Politics

Urgent Meeting Called for Monday June 2nd to Form Response to Planning Commission De-Clawing Plan Update

June 2, 2014 by Staff

An urgent meeting has been called for tonight, June 2nd, by OB planners in order to formulate a response to how the San Diego Planning Commission dealt with the OB Plan Update last week.

The planners also also putting together a presentation for the City Council, which is scheduled to review the Plan on June 30th.

The meeting is open to any OBcean, and will be held at 6pm at the Dog Beach Dog Wash, 4933 Voltaire Street.

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Inside the U.S. House’s Historic Vote on Medical Marijuana

June 2, 2014 by Source

mmjcongressAn amendment that would prohibit the Fed from interfering in state medical pot laws is still up in the air.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

The GOP-controlled House surprised just about everyone when it voted 218 to 189 for a pro-medical marijuana amendment on Friday. The amendment, tacked onto the much larger criminal justice funding bill (H.R. 4660), would prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal taxpayer funds to interfere with medical marijuana laws in 22 states that have passed them.

The House vote was historic. It was the first time since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that the majority of a chamber of Congress voted in favor of something that would alter national marijuana policy.

Unanswered questions linger about the amendment, however …

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Five Reasons to Vote on June 3rd

June 2, 2014 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

What if they had an election and nobody came?

That’s the feel that this June’s primary has to it and, after a nasty and seemingly unrelenting political year from the Filner scandal on, it’s understandable that folks are burned out and/or disgusted enough to stay home.

Nevertheless, while most San Diegans are meeting tomorrow’s election with a collective shrug, there are a number of things at stake that will affect our lives and the future of our local and statewide democracy in important ways.

Here are a few key areas that should motivate progressives to get to the polls: jpallan via flickr

1) The balance of power in the city is at stake.

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The Absolute Last Minute Voter Cheat Sheet for San Diego Progressives

May 31, 2014 by Doug Porter

VOTE NOW plsBy Doug Porter

Okay, so I know the deal. You’ve been putting off doing your election homework and now you’re getting nervous because you have no clue about many of the contests on the ballot.

Don’t even think about not voting on Tuesday June 3rd. Here’s your one-stop shop for better candidates and issues on the left side of the aisle.

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Bob Brewer Is Ready to Be District Attorney of San Diego

May 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The first thing I asked DA candidate Bob Brewer when I met him yesterday was if he could do “something about the traffic?” as it was bumper to bumper at 2:30 in the afternoon on I-5 as I drove to the interview – (okay it was a Friday – but really?) . We both chuckled and grimaced and he responded, “yeah, I’ll build another freeway” knowing full well that wasn’t the answer.

We sat down in an empty conference room on the 3rd floor of one of those new fancy buildings in the Carmel Valley area. He’s “of counsel” for the firm Jones Day where he’s been for the last 6 years.

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Reader Responds to Planning Commission Discussion

May 31, 2014 by Source

Editor: There has been an entire discussion occurring in the comments to Friday’s post “Planning Commission Approves OB Plan Update But With New Language that Guts its Teeth on Variances“. Seth Connolly – a current member of the OB Planning Board – shared his thoughts and we liked them for their clarity so much that we repost it here.

By Seth Connolly

Speaking as a private citizen, I think there are a number of issues here beyond blanket terms such as “property rights” or “gentrification”. Property owners have the right to develop their properties within the bounds of the codes that everyone else has to adhere to, and hopefully, with strong consideration to policy documents such as the OB Precise Plan. Understand that while some of this is discretionary, this code is the *law* and not some arbitrary guideline to follow. Whether or not one likes the 0.7 FAR with 25% dedicated to enclosed parking or finds it too restrictive is about as relevant as thinking a 0.08 blood-alcohol content is too low for one to get a DUI.

The variance process exists to address special circumstances, and not to provide an end-around for some to buy their way out of the law.

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“Yes” on Props B & C is the Way to Support the Barrio Logan Community

May 31, 2014 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

Here we go.

Same old same old politics in San Diego. The “Big Boys” have to get their way. They want us to vote “No” in opposition to a plan that was created to make a community healthy and safe.

And mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who has billed himself as an “independent” leader, has, as such, been going around talking about how when Propositions B & C are voted down, “it will be our opportunity to pass a plan that works to protect our families, to protect our economy.”

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Junco’s Jabs: San Diego’s Maritime Industry Feeding at the Electoral Trough

May 30, 2014 by Source

juncochanche03

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Meet Susan Guinn – the Real Candidate for County Clerk

May 30, 2014 by Doug Porter

Susan GuinnMeet Susan Guinn

By Doug Porter

This week I met with Susan Guinn, the attorney who is challenging Ernest Dronenburg for County Clerk, and came away impressed.

