San Diego

Fear and Loathing in El Cajon – 1,000 People in the Streets for Alfred Olango

September 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of El Cajon Wednesday, September 28th, in protest of the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango by police Tuesday afternoon. And on several occasions, the non-violent demonstrators faced off with helmeted police, as night fell and tensions mounted. This is my accounting of the protest that swept through the suburb of San Diego over a 7 hour period.

I had returned home a couple of hours earlier from a press conference and rally in front of the El Cajon Police station Wednesday morning, when I was shocked to see live-stream video on CBS8 of the protests that had continued – unbeknownst to me, as it had not been announced earlier.

Apparently, after the rally at the PD headquarters, at least a hundred demonstrators had walked back to the site of Olango’s shooting, at Los Panchos taco shop on Broadway, and over the course of the next couple of hours had managed to block several different intersections along Broadway.

Grabbing my gear, I once again set out for El Cajon – a city once known decades ago as a red-neck town.

Arriving in downtown, I drove around looking for the demonstrators, but couldn’t find them. I asked a couple on a sidewalk and they told me they were up at the trolley station. Wow, I thought, if the protesters couldn’t block a freeway, maybe the trolley was seen as another target. So, I peeled on up to the Trolley area. Every now and then, I’d see bunches of police officers – County sheriffs with helmets at the ready over here, Highway Patrol officers standing by their parked motorcycles, over there.

They were all on stand-by, ready for action. I’d never seen so many cops in El Cajon before.

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Press Excluded from El Cajon Mayor’s Press Conference

September 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

EL CAJON, CA. A number of local and regional press and media reporters were excluded from Wednesday’s press conference held by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells about Alfred Olango – the African-American man killed by police on Tuesday.

At a conference held in mid-afternoon at the El Cajon City Hall, nearly a half dozen reporters were barred from entering the room, including reporters from the San Diego Union-Tribune and Univision, the Mexican television station.

San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Lynsdsay Winkley -who has been covering the Alfred Olango shooting and protests – told this reporter that she and a number of other media people were blocked from entering the press conference. She then rapidly ticked off at least four news outlets. Then was confirmed by Sarah Parvini, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, who was able to attend it.

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Unarmed Black Man Killed by El Cajon Police

September 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Demonstration Planned at El Cajon Police Station Wednesday Morning

Tulsa and Charlotte just got closer to San Diegans.

El Cajon police shot and killed an unarmed African-American man, named Alfred Olango, 30 years old, Tuesday afternoon, September 27th. Olango had reportedly had mental health issues.

Without any warning commands by the 2 officers who had confronted him, they fired up to 5 shots at him. He either died at the scene or at the hospital where he was taken.

A crowd gathered in the afternoon – which swelled to up to a hundred people. Many were angry, upset; some chanted, “Black Lives Matter!” As nightfall came, the crowd expressed more anger, and riot police with dogs came onto the scene.

One witness said he witnessed the entire incident, that police advanced on him with a gun and taser drawn, and that without any verbal warnings, fired the weapons.

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Prop 51 – Will Schools Get Fixed and Repaired?

September 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

Proposition 51

By Doug Porter

The California Public School Facility Bonds Initiative, better known as Proposition 51, proposes to refill the State of California’s money pot used for school construction and repair.

It has been ten years since the last statewide school bond, and proponents say there is a massive backlog of local school projects.

Everybody loves building and fixing schools, right?

The list of supporters includes both major political parties, the Chamber of Commerce, the California Labor Federation, education groups of all sorts, the League of Women Voters and on and on. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has endorsed Prop. 51. So has Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom.

Supporters have raised over $8.4 million.

Where the bond money would go …

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The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

September 27, 2016 by Source
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Editor: Yesterday, we posted an unequivocal statement by our regular columnist Jim Miller, who along with Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura, advocate progressives should not vote for Measure A. Today, we publish South OB Girl’s report of a debate on A at last Sunday’s Point Loma – OB Democratic Club event.

Gretchen Newsom and Anthony Montalvo discuss Measure A … and the Democrats (and Republicans) aren’t so sure about it

By South OB Girl

Let’s take a look at Measure A. Measure A proposes a plan for transportation infrastructure changes in our city.

