April 2014

How Should California Test for Marijuana DUIs?

April 30, 2014 by Source
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Editor: A bill in the California legislation that would have created per se limits on driving under the influence of specified drugs – like marijuana – based on blood tests even absent other evidence of impairment, AB 2500, just failed in the Public Safety Committee. More bills like this are expected. So, this may be a good time to see what a law enforcement group in favor of marijuana legalization has to say on marijuana DUIs.

By Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Marijuana DUIs

  • Unlike alcohol, THC can stay in the bloodstream for days or weeks. We must find a way to accurately measure the impairment of a driver if we’re going to fairly charge them with a crime. Currently, officers in every state but West Virginia are being trained to become drug recognition experts who can recognize the signs of drug impairment and make arrests for drugged driving offenses (4) Blood tests should be no substitute for good police work.
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San Diego Medical Marijuana Activist Urges Involvement in Local Planning Groups

April 30, 2014 by Source
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Civic Engagement May be First Step to Expanding Medical Marijuana Ordinance

By Terrie Best / San Diegans for Safe Access

I want what the City of San Diego is now calling a Medical Marijuana Consumer Cooperative (MMCC) in my neighborhood but nowhere in my community is there an appropriate zone. Expanding the allowable zones for MMCC’s will be challenging but according to the Planning Division, a Division of the Planning, Neighborhoods and Economic Development Department, we should have a say in the process through our Community Planning Groups.

The Planning Division website reads:

There has been long-standing citizen involvement in planning in the City of San Diego. The City Council adopted policies in the 1960s and 1970s that established and recognized community planning groups as formal mechanisms for community input in the land use decision-making processes.

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National Poetry Month Ends April 30th: Ending with a Bang, not a Whimper

April 30, 2014 by Anna Daniels

Nigel Howe Creative Commons

“Poetry doesn’t belong to those who write it but to those who need it.”

By Anna Daniels

So, is

“April the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.“? ——— T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

or is April when

“the ponds open
like black blossoms,
the moon
swims in every one;
there’s fire
everywhere…“? ————Mary Oliver, Blossom

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DA Bonnie Dumanis – Keeper of the Flame for San Diego’s Power Elite

April 29, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The race for District Attorney in San Diego has heated up in recent days, with incumbent Bonnie Dumanis actually showing up for a debate in Del Cerro after skipping events in Oceanside and La Jolla earlier this month. She also appeared at a Ramona Tea Party multi-candidate forum on Saturday, reportedly wearing a straw cowboy hat.

UT-San Diego gave Dumanis their editorial blessing this weekend, saying “She deserves re-election to a fourth term,” before acknowledging that she might have picked up some “baggage” over her 12 years in office. While that “baggage,” which includes a campaign finance scandal and an over-zealous (and failing) campaign against medical marijuana is of interest, it’s the broader accusations that Dumanis has politicized the District Attorney’s office that merit your attention.

While politicization in elective DA races usually connotes a process through which incumbents use crime as a political issue to increase their “electability and popularity,” in this contest the term is referencing Dumanis’ role as protector for the established interests that have long dominated San Diego politics.

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News Around the Peninsula and Ocean Beach

April 29, 2014 by Staff
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Local News You May Have Missed

Naked Man Rescued After Jumping Off OB Pier

A nude male was rescued by Lifeguards Tuesday morning – the 29th – …,

Thefts of Raglan’s Copper Mugs

Someone is making off with all the copper mugs at theRaglan …

OB’s Matt Molarius – Makes Local TV’s San Diego’s Top 9 Rhythm Guitarists

NBCSan Diego has called Matt Molarius – frontman for alt-rock favorites Transfer, and lives in OB, one of San Diego’s Top 9 Rhythm Guitarists. See here.

Disabled Vet’s Point Loma House Renovated by Local Volunteers

Nearly a hundred local volunteers helped renovate the Point Loma home of Mike Beuoy, a disabled veteran on Saturday, April 26th.

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City Council and Committee Meetings Set for Ocean Beach Community Plan

April 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Rag has learned that the schedule of hearings and meetings on the OB Community Plan by the City Council and its committees has been set.

The first meeting is this week, on Wednesday, April 30th, at 2pm before the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee – and OBceans are encouraged to attend and lend support to the final version of the Draft Community Plan Update.

