Economy

Unions and the Future of American Democracy

September 2, 2014 by Jim Miller

labor movementBy Jim Miller

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

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

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

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

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

Quigley Complex for Condos?

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

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

August 22, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

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

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

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

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

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San Diego Program Forces Welfare Applicants to Be Subject to Un-Announced DA Searches

August 21, 2014 by Source

P100 1

How San Diego’s P100 Program Screwed Diego and Anna

Part 2 in a Series – [Here's Part 1]

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

San Diego’s Project 100 (P100) program involves intrusive, invasive home searches by law enforcement officials from the DA’s office for everyone that applies for welfare benefits.

These searches are unannounced and the potential welfare beneficiary must be at home whenever the investigator chooses to come or else they will be denied benefits. This makes it difficult for someone who has even a part time job.

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New Online Journal Asks “Is OB Slacking?” Because There’s No Protests at CVS

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: There’s a new online journal, “Our City”, which has taken a crack at Ocean Beach with a recent article titled “Is O.B. slacking?” With photos of CVS under construction, the OB Starbucks, Hodad’s, and the new condo construction on Abbott, the article delves into why there haven’t been any local protests of the new in-coming CVS Pharmacy in the old Apple Tree market building.

They ask:

What, no protests? No nasty bumper stickers? No nothing?

A chain store is coming to Ocean Beach, and there’s little sign of any kind of major backlash against this latest corporate invasion.

Their conclusion is interesting. …

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The Grand Experiment at Voice of San Diego

August 21, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: This is the latest in a series titled, “Who Runs San Diego?“. The last few articles have focused on San Diego’s media.

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

When Voice of San Diego (VOSD) began online publication nearly a decade ago the excitement in progressive San Diego was palpable. Here, finally, was an answer to the biased reporting that had been a hallmark of the UT for years (even before it was purchased by Doug Manchester).

The world of journalism was being revolutionized as the print media model became too expensive and cumbersome to compete in an instant access world. Slate and Salon opened their digital doors, and it seemed a new dawn of accountable news reporting was upon us.

San Diego journalist/entrepreneur Neil Morgan and Buzz Woolley founded VOSD.

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San Diego’s P100 Program Targets the Poor and Vulnerable While Letting the Rich and Powerful Off the Hook

August 20, 2014 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Part 1 of a Series

black-mom-3-kids-250x250[1]Since 1997, San Diego County has required all families applying for California’s version of welfare called CalWORKs to submit to warrantless, suspicionless, unannounced home searches and interrogations by District Attorney investigators.

As of June 2013 about 150,000 families, or about 9,300 families each year, have been subject to these searches. This policy, called Project 100% or P100, diverts money away from the poor and has not been shown to be effective at detecting or preventing fraud.

San Diego is the only place in the whole nation which has such an intrusive, untargeted policy …

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The Drought – Basic Q and A

August 19, 2014 by Source
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We Haven’t Come Close to Meeting Conservation: Water Supply Q & A with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley

by Matt O’Malley / San Diego Coastkeeper

With the worst drought in recorded history parching the state, water and water sourcing options are hot topics. Join us in a chat with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, who discusses the Colorado River, future water prospects and more.

Why is water considered the lifeblood of the Southwestern US?

Water is vital to almost everything we do, in particular the Colorado River is vital to our everyday existence. The reality is that most of the Southwest is desert, but we don’t live as though it is. Instead we try to make it look and live like regions that get much more rainfall – such as Hawaii or Florida.

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A Battle Over Increasing the Minimum Wage in San Diego

August 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Don’t Sign It! Don’t Sign the Petition to Overturn San Diegos’ Minimum Wage – see below

Editor: The following is Doug Porter’s article posted today on DailyKos about the fight over our city’s minimum wage law. Much of it is a repeat of material Doug has used in his Daily Column at our sister online media partner, San Diego Free Press. (“douigbob” is Porter’s online handle at that site.)

by dougbob /DailyKos / Aug 19, 2014

A City Council veto override on Monday has set the scene for a showdown between local and national business interests vs. a labor-community coalition over San Diego’s Earned Sick Day / Minimum Wage ordinance.

