Civil Rights

February Events Calendar for the OBcean of Conscience

February 5, 2016 by Staff

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Feb. 5, Fri. 4-5:30 pm DUMP Dumanis Justice for Fridoon Rally & Press Conference; Hall of Justice: 330 W. Broadway, Downtown San Diego;

February 5th Friday 6:30 p.m. Jamala Rogers San Diego Book Tour! “Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion” World Beat Center, 2100 Park Blvd, San Diego.

February 5th Friday, 5-9pm Celebrate the launch of Black Arts Collective (BAC) at UC San Diego.

February 6th Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. “The Way Home” Films & Conversations on Race

February 6th Saturday, , 7:30-10:30pm Gabriela & La Buena Onda at Grassroots Oasis,

AND MUCH MORE ….

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“Dump Dumanis” and Justice for Fridoon Nehad Rally – Friday, Feb. 5th

February 5, 2016 by Staff
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Coalition Accuses District Attorney of 22 Counts of Abuse of Power

Today, Friday, February 5th, downtown San Diego will witness a “Dump Dumanis” and Justice for Fridoon Nehad rally in front of the Hall of Justice on Broadway.

Dumanis, of course, is the District Attorney of San Diego County and Fridoon Nehad was the unarmed Afghan immigrant gunned down by a San Diego police officer in the Midway District last April.

From 4 to 5:30 pm, the coalition that has coalesced around Fridoon’s death along activists from several local organizations will rally and hold a press conference at the San Diego Hall of Justice to charge DA Dumanis with 22 counts of abuse of power. The Hall of Justice is located at 330 W. Broadway.

The Coalition accuses DA Bonnie Dumanis of abusing her power, withholding evidence, misleading the media, persecuting innocents under the guise of a “gang injunction” and having failed her public responsibilities related to the unjustified killing of Fridoon Nehad.

Local speakers will be joined by Jamala Rogers of Ferguson/St. Louis MO, where the people’s movement successfully ousted the Police Chief, the City Judge and the City Manager after the killing of Michael Brown.

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Is This Encroachment Into Our Public Space?

February 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Take a look at these photos …

This is The Joint at the intersection of Newport and Cable setting up an outside eating area.

We’ve been contacted by a reader who objects to this encroachment on more than half of the public sidewalk by both The Joint and the soon-to-be-open OB Brewery closer to the ocean.

Here is what reader “CG” says:

The sidewalk expansion of several restaurants is starting to impede pedestrians, and I noticed just recently that The Joint on Cable and Newport has staked out a large area for future tables with metal fencing with permanent posts in the cement.

The Joint is at the busiest corner of the Farmer’s Market at Newport and Cable. . They’ve clearly claimed more than half of the sidewalk without regard the other obstacles like the water meter, street light, and traffic light.

With the street light and a water meter also on the sidewalk and just opposite, I don’t see how anyone in a wheelchair can pass without asking others to move. And, I’m also concerned about the foot traffic being impacted on that corner during Farmers’ Market or just regular foot traffic on a sunny day.

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A Call for OBceans and Point Lomans to Support “the Conscience of OB”

February 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Ben Franklin press

Michael Turko of the well-known “Turko Files” once said that the OB Rag “is the conscience of OB.”

We are humbled by his compliment. And we also think that if you – dear reader – peruse the following list of gains and achievements for Ocean Beach that the OB Rag was instrumental in making happen, then you, too, would agree with Turko.

And if you do agree with Turko, then we appeal to you to support our efforts to maintain an online newspaper for Ocean Beach and the Peninsula.

Consider these:

Saving the OB Library. The OB Rag was instrumental in helping save the OB Library from closing its doors when it was on Mayor Sanders’ butcher block. We joined with the OB Historical Society and the Friends of the OB Library and held several rallies. Mayor Sanders commented that it was the folks in OB who rallied around their library that convinced him to take all libraries off that cutting board.

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“Well, at least we don’t have to worry about travelers anymore.”

February 2, 2016 by Source

r cobb no anarchy ed color

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More Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

February 2, 2016 by Source
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Editor: In the spirit of continuing the public discussion on short term vacation rentals here in San Diego and at the beach, we offer the following by our friend, John P Anderson, a proponent of short term rentals – whose views on this issue clearly depart from ours.

Some Market Thoughts on Short-Term Rentals in San Diego

By John P Anderson

The topic of short-term rentals in San Diego continues to be debated and potential rules / changes to rules will be a hot topic in 2016.

