Letters

494 comments

This is place for general comments regarding the OB Rag Blog itself, or for any general information you would like to share with us.

Please use the Comment form below and enter your thoughts. Your comments are appreciated and encouraged.

Make sure you scroll to the bottom of this page to see the latest letters.

Thank you!

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Hey Frank, nice to see you this summer. good to see OB Rag is alive and well. I sure miss OB and it is nice to know it’s just a plane ride away to go back in time for me. love you, Donna

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Gary Ghirardi / Nov 3rd, 2008 at 6:57 am

Another RAG in the tradition of the OBRag from Austin that dates back to the mid sixties, has gone on line after many years with an online blog:

http://theragblog.blogspot.com/

and is archiving its old stuff online also:

http://www.nuevoanden.com/rag/

There should be a “network” of these “spaces” to encourage their survival and renewal nationally. – ML

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Judi Curry // Oct 13, 2008

I only stumbled onto your newsletter when a friend sent me an email re: the Octoberfest and there was a great picture of her and her husband in your picture section. Finally – someplace to go and read the views of people that think in the same vein as I do. I am going to spread the word – not just in OB but all over. It is wonderful to know that others feel the same way!

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Tanja WInter // Aug 12, 2008

OB Rag is really impressive. My resistance to being swallowed up by my computer has kept me from spending more time on internet reading. I appreciate your articles.

I’ve been searching and demanding coverage of US involvement in Georgia-Russia confrontation. Hardly a peep out of anyone.

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Anon92107 // Jul 11, 2008

Letter sent to Congresswoman Susan Davis:

Susan, this quote from Lee Iacocca applies to you: “We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity.”

Susan, you had one of the best opportunities in American history to make the right things happen to protect the future for our children and grandchildren, and you failed completely.

Worst of all, you failed the tests of Democracy along with the leaderless congress, a judiciary that has overthrown the Rule of Law, and you let our education system crash and burn.

The biggest question today is can American Democracy survive your failures?

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Tito Zevallos // Jul 9, 2008

Hey guys,

OBRag.org has received a mention in the “Ocean Beach” section of the San Diego Reader’s community blogs. It was posted by WT_Effman, another OBecian who believes in your mission. You may want to check it out at this URL:

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/obeetuary/2008/jul/09/the-spirit-of-ob/

Thanks for all that you do in the name of peace, justice and OB.

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Citizens For A Better Veterans Home (founded 1998) // Jul 4, 2008

Mikey Weinstein, who has had his windows shot at and feces thrown in his yard, found a swastika on the front of his house over the weekend. “It’s a horrible feeling of humiliation, embarrassment and rage,” Weinstein said. “This one cuts the deepest. Whether you are Jewish or Christian, you don’t want a swastika on your house.”

Weinstein, a Jewish attorney and former counsel to President Ronald Reagan, made headlines in 2005 when he filed suit against the Air Force, claiming it imposed evangelical Christianity on academy cadets in violation of their constitutional rights. The suit was dismissed because the plaintiffs were no longer cadets. A group founded by Weinstein, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, filed a new suit in March that claimed the entire military is violating the religious liberties of servicemen and women. Weinstein and his two sons are graduates of the Air Force Academy. Weinstein was alerted to the swastika after two of his German shepherds started barking Saturday. He said he saw a dark car backing out of his driveway and found the swastika and a cross on the stucco next to his front door. The symbols were the size of a kitchen plate and looked like they had been written with magic marker.

“These people are cowards,” said Weinstein, whose story has been publicized on national talk shows and in newspapers across the country. It is also featured in a recently released documentary, “Constantine’s Sword,” by Oscar-nominated documentarian Oren Jacoby. The film’s Web site says it “focuses on Christian anti-semitism as the model for all religious hatred, exposing the cross as a symbol of a long history of violence against Jews.” The film is to open in Albuquerque on July 18.

Weinstein said he and his family started noticing unusual behavior at their home on Thursday.

They saw a car pulling out of their driveway one evening. Someone had turned off the fountain to their pond, killing one of their fish.

Sheriff’s officials said they plan to notify the New Mexico Gang and Terrorism Task Force and do periodic checks at Weinstein’s home.

“The swastika escalates things in my mind,” said Rabbi Arthur Flicker of Congregation B’nai Israel. “It symbolizes horrific racism and violence that our fathers and grandfathers fought to destroy.”

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Tito Zevallos // Jul 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm

I’ve got an idea that should please everybody. Since we have beaches that are designated for special purposes, such as exercising dogs, why can’t we have a specific beach area that allows regulated consumption of alcohol? Regulations would include the usual and obvious, such as a ban on glass containers, and could contain other regulations to prevent abuse, such as not allowing anything larger than a quarter keg on the beach. This is pretty much how the smoking issue is handled and it seems to work well.

