Economy

Peninsula Planners Vote on Controversial Move by Sunshine Liquor

February 21, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

A large crowd attending a planning board meeting usually means something controversial is on the agenda; attendance at these meetings is normally sparse. This proved to be true at the February 16, 2017, Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting at the Point Loma Library.

Sunshine Liquor Move Controversial

The issue of a neighborhood liquor store moving from one side of Nimitz Boulevard to the other side apparently was much more controversial than the simple project description would suggest. Sunshine Liquor gained the PCPB’s approval for a Conditional Use Permit, one step in the process that will bring Sunshine Liquor to the west side of Nimitz.

The liquor store lost its lease at its former location, the small shopping center on the east side of Nimitz at the corner of Las Lomas St. and Voltaire.

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Union Density in San Diego Is Below State Average

February 21, 2017 by Source

union
By Murtaza Baxamusa / San Diego Free Press

There were about 185 thousand union members in San Diego, based on surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016. About 110 thousand of these workers are in the private sector. There are additionally 20 thousand workers covered by union contracts in the region. The continuing employment recovery in the last two years contributed to an increase in union membership.

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Midway Planners – Homeless, Private Security and Trolley Hubs

February 20, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

Concerns about the homeless problem continued to dominate the discussion at the Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting Thursday, February 15, 2017. According to the board’s chair, Cathy Stanton, this subject is a regular topic for its meetings.

The chair announced that they want to devote the entire April board meeting to a discussion of the homeless issue. She said they want to include Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, and Mission Beach in the discussion as well as having city representatives there. Bruce Williams, representing Councilmember Zapf’s office, said they are supportive of the meeting and mentioned getting the mayor’s “homeless czar,” Stacie Spector, to attend.

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Inequality in America: Incomes Collapsing for Bottom 50% as Top 1% Soars

February 20, 2017 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

While most of us were busy watching the Trump administration and their crack team of “populist” millionaires light the world on fire, a new study released by Thomas Piketty, Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, and Emmanuel Saez underlined the fact that the steep costs of our historic level of economic inequality are being borne by those at the bottom of the economic system, particularly here in the United States.

As the Market Watch story on this new research outlined:

In the U.S., between 1978 and 2015, the income share of the bottom 50% fell to 12% from 20%. Total real income for that group fell 1% during that time period.

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ResistSD! Progressive Calendar for San Diego February 16-March 1, 2017

February 18, 2017 by Doug Porter

More than two dozen ways to get involved

Progressive CalendarBy Doug Porter

Congress will be taking a break next week to listen to their constituents, except for the 200 Republican members of the House of Representatives who refuse contact with the public.

By contrast, in the first two months of 2015, Republicans held 222 in-person events.

Donald Trump is already campaigning for 2020, and as was true with his last launch event, people are being paid to be there.

So what can you do? There’s plenty of local activism to support. Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance.

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Looming City Council Decision Threatens Famed Ocean Beach Marijuana Testing Lab

February 16, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Looming City Council Decision Threatens Famed Ocean Beach Marijuana Testing Lab

A looming decision by the San Diego City Council could threaten the presence of a well-known marijuana testing lab in Ocean Beach that has been here for 6 years.

PharmLabs on Cable Street is reportedly “one of the first internationally accredited testing labs for marijuana in the world,” and “the premier business of its kind in the region”, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But it’s possible that the lab will be closed by new City rules on dealing with marijuana legalization and have to move out of metro San Diego. In early February, the City Council voted to authorize medical cannabis dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana after California guidelines are completed, probably in late 2017.

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Trump’s 7-Nation Immigration Ban Excluded Saudi Arabia – the Largest Purchaser of U.S. Military Equipment

February 16, 2017 by John Lawrence

Egypt Also Excluded – Major Recipient of U.S. Military Aid

By John Lawrence

Why did Trump try to impose tighter vetting on 7 nations in the Middle East without including Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Could it be that it’s because Saudi Arabia which is a hotbed of terrorism is also an ally of the US and an enemy of Iran?

Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi. The machete wielding attacker at the Louvre recently was Egyptian. Neither Egypt nor Pakistan nor Afghanistan were included on the so-called President’s list. Pakistan harbored bin Laden. Afghanistan is the home of the Taliban. If Trump had wanted to keep terrorists out of the US, surely he should have included these countries in his ban. But terrorism is more about U.S. alliances than it is about morality or human rights.

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The San Jose Solution for Emergency Shelter

February 10, 2017 by Source

A way to change this:

to this:

San Diego County / City of San Diego are in the middle of a serious emergency shelter crisis. The Point in Time Count numbers for 2016 for the county counted 8,692 homeless persons, with an 18.9% increase in the number of unsheltered individuals.

