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.

As it is a local story of interest, the OB Rag has covered the building of the ship several times, with photo essays, a focus on the volunteers – particularly the women volunteers, the craftsmanship, tools and imported wood.

Yet, our coverage has encouraged discussion, and because of our posts here and at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, a debate has arisen – as the construction of the replica of the 500-year ship has run into a wall of controversy.

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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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San Diego Joins National Protests Against Police Violence

December 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Photo Gallery of Event Inside

Last Saturday, December 13th, San Diego joined the national day of protests held nation-wide against police violence. The largest demonstrations were in New York City and Washington DC.

Three hundred people gathered at the large fountain in Balboa Park during the late morning for a rally, die-in and march. A couple dozen curious tourists were nearby, snapping photos. It was a very mixed crowd, and as Doug Porter reports (below) some of the speakers were exceptionally passionate and persuasive.

The various speakers did decry police shootings of Black men – including in San Diego, and other themes such as the lack of justice, the systematic racism of the system, white privilege, the need to come together, to love one another, to meet at the Malcolm X Library as part of a coalition, how reforms are not good, to not just come to a rally but take the struggle home, and more.

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OB Project Review Committee: 4950 Saratoga – Demolition of 2 Units and Construction of 4

December 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board is scheduled to review a demolition / construction project on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue at their monthly meeting this Wednesday, Dec. 17th.

The one-item agenda of the Committee, chaired by John Ambert, begins at 6 pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The Project Review Committee holds a semi-hearing on each project that is to come before the Planning Board and then it usually makes a recommendation to the full Board, that most times considers the project at their next monthly meeting.

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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Zapf’s Aide Calls Protesters at Inaugural “F*cking idiots” and “I wanted to shoot them!”

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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A community representative of newly-sworn in Councilwoman Lori Zapf called protesters at Zapf’s inaugural “fucking idiots” and then said “I wanted to shoot them!”

Shirley Owen, an aide to Zapf, called the protesters “fucking idiots with their hands up” and said “I wanted to shoot them.” The protesters were there to protest police violence and brutality, and had rallied outside the Golden Hall inauguration in downtown San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 10th. They were chanting “hands up, don’t shoot!”, and then went inside and had a silent protest and a “die-in”.

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San Diego March Against Police Violence – Sat., Dec. 13th

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Coinciding with a national march against police violence in Washington, DC, organizers have planned a march here in San Diego on the same day.

The national march is being organized by the National Action Network in response to the recent shootings by police of unarmed Black men and the failure of grand juries to indict the cops involved. Protest have erupted across the country on a daily basis since the most recent failure to indict last week by a New York grand jury.

The solidarity action in San Diego is on Saturday, December 13th, and begins at the Balboa Park Big Fountain at 10:30 am. Speakers are planned, as well as a “Die-In” and a march.

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Four Unit Complex on 4900 Coronado in Ocean Beach Sold for $1.5 Million

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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A four-unit complex on the 4900 block of Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach has just been sold for $1.5 Million. The complex at 4947-4951½ Coronado Ave. consists of a main house with 4-bedrooms and 2 baths, plus one 2-bedroom, 2 bath house, and then a pair of one-bedroom units. “The Coronado Avenue Apartments”, built in 1951, at assessor’s parcel 448-161-09, is a 7,000-square-foot lot.

Of course, it’s not known what the new owner plans to do with this large lot close to beautiful Sunset Cliffs. Will the nearly 65 year-old buildings be rehabbed, or will they be demolished and replaced with a 3-story gargantuan? This property is in District 5 of the OB Planning Area, and Board members Jane Gawronski and Michael Nieto represent the district.
COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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Two Teens Rescued at the Usual Sunset Cliffs Jumping Site

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Two teenagers had to be rescued today by lifeguards using a crane. And the rescue was at the usual “jumping” site along Sunset Cliffs, near Froude Street.

The two were apparently from of group of 7, out to see the big surf, skipping school, who decided to try the jump.

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The 7 Planning Districts of Ocean Beach

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Do you know which planning district you live in within Ocean Beach?

Here is a detailed and photographic tour of each of the seven planning districts within the OB Planning Area. These posts were originally written for the OB Planning Board election in March of 2014. Everything – except who the current District representatives are – is still up todate.

We begin with District 1 – the northwest sector of OB – a very important section of the community. It’s bordered on the north by Dog Beach, the San Diego River and Robb Field – which makes the district the gateway to two of OB’s parks. It’s the site of the most famous dog-friendly beach park in the city and due to the district’s proximity to the beach, it has a heavy impact from tourists and visitors. … MORE

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OB Planning Board Calls for Annual Election: 8 Seats Up for Grabs

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At their last meeting on December 3rd, the OB Planning Board announced that its annual elections will be held on March 10, 2015, and that half of its seats are up for selection. There are also currently 3 vacancies on the Board, so by our count, that’s 8 positions on the Board up for grabs.

Residents, merchants and property owners are eligible to serve on the Board, and anyone so interested must have attended one meeting of the Planning Board sometime between last March 2014 and their January meeting in 2015.

