“Record Turn-out” at Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

January 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Council Hosts Councilwoman Zapf, Hands Out Parade Awards and Police Give Update on Local Crimes

To a standing-room only crowd, with pizza being handed out over on the side, with a couple of TV cameras in motion, Ocean Beach Town Council president Gretchen Newsom loudly gaveled the monthly meeting to order. The crowd of over 200 took their seats in the large auditorium of the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Newsom called it a “record turn-out” for a town council meeting and then deftly guided the meeting over the next 2 hours, which included handing out awards for the winners of the 35th Annual OB Holiday Parade, and opening the floor up for non-agenda items during which a number of people aired complaints and issues. The room remained in a near-festive mood throughout the evening and not an uncivil word spoken.

The Friends of the OB Library made a big show, wearing “Cat in the Hat” costumes, and addressed the audience and the Councilwoman about the need to expand the local branch.

Also the organizers of the recent “Community Discussion” gave the audience a brief summary of their gathering and issue ideas.

The main agenda item was the introduction of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, after which Zapf gave a personal tale of poverty as a child, then switched to some of her legislative priorities, and finally fielded questions from the audience. Her aid for the community, Conrad Wear, was also introduced.

After the Zapf presentation, Community Relations officer David Surwilo got up before the meeting, introduced the other commanders present, and then launched into sharing a practical perspective on policing, giving an update on the current “crime wave” in OB, …

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Turn Out for Town Council Meeting – Tonight, Wed. Jan. 28th

January 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting their monthly public meeting, and besides dishing out the awards to December’s Holiday Parade winners, the Council will be welcoming new District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to the community. Representatives of the San Diego Police Department will also be on hand, as usual.

The meeting will be gaveled to order by president Gretchen Newsom very close tot 7 pm and is held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. See the meeting agenda.

The OB Rag urges all OBceans to attend this meeting and let Councilwoman Zapf know your issues and priorities. We especially believe there are serious infrastructure problems in Ocean Beach – such as the needed expansion of the OB Library, as well as a new lifeguard station, street lights, etc.

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Memo Shows Expansion of Ocean Beach Library Budget Priority for Councilwoman Zapf

January 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A City of San Diego memo from the office of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf that the OB Rag has obtained shows that the expansion of the Ocean Beach Library is one of Zapf’s top 7 budget concerns.

In a memo from Zapf to Andrea Tevlin, the Independent Budget Analyst, dated January 16, 2015, it states:

“It is important that we fully fund the expansion of the Ocean Beach library.”

Even though the OB Library is listed as number 7 on the list, the memo begins:

“Below is a list of Council District 2 priorities that I would like to see included in the upcoming budget discussions. This list is not in a ranked order.” (Our emphasis)

The memo then goes on to list 7 priorities, with number 7 being “Ocean Beach Library Expansion”.

The other six funding priorities include Police officer retention, De Anza Cove Plan update, street repairs, and the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station.

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Warning Signs Are Up at Ocean Beach: Stay Out of the Water

January 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The signs are up at Ocean Beach that warn people to stay out of the water. The County Department of Environmental Health says the bacteria levels in the water exceed healthy standards. Anyone who swims or surfs in the area takes the risk of getting sick.

This is especially important to follow right now, as weather reports have the weekend warming up into the 70s.

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History of the Ocean Beach Library

January 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: The following is primarily based on a short paper by the Friends of the OB Library.

The original Ocean Beach branch library opened on Abbott Street at Santa Monica Avenue in 1916. It was in a one-room storefront location. Margaret Rankin became the librarian in 1921, and immediately began campaigning for funds for a new and larger branch.

Seven years later, she was successful, and in October of 1928 a new library did indeed open – and it’s been there ever since, at the corner of Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Smaller than the current branch, the original building had classic proportions and more windows than what we have today.

