San Diego

Who Runs San Diego? Introduction to a Series

July 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Womans Democratic LogoBy Eva Posner & Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Relationships and money trails tell us who wields the power in our community.

It is hard to imagine, that in the 5th largest county in the United States, only a handful of people have any real influence on the day to day decisions that effect the lives of over 3 million people. But it’s true. And a lack of voter participation isn’t helping.

In both the February 2014 election to replace Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego and in the June primary voter turnout was abysmally low. Overall voting turnout in the County in June was an anemic 27.2%, but many precincts registered in the single digits.

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OB Property Owner Who Swore If Granted Variances He Would Live in House – Now Advertises It as “Vacation Rental” for $2500 to $3600 per Week

July 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Property Owner Who Swore If Granted Variances He Would Live in House – Now Advertises It as “Vacation Rental” for $2500 to $3600 per Week

Back in 2011, a property owner on West Point Loma Avenue who while pleading for variances to build his 3-story McMansion, swore both to the OB Planning Board and to the Coastal Commission that if the variances were granted, he would live in the house as his home.

Alvin Cox swore it. So, he was granted the variances, and he built his mansion.

And now, Alvin Cox rents it out as a “vacation rental” for between $2,450 to $3,675 a week ($350 – $525 a day).

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SeaWorld Demostration at Ski Beach – Saturday, July 26

July 24, 2014 by Staff
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Launch of Corky 2 Freedom Journey

Organizers want help to display the historic Corky Freedom Banner within view of SeaWorld San Diego, where she is the longest-captive orca, to Launch the Corky 2 Freedom Journey, a renewal of the Corky Freedom bus tour up the West Coast with Corky’s Freedom banner in 1999.

Christine Caruso, a kindergarten teacher from Seattle, has secured the huge banner handcrafted of panels contributed worldwide for the original Corky’s Journey for display along this 2014 Corky 2 Freedom Journey.

The banner will be displayed on the large grassy area between Ingraham Street and Ski Beach Boat Launch, just north of the Entrance to SeaWorld on Vacation Isle, NOT South Shores Boat Launch as originally planned, from 8am to 6pm.

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Going to San Diego Comic-Con? Put On Your Mask for the Surveillance Camera Network

July 23, 2014 by Source

SDPD Camera NetworkBy Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

In the TV series Person of Interest, two government artificial intelligence programs—one gone rogue—can access virtually every surveillance camera across New York City, including privately operated ones in places like parking garages, hotels, and apartment complexes. The creators of the show try to stay one step ahead of modern technology. So the question is: do cities really create a network of interconnected private and public security cameras?

Yes, they do. If you’re going to San Diego Comic-Con (and the Person of Interest team is), you’ll want to pull on your Batman mask or slather on the Sith paint if you’re passing any of the marked locations on this new map. You might very be under surveillance as part of the San Diego Police Department’s “Operation Secure San Diego.”

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Dude, is it legal yet?

July 23, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Dude, is it legal yet?

People have been saying this since the seventies. Speaking to activists from this era, it seems many felt that legalization of marijuana in the US was imminent in the early seventies. But other than Alaska in 1975 (re-criminalized in 1991) the seventies did not see legalization of marijuana come to pass.

The activists of the seventies (Baby Boomers) have now been joined by the next generation – the children of the seventies (Gen X). With these two generations working together public support for legal marijuana is now over 50% and is on the rise. Victories in the battle to change US laws continue as both generations of activists work towards change.

Today the answer to ‘Dude, is it legal yet?’ is becoming ‘Yes!’ for more and more people as Washington and Colorado have moved to legalization, nine states have decriminalized and twenty-three have introduced medical marijuana legislation.

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More Bare Facts About San Diego Government: How We Got From There to Here

July 23, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumberRunner

BoomOrBust-LargeAround this time last year San Diego’s former mayor Bob Filner was forced out of office. As it happens, he was the first bona fide “strong mayor” our city has yet seen.

We voters had no choice but to wield our black markers once again and fill in the ballot bubble to select a new mayor. The winner this time around was Mr. White Bread personified, Kevin Faulconer.

San Diego’s lead newspaper, the U-T, summed up the occasion in a neat sentence: “At least the day brought us one step further from our time of scandal and farce.”

The UT likes to play coy. They know perfectly well that scandal and farce are what make our city tick.

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Semi-Breaking News: Mayor Faulconer Endorses Current OB Community Plan – Rejects Planning Commission’s Recommendations

July 22, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

In a “semi-breaking” news flash, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has come out and publicly endorsed the current OB Community Plan – the Plan that is being supported by every group in the community and thousands of its residents.

