San Diego

Faulconer’s First Year: Mostly Doing Nothing, But Looking Good While Doing It

March 4, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Unlike the women performing on the field at Chargers’ games, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is getting paid for his cheer-leading efforts.

The local daily paper ran a puff piece on Sunday, celebrating Faulconer’s first year in office, reporting on the “nearly unanimous praise” for making San Diego a “vastly different place than it was under the tumultuous tenure” of he-who-cannot-be-named-without-contempt.

Largely airbrushed out of history was former interim mayor Todd Gloria, whose reward for leadership following the fall of Filner was to get booted out of the position of City Council President, lest he actually accomplish any items proposed during his tenure.

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Golden Hill’s 25th Street Nightmare Gives the Lie to Faulconer’s Infrastructure Fantasy

March 2, 2015 by Jim Miller

IMG_0452By Jim Miller

A little over a week ago I was amused to see the Turko Files run a couple of segments “exposing” a disastrous Golden Hill renovation project on 25th Street that I had covered nearly six months earlier in late August of 2014. The KUSI angle was, appropriately, how bad the endless construction has been for local small businesses who have suffered through the scatter-shot planning and surreal whack-a-mole approach to getting the job done more“efficiently.”

Neighborhood residents might recall how Mayor Kevin Faulconer claimed his administration would change the game back in April of 2014 when he opined, “It’s a mindset that’s changing, and it says do it all at once. It’s taken awhile and it’s been frustrating for us, it takes more planning. So now, we do all of the projects at once – pipes, streets – so you don’t have to come back six months, two years later.”

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Part-Time Professors Protest Full-Time Screw Job

February 26, 2015 by Staff

Ocean Beach Professor and Reader Writer at Protest at Grossmont College

Part-time professors and lecturers at college campuses get screwed full time. That’s the message of protests held across San Diego and the rest of the nation on Wednesday, February 25 that were called to raise local and national consciousness to the plight of these part-time teachers who do a lot of the teaching at centers of higher learning.

And local writer, Dave Rice, was there and reported on an event held at Grossmont College in El Cajon for the San Diego Reader. Rice wrote how these adjunct professors and part-timers “often find themselves shuttling between two or three campuses in order to pick up enough classes to eke out a living.”

Dave quoted Ian Duckles, a part-time instructor, who spoke to a gathering of more than a 100 people assembled in front of the student services building at Grossmont College.

“The position that I have is defined as a ‘temporary, part-time instructor. A full-time professor is teaching about five classes a semester. I teach seven or eight, and yet somehow I’m classified as a part-time instructor. I don’t think that accurately reflects the amount of time I spend in the classroom.”

Duckles has 4 part-time positions and it takes quite a lot of time driving back and forth between those jobs at Cuyamaca, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and USD.

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Vacation Rentals Roil Beach Neighbors – Issue to Be Taken Up by City Council

February 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Councilwoman Zapf to Hold Hearings in April

Neighbors of some housing units that are used as vacation rentals in the beach areas are upset. And the new city councilwoman for the district is getting an earful from residents in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Her office has received multiple complaints from constituents about beach homeowners who have made their homes into full-time rentals and their unruly visitors.

Not coincidentally, PB and Mission Beach are the 2 neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of Airbnb rentals. Zapf told the Voice of San Diego that she heard the concerns of residents at a recent PB town council meeting almost “near tears” in accounts of the “constant rotation of people coming and going”.

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The Unnecessary Parts of the ‘Chargers Are Going to Leave’ Narrative

February 24, 2015 by Doug Porter

end is near

By Doug Porter

The prospect of San Diego losing its beloved football team provides an opportunity to examine the worst of what the local media does in terms of misleading people about the relative importance of news.

Many stories in the local news media outlets seem based upon the belief this potential business decision (by an entity dependent on taxpayer largess for its profitability) is of critical importance for San Diegans. While I certainly appreciate the emotional connection between fans and sporting organizations, much of what I’ve read in the last few days is simply not connected to any reality that I’m aware of.

Putting this in perspective, the Chargers “fan base” ranks in the bottom half of National Football League, according to data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough, who looked at the percentage of adults who have watched, attended or listened to the NFL team in that market in the past year. Despite what team boosters say, San Diegans are decidedly lukewarm about most pro sports.

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Chargers Give San Diego the One-Finger Salute

February 20, 2015 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The drama surrounding the San Diego Chargers’ pursuit of a stadium–somewhere, anywhere–is turning out to be much more entertaining than much of the action on the field in recent years. Today I’ll look around at what’s been said and do my best to provide some insight.