After ending 2015 with a well attended Planning Commission meeting in December it looks like the next official meeting / hearing will be in late February or March at the City Council. It is sure to be a long hearing, with hundreds of San Diegans attending and providing commentary both for and against short-term accommodations in San Diego neighborhoods.

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Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

February 1, 2016 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Politics is a game of unintended consequences. One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Diego / San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act. Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual. Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress.

The Civil Rights Connection: Fact And Fiction

The Act was inspired by the Civil Rights Act as well as our nation’s quest for ethnic diversity and racial equality. In some political corners, the immigration bill was characterized as a progressive extension of the civil rights movement.

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Televangelist Morris Cerullo Plans Biblical Disneyland in Mission Valley

January 29, 2016 by Source
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Controversial televangelist’s massive project up for review

By Ken Williams / Mission Valley News

A controversial Pentecostal televangelist who recently purchased the San Diego Resort Hotel complex in Mission Valley has proposed a massive mixed-use redevelopment project that would include a religious retreat, underground catacombs, a Jerusalem-style Wailing Wall, an outdoor amphitheater and bazaar, a TV studio, and timeshare units for his followers.

Morris Cerullo — the 84-year-old televangelist who proclaims to be a faith healer and miracle worker — bases his global ministry at 3545 Aero Court in San Diego’s Serra Mesa neighborhood. The proposed Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center would be built at 875 Hotel Circle South on 18.1 acres located off Interstate 8 in Mission Valley.

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Councilwoman Zapf Questioned by Community and Media on Her Police Camera Plan

January 28, 2016 by Staff
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Audience at OB Town Council Meeting Divided Over the Police Cameras

The packed Masonic Center became focused on the planned installation of the police surveillance cameras along OB’s waterfront.

With standing-room only, Wednesday nights OB Town Council meeting became the center of the controversy over the 10-camera system, as Councilwoman Lorie Zapf (pronounced “Zaph”) was in attendance and forced to answer questions from the crowd and the media about them.

It was the first opportunity for opponents of the cameras – and community members at large – to question and confront Zapf about the cameras, …

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Lack of Diversity Among San Diego County Commissions

January 28, 2016 by Source

Over 200 vacant positions. Zero Latinos on the “Citizen’s Review Board On Police Practices”

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

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On Thursday, January 21st the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) held a Boards and Commissions Launch Event at MAAC’s Chula Vista Community Room in hopes of encouraging more citizens to actively participate in their local government.

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Push-Back Against Pro-Developer Coup at California Coastal Commission

January 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Showdown at Commission Meeting on Feb. 10th

Things are really heating up at the California Coastal Commission, the independent state agency that is the guardian of the 1100 mile California coastline. Nothing is at stake except what’s left of the pristine nature of our coastline and the future ability of Californians to have access to it.

What’s going on – and there’s no way to mince words about it – is that there is a movement afoot on the 12 member board of commissioners to engineer a coup – to fire Charles Lester, the executive director of the Coastal Commission’s staff.

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Grand Jury Clears Planned Parenthood, Indicts Fake Tape Activists Instead

January 27, 2016 by Source

planned-parenthood-video scrn shotDistrict Attorney: “We must go where the evidence leads us”

By Common Dreams Staff

A grand jury in Texas, which was created to investigate Planned Parenthood’s Houston affiliate following the August 2014 release of an undercover video taken inside the clinic, cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing on Monday, and, instead indicted the anti-abortion activists who made the video.

Two secret videographers were indicted: David Daleiden, founder of the ‘Center for Medical Progress,’ was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs. And activist Sandra Merritt was indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record.

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You can’t ‘take back’ public lands. They already belong to all of us.

January 26, 2016 by Source

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are missing the point.

By Jamie Williams / Washington Post / January 25, 2016

(Jamie Williams is president of the Wilderness Society)

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have thought they were “taking back” seized land on behalf of local ranchers. In reality, these gun-toting intruders are attempting to seize land that belongs to all of us. Their actions are nothing less than an attack on the property and the rights of the American people.

The misguided protesters believe that this treasured wildlife refuge, a sanctuary for more than 300 bird species, should be handed over to a small group of rule-breakers to exploit and profit from as they wish, at the expense of the public and of future generations.

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Making a Plea for Racial Harmony as Racism Rises from the Water

January 26, 2016 by Ernie McCray

3476867753_05c2178929By Ernie McCray

All my life I’ve heard that there’s nothing more American than apple pie. Well, I see that as kind of a lie as, based on my life experiences, there’s nothing more American than racism.

If apple pie was in my face as much as racism has been I’d be a 500-pound black guy as racism is as ever present as oxygen in a black person’s life, from the moment you’re born until the day you die.

