Military

Fukushima Meltdown – US Sailors Sue Japanese Electrical Company

April 14, 2014 by Source

050629-N-5060B-006By Kathleen Gilberd

Three years ago, a massive earthquake led to a triple melt-down and explosions at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was sent to Honshu Island, where the reactor is located, to render aid as part of Operation Tomadachi (Friendship). With the ship as close as a mile off shore, sailors worked 18-hour days to rescue civilians in the radiation area.

Now sailors from the Ronald Reagan have filed a one billion dollar class action suit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner of the nuclear plant, alleging that they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, far in excess of what TEPCO told the Navy to expect. There are over 100 plaintiffs in the class action, which was filed in San Diego on February 6

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Locally-Made Drone Deliberately Brought Down 20 Miles Off Point Loma

January 29, 2014 by Staff
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Border Patrol Drone Ditched Due to Mechanical Problems

Late Monday night, Jan. 27th, a Border Patrol Drone was deliberated crashed into the ocean about 20 miles southwest of Point Loma. Its government operators decided that due to mechanical problems, the un-manned plane could not return to its base at Sierra Vista, Arizona.

The locally-made drone was on a border security mission. US Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Tuesday that read in part:

“The crew determined that the UAS would be unable to return to where it originated in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and put the aircraft down in the water. The cause of the failure is unknown.”

We now know from the Wall Street Journal via CBS8 :

“… the drone’s onboard generator failed, and the backup battery lacked the sufficient power needed to keep it in the air.”

General Atomics Aeronautical, a San Diego-based company, made the drone …

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Environmental Group Sues Feds for Downplaying Harm to Marine Life With Sonar

January 28, 2014 by Source
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Suit alleges National Marine Fisheries Service ignored ‘best available science’ in ruling against ocean wildlife during during sonar military exercises.

See Petition below to stop Navy from harming wildlife

By Louis Sahagun / LA Times / January 27, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal law when it authorized the Navy’s use of sonar in training exercises off Hawaii and California through 2018, an environmental group said in a lawsuit filed Monday.

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USS Ronald Reagan Sailors to Refile Suit For Fukushima Radiation Poisoning

January 2, 2014 by Source

At least 71 sailors from San Diego-based carrier have reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co.

US Navy Photo

By Brandon Baker / EcoNews

After U.S. Navy sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan responded to the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan for four days, many returned to the U.S. with thyroid cancer, Leukemia, brain tumors and more.

At least 71 sailors—many in their 20s—reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima Daiichi energy plant.

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50 Years of the Big Lie – the Cover-Up of the JFK Assassination – Part 2

November 22, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s Part 1.

By Frank Gormlie

It’s finally here, Friday, November 22nd – exactly 50 years after President Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

Of course you’ve noticed it – you can’t help but … as everywhere you go there are signs that everybody in the media is commemorating the half century mark of the end of the Kennedy Era – an era that was terminated with bullets.

It’s been 50 years since the end of Camelot and we are told it was the end of the “idealism of the Sixties”.

Well, it has been fifty years, and it’s been fifty years of the Big Lie – …

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Update – Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

October 24, 2013 by Judi Curry
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by Judi Curry / October 23, 2013

It appears that progress is being made at the cemetery. Slowly, in the areas I checked out, but some of the areas of the cemetery that were behind green fences are now sporting beautiful green grass. This is at the most northern part of the cemetery on the east side of the road and snaking down to the bay-side where there are benches to sit on while looking over the San Diego Bay and listening to the cry of the seals.

There was evidence of men working on cleaning the monuments; men were moving the flat markers from the “curb” to the headstones; grading was taking place close to the road on the inside of the eastern part of the cemetery and sod is due to be laid beginning next week.

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Shutting Down the Ocean

October 15, 2013 by Source
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By David Helvarg / Blue Notes

Work on ocean and coastal protection, management, law enforcement, federal science and safety ground to a near halt with the government shutdown when the Republican House majority refused to pass the nation’s budget because Obamacare became law.