Yesterday the team let it slip–as a story in the Los Angeles Times was going to press–that they were working on a joint stadium deal with the Oakland Raiders for a facility in Carson, California, a city of less than 100,000 people with a history of shady dealings.

The coverage at ESPN included a nugget from an unidentified source saying the teams had been working together on this deal for the past nine months. The Chargers, by the way, denied inquiries from the St. Louis media about a deal in LA just a few weeks back.

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Chargers’ Point Man Calls Out Mayor’s Malarkey On Stadium Task Force

February 19, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Chargers’ special counsel Mark Fabiani has done San Diego a huge favor by pointing out the obvious. He’s single-handedly challenged the existing political narrative about the politics of the process being used in deciding on the advisability of building a new stadium.

You won’t find me among those pining away for the possibility of a new football stadium in America’s Finest City, even though I sometimes wonder if I’m addicted to watching games.

First, there’s the silliness of taxpayers being expected to subsidize a rich man’s game in return for the possibility of an endorphin rush at some future time. And then there’s my sense that the long-term prospects for the sport aren’t very good, what with players’ health issues, spousal abuse scandals, and anything having to do with Patriots’ coach Bill Belechick.

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5 Reasons Losing an NFL Football Team is Good for a City

February 18, 2015 by Source

Qualcomm-Stadium-aerial-Google-750x350By Bill Adams / UrbDezine

My family will attest, I’m a San Diego Chargers football fan. During football season, not only is the TV tuned to Chargers games, but so are multiple strategically located radios around the yard, lest I miss any action while attending to a honey-do task or breaking up an argument between my children. Then there are the pre and post game shows, and wasted hours reading about the draft, trades, and other team side shows. Lest I forget to mention, I’m also a San Diego County resident – just outside the city’s boundaries.

However, the Chargers are one of several NFL teams, along with the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders, considered likely to move to another city unless they receive a new football stadium. The likely recipient city: Los Angeles.

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The San Salvador and Junipero Serra: Celebrating Spanish Catholic Domination

February 17, 2015 by Source
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By Steven Newcomb

Early this year, 2015, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is scheduled to launch a replica of the colonizing Spanish ship called “San Salvador” (“Holy Savior”). That was the ship which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in 1542, sailed into the Kumeyaay bay of the Kumeyaay Nation’s territory. As a result of that voyage, the society of the United States now typically calls that bay, and the city adjacent to it, by the Catholic name, “San Diego” (“Saint Diego”).

Cabrillo sailed up the Baja peninsula under a royal commission that the Spanish crown had granted to a vicious and deadly psychopath, a conquistador named Pedro Alvarado. The royal commission authorized Alvarado “to discover and conquer” places he was able to reach by sailing northward along the Baja peninsula. When Alvarado was killed in Guatemala, the Spanish viceroy charged Cabrillo with sailing north on the basis of that royal commission.

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Ocean Beach Activists Join 350.org March in Oakland Urging Gov. Brown to Take Action on Climate Change

February 16, 2015 by Source
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By Kim McGinley

Friday, February 6th at 11:30 p.m. San Diego Activists, including representatives from The Ocean Beach Green Center, began gathering at the Old Town trolley station to hop on board a charter bus heading to California Governor Brown’s neighborhood in Oakland.

The goal was to encourage the Governor to be a “climate leader” …

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San Diego’s Racial Unconscious: History is the Narrative that Hurts

February 16, 2015 by Jim Miller

...the insistence on what one might call “San Diego exceptionalism,” the notion that our city is somehow free of the same troubled history as the rest of the country, is at the heart of our city’s failure to truly serve the needs of all San Diegans.

sdfp zoot 5

By Jim Miller

Last week, the San Diego Free Press – [the online media partner of the OB Rag] posted a story about a new report released by the Equal Justice Institute (EJI) that notes how:

“Capital punishment and ongoing racial injustice in the United States are ‘direct descendants’ of lynching, charges a new study, which found that the pre-World War II practice of ‘racial terrorism’ has had a much more profound impact on race relations in America than previously acknowledged.

This hidden history of racial terrorism in America is far more influential than many of us would prefer to acknowledge.

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How To Save $12,000 a Year – Hint: Drive Less.

February 12, 2015 by Source
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By John Anderson

Our family of four is a single-car household. We’ve lived in San Diego since Fall 2009 (5.5 years as of this writing) and have selected our residences in San Diego where we live based on where we work. We’re currently on our third neighborhood. Having a short commute and a variety of transport options is important to us for reasons of both time and money. Today we use bicycles as our primary method of transport, supplemented by our car, bus, Car2Go, and Uber.