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Sign the Petition in Support of the Ocean Beach Library Expansion

January 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Friends of the Ocean Beach Library are circulating a petition these days in support of the expansion of the OB branch. It states:

“We support the expansion of the Ocean Beach Branch Library from the current 4,000-square foot size to a modernized 15,000-square-foot facility that retains the historic core.”

It ends with an appeal to the mayor and City Council:

“We urge the Mayor and Council to support this top community priority …”

___________
COME INSIDE FOR A RE-PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE PETITION

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Friends of Ocean Beach Library Gear Up Campaign to Get Branch Back on City Expansion List

January 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Friends of the OB Library are not happy. They’ve been working to get the local branch back on the city’s library expansion list for awhile now, but the recent news that the Ocean Beach Library is not on the list was upsetting to many of them.

So, the committee of about a dozen OBceans, with women outnumbering men 6 to 1, headed by Judy Collier, decided at their monthly meeting yesterday, Jan. 20, to gear up their campaign. They will continue to push their petition …

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Town Council Prez Urges OBceans to Come Out to Meet Councilwoman Zapf

January 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Newsom Cites Spike in Numbers of Travelers in OB and Spike in Complaints About Them

Gretchen Newsom is urging OBceans to come out to the next OB Town Council meeting next week and meet the new Councilwoman for Ocean Beach – Lorie Zapf – elected last year.It will be held on Wednesday, January 28th at the Masonic Center.

She has real concerns these days about a spike in the numbers of travelers in Ocean Beach lately. Newsom is the president of the OB Town Council, recently elected to a 2nd term. And she is no stranger to working with homeless …

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Despite Disappointing Turnout, 100 San Diegans March 4 Miles for Justice

January 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

It wasn’t a massive turnout here in San Diego Monday for the 4 Mile March – far from it – but you can’t get away from the fact that one hundred San Diegans did march four miles for social justice in an effort to rekindle Martin Luther King’s militancy on his celebrated birthday.

San Diego joined a list of at least 30 other cities nationwide that also had “4MileMarches”. A small crowd of around 140 gathered at the City Heights park next to its library – about a quarter African-Americans – , …

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OB’s People’s Food Expansion Plans Put on Hold

January 19, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Organic Store Had Agreement With “Tiny” of Tiny’s Tavern Before His Recent Passing

By Frank Gormlie

The expansion plans of Ocean Beach’s largest employer, the famous OB People’s Organic Food Market, have been placed on hold due to the unfortunate and untimely death of “Tiny”, the owner of Tiny’s Tavern.

The market co-op, which is a mainstay on Voltaire Street in OB, has just recently purchased the two parcels of land directly to the store’s east, one containing a duplex and the other containing Tiny’s Tavern.

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Ocean Beach Business and Development Update

January 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s one of our irregular updates on Ocean Beach construction and development.

CJ Catering Moving Into Former Voltaire Street Bakery – Some good news for those with a sweet tooth,

CVS Opens in Former Apple Tree

In the Meantime New Apple Tree on Newport Makes Progress

Saratoga Condos to Open February 1

New Poles at Site of Future Sunset Plaza

Fourth 3-Story Behemoth on West Pt Loma Makes a Fine Blocked View

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OB Library Expansion Not in City’s Construction Pipeline Despite Promise Over 10 Years Old

January 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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In a kick to the gut to OB supporters of an expansion of the Ocean Beach library, San Diego just announced the next two “waves” of construction and expansions of libraries across town – and they do not include the OB branch.

This despite the promise by the city to expand the current and historic OB library into a two -story building complete with a courtyard. The city even purchased property next door in anticipation of the planned expansion. Architects were hired and models and plans of the new library were shown to members of the OB Planning Board. The plans included retaining the main historic building. This was back in 2003.

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Reader Rave: Residents, Students and Point Loma Planners Clean-Up Future Park

January 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Jon Linney

On Saturday January 10 we cleaned up the future walk-in park site at Avenida de Portugal and Scott Street. Gone are the dead acacia trees and tumbleweeds that represented a fire hazard. Gone are the cans, bottles and other urban trash. Now absent are the years of construction debris: steel girders, cinder blocks, blocks of concrete, dumploads of gravel and once-molten asphalt.

