Local Gardens: A Healthy Way to Build Communities

February 3, 2016 by Source

Community garden Jaxport via Flickr

By Jill Richardson / Common Dreams

Mark Winne, an author and anti-hunger activist, often says that the most important word in “community garden” isn’t “garden.” I saw this firsthand not long ago.

Standing in the sun between several small garden plots all morning, it may not have looked like much was going on. A few people stood in a circle, chatting. Occasionally, one would leave, or another would arrive. Several others were nearby, working in their garden plots.

Some of the people were black. Some were white. And two — a mother and child — appeared Southeast Asian.

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“Well, at least we don’t have to worry about travelers anymore.”

February 2, 2016 by Source

r cobb no anarchy ed color

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early February 2016

February 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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15 IPads Stolen From Special Needs Students at Pioneer Day School

Motorist Killed by Falling Tree in PB On Her Way to Play Music in Ocean Beach

Does Councilwoman Zapf Enjoy Her Job?

Some OB Businesses Still Recovering From First Storm

Urbanization, financial backlog hurt flood control

Lifeguards and City Agree on Extended Health Care

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Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM is a Ranching Industry Tool

February 2, 2016 by Source

Public lands ranching is destroying the Western United States

Cattle watering station near Cave Valley, NVCattle watering station near Cave Valley, NV (Photo: Max Wilbert)

By Will Falk/ San Diego Free Press

Public lands ranching is destroying the Western United States. It has pushed native plant species to the brink of extinction. It causes soil to erode so quickly the land cannot keep up. Livestock are poisoning and depleting water supplies, killing perennial stream flows, and are making it increasingly difficult for surface water to accumulate.

Stockmen and the animals they raise have devastated populations of iconic American animals like bison, elk, pronghorn, and sage-grouse.

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100 Year Old Tree at OB Elementary Falls Victim to El Nino Winds

February 2, 2016 by Staff

OB Damage 2-2-16 ElemSchool 2

A one-hundred year old tree in the courtyard of OB Elementary School was a victim of the strong El Nino winds that hit Ocean Beach and San Diego on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st.

Fox5 covered the tragedy and this is part of their report:

“It’s so sad. The kids are just so sad to see it go….It’s part of our school, a part of our tradition,” said 2nd grade teacher Angela Wunder, who has been teaching at the school for decades.

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More Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

February 2, 2016 by Source
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Editor: In the spirit of continuing the public discussion on short term vacation rentals here in San Diego and at the beach, we offer the following by our friend, John P Anderson, a proponent of short term rentals – whose views on this issue clearly depart from ours.

Some Market Thoughts on Short-Term Rentals in San Diego

By John P Anderson

The topic of short-term rentals in San Diego continues to be debated and potential rules / changes to rules will be a hot topic in 2016.

After ending 2015 with a well attended Planning Commission meeting in December it looks like the next official meeting / hearing will be in late February or March at the City Council. It is sure to be a long hearing, with hundreds of San Diegans attending and providing commentary both for and against short-term accommodations in San Diego neighborhoods.

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Got Damage From the Storm?

February 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB damage 2-1-16 02

Just about every neighborhood has a tree or large branch down.

Check these out. Palm tree down on Bolinas – …

Got any photos of wind or sea damage to share? Send them in to obragblog@gmail.com

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Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

February 1, 2016 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Politics is a game of unintended consequences. One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Diego / San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act. Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual. Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress.

The Civil Rights Connection: Fact And Fiction

The Act was inspired by the Civil Rights Act as well as our nation’s quest for ethnic diversity and racial equality. In some political corners, the immigration bill was characterized as a progressive extension of the civil rights movement.

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Clinton Democrats in 2016: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

February 1, 2016 by Jim Miller

botticcelli inferno

By Jim Miller

Whatever happens in today’s Iowa caucuses, one thing is abundantly clear—when confronted with a credible challenge from the left in the form of the Bernie Sanders, the response of much of the leadership of the Democratic Party and their allies in the corporate media has been to defend the status quo with great zeal even if it meant borrowing tropes from the right.

Whether it was red-baiting from Thomas Freidman or condescension mixed with an appeal to “realism” from Paul Krugman, the drumbeat was loud and consistent: Sanders’ agenda, with it’s direct ties to the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR was simply an unrealistic option in the neoliberal era.

