March 2009

Robb Field Skateboard Park: No helmets and no supervisors

March 30, 2009 by Source
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When the city eliminated supervision at skate parks this year to save money, the parks filled with gleeful skaters who no longer had to pay $5 and be under the watchful eye of a supervisor.

Problems followed. The skate park at Robb Field at Ocean Beach was repeatedly tagged with graffiti, forcing city employees to make regular trips to clean it up. Reports surfaced of people drinking and smoking at the skate parks. Parks employees and police officers started checking in on the parks regularly.

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BREAKING NEWS: SDNN Fires Editor After One Week

March 28, 2009 by Doug Porter

by Doug Porter

In a press release posted to their website late on Friday afternoon, the fledgling San Diego News Network announced the departure of editor Ron James. Veteran writer Barbara Bry, who, along with husband Neil Senturia are investors in the start-up, was named as interim editor. An national search for permanent replacement is underway, according to the website. The news site launched Monday, March 24th and is still in Beta.

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Remember the Collier Park Riot! March 28, 1971

March 28, 2009 by Staff
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38 years ago – check out our account of the riot – reposted here, what led up to it, the causes, the reporting, and the aftermath.

the Battle for Collier Park

Spring 1971. One of the first major issues the OB Rag jumped into wholeheartedly was to join up with a new OB environmental group, OB Ecology Action, and lead a fight to save Collier Park, an urban patch of land in northeastern OB.

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READER RANT: Open Letter to Sec’y of Homeland Security re: Alan Bersin

March 27, 2009 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

I write this letter because Alan Bersin is rumored to be on a short list of people who seek to run the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. If I didn’t say anything against the possibility of him rising to such a position I would feel as though I was letting my fellow citizens down, especially in light of the faith that so many, like me, have placed in President Barack Obama.

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A Tale of Two Ovens: Azucar & Stephanies Hit OB’s Sweet Spot

March 27, 2009 by Doug Porter
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by Doug Porter

We’ve all heard stories about how Walmart and McDonalds are the only businesses showing any growth in this recession. Two bakeries that happen to be located on opposite ends of OB are here to prove that saw wrong. Oh, and by the way, they’re both owned by women. And did I mention that the food is delicious? It is.

We’ll get into the particulars about Azucar and Stephanies in a moment, but first let’s talk about what they have in common. …

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Rock Paper Scissors on Fox News Tonight March 27

March 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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BREAKING NEWS:

Fox News will air a story on Rock Paper Scissors this evening, Friday March 27th between 10-10:30pm

Channel 6 San Diego

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Someone’s house is burning

March 27, 2009 by Dave Gilbert
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by Dave Gilbert

Is it me, or does it seem like that lately there are more and more sirens going on at all hours of the day & night? Last Sunday morning (3-22-09) around 5 a.m. I was awakened by the siren of a fire-truck racing down my street. My first thought was, really? There’s that much of an emergency that all of northern OB needs to wake up at 5 in the morning? I rolled over and went back to sleep.

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San Diego-area CVS Drugstores Selling Expired Products and Locking up Condoms

March 26, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Community activists and faith leaders gathered outside a local CVS pharmacy yesterday to warn consumers about expired products found on the shelves at CVS. The community leaders were reacting to the results of a survey, announced today, that found 77 percent of Greater San Diego CVS stores surveyed had expired goods for sale and that CVS stores operating in communities with higher concentrations of residents of color are more likely to lock condoms, creating a deterrent in communities most at risk of HIV/AIDS.

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San Diego really is a police state: SDNN refused press passes by police until they “prove” themselves

March 26, 2009 by Source
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by Pat Flannery

I recently got dramatic proof of this shortly after joining a team of young journalists at San Diego News Network, SDNN, a new online news journal. I was supposed to become its political analyst and columnist. I was looking forward to probing the underbelly of San Diego politics with young idealistic journalists.

Unfortunately it was not to be.

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County Supervisor resignations could lead to hand-me-down appointments

March 25, 2009 by Source

by Donald Cohen

San Diego political community is buzzing with rumors that long-time County Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts will retire sometime soon. The heart of the story is that instead of serving out their remaining years, one or both might resign mid-term allowing the County Board to appoint a successor.

This would presumably be the preferred choice of the local Republican establishment, …

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OB vs. Police in the 1970s

March 25, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Frank Gormlie

It was a nice spring day in the month of May. The 21st to be exact. It was in the year 1974. A generation ago. It was show-time for us as we were going up against the Chief of Police.

Four of us had traveled to City Hall to have a “get-down” meeting with Chief Ray Hoobler and our Councilman. The situation in OB had become intolerable. We had come to talk because police – community relations there had broken down.

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How much is a roof worth? City wants to spend $150K on OB Library’s

March 24, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Frank Gormlie

Tony Manolatos, of Councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s office just got back to me. We had heard that the City was borrowing money to replace the roof of the Ocean Beach branch library, and was planning to spend $150,000 to do the job.

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San Diego School Budget Cuts: Magnet Schools Likely To Close

March 24, 2009 by Doug Porter
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by Doug Porter

Faced with the onerous task of trimming $100 million from the 2009-2010 budget on the heels of plummeting state tax revenues, the San Diego Unified School Board has elected to make cuts that will likely lead to closings for several magnet schools, including the acclaimed School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) and the Language Academy.

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What about South San Diego Bay?

March 24, 2009 by Staff
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By Jon Christensen

Hidden in the center of San Diego though clearly visible on every map; ignored yet fought over all at the same time, this is South San Diego Bay. This water front property, a valuable and rare commodity on the California coast, is only an occasional after thought – a place we can’t quite figure out what to do with. It may be in the center of maps, but it’s hard to find on political agendas.

