September 2012

Confusing Street Signs Make for a Dangerous Intersection at West Point Loma and Abbott Street

September 28, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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A recent article in the San Diego Reader about another accident at the intersection of West Point Loma and Abbott Street points out its dangerous nature. Mercy Baron – who also writes for the OB Rag – reported on September 24th that the day before a bicyclist was run into by a car at the intersection.

As Baron pointed out – and as all local residents know – there are conflicting and confusing street signs at the intersection. If you are on West Point Loma going west, you can either turn left onto Abbott or go straight without restrictions. Cars going in the other direction have a Stop sign at that intersection. But on Abbott there is a Yield sign. People driving east on West Point Loma may not know there is that Yield sign and may assume it’s a Stop sign. At any rate, sometimes, cars will drive right in front of other vehicles going west on West Point Loma.

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Prop 37: Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods – Will We Be Better Off If We Don’t Eat Them?

September 28, 2012 by Source

Proposition 37 requires labeling foods you buy in the supermarket as GMO foods if they contain genetically modified ingredients. It also prevents labeling GMO foods as “natural.” Some foods can be exempted from the GMO label such as otherwise organic foods that have been unintentionally cross-pollinated from GMO crops. And Prop 37 does not require labeling at restaurants and in particular fast food restaurants – just the places that you can probably expect to be served GMO foods.

Stanford Universityreleased a study recently which claimed that there is little if any nutritional difference between organic and non-organic foods. While there may be little nutritional difference, that’s not the point. There may be a huge toxicity difference. Non-organics and especially GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides so that while organic soy and corn products may differ little nutritionally from non-organics such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy, the toxicity spread might be truly appalling.

Consider that Monsanto’s GMO soy or Roundup Ready soy seeds have been specifically developed to withstand a spraying with Monsanto’s herbicide and pesticide, Roundup. Roundup will kill every other plant in the field except Roundup Ready soy plants. So while nutritionally Roundup Ready soy may be the same as organic soy, it sure isn’t the same with respect to the toxicity it has been exposed to. Organic soy plants have not been sprayed with Roundup or any other herbicide or pesticide.

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OB Town Council Hears Outrage From Residents Over Recent Sexual Assaults and Peeping Tom Incidents

September 28, 2012 by Christopher Dotson
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Community Members Jam OBTC Meeting and Voice Impatience at Lack of Progress by Police

Wednesday night at 7PM, the OB Town Council held their monthly public meeting, as a crowd of more than 100 Ocean Beach residents filled Masonic hall to express anger over a growing perception serious and violent sexual crimes are increasing in OB.

While the actual number of reported incidents remains low, a strong showing by residents, and several television camera crews from local media stations, were met with serious concern from San Diego police, as officers and residents reported on both known and unreported incidents.

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Barnard Elementary Property Goes Up for Auction Today – September 27

September 27, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego School District is placing the Barnard Elementary School property up for auction, today, September 27th. Bids take place at 10 am at Annex 2, Normal Street for the former Midway area public school.

The site represents 9.37 acres, and is located at 930 Barnard Street, a block from West Point Loma Avenue in the Midway area. The parcel is in the “coastal zone” and is on the chopping block for a minimum bid of $9.14 million. Originally opened during World War II for Navy children, the elementary school was acquired by the District after the war.

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Annual Great White Shark Migration Along Pacific Coast Makes Scientists Giddy

September 27, 2012 by Source
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Great white sharks back in north coast “Red Triangle”

By Peter Fimrite / SFGate / September 22, 2012

Scientists are all but running giddily into the surf with fancy new gadgetry as the annual migration of great white sharks hits full swing along the Pacific coast and reports flood in about finned beasts lurking in shallow waters.

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For the Sake of Civility the U-T Needs to Change

September 26, 2012 by Ernie McCray

Hope on my mind

Hope comes easy for me. It can rise from the words in a kindergarten girl’s poem where everybody lives happily forever and ever, or it could come out of the energy of thousands of San Diegans standing in the middle of Broadway singing “Give Peace a Chance.”

I didn’t realize, though, how hopeful a human being I am until I found myself one day holding out hope that the San Diego Union-Tribune, a rag that, on good days, over the years, has made me gag, could change and become a factor in helping San Diego become all it can be.

