San Diego

“San Diego Free Press” Takes Home 9 Professional Journalism Awards

July 25, 2016 by Staff
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Editor: Our prodigy media project, the San Diego Free Press has something to be very proud about; they just brought home nine awards from the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists last week.

Many of the volunteer writers who won awards have their articles re-posted here at the OB Rag. (OB Rag editors sit on the editorial board of the SDFP.) Here is the report:

__________________

As we enter our fourth year here at the San Diego Free Press, there could be no greater gift than to be the platform that allows eight volunteer writers worthy recognition among a Society of Professional Journalists. We are intensely proud to be working with these incredibly talented and passionate people.

The San Diego Free Press itself was also recognized for its role in online journalism.

The awards are as follows:

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Zapf Introduces Surveillance Cameras to OB at Press Conference But No Questions Were Allowed

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB cams 72116 prot
Councilwoman Lori Zapf on Thursday, July 21st, introduced the newly-installed police surveillance cameras at a brief news conference held on the greens near the OB Lifeguard Station.

With ranking police officers and OB merchants on both sides of her, Zapf led off the presser before 2 TV cameras, and a handful of protesters opposed to the cameras.

Zapf said that over a year ago, police leaders at Western Division working with her office to come up with safety measures came up with the idea to install ten cameras along OB’s waterfront.

Now they’ve all been placed, from the OB Pier to Dog Beach, and the signs went up just now, Zapf said, and the cameras can now go live.

Emphasizing the cameras were a crime-prevention tool, a deterrent, they’ll make the beach more safe, she said, mentioning that the cameras will bring relief to the tourists worried about being victimized.

Why the cameras? Zapf asked.

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San Diego Web Thin Case Leads to Another 10 Minute Acquittal in Medical Cannabis Trial

July 22, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access

The thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

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Debate Over Future of Fiesta Island Continues: ‘Improvements Needed to Expand Access’

July 21, 2016 by Source
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Editor: This is a continuation of the debate over the future of Fiesta Island. It began with op-eds in the San Diego Union-Tribune, and we helped it along with our earlier post. Here below, Judith Swink rebuts the rebuttals.

By Judith Swink

Improvements on Fiesta Island will happen eventually because they must.

The 1994 Mission Bay Park Master Plan carried forward that intention from the previous master plans. The proposed Fiesta Island improvements will make the island more useful and inviting to a much larger number of people than just those who want to use it as it is today. It is a key tenet of both the Mission Bay Park Master Plan and the California Coastal Act that coastal recreation areas be developed to enable use and access for everyone.

A Local Coastal Program amendment in 2002, in conjunction with approval of the Sea World Master Plan by the Coastal Commission requires the City to develop Fiesta Island as proposed in the 1994 Mission Bay Park Master Plan and LCP.

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Press Conference on Surveillance Cameras in OB Today – Thurs. at 11:30 a.m.

July 21, 2016 by Staff

Here is the Press Release for a Press Conference on the surveillance cameras installed in Ocean Beach.

OB Crime Fighting Cameras Set to Go Live

What: The City of San Diego has installed cameras in Ocean Beach near the ocean and parking lots to ward off potential criminals. The cameras are on a loop that is not monitored or reviewed unless a crime is reported. This will give law enforcement a valuable crime fighting tool to provide evidence and allow prosecutors to go after criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

When: Thursday, July 21, 2016
11:30 AM

Where: Ocean Beach – at the intersection of Newport Ave and Abbott Street.

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“Is the City Hard of Hearing or Just Slow?” – Residents Urged to Turn Out for Peninsula Planners Meeting on Showdown With City Over Height Limit “Loopholes”

July 20, 2016 by Source
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By Jon Linney

Is the City hard of hearing or just slow?

Four-story duplexes going up in the three-story zone of the Roseville neighborhood at Emerson and Evergreen created almost universal community outrage.

Citizens turned out to protest. TV stations, social media and print publications such as the OB Rag, The Reader and The Beacon took note.

Community advocates such as Elisa Brent, Babita Souza and this writer – organized a Town Hall meeting on June 27. Some 250 people attended and donated a third of the money necessary for a legal campaign in just five minutes.

