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Editor: We continue our week-long celebration of the historic vote that took place 40 years ago that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first popular OB community plan. Today, we showcase a personal account of a density battle in 1983 by Steve Wimmers, who was on the Board during the Eighties, was its Chair in 1983 and still lives in the area:

By Steve Wimmers

There was another historic vote that affected, and still affects, the future development of Ocean Beach. It was a vote by the Ocean Beach Planning Board that occurred in 1983.

The composition of the Planning Board at that time consisted of seven environmentalists and seven realtors and pro developers. The realtors and pro developers supported a proposal that would change the density in the OB Precise Plan area. If passed and implemented, the proposal would allow the number of dwelling units to be double the number that existed in Ocean Beach .

Alarmed by the prospect of this potentially devastating change, the environmental members of the Planning Board decided that the residents of Ocean Beach needed to be informed of this proposal. Since this was before we had the internet and social media, we printed flyers and distributed them throughout the community. The flyers told residents of Ocean Beach about the density proposal and the Planning Board meeting that would take place to discuss this proposal.

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The City Needs to Build and Own More Affordable Units

SD Housing CommissionBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

According to a recent Zillow report: “Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego are unaffordable for both renters and buyers. … Looking forward, the picture doesn’t look bright for renters.

Rents will likely keep rising at roughly their current pace for at least the next few years, which will lead to a continued affordability crunch unless wage growth significantly improves.”

Enter the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) whose job is to redress the balance of unaffordable rents to make it possible for San Diego to be inhabited by other than rich folks.

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Post image for The Massive, Tragic Trashing of Our Oceans: Is There Still Time to Do Something About It?

There is sobering news about marine health, but it is not too late to change our behaviors

By Reynard Loki / AlterNet

It’s impossible to overestimate how critical the oceans are to the overall health of life on Earth. For one thing, tiny marine plants called phytoplankton provide up to 85 percent of the world’s oxygen, according to EarthSky.org. But the oceans don’t just give us good stuff like oxygen; they take away bad stuff, like carbon dioxide. A 2011 international study led by the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, estimated that the oceans absorb 27 percent of the CO2 produced by the fossil fuel combustion.

Sadly, humans have treated the oceans abominably. Overfishing is pushing the world’s fisheries to collapse. “The global fishing fleet is 2-3 times larger than what the oceans can sustainably support,” warns the World Wide Fund for Nature. “As a result, 53 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, and 32 percent are overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.”

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All this week we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB community plan.

It was on May 4, 1976 that thousands of OB residents, renters, property owners and business-owners voted in the very first panel to sit on the very first Planning Board for the community. It was truly an historic occasion because nothing like that had ever occurred in San Diego before.

It is true, that the collective memory of the historic vote four decades ago of the Ocean Beach village is very thin and frail, indeed. Of the original 14 member Board, it’s quite possible that only two still reside or has a business in OB. Most have scattered to their fates.

So, to highlight this history, all week we will be publishing comments, notes, stories and accounts of the May ’76 vote and memories of those who served on the Board back then as well as over its 40 year history.

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precise plan -newcoverThousands of OB Residents, Property and Business Owners Took Part in Historic Election of May 4, 1976

There are a lot of important anniversaries these days, it seems, like the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Beach Pier, and like the 50th Re-Union of the Point Loma High School Class of 1966.

But there’s one significant anniversary for Ocean Beach that has as of yet been highlighted for its deserved respect and celebration.

And that’s the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote on March 4, 1976 that established both the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB Community Plan (then called the “Precise Plan”).

That vote that day in early May four decades ago was truly an historic occasion because not only did it establish the Board that still exists and the Plan, but nearly 4,500 renters, property owners and business owners participated in the balloting that lasted all day.

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
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Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

Under the proposed measure, adults 21 and older would be able to possess, transport, purchase, consume and share up to 1 ounce of cannabis and up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates in the state of California.

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Memories of the Great OB Election of ’76

May 4, 2016 by Source
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Editor: We are continuing our celebration of the 40th anniversary of the popular vote in OB that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board with “Memories” by Doug Card. Doug was a member of the very first Planning Board and played a key role in the days up to and after that election on May 4, 1976.

By Doug Card

With the current bizarre national presidential election campaign, it’s good to reflect upon a true grassroots election in OB just 40 years ago – today – Wednesday the 4th.

To recall how, during a time of great national upheaval, a dedicated band of idealistic activists managed to create a permanent structure to maintain the integrity of the character of Ocean Beach in the face of heavy developmental pressure. And how the cooperation between OB’s traditional rival organizations and facets of San Diego City government ended a long-running conflict and worked together for the sake of the people and the future.

