Veterans

Miramar Air Show, Just Don’t Go!

June 2, 2017 by Source

By Dave Patterson

Summer is around the corner in San Diego and many of us look forward to the annual traditions, like the Miramar Air Show.

This wildly popular event with perhaps 500,000 attendees brings people from all over the world to see the pilots demonstrate their precision flying and perhaps line up purchases of weapons.

Corporate chalets are available where the weapons vendors can “use their company logo and message to reach 500,000 Air Show Attendees, while the military people risk their lives to entertain the crowd.

More sinister is the promotion of war to our youth …

Read the full article → 1 comment

Compassion as a Radical Act

January 25, 2017 by Source

compassionBy Dave Patterson / Vets for Peace

On a cold night in January I joined Stan Levin and Gil Field delivering sleeping bags to the San Diego homeless, what we call the compassion campaign. Dealing directly with the homeless is painful because there they are in our faces with their cold, hunger and suffering laid bare.

What’s surprising is the number of people with just a thin blanket that will decline a sleeping bag because others nearby need it more. How ironic that people with nothing can have more compassion than those of us with plenty.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

December 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

World War II Vets Would Not Have Stood for President-Elect

Remembering this December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – has special significance for us today in this new Era of Trump. The 75th anniversary of the attack by Japanese forces on US air and naval power in Hawaii in late 1941 finds few surviving members still with us. And our collective memory of “the day of infamy” – as President Franklin Roosevelt declared it the next day before Congress – which pushed the country into World War II – has all but faded.

But yes, we need to remember this day – and all that it represents – all the contradictions of that historic moment and context. And all the parallels from that day to ours today.

Yet this day does have a special meaning for us now -…

Read the full article → 5 comments

Honorably Discharged then Dishonorably Deported

September 22, 2016 by Source

Campaign Announced In Response to Crisis of Deported Veterans

By Joe Armenta

Deported VeteransThe injustice faced by hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. military veterans who are being and have been deported was the focus of a campaign announced Tuesday, September 20th by a broad coalition of leaders including representatives of the veterans community, elected officials, business, labor and immigrant reform communities.

The coalition pledged to drive change for currently deported veterans and those who are facing deportation. Marine Corps veteran and former California Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher has agreed to serve as Chair of the group and stated the following –

“If you were willing to give your life for your country, your country should be willing to give you citizenship.”

Read the full article → 1 comment

San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

Read the full article → 9 comments

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.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

June 24, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

By South OB Girl

Victor Brown, Field Representative for Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, had his hands full of socks at Wednesday night’s OB Town Council meeting – all donated by local OBceans.

Socks for Stand Down was started in 2015 by State Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus, after local Stand Down organizers expressed a need for socks and underwear for homeless veterans attending Stand Down.

Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Stand Down events are one to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans receive food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, dental care, VA Social Security benefits, and counseling.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Planning Board Meets Wed., June 1: Round-abouts, “Citizens Plan”, and Vets’ Plaza

May 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBPB Meet 5-4-16 board
The OB Planing Board meets Wednesday, June 1st, at the OB Recreation Center. And at the top of their agenda are a series of presentations and updates, with no new development projects up for review by the Board.

Instead, the Board will receive a presentation about the so-called “Citizens Plan for San Diego” by veteran politico, Jeff Marston. This is the plan backed by the Chargers and some environmentalists and public-interest lawyers to construct a new stadium and convention center downtown.

Next up, is a presentation by Joe LaCava, head of the Committee of Planning Committees – a body of all the planning boards and committees across the city – about the City’s goal to install twenty round-abouts throughout the city. We know the City and OB planners have been considering a round-about at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon.

Read the full article → 0 comments

European Refugees Are Better Off than San Diego’s Homeless

January 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

calais jungleBy John Lawrence

Amy Goodman did a recent show about the refugees living in a camp in Calais, France. She walked around the camp interviewing several refugees all of whom spoke good English.

Most of these people were sleeping in tents similar to the ones you see on the sidewalks of San Diego. Some had built simple structures.

As she walked around, I began to notice some facilities that they had there which are nowhere to be found for the San Diego homeless. First I noticed a dumpster. There’s no dumpster for San Diego’s homeless. The trash just gets left on the street.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

November 16, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

Editor: Senator Elizabeth Warren has started a petition to get Congress to pass a Cost of Living increase for Social Security recipients. As of right now there is no annual increase coming – and this is only the 3rd time in the last 40 years that there hasn’t been a COLA increase for those who received Social Security.

