Economy

San Diego Takes the Lead in Greenpeace Strike

August 24, 2015 by Source

11221482_551484888338136_7897254867420767881_oBy Andrew J. Mackay and Bryan Kim

On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively.

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Bernie Sanders, American Socialist

August 24, 2015 by John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders bnwBy John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds to his rallies. The American media cannot ignore that. But they will never use the S word to describe Bernie even though that is how he describes himself.

Bernie represents those who would tax Wall Street to preserve social security and a host of other common sense proposals. He dares to suggest that college should be free rather than the first stage of a life of indentured servitude and indebtedness.

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Why Teach? In Defense of the Public Good

August 24, 2015 by Jim Miller

normal_education

By Jim Miller

These days it seems a new school year can’t start without being greeted by yet another pronouncement that my profession and/or higher education itself is heading for the dustbin of history.

Last year around this time, I pondered the proclaimed death of the English major and this year the front page of the most recent issue of Harper’s is bemoaning “The Neoliberal Arts: How College Sold Its Soul.”

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Report of Panel Discussion: Short Term Rentals – What’s the Future?

August 17, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is a slightly-edited report of a panel discussion on short term rentals held at the July meeting of the Point Loma OB Democratic Club.

By PL OB Dem Club Admin

The moderator, Omar Passons, attorney that the San Diego municipal code does not currently define a short-term vacation rental and that ordinance and formal definitions would soon be introduced by City Council.

There is a ‘border and lodger’ definition (generally stays are more than 30 day stay) and a ‘bed and breakfast’ definition (generally stays are less than 30 day stay, but this is not within the code) within the code. Short-term vacation rentals (STVR) means the renting of any portion of your property for less than 30 days.

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Ocean Beach News, Notes and Nuggets

August 17, 2015 by Staff
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Mainstream Media on Coastal Commission Approval of OB Community Plan

Town Council Offers Reward for Info on OB Entry Way Sign Graffiti

San Diego’s First Centrally Located Licensed Pot Dispensary Opened in Midway District

OBcean Quoted in NY Times About Use of Facial-Recognition Software by San Diego Police

OB Lifeguard Team Wins Annual Competition – Again!

Big Companies, Not Homeowners, Run Biggest Share of Short-Term Rentals

Liquid Blue Fast Becoming an OB Band

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One Coastal Commission Problem With Ocean Beach Community Plan Linked to Mandate for Affordable Coastal Visitor Accommodations

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

One of the major issues that the California Coastal Commission has with the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update – on their agenda this Thursday, August 13th – is that language in the Plan in support of low-cost visitor accommodations is not strong enough.

On the face of it, this may seem weird. Why would the Commission reject the OB Update after over a dozen years in the making on an issue that has nothing to do with OB residents?

Coastal Commission staff have recommended that the Commission reject the OB Plan unless there are modifications to the language regarding affordable-housing for visitors at the coast, among other things.

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U.S. Mayors Fed Up With Paying Wall Street Interest and Fees

August 12, 2015 by John Lawrence

Establishment of Public Banks Considered

wall street flagsBy John Lawrence

At their meeting on June 19-22, the US Conference of Mayors considered the possibility of establishing public banks as an alternative to Wall Street.

Instead of spending a fortune in Wall Street fees and interest, a public bank would keep the money right in each Mayor’s jurisdiction. Finally, Mayors are wising up.

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If You Live in OB or Point Loma, Where Do Recycled Plastic Bags Go?

August 10, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Recycling plastic bags should not be this hard.

If you get a grocery bag, it is likely to have printed on it “Please return to a participating store for recycling.”

This may not mean the store where you got it. Not governed by local regulations, recycling locations are left to individual businesses. Plastic bags are designed to be confusing.

As a reminder, you can recycle plastic bags:

  • CVS in Ocean Beach on Cable Street. This is a CVS program, utilizing the G2 (Go Green) process. These are gathered in bale-sized boxes and sent to the Go Green recycler via UPS. The customer recycling bin is just inside the front door.
  • Stumps, on Voltaire Street and close to Ocean Beach. Their plastic bags are recycled via the wholesale vendor. When the truck drops off the house brand, they pick up the bag of recycled bags, and return it to the warehouse, where they are baled and sent to a recycler. After that, you have a choice of …
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“Ocean Beach Plaza” Approved By OB Planners

August 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The so-called “Ocean Beach Plaza” was approved by the OB Planning Board last Wednesday night, by a vote of 8 to 1. Once approved and given the go-ahead by the City, the project will be constructed at the southeast corner of the intersection of Cable Street and Santa Monica.

