Big Oil Spent $6.2 Million Lobbying CA Officials So Far in 2015

August 21, 2015 by Source
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By Dan Bacher / Daily Kos

The oil industry spent $6.2 million to lobby legislators and other state officials in California in the first six months of 2015, according to a report just released by the California Secretary of State’s Office.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, alone spent a total of $1,388,203 in the first quarter of the 2015-2016 session and $1,141,037 in the second quarter of the session. That’s a total of $2,529,240 spent on lobbying in six months.

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A Nice Little Trip Up Highway 1

August 21, 2015 by Ernie McCray
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By Ernie McCray

Maria and I just got back from San Francisco, my favorite city on the globe, and as far as road trips go, this one was as pleasant as it gets.

The weather was like a gift from Mother Nature herself, an absolute delight, so warm and embracing, featuring cool breezes in the late afternoons and at night.

The trip got underway on the 805, at Governor Drive, then came the merge with I-5, just an hour or so away from the 405, which drops down to the 101 which takes you to Highway 1 for the real fun: a drive alongside the ocean and on cliffs high above it, privy to jaw-dropping views that exhilarate your very soul, your spirituality.

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Report of Panel Discussion: Short Term Rentals – What’s the Future?

August 17, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is a slightly-edited report of a panel discussion on short term rentals held at the July meeting of the Point Loma OB Democratic Club.

By PL OB Dem Club Admin

The moderator, Omar Passons, attorney that the San Diego municipal code does not currently define a short-term vacation rental and that ordinance and formal definitions would soon be introduced by City Council.

There is a ‘border and lodger’ definition (generally stays are more than 30 day stay) and a ‘bed and breakfast’ definition (generally stays are less than 30 day stay, but this is not within the code) within the code. Short-term vacation rentals (STVR) means the renting of any portion of your property for less than 30 days.

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Ocean Beach News, Notes and Nuggets

August 17, 2015 by Staff
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Mainstream Media on Coastal Commission Approval of OB Community Plan

Town Council Offers Reward for Info on OB Entry Way Sign Graffiti

San Diego’s First Centrally Located Licensed Pot Dispensary Opened in Midway District

OBcean Quoted in NY Times About Use of Facial-Recognition Software by San Diego Police

OB Lifeguard Team Wins Annual Competition – Again!

Big Companies, Not Homeowners, Run Biggest Share of Short-Term Rentals

Liquid Blue Fast Becoming an OB Band

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Ready for the Revolution? Clinton, Sanders, #BlackLivesMatter and Other Tales from the Campaign Trail

August 17, 2015 by Jim Miller

hillary clinton photo

By Jim Miller

Last week, Hillary Clinton paid a visit to her base in San Diego at a breakfast fundraiser in the home of Qualcomm executive Irwin Jacobs, which was billed as “A Conversation with Hillary.” Clinton arrived in a motorcade with two San Diego police cars and entered through the back door.

Of course, to be part of the conversation, you had to drop $1,000 to $2,700, the maximum contribution for an individual allowed under federal law.

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San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

August 17, 2015 by Anna Daniels
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By Anna Daniels

The San Diego Free Press celebrated its third birthday on August 8 with a Galastravaganzaversary party at Border X Brewing. Wow–three years!

It has been an astoundingly active year for this unique all volunteer operated San Diego media presence. Contributors and editors have provided another year of progressive views with a distinctly grassroots perspective on the topics of labor, the environment, immigration, criminal justice, politics and government.

Our approach–multi-media and multi-genre– reflects the talents and interests of our contributors. Video essays, personal narratives, cartoons and poetry are essential …

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What Happened at the Foot of Cape May Last Week? Was It Sexual Assault or Just 2 Drunken Friends?

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Last Saturday, we reposted a news account from TV Ch8 about a sexual assault in OB in broad daylight that had occurred on Thursday, August 6th at the foot of Cape May Avenue. Witnesses had called police and ended up very dissatisfied with the attitude and activities of the arriving officers.

The alleged attacker was initially detained by witnesses but only hours later arrested by police and led away in handcuffs. One of the key witnesses was informed later that he was released and not charged. There was a lot of interest in the story among our readers, so we wanted to provide an enlarged picture of what happened. Arriving on Cape May, I found “Con” Harris who lives nearby and who had been the key witness to the incident.

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The California Coastal Commission Approves the Ocean Beach Community Plan – Finally!

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Some Coastal Commission Modifications Accepted by City Staff in Final Compromise

In an unanimous vote, the California Coastal Commission approved the OB Community Plan Update yesterday, August 13, in the City Hall chambers of Chula Vista.

The vote was a ringing endorsement for compromise and civil give-and-take between the respective staffs of the Commission and of the City of San Diego – a civility and willingness to compromise brought on no doubt by the crowd of OBceans present in the Chambers.