Here’s Elizabeth Warren’s call:

On January 1, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won’t be getting an annual cost-of-living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.

Will you join me in calling on my fellow members of Congress to give seniors and veterans the raise they deserve?

Read the full article → 8 comments

No Pictures, No Action at the Ocean Beach CDC Meeting

November 13, 2015 by Source

Report of OB Community Development Corporation Meeting of Thursday, November 12

By Lois Lane

The OB CDC Board Meeting Agenda held at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center promised “Veterans Plaza Committee Report – Closed Session” and it was right. After some usual financial reviews, the President, Tom Perrotti, announced that the Board would take a five minute break and then enter a closed session meeting.

When asked why items related to the Veterans Plaza were not public, he replied “President’s Decision,” and left the room. When he returned after five minutes, he announced,

“We are a 501(c )3 that is not subject to the Brown Act.”

Read the full article → 8 comments

24-hour Live-feed Police Cameras to Be Installed All Along Ocean Beach Park

September 14, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for 24-hour Live-feed Police Cameras to Be Installed All Along Ocean Beach Park

What Does Go On at the Beach Park? A Report of the OB CDC September 10 Meeting

By Lois Lane

Comments From City Returned for Veterans Plaza

The first round of comments has been returned from the City for the Veterans Plaza. Plans are in the works for Estrada Land Planning to make a sort of outline on-site model …

No Contract Yet for Children’s Area – Adult Exercise

Meanwhile, the children’s area and the adult exercise area were a hot topic of discussion, as no contract has yet been let for the design …

Read the full article → 8 comments

Back to Homeless and Hopeless in San Diego

September 11, 2015 by Source

homelesswomenvets-300x137By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A week ago, I was sitting in the Denny’s across the street from Howard Johnsons in Chula Vista, waiting for Tracy (name changed), an Army veteran Amikas had been assisting for almost a year.

The good news was that Amikas, a non-profit that I started five years ago to help homeless women and children, was going to cover the next five days at the hotel for Tracy and her three children. But I wasn’t looking forward to this conversation – where this family would go after those five days was anybody’s guess.

Read the full article → 1 comment

When the Name’s the Game

August 25, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for When the Name’s the Game

By Lois Lane

The following is a report on the most recent meeting of the OB Community Development Corporation (held on Wednesday, August 13).

The OB CDC lacked a quorum to vote on any action items; the discussion was provided as information from the regular agenda on the recurring topics:

  • The OB Entryway,
  • the OB Veterans Plaza,
  • and the Children’s Play Area/Adult Fitness area.
Read the full article → 0 comments

Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

August 5, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

Historic Protest Ship – the Golden Rule – Met By Vets at Shelter Island

From VFP (SD Reader) / August 3, 2015

A group of “pro-peace” activists gathered on Shelter Island Sunday afternoon (Aug.2) to welcome the Golden Rule, a sailboat described as “the very first of the environmental and peace vessels to go to sea,” which came to town in advance of the annual conference of the activist group Veterans for Peace, taking place August 5-9 in San Diego.

“The Golden Rule is our peace ship — it was instrumental in helping develop the first atmospheric test ban treaty back in the early ’60s. This boat has been resurrected from the depths of the sea, and is here to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 30th anniversary of Veterans for Peace,”

says Gary Butterfield, local chairman for the convention.

Read the full article → 0 comments

PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

July 24, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

by James Sullivan/ Science Recorder / July 24, 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that the California Coastal Commission reject SeaWorld San Diego’s efforts to expand its killer whale tanks.

The project is estimated at $100 million, to be completed in 2018, but has yet to received endorsement from the Coastal Commission.

“This item has been postponed because of all the information submitted,” said commissioner Alex Llerandi.

“The coastal staff is taking the time to ensure all potential issues and viewpoints are considered in any final recommendations.”

Read the full article → 8 comments

The OB CDC: Commemorative Bricks, Bike Stations and Veterans’ Plaza

May 18, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for The OB CDC: Commemorative Bricks, Bike Stations and Veterans’ Plaza

By Lois Lane

This is my report of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corp (OB CDC) meeting of May 13th, held in the Rec Center.