COME INSIDE FOR ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, MAPS, & APPLICATION

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Will there or will there not be a skate protest down Newport Ave on Sat, Dec. 13?

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s fliers out here and there around OB of late that call for a “skate protest” on Saturday, Dec. 13. We’ve seen two variations – one calls for “Reclaim the Street”, and “Stop Skateboard Discrimination” and “End youth and homeless discrimination”.

The other says: “Support OB Culture”, and calls for “youth and homeless discrimination awareness”. Both call for a Skate down Ocean Beach’s Newport Avenue at 12 noon on Saturday. One asked “Please wear green for peace and solidarity”. Both fliers had been apparently printed off a xerox, and were gray with hand-written text and symbols.

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News of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early Dec 2014

December 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Point Loma Naval Engineers Build Driverless Vehicle

Recently at a test facility at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, a team of engineers successfully demonstrated a Reconnaissance and Detection Expendable Rover (RaDER), an autonomous – driverless – vehicle designed to keep Marines out of danger. No human needed.

Locals Donate Christmas Tree to OB

A local couple Sal and Nancy DeMaria, donated their 1931 Star Pine to OB for its annual Christmas Tree, propped up every year at the foot of Newport. See Mercy Baron’s report from SD Reader.

OB Town Gets Shout-Out From Calif Planners for Naming OB Community Plan “Grand Marshall” of Parade
AND MUCH MORE

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Show Solidarity With Grand Marshall of OB Holiday Parade – Walk With the Community Plan Contingent

December 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Have you never walked or participated in the annual OB Holiday Parade? Well, tonight is the time for you.

OB planners are calling on all OBceans to join the Grand Marshall contingent of the Parade – it’s the OB Community Plan entry at the very beginning of the Parade down Newport Ave today, Sat., Dec 6th. The parade begins sharply at 5:05 pm – OB Time.

It is such an honor to be titled the Grand Marshall of the Parade – and the Town Council this year decided to bestow the title on the OB Community Plan. This is the first time in the Parade’s history, that an entity and non-human has been named the Grand Marshall.

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OB Town Council Christmas Auction Raises Thousands for Toys

December 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Photo Gallery of OBceans

At last night’s Christmas Auction sponsored by the OB Town Council, thousands of dollars were raised for their annual food and toy drive.

The big item on the block: the original Ocean Beach entryway sign – since replaced – complete with the guerrilla red paint on the “O” and with all its original termites. It was auctioned off for $2,000! A couple very active in the night’s bidding at the Sunshine Company won the sign.

The final figure of how much was exactly raised is still only known within the higher echelons of the Town Council itself, but we expect the tally to be completed soon and informed of the figure. The money is used to purchase food and toys for local needy families.

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SEAWORLD WATCH: Protests for Corky’s Retirement on Dec. 5 – 6 – and ‘Jackass’ Star Gets Infraction for “Sucks” Stunt

December 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is lots to report in this “SeaWorld Watch” column, an occasional post at OB Rag.

First, there will be protests outside San Diego SeaWorld this weekend, as activists pressure the aquatic zoo in protests advocating the retirement of the longest-held orca in captivity, Corky, captured 45 years ago.

Second, “Jackass” star, Steve-O, who pulled off a successful stunt last spring when he taped “Sucks” next to SeaWorld’s name on a freeway sign, was charged only with an infraction – no criminal charge – and faces a fine – which PETA has agreed to pay.

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OBceans Urged to Join the Grand Marshall Entry in the Holiday Parade: the OB Community Plan

December 4, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OBceans of every stripe and kind are being urged by local neighborhood planners and organizers to join the OB Community Plan contingent in the Holiday Parade this Saturday, December 6th.

The OB Community Plan has been awarded the honorary title of the Grand Marshall of the Parade by the Town Council. The contingent will be at the very front of the parade and will be lining up next to Chase Bank on Newport Ave at 5pm on Saturday.

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Point Lomans Invited to Navy Public Meeting on Miramar Fuel Pipe – Wed., Dec. 3

December 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Residents of Point Loma are invited to a public meeting hosted by the US Navy on their plans for the Miramar fuel pipeline that runs through the Peninsula. It’s on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd. It will be from 5 to 8 pm, at the Portuguese Hall, at 2828 Avenida De Portugal in Point Loma.

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OB Planners and Town Council Need Volunteers for Holiday Parade

December 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

OBceans are needed as volunteers for this week, one of the busiest in OB – the Holiday Parade.

The OB Town Council needs volunteers –

For Parade volunteers, please contact them at info@obtowncouncil.org – or fill out this – http://obtowncouncil.org/ob-for-the-holidays/volunteers/

OB Planners Need You for the Community Plan Contingent

And OB planners invite you to join the OB Community Plan contingent at the front of the Parade, wear you blue T-shirt and carry a one word sign.

