The GDP is a Poor Measure of Progress

July 1, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

GDPGross Domestic Product does not measure the well-being of human beings.

War, natural disasters, incarcerations all add to positive GDP growth. Profits from casinos, drug sales, cigarette sales, junk food all add to economic growth.

Stock buybacks contribute to GDP. GDP is based on distorted values. If I pay down my debt, that does not add to GDP. If I borrow more money and go into debt and go out and buy stuff, that increases GDP.

Wall Street insistence on short-term profits, as opposed to long-term growth, does add to GDP. GDP is f’d up, yet for every politician and government functionary it’s the sine qua non of economic indicators. Every swindler that parts someone with a buck contributes to GDP growth.

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Murder Suspect in Point Loma Shooting Pleads Non-Guilty Due to Self-Defense

July 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Murder Suspect in Point Loma Shooting Pleads Non-Guilty Due to Self-Defense

This murder suspect in the June 22nd shooting in Point Loma pleaded not guilty to murder and a gun-use allegation at his arraignment in downtown San Diego, Thursday, June 30th.

Thomas Francis Burke, 32, arrested for the murder of Jess Matthew Robles, who was in his mid-30’s, is being held on $10 million bail. During the arraignment, Burke’s attorney said his client fired at Robles in self-defense.

Now that the suspect’s attorney and the prosecutor had their say in court, a picture of what was happening between Burke and Robles has emerged.

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Update on the Emerson Project in Point Loma

June 30, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This is an update on what’s happening with the controversial Emerson project in the Point Loma neighborhood of Roseville. The 40 foot duplex has been under siege ever since neighbors and Peninsula activists took notice of its construction and of its clear violation of the 30 foot height limit.

The only real news is that on Wednesday, June 29th, Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with a few Peninsula Community Planning Board members and a local resident who organized a protest rally at the project, at 3144 Emerson Street, near Evergreen.

Afterwards, the mayor held a press conference to pledge that he would ensure that the city and developers follow the rules and that “we protect our coastal zone and height limit.”

The day before – on Tuesday – Faulconer had ordered a Stop Work Order on the project being built by Pacific Enterprise Builders.

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Will California Legalize Marijuana in 2016?

June 30, 2016 by Doug Porter

If there’s any group capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in California, it’s marijuana activists.

AUMA 2016By Doug Porter

The polling has never been better. This year 60% of likely California voters are inclined to legalize the consumption of marijuana for recreational use, up from 54% last year.

The political prognosis has never been better. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized pot and another eight states are considering giving voter approval to the idea.

So California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act qualifying for the November ballot should be good news, right? Not so fast. We’ve been here before. In 2010 Proposition 19 started out with strong polling and had decent financial backing, as I recollect.

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A Review of the 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival

June 30, 2016 by Source

By Mukul Khurana / San Diego Free Press

San Diego International Fringe FestivalThe 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival arrived a month earlier than last year. There must be good reason, but it wasn’t announced.

Almost everything else remains the same.

Bi-national shows (San Diego and Tijuana being so close to one another) are now a fact since last year. The venues are pretty similar to last year too. However, this year, there are essentially two “centers.” Downtown has always been a base. Diversionary Theatre in University Heights got added to the mix.

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Is There Another Problem Building in Ocean Beach at Ebers and Greene?

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Is There Another Problem Building in Ocean Beach at Ebers and Greene?

UPDATE: Several past and current members of the OB Planning Board have confirmed that this project never went before the Board.

Here’s why: come inside …

________________

If you drive in and out of OB on Ebers Street, like many locals, you can’t but notice a large, wood-framed, 3 story building under construction at the corner with Greene Street.

It’s been going up for months now – and it was constructed from scratch – whatever used to be there was totally demolished and removed and the building began at grade level. The building looks like a single-family residence.

It does looks tall. Is it 30 feet or under? Hard to say, really. You just hope it is.

Didn’t the OB Planning Board approve this?

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OB Rag Editordude Quoted in “Ballotpedia” on Calif. Marijuana Initiative

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Editordude Quoted in “Ballotpedia” on Calif. Marijuana Initiative

Hey, this is crazy! I – editordude of the OB Rag – am quoted in “Ballotpedia” – the “online encyclopedia of American politics and elections,” in their complete run-down and neutral analysis of California’s marijuana initiative.

