Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine

September 9, 2014 by Source
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Exclusive: With a new Amnesty International report on possible war crimes by a Ukrainian militia against ethnic Russians in the east, the evidence is mounting that the U.S.-backed Kiev regime knowingly deployed extremists, including neo-Nazis, as part of a conscious strategy, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry / 8, 2014

In the Ukraine crisis, U.S. and European politicians and media have relentlessly condemned Russia for violations of international standards, particularly Moscow’s acceptance of Crimea’s hasty vote to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. But the West has gone nearly silent regarding Kiev’s violation of rules for controlling armed militias, including neo-Nazi forces.

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Staving Off Traffic Jams Along the Information Super-Highway

September 9, 2014 by Source

Every major consumer group, a nationwide coalition of mayors, and thousands of startups and small businesses have joined millions of people in urging the FCC to save Net Neutrality.

By Timothy Karr / OtherWords

Sinistra Ecologia Libertà/Flickr

There was no vacation for the Internet this summer.

While many Americans slipped away to the beach, Internet users were busy defending the openness of a network that has become this era’s engine for free expression, ingenuity and just about everything else.

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Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

September 9, 2014 by Source
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By Denis Cuff / Contra Costa Times

PLEASANTON — It’s not everyone’s idea of great swag, but Tri-Valley homeowners are lining up for a new drought freebie — recycled sewer water.

Toting empty milk jugs, tubs, buckets, even water tanks, residents have been lining up to fill ‘em up since mid-June at what sewer district officials say is the only plant giving away free treated effluent to residential customers.

Dublin San Ramon Services District officials say they weren’t sure there would be any takers, but about 60 eager do-it-yourselfers are now making regular runs to haul water to irrigate their yards and vegetable gardens, fill decorative fountains, wash off horses and control dust at stables.

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News From the Sands of September at the Beach

September 8, 2014 by Source
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* Councilman Ed Harris and Nathan Fletcher Urge Veterans Not to Sign Petition Against Minimum Wage

* CHP Goes After SeaWorld “Sucks” Guy on Charges of Vandalism and Trespass

* Planners tackle concerns, nuances of Veterans’ Plaza rock-wall design

* More About the Parrots and About the Parrot Shot in OB

* City’s plan to uproot illegal pot shops is a slow, arduous process

* Rock in peace? Fat chancePoint Loma man says city’s noise ordinance is unconstitutional

* Former Point Loma Man Arrested in Hawaii on 7-Year Old Murder Case of Wife

* Coast Guard Rescues 5 People and One Boat Off Point Loma

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Bernie Sanders: “I Want To Know If Ordinary People Are Ready to Stand and Fight”

September 8, 2014 by Source

Bernie Sanders

US Senator from Vermont is touring the country to capture the pulse of populist sentiment and to see whether or not hunger exists for a real ‘political revolution’

By Jon Queally / CommonDreams

The Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders has a hunch about the American electorate, but he says the only way to be sure is to go out and meet them.

It’s called the ‘Fight For Economic Justice Tour,’ but it’s really what the self-identified Social Democrat described earlier this year as his attempt to travel the country in order to gauge the country’s hunger for a grassroots ‘political revolution‘—couched in a possible presidential bid—to challenge the economic inequality and corporate malfeasance that have severely wounded the nation’s democracy and are strangling its promise of shared prosperity.

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What’s Shaking in Ocean Beach?

September 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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What’s shaking in OB? Not an earthquake. But plenty of other things make the coastal village a happening place – especially in construction and new businesses.

On a recent tour of Ocean Beach, I discovered the following developments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEntryway Project Improvements

There’s lots happening at OB’s Entryway Project – at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Blvd and West Pt Loma Avenue. The project at the frontdoor of OB has a history of delay, so any momentum forward is certainly welcome.

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Obama Reneges on Using Executive Action to Implement Immigration Reform Until After Midterm Election

September 8, 2014 by Brent Beltran

San Diegans Speak Out Against the President’s Unwillingness to Help the Latino Community

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Latinos throughout the United States woke up yesterday morning to the news that President Obama had decided not to use his executive powers to push immigration reform forward until after the November election.

