Politics

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

February 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Tsunami of Opposition Meets Move to Oust Coastal Commission Head of Staff

Showdown Looms for Feb. 10th-12th at Commission Monthly Hearing

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

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

Lester’s fate is supposed to be decided at their monthly meeting, to be held this month in Morro Bay on February 10th through 12th. Here’s our initial post on the controversy.

But the tsunami or storm of opposition unleashed by the attempted coup may very well be powerful enough to crush this effort to make the Commission more-developer friendly at the very state agency that is supposed to guard California’s coast. Consider these elements of the storm:

Read the full article → 0 comments

Survey: Saldana 3 to 1 Over Faulconer

February 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Survey: Saldana 3 to 1 Over Faulconer

The OB Rag ran a survey of our readers over their choice of major candidates for San Diego mayor, and Lori Saldana bested Kevin Faulconer 3 to 1,

In our online poll which ran for about a week, 51% of respondents chose Saldana and 17% chose Faulconer.

This is no huge surprise as OB Rag readers have more of a liberal bent than a cross-section of San Diegans. But it does show that Saldana definitely has a base among liberals, progressives and independents in this town.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Quality Of Life Coalition Calls on SANDAG to Place Vision on Ballot

February 8, 2016 by Jim Miller

quality of lifeBy Jim Miller

In a recent interview, Naomi Klein discussed the reality facing anyone interested in promoting meaningful climate action.

The “structural problem” we face, according to Klein, is that people can “simultaneously understand the medium to long term risks of climate change” and still believe it is in their “short term economic [or political] interest” to continue business as usual.

This is precisely the situation concerned San Diegans face when dealing with the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) limited vision when it comes to taking the actions needed to address the pressing threat of climate change at the local level.

Read the full article → 0 comments

February Events Calendar for the OBcean of Conscience

February 5, 2016 by Staff

Hands AcossSandPic

February 9th Tuesday, 6pm Join the Coalition for Labor and Community Solidarity for an initial planning meeting for a day of action on May 1st, 2016 in San Diego to commemorate International Workers’ Day. ICWJ Offices, 3758 30th Street Info & Updates

February 10th Wednesday, 6pm –Coastal Commission Public Participation Hearing;
Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino Del Rio South (Off I-8); attend and speak out against the current effort to sack Coastal Commission executive director Charles Lester.

February 11 Thursday 7 p.m. Film night “Years of Living Dangerously“; We will be continuing with the Emmy award winning 2014 documentary focusing on global warming. February will feature the last Episodes from “Years of Living Dangerously”. Each episode features celebrity investigators, who each have a history of environmental activism, and well-known journalists, each of whom have a background in environmental reportage. They travel to areas around the world and throughout the U.S. affected by global warming to interview experts and ordinary people affected by and seeking solutions to the effects of global warming. Free of Charge :-)

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. -Climate Mobilization Coalition Meeting – February 6th, February 13th, February 20th, February 27th Ocean Beach People’s Cooperative Community Room, 4765 Voltaire Street, 92107. Come help plan for the upcoming Climate Action events. Contact: oceanbeachgreencenter@gmail.com

February 12th Friday 6:30 p.m. Film Showing: “This Changes Everything” Sierra Club, 8304 Clairmont Mesa Boulevard #101, 92111.

AND MUCH MORE ….

Read the full article → 0 comments

“Dump Dumanis” and Justice for Fridoon Nehad Rally – Friday, Feb. 5th

February 5, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for “Dump Dumanis” and Justice for Fridoon Nehad Rally – Friday, Feb. 5th

Coalition Accuses District Attorney of 22 Counts of Abuse of Power

Today, Friday, February 5th, downtown San Diego will witness a “Dump Dumanis” and Justice for Fridoon Nehad rally in front of the Hall of Justice on Broadway.

Dumanis, of course, is the District Attorney of San Diego County and Fridoon Nehad was the unarmed Afghan immigrant gunned down by a San Diego police officer in the Midway District last April.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Calling on SANDAG to Invest in Better Transit, Safer Streets, Good Jobs and Clean Air

February 5, 2016 by Source

EHC Monique

Will SANDAG’s proposed sales tax increase serve your community’s needs?

By Monique López / Environmental Health Coalition

We all need to move. How we get from place to place is deeply connected to our quality of life.

