California

The Drought – Basic Q and A

August 19, 2014 by Source
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We Haven’t Come Close to Meeting Conservation: Water Supply Q & A with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley

by Matt O’Malley / San Diego Coastkeeper

With the worst drought in recorded history parching the state, water and water sourcing options are hot topics. Join us in a chat with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, who discusses the Colorado River, future water prospects and more.

Why is water considered the lifeblood of the Southwestern US?

Water is vital to almost everything we do, in particular the Colorado River is vital to our everyday existence. The reality is that most of the Southwest is desert, but we don’t live as though it is. Instead we try to make it look and live like regions that get much more rainfall – such as Hawaii or Florida.

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“A Trail for Humanity’s” Final Walk Begins in Chicano Park

August 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

A Trail for Humanity's walkers and supporters march through Barrio Logan.

By Brent Beltran / San Diego Free Press

On the morning of Saturday, August 16 over 100 people gathered by the temescal (sweat lodge) in Chicano Park for a ceremony to honor the walkers of A Trail for Humanity.

On July 22 a group of women and children left Merced, California on a journey south to the US-Mexico border in San Ysidro to pressure the Obama administration to put a halt to its deportation enforcement only policies; call for an end to the use of police as immigration enforcement agents; demand an end to family separations; and stem the tide of racial profiling that has incarcerated so many migrants and African Americans.

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From San Diego, LA, to New York City – Americans Demand End to Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men In Solidarity With Ferguson

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From San Diego to Los Angeles and across the nation to New York City, Americans of all colors rallied and held vigils on Thursday, August 14th, in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, in their struggle against local police who shot and killed a young Black man, Michael Brown.

The common issue and demand that are uniting Americans is a call to end police shootings of unarmed Black men.

In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, more than a hundred people gathered to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and with the family of Michael Brown. Organizer Kim Moore yelled out:

“Put our hands up, don’t shoot!”

This refrain has become a rallying call for those in Ferguson and in San Diego and elsewhere. Reportedly, Brown, the teenager killed by police, had his hands up before being gunned down.

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San Diego Protesters in Mission Beach to Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking – Wed., Aug 13

August 12, 2014 by Source
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Hazmat-suit wearing San Diego protesters to highlight dangers of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean

From San Diego 350:

As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with SanDiego350 and the Center for Biological Diversity will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s precious oceans, wildlife, and beaches.

Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean. Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.

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Isn’t the U.S. Pot Thing Frustrating? Great Success, Popular Support and Ugly Backlash

August 12, 2014 by Source

potprohibitionThe nation has a split personality when it comes to pot.

By Don Hazen, April M. Short, Jan Frel, Steve Rosenfeld, and Tana Ganeva / AlterNet

In the robust efforts to legalize and decriminalize cannabis in the U.S., a slightly modified line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities applies: “These are the best of times, these are the worst of times.”

Despite huge success on many fronts, including legalization in two states with boffo success in Colorado (and two more states likely on the way), pot arrests remain astronomically high across the country.

More than 750,000 were recorded in 2012, with pot arrests actually increasing in …

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Logan Heights Restaurant Owner Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

August 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.” – Mark Lane

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Last week I found out there’s a restaurant owner in Logan Heights who has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say. …

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Disappearance of Ocean Plastics Is Nothing to Celebrate

August 6, 2014 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / San Diego Free Press-

fish plasticYou’d think that finding far less plastic pollution on the ocean’s surface than scientists expected would be something to cheer about.

The reality, however, is that this is likely bad news, for both the ocean food web and humans eating at the top. Ingestion of tiny plastic debris by sea creatures likely explains the plastics’ disappearance and exposes a worrisome entry point for risky chemicals into the food web.

Except for a transient slowdown during the recent economic recession, global plastics consumption has risen steadily since plastic materials were introduced in the 1950s and subsequently incorporated into nearly every facet of modern life.

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Reverberations from Historic City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The reverberations from last week’s historic City Council vote July 29th to approve the OB Community Plan have yet to be felt – other than the celebrations -, either in OB or throughout the City, but the vote will have consequences – good ones – for two or three decades.

Plus the dust hadn’t settled after the unanimous vote, when the question was raised ‘What’s next? What is the next hurdle the Plan must take before it becomes a reality?’

The short answer is that the Plan goes before the California Coastal Commission in October, according to city staff.

Meanwhile, the vote was a clear victory for Ocean Beach but it was also a win for other communities around San Diego. Let’s examine this.

OBviously, with a new community plan, OB will be affected for the next 20 to 30 years. What else does the vote mean? For Ocean Beach, the vote did several things.

First, it vindicated the resistance by the OB Planning Board …

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Extreme Weather Watch: July 2014 – Record Flames, Record Drought

August 5, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

On the last day of July in California, Exceptional Drought – the highest category of drought – which covered 36% of the state the previous week, covered 58% of the state as August began.

