Organizing

BREAKING: Ed Harris Selected by City Council to Represent District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ed Harris, lifeguard and union head, was selected by the San Diego City Council to take the vacant seat for District 2 left when Kevin Faulconer was elected mayor.

It took two ballots for the 8 Council members to coalesce around one applicant with at least 5 votes. The replacement selection was the only item on the docket, and the Council Chambers were filled with the applicants, their supporters and community people.

Twenty people had originally filled out the paperwork for consideration, but when Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the meeting to order around 2:05 pm, there were only 17; Richardo Flores, Don Mullen and Wayne Raffesberger had all withdrawn their names. (See the list.)

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SeaWorld Attendance Drops Amid Blackfish Controversy

April 4, 2014 by Source
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By Hugo Martin / LA Times / April 2, 2014

Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year.

The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group.

The notice said attendance for the three-month period that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.

In previous reports, SeaWorld officials noted that attendance numbers may change with the shift of holidays in the calendar. Easter, for example, took place in the first quarter of 2013, but in 2014 the holiday falls in the second quarter.

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UCSD Graduate Students Strike After Just Demands Not Met

April 4, 2014 by Source

Strikers disrupt classes and block public thoroughfares in protest against unfair labor practices while upper level administrators continue to receive exorbitant salaries and enjoy a culture of lavish living

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Grad student strikers and their allies block a pedestrian walkway at UCSD.

Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2865 initiated a two-day strike Wednesday, April 2nd, that will end today Friday, April 4th. The strike at UCSD is part of a statewide action occurring at all the campuses of the University of California for these reasons.

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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UCSD Grad Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

April 3, 2014 by Source

UCSD grad students protesting.Doctoral students rally against the 18 Quarter Limit

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — Students at the University of California, San Diego stormed the Office of Graduate Studies Tuesday, April 1, to protest a controversial employment policy implemented across the University of California.

The “18 Quarter Limit” restricts doctoral students by only allotting them 18 quarters to be teaching assistants, readers, or graduate student researchers. Such positions, if secured, reduce a graduate student’s tuition from roughly $5,200 a quarter to a mere $196. The action came on the eve of the two-day strike that will be held April 2nd and 3rd at UCSD.

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CicloDias to Hit Pacific Beach – Sunday, March 30

March 28, 2014 by Source
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OBceans planning on riding from OB

The next CicloSDias is Sunday, March 30, 2014, 10am-3pm. This time it’s about introducing Pacific Beach up to La Jolla to this amazing open streets event. Check out the route above.

Decorate yourself, decorate your bike and join us for the first ever CicloSDias Bike Parade!

When: 11:30am, March 30th.

Where: Cass and Garnet HUB

A friendly panel of judges will determine the winners. Top 3 in store for some great prizes!

See you on the 30th for a Car Free PB!

Folks from OB will be congregating at the Robb Field Skate Board Park.

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The Ocean Beach Campaign Against Starbucks 13 Years Later – Part 2

March 27, 2014 by Source
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By Marc Snelling

The Story of How Ocean Beach Took on Starbucks

Part 2

The building being leased by Starbucks at 4994 Newport, like the Strand also had historical significance. Built in 1927 as a branch office for the Bank of Italy, it incorporated graceful interior features including antique mahogany furniture, chrome iron tellers windows, and marble. Ocean Beach Historical Society president Carol Bowers contacted Starbucks asking them to preserve the unique features of the building.

She was told that a “design team” would contact her to address her concerns. While she was waiting for the call that never came she walked by the site and saw that the arched windows and loft that had housed the former vault had already been walled off. Trees that had been growing int he parking lot had been removed. “So much for Starbucks touted community involvement” she wrote in a May 24th editorial for the Beacon.

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What’s with all those protests at SeaWorld?

March 27, 2014 by Source
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By Barb Dunsmore / Special to the OB Rag

When it comes to impassioned feelings about Sea World, most readers of the OB Rag are well aware that much has recently been written, discussed, filmed, and documented. The world began to take notice with the release of Gabriella Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish. It started with ripples of awareness that have now become waves of deep concern. The worldwide anger the movie unleashed is nearly impossible to ignore.

