Health

California Sea Otters Are Coming Back

September 26, 2016 by Source
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By Christina Beck / Christian Science Monitor / Sept. 21, 2016

In a near victory for California sea otters, biologists are cautiously optimistic about the future of the state’s southern sea otter population after the annual otter census counted more than 3,000 individuals this year.

Although otter population growth has delighted scientists, however, there are also worrying signs that the population range is contracting, a factor that can restrict long term recovery.

“The population index has exceeded 3,090 for the first time, and that’s encouraging,” said US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) southern sea otter recovery coordinator Lilian Carswell, “but sustained population growth will require range expansion.”

While 3,090 may seem like an odd number, it is a significant one for biologists, since otter censuses must show at least that many individuals in the total population for three years in a row before the USFWS will consider taking the otter off the threatened species list.

Most of the population growth appears to have occurred in the center of the otters’ typical range. A greater abundance of sea urchins, a popular otter snack, likely contributed to the surging otter population.

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Mary Louise Parker, OB Peoples, Mixed Nut House, and Me

September 21, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg

This past summer, while perusing library shelves 3000 miles from OB, I came upon actress Mary Louise Parker’s 2015 reminiscence, Dear Mr. You, wherein she recounts relationships with some of the men in her life.

As I glanced down the table of contents, one name jumped out and set off a set off a tsunami of flashbacks.

The year was 1984, the place Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-op, aka OB Peoples or just Peoples.

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Hillary Clinton Reveals her Ocean Plans

September 21, 2016 by Source
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by David Helvarg /Ocean Views / August 30, 2016

In response to a letter sent by 115 Ocean Leaders to the leading presidential candidates Secretary Clinton has released a two-page response on what she will do to protect our coast and ocean if elected. With just over two months until the vote, this marks the first time in the campaign where a major candidate has addressed the daunting issues confronting America’s public seas.

“As President of the Untied States, I will work to redouble national efforts to boost the “blue economy,” creating jobs and opportunity in industries that restore and protect the health and vitality of our oceans,” she writes.

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Keeping San Diego Seafood Local

September 21, 2016 by Source

Seafood

Sustainable Seafood / Slow Food Urban San Diego

On August 24th, stakeholders of San Diego fisheries began meeting with Protea Waterfront Redevelopment about their plans to redevelop the Downtown waterfront. This meeting was important. That the fishing community is meeting at all with the likely developer may affect whether our local and sustainable seafood industry will persist, diminish or flourish in the redevelopment.

The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats.

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Vaping Can Help Some Smokers Kick Cigarettes, English Study Shows

September 20, 2016 by Source

vaping-e-cigsBy Karen Kaplan / LA Times / Sept. 13, 2016

The more that vaping takes hold in England, the better the odds that smokers there will succeed in their attempts to stop using regular cigarettes.

These parallel trends, reported Wednesday in the BMJ medical journal, don’t prove that electronic cigarettes help smokers kick the habit. But that possibility is looking more and more likely, experts said.

Smoking prevalence in the United Kingdom fell significantly from 2014 to 2015, and that’s a sign that something over there is working, …

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Washing Our Hands of Toxins

September 14, 2016 by Source

The bacteria on your skin is safer than these two chemicals the FDA just banned from your soap.

soap washing

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Some people love to hate government regulations. Many believe they’re just bureaucratic barriers that waste our time. But the Food and Drug Administration just passed a new regulation that’ll actually protect us, and may save you a few bucks and an unnecessary purchase at the store.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who buys antibacterial soaps, you’ve been, at a minimum, duped. But more importantly, you’ve been exposed to harmful chemicals. Antibacterial soaps sound good.

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58% of California Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

September 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Proposition 64 Enjoys Wide Support Among Most Voter Categories

A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that a good majority of California voters support marijuana legalization and back Proposition 64.

58% of voters in the state support Prop 64, which would allow Californians ages 21 or older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes, and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

And according to the poll, the favorable attitude toward grass cuts across most lines of age, race, income and gender.

