Organizing

Activist Recounts Earlier OB Battle With SeaWorld – 13 Years Ago

April 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Marc Snelling

Opposition to SeaWorld San Diego and their corporate business model has been well documented in recent OB Rag stories. Easter Protest at SeaWorld San Diego by Zach Affolter, “The Night I Decided to Stop Going to Sea World.” by Lori Saldaña, and the ongoing Orca Profiles in Captivity series represent a wave of voices speaking up for the animals and the community.

This recent wave in part fueled by the documentary ‘Blackfish’ and California Assembly Bill 2140 seeking to ban the use of marine mammals for entertainment purposes, is reminiscent of another wave opposition a decade ago.

Thirteen years ago today the Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization (OBGO) released their response to SeaWorld’s 20-year Master Plan and draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Five days later on April 29th 2001, OBGO held a protest on Sea World Drive drawing attention the toxic waste dump site under the east side of SeaWorld’s parking lot and South Shores Park and their plans to build a nearby 95-foot high thrill ride.

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My Day As a Crossing Guard

April 24, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

You might have heard about the new crosswalk that opened next to Ocean Beach Elementary School on Santa Monica Avenue. We’ve certainly talked about it enough.

Now that the crosswalk is finally in place and the street is open again, you would think that all is safe with the school and the only looming threat for the kids are this week’s spelling quiz and forgetting their backpack.

But that’s not the case, as I learned firsthand.

In talking to the two volunteer crossing guards – Wayne Simard and Joseph “Moondoggie” Pina – they said it’s still pretty crazy in the morning rush and that people still don’t always stop for the kids.

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Historic Win for Labor and New Direction in University of California System

April 22, 2014 by Source

By Daniel Gutiérrez / San Diego Free Press

La Jolla, California — On Tuesday, April 15th, UAW Local 2865, representing graduate student-workers across the University of California system, reached a tentative agreement with UC management regarding the procurement of all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations.

UC management succumbed to the necessities demanded by UAW Local 2865, acknowledging that both all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations are a labor right to graduate student-workers. The historic achievement was reached after the union went on strike for two days early this month, in which nearly two dozen students were arrested and many others intimidated.

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Celebrate 25 Years With the Green Store Center – Saturday, April 26

April 22, 2014 by Staff
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Come celebrate

The Green Store’s 25th Anniversary

Saturday, April 26th, 1 pm to 6 pm

Music, Speakers, Refreshments, Silent auction
& Raffle Prizes from Local Businesses

4843 B Voltaire Street

Opening 25 years ago on Earth Day 1989 folks who began The Green Store embarked on a journey to try and “save the world and O.B”, working with groups such as the Ocean Beach Greens, Rainforest Action Network, Earth First, Greenpeace, The Save OB Coalition and Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization among others.

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Easter Protest at SeaWorld San Diego

April 22, 2014 by Source
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By Zach Affolter / Special to the OB Rag

A group of 80-100 protesters stood just outside SeaWorld California on Easter, April 20, lining the edges of the sidewalk from the lights directing the cars to a distance stretching farther than a SeaWorld tank could ever hope to reach. The bushes just outside the chain-link fences of the park were littered with plastic bags and discarded trash. A few protesters looked at the filth in disgust. A few others, just joining the group, walked over with a red light glaring above them to grab a sign, hoping the words would awaken passersby. As the light changed to green, cars whizzed on by, obeying the command.

And suddenly traffic came to a halt, the red light ordering the cars to stop. Liz Jacobelly, a San Diego resident and long-time protester, dashed to the first car in line with leaflets in hand. The window of the car slowly opened and a hand reached out to grab the dangling piece of paper. The person gave his thanks and rolled the window back up, but his curiosity was aroused.

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If You Love OB – Your Village Needs You this Saturday, April 26th

April 22, 2014 by Source
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strong>Clean Streets Initiative – OB to Rally OB Volunteers to Join SurfRider Clean-up at OB Pier

By Johnny Caito

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 26th. I Love a Clean San Diego is holding its 12th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup at sites throughout the county.

