Organizing

San Diegans: Just Say NO WAY to Measure A

September 26, 2016 by Jim Miller

It’s All About the Climate and Our Children’s Future

By Jim Miller, Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura

Measure ASan Diego does not have a history of visionary regional planning, but the woefully inadequate Measure A would take our city to a new low by ensuring decades more of inadequate efforts to address both our infrastructure needs and climate change.

Sadly, Measure A is not up to the transportation and climate justice challenges of the present and would guarantee a future for our city that would leave us with no solutions for climate change or traffic congestion while increasing pollution, poisoning our children, and turning a deaf ear to the needs of beleaguered communities of color.

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Honorably Discharged then Dishonorably Deported

September 22, 2016 by Source

Campaign Announced In Response to Crisis of Deported Veterans

By Joe Armenta

Deported VeteransThe injustice faced by hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. military veterans who are being and have been deported was the focus of a campaign announced Tuesday, September 20th by a broad coalition of leaders including representatives of the veterans community, elected officials, business, labor and immigrant reform communities.

The coalition pledged to drive change for currently deported veterans and those who are facing deportation. Marine Corps veteran and former California Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher has agreed to serve as Chair of the group and stated the following –

“If you were willing to give your life for your country, your country should be willing to give you citizenship.”

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Debate Over Measure A at Point Loma – OB Dems – Sunday, Sept 25th

September 22, 2016 by Staff

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Opponent Gretchen Newsom Squares Off with Anthony Montalvo

From Point Loma – OB Dems

There’s a Measure on the ballot this November that could determine how we’ll get around San Diego County for the next 40 years. Transportation affects the quality of lives – how we get to work, how we get to the beach. It shapes the growth of our cities, and the health of children and seniors.

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Keeping San Diego Seafood Local

September 21, 2016 by Source

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Sustainable Seafood / Slow Food Urban San Diego

On August 24th, stakeholders of San Diego fisheries began meeting with Protea Waterfront Redevelopment about their plans to redevelop the Downtown waterfront. This meeting was important. That the fishing community is meeting at all with the likely developer may affect whether our local and sustainable seafood industry will persist, diminish or flourish in the redevelopment.

The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats.

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The Amazing Story of the Ocean Beach Library Centennial

September 16, 2016 by Staff

ob-lib-booklet-p3At last Saturday night’s celebration of the OB Library’s centennial, the OB Friends of the Library handed out a little 6-page booklet entitled, “The Amazing Story of the Ocean Beach Library Centennial and How It Soon Will Become a 21st Century Facility”. We republish the pages below.

But first an update on some of the results of the Centennial – which was part party and good times and part fund-raiser, what with the silent auction et al.

Here’s a report from the Friends committee in charge of the event:…

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California Governor Signs Farmworker Overtime-Pay Bill

September 13, 2016 by Source

farmworker-handsBy Melody Gutierrez / SFGate / September 12, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will give farmworkers in California overtime after an eight-hour day, a move advocates say will right a decades-old injustice.

The bill, AB1066 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will give the people who work in California’s farm fields the same overtime rights that other workers were granted under federal law during the Great Depression. Gonzalez called it a “historic day” that was long overdue. “These workers are doing backbreaking work so that we can eat,” Gonzalez said. “The fact is, they are not treated fairly under the law and that’s wrong. This is a 78-year-old wrong, and there is nothing better than fixing that.”

The agriculture industry, business groups and Republican lawmakers said the bill will hurt farmers …

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More on Peninsula Debate on 30-Foot Height Limit – “Square footage has noting to do with height.”

September 9, 2016 by Source
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By Geoff Page

I have to clarify something about a very important issue surrounding the 30-foot height limit debate here in Ocean Beach and Point Loma – because the issue has become muddled.

Square footage has absolutely nothing to do with height.

What happened on Emerson was that residents saw how tall the building was and rioted. The city issued a Stop Work Order that people mistakenly believed was due to the height complaint but the Stop Work Order says nothing about height.

