Who Runs San Diego? : The City’s Dubious Partnership with Sea World

October 3, 2014 by Source
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Well, this is a fine kettle of fish…

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Womans Democratic LogoSan Diego taxpayers find ourselves as mainly unwitting, possibly unwilling and almost certainly undercompensated partners with a corporation in a Sea World of hurt.

In July, 2013 the documentary Blackfish about the 2010 death of a Sea World trainer finally caught the public’s attention after decades of challenges to Cetacean captivity. The 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove also raised questions about the possibility that Sea World obtained dolphins from the horrific Taiji dolphin drive.

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Getting Past Facebook’s “Like” Button

October 3, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña

Like button“You like me! You really LIKE me!” – paraphrasing Sally Field, winning an Academy Award for her lead performance in “Norma Rae” in 1979, pre-Facebook.

I recently posted on my Facebook page about taking a sabbatical from clicking “Like.” I encouraged people to share it, not just like it, and had only a few results.

I suspect, as far as Facebook is concerned, I’m dead. I haven’t “liked” anything in weeks — …

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Student Loan Debt: The Only Debt You Can’t Discharge in Bankruptcy

October 3, 2014 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

6a00d8341cca9453ef01b7c6e93f43970bToday’s students are being crushed with John Bunyan’s proverbial burden on their backs – student loan debt. Until relatively recently this debt could have been discharged in bankruptcy.

Then all that changed when Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Association, was privatized in 2004. Albert Lord, the new CEO, and his lobbyists went to work to change the laws so that student loans could not be discharged in bankruptcy. Today the cumulative student loan debt is more than $1 trillion.

While a generation ago a high school diploma was considered sufficient for a decent middle class entry level job, today it’s a college diploma even if the job itself could be easily accomplished by a person with just a high school education.

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Majority in OB Rag Poll Favor Pedestrian Controls at Newport and Abbott – But No Lights

October 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Rag posted a poll of our readers for a week inquiring into how they felt about some kind of “pedestrian controls” at the intersection of Newport Avenue and Abbott Street. 78 readers responded.

A clear majority – 58% – favor some kind of pedestrian controls – but a plurality of the overall total – 32% – feel controls are “okay” but do not support the installation of any stop lights.

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Santa Monica Ave. School Crosswalk Officially Sanctioned

October 2, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Officially “Opens” the OB Elementary Crosswalk

By Matthew Wood

The crosswalk outside of Ocean Beach Elementary School that has been a decade in the making finally got a proper introduction on Wednesday.

City Councilman Ed Harris was on hand for a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony with OB Elementary Principal Marco Drapeau and parents of the school’s students. They used the opportunity to tout next week’s National Walk to School Day with a pre-class assembly.

“We’re trying to promote walking and biking to school,” Harris said. “In order to do that you gotta have safe routes. All these things have been lacking for years.”

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Pt Loma Dems Get an Earful From Ed Harris, Linda Perrine and Cory Briggs

October 2, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Summary of Pt. Loma Democratic Club Meeting – Sunday, September 28, 2014

While the Chargers were beating the Jaguars, I was sitting in a meeting listening to three very interesting speakers talk about the election to come in November. They discussed their reasoning for taking the stand that they were taking, and how important it is for Democrats to vote in this election. I have heard it said many times since the Primary election in June that “Republican candidates didn’t win because they got the most votes; rather they won because Democrats stayed home and did not cast their ballot.”

The first speaker of the day was Ed Harris, our City Council Member.

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October 2, 1968: the Mexico City Massacre – We Won’t Forget

October 2, 2014 by Source

by Daniel Hernandez / Intersections / October 2, 2008

[Forty-six] years ago today the Mexican government opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, killing still-unknown numbers of students, bystanders, and demonstrators. The operation was a brutal smashing of the grassroots movement for social reform that had swept across Mexico and the world in that turbulent year, 1968.

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EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS – Oct. 2, 1968: `A brutal massacre’ & U.S. Government’s Role

October 2, 2014 by Staff
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by Malcolm Beith / The News

Clouds loomed as night closed in. By the hundreds, the students streamed into the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. A little past 5:30 p.m., some 10,000 students – not to mention hundreds of workers, farmers and others attending in solidarity – had gathered in the square. Rain splattered down.

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Fifty Years Later: Who Really Won the Battle of Berkeley?