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Ernest Dronenburg is a Terrible Choice for County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder

May 30, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Functionaries like County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg are important assets for the big money types that typically dominate local governments. Their behind the scenes efforts mean that policies get interpreted and enforced (or not) in a manner ensuring that “business as usual” remains Business As Usual.

That’s the reason why Dronenburg was among the earliest (along with Bonnie Dumanis) to get an editorial blessing from UT-San Diego. And they had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth to find a reason to support him. Or, as one astute commenter noted, perhaps they just penned the editorial based on a campaign press release.

Let’s face reality here; the position of “County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder” is usually not likely to be of concern to most voters.

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Planning Commission Approves OB Plan Update But With New Language that Guts its Teeth on Variances

May 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It was embarrassing to observe how the Planning Commission coddled one single property owner while gutting key language regarding variances

By Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, May 29, for nearly two hours, the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update was before the San Diego Planning Commission sitting in the City Council chambers. After having a staff presentation, listening to public comments pro and con, and their own questions and issues, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Update. However, they approved the Plan with two modifications whose ramifications are not clear.

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Republicans Zapf and Faulconer Politicize San Diego’s “Tony Hawk Day” at OB Skate Park

May 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Okay, we know it’s election season, with the June 3rd Primary date less than a week away. So, why are Republicans Mayor Faulconer and District 6 Rep Lorie Zapf politicizing a proclamation today in honor of legendary skateboarder and native San Diegan Tony Hawk? The City is declaring Thursday, May 29 as “Tony Hawk Day” in San Diego.

And Faulconer and Zapf will be down at the OB Skateboard Park today at 11:00 am to host some kind of event. But why Zapf? She is running for District 2 – BUT SHE AIN’T THERE YET ! Why the heck will she be there – except to promote her candidacy against Democrat Sarah Boot. If anyone ought to be there, it should be Councilman Ed Harris – who does represent District 2.

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New Report Exposes Government Spy Network Employed Against Occupy Movement

May 27, 2014 by Source
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by Michael Steinberg / blackrainpress – Indybay.org

A report released just recently detailed a government spy network that was employed to monitor the Occupy movement “hour-to-hour” during 2011.

The Washington DC- based Partnership for Justice Fund just released an investigative report, “The Hidden Role of Fusion Centers in the Nationwide Spying Operations against the Occupy Movement and Peaceful Protest in America.” It took two years to carry out this investigation. Its principal authors are PFJF members Maria Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo.

Fusion Centers, funded by hundred of millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security, sprung up across the nation after the 911 attacks. Their mission was ostensibly to fight terrorism. But ten years later they made fighting the Occupy Movement their Number 1 priority.

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A Reminder of “Who” We Are – A Call to Action in Support of the Zapatistas

May 23, 2014 by Ernie McCray

galeano_medium_withtextBy Ernie McCray

I hear all kinds of arguments about what’s wrong with schools and the sentiments tend to avoid the keys to what’s essential in the creation of a learning environment: an understanding of “who” the person is who’s being educated. And nothing gets at “who” a child, a student, is more than an educator who respects and appreciates that person’s culture and gives him or her an education that’s rich in the arts.

With that being said, on May 2, 2014, a hero of mine, a teacher extraordinaire, Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), was assassinated at the Zapatista’s “Little School” (La Escuelita), in Chiapas, Mexico. The school was built to celebrate “who” children are and “who” they can become.

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Junco’s Jabs: Beware of Big Business Wolves

May 23, 2014 by Source

juncocanche02

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Green Party Candidate for Governor – Luis J. Rodriguez: Imagine a New California

May 21, 2014 by Source

It’s about time we had new ideas, new imaginations, and an encompassing and inclusive governance.

luisjrodriguezBy Luis J. Rodriguez

I am not a career politician. I won’t accept corporate donations. I am not a Democrat or Republican. And I’ve been blocked from print or airtime in the major media. Still, I’m running a serious independent campaign to be governor of the largest state in the union, one of the 10 largest economies in the world, with the third largest agricultural business anywhere.

I say it’s about time.

California has been governed by politicians, business people, accountants, actors, and,..

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Say “No” to Mayor Faulconer’s Library Budget Shell Game

May 20, 2014 by Anna Daniels

Power not budgetsLibrary materials budget reduced by $500,000 to pay for pilot after-school program

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Update: San Diego Citizens packed the council chambers last night – Monday, May 19th- in a three hour budget hearing. Members of the Library Organizing Project testified against the proposed raiding of the materials budget to pay for an after school homework program. They also raised concerns about proposed library open hour schedule.

