San Diego

Watch the Video of the Guy Who Put “Sucks” in the SeaWorld Freeway Sign

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Steve-O took 2 days and 5 efforts to place “Sucks” in the SeaWorld freeway exit sign last May. He’s a star already. He released this video of his efforts and it has gone viral.

It’s hilarious. Steve got help in climbing up and taping the word “SUCKS” over the mileage part of the giant green sign near the I-5 exit. So, it read “SeaWorld Sucks”.

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San Diego Program Forces Welfare Applicants to Be Subject to Un-Announced DA Searches

August 21, 2014 by Source

P100 1

How San Diego’s P100 Program Screwed Diego and Anna

Part 2 in a Series – [Here's Part 1]

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

San Diego’s Project 100 (P100) program involves intrusive, invasive home searches by law enforcement officials from the DA’s office for everyone that applies for welfare benefits.

These searches are unannounced and the potential welfare beneficiary must be at home whenever the investigator chooses to come or else they will be denied benefits. This makes it difficult for someone who has even a part time job.

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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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Councilman Ed Harris: ‘My Issues for the second half of my term.’

August 21, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is by Councilman Ed Harris of District 2 of the City Council. Harris represents Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and other communities. His term representing the District ends in early December 2014.

By Councilman Ed Harris
As summer wraps up and the second half of my council term gets under way, I wanted to share some information and provide you with an update from my City Council District 2 office.

  • Illegal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries — Last month when I met with representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, Neighborhood Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, I learned there were 63 illegal marijuana dispensaries that remained open in the city, with 17 of those located in District 2. Neighborhood Code Enforcement and the City Attorney’s Office are actively working on getting these storefronts closed. …
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San Diego’s P100 Program Targets the Poor and Vulnerable While Letting the Rich and Powerful Off the Hook

August 20, 2014 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Part 1 of a Series

black-mom-3-kids-250x250[1]Since 1997, San Diego County has required all families applying for California’s version of welfare called CalWORKs to submit to warrantless, suspicionless, unannounced home searches and interrogations by District Attorney investigators.

As of June 2013 about 150,000 families, or about 9,300 families each year, have been subject to these searches. This policy, called Project 100% or P100, diverts money away from the poor and has not been shown to be effective at detecting or preventing fraud.

San Diego is the only place in the whole nation which has such an intrusive, untargeted policy …

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The Drought – Basic Q and A

August 19, 2014 by Source
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We Haven’t Come Close to Meeting Conservation: Water Supply Q & A with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley

by Matt O’Malley / San Diego Coastkeeper

With the worst drought in recorded history parching the state, water and water sourcing options are hot topics. Join us in a chat with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, who discusses the Colorado River, future water prospects and more.

Why is water considered the lifeblood of the Southwestern US?

Water is vital to almost everything we do, in particular the Colorado River is vital to our everyday existence. The reality is that most of the Southwest is desert, but we don’t live as though it is. Instead we try to make it look and live like regions that get much more rainfall – such as Hawaii or Florida.

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A Battle Over Increasing the Minimum Wage in San Diego

August 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Don’t Sign It! Don’t Sign the Petition to Overturn San Diegos’ Minimum Wage – see below

Editor: The following is Doug Porter’s article posted today on DailyKos about the fight over our city’s minimum wage law. Much of it is a repeat of material Doug has used in his Daily Column at our sister online media partner, San Diego Free Press. (“douigbob” is Porter’s online handle at that site.)

by dougbob /DailyKos / Aug 19, 2014

A City Council veto override on Monday has set the scene for a showdown between local and national business interests vs. a labor-community coalition over San Diego’s Earned Sick Day / Minimum Wage ordinance.

Following months of public hearings and invitations (mostly declined) for local businesses to hammer out a compromise, the city council passed an ordinance providing access to five earned sick days and setting a local minimum wage increasing to $11.50 over three years.

This action makes San Diego the largest city in the nation to raise the minimum wage.

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From San Diego, LA, to New York City – Americans Demand End to Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men In Solidarity With Ferguson

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From San Diego to Los Angeles and across the nation to New York City, Americans of all colors rallied and held vigils on Thursday, August 14th, in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, in their struggle against local police who shot and killed a young Black man, Michael Brown.

The common issue and demand that are uniting Americans is a call to end police shootings of unarmed Black men.

