Economy

News From Ocean Beach and the Peninsula

October 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Former Barnard School Site Readied for Massive Apartment Complex
The former site of Barnard Elementary School in the Midway area of Point Loma looks nothing like it used to. Instead, the area is being prepared for one of the most massive apartment complexes to be built in the area. …

Voltaire and Catalina Complex Towers Above the Intersection
The large development at the corner of Voltaire Street and Catalina Blvd is still being constructed, but the size of the complex is beginning to dawn on those who drive or walk by. …

Fight Near Dog Beach Results in 3 Sent to Hospital
A fight that went down in and around Dog Beach Parking lot on Monday, Sept 29, ended up with 3 people being sent to the hospital, reportedly with”stab wounds and blunt trauma injuries”. …

Suit Against Former Western Div Lt Natalie Stone and Others Settled for $225,000
On September 23rd, the San Diego City Council approved a $225,000 settlement that had involved a number of police officers, including former Western Division Lt Natalie Stone, being sued in a civil rights suit. …

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE …

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Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

October 1, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Editor: Condo conversions are once again before the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Are they a good thing for a community? Here, Marc Snelling does a comparison between the history of condo conversions in OB and San Diego with Canadian cities. Marc was a former member of the OB Planning Board and founding member of the OB Grassroots Organization. He currently lives outside Ottawa.

By Marc Snelling

Ten years ago San Diego was among the national leaders in condo conversions. Lack of City regulation combined with speculator greed resulted in a rate of condo conversions that threatened families and renters.

Condo conversion proponents invariably tout the supposed benefits of owner occupancy and the lower cost of a condominium versus a detached home for first-time buyers. They are also just as sure not to mention the inconvenient fact that renters need to be evicted to make a condo out of an apartment.

The owner-occupancy argument is dubious as many condo owners do not live in the properties but turn around and rent them at a higher rate.

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OB Planning Board Agenda for Oct. 1: Condos for 4700 Saratoga ?

September 30, 2014 by Staff
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets Wednesday night, October 1, at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The meeting starts right at 6pm.

The only action item on their agenda, below, is an application to convert two single family residences on the 4700 block of Saratoga Avenue into condos. This is done in the manner of a “tentative map” approval – which is the process to split one lot into two condo-ized lots.

The units up for consideration to becoming condominiums are located at 4725 and 4727 Saratoga. …

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Ocean Beach Restaurant Review : “Taika Sushi”

September 29, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Restaurant Review:
“Taika Sushi”
4953 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
619-221-1288
http://www.taikasushi.com/ menu-2

It is amazing to me that one block in Ocean Beach can support three Japanese restaurants. But that seems to be the case, with the newest, “Taika Sushi” filled to capacity Friday evening at 6:45pm. I had wanted to try the restaurant ever since it opened, and particularly after reading a review by [Reader writer] Mercy Baron but it just never happened. Until last night.

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Who Runs San Diego? Deals Like the One Proposed for Belmont Park Amount to a War on Taxpayers

September 29, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: The following is by C0uncilman Ed Harris, who further explains his position on the recent rejection by the San Diego City Council of a proposed lease for the operators of Belmont Park. See our earlier post about Harris’ position.

Guest column by Councilmember Ed Harris

Recently, the City Council was asked to grant an extension to the lease at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings, wanted the Council to approve a deal that would extend its current lease to 55 years. Pacifica has held the lease for two years.

After reviewing the proposed lease, I asked the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA) to determine whether it was consistent with best practices of other cities, and whether a longer-term lease would be in the City’s long-term economic interests.

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New Owner of OB Hostel Operates Two “USA Hostels”

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The new owner of the OB Hostel – Dr Hostels LLC – owns a company called “USA Hostels” which operates two well-known hostels. There’s one in San Francisco and one in Hollywood, in LA. The OB property makes it their third property.

We are assuming that the company – which was just incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Boulder City, Nevada, will open up an Ocean Beach USA Hostel.

