How Ocean Beach got it’s Empty-way

November 20, 2014 by Marc Snelling

Hillcrest

[Originally published June 14, 2008]

by Marc Snelling

In case you didn’t know you were in Hillcrest , or AbNormal Heights there is a big sign to tell you. Normal HeightsSame goes for University Heights, which despite the marketing does not have a university. Even streets have them.

El Cajon Blvd

Nothing says NEIGHBORHOOD! in San Diego like a huge sign on the main road.

This got some OBceans to thinking that our puny sign, and the first few blocks of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard were not a complimentary enough entryway to OB. …

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Twelve Years Ago Today OB Held Its Largest Peace Rally This Century

October 27, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Last month Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, who was elected to end two wars, addressed the nation to announce an open-ended bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. As the Afghanistan War (now the longest in American history) and the conflict in Iraq continue it is clear Obama has failed to live up to his election promises.

Not only has his administration failed to live up to it’s word to end two wars and close Guantanamo prison, he has even changed his tune about the initial invasion. The US “sought to work within the international system” he said earlier in March of this year at a speech in Brussels. Obama further declared the the US had “left Iraq to it’s people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about it’s own future.”

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Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

October 1, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Originally posted Oct. 1, 2014

Editor: Marc Snelling – a former member of the OB Planning Board, does a comparison between the history of condo conversions in OB and San Diego with Canadian cities. He currently lives outside Ottawa.

By Marc Snelling

Ten years ago San Diego was among the national leaders in condo conversions. Lack of City regulation combined with speculator greed resulted in a rate of condo conversions that threatened families and renters.

Condo conversion proponents invariably tout the supposed benefits of owner occupancy and the lower cost of a condominium versus a detached home for first-time buyers. They are also just as sure not to mention the inconvenient fact that renters need to be evicted to make a condo out of an apartment.

The owner-occupancy argument is dubious as many condo owners do not live in the properties but turn around and rent them at a higher rate.

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Orcas Saving Humans

August 6, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Oral history of orcas saving humans stretches out for a millennia.

Haida, Tlingit, Nuxalk and other peoples of the Northwest have kept stories and names alive for many generations.

For example, Natsilane being saved from attempted drowning by his jealous brothers is a Haida and Tlingit story.

Nuxalk stories of Ista and Patsallht recount traveling with killer whales and how they got their black color. K’aa gwaay, the five finned killer whale of legends is carved on totem poles such as Ts’aahl Llnagaay at the Haida Heritage Center in Kay Llnagaay (Skidegate BC).

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Dude, is it legal yet?

July 23, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Dude, is it legal yet?

People have been saying this since the seventies. Speaking to activists from this era, it seems many felt that legalization of marijuana in the US was imminent in the early seventies. But other than Alaska in 1975 (re-criminalized in 1991) the seventies did not see legalization of marijuana come to pass.

The activists of the seventies (Baby Boomers) have now been joined by the next generation – the children of the seventies (Gen X). With these two generations working together public support for legal marijuana is now over 50% and is on the rise. Victories in the battle to change US laws continue as both generations of activists work towards change.

Today the answer to ‘Dude, is it legal yet?’ is becoming ‘Yes!’ for more and more people as Washington and Colorado have moved to legalization, nine states have decriminalized and twenty-three have introduced medical marijuana legislation.

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How OBGO brought back the OB Rag and the “California Energy Crisis”

June 10, 2014 by Marc Snelling

SDG&E customer burning bill - OB Rag July 1975

OB Group Brought Activism Back to the Streets of Ocean Beach

The original OB Rag published from 1970-1975. Twenty five years after the last OB Rag newspapers were circulated on the streets of Ocean Beach, OBGO launched an effort to bring the stories back into the digital realm.

The Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization (OBGO) was a group formed by local activists existing from 2000-2005. Through the group’s website OBGO.org the first story republished was in August of 2000. ‘SDG&E Wants 20% More’ was the title of the article republished from the Volume 5 Number 6 issue of the Rag of July 1975.

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Activist Recounts Earlier OB Battle With SeaWorld – Now 14 Years Ago

April 24, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Originally published April 24, 2014

By Marc Snelling

Opposition to SeaWorld San Diego and their corporate business model has been well documented in recent OB Rag stories. Easter Protest at SeaWorld San Diego by Zach Affolter, “The Night I Decided to Stop Going to Sea World.” by Lori Saldaña, and the ongoing Orca Profiles in Captivity series represent a wave of voices speaking up for the animals and the community.