This disaster comes on top of the ongoing budget “sequester” that randomly slashes funding for federal agencies dealing with our public seas including EPA, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard which has reduced its offshore patrolling roughly 15 percent and, with the shutdown, effectively ended fishing enforcement and marine mammal law enforcement.

Despite our Healthy Ocean Hill Day in May that saw seaweed activists lobbying Congress on behalf of an Anti-Pirate Fishing bill, right now is a good time to be a pirate. With over 90 percent of EPA shut down it’s an even better time to be a polluter dumping poison into our seas.

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Final Design of OB Veterans’ Memorial Plaza Made Public

September 19, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s happened. The final design for the new Ocean Beach Veterans’ Memorial Plaza has been publicly unveiled.

Over the last week and a half, presentations of the new design have been made in front of both the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association and the OB Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) – the project’s sponsoring organization. And both groups gave green lights to the project that will replace the current memorial, one that has been worn down literally by salt air, sand, ocean water, foot traffic – not to mention marshmallows – .

Yet it may be years before the new memorial project itself is completely constructed.

The OB Veterans’ Plaza has also been in the news for months (for instance San Diego Newsroom ) because of a connection with the developer Sunroad and accusations of ‘pay to play’ monies given to the City, that former Mayor Filner wanted to go to the memorial. (It was mentioned in last weeks San Diego Reader cover story entitled “Did Sunroad pay to play?” )

Once built, the new plaza will have a final design that resulted from a process that involved two community workshops earlier this year and the creative input of the design consultant, and will be located next to the current reserved parking lot south of the main lifeguard station, butting up to Abbott Street. It will have a mosaic walkway from Abbott Street to a gathering plaza next to the sand, and includes four granite walls with the names of the honored vets. A crosswalk at Newport Avenue and Abbott Street is also being considered as part of the design.

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Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘As a Congressman, I need all the facts on Syria – and I’m not getting them.’

September 10, 2013 by Source
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On Syria Vote, Trust, but Verify

By Congressman Alan Grayson / The New York Times / Sept. 6, 2013

WASHINGTON — THE documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion.

On Thursday I asked the House Intelligence Committee staff whether there was any other documentation available, classified or unclassified. Their answer was “no.”

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Has Assad Crossed a Red Line In Syria?

September 5, 2013 by Source

Syria fighterby Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Is the Gassing of 1400 Syrians More of a Crime Against Humanity Than the Slaughter of 100,000 Syrians?

Frank Thomas’ take:

Russia’s ongoing multi-dollar sales of advanced massively destructive weapons to Assad’s government has exacerbated the killing fields in Syria. Yet Russia sanctimoniously thinks the rest of the world, namely the U.S., has no right of humanitarian intervention to protect the lives of innocents being slaughtered by chemical weapons and more so by Russia’s own prolific arms sales to Assad’s military forces.

Russia would remind us that for many years (1980-88) Saddam Hussein’s army blatantly used mustard and nerve gases at will against Iran and even the people of Iraq. Foreign Policy has just published CIA documents confirming Washington and other western nations knew of Iraq’s production and use of chemical gases and even delivered some raw materials.

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Killing Civilians to Protect Civilians in Syria

August 29, 2013 by Source

by Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer / Common Dreams

The drums of war are beating again. The Obama administration will reportedly launch a military strike to punish Syria’s Assad government for its alleged use of chemical weapons. A military attack would invariably kill civilians for the ostensible purpose of showing the Syrian government that killing civilians is wrong.

Credit: Wikipedia

“What we are talking about here is a potential response . . . to this specific violation of international norms,” declared White House press secretary Jay Carney. But a military intervention by the United States in Syria to punish the government would violate international law.

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Swimmers Reach Point Loma From Santa Barbara – Breaking World Record

August 27, 2013 by Staff
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Six swimmers swam ashore at a beach along Point Loma on Monday, August 26th – with quite a story to tell. They were finishing up a relay swim from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

And in the process, broke a world record for open water relay swim.

