Economy

Midway Construction Project Will See 190 Units on Former Barnard School Land

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego School District sold the property of the former Barnard Elementary School over in the Midway area about 2 years ago. Now, it’s the site of a massive construction project that will when completed host 180 apartment units and 10 townhomes.

The project – called the Barnard Apartments – is on 9.5 acres and will be a gated apartment complex. A company called the Monarch Group bought the site at auction for a reported $16.5 million, and plan to have the project completed by January 2016.

The apartments will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, as there will be 19 residential buildings. In addition, plans call for a rec building with a fitness center and “teaching kitchen”, and there will be a swimming pool and an artificial-turf dog park. Each apartment will have their own garage space as well.

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Dog Beach Dog Wash Washes Their 500,000th Dog

November 26, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Dog Beach Dog Wash Washes Their 500,000th Dog

It was a big day on Saturday over at the Dog Beach Dog Wash, OB’s iconic dog wash storefront, a really big day – actually a LANDMARK day.

At precisely 8:10 a.m., on the 22nd of November, the dog wash folks washed their 500,000th dog.

At that moment, GusGus – the dog – and his mom, Chris Uzeta (from Clairemont , was the Dog Wash’s 500,000th dog wash – or the half millionth dog wash!

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Thanks for Nothing (and Everything): On Walmart, Black Friday, and Thich Nhat Hanh

November 24, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

walmart binsIt’s Thanksgiving week and Walmart is getting ready to ruin the party by asking nearly one million of its workers to come in on the holiday to get a jump-start on the Black Friday consumer frenzy. Given its size and influence, Walmart’s move, if successful, is likely to set a trend in the industry and wreck Thanksgiving for millions more underpaid service sector workers in the future.

Fortunately, OUR Walmart is responding in kind by promising the biggest Black Friday Strike ever with allies in labor and the community promising to join hands with them in their protest. As Think Progress recently reported:

Workers have gone on strike and protested for the past two Black Fridays.

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Wall Street Criminals Walk Free After Inflicting Enormous Damage on American Citizens

November 24, 2014 by John Lawrence

Wall Street Fraud on a Massive Basis

jail the bank robbersBy John Lawrence

In an article in Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi lays out the case involving massive fraud on the part of JP Morgan Chase, one of Wall Street’s biggest and un-finest banks, considered too big to fail and, evidently, too big to prosecute for the massive criminality it is guilty of. It has been well documented what they and other Wall Street banks did that caused the financial crisis of 2008.

First, their counterparts lured everyone with a beating heart into their offices and gave them a mortgage regardless of their credit score, regardless of whether or not they were working, regardless of whether they could even afford to make a mortgage payment. Countrywide is the prime example of the predatory recruitment of low income people in order to turn them into homeowners despite their inability to pay.

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Too Much Salt Delays Ribbon-Cutting at OB Entryway Park

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Park’s Walkway Does Not Enter Adjacent Robb Field

Reporter Tony de Garate in an excellent Nov. 17 piece in the San Diego Reader, has informed us that the much-ballyhooed ribbon-cutting on the Ocean Beach Entryway Project – Park is being delayed – once again.

De Garate reports that “there’s too much salt in the soil” at the planned park at the intersection of West Pt Loma Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, according to the City, and that the November 20th opening of the new park will have to be pushed back into next year. The city’s latest estimate of the completion date – as of Nov. 1st – is now February 2015.

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University of California Campuses Explode As Students Protest Proposed Tuition Hike

November 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: According to the LA Times:

A key UC regents committee moved Wednesday to hike tuition by as much as 28% over the next five years despite strong opposition from the governor, legislative leaders and students.

The regents committee on long-range planning approved the hike in a 7-2 vote after an unusual debate that pitted the state’s most powerful political leaders against administrators of the 10-campus UC system. The full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote Thursday on the proposed increase,

University of California campuses up and down the state exploded yesterday, Nov. 18th, as students protested a devastating tuition hike proposed by the UC administration.

Protests included a sit-in in front of the main library at UC San Diego – plus demonstrations at UC Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, LA.

DETAILS INSIDE, PLUS SUMMARY OF UC PROTESTS

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New OB Hostel Owners’ Upgrades May Include Covering Exterior “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”

November 18, 2014 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for New OB Hostel Owners’ Upgrades May Include Covering  Exterior “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”

By Matthew Wood

When the Ocean Beach International Hostel was sold last month, OB residents couldn’t help but be a little worried about the future of the neighborhood relic.

Fortunately, the business is in the hands of USA Hostels – a company that started in San Diego with a hostel in the Gaslamp District and seems to have the best intentions of the relic on the heart of Newport Avenue in mind.

