Open Letter to Spray-Painting Vandals of Abbott and Voltaire

March 22, 2016 by Source
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Editor: We received this anonymous “Open Letter” addressed to “vandals” and referring to the recent spray painting of newly installed construction fencing on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire. The letter is signed “Ocean Beach community members”. We publish it in its entirety.

An open letter to the individuals who recently vandalized the security fence on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire.

Dear Vandals,

Neighbors in Ocean Beach that care about the health and welfare of our community do not support your message or your medium of choice.

Why do you feel entitled to additional voting privileges about how an owner handles their property? This is the function of San Diego city zoning and permitting, and public opinion is considered at that time.

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San Diego Activists Move Closer to Getting Needed Police Reforms on Ballot

March 22, 2016 by Source

City Council Committee to Hear Ballot Proposal, Recommendation to Charter Review Committee Urged

police badgeBy Women Occupy San Diego

On Wednesday, March 23rd Women Occupy San Diego will present its community-backed Ballot Proposal to make the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) more independent and transparent to the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety & Liveable Neighborhoods (PSLN) Committee.

We will do so on behalf of 25 civic organizations who have endorsed a Charter Amendment for the November 2016 ballot.

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Why Bernie’s Struggle Will Continue

March 22, 2016 by Source

democratic convention fightBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

What the U.S. needs now is a good old-fashioned platform fight at the Democratic Party Convention, only 4 months distant in this nightmare year.

We need to see just who are these people we’re told are the party’s established leaders. What do they really believe?

A thoroughly open platform discussion would show us what the governors and Congress members believe should happen to Bernie Sanders’ pledge to pay the tuition of the children of the middle class. The party’s establishment at its convention this July ought to have to take a position on the Transpacific Partnership, a trade agreement that was negotiated out of sight by a commission mostly composed of international corporate executives and their sergeants.

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Plaza De Panama – A Host of People-First Changes Make a Big Impact in Balboa Park

March 21, 2016 by Source

By John P. Anderson / John P. Anderson Blog

Plaza de Panama is the central plaza in Balboa Park and for many years was devoted to automobile parking. In June 2013 reviled former Mayor Bob Filner led a push that removed the parking spots from the Plaza de Panama and created a public space for strolling, sitting, and enjoying the surrounding museums and sunshine.

Here’s a photo of what the plaza looked like as a parking lot.

]Plaza de Panama as a parking lot (from San Diego Metro)

Today our family had a small picnic lunch on the plaza and there were people everywhere – a newlywed couple taking photos on the steps of the Museum of Art, small children riding bikes and scooters, people of all ages sitting or taking photos. In short, it felt like an authentic plaza: “a public square, marketplace, or similar open space in a built-up area“.

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San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

March 18, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access / March 17, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met yesterday [March 16] and the patient community barely escaped a ban on medical cannabis.

The ban would have affected unincorporated areas of the county, such as Julian, Ramona and many other rural parcels where it would otherwise be safe and advantageous to cultivate cannabis.

The advantage would be a regulated and local supply of product to the growing number of licensed medical cannabis co-ops in the city of San Diego. The city is the only municipality in the county with a retail distribution ordinance on its books. But, the city’s law does not address the cultivation of cannabis at all. Many cannabis patients saw the need for cultivating a local supply of medicine and began to eye the dysfunctional county ordinance.

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With Women’s Rights On the Line, Groups Demand Supreme Court #StoptheSham

March 18, 2016 by Source

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is widely believed to be the most consequential abortion rights case since Roe v. Wade

Women protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday against "sham" abortion laws that have threatened their health and autonomy. (Photo: NARAL Pro-choice NC/Twitter)

By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

The U.S. Supreme Court, with one vacant seat, heard oral arguments on Wednesday in what is widely believed to be the most consequential reproductive rights case since Roe v. Wade, one which observers warn could dramatically alter abortion access for women across the country.

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Get Rid of Your Toxic Teflon

March 16, 2016 by Source

Teflon-frying-pansIt’s time to ditch nonstick cookware — and then reform our laws.

By Jill Richardson / Otherwords

Teflon, you might have heard, may cause cancer.

The culprit was a toxic, now retired compound called PFOA. Also known as C8, the chemical became the subject of a major lawsuit accusing DuPont — the manufacturer of the popular nonstick coating — of sickening thousands of Americans.

Yet Teflon is still on the market, The Intercept reports, with a secret new active ingredient.

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Why Climate Change Action Cannot Succeed Without Social Equity

March 15, 2016 by Source

Social-Equity-graphicBy Murtaza H. Baxamusa / San Diego UrbDeZine

Over 120 cities and counties in California have a climate action plan either completed or in the pipeline. As cities develop these plans and initiatives to address climate change, it is important to emphasize that social equity is integrated within environmental policies.

