Who Runs San Diego? … How Do You Solve a Problem like Sea World?

September 19, 2014 by Source
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Shamu, we hardly knew ye

Womans Democratic Logo

By Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

For most of us it has been a slow, painful process to understand that our love affair with cute, cuddly, smiley Shamu has made us participants in a cold-blooded business that imprisons and mistreats sentient, social creatures in ways that turn the stomach and shock the conscience.

Concerned environmentalist and civic leaders have been telling us for years that the capture of orcas was nasty and brutal

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OB Town Council Passes Resolution Calling on Government to Deal with Chronic Homelessness at the Beaches

September 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Passes Resolution Calling on Government to Deal with Chronic Homelessness at the Beaches

At their most recent Board meeting on September 10th, the Ocean Beach Town Council passed a resolution that called on government – all levels of government – to deal with chronic homelessness in OB, at the beaches and coastal areas of San Diego and the San Diego River channel. It also stated that it should be a priority to end the homelessness of veterans.

The resolution passed was in support of addressing chronic homelessness “with best practices”, calling upon the City and County of San Diego to bring homelessness resources, outreach, and programs to the San Diego coastal communities.

It read:

The Ocean Beach Town Council calls upon the City and County of San Diego to now bring their successful practices, and homelessness resources and programs …

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Calendar for this Weekend Is Full : OB Pier Breakfast, Coastal Clean-up, Paddle for Clean Water, Earthdance and March for Climate

September 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Have you checked your calendar for this weekend recently? Yeah, it’s full. There’s plenty happening in OB and around the City – so, here’s the short list:

Saturday, Sept. 20th

OBTC Pancake Breakf 9-20-14Annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast – 7:30 am – Noon

The annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast will take place from 7:30am – 12:00pm.

Coastal cleanup day 9-20-14Coastal Clean-up – OB and another 100+ Sites – 9 to 12

Join the massive river, beach and creek clean-up for the entire San Diego County. Registration is open for volunteers to sign up to participate at one of 100 countywide cleanup sites.
Sunday, September 21

Paddle clean water SurfR 9-21-14Paddle for Clean Water – 9 – 12am at OB Pier

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s longest running and largest awareness event is back, calling all surfers, stand up paddle boarders, and ocean enthusiasts to paddle for clean water.

People’s Climate March - 12:30 pm at City Hall

Climate March 9-21-14This coming Sunday is the People’s Climate March in New York City, here in San Diego, and elsewhere around the world.

Folks will gather at City Hall at 12:30 to call for a strong Climate Action Plan, stop at the American Plaza / Santa Fe Station to highlight transportation alternatives, and end at the County Administration Building Park, where marchers will hear from local leaders.

Global Peace Meditation – 12 Noon

People all over the globe will be mediating simultaneously on Peace Day. On the west coast the time will be 12 noon (PST). Liquid Blue will host the San Diego “Unify” group mediation at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park across the street from the Hippie House. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.

OB Earthdance logoEarthdance – 2pm at Winston’s

“Earthdance” begins at “Winston’s” in Ocean Beach.


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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the “New” Belmont Park

September 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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A couple of weeks ago, veteran ace U-T reporter, Lori Weisberg, did a friendly analysis of the status of Belmont Park and its “Hits and Misses”.

Here are the highlights of her report, in case you didn’t see it:

Pacifica Enterprises and Eat Drink Sleep are the new overseers of Belmont Park, and over the last two years of their management, have enlarged the dining places and the entertainment options, while giving the place a face-lift. This has all boosted revenues – for the owners and for the City of San Diego as it receives a share of the revenues from park sales.

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United Nations Rebukes America for Criminalization of Homelessness

September 18, 2014 by Source
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By Carey L. Biron / Inter Press Service / News Report / Nation of Change / Sept. 7, 2014

A rebuke comes from the United Nation as a pattern of U.S. homeless laws violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as the majority of the homeless are minorities.

A United Nations panel reviewing the U.S. record on racial discrimination has expressed unusually pointed concern over a new pattern of laws it warns is criminalizing homelessness.

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The Shameful Truth About the Naked Juice Class Action Lawsuit Settlement and What American Consumers Can Do About It

September 17, 2014 by Source

By Max Goldberg / Living Maxwell

naked-juice-lawsuit-settlementLast week, Naked Juice agreed to settle a very important class action lawsuit which accused the company of deceptive labeling.