Lee Hope, the architect for the project, made the presentation on behalf of the owner, John Small, who was in attendance at the meeting on August 5th along with a couple dozen others in the audience – including a newsman and cameraman from Channel 8 (on hand for the OB Plaza issue).

Small owns – besides this near-half acre of prime OB property, a couple of bars – Sunshine Company and Tony’s, plus other buildings on Newport Avenue.

The much-anticipated project had several surprises.

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Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

August 7, 2015 by Source

Robert Reich 02By Robert Reich / Blog

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agents of this revolt. I’ll explain the two ways in a moment.

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San Diego Brewery May Be ‘Selling Out’. Does It Matter?

August 6, 2015 by Source

elysian sucksBy John P. Anderson

San Diego County has a large beer industry, there are currently more than 110 active breweries.

Along with high numbers, San Diego has earned a reputation as a leader in the craft beer industry.

Many would rank it as the top craft beer city/region in the United States – whether it is the top dog or in the top five isn’t especially important. It’s a leader however you measure – top ranked beers, top ranked breweries, number of breweries, or gallons produced annually.

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OB Firefighters Celebrate 100th Anniversary with Shirts – Hodad’s Picks Up the Tab

August 5, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Crews at the Ocean Beach Fire Station – Firehouse No. 15 – are celebrating the house’s 100th anniversary this year by making t-shirts to mark the occasion.

They won’t be reaching into their own pockets to pay for them, as another local institution stepped in and offered to foot the bill in the spirit of a local legend.

Hodad’s general manager Jeremy Diem offered to take care of the cost of the 100 or so shirts, saying it was a no-brainer to pick up the tab.

“Anything for the firefighters,” he said. “It’s in the name of Bossman (the nickname of former Hodad’s owner Mike Hardin, who passed away earlier this year). We’re gonna do this even though he’s gone.”

Todd Barry, a firefighter in the OB station’s C Division, said the whole gesture came out of a simple community meeting.

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OB Rag Public Service Announcement

August 4, 2015 by Staff
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OB Planners Meet Wed., Aug. 5th: Update and Possible Wrinkle on the OB Plan Update and New Planned “Ocean Beach Plaza”

August 3, 2015 by Staff
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The OB Planning Board meets this Wednesday, August 5th, at 6pm within the community meeting room at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Several important items top the all-volunteer Board’s agenda, including an update on the OB Community Plan, a possible naming of Saratoga Park, the construction of the new OB Plaza development, and the building of a unit in the 4700 block of Niagara Avenue.

The “Ocean Beach Plaza”

Possibly one of the most important commercial developments to come before the OB Board in recent years, the “Ocean Beach Plaza” is up for review.

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Here’s the List of Top 10 Groups Lobbying Our Government – and There’s Not One Union on It

July 31, 2015 by Staff

elections hands cashThere’s a group called MapLight and they keep accounts of which lobbying organizations are in our government’s face – in Congress and at federal agencies – lobbying. MapLight is a 501(c)3 research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics.

Here’s their most recent report – issued July 30, 2015, on the second quarter lobbying expenses for this year – and check it out – we’re always told by the mainstream media that government officials are pressured by labor as well as by corporate lobbyists – that union money is equal to corporate money during elections. You can see by the following list that is patently untrue – at least for this quarter: …

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Bottles, Cans and Spoons …

July 31, 2015 by Source
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Not Talking About Drinking and Drugs

By Kathy Blavatt

Ocean Beach residents have always had a creative way of recycling their items into utilitarian objects or whimsical art. In the 1960’s through the 1980’s a lot of reused relics were commonplace in the homes and yards of O.B.

Bottles of all kinds were the number one choice of reusable items.

One of the most seen items in yards were “bottles-filled–with-water” to keep the dogs from pooping on the grass.

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As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

July 30, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare program. After more than five decades of failed attempts dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, at least some Americans were eligible for coverage under a federal health insurance program.

Today more than 54 million people are covered by Medicare. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the alternatives being proposed by the GOP. In fact, many of the problems facing medicare can be addressed by e x p a n d i n g the program, an idea gaining currency nationally.

