Environment

Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10

April 18, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10

By Cara Wilson-Granat

Dame Jane Goodall (famed British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace) was asked a question. “Why did she do what she did for the chimps she has advocated for all her life?” She answered by sharing a true story.

A captive lab chimp had never lived outside a cage his entire life. Now freed by Jane and her team of researchers and scientists, the frightened primate sat and watched the other chimps in a large zoo compound—free of cages and offering grassy, rocky, chimp-appealing offerings, including the sight and sound of others like him. He was terrified by such a contrast—from darkness to light.

Read the full article → 12 comments

The Marshians Have Arrived – Eco-Activist-Art in Pacific Beach

April 18, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Marshians Have Arrived – Eco-Activist-Art in Pacific Beach

Update Given on Release of 7 Clapper Rails Last Year

by Mic Porte

The Kendall-Frost UCSD Marsh research facility at the corner of Mission Bay was host to a Marshian Art encounter of the first kind, Saturday evening, April 12, Marshian Day.

Inaugurating her mural, Celeste Byers, UCSD student and art muralist, and friends and supporters of The Marsh, joined in art and music to celebrate. Some 40 people attended and enjoyed the musical event. The photos document the completed mural on Saturday and Celeste Byers, after she signed the mural on Monday.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Bacon Is Not a Vegetable

April 18, 2014 by Source

You can’t encourage other people to eat a diet that’s better for them and the planet by getting all vegangelical on them

colored-bacon-plate_4c2223db6d963By Jill Richardson / Other Words

As a vegetarian, I have to walk a fine line.

Really, I’m not judging you. But I often find it necessary to establish myself as “not a threat” to meat eaters. I also occasionally bump up against militant vegans.

Consider this collision I had the other day with a devout vegangelical. While at a potluck among an omnivorous group that included a woman who raises and slaughters chickens and turkeys for meat, I tried to politely excuse myself for not partaking in most of the food.

“I’m vegetarian,” I said. “Well, mostly vegetarian.”

Then I tried to crack a bad joke. “I’m vegetarian except for when I eat bacon.”

Big mistake. Vegangelicals have no sense of humor.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Construction Boom in Ocean Beach

April 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Construction Boom in Ocean Beach

Every now and then the OB Rag monitors the state of development and construction going on within the Village of OB. Here, we’ve done it again with the following photos.

But we have to say:

There’s a Construction Boom Going on in OB!

There’s a huge development coming in down at the waterfront, there’s the work being done at the corner lot at Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, and there’s the construction of the third large mansion on West Pt Loma. And we’re not talking about all the street repairs, cross-walk installations, one-way streets and detours.

Read the full article → 29 comments

OB Planning Review Committee to Look at 4626 Cape May Proposal

April 15, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Review Committee to Look at 4626 Cape May Proposal

Wednesday night, the 16th of April at 6pm, the Project Review Committee will meet and begin a discussion of a proposal for 4626 Cape May Avenue. The reviewers, a sub-committee of the official OB Planning Board, meet at the OB Rec Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

For the only action item on the agenda, the owner-applicant is proposing to build a new residence over an existing garage. This is the Brito Residence – and they wish to maintain the front 1298 square foot residence, and construct a new residence with 1220 square feet over the detached garage, which is 704 square feet.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight – Monday, April 14

April 14, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight – Monday, April 14

Oh, my, it’s clear today, and a Santa Ana wind is supposed to make it warm and dry tonight!!!

Look to the East tonight to see a phenomenal Total Lunar Eclipse.

Visible throughout North America, it begins at 10 PM Pacific Time, or an hour or two earlier if you are further East.

Read the full article → 4 comments

5 Popular Home Products That Can Be Surprisingly Toxic

April 14, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for 5 Popular Home Products That Can Be Surprisingly Toxic

If you thought you were safe from pollutants around the house, think again.

