New Online Journal Asks “Is OB Slacking?” Because There’s No Protests at CVS

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: There’s a new online journal, “Our City”, which has taken a crack at Ocean Beach with a recent article titled “Is O.B. slacking?” With photos of CVS under construction, the OB Starbucks, Hodad’s, and the new condo construction on Abbott, the article delves into why there haven’t been any local protests of the new in-coming CVS Pharmacy in the old Apple Tree market building.

They ask:

What, no protests? No nasty bumper stickers? No nothing?

A chain store is coming to Ocean Beach, and there’s little sign of any kind of major backlash against this latest corporate invasion.

Their conclusion is interesting. …

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The Grand Experiment at Voice of San Diego

August 21, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: This is the latest in a series titled, “Who Runs San Diego?“. The last few articles have focused on San Diego’s media.

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

When Voice of San Diego (VOSD) began online publication nearly a decade ago the excitement in progressive San Diego was palpable. Here, finally, was an answer to the biased reporting that had been a hallmark of the UT for years (even before it was purchased by Doug Manchester).

The world of journalism was being revolutionized as the print media model became too expensive and cumbersome to compete in an instant access world. Slate and Salon opened their digital doors, and it seemed a new dawn of accountable news reporting was upon us.

San Diego journalist/entrepreneur Neil Morgan and Buzz Woolley founded VOSD.

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Less Than Meets the Camera’s Eye – a Former San Diego Journalist’s Recollection of Meeting Reagan and Bush

August 21, 2014 by Source
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What was surprising was Reagan’s ah-shucks, shambling kind of entry walk into the room.”

By Bob Dorn

I’ve met two Presidents of the United States (POTUS, the now fashionably artless acronym via the Secret Service) and they both happened to be Republicans: George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan. I can say with as much confidence as I can name the day I was born that they were far less extraordinary than a lot of other people I’ve met.

I was a nobody who happened to be making a living as a reporter, a more difficult practice these days than it used to be, which is another story, and more difficult to tell than this one. I don’t feel that I earned what I know about the two who appear in the paragraph above. I just happened to be in the right place when they exposed themselves.

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A Message to the Readers of the OB Rag

August 20, 2014 by Staff
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As August winds down and we prepare for the Labor Day weekend coming up, the official end of Summer, we at the OB Rag wanted to share what’s going on here at your community website.

On Vacation 8/22 – 8/29

First of all, we’re going on vacation. Yea! We need a break too.

The OB Rag will not be publishing between Friday, August 22nd and Friday, August 29th. Therefore, any reports of meetings or events or reviews will have to wait for our return.

Time to Toot Our Horn

And as we take a break and perhaps reflect on what it all means, it’s time to toot our horn.

  • The OB Rag is coming up on our 7th anniversary – this October. It was October 2007 when we began publishing – during the midst of the huge 2007 wildfire – and we’re still going. This has been no simple feat. But we think we have made a positive impact in OB and within the larger City of San Diego with our brand our citizen journalism.
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Air Force Helicopters Too Close to Ocean Beach Residents

August 20, 2014 by Staff
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A local OB man has complained to the media about low-flying military helicopters. Jim Baird sent a video to Channel 10News and was interviewed by their reporter.

Baird claims the helos are flying under 200 feet, whereas experts say the aircraft must be no closer than 500 feet to vessels, people or buildings. His video confirms his observation. Baird told the station:

“They were scary close. I mean, you could feel the pulsation of the blades on your body. And I was just standing there with my palms up and my hands out like this asking them, ‘What are you doing?!’ And they flew by.”

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Can We Just Create a Civil Society Where Black Boys Can Feel Free to Just Be?

August 19, 2014 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

Michael Brown. Another black boy dead, unvalued and unloved by this society, unseen for what he is, a human being, dehumanized before he’s memorialized because we love to show a victim at his worse. They just had to show him strong arming a man for a pack of cigarillos.

So now we get away from his being shot (six times I just read) by someone paid by the citizenry to “serve and protect” and we start thinking, because of his criminal shenanigans, that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t deserving of continuing to live on earth with the rest of us.

