“Last Will” by Steve Kowit – Former Ocean Beach Poet Passes

April 3, 2015 by Source

steve kowit best

Editor: We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Kowit, a well-known poet – and educator – from our area, a former OBcean and mainstay in Ocean Beach literary circles. In the 1990s Steve moved from OB out to East County.

In Steve’s honor, we publish below a piece he had to say about poetry making followed by a very fitting poem, “Last Will”.

Our online media partner, the San Diego Free Press, is celebrating National Poetry Month by publishing selections of works by San Diego poets, and Steve Kowit was one of those poets.

Steve Kowit at San Diego Writers, Ink 2014

By Steve Kowit

Poetry, when it is at its most ineffable, transports us to places we had no reason to believe language could take us. What is needed …

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This Land Is Our Land? Not If Republicans Have Their Way

April 3, 2015 by Source

By Joan McCarter / Daily Kos

Vermillion Cliffs, NM

One of the 43 amendments passed by Senate Republicans in Thursday’s (3/26/15) vote-a-rama was a sop to extremist state legislatures in the west who have been pushing states’ rights bills that would allow the states to sell off the federal public lands within their borders. That’s right, congressional Republicans—federal representatives—want to allow states to seize and sell off the nation’s heritage.

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The quest for justice for the 43 Mexican students continues

April 3, 2015 by Source

Video: The San Diego March for Ayotzinapa

By Horacio Jones / San Diego Free Press

ayotizinapa march san diego March_2015When I heard that the families of the “normalistas” were coming to San Diego I was keen to do a story on their caravan. Ever since I heard about the kidnappings I felt compelled to do whatever I could to support their cause against the “narcos” and the Mexican government.

I feel that the only way things will change in Mexico is through the grassroots efforts of people like these who are tired and disgusted with the current state of Mexican politics.

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Court: Navy Sonar Training Injures Whales, Dolphins and Other Sea Animals

April 2, 2015 by Source
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by Big Island Now Staff

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service wrongly approved U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean that would cause widespread harm to whales, dolphins, other marine mammals, and endangered sea turtles.

The Navy’s planned exercises involved the use of explosives, sonar, and vessel strikes over a five-year period, causing an estimated 9.6 million instances of harm to ocean mammals and other marine life.

It was concluded that the training exercises would impact millions of marine animals with injury, death, and disrupted essential habits like mating, rest, and communication.

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Is It True that California Only Has One More Year of Water Left?

April 2, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Back in March, NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti wrote an op-ed piece published in the LA Times, and the paper entitled it “California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now?” Is that really true?

By Andrew Freedman / Mashable / April 2, 2015

California Governor Jerry Brown announced his state’s first-ever mandatory statewide water restrictions on Wednesday, seeking to curb water use by at least 25%.

While the governor cited a record low snowpack and below average reservoirs in the midst of a four-year drought as the reasons for the move, one particular scientist’s actions may have had something to do with the restrictions.

Climate researcher Jay Famiglietti has pioneered the use of a NASA satellite system to track changes in water use worldwide. His studies have shown that the Central Valley region of California, which is one of the most productive regions for growing fruits and vegetables in the U.S., is sinking by up to a foot a year as farmers tap underground aquifers in an increasingly desperate search for irrigation water.

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The Coolest House in All of Ocean Beach

April 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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This has gotta be the coolest house in all of OB.

There’s no other house like it. Not along the cliffs like this.

It’s at the end of Pescadera Street and has been there for decades, in various states of repairs. Now, it looks habitable.

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SeaWorld Steals a Page from the Scientology Playbook

April 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

…And Meanwhile Easter Sunday SeaWorld Protest Gains Momentum

Pink Protest Poster

By Doug Porter

A book tour by a former SeaWorld trainer critical of the company’s treatment of Orcas has led to the theme park releasing a five year old cell phone video depicting the author using racial slurs during a drunken conversation.

Critics of SeaWorld are saying this action is just another example of …

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Lena Horne: A Great Lady Who Broke the Color Line

April 2, 2015 by John Lawrence

Lena Horne was the first black woman to get a contract with a major Hollywood Studio

lena horrne 1By John Lawrence

Born into a black bourgeoisie family in 1917, Lena Horne was signed up in the NAACP by her grandmother, Cora Calhoun Horne, a college graduate, at the age of two. The Hornes owned a four-story residence in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn.

The distinguished Horne family included teachers, activists and a Harlem Renaissance poet. Lena’s uncle became dean of a black college.

