Civil Rights

OB Planners: Passed Del Mar Project, Okayed Apple Tree and Juggled Concerns of Community Plan Delay

June 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Once Chair John Ambert guided the OB planners to their action agenda items, the Planning Board got down to business, at last night’s monthly meeting at the OB Rec Center. And eventually, they had almost a full Board.

Here’s what they accomplished:

They overwhelmingly approved the 4900 block Del Mar project, they okayed Apple Tree Market’s permits – including their alcohol permit – ; they juggled real concerns about a delay in the Coastal Commission’s approval of the Community Plan with assurances from the city; they approved the Climate Action Plan, and tossed about the notion of changing the historic logo of the Board.

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An OB Activist’s Calendar for June

June 4, 2015 by Staff
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June 20th Saturday 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. International Surfing Day Veteran’s Plaza at the end of Newport Ave ( From 6 – 8 Surfrider Foundation with FM 94.9

June 26th Friday 7:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Critical Mass Balboa Park at the Big Fountain

June 27th – SaturdayThe 36th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival 4800 – 5000 blocks of Newport Ave; @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm –

…. And there’s more ….

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Poll: 87% Support Legalization of Pot

June 4, 2015 by Staff
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In the latest OB Rag poll of our readers on if they supported the legalization of recreational marijuana, an overwhelming 87% responded that they did.

In contrast, nearly 11 and a half percent were opposed to its legalization. One percent replied they didn’t know or had no opinion. No one responded that it was improper or immoral.

The legalization proponents in this poll were split between those who smoked it – 47.1% – and those who didn’t – 40%.

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New Projects in Ocean Beach: a Seawall and a Mysterious Project at an Empty Lot

June 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s two projects coming to Ocean Beach in the near future of some interest.

Seawall or Bluff Repair for Ocean Front Street

One is a permit “to stabilize the coastal bluff adjacent to the residences located at 1759-1765 Ocean Front Street“, in other words, some kind of seawall or bluff repair. …

Empty Lot or What at 5040 Santa Monica?

The second project that the community was given notice about is a “Notice of Future Decision” regarding a review and permits “to remove an underground parking garage” …

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After Hours Demolition of Historic Movement Birthplace Angers LGBTQ and Preservation Activists

June 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

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By Doug Porter

Shortly after 5pm on Friday, May 29, one of San Diego’s two remaining historic Saltbox houses was bulldozed by contractors working for developer HG Fenton. Adjoining properties were left untouched. And what some consider the birthplace of the local LGBTQ movement became a pile of rubble.

Local LGBTQ activists and the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) had hoped to work out a deal to save the property, either by incorporating architectural details into the finished development or by moving the house to another location. A Friday morning conversation between representatives of the Lambda archives and the developer made no mention of the building’s impending destruction.

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NSA Collection of American Phone Records Ends – Thanks to Edward Snowden

June 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Halt to Records Collection Probably Temporary As Senate Expected to Pass Reform Measure

By Frank Gormlie

As of today – June 1st – the National Security Agency is no longer legally allowed to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk. The NSA massive collection of telephone records ended at 11:59 p.m. EDT Sunday, right after the Senate failed to pass a measure to extend the controversial program, part of the Patriot Act.

And Americans can thank Edward Snowden for it. Snowden was the one who heroically revealed the massive surveillance program to the American public and is now sitting in Russia for his punishment.

The halt to the phone coverage, however, is probably only temporary, as the Senate is expected to okay a House-passed reform bill targeting the NSA’s surveillance program. Even if it passed, it would still take a couple of days for it to start up.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early June 2015

June 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: Just about every week, we publish an roundup of sorts of recent news from OB, Point Loma, the Peninsula, the Midway District, Mission Bay and, at times, other beach areas – along with updates on issues and notices of community events. Here’s the latest from over the last week or so:

Another Stabbing in OB

There was another stabbing in Ocean Beach, in the alley of the 4900 block of Newport Ave. It occurred Tuesday night, May 25th. Community Relations Officer David Surwilo reported the incident at the recent OB Town Council meeting. This time the stabbing came down when one of the workers of a business told a homeless guy he couldn’t stay on a couch that he had occupied. The guy stabbed the employee a couple of times and fled. The worker was taken to a hospital – and probably already released, Surwilo said on the 26th.

COME INSIDE FOR MORE ……….

