Culture

Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

May 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This Thursday, May 26th, the San Diego Planning Commission will hear an appeal of the City’s decision to approve a controversial project slated for the 2200 block of Froude Street in Ocean Beach.

The project – two multistory residences – has outraged neighbors enough that they have supported the effort to appeal the decision by the City’s Development Services to okay it. The project includes:

“the demolition of an existing single-family structure and the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.”

This is at 2257 Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene.

The Planning Commission begins their regular hearing at 9 am in the City Council Chambers on the 12th floor at City Hall, 202 West “C” Street. The Froude project appeal is the first substantive item on the Commission’s agenda, after agenda and minutes approvals, staff reports. Here’s the agenda for May 26. And City Development staff have recommended denial of the appeal.

Here’s why there’s controversy – besides the bulk, style, etc of the project itself – :

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On Dark Patches and Redemption

May 23, 2016 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

Despite all our best efforts, things don’t always go the way we would hope. Sometimes we are stunned by the unexpected bad turn and left groping for answers.

Last week in my column about what motivated me to go on the March for California’s Future, I explained how the stories of my students inspired me:

As a community college professor at City College, I am particularly attuned to the painful realities of economic and racial inequality because I see the costs of poverty on a daily basis …

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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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Ocean Beach Airbnb Listings Rose 64% Since Last Year

May 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Airbnb Listings Rose 64% Since Last Year

New data from Airbnb shows that their short term vacation rentals listings in Ocean Beach have risen 64% since last year. This equates to 230 units, according to an article from Voice of San Diego.

The Voice article by Ashley McGlone, relies on new information from Airbnb analytics company Beyond Pricing, and says that “the number of Airbnb listings is rising in nearly every neighborhood across San Diego,”yet, “Ocean Beach and La Jolla saw the greatest gains.” (While OB had a rate of 64%, La Jolla rose to 58 percent with 404 rentals.)

And once again, Ocean Beach joined 5 other neighborhoods this year as well as last year in being the locations of almost half of all San Diego’s Airbnb listings. The other neighborhoods: Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, North Park and East Village.

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Reader Rant: SDG&E Closes Section of OB Bike Path Without Public Notice Just Before “Bike to Work Day”

May 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: SDG&E Closes Section of OB Bike Path Without Public Notice Just Before “Bike to Work Day”

OB Commuters on Bike Path Will Have to Take Lengthy Detour

By Tom Roebuck

Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 20th and has been heavily promoted by SANDAG.

But OB cyclists attempting to commute to work on Friday via the Ocean Beach bike path will encounter a chain-link fence just east of the W. Mission Bay Drive bridge.

With no public notice or input, SDG&E has completely closed the OB bike path between W. Mission Bay Drive and Pacific Highway until at least May 27.

The runway-flat stretch of blacktop on the south side of the San Diego River provides easy access from OB to Old Town, downtown San Diego and Mission Valley, and the closure will force cyclists, joggers, walkers and other users of the path onto busy surface streets for a lengthy detour.

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Annual “OB EXPOSED!” on May 20th – May 19th Is the Deadline to Submit Photos

May 19, 2016 by Staff

OB Exposed 2016 grafic

Don’t be left out – ya gotta attend the annual “OB EXPOSED”- an event sponsored by the Ocean Beach Historical Society – and it’s this Friday night, May 20th.

Entitled Photographic Impressions of Ocean Beach and Point Loma, the highly-attended shindig is in the Masonic Center at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard in OB. There’s always great refreshments provided, as well as an opportunity to view old photos of OB.

And by the way, today – Thursday, May 19th – is the deadline to submit photos – and they can be submitted at the OB Business Center at 4876 Santa Monica Avenue no later than 5pm.

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The Pot Wars 2016: The End to Marijuana Prohibition in California Is Near

May 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The war on marijuana continues even at mid-point of 2016 – the year that California voters will end the marijuana prohibition in the state. While California voters get set to vote to legalize the recreational use of pot, there are good signs and bad signs around the state as the Pot Wars continue.

Right now, a majority of Californians favor legalization.

The folks who have been organizing the more successful of the legalize recreational marijuana initiatives have gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It’s a certainty that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be on California’s November ballot. This is the initiative that has support from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. And many marijuana policy reform groups also support it.

So, what does it do?

