California

The Great California Genocide

March 31, 2015 by Staff
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Originally published on August 15, 2008

What do you think of when someone says “California”? Beaches? Sunshine? Hollywood?

How about the largest act of genocide in American history?

“The idea, strange as it may appear, never occurred to them (the Indians) that they were suffering for the great cause of civilization, which, in the natural course of things, must exterminate Indians.”
– Special Agent J. Ross Browne, Indian Affairs

California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – March Edition

March 31, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and highlights efforts of those who are democratically working to bring about a renewable energy future. As nuclear plants in the US are approaching or surpassing their 40 year operating life, their ability to operate properly and safely lessens, creating more and more problems across the nation.

Here’s our March report:

Diablo Canyon – Last Nuke Plant in California

On February 20 a Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC rejected an attempt by Pacific Gas & Electric and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to quash a lawsuit filed by environmental group Friends Of the Earth (FOE). According to FOE, the suit alleges that the “NRC illegally allowed PG&E to alter Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant license.” …

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News from OB and Around the Point

March 25, 2015 by Staff
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Stabbing In Saratoga Park Saturday Night A young, unidentified man was stabbed Saturday night, March 21,

New City Planner for OB Community Plan – Rumored to Go Before Coastal in August Ocean Beach has a new planner from the city

When is the OB People’s Organic Food Co-op’s Election? There will be an election for the Board of Directors for the organic market on Voltaire Street.

VOSD in OB The online publication the Voice of San Diego is planning on taking over the Masonic Center

Beers & Bikes Wheel in OB and Point LomaBikes & Beers will literally wheel into Ocean Beach, Mission Bay on March 28, as the 2nd annual

City Council Approves $750,000 to Restore Crystal PierThe City Council unanimously voted to finish a $1.2 million dollar restoration project

AND MORE, COME INSIDE ….

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California Drought Legislation Must Target Agribusiness and Big Oil

March 23, 2015 by Source

By Dan Bacher

Photo of person drinking glass of water that has been contaminated by Big Oil's toxic wasteGovernor Jerry Brown and lawmakers touted the introduction of drought legislation in the Legislature on March 19, while leaders of environmental and corporate watchdog groups urged Brown to put real limits on the “most egregious” water users – corporate agribusiness and big oil companies – to really address the drought.

Brown joined Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Republican Leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin to unveil legislation that they claimed will “help local communities cope with the ongoing, devastating drought.”

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The Public Education Reporting Charade

March 23, 2015 by Jim Miller

What if it turned out that education reform, with its teacher-blaming assumptions, got it all wrong in the first place?

By Jim Miller

war on educationRecently, with “California’s Public Education Charade,” UT-San Diego shocked no one by publishing yet another anti-union, teacher-bashing editorial that attacks California’s “dominant Democratic Party” for believing that “what’s good for the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers is good for California. And what’s good for students, who cares?”

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Police Shooting of Dog in Pacific Beach Leads to Petition Calling for Better Animal Training for Cops

March 20, 2015 by Staff
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The recent fatal shooting of a “Burberry”, a dog in Pacific Beach by San Diego police officers on Sunday, March 15th has led to an outcry against current police practices in dealing with pet animals. Thousands of San Diegans and people elsewhere have signed the petition demanding changes for better animal training for law enforcement in San Diego and elsewhere after Anderson’s pit bull was killed.

Addressed to Mayor Faulconer, at this writing, nearly 18,000 people have “liked” the “Justice for Burberry” facebook page, and nearly 22,600 have signed the petition at Change.org .

Video of Incident Inside

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San Diego Finally Allows 1st “Legal” Pot Shop 19 Years After California Voters Passed Measure

March 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The City of San Diego has finally allowed the opening of the City’s very first medical marijuana dispensary. (NBC7 )

This opening of the first “legal” pot shop in San Diego comes 19 years after California voters passed Prop 215, making medical marijuana legal.

And the County of San Diego has only allowed one dispensary to open to date – a storefront opened last summer in an unincorporated area outside El Cajon.

The shameful history of nearly 2 decades for both the City and County of San Diego that viewed together initiated delays, stalls, and outright resistance to the spirit of Prop 215, stands in deep contrast to the wishes of the state’s voters.