In Ocean Beach, I would suggest that the area on the south side of the pier and going north to the lifeguard station would be perfect. The area in front of that beach is a surfing-only area, so swimming under the influence would be discouraged. The area north of this allows swimming and body boarding, which families would be more inclined to enjoy.

By the way, I’m 49 years old, self-employed, and it’s MY BEACH too. I don’t see why I have to deprive myself of any rights to indulge the narrow-minded prejudices of others. Treating bad behavior by a minority of people with a full ban for everyone is tantamount to treating dandruff by decapitation.

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Tito Zevallos // Jul 2, 2008

Hey Guys,

Nice blog! Glad to see the spirit of the OBRag and OBGO is still alive and kicking!

From the “Good News – Finally!” department, it appears Starbucks is reeling from a bad economy and is planning to shut down 600 stores.*

I bet the store in OB is one of them. Can’t wait to see a mom-and-pop Fair Trade Coffee shop replace their corporate rumps.

Finally!

*http://dailybriefing.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/07/01/starbucks-has-a-bitter-plan/

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Doug Porter – June 20, 2008

wow! what a flashback.

as a former member of the red zoomie collective who contributed to some of the OB People’s Rag editions (I actually sold the Liberator for spare change), it’s really great to see that the progressive spirit is alive and kicking in OB.

I remember when Frank was “underground”, we faced daily harassment for our politics, and the times were so heady that we often debated whether or not it was worth it to pay the phone bill because the phone company would be amongst the first to go come the revolution.

I have recently relocated back to the San Diego area after 30+ years of being away. I look forward to becoming re-involved with the local scene as i ease myself back into life here.

Doug Porter.

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max black crow // May 21, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I worked with the liberator in the late sixties and I wrote you what I was doing now. Back then we had socialist views. We always questioned the puritan colonialist values of this country. We fought for the right to speak when not spoken too, and always question authority ! I see the paper has changed and wonder why get caught up in the polictical machine. This country is broken, you all will never own homes or even get close to the so called american dream.

This was a Liberal paper? is it still? The issues are the working class issues, the struggle with corporate America. The fucking capitalist greed machine whom I had to work for and they’ve gained great profits off our blood and sweat. I’m 57 years old, I’ve never gave in to their ways. I ‘ve seen my co- workers killed and mamed at work. Then we recieve a mire fraction of the moneies from these companies. You need to get the word out that the working class is the backbone of America. If a corporations exceutives miss work for a month the coporation lives on, BUT! if we the workers stop for a week that corporation will die! The loss of income would cripple that company.

We the people have power. We need to stick together and pull ourselves out of this corporate hole they’ve put us in. Health care, and fuel should be taken out of the stock market. To make millions on health care stock is insane! making money of of people’s suffering is a sick nation. To make movie stars and sports figures our hero’s and pay them millions for entertainment is a travisty!

If the world went to war and the country destroyed, the working class will be hero’s and the sports and movie star will have to count on us to get the nation up and running! What the fuck has happened to our youth. Don’t get caught up in the politics , get to some real issues. no reason we can come to an agreement with companies to share the wealth. How many millions does it take for a family to live the American dream. I work hard and only welcome death to end my pain. I die owing people and have made pipelines for oil companies made shipsto move comodities. Then die poor and broken. I don’t get it? make me understand why you young thinkers can’t see or deal with some real issues? the Liberator did! We fought to be heard. I ended up killing for the united states of America in their Marine corp.

I believe in the United states as a people. I believe in you all. Find the real underlined issues like making the paying feild equal. No reason we all can’t retire and be able to live a good life. It’s peoples values and jealousy and greed that drives this Fucked up nation. Expose it ! write and fight about it. My father died without seeing the great things in this world. Working hard in the local ship yards making just barely enough. No reason this great nation should let that happen to any one parents. The greed in this countey is pheonaminal. We let it go on.

You young people can change this nation, just do it. Find a way to spread the money out in a way that we can all be happy. There so much I have learned and have seen. To much to write about. I grew up in S.D like I said before , my family has been there scince 1896.I’ve seen this place change so much that I actually moved because of it. I see the military with it’s right winged bullshit fuck this town up. Bringing racsim here from all the members they house here from all the racist states like Kentucky, Tenn, West Viginia , Arkansas need I say more. Get to the real struggle, anyone can point fingers at politicians, change the country just focus on our needs! Peace to you all … MAX

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Christine / / April 30, 2008

I love OB! I am writing you because this election is critical and the money is pouring in from special interests aka developers that want to make OB look like a wasteland of 4-pack stucco condos like they did in so many other parts of SD. I run a website called developeralert.org . I am doing my best to provide info to the community on developer actions that are happening under the radar. That said, I guess I just wanna urge you and encourage you to get info out to readers about the money and where it is coming from. They want Aguirre out bad!!-The developers, the unions, the city people because of their pensions. They are really pushing Goldsmith and Goldsmith is a schill for special interests. Look what he did to Poway–he destroyed that town. He would be a disaster. Believe me I am totally on your side–you have a great community and this election will be critical in saving it.