USA Hostels San Franciso

Of the two hostels, USA owns, it seems at first look that their property at 711 Post Street in San Francisco is by far the more substantial. The 5 story building, built in 1907, has 123 rooms and 79 bathrooms including 36,780 square feet. The total assessed value of the entire property is near $8.5 million,

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OB Hostel Sold for $1.5 Million

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The rumors proved to be true: the OB International Hostel has been sold!

The iconic hostel – a former hotel – located at 4961 Newport Avenue right smack in the middle of downtown Ocean Beach – was sold to Dr Hostels LLC for $1.5 Million.

The two-story building was built in 1930 and includes 6,016-square-feet on a 7,000 square foot lot, with 28 rooms.

The seller, John C. Asher, trustee of the John C. Asher Trust, took back a first trust deed for $220,000, a second for $1,055,000 and a third for $405,000. Asher did this as Hostel Group, P.O. Box 33226, San Diego 92163.

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Reader Rant : ‘I watched the City Council debate on the Belmont Park lease and agree it’s not favorable to you and me.’

September 25, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader

It was interesting to watch the San Diego City Council meeting on the proposed lease for Belmont Park – last Monday, Sept. 22nd – to listen to who said what, how they said it and what they meant when they said it. Watch it for yourself.

For an oceanfront piece of property, the City of San Diego AKA you and me, has only collected annual rental income of $61,000 averaged. No, that number is not missing a zero! That’s $5,083 per month.

No matter who takes over the lease, the city is on the hook to pay for the repairs to the Plunge. Prior lessees were responsible for maintenance but that didn’t always happen and the city did little to enforce the terms of the lease and now the Plunge is a mess!

If Pacifica Enterprizes, the current lessee, does the repairs they get a rent credit.

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Peninsula Planners Protest “Portugal Place” Project

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Point Loma Planners Believe City Allowed Developer to Build Condo Complex Over 30 Foot Height Limit

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Did the developers pull a fast one – with the help of a compliant Development Services Department staff at City Hall – when they built a four-condo structure featuring three stories over semi-underground parking in Roseville?

The Peninsula Community Planning Board is sending a letter of protest to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, alleging the city allowed the developer to exceed the 30-feet height limit when they built condos named Portugal Place at 3102-3104 Avenida de Portugal and 1120-1122 Locust St.

The board approved the letter 12-0 at its monthly meeting Sept. 18 at the Point Loma/Hervey Library.

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Councilman Ed Harris: Why He Rejected the Proposed Lease for Belmont Park – “It’s Pathetic.”

September 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Harris: “We can’t keep giving away our assets to big business.”

Just got off the phone with Councilman Ed Harris – he represents OB, Mission Beach and the rest of District 2, of course.

He had a lot to say about the Belmont Park lease that the City Council just rejected on Monday. He knew that we’d been covering the issue. Today, the U-T ran an article on the rejection, tacking in favor of the current managers, it seemed. Harris wanted to set the record straight.

Harris, you see, led a Council majority yesterday in rejecting the proposed new lease for Pacifica Enterprises because the cut the City is getting is not fair. All the Democrats followed his lead (Emerald was out) and are having the issue return to the Council in 60 days. The Republicans all voted to renew the current lease.

“We have to take in the big picture,” Harris told me. “We can’t keep giving away our assets to big business,” he said.

The deal that the City of San Diego has in the current lease for Belmont Park is not fair, he said in so many words.

“The City has received $1.6 Million dollars in 26 years – that’s only $5,000 a month,” he said. “It’s pathetic.”

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Annual Fundraising at Pancake Breakfast Scores Big for OB Town Council

September 22, 2014 by Source
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Overcast skies didn’t appear to keep anyone away from the beach on Saturday morning, as hundreds of locals descended on the Ocean Beach Pier for the OB Town Council’s annual pancake breakfast.

The cooler temperatures may have even helped turnout, providing a respite from the seemingly never-ending heat wave that’s pummeled the county, as lines formed early and stayed strong through the morning, with Council volunteers hustling to serve a crowd of the hungry and civic-minded. Workers fought to stay cool inside the Walk On Water Café near the end of the pier, with the kitchen operating at full capacity and three extra griddles fired up to assist in pancake production.

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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
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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

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

This 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

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS…

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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
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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
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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
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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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