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OB Rag Poll: Majority Supports Round-About at West Pt Loma and Bacon Street

December 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

The results are in for the OB Rag’s latest poll on round-abouts. We asked our readers if they supported a round-about or traffic circle at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon Street. We have raised the issue, as the OB Planning Board and the City are thinking about doing a feasibility study for one at that location.

A majority of the respondents answered that they do support a round-about at that site, the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon – 52%. In contrast, just 12% were opposed to a round-about there. There were a total of 67 respondents.

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Midway Construction Project Will See 190 Units on Former Barnard School Land

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego School District sold the property of the former Barnard Elementary School over in the Midway area about 2 years ago. Now, it’s the site of a massive construction project that will when completed host 180 apartment units and 10 townhomes.

The project – called the Barnard Apartments – is on 9.5 acres and will be a gated apartment complex. A company called the Monarch Group bought the site at auction for a reported $16.5 million, and plan to have the project completed by January 2016.

The apartments will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, as there will be 19 residential buildings. In addition, plans call for a rec building with a fitness center and “teaching kitchen”, and there will be a swimming pool and an artificial-turf dog park. Each apartment will have their own garage space as well.

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In Solidarity With Ferguson, San Diego Protesters Shut Down 2 Freeways

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Over the course of about 12 hours, protesters in San Diego blocked two freeways in solidarity with people in Ferguson, Missouri, upset with the decision by the Grand Jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Last night, Tuesday, demonstrators in City Heights of San Diego moved down from University Avenue and blocked I-15 for a few minutes. Some arrests were made by police.

Then this morning, Wednesday, about 50 protesters from UCSD shut down I-5 northbound for about a half hour. No arrests were made in this action.

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Feeling Grateful and Giving Thanks

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

By Ernie McCray

Giving Thanks

Last Saturday was a very pretty day and to celebrate the beauty of it all I took off on a walk at a nice steady pace. As I moved along I gave thanks to the very universe for my being able to take in such a sparkling day up and about on my old size 14 feet.

I thought of so many things I’m grateful for: a great childhood, athletic glory, a marriage that thrilled my soul until my soul-mate passed away and then another fine woman came my way; children, grand children, great-grand-children, leading positive lives; college degrees; having traveled to exotic places overseas.

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Ferguson: The System Is Indicted

November 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Too upset over what was announced last night in the failure of the Grand Jury to indict officer Darrin Wilson in the murder of Michael Brown to post today.

There are planned protests, vigils and demonstrations in 120 American cities today, Tuesday, Nov. 25th, including several in San Diego.

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Readers – Both Residents and Visitors – Voted Overwhelmingly to Keep “Hippie Floral” Design on OB Hostel

November 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB Rag readers who participated in our most recent poll, voted overwhelmingly to keep the current “hippie floral” design on the OB Hostel on Newport Avenue.

67% of our readers want the new owners of the hostel, USA Hostels, to keep current paint job.

22% of those who responded want to see the exterior painted over. Seven per cent had no opinion.

In a recent post by our writer Matthew Wood on an interview with the new staff of the hostel, the issue was raised whether the new owner and its management would paint over what Wood called the “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”.

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Models of Aborted Fetuses on the OB Pier

November 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Much to their surprise, walkers on the Ocean Beach Pier on Saturday, Nov. 22nd, were confronted much to their disgust with ceramic models of aborted fetuses. The grotesque models were on a table along with pamphlets and books being handed out to anyone interested by an anti-abortionist group.

The table had a canopy and had been set up close to the stairs leading to the beach. It was staffed by about 5 people – one of whom held a toddler – and had been set up by a group named the Saint Paul Street Evangelization -with an address of 525 B Street Suite 2200, in downtown San Diego.

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Friends of OB Library Install the Bench

November 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s finally happened! A brand new bench was just installed in front of the OB Library.

The Friends of the OB Library are the responsible group for this venture into making our public facility a better place to be. What’s a library without a bench in front?

With a grant from the OB Town Council and through their own fundraising, the Friends were able to purchase the metal outdoor furniture. This is a great tribute to the community by one of the most wonderful band of local OB lovers.

There is a little background story that involves yours truly.

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National Scrutiny of Fatal Police Shootings Reminds Us of Two OBceans Killed By Cops

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a soul-searching national scrutiny going on right now about fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.

In a LA Times article, published Nov. 16th, the issue of police killings of civilians is raised and it describes how the ranks of families are expanding “who demand answers about why lethal force was used, and who decides what is reasonable use of force.”

The key and central question is : What’s reasonable force?

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Too Much Salt Delays Ribbon-Cutting at OB Entryway Park

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Park’s Walkway Does Not Enter Adjacent Robb Field

Reporter Tony de Garate in an excellent Nov. 17 piece in the San Diego Reader, has informed us that the much-ballyhooed ribbon-cutting on the Ocean Beach Entryway Project – Park is being delayed – once again.

De Garate reports that “there’s too much salt in the soil” at the planned park at the intersection of West Pt Loma Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, according to the City, and that the November 20th opening of the new park will have to be pushed back into next year. The city’s latest estimate of the completion date – as of Nov. 1st – is now February 2015.

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