Peninsula Planners View City’s Plan for Catalina and Cañon Street

May 27, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Nearly three months after an SUV struck and killed a seven-month-old girl who was being pushed in a stroller in the middle of a Point Loma crosswalk, city officials say they are developing plans to ensure such a tragedy doesn’t happen again.

Two city engineers say construction of a traffic signal designed to protect people using the crosswalk where the fatality occurred near the intersection of Catalina Boulevard and Cañon Street could begin in two months.

Pedestrians would be able to stop traffic 50 feet in front of the crosswalk by pushing a button, which would cause the light to turn yellow, then red, allowing cars to stop in good time, said Kharman Tawfiq, an assistant civil engineer in the city’s Traffic Engineering Division, at the monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board May 21.

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Bernie Sanders to America’s Billionaires: “Your greed has got to end.”

May 27, 2015 by Source
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Bernie Sanders Announces Presidential Campaign

This is Bernie Sanders’ prepared speech*, delivered Tuesday, May 26, in Vermont.

Today, here in our small state – a state that has led the nation in so many ways – I am proud to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America.

Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally.

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History Undone by 60 Minutes

May 26, 2015 by Source

Stem-Cell-Fraud-60-Minutes1By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Last Sunday (May 17) on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley summoned every hormone and nanoparticle in his body to reach that sweet spot where his voice can sound like a god’s and said:

“Time is the enemy of history.”

Say what? I mean… What?

At the end of a certain amount of time, say 60 minutes, history ceases to exist? Time wins and history loses? Does history end when Scott Pelley runs out of time?

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Protecting Mauna Kea: Talking Story

May 26, 2015 by Source

moonriseBy Will Falk

Looking up at the still, lingering morning stars from the best stargazing location in the world early on the third day since my arrival at the occupation on Mauna Kea, my personal velocities catch up with me and I listen. I stand at 9,200 feet above sea level.

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San Diego’s Lawsuit Against Monsanto Shows Just How Hard It Is To Hold Polluters Accountable

May 22, 2015 by Source
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Other cities have sued over PCB pollution, but San Diego’s case is unique.

by Natasha Geiling / Think Progress / March 25, 2015

In a 1970 internal memo, agrochemical giant Monsanto alerted its development committee to a problem: Polychlorinated Biphenyls — known as PCBs — had been shown to be a highly toxic pollutant.

PCBs — sold under the common name Aroclor — were also huge business, raking in some $10 million in profits.

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OB Exposed! Tonight, Friday, May 22

May 22, 2015 by Source

OB Exposed 5-22-15 logo

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Santa Barbara oil spill now stretches for 9 miles

May 21, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

The spill from a ruptured pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline expanded overnight from 4 miles long to two slicks stretching 9 miles along the coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The pipeline carries crude oil from to Flores to Gaviota.

Preliminary reports indicated that the ruptured 24 inch pipeline in Goleta leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil Tuesday. However, the pipeline company may have actually released as much as 105,000 gallons, with tens of thousands of gallons going into the ocean, according to the latest data from Plains All American.

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California Lawmakers Propose Task Force to Review Computer Crime Laws—Guess Who’s Not Invited to the Table

May 20, 2015 by Source

giphyBy Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

Whenever lawmakers congregate to discuss computer crime, you can reliably predict that the debate will gravitate toward expanding police powers, leaving the realistic concerns of everyday Internet users by the wayside. After all, fearmongering around the film War Games helped fuel the passage of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, one of the most egregious laws the digital world has ever faced.

This legislative session, California lawmakers have proposed creating …

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Sex Trafficking of Minors Hits Close to Home in Point Loma

May 19, 2015 by Source
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Point Loma Democrats Hear about Sex Trafficking

By Lois Lane

The program, “Sex Trafficking of Minors in San Diego,” last Sunday, May 17, 2015, seemed distant from the Ocean Beach and Point Loma audience. We quickly learned that this is one indeed one of our local problems and one of the most profitable illegal activities, greatly out-earning drug dealing. The product is also renewable – you can only sell a package once, but with prostitution, you can sell the same product over and over.

The speakers were Ali Serano, Assistant US Attorney, Sergeant Chris Cameron, San Diego County, and Gayle Sollfrank, representing a resource for victims, GenerateHope.

