Environment

News and Happenings From Around Ocean Beach

October 21, 2014 by Staff
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Rumors of Sale of Voltaire Cottages Not True

The OB Rag had heard rumors that the set of cottages on the south side of the lower 5000 block of Voltaire Street had been sold. …

Update on Katie Connor: Father’s Plea and Pizza Port Fundraiser

Here’s an update on Katie Connor, the young woman who suffered a serious head trauma by a hit and run truck on October 12th in O.B. …

New California Law Cracks Down on Fraud at Farmers Markets

After some LA media caught farmers who bought produce wholesale and then resold …

Annual OB Holiday Parade Applications Now Open – “35 Years of Peace, Love, and OB”

Mayor Faulconer’s Push back on Reports of His Use of Too Much Water

Internet Addiction Disorder Discovered in Point Loma

PLUS ALL THE MEETINGS THIS WEEK …

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6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

October 21, 2014 by Source
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by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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In Defense of Uncertainty in the Development Approval Process

October 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

By /San Diego UrbDeZine

giant question markNobody likes uncertainty.

Certainly not the developers of a billion dollar mixed-use project that encounters community opposition due to traffic impacts. Nor the public transportation agency that runs into fairy shrimp on the future route of a trolley line. Nor the city planners for multifamily housing around a transit station that face a revolt from their single-family neighbors.

Hence, there is a concerted effort by planners and policymakers locally and statewide, to reduce uncertainty in development project approvals. It takes the form of reducing discretion of public bodies, streamlining permit approvals through the use of specific plans and categorical exemptions, reforming the California Environmental Quality Act, and limiting opportunities …

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“Preserve Point Loma” Mobilizes Against The Point Loma Summit Project

October 20, 2014 by Source

Editor: The following is a media statement by Preserve Point Loma, a new grassroots group from the Peninsula.

Point Loma Citizens Organize to Oppose La Playa 4 Lot Sub-Division on Steep Hillside

Preserve Point Loma, a newly created grassroots citizens group announced its opposition to the 4 lot proposed subdivision “The Point Loma Summit” on the old Jessop estate on La Crescentia Drive. “The site contains environmentally sensitive steep and unstable hillsides and sets a bad precedent for future deviations and variances to the San Diego City land use policies detrimental to our community character.” said Marcie Rothman, co chair of the group.

“This project is in violation of our adopted Peninsula Community Plan and contains deviations to the existing Zoning Code regarding access, setbacks and height,” said Bill Moody, a member of Preserve Point Loma.

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Do You Remember When the Pacific Ocean Flooded OB’s Front Yard ? A Photo Gallery From January 2010

October 20, 2014 by Staff
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Do you remember when the Pacific Ocean became OB’s front yard? The last time it really flooded in Ocean Beach was in mid January 2010.

The rains and high winds brought the ocean right into Ocean Beach’s front yard those several days.

The typical areas of OB did flood. And then there was the aftermath.

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Utopia Revisited: Rethinking the Response to Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan

October 20, 2014 by Jim Miller

climate action plan sdBy Jim Miller

Since I last wrote on the People’s Climate March in late September, the grim environmental news has just kept coming in, whether it’s the revelation that September was the warmest month ever on planet earth, the Stanford study linking California’s grueling drought to climate change, the World Wildlife Federation report that the earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last fifty years, or the unpleasant surprise that, “In what could be termed as the worst effect of degrading climatic conditions and global warming, a new study has showed that fish in large numbers will disappear from the tropics by 2050”—it just doesn’t let up.

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The Secret of the San Diego Growth Machine: Another Case for Nancy Drew

October 17, 2014 by Source

Nancy Drew silhouetteBy Norma Damashek

Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory that would unite the forces of nature (he had his eye on relativity and electromagnetism).

I, too, have been searching for a unified theory—albeit a more modest one—to unite the forces of nature (human, in this case) that make San Diego the chronically backwater/ amorphous/ uninspired/ tunnel-visioned/ closed-shop/ quasi-corrupt/ rigidly-manipulated/shady city it is.

Come join the search. Just follow the trail of clues, click on a sampling of news links about San Diego, and you’ll discover a unifying theme that even Einstein would find surprising.

