Economy

On Love and Meritocracy – Part 2

July 28, 2016 by John Lawrence

There is No PhD in Love. Instead, there’s a ‘filtering out’ system

Love in San DiegoHere’s Part 1.

The educational system promotes “progress” in western terms that produces gadgets and labor saving devices while employing smaller and smaller numbers of highly educated people to do so.

Those people who have a high capacity to love or care for others are devalued as lesser human beings if they do not have high IQs and advanced degrees from prestigious institutions. They aren’t promoted in terms of the educational system.

There is no PhD in love.

The meritocracy is seen as deserving of billions of dollars. Highly educated professionals attain the highest reaches of government from which they declaim on the virtues of people like themselves.

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A San Diego Millennial’s View of the (Recent) History of Marijuana

July 27, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for A San Diego Millennial’s View of the (Recent) History of Marijuana

The Old OB Hippie Blogs

An old fart like me gets really excited in anticipation of recreational marijuana being finally legalized for the first time in California this November. I’ve been smoking “black market” weed for 50 years, always having to hide it – first from my parents, then from my kids. But no longer.

Smoking herb will be legal very soon. I can’t wait. In the meantime, of course, I got my Letter of Recommendation from a doctor for medicinal cannabis. (I have plenty of genuine ailments, you doubters!)

In a quick leap, I went from smoking “Mexy” – the average marijuana from the border region – to smoking the good flower you can buy at the dispensaries. That is quite a jump. And I’ve had to run to catch up on all the brand names and accoutrements. The friends I have of my age all laugh at the different titles to this or that variety – as they don’t understand that the titles represent brands, and different strains.

So, to understand even more and to broaden my views, I sat down recently with a local millennial from San Diego to get his perspective on the marijuana experience and its and his history. I’ll call him “Mick”.

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Reader Rant: “The community is being snookered about City’s lack of enforcement of 30-foot height violations.”

July 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: “The community is being snookered about City’s lack of enforcement of 30-foot height violations.”

By Local One

I attended the Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting last night (Thursday, July 21) and listened intently to the presentations made by Mayor Faulconer’s representative and the head of the Developmental Services Department.

Boy oh boy, what a bunch of packaged lies we were fed last night. The people can see with their own eyes that the community is being snookered with regard to the lack of enforcement, and continuing DSD approval, of numerous violations of the existing MC defined 30 foot coastal height limit.

Speaker after speaker last night quoted directly from the Municipal Code in which the law is absolutely clear with regard to measuring the 30? height, but City representatives from the Mayor’s office and DSD kept insisting that the City Attorney’s office interprets the voter approved Proposition D very differently than any common sense reading of the law.

Further, the Mayor and DSD shut down the Emerson Street project based on a violation of the FAR standards, NOT the obvious violation of the 30 foot coastal height limit.

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The Last Little Thrift Store on Newport in Ocean Beach

July 21, 2016 by Source
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Two Dollar Thrill Only Shop of Its Kind on Main Commercial Street

By South OB Girl

Newport Avenue has a long history of thrift shops and vintage clothing shops. A history that is decades long.

Some folks are excited for the new coffee shop, OB Beans, opening at 4879 Newport Ave. But some folks are sad that Thrift Trader ended up closing its doors in that location.

Thankfully — two doors down from the old Thrift Trader location is Two Dollar Thrill. Run by the owner of Thrift Trader. Two Dollar Thrill is now the only thrift shop on Newport. Since the thrift shop for animals on Newport also closed its doors this year.

The current location at 4871 Newport — between OB Hardware and The Corner Store –is actually the original location, where Two Dollar Thrill first opened in OB 6 years ago. The larger store at 4879 was part of an attempted expansion.

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On Love and Meritocracy – Part 1

July 21, 2016 by John Lawrence

We Don’t Need Another Gadget

The Answer is LoveWhat the world needs now is love… so wrote Hal David in 1965 with music by Burt Bacharach. It was true then and even truer now.

We don’t need another gadget. We don’t need another smartphone. We don’t need another IPO, which only increases the economic divide between the 1% and the 99%.

Economic progress has utterly failed us. It won’t prevent the world going up in flames and/or being flooded out due to global warming. It hasn’t prevented war and violence crowding out every other story on the evening news and getting worse by the day.

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Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

July 19, 2016 by Source
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Editor: With all the talk about immigration by politicians these days, it’s difficult to tell whether they know what they’re talking about. Here, immigration lawyer Carlos Batara lays it all out, A to Z with tips and terms.

