Civil Rights

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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San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis Spins the News in Quest to Justify Fatal Police Shooting in Midway District

December 29, 2015 by Doug Porter

Midway cop shot vid blast3By Doug Porter

County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ absolution of a San Diego Police officer in the shooting death of 42-year-old Fridoon Rawshan Nehad turns out to have been nothing more than poorly orchestrated spin.

Facing an impending court-ordered release of damning evidence, the DA released a made-for-the-media video and pleaded with the press to use her version of events.

A subsequent release of information by an attorney representing Nehad’s family casts strong doubt on that ‘version’ of the story.

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City Attorney On Vacation Rentals: Lodging Mainly for Visitors and Tourists Prohibited in Residential Zones

December 28, 2015 by Source

The following is from a Press Release from Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

City Attorney clarifies position on vacation rentals: Uses providing lodging primarily to visitors/tourists are prohibited in San Diego’s residential zones

SAN DIEGO, December 26, 2015 – Spurred by concerns from citizens over the proliferation of commercial mini-hotels in San Diego residential zones, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has released a new memorandum on short-term vacation rentals that says providing lodging primarily to visitors and tourists in San Diego’s residential zones is unlawful and violates the city’s Municipal Code.

Goldsmith’s memo, released on December 22 in response to requests by citizens’ group Save San Diego Neighborhoods (SSDN), comes as the San Diego City Council prepares to consider a draft ordinance on the contentious issue, perhaps as early as January. Directed to the mayor and city council, Goldsmith’s release updates a 2007 memo on the same subject by then City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

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Video Released Showing Police Shooting Fridoon Rawshan Nehad in Midway District

December 22, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Video Released Showing Police Shooting Fridoon Rawshan Nehad in Midway District


See the last few moments of Nehad’s life. Video inside (warning: very angering).

Surveillance video capturing a fatal shooting in which a veteran San Diego police officer shot and killed an unarmed, mentally ill man was made public Tuesday, six days after a federal judge ruled it would no longer be under a protective order.

Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, 42, was shot and killed April 30 in a confrontation with San Diego Police Department Officer Neal Browder in San Diego’s Midway District. The officer-involved shooting was captured on surveillance video from a nearby business but investigators would not release it to the public while an investigation was underway.

Browder will not face criminal charges in the incident. Nehad’s family filed a multimillion-dollar claim against the city of San Diego. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice have launched an investigation into the shooting.

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OB Rag Editorial: There Is No Consensus – Delay the Police Cameras

December 18, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Editorial: There Is No Consensus – Delay the Police Cameras

The OB Rag is urging the City of San Diego to delay the installation of the police surveillance cameras – currently scheduled for “sometime at the first of the year”. We urge the City to delay the project until at least there has been adequate discussion within the community of Ocean Beach about the cameras. If anything these last few weeks have shown – it’s the complete lack of consensus within the community about the cameras and whether they should go in at all. There also has been insufficient community debate and discussion about the needs for the cameras. Yet, the cameras are still coming in.

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“No More Protest Marches Through Balboa Park – Please!”

December 18, 2015 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks Out

Been around long enough to know the “in’s and out’s” of organizing protests and marches here in good, ol’ conservative San Diego. I have been to many, many of them – all over the place. – And yes, I know our city’s demographics and politics have evolved over the years.

Just recently, I was at the Climate Action rally held in Balboa Park with its rally next to the water fountain. Before that – and at the same spot – I attended a support rally for Bernie Sanders. And one year ago exactly, I attended a “die-in” at the fountain when on December 13th, 2014, 200 people participated in a “die-in” – right at the fountain, as San Diego joined protests held nation-wide against police violence.

Going back a ways – I also attended many rallies and marches that were held in and through Balboa Park during both the Iraq Wars I and II.

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Major Developments in Midway District Fatal Shooting by Police of Fridoon Nehad

December 17, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Feds to Review Shooting and Victim’s Family Can Release Video of Shooting to the Public

There’s major, major developments in the fatal police shooting of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad last April in the Midway District.

On April 30th, San Diego Police Officer Neal Browder arrived in an alley next to an adult bookstore in the Midway District. There had been a 911 call that reported a man with a knife was outside. Within seconds of his arrival, Officer Browder opened fire, killing Nehan, who – it turns out, was holding a metallic pen, and was having a PTSD episode. A private security camera recorded the entire scene, which up to now has not been made public – but that’s all about to change.

Part of the big news is that the FBI announced that it is reviewing the shooting of Nehan by Browder. This has been confirmed by the police department.

