Environment

Point Loma Residents Protest Structure in Violation of 30-Foot Height Limit

June 26, 2016 by Matthew Wood

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Point Lomans Rally in front of Eyesore Building at Emerson and Evergreen

Nearly 100 Point Lomans gathered Saturday morning, June 25th, to protest the development of a pair of duplexes they say violates the area’s 30-foot building limit.

The building in question, at the corner of Emerson and Evergreen streets in the Roseville neighborhood, measure upwards of 41 feet.

Opponents of the structure say the developer, Pacific Enterprise General Contractor, is skirting the zoning rules by filling in space between the garage and the end of the property with dirt, then measuring height from that spot.

“The goal is to get a stop order, which can be done,” said Jon Linney, chair of the Point Loma Planning Board and an outspoken opponent of the building.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.” Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

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The High Costs of Policy Shortfalls in Housing

June 24, 2016 by Source

Close-up View of Garden HoseBy Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines

The high cost of housing is one of the most challenging planning issues of our time.

The meager supply of affordable housing is a major contributor to the problem, yet the policy tools to address the shortfall often seem to worsen the problem.

But this is because they ignore the underlying infrastructure and financing to support growth.

Housing affordability is really about two things: income and cost. The building industry is doing very little about the former, oftentimes opposing prevailing wages for construction workers. On the latter, the key question (being debated in California now) is whether deregulation of market rate housing projects will somehow “trickle down” to households, enabling them to afford rising rents and mortgages.

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‘The Emerson and Evergreen Project in Point Loma Is Where We Have to Draw the Battle Line for the 30 Foot Height Limit’

June 23, 2016 by Source

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City Planners Allow Developer to Measure 30 Feet From Top of Retaining Walls – the Call Goes Out to Shut the Project Down

By Geoff Page

This is it folks, this is where we have to draw the battle line for the 30-foot height limit.

Our own city, in the form of the Development Services Department, is leading the assault on the 30-foot limit. They are working for developers, not the citizens who pay their salaries. The project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville is a huge raspberry from the DSD to the community and here is why.

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The Loss of Community Is Still the Biggest Threat from Short Term Vacation Rentals

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB airbnb map
The Ocean Beach Town Council will have a presentation and discussion on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, June 22.

Representatives of the group that has been lobbying city government to “do something” about the disruption to residential neighborhoods, Save San Diego Neighborhoods, will be making at least one of the presentations.

They will be discussing how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into San Diego’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive. They will demonstrate how neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted. And even how the character of a neighborhood is altered.

This is all well and good – and necessary.

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An Ocean Beach Garage Repair Has Locals Steamed

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for An Ocean Beach Garage Repair Has Locals Steamed

They’ve been doing it for years – if not decades. A local OB garage repair parks its customers’ cars and vehicles on adjoining public streets. And sometimes those vehicles sit there … for long periods of time.

Well, now, neighbors of the garage are so steamed that they have filed a complaint with the City of San Diego.

Everybody knows the Eber Street Garage at the corner of Voltaire and Eber Street in north-east Ocean Beach. And it’s Tony Calfato’s – the owner’s – habit of having his employees park the cars they are working on or that have been fixed on Eber Street, or around the corner of Lotus, or up a block on Froude.

So, nine residences have complained. Homeowners, tenants – from all the surrounding streets. They have filed a citation against the garage, have a case manager, who has been out there on site and who has taken dozens of photos.

Is anything happening?

Not really, locals say.

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News and Notices

June 21, 2016 by Staff

OB OB Pier 50th Art Image
* OB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Reception – June 30th
* Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off set for June 25
* Point Loma Neighbors See Violation of 30 Foot Height Rule in New Construction
* Recent Research Showing Cabrillo as Spanish Ignites Local Controversy
* It’s Back! Artwork Cleaned-Up and Returned to Newport Ave.
* Is Amazon Taking Over the Old Midway Post Office?
* Pipeline Repair and Rehab Project Public Meeting – June 22nd
* Woman Rescued After Falling From Sunset Cliffs …
* Bicyclist Injured by SUV in Fleetridge Area of Point Loma
* PB Residents Argue Whether Crime Rates Gauged to Lack of Local Control Over Alcohol Licenses
* Imperial Beach Is Worried About Sea-Level Rise – Shouldn’t OB Be?
* Fiesta Island’s full-on dog party over soon?
* Americana group Dewey Paul Band will perform their Garcia Van Dylan tribute at Winston’s
* Thousands of Books Collected for Kids Summer-

COME INSIDE FOR ALL THE REST ….

