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…

What’s Happening on the Mean Streets of Ocean Beach

March 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for What’s Happening on the Mean Streets of Ocean Beach

It’s not easy being a small businesperson, shopkeeper, store or office owner on the commercial streets of Ocean Beach. Rents are high in this popular, sunny, beach outpost from the rest of the world.

The commercial streets, Newport Avenue, Voltaire Street and Point Loma Avenue are tough for the unwary business enterpriser who takes a gamble opening up any kind of establishment on them. That’s why small businesses are always coming and going, and why empty storefronts remain vacant for months.

The commercial streets of OB are some mean streets and here’s what’s happening on them in mid-March 2017.

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The Man Who Skipped Breakfast and Found a World of Love

March 17, 2017 by Ernie McCray

breakfast

(Thinking Black History Beyond February)

By Ernie McCray

Charlie Chatman woke up one morning saying to himself, as he had for so many mornings, for eternities: “Lord, give me the strength to put up with these damn peckerwoods one more day.”

The only thing he cared about in his godforsaken life, on a Hawkinsville, Georgia sharecropping plantation, was breakfast, whatever it happened to be, cornbread and scraps of pork, a potato or two, a cup of milk (maybe) – or some stolen boiled corn that the pigs were fed.

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Why Restore Kellogg Beach? A Look at Its Inheritance and Legacy

March 16, 2017 by Source

By Michael Winn

A real estate speculator has proposed to replace a single family home on Kellogg Street in La Playa with a concrete sea wall and 9 condominiums, where there is now a beach.

How can the community assess this proposed development without consensus about the fate of this beach? Colloquially called, Kellogg Beach it’s actually the last remaining part of the beach for which this community was originally named, La Playa, perhaps, in the 17th century.

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Reader Rant: “We Need a Point Loma Town Council”

March 15, 2017 by Source

By Michael Winn

We need to elect a Point Loma Town Council that appropriately reflects demographics on the Peninsula, and charge it with promulgating a vision to preserve and restore quality of life on the Peninsula.

The Emerson project and San Diego airport (SAN) flight path expansions show us what we should expect from traditional back-door politics and ad hoc citizen protests.

Kellogg Beach shows us that unless we organize better, this will continue to plague our community because we must organize unpaid labor for each new proposal, while developers can budget it.

Our Peninsula Community Planning Board carries little political weight, has no authority and is limited in scope.

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Wisteria Garden Party – Sunday, Mar. 19th

March 14, 2017 by Source

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Local San Diego Democrats Have a Woman Problem

March 13, 2017 by Source

I am afraid. And I am not the only one.

By Anonymous Is a Woman / San Diego Free Press

A handful of Democratic women saw each other at the ADEM elections for the first time since the holidays. For some, it’s the first time they had come out for an event since the election. For others, this was their third event that weekend.

After a few minutes of small talk and “Holy-crap-the-world-is-ending” Trump commentary, the conversation becomes a bit more hushed when one of the women asked, “So what do you think about this Mickey Kasparian situation?”

Voices automatically lower.

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San Diego Lifeguards Want to Leave the Fire Department Because of New Dispatching Procedures

March 10, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego City lifeguards and their union are seriously considering getting out from under the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The lifeguard union leader claims that recent changes in dispatching procedures initiated by the new fire chief, Brian Fennessy, now route all water-related 911 calls to the fire department instead of directly to lifeguards- who have historically made all water rescues.

This is leading to longer response times and a waste of resources, says Sgt Ed Harris of the lifeguard union.

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the OB Rag, Harris wrote:

“We cannot afford to have the Fire Department divert our trainers, personnel and budget. … Teaching Fire Fighters how to swim and perform river rescue is not acceptable.”

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How San Diego’s Downtown Housing Supply Boom Is Making Rent Less Affordable

March 10, 2017 by Source

By Murtaza Baxamusa / UrbDeZine

Having invested a billion and a half dollars of public funds in downtown redevelopment, it is worth asking if it helped or hindered in solving the affordable housing crisis that San Diego faces.

From the catalytic start of downtown’s boom with the construction of the ballpark to the unceremonious demise of tax increment financing under Governor Brown, there has been a lot of change.