For months the President has said he would do whatever he could to implement reforms for millions of undocumented immigrants in the US. He kept the Latino community’s hopes up only to have those hopes crushed in an act of political cowardice.

The Deporter-in-Chief once again lets the Latino community down.

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The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce: Oppressed Underdog?

September 8, 2014 by Jim Miller

A Pathetic Attempt to Re-Write History

Jerry Sanders 7By Jim Miller

Recently UT-San Diego sat down with San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders for an interview so he could lay out the Chamber’s “new” aggressive political action plan.

During the course of the interview Sanders was steadfast in his insistence that the Chamber exists to respond to the mythic hegemony of labor in San Diego politics.

For instance, when discussing the perceived need for the recent referendums on affordable housing, the Barrio Logan plan, and the minimum wage and earned sick days ordinance he explained:

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11 Arrested at San Diego Fast-Food Worker Protest

September 5, 2014 by Source

Local strikers among thousands walking off their jobs in 150 cities as movement intensifies

From Press Release of Center on Policy Initiatives

Nine San Diego fast-food workers and two community supporters were arrested Thursday morning as part of a national strike calling for wages of $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation.

Dozens of striking workers from 19 restaurants gathered in City Heights, along with about 300 supporters, for a peaceful demonstration in front of a McDonald’s, a Burger King, and a Jack in the Box.

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Is This Really the Time to Let the Seasonal Lifeguards Go?

September 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Large Surf, Rip Currents and Large Crowds Expected This Weekend – But Most of the Lifeguards Are Gone

There was big surf and big crowds at the beaches on Labor Day weekend. It was estimated that 574,000 people visited local beaches. Monday, Labor Day itself – was the busiest day, with a reported 227,000 humans on the sand at OB, PB, Mission Beach, and La Jolla beaches.

During the Labor Day weekend,lifeguards made 164 rescues, 182 medical aid calls and 7,823 preventative acts – which are warning people of rip currents and other dangers – when they enter the water to warn swimmers to move to a safer area.

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Take Back OB at Second Annual Raglan Beach Cleanup

September 5, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Raglan Teams Up With Cleaner Streets Initiatives, San Diego Coastkeeper and South Coast Surf Shop for “End of Summer OB Beach Cleanup”

By Matthew Wood

Summer’s over, the tourists are gone and it’s time to take back our beach.

That’s the thinking behind Raglan Public House’s second annual End of Summer OB Beach Cleanup on Saturday, September 6.

“It’s a nice thing we can do,” said Raglan manager Mike Zouroudis.

It’s just nice to have this beach back and a little slower. It’s a great way to get our town back for the next six or seven months.”

Raglan is partnering with the Cleaner Streets Initiatives, San Diego Coastkeeper and South Coast Surf Shop to put on the event, which runs from 9 to 11 a.m. …

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City Government: Why Can’t We Run it Like a Business?

September 5, 2014 by Source

private public imagesBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Last time we met we figured out how San Diego was begotten. Now it’s time to unravel the purpose of city government and discover what’s it all about when you sort it out…

We’ll start the sorting process with a couple of facts.

Then we’ll go for the jackpot question: why can’t city government be run like a business?

First fact: city government deserves a lot more attention from you and me than it usually gets.

Why? because our elected officials have substantial influence on our everyday lives – more than we give them credit for.

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E-cigarette criticisms ‘alarmist’ say British researchers

September 5, 2014 by Source
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Warnings over e-cigarettes are alarmist – and increasing their use could save many lives, British researchers say.

By Nick Triggle / BBC News

For every million smokers who switch to e-cigarettes over 6,000 lives a year in the UK could be saved, according to the University College London team.

Meanwhile another group of London-based experts has attacked criticism of e-cigarettes as “misleading”.

Last week the World Health Organization called for e-cigarette use to be banned in public places and workplaces.

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Fall Gardening in San Diego

September 5, 2014 by Source

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

By Susan Taylor

Fall gardening! Yes, I know that it is still over 90 degrees in all parts of the county except along the coast and these high temperatures could last many more weeks. I have been reduced to gardening before 9 a.m. when it really heats up in my La Mesa neighborhood. I’ve been harvesting massive amounts of figs every day, which I’ve eaten right off the Mission fig tree that grew to over 12 feet tall this year and nearly as wide. I’m eating dried figs, cooked up with some sugar and port and frozen. I may have to try Fig Taylors before long.