San Diego city staff who participated in the presentations and discussion, stated that the vote was a “major victory for Ocean Beach”.

It had been a long process – since last summer when the City Council approved the OB Plan.

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One Coastal Commission Problem With Ocean Beach Community Plan Linked to Mandate for Affordable Coastal Visitor Accommodations

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

One of the major issues that the California Coastal Commission has with the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update – on their agenda this Thursday, August 13th – is that language in the Plan in support of low-cost visitor accommodations is not strong enough.

On the face of it, this may seem weird. Why would the Commission reject the OB Update after over a dozen years in the making on an issue that has nothing to do with OB residents?

Coastal Commission staff have recommended that the Commission reject the OB Plan unless there are modifications to the language regarding affordable-housing for visitors at the coast, among other things.

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OB Must Descend on the Coastal Commission Thursday

August 12, 2015 by Source
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Ol’ OB Hippie Joins Calls for Community Action In Support of OB Community Plan

Any OBcean worth her or his salt has been following the travails of the Community Plan Update for Ocean Beach.

And they know that the California Coastal Commission is holding a hearing on the OB Plan on Thursday, August 13. They also may want to know that there will be a bus to take OBceans over to Chula Vista where the Commission is holding their meetings.

This is a critical hearing on the OB Plan – for the Coastal Commission has a mandate to protect our coast and to provide public access to the coast. Any project within the coastal zone has to have their final approval. …

Yet, OB has got to descend on the Coastal Commission on Thursday.

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The Strange Case of the LA Times Cartoonist Fired for Being Too-Critical of LA Police

August 12, 2015 by Staff
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Now that the LA Times company has bought the San Diego Union Tribune, it’s only fair that we’re able to take shots at the largest newspaper on the West Coast.

Take the case of Ted Rall. Until recently, he was a political cartoonist for the LA Times, with his raw, notable drawings gracing the pages of the op-ed section. He was also a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Rall is a no-holds bar kind of cartoonist. And he often took shots at the LA Police Department. Especially recently, when the LAPD announced a new aggressive policy of ticketing jay-walkers in downtown LA. This inspired Rall to recount his experience in 2001 – 14 years ago – of being roughed up by an LA cop for alleged jay-walking – which Rall denies that he committed.

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Ocean Beach Entryway Sign Vandalized – and Then Cleaned Up

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Entry Sign vand 1By South OB Girl

Same week that Ocean Beach locals have been preparing to defend the OB Community Plan at the California Coastal Commission meeting on Thursday — the iconic Ocean Beach entry way sign was seriously vandalized late Sunday night – August 9th or early Monday morning.

OB Town Council President Gretchen Newsom has tackled the issue full throttle. And no doubt, she will fight for the Community Plan just as hard.

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The Re-Naming of “Saratoga Park” Hits Snag

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a movement afoot to change the name of “Saratoga Park” – that grassy area at the foot of Saratoga Avenue – and to have it named after Ocean Beach’s preeminent historian, Ruth Varney Held.

Held wrote the local classic about OB – “Beach Town” – and also wrote a column for a local regional beach newspaper.

Folks with the OB Community Development Corporation are developing a children’s play area within the grassy area and other elements such as an adult fitness are – and are pushing for the name change.

Saratoga Park has been the name for the grassy area next to the sand and lifeguard parking lot for decades. Today, it sits in front of the new condo complex recently constructed with million dollar units.

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U.S. Mayors Fed Up With Paying Wall Street Interest and Fees

August 12, 2015 by John Lawrence

Establishment of Public Banks Considered

wall street flagsBy John Lawrence

At their meeting on June 19-22, the US Conference of Mayors considered the possibility of establishing public banks as an alternative to Wall Street.

Instead of spending a fortune in Wall Street fees and interest, a public bank would keep the money right in each Mayor’s jurisdiction. Finally, Mayors are wising up.

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Special Meeting Called for OB Planners’ Final Prep for Coastal Commission Hearing

August 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A special meeting has been called by OB planners to finalize their preparations for the California Coastal Commission hearing on the OB Community Plan Update.

The special OB meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Wednesday, August 12 at the Dog Beach Dog Wash community room, 4943 Voltaire Street. The Commission will hear the OB Plan sometime during Thursday, August 13.

Volunteer leaders from the OB Community Plan Update sub-committee along with the leadership of the current OB Planning Board joined in calling the meeting.

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OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

August 11, 2015 by Source
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To Our Members and Friends:

On Thursday, August 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider approval of the Ocean Beach Community Plan at their meeting in Chula Vista.

The larger hearing begins begins at 9am, but the Community Plan is item #22c on the agenda, so the actual time it will be heard is currently unknown.

The Ocean Beach Town Council is sponsoring bus transportation to Chula Vista. If you would be interested in bus transportation, please email your name, phone number, and address to: communityplan@oceanbeachplanning.org.

