Politics

Report of OB Town Council Meeting – Get It Done App, New 7-11 Coming, and Board Elections Scheduled

July 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBTC Meet 72716 crowd
This is a brief report of the OB Town Council meeting held Wednesday, July 27th, as usual at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. What we found out: the City has a new complaint website and App, there’s another 7-11 coming into OB, and the Town Council has set up its election schedule – half of its seats are up for re-election.

What with conflicts with a big-name concert, the continuing Democratic convention, and the heat – the gathering was a little sparse. Forty attendees were counted by the end of the meeting, but many of the city departments that serve OB did not have their usual reps present to make reports (SDPD, firefighters, life guards).

“Get It Down” Webpage for City

One of the main presentations of the evening was by Conrad Wear, representative of Councilwoman Zapf’s office, on a brand new element of the City’s website called “Get it done” that makes it easy to report problems, especially street-related issues. There is also an App available. Here it is .

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San Diegans Voice Concerns to State Officials About Air Quality, Environmental Justice, and Climate Change

July 29, 2016 by Source

By David Harris / San Diego 350

SD350 members David Harris, Eddie Junsay, Nicola Peill-Moelter, Roland Bleu, Michael Brackney and others participate in the energy tableWhat do you get when you bring together 120 environmental activists and residents from environmental justice communities in a room with a dozen state regulators?

If you’re lucky, dozens of ideas for incentivizing renewable energy, improving public transit, and protecting neighborhoods from toxic industrial fumes.

This is exactly what happened on July 14th when the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sponsored a workshop on climate change at the beautiful new Cesar Chavez campus in Barrio Logan.

Local residents, whose voices are rarely heard by policy makers in Sacramento, came out in force to speak out about air pollution from local industry, the need for better transit options, and the impacts of climate change on communities already impacted by poor air quality.

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Fiesta Island Debate: “One of few open and undeveloped areas within City will end if current proposed plan is implemented.”

July 28, 2016 by Source

Fiesta Island mapBy Jean Spengel , FIDO Boardmember

I would just like to reply to Ms. Swink’s editorial, ‘Improvements Needed to Expand Access’

She obviously thinks that people enjoying the beach with their off-leash dogs do not matter,- they should be replaced by other users she wants to bring into the area.

This is in spite of the fact that the 90 acre fenced off-leash area is the most heavily used space in all of Mission Bay Park.

Every day, 365 days a year, hundreds to thousands of tax paying citizens use this area to exercise with their dogs.

While there are over 40,000 acres of parkland in San Diego only about 40 of those acres (not including Fiesta Island) are available for off-leash use. That is about 1% of the public parkland.

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Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy”

July 27, 2016 by Source

Editor: In an unprecedented full-page editorial last Friday, July 22nd, the editors at the Washington Post broke all their rules about endorsing presidential candidates, and came out with this dire warning to the American people – a warning that Trump represents a unique danger and threat to American democracy and the Constitution.

Even though we have no permission to do so, we repost it here below in its entirety due to the extreme nature of the moment, and because in a true sense, this editorial itself has become “news” , and needs to be as widely circulated as possible.

By Editorial Board / Washington Post / July 22, 2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement.

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A Vacation of Joy and Misery and Hope

July 27, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Ernie McCray (in Arles?)

Maria and I just spent 38 days in Europe with a stop in Philly on the way home, a vacation that had a combination of both joy and misery and ended with notions of hope.

It began with a man driving us from the Madrid-Barajas Airport to our hotel, talking about politics all the while. He wanted us to know that Spaniards, as we Americans do, have a few Donald Trumps around town. He had a lot to say about our president, a man he admired “for how he stepped up and got the U.S. out of the recession.”
All that made us feel very welcomed and eager to explore the city. Then came Orlando, news that weakened our knees. Our tragedies, kind of, I think, seem even more dismal when you see them from far away, in another culture. You kind of feel that it reflects on you in some way.

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Will Trump Have Hillary Arrested If He Is Elected?

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Donald Trump colors invert

Will Donald Trump have Hillary Clinton arrested if he is elected in November? His base sure wants it.

With loud chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” reverberating through the cavernous arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the delegates displayed for millions of viewers the war cry of the assemblage.

Whenever Trump or Chris Christie or anyone else among the second and third-string speakers on stage called the Democratic Party nominee out for alleged “crimes”, the chant would go up.

