OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors and OBservers

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Will the Marshmallow Ban Hold? Will Homeless Advocates Be Arrested?

Your online, local website is looking for a few good observers who have cameras for July 4th. That’s right, the OB Rag wants to sign up a handful of volunteers who will assist us in monitoring what happens in Ocean Beach on Friday, July 4th.

There’s a bunch of stuff to observe – and we’re not talking about the surf or the fireworks.

First, if homeless advocates go ahead as planned and feed homeless people in Saratoga Park at the beach, they may be arrested. The group that does feed homeless on major holidays say they have threatened with being arrested if they proceed with their plans. They’ll be doing this from 11 am to 2 pm.

So, we need observers with cameras and monitors for that potential scene.

And second, of course, is what happens down on the beach at night after the fireworks.

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Group Threatened With Arrest If They Feed Homeless at Saratoga Park on July 4th

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: No arrests made as volunteers served dozens of homeless and other needy people this morning at Saratoga Park in OB.

A group that feeds homeless people on every holiday at an Ocean Beach park has been threatened with arrest by police if they go ahead feed the homeless on July 4th.

The group – Second Chances – is a non-profit that works with local churches and homeless advocates. They feed homeless people in OB every Saturday at the Episcopal Church on Sunset Cliffs and Brighton. And on major holidays the also feed homeless folks at Saratoga Park down at the beach. The last holiday they did this was on Memorial Day this year – without hassles.

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Is Park and Rec About to Remove 2 North OB Park Picnic Tables Due to Complaints From OB’s Gentry?

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: It has been confirmed to the OB Rag by a Park and Rec manager that these two picnic tables will be moved. Dan Danerio said that these two tables have not always been where they are now, that his department had a couple extra ones and decided to place them in the grassy area as an experiment. It didn’t work out due to complaints from local homeowners, including some of the new owners of the large mansions close to the tables. …. More inside

Why? Why would Park and Rec remove two picnic tables?

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Break-down of Coastal Commission Recommendations to OB Plan

July 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last Friday, June 27th, staff of the California Coastal Commission submitted 43 recommendations involving the Ocean Beach Community Plan to the City for its considerations. This 11th-hour submittal of modifications has now delayed the review and potential approval of OB’s Plan by the City Council. This past Monday, the Council moved their hearing to July 29th.

The Council felt that City staff, both from the planning department and the City Attorney’s Office, needed to review and respond to the recommendations.

If staff found a recommendation that is “material” – that is a substantial change – to the Plan, then the potential exists for even more delays, as the Plan then would have to go back before the Planning Commission.

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Ugly Americans Block Migrant Buses in Murrieta on Eve of 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

July 2, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Editor: On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights Act, ugly Americans showed the world just how far this nation still needs to go up in Murrietta in Riverside County, yesterday, July 1.

By Doug Porter

A group of right-wing demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday, July 1, turning away three Border Patrol buses bringing 136 Central American migrant children and families to a Murrieta, California processing center.

So much for the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, which begins:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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Facebook Conducted Psych Experiments on 700,000 Un-Witting Users

July 2, 2014 by Source
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Subjects Had Their Feeds Altered to Gauge Effect on Emotion in 2012

By Reed Albergotti / The Wall Street Journal / June 30, 2014

A furor has erupted over news that Facebook, in 2012, conducted a psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users. WSJ’s Facebook reporter Reed Albergotti discusses the fallout on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

A social-network furor has erupted over news that Facebook Inc., in 2012, conducted a massive psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users.

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To Hell with Hobby Lobby

July 2, 2014 by Source

By Lauree Benton

womanseye44“Corporations are people, my friend.”

Women? Well… the jury is still out on that. Whether you are a person or not may depend on the religious views of your boss.

Makes sense I guess. The Constitution does say that all men are created equal.

I’m sure the ALL MALE majority who made this stirring decision is just looking out for us lady types. You know, we can’t be trusted.

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OB Planning Board Agenda for Wed., July 2nd

July 2, 2014 by Staff
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Here inside is the agenda for the OB Planning Board monthly meeting, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. The Board meets promptly at 6pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

On top of the agenda is an important update from the OB planners heading up the Community Plan Update. Lots going on involving the process of being approved by the City Council. Just this week, the Council postponed their hearing on the Plan to July 29.