Commemorative Plaques at Entryway Plaza

The OB CDC regular meeting opened with a discussion on a request for commemorative plaques on the Entryway/Gateway project. There is still space available for 100 bricks. Small ones, 8” x 2”- are expected to cost $200, while the large ones, 12” x 12” – go for $1000.

No phone numbers or advertising are permitted, and the CDC appears to reserve the right to disapprove the engraved wording, just in case you are thinking of funding one that says “In memory of Anthony’s Pizza Parlor.”

Read the full article → 4 comments

The American Sniper As Hero

January 26, 2015 by Source

American SniperBy FDRDemocrat/ Daily Kos

The controversy over the movie American Sniper has predictably reopened the divide among many Americans over the Iraq War. What is more interesting is how the choice made by director Clint Eastwood to choose a sniper as a heroic archetype unravels classic notions of what is considered heroism.

The concept of heroism has been with humanity since the beginning. At it’s heart it contains a common thread where the hero (or heroine) risks themselves for the sake of others.

How then to adapt the heroic archetype to the profession of sniper? This is no easy task.

Read the full article → 10 comments

Expanding the Veteran Sleeping Bag Distribution Program in San Diego

January 8, 2015 by Source

By Stan Levin/ San Diego Veterans for Peace

Veteran helping homeless veteranThe San Diego Chapter Veterans for Peace (SDVFP) has for the past several years been actively engaged in our signature charity the “Compassion Campaign.”

Some members had gotten together in 2010, before I became a member, and discussed the problem of homelessness in San Diego and what we might be able to do to help veterans who because of a variety of circumstances find themselves living on the street.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Women’s Perspectives and Changing Roles In the US and Iraq War

November 17, 2014 by Source

By Lori SaldañaLeigh_Ann_Hester_-_high_res women in the military

In March 2010, Katherine Bigelow made history at the Academy Awards, by winning in the Best Director category. This was the first time a woman had done so in the Academy’s history. She won for her film “Hurt Locker,” about men who disarm IED’s (improvised explosive devices) in Iraq.

“Hurt Locker” was also was named Picture of the Year, and won for Best Sound Editing- so congratulations for all that, too, Ms. Bigelow. Well done.

If you haven’t seen it, “Hurt Locker” is an amazing and suspenseful film — with hardly a woman character in it.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Ocean Beach CDC Unveils 3D Models of New Veterans Plaza

November 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach CDC Unveils 3D Models of New Veterans Plaza

At yesterday’s fundraising event for the new OB Veterans Plaza, the lead organization behind the project, the OB Community Development Corporation, rolled out its 3-dimension models of the planned memorial.

A hundred people – including many biker veterans- joined the CDC and a color guard from Point Loma High School at the unveiling of the Plaza and the kickoff for fundraising for it on Tuesday, November 11th – Veterans Day.

Read the full article → 24 comments

Veterans Day 2014

November 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Veterans Day 2014

In observance of Veterans Day 2014, we turn to a series of posts that our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, has been running this week, “War and Peace Week”.

War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press by Anna Daniels

Drill Team (a paean, not to the war machine) by Jay Powell

…MORE INSIDE …

Read the full article → 33 comments

Twelve Years Ago Today OB Held Its Largest Peace Rally This Century

October 27, 2014 by Marc Snelling
Thumbnail image for Twelve Years Ago Today OB Held Its Largest Peace Rally This Century

By Marc Snelling

Last month Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, who was elected to end two wars, addressed the nation to announce an open-ended bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. As the Afghanistan War (now the longest in American history) and the conflict in Iraq continue it is clear Obama has failed to live up to his election promises.

Not only has his administration failed to live up to it’s word to end two wars and close Guantanamo prison, he has even changed his tune about the initial invasion. The US “sought to work within the international system” he said earlier in March of this year at a speech in Brussels. Obama further declared the the US had “left Iraq to it’s people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about it’s own future.”

Read the full article → 1 comment

Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

June 18, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn / Consortiumnews.com

We came dangerously close to nuclear war when the United States was fighting in Vietnam, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told a reunion of the Stanford Anti-Vietnam War Movement in May 2014. He said that in 1965, the Joint Chiefs assured President Lyndon B. Johnson that the war could be won, but it would take at least 500,000 to one million troops.