Numbers from the recent count will not be available until April, but are expected to be worse. San Diego has the unenviable distinction of having the 4th highest number of homeless people in the nation – more than Las Vegas, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco. By comparison, Santa Clara County / San Jose reported 6,556 homeless persons in 2015, and came in 9th for number of homeless people.

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It’s Time to Clean House at SANDAG

February 9, 2017 by Doug Porter

SANDAGBy Doug Porter

Andy Keatts story at Voice of San Diego about SANDAG (San Diego’s Regional Planning Agency) prompted one of those “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” moments for me yesterday.

He’s obtained emails showing the agency’s executive director and other high-ranking officials deliberately misled the public regarding economic forecasts with significant errors overstating sales tax revenues expected for transportation projects included as part of Measure A.

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California Assemblywoman Wants to Make Beaches and Coast More Accessible

February 8, 2017 by Source

From East County Today

California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) announced on Feb. 3rd a push for more affordable overnight accommodations along the California coast to help ensure that the state’s iconic beaches and shores are affordable and accessible for low- and middle-income residents to visit.

Under Assembly Bill 250, which the Assemblywoman introduced last week, the state agency in charge of preserving the Golden State’s 840 miles of coastline would be required to develop a Low Cost Overnight Accommodations Program in an effort to reverse a troubling trend in which visiting on the coast has become prohibitively expensive for many Californians.

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Top 10 Companies to Boycott Because of Trump Products or Money

February 6, 2017 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Top 10 Companies to Boycott Because of Trump Products or Money

There is a nation-wide group that is organizing a boycott of companies that carry Trump products, or are owned by Trump or have other relationships with him. It’s call #GrabYourWallet and they believe economic push-back by American citizens and others is a very valid form of protest.

Their campaign has already been going on for nearly 4 months now and it has achieved some successes. Here is how they describe themselves and their history:

The #GrabYourWallet movement tracks & boycotts retailers that sell Trump family products as well as corporate leaders who enabled the political rise of the Trump family through fundraising and/or endorsements.

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One-Third of Working Age Families in San Diego Can’t Make Ends Meet

February 3, 2017 by Source

Latest data shows more than 1 million people living in families with incomes too low for expenses

Center on Policy Initiatives

A new report from the Center on Policy Initiatives finds that a third (33%) of all household in San Diego County have incomes below the level needed to cover basic living expenses.

Women and children are most impacted, largely because employed women throughout the county earn 74 cents for every $1 paid to men. Among households headed by single mothers, 69% have incomes below the bare-bones level known as the Self-Sufficiency Standard.

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OB Town Council – Parade Winners, Zapf’s Budget Priorities and the Usual Suspects

February 2, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

At its monthly public meeting on Wed., January 25, the Ocean Beach Town Council celebrated the New Year and its first public event of 2017 by handing out awards to the winning floats that were in the December OB Holiday Parade.

As is true for many of the OBTC meetings, there was not one over-riding issue that dominated the meeting last week. Usually the audience is peppered with reports from the people who work for our politicians, from community groups, and from the reports of Board members – and this meeting was no exception.

Over 50 people sat in the audience, while half a dozen uniformed men stood off to the side, representing police, fire and lifeguard services. They all had their turn to address the meeting, as did reps from the City Attorney’s office and from Councilwoman Zapf’s office, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins’ office and Congressman Scott Peters’ office. Noticeably absent was anyone representing the Mayor’s office.

Winning Floats of OB Holiday Parade

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Local Ocean Beach Hostel Wins 3 Global Awards

February 2, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Local Ocean Beach Hostel Wins 3 Global Awards

Ocean Beach’s own hostel has just won three global awards by the industry’s international association HOSCAR.

Owned and run by USA Hostels, Ocean Beach ranked best in the world in 3 categories. The 15th annual HOSCAR awards, which celebrates the best hostels around the globe just came out. The awards are based on travelers’ reviews of hostels in countries around the world, and this year’s are reportedly based on one million reviews.

The OB hostel won the following awards:

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Anti-Immigrant Sentiment and Anti-Semitic Acts Impact San Diego

February 1, 2017 by Doug Porter

immigrant

By Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a statement on Tuesday indicating his disapproval of the executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries where President Donald Trump’s companies do not have investments.

Though milder in tone than statements by mayors in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle (some of whom have actually joined protests), Faulconer’s statement does recognize that individuals affected by the order are essential parts of the community.

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San Diego Is First California City to Approve Adult-Use Cannabis Sales at Medical Dispensaries

February 1, 2017 by Source

By TG Branfalt / Ganjapreneur

San Diego California’s city council unanimously voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales at the cities current 15 medical dispensaries once the voter-backed program is fully implemented, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Officials also indicated they would consider regulations later this year that would permit commercial cannabis cultivation, testing, and distribution.