October 1, 2014 by Staff

As student activists return to campus to celebrate the 1964 Free Speech movement that galvanized for social justice, big questions remain about the direction of higher education since those radical days of upheaval and hope

mario-free-speechBy Barbara Garson / Common Dreams

I’m going back to the Berkeley campus this week for the fiftieth reunion of the Free Speech Movement. You may have heard in some history class about Mario Savio and the first student sit-in of the sixties. That was us FSMers at Berkeley.

It will feel a bit surreal. The university that had 801 of us arrested is welcoming us back by hanging Free Speech banners on the building we occupied. Home like a victorious football team! But it’s not a real victory because …

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News From Ocean Beach and the Peninsula

October 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Former Barnard School Site Readied for Massive Apartment Complex
The former site of Barnard Elementary School in the Midway area of Point Loma looks nothing like it used to. Instead, the area is being prepared for one of the most massive apartment complexes to be built in the area. …

Voltaire and Catalina Complex Towers Above the Intersection
The large development at the corner of Voltaire Street and Catalina Blvd is still being constructed, but the size of the complex i …

Fight Near Dog Beach Results in 3 Sent to Hospital
A fight that went down in and around Dog Beach Parking lot on Monday, Sept 29, ended up with 3 people being sent to the hospital, . …

Suit Against Former Western Div Lt Natalie Stone and Others Settled for $225,000
On September 23rd, the San Diego City Council …

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE …

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Living on the Edge in San Diego, the Nation’s Most Biologically Diverse County

October 1, 2014 by Source

By Elliott Kennerson / San Diego Free Press

vernal-pool-shrimp_headerLet’s play a game. Name an endangered species from San Diego.

Anyone say vernal pool fairy shrimp? Doubtful, because when you think of San Diego, you don’t usually think of a one-inch long crustacean that you can’t even eat.

You said panda, right?

Though San Diego is the most biologically diverse county in the nation, according to the Nature Conservancy, with 200 or so threatened or endangered species, (the fairy shrimp among them), this town is much more famous for its beloved Zoo and our lately less beloved Sea World, animal parks that host tons of diversity, of course, most of it exotic.

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Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

October 1, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Editor: Condo conversions are once again before the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Are they a good thing for a community? Here, Marc Snelling does a comparison between the history of condo conversions in OB and San Diego with Canadian cities. Marc was a former member of the OB Planning Board and founding member of the OB Grassroots Organization. He currently lives outside Ottawa.

By Marc Snelling

Ten years ago San Diego was among the national leaders in condo conversions. Lack of City regulation combined with speculator greed resulted in a rate of condo conversions that threatened families and renters.

Condo conversion proponents invariably tout the supposed benefits of owner occupancy and the lower cost of a condominium versus a detached home for first-time buyers. They are also just as sure not to mention the inconvenient fact that renters need to be evicted to make a condo out of an apartment.

The owner-occupancy argument is dubious as many condo owners do not live in the properties but turn around and rent them at a higher rate.

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“I’m Not the Least Bit Grateful for Being Smacked on My Behind!”

September 30, 2014 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Woman spanking child

It seems the NFL, of all institutions, is drawing our attention to social situations in our society that we’ve generally overlooked for far too long: domestic violence and corporal punishment when it comes to disciplining our children.

Regarding the latter of these matters, I’ve been in several conversations lately where someone expressed how “grateful” they were for their parents taking the belt to their behind.

It did them no harm, they say, and it made them the person they are today -

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OB Planning Board Agenda for Oct. 1: Condos for 4700 Saratoga ?

September 30, 2014 by Staff
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets Wednesday night, October 1, at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The meeting starts right at 6pm.

The only action item on their agenda, below, is an application to convert two single family residences on the 4700 block of Saratoga Avenue into condos. This is done in the manner of a “tentative map” approval – which is the process to split one lot into two condo-ized lots.

The units up for consideration to becoming condominiums are located at 4725 and 4727 Saratoga. …

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Backlash Grows Over Private Clubs Use of Public Beaches

September 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The backlash is growing – the backlash against the use of our public beaches and coast areas by private clubs who host work-outs, volleyball games and yoga classes. About a week ago, the U-T published an article entitled, “Residents Cry Foul at Beach Courts’ Access” – how Carlsbad residents and beach-goers are complaining about a private volleyball club agreement with the state that gives their members priority on volleyball courts.

This echoes a “reader rant” just this summer here on the OB Rag about how a surf school takes too much space on the beach as well as in the ocean. The writer’s complaints about lack of access and safety issues found a lot of resonance among the commenters.

