Health

Fundraiser for Mel Roark’s Grandson on May 22nd – Ed Harris to Attend –

May 20, 2016 by Staff
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Grandson Braden Victim of Rattlesnake Attack – Family Needs Help

Well-known OB community activist Mel Roark is holding a fundraiser for her grandson, Braden, who was bitten by a rattlesnake on April 12th. The family is facing enormous hospital bills as Braden had to take more than 35 vials of anti-venom and each one cost $2,000.

Ed Harris, the mayoral candidate, will also be on hand to show support to Mel and Braden.

This all takes place on Sunday, May 22nd, from 3 to 6 pm at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs, 1370 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Food, beverages, drawings and entertainment by very local John Tafolla.

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UC San Diego Faculty Call on Regents to Divest UC Funds from Fossil Fuels

May 20, 2016 by Source

Academic Senate votes in support of divestment resolution

UC San Diego Academic Senate

divestUC San Diego’s Academic Senate announced the passage of a resolution calling on the UC Regents to divest the University of California’s investment portfolio of stocks in companies whose primary business concerns the extraction and sale of fossil fuels.

According to its 1868 charter, governance of the University is shared between the Regents and the Academic Senate. The vote by tenure-track faculty and academic leadership took place electronically over a two week period ending May 11.

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Direct Action Journal: Overcoming Fear

May 17, 2016 by Source

Hand painted sign calling attention to threat of rising sea level to South Tarawa and plea to "Save these islands!"

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Another episode with anxiety knocks me to my bedroom floor. Rational thought forsakes me. My body shakes with the strangled sobs of a man ashamed of his tears. Alicia bends over me. Her dark brown eyes – normally calm with the consistent rationality characterizing her personality – are wide with concern and weariness. We’re only several nights removed from the last episode. She must think, “Oh god, not again.”

Alicia seeks to hold me. I find a deep comfort in her touch – and a deep revulsion. It’s not her. The contradiction is born from the lies fear instills in me.

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Wrong Tree Cut Down by City on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach

May 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Apology and Pledge Demanded by City Not to Cut Trees Without Community Approval

It appears that the City of San Diego – or at least its hired work crew – cut down the wrong tree on Voltaire Street in OB.

On May 3rd the company hired by the City cut down a Chinese Flame Tree on the 48oo block of Voltaire. Residents and local businesses were told that the tree was cut down because it was causing cracks in the sidewalk.

Locals were outraged – and the OB Rag has been following this outrage.

But in a tragic twist, our friends at The Green Store / Center – right across from where the tree was cut down – learned from the Mayor’s office on Thursday, May 12th, that indeed the wrong tree had been destroyed. The work crew apparently was supposed to chop down a pine tree just east of the Chinese Flame on the same side of the block.

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Is It Socially Acceptable to Breast-Feed in Public Yet?

May 12, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

San Diego photographer Vanessa Simmons started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography. This past weekend in Washington, D.C., she photographed a troop of active-duty military officers standing on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, feeding their children in uniform.

This past weekend a group of some 100 young mothers also gathered in Hong Kong to breast-feed in public. And last month, eco-conscious fashion brand Reformation featured a nursing model.

Then there’s the “brelfie,” or breast-feeding selfie, on the rise in social media especially among celebrities.

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Was Chinese Flame Tree on Voltaire Needlessly Cut Down?

May 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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We have to ask: Was the Chinese Flame Tree on Voltaire needlessly cut down on May 3rd by the City?

At the time of the cutting, locals who inquired of the crews doing the work were told that the tree was causing cracks in the sidewalk and needed to be removed.

This particular tree was 17 years old and had been planted along with other Chinese Flames, as well as other types of trees, along Voltaire as part of a project sponsored by then-Councilman Byron Wear.

The problem with the explanation is that there are numerous trees along that block of Voltaire that have apparently caused similar cracks in the asphalt or concrete, or that exhibit lifts to the sidewalk, or that have patch jobs around them.

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San Diego’s Crisis of Compassion: Scorn and Indifference Do Not Solve Homelessness

May 6, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless familyIt doesn’t take the recently released Point in Time Count report to know that the number of unsheltered people in downtown San Diego is exploding.