A dangerous blind curve along Canon Street is now much more visible thanks to our tree pruning. Water has been taking its toll on the park site. The cleanup also involved smoothing the surface to slow or stop the erosion while money is raised and planning done to develop the park.

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Local News: Ocean Beach and Point Loma

January 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Hats for Sale to Help Kyle Witkowski’s Family – Hats are now on sale in OB to help Kyle Witkowski’s family.
Sunset Plaza Construction – World Oil’s Sunset Plaza at Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire …

Tiny of Tiny’s Tavern Has Stroke – Tiny of Tiny’s Tavern passed away after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, Jan. 7th;

The Widder Curry Gets Her Cutting Board – Judi Curry finally got her Chicago Cutlery breadboard!

Study of Deaths From Sunset Cliffs – there’s been an average of 4 deaths per year since 2008.

Progress at the New Apple Tree Market on Newport

More Homeless Discussion In Local Media – Gretchen Newson – prez of the OB Town Council

What Do You Think About Trying to Get OB Named as National Surfing Preserve?Please let us know in

Paddle Out Jan 17 for Legendary Surfer Barry Ault

New Bike Racks on Santa Monica Ave Near Rec Center

OB Historical Society – “Tales from the Trail: SD’s Rich Outdoors History” – Jan. 15th

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Annual Election Set: Candidate and Voter Requirements

January 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold elections for the 2015-2017 term on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Mail-in ballots are available upon request (see Voter Information below).

Seven of the Board’s 14 seats will be up for election, one from each of the seven districts in the OB Community Plan Area (map). Board members are elected to 2-year terms, and seats open are staggered every other election.

In addition, there is second seat open in District 4 – but because that seat’s term doesn’t expire until March 2016, it is not being filled this election. In the past, however, the Board would simply add a vacant seat to the ballot but with an explicit expiration date for one year.

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OB Community Plan Likely to Go to Coastal Commission in March

January 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The much anticipated final review of the Ocean Beach Community Plan by the California Coastal Commission has been on the minds of OB planners and OBceans for months now.

Now it is known that the Commission is scheduled to meet in San Diego on March 11 to 13. It is speculation, but it is likely that is when the last stop for the OB Plan will be. Their agenda for that meeting has not be made public. …

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“Civita” Is the Largest Project in the Continued Destruction of Mission Valley

January 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Part 2

By Frank Gormlie

In mid-October I wrote about how four large residential and commercial development projects and a handful of smaller ones slated for Mission Valley will complete the destruction of San Diego’s once lush green valley. Here, I begin to focus on the individual projects.

“Civita” roughly translated is Latin for citizenship, and it’s the name of the largest, most massive Mission Valley development going in right now – with perhaps a third already completed or being currently built. Once you step back and realize it’s scope, Civita is at once a horrifying and amazing place for all its audaciousness.

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“Junco’s Jabs” – Political Cartoons for San Diego and the Region

January 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Worldwide attention is on Paris and political cartoonists right now. Our online media partner, the San Diego Free Press, has sort of an in-house cartoonist, Junco Canché – who blasts out his relevant, poignant political cartoons every now and then under “Junco’s Jabs”. Junco takes aim at anybody, Mayor Faulconer, Mexico, the KKK, the Supreme Court.

Here is his bio at the Free Press:

Junco Canché, the Chicano Punk Rock Artesano, was born in the US and raised in Mexico. His influences include cartoons, punk rock, manga, and Mayan codexes . Before SDFP, Junco drew cartoons for El Coyote Online, La Prensa News, and the Southwestern College Sun. He’s received awards …

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Crazy! OB Entryway Walkway Does Not Connect With Robb Field

January 8, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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You can’t get away from the fact that the brand new paved trail in the brand new OB Entryway Park does not connect with Robb Field. The new walkway ends abruptly near the bottom of the incline with a nice bench.