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Televangelist Morris Cerullo Plans Biblical Disneyland in Mission Valley

January 29, 2016 by Source
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Controversial televangelist’s massive project up for review

By Ken Williams / Mission Valley News

A controversial Pentecostal televangelist who recently purchased the San Diego Resort Hotel complex in Mission Valley has proposed a massive mixed-use redevelopment project that would include a religious retreat, underground catacombs, a Jerusalem-style Wailing Wall, an outdoor amphitheater and bazaar, a TV studio, and timeshare units for his followers.

Morris Cerullo — the 84-year-old televangelist who proclaims to be a faith healer and miracle worker — bases his global ministry at 3545 Aero Court in San Diego’s Serra Mesa neighborhood. The proposed Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center would be built at 875 Hotel Circle South on 18.1 acres located off Interstate 8 in Mission Valley.

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Councilwoman Zapf and Her Cameras at Issue at OB Town Council Meeting

January 29, 2016 by Source
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Report from the Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting – Wednesday, January 27 – 2016

By Activist of OB

The first meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) for the new year was highly attended (Hooray!) by both community members and local media.

What motivated the crowds? Perhaps New Year’s Resolutions to be more involved, perhaps the Girl Scout cookies being sold in the back of the room, heck….even District 2 elected City Councilmember Lorie Zapf was physically present! Wow!

Zapf Surprised at Turnout and Media Presence

Councilmember Lorie Zapf approached the front of the room and voiced her surprise by all of the media present, nervously laughing as she commented that she told her family she was just going to an OBTC meeting.

I said to myself “Yep, Welcome to OB, Lorie Zapf”.

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The Lessons of Porter Ranch

January 29, 2016 by Source

Porter Ranch image

By Nicola Peill-Moelter, Ph.D. / SanDiego 350.org

The massive leak at the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility is a stark example of why natural gas is a significant health and safety risk and not a bridge fuel to our clean energy future. The facility, the second largest in the U.S., stores vast amounts of natural gas at high pressure in underground wells once used for oil extraction more than fifty years ago.

On or about October 23rd a rupture in a 60-year old injection well pipe a thousand feet underground initiated the leak. At its peak the leak had an estimated rate of one-hundred twenty-five thousand pounds of methane per hour. To date, the cumulative emissions from this single source is equivalent to 25% of the state’s annual methane emissions from major sources like agriculture and landfills, equivalent to the annual climate pollution of almost half a million cars.

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OB Rag Poll: Sanders, Clinton, Trump

January 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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For a week, the OB Rag ran a poll on the presidential preferences of our readers. The poll was a wide-open horse race that had all the major candidates of both major parties running against each other, and included most of the top-tiered GOP candidates (however, it did not include and we now think it should have included Jeb Bush).

Overall, Bernie Sanders came out way ahead – with nearly 51% of the total vote. Near each other, Hillary Clinton had 17.5% and Trump had 16.7% following Sanders way down the sheet.

Marco Rubio had 3.3%, Ted Cruz had 1.7%, Chris Christie had .8%. Another 3.3% wanted another GOP candidate (Bush?).

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Councilwoman Zapf Questioned by Community and Media on Her Police Camera Plan

January 28, 2016 by Staff
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Audience at OB Town Council Meeting Divided Over the Police Cameras

The packed Masonic Center became focused on the planned installation of the police surveillance cameras along OB’s waterfront.

With standing-room only, Wednesday nights OB Town Council meeting became the center of the controversy over the 10-camera system, as Councilwoman Lorie Zapf (pronounced “Zaph”) was in attendance and forced to answer questions from the crowd and the media about them.

It was the first opportunity for opponents of the cameras – and community members at large – to question and confront Zapf about the cameras, …

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Living and Working In Poverty in San Diego : Excerpt From “Sunshine/Noir II”

January 28, 2016 by Source

homeless photo Photo by quinntheislander (Pixabay)

Grim Reality in “America’s Finest City”

By Susan Duerksen

“Living in poverty” is one of those shorthand terms that rolls easily off the tongues of news anchors and politicians before they turn to the next topic. We all tend to glaze over the full meaning of the phrase, the grinding day-to-day misery of hunger, worry, discomfort, exhaustion, and despair.