Having been an active participant in some of this progress I’m pleased to set down a few memories of that exciting significant era – both for personal reasons and for the sake of history. Most of all I want to share the drama of this election in which a handful of votes altered the course of OB history.

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

Students formed a National Student Strike and organized a campaign to bring a halt to the war. Eventually over 400 college and university campuses participated, and 4 million students took part as well as did a million faculty. It was one of the most catastrophic events in American history since the Civil War. It was a General Strike by students.

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America’s Finest City Preparing for a Visit from Donald Trump

May 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

trump logo

Presumptive Republican Nominee May Descend on San Diego on Sunday, May 8th

By Doug Porter

Officials in San Diego are preparing for an as yet unannounced visit on Sunday, May 8th by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a report broadcast on 10News Tuesday night.

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Whose University? UCSD’s Racial Climate and the Making of Student Minorities

May 3, 2016 by Source
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By the Lumumba-Zapata Collective

On the night of Friday April 8th, the University of California, San Diego campus was covered with anti-Mexican slogans chalked by supporters of presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Following a string of throughout the country (including incidents at UC Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and Riverside), slogans supporting Trump have persistently coincided with xenophobic attacks against underrepresented communities, specifically Latino, Black, Arab and Muslim students.

The recent chalking incident at UCSD specifically targeted incoming admitted students of Mexican descent. The perpetrators chalked “Build the Wall,” “Deport them All,” and “Fuck Mexicans” …

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Coastal Commission Still to Rule on Huge 63-Unit Project Slated for Mission Beach School Site

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a whole bunch of Mission Beach residents who have been questioning and challenging a proposed 63-unit development project being slated for the community’s former elementary school site. As the LA Times reports, they are now pinning their hopes of blocking it with the California Coastal Commission, which still has not finalized any decision on the 2 acre project.

With the Coastal Commission raising some issues about the development, the stakes just got higher for the developer, Chris McKellar, who is currently resting his laurels on the fact that the City Council voted 6 to 2 in favor of the project. Residents are banking that the Commission will overturn this decision in early 2017.

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Controversial Abbott and Muir 2-Story Condo Project Before OB Planning Board – Wed., May 4th

May 3, 2016 by Staff

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The Ocean Beach Planning Committee meets this coming Wednesday, May 4th, inside the OB Recreation Center, at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The meeting begins at 6pm. (SEE BELOW FOR OFFICIAL AGENDA)

Of note on the Board’s agenda is the appointment of new Board members, the presentation of the final, final version of the OB Community Plan, and the project permit application for a controversial 2 duplex at 2150 Abbott Street.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early May 2016

May 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* Explosion in Apartment in 4900 Block of Del Monte

* Midway Medical Cannabis Shop to Expand

* Helm’s Brewing to Open on Newport in Mid-May

* Surfrider San Diego’s 16th Annual Art Gala

* 9-1-1 Dispatchers and Cops Taken to Task for Missing Urgent Calls from OB

* Are Sand Crabs in Decline?

* Fund Raiser for Point Loma Shooting Victim

* Cop Involved in Fatal Midway Shooting Accidentally Discharges Weapon

* Pick-up Truck Flips on Canon Street

* Luxury Cinema to Open in Liberty Station

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Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

May 2, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

Here is a video of Dr. Jeoff Gordon speaking on the wealth gap in America using lots of slides and graphics. In the vid, he is introduced by Derek Casady, of People’s Food Store Co-op.

Dr. Gordon practiced medicine for decades, and until retirement a few years ago had a thriving office in Ocean Beach.

Before coming to OB, Dr. Gordon had an office in Pacific Beach, and was one of the founders of the very first Free Clinic in Mission Beach in the early Seventies.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

May 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News  – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our April 2016 issue.

Chernobyl + 16: It’s far from over

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster began at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, then ruled by the USSR. Thirty years later, that disaster is far from over.

In their 1990 book, Deadly Deceit: Low Level Fallout, High level Cover-Up, authors Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman devote an entire chapter to the Chernobyl debacle. The doomed Chernobyl nuke was one of 4 reactors operating at the site at the time. It took until 2000 for the other 3 to be permanently shut down.

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Getting Sandbagged by SANDAG: San Diego’s Failure of Imagination

May 2, 2016 by Jim Miller

soon san diego traffic

By Jim Miller

Last week Kevin Faulconer got some good press when, “under pressure from environmental groups,” he voted no to putting SANDAG’s deeply inadequate tax measure on the ballot citing San Diego’s Climate Action plan as one of the factors in his decision. Faulconer’s opponent, Ed Harris, was quick to point out that Faulconer’s vote was less about climate change and more about pleasing his anti-tax Republican base.