On this issue at least, the implementation of the medical marijuana law, our local governments have been very undemocratic as they have quite openly stymied what the voters, the people, wanted.

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What It’s Like to Own and Run a Flourishing Marijuana Dispensary

March 20, 2015 by Source

Marijuana-Dispensary-Near-Woodland-HillsNorthern California owner: It’s “quite different from the view from the outside looking in.”

By David McCullick / Alternet

The view I have from behind the counter of my Medical Marijuana (MMJ) dispensary—the Sonoma Patient Group in Santa Rosa, California–is quite different from the view from the outside looking in.

Many law enforcement types, city and county elders, and much of the general public have a very pre-conceived notion of what it is we do, how we do it and who we do it for.

If you are not privy to what actually happens in a dispensary, you might be inclined to believe what you read and hear from those that do not visit them, …

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A Housing Market Divided

March 19, 2015 by Source

Deregulation won’t solve California’s seemingly intractable affordable housing crisis on its own.

content_California-housing-affordability-vs-USBy David Dayen / Capital & Main

Housing markets get discussed in the media mostly through the channel of prices. Rising prices are considered good for the economy. They can connote increased sales, which would lead to more construction and real estate-related jobs. They also give homeowners more equity in their homes, and the consequent “wealth effect” – studies show personal spending jumps when people perceive an increase in their wealth – can benefit the economy.

But there’s a darker side to rising home prices. They harm affordability, particularly for first-time homebuyers.

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‘OB Time’ in Borrego Springs: Desert Flowers, Hawks, Caterpillars and ‘Sky Art’

March 13, 2015 by Source
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By the Old OB Hippie

It’s OB Time again. Tagging along with the OB Rag crew on their Borrego Springs R & R sojourn, your old OB hippie discovered some amazing things about our own San Diego desert backyard.

The desert flowers are blooming! After recent rains in the desert, everything is going green and bonkers.

But that’s not all. We were lucky to enjoy the arrival of hundreds of Swainson Hawks, to witness thousands of Sphinx Moth caterpillars, and to appreciate the “Sky Art” of ancient dinosaurs and other animals that once roamed the grassy plains of this area millions of years ago.

Yes, the big news from Borrego is that the flowers are blooming. The storms that blew through OB and the rest of San Diego County over the last couple of weeks also hit the desert and the mountains. Julian, for instance, got 2 and half inches of rain in one day.

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Peninsula Planners Hold Candidate Forum for Upcoming March 19 Election

March 13, 2015 by Source
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The Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) held its annual Candidate Forum on Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Pt. Loma Library. Their elections will be held on Thursday, March 19 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. also at the library.

As with the Ocean Beach Community Planning Board, the PCPB holds a Candidate Forum a few weeks before the annual March election to give the community an opportunity to meet the people running for the open seats and ask questions. And, as with OB’s forum and as happens with the PCPB every year, the event was sparsely attended.

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Scott Peters and the “New Democrats” Take Aim at the Warren Wing of the Party

March 13, 2015 by Jim Miller

…And Other Sordid Tales

Scott Peters Between the HeadsBy Jim Miller

This week a “right to work” bill that will gut the union movement in Wisconsin is likely to hit Governor Scott Walker’s desk and no doubt he will sign it.

While there is much discussion in Democratic circles of how Walker is doing this to position himself even more solidly on the right to please potential Republican primary voters, there is much less discussion about how this latest assault on workers’ rights helps speed the runaway train heading toward plutocracy that is the United States.

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New Study Shows California’s Droughts Driven by Climate Change and Here to Stay

March 6, 2015 by Source

Stanford researchers say human-driven global warming behind increasingly frequent and severe droughts, including current one

A dried up area of the Folsom Lake reservoir in northern California. (Photo: Mr.Morgan.Murphy/cc/flickr)

By Sarah Lazare /Common Dreams

The increasingly frequent and severe droughts that have punished California over the past two decades—including the current record-breaking one—are primarily the result of human-caused climate change and will likely grow even worse, scientists at Stanford University warn.

