San Diego

News and Happenings From Around Ocean Beach

October 21, 2014 by Staff
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Rumors of Sale of Voltaire Cottages Not True

The OB Rag had heard rumors that the set of cottages on the south side of the lower 5000 block of Voltaire Street had been sold. …

Update on Katie Connor: Father’s Plea and Pizza Port Fundraiser

Here’s an update on Katie Connor, the young woman who suffered a serious head trauma by a hit and run truck on October 12th in O.B. …

New California Law Cracks Down on Fraud at Farmers Markets

After some LA media caught farmers who bought produce wholesale and then resold …

Annual OB Holiday Parade Applications Now Open – “35 Years of Peace, Love, and OB”

Mayor Faulconer’s Push back on Reports of His Use of Too Much Water

Internet Addiction Disorder Discovered in Point Loma

PLUS ALL THE MEETINGS THIS WEEK …

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6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

October 21, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for 6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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In Defense of Uncertainty in the Development Approval Process

October 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

By /San Diego UrbDeZine

giant question markNobody likes uncertainty.

Certainly not the developers of a billion dollar mixed-use project that encounters community opposition due to traffic impacts. Nor the public transportation agency that runs into fairy shrimp on the future route of a trolley line. Nor the city planners for multifamily housing around a transit station that face a revolt from their single-family neighbors.

Hence, there is a concerted effort by planners and policymakers locally and statewide, to reduce uncertainty in development project approvals. It takes the form of reducing discretion of public bodies, streamlining permit approvals through the use of specific plans and categorical exemptions, reforming the California Environmental Quality Act, and limiting opportunities …

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“Preserve Point Loma” Mobilizes Against The Point Loma Summit Project

October 20, 2014 by Source

Editor: The following is a media statement by Preserve Point Loma, a new grassroots group from the Peninsula.

Point Loma Citizens Organize to Oppose La Playa 4 Lot Sub-Division on Steep Hillside

Preserve Point Loma, a newly created grassroots citizens group announced its opposition to the 4 lot proposed subdivision “The Point Loma Summit” on the old Jessop estate on La Crescentia Drive. “The site contains environmentally sensitive steep and unstable hillsides and sets a bad precedent for future deviations and variances to the San Diego City land use policies detrimental to our community character.” said Marcie Rothman, co chair of the group.

“This project is in violation of our adopted Peninsula Community Plan and contains deviations to the existing Zoning Code regarding access, setbacks and height,” said Bill Moody, a member of Preserve Point Loma.

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Utopia Revisited: Rethinking the Response to Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan

October 20, 2014 by Jim Miller

climate action plan sdBy Jim Miller

Since I last wrote on the People’s Climate March in late September, the grim environmental news has just kept coming in, whether it’s the revelation that September was the warmest month ever on planet earth, the Stanford study linking California’s grueling drought to climate change, the World Wildlife Federation report that the earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last fifty years, or the unpleasant surprise that, “In what could be termed as the worst effect of degrading climatic conditions and global warming, a new study has showed that fish in large numbers will disappear from the tropics by 2050”—it just doesn’t let up.

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OB Rag Voter Guide for November 2014 Election

October 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

OB RAG VOTER GUIDE
please voteHere is the November 2014 Election Voter Guide by the OB Rag. It closely follows the endorsements of the San Diego Free Press editorial board – as the editors of the OB Rag are also part of the editorial board – and the SDFP is our online media partner (and prodigy). For all SDFP articles on the upcoming election, check out our 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

________

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters issued a 76 page long list of the 671 local candidates for the November 2014 elections. And that doesn’t include local propositions, the statewide propositions and the dozen or so statewide races for office. So there are plenty of contests on the ballot we passed over. These were the ones we agreed upon.

Regardless of your political persuasion, we urge you to vote.

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The Secret of the San Diego Growth Machine: Another Case for Nancy Drew

October 17, 2014 by Source

Nancy Drew silhouetteBy Norma Damashek

Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory that would unite the forces of nature (he had his eye on relativity and electromagnetism).

I, too, have been searching for a unified theory—albeit a more modest one—to unite the forces of nature (human, in this case) that make San Diego the chronically backwater/ amorphous/ uninspired/ tunnel-visioned/ closed-shop/ quasi-corrupt/ rigidly-manipulated/shady city it is.

Come join the search. Just follow the trail of clues, click on a sampling of news links about San Diego, and you’ll discover a unifying theme that even Einstein would find surprising.