All libraries will close at 7PM, which is restricts program activities in the evening for working people. …

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Dumanis, Schall and Dronenburg: Three Bad Apples Needing to Be Voted Out of Office

May 20, 2014 by Doug Porter
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The Fifth and Final Installment of
A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide

By Doug Porter

ISometimes it becomes necessary to take a stand, using the power of the ballot box to say ‘enough!’ This is one of those times.

In the upcoming June 3rd primary there are three incumbents who I believe ought to be voted out of office: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr. and Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall.

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Peninsula Planners Get Informative Earful from Councilman Harris’ Aide

May 19, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

With just seven months remaining on his interim term on the San Diego City Council, Ed Harris intends to be “hands-on when it comes to planning issues” and “make constituent services” his No. 1 goal, an aide said last week.

Harris was appointed to the City Council last month to complete the term of now-Mayor Kevin Faulconer. His representative, Rollin Bush, introduced himself May 15 at the monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB).

Bush outlined a few priorities …

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide – Part Four: the San Diego City Council Candidates

May 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Today’s guide provides thumbnail sketches of people running for city council in San Diego. In most instances you’ll find a link for the campaign website right underneath their listing providing much more information about the candidate.

This year all the even-numbered City Council seats are up for grabs. The seriously competitive races are in Districts 2 and 6.

Should the Democratic candidates prevail in those contests their party will maintain a veto proof majority on the council. Unless there’s some polling that I don’t know about, Myrtle Cole (District 4) and David Alvarez (District 8) should win handily.

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide – Part Three: Saying ‘Yes’ to All State and Local Ballot Propositions

May 16, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

There are five ballot measures covered in today’s column; two-state wide issues and three local topics. State propositions 41 and 42, along with city proposition A, are no-brainers, righting wrongs and fixing stuff that obviously needs to be fixed.

So we’ll start with what I think is the best reason for San Diego voters to get motivated to go the polls: Propositions B&C. They are about a small issue with much larger implications.

Actual endorsements will be in another article, though I doubt you’ll have much trouble figuring out which way I personally lean. Last time we took a look at federal and state legislative contests.

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Memory Against Forgetting: The May 1970 Peace Memorial at UCSD

May 15, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Memory Against Forgetting: The May 1970 Peace Memorial at UCSD

Editor: the following is based on a speech delivered by the author, Niall Twohig on last Friday, May 9th, in front of a group of fifty gathered in Revelle Plaza at UC San Diego to unveil The May 1970 Peace Memorial. The Memorial is dedicated to George Winne, who immolated himself and died as a protest against the Vietnam War in May of 1970, plus it’s dedicated to those students who carried on the May 1970 Student Strike.

By Niall Twohig

Why a memorial for May 1970? Why a memorial for peace? Why now?

To suggest some answers, I want to ask you, the reader, to take an imaginative leap back in time to May 1970.

In order to make this leap, we have to remember that the U.S. was waging an unpopular proxy war in Southeast Asia, made all the more unpopular after the invasion of Cambodia at the end of April.

If we found ourselves transported to May 1970, this would be all too apparent. We would see the images?the aerial views of bombs upon bombs pulverizing the Vietnamese countryside, images of GIs burning huts, footage of badly burnt villagers running from the firestorm of napalm, photos of rows upon rows of mutilated bodies scattered in the fields and anonymous soldiers packed away in coffins draped in stars and stripes.

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The Widder Curry: Sarah Boot on Our Streets and Height Limits

May 15, 2014 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The Widder Curry: Sarah Boot on Our Streets and Height Limits

Editor: The other day the Widder Curry caught up with Sarah Boot, candidate for the District 2 City Council seat and explored two issues that mean a lot in southern OB and that area of Point Loma where the Widder lives. See our earlier interview with Boot last month here.

By Judi Curry

For those of us living along the Sunset Cliffs corridor, I have a question for you. When was the last time you were able to leave your home and go directly to the Highway 8 on-ramp without being detoured around Ocean Beach? Yesterday it took me over 10 minutes to get to the freeway because of the streets that were blocked off – again – and detour signs were everywhere.

When I came home from my excursion to El Cajon, the detour signs were gone but the roads from Newport to Santa Cruz were so bumpy I thought my car would end up with flat tires. That, plus the steel plates all over the road only tell me that today will be the same way, and probably for weeks to come.

What about the streets in OB?

I discussed this problem with Sarah Boot, the 32 year old that will make a difference in San Diego politics. So what does she suggest for the roads of District 2?

