California

Ocean Beach: All Out to the City Council Hearing Today – July 29th

July 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

4,000 Signatures Collected in Support of OB Plan

This is the day that Ocean Beach has been waiting for – for months, and for some, they’ve been waiting for years for this day. This is the day that the San Diego City Council does a final review for approval of the OB Community Plan – recently updated.

The Council takes up the OB plan at 2 pm. Every OBcean who can is urged to attend the hearing to show support for the Plan – and everyone who attends is asked to wear blue. (Blue OB “attitude” T-shirts are available at Dog Beach Dog Wash for $10 – 4933 Voltaire.)

Over a 100 OB supporters are expected to gather – as 40 were present last month just for a continuance. Already 85 have signed up on the online facebook page.

The City Council meets at City Hall, 202 “C” Street in downtown San Diego, 92101, on the 12th floor in Council Chambers. OB

Organizers are, in addition, asking OBceans to attend a 1:30 pm “rally” downstairs at City Hall on the bottom floor outside.

Plus, organizers expect to submit approximately 4,000 signatures in support of the Ocean Beach Community Plan –

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Ocean Beach Mobilizes for City Council Show-Down on Tuesday, July 29th

July 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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You can tell something is happening in Ocean Beach by the number of emails fluttering around OB’s cyberspace.

For instance, the OB Town Council is sending out their email announcements calling on members of their group and supporters of their “Respect OB” campaign to attend tomorrow’s City Council hearing on the Community Plan.

The OBTC says:

Do you love Ocean Beach? Do you want to protect our small-scale character? Do you want to prevent bulky over-development?

Then heed this call to action!

Step 1: Sign the online petition to protect the small-scale character of Ocean Beach

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Timeline and History behind the Che Cafe dispute at UCSD

July 25, 2014 by Source

Historical Timeline and Parties Course of Dealing

By Che Cafe Collective

A. Inception to 2008

The Ché Café Collective began approximately 34 years ago, on or about May 1, 1980. Since that time, the Ché Facility, 1000 Scholars Drive South, has been leased continuously by Plaintiff from Defendant, the Regents of the University of California. It has been and currently is used to operate a café, library, and a music-and-theater programming space, and to host other student organizations and events.

As one of the original buildings of Camp Matthews, the Ché Facility was originally used by the University of California, San Diego (“University”) as a diner and cafe in the 1960’s, called “The Coffee Hut.” It is known as the original student center. When there was an attempt to turn it into a faculty club, students argued that since student fees had paid for the building and its maintenance for many years, students should rightly take possession and operate it from that time forward.

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Dude, is it legal yet?

July 23, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Dude, is it legal yet?

People have been saying this since the seventies. Speaking to activists from this era, it seems many felt that legalization of marijuana in the US was imminent in the early seventies. But other than Alaska in 1975 (re-criminalized in 1991) the seventies did not see legalization of marijuana come to pass.

The activists of the seventies (Baby Boomers) have now been joined by the next generation – the children of the seventies (Gen X). With these two generations working together public support for legal marijuana is now over 50% and is on the rise. Victories in the battle to change US laws continue as both generations of activists work towards change.

Today the answer to ‘Dude, is it legal yet?’ is becoming ‘Yes!’ for more and more people as Washington and Colorado have moved to legalization, nine states have decriminalized and twenty-three have introduced medical marijuana legislation.

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California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers

July 22, 2014 by Source

contaminatedwater[1]By Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

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The Little Thing Our Cities Can Do to Inspire Millions More People to Bike

July 18, 2014 by Source

Photo Credit: Dimitri Naumov

Protected bike lanes help riders feel less exposed to danger, and are also appreciated by drivers and pedestrians, who know where to expect bicycles.

By Jay Walljasper / AlterNet

You can see big changes happening across North America as communities from Fairbanks to St. Petersburg …

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The Story of How Community Planning Came to Be in Ocean Beach – How Ocean Beach Was “Saved”

July 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Part 1
By Frank Gormlie

I have a story, and it’s a story about urban planning in Ocean Beach during the mid-1970′s – and how community planning came to be here in OB. It is a story about how a crisis of over-development encrusted the village of OB – and then it’s a story about how OBceans responded to that crisis – a crisis that affected much of coastal of San Diego and of the rest of the Southern California.

It’s a story how the small village blocked a plan that would have literally paved the way for the community to be redeveloped into a San Diego version of Miami Beach.