Our current car is a 2002 Ford Focus station wagon which we purchased in March 2012. We bought it with 72,700 miles and today, about three years late it has 88,130. 15,430 miles over three years yields an average of 5,143 miles per year. We’ve taken a few road trips to Eureka and Phoenix but mostly have used the car for beach trips and some errands or airport pickups.

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There Are Democratic Elections to Community Planning Boards Because of One Ocean Beach Group in the 1970s

February 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Community Planning Group Was the Forerunner to OB’s Planning Board

In one month, on March 10th, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its annual election of Board members. It will take place at the OB Rec Center. Every resident, property owner and business-owner in Ocean Beach is authorized to vote – with ID proving residency.

One of the main reasons that this election is going forward next March – as it has been for the last 39 years – is because of the vision and diligence of a small group that existed back in the 1970s. It was the persistent push over a several year period during the mid-Seventies for an election of this nature – a democratic election – to a neighborhood planning committee by an organization called the Ocean Beach Community Planning Group that was ultimately responsible for this democratic gain for communities.

The forerunner of today’s OB Planning Board, the Community Planning Group (CPG), led a campaign of achieving City authorization for neighborhoods to host elections to their planning committees – elections that even allowed tenants – non-property-owners or non-business people – to vote – in regular grassroots balloting.

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San Diego Group Receives Energy Dept. Grant to Expand Solar Power to Condos and Apartments

February 11, 2015 by John Lawrence

solar 1By John Lawrence

Everywhere in San Diego you see solar panels being installed atop single family homes and large businesses. But hardly anywhere do you see them going in on the large number of local apartment buildings and condos.

Now the Department of Energy SunShot initiative has made a $712,000 grant to San Diego’s Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to study the reasons and do a pilot project to implement solar in such projects.

Condos and apartment buildings represent a huge amount of rooftop real estate which could be gathering in the sun’s rays to provide energy to the occupants within.

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San Diego City Council Reverses Planning Commission – Rejects Proposed Development on Jessop Estate

February 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By a 6 to 3 vote, the San Diego City Council rejected a proposed development for the Jessop Estate in Point Loma. In doing so, the Council reversed the Planning Commission which had voted 5-1 in June 2014 to approve it. The vote had to do with a resident’s appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval.

Dozens of Point Lomans, many part of a new group called Preserve Point Loma, attended the hearing in support of the Council’s rejection of the project.

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San Diego Man Faces Life in Prison for … Rapping

February 5, 2015 by Source

Charges are a blatant violation of the 1st amendment, says ACLU

ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties

prison barsSan Diego prosecutors admit that Brandon Duncan was not at the scene of any one of several shootings in the city, and they have no evidence linking him to those shootings that occurred between May 2013 and February 2014. Still, the District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis charged him for those crimes because…he rapped about them.

Only recently released on bail, Duncan, who performs under the name Tiny Doo, spent eight months in jail on so-called “gang conspiracy charges” arising from those shootings. The San Diego ACLU is filing an amicus brief in court asking the court to dismiss the charges immediately. In a blog post about the case, David Loy, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties said that the case was “not only absurd; it is a blatant violation of the First Amendment.”

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Point Lomans Mobilize Against Subdivision Set for Historic Jessop Property – City Council Showdown on Feb. 9th

February 4, 2015 by Staff
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“Preserve Point Loma” Formed to Oppose Development

Point Lomans are mobilizing to save a piece of local history, the old Jessop family estate property in a southeast land portion of the Peninsula – where a subdivision is currently scheduled for development on the site. They have formed a group called “Preserve Point Loma” and are facing a showdown over the development at City Council on February 9th.

It’s all over a 4 lot subdivision being proposed for the old Jessop estate, which is located at 414 La Crescentia Drive. Members of Preserve Point Loma believe the project, known as “The Point Loma Summit Subdivision “ is in violation of the Peninsula Community Plan. The project is proposed on a environmentally sensitive steep hillside identified in the 1987 Peninsula Community Plan adopted by the San Diego City Council.

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Show’s Not Over at Che Cafe at UCSD – Its Fate Likely Rests on Students

February 3, 2015 by Source
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By Andrea Carter

The struggle continues to keep the historic CHE Café facility open on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. This battle over a rare public, all-ages arts, food, and music venue should concern us all as it represents the canary in the coal mine for additional onslaughts of this nature to follow.