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Shirt Design Commemorating Centennial of Ocean Beach Firefighters Goes Public

August 11, 2015 by Staff
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The design for the T-shirt commemorating the centennial of the first Ocean Beach fire station is now made public.

Todd Barry talked to OB Rag writer Matthew Wood earlier this month about how the shirt’s logo will commemorate the house’s very first fire truck. He and other OB fire and rescue guys designed it. As Matt wrote:

OB history buffs may recall the original fire station opened in August of 1915 on Newport Avenue. It moved from there to its current location in 1946.

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“I Wanted to Write for the OB Rag and Had to Meet Editordude.”

August 11, 2015 by Source
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Being Frank

Editor: The following account referencing “Lois Lane” from Superman comics is not to be confused with the Lois Lane who writes regularly for the OB Rag.

By Terry Ratner

Lois Lane, the talented young journalist, sits in the office of Perry White, a crusty, straight talking, demanding and passionate editor of the Daily Planet. She regales him with her optimism and fresh ideas for stories dedicated to the people of Metropolis. Ever the curmudgeon, Perry questions the minute details of her pitch, leaving her tongue tied and frustrated, but still tirelessly pushing her novel approach to journalism. He dares her to prove her worthiness, hoping she’s up for the challenge.

This is how I felt when I met Frank Gormlie, editor of the OB Rag.

As a wannabe OBcean and Rag writer, I emailed Frank my proposal before suggesting we meet. After several rounds, he relented.

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If You Live in OB or Point Loma, Where Do Recycled Plastic Bags Go?

August 10, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Recycling plastic bags should not be this hard.

If you get a grocery bag, it is likely to have printed on it “Please return to a participating store for recycling.”

This may not mean the store where you got it. Not governed by local regulations, recycling locations are left to individual businesses. Plastic bags are designed to be confusing.

As a reminder, you can recycle plastic bags:

  • CVS in Ocean Beach on Cable Street. This is a CVS program, utilizing the G2 (Go Green) process. These are gathered in bale-sized boxes and sent to the Go Green recycler via UPS. The customer recycling bin is just inside the front door.
  • Stumps, on Voltaire Street and close to Ocean Beach. Their plastic bags are recycled via the wholesale vendor. When the truck drops off the house brand, they pick up the bag of recycled bags, and return it to the warehouse, where they are baled and sent to a recycler. After that, you have a choice of …
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Staring Over the Brink: Obama, Brown, and High Stakes Climate Politics

August 10, 2015 by Jim Miller

on the brink 2By Jim Miller

President Obama made big news last week when he unveiled his plan to significantly reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants as part of his strategy to address the climate crisis. His speech was urgent, moving in fact, and showed that, at least rhetorically, he is committed to making this part of his legacy:

[W]e’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it. And that’s why I committed the United States to leading the world on this challenge, because I believe there is such a thing as being too late.

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Repulsed by Animal Cruelty, Attendance (and Profits) at SeaWorld Plummet

August 10, 2015 by Source

“People don’t want to watch abused animals being forced to perform pointless circus tricks,” says animal rights group

kathy-najimy-seaworld-new-hed-2014By Nadia Prupis /Common Dreams

Since the 2013 release of Blackfish, a bombshell documentary exposing animal cruelty at SeaWorld, the aquatic theme park has lost increasing levels of both profits and visitors, reporting an 84 percent plunge in net income in just three months.

SeaWorld announced its quarterly earnings on Thursday, acknowledging the steep drop in profits as a result of “brand challenges.”

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Inappropriate Police Response to OB Sexual Assault in Broad Daylight Leaves Outrage

August 8, 2015 by Source

Editor: The following report by News8 is being reposted in its entirety to insure no one thinks the OB Rag is making this stuff up.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – There has been no arrests, but witnesses to an alleged sexual assault in Ocean Beach in broad daylight said the actions of one of the officers responding to the call were disturbing.

The alleged sexual assault happened Thursday in broad daylight, but no charges have been filed, and San Diego Police has said they take all potential sexual assault cases seriously.

According to the police, no arrest has been made because the alleged victim refused to press charges.

Ocean Beach resident Cornelius Harris witnessed a man sexually assaulting an unclothed and unconscious woman in broad daylight right in front of his beachside home.

“I know a lot of crazy stuff goes on down here, but this was nuts. This is a sidewalk. ” he said.

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“Ocean Beach Plaza” Approved By OB Planners

August 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The so-called “Ocean Beach Plaza” was approved by the OB Planning Board last Wednesday night, by a vote of 8 to 1. Once approved and given the go-ahead by the City, the project will be constructed at the southeast corner of the intersection of Cable Street and Santa Monica.

