Economy

Measure A: Mish Mash That Doesn’t Focus Enough on Climate Change

September 30, 2016 by John Lawrence

Measure A Doesn’t Do Enough to Get Cars Off the Road

By John Lawrence

Trolley (1)In a nutshell, Measure A is a something-for-everybody approach that doesn’t do enough to concentrate on climate change. A full on effort to get cars off the road and people onto public transit would do much more. That means more trolley and light rail lines paralleling major freeways.

Measure A brings up more questions than answers. It seems that the whole purpose of Measure A is just to do the same things that SANDAG has already been doing, but at a faster pace. They already duped the voters into a half-cent sales tax hike with TransNet, which is an ongoing pot of money. With it, SANDAG is supposed to be doing the right thing in terms of San Diego County infrastructure. The only reason they would need more money is to speed up the process of combatting global warming. This measure does not do that.

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Proposition 52 – Keep MediCal Funding Where It Belongs

September 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Back in the bad old days of the great recession, the California legislature diverted hundreds of millions in funding derived from a tax hospitals pay. The federal government kicks in matching funds for these taxes flowing back to the hospitals through MediCal, so it’s a sweet deal. Hospitals pay one dollar to get two back, more or less.

The recession is over, and the hospitals want their original deal back in place.

So they raised a boatload of money to put Proposition 52 before the voters. This is a “lockbox” measure, designed to give voters the opportunity to say that funds raised for or by a certain purpose must be spent in that general area as well.

This, proponents say, ensures California hospitals can continue to recover some of the money spent providing services to low-income patients. Unless the legislature renews this deal in 2017, a stable revenue stream and an estimated $4 billion in federal matching funds are at risk.

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The Ocean Beach Empire of Michael Mills

September 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

ob-mills-map-redstars-ed

Slumlord Owns 241 Housing Units in OB

Many OBceans struggle long and hard to earn the financial resources to purchase their one house, condo or apartment. Many never obtain enough to make the plunge into buying property in Ocean Beach. It is so expensive to buy a home here at the coast, that it’s prohibitive for most.

Not Michael Mills, the notorious slumlord of Ocean Beach.

Mills has a virtual empire in OB. He and his trusts own 241 homes, condos and apartments in the Ocean Beach area.

Imagine that. Two-hundred and forty-one units. And many of these units are within multi-unit apartments. Look at that map. See the list.

Back last June, we began the effort to document Mills’ properties in the community. On June 4th, a tenants’ rights rally was held in OB at the end of Newport. During the event, Mills’ name kept coming up. Here’s how we reported then:

On Saturday, June 4th, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

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The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

September 27, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

Editor: Yesterday, we posted an unequivocal statement by our regular columnist Jim Miller, who along with Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura, advocate progressives should not vote for Measure A. Today, we publish South OB Girl’s report of a debate on A at last Sunday’s Point Loma – OB Democratic Club event.

Gretchen Newsom and Anthony Montalvo discuss Measure A … and the Democrats (and Republicans) aren’t so sure about it

By South OB Girl

Let’s take a look at Measure A. Measure A proposes a plan for transportation infrastructure changes in our city.

The Republican Party of San Diego County and the San Diego County Democratic Party both agree on one thing – vote No on Measure A this November. BOTH parties are opposed to Measure A. Labor is divided and City Councilmember endorsement is also divided.

A presentation of both sides — “Yes on A” and “No on A” — occurred on Sunday Aug 25th, at the Point Loma-OB Democratic Club’s monthly meeting.

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Chargers Stadium Ballot Measure C — as In Chutzpa

September 22, 2016 by Doug Porter

This is a rendering. They have no actual plans drawn up.

By Doug Porter

There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.

Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.

Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3.

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American Consumption Shouldn’t Keep Economy Afloat

September 22, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

This is Part 2 of Buddhist Economics: Economics As If People Mattered. Part 1 can be found here.

Buddhist EconomicsThe Buddhist approach is that consumption is merely a means to human well-being. The aim should be to attain a maximum of well-being with a minimum of consumption.

It would also be considered salutary to produce much of what is needed for human well-being by one’s own hands rather than being a total participant in the cash economy. This is anathema to capitalist economists and bankers who thrive on interest from bank loans in order that consumers can purchase more stuff on borrowed money and go into more debt.

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Keeping San Diego Seafood Local

September 21, 2016 by Source

Seafood

Sustainable Seafood / Slow Food Urban San Diego

On August 24th, stakeholders of San Diego fisheries began meeting with Protea Waterfront Redevelopment about their plans to redevelop the Downtown waterfront. This meeting was important. That the fishing community is meeting at all with the likely developer may affect whether our local and sustainable seafood industry will persist, diminish or flourish in the redevelopment.