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Two Out of Every Three Americans Now Live in a Constitution-Free Zone

July 16, 2014 by Source
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Thanks to the militarization and expansion of the “border” region, 197 million Americans now live within the jurisdiction of US Customs and Border Patrol.

By Todd Miller / The Nation / July 15, 2014

Shena Gutierrez was already cuffed and in an inspection room in Nogales, Arizona, when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent grabbed her purse, opened it, and dumped its contents onto the floor right in front of her. There couldn’t be a sharper image of the Bill of Rights rollback we are experiencing in the US borderlands in the post-9/11 era.

Tumbling out of that purse came Gutierrez’s life: photos of …

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California Passes Drastic Water Restrictions Effective August 1st

July 15, 2014 by Source
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Fines of up to $500 for watering gardens or washing cars – Southern Calif water use actually increased 8% since Gov. Brown declared emergency in January

By Ian Lovett / New York Times / July 15, 2014

With rainfall this year at historically low levels and reservoirs quickly dwindling, California officials on Tuesday approved the most drastic measures yet to reduce water consumption during the state’s increasingly serious drought, including fines of up to $500 per day under some circumstances for watering a garden, washing a car or hosing down a sidewalk.

The new measures come in response to an apathetic public that has ignored repeated pleas to save water since Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought emergency in January.

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Encinitas Bluff Owners Battle Coastal Commission Over Sea Wall Requirements

July 15, 2014 by Staff

A battle over how long a private property seawall can remain along the California coast without being re-approved by the California Coastal Commission hit the Court of Appeal – sitting in San Diego – on Monday, July 14. The case could set a huge precedent for property owners up and down the state’s fragile coast.

It all started when heavy rains in 2010 resulted in a bluff collapse up in Encinitas. The collapse also destroyed a 100-foot seawall and damaged a staircase to the beach.

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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. human rights.

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Manhattan Beach Shark Attack Caught on Video

July 9, 2014 by Source

Here is the video of the July 6 shark attack up at Manhattan Beach.

The following is a summary from post by Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit / July 7, 2014

A 10 foot long great white shark, hooked by a fisherman and fighting for its life, took a bite on a distance swimmer in the waters off the Manhattan Beach Pier today.

The men in the video on the Manhattan Beach Pier were fishing. Some allege that they were illegally fishing for shark and threw bloody chum in the water knowing it would attract sharks.

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Certain Bare Facts About San Diego

July 9, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

cursusThere are certain bare facts about our city that we ­– as informed San Diegans and curious citizens – would benefit from knowing more about.

The intent of my upcoming commentaries is to shed light on the anatomy of hometown government while getting the bare facts out in the open.

Having just weathered the July 4th weekend, why don’t we start with some bare facts about flashy celebrations, San Diego style.

You’re probably aware that the job of drumming up money and excellent ideas for a centennial celebration of the 1915 Balboa Park Panama-California exposition (Panama refers to the canal, not the hat or cigar) …

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Our Children: Thoughts from Murrieta

July 7, 2014 by Source

They are now our children. Photo by Rick Najera.

They ask again what side I’m on. I think and answer, “I’m on the children’s side.”

By Rick Najera / Latino Rebels

I’m in Murrieta, California, ground zero in the immigration debate. I’m watching hundreds of protestors and supporters at a hastily called town hall meeting at the local high school.

Police surround the auditorium to shield between protestors and supporters. A massive wall of news vans fill the parking lot. Reporters with news cameras troll the crowd hunting for sound bites. On both sides, people fly American flags. …

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San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 3, 2014 by Source
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We are not only facing a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of values as well

By San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The leadership of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a coalition of nearly 20 community, faith, labor, and legal organizations released the following statement in response the current humanitarian crisis migrant families are facing in Southern California.

sdirclogoAlor Calderon, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Program Director at the Employee Rights Center:

The issue of unaccompanied minors fleeing their home countries is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration crisis, and should be treated as such.

Furthermore, we are not only facing a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of values as well.

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Break-down of Coastal Commission Recommendations to OB Plan

July 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last Friday, June 27th, staff of the California Coastal Commission submitted 43 recommendations involving the Ocean Beach Community Plan to the City for its considerations. This 11th-hour submittal of modifications has now delayed the review and potential approval of OB’s Plan by the City Council. This past Monday, the Council moved their hearing to July 29th.

The Council felt that City staff, both from the planning department and the City Attorney’s Office, needed to review and respond to the recommendations.

If staff found a recommendation that is “material” – that is a substantial change – to the Plan, then the potential exists for even more delays, as the Plan then would have to go back before the Planning Commission.