Clue #1: City governments are not bush league versions of the ones at the top. …

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OB Town Council Recognizes Key Volunteers of the Community

October 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At their annual “OBie Awards” dinner, held last night, October 14th, at Shades, the Ocean Beach Town Council recognized key community volunteers – giving out the Council’s traditional awards during an event attended by a ‘who’s-who’ of village politicos.

Congressman Scott Peters and Councilman Ed Harris also addressed the crowd, and numerous reps of other politicians were recognized. Harris gave out a special certificate of recognition to OB Planning Board chair Pete Ruscitti.

Town Council president Gretchen Newsom guided the event swimmingly through the evening,

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OB Rag Presented “Community Partner” Award by OB Town Council

October 15, 2014 by Staff
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At the annual “OBie Awards” dinner last night hosted by the Ocean Beach Town Council, the OB Rag was presented with the yearly “Community Partner” award given out by the Council.

Frank Gormlie, editor, accepted the certificate on behalf of the OB Rag. Gormlie immediately thanked Patty Jones, his partner, “for making it all happen,” praised the new generation of the OB Town Council and the OB Planning Board, and spoke of the OB tradition of “doing it the OB way.”

In her prepared remarks, OB Town Council president Gretchen Newsom stated …

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OB Project Review Committee : Demolition of 101 Year Old House on Niagara

October 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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2nd Demolition Slated for 4700 Block of Del Mar Ave

The Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of the OB Planning Board – has two projects to review when it meets Wednesday night at the OB Rec Center, October 15th. The Rec Center is at 4726 Santa Monica Ave, and the meeting begins at 6pm.

Both projects are applications to demolish existing housing and to then construct new condominiums or single-family residences.

The first on deck is a proposal to demolish an over one-hundred year old house at 4677 Niagara Avenue by its new owners, who just purchased it for $690,000 on September 25, 2014 . It was built in 1913.

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A Very Determined Carol Kim Runs for City Council in District 6

October 14, 2014 by Doug Porter

Carol Kim at the DoorBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Meet Carol Kim. She lived in District 6 before deciding to run for City Council. Her idea of campaigning is spending 40 hours a week going door-to-door, meeting potential constituents. She’s the mother of two children; a professional whose work evaluating results for agencies could easily translate into public service as a watchdog for the public interest.

The race for city council in District 6 is an important contest for Democrats. A win by Kim gives the party an effective counterweight to the Chamber of Commerce alliance seeking domination over San Diego. The district’s voters are almost evenly divided between Democrats (33.6 percent), Republicans (31.7 percent) and Decline to State voters (29.5 percent).

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Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

October 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is taken from a talk given by Professor Peter Bohmer at the Radical Ecology Conference, in Portland, Oregon on September 6, 2014. Bohmer currently is a faculty member in Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Washington state. He lived in Ocean Beach in the Seventies and taught at SDSU. Many of the lessons Bohmer learned were from experiences here in San Diego and OB during the heady days of the 1970s.

By Peter Bohmer

I have been asked to share my experiences and knowledge of government repression with you not to scare you but so that we can deal with it and build stronger and more effective movements today for social, environmental and economic justice, locally, nationally and globally.

First a few comments.

We live in a society that is very unequal and growing more so. 50 million are below the official poverty line, and 10 million are officially unemployed and another 10 million have given up looking or are working part-time and want to work fulltime.

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Extreme Weather Watch: September 2014: Fires in California, Cabo San Lucas Destroyed by Hurricane

October 9, 2014 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchAs many as 6000 firefighters battled blazes in northern California during the month of September.

The King Fire, which was deliberately set, devoured nearly 120 square miles of timber and vegetation about 60 miles east of Sacramento. The blaze in steep terrain forced the evacuation of 2800 people and burned multiple structures in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines. Firefighters dropped record amounts of retardants – more than 203,000 gallons in a single day.

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Yet Another Bicyclist Killed – This Time in Midway Area

October 8, 2014 by Staff
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A bicyclist – yet another bicyclist – has been killed in a bike-car collision. This happened late Tuesday – Oct. 7 – around 11:15 p.m.

This time, a cyclist was pedaling west on Hancock Street in the Midway area, down where Rosecrans and the freeway gets all crazy.