The vulnerabilities, resilience and sustainability of the human ecosystem are as much determined by diversity and interdependence as its natural counterpart. As Pope Francis said inLaudato Sí, “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

Sustainability is framed as a three-legged stool consisting of the three ‘E’s: environment, economy and equity. However, the third leg, social and economic equity, is often the weakest.

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Police Body Camera Footage Must Be Made Public

March 15, 2016 by Source

By Rob Tindula

police body camera photoA few weeks ago, the City Attorney’s Office released an 11-page memo outlining the public disclosure of police records, including body camera footage.

The report stated that the Mayor has exclusive rights when it comes to releasing the department’s body camera footage to the public and listed a number broad of exemptions to go along with it.

This is unfortunate for all San Diego residents. Police body cameras have the ability to increase the accountability of officers while performing their daily duties because video evidence can provide an unbiased account of what happened at the scene.

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Midway Planners Hold Election on March 16th

March 14, 2016 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

At a critical — perhaps even historic — time for the Midway community, two positions are available to serve on a volunteer citizen board that is overseeing an effort to determine what growth will look like for the next two decades.

The Midway Community Planning Group will host the balloting March 16 from 2:30 to 3 p.m. in the downstairs lobby of the West City Campus of San Diego Community College, Continuing Education, 3249 Fordham St. The group’s regular monthly meeting will follow upstairs in Room 205.

Both voters and candidates must live, own property or operate a business in the Midway Community Planning Area. Candidates, in addition, must have attended a meeting in the past year. To appear on the printed ballot, hopefuls must email Melanie Nickel, the group’s chair, by March 14 at Those who miss the deadline may run as write-ins.

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Notes on Candidates for Peninsula Community Planning Board

March 11, 2016 by Source
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Annual Election on Thursday, March 17, 2015 from 4-8pm at the Point Loma Library.

Editor: The following post on notes on some of the candidates for the upcoming Peninsula planners’ election was sent to us by Korla Eaquinta, a neighborhood activist from the Roseville area of Point Loma. Any opinions or observations made by Korla are her own.

By Korla Eaquinta

The Peninsula Community Planing Board (PCPB) Candidate’s Forum was held on Thursday, March 3, 2015 from 6-7:30 at the Point Loma Library.

Fourteen candidates have applied for five board positions. Applications received include:

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City Council Votes to Finance Point Loma Pocket Park

March 9, 2016 by Source
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Developer Fees to Be Used for “Canon Street Park”

By Peninsula Activist

Just 28 years in the making, a new park is coming to Point Loma.

The San Diego City Council by unanimous vote locked in developer fees to finance a new passive park for the peninsula The action came on a consent agenda item on Tuesday, March 8. There was no opposition.

The park will be on city-owned land at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal above Canon Street. It is about two-thirds of an acre and is intended as a walk-in pocket park. The council vote sets aside $840,000 in developer fees, with the proviso that unspent money be returned to the account. Maintenance funds of $11,000 annually are set aside for after the park’s completion, expected in 2018-19.

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It’s Not Smart Growth – It’s Called Avoiding a Housing Crisis

March 9, 2016 by Source

empty strip mall

By Howard M. Blackson III / San Diego UrbDeZine

California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response.

We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers.

I believe answers to meet San Diego’s housing demand are found in the following two-tier approach:

The first tier is a baseline ‘Beach Density.’ An existing housing model found in our older, traditional beach neighborhoods that fills our need for the ‘missing middle’ types of housing.

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Reader’s View: Here’s the Schedule of Gates of New Fence Around Cabrillo Recreation Center in Point Loma

March 9, 2016 by Source
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By Korla Eaquinta

The new fence around Cabrillo Recreation Center is finished. The community has been concerned about access as the gates have been locked up most of the time.

The following is an email from Alvin Nguyen, Center Director detailing the new procedure for the field to be accessible. (Please note that no one is allowed to be on school grounds nor on the field at the Rec center during school hours.)

Starting March 1, 2016, we will be following the procedure according to the above Cabrillo Gates Map.

I have listed a breakdown of the procedure below for your convenience:

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March 8th – Celebrate International Women’s Day

March 8, 2016 by Source

Rag cover Int Womens Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day.
OB Rag cover – Early March, 1975 – commemorating International Woman’s Day. The cover shows a crowd of women activists from Ocean Beach on the OB Pier. The cover was later formatted as a poster for a display at the OB Library of OB Rags during the 1990s by Bob Edwards, a former OB Ragster of the seventies.

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When Does the Violation of Women’s Bodies Become a ‘Red Line’?

March 8, 2016 by Source
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“If people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense: violence against women has been “normalized.”