By Cliff Weathers / AlterNet

We love the convenience and the comfort they bring us, but some of our most popular consumer products can come at a heavy price to our personal health. We all try being careful, removing the known hazards from our households, yet there are many products that you likely have in your home that you probably didn’t know were toxic. Here are five that might shock you:

1. Candles.Few things are better at adding atmosphere to a room than candles. But as those candles fill the room with warm light, they’re also filling it up with harmful gases and sediments. …

Read the full article → 1 comment

OSHA Wins Case Against SeaWorld Involving Death of Orca Trainer

April 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for OSHA Wins Case Against SeaWorld Involving Death of Orca Trainer

From OH&S / Apr 11, 2014

OSHA has won the appellate case involving its enforcement case against SeaWorld of Florida LLC following the death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau on Feb. 24, 2010. A 2-1 decision issued April 11 by a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that SeaWorld “recognized its precautions were inadequate to prevent serious bodily harm or even death to its trainers and that the residual hazard was preventable.”

“The remedy imposed for SeaWorld’s violations does not change the essential nature of its business,” the majority opinion written by Judge Judith W. Rogers states. “There will still be human interactions and performances with killer whales; the remedy will simply require that they continue with increased safety measures.”

Read the full article → 1 comment

News From Around Ocean Beach, Point Loma and Local Beaches

April 10, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for News From Around Ocean Beach, Point Loma and Local Beaches

Toddler girl recovering after being bitten in face by dog on Newport Ave

A toddler is recovering at Rady Children’s Hospital after being bitten in the face by a dog in Ocean Beach on Saturday, April 5. The 22-month old girl was walking on the sidewalk with her mom when she walked over to the dog. She knelt down in the dog’s direction and the dog lunged at the girl and bit her, knocking her to the ground. Police, firefighters and animal control responded. The owner was cited, but the dog was not taken away. The child remains hospitalized Sunday in stable condition. She is expected to be OK.

The child is the daughter of Daniel Bille. (Daniel is the same one who posted a rant recently about dealing with bad neighbors in a good neighborhood.) Daniel reports: …

Read the full article → 2 comments

Locals Respond to Sunset Cliffs Park Going to the Dogs

April 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Locals Respond to Sunset Cliffs Park Going to the Dogs

Report from the Latest Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Committee Meeting

by Lois Lane

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – the area along and at the end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd, is a Regional Park, but also a City of San Diego Park and a Beach Park. Why does any of this make a difference? For a lot of reasons, but a big one is DOGS.

Not only in the city of San Diego, but all over San Diego County, dogs in public must be on a leash.

“Away from Home: If you walk or otherwise bring a dog to public or other private property (where dogs are permitted), you must restrain the dog by a hand held leash (not longer than 6 feet in length)…”

This is the San Diego County Code.

For freedom-for-dog advocates, city of San Diego beaches present an entirely different philosophy. Leashed dogs are allowed after 6 p.m. from April 1st to October 31st or after 4:00 p.m. from November 1st to March 31st and on the beach, on sidewalks, and on park areas near the beach during the night and early morning hours until 9 a.m.

Read the full article → 14 comments

Politicians Who Oppose Marijuana Legalization Are On the Wrong Side of History

April 9, 2014 by Source

marijuanademrepsA majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

By Tony Newman via AlterNet

A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization – yet not one sitting governor or U.S. Senator supports it, according to a New York Times piece.

Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. 43 years after President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” the U.S. arrests 650,000 people a year for marijuana possession – yet marijuana and other illegal drugs are as available as ever. Thanks to the drug war, the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

April 9, 2014 by Source

cows1By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs – even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Lori Saldaña: “The Night I Decided to Stop Going to Sea World.”

April 9, 2014 by Source

Seaworld-Orlando-Shamu-1514By Lori Saldaña

I was born in San Diego, and my family began attending Sea World back in the 60s when it had a Japanese Garden and pearl divers (I still have a pearl ring, a birthday gift one year).

Then, it was a very different place than it is today: quieter, smaller scale, and more about Pacific Rim culture than theme park shows. We went often, and not just as casual visitors. Since my father was a journalist, and Sea World knew the value of cultivating relationships with the media, we would often attend special events throughout the year, including a lavish annual kick-off party that marked the start of their summer season, complete with a preview of the newest Shamu show.

Read the full article → 21 comments

OB Elementary Crosswalk Coming In Over Spring Break

April 4, 2014 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for OB Elementary Crosswalk Coming In Over Spring Break

UPDATE: A sign on Santa Monica Boulevard says the street will be closed through April 14 between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ebers Street. So much for the project getting done by the end of spring break. Good luck to all the parents taking their kids to school this week. It should be interesting.

