San Diego

The Non-Death of the Drunken Man on the Library Plaza

August 24, 2016 by Source

Photo by h.koppdelaney By Micaela Porte

From a true event at the Pacific Beach Library
June 27, 2015, Saturday, 11 am
____________

The drunken man, his home under the acacia tree on the library plaza,
Last night, laid himself down to die after a few bottles.

Next morning around 11,
Al, the guard, noticed him,
And called Christina the Librarian,
Who called 911 and more,
Ran to get the defibrillator.

The Man was on his side, all grey
His clothes were grey,
His face was grey,
Sirens filled the air on their urgent way.

The brave Librarian, cell phone to ear, for CPR,
Pulled at the dead man’s shirt with thumb and finger,
His inanimate body to roll over.
His chest was grey, strangely inflated, but with no movement.

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Why Does Dean Spanos Hate the Homeless?

August 23, 2016 by Source

spanos cate adBy Bill Adams / UrbDeZine

“Why does Chris Cate want the Chargers to leave San Diego? Please call and ask him.”

That was the headline in an ad Dean Spanos, the Chargers owner, ran this past week targeting 2nd year City Council member Chris Cate, who is on the leadership committee of the No Downtown Stadium – Jobs and Streets First! coalition.

Nearly all of the City Council members have voiced opposition to Spanos’s audacious public money grab to fund a downtown stadium for his pro-football team (Ballot Measure C. – disingenuously entitled “Citizens Initiative” – full text).

But Cate has taken the extra step of being a leader on the coalition.

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Open Letter to Mayor and San Diego City Council from OB Town Council on Short Term Vacation Rentals

August 23, 2016 by Source

STVR image Aug016 ed1STVR image Aug016 ed2

Honorable Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Honorable Members of the San Diego City Council

RE: Short Term Vacation Rentals

Dear Mayor Faulconer and City Councilmembers:

The object of the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) is to express the will and represent the welfare of the OB community. The OBTC has hosted and held public meetings over the past year to gather community input as it relates to vacation rentals.

On February 9th 2016, the OBTC sent a letter to Councilmember Lori Zapf to formally respond to her short-term vacation rental (STVR) memorandum and to provide feedback from Ocean Beach on what a new STVR ordinance should encompass to protect our quality of life and community.

The City of San Diego has not yet adopted a new ordinance to resolve STVRs and resultant impacts to our communities.

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OB Planning Chair on the Removal of the OB Saratoga Torrey Pine

August 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Chair on the Removal of the OB Saratoga Torrey Pine

OB Saratoga Tree: A Torrey Pine removed today builds a stronger community tomorrow

By John Ambert

Good Morning Folks,

If you have not heard yet: Today, the City of San Diego proceeded to remove the 85+ y/o Heritage Torrey Pine tree on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue, affectionately named “Esperanza” ( translated to “hope” in Spanish) by the OB Community.

The City went forward with the removal of this tree regardless of the requests for a community forum, or for a formal review of the 3rd party Arborist assessment paid for by neighbors and community members. While I recognize and value the concern for public safety, I am disappointed there could not have been a more transparent and community engaged process.

During this project, Ocean Beach community members exposed a number of issues which should be addressed for all future work.

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Torrey Pine: OB Asked for a Community Forum – Here’s the City’s Answer

August 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey cut truck
The Ocean Beach community had asked the City to hold a community forum on the health and dangers of the Torrey Pine in the middle of the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue.

Monday morning, bright and early, came the City’s response.

Out before 6:30 this morning – Monday – yellow police tape had been spread out, a dozen police officers stood their positions and Atlas Tree Service showed up and began cutting down the Torrey named Esperanza – Hope. By 9:30 a.m. all the branches were down – including one with a birds’ nest – and all that remained was the huge trunk.

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Miramar Air Show Sends the Wrong Message

August 19, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following piece by Dave Patterson ran in the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 18, 2016.

By Dave Patterson

Given our quagmire in the Middle East it’s high time that we gave some thought to how our politicians and military contractors promote war as the answer to our problems. In San Diego the promotion of war is anchored in the annual Miramar Air Show.

According to the air show Web page, it’s the largest in the world, with as many as 500,000 people attending. What they don’t tell us is that the air show is designed to appeal to our senses, not our intellect, and when we participate we get an adrenaline high and exciting memories to take home. We also take home the potential burden of our military people and civilians being injured or killed just to provide us those thrills. We also forget that the very nature of war is about death and destruction, not fun and games.

