Back to Homeless and Hopeless in San Diego

September 11, 2015 by Source

homelesswomenvets-300x137By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A week ago, I was sitting in the Denny’s across the street from Howard Johnsons in Chula Vista, waiting for Tracy (name changed), an Army veteran Amikas had been assisting for almost a year.

The good news was that Amikas, a non-profit that I started five years ago to help homeless women and children, was going to cover the next five days at the hotel for Tracy and her three children. But I wasn’t looking forward to this conversation – where this family would go after those five days was anybody’s guess.

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One Day Soon, That Drone Overhead May Be Pointing a Taser at You

September 9, 2015 by Source

droneBy Marjorie Cohn / Truthdig

North Dakota has just become the first state to legalize police use of drones equipped with “less than lethal” weapons, including rubber bullets, Tasers, tear gas, pepper spray and sound cannons.

Now, police will be able to remotely fire on people in North Dakota from drones, much as the CIA fires on people in other countries.

Although drones in North Dakota will be limited to “less than lethal” weapons, some of these devices can cause injury or even death, …

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Labor Day and the Cycle of Change in the Garden

September 7, 2015 by Source

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By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

Traditionally Labor Day weekend is the harbinger of fall in much of our nation. The eastern states put away their garden furniture, barbeques, and lawn mowers and locate storm windows and heavier jackets. Here in the sunny southern California clime, we expect at least another six weeks of warm weather, beach parties and more clear, warm days and nights. In San Diego, most would agree that the August heat was epic for people and gardens alike and maybe summer has just begun!

I am a fickle home gardener and confess I gave up on my whole tomato crop, picked as many as I could and ripped the rest out. I replanted several lettuces and put in some beets and another round of herbs. I plan to plant a few broccoli types, a few more tomatoes and carrots in the coming weeks. Feel free to follow your own enthusiasm level!

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OBserved #2

September 4, 2015 by Source
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By Terry Ratner

I capture covert performers in a split second and that’s all I need.

Are they making a drug deal, part of a gang, or planning a bust?

They’re on a rooftop or below walking the streets, but seen from a vantage point of a higher building.

I’m watching, snapping, and hoping the subject matter turns out to be bigger than my wildest imagination.

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Immigration Looney Tunes: The Anchor Babies Myth

August 31, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

For months, the signs were clear. A revival of an anchor baby attack was on the way.

Most colleagues scoffed at my warnings. They claimed the battle against xenophobic terminology had been won. The era of using mean-spirited terms, like anchor babies, for political purposes had passed.

I was a town crier, a few said, over-reacting to isolated news events.

Sure, just like the building of new detention cells is unrelated to future arrests and deportations.

Alarmist or not, here’s what I saw:

  • California government agents exaggerated claims of Chinese birth tourism and maternity hotels
  • Louisiana passed legislation to deny marriage certificates to undocumented immigrants
  • Texas refused to issue birth certificates to children born in Texas to undocumented parents
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Problems and Some Advice on Airbnb in San Diego Apartments

August 31, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of keeping the discussion on short-term vacation rentals alive, here below is a view by John P Anderson, a proponent of these types of rentals, with some steady advice.

By John P Anderson

As the Airbnb debate continues in San Diego, I found it interesting to receive a warning letter from my previous apartment manager, Torrey Pines Property Management this week informing tenants that using sites like Airbnb is not allowed in the buildings they manage. [For letter, see below.]

I contacted Torrey Pines and was informed that this is a proactive measure to avoid issues in future, not in response to issues that have occurred. Good for them for taking a proactive, informative approach to the issue.

I wanted to share this since there are likely many San Diegans that would like to utilize sites like Airbnb to rent a spare room, or their apartment while they are out of town.

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SANDAG’s Transportation Plan is Stuck in Reverse

August 28, 2015 by Source

traffic jam 2By / San Diego Free Press

Climate change is a local issue that reaches every corner of the globe. Human activities, especially burning coal, oil and gas, are pumping heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

More than any other time in human history, we’re seeing unlivable marine habitats, rising seas that threaten to subsume coastal societies, and, on land, increases in extreme weather including droughts, floods and severe storms. The changes are happening everywhere, but the effects are felt locally. And the solutions have to come from changes we make in every community.

At SanDiego350, a local nonprofit fighting climate change, we believe that San Diego is at an important crossroads where we must decide how we will reduce our contribution to Earth’s looming climate crisis.

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A Day in Court as a Prospective Juror

August 28, 2015 by Source
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By Bob Dorn

I had the distinction of being the first person thrown off a jury peremptorily in a courtroom this week. Before any evidence was introduced in this criminal misdemeanor case (a DUI), and before prosecution and defense had opened their arguments, the judge was forced to dismiss me from service.

