San Diego Chargers Stadium: Q&A with Barrios Against Stadiums

August 10, 2016 by Brent Beltran

BASTA-NDSInterview by Jeffrey Siniard / Bolts From The Blue

Please provide a little background on the group Barrios Against Stadiums (B.A.STA!). Who is involved, and what are the aims of the group?

B.A.STA! is a grassroots, barrio based, loose knit formation of residents, artists, activists, small business owners and allies creating a movement. The sole purpose of this movement is to prevent a football stadium/convention center from being built in the East Village of San Diego, just a few short blocks from our historic barrios.

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Sanders Tells Backers Immediate Aim of Political Revolution Must Be to Defeat Trump

August 10, 2016 by Source

The revolution ‘will continue until we create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent,’ Sanders writes in new op-ed

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders has again urged his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, writing Friday that “Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president.”

In an op-ed published at the Los Angeles Times, Sanders contrasts the two leading candidates on everything from tax policy to climate change to healthcare, and says that the “immediate task” of his political revolution is to make sure the real estate mogul doesn’t end up in the White House.

Sanders criticizes Trump’s campaign for being “based on bigotry,” and says that his Supreme Court justice nominees “would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.” Clinton’s appointees, in contrast, would be “prepared to overturn” Citizen United and “would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants, and the government’s ability to protect the environment.”

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Another Landmark Sails Away as Local Restaurant Families Develop “Monopolies”

August 9, 2016 by Judi Curry

PL Red Sails Inn

Many of us have heard awhile ago about how Anthony’s Fish Grotto has to move out of their prime location along Harbor Drive by the end of 2016. What I hadn’t heard was that the property was taken over by the owners of the Brigantine restaurant network, the Morton family.

I became appalled when I heard this not too long ago – and I was even sitting at a window seat at the Grotto – and I honestly think that I could see the Brigantine on Shelter Island from that window.

Now just more recently, I have heard – and it’s verified by an employee – that the Red Sails Inn on Shelter Island is closing on August 31st and will be revamped and sold.

And guess who is buying it? Yeah, the same owners of the Brig.

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Arson Suspected at Controversial Ebers and Greene Project

August 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Arson Suspected at Controversial Ebers and Greene Project

A fire broke out late Saturday night, August 6th, in the controversial 3-story building under construction at Ebers and Greene.

And arson is suspected.

Fire investigators found evidence that the fire was intentionally started with some kind of accelerant.

When firefighters arrived at 11:10 pm, flames were reportedly spreading through the 3rd floor. Part of the building was charred, causing an estimated $1,000 in damage. San Diego Union-Tribune

The building damaged is controversial because it appears that the actual construction did not meet the submitted plans, and the project should have gone before the OB Planning Board for community input, but did not as per a decision within the City’s Planning Department. Neighbors also question its size, height, its bulk, its floor-area-ratio, and the intent of the owner.

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Shooting Between Roommates on Ebers Street in Ocean Beach Puts Man in Hospital

August 9, 2016 by Staff

OB shooting Ebers 80816

A shooting that involved roommates occurred on Ebers Street Monday, August 8th, around 5 p.m.

Jeffrey Renteria, 30, was sent to a local hospital after being shot three times by his girlfriend’s brother. He is expected to recover.

The shooting suspect is in police custody, claiming self-defense.

According to law enforcement, Renteria and the unidentified brother of his girlfriend, Becky Touchtone, had been arguing for most of the day inside the house they all share on Ebers near Muir Street in north OB.

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Extreme Weather Change: Devastating Heat

August 9, 2016 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchThere’s been an extreme weather change.

Two Middle Eastern locations hit 129 degrees F, the hottest temperatures ever recorded in earth’s history.

The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait surged Thursday, July 21 to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). On Friday, the 22nd in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). At the same time, a heat dome in the US sent temperatures soaring to over 100º in much of the country.

A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change last October cautioned that by the end of the century temperatures may become too hot for human survival due to climate change.

Hottest Temps Ever Recorded

Last year was the hottest year ever globally — or it was until 2016 got off to a sweltering start. NASA announced that the first six months of this year have been the hottest since 1880, which is when people started keeping reliable records.

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OB Planning Board Chair Calls for Work Stoppage on Cutting Down Torrey Pine

August 8, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Chair Calls for Work Stoppage on Cutting Down Torrey Pine

Calls for Independent Botanist and Community Review

Editor: John Ambert is the Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The following is his request to the City to issue a work stop to the cutting down of the Torrey Pine currently target by Atlas Tree Trimming Service, contractor to the City.

