Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ocean Beach Mobilizes for City Council Show-Down on Tuesday, July 29th

July 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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You can tell something is happening in Ocean Beach by the number of emails fluttering around OB’s cyberspace.

For instance, the OB Town Council is sending out their email announcements calling on members of their group and supporters of their “Respect OB” campaign to attend tomorrow’s City Council hearing on the Community Plan.

The OBTC says:

Do you love Ocean Beach? Do you want to protect our small-scale character? Do you want to prevent bulky over-development?

Then heed this call to action!

Step 1: Sign the online petition to protect the small-scale character of Ocean Beach

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Lessons for a New Gilded Age: Labor Studies Courses at City College

July 28, 2014 by Source

history-labor-unionsBy Kelly Mayhew

There’s been a lot of discussion of economic inequality recently in wake of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

As many economists have observed, American workers are more educated and more productive than ever and are driving record profits for corporations while they’re seeing their wages stagnate or decline as the wealth accumulated by the top 1% of earners has skyrocketed. Robert Reich has been on a crusade to emphasize the historic importance of our current economic inequality crisis, and people like Paul Krugman have noted that we are living in “a new gilded age.”

Here in San Diego we are in the midst of seeing this writ large as the battle to raise the minimum wage rages on with a community-labor alliance advocating for the rights of low-wage workers while the city’s economic elite push back hard.

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Who Runs San Diego? Introduction to a Series

July 24, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Eva Posner & Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Relationships and money trails tell us who wields the power in our community.

It is hard to imagine, that in the 5th largest county in the United States, only a handful of people have any real influence on the day to day decisions that effect the lives of over 3 million people. But it’s true. And a lack of voter participation isn’t helping.

In both the February 2014 election to replace Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego and in the June primary voter turnout was abysmally low. Overall voting turnout in the County in June was an anemic 27.2%, but many precincts registered in the single digits.

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Dude, is it legal yet?

July 23, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Dude, is it legal yet?

People have been saying this since the seventies. Speaking to activists from this era, it seems many felt that legalization of marijuana in the US was imminent in the early seventies. But other than Alaska in 1975 (re-criminalized in 1991) the seventies did not see legalization of marijuana come to pass.

The activists of the seventies (Baby Boomers) have now been joined by the next generation – the children of the seventies (Gen X). With these two generations working together public support for legal marijuana is now over 50% and is on the rise. Victories in the battle to change US laws continue as both generations of activists work towards change.

Today the answer to ‘Dude, is it legal yet?’ is becoming ‘Yes!’ for more and more people as Washington and Colorado have moved to legalization, nine states have decriminalized and twenty-three have introduced medical marijuana legislation.

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After the Minimum Wage Win: the Battle Continues

July 21, 2014 by Jim Miller

Closeup of business people standingBy Jim Miller

San Diego’s progressive community got a well deserved shout-out last week in the national media with The Nation praising the good work of our city’s “expanding progressive base.”

More specifically, the article noted that the local movement to raise the minimum wage was comprised of many of the same folks who formed the community-labor alliance behind the David Alvarez mayoral campaign:

That coalition, Raise Up San Diego, includes the Center for Policy Initiatives as well as labor unions, immigrant rights groups and service providers.

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San Diego’s Overlords Seek Overturn of City Council Vote Raising Minimum Wage

July 18, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Business interests opposed to raising the minimum wage in San Diego haven’t given up, despite a 6-3 city council vote on Monday, July 14, approving an ordinance boosting wages for an estimated 172,000 workers.

On Tuesday they launched a major public relations campaign seeking to portray the council vote as undemocratic and unfair to their interests. In closed door meetings led by Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders, so-called business leaders are considering the logistics of mounting a signature gathering campaign to place an initiative on the ballot seeking to overturn the minimum wage increase.

Although meeting the August 8th deadline for inclusion on the November 2014 ballot is unlikely, a successful campaign completed …

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The World We’ve Constructed Is Far Beyond George Orwell’s Worst Nightmare

July 18, 2014 by Source

georgeorwell1984Orwell’s chilling vision of the future in ’1984′ is happening today in the form of media manipulation and unnecessary wars.

By John Pilger / AlterNet

The other night, I saw George Orwell’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.

