Environment

Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

December 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Continuing the Debate: Is the San Salvador Replica a “Symbol of Genocide” or a “Marketing Tool for San Diego”? or can it be used to tell the true story?

In the interests of continuing the debate of the controversy that has arisen over the current construction of the San Salvador , the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship, which is being built at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay by the Maritime Museum, we offer the following comments.

We’re certain that the building of the replica of the San Salvador, is widely known around town by now, and many even know that most of the construction is being accomplished by volunteers using the “original” tools and methods of the 16th century. There are tours, displays and some PR by the San Diego Maritime Museum.

In fact, the Museum is planning to stage the official launch of the vessel in late February 2015.

As it is a local story of interest, the OB Rag has covered the building of the ship several times, with photo essays, a focus on the volunteers – particularly the women volunteers, the craftsmanship, tools and imported wood.

Yet, our coverage has encouraged discussion, and because of our posts here and at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, a debate has arisen – as the construction of the replica of the 500-year ship has run into a wall of controversy.

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Nuclear Shutdown News, December 2014

December 19, 2014 by Michael Steinberg
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by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear power industry. As nuclear power reactors approach or surpass their planned operating life of 40 years, they have become less and less reliable and more and more threatening. What to do about this? A complete and immediate shut down of them all! NO NUKES!

Here’s our December report.

On December 3 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that central Missouri’s 30 year old Callaway nuclear reactor had experienced a sudden unplanned shutdown. As the Dispatch-Post stated,“Power in the [nuclear] core went from 100% to 0” right away.

The 1200 megawatt Calloway nuke plant supplies 20% of the electricity produced by its owner and operator, Amergen—when it’s at full power.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission commented, “No safety relief valves opened that would have exposed the [nuclear] core to the outside.” This means the nuclear fuel in the reactor supposedly didn’t release any of its radiation into the environment because of the accident.

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Historical Society Takes Trip Through Time With New OB Book

December 19, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Take a beach stroll through time in our fine neighborhood with a new book from the Ocean Beach Historical Society.

The publication, part of the “Images of America” series, shows rare photos from the beginnings of OB, following through its growth into a destination spot as it finally settles in as the sleepy beach community we know and love.

Knowing that it is part of a number of publications highlighting neighborhoods throughout the country gives the book a bit of a cookie-cutter feel. But you can’t argue with the content, which is mostly photographs with sparse but descriptive captions that give bits of history along with explaining what you’re seeing.

Most of the focus is on the first half of the 20th century, but it manages to give a glimpse into the future that will be with a smattering of updated pictures to show a contrast between past and present.

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Ocean Beach Being Considered for National Surfing Reserve

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We have just found out that Ocean Beach is right now being considered as a National Surfing Reserve.

Research is currently going on to identify iconic California surfing spots that could have the National Reserve status. It is being conducted by World Surfing Reserve cofounder Brad Farmer, who along with Michael Blum, are doing the research into the potential sites. It’s apparently a 10-year process.

Surfing sites at Malibu and Santa Cruz have already been declared World Surfing Reserves.

Just what are the criteria to being a National Surfing Reserve? They include historical and cultural significance, surf break quality, community interest, economic and recreational value, and the presence of environmental threats. Ocean Beach has all of these, doesn’t it?

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SeaWorld WATCH: CEO and 108 Workers Let Go, But No Orcas

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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These are bad days for SeaWorld: plummeting ticket sales and profits. And worse – the CEO was fired, 108 workers at the San Diego theme park were laid off, part of 300 nation-wide.

Yet, no orcas have been let go or laid off. You know things are getting bad when even the U-T San Diego – a staunch supporter of SeaWorld – asks “Will SeaWorld free Shamu?“.

Amidst continuing protests at their front gate, SeaWorld announced a week ago that CEO Jim Atchison was resigning. At this point it’s fairly universally accepted that a lot of SeaWorld’s decline is because of changing attitudes of consumers about orca captivity – much of that prompted by the “Blackfish” documentary -which was highly critical of its treatment of killer whales.

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Saratoga Condos Being Readied – Are All the Units Already Rented?

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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On site at the waterfront condos being built at Saratoga and Abbott in Ocean Beach, it’s clear that the 3-story building is nearing completion.

We were out there last week, and saw dozens of workers trying to get the 10-unit complex ready by January 2015. New cement had been poured at one of the entrances to the partial-underground parking area off Abbott, and workers were prepping the surface. A guy who appeared to be a foreman told me that his work had to be finished by that week.