While SeaWorld was celebrating their 50th anniversary last Friday, everyday citizens, myself included, were standing on Sea World Drive protesting 50 years of inhumane captivity, drawing attention to what we, and a growing number of people around the world see as a new vision for SeaWorld: the recently proposed California Captive Orca Welfare and Safety Act – AB 2140. A new vision that could be a win-win for the orcas and SeaWorld alike, where the orcas would finally be free from the confines and cruel control inflicted upon them daily.

Who are we that protest you ask?

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The Story of How Ocean Beach Took on Starbucks

March 25, 2014 by Source
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By Marc Snelling / Special to the OB Rag / Mar. 25, 2014

Part 1

Thirteen years ago today – March 25th, 2001 – the first No Starbucks in OB protest took place. Hundreds gathered at the corner of Newport Ave and Bacon St to send a message to the corporation that the community did not want their store.

OB got the message, Starbucks corporate HQ didn’t.

Starbucks is back in the news this month opening another controversial San Diego location. After a vote allowing a Starbucks to replace the the fair-trade Espresso Roma Cafe, two UCSD students stand accused of arson and ‘eco-terorism’ for lighting fires in Price Center restrooms to prevent the opening.

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Marijuana Legalization is Coming to California, But What Path Will it Take?

March 24, 2014 by Source

MJcaliflagA breakdown of the initiatives in the state

By Chris Conrad / The Leaf Online

With four marijuana legalization initiatives vying for the California ballot, one thing is clear: All four sets of reforms are better than the state’s current prohibition. The initials and names are confusing, but the core question is, which one or ones will voters get to vote on?

The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) has been gathering signatures the longest. TheMarijuana Control, Legalization and Regulation (MCLR) is the longest and took in the greatest amount of direct input from the public. A third version was drafted by a group of long-time reform activists, including remnants of the unsuccessful 2010 Prop 19 campaign. None of these has visible financial backing to make the ballot.

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San Diego to Hold Hearing on Raising Minimum Wage – Monday, March 24

March 21, 2014 by Source

By Miriam Raftery / East County Magazine

Should workers have the right to earned sick days? Should the minimum wage be raised in San Diego? A City Council committee will hold a hearing on these issues on Monday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.

A new organization, Raise Up San Diego will hold a rally outside Council Chambers at 202 C Street in support of these proposals.

“Come be part of history as the Improving Wages and Working Conditions measure is introduced at the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee,” an e-mail invitation from the organization states.

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A New Vision for Sea World at 50!

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Concerned San Diegans Will Display a Message on SeaWorld’s 50th Anniversary

From Concerned San Diegans

Concerned San Diegans will display a message for A New Vision for SeaWorld on its 50th Anniversary, outside the location where it was founded. March 21, 2014, is the 50th Anniversary of SeaWorld, which started right here in San Diego. San Diegans concerned for the safety and welfare of the captive orcas and their human trainers will once more demonstrate outside the entrance to SeaWorld San Diego.

This Demonstration will be different in showcasing a new vision for Sea World in the 21st Century, based upon Dr. Naomi Rose’s proposal for seaside sanctuaries to which captive marine animal performers can retire and as recently proposed in AB 2140, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act.

WHEN: Noon to 3 pm on Friday, March 21, 2014

WHERE: Sea World Drive at Sea World Way, San Diego

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San Diego Environmentalists Chartering Buses for Sacramento March 15th Anti-Fracking Protest

March 14, 2014 by Source

no frackingEnvironmental groups are mobilizing statewide for a big rally on March 15th in Sacramento to urge Governor Brown for a moratorium on fracking in California.

Organizers expect the March 15th event to be the largest mobilization against fracking ever seen.More than one hundred fifty environmental organizations will be represented at “Californians Against Fracking.”

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The District 2 Appointment Gambit – Newsom Leads Informal OB Rag Poll, Jane Gawronski Also Running

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

19Candidates So Far In the Running

Now that former Councilmember Kevin Faulconer has been sworn in as mayor, the deck is clear for the appointment process to his seat to begin in earnest.

Applicants – or “candidates” – must have their 50 signatures and qualifying statement to the Clerk’s office by March 17. Then on April 14 and 15 the full City Council will pore over the applications with the plan being to narrow down the field to about 6 “finalists”.