In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, more than a hundred people gathered to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and with the family of Michael Brown. Organizer Kim Moore yelled out:

“Put our hands up, don’t shoot!”

This refrain has become a rallying call for those in Ferguson and in San Diego and elsewhere. Reportedly, Brown, the teenager killed by police, had his hands up before being gunned down.

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SeaWorld San Diego to Build ‘Bigger Bathtubs’ for Its Killer Whales

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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In response to the public pressure that has decreased its attendance and finances due to awareness of how its orcas are treated, SeaWorld has announced that it will “upgrade” its facilities for its killer whales. Larger tanks will be built along with “water treadmill” systems to give them exercise.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published today, SeaWorld is spending millions to build the new enclosures – beginning in San Diego:

The company plans to upgrade the killer whale tanks at three of its theme parks, beginning with the San Diego location. The new enclosure in San Diego will be almost double the size of the current one, holding about 10 million gallons of water and extending to a depth of 50 feet. The company wouldn’t specify the cost of the upgrades, only saying it would be several hundred million dollars.

Our lucky San Diego orcas will now have new exercise equipment

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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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Giving Praise When Praise Is Due: Delta Airlines and Toyota of San Diego

August 14, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Delta Airlines

For the past ten years I have not flown anywhere. I think flying everyday when my husband was in training for Ma Bell in Los Angeles and my working in San Diego – good old PSA – took its toll on me. When I was transferred to Maine I found that I was still doing a lot of flying, and, quite frankly, didn’t like the small commuter planes I had to take from Maine to Boston for various conferences, conventions, etc. When we returned to California and finally San Diego, I could not fathom flying anymore and decided to either take trains or drive.

My daughter lived in North Park at the time of the PSA airplane crash and for years I had nightmares about not being able to find her for 6 hours after the crash. (She was attending classes at SDSU and didn’t even know about the crash. Obviously there were no cell phones then!)

And one trip that the entire family took to the Yucatan, Mexico City and Guadalajara was a real nightmare in that we took off from Tijuana and in our return found out that due to a bad storm the instrument landing that would have been used was not operable. After attempting to land 3 times we finally landed in San Diego and, to make a long story short, returned to TJ to get our car by bus. There had not been any reason to leave San Diego for the past ten years and I was content to stay home.

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Bill Walton and Irwin Jacobs Urge San Diegans NOT to Sign Petitions to Overturn Minimum Wage Ordinance

August 14, 2014 by Source
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Decline to Sign

Following is the Press Release from Raise Up San Diego, distributed at at 8am press conference this morning:
Basketball great Bill Walton appeared with hard working San Diegans and local business, community and political leaders on Thursday to kick-off a campaign to urge city voters not to sign petitions seeking a referendum on the city’s new minimum wage and earned sick leave ordinance.

“We stand for a San Diego in which hard-working people aren’t locked in poverty and in which they can earn a few days off a year for when they get sick or need to care for an ill child or other loved one,” Walton said. “We know the vast majority of San Diegans feel the same way, and we urge them to say no to the signature gatherers.”

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Jane Gawronski: “We can preserve our community if we maintain conformance to current code.”

August 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the final speech we are publishing given by Ocean Beach planners at the historic City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan on July 29th – this is by Jane Gawronski, former Chair of the Planning Board and current Board member.

By Jane Gawrsonski

My name is Jane Gawronski and my husband and I live on Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach. You might remember me from when I tried to become one of you when there was a vacancy in District 2.

We moved to Ocean Beach in 1974, jobs took us out of OB in the 80s and we were very happy to be able to return to OB in 1998. I am a member of the Ocean Beach Historical Board, past chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, a board member of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation and a volunteer for the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association.

We own 6 properties in Ocean Beach which have 16 rental cottages with 5 of the cottages over 100 years old. We want the original language to stay in the OB Community Plan to protect the ambiance and attractiveness of OB. This language is what the OB Community, the City Staff, and the City Attorney agreed to.

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San Diego Protesters in Mission Beach to Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking – Wed., Aug 13

August 12, 2014 by Source
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Hazmat-suit wearing San Diego protesters to highlight dangers of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean

From San Diego 350:

As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with SanDiego350 and the Center for Biological Diversity will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s precious oceans, wildlife, and beaches.

Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean. Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.