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Lobster Diving At Night Can Be Deadly – Five Deaths Since Beginning of Lobster Season in Southern Calif

October 8, 2014 by Source
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Fatalities Include One in Mission Bay

MISSION BAY Jeffrey Logandro, 38, of Carlsbad died in the San Diego Mission Bay Channel after he began to struggle near the surface of the water Oct. 1.

_______
By Megan Nicolai / OC Register / Oct. 8, 2014
There was a scramble on the deck of the Magician, a scuba dive boat, as 20 men and women threw on scuba gear in a race to be the first to descend on the unsuspecting lobsters feeding below.

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Point Loma Residents’ Complaints of Cañon Street Truck Noise and Speeding Not Resolved

October 8, 2014 by Source
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By Rika Davis / Special to the OB Rag

Residents of Cañon Street just over the hill from OB in Point Loma have been dealing with traffic issues for years.

The street, though just two lanes and lined for a stretch with single-family residences, is a major thoroughfare for the neighborhood, with trucks rumbling through on their way to make deliveries to the Fresh & Easy shopping center at the top of the hill, or to Naval Base Point Loma, or to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

There’s also the matter of car traffic, which comes whizzing downhill at speeds well in excess …

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Lunar Eclipse

October 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Did you see this morning’s lunar eclipse? With a bout of insomnia, I got up around quarter of 3 and went out on our deck, sat down, leaned back – looked up – and there it was.

The line-up was perfect. The earth was inching into a position directly between the sun and the moon.

I don’t have that great of a camera – not a great lens – but here’s proof that I was there during this wonderful celestial occasion.

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Pt Loma Project at Center of Controversy

October 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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An already built project over on the bayside of Point Loma has local Peninsula planners up in arms. They’re upset over what appears to them to be a violation of the sacrosanct 30 foot height limit at Portugal Place, at at 3102-3104 Avenida de Portugal and 1120-1122 Locust St.

In an unanimous vote at their Sept. 18th, the Peninsula Community Planning Board agreed to send a letter of protest to Mayor Faulconer alleging the city allowed the developer of the project to exceed height limit.

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Last Weekend: All Quiet on the Western (beach) Front

October 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We had genuine concerns last weekend about what was going to come down at the beach.

We thought, maybe – just maybe – that due to the heat, droves of people would be heading to San Diego’s beaches – including OB, of course. And that due to the seasonal lay-offs of over 200 lifeguards on Labor Day, there would not be sufficient rescue first responders for hapless swimmers or surfers caught up in dangerous rips at the beaches.

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My Advice to “Plastic Bag Ban Deniers”

October 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here is some advice to those who I call “plastic bag ban deniers” – people who are upset – and deny the benefits – about California’s newly enacted ban on plastic bags, just signed by Governor Brown just this past Tuesday, Sept 30th – which goes into effect July 1, 2015. According to HuffPo:

Under SB270, plastic bags will be phased out of checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target starting next summer, and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law does not apply to bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to shopping bags used at other retailers. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags.

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Who Runs San Diego? : The City’s Dubious Partnership with Sea World

October 3, 2014 by Source
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Well, this is a fine kettle of fish…

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Womans Democratic LogoSan Diego taxpayers find ourselves as mainly unwitting, possibly unwilling and almost certainly undercompensated partners with a corporation in a Sea World of hurt.

In July, 2013 the documentary Blackfish about the 2010 death of a Sea World trainer finally caught the public’s attention after decades of challenges to Cetacean captivity. The 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove also raised questions about the possibility that Sea World obtained dolphins from the horrific Taiji dolphin drive.

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Majority in OB Rag Poll Favor Pedestrian Controls at Newport and Abbott – But No Lights

October 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Rag posted a poll of our readers for a week inquiring into how they felt about some kind of “pedestrian controls” at the intersection of Newport Avenue and Abbott Street. 78 readers responded.

A clear majority – 58% – favor some kind of pedestrian controls – but a plurality of the overall total – 32% – feel controls are “okay” but do not support the installation of any stop lights.

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Santa Monica Ave. School Crosswalk Officially Sanctioned

October 2, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Officially “Opens” the OB Elementary Crosswalk

By Matthew Wood

The crosswalk outside of Ocean Beach Elementary School that has been a decade in the making finally got a proper introduction on Wednesday.