The U-T reported today – July 22 – that “Faulconer er said through a spokesman this week that he prefers reverting back to the previous version of the plan, which strongly discourages city officials from allowing exceptions to the community’s strict density limits.”

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After the Minimum Wage Win: the Battle Continues

July 21, 2014 by Jim Miller

Closeup of business people standingBy Jim Miller

San Diego’s progressive community got a well deserved shout-out last week in the national media with The Nation praising the good work of our city’s “expanding progressive base.”

More specifically, the article noted that the local movement to raise the minimum wage was comprised of many of the same folks who formed the community-labor alliance behind the David Alvarez mayoral campaign:

That coalition, Raise Up San Diego, includes the Center for Policy Initiatives as well as labor unions, immigrant rights groups and service providers.

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Summer gardens coming on strong in San Diego!

July 21, 2014 by Source

By Susan Taylor

artichoke flower

Hello fellow gardeners. How does your garden grow? Here in San Diego it is mid-summer with temperatures in the mid 90s, five miles in from the beach and further east. Watering enough? Perhaps you have over watered your tomato vines as I have, resulting in way more vine than fruit. Might be time to fertilize your beds with an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion. If you have garden veggies that are looking stressed from the heat and are not productive, do pull them out—there’s time to re-plant beans, squash, basil and other herbs.

In San Diego it is still too early for fall planting, let’s hang back a bit. If you have stone fruits they should be ripening nicely and good luck with keeping the birds from getting their fair share! This wasn’t a good year in my garden for …

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Jewish Voice for Peace San Diego Condemns the Israeli Offensive in Gaza

July 21, 2014 by Source

By David Deutsch, Jonathan Graubart, and Avital Aboody/ Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego

hold israel accountableJewish Voice for Peace San Diego (JVPSD) is the local chapter of the national Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to the pursuit of peace, social justice, equality, and human rights in Israel-Palestine.

While most mainstream American Jewish organizations have long abandoned moral responsibility when it comes to Palestinians, we insist upon holding Israel accountable for its crimes, which include a nearly fifty-year occupation, a denial of Palestinian self-determination, repeated war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.

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San Diego’s Overlords Seek Overturn of City Council Vote Raising Minimum Wage

July 18, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Business interests opposed to raising the minimum wage in San Diego haven’t given up, despite a 6-3 city council vote on Monday, July 14, approving an ordinance boosting wages for an estimated 172,000 workers.

On Tuesday they launched a major public relations campaign seeking to portray the council vote as undemocratic and unfair to their interests. In closed door meetings led by Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders, so-called business leaders are considering the logistics of mounting a signature gathering campaign to place an initiative on the ballot seeking to overturn the minimum wage increase.

Although meeting the August 8th deadline for inclusion on the November 2014 ballot is unlikely, a successful campaign completed …

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The Story of How Community Planning Came to O.B.

July 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Staff: This is the second part of a 2-part series published this week. The series is loosely based on a talk by Frank Gormlie at the February 21, 2013 OB Historical Society monthly meeting. Here is Part 1

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The Twists and Turns of the Community Plan for OB

By Frank Gormlie

Last we left off was the Spring of 1972, when the City Planning Department canceled or postponed all its meetings or workshops on the Pen. Inc sponsored Precise Plan. This was due to the establishment of a substantial opposition to the plan, which was in the form of a damning survey of resident attitudes toward development, high-rise and density increases, and a petition calling for a building moratorium signed by thousands.

So, in the spring and summer months of 1972, the crisis was over – at least temporarily as Ocean Beach had awoken, and its residents had successfully halted the threatened onslaught of massive development.

There appeared to be a lull … for about 6 or 7 months.

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The Story of How Community Planning Came to Be in Ocean Beach – How Ocean Beach Was “Saved”

July 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Part 1
By Frank Gormlie

I have a story, and it’s a story about urban planning in Ocean Beach during the mid-1970′s – and how community planning came to be here in OB. It is a story about how a crisis of over-development encrusted the village of OB – and then it’s a story about how OBceans responded to that crisis – a crisis that affected much of coastal of San Diego and of the rest of the Southern California.

It’s a story how the small village blocked a plan that would have literally paved the way for the community to be redeveloped into a San Diego version of Miami Beach.

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Encinitas Bluff Owners Battle Coastal Commission Over Sea Wall Requirements

July 15, 2014 by Staff

A battle over how long a private property seawall can remain along the California coast without being re-approved by the California Coastal Commission hit the Court of Appeal – sitting in San Diego – on Monday, July 14. The case could set a huge precedent for property owners up and down the state’s fragile coast.

