Economy

Peninsula Community Planning Board: Cañon Street Pocket Park Controversy Continues

January 30, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

Controversy continues over Cañon Street Pocket Park

When board member Jon Linney heralded the details of a Jan. 10 community cleanup of a proposed Cañon Street Pocket Park on the OB Rag website, the report generated more than 60 comments. That discussion continued in a passionate but respectful manner at the board’s January meeting.

“Our clean-up Saturday was a huge success thanks to neighbors, activists, students, and other volunteers,” Linney said.

The volunteers removed years of accumulated construction debris, trash, dead foliage and weeds, Linney said. Burtech Pipeline donated heavy equipment and hauled away 12 dump loads at no charge.

“The response was heart-warming. Motorists gave us thumbs-ups and neighbors asked to be added to work party lists,” he said.

Linney and board Secretary Don Sevrens have spearheaded the effort to turn the quarter-acre vacant lot along Cañon Street west of where Avenida de Portugal dead-ends into a park. The land was once planned as a road right-of-way but is now controlled by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

But some neighbors said a park could attract an unwanted element. …

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Midway Community Planning Group Report: Sports Arena Black Angus to be demolished?

January 30, 2015 by Source

Midway Black AngusBy Tony de Garate

The long-vacant Black Angus at 3340 Sports Arena Blvd. could have an appointment with the wrecking ball, a city official has confirmed.

Patti Philips of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department gave a report about businesses that lease city-owned property on Sports Arena Boulevard. Black Angus fronts a five-acre mall called Sports Arena Square. The mall’s best-known tenant is Soma, an all-ages concert venue and one of several businesses tucked behind Black Angus.

The city has hired The Heritage Group to manage the mall, Philips said. Heritage is currently negotiating three-year leases with the businesses, which have been paying month-to-month. It will take about a month to determine how many businesses want to stay for three years and how many want to leave, Heritage officials said.

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City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

January 29, 2015 by Doug Porter

san diego sealBy Doug Porter

There’s lots to report on, starting with the annual wish lists for the coming fiscal year’s City of San Diego budget. The consensus item among the city council’s lists is finding more money for paying police.

A local non-profit’s Facebook posting seeking unpaid interns (along with paying positions) to participate in building support for increased minimum wages came under fire yesterday. But things aren’t always as they seem; I think there is another agenda at play here.

And the 114th Congress is off to a great start, unless you want to count passing meaningful legislation as part of it’s goals.

Gimme Money, Honey

The San Diego City Council Budget Review Committee hearing Wednesday morning gave local representatives a chance to air their budgetary preferences for the coming fiscal year.

They’re hoping the mayor will consider requests for police pay raises, new fire stations, new parks, longer hours at recreation centers and street upgrades favoring pedestrians and cyclists for funding out of a projected surplus of $63 million for the coming year.

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Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

January 28, 2015 by Source
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By Brendan James / TPM / April 18, 2014

A [relatively] new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” they write, “while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Turn Out for Town Council Meeting – Tonight, Wed. Jan. 28th

January 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting their monthly public meeting, and besides dishing out the awards to December’s Holiday Parade winners, the Council will be welcoming new District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to the community. Representatives of the San Diego Police Department will also be on hand, as usual.

The meeting will be gaveled to order by president Gretchen Newsom very close tot 7 pm and is held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. See the meeting agenda.

The OB Rag urges all OBceans to attend this meeting and let Councilwoman Zapf know your issues and priorities. We especially believe there are serious infrastructure problems in Ocean Beach – such as the needed expansion of the OB Library, as well as a new lifeguard station, street lights, etc.

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Water Main Breaks Cause Major Problems in San Diego and Nationwide

January 28, 2015 by John Lawrence

water main break cop carBy John Lawrence

In the best of all possible worlds water main breaks would not happen. Local government would replace old water mains with new ones on a regular basis. That means that money for this and other infrastructure needs would be allocated systematically and appropriately.

If we had our priorities straight, money for infrastructure would take precedence over money for football stadiums and convention centers. But in San Diego and in fact throughout the US this rational approach is to be seen rarely if at all.

The Romans gave their citizens bread and circuses to keep them in line. Here in fact only circuses seem to be necessary.

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Memo Shows Expansion of Ocean Beach Library Budget Priority for Councilwoman Zapf

January 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A City of San Diego memo from the office of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf that the OB Rag has obtained shows that the expansion of the Ocean Beach Library is one of Zapf’s top 7 budget concerns.

In a memo from Zapf to Andrea Tevlin, the Independent Budget Analyst, dated January 16, 2015, it states:

“It is important that we fully fund the expansion of the Ocean Beach library.”