Lee Hope, the architect for the project, made the presentation on behalf of the owner, John Small, who was in attendance at the meeting on August 5th along with a couple dozen others in the audience – including a newsman and cameraman from Channel 8 (on hand for the OB Plaza issue).

Small owns – besides this near-half acre of prime OB property, a couple of bars – Sunshine Company and Tony’s, plus other buildings on Newport Avenue.

The much-anticipated project had several surprises.

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OBserved

August 7, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Please welcome photographer and writer Terry Ratner to the OB Rag, as today’s collection of photos of OBceans begins her possible weekly column entitled, “OBserved”.

By Terry Ratner / Special to the OB Rag

I’m an OBserver, a voyeur, a paparazzi of everyday people.

When the opportunity strikes, I have to be quick to click in order to capture the moment. OB serves as my canvas, my street theater, my Haight Ashbury on the beach with its rich texture of OBceans—locals, transients, and tourists who made the wrong turn on their way to Mission Beach and then decided to stay.

I’ll do anything for a good photo.

I’ve climbed bar tables on balconies overlooking Newport Avenue zooming in on unsuspecting subjects.

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Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

August 7, 2015 by Source

Robert Reich 02By Robert Reich / Blog

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agents of this revolt. I’ll explain the two ways in a moment.

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OB Needs to Turn Out at Calif Coastal Commission Hearing on Community Plan in One Week – Thursday, Aug. 13th

August 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Bus Being Rented to Take OBceans to Monthly Commission Hearing – On their Agenda: the OB Community Plan Update – Finally!

In one week, the California Coastal Commission will sit down and hold a hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update. That will be Thursday, August 13th and the hearing will be held at the Chula Vista City Council chambers (276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910).

OBceans are being urged to attend the Commission hearing and show up in troves, wearing blue shirts. And at least one bus is being rented to transport OBceans to Chula Vista.

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Ocean Beach Site of Annual Lifeguard Relay – Thursday, Aug. 6th

August 6, 2015 by Staff
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The starter gun will go off at 6pm, today, Thursday, August 6th – right on the beach at Ocean Beach. It’s all because OB is the site of the annual memorial San Diego Lifeguard Relay – named after Ronald B. Trenton, a former lifeguard, lost in a plane crash at sea.

The competition relay event will be open to the public and will be held smack in the middle of the beach, just north of the OB Pier.

The rescue skills of the city-wide lifeguards will be on display as they will be competing against each other and organized in the 4 different districts. The lifeguard districts are divided up geographically: OB is in the Southern District; Mission and Pacific Beaches are in the Central District; La Jolla beaches make up the Northern District; and the fourth district is the Boating Safety Unit, including Mission Bay.

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San Diego Brewery May Be ‘Selling Out’. Does It Matter?

August 6, 2015 by Source

elysian sucksBy John P. Anderson

San Diego County has a large beer industry, there are currently more than 110 active breweries.

Along with high numbers, San Diego has earned a reputation as a leader in the craft beer industry.

Many would rank it as the top craft beer city/region in the United States – whether it is the top dog or in the top five isn’t especially important. It’s a leader however you measure – top ranked beers, top ranked breweries, number of breweries, or gallons produced annually.

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Lazy Fare in the Garden: Just Let It Be

August 6, 2015 by Source

My Niche logoBy Jeeni Criscenzo/ San Diego Free Press

Ever since I read the book Noah’s Garden by Sara Stein, I’ve taken a more laissez-faire attitude toward gardening. While I haven’t let my garden return back to its pre-human-intervention state, I’ve stopped being so controlling about what gets to grow where.

One of the best features of the home we rent is the big flat, unshaded yard overlooking the Tecolote Canyon. While the soil needed a lot of amending, it’s otherwise a perfect place for a vegetable garden. The 5-foot cinder block wall isn’t pretty, but it’s kept the coyotes out (so far)–the other critters – not so much.

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From Editordude’s Desk: Some Props and Some Feedback Needed

August 5, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Do You Use Our Calendar Section or Classified Ad Section? Come inside and take our survey

Wanted to check in with our readers, and let folks know about some goings-on, plus wanted to get some feedback from you about our monthly calendar and our classified section.

First up, google notified the OB Rag recently that we are no longer suitable for mobile devices, after nearly 8 years of online publishing. For about a week, our daily statistics dropped. But they’re creeping back up. You can help. Check in with us everyday, multiple times a day – let’s show google.

Our colleagues over at San Diego Free Press – our “kid” who just turned 3 – were recognized with a number of awards for excellent writing by the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at their annual get-together. Congrats to all those freepers and contributors whose online blogging has been given some needed props.

Later, some illness swept through some of the crowd who ate the food at the Bail Hai event – 61 people were affected with noro virus; at least one of our freepers was sick with food poisoning. Talk about getting some bad press!

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