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What Could Have Been If Mayor Faulconer Had Signed the Minimum Wage Law

August 12, 2014 by Source
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By Lucas O’Connor / San Diego Free Press

On Friday, August 8, Kevin Faulconer made his position official and vetoed the City Council’s increase of the city’s minimum wage. We know Faulconer has long been fundamentally opposed to wage protections that strive to keep people out of poverty, likewise the big-money orgs who paid the way for his campaign. So while the move is hardly a surprise, it’s nevertheless bizarre.

The good folks who worked on Faulconer’s mayoral campaign have been remarkably open about their core strategy of manufacturing an image of Faulconer as a moderate in order to win. Since taking office, that approach has generally continued. This stripped-down compromise on minimum wage could have been the last step in that process, and everyone could have gone to happy hour 20 months early. But here we are. Why?

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San Diego’s Genome

August 11, 2014 by Source
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By Norma Damashek

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that San Diego’s switch to a strong mayor style of government begat “a fresh load of scandal, farce, confusion, and dysfunction….” But can we lay the blame on the switchover? Does the form of government really control the outcome?

Not necessarily. In fact, a recent report on this very subject suggests there is no direct connection between the form of city government (city manager… strong mayor) and how well local government serves the public.

But we could have told them that, ourselves. Especially now that – after many decades of doing business under a city manager form of government – we made the switch to a strong mayor system. Yet even with the changes (we’ll get to them in a minute) San Diego has remained stubbornly true to its own nature. Our city, it would seem, has a very idiosyncratic genome.

After all, switch or no switch, can anyone dispute that business-as-usual is still king in our city? Or that public tolerance for governmental mismanagement – wrongdoing included – is still a defining feature of our go-along-to-get-along town?

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Medical Marijuana Patients Sue San Diego and Coastal Commission Over Number of Dispensaries Allowed

August 11, 2014 by Source

By Robert Kahn / Courthouse News Service

Marijuana patients claim in court that San Diego and the California Coastal Commission will foul the air, snarl traffic and force people to grow marijuana indoors, wasting energy and increasing global warming, because of their wrongheaded decision to allow no more than 36 marijuana co-ops in the city.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients sued the Coastal Commission and San Diego on Aug. 1, in San Diego County Court.

The rather bizarre and quite technical complaint challenges the Coastal Commission’s June 11 approval of a San Diego city ordinance of March 25, which authorized medical marijuana co-ops in the city.

The zoning-oriented ordinance allows medical marijuana co-ops only in certain industrial and commercial zones, and requires buffer zones between co-ops and residential areas.

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Kevin Faulconer’s War on the Poor

August 11, 2014 by Jim Miller

war on the poor2By Jim Miller

Despite the fact that 63% of San Diegans support raising the wage, Mayor Faulconer vetoed San Diego’s minimum wage ordinance, definitively proving that he is more loyal to local plutocrats than to the people of the city, particularly those who work hard for very little.

Yes, with a stroke of the pen, Kevin Faulconer denied a raise to 172,000 people and took away earned sick days for even more local workers, a move that disproportionately affects women and people of color. Just as one could begin to feel good about the fact that our city did the right thing and stood up for those of our friends and neighbors who are most in need of a hand up, Mayor Faulconer struck them down.

When it was time to love his neighbors, he slammed the door in their faces. Rather than living with a more than reasonable compromise that will help rather than harm the local economy, he chose to declare war on the poor instead.

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Mayor Faulconer’s First 100 Days: Veto Minimum-Wage Ordinance and Stalling on City’s Environmental Policies

August 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Mayor Kevin Faulconer has been in office now just a little over one hundred days. And if this start to his administration is an indicator, the remainder of his term as mayor may be cause for some very rough going for San Diego environmentalists and minimum-wage supporters.

Faulconer’s actions – or, rather, inactions, around environmental policies have made eco-advocates furious. (More on that below.)

To the more immediate news, today, Friday, the 8th day of August, Faulconer formally vetoed the minimum-wage and sick-day ordinance passed by the City Council on July 28th. The measure would if enacted increase the hourly minimum wage to $9.75 on Jan. 1, $10.50 in January 2016 and $11.50 in January 2017, plus it provided access to five earned sick days.

The Council, with a 6 to 3 current ratio of Dems to Repubs, is expected to over-ride the Mayor’s veto, and the measure will become law. But then, in turn, this is expected to set the stage for an extremely divisive referendum effort by businesses and the Chamber of Commerce seeking to overturn the ordinance – which will be placed on hold until the referendum issue is settled.

