California

Coastal Commissioners’ Voting Records on Environment – 2015

February 11, 2016 by Source

Calif Coastal Comm chart

COME INSIDE TO SEE LARGER VERSION WITH CLICK

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BREAKING NEWS: California Coastal Commission Fires Executive Director

February 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

calif coast comm 2-10-16

After 7 hours of public testimony – most in favor of Charles Lester – the embattled executive director of the Coastal Commission – and after an hour of closed session, the Commission just announced that they had fired Lester in a 7 to 5 vote.

This vote will go down in California history as a sad victory for developers and developer lobbyists who want a weaker staff and a more developer-friendly California Coastal Commission. Now our 1,100 miles of coastline will be up for grabs by the wealthy and those with connections.

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Tsunami of Opposition Meets Move to Oust Coastal Commission Head of Staff

February 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Showdown Looms for Feb. 10th-12th at Commission Monthly Hearing

A virtual tsunami of opposition has met the move on the California Coastal Commission to oust the head of its staff, Charles Lester. The move – called “a coup” by environmentalists – is an attempt by the pro-development clique of commissioners to remove Lester who is the Executive Director.

And the move is in the middle of a key decision by the Commission on the fate of a huge development project near Newport Beach of million dollar mansions.

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Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

February 1, 2016 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Politics is a game of unintended consequences. One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Diego / San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act. Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual. Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress.

The Civil Rights Connection: Fact And Fiction

The Act was inspired by the Civil Rights Act as well as our nation’s quest for ethnic diversity and racial equality. In some political corners, the immigration bill was characterized as a progressive extension of the civil rights movement.

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The Lessons of Porter Ranch

January 29, 2016 by Source

Porter Ranch image

By Nicola Peill-Moelter, Ph.D. / SanDiego 350.org

The massive leak at the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility is a stark example of why natural gas is a significant health and safety risk and not a bridge fuel to our clean energy future. The facility, the second largest in the U.S., stores vast amounts of natural gas at high pressure in underground wells once used for oil extraction more than fifty years ago.

On or about October 23rd a rupture in a 60-year old injection well pipe a thousand feet underground initiated the leak. At its peak the leak had an estimated rate of one-hundred twenty-five thousand pounds of methane per hour. To date, the cumulative emissions from this single source is equivalent to 25% of the state’s annual methane emissions from major sources like agriculture and landfills, equivalent to the annual climate pollution of almost half a million cars.

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Push-Back Against Pro-Developer Coup at California Coastal Commission

January 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Showdown at Commission Meeting on Feb. 10th

Things are really heating up at the California Coastal Commission, the independent state agency that is the guardian of the 1100 mile California coastline. Nothing is at stake except what’s left of the pristine nature of our coastline and the future ability of Californians to have access to it.

What’s going on – and there’s no way to mince words about it – is that there is a movement afoot on the 12 member board of commissioners to engineer a coup – to fire Charles Lester, the executive director of the Coastal Commission’s staff.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – January 2016

January 25, 2016 by Michael Steinberg

san onofreBy Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry, and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future.

San Onofre May Be Contaminated

On the last day of last year San Diego’s NBC 7 TV ran a story “Portions of San Onofre May Be Contaminated.”

The San Onofre nuclear plant unexpectedly and permanently shut down in 2013. Southern California Edison is the major owner, with San Diego Gas and Electric its minority partner.

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Whither 2016 Ballot Measures?: The Oracle Jerry Brown Weighs In

January 25, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by Freedom To Marry

By Jim Miller

As I noted in my New Year’s column, many in California’s labor and progressive circles had high hopes for ballot measures extending Proposition 30’s taxes on the rich to fully fund education and for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But it did not take long for Governor Jerry Brown to rain on his presumed allies’ parade.

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When Rain Comes: Charles Hatfield’s Secret Formulas

January 22, 2016 by Source

Lake Morena 2By Patricia Maxwell / This is Part II of a Series

In today’s world where landing a government contract is a labyrinthine process of being vetted, investigated and scrutinized, one wonders how the San Diego council chose Charles Hatfield, a rainmaker, to fill the nearly empty Morena Reservoir with water.