A “sunset clause” is included in the measure, which requires the council to vote whether or not to allow cultivation within nine months.

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OB Planning Board Responds to Proposed City Restrictions on Recreational Marijuana

January 31, 2017 by Staff
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Today, January 31st, the San Diego City Council will vote on a proposal involving recreational marijuana, that allows recreational marijuana sales, but would ban commercial and restrict personal cultivation and testing for safety and potency.

In response to the proposed ban, the Ocean Beach Planning Board wrote the City Council members to express their positions and concerns.

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News from the Point Loma Avenue Commercial Area of Ocean Beach

January 30, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Today, we look at what’s new among the businesses along Point Loma Avenue in south Ocean Beach.

This is the last part of our 3-part series on the commercial areas of Ocean Beach. (Here is the Voltaire Street update and here is the Newport Avenue update.)

The commercial area along Point Loma Avenue is the smallest and shortest business district, and like the other main business streets in OB, it’s a tough, challenging street – as it’s never easy being a small storefront along that one block. And our photo-report of the block is not pretty.

John Baker Frames Closed

One of the most well-known business, John Baker Picture Frames, has definitely closed its doors.

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Feckless Democrats and Business Unionists Fail Early Trump Era Tests

January 30, 2017 by Jim Miller

Making Deals with the Devil

Feckless Democrats PoliticianBy Jim Miller

As inspiring as the big marches were last week, it didn’t take long for evidence to emerge that there are still plenty of folks in the Democratic party and elsewhere who just don’t get what time it is.

As I noted in a post I wrote on Martin Luther King Jr. day, it was dismaying to see prominent Democrats like Senator Cory Booker and twelve of his Big Pharma funded friends vote against Bernie Sanders’ effort to reduce prescription drug prices before the inauguration.

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News of the Newport Avenue Commercial Area in Ocean Beach

January 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

This is the second part in a series on the changes, the projects and the comings-and-goings of businesses in the commercial areas and streets of Ocean Beach. More visual with photos than actual news, everything was taken on Wednesday, Jan. 25th. Yesterday, we covered Voltaire Street.

The Newport Avenue Commercial Area

Newport Ave in Ocean Beach is a tough street. Commercial rents are high and business endeavors are risky. There is a constant turnover in the storefronts that struggle to survive, while such long-term establishments like the OB Hardware Store and Newport Optometry maintain their vigilance. Antique stores are slimming down but beer pubs are expanding faster than one could imagine a decade ago.

Little Miss Brewery

The latest beer tasting room on Newport Ave is Little Miss, a taproom that is moving into the space where Smart Clips Salon and Parker’s gift shop used to be.

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News from the Voltaire Street Commercial Area of Ocean Beach

January 26, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach has three commercial areas – the main one, of course, along Newport Avenue; a second one along Voltaire Street in north OB, and the smaller enterprise zone along Point Loma Avenue in south OB.

And within each commercial area, storefronts and businesses are constantly changing, new ones coming in and others closing or moving on. Plus construction projects also add to the mix.

Focusing on the Voltaire Street area today, this then is the beginning of an update to each business area of OB, based on a visit to them by this reporter on Wednesday, January 25th, .

Voltaire Street

People’s Food “Garden Restaurant”

The much-anticipated vegetarian restaurant being constructed on Voltaire Street by People’s Food Co-op is still in progress.

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Repeal and (Don’t) Replace

January 26, 2017 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Woman holding sign: "We [heart] Obamacare"

“Repeal and Replace” Just a Slogan

Republicans were fine with the way it was for the health care system before Obamacare went into effect. So why not just go back to the good old days when a pre-existing condition was enough to let an insurance company reject you from coverage?

The good old days when price gouging by insurance companies was the order of the day. The good old days when pharmaceutical corporations could charge whatever they want for life saving drugs. Oh, that part is still true under Obamacare.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Late January 2017

January 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Late January 2017

Victim of Sunset Cliffs Wave Recent Graduate of LSU

Adriana Toro, the tragic victim of a wave that swept her and a friend off rocks and into the surf at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue, was a recent graduate of Louisiana State University. Toro died at the hospital where she had been taken Saturday night, Jan. 20. Her companion, also hospitalized, is expected to recover.