This is great news, as OB has been going through a twelve year process – led by the City – of updating the Ocean Beach Community Plan – also called the OB Precise Plan – the official blueprint for development and construction within community planning area – and now dates have been set for the reviews by the various City Council committees, the Planning Commission, and the Council itself.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 4 of the San Diego 10

April 29, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

(Fourth in a series)

This is the fourth in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

[Here is Prisoner Orca Profile #1 and #2, and #3.]

And “meet” one of the top San Diego 10 Prisoner Advocates. This week’s Advocate is Pamela Slater-Price, former San Diego County Supervisor.

Prisoner #4: Orkid

Age: 26

Born on September 23, 1988, during a live Shamu show at Sea World San Diego, Orkid made her debut in front of thousands of spectators. Of course, a natural orca birth in the wild wouldn’t be bombarded with the noise and cameras and invasion of such a personal entrance into the world as this baby experienced.

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Raise Up San Diego – Do the Right Thing About the Minimum Wage

April 28, 2014 by Jim Miller

raiseuplogoBy Jim Miller

These are still tough times for most working people in the United States. We are in the midst of a new Gilded Age of historic economic inequality. The rich are carving out a bigger slice of the pie at the expense of nearly everyone else in America. As I noted in my column last week, corporate profits are at their highest level in 85 years and employee compensation is at the lowest level it has been in 65 years.

And this is happening despite the fact that the average American worker is more educated and more productive than ever before. The result of all this is a declining middle class, economic instability, and the hijacking of our democracy by moneyed interests.

Here in San Diego, we have one of the highest costs of living in the United States, ….

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My Mellow Birthday

April 28, 2014 by Ernie McCray

Maria, Lyric and MeBy Ernie McCray

I like my birthdays mellow and this year’s was just that, a little time with my querida and some of my family at her house and before they arrived I stretched out in my easy chair and listened to Lila Downs sing corridos in ways only she can. Oh, that voice of hers was born in some special place.

Lila warmed my insides and made me want to dance, so I got my 76 year old body up and put some Maceo on. The Maceo James Brown used to call out to when he yelled to the beat, “Macio! Hit me! Take me to the bridge!” when he wanted to take the jam to a different groove, making everybody want to move.

And Maceo had me getting down like I was the hippest coolest stepper in town. My mood, at this point, was easy and sweet, and that directed how I moved my feet, as I enjoyed my special day.

In between, my little Soul Train routine, my mind wandered here and there, about places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, countries I’d like to see. Cuba occupied most of those thoughts and that historic island isn’t that faraway. …

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A Difficult Decision: Saying Goodbye to My Dog Buddy after a Wonderful Ten Years

April 28, 2014 by Judi Curry

Buddy in the pool in better times

By Judi Curry

As a mother, an Office Manager, and a School Principal I have been called on to make some difficult decisions. But no decision has been more difficult that the one I had to make just the other morning. The heartache and grief supersedes anything I have ever had to do.

I have had the most wonderful companion for over 10 years. He was born on my birthday many years after I came into this world. He was always so happy to see me; he always had a smile on his face; he never questioned decisions I made; never argued with me, and made me feel better after having a difficult day. That is why this decision is so hard to make. Of course I am talking about my Golden Retriever.

I’ll never forget the first day we met him at the Golden Retriever rescue in Temecula.

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OB Restaurant Week Is Back and Includes Hotels

April 25, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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NEW UPDATES !

By Matthew Wood

OB Restaurant Week is back. This time it’s bringing some hotels along for the ride.

The week kicks off Sunday -April 27 – with four hotels/B&Bs hosting a launch party with samples from the 20 participating restaurants. Then the restaurants take over, offering specials every day from Monday to Sunday.

“We’re excited. We really have enhanced the event since the first year by letting the hotels host the event,” said Liz Greene, Creative director for Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association, which is one of the event sponsors.

“It’s like an open house for them to be able to show locals, visitors, everyone who wants to see.”

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OB Town Council Devolves Into Complaint Session Against the Homeless

April 25, 2014 by Staff
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Report of Monthly Meeting of Wednesday, April 23

If you want to see a hundred people who care passionately about OB, come to an OB Town Council meeting. They may not all agree, but they let their opinions be known. Everyone is welcome – newcomers find out what is happening in our community, families bring their children, people come and go – it was more OB than ever.