The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats.

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From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass – Part 1

September 19, 2016 by Jim Miller

mission-to-microchip-cover CaliforniaBy Jim Miller

In my Labor Day column , I gave a shout out to Fred Glass’s seminal new labor history of California, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement. As Glass notes in his introduction, his history of working people in the Golden State is much broader than a narrow chronicle of unions.

To learn more about this story and what about it is most important, I am pleased to present the first installment of my three-part interview with Fred Glass, author, teacher, union member, and long-time Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers.

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-September 2016

September 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-September 2016

OBcean Partners with National Geographic to Get Plastic Out of the Oceans

OB Home Broken Into and Robbed During Fumigation

Belching Beaver Opens

Azucar’s Owner Gets a Plug at San Diego Mag

R-Rated Puppet Show at OB Playhouse

Jensen’s in Point Loma: Hiring Fair and Block Party

Gretchen Newsom in the News and It Wasn’t About OB

AND MUCH MORE … COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES ABOUT OB AND PT LOMA

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Buddhist Economics: Economics as if People Mattered

September 15, 2016 by John Lawrence

Economics Should Be About People, Not About Wall Street

By John Lawrence

Buddhist EconomicsIn Buddhist economics there is the concept of “right livelihood.” Work is considered an essential component of human life just as play and leisure. Work of a craftsmanlike nature, work which is satisfying–not work that is stultifying, of an assembly-line nature. Work that nourishes the soul; this kind of work results in right livelihood.

By the same token, there is “right consumption.” This is as contrasted with the unlimited consumption advanced Western societies and pushed on their citizens through advertising and other means in order to have economic “growth” and to increase GDP.

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With No Contest in 4 San Diego Council Races, District 9 Matters

September 14, 2016 by Doug Porter

council

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

What was supposed to be an epic, high-dollar struggle for the partisan upper hand on the San Diego City Council never came to pass. Odd-numbered districts elect representatives in 2016, and Republicans were hoping to gain a majority on the theoretically non-partisan body.

Of the five City Council districts having primary contests in June, only one will have a meaningful contest for the general election. In three (3,5,& 7) of those districts, there won’t even be a choice on the November ballot.

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California Governor Signs Farmworker Overtime-Pay Bill

September 13, 2016 by Source

farmworker-handsBy Melody Gutierrez / SFGate / September 12, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will give farmworkers in California overtime after an eight-hour day, a move advocates say will right a decades-old injustice.

The bill, AB1066 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will give the people who work in California’s farm fields the same overtime rights that other workers were granted under federal law during the Great Depression. Gonzalez called it a “historic day” that was long overdue. “These workers are doing backbreaking work so that we can eat,” Gonzalez said. “The fact is, they are not treated fairly under the law and that’s wrong. This is a 78-year-old wrong, and there is nothing better than fixing that.”

The agriculture industry, business groups and Republican lawmakers said the bill will hurt farmers …

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Peninsula Beacon Reporter Responds to OB Rag Critique

September 9, 2016 by Source

Editor: We published our critique on September 7th of a nearly month-old Peninsula Beacon article about the homeless of Point Loma written by Dave Schwab. Here below is Dave Schwab’s response, which concludes with ideas we can certainly get behind.

By Dave Schwab

As a newspaper reporter, it is my job to be fair, impartial and objective. Just like Star Trek, there is a sort of non-interference directive involved there. Journalists are observers, not players participating.

The views of people quoted in stories we write are THEIRS, not necessarily ours. Just like there are lots of different types of homeless, from those who are totally victims of circumstances to those who are entirely responsible for how and where they are, i.e. serial inebriates.

There seemingly is a panhandler on every corner. Are all of these people truly down and out, or are they just doing this as an easy way to survive while avoiding working? I have heard police testify, from personal experience, that panhandlers are working in shifts on corners, spelling one another then sharing the proceeds at the end.

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On San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, the Peninsula Beacon Missed the Point

September 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for On San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, the Peninsula Beacon Missed the Point

Local Newspaper Sends Out Mixed Message About Homeless

About 3 weeks ago, August 17th was the “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” – a day set up by various media sources around San Diego to bring a new awareness of those less fortunate and who live on the streets and in the shelters.

And about 20 of San Diego’s media sources carried or ran or printed or published 40 or so articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets, and we both posted a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag. (For other articles from the publications on the homeless, visit the SD Homeless Aware website.)