City Councilman Ed Harris was on hand for a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony with OB Elementary Principal Marco Drapeau and parents of the school’s students. They used the opportunity to tout next week’s National Walk to School Day with a pre-class assembly.

“We’re trying to promote walking and biking to school,” Harris said. “In order to do that you gotta have safe routes. All these things have been lacking for years.”

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News From Ocean Beach and the Peninsula

October 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Former Barnard School Site Readied for Massive Apartment Complex
The former site of Barnard Elementary School in the Midway area of Point Loma looks nothing like it used to. Instead, the area is being prepared for one of the most massive apartment complexes to be built in the area. …

Voltaire and Catalina Complex Towers Above the Intersection
The large development at the corner of Voltaire Street and Catalina Blvd is still being constructed, but the size of the complex i …

Fight Near Dog Beach Results in 3 Sent to Hospital
A fight that went down in and around Dog Beach Parking lot on Monday, Sept 29, ended up with 3 people being sent to the hospital, . …

Suit Against Former Western Div Lt Natalie Stone and Others Settled for $225,000
On September 23rd, the San Diego City Council …

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE …

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Living on the Edge in San Diego, the Nation’s Most Biologically Diverse County

October 1, 2014 by Source

By Elliott Kennerson / San Diego Free Press

vernal-pool-shrimp_headerLet’s play a game. Name an endangered species from San Diego.

Anyone say vernal pool fairy shrimp? Doubtful, because when you think of San Diego, you don’t usually think of a one-inch long crustacean that you can’t even eat.

You said panda, right?

Though San Diego is the most biologically diverse county in the nation, according to the Nature Conservancy, with 200 or so threatened or endangered species, (the fairy shrimp among them), this town is much more famous for its beloved Zoo and our lately less beloved Sea World, animal parks that host tons of diversity, of course, most of it exotic.

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OB Planning Board Agenda for Oct. 1: Condos for 4700 Saratoga ?

September 30, 2014 by Staff
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets Wednesday night, October 1, at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The meeting starts right at 6pm.

The only action item on their agenda, below, is an application to convert two single family residences on the 4700 block of Saratoga Avenue into condos. This is done in the manner of a “tentative map” approval – which is the process to split one lot into two condo-ized lots.

The units up for consideration to becoming condominiums are located at 4725 and 4727 Saratoga. …

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Backlash Grows Over Private Clubs Use of Public Beaches

September 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The backlash is growing – the backlash against the use of our public beaches and coast areas by private clubs who host work-outs, volleyball games and yoga classes. About a week ago, the U-T published an article entitled, “Residents Cry Foul at Beach Courts’ Access” – how Carlsbad residents and beach-goers are complaining about a private volleyball club agreement with the state that gives their members priority on volleyball courts.

This echoes a “reader rant” just this summer here on the OB Rag about how a surf school takes too much space on the beach as well as in the ocean. The writer’s complaints about lack of access and safety issues found a lot of resonance among the commenters.

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Who Runs San Diego? Deals Like the One Proposed for Belmont Park Amount to a War on Taxpayers

September 29, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: The following is by C0uncilman Ed Harris, who further explains his position on the recent rejection by the San Diego City Council of a proposed lease for the operators of Belmont Park. See our earlier post about Harris’ position.

Guest column by Councilmember Ed Harris

Recently, the City Council was asked to grant an extension to the lease at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings, wanted the Council to approve a deal that would extend its current lease to 55 years. Pacifica has held the lease for two years.

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San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

September 29, 2014 by Jim Miller

cityworks

November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

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OB Town Council: Board Election Results and Project Ideas

September 26, 2014 by Source
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The “New Look” of the OBTC for 2015

By Lois Lane, photos by Meredith Lane

The OB Town Council meeting on September 24 announced the newly-elected members of the Board of Directors. Due to take their places at the October meeting, the Board of Directors consists of new members, some re-elected members, a new appointee, and those board members still serving their unexpired term.

They are:

New:

  • Jill Chorak,
  • Julie Eramo,
  • and Melanie Williams

Re-elected:

  • Nate Bazydlo,
  • Giovanni Ingolia,
  • Trudy Levenson,
  • and Zachariah Rowland
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