Economy

News of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early December 2016

December 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Rancho’s to Re-Open in 6 Weeks

Good news for OBcean organic Mexican food consumers. Our own Judi Curry reports that according to Hugo, who was the manager of the restaurant, Ranchos will re-open in the same location in about six 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

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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.

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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.

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

November 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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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:

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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.

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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, …

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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:

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

November 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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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.

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The Night that Democracy Died in America

November 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Night that Democracy Died in America

Sometime after 2 a.m. eastern standard time – in the middle of the late night, Hillary Clinton – who won the popular vote for President – phoned Donald Trump and made her concession. He had won the electoral vote.

In an historic rebellion of the white, working-class, half of American voters used democratic means to elect a man who does not understand the Constitution, who does not respect the Bill of Rights, and who does not believe in democracy.

It is an irony, then, that a radical regime was voted into power that represents the greatest threat in 40 years to what is left of American democracy. Words do matter. With the threats and promises made by our new President-elect over the course of the last year and a half, it’s clear that not since the time of Richard Nixon have the civil rights of Americans been so openly splayed out on the chopping block as they are now – or will be in a few months.

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San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide

November 7, 2016 by Staff

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The editors of the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are pleased to present our 2016 General Election Progressive Voter Guide.

We believe this is a historic election, one that will set the course of the United States for decades to come. If there ever was an election where voting was important — this is it.

The candidacy of Donald Trump is no accident. It is a consequence of decades of building a constituency for a market-driven political economy by capitalizing on fear, bias, and ignorance.

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West Point Loma Apartments Sell for $2.15 Million

November 7, 2016 by Staff

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Lou Hirsh at the San Diego Business Journal reported that an 8-unit apartment complex at 4774 West Point Loma Blvd just sold for $2.15 million. The large building sits on a busy street, right next to a gas station at arguably OB’s busiest intersection.

The complex was sold by Marsha Swanson of San Diego, who reportedly is its original owner, and who recently did some exterior renovations. The buyers were Neel Pujara of Carlsbad and Green Storm LLC of La Palma.

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San Diego Poised to Act on Short Term Vacation Rentals

October 24, 2016 by Staff

stvr-image-aug016-ed2Residents of the coastal neighborhoods who have been fighting short term vacation rentals (STVRs) are happy right now – relatively speaking – as it appears that the City of San Diego is finally posed to act on them.

One of the key organizations in this fight is Save San Diego Neighborhoods, and they are trying to mobilize their supporters for two critical meetings coming up, October 25th and November 1st.

From SSDN website:

First, on Tuesday, October 25, the Community Planners Committee (CPC) meeting will host City Council President Sherri Lightner. The CPC meets from 7 to 9 pm. at the Metropolitan Op. Ctr. II Auditorium, 9192 Topaz Way, San Diego.

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The Financialization of America: Wall Street Doesn’t Help Homeless

October 21, 2016 by John Lawrence

MoneyThe Business of America is No Longer Business — It’s Finance

By John Lawrence

The rich today are making money not from making things, but by manipulating money. This is being done in such a way that it is driving the inequality process. It is ruining the middle class while exporting their jobs.

The tax structure of the US engineered by Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan and their Republican followers has incentivized the creation of great wealth in a few hands while driving the majority of people into poverty.

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Make the Convention Center Better, Not Bigger

October 20, 2016 by Source

convention center

By David McCullough / UrbDeZine

Earlier this year, a hosted panel of local decision makers was brought together to discuss future of San Diego. Much of the conversation was around the convention center expansion.

If you’ve been following the local news, you’ve noticed much of the dialog is about the benefits of a larger meeting space.

The conversation is often about the need for more space to keep Comic-Con in San Diego or the heavy regional impact, the tax revenues, or the attention it all brings to our city. At the end of the panel discussion, a younger, seemingly naive gentleman stood up to ask a question. The question was, “Why do we need a larger convention center when it seems vacant for most of the year?”

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Avoiding Privatization’s Slippery Slide

October 14, 2016 by Source

Second graders on the first day of school

By Donald Cohen / Capital & Main

Last Wednesday was a big day for In the Public Interest. We released one of our longest and most wide-ranging reports, How Privatization Is Increasing Inequality.

The report describes how the privatization of public goods and services disproportionately impacts poor individuals and families, and people of color. It pulls together issues that at a glance appear unrelated—like private prisons, charter schools and privatized water—to show that handing control of such things as education and infrastructure to the private sector is fueling an increasingly unequal society.

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OB Needs to Have a Discussion About What it Means for So Much of OB to Be Concentrated in the Hands of So Few

October 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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A bunch of us at the OB Rag feel that Ocean Beach needs to have a conversation, a discussion – let’s say – about what it means to have so much of Ocean Beach concentrated in the hands of so few people.