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Video From 1990: Why Some People Don’t Like Ocean Beach

April 1, 2015 by Source

Here is a must see! It’s a 1990 video about Ocean Beach, just discovered in Paul Avery’s VHS archives. It’s all about why some people don’t like OB. It also contains wonderful – yet grainy – video footage from the summer of 1970 battle against the jetty that the city wanted to build.

The vid also displays some of the attitudes which you, dear reader, will find currently expressed in today’s social media about OB.

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What the World Needs Now is Empathy

April 1, 2015 by Ernie McCray

EmpathyBy Ernie McCray

I look around me,
breathing in deeply
as I reflect on the totality
of what I see.
Before me, a man lays sleeping
on a downtown street
that jumps with a crisp
four/four time Hip-Hop beat,
bouncing from an upbeat retreat,
where folks hang out,
chillaxed to the max
as it’s the “Thank God it’s Friday,”

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A Public Interest Message About the San Diego City Charter

April 1, 2015 by Source

sandiegocityhallBy Norma Damashek

Maybe you missed the story in the NYT a couple of months ago that characterized certain San Diegans as “aggressively bland…scrubbed of their character… command(ing) so little attention…”

Yes, the description is a dead ringer for our current mayor Kevin Faulconer. But no, the story wasn’t about him.

It was about a new No.1 starter for our hometown baseball team– left in the lurch three years ago by a wily real estate developer who amassed mega-millions through canny downtown redevelopment deals with obliging city officials and then headed off to Texas with his publicly-subsidized loot. For former Padres owner John Moores, the public good was hardly the point of his business plan.

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The Great California Genocide

March 31, 2015 by Staff
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Originally published on August 15, 2008

What do you think of when someone says “California”? Beaches? Sunshine? Hollywood?

How about the largest act of genocide in American history?

“The idea, strange as it may appear, never occurred to them (the Indians) that they were suffering for the great cause of civilization, which, in the natural course of things, must exterminate Indians.”
– Special Agent J. Ross Browne, Indian Affairs

California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – March Edition

March 31, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and highlights efforts of those who are democratically working to bring about a renewable energy future. As nuclear plants in the US are approaching or surpassing their 40 year operating life, their ability to operate properly and safely lessens, creating more and more problems across the nation.

Here’s our March report:

Diablo Canyon – Last Nuke Plant in California

On February 20 a Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC rejected an attempt by Pacific Gas & Electric and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to quash a lawsuit filed by environmental group Friends Of the Earth (FOE). According to FOE, the suit alleges that the “NRC illegally allowed PG&E to alter Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant license.” …

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Peninsula Planners Win Appeal of Carleton Row Homes

March 31, 2015 by Source
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Election Results and Debate Over the Controversial One Paseo Project

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

The agenda at the monthly March meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) called for matters of neighborhood importance: a house remodel gone haywire on Plum Street and a plan to renovate a bridge on Voltaire Street.

But not long after the meeting was gaveled to order, accusations were flying, and heads in the audience were spinning — all because of a project nowhere near Point Loma – more on that later. But first …

PCPB wins Carleton Row Homes appeal

Board members reveled in their successful appeal of Carleton Row Homes, four residential units at 3015-21 Carleton St. in Roseville, earlier in the day.

Rejecting the recommendation of its own staff, the San Diego Planning Commission voted 5-1 to deny a “map waiver” request to classify the units as condos.

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Ocean Beach Planners Agenda for Wed., April 1 – New Officers, a South OB Crosswalk and the One Paseo Project

March 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Planning Board will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday night, April 1st, over at the OB Rec Center. The Center is located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue and the meeting starts sharply at 6pm.

The Board needs to certify its recent election, elect new officers and review an update on the “Crosswalk Project”. And there will be a “forum” on the very controversial One Paseo Project.

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OB’s Avalanche Hosts Middle School Scholastic Surfers

March 31, 2015 by Source
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By Brian J. Brady

It was a gorgeous March day, in Ocean Beach, for the Scholastic Surf Series this past Sunday at the locally-well know surf spot – Avalanche. About 60 middle school-aged, boys and girls, competed in in the long board, short board, and body board categories.

Oceanside, Waldorf in San Diego, Calavera Hills in Carlsbad, Muirlands in La Jolla, St. James and Santa Fe Christian in Solana Beach, Pacific Beach, and Imperial Beach were represented.

Waves were shoulder to head high most of the day and most of the middle school surfers took their qualifying waves in the white water while some of the more aggressive surfers paddled out to the break.

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Friends of OB Library Dedicate Their Bench

March 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The bench in front of the OB Library is now “officially” open to be used. It was dedicated Saturday, March 28 by the Friends of the OB Library in the midst of their book sale.