Not far from them was a small team working on electrical lines, it appeared. Up in the second floor, white-collared men seemed to be dealing with high-tech equipment.

COME INSIDE FOR HISTORY OF CONTROVERSIAL SITE

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OB Project Review Committee: 4950 Saratoga – Demolition of 2 Units and Construction of 4

December 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board is scheduled to review a demolition / construction project on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue at their monthly meeting this Wednesday, Dec. 17th.

The one-item agenda of the Committee, chaired by John Ambert, begins at 6 pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The Project Review Committee holds a semi-hearing on each project that is to come before the Planning Board and then it usually makes a recommendation to the full Board, that most times considers the project at their next monthly meeting.

The project up for consideration this week is an application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. The application is to demolish 2 existing residences and build 4 dwelling units – on a 2 lot plot of 0.16 acres.

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Vacation Rentals In San Diego Under More Scrutiny

December 15, 2014 by Source

Vacation rental property owners targeted for missing tax payments

meet-the-5-biggest-airbnb-hosts-being-targeted-by-new-yorks-top-lawyerBy John P. Anderson / San Diego Free Press

I have a small cottage that I rent out to visitors via the vacation rental website Airbnb. The cottage is on the same property as my home and I did not think that vacation rental taxes in San Diego applied to my situation.

The taxes in San Diego for vacation rentals are the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and tourism marketing district (TMD) assessment. The rates for a property like mine from these taxes total 11.05% of gross rent – 10.5% TOT and .55% TMD, there is also a higher 1.45% TMD rate that applies to lodging businesses with 30 or more units.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 2

December 12, 2014 by John Lawrence

earthonfireBy Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 can be found here

We are lucky to have advanced to a stage that scientists can determine the relationship between the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, the absolute value in tons of CO2 already in and projected to be in the atmosphere, the rate of increase of CO2 emissions and the relationship between amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface temperatures.

If we didn’t have this science, we might go right ahead destroying the earth’s environment to the point of extinction of human life without even understanding what was happening to us.

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Four Unit Complex on 4900 Coronado in Ocean Beach Sold for $1.5 Million

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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A four-unit complex on the 4900 block of Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach has just been sold for $1.5 Million. The complex at 4947-4951½ Coronado Ave. consists of a main house with 4-bedrooms and 2 baths, plus one 2-bedroom, 2 bath house, and then a pair of one-bedroom units. “The Coronado Avenue Apartments”, built in 1951, at assessor’s parcel 448-161-09, is a 7,000-square-foot lot.

Of course, it’s not known what the new owner plans to do with this large lot close to beautiful Sunset Cliffs. Will the nearly 65 year-old buildings be rehabbed, or will they be demolished and replaced with a 3-story gargantuan? This property is in District 5 of the OB Planning Area, and Board members Jane Gawronski and Michael Nieto represent the district.
COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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Two Teens Rescued at the Usual Sunset Cliffs Jumping Site

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Two teenagers had to be rescued today by lifeguards using a crane. And the rescue was at the usual “jumping” site along Sunset Cliffs, near Froude Street.

The two were apparently from of group of 7, out to see the big surf, skipping school, who decided to try the jump.

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The 7 Planning Districts of Ocean Beach

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Do you know which planning district you live in within Ocean Beach?

Here is a detailed and photographic tour of each of the seven planning districts within the OB Planning Area. These posts were originally written for the OB Planning Board election in March of 2014. Everything – except who the current District representatives are – is still up todate.

We begin with District 1 – the northwest sector of OB – a very important section of the community. It’s bordered on the north by Dog Beach, the San Diego River and Robb Field – which makes the district the gateway to two of OB’s parks. It’s the site of the most famous dog-friendly beach park in the city and due to the district’s proximity to the beach, it has a heavy impact from tourists and visitors. … MORE

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe

December 11, 2014 by John Lawrence

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 of a Multi-Part Series

Introduction

climate x johnA facile denial of reality sits in the DNA of human nature – and climate change is no exception. The inbred fantasy-culture of endless growth, technology, and a throwaway consumeristic lifestyle fueled by exploiting pollutive fossil fuels has reinforced the illusion that we can do so without destroying the environment and even life itself.

