History

Items that are historically significant in some way. They may be recent history or ancient history, pertinent to local history or something on a grander scale…

Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

December 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Continuing the Debate: Is the San Salvador Replica a “Symbol of Genocide” or a “Marketing Tool for San Diego”? or can it be used to tell the true story?

In the interests of continuing the debate of the controversy that has arisen over the current construction of the San Salvador , the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship, which is being built at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay by the Maritime Museum, we offer the following comments.

We’re certain that the building of the replica of the San Salvador, is widely known around town by now, and many even know that most of the construction is being accomplished by volunteers using the “original” tools and methods of the 16th century. There are tours, displays and some PR by the San Diego Maritime Museum.

In fact, the Museum is planning to stage the official launch of the vessel in late February 2015.

As it is a local story of interest, the OB Rag has covered the building of the ship several times, with photo essays, a focus on the volunteers – particularly the women volunteers, the craftsmanship, tools and imported wood.

Yet, our coverage has encouraged discussion, and because of our posts here and at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, a debate has arisen – as the construction of the replica of the 500-year ship has run into a wall of controversy.

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Nuclear Shutdown News, December 2014

December 19, 2014 by Michael Steinberg
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by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear power industry. As nuclear power reactors approach or surpass their planned operating life of 40 years, they have become less and less reliable and more and more threatening. What to do about this? A complete and immediate shut down of them all! NO NUKES!

Here’s our December report.

On December 3 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that central Missouri’s 30 year old Callaway nuclear reactor had experienced a sudden unplanned shutdown. As the Dispatch-Post stated,“Power in the [nuclear] core went from 100% to 0” right away.

The 1200 megawatt Calloway nuke plant supplies 20% of the electricity produced by its owner and operator, Amergen—when it’s at full power.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission commented, “No safety relief valves opened that would have exposed the [nuclear] core to the outside.” This means the nuclear fuel in the reactor supposedly didn’t release any of its radiation into the environment because of the accident.

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Historical Society Takes Trip Through Time With New OB Book

December 19, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Take a beach stroll through time in our fine neighborhood with a new book from the Ocean Beach Historical Society.

The publication, part of the “Images of America” series, shows rare photos from the beginnings of OB, following through its growth into a destination spot as it finally settles in as the sleepy beach community we know and love.

Knowing that it is part of a number of publications highlighting neighborhoods throughout the country gives the book a bit of a cookie-cutter feel. But you can’t argue with the content, which is mostly photographs with sparse but descriptive captions that give bits of history along with explaining what you’re seeing.

Most of the focus is on the first half of the 20th century, but it manages to give a glimpse into the future that will be with a smattering of updated pictures to show a contrast between past and present.

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Cuba Sí! Decades of Failed Foreign Policy Come to an End

December 18, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A mutual release of prisoners Wednesday, Dec. 17, marks beginning of the end of the United States embargo against the island nation of Cuba. Cuba released jailed American Alan Gross along with an unnamed non-American intelligence ‘asset.’ The US released three Cubans accused of running a spy operation in the South Florida expatriate community.

The Associated Press reports the two governments are starting talks on normalizing full diplomatic relations; trade and banking ties are will be at the top of the agenda. Observers expect each country to attempt to open embassies in each other’s capitals during 2015.

While these actions are not part of any overall shift in US foreign policy, the repercussions throughout the hemisphere will be reminiscent of the establishment of normalized relations with China in the 1970’s. It’s a big deal. A really big deal.

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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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The Gun Death Capital of the World – United States of America

December 17, 2014 by John Lawrence

Lethal Weapons ChartBy John Lawrence

The US leads the world in deaths from firearms. Countries like Great Britain and Japan, which outlaw guns, have hardly any gun related deaths.

These countries don’t have the “freedom” to own a gun. We Americans are free to own a gun and free to go bankrupt from medical debts. In countries like Britain and Japan they are not free to go bankrupt from medical debt because they have national health care systems which prevent that from happening.

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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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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
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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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The Day School Shootings Became the Norm

December 15, 2014 by Annie Lane

By Annie Lane

cafeteriaThe 1999 Columbine High School shooting jolted me. I was 15 at the time. That is, I was still immortal and arrogant in the way that only a teen can be. Despite this, I remember being jolted by the violence of it, and the permanence. The kids killed were my age; they were essentially moments away from entering into the adult world, however unprepared, just like me.

