Darren Wilson Cleared While Racial Bias Found in Ferguson Police Traffic Stops

March 4, 2015 by Source
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Darren Wilson Is Cleared of Rights Violations in Ferguson Shooting

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has cleared a Ferguson, Mo., police officer of civil rights violations in the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager whose death set off racially charged and sometimes violent protests last year. The decision, which was announced on Wednesday, ends a lengthy investigation into the shooting last August, in which Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Mr. Brown in the street. Many witnesses said Mr. Brown had his hands up in surrender when he died, leading to nationwide protest chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot.” … MORE INSIDE …

Justice Department to Fault Ferguson Police, Seeing Racial Bias in Traffic Stops

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said. … MORE INSIDE …

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Faulconer’s First Year: Mostly Doing Nothing, But Looking Good While Doing It

March 4, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Unlike the women performing on the field at Chargers’ games, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is getting paid for his cheer-leading efforts.

The local daily paper ran a puff piece on Sunday, celebrating Faulconer’s first year in office, reporting on the “nearly unanimous praise” for making San Diego a “vastly different place than it was under the tumultuous tenure” of he-who-cannot-be-named-without-contempt.

Largely airbrushed out of history was former interim mayor Todd Gloria, whose reward for leadership following the fall of Filner was to get booted out of the position of City Council President, lest he actually accomplish any items proposed during his tenure.

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Oil Trains: Death and Destruction on the Rails

March 4, 2015 by John Lawrence

Department of Transportation Predicts Oil Train Derailments Will Become Increasingly Common

train derailmentBy John Lawrence

On Monday Feb 16, 2015 an oil train carrying millions of pounds of crude oil derailed in Boomer, West Virginia. The accident was the latest in a spate of fiery derailments in Canada and the U.S. as vast quantities of oil are being moved across these nations through sensitive environments and large population centers.

A couple days earlier on Feb. 14, there was a crude oil train derailment south of Timmins, Ontario. It took almost a week in subzero temperatures for the fires to burn out. Both the West Virginia accident and the oil train derailment and fire in Ontario involved recently built tank cars that were supposed to be an improvement over a decades-old model in wide use that has proven susceptible to spills, fires and explosions – the Dot-111.

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Father and Baby Injured in Cross-walk In Critical Condition – City Removes Palm Tree Blocking Drivers’ View

March 4, 2015 by Staff

The father and baby injured in Point Loma early Monday morning while out walking are still in critical condition, reported 10News. They were hit while in a cross-walk and taken to hospitals with apparently life-threatening injuries. The baby was in a stroller – and the mother accompanied them but was not injured. The driver had stopped and attempted to give assistance to the injured.

And meanwhile, city crews on Tuesday tore out a small palm tree that blocked drivers’ views of the crosswalk on Canon while they’re driving east on that section of Catalina. Neighbors had complained to the media that they believe the crosswalk’s position is very dangerous. Some have complained to the city about the dangers.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Agenda for Wed., March 4th

March 3, 2015 by Staff
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Here is the agenda for the Ocean Beach Planning Board’s March 4th monthly meeting. They meet at 6pm sharp in the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

The Board will receive an update on the Pacific Beach pipeline project – which will replace water and sewer main lines near OB.

The Friends of the OB Library will give a presentation to the Board which will include an update on the library expansion status, and current plans for fundraising.

A Candidate Forum will then be held during the meeting, where those seeking election or re-election will have an opportunity to address the community.

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The Viral Video of LA Cops Shooting Homeless Man

March 3, 2015 by Source
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Here’s the video that has gone viral of Los Angeles police officers firing 5 shots at a homeless man. It definitely has gone viral. When we first watched it on Sunday afternoon, it had 2 million viewers already after being posted only about an hour and a half. Anthony Blackburn originally posted the video on youtube.


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Snow in Lagunas From Lakeside

March 3, 2015 by Patty Jones
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Check out this fabulous view of snow in Mt Lagunas – taken from the parking lot of where Patty Jones – the tech girl for the OB Rag – works in Lakeside.