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The Viral Video of LA Cops Shooting Homeless Man

March 3, 2015 by Source
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Here’s the video that has gone viral of Los Angeles police officers firing 5 shots at a homeless man. It definitely has gone viral. When we first watched it on Sunday afternoon, it had 2 million viewers already after being posted only about an hour and a half. Anthony Blackburn originally posted the video on youtube.

COME INSIDE FOR VIDEO

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Why hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing ashore in California.

March 2, 2015 by Source
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By Nick Kirkpatrick / Washington Post / February 26, 2015

Sick, starving and dying sea lion pups are washing up on the shores of California in record numbers this year. In 2015, 940 young sea lions have turned up, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last week — four times the number California would normally see. But why?

Experts say it’s the warm water. Scientists believe warmer coastal waters force the prey of sea lions — squid and sardines, for example — deeper beneath the ocean’s surface. Then nursing sea lion mothers must look further afield for food, leaving their pups for longer than normal. Deprived of sustenance and weakened, the pups limply wash ashore.

“The prey source is just too far away for the mothers to go out, get food and come back and wean the pups,” Jim Milbury of the National Marine Fisheries Service told Yahoo News. Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Animal Rescue in Los Angeles County, said the pups are unable to dive down to get food for themselves.

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Part-Time Professors Protest Full-Time Screw Job

February 26, 2015 by Staff

Ocean Beach Professor and Reader Writer at Protest at Grossmont College

Part-time professors and lecturers at college campuses get screwed full time. That’s the message of protests held across San Diego and the rest of the nation on Wednesday, February 25 that were called to raise local and national consciousness to the plight of these part-time teachers who do a lot of the teaching at centers of higher learning.

And local writer, Dave Rice, was there and reported on an event held at Grossmont College in El Cajon for the San Diego Reader. Rice wrote how these adjunct professors and part-timers “often find themselves shuttling between two or three campuses in order to pick up enough classes to eke out a living.”

Dave quoted Ian Duckles, a part-time instructor, who spoke to a gathering of more than a 100 people assembled in front of the student services building at Grossmont College.

“The position that I have is defined as a ‘temporary, part-time instructor. A full-time professor is teaching about five classes a semester. I teach seven or eight, and yet somehow I’m classified as a part-time instructor. I don’t think that accurately reflects the amount of time I spend in the classroom.”

Duckles has 4 part-time positions and it takes quite a lot of time driving back and forth between those jobs at Cuyamaca, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and USD.

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Vacation Rentals Roil Beach Neighbors – Issue to Be Taken Up by City Council

February 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Councilwoman Zapf to Hold Hearings in April

Neighbors of some housing units that are used as vacation rentals in the beach areas are upset. And the new city councilwoman for the district is getting an earful from residents in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Her office has received multiple complaints from constituents about beach homeowners who have made their homes into full-time rentals and their unruly visitors.

Not coincidentally, PB and Mission Beach are the 2 neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of Airbnb rentals. Zapf told the Voice of San Diego that she heard the concerns of residents at a recent PB town council meeting almost “near tears” in accounts of the “constant rotation of people coming and going”.

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OB Time: Going Legal After 50 Years

February 23, 2015 by Source
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The Ol’ OB Hippie Writes

I’m finally going legal after 50 years – or at least almost 50 years. I started smoking pot when I was a freshman in college. And I still smoke – but the other day, I went legal and obtained my medical marijuana card, and now I can smoke legally for the first time in a half century. And god I need it – for all my genuine ailments, from chronic back pain to insomnia to other problems whose symptoms are relieved by the inhalation of the medicinal gift from nature.

Actually my very first joint was during my first year’s Christmas break – I was going to college on the East Coast and had flown home for the 2 week break. Pot smoking literally exploded here in OB and Point Loma in 1966-67. It blew up in OB. And of course, PLHS was called “Pot Loma” after that large bust behind the church – I think – in 1968. Plus we all thought it would be legal by 1976. Seriously.

Of course over the decades, I’ve had to rely on the black market for my weed. Pot is a funny thing – first you smoke it and hide it from your parents, then later, you smoke it and hide it from your kids.

But – yea! – I’m finally legal.

