January 2010

Breaking news on Newport, naked man nearly incites riot

January 30, 2010 by Nate Hipple
Thumbnail image for Breaking news on Newport, naked man nearly incites riot

by Nate Hipple

At 2:30 PM a naked man waded into the ocean in the ‘surfing only’ section next to the pier in Ocean Beach. This immediately caused a reaction from people who were hanging out on the boardwalk as well as those standing in the tide pools. Some were cheering. One man shouted, “Put your clothes back on!”

When the skinny dipper returned to the beach, moments later, lifeguards and police were waiting to detain him. One eyewitness saw the naked man struggle with authorities and was forcibly brought to the ground. Onlookers on the boardwalk reacted with obscenities, shouting, “F- the police!” and “Pigs!”

Read the full article → 73 comments

California Senate Passes Single-Payer Health Care

January 28, 2010 by Source

The California Senate approved creating a government-run health care system for the nation’s most populous state on Thursday, ignoring a veto threat from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Supporters said it is time for state legislatures to take up the debate as the Obama Administration’s national health care proposal falters in Congress. “If it’s not to be done at the national level, let us take the lead,” said state Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego. The move in California comes after Massachusetts voters changed the calculus in Congress by electing a Republican to the Senate who opposes the pending plan.

Democrats are the majority in both houses of the California Legislature. The 40-member state Senate passed the single-payer plan on a 22-14 vote, sending it to the Assembly. One Democrat voted against the measure.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Turf Wars in the Surf at Sunset Cliffs

January 28, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Turf Wars in the Surf at Sunset Cliffs

In San Diego’s surfing turf wars, tempers heat up as the waves become more crowded. Are the skirmishes a solution or a symptom?

By Adam Elder / San Diego Magazine / January 2010

I’m not violent, but I have had some times where we’ve had to do some breath-holding exercises, me and another guy,” deadpans Nate Cintas. “That’s just part of it.” Part of waterboarding? No. Part of surfing? Yes—if you surf at Cintas’ spot at Sunset Cliffs and don’t obey the locals’ rules.

Cintas, known to many as Irate Nate, has for years been one of the heaviest enforcers at his home break—a wave surf magazines won’t run photos of, much less mention—solid, powerful, with close-cropped hair and in great shape for a man in his 40s. Born and raised less than a mile from the Cliffs, he’s a local in every sense of the word.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Has Obama Lost the Left? Why Is He Still Pushing Bi-Partisanship?

January 28, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Has Obama Lost the Left? Why Is He Still Pushing Bi-Partisanship?

Editor: I received this email from a good friend this morning after he had watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech:

…. For me, an Obama supporter who contributed hundreds to his campaign – well, tonight I removed my Obama bumper sticker. Based on his speech, he’s a 20th century president in the 21st century, looking backwards into the future. Nuclear power, capital gains cuts, and a health care bill designed by the greedy for the greedy – insurance companies, he’s as much a republican as he needs to be. Just better looking with a better presentation. His approval rating is sinking not because he’s losing the right – he never had them. He’s losing everything left of center.

Here’s an analysis of the Speech:

by John Nichols

Say what you will about Barack Obama. But don’t accuse the president of veering from the course he charted at a point when his term was new, his popularity ratings were high and Americans took seriously all that talk of “hope” and “change.”

Read the full article → 9 comments

Howard Zinn, People’s Historian, Dies at 87

January 28, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Howard Zinn, People’s Historian, Dies at 87

by Dave Zirin / Huffington Post / January 28, 2010

Howard Zinn, my hero, teacher, and friend died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 87. With his death, we lose a man who did nothing less than rewrite the narrative of the United States. We lose a historian who also made history.

Anyone who believes that the United States is immune to radical politics never attended a lecture by Howard Zinn. The rooms would be packed to the rafters, as entire families, black, white and brown, would arrive to hear their own history made humorous as well as heroic. “What matters is not who’s sitting in the White House. What matters is who’s sitting in!” he would say with a mischievous grin. After this casual suggestion of civil disobedience, the crowd would burst into laughter and applause.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Dog Beach contaminated by Linda Vista sewage spill : The signs are up

January 27, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Dog Beach contaminated by Linda Vista sewage spill : The signs are up

Contamination signs have been posted at Dog Beach due to a sewage spill up in Linda Vista. The warning signs were posted today – Wednesday – at Dog Beach – where the San Diego River enters the ocean. It’s estimated that around 4,150 gallons of sewage spilled, contaminating Dog Beach – all from grease blocking a main sewer line.