By Lauren Wolfe / Common Dreams

Two years ago I was on vacation in Maine when I started getting really, really mad. I’d been working to track sexualized violence in the Syrian war for a long time and had gotten very little response from policy makers despite many meetings with those in our government and the UK’s and at the UN.

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A Survey the DNC Doesn’t Want to Read

March 7, 2016 by Source

By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

I got one of those faux political surveys from the Democratic National Committee in the mail recently, the one my now-deceased mother-in-law used to receive because we listed her address as our own after she fell into Alzheimers years ago.

The surveys continued to arrive at our address, perhaps four times a year, until this time my name showed up on the envelope.

The introductory letter from the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, addressed me as a party leader — odd because I’m registered as “no party preference” — but I suppose that means Wasserman Schultz sees me as a California leftie and dropped the survey on me in hopes I can be attracted to Hillary.

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Reader Rant: “I am tired of the media painting OB as a solitary den of homelessness.”

March 4, 2016 by Source
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By Geoff Page:

On Wednesday, March 2nd, OB Dude’s comment on the Rag’s camera story alerted me to a Channel 10 News story about transient-set fires in Ocean Beach. Here is the link posted to the story:

If you look at the video, you can see a four lane road with a median and an overpass. The only place this could be is Nimitz Blvd. and the overpass is Famosa Blvd. There is no overpass within the boundaries of Ocean Beach, this area is Point Loma.

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Occupy Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Speeches

March 4, 2016 by Source
Hilary Clinton on 2016-02-09 at Presidential Campaign New Hampshire USA

By Marjorie Cohn / Common Dreams

Hillary Clinton refuses to make public the transcripts of her speeches to big banks, three of which were worth a total of $675,000 to Goldman Sachs. She says she would release the transcripts “if everybody does it, and that includes Republicans.” After all, she complained, “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?”

As the New York Times editorial board pointed out, “The only different standard here is the one Mrs. Clinton set for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries.”

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The Needed Fix For Our Broken Political-Economic System

February 24, 2016 by Source

bernie-sanders-portrait-01By Frank Thomas / San Diego Free Press

I admire Bernie’s outspoken, honest portrayal of the breakdown of our egalitarian democracy – “a government of, for and by the people” – by a corrupt, immoral plutocratic political-economic ESTABLISHMENT threatening the very existence of our democracy.

I was appalled by David Brooks’ disingenuous critique of Bernie’s call for a ‘political revolution’- systemic reform for a systemically broken, money corrupted governance. Brooks beguilingly discredits Bernie’s bold ideas in the recent article, Livin’ Bernie Sanders’s Danish Dream.

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“Belly Laughs, Chuckles and Guffaws” at OB Comedy’s 10th Anniversary

February 22, 2016 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Although primarily known as a music venue, Winston’s Beach Resort and Bar – at 1921 Bacon Street in the heart of Ocean Beach-, has for the past ten years been a showcase for some of San Diego’s finest comedy talent. And last Friday, the 19th, I went to see the Ocean Beach Comedy 10th Anniversary show, right in the heart of OB’s business district.

There was so much talent performing their bits that I can’t review them all, as comedians from across the country came to celebrate and perform.

Winston’s large open window and emerald tiled entrance transports you into an old school hipster joint, complete with brick wall interior, reminiscent of New York’s East Village.

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Ocean Beach Comedy – 10 Year Anniversary Show at Winston’s – Fri. Feb. 19th

February 19, 2016 by Source
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Ocean Beach Comedy (OBC) was created 10 years ago, almost by accident.

The show started with Andrew Deans and Steven Kendrick needing an outlet to continue their stand up desires after moving from Texas.

Soon Jesse Egan and Bob Hansen were brought on.

The team added spontaneity to the show by creating topics, sticking them in a hat, randomly drawing, and creating jokes on the spot with what was written on the paper. The show blossomed from there as the original crew started finding other local comedians and giving them a stage to work on material.

Throughout the years, OBC saw some of the best comedians in the business like Doug Stanhope, Joey Diaz, and Jeff Richards.

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“The Major Minus” on Their Way After Debut in Ocean Beach

February 19, 2016 by Source
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By Sunny Rey

Has the new EP, Shooting star, lit your sound waves yet?!

When the manager of one of San Diego’s top music venues, The Irenic, starts a music venture of his own, the city takes notice!

The Funkyheads of North Park had found their dancing shoes sleepy and uninspired for some time until the Major Minus came with all the tricks and edge that the cool kids had been craving!

Like a history bloated with great things that come about unplanned, the music of the Major Minus formed and swelled into the great solid sound it hits hard on in their breakout EP, Shooting Star, with as much surprise to the music fans as it was to the musical men themselves.