If we don’t think this is our problem, Ms. Serano displayed a printout from that day, showing six active Point Loma links on the primary Internet site (not publicized here).

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Your Fancy Cocktail Was Made by a Former Dirtbag Door Guy

May 18, 2015 by Source
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By Torrey Bell-Edwards / Munchies / May 12, 2015

I started as a door guy—I wasn’t even bar-backing at first. There was a sense of being entrenched, where you have to earn your stars. You check IDs and learn how to deal with people, how to calm down angry drunks and occasionally put someone in a headlock if shit gets real.

But mostly, you learn how to treat people right and how to make the night go smoothly, which makes it better for everyone. Then they’ll put you on backing up your bartender, and then it’s just busting your ass for hours on end. It’s cool because the amount of money you make is directly proportional to how hard you work, which is not true of most industries.

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The OB CDC: Commemorative Bricks, Bike Stations and Veterans’ Plaza

May 18, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

This is my report of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corp (OB CDC) meeting of May 13th, held in the Rec Center.

Commemorative Plaques at Entryway Plaza

The OB CDC regular meeting opened with a discussion on a request for commemorative plaques on the Entryway/Gateway project. There is still space available for 100 bricks. Small ones, 8” x 2”- are expected to cost $200, while the large ones, 12” x 12” – go for $1000.

No phone numbers or advertising are permitted, and the CDC appears to reserve the right to disapprove the engraved wording, just in case you are thinking of funding one that says “In memory of Anthony’s Pizza Parlor.”

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Progress, San Diego style: Where more gets you less

May 14, 2015 by Source
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By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

I’ve lived in San Diego long enough to remember what things were like “way back when.” And you know what? Not that much has changed!

True, there are more people living here than ever before. More restaurants and bars and multiplex theaters. More monotonous red roofs rimming bulldozed hilltops in the city’s north suburbs. Many more seals and sea lions hauling out on La Jolla beaches.

There are also many more sleek highrises downtown (but, oddly, fewer pedestrians on the sidewalks than you might expect – a mere fraction of what you’ll find in other urban downtowns).

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Drink Outside the Box

May 14, 2015 by Source
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By Jill Richardson / Other Words

I recently checked out an upscale yoga studio here in Madison, Wisconsin and discovered a new and disturbing trend: boxed water.

Boxed water?

OK, I’ve heard of boxed wine — and maybe even drunk a little. But water?

The yoga studio in question appeals to a young, wealthy, presumably eco-conscious demographic. As the skinny, beautiful clients file into the heated room with their yoga mats, they pass a refrigerator case of boxed water and a sign proclaiming its environmental benefits.

These supposed benefits come from packaging water in a box instead of a plastic bottle.

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Doctrine of Discovery – Unmasking the Domination Code

May 13, 2015 by Source
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A Documentary Film Screening at Sycuan Showcase Theatre

By Rose Davis /Indian Voices

The Kumeyaay bird singers took the stage prior to the screening and set the mood with their rhythmic chants and methodical, hypnotic rattling of seeds in their gourds. A solemn but vitally important occasion which is why the call and response mood of “Where are our leaders, where are our leaders?” resounded throughout the evening.

This documentary, directed by Sheldon Wolfchild is told from the viewpoint of the original people rather than the conquerors, sets the record straight. Co-producer Steven Newcomb, on who’s book“Pagans In The Promised Land” the film is based, patiently and eloquently explained the need for survivors to know what happened in the past.

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What’s in the Mayor’s Budget for Ocean Beach?

May 13, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The City of San Diego Budget hearings are just beginning. OB did get to keep the standard services – trash pickup, beach maintenance, lifeguard services, library and rec center support – all covered under general categories.

What is unfunded is interesting.

The North Ocean Beach Gateway Project (adjacent to Robb Field) Phase II for FY2016 shows no additional funding.

In contrast, FY2015 touts as an accomplishment “Completion of the Ocean Beach Gateway Mini Park.”

OB also did not get the requested library or lifeguard station upgrade in the budget as proposed.

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Toxic Turf? Movement Grows Against Synthetic Turf

May 11, 2015 by Source
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By Jenifer McKim /New England Journal of Invest. Reporting/May,9 2015

Artificial turf fields, cushioned with recycled crushed tires and increasingly in demand for US athletic complexes, are getting some serious pushback.

