Civil Rights

Colin Kaepernick and 49er Eric Reid In Protest Drop to One Knee at Qualcomm

September 2, 2016 by Source

San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick continued his protests in support of Black Lives Matter by taking a knee during the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” Thursday night, September 1st, at Qualcomm Stadium. And alongside him was teammate, Eric Reid.

Kaepernick told the press ( Reports the Daily News: ) that he and Reid had discussed the protest, and the quarterback:

“He approached me and said I support what you’re doing, I support what your message is. Let’s think about how we can do this together

And dropping to one knee was intentional and symbolic. Going to one knee was his way of showing respect to the military while still expressing a protest. Kaepernick said:

“We wanted to make sure the message that we’re trying to send isn’t lost with the action. At this point, I think it will be taking a knee.”

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Group of Residents to Petition the OB Planning Board on Project at Ebers and Greene

August 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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A group of residents who live close to the controversial project at Ebers and Greene are upset with the project and are getting ready to approach the OB Planning Board about the 3-story wood framed structure still in construction. They want the local planners to take a close look at the on the southeast corner of the intersection along busy Ebers, a block from West Pt Loma Avenue.

And they believe they can make the case to the planners that the project has committed so many violations, that hopefully the OBPB can convince the city to issue a stop-work order.

The locals – who shall remain anonymous at this time – are convinced that the owner-developer of the project has made so many mis-steps – from his construction plans to the actual work completed up to now – that reason will ultimately prevail and the wrongs will be righted.

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An NFL Quarterback Was Just Added to My List of Social Heroes

August 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

This is so deja vu, this state of affairs with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49’ers quarterback who sat when one is “supposed to stand” in honor of The Star Spangled Banner that heralds a time when non-white people in our county were not seen as human beings.

I fully understand and appreciate this man’s stance although I stand whenever the anthem is played out of respect for those who get goose pimples in such moments. However, I bow out at singing about “bombs bursting in air” and “flags still being there” and the empty promises inherent in the braggadocio “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!” at the end of the song.

That aside, I can’t help but think back to the 68 Olympics, when the quest for “liberty and justice for all,” in a spirit of today’s “Black Lives Matter” movement was pursued like never before. My soul still fills with pride remembering the image of Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the ceremony for handing out the gold and the silver and the bronze medals for the men’s 200, standing on their podiums with their heads bowed and their hands raised in the “Black Power!” salute.

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How the Mainstream Media Failed the Public During the ‘Save the Torrey Pine’ Campaign

August 30, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey media
By Frank Gormlie

During the recent campaign to save the Torrey Pine on Saratoga, whenever there was a show down – or the promise of one – between those tree-hugging residents surrounding the infamous Pine and the Atlas tree chopping crews, you’d be sure to find television cameras and reporters at the scene.

The reporters – and their producers at the station – must have loved the Torrey Pine story – for all the times San Diego television viewers were shown the latest news-clips about those colorful OB residents trying to save that old tree.

However the particular station spun the story – newscasters would smile wryly as if to say, ‘oh, those cute but misguided OB tree-huggers, look what they’re up to now …’ and their viewers would then catch sight of protesting residents – with even one who climbed up into the giant Torreys – all set in conflict against the the city staffers, cops, and the tree-cutting crews … with the buzz of saws in the background.

It made for good visuals, for good stories, and many times the teasers leaped out at viewers.

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To the Victor Belong the Spoils

August 29, 2016 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Centaur and nymph, Tuileries Garden, ParisWhat is it about brute force and macho swagger that mesmerizes so many people?

Picture this: you’re at a crowded carnival. See that big beefy guy up on stage – the one with bulging pecs and thighs like a steel vise? Watch as he picks up that mallet, swings it high overhead, and smashes it down – smack on target. The bell at the top almost shatters with a ringing endorsement of this big tough guy. We all cheer.

Picture another carnival. Onstage is an international lineup of muscle-flexing politicians. See the iron-fisted man of steel Vladimir Putin? the vicious hanger-on Bashar al-Assad? how about the take-no-prisoners Kim Jong-un? And whoa! there’s a joker in the pack – the one with a muscle-bound mouth. Could it be the Donald, our very own wild card? Even he gets cheers.

Now picture a different carnival setting. Let’s make it city hall in sunny San Diego. Man-o-man, the politics on this stage are a feminist fantasy come true – not a grandstanding, fulminating, intimidating, testosterone-laden blowhard in sight (at least, not since Papa Doug Manchester pulled out at the U-T).

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Women’s Equality Day – August 26

August 26, 2016 by Source
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From National Women’s History Project

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

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Man Who Wants to Overturn 6 Gun Laws Has Business in Ocean Beach

August 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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It turns out that the guy leading 6 petition drives against new California gun restrictions recently signed into law has a business “headquartered” right here in Ocean Beach.