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Nine Months Into $15 Minimum Wage – WA State Town Prospering

September 16, 2014 by Source
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By Nathaniel Downes / Addicting Info / Sept 14, 2014

In January, the town of Seatac, Washington, put in to effect a new $15 per hour Minimum Wage. No ramp ups, no tiered implementation. One day it was the state standard, the next, the highest minimum wage in the nation. The Koch Brothers sank a fortune to fight this measure, which fell on deaf ears as the town rejected their trickle-down theories and instead voted for the measure. The result is that for one town, they became a test bed, to put the theories behind trickle-down economics to the test.

Now, nine months on, we are witnessing one of the most dramatic recoveries in the Pacific Northwest.

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Community Energy in San Diego Threatened by “Poisoned Chalice” Electric Rate Fix

September 15, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

This – below – was one of six parting observations offered by Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron when he resigned from the PUC due to serious health issues in January of this year:

poisoned chalice “… with the passage of AB 327, the thorny issue of Net Energy Metering and rate design has been given over to the CPUC. … recognize this is a poisoned chalice: the Commission will come under intense pressure to use this authority to protect the interest of the utilities over those of consumers and potential self-generators, all in the name of addressing exaggerated concerns about grid stability, cost and fairness.

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Who Runs San Diego? Six False Premises for Convention Center Expansion

September 12, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

In 2009, then Mayor Jerry Sanders, the hotel industry, the Chamber of Commerce et al. decided that it was a really keen idea to expand the Convention Center.

They guessed that it would cost about $520 million to build and that there was a BIG market for expanded convention centers, and they warned us that Comic-Con would move on if we didn’t expand the Convention Center. They knew they could never convince enough people in San Diego to agree to pay for this idea so they created a special financing district comprised of just hoteliers.

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American Football Fantasy

September 12, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

football punchI enjoy American-style football because I enjoy the variety of plays, the effort, the amazing feats that occasionally occur during a game. The incredible runs. Completed forward passes. (I think the forward pass is one of the finest inventions of mankind) Intercepted passes and run backs from kickoffs.

I only played dis- or intentionally un- organized football in various intramural and amateur leagues or just plain back lot, mud ball where we refereed ourselves. We sanctioned players who wanted to hurt people. We loved playing the game.

What can we do to incentivize that part of the game and dis-incentivize all the behavior that is really just sanctioned violence …

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Councilman Ed Harris: “Why I voted to increase the minimum wage in San Diego.”

September 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Councilman Ed Harris: “Why I voted to increase the minimum wage in San Diego.”

By Ed Harris

Last weekend I was outside the Trader Joe’s at Liberty Station where I met Pete.

Pete is from Los Angeles and came down to San Diego to obtain signatures opposing the minimum-wage ordinance. I listened to him talking to a woman about the ordinance, and since Pete wasn’t completely forthcoming with his information, I felt compelled to intervene.

I introduced myself as one of the San Diego City Councilmembers who voted in favor of the ordinance. I then asked the woman if she knew what she was signing. “Not really,” she said. When I asked Pete why he was gathering signatures, he told me, “Hey, I’m just trying to make a living.” (People collecting signatures make between $5 and $7 per signature.)

I supported an increase in the minimum wage because an additional $1.50 over three years is a fair compromise. That pencils out to $12 a day more for minimum wage workers. …

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Todd Gloria: “Living the Wage is Indeed a Challenge in San Diego”

September 10, 2014 by Source

Live the WageBy Todd Gloria / President, San Diego City Council

My morning ritual on most days is to buy a cup of my favorite coffee in Hillcrest. This week I did not do that. I couldn’t because I was trying to live on the minimum wage. After paying for housing and taxes, I had $51 left to spend on all my expenses including food and transportation. This meant carefully considering how to spend every penny, and I couldn’t afford my morning coffee.

My reduced consumption wasn’t limited to coffee. I knew this challenge would require a drastic reduction in what I was able to contribute to the local economy. I didn’t eat out this week. I didn’t dry clean my clothes. I skipped washing my car. The businesses that I did patronize saw far less of my money than they would in an average week.