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LA Times Discovers OB’s Marshmallow Controversy

July 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: Tony Perry, friend and San Diego stringer for the LA Times posted his take on OB’s marshmallow controversy. The Times also posted an OB Rag photo by Joe Ewing, and quoted the OB Rag in a statement no one here on staff recalls making, anywhere in the numerous articles the Rag has published about the marshmallows.

S.D.’s Ocean Beach weary of annual July 4 marshmallow fight’s mess

By Tony Perry
Since the mid-1980s, residents of the Ocean Beach community of San Diego have enjoyed a unique Fourth of July free-for-all: a marshmallow fight after the evening display of fireworks. But the sticky, gooey mess left behind in recent years has increased calls to abandon the tradition.

In that time, the spontaneous, leaderless event has gotten more aggressive, spreading from the beach to the main business street of Newport Avenue and then to surrounding streets. The mess left by countless marshmallows has been unsightly and substantial.

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“Mallow out!” Says the OB Town Council – No More Marshmallow War

July 1, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

If the Town Council has its way, Ocean Beach will be a marshmallow-free zone this Fourth of July.

Town Council President Gretchen Newsom hammered home that point Tuesday morning during a press conference at the Veterans Memorial by the beach as they spread the word to “Mallow Out.”

“This has been too much. The last couple of years, it’s gotten completely out of control. It has desecrated our memorial,” she said. “It’s time for our community to clean itself up.”

The Town Council is calling for all businesses to stop selling marshmallows in order to keep participation down. Newsom cited people throwing marshmallows that frozen, on fire and stuffed with batteries at last year’s Marshmallow War.

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City Council Pushed by OB to Set Earliest Date for Hearing on Community Plan

July 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Due to a last-minute Coastal Commission list of recommendations that the City has to consider, the long-scheduled City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan was postponed to July 29th.

This all came down on Monday, June 30th. Word had spread among OB planners, OB Town Council members, and other organizers that Mayor Faulconer was asking the Council to continue the long-awaiting hearing on the OB Plan due to time needed by city staff to review the Coastal Commission’s modifications.

So, the major mobilization of OBceans planned for a month, was called off – but only partially – as 40 people from OB were in Council Chambers on Monday, and thirty of them wore the blue ‘support OB’ T-shirts.

It has to be noted, that it was because of the presence of so many OBceans and because of the insistence by the OBceans who publicly spoke to have the Council review the OB Plan at the earliest possible date, that the July date was selectd. The Council had been considering September 19th …

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Acai Bowls Return to Lazy Hummingbird “Coffee Shop”

July 1, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Wrong standard had been applied to the coffee shop by over-zealous health inspector

By Matthew Wood

The acai bowls are back at the ‘Bird, and there is much rejoicing in OB.

For nearly a month, the coffee shop that shares a storefront with the OB Business Center on Santa Monica Avenue had to shut down the popular bowls and other food production because of what owner Danielle Eder calls an overzealous inspector.

“For the last three years, we’ve been getting A’s,” Eder said of health inspection reviews of the coffee shop, which just celebrated its third anniversary.

“They change the rules every day. There are so many exceptions to them, especially with food carts.”

She said the inspector – who she declined to name – had a problem with the way they were preparing some of their food and shut them down just before Memorial Day.

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Extreme Weather Watch: June 2014 – Torrential Rains, Baseball Sized Hail, Massive Midwest Flooding

July 1, 2014 by Source

Another Month, Another Couple of Towns Wiped Out by Tornadoes

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

June 2014 was one of the worst months on record for extreme weather. Tuesday June 3 saw baseball size hail, 100 mph wind gusts and 11 tornadoes in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. In Omaha and Des Moines there were hundreds of reports of hail. Trees toppled on autos. Wind damage was mostly from derecchio winds. Derecchio winds are straight line winds which can be as damaging as tornadoes.

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Mid-Ocean Plastics Cleanup Schemes: Too Little Too Late?

July 1, 2014 by Source

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Sarah “Steve” Mosko, PhD / Boogie Green

Imagine using a thimble to empty a bathtub, with the faucet still running. That’s how experts on ocean plastics pollution generally see schemes focused on extracting the debris from the open ocean instead of strategies to prevent plastic waste from getting there in the first place.

Interest in methods to rid the oceans of plastic debris is motivated by very real threats to the entire ocean food web. The “North Pacific Garbage Patch” is the most studied of the five subtropical gyres, gigantic whirlpools where waste is picked up and concentrated by slow-swirling currents. There, plastic debris already outweighs zooplankton, tiny creatures at the base of the food web, by a factor of 36:1, according to the latest trawls by the Algalita Marine Research Institute in Long Beach, CA.