I didn’t see this hopeful moment coming. I was leaving the Union-Tribune Building one day when it dawned on me that I had a smile on my face. And that had never been the case when I look back on all the times I’ve walked away from the place.

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Extreme Weather Watch: The Effects of Global Warming Are Here Right Now

September 26, 2012 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press / Sept. 15, 2012

Even those global warming deniers can’t escape the fact that the weather events causing a billion dollars or more of damage and destruction are piling up at an increasing rate. The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is the Nation’s Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather/climate events. The NCDC tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have great economic and societal impacts.

The U.S. has sustained 133 weather/climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion – assuming Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment to 2012. 46 of these events occurred between 1980 and 1995 and 87 occurred between 1996 and 2011.

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Point Loma High School Celebrates Its Opening in 1925 – Video

September 26, 2012 by Source
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See this great video of the early days of Point Loma High School – celebrating its 85th anniversary back in 2010. The school opened in 1925, and this video was made to commemorate it. Noah Trafolla narrates the vid. … Come inside to view video.

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San Diego City Council Unanimously Denied Power Plant Near Mission Trails Park

September 26, 2012 by Source
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By Nadin Abbott / East County Magazine / September 24, 2012

The mood was tense as people from multiple walks of life and political views filed into San Diego City Chambers. Among them was Republican Santee Councilman Jack Dale and Democrat David Secor, candidate for U.S. Congress for the 50th district. Both Dale and Secor came to oppose the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant.

So did Massada Disenhouse, activist for the Sierra Club and Martha Sullivan, a former California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) employee, and many others.

There were supporters of the plant as well, including Gary Salas, a member of the electrical trades. Also supporting the project was John Gibson, of Hamman Construction in El Cajon.

This planned peaked plant attracted people from multiple areas of the county, not just San Diego proper.

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The Closing of Rocky’s Surf Shop in Ocean Beach

September 26, 2012 by Mercy Baron
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By Mercy Baron

Rocky’s Surf Shop on the corner of Abbott and Muir, in Ocean Beach, closed it’s doors September 15 after serving the surf community for an impressive 25 years. Owner, Doug Yates, was very forthcoming in my interview with him on the state of the surfing industry in Southern California today, and how it has affected his decision to close the doors to a surf shop destination.

Rocky’s was originally started in 1990 by original owner Robin Marion and was then bought by John Holly. Doug started as an employee about 12 years ago, and then bought it from John about 5 years ago in 2008.

Doug stated that in 2005, Clark Foam of Mission Viejo, the world’s largest supplier of surfboard blanks, went out of business, and they accounted for 80% of the blanks being made in the surf world. To fill that need, money poured into the industry with boards being made in China and Taiwan, which were made so cheaply, that it created a glut of boards.

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DeMaio and Manchester: Lords of San Diego’s Tourist Plantation?

September 26, 2012 by Jim Miller

The Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) released a new report on poverty, earnings, and income inSan DiegoCountythat revealed the sad fact that “more than a third of San Diego County’s population” lives “in economic hardship.” Nearly one out of five children in our city live in poverty with 16% of women, 21% of Latinos and 23% of African Americans joining them—and we are losing ground “as the quality of jobs created by major industries in the region failed to keep pace with the cost of living.”

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Peeping Tom Reported on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach

September 20, 2012 by Christopher Dotson
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Earlier this week, a flyer was hand delivered to OB residents along Saratoga Avenue issuing a warning of a “peeping tom on Saratoga Ave.” The flyer goes on to describe events surrounding an individual male stalker which San Diego Police are now investigating.

The word “BEWARE” appears in the heading, and the flyer narrates events as they unfolded on Monday morning, 9/17, around 10:30am after an OB parent found a large hunting knife outside their back door, on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach. Even more alarming, the same startled parent also discovered a red velvet top-hat sitting on a trashcan which was located underneath their daughter’s bedroom window.

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The Case for Charlie Collier as the True “Founder” of Ocean Beach

September 20, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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This is the fourth and final part of my series on “What is the true birthday of OB and who is its true founder?” (Here are Parts One, Two, and Three.)

Besides J.M. DePuy and the partners Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins, there’s another historical character who walked across Ocean Beach’s stage, who had such an effect on the development of the community that some consider him the “true founder” of the village. And that is Col. David Charles Collier – who Collier Park up in northeast OB is named after.