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A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide Part One: Top Statewide Contests

May 14, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

There are so many decisions to make. My voting district’s mail-in ballot for the June 3, 2014 election has 26 choices to be made. Opening that envelope made me realize I could no longer put off writing this series…

The fictional (activist) fairy on my shoulder says,“Say it loud & say it proud! Voting is the most fundamental duty of every citizen. Do it for truth, justice and the American way.”

The pretend (procrastinator) demon on my other shoulder says “Ugh. I’d rather watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs.”

So here we go… Today we’ll take a look at the top statewide contests.

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12 of the Biggest Myths About Marijuana Debunked

May 13, 2014 by Source

marijuanamadness4The arguments against legalization simply don’t hold up.

By Owen Poindexter / AlterNet

For decades, cannabis opponents controlled the messaging around the popular plant and cultivated any number of lies about its effects. This built up a powerful stigma against marijuana, the effects of which have not worn off. The racist, expensive and failed U.S. war on drugs continues to rage on. The criminalization of cannabis users and distributors remains a top priority in that war. The government stubbornly classifies it as a dangerous Schedule I substance with no medical value, despite stacks of evidence to the contrary.

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Clear Channel Responds to Political Pressure, Quashes Billboard Ads for Judicial Candidate

May 12, 2014 by Doug Porter

carla posterBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Four Billboards paid for by former prosecutor Carla Keehn in support of her candidacy for San Diego County Superior Court Seat 20 were summarily removed on Friday by the Clear Channel Outdoor corporation just two days after being erected.

The candidate says the company “received pressure to take the billboards down and they would not tell me from whom the pressure came.” This action is consistent with earlierassertions made by Keehn about surreptitious efforts by incumbent Judge Lisa Schall and/or her supporters to deny or withdraw endorsements for the challenger.

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What’s at Stake With Propositions B and C?

May 12, 2014 by Jim Miller

“Everyone who wants to preserve community control over the planning process should be afraid because your community will be next!” –Georgette Gomez, Associate Director of the Environmental Health Coalition

EHC SpeakerBy Jim Miller

As we head toward the June 3rd election, the same corporate interests who spent big money to fund a petition drive based on lies to force a vote on the Barrio Logan Community Plan are now funding an equally dishonest campaign to defeat it.

As the San Diego Reader recently noted, the No on B and C Campaign’s sleazy tactics include teaming former mayor and current corporate front man Jerry Sanders up with a “crooked ex-admiral” to repeat the same bald-faced lies about how the Barrio Logan Community Plan will kill jobs and drive the Navy out of San Diego.

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San Diegans Called on Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline During La Jolla Visit

May 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diegans Called on Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline During La Jolla Visit

Rally along Torrey Pines Road with 50’ Keystone Pipeline Banner, signs, chants

From SanDiego350

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, over 100 San Diegans gathered along Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla to call on President Obama, who was in the neighborhood for a fundraiser, to reject a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The “KXL”, which would carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to Texas for refining and export, has been called “game over” for the climate by the nation’s foremost climatologist, Dr. James Hansen.

Participants held large signs, including a 50-foot cardboard depiction of the Keystone Pipeline with the words “Stop the Keystone Pipeline. Fight climate change” in huge letters on it, and a large banner with a quote from the President that participants want to see him keep:

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

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June 3rd Primary: Send Bonnie Dumanis Packing

May 8, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

District-Attorney-Race-0221Our current county district attorney is making the news frequently as of late, in a not good way.

Yesterday’s UT-San Diego has a story about high profile events attended by Bonnie Dumanis that seemingly weren’t disclosed in financial reports as required by law.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is the subject of two state ethics complaints alleging she failed to report meals and travel she accepted from interest groups — complaints filed by a supporter of a political challenger on the June 3 ballot.

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San Diego Goddam! The June 3rd Election And Why You Should Care

May 8, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for San Diego Goddam! The June 3rd Election And Why You Should Care

By Doug Porter

I borrowed the first part of this headline from one of my favorite songs by Nina Simone, who sang about a certain southern hellhole of a state of mind as her response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi; and the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black children back in 1964. The song speaks to the level of angst and frustration I’m starting to feel about the upcoming election.

Bad things are more likely to happen and good things probably won’t happen if you and your friends pass on your obligation as citizens to vote come June 3rd. Starting today and in the coming weeks we’ll be talking about those possibilities, so you need to (please!) pay attention.

Fast forward 50 years from Ms. Simone’s lament and there are 8 million eligible but unregistered voters in California. Of the 17.7 million voters that are registered to vote in the Golden State, only about one third will bother to cast ballots in the upcoming June 3rd elections. That works out to 14% of the total population deciding how things will be for next few years.

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