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California Governor Signs Farmworker Overtime-Pay Bill

September 13, 2016 by Source

farmworker-handsBy Melody Gutierrez / SFGate / September 12, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will give farmworkers in California overtime after an eight-hour day, a move advocates say will right a decades-old injustice.

The bill, AB1066 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will give the people who work in California’s farm fields the same overtime rights that other workers were granted under federal law during the Great Depression. Gonzalez called it a “historic day” that was long overdue. “These workers are doing backbreaking work so that we can eat,” Gonzalez said. “The fact is, they are not treated fairly under the law and that’s wrong. This is a 78-year-old wrong, and there is nothing better than fixing that.”

The agriculture industry, business groups and Republican lawmakers said the bill will hurt farmers …

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Humans Have Pushed Oceans to Their Absolute Limit, Warns Report

September 12, 2016 by Source
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Oceans protected us from worst effects of climate change by absorbing most of humans’ CO2 emissions, report finds, but they can’t take anymore—and will soon release that CO2 back into the air

by Nika Knight / Common Dreams / Sept. 6, 2016

The effect of climate change on the world’s oceans has been understudied, a recent report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) finds, and it is far worse than many scientists and politicians had previously thought.

“We all know the oceans sustain this planet,” said Inger Andersen, IUCN’s director general, to National Geographic, “yet we are making the oceans sick.”

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Standoff at Standing Rock: Even Attack Dogs Can’t Stop the Native American Resistance

September 8, 2016 by Source

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San Diego “No Access” Rally in Support of Standing Rock – Friday, Sept. 9th at Federal Building at 9:30 am – 3 pm.
(Facebook here)

By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now

The Missouri River, the longest river in North America, has for thousands of years provided the water necessary for life to the region’s original inhabitants.To this day, millions of people rely on the Missouri for clean drinking water.

Now, a petroleum pipeline, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being built, threatening the river. A movement has grown to block the pipeline, led by Native American tribes that have lived along the banks of the Missouri from time immemorial.

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Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Protesters With Dogs and Mace

September 5, 2016 by Source

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Security guards confront Indigenous protesters with dogs and pepper spray. (Screenshot/Democracy Now!)

Video and photos of a private security team pushing dogs to bite Native American protesters from Democracy Now!

By Nadi Prupis / Common Dreams

The ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests were hit with violence on Saturday, as private security forces reportedly hired by the pipeline builders descended on the Native American activists with pepper spray and dogs that bit and threatened the protesters.

Democracy Now!, which was on the ground at the time, posted several photographs and video of the attack:

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Will Governor Brown Do the Right Thing for Farmworkers?

September 2, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via WineWaterWatch.org

By Doug Porter

After two years and more than five thousand proposed laws, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, the current version of the California Legislature wrapped up its session in frenzied fashion.

Wednesday, August 31st saw more than one hundred bills up for consideration. Now it’s up to the Governor to say yea or nay on legislation affecting all aspects of life in California.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-80), who successfully shepherded 19 of 20 bills through the legislature this year, is leaving nothing up to chance with her hard-fought victory on AB 1066, gradually phasing in standards for farmerworker overtime.

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The Red Cross Showed Up When OBceans Had to Evacuate

September 1, 2016 by Source
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Red Cross Services for OB During the Gas Leak Evacuation

By South OB Girl

When Ocean Beach residents had to be evacuated because of a gas leak last week, they were met by the arrival of the Red Cross disaster action team. The team arrived on the scene around 10 p.m. on Monday, August 22 to provide canteen services to first responders and evacuees. Authorities asked the Red Cross to set up a Temporary Evacuation Point at Ocean Beach Recreation Center on Santa Monica Avenue.

Maureen Kilkenny, Regional Communications Director of the American Red Cross of San Diego/ Imperial Counties, provided the following information detailing the services provided by the Red Cross during the evacuation.

At 2 a.m. when it was determined it wasn’t safe for residents to return to their homes the Red Cross turned the Temporary Evacuation Point into a shelter.

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Why Are Some People Always Happy and Others Not So Much?

September 1, 2016 by John Lawrence

Drugs: the Human Dilemma, Part 2

By John Lawrence
happy_people_jumpingIs there a balanced way to live so that chemicals released by the brain, which produce feelings of well being and happiness, can happen without addiction to drugs or exercise?