By Carlos Batara

1. Immigration Tips And Terms A To Z is the knowledge gained after decades of practice here in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

2. Asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an immigrant who has left their native country as a refugee. To qualify for asylum, individuals must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

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Son of Local Ocean Beach Homeless Man Who Died Christmas Day Qualifies for the Olympics

July 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Son of Local Ocean Beach Homeless Man Who Died Christmas Day Qualifies for the Olympics

Editor: With so many terrible stories involving San Diego’s homeless lately, here is something different. Earlier this year, writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey had covered a story on Craig Miller, a homeless man who lived in the streets of OB but who died on Christmas Day. They recently found out that his son, Cody Miller, qualified for the Olympics in swimming. Here is that story.

By Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey

It is a kid’s dream to stand on an Olympic podium and have their nation’s flag wave high as he smiles at his family. Cody Miller, of Billings, Montana, qualified on June 27th for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke coming from behind to secure his spot on the Olympic swim team. This year’s games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil beginning August 5th, 2016. The road for Cody did not come easy. Cody was born with Pectus Excavatum, also known as a sunken or funnel chest.

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Status of New Breweries on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach

July 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Status of New Breweries on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach

Here’s a real brief update on the status of all the new and in-coming breweries on or very near Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.

There’s really 5 new brew places – and so far only one is actually a “brewery” where beer is brewed on site. The rest are or will be “beer-tasting rooms”.

The first new brew taster on OB’s main drag is “Culture Brewing Co.” right next to OB Warehouse in the 4800 block of Newport. Cultures has definitely established itself, serving quality beer with little overhead in terms of furniture. Any week night, there’s plenty of folks enjoying themselves.

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General Dynamics, Once a San Diego Mainstay, Now Dearly Departed

July 18, 2016 by John Lawrence

The following article appeared in the 1969 print edition of the San Diego Free Press. It has been transcribed from the microfilm at the San Diego Public Library.

By John Lawrence

General DynamicsAs Frank Pace says in the Foreward to Dynamic America: A History of the General Dynamics Corporation by John Niven:

In 1960, ours is the most powerful of nations, intimately involved in all the earth’s daily business, the major bulwark against communism and so most threatened.

From these times to the present, during our growth, from an insular agrarian society to the world’s political and industrial leader, the position of the United States in world politics has determined, almost exclusively, the flow of product research and development from General Dynamics.

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Suspect Arrested Friday After 2 More Attacks on Homeless Men

July 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

From abc10News:

A man was detained and was being questioned in connection with an assault on homeless man in Golden Hill early Friday morning that investigators believe is linked to four other brutal attacks earlier this month that left three men dead and a fourth gravely injured.

Shortly before 4:30 a.m., a 55-year-old man was beaten while asleep in the area of 19th and C streets. San Diego police officers responded and found the bloodied victim with significant trauma to his torso, San Diego police Capt. Dave Nisleit told reporters in a morning briefing.

He was transported to a local hospital but is expected to survive.

A little before 5:45 a.m., a man was taken into custody in the area of Laurel and Brant streets in Bankers Hill. Nisleit confirmed the detained man was being questioned in connection with the attack. His name was not disclosed.

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Did You Get Your Invite to the Rancho Santa Fe Trump “Victory” Fundraiser?

July 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump invite RSF 7-13-16

Hey, did you receive your big invite to the really big Donald Trump “Victory” fundraiser? No?

It’s only $25,000 a seat.

It’s over in Rancho Santa Fe – Wednesday, July 13th – at some private homes, and it’s being chaired by Jenny Craig, Geniya and Papa Doug Manchester and other bigwigs apparently in the Trump column.

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Locals Help Displaced Homeless People During the All Stars Game – a Call for Volunteers

July 11, 2016 by Staff

City Cracks Down on Homeless While Most of San Diego Stands by Silently

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive This is what happens when those in authority disparage a particular group of people.

Whether they mean to or not, their public expressions of contempt and disrespect give permission, and even encouragement, to those looking for an excuse to manifest their anger and hatred in violent actions against the most vulnerable.

I predict that future history books will call this the Trump Effect.

Every Monday our City sends out a team of a half dozen squad cards, sanitation vehicles, fire engines and ambulances to uproot our poorest neighbors.

