San Diego

Take Your Football Stadium and Shove It, Mr. Spanos!

December 8, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

These are extraordinary times, and for a passionate progressive like myself, it’s hard to look away from the Basket of Deplorables being assembled to run the country’s executive branch.

But for today we need to discuss something both local and deplorable. Another hair-brained idea to build a downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers is making the rounds, coming out of a Wednesday sit-down between Mayor Kevin Faulconer and team owners Dean Spanos.

After getting his ass handed to him at the ballot box in 2016 (56% voted No on a stadium measure requiring two-thirds approval), Spanos is counting on a future court ruling lowering the threshold to a simple majority, and on Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s desire to have the Los Angeles market all to himself.

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Drought Rages On and San Diego Uses More Water

December 7, 2016 by Source
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From San Diego Coastkeeper

The numbers are in. California is conserving less water than it needs to. San Diego is doing even worse.

  • California conserved less water this year than last year. In October 2015, California conserved 22.5 percent more than 2013. This year, California only conserved 19.5 percent.
  • In October 2016, San Diego County conserved 12 percent more water than in 2013 — is this good? Not really. In October 2015 we conserved 22 percent more water than 2013. We can — and need — to do better.
  • All local water agencies in San Diego County used more water this October than they did last October.
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Hate Crime in Liberty Station

December 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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There was a hate crime committed in Liberty Station last weekend – Saturday morning, Nov. 26th. It happened at the New Americans Museum when someone vandalized two of the museum’s signs out in a public hallway with anti-immigration slurs written in black marker. It occurred during the day while the museum was open. “Go back to your country,” was part of the hate message – the rest was so bad that the media didn’t disclose it. It has now been removed.

San Diego Police have begun an investigation and the FBI were notified. Staff at the museum are re-thinking their surveillance systems, as currently they’re only in the galleries area. Executive Director Linda Sotelo, told local NBC :

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The Internet of Things: Asking for Trouble

November 29, 2016 by John Lawrence

A Hacker’s Wet Dream

By John Lawrence

Internet of ThingsHackers are licking their chops over the latest push by high tech corporations including San Diego’s Qualcomm to create an Internet of Things in which everything is hooked up to the internet: your refrigerator, your thermostat, your security system, your car.

It will be a hacker’s paradise. Already hackers have carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) taking Netflix, Twitter, Paypal and other major websites off the air. Hackers were able to direct an overwhelming amount of traffic to a company by the name of Dyn which acts as a switching hub for internet traffic.

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Justice Can’t Wait – Rally and March Downtown San Diego – Tues. Nov. 29th

November 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The Nov.29th Justice Can’t Wait rally and march in downtown San Diego is on for Tuesday, November 29th, from 5 pm to 7:30pm.

From one of several facebook pages on the event, we find:

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San Diego’s Unmet Housing Needs of 32,275 Units

November 28, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following is an opinion piece by the Rev. Richard Lawrence, a retired civil rights leader and an affordable housing advocate. It was first posted at San Diego Free Press

unmet housing needs in San DiegoBy Rev. Richard Lawrence

It is a huge mistake for the Union Tribune to throw rocks at the glass house in Sacramento, as it has recently done, while ignoring our local shrine of good government.

Somehow, the City of San Diego was able to dissolve the “State of Emergency due to a Severe Shortage of Affordable Housing” without having taken any substantial actions of any kind—most specifically ignoring the Affordable Housing Task Force (AHTF) Report of 2003.

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Map of Ocean Beach’s New Heritage Torrey Pines

November 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Yesterday, Kris Schlech wrote a short post about how Ocean Beach just gained 8 new Heritage Trees – all Torrey Pines.

This was due to the sustained efforts of Friends of Peninsula Trees – the group that formed to fight the removal of a huge Torrey Pine on Saratoga Avenue last summer.

Torrey pines – and other trees for that matter – that have gained Heritage Tree designation have special protections and if the city or its contractor deem a Heritage Tree must be removed, they must exercise other mitigation efforts before chopping.

So, here is a map of OB’s new Torrey Pine Heritage Trees.