As I struggled to live on $51 for one week, …

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Staving Off Traffic Jams Along the Information Super-Highway

September 9, 2014 by Source

Every major consumer group, a nationwide coalition of mayors, and thousands of startups and small businesses have joined millions of people in urging the FCC to save Net Neutrality.

By Timothy Karr / OtherWords

Sinistra Ecologia Libertà/Flickr

There was no vacation for the Internet this summer.

While many Americans slipped away to the beach, Internet users were busy defending the openness of a network that has become this era’s engine for free expression, ingenuity and just about everything else.

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Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

September 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

By Denis Cuff / Contra Costa Times

PLEASANTON — It’s not everyone’s idea of great swag, but Tri-Valley homeowners are lining up for a new drought freebie — recycled sewer water.

Toting empty milk jugs, tubs, buckets, even water tanks, residents have been lining up to fill ‘em up since mid-June at what sewer district officials say is the only plant giving away free treated effluent to residential customers.

Dublin San Ramon Services District officials say they weren’t sure there would be any takers, but about 60 eager do-it-yourselfers are now making regular runs to haul water to irrigate their yards and vegetable gardens, fill decorative fountains, wash off horses and control dust at stables.

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News From the Sands of September at the Beach

September 8, 2014 by Source
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* Councilman Ed Harris and Nathan Fletcher Urge Veterans Not to Sign Petition Against Minimum Wage

* CHP Goes After SeaWorld “Sucks” Guy on Charges of Vandalism and Trespass

* Planners tackle concerns, nuances of Veterans’ Plaza rock-wall design

* More About the Parrots and About the Parrot Shot in OB

* City’s plan to uproot illegal pot shops is a slow, arduous process

* Rock in peace? Fat chancePoint Loma man says city’s noise ordinance is unconstitutional

* Former Point Loma Man Arrested in Hawaii on 7-Year Old Murder Case of Wife

* Coast Guard Rescues 5 People and One Boat Off Point Loma

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Bernie Sanders: “I Want To Know If Ordinary People Are Ready to Stand and Fight”

September 8, 2014 by Source

Bernie Sanders

US Senator from Vermont is touring the country to capture the pulse of populist sentiment and to see whether or not hunger exists for a real ‘political revolution’

By Jon Queally / CommonDreams

The Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders has a hunch about the American electorate, but he says the only way to be sure is to go out and meet them.

It’s called the ‘Fight For Economic Justice Tour,’ but it’s really what the self-identified Social Democrat described earlier this year as his attempt to travel the country in order to gauge the country’s hunger for a grassroots ‘political revolution‘—couched in a possible presidential bid—to challenge the economic inequality and corporate malfeasance that have severely wounded the nation’s democracy and are strangling its promise of shared prosperity.

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What’s Shaking in Ocean Beach?

September 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for What’s Shaking in Ocean Beach?

What’s shaking in OB? Not an earthquake. But plenty of other things make the coastal village a happening place – especially in construction and new businesses.

On a recent tour of Ocean Beach, I discovered the following developments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEntryway Project Improvements

There’s lots happening at OB’s Entryway Project – at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Blvd and West Pt Loma Avenue. The project at the frontdoor of OB has a history of delay, so any momentum forward is certainly welcome.

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Obama Reneges on Using Executive Action to Implement Immigration Reform Until After Midterm Election

September 8, 2014 by Brent Beltran

San Diegans Speak Out Against the President’s Unwillingness to Help the Latino Community

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Latinos throughout the United States woke up yesterday morning to the news that President Obama had decided not to use his executive powers to push immigration reform forward until after the November election.

For months the President has said he would do whatever he could to implement reforms for millions of undocumented immigrants in the US. He kept the Latino community’s hopes up only to have those hopes crushed in an act of political cowardice.

The Deporter-in-Chief once again lets the Latino community down.

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The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce: Oppressed Underdog?

September 8, 2014 by Jim Miller

A Pathetic Attempt to Re-Write History

Jerry Sanders 7By Jim Miller

Recently UT-San Diego sat down with San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders for an interview so he could lay out the Chamber’s “new” aggressive political action plan.

During the course of the interview Sanders was steadfast in his insistence that the Chamber exists to respond to the mythic hegemony of labor in San Diego politics.

For instance, when discussing the perceived need for the recent referendums on affordable housing, the Barrio Logan plan, and the minimum wage and earned sick days ordinance he explained:

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City Government: Why Can’t We Run it Like a Business?