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Community Forum With City Representatives on Torrey Pine Requested

August 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

The folks working to save the Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Saratoga have requested a “Community Forum” on the tree with city representatives to discuss the new arborist’s report and other information – before the city makes any move on the historic Torrey.

John Ambert, in his communication with city officials in which he attached Mastor Arborist Bradley Brown’s risk assessment, make the following:

We are requesting a community forum with City representatives to review the information presented and discuss the path forward, prior to any future work activities.

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

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

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

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

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The Day after San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 18, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Photo by Anne Haule

What has changed?

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Yesterday, August 17, twenty of San Diego’s media outlets participated in a focused effort to call attention to the tremendous human, financial and societal costs associated with homelessness in San Diego.

If we were writing about another country, we would be referring to the humanitarian crisis posed by a growing number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), but this is sunny San Diego.

It remains to be seen whether the well greased wheels of San Diego politics and commerce are altered in any way after yesterday’s concerted effort, but I can speak with some certainty about a few things that haven’t changed today.

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Why Do People Hate the Homeless?

August 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti-homeless-sticker-br-034-300x225By Doug Porter

They’ll say it’s the smell of excrement. Or the public intoxication. Or the aggressive panhandling. Or the intrusion on their public or private space.

People hate what they don’t understand. Lots of people translate their repulsion in hate.

Homeless people on the street are a stark reminder of the failure that could be lurking around the next corner in life. And in order to get along in life, the rest of us have to deny the possibility of becoming one of ‘them.’

All homeless people apparently lived great lives until they somehow fucked it up and ended up homeless. And “we” are better than that. Or so we think.

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Community-Funded Arborist Report: The Ocean Beach Torrey Pine Is “Low Risk”

August 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

An arborist report just released to the City by those OBceans who have been attempting to save the Torrey Pine on Saratoga, states :

“The mature Torrey pine in front of 4652 Saratoga Avenue presented low risk at the time of my assessment made on Monday, August 15, 2016.”

The Tree Risk Assessment by Bradley Brown, a Board Certified Master Arborist, was sent to members of the City by John Ambert, chair of the OB Planning Board. It included pages of matrices that arborists use, plus a 2-page written report, with photos.

The Ocean Beach community funded Arborist Brown’s services, and specifically, he was hired by the residents and supporters on Saratoga, via a GoFundMe page put up by the group Friends of the Peninsula Trees.

Brown also stated in his report:

“I observed no significant defects or secondary disorders in the subject tree. … The trunk base showed no signs of significant mechanical damage or discoloration. … The tree appeared healthy and vigorous.”

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When The Junkyard Is Home

August 17, 2016 by Source

29% of the San Ysidro student population is homeless, often living in motels and junkyards.

Reposted for Homeless Awareness Day.

By Barbara Zaragoza

Veronica MedinaVeronica Medina went from being an A student to an F student while at San Ysidro Middle School. It was right around the time that her parents split up. Her dad moved to Tijuana and her mom became addicted to drugs.

Medina spent many nights and weekends alone in an apartment, not knowing where her mother might be. At one point, her mother couldn’t pay rent and they ended up in a hotel.

For two years, Medina bounced back and forth between couch surfing with her mother and living with her grandmother.

That was back in the 1980s.

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East Village Homeless Issue Grew Under Faulconer’s Tenure

August 17, 2016 by Source

Junco79

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San Diego Sandbags Efforts to Shelter Homeless People

August 17, 2016 by Source

City snubs California law for emergency shelters

By Jeeni Criscenzo

If the City of San Diego really wanted to solve the ever increasing problem of homelessness, they might be willing to try something more innovative than eliminating 98% of the areas previously designated as suitable for emergency shelter without a Conditional Use Permit.

I first became of aware of a map in the City of San Diego General Plan, Housing Element called Figure 1 Areas Suitable for Emergency Shelters – November 2006. Amikas, a non-profit I founded with four other homeless advocates in 2009 to work with homeless women and children with a focus on veteran women, was considering the Midway Post Office as a potential site for veteran housing. The map was required by California Senate Bill 2 (SB2) also known as the Cedillo Bill.

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Why Does Homelessness Persist in America’s Finest City?

August 17, 2016 by John Lawrence

Housing is Not a Human Right in the US

by Sandro Montefusco from il lavoro culturale, republished under a Creative Commons License

By John Lawrence

Why does homelessness persist in the world’s richest nation? The simple answer is that having a roof over one’s head is not a human right in this society.