They began up north on Friday, the 23rd, at 6 in the morning. A friend raced along the land with them – and he ended up running a full 265 miles to the end. And it was all for charity – for the Monarch Schools for homeless children and the Navy SEAL Foundation.

One of them, Zach Jirkovsky, told local media: “This is going to sound crazy, but it was fun.”

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5 Companies That Make Money By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

August 22, 2013 by Source

CounterTerrorismA massive industry profits off the government-induced fear of terrorism.

By Alex Kane/Alternet

Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, has invaded America’s television sets in recent weeks to warn about Edward Snowden’s leaks and the continuing terrorist threat to America.

But what often goes unmentioned, as the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out, is that Hayden has a financial stake in keeping Americans scared and on a permanent war footing against Islamist militants.

And the private firm he works for, called the Chertoff Group, is not the only one making money by scaring Americans.

Post-9/11 America has witnessed a boom in private firms dedicated to the hyped-up threat of terrorism. The drive to privatize America’s national security apparatus accelerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and it’s gotten to the point where 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on private contractors, as author Tim Shorrock reported.

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American Hero Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years

August 21, 2013 by Source

Bradley ManningComparisons between WikiLeaks and Pentagon Papers cases raise serious questions about government and judicial discretion.

By David Gespass/Military Law Task Force

Today, Bradley Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years for the “crime” of revealing the seamy underside of US diplomacy and war-making. The sentence is substantially less than sixty years the prosecution asked for, but greater than what the defense requested. It was predicated on alleged damage done to the US, though it remains unclear what actual damage, aside from embarrassment, occurred.

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Mid-August Update on Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery: “… Virtually no improvements …”

August 16, 2013 by Judi Curry
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Update on Point Loma national cemetery – Thursday, August 15th, 2013

It is five days short of one year since I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions at the Ft. Rosecrans national cemetery.

Over the past year, I have made numerous trips to the cemetery – my husband is interred there – and have been depressed, angry, sickened, etc. by what I have seen. Today I decided to go back and look for the improvements everyone has been talking about.

I am sorry to say that there are virtually no improvements in the section that Bob is resting in. (In fact, knowing Bob, he is probably very angry at what he sees when he looks out his door.)

Rather than just tell you about it – as I have done in the past – I have taken some pictures that will give you an idea of how our servicemen and servicewomen are being treated.

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Ten Things that Do Not Make Sense about NSA Surveillance, Drones and al-Qaeda

August 7, 2013 by Source
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by Juan Cole / Informed Consent/ August 6, 2013

In a Reuters Exclusive, John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke reveal that the National Security Agency shares information it gleans from warrantless surveillance of Americans with the Special Operation Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency, which then uses the metadata to develop cases against US citizens. The DEA then routinely lies to the judge and defense attorneys during discovery about how its agents initially came by their suspicions of wrongdoing.

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BREAKING: Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy

July 30, 2013 by Source
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By Julie Tate / Washington Post

An Army judge on Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy by disclosing a trove of secret U.S. government documents, a striking rebuke to military prosecutors who argued that the largest leak in U.S. history had assisted al-Qaeda.

The judge, Col. Denise Lind, found Manning guilty of most of the more than 20 crimes he was charged with. She also acquitted him of one count of the espionage act that stemmed from his leak of a video that depicted a fatal U.S. military airstrike in Farah, Afghanistan.

Bradley Manning arrived at court to hear the verdict in his military espionage and aiding the enemy trial at Fort Meade Tuesday. Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy.

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The Widder Curry Makes It to “Turko Files” on Ft. Rosecrans Conditions

June 27, 2013 by Judi Curry
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By Judi Curry

I have written several articles about the deplorable conditions at Ft. Rosecrans. See here, here, and here.

Michael Turko of KUSI News did a story a week or so ago and I sent him the articles that I wrote. One of the real discrepancies in his report and mine was that he was told the problem began occurring in November of 2012. My first article was written in August, 2012 and it was already a problem.