By John Ambert

As you may know, the City of San Diego has decided to remove a third, 75 ft tall Torrey Pine Heritage Tree from the middle of the 4600 Block of Saratoga in Ocean Beach. Crews attempted to remove the tree on the morning of August 4th, but a group of residents rallied to stop the effort.

In fact, only after work was stopped, did the City of San Diego provide the requested backup documentation for this project. All documents provided to the community, including email correspondence with the city, can be provided upon request

After a thorough review, it has been determined the documentation provided by the City of San Diego is very questionable, …

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More History of the Saratoga Torrey Pines

August 8, 2016 by Source

Here is more history of the Torrey Pines on Saratoga Avenue in OB. The following information was provided to Mr. William Brennan, a resident of Saratoga Avenue since 1937, by Mr. Stanley Cobb in May 1993 via hand written letter, a month before his death.

Letter from Stanley Cobb to William Brennan about the Torrey Pines of OB

During the era of the Great Depression, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) was formed to create all types of jobs for unemployed that would enhance civic need or beauty. One example was Hand Made Friars Road(all done with pick & shovel). This jurisdiction fell under the First County Supervisoral District No. 1 (Edgar F. Hastings-Supervisor). District 1 supplied all the picks, shovels, wheelbarrels & water for the daily horde of hand labors transported from all over San Diego.

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Ocean Beach Residents Push Back Against City Plan to Chop Down Torrey Pine – Over a Dozen OBceans Gather Monday Morning

August 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest 8-4-16 circle best

Local Residents Gather at Torrey Pine Monday Morning – So Far, Atlas Is a No-Show

This morning – Monday, August 8th – around 7 a.m. – a dozen local residents of Ocean Beach gathered near a Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue. They were waiting for the Atlas Tree Service trucks and crews to show to carry out the threat of chopping down the huge, sprawling tree – the last one on that side of the block.

An Atlas truck did make a stop around 8 a.m. – scouting the situation. By 9:30 this morning about 25 people “and lots of dogs” had come by the scene. Around 16 were still there, she said. Last week there was drama on Saratoga Avenue …

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Beach Community Group Condemns the City’s Push to Destroy a Critically Endangered Heritage Tree, the 3rd This Year.

August 8, 2016 by Source

OB Torrey Pine Friends of Pen Tree logo

From Friends of Peninsula Trees

Friends of Peninsula Trees, a tree conservation organization based in Ocean Beach and Point Loma, is leading the charge to condemn the City’s plan to cut down a Torrey Pine planted on Saratoga Avenue almost a century ago, the third of its kind destined for the chain saw this year. Recognized as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Torrey Pines are found wild in only three places in the world, including San Diego.

Despite this, and the existence of a City Ordinance that protects Torrey Pines from being destroyed, the Atlas Tree Service – a tree removal company contracted by the City – arrived in the morning of August 4th on Saratoga Avenue, determined to chop this iconic Heritage tree.

Friends of Trees rallied to stay the execution of the pine, named Esperanza (“hope” in Spanish), along with neighbors and other fellow San Diegans from as far away as Alpine. When asked City personnel were unable to provide documentation of an independent botanist’s assessment of the tree’s health.

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History of the Torrey Pines on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach

August 8, 2016 by Source

OB Torrey Pine Mary Olive Shoupe

Father of Long-Time Resident Mary Olive Shoupe Planted the Trees on Saratoga

Long-time resident of Ocean Beach, Mary Olive Shoupe, has something to say about all the Torrey Pines in Ocean Beach – particularly the ones on Saratoga Avenue. Her father planted them.

Here is an amazing video of Mary describing their history.


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Cody Miller Wins Bronze in 100-Meter Breaststroke

August 8, 2016 by Source

Cody Miller w bronze

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Cody Miller won bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing behind Britain’s Adam Peaty, who set a world record in 57.13 seconds.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa took silver in 58.69, .18 seconds ahead of Miller.

Cody Miller is a local OB celebrity – in a real sense – as he is the son of an Ocean Beach homeless man, Craig Miller, who died last year on Christmas Day.

Writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey wrote about it for the OB Rag a couple of weeks ago. They described it then:

The road for Cody did not come easy.

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Summer 2016 Chronicle 8: Walking With a Fiery Love

August 8, 2016 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

walking pathFor better or worse, I have always favored sacrificing money for owning as much of my time as possible, stealing it from those who would suppose my life was better spent doing their business or serving some purpose that someone has deemed to be more important than my petty little existence.