It was the Deputy DA who had me thrown out. I’m not sure I understand why he did it.

In legal terms, it was a peremptory challenge, and it means the attorney who exercised this right, the Deputy DA, could object to my presence on the jury without offering any cause or reason.

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The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

August 27, 2015 by Source
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By Herman Baca / August 26, 2015

Long forgotten by US history and barely remembered by many (even in the Chicano community) is the historical 45th anniversary of the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium against the War in Vietnam.

The Moratorium held in Los Angeles, California was one of the most seminal historical events for Chicanos in the US since the end of the US/Mexico War of 1848.

Depending on whom you speak with; the moratorium drew 20 to 40,000 Chicanos from all over the US that marched and protested the war in Vietnam, where Chicano youths were dying in disproportion numbers. Parents, children, seniors, working people, students, war veterans and activists from thru-out the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico marched.

Numerous persons were hurt; hundreds were jailed including national Chicano leader, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. Three people were shot and killed by the police; martyred Angel Diaz, Lynn Ward, and LA Times Journalist, Ruben Salazar.

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Are the NFL Chargers Causing the NCAA Aztecs to Lose?

August 27, 2015 by Source


By Bill Adams /UrbDeZine

Are the San Diego National Football League (NFL) Chargers causing the San Diego State University Aztecs football team to lose games and fans? If so, which is worse for San Diego, losing its NFL franchise to another city, or sub-optimal performance and attendance at Aztecs football games?

While these question at first appear both absurd and provocative, there have been several studies that can answer these questions – at least to some degree. Moreover, the studies go further. The studies indicate that the success of a college sports team has an effect on the regional economy.

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New Surfer Mural Adorns Wall at Entrance to Ocean Beach

August 26, 2015 by Source
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Meeting the Artist – Henry Goods – Commissioned by Gas Station Owner

by South OB Girl

Entering Ocean Beach along Sunset Cliffs Blvd., the brightly colored mural on the 76 gas station wall may have caught your eye.

One can’t help but see the new mural shortly after seeing the Ocean Beach entry way sign. On the right — Robb Field and the iconic Ocean Beach entry way sign (newly restored and freshly painted).

On the left — Dusty Rhodes Park and the 76 gas station wall with a mural depicting two surfers (male and female), a giant wave, and some sea gulls. The mural might appear to be part of Dusty Rhodes Park, but actually is on the property of the 76 gas station at the corner of West Point Loma Blvd. and Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The mural is the work of Henry Goods. And upon meeting him, it is clear that his personality comes out in his painting and his painting captures his energetic and vibrant personality.

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When the Name’s the Game

August 25, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The following is a report on the most recent meeting of the OB Community Development Corporation (held on Wednesday, August 13).

The OB CDC lacked a quorum to vote on any action items; the discussion was provided as information from the regular agenda on the recurring topics:

  • The OB Entryway,
  • the OB Veterans Plaza,
  • and the Children’s Play Area/Adult Fitness area.
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August 25, 2015 by Source

My Niche logo

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

The first time I was accused of being a privileged white woman,
I was defensive.
I tried to explain all of the non-privileged experiences
I’ve endure in my life,
despite the fact that I am white.
But my accuser wasn’t buying any of it.
She doubled down on her angry outbursts.

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San Diego Takes the Lead in Greenpeace Strike

August 24, 2015 by Source

11221482_551484888338136_7897254867420767881_oBy Andrew J. Mackay and Bryan Kim

On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively.

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Big Oil Spent $6.2 Million Lobbying CA Officials So Far in 2015

August 21, 2015 by Source
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By Dan Bacher / Daily Kos

The oil industry spent $6.2 million to lobby legislators and other state officials in California in the first six months of 2015, according to a report just released by the California Secretary of State’s Office.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, alone spent a total of $1,388,203 in the first quarter of the 2015-2016 session and $1,141,037 in the second quarter of the session. That’s a total of $2,529,240 spent on lobbying in six months.

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Report of Panel Discussion: Short Term Rentals – What’s the Future?

August 17, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is a slightly-edited report of a panel discussion on short term rentals held at the July meeting of the Point Loma OB Democratic Club.

By PL OB Dem Club Admin

The moderator, Omar Passons, attorney that the San Diego municipal code does not currently define a short-term vacation rental and that ordinance and formal definitions would soon be introduced by City Council.

There is a ‘border and lodger’ definition (generally stays are more than 30 day stay) and a ‘bed and breakfast’ definition (generally stays are less than 30 day stay, but this is not within the code) within the code. Short-term vacation rentals (STVR) means the renting of any portion of your property for less than 30 days.