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A Call to Action on the Labor Crisis in Higher Ed: Colleges Are Running On the Backs of Underpaid Part-Timers

February 23, 2015 by Jim Miller

February 25th is National Adjunct Walkout Day

national-adjunct-day-posterBy Jim Miller

As I have noted here recently, the successful assault on public sector unionism has marched hand in hand with the surge of income inequality and the erosion of the American middle class. Of course, central to this is the ongoing war on teachers’ unions and the nationwide trend toward austerity budgets in state capitols across the country.

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The Idealism and Vision of the 1976 Campaign Platform for the OB Community Planning Group

February 17, 2015 by Source

OB CPG Broc graf3 The Platform Was a Guide to Making Ocean Beach a Citizens’ Paradise

Editor: The following is the 1976 campaign platform for the Ocean Beach Community Planning Group, the forerunner to today’s OB Planning Board. The OB CGP ran a slate of candidates for the May 4, 1976 election and won 8 of the 14 seats on OB’s very first Planning Board.

COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

CAMPAIGN PLATFORM

• Preamble

Recognizing that all communities have a right to self-determination, we believe that the Community Planning Board is a step toward community self-government.

With this in mind, we believe the Community Planning Board, once elected will have and exercise real decision-making power over the planning decisions that affect Ocean Beach. Planningis more than density limits, traffic designs or height limitations ….

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The San Salvador and Junipero Serra: Celebrating Spanish Catholic Domination

February 17, 2015 by Source
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By Steven Newcomb

Early this year, 2015, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is scheduled to launch a replica of the colonizing Spanish ship called “San Salvador” (“Holy Savior”). That was the ship which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in 1542, sailed into the Kumeyaay bay of the Kumeyaay Nation’s territory. As a result of that voyage, the society of the United States now typically calls that bay, and the city adjacent to it, by the Catholic name, “San Diego” (“Saint Diego”).

Cabrillo sailed up the Baja peninsula under a royal commission that the Spanish crown had granted to a vicious and deadly psychopath, a conquistador named Pedro Alvarado. The royal commission authorized Alvarado “to discover and conquer” places he was able to reach by sailing northward along the Baja peninsula. When Alvarado was killed in Guatemala, the Spanish viceroy charged Cabrillo with sailing north on the basis of that royal commission.

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Ocean Beach Activists Join 350.org March in Oakland Urging Gov. Brown to Take Action on Climate Change

February 16, 2015 by Source
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By Kim McGinley

Friday, February 6th at 11:30 p.m. San Diego Activists, including representatives from The Ocean Beach Green Center, began gathering at the Old Town trolley station to hop on board a charter bus heading to California Governor Brown’s neighborhood in Oakland.

The goal was to encourage the Governor to be a “climate leader” …

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The Election Platform and Brochure of O.B.’s First Planning Group

February 13, 2015 by Staff

OB CPG Broc CovrIn May 1976 the OB Community Planning Group Won a Majority on the First OB Planning Board

In early May of 1976, OB’s very first election was held for the very first planning board. The forerunner of today’s Board, the OB Community Planning Group, ran a slate of candidates, hammered out an election platform and published and distributed its 8 page campaign brochure. The group won 8 of the 14 seats in the election.

We decided to republish their campaign literature, beginning here with the text of the election brochure. The platform and candidate statements of this election that occurred 39 years ago will follow.

And by the way, the current Ocean Beach Planning Board is holding their annual election on March 10th. Half of the seats are up for election. The Peninsula Community Planning Board is also having their election on March 20th.

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Looking for a Way to Halt Repeated Attacks by Vicious Dogs

February 12, 2015 by Source

vicious_pitbullBy Lori Saldaña

Imagine living next door to a dangerous, aggressive bully. Sometimes you can hear him outside in his yard, over the low fence that separates your property, fighting and scaring members of his own household. Sometimes you can hear them cry out in pain and fear when he attacks.

If you see him walking around the neighborhood you cross the street to avoid getting too close since you know how potentially dangerous he is.

Now imagine this bully attacks a member of your family- not once, but twice. He inflicts painful injuries that require over $1000 in medical bills that are not covered by insurance.

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Mysterious Sea Lion Die-Off Strikes Again on California Coast

February 12, 2015 by Source
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Starving young sea lions are washing up on beaches for the third year in a row.