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BREAKING NEWS: City Council Hearing on OB Community Plan to Be Postponed

June 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

At the 11th Hour, Coastal Commission Makes 43 Recommended Changes to OB Plan

The San Diego City Council Hearing on the OB Community Plan scheduled for Monday, June 30th, will be postponed to as yet an unknown date.

Councilman Ed Harris’ office was notified by the Mayor’s Office late on Friday afternoon that due to a brand new, 11th hour submission of 43 recommended “modifications” to the Plan by the staff of the California Coastal Commission, the Mayor will be seeking a continuance – or postponement – of the hearing slated for 2pm. It needs to be postponed in order to allow City staff sufficient time to evaluate the recommendations and make a response. …

COME INSIDE FOR THE MEMO …

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California Coastal Commission Now Able to Levy Fines on Property Owners Who Deny Public Access to Coast

June 25, 2014 by Doug Porter

Senate Speaker Atkins’ Budget Rider Finally Wins Power for Public Agency Protecting California Coast

By Doug Porter

California Gov. Jerry Brown was in San Diego last Friday – June 20th – for a budget signing ceremony. While much of the press coverage focused on all the backslapping and self congratulating about fiscal responsibility, a low-key rider attached to the budget bill by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins is a big victory for beach lovers.

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How OB Stayed “OB” and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach

June 11, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There is a reason that Ocean Beach has stayed as OB and did not suffer the fate of, say, its neighbor to the north – Mission Beach.

Have you been up to Mission Beach lately? Walked or biked on the Boardwalk? Surfed the MB curls?

Did you realize there’s no community left there? It’s all time-shares, vacation rentals, and empty buildings.

But most importantly for us, it’s practically wall-to-wall 3 story expensive giants facing the ocean for – literally – miles – all along the famous Boardwalk.

And the reason OB didn’t go that way is because …

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How OBGO brought back the OB Rag and the “California Energy Crisis”

June 10, 2014 by Marc Snelling

SDG&E customer burning bill - OB Rag July 1975

OB Group Brought Activism Back to the Streets of Ocean Beach

The original OB Rag published from 1970-1975. Twenty five years after the last OB Rag newspapers were circulated on the streets of Ocean Beach, OBGO launched an effort to bring the stories back into the digital realm.

The Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization (OBGO) was a group formed by local activists existing from 2000-2005. Through the group’s website OBGO.org the first story republished was in August of 2000. ‘SDG&E Wants 20% More’ was the title of the article republished from the Volume 5 Number 6 issue of the Rag of July 1975.

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Extreme Weather Watch: May 2014 – Fires Explode in San Diego, Floods Inundate Balkans

June 4, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

More than eight major fires and several smaller brush fires were burning from May 14 to May 17 in San Diego County during an unseasonal heat wave fueled by high Santa Ana winds.

Temperature records were set – highs of 97 in San Diego and 104 in both Escondido and El Cajon on May 15. More than a dozen southern California cities broke or tied high temperatures Wednesday, May 14.

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Five Reasons to Vote on June 3rd

June 2, 2014 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

What if they had an election and nobody came?

That’s the feel that this June’s primary has to it and, after a nasty and seemingly unrelenting political year from the Filner scandal on, it’s understandable that folks are burned out and/or disgusted enough to stay home.

Nevertheless, while most San Diegans are meeting tomorrow’s election with a collective shrug, there are a number of things at stake that will affect our lives and the future of our local and statewide democracy in important ways.

Here are a few key areas that should motivate progressives to get to the polls: jpallan via flickr

1) The balance of power in the city is at stake.

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Planning Commission Approves OB Plan Update But With New Language that Guts its Teeth on Variances

May 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It was embarrassing to observe how the Planning Commission coddled one single property owner while gutting key language regarding variances

By Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, May 29, for nearly two hours, the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update was before the San Diego Planning Commission sitting in the City Council chambers. After having a staff presentation, listening to public comments pro and con, and their own questions and issues, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Update. However, they approved the Plan with two modifications whose ramifications are not clear.

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OBceans Urged to Attend Planning Commission Hearing on OB Plan – Thursday, May 29th

May 28, 2014 by Staff
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Obceans* are urged to attend Thursday’s San Diego Planning Commission meeting and show support for the OB Community Plan Update. OB planners say “this is the most important document that will guide development in OB for the next 20 plus years.”

The Plan Update is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on the 29th of May. Planning Commission meetings start at 9 am sharp.