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San Diego DA’s Unjust Asset Forfeiture Fight Over Family’s Savings Continues

November 22, 2016 by Source

James Slatic. asset Forfeiture victim Photo via Americans for Safe Access

By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access

The James Slatic family sat in San Diego Civil court Monday, November 15th, along with an impressive group of supporters, to listen to testimony on just why The San Diego District Attorney confiscated each of the family of four’s checking and savings accounts and has refused to give the funds back in the absence of criminal behavior.

It was tough to understand government seizing money from two young girls and their parents and as the testimony unfolded it became clear no financial investigation was conducted either. Still, anti-cannabis Judge Jay Bloom ruled against the family and the case will now be moving up to a higher court.

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8 Ocean Beach Torrey Pines Designated as Heritage Trees

November 21, 2016 by Source
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Update on the OB Torrey Pine Trees for November

By Kris Schlech

Save Peninsula Trees has been active this past month! We received our (official) letter from the City and eight OB Torrey pine trees have been designated as Heritage Trees. They will forevermore be identified as such on the City’s Master Tree Inventory.

There are other trees in OB we’d like to identify and nominate, but this is a wonderful start and OBceans should feel proud to be the keepers of such national treasures! We also created a flyer with loads of useful info about Torrey pines, the Green Store has copies, or ask for one digitally through
savepeninsulatrees@gmail.com.

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Gregory Canyon Landfill Plan Trashed – Pala Tribe Buys Land to Protect Sacred Sites and Habitat

November 18, 2016 by Source
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By Miriam Raftery / East County Magazine

A decades-long battle over the proposed Gregory landfill has ended. Yesterday – Nov. 17- , the Pala Band of Mission Indians announced the tribe has complete purchase of more than 700 acres of the property—including most of Gregory Canyon and Gregory Mountain, a sacred site known as Chokla.

Shasta Gaughen with the Pala Indians called the news “amazing,” adding in an e-mail, ”This means that a dump in Gregory Canyon will never happen. Chokla, Medicine Rock, and other spiritual and cultural sites on the property will now be protected forever. Critical wildlife habitat, endangered species, and the San Luis Rey River will be spared the threat posed by millions of tons of polluting garbage.”

GCL, LLC retained ownership of a portion of the property but has agreed to pursue construction of residential and commercial development instead of a landfill on other portions of the property outside of the mountain and canyon.

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A Time for Resistance – Upcoming Trump Protests in San Diego and Across America

November 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

A Calendar for Those Who Are Fired Up and Ready to Go – Includes Other Local Actions

time-to-resistBy Doug Porter

While mainstream politicians and institutions may be playing ‘wait and see,’ we at the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press believe the rest of us have but one choice: resist.

On Fridays from now on, I’ll be dedicating this space to promoting activism in the Time of Trump. My sources will be social media listings, press releases, and you.

A bit of confusion in the coming months is to be expected. Lots of people feel motivated to make their voices heard. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I’ll do my best to list everything.

No one event, demonstration, or political action will accomplish the task at hand, which is to resist the forces of reaction unleashed with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Only a cacophony of protest about issues, not personalities will succeed.

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500 San Diego Students Stage Anti-Trump Marches on Downtown San Diego – As Part of 8 Days of Nation-Wide Protests

November 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Students From 3 Campuses Converge at Federal Building

On Wednesday, Nov. 16th, upwards of 500 San Diego high school and college students staged walk-outs at their campuses in protests against the election of Donald Trump. They marched and blocked intersections, and then converged from their different schools in downtown San Diego.

Around 10 am, the first demonstration began near San Diego City College, and by 11:15 the crowd – mostly from San Diego High School and the College had swelled to 300 to 500 people, according to police and participant estimates ….

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Are Higher Water Bills in Ocean Beach and Point Loma Due to Loss of Water in Pipe Repairs?

November 15, 2016 by Judi Curry
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Is It All Just a Coincidence?

By Judi Curry

You can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt Loma and not notice the continual work being done on the water pipes throughout the entire neighborhood. You can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt. Loma and expect not to find detours where just yesterday you were able to drive right through.

You can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt. Loma without noticing sand bags in front of drainage ditches on many of the residential streets of the area. And you can’t live in Ocean Beach/Pt Loma without noticing the huge amount of water cascading down the streets.

So is it a coincidence that many of us received water bills this week that were higher than any previous month? Is it any coincidence that those of us that have taken measures to reduce our water usage are appalled at the amount of our water bills for the months of September-November?