By Nadia Drake /National Geographic /February 11, 2015

SAUSALITO, California—For the third winter in a row, starving sea lion pups are washing ashore on California’s beaches. Since January 1, nearly 500 of the tiny animals have been admitted to the state’s rehabilitation centers—a number many times higher than normal.

Why these animals are struggling to survive is a mystery, and early stranding numbers suggest that 2015 could be even worse than the previous two years.

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There Are Democratic Elections to Community Planning Boards Because of One Ocean Beach Group in the 1970s

February 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Community Planning Group Was the Forerunner to OB’s Planning Board

In one month, on March 10th, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its annual election of Board members. It will take place at the OB Rec Center. Every resident, property owner and business-owner in Ocean Beach is authorized to vote – with ID proving residency.

One of the main reasons that this election is going forward next March – as it has been for the last 39 years – is because of the vision and diligence of a small group that existed back in the 1970s. It was the persistent push over a several year period during the mid-Seventies for an election of this nature – a democratic election – to a neighborhood planning committee by an organization called the Ocean Beach Community Planning Group that was ultimately responsible for this democratic gain for communities.

The forerunner of today’s OB Planning Board, the Community Planning Group (CPG), led a campaign of achieving City authorization for neighborhoods to host elections to their planning committees – elections that even allowed tenants – non-property-owners or non-business people – to vote – in regular grassroots balloting.

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Labor Unrest Spreads to Refineries, West Coast Ports, SoCal Edison and Football Stadiums

February 10, 2015 by Doug Porter

Gas refinery strikeSo, why are gas prices going back up?

By Doug Porter

Local gasoline prices have increased by roughly 20% over the past few weeks. Retailers dependent on imported goods are voicing concerns about bottlenecks in supplies coming through west coast ports. And that could be bad news for consumers. There’s more to the story than what you’ve likely seen or heard.

While the factors surrounding both these development are complex, a major element in each are labor unions seeking safe working conditions. In what amounts to a sad commentary on the state of the news media in the U.S. the coverage has been largely one dimensional, leading with management’s pronouncements about wages and benefits.

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Show’s Not Over at Che Cafe at UCSD – Its Fate Likely Rests on Students

February 3, 2015 by Source
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By Andrea Carter

The struggle continues to keep the historic CHE Café facility open on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. This battle over a rare public, all-ages arts, food, and music venue should concern us all as it represents the canary in the coal mine for additional onslaughts of this nature to follow.

Undergraduate and graduate student government councils, respectively the Associated Students (AS) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) are set to soon issue reports and recommendations to the University as to what they feel should be done as the to the CHE Café, its facility and the other cooperatives at UCSD.

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Junipero Serra: Canonizing the Colonizers

January 29, 2015 by Source

By Eric Loomis/ Lawyers, Guns & Money (LGM)

Junípero_Serra_-_MallorcaPope Francis has decided to make Junipero Serra a saint. Serra was a Franciscan in California who founded many of the California missions in the 18th century, effectively making him an agent of colonization as well as a converter of Native Americans to Catholicism.

Building these missions meant forced labor from Native Americans while the conversion process obviously demonstrated a lack of respect for indigenous cultures as well as the compulsion of these conversions. Physical abuse of Native Americans was common, with many recorded beatings and whippings. A lot of indigenous people in California are very upset about the choice to canonize Serra.

Serra is far from the only Catholic saint involved in the colonization process. In Colombia earlier this month, I visited the church dedicated to Pedro Claver, a priest who converted slaves. Being Latin America, his remains are proudly displayed on the church altar.

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Offshore Winds + Solid West Swell = Golden State

January 27, 2015 by Source
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From Black’s to Bolsa Chica, Ocean Beach to Ocean Beach, this past weekend saw all-day offshores fanning the NW swell

From Surfline

Millions of waves are breaking all over the planet right now. Spin the globe, and where sea meets land, there’s a good chance there is some kind of breaking wave.

But the number of ingredients that have to come together to create great surf is shockingly high. Storm strength, distance and movement. Offshore bathymetry. Swell direction. Beach orientation. There needs to be some kind of reef, point or curvy beachbreak. Local winds. Tides. Etc. The list is nuanced and many.

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