Seeing every vacant lot encircled with blue tent and tarp encampments propped against chain-link fencing has ceased to evoke alarm. It’s now the norm.

The fact that we have become so accustomed to seeing human beings huddled in these makeshift shelters is a pathetic indictment of our city’s dismal failure to solve our housing problem.

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The Massive, Tragic Trashing of Our Oceans: Is There Still Time to Do Something About It?

May 5, 2016 by Source
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There is sobering news about marine health, but it is not too late to change our behaviors

By Reynard Loki / AlterNet

It’s impossible to overestimate how critical the oceans are to the overall health of life on Earth. For one thing, tiny marine plants called phytoplankton provide up to 85 percent of the world’s oxygen, according to EarthSky.org. But the oceans don’t just give us good stuff like oxygen; they take away bad stuff, like carbon dioxide.

A 2011 international study led by the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, estimated that the oceans absorb 27 percent of the CO2 produced by the fossil fuel combustion.

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Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

May 2, 2016 by Staff
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Here is a video of Dr. Jeoff Gordon speaking on the wealth gap in America using lots of slides and graphics. In the vid, he is introduced by Derek Casady, of People’s Food Store Co-op.

Dr. Gordon practiced medicine for decades, and until retirement a few years ago had a thriving office in Ocean Beach.

Before coming to OB, Dr. Gordon had an office in Pacific Beach, and was one of the founders of the very first Free Clinic in Mission Beach in the early Seventies.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

May 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News  – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our April 2016 issue.

Chernobyl + 16: It’s far from over

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster began at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, then ruled by the USSR. Thirty years later, that disaster is far from over.

In their 1990 book, Deadly Deceit: Low Level Fallout, High level Cover-Up, authors Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman devote an entire chapter to the Chernobyl debacle. The doomed Chernobyl nuke was one of 4 reactors operating at the site at the time. It took until 2000 for the other 3 to be permanently shut down.

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OB Surfer Survived Shark Bite Off Bali – But Needs Help – GofundMe Set Up

April 29, 2016 by Staff
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Ryan Boarman Has Reached Singapore – More Surgery Possible

According to a San Diego U-T article:

An ardent Ocean Beach surfer was bitten by a shark off the coast of Bali, Indonesia Monday morning, April 25 and managed to ride a wave into shore before passing out. 26-year-old Ryan Boarman was sitting on his board waiting for a wave when a shark estimated to be about 6 feet long swam up behind him and chomped onto his elbow. Boarman was either able to shake loose, or the shark let go, but he was losing blood fast.

Boarman was in excruciating pain, but ended up surfing a wave into shore. He was quoted as saying, ‘It was a good ride,’ and then passed out.”
See Update Inside

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County Board of Supervisors Extends Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Projects

April 29, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie Best / San Diego ASA / April 28, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday to vote on staff recommendations to extend a moratorium against new medical marijuana activity in San Diego County. The 45 day moratorium was put in place on March 16 and was largely a knee-jerk reaction to a group of community members from Julian and Ramona.

At the March meeting the Board instructed staff to come back with options including a ban on medical cannabis; enhanced enforcement and more zoning restrictions among other things. Instead, staff returned with a request for more time which was ultimately granted.

While the moratorium was extended to ten and a half months, the vote came with instructions to give consideration for those medical cannabis projects already in the building and permitting pipelines.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 2

April 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

Homeless Population Under-counted

homeless familyBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

The 8700 people identified by the Point-In-Time-Count are not anywhere close to the total number of homeless people in San Diego City and County. They didn’t count all the people sleeping in their cars nor the many that are staying with friends or couch surfing.

Nor did they count the many that sleep “off the beaten track” in the many hidden gullies and the river bed. Nor did it count all those who slept in places unlikely to be found by the volunteers who did the counting who, after all, could not be expected to expose themselves to dangerous situations and environments.

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A Re-Visit to Liberty Public Market by the Widder Curry

April 25, 2016 by Judi Curry
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“Could I Have Been that Wrong?”