Following months of public hearings and invitations (mostly declined) for local businesses to hammer out a compromise, the city council passed an ordinance providing access to five earned sick days and setting a local minimum wage increasing to $11.50 over three years.

This action makes San Diego the largest city in the nation to raise the minimum wage.

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San Diego’s Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up With Arrival of Sleaze of Political Consultant Hired to Defeat Ordinance

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for San Diego’s Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up With Arrival of Sleaze of Political Consultant Hired to Defeat Ordinance

Editor: Doug Porter over at our online partner, San Diego Free Press, has hit the nail on the ol’ proverbial head with today’s column on the battle heating up over San Diego’s minimum wage ordinance.

The anti-minimum wage forces, boosted by Mayor Faulconer’s veto of the ordinance last week, plan on running a petition to overturn the anticipated City Council over-ride of Faulconer’s veto.

Today, Porter focuses on the political consultant hired to run the petition drive, and gives needed context and background to the whole battle – which is being fought nation-wide.

By Doug Porter

I’ve been saying it for months now–the minimum wage battle in San Diego will bring out the Really Big Lies and the Really Bad Guys. Today we’ll give you a little taste of what they’re saying and what they really believe.

On Monday City Council President Todd Gloria has called for a special session of the City Council to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto of a minimum wage increase and paid sick days for San Diego workers.

Gloria is quoted in this morning’s UT, saying, “The City Council should stand up for the 38 percent of San Diegans who are counting on this raise to help them better make ends meet, and I hope they will override the mayor’s veto”

On Tuesday, The “San Diego Small Business Coalition,” created by big businesses, will roll out a small army of signature gatherers armed with a spiel designed to fool voters into thinking they’re signing a reasonable petition.

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Who Runs San Diego? Papa Doug the Kingmaker

August 14, 2014 by Source

Who Runs San Diego? A Project of the Democratic Women's ClubBy Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

Last week we provided an overview of Doug Manchester, the U-T, and the influence this combination has on the electorate of San Diego County.

This week, the goal is to delve a bit deeper, using a recent issue to illustrate the intensity of collusion with the publisher of the region’s largest paper and other powers that be.

From Voice of San Diego:

“It was Saturday, Aug. 31. No Republican had announced his or her intention to run to replace Mayor Bob Filner, whose term in office ended quietly the night before.

“A group of about 30 of the city’s most influential conservatives and right-of-center business representatives assembled at developer Tom Sudberry’s La Jolla estate.”

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Bad Day at Blackfish Rock – SeaWorld Now Says Its Losing Visitors and Money

August 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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SeaWorld Shares Drop 30%

It was a bad day yesterday, Wednesday, August 13, for SeaWorld, as company execs admitted for the very first time that the aquatic theme parks are losing visitors and money due to the film “Blackfish” – the movie about SeaWorld mistreating orcas. Almost immediately SeaWorld shares dropped 30%.

Up to now, SeaWorld – which has 11 theme parks across the country – has denied that its earnings and numbers of customers have declined due to “Blackfish”.

Yet they had to admit the losses in the company’s financial results for the second quarter of 2014. The losses are due to a drop in people coming to their “destination-parks” – like SeaWorld San Diego. With audiences in decline and sales of everything from tickets and products affected, the company reported:

Attendance of 6.6 million, a 0.3% increase versus the second quarter of 2013” – plus

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Bill Walton and Irwin Jacobs Urge San Diegans NOT to Sign Petitions to Overturn Minimum Wage Ordinance

August 14, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Bill Walton and Irwin Jacobs Urge San Diegans NOT to Sign Petitions to Overturn Minimum Wage Ordinance

Decline to Sign

Following is the Press Release from Raise Up San Diego, distributed at at 8am press conference this morning:
Basketball great Bill Walton appeared with hard working San Diegans and local business, community and political leaders on Thursday to kick-off a campaign to urge city voters not to sign petitions seeking a referendum on the city’s new minimum wage and earned sick leave ordinance.