And what is more OB than a community complaint fest against the homeless.

So, when the new Police Captain for the Western Division, Captain David Rohowits, was introduced, the tone of what had been billed as a “community meeting” appeared to devolve into a verbal complaint session against the homeless in OB, and despite the chair’s best intentions, the regular agenda items were pushed to the end of the meeting and truncated. Even newly-appointed Councilman Ed Harris – there to introduce himself – got into the mix.

The topic of discussion had many names: the homeless, vagabonds, travelers, bums, visitors … but there seemed to be a general consensus of impatience, frustration and outrage against what was felt were violations of the common civility of the community of those attending.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 3 of the San Diego 10

April 25, 2014 by Source
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Third in a Series

By Cara Wilson-Granat

“Lots of people talk to animals. Not very many listen, though. That’s the problem.” –Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

This is the third in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens. (Here is Orca Profile #1 and #2.)

Prisoner #3: Ulises

Age: About 36

Ulises, the oldest male orca in captivity, and the second largest (the largest being Tilikum, 12k pounds) is also a good candidate for a full return to the ocean. This hefty, Icelandic orca is 19 feet 6 inches (5.94 m), weighing 9,200 pounds (4,200 kg). Easily discernible, one can recognize him as not only being the largest captive whale imprisoned in Sea World San Diego, but he has the tallest dorsal; it stands straight up and droops ever so slightly to the right at the top.

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Who Gets the Last Laugh?

April 25, 2014 by Source

boys peeingBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Watch this short video. It showcases our city’s top politicians strutting their stuff as hotshot Top Gun naval aviators.

It’s a droll skit. You’ll chuckle watching the honorable men I recently wrote about as they bond in a boys-will-be-boys ritual.

But most of all, this doozy of a video spotlights why — in the hands of our current politicians and the people who prop them up — San Diego is destined to stagnate as an underachieving, plodding, uninspired, also-ran kind of city.

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“San Diego City Works Press” Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary!

April 25, 2014 by Staff

10-Year Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser for City Works Press
Saturday, April 26th, 5-7 pm

For more information contact Kelly Mayhew at cityworkspress@earthlink.net
City_Works_Press_with_borderTen years ago, Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew co-founded City Works Press, a nonprofit publisher that they edit in concert with the San Diego Writers Collective. Both Jim and Kelly are well known to the San Diego Free Press community.

Jim has written a weekly article for his Under the Perfect Sun column since we launched the site in 2012 and prior to that he submitted articles to the OB Rag, our sister publication. Kelly wrote a series of articles about Golden Hill restaurants when SDFP provided a neighborhood focus on that community.

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Activist Recounts Earlier OB Battle With SeaWorld – Now 14 Years Ago

April 24, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Originally published April 24, 2014

By Marc Snelling

Opposition to SeaWorld San Diego and their corporate business model has been well documented in recent OB Rag stories. Easter Protest at SeaWorld San Diego by Zach Affolter, “The Night I Decided to Stop Going to Sea World.” by Lori Saldaña, and the ongoing Orca Profiles in Captivity series represent a wave of voices speaking up for the animals and the community.

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Midway Community Planning Group Ponders Medical Marijuana Dispensary

April 24, 2014 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Suddenly, a little-known, often-avoided area in the Midway community has a great, big bulls-eye on it.

Or maybe instead of a bulls-eye, make that a marijuana leaf.

Under a new ordinance passed by the San Diego City Council in February, medical marijuana dispensaries will be restricted to a very few commercial and industrial zones, and will be further limited to four storefronts for each of the nine council districts. Most of the 60 or so currently operating storefronts won’t be able to legally stay open.

In Ocean Beach and Point Loma, no zoning exists for allowing dispensaries. But an industrial zone tucked away behind the strip clubs and other businesses on West Camino Del Rio and south of Interstate 8 may soon be known for something other than warehouses, auto-related businesses and street parking for homeless RV owners.

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Newport News – Update on OB’s Main Drag

April 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

On occasion, we publish a ‘what’s happening around Newport Ave’ type of news summary, providing an update on the comings and goings of merchants on OB’s main commercial street and within the blocks surrounding it.

Here, then is our latest – and we note that at least 4 new restaurants are either about to open on Newport or will be opening in the near future – and all of them expect to serve alcohol.