Unfortunately, not all communities have the same access to healthy, safe, reliable and affordable transportation options, such as public transit and biking and walking paths.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Tiny Village of Tiny Shelters for San Diego Homeless: Small is the New Sexy

February 5, 2016 by Source

Danielles Tiny HomeBy Jeeni Criscenzo

No question about it—being involved in a coalition to build a tiny village of tiny shelters for people who are without a place to live, is damn exciting!

I can’t put my finger on exactly why this is taking over my brain activity—from waking up in the morning ready to get online and share ideas, to dreaming about it at night.

Maybe it’s what someone at our community meeting last week said about it—tiny homes are sexy!

Read the full article → 2 comments

“Well, at least we don’t have to worry about travelers anymore.”

February 2, 2016 by Source

r cobb no anarchy ed color

Read the full article → 2 comments

Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM is a Ranching Industry Tool

February 2, 2016 by Source

Public lands ranching is destroying the Western United States

Cattle watering station near Cave Valley, NVCattle watering station near Cave Valley, NV (Photo: Max Wilbert)

By Will Falk/ San Diego Free Press

Public lands ranching is destroying the Western United States. It has pushed native plant species to the brink of extinction. It causes soil to erode so quickly the land cannot keep up. Livestock are poisoning and depleting water supplies, killing perennial stream flows, and are making it increasingly difficult for surface water to accumulate.

Stockmen and the animals they raise have devastated populations of iconic American animals like bison, elk, pronghorn, and sage-grouse.

Read the full article → 2 comments

More Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

February 2, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for More Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

Editor: In the spirit of continuing the public discussion on short term vacation rentals here in San Diego and at the beach, we offer the following by our friend, John P Anderson, a proponent of short term rentals – whose views on this issue clearly depart from ours.

Some Market Thoughts on Short-Term Rentals in San Diego

By John P Anderson

The topic of short-term rentals in San Diego continues to be debated and potential rules / changes to rules will be a hot topic in 2016.

After ending 2015 with a well attended Planning Commission meeting in December it looks like the next official meeting / hearing will be in late February or March at the City Council. It is sure to be a long hearing, with hundreds of San Diegans attending and providing commentary both for and against short-term accommodations in San Diego neighborhoods.

Read the full article → 5 comments

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

February 1, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

By Carlos Batara

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

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

The Civil Rights Connection: Fact And Fiction

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

Read the full article → 0 comments

Clinton Democrats in 2016: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

February 1, 2016 by Jim Miller

botticcelli inferno

By Jim Miller

Whatever happens in today’s Iowa caucuses, one thing is abundantly clear—when confronted with a credible challenge from the left in the form of the Bernie Sanders, the response of much of the leadership of the Democratic Party and their allies in the corporate media has been to defend the status quo with great zeal even if it meant borrowing tropes from the right.

Whether it was red-baiting from Thomas Freidman or condescension mixed with an appeal to “realism” from Paul Krugman, the drumbeat was loud and consistent: Sanders’ agenda, with it’s direct ties to the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR was simply an unrealistic option in the neoliberal era.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Councilwoman Zapf and Her Cameras at Issue at OB Town Council Meeting

January 29, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Councilwoman Zapf and Her Cameras at Issue at OB Town Council Meeting

Report from the Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting – Wednesday, January 27 – 2016

By Activist of OB

The first meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) for the new year was highly attended (Hooray!) by both community members and local media.

What motivated the crowds? Perhaps New Year’s Resolutions to be more involved, perhaps the Girl Scout cookies being sold in the back of the room, heck….even District 2 elected City Councilmember Lorie Zapf was physically present! Wow!

Zapf Surprised at Turnout and Media Presence

Councilmember Lorie Zapf approached the front of the room and voiced her surprise by all of the media present, nervously laughing as she commented that she told her family she was just going to an OBTC meeting.

I said to myself “Yep, Welcome to OB, Lorie Zapf”.

Read the full article → 12 comments

The Lessons of Porter Ranch

January 29, 2016 by Source

Porter Ranch image

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

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

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

Read the full article → 2 comments

OB Rag Poll: Sanders, Clinton, Trump

January 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Poll: Sanders, Clinton, Trump

For a week, the OB Rag ran a poll on the presidential preferences of our readers. The poll was a wide-open horse race that had all the major candidates of both major parties running against each other, and included most of the top-tiered GOP candidates (however, it did not include and we now think it should have included Jeb Bush).