With water reserves being at all time lows, a water main broke in LA spewing 20 million gallons of water into the UCLA campus, submerging 400 cars in an underground parking structure and flooding Pauley Pavillion so bad that a new floor has to be put in.

How ironic such a massive waste of water happened right in the middle of a colossal drought.

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John Ambert: “OB Is Classic California”

August 4, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag has been publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. Here is John Ambert’s speech.

My name is John Ambert and I am an architect, I am the Vice Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, and I am a born and raised as an Ocean Beach native.

There are three reasons why you should support the Ocean Beach Community Plan as presented to you today:

First, because OB is classic California

Second because FAR variances destroy the character of beach neighborhoods;

and third, because coastal redevelopment at this scale, pushes the residents out of their community.

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In Paradise – for the Time Being

August 4, 2014 by Jim Miller

Devils_Postpile_National_Monument_near_Mammoth_LakesBy Jim Miller

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time at Devils Postpile National Monument basking in the stunning beauty of that geological marvel and the accompanying reminder of the deep time that underlies the shallow surface history that we mistake for all that is.

Indeed, if there is a heaven, places like this are surely part of it. Nonetheless, while pondering the unintentional artistry of glaciers it was impossible not to notice how dry the mountains are now after several years of drought.

In and around Yosemite, the creeks, rivers, and waterfalls are drying up far earlier than usual, and the forests are perpetually vulnerable to fire.

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Mindy Pellissier: “We OBceans are a resilient and tenacious lot.”

August 1, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag is publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. This is by Mindy Pellissier, long-time OB planner, Co-chair of Sub-committee on OB Community Plan Update, plus co-owner of the Dog Beach Dog Wash.

My name is Mindy Pellissier. I am a home owner and business owner — & a proud OBcean for more than 20 years.

I have also been a dedicated participant in the OB Planning process & several community organizations.

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Gio Ingolia: The OB Community Plan “Ensures Our Small-Town Feel”

July 31, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first of several we hope to publish of the speeches given by OB planners at the July 29th City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan.

By Giovanni Ingolia

My Name is Giovanni Ingolia and I am the Co-Chair of the OB Community Plan update Sub-committee. I have also served 8 years on the OB Planning board and a former Chair.

This plan has been a collaborative effort from a myriad of community group and citizens of Ocean Beach.

Overall the plan meets the needs and desires of the community including but not limited to our transportation desires, historic preservation, and community character.

Unfortunately the Planning Commission has recommended more permissive language to the Community Plan when it comes to our community character as it relates to bulk and scale.

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San Diego For-Profit Universities Making Tons of Money Handing Out Worthless Degrees

July 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ashford University and University of Phoenix Worst Offenders Targeting Returning Vets

amPhxMagBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Everyone wants to better themselves, right, by getting a college education. Most of all the Iraq and Afghanistan vets transitioning into civilian life. To that end our politicians in Washington have crafted a GI Bill that allows them to do just that at taxpayer expense.

Problem is most of that money is being gobbled up by for-profit universities like the University of Phoenix and Ashford University which don’t even qualify for state financial aid. These universities attract and recruit students by advertising heavily and “selling” them on the value of one of their degrees.

When many of the students graduate, they can’t get a job based on a degree which potential employers say …

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City Council Unanimously Approves OB Community Plan

July 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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With a 9 to zip vote, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update, yesterday, the 29th of July and in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately, the 150 plus OBceans jumped to their feet with whoops of delight and sustained applause that went on for minutes.

It was an emotional day for OB, with the Council vote culminating a very long process of updating the community’s urban design blueprint, a blueprint that will significantly affect OB for the next 20 to 30 years.

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A Saturday Well Spent at Comic-Con

July 29, 2014 by Source

ComicCon 2014 courtBy Court Allen

Saturdays have a special meaning for me. I’m not alone in this, to be sure. Saturdays are a universal holiday; a weekly respite.

My personal feelings about Saturdays are related to childhood. After a long week of school and the tribulations of growing up, Saturday was the prize – a day of freedom, adventure, parties, special events, or the ultimate possibility – a day spent exploring my imagination. Remember Saturday morning cartoons (better than the rest of the week’s cartoons), or Creature Feature in the afternoon (coolest. thing. ever.)?

Saturdays are the best day of the week, and how you choose to spend them is the real stuff of life. In fact, a few years back I attended a funeral service for a man whose primary tenet in life was to make the most of time away from work. He was famous among friends and family for his belief that there were only so many Saturdays in an average human life, so they must be spent well. A sentiment with which I agree.

I spent this past Saturday at Comic-Con. It was the ultimate Saturday, …

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

July 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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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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