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3 Unit Apartment on 4900 Block of West Point Loma Sold for Close to $1 Million

July 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The Daily Transcript (subscription) / July 16, 2014

A 3-unit apartment on West Point Loma Avenue has just been sold for close to a million bucks. Buyer Robb A Murphy just spent $950,000 for the 2-story structure and yard at 4960-4962 W. Point Loma Blvd.

The building has 2,016 square feet total and is on a 5,624-square-foot lot (assessor’s parcel 448-230-02). Within the 3 units, there’s only four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It was built in 1953.

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California Passes Drastic Water Restrictions Effective August 1st

July 15, 2014 by Source
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Fines of up to $500 for watering gardens or washing cars – Southern Calif water use actually increased 8% since Gov. Brown declared emergency in January

By Ian Lovett / New York Times / July 15, 2014

With rainfall this year at historically low levels and reservoirs quickly dwindling, California officials on Tuesday approved the most drastic measures yet to reduce water consumption during the state’s increasingly serious drought, including fines of up to $500 per day under some circumstances for watering a garden, washing a car or hosing down a sidewalk.

The new measures come in response to an apathetic public that has ignored repeated pleas to save water since Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency in January.

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OB’s Apple Tree Market to Re-Open in Old Bank of America Building

July 15, 2014 by Staff

He promised for quite a long time. Saad Hirmez kept telling people who asked that he planned to re-open his old Apple Tree Market in the former Bank of America building on Newport Avenue.

But people kept looking into the vacant cavern of a building at 4978 Newport but they didn’t see any signs of a market coming in.

Yet, it’s all true. Hirmez has announced that the Apple Tree will be moving into the old bank – which has had several apparitions since being a bank – a boxing ring, the Rock Scissors Paper store.

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San Diego Becomes Largest US City to Pass Minimum Wage Hike and Earned Sick Days Policy

July 15, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Supporters of a hike in local minimum wages left nothing to chance yesterday as a city council decision on a proposal by Todd Gloria neared. Over 400 hundred people showed up at city hall for a 6pm hearing, filling the council chambers and two overflow rooms. Many wore pink signs indicating their support.

Email and social media reminders abounded during the day, including a mid-day Raise Up San Diego-led “Twitterstorm.” More than 100 people testified before the council. Highlights included former basketball star Bill Walton …

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What Kind of City Is San Diego? It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

July 14, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

raise min wageThe San Diego City Council will consider today whether to pass an ordinance or put forth a ballot measure to increase the city’s minimum wage and provide earned sick days for local workers.

Since the last time I wrote on this subject in late April, the original proposal of raising the minimum wage to the local Self-Sufficiency Standard of $13.09 with five earned sick days has been significantly lowered in order to address the concerns of opponents.

The current proposal keeps the initial five earned sick days but now only raises the minimum wage to $9.75 in 2015 …

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18 Million Americans Suffer from GMO and Gluten Intolerance

July 11, 2014 by Source
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NationofChange
Gluten intolerance is a hot issue these days. Research estimates that over 18 million Americans now have a gluten sensitivity. These new gluten sensitivities are likely due to genetic alteration of crops, and while there is no GMO-wheat, per se, GMOs and modern wheat are killing us.

Wheat’s mass production turned into toxic junk food, and now the combination of the two is causing headaches, stomach ulcers, prostate cancer, IBS, bladder and pancreatic cancers, and all sorts of …

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Anger and Compassion Shown at Point Loma Library Meeting on Homeless Issues (Without the Homeless)

July 11, 2014 by Staff
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In what was billed as Councilman Ed Harris‘ “Homeless Issues Meeting”, at the Point Loma library last night, July 10, at a standing-room only crowd, angry OB and Pt Loma residents and a few businesspeople met up with folks who serve the homeless. And apparently, there were no homeless people present.

The meeting generated different accounts (the OB Rag did not have a reporter present).

OB Jess reported the following:

When I went to the forum on the homeless last night I wasn’t sure what I was getting into,

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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. human rights.

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Minimum Wage Increase, Earned Sick Days Proposal Set for Full City Council Hearing July 14th

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The full San Diego City Council is set to hear arguments over proposals increasing the minimum wage and allowing for up to five earned sick days. The measure being considered is Council President Todd Gloria’s attempt at comprise from an earlier proposal.