Because of this, I love to walk. Walking is free and fundamentally grounded in the world. When you walk unencumbered you are present and open. With each step you take, you are more alive.

Of course this is a Romantic notion with a capital “R,” but as I enter middle age, I find that nursing the part of myself that still knows how to dream is neither impractical nor immature. It is, in fact, crucial to staying alive rather than dying while I’m still breathing.

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Ocean Beach Rejects Another 7-Eleven Coming into the Community

August 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBPB meet 8-3-16 audience -sm
To a person, Ocean Beach residents who packed Wednesday night’s OB Planning Board meeting, rejected the proposed addition of another 7-Eleven coming into the community. (Please excuse the delay in this report as I was involved in the Thursday morning protest to save the Torrey Pine on Saratoga.)

Over 60 people jammed into the small community meeting room of the OB Rec Center, with standing room only (some even had to sit on the floor) to hear a presentation by 7-Eleven representatives and then to offer the company feed-back. There were other items on the Planning Board’s agenda, but this was the issue that drew the crowd.

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Voting my Conscience for my Grandson and All the Children of the World

August 5, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

unnamedI don’t usually run scared but it frightens me to the bone when I hear so many people say that there’s just no way they would ever vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m voting my conscience too. But I’m doing it in behalf of children, people like my little three-year-old grandson and his contemporaries.

My vote is based on what’s in front of me as possibilities, like the possibility that Donald Trump could, in reality, become the president and set the tone for how things are going to be in a society wherein my grandson is going to learn about his world. Well that’s terrifying to me – especially considering my 78 years of struggles in this country.

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Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center Coming to Barrio Logan

August 5, 2016 by Brent Beltran

Chicano-Park-MuseumCommunity Fundraiser Set for August 13 at Bread & Salt

By Brent E. Beltrán

The Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center is coming to Barrio Logan next door to Chicano Park. The City and museum have yet to sign a lease over the property that for years held the Cesar Chavez Continuing Education Center. But it will happen.

Activists involved with the Chicano Park Steering Committee helped create the nonprofit Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center.

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Crystal Rose Speros Is the Ocean Beach Hero for the Week – Saves Torrey Pine Temporarily

August 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest 80416 in tree good
A young, local woman, by the name of Crystal Rose Speros, climbed up into the Torrey Pine the City wanted to chop down this morning – dramatically bringing any work on the tree to a half – at least for the rest of this week.

A small crowd of residents and OBceans had gathered around the Torrey by 9 am on the 4600 block of Saratoga, some willing to stay until threatened with arrest or more.

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City to Chop Down Another Torrey Pine on Saratoga – Locals to Protest

August 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for City to Chop Down Another Torrey Pine on Saratoga – Locals to Protest

It was announced at Wednesday night’s OB Planning Board meeting that the City is planning on chopping down another large and old Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue.

The announcement immediately caused a stir in the packed audience (the packed house was for the presentation on the new 7-Eleven planned for OB) – and a number of people said they would be out there on that block on Thursday morning to protest.

On Tuesday, August 2, John Ambert – head of the Planning Board – was told in an email from John Ly of the Mayor’s office that regretfully, the tree was coming down this week.

The signs are already up. Signs limiting parking on that block have already been posted up and down the block.

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The Debate Over the Ocean Beach Breweries

August 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Debate Over the Ocean Beach Breweries

A debate has been growing over whether Ocean Beach can handle all the breweries, brewpubs and beer-tasting rooms that have just opened on Newport Avenue or are on their way.

As we have reported, there are or will be 5 beer-tasters or breweries on or next to Newport: Culture Brewing Co. which has been around for a while, Helm’s Brewery, the new OB Brewery, and two that are in the works, Belching Beaver and Kilowatt Brewing Co. just off Newport on Cable.They add to OB’s established award-winning brewery, Pizza Port – a block from Newport – and Hess Brewing Co. over on Voltaire.

The OB Rag jump-started the debate back in mid-March of this year when we asked :

Just how many breweries or beer tasting storefronts can Ocean Beach take? Just how many beer joints can Newport handle? These are the questions that are paramount on the minds of those OBceans who understand what’s happening on Newport Avenue, the main commercial drag in the village.

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Stacking the Deck: San Diego Homeless Sweeps, Charter School Cheats, and the Modern Jim Crow

August 3, 2016 by Doug Porter

News roundup logoBy Doug Porter

Comic Con and the All-Star Game have come and gone, but San Diego’s homeless remain, criminalized and demonized.

A report from the ACLU calls out blatant discrimination in charter schools throughout California.

