Politics

Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

May 2, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

Here is a video of Dr. Jeoff Gordon speaking on the wealth gap in America using lots of slides and graphics. In the vid, he is introduced by Derek Casady, of People’s Food Store Co-op.

Dr. Gordon practiced medicine for decades, and until retirement a few years ago had a thriving office in Ocean Beach.

Before coming to OB, Dr. Gordon had an office in Pacific Beach, and was one of the founders of the very first Free Clinic in Mission Beach in the early Seventies.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

May 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News  – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our April 2016 issue.

Chernobyl + 16: It’s far from over

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster began at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, then ruled by the USSR. Thirty years later, that disaster is far from over.

In their 1990 book, Deadly Deceit: Low Level Fallout, High level Cover-Up, authors Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman devote an entire chapter to the Chernobyl debacle. The doomed Chernobyl nuke was one of 4 reactors operating at the site at the time. It took until 2000 for the other 3 to be permanently shut down.

The author’s wrote:

“Ironically shortly before the accident, Soviet nuclear scientists had stated that a catastrophic accident was ‘impossible.’ “

“But the impossible happened. At 1:23 a.am. that fateful Saturday, a thunderous blast lifted the massive concrete lid from the reactor and released a plume of radioactive debris that was carried two thousand meters into the air. The initial explosion split the reactor core and set fire to surrounding buildings.

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Getting Sandbagged by SANDAG: San Diego’s Failure of Imagination

May 2, 2016 by Jim Miller

soon san diego traffic

By Jim Miller

Last week Kevin Faulconer got some good press when, “under pressure from environmental groups,” he voted no to putting SANDAG’s deeply inadequate tax measure on the ballot citing San Diego’s Climate Action plan as one of the factors in his decision. Faulconer’s opponent, Ed Harris, was quick to point out that Faulconer’s vote was less about climate change and more about pleasing his anti-tax Republican base.

In a press release the Harris campaign observed that:

“Kevin Faulconer is using the environment as a prop to cover up his real reason for voting against SANDAG’s proposed infrastructure plan today,” said mayoral candidate Ed Harris. “He claims the reason for his no vote is the plan’s incompatibility with the city’s Climate Action Plan, but in October of last year he said just the opposite.”

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Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

May 2, 2016 by Source

Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism

By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams

Dan Berrigan visit 1982

Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

In 1968, Berrigan and eight other Catholic activists, including his brother Philip, a group subsequently known as the Catonsville Nine, took hundreds of draft files and burned them outside a Selective Service office with homemade napalm.

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Lori Saldaña Aims to Offer a Choice, Not an Echo

April 29, 2016 by Doug Porter

Lori Saldana official picBy Doug Porter

If you buy into the notion, currently in vogue with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, of Democratic party orthodoxy as being little more than Republican lite, then Lori Saldaña would the logical choice to vote for in the upcoming San Diego mayoral primary.

The former assemblywoman has an activist pedigree, a history of hard-fought grassroots campaigns, and the enmity of the local political establishment.

In January Saldaña launched an independent campaign to challenge Kevin Faulconer, undaunted by a million dollar war chest (including PACs) and the advantages accompanying incumbency in America’s Finest City. The current mayor’s single greatest accomplishment thus far, in my opinion, has been directing the public relations players at his disposal in a non-stop symphony of praise for their leader, so it ain’t gonna be easy.

Environmental Activism, Plus

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County Board of Supervisors Extends Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Projects

April 29, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie Best / San Diego ASA / April 28, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday to vote on staff recommendations to extend a moratorium against new medical marijuana activity in San Diego County. The 45 day moratorium was put in place on March 16 and was largely a knee-jerk reaction to a group of community members from Julian and Ramona.

At the March meeting the Board instructed staff to come back with options including a ban on medical cannabis; enhanced enforcement and more zoning restrictions among other things. Instead, staff returned with a request for more time which was ultimately granted.

While the moratorium was extended to ten and a half months, the vote came with instructions to give consideration for those medical cannabis projects already in the building and permitting pipelines.

