Economy

Call for Volunteers by OB Town Council for Food and Toy Drive

December 18, 2014 by Staff
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Daily Sign Up Links (inside)

The Ocean Beach Town Council has put out a call for volunteers to assist in the annual Food & Toy Drive.

Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 16, volunteers are asked to join the Town Council and other residents as they receive, sort, wrap and distribute care packages for 80 and more local families and senior citizens. It begins at 5pm and runs to 9. And it keeps happening through every day this week into Saturday.

The center of all this holiday giving is at the Masonic Center -1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The call includes volunteers helping them in delivering the donations.

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SeaWorld WATCH: CEO and 108 Workers Let Go, But No Orcas

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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These are bad days for SeaWorld: plummeting ticket sales and profits. And worse – the CEO was fired, 108 workers at the San Diego theme park were laid off, part of 300 nation-wide.

Yet, no orcas have been let go or laid off. You know things are getting bad when even the U-T San Diego – a staunch supporter of SeaWorld – asks “Will SeaWorld free Shamu?“.

Amidst continuing protests at their front gate, SeaWorld announced a week ago that CEO Jim Atchison was resigning. At this point it’s fairly universally accepted that a lot of SeaWorld’s decline is because of changing attitudes of consumers about orca captivity – much of that prompted by the “Blackfish” documentary -which was highly critical of its treatment of killer whales.

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Holiday Noir

December 17, 2014 by Source

Christmas-2011-Sale-Slider1By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

I woke up early Bloody Wednesday. I could hear the alarm on my Sig Sauer Smartshot pleading for attention. It’s automatic loader had failed and the diagnostics were blinking error 1037, error 1037, error 1037…

Of all days, Bloody Wednesday, Christmas Eve, my companion gun’s auto-feed goes manual. I’m going to lose precious seconds loading and reloading manually at the mall.

I’ll have no advantage over the last-minute shoppers who’d put off shopping until the last minute for no good reason.

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Saratoga Condos Being Readied – Are All the Units Already Rented?

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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On site at the waterfront condos being built at Saratoga and Abbott in Ocean Beach, it’s clear that the 3-story building is nearing completion.

We were out there last week, and saw dozens of workers trying to get the 10-unit complex ready by January 2015. New cement had been poured at one of the entrances to the partial-underground parking area off Abbott, and workers were prepping the surface. A guy who appeared to be a foreman told me that his work had to be finished by that week.

Not far from them was a small team working on electrical lines, it appeared. Up in the second floor, white-collared men seemed to be dealing with high-tech equipment.

COME INSIDE FOR HISTORY OF CONTROVERSIAL SITE

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The Season for Mindless Consumerism

December 16, 2014 by Source

mindlessThis Christmas, put your money to better use than thoughtless gift-giving.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

‘Tis the season for mindless consumerism.

I love giving gifts when they’re from the heart. But I hate giving or receiving presents if they’re things nobody needs, given out of a sense of obligation.

Here’s a story that illustrates what I mean. Back in college, a friend of mine approached me and said, “I just want to give you a heads up, my new girlfriend bought you a gift.”

Uh-oh, I thought. I didn’t even get him a gift,

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A Call for Councilwoman Zapf to Do the Right Thing by Lori Saldaña

December 16, 2014 by Source

occupy-SD-lincolnclubinviteDear Councilwoman Zapf:

When you were elected to the San Diego City Council 4 years ago, to represent my Clairemont neighborhood, I was willing to give you a chance.

After all, you claimed to be sensitive to working class issues, as asmall business owner. And you have mentioned having Mexican-American family members, which made me hopeful you would find common ground with the growing Latino community in my native Clairemont.

But this week, your staff’s comments about how she “wanted to shoot” the “… idiot” protesters at a City Council event displayed a shocking lack of awareness about public safety, civil disobedience, efforts to achieve social justice, and the constitutional right of Americans to use peaceful protest to communicate with elected officials.

And what makes this latest situation even worse: it was the SECOND time a member of your staff displayed this tone deaf, cavalier disrespect towards public protest.

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OB Project Review Committee: 4950 Saratoga – Demolition of 2 Units and Construction of 4

December 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Project Review Committee: 4950 Saratoga – Demolition of 2 Units and Construction of 4

The Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board is scheduled to review a demolition / construction project on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue at their monthly meeting this Wednesday, Dec. 17th.

The one-item agenda of the Committee, chaired by John Ambert, begins at 6 pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The Project Review Committee holds a semi-hearing on each project that is to come before the Planning Board and then it usually makes a recommendation to the full Board, that most times considers the project at their next monthly meeting.

The project up for consideration this week is an application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4950 and 4956 Saratoga Avenue. The application is to demolish 2 existing residences and build 4 dwelling units – on a 2 lot plot of 0.16 acres.

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Four Unit Complex on 4900 Coronado in Ocean Beach Sold for $1.5 Million

December 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Four Unit Complex on 4900 Coronado in Ocean Beach Sold for $1.5 Million

A four-unit complex on the 4900 block of Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach has just been sold for $1.5 Million. The complex at 4947-4951½ Coronado Ave. consists of a main house with 4-bedrooms and 2 baths, plus one 2-bedroom, 2 bath house, and then a pair of one-bedroom units. “The Coronado Avenue Apartments”, built in 1951, at assessor’s parcel 448-161-09, is a 7,000-square-foot lot.