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Ocean Beach Restaurant Review : “Taika Sushi”

September 29, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Restaurant Review:
“Taika Sushi”
4953 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
619-221-1288
http://www.taikasushi.com/ menu-2

It is amazing to me that one block in Ocean Beach can support three Japanese restaurants. But that seems to be the case, with the newest, “Taika Sushi” filled to capacity Friday evening at 6:45pm. I had wanted to try the restaurant ever since it opened, and particularly after reading a review by [Reader writer] Mercy Baron but it just never happened. Until last night.

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Who Runs San Diego? Deals Like the One Proposed for Belmont Park Amount to a War on Taxpayers

September 29, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: The following is by C0uncilman Ed Harris, who further explains his position on the recent rejection by the San Diego City Council of a proposed lease for the operators of Belmont Park. See our earlier post about Harris’ position.

Guest column by Councilmember Ed Harris

Recently, the City Council was asked to grant an extension to the lease at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings, wanted the Council to approve a deal that would extend its current lease to 55 years. Pacifica has held the lease for two years.

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San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

September 29, 2014 by Jim Miller

cityworks

November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – An Unprecedented Win

September 29, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / Part Four of Four

Saldana smilingIn Part Three Lori Saldaña discussed the realities of putting together a door-to-door campaign.

I’ll always remember the shock, joy and celebration my volunteers, friends and family experienced when the first voting results came in on Election night, shortly after 9 pm. I was leading in the 3-way results by 10 points, with 40% of the vote going to me and 30% going to each of my two opponents. The number varied little over the ensuing hours, ultimately staying there for the remainder of the night.

We had overcome the odds and won big, despite being outspent by a ridiculous amount.

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Friends of OB Library Having Book Sale – Sat., Sept. 27

September 26, 2014 by Staff
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The Fall Book Sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9:30 to 12:30, at the historic library, 4801 Santa Monica Ave., in OB, 92107. It’s the Friends of the OB Library at it again.

In addition to their usual eclectic variety of gently used books, DVD’s, and CD’s, Kathy Blavatt, chief author, and members of the Ocean Beach Historical Society will be signing and selling the fabulous new history of Ocean Beach produced in the Images of America series.

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Legalization Here We Come: California Campaign Underway for 2016 Pot Proposition

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Doug Porter

More than four decades ago (1972) California’s Proposition 19, which would have decriminalized marijuana possession, was resoundingly defeated by a 2 to 1 margin.

In the years since then, hodgepodge of voter approved propositions, legislative initiatives and executive orders have sought to lessen or eliminate criminal penalties for use and possession of pot. They haven’t worked as intended. Overzealous prosecutors and law enforcers have continued to put the hammer down, even as juries have increasingly refused to play along.

The beginning of end for pot prohibition in California came Wednesday, Sept. 24, as the Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork registering a a campaign committee to start accepting and spending contributions for a pot legalization initiative on the November 2016 state ballot.

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OB Town Council: Board Election Results and Project Ideas

September 26, 2014 by Source
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The “New Look” of the OBTC for 2015

By Lois Lane, photos by Meredith Lane

The OB Town Council meeting on September 24 announced the newly-elected members of the Board of Directors. Due to take their places at the October meeting, the Board of Directors consists of new members, some re-elected members, a new appointee, and those board members still serving their unexpired term.

They are:

New:

  • Jill Chorak,
  • Julie Eramo,
  • and Melanie Williams

Re-elected:

  • Nate Bazydlo,
  • Giovanni Ingolia,
  • Trudy Levenson,
  • and Zachariah Rowland
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New Owner of OB Hostel Operates Two “USA Hostels”

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The new owner of the OB Hostel – Dr Hostels LLC – owns a company called “USA Hostels” which operates two well-known hostels. There’s one in San Francisco and one in Hollywood, in LA. The OB property makes it their third property.

We are assuming that the company – which was just incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Boulder City, Nevada, will open up an Ocean Beach USA Hostel.

USA Hostels San Franciso

Of the two hostels, USA owns, it seems at first look that their property at 711 Post Street in San Francisco is by far the more substantial. The 5 story building, built in 1907, has 123 rooms and 79 bathrooms including 36,780 square feet. The total assessed value of the entire property is near $8.5 million,

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Pedestrian Controls Proposed for Newport and Abbott

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Have you been bugged by the lack of pedestrian controls at Newport and Abbott?