And rightwing-inspired laws restricting voting in states around the country are proving to be nothing more than a shield for racism.

Today we look at some of the downsides of life in the USA these days. The deification of the market economy and the quest to drown government in a bathtub are at the root of all these stories, something the Make American Great Again crowd seems unable to grasp.

Homeless and Helpless

A perfectly reasonable story in Tueday’s Union-Tribune, focuses on the now-weekly displacement of homeless people in downtown and the East Village.

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It Behooves Progressives to Support Clinton, Avoid Neo-Fascist Takeover

August 3, 2016 by Source

Progressives must rescue the Democrats from their strategic errors – our movements will have more space to grow and better chances to enact reforms if we avert a Trumpian police state.

By Joe Wainio / San Diego Free Press

sinclair lewisHillary Clinton’s choice of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate is a slap in the face to progressives and a strategic error. It confirms Senator Bernie Sanders’ criticisms that Hillary represents Wall Street, and is reminiscent of past tone-deaf vice-presidential choices of the mainstream Democratic establishment such as Michael Dukakis’ selection of Lloyd Bentsen or Al Gore’s pick of Joe Lieberman.

While Clinton’s decision is certain to make her path to victory in November more difficult, it behooves progressives to work for her election anyway.

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Liberty Station: Orchid Award Nominations and Free Events in August

August 3, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Liberty Station: Orchid Award Nominations and Free Events in August

By South OB Girl

Our neighbor to the east, Liberty Station, has been nominated for 2 Orchid Awards. And both nominations are for historic preservation. Plus Liberty Station is packed with free events in August.

The Lot

The first Orchid Award nomination is The Lot and here are quotes from the nominee’s website :

The Lot Liberty Station opened to the public on May 5, 2016, and provides a luxurious, comfortable dining, drinking and cinematic experience to Point Loma’s thriving and vibrant Liberty Station community.

The Lot Liberty Station features unique design elements that pay homage to the building’s original function as the Naval Training Center’s epicenter of military troop training and entertainment

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Restaurant Review: “Sunnies” on Point Loma Avenue in South OB

August 2, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: “Sunnies” on Point Loma Avenue in South OB

Restaurant Review

4723 Pt. Loma Ave.
San Diego, CA 92107

I can hear the comments already about this review. Let me preface it by saying I know that they have only been opened one week. Let me say that I know there are a lot of kinks to still work out. Let me say that I will return at a later date. Let me say that I went to visit “Sunnies” now because I was told about it by 4 other people in this first week. Let me also say that I did not go alone; I went with Scott Hopkins, a reporter for the Beacon – well known in this area, and someone that I have gone with before to review restaurants. With all that in mind here is my review:

Sunnies is a very small establishment with several tables inside the restaurant, a few tables on the sidewalk outside the restaurant, and still a few more tables to the side of the restaurant next door to “Rosario’s Pizza.” This area is covered and they were installing lights while we were there.

Posted on the west wall was a huge menu, listing all of the items that were available for purchase.

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Who Dismantled the OB Rock Art by Those 2 Homeless Guys?

August 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

A little over a month ago, we ran a story about how two local homeless men were responsible for all the rock art along the bushy median between the lanes of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard up to the intersection with Nimitz near the freeway.

It was a short story about how two Local homeless guys, Corey and Greg, had what they considered “Rock Art”, with rows of stones piled on each other forming small pillars of rock. This type of rock art has been gaining popularity – and one can see piles such as what Corey and Greg have done at the shore, along the San Diego River.

Then, just days after our story appeared – there was that horrible period beginning on July 3rd of the serial killer preying on homeless men – including one killed in Ocean Beach. In a way, it was a relief seeing those rocks – almost a monument to the homeless.

Now, the rock art has been dismantled – all of it – and the rocks and stones currently line the thick bushes within the median. Who would have done that? The police? Other homeless? The 2 artists themselves to begin again?

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Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

August 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is out July 2016 report.

San Onofre whistleblower: Utility put profits above safety, ruined its own nuke plant.

A radiation leak at San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California caused its two reactors to shut down in in 2012, and resulted in its permanent closure the following year.

On July 19 the Times of San Diego reported on a press release by Public Watchdog, a nonprofit policy group, detailing allegations of a former employee at San Onofre. Southern California Edison is the controlling owner of the nuke plat, with San Diego Gas & Electric being a minority owner of the wrecked nuclear plant.

The whistleblower, Vinod Arora, is a former Edison fire protection engineer who worked at San Onofre.