Frank Gormlie // Jan 17, 2008 at 9:17 am

Thanks J. Stone; we did post that comment by Huckabeen on Jan. 16th.#


J.Stone // Jan 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Wondering why no one is covering the Republican candidates and the nonsense they continue to spew. I think it’s important to keep track of them. For example, I haven’t seen any media coverage of Huckabee’s intensions of actually changing the Constitution to be more “christian”. This is scary shit, and some how the info needs to get out. Obviously the main stream media is choosing not to include this when they gush about Huckabee’s ratings and poll numbers

Here are some idiotic comments he’s made recently;

From NBC/NJ’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy

WARREN, Mich. – Huckabee’s closing argument to voters here this evening featured a few new stories and two prolonged sections on illegal immigration and Christian values.

These two topics usually feature prominently in Huckabee’s stump speech, but last night he got specific, promising to build a border fence within 18 months if elected and elaborating on his belief that the constitution needs to be amended.

“[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it’s a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that’s what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards,” Huckabee said, referring to the need for a constitutional human life amendment and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Huckabee often refers to the need to amend the constitution on these grounds, but he has never so specifically called for the Constitution to be brought within “God’s standards,” which are themselves debated amongst religious scholars. As a closing statement he asked the room of nearly 500 supporters to “pray and then work hard, and in that order,” to help him secure a victory in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

I also found this, could very well be a mockup/fake but who knows

http://www.themishmash.com/2008/01/single-most-com.html


Lorrie // Jan 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm

This is terrific. Thank you! Hope it grows (in participation, if not in words).


Patrick // Dec 23, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Each time I read the Rag it seems to get better. You must have a lot of spare time on your hands, or you’re a literary genius, or there are a lot of ghost writers in OB. While on a bike ride the other day I spotted a wonderful bumper sticker. U.S. out of OB!

I like the updates on Blackwater, and I think articles on neo-liberalism & fascism are timely. I know those are broad & general, but there are so many instances where the fascists are winning-many instances that go unreported by anyone. Local reports about creeping fascism & militarism would be appreciated. Hope you’ve had a wonderful Winter Solstice Cocktail Evening.

Patrick


Dave Sparling // Dec 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm

As a new resident of laid back OB I just want to say how happy I am to be here. A native of Phoenix and long time Zonie I only discovered OB a couple of years ago. It seems to be the perfect location for a old hippie liberal like myself. I hope to meet all of those who are involved in this venture.

You can find me at Winstons drunk poet society every Monday night 6 to 8. I always wanted to be a writer, but never had a loft in NYC or a cabin in Key West. OB has been both to me, and I can’t stop writing.


Byron // Nov 28, 2007 at 7:44 am

From Randi Rhodes web site

Philip Giraldi| BIO | I’M A FAN OF THIS BLOGGER

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Posted November 26, 2007 | 10:06 AM (EST)

There has been a long tradition of fear-mongering legislation in the United States directed against groups and individuals believed to threaten the established order. The first such measures were the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress in 1798 during the administration of the second president of the United States John Adams. The Acts, consisting of four separate laws, made it more difficult to become a citizen, sought to control real or imagined foreign agents operating in the United States, and also gave the government broad powers to control “sedition.” Sedition was defined as “resisting any law of the United States or any act of the President” punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years. It also made illegal “false, scandalous or malicious writing” directed against either the government or government officials. The next President, Thomas Jefferson declared that three out of the four laws were unconstitutional and pardoned everyone who had been convicted under them.

[for more of this article which was originally posted as a “Letter to the Editor”, see the posted article itself.]


OB Joe // Nov 18, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Congrats! I’d like to see more posts on OB however. Like, what is happening on Newport Ave, what is happening with the planned condos for the foot of Saratoga?#


Frank Gormlie // Nov 3, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Eric

Right on, Bro! Poor people do have a right to live at the beach, and that’s been one of the principles that OB activists over the years have adhered to, most recently in a group called the Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization (OBGO). 5/7’s of OB’s residents are tenants, yet the threats of gentrification, over-development, and corporate-take-over of our main street businesses remain constant and ever alive. Since the early 70’s there’s been a community resistance to the urban planning designs of the establlishment and power structure; such landmarks as the stopping of the jetty in 1970, the saving of Collier Park, the passage of the 30 foot height limit in 1972. and the establishment of the OB Planning Board in 1976 – the first democratically-elected community planning committee in the history of California – remain in our most recent community history. (See “1st OB Rag” page). More recently, groups such as OBGO, the Coalition to Save OB, and community-minded businesspeople have made efforts to prevent Newport Avenue from becoming a strip of franchise-city. It’s been an on-going battle to ‘save OB’ and it ain’t over yet.