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Frank Gormlie: “We Need a Culture of Resistance” to Get Us Through the Time of Trump

November 14, 2016 by Staff
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OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie spoke at Sunday’s San Diego Free Press contributors’ meeting Sunday, Nov. 13th, on developing a “culture of resistance” and the renewed importance of a free and progressive press, now that Trump is president-elect.

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New Poll: What Are You Going to Do Now that Trump is President-Elect?

November 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Back in mid September, the OB Rag ran a readers’ poll, titled, “What will you do if Trump is elected president?” and published the results on September 23rd.

The results were interesting but not promising for the future (see below). So we decided to run another poll, now that Trump is president-elect and thousands of Americans have been in the streets protesting since the election.

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Standing Rock Solidarity Action at San Diego Army Corps of Engineers – Tues., Nov. 15th

November 14, 2016 by Staff
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On Tuesday, November 15th, Native Americans, environmentalists, and nurses will stage a protest at the San Diego Army Corps of Engineers office as part of a national day of action calling on the Army Corps and President Obama to revoke permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

There will be speakers – including local Native American leaders who’ve traveled to Standing Rock – and music. Organizers will sign and deliver individual postcards to the Army Corps.

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Long Approval Process for New Muni Code “Correction” on Point Loma Construction Will Allow Projects that Exceed Height Limits

November 14, 2016 by Source
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By Geoff Page

Well, it appears what I suspected about the City’s eagerness to add language to the Municipal Code (MC), after the debacle on Emerson and Evergreen Streets in Roseville, is true. I objected to the new MC language that the City told everyone would “correct” the deficiency in the MC that allowed a 40-foot tall building.

My objection was that this was just a maneuver on the City’s part to avoid further litigation from other projects, that the language was redundant of what the MC already says. By adding this language, the City was able to set a future date, before which any affected projects would be exempt and that is exactly what the City has done.

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Battle Over Plaza de Panama Heats Up – Report Claimed to Reveal Naming Rights Agreement for Irwin Jacobs

November 14, 2016 by Staff

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The battle over Balboa Park, the new design for the Panama bridge and the controversy over the Plaza de Panama project, is going on today, Monday, November 14th down at City Hall.

Preservationists have mobilized their forces this morning to the City Council Chambers.

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Denounce Trump Rally in Barrio Logan – Friday, Nov. 11th

November 11, 2016 by Source

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And Now It Begins – Hate-Crimes Explode Against People of Color After Trump’s Election

November 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

And now it begins. Hate crimes against people of color are exploding across the country – and in San Diego.

On Wednesday, the day after Trump’s election, a Muslim woman wearing a hijab was walking to her car in a parking structure at SDSU. Two males approached her, reportedly made anti-Muslim comments, grabbed her purse and backpack, and apparently stole her car. The suspects were described as a white man and a Latino male. KPBS

That same KPBS article included a reported about an incident up at UC San Diego at a bus stop, also on Wednesday, where someone had painted a swastika and “Heil Trump” on nearby concrete.

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San Diego Democrats Dominate in Local Contests

November 11, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

San Diego Democrats came away with an impressive set of victories in the 2016 general elections, though you wouldn’t have known it from all the glum faces at election central on Tuesday night.

The implications of their party’s loss at the top of the ticket ruined the night for most folks. The question remaining now is how effective Democrats in San Diego and California will be in the face of a tidal wave of reaction coming out of Washington DC.

How bad is it? It’s so bad that Congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr has emerged as one of those being vetted for a position in Trump administration’s Department of Defense.

I’m taking reports about San Diego having one of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation (regardless, it was good) with a large grain of salt. The two paper ballots issued to voters because of the many contests may have caused some confusion with the Registrar of Voters.