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Chargers Convadium Plan: Lipstick on a Pig

July 6, 2016 by John Lawrence

chargers design 5Part 2 in a series

By John Lawrence

I previously reported on the 110 Pages of Gobbledygook that represents the Chargers’ proposal to build a combination football stadium and convention center expansion in downtown. It looks like it’s not going to happen because Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a lot of conservative businessmen are against it.

Perhaps the Chargers assumed that Faulconer would immediately climb on the bandwagon and start cheering for the so-called convadium.

Faulconer, however, to his credit has been cautious, questioning the $1.15 billion in new debt the City would have to take on as its part in this endeavor. The Chargers casually gloss over this in their gobbledygook proposal. And they say nothing about the $50 million still owed on Qualcomm Stadium as if that’s not even something worth mentioning.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, recent state Supreme Court ruling means that the Chargers will probably have to have a two-thirds approval from the voters in November instead of a simple majority.

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The GDP is a Poor Measure of Progress

July 1, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

GDPGross Domestic Product does not measure the well-being of human beings.

War, natural disasters, incarcerations all add to positive GDP growth. Profits from casinos, drug sales, cigarette sales, junk food all add to economic growth.

Stock buybacks contribute to GDP. GDP is based on distorted values. If I pay down my debt, that does not add to GDP. If I borrow more money and go into debt and go out and buy stuff, that increases GDP.

Wall Street insistence on short-term profits, as opposed to long-term growth, does add to GDP. GDP is f’d up, yet for every politician and government functionary it’s the sine qua non of economic indicators. Every swindler that parts someone with a buck contributes to GDP growth.

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Former Gallagher’s Evolves into “The Holding Company 1502” Music Venue

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Steve Yeng and his family, the owners of both the OB Noodle House on Cable and Bar 1502 over on Niagara, had moved into the old Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue. They held an opening night under the old name not too long ago – which a bunch of us attended.

And now there is a new handle on the place.

The new name: “The Holding Company” or “THC” and “1502” (the positions of the alphabet for “O” and “B”).

Some locals find the new name very edgy, even controversial due to the obvious double layer of meaning. But Yeng is not fazed. After all, this is the year that Californians will (probably) vote to legalize marijuana.

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Let Them Eat Rocks

June 27, 2016 by Source

police ticket homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Last week was a helluva week for those of us helping people without a place to live.

There were plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the heatwave, as well as the Border fire that was threatening several communities out in East County. But unlike the all-out effort to help residents, pets and livestock in the path of the fire, there was no effort to help the residents of downtown under direct assault from a relentless sun.

Except for access to the library which, for those living on the street, would entail leaving all of your few meager possessions outside, unattended, there was no Health and Human Services program to help them.

The week actually began last Friday for me when my friend Martha Sullivan called asking for help to provide a Cooling Station offering lifesaving hydration and shade for homeless people during the predicted heatwave.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

June 24, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

By South OB Girl

Victor Brown, Field Representative for Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, had his hands full of socks at Wednesday night’s OB Town Council meeting – all donated by local OBceans.

Socks for Stand Down was started in 2015 by State Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus, after local Stand Down organizers expressed a need for socks and underwear for homeless veterans attending Stand Down.

Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Stand Down events are one to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans receive food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, dental care, VA Social Security benefits, and counseling.

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The High Costs of Policy Shortfalls in Housing

June 24, 2016 by Source

Close-up View of Garden HoseBy Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines

The high cost of housing is one of the most challenging planning issues of our time.

The meager supply of affordable housing is a major contributor to the problem, yet the policy tools to address the shortfall often seem to worsen the problem.

But this is because they ignore the underlying infrastructure and financing to support growth.

Housing affordability is really about two things: income and cost. The building industry is doing very little about the former, oftentimes opposing prevailing wages for construction workers. On the latter, the key question (being debated in California now) is whether deregulation of market rate housing projects will somehow “trickle down” to households, enabling them to afford rising rents and mortgages.

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The Loss of Community Is Still the Biggest Threat from Short Term Vacation Rentals

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB airbnb map
The Ocean Beach Town Council will have a presentation and discussion on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, June 22.

Representatives of the group that has been lobbying city government to “do something” about the disruption to residential neighborhoods, Save San Diego Neighborhoods, will be making at least one of the presentations.

They will be discussing how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into San Diego’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive. They will demonstrate how neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted. And even how the character of a neighborhood is altered.

This is all well and good – and necessary.