The band started as just a breezy idea off the cuff from Brit, the lead singer, to go in and lay some vocals down since he had some booked studio time to claim.

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Centennial of the Great Flood of 1916 and the Rainmaker – Thurs. Feb. 18th

February 18, 2016 by Source

San Diego flood 1916 oldtown

Thursday, February 18, 7 pm, Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents:

“Centennial of the Devastating 1916 Flood and the Rainmaker” at St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church 1371 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, Ocean Beach;

In words and pictures this presentation will re-visit the famed Rainmaker Flood and look at the strange story of an itinerant sewing machine salesman-turned rainmaker, who claimed the historic rainfall as “an act of Hatfield.” Rick Crawford is the supervisor of Special Collections at the San Diego Public Library and former archives director at the San Diego Historical Society.

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Civic San Diego’s Plan to Bypass the Living Wage Ordinance

February 18, 2016 by Source

civicEditor’s Note: The Board of Directors of Civic San Diego is set to approve an economic development work plan at their February 24th meeting.

In short, this is their grand vision for San Diego. Sadly, this vision doesn’t include the living wage provisions required of large local development projects over the past decade.Board member Murtaza Baxamusa was the sole opposing vote at a recent committee meeting.

By Murtaza Baxamusa

For low-income communities, the promise of “economic development” is often held as the basis for taxpayer-subsidized projects. However, developer-driven focus on projects, rather than people, has the theory of local economic development upside-down. This is what happens when a downtown development corporation starts working on a plan for economic development for other neighborhoods.

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California’s Crab and Salmon Fisheries Threatened By Historic Crisis

February 18, 2016 by Source

By Dan Bacher /

Photo by Dan BacherLegislators, members of commercial fishing families, fishing group representatives and Brown administration officials testified about the dire situation that the salmon and crab fishery is in at a recent forum at the State Capitol on February 11th.

It was during the 43rd Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture held in Sacramento.

“This forum works, but the fishermen are not,” said Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Committee, in his opening comments. “The salmon and crab fisheries are threatened by a historic crisis. We’re facing a fishery disaster that will impact many families.”

“We’ve gone from abundance to scarcity. The crab fishing fleet is sitting at the docks right now,” said McGuire.

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“Your Green Canopies We Will Miss” – In Memory of Two Lost Saratoga Torrey Pines 1930-2016

February 16, 2016 by Source


Your Green Canopies We Will Miss –
In memory of the two lost Saratoga Torrey Pines 1930-2016

By Kathy Blavatt

The sign said “trimming”
Like when you trim your hair and it grows back healthier.
Not chop up your body and spit out the pieces.

No tree-huggers could save this community elder.

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Socially-Blind Urban Planning

February 16, 2016 by Source

Baxamusa-post_image-Pinnacle_homelessBy Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines

The contrast between prosperity and poverty is most dramatic in the harshness of inclement weather. In San Diego, while the recent storms resulting from El Niño lashed at the city, I drove through East Village, a neighborhood that contains one of the largest concentrations of homeless in the region.

It is also the epicenter of Downtown’s new construction boom.

Amidst the broken tree branches and debris, scattered and soaked in the storm water were large black trash bags that homeless people had used to protect themselves.

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Michael Moore Says His New Movie Will Change America

February 16, 2016 by Source

“Free universal health care, free university, free day care, taxing and policing hedge fund millionaires—have already happened in nearly every other industrialized country in the world! And I have the evidence—and the film—to prove it!” — Michael Moore

Screenshot from trailer for "Where to Invade Next"CommonDreams

Michael Moore’s newest documentary, Where to Invade Next, presents an uncharacteristically optimistic outlook. (Screenshot)

Filmmaker Michael Moore on Friday is launching the national release of his new documentary Where to Invade Next, which is said to be both his happiest and “most subversive” movie yet.

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Hide and Seek on the Commons: Selling More of San Diego

February 15, 2016 by Source


The public is left out of the decision making, the City Council is not fully engaged

By Jay Powell

On Wednesday February 10, the City Council Smart Growth and Land Use (SG&LU) Committee was asked to recommend approval to the full City Council of the marketing for sale of six City-owned properties that the Real Estate Asset Department (READ) has declared surplus and excess to the needs of the City.

At the meeting, the committee basically took extensive public testimony and then moved the items onto the full City Council. They appeared un-concerned about the Portfolio Management Plan issue.

There was a lot of testimony about preserving the Truax House and giving the community and other stakeholders time to put together a proposal to restore the house and make it a resource for meetings and organizations such as Lambda Archives, San Diego CanyonLands, a possible Seniors center and other community-serving organizations and evaluating a potential trail connection to Maple Canyon.

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