Well, I’ve known many kids, a grandson of mine being one of them, who thought, at one time, they were slick and went off and committed some stupid crime and then went on to become outstanding human beings. Why? Because nobody killed them. My grandson spent some time in juvenile hall away from all who loved him and came out declaring “The criminal life is not for me” and went on to graduate from UCSD and learned to speak Chinese and is now embarking on a possible business venture with China. We have to give children a chance.

To borrow words from Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights hero of mine, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” of this American game where a black boy is killed and then painted in an ugly dismissive light as rationalization for the taking of his life.

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News at the Beach You Might Have Missed …

August 18, 2014 by Staff
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Was Sunday’s Broken Water Main in Ocean Beach or Point Loma? Local Media Still Confused About Boundaries of OB

Over the weekend, there was a serious water main break in the Peninsula …

Despite “Upgrades” – Protests Still Continue at SeaWorld

The protesters were back at SeaWorld San Diego on Sunday, August 17th, despite the theme park’s announcement just recently that it was going to build larger tanks for its killer whales, …

Baby Whale Leaves Mission Bay Because It’s Too Stinky

In the middle of last week, a baby gray whale was seen cruising into Mission Bay, right next to Ocean Beach. The whale was spotted surfacing in the bay sometime the morning of Wed., the 13th of August, according to CBS. …


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San Diego’s Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up With Arrival of Sleaze of Political Consultant Hired to Defeat Ordinance

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: Doug Porter over at our online partner, San Diego Free Press, has hit the nail on the ol’ proverbial head with today’s column on the battle heating up over San Diego’s minimum wage ordinance.

The anti-minimum wage forces, boosted by Mayor Faulconer’s veto of the ordinance last week, plan on running a petition to overturn the anticipated City Council over-ride of Faulconer’s veto.

Today, Porter focuses on the political consultant hired to run the petition drive, and gives needed context and background to the whole battle – which is being fought nation-wide.

By Doug Porter

I’ve been saying it for months now–the minimum wage battle in San Diego will bring out the Really Big Lies and the Really Bad Guys. Today we’ll give you a little taste of what they’re saying and what they really believe.

On Monday City Council President Todd Gloria has called for a special session of the City Council to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto of a minimum wage increase and paid sick days for San Diego workers.

Gloria is quoted in this morning’s UT, saying, “The City Council should stand up for the 38 percent of San Diegans who are counting on this raise to help them better make ends meet, and I hope they will override the mayor’s veto”

On Tuesday, The “San Diego Small Business Coalition,” created by big businesses, will roll out a small army of signature gatherers armed with a spiel designed to fool voters into thinking they’re signing a reasonable petition.

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Who Runs San Diego? Papa Doug the Kingmaker

August 14, 2014 by Source

Who Runs San Diego? A Project of the Democratic Women's ClubBy Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

Last week we provided an overview of Doug Manchester, the U-T, and the influence this combination has on the electorate of San Diego County.

This week, the goal is to delve a bit deeper, using a recent issue to illustrate the intensity of collusion with the publisher of the region’s largest paper and other powers that be.

From Voice of San Diego:

“It was Saturday, Aug. 31. No Republican had announced his or her intention to run to replace Mayor Bob Filner, whose term in office ended quietly the night before.

“A group of about 30 of the city’s most influential conservatives and right-of-center business representatives assembled at developer Tom Sudberry’s La Jolla estate.”

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Bad Day at Blackfish Rock – SeaWorld Now Says Its Losing Visitors and Money

August 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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SeaWorld Shares Drop 30%

It was a bad day yesterday, Wednesday, August 13, for SeaWorld, as company execs admitted for the very first time that the aquatic theme parks are losing visitors and money due to the film “Blackfish” – the movie about SeaWorld mistreating orcas. Almost immediately SeaWorld shares dropped 30%.

Up to now, SeaWorld – which has 11 theme parks across the country – has denied that its earnings and numbers of customers have declined due to “Blackfish”.