Clue #1: City governments are not bush league versions of the ones at the top. …

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Down-Ballot Races in San Diego You Need to Know About

October 16, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

While there is no rule saying a ballot must be filled out completely to be valid, there are four contests you should know and care about as we approach the 2014 general election.

Exhibit A is why we should care about down-ballot races is Judge Gary Kreep, who’s now lurking around Department 7 in the central courthouse, handling a full calendar of landlord-tenant disputes.

People voted for Kreep because the only thing they’d heard (if they’d heard anything at all) were rumors, spread via a suspicious robocall campaign saying his opponent was soft on crime.

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Proposition 48: Are Casinos Coming to Your Neighborhood?

October 15, 2014 by Doug Porter

Prop 48By Doug Porter

The following analysis of Proposition 48 represents my opinion. The SD Free Press editorial board may or may not agree with me. For all the articles on the upcoming election, check out the online media partner SDFP’s 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

It’s funny how people who normally couldn’t be bothered to pick up a gum wrapper off the sidewalk will become environmental activists when it suits their economic interests. In this instance we have “environmental concerns” being voiced by groups who are themselves exempt from the laws.

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Propositions 45 and 46: This Won’t Hurt. Much

October 15, 2014 by Doug Porter

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Editor: The following analyses of Propositions 45 and 46 represent the opinions of the writer, Doug Porter, a member of the San Diego Free Press Editorial Board. The rest of the editorial board may or may not agree with him. The SDFP is the online media partner of the OB Rag. For all the articles on the upcoming election, check out the San Diego Free Press’ 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

By Doug Porter

There are no special interests more special than insurance companies, doctors and lawyers. Here we have two propositions involving all three groups. And there is more subterfuge going on than anybody can keep track of.

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Councilman Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Winter Homeless Shelter

October 15, 2014 by Source
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Compromise Means Barrio Logan to Host this Year But Not in 2016

By Brent E. Beltrán /

With his back against the wall, and a community within his district upset with the continued siting of the winter shelter in their neighborhood and the negative impact it brings, Councilmember David Alvarez stepped up and brokered a compromise.

Though the shelter will return this coming winter the City Council voted unanimously (with Councilmember Marti Emerald absent due to health reasons) with Mr. Alvarez’s motion to not have the location at Newton Avenue and 16th Street in Barrio Logan considered by the Housing Commission in 2016.

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Who Runs San Diego? Some Taxpayers Are More Equal Than Others at the County Taxpayers Association

October 14, 2014 by Source

The Nerd, the Negotiator, the Pretender and its Protégé

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

This week’s article is a little more complex than some of our previous looks at Who Runs San Diego?. When David (Cory Briggs) slays Goliath (Hoteliers Financing District) – that’s a good story!

When some (Sea World and certain electeds) tell us it’s OK to imprison and mistreat our sweet Shamu, LOTS of folk get mad. When our CD2/lifeguard good guy (Ed Harris) takes on tenants (Belmont Park) that seem a little moochy, you can pump your fist.

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A Very Determined Carol Kim Runs for City Council in District 6

October 14, 2014 by Doug Porter

Carol Kim at the DoorBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Meet Carol Kim. She lived in District 6 before deciding to run for City Council. Her idea of campaigning is spending 40 hours a week going door-to-door, meeting potential constituents. She’s the mother of two children; a professional whose work evaluating results for agencies could easily translate into public service as a watchdog for the public interest.

The race for city council in District 6 is an important contest for Democrats. A win by Kim gives the party an effective counterweight to the Chamber of Commerce alliance seeking domination over San Diego. The district’s voters are almost evenly divided between Democrats (33.6 percent), Republicans (31.7 percent) and Decline to State voters (29.5 percent).

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Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

October 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is taken from a talk given by Professor Peter Bohmer at the Radical Ecology Conference, in Portland, Oregon on September 6, 2014. Bohmer currently is a faculty member in Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Washington state. He lived in Ocean Beach in the Seventies and taught at SDSU. Many of the lessons Bohmer learned were from experiences here in San Diego and OB during the heady days of the 1970s.

By Peter Bohmer

I have been asked to share my experiences and knowledge of government repression with you not to scare you but so that we can deal with it and build stronger and more effective movements today for social, environmental and economic justice, locally, nationally and globally.

First a few comments.

We live in a society that is very unequal and growing more so. 50 million are below the official poverty line, and 10 million are officially unemployed and another 10 million have given up looking or are working part-time and want to work fulltime.