Although Collier came later than our main contender for the title of the community’s “father” – William “Smiling Billy” Carlson, he had as much to do with what turned into our little town by the sea as anyone else. And perhaps more so.

“Charlie” Collier History

Ocean Beach and Col DC Collier first intersected in 1887, when young “Charlie” – then only 16 – bought one of Billy Carlson’s lots in Ocean Beach. The lot was close to the cliffs, over on Pacific – now Coronado Avenue – and Bacon Street. …

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San Diego City Council Passes Two Measures to Hold Banks Accountable for Abandoned Homes

September 20, 2012 by Staff

Certain circles of San Diegans are celebrating. The article in the UT San Diego yesterday [Wed. Sept. 19] said it all:

The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously approved two out of three ordinances designed to keep banks accountable for distressed homes.”

The two ordinances passed will arm San Diego with more methods and ways to monitor and hold property owners responsible for abandoned properties, and they also will require banks that conduct business with the city of San Diego to provide information on lending, foreclosures and service to minority communities. The third ordinance will not be discussed until October.

Progressives who worked on these issues are giving thanks to the leadership of Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Tony Young. A broad coalition had come together to apply pressure and the San Diego City Council passed the Abandoned Properties Ordinance and the Responsible Banking Ordinance the same evening.

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Who Else Doesn’t Pay Taxes? Top 10 Corporate Deadbeats and Slackers

September 20, 2012 by Source
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Among the 47% Who Pay No Income Taxes Is Mitt Romney Himself!

Mitt’s money that has not been funneled through offshore corporations linked to bank accounts in no tax jurisdictions has been taxed as capital gains, not income.

Mitt Romney dismissed 47% of the American people who don’t pay income tax as slackers and deadbeats. Thanks to a loophole Romney pays US taxes as “carried interest” which is taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%. That figure would not only include Romney himself who pays no income tax, but also all those corporate persons (remember Romney said, “Corporations are people, my friend”) such as Exxon Mobil and GE who not only pay no income tax but get a generous rebate thanks to American taxpayers.

Here is a list of the top 10 corporate deadbeats and slackers (thanks to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont):

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

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Mission Bay to Be “Invaded” by Zombies in October for Law Enforcement Training

September 20, 2012 by Doug Porter

Locals to play role in Zombie invasion of Mission Bay

A five-day event in Mission Bay providing hands-on training, realistic demonstrations, lectures and classes for government and law enforcement personnel in crisis situations is scheduled for late October.

The big idea of the event is that actors portraying zombies will “invade” and take-over the Paradise Resort in Mission Bay.

If I read my Twitter feed correctly last night, the organizers of the event have reached out to people involved with the zombie walk at Comic-Con this year. The Halo Corporation’s annual Counter-Terrorism Summit in San Diego will take over Mission Bay’s Paradise Resort, with Hollywood sets including a Middle Eastern village and a pirates’ haven.

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Thousands flock to newly-opened California online voter registration site

September 20, 2012 by Doug Porter

The State of California launched an online voter registration system yesterday, and nearly 10,000 people logged on and signed up to vote. Officials anticipate that new, “click of a mouse” system will serve to increase voter turnout in the fall general election. Over one fourth of the 24 million eligible Californians residents are not registered to vote, one of the lowest rates of registration in the country.

Potential voters will be required to have a state drivers license or identity card, as the online system will search the Department of Motor Vehicles database for the applicant’s driver’s license or identification card number, date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number. Once the information is verified, the voter can authorize elections officials to use an electronic image of their DMV signature to complete the application. After that, the voter only needs to click a “submit’’ button. County elections officials will still be required to verify the information.

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“Papa” Doug Manchester seeks to acquire LA Times as part of his new media empire

September 20, 2012 by Doug Porter

A group of newspaper readers, dissatisfied with the rightward lurchings of the local daily newspaper, have started a Facebook cause page urging the Los Angeles Times to expand its presence in the San Diego market. “Entitled Bring the L.A. Times back to San Diego”, the social media page has acquired a 144 “likes” in its first 24 hours. The Los Angeles-based paper discontinued efforts to maintain a presence in the San Diego market two decades ago.

