Sports

Measure D – Nice Try, But No Cigar for The Citizens’ Plan

September 23, 2016 by Doug Porter

Downtown-Hotel-San-Diego-California-United-States-300x420By Doug Porter

A good metaphor for Measure D would be the guy who tries to break up a fight and ends up getting pummelled by both combatants.

Also known as the Citizens’ Plan, Cory Briggs Evil Plot, and Chargers Stadium Lite, the proposal is all-but-dead in the water.

The money spigot ran dry in May. The thoughtful discussion Measure D should have stimulated never happened, lost in the dread of yet another rich guy scheme, and the unintended consequences of its (mostly) good intentions.

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Chargers Stadium Ballot Measure C — as In Chutzpa

September 22, 2016 by Doug Porter

This is a rendering. They have no actual plans drawn up.

By Doug Porter

There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.

Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.

Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3.

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Colin Kaepernick and 49er Eric Reid In Protest Drop to One Knee at Qualcomm

September 2, 2016 by Source

San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick continued his protests in support of Black Lives Matter by taking a knee during the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” Thursday night, September 1st, at Qualcomm Stadium. And alongside him was teammate, Eric Reid.

Kaepernick told the press ( Reports the Daily News: ) that he and Reid had discussed the protest, and the quarterback:

“He approached me and said I support what you’re doing, I support what your message is. Let’s think about how we can do this together

And dropping to one knee was intentional and symbolic. Going to one knee was his way of showing respect to the military while still expressing a protest. Kaepernick said:

“We wanted to make sure the message that we’re trying to send isn’t lost with the action. At this point, I think it will be taking a knee.”

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An NFL Quarterback Was Just Added to My List of Social Heroes

August 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray
Thumbnail image for An NFL Quarterback Was Just Added to My List of Social Heroes

by Ernie McCray

This is so deja vu, this state of affairs with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49’ers quarterback who sat when one is “supposed to stand” in honor of The Star Spangled Banner that heralds a time when non-white people in our county were not seen as human beings.

I fully understand and appreciate this man’s stance although I stand whenever the anthem is played out of respect for those who get goose pimples in such moments. However, I bow out at singing about “bombs bursting in air” and “flags still being there” and the empty promises inherent in the braggadocio “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!” at the end of the song.

That aside, I can’t help but think back to the 68 Olympics, when the quest for “liberty and justice for all,” in a spirit of today’s “Black Lives Matter” movement was pursued like never before. My soul still fills with pride remembering the image of Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the ceremony for handing out the gold and the silver and the bronze medals for the men’s 200, standing on their podiums with their heads bowed and their hands raised in the “Black Power!” salute.

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Del Mar Races: Cruel As Ever

August 25, 2016 by Doug Porter

Martha Sullivan

By Doug Porter

There’s disagreement over how many horses have died at the Del Mar races this year. Animal rights advocates say it’s 18. The Union-Tribune says 16. The Daily Racing Form says 14. Some of the variance, no doubt, comes from the time frame from when it was reported.

Regardless of the final number–and it’s likely to increase by the time the summer season ends on Labor Day–more horses have died this year than last. Betting is down, and purses for the last two weeks of the season have been reduced by another 5% on top of the across the board 10% reduction from 2015.

Saturday, August 20th, was supposed to be the biggest day of the racing season at Del Mar, the $1 million Pacific Classic, including big name horses Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund. It started with another death.

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Why Does Dean Spanos Hate the Homeless?

August 23, 2016 by Source

spanos cate adBy Bill Adams / UrbDeZine

“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego? Please call and ask him.”

That was the headline in an ad Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, ran this past week targeting 2nd year City Council member Chris Cate, who is on the leadership committee of the No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First! coalition.

Nearly all of the City Council members have voiced opposition to Spanos’s audacious public money grab to fund a downtown stadium for his pro-football team (Ballot Measure C. – disingenuously entitled “Citizens Initiative” – full text).

But Cate has taken the extra step of being a leader on the coalition.

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San Diego Chargers Stadium: Q&A with Barrios Against Stadiums

August 10, 2016 by Brent Beltran

BASTA-NDSInterview by Jeffrey Siniard / Bolts From The Blue

Please provide a little background on the group Barrios Against Stadiums (B.A.STA!). Who is involved, and what are the aims of the group?

B.A.STA! is a grassroots, barrio based, loose knit formation of residents, artists, activists, small business owners and allies creating a movement. The sole purpose of this movement is to prevent a football stadium/convention center from being built in the East Village of San Diego, just a few short blocks from our historic barrios.