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The Ocean Beach Campaign Against Starbucks 13 Years Later – Part 2

March 27, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

The Story of How Ocean Beach Took on Starbucks

Part 2

The building being leased by Starbucks at 4994 Newport, like the Strand also had historical significance. Built in 1927 as a branch office for the Bank of Italy, it incorporated graceful interior features including antique mahogany furniture, chrome iron tellers windows, and marble. Ocean Beach Historical Society president Carol Bowers contacted Starbucks asking them to preserve the unique features of the building.

She was told that a “design team” would contact her to address her concerns. While she was waiting for the call that never came she walked by the site and saw that the arched windows and loft that had housed the former vault had already been walled off. Trees that had been growing int he parking lot had been removed. “So much for Starbucks touted community involvement” she wrote in a May 24th editorial for the Beacon.

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The Story of How Ocean Beach Took on Starbucks

March 25, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling / Special to the OB Rag / Mar. 25, 2014

Part 1

Thirteen years ago today – March 25th, 2001 – the first No Starbucks in OB protest took place. Hundreds gathered at the corner of Newport Ave and Bacon St to send a message to the corporation that the community did not want their store.

OB got the message, Starbucks corporate HQ didn’t.

Starbucks is back in the news this month opening another controversial San Diego location. After a vote allowing a Starbucks to replace the the fair-trade Espresso Roma Cafe, two UCSD students stand accused of arson and ‘eco-terorism’ for lighting fires in Price Center restrooms to prevent the opening.

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NSA Spy – the Most Boring Pointless Job in the World?

January 29, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

In the ongoing international debate over NSA spying there are few voices of reason. The NSA would like you to think they are the eye on the pyramid of the great seal. An all-seeing all-knowing department of the most powerful government on earth. A division of James Bonds and Bondettes with the latest gadgetry spying on all manner of digital communication to protect the world from the scariest terrorist de jour.

On the other side of the same coin are the whistle blowers like Edward Snowden. He has now joined the ranks with Julian Assange and the Wikileaks hacktivists. They fancy themselves a gang of revolutionaries striking fear in the heart of evil government ‘leaders’, and corporate CEOs. Digital warriors, exercising their superior-hacking skills to bring nefarious secrets into the light of day. The truth is not nearly as sexy as the media, the NSA, or the hacktivists would have you believe.

In reality NSA spies are cubicle-dwelling keyboard jockeys not tuxedo-wearing international men of mystery.

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The United Nations in My Closet.

January 15, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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People don’t often look at where their clothes come from. We don’t often think about who made them. Our closets are full of garments made by people making less than a dollar an hour. Don’t let the price of those Nike sneakers throw you. They weren’t expensive to make. They are expensive because you will pay. The profits do not go to better working conditions. Just ask the workers who survived the Savar garment-factory collapse in Bangladesh. The factory that manufactured clothes for Walmart, among others, killed 1,129 people and injured 2,515 when it collapsed on April 24, 2013.

I’m one of those hippy-clone-activist-types. I actually care where my clothes come from and read labels. I’m also a cheapskate and like to wear clothes that look like rags to some. Blame Johnny Rotten and Kurt Cobain. I didn’t invent the fashion. I must look homeless at times because people are always trying to gift me clothes. My better half is always trying to get me to throw clothes out. She is astounded that I can remember where I got each piece of clothing and how old some of them are.

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Review of “Take to the Hills” by Former OBcean

December 27, 2013 by Marc Snelling
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“Take to the Hills” by the Freewayblogger (AKA Patrick Randall)

Take to the Hills: Clothing the Sierra Madres is a new e-book by the Freewayblogger. He tells an inspiring story about the thinking that took him from grading papers at SDSU to driving hundreds of pounds of donated clothes into the Sierra Madres mountains.

Some may know the Freewayblogger (AKA Patrick Randall) from the thousands of signs he has posted on the freeways of California and elsewhere. The first one I remember was visible coming into OB from the I-8. An upside down American flag with ‘RIP 1776-2001’ very shortly after the Supreme Court decision in the Bush/Gore election. But before Bush and he death of American democracy the Freewayblogger was doing something else.

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Cedar Fire Survivor Running for County Supervisor

March 28, 2008 by Marc Snelling

Rudy Reyes Is Dismayed With Lack of Progress On Fire Issues by Marc Snelling San Diego County native Rudy Reyes is a study in perseverance. The 2003 survivor of the Cedar wildfires has a powerful story to tell. Rudy came to be known as a hero to many locals after the worst wildfire in California’s […]

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