Many of the articles and posts painted and reflected compassionate understandings of the homeless and their plight, with efforts to examine the underlying reasons for so many homeless in one of the richest nations on earth. This day of awareness followed – by a little over a month – a serial murderer who preyed on sleeping homeless men in San Diego.

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Happy Labor Day, California Style

September 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

Labor Day Cardiff Kook

By Jim Miller

Last year my Labor Day column, “Happy Labor Day?: The Jury is Out,” began by starkly pondering the potentially devastating effects a bad Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association ruling at the Supreme Court might have had not just on public sector unions but on the labor movement as a whole.

Later, in the same column, I looked more hopefully at the potential for organizing contingent workers, like those involved in the Fight for $15 movement.

The twelve months that followed that column brought good news for labor on multiple fronts. First, with the long, strange journey of the Friedrichs case that came to the Supreme Court with a good chance of passing before everything was turned upside down by Justice Scalia’s death, a 4-4 split decision that was a victory for unions, and finally the Court’s refusal to rehear the case.

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Will Governor Brown Do the Right Thing for Farmworkers?

September 2, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via WineWaterWatch.org

By Doug Porter

After two years and more than five thousand proposed laws, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, the current version of the California Legislature wrapped up its session in frenzied fashion.

Wednesday, August 31st saw more than one hundred bills up for consideration. Now it’s up to the Governor to say yea or nay on legislation affecting all aspects of life in California.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-80), who successfully shepherded 19 of 20 bills through the legislature this year, is leaving nothing up to chance with her hard-fought victory on AB 1066, gradually phasing in standards for farmerworker overtime.

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Illumina, Inc.: Wealth Creation – San Diego Style

August 30, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

black-hole-money1Around this time last year, the city of San Diego signed an Economic Development Assistance Agreement with Illumina, Inc.

It was approved on August 7th, 2015 as a “Consent Item” without pre-hearing noticing. The ten year deal included a promise to rebate $1.5 million in sales and use taxes in return for retaining “over 100 middle-wage manufacturing job opportunities” in San Diego.

SDFP editor Doug Porter wrote at the time:

Illumina is in the genomics business, and it is exactly the kind of company the city should be encouraging to put down roots and prosper here. This deal made by the Faulconer administration, however, is exactly the kind of governance the city doesn’t need.

So how is Illumina doing one year later? What has the public received in return for its largess?

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Women’s Equality Day – August 26

August 26, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Women’s Equality Day – August 26

From National Women’s History Project

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

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

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

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The Non-Death of the Drunken Man on the Library Plaza

August 24, 2016 by Source

Photo by h.koppdelaney By Micaela Porte

From a true event at the Pacific Beach Library
June 27, 2015, Saturday, 11 am
____________

The drunken man, his home under the acacia tree on the library plaza,
Last night, laid himself down to die after a few bottles.

Next morning around 11,
Al, the guard, noticed him,
And called Christina the Librarian,
Who called 911 and more,
Ran to get the defibrillator.

The Man was on his side, all grey
His clothes were grey,
His face was grey,
Sirens filled the air on their urgent way.

The brave Librarian, cell phone to ear, for CPR,
Pulled at the dead man’s shirt with thumb and finger,
His inanimate body to roll over.
His chest was grey, strangely inflated, but with no movement.

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Open Letter to Mayor and San Diego City Council from OB Town Council on Short Term Vacation Rentals

August 23, 2016 by Source

STVR image Aug016 ed2

RE: Short Term Vacation Rentals

Dear Mayor Faulconer and City Councilmembers:

The object of the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) is to express the will and represent the welfare of the OB community. The OBTC has hosted and held public meetings over the past year to gather community input as it relates to vacation rentals.

On February 9th 2016, the OBTC sent a letter to Councilmember Lori Zapf to formally respond to her short-term vacation rental (STVR) memorandum and to provide feedback from Ocean Beach on what a new STVR ordinance should encompass to protect our quality of life and community.

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The Day after San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 18, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Photo by Anne Haule

What has changed?

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Yesterday, August 17, twenty of San Diego’s media outlets participated in a focused effort to call attention to the tremendous human, financial and societal costs associated with homelessness in San Diego.

If we were writing about another country, we would be referring to the humanitarian crisis posed by a growing number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), but this is sunny San Diego.

It remains to be seen whether the well greased wheels of San Diego politics and commerce are altered in any way after yesterday’s concerted effort, but I can speak with some certainty about a few things that haven’t changed today.

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Why Do People Hate the Homeless?