There’s apparently some money around that will enable the City to make specific infrastructure repairs and improvements for pedestrians.

So, some City staffers are looking into installing some pedestrian controls at the busy half-intersection of OB’s main commercial drag – the grand Newport Avenue and Abbott Street – the street that parallels the ocean.

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Channel 10 News Gives Nod to the OB Rag Over the Penguin Stencils

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As the controversy surrounding the anonymous stenciling of penguins around Ocean Beach continues, local TV station Channel 10 was one of the only stations to send out a camera to cover it. And in the process, they gave a nod to the OB Rag.

Here is their report:

Residents in Ocean Beach want to know who is behind mysterious penguins that have been popping up around town. Whoever is responsible uses a stencil to paint the penguins as fast as they can in public places.

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OB Hostel Sold for $1.5 Million

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The rumors proved to be true: the OB International Hostel has been sold!

The iconic hostel – a former hotel – located at 4961 Newport Avenue right smack in the middle of downtown Ocean Beach – was sold to Dr Hostels LLC for $1.5 Million.

The two-story building was built in 1930 and includes 6,016-square-feet on a 7,000 square foot lot, with 28 rooms.

The seller, John C. Asher, trustee of the John C. Asher Trust, took back a first trust deed for $220,000, a second for $1,055,000 and a third for $405,000. Asher did this as Hostel Group, P.O. Box 33226, San Diego 92163.

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Reader Rant : ‘I watched the City Council debate on the Belmont Park lease and agree it’s not favorable to you and me.’

September 25, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader

It was interesting to watch the San Diego City Council meeting on the proposed lease for Belmont Park – last Monday, Sept. 22nd – to listen to who said what, how they said it and what they meant when they said it. Watch it for yourself.

For an oceanfront piece of property, the City of San Diego AKA you and me, has only collected annual rental income of $61,000 averaged. No, that number is not missing a zero! That’s $5,083 per month.

No matter who takes over the lease, the city is on the hook to pay for the repairs to the Plunge. Prior lessees were responsible for maintenance but that didn’t always happen and the city did little to enforce the terms of the lease and now the Plunge is a mess!

If Pacifica Enterprizes, the current lessee, does the repairs they get a rent credit.

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Peninsula Planners Protest “Portugal Place” Project

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Point Loma Planners Believe City Allowed Developer to Build Condo Complex Over 30 Foot Height Limit

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Did the developers pull a fast one – with the help of a compliant Development Services Department staff at City Hall – when they built a four-condo structure featuring three stories over semi-underground parking in Roseville?

The Peninsula Community Planning Board is sending a letter of protest to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, alleging the city allowed the developer to exceed the 30-feet height limit when they built condos named Portugal Place at 3102-3104 Avenida de Portugal and 1120-1122 Locust St.

The board approved the letter 12-0 at its monthly meeting Sept. 18 at the Point Loma/Hervey Library.

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Midway Planners : Orange Cones and Jack Hammers Are a Comin’

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Report of Midway Planners Meeting of September 17

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

If you use Midway Drive during the course of your day, consider yourself warned: orange cones and jack hammers are coming.

Traffic along the entire length of Midway Drive, one of the most heavily-traveled and retail-oriented arteries in the Peninsula area, will be reduced by at least one lane because of a three-year, $25.5 million project to replace worn-out sewer and water mains.

And because of proximity to residential areas and hotels, it’s unclear how much – if any – of the construction may take place at night, said Kevin Gibson, project manager for Rick Engineering, during a presentation Sept. 17 at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group (MCPG). …

COME INSIDE FOR OTHER MIDWAY PLANNERS NEWS

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – “We Walk, We Win”

September 24, 2014 by Source

we walk we winBy Lori Saldaña / Part Three of Four

In Part 2, Lori Saldaña discussed the path to her decision to mount a grass-roots campaign for the California Assembly in 2004. She really didn’t have a choice: all the political pros around thought she was too much of an outsider.

__________

I decided to give up on getting support from Sacramento. My volunteers and I adopted the motto “We Walk, We Win.” A typical weekday would be: make calls to raise money in the morning (rarely more than a few hundred dollars), walk precincts in the afternoon (rarely actually talking to voters at that time of day), then teach in the evening. On weekends I would walk 4 precincts: 2 on Saturday, 2 more on Sunday.

Between these activities, I was looking after 2 houses and providing care for my mother and grandmother, whose illnesses had required additional surgeries and hospitalizations.

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