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San Diego Homeless Advocates Rock the City Council

April 29, 2016 by Source

Screenshot of Channel 8 video on San Diego using rocks to drive away homeless

Anatomy of a Successful Press Event in Protest of City Placement of Rocks to Displace Homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Some days I marvel at the value of the network of good people that has grown in our community—people involved in so many different areas, all so critical, who come together to support one another in our various efforts. Without that, we could have never pulled off the very successful action on Tuesday April 19 in protest of the City’s reprehensible decision to fill an underpass in Sherman Heights where homeless people take shelter with rocks.

PLAY VIDEO INSIDE

This was a case where all systems were running at peak performance. For the sake of all of those younger people who are just starting to dip their toes in the art of community organizing, here’s how it goes when you have a cadre of like-minded friends to call upon for a cause.

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“This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

April 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

Mayor Kevin Faulconer wasn’t too popular at last night’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting during the “mayoral dialogue”.

First, he didn’t show.

Second, both his opponents, former-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and San Diego Lifeguard leader Ed Harris, trained their sights on Faulconer and not on each other.

And third, this was Ocean Beach – the liberal bastion of the city – which usually votes Democratic; Kevin Faulconer is a Republican.

But still, Faulconer used to represent Ocean Beach – and the rest of District 2 – when he sat on the City Council. And the crowd of the 80 or so good-natured souls in attendance probably would have applauded him if he had showed. But he didn’t and neither did his aide, John Ly.

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Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Ed Harris Takes a Stand Against Business as Usual

April 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

“The City is a huge landlord. It has to quit giving away our own assets.”

By Doug Porter

Ed-Harris-camp-fotoEd Harris wasn’t supposed to ruffle any feathers during his appointed term on the San Diego City Council.

The former marine and lifeguard union leader was supposed to be a bookmark, holding down the Second District seat vacated by now-Mayor Kevin Faulconer until election day rolled around. The city charter terms for this temporary tenure included a proviso barring him from actually running for the seat in fall 2014 election.

Then it came time for the kind of wink, wink, nod, nod agreement involving trading off public assets for political gain considered normal in America’s Finest City. Harris surprised a lot of people by taking a principled and public stand against what he believed was a sweetheart deal involving proposed lease terms of Belmont Park to Pacifica Enterprises.

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Hippie Life in Ocean Beach

April 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor Frank Gormlie will speak about “Hippies in OB” this Saturday, April 30th at the OB Library, from 2 to 3 pm.

OB as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego

By Frank Gormlie

In my many writings about Ocean Beach history – some of which I share below – I’ve always noted that in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

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Gannett Makes Offer to Buy San Diego Union-Tribune and Its Parent

April 26, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via Twitter

By Doug Porter

If you don’t like what you’ve been seeing in the San Diego Union-Tribune lately, wait a couple of months. Seriously. The newspaper of record in America’s Finest City may soon have new owners.

Newspaper publisher Gannett has gone public with an offer to buy Tribune Publishing after getting a less-than-enthusiastic response to a private offer made on April 12th.

The proposed deal would fold the Tribune’s nine daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune into a media monolith publishing USA Today and newspapers in 107 other cities.

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OB Town Council Sponsors Community Dialogue on Mayoral Election – Harris and Saldana Will Show, Faulconer Has Declined – Wed., April 27

April 25, 2016 by Staff

OBTC mayor forum 4-27-16 graphic

This Wednesday, April 27th, the Ocean Beach Town Council will host a “Community Dialogue” on the upcoming mayoral election taking place on the California Primary, June 7, 2016. Candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña have confirmed their participation; Kevin Faulconer declined and is not available.

The OBTC invited the top 3 mayoral candidates to address priority OB concerns, during the monthly Town Council meeting. These concerns include – but are not limited to – homelessness, enhancing our quality of life, rebuilding crumbling community infrastructure (specially related to flooding in 92107), upholding our Community Plan, and addressing environmental concerns such as climate change, cliff degradation, the plastic bag ban, and water quality at our beaches.