September 5, 2014 by Source

private public imagesBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Last time we met we figured out how San Diego was begotten. Now it’s time to unravel the purpose of city government and discover what’s it all about when you sort it out…

We’ll start the sorting process with a couple of facts.

Then we’ll go for the jackpot question: why can’t city government be run like a business?

First fact: city government deserves a lot more attention from you and me than it usually gets.

Why? because our elected officials have substantial influence on our everyday lives – more than we give them credit for.

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OB Planning Board Approves 3 Two-Story Residences on Abbott and Voltaire

September 4, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Approves 3 Two-Story Residences on Abbott and Voltaire

At last night’s meeting, the Ocean Beach Planning Board approved by a wide margin a new development at the intersection of Voltaire Street and Abbott Street. The development includes three 2-story houses with a modern “contemporary design”.

The Board also made two appointments – and now the OB Planning Board is at full strength with 14 Board members – the first time in many years.

The September 3rd monthly meeting of the Board was gaveled to order by Chair Pete Ruscitti. The first thing up was an agenda change and Rucitti did a mea culpa and had to remove Action Item # One – the “condo-ization” of the Quigley Complex at 5151 Long Branch Avenue, due to a noticing problem. It will be heard next month.

During the public comment time, Nicole Burgess got up before the Board and informed the room that there are “rumors” that the City is considering installing a Stop Sign at the corner of Newport and Abbott. Nicole said that a round-about would be better. She added that the City is looking into placing a round-about at the “terrible” intersection of West Pt Loma Avenue and Bacon Street. Burgess is the rep for District 2 on the City Bicycle Coalition.

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The Use and Abuse of the Transient Occupancy Tax

September 4, 2014 by Source

Latest Installment of Series “Who Runs San Diego?”

By Cory Briggs / A Project of the Democratic Woman’s Club

Womans Democratic LogoTOT – this small word may bring to mind a cute little child, a deep-fried mashed potato, or a dash of your favorite adult beverage. But in San Diego, TOT, an acronym for Transient Occupancy Tax, stands for missed opportunities, fiscal irresponsibility, and a shameful abrogation of civic responsibility to the moneyed interest of hoteliers.

The recent implosion of the convention center expansion and what I hope will be the legal rejection of its elder, uglier stepsister, the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) tax, are primers on how the people who run San Diego seek to use your money to line their pockets with the help of a complicit mayor and city council.

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The Fishiness of Mayor Kevin’s Tax Giveaway to Illumina Corporation

September 4, 2014 by Source

salmon-dnaBy John Lawrence

San Diego’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently signed a deal with Illumina Corporation that was supposedly designed to keep the corporation from jumping ship and landing in another state or jurisdiction.

The City of San Diego agreed to rebate $1.5 million in sales and use taxes. In return Illumina promised to keep a number of jobs in San Diego for the term of the agreement. But the deal the City has entered into with Illumina is fishy on several levels.

With revenue of just over $1 billion last year, Illumina sells machines that sequence the human genome. The company leases 6 buildings in San Diego totaling over 560,000 sq. ft. and currently has 1500 employees.

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Are These Residences Coming to Abbott the Right Project for OB?

September 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Are These Residences Coming to Abbott the Right Project for OB?

At tonight’s OB Planning Board meeting, the owner-applicant of a set of three, 2-story single family residences that he wishes to build on Abbott Street and Voltaire at their intersection will be looking for approval from the Board.

The OB Rag was given an artist’s rendition of the planned buildings – seen above. The plan is to construct them on that empty lot that has been there for decades, as the lot was recently sold.

OBceans need to study the images and determine whether these planned projects are the right thing for Ocean Beach – do they comply with the small-town character that is so cherished by village residents? Or do they contribute to the growing impulses of gentrification?

If you wish to study the images, the plans and blueprints more, and give your opinion, you need to attend tonight’s meeting at the OB Rec Center, at 6pm sharp.

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Fast Food Workers Set for Protest in San Diego and Across Nation on September 4th

September 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Fast Food Workers Set for Protest in San Diego and Across Nation on September 4th

By Doug Porter

San Diego is one of 100-plus cities targeted this Thursday as part of a nationwide protest of fast food restaurant workers aimed at low wages and working conditions.