Liberty Public Market
2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106
619-487-9346

Holy Moly! I’ve been lambasted for reviews I have done before, but none like my first review of the Liberty Public Market in Point Loma. I call it like I see it, but with all the positive comments – forgetting the negative ones for a moment – that the Liberty Public Market has received on my comments, I decided it was time to go back and revisit it. If I made a mistake, I am certainly willing to admit it. (And I do that – look at an old article entitled “If you have to eat crow how do you cook it?”) I gathered a few women from my widow support group and we headed over to the market.

The parking lot was packed on this Friday afternoon at 1:00pm. We found a place after circling the lot once, and wished that not only had teachers taught children how to color in the lines, but also taught them how to park within the lines. Never-the-less, we embarked on our mission.

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A Celebration of the “Last 420” Before Legalization in California

April 20, 2016 by Source
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Ye Ol’OB Hippie Speaks

It seems rather fitting, doesn’t it, that today we celebrate the last 420 before recreational marijuana is legalized in California? It’s on the November election ballot – (a bunch of other different initiatives are trying for the ballot). But by all polls and tokens, marijuana legalization, in some form or rather, is expected to pass.

The last time weed legalization was on the California ballot, it was Prop 19 – the marijuana legalization initiative on the November 2010 ballot. It lost, 53.5% to 46.5%, but more people voted for Prop 19 than voted for the Republican candidate for governor – Meg Whitman. Remember her?

Since then, all kinds of polls show Americans increasingly favoring legalization. Majorities of Americans, in fact, have favored legalization for 3 years already.

Adult Use of Marijuana Act

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 1

April 20, 2016 by John Lawrence

Has the City squirreled away millions of dollars in off-budget funds which could be used for affordable housing and housing for the homeless?

afordable housing coverBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

In the City of Palo Alto, if you make less than $250,000 a year, you’re eligible for a housing subsidy. The city council has voted to study a housing proposal that would essentially subsidize new housing for what qualifies as middle-class nowadays, families making from $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

Here in San Diego, the situation is not much better as teachers, police and government workers cannot afford to live in the city they work in. So if middle class, college educated professionals can’t afford to live here, how can anyone else lower on the economic ladder afford to live here either? In particular, those on the bottom most rung, the homeless, can’t even afford a foot in the door.

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Owner of “The Joint” in Ocean Beach Given Correction Notice by City

April 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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“Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease.”

In the “Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease” Department, the OB Rag has just been informed that because of concerns expressed by local OBceans on the encroachment into public space by The Joint restaurant on Newport Avenue, the City did a site inspection which resulted in the eatery’s owner being given a “correction notice”.

OBceans have for weeks been complaining to the City, via the OB Rag, through a poll we conducted, and through calls to Lorie Zapf’s office, that the recent installation of a gated outside railing by The Joint was encroaching too much into the space for the public sidewalk. Some thought it created a dangerous situation, especially on crowded days such as the weekly Farmers Market.

Apparently, on Wednesday, April 6th, a site visit was performed by the City’s Development Services inspection team with the restaurant’s owner, Mr. Lowe, present. Measurements were taken and at least a few of them “were found to be inconsistent with the approved and community plans,” ….

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Wild Parrot Community Forum in OB – Monday, April 11th

April 11, 2016 by Staff
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SoCal Parrot is hosting a community forum for the Ocean Beach area regarding local wild parrots and the recent killings of those parrots. The forum will be in the Community Room of the OB Rec Center, Monday, April 11th from 6 to 8 pm. The OB Rec Center is located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

SoCal Parrot will give a 30 to 45 minute presentation, followed by an open question and answer session. Also being presented will be an outline of ways that everyone member of the public can help deter those unnecessary acts of animal cruelty in the future.