Yet they had to admit the losses in the company’s financial results for the second quarter of 2014. The losses are due to a drop in people coming to their “destination-parks” – like SeaWorld San Diego. With audiences in decline and sales of everything from tickets and products affected, the company reported:

Attendance of 6.6 million, a 0.3% increase versus the second quarter of 2013” – plus

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Check out the OB Rag Calendar and Classifieds

August 13, 2014 by Staff
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If you haven’t already, you gotta check out the OB Rag Calendar page – called “Events” on the nav bar – and the Rag’s free Classifieds.

OB Rag Events / Calendar Most Complete

The OB Rag Calendar is the most complete calendar in OB because most other calendars focus on the particular group who sponsors the calendar. For example the OB Town Council, or the OB Planning Board’s respective calendars only announce their own meetings, whereas the OB Rag’s Events list both groups’ meetings.

Free Classifieds

The OB Rag has the only free, daily classified section online for Ocean Beach. You can post your own classified. Here’s the ads and how to post.

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Who Runs San Diego? Douglas Manchester and U-T San Diego

August 8, 2014 by Source
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By Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

U-T San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune, is the largest daily newspaper in the region. According to the U-T advertising rate book, U-T San Diego reaches 29.9% of the adult population of San Diego during the week, and 41.2% on Sundays. U-T San receives 29.5 million page views per month.

The U-T Community Press, which consists of 8 newspapers that formerly brought communities hyper local and independent news but was bought by the U-T’s owner Doug Manchester, has a weekly readership of 221,905. One of those newspapers is the North County Times, which was the U-T’s biggest competitor.

Even assuming these numbers are inflated to sell ads, it is obvious that the management/ownership have incredible influence over the information taken in by a large portion of the population of San Diego County and the surrounding region.

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Short Video of City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s a short video montage – COME INSIDE FOR VID – by Anthony Palmiotto on last weeks City Council vote on the OB Community Plan – back on Tuesday, July 29th. Palmiotto is the OB Town Council’s Community Relations Chair.

Here, Palm has captured several memorable scenes, especially those moments as Gretchen Newsom, the OB Town Council president was reading off the list of OB organizations that support the Plan, and as members of the audience – mostly OBceans – stood as the name of their group was read.

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Who Runs San Diego? – Local Broadcast TV News Operations

July 31, 2014 by Doug Porter

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: This is the second installment of the Who Runs San Diego? series, a project of the Woman’s Democratic Club. To read last week’s introduction to this series, go here.

By Doug Porter/ Woman’s Democratic Club

The sameness of the content can become overwhelming.

It’s happy, rappy and don’t-be-crappy whenever possible. Drama is reserved for ledes that bleed, i.e., crime and confrontations. Nuance is too difficult to jam into 30 seconds. It’s a formula, differing mostly in graphics, presentation and the personalities of the persons reading the script.

It’s by-and-large an echo chamber. There’s a long standing tradition of prioritizing content based on what appears in print media. In San Diego that means “Papa Doug” Manchester and his Mission Valley minions have a disproportionate influence when it comes to political reporting.

Welcome to the world of commercial broadcast news in San Diego.

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A Saturday Well Spent at Comic-Con

July 29, 2014 by Source

ComicCon 2014 courtBy Court Allen

Saturdays have a special meaning for me. I’m not alone in this, to be sure. Saturdays are a universal holiday; a weekly respite.

My personal feelings about Saturdays are related to childhood. After a long week of school and the tribulations of growing up, Saturday was the prize – a day of freedom, adventure, parties, special events, or the ultimate possibility – a day spent exploring my imagination. Remember Saturday morning cartoons (better than the rest of the week’s cartoons), or Creature Feature in the afternoon (coolest. thing. ever.)?

Saturdays are the best day of the week, and how you choose to spend them is the real stuff of life. In fact, a few years back I attended a funeral service for a man whose primary tenet in life was to make the most of time away from work. He was famous among friends and family for his belief that there were only so many Saturdays in an average human life, so they must be spent well. A sentiment with which I agree.

I spent this past Saturday at Comic-Con. It was the ultimate Saturday, …

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Who Runs San Diego? Introduction to a Series

July 24, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Eva Posner & Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Relationships and money trails tell us who wields the power in our community.