But clearly, there is no trail or pavement or walkway that leads directly into the huge park that abuts this new addition to OB’s parks.

Most of the landscaping is yet to come in, as can be seen, but the paved walkway is complete, as it winds down from the circular entrance near the intersection of West Pt Loma and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at the busiest entrance to Ocean Beach.

You’re not supposed to be in the little park yet, …

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OB Mourns Its Son – Kyle Witkowski

January 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Fundraiser Set Up for Kell Winn Injured in Crash

Ocean Beach is mourning the loss of one of its young sons, Kyle Witkowski, who died in the crash of his car off Sunset Cliffs during the early hours of Saturday, January 3rd. Kyle, who was 28, never made it out of his car when his Tahoe crashed through the guardrail, fence and dropped to the rocky shore below.

A memorial has been set up around a public bench at the fateful intersection, Bacon and Coronado in OB – right on the cliffs. Heartfelt notes, many flowers and candles drape the site. Bouquets of flowers adorn the nearby chainlink fence. The ocean below continues without hesitation at the loss of human life on its doorstep.

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Is This Graffiti or Not?

January 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Billboard Linked to OB Lawyer an Eyesore in East County

We all think we know what graffiti is when we see it, especially spray-painted tagging team symbols.

But aren’t there other types of graffiti?

How about the marking of public space by a group or company that mars that public space for a profit? That marking and marring of public space can be done by a commercial sign or billboard.

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OB Planning Board Meeting – Wed., Jan. 7th: Demolish 2 and Build 4 Units at 4950 Saratoga

January 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds their monthly meeting this Wednesday, January 7th. Their meeting starts sharply at 6pm in the Meeting Room of the OB Recreation Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

After the usual reports and the Board’s approval of their materials for their upcoming election in early March, there is one action item regarding a development at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. Here is what we stated last month as the project wound its way to the Project Review Committee in December.

The project up for consideration this week is an application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. The application is to demolish 2 existing residences and build 4 dwelling units – on a 2 lot plot of 0.16 acres.

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Ocean Beach Restaurants Looking to Hire

December 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Whether it’s the season or the industry itself, it’s unclear, but a whole host of OB restaurants are looking to hire people right now.

At least 5 eateries in Ocean Beach have ads up at various places, including Craigslist. All the following job offers are listed in the OB Rag’s free classified section under “Help Wanted“.

Leading off the group is the Cohn family Restaurant Group, which has two high-end restaurants in the coastal village of OB.

Their latest, the OB Warehouse on Newport Avenue, is looking for everybody: bartenders, all kinds of cooks – saute, grill, prep, and hosts and dishwashers. Interested people should apply online or in person daily between 2pm and 4pm. …

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End o’Year Local News from OB and Point Loma

December 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Hit and Run Victim Talks Katie Conner, the OBcean who was the victim of a hit-and-run driver in OB spoke to a local TV station on the crash that …

OB Surfers Part of Study of Health Problems from Post-Storm Polluted Ocean OB surfers are taking part in a study to evaluate medical and health problems that arise after they surf …
Stolen Christmas Presents Pose Possible Problem for OB Post Office Branch An OB couple are claiming that presents sent to family in Texas were tampered with by possibly by a postal clerk or someone “inside” the OB P.O. …

2nd Fatal Accident in Midway District Near I-8 Freeway Shows Dangers of Stretch

Pt Loma Nazarene Anthropology Prof Part of Study of Gangs and Sex-Trafficking

Police Renew Call for Info on Missing Pt Loma Mom San Diego police have renewed their call for information that could help find a 31-year-old mother of two who vanished from her Point Loma home more than two months ago.