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New Laws from the Republicans’ Alternate Dimension: Obama Forbidden to Mention Climate Change

December 16, 2015 by John Lawrence

More Greenhouse Gas, Subsidies for Gun Shops, and a Presidential Dress Code

smoke stacksBy John Lawrence

In addition to repealing Obamacare for the 457th time, Congress has been busy with a new agenda. HR 4031 will officially make it illegal for President Obama to attend any more climate change conferences. In fact, he won’t even be allowed to mention climate change in his upcoming State of the Union (SOTU) speech.

As part of the Fossil Fuel Enhancement Act of 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California will be forced to abandon his plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, he has been ordered to increase greenhouse gas emissions and to give subsidies to automobile manufacturers as long as they don’t convert to electric engines.

As part of the Act, subsidies have been increased to ExxonMobil by $5 billion to further encourage them in the fine work they’re doing promoting and selling fossil fuels.

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Justice Antonin Scalia’s racism is unacceptable – Congress must censure him.

December 15, 2015 by Source

Justice Antonin Scalia’s racism is unacceptable. Congress must censure him.

Scalia racistFrom Credo Action

On Wednesday, December 9th, during oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the case of Fisher v. Texas, Justice Antonin Scalia made a plainly racist argument (emphasis ours): …

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Environmental Activists in Paris and San Diego: We Want More

December 15, 2015 by Doug Porter

climate greetingsBy Doug Porter

One hundred ninety nations reached an agreement in Paris this past weekend, theoretically setting the world on a path towards reducing carbon emissions. The San Diego City Council is poised to bless the long awaited Climate Action Plan. People took to the streets of Paris and the byways of Balboa Park over the weekend to affirm their commitment to seeing the challenges of climate change acted upon.

At last!–or so we’re told–there are processes in place to help save the planet, or at least, humanity’s position at the top of the food chain. The truth, however, is much different that the hype. Consider these deals “hope” without the “change.”

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San Ysidro Blues — 30 Years After the Massacre – Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 15, 2015 by Source

San Ysidro Blues: 30 Years After the Massacre

By Francisco J. Bustos

I remember playing on the kitchen floor when the shots started firing.
I remember my cousin and I running outside the apartment, like many others did.
The sound of bullets instantly changed everybody’s eyes and nobody could
explain it.
We lived on Sunset Lane, just a couple blocks, de aquel Mac Donals, 30 years ago.
We jumped outside at the sound of more bullets,
if we could make it to the corner, we could catch a glimpse of our San Ysidro

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-December 2015

December 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie


@ Will New Vegan Restaurant at Sunset Plaza Be a “Drive-up”?

@ OB Christmas Tree Has Given Twice But Why So Many Cops?

@ Lifeguards May Halt Rescues in Polluted Water Until Healthcare Coverage Improves

@ Midway Fatal Shooting by Cop – Victim’s Brother Speaks Out – ‘No way was he attacking the cop’

@ Three Surfers Rescued Dec. 12th – One With Head Injury – Another Surfer Rescued Off Ladera
@ Newport Ave to Get a Make-Over
@ OB’s Dave Martin Joins Pt Loma Association Board
@ Props for OB’s “Holiday Parade”
@ Short Term Rentals Ordinance Goes Back to the Drawing Board and Peninsulans Weigh in
@ Short Term Rentals Slip

@ OB Makes “Young and Single” Neighborhood List – Duh!
@ Hearing for Point Loma Man Charged with Human Trafficking
@ Homeless Guy in PB Protests McDonalds
@ “Grimace Rock” Off Tourmaline a Hidden Danger
@ Some Reminiscing About Point Loma During World War II

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Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

December 14, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

Dear Neighbors,

Hello, I’m Micaela Shafer Porte, born and raised in PB, MBHS class of ’77, member of the PB Town council, Friends of Mission Bay Marshes, PB Library, etc, and

I write to you with serious concerns about the proposed construction of 4000 sq ft of concrete of a large lifeguard station in the middle of the Law Street canyon and beach next to Palisades Park in North PB.

This $7 million project also includes hundreds of sq ft of “plastification” of the beach with “armor flex, a plastic grid driveway – to accommodate heavy trucks and machinery in the regular tidal events that happen on Law St beach.

We have formed a citizen’s committee online called, with a petition, to defend this stretch of beach from this massive development.

Protect PB is not against lifeguarding on this beach, we are against the excessiveness of this design, and the ill-fated location choice in a blind run off canyon in the high tide zone that is the end of Law St. beach.

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Setback for Pacific Beach Residents Who Oppose Huge Lifeguard Station on Coastal Bluffs

December 14, 2015 by Source

PB Opp Pet vs LifeG 01

There has been a new development in the campaign by Pacific Beach residents to stop a planned lifeguard station at the end of Law Street in PB. The PB Planning Group at their December 1 meeting, voted to approve the site development plans for construction of the station.