The pleas for the LA daily to enter this market may be a moot point, however, as an article circulating in the AOL-owned Patch websites claims that UT-San Diego CEO John Lynch told a meeting of the Harvard Business School Club that he and publisher Doug Manchester were looking into buying properties owned by the Chicago based Tribune Company. That company is emerging from bankruptcy and owns the LA Times, along with newspapers in newspapers in Chicago, Baltimore, Connecticut and Florida.

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Food labeling campaign (Prop 37) gets boost from study showing long term damage from Monsanto products

September 20, 2012 by Doug Porter

Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn or exposed Roundup, its best selling weed killer, suffered from mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious illnesses in the first ever peer-reviewed, long-term animal study of these foods.

At a press conference in London, researchers said 50 percent of male rats exposed to GMO corn and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group. The findings were published Tuesday in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

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Craft Beer Debates – Local Issues Discussed over Good Beers

September 20, 2012 by Source

By John Patrick Anderson
Issue: Funding for new stadium
Best For: San Diegans, beer drinkers, anyone over 21

Craft Beer Debates is a “fun, non-intimidating way to introduce people to local craft beer and local issues in an interactive “house of commons” style format”. The first debate was held Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Slater’s 50/50 in Liberty Station. I’m a huge fan of craft beer, especially craft beer from San Diego breweries, and had seen the debate series mentioned on Twitter numerous times leading up to the event. I decided to go and crossed my fingers that I could finagle a seat despite having failed to sign up in advance.

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Who does Brian Bilbray really represent in Congress?

September 20, 2012 by Andy Cohen

The lobbyist in Bilbray carries over into his activities as a duly elected member of Congress.
Potentially earthshattering news came to light yesterday. It was news that for the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, could and should be devastating, and earthshattering for the Republican cause nationwide. David Corn of Mother Jones broke a story late yesterday of a video that was sent to him that was taken at a private fundraiser with the candidate and a small group of very wealthy donors.

In his talk, Romney explicitly dismissed nearly half of the American electorate as shiftless leeches who contribute next to nothing to America and the American economy.

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Twitter Turns Over Occupy Tweets to New York Court

September 19, 2012 by Source
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Twitter [last Friday, Sept 14th] succumbed to pressure from a New York criminal court to turn over deleted tweets of an Occupy Wall Street protester. This is why you should care.

By Andrew Couts / Digital Trends / Originally published September 14, 2012

Twitter gave in to a New York court subpoena requiring it to turn over more than three month’s worth of tweets posted by user Malcolm Harris, 23, who was arrested last September during an Occupy Wall Street Protest. The surrender of the tweets, which Harris deleted from his public profile, follows a months-long battled by Twitter to keep the information from landing in the hands of prosecutors.

The surrender of the tweets was the result of presiding New York State Supreme Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino’s threat to hold the company in contempt and impose a fine on Twitter if the tweets were not handed over by today. To assess the amount of the fine, Sciarrino demanded that Twitter disclose its earnings statements from the past two quarters — financial data that Twitter, as a privately-held company, does not want to be made public by the court.

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Sex In San Diego: The War on Pubic Hair Must End

September 19, 2012 by Source
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em> By Dr. Emily Gibson KevinMD.com / Originally published August 16, 2012

I must have missed the declaration of war on pubic hair.

It must have happened sometime in the last decade because the amount of time, energy, money and emotion both genders spend on abolishing every hair from their genitals is astronomical. The genital hair removal industry, including medical professionals who advertise their specialty services to those seeking the “clean and bare” look, is exponentially growing.

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OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee Agenda – Wed., Sept 19th

September 19, 2012 by Staff
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Here is tonight’s agenda for the Project Review Committee of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. They meet at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave., at 6:30 pm. The meeting is chaired by the Board’s vice-president, Landry Watson.

On the agenda is a Sprint Wireless renewal permit for the PL Methodist Church at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Also, there is a request of the City of San Diego, on the second item, for the OB Planning Board to participate annually in the capital improvement project program.

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The Labor Movement Is Us.

September 19, 2012 by Ernie McCray

Some people go on and on about labor unions as if they’re some kind of STD, so un-hip to the reality that the Labor Movement is us, We the People.

Who else labors?

As far as my relations with unions is concerned, if it hadn’t been for the San Diego Teachers Union I wouldn’t have enjoyed the time of a lifetime, a period of three years where I put work aside and took a “Parental Leave,” the first such leave taken by a man in the school district.