The black-and-white cafeteria footage that ran on a seemingly endless loop across news stations nationwide was spell-binding. It was simultaneously real while perfectly mimicking Hollywood violence – or was it the other way around?

Columbine’s Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were outcasts, no doubt. But I distinctly remember gawking at the idea of that being their motive. Really? I was a Thespian for Heaven’s sake. If your adolescent goal is to receive near-constant ridicule, join the theatre.

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On Torture: Deeper into the American Heart of Darkness

December 15, 2014 by Jim Miller

torture bedBy Jim Miller

A couple of weeks ago I evoked Joseph Conrad’s classic critique of colonialism when discussing the disposability of black and brown lives in the wake of Ferguson and our collective ability to dehumanize or “thingify” black and brown people at home and abroad.

As I observed then, “in Conrad’s classic novel Heart of Darkness we are taken on a journey into the core of the European colonial enterprise. And while the naïve reader may expect an adventure in the ‘savage’ world of Africa, what one quickly discovers is that it is the ‘hollow men’ of Europe bent on the ruthless exploitation of the land and the people who are the real savages, whose moral emptiness and desire to ‘exterminate the brutes’ is the actual horror.”

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 2

December 12, 2014 by John Lawrence

earthonfireBy Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 can be found here

We are lucky to have advanced to a stage that scientists can determine the relationship between the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, the absolute value in tons of CO2 already in and projected to be in the atmosphere, the rate of increase of CO2 emissions and the relationship between amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface temperatures.

If we didn’t have this science, we might go right ahead destroying the earth’s environment to the point of extinction of human life without even understanding what was happening to us.

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“OB Time”: the Old OB Hippie – Proud of OB Coming Together

December 11, 2014 by Source
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But Not So Much of Other Things
Yup, kids, the Old OB Hippie is full of pride these days about OB (… but not so much from other stuff) and how the community came together around the annual OB Holiday Parade.

The OB Parades are always a gas, but this year was special, as the OB Town Council, who hosts the parade, named the OB Community Plan as the “Grand Marshal” of the parade! Wow! This is tremendous – and I’ve never in all my decades seen the local town council join up in solidarity with the local planning board like this. Plus I don’t think there’s ever been a Grand Marshall that hasn’t been an actual person. I could be wrong, and I’d love to know if I was on this. But this is / was very significant in this community’s history.

The OB Parade always has surprises and fun floats and entries. This year, the “OB Pause” was crazy great. They had a airplane outline in lights and then they all came to a halt. …

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The 7 Planning Districts of Ocean Beach

December 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Do you know which planning district you live in within Ocean Beach?

Here is a detailed and photographic tour of each of the seven planning districts within the OB Planning Area. These posts were originally written for the OB Planning Board election in March of 2014. Everything – except who the current District representatives are – is still up todate.

We begin with District 1 – the northwest sector of OB – a very important section of the community. It’s bordered on the north by Dog Beach, the San Diego River and Robb Field – which makes the district the gateway to two of OB’s parks. It’s the site of the most famous dog-friendly beach park in the city and due to the district’s proximity to the beach, it has a heavy impact from tourists and visitors. … MORE

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SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

December 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Students at San Diego State University participated in a march and sit-in on Tuesday, demanding the school take action in response to sexual assaults and harassment. The protest was triggered by reports of people associated with fraternity houses yelling obscenities, waving dildos and throwing eggs at a Nov. 21st anti-rape march called Take Back the Night.

Their demands included an open forum with SDSU President Elliot Hirshman during the spring semester, along with the resignations of fraternity members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Sigma Phi from various posts on the campus.

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OB Planning Board Calls for Annual Election: 8 Seats Up for Grabs

December 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At their last meeting on December 3rd, the OB Planning Board announced that its annual elections will be held on March 10, 2015, and that half of its seats are up for selection. There are also currently 3 vacancies on the Board, so by our count, that’s 8 positions on the Board up for grabs.

Residents, merchants and property owners are eligible to serve on the Board, and anyone so interested must have attended one meeting of the Planning Board sometime between last March 2014 and their January meeting in 2015.