The mayor heard. Kevin Faulconer issued a stop-work order on the project the very next day.

But that wasn’t enough, the broader issue of all the other potential height violations remained unaddressed.

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Police Cameras Being Installed in Ocean Beach

July 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB camera worker 7-14-16
The police surveillance cameras are being installed in Ocean Beach. And more than was originally planned.

CBS News8 reported that :

Monday evening, crews were seen making adjustments to the cameras where there is one, two or three cameras mounted to light poles or a lifeguard tower.

The original plan was 10 cameras but 12 were counted between Dog Beach and the Ocean Beach Pier and pointed in the parking lot or beach.

Photographer Adam Ewing stated on facebook:

The new cameras are going up. Looks like they’re starting at the Pier parking lot. If someone sees them installing the rest along the beach all the way down to dog beach.

Councilwoman Lori Zapf’s Communications Director, Donna Cleary, told the media that a news conference is planned for this week.

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News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-July 2016

July 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB ACE wall side beach 7-16-16

* PB Skateboarder Not Expected to Survive After Being Struck Monday Night
* Woman says she was roofied, left paralyzed after drinking at Ocean Beach bar
* How to Protect Yourself From Date Rape Drug
* Pregnant Woman and Baby Injured in Car Crash
* Naked Man Arrested
* Navy pipeline project progressing to completion in 2017
* Kevin Gormly Loses Battle to Cancer
* Chichiuaua Dies at Dog Beach – Victim’s Owner Wants Changes

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Possible 6th Victim of Attacks on Homeless Has Emerged – He Survived

July 19, 2016 by Staff
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A possible sixth victim in the series of attacks on homeless men has emerged from the shadows.

Phillip Petrina says he was attacked by an unknown assailant with a rock while sleeping and he says the man who attacked him is the same man arrested by police for the murders and attacks recently.

It happened on July 7th, he said, right in the middle of the serial attacks.

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Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

July 19, 2016 by Source
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Editor: With all the talk about immigration by politicians these days, it’s difficult to tell whether they know what they’re talking about. Here, immigration lawyer Carlos Batara lays it all out, A to Z with tips and terms.

By Carlos Batara

1. Immigration Tips And Terms A To Z is the knowledge gained after decades of practice here in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

2. Asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an immigrant who has left their native country as a refugee. To qualify for asylum, individuals must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

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Son of Local Ocean Beach Homeless Man Who Died Christmas Day Qualifies for the Olympics

July 19, 2016 by Source
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Editor: With so many terrible stories involving San Diego’s homeless lately, here is something different. Earlier this year, writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey had covered a story on Craig Miller, a homeless man who lived in the streets of OB but who died on Christmas Day. They recently found out that his son, Cody Miller, qualified for the Olympics in swimming. Here is that story.

By Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey

It is a kid’s dream to stand on an Olympic podium and have their nation’s flag wave high as he smiles at his family. Cody Miller, of Billings, Montana, qualified on June 27th for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke coming from behind to secure his spot on the Olympic swim team. This year’s games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil beginning August 5th, 2016. The road for Cody did not come easy. Cody was born with Pectus Excavatum, also known as a sunken or funnel chest.

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Today, July 19th – San Diego City Council Will Vote on Plastic Bag Ban

July 19, 2016 by Source
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If Ordinance Passes, San Diego Will Become 150th Jurisdiction in California Covered by Ban

Most of Following From Surfrider Foundation

Today at 2pm – July 19th – the San Diego City Council will vote on their Single-Use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance, or “bag ban”.

This will happen at 2 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 202 C St, 12th Floor, San Diego CA 92101. Activists from Surfrider San Diego are urging caring San Diegans to attend this hearing.

If the ordinance passes, San Diego will become the 150th jurisdiction in the state of California to be covered by a ban.

In the City of San Diego, 700 million plastic carryout bags are distributed each year and less than 3% are recycled. This ordinance will remove 665 million plastic carryout bags from distribution and San Diego will take a huge step in reducing plastic pollution at its source and ultimately protecting our ocean and beaches.

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General Dynamics, Once a San Diego Mainstay, Now Dearly Departed

July 18, 2016 by John Lawrence

The following article appeared in the 1969 print edition of the San Diego Free Press. It has been transcribed from the microfilm at the San Diego Public Library.