Here’s USA Hostels president David Reuter response to those worries:

“We’re in it for the long haul. We’re the owners and operators. It’s going to be a hands-on approach. We’re interested in becoming members of the community.”

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Stand with Indigenous Peoples, Stop the Pipelines

November 17, 2014 by Source

As so often happens, Native Americans are leading the fight to save the world.

Moccasins on the Ground workshop where participants are trained in the skills, tactics, and techniques of nonviolent direct action.By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

While half of the world’s species are disappearing, while the remaining 48 hunter/gatherer societies are literally fighting for their survival, while 32 million acres of rainforest are cut down a year, and while three hundred tons of topsoil are lost a minute, we are again at war with those who would destroy the planet.

There have been many wars fought on behalf of our life-giving land in North America. The overwhelming majority of those killed in defense of the land have come from peoples like the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Sauk, and the Apache. Native Americans have long stood in the way of this destructive culture.

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Wind and Solar Create More Jobs When They’re Locally Owned, Report Finds

November 17, 2014 by Source

When it comes to providing jobs and money to towns and cities, not all renewable energy is created equal.

Everybody_Solar_RTP_install

By Kayla Schultz / Yes!

At [September’s] People’s Climate March, among the most popular signs were ones supporting renewable energy like wind and solar as the best way to avoid a climate catastrophe. …

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The United Taxi Workers Victory and the Struggle for a New Labor Movement

November 17, 2014 by Jim Miller

IMG_0767By Jim Miller

Last Monday’s victory for the United Taxi Workers of San Diego provided a much-needed boost for local labor.

After a year that has included some tough losses at the polls and the effort to save the minimum wage ordinance, it was inspiring to see the taxi drivers (largely East African immigrant workers) burst into celebration and pour out of Golden Hall chanting “USA!” as they embraced each other, mounted the planter boxes, and cheered for joy.

It was the kind of genuine expression of collective exuberance that comes when workers feel, perhaps for the first time, that they have taken ownership of their lives and destinies.

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Protests and “Blackfish” Force SeaWorld Earnings and Attendance to Drop

November 13, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Protests at San Diego SeaWorld and the film “BlackFish” have had enormous impact on the earnings and attendance at SeaWorld, both here in San Diego and in Orlando, Florida.

SeaWorld’s parent company, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., announced on November 12, that its earnings for the 3rd quarter fell nearly a third – 28 percent – from a year ago. Shares of the company fell 10 percent in morning trading.

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OB Town Council: Ocean Beach Community Plan Is the Grand Marshall for the Holiday Parade

November 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Organizers Set to Mobilize Plan Supporters for an OB Community Plan “Float”

The Ocean Beach Town Council has announced that its selection of the “Grand Marshall” for the OB Holiday Parade is the Ocean Beach Community Plan. Every year, someone or something is awarded the exalted title. Usually it goes to a deserving community member or celebrity. …
Meanwhile, organizers and supporters of the OB Community Plan are moving on plans to create a “float” in the OB Holiday Parade

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California’s Proposition 47 Passed. Now What?

November 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

ca_prison21By Doug Porter

One of the big electoral victories for what I’d call sane people this week was the passage of Proposition 47. Simple drug possession and property crimes valued under $950 are now misdemeanors, effective immediately, punishable by up to a year in a county jail. … Law and order–or should I call them “lock ‘em and leave ‘em”– types are taking to the airwaves to fan the kind of (mostly irrational) fears responsible for California’s decades long dance with draconian detention policies.

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What’s Not to Like? Gas Prices Down, Solar Energy Production Up

November 5, 2014 by John Lawrence

Wikimedia photo circa 2006

By John Lawrence

Gas prices have dropped below $4.00 a gallon for the first time in several years.

Every one-cent drop in gas prices means a $1 billion annual decline in energy spending by Americans. Consumers can use the savings to eat out more often, buy more goods or pay down debt. That’s good for US motorists and consumers, but that’s not the whole story.

Part of the story has to do with the fact that …

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OB Planning Board: a Demolition, a New Cross-Walk, a Bike Corral, and “Round-about”- All on Nov. 5th

November 4, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Here’s a Report on the OB Planning Board meeting.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets Wednesday, November 5th, at the OB Rec Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Ave. The monthly meeting – held in the Center’s community room, begins sharply at 6pm.

The Board has four action items on its agenda.

Demolition and Construction at 4741 Del Mar Ave

First up, is an application to demolish an existing house and garage at 4741 Del Mar Avenue and replace them with a 2-story single-family residence with detached garage.