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Update on the DeMaio Scandal

October 13, 2014 by Doug Porter
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A Comparison Between the DeMaio and the Filner Scandals

Editor: Doug Porter only at San Diego Free Press, our online media partner, has the very latest on the sexual harassment scandal swirling around Carl DeMaio, running in the 52nd Congressional District against Scott Peters. Plus Porter does a comparison between this latest DeMaio scandal and the scandal that forced out Mayor Bob Filner.

By Doug Porter

Last week sexual harassment accusations against congressional candidate Carl DeMaio went national by way of stories in Politico.com and CNN. Today we’ll follow up on developments in this story over the weekend.

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Reader Rave: “Scott Peters Is a Congressman Who Won’t Embarrass Us”

October 10, 2014 by Source

By Bill Reedhead

Greetings from Ocean Beach!

I really hate like hell doing this — contacting those fortunate enough to be included in my personal Rolodex file [Ed.: Bill gave us permission to repost his email.] This, in order to deliver a tawdry pre-Election Day pitch for a political candidate I haven’t actually met. Or especially care to meet.

But, if the current polls are correct, those of us residing in the 52nd Congressional District could, for the next two years, find ourselves having to answer an awkward question: …

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DeMaio Accuser Comes Forward; Candidate Denies Sexual Harassment, Bribery Attempt Allegations

October 9, 2014 by Doug Porter

San Diego Free Press Has Wrap-Up of this Important and Breaking Story

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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A press conference called by Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio went awry yesterday after Los Angeles Times reporter Tony Perry asked questions regarding allegations of sexual harassment made by a former campaign staffer.

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Symbolic Solidarity with Hong Kong by Occupy San Diego Remnant

October 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last night, in “Freedom Plaza” (the Civic Center Plaza), a couple dozen people calling themselves “Occupy San Diego” held a symbolic solidarity demonstration with the protests going on in Hong Kong.

“OSD (heart) Occupy HK” was the slogan. Small tents captured the flavor of the protests held in the Plaza 3 years ago, when up to one hundred tents were pitched on the concrete of City Hall. Chalk expressions had been written on the sidewalks were next to signs at the entrance to the Plaza, reflecting the sayings and artwork of the protests of yore.

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Point Loma Residents’ Complaints of Cañon Street Truck Noise and Speeding Not Resolved

October 8, 2014 by Source
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By Rika Davis / Special to the OB Rag

Residents of Cañon Street just over the hill from OB in Point Loma have been dealing with traffic issues for years.

The street, though just two lanes and lined for a stretch with single-family residences, is a major thoroughfare for the neighborhood, with trucks rumbling through on their way to make deliveries to the Fresh & Easy shopping center at the top of the hill, or to Naval Base Point Loma, or to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

There’s also the matter of car traffic, which comes whizzing downhill at speeds well in excess …

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Pt Loma Project at Center of Controversy

October 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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An already built project over on the bayside of Point Loma has local Peninsula planners up in arms. They’re upset over what appears to them to be a violation of the sacrosanct 30 foot height limit at Portugal Place, at at 3102-3104 Avenida de Portugal and 1120-1122 Locust St.

In an unanimous vote at their Sept. 18th, the Peninsula Community Planning Board agreed to send a letter of protest to Mayor Faulconer alleging the city allowed the developer of the project to exceed height limit.

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Last Weekend: All Quiet on the Western (beach) Front

October 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We had genuine concerns last weekend about what was going to come down at the beach.

We thought, maybe – just maybe – that due to the heat, droves of people would be heading to San Diego’s beaches – including OB, of course. And that due to the seasonal lay-offs of over 200 lifeguards on Labor Day, there would not be sufficient rescue first responders for hapless swimmers or surfers caught up in dangerous rips at the beaches.

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Local San Diego Occupy Activists Holding Third Anniversary – Tuesday, Oct. 7

October 6, 2014 by Staff
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Tuesday Action Also in Solidarity with Hong Kong Demonstrations

Members of the Occupy Wallstreet local group, Occupy San Diego, are holding a third anniversary celebration this Tuesday, October 7 – which will also be a solidarity action in support of the Hong Kong demonstrators who have been occupying streets and government buildings for over a week.

The gathering will be – true to form – at the San Diego Civic Center Plaza – aka “Freedom Plaza”, at 7 p.m. People are asked to bring umbrellas – the symbol of the Hong Kong demonstrations – “to stand in solidarity with the Umbrella Revolution”.

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Who Runs San Diego? : The City’s Dubious Partnership with Sea World

October 3, 2014 by Source
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Well, this is a fine kettle of fish…

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Womans Democratic LogoSan Diego taxpayers find ourselves as mainly unwitting, possibly unwilling and almost certainly undercompensated partners with a corporation in a Sea World of hurt.