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Cody Miller Wins Bronze in 100-Meter Breaststroke

August 8, 2016 by Source

Cody Miller w bronze

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Cody Miller won bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing behind Britain’s Adam Peaty, who set a world record in 57.13 seconds.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa took silver in 58.69, .18 seconds ahead of Miller.

Cody Miller is a local OB celebrity – in a real sense – as he is the son of an Ocean Beach homeless man, Craig Miller, who died last year on Christmas Day.

Writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey wrote about it for the OB Rag a couple of weeks ago. They described it then:

The road for Cody did not come easy.

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Fiesta Island Debate: “One of few open and undeveloped areas within City will end if current proposed plan is implemented.”

July 28, 2016 by Source

Fiesta Island mapBy Jean Spengel , FIDO Boardmember

I would just like to reply to Ms. Swink’s editorial, ‘Improvements Needed to Expand Access’

She obviously thinks that people enjoying the beach with their off-leash dogs do not matter,- they should be replaced by other users she wants to bring into the area.

This is in spite of the fact that the 90 acre fenced off-leash area is the most heavily used space in all of Mission Bay Park.

Every day, 365 days a year, hundreds to thousands of tax paying citizens use this area to exercise with their dogs.

While there are over 40,000 acres of parkland in San Diego only about 40 of those acres (not including Fiesta Island) are available for off-leash use. That is about 1% of the public parkland.

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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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The San Diego Convadium – Part 3

July 14, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Part 1: 110 Pages of Gobbledygook
Part 2: Lipstick on a Pig

Section 35.0109 Additional Tax Imposed

Charger's ConvadiumThe Chargers want the City to create a separate Fund, the Convention Center Expansion and Stadium Fund, which will borrow money from Wall Street in the form of Bonds and be firewalled off from the City’s General Fund. So it’s like a separate entity for which the City is not responsible at all, but the City has to create it.

The BIG question is, “Will Wall Street go along with this?” The monies flowing into this fund come solely from an increase in the Tax On Transiency (TOT) of 4% (or is it 6% as stated in the proposal?).

If these monies aren’t sufficient to make the payments on the $1.15 billion in bonds that this “entity” (not the City, mind you) is responsible for, then what happens? Who’s left holding the bag?

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Barrios Against STAdiums! to Protest Chargers Pro-Stadium Speakers

July 12, 2016 by Brent Beltran

stadium

By Brent Beltran

On Friday, July 15 from 11:30am to 1pm the San Diego Chargers will be bringing their pro-East Village stadium campaign to Barrio Logan for the Family Health Center’s Spirit of the Barrio luncheon.

B.A.STA!, Barrios Against STAdiums!, will be outside the event holding a silent protest with signs and banners opposing the Chargers efforts to build a stadium one block from Barrio Logan. A press conference will also take place.

Barrio Logan is undergoing a transition due to land speculators buying properties ,,,

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Bush League Nation – 2016 Summer Chronicles 4

July 11, 2016 by Jim Miller

The Modesto Nuts. Now THAT's baseball!

By Jim Miller

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is in San Diego and despite the glaring lack of Padres on the team, many local and visiting fans will be taking in the pricey spectacle in all its corporate glory (confession: I will be there). With a huge Fan Fest, the Home Run Derby and the main event itself, San Diego will be baseball central for the week, at least on paper.

But if you really want to get to the heart of the game, I suggest you go bush league.

One of my favorite places to see a baseball game is in Arcata, California up in the Redwood Empire where the Humboldt Crabs have played in the same collegiate summer league since 1945.

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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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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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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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Honoring “The Greatest!”

June 7, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking about my man, Muhammad Ali, off and on, feeling sad that he’s gone. But as a contemporary of mine (he was four years younger than me) he’ll never be forgotten by me because he has meant the world to me.

When I first heard about him he had just fought his way to a gold medal as the Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion in 1960 at the Olympic Games in Rome.

I had just graduated from Arizona with a degree in P.E. and all kinds of basketball scoring records. So he and I were two young black men, athletes, standing tall and all. Who knew, though, that he would take being a sports figure to levels that were, up to then, unseen.

He was Cassius Clay in those days, but not a household name yet, …

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OB Planning Board Meets Wed., June 1: Round-abouts, “Citizens Plan”, and Vets’ Plaza

May 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBPB Meet 5-4-16 board
The OB Planing Board meets Wednesday, June 1st, at the OB Recreation Center. And at the top of their agenda are a series of presentations and updates, with no new development projects up for review by the Board.