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OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

June 21, 2016 by John Lawrence
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The Gig Economy: Okay If the Profits Went to the Giggers

By John Lawrence

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of working a job here and a job there according to the worker’s convenience and other activities.

The problem is that the profits go to some centralized corporation rather than being spread out among all the giggers in proportion to their participation in the system.

gig economy

If Uber or Lyft were a co-op, the profits would go to all the worker/owners instead of a handful of investors.
Then the gig economy would offer not only a technique for working at one’s convenience and fitting into one’s schedule whether that schedule might be educational or child care or surfing or whatever.

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OB Town Council Meeting – Short Term Vacation Rentals Presentation and Discussion – Wed., June 22nd

June 20, 2016 by Staff

OBTC OB image 6-22-16

Everyone is invited to the OB Town Council meeting on Wednesday, June 22nd, to discuss Short Term Vacation Rentals in Ocean Beach, a very hot topic these days at the coast.

From the OBTC website:

Tourism to our quaint beach town helps our economy thrive, but many residents have been feeling the affect of short-term vacation rentals as fewer homes are available for affordable long-term rental.

Representatives from Save San Diego Neighborhoods will provide an overview on short-term vacation rentals, community impacts, and enforcement of current municipal code. The Town Council wants you to come and share your experience, concerns, and feedback on STVRs during the community discussion.

The meeting begins at 7:00pm at the Masonic Center (1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.)

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

SD U-T stvr 3

By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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A Bad Climate? The State of Social Justice Efforts in the Labor and Environmental Movements

June 13, 2016 by Jim Miller

no bakkenBy Jim Miller

Among the stories that you may have missed during the stretch run of the primary season was some significantly bad news out of labor on the national front.

Several large unions in the building trades came out against a plan by some of the biggest public sector unions to join forces with environmentalist Tom Steyer in order to fund a major anti-Trump get out the vote operation in the fall. The New York Times noted that:

Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election.

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The Empire of an Ocean Beach Land Lord

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On Saturday, June 4th, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

Mills owns a lot of property in Ocean Beach – many rental units. And he has a long history buying up properties, raising rents, and maintaining sub-standard living conditions.

Rumors have swirled for years about how many rental units Mills actually owns, so we set out the other day to find just a few of his properties. And what we found initially were four sets of units that Mills either currently owns or has owned in the past – four properties that had a total of 51 units.

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Sore Loser!

June 10, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

chess game chanceSore losers! you sneer,
because they question the way the game was played.
Cheaters! they cry,
because it just doesn’t make sense
the way it went down,
compared to what they saw with their very own eyes.
Just politics.
That makes it all OK,
As if this was just a game of chess,
With nothing lost but the round,
unless you waged a bet.

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2016 Primary Election Results and Analysis for San Diego

June 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

Election Returns

Editor: The following election results and analysis were put together by Doug Porter on Wednesday, June 8th, for his column at San Diego Free Press – and all vote tallies are as of yesterday’s numbers.

By Doug Porter

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. But it’s mostly over in San Diego. Most of the ballots for the June 2016 primary election have been tallied. The remaining 285,000 ballots uncounted as of Wednesday morning are provisional and late arriving mail-in ballots. A few close races may change, but if history is any guide, what you see in the way of results the day after the election is what you get.

A multi-year campaign for an increase in the local minimum wage came to a close as voters overwhelmingly approved City Proposition I. For me personally, and for tens of thousands of San Diego workers, the last item on the ballot was the most important one.

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Renters’ Rights Activists Hold Rally in OB

June 7, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Renters’ Rights Activists Hold Rally in OB

Last Saturday, June 4th, a rally was held on the grassy area near Veterans’ Plaza in Ocean Beach by renters’ rights activists, who are circulating a rent-control petition for San Diego. They also have targeted one of OB’s landlords, Michael Mills.

Here is some of a report by Dave Rice at the San Diego Reader:

A group of activists seeking a rent-control ordinance and other tenant-protection measures gathered in Ocean Beach on Saturday, circulating a petition they hope will convince the city council to open a dialogue concerning their grievances.

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Calif Parks Dept Wants to Ban Off-Trail Hiking or Climbing in Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Parks

June 7, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Calif Parks Dept Wants to Ban Off-Trail Hiking or Climbing in Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Parks

From East County News Service

The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails. [Ed.:The public had until June 6 to comment.]

In San Diego County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Desert state parks.

California State Parks Map

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