August 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti-homeless-sticker-br-034-300x225By Doug Porter

They’ll say it’s the smell of excrement. Or the public intoxication. Or the aggressive panhandling. Or the intrusion on their public or private space.

People hate what they don’t understand. Lots of people translate their repulsion in hate.

Homeless people on the street are a stark reminder of the failure that could be lurking around the next corner in life. And in order to get along in life, the rest of us have to deny the possibility of becoming one of ‘them.’

All homeless people apparently lived great lives until they somehow fucked it up and ended up homeless. And “we” are better than that. Or so we think.

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When The Junkyard Is Home

August 17, 2016 by Source

29% of the San Ysidro student population is homeless, often living in motels and junkyards.

Reposted for Homeless Awareness Day.

By Barbara Zaragoza

Veronica MedinaVeronica Medina went from being an A student to an F student while at San Ysidro Middle School. It was right around the time that her parents split up. Her dad moved to Tijuana and her mom became addicted to drugs.

Medina spent many nights and weekends alone in an apartment, not knowing where her mother might be. At one point, her mother couldn’t pay rent and they ended up in a hotel.

For two years, Medina bounced back and forth between couch surfing with her mother and living with her grandmother.

That was back in the 1980s.

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San Diego Sandbags Efforts to Shelter Homeless People

August 17, 2016 by Source

City snubs California law for emergency shelters

By Jeeni Criscenzo

If the City of San Diego really wanted to solve the ever increasing problem of homelessness, they might be willing to try something more innovative than eliminating 98% of the areas previously designated as suitable for emergency shelter without a Conditional Use Permit.

I first became of aware of a map in the City of San Diego General Plan, Housing Element called Figure 1 Areas Suitable for Emergency Shelters – November 2006. Amikas, a non-profit I founded with four other homeless advocates in 2009 to work with homeless women and children with a focus on veteran women, was considering the Midway Post Office as a potential site for veteran housing. The map was required by California Senate Bill 2 (SB2) also known as the Cedillo Bill.

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Why Does Homelessness Persist in America’s Finest City?

August 17, 2016 by John Lawrence

Housing is Not a Human Right in the US

by Sandro Montefusco from il lavoro culturale, republished under a Creative Commons License

By John Lawrence

Why does homelessness persist in the world’s richest nation? The simple answer is that having a roof over one’s head is not a human right in this society.

Fortunate people, those with a home and a car and other assets will not vote to give others what they possess even on the most basic level. Article 25 of the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being ….

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We Need to Be Aware That the Homeless Are Human Beings

August 17, 2016 by Ernie McCray

ernie-mccray-at-blackBy Ernie McCray

When I heard that there would be a “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” my first thought was “Hooray” and then I thought about how “awareness” isn’t the problem.

I mean we know that there are folks who have no home, no place to stay, penniless, practically completely down and out.

We’ve heard over and over on the news about “rock gardens” being constructed on some streets where the homeless like to sleep; about the police destroying their encampments, places where they feel relatively safe trying to get a good night’s sleep.

We see them as we walk downtown, trying to act as though they’re not there, every now and then giving them a buck or two or buying them a whopper.

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We Can Do It Now! Tiny Home Demonstration part of San Diego Homeless Awareness Activities

August 17, 2016 by Source

Group of volunteers assembling a demonstration "tiny house"

Model Tiny Home Assembly and Viewing
Wednesday August 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM
North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave.

By Amikas

On August 17, in coordination with San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, a model “Tiny Home” will be assembled on site at the North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave. and will be available for photographs and viewing throughout the afternoon.

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August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 17, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

Today, August 17th, is San Diego Homeless Awareness Day. And many of San Diego’s media sources – about 20 – have pledged to carry, run, print, publish articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – has joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets.

To this end, we are posting a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag.

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

August 15, 2016 by Source

Mike Williams graphic

By Bell Donic, Staff Writer

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

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

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Another Landmark Sails Away as Local Restaurant Families Develop “Monopolies”

August 9, 2016 by Judi Curry

PL Red Sails Inn

Many of us have heard awhile ago about how Anthony’s Fish Grotto has to move out of their prime location along Harbor Drive by the end of 2016. What I hadn’t heard was that the property was taken over by the owners of the Brigantine restaurant network, the Morton family.

I became appalled when I heard this not too long ago – and I was even sitting at a window seat at the Grotto – and I honestly think that I could see the Brigantine on Shelter Island from that window.

Now just more recently, I have heard – and it’s verified by an employee – that the Red Sails Inn on Shelter Island is closing on August 31st and will be revamped and sold.

And guess who is buying it? Yeah, the same owners of the Brig.

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