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Restaurant Review: Little Lion in South Ocean Beach

March 3, 2015 by Judi Curry
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Restaurant Review

Little Lion
1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92107

I have been anticipating my first meal at the “Little Lion” ever since I heard it was getting ready to open. (The old “Belgian Lion” was always one of my favorite restaurants and I was sorry to see it close. ) … We went on a Friday morning, around 10:45am, and it was not crowded at all. There were three tables being used, and because of the cold breeze no one was eating outside.

I have reviewed three separate restaurants at this location. It is a very small eatery; very limited room, but charming at the same time. I was prepared to rave about the restaurant to everyone. Let me start by saying that the food was excellent. …

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The Lobbyists at Your Dinner Party

March 3, 2015 by Source

Every purveyor of food and drink wants the government to advise Americans to consume more of what they produce

new_food_pyramid_2012By Jill Richardson /Other Words

Remember the old food pyramid?

Until “MyPlate” replaced it a few years ago, the U.S. government’s official dietary advice for Americans fit neatly into that triangle.

The government recently moved toward updating those standards again. And the result isn’t nearly as digestible. In classic bureaucratic form, the Department of Health and Human Services cooked up a 571-page draft report for Americans to comment on.

The actual updated dietary guidelines will come later. Here’s what we know about the draft

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Peninsula Community Planners: City Puts the Kibosh on Cañon Pocket Park

March 2, 2015 by Source
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City Planner Defends Carleton Row Homes and Condemns Cañon Pocket Park

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

City Planner Addresses hot-button issues

Yes, there are structures in Point Loma taller than 30 feet. However, those buildings were properly approved by the city’s Development Services Department and do not violate the landmark height limit initiative approved by San Diego voters in 1972.

Similarly, there was nothing irregular about the city’s approval of Carleton Row Homes, a four-unit condo project at 3015-21 Carleton St. blasted by its detractors as a deceitful proposal and currently under appeal to the San Diego Planning Commission

But recent grassroots improvements to a vacant lot supporters call Cañon Pocket Park, on the other hand, were improper. And the city’s Park and Recreation Department will fence off that quarter-acre space west of the Avenida de Portugal cul-de-sac if anyone organizes a similar activity in the future.

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Midway Planners – Hampton Inn to Be Renovated to 4 Points Sheraton

March 2, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Driving down Camino Del Rio West, the northern edge of the Midway community dominated by a hodge-podge of low-cost eateries, auto repair shops and adult entertainment venues, you may not even know the Hampton Inn, with its 208 rooms, meeting facilities and business center, is there.

That may change this fall when the Hampton emerges from a three-year renovation re-branded as a Four Points Sheraton.

Every room will be renovated, but the hotel will remain open because only 30 percent of the rooms will be removed from inventory at any time, said Victor Ravago, the hotel’s general manager and board member of the Midway Community Planning Group.

The project includes the addition of a bar and full-service restaurant. It’ll be the first cocktail service at the lodging since the 1980s, when it was known as the Lexington Hotel, Ravago said at the planning group’s monthly February meeting.

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Joining Spirit with the Billions of Us Human Beings

March 2, 2015 by Ernie McCray
[caption id="attachment_123238" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Lao Tzu humanity quote (Image: Flickr – Hartwig HKD)[/caption]

By Ernie McCray

I was driving and turned my radio to 89.5, KPBS, and there was a conversation going on about “7 Billion Others,” an exhibit that’s opening in the U.S. for the first time – at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA): February 21 to September 13.

I liked what I was hearing and googled around and found, on the MOPA website, 45 questions written for visitors to the exhibit to answer so that they can find in themselves that spark that resides in us all and connects us to the journey of human beings featured in the video project.

My answer to the first question was: Ernest Charles McCray; age 76; retired school principal; widower; American as in United States of America.

Here are my replies to the other questions, based on what first came to my mind:

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Why hundreds of starving sea lion pups are washing ashore in California.

March 2, 2015 by Source
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By Nick Kirkpatrick / Washington Post / February 26, 2015

Sick, starving and dying sea lion pups are washing up on the shores of California in record numbers this year. In 2015, 940 young sea lions have turned up, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last week — four times the number California would normally see. But why?

Experts say it’s the warm water. Scientists believe warmer coastal waters force the prey of sea lions — squid and sardines, for example — deeper beneath the ocean’s surface. Then nursing sea lion mothers must look further afield for food, leaving their pups for longer than normal. Deprived of sustenance and weakened, the pups limply wash ashore.