It all started when heavy rains in 2010 resulted in a bluff collapse up in Encinitas. The collapse also destroyed a 100-foot seawall and damaged a staircase to the beach.

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San Diego Becomes Largest US City to Pass Minimum Wage Hike and Earned Sick Days Policy

July 15, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Supporters of a hike in local minimum wages left nothing to chance yesterday as a city council decision on a proposal by Todd Gloria neared. Over 400 hundred people showed up at city hall for a 6pm hearing, filling the council chambers and two overflow rooms. Many wore pink signs indicating their support.

Email and social media reminders abounded during the day, including a mid-day Raise Up San Diego-led “Twitterstorm.” More than 100 people testified before the council. Highlights included former basketball star Bill Walton …

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OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Bring Home Four Awards in Society of Professional Journalists Competition

July 14, 2014 by Staff

Writers Frank Gormlie, Doug Porter, Anna Daniels, and John Lawrence Recognized

SDFP_table_sign_2014

By Staff

On July 10 the the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held its annual journalism awards banquet at Bali Hai on Shelter Island. The names of all of the winners of the competition had been released in June. The list included Frank Gormlie, editor of the OB Rag, plus San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter, Anna Daniels and weekly contributor John Lawrence. First, second and third place winners would be announced at the banquet as well as the Journalist of the Year award.

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What Kind of City Is San Diego? It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

July 14, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

raise min wageThe San Diego City Council will consider today whether to pass an ordinance or put forth a ballot measure to increase the city’s minimum wage and provide earned sick days for local workers.

Since the last time I wrote on this subject in late April, the original proposal of raising the minimum wage to the local Self-Sufficiency Standard of $13.09 with five earned sick days has been significantly lowered in order to address the concerns of opponents.

The current proposal keeps the initial five earned sick days but now only raises the minimum wage to $9.75 in 2015 …

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Judge Rules the UCSD Che Cafe Gets a Stay

July 11, 2014 by Source

… and the Struggle Continues

From Press Release from Che Cafe Collective:

The Che Café Collective, a world renowned cultural icon and UCSD landmark that operates as an all-ages music venue, performance space and cafe, will not be so easily uprooted by University officials after over three decades of continuous operation and huge support from students and the public.

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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. human rights.

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District Attorney Dumanis Holds up Three Fingers, Tells Media to Read Between the Lines.

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter

Three MonkeysBy Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis appeared on KUSI-TV’s morning talk show today to release a copy of her letter of recommendation written for the son of indicted Mexican financier Susumo Azano.

A consortium of media organizations including City News Service, inewsource, KFMB News 8, KNSD/NBC 7, KPBS, KSWB/Fox 5, the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists San Diego, U-T San Diego, and Voice of San Diego had made repeated requests for a copy of the document.

At 5pm yesterday a deadline passed for what was essentially a demand letter (the last thing you do before you sue somebody) written by attorney Guylyn Cummins on behalf of the media organizations.

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Certain Bare Facts About San Diego

July 9, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

cursusThere are certain bare facts about our city that we ­– as informed San Diegans and curious citizens – would benefit from knowing more about.

The intent of my upcoming commentaries is to shed light on the anatomy of hometown government while getting the bare facts out in the open.

Having just weathered the July 4th weekend, why don’t we start with some bare facts about flashy celebrations, San Diego style.

You’re probably aware that the job of drumming up money and excellent ideas for a centennial celebration of the 1915 Balboa Park Panama-California exposition (Panama refers to the canal, not the hat or cigar) …

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Minimum Wage Increase, Earned Sick Days Proposal Set for Full City Council Hearing July 14th

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The full San Diego City Council is set to hear arguments over proposals increasing the minimum wage and allowing for up to five earned sick days. The measure being considered is Council President Todd Gloria’s attempt at comprise from an earlier proposal.

The specifics of the current plan are:

  • $9.75 Jan 2015
  • $10.50 Jan 2016
  • $11.50 Jan 2017
  • Indexed to inflation after Jan 2019
  • 5 Earned Sick days
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San Diego Media Discovering the Battle Over OB’s Community Plan

July 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Local Press Playing Catch-Up

Finally, some of San Diego’s mainstream media have discovered the battle over the Ocean Beach Community Plan. The U-T San Diego ran two versions basically of the same article by reported David Garrick on June 28 and 29, quoting Pete Ruscitti, the OB planning chair, and Gretchen Newsom, the head of the OB Town Council. Here is the lede:

O.B. RESIDENTS FIGHT SOFTER BUILDING RULES

OCEAN BEACH — Worried that a new community plan for Ocean Beach could destroy the area’s small-scale charm, more than 2,000 residents have signed petitions this month asking the city to maintain building restrictions that date back four decades.