The Joint Chiefs recommended hitting targets up to the Chinese border. Ellsberg suspects their real aim was to provoke China into responding. If the Chinese came in, the Joint Chiefs took for granted we would cross into China and use nuclear weapons to demolish the communists.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Who’s Really the Traitor Here? Thoughts about Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

June 10, 2014 by Ernie McCray

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

By Ernie McCray

My goodness, a man, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, gets released from a 5 year imprisonment in Afghanistan, and there are those who want to condemn him, as a traitor, allegations that are no more than speculations based on shaky observations.

“He walked away from his duty! And people died looking for him!” people say as though in war it’s out of the ordinary for someone to freak out and want to flee and maybe say to his foe “I don’t want to shoot another one of y’all anymore! I can’t stand to see another child run in fear when I walk near them. I can no longer stand to see them shake in their pants, ever again” – aka “consorting” with the enemy. We’re human beings. We’re supposed to care. It’s in our nature somewhere.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Memorial Day: Remembering 70 U.S. Wars, Big and Small

May 26, 2014 by Source

memorial day picBy Clancy Sigal / Alternet

Except for mourning family members and Boy Scouts loyally placing tiny flags on veterans’ gravestones, hardly anyone knows anything about Memorial Day except that it’s a day off. It’s the saddest of the military holidays, invented after the Civil War, supposed to help us honor, or at least pause to remember, all the American dead from all our wars. That’s a lot of men and some women to remember going back, well, how far?

Big and small, we’ve “done” about 70 wars starting with the mid-18th century so-called French and Indian wars where George Washington was bloodied and when we got our first taste of industrially massacring Native Americans, mainly Ojibwas and Algonquins who sided with the French against our British masters.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Michael Charter – OB Advocate for the Homeless and Vets – Passed Away

February 7, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Michael Charter – OB Advocate for the Homeless and Vets – Passed Away

Ocean Beach has lost another of its citizens who helped others over the years. Michael Charter passed away on January 23rd, he was 69. A longtime community volunteer for OB, who helped the homeless and veterans, died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Vibra Hospital of San Diego.

After serving in Vietnam for almost 2 years once he was drafted in 1967, and receiving a Purple Heart, he returned to civilian life and dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. He was able to earn a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cal State Long Beach. He married twice and was divorced twice. In that time, his family had moved to Point Loma. Michael had two daughters and a son from the marriages. Charter became a contractor who helped remodel homes and restaurants.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Challenge to San Diego: End Homelessness Among Veterans in 2014

January 6, 2014 by Source

Phoenix and Salt Lake City have ended chronic homelessness among veterans. Why can’t San Diego follow their example?

homeless8By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Phoenix has become the first city to end homelessness among veterans. The Obama administration had set a goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015, but Phoenix reached that mark a year early. After housing the last 56 veterans a week before Christmas, Phoenix announced that it had eradicated chronic homelessness among veterans in that city.

Phoenix and Salt Lake City had been involved in a frierndly competition to see which city could end chronic homelessness among veterans first. Phoenix won, but Salt Lake was not far behind.

Read the full article → 1 comment

As Temperatures Drop, Occupy Activists and Vets for Peace Reach Out to San Diego Homeless

December 9, 2013 by Doug Porter

Homeless and coldBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

It’s easy to make light of the colder weather Southern California has experienced over the past few days. People from the east county were joking on Twitter this morning about having to use spatulas to clear their windshields of frost. But for the thousands of San Diego’s who live on the streets, the chilly temperatures are pure torture.

While the weather conditions locally can’t compare with those in northern tier cities, it doesn’t take below freezing temperatures to induce hypothermia, a potentially fatal drop in body temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. And San Diego simply lacks enough shelter space for its homeless population when the temperature drops. Four people have died from exposure in the Bay Area in the past weeks and well over 700 die annual from exposure to the elements.

Read the full article → 1 comment

A Quick Update of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

November 27, 2013 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for A Quick Update of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from Doug Ledbetter, the Director at Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery asking me if I had been up to see the progress taking place at the cemetery in the past few days.

Last night, and again this morning, I received five calls from readers asking me the same question. This is a quick summary of what I found when I drove to the cemetery at 10:30am on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

It is 95% better than what I saw the last time I visited my husband.

Read the full article → 1 comment