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Another Ten Minute Acquittal Against DA Dumanis in Medical Cannabis Trial

June 21, 2016 by Source

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

cannabis logoThe thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that, before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

Shaun’s arrest occurred May 13, 2015, near his Oceanside home. He had been running a small legal cannabis collective out of his residence, providing flower, bubble hash, cannabis butter, tinctures and ointments to his members.

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OB Town Council Meeting – Short Term Vacation Rentals Presentation and Discussion – Wed., June 22nd

June 20, 2016 by Staff

OBTC OB image 6-22-16

Everyone is invited to the OB Town Council meeting on Wednesday, June 22nd, to discuss Short Term Vacation Rentals in Ocean Beach, a very hot topic these days at the coast.

From the OBTC website:

Tourism to our quaint beach town helps our economy thrive, but many residents have been feeling the affect of short-term vacation rentals as fewer homes are available for affordable long-term rental.

Representatives from Save San Diego Neighborhoods will provide an overview on short-term vacation rentals, community impacts, and enforcement of current municipal code. The Town Council wants you to come and share your experience, concerns, and feedback on STVRs during the community discussion.

The meeting begins at 7:00pm at the Masonic Center (1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.)

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In the Dark Forest of the Self – 2016 Summer Chronicles #1

June 20, 2016 by Jim Miller

dark forestBy Jim Miller

Summer is here and it’s time to take a break from my usual column and stretch the form a little with some chronicles. As I explained last year, the chronicle is a literary genre born in Brazil:

In the summer of 1967, the great Brazilian writer, Clarice Lispector, began a seven-year stint as a writer for Jornal de Brasil [The Brazilian News] not as a reporter but as a writer of “chronicles,” a genre peculiar to Brazil.

As Giovanni Pontiero puts it in the preface to Selected Chrônicas, a chronicle, “allows poets and writers to address a wider readership on a vast range of topics and themes.

The general tone is one of greater freedom and intimacy than one finds in comparable articles or columns in the European or U.S. Press.”

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ACLU Endorses ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ Expected on November Ballot

June 20, 2016 by Source

In 2014, 73 percent of misdemeanor marijuana arrests are people under 20. Nearly 70 percent of arrests were people of color.

By ACLU San Diego / Imperial

imarijuana.com

Citing the continued widespread criminalization of young people of color through marijuana enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California announced it has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) to control, regulate, and tax adult use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

The measure is expected to qualify for the November state ballot.

Low-level marijuana possession was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California in 2011, but marijuana law enforcement still results in thousands of arrests each year.

In 2011 to 2014, according to the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies made 60,000 marijuana arrests statewide. In 2014, young people under the age of 20 accounted for 73 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests in the state. Nearly 70 percent of all marijuana arrests were of people of color.

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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Surf’s Up in Ocean Beach on Friday, June 17th

June 17, 2016 by Source

OB Surfers 6-17-16 Ace 8

Here’s a series of photos of OB surfers at the Pier – today, Friday, June 17th.

All taken by ACE, Albert C Elliott, long-time OBcean, surfer, surfboard maker, and photographer.

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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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We Need a New Public Use of the Old Central Library

June 17, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for We Need a New Public Use of the Old Central Library

By Joe Flynn

“Planning? We don’t need no stinking planning!” No, I am not talking about The Treasure of Sierra Madre, I’m talking about the treasure of our old Central Library. One would think after decades of working to build a new central library, some thought would have been given to a new use for the old library.

And it is not just another old building; this one has a lot or treasured memories for many San Diegans, especially those who spent hours there doing school projects and term papers or just for the pure enjoyment of literature.

Many of us look back with nostalgia on digging through the card catalogues using the Dewey Decimal system, and going to the stacks for a needed reference.

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Elevated Surf and Strong Rip Currents Remain Hazards for San Diego Beaches

June 16, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Elevated Surf and Strong Rip Currents Remain Hazards for San Diego Beaches

The National Weather Service – San Diego – is keeping in effect a “Beach Hazard” warning for San Diego County beaches, and it will remain in effect through 10 pm today, Thursday evening, June 16th.

