Organizing

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

July 22, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

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

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

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Momentum Continues as OB Readies for City Council Showdown on July 29th

July 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The momentum in support for the Ocean Beach Community Plan continues as the showdown at the City Council hearing nears. The OB Plan is scheduled to be before the Council on Tuesday, July 29th.

It’s estimated that activists now have close to 3,500 signatures on the petitions, with at least 60% from OB or the 92107 zip code, with the remainders being residents of the city of San Diego.

This is the last full week that OBceans can sign the Petition in support of the Community Plan – and it will be available for signing during Wednesday’s Farmers Market, as well as in certain businesses. Organizers have close to 3500 signatures at this point.

This is what’s going on:

Meeting tonight – Monday, July 21 – of Sub-committee on Draft Plan, 6pm, at Dog Beach Dog Wash, located at 4933 Voltaire Street. ….

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After the Minimum Wage Win: the Battle Continues

July 21, 2014 by Jim Miller

Closeup of business people standingBy Jim Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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The Twists and Turns of the Community Plan for OB

By Frank Gormlie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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July 15 Is the Deadline for Comments to FCC on Net Neutrality

July 15, 2014 by Source

FCC tweet
Breaking news: Because of an overwhelming response from progressives fighting to protect an open and free Internet, the FCC just extended the deadline for public comments until this Friday, July 18.

By John Loughlin

According to John Oliver, the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are “featuring Sting.” He went on to explain that Net Neutrality is “actually hugely important.“

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

July 15, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

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

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

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

July 14, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

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

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

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

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Anger and Compassion Shown at Point Loma Library Meeting on Homeless Issues (Without the Homeless)

July 11, 2014 by Staff
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In what was billed as Councilman Ed Harris‘ “Homeless Issues Meeting”, at the Point Loma library last night, July 10, at a standing-room only crowd, angry OB and Pt Loma residents and a few businesspeople met up with folks who serve the homeless. And apparently, there were no homeless people present.

The meeting generated different accounts (the OB Rag did not have a reporter present).

OB Jess reported the following:

When I went to the forum on the homeless last night I wasn’t sure what I was getting into,

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

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

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

The specifics of the current plan are:

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

July 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Local Press Playing Catch-Up

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

O.B. RESIDENTS FIGHT SOFTER BUILDING RULES

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

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

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America Has a Koch Problem

July 8, 2014 by Judi Curry

Move-on sponsored movie “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” shown in households all over the nation.

By Judi Curry

Bill from the Swamp CrittersSenator Bernie Sanders sent out an email telling Move-on members that “ . . . our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like Charles and David Koch. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back, and we must do it now in advance of November’s elections.”

I had heard of the Koch brothers for months; I was somewhat aware of the dastardly deeds they were doing throughout our country, and decided to attend the showing of this documentary at “The Hippie House” recently with approximately twenty of our Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach neighbors.

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

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

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

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

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To Hell with Hobby Lobby

July 2, 2014 by Source

By Lauree Benton

womanseye44“Corporations are people, my friend.”

Women? Well… the jury is still out on that. Whether you are a person or not may depend on the religious views of your boss.

Makes sense I guess. The Constitution does say that all men are created equal.

I’m sure the ALL MALE majority who made this stirring decision is just looking out for us lady types. You know, we can’t be trusted.

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“Mallow out!” Says the OB Town Council – No More Marshmallow War

July 1, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

If the Town Council has its way, Ocean Beach will be a marshmallow-free zone this Fourth of July.

Town Council President Gretchen Newsom hammered home that point Tuesday morning during a press conference at the Veterans Memorial by the beach as they spread the word to “Mallow Out.”

“This has been too much. The last couple of years, it’s gotten completely out of control. It has desecrated our memorial,” she said. “It’s time for our community to clean itself up.”

The Town Council is calling for all businesses to stop selling marshmallows in order to keep participation down. Newsom cited people throwing marshmallows that frozen, on fire and stuffed with batteries at last year’s Marshmallow War.