Here’s what we stated about the campaign back at the end of August this year:

Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

The campaign to save the PB coastal bluffs is led by a group called Protect PB – they have a website and petition going on.

Mic Porte, an community activist in Pacific Beach, …

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Opposition to Police Cameras Dominates Packed Public Forum

December 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Police and Councilwoman Zapf Snubbed Meeting

In its first, genuine public display, the opposition to the police surveillance cameras being installed in OB sounded off at last night’s forum. In a packed community room at the OB Rec Center, where over 50 people crowded into the space along with 4 or 5 television cameras and sets of reporters, the group that has led the opposition, Citizens Against Privacy Abuse (CAPA) held its very first community public event.

By all accounts – the forum was very successful, as its structure allowed for nearly an hour and half of public dialogue and discussion of the camera issue, with participants sitting in a wide circle. CAPA organizers had pulled the event off in just over one weeks time – having announced the forum at last week’s Planning Board meeting. Several hundred posters, fliers, human bill-boarding along with petitions and media coverage paid off for the brand new group – which itself was barely one month old.

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In San Diego and Elsewhere, Increasing Demands for Police Reform

December 10, 2015 by Doug Porter

San diego police carsSDPD Union Contracts Under Scrutiny

By Doug Porter

Despite promises of increased transparency and action to prevent misconduct, the San Diego Police Department continues to draw criticism.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are under increasing scrutiny, as reports about use of excessive force, sexual assault, and abuse of power surface. Here, I’ll take a look at recent developments both locally and nationally.

Taking things one step further, activists associated with Black Lives Matter have broadened their Campaign Zero to include researching police union-negotiated labor agreements in many jurisdictions with the aim of flagging provisions delaying the interrogation of officers being investigated for use of force and used in erasing documentation of abuse.

San Diego is one of the cities under scrutiny.

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Donald Trump’s Audacity of Hate

December 9, 2015 by Doug Porter

Make America white againBy Doug Porter

The debate went on inside my head throughout the night as I drifted in and out of dreams. Should I call out this latest batch of hate-mongering from The Donald?

Or am I just giving him what he wants? The man sees his polls drop in Iowa and he’s at the ready with some new bit of outrage to keep his name in the headlines.

‘If you see something, say something’ won the debate. Plus, I realized Trump’s merely surfing the wave of fear empowered by his fellow chicken hawks and amplified by the media. Today I’ll examine reaction to the latest proclamations from the GOP candidate.

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Reader Rant: “My Arguments Against OB Police Cameras”

December 8, 2015 by Source
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Arguments By OB Rag and Others Opposed to Cameras Are Misguided

By Kevin Hastings

I strongly object to the installation of surveillance cameras along the beachfront.

With that said, I think the arguments by the OB Rag and others opposed to it are a bit misguided.

Appealing for liberty to sheep … you may as well try and teach a dog how to fly. In order to win over anyone on this, you have to consider their perspective.

It appears to me that a majority of OBcians currently support the cameras in the name of safety. Your newsletter poll said otherwise, but perhaps because they are birds of a feather, to an extent.

Police do not care about the privacy of anyone else. … Here’s my arguments: …

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“Those People”

December 8, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Little-Boy-MeFriday after Thanksgiving, every two years. As black people and/or African Americans.

And let me tell you, it’s so nice to be among people who were at your side when you were a kid growing up trying to figure out how to make it in a world where you’re looked at as “Those people.” People to be looked down upon.

Like Muslims today, who, in the way we look at folks, could be anyone wearing a head scarf that covered their face. It’s a “They all look alike” kind of thing.

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10 Reasons to Oppose Police Surveillance Cameras in Ocean Beach

December 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are 10 reasons to oppose the ten police surveillance cameras being installed along OB’s waterfront.

1. The cameras are unconstitutional – violations of both the First and Fourth Amendments. They violate our right of assembly and right of association. They are an unreasonable search and seizure of our persons and of our images

2. The cameras violate our right to privacy. Citizens do have the right to certain privacies – even on the beach or in parks; lawful citizens have the right not to be subject to surveillance by government or the police. In this age of government surveillance via emails and cellphones (especially as has been uncovered by Edward Snowden), concern for citizens’ rights to privacy are heightened.

3. Video Surveillance has chilling effect on public life. Cameras bring subtle but profound changes to the character of our public spaces, as citizens behave more self-conscious and less free-wheeling.

4. The police have not submitted any statistics on crimes at the beach or other empirical data to justify the cameras.

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March and Rally for Climate Justice -Sat, Dec. 12

December 7, 2015 by Jim Miller

save the planetBy Jim Miller

Last week as the big climate talks kicked off in Paris it was my pleasure to co-host with Masada Disenhouse of SanDiego350 a community screening of Naomi Klein’s new film This Changes Everything.