We recently published The Ocean Beach Empire of Michael Mills, about how one man and his trusts owned 241 units in OB.

Looking at things one way – if there are 2-3 people living behind each one of those 241 doors, that’s between 480 to 720 people. If the total population of OB something like 12,000, that would put something like 1 out of every 16 to 25 residents in a Mills building.

What does that mean? What are the consequences of that?

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The How of Trump’s Little-to-No Personal Tax Payments

October 11, 2016 by Source

By Frank Thomas

taxeesIn recognition of Trump’s extremely complicated tax situation, James Stewart in a recent NY Times article asked him to just simply submit ten numbers – adjusted gross income and actual federal taxes paid over his last 5 year returns.

That seems a simple request for Trump to respect. But the legally allowed complex tax concessions given to real estate developers complicates making judgments about Trump’s moral business integrity and obligation to expose his returns.

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SANDAG vs. Clairemont Over Empty Lot Near Future Trolley Station

October 10, 2016 by Source

clairemont-raise-the-balloon

An empty lot on Clairemont Drive in Bay Park is at the center of a lot of debate.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is considering using eminent domain to take over the private property for public use. It needs the property as a staging area while it builds a new trolley station. Then, the plan is to use the land for a park and ride.
By Jim LaMattery

The question was asked at the “Choose or Snooze” event on October 1st, “Why doesn’t the Board of Directors of SANDAG want to work with Protea Properties in developing the Vacant Lot?”

Rory Devine of NBC Channel 7 News asked me the same question. Julie Stalmer, while preparing her article for the Reader, asked me the same question.

Allow me, for the moment, to put on my my “real estate broker” hat. In my opinion, the reason for the Closed Session vote to continue eminent domain action against the new owner of the lot, Protea, is very clear.

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Today Is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s Occupy Wall Street Movement

October 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Today Is the 5th Anniversary of San Diego’s Occupy Wall Street Movement

On October 7th, 2011 – a long 5 years ago – the Occupy Wallstreet movement burst upon the San Diego scene.

Upwards of 4,000 demonstrators marched through downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District, rallied at Civic Center Plaza at City Hall – renamed “Freedom Square” for awhile -, and then returned to Children’s Park – all the while protesting the inequalities of the American economy. A tent encampment was set up – which moved the very next day to the plaza at City Hall.

It was on that October 7th that San Diego had very visibly and demonstrably joined the nation-wide movement – then a world-wide movement – against the disparities of the financial system. Local activists had been meeting for a couple of weeks and had planned the large protest.

The numbers of San Diegans who turned out was stunning – on October 7th, 2011, I was there, see my full account : :

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Props 59 and 60 – Dirty Money and Filthy Sex

October 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

Props 59 & 60

Why are these measures even on the ballot?

By Doug Porter

The Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People.” It doesn’t say “We the Corporations” or “We the Fat Cats.”

I get it. Every person who believes in our representative democracy should be appalled by the Supreme Court (Citizen’s United) decision giving corporate entities the power to fund elections thru super-Pacs under the guise of “free speech.” This needs to change.

Proposition 59 asks California’s elected officials to work to overturn Citizens United, through supporting a constitutional amendment or other means. And if they don’t like what Prop 59 asks them to do, that’s okay, because it’s simply advisory in nature. Since it’s on the ballot and because I’m personally repulsed by the notion of living in an oligarchy, I’ll vote yes.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early October 2016

October 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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….OB’s First EV Charging Station Under Construction

….The Joint Moves Its Fence

….Rumors About 7-Eleven

….Ocean Beach Town Council Board Election Results….Kilowatt Brewing Still Under Construction

… Former Shades Being Scrapped

. …Status of Jensen’s Move into Old Fresh & Easy

COME INSIDE FOR STORIES

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One Giant Victory for Mankind Cooperative … Narcotics Task Force, Not So Much

October 3, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access /October 3, 2016

On Thursday, September 29th, a permitted cannabis co-op operator – who was raided by the Narcotic Task Force Team 9 seven days after permitting – braved the downtown police station in order to retrieve the thousands of dollars worth of medicinal cannabis products illegally snatched by Team 9. A local NBC camera and Daily Dab TV were there to document the transaction.

Mankind Cooperative’s products were confiscated in June of last year as one of the co-op principles, 41 year old Ebon Johnson was operating a delivery service for qualified patients from his home. Tenant improvements were being made to Mankind’s retail location on Miramar Road and the Co-op was serving its patients with a home delivery service

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From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass. Part 2

October 3, 2016 by Jim Miller

California Labor

Here’s Part 1

By 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 second 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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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.

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The Ocean Beach Empire of Michael Mills

September 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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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.

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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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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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