The threat to human life and the planet seems to need to be truly imminent before we humans can change our course. By then, however, it will be too late …

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OB Planning Board Calls for Annual Election: 8 Seats Up for Grabs

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At their last meeting on December 3rd, the OB Planning Board announced that its annual elections will be held on March 10, 2015, and that half of its seats are up for selection. There are also currently 3 vacancies on the Board, so by our count, that’s 8 positions on the Board up for grabs.

Residents, merchants and property owners are eligible to serve on the Board, and anyone so interested must have attended one meeting of the Planning Board sometime between last March 2014 and their January meeting in 2015.

COME INSIDE FOR ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, MAPS, & APPLICATION

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News of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early Dec 2014

December 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Point Loma Naval Engineers Build Driverless Vehicle

Recently at a test facility at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, a team of engineers successfully demonstrated a Reconnaissance and Detection Expendable Rover (RaDER), an autonomous – driverless – vehicle designed to keep Marines out of danger. No human needed.

Locals Donate Christmas Tree to OB

A local couple Sal and Nancy DeMaria, donated their 1931 Star Pine to OB for its annual Christmas Tree, propped up every year at the foot of Newport. See Mercy Baron’s report from SD Reader.

OB Town Gets Shout-Out From Calif Planners for Naming OB Community Plan “Grand Marshall” of Parade
AND MUCH MORE

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Midway Planners: 2 Large Projects Could Bring Major Changes to Area

December 5, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

Midway residents and business owners have long wondered what the future holds for two of the juiciest pieces of available property in the neighborhood: the bare two-acre lot adjacent to the West City Continuing Education Campus of the San Diego Community College; and the long-vacant former Cabrillo Hospital building.

The community college district property has been empty for five years. It was left over and declared surplus after the 2009 construction of a new campus at 3249 Fordham St.That same year, Sharp Cabrillo Skilled Nursing Center departed the four-decade-old, 10-story building at 3455 Kenyon St., a stone’s throw from the West City campus.

The community learned about two projects that could bring about big changes in population and demographics at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group Nov. 19.

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SEAWORLD WATCH: Protests for Corky’s Retirement on Dec. 5 – 6 – and ‘Jackass’ Star Gets Infraction for “Sucks” Stunt

December 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is lots to report in this “SeaWorld Watch” column, an occasional post at OB Rag.

First, there will be protests outside San Diego SeaWorld this weekend, as activists pressure the aquatic zoo in protests advocating the retirement of the longest-held orca in captivity, Corky, captured 45 years ago.

Second, “Jackass” star, Steve-O, who pulled off a successful stunt last spring when he taped “Sucks” next to SeaWorld’s name on a freeway sign, was charged only with an infraction – no criminal charge – and faces a fine – which PETA has agreed to pay.

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Peninsula Community Planning Board: ‘If you build it, tell the truth.’

December 4, 2014 by Source
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Historic Treadwell House, a 60 Foot SDG&E Tower Allowed and the “Monster Perpetual Rehab”

By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

If you build it, tell the truth.

That seemed to be the message the Peninsula Community Planning Board was trying to send in opposing Carleton Row Homes, a four-unit condo project at 3015-21 Carleton St. in Roseville, at the board’s monthly meeting back on November 20.

In a stunning 12-0 vote, the board sought to strike a blow against a proposal members characterized as containing “two levels of subterfuge,” and riddled with “euphemisms” and “gibberish.”

“I think it’s time to put our stamp on our community and state we aren’t going to put up with this,” board member Dominic Carnevale said in making the motion against the project.

But proponents for the applicant, Acropolis Developments, defended the proposal as conventional and straight-forward, and charged the board’s action ran contrary to years of precedent.

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OBceans Urged to Join the Grand Marshall Entry in the Holiday Parade: the OB Community Plan

December 4, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OBceans of every stripe and kind are being urged by local neighborhood planners and organizers to join the OB Community Plan contingent in the Holiday Parade this Saturday, December 6th.

The OB Community Plan has been awarded the honorary title of the Grand Marshall of the Parade by the Town Council. The contingent will be at the very front of the parade and will be lining up next to Chase Bank on Newport Ave at 5pm on Saturday.

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OB Planning Board Agenda – Wed., December 3rd

December 2, 2014 by Staff

Here is the official agenda for the upcoming Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting, for Wednesday, Dec. 3rd. The Board meets at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6pm sharp. COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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Study models the past to understand the future of strengthening El Niño

December 1, 2014 by Source
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by Kelly April Tyrrell / UM-Madison News

It was fishermen off the coast of Peru who first recognized the anomaly, hundreds of years ago. Every so often, their usually cold, nutrient-rich water would turn warm and the fish they depended on would disappear. Then there was the ceaseless rain.