Life was different in 1915, but one thing was similar and that is that it pays to have someone promote you.

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The Rainmaker, Charles Hatfield, and the Flood of 1916

January 21, 2016 by Source

By Patricia Maxwell

Sweetwater Dam and Reservoir (Photo by Barbara Zaragoza)Today’s residents of Chula Vista have much in common with citizens of a hundred years ago. Make that a thousand years or more. Southern California has always been an arid land, with cycles of drought, interspersed with wet years every now and again.

In December of 1915, San Diego’s city fathers tackled the issue from a completely different angle. They hired a rainmaker!

The impetus for their decision was the unfilled Morena Reservoir in the mountains sixty miles east of San Diego. A rock-filled dam had been completed in 1912, but the reservoir had yet to be filled beyond a third of its capacity. Other reservoirs in the area shared the same problem. None were filled and the city was growing.

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OB Community Plan Gains Final Approval and Is Now in Effect

January 20, 2016 by Staff

OB scene from hill by Travis

After nearly 20 years of meetings, workshops, studies, petitions, and even mobilizations of community members – the Ocean Beach Community Plan gained its final approval on January 14th, 2016 by the California Coastal Commission.

What a process it has been! What a truly grassroots movement combined with the work of city staff it has been. Especially the final phase that culminated during the summer of 2014 when the Plan Update was unanimously approved by the San Diego City Council, after a petition drive in support of key elements of the Plan garnered 4,000 signatures.

Here is the official statement by the OB Planning Board: …

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Suburban Sprawl Continues Creep Across Desert

January 15, 2016 by Source
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By Shaun Gonzalez / Mojave Desert Blog

The revival of the housing market has renewed a perennial threat to desert wildlands – urban sprawl. Developers are considering plans for large new suburban developments across the southwest, years after such large developments mostly stalled when the housing industry began to crash in 2006.

At a time when most of our efforts have been focused on protecting public lands from industrial-scale development, urban sprawl underscores the need for local efforts to protect open space under private ownership.

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

January 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Locals Clean-Up After El Nino Deluge

Point Lomans Mobilize Against CVS Coming in to Old Fresh & Easy Site

SeaWorld Files Suit Against Coastal Commission

January 21 Thursday OB Historical Society: “OB’s History of Volunteerism”

OB Warehouse Makes SurfRider’s “Ocean-Friendly” List

Higher Internet Royalty Fees Could Shut Down Local OB Radio

OB Community Plan Up for Final, Final Adoption by Coastal Commission

January 24th Sunday 4:00PM – 5:30PM Point Loma and OB Democratic Club Election Endorsements

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE …

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The Future of Post-Bordernity – Excerpt From “Sunshine/Noir II”

January 13, 2016 by Source

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By Perry Vasquez

The U.S./Mexico border is falling apart. Like Chipotle Swiss cheese, it is shot through with gaps, holes, lacunae, erasures, and stretches of emptiness. The border exists—but at times its existence seems to collapse beneath the weight of its own sovereignty. How does the border both exist and not exist at the same time? How does it manage to appear in strategic locations and disappear in non-strategic ones? Why do we think of the border as having a fixed and permanent national identity instead of a contingent and temporary one?

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

January 12, 2016 by Source
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Debate Continues on Whether SeaWorld Can Built Hotel on its Present Site

By B. Ross

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

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

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Sea World & Mission Bay: No Place to Play?

January 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

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

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

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A Sneak Preview of 2016 Elections in San Diego

December 30, 2015 by Doug Porter

ballot box san diegoBy Doug Porter

Over the last few days of 2015 I’ll engage in speculation about what to expect for the coming year.

Here we’ll take a quick look at what San Diegans will be asked to vote on, a logical move since we’re headed into a presidential election year with a gaggle of ballot measures vying for voter approval in California. Later on in the year I’ll do in-depth profiles of candidates and ballot measures.

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SeaWorld Supporters Take on OB Rag and Frank Gormlie

December 22, 2015 by Staff
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There is a small group of SeaWorld supporters (apologists?) who have directly taken on the OB Rag and editor Frank Gormlie. They have a blog and posted a recent article calling out Gormlie by name in a headline refuting his claims about SeaWorld.