The city’s Public Utilities Department said it occurred about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 7011 Linda Vista Road, near Ulric Street.

Read the full article → 5 comments

Point Loma Woman Shows How to Catch Rainwater

January 27, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Woman Shows How to Catch Rainwater

Originally published Jan. 27, 2010

We here at the OB Rag have been complaining for awhile now that even though we live in a coastal desert, there is no wide-spread effort to collect the rainwater that falls on our parched paradise. There is no government encouragement for it, our culture doesn’t support it – and we waste the opportunity every time it rains – and floods like it did last week.

Well, there’s a woman in Point Loma who is showing us how to do it. Cielo Foth has installed huge storage tanks and 44-gallon trash cans in her backyard to collect rainwater – which she uses for her garden.

Read the full article → 5 comments

OB FLASHES – News, Calendar and Discussion: January 26 – February 1, 2010

January 26, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB FLASHES – News, Calendar and Discussion: January 26 – February 1, 2010

SEE INSIDE FOR ARTICLES

* Pier Re-opens and Is Mobbed
* OB Historical Society Featured Steve Rowell’s Birds
* Old Rexalt Drug Sign Bites the Dust
* Ciao Bella to Open by Valentine’s Day
* Surf Shop Opens at Old Rock Paper Scissors Building
* Meanwhile, New Smoke Shop and Others to Open at the Old Surf Shop
* Rich’s VW Closes
* Skate Shop Closed
* OB Planning Board to Hold Election March 9th
* Point Loma Planning Committee Seeks Candidates for March 18th Election
* Channel 10 News Finds Sprinkler Going Outside OB Library During the Rains
* Noon Designs Is Celebrating Its First Birthday February 4th
* South Beach Bar & Grille Fish Tacos “Discovered” by Chicago Tribune

Read the full article → 17 comments

Sign the Motion to Amend – Overrule the Supreme Court: over 40,000 Americans have signed in just a few days

January 26, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Sign the Motion to Amend – Overrule the Supreme Court: over 40,000 Americans have signed in just a few days

Since Thursday, January 21, 2010, the internet, newspapers and people around kitchen tables across the country have been ablaze with outrage over the Supreme Court’s action to open the floodgates to corporate money in our elections.
Over 40,000 of you have joined with us in launching a long-term campaign to amend the Constitution, and others have begun to follow your lead.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Upcoming March 4th Protests To Challenge State Budget Process

January 26, 2010 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Upcoming March 4th Protests To Challenge State Budget Process

Everybody knows that the State of California is broke, right?

It’s the recession, ‘they’ say. Tax revenues are down and the State has no choice but to trim its budget. San Diego’s schools are just going to have to suck it up, tighten their belts and find ways to live with the $90 million in cuts that the Governor’s budget calls for in the coming year. On top of the $200 million that has already been cut over the past two years.

What the hell, ‘they’ say, the State’s proposed budget actually ‘protects education’. The Guvenator said so in his state of the State speech just a couple of weeks ago. ‘They’ say there’s nothing that can be done.

Read the full article → 1 comment

The OB Planning Board Needs Candidates as the Next Election Is Coming Up March 9th

January 25, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The OB Planning Board Needs Candidates as the Next Election Is Coming Up March 9th

The annual election of candidates for the Ocean Beach Planning Board is coming up. The election will be held March 9th at the OB Rec Center. There are vacancies in each of the 7 Districts.

The OB Planning Board – the grandparent of all planning boards and committees – is the official advisory body to the City of San Diego and the San Diego Planning Commission. It has jurisdiction over construction projects and planning issues within Ocean Beach, and is mandated to require such projects to conform to the OB Precise Plan – the planning outline for the community.

The establishment of OB’s Board was the result of years of trials and tribulations of community residents back in the early and mid-1970s.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Center for Policy Initiatives Researcher Interviewed by Voice of San Diego

January 25, 2010 by Source

Scott Lewis of voiceofsandiego.org recently interviewed the director of research at the Center for Policy Initiatives Murtaza Baxamusa about San Diego and its economy. The Center is a labor-friendly think tank, a rare entity in this town, at least. Here is part of the interview:

If there was one, simple misconception among San Diegans that you could clear up in 2010, what would it be?