When I saw the massive number of baby green figs emerge this summer, I asked my sons to drape some bird netting over and around as many branches as they could. When the figs changed from green to soft, luscious and dark purple the netting saved the harvest from the birds and June bugs

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OB Planning Board Approves 3 Two-Story Residences on Abbott and Voltaire

September 4, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At last night’s meeting, the Ocean Beach Planning Board approved by a wide margin a new development at the intersection of Voltaire Street and Abbott Street. The development includes three 2-story houses with a modern “contemporary design”.

The Board also made two appointments – and now the OB Planning Board is at full strength with 14 Board members – the first time in many years.

The September 3rd monthly meeting of the Board was gaveled to order by Chair Pete Ruscitti. The first thing up was an agenda change and Rucitti did a mea culpa and had to remove Action Item # One – the “condo-ization” of the Quigley Complex at 5151 Long Branch Avenue, due to a noticing problem. It will be heard next month.

During the public comment time, Nicole Burgess got up before the Board and informed the room that there are “rumors” that the City is considering installing a Stop Sign at the corner of Newport and Abbott. Nicole said that a round-about would be better. She added that the City is looking into placing a round-about at the “terrible” intersection of West Pt Loma Avenue and Bacon Street. Burgess is the rep for District 2 on the City Bicycle Coalition.

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The Use and Abuse of the Transient Occupancy Tax

September 4, 2014 by Source

Latest Installment of Series “Who Runs San Diego?”

By Cory Briggs / A Project of the Democratic Woman’s Club

Womans Democratic LogoTOT – this small word may bring to mind a cute little child, a deep-fried mashed potato, or a dash of your favorite adult beverage. But in San Diego, TOT, an acronym for Transient Occupancy Tax, stands for missed opportunities, fiscal irresponsibility, and a shameful abrogation of civic responsibility to the moneyed interest of hoteliers.

The recent implosion of the convention center expansion and what I hope will be the legal rejection of its elder, uglier stepsister, the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) tax, are primers on how the people who run San Diego seek to use your money to line their pockets with the help of a complicit mayor and city council.

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The Fishiness of Mayor Kevin’s Tax Giveaway to Illumina Corporation

September 4, 2014 by Source

salmon-dnaBy John Lawrence

San Diego’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently signed a deal with Illumina Corporation that was supposedly designed to keep the corporation from jumping ship and landing in another state or jurisdiction.

The City of San Diego agreed to rebate $1.5 million in sales and use taxes. In return Illumina promised to keep a number of jobs in San Diego for the term of the agreement. But the deal the City has entered into with Illumina is fishy on several levels.

With revenue of just over $1 billion last year, Illumina sells machines that sequence the human genome. The company leases 6 buildings in San Diego totaling over 560,000 sq. ft. and currently has 1500 employees.

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Are These Residences Coming to Abbott the Right Project for OB?

September 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Are These Residences Coming to Abbott the Right Project for OB?

At tonight’s OB Planning Board meeting, the owner-applicant of a set of three, 2-story single family residences that he wishes to build on Abbott Street and Voltaire at their intersection will be looking for approval from the Board.

The OB Rag was given an artist’s rendition of the planned buildings – seen above. The plan is to construct them on that empty lot that has been there for decades, as the lot was recently sold.

OBceans need to study the images and determine whether these planned projects are the right thing for Ocean Beach – do they comply with the small-town character that is so cherished by village residents? Or do they contribute to the growing impulses of gentrification?

If you wish to study the images, the plans and blueprints more, and give your opinion, you need to attend tonight’s meeting at the OB Rec Center, at 6pm sharp.

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Fast Food Workers Set for Protest in San Diego and Across Nation on September 4th

September 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

San Diego is one of 100-plus cities targeted this Thursday as part of a nationwide protest of fast food restaurant workers aimed at low wages and working conditions.