In Swampscott last week, town meeting members approved plans to install a new synthetic field with silica sand, a more expensive product touted as a nontoxic alternative to the small rubber pellets known as crumb rubber ubiquitous on thousands of synthetic fields across Massachusetts and the nation.

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Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – After 8 Years of Studies and Planning, Construction to Begin Soon … Maybe

May 8, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

A Report of the Sunset Cliffs Advisory Council Meeting – Monday, May 4, 2015

In 2007 a kick-off meeting was held at the OB Rec Center to plan the future of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Dudek & Associates took public input for the Sunset Cliffs Park Drainage Study they were initiating.

Now, eight years later, something is about happen. Not drainage and erosion, but making the park look like a park, with an ADA-compatible walkway, signage, and more native plants.

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LA Times Buys U-T San Diego !

May 8, 2015 by Source
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Celebrations are breaking out in some quarters of San Diego today as it was announced that the LA Times is buying the U-T San Diego.

Here is the LA Times account:

The parent company of the Los Angeles Times has agreed to buy the U-T San Diego, uniting the newspapers of California’s two largest cities under common ownership. Tribune Publishing — owner of The Times, the Chicago Tribune and other daily newspapers — announced Thursday that it will pay $85 million in a cash-and-stock deal for the U-T, eight community weeklies and related websites.

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World Carbon Dioxide Levels Pass 400 ppm For First Time Ever

May 7, 2015 by Source
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Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Topped 400 PPM Throughout March In Unprecedented Milestone

By Nick Visser /Huffington Post / May 6, 2015

Average global levels of carbon dioxide stayed above 400 parts per million, or ppm, through all of March 2015 — the first time that has happened for an entire month since record keeping first began, according to data released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Scientists with NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory have called the news a “significant milestone” in the growing scourge of man-made climate change.

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120ppm since pre-industrial times,” Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s greenhouse gas network, told The Guardian on Wednesday. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”

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Millennials see Edward Snowden as a hero – in time, so will the rest of society

May 5, 2015 by Source
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By Anthony D. Romero / ACLU

Surveillance reform, like marriage equality, will come about because of generational change

About a year ago, a thirtysomething sculptor in Los Angeles began working on a bust of Edward Snowden. When he was done, he shipped the bust to his artist friends on the East Coast. Just before dawn April 6, the artists crept under cover of darkness into Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park and installed the 100-pound bust atop a Revolutionary War memorial.

“We chose to pay tribute to Snowden through the medium of a bust because that is one of the visual pieces society uses as a guidepost to who a hero is,” one of the artists said in a video released after the bust was installed.

By 3 p.m. the New York Parks Department and police had taken the bust down. But the next morning, a different group of artists cast a holographic image of Snowden where the bust had stood.

The message to the authorities could not be clearer: Snowden is not going away.

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Raising a Jedi in the Modern Age

May 5, 2015 by Source

maythefourthdino Chronicles of a Nerfherder’s Wife

By Olympia Andrade Beltrán

My husband and I are sci-fi nerds. There. I said it. We share a deep love for Star Wars that started in our youth. I was only a year old when Star Wars came out, and four years old when Empire Strikes Back was released… but I remember Return of the Jedi as the most mesmerizing, fantastic movie experience in all of my short 7 years on this planet.

What was it about those characters that captivated my imagination so? I loved the idea of heroes fighting together to bring peace. “Balance to the Force” was something so organic, and resonated with the indigenous wisdom imparted by parents in my Chicano home. Ollin is the Aztec word for duality, harmony, balance. A familiar idea.

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Grand Canyon in the Crosshairs? Risky Mega-Development Moves Forward

May 4, 2015 by Source

Grand Canyon South Rim

‘The Forest Service is paving the way for foreign investors to exploit America’s most treasured natural landmark all to turn a profit,’ says Earthjustice

Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

The U.S. Forest Service is considering approval for a mega-development on the outskirts of the majestic Grand Canyon—a project the superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has called one of the greatest threats in the 96-year history of the park.

The Stilo Development Group, based in Italy, has proposed a sprawling urban development for the tiny town of Tusayan, near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon, which would include more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa, and conference center.

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Tide Turning Against Plastic Microbeads in Toiletries

May 4, 2015 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

Microbead products and alternativesThere are signs that the era where plastic microbeads from personal care products pollute bodies of water worldwide and aquatic food chains might be drawing to a close.