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November 2014 Progressive Procrastinator’s Voting Guide: OB and San Diego Edition

November 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A big deal is being made over the large percentage of California voters who’ve opted to use the vote-by-mail ballots. While right-wing efforts in other states are focused on Voter ID laws and other variants of Jim Crow, the don’t vote effort here on the left coast is focused on spreading doubt about the reliability of the mail in system.

A mistake in mailing out ballots in Sacramento becomes evidence of a state-wide “glitch ridden ballot system”, according to Breitbart.com. Their “concern” is sooo touching. They’d like you to be afraid of mail-in voting, mostly because they’re afraid that other-than-Republican voters are discovering how easy it can be to use.

Sadly, a disturbing large percentage of those ballots will be left out of the count because people never got around to filling them out. If you’re one of those people who’ve put off filling out your ballot, here’s a handy-dandy cheat sheet

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Point Loma Planners Differ Over What’s a “Bedroom” with Carleton Street Developer

October 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Planners Differ Over What’s a “Bedroom” with Carleton Street Developer

By Anthony de Garate/ Special to the OB Rag

A trio of representatives for a developer explained the definition of a “bedroom” to members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) Oct. 16th at the group’s monthly meeting at the Point Loma-Hervey Library.

On the website of Acropolis Development, owner of four, three-story units with roof decks and underground parking envisioned as luxury condos now under construction in Roseville, the project is alternately referred to as Carleton 4 Row, Carelton Row Homes, or Carleton 4 Homes.

And in response to the question of how many bedrooms each of the four units contain, there also appears to be more than one answer. …

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Malin Burnham and the U-T San Diego Idea Factory

October 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Malin Burnham and the U-T San Diego Idea Factory

Part Two

By Frank Gormlie

As we delve more now in Part Two into Malin Burnham, “the last Corte Maderan” as Mike Davis calls him, and his possible take-over of San Diego’s only daily newspaper, longtime City Heights community activist, Anna Daniels, one of the editors at San Diego Free Press, cautioned:

When the news broke that Malin Burnham was interested in purchasing the U-T San Diego with the intent of turning it into a non-profit, the main and often only description of him was as a San Diego “philanthropist”. And it is true–Burnham is known for his extensive philanthropy.

He is also known for his role as a local real estate developer, as chairman of First National Bank at San Diego and as a former Director of San Diego Gas and Electric. It might prove useful in the future to keep these other interests in mind.

Which pretty much sums up Part One for me. As City Hall veteran, Norma Damashek, reminded us:

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Tracking the Construction Projects In and Around Ocean Beach

October 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Every now and then, we set out with camera in hand and attempt to record and track the various construction projects in and around OB. And there’s a lot of them, from CVS Pharmacy coming on line to the OB Entryway Project to the latest mansion starting to be built along West Pt Loma Blvd.

So here they are in all their glory.

CVS Phamacy to Keep Mural

Spoke to Mike Smith of Hearne Corp., supe at the CVS Pharmacy site.Smith explained that he and his crews have to be ready to turn the building over to CVS by November 17th – this year.

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What Does Malin Burnham’s Possible Take-Over of the U-T San Diego Mean?

October 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As ‘Old-Money’ Point Loman Burnham emerges to operate San Diego’s daily, questions raised whether this is the “Moderate Wing” of the Establishment reasserting itself?

Part One of two parts.

By Frank Gormlie

The news has been out for nearly a month now that well known wheeler-dealer and financier Malin Burnham of Point Loma has initiated efforts to purchase the U-T San Diego from Doug Manchester, the current owner and publisher.

Burnham, who calls himself a moderate Republican and who has lived in Point Loma all his life, told the press that he is the spokesman for a 5-man group of economic power-brokers who want to form a non-profit that will take over the newspaper and run it as a profit-making enterprise. Any profits, Burnham has pledged, would go back into community charities. Now as crazy as that plan might seem in this day and age of folding newspapers and expanding internet news sites, there are at least two other major dailies in the country that are run by non-profits. …

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6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

October 21, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for 6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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In Defense of Uncertainty in the Development Approval Process

October 21, 2014 by Source

By /San Diego UrbDeZine

giant question markNobody likes uncertainty.

Certainly not the developers of a billion dollar mixed-use project that encounters community opposition due to traffic impacts. Nor the public transportation agency that runs into fairy shrimp on the future route of a trolley line. Nor the city planners for multifamily housing around a transit station that face a revolt from their single-family neighbors.