Instead, the Board will receive a presentation about the so-called “Citizens Plan for San Diego” by veteran politico, Jeff Marston. This is the plan backed by the Chargers and some environmentalists and public-interest lawyers to construct a new stadium and convention center downtown.

Next up, is a presentation by Joe LaCava, head of the Committee of Planning Committees – a body of all the planning boards and committees across the city – about the City’s goal to install twenty round-abouts throughout the city. We know the City and OB planners have been considering a round-about at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon.

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Book Review Of Bill Walton’s “Back From The Dead”

April 27, 2016 by Ernie McCray

backfromthedeadBy Ernie McCray

I just finished one of those books that fit the category of a book that’s hard to put down: Back from the Dead by Bill Walton, one of the truly great basketball players and human beings. On the cover one reads “Searching for the sound, shining the light, and throwing it down.” That’s Bill, for sure, as I’ve followed him since he was a kid.

I didn’t know until I read his book that he was a musician, but I’ve known for a long time that he’s someone who’s attracted to the sounds of music, that he has been a player in the Grateful Dead scene for decades. I’ve known that he’s a lifelong learner, a man who’s constantly growing and questioning and shining a light on things that need tending to in our world. And his writing details somewhat poetically how he’s “thrown it down,” all out, throughout his life, in spite of forever having to endure an almost unbelievable array of crippling injuries and intense pain.

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The San Diego Chargers Convadium – Part 1: 110 Pages of Gobbledygook

April 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

convadium 1By John Lawrence

On Saturday, April 2, the Chargers published a whole section of the San Diego Union-Tribune devoted to their proposal to build a football stadium for the Chargers combined with a non-contiguous expansion of the Convention Center.

The title of this section was “Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition.” Right off the bat I found several things wrong with this proposal. But before I go into that I want to discuss the MAJOR thing wrong with this proposal.

You see the Chargers think combining a Convention Center Expansion with a new stadium will make it more palatable to San Diego voters especially if the tax that will be raised to pay for it will be a tax on visitors not on locals.

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San Diego is Led Around by the Nose

April 5, 2016 by Source

pigs on paradeBy Norma Damashek / San Diego Free Press

How about taking a break from our city’s inane preoccupation with a behemoth sports palace for the San Diego Chargers?

And let’s give ourselves a break from the fiasco called a “Convadium,” a zany proposal to link a convention center annex to a new football stadium just down the street from our 18-acre ballpark. Talk about blocking pedestrian access! Talk about walling off the heart of downtown!
What self-respecting city in the USA would fall for such a ludicrous proposal?

So let’s NOT to take a break from simple questions like: Why are we even thinking about cramming a mammoth new football stadium into our modestly-proportioned, pedestrian-starved downtown streets? What rational person would want to do such a dumb thing to our city? Are we nuts, or what?

And while we’re at it, how about taking a clean break from convoluted (fraudulent?) financing schemes involving hotel taxes and bonds and subsidies and giveaways that inevitably come back to bite San Diego taxpayers and residents?

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Go Padres! “Vivas to Those Who Have Failed!”

April 4, 2016 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

in the standsToday is opening day and with it, if history is our guide, what is most likely another season of futility is born. Having grown up a Padres fan, this is par for the course as the Pads have only gone to the postseason five times and have a meager .463 winning percentage over the life of the franchise.

They are, in short, losers.

So why go? Why will I be sitting in the stands this afternoon as the Padres take on the Dodgers hoping against hope that the outcome will be different?

Sports psychologists inform me that my addiction to losing baseball might have some rough consequences. As Larry Stone reports in “The Psychology of Being a Sports Fan,” researchers have found that When your team loses, it’s like you lose a part of yourself, because your identity is so merged with the identity of the team and the fan community . . . Sports in the U.S. makes such a difference in people’s lives, a loss can be distressing.”

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Chargers Say They’ll Fund Their Own Stadium Downtown (Sort of)

February 25, 2016 by Doug Porter

SD Convention CenterOh, to have been a fly on the wall at city hall as the local football franchise went public with a ‘no thanks’ to the officially blessed plan of building a stadium in Mission Valley.

Once again the mayor and his minions have been left out in the cold.Last time they were spurned for an alliance with the Raiders to build a facility in Carson. This time it’s even worse, as the Chargers have thrown their support to a political coalition including the ne’er-do-well Cory Briggs.

In making this move the Chargers have rejected $350 million in city and county support –and the strings that came with it– saying they would get their own financing.

How’d they do that? Well, it’s complicated.

