Hey, kids, hiya doin’? It’s time to ‘wake and bake’ – it’s Sunday and a mainly gray one at that. So, shake off that hang-over from last night. If you haven’t done your exercise for the day, it might be too late, as it’s supposed to rain later today and some tomorrow.
Had some news clippings laying around on my kitchen floor, so I decided to share them with you, plus some ‘internal’ newsy stuff. The editors are usually off on their own projects on Sundays, so I’m alone in the editing room. Shhhh!
OB Rag Survives Cyber Attack ! Yup, it’s true. Somebody doesn’t like us. Not too soon after midnight, somebody did a DOS specifically on us, crowding our OB Rag cyberspace and the server shut us down. The editors – I’m told – were snoring by then and didn’t find out till this morning. Damn! Those …. holes! I’m sure by the nature and tenor of our posts we do have some enemies out there, ya know, we’re constantly after the extremists on the rightwing fringe.
Listen up advertisers. Speaking about the OB Rag, some good news the editors wanted me to pass along: a bunch of our advertisers just renewed so give them some face time of your own: Dog Beach Dog Wash on Voltaire Street, and the OB International Hostel on Newport Ave. Plus, we have a brand new pizza place supporting us – Sorrentino’s – out at 4726 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Ask for Pat Quinn and tell ’em you saw their ad on our website.
Rag readership. Other good news from the Rag: this month – March – looks to be one of our best ever. We’ve already had over 91,000 readers – they call them “unique visitors” in the blog world – for March and still have a week to go. I’m told that the Rag’s best month in its nearly 4 and a half years, was in December 2011 when it had 115,890 visitors. The next two best months were October 2011 with 108,450 readers and January 2012 with 96,780 readers. So, you kind of see the trend going here, can’t ya.
Hey! Mitt Romney’s in town. Join the “Welcome” Monday at 10 am at the US Grant Hotel. Yessiree, ol’ Mitt Romney is in town raising money and chumming around the Republicans running for San Diego mayor. So, because of Mitt’s great stands on women’s reproductive rights, medicare, healthcare and social security, progressives are coming out to welcome him. They’ll be down at the Grant Hotel by 10:00 Monday – March 26th – in the morning. That’s on Broadway in downtown between 3rd and 4th. Bring sings and your voices. You can park for free for up to 3 hours at Horton Plaza with validation, and the Hotel is real close by.
Mel Shapiro Wins Sunshine Award. Our good friend Mel Shapiro – one of San Diego’s greatest activists and downtown watchdogs for the people – who has been a headache for politicians here for decades, just was awarded the Sunshine Award from from the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists SPJ . Mel’s greatest efforts have been to force government and its bureaucracy to be more transparent. Shapiro told KPBS that he has sued local governments at least 12 times and only remembers losing once. “It’s easy to beat the city on public records acts because they’re so secretive,” he said. KPBS reported : “The best way to bring change is through lawsuits, not through the City Council or newspapers, he said. Shapiro added he’s most proud of lawsuits against the city of San Diego and its redevelopment arm, the Centre City Development Corporation, for violating open meeting laws.”
SeaWorld has been in the news lately… and it’s not all good. The Reader’s Matt Potter reminded everybody that the “$6000 settlement agreement reached between the California Regional Water Control Board and SeaWorld” because of a finding that SeaWorld “exceeded legal amounts of ammonia ending up in Mission Bay”. The CRWCB also was reported to have stated that this wasn’t the first and only time where there have been effuent problems at the park. “Since April 13, 2005, there have been numerous violations of effluent limitations at the facility, inciuding three exceedances of Ammonia, six exceedances of Enterococcus, and one exceedance of Total coliform.” Well, duh! Did you ever wonder where the aquatic park right near OB “buries” all the … trying to be somewhat delicate here … feces of its killer whales? I’ve heard that there’s a huge pile right off the land next to SeaWorld buried in 20 feet of Mission Bay water.
It’s also SeaWorld’s birthday, as it first opened 48 years ago last Wednesday, March 21. Originally only 22 acres – it’s now 189 – it had two aquariums, a few dolphins and sea lions, and 45 workers. During the first year, it attracted more than 400,000 visitors. Also, SeaWorld’s founding veterinarian, David Kenney, just passed away in February at the age of 77. He was one of the few doctors anywhere with clinical experience treating sick whales. Kenney was the doctor for all the captive animals, the penguins and dolphins. It was Dr. Kenney who took credit for naming Shamu, the famed killer whale, and then figured out how to fly her to Sea World from Seattle.
New SeaWorld “Manta” Roller Coaster Ride set to open in May. To be featured over five acres and have a 54-foot plunge, the last section of track of the park’s Manta ride has been laid by workers. Under construction since February of 2011, the ride will cover more than a half mile of track with Manta trains carrying riders. This roller coaster ride seems to have been less controversial than SeaWorld’s first one, which was opposed by many community groups in the surrounding neighborhoods. At local planning committees, SeaWorld reps constantly misrepresented the affects of that first roller coaster, such as the sounds and screams of riders. Many of the communities that were upset with the plans for the first one sited noise, the pollution of more and more traffic, and complained that the park was getting away from its original intent. The land SeaWorld leases from the City of San Diego is dirt cheap. And don’t forget, Donna Frye, won some of her first major accolades in her efforts to defeat the aquactic park’s “high rise” ride.
War-Mart Fined for Over-charges. The U-T reports: Walmart has been ordered to pay $2.1 million for not complying with court orders aimed at stopping overcharges. The fine penalizes the world’s largest retailer for failing to comply with a 2008 judgment that required it to resolve errors in pricing at checkout stands, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced… The fine will be divided among various state and local departments, including the San Diego County DA’s Office and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. The state investigation … began in 2005 and was based on customer complaints. Through random price checks, … the state found that 164 stores in 30 counties had made scanning errors. … Walmart was ordered in 2008 to give customers $3 off any item that scanned too high in their California stores and post signs at registers about price accuracy … Walmart Stores failed to comply with the requirements … and that some items were still scanning at higher prices than advertised. San Diego Judge Jeffrey B. Barton agreed.