COME INSIDE FOR ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, MAPS, & APPLICATION

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San Diego’s Canvass for a Cause–A Cause to Support

December 10, 2014 by Source

Strictly radical, always queer

canvas for a cause

By Anna Prouty

Canvass for a Cause was founded in 2009 as a queer canvassing organization focused on marriage equality. It quickly grew into the intersectional queer safe space and radical activism community it is now.

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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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Dystopia Now: “Anticipatory Grief” or “Real Grounds for Hope”?

December 8, 2014 by Jim Miller

apocalypseBy Jim Miller

Just when you think you are living in a dystopian science fiction novel, the world keeps upping the ante. It’s not just scenes of burning cars and storefronts in Ferguson on TV evoking the mood either. There are some even darker clouds on the horizon that many of us just don’t want to acknowledge, no less come to terms with in a thoroughgoing and serious fashion.

Last week, as the country went through yet another round of dismay, rage, and painful racial self-examination in the wake of a New York Grand Jury’s failure to bring any charges against a policeman for the death by chokehold of Eric Garner, a pair of other unsettling stories emerged on the margins of the American media.

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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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SEAWORLD WATCH: Protests for Corky’s Retirement on Dec. 5 – 6 – and ‘Jackass’ Star Gets Infraction for “Sucks” Stunt

December 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is lots to report in this “SeaWorld Watch” column, an occasional post at OB Rag.

First, there will be protests outside San Diego SeaWorld this weekend, as activists pressure the aquatic zoo in protests advocating the retirement of the longest-held orca in captivity, Corky, captured 45 years ago.

Second, “Jackass” star, Steve-O, who pulled off a successful stunt last spring when he taped “Sucks” next to SeaWorld’s name on a freeway sign, was charged only with an infraction – no criminal charge – and faces a fine – which PETA has agreed to pay.

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I’m in San Diego and I Can’t Breathe

December 5, 2014 by Doug Porter

Eric Garner's last words

By Doug Porter

The national chattering class finally found a dead black man they can get behind on Dec. 3rd as a grand jury in Staten Island refused to indict the policeman who was videotaped choking Eric Garner.

Since videos exist showing both the arrest and the subsequent four minute delay before officers attempted CPR, it’s not possible to easily weasel out of the conclusion this was -at a minimum- a case of criminally negligent homicide, as concluded by Fox legal expert Judge Andrew Napolitano. Eric Garner’s last words

The “best” lame excuses coming out of the flat-earther set were that Garner died because he was obese or that the “nanny state” laws taxing tobacco were to blame. Nobody’s called him a “thug”–yet.

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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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OBceans Urged to Join the Grand Marshall Entry in the Holiday Parade: the OB Community Plan

December 4, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OBceans of every stripe and kind are being urged by local neighborhood planners and organizers to join the OB Community Plan contingent in the Holiday Parade this Saturday, December 6th.

The OB Community Plan has been awarded the honorary title of the Grand Marshall of the Parade by the Town Council. The contingent will be at the very front of the parade and will be lining up next to Chase Bank on Newport Ave at 5pm on Saturday.

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Study models the past to understand the future of strengthening El Niño

December 1, 2014 by Source
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by Kelly April Tyrrell / UM-Madison News

It was fishermen off the coast of Peru who first recognized the anomaly, hundreds of years ago. Every so often, their usually cold, nutrient-rich water would turn warm and the fish they depended on would disappear. Then there was the ceaseless rain.

They called it “El Niño” — The Boy, or Christmas Boy — because of its timing near the holiday each time it returned, every three to seven years.

El Niño is not a contemporary phenomenon; it’s long been the Earth’s dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Niño will respond. …

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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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Readers – Both Residents and Visitors – Voted Overwhelmingly to Keep “Hippie Floral” Design on OB Hostel

November 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB Rag readers who participated in our most recent poll, voted overwhelmingly to keep the current “hippie floral” design on the OB Hostel on Newport Avenue.

67% of our readers want the new owners of the hostel, USA Hostels, to keep current paint job.

22% of those who responded want to see the exterior painted over. Seven per cent had no opinion.

In a recent post by our writer Matthew Wood on an interview with the new staff of the hostel, the issue was raised whether the new owner and its management would paint over what Wood called the “OB-esque Hippie Floral Design”.

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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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