Two new elements will be introduced into this latest round of protests, at least on a national level: acts of civil disobedience and a supportive presence by thousands of home-care workers joining the protests.

Workers are expected to strike at a dozen San Diego fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines, according to local organizers.

The Interfaith Center for Worker Justice of San Diego County has emailed supporters inviting them to “pray with our feet” beside Fast Food Workers on Thursday morning. The communique from the social justice advocacy group says they expect up to 500 supporters.

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Reader Rave: Happy Endings All Around At an OB Barber Shop

September 3, 2014 by Source

Editor: OB Rag supporter and sometimes commentator, Geoff Page wrote something up about his friend, Ron Pilcher, who ran the Clip Joint for nearly 4 decades – a men’s barber shop on Santa Monica Avenue. Our reporter, Matthew Wood, also did a write up of the barber shop’s change in ownership back in July. Here, Page, does some reminiscing of days gone past.

By Geoff Page

This isn’t a sad story because there are two happy endings. But it starts with a bit of nostalgia for an OB that is no more. The pet store on Cable and Newport. The great little breakfast place next door run by the sweet Korean couple. Paras Bookstore. The Coronet. The old men’s store on Bacon and Newport. All gone. And now, the Clip Joint. Ocean Beach is losing another long time business institution, this time to retirement. I am talking, of course, about Ron Pilcher, the man behind the chair at the Clip Joint for 39 years.

Ron and his wife are building a home in a gated community near Tucson, Arizona where Ron plans to play golf and be on his feet only when he feels like it. That is a happy ending to a long, talkative career; he probably won’t be resting his gums though.

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Yes on Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014

September 3, 2014 by Ernie McCray

To end felony sentencing for drug possession and petty theft crimes

By Ernie McCray

I would like to invite readers to a Community Mobilization Meeting to hear what can be done to help pass Proposition 47 in November.

The meeting is on Thursday, September 4th

Sherman Heights Community Center
2258 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92102
RSVP to Margaret (

Yes on 47If “Yes on 47″ passes, California will be the first state to end felony sentencing for drug possession and petty theft crimes. This would permanently reduce incarcerations and shift one billion dollars, over the next five years, from state corrections to K-12 school programs and mental health and drug treatment. I love the sound of that. And it’s about time we get our minds off punishing people and focus on helping them become better human beings.

Details of the Act:

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San Diego’s Minimum Wage: Which Side Are You On?

September 3, 2014 by Anna Daniels

Wanted: A Living Wage – Video by Pete Segeer

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press


It is useful exercise to remind ourselves that the battle for an increased minimum wage/sick leave benefit in San Diego is not a new one. Peel back the right wing maker versus taker meme and you get Howard Zinn, placing today’s minimum wage struggle firmly in our collective history of bitter class conflict between the rich and the poor and working class.

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Unions and the Future of American Democracy

September 2, 2014 by Jim Miller

labor movementBy Jim Miller

Over the last year, the subject of economic inequality has been in the news quite a bit with the release of Robert Reich’s spectacular documentary Inequality for All and economist Thomas Piketty’s seminal work, Capital in the Twentieth Century. The picture they paint is a grim one and new bad numbers just keep rolling in.

For instance, a few weeks ago a Russell Sage Foundation study revealed that the wealth of the typical American household has dropped nearly 20 percent since 1984 and yet another study notes that private sector wages measured in real terms have dipped 16.2 percent since their 1972 high point. In the wake of that news, another US Census Bureau report came out showing that middle class household wealth fell by 35 percent between 2005 and 2011.

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10 George Orwell Quotes that Predicted Life in 2014 America

September 2, 2014 by Source

george-orwellBy Justin King / The Anti-Media

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

Though many in the modern age have the will to bury their head in the sand when it comes to political matters, nobody can only concern themselves with the proverbial pebble in their shoe. If one is successful in avoiding politics, at some point the effects of the political decisions they abstained from participating in will reach their front door. More often than not, by that time the person has already lost whatever whisper of a voice the government has allowed them.