The Republican Party of San Diego County and the San Diego County Democratic Party both agree on one thing – vote No on Measure A this November. BOTH parties are opposed to Measure A. Labor is divided and City Councilmember endorsement is also divided.

A presentation of both sides — “Yes on A” and “No on A” — occurred on Sunday Aug 25th, at the Point Loma-OB Democratic Club’s monthly meeting.

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San Diegans: Just Say NO WAY to Measure A

September 26, 2016 by Jim Miller

It’s All About the Climate and Our Children’s Future

By Jim Miller, Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura

Measure ASan Diego does not have a history of visionary regional planning, but the woefully inadequate Measure A would take our city to a new low by ensuring decades more of inadequate efforts to address both our infrastructure needs and climate change.

Sadly, Measure A is not up to the transportation and climate justice challenges of the present and would guarantee a future for our city that would leave us with no solutions for climate change or traffic congestion while increasing pollution, poisoning our children, and turning a deaf ear to the needs of beleaguered communities of color.

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Is this Point Loma’s Next Problem Project – Garrison and Locust?

September 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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There’s a new construction project coming in at the northwest corner of Garrison Street and Locust Street in Point Loma. It’s all dirt at the corner lot, hidden by a construction screen fence.

A peek at what the development entails shows that a large below grade hole has been carved out of the dirt. Look at the photo. The depth of the hole appears to be able to take in that Potter-Potty. How tall are those?

This is probably a future subterranean garage. Uh-oh.

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Measure D – Nice Try, But No Cigar for The Citizens’ Plan

September 23, 2016 by Doug Porter

Downtown-Hotel-San-Diego-California-United-States-300x420By Doug Porter

A good metaphor for Measure D would be the guy who tries to break up a fight and ends up getting pummelled by both combatants.

Also known as the Citizens’ Plan, Cory Briggs Evil Plot, and Chargers Stadium Lite, the proposal is all-but-dead in the water.

The money spigot ran dry in May. The thoughtful discussion Measure D should have stimulated never happened, lost in the dread of yet another rich guy scheme, and the unintended consequences of its (mostly) good intentions.

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Chargers Stadium Ballot Measure C — as In Chutzpa

September 22, 2016 by Doug Porter

This is a rendering. They have no actual plans drawn up.

By Doug Porter

There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.

Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.

Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3.

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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.”

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Debate Over Measure A at Point Loma – OB Dems – Sunday, Sept 25th

September 22, 2016 by Staff

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Opponent Gretchen Newsom Squares Off with Anthony Montalvo

From Point Loma – OB Dems

There’s a Measure on the ballot this November that could determine how we’ll get around San Diego County for the next 40 years. Transportation affects the quality of lives – how we get to work, how we get to the beach. It shapes the growth of our cities, and the health of children and seniors.

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Measure B – Ballot Box Planning at its Worst

September 21, 2016 by Doug Porter
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Lilac Hills Ranch Developer Goes for an End Run Around Community Groups

By Doug Porter

Union-Tribune headline Tuesday morning: ‘San Diego median home price hits highest point in a decade.’

Q’s: Are you a NIMBY? Don’t you care about San Diego’s housing crisis? The signature gatherers for the measure in support of building Lilac Hills said it would provide affordable housing for low-income families and veterans, along with being eco-friendly. How can you be against that?

A. Easy. If you’re buying the arguments proponents of Measure B are peddling, I have a bridge to sell you.

Measure B is a clear cut case of a developer doing an end-run around years of community input into planning. Voters in El Cajon and Chula Vista are being asked to decide on a North County project they only know of through ads with fallacious arguments. (Ask the people in Barrio Logan how they feel about that concept.)

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Keeping San Diego Seafood Local

September 21, 2016 by Source

Seafood

Sustainable Seafood / Slow Food Urban San Diego

On August 24th, stakeholders of San Diego fisheries began meeting with Protea Waterfront Redevelopment about their plans to redevelop the Downtown waterfront. This meeting was important. That the fishing community is meeting at all with the likely developer may affect whether our local and sustainable seafood industry will persist, diminish or flourish in the redevelopment.

The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats.

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Does SANDAG’s ‘Measure A’ amount to Bold Action on Climate Change?