We used this screening to help facilitate a discussion among folks from the local labor and environmental movements along with representatives from various community and student groups that was focused on the intersection between the climate crisis and the fight against economic inequality. Many folks expressed spirited opinions on how we might join the interests of the poor and workers with those fighting to save the planet.

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Livin’ La Vida Logan – Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II:

December 7, 2015 by Brent Beltran

barrios unidos

By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Diego. It used to be one whole community called Logan Heights, named after congressman John A. Logan, but the creation of the Interstate 5 freeway that bisected the neighborhood changed that.

Then the building of the San Diego–Coronado Bridge changed it again. Thousands were displaced from building the freeway and the bridge. Now Barrio Logan encompasses a relatively small patch of land sandwiched between the San Diego Bay and the I-5 freeway and north of National City and south of San Diego’s East Village.

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First Community Forum on Police Cameras Set for Dec. 9th

December 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The first community forum on the planned installation of the police surveillance cameras has been set for Wednesday, December 9th.

The forum is being sponsored by the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse (CAPA) and will be held at the OB Recreation Center. The forum will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and will include a presentation or two by members of CAPA as well as a question and answer session with San Diego Police representatives.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf has been invited to address the forum, as well, as it was her office that found funds for the surveillance cameras.

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OB Opposition to Police Surveillance Cameras Makes the News

December 2, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Opposition to Police Surveillance Cameras Makes the News

OB Planning Board Presentation For and Against the Cameras – Tonight, Dec. 2nd

The surveillance cameras to be installed in Ocean Beach have been in the news lately. And only because of the opposition to them being posed by the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse (CAPA).

CAPA formed a couple of weeks ago after a collection of OBceans began meeting to share their views against the police-initiated cameras planned for OB’s waterfront.

Opponents of the cameras are also planning a series of public forums and a petition drive, plus have been plastering OB with their Uncle Sam posters. And it is this opposition to the cameras that is drawing press attention.

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15 Years Ago Today – Dec 1 – Was a High Water Mark for OB Activism

December 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

In 2000 OBGO Held Its First ‘Coming-Out’ Community Forum

Grassroots activism has been in the air in OB of late, with a definite spike last year during the campaign to have the OB Community Plan approved, but it also has been seen this year around the Plan at the Coastal Commission. Prior to 2014, however, there had been many a lean year in terms of genuine local activism across the village, many a moon had passed without throwing shadows on such OBcean activity as petitions and community mobilizations.

And that’s the way grassroots activism is, it comes and goes – like the tides that lap OB’s beaches and cliffs.

Coincidentally or not, there has been some talk – also of late – of a former OB activist group. It was mentioned in an article about ‘why SeaWorld can’t build a hotel at its current location’, and it’s also been longingly mentioned at some meetings of another group, the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse.

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San Diego Planning Commission to Hold Hearing on Short Term Vacation Rentals – Thurs., Dec. 3rd

December 1, 2015 by Staff

STVR City Not p1 ed
The San Diego Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on proposed short term vacation rental / home sharing amendments to the City of San Diego Municipal Code.

The hearing is on Thursday, December 3rd,at 9 a.m. in the Copper Room in the City Administration Building at 202 C Street in downtown.

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Nothing or Everything Changes After Paris

November 30, 2015 by Jim Miller

climate change terrorismBy Jim Miller

There has been much to be dismayed about in the wake of the horrible Paris (and Beirut) attacks, from the carnage itself to the ugly xenophobia it aroused in American politics to the sheer stupidity of the eternal return of the same that is the bipartisan hegemony on foreign policy.

The answer for everything is always an eye for an eye until the whole world is blind with little to no intelligent reflection on the blunders that got us here—that might mean a fundamental rethinking of our role in the world rather than yet another knee-jerk response.

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OB Rag Poll: Majority Supports Police Cameras in OB But Sizable Minority Oppose Them

November 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach is definitely split over the issue of police surveillance cameras being installed along OB’s waterfront in the next few weeks.

The OB Rag ran a poll on the issue – actually two polls – one for OBceans and another for visitors – for a week. In the unscientific survey of our readers, a large majority in each poll favored the cameras.

But sizable minorities oppose the cameras.

In the first poll among OBceans, two-thirds favored the cameras while a third was opposed. With a total of 183 participants, 67.76% or 124 votes said they support them, while 32.24% or 59 votes opposed them.

It was closer in the second poll for visitors to OB. With 86 readers taking part, 59.3% ( 51 votes ) favored the cameras and 40.7% ( 35 votes ) did not.

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Petition Against Police Cameras in Ocean Beach

November 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Petition Against Police Cameras in Ocean Beach

Here is the Petition in Opposition to Police Surveillance Cameras in Ocean Beach, sponsored by the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse.

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