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

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

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

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

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

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City Council Hearing on OB Plan Moved to July 29

July 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

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

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

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

June 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

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

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

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

COME INSIDE FOR THE MEMO …

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Fun and Games at the OB Town Council

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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You never know what you’ll learn or see at a OB Town Council meeting until you’re actually there. And this was true last Wednesday night at their monthly meeting as usual.

Nearly 60 people gathered in the Masonic Center to get in on the action of the Town Council that night. With 4 TV stations present for the marshmallow controversy, there was a certain tension in the air as President Gretchen Newsom gaveled the meeting to order. The marshmallows and the OB Community Plan were the big ticket items on the agenda, but there was lots else going on – not to mention the upcoming 35th Annual OB Street Fair.

OB Firefighters and Para-Medics Have Warnings

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Final Push Is On for Petition Drive in Support of the OB Community Plan

June 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB planners and their supporters are in a final push in the petition drive in support of the OB Community Plan. Petitioners have gathered about 1700 signatures at this point, announced Gio Ingolia at the OB Town Council meeting last night, June 25th.

Petitioners will be out in force at OB’s Street Fair this Saturday, June 28th. It’s the 35th anniversary of the OB annual event. Petitions will be available throughout the Fair, including at the OBTC Chili Cookoff booth, at the OB Mainstreet Association booth, at the OB Historical Society table, and at the Point Loma Democratic Club booth.

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Momentum Grows for End to OB’s Marshmallow Wars – Newport Avenue Merchants Pledge to Limit Marshmallow Sales on July 4th

June 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Momentum Grows for End to OB’s Marshmallow Wars – Newport Avenue Merchants Pledge to Limit Marshmallow Sales on July 4th

It appears that the campaign to end OB’s marshmallow wars is gaining momentum. The campaign – led and organized by the OB Town Council – centers on a “Mallow Out” pledge effort to not use or buy marshmallows on the national holiday. It was announced at last night’s OBTC meeting that Newport Avenue merchants have promised to limit marshmallow sales on July 4th.

As the Town Council volunteers gather their pledges, Councilman Ed Harris has come out in support of their effort. His community rep, Chet Barfield, informed the audience at the OBTC meeting. Harris wrote a letter to local OB businesses, Barfield said to get them to cut down on bulk sales of marshmallows. Harris’ office, he also stated, is working to get city street sweeper trucks to be out in force along the beach right after the OB Fireworks end in an attempt to dissuade any marshmallow revelry.

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OB Town Council Meeting June 25: “Mallow-Out” the Marshmallow Wars and Update on Community Plan Campaign

June 24, 2014 by Staff
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OBceans are invited to attend the next Ocean Beach Town Council meeting this Wednesday, June 25 at 7pm.

At the top of their agenda is the Town Council’s campaign to “Mallow-Out” and end the Marshmallow War.

There will also be an update on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, which goes to City Council on June 30th for consideration of approval (see below for more details on both these items).

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More on UCSD’s Che Cafe: Alumni Appeal to Save the Historic Cafe

June 20, 2014 by Source

Dear UCSD Activist Alumni,

By Monty Reed Kroopkin

ucsd alumniThe OB Rag and San Diego Free Press have published a fine article, written by the Che Cafe Collective. Please circulate it widely. OB Rag / SDFP editor, Frank Gormlie, is an alum of UCSD. Alumni of the UCSD co-ops are mounting a call for all alumni to write to the University telling them we are cancelling the “planned giving” that we previously intended to do upon our demise, until and unless they back off and treat the Che Cafe and all the co-ops with proper respect.

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Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché Cafe at UCSD

June 20, 2014 by Source

che cafe logoBy Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther.

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For Once, OB Is United – Around the Community Plan

June 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Signatures in Support of Plan Close on 2,000

It’s not that often that there is unity in Ocean Beach. It’s uncommon to see every OB group and organization line up together. In fact, it’s pretty weird to see the village so united.

But it’s happening – and I saw it yesterday while collecting signatures in support of the OB Plan.