Census data shows that from 2000 to 2015, downtown’s housing stock doubled. About half of downtown’s current stock of 25 thousand housing units has been built during this time frame. About 5 thousand renter-occupied housing units were added to the stock. Of the total housing stock almost 18 percent (over 4 thousand units) are vacant, compared to 9 percent vacancy back in 2000. This indicates a greater share of investor-owned units or second homes that are not occupied.

In terms of affordability, downtown is at a tipping point.

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Progressive Calendar for San Diego Activists, March 10 – 21, 2017

March 10, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Progressive ActivistWow. Here’s another calendar packed full of events for local activists. I’ve made some cosmetic changes this week, including icons to make events more recognizable.

So what will you do? Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement and a few reading suggestions.

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Covering Ocean Beach and Point Loma in the Time of Trump

March 9, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

At the most recent OB Town Council meeting, a friend who is active in Ocean Beach and an OB Rag supporter, took me aside, and said, “You’re killing me with all the national news.” He was complaining that he felt the OB Rag was straying from its focus on local, OB news and material.

I explained to him that we had to do both, be the source of uber news for the village and the Peninsula and provide news and analysis about what’s going on nationally – especially now in the time of Trump.

Ever since we began trying to be the online newspaper for OB and providing a platform for the community, we’ve experienced a tension between covering really local stuff about OB and Point Loma versus both throwing out our news net for wider issues, more city and county related issues – and being a source for progressive views and analysis on national and international news and goings on.

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Planned Parenthood Says No to Trump – Women’s Right to Choose is “Non-Negotiable”

March 9, 2017 by Source

Trumpcare effectively destroys access to affordable women’s healthcare services

By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

Women’s healthcare providers are readying for a fight. Refusing to back down from its commitment to women’s choice, Planned Parenthood is now at risk of losing nearly 40 percent of its funding—and is calling for a massive mobilization to resist the attack on women’s health.

Ahead of the official release of House Republicans’ the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Monday evening—which guts funding for any healthcare organization that “provides for abortions”—Planned Parenthood reportedly rejected an offer from the White House to stop terminating pregnancies in exchange for the group to continue receiving federal funds for other essential services.

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Cities and States Prefer Public Banks To Wall Street

March 9, 2017 by John Lawrence

Public Banking

Profits Can Stay In State, Provide Local Funding

By John Lawrence

Alarmed by the corruption and greed of Wall Street, many US cities and states are studying the feasibility of establishing public banks. Public banks are owned by cities, states or other jurisdictions and serve to keep funds local instead of being deposited on Wall Street. The funds are then used to support local economic activities like small business loans and student loans.

Washington state has already cut its ties with Wells Fargo because they funded …

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OB Rag Stands in Solidarity with A Day Without a Woman

March 8, 2017 by Staff

By OB Rag Editors

Can you imagine a day without a woman?

We join with our fellow editors at San Diego Free Press, in the strike for women on International Women’s Day 2017, and will remain “dark” for the day.

Many of the staff and contributors of the OB Rag are women. 50% of the volunteer SDFP editorial board and 50% of SDFP volunteer contributors are women.

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News and Notes for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early March 2017

March 7, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Newport Ave Re-Paving Begins Thursday, March 9

The long-anticipated re-paving of Newport Avenue begins Thursday, March 9th. Beginning at 8am, the work crews will re-pave the normally-busy commercial street from Abbott to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Workers will grind down the old asphalt 3 inches, and then pour in 3 inches of the fresh smelly, gooey, stinking-hot new asphalt (ever worked with it? it’s pretty bad stuff).

Gas Leak Tuesday at Sunset View Elem

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A Day Without a Woman – Wednesday, March 8th

March 7, 2017 by Source

Wednesday, March 8
A Day Without a Woman

A Message From: The Women’s March on Washington

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.

In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women’s March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system…

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  • Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman
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The National Democratic Party Is Missing in Action

March 6, 2017 by Jim Miller

DemocraticBy Jim Miller

Many progressives were upset after the national Democratic party leadership recruited Obama’s Labor Secretary Tom Perez to block Minnesota’s Keith Ellison in the race for DNC chair and even more dismayed when Ellison lost very narrowly in the second round of voting.

