Economy

Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

January 17, 2017 by Source
Thumbnail image for Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

By Carlos Batara

As the new year dawns, most of us need to reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively.

Unfortunately, far too many of those active in immigration circles are caught in the “feel sorry for myself” moment. With a new president, one who has articulated strong law enforcement measures, about to take office, the “doom and gloom” sentiments of immigrants and their advocates are deafening.

Yet, stop for a moment and reflect back to 2009 and 2013. What has really changed in immigration law since that time? In the majority of cases, my office helps immigrants under the same rules that existed back then.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Trump’s Goldman Sachs Connections

January 13, 2017 by John Lawrence

Restocking the Swamp

By John Lawrence

Treasury DepartmentTrump’s new pick for Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, his top campaign fundraiser, was a Goldman Sachs executive. Mnuchin spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs where he became a partner.

He also worked for hedge fund manager George Soros, founded a hedge fund of his own and was the lead investor in IndyMac, a failed subprime lender that turned into a “foreclosure machine” during the housing crisis.

Read the full article → 0 comments

City Attorney Targets High-End Restaurants in Ocean Beach and Point Loma for Adding Surcharges

January 12, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

We’ve been following the developing story of how the new San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott, is targeting high-end restaurants for adding illegal surcharges to customers’ bills – or misrepresenting the additions – all due to the January 1st increase in the minimum wage within the city.

A number of these restaurants are located in the Ocean Beach and Point Loma communities, as they are part of larger chains. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that –

“restaurant industry officials … estimated that about 30 local operators are adding surcharges of about 3 percent to bills in response to the minimum wage hike. They include … the Brigantine chain [and] Cohn Restaurant Group….”

Read the full article → 11 comments

Homeless Advocates Plan Response Tonight To Mayor Faulconer’s 2017 State Of The City Address

January 12, 2017 by Source

By Women Occupy San Diego

Press Conference & Performance by the Voices of Our City Choir
THURSDAY, January 12, 2017, about 7:30-8:30pm (following Mayor’s State of the City)
Horton Plaza Park (Near 4th & E/across from the Balboa Theater)

After attending the Mayor’s 2017 State of the City address at the Balboa Theater, Women Occupy San Diego, Voices of Our City Choir and other concerned San Diegans will gather nearby to share reactions to what he proposes as solutions to homelessness.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Opinion: Five Reasons Why We Must Build a New Chargers’ Stadium

January 11, 2017 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Let’s cut to the chase. San Diego must have a new football stadium for five good reasons.

1. We have already solved the problem of homelessness.

The mayor has made it his priority this year; so that is fixed. Forget that the official count of those on the streets is now 8,700 — an increase of almost 3 percent from last year.

The city can and does just move them out of sight (so if you can’t see them, they don’t exist). Move them from downtown to Hillcrest. From Mission Hills canyons to the bridges and overhangs near Fuller Liquor and along the San Diego River. Ocean Beach doesn’t count because everyone there looks almost homeless.

No need to waste precious money on the homeless. Build a stadium. Let the homeless sleep in the old one.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Big Questions Loom for Local San Diego Labor in 2017

January 10, 2017 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

2017 awaits us fierce as a tiger with major assaults looming on multiple fronts. As I have written here quite recently, it is not an overstatement to say that we face existential threats . With so many things to worry about in the near future, what should labor and progressives be focusing on in anticipation of the coming storm?

Let me start by saying that our first order of business should definitely not be whether you are with or against the imperiled San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council President.

Read the full article → 0 comments

War on the Poor Starts Soon

January 6, 2017 by John Lawrence

Seal of the U.S. Office of Management and BudgetBy John Lawrence

The Safety Net Will Soon be in Shreds

The Trump administration will take over in a couple weeks. Essential benefits for tens of millions of low-and moderate-income Americans are in danger of being phased out or canceled immediately.

These include the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid health-insurance program for the poor and further reduction of already squeezed funding for scores of other important programs serving the most vulnerable Americans such as rental vouchers for low-income families, programs to fight homelessness, job training, funding for poor school districts, Head Start for young children and Pell grants to help low-income students afford college.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Just Say No! to Minimum Wage Surcharge on Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurant Bills

January 5, 2017 by Source

By John Loughlin

Restaurateurs make a political statement by adding a surcharge to ‘cover’ the cost of paying the poorest workers a higher wage.