They called it “El Niño” — The Boy, or Christmas Boy — because of its timing near the holiday each time it returned, every three to seven years.

El Niño is not a contemporary phenomenon; it’s long been the Earth’s dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Niño will respond. …

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The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

December 1, 2014 by Source

The-Food-Waste-Fiasco-776x415

By Rob Greenfield

You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.

-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.

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OB Rag Poll: Majority Supports Round-About at West Pt Loma and Bacon Street

December 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

The results are in for the OB Rag’s latest poll on round-abouts. We asked our readers if they supported a round-about or traffic circle at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon Street. We have raised the issue, as the OB Planning Board and the City are thinking about doing a feasibility study for one at that location.

A majority of the respondents answered that they do support a round-about at that site, the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon – 52%. In contrast, just 12% were opposed to a round-about there. There were a total of 67 respondents.

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Midway Construction Project Will See 190 Units on Former Barnard School Land

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego School District sold the property of the former Barnard Elementary School over in the Midway area about 2 years ago. Now, it’s the site of a massive construction project that will when completed host 180 apartment units and 10 townhomes.

The project – called the Barnard Apartments – is on 9.5 acres and will be a gated apartment complex. A company called the Monarch Group bought the site at auction for a reported $16.5 million, and plan to have the project completed by January 2016.

The apartments will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, as there will be 19 residential buildings. In addition, plans call for a rec building with a fitness center and “teaching kitchen”, and there will be a swimming pool and an artificial-turf dog park. Each apartment will have their own garage space as well.

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Dog Beach Dog Wash Washes Their 500,000th Dog

November 26, 2014 by Staff
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It was a big day on Saturday over at the Dog Beach Dog Wash, OB’s iconic dog wash storefront, a really big day – actually a LANDMARK day.

At precisely 8:10 a.m., on the 22nd of November, the dog wash folks washed their 500,000th dog.

At that moment, GusGus – the dog – and his mom, Chris Uzeta (from Clairemont , was the Dog Wash’s 500,000th dog wash – or the half millionth dog wash!

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New OB Rag Poll: What do you think about a “round-about” at West Pt Loma and Bacon?

November 24, 2014 by Staff

The OB Rag has a brand new poll – begun today, Nov. 24 – on the City installing a “round-about” at the intersection at West Pt Loma and Bacon Street. Please take a look at it and tell us where  you’re at about the issue.   The poll is on the home page.

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Readers – Both Residents and Visitors – Voted Overwhelmingly to Keep “Hippie Floral” Design on OB Hostel

November 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB Rag readers who participated in our most recent poll, voted overwhelmingly to keep the current “hippie floral” design on the OB Hostel on Newport Avenue.

67% of our readers want the new owners of the hostel, USA Hostels, to keep current paint job.

22% of those who responded want to see the exterior painted over. Seven per cent had no opinion.

In a recent post by our writer Matthew Wood on an interview with the new staff of the hostel, the issue was raised whether the new owner and its management would paint over what Wood called the “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”.

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Friends of OB Library Install the Bench

November 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s finally happened! A brand new bench was just installed in front of the OB Library.

The Friends of the OB Library are the responsible group for this venture into making our public facility a better place to be. What’s a library without a bench in front?

With a grant from the OB Town Council and through their own fundraising, the Friends were able to purchase the metal outdoor furniture. This is a great tribute to the community by one of the most wonderful band of local OB lovers.

There is a little background story that involves yours truly.

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“OB Needs You!” Community Clean-Up Sat. Nov. 22nd

November 21, 2014 by Staff
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There is an OB community clean-up happening Saturday, November 22nd. Sponsored by the Cleaner Streets Initiative OB, it will start at 9 am and continue to noon.

Volunteers are asked to meet on the grass north of the OB Pier, and even though supplies are provided, people are asked to be Green and bring their own gloves and bucket.

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National Scrutiny of Fatal Police Shootings Reminds Us of Two OBceans Killed By Cops

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a soul-searching national scrutiny going on right now about fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.

In a LA Times article, published Nov. 16th, the issue of police killings of civilians is raised and it describes how the ranks of families are expanding “who demand answers about why lethal force was used, and who decides what is reasonable use of force.”

The key and central question is : What’s reasonable force?

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