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Ocean Beach’s Newport News

July 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Comings and Goings on OB’s Main Street

Several new restaurants on Newport Avenue are set to open while a couple of others are still works in progress.

BBQ House Expansion to Open Publicly

David of the BBQ House family, told me that the new expansion will open to the public this Wednesday, July 29th. Then they’ll figure out, he said, when the ‘grand opening’ will be. This has been a long haul for the family and its employees (and customers) as it’s taken 2 years to get this far.

The day I was there – Friday the 24th – the place looked full – but they were all servers and bartenders in training. The expansion includes a new kitchen, a new bar and new eating areas both in and outside.

Not Much Progress at Apple Tree Market

The new Apple Tree Market on Newport has yet to open and by all looks and appearances, nothing much has progressed since our last visit.

New “OB Brewery”: 50% of Interior Completed

The new brewery – also years in progress – is much closer to fruition.

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22-Unit Santa Monica Apartment in Ocean Beach Sells for 2nd Time in Less Than 2 Years

July 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A large apartment complex in the 5000 block of Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach has sold for $7.5 million. This is the second time “Playa”, the 22-unit apartment at 5041-5043 Santa Monica Avenue, has been sold in less than 2 years.

The complex, built in 1957, sits on a one-third-acre lot (assessor’s parcel 448-092-07 and 08) and consists of 14 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, totaling 14,978 rentable square feet. It has a courtyard, 22 off-street parking spaces and an on-site laundry facility.

The sale also represents one of the largest in terms of units in recent years – and joins a trend we have been watching of late – the sale of apartment complexes in northwest OB – this sale is the 5th this year alone. (We think the trend is “unprecedented”.)

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Reader Rant: “We Should All Take Notice of What Is Truly Going On in Mission Valley”

July 24, 2015 by Source
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By Carole Thompson

The river in Mission Valley exists even though few San Diegans have really looked at it.

I served on the Mission Valley Community Council for more than five-years and sat through many discussions on the river and Mission Valley as a concerned San Diegan.

More people should take notice of what is going on in Mission Valley before we wind up with a situation much like New Orleans, because the valley is at or below sea level.

In a time with so much attention given to drought why are those in charge so tempted to mess with one of our water sources? Although, much of it is underground the San Diego River is more than 60 miles long and part of the water table. The water table is part of the cycle of water.

Most people in San Diego are aware of the flooding in Mission Valley, but they do not know why the river floods here.

It floods in Mission Valley because they have taken an aquifer and tried to manipulate it by paving over it, tucking it under roads, and small passages on its way to the ocean.

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Numbers Game at San Diego Anti-ALEC Protests

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Looks Like San Diego Union Tribune Is Up to its Old Tricks In Downplaying Dissent

A hell of a lot of people came out to protest ALEC’s convention yesterday in downtown San Diego. Local demonstrators had their numbers bolstered by bus-loads of union members from Los Angeles.

There were the labor locals, the environmentalists, the Democrats, the progressives and social activists – and many people energized to protest ALEC because they’ve been educated in just what it is and what it does.

There were a lot of demonstrators. Just how many is a good question. And now we’re in a numbers game in trying to determine just how many people were protesting against the right-wing lobby and legislative powerhouse – with all its corporate sponsors.

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What’s the Future of Short Term Rentals ? Panel Discussion – Sunday, July 26

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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From Pt Loma – OB Dems / July 21, 2015

Earlier this month the Democratic Woman’s Club hosted a great presentation by (and discussion with) Sarah Saez (United Taxi Workers of San Diego) on Making a Living Wage in the 1099 Economy. The focus was on taxi drivers, the rise of Uber and Lyft, and the move to contracted (1099) labor.

The ability to use internet services for alternative transportation, delivery services and accommodation may (at least in the short-term) be great for (some) consumers, but the longer term effects are likely to only benefit the corporations who rise to dominate each space. We only have to look at the $40 billion valuation given to Uber, by a salivating Wall Street, who sees in it the future of cash generation and wage control.

The short-term vacation rental market poses many similar challenges and has made strange bedfellows of San Diego hoteliers and progressives.

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Jerry Brown Gushes About “fighting climate change” at Vatican As He Fracks California

July 22, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his “green” image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown on July 21 urged the world’s mayors to “light a fire” and “join California in the fight against climate change.”

Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“We have fierce opposition and blind inertia,” Brown claimed. “And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition.”

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Confronting ALEC’s ‘Everybody Does It’ Defense

July 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz. How can you lose?

If the spinmeisters at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hoped media coverage would focus on the three GOP presidential candidates genuflecting before their annual gathering of corporate lobbyists and state legislators this week in San Diego, they may be proved wrong.

A barrage of press releases and public statements from a wide spectrum of public interest organizations combined with the growing certainty that San Diegans would actually show up in large numbers to protest the closed-door right wing strategy meeting has begun to shift coverage away from the celebrity angle to questions about just what might be going on inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel.

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Think Whole Foods is a Ripoff? It’s Worse Than You Thought

July 21, 2015 by Source

Faith Gardner / Daily Kos

Whole Foods Market store

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods you’ve probably been shocked at the prices. But a recent investigation shows that not only are its products overpriced, it’s also dishonest—and its shady practices when it comes to weighing and mislabeling may be illegal.

The investigation looked at products that are weighed and labeled and found a “systematic problem” whereby customers were routinely overcharged for things like nuts, snack foods, poultry and other grocery products.

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Can a Child Born in the US Sponsor Their Immigrant Parents for Legal Status?

July 20, 2015 by Source
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Questions and Answers with Carlos Batara

Our Child Was Born In The United States. Can My
Husband And I Get Green Cards Through Her Citizenship?

By Carlos A. Batara

Question:

“My husband and I would like to know if we become permanent residents. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen. She is three years old right now. Can we get green cards through her? Both of us came to the United States on student visas. We met in college. We fell in love. Our visas have not expired.” (Submitted by Paula G., Corona, CA)

Answer: Maybe. But not at this time.

Let me briefly explain.

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12 Unit Apartment Complex on Saratoga Sells for $3.3 Million

July 20, 2015 by Staff
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Another apartment complex in Ocean Beach has been sold. A 12-unit complex at 4878-4882 Saratoga Ave just exchanged hands earlier this month for $3.3 million cash.

It joins a recent rash of apartment sell-offs that have hit OB over the last months and years, particularly in northwest OB. Here’s what we wrote in April:

According to a review of OB Rag records, there’s been an unprecedented sell-off of apartments in Ocean Beach over the last 4 years. This has included the transfer of nearly $38 millions and involving nearly 160 units.

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OB Noodle House Owner Gives Back to Ocean Beach Elementary

July 17, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Bar 1502’s Steve Yeng Donates ‘Barmageddon’ Winnings to OB Elementary

By Matthew Wood
OB Noodle House owner Steve Yeng further cemented his status as a reality television star with his recent appearance on the TruTV show “Barmageddon.”

He also showed off his love for the community when he donated his winnings from the show – $10,000 – to the Ocean Beach Elementary School.

“I love that school and I owe a lot to it,” he said. “I just have my fondest memories from there. It’s where I learned to speak English. It’s where I met my wife. Such a great place.”

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‘It’s Not Socialism, It’s Democratic Capitalism’

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

In a recent interview about the groundswell of popularity for Bernie Sanders, Richard Wolff, author of “Democracy at Work, a Cure for Capitalism,” opined that we are seeing a new form of socialism that doesn’t give the power to the government, but rather focuses on –

“changing the way we organize enterprises, so they stop being top-down, hierarchical, where the board of directors makes all the decisions, and we move to this idea which is now catching on: cooperation, workers owning and operating collectively and democratically their economy and their enterprise.”

Instead of looking at this as a new kind of socialism, I like to think of it as a new kind of capitalism—democratic capitalism, where workers are actually free.

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San Diego’s Agreement With Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes Gave Them Huge Windfall

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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If you are one of those people who are keeping track of the short-term rental issue here in San Diego, you’re probably aware that Airbnb – the largest online short-term rental company – has just made an agreement with the City to begin collecting tourist taxes from visitors and remit them to the City.

And July 15th is the day that Airbnb will begin collecting those taxes on behalf of the hosts that sign up with them for rentals within the City.

This is great if you’re longing forward to see more money pour into the City’s coffers.

But guess what – this agreement includes a huge win-fall for Airbnb.

Okay, you ask, just what did our “Number 2” city just give away to the online rental agency, worth an estimated $20 Billion?

Okay, what just happened in our town?

Comic-con, of course, which just ended after a 4-day bonanza.

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