Eric Parish // Nov 3, 2007 at 12:07 pm

I haven’t been able to afford to live in OB for decades. The rent got to be too much back in 1983. Living a block from the beach were very happy years for me. It is nice to see the politics have survived. Never let them turn you into another Leucadia or Encinitas. Poor people should never have to abandon the beach.


Frank // Nov 3, 2007 at 9:39 am

Gary

Thank you for your report. There was nothing in today’s Union-Tribune (11/3/07) about any protests in Venezuela. Keep them coming.

Frank Gormlie


G Ghirardi // Nov 2, 2007 at 7:09 pm

I don’t know if you consider this relevant for the Rag but it is hot off the press – G

Venezuela: Two opposition confirmed Killed and eight wounded at the University of Zulia

11-02-07 / 9:30PM

Maracaibo -An incident of gun violence resulted in the confirmed death of one student and one unidentified person on the University of Zulia Campus today and eight wounded on the Eve of an Opposition march on Saturday and a Chavista march on Sunday on the opposite side of the country in the capital of Caracas. There are also unconfirmed reports that an additional two people have died from their wounds.

Many pro government supporters feel that this was manufactured violence to disrupt the socialist constitutional referendum that is pending and put U.S. and International pressure on the Bolivarian movement and the PSUV party (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela) of Hugo Chavez. Student violence occurred throughout the week in staged confrontations by opposition groups in Caracas. Mayor Barreto had given the protesters a wide berth and there have been no serious injuries to government supporters or opposition protesters or retaliation by police against the students but many police, including a police chief negotiating with the protesters, sustained injuries by rioting students. Many images showing up in U.S. media coverage were of the violence of opposition student violence attributed to a response by students to police violence.

Zulia Governor Rosales chose not to intervene on the student violence at the University of Zulia. Venezuelan law does not permit troops or municipal police to enter universities as they are considered autonomist zones that are self policed by university guards.

The opposition political party, Primary Justice, ran as their presidential candidate Zulia Governor Rosales against Chavez in the last election.

Reports on the government news channel in Caracas, Canal Ocho, are claiming that gunfire broke out during student elections at the Engineering School of the university as two rivaling opposition student parties, Un Nuevo Tiempo (A New Time) and University Christian Democracy, skirmished. Reports are sketchy about the death toll but it appears that two people were killed, a woman and a man.. Police officials on the government channel are saying that they have no one in custody and are still investigating the shooting and interviewing witnesses. The police official also interjected that students should not have permitted the entry of non-student outsiders into the voting proceedings. The corporate channels like Venevision and Globovision have been silent on the story.

The student and allied opposition groups hope to instigate a U.S. military intervention poised as a humanitarian mission to restore their freedoms they claim have been denied them under the Chavez Government and as a pretext for removing Chavez from the hemisphere.

Zulia is an area of Venezuela bordering Columbia. The U.S. military maintains the Plan Columbia “drug eradication” operation on the Columbian side. Paramilitary groups wage a campaign of extra judicial executions against those activists working it the mountainous border area to initiate and carryout government reform and social programs. FARC rebel troops also operate in this region and have been one of the primary issues for U.S. Foreign Policy grievances against the Chavez Government. – G. D. Ghirardi#


Frank Gormlie // Oct 31, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Jackie – You’ve struck several themes that our blog has attempted to illuminate: the inspiration and disheartenment that many of us have felt from our region’s responses to the 2007 wildfires – the giving, generosity and solidarity of San Diegans for those evacuated and in need, but at the same time the governments’ failures – such as the lack of sufficient fire fighting aircraft, the reverse 9-1-1 calls only in English, orders for mandatory evacuations while not providing for fire protection, discriminating against immigrants during this crisis….

… Let’s turn our anguish into discussions and actions to change it for the better. – Frank


Jackie McElveny // Oct 31, 2007 at 11:03 am

Okay, now i can’t figure out how to do a new post here. I’m really not technolically challenged, it’s just not readily apparent. Sorry. Here is what I posted to one of my other groups tonight about the fires, Katrina, the present administration base, and how bureaucracy is crippling this country almost beyond redemption. Oh and also, about the good citizens of San Diego and about the role of media in our elections. Yep! All over the landscape……..

Okay, can I just call it like I see it? My heart goes out to all those who lost their homes, rich or poor, and I know and work with some of the rich ones (who lost homes): I work in medicine and they are doctors. I don’t hold rich against them and have a good relationship with most of those I work with. BUT, read on.