In the city of San Diego, the proportion and number of people living in poverty edged up in 2013. It should have gone down. Instead, 7,000 more people in the city live in poverty now, in addition to the 202,000 who remain in that dire situation from the previous year.

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Lack of Diversity Among San Diego County Commissions

January 28, 2016 by Source

Over 200 vacant positions. Zero Latinos on the “Citizen’s Review Board On Police Practices”

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

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On Thursday, January 21st the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) held a Boards and Commissions Launch Event at MAAC’s Chula Vista Community Room in hopes of encouraging more citizens to actively participate in their local government.

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Ocean Beach Therapist Opens Her “Office” at the Beach

January 28, 2016 by Matthew Wood
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Beachfront Therapist is Ready to Listen

By Matthew Wood

It’s Thursday afternoon, which means Gina Smith is at her normal post by the beach … waiting to talk.

The licensed therapist has made the grassy area at Veteran’s Plaza her office hours of sorts, bringing two chairs and a sign that says the “Listener Is In.”

“It’s a play on the Lucy, Peanuts thing,” she said. “I thought it was cool and fitting.”

Listening is exactly what Smith, 66, wants to do. She moved to OB in September of 2014 after coming to visit her son and newborn grandchild.

“I came to OB and was like, ‘Wait, did I step in a time warp?’” she said. “I love the community and the people.”

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Push-Back Against Pro-Developer Coup at California Coastal Commission

January 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Push-Back Against Pro-Developer Coup at California Coastal Commission

Showdown at Commission Meeting on Feb. 10th

Things are really heating up at the California Coastal Commission, the independent state agency that is the guardian of the 1100 mile California coastline. Nothing is at stake except what’s left of the pristine nature of our coastline and the future ability of Californians to have access to it.

What’s going on – and there’s no way to mince words about it – is that there is a movement afoot on the 12 member board of commissioners to engineer a coup – to fire Charles Lester, the executive director of the Coastal Commission’s staff.

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Get Ready for the Market Crash and Recession of 2016

January 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

oil pumpBy John Lawrence

Oil is less than $30. a barrel. This is over three times less than what it costs just to buy the barrel itself! Iran has been accepted back into the world community and is revving up to sell its oil on the world market which will bring down the price of oil even more.

Frackers and oil producers in the US have taken on a huge amount of debt under the assumption that it would pay off down the road. They hadn’t counted on the price of oil plummeting. What will they do when we convert 100% to renewables?

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Grand Jury Clears Planned Parenthood, Indicts Fake Tape Activists Instead

January 27, 2016 by Source

planned-parenthood-video scrn shotDistrict Attorney: “We must go where the evidence leads us”

By Common Dreams Staff

A grand jury in Texas, which was created to investigate Planned Parenthood’s Houston affiliate following the August 2014 release of an undercover video taken inside the clinic, cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing on Monday, and, instead indicted the anti-abortion activists who made the video.

Two secret videographers were indicted: David Daleiden, founder of the ‘Center for Medical Progress,’ was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record and a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs. And activist Sandra Merritt was indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record.

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Rebuild San Diego: Snake Oil or Cure for Local Infrastructure?

January 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

post-office-potholeBy Doug Porter

This week local politicos will be making the rounds, led by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Mark Kersey, promising to repair San Diego’s infrastructure. Potholes big enough to be named, geysers from broken water mains regular enough to be a tourist attractions and crumbling sidewalks unsafe at any walking speed are facts of life in America’s Finest City.

Smiling faces from city hall will be front and center in the media, pitching Councilmember Kersey’s “Rebuild San Diego” ballot measure promising three decades worth of improvement with no tax increases. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

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You can’t ‘take back’ public lands. They already belong to all of us.

January 26, 2016 by Source

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are missing the point.

By Jamie Williams / Washington Post / January 25, 2016

(Jamie Williams is president of the Wilderness Society)

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have thought they were “taking back” seized land on behalf of local ranchers. In reality, these gun-toting intruders are attempting to seize land that belongs to all of us. Their actions are nothing less than an attack on the property and the rights of the American people.

The misguided protesters believe that this treasured wildlife refuge, a sanctuary for more than 300 bird species, should be handed over to a small group of rule-breakers to exploit and profit from as they wish, at the expense of the public and of future generations.