Two new elements will be introduced into this latest round of protests, at least on a national level: acts of civil disobedience and a supportive presence by thousands of home-care workers joining the protests.

Workers are expected to strike at a dozen San Diego fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines, according to local organizers.

The Interfaith Center for Worker Justice of San Diego County has emailed supporters inviting them to “pray with our feet” beside Fast Food Workers on Thursday morning. The communique from the social justice advocacy group says they expect up to 500 supporters.

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Yes on Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014

September 3, 2014 by Ernie McCray

To end felony sentencing for drug possession and petty theft crimes

By Ernie McCray

I would like to invite readers to a Community Mobilization Meeting to hear what can be done to help pass Proposition 47 in November.

The meeting is on Thursday, September 4th

Sherman Heights Community Center
2258 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92102
RSVP to Margaret (

Yes on 47If “Yes on 47″ passes, California will be the first state to end felony sentencing for drug possession and petty theft crimes. This would permanently reduce incarcerations and shift one billion dollars, over the next five years, from state corrections to K-12 school programs and mental health and drug treatment. I love the sound of that. And it’s about time we get our minds off punishing people and focus on helping them become better human beings.

Details of the Act:

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San Diego’s Minimum Wage: Which Side Are You On?

September 3, 2014 by Anna Daniels

Wanted: A Living Wage – Video by Pete Segeer

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press


It is useful exercise to remind ourselves that the battle for an increased minimum wage/sick leave benefit in San Diego is not a new one. Peel back the right wing maker versus taker meme and you get Howard Zinn, placing today’s minimum wage struggle firmly in our collective history of bitter class conflict between the rich and the poor and working class.

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Unions and the Future of American Democracy

September 2, 2014 by Jim Miller

labor movementBy Jim Miller

Over the last year, the subject of economic inequality has been in the news quite a bit with the release of Robert Reich’s spectacular documentary Inequality for All and economist Thomas Piketty’s seminal work, Capital in the Twentieth Century. The picture they paint is a grim one and new bad numbers just keep rolling in.

For instance, a few weeks ago a Russell Sage Foundation study revealed that the wealth of the typical American household has dropped nearly 20 percent since 1984 and yet another study notes that private sector wages measured in real terms have dipped 16.2 percent since their 1972 high point. In the wake of that news, another US Census Bureau report came out showing that middle class household wealth fell by 35 percent between 2005 and 2011.

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OB Planning Board Wed., Sept 3: Quigley Complex for Condos and New Units on Abbott Empty Lot

September 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Wed., Sept 3: Quigley Complex for Condos and New Units on Abbott Empty Lot

Here is the official agenda – INSIDE – of the Ocean Beach Planning Board for their monthly meeting, this Wednesday, September 3rd. The Board meets in the community room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave., 6pm sharp. The Board will be looking at permits to convert residential units on Long Branch to condos and to allow the building of three one-bedroom units on Abbott.

Quigley Complex for Condos?

The Board has a couple of important action items on their agenda. First up is a permit and map waiver for the Quigley Complex at 5151 Long Branch. The current owner/developer Bateman wants to convert the 4 residential units in the unique building designed and built by well-known architect Rob Quigley back in the Seventies into 4 condos. (Quigley designed the new Central Library in downtown San Diego.) Bateman needs Board approval of his condo conversion plan.

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Niagara-Bacon Area Quickly Becoming OB’s New Hot Spot

August 22, 2014 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for Niagara-Bacon Area Quickly Becoming OB’s New Hot Spot

By Matthew Wood

Move over, Newport Avenue. There’s a new hot spot in Ocean Beach.

OK, nothing’s taking over for OB’s main drag in terms of businesses and foot traffic. But if you walk just a block south on Bacon Avenue, you might be surprised at the renaissance of business and shopping.

The long-perceived notion that the only businesses that can survive have to be on Newport is quickly diminishing. That’s evident with the addition of Bar 1502 – the new incarnate of the immensely popular OB Noodle House just eight or so blocks down – at the southeast corner of Bacon and Niagara. It now gives a solid restaurant option at each corner of that intersection, providing ample opportunities for businesses on the block to attract traffic.

“It’s awesome to see,” said Bar 1502 owner Steven Yeng, who passed up offers to open up shop on Newport. For him, the location is a personal dream come true, as it is just steps from his boyhood house.

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