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this, I’m finding my way. The people in New Orleans were considered disposable. Let me start there. Rich anybody is not disposable. This is the “Base” that Bush so blatantly refers to.

Okay, next talking point, and I’m still not sure where I’m going: the citizens of this city are the real heroes in terms of aid! And it was like that with Katrina – people from all over the country converging with EXTREMELY necessary aid and BLOCKED by the #*!#-ing bureaucracy, read: federal government. Oh, sorry, you don’t meet the regulations, can’t help, these people are going to have to die…..And die they did, thank you US government. Back to the citizens, ordinary San Diego people: friends of mine sheltered in Valley Center and one of them reports it was working VERY well until the Red Cross got involved. Yet more bureaucracy. I think this country is going to sink into the ocean from the weight of how completely bureaucratic it has become.

As for those front and center with the media. It was heartening to know that Susan Davis and Donna Frye were right there quietly helping – and that was absolutely the best use of their time. But when the elections come around, they are going to be won or lost in the media, which is – well I don’t know WHAT that is, maybe an indictment of where our society is at present. It actuallly WOULD have been good for Susan and Donna to make time for some media exposure. Barbara Boxer? I don’t know where she was. Dianne Feinstein? I know where she was because my 80-year-old mom called me (yes, an elderly progressive in very sense of the word), sputtering, after the Bush press conference which I could not bear to watch. And, yes, there was our own Dianne, right up there at the podium (well, I didn’t watch it, I’m only relating what Mom told me) with all the right-wing establishment.

Sorry for this disjointed, all-over-the-landscape post, but I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m disheartened.


Monty Reed Kroopkin // Oct 26, 2007 at 9:08 pm

Dear Ocean Beach Rag,

Congratulations and applause to Frank Gormlie and Patty Jones on the new OB Rag blog at http://obrag.org/, and on the seed of a new OB Rag publication. And I am very happy to see links to some recent articles on the new Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Community press organizations like the original Ocean Beach People’s Rag are still needed, and might find a new (and less expensive to sustain) life online (combined with downloadable pdf versions that are ready to print, for decentralized hard copy distribution).

Please contemplate the story of sister publication, The Columbus Free Press. They have a good summary at http://www.freepress.org/about.php and their current online edition is at http://www.freepress.org/index2.php PLUS their hard copy editions can be viewed online at http://www.freepress.org/journal.php . Seems they actually have the “Journal” version done by a printer and distributed the old fashioned way.

I would love to see not only the Rag grow again in this manner, but a number of other San Diego area newspapers presently defunct, or, I prefer to think, dormant. The New Indicator? The Street Journal? The start up costs to print an online edition are comparable to running a blog. The difference is the more involved range of content (and reporters) and the visual presentation. Doing layout is still doing layout, and publishing an online newspaper is more time consuming than producing a blog. The software is rather widely available, and not so expensive, especially for a group.

I also invite readers to check out a press research webpage I’m developing at . It is part of a new website for the Movement for a Democratic Society (which is a community-based project of the new Students for a Democratic Society). The site has links to the main SDS website and to the info page for the New Left Cafe listserv, and to the non-profit foundation which has been formed for fund-raising and other support work for SDS. One subject raised within SDS/MDS is a possible project to organize better communication and cooperation within the progressive press community. I see the potential for an effective global Left as tied greatly to our means of communication. We have a lot of work to do in this field.

Yours for the “Whole Damn Pie Shop” (not just a piece of the pie) !

Monty Reed Kroopkin

San Diego SDS-MDS Chapter contact

cc: many friends of the OB Rag

New Left Cafe (discussion listserv of SDS-MDS)

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Rick Trout November 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm

The Navy Dolphin program that Congress tried to downsize in 1992 is again suffering controversy & embarrassment!

The needless, tragic death of Coll Perske last year is being made more tragic as civilian contractor, SAIC appeals common sense fixes & meager fines for their neglect in Coll’s death as cited by a Federal OSHA investigation.

Anyone on foot, bike, boat, car or plane can view the bizarre floating Alcatraz for dolphins from Spanish Landing Park or Tom Ham’s Lighthouse parking lot on Harbor Island.
This will hopefully be the last vestige of an outdated and wasteful program that has killed dolphins, civilians & Navy personnel in Viet Nam.