* OB Yoga Festival runs from Friday, January 27th through Monday, January 30th.
* OB and Point Loma Residents Say Airplane Noise Getting Worse
* Slightly Stoopid to Produce Smokable Record
* Bank Robber Hits Midway Area Bank Twice Out of 4 Holdups

* Kilowatt Getting Close to Opening
* New Mexican Restaurant Headed for Liberty Station
* Mother’s Saloon to Offer Acoustic Wed Nights

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS

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Mayor’s Office Put on the Hot-Seat at Midway Planners’ Meeting

January 24, 2017 by Source
Thumbnail image for Mayor’s Office Put on the Hot-Seat at Midway Planners’ Meeting

Issue of Homelessness in Midway Area Dominates Monthly Meeting

By Geoff Page

The Mayor’s Office was put on the proverbial hot-seat during the recent Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group (Midway) monthly meeting – held on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at the San Diego City College – West City Campus on Fordham Street Room 208. (The meeting is ordinarily held the third Wednesday of the month, the Thursday meeting was a one time occurrence.)

The meeting started at 3:00 in the afternoon and continued until 5:00. There were not enough board members present to constitute a quorum but this was not a serious problem because no action items, requiring a board vote, were on the agenda.

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Another Beer Pub Coming to Newport Ave in Ocean Beach

January 18, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Little Miss Will Become 7th Beer Taproom on or near Newport

Apparently, yet another beer pub is moving into Ocean Beach on Newport Avenue.

In an article published Jan. 17th by Ian Anderson in the San Diego Reader, Little Miss Brewing has just announced that it has signed a lease for the space at 4861 Newport – and pending licensing – plans to open a satellite tasting room at that location. It will be in a 2000 square feet space and Little Miss will offer 20 taps.

The brewery company also plans to open a tasting room in Normal Heights. The 5-month old business, run by Jade and Greg Malkin, began their San Diego operations in a Miramar brewhouse, and soon found a success.

Little Miss has a general motif of World War II imagery.

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Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

January 17, 2017 by Source
Thumbnail image for Welcome To 2017: Seven Keys for Immigrants to Overcoming Adversity

By Carlos Batara

As the new year dawns, most of us need to reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively.

Unfortunately, far too many of those active in immigration circles are caught in the “feel sorry for myself” moment. With a new president, one who has articulated strong law enforcement measures, about to take office, the “doom and gloom” sentiments of immigrants and their advocates are deafening.

Yet, stop for a moment and reflect back to 2009 and 2013. What has really changed in immigration law since that time? In the majority of cases, my office helps immigrants under the same rules that existed back then.

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Trump’s Goldman Sachs Connections

January 13, 2017 by John Lawrence

Restocking the Swamp

By John Lawrence

Treasury DepartmentTrump’s new pick for Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, his top campaign fundraiser, was a Goldman Sachs executive. Mnuchin spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs where he became a partner.

He also worked for hedge fund manager George Soros, founded a hedge fund of his own and was the lead investor in IndyMac, a failed subprime lender that turned into a “foreclosure machine” during the housing crisis.

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City Attorney Targets High-End Restaurants in Ocean Beach and Point Loma for Adding Surcharges

January 12, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

We’ve been following the developing story of how the new San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott, is targeting high-end restaurants for adding illegal surcharges to customers’ bills – or misrepresenting the additions – all due to the January 1st increase in the minimum wage within the city.

A number of these restaurants are located in the Ocean Beach and Point Loma communities, as they are part of larger chains. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that –

“restaurant industry officials … estimated that about 30 local operators are adding surcharges of about 3 percent to bills in response to the minimum wage hike. They include … the Brigantine chain [and] Cohn Restaurant Group….”

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Homeless Advocates Plan Response Tonight To Mayor Faulconer’s 2017 State Of The City Address

January 12, 2017 by Source

By Women Occupy San Diego

Press Conference & Performance by the Voices of Our City Choir
THURSDAY, January 12, 2017, about 7:30-8:30pm (following Mayor’s State of the City)
Horton Plaza Park (Near 4th & E/across from the Balboa Theater)

After attending the Mayor’s 2017 State of the City address at the Balboa Theater, Women Occupy San Diego, Voices of Our City Choir and other concerned San Diegans will gather nearby to share reactions to what he proposes as solutions to homelessness.

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Opinion: Five Reasons Why We Must Build a New Chargers’ Stadium

January 11, 2017 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Let’s cut to the chase. San Diego must have a new football stadium for five good reasons.

1. We have already solved the problem of homelessness.

The mayor has made it his priority this year; so that is fixed. Forget that the official count of those on the streets is now 8,700 — an increase of almost 3 percent from last year.

The city can and does just move them out of sight (so if you can’t see them, they don’t exist). Move them from downtown to Hillcrest. From Mission Hills canyons to the bridges and overhangs near Fuller Liquor and along the San Diego River. Ocean Beach doesn’t count because everyone there looks almost homeless.

No need to waste precious money on the homeless. Build a stadium. Let the homeless sleep in the old one.

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