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The 56th Anniversary of Ernie McCray’s School-Record 46-Point Game

February 10, 2016 by Source

Ernie McCray 46pts
Editor: Ernie McCray – one of our regular and beloved columnists – still holds an Arizona basketball record. Ernie has written about his college basketball days, plus we have posted a few about his accomplishments. One of the posts we published was entitled:

After the game that McCray won, his teammates went to a restaurant to celebrate but he didn’t join them – he knew he wouldn’t be served.

By Javier Morales / Arizona Basketball, U of A/allsportstucson.com/Februay 6, 2016

Ernie McCray was listed as a center in 1960 although he was only 6’5?. On the night, he set the Arizona record with 46 points in a 104-84 win over Cal State Los Angeles 56 years ago today, McCray said in a 2014 interview that he made “four or five shots” from beyond what is the three-point line today. No three-point line or shot clock existed back then, making the feat that much more respectable (Tucson Citizen front page screen shot)

For 56 years Arizona’s scoring record has stood, Ernie McCray’s 46 points at the old Bear Down Gym against Cal State Los Angeles.

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Chargers Dilemma: After Screwing the Fans, Now They Want Them Back

February 10, 2016 by John Lawrence

… At Least For a Year

roman colusseumBy John Lawrence

The Romans used to provide Bread and Circuses for their populace to keep them pacified. Nothing much has changed in 2000 years. The San Diego Chargers want taxpayers to spend $350 million to buy them a new Colosseum.

And they’re not really even the San Diego Chargers. They are the Dean Spanos Chargers. He owns them. The players should all be wearing “Dean Spanos Chargers” on their shirts.

The Chargers merchandise should all bear his name. As we’ve seen recently, the Chargers would think nothing of “Bolt”ing to Los Angeles if the grass were greener there. But their quest for a shiny new stadium in another locale has been stymied at least temporarily.

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A Beach, Burb, and Billionaire “Citizens’ Plan” for San Diego’s Urban Neighborhoods

January 26, 2016 by Source

Photo by Doug Porter Overlooking tailgate park and MTS building Photo by Doug Porter

Editor: Some months ago Attorney Cory Briggs and others rolled out the “Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources,” better known as the Citizens Plan. They are hoping to have this on the November 2016 ballot as an alternative to the current tourism/development scheme, which is dominated by hotel industry’s financial interests.

By Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

They’re calling it the “Citizens’ Plan” initiative. Like all such initiatives, the name is misleading. Said citizens are an alliance of a billionaire and a few advocates for a limited selection of public interests. Not included are the citizens who are most impacted nor the economic interests of the City’s working populace. Citizen Kane Plan might be a more appropriate name for the way it attempts to manipulate public opinion into believing it is a grassroots plan.

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Reader Rant: ‘It Would Be Disastrous if SeaWorld Proceeded With Hotel Construction and Workers Hit Another Pocket of Toxic Waste’

January 12, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: ‘It Would Be Disastrous if SeaWorld Proceeded With Hotel Construction and Workers Hit Another Pocket of Toxic Waste’

Debate Continues on Whether SeaWorld Can Built Hotel on its Present Site

By B. Ross

The area for the old, Mission Bay landfill that CK cites, in the article written to refute the OB Rag’s estimate of its area, is not accurate. Besides, the estimates for the size of the landfill are based on aerial photographs from that era. The City destroyed the majority of the records related to the landfill, which makes it impossible to prove either analysis correct. The study of the dump site was undertaken in 2005, so why point to 2002 data?

The Reader, San Diego UT and other sources in 2006 showed an area that is bigger than what CK shows and smaller than the map from the OB Rag story.

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Sea World & Mission Bay: No Place to Play?

January 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

seaworld2A group called Save Everyone’s Access has filed suit, seeking to halt construction of SeaWorld’s Blue World Project. The proposed addition to the waterpark would incorporate a 50-foot-deep, 1.5-acre-wide, ten-million-gallon tank to house killer whales and a 40-foot below-grade viewing area for visitors.

According to a story by Dorian Hargrove in the Reader, the group is asking a judge to order the park to study the potential environmental impacts related to toxic waste buried in the area back when it was used as a city landfill.

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‘We Told You So’ in Ocean Beach

January 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

One condominium complex in Ocean Beach was featured on newscasts throughout the region. Resident Johnny Caito made a YouTube video featuring the area around Saratoga and Abbott Streets.

The OB Rag ended up calling the units The Million Dollar Condos. Years of community opposition to building what some considered to be a fortress-type structure on the beach front ended with the OB Planning Board approving the plans in November 2011.

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