It is hard to imagine, that in the 5th largest county in the United States, only a handful of people have any real influence on the day to day decisions that effect the lives of over 3 million people. But it’s true. And a lack of voter participation isn’t helping.

In both the February 2014 election to replace Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego and in the June primary voter turnout was abysmally low. Overall voting turnout in the County in June was an anemic 27.2%, but many precincts registered in the single digits.

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More Bare Facts About San Diego Government: How We Got From There to Here

July 23, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumberRunner

BoomOrBust-LargeAround this time last year San Diego’s former mayor Bob Filner was forced out of office. As it happens, he was the first bona fide “strong mayor” our city has yet seen.

We voters had no choice but to wield our black markers once again and fill in the ballot bubble to select a new mayor. The winner this time around was Mr. White Bread personified, Kevin Faulconer.

San Diego’s lead newspaper, the U-T, summed up the occasion in a neat sentence: “At least the day brought us one step further from our time of scandal and farce.”

The UT likes to play coy. They know perfectly well that scandal and farce are what make our city tick.

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Friends of OB Library On a Roll – Raised Nearly $1,000 Last Week

July 21, 2014 by Staff

The OB Friends of the Library are certainly on a roll! The all-volunteer group raised nearly $1,000 last week – including a $500 grant from the OB Town Council.

The Friends made $428 at their book sale last Saturday. This amount will be used to purchase books, materials, and equipment for our library.

The big news of last week was that the group will receive a $500 grant from the Ocean Beach Town Council to purchase a metal bench for the front of the library. The grant will be awarded at the next meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council on Wednesday, July 23, at 7:00 pm. at the Masonic Lodge facility, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

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The World We’ve Constructed Is Far Beyond George Orwell’s Worst Nightmare

July 18, 2014 by Source

georgeorwell1984Orwell’s chilling vision of the future in ’1984′ is happening today in the form of media manipulation and unnecessary wars.

By John Pilger / AlterNet

The other night, I saw George Orwell’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.

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Lady Parts Justice Launches in 50 States

July 17, 2014 by Source

National movement using humor and outrage to remove bodily autonomy-hating local politicians from office

it's_a_man's_world_unless_women_voteBy ladypartsjustice

Lady Parts Justice is the first not safe for work, rapid response reproductive rights messaging hub that uses comedy, culture and digital media to get people off their asses and reclaim their rights.

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The Story of How Community Planning Came to Be in Ocean Beach – How Ocean Beach Was “Saved”

July 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Part 1
By Frank Gormlie

I have a story, and it’s a story about urban planning in Ocean Beach during the mid-1970′s – and how community planning came to be here in OB. It is a story about how a crisis of over-development encrusted the village of OB – and then it’s a story about how OBceans responded to that crisis – a crisis that affected much of coastal of San Diego and of the rest of the Southern California.

It’s a story how the small village blocked a plan that would have literally paved the way for the community to be redeveloped into a San Diego version of Miami Beach.

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July 15 Is the Deadline for Comments to FCC on Net Neutrality

July 15, 2014 by Source

FCC tweet
Breaking news: Because of an overwhelming response from progressives fighting to protect an open and free Internet, the FCC just extended the deadline for public comments until this Friday, July 18.

By John Loughlin

According to John Oliver, the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are “featuring Sting.” He went on to explain that Net Neutrality is “actually hugely important.“

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OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Bring Home Four Awards in Society of Professional Journalists Competition

July 14, 2014 by Staff

Writers Frank Gormlie, Doug Porter, Anna Daniels, and John Lawrence Recognized


By Staff

On July 10 the the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held its annual journalism awards banquet at Bali Hai on Shelter Island. The names of all of the winners of the competition had been released in June. The list included Frank Gormlie, editor of the OB Rag, plus San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter, Anna Daniels and weekly contributor John Lawrence. First, second and third place winners would be announced at the banquet as well as the Journalist of the Year award.

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District Attorney Dumanis Holds up Three Fingers, Tells Media to Read Between the Lines.

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter

Three MonkeysBy Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis appeared on KUSI-TV’s morning talk show today to release a copy of her letter of recommendation written for the son of indicted Mexican financier Susumo Azano.