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UPDATED: Activist Calendar for April 2016

April 5, 2016 by Staff

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This April Calendar Has Been Updated to Include Some Upcoming OB Events
April Events

Events in Ocean Beach

* April 11th Monday – Forum on Wild Parrots and Recent Killings; hosted by SoCal Parrot – at the OB Rec Center, 6 to 8 pm;
* April 14th Thursday 7 p.m. Film night “This Changes Everything” Free of charge; OB Green Center
* April 15th Friday 7:30 pm Local-Earth’s Film night ” How to Change the World” Lazy Hummingbird, 4876 Santa Monica Ave.
* Apr. 21st Thursday – The Carlson & Higgins OB Scandals – 7 pm at P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B. presented by the OB Historical Society;
* April 23rd Saturday 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ocean Beach Green Center’s 27th Anniversary Celebration
* April 27th – Wednesday, 7pm – the Ocean Beach Town Council holds its monthly public meeting;
* April 30th Saturday “Ocean Beach Hippies” – a Discussion, 2 – 3pm; Local political muckraker and gadfly Frank Gormlie talks about hippie life in Ocean Beach through the years. It’s free so come join the fun at the Ocean Beach Library, 4801 Santa Monica.

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE ….

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Fukushima + 5: the Disaster Continues – Nuclear Shutdown News for March 2016

April 5, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Fukushima + 5: the Disaster Continues – Nuclear Shutdown News for March 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry, in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is this month’s issue.

Fukushima + 5: The Disaster Continues

On March 9, two days before the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Wall Street Journal ran this story, “Japanese Court Orders Shutdown of Nuclear Reactors.”

The paper reported that the court “issued an injunction to shut down two of the four reactors recently restarted” by Kansai Electric Co. because the utility failed to prove to the court’s satisfaction that it could operate operate those nukes safely.

Driving the process, the Journal reported, were organized and outspoken community members “worried about a repeat of the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.”

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April Fool’s News from Ocean Bleach and Pot Loma

April 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

big surf day 11-3-10 jg 03-sm

* Parrot Shooter Apprehended After Pellet Gun Misfires
* Homeless Hold “People’s Court” and Dish-out Sentences to Thief and Ear Slashers
* FAA Re-Routes Airplane Take-off Routes Over La Jolla and Coronado
* City Crews Decide Torrey Pines Are Not in Danger of Falling – Plan to Plant New Torries

* Decline in Deaths and Injuries at Sunset Cliffs
* Two Breweries on Newport Close – Bookstore and Dispensary to Open
* Homeless Contract With OB Merchants to Clean Sidewalks and Streets

* Travel Blog Downgrades Ocean Beach
* Huge Turn-out at OB Planning Board Election – Inspirational Slate Elected
* Tourists Unite and Clean Beaches and Parks

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE…

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Wee Lives Matter

March 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

(Written for the closing of the Social Justice Conference at City College)

Group of four small children sitting in a group on the floor

“Black Lives Matter”
is heard
from a chorus of voices
in a protest in the street.
“All Lives Matter”
someone screams
from a car rolling by
on the street,
in denial
that Black Lives Matter
wouldn’t have come to be
if All Lives Matter
had ever been a reality
in this country
at any time
or any place.

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The Language of Pinyon-Juniper Trees

March 31, 2016 by Source

Juniper bush with berries

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

After two months of struggling to write anything coherent about pinyon-juniper forests, I was on the verge of giving up.

Members of the group I am campaigning with to stop pinyon-juniper deforestation began brainstorming about applying for grants to support the campaign. Many of the grants they discovered required us to demonstrate that pinyon-juniper deforestation harmed wildlife populations, poisoned water supplies, or had a tangible effect on human populations.

Thinking that I could support our grant application process with an essay, I sat down many times to write about the countless beings that call pinyon-juniper forests home. But, I never wrote anything worth reading.

It took me a long time to figure out why.

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Latest Parrot Deaths Bring Total to 9 Found Dead Since Feb. 19

March 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

parrot Conyer sdr

Mainstream Media Miss Total in Numbers Game of Deaths

The two dead parrots found Easter Sunday at a church in Point Loma bring the total of dead parrots found in the OB and Point Loma area since February 19th to 9. The 2 on Sunday, March 27th, were found at the All Souls’ Episcopal Church on Catalina Boulevard. A parrot expert stated that it’s rare to see two dead parrots in the same area – so human causes are highly suspected.