Of course, it’s not known what the new owner plans to do with this large lot close to beautiful Sunset Cliffs. Will the nearly 65 year-old buildings be rehabbed, or will they be demolished and replaced with a 3-story gargantuan? This property is in District 5 of the OB Planning Area, and Board members Jane Gawronski and Michael Nieto represent the district.
COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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A Couple of Heartless Transactions at Union Bank

December 10, 2014 by Source

union bank logoBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

So, this 71-year-old with the income of a teenager walks into an uptown branch of Union Bank. He had just $28.75 in his checking account following his open heart surgery two weeks before on Nov. 17.

This was his first chance to get to the bank to take up some issues.One reason he had so little money had nothing to do with the bank’s operations. He’d had an angiogram and an EKG earlier in the month – stuff the medical world must do before doctors can open everything up to repair floppy heart valves – and the upfront co-pays were about $160 more than he’d anticipated. Those and smaller amounts for medicine accounted for the couple of hundred he hadn’t factored into demands on the checking account. …

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The Reader Edited Out Author’s “Favorite Part” on His OB CVS Article

December 9, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Our friends at the San Diego Reader recently published writer Tony de Garate‘s latest update on the CVS Pharmacy coming into Ocean Beach. But they edited out his “favorite part” – a comical reference to the fact the giant drugstore may not have its alcohol license for its scheduled opening in January 2015. We now include that part in a full publication of his original piece below, with the edited out section in italics.

Maybe it’s no Boston, but the city of Lowell, Mass. is not without its charms. It’s the fourth largest city in the state and has been home to such notables as Ed McMahon, Bette Davis and Jack Kerouac. It cemented its cred for Yankee ingenuity in 1880, becoming the first city in the nation to use telephone numbers.

Today, the national retail chain CVS Pharmacy has more than 5,000 outlets, but the first one opened in 1963 in Lowell. CVS, according to “Fun Facts” on the city of Lowell’s website, was an acronym for Consumer Value Store.

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News of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early Dec 2014

December 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Point Loma Naval Engineers Build Driverless Vehicle

Recently at a test facility at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, a team of engineers successfully demonstrated a Reconnaissance and Detection Expendable Rover (RaDER), an autonomous – driverless – vehicle designed to keep Marines out of danger. No human needed.

Locals Donate Christmas Tree to OB

A local couple Sal and Nancy DeMaria, donated their 1931 Star Pine to OB for its annual Christmas Tree, propped up every year at the foot of Newport. See Mercy Baron’s report from SD Reader.

OB Town Gets Shout-Out From Calif Planners for Naming OB Community Plan “Grand Marshall” of Parade
AND MUCH MORE

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Midway Planners: 2 Large Projects Could Bring Major Changes to Area

December 5, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

Midway residents and business owners have long wondered what the future holds for two of the juiciest pieces of available property in the neighborhood: the bare two-acre lot adjacent to the West City Continuing Education Campus of the San Diego Community College; and the long-vacant former Cabrillo Hospital building.

The community college district property has been empty for five years. It was left over and declared surplus after the 2009 construction of a new campus at 3249 Fordham St.That same year, Sharp Cabrillo Skilled Nursing Center departed the four-decade-old, 10-story building at 3455 Kenyon St., a stone’s throw from the West City campus.

The community learned about two projects that could bring about big changes in population and demographics at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group Nov. 19.

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Peninsula Community Planning Board: ‘If you build it, tell the truth.’

December 4, 2014 by Source
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Historic Treadwell House, a 60 Foot SDG&E Tower Allowed and the “Monster Perpetual Rehab”

By Tony de Garate / Special to OB Rag

If you build it, tell the truth.

That seemed to be the message the Peninsula Community Planning Board was trying to send in opposing Carleton Row Homes, a four-unit condo project at 3015-21 Carleton St. in Roseville, at the board’s monthly meeting back on November 20.

In a stunning 12-0 vote, the board sought to strike a blow against a proposal members characterized as containing “two levels of subterfuge,” and riddled with “euphemisms” and “gibberish.”

“I think it’s time to put our stamp on our community and state we aren’t going to put up with this,” board member Dominic Carnevale said in making the motion against the project.

But proponents for the applicant, Acropolis Developments, defended the proposal as conventional and straight-forward, and charged the board’s action ran contrary to years of precedent.

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The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

December 1, 2014 by Source

The-Food-Waste-Fiasco-776x415

By Rob Greenfield

You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.

-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.

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Ferguson: America’s Heart of Darkness

December 1, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

PR- tile detailAlong with so many people last week, I watched the events in Ferguson, Missouri unfold with profound dismay and anger while fighting a sense of despair over the intractable nature of American racism. We all knew it was coming, but that didn’t soften the blow.

On the social media, one might also have predicted the outpouring of callousness and hate toward Michael Brown and those protesting the Grand Jury verdict, but it made it no less loathsome. Even the subsequent torching of Michael Brown’s family church was not a shock, just eerily resonant.

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

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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