Elevated surf and dangerous rip currents are expected through today. Surf is expected to gradually lower on Friday, although, the weather service warns, rip currents will remain strong.

The warning states:

“Strong longshore currents will accompany the surf at all area beaches.”

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Checking Back Into OB’s Attitude about CVS and Its Alcohol Sales

June 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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What Are the Community’s Thoughts – 2 Plus Years After the CVS Debates

By South OB Girl

Following up on Judi Curry’s recent article, some issues were brought to the table by community members concerning the community’s abundance of bars and restaurants.

I have done a preliminary search in the Ocean Beach Planning Board Bylaws and the Community Plan on the terms liquor, alcohol, and license. (If I am missing reference to any say the OBPB has in liquor license approval, I would greatly appreciate being informed about that.)

My interest in this goes back to the heated CVS debates.

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Carbon Dioxide Levels Set to Pass 400ppm — Permanently

June 15, 2016 by Source

The findings highlight increasingly urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in the Paris agreement. (Photo: Mikael Miettinen/flickr/cc)

Carbon emissions and extreme weather events poised to push CO2 levels past symbolic threshold for good.

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Record carbon dioxide levels are set to surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (PPM) this year and will likely never fall below that line again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Scientists at the UK Met Office used emissions data, sea surface temperature figures, and a climate model from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to track the trajectory of CO2 levels and found that carbon dioxide “will for the first time remain above 400 ppm all year and hence for our lifetimes.”

Emissions have increased over the past 12 months due to the continued burning of fossil fuels, but the impact has also been exacerbated by an unbridled El Niño event.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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Protecting the Grand Canyon During an Era of Anti-Government Extremism

June 14, 2016 by Source

Mather Point, Grand Canyon

By Raul Grijalva / Daily Kos

Mather Point, Grand Canyon (Image: National Park Service)

This week marks the 110th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, a landmark law allowing presidents to designate national monuments on land owned by the federal government. Its signing by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 began the modern era of conservation, allowing Roosevelt to designate nearly twenty national monuments and protect natural and cultural resources that have come to define our country.

Many of the monuments he established, including the Grand Canyon in 1908, are now among our most popular national parks. The Antiquities Act, by any measure, has been a tremendous and popular success.

Despite that, the law is under constant attack by Congressional Republicans who mischaracterize the authority granted by the Act as a “land grab.”

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Reader Rave: The Key to Keeping the Balance on Newport and Voltaire

June 14, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rave: The Key to Keeping the Balance on Newport and Voltaire

By Byron Wear

As a 52 year resident of Point Loma and OB and a lifeguard stationed in the old tower at the foot of Santa Monica, I can remember shopping on Newport Avenue to buy clothes and shoes, visiting the Coronet variety store, the OB hardware, SD Glass and Paint and the local drug store independently owned.

There were always a few favorite restaurants like Little Chef, Village Kitchen, Pomas, Natis and of course Hodads.

Beginning in the late 60’s we began to lose our local neighborhood shopping districts (Point Loma, Pacific Beach, North Park, etc) to big box retail. We all started driving to Midway/Sports Arena or Mission/Fashion Valley where we could catch a movie.

It was cheaper to buy our clothes at Mervyn’s or household stuff at Fed Mart (now Target) and fill our prescriptions at Savon. And we lost the Strand Theatre.

So Newport became a center of Antiques and great local restaurants and drinking establishments. There have always been a few unique places for ice cream, special health products, beads and of course The Black.

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3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

The City of San Diego has sent out notice that the construction of a three-story dwelling unit is being planned for 4768 Del Mar Avenue in Ocean Beach. A process 2 Coastal Development Permit has been applied for by Justin Salbato for the project.

The permit calls for the demolition of a “non-habitable accessory structure”. The site contains an existing single family residence at the front of the lot, which is 0.16 acres. The new dwelling unit design includes a garage, with the unit having 2,226 square feet.

Plus – following a new trend – the new building design incorporates a roof-mounted photovoltaic system with solar panels “sufficient to generate at least 50-percent of the project’s projected energy consumption”, in conforming to the City’s new, so-called Affordable / In-fill Housing and Sustainable Buildings Expedite Program.