Even though the OB Library is listed as number 7 on the list, the memo begins:

“Below is a list of Council District 2 priorities that I would like to see included in the upcoming budget discussions. This list is not in a ranked order.” (Our emphasis)

The memo then goes on to list 7 priorities, with number 7 being “Ocean Beach Library Expansion”.

The other six funding priorities include Police officer retention, De Anza Cove Plan update, street repairs, and the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station.

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Ed Harris: Proposition G and the Belmont Park Lease

January 26, 2015 by Source
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by Ed Harris

Last year during my State of the District Address I called upon District Two residents to monitor and weigh in on development projects that came forward but were not resolved while I was in office. One such project is the Belmont Park lease extension. For a primer on the issue you can read an article I wrote about it in September of 2014.

While I was the Councilmember for District Two, it was my duty to protect the taxpayer’s money. When it came to the Belmont Park lease extension, I asked City staff two simple questions: How does the lease extension benefit the taxpayer and how much more will the City make if it extends a lease from 25 years to 55 years? I never received satisfactory answers to either question.

I also had real concerns about whether the City had the legal right to expand the square footage of commercial space at Belmont Park because of Proposition G that was approved by the voters in 1987.

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Calling All OB Library Lovers – Come to OB Town Council on Wed., Jan 28

January 23, 2015 by Source
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CLICK ON FLIER FOR A LARGER IMAGE OR COME INSIDE.

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San Diego City Council Sets Pot Shop Operating Regs and Fees

January 23, 2015 by Source
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OB’s Councilwoman Zapf Casts Only “No” Vote

By Debbie L. Sklar / Times of San Diego

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of a package of amendments to medical marijuana regulations that, among other things, establishes a minimum fee of nearly $1,100 for annual operating permits.

The amendments pertain to an ordinance that sets the terms under which dispensaries will conduct their business. The operating regulations differ from land-use restrictions, which determine the allowable locations for pot shops.

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What’s the Fix for San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

January 23, 2015 by Doug Porter

infrastructure sdBy Doug Porter

Pssst! Got a spare two billion dollars? That’s a number being talked about in the search for a comprehensive approach to fixing San Diego’s deteriorating streets, pipes and public spaces.

The City of San Diego has issued a report outlining what it says are our infrastructure needs over the next five years, and it isn’t pretty.

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Sign the Petition in Support of the Ocean Beach Library Expansion

January 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Friends of the Ocean Beach Library are circulating a petition these days in support of the expansion of the OB branch. It states:

“We support the expansion of the Ocean Beach Branch Library from the current 4,000-square foot size to a modernized 15,000-square-foot facility that retains the historic core.”

It ends with an appeal to the mayor and City Council:

“We urge the Mayor and Council to support this top community priority …”

___________
COME INSIDE FOR A RE-PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE PETITION

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Friends of Ocean Beach Library Gear Up Campaign to Get Branch Back on City Expansion List

January 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Friends of the OB Library are not happy. They’ve been working to get the local branch back on the city’s library expansion list for awhile now, but the recent news that the Ocean Beach Library is not on the list was upsetting to many of them.

So, the committee of about a dozen OBceans, with women outnumbering men 6 to 1, headed by Judy Collier, decided at their monthly meeting yesterday, Jan. 20, to gear up their campaign. They will continue to push their petition …

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Town Council Prez Urges OBceans to Come Out to Meet Councilwoman Zapf

January 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Newsom Cites Spike in Numbers of Travelers in OB and Spike in Complaints About Them

Gretchen Newsom is urging OBceans to come out to the next OB Town Council meeting next week and meet the new Councilwoman for Ocean Beach – Lorie Zapf – elected last year.It will be held on Wednesday, January 28th at the Masonic Center.

She has real concerns these days about a spike in the numbers of travelers in Ocean Beach lately. Newsom is the president of the OB Town Council, recently elected to a 2nd term. And she is no stranger to working with homeless …

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The War on Hen-Pecking

January 20, 2015 by Source

All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better.

laying-hensBy Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly.

After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper, the birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings, or turn around.

That’s still not very much space. And it’s certainly not “Chicken Disneyland,” as egg producer Frank Hilliker told UT-San Diego.

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OB’s People’s Food Expansion Plans Put on Hold

January 19, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Organic Store Had Agreement With “Tiny” of Tiny’s Tavern Before His Recent Passing

By Frank Gormlie

The expansion plans of Ocean Beach’s largest employer, the famous OB People’s Organic Food Market, have been placed on hold due to the unfortunate and untimely death of “Tiny”, the owner of Tiny’s Tavern.

