Health

City Targets Orchard Cave for Emergency Slope Repairs – Still a Month Away

September 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Orchard Cave SDMemo1-edA memorandum – or actually, a Notice – was made available last night at the OB Planning Board meeting that indicates the City of San Diego is ready to move on OB Orchard cave sd InS1the dangerous Orchard Cave, as it is now set to enact “emergency slope repairs” at the site in OB.

Actual repairs, however, are a month away, the Councilwoman Zapf representative estimated at the meeting.

This is the same cave in dangerous condition investigated by the OB Rag earlier this week – where it appears people are living – .

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Dangerous Cave at Foot of Orchard in Ocean Beach Allowed to Exist

September 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Orchard cave sd Frt1

OB Rag Demands Immediate Emergency Mitigation of Dangerous Conditions at the Cave

By Frank Gormlie

Based on complaints heard at the most recent Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, the OB Rag sent a small investigative team out to the end of Orchard Avenue to check into reports that a cave with dimensions of 30 feet by 30 feet existed in the coastal bluff.

My associate, Shawn Drake, and myself set out on an overcast Tuesday with cameras in hand to investigate just what was there, who – if anyone – was there, just how dangerous the cave or caves were, and if the condos above were in danger themselves.

What we found was both disturbing and partially reassuring.

Yes, there is a cave there – along the bluffs between the concrete stairs at the foot of Orchard and the steep drive-way that goes nearly to the ocean. We can definitely confirm there’s one cave.

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News and Notes From OB Town Council Meeting

August 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Caves at Foot of Orchard Bring Complaints of Government In-Action

Here’s more news and notes from the recent monthly public meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council, held Wednesday, August 26th.

One of the best things of the OB Town Council meetings is the “non-agenda public comments” period at the very beginning. This is when folks can get up and either complain or announce or comment on anything – usually OB-related – and have not only the Council members hear what they have to say, but also the reps of the various elected officials who have some jurisdictional claim on OB, as well as members of the first-responders who show up to give reports.

And last Wednesday, it was no different.

During this period, 3 women rose from their seats in the back, and nearly in unison complained of the homeless people burrowing into the cliff at the foot of Orchard Street. This was not the first time the OBTC has heard of complaints about the caves behind concrete slabs that homeless people have dug. But here was the issue again.

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Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

August 27, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Restart Relapse

Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the US Atomic Bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the literal meltdown of over 200,000 human beings, the current Japanese government announced the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, the first to resume operations since the Fukushima disaster of March, 2011.

On August 10, Bloomberg Business reported: ‘The safe restart of Sendai is important for Japan and for the worldwide community,” according to “Dale Klein, former chairman of the US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).”

“It can demonstrate that nuclear energy can play a role in the safe, reliable generation of electricity,” Klein also told Bloomberg.

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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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Anti-Fracking Demonstration Held in Ocean Beach

August 3, 2015 by Staff
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Trying to awaken San Diegans and other Californians to the dangers of fracking – the controversial oil-extraction process, a dozen protesters gathered in Saratoga Park on Saturday, August 1st. They joined protests in more than a dozen cities around California – all aimed at protesting the governor’s support for the hydraulic process.

Sponsored by the California based Courage Campaign, Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper, organizers also gathered signatures on a petition to be sent to Gov. Brown.

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As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

July 30, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare program. After more than five decades of failed attempts dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, at least some Americans were eligible for coverage under a federal health insurance program.

Today more than 54 million people are covered by Medicare. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the alternatives being proposed by the GOP. In fact, many of the problems facing medicare can be addressed by e x p a n d i n g the program, an idea gaining currency nationally.

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Pope Francis: “We’ve Turned the Earth into a Pile of Filth”

July 29, 2015 by John Lawrence

pope francisBy John Lawrence

Add Pope Francis to the world’s leaders who are calling for immediate action to combat climate change.

In the Pope’s own words the earth has become a pezzo di merda, a piece of you know what. He has also described unbridled capitalism as the “dung of the devil.”

Popes are not often given to scatological imagery to describe the predominant American economic system.

However, the Pope’s words are very important because he wields enormous moral authority. Would that the leading moral authorities from the world’s other major religions had the gumption to stand up and add their voices in the fight against climate change.

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Lies and More Lies: Planned Parenthood as the New ACORN

July 28, 2015 by Doug Porter

planned-parenthood-scandal-leadBy Doug Porter

The Republicans appear to have settled on their wedge issue for 2016. You know, the thing that drives fear and/or disgust in a certain class of voters so they’ll ignore all those pesky economic policies they’re likely to get screwed by.

In 2008 a loosely organized entity named ACORN fit the bill. Manufactured imagery of brown people doing something wrong was perfect for an election where the leading candidate was a person of color. Most people still don’t realize the charges brought against the community organizing group turned out to have been false.

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Reader Rant: “We Should All Take Notice of What Is Truly Going On in Mission Valley”

July 24, 2015 by Source
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By Carole Thompson

The river in Mission Valley exists even though few San Diegans have really looked at it.

I served on the Mission Valley Community Council for more than five-years and sat through many discussions on the river and Mission Valley as a concerned San Diegan.