The specifics of the current plan are:

  • $9.75 Jan 2015
  • $10.50 Jan 2016
  • $11.50 Jan 2017
  • Indexed to inflation after Jan 2019
  • 5 Earned Sick days
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News From Around the Surf and Sand of Ocean Beach

July 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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* No Injuries a Miracle as SUV Plows into OB Episcopal Church

A Honda Pilot SUV plowed into OB’s Episcopal Diocese

* No Arrests at July 4th BBQ for Homeless

There were no arrests of anyone at the July 4th BBQ for homeless people in Saratoga Park.

* Volunteers Needed at Farmers Market to Circulate OB Plan Petition

Volunteers are needed as OB organizers gear up for the final showdown at the City Council. They’re needed to help circulate the Petition in support of the OB Community Plan.

* Councilman Ed Harris to Hold Forum on Homelessness – Thursday July 10

Councilman Harris will host a forum at the Point Loma library Thursday evening – July 10 – at seven

… AND MORE – COME INSIDE ….

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America Has a Koch Problem

July 8, 2014 by Judi Curry

Move-on sponsored movie “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” shown in households all over the nation.

By Judi Curry

Bill from the Swamp CrittersSenator Bernie Sanders sent out an email telling Move-on members that “ . . . our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like Charles and David Koch. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back, and we must do it now in advance of November’s elections.”

I had heard of the Koch brothers for months; I was somewhat aware of the dastardly deeds they were doing throughout our country, and decided to attend the showing of this documentary at “The Hippie House” recently with approximately twenty of our Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach neighbors.

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Our Children: Thoughts from Murrieta

July 7, 2014 by Source

They are now our children. Photo by Rick Najera.

They ask again what side I’m on. I think and answer, “I’m on the children’s side.”

By Rick Najera / Latino Rebels

I’m in Murrieta, California, ground zero in the immigration debate. I’m watching hundreds of protestors and supporters at a hastily called town hall meeting at the local high school.

Police surround the auditorium to shield between protestors and supporters. A massive wall of news vans fill the parking lot. Reporters with news cameras troll the crowd hunting for sound bites. On both sides, people fly American flags. …

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What the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn Decision Means for Workers and American Democracy

July 7, 2014 by Jim Miller

David Sachs/SEIU via Equal Times

By Jim Miller

After last week’s slew of bad Supreme Court rulings much of the media attention rightfully went to the horrendous “Hobby Lobby” case where the rights of corporations were deemed more important than the rights of women.

But there was another big decision where the Supreme Court surprised some observers and ruled narrowly on Harris v. Quinn, the case which could have gutted public sector unions and virtually wiped out their ability to play in American politics by ending all public sector unions’ ability to collect agency fees. As the Daily Kos noted of the case:

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San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 3, 2014 by Source
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We are not only facing a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of values as well

By San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The leadership of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a coalition of nearly 20 community, faith, labor, and legal organizations released the following statement in response the current humanitarian crisis migrant families are facing in Southern California.

sdirclogoAlor Calderon, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Program Director at the Employee Rights Center:

The issue of unaccompanied minors fleeing their home countries is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration crisis, and should be treated as such.

Furthermore, we are not only facing a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of values as well.

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Group Threatened With Arrest If They Feed Homeless at Saratoga Park on July 4th

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: No arrests made as volunteers served dozens of homeless and other needy people this morning at Saratoga Park in OB.

A group that feeds homeless people on every holiday at an Ocean Beach park has been threatened with arrest by police if they go ahead feed the homeless on July 4th.

The group – Second Chances – is a non-profit that works with local churches and homeless advocates. They feed homeless people in OB every Saturday at the Episcopal Church on Sunset Cliffs and Brighton. And on major holidays the also feed homeless folks at Saratoga Park down at the beach. The last holiday they did this was on Memorial Day this year – without hassles.

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Break-down of Coastal Commission Recommendations to OB Plan

July 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last Friday, June 27th, staff of the California Coastal Commission submitted 43 recommendations involving the Ocean Beach Community Plan to the City for its considerations. This 11th-hour submittal of modifications has now delayed the review and potential approval of OB’s Plan by the City Council. This past Monday, the Council moved their hearing to July 29th.