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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 Diego.com 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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Logan Heights Restaurant Owner Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

August 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.” – Mark Lane

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Last week I found out there’s a restaurant owner in Logan Heights who has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say. …

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Reverberations from Historic City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The reverberations from last week’s historic City Council vote July 29th to approve the OB Community Plan have yet to be felt – other than the celebrations -, either in OB or throughout the City, but the vote will have consequences – good ones – for two or three decades.

Plus the dust hadn’t settled after the unanimous vote, when the question was raised ‘What’s next? What is the next hurdle the Plan must take before it becomes a reality?’

The short answer is that the Plan goes before the California Coastal Commission in October, according to city staff.

Meanwhile, the vote was a clear victory for Ocean Beach but it was also a win for other communities around San Diego. Let’s examine this.

OBviously, with a new community plan, OB will be affected for the next 20 to 30 years. What else does the vote mean? For Ocean Beach, the vote did several things.

First, it vindicated the resistance by the OB Planning Board …

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Mindy Pellissier: “We OBceans are a resilient and tenacious lot.”

August 1, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag is publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. This is by Mindy Pellissier, long-time OB planner, Co-chair of Sub-committee on OB Community Plan Update, plus co-owner of the Dog Beach Dog Wash.

My name is Mindy Pellissier. I am a home owner and business owner — & a proud OBcean for more than 20 years.

I have also been a dedicated participant in the OB Planning process & several community organizations.

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Gretchen Newsom: “We’re not a special interest group! We are Ocean Beach!”

August 1, 2014 by Source
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By Gretchen Newsom

I am Gretchen Newsom, President of the Ocean Beach Town Council.

Our OB Community Plan is the result of over a decade of extensive community engagement and outreach.

All OB community organizations have collaborated with one another on the Community Plan and ALL OB community groups have united together to endorse the Ocean Beach Community Plan.

We are here before you today to support our Plan and to defend and protect our small- scale community character.

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Peter Ruscitti: ‘OB Community Plan’s Goals to Maintain Small-Scale and Harmony between New and Existing Housing.’

August 1, 2014 by Source
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“…variances for FAR should be discouraged except in true exceptional circumstances.”

By Peter Ruscitti

My name is Peter Ruscitti, and I’m the chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. I’m also a property owner in OB and a professional planner. I’m going … to address some of the concerns that the Planning Board has faced with our Community Plan— particularly the variance language contained in Recommendation 4.2.9 and elsewhere.

I would like to make clear the intent behind this language and the position of the Planning Board on variances. The Planning Board will always review applications for variances on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are consistent with the Community Plan— whose goals include maintaining small-scale development, and achieving harmony between new and existing development.

We recognize that special circumstances may exist that could justify a particular variance, and that variances in themselves are not necessarily inconsistent with the Community Plan.

We just want the Community Plan to be clear that variances— particularly for FAR— should be discouraged except in truly exceptional circumstances.

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Gio Ingolia: The OB Community Plan “Ensures Our Small-Town Feel”

July 31, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first of several we hope to publish of the speeches given by OB planners at the July 29th City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan.

By Giovanni Ingolia

My Name is Giovanni Ingolia and I am the Co-Chair of the OB Community Plan update Sub-committee. I have also served 8 years on the OB Planning board and a former Chair.

This plan has been a collaborative effort from a myriad of community group and citizens of Ocean Beach.

Overall the plan meets the needs and desires of the community including but not limited to our transportation desires, historic preservation, and community character.

Unfortunately the Planning Commission has recommended more permissive language to the Community Plan when it comes to our community character as it relates to bulk and scale.

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OB – the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” – Not Eligible for Medical Marijuana Dispensary – But Midway Is

July 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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San Diego’s Community Planning Groups Lobbied by Anti-Weed Group

Apparently, according to the new City of San Diego ordinance passed in March that regulates them, OB, the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” can’t have a medical marijuana dispensary. But the community of Midway can have a number.

It’s not just Ocean Beach – as the ordinance severely restricts dispensaries in most communities of San Diego. They are only allowed in a limited number of industrial and commercial zones. They also have to be:

  • at least 100 feet away from residential property and
  • at least 1,000 feet from schools,
  • playgrounds,
  • libraries,
  • parks,
  • churches
  • and facilities focused on youth activities.

That excludes OB – the community that most resembles the “hippie capital” of America, the Haight up in San Francisco.

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