“We stand for a San Diego in which hard-working people aren’t locked in poverty and in which they can earn a few days off a year for when they get sick or need to care for an ill child or other loved one,” Walton said. “We know the vast majority of San Diegans feel the same way, and we urge them to say no to the signature gatherers.”

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Jane Gawronski: “We can preserve our community if we maintain conformance to current code.”

August 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Jane Gawronski: “We can preserve our community if we maintain conformance to current code.”

Editor: This is the final speech we are publishing given by Ocean Beach planners at the historic City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan on July 29th – this is by Jane Gawronski, former Chair of the Planning Board and current Board member.

By Jane Gawrsonski

My name is Jane Gawronski and my husband and I live on Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach. You might remember me from when I tried to become one of you when there was a vacancy in District 2.

We moved to Ocean Beach in 1974, jobs took us out of OB in the 80s and we were very happy to be able to return to OB in 1998. I am a member of the Ocean Beach Historical Board, past chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, a board member of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation and a volunteer for the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association.

We own 6 properties in Ocean Beach which have 16 rental cottages with 5 of the cottages over 100 years old. We want the original language to stay in the OB Community Plan to protect the ambiance and attractiveness of OB. This language is what the OB Community, the City Staff, and the City Attorney agreed to.

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What Could Have Been If Mayor Faulconer Had Signed the Minimum Wage Law

August 12, 2014 by Source
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By Lucas O’Connor / San Diego Free Press

On Friday, August 8, Kevin Faulconer made his position official and vetoed the City Council’s increase of the city’s minimum wage. We know Faulconer has long been fundamentally opposed to wage protections that strive to keep people out of poverty, likewise the big-money orgs who paid the way for his campaign. So while the move is hardly a surprise, it’s nevertheless bizarre.

The good folks who worked on Faulconer’s mayoral campaign have been remarkably open about their core strategy of manufacturing an image of Faulconer as a moderate in order to win. Since taking office, that approach has generally continued. This stripped-down compromise on minimum wage could have been the last step in that process, and everyone could have gone to happy hour 20 months early. But here we are. Why?

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Medical Marijuana Patients Sue San Diego and Coastal Commission Over Number of Dispensaries Allowed

August 11, 2014 by Source

By Robert Kahn / Courthouse News Service

Marijuana patients claim in court that San Diego and the California Coastal Commission will foul the air, snarl traffic and force people to grow marijuana indoors, wasting energy and increasing global warming, because of their wrongheaded decision to allow no more than 36 marijuana co-ops in the city.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients sued the Coastal Commission and San Diego on Aug. 1, in San Diego County Court.

The rather bizarre and quite technical complaint challenges the Coastal Commission’s June 11 approval of a San Diego city ordinance of March 25, which authorized medical marijuana co-ops in the city.

The zoning-oriented ordinance allows medical marijuana co-ops only in certain industrial and commercial zones, and requires buffer zones between co-ops and residential areas.

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Kevin Faulconer’s War on the Poor

August 11, 2014 by Jim Miller

war on the poor2By Jim Miller

Despite the fact that 63% of San Diegans support raising the wage, Mayor Faulconer vetoed San Diego’s minimum wage ordinance, definitively proving that he is more loyal to local plutocrats than to the people of the city, particularly those who work hard for very little.

Yes, with a stroke of the pen, Kevin Faulconer denied a raise to 172,000 people and took away earned sick days for even more local workers, a move that disproportionately affects women and people of color. Just as one could begin to feel good about the fact that our city did the right thing and stood up for those of our friends and neighbors who are most in need of a hand up, Mayor Faulconer struck them down.

When it was time to love his neighbors, he slammed the door in their faces. Rather than living with a more than reasonable compromise that will help rather than harm the local economy, he chose to declare war on the poor instead.

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Who Runs San Diego? Douglas Manchester and U-T San Diego

August 8, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Who Runs San Diego? Douglas Manchester and U-T San Diego

By Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

U-T San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune, is the largest daily newspaper in the region. According to the U-T advertising rate book, U-T San Diego reaches 29.9% of the adult population of San Diego during the week, and 41.2% on Sundays. U-T San Diego.com receives 29.5 million page views per month.