For some these endorphins seem to naturally produce ‘enough good feeling’ without their having to do anything more. For some the ‘happiness gene’ seems to be turned on at all times regardless of what happens in the events of their lives.

For others there is a deficiency that leads to a tendency for them to become alcoholics or drug addicts. A person’s natural energy level seems to have something to do with it. High energy people need to release that energy in non-sedentary pursuits or mitigate the effects of it like so-called ADHD with drugs.

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Lionel’s Legacy: Rescuing and Educating

September 1, 2016 by Source

By Mimi Pollack / San Diego Free Press

1In May, as I was walking around checking out all the booths at the San Diego Humane Society Walk event, I saw two sweet and funny little faces that drew me in. They were two senior Chihuahuas named Fred and Ethel, like the couple who lived next door to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. What perfect names for those silly little faces!

Fred and Ethel are two lucky pooches that were taken in by Lionel’s Legacy, a non-profit organization, out of El Cajon, CA, that specializes in rescuing senior dogs.

Lionel’s Legacy was founded in 2011 by elementary school teacher, Laura Oliver, and her family. Lionel was a 15 year old pit bull that inspired them to start an organization that specializes in fostering and finding good homes for senior pets.

When Lionel first came to Laura’s family, he was in terrible shape and everyone thought he had little time left to live. He was painfully thin and very scared. Slowly, he began to trust his new family, and more importantly eat like a lion. He also blossomed into a loving family pet and got along with everyone, including the family cat.

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SB 32: California’s Big Bet on the Environment

August 31, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Senate Bill 32 was approved by the California legislature last week along with a companion bill (AB 197), putting the Golden State on a path to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions past the end of the decade.

Gov. Jerry Brown fought long and hard for the legislation mandating an additional 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030. The state is already on track to meeting the goal, set by AB 32 in 2006, to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions back down to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Not included in the new legislation was extending the state’s cap-and-trade program, arguably a more flexible, lower-cost policy tool to cut emissions. As things stand now, the future of the program is uncertain, as the California’s Chamber of Commerce is in court seeking to overturn the program on the basis that it needed two-thirds approval.

The Governor maintains that SB 32 and AB 197 will provide the leverage he needs to reach a deal with businesses that would prefer a market-based program like cap-and-trade over tougher mandates to cut pollution. Brown says he will put the matter of the program’s future on the 2017 ballot if he has to.

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How the Mainstream Media Failed the Public During the ‘Save the Torrey Pine’ Campaign

August 30, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey media
By Frank Gormlie

During the recent campaign to save the Torrey Pine on Saratoga, whenever there was a show down – or the promise of one – between those tree-hugging residents surrounding the infamous Pine and the Atlas tree chopping crews, you’d be sure to find television cameras and reporters at the scene.

The reporters – and their producers at the station – must have loved the Torrey Pine story – for all the times San Diego television viewers were shown the latest news-clips about those colorful OB residents trying to save that old tree.

However the particular station spun the story – newscasters would smile wryly as if to say, ‘oh, those cute but misguided OB tree-huggers, look what they’re up to now …’ and their viewers would then catch sight of protesting residents – with even one who climbed up into the giant Torreys – all set in conflict against the the city staffers, cops, and the tree-cutting crews … with the buzz of saws in the background.

It made for good visuals, for good stories, and many times the teasers leaped out at viewers.

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A Long Hot Summer: Where’s the Love in the Anthropocene?

August 29, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

One of the more thought-provoking books I read this summer was Love in the Anthropocene, a collection of stories by Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam. As the title suggests, the tales in this volume are about what the world is becoming and will be as a result of climate change.

Interestingly the world Jamieson and Nadzam depicts is not a Hollywood-style apocalyptic landscape, but an earth largely bereft of natural environments, where zoos house the last animals, natural food is rare, cities have adjusted to catastrophic weather, and those fortunate enough to live inside the bubble of “civilization” are surrounded by vast discarded populations who are left to tough it out on the outskirts of “normal life.”