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City Council Hearing on OB Plan Moved to July 29

July 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

At the insistence of OB leaders, planners and other OBceans at yesterday’s City Council meeting on the OB Community Plan, the Council set the earliest “possible” date for the actual hearing – July 29th.

Forty and more OBceans and supporters filled Council Chambers – on what was to be a fateful day of Ocean Beach. The City Council hearing on the OB Plan has been scheduled for weeks – if not months – for Monday, June 30th. OB planners had geared up a campaign to mobilize the coastal community downtown and with thousands of signatures on their petition.

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Endless Summer: On the Verge of the Sixth Extinction

June 30, 2014 by Jim Miller

sixth extinction“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’ve seen a lot of bad news lately from the dismaying results of our last local election and a slew of reactionary court decisions at the state and national level to the re-emergence of the chaos in Iraq and the seemingly daily news reports of growing evidence that our widening level of economic inequality is becoming an entrenched and sadly taken-for-granted part of our new normal.

Even as we head into the heedless days of summer, we are greeted by yet more studies …

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BREAKING NEWS: City Council Hearing on OB Community Plan to Be Postponed

June 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

At the 11th Hour, Coastal Commission Makes 43 Recommended Changes to OB Plan

The San Diego City Council Hearing on the OB Community Plan scheduled for Monday, June 30th, will be postponed to as yet an unknown date.

Councilman Ed Harris’ office was notified by the Mayor’s Office late on Friday afternoon that due to a brand new, 11th hour submission of 43 recommended “modifications” to the Plan by the staff of the California Coastal Commission, the Mayor will be seeking a continuance – or postponement – of the hearing slated for 2pm. It needs to be postponed in order to allow City staff sufficient time to evaluate the recommendations and make a response. …

COME INSIDE FOR THE MEMO …

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Even Tourists Are Coming Out in Favor of the OB Community Plan

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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(Hat tip to Wayne and Judith Starker)

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Fun and Games at the OB Town Council

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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You never know what you’ll learn or see at a OB Town Council meeting until you’re actually there. And this was true last Wednesday night at their monthly meeting as usual.

Nearly 60 people gathered in the Masonic Center to get in on the action of the Town Council that night. With 4 TV stations present for the marshmallow controversy, there was a certain tension in the air as President Gretchen Newsom gaveled the meeting to order. The marshmallows and the OB Community Plan were the big ticket items on the agenda, but there was lots else going on – not to mention the upcoming 35th Annual OB Street Fair.

OB Firefighters and Para-Medics Have Warnings

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Watching With the Enemy: US – Germany World Cup Match at Kaiserhof

June 27, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

The biggest question is, Why? Why watch the big World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at Kaiserhof, the long-standing Ocean Beach biergarten and general German fan meeting place?

Like the idea of climbing so many mountain tops and starting so many world wars, I countered with, Why not? When I came up with this hare-brained idea, …

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New OB Planning Board Chair Has Found His Groove

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Pete Ruscitti, the new chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, has truly found his groove in heading up the local community planners. With a Masters in Public Policy and a number of internships with public agencies dealing with issues of planning and transportation under his belt, he is a currently a transportation planner for the firm he works for, Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Pete is certainly a policy guy. Urban planning is where his heart is – this is what he wants to do. Pete’s meteoric rise on the Board Board for OB has been noticeable. …

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Final Push Is On for Petition Drive in Support of the OB Community Plan

June 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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OB planners and their supporters are in a final push in the petition drive in support of the OB Community Plan. Petitioners have gathered about 1700 signatures at this point, announced Gio Ingolia at the OB Town Council meeting last night, June 25th.

Petitioners will be out in force at OB’s Street Fair this Saturday, June 28th. It’s the 35th anniversary of the OB annual event. Petitions will be available throughout the Fair, including at the OBTC Chili Cookoff booth, at the OB Mainstreet Association booth, at the OB Historical Society table, and at the Point Loma Democratic Club booth.

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Momentum Grows for End to OB’s Marshmallow Wars – Newport Avenue Merchants Pledge to Limit Marshmallow Sales on July 4th

June 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It appears that the campaign to end OB’s marshmallow wars is gaining momentum. The campaign – led and organized by the OB Town Council – centers on a “Mallow Out” pledge effort to not use or buy marshmallows on the national holiday. It was announced at last night’s OBTC meeting that Newport Avenue merchants have promised to limit marshmallow sales on July 4th.