It wasn’t easy watching Trump’s speech last night from Ohio. But I forced myself to do it. My housemates all took cover as the convention blared from the living-room widescreen.

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Reader Rant: “The community is being snookered about City’s lack of enforcement of 30-foot height violations.”

July 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: “The community is being snookered about City’s lack of enforcement of 30-foot height violations.”

By Local One

I attended the Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting last night (Thursday, July 21) and listened intently to the presentations made by Mayor Faulconer’s representative and the head of the Developmental Services Department.

Boy oh boy, what a bunch of packaged lies we were fed last night. The people can see with their own eyes that the community is being snookered with regard to the lack of enforcement, and continuing DSD approval, of numerous violations of the existing MC defined 30 foot coastal height limit.

Speaker after speaker last night quoted directly from the Municipal Code in which the law is absolutely clear with regard to measuring the 30? height, but City representatives from the Mayor’s office and DSD kept insisting that the City Attorney’s office interprets the voter approved Proposition D very differently than any common sense reading of the law.

Further, the Mayor and DSD shut down the Emerson Street project based on a violation of the FAR standards, NOT the obvious violation of the 30 foot coastal height limit.

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Zapf Introduces Surveillance Cameras to OB at Press Conference But No Questions Were Allowed

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB cams 72116 prot
Councilwoman Lori Zapf on Thursday, July 21st, introduced the newly-installed police surveillance cameras at a brief news conference held on the greens near the OB Lifeguard Station.

With ranking police officers and OB merchants on both sides of her, Zapf led off the presser before 2 TV cameras, and a handful of protesters opposed to the cameras.

Zapf said that over a year ago, police leaders at Western Division working with her office to come up with safety measures came up with the idea to install ten cameras along OB’s waterfront.

Now they’ve all been placed, from the OB Pier to Dog Beach, and the signs went up just now, Zapf said, and the cameras can now go live.

Emphasizing the cameras were a crime-prevention tool, a deterrent, they’ll make the beach more safe, she said, mentioning that the cameras will bring relief to the tourists worried about being victimized.

Why the cameras? Zapf asked.

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San Diego Web Thin Case Leads to Another 10 Minute Acquittal in Medical Cannabis Trial

July 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego Web Thin Case Leads to Another 10 Minute Acquittal in Medical Cannabis Trial

By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access

The thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

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Debate Over Future of Fiesta Island Continues: ‘Improvements Needed to Expand Access’

July 21, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Debate Over Future of Fiesta Island Continues: ‘Improvements Needed to Expand Access’

Editor: This is a continuation of the debate over the future of Fiesta Island. It began with op-eds in the San Diego Union-Tribune, and we helped it along with our earlier post. Here below, Judith Swink rebuts the rebuttals.

By Judith Swink

Improvements on Fiesta Island will happen eventually because they must.

The 1994 Mission Bay Park Master Plan carried forward that intention from the previous master plans. The proposed Fiesta Island improvements will make the island more useful and inviting to a much larger number of people than just those who want to use it as it is today. It is a key tenet of both the Mission Bay Park Master Plan and the California Coastal Act that coastal recreation areas be developed to enable use and access for everyone.

A Local Coastal Program amendment in 2002, in conjunction with approval of the Sea World Master Plan by the Coastal Commission requires the City to develop Fiesta Island as proposed in the 1994 Mission Bay Park Master Plan and LCP.

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Press Conference on Surveillance Cameras in OB Today – Thurs. at 11:30 a.m.

July 21, 2016 by Staff

Here is the Press Release for a Press Conference on the surveillance cameras installed in Ocean Beach.

OB Crime Fighting Cameras Set to Go Live

What: The City of San Diego has installed cameras in Ocean Beach near the ocean and parking lots to ward off potential criminals. The cameras are on a loop that is not monitored or reviewed unless a crime is reported. This will give law enforcement a valuable crime fighting tool to provide evidence and allow prosecutors to go after criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

When: Thursday, July 21, 2016
11:30 AM

Where: Ocean Beach – at the intersection of Newport Ave and Abbott Street.

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Is This Election Good for the Fish?

July 20, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Is This Election Good for the Fish?

By David Helvarg / Blue Notes – Blue Frontier /July 19, 2016

The party conventions are now underway starting with the Republicans in Cleveland to be followed by the Democrats in Philadelphia.