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Stop Work Order on Emerson Project in Point Loma Issued by City

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Temporary Victory for Roseville – But Hurdles Remain

On Tuesday, June 28th, the City of San Diego issued a Stop Work Order on the controversial 40 foot structure at 3144 Emerson Street, near Evergreen.

Both Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Lorie Zapf issued a joint statement that stated:

Further review of the Municipal Code has determined that this project does not conform to the City’s development regulations.

This is definitely a victory for Roseville, Point Loma and all the neighbors who rose up and demanded action from the City to deal with an obvious violation of the spirit of Proposition D, the 30-foot height limit that passed overwhelming in the 1970’s. Although, it is a temporary victory.

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Hunger Strike Being Organized in San Diego Against Private Prison

June 29, 2016 by Source

Private PrisonOn July 5th activists and community leaders in Southeast San Diego will begin a hunger strike to protest the private prison Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

By Mark Bartlett

Community Leaders and Local Activists will execute a hunger strike on July 5th at 6pm next to the Oceanview Facility located at 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113. The hunger strike will continue until all action items requested by the protest organizers have been satisfied.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the largest for­-profit prison industry in America and they currently operate three Correctional Facilities across San Diego County.

Two out of the three facilities are located in the heart of Southeast San Diego and Barrio Logan. Both centers are located in residential neighborhoods within close proximity of homes, churches, schools and businesses.

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Culture’s Head Brewer Does His Own Heavy Lifting

June 29, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

Without a doubt Culture Brewing Co. is wildly popular here in OB. Popular with OBceans and people from throughout the city. And many a tourist has stopped in at Culture on their travels to San Diego.

You may not know that the head brewer and the assistant brewer deliver their kegs themselves in Culture’s own, heavy duty pickup truck.

South OB Girl happened to run into head brewer Mitchell Wix delivering a truck load of kegs along with assistant brewer Perry Hague on Monday morning, June 27.

More often than not, Wix and Hague deliver the kegs themselves in this black pickup truck, which is owned by one of the owners of Culture. And occasionally Wix delivers in his own personal pickup truck.

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Former Gallagher’s Evolves into “The Holding Company 1502” Music Venue

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Former Gallagher’s Evolves into “The Holding Company 1502” Music Venue

Steve Yeng and his family, the owners of both the OB Noodle House on Cable and Bar 1502 over on Niagara, had moved into the old Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue. They held an opening night under the old name not too long ago – which a bunch of us attended.

And now there is a new handle on the place.

The new name: “The Holding Company” or “THC” and “1502” (the positions of the alphabet for “O” and “B”).

Some locals find the new name very edgy, even controversial due to the obvious double layer of meaning. But Yeng is not fazed. After all, this is the year that Californians will (probably) vote to legalize marijuana.

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Angry Point Loma Citizens Fill Town Hall Meeting About Emerson Project

June 28, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson proj meet 6-27-16

By Geoff Page

Last night there was a town hall meeting at the Portuguese Hall in Point Loma that was filled to capacity with a whole bunch of angry citizens.

The meeting was to discuss a project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville that is a 40-foot tall thumb in the eye of San Diegans.

But, the issue is much bigger than one project, it concerns all of the area affected by the 30-foot height limit.

Representatives from the mayor’s office, District 2, the City Attorney, and the Development Services Department (DSD) were supposed to be on hand. Not one single City official showed up. Let’s call that thumb in the eye number two.

The issue is the City’s new interpretation as to how the sacred 30-foot height limit is measured.

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The Homeless Artists Who Make Ocean Beach Rock

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Have you ever wondered who’s piling the rocks up – making artistic piles – along the entryway into OB? Have you even noticed them?

There’s these two guys – Corey and Greg – both homeless – who are making Ocean Beach rock with their rock art.

You can see it along the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard entryway into and out of OB. And Corey and Greg have been doing this for the past eight months – they told me. They work everyday, they say, 7 days a week, on their art.

Greg – the self-admitted artist of the two – figures they have completed up to a quarter of a mile of their installations. Corey agreed that it takes a lot of time just to assemble one pile.

So, it’s constant.