Fortunate people, those with a home and a car and other assets will not vote to give others what they possess even on the most basic level. Article 25 of the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being ….

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‘Honey, Don’t Worry about Me. We’ll Find a Place Soon.’

August 17, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Halina is dead.

The effervescent petite blonde with the ebullient smear of sky blue eyeshadow above her sky blue eyes died in a residential hotel earlier this year.

I met Halina over a decade ago while I was working at the information desk of the old Central Library downtown on E Street. She was in the library searching for information on how to replace a lost ID. On a return trip she was looking for the address of her daughter Jessica.

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We Need to Be Aware That the Homeless Are Human Beings

August 17, 2016 by Ernie McCray

ernie-mccray-at-blackBy Ernie McCray

When I heard that there would be a “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” my first thought was “Hooray” and then I thought about how “awareness” isn’t the problem.

I mean we know that there are folks who have no home, no place to stay, penniless, practically completely down and out.

We’ve heard over and over on the news about “rock gardens” being constructed on some streets where the homeless like to sleep; about the police destroying their encampments, places where they feel relatively safe trying to get a good night’s sleep.

We see them as we walk downtown, trying to act as though they’re not there, every now and then giving them a buck or two or buying them a whopper.

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We Can Do It Now! Tiny Home Demonstration part of San Diego Homeless Awareness Activities

August 17, 2016 by Source

Group of volunteers assembling a demonstration "tiny house"

Model Tiny Home Assembly and Viewing
Wednesday August 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM
North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave.

By Amikas

On August 17, in coordination with San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, a model “Tiny Home” will be assembled on site at the North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave. and will be available for photographs and viewing throughout the afternoon.

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August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 17, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

Today, August 17th, is San Diego Homeless Awareness Day. And many of San Diego’s media sources – about 20 – have pledged to carry, run, print, publish articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – has joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets.

To this end, we are posting a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag.

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Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

August 16, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

By Doug Porter

A joint committee of the California Legislature has authorized an audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the only entity that can discipline or remove a state judge.

A coalition of two dozen groups reflecting a wide range of interests, led by the Center for Judicial Excellence wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) to call for the audit.

“The Center for Public Integrity gave California an ‘F grade’ on its 2015 report card for judicial accountability, said Kathleen Russell, the executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in a press release.

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The Plight of Adjunct Teachers

August 16, 2016 by Source

adjunct facultyBy Mimi Pollack / San Diego Free Press

Here in California, adjunct teachers are like the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, in the community college world. They get some respect, but not a lot, despite being the backbone of the system.

More classes are taught by part-time teachers than full-time teachers. The ratio has been as high as 70% part-time teachers to 30% full-time teachers.

Part-time teachers are paid by the hour; whereas, full-time teachers receive a salary and if one calculates the hourly rate, it is higher. The various districts do this because it saves them money.

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‘Not So Fast’ – Some Ocean Beach Residents Are Saying – ‘We’re Not Ready to Give Up on Torrey Pine’

August 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey Hope 81516

‘Not so fast,’ some residents of Ocean Beach are saying – to any giving up of saving the historic Torrey Pine on Saratoga Street. There’s been some momentum against the sentiment expressed in a press statement sent out over the weekend from one group of residents saying that they’re ready to let the City chop down the tree called “Hope” (Esperanza).

There was some dissent within the group when it was decided to send out the statement. And that stance has led to the group enlisting the services of a second arborist just recently.

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Joint Southern Western Region City-County Low-No Income Housing Relief Task Force Unveils Pilot Program

August 15, 2016 by Source

Mike Williams graphic

By Bell Donic, Staff Writer

South Western Region: The Joint South Western Region City-County Low-No income Housing
Relief Task Force (JSWRCCLNIHRTF) offered guided tours of a pilot program at a location on the west side during their gala event announcing the installations near the green and picturesque foot of Washington Street.

Advocates stressed the ease of installation, and the ease of creating very small group areas, the durability of the units, low cost to the taxpayers, the residents’ improved self-image attained as a result of not sleeping in the bushes somewhere, but, instead, in a sturdy, solid, free space.

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Reprieve for Ocean Beach Torrey Pine Holds for Now – Residents Continue to Mobilize – Demand Time for Independent Analysis

August 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Saratoga 4600 block google

This morning – Friday, August 12th – around 7 a.m. on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue in the heart of Ocean Beach, there were no signs of Atlas Tree Service trucks or crews, no signs of of any city officials or police barricades and patrol cars, and the ubituious ‘no parking’ signs were nowhere to be seen.