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Claim Filed Against City by Family of Man Fatally Shot by Police in Midway District

May 29, 2015 by Staff

Channel 10News has broken the story that a claim against the City of San Diego has been made by the family of the man fatally shot by police in the Midway District at the end of April. The claim alleges that the police officer involved used excessive and unreasonable force, violating the civil rights of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, the victim.

Nehad was shot by Officer Neal N. Browder in the alley outside an adult bookstore near Rosecrans Blvd. on April 30th.

The claim calls for the city to compensate Nehad’s estate and his parents for damages in an amount of $20 million. A claim such as this is the first step in a lawsuit.

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Bernie Sanders to America’s Billionaires: “Your greed has got to end.”

May 27, 2015 by Source
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Bernie Sanders Announces Presidential Campaign

This is Bernie Sanders’ prepared speech*, delivered Tuesday, May 26, in Vermont.

Today, here in our small state – a state that has led the nation in so many ways – I am proud to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America.

Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: Talking Story

May 26, 2015 by Source

moonriseBy Will Falk

Looking up at the still, lingering morning stars from the best stargazing location in the world early on the third day since my arrival at the occupation on Mauna Kea, my personal velocities catch up with me and I listen. I stand at 9,200 feet above sea level.

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Why Does the American Left Ignore the Struggle for Freedom in Northern Ireland?

May 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Jeff Stone

The Irish Republican Movement has been struggling for a socialist free Ireland since the first uprising against the British in 1916 led by Michael Collins.

Most Americans have a very naive idea at best and ignorant, uninformed at worst, attitude about the IRA or any of the nationalist parties that favor expelling the British and restoring Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

For example, the IRA, which a lot of Americans still don’t realize, its antecedents are basically a very Marxist, socialist approach to government, democracy, and human rights.

While many members are Catholics, the IRA is a secular organization.

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San Diego vs. Monsanto – Protest March on Sat., City and Port Sue for Polluting Bay, and Chipotle Bans GMOs

May 21, 2015 by Staff
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The City of San Diego is gearing up against Monsanto, the giant corporate producer of such products as Roundup and the star of the GMO world. There is a lot going on in this town around Monsanto.

First, there is a march and rally scheduled for Saturday, May 23, 2015 starting at 10 a.m. in Balboa Park. Organizers expect a large turnout and heavy media coverage this year due to the World Health Organization announcement that Monsanto’s Roundup is carcinogenic.

Second, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Port District are suing Monsanto for polluting San Diego Bay with PCBs.

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Notes on the History of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Regulations

May 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Less than a month ago, the Point Loma Democratic Club held a panel discussion on the topic of the history of San Diego’s medical marijuana regulations – and the following is based upon my notes of that discussion.

The panel included Terrie Best from the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, Alex Kreit, Associate Professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Ebon Johnson, director of the Green Nectar Dispensary. Cynara Velasquez, an activist on the issue and club member, served as moderator.

In 1996, Prop 215, the Medicinal Marijuana Initiative for California passed. It essentially protected patients and gave limited protections for care givers.

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California Lawmakers Propose Task Force to Review Computer Crime Laws—Guess Who’s Not Invited to the Table

May 20, 2015 by Source

giphyBy Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

Whenever lawmakers congregate to discuss computer crime, you can reliably predict that the debate will gravitate toward expanding police powers, leaving the realistic concerns of everyday Internet users by the wayside. After all, fearmongering around the film War Games helped fuel the passage of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, one of the most egregious laws the digital world has ever faced.

This legislative session, California lawmakers have proposed creating …

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Sex Trafficking of Minors Hits Close to Home in Point Loma

May 19, 2015 by Source
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Point Loma Democrats Hear about Sex Trafficking

By Lois Lane

The program, “Sex Trafficking of Minors in San Diego,” last Sunday, May 17, 2015, seemed distant from the Ocean Beach and Point Loma audience. We quickly learned that this is one indeed one of our local problems and one of the most profitable illegal activities, greatly out-earning drug dealing. The product is also renewable – you can only sell a package once, but with prostitution, you can sell the same product over and over.

The speakers were Ali Serano, Assistant US Attorney, Sergeant Chris Cameron, San Diego County, and Gayle Sollfrank, representing a resource for victims, GenerateHope.

If we don’t think this is our problem, Ms. Serano displayed a printout from that day, showing six active Point Loma links on the primary Internet site (not publicized here).