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OB Planning Board Wed., Sept 3: Quigley Complex for Condos and New Units on Abbott Empty Lot

September 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Wed., Sept 3: Quigley Complex for Condos and New Units on Abbott Empty Lot

Here is the official agenda – INSIDE – of the Ocean Beach Planning Board for their monthly meeting, this Wednesday, September 3rd. The Board meets in the community room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave., 6pm sharp. The Board will be looking at permits to convert residential units on Long Branch to condos and to allow the building of three one-bedroom units on Abbott.

Quigley Complex for Condos?

The Board has a couple of important action items on their agenda. First up is a permit and map waiver for the Quigley Complex at 5151 Long Branch. The current owner/developer Bateman wants to convert the 4 residential units in the unique building designed and built by well-known architect Rob Quigley back in the Seventies into 4 condos. (Quigley designed the new Central Library in downtown San Diego.) Bateman needs Board approval of his condo conversion plan.

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OB Town Council Meeting: “The Parrots of Southern California”

September 2, 2014 by Source
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Report of OBTC Public Meeting of Wed., August 27

By Lois Lane

If you shot a parrot with a BB gun, the Ocean Beach Town Council would not be the place to defend your action. Up at 5:30 am with the parrots? This is an endangered species we are talking about, believe it or not.

Amanda Plante of SoCal Parrot Society filled us in on the facts. Contrary to popular belief, these Red Crown Amazons are not the descendants of a pair which escaped from an OB apartment. They are an endangered species of Mexican parrot, previously imported by pet owners, and now on the endangered list as a result of the destruction of their native habitat.

Southern California currently has more and larger flocks than those that still exist in their original homes in Mexico.

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Niagara-Bacon Area Quickly Becoming OB’s New Hot Spot

August 22, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Move over, Newport Avenue. There’s a new hot spot in Ocean Beach.

OK, nothing’s taking over for OB’s main drag in terms of businesses and foot traffic. But if you walk just a block south on Bacon Avenue, you might be surprised at the renaissance of business and shopping.

The long-perceived notion that the only businesses that can survive have to be on Newport is quickly diminishing. That’s evident with the addition of Bar 1502 – the new incarnate of the immensely popular OB Noodle House just eight or so blocks down – at the southeast corner of Bacon and Niagara. It now gives a solid restaurant option at each corner of that intersection, providing ample opportunities for businesses on the block to attract traffic.

“It’s awesome to see,” said Bar 1502 owner Steven Yeng, who passed up offers to open up shop on Newport. For him, the location is a personal dream come true, as it is just steps from his boyhood house.

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Watch the Video of the Guy Who Put “Sucks” in the SeaWorld Freeway Sign

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Steve-O took 2 days and 5 efforts to place “Sucks” in the SeaWorld freeway exit sign last May. He’s a star already. He released this video of his efforts and it has gone viral.

It’s hilarious. Steve got help in climbing up and taping the word “SUCKS” over the mileage part of the giant green sign near the I-5 exit. So, it read “SeaWorld Sucks”.

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San Diego Program Forces Welfare Applicants to Be Subject to Un-Announced DA Searches

August 21, 2014 by Source

P100 1

How San Diego’s P100 Program Screwed Diego and Anna

Part 2 in a Series – [Here's Part 1]

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

San Diego’s Project 100 (P100) program involves intrusive, invasive home searches by law enforcement officials from the DA’s office for everyone that applies for welfare benefits.

These searches are unannounced and the potential welfare beneficiary must be at home whenever the investigator chooses to come or else they will be denied benefits. This makes it difficult for someone who has even a part time job.

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New Online Journal Asks “Is OB Slacking?” Because There’s No Protests at CVS

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for New Online Journal Asks “Is OB Slacking?” Because There’s No Protests at CVS

Editor: There’s a new online journal, “Our City”, which has taken a crack at Ocean Beach with a recent article titled “Is O.B. slacking?” With photos of CVS under construction, the OB Starbucks, Hodad’s, and the new condo construction on Abbott, the article delves into why there haven’t been any local protests of the new in-coming CVS Pharmacy in the old Apple Tree market building.

They ask:

What, no protests? No nasty bumper stickers? No nothing?

A chain store is coming to Ocean Beach, and there’s little sign of any kind of major backlash against this latest corporate invasion.

Their conclusion is interesting. …

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