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The Sordid Saga of the Saratoga Torrey Pine – A Chronology

August 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest ed goodtree dist

Some of us who were involved in the unsuccessful effort to save the Torrey Pine at 4652 Saratoga Avenue, thought it necessary to develop a written account of the saga of the Torrey called “Esperanza” – or “Hope”.

A chronicle was needed telling the story of how it came to be that the city and its contractor cut down the 90-year old, 80-foot tall on Monday, August 22nd.

The following, then, is a chronology of the Torrey Pine and its removal. (Much is taken from an anonymous “Critique of Saratoga Torrey Pine Chronology”, some is from a “Fact Sheet” from the city’s Transportation & Storm Water division, the remainder from this reporter’s notes and memories.)

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Unusually strong storms, beginning in the winter of 2015/2016, brought down a number of widely-reported trees and large limbs around the city, and as a result, there was a city-wide heightened awareness of large trees and their vulnerability.

Late January – early Feb – Strong winds brought down a large pine tree on Talbot Street in Point Loma – that caused some damage – and reportedly a 100-year old Torrey pine tree in the courtyard at OB Elementary School fell with no damage or injuries.

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OB Town Council Gets an Earful – Complaints about Torrey Pine, Candidate Statements, and Ideas About Newport Ave

August 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBTC meet 82416 council

From expressions of anger about the recent Torrey Pine removal, to impassioned statements by Board candidates, to studied brows deep in thought on how to improve Newport Avenue, the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting last night, Wednesday, Aug. 24th, exhibited a gamut of emotions and “passions”.

Anger of Residents on How City Handled Torrey Pine

Anger at how the City handled the Torrey Pine on Saratoga came out among residents during the non-agenda public comment period at the opening of the meeting. The Masonic Center community room filled up with sixty people, at least one news camera and reporter, as acting chair Gio Ignolia attempted to guide the at times contentious forum.

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Drugs – the Human Epidemic – Part 1

August 25, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Drugs SexMoney ArtworkAmericans are using drugs of various kinds at an increasing rate. Of course drugs have been around for a long time, since the beginning of time in fact.

In 5000 BC the Sumerians used opium.

The earliest record of alcohol production was in Egypt in 3500 BC. Tea in China was used in 3000 BC.

Humans have used various substances to manipulate and alter their mood levels for millennia.

In the category of drugs I include any mood altering substance such caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs such as opiods and other pain killers, amphetamines etc.

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Del Mar Races: Cruel As Ever

August 25, 2016 by Doug Porter

Martha Sullivan

By Doug Porter

There’s disagreement over how many horses have died at the Del Mar races this year. Animal rights advocates say it’s 18. The Union-Tribune says 16. The Daily Racing Form says 14. Some of the variance, no doubt, comes from the time frame from when it was reported.

Regardless of the final number–and it’s likely to increase by the time the summer season ends on Labor Day–more horses have died this year than last. Betting is down, and purses for the last two weeks of the season have been reduced by another 5% on top of the across the board 10% reduction from 2015.

Saturday, August 20th, was supposed to be the biggest day of the racing season at Del Mar, the $1 million Pacific Classic, including big name horses Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund. It started with another death.

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SeaWorld is Guilty of Disturbing the Peace

August 23, 2016 by Judi Curry
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For years the residents of the Point Loma and Ocean Beach areas have been complaining of the noise and air pollution spewed forth nightly by SeaWorld. Some people that own dogs have complained that the dogs are scared nightly by the horrendous percussion sounds while trying to hide from the shaking windows and doors. Some people that have children and babies complain that it wakes them up, usually crying, and has affected their everyday life.

Sunday night, August 15th, was one of the worst incidents of noise that I have heard in a long time. The noise reverberated for over two minutes; and as soon as one could relax another wave hit. And it wasn’t just here on the Point. Looking over the comments made on Facebook, Laura stated that she heard it in La Mesa. She said it wasn’t real loud; more like thunder but it was from Sea World.

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Gas Leak in OB Monday Night Forces Evacuations

August 23, 2016 by Staff

A gas leak discovered Monday night, caused about 200 OB residents to be evacuated from their homes.