Barry Bahrami has launched campaigns to qualify his six referendum to go up against the gun control laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Barry Bahrami is also the CEO of Commercial Network Services, an online business that touts itself “a global online service provider specializing in hosting low latency algorithmic trading systems, virtual private networks …” and other virtual trading services.

And Commercial Network Services are indeed headquartered in OB, right at the OB Business Center, at “4876 Santa Monica Ave # 111, San Diego, CA 92107” according to his site. Now, true, we’re talking a PO Box here as “headquarters” – but it is an Ocean Beach connection.

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Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

August 16, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A joint committee of the California Legislature has authorized an audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the only entity that can discipline or remove a state judge.

A coalition of two dozen groups reflecting a wide range of interests, led by the Center for Judicial Excellence wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) to call for the audit.

“The Center for Public Integrity gave California an ‘F grade’ on its 2015 report card for judicial accountability, said Kathleen Russell, the executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in a press release.

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‘Not So Fast’ – Some Ocean Beach Residents Are Saying – ‘We’re Not Ready to Give Up on Torrey Pine’

August 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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‘Not so fast,’ some residents of Ocean Beach are saying – to any giving up of saving the historic Torrey Pine on Saratoga Street. There’s been some momentum against the sentiment expressed in a press statement sent out over the weekend from one group of residents saying that they’re ready to let the City chop down the tree called “Hope” (Esperanza).

There was some dissent within the group when it was decided to send out the statement. And that stance has led to the group enlisting the services of a second arborist just recently.

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Joint Southern Western Region City-County Low-No Income Housing Relief Task Force Unveils Pilot Program

August 15, 2016 by Source

Mike Williams graphic

By Bell Donic, Staff Writer

South Western Region: The Joint South Western Region City-County Low-No income Housing
Relief Task Force (JSWRCCLNIHRTF) offered guided tours of a pilot program at a location on the west side during their gala event announcing the installations near the green and picturesque foot of Washington Street.

Advocates stressed the ease of installation, and the ease of creating very small group areas, the durability of the units, low cost to the taxpayers, the residents’ improved self-image attained as a result of not sleeping in the bushes somewhere, but, instead, in a sturdy, solid, free space.

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Reprieve for Ocean Beach Torrey Pine Holds for Now – Residents Continue to Mobilize – Demand Time for Independent Analysis

August 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Saratoga 4600 block google

This morning – Friday, August 12th – around 7 a.m. on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue in the heart of Ocean Beach, there were no signs of Atlas Tree Service trucks or crews, no signs of of any city officials or police barricades and patrol cars, and the ubituious ‘no parking’ signs were nowhere to be seen.

In stead, about 2 dozens residents and supporters were sitting or milling around, some of them giving interviews to the nearly half-dozen TV stations and reporters. These folks were responsible for the City’s last-minute temporary reprieve issued yesterday evening – backtracking on their plans to chop down the giant Torrey Pine across the street from where people were sitting this morning.

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The Abortion Fight Goes On – Right Here in San Diego

August 11, 2016 by Source

Forced birthers intimidate and shame women at health clinic

Abortion story 1

By Anne M. Haule /San Diego Free Press

The shouts of the “religious” zealots ring in my ears as I help escort patients from their cars to the front door of a local family planning clinic that provides abortion services one morning per week.

Armed with earplugs to hand out to patients who don’t wish to hear the abuse, I take the elevator up to stand by the door of the clinic.

Today the zealots are carrying large signs with graphic photos of bloody aborted fetuses and words claiming that Jesus saves and babies are not body parts. The good news is the “preacher” with a voice louder than the decibel limit who bellows out the scripture is not here today.

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San Diego Chargers Stadium: Q&A with Barrios Against Stadiums

August 10, 2016 by Brent Beltran

BASTA-NDSInterview by Jeffrey Siniard / Bolts From The Blue

Please provide a little background on the group Barrios Against Stadiums (B.A.STA!). Who is involved, and what are the aims of the group?

B.A.STA! is a grassroots, barrio based, loose knit formation of residents, artists, activists, small business owners and allies creating a movement. The sole purpose of this movement is to prevent a football stadium/convention center from being built in the East Village of San Diego, just a few short blocks from our historic barrios.

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Sanders Tells Backers Immediate Aim of Political Revolution Must Be to Defeat Trump

August 10, 2016 by Source

The revolution ‘will continue until we create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent,’ Sanders writes in new op-ed

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders has again urged his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, writing Friday that “Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president.”

In an op-ed published at the Los Angeles Times, Sanders contrasts the two leading candidates on everything from tax policy to climate change to healthcare, and says that the “immediate task” of his political revolution is to make sure the real estate mogul doesn’t end up in the White House.

Sanders criticizes Trump’s campaign for being “based on bigotry,” and says that his Supreme Court justice nominees “would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.” Clinton’s appointees, in contrast, would be “prepared to overturn” Citizen United and “would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants, and the government’s ability to protect the environment.”