September 20, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Of all the local measures on the ballot, none has split local Democrats, labor, and environmental groups more than Measure A.

It proposes to fund transportation and open space projects throughout San Diego County over the next 40 years via a half-cent sales tax increase. Questions about its environmental and social consequences have been raised.

The plan, crafted by the staff of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), will raise $18 billion over its lifetime, with $4.3 billion doled out to local communities for upgrades and repairs.

Just about everybody agrees that work on local and regional infrastructure needs to continue. It’s how we get there that’s causing disagreement.

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Peninsula Planners Juggle Minutes, Agendas and Words Over 30-Foot Height Limit

September 19, 2016 by Source
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By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) held its regular monthly meeting Thursday, September 15, 2016, at the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library. There was a crowded agenda and one of the topics having to do with the 30-foot Coastal Height Limit generated a great deal of interest.

With 14 of the fifteen board members present, the meeting began and ended at the normal times, and initially meeting seemed to be well attended – but as the night proceeded, it appeared that most in the audience were there to represent the projects being voted on.

Contention During Approval of Minutes

During the “Approval of Agenda,” – normally a routine matter – it was not routine at this meeting as there was contention when two additions were made. The PCPB chair Jon Linney first proposed adding an information item to the agenda having to do with a City of San Diego sewer and water replacement project. The city asked to appear after the agenda was first posted. By a unanimous vote, the PCPB voted add the item.

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-September 2016

September 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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OBcean Partners with National Geographic to Get Plastic Out of the Oceans

OB Home Broken Into and Robbed During Fumigation

Belching Beaver Opens

Azucar’s Owner Gets a Plug at San Diego Mag

R-Rated Puppet Show at OB Playhouse

Jensen’s in Point Loma: Hiring Fair and Block Party

Gretchen Newsom in the News and It Wasn’t About OB

AND MUCH MORE … COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES ABOUT OB AND PT LOMA

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San Diego County Supervisors District 3 Contest: A Whole Lotta Meh

September 16, 2016 by Doug Porter

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By Doug Porter

County Supervisor Dave Roberts is in the fight of his political life. He’s the lone Democrat (first in two decades, actually) in a powerful political entity with few of the checks and balances Americans expect to find in government.

He’s tried to go along to get along, continually stressing the virtues of the entire board in public statements. But a series of poor management (and maybe personal) decisions, costing the county $310,000 in legal settlements, within Robert’s office created an opening for local Republicans.

They’re pressing their advantage, hoping for a return to the one-party system that’s served them well in the past. The race for District 3 supervisor is one of the few bright spots on the local GOP’s horizon.

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San Diego City Attorney Campaign: Community Involvement vs Law and Order

September 15, 2016 by Doug Porter

mara-elliott robert-hickeyBy Doug Porter

San Diegans don’t have a general election contest for mayor in 2016, and four of the five seats up for grabs on the City Council are already taken. But we do get to vote on City Attorney, and this happens to be an important contest.

The June primary winnowed down the field to Mara Elliott, currently serving as Chief Deputy City Attorney under CA Jan Goldsmith and Robert Hickey, a Deputy District Attorney under County DA Bonnie Dumanis.

Elliott has been endorsed by her Democratic primary opponents and has the support of the party apparatus. Hickey has the active support of Republicans in town save one: his boss.

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With No Contest in 4 San Diego Council Races, District 9 Matters

September 14, 2016 by Doug Porter

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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

What was supposed to be an epic, high-dollar struggle for the partisan upper hand on the San Diego City Council never came to pass. Odd-numbered districts elect representatives in 2016, and Republicans were hoping to gain a majority on the theoretically non-partisan body.

Of the five City Council districts having primary contests in June, only one will have a meaningful contest for the general election. In three (3,5,& 7) of those districts, there won’t even be a choice on the November ballot.

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“On the Tracks of an Angry God: John P. Harrington in San Diego County” By Richard Carrico – Thurs., Sept. 15th

September 13, 2016 by Staff
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Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents:

On the Tracks of an Angry God: John P. Harrington in San Diego County
By Richard Carrico

Thursday, September 15, 7 pm
at P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

From the Pacific Coast to the Anza Borrego desert, from northern Baja California to Warner Springs, John P. Harrington in the mid-1920s chronicled the region and especially the Kumeyaay culture.

