April 2012

Filner Releases Pension Alternative to Prop B

April 30, 2012 by Andy Cohen
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The long awaited pension reform proposal from the lone Democrat in the San Diego Mayor’s race has finally arrived

As I noted last Friday, mayoral candidate Bob Filner wasn’t doing San Diego any favors by not officially releasing his alternative to the Comprehensive Pension Reform (Prop B) promoted so heavily by Carl DeMaio and the other Republican challengers in the mayor’s race….

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“Respect OB”: An Open Letter to the Readers of the OB Rag

April 30, 2012 by Source
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By Andy Taubmann

Fellow readers of the OB Rag,

I have been a regular reader of the OB Rag for about ten years, although I have never commented or contributed. I read the Rag, because I believe that the Rag has a unique position to observe, chronicle, and comment on the happenings of Ocean Beach.

As such, the very valid question has been asked, what is the Respect OB movement and what is it about?

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City Attorney Insists On Taking Marriage Equality Activists to Trial on the City’s Dime

April 30, 2012 by Source

Equality Nine Trial Selects Jury Monday AM, Opening Arguments Expected by Late Afternoon

By Sean Bohac

SAN DIEGO — Marriage equality activists charged with misdemeanors from an August 19, 2010 protest will be in court Monday morning. The “Equality Nine” are nine protesters who were arrested during a peaceful “sit-in” for marriage equality. Jury selection begins in their case Monday, April 30, at 10 a.m. before Judge Joan P. Weber in the Presiding Courtroom of the San Diego County Superior Court, 220 West Broadway, in downtown San Diego. The opening arguments, scheduled to begin on Monday afternoon, are expected to outline the first amendment and LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] justice ramifications of this trial.

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Point Loma Townhomes Project to be Reviewed by Coastal Commission at Hearing in Marin County

April 30, 2012 by Source

Carl Hancock / The San Diego Reader / April 26, 2012

In what looks like a fairly effective way of discouraging public comment, the California Coastal Commission recently sent notices to Shelter Island-area residents, informing them that the next hearing on the proposed Point Loma Townhomes development would be held in Marin County.

According to SDNews.com:

“The Point Loma Townhomes project site would be bounded by Carleton Street to the north, Dickens Street to the south and Scott Street to the west. It lies adjacent to the old Kettenburg Boatyard next to America’s Cup Harbor.”

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Flunking Fletcher: Forget What His Friends Say, Remember His Record

April 30, 2012 by Jim Miller
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My column last week, “The Fletcher Flim Flam,” got a lot of attention and many comments, the most interesting one coming from Democratic Assemblyman Isadore Hall sent not by the politician himself but by a worried Fletcher campaign staffer who forwarded it to the OB Rag asking that it be posted in response to my blog. Here it is:

On the same day that Jim Miller published his piece against Nathan Fletcher, the right wing group Americans for Prosperity was doing a press conference to attack him as well.

You may have heard about this group, the front group for the Koch brothers. This is the same group that supported the chaos and dysfunction in Wisconsin–a model and vision that Carl Demaio has laid out as his vision for San Diego.

It’s unfortunate that Jim Miller doesn’t know Nathan Fletcher, but I do.

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The Day I Turned 74

April 30, 2012 by Ernie McCray
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Woke up on April 18th
at about 9:04.
It was my birthday.
Number 74.
Stepped my big old feet
down upon the floor,
reached down to pick up
a paper clip or something
that caught my eye
next to my bedroom door
and all of a sudden I felt
a wee tug of my sacroiliac
and then my back
seemed like it was being attacked
by an alligator
in a biting contest, Jack!
I hit the deck
like a concrete filled sack,
writhing on the carpet,
moaning in tongues,

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Finding a Fun Evening with the “North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shoppe”

April 30, 2012 by Judi Curry

Life has been fairly dull for me the past few months – at least as it pertains to cultural events. I had a perfectly delightful evening Friday night when a friend – no, not that friend – and I went to the North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shoppe at 2031 El Cajon Blvd., in San Diego. My friend had read about this little – and I do mean little – theater where plays were being written by unknowns, directed by unknowns, and acted by unknowns. The purpose is to give “would be” playwrights an opportunity to see their play put into production.