By Matthew Wood

It’s not all fun and games at Ocean Beach Elementary School during spring break.

Santa Monica Avenue has been closed between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ebers Street all week as workers have been frantically trying to finish putting in a much-anticipated crosswalk outside the school.

The project was supposed to be finished before students came back on Monday, but as of Friday morning, there was still a big hole in the street and a construction crew working frantically to get the job done. Rain earlier in the week helped to delay the construction.

Read the full article → 3 comments

SeaWorld Attendance Drops Amid Blackfish Controversy

April 4, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Attendance Drops Amid Blackfish Controversy

By Hugo Martin / LA Times / April 2, 2014

Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year.

The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group.

The notice said attendance for the three-month period that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.

In previous reports, SeaWorld officials noted that attendance numbers may change with the shift of holidays in the calendar. Easter, for example, took place in the first quarter of 2013, but in 2014 the holiday falls in the second quarter.

Read the full article → 5 comments

The Blue Dot Refill in OB: First Eco-soap Self-serve Refill Store in San Diego

April 4, 2014 by Source

By Joe Moreno

What happens when a lawyer leaves Corporate America to get in touch with her inner hippie?

She opens San Diego’s first eco-soap self-serve refill store in Ocean Beach to do her part to keep our world plastic-free. Less than a month ago, Deidre Prozinski opened Blue Dot Refill next to Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Co-op on Voltaire Street. Within days of hanging out her shingle – and without any marketing or advertising – she hit her first milestone: $100 in sales in a single day, thanks, in part, to being right next to a co-op with like-minded customers.

Read the full article → 5 comments

If We Don’t Connect It to Race and Class, Then Green Politics Is Just High-End Consumerism

April 4, 2014 by Source

greenpovertyInstead of advocating “green” lifestyles that are financially and culturally inaccessible to millions of Americans, artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph proposes we ask a single, crucial question that connects race, class and ecology: What sustains life in a community?

By Marc Bamuthi Joseph / Creative Time Reports

As environmentalism goes mainstream, corporations are marketing the word “green” as a panacea for the world’s climate crisis. Today the word describes a set of prescribed, mostly consumerist actions: buy local, organic and fresh; go vegan; eat in season; skip the elevator; take the stairs. “Green” has come to mean shopping at Whole Foods and possessing a Prius. Meanwhile, leading corporate polluters like BP and Exxon Mobil place commercials on CNN advertising their “green” practices.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Ocean Beach Planners Elect New Officers, Make Appointments and Approve Project on Muir

April 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Planners Elect New Officers, Make Appointments and Approve Project on Muir

Ruscitti Elected New Chair

At their monthly meeting last night (Wed., April 2), the Ocean Beach Planning Board appointed two new members and elected their officers for the upcoming year.

Two veterans of the Board, Jane Gawronski and Seth Connolly, were appointed to vacancies on the normal-14-member Board. Jane was appointed to District 5 and Seth to District 4. With the departure of Barbara Schmidtknecht from the Board, and with the additions of Connolly and Gawronski, the Board now stands at 11 members.

Tom Gawronksi announced that Board member Bill Bushe is having major medical problems and he doubted that Bushe would be able to return to his seat.

For those who are seeking future appointments to the Board next month, there are 2 confirmed vacancies in District 1 and 7, and maybe a vacancy in District 4.

Read the full article → 2 comments

News Round-Up for OB, Beaches and Peninsula

April 3, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for News Round-Up for OB, Beaches and Peninsula

District 2 Appointment Decision Moved Up to April 7

Chet Barfield – rep for the currently vacant District 2 Council seat – announced at recent community meetings that the appointment decision on who replaces Kevin Faulconer for the remainder of his term has been moved up. The new date is now April 7 – …

Steer clear of the ocean directly following rainfall

The County’s Department of Environmental Health Wednesday issued a general advisory to beachgoers to stay out of the water for the next 72 hours due to the recent rainfall. …

April Calendar for OB

    San Diego Soliciting Bids for Improvement Mission Beach Lifeguard Station While OB’s Older Lifeguard Station Is Ignored ….