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OB Must Descend on the Coastal Commission Thursday

August 12, 2015 by Source
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Ol’ OB Hippie Joins Calls for Community Action In Support of OB Community Plan

Any OBcean worth her or his salt has been following the travails of the Community Plan Update for Ocean Beach.

And they know that the California Coastal Commission is holding a hearing on the OB Plan on Thursday, August 13. They also may want to know that there will be a bus to take OBceans over to Chula Vista where the Commission is holding their meetings.

This is a critical hearing on the OB Plan – for the Coastal Commission has a mandate to protect our coast and to provide public access to the coast. Any project within the coastal zone has to have their final approval. …

Yet, OB has got to descend on the Coastal Commission on Thursday.

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OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

August 11, 2015 by Source
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To Our Members and Friends:

On Thursday, August 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider approval of the Ocean Beach Community Plan at their meeting in Chula Vista.

The larger hearing begins begins at 9am, but the Community Plan is item #22c on the agenda, so the actual time it will be heard is currently unknown.

The Ocean Beach Town Council is sponsoring bus transportation to Chula Vista. If you would be interested in bus transportation, please email your name, phone number, and address to:

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“I Wanted to Write for the OB Rag and Had to Meet Editordude.”

August 11, 2015 by Source
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Being Frank

Editor: The following account referencing “Lois Lane” from Superman comics is not to be confused with the Lois Lane who writes regularly for the OB Rag.

By Terry Ratner

Lois Lane, the talented young journalist, sits in the office of Perry White, a crusty, straight talking, demanding and passionate editor of the Daily Planet. She regales him with her optimism and fresh ideas for stories dedicated to the people of Metropolis. Ever the curmudgeon, Perry questions the minute details of her pitch, leaving her tongue tied and frustrated, but still tirelessly pushing her novel approach to journalism. He dares her to prove her worthiness, hoping she’s up for the challenge.

This is how I felt when I met Frank Gormlie, editor of the OB Rag.

As a wannabe OBcean and Rag writer, I emailed Frank my proposal before suggesting we meet. After several rounds, he relented.

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If You Live in OB or Point Loma, Where Do Recycled Plastic Bags Go?

August 10, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Recycling plastic bags should not be this hard.

If you get a grocery bag, it is likely to have printed on it “Please return to a participating store for recycling.”

This may not mean the store where you got it. Not governed by local regulations, recycling locations are left to individual businesses. Plastic bags are designed to be confusing.

As a reminder, you can recycle plastic bags:

  • CVS in Ocean Beach on Cable Street. This is a CVS program, utilizing the G2 (Go Green) process. These are gathered in bale-sized boxes and sent to the Go Green recycler via UPS. The customer recycling bin is just inside the front door.
  • Stumps, on Voltaire Street and close to Ocean Beach. Their plastic bags are recycled via the wholesale vendor. When the truck drops off the house brand, they pick up the bag of recycled bags, and return it to the warehouse, where they are baled and sent to a recycler. After that, you have a choice of …
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Repulsed by Animal Cruelty, Attendance (and Profits) at SeaWorld Plummet

August 10, 2015 by Source

“People don’t want to watch abused animals being forced to perform pointless circus tricks,” says animal rights group

kathy-najimy-seaworld-new-hed-2014By Nadia Prupis /Common Dreams

Since the 2013 release of Blackfish, a bombshell documentary exposing animal cruelty at SeaWorld, the aquatic theme park has lost increasing levels of both profits and visitors, reporting an 84 percent plunge in net income in just three months.

SeaWorld announced its quarterly earnings on Thursday, acknowledging the steep drop in profits as a result of “brand challenges.”

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Inappropriate Police Response to OB Sexual Assault in Broad Daylight Leaves Outrage

August 8, 2015 by Source

Editor: The following report by News8 is being reposted in its entirety to insure no one thinks the OB Rag is making this stuff up.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – There has been no arrests, but witnesses to an alleged sexual assault in Ocean Beach in broad daylight said the actions of one of the officers responding to the call were disturbing.

The alleged sexual assault happened Thursday in broad daylight, but no charges have been filed, and San Diego Police has said they take all potential sexual assault cases seriously.

According to the police, no arrest has been made because the alleged victim refused to press charges.

Ocean Beach resident Cornelius Harris witnessed a man sexually assaulting an unclothed and unconscious woman in broad daylight right in front of his beachside home.

“I know a lot of crazy stuff goes on down here, but this was nuts. This is a sidewalk. ” he said.

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August 7, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Please welcome photographer and writer Terry Ratner to the OB Rag, as today’s collection of photos of OBceans begins her possible weekly column entitled, “OBserved”.