While Perez immediately made Ellison Deputy Chair and did what he could to foster unity, it was evident to numerous observers that putting in a guy who, despite a pretty solid record on policy, supported the TPP and clearly represented the interests of the Clinton wing of the party was a mistake.

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ACLU: San Diego City Council Makes ‘Inexcusable Failure’ in Not Adopting Recommendations from Independent Study on Police Racial Profiling

March 3, 2017 by Source

After pleas from the public for action, the City Council failed to lead

By Norma Chavez-Peterson, Executive Director / ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Head of the Statue of Liberty logo for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial CountiesThe majority of the San Diego City Council demonstrated an inexcusable failure in leadership Monday, Feb. 27th in their decision to accept the 2-year independent study of police traffic stop data, but disregard its recommendations.

The Council had before them the results of an SDSU study, requested by former Councilmember Marti Emerald in 2015 to address community concerns about racial profiling by San Diego Police Department officers, …

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Making It Easier to Build Won’t Generate Affordable Housing

March 3, 2017 by Source

Downtown San Diego’s Experience Has Given Us Lessons

Affordable

By Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines, the Shelterforce blog

It is often convenient to blame city planners for the affordable housing crisis. After all, those affected have no other public forum to vent their concerns, least of all toward those who are profiting off of the crisis on a project-by-project basis. Sadly, this blame is often misguided, because planners do not produce housing.

A case study of the profit-maximizing, decision-making that is driving the affordability crisis is downtown San Diego. Construction cranes are up all over, …

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Amazon Go: The End of Jobs?

March 3, 2017 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

AmazonAmazon Go is the latest job destroyer by virtue of the fact that it is a grocery store with no check-out lines.

High tech devices will monitor every item you put in your high tech grocery basket so you just load up and go. Your credit card will be charged the correct amount. It isn’t clear if a robot will bag your groceries or if you’ll do that yourself.

This feat of automation is only the harbinger of things to come. With artificial intelligence and robots, jobs will be automated out of existence except for a few software engineers who will design the various systems.

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OB Planning Board Approves Santa Monica Remodel – Praising Owner for Keeping His Single Family House

March 2, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Meeting Wednesday night inside the community room of the OB Rec Center, the Ocean Beach Planning Board found themselves with a full agenda.

By the end of the evening, they had approved a remodel / addition to a single family house on Santa Monica, formed a sub-committee on short-term vacation rentals, reviewed recent applications for alcohol permits, enjoyed a full discussion on a proposal to modify their bylaws about signature gatherings, and confirmed their upcoming annual election details.

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New Emergency Procedures for San Diego Lifeguards Are a Waste of Precious Time and a Waste of Money

March 2, 2017 by Source

“Teaching Fire Fighters how to swim and perform river rescue is not acceptable.”

By Ed Harris

On December 15th, 2016 San Diego Lifeguard River Rescue team members were holding a deployment briefing prior to an imminent storm.

Fifteen minutes before they were to deploy, they were given a new standard operating procedure. The new SOP was part of an executive order mandated by the new Fire Chief.

There were several changes that have a negative operational effect on the Lifeguards as well as a negative budgetary effect for all of us.

A big change is that now San Diego Fire Dispatch will handle inland calls for water emergencies and that Firefighters will automatically dispatch multiple engines, trucks personnel and a helicopter to calls that have been successfully handled by a few Lifeguards for over 40 years.

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O.B. March 4 Impeachment – Sat., March 4

March 2, 2017 by Source

The OB March 4 Impeachment is gaining momentum as it will happen this Saturday, March 4th, where participants will spell out “Impeach” just north of the OB Pier.

There will be a Beach Clean-up and March from Dog Beach to the Pier, says the facebook and the main event will be to “Replicate Human Protest Banner from Ocean Beach, San Francisco,” just that here in Ocean Beach, San Diego, participants will spell out “IMPEACH”. The OB Rag and Indivisible San Diego support this action.