* Where Is CVS?
* Newport Pizza’s Brewery & Restaurant
* New Police Trailer
* BBQ House Expansion On Hold Till After Summer
* The Salt Water Takes Over for Surf n Sea
“* Trunk Show” Coming at Gilmore Family Jewelers
* OB Hookah Lounge Open at Night
* Sal’s Greek and Middle-Eastern Restaurant
* Italian Ice Coming
* Swanky Sugar Spa is Sure Swanky

COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES …

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My Day As a Crossing Guard

April 24, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

You might have heard about the new crosswalk that opened next to Ocean Beach Elementary School on Santa Monica Avenue. We’ve certainly talked about it enough.

Now that the crosswalk is finally in place and the street is open again, you would think that all is safe with the school and the only looming threat for the kids are this week’s spelling quiz and forgetting their backpack.

But that’s not the case, as I learned firsthand.

In talking to the two volunteer crossing guards – Wayne Simard and Joseph “Moondoggie” Pina – they said it’s still pretty crazy in the morning rush and that people still don’t always stop for the kids.

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Chase Bank Is at it Again

April 24, 2014 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

I have been hosting foreign language students for the past 20 years. My first student was in April of 1992 and to date I have had 401 students living with me for a variety of weeks, months and/or years. Each of these students has come to the United States with a substantial sum of money, and all of the students have needed to open up checking/ATM accounts at a bank in the area.

Because these students do not have social security numbers, they have to open up checking accounts and not savings accounts. This doesn’t make much difference to them, because all they want to do is to have access to the ATM machines so they have a supply of money available at all times.

Because we live in Ocean Beach and Chase Bank is only a mile away, I suggested to Marco, my student from Switzerland, that he open an account there. The fact that there is a Chase Bank across from his school also makes the account easily accessible, either from school or home.

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Obama May Grant Clemency to Thousands Convicted of Drug Violations

April 24, 2014 by Source

mjcuffsbrokenThe Obama Administration continues to rollback oppressive sentences for those with non-violent drug convictions

By Cliff Weathers / AlterNet

An unnamed White House official has told Yahoo! News that President Barack Obama is preparing to grant clemency to “hundreds, perhaps thousands” of people who have been imprisoned for non-violent drug violations.

This news comes a few months after the administration’s announcement that it has encouraged defense attorneys to suggest inmates who should be considered for early release from prison. This indicates that the Obama administration will continue in its efforts to curtail severe penalties in low-level drug cases.

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Ocean Beach and Peninsula News – Late April 2014

April 22, 2014 by Staff
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OB Elementary School Crosswalk Finally Opens!

The long-sought-after crosswalk for school kids on Santa Monica Avenue is finally installed. It took over a week of construction – and several years of organizing – but OB Elementary School has the mid-block addition.

Rumors of CVS Pharmacy Pull Out Are False

The OB Rag has heard rumors that CVS Pharmacy had changed its corporate mind and was pulling out of the former Apple Tree Market. But they are not true. As of March 26, CVS rep Steve Laub contacted the OB Town Council and had this to say: …

Brighton Cottages Sold

Seven cottages containing eight residential units in Ocean Beach at 5065-5071-1/2 Brighton Ave., San Diego 92107, have been sold for $1.6 million, cash. …

And much more. ….

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Historic Win for Labor and New Direction in University of California System

April 22, 2014 by Source

By Daniel Gutiérrez / San Diego Free Press

La Jolla, California — On Tuesday, April 15th, UAW Local 2865, representing graduate student-workers across the University of California system, reached a tentative agreement with UC management regarding the procurement of all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations.

UC management succumbed to the necessities demanded by UAW Local 2865, acknowledging that both all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations are a labor right to graduate student-workers. The historic achievement was reached after the union went on strike for two days early this month, in which nearly two dozen students were arrested and many others intimidated.

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Reverse Robin Hood Funding Threatens San Diego

April 22, 2014 by Source
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By Laura Barrett / Huffington Post / April 21, 2014

San Diego’s sunny beaches and beautiful college campuses can be deceptive. The city’s soaring housing costs force university students and low-income families to sleep on couches and to depend on free meals. Many, too, end up living out of cars. The waiting list for Section 8 housing is 10 years long, and as a result, families are being forced to move out of state.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a renter in San Diego’s Metropolitan Statistical Area would need to earn $26.58 an hour to afford a fair market two bedroom apartment, yet, the average renter’s wage is just $17.28. Despite this, the City of San Diego is trying to take away federal money that provides a source of relief.