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Having Fun Watching my Grandson Having Fun

May 18, 2016 by Ernie McCray

Ernie McCray old hippieBy Ernie McCray

The other day, for some reason, a wonderful memory rose in my mind of times when my grandson, Marlon, was dancing on the stage at SCPA (School of Creative and Performing Arts) to the hooting and hollering sounds of girls who were swooning from the very sight of him.

As I remembered those days I couldn’t help but think about how I had never experienced anything like that. Ever. I mean I’ve wondered a few times how somebody in my bloodline came out looking as fine as he does.

Since those days, he’s evolved into ML Wilson, performer, rapper, actor, a hip-hop-beat-maker. Living in San Francisco, pursuing his showbiz dreams.

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Much Ado About Raised Fists

May 17, 2016 by Source

cadets

By Denise Oliver Velez / Daily Kos

Here we go again, with yet another “incident” fueling right-wing outrage about black people and symbolism. The latest was over a photograph of 16 black female cadets who had come together to celebrate their upcoming graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The New York Times reported:

The gesture, posted on Facebook and Twitter last week, touched off a barrage of criticism in and out of the armed forces as some commenters accused the women of allying themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement and sowing racial divisions in a military that relies on assimilation.

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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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The Gentrification Machine Marches On – 5 Condos Planned for Lotus Street

May 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Residents in and around the 5000 block of Lotus Street have just been notified of a development application to build 5 condos on a lot currently holding a single-family residence. Some of those residents contacted the OB Rag out of extreme concern.

In the Notice of Application, see inside, the City announced that an application has been filed for the construction of 5 residential condominiums on the .15 acre site at 5064 Lotus. The five condos will total 10,560 square feet. The application also requests that the requirements to underground existing utilities be waived.

No reason for the request for a waiver was on the face of the Notice, but new developments these days are encouraged by City staff to obtain “waivers” on code requirements if they conform to the City’s Green Building Program.

The existing structure, a single-family residence with attached garage, would presumably be demolished – although there is no mention of that in the Notice. There is a large backyard and in the front there must stand one of the tallest Palm Trees in all of Ocean Beach.

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The California Way of Poverty

May 16, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

Last week, I pondered the obscene spectacle of holding a mega-concert catering to the wealthy in the Southern California desert town of Indio where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

The truth is that events like this that underline the contrast between the heedless luxury of the affluent with the deprivation of the poor are not the exception to the rule, but rather, a basic fact of everyday life in our era of historic economic inequality. It’s just the way we live now.

And in sunny California, San Diego in particular, the poor are accustomed to watching the party from the outside.

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California DMV Takes Important First Steps Toward Improving Voter Registration Services

May 16, 2016 by Source

Although problems persist, voter registration for 2016 elections will be easier for some

ACLU San Diego

acluThe California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) took the necessary first steps toward improving voter registration services offered online and at its 174 field offices across the state, though it still will need to address some major issues.

Beginning this month, people who are eligible and affirmatively choose to register when applying for or renewing a driver license or identification card at a DMV field office will: …

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Is Affordable Housing In the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 4

May 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

Section 8 Rental Assistance is a Cruel Jokesection 8

By Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

Approximately 46,000 households in San Diego are on a waiting list to obtain a federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The average wait time to obtain a housing voucher is 8 to 10 years.

Nobody’s housing needs remain constant over a period of time that long. Many people on the waiting list will have died before they are called for their Section 8 rental assistance voucher. Cruel irony.

In theory, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will pay the balance of a rent payment that exceeds 30% of a renter’s monthly income.

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“Gallagher’s 1502” Launches Soft Opening Tonight on Newport – Friday the 13th

May 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Discounts Extended to 92107 Locals

It is happening. The “Soft Opening” of Steve Yeng’s latest bar and restaurant – called (for now) “Gallagher’s 1502” is on for tonight, Friday the 13th.

Steve Yeng and his family, owners of the original OB Noodle House on Cable and of Bar 1502 on Niagara, have taken over the former Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue – as we announced on Tuesday.

And tonight, beginning at 5pm and lasting till 2am, Steve will introduce his new “traditional Irish pub” to the OB community that he so loves.

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“As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

May 13, 2016 by Source
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By OB Joe

You know it. I’m a California Primary voter and I’m pretty pissed off!

The Primary is already over – and I haven’t even voted yet. And neither have my fellow 8 million California voters.