The Union-Tribune article helpfully provides a list of restaurants to boycott as well as some to support.

Back in May 2016, David Cohn speaking at a CREW event:

“It is so easy to vote for that [minimum wage] increase, but it is going to really raise your cost of entertainment and spark a new round of inflation that we haven’t seen since the 1970s.”

He was reported as predicting that the results could lead to menu prices increasing a minimum of 30% over the next few years. From Jan 1, 2017 the Cohn Restaurant Group is adding a 3% surcharge to cover ‘mandated’ cost increases.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Why Don’t OB and San Diego Restaurants Add ‘Free Market’ Surcharges to Customer Bills?

January 5, 2017 by Anna Daniels

High-end Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurants Poised to Add Surcharge for “government mandated” Costs to Business

By Anna Daniels

Over the past ten years consumers have absorbed higher costs at the check-out counter for all manner of goods. Remember when gasoline costs spiked and affected more than gas at the pump?

Everything from the potted plants at the local nursery to grocery items reflected an attendant price increase. Remember when the cost of coffee went up? What about the shortage of cheese and how that was reflected in higher consumer costs?

These consumer cost increases reflect everything from volatility in the commodity market to shortages caused by natural disasters to price fixing. We weren’t handed restaurant checks or grocery bills with a surcharge added for “free market” or “act of god” or “corporate greed.”

So why are some San Diego restaurants considering a surcharge on bills to cover the most recent “government mandated” wage hike which raises the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour?

Read the full article → 3 comments

The Obstacles to Navigating San Diego’s Housing Crunch

December 30, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Obstacles to Navigating San Diego’s Housing Crunch

By David Jackson / San Diego UrbDeZine

A Population Boom and a Housing Crunch. Rising prices and short supply are making it increasingly difficult to pay the rent in San Diego. If you’ve attempted to search for a place to rent in San Diego you’ve probably encountered more than a few roadblocks and had your fair share of frustrations. The challenges multiply if you’ve tried to find something affordable anywhere near where you work.

Housing prices have soared over the last several years to the delight of homeowners and landlords, but to the dismay of renters, especially those with lower incomes. The effects are being felt most directly by low income residents and millennials. New low income housing is needed in the short term with further developments in the coming years to prevent the city’s housing crisis from turning into an economic one.

A study by the London Group published by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce highlights one of the root causes for the housing shortfall, a lack of new building permits being issued in San Diego County.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Left Behind: Myrtle Cole’s Committee Appointments and Neighborhoods South of 8

December 30, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Myrtle Cole

San Diego City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole’s contentious election as Council president last week culminated with her appointments to the various City Council committees.

Few of us know that these committees exist or what they do, but by the time issues are brought before the full City Council for legislative action they have been discussed and pretty much finalized in a committee.

Cole’s appointments to the Public Services and Livable Neighborhood (PS&L) committee denies a seat at the table for those of us who live in communities south of 8. Her selection of Council members Chris Cate (chair), Lorie Zapf (vice chair), Barbary Bry, and Chris Ward is enraging, deeply concerning and unacceptable. Here’s what PS&L does:

Read the full article → 1 comment

The Top 15 Stories from Ocean Beach and Point Loma for 2016

December 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

It’s that time of the year when media and press outfits turn reflective and ponder the “best” or “most important” stories they’ve published over the last 12 months. We’ve done something similar here after reviewing our archives from 2016, and have come up what we think are the “top stories” from OB and Point Loma for the year.

The “stories” are really news, photos, analysis and opinions about real issues within the communities of the Peninsula, a number of which have continued from last year. So, here they are, the top 15 stories – not in any precise order, but in some kind of semblance of importance, with the mostest at the beginning

1. Short Term Vacation Rentals

Definitely a hold-over issue from 2015, short term vacation rentals continue to spark an invigorated opposition from coastal communities – including OB. The loss of community that vacation rentals pose for Ocean Beach and other beach communities was explored here in The Loss of Community .