A crowd formed as Judy Collier, the president of the Friends, called people to gather at the bench. She made some remarks and introduced a few of the people that have helped the bench become a reality.

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Hundreds Turn Out for Mike Hardin Memorial in Petco Park

March 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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It was a hot Saturday, but hundreds of Mike Hardin well-wishers turned out for his memorial at Petco’s Park in a Park in downtown San Diego. Music was played and videos and stills from Mike “Bossman”‘s life were on the big screen in front of the crowd.

Many OBceans were there but so were many others, people whom Mike had touched over the years with his iconic hamburger joint, Hodad’s – strangers, friends and their families, other chefs. There must have 350 in the chairs and sitting on the grass at the small park next to the Padres baseball stadium.

Guy Fieri of Food Network – the man who made Mike famous – and his hamburger one of the nation’s top 5 – was very eloquent in describing probably the most famous OBcean in modern history.

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Baseball is Not a Metaphor

March 30, 2015 by Jim Miller

dugoutBy Jim Miller

Baseball season is here again and with it comes one of the last times in my only son’s fleeting childhood that I have the opportunity to help coach his team. This brings much joy and more suffering because, as we all know, most of the game involves failure.

When you watch young people pitch, they throw balls more often than not. And when they try to hit, they strike out a lot. It’s a house of pain.

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Chapter on Collier Park From Future Novel on Ocean Beach

March 27, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Here below is a chapter from a draft of a novel in part about Ocean Beach. This chapter involved a fictionalized version of the events surrounding the Collier Park riot and includes fictional characters, some of whom have vague similarities with actual people. The main character is Jack Moseley, an OB activist.

CHAPTER 3 – THE PARK

Jack and his roommate Blake were picking their way through the piles of wood by moonlight, making their way towards the front door of the old, dilapidated two story building that once was the home for unwed mothers, the Door of Hope. It had closed years ago and lay in ruins at the top of the hill.

It had been a short walk from their house over on Etiwanda Street. Blake had proposed that they take a look at it, and Jack had jumped at the chance to have a small adventure. He took a drag and handed the joint to Blake.

“Wouldn’t this be a great place to have a ‘people’s park’?” Blake asked him, coughing slightly as he handed the joint back.

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March 28, 1971 – The Most Violent Day in Ocean Beach History

March 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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44th Anniversary of Collier Park Riot Spurs Comparisons

The hour was getting late at the meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors. It was January 21st in the year 1971 – 44 years ago. The hour was getting late but the meeting was lively as the topic was hot.

The subject was whether the City of San Diego would sell off to developers a large portion of land in northeast Ocean Beach called “Collier West” – so named because it was the western section of a much larger piece of property donated to the public by David C Collier – the “Father of Ocean Beach”.

A older male member of the Board was getting agitated – he started to shake as he half stood up to speak. It was Ray Perine, a slightly balding middle-aged and well-known grassroots activist. Not a radical by any means, Ray cleared his throat.

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Students Successfully Petition San Diego School Board to Pressure SeaWorld on Animal Sancturaries

March 27, 2015 by Source
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Students from Point Loma High Cinematic Arts Class Part of Presentation

Statement of PLHS Cinematic Arts Teacher INSIDE

By Martha Sullivan

On March 24th, the San Diego Unified School Board voted unanimously 5-0 to “encourage Sea World to explore animal sanctuaries for their animal entertainers”. The resolution was sponsored by Trustees Kevin Beiser and Richard Barrera. The Board had been petitioned by local students – including some from Point Loma High School -.

Several students spoke to the Board about what they are learning in school in regards to the treatment of animals, what is humane and what is not.

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Santa Ana’s, Pollens, Sinuses, and Chiropractic

March 27, 2015 by Source

eye washBy Dr. Warren Patch

The weather is definitely changing.

“Warmest Winter on record … driest January in history… Santa Ana winds already blowing pollens from the dessert to the coast in record numbers…”, and we can feel it: dry nose, itchy red eyes, sinuses dripping, non-productive cough, difficulty breathing for some.

“It’s just my allergies,” one might say. What to do? Support the drug industry, or your own health?

First of all, wash your eyes and sinuses daily with simple saline solution. You can buy a bottle of saline nasal spray at the local drug store and just spray it up your nose with a couple big snorts until you can spit it out through your mouth.

Buy an eye wash cup and so the same for your eyes. Just fill it half-way with saline, fit it around eyeball, and tilt your head back and forth a few times. You’ll be amazed how much junk you can wash out of your eyes, and how much better they feel!