Famed and noted local author, historian Richard Carrico, will present a unique glimpse into Kumeyaay culture as recorded by Harrington nearly a century ago…

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Fourth Floor of Emerson Project in Point Loma Coming Down

September 13, 2016 by Source

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By Don Sevrens

Scaffolding is going up at the four-story Emerson duplexes. The scaffolding is in preparation for removal of the controversial fourth floor and for the project to go forward according to a redesign recently submitted to the city.

That’s the word according to Jack Straw of the Mayor’s Office. Delivery of the scaffolding ignited reports that the project was going forward and fears the fourth floor might remain.

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Applegate Versus Issa Is the Congressional Race to Watch

September 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

An Overview of House of Representatives Contests in San Diego

SDFP 2016 Nov LogoBy Doug Porter

Of the five electoral contests for the House of Representatives including San Diego voters only the 49th, encompassing the cities of Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Encinitas, looks to be competitive on November 8th. A small part of Orange County and the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton are also in the district.

Republican Darrell Issa is facing retired USMC Col. Douglas Applegate.

Issa, the wealthiest member of Congress (2015 estimate: up to $768 million), has all the advantages of incumbency, having served since 2001. Applegate has time and (dislike of) Trump on his side.

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A Look at San Diego’s Ballot Choices for State Legislature

September 12, 2016 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

SDFP 2016 Nov LogoThere’s bad news and good news about the partisan makeup of San Diego’s representation in Sacramento in 2017.

The bad news is that there is no real competition among the eight local contests for the State Legislature. A few seats are changing hands, but the resulting differences among the newbies will be of style rather than substance.

The good news is that the Democrats likely to be representing the area are all of above average or better quality. What happens in contests elsewhere in California will have a significant influence on just how effective San Diego’s delegation can be.

Democrats, who need two more seats in the State Assembly to recapture supermajority status, started out by targeting contests in Manhattan Beach, Fullerton, Rancho Cucamonga, Dublin and Corona. Christopher Cadelago at the Sacramento Bee reports they’ve recently added support for races in San Luis Obispo and Santa Clarita.

Here’s the rundown on the races for local legislative positions.

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OB Planners Approve Brighton Project, Hold Forum on Torrey Pine, Hear Complaints About Project at Ebers and Greene

September 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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At the Wednesday, September 7th monthly OB Planning Board meeting, local planners approved a 2 unit project on the 5100 block of Brighton Avenue, held a mini-forum on the Torrey Pine situation, and listened to residents upset with the project under construction at Ebers and Greene.

Ebers and Greene

The pleas of a small group of residents about the project at Ebers and Greene fell on sympathetic ears during the public comment period of the Board’s agenda, Wednesday night. Allison and Mick Rush, along with Greg Cox made a brief presentation about all the site’s problems, and requested that the Board place the issue on the agenda for their next meeting.

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More on Peninsula Debate on 30-Foot Height Limit – “Square footage has noting to do with height.”

September 9, 2016 by Source
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By Geoff Page

I have to clarify something about a very important issue surrounding the 30-foot height limit debate here in Ocean Beach and Point Loma – because the issue has become muddled.

Square footage has absolutely nothing to do with height.

What happened on Emerson was that residents saw how tall the building was and rioted. The city issued a Stop Work Order that people mistakenly believed was due to the height complaint but the Stop Work Order says nothing about height.

We originally believed the developer was artificially raising the grade to get a taller building when, in fact, the city granted a permit for a 40-foot tall building that the city still believes is perfectly legal. What they cited the developer for was artificially creating a subterranean garage by building retaining walls and raising the grade around the garage. Although, keep in mind, the Development Services Department (DSD) approved the plans that clearly showed what the developer planned to do. They are lionizing the developer when the DSD is the culprit.

If a garage structure is considered subterranean, it is not counted against the Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

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Reader Article Shines Light on Point Loma’s 30-Foot Height Limit Controversy

September 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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In a very recent article in the San Diego Reader by Julie Stalmer, entitled, “30-foot coastal height limit slips a peg in Point Loma”, a needed searchlight is shown on the foggy controversy surrounding the 30-foot height limit controversy rolling over Point Loma.