I personally witnessed individuals who haven’t spoken to one another for maybe ten years – being pals out there at the Farmers’ Market on Wednesday. The camaraderie was obvious – ‘we’re all in this together on this one’ was the unspoken sense.

As I asked passersby to sign the Petition in support of the Plan, standing out on the sidewalk with my clipboard, to a person, those who stopped and listened to my spiel ended up signing it, except one couple from Point Loma.

For once, OB is united and unified in the unqualified on-the-street endorsement of what the Community Plan stands for.

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Ché Café Served 30-Day Eviction Notice, UCSD Cites Code Violations

June 19, 2014 by Source

Statement and press release from the Ché Café Collective

che-cafe[1]By Davide Carpano, student at UCSD and member of the Ché Café Cooperative

The Ché Café, a 34-year-old student-run cooperative at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has been under attack by the administration for the past two months and was served with a 30-day notice of eviction on June 13, 2014.

The notice was given to the students and their lawyer during a meeting initiated by the University to discuss on the future of the Ché. The student members of the Ché were under the impression that this meeting was part of the informal mediation and dispute resolution process they had requested several weeks ago.

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Councilman Harris Refuses to Meet With OB Planners Despite City Attorney Office Saying ‘It’s Okay’

June 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Councilman Ed Harris refuses to meet with and/or re-schedule the meeting originally set for today with OB planners about the OB Community Plan.

Harris told our reporter Matthew Wood yesterday during the new OB Entryway Sign unveiling, that he would not meet with the representatives of the Plan Update committee or the OB Planning Board. Wood asked why the meeting was cancelled, and Harris responded:

“We looked at it, and decided it wasn’t needed”

“We want to hear both sides at the council meeting. We will hear both sides at the council meeting and then we will adjudicate it.”

“We’ve been following the issue for quite some time. It should be a good hearing.”

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OB Town Council Calls for Community Members to Sign “Pledge to Mallow Out”

June 17, 2014 by Staff
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RIP OB Marshmallow Wars – 1985 to 2013

The Ocean Beach Town Council hopes to bury the OB Marshmallow Wars this July. And the group says: “Rest in Peace, OB Marshmallow Wars” – you lasted from 1985 to 2013, and now it’s time to bury you.

The Town Council is calling on community members to sign their “Pledge” to “Mallow out”. Plus they’re looking for volunteers for the Peace Patrol that will collect marshmallows in the hours leading up to the Fireworks show. The OBTC will also be devoting part of their next meeting on June 25th on the campaign to end the marshmallow as a weapon and destructive device in OB.

Here’s the Pledge.

Here’s what the Town Council says about their campaign (from their website): …

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Campaign to Support the OB Community Plan Gears Up

June 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Petition Drive Spreads

At last night’s meeting of the organizers who are spearheading the campaign to rally the village in support the OB Community Plan, it was clear that organizers and volunteers were moving into high gear.

The goal is to show up at the June 30th City Council hearing on the Community Plan with thousands of signatures on petitions and to have hundreds of OBceans in the audience. All in support of the Plan and against the drastic recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Gio Ingolia, co-chair of the Sub-committee that has been working on the Community Plan Update, gaveled the gathering together, nearly twenty people meeting in the open room at the Dog Beach Dog Wash on Voltaire.

Mindy Pellissier – the other co-chair – said: “It has to do with the character of OB and our desire to keep its small scale,” she said.

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Networking Group Brings OB Business Owners Together

June 17, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Stroll by Te Mana Café on a Tuesday afternoon and you’re liable to see some of the future movers and shakers in the OB business community.

That’s where the Ocean Beach Networking Group has been meeting for a weekly luncheon ever since March. The group was the brainchild of Chuck Hardwick and C.C. Summerfield.

“None of my clients were in OB. They’re all over,” said Hardwick, who owns a web marketing business. “I really wanted to meet some local people. That’s how it came about.”

So he took to the Internet, posting a message on LinkedIn looking for interest. That’s where he met Summerfield, a real estate agent in the area.

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