In stead, about 2 dozens residents and supporters were sitting or milling around, some of them giving interviews to the nearly half-dozen TV stations and reporters. These folks were responsible for the City’s last-minute temporary reprieve issued yesterday evening – backtracking on their plans to chop down the giant Torrey Pine across the street from where people were sitting this morning.

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City Declares a Temporary Halt to the Removal of the Saratoga Torrey Pine

August 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Just got off the phone (7:38 pm Thurs.) with Katie Keach, contact person for the City on the issue, and she confirmed that the City is indeed “temporarily” delaying the destruction of the Torrey Pine – “Esparenza” – on Saratoga in OB. Keach stressed that the City still stands by its assessment that the tree needs to be removed, and the delay is only “temporary”.

Just this evening – mere hours after the City sent out a notice it was proceeding with the removal – the City backtracked and sent another notice out to the media stating:

“The City of San Diego has temporarily suspended plans to remove a failing tree from 4652 Saratoga Avenue in OB that had been slated for Friday morning, August 12th. The work had been scheduled for Friday morning.

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Here’s City’s Announcement of Taking Down Torrey Pine

August 11, 2016 by Source

Here’s the announcement – without our comment – by the City that the Torrey Pine on Saratoga will be chopped down on Friday morning, August 12th.

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016

Contact:
Katie Keach at 619-847-8274 or kkeach@sandiego.gov

Unsafe Tree to be Removed

Tree Cannot Be Saved, Must Be Removed to Protect Homes

San Diego – The City of San Diego today alerted community members that a failing tree would be removed from 4652 Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach on Friday, Aug. 12, starting at 7 a.m.

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DA Dumanis Subpoenaed in Campaign Conspiracy Case

August 11, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for DA Dumanis Subpoenaed in Campaign Conspiracy Case

By Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has been and is expected to testify in federal district court on Monday at the trial of Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.

Defense attorney Michael Wynne has been questioning witnesses about the DA’s direct knowledge of illegal campaign contributions and told freelance reporter JC Playford in an on-the-street video about the summons.

Although their initial support for her campaign is at the core of the government case against Azano and his co-conspirators, prosecutors have this far crafted a case that avoids avoiding linking her to any participation or awareness of illegal activities.

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The Abortion Fight Goes On – Right Here in San Diego

August 11, 2016 by Source

Forced birthers intimidate and shame women at health clinic

Abortion story 1

By Anne M. Haule /San Diego Free Press

The shouts of the “religious” zealots ring in my ears as I help escort patients from their cars to the front door of a local family planning clinic that provides abortion services one morning per week.

Armed with earplugs to hand out to patients who don’t wish to hear the abuse, I take the elevator up to stand by the door of the clinic.

Today the zealots are carrying large signs with graphic photos of bloody aborted fetuses and words claiming that Jesus saves and babies are not body parts. The good news is the “preacher” with a voice louder than the decibel limit who bellows out the scripture is not here today.

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Saving the Saratoga Torrey Pine – a Waiting Game

August 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest shift 3 ed1

Organizers Have Created Tree Watch Shifts – Zapf and Mayor Are No-Shows

Directly across the street from “Esparenza” – the name protesters have given the Torrey Pine target for chopping – is a small group of local residents sitting in chairs, eating, talking, reading.

They’re the current shift on Saratoga Street doing a “watch” for any signs of Atlas Tree Service crews or equipment. If they are sighted, then the call goes out to dozens of residents and supporters to gather at the Torrey Pine.

They were there today, Wednesday, by 7 a.m. – some having breakfast and coffee. They told this reporter that an Atlas “scout” truck drove by to check them out and just drove on.

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San Diego Chargers Stadium: Q&A with Barrios Against Stadiums

August 10, 2016 by Brent Beltran

BASTA-NDSInterview by Jeffrey Siniard / Bolts From The Blue

Please provide a little background on the group Barrios Against Stadiums (B.A.STA!). Who is involved, and what are the aims of the group?

B.A.STA! is a grassroots, barrio based, loose knit formation of residents, artists, activists, small business owners and allies creating a movement. The sole purpose of this movement is to prevent a football stadium/convention center from being built in the East Village of San Diego, just a few short blocks from our historic barrios.

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