    And much more ….

Read the full article → 9 comments

Extreme Weather Watch: March 2014

April 3, 2014 by Source

Winter Weather Made a $55 Billion Hit to US Economy

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

weather5The winter of 2014 broke records and budgets. NBC News reported that the economy took a $55 billion hit because of the extreme winter weather. There was $5.5 billion in damage to homes, businesses, agriculture and infrastructure.

Cities had additional costs for salt for roads and asphalt for potholes. There were more than 30,000 potholes in Toledo, OH alone. The companies that supply salt and asphalt are making a fortune. This winter also saw 79.3 inches of snow falling in Chicago where there were 23 days below zero.

In California drought covers 99.8% of the state. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically holds at least half of all the water that will flow to the state’s farms and cities each year, is at just one-fourth of its normal level.

Read the full article → 0 comments

So They Are All … All Honorable Men

April 2, 2014 by Source

honorable menBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

San Diegans are no dummies. We know what happens to politically independent, outspoken, public-minded individuals who are brash enough to shake things up. They get maligned, noogied, humiliated, sent packing. Open your mouth too wide in this city and… you’re dead meat.

So we’re polite and genteel. Why look for trouble? Yes, the public gets screwed over and over again but we’ve learned to turn the other cheek. Forgive and forget — that’s our MO.

We swoon over the nice guys, especially the ones with agreeable manners. Like our avuncular ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, our puckish council president Todd Gloria, our sunkissed mayor Kevin Faulconer — honorable men beyond public reproach. Even when they’re plotting to pull the rug out from under us.

Read the full article → 1 comment

OB Planners: Election of Officers, Board Appointments and Demolition of Near-Century Old House on Muir

April 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planners: Election of Officers, Board Appointments and Demolition of Near-Century Old House on Muir

The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its monthly meeting tonight – Wed., April 2nd – at the OB Rec Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6 pm sharp.

First on their potentially busy agenda after the normal quorem-agenda-minutes housekeeping is the certification of the Board’s most recent election – held on March 11th. This is usually a pro forma procedure.

Board Appointments

Next is the decision on whether there will be any appointments to the Board itself. At the most recent OB Town Council meeting, the liaison with the planners, Gio Ignolia, announced that there are 5 appointments available – two in the all-important District 4, and one each in Districts 5, 6 and 7. And there are indications that several people have applied for an appointment. If applicant candidates qualify, then the full Board votes them up or down.

(For an intro to OB’s 7 planning districts, go here.)

Read the full article → 0 comments

Workshop on Saratoga Park Slated for April 8

April 1, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Workshop on Saratoga Park Slated for April 8

OBCDC Holding Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Improvements for Park at Foot of Saratoga Ave.

The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation is sponsoring the first of several public meetings and workshops on their proposed improvements for Saratoga Park, this one to be held on Tuesday, April 8th. It will be at the OB Rec Center.

According to the OBCDC press release, the workshop purpose is a discussion on conceptual improvements, which include:

  • a small children’s playground,
  • fitness stations and
  • individual seating
  • and related improvements

Saratoga Park is located located at the foot of Saratoga Avenue, west of Abbott Street immediately north of the parking lot at the Lifeguard Station.

Read the full article → 8 comments

OB Planning Board Agenda for April 2, 2014

March 31, 2014 by Staff

Here is the agenda for the Ocean Beach Planning Board April meeting. The Board meets in the meeting room of the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica, at 6pm sharp.

Read the full article → 1 comment

City’s Decision to Install “No Turn on Red” Signs at Voltaire and Catalina Is Flawed – Signs Should Come Down

March 31, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for City’s Decision to Install “No Turn on Red” Signs at Voltaire and Catalina Is Flawed – Signs Should Come Down

Editor: In January our Judi Curry warned readers that the City was no longer allowing right turns on red at the intersection of Voltaire Street and Catalina Boulevard. Geoff Page – a former member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board – vowed to get to the bottom of it. So, here is his the result of his research and analysis.

‘No Right Turn On Red’ Signs at Busy Intersection Should Be Removed

By Geoff Page / Special to the OB Rag

It has taken longer than I hoped but I do have the story about the No Right Turn On Red sign installed at Catalina/Famosa and Voltaire last September.