OB Rag Poll In an informal poll that the OB Rag ran …

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OB Planning Board Election Update: Who’s Running – Who’s Not

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s an update to our late February take on upcoming changes to the Ocean Beach Planning Board in light of their March 11th annual election and anticipated vacancies …

From our own inquiries, from candidates’ statements at a recent forum on the 5th and the latest from Raeanon Hartigan, head of the Board committee on the election, we can now summarize what we know and who is actually running.

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Cheswick’s Bartenders Pass the Boot in OB to Help Firefighters

March 6, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

For years, Cheswick’s West bartenders Allie Shea and Shelly Hutchison would ring the bell behind the bar whenever one of the local fire trucks would drive by on Newport Avenue to show their love.

Now they do it with a purpose: To raise money for the Fallen Firefighters Foundation (link). That’s because every time one of the trucks drives by, the bar passes around the firefighter’s boot they have perched behind the bar for everyone to donate.

“Every time they drive by, we ring it. People love it,” Hutchison said.

The idea to raise money came about after Shea took part in the San Diego Memorial 911 Stair Climb at the Hilton Bayfront last year. More than 900 people gathered to climb 110 stairs in honor of the firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

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What’s Left: Surrender or Resurgence?

March 3, 2014 by Jim Miller

education01By Jim Miller

Just when you thought the Obama administration’s education policy couldn’t get any worse, it did.

Last week Obama nominated founder and CEO of New Schools, Ted Mitchell, to the second highest post at the Department of Education.

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OB Kite Festival Postponed to May Due to Rain Forecast

February 25, 2014 by Staff
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After 66 years, Mother Nature finally caught up with the Ocean Beach Kite Festival.

Because of the forecast of rain this weekend, the Kite Festival has been rescheduled. It will take place on Saturday, May 10 instead of the planned March 1.

The rescheduled event will still feature free kite making for kids, including instructions and all materials. There will also be carnival rides, a craft fair, music, food, and spectacular demonstrations by professional kite flyers.

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Bikes & Beers: Promoting Bike Friendly Neighborhoods and San Diego’s Craft Brews

February 25, 2014 by Staff

bikes and beersJohn P. Anderson is an occasional contributor both to the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press. Just recently, Anderson has joined up with other enthusiasts to start what they hope will be an annual trek through our city’s bike-friendly neighborhoods combined with visits to craft brewers along the way.

They’ve dubbed it Bikes & Beers SD, plotting out a 26-mile bicycling course taking participants through many of San Diego’s most dynamic urban neighborhoods and to some of the region’s most beautiful natural sights. The inaugural event will take place …

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Saturday Bike Ride in Ocean Beach for David Alvarez

February 7, 2014 by Source

Some local OBceans have decided to organized a bike ride through Ocean Beach to get the vote out for mayoral candidate David Alvarez.

Date: Saturday Feb.8th

Starting Point: Robb Field Park, Ocean Beach
- specific location is the first parking lot to the right when entering via car.

Time: 12pm – 2pm ride.

Ride will begin soon after 12pm.

After ride gathering with music and beer

Everyone is welcome, family friendly. This is in support of David Alvarez’s bid for mayor with specific focus on GETTING OUT THE VOTE IN OCEAN BEACH! All are encouraged to vote regardless of choice or party preference.

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Former Sierra Club President Weighs in on Proposed Suspension of San Diego Chapter

February 4, 2014 by Source

loriBy Lori Saldaña / San Diego Free Press

The current debate swirling within- and now outside- the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club reflects in large part a debate over the concept that “form follows function.”

In a nutshell: The San Diego Chapter’s Executive Committee, elected by local Sierra Club members, has struggled for 4 years to manage and grow a Chapter without adequate conservation and volunteer development staff. The national board and their employees in San Francisco have refused to listen to the local leader’s reasonable concerns to hire employees to support the Club’s core mission: to “Enjoy, Explore and Protect” the natural environment.

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Why does Sierra Club have its knickers all in a knot?

January 30, 2014 by Source

SCCalifLogyVBy Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

The latest news coming out of the national Sierra Club office- at a time when there are major climate change initiatives underway and the City is about to elect a new Mayor- is just not funny. San Diego and Imperial County members are receiving letters from the chairman of the national Sierra Club, David Scott, informing them that they are considering a formal suspension of the Chapter Executive Committee due to “internal conflicts and divisions.”