Undergraduate and graduate student government councils, respectively the Associated Students (AS) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) are set to soon issue reports and recommendations to the University as to what they feel should be done as the to the CHE Café, its facility and the other cooperatives at UCSD.

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Chargers’ Stadium Dreams Destined to be Dashed

February 3, 2015 by Doug Porter

Qualcomm StadiumBy Doug Porter

The only thing more likely to be declared dead on arrival than any plan coming out of the newly ensconced Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group for San Diego is the budget proposal the President is sending to the Republican-controlled congress.

Today we’ll start out by looking at what the composition of the Faulconer’s task force tells us about the impossibility of their task ….
On Friday Mayor Kevin Faulconer introduced a nine-member stadium task force including what UT-San Diego called “financial experts, prominent developers, longtime government leaders and a former Chargers executive.”

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Pedestrians As Safety Hazards

February 2, 2015 by Source

By John P. Anderson / San Diego Free Press

1In case we need further proof that drivers and cars will continue to receive priority over every other mode of transit in San Diego, the San Diego Police Department has provided more clear evidence of the supremacy of the car, this time at the specific expense of pedestrians.

If there is a single clearly beneficial manner of transit we should be encouraging at every chance it is walking. Following jaywalking stings in recent years, now the police department is going out of its way to portray pedestrians as dangers to the community and themselves and explaining some steps pedestrians should take to further cater to cars and avoid inconveniencing motorists.

This comes at the same time as we continue to widen roads, raise speed limits, and remove painted crosswalks (recently at the busy and popular corner of 30th and Upas in North Park). Additionally, both the city and county continue to espouse policies regarding crosswalks that explicitly argue against installation of painted crosswalks due to the ‘false sense of safety’ that they provide to pedestrians.

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Community Relations Officer for Western Division Weighs In on Ocean Beach

January 30, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is by Community Relations Police Officer David Surwilo, who probably more than any other single officer, knows Ocean Beach and its residents and merchants. This was written and posted on a social site very recently and echos what he stated during the recent OB Town Council meeting. We are reposting it as a public service.

By Officer David Surwilo

San Diego is the 8th largest city in America with the 5th largest homeless population, with only 1800 officers on the force and about 800 assigned to patrol duties. The news recently reported that homeless vets have the highest concentration in Southern California.

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“Record Turn-out” at Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

January 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Council Hosts Councilwoman Zapf, Hands Out Parade Awards and Police Give Update on Local Crimes

To a standing-room only crowd, with pizza being handed out over on the side, with a couple of TV cameras in motion, Ocean Beach Town Council president Gretchen Newsom loudly gaveled the monthly meeting to order. The crowd of over 200 took their seats in the large auditorium of the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Newsom called it a “record turn-out” for a town council meeting and then deftly guided the meeting over the next 2 hours, which included handing out awards for the winners of the 35th Annual OB Holiday Parade, and opening the floor up for non-agenda items during which a number of people aired complaints and issues. The room remained in a near-festive mood throughout the evening and not an uncivil word spoken.

The Friends of the OB Library made a big show, wearing “Cat in the Hat” costumes, and addressed the audience and the Councilwoman about the need to expand the local branch.

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City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

January 29, 2015 by Doug Porter

san diego sealBy Doug Porter

There’s lots to report on, starting with the annual wish lists for the coming fiscal year’s City of San Diego budget. The consensus item among the city council’s lists is finding more money for paying police.

A local non-profit’s Facebook posting seeking unpaid interns (along with paying positions) to participate in building support for increased minimum wages came under fire yesterday. But things aren’t always as they seem; I think there is another agenda at play here.

And the 114th Congress is off to a great start, unless you want to count passing meaningful legislation as part of it’s goals.

Gimme Money, Honey

The San Diego City Council Budget Review Committee hearing Wednesday morning gave local representatives a chance to air their budgetary preferences for the coming fiscal year.

They’re hoping the mayor will consider requests for police pay raises, new fire stations, new parks, longer hours at recreation centers and street upgrades favoring pedestrians and cyclists for funding out of a projected surplus of $63 million for the coming year.

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Junipero Serra: Canonizing the Colonizers

January 29, 2015 by Source

By Eric Loomis/ Lawyers, Guns & Money (LGM)

Junípero_Serra_-_MallorcaPope Francis has decided to make Junipero Serra a saint. Serra was a Franciscan in California who founded many of the California missions in the 18th century, effectively making him an agent of colonization as well as a converter of Native Americans to Catholicism.