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Attorney General Sessions and the Latest of Trump’s Russia Troubles

March 2, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, former Senator from Alabama, campaign advisor, and current Attorney General is generating the latest waft of smoke from the smoldering garbage fire, also known as the Trump administration’s Russia scandal.

During his nomination hearings, the then-Senator from Alabama failed to disclose two occasions when he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the Washington Post.

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New Modular Units at Voltaire and Abbott for Rent on Airbnb Despite Owner’s Pledge

March 1, 2017 by Frank Gormlie


When the 3 two-story modular units planed for the south-east corner of Voltaire and Abbott were approved by the OB Planning Board in early September 2014, one of the applicant-owners stated to the Board unequivocally that he planned to live in one of the units. Now that they have been built, it appears that the units – at least one of them – are listed on Airbnb – for $229 to $349 a night.

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Some Memory Tiles Removed and Damaged During Repairs on Newport Ave.

March 1, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

During Tuesday’s demolition and repair of the ramps to OB’s mid-block crosswalks, some memory tiles were removed and damaged. These are the special tiles installed along the curb on Newport Avenue for several blocks that people purchased over the years.

This reporter while visiting the project asked the foreman of the work crew working on the ramp widening if he planned to save the tiles that his guys removed. He said no, and I advised him to keep them. So he said he did.

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Ocean Beach Home Hosts Sanctuary House Teach-In

March 1, 2017 by Source

sanctuary

By Dianne Lane

A couple of activists hosted a Sanctuary House Party/Teach-in at their home in Ocean Beach on Saturday, February 25th.

The impetus for the event sprang from a “Teaching Positive Alternatives to Trump Teach-In” last month in Balboa Park.

The aim is to build a San Diego network of sanctuary homes in resistance to Trump’s fascism and to corporate capitalism.

Over the next few months, a series of neighborhood house parties throughout San Diego …

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Nuclear Shutdown News – February 2017

March 1, 2017 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world. Here is out February 2017 report:

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

1. Fire and explosion at French nuclear plant.

Various media outlets reported that on February 9, a fire and explosion happened at the Flamanville nuclear plant, forcing the shutdown of one of its two reactors there. The nuke is located in Normandy on that country’s northwest coast, facing the English Channel.

The BBC reported: “The explosion and fire happened in the turbine room.”

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Trump’s Border Brownshirts Already Running Amok

March 1, 2017 by Doug Porter

The ‘gloves are off’ is a terrible thing to say to anybody with a gun and a badge

By Doug Porter

We’re already seeing glimpses of what ‘empowered’ agencies charged with immigration enforcement will look like in the Trump era, and it’s not a pretty sight.

What seems to be clear at this point is that some enforcement personnel in Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol (two separate agencies, both in Homeland security) aren’t even waiting for the official go-ahead.

San Diego has been lucky–thus far– …

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“Special Prosecutor, Special Prosecutor, Who’s Got the Special Prosecutor?”

February 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

There’s some kind of a sick and nefarious game being played out on national politics right now. It’s called, “Special Prosecutor, Special Prosecutor, Who’s Got the Special Prosecutor?”

Even as Congressman Darrel Issa walked back part of his solitary Republican call for a special prosecutor to look into Trump’s ties to Russia, White House press spokesguy Sean Spicer, was denying the need for one and that it would all be a waste of time. When pressed by a reporter to respond to Issa’s call for a special investigator, at a news briefing Monday, Feb. 27, Spicer said:

“ A special prosecutor for what?”

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On Tuesday, House Republicans Will Betray Their Oaths, Their Country, and the American People

February 27, 2017 by Source

They’ve made the calculation that most of their constituents won’t care

House RepublicansBy Dartagnan / Daily Kos

On February 28, 2017, the United States will witness the what may be the single greatest act of collective treachery by its elected government officials since the Confederate States voted to secede from the Union in 1860 and 1861.

And in all likelihood, the U.S. media will completely ignore it.

On Tuesday the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee is expected to reject House Democrats’ Resolution for a formal inquiry into the the potential ethical and legal violations committed by the Trump campaign apparatus in its contacts, communications and financial transactions with Russia during the run-up to Trump’s election last November, and throughout the transition since then.

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