The candidates have been selected – yet, the largest state in the Union has not spoken.

Oh, I know, there are some who still think Bernie can get the nomination – but the real math is not there – and I’m a Bernie supporter! I observed an MSNBC breakdown of the numbers – and Sanders would have to score REAL big in all the remaining primaries – short of a miracle – it will be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.

I really wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist – and I was among the 13,000 San Diegans who came out to support him when he was in town not too long ago. But by now, it’s been decided.

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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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An Analysis of Ballot Measures for the June 2016 Primary

May 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

ballot sampleVote ‘Aye’ on San Diego’s Proposition ‘Eye’

By Doug Porter

If there one issue symbolic of San Diego politics, it’s the fight for a bump in the local minimum wage. Almost two years after a majority of the city’s elected representatives voted for a measure increasing wages (in baby steps) and allowing for earned paid sick leave, the voters will have a say on the issue.

I won’t mince words here. If you live in the City of San Diego, vote YES on the referendum on Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage, which will appear on the June 7th ballot as Proposition I.

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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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Reader Rant: ‘Sorry, Ocean Beach, your opinion doesn’t count.

May 12, 2016 by Source
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2 Multi-Story Residences on Border Between OB and Point Loma Approved by City Without OB Planning Board Input, While Peninsula Board Votes to Oppose Project

By Tom and Judy Parry

“Sorry, Ocean Beach, your opinion doesn’t count.”

That’s essentially what the city has told residents of a quiet Ocean Beach street where two multistory residences would be squeezed onto a tiny parcel and tower over the single-family homes on the block, if a developer prevails, . The ultra-modern architecture would blend in with Southern California Spanish style homes and graceful bungalows as well as a fisherman’s wading boots at a black tie dinner.

That’s the situation where we live, on Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene Street. The applicant wants two twin residences on two tiny lots, each just 25 feet wide. There’s an imaginary line that runs down Froude Street – our side is under Peninsula Community Planning Board jurisdiction. The other side, though less than 50 feet away, belongs in the Ocean Beach Planning Board district.

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Backlash Grows in Ocean Beach Against City Cutting Down Trees

May 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean beach beachfront

There appears to be a growing backlash in Ocean Beach against the City’s cutting down of trees in the public right-of-way around the community. The backlash also includes negative reactions to the severe trimming of trees along commercial streets.

Three recent examples of OBceans exhibiting opposition to the downing or harsh trimming of trees illustrate this backlash.

The City is responsible for trees in the public right-of-way, and, of course, the City itself doesn’t cut down or trim trees – it contracts with private companies to do the dirty work. Signs of the backlash trend include, …

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Feminism Is Alive and Well in San Diego . . . but the Fight Is Getting Harder

May 11, 2016 by Source

rapture at lyceumBy Anne Haule / San Diego Free Press

On Mother’s Day, a group of about 30 women (and a couple men), some of the women mothers and some not, gathered at the Lyceum Theater to celebrate with champagne and listen to a panel of experts discuss “The (True) History of Feminism in San Diego”.

The panel, assembled by the Women’s Museum of California, preceded a viewing of “Rapture, Blister, Burn”, a contemporary Pulitzer-nominated play by Gina Gionfriddo – a funny and poignant feminist play running for another week that I highly recommend.

The panel, consisting of a politician, a research psychologist, both a professor and a masters student in women’s studies was moderated by Ashley Gardner, the Executive Director of the Women’s Museum.

First up was former United States Congresswoman, Lynn Schenk.

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From 1969 Original SD Free Press Article on San Diego’s Critical Housing Shortage – ‘So What Is New?’

May 11, 2016 by John Lawrence

housing fistJL: This article was originally published in the 1969 print edition of the San Diego Free Press. It follows on to our 4 part series on affordable housing in San Diego. So what else is new? Nothing except the price of real estate. [Items in parentheses are my updated comments.]

Rent Going Up? Planning to Move? Welcome to the Street

By John Lawrence

The housing situation in San Diego, especially for people with low incomes, bears all the earmarks of a terminal illness. The condition is grave and seems destined to get worse. The City will tell you that 1968 was a year in which San Diego experienced a record boom in housing construction, but their figures are completely misleading.

It is true that there were 12,525 units of housing begun in 1968, as compared with 6,100 units in 1967, and that while city building doubled, rural building was up 47% in 1968 over the previous year.