The U-T Community Press, which consists of 8 newspapers that formerly brought communities hyper local and independent news but was bought by the U-T’s owner Doug Manchester, has a weekly readership of 221,905. One of those newspapers is the North County Times, which was the U-T’s biggest competitor.

Even assuming these numbers are inflated to sell ads, it is obvious that the management/ownership have incredible influence over the information taken in by a large portion of the population of San Diego County and the surrounding region.

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Logan Heights Restaurant Owner Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

August 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.” – Mark Lane

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Last week I found out there’s a restaurant owner in Logan Heights who has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say. …

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Is CVS Breaking Promises to OB Before Doors Have Even Opened?

August 5, 2014 by Source
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Union to Flier Community Over CVS’s “Broken Promises” on Wed., August 6th

By Micah Mitrosky

CVS is coming to Ocean Beach. In doing so, they promised OB they would be good community partners. In fact, CVS agreed to a Community Benefits Package that included the following promise:

“CVS will provide 20-30 new highquality jobs to the community including strong training, pay, and benefit packages…CVS has the highest rated job satisfaction in its industry and will contribute these beneficial jobs to the Ocean Beach community by prioritizing qualified candidates from within the community in its hiring process.”

Now, with retrofits underway at their new OB location, CVS is quietly breaking their promise to the OB Community before the doors have even opened.

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Reverberations from Historic City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The reverberations from last week’s historic City Council vote July 29th to approve the OB Community Plan have yet to be felt – other than the celebrations -, either in OB or throughout the City, but the vote will have consequences – good ones – for two or three decades.

Plus the dust hadn’t settled after the unanimous vote, when the question was raised ‘What’s next? What is the next hurdle the Plan must take before it becomes a reality?’

The short answer is that the Plan goes before the California Coastal Commission in October, according to city staff.

Meanwhile, the vote was a clear victory for Ocean Beach but it was also a win for other communities around San Diego. Let’s examine this.

OBviously, with a new community plan, OB will be affected for the next 20 to 30 years. What else does the vote mean? For Ocean Beach, the vote did several things.

First, it vindicated the resistance by the OB Planning Board …

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What I Love About My OB People’s Organic Food Co-op

August 5, 2014 by Source
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Editor: OB People’s Organic Food Market is celebrating forty-two years of “food for people not for profit” this month. Read what Co-op owner Kim McGinley loves so much about People’s.

by Kim McGinley / People’s Co-op News

Outside of the great service provided to me as an individual, I believe that the community of Ocean Beach as a whole benefits from the positive presence of O.B. People’s Organic Food Market, our very own food cooperative.

What follows is a partial list of what I love about my Co-op:

  • People’s provides a Community Room as a meeting space at no cost for Co-op member-owners, who in turnoffer monthly workshops and lectures that are always free of charge.
  • Additionally, the Co-op provides donations to Ocean Beach Elementary School and other programs that benefit the youth, as well as providing donations for many community events.
  • The Co-op also offers a daily discount for member-owners who are senior citizens.
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John Ambert: “OB Is Classic California”

August 4, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for John Ambert: “OB Is Classic California”

Editor: The OB Rag has been publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. Here is John Ambert’s speech.

My name is John Ambert and I am an architect, I am the Vice Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, and I am a born and raised as an Ocean Beach native.

There are three reasons why you should support the Ocean Beach Community Plan as presented to you today:

First, because OB is classic California

Second because FAR variances destroy the character of beach neighborhoods;

and third, because coastal redevelopment at this scale, pushes the residents out of their community.

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Two-Story OB Apartment Complex on West Pt Loma Sold

August 4, 2014 by Staff
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A two-story, 8-unit apartment complex on West Pt Loma Blvd was just sold for $1,675,000, cash.

The single building complex is located at 5065 West Pt Loma and is a 4,224-square-foot apartment building with only 8 bedrooms and bathrooms.