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Bodies and Debris Found in Border Waters After Mysterious Sinking of ‘Newport to Ensenda’ Sailboat

April 29, 2012 by JEC
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Local Media Ignore Story – Is It Because of Mystery Ship Possibly Involved in Collision?

By JEC / Special to the OB Rag

A mystery is unfolding offshore from OB.

The 65th Newport to Ensenada sailboat race started in Newport on noon Friday, April 27. By 1 am early Saturday morning the bulk of the fleet of 200 sailboats had passed OB and were a few miles outside the Coronado Islands just south of the border. The race organizers, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) were tracking each boat using an online tracking system.

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O.B. – She’s a Beauty – A Poem by Kathy Blavatt

April 27, 2012 by Source

Kathy Blavatt – a local artist and community activist from Ocean Beach – wrote this poem for the Respect OB forum held on Tuesday the 24th, and she’s letting us publish it here:

O.B. – She’s a Beauty

I’ve loved a lady with sunshine in her hair…

Dolphins swim through blue eyes.

A feminine free spirit… She goes by O.B.

She’s lived life with a checkered past…

A small-town girl in a big city.

She’s a hippie with a degree…

A surfer from way back…

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Solana Beach Passes First Bag Ban Ordinance In San Diego County

April 27, 2012 by Source

San Diego, California – In a remarkable day for ocean conservation and advancing environmental safeguards in San Diego County, the Solana Beach City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags on Wednesday evening, becoming the first city in San Diego County to pass such legislation.

“Last night’s decision is a stepping-stone for other coastal communities in San Diego County to follow suit,” explains Walker Hicks, a volunteer with Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics campaign. “We applaud the Solana Beach City Council members for their decision, and look forward to enjoying cleaner oceans, waves and beaches as a result.”

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Bob Filner Joins Opposition to Quail Brush Power Plant at Planning Commission

April 27, 2012 by Source

By East County Magazine / April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012 (San Diego) — U.S. Congressman and Mayoral candidate Bob Filner spoke in front of the San Diego Planning Commission today to oppose the “Quail Brush” Power Plant, slated for construction next to the San Diego Mission Trails Regional Park. The site is within the City of San Diego, but will have negative impacts in neighboring Santee. The Planning Commission was deliberating on the decision to re-zone the proposed location from “open space” to “industrial use.”

Filner joined environmental groups, community organizations, and the entire Santee City Council in opposing the power plant.

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San Diego Judge Deals Out Harsh Sentence to Occupy Activist – Throws Down Gaunlet to Occupy Movement

April 27, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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On the morning of April 24, an Occupy San Diego activist was sentenced to an overly harsh 90 days in jail and stiff probation conditions that have nothing to do with his protests. And in doing so, the judge took it upon himself to throw down the gauntlet at the feet of the Occupy Wall Street movement in San Diego.

The activism of Andrew Fisher – nicknamed “Fish” – arrested and convicted of violating California Penal Code section 148 (a)(1) – obstruction of a peace officer, was not appreciated by Judge Richard Whitney, a San Diego County Superior Court judge.

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May Day 2012 – “A day without the 99%”

April 27, 2012 by Staff
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“Shut down San Onofre” Rally – Sunday, April 29th

April 27, 2012 by Staff
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Here is the facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/events/402584333087116/424500454228837/

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Assemblywoman Toni Atkins in Ocean Beach for Coffee – Saturday, April 28th

April 27, 2012 by Staff
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(Sorry, you cannot RSVP off this image.)