“The prey source is just too far away for the mothers to go out, get food and come back and wean the pups,” Jim Milbury of the National Marine Fisheries Service told Yahoo News. Peter Wallerstein, director of Marine Animal Rescue in Los Angeles County, said the pups are unable to dive down to get food for themselves.

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Golden Hill’s 25th Street Nightmare Gives the Lie to Faulconer’s Infrastructure Fantasy

March 2, 2015 by Jim Miller

IMG_0452By Jim Miller

A little over a week ago I was amused to see the Turko Files run a couple of segments “exposing” a disastrous Golden Hill renovation project on 25th Street that I had covered nearly six months earlier in late August of 2014. The KUSI angle was, appropriately, how bad the endless construction has been for local small businesses who have suffered through the scatter-shot planning and surreal whack-a-mole approach to getting the job done more“efficiently.”

Neighborhood residents might recall how Mayor Kevin Faulconer claimed his administration would change the game back in April of 2014 when he opined, “It’s a mindset that’s changing, and it says do it all at once. It’s taken awhile and it’s been frustrating for us, it takes more planning. So now, we do all of the projects at once – pipes, streets – so you don’t have to come back six months, two years later.”

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Father and 5-Month Baby Hit by Vehicle at Cañon and Catalina in Point Loma

March 2, 2015 by Staff

Father Has Serious Head Trauma, Baby Knocked Unconscious

About 6:25 a.m. Monday – this morning – , a father and mother were walking with their 5-month old baby at Cañon Street and Catalina Boulevard when the father and child were hit by a SUV.

The father suffered serious head trauma and the baby was knocked unconscious. The mother was unhurt.

The dad, in his mid-30s was pushing the baby in a stroller when the vehicle hit them in the intersection – it was going east. He was taken to Sharp Hospital and the baby – breathing but unconscious – was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital.

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Avoiding Contaminated Ocean Waters After Storm Has Special Meaning for OB and Pt Loma Surfers

March 2, 2015 by Staff

The word is getting out – don’t go in the water for 3 days after these current storms. And this warning has special meaning for Ocean Beach and Pt Loma surfers. For it wasn’t 2 and a half months ago that long-time surfer, Barry Ault, died from a bacterial infection he obtained while surfing in local waters after a storm.

Urban runoff has polluted coastal waters and the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health has issued a general advisory telling beachgoers to avoid swimming, surfing and diving in all coastal waters for 72 hours following rain. This is due to increased levels of bacteria, that is especially prevalent near rivers and outlets that discharge urban runoff, which can include animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation.

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Officer Surwilo Gives ‘the Other Side of the Story’ About Jimmy Maroutis and the Police

February 27, 2015 by Source

By Lois Lane

On Wednesday February 25, Community Relations Officer David Surwilo made his usual presentation of “what’s new” at the OB Town Council meeting.

Always charming and disarming, this time he had a complaint instead of answering them:

The OB Rag had not fairly represented what happened on February 14 when it announced that a well- known-Ocean beach local (Jimmy Maroutis) had been arrested for stabbing a woman in Point Loma.

According to the police, two witnesses had identified Mr. Maroutis as the perpetrator, which precipitated the contact. The assailant had a baby stroller for his possessions, something Maroudis occasionally also uses, and this may have caused what seems to be now a condition of confusion.

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Public Safety and Pie Time at the OB Town Council

February 27, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

A Report of the OB Town Council Meeting: Wednesday, February 25

A hundred OBceans turned out to help celebrate the birthday of Gretchen Newsom, the OB Town Council President, with what we all hope will turn out to be an annual pie spectacular. In addition, there was a more serious program topic:

Safety in Ocean Beach.

Stephen Grosch provided the PowerPoint presentation outlining the OB Mainstreet Association’s efforts to turn slogans into action: “Respect OB”.

As a result, two bicycling security guards form a patrol to enhance public safety through a variety of activities. These guards are armed only with the items we all have available as private citizens: a knowledge of the law and how to report through the channels.

They deal with nuisance and quality of life issues such as drug dealing, loitering on private property, illegal lodging (sleeping in business doorways), graffiti and illegal dumping. They also interface with services for the homeless, and have been known to call the paramedics for medical emergencies.