The market co-op, which is a mainstay on Voltaire Street in OB, has just recently purchased the two parcels of land directly to the store’s east, one containing a duplex and the other containing Tiny’s Tavern.

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Ocean Beach Business and Development Update

January 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s one of our irregular updates on Ocean Beach construction and development.

CJ Catering Moving Into Former Voltaire Street Bakery – Some good news for those with a sweet tooth,

CVS Opens in Former Apple Tree

In the Meantime New Apple Tree on Newport Makes Progress

Saratoga Condos to Open February 1

New Poles at Site of Future Sunset Plaza

Fourth 3-Story Behemoth on West Pt Loma Makes a Fine Blocked View

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Where is the Infrastructure Planning for San Diego’s Vulnerable Coastline?

January 15, 2015 by Source

King Tides Expected to Return to Coast Jan. 19-21

By Jeffrey Meyer / San Diego 350.org

human waveA few weeks ago, San Diego coastal cities were given a stark reminder of the threat to public safety and our $15 billion a year tourism industry by increasing tides and coastal flooding. With this problem becoming more severe, year after year, the lack of substantive coastal infrastructure planning can become a countdown to disaster.

The latest combination of high astronomical tides and elevated surf caused strong rip currents and some flooding at low-lying areas along beaches. Known as king tides, they are expected to return to our coastline on January 19-21 and February 17-19. They have become a harbinger of damage to our coastline as we confront increasing sea levels during this century.

The warnings have been clear and consistent. …

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OB Library Expansion Not in City’s Construction Pipeline Despite Promise Over 10 Years Old

January 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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In a kick to the gut to OB supporters of an expansion of the Ocean Beach library, San Diego just announced the next two “waves” of construction and expansions of libraries across town – and they do not include the OB branch.

This despite the promise by the city to expand the current and historic OB library into a two -story building complete with a courtyard. The city even purchased property next door in anticipation of the planned expansion. Architects were hired and models and plans of the new library were shown to members of the OB Planning Board. The plans included retaining the main historic building. This was back in 2003.

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Redefining the American Dream

January 14, 2015 by John Lawrence

american dreamBy John Lawrence

The American Dream is the ideological underpinning of the middle class. Now that the middle class is disappearing, it no longer makes sense as historically defined.

Thom Hartmann (Rebooting the American Dream) and Hedrick Smith (Who Stole the American Dream) have defined the American Dream as a good job at good wages plus benefits. They bemoan the fact that this has pretty much gone by the wayside in today’s world.

Well, it’s time to get over it because the conditions that gave rise to middle class prosperity in America from 1945 to 1980 are not coming back.

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“Civita” Is the Largest Project in the Continued Destruction of Mission Valley

January 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Part 2

By Frank Gormlie

In mid-October I wrote about how four large residential and commercial development projects and a handful of smaller ones slated for Mission Valley will complete the destruction of San Diego’s once lush green valley. Here, I begin to focus on the individual projects.

“Civita” roughly translated is Latin for citizenship, and it’s the name of the largest, most massive Mission Valley development going in right now – with perhaps a third already completed or being currently built. Once you step back and realize it’s scope, Civita is at once a horrifying and amazing place for all its audaciousness.

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Notes From the Left Coast: California Democrats Need to Raise the Bar on Budget

January 12, 2015 by Jim Miller

DemocraticsStrategies121014By Jim Miller

Last week Eddie Kurtz of the Courage Campaign published a provocative column in the Sacramento Bee in the wake of Governor Brown’s triumphant release of the upcoming budget for the state.

Rather than praising Brown and the state Democrats for being a model for the nation, as many in Democratic circles have been doing, Kurtz took the opportunity to raise the bar of our expectations as he pointed out that …

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Buyer beware – or how Match.com has me by the short hair

January 9, 2015 by Judi Curry
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A continuing saga of romance on the internet!

I have been a member of several on-line dating sites for the past 4 years. I have written about some of my experiences with the men that have responded to me, and, in fact, am in the process of completing a book based on those experiences. But today, for the first time, my beef is not with the scammers but with “Match.com” and their policies.

When I signed up with this company, I immediately stated that I did not want an automatic renewal of their “services”. There was a button to push and I did so. Or at least I thought I did so. But when I received my credit card statement yesterday I found that I was charged a $78+ fee for an additional three months subscription. When I called the company to complain they were closed. The message said that if I were to send an email they would respond the next working day. So I sent the email. And there was no call-back. Today I called them. Interesting to note they said they never got the email. …

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The Bail-In: How You and Your Money Will Be Parted During the Next Banking Crisis

January 8, 2015 by John Lawrence

Wall-StreetBy John Lawrence

There will be no more taxpayer bailouts for the Big Wall Street banks. That much has been established by the lobbied to death Dodd-Frank banking reform (yeah, right) bill.