More people should take notice of what is going on in Mission Valley before we wind up with a situation much like New Orleans, because the valley is at or below sea level.

In a time with so much attention given to drought why are those in charge so tempted to mess with one of our water sources? Although, much of it is underground the San Diego River is more than 60 miles long and part of the water table. The water table is part of the cycle of water.

Most people in San Diego are aware of the flooding in Mission Valley, but they do not know why the river floods here.

It floods in Mission Valley because they have taken an aquifer and tried to manipulate it by paving over it, tucking it under roads, and small passages on its way to the ocean.

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PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

July 24, 2015 by Source
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by James Sullivan/ Science Recorder / July 24, 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that the California Coastal Commission reject SeaWorld San Diego’s efforts to expand its killer whale tanks.

The project is estimated at $100 million, to be completed in 2018, but has yet to received endorsement from the Coastal Commission.

“This item has been postponed because of all the information submitted,” said commissioner Alex Llerandi.

“The coastal staff is taking the time to ensure all potential issues and viewpoints are considered in any final recommendations.”

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San Diego’s Two Borders Can Be Challenging

July 23, 2015 by Source
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By David Helvarg /Blue Frontier / July 16, 2015

I lived for a decade in San Diego and reported on its two borders, the Pacific and Mexico. I recently returned to spend a few days in my old haunts including Ocean Beach, La Jolla and the border.

I visited with Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at its meandering cliffside campus in La Jolla. She told me of many new initiatives taking place there including a soon-to-be-created center for climate impacts and adaptation, a center to look at more traditional hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, ongoing work with creating ocean observation systems and a center on the ocean and human health that will go beyond our traditional focus on seafood safety and harmful algal blooms – or even bio-prospecting for the next cancer cure.

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Jerry Brown Gushes About “fighting climate change” at Vatican As He Fracks California

July 22, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his “green” image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown on July 21 urged the world’s mayors to “light a fire” and “join California in the fight against climate change.”

Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“We have fierce opposition and blind inertia,” Brown claimed. “And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition.”

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Property Management Co. Responses to Charges of Tenant Abuse on Saratoga

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of providing a platform and encouraging a debate and discussion over the alleged abuse of their tenants on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach, the following is an unedited response by Torrey Pines Property Management, written by Andrew “Andy” Parashos, their Senior Vice President.

By Andy Parashos

In response to the mentioned article, please know that Torrey Pines Property Management has been successfully managing commercial and multi-family properties throughout Ocean Beach for over thirty years.

The property at Saratoga has been under our management since February of this year. The physical conditions leading to those described in the article existed long before our management, and were detailed in a property inspection report conducted during the purchase process. It was this information, along with new ownership’s desire to own a property they would be proud of, that lead to the repair, renovation and remodeling that is currently underway.

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An Inside Look at ‘A Green Alternative’ in Otay Mesa – San Diego’s First Licensed Medical Pot Shop

July 8, 2015 by Source

AGreenAlternativeAn Interview With CEO, Dr. David Blair

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

Eye On The Locals: I’m a curious person and when I see something historic happening in my community, I feel an urgent need to document and ask questions. When A Green Alternative opened in Otay Mesa on March 20, 2015 — only two blocks from a major U.S.-Mexico port of entry — I couldn’t help but find out more.

(Editor: The OB Rag covered its opening back in March.)

A Green Alternative is the first medicinal marijuana dispensary that has legally opened in the City and County of San Diego. It’s a historic moment, highly controversial and located in my neck of the wood–the South Bay. So I walked right up to the storefront security guard and asked for an interview.

As the CEO, Dr. David Blair, later told me: he asks his staff not to treat people the way they would like to be treated, but to treat people the way …

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The Abuse of Ocean Beach Tenants on Saratoga

July 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Mark has lived in his small unit on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach for 14 years. His is one of the front units in the 8-plex, where a sidewalk and a narrow space separate the two buildings that make up a narrow courtyard. A row of garages that face the alley forms a “T” with the buildings.

Mark’s longevity as a tenant is not the only one. A woman neighbor has been there for 17 years and a buddy in one of the back units has been there for ten years.

Everyone got along in his courtyard neighborhood. Everything seemed fine, until about six months ago when the property changed hands. And a new property management team appeared. It was the Torrey Pines Property Management company that took over, as it was one of their clients that had purchased the units.

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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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OB Town Council: Drought Remedies, Mallow-Out Campaign, Caves, Grants, Vendors and Park Rangers

June 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Town Council juggled a lot of issues last night at its monthly public meeting – drought solutions, its “Mallow-Out” Campaign, the day after July 4th clean-up, the funding of grants …

It was well over half-way through the meeting when the keynote presentations on the drought and solutions were finally made to the crowd of about forty audience members and a dozen Council members.

Drought Remedies: Native Plants, Rainbarrels, Greywater and Diet

One-by-one several presenters laid out remedies that included learning about native plant gardens, which native plants are good to plant, about installing grey-water systems in your home, and how our diets also contribute to the waste of water.