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OB Hostel Termite Tent Merely Precautionary

February 27, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Those who walk by the OB Hostel this week and think the place is either wrought with bugs or hosting a perverse carnival need not worry. The owners are tenting the place as a precautionary measure to protect against termites.

“Who doesn’t have termites in San Diego?” said Maria Argyropoulos-Minos, Chief Operating Officer of USA Hostels.

“That’s pretty much the way it works. Anytime you have a house, you tent it.”

The tent has been on the iconic building for much of the week, but should be down by mid-morning on Friday.

“We just want to make sure it’s safe and secure from the little buggers and this seemed like a good time,” she said.

Argyropoulos-Minos said it is part of a number of upgrades the company is making to the place since purchasing it late last year.

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The Origins of Institutionalized Racism – a System to Control Blacks … and Whites

February 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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100 Years Before Lexington and Concord, Bacon’s Armed Rebellion of Whites and Blacks Forced Plantation Elite to Create System of Racial Slavery

By Frank Gormlie

Since the turmoil last year in Ferguson, Missouri, swept in a new civil rights movement, once again America is faced with the reality of its system of institutionalized racism. For Americans with conscience, understanding this system is key to changing it, and it cannot be understood without understanding its origins which trail back, of course, to colonial America.

Confronting a system that predates the very formation of the Republic itself necessitates understanding its raison d’etre – its reason for being. Why is there such a system that has a solid foundation and that has existed all this time, and is so deeply ingrained? Why is there institutionalized racism? If one accepts such a premise, that there is such a thing, then the most obvious answer is that it exists to control blacks, African-Americans. And to control other minorities, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans.

Yet this system is not meant to only control blacks – and other peoples of color – but it also is meant to control white people.

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and the Peninsula

February 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Mission Beach to Get New Lifeguard Station and Ocean Beach Doesn’t

South Mission Beach is about to get a new lifeguard station. And meanwhile, Ocean Beach continues with its own aging lifeguard tower and deteriorating restrooms. The Mission Beach Precise Planning Board was briefed on the new development at their meeting on Feb. 17. City engineer Jihad Sleiman told the group:

“The lifeguard tower was constructed in 1974 as a temporary facility. It is deteriorated, small, old and no longer serves the needs of the city lifeguards and the beach going public on this mile-long section of beach.”

He explained that the new station will have a rescue vehicle facility to store rescue craft, trucks and first-aid kits, and will also have separate men’s and women’s restrooms and a main observation tower on the third level. He called the new tower “an orientation landmark on the beach.” The total lifeguard tower replacement cost: $4.9 million. Construction is expected to start within the next few weeks and be completed by summer 2016.

The main lifeguard tower in OB is from the 1980s but is in very bad condition. The restrooms are an embarrassment. Various groups have been lobbying for its replacement for a while now. Perhaps with a new city councilperson, the efforts can be rejoined.

Robb Field Skate Park Now Is 15 years Old

The OB Robb Field Skate Park turned 15 a week ago on Thursday, Feb. 19. On Feb. 19, 2000, the park opened with a celebration with more than $25,000 in prize giveaways. And it was a dedicated group of volunteers who did the fundraising and development of the iconic skate park.They worked with then-Councilman Byron Wear and his staff. Some of the key volunteers were

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Part-Time Professors Protest Full-Time Screw Job

February 26, 2015 by Staff

Ocean Beach Professor and Reader Writer at Protest at Grossmont College

Part-time professors and lecturers at college campuses get screwed full time. That’s the message of protests held across San Diego and the rest of the nation on Wednesday, February 25 that were called to raise local and national consciousness to the plight of these part-time teachers who do a lot of the teaching at centers of higher learning.

And local writer, Dave Rice, was there and reported on an event held at Grossmont College in El Cajon for the San Diego Reader. Rice wrote how these adjunct professors and part-timers “often find themselves shuttling between two or three campuses in order to pick up enough classes to eke out a living.”

Dave quoted Ian Duckles, a part-time instructor, who spoke to a gathering of more than a 100 people assembled in front of the student services building at Grossmont College.

“The position that I have is defined as a ‘temporary, part-time instructor. A full-time professor is teaching about five classes a semester. I teach seven or eight, and yet somehow I’m classified as a part-time instructor. I don’t think that accurately reflects the amount of time I spend in the classroom.”