We originally believed the developer was artificially raising the grade to get a taller building when, in fact, the city granted a permit for a 40-foot tall building that the city still believes is perfectly legal. What they cited the developer for was artificially creating a subterranean garage by building retaining walls and raising the grade around the garage. Although, keep in mind, the Development Services Department (DSD) approved the plans that clearly showed what the developer planned to do. They are lionizing the developer when the DSD is the culprit.

If a garage structure is considered subterranean, it is not counted against the Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

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Reader Article Shines Light on Point Loma’s 30-Foot Height Limit Controversy

September 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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In a very recent article in the San Diego Reader by Julie Stalmer, entitled, “30-foot coastal height limit slips a peg in Point Loma”, a needed searchlight is shown on the foggy controversy surrounding the 30-foot height limit controversy rolling over Point Loma.

Let’s bypass for the moment the minor issue about the September 8th San Diego Planning Commission meeting being called about the city’s solution to the controversy (of which Peninsula planning leaders were not notified) – and then being cancelled at the last moment – and look what Stalmer found.

She delved into what Peninsula planners see as the culprit that has caused the controversy around the sacrosanct 30-foot height limit, for afterall Prop D – which passed overwhelmingly in 1972 – is still on the books.

The culprit, according to the Point Loma planning leaders that Stalmer interviewed, Jon Linney, chair, and Don Sevrens, member, is August 2013 technical bulletin put out by the Development Services Department. They believe, with a lot of basis, that the technical bulletin attempted “to reinterpret the over-40-year-old 30-foot coastal height limit.”

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Standoff at Standing Rock: Even Attack Dogs Can’t Stop the Native American Resistance

September 8, 2016 by Source

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San Diego “No Access” Rally in Support of Standing Rock – Friday, Sept. 9th at Federal Building at 9:30 am – 3 pm.
(Facebook here)

By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now

The Missouri River, the longest river in North America, has for thousands of years provided the water necessary for life to the region’s original inhabitants.To this day, millions of people rely on the Missouri for clean drinking water.

Now, a petroleum pipeline, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being built, threatening the river. A movement has grown to block the pipeline, led by Native American tribes that have lived along the banks of the Missouri from time immemorial.

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OB Friends of the Library Need Volunteers to Help With Centennial Party

September 7, 2016 by Staff

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The Ocean Beach Friends of the Library need volunteers to help out with the branch library’s Centennial Party coming up on Saturday, September 10th.

In fact, the Friends are having a meeting this Thursday, Sept. 8, at 10:00 am, at the library, for volunteers interested in helping with the 100th anniversary celebration.

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Open Letter to OB Planning Board from Local Residents Who Claim Ebers and Greene Project Violates Codes

September 6, 2016 by Source

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Editor: The following letter by local residents to the OB Planning Board regarding the project at Ebers and Greene was sent to John Ambert, chair of the OBPB. Ambert responded and said that the September agenda was already full, and he invited the residents to speak during the public comment period of the Board’s agenda. We publish the letter in its entirety.

Attn: Blake Herrschaft, Vice Chair of O. B. Planning Board and Representative of District 3.

This letter is to gather a request to be added to the agenda for the Sept. 7th, 2016 O.B.P.B. meeting.

The matter to be brought before the board is as follows:

The structure @ 2269 Ebers St. now under construction is in violation of the following codes:

(1) .7 F. A. R. (floor area ratio limit.) This building takes up more then 70% of the lot it sits upon. (3 stories)

(2) Insufficient parking. The original duplex has been offered for sale as a 3-4 bedroom house without off street parking. The new structure has been approved with an additional bedroom, storage and a three (3) car garage area. The driveway for this garage would eliminate two (2) of the already too few parking spots available on Ebers St at this time. It also does not provide an off street parking spot for each bedroom as is needed to pass inspection.

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OB Planners – Wed., Sept. 7th: Brighton Ave. Project that Exceeds FAR and Torrey Pine Advocates

September 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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At Wednesday night’s Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting, the Board will take up a development permit regarding 5109-5111 Brighton Avenue that requests a “deviation” to OB’s FAR, and will hear from community members who were involved in trying to prevent the removal of the Torrey Pine on Saratoga recently.