The last decade saw a well-orchestrated campaign by the blame-the-government privatizers at federal, state and local levels. San Diego was one such target, in which public employees were repeatedly demonized as over-paid and over-benefited, even when independent studies show that the city of San Diego compensates its workers much less than others for comparable work. But the work needs to be done, be it cleaning our streets and picking up our trash, to policing our neighborhoods and fighting fires.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Something terrible happened to American democracy at the Supreme Court yesterday ….

January 22, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Something terrible happened to American democracy at the Supreme Court yesterday ….

Yesterday, January 21, 2010, the US Supreme Court dealt potentially a lethal blow to what’s left of American democracy. The slim majority of right-wing radical activists on the highest court in the land decided that corporations are people and that there should be no limitations on the amount of money they can spend on elections and candidates.

This means that corporations can now spend unlimited monies on any candidate and on any election they want. The 5 to 4 decision overturned decades of corporate restrictions and overturned a century’s-old limit on the role of corporate money in federal elections, on the books since Teddy Roosevelt was president.

Read the full article → 35 comments

Reader Rant: Another View of San Diego County’s Food Stamp Scandal

January 22, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: Another View of San Diego County’s Food Stamp Scandal

As a former government worker myself, I can understand the food stamp worker’s lament to not be blamed for the program regulations she/he has to deal and the stress she/he deals with having heavy caseloads and not enough workers, BUT it sure sounds like there is an attitude problem also, as many have already mentioned.

The worker blames federal regulations but doesn’t seem to be aware that California, and San Diego County in particular, goes far beyond what the federal regulations require to PROCESS the applications, and someone has already mentioned that maybe the fact that our County Board of Supervisors is made up of all Republicans has something to do with that.

Read the full article → 17 comments

Moonbeam reflects on origins of People’s Food Store

January 22, 2010 by Sunshine
Thumbnail image for Moonbeam reflects on origins of People’s Food Store

by Sunshine

Women. Questing, contrary, willful, inventive, questioning women. We are women who name ourselves and announce ourselves as the oracles we are. Breaking the mirror of deceit that kept us tamed, framed, within the mirror, the cage. Unbound in this world, free to achieve our hearts desires.

I am reminded of such women by Laughing Womyn’s (Whispers of Our Knowings by Laughing Womyn Ashonosheni) words on First Woman.

“Return, return, sisters, with me to the time of our origins. Remember First Woman…she whose body was made from this Earth, molded and shaped to carry and birth the coming generations of children, of ideas, of human ways of being. Remember, sisters, when we gave birth to words, and writing, and counting. Remember our healing ways, our artwork, our ways of expressing ourselves, our strong muscles and bones, our minds that fly with our souls.”

Women like this have lived in OB for generations.

Read the full article → 10 comments

Is the deluge over?

January 22, 2010 by Nate Hipple
Thumbnail image for Is the deluge over?

Is this the end of the storms? Can we get back to “normal” yet? Nate Hipple took this Friday morning.

Read the full article → 15 comments

California High Court Strikes Down Medical-Marijuana Limits

January 21, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for California High Court Strikes Down Medical-Marijuana Limits

California medical marijuana patients won a court battle Thursday.

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court struck down a state law that set an 8-ounce limit on the amount of medical marijuana a patient can possess at one time. The court, in a ruling issued in San Francisco, said the measure approved by the Legislature in 2003 was an illegal amendment of the medical marijuana law enacted by state voters in 1996.

The initiative, known as the Compassionate Use Act, doesn’t set a limit and allows patients to possess the amount needed for “personal medical purposes.” The court ruled in the case of a Los Angeles County patient, Patrick Kelly, who was prosecuted and sentenced to probation for possessing 12 ounces.

Read the full article → 8 comments

Initial Thoughts on Being in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

January 21, 2010 by John M. Williams
Thumbnail image for Initial Thoughts on Being in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

by John Williams

Having now been in Saudi Arabia for only thirty-eight days, I have had time to develop no more than a newcomer’s perspective on this significant Gulf Region country. This is my first experience in a kingdom other than Disney’s magic one. While I can hardly help but consider the political basis of this state to be archaic, I am able to recognize that it is but one of the many systems extant on the planet today, and I can also recognize that whether it is the best or worst system currently in existence or is the best system that possibly could be developed are issues I am neither prepared nor qualified to determine, though I could, if pressed, express an opinion thereon.