About a month ago, Gormlie wrote an article entitled “Why SeaWorld Can’t Build a Hotel at its Location on Mission Bay“, citing the proximity of the old Mission Bay landfill which is known to contain toxic materials.

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“Refugees, Late Summer Night” by Steve Kowit – An Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 22, 2015 by Source

By Steve Kowit

Woke with a start, the dogs barking out by the fence,
yard flooded with light. Groped my way to the window.
Out on the road a dozen quick figures
hugging the shadows: bundles slung at their shoulders
& water jugs at their hips. You could hear,
under the rattle of wind, as they passed,
the crunch of sneakers on gravel. Pollos. Illegals
who’d managed to slip past the Border Patrol, …

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Did Anyone Notice? Southern California Just Went Through Two of the Hottest Summers on Record – Without … Nukes!

December 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Now that we’re in a wet, cold Southern California winter, it’s instructive to look back to that long, hot summer and the very warm fall that this region experienced in order to understand that the summer of 2015 – it turns out – was the hottest summer on record. On earth.

This fact made headlines – summer of 2015 was Earth’s hottest on record (Washington Post / September 17, 2015):

Temperatures soared about 1.5 degrees warmer than the long-term average, passing 1998 and 2014, which were the previous hottest summers on record depending on the dataset. These records date back to the late 1800s.

And as noted above – until this year – the summer of 2014 was the hottest summer on record (USA Today) .

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Environmental Activists in Paris and San Diego: We Want More

December 15, 2015 by Doug Porter

climate greetingsBy Doug Porter

One hundred ninety nations reached an agreement in Paris this past weekend, theoretically setting the world on a path towards reducing carbon emissions. The San Diego City Council is poised to bless the long awaited Climate Action Plan. People took to the streets of Paris and the byways of Balboa Park over the weekend to affirm their commitment to seeing the challenges of climate change acted upon.

At last!–or so we’re told–there are processes in place to help save the planet, or at least, humanity’s position at the top of the food chain. The truth, however, is much different that the hype. Consider these deals “hope” without the “change.”

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San Ysidro Blues — 30 Years After the Massacre – Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 15, 2015 by Source

San Ysidro Blues: 30 Years After the Massacre

By Francisco J. Bustos

I remember playing on the kitchen floor when the shots started firing.
I remember my cousin and I running outside the apartment, like many others did.
The sound of bullets instantly changed everybody’s eyes and nobody could
explain it.
We lived on Sunset Lane, just a couple blocks, de aquel Mac Donals, 30 years ago.
We jumped outside at the sound of more bullets,
if we could make it to the corner, we could catch a glimpse of our San Ysidro
Boulevard.

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OB Rag Photographer Witness to Neighbor Inn’s Patio Damage From Storm Surf

December 15, 2015 by Staff

A local woman who is also a photographer for the OB Rag was a witness to damages to a neighbor’s patio from recent storm surf. And she was quoted by abc10.

Meredith Houlton lives next door to the Inn at Sunset Cliffs, and had a close view to last weekends storm surf which brought huge waves that battered the Inn’s patio. Meredith is quoted as saying:

“It’s taking a toll on our neighbors her. The ocean splashes all the way up here; 20 feet up onto the street when the tide’s really high.”

Her neighbors now have repairs to make – the patio couldn’t take the pounding of the rough surf. Railing was broken and there’s now a gaping hole on the deck.

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Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

December 14, 2015 by Source
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Dear Neighbors,

Hello, I’m Micaela Shafer Porte, born and raised in PB, MBHS class of ’77, member of the PB Town council, Friends of Mission Bay Marshes, PB Library, etc, and ProtectPB.org.

I write to you with serious concerns about the proposed construction of 4000 sq ft of concrete of a large lifeguard station in the middle of the Law Street canyon and beach next to Palisades Park in North PB.

This $7 million project also includes hundreds of sq ft of “plastification” of the beach with “armor flex, a plastic grid driveway – to accommodate heavy trucks and machinery in the regular tidal events that happen on Law St beach.