The planners convene at 6pm in the Community Meeting room at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue – that’s this Wed., September 7th.

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Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Protesters With Dogs and Mace

September 5, 2016 by Source

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Security guards confront Indigenous protesters with dogs and pepper spray. (Screenshot/Democracy Now!)

Video and photos of a private security team pushing dogs to bite Native American protesters from Democracy Now!

By Nadi Prupis / Common Dreams

The ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests were hit with violence on Saturday, as private security forces reportedly hired by the pipeline builders descended on the Native American activists with pepper spray and dogs that bit and threatened the protesters.

Democracy Now!, which was on the ground at the time, posted several photographs and video of the attack:

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Kumeyaay Tribes Protest Navy’s Plans to Build SEAL Center in Burial Grounds along Silver Strand

September 2, 2016 by Source

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Debi Baker at San Diego U-T wrote:

Dozens of Native American Indians staged a protest Wednesday [Aug.31] morning over the building of Naval Base Coronado’s new SEAL training center on what they say is a native burial ground.

The 12 tribes that make up the Kumeyaay Nation want the $1 billion project south of Silver Strand State Beach to be moved a short distance so as not to desecrate what members call a sacred site, said Cynthia Parada, a councilwoman with the La Posta Band of Mission Indians.

The 60-acre campus will add 1.5 million square feet of buildings to the base that includes spaces for SEAL Teams, logistical support buildings, training facilities, classrooms and more.

IIn 2002, human remains of a young boy said to be 7,000 years old were found in the area south of Silver Strand State Beach, Parada said.

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Will Governor Brown Do the Right Thing for Farmworkers?

September 2, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via WineWaterWatch.org

By Doug Porter

After two years and more than five thousand proposed laws, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, the current version of the California Legislature wrapped up its session in frenzied fashion.

Wednesday, August 31st saw more than one hundred bills up for consideration. Now it’s up to the Governor to say yea or nay on legislation affecting all aspects of life in California.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-80), who successfully shepherded 19 of 20 bills through the legislature this year, is leaving nothing up to chance with her hard-fought victory on AB 1066, gradually phasing in standards for farmerworker overtime.

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The Red Cross Showed Up When OBceans Had to Evacuate

September 1, 2016 by Source
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Red Cross Services for OB During the Gas Leak Evacuation

By South OB Girl

When Ocean Beach residents had to be evacuated because of a gas leak last week, they were met by the arrival of the Red Cross disaster action team. The team arrived on the scene around 10 p.m. on Monday, August 22 to provide canteen services to first responders and evacuees. Authorities asked the Red Cross to set up a Temporary Evacuation Point at Ocean Beach Recreation Center on Santa Monica Avenue.

Maureen Kilkenny, Regional Communications Director of the American Red Cross of San Diego/ Imperial Counties, provided the following information detailing the services provided by the Red Cross during the evacuation.

At 2 a.m. when it was determined it wasn’t safe for residents to return to their homes the Red Cross turned the Temporary Evacuation Point into a shelter.

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Group of Residents to Petition the OB Planning Board on Project at Ebers and Greene

August 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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A group of residents who live close to the controversial project at Ebers and Greene are upset with the project and are getting ready to approach the OB Planning Board about the 3-story wood framed structure still in construction. They want the local planners to take a close look at the on the southeast corner of the intersection along busy Ebers, a block from West Pt Loma Avenue.

And they believe they can make the case to the planners that the project has committed so many violations, that hopefully the OBPB can convince the city to issue a stop-work order.

The locals – who shall remain anonymous at this time – are convinced that the owner-developer of the project has made so many mis-steps – from his construction plans to the actual work completed up to now – that reason will ultimately prevail and the wrongs will be righted.

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Black Breastfeeding Week 2016

August 29, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

San Diego based photographer Vanessa Simmons has attracted quite a bit of attention nation wide with her “Normalize Breastfeeding Tour.” She has previously been featured in Vogue, The Huffington Post, and here at The OB Rag/San Diego Free Press.