In a press release the Harris campaign observed that:

“Kevin Faulconer is using the environment as a prop to cover up his real reason for voting against SANDAG’s proposed infrastructure plan today,” said mayoral candidate Ed Harris. “He claims the reason for his no vote is the plan’s incompatibility with the city’s Climate Action Plan, but in October of last year he said just the opposite.”

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Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

May 2, 2016 by Source

Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism

By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams

Dan Berrigan visit 1982

Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

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Shades Restaurant to Close – Last Day Will Be Sept. 5th

April 29, 2016 by Source
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Below is the Shades Restaurant Family Statement

The popular Ocean Beach restaurant Shades has announced it’s closing at the end of the summer. Shades Oceanfront Bistro, which sits along the beach at the end of Santa Monica Avenue, announced on its website that its last day will be Sept. 5. After closing temporarily for a fire, Shades owners said that it received an offer by a prospective owner seeking to take over the eatery. The restaurant has been in business for 13 years. NBCSanDiego

Here is the Shades’ family statement:

Time to go…

“Alright, lets start gathering our things and getting ready to go”

“Noooo! I don’t want to!”

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OB Surfer Survived Shark Bite Off Bali – But Needs Help – GofundMe Set Up

April 29, 2016 by Staff
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Ryan Boarman Has Reached Singapore – More Surgery Possible

According to a San Diego U-T article:

An ardent Ocean Beach surfer was bitten by a shark off the coast of Bali, Indonesia Monday morning, April 25 and managed to ride a wave into shore before passing out. 26-year-old Ryan Boarman was sitting on his board waiting for a wave when a shark estimated to be about 6 feet long swam up behind him and chomped onto his elbow. Boarman was either able to shake loose, or the shark let go, but he was losing blood fast.

Boarman was in excruciating pain, but ended up surfing a wave into shore. He was quoted as saying, ‘It was a good ride,’ and then passed out.”
See Update Inside

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Lori Saldaña Aims to Offer a Choice, Not an Echo

April 29, 2016 by Doug Porter

Lori Saldana official picBy Doug Porter

If you buy into the notion, currently in vogue with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, of Democratic party orthodoxy as being little more than Republican lite, then Lori Saldaña would the logical choice to vote for in the upcoming San Diego mayoral primary.

The former assemblywoman has an activist pedigree, a history of hard-fought grassroots campaigns, and the enmity of the local political establishment.

In January Saldaña launched an independent campaign to challenge Kevin Faulconer, undaunted by a million dollar war chest (including PACs) and the advantages accompanying incumbency in America’s Finest City. The current mayor’s single greatest accomplishment thus far, in my opinion, has been directing the public relations players at his disposal in a non-stop symphony of praise for their leader, so it ain’t gonna be easy.

Environmental Activism, Plus

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Summer Reading Book Drive for Kids’ Books at Ocean Beach & Point Loma Libraries

April 29, 2016 by Staff
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As part of a Reading Awareness Month in the City of San Diego, there is now a Summer Reading Book Drive that just began – a campaign for donations of kids’ books at both the Ocean Beach and Point Loma libraries. The drive for children’s books will run from now through May 31, 2016. Donation bins either already have been placed or will be placed and visibly located near the entrances to the libraries.

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County Board of Supervisors Extends Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Projects

April 29, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie Best / San Diego ASA / April 28, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday to vote on staff recommendations to extend a moratorium against new medical marijuana activity in San Diego County. The 45 day moratorium was put in place on March 16 and was largely a knee-jerk reaction to a group of community members from Julian and Ramona.

At the March meeting the Board instructed staff to come back with options including a ban on medical cannabis; enhanced enforcement and more zoning restrictions among other things. Instead, staff returned with a request for more time which was ultimately granted.

While the moratorium was extended to ten and a half months, the vote came with instructions to give consideration for those medical cannabis projects already in the building and permitting pipelines.

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San Diego Homeless Advocates Rock the City Council

April 29, 2016 by Source

Screenshot of Channel 8 video on San Diego using rocks to drive away homeless

Anatomy of a Successful Press Event in Protest of City Placement of Rocks to Displace Homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Some days I marvel at the value of the network of good people that has grown in our community—people involved in so many different areas, all so critical, who come together to support one another in our various efforts. Without that, we could have never pulled off the very successful action on Tuesday April 19 in protest of the City’s reprehensible decision to fill an underpass in Sherman Heights where homeless people take shelter with rocks.

PLAY VIDEO INSIDE

This was a case where all systems were running at peak performance. For the sake of all of those younger people who are just starting to dip their toes in the art of community organizing, here’s how it goes when you have a cadre of like-minded friends to call upon for a cause.