It’s been passed along in America as a stumbling block against our human hopes and dreams like a baton in a relay race, in so many forms: slavery; Jim Crow; the constant tampering with our voting rights; white flight; execution of unarmed dark-skinned people on the streets, on a whim; mass incarceration and on and on and on ad nauseam…

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Lori Saldana to Run for San Diego Mayor as an Independent ‘to Give the Disenfranchised a Voice’

January 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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There is finally some good news for San Diego’s left-of-center voters.

A known local politician with definite name recognition, former Democrat and Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has announced her intention to run for mayor of San Diego. Saldana will run as an independent, having resigned from the Democratic Party about 2 years ago.

Now, finally, San Diego voters who don’t usually vote Republican – which is a majority of the city electorate – have a choice other than Kevin Faulconer and a handful of unknowns.

Saldana said she is running to give San Diegans a voice and to represent those who feel disenfranchised by the electoral process.

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Emergency Shelter in San Diego: Getting Beyond the Game of ‘Mother May I’

January 25, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

shelter spotBack when I was a kid, about a billion years ago, all the kids in the neighborhood would hang out after school until it got dark, or we got hungry, playing games like tag and Hide-and-Seek with the entire neighborhood for our playground.

We didn’t get in trouble or kidnapped … (well there was the time 5-year-old Johnny Pappa disappeared and everyone in the neighborhood was out looking for him well past bed-time, until his brother found him sleeping UNDER his bed).

One game we played was “Mother, May I?”.

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Reader Rant: “Are OB Merchants Out of Control?”

January 22, 2016 by Source

Editor: We offer the following rant, a view that reflects the responses of a number of our readers of late. If any individual or group would like to submit a rebuttal, please send to obragblog@gmail.com

Reader Rant by Offended Jack

I have to ask: Are OB merchants out of control? Or more specifically, is a small group of OB merchants out of control? I say this because this small group of Newport Avenue business owners have unilaterally altered Ocean Beach.

With the hiring of private armed guards who patrol OB streets and the advent of the soon-to-come police surveillance cameras – both projects of members of the OB Mainstreet Association – the face of Ocean Beach is changing.

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Preserving the San Diego Commons: Public Land, Policy and Process

January 22, 2016 by Source

Who decides and who gets to participate in decisions to sell City properties?

Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve - Lakeside, CA(Photo: sandiegotrailtramps.com)

By Jay Powell

The previous article in the San Diego Commons at the Crossroads series keyed in on the Mayor’s State of the City promise to break ground on “50 new or upgraded parks during the next five years” counterpoised against examples of designated open space and other city-owned lands that are in jeopardy of being sold by the City as “surplus properties”.

The proposal to sell one of the now controversial properties labeled “Truax House” adjacent to the Maple Canyon Open Space system has been continued to the February 10 Smart Growth &Land Use (SG&LU) City Council Committee along with some additional properties, not all as yet specified.

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Opponents of Ocean Beach Police Cameras Get Some Local Press

January 19, 2016 by Staff
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Opponents of the police surveillance cameras coming to Ocean Beach’s waterfront were out on Sunday, January 17th, at the foot of Newport, collecting signatures and holding anti-camera signs. And they got some local press for their efforts.

In an article entitled, “Here come the cameras, O.B.”, local writer Dave Rice who reports for the Reader, asked in his sub-head, “Will police have available budget to monitor video in real-time?”

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Don’t Celebrate this MLK Day: American Oligarchy Is Killing the Dream

January 18, 2016 by Jim Miller

mlk statueBy Jim Miller

Don’t celebrate this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And please don’t clap for anyone talking about how far we’ve come.

Rather than engaging in the usual empty gestures accompanied by vanilla rhetoric that turns Dr. King into a saint, we should be railing against the fact that last week, by indicating that they are prepared to cripple public sector unions, the Supreme Court of the United States took another huge step in moving the country further and further away from the America that King fought for and eventually gave his life to make a reality.

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OB Police Cameras Update – January 2016

January 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are some of the latest in the ever-evolving controversy over the City’s planned installation of 10 police surveillance cameras along OB’s waterfront.

CAPA Members Sound Off at City Council Comment Period in Effort to Get Zapf’s Attention

On Monday, January 11th, during the non-agenda comment period at the San Diego City Council meeting, several CAPA members made statements in opposition to the police cameras. The OB locals particularly aimed their statements at Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, in an effort to get her attention. Zapf has refused to meet with the group and snubbed her nose at the community by not attending a recent forum on the police cameras.