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Newport News – the Latest from Ocean Beach’s Main Street – and More

May 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This is the latest of our occasional reports on the comings and goings of businesses on Newport Avenue – the main street of Ocean Beach, plus any new developments that have occurred recently. This is what we found on Monday, May 9th:

Renovations at the Sunshine Company

New exterior and changes inside the Sunshine Company may surprise locals who haven’t been there in a while. Part of the exterior wall in the front has been removed to move the establishment into the new way of drinking – visible and right off the public sidewalk. Upstairs, there is now more light and visibility.

Inside, the long counter and a series of tales has been taken out and replaced with cushioned seating along the wall and round tables in the middle.

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Was Chinese Flame Tree on Voltaire Needlessly Cut Down?

May 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Was Chinese Flame Tree on Voltaire Needlessly Cut Down?

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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OB Noodle House to Open New Restaurant and Bar in Former Gallagher’s

May 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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“Soft Opening” on Friday the 13th

The owner of the OB Noodle House is opening a brand new restaurant and bar in the former Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.

In an exclusive interview with the OB Rag, Steve Yeng stated that he has taken over the former Irish pub and is opening a new restaurant that will have “American food and Asian Street food”. Food, he said that didn’t need refrigeration.

Yeng wouldn’t give out the name of the new place – “it’s a secret”, he said, but he did say that the new restaurant – his family’s third within OB – will have some kind of OB historical theme – “honoring OB’s history,” he said.

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Final Results – 1st Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic

May 9, 2016 by Source
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Here are the final results of AWOL & Hodad’s 1st Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic

Final Results

Grom Boys Final:
1st: Evan Gallen
2nd:Ben Murphy
3rd: Ethan Haughey
4th: Shane Neiner

Grom Girls Final:
1st: Summer nelson
2nd: Aurora Jackels
3rd: Hanna Dunfee

Jr Boys Final:
1st: Steve Musutts
2nd: Jack Gallen
3rd: Lucas Minori
4th: Riley Morgan
5th: Cole Brucher
6th: Thor Willin

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Oligarchy Rocks at the Desert Trip Festival

May 9, 2016 by Jim Miller

raving mic

By Jim Miller

This easy life knows no pity.

Recently Nelson D. Schwartz of the New York Times did an interesting feature on luxury tourism on cruise ships, “In an Era of Privilege, Not Everyone is in the Same Boat,” that described the experience of travelers as “a money based caste system” catering to the rich rather than the unwashed masses.

While there is clearly nothing novel about elite travel, the story noted that “What is new is just how far big American companies are now willing to go to pamper the biggest spenders.”

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Wild and Wooly

May 9, 2016 by Source

By Sloanranger

ee3db50f2ff31c3e81584d04ee44408be273e4d71cb8184093f7_640_politicsWell here it is, wild and wooly. We thought it was already crazy — obstructional, destructional — dysfunctional to the ‘nth degree. Tea parties, three parties — and the mob finally playing their Trump card. But no trustbusters, not yet – maybe because the trust of the people had long gone, anyway.

Nuclear options, up and down votes, heck, just stop everything. And inside the beltway, the people’s business — or rather lack of it, went on as usual. Our representatives listening only to lobbyists and extremists, corporate paid pundits and media, not much was said about us…to us or for us.

The talking heads blathering on, like nothing’s going on – at first. And then — quelle surprise! Look everyone, at what’s going down… and I do mean down.

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May News From Ocean Beach 92107

May 6, 2016 by Staff
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* Healthy Chinese Flame Tree Cut Down by City on Voltaire

* Newport Avenue to Be Repaved in June
* Roundabout Being Considered by City at West Pt Loma and Bacon
* Many Former Hippies Turn Out for Frank Gormlie’s Talk on “Hippies in OB”
* OB Tenants United Meeting
* Now OB Residents Can Order Their Booze Thru Delivery Service
* Update on Police Cameras – Signage Finalized, Still Month Away From Placement
* Oldest in the Country: the OB Kite Festival – May 14th
* OB Fire House to Have Major Rehab
* OB Library Expansion Could Be Caught in Catch-22 as City Insists on New Design Assessment
* City Budget Includes Gains for OB
Lifeguard Rescues for March

OB Planning Board Presented with Final Version of Plan, New City Planner

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