The residents say loosening the rules would transform their community into Mission Beach or Pacific Beach, where three-story vacation rentals have replaced small cottages and other less intense housing in many areas.

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Surfrider: Significant Decrease in Trash on Beach After July 4th – Partly Due to Curtailed Marshmallow War in OB

July 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Surfrider, other environmental groups and all the volunteers who massed the day after July 4th to do the beach clean-up found a huge drop in the trash on the beach. A spokesperson stated that there was a “significant decrease in the amount of trash collected this year compared to the last few years.”

The group attributed part of the this to the curtailment of this year’s OB Marshmallow War.

In a press release from Surfrider San Diego, they announced that nearly 650 people gathered at 4 beach sites on July 5th as volunteers for the massive annual clean-up effort, led by Surfrider. By midday, they reported that a total of 1,410 pounds of trash and 326 pounds of recycling had been collected.

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San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 3, 2014 by Source
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We are not only facing a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of values as well

By San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The leadership of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a coalition of nearly 20 community, faith, labor, and legal organizations released the following statement in response the current humanitarian crisis migrant families are facing in Southern California.

sdirclogoAlor Calderon, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Program Director at the Employee Rights Center:

The issue of unaccompanied minors fleeing their home countries is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration crisis, and should be treated as such.

Furthermore, we are not only facing a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of values as well.

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Group Threatened With Arrest If They Feed Homeless at Saratoga Park on July 4th

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: No arrests made as volunteers served dozens of homeless and other needy people this morning at Saratoga Park in OB.

A group that feeds homeless people on every holiday at an Ocean Beach park has been threatened with arrest by police if they go ahead feed the homeless on July 4th.

The group – Second Chances – is a non-profit that works with local churches and homeless advocates. They feed homeless people in OB every Saturday at the Episcopal Church on Sunset Cliffs and Brighton. And on major holidays the also feed homeless folks at Saratoga Park down at the beach. The last holiday they did this was on Memorial Day this year – without hassles.

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Is Park and Rec About to Remove 2 North OB Park Picnic Tables Due to Complaints From OB’s Gentry?

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: It has been confirmed to the OB Rag by a Park and Rec manager that these two picnic tables will be moved. Dan Danerio said that these two tables have not always been where they are now, that his department had a couple extra ones and decided to place them in the grassy area as an experiment. It didn’t work out due to complaints from local homeowners, including some of the new owners of the large mansions close to the tables. …. More inside

Why? Why would Park and Rec remove two picnic tables?

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City Council Pushed by OB to Set Earliest Date for Hearing on Community Plan

July 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Due to a last-minute Coastal Commission list of recommendations that the City has to consider, the long-scheduled City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan was postponed to July 29th.

This all came down on Monday, June 30th. Word had spread among OB planners, OB Town Council members, and other organizers that Mayor Faulconer was asking the Council to continue the long-awaiting hearing on the OB Plan due to time needed by city staff to review the Coastal Commission’s modifications.

So, the major mobilization of OBceans planned for a month, was called off – but only partially – as 40 people from OB were in Council Chambers on Monday, and thirty of them wore the blue ‘support OB’ T-shirts.

It has to be noted, that it was because of the presence of so many OBceans and because of the insistence by the OBceans who publicly spoke to have the Council review the OB Plan at the earliest possible date, that the July date was selectd. The Council had been considering September 19th …

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City Council Hearing on OB Plan Moved to July 29

July 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

At the insistence of OB leaders, planners and other OBceans at yesterday’s City Council meeting on the OB Community Plan, the Council set the earliest “possible” date for the actual hearing – July 29th.

Forty and more OBceans and supporters filled Council Chambers – on what was to be a fateful day of Ocean Beach. The City Council hearing on the OB Plan has been scheduled for weeks – if not months – for Monday, June 30th. OB planners had geared up a campaign to mobilize the coastal community downtown and with thousands of signatures on their petition.

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BREAKING NEWS: City Council Hearing on OB Community Plan to Be Postponed

June 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

At the 11th Hour, Coastal Commission Makes 43 Recommended Changes to OB Plan

The San Diego City Council Hearing on the OB Community Plan scheduled for Monday, June 30th, will be postponed to as yet an unknown date.

Councilman Ed Harris’ office was notified by the Mayor’s Office late on Friday afternoon that due to a brand new, 11th hour submission of 43 recommended “modifications” to the Plan by the staff of the California Coastal Commission, the Mayor will be seeking a continuance – or postponement – of the hearing slated for 2pm. It needs to be postponed in order to allow City staff sufficient time to evaluate the recommendations and make a response. …

COME INSIDE FOR THE MEMO …

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