However, instead of taking money from the government (taxpayers), the principal has been established that the next source of money for profligate banks will be your deposit accounts. Yeah, that’s right, the money to stabilize the banking sector during the next crisis will come out of your savings and checking accounts.

To add insult to injury – since the banks pay you zero percent on your savings account in the first place – the banks have the right to confiscate your funds if they crash the economy again as they did in 2008. Remember the Great Recession? It’s coming again to a bank near you.

How can they do this, you ask?

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OB Planning Board Meeting – Wed., Jan. 7th: Demolish 2 and Build 4 Units at 4950 Saratoga

January 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Meeting – Wed., Jan. 7th: Demolish 2 and Build 4 Units at 4950 Saratoga

The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds their monthly meeting this Wednesday, January 7th. Their meeting starts sharply at 6pm in the Meeting Room of the OB Recreation Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

After the usual reports and the Board’s approval of their materials for their upcoming election in early March, there is one action item regarding a development at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. Here is what we stated last month as the project wound its way to the Project Review Committee in December.

The project up for consideration this week is an application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. The application is to demolish 2 existing residences and build 4 dwelling units – on a 2 lot plot of 0.16 acres.

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Not So Happy New Year: Obama Pushing Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2015

January 5, 2015 by Jim Miller

TPP_finalBy Jim Miller

Last week, I wrote about Project Censored’s Top 25 most underreported stories, one of which was “Wikileaks Revelations on Trans-Pacific Partnership Ignored by Corporate Media.”

Coming in at number three on their list, Project Censored notes that what is important about this story is that :

Eight hundred million people, and one-third of all world trade, stand to be affected by the treaty—and yet only three people from each member nation have access to the entire document. Meanwhile, six hundred “corporate advisors,” representing big oil, pharmaceutical, and entertainment companies, are involved in the writing and negotiations of the treaty.

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Like the Low Gas Prices? They Could Be Even Lower in 2015

January 2, 2015 by Source

oilpricedeclineBy Carl Gibson / Reader Supported News

Oil prices are currently down by 40 percent from where they were in June, and the economies of oil-exporting countries like Russia and Venezuela are tanking. Coincidence? A simple case of more supply than demand? Cunning moves in a global chess game between a desperate empire and its rivals?

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Ocean Beach Restaurants Looking to Hire

December 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Whether it’s the season or the industry itself, it’s unclear, but a whole host of OB restaurants are looking to hire people right now.

At least 5 eateries in Ocean Beach have ads up at various places, including Craigslist. All the following job offers are listed in the OB Rag’s free classified section under “Help Wanted“.

Leading off the group is the Cohn family Restaurant Group, which has two high-end restaurants in the coastal village of OB.

Their latest, the OB Warehouse on Newport Avenue, is looking for everybody: bartenders, all kinds of cooks – saute, grill, prep, and hosts and dishwashers. Interested people should apply online or in person daily between 2pm and 4pm. …

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Stumps Market Gets the Widder Curry’s Goat

December 30, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Doesn’t take much to get my goat any more.

And it has nothing to do with the amount of time I am spending in North Dakota with Cowboy and his herd of goats. No, in this case it has to do with a stupid “rule” that might make a difference in my shopping habits. This is what happened.

I have shopped at Stumps on Voltaire for years. I like their meat, deli and produce departments. I seldom purchase the regular staples, because their prices are higher than I pay at Ralphs or Vons. But their meat is exceptionally tasty; and their prices are better than the other supermarkets.

Over the past years, Stump’s has offered incentive programs that I have taken advantage of – items like Tupperware containers (or similar). Apparently, Stumps now – after a hiatus of many months – has brought back a new incentive program – Chicago Cutlery. …

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Restaurant Review : Fig Tree Café at Liberty Station

December 29, 2014 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review : Fig Tree Café at Liberty Station

Fig Tree Café
Liberty Station
2400 Historic Decatur Road
Suite 103

San Diego, California 92106
619-821-2044

Every Christmas season I go out to breakfast with two friends – Nancy and Stewart – and this year was no exception. We were deciding between the “Little Lion” and the “Fig Tree Café” this year and because Nancy and Stewart had been to the Fig Tree for their $5 breakfast special we decided to go there. Alas, the special was not available for the “holiday” – even though it was now Friday following Christmas. We ordered from the regular menu.

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