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Newly Appointed District 2 City Councilman Ed Harris to Attend OB Town Council Meeting – April 23rd

April 22, 2014 by Staff
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Ed Harris, the newly appointed City Councilmember for District 2, will be attending the OB Town Council meeting this Wednesday, April 23rd. Harris was appointed to the seat by the City Council from an initial field of twenty applicants – many from OB and Point Loma. Harris will formally introduce himself to the community at this event and is expected to say a few words about his priorities for the next 8 months, until at which time, the newly-elected Councilperson will take over the seat.

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Celebrate 25 Years With the Green Store Center – Saturday, April 26

April 22, 2014 by Staff
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Come celebrate

The Green Store’s 25th Anniversary

Saturday, April 26th, 1 pm to 6 pm

Music, Speakers, Refreshments, Silent auction
& Raffle Prizes from Local Businesses

4843 B Voltaire Street

Opening 25 years ago on Earth Day 1989 folks who began The Green Store embarked on a journey to try and “save the world and O.B”, working with groups such as the Ocean Beach Greens, Rainforest Action Network, Earth First, Greenpeace, The Save OB Coalition and Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization among others.

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Easter Protest at SeaWorld San Diego

April 22, 2014 by Source
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By Zach Affolter / Special to the OB Rag

A group of 80-100 protesters stood just outside SeaWorld California on Easter, April 20, lining the edges of the sidewalk from the lights directing the cars to a distance stretching farther than a SeaWorld tank could ever hope to reach. The bushes just outside the chain-link fences of the park were littered with plastic bags and discarded trash. A few protesters looked at the filth in disgust.

A few others, just joining the group, walked over with a red light glaring above them to grab a sign, hoping the words would awaken passersby. As the light changed to green, cars whizzed on by, obeying the command.

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If You Love OB – Your Village Needs You this Saturday, April 26th

April 22, 2014 by Source
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strong>Clean Streets Initiative – OB to Rally OB Volunteers to Join SurfRider Clean-up at OB Pier

By Johnny Caito

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 26th. I Love a Clean San Diego is holding its 12th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup at sites throughout the county.

The Cleaner Streets Initiative-Ocean Beach (CSI-OB) is recruiting volunteers for the OB Pier site, hosted by the Surfrider Foundation. The Cleaner Streets Initiative-OB group is dedicated to community beautification in OB, with the mission of keeping OB a beautiful place.

Bob Dylan once sang that “the times they are a changing,” which today still rings true in OB. Yes, it’s true that OB is changing, and with change comes more crowds, busier streets, and unfortunately, more litter. These changes also bring a greater need for community activism.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: #2 of the San Diego 10

April 22, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

This is the second in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

Prisoner #2: Kasatka

Age: About 36

Captured off the coast of Iceland, on October 26, 1978, Kasatka was just one year old when torn from her pod. Kasatka, whose name comes from the generic Russian derivative of the word “orca,” is 17.7 feet (5.4m) long and weighs 5,950 pounds (2,700 kg.)

Each of Kasatka’s children is captive born. She gave birth to four offspring: Takara, Nakai, Kalia, and Makani. Nakai, born on September 1, 2001, is the first orca to be born as a result of artificial insemination. While his mother, Kasatka, lived in California, his father, Tilikum, was in Florida. Tilikum is featured in the documentary, “Blackfish.” More on Nakai later in this series.

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Still Thinking 76

April 21, 2014 by Ernie McCray

seventy sixBy Ernie McCray

There’s something about the age of 76 that’s different than any other age I’ve had the pleasure of being. I keep thinking about it for one thing. Maybe it’s because 76 leans closer to 80 than those other yearly milestones along life’s way. As we get older, I think, we see ourselves as Grim Reaper victims every now and then in very brief moments. Briefer than the one just passed, for anyone interested in specifics. Thinking about something can be a lot different than dwelling on it.

Anyway, while pondering such thoughts on the night before I turned 76, I found myself clicking into flickr on the internet for something that might symbolize my reaching such an age, looking for something that screamed “Orale!” The Reaper doesn’t like such expressions of “liveliness.”

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