If pressed, I would have to say it is unlikely that this system is the best possible system which could be created, but then to the limit of my understanding, no system is, and, further this one seems to work for its citizens. Saudis I meet spend no time complaining about their government, culture, or society.

Read the full article → 12 comments

Safety Concerns About San Onofre Nuclear Power Station

January 21, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Safety Concerns About San Onofre Nuclear Power Station

Editor: This was sent to us by an OBcean who wanted us to know about Gary Headrick’s address to the San Clemente City Council about his safety concerns at the San Onofre Nuclear power station. Headrick made the following remarks before the San Clemente City Council on January 20th:

City Council Members of San Clemente:

I need to take a few minutes of your time to bring something urgent to your attention. I recently wrote an article about the whistle blowers at San Onofre. Since then, another person with many years in management at the power plant has come forward with more serious allegations, but wishes to remain anonymous. This and other revelations are compelling reasons to temporarily halt progress at San Onofre before they fire up the new generators. The normal channels of communication through the NRC and FEMA have failed, and now we can only seek immediate action from Governor Schwarzenegger.

Read the full article → 2 comments

San Diego County SEIU Union Prez Resigns!

January 21, 2010 by Source

Dear Union Brothers and Sisters:
SEIU Local 221 President Sharon-Frances Moore has resigned. She will get over $107,000 of our union dues money to leave!

It was announced this evening, at a special meeting of the SEIU Local 221 Executive Board. Her stated reasons were “personal”. However, it comes after weeks of speculation about ethics charges reportedly filed against her with the International Union. The charges were reportedly filed against her by both members of the paid staff of the Local Union, and by one or more members of the elected Executive Board of the Local.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Basking in Thoughts of Our Children

January 20, 2010 by Ernie McCray
Thumbnail image for Basking in Thoughts of Our Children

Our children. They have always been our pride and joy. Two girls, Tawny Maya and Nyla Summer and Carlos Biko, our tremendously energetic boy. I can’t adequately express just how much I admire them for how they’ve stood tall in spite of the smothering sadness they’ve endured with their mother no longer in their lives other than in a spiritual sense.

I don’t know how I could have made it without them making sure that we continue hanging out to have a little fun every now and then as we’ve always done as a family.

Read the full article → 19 comments

OB FLASHES – News, Calendar, and Discussion: January 19 – 25, 2010

January 19, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB FLASHES – News, Calendar, and Discussion: January 19 – 25, 2010

* OB Pier Closed Due to High Surf and Damage

* Circle of Life Comes to the OB Rag

* Local Coastal Commission Manager Insists on Public Hearing Before Removal of Fire Pits by City

* Contest to Find Missing 9th OB Fire Pit

* OB Cottage Becomes Home Design Classroom

* Don’t Crap On Us

* Volunteers Needed for Dog Beach Dune Habitat Restoration Project – January 23rd

* OB Poet Hosts Poetry Reading at Jungle Java

Read the full article → 27 comments

The Real Martin Luther King, Jr., – spied on & harassed by US government

January 18, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Real Martin Luther King, Jr., – spied on & harassed by US government

As we hear today, Martin Luther King is commemorated as an apostle of social harmony. In reality, his quest for justice made him a deeply controversial figure in his day.

It’s testimony to the awkward power of Martin Luther King’s life and work that so much effort has gone into sanitizing his memory. Today he’s commemorated as an apostle of social harmony, a hero in the triumphant march of American progress. But at the time of his death 41 years ago, on April 4, 1968, his increasingly radical challenge to war and poverty had made him deeply controversial, spied on and harassed by his government, feared and loathed by millions of Americans.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Johnson & Johnson, Omnicare, Risperdal, Grandma and big bucks

January 16, 2010 by Patty Jones
Thumbnail image for Johnson & Johnson, Omnicare, Risperdal, Grandma and big bucks

Sometimes some of the scariest news I read is in the business section. This morning, for example, “Johnson & Johnson accused of paying kickbacks, Federal case involves drugs in nursing homes.”

I am getting more and more anti-drug. Or maybe I should say anti-pharma. When I watch television I have to hit the mute button during all the pharmaceutical ads just to drown out the “fine speak,” the hurried, monotone spiel informing consumers of all the possible side effects of the wonder drugs they are trying to promote. What really torques me is that a lot of the time they don’t even say what the drug is supposed to do for you, but inform you to “ask your doctor if it might be right for you.” How many people ask doctors about drugs to treat conditions they don’t even have? Probably more than I would be willing to admit, and those people trust their doctors, don’t they. And they trust their pharmacists to give them the straight dope, right?