“Backdoor Bandit” Who Robbed 13 Businesses Including Roberto’s in Ocean Beach Sentenced
AND MORE INSIDE

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The New Civil Rights Movement That Can Save America

December 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Not sure of what to call this new movement, this movement that sprang off of the failure to indict the white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in the shooting death of Michael Brown, and which is now a nation-wide daily outpouring of militant demonstrations against the murders of Black men and police brutality and violence.

Despite the unprovoked shooting deaths last Saturday of two police officers in New York City by a Black man with mental problems unconnected with the protests, the movement must go on and it must go on daily. The movement cannot allow this shooting or the backlash against the protests to stall its journey.

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End of the Year Notes from Editordude’s Desk

December 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Now that there’s only a week left in 2014, I’d like to take a moment and let you know some of what’s going on behind the scenes, either with us or with Ocean Beach.

The OB Planning Board needs you. First up, however, is a plea to get people to run for the OB Planning Board. Their election isn’t until March, but in order to be eligible to run as a candidate for one of the open seats, you must have been to at least one general meeting over the last year, and you need to have done this by February. There are 7 or 8 seats open this election, depending how you count. Their meetings are the first Wednesday of every month.

So, first, if you are even vaguely interested, check to see which OB planning district you live in.

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Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

December 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Continuing the Debate: Is the San Salvador Replica a “Symbol of Genocide” or a “Marketing Tool for San Diego”? or can it be used to tell the true story?

In the interests of continuing the debate of the controversy that has arisen over the current construction of the San Salvador , the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship, which is being built at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay by the Maritime Museum, we offer the following comments.

We’re certain that the building of the replica of the San Salvador, is widely known around town by now, and many even know that most of the construction is being accomplished by volunteers using the “original” tools and methods of the 16th century. There are tours, displays and some PR by the San Diego Maritime Museum.

In fact, the Museum is planning to stage the official launch of the vessel in late February 2015.

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Ocean Beach Being Considered for National Surfing Reserve

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We have just found out that Ocean Beach is right now being considered as a National Surfing Reserve.

Research is currently going on to identify iconic California surfing spots that could have the National Reserve status. It is being conducted by World Surfing Reserve cofounder Brad Farmer, who along with Michael Blum, are doing the research into the potential sites. It’s apparently a 10-year process.

Surfing sites at Malibu and Santa Cruz have already been declared World Surfing Reserves.

Just what are the criteria to being a National Surfing Reserve? They include historical and cultural significance, surf break quality, community interest, economic and recreational value, and the presence of environmental threats. Ocean Beach has all of these, doesn’t it?

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SeaWorld WATCH: CEO and 108 Workers Let Go, But No Orcas

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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These are bad days for SeaWorld: plummeting ticket sales and profits. And worse – the CEO was fired, 108 workers at the San Diego theme park were laid off, part of 300 nation-wide.

Yet, no orcas have been let go or laid off. You know things are getting bad when even the U-T San Diego – a staunch supporter of SeaWorld – asks “Will SeaWorld free Shamu?“.

Amidst continuing protests at their front gate, SeaWorld announced a week ago that CEO Jim Atchison was resigning. At this point it’s fairly universally accepted that a lot of SeaWorld’s decline is because of changing attitudes of consumers about orca captivity – much of that prompted by the “Blackfish” documentary -which was highly critical of its treatment of killer whales.

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Saratoga Condos Being Readied – Are All the Units Already Rented?

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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On site at the waterfront condos being built at Saratoga and Abbott in Ocean Beach, it’s clear that the 3-story building is nearing completion.

We were out there last week, and saw dozens of workers trying to get the 10-unit complex ready by January 2015. New cement had been poured at one of the entrances to the partial-underground parking area off Abbott, and workers were prepping the surface. A guy who appeared to be a foreman told me that his work had to be finished by that week.

Not far from them was a small team working on electrical lines, it appeared. Up in the second floor, white-collared men seemed to be dealing with high-tech equipment.

COME INSIDE FOR HISTORY OF CONTROVERSIAL SITE

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