Microbeads are miniscule spheres of plastic commonly added as abrasives to personal care products like face scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste. They’re designed to wash down the drain, but because of their small size, they escape sewage treatment plants. Once discharged into oceans, rivers or lakes or onto land, they’re virtually impossible to clean up.

They’re typically made of polyethylene or polypropylene and do not biodegrade within any meaningful human time scale, especially in aquatic environments.

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Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud

May 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

There are no winners in wars. It’s just a matter of degree.

Both sides lose. One side loses less.

During my law school days, one of my best friends and I discussed this topic quiet often. He had served multiple terms of duty in Vietnam and been wounded twice. I was a dove and anti-war protester.

Outsiders did not understand the basis of our camaraderie. Though our positions started from different perspectives, both of us lamented the violence of war – and detested the negative effects such violence imposes on the world for decades after the firing ends.

Even Dwight Eisenhower, a decorated war hero who rode his triumph to the White House, acknowledged a similar sentiment. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can,” Ike noted, “as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

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OB Town Council’s Response to Lack of Funding in Mayor’s Draft Budget for Ocean Beach Infrastructure

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB Warm Lifeguard statinEditor: The following is the response in the form of a letter to Councilwoman Zapf by the Ocean Beach Town Council to Mayor Faulconer’s Draft Budget.

April 27, 2015

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

At our most recent public meeting we were made aware of a list of Ocean Beach-related priorities within the Mayor’s FY2016 draft budget. While we are pleased to have additional hours at the Rec Center, and increased funding for our Fire Station, the community was disappointed that there was no proposed funding for some of our most treasured infrastructure. The Life Guard Station and the Ocean Beach Library were noticeably absent from the draft budget. Earlier this year, we were elated to see these items listed in your Budget …

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Open Letter to Councilwoman Zapf From Friends of OB Library

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB LibraryEditor: The following letter was originally sent to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf by the OB Friends of the Library back in February of this year.

Here, the Friends’ President, Judy Collier, has resent the letter with the opening phrase, “what progress has been made since I sent this letter …?” We share it with you.

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

What progress has been made since I sent this letter on February 9, 2015? Thank you for your help and support.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: History for Haoles

April 30, 2015 by Source

Queen Liliuokalani at Iolani Palace in Honolulu

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

In the first essay of my Protecting Mauna Kea series, I made a mistake. I wrongfully described the ongoing, illegal American occupation of Hawai’i as an “annexation.”

Hawaiian friends of mine pointed this out to me and gave me a thorough history lesson. I was referred to documents, books, and websites that tell the truth. For the last several days, I’ve been reading everything I can on the subject.

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Peninsula Planners Confused Over Process for Nominating Officers

April 29, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

The normally routine annual process of selecting officers has become a befuddling mess at the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). This became evident at their latest meeting, held on April 16th.

Like the other 40-plus planning boards that are sanctioned by the San Diego City Council to make recommendations on land use and quality-of-life issues, the PCPB hosts an election every March in which members of the community vote for board members. These board members then select officers for one-year terms in April.

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Civic San Diego: The Kiss of Death for San Diego Neighborhoods

April 29, 2015 by Source

angry crowdBy Norma Damashek

The city of San Diego has first-class universities, first-class biotech companies, first-class ethnic restaurants, first-class theater, first-class engineers, artists, and musicians. Also: Our city has first-class standing as a prototype of community-based planning.

Who would have guessed that during the heady years of the 1960s while the Pump House kids were tripping the waves fantastic at Windansea Beach, other San Diegans – more firmly-grounded and civic-minded – were partnering with City Hall as official members of newly-created community planning groups. The La Jolla community plan was the city’s first. Then the Peninsula plan. Soon came the others.

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Community Budget Alliance Letter to Civic San Diego on Community Benefit Policy

April 29, 2015 by Source

community benefitsEditor Note: The Civic San Diego Board of Directors is meeting today to discuss adoption of their Community Benefit Policy (Item 8).

Dear Civic San Diego Board Members,

In light of the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies, the City of San Diego has a responsibility to establish clear policies and standards for publicly subsidized community economic development. In October 2014, the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee directed Civic San Diego to conduct a community outreach process.

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