I don’t know how that wonderful opportunity made it through all the stancing and dancing required to get a contract signed. I think it must have happened as kind of an after thought, something put on the table as part of a tooth fairy like wish to mess with management’s mind, and the district must have gone along with it in a “Whatever, if it sails your boat” frame of mind, knowing they weren’t going to give up much more. That’s how negotiations go in the labor movement sometimes.

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Book Review: “Billionaires & Ballot Bandits”

September 19, 2012 by Dave Rice

Book Review: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

Author: Greg Palast / Introduction by: Robert F. Kennedy Jr
Seven Stories Press / Release Date: September 18, 2012

Ten elderly nuns get kicked out of an Indiana polling station for not having driver’s licenses or other state ID.

Electronic voting machines in Georgia report massive malfunctions – but only in Democratic-leaning low income districts, where the hot, humid conditions of polling stations aren’t conducive to electronics. The ones in wealthy, Republican-leaning districts are protected in well kept, air-conditioned buildings – and have no problems registering votes.

Thomas Brown, a black Floridian, has his name purged from voter rolls because a white man with the same name and birthday once committed a felony.

Foreclosure firm Trott & Trott shares an office building with John McCain’s Detroit campaign headquarters. Whenever Trott completes a foreclosure, the McCain campaign challenges the foreclosure victim’s voter registration to have it purged from Michigan’s voter rolls: if they’ve been kicked out of their home, the address they used to register must not be valid.

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Proposition 40: Sore Losers in the California GOP Give Up

September 19, 2012 by Doug Porter

You won’t see any TV ads for or against Proposition 40 on this fall’s California Ballot. That’s because the people who put it on the ballot have given up.

Proposition 40, which will still appear on the ballot, asks voters to approve or reject the efforts of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which drew up new voting districts following release of the data from the 2010 census. State Republicans were seeking the have the redistricting overturned, hoping that they’d pick up a few seats out of the deal.

Californians have voted three times in the past four years to have district maps drawn by an independent commission instead of politicians. Prop 11 in 2008 established the commission. Prop 20 in 2010 extended its authority to the state’s Congressional districts. Prop 27 in 2010 rejected politicians’ attempt to eliminate the commission and return redistricting authority to them.

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OB Historical Society: “The Country Boy, Madame X and the Japanese Spy” – Sept. 20

September 19, 2012 by Source
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The Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents:

Author Richard L. Carrico’s

“The Country Boy, Madame X and the Japanese Spy”

Thurs., Sept. 20th, at 7 PM
At P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

From 1934 to 1936 a ring of Japanese agents and spies enlisted the help of U.S. Navy Personnel to conduct espionage for the Japanese government.

The centers of the spy activities were Washington D. C., San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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Help Save Sunset Cliffs From Disappearing

September 18, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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Surfrider to Hold Ocean Friendly Garden Workshops

By San Diego Surfrider

Point Loma residents are invited to attend a series of workshops to learn how to curb erosion caused by storm water runoff along the scenic Sunset Cliffs Natural Park by modifying their landscaping to absorb more rain water.

The workshops are fun and engaging, and when the lessons are put into practice, will help preserve the beautiful blufftop park and public open space that make the Sunset Cliffs a uniquely beautiful asset for San Diego.

Last year the park at Sunset Cliffs was named one of the top five disappearing places alongside Florida’s Everglades by Wanderlust . The San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been working diligently to preserve this local treasure. The cornerstone of those efforts is the foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program aimed at educating residents on what they can do to protect the bluffs from devastating erosion.

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San Diego Women Occupy Lead Prop 37 Rally and Bannering on 163 Overpass

September 18, 2012 by Source
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Hillcrest Banners Favor Prop 37 On Robinson Street Overpass

By Nadin Abbott and Frank Gormlie

It was close to 4pm on the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street – Monday, September 17th – and the mood at the Canvas for a Cause headquarters in Hillcrest was expectant. As people started to arrive for the programed rally in favor of Proposition 37, Nadine Abbott had a chance to talk to Doctor Norrie Robbins of Women Occupy San Diego and a member of the singers Occapellas. Robbins is also Adjunct Professor at the SDSU Dept of Geological Sciences, and is retired from the United States Geological Service, DC office.

Robbins said: “I am worried about my food. I’m beginning to get weird allergies that do not run in my family.”

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