There appears to be several trees on the property, including a large pine tree (possibly Torrey Pine) in the back portion of the lot. It’s assumed that if the project is given the go-ahead, this tree will also be demolished.

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A Bad Climate? The State of Social Justice Efforts in the Labor and Environmental Movements

June 13, 2016 by Jim Miller

no bakkenBy Jim Miller

Among the stories that you may have missed during the stretch run of the primary season was some significantly bad news out of labor on the national front.

Several large unions in the building trades came out against a plan by some of the biggest public sector unions to join forces with environmentalist Tom Steyer in order to fund a major anti-Trump get out the vote operation in the fall. The New York Times noted that:

Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election.

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Is Tragedy in Ocean Beach Over the Weekend Linked to Multitude of Alcohol Establishments?

June 13, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Is Tragedy in Ocean Beach Over the Weekend Linked to Multitude of Alcohol Establishments?

A Tragedy Over the Weekend

A sad incident took place over the weekend in Ocean Beach. The information I have is second hand, but several people that I talked to gave me the same version of the incident.

Apparently a man was walking his dog and crossed the street at Newport and Sunset Cliffs. A man driving a jeep made an erratic left hand turn and almost hit the man.

The pedestrian, apparently scared and angry, yelled at the driver and kicked at the car. (One person told me he made contact with the car; another wasn’t sure.)

The driver swerved to the curb and pulled over and he jumped out of the car, screaming and threatening the pedestrian. The pedestrian dropped the leash of his dog and told him to run away.

The driver got back into his car, after yelling more threats. The dog was scared and as he was running away, got hit by a car.

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More News from Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Beaches

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* City Plants New Tree Where Old One Was Cut Down Mistakenly

* OB First Responders Appreciation BBQ – Sat., June 11th

* SeaWorld’s ‘Grand Dame,’ Bubbles the Pilot Whale, Dies

* Gunman Ransack OB Home
* Red Tuna Crabs Swamp Mission Beach
* Man Spots 7 Foot Snake at Sunset Cliffs
* Airplane Noise Results in Letter to FAA by Politicos
* Beach Pedalers Join Solstice Bike Ride on June 16
* Pt Loma High Girls Sand Volleyball Team at Championships
* Mission Bay Wetlands to Draw Community Input at Two Public Meetings

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The Empire of an Ocean Beach Land Lord

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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On Saturday, June 4th, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

Mills owns a lot of property in Ocean Beach – many rental units. And he has a long history buying up properties, raising rents, and maintaining sub-standard living conditions.

Rumors have swirled for years about how many rental units Mills actually owns, so we set out the other day to find just a few of his properties. And what we found initially were four sets of units that Mills either currently owns or has owned in the past – four properties that had a total of 51 units.

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New State Bureau that Regulates Medical Cannabis Sounds Like an Advocate

June 10, 2016 by Source
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State Medical Marijuana Officials Hold Hearing in San Diego

By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access / June 9, 2016

San Diego, CA – The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations held a hearing June 9th as is required when crafting commercial regulations in the State of California. The trio of women who currently make up the bureau had already held events in Oakland, Humboldt and Riverside among other places. They were wrapping it up with San Diego.

The event was called a pre-regulation hearing. There were about 100 people in attendance and newly appointed Chief of the Bureau, Lori Ajax began the meeting at 11:19 in the Garcia Room at the Caltrans building on Taylor St. in Old Town.

The head of Narcotics at the District Attorney’s Office, Steve Walter sat in the front row.

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Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

June 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

Neighbors of the controversial project coming in at 2257 Froude Street and the Peninsula Community Planning Board recently lost an appeal of the project at the San Diego Planning Commission.

Here, then, are some thoughts on the various options that those neighbors have.

  1. Appeal the decision of the Planning Commission; §112.0508 of the San Diego Municipal Code allows for appeals of Process Four decisions of the Planning Commission to the City Council. This is the most likely option to be pursed by the Peninsula planners. Yet we don’t know when or even if an appeal has been made.
  2. Change the zoning in that area of the Peninsula Plan to match or reflect the floor-area-ratio of the adjoining neighborhoods of Ocean Beach, which are 0.70. This could occur through a concerted effort by the neighbors working through the Peninsula Community Plan update process to make those changes.
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