Vanessa started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography.

And August is National Breastfeeding Month (which many of us may not have known). And August 25 – 31st is Black Breastfeeding Week.

Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women.

BBW is intended to focus on the racial disparity and draw attention to the issue. Here are the top 5 reasons behind BBW :

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The Sordid Saga of the Saratoga Torrey Pine – A Chronology

August 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest ed goodtree dist

Some of us who were involved in the unsuccessful effort to save the Torrey Pine at 4652 Saratoga Avenue, thought it necessary to develop a written account of the saga of the Torrey called “Esperanza” – or “Hope”.

A chronicle was needed telling the story of how it came to be that the city and its contractor cut down the 90-year old, 80-foot tall on Monday, August 22nd.

The following, then, is a chronology of the Torrey Pine and its removal. (Much is taken from an anonymous “Critique of Saratoga Torrey Pine Chronology”, some is from a “Fact Sheet” from the city’s Transportation & Storm Water division, the remainder from this reporter’s notes and memories.)

________________

Unusually strong storms, beginning in the winter of 2015/2016, brought down a number of widely-reported trees and large limbs around the city, and as a result, there was a city-wide heightened awareness of large trees and their vulnerability.

Late January – early Feb – Strong winds brought down a large pine tree on Talbot Street in Point Loma – that caused some damage – and reportedly a 100-year old Torrey pine tree in the courtyard at OB Elementary School fell with no damage or injuries.

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Women’s Equality Day – August 26

August 26, 2016 by Source
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From National Women’s History Project

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

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OB Town Council Gets an Earful – Complaints about Torrey Pine, Candidate Statements, and Ideas About Newport Ave

August 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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From expressions of anger about the recent Torrey Pine removal, to impassioned statements by Board candidates, to studied brows deep in thought on how to improve Newport Avenue, the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting last night, Wednesday, Aug. 24th, exhibited a gamut of emotions and “passions”.

Anger of Residents on How City Handled Torrey Pine

Anger at how the City handled the Torrey Pine on Saratoga came out among residents during the non-agenda public comment period at the opening of the meeting. The Masonic Center community room filled up with sixty people, at least one news camera and reporter, as acting chair Gio Ignolia attempted to guide the at times contentious forum.

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Del Mar Races: Cruel As Ever

August 25, 2016 by Doug Porter

Martha Sullivan

By Doug Porter

There’s disagreement over how many horses have died at the Del Mar races this year. Animal rights advocates say it’s 18. The Union-Tribune says 16. The Daily Racing Form says 14. Some of the variance, no doubt, comes from the time frame from when it was reported.

Regardless of the final number–and it’s likely to increase by the time the summer season ends on Labor Day–more horses have died this year than last. Betting is down, and purses for the last two weeks of the season have been reduced by another 5% on top of the across the board 10% reduction from 2015.

Saturday, August 20th, was supposed to be the biggest day of the racing season at Del Mar, the $1 million Pacific Classic, including big name horses Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund. It started with another death.

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OB Town Council Meeting: Visioning Workshop on Newport Avenue Plus OBTC Candidate Forum – Wed., Aug. 24

August 23, 2016 by Staff
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The upcoming August 24th OB Town Council meeting could be very exciting and entertaining – and very invigorating – as the Town Council – in conjunction with the OB Planning Board – are both hosting what’s being billed as a a Visioning Workshop on Newport Avenue.

There will also be a forum to hear from the candidates running for election to the OB Town Council Board of Directors. (It’s now too late to submit letters to be a candidate for the Board. Click here and here for more details on OBTC elections.)

Newport Avenue – the street itself – is getting a make-over by the city. So, at the Visioning Workshop for Newport Avenue, community leaders will facilitate a 30-40 minute workshop focused on examining the challenges and opportunities for OB’s principle commercial avenue.