By John Lawrence

General DynamicsAs Frank Pace says in the Foreward to Dynamic America: A History of the General Dynamics Corporation by John Niven:

In 1960, ours is the most powerful of nations, intimately involved in all the earth’s daily business, the major bulwark against communism and so most threatened.

From these times to the present, during our growth, from an insular agrarian society to the world’s political and industrial leader, the position of the United States in world politics has determined, almost exclusively, the flow of product research and development from General Dynamics.

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Suspect Arrested Friday After 2 More Attacks on Homeless Men

July 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

From abc10News:

A man was detained and was being questioned in connection with an assault on homeless man in Golden Hill early Friday morning that investigators believe is linked to four other brutal attacks earlier this month that left three men dead and a fourth gravely injured.

Shortly before 4:30 a.m., a 55-year-old man was beaten while asleep in the area of 19th and C streets. San Diego police officers responded and found the bloodied victim with significant trauma to his torso, San Diego police Capt. Dave Nisleit told reporters in a morning briefing.

He was transported to a local hospital but is expected to survive.

A little before 5:45 a.m., a man was taken into custody in the area of Laurel and Brant streets in Bankers Hill. Nisleit confirmed the detained man was being questioned in connection with the attack. His name was not disclosed.

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The San Diego Convadium – Part 3

July 14, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Part 1: 110 Pages of Gobbledygook
Part 2: Lipstick on a Pig

Section 35.0109 Additional Tax Imposed

Charger's ConvadiumThe Chargers want the City to create a separate Fund, the Convention Center Expansion and Stadium Fund, which will borrow money from Wall Street in the form of Bonds and be firewalled off from the City’s General Fund. So it’s like a separate entity for which the City is not responsible at all, but the City has to create it.

The BIG question is, “Will Wall Street go along with this?” The monies flowing into this fund come solely from an increase in the Tax On Transiency (TOT) of 4% (or is it 6% as stated in the proposal?).

If these monies aren’t sufficient to make the payments on the $1.15 billion in bonds that this “entity” (not the City, mind you) is responsible for, then what happens? Who’s left holding the bag?

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It’s Not Just Dog Owners Who Want to Keep Fiesta Island ‘Wild’

July 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Fiesta Island googmap

By Frank Gormlie

Perhaps you’ve been too busy with summer to notice, but there’s been a ‘quiet’ debate going on recently in certain circles – including the op-ed pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune – over the future of Fiesta Island.

Fiesta Island – you know that flat and sandy piece of land that juts out into Mission Bay – it’s not really an island as it’s connected with the rest of San Diego by a narrow land bridge with an asphalt road – where people bike, do day-camps on the sand, water or jet-ski, or take their horses, have fires in the firepits, – oh, and who take their dogs to the great off-leash area on the Island.

The land of Island Fiesta itself is what’s left from all the sludge dredged up during the 1950’s development of Mission Bay Park.

There’s been for years an ongoing debate between dog owners who have formed a group Fiesta Island Dog Owners (FIDO) and others who want to see Fiesta Island developed with “improvements”. And the now the debate is ramping up ….

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Did You Get Your Invite to the Rancho Santa Fe Trump “Victory” Fundraiser?

July 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump invite RSF 7-13-16

Hey, did you receive your big invite to the really big Donald Trump “Victory” fundraiser? No?

It’s only $25,000 a seat.

It’s over in Rancho Santa Fe – Wednesday, July 13th – at some private homes, and it’s being chaired by Jenny Craig, Geniya and Papa Doug Manchester and other bigwigs apparently in the Trump column.

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Artificial Turf Wars

July 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

artificial turf online pet

Some parents at Silver Gate Elementary School in Point Loma are leading an uphill battle against artificial turf that is supposed to be installed on the school’s playing field next Fall. And other beach area activists have been fighting the artificial turf wars for a few years now.

Writer Ashly McGlone, in a fairly exhaustive piece in Voice of San Diego published June 27th, captured the highlights of one of those battles in describing efforts of some parents at Silver Gate.