The Council felt that City staff, both from the planning department and the City Attorney’s Office, needed to review and respond to the recommendations.

If staff found a recommendation that is “material” – that is a substantial change – to the Plan, then the potential exists for even more delays, as the Plan then would have to go back before the Planning Commission.

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New OB Consignment Shop Hits the Ground Runnin’

June 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a new consignment shop on Abbott Street these days and it appears the partners who own it hit the ground running. The Consignment Shack OB – located next to the laundry mat and where formerly Rocky’s Surf Shop existed, near the corner of Abbott and Muir, was able to move in fully blown because the partners own another larger store in La Mesa – way out there in East County.

But the partners have lived in OB for years. Nancy Fiandaca was staffing the place the other day when I visited the shop. She owns it along with Dani Fiandaca and Kelly McFall.

Nancy told me, “We’re from OB,” and she herself has lived here for 27 years.

They opened about a month and half ago and offer unusual furniture, art and household decor, particularly mid-century, vintage and “just cool stuff”, Nancy said.

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Another community whose plan is in trouble – and this time it’s Ocean Beach

June 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Coming on the heels of the electoral defeat of the community plan for Barrio Logan in the June 3rd Primary, there’s now yet another community whose plan in trouble, and this time it’s Ocean Beach.

After a 12 year process of updating its community plan, Ocean Beach finally had a Draft Update that was supported and endorsed by every community group in the village. The OB Town Council was on board as were the merchants’ association. Plus other groups as well, like the Friends of the OB Library.

But on its way for the anticipated final approval by the City Council, the OB Community Plan ran into a roadblock: the San Diego Planning Commission.

At their May 29th hearing on the Plan, the Planning Commission – having listened to City staff endorse it, and after nearly every Commissioner praised OB’s “unique character”, turned around and …

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Peninsula Community Planning Board Puts the Brakes on “Point Loma Village”

June 23, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate/ Special to the OB Rag

An architect may have been mistaken about zoning regulations when he drew up plans for a three-story, mixed-use project with 17 luxury condos and retail space in Roseville, the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) decided June 19 at its monthly meeting.

Tony Cutri, architect and vice president of Martinez + Cutri Corp., said the project provided 42 parking spaces – 11 for retail, 31 for condos. But a resident, Marian D’Angelo, said she had researched zoning ordinances and spoken to city planners who told her parking requirements were higher.

By a 9-1 vote, the board decided …

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Networking Group Brings OB Business Owners Together

June 17, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Stroll by Te Mana Café on a Tuesday afternoon and you’re liable to see some of the future movers and shakers in the OB business community.

That’s where the Ocean Beach Networking Group has been meeting for a weekly luncheon ever since March. The group was the brainchild of Chuck Hardwick and C.C. Summerfield.

“None of my clients were in OB. They’re all over,” said Hardwick, who owns a web marketing business. “I really wanted to meet some local people. That’s how it came about.”

So he took to the Internet, posting a message on LinkedIn looking for interest. That’s where he met Summerfield, a real estate agent in the area.

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June Notes from the Garden

June 16, 2014 by Source

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

tomatoes

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

Here’s good news for everyone. Ninety-five percent of all the insects you find in your garden are beneficial! Before you use or purchase any chemical (read toxic) solutions, you can first check online at the UCDavis Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site. Take a photo of your suspicious little bug and check it at the IPM website to be sure what your insect is and what, if anything, to do about it. Often times you can put some water and a drop or two of dish soap into a plastic spray bottle and that will do the trick (aphids come to mind). Remember to spray UNDER the leaves as well as the tops. I find this website very reassuring because I can’t remember everything, but I can remember where to look for information.

It is early June here in San Diego and you can still plant all your summer vegetables.

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Both Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on Voltaire Street in OB Closed Down

June 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There was a day not too long ago, that the 4800 block of Voltaire Street in OB had two medical marijuana dispensaries on it. Now there is none.

Both the med pot shops at 4827 A Voltaire and at 4852 Voltaire are totally gone, dude.

The first one to open was the storefront at 4852. Bill Tsiamis, the property owner, told me he did not know what was going on in the storefront that he owns.

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