The building was originally constructed in 1959 on a 5,000-square-foot lot …

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OB – the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” – Not Eligible for Medical Marijuana Dispensary – But Midway Is

July 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB – the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” – Not Eligible for Medical Marijuana Dispensary – But Midway Is

San Diego’s Community Planning Groups Lobbied by Anti-Weed Group

Apparently, according to the new City of San Diego ordinance passed in March that regulates them, OB, the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” can’t have a medical marijuana dispensary. But the community of Midway can have a number.

It’s not just Ocean Beach – as the ordinance severely restricts dispensaries in most communities of San Diego. They are only allowed in a limited number of industrial and commercial zones. They also have to be:

  • at least 100 feet away from residential property and
  • at least 1,000 feet from schools,
  • playgrounds,
  • libraries,
  • parks,
  • churches
  • and facilities focused on youth activities.

That excludes OB – the community that most resembles the “hippie capital” of America, the Haight up in San Francisco.

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Reader Rant: An End To Our Commercial Zones?

July 31, 2014 by Source
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By Dave Little

A gated residential community is coming to a commercial zone near you.

This development may or may not be in compliance with the City’s Land Use Code and very likely will not have public notice nor any community review.

Recently the City has allowed development of residential gated communities to take over commercial space with only token commercial areas to satisfy the “mixed use” requirement. The commercial units are entirely outside the gates of the residential area.

More importantly, the City has ignored the commercial off-street parking requirement in the Land Use Code. Not having off-street parking forces commercial parking for customers and clients into the streets.

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San Diego For-Profit Universities Making Tons of Money Handing Out Worthless Degrees

July 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ashford University and University of Phoenix Worst Offenders Targeting Returning Vets

amPhxMagBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Everyone wants to better themselves, right, by getting a college education. Most of all the Iraq and Afghanistan vets transitioning into civilian life. To that end our politicians in Washington have crafted a GI Bill that allows them to do just that at taxpayer expense.

Problem is most of that money is being gobbled up by for-profit universities like the University of Phoenix and Ashford University which don’t even qualify for state financial aid. These universities attract and recruit students by advertising heavily and “selling” them on the value of one of their degrees.

When many of the students graduate, they can’t get a job based on a degree which potential employers say …

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OB Residential Sales: Abbott Street Triplex Sold to Point Loman

July 31, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Residential Sales: Abbott Street Triplex Sold to Point Loman

It took $827,000 to take an Abbott Street triplex off the market.

The recently renovated 3 unit at 2033-35 Abbott Street was sold to Point Loman Dak Ang Yeng, who lives at 1853 Venice St., San Diego 92106, just up the hill from OB.

Leonard W. Tobey sold the property which is assessor’s parcel 448-101-36.

The construction of the 2-story building in the front, and the unit in the rear of the property was in 1954.

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City Council Unanimously Approves OB Community Plan

July 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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With a 9 to zip vote, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update, yesterday, the 29th of July and in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately, the 150 plus OBceans jumped to their feet with whoops of delight and sustained applause that went on for minutes.

It was an emotional day for OB, with the Council vote culminating a very long process of updating the community’s urban design blueprint, a blueprint that will significantly affect OB for the next 20 to 30 years.

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Ocean Beach: All Out to the City Council Hearing Today – July 29th

July 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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4,000 Signatures Collected in Support of OB Plan

This is the day that Ocean Beach has been waiting for – for months, and for some, they’ve been waiting for years for this day. This is the day that the San Diego City Council does a final review for approval of the OB Community Plan – recently updated.

The Council takes up the OB plan at 2 pm. Every OBcean who can is urged to attend the hearing to show support for the Plan – and everyone who attends is asked to wear blue. (Blue OB “attitude” T-shirts are available at Dog Beach Dog Wash for $10 – 4933 Voltaire.)

Over a 100 OB supporters are expected to gather – as 40 were present last month just for a continuance. Already 85 have signed up on the online facebook page.

The City Council meets at City Hall, 202 “C” Street in downtown San Diego, 92101, on the 12th floor in Council Chambers. OB

Organizers are, in addition, asking OBceans to attend a 1:30 pm “rally” downstairs at City Hall on the bottom floor outside.

Plus, organizers expect to submit approximately 4,000 signatures in support of the Ocean Beach Community Plan –

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