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Homelessness – Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

April 27, 2012 by Christine Schanes
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Homelessness, a challenge composed of many issues, spans our globe. Because homeless people seem to be everywhere, many of us feel that homelessness is too big an issue to be solved. And because of the complexity of the issues of homelessness, we may feel too overwhelmed to affect change.

Sometimes we use these feelings of powerlessness as excuses for failing to develop plans or to take any action to help homeless people. Thus, our feelings can literally create a paralysis in our thinking and acting to end homelessness.

Actually, we needn?t feel overwhelmed by the challenge of homelessness. We have conquered major issues before. Do you remember when we felt that the issues of reducing waste and protecting our environment were overwhelming? We adopted the slogan, “Think Globally, Act Locally,” which reminds us to address these global concerns by reducing, reusing and recycling discarded items at a local level. Educational facilities encouraged its students to educate their families. Through common practice, we accepted our civic responsibility to protect our planet.

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Living In a Dark Place

April 27, 2012 by Judi Curry
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Who would have thought that a mature babe like me would fall “head over heels in love” with a man much younger than me? A man, by most standards, that fits the ”tall, dark and handsome” description. A man that is polite; humorous, amorous, concerned about the welfare of people he knows, and would willingly do anything for someone that needed help.

He sounds ideal so what’s the problem? Simply put, he is not interested in me; not because of the age difference because that doesn’t seem to matter. Not because we are not compatible, because we have a great time together; not because our sex life is bad, because it is great, but because he has been burned before and is afraid it will happen again. He promised himself that he would never, ever, make another commitment to a woman, and he wants to stick to that promise. It became such an issue that he decided not to see me again. Ever. He felt that I was becoming too attached – I was – and he was afraid of that attachment. And, although he has sort of admitted it – he, too, was becoming attached.

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Bob Filner Not Doing San Diego Any Favors by Not Releasing Pension Details

April 27, 2012 by Andy Cohen
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By not having an actual set of numbers that has been parsed through by the city auditor, the Filner campaign is doing San Diego a great disservice.

Last week the OB Rag sat down with Congressman and San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner, where he discussed in detail his version of a plan to fix the city’s pension system. During the interview he laid out the framework for what he says would be an effective and—most importantly–legal way to save the city money and bring down the debt problem generated from the underfunding of city worker pensions by former mayors Susan Golding and Dick Murphy.

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Sex in San Diego: Menopause and the Juiciness of a Full Life

April 26, 2012 by Patty Jones
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Pagan religions believe there are three stages to a woman’s life; the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. The Maiden is mostly concerned with her own life and thinking about what the future holds for her. The Mother centers on caring for the family, children, partners and parents. The Crone (once a dreaded word that conjured images of the crazy cat lady who lived on the edge of society) has “been there, done that” and can refocus on herself and then, if she’s a mind to, the world at large.

A Very Personal Journey

You know, I never really had an issue with getting older. That was until, one day, I starting feeling older. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or in a photograph… And I’d think, who in the hell is that old woman? She looks like my mother!

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San Diego Planning Commission: Power Plant Threatens Mission Trails Regional Park

April 25, 2012 by Staff
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Attend the San Diego Planning Commission meeting at San Diego City Hall, 202 C St. 12th Floor, THIS THURSDAY at 9 am to oppose a proposed fossil fuel plant in Mission Trails Park Open Space OR send an email ASAP to planningcommission@sandiego.gov to voice your opposition.

We should not be putting power plants in our precious remaining open space.

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Canadian Press Tells Us What Really Happened in Cartagena – And It Wasn’t About Prostitutes and Secret Service

April 25, 2012 by JEC
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International Press Inform that the Main Issues Were Cuba, Legalization of Drugs, and the U.S.’s Isolation from South America

by JEC / Special to the OB Rag / April 25, 2012

Would I sound naïve – perhaps pedantic – to say American media is censored? I just had one those “moments” when information falls in your lap by chance. Like an overheard comment, the authenticity is powerful. As it happened I was in Cartagena, Columbia on Saturday, April 14th, in the midst of the “Summit of the Americas”. I was on the cruise ship “Rotterdam” just after passing through the Panama Canal.