Read the full article → 11 comments

Monsanto’s genetically modified corn linked to organ failure

January 16, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Monsanto’s genetically modified corn linked to organ failure

In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.

According to the study, which was summarized by Rady Ananda at Food Freedom, “Three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup® herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.”

Read the full article → 3 comments

In Search of My Irish Roots and Great-Grand-Dad Cornelius

January 16, 2010 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for In Search of My Irish Roots and Great-Grand-Dad Cornelius

My mother (Midge) had always told us that her grandfather, Cornelius Donahue, had come to this country from Ireland, but exactly where in Ireland was murky. Maybe County Cork, maybe not.

At a certain point, my brother (Lou) and I became interested in obtaining dual US/Irish citizenship for ourselves and for our mother. But in order to do this, first of all we had to document where in Ireland Cornelius came from.

So began my quest, “In Search of Cornelius.”

Read the full article → 3 comments

School Board Funding Shell Game

January 14, 2010 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for School Board Funding Shell Game

A Budget Nightmare in the Making

Gov. Schwarzenegger promised to protect education with his budget last week. And, in a sense, he was right: this year’s cut are not as deep and wide as they have been in the past two budgets. So it depends on your definition of “protect”.

The Governor failed to mention the $1.5 billion education funding cut called for next year; nor did he highlight the decreased cost of living adjustment. It’s not that his budget planners failed to tell him about the reductions–the governor earmarked $1.2 billion in administrative costs and $300 million in savings to be had by allowing districts to contract out for services. The problem is that those earmarks are unlikely to survive Legislative hearings. And then there’s the little problem of the cuts—many of which were made to administrative budgets–that have already been made over the past two years.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Getting to know our public servants: David Surwilo – Community Relations Officer

January 13, 2010 by Mary E. Mann
Thumbnail image for Getting to know our public servants: David Surwilo – Community Relations Officer

Editor: The OB Rag is beginning a series on ‘Getting to know our public servants’ with this report by Mary E Mann of an interview with OB’s Community Relations Officer.

Picture your high school guidance counselor in a police uniform, and you have a pretty good idea of Officer David Surwilo, the one and only community relations officer in San Diego Police Department’s Western Division.

The Western Division is huge and diverse, comprised of North Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Linda Vista, Hotel Circle, Fashion Valley, Old Town, Sports Arena, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, and the airport area. Surwilo used to manage this area with three other officers, with four different “storefront” offices. That was in the sunny days before budget cuts hit the SDPD hard, and three officers and three storefronts were cut, leaving only Surwilo and his office on Sports Arena.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Saratoga Park Condo Site Up For Sale?

January 13, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Saratoga Park Condo Site Up For Sale?

Editor: Whatever it is called, whether Saratoga Park or Ocean Park Villas, the 12 unit, 3-story condo project slated for the corner of Abbott Street and Saratoga Avenue has been a source of controversy for a while now. Just recently we noticed a “For Sale” sign prominently displayed on the corner of the current, old two-story apartment building on the south-west corner. Allison W. Maris – a nom de plume of one of our bloggers – took the project and pledged to get to the bottom of it. Here is her or his or – whomever’s – report:

You see the sign. It dominates the northeast corner of what the former chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board called a “controversial proposal.” A fresh wind of inquiry at your back, you set a course into the mysteries of Saratoga Park.

Read the full article → 36 comments

Possible flooding in OB during high tides Wednesday – Thursday

January 12, 2010 by Source
Thumbnail image for Possible flooding in OB during high tides Wednesday – Thursday

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory and authorities were warning beachgoers to avoid the potentially dangerous conditions.

The advisory is in effect from from 4 a.m. Wednesday through 9 a.m. Friday for San Diego and Orange counties. High surf is expected in most areas, with sets up to 15 feet on west-facing beaches, according to the weather service.

Costal flooding is possible during the astronomical high tides early Wednesday through Thursday afternoon, the weather service reported. In San Diego County, the areas most vulnerable to flooding are between Camp Pendleton and Leucadia in Encinitas, between Cardiff and Del Mar, from Mission Beach to Ocean Beach, and from the Silver Strand south to the mouth of the Tijuana River.

Read the full article → 17 comments