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A Beach, Burb, and Billionaire “Citizens’ Plan” for San Diego’s Urban Neighborhoods

January 26, 2016 by Source

Photo by Doug Porter Overlooking tailgate park and MTS building Photo by Doug Porter

Editor: Some months ago Attorney Cory Briggs and others rolled out the “Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources,” better known as the Citizens Plan. They are hoping to have this on the November 2016 ballot as an alternative to the current tourism/development scheme, which is dominated by hotel industry’s financial interests.

By Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

They’re calling it the “Citizens’ Plan” initiative. Like all such initiatives, the name is misleading. Said citizens are an alliance of a billionaire and a few advocates for a limited selection of public interests. Not included are the citizens who are most impacted nor the economic interests of the City’s working populace. Citizen Kane Plan might be a more appropriate name for the way it attempts to manipulate public opinion into believing it is a grassroots plan.

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Making a Plea for Racial Harmony as Racism Rises from the Water

January 26, 2016 by Ernie McCray

3476867753_05c2178929By Ernie McCray

All my life I’ve heard that there’s nothing more American than apple pie. Well, I see that as kind of a lie as, based on my life experiences, there’s nothing more American than racism.

If apple pie was in my face as much as racism has been I’d be a 500-pound black guy as racism is as ever present as oxygen in a black person’s life, from the moment you’re born until the day you die.

It’s been passed along in America as a stumbling block against our human hopes and dreams like a baton in a relay race, in so many forms: slavery; Jim Crow; the constant tampering with our voting rights; white flight; execution of unarmed dark-skinned people on the streets, on a whim; mass incarceration and on and on and on ad nauseam…

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Lori Saldana to Run for San Diego Mayor as an Independent ‘to Give the Disenfranchised a Voice’

January 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

lori saldana 3

There is finally some good news for San Diego’s left-of-center voters.

A known local politician with definite name recognition, former Democrat and Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has announced her intention to run for mayor of San Diego. Saldana will run as an independent, having resigned from the Democratic Party about 2 years ago.

Now, finally, San Diego voters who don’t usually vote Republican – which is a majority of the city electorate – have a choice other than Kevin Faulconer and a handful of unknowns.

Saldana said she is running to give San Diegans a voice and to represent those who feel disenfranchised by the electoral process.

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Photos From the Great San Diego Floods of 1916

January 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego public needs to see these photos – taken 100 years ago in January 1916 during the Great Floods of the Rainmaker. (Most of these photos are from the San Diego Historical Society.)

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Zapf Expected at Next OB Town Council Meeting – Wed., Jan. 27

January 25, 2016 by Staff
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Councilwoman Lorie Zapf is expected to be attending the upcoming OB Town Council meeting, this Wednesday, January 27th.

This could be a rare occasion, as the Councilwoman who represents Ocean Beach and Point Loma as part of her District 2, has a reputation of staying away from public meetings in OB.

An introduction to the new Coastal Park Rangers and the presenting of awards to the winners of the 36th Annual OB Holiday Parade with their plaques are also on the Council’s agenda.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – January 2016

January 25, 2016 by Michael Steinberg

san onofreBy Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear power industry, and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future.

San Onofre May Be Contaminated

On the last day of last year San Diego’s NBC 7 TV ran a story “Portions of San Onofre May Be Contaminated.”

The San Onofre nuclear plant unexpectedly and permanently shut down in 2013. Southern California Edison is the major owner, with San Diego Gas and Electric its minority partner.

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Emergency Shelter in San Diego: Getting Beyond the Game of ‘Mother May I’

January 25, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

shelter spotBack when I was a kid, about a billion years ago, all the kids in the neighborhood would hang out after school until it got dark, or we got hungry, playing games like tag and Hide-and-Seek with the entire neighborhood for our playground.

We didn’t get in trouble or kidnapped … (well there was the time 5-year-old Johnny Pappa disappeared and everyone in the neighborhood was out looking for him well past bed-time, until his brother found him sleeping UNDER his bed).

One game we played was “Mother, May I?”.

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Whither 2016 Ballot Measures?: The Oracle Jerry Brown Weighs In

January 25, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by Freedom To Marry

By Jim Miller

As I noted in my New Year’s column, many in California’s labor and progressive circles had high hopes for ballot measures extending Proposition 30’s taxes on the rich to fully fund education and for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But it did not take long for Governor Jerry Brown to rain on his presumed allies’ parade.

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