The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, downtown at 202 West “C” Street, 12th Floor. Here’s the agenda: http://www.sandiego.gov/planning-commission/pdf/agenda/2014/pcagenda140529.pdf

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Green Party Candidate for Governor – Luis J. Rodriguez: Imagine a New California

May 21, 2014 by Source

It’s about time we had new ideas, new imaginations, and an encompassing and inclusive governance.

luisjrodriguezBy Luis J. Rodriguez

I am not a career politician. I won’t accept corporate donations. I am not a Democrat or Republican. And I’ve been blocked from print or airtime in the major media. Still, I’m running a serious independent campaign to be governor of the largest state in the union, one of the 10 largest economies in the world, with the third largest agricultural business anywhere.

I say it’s about time.

California has been governed by politicians, business people, accountants, actors, and,..

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 10 of the San Diego 10

May 20, 2014 by Source
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(Ten in a series)

By Cara Wilson-Granat

This is the tenth and final article in a series of ten in which we have met all of the San Diego 10 orcas and heard from advocates who continue to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

This week’s Advocate is Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.

Prisoner #10: Makani

Age: 15 months old

Born on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, Makani made his debut in Shamu Stadium, SeaWorld San Diego. Guided by his momma and big sister, the baby swam immediately to the surface just seconds after he was born to take his first breath. Makani, (his name means “Wind” in Hawaiian) was the fourth calf born to mother …

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Lessons from Wildfires of Yore – the Perennial Blame Game: Who Started the Fires?

May 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: This article was published by the OB Rag right after the 2007 fires in San Diego County – and today, it has an eerie ring of familiarity. It was part of a series we ran about wildfires. We stated then:

Blaming arsonists for Southern California wildfires has always been a great game for politicians and the mainstream media.

By Frank Gormlie/ Nov. 11, 2007

Before the Wildfires of October 2007 were through burning, the blame game had begun. TV news crews speculated on the causes during those first few days when it seemed the whole world was on fire. Early on, immigrants were the cause, then definitely arsonists, then the homeless, then it was little boys playing with matches. There were so many fires … in the space of just a few days, that there just had to be some kind of conspiracy out there, lighting these fires!

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 9 of the San Diego 10

May 16, 2014 by Source
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(Nine in a series)

By Cara Wilson-Granat
This is the ninth in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens. After reading about Prisoner #9, Kalia, please scroll down this article and “meet” one of the top San Diego 10 Prisoner Advocates! This week’s Advocate is Liz Jacobelly.

Prisoner #9: Kalia

Age: 9 years

Her name means “Beauty” in Hawaiian, and this lovely nine-year-old orca lives up to her name completely. Born at SeaWorld San Diego on December 21, 2004, her mother is Kasatka and her father is Keet. (Kasatka is featured in #2 of our San Diego 10 series, and Keet is featured in #5 of this series.) Kalia’s claim to fame is that she is also known as Great Grandbaby Shamu, …

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SeaWorld News: Park Plans for the Middle East while Attendance and Revenues Fall

May 16, 2014 by Staff
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Company Refuses to Acknowledge Impact of Anti-Captivity Campaigns for Orcas

U-T San Diego writer Lori Weisberg ran a very interesting story on Wed., May 14 filled with news from SeaWorld – one of the U-T’s favorite anchors for San Diego tourism. While not mentioning boss Papa Doug Manchester’s enthusiasm for tourists to have reasons to fill his hotels, Weisberg wastes no time in getting to the real news from the company that owns 11 sea-theme parks across the country. Attendance was down the first quarter of this year by a whooping 13%.  Weisberg reported:

“the company’s quarterly earnings report … revealed, as expected, that attendance at SeaWorld’s 11 theme parks dropped 13 percent, to a little more than 3 million visitors, …”

This bad news for the company is accompanied by the concurrent news that revenues were also down by 11%.

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide – Part Three: Saying ‘Yes’ to All State and Local Ballot Propositions

May 16, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

There are five ballot measures covered in today’s column; two-state wide issues and three local topics. State propositions 41 and 42, along with city proposition A, are no-brainers, righting wrongs and fixing stuff that obviously needs to be fixed.

So we’ll start with what I think is the best reason for San Diego voters to get motivated to go the polls: Propositions B&C. They are about a small issue with much larger implications.

Actual endorsements will be in another article, though I doubt you’ll have much trouble figuring out which way I personally lean. Last time we took a look at federal and state legislative contests.

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