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OB Planning Board Chair Calls for Work Stoppage on Cutting Down Torrey Pine

August 8, 2016 by Source
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Calls for Independent Botanist and Community Review

Editor: John Ambert is the Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The following is his request to the City to issue a work stop to the cutting down of the Torrey Pine currently target by Atlas Tree Trimming Service, contractor to the City.

By John Ambert

As you may know, the City of San Diego has decided to remove a third, 75 ft tall Torrey Pine Heritage Tree from the middle of the 4600 Block of Saratoga in Ocean Beach. Crews attempted to remove the tree on the morning of August 4th, but a group of residents rallied to stop the effort.

In fact, only after work was stopped, did the City of San Diego provide the requested backup documentation for this project. All documents provided to the community, including email correspondence with the city, can be provided upon request

After a thorough review, it has been determined the documentation provided by the City of San Diego is very questionable, …

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Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center Coming to Barrio Logan

August 5, 2016 by Brent Beltran

Chicano-Park-MuseumCommunity Fundraiser Set for August 13 at Bread & Salt

By Brent E. Beltrán

The Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center is coming to Barrio Logan next door to Chicano Park. The City and museum have yet to sign a lease over the property that for years held the Cesar Chavez Continuing Education Center. But it will happen.

Activists involved with the Chicano Park Steering Committee helped create the nonprofit Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center.

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Crystal Rose Speros Is the Ocean Beach Hero for the Week – Saves Torrey Pine Temporarily

August 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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A young, local woman, by the name of Crystal Rose Speros, climbed up into the Torrey Pine the City wanted to chop down this morning – dramatically bringing any work on the tree to a half – at least for the rest of this week.

A small crowd of residents and OBceans had gathered around the Torrey by 9 am on the 4600 block of Saratoga, some willing to stay until threatened with arrest or more.

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Stacking the Deck: San Diego Homeless Sweeps, Charter School Cheats, and the Modern Jim Crow

August 3, 2016 by Doug Porter

News roundup logoBy Doug Porter

Comic Con and the All-Star Game have come and gone, but San Diego’s homeless remain, criminalized and demonized.

A report from the ACLU calls out blatant discrimination in charter schools throughout California.

And rightwing-inspired laws restricting voting in states around the country are proving to be nothing more than a shield for racism.

Today we look at some of the downsides of life in the USA these days. The deification of the market economy and the quest to drown government in a bathtub are at the root of all these stories, something the Make American Great Again crowd seems unable to grasp.

Homeless and Helpless

A perfectly reasonable story in Tueday’s Union-Tribune, focuses on the now-weekly displacement of homeless people in downtown and the East Village.

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It Behooves Progressives to Support Clinton, Avoid Neo-Fascist Takeover

August 3, 2016 by Source

Progressives must rescue the Democrats from their strategic errors – our movements will have more space to grow and better chances to enact reforms if we avert a Trumpian police state.

By Joe Wainio / San Diego Free Press

sinclair lewisHillary Clinton’s choice of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate is a slap in the face to progressives and a strategic error. It confirms Senator Bernie Sanders’ criticisms that Hillary represents Wall Street, and is reminiscent of past tone-deaf vice-presidential choices of the mainstream Democratic establishment such as Michael Dukakis’ selection of Lloyd Bentsen or Al Gore’s pick of Joe Lieberman.

While Clinton’s decision is certain to make her path to victory in November more difficult, it behooves progressives to work for her election anyway.

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Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy”

July 27, 2016 by Source

By Editorial Board / Washington Post / July 22, 2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement.

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World of Wakanda: A New Marvel Comic Series

July 27, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

While thousands of people were attending Comic-Con last week, Marvel Comics announced the release of a new comic book series on Friday July 22. The superheroes will be women. And the series is being written by women. George Gene Gustines, writing in The New York Times July 23rd issue, did an interesting review of the series, entitled, “Marvel Shines a Spotlight on Women.”

Wakanda is a fictional African country, and the world of the Marvel series, Black Panther. World of Wakanda will be a companion series. And will premiere in November.

The current Black Panther series is written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, author and a national correspondent for The Atlantic. The new comic will be written by two women, who are writing comics for the first time: the feminist writer Roxane Gay and the poet Yona Harvey.

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Will Trump Have Hillary Arrested If He Is Elected?

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Donald Trump colors invert

Will Donald Trump have Hillary Clinton arrested if he is elected in November? His base sure wants it.

With loud chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” reverberating through the cavernous arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the delegates displayed for millions of viewers the war cry of the assemblage.

Whenever Trump or Chris Christie or anyone else among the second and third-string speakers on stage called the Democratic Party nominee out for alleged “crimes”, the chant would go up.