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The Fight for Progressive Tax Reform Continues: It’s Time to Make It Fair

May 18, 2015 by Jim Miller

MIF Logo1By Jim Miller

When Proposition 13 was first approved by voters in 1978 it was sold as a protection for single-family homeowners. But what voters were not told is that Prop. 13 contained giant loopholes that allow big corporations and wealthy commercial property owners to avoid paying their fair share of local property taxes.

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History of the Rowdies and Ruffians of Ocean Beach

May 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The recent spate of violence – the several stabbings down at the beach and the recent fight between bar patrons on Newport that broke the window at Lola Luna – remind me of the rough and sordid underbelly of OB’s history.

For matching OB’s reputation of being San Diego’s “laid-back”, liberal seaside village of tolerance, peace and hipness – there is a underbelly that shows Ocean Beach in a different light and gives it some of its color.

It’s OB’s history of rowdies and ruffians.

And gathered together, the stories of the different brands of rowdiness and ruffian-isms give rise to the view that OB indeed is a colorful and diverse community with quite an interesting, not-oft spoken history, with some of it downright nasty and ugly.

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Doctrine of Discovery – Unmasking the Domination Code

May 13, 2015 by Source
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A Documentary Film Screening at Sycuan Showcase Theatre

By Rose Davis /Indian Voices

The Kumeyaay bird singers took the stage prior to the screening and set the mood with their rhythmic chants and methodical, hypnotic rattling of seeds in their gourds. A solemn but vitally important occasion which is why the call and response mood of “Where are our leaders, where are our leaders?” resounded throughout the evening.

This documentary, directed by Sheldon Wolfchild is told from the viewpoint of the original people rather than the conquerors, sets the record straight. Co-producer Steven Newcomb, on who’s book“Pagans In The Promised Land” the film is based, patiently and eloquently explained the need for survivors to know what happened in the past.

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What’s in the Mayor’s Budget for Ocean Beach?

May 13, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The City of San Diego Budget hearings are just beginning. OB did get to keep the standard services – trash pickup, beach maintenance, lifeguard services, library and rec center support – all covered under general categories.

What is unfunded is interesting.

The North Ocean Beach Gateway Project (adjacent to Robb Field) Phase II for FY2016 shows no additional funding.

In contrast, FY2015 touts as an accomplishment “Completion of the Ocean Beach Gateway Mini Park.”

OB also did not get the requested library or lifeguard station upgrade in the budget as proposed.

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Dark Clouds on San Diego’s Horizon

May 13, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Developments over the past few days bode poorly for San Diego’s image and civic pride.

One of the main tourist attractions, the football team, the successor to the downtown development agency and the home for Comic Con are all in turmoil.

Controversies have arisen concerning the lone Democrat on the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff’s department is being investigated for civil rights violations arising out of the arrest of a mentally handicapped man.

So many stories, so little time to tell them all:

Sex and Drugs at SeaWorld …. COME INSIDE

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Security Forces Clash with Baja California Farmworkers

May 12, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Police raids and street protests in Baja California have led to scores of injuries in the latest round of labor strife over pay and working conditions in San Quintin, an agricultural region producing produce sold in the United States.

This weekend’s violence followed the failure of Interior Minister Luis Miranda Nava to show up for a meeting with leaders of farm worker organizations in the area.

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Melting Snow and Blooming Flowers in Laguna Mountains in Early May

May 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Just had to see snow last Saturday. It was early May and the drought was going strong.

Had heard that there had been snow falling in our local mountains on Friday, May 8th, so turned the vehicle east and headed out 8.

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Demonstrators Protest Fatal Police Shooting in Midway

May 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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San Diego’s NBC affiliate continues to pave the way for local media in their coverage of the fatal police shooting of a man in the Midway area.Their coverage of the details and developing scandal around this shooting is the only news source tracking down witnesses and covering a small demonstration against the shooting held Saturday, May 9th.

7San Diego interviewed a second man who said he’s seen the surveillance video of the shooting and called it “unprovoked.”

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Update on Fatal Police Shooting in Midway Area

May 8, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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San Diego’s local NBC affiliate, 7SanDiego, has a videotaped interview with a man who saw surveillance footage of the recent fatal police shooting in the Midway area and quotes him as saying,

“This guy shouldn’t have been shot based on what I saw on the video.”