OB Town Council Gives “Qualified” Support to Cameras “For One Year”

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European Refugees Are Better Off than San Diego’s Homeless

January 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

calais jungleBy John Lawrence

Amy Goodman did a recent show about the refugees living in a camp in Calais, France. She walked around the camp interviewing several refugees all of whom spoke good English.

Most of these people were sleeping in tents similar to the ones you see on the sidewalks of San Diego. Some had built simple structures.

As she walked around, I began to notice some facilities that they had there which are nowhere to be found for the San Diego homeless. First I noticed a dumpster. There’s no dumpster for San Diego’s homeless. The trash just gets left on the street.

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The Future of Post-Bordernity – Excerpt From “Sunshine/Noir II”

January 13, 2016 by Source

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By Perry Vasquez

The U.S./Mexico border is falling apart. Like Chipotle Swiss cheese, it is shot through with gaps, holes, lacunae, erasures, and stretches of emptiness. The border exists—but at times its existence seems to collapse beneath the weight of its own sovereignty. How does the border both exist and not exist at the same time? How does it manage to appear in strategic locations and disappear in non-strategic ones? Why do we think of the border as having a fixed and permanent national identity instead of a contingent and temporary one?

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Life, Love And Death In Occupied Ireland

January 11, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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2016 marks the 100th anniversary of 1916’s Ireland Easter Rising.

The following article originally appeared in the Fall 1985 issue of “the whole damn pie shop.” : San Diego’s quarterly of Alternative Opinion.

Portrait of an Irish Republican

By Michael Steinberg

Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations“–Padraic Pearce, one of the leader’s of the 1916 Easter Rising executed by the British.

Ireland, August, 1985–Julie Doherty has just turned 23. She lives in Derry, a city of 50,000 in the British occupied north of Ireland. She is blessed with a bright face and jaunty personality that few would call less that beautiful. But she is cursed with a harsh existence and lives constantly in the shadow of death.

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An Author Walks Among Us – A Review of “Casualties”

January 8, 2016 by Judi Curry
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This is a review of a novel by Elizabeth Marro

The title of this article is truer than the reader knows.

I first met Elizabeth Marro – “Betsy” – while we were walking our dogs down the streets of Ocean Beach. As dog owners are wont to do, we began talking and I found out that she was an author; was aware of some of my articles for the OB Rag.

She told me she was writing a book, and I offered to read it for her when she was finished with it. It wasn’t long after that that she sent me her draft, and I loved it. I told her that when it was ready for publication to let me know and I’d do a review of it for her and was anxious to see if she had made any changes.

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Photo Gallery of El Nino Deluge in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

January 7, 2016 by Source

OB Flooded 1-6-16 Byron 04

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Why the 2016 Race for City Attorney Matters

December 31, 2015 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

jan goldsmithThere is no more important local electoral contest than the race for City Attorney. This relatively obscure office has been the part of government where dreams come to die, the priorities of the modern-day landed gentry are enforced, and the political will of the city’s business interests is turned into policy.

Incumbent City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, elected in 2008, deserves credit for molding his agency into a politically powerful entity. While his record is far from spotless, the more general thrust of developing a well-coordinated keeper of the flame for business interests has proven to be a valuable asset for the local moneyed classes.

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Happy New Year from the OB Rag

December 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

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Is Bono right? Is it true that “nothing ever changes on New Year’s Day!”?

Without tangling up on that concept, we now post below articles we have published over the months of 2015 that have some interest for us today as we review the past year and anticipate the new one.

Check these out – perhaps you, dear reader, missed some in the Hurley-burley of modern SoCal life.

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Justice for Tamir Rice – Sign the Petition

December 30, 2015 by Source

tamir rice -wrongful-deathPetition to be delivered to Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General

It is simple. Tamir Rice deserves a new grand jury. A Department of Justice investigation of the prosecutor’s conduct with the grand jury. And the immediate removal and firing of the police officer

On December 28th, a grand jury decided not to charge the police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy who was playing with a toy gun at a Cleveland park.1 Will you join me in demanding justice for Tamir? Come inside to sign the petition to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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From Good to Bad and Back to Good Again

December 29, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I sat around last night trying to think of something to write and decided to click onto a page of prompts which gave me a choice of numbers between one and three-hundred-forty-six.

Sometimes just closing my eyes and moving the little arrow around on my Mac Os X and clicking randomly does the trick but I went, this time, with selecting number fifty-six.

Fifty-six is kind of a big number in my life. I had just turned 56 when Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa. A Highway 56 is named after Ted Williams, one of my favorite baseball players. I was in the Tucson High Class of ’56 and my life changed massively that year, in the time it takes to flip a light switch.

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