We have formed a citizen’s committee online called protectpb.org, with a petition, to defend this stretch of beach from this massive development.

Protect PB is not against lifeguarding on this beach, we are against the excessiveness of this design, and the ill-fated location choice in a blind run off canyon in the high tide zone that is the end of Law St. beach.

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Setback for Pacific Beach Residents Who Oppose Huge Lifeguard Station on Coastal Bluffs

December 14, 2015 by Source

PB Opp Pet vs LifeG 01

There has been a new development in the campaign by Pacific Beach residents to stop a planned lifeguard station at the end of Law Street in PB. The PB Planning Group at their December 1 meeting, voted to approve the site development plans for construction of the station.

Here’s what we stated about the campaign back at the end of August this year:

Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

The campaign to save the PB coastal bluffs is led by a group called Protect PB – they have a website and petition going on.

Mic Porte, an community activist in Pacific Beach, …

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Why Surfrider Is Against the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

December 11, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is a press statement from the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation on the opening of the Carlsbad desalination plant.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Opening: The Wrong Solution at the Wrong Time

San Clemente, CA, December 10, 2015 – Since 2009, the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches, along with its San Diego Chapter, objected to the rationale for, and ultimately the process to establish the Carlsbad desalination plant, in California, by the developer, Poseidon Resources, Inc.

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Ex-SeaWorld Employee Gives Chilling New Details About Orca Mistreatment

December 11, 2015 by Source
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By Ameena Schelling/ The Dodo / December 8, 2015

The past few years have seen a stream of former SeaWorld employees speak out about their time at the company. Now another employee is stepping forward — and revealing even more details about just how poorly the parks’ animals are treated.

Sarah Fischbeck joined SeaWorld San Diego as a water quality diver right after high school in 2007. During six years with the company, she worked jobs across the animal departments, performing maintenance on tanks and cleaning them, and regularly diving with the animals.

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OB’s Dog Beach Is a Model for Other Cities

December 4, 2015 by Source
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Editor: OB’s Dog Beach is truly a model for other cities. Here is a comparison of Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and other San Diego dog areas with those in Atlanta, Georgia, and is part 3 in a three-part series that examined the similarities of two leading convention cities – Atlanta and San Diego.

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Home of nation’s first leash-free, free-range dog park offers lessons for Atlanta

By David Pendered / Saporta Report

San Diego – San Diego built what a plaque says is the nation’s first leash-free dog beach, in 1972, at a time the beachfront community was blossoming into a surfing capitol and the Haight-Asbury of southern California.

City leaders never turned back from their decision to provide a place for dogs and their owners to play together off leash. …
Today, San Diego has 14 leash-free dog parks, according to the parks department’s website. Popular nomenclature dubs these leash-free parks as “dog parks,” as if parks where companion animals can’t be set free aren’t dog friendly.

On any given day, dogs and their companion persons are playing catch with Frisbees on Dog Beach, said to be the nation’s first leash-free dog park; ….

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Nuclear Shutdown News, November 2015

December 3, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US and global nuclear industry. In addition, it highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world.

Two more US nuclear plants slated for shutdown.

November brought news that two more US nuke plants will be permanently shutting down in the future.

On November 3 Bloomberg.com reported that the Fitzpatrick nuke on Lake Ontario in uppermost New York state would close down for good in “late 2016 or early 2017.”

Then on November 7 the Cape Cod Times reported that the Pilgrim nuclear plant on Cape Cod in Massachusetts will have its permanent closure “sometime before June 19” next year.

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Misuse Rampant, Oversight Lacking at California’s Law Enforcement Network

November 19, 2015 by Source

Dave Maass EFF logoBy Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

Confirmed cases of misuse of California’s sprawling unified law enforcement information network have doubled over the last five years, according to records obtained by Electronic Frontier Foundation under the California Public Records Act.

That adds up to a total 389 cases in which an investigation concluded that a user—often a peace officer—broke the rules for accessing the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS), such as searching criminal records to vet potential dates or spy on former spouses. More than 20 incidents since 2010 have resulted in criminal charges.

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