Somebody continues to kill these local parrots, some of which are endangered species, and so far, authorities have not publicly stated that they have any suspects.

In the meantime, our local mainstream media are seemingly avoiding publicizing the true total number of parrots that have been found dead since mid-February.

We perused the local media reporting of this OB and Point deaths of the latest deaths, two near-threatened red-masked conures, and found that the most useful articles were …

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City to OB Town Council: No Money and No Plans to Prevent Future Flooding

March 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for City to OB Town Council: No Money and No Plans to Prevent Future Flooding

Poor Bill Harris!. He was the guy from the City of San Diego who had to attend the OB Town Council’s meeting last night – March 23rd – and tell the board that their pleas for help to stem future flooding are falling on deaf ears.

Not exactly ‘deaf ears’ – as the city is listening, but Harris, as supervisor of the city’s information services, is the face that has to stare down community members in their demands that the city do something about problems with the infrastructure.

So poor Bill Harris was the one who had to confront all those faces of the town council and tell them / us that there is no money and there are no plans to deter or stem future flooding in Ocean Beach. It would take a massive capital improvement project, Harris said, and there aren’t any funds for that. So, no project, no plans, no funds.

The solution from the city …

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OB Town Council: Wild Parrots and Infrastructure – Wed., Mar. 23rd

March 22, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council: Wild Parrots and Infrastructure – Wed., Mar. 23rd

OB’s famous ‘Squawk Squad’ of wild parrots is again under threat – 5 parrots have been shot and killed since last month.

At the OB Town Council meeting this Wednesday, March 23rd at 7pm, SoCal Parrot will educate the community on their work with wild, naturalized parrots. They try to provide a gap of care for them and to be a resource for parrot rehabilitation, education and protection.

SoCal Parrot will also bring a few of their living parrot ambassadors so Obceans can get a close-up look at these endangered birds. Additionally, the reward money being offered for information leading to the arrest of the OB Parrot Shooter will be described.

Following up on last month’s OBTC meeting, Bill Harris of the San Diego Department of Transportation and Storm Water will be presenting an update on OB Infrastructure needs to prevent future flooding.

SEE INSIDE FOR OFFICIAL AGENDA

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Plastic Bag Industry Seeks the ‘Freedom’ to Pollute by Confusing California Voters

March 21, 2016 by Doug Porter

plastic bag ban logoBy Doug Porter

The California legislature passed a ban on many uses of plastic bags back in 2014. Gov. Brown signed it and the American Progressive Bag Alliance, representing bag manufacturers, dumped $3.2 million to get signatures for a referendum on the November 2016 ballot. So now the law is on hold.

Not content with a simple up or down vote on the matter, the industry is now in the process of gathering signatures for a second measure mandating fees from grocery bag sales be used for environmental projects. If you think this sounds too good to be true for an idea ultimately emanating from the dirty energy industry, you’re right.

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

March 18, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

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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SeaWorld Calls It Quits on Orca Breeding, Promises to End Killer Whale Shows

March 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

SeaWorldBy Doug Porter

Starting off with the admission that Americans’ attitudes about orcas have changed dramatically, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby has announced –via an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times the end of the company’s controversial breeding programs and the phasing out theatrical killer whale shows at all its locations.

SeaWorld has been the target of nationwide protests over its treatment of captive orcas in recent years. Revenues and attendance began a steady decline following the release of the documentary “Blackfish,” which spotlighted the animals’ living conditions and the dangers posed to their handlers.

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City of San Diego’s Program for Outdoor Cafes

March 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The City of San Diego has had a program for a decade now, that allows merchants and restaurants to use the sidewalks in front of their businesses.

It’s called the Public Right of Way (PROW) Program and was passed unanimously by the San Diego Planning Commission in March of 2006.

The program – according to the City’s new info website – allows:

“… merchants with ground-level storefronts in the twelve Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will now be able to use the sidewalks in front of their businesses to place A-frame signs, limited displays of merchandise, and outdoor cafes without railings. ” (Our emphasis.)

The main Ocean Beach commercial district has such a BID – the OB Mainstreet Association.

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