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Donna Frye Calls for “Massive River Park” at Qualcom Stadium Site

June 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Donna Frye is trying to upset the apple cart that surrounds all the discussion about the Chargers and the Qualcomm football stadium site. Yesterday – Monday, June 22nd – she called for “a massive river park” at the 166-acre Mission Valley site.

In an Op-Ed piece in Voice of San Diego, Donna Frye – former City Councilwoman for the district that includes Mission Valley – called for something akin to another Balboa Park or Mission Bay Park.

In her piece, Frye dismissed the discussion about whether the Chargers want the current site and all the discussion about commercial and residential development of it, instead declared that it actually is “a big opportunity staring us right in the face – the potential to create a real San Diego River Park.”

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Ronald McDonald’s Unhappy Meals

June 22, 2015 by Source

Ronald McDonald photo

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

McDonald’s is floundering.

There’s no other way to say it. The global fast food chain has experienced declining U.S. sales for well over a year now. But why?

I’d love to gloat that Americans have finally caught on that the Golden Arches peddles terrible food, but that might not be the case.

Theories for the slump abound.

Some believe the menu is too confusing, slowing down service. Others say that consumers are drifting toward fast-casual chains like Chipotle and Panera, even if their food costs more.

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The Old OB Hippie: Jogging for the Revolution

June 15, 2015 by Source

Old Hippie ob timeIt’s OB Time

The Old OB Hippie Claims He Was the First OB Jogger and Says: Concrete Is Not Good for Knees

By the Old OB Hippie

When I left the college campus with a degree, it was during the heady days of the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement. There had been protests and demonstrations galore against the war for years and they were getting more intense and militant as each year went by. The country was being torn up by the war and how the Pentagon got its way. Students and young people were being turned into radicals. ‘Revolution was in the air.’

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It’s Not Right: San Diego Life Guards Do Not Receive the Same Health Coverage as Firefighters

June 15, 2015 by Source
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Lifeguards Deserve Presumptive Coverage

By Ed Harris / Special to the OB Rag

When a San Diego Firefighter or Police officer is injured or contracts an illness while performing their job, the City provides them with presumptive health coverage. Presumptive coverage includes meningitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis, to name a few.

Since San Diego Lifeguards are part of the San Diego Fire Department, one would think they’d be provided that same presumptive coverage. They are not.

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Former Congressman Jim Bates Re-enacts Mid-Night Ride of Paul Revere – Sat., June 13

June 12, 2015 by Staff

It’s true. Former Congressman Jim Bates is making his comeback as the ghost of Paul Revere. Bates is actually re-enacting Revere’s midnight ride this Saturday night, June 13th at – of all times – midnight.

He’ll be on a horse calling for a need for the country to mobilize a large scale effort to get the nation off fossil fuels, a type activists call “a U.S. government World War II-scale Mobilization to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to conservation and safe, clean wind, water and solar renewable energy.”

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Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track Authority Vote Set for Today – Friday, June 12

June 12, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have set a Friday deadline for a vote on a bill giving the President fast-track authority on commercial treaties currently being negotiated.

The legislation would allow the executive branch to submit trade agreements to Congress for an expedited, up-or-down vote without amendments was passed by the Senate last month. President Obama has said he wants to complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and send it for approval under that procedure.

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Has the Santa Barbara Oil Spill Finally Reached San Diego? Tar Bars at La Jolla.

June 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Has the Santa Barbara Oil Spill Finally Reached San Diego? Tar Bars at La Jolla.

There are now significant amounts of tar droplets at La Jolla – the Scripps Institute of Oceanography beach just to the north.

We have to ask: has the Santa Barbara oil spill reached San Diego?

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Artificial Grass May Save Water, But Does It Endanger People?

June 11, 2015 by Source
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By Lynne Peeples / Huffington Post / June 9, 2015

When Michael and Barbara Fouch first considered replacing their grassy lawn with artificial turf, they researched the growing array of options for the green plastic blades and the infill that holds them in place. They wanted a product that looked nice, but they also wanted something that wouldn’t make any people or pets sick.

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Letter to Mayor Faulconer From OB Planning Board on Climate Action Plan

June 9, 2015 by Source

Editor: The following is a letter from the Ocean Beach Planning Board, signed by its chair, John Ambert, to Mayor Faulconer of their support for the Climate Action Plan.

The Honorable Kevin L. Faulconer
Mayor of San Diego
… The Ocean Beach Planning Board strongly supports the Climate Action Plan draft as released …

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Today – June 8th – Is World Oceans Day

June 8, 2015 by Source
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Today – June 8th – is World Oceans Day, an international celebration officially recognized by the United Nations.

Among the purposes, the United Nations says the day’s intention is to “remind everyone of the major part the ocean has in everyday life” and “information the public on the impact of the human actions of the ocean.”

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Nuclear Shutdown News – May 2015: Fire at Indian Point Plant in NY – and Is It ‘the End’ for Diablo Canyon?

June 5, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – May 2015: Fire at Indian Point Plant in NY – and Is It ‘the End’ for Diablo Canyon?

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry.

Here’s our May 2015 report:

Indian Point Nuke Plant Fire

A May 8 fire in a transformer at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant caused a fire and explosion, shutting down reactor #3 for 16 days. The Environmental News Service reported on May 9th:

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