McGlone focused on Point Loma resident Erika Lundeen, who became concerned to hear that the school her kids attend, Silver Gate, was getting a new artificial turf field called “crumb rubber”.

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Barrios Against STAdiums! to Protest Chargers Pro-Stadium Speakers

July 12, 2016 by Brent Beltran

stadium

By Brent Beltran

On Friday, July 15 from 11:30am to 1pm the San Diego Chargers will be bringing their pro-East Village stadium campaign to Barrio Logan for the Family Health Center’s Spirit of the Barrio luncheon.

B.A.STA!, Barrios Against STAdiums!, will be outside the event holding a silent protest with signs and banners opposing the Chargers efforts to build a stadium one block from Barrio Logan. A press conference will also take place.

Barrio Logan is undergoing a transition due to land speculators buying properties ,,,

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Suspect in Homeless Killings Released from Custody – No Charges Filed

July 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

homeless attacks Lt Nisleit 7-11-16

In a stunning turnaround, the man police had arrested as the suspect in the killings of 3 homeless men and the attack on a 4th, has been released from custody and has had no charges filed against him.

At a 3 pm news conference today – Monday – police explained that they did not feel confident in the evidence they had against Anthony Padgett, the man police had arrested last Thursday, July 7th on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson.

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Updates on Major Stories from OB, San Diego, the Nation

July 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a series of updates on major stories that have enveloped those of us who have paying attention:

3rd Victim Dies from Series of Attacks on Homeless – Suspect Is Now an Alleged “Serial Killer”

Another victim of the vicious attacks on San Diego’s homeless has died. Dionico Derek Vahidy, 23, died at a San Diego hospital just before 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sunset Cliffs Are Still Dangerous

Coming less than a week after a man fell to his death off Sunset Cliffs, a woman on Sunday afternoon, July 10th, was found at the bottom of the cliffs and had to be air-lifted by helicopter off the beach. Lifeguards and other first responders had to climb down the cliffs to get to the as yet unidentified person and administered CPR.

Her condition is not known. And authorities haven’t figured out yet whether she fell from the top or was climbing up. This occurred in 800 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. abc10

Black Lives Matter Supporters Marched in San Diego on Sunday

If you were in downtown San Diego on Sunday, July 10th, you could very well have seen or heard Black Lives Matter supporters marching around Petco Park. Nearly a hundred people held a rally …

Protests Continue Nation-Wide

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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Locals Help Displaced Homeless People During the All Stars Game – a Call for Volunteers

July 11, 2016 by Staff

City Cracks Down on Homeless While Most of San Diego Stands by Silently

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Global Photo Archive This is what happens when those in authority disparage a particular group of people.

Whether they mean to or not, their public expressions of contempt and disrespect give permission, and even encouragement, to those looking for an excuse to manifest their anger and hatred in violent actions against the most vulnerable.

I predict that future history books will call this the Trump Effect.

Every Monday our City sends out a team of a half dozen squad cards, sanitation vehicles, fire engines and ambulances to uproot our poorest neighbors.

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Suspect in Homeless Attacks Arrested and OB Victim Identified

July 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Suspect Imprisoned 6 Years Ago for Lighting Homeless Man on Fire

The suspect in the serial attacks on homeless men was arrested Thursday, July 7th, and the Ocean Beach victim of one of his fatal attacks has been identified.

Anthony Alexander Padgett, 36, was arrested by San Diego Police in Chula Vista about 10 a.m. Thursday. The arrest occurred near H Street and Broadway. He was booked on 5 felony counts altogether, two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of arson.

San Diego homicide Capt. David Nisleit told the media :

“At this time, we have probable cause to arrest Mr. Padgett for these heinous crimes.”

homeless attacks OB Vict Shawn Longley

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Friends of the Ocean Beach Library Have High Hopes for its Expansion

July 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Friends of the Ocean Beach library and its staff have high hopes for the expansion of the branch – one of the oldest in the City’s system.

It was in a cool, air-conditioned backroom where I sat down with head librarian Matt Beatty and Laura Dennison, one of the co-chairs of the Expansion sub-committee for the Friends to discuss the library’s expansion plans.

The basic idea is for the library to take over either parts of or all of the building next door, which is already owned by the City – bought over a decade ago in anticipation of the OB Library’s rehab and expansion.