According to the San Diego U-T:

Homes in the vicinity of Bacon and Cable streets and Santa Cruz and Del Monte avenues were expected to be evacuated throughout the night until at least 5 a.m. as crews worked to locate and repair the broken gas pipe, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

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OB Planning Chair on the Removal of the OB Saratoga Torrey Pine

August 22, 2016 by Source
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OB Saratoga Tree: A Torrey Pine removed today builds a stronger community tomorrow

By John Ambert

If you have not heard yet: Today, the City of San Diego proceeded to remove the 85+ y/o Heritage Torrey Pine tree on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue, affectionately named “Esperanza” ( translated to “hope” in Spanish) by the OB Community.

The City went forward with the removal of this tree regardless of the requests for a community forum, or for a formal review of the 3rd party Arborist assessment paid for by neighbors and community members. While I recognize and value the concern for public safety, I am disappointed there could not have been a more transparent and community engaged process. During this project, Ocean Beach community members exposed a number of issues which should be addressed for all future work.

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Torrey Pine: OB Asked for a Community Forum – Here’s the City’s Answer

August 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey cut truck
The Ocean Beach community had asked the City to hold a community forum on the health and dangers of the Torrey Pine in the middle of the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue.

Monday morning, bright and early, came the City’s response.

Out before 6:30 this morning – Monday – yellow police tape had been spread out, a dozen police officers stood their positions and Atlas Tree Service showed up and began cutting down the Torrey named Esperanza – Hope. By 9:30 a.m. all the branches were down – including one with a birds’ nest – and all that remained was the huge trunk.

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Here’s Arborist Report that Concludes OB Torrey Pine is “Low Risk”

August 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Here below is the arborist’s report on the Saratoga Avenue Torrey Pine. This is a significant report, as not only was it paid for by members of the Ocean Beach community, but the risk assessment performed by Mastor Arborist Bradley Brown, cites the tree at issue as “low risk”.

The report includes 3 pages of text and 2 pages that have the standard matrix that arborists use.

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Community Forum With City Representatives on Torrey Pine Requested

August 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

The folks working to save the Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Saratoga have requested a “Community Forum” on the tree with city representatives to discuss the new arborist’s report and other information – before the city makes any move on the historic Torrey.

John Ambert, in his communication with city officials in which he attached Mastor Arborist Bradley Brown’s risk assessment, make the following:

We are requesting a community forum with City representatives to review the information presented and discuss the path forward, prior to any future work activities.

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Community-Funded Arborist Report: The Ocean Beach Torrey Pine Is “Low Risk”

August 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

An arborist report just released to the City by those OBceans who have been attempting to save the Torrey Pine on Saratoga, states :

“The mature Torrey pine in front of 4652 Saratoga Avenue presented low risk at the time of my assessment made on Monday, August 15, 2016.”

The Tree Risk Assessment by Bradley Brown, a Board Certified Master Arborist, was sent to members of the City by John Ambert, chair of the OB Planning Board. It included pages of matrices that arborists use, plus a 2-page written report, with photos.

The Ocean Beach community funded Arborist Brown’s services, and specifically, he was hired by the residents and supporters on Saratoga, via a GoFundMe page put up by the group Friends of the Peninsula Trees.

Brown also stated in his report:

“I observed no significant defects or secondary disorders in the subject tree. … The trunk base showed no signs of significant mechanical damage or discoloration. … The tree appeared healthy and vigorous.”

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‘Not So Fast’ – Some Ocean Beach Residents Are Saying – ‘We’re Not Ready to Give Up on Torrey Pine’

August 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey Hope 81516

‘Not so fast,’ some residents of Ocean Beach are saying – to any giving up of saving the historic Torrey Pine on Saratoga Street. There’s been some momentum against the sentiment expressed in a press statement sent out over the weekend from one group of residents saying that they’re ready to let the City chop down the tree called “Hope” (Esperanza).

There was some dissent within the group when it was decided to send out the statement. And that stance has led to the group enlisting the services of a second arborist just recently.

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