Read the full article → 6 comments

The Report of OB Rancho’s Death Is an Exaggeration – Now Due to Re-open in February

December 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Report of OB Rancho’s Death Is an Exaggeration – Now Due to Re-open in February

There’s been lots of rumors and reports of the closing of Rancho’s in Ocean Beach – the well-loved veggie Mexican restaurant on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

Eater San Diego went as far as including the closing of OB’s Ranchos on its list of “The Saddest Restaurant Closures of 2016”. The food blog quoted Troy Johnson of San Diego Magazine:

Rancho’s in Ocean Beach. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly Mexican food that had been a staple for the community for 30 years. Salsa that renewed my faith in life. Its closing is a sure sign of the Armageddon and bistrofication of San Diego’s last affordable beach town. Hopefully Cheesecake Factory will take its place so that I can finally throw myself off Sunset Cliffs with confidence.

Well, the OB Rag can now report – with some confidence – and paraphrasing Mark Twain’s famous quote,- that –

… the report of Rancho’s death is an exaggeration.

Read the full article → 12 comments

A Call for Mayor Faulconer to Halt San Diego’s Confiscation of Blankets and Tents of the Homeless

December 23, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Editor:We received a report of police confiscating the blankets of OB homeless at the beach, we commented recently about Park and Rec crews removing homeless sleeping material from a tree in Robb Field, and below is a post by Anna Daniels who lives in City Heights with an accompanying video of trash workers removing tents and belongings of homeless. (If you cannot view the video, go to the original store at San Diego Free Press.)

Finally, at the end of the article is a petition being circulated calling upon Mayor Faulconer to confront the nightmare of homelessness. They are demanding Emergency Humanitarian Action to stop criminalizing homeless people in San Diego. It would be very Christian of him.

Did You Wake Up this AM in a Warm Home? Thousands of San Diegans Didn’t

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The first of two storms expected to move through the San Diego region this week arrived last night with steady moderate rainfall here in City Heights. It was sixty degrees on the porch at 6:00 am this morning. The cats had taken shelter there and were curled up in loosely strewn bedding. I was still bed warm and savoring the first cup of coffee. Then I remembered this:

Read the full article → 6 comments

Why Privatizers Look Forward to 2017

December 22, 2016 by Source

Earth excavator

By Donald Cohen / Capital & Main

“We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks.”

That’s what Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist and cofounder of the website Breitbart, said a few weeks ago about Trump’s plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure.

That pretty much fits with what we know so far. Trump wants to “invest” $1 trillion in fixing and building roads, bridges, water pipes and other infrastructure. But by “invest” he means using massive tax breaks to convince private investors to spend the money.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Oklahoma Residents Taking Action Against Frackers But Is It To No Avail?

December 21, 2016 by John Lawrence

FrackersEarthquake Capital of US

By John Lawrence

We have written previously about the fact that Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of the US. It seems forcing all the waste products from fracking down deep wells has disturbed the earth enough to cause a lot of earthquakes there.

In addition to jolting the nerves of Oklahomans, it is destroying their property. In 2014, there were over twice as many earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma as in California, making Oklahoma the most seismically active state in the contiguous United States by a substantial margin.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Air Politics (Or Is It Just Gas?)

December 16, 2016 by Source

By Bob Dorn /San Diego Free Press

Because America fell to a fascist coup d’etat only a few weeks ago it’s not too early to talk about how it happened.

First and above all others, the Democratic Party was a necessary player in this debacle. Loyalists will be outraged seeing that in print. After all, they’ll say, we need now more than ever to grow more united, to bond again as Democrats because… stronger together.

But that mother-loving phrase failed, didn’t it? It was empty of substance, like so many others the Dems put up. No one bought it.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Trump’s Cabinet Picks: A Basket of Deplorables

December 15, 2016 by John Lawrence

Trump's Cabinet PicksA Secy of Labor Who Doesn’t Believe in the Minimum Wage

By John Lawrence

Trump has chosen fast food executive Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor. Puzder is chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the corporation that owns Hardee’s and Carls Jr fast food chains.

