likely due to genetic alteration of crops, and while there is no GMO-wheat, per se, GMOs and modern wheat are killing us.

Wheat’s mass production turned into toxic junk food, and now the combination of the two is causing headaches, stomach ulcers, prostate cancer, IBS, bladder and pancreatic cancers, and all sorts of …

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Judge Rules the UCSD Che Cafe Gets a Stay

July 11, 2014 by Source

… and the Struggle Continues

From Press Release from Che Cafe Collective:

The Che Café Collective, a world renowned cultural icon and UCSD landmark that operates as an all-ages music venue, performance space and cafe, will not be so easily uprooted by University officials after over three decades of continuous operation and huge support from students and the public.

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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. human rights.

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The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

July 10, 2014 by Source

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

warispeachBy John Lawrence

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.

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Manhattan Beach Shark Attack Caught on Video

July 9, 2014 by Source

Here is the video of the July 6 shark attack up at Manhattan Beach.

The following is a summary from post by Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit / July 7, 2014

A 10 foot long great white shark, hooked by a fisherman and fighting for its life, took a bite on a distance swimmer in the waters off the Manhattan Beach Pier today.

The men in the video on the Manhattan Beach Pier were fishing. Some allege that they were illegally fishing for shark and threw bloody chum in the water knowing it would attract sharks.

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