Duckles has 4 part-time positions and it takes quite a lot of time driving back and forth between those jobs at Cuyamaca, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and USD.

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Firing a Mom Because She Wants to Breastfeed Is Sex Discrimination

February 26, 2015 by Source

Breast feedingBy Galen Sherwin, ACLU Blog of Rights

A few months ago, I posted about Angela Ames, the Nationwide Insurance worker who alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk when she returned to work from maternity leave. When she protested, Angela was coerced into resigning by her supervisor, who told her she should “just go home and be with your babies”.

In January, the Supreme Court sent her the same message – go home ­– rejecting her petition for a review of the dismissal of her case. The denial of her petition effectively means the end of the line for her case.

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Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors

February 26, 2015 by Source

By Robert Reich

photo courtesy of flickr

GM is worth around $60 billion, and has over 200,000 employees. Its front-line workers earn from $19 to $28.50 an hour, with benefits.

Uber is estimated to be worth some $40 billion, and has 850 employees. Uber also has over 163,000 drivers (as of December – the number is expected to double by June), who average $17 an hour in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and $23 an hour in San Francisco and New York.

But Uber doesn’t count these drivers as employees. Uber says they’re “independent contractors.”

What difference does it make? …

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Nuclear Shutdown News for February 2015

February 25, 2015 by Michael Steinberg

No nukesBy Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and the people working for better energy alternatives.

As I was gathering information for this issue, one word kept popping up: Entergy.

Entergy is a gigantic energy corporation whose highrise headquarters renders the skyline of downtown New Orleans. Among its holdings are 11 nuclear power reactors, making it the nation’s second largest nuclear power company, after Chicago’s Exelon.

At the turn pf the century Entergy went on a nuke plant spending spree, buying up a half dozen aging reactors at bargain basement prices, as nuke plants go.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Sample Ballot for March 10 Election

February 25, 2015 by Staff
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Qualified Write-In Candidates Still Welcome

Here is the sample ballot for the upcoming 2015 Ocean Beach Planning Board annual election. It will be held on Tuesday, March 10th at the OB Recreation Center. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m.

The Ocean Beach Recreation Center is at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Interested candidates are still welcome to run on a write-in basis provided …


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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 4

February 25, 2015 by John Lawrence

Extremely Slow Progress Converting to Renewables in Face of Huge Increase in CO2 Emissions: What Are the Trends?

rising sea levelsBy Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 3 can be found here

Parts 1 and 2 address the psychological denial mechanisms and economics behind the world’s ingrained obsession with increasing GDP rates, despite their environmentally cancerous impact. Naturally, developing countries want the same material benefits from boundless GDP growth and unlimited resource development that advanced countries have long been exploiting.

This abets the idea that, as long as people make money from despoiling the atmosphere and climate, the Market should have its free reins forever. The Market is assumed to be the best arbiter of our planet’s ecological stability, but that is patently false. In reality, the Market exploits the environment and now it is becoming clear that increasing population and economic growth fueled by fossil fuels do so as well.

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A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

February 25, 2015 by Source

imageBy Lori Saldaña

The moon was waning that night at Laguna Ojo de Liebre, and clouds from a freakishly warm winter storm still blocked the stars. The sunset was beautiful, but all day heavy rain had fallen in towns near the camp: roads near Vizcaino were flooded, Ejido Benito Juarez had mud running through its streets. Yet here at the water’s edge, only a few drops had made it to the ground.

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President Obama: “Je suis Eddie Snowden”

February 24, 2015 by Source

Obama carto je suis

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Vacation Rentals Roil Beach Neighbors – Issue to Be Taken Up by City Council

February 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Councilwoman Zapf to Hold Hearings in April

Neighbors of some housing units that are used as vacation rentals in the beach areas are upset. And the new city councilwoman for the district is getting an earful from residents in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Her office has received multiple complaints from constituents about beach homeowners who have made their homes into full-time rentals and their unruly visitors.

Not coincidentally, PB and Mission Beach are the 2 neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of Airbnb rentals. Zapf told the Voice of San Diego that she heard the concerns of residents at a recent PB town council meeting almost “near tears” in accounts of the “constant rotation of people coming and going”.

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