The corporation has 3300 locations in 42 states and 28 countries. Puzder has advocated replacing human beings with machines in fast food restaurants.

He famously said, “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Read the full article → 1 comment

San Diego City Council, Day One: New Faces, Old Politics

December 14, 2016 by Doug Porter

san-diego-city-council-chambersBy Doug Porter

Love rescue me, come forth and speak to me,” lyrics from a Bob Dylan/U2 song, echoed across Horton Plaza as current and newly-elected city officials, including the mayor, city council and city attorney, streamed into the Balboa Theater on Monday, Dec. 12th.

The Voices of Our City Choir, most of whom are homeless, were there serving as a reminder of the inhumane practices that are the end result of years of neglect, greed, and incompetence in local government.

Speakers at the People’s Inaugural, representing the voices of the dispossessed and downtrodden, called out for Emergency Humanitarian Action, urging the Mayor to suspend the ticketing, arrest of, and stay away orders for unsheltered homeless San Diegans.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Ocean Beach’s Largest Landlord Adds 10 More Units to Empire – Immediately Raises Rents

December 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

ob-mills-voltaire-4876-2

Michael Mills Buys Complex of Studios on Voltaire – Immediately Notifies Tenants of 20% Rent Raise

The largest landowner – landlord in Ocean Beach, Michael Mills, just purchased a complex of 10 studios on Voltaire Street – and immediately notified the tenants of a rent raise.

Mills can now add this property to his OB empire – an empire that the OB Rag has been chronicling – which we calculate at 241 units within Ocean Beach – not including this most recent purchase.

The 2-story, cream-colored older complex at 4876 Voltaire, has 10 units – all studios. All the tenants were notified of a rent raise by fliers – a rent raise that is a 20% increase. The studios were being rented for $870, and the new rent will be $1,050.

Read the full article → 8 comments

OB Swamped with “MamaBear’s” Graffiti and Paint in the Tidepools

December 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

ob-mama-bear-othervandal-paint

Seems the Village of Ocean Beach has been swamped lately – between someone dumping gallons of paint near the tide pools and a homeless woman named “Mama Bear” covering lots of surfaces with a black marker pen.

10News did a pair of news stories Tuesday, one about the paint dump and the other about “Mama Bear”.

One of the members of the OB Graffiti Task Force, Kevin Hastings, was asked about the mess so close to the ocean and precious pools of life:

Read the full article → 5 comments

Take Your Football Stadium and Shove It, Mr. Spanos!

December 8, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Take Your Football Stadium and Shove It, Mr. Spanos!

By Doug Porter

These are extraordinary times, and for a passionate progressive like myself, it’s hard to look away from the Basket of Deplorables being assembled to run the country’s executive branch.

But for today we need to discuss something both local and deplorable. Another hair-brained idea to build a downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers is making the rounds, coming out of a Wednesday sit-down between Mayor Kevin Faulconer and team owners Dean Spanos.

After getting his ass handed to him at the ballot box in 2016 (56% voted No on a stadium measure requiring two-thirds approval), Spanos is counting on a future court ruling lowering the threshold to a simple majority, and on Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s desire to have the Los Angeles market all to himself.

Read the full article → 0 comments

News of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early December 2016

December 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

ob-ace-foto-windybeach-11-2-15

* Rancho’s to Re-Open in 6 Weeks

* Synthetic Turf Coming to Robb Field?
* Jensens looks on track to open for the holidays
* Former O’Bistro’s Will Not Be a Cowboy Bar Afterall
* House Fire on Newport Avenue Displaces Family of 4 and Pets
* OB House Produces Food and Energy
* Irish Relay Run Ends at The Harp on Sat.
* Point Loma Homes Open for Christmas Tours
* Pizza Port Family History
* Jungle Java Changes
* Local Surfboard Maker Pioneer in Upcycled Boards
* Point Loma Nazarene Takes Top Score in Academic Success

Read the full article → 6 comments

Trump Reneging on His Campaign Promises to Voters

December 1, 2016 by John Lawrence

His Supporters Have Been Snookered!