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San Diego News Network Launches News Website

March 23, 2009 by Doug Porter
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by Doug Porter

San Diegans now have another source for news. The San Diego News Network (SDNN.com) launched a beta version this week, with a staff of over fifty reporters, correspondents and editors and twenty eight “partnering” media organizations.

In an opening communiqué, CEO Neil Senturia promises over 30 sections will be initiated in coming months, encompassing local politics, sports, movies, restaurants and other topics.

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Peace March & Rally, San Diego, March 21, 2009

March 22, 2009 by Patty Jones

Photo Gallery!

Photos by Patty Jones and Byron Morton.

Click on an image to see a larger version. See yourself or someone you know? Leave us a comment!

Also, check out Michael Gomels’s photostream on Flickr. He has dozens and dozens of great photos of the march.

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OB Library: Don’t break out the champagne yet!

March 22, 2009 by Anna Daniels
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by Anna Daniels

DON’T BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE YET!

The Mayor said he would not propose closing libraries nor reducing hours. What he did NOT say is that he would not cut staff. This is a significant issue, because the City is currently balancing the general fund budget almost entirely on $9.8 million dollars worth of salary savings.

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San Diegans March and Rally on 6th Anniversary of Iraq War

March 21, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Sunday March 21: Protest was in the air in Hillcrest. It was the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War. Hundreds of San Diegans marched down University Avenue – then down Park Avenue to a rally on the lawn at the front of the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park for a protest of the wars in War and Afghanistan – and a myriad of other issues.

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SANDAG urged to step up in San Diego’s transit budget crisis

March 20, 2009 by Anna Daniels
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by Anna Daniels

This morning, I attended and testified at the SANDAG (San Diego Area Governments) Transportation Committee. Our transit company, Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) has suffered a 14 million dollar deficit this year because of the State cuts to transit funding. They anticipate a 17 million dollar shortfall next year.

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Mayor Sanders says: no cuts to libraries in staff or hours in next budget

March 20, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Mayor Jerry Sanders today told the Voice of San Diego that he has no plans to cut libraries in his new budget. And that includes no reduced hours as well.

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IRAQ – 6 YEARS of WAR and OCCUPATION MARCH & RALLY, San Diego, Saturday March 21, 2009

March 20, 2009 by Patty Jones
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MARCH & RALLY, Saturday March 21, 2009

2:30 PM Rally at the War Memorial building on Park Boulevard
Sponsored by The San Diego Coalition for Peace & Justice (SDCPJ)

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If the City plans to spend $150,000 replacing OB Library roof, does this mean it won’t be closed?

March 20, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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The Union-Tribune reported today that the Ciy of San Diego is borrowing $103 million for a slew of repair projects, which include a sum of $150,000 to replace the roof of the Ocean Beach branch library. If the City is about to replace the 80 year old building’s roof, that probably means we don’t have to worry about its closure during the next round of budget crisis maneuvering. Doesn’t it?

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Vets for Peace Rally at Horton Plaza on 6th Anniversary of Iraq War

March 20, 2009 by Frank Gormlie

Vets for Peace gathered and bannered at Horton Plaza March 19th, 2009 … 6 yrs and counting ..

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‘This is not a wall.’

March 20, 2009 by Source
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My new friend, who works for the Border Patrol, resists my use of the word “wall” to describe the vast system of barriers being erected along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. He would prefer that I – and others who oppose current U.S. border policy – talk about the barriers by referring to them as “tactical infrastructure.”

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Reader Rant: I Want a Plug-In Hybrid

March 19, 2009 by JEC
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I want a plug-in hybrid. A vehicle with lithium-ion batteries good for 40-45 miles, two wheel drive, a six speed computer controlled transmission with a computer that starts a small generator; an 11 hp portable generator is rated for 6200 watts, and yes, burns gas, for now. Modular construction would make it easy to replace the gas power generator with a fuel cell or other non-internal combustion power source.

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Today is the 6th anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush

March 19, 2009 by Staff
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Veterans For Peace will be hosting a rally & protest on the exact date of the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, on March 19th, 2009 4:30pm to 7:00pm at Horton Plaza. This will be from 4:30pm to 7:00pm, and will be held near the NBC 7/39 studios. We will have banners & signs, and hope to get some media attention.

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San Diego’s Daily Fish Wrap Changes Hands

March 19, 2009 by Doug Porter
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Beverley Hills based private equity firm Platinum Equity has reached an agreement to purchase San Diego’s daily newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune for an estimated $15 million dollars. The paper, once the flagship of the far-flung and politically conservative Copley media empire, has been a distressed property in recent years. Last summer the heirs to the Copley fortune decided to cut their losses and put the paper on the market.

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Most Influential Union in Country Fights Its Own Staff Union Over Layoffs

March 18, 2009 by Source

As it helps push for legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the country’s fastest-growing union is engaged in its own labor dispute with employees it is seeking to lay off.

The Service Employees International Union, considered the most influential union in the nation, has notified the union that represents about 220 of the SEIU’s national field staff and organizers that it is laying off 75 of the employees.

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Hey San Franciso! your mayor wouldn’t allow a sign about lack of funds for public transit into his rally in San Diego

March 18, 2009 by Frank Gormlie

Tonight outside a rally for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in City Heights, a local activist – and writer for the OB Rag blog – was prevented from taking her sign about the lack of funds for public transit into the rally site, a local City Heights school auditorium.

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How Will Sale of Union-Tribune Affect San Diego?

March 18, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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(Originally posted July 30, 2008)

by Frank Gormlie

Oh, my god! The Union-Tribune is about to be sold – or at least – is up for sale. What will San Diego do now? Do we care? What does it mean for a one-paper town like San Diego to have its monopoly print media exchange owners … or even close down altogether?

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