Hence, there is a concerted effort by planners and policymakers locally and statewide, to reduce uncertainty in development project approvals. It takes the form of reducing discretion of public bodies, streamlining permit approvals through the use of specific plans and categorical exemptions, reforming the California Environmental Quality Act, and limiting opportunities …

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Utopia Revisited: Rethinking the Response to Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan

October 20, 2014 by Jim Miller

climate action plan sdBy Jim Miller

Since I last wrote on the People’s Climate March in late September, the grim environmental news has just kept coming in, whether it’s the revelation that September was the warmest month ever on planet earth, the Stanford study linking California’s grueling drought to climate change, the World Wildlife Federation report that the earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last fifty years, or the unpleasant surprise that, “In what could be termed as the worst effect of degrading climatic conditions and global warming, a new study has showed that fish in large numbers will disappear from the tropics by 2050”—it just doesn’t let up.

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The Secret of the San Diego Growth Machine: Another Case for Nancy Drew

October 17, 2014 by Source

Nancy Drew silhouetteBy Norma Damashek

Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory that would unite the forces of nature (he had his eye on relativity and electromagnetism).

I, too, have been searching for a unified theory—albeit a more modest one—to unite the forces of nature (human, in this case) that make San Diego the chronically backwater/ amorphous/ uninspired/ tunnel-visioned/ closed-shop/ quasi-corrupt/ rigidly-manipulated/shady city it is.

Come join the search. Just follow the trail of clues, click on a sampling of news links about San Diego, and you’ll discover a unifying theme that even Einstein would find surprising.

Clue #1: City governments are not bush league versions of the ones at the top. …

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The Co-Op Movement – Democratizing the Ownership of Wealth One Step at a Time

October 16, 2014 by John Lawrence

Capitalby pikettyBy John Lawrence

It has finally dawned on the American consciousness that wealth is being concentrated among fewer and fewer people. In fact just 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 180 million taken together.

Thomas Piketty in his ground breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shows the dynamic behind this dramatic rise in wealth among the upper echelon of society while everyone else, in particular the middle class, is being left in the dust.

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Proposition 48: Are Casinos Coming to Your Neighborhood?

October 15, 2014 by Doug Porter

Prop 48By Doug Porter

The following analysis of Proposition 48 represents my opinion. The SD Free Press editorial board may or may not agree with me. For all the articles on the upcoming election, check out the online media partner SDFP’s 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

It’s funny how people who normally couldn’t be bothered to pick up a gum wrapper off the sidewalk will become environmental activists when it suits their economic interests. In this instance we have “environmental concerns” being voiced by groups who are themselves exempt from the laws.

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Councilman Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Winter Homeless Shelter

October 15, 2014 by Source
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Compromise Means Barrio Logan to Host this Year But Not in 2016

By Brent E. Beltrán /

With his back against the wall, and a community within his district upset with the continued siting of the winter shelter in their neighborhood and the negative impact it brings, Councilmember David Alvarez stepped up and brokered a compromise.

Though the shelter will return this coming winter the City Council voted unanimously (with Councilmember Marti Emerald absent due to health reasons) with Mr. Alvarez’s motion to not have the location at Newton Avenue and 16th Street in Barrio Logan considered by the Housing Commission in 2016.

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OB Project Review Committee : Demolition of 101 Year Old House on Niagara

October 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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2nd Demolition Slated for 4700 Block of Del Mar Ave

The Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of the OB Planning Board – has two projects to review when it meets Wednesday night at the OB Rec Center, October 15th. The Rec Center is at 4726 Santa Monica Ave, and the meeting begins at 6pm.

Both projects are applications to demolish existing housing and to then construct new condominiums or single-family residences.

The first on deck is a proposal to demolish an over one-hundred year old house at 4677 Niagara Avenue by its new owners, who just purchased it for $690,000 on September 25, 2014 . It was built in 1913.

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Who Runs San Diego? Some Taxpayers Are More Equal Than Others at the County Taxpayers Association

October 14, 2014 by Source

The Nerd, the Negotiator, the Pretender and its Protégé

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

This week’s article is a little more complex than some of our previous looks at Who Runs San Diego?. When David (Cory Briggs) slays Goliath (Hoteliers Financing District) – that’s a good story!

When some (Sea World and certain electeds) tell us it’s OK to imprison and mistreat our sweet Shamu, LOTS of folk get mad. When our CD2/lifeguard good guy (Ed Harris) takes on tenants (Belmont Park) that seem a little moochy, you can pump your fist.

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Notes From the Education Wars: Marshall Tuck and the Plot Against Public Education

October 13, 2014 by Jim Miller

marshall-tuck-getting-chased-by-families-670x250By Jim Miller

After my column last week on the battle between Tom Torlakson and the corporate education reform machine backing Marshall Tuck, I was pleased to see The Nation magazine’s special issue on schools. The writers aptly note that the struggle in American education is not one of the “status quo” versus “reform,” but rather, it is between a kind of educational class war dressed up as reform and a more progressive vision that seeks to empower all kids equally.

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