It wasn’t easy watching Trump’s speech last night from Ohio. But I forced myself to do it. My housemates all took cover as the convention blared from the living-room widescreen.

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Reader Rant: “The community is being snookered about City’s lack of enforcement of 30-foot height violations.”

July 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: “The community is being snookered about City’s lack of enforcement of 30-foot height violations.”

By Local One

I attended the Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting last night (Thursday, July 21) and listened intently to the presentations made by Mayor Faulconer’s representative and the head of the Developmental Services Department.

Boy oh boy, what a bunch of packaged lies we were fed last night. The people can see with their own eyes that the community is being snookered with regard to the lack of enforcement, and continuing DSD approval, of numerous violations of the existing MC defined 30 foot coastal height limit.

Speaker after speaker last night quoted directly from the Municipal Code in which the law is absolutely clear with regard to measuring the 30? height, but City representatives from the Mayor’s office and DSD kept insisting that the City Attorney’s office interprets the voter approved Proposition D very differently than any common sense reading of the law.

Further, the Mayor and DSD shut down the Emerson Street project based on a violation of the FAR standards, NOT the obvious violation of the 30 foot coastal height limit.

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Zapf Introduces Surveillance Cameras to OB at Press Conference But No Questions Were Allowed

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Councilwoman Lori Zapf on Thursday, July 21st, introduced the newly-installed police surveillance cameras at a brief news conference held on the greens near the OB Lifeguard Station.

With ranking police officers and OB merchants on both sides of her, Zapf led off the presser before 2 TV cameras, and a handful of protesters opposed to the cameras.

Zapf said that over a year ago, police leaders at Western Division working with her office to come up with safety measures came up with the idea to install ten cameras along OB’s waterfront.

Now they’ve all been placed, from the OB Pier to Dog Beach, and the signs went up just now, Zapf said, and the cameras can now go live.

Emphasizing the cameras were a crime-prevention tool, a deterrent, they’ll make the beach more safe, she said, mentioning that the cameras will bring relief to the tourists worried about being victimized.

Why the cameras? Zapf asked.

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San Diego Web Thin Case Leads to Another 10 Minute Acquittal in Medical Cannabis Trial

July 22, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access

The 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.

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Press Conference on Surveillance Cameras in OB Today – Thurs. at 11:30 a.m.

July 21, 2016 by Staff

Here is the Press Release for a Press Conference on the surveillance cameras installed in Ocean Beach.

OB Crime Fighting Cameras Set to Go Live

What: The City of San Diego has installed cameras in Ocean Beach near the ocean and parking lots to ward off potential criminals. The cameras are on a loop that is not monitored or reviewed unless a crime is reported. This will give law enforcement a valuable crime fighting tool to provide evidence and allow prosecutors to go after criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

When: Thursday, July 21, 2016
11:30 AM

Where: Ocean Beach – at the intersection of Newport Ave and Abbott Street.

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Police Cameras Being Installed in Ocean Beach

July 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The police surveillance cameras are being installed in Ocean Beach. And more than was originally planned.

CBS News8 reported that :

Monday evening, crews were seen making adjustments to the cameras where there is one, two or three cameras mounted to light poles or a lifeguard tower.

The original plan was 10 cameras but 12 were counted between Dog Beach and the Ocean Beach Pier and pointed in the parking lot or beach.

Photographer Adam Ewing stated on facebook:

The new cameras are going up. Looks like they’re starting at the Pier parking lot. If someone sees them installing the rest along the beach all the way down to dog beach.

Councilwoman Lori Zapf’s Communications Director, Donna Cleary, told the media that a news conference is planned for this week.

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Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

July 19, 2016 by Source
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Editor: With all the talk about immigration by politicians these days, it’s difficult to tell whether they know what they’re talking about. Here, immigration lawyer Carlos Batara lays it all out, A to Z with tips and terms.

By Carlos Batara

1. Immigration Tips And Terms A To Z is the knowledge gained after decades of practice here in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

2. Asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an immigrant who has left their native country as a refugee. To qualify for asylum, individuals must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

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Son of Local Ocean Beach Homeless Man Who Died Christmas Day Qualifies for the Olympics

July 19, 2016 by Source
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Editor: With so many terrible stories involving San Diego’s homeless lately, here is something different. Earlier this year, writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey had covered a story on Craig Miller, a homeless man who lived in the streets of OB but who died on Christmas Day. They recently found out that his son, Cody Miller, qualified for the Olympics in swimming. Here is that story.

By Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey

It is a kid’s dream to stand on an Olympic podium and have their nation’s flag wave high as he smiles at his family. Cody Miller, of Billings, Montana, qualified on June 27th for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke coming from behind to secure his spot on the Olympic swim team. This year’s games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil beginning August 5th, 2016. The road for Cody did not come easy. Cody was born with Pectus Excavatum, also known as a sunken or funnel chest.

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