A consortium of media organizations including City News Service, inewsource, KFMB News 8, KNSD/NBC 7, KPBS, KSWB/Fox 5, the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists San Diego, U-T San Diego, and Voice of San Diego had made repeated requests for a copy of the document.

At 5pm yesterday a deadline passed for what was essentially a demand letter (the last thing you do before you sue somebody) written by attorney Guylyn Cummins on behalf of the media organizations.

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Manhattan Beach Shark Attack Caught on Video

July 9, 2014 by Source

Here is the video of the July 6 shark attack up at Manhattan Beach.

The following is a summary from post by Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit / July 7, 2014

A 10 foot long great white shark, hooked by a fisherman and fighting for its life, took a bite on a distance swimmer in the waters off the Manhattan Beach Pier today.

The men in the video on the Manhattan Beach Pier were fishing. Some allege that they were illegally fishing for shark and threw bloody chum in the water knowing it would attract sharks.

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San Diego Media Discovering the Battle Over OB’s Community Plan

July 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Local Press Playing Catch-Up

Finally, some of San Diego’s mainstream media have discovered the battle over the Ocean Beach Community Plan. The U-T San Diego ran two versions basically of the same article by reported David Garrick on June 28 and 29, quoting Pete Ruscitti, the OB planning chair, and Gretchen Newsom, the head of the OB Town Council. Here is the lede:


OCEAN BEACH — Worried that a new community plan for Ocean Beach could destroy the area’s small-scale charm, more than 2,000 residents have signed petitions this month asking the city to maintain building restrictions that date back four decades.

The residents say loosening the rules would transform their community into Mission Beach or Pacific Beach, where three-story vacation rentals have replaced small cottages and other less intense housing in many areas.

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OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors and OBservers

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Will the Marshmallow Ban Hold? Will Homeless Advocates Be Arrested?

Your online, local website is looking for a few good observers who have cameras for July 4th. That’s right, the OB Rag wants to sign up a handful of volunteers who will assist us in monitoring what happens in Ocean Beach on Friday, July 4th.

There’s a bunch of stuff to observe – and we’re not talking about the surf or the fireworks.

First, if homeless advocates go ahead as planned and feed homeless people in Saratoga Park at the beach, they may be arrested. The group that does feed homeless on major holidays say they have threatened with being arrested if they proceed with their plans. They’ll be doing this from 11 am to 2 pm.

So, we need observers with cameras and monitors for that potential scene.

And second, of course, is what happens down on the beach at night after the fireworks.

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Facebook Conducted Psych Experiments on 700,000 Un-Witting Users

July 2, 2014 by Source
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Subjects Had Their Feeds Altered to Gauge Effect on Emotion in 2012

By Reed Albergotti / The Wall Street Journal / June 30, 2014

A furor has erupted over news that Facebook, in 2012, conducted a psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users. WSJ’s Facebook reporter Reed Albergotti discusses the fallout on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

A social-network furor has erupted over news that Facebook Inc., in 2012, conducted a massive psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users.

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San Diego Case at Center of US Supreme Court Ruling that Bars Police Search of Cellphone Without Warrant

June 25, 2014 by Staff
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A San Diego case is at the middle of a historic ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court on privacy rights with regards to cell phones.

In unanimous vote, the Court ruled that police officers may not search a cell phone of a criminal suspect without a warrant. Commentators called this “a big, big win for civil libertarians and privacy rights.”

The San Diego case was David Riley’s – and of the 2 cases before the Court – it attracted the most attention by the Justices.

Riley – a college student – had been arrested in 2009 for having an expired vehicle registration and driving with a suspended license. His car was impounded, and police found loaded weapons under the hood. Riley was arrested again.

This time police grabbed his smartphone and downloaded info from it.

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Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

June 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald came to town last weekend to promote his best selling book based on events surrounding former systems administrator Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with documents concerning intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency. It was a most unusual evening: part lecture, part political rally and part celebrity appearance.

Seven hundred people paid money to attend a book tour event in a theater in this day and age. His publisher set up a table in the lobby and sold hundreds of copies of “No Place to Hide.”

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