Retired Navy Admiral Eugene Carroll said it best, “I would not expect my sailors to sleep peacefully on a Trident Nuclear Sub guarded by Flipper!

http://www.cbs8.com/story/30390208/cbs-news-8-exclusive-navy-contractor-fined-after-dolphin-trainer-death

Rick Trout, 305 522 0534
SAIC/Navy dolphin, sea lion trainer & Dive Supervisor ’85-’89
Diver & Whistle blower re: abuse & national security liability of Navy Dolphin & Sugarloaf Dolphin Sanctuary ’89-94
Founder/lead rescuer Marine Mammal Conservancy ’95 – 2005.
Dolphin Diving Key Largo ’05-present
305 522 0534

Reply

avatar Geoff Mousseau December 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

As an executive with one of these new businesses, I thought the information is topical and timely. California is the only state to permit traffic tickets to be contested by mail. More drivers in California should know about this alternative as they head into a busy travel season.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/1/2015
Rising Cost of Traffic Tickets Creates New Industry in California

Websites Help Drivers Fight Traffic Tickets by Mail

Los Angeles, CA: Traffic tickets lead to hundreds of dollars of fees and costs, not to mention the added cost of traffic school and increased insurance rates. At the same time, California State budget reductions have either caused traffic courts to reduce hours, or in some cases to close. Tickets are extremely expensive, and it is harder to deal with them.

Over the past year, several new businesses have opened to help with this problem. These new websites introduce California drivers to a reasonable and alternative way to get tickets dismissed.

Most of us are familiar with trying to postpone a trial for a ticket, hoping the officer will not show up. That may have worked in the past, but now officers are paid to appear at trial. Consequently, this technique results in wasting hours at court only to end up facing the officer in front of a judge anyway. At that point, the odds are stacked in favor of the experienced and well-trained officer. After spending valuable time in court, the best hope is for a small reduction in the amount of the fine, and paying more money for traffic school.

For those who actually want to get a ticket dismissed, with no points and no hidden insurance costs, there is a little-known alternative. The reverse side of each California traffic citation mentions a trial by “written declaration.” This means that a traffic ticket can be contested without making a court appearance. Both the officer and the driver write down their version of what happened and mail it to the court. But unlike with a regular trial, traffic officers are not paid extra to write down their presentation. For this reason alone, the chances of getting a ticket dismissed is higher using this strategy. People are using “Trial by Mail” because a substantial number of them actually win.

If Trial by Mail is the best chance to win, and it takes the least amount of time, then the question is – how to do it? There are two options. The necessary forms are on the DMV website and can be prepared by anyone who wants to try it alone. Or, these new online services can help you through the process. For most people it is worth the cost of using an online service rather than trying to do it themself. These sites are similar to using LegalZoom and some even offer a money back guarantee.

Because of the tools you get on sites, your chances of getting a ticket dismissed may be even higher. These sites are easy to use. Just fill out one simple form using the information that is already on the citation. It is also quick – no need to wait days or deal with strangers on the phone. Using the information you provide, either site will email forms that you simply sign and mail to the court.

Trial by Mail is the best chance to get a ticket dismissed, it saves time and money, and its easy and quick. This is why more and more people are using Trial by Mail every day.

Reply

avatar Doug Blackwood December 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Dear Frank,

What is happening with “Vacation Rentals”?
I was ill & unable to attend the December 3rd thing; I ve seen ZERO coverage.
Please enlighten !

Reply

avatar Richard December 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Dear Staff,
While restaurants taking over the sidewalk directly adjacent to their properties in order to maximize customer capacity is nothing new in OB (see: OB noodle house, both locations, Raglan, etc) the structure erected outside of the new OB Brewery on Newport seems particularly egregious. It cuts deeply into the sidewalk and funnels into an even narrower path as it runs up against a city palm tree planted area. Is this legal? Is there a permit that had to be obtained for this area? If so was it obtained? With OB becoming evermore busy and crowded, especially in the summer months, I cannot understand the thinking behind this eyesore/hindrance being given the go ahead. Does anyone have any info about this matter?7

Reply

avatar Pier View December 23, 2015 at 10:50 am

“PIER VIEW” STORY SET IN OB FREE ON AMAZON 12/25- 12/30/2015.
Honoring the anniversary of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn’s suicide 12/28/14, author Gillian Zed offers her short story ‘PIER VIEW’ available FREE on Amazon for five days only, December 25-30th, 2015. This one-hour-read of original fiction has received steady praise for its depiction of a community’s acceptance of, and respect for, a local transgender youth who is undecided about their future physical choices.
LINK: http://goo.gl/LQuDQL (Regular price $1.99. Free Kindle App may be required for some devices.)

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avatar Geoff Mousseau January 22, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Three Steps to Take When Your Teenage Driver Gets a Ticket

Traffic officers seem to feast on younger drivers, presumably to teach them life lessons at the expense of very costly traffic tickets. But, if a traffic ticket leads to hundreds of dollars of fees and costs, not to mention the cost of traffic school and increased insurance premiums, then why not at least try to fight that ticket — another great lesson for any teenager.

California drivers over the age of 18 are able to fight traffic tickets by mail. California is also the only state to permit this alternative to a traffic court trial. But why don’t more people know about Trial by Mail?