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“Beating the Dead Grass . . . .” – Revisiting Ft Rosecrans Cemetery

June 10, 2013 by Judi Curry
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This article has several messages I would like to discuss. Last year I wrote about the deplorable condition of Ft. Rosecrans. Just a few weeks ago I was quoted by the “editordude” in an article regarding the condition of Ft. Rosecrans during the Memorial Day holiday.

To briefly recap that quote, several of the women from my widow support group went up to Ft. Rosecrans to visit our husbands. Even though we know they are not “there” – talking to them is no different than when they were with us – they don’t listen and they didn’t respond. However, whereas we used to be able to sit under a tree on the green grass and have a picnic, the green grass and the trees are gone.

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Military Sexual Assault – It’s the Culture

June 5, 2013 by Source
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By Kathleen Gilberd / On Watch

The military is once again in crisis over sexual assaults. In recent weeks, it has become more apparent than ever that the military’s sexual assault policy is a failure, and that sexual assault in the services has become epidemic.

In early May, the Department of Defense (DoD) released new figures showing a significant increase in reported and unreported assaults – DoD estimates that over 26,000 servicemembers were assaulted in 2012, with only 3,374 of these cases reported to the military.

Just as the figures were released, the Air Force was rocked by news that the head of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program had been arrested for sexual battery. More recently, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Ft. Hood was charged with sexual assault and pandering.

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Family of Un-armed Marine Killed by Orange County Sheriff Settles for $4.4 Million

May 30, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Do you recall the case of the unarmed Marine killed by an Orange County sheriff right in front of his two daughters? We do as we ran articles on the incident.

Marine Sgt Manuel Loggins Jr was shot to death as he sat in his SUV along with his daughters by Deputy Darren Sandberg back on February 7, 2012.

His family just settled a federal lawsuit against Orange County for $4.4 million. Loggins had been stationed at Camp Pendleton.

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Guantanamo, Drone Strikes and the Non-War Terror War: Obama Speaks

May 26, 2013 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / Truth-Out.org

As one of the 1,200-plus signatories to the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times, calling for the closure of Guantanamo, I was disappointed in President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday on counterterrorism, drones and Guantanamo.

Torture and Indefinite Detention at Guantanamo

In a carefully crafted – at times defensive, discourse, Obama said, “In some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values – by using torture to interrogate our enemies and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law,” adding, “We unequivocally banned torture.” But Obama failed to note that the United Nations Human Rights Commission determined in 2006 that the violent force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo amounted to torture and that he has continued that policy.

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It’s a Sad Day in America When the Navy Launches a San Diego-Built Drone off a Carrier

May 17, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s a sad day in America. The US Navy launched the first carrier-based drone off its deck the other day, off the coast of Virginia. It’s an even sadder day for us in San Diego, as the drone was manufactured – in part, at least – by plants and engineers right here in our own city.

The launching of the drone off that deck demonstrates clearly that as drones become more and more integrated into becoming the armament of the nation’s military, they are becoming more and more accepted – here domestically, back in the good ol’ US of A.

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Discussion on PL Democrats Website: Is the ACLU “Subversive” Because They Oppose Cross at Mt Soledad?

May 17, 2013 by Judi Curry

The Widder Curry Weighs In

An interesting question appeared today on the Point Loma Democrats website in regards to an article announcing the 80 year celebration of the San Diego ACLU.

To say that I was nonplussed to read the question which can as a comment to the article, would be a minor revelation. At the risk of being censored – do you think that Democrats would do that to their own? – let me tell you something about it.

On June 7th, there will be a 80 year celebration of the San Diego ACLU. As the article read, this function is not a

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Sex in San Diego: Pentagon Study Finds 26,000 Military Sexual Assaults Last Year, Over 70 Sex Crimes Per Day

May 9, 2013 by Source
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Editor: The following is a transcript of Amy Goodman’s program on Democracy Now from yesterday, May 8, that aired highlights from Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on military sexual assaults . We also include the video – see below. Democracy Now!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: A shocking new report by the Pentagon has found that 70 sexual assaults may be taking place within the U.S. military every day. The report estimated there were 26,000 sex crimes committed in 2012, a jump of 37 percent since 2010. Most of the incidents were never reported.