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Some Things Cannot Be Improved Upon

March 27, 2015 by Source

By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Ordinary ThingsI still have my father’s hammer; it’s tough hickory handle, all blackened by decades of use, has never separated from its carbon steel head, which is similarly stained by use. (The grease and dirt buried in that wood, some of it left there by my father, probably is what keeps the hickory from taking on water and rotting.) Let it be a symbol of endurance, persistence, toughness, good design and good material.

Here are some others:

1. Toilet Paper. Has no rivals.

2. Analog Odometers. These, like cheap watches with sweep hands, are mechanical, not digital, so they keep on rolling as long as your wheels do. They’re disappearing because more and more of us like green or red lights on the dashboard, and glowing numbers. When you buy that used Lexus can you be sure the odometer’s sensors …

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Passionate Pleas for Safer San Diego Streets Fall on Deaf Ears at Uptown Planners Meeting

March 27, 2015 by Source

BikeSD / BikeSD Blog

BikeSD vigil participant holds "Safer Streets For All" sign

Tuesday night, March 24, between 200-250 people packed the St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral for a special Uptown Planners meeting. It’s quite possible that that was the most number of people that church has held in recent years.

Sister Gaia Love, summed it up perfectly:

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OB Town Council Pushed to Join Climate Action Campaign

March 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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All eyes were on Nicole Capretz last night at the monthly Ocean Beach Town Council meeting. She was proposing that the Council join the Climate Action Campaign that she helped found and ensure that the City of San Diego lives up to its commitments under the Mayor’s new climate action plan.

Capretz addressed the Board and the audience of near 60 people on the topic of climate change, the City’s plan, and her group’s efforts to hold local government to be responsive, in terms of creating a viable, legally-binding roadmap for San Diego to follow.

“There is no greater risk to the human race,” she said, “than climate change.” Capretz has been a veteran of City Hall. She years ago, worked for Councilwoman Donna Frye, and more recently for interim Mayor Todd Gloria. She added:

The quality of life will be okay for current generations, but not for the next generations.

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Donna Frye: An Ode to Open Government – ‘Let the Sun Shine In’

March 26, 2015 by Source
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By Donna Frye

This past week, March 15 – 21, the annual celebration called Sunshine Week took place throughout the nation. It was started over 10 years ago by the American Society of News Editors, with its goal being to –

“enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger.”

From news organizations large and small, the public learned about Sunshine Week and why open government matters. The Des Moines Register ran a series of editorials, guest views and features on the importance of open government. The Washington Post encouraged us to “think about how the federal government can be more open to the public” as they checked “on recent efforts to increase transparency.”And the Sioux Falls Business Journal noted in their headline that “every week should be Sunshine Week in S.D.”

I agree, but it’s too bad that headline was about South Dakota and not San Diego. For the most part, Sunshine Week in San Diego came and went, and almost no local newspapers or media took any notice. Their silence was deafening.

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Talk About a Crack in the Sidewalk – Sunset Cliffs’ Walkways Are A-Buckling

March 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Enough of us have finally taken notice to mention it. Talk about a crack in your local sidewalk – you ain’t got nothing compared to this.

Check it out.

The concrete walkway at the bottom of Sunset Cliffs just north of Orchard Street has taken a beating from Mother Nature and the sidewalk is ‘a-buckling’.

This was all very predictable.

That is, it is predictable that attempts by government and private property owners along the famous and beautiful Sunset Cliffs to corral nature, prevent erosion and stop the gravitational, tidal and wind forces from doing their thing are bound to fail – eventually.

Also, we the citizens of a City like ours with its dismal history of maintaining of public access-ways shouldn’t be too surprised when nature and the lack of City attention take their toll.

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Sunset Cliffs Getting Tagged

March 26, 2015 by Staff
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Of course, no one knows who’s doing it, but some of the walls of Sunset Cliffs are getting tagged with spray paint markings.

A roving eye for the OB Rag spotted them and told us that they are visible from the path just north of the old baseball field under Nazareen College.

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A Bank Too Big to Jail

March 26, 2015 by John Lawrence

Attorney General Eric Holder will leave office with a perfect record of not having busted a single senior banker

hsbc-logo2By John Lawrence

The bank, HSBC, has been involved in criminal enterprises from dealing with terrorists and drug dealers to advising clients how to escape paying taxes. Yet no HSBC banker has gone to jail.

Dealing with drug dealers is nothing new for HSBC, also known as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. They have always been associated with drugs. Founded in 1865, HSBC became the major commercial bank in colonial China after the conclusion of the Second Opium War. That’s the war in which European powers forced the Chinese to legalize the drug trade.

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