The next door building – now inhabited by law firms – all with leases with the City – is so close to the Library, that the hopes are that they can be connected at some point, with a computer lab, meeting rooms and staff offices for the librarians.

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The OB Green Activist Calendar

July 7, 2016 by Staff

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July Events in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 14th Thursday 7 p.m. Film night “The Future of Energy” – Ocean Beach Green Center

July 21st Thursday 7pm – OB Historical Society” The OB Pier Turns 50!

ALSO EVENTS NOT IN OB OR POINT LOMA INSIDE …

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Other Victims of Killer of Homeless Men Identified – Including Ocean Beach Man

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

The other victims of the vicious attacks on homeless men have now been identified.

In the Midway District of the 4th of July, the killer assaulted his second victim who has been identified as Manuel Mason, 61, who was stabbed and found at Greenwood and Kurtz streets at about 4:50 a.m. The good news is that he is expected to survive, but is still in in critical condition.

An hour or so later near tennis courts at Robb Athletic Field in Ocean Beach, Shawn Longley, 41, was found dead with wounds to the upper torso.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB cliff rescue 7-6-16Man Falls to His Death from Sunset Cliffs

An unidentified man fell to his death, Tuesday, July 5th, off Sunset Cliffs, near Ladera Street. …

Is Reader Article on “Aggressive Homeless” Inappropriate Right Now?

There is a new SD Reader article out, published online on July 6th, about how OB is on edge – not because of the killer of homeless on the loose, but because of “aggressive transients”. Badtaste? …

Poke Hotspot Heading to OB

Poke is currently blowing up in San Diego, and the latest hotspot will be take-out hub It’s Raw Poke Shop, heading to Ocean Beach by early August.

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Chargers Convadium Plan: Lipstick on a Pig

July 6, 2016 by John Lawrence

chargers design 5Part 2 in a series

By John Lawrence

I previously reported on the 110 Pages of Gobbledygook that represents the Chargers’ proposal to build a combination football stadium and convention center expansion in downtown. It looks like it’s not going to happen because Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a lot of conservative businessmen are against it.

Perhaps the Chargers assumed that Faulconer would immediately climb on the bandwagon and start cheering for the so-called convadium.

Faulconer, however, to his credit has been cautious, questioning the $1.15 billion in new debt the City would have to take on as its part in this endeavor. The Chargers casually gloss over this in their gobbledygook proposal. And they say nothing about the $50 million still owed on Qualcomm Stadium as if that’s not even something worth mentioning.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, recent state Supreme Court ruling means that the Chargers will probably have to have a two-thirds approval from the voters in November instead of a simple majority.

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Killer of Homeless on the Loose – Severely Injured Fourth Victim Set on Fire in Downtown San Diego

July 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

This is an update on the series of grisly and vicious attacks on homeless people that have occurred this week – that have now claimed their fourth victim. A homeless man was set on fire early today – Wednesday, July 6 – in downtown San Diego.

One of the first victims – the other victim whose body was burned – has been identified as Angelo De Nardo, 53. An autopsy determined that he had been killed before being doused with gas and set afire.

The other attacks occurred around Mission Bay; one in Ocean Beach – in Robb Field where a sleeping houseless man was beaten to death; another in the Midway area, where a man was beaten, but survived and is now hospitalized with life-threatening injuries; De Nardo’s death occurred just east of Mission Bay. The victims from OB and the Midway have not been identified.

Police say that the 4th victim’s injuries match the pattern of the earlier attacks.

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Will the Balboa Park Make-Over Include Rockscaping for the Homeless?

July 5, 2016 by Doug Porter

Yesterday the sweeps continued- Photo via Michael McConnell

By Doug Porter

What kind of a city is it that entertains funding a new stadium, a convention center expansion, a major events arena, gondolas, and a parks make-over, but can’t figure out a short term solution to homelessness other than criminalizing it?

That would be San Diego.

Yes, I know it’s apples and oranges–different pots of money are involved, some are subject to voter approval and others will only be indirectly supported by the taxpayer…

But … where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Presently there are a lot of moving parts in play when it comes to the future of America’s Finest City. Let me lay out a couple items for your consideration.

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