“This was wrong,” the unidentified man said, who works across the alley where the shooting occurred on last Thursday, April 30. He said in the newsvideo:

This guy shouldn’t have been shot based on what I saw on the video. The guy was walking, just normal, lazical lazy walking. If he (the officer) said ‘stop’, that’s all he said. He just opened the door, and said ‘stop’ and shot.”

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Vatican Approves Serra as Saint Despite Opposition by Native Peoples

May 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Despite long and continued opposition by native peoples in California, the Vatican is making it official that Junipero Serra will be declared a saint.

Serra of course is the friar that began California’s string of missions, beginning with the one in San Diego.

The process to canonize Serra has taken decades but the current Pope Francis has personally given his weight to the effort, which some call “steamrolling” or “fast-tracking” the process, and now it all seems certain.

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Cop’s Body Camera Not On During Midway Fatal Shooting – Which Did Not Involve Knife As First Reported

May 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There are now two very curious things about last week’s fatal shooting by a San Diego police officer of a knife-wielding man in the Midway area.

First, the police officer’s body camera was not on – or at least was not recording.

And second, there was no knife – as first reported – but some kind of “shiny-looking object” in the suspect’s hand, as the U-T San Diego reported today, 5/7/15.

This much we do know: a man named Fridoon Zalbeg Rawshannehad, 31 years of age, was shot to death by San Diego police officer Neil Browder right after midnight, Thursday April 30th. The shooting occurred behind a Midway District adult store, the Hi-Lite Theatre and Bookstore. Browder is a 27-year veteran of San Diego’s police force and he was wearing one of the newly-purchased body cameras.

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Millennials see Edward Snowden as a hero – in time, so will the rest of society

May 5, 2015 by Source
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By Anthony D. Romero / ACLU

Surveillance reform, like marriage equality, will come about because of generational change

About a year ago, a thirtysomething sculptor in Los Angeles began working on a bust of Edward Snowden. When he was done, he shipped the bust to his artist friends on the East Coast. Just before dawn April 6, the artists crept under cover of darkness into Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park and installed the 100-pound bust atop a Revolutionary War memorial.

“We chose to pay tribute to Snowden through the medium of a bust because that is one of the visual pieces society uses as a guidepost to who a hero is,” one of the artists said in a video released after the bust was installed.

By 3 p.m. the New York Parks Department and police had taken the bust down. But the next morning, a different group of artists cast a holographic image of Snowden where the bust had stood.

The message to the authorities could not be clearer: Snowden is not going away.

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May 4th – 45th Anniversary of the 1970 Kent State Massacre During Student Strike

May 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970

 

 

In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, is the 45th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus. Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid

May 4, 2015 by Jim Miller

Photo by Keith Allison

By Jim Miller

Last week when the Baltimore Orioles played a game without fans in Camden Yard, there was much media coverage marking how the surreal event was unprecedented in American sports.

Perhaps, but it was not completely without precedent globally as the 1987 soccer match played to an empty stadium in Madrid, Spain came before it.

On the occasion of that strange contest, French social theorist Jean Baudrillard observed that “thousands of fans besieged the stadium but no one got in” and that this punishment of unruly soccer fans did much to –

“exemplify the terroristic hyperrealism of our world, a world where the ‘real’ event occurs in a vacuum, strippedof its context, visible only from afar, televisually.”

Maybe, Baudrillard wryly predicted, the game in Madrid was a harbinger of a future where no one would actually participate in such happenings “but everyone will have received an image of them.”

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Being Grateful and Happy and All

May 1, 2015 by Ernie McCray

HappinessBy Ernie McCray

Maria recently asked her family and me (a relatively new member of the clan) to look over some questions and maybe talk about them later over a meal.

I took a peek and, regarding the first question, I’m grateful for having reached 77 years of age which, to me, signifies, that I am of the old and the wise, fit, still with it, busting moves everyday. These are “The Good Old Days!”

I’m so grateful to have friends and family to love and to know that they love me back. I’m grateful for my mother and grandfather who, long time ago, got me on the right track.

What am I proudest of? That would be having walked my talk, in a spirit of love, ducking and taking the blows it takes to create, out of that love, learning environments that were respectful of children’s humanity – role-modeling, as an “educator,” each step of the way, how an “educated” person should be in the world.

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