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“Young at Art” in Ocean Beach Unleashes Kids’ Creativity

April 29, 2016 by Source
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Children’s Creative Center Art Show & Fundraiser – Saturday, April 30

By Ruth McGraw

Drawing and painting were always easy for me. When I was five, I drew a giant green peace sign on my parents’ freshly painted wall. Needless to say they were less than pleased, but that was when I knew I wanted to paint every wall, every where.

In what feels like a former life, I served in the Marine Corps and then as a Civil Service agent, and achieved my bachelors in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I am very proud of my service and grateful for the friendships made and life lessons learned.

However, those days are passed. I finally realized that the taxing paranoia of constantly waiting for the “worst case scenario” was inhibiting my growth as a person. I was tired of expecting and seeing the bad in the world.

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“This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

April 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Mayor Kevin Faulconer wasn’t too popular at last night’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting during the “mayoral dialogue”.

First, he didn’t show.

Second, both his opponents, former-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and San Diego Lifeguard leader Ed Harris, trained their sights on Faulconer and not on each other.

And third, this was Ocean Beach – the liberal bastion of the city – which usually votes Democratic; Kevin Faulconer is a Republican.

But still, Faulconer used to represent Ocean Beach – and the rest of District 2 – when he sat on the City Council. And the crowd of the 80 or so good-natured souls in attendance probably would have applauded him if he had showed. But he didn’t and neither did his aide, John Ly.

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Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Ed Harris Takes a Stand Against Business as Usual

April 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

“The City is a huge landlord. It has to quit giving away our own assets.”

By Doug Porter

Ed-Harris-camp-fotoEd Harris wasn’t supposed to ruffle any feathers during his appointed term on the San Diego City Council.

The former marine and lifeguard union leader was supposed to be a bookmark, holding down the Second District seat vacated by now-Mayor Kevin Faulconer until election day rolled around. The city charter terms for this temporary tenure included a proviso barring him from actually running for the seat in fall 2014 election.

Then it came time for the kind of wink, wink, nod, nod agreement involving trading off public assets for political gain considered normal in America’s Finest City. Harris surprised a lot of people by taking a principled and public stand against what he believed was a sweetheart deal involving proposed lease terms of Belmont Park to Pacifica Enterprises.

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Hippie Life in Ocean Beach

April 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor Frank Gormlie will speak about “Hippies in OB” this Saturday, April 30th at the OB Library, from 2 to 3 pm.

OB as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego

By Frank Gormlie

In my many writings about Ocean Beach history – some of which I share below – I’ve always noted that in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

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What if We All ‘Left No Trace?’

April 27, 2016 by Source
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by Averi Melcher/San Diego UrbDeZine / April 21, 2016

As I’ve been camping and sharing my adventures, there’s one thing that keeps showing up over and over in my experiences: trash.

About 2 months ago, I was crawling through mud caves in Anza Borrego, when I looked down and found 2 Starburst wrappers illuminated by my headlight. A month ago, I was hiking a mountain in the Joshua Tree back-country and happened upon a deflated helium balloon. Then – later that night – I sat my tent down and fell asleep, just to wake up in the morning and find myself trying to maneuver out of my tent on shards of glass and plastic.

I thought to myself: why is this happening? Why am I finding trash in areas that are off the beaten path – in fact, they are so remote that the Joshua Tree trail log I found indicated I was the first human to step foot on that mountain in a month?

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Book Review Of Bill Walton’s “Back From The Dead”

April 27, 2016 by Ernie McCray

backfromthedeadBy Ernie McCray

I just finished one of those books that fit the category of a book that’s hard to put down: Back from the Dead by Bill Walton, one of the truly great basketball players and human beings. On the cover one reads “Searching for the sound, shining the light, and throwing it down.” That’s Bill, for sure, as I’ve followed him since he was a kid.

I didn’t know until I read his book that he was a musician, but I’ve known for a long time that he’s someone who’s attracted to the sounds of music, that he has been a player in the Grateful Dead scene for decades. I’ve known that he’s a lifelong learner, a man who’s constantly growing and questioning and shining a light on things that need tending to in our world. And his writing details somewhat poetically how he’s “thrown it down,” all out, throughout his life, in spite of forever having to endure an almost unbelievable array of crippling injuries and intense pain.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 2

April 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

Homeless Population Under-counted

homeless familyBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

The 8700 people identified by the Point-In-Time-Count are not anywhere close to the total number of homeless people in San Diego City and County. They didn’t count all the people sleeping in their cars nor the many that are staying with friends or couch surfing.

Nor did they count the many that sleep “off the beaten track” in the many hidden gullies and the river bed. Nor did it count all those who slept in places unlikely to be found by the volunteers who did the counting who, after all, could not be expected to expose themselves to dangerous situations and environments.

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