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OB Rag Poll on the Use of Drones: 82% Oppose Drones in the U.S.

April 8, 2013 by Frank Gormlie

Recently, the OB Rag ran a readers’ poll on the use of drones by the US government either in America and/or abroad. The results of the week-long poll are in: 82% of respondents oppose the use of drones in the United States.

36% of the respondents replied that they are okay with the use of the unmanned flying vessels in other countries by our government. 17% indicated that they are okay with their use in America.

45% of the 108 readers who responded specifically feel that the use of drones in America is unconstitutional or that they should not be used in our country. Another 37% replied that they specifically opposed their use overseas as well.

26% said that their use in America is “absolutely unconstitutional”. Another 19% were okay with their use in hunting down terrorists abroad, but opposed their deployment here in this country.

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Hundreds of Point Loma Residents Angered Over Lack of Progress on 60 Year-Old Navy Fuel Pipeline

April 4, 2013 by Staff

Petition Builds Calling On Navy and City to Fulfill Promises and Repair Pipeline

10 News is reporting that “more than 350 residents are petitioning the Navy and city leaders to repair, replace or remove a fuel pipeline that is nearly sixty years old.” They are fearful that the pipeline – if not repaired – will crack and burst, spilling fuel in their neighborhoods. And they are angry for the lack of action despite government promises to fix it – promises made for years.

Yet the Navy claims the pipeline is safe.

The fuel pipeline runs from the Point Loma Naval Base all the way out to Miramar Marine Air Station – a distance of 17 miles. The pipeline is nearly 60 years old.

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San Diego’s “Anti-Drone Days of Action” Kick Off Nation-Wide Protests April 4 – 7

April 3, 2013 by Source
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San Diego Has Become “National Capital” of Military Drone Production

From San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice /April 3, 2013

National Anti-Drone Days of Action” from April 4 through 7 in San Diego start a month of protests across the United States against the policy and practice of drone warfare and secret surveillance.

Local and national organizations are coordinating a series of events to increase the attention to why drone killings and surveillance are bad practice and policy for the United States.

San Diego’s “Anti-Drone Days” is not one, but a series of events (see listing).

San Diego is where these protests will start based on the region’s role as the “national capital” of military drone production. Killer and surveillance drones pour out of San Diego at increasing rates, matched by the rise in deaths and dismemberment from US strikes across the globe.

Most of this production is tied to two corporate contracting giants — Northrop Grumman and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which is headquartered in San Diego.

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Coastal Commission Nixes Navy Sonar Program Due to Harm to Blue Whales and Other Sea Life

March 8, 2013 by Staff
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To a packed meeting room on Friday in San Diego, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to reject the US Navy’s sonar training program scheduled off Southern California because of harm to endangered blue whales, other marine mammals and sea life.

The Commissioners ruled that the Navy had insufficient information to support its claims that the explosives and sonar training program would have negligible effect on marine mammals. Scheduled to proceed in January, Coastal staff had recommended that the Commission require more protections to the wildlife before authorizing it.

Estimating that their proposed training program would kill 130 marine mammals and cause hearing loss in 1,600 over five years, the Navy rep argued to the Commission that the Navy was set against any additional conditions that they said would reduce the realism or scope of the training. Navy rep Alex Stone stated that the program has enough protections for the wild sea life. Stone directs the program.

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Old Military Shell Found in Ocean Beach Garden

March 5, 2013 by Source

NBC San Diego / March 5, 2013

An old military artillery shell was discovered in the backyard of an Ocean Beach resident Monday night [March 4].

A woman working in the garden of her new home at Saratoga Avenue and Santa Barbara discovered what looked like an explosive device and called 911.

When bomb experts arrived just after 6:30 p.m., they found the shell in the dirt outside the home.

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