As the Town Council volunteers gather their pledges, Councilman Ed Harris has come out in support of their effort. His community rep, Chet Barfield, informed the audience at the OBTC meeting. Harris wrote a letter to local OB businesses, Barfield said to get them to cut down on bulk sales of marshmallows. Harris’ office, he also stated, is working to get city street sweeper trucks to be out in force along the beach right after the OB Fireworks end in an attempt to dissuade any marshmallow revelry.

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San Diego Case at Center of US Supreme Court Ruling that Bars Police Search of Cellphone Without Warrant

June 25, 2014 by Staff
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A San Diego case is at the middle of a historic ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court on privacy rights with regards to cell phones.

In unanimous vote, the Court ruled that police officers may not search a cell phone of a criminal suspect without a warrant. Commentators called this “a big, big win for civil libertarians and privacy rights.”

The San Diego case was David Riley’s – and of the 2 cases before the Court – it attracted the most attention by the Justices.

Riley – a college student – had been arrested in 2009 for having an expired vehicle registration and driving with a suspended license. His car was impounded, and police found loaded weapons under the hood. Riley was arrested again.

This time police grabbed his smartphone and downloaded info from it.

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One Day Left to Protest Sale of Alcohol at the Future OB CVS Pharmacy

June 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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No One Has Filed Complaint Yet – June 26th Is Deadline

By Tony de Garate

The final hours are winding down on a 30-day period to protest an application to sell beer, wine and spirits at a future CVS Pharmacy at 4949 Santa Monica Ave., according to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

June 26 is the last day ABC will allow any citizen to protest the sale of alcohol at CVS, which is planning to take over the building that has been lifeless since the departure of Apple Tree Market at the end of 2012.

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Two Jump Off OB Pier Fully-Clothed – End Up Having to Be Rescued and then Are Arrested

June 25, 2014 by Staff

Fisherman Jumps In and Saves Struggling Man

A fully-clothed couple jumped off the OB Pier around 11 pm Tuesday night. But they immediately got into trouble and started yelling for help.

A fisherman up on the pier, Paul Song, heard them, and either jumped or dove into the cold Pacific to help them. Song told 10News that when he reached the man, the guy was struggling

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Hit and Run Tragedy Outside Ocean Beach 2nd Fatality in 2 Years Next to Freeway

June 25, 2014 by Staff
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The hit and run death of Amber Schei on June 21st just outside of OB is a grim reminder that the freeway ramps are dangerous areas. Schei’s death is the second in a two year period right around the entrance and exit of I-8, including Nimitz and Sunset Cliffs.

In March of 2012, Sho Funai was also killed in a hit and run incident at OB’s entrance. The driver was eventually found, and on July 27th, she was sentenced by to one year in prison, plus the standard five years of probation.

It was a double whammy for Schei’s mother, Tammy Wilson, who had been happy as she had just returned from Afghanistan

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California Coastal Commission Now Able to Levy Fines on Property Owners Who Deny Public Access to Coast

June 25, 2014 by Doug Porter

Senate Speaker Atkins’ Budget Rider Finally Wins Power for Public Agency Protecting California Coast

By Doug Porter

California Gov. Jerry Brown was in San Diego last Friday – June 20th – for a budget signing ceremony. While much of the press coverage focused on all the backslapping and self congratulating about fiscal responsibility, a low-key rider attached to the budget bill by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins is a big victory for beach lovers.

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Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

June 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald came to town last weekend to promote his best selling book based on events surrounding former systems administrator Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with documents concerning intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency. It was a most unusual evening: part lecture, part political rally and part celebrity appearance.

Seven hundred people paid money to attend a book tour event in a theater in this day and age. His publisher set up a table in the lobby and sold hundreds of copies of “No Place to Hide.”

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OB Town Council Meeting June 25: “Mallow-Out” the Marshmallow Wars and Update on Community Plan Campaign

June 24, 2014 by Staff
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OBceans are invited to attend the next Ocean Beach Town Council meeting this Wednesday, June 25 at 7pm.

At the top of their agenda is the Town Council’s campaign to “Mallow-Out” and end the Marshmallow War.

There will also be an update on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, which goes to City Council on June 30th for consideration of approval (see below for more details on both these items).

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