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The Story of the First Election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board – May 4th, 1976

April 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Story of the First Election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board – May 4th, 1976

Editor: This May 4th Ocean Beach celebrates the 40th anniversary of the historic vote that established the very first OB Planning Board and the first popular community plan for the neighborhood. Below is an accounting of that vote and events leading up to it, taken from a larger article entitled “How Working Class Ocean Beach Spoiled the Establishment Plans and Created a Revolution in Urban Planning” – Part 2.

Election Scheduled for Early May 1976

Finally the San Diego City Council set a date for the community-wide election of OB’s first planning committee: May 4, 1976. All residents, all property owners and all business owners could vote, and it would be monitored by the non-partisan League of Women Voters.

The Community Planning Group spun into action and set up a process where local residents vied to be included on an organizational slate for the election.

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Urbanologist Mike Davis Reflects on His San Diego Upbringing and the 2016 Presidential Election

April 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Urbanologist Mike Davis Reflects on His San Diego Upbringing and the 2016 Presidential Election

A New Electorate: Mike Davis on Clinton, Trump, and Sanders

Editor: In the following – somewhat dated – interview, local-boy and well-known urbanologist Mike Davis, who is from El Cajon, reflects on his upbringing and the 2016 Presidential primaries. The interview with Maria-Christina Vogkli and George Souvlis first appeared on the LSE Researching Sociology blog.

By George Souvlis and Maria-Christina Vogkli / Verso / March 1, 2016

1) Could you please tell us a bit about your family background?

My family background is distinctive only in being impossibly average. My dad came from a rural Protestant background in Ohio and was a fervent New Deal Democrat. My mom was an urban Irish Catholic and a registered Republican, but twice voted for the Socialist candidate Norman Thomas. She equally adored President Eisenhower and Liberace.

Both were high-school graduates. Apart from the Vulgate Bible we had no books in our home, but my father was an avid newspaper reader (sports and politics) and my mom devoured the Reader’s Digest cover to cover. My dad worked in the wholesale meat industry in a strangely hybrid white collar/blue collar job.

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Let’s Build a Wall Between San Diego and Donald Trump

April 22, 2016 by Staff

Trump San Diego

By OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Editors

We anticipate that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will visit San Diego during the California presidential primary campaign.

We at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press will join with other San Diegans during his campaign stops in our city in expressing our adamant opposition to the racist, xenophobic and misogynist policies espoused by Trump.

And we join in solidarity with those whom Trump has targeted. Upon Trump’s arrival in San Diego, we want to join with others protesting his policies and we will support any and all of those who express their opposition through various forms of non-violent and civil-disobedient direct actions.

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The Other Big 2016 California Primary: U.S. Senate

April 22, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for The Other Big 2016 California Primary: U.S. Senate

By Doug Porter

California’s primary counts this year. While media coverage of presidential candidates wooing voters in the Golden State is steadily increasing, another primary contest with national implications is flying under the radar.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s retirement creates the first open U.S. Senate seat in California in more than two decades. Based on the activity level of Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently, it could be a while until the next opportunity presents itself.

It turns out the Presidential contest is so unstable at this point it’s left to curious voters to go online for information. There are 39 candidates from 6 political parties running for President. I’ll write about some of them in future columns.

The Official Voter Information Guide for the California Presidential Primary landed in my mailbox yesterday, and it’s got nothing on the various partisan contests for the top job in the nation. The guide does contain information about Proposition 50 and, again, I’ll get around to this soon.

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Meaningless Police Oversight Charter Amendment Recommended for November Ballot

April 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Council Committee Ignores Community Alliance’s Call for Subpoena Powers

By Hugh Moore

The San Diego City Council Charter Review Committee met yesterday, Wednesday, April 20 and voted to submit for approval to the full City Council a Charter Amendment recommended by the Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee.

The recommended amendment changes the name of the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB), mandates that all police involved deaths be reviewed by the board, and gives the Mayor and City Council joint authority over the board.

However, these are only cosmetic changes, according to Martha Sullivan – member of Women Occupy of San Dieg – and do nothing to improve the CRB’s ability to actually investigate a complaint about the police department.