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New 7-Eleven for Ocean Beach on OB Planning Board Agenda – Wed., Aug. 3rd

August 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for New 7-Eleven for Ocean Beach on OB Planning Board Agenda – Wed., Aug. 3rd

5109-5111 Brighton Project Also on Agenda

Of special interest to many OBceans is the newly planned 7-Eleven coming into Ocean Beach. And it’s on the OB Planning Board agenda for Wednesday, August 3rd.

The 7-Eleven corporation wants to take over 1801 Sunset Cliffs where a dry cleaner currently sits, and kitty-corner from another local market – the Olive Tree. Reportedly, the dry cleaner has another year on its lease, and 7-Eleven wants to hear from the community.

Also on the agenda is the application for a conditional use permit to demolish 2 existing houses and construct 2 single-family units at 5109 – 5111 Brighton Avenue.

The meeting is held at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue and begins promptly at 6pm in the community meeting room.

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It Takes a Village to Keep a Village

August 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBTC Meet 72716 LibBan

Your Ocean Beach Village Needs You

If it takes a village to raise a child, then certainly, it takes a village to make and keep a village.

It takes the residents and citizens of a village to keep a village going, to keep it maintained, to ensure the community institutions and organizations are active and alive.

Ocean Beach – the village – is no different.

Our seaside community needs its community groups that help keep Ocean Beach the way it is … and those very groups need the citizens, the residents and local businesses to help bring in new ideas, new energy and new blood to them.

It is one of the responsibilities of citizenship – to be a good citizen, and being a good citizen means getting involved in your community, your village.

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New Traffic Plan Would Permanently Scar Balboa Park

August 1, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for New Traffic Plan Would Permanently Scar Balboa Park

By Bruce Coons / Save Our Heritage Organization

This originally appeared in the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union Tribune, July 23, 2016

Balboa Park’s grand and iconic entrance across the Cabrillo Bridge offers visitors one of the most breathtaking park entrances in the country. Designed a century ago by the famous New York architect Bertram G. Goodhue, this entry is a carefully planned sequence of stirring sights and experiences that celebrates panoramic natural beauty, art, and architecture.

If ever the paid parking garage and commercial development of the park that is being promoted goes forward—complete with freeway off-ramp; a giant ditch with 42-inch-tall safety railings and massive, concrete retaining walls; dangerously narrow, sunken S-curve roadway; and paid parking structure—the cherished entry experience will not only be forever lost, it will become a garish, concrete-and-asphalt nightmare that permanently scars Alcazar Garden, Palm Canyon, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and the historic core.

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Outside Spaces, Hacienda del Sol, Cocktails, and Eternity – 2016 Summer Chronicles 7

August 1, 2016 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

roadrunnerAs I noted last week in my reminiscence about my Ocean Beach hideaway, the contemplation of outside space is sometimes intensified when put in sharp contrast with a small inner space.

And the quality of immensity that comes with this is, à la Bachelard, a kind of meditation –

“Far from the immensities of sea and land, merely through memory, we can recapture, by means of meditation, the resonances of this contemplation of grandeur.”

So if the sea provides local access to immensity on the coast, the Anza Borrego Desert is the home of our immensity of land. Vast, varied, and full of wonder, the largest desert state park in the United States covers 600,000 acres from the Lagunas to the lowest point of the floor below sea level. While lovely during the periods of spring wildflower bloom, one might best experience the solitary heart of the desert during the peak of the scorching summer heat.

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Open Letter to San Diego Port Commission About ‘World Class Waterfront’ Development Proposals

August 1, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Open Letter to San Diego Port Commission About ‘World Class Waterfront’ Development Proposals

Provided by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

Dear Chairman Merrifield and Commissioners:

On behalf of the San Diego Environment + Design Council, we are submitting the following comments.

The San Diego Environment + Design Council is a coalition of organizations whose primary interest is to promote environmentally-sustainable land use policies that create healthy, green neighborhoods and great public spaces in the San Diego-Tijuana region. We provide an open venue for diverse organizations and interests to come together and develop recommendations to improve how our communities live, work and play.

We have reviewed the six development proposals regarding the subject 17-acre site occupied by Seaport Village. In keeping with our mission, we offer the following comments organized according to the “Programmatic Components” you included in your original February 2016 RFP. We are also aware that on July 14, you chose the Protea submission among the six finalists. The Protea concept addresses some of our concerns, and we will be commenting later regarding specific approaches and components. For now, we offer our comments below as guideposts for your final analysis process, should you choose to proceed.

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