In an update report, UT San Diego environmental reporter Deborah Sullivan Brennan outlines some of the recent history of changes …

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Election Set for March 11th

January 20, 2014 by Staff
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7 Seats Up for Election – One from each District

The date for this year’s annual Ocean Beach Planning Board election has been set: It’s Tuesday, March 11th – so mark your calendars.

The yearly Spring election is for the 2014-2015 term, and polls will only be open for that one day, from 4pm to 7pm and will be held at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Mail-in ballots are available upon request for voters who register in advance.

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Protest at SeaWorld on January 19th

January 7, 2014 by Staff
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A protest against SeaWorld has been organized for January 19th. It will be held from 10 am to 1pm at 500 SeaWorld Drive. Participants are being asked to wear black or black and white by the organizers.

Organizers claim that the protest will go on “until the tanks are empty”. According to the press release by the organizers:

$ea World confines whales and dolphins—that often swim up to 100 miles a day in the wild in tanks the size of a bathtub.

$ea World presents itself as a family establishment full of fun activities. However, these “fun activities” harm animals physically and emotionally.

We will meet at the corner of $ea World Drive and $ea World Way.

Parking: For parking, turn onto S. Shores Park off Friars Rd and park in the boat ramp lot then walk up about half a mile to demo location on $ea World Drive and $ea World Way.

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Fundraiser at Mother’s in Ocean Beach for David DeRyckere – Sat, Dec. 28th

December 28, 2013 by Staff
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Review of “Take to the Hills” by Former OBcean

December 27, 2013 by Source
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“Take to the Hills” by the Freewayblogger (AKA Patrick Randall)

by John Filthy

Take to the Hills: Clothing the Sierra Madres is a new e-book by the Freewayblogger. He tells an inspiring story about the thinking that took him from grading papers at SDSU to driving hundreds of pounds of donated clothes into the Sierra Madres mountains.

Some may know the Freewayblogger (AKA Patrick Randall) from the thousands of signs he has posted on the freeways of California and elsewhere. The first one I remember was visible coming into OB from the I-8. An upside down American flag with ‘RIP 1776-2001′ very shortly after the Supreme Court decision in the Bush/Gore election. But before Bush and he death of American democracy the Freewayblogger was doing something else.

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OB Planning Board Approves Community Plan Update With Modifications – Finally!

December 13, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Board Chair Disallows Any Discussion on Kodiak or on Changing Zoning in Ebers – Point Loma Ave Area

Finally, after a 12 year process, the community plan for Ocean Beach has been officially “updated” by a unanimous vote by the OB Planning Board. The vote occurred at a Special Meeting called just to deal with the plan update, held on Wed., December 11th in the usual meeting hall at the OB Rec Center.

Through a long and often tedious process, the Board went over dozens of proposed changes to the update by residents and Board members alike with outlining the recommendations of the sub-committee, …

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Ocean Beach Holiday Parade Winners Announced

December 13, 2013 by Staff
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The organizers of this year’s OB Holiday Parade, the OB Town Council, have just announced the winners in each of the parade’s categories – and this year was the 34th parade.

And here they are – from a press release from the OBTC:

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OB Town Council Meets in Secret and Plots How to Spend Its Money … on OB’s Needy

December 12, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Meets in Secret and Plots How to Spend Its Money … on OB’s Needy

A picture says a thousand words, they say. And so it does.

We caught the Ocean Beach Town Council holding a secret meeting at the OB Rec Center the other night – Wed., Dec. 11th.

There they all were – plotting and conspiring – in the innocent looking “crafts room” at the center.

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Join Surfrider on “Ocean Friendly Garden” Tour in Ocean Beach – Sat., Dec. 14th

December 12, 2013 by Staff
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Surfrider San Diego is holding another one of their tours of what they call “Ocean Friendly Gardens Lawn Patrol” in Ocean Beach this Saturday, Dec. 14th.

The tour will begin at the corner of Cable and Orchard streets in OB and will go from 9am to 11am.

Join them and other OBceans for their Ocean Friendly Gardens Lawn Patrol and take a tour of neighborhood gardens while discussing the Ocean Friendly Gardens principals …

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