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OB Green Center – Annual Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser- Sat., April 23rd

April 21, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Green Center – Annual Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser- Sat., April 23rd

OB Green Center

Annual Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser- Sat., April 23rd

Come help the OB Green Center Celebrate Earth Day
& 27 Years of Environmental, Peace, and Social Justice Activism!

Saturday April 23, 2016
2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

There will be music & speakers, refreshments & raffle. It’s a Great Community Event!
Honoring co-founders: Colleen Dietzel & Kip Krueger;

… for celebration schedule, see inside …

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Mayor Faulconer’s Republican Unicorns: Jobs! And the Minimum Wage Veto

April 20, 2016 by Doug Porter

Kevin Faulconer headshot colorrevers Kevin Faulconer headshot

The Committee for Slave Wages and Free Puppies for Everybody Lives On

By Doug Porter

Have you seen the Falconer for Mayor ads in social media yet? San Diego’s incumbent mayor is claiming credit –sort of– for a 34% drop in local unemployment since he was elected. If you buy into this claim, you’ll love the expected follow-up ads claiming credit for the sun rising, the sun setting, and better-than-usual surf in Ocean Beach.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 1

April 20, 2016 by John Lawrence

Has the City squirreled away millions of dollars in off-budget funds which could be used for affordable housing and housing for the homeless?

afordable housing coverBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

In the City of Palo Alto, if you make less than $250,000 a year, you’re eligible for a housing subsidy. The city council has voted to study a housing proposal that would essentially subsidize new housing for what qualifies as middle-class nowadays, families making from $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

Here in San Diego, the situation is not much better as teachers, police and government workers cannot afford to live in the city they work in. So if middle class, college educated professionals can’t afford to live here, how can anyone else lower on the economic ladder afford to live here either? In particular, those on the bottom most rung, the homeless, can’t even afford a foot in the door.

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council Committee on Reform of Civilian Police Review Board

April 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Open Letter to San Diego City Council Committee on Reform of Civilian Police Review Board

Editor: The following open letter to the San Diego City Charter Committee was accompanied by this urgent call for action from Martha Sullivan:

This Wednesday, April 20th, at 9am is our last chance to convince the City Council Charter Review Committee to recommend our CRB Reform Ballot Proposal be put on the November Ballot. It’s Item 1 on the agenda – come to the 12th Floor Council Committee Room in City Hall. Allow time for parking and to get through the ground floor security screening.

See our latest letter to the Charter Review Committee following — and come on Wednesday morning to support more independence, transparency and accountability for civilian police review:

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A Democratic Spring: Thousands March on Washington Demanding Fixes to a Broken Political System

April 19, 2016 by Source

Credit: AFL-CIO Twitter

By Steven Rosenfeld / Alternet

Thousands of protesters from across America descended on the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court on Monday, where hundreds of pro-democracy activists were arrested for blocking Congress’ doorstep and loud crowds of young people, undocumented familes, and immigration advocates rallied at the Court.

The action was a stunning display of a growing and vibrant progressive spectrum, reflecting a determination to work together on a range of justice issues that define much of what’s wrong with America’s political system.

The day began together, with thousands filling a nearby park for early morning speeches, prayers and pledges to protest non-violently.

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Replacing Rasputin: A Subtext of the Election Contest for San Diego City Attorney

April 19, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Replacing Rasputin: A Subtext of the Election Contest for San Diego City Attorney

By Doug Porter

Termed-out City Attorney Jan Goldsmith felt free to drop the pretense of serving all the public last week during his introduction of Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a campaign rally in Mission Valley.

“We believe in jobs, freedom and security. You know something? The Democrats don’t believe in these values,” Goldsmith said. So much for my theory that he wasn’t an ideologue.

There are four Democrats and one Republican running for the City Attorney slot. I emailed them all late last week, asking their reaction to Goldsmith’s comments. The responses are listed in the order I received them.

Democrat Bryan Pease, activist attorney who Feels the Bern:

Funny–if you switch the word “Democrats” with “Republicans” in his quote, it would be objectively accurate based on measurable criteria and outcomes of their policies.