The stark contrasts between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: on immigration, education, health care, trade, foreign policy, etc. do not end at the water’s edge where you might also find a Trump resort or golf course.

The ocean has yet to be mentioned on the campaign trail although our organization, Blue Frontier, is coordinating a letter to the candidates from ocean leaders in business, science, conservation, education and other fields that will be sent to the candidates after the conventions.

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“Is the City Hard of Hearing or Just Slow?” – Residents Urged to Turn Out for Peninsula Planners Meeting on Showdown With City Over Height Limit “Loopholes”

July 20, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for “Is the City Hard of Hearing or Just Slow?” – Residents Urged to Turn Out for Peninsula Planners Meeting on Showdown With City Over Height Limit “Loopholes”

By Jon Linney

Is the City hard of hearing or just slow?

Four-story duplexes going up in the three-story zone of the Roseville neighborhood at Emerson and Evergreen created almost universal community outrage.

Citizens turned out to protest. TV stations, social media and print publications such as the OB Rag, The Reader and The Beacon took note.

Community advocates such as Elisa Brent, Babita Souza and this writer – organized a Town Hall meeting on June 27. Some 250 people attended and donated a third of the money necessary for a legal campaign in just five minutes.

The mayor heard. Kevin Faulconer issued a stop-work order on the project the very next day.

But that wasn’t enough, the broader issue of all the other potential height violations remained unaddressed.

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Police Cameras Being Installed in Ocean Beach

July 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB camera worker 7-14-16
The police surveillance cameras are being installed in Ocean Beach. And more than was originally planned.

CBS News8 reported that :

Monday evening, crews were seen making adjustments to the cameras where there is one, two or three cameras mounted to light poles or a lifeguard tower.

The original plan was 10 cameras but 12 were counted between Dog Beach and the Ocean Beach Pier and pointed in the parking lot or beach.

Photographer Adam Ewing stated on facebook:

The new cameras are going up. Looks like they’re starting at the Pier parking lot. If someone sees them installing the rest along the beach all the way down to dog beach.

Councilwoman Lori Zapf’s Communications Director, Donna Cleary, told the media that a news conference is planned for this week.

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News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-July 2016

July 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB ACE wall side beach 7-16-16

* PB Skateboarder Not Expected to Survive After Being Struck Monday Night
* Woman says she was roofied, left paralyzed after drinking at Ocean Beach bar
* How to Protect Yourself From Date Rape Drug
* Pregnant Woman and Baby Injured in Car Crash
* Naked Man Arrested
* Navy pipeline project progressing to completion in 2017
* Kevin Gormly Loses Battle to Cancer
* Chichiuaua Dies at Dog Beach – Victim’s Owner Wants Changes

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Today, July 19th – San Diego City Council Will Vote on Plastic Bag Ban

July 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Today, July 19th – San Diego City Council Will Vote on Plastic Bag Ban

If Ordinance Passes, San Diego Will Become 150th Jurisdiction in California Covered by Ban

Most of Following From Surfrider Foundation

Today at 2pm – July 19th – the San Diego City Council will vote on their Single-Use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance, or “bag ban”.

This will happen at 2 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 202 C St, 12th Floor, San Diego CA 92101. Activists from Surfrider San Diego are urging caring San Diegans to attend this hearing.

If the ordinance passes, San Diego will become the 150th jurisdiction in the state of California to be covered by a ban.

In the City of San Diego, 700 million plastic carryout bags are distributed each year and less than 3% are recycled. This ordinance will remove 665 million plastic carryout bags from distribution and San Diego will take a huge step in reducing plastic pollution at its source and ultimately protecting our ocean and beaches.

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Keep the “Conscience of Ocean Beach” – the OB Rag – Going

July 15, 2016 by Staff

OB Rag cover 7-14-16

It’s Our Summer Funding Appeal!

Michael Turko – of Turko Files – once called the OB Ragthe conscience of OB“. We love that moniker and wear it with pride.

But you know what? We’re broke. And we need help right away to keep going.

Even with our shoe-string budget, we do have costs – and occasionally we pay our writers – but right now we have practically run out of operating funds and must turn, as we do once in a while, to our readers, fans and supporters to help us ‘keep it all goin”.