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Book Release Party for Sunny Rey

November 11, 2016 by Source
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“Not My President!” Chants Heard Across the Nation

November 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Spontaneous Nation-wide Protests Break Out in Response to Trump’s Election – Including San Diego<

“Not my president,” was a chant that has been heard across the nation, as spontaneous protests broke out across the country in response to the election of Donald Trump. Many thousands protested in all the major cities – including a couple protests in San Diego. At least 25 cities overnight experienced protests . Demonstrations have been targeting Trump’s properties across the country. Protests have also been outside city halls and on college and high school campuses. CNN

But all the big cities witnessed thousands in the streets, chanting and marching: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Oakland, LA, Portland, Seattle. Nearly hundred arrests were made nation-wide. ThinkProgress

In San Diego

In San Diego, 18 people were arrested by police at the end of a demonstration in and around Horton Plaza …

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California Goes a Different Way in 2016: Election Reactions & Results

November 10, 2016 by Doug Porter

calif-blue-stateSan Diego, Statewide Results on Propositions, Legislative & Federal Offices

By Doug Porter

Voters in the State of California opted for more progressive choices when it came to elected officials than most of the rest of the country.

Nationally, it should be noted marijuana measures did well (except Arizona), as did minimum wage increases, and paid sick leave, along with reform-oriented local prosecutors.

Keeper of the Nation’s Future

The reaction of the State Legislature’s leadership to the election of Donald Trump as President was also encouraging.

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The Night that Democracy Died in America

November 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Sometime after 2 a.m. eastern standard time – in the middle of the late night, Hillary Clinton – who won the popular vote for President – phoned Donald Trump and made her concession. He had won the electoral vote.

In an historic rebellion of the white, working-class, half of American voters used democratic means to elect a man who does not understand the Constitution, who does not respect the Bill of Rights, and who does not believe in democracy.

It is an irony, then, that a radical regime was voted into power that represents the greatest threat in 40 years to what is left of American democracy. Words do matter. With the threats and promises made by our new President-elect over the course of the last year and a half, it’s clear that not since the time of Richard Nixon have the civil rights of Americans been so openly splayed out on the chopping block as they are now – or will be in a few months.

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November 8th, 2016 – Election Day Live Blog at the OB Rag

November 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The OB Rag has been live blogging since 9 a.m. – COME INSIDE FOR THE LATEST ….

9:00 a.m. This is finally it – Election Day, 2016! This is the historic day where American voters have a final say in the Presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

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San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide

November 7, 2016 by Staff

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The editors of the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are pleased to present our 2016 General Election Progressive Voter Guide.

We believe this is a historic election, one that will set the course of the United States for decades to come. If there ever was an election where voting was important — this is it.

The candidacy of Donald Trump is no accident. It is a consequence of decades of building a constituency for a market-driven political economy by capitalizing on fear, bias, and ignorance.

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Some Good Things Procrastinating Progressives Can Do Down Ballot

November 7, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

Greetings procrastinating progressive poll voters! After you are done voting against Donald Trump and attending to all the high profile races that have received plenty of attention elsewhere, there are a myriad of other issues to decide. Here is my list of good things progressives can do down ballot:

*Vote to Fund Education and Elect Actual Educators to School and College Boards: Of course, the central statewide ballot measure to vote for is Proposition 55, which extends Proposition 30’s taxes on the wealthiest Californians while leaving the sales tax behind.

If you value public education, this is an obvious vote. For more on Prop. 55 see my column here.

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Do I need a California ID to vote? Where is my Polling Place? The OB Rag Quick and Easy Guide to Election Day

November 7, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Here are some frequently asked questions about election day voting in San Diego County. In order to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen and you must already be registered to vote. There is no same day registration in CA.

For info on candidates and issues on the 2016 general election ballots in San Diego, go here.

OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide here.

When are the polls open?

Polls are open on election day Tuesday, November 8, 2016 from 7am to 8pm. If you are in the line at the polling place prior to 8pm, you have the right to vote.

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Coastal Commission Approves SeaWorld’s New Decorations for Old Orca Tanks

November 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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By Frank Gormlie

On Friday, November 4th, the California Coastal Commission finally gave SeaWorld what it wanted. In what veteran San Diego Union-Tribune writer, Lori Weisberg, called an “easy approval“, the Commission okayed new decorations for its old Orca tanks.

Call them a new backdrop for the set, call them a new stage for a new Orca encounter, call them whatever – the new decor – which will include a “Northwestern” motif, complete with fake fir trees, fake waterfalls, and a fake rock fiberglass facade – will be for the patrons, the visitors – to make them feel better – it won’t be for the Orcas. They’ll still be in the same old tanks.

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