The Cleaner Streets Initiative-Ocean Beach (CSI-OB) is recruiting volunteers for the OB Pier site, hosted by the Surfrider Foundation. The Cleaner Streets Initiative-OB group is dedicated to community beautification in OB, with the mission of keeping OB a beautiful place.

Bob Dylan once sang that “the times they are a changing,” which today still rings true in OB. Yes, it’s true that OB is changing, and with change comes more crowds, busier streets, and unfortunately, more litter. These changes also bring a greater need for community activism.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: #2 of the San Diego 10

April 22, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

This is the second in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

Prisoner #2: Kasatka

Age: About 36

Captured off the coast of Iceland, on October 26, 1978, Kasatka was just one year old when torn from her pod. Kasatka, whose name comes from the generic Russian derivative of the word “orca,” is 17.7 feet (5.4m) long and weighs 5,950 pounds (2,700 kg.)

Each of Kasatka’s children is captive born. She gave birth to four offspring: Takara, Nakai, Kalia, and Makani. Nakai, born on September 1, 2001, is the first orca to be born as a result of artificial insemination. While his mother, Kasatka, lived in California, his father, Tilikum, was in Florida. Tilikum is featured in the documentary, “Blackfish.” More on Nakai later in this series.

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Book Review: Cesar Chavez Remembered, Warts and All

April 21, 2014 by Source

chavezbookMiriam Pawel offers the most comprehensive look at Chavez and his movement in her new book, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez.

By Mark R. Day / Labor Notes

“Cesar was not a humble man,” narrator Luis Valdez says at the conclusion of the new documentary “Cesar’s Last Fast,” about the late farm labor leader Cesar Chavez. “Nor was he a simple man.”

Indeed, Chavez was a controversial and complex figure. That’s the problem with Diego Luna’s feature film “Cesar Chavez,” whose release coincided with the charismatic leader’s March 31 birthday.

Chavez was, of course, a genius and a master organizer. His successes in the vineyards and lettuce fields of California came about as a result of enormous personal sacrifice and his ability to reach out to a wide audience: students, priests, nuns, ministers, labor leaders, and average housewives who made up their minds not to buy grapes.

He broke the back of the open shop in the fields and is credited as a founder of the Chicano movement. Just a decade after he began organizing grape pickers in Delano, California, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10

April 18, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

Dame Jane Goodall (famed British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace) was asked a question. “Why did she do what she did for the chimps she has advocated for all her life?” She answered by sharing a true story.

A captive lab chimp had never lived outside a cage his entire life. Now freed by Jane and her team of researchers and scientists, the frightened primate sat and watched the other chimps in a large zoo compound—free of cages and offering grassy, rocky, chimp-appealing offerings, including the sight and sound of others like him. He was terrified by such a contrast—from darkness to light.

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Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – Grassroots vs Astroturf

April 18, 2014 by Source

Part 5: The Battle for Progressive Hearts and Minds

bryan GOPEditors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is the last part of a five part series running this week at the OB Rag.

Filner mayoral candidacy. And Partfour is about keeping the biggest secret.

By Lori Saldaña

As voters look ahead to the next campaign cycle, we increasingly hear of battles over how to fund these elections. These range from discussions over local races to arguments before the US Supreme Court over campaign financing.

The discussions range from proposals for setting up public financing for elections, to arguments in favor of allowing unlimited private contributions from the wealthiest 0.1% of people in the country.

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More Medical Marijuana Collective Operators Freed from Criminal Charges

April 17, 2014 by Source
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Vista Prosecutor Dismisses Charges Against Laura Sharp and son Nelson on April 16

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

San Diego, CA – It has been a great day for legal medical marijuana patients Laura Sharp, her son Nelson and an unnamed co-defendant after a Vista prosecutor dismissed the charges against the trio in the interest of justice and the three walked out amid cheers and clapping from their supporters.

SocalPURE, a non-profit mutual benefit corporation and legal medical cannabis collective was raided back in October of 2013. Laura Sharp, a directing member, her son Nelson and a volunteer were all man-handled by the array of law enforcement who conducted the raid. Several patient members were thrown to the ground, screamed at and handcuffed for more than six hours.

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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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