The California Traffic Court System benefits from the inherent respect most people have for the police, hoping they won’t question the officer’s often-arbitrary decision to issue a citation. The formality of the courthouse also manages to further intimidate anyone brave enough to appear, where we are encouraged to plead guilty and to accept traffic school.

The System manages to generate over a billion dollars a year while drivers remain in the dark about their options. Traffic Courts also confuse and intimidate us with a “courtesy” notice mentioning license suspension and jail, even though those possibilities are only for those who completely ignore their traffic ticket. The option for Trial by Mail is rarely mentioned, if at all.
According to the 2015 Court Statistics Report, published by the State of California, almost all drivers who seek a court trial lose. For example, most of us are familiar with trying to postpone a trial for a ticket, hoping the officer will not show up. That may have worked in the past, but now officers are paid to appear at trial. Consequently, this technique results in wasting hours at court only to end up facing the officer in front of a judge anyway. At that point, the odds are stacked in favor of the experienced and well-trained officer. After spending valuable time in court, the driver is required to pay the total cost of the ticket, plus other fees and costs, and then pay even more money for traffic school.
Trial by Mail is a simple process where, rather than giving testimony about a ticket in person in court, both the driver and the traffic officer write down their versions of events and mail it in. The judge then makes a decision based on what was presented in writing. One of the major advantages for the driver in this situation is that the officer, who would have been paid extra to appear in court, is not paid to write up his or her version of the events. For this reason alone, drivers have a greater chance of success using Trial by Mail.
For those who actually want to get a ticket dismissed, with no points, no traffic school, and no hidden insurance costs, the alternative is Trial by Mail. People are using Trial by Mail because a substantial number of them actually win, resulting in a refund of the “bail” that was posted.
If Trial by Mail is the best chance to win, and it takes the least amount of time, then how does it work? Anyone who wants to try it alone can find the necessary forms on the DMV website. Or, online services will help drivers through the process. For most people it is worth the cost of using an online service rather than trying to do it alone. These sites are similar to using LegalZoom, and some even offer a money back guarantee.
Because of the tools you get on sites such as TeenageTicketSolution.com and CA-Ticket.com, your chances of getting a ticket dismissed may be even higher. These sites are easy to use and have been mentioned in newspapers throughout California, including the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times. Just quickly fill out one basic form with the information that is already on the ticket. Using the facts you provide, either site will email forms that you simply sign and mail to the court.
Trial by Mail is the best chance to get a ticket dismissed, it saves time and money, and it’s easy and quick. This is why more and more people are using Trial by Mail every day.

Geoff Mousseau
310-560-8000

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avatar daisy February 28, 2016 at 11:51 am

Where are the rest of the letters from 2009 through 2015?

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avatar Patty Jones February 28, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Daisy, scroll up and click on the Previous Comments link.

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avatar Madelyn February 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

Hi there,
I’m leaving a comment about noise pollution. The motorcycles are so loud they set off every single car alarm on the street. It’s impossible to work from home in Ocean Beach without noise cancelling headphones. I don’t understand why this is necessary. I understand the safety behind being heard, but in a pack of 5 or 6 motorcycles it’s deafening. Everyone has a right to live with the approved level of noise for the area. This is just people being completely selfish, inconsiderate, and ruining daily peace for the rest of us. I actually sleep through planes, sirens, and all of the other little disturbances of the area. But there is no reason to have bikes so loud. We see you, your loud and we get it. So get over yourselves. Grow up and consider you aren’t the center of the universe. Some people have families, work 3 jobs and wouldn’t mind a little sleep here and there. I think this is something that needs to be discussed and action needs to be taken soon because this is now a public health issue and a serious assault on quality of life, and the economy of Ocean Beach. If you want people to thrive don’t mess with their sleep.

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avatar Gary Ghirardi February 29, 2016 at 8:18 am

This bothers me also and I believe I have found a solution to the problem, but it requires that you attach the following stickers to the offending vehicles.

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avatar PL Local February 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

Every day for the past 2+ years. Midnight, 3am and 6am. Some douchebag from the Military goes from Canon st. to Catalina st., to the end of the point. The motorcycle is so loud I am woken up from half a block away.

I have called SpaWars several times about this problem. Their response is “We don’t handle civilian matters”

There is also now recently, around 8am-9am, A student from PLNU that does the same.

Is it really necessary to accelerate so fast, that you have to make your motorcycle so loud, just so you get to the next stop light, just to do the same thing again.

Please respect the locals. You wouldn’t want me to come where you live and rev my car while you sleep.

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avatar Colin February 29, 2016 at 9:15 am

Concur. And I believe excessive exhaust system noise is actually illegal, though I don’t have details. But I doubt police officers act against these offenders very often, as the prevalence of offenders seems (sounds!) fairly high volume. Still, might be worth trying to catch a license plate number and report to the police.