At this point in the middle of July we have to steer our efforts away from being the online citizen journal for Ocean Beach and Point Loma and focus instead on fund-raising.

There’s a whole bunch of posts and articles in the works … like :

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The San Diego Convadium – Part 3

July 14, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Part 1: 110 Pages of Gobbledygook
Part 2: Lipstick on a Pig

Section 35.0109 Additional Tax Imposed

Charger's ConvadiumThe Chargers want the City to create a separate Fund, the Convention Center Expansion and Stadium Fund, which will borrow money from Wall Street in the form of Bonds and be firewalled off from the City’s General Fund. So it’s like a separate entity for which the City is not responsible at all, but the City has to create it.

The BIG question is, “Will Wall Street go along with this?” The monies flowing into this fund come solely from an increase in the Tax On Transiency (TOT) of 4% (or is it 6% as stated in the proposal?).

If these monies aren’t sufficient to make the payments on the $1.15 billion in bonds that this “entity” (not the City, mind you) is responsible for, then what happens? Who’s left holding the bag?

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Did You Get Your Invite to the Rancho Santa Fe Trump “Victory” Fundraiser?

July 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump invite RSF 7-13-16

Hey, did you receive your big invite to the really big Donald Trump “Victory” fundraiser? No?

It’s only $25,000 a seat.

It’s over in Rancho Santa Fe – Wednesday, July 13th – at some private homes, and it’s being chaired by Jenny Craig, Geniya and Papa Doug Manchester and other bigwigs apparently in the Trump column.

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Bernie Endorses Hillary

July 12, 2016 by Staff

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stand together during a campaign rally where Sanders endorsed Clinton in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S., July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.” – Sen. Bernie Sanders

Today, Tuesday July 12th, Sen. Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

At a rally in New Hampshire, Sanders said:

“Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that.

She will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.”

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Barrios Against STAdiums! to Protest Chargers Pro-Stadium Speakers

July 12, 2016 by Brent Beltran

stadium

By Brent Beltran

On Friday, July 15 from 11:30am to 1pm the San Diego Chargers will be bringing their pro-East Village stadium campaign to Barrio Logan for the Family Health Center’s Spirit of the Barrio luncheon.

B.A.STA!, Barrios Against STAdiums!, will be outside the event holding a silent protest with signs and banners opposing the Chargers efforts to build a stadium one block from Barrio Logan. A press conference will also take place.

Barrio Logan is undergoing a transition due to land speculators buying properties ,,,

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Anti-Parks Caucus Seeks to Remove Protections for Public Lands

July 12, 2016 by Source

Parks

How Republicans Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary

By Susan Grigsby / Daily Kos

In 2015, the two million annual visitors to California’s Joshua Tree National Park spent almost $97 million in the surrounding communities.

Those same visitors created 1,341 job,s which had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $128 million, according to an April 21, 2016 statement from the National Park Service.

And still, knowing how much his constituents rely on the existence of a National Park within his congressional district, Republican Rep. Paul Cook has done everything within his power to hinder any growth of the Park Service, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in August.

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Updates on Major Stories from OB, San Diego, the Nation

July 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a series of updates on major stories that have enveloped those of us who have paying attention:

3rd Victim Dies from Series of Attacks on Homeless – Suspect Is Now an Alleged “Serial Killer”

Another victim of the vicious attacks on San Diego’s homeless has died. Dionico Derek Vahidy, 23, died at a San Diego hospital just before 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sunset Cliffs Are Still Dangerous

Coming less than a week after a man fell to his death off Sunset Cliffs, a woman on Sunday afternoon, July 10th, was found at the bottom of the cliffs and had to be air-lifted by helicopter off the beach. Lifeguards and other first responders had to climb down the cliffs to get to the as yet unidentified person and administered CPR.

Her condition is not known. And authorities haven’t figured out yet whether she fell from the top or was climbing up. This occurred in 800 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. abc10

Black Lives Matter Supporters Marched in San Diego on Sunday

If you were in downtown San Diego on Sunday, July 10th, you could very well have seen or heard Black Lives Matter supporters marching around Petco Park. Nearly a hundred people held a rally …

Protests Continue Nation-Wide

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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Bush League Nation – 2016 Summer Chronicles 4

July 11, 2016 by Jim Miller

The Modesto Nuts. Now THAT's baseball!