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Open Letter to Mayor and San Diego City Council from OB Town Council on Short Term Vacation Rentals

August 23, 2016 by Source

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RE: Short Term Vacation Rentals

Dear Mayor Faulconer and City Councilmembers:

The object of the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) is to express the will and represent the welfare of the OB community. The OBTC has hosted and held public meetings over the past year to gather community input as it relates to vacation rentals.

On February 9th 2016, the OBTC sent a letter to Councilmember Lori Zapf to formally respond to her short-term vacation rental (STVR) memorandum and to provide feedback from Ocean Beach on what a new STVR ordinance should encompass to protect our quality of life and community.

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OB Planning Chair on the Removal of the OB Saratoga Torrey Pine

August 22, 2016 by Source
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OB Saratoga Tree: A Torrey Pine removed today builds a stronger community tomorrow

By John Ambert

If you have not heard yet: Today, the City of San Diego proceeded to remove the 85+ y/o Heritage Torrey Pine tree on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue, affectionately named “Esperanza” ( translated to “hope” in Spanish) by the OB Community.

The City went forward with the removal of this tree regardless of the requests for a community forum, or for a formal review of the 3rd party Arborist assessment paid for by neighbors and community members. While I recognize and value the concern for public safety, I am disappointed there could not have been a more transparent and community engaged process. During this project, Ocean Beach community members exposed a number of issues which should be addressed for all future work.

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Torrey Pine: OB Asked for a Community Forum – Here’s the City’s Answer

August 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The Ocean Beach community had asked the City to hold a community forum on the health and dangers of the Torrey Pine in the middle of the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue.

Monday morning, bright and early, came the City’s response.

Out before 6:30 this morning – Monday – yellow police tape had been spread out, a dozen police officers stood their positions and Atlas Tree Service showed up and began cutting down the Torrey named Esperanza – Hope. By 9:30 a.m. all the branches were down – including one with a birds’ nest – and all that remained was the huge trunk.

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Miramar Air Show Sends the Wrong Message

August 19, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following piece by Dave Patterson ran in the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 18, 2016.

By Dave Patterson

Given our quagmire in the Middle East it’s high time that we gave some thought to how our politicians and military contractors promote war as the answer to our problems. In San Diego the promotion of war is anchored in the annual Miramar Air Show.

According to the air show Web page, it’s the largest in the world, with as many as 500,000 people attending. What they don’t tell us is that the air show is designed to appeal to our senses, not our intellect, and when we participate we get an adrenaline high and exciting memories to take home. We also take home the potential burden of our military people and civilians being injured or killed just to provide us those thrills. We also forget that the very nature of war is about death and destruction, not fun and games.

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Community Forum With City Representatives on Torrey Pine Requested

August 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

The folks working to save the Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Saratoga have requested a “Community Forum” on the tree with city representatives to discuss the new arborist’s report and other information – before the city makes any move on the historic Torrey.

John Ambert, in his communication with city officials in which he attached Mastor Arborist Bradley Brown’s risk assessment, make the following:

We are requesting a community forum with City representatives to review the information presented and discuss the path forward, prior to any future work activities.

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

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Community-Funded Arborist Report: The Ocean Beach Torrey Pine Is “Low Risk”

August 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

An arborist report just released to the City by those OBceans who have been attempting to save the Torrey Pine on Saratoga, states :

“The mature Torrey pine in front of 4652 Saratoga Avenue presented low risk at the time of my assessment made on Monday, August 15, 2016.”

The Tree Risk Assessment by Bradley Brown, a Board Certified Master Arborist, was sent to members of the City by John Ambert, chair of the OB Planning Board. It included pages of matrices that arborists use, plus a 2-page written report, with photos.

The Ocean Beach community funded Arborist Brown’s services, and specifically, he was hired by the residents and supporters on Saratoga, via a GoFundMe page put up by the group Friends of the Peninsula Trees.

Brown also stated in his report:

“I observed no significant defects or secondary disorders in the subject tree. … The trunk base showed no signs of significant mechanical damage or discoloration. … The tree appeared healthy and vigorous.”

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