Overall, Bernie Sanders came out way ahead – with nearly 51% of the total vote. Near each other, Hillary Clinton had 17.5% and Trump had 16.7% following Sanders way down the sheet.

Marco Rubio had 3.3%, Ted Cruz had 1.7%, Chris Christie had .8%. Another 3.3% wanted another GOP candidate (Bush?).

Read the full article → 1 comment

Councilwoman Zapf Questioned by Community and Media on Her Police Camera Plan

January 28, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Councilwoman Zapf Questioned by Community and Media on Her Police Camera Plan

Audience at OB Town Council Meeting Divided Over the Police Cameras

The packed Masonic Center became focused on the planned installation of the police surveillance cameras along OB’s waterfront.

With standing-room only, Wednesday nights OB Town Council meeting became the center of the controversy over the 10-camera system, as Councilwoman Lorie Zapf (pronounced “Zaph”) was in attendance and forced to answer questions from the crowd and the media about them.

It was the first opportunity for opponents of the cameras – and community members at large – to question and confront Zapf about the cameras, …

Read the full article → 3 comments

Lack of Diversity Among San Diego County Commissions

January 28, 2016 by Source

Over 200 vacant positions. Zero Latinos on the “Citizen’s Review Board On Police Practices”

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

width="300"

On Thursday, January 21st the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) held a Boards and Commissions Launch Event at MAAC’s Chula Vista Community Room in hopes of encouraging more citizens to actively participate in their local government.

Read the full article → 0 comments

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

January 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Push-Back Against Pro-Developer Coup at California Coastal Commission

Showdown at Commission Meeting on Feb. 10th

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

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

Read the full article → 2 comments

Get Ready for the Market Crash and Recession of 2016

January 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

oil pumpBy John Lawrence

Oil is less than $30. a barrel. This is over three times less than what it costs just to buy the barrel itself! Iran has been accepted back into the world community and is revving up to sell its oil on the world market which will bring down the price of oil even more.

Frackers and oil producers in the US have taken on a huge amount of debt under the assumption that it would pay off down the road. They hadn’t counted on the price of oil plummeting. What will they do when we convert 100% to renewables?

Read the full article → 1 comment

Grand Jury Clears Planned Parenthood, Indicts Fake Tape Activists Instead

January 27, 2016 by Source

planned-parenthood-video scrn shotDistrict Attorney: “We must go where the evidence leads us”

By Common Dreams Staff

A grand jury in Texas, which was created to investigate Planned Parenthood’s Houston affiliate following the August 2014 release of an undercover video taken inside the clinic, cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing on Monday, and, instead indicted the anti-abortion activists who made the video.

Two secret videographers were indicted: David Daleiden, founder of the ‘Center for Medical Progress,’ was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs. And activist Sandra Merritt was indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Rebuild San Diego: Snake Oil or Cure for Local Infrastructure?

January 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

post-office-potholeBy Doug Porter

This week local politicos will be making the rounds, led by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Mark Kersey, promising to repair San Diego’s infrastructure. Potholes big enough to be named, geysers from broken water mains regular enough to be a tourist attractions and crumbling sidewalks unsafe at any walking speed are facts of life in America’s Finest City.

Smiling faces from city hall will be front and center in the media, pitching Councilmember Kersey’s “Rebuild San Diego” ballot measure promising three decades worth of improvement with no tax increases. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

Read the full article → 1 comment

You can’t ‘take back’ public lands. They already belong to all of us.

January 26, 2016 by Source

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are missing the point.

By Jamie Williams / Washington Post / January 25, 2016

(Jamie Williams is president of the Wilderness Society)

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have thought they were “taking back” seized land on behalf of local ranchers. In reality, these gun-toting intruders are attempting to seize land that belongs to all of us. Their actions are nothing less than an attack on the property and the rights of the American people.

The misguided protesters believe that this treasured wildlife refuge, a sanctuary for more than 300 bird species, should be handed over to a small group of rule-breakers to exploit and profit from as they wish, at the expense of the public and of future generations.

Read the full article → 1 comment

A Beach, Burb, and Billionaire “Citizens’ Plan” for San Diego’s Urban Neighborhoods

January 26, 2016 by Source

Photo by Doug Porter Overlooking tailgate park and MTS building Photo by Doug Porter

Editor: Some months ago Attorney Cory Briggs and others rolled out the “Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources,” better known as the Citizens Plan. They are hoping to have this on the November 2016 ballot as an alternative to the current tourism/development scheme, which is dominated by hotel industry’s financial interests.

By Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

They’re calling it the “Citizens’ Plan” initiative. Like all such initiatives, the name is misleading. Said citizens are an alliance of a billionaire and a few advocates for a limited selection of public interests. Not included are the citizens who are most impacted nor the economic interests of the City’s working populace. Citizen Kane Plan might be a more appropriate name for the way it attempts to manipulate public opinion into believing it is a grassroots plan.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Lori Saldana to Run for San Diego Mayor as an Independent ‘to Give the Disenfranchised a Voice’

January 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

lori saldana 3

There is finally some good news for San Diego’s left-of-center voters.

A known local politician with definite name recognition, former Democrat and Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has announced her intention to run for mayor of San Diego. Saldana will run as an independent, having resigned from the Democratic Party about 2 years ago.

Now, finally, San Diego voters who don’t usually vote Republican – which is a majority of the city electorate – have a choice other than Kevin Faulconer and a handful of unknowns.

Saldana said she is running to give San Diegans a voice and to represent those who feel disenfranchised by the electoral process.

Read the full article → 8 comments

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

January 25, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by Freedom To Marry

By Jim Miller

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

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

Read the full article → 0 comments

Preserving the San Diego Commons: Public Land, Policy and Process

January 22, 2016 by Source

Who decides and who gets to participate in decisions to sell City properties?

Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve - Lakeside, CA(Photo: sandiegotrailtramps.com)

By Jay Powell

The previous article in the San Diego Commons at the Crossroads series keyed in on the Mayor’s State of the City promise to break ground on “50 new or upgraded parks during the next five years” counterpoised against examples of designated open space and other city-owned lands that are in jeopardy of being sold by the City as “surplus properties”.

The proposal to sell one of the now controversial properties labeled “Truax House” adjacent to the Maple Canyon Open Space system has been continued to the February 10 Smart Growth &Land Use (SG&LU) City Council Committee along with some additional properties, not all as yet specified.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Bringing the ‘White Line’ Gondolas to San Diego

January 21, 2016 by Doug Porter

tram1By Doug Porter

An editorial in the Union-Tribune waxes poetic about the virtues of building a mass transit system for the white people in San Diego– a network of “skyway” gondolas.

Saying it’s “one idea that does not get the attention it deserves,” the UT goes on to predict Ron Roberts, now chairing both the Board of Supervisors and SANDAG (and vice chair of the Metropolitan Transit System board), will use his perch to seek funding for the concept.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Absurdities and Alternative Realities of Republican Politics

January 20, 2016 by John Lawrence

GOP T.V. / FOX NEWS Videodrome / Long Live the New FleshBy John Lawrence

The Republican political arena has become the theater of the absurd largely thanks to the emergence of Donald Trump as the new standard bearer of the Republican Party.

He has stood all the rules on their heads and made a mockery out of political correctness. Somehow this has breathed fresh air into the stodgy world of Republican memes and mantras.

For example, let’s take the birther controversy which the Donald was a big part of a few years ago when he and others made an attempt to prove that President Obama was not a “natural born citizen” as required by the Constitution in order to be President. In fact, as Trump and others maintained, Obama was born in Kenya. Turns out not to be true.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego Commons at the Crossroads: the Sell-Off of ‘Excess’ Properties

January 20, 2016 by Source

“Why didn’t you ask the neighbors and the community what they might think?”

By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

This past week San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced as one of the key highlights of his State of the City that he is bringing forward “the first comprehensive vision for San Diego’s parks in more than 60 years” and promised that “ground would be broken on 50 new or upgraded parks during the next five years. “

Actual budgets are always a reality check on visionary pronouncements. By April we should know if and how this vision will be reflected in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2017 budget. There is a need for yet another kind of reality check.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Opponents of Ocean Beach Police Cameras Get Some Local Press

January 19, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Opponents of Ocean Beach Police Cameras Get Some Local Press

Opponents of the police surveillance cameras coming to Ocean Beach’s waterfront were out on Sunday, January 17th, at the foot of Newport, collecting signatures and holding anti-camera signs. And they got some local press for their efforts.

In an article entitled, “Here come the cameras, O.B.”, local writer Dave Rice who reports for the Reader, asked in his sub-head, “Will police have available budget to monitor video in real-time?”

Read the full article → 5 comments