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avatar Ocean Beach community member March 21, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Subject: An open letter to the individuals who recently vandalized the security fence on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire.

From: Ocean Beach community members.

Dear Vandals,

Neighbors in Ocean Beach that care about the health and welfare of our community do not support your message or your medium of choice.

Why do you feel entitled to additional voting privileges about how an owner handles their property? This is the function of San Diego city zoning and permitting, and public opinion is considered at that time.

We found it interesting that you use the term ‘Neighboring Locals’, not simply ‘Neighbors’, to express your group’s dissatisfaction. Actual neighbors, that is, those who care about the properties they rent or own, those that are respectful to one another, and those that are committed to help keep OB lawful and respectable, with the greater good in mind, are what this town could use more of.

It is ironic that so many ‘Locals’ are against installing surveillance cameras yet your unlawful actions do nothing but solidify why they should indeed be deployed.

The use of the word “Locals” in the context of your graffiti is polarizing. Do we not already have enough of this in our world today? Your spray painted hearts and peace symbols didn’t make it OK. How does polarization add value to the eclectic, free spirited, peaceful atmosphere OB is known and loved for? This notion of earned tenure is destructive to a diverse community and intended to be intimidating. “Locals Only” is how your message reads and it is passé. It is juvenile and your media choice of vandalizing property (make no mistake about that), did little for your selfish cause.

Or did you forget that while fetching your spray paint?

You broke the law and we neighbors in the vicinity vehemently refuse to be associated with you. Ocean Beach needs no additional crime and criminals like you are not welcome here. Know this.

You decided to vandalize a third party’s property (the fence company) to promote your entitled, self-righteous message. The fence company owner is not ‘The man’, but more likely a hardworking individual trying to build a business and make a living for himself, his family, and provide opportunity to his workers. You stole from them. Contrary to the message of your graffiti, it can be assumed you do not understand or practice respect.

The grounds of the now fenced property was known to have dog waste, garbage and broken glass on the ground, abandoned furniture, the occasional inhabited RV, and cars parked in a manner that blocked the sidewalk and part of the alley. We saw it daily, for years. An eyesore and public safety issue to be sure. It doesn’t seem as though you were keeping it up because why would you? “The man” should, right? Wrong. It is assumed you don’t own it, if you were maintaining it, it wasn’t noticeable, yet you expect the owners to act in your best interest? You seem to feel entitled to have control of other people’s property, even deface it, but conveniently assign the burden of responsibility and upkeep to someone else. The property owner has made decisions that will ultimately improve this situation, yet you deem it unacceptable?

As long time neighbors and residents of Ocean Beach we want you to know that we collectively disagree with and refuse to accept the actions of those that act as you did when you made the choice to canvas the ‘Locals’ opinion about improving the area in which we live.

To be clear; many of your neighbors do not support your message and denounce your disrespectful, illegal choice of publication.

Further, we open our arms to anyone who decides to make Ocean Beach their home and chooses to be productive and considerate neighbors. We value good people who respect one another. We look forward to meeting our future neighbors who move into the new construction that will help alleviate the housing shortage here in town.

We wholeheartedly accept and applaud improvement of vacant, unkempt property that individuals use self servingly but don’t maintain or give back to. It would be wonderful to see similar progress to the lot on Abbott and Muir. Users and takers of OB have been dumping their old furniture and garbage there long enough.

Again, neighbors in Ocean Beach that care about the health and welfare of our community do not support your message or your medium of choice. Ocean Beach is on the cusp of great progress, with or without you. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Sincerely,

Your neighbors.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 21, 2016 at 9:28 pm

We plan to run this as an article.

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avatar DAN DENNISON May 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Congrats to Frank for the terrific presentation at the OB Library yesterday! Surely there was a lot of nostalgia for several in the audience but it also was a terrific quick description of the establishment challenging Character of OB created in the 70’s. It was also encouraging to see much of that spirit is still here and has truly set OB aside from most other San Diego Neighborhoods.

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avatar tennyson clark June 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Why can’t the city do a Stand Down type event in the Q on the day of game not restricted to just vets. Give homeless folks free trolley rides to the stadium, places to store their stuff, offer the free showers, free hair cuts, free dental, clothes, etc. Am I just another do gooder liberal-no way, this is not altruistic. Stand Downs are covered with volunteers, this would be cost effective compared to what the city is paying union scale city workers, public safety workers to enforce litter, etc laws usually never enforced, to buy and stack huge rocks under the bridges, etc -must be costing millions. Do all the homeless then go back to the East Village afterward? Probably but our mayor is not interested in the homeless anyway -his goal is to make the city sparkle still saving money while he does that, maybe even helping a few out along the way seems more rational, logical to me than his current operation

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