In July, 2013 the documentary Blackfish about the 2010 death of a Sea World trainer finally caught the public’s attention after decades of challenges to Cetacean captivity. The 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove also raised questions about the possibility that Sea World obtained dolphins from the horrific Taiji dolphin drive.

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Living on the Edge in San Diego, the Nation’s Most Biologically Diverse County

October 1, 2014 by Source

By Elliott Kennerson / San Diego Free Press

vernal-pool-shrimp_headerLet’s play a game. Name an endangered species from San Diego.

Anyone say vernal pool fairy shrimp? Doubtful, because when you think of San Diego, you don’t usually think of a one-inch long crustacean that you can’t even eat.

You said panda, right?

Though San Diego is the most biologically diverse county in the nation, according to the Nature Conservancy, with 200 or so threatened or endangered species, (the fairy shrimp among them), this town is much more famous for its beloved Zoo and our lately less beloved Sea World, animal parks that host tons of diversity, of course, most of it exotic.

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Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

October 1, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Editor: Condo conversions are once again before the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Are they a good thing for a community? Here, Marc Snelling does a comparison between the history of condo conversions in OB and San Diego with Canadian cities. Marc was a former member of the OB Planning Board and founding member of the OB Grassroots Organization. He currently lives outside Ottawa.

By Marc Snelling

Ten years ago San Diego was among the national leaders in condo conversions. Lack of City regulation combined with speculator greed resulted in a rate of condo conversions that threatened families and renters.

Condo conversion proponents invariably tout the supposed benefits of owner occupancy and the lower cost of a condominium versus a detached home for first-time buyers. They are also just as sure not to mention the inconvenient fact that renters need to be evicted to make a condo out of an apartment.

The owner-occupancy argument is dubious as many condo owners do not live in the properties but turn around and rent them at a higher rate.

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Backlash Grows Over Private Clubs Use of Public Beaches

September 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The backlash is growing – the backlash against the use of our public beaches and coast areas by private clubs who host work-outs, volleyball games and yoga classes. About a week ago, the U-T published an article entitled, “Residents Cry Foul at Beach Courts’ Access” – how Carlsbad residents and beach-goers are complaining about a private volleyball club agreement with the state that gives their members priority on volleyball courts.

This echoes a “reader rant” just this summer here on the OB Rag about how a surf school takes too much space on the beach as well as in the ocean. The writer’s complaints about lack of access and safety issues found a lot of resonance among the commenters.

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Who Runs San Diego? Deals Like the One Proposed for Belmont Park Amount to a War on Taxpayers

September 29, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: The following is by C0uncilman Ed Harris, who further explains his position on the recent rejection by the San Diego City Council of a proposed lease for the operators of Belmont Park. See our earlier post about Harris’ position.

Guest column by Councilmember Ed Harris

Recently, the City Council was asked to grant an extension to the lease at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings, wanted the Council to approve a deal that would extend its current lease to 55 years. Pacifica has held the lease for two years.

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San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

September 29, 2014 by Jim Miller

cityworks

November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – An Unprecedented Win

September 29, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / Part Four of Four

Saldana smilingIn Part Three Lori Saldaña discussed the realities of putting together a door-to-door campaign.

I’ll always remember the shock, joy and celebration my volunteers, friends and family experienced when the first voting results came in on Election night, shortly after 9 pm. I was leading in the 3-way results by 10 points, with 40% of the vote going to me and 30% going to each of my two opponents. The number varied little over the ensuing hours, ultimately staying there for the remainder of the night.

We had overcome the odds and won big, despite being outspent by a ridiculous amount.

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Reader Rant : ‘I watched the City Council debate on the Belmont Park lease and agree it’s not favorable to you and me.’

September 25, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader

It was interesting to watch the San Diego City Council meeting on the proposed lease for Belmont Park – last Monday, Sept. 22nd – to listen to who said what, how they said it and what they meant when they said it. Watch it for yourself.

For an oceanfront piece of property, the City of San Diego AKA you and me, has only collected annual rental income of $61,000 averaged. No, that number is not missing a zero! That’s $5,083 per month.

No matter who takes over the lease, the city is on the hook to pay for the repairs to the Plunge. Prior lessees were responsible for maintenance but that didn’t always happen and the city did little to enforce the terms of the lease and now the Plunge is a mess!

If Pacifica Enterprizes, the current lessee, does the repairs they get a rent credit.

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