The road to this information was much longer than it should have been, considering the subject matter, and it required patience and aggressive persistence. The shame of it is that this isn’t a scandalous expose; this is information about placement of traffic signs. The signs are on southbound Famosa at Voltaire. Famosa becomes Catalina once you cross Voltaire. The turn restriction is from southbound Famosa to westbound Voltaire.

Read the full article → 29 comments

A Green Balboa Park Centennial Celebration for 2015

March 31, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / San Diego Free Press

green globeAs George Santayana famously observed: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But in the case of the Pan-American centennial planning, organizers need to learn from the history of the event to help them re-create its grandeur and appeal, and make the 2015 Balboa Park centennial a celebration of innovation, rooted in the first Exhibition’s origins.

Here’s a brief statement of the original events’ main theme: “The purpose of the Panama-California Exposition is to illustrate the progress and possibility of the human race, not for the exposition only, but for a permanent contribution to the world’s progress.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

CicloDias to Hit Pacific Beach – Sunday, March 30

March 28, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for CicloDias to Hit Pacific Beach – Sunday, March 30

OBceans planning on riding from OB

The next CicloSDias is Sunday, March 30, 2014, 10am-3pm. This time it’s about introducing Pacific Beach up to La Jolla to this amazing open streets event. Check out the route above.

Decorate yourself, decorate your bike and join us for the first ever CicloSDias Bike Parade!

When: 11:30am, March 30th.

Where: Cass and Garnet HUB

A friendly panel of judges will determine the winners. Top 3 in store for some great prizes!

See you on the 30th for a Car Free PB!

Folks from OB will be congregating at the Robb Field Skate Board Park.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Continuing Scandal: No Consequences for Balboa Park Centennial Screw Ups

March 28, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Continuing Scandal: No Consequences for Balboa Park Centennial Screw Ups

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The mismanagement of efforts to stage a year-long centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California exposition continues to make headlines today.

A City Council committee order an audit of public funds spent by Balboa Park Celebration Inc. yesterday. A follow-up hearing on April 23 was set by Councilman David Alvarez to measure progress toward production of records and along with information on the shutdown of BCPI.

Voice of San Diego drew upon its network of movers and shakers (a side benefit of continual fund raising) to produce a report on centennial efforts including points of view from insiders and those close to the soon-to-be-defunct nonprofit celebration committee.

Read the full article → 1 comment

OB Bike-Share Locations to Be Revealed by End of Month

March 28, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Bike-Share Locations to Be Revealed by End of Month

5 Bike-share locations where customers able to check out 3-speed bicycles

By Tony de Grata

The locations of the five stations in Ocean Beach where bike-share customers will be able to check out a comfortable, easy-to-ride three-speed should be revealed by the end of the month, according to Brian Genovese, senior engineer in the city’s Transportation and Stormwater Department.

The Ocean Beach stations will be among the 180 to be installed under a 10-year agreement between the city and Florida-based DecoBike, the company that won the contract last year to run a bike-share program in San Diego. The system should be up and running sometime this year, according to DecoBike press releases.

Read the full article → 0 comments

What’s with all those protests at SeaWorld?

March 27, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for What’s with all those protests at SeaWorld?

By Barb Dunsmore / Special to the OB Rag

When it comes to impassioned feelings about Sea World, most readers of the OB Rag are well aware that much has recently been written, discussed, filmed, and documented. The world began to take notice with the release of Gabriella Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish. It started with ripples of awareness that have now become waves of deep concern. The worldwide anger the movie unleashed is nearly impossible to ignore.

While SeaWorld was celebrating their 50th anniversary last Friday, everyday citizens, myself included, were standing on Sea World Drive protesting 50 years of inhumane captivity, drawing attention to what we, and a growing number of people around the world see as a new vision for SeaWorld: the recently proposed California Captive Orca Welfare and Safety Act – AB 2140. A new vision that could be a win-win for the orcas and SeaWorld alike, where the orcas would finally be free from the confines and cruel control inflicted upon them daily.

Who are we that protest you ask?

Read the full article → 114 comments