Building these missions meant forced labor from Native Americans while the conversion process obviously demonstrated a lack of respect for indigenous cultures as well as the compulsion of these conversions. Physical abuse of Native Americans was common, with many recorded beatings and whippings. A lot of indigenous people in California are very upset about the choice to canonize Serra.

Serra is far from the only Catholic saint involved in the colonization process. In Colombia earlier this month, I visited the church dedicated to Pedro Claver, a priest who converted slaves. Being Latin America, his remains are proudly displayed on the church altar.

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Turn Out for Town Council Meeting – Tonight, Wed. Jan. 28th

January 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting their monthly public meeting, and besides dishing out the awards to December’s Holiday Parade winners, the Council will be welcoming new District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to the community. Representatives of the San Diego Police Department will also be on hand, as usual.

The meeting will be gaveled to order by president Gretchen Newsom very close tot 7 pm and is held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. See the meeting agenda.

The OB Rag urges all OBceans to attend this meeting and let Councilwoman Zapf know your issues and priorities. We especially believe there are serious infrastructure problems in Ocean Beach – such as the needed expansion of the OB Library, as well as a new lifeguard station, street lights, etc.

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Dreaming Big For the Q After the San Diego Chargers Leave

January 28, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following post is from SD YIMBY, a local San Diego blog devoted to development issues. We don’t agree with all of it but found some of it of interest, and decided to repost it in the spirit of the discussion about Mission Valley that the OB Rag has helped to initiate.

From SD YIMBY / January 25, 2015

It’s all but certain that the Chargers leave San Diego after next season. (I discussed this in my last post,). Without the NFL in San Diego, there is a huge opportunity to redevelop the Qualcomm site.

In discussions about the site if the Chargers were to leave for downtown, most people have assumed that the site would simply be sold to developers for a mixed-use development. Although that would be an improvement, I don’t think it is thinking big enough.

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Water Main Breaks Cause Major Problems in San Diego and Nationwide

January 28, 2015 by John Lawrence

water main break cop carBy John Lawrence

In the best of all possible worlds water main breaks would not happen. Local government would replace old water mains with new ones on a regular basis. That means that money for this and other infrastructure needs would be allocated systematically and appropriately.

If we had our priorities straight, money for infrastructure would take precedence over money for football stadiums and convention centers. But in San Diego and in fact throughout the US this rational approach is to be seen rarely if at all.

The Romans gave their citizens bread and circuses to keep them in line. Here in fact only circuses seem to be necessary.

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Memo Shows Expansion of Ocean Beach Library Budget Priority for Councilwoman Zapf

January 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A City of San Diego memo from the office of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf that the OB Rag has obtained shows that the expansion of the Ocean Beach Library is one of Zapf’s top 7 budget concerns.

In a memo from Zapf to Andrea Tevlin, the Independent Budget Analyst, dated January 16, 2015, it states:

“It is important that we fully fund the expansion of the Ocean Beach library.”

Even though the OB Library is listed as number 7 on the list, the memo begins:

“Below is a list of Council District 2 priorities that I would like to see included in the upcoming budget discussions. This list is not in a ranked order.” (Our emphasis)

The memo then goes on to list 7 priorities, with number 7 being “Ocean Beach Library Expansion”.

The other six funding priorities include Police officer retention, De Anza Cove Plan update, street repairs, and the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station.

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Ed Harris: Proposition G and the Belmont Park Lease

January 26, 2015 by Source
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by Ed Harris

Last year during my State of the District Address I called upon District Two residents to monitor and weigh in on development projects that came forward but were not resolved while I was in office. One such project is the Belmont Park lease extension. For a primer on the issue you can read an article I wrote about it in September of 2014.

While I was the Councilmember for District Two, it was my duty to protect the taxpayer’s money. When it came to the Belmont Park lease extension, I asked City staff two simple questions: How does the lease extension benefit the taxpayer and how much more will the City make if it extends a lease from 25 years to 55 years? I never received satisfactory answers to either question.

I also had real concerns about whether the City had the legal right to expand the square footage of commercial space at Belmont Park because of Proposition G that was approved by the voters in 1987.

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San Diego City Council Sets Pot Shop Operating Regs and Fees

January 23, 2015 by Source
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OB’s Councilwoman Zapf Casts Only “No” Vote

By Debbie L. Sklar / Times of San Diego

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of a package of amendments to medical marijuana regulations that, among other things, establishes a minimum fee of nearly $1,100 for annual operating permits.

The amendments pertain to an ordinance that sets the terms under which dispensaries will conduct their business. The operating regulations differ from land-use restrictions, which determine the allowable locations for pot shops.

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