The Summit of the Americas was ever present; helicopters in the air, speed boats cruising the harbor. The streets were nearly lined with police/troops most often holding automatic weapons. Reportedly over 90% of all police and security forces of the entire country where in Cartagena to protect the 33 heads of states. Two small bombs exploded the night before getting everyone in the proper mood.

But what do Americans know?

The Secret Service sex scandal and that’s about it. It was the lead story on the Nightly News Monday night (4/23/12). I’ve heard nothing but the 24/7 drum beat since I returned five days ago – sex, sex, sex – seems to serve as the filler for America media.

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200 Ocean Beach Residents Gather for “Respect OB” Forum

April 25, 2012 by Source
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By Dave Rice / San Diego Reader / April 25, 2012

Well over 200 Ocean Beach residents showed up between the veterans’ memorial and main lifeguard tower at the foot of Santa Monica Avenue on the afternoon of April 24. They were there for an event titled “Respect O.B.,” billed as a forum to open dialogue between neighbors and to address common problems.

“Anyone who comes to live in peace and harmony is welcome, but to be accepted you must respect O.B.,” read a flyer left on locals’ doorsteps and posted at businesses in the days leading up to the event.

Attendees found three large maps of the neighborhood and were invited to write their names and contact information near their residences (or on a more discreet list alongside).

“We’re here because O.B. takes issues to the streets,” said event organizer Andy Taubman, who owns a computer business in the neighborhood. The idea for the gathering arose from a subcommittee of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, a local business group.

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More Older Couples Living Together Without Being Married

April 25, 2012 by Source
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By Allison Linn / msnbc / April 25, 2012

Shacking up. It’s not just for the kids anymore.

The number of people over age 50 who are living together romantically has more than doubled in a decade, from 1.2 million in 2000 to 2.75 million in 2010, according to an analysis of government data done by Bowling Green State University.

The 50-plus group represents nearly one-third of the approximately 7.5 million people of all ages who were living together in 2010, the researchers found.

But while young people tend to be testing the waters for marriage, experts say older people aren’t necessarily living together as a step toward tying the knot. They’re doing it for the money.

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How Rich San Francisco Non-Profit Property Owners Promote Homelessness

April 25, 2012 by Michael Steinberg
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Recent building takeovers have exposed the role of rich non profits in promoting homelessness by deliberately keeping vacant perfectly good structures that could provide homes for many without a roof over their heads.

Most recently, the April 1 takeover of 888 Turk Street in San Francisco by Occupy SF revealed the duplicity of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in this shameful situation.

The Archdiocese initially was caught by surprise on the day of the takeover, as hundreds streamed into the building and set up the SF Commune, a free space that was to serve as a community center and home to homeless people in cooperation with Occupy SF.

OSF invited the Archdiocese to participate in discussions and planning for the project, saying that the building had been empty for five years and needed a, well, resurrection.

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Wider Curry Reviews New Northern Mediterranean “Kecho’s Cafe” in Ocean Beach

April 25, 2012 by Judi Curry
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Oh Boy! There are several new restaurants that have opened in Ocean Beach that I want to try. The first one I watched getting ready for opening day was quite a surprise. I thought it was going to be an extension of the Italian restaurant next door. Imagine my surprise – and I would venture to guess that many others were surprised also – when a “Northern Mediterranean” restaurant by the name of Kecho’s Cafe opened up at 1774 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. It is just a few steps away from the “Olive Tree Market”, and is owned by the same people.

It is very small, with limited seating in the front of the building and a long hallway opens into a patio where there is also limited seating. When we arrived at 5:15pm, there was a large party in the patio area, and only two tables available in the front part of the restaurant. We chose to eat in the patio.