Let’s bypass for the moment the minor issue about the September 8th San Diego Planning Commission meeting being called about the city’s solution to the controversy (of which Peninsula planning leaders were not notified) – and then being cancelled at the last moment – and look what Stalmer found.

She delved into what Peninsula planners see as the culprit that has caused the controversy around the sacrosanct 30-foot height limit, for afterall Prop D – which passed overwhelmingly in 1972 – is still on the books.

The culprit, according to the Point Loma planning leaders that Stalmer interviewed, Jon Linney, chair, and Don Sevrens, member, is August 2013 technical bulletin put out by the Development Services Department. They believe, with a lot of basis, that the technical bulletin attempted “to reinterpret the over-40-year-old 30-foot coastal height limit.”

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Planning Commission Meeting on Point Loma Height Limit Abruptly Cancelled

September 8, 2016 by Staff

The OB Rag has heard from members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board that a meeting of the San Diego Planning Commission on a solution to violations of the 30-foot height limit in Point Loma has been abruptly cancelled.

The meeting was to have been today, Thursday Sept. 8th, at 9 a.m. on the 12th floor of City Hall.

Members of the Peninsula planning group were apparently notified on Wednesday. At this point, we were told, September 22 is being considered as a new meeting date.

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On San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, the Peninsula Beacon Missed the Point

September 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Local Newspaper Sends Out Mixed Message About Homeless

About 3 weeks ago, August 17th was the “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” – a day set up by various media sources around San Diego to bring a new awareness of those less fortunate and who live on the streets and in the shelters.

And about 20 of San Diego’s media sources carried or ran or printed or published 40 or so articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets, and we both posted a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag. (For other articles from the publications on the homeless, visit the SD Homeless Aware website.)

Many of the articles and posts painted and reflected compassionate understandings of the homeless and their plight, with efforts to examine the underlying reasons for so many homeless in one of the richest nations on earth. This day of awareness followed – by a little over a month – a serial murderer who preyed on sleeping homeless men in San Diego.

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September Green, Black and Red Activist Calendar – Ocean Beach and Beyond

September 6, 2016 by Staff

OB Pier old stephen Rowell

September Events in Ocean Beach

September 15th Thursday 7 pm OB Historical Society Presents: On the Tracks of an Angry God: John P. Harrington in San Diego County, By Richard Carrico. At P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B. Richard Carrico will present an anthropological, historical, and geographic travelogue as we follow Harrington the “Angry God” through San Diego County. From the coast to the Anza Borrego desert and, from northern Baja California to Warner Springs, Carrico will interpret Harrington’s sometimes cryptic handwritten notes, provide photographic images of the region circa 1925, and offer a unique glimpse into Kumeyaay culture as captured in the mid-1920s. The Chemehuevi called Harrington “An Angry God.”

September 17th Saturday 9:00 a.m.to 12:00 p.m. Surfrider Coastal Cleanup Day Ocean Beach Pier, 5078 Niagara Ave, 92107. Join us for Coastal Cleanup Day! More info: sandiego.surfrider.org/ events

September 24th Saturday 7:30 am – 12:00 pm – Annual Ocean Beach Pier Pancake Breakfast , hosted by the OB Town Council; Ocean Beach Pier, 5091 Niagara Avenue; Mark your calendar for the Annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast, a fun and popular tradition in OB that kicks off the big fundraising season for the OB Food and Toy Drive and our holiday events. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Proceeds benefit the OB Food and Toy Drive and upcoming holiday events. Tickets are on sale at stores.

COME INSIDE FOR MUCH MORE ….

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OB Planners – Wed., Sept. 7th: Brighton Ave. Project that Exceeds FAR and Torrey Pine Advocates

September 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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At Wednesday night’s Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting, the Board will take up a development permit regarding 5109-5111 Brighton Avenue that requests a “deviation” to OB’s FAR, and will hear from community members who were involved in trying to prevent the removal of the Torrey Pine on Saratoga recently.

The planners convene at 6pm in the Community Meeting room at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue – that’s this Wed., September 7th.

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