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Memorial Set Up for Jess Robles – Victim of Last Week’s Shooting in Point Loma

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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A memorial has been set up for the victim of last week’s shooting near the site of the fatal encounter in the 4100 block of Voltaire Street. Flowers and personal messages were left for Jess Matthew Robles, in his mid-30’s and from Pacific Beach, on a painted utility box in front of a coffee shop.

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A Few Random Faces from the OB Street Fair

June 27, 2016 by Source
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Here are some random faces from the Ocean Beach Street Fair – taken by our good friend Byron Morton.

Here’s Mike Deadman of Kissed Alive Tribute Band.

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Last Days of the Honeycreepers and Honeyeaters – 2016 Summer Chronicles 2

June 27, 2016 by Jim Miller

ocean through jungle

By Jim Miller

There is something deeply and tragically resonant about extinction in paradise. After returning from a hike on Haleakala where I was lucky enough to have spotted a number of rare birds, I sat on the lanai of my room on the edge of the Maui rainforest and read this from Errol Fuller’s haunting book, Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record:

There are two groups of birds on the Hawaiian Islands that are notorious for the number of extinct species they contain. Although these birds are not particularly closely related, they have names that are similar and this sometimes causes confusion.

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Big Win for Women’s Rights! Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Restrictions on Abortion Provider Law

June 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

supreme court building“Today women across the nation have had their constitutional rights vindicated.” —Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights

By Doug Porter

The Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt will affect millions of women in several states. The case, arising from a Texas law, is the most important abortion rights case in a generation.

Justice Steven Breyer penned the majority opinion, which said in essence:

Both the admitting privileges and surgical center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.

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OB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Reception – June 30th

June 27, 2016 by Staff

OB OB Pier 50th Art ImageOB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Reception – June 30th

Join the celebrations at the OB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Opening Reception on Thursday, June 30, from 6-9 p.m. There will be a local chef showcase (serving hors d’oeuvres), wine from Gianni Buonomo Vintners, beer from Mike Hess Brewing Ocean Beach, and music by John Tafolla.

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Let Them Eat Rocks

June 27, 2016 by Source

police ticket homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Last week was a helluva week for those of us helping people without a place to live.

There were plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the heatwave, as well as the Border fire that was threatening several communities out in East County. But unlike the all-out effort to help residents, pets and livestock in the path of the fire, there was no effort to help the residents of downtown under direct assault from a relentless sun.

Except for access to the library which, for those living on the street, would entail leaving all of your few meager possessions outside, unattended, there was no Health and Human Services program to help them.

The week actually began last Friday for me when my friend Martha Sullivan called asking for help to provide a Cooling Station offering lifesaving hydration and shade for homeless people during the predicted heatwave.

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Point Loma Residents Protest Structure in Violation of 30-Foot Height Limit

June 26, 2016 by Matthew Wood

PL emerson protest 6-25-16 mw 01

Point Lomans Rally in front of Eyesore Building at Emerson and Evergreen

Nearly 100 Point Lomans gathered Saturday morning, June 25th, to protest the development of a pair of duplexes they say violates the area’s 30-foot building limit.

The building in question, at the corner of Emerson and Evergreen streets in the Roseville neighborhood, measure upwards of 41 feet.

Opponents of the structure say the developer, Pacific Enterprise General Contractor, is skirting the zoning rules by filling in space between the garage and the end of the property with dirt, then measuring height from that spot.

“The goal is to get a stop order, which can be done,” said Jon Linney, chair of the Point Loma Planning Board and an outspoken opponent of the building.

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Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

June 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Babita Souza, a Point Loma resident who lives near the 40-foot tall project at 3144 Emerson Street, is planning a protest rally at the site this Saturday, June 25th – at 10 a.m.

Souza was widely quoted in a recent San Diego Reader article by Julie Stalmer about the history of hers and her husband’s concerns as they watched the project rise from dirt level to what it is today.

They are being joined by members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board who have been publicly against the project. Those upset with the project believe the City has wrongly approved the project, which violates the 30-foot height limit – which applies to the neighborhood where the project is being constructed.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

June 24, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

Victor Brown, Field Representative for Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, had his hands full of socks at Wednesday night’s OB Town Council meeting – all donated by local OBceans.

Socks for Stand Down was started in 2015 by State Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus, after local Stand Down organizers expressed a need for socks and underwear for homeless veterans attending Stand Down.

Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Stand Down events are one to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans receive food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, dental care, VA Social Security benefits, and counseling.

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Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.” Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

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The High Costs of Policy Shortfalls in Housing

June 24, 2016 by Source

Close-up View of Garden HoseBy Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines

The high cost of housing is one of the most challenging planning issues of our time.

The meager supply of affordable housing is a major contributor to the problem, yet the policy tools to address the shortfall often seem to worsen the problem.

But this is because they ignore the underlying infrastructure and financing to support growth.

Housing affordability is really about two things: income and cost. The building industry is doing very little about the former, oftentimes opposing prevailing wages for construction workers. On the latter, the key question (being debated in California now) is whether deregulation of market rate housing projects will somehow “trickle down” to households, enabling them to afford rising rents and mortgages.

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Getting Set for the OB Street Fair – What’s Happenin’?

June 23, 2016 by Staff
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Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off set for June 25

It’s that time of year when thousands will flock to the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair for food, drinks, chili, live music, art and people watching – all coming down this Saturday, June 25th.

This year is the 37th annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival.

Here’s what the free one-day street festival will offer:

  • Location, location, location – 4800 to 5000 blocks of Newport Avenue from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., at cross streets of Bacon and Cable, at the OB Pier parking lot,
  • Free bike valet at the intersection of Bacon Street and Newport Avenue, courtesy of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.
  • Free trolley services will run for people parking near Robb Field (every 30 minutes) and on Sea World Drive at Pacific Coast Highway (every hour) from 9:30 a.m.to 9 p.m.
  • The chili cook-off and competition – Chili tastings will begin at 11 a.m. and will end when contestants run out of samples from the more than 20 tastings …
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‘The Emerson and Evergreen Project in Point Loma Is Where We Have to Draw the Battle Line for the 30 Foot Height Limit’

June 23, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson Project gp 05

City Planners Allow Developer to Measure 30 Feet From Top of Retaining Walls – the Call Goes Out to Shut the Project Down

By Geoff Page

This is it folks, this is where we have to draw the battle line for the 30-foot height limit.

Our own city, in the form of the Development Services Department, is leading the assault on the 30-foot limit. They are working for developers, not the citizens who pay their salaries. The project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville is a huge raspberry from the DSD to the community and here is why.

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Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

June 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

The suspect in a murder that occurred in Point Loma at Catalina and Voltaire has been arrested in downtown San Diego.

Thomas Burke was busted by police near F Street and 16th Avenue – which is very close to SDPD headquarters. This came down near 8 am Thursday morning.

The incident began around 11 pm Wednesday night when the murder victim – unidentified at this point – walked up to one of the apartments in the newly constructed Famousa complex at the corner of Voltaire and Catalina and was allegedly shot by Burke, who was reportedly inside the apartment.

First responders administered CPR to the victim but were unsuccessful.

A SWAT action ensued through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with police not certain whether Burke was holed up or not in the apartment, but believed he might be barricaded inside. Neighbors were evacuated as a precaution.

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The Loss of Community Is Still the Biggest Threat from Short Term Vacation Rentals

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB airbnb map
The Ocean Beach Town Council will have a presentation and discussion on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, June 22.

Representatives of the group that has been lobbying city government to “do something” about the disruption to residential neighborhoods, Save San Diego Neighborhoods, will be making at least one of the presentations.

They will be discussing how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into San Diego’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive. They will demonstrate how neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted. And even how the character of a neighborhood is altered.

This is all well and good – and necessary.

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Wild Wedding at Ocean Beach’s Wonderland

June 22, 2016 by Source
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By Jonnie Wilson

Perhaps the most unusual wedding ever to be held in Ocean Beach was that of Charles Sanders and Hazel Shaw, who said their vows on August 13, 1913, at Wonderland, O. B.’s 8-acre amusement park, which had just opened a month earlier.

The couple didn’t pick the park’s ballroom or Japanese Tea Garden as the location for their wedding as those venues would have been much too traditional.

Nor did they choose one of the park’s exciting rides, such as the 95-foot high roller coaster, to say their vows.

Clearly, this adventurous couple wanted more thrills than even that ride could provide, so they opted to perform their nuptials in the “lion’s den,” a steel arena which housed the park’s lions, leopards, pumas, and jaguars.

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