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Support Solana Beach’s “Rise Above Plastics” – Public Hearing on Wednesday, April 25

April 25, 2012 by Christopher Dotson
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Wednesday Public Hearing at 6pm – Call For Action – Support Solana Beach’s “Rise Above Plastics”

Solana Beach is taking “alarming” action Wednesday and needs our respectful presence and active support in joining other thoughtful cities around the globe which have banned single-use plastic bags. The Solana Beach City Council will be holding a public hearing on Wednesday, 6pm at the Solana Beach City Hall, located at 635 South Highway 101 Solana Beach, CA 92075, for the proposed plastic bag reduction ordinance.

A growing list of cities have taken similar actions to reduce production and use of single-use plastic bags.

Surfers, swimmers, fishermen and boaters know of these ominous and highly notorious pollutants in our litter stream. Plastic bags are too easily and too often seen stuck in kelp or high up in tree limbs, or floating away on the air and in water.

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25 Millionaires Who Each Gave a Million Dollars (at least)

April 24, 2012 by Source

By Frank Rich / The New Yorker / April 22, 2012

The first 25 conservative donors to give $1 million or more to super-PACs this cycle, either on their own, with their families, or with companies that they or their families control. Others have likely given millions more to 501(c)(4)s, “social welfare” groups that are not required to disclose their donors. (Based on filings through February 29.)

Sheldon Adelson, casino developer, his wife, Miriam, and their family

$16.5 million: Gingrich

_____

Harold Simmons, leveraged-buyout pioneer, his wife, Annette, and his holding company, Contran Corporation

$15.4 million: Crossroads, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, Romney

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Sugar Daddies – The old, white, rich men who are buying this election.

April 24, 2012 by Source
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By Frank Rich / The New Yorker / April 22, 2012

If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead. A representative example is Harold Simmons, an 80-year-old Texan who dumped some $15 million into the campaign before primary season had ended. Reminiscing about 2008, when he bankrolled an ad blitz to tar the Democrats with the former radical Bill Ayers, Simmons told The Wall Street Journal, “If we had run more ads, we could have killed Obama.”

It is not a mistake he intends to make a second time. The $15 million Simmons had spent by late February dwarfs the $2.8 million he allotted to the Ayers takedown and the $3 million he contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans demolition of John Kerry four years before that. Imagine the cash that will flow now that the GOP sideshows are over and the president is firmly in Simmons’s crosshairs.

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“Respect OB” Group Wants to Improve the Community – Meeting Planned for Tonight at 6pm

April 24, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a new group in town called “Respect OB” and they are calling for a community meeting tonight – Tuesday, April 24th – on the grass at the foot of Newport Avenue. The individuals organizing the gathering have distributed fliers all over OB and have even gained some media traction.

Originally growing out of a sub-committee of the OB Mainstreet Association a couple of months ago, the group has evolved. And now it hopes to bring together all the disparate elements of the community, the homeless, the businesses, the residents, and the churches – in an effort to address what some see as the deterioration of relations, friendliness, caring for the village, etc., – hence the emphasis on “respect”.

The flier asks: “What is happening to the OB I Love?” and then: “ARE YOU BOTHERED BY” with a list of issues:

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The Fletcher Flim Flam

April 24, 2012 by Jim Miller
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Nathan Fletcher is not a man of great political courage. He isn’t even a particularly independent thinker. But he is politically clever, and he knows that San Diego’s Democratic base has a long history of being bamboozled by wolves in sheep’s clothing from the days of Pete Wilson to the present.

Fletcher’s recent move to leave the Republican Party and become an Independent clearly banks on this tradition continuing. Indeed, if I were Fletcher’s campaign manager I would have advised him to do exactly the same thing. After losing the GOP endorsement to Carl DeMaio, Fletcher was sitting at 13% in the polls in third place with only a slight lead over the absolutely hopeless Bonnie Dumanis. And if you are a genuinely affable, good-looking, war veteran with big ambitions and the strong conviction that the world needs you now, that is not a good place to be sitting.

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