By Terry Ratner / Special to the OB Rag

I’m an OBserver, a voyeur, a paparazzi of everyday people.

When the opportunity strikes, I have to be quick to click in order to capture the moment. OB serves as my canvas, my street theater, my Haight Ashbury on the beach with its rich texture of OBceans—locals, transients, and tourists who made the wrong turn on their way to Mission Beach and then decided to stay.

I’ll do anything for a good photo.

I’ve climbed bar tables on balconies overlooking Newport Avenue zooming in on unsuspecting subjects.

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Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

August 7, 2015 by Source

Robert Reich 02By Robert Reich / Blog

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agents of this revolt. I’ll explain the two ways in a moment.

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San Diego Brewery May Be ‘Selling Out’. Does It Matter?

August 6, 2015 by Source

elysian sucksBy John P. Anderson

San Diego County has a large beer industry, there are currently more than 110 active breweries.

Along with high numbers, San Diego has earned a reputation as a leader in the craft beer industry.

Many would rank it as the top craft beer city/region in the United States – whether it is the top dog or in the top five isn’t especially important. It’s a leader however you measure – top ranked beers, top ranked breweries, number of breweries, or gallons produced annually.

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Lazy Fare in the Garden: Just Let It Be

August 6, 2015 by Source

My Niche logoBy Jeeni Criscenzo/ San Diego Free Press

Ever since I read the book Noah’s Garden by Sara Stein, I’ve taken a more laissez-faire attitude toward gardening. While I haven’t let my garden return back to its pre-human-intervention state, I’ve stopped being so controlling about what gets to grow where.

One of the best features of the home we rent is the big flat, unshaded yard overlooking the Tecolote Canyon. While the soil needed a lot of amending, it’s otherwise a perfect place for a vegetable garden. The 5-foot cinder block wall isn’t pretty, but it’s kept the coyotes out (so far)–the other critters – not so much.

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Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

August 5, 2015 by Source
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Historic Protest Ship – the Golden Rule – Met By Vets at Shelter Island

From VFP (SD Reader) / August 3, 2015

A group of “pro-peace” activists gathered on Shelter Island Sunday afternoon (Aug.2) to welcome the Golden Rule, a sailboat described as “the very first of the environmental and peace vessels to go to sea,” which came to town in advance of the annual conference of the activist group Veterans for Peace, taking place August 5-9 in San Diego.

“The Golden Rule is our peace ship — it was instrumental in helping develop the first atmospheric test ban treaty back in the early ’60s. This boat has been resurrected from the depths of the sea, and is here to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 30th anniversary of Veterans for Peace,”

says Gary Butterfield, local chairman for the convention.

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Bottles, Cans and Spoons …

July 31, 2015 by Source
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Not Talking About Drinking and Drugs

By Kathy Blavatt

Ocean Beach residents have always had a creative way of recycling their items into utilitarian objects or whimsical art. In the 1960’s through the 1980’s a lot of reused relics were commonplace in the homes and yards of O.B.

Bottles of all kinds were the number one choice of reusable items.

One of the most seen items in yards were “bottles-filled–with-water” to keep the dogs from pooping on the grass.

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There is No ‘Free Money’ for Stadium Study

July 30, 2015 by Source

By Joe Flynn / San Diego Free Press

money lobbyBack to basics. All money in the city’s funds, coffers, treasure chests, you pick the title, is taxpayer money. In the effort to fund the Stadium Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the unanticipated refund from the state is being treated as “free” money.

Perhaps the term “refund” got lost in the shuffle; a refund usually implies that the money you paid or over paid, is being refunded, i.e., given back. It comes back to the city with the same restrictions that it had when it was paid. It may not be earmarked for a particular use, but that only implies that it goes back into the general fund.

So a $2 million unexpected refund comes back to the city treasurer, and like any other funds owned by the city, it requires a decision by the Mayor and Council to spend it – period. This is not complicated.

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The Party of Death is Dying

July 28, 2015 by Source

dead_gopBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

For years now the Republican Party has been the party of death. Now it may itself be dying. More about that later. For now, some numbers.

In 2014, 1,100 of 1359 executions performed by the states were the work of “Republican-dominated states,” according to on Oct. 26 of that year. Just more than 508 of those executions were in Texas, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which did the report.

Last May, the Quinnipiac poll taken on attitudes toward the war in Iraq, asked the question, “Do you think going to war with Iraq in 2003 was the right thing to do or the wrong thing?” Overall, 59% of Americans responded that it was wrong and 32% said it was right. Among the Republicans those numbers were more than reversed; 62% of them said it was right to go there and kill, while only 28% said it was wrong.

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