By Jim Miller

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is in San Diego and despite the glaring lack of Padres on the team, many local and visiting fans will be taking in the pricey spectacle in all its corporate glory (confession: I will be there). With a huge Fan Fest, the Home Run Derby and the main event itself, San Diego will be baseball central for the week, at least on paper.

But if you really want to get to the heart of the game, I suggest you go bush league.

One of my favorite places to see a baseball game is in Arcata, California up in the Redwood Empire where the Humboldt Crabs have played in the same collegiate summer league since 1945.

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Locals Help Displaced Homeless People During the All Stars Game – a Call for Volunteers

July 11, 2016 by Staff

City Cracks Down on Homeless While Most of San Diego Stands by Silently

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive This is what happens when those in authority disparage a particular group of people.

Whether they mean to or not, their public expressions of contempt and disrespect give permission, and even encouragement, to those looking for an excuse to manifest their anger and hatred in violent actions against the most vulnerable.

I predict that future history books will call this the Trump Effect.

Every Monday our City sends out a team of a half dozen squad cards, sanitation vehicles, fire engines and ambulances to uproot our poorest neighbors.

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The OB Green Activist Calendar

July 7, 2016 by Staff

Hands AcossSandPic2

July Events in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 14th Thursday 7 p.m. Film night “The Future of Energy” – Ocean Beach Green Center

July 21st Thursday 7pm – OB Historical Society” The OB Pier Turns 50!

ALSO EVENTS NOT IN OB OR POINT LOMA INSIDE …

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB cliff rescue 7-6-16Man Falls to His Death from Sunset Cliffs

An unidentified man fell to his death, Tuesday, July 5th, off Sunset Cliffs, near Ladera Street. …

Is Reader Article on “Aggressive Homeless” Inappropriate Right Now?

There is a new SD Reader article out, published online on July 6th, about how OB is on edge – not because of the killer of homeless on the loose, but because of “aggressive transients”. Badtaste? …

Poke Hotspot Heading to OB

Poke is currently blowing up in San Diego, and the latest hotspot will be take-out hub It’s Raw Poke Shop, heading to Ocean Beach by early August.

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Chargers Convadium Plan: Lipstick on a Pig

July 6, 2016 by John Lawrence

chargers design 5Part 2 in a series

By John Lawrence

I previously reported on the 110 Pages of Gobbledygook that represents the Chargers’ proposal to build a combination football stadium and convention center expansion in downtown. It looks like it’s not going to happen because Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a lot of conservative businessmen are against it.

Perhaps the Chargers assumed that Faulconer would immediately climb on the bandwagon and start cheering for the so-called convadium.

Faulconer, however, to his credit has been cautious, questioning the $1.15 billion in new debt the City would have to take on as its part in this endeavor. The Chargers casually gloss over this in their gobbledygook proposal. And they say nothing about the $50 million still owed on Qualcomm Stadium as if that’s not even something worth mentioning.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, recent state Supreme Court ruling means that the Chargers will probably have to have a two-thirds approval from the voters in November instead of a simple majority.

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Reflections on What July 4th Means to the Working Class – 2016 Summer Chronicles 3

July 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

class

By Jim Miller

As the Fourth of July is the day when we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, it’s important to remember Jefferson himself believed that each new generation needed to make the American creed their own.

And everyone from slaves to women to working people did just that as we see in Frederick Douglass’s great speech “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”, the early feminist manifesto “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls,” and the much lesser known “Working Men’s Declaration of Independence.”

This last is centrally important to remember because while Americans are largely aware that the battle for inclusion involved long and heroic abolition, civil rights, and women’s movements, struggles around issues of class have all-too-frequently been relinquished to the dustbin of history.

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Will the Balboa Park Make-Over Include Rockscaping for the Homeless?

July 5, 2016 by Doug Porter

Yesterday the sweeps continued- Photo via Michael McConnell

By Doug Porter

What kind of a city is it that entertains funding a new stadium, a convention center expansion, a major events arena, gondolas, and a parks make-over, but can’t figure out a short term solution to homelessness other than criminalizing it?

That would be San Diego.

Yes, I know it’s apples and oranges–different pots of money are involved, some are subject to voter approval and others will only be indirectly supported by the taxpayer…

But … where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Presently there are a lot of moving parts in play when it comes to the future of America’s Finest City. Let me lay out a couple items for your consideration.

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