By John Lawrence

Trump Reneging In a 60 Minutes interview with Leslie Stahl, Trump back pedaled on his major campaign promises and a lot else. When asked what his sit-down with President Obama was like he replied,

“I found him [President Obama] to be terrific. I found him to be– very smart and very nice.Great sense of humor, as much as you can have a sense of humor talking about tough subjects, but we were talking about some pretty tough subjects.”

So no more questions about his legitimacy to be President? No more wondering whether he was born in Kenya? I guess not now that he, Trump, is a member of the club.

Read the full article → 6 comments

The Internet of Things: Asking for Trouble

November 29, 2016 by John Lawrence

A Hacker’s Wet Dream

By John Lawrence

Internet of ThingsHackers are licking their chops over the latest push by high tech corporations including San Diego’s Qualcomm to create an Internet of Things in which everything is hooked up to the internet: your refrigerator, your thermostat, your security system, your car.

It will be a hacker’s paradise. Already hackers have carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) taking Netflix, Twitter, Paypal and other major websites off the air. Hackers were able to direct an overwhelming amount of traffic to a company by the name of Dyn which acts as a switching hub for internet traffic.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Justice Can’t Wait – Rally and March Downtown San Diego – Tues. Nov. 29th

November 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

justice-cant-wait-2-edjustice-cant-wait-1

The Nov.29th Justice Can’t Wait rally and march in downtown San Diego is on for Tuesday, November 29th, from 5 pm to 7:30pm.

From one of several facebook pages on the event, we find:

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego’s Unmet Housing Needs of 32,275 Units

November 28, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following is an opinion piece by the Rev. Richard Lawrence, a retired civil rights leader and an affordable housing advocate. It was first posted at San Diego Free Press

unmet housing needs in San DiegoBy Rev. Richard Lawrence

It is a huge mistake for the Union Tribune to throw rocks at the glass house in Sacramento, as it has recently done, while ignoring our local shrine of good government.

Somehow, the City of San Diego was able to dissolve the “State of Emergency due to a Severe Shortage of Affordable Housing” without having taken any substantial actions of any kind—most specifically ignoring the Affordable Housing Task Force (AHTF) Report of 2003.

Read the full article → 7 comments

From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass. Part 3

November 28, 2016 by Jim Miller

California LaborBy Jim Miller

It seems like a million years ago now, but back 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:

California labor history doesn’t begin and end with union membership. Forming and maintaining unions is one part of a broader story, …

Read the full article → 0 comments

Willie’s Shoe Shine in Ocean Beach Has to Either Be Sold or Moved Now – And Why

November 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Willie’s Shoe Shine in Ocean Beach Has to Either Be Sold or Moved Now – And Why

Willie’s Shoe Shine building along Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach has been forced out of its location by the new landlord. He must either sell the building or have it moved by this Wednesday, November 23rd – the day before Thanksgiving. Reportedly, he wants to sell it for $1,000. (As to why he has to move, see below for some background.)

Willie – the only African-American businessperson on Newport – has been doing business on OB’s main commercial street for nearly 50 years – first as an employee of a shoe repair shop on Newport and then later as the proprietor of his own “shop” at the corner of Newport and Cable.

Everybody knows Willie. And so, OB’s social media blew up this weekend with news that he was being forced out.

Many saw this coming. As the OB Rag reported last August:

Read the full article → 22 comments

Tripping Down Newport Ave in Ocean Beach – What’s New?

November 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By Frank Gormlie

Every so often, the OB Rag publishes an update on what’s been happening on Newport Avenue, the main commercial street in Ocean Beach. What new businesses have opened up – and what places have closed down. The following is what we found, tripping down the Ave on Wednesday, November 16th.

New Velvet Hair Lounge

Barely 2 months since it’s been open, the Velvet Hair Lounge offers a bright, very clean-looking hair-cutting shop, sandwiched next to Stuff to Puff and the tire business on the corner of Newport and Cable Street. …

Not Much Happening at OBBean

Not too far away, the future OBBean store is still closed up, and no progress apparently can be seen from its outward front.

New Acupuncture and Massage Place Soon to Open

On the bright side, there is a new acupuncture and massage storefront which looks about to open its doors, where the old videogame store was.

Read the full article → 2 comments