Democrat Gil Cabrera, attorney & former chairman of the San Diego Ethics Commission (Not reappointed by former Mayor Jerry Sanders):

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Experience and Explosive Situations

April 19, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

1393622639_560e2dea50Scrolling down my facebook timeline
I found that someone had written words in line
with the idea
that Hillary’s lengthy experience
in foreign policy
makes her a better choice than Bernie
for the presidency.
The words went thusly:
“Consider… North Korea hits South Korea
and Tokyo simultaneously
with ballistic nukes.
I think Hillary could deal with it.
Bernie is unproven.”
And all I could think was: “Whuuuut?”

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Listen Liberal: What’s the Matter with the Democratic Party?

April 18, 2016 by Jim Miller

listen liberal pointBy Jim Miller

Thomas Frank has written the most important political book of 2016, and one that should disturb and hopefully influence progressives for years to come. If you have ever found yourself not just horrified by the lunatic right but also frustrated by the hapless and compromised “left,” Frank is your man.

If you want to feel good about “your side” but are still troubled by the fact that economic inequality remains at historically high levels despite the last eight years of Democratic Presidential rule, Frank has some uncomfortable truths for you to ponder.

And it’s not just about those damn Republicans.

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San Diego’s Earth Fair 2016: All in for the Environment

April 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

Hey! That's SDFP Editor Doug Porter with a message

Sunday, April 17th. EarthFair Day.

Having heard all the warnings about trying to drive to Earth Fair–not to mention the irony–, I took the bus.

The Number 7 bus was a half hour late and it dropped me on the corner of Park & University. It wasn’t going anywhere near that mess in Balboa Park. Eventually, the Balboa Park “shuttle” appeared. After quibbling with the driver when he asked for another fare, we sped three blocks south only to get in line. Hurry up and wait.

Traffic was held up at Roosevelt Junior High by the police so the people who drove could turn left across traffic towards parking lots. Even on Earth Day, it’s cars first in San Diego. #CarsRule #Pedestrians&BusRidersDrool.

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Is It All Coming Together?

April 18, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Is It All Coming Together?

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Is it all coming together,
or all falling apart?
I can’t tell anymore.
I came with love,
but can’t find your heart.

I tried to explain how we could help get people off their streets,
by providing basic shelter in supportive communities.
We’d carefully thought out the plan,
Laid it out for them in ways they could understand,
how this would make life better for everyone.

But they came armed with one practiced phrase:
“Not in my backyard!”

Can it all come together?
Or is it already falling apart?
It’s impossible to tell
When we say we want peace,
but we’re fighting an uphill battle from the start.

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Some Friendly Suggestions for the Ocean Beach Planning Board

April 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Ocean Beach Planning Board, like other neighborhood planning groups around San Diego, is often plagued by low turnouts at its annual Board elections. It’s not uncommon for candidates to receive votes that total in the single digits. This year was no different.

The low audience numbers at the Board’s monthly meetings say something. Plus the fact that the OB Board currently has a 36% vacancy rate – there’s 5 seats vacant on a 14-member Board.

So, I have a few friendly suggestions to make for the OB Planning Board – a good chunk of them aimed at increasing the community’s participation at and with the Board. In addition, My background quickly: 3 years on the OB Board, one year as Chair.

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Huge Vote that Established Planning Board and First Popular Community Plan

April 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

precise plan -newcoverThousands of OB Residents, Property and Business Owners Took Part in Historic Election of May 4, 1976

There are a lot of important anniversaries these days, it seems, like the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Beach Pier, and like the 50th Re-Union of the Point Loma High School Class of 1966.

But there’s one significant anniversary for Ocean Beach that has as of yet been highlighted for its deserved respect and celebration.

And that’s the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote on March 4, 1976 that established both the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB Community Plan (then called the “Precise Plan”).

That vote that day in early May four decades ago was truly an historic occasion because not only did it establish the Board that still exists and the Plan, but nearly 4,500 renters, property owners and business owners participated in the balloting that lasted all day.

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