Report of State Assembly Committee that Stalled the Orca Welfare and Safety Acts in Pens

April 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From WDC / April 8, 2014

For those of us watching the live feed of the California legislative hearing on Assembly member Bloom’s orca bill (AB 2140) at the State Capitol in Sacramento, it was clear that an overwhelming number of Californians support passage of the bill. Mothers, teachers, business owners, labor interests, organizational representatives, and unaffiliated individuals of the public filed past the microphone and proclaimed their complete support for AB 2140, alongside individuals from other countries that flew in to physically present their support of the bill at the hearing.

Not only was public sentiment overwhelmingly in support of the bill, but the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee chair, Anthony Rendon, made it clear that he supports passage of the bill and recommended a ‘yes’ vote to Assembly members on moral and ethical grounds alone.

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Locals Respond to Sunset Cliffs Park Going to the Dogs

April 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Report from the Latest Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Committee Meeting

by Lois Lane

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – the area along and at the end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd, is a Regional Park, but also a City of San Diego Park and a Beach Park. Why does any of this make a difference? For a lot of reasons, but a big one is DOGS.

Not only in the city of San Diego, but all over San Diego County, dogs in public must be on a leash.

“Away from Home: If you walk or otherwise bring a dog to public or other private property (where dogs are permitted), you must restrain the dog by a hand held leash (not longer than 6 feet in length)…”

This is the San Diego County Code.

For freedom-for-dog advocates, city of San Diego beaches present an entirely different philosophy. Leashed dogs are allowed after 6 p.m. from April 1st to October 31st or after 4:00 p.m. from November 1st to March 31st and on the beach, on sidewalks, and on park areas near the beach during the night and early morning hours until 9 a.m.

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Rogue Rooster Joke Is Cruel for All in South Ocean Beach

April 10, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Editor: The Widder Curry asks: “Is OB South going to the birds?” Her original article began well enough but within a few days in her neighborhood, the atmosphere smelled like rotten eggs, with neighbor pitted against neighbor. Help us figure out what is going on in the usual placid southern reaches of Ocean Beach.

by Judi Curry

When I wrote this story a few days ago, I wrote it with “tongue in cheek.” After all, waking up to the calls of a horny rooster is not usual in Pt. Loma. (Hell … it’s been a long time since I have woken up to a “horny” anything!) But what has happened to this story is amazing and very sad. Here is the original story: …

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More Photos From City Council Hearing on District 2 Appointment

April 9, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are more photos from the San Diego City Council hearing on appointing the District 2 representative held on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Union leader Ed Harris was ultimately appointed from an initial field of 20 applicants. Many of the applicants were from Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

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Politicians Who Oppose Marijuana Legalization Are On the Wrong Side of History

April 9, 2014 by Source

marijuanademrepsA majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

By Tony Newman via AlterNet

A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization – yet not one sitting governor or U.S. Senator supports it, according to a New York Times piece.

Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. 43 years after President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” the U.S. arrests 650,000 people a year for marijuana possession – yet marijuana and other illegal drugs are as available as ever. Thanks to the drug war, the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

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Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

April 9, 2014 by Source

cows1By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs – even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

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Lori Saldaña: “The Night I Decided to Stop Going to Sea World.”

April 9, 2014 by Source

Seaworld-Orlando-Shamu-1514By Lori Saldaña

I was born in San Diego, and my family began attending Sea World back in the 60s when it had a Japanese Garden and pearl divers (I still have a pearl ring, a birthday gift one year).

Then, it was a very different place than it is today: quieter, smaller scale, and more about Pacific Rim culture than theme park shows. We went often, and not just as casual visitors. Since my father was a journalist, and Sea World knew the value of cultivating relationships with the media, we would often attend special events throughout the year, including a lavish annual kick-off party that marked the start of their summer season, complete with a preview of the newest Shamu show.

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Democrats’ Revenge: San Diego City Council Appointment of Ed Harris Tilts Council Left

April 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Appointment of Democrat Is Complicated even with “Super-majority”

The Democrats on the San Diego City Council took revenge on their Republican colleagues yesterday by appointing another Democrat to the Council. As of 5pm Monday, April 7, there are now 6 Democrats to the 3 Republicans on the Council after they choose Ed Harris, a lifeguard and union head – and Democrat, to take the seat to represent District 2.

This retaliatory measure was, in no small part, revenge for the defeat of the Democratic candidate in the last mayor’s election, where David Alvarez lost to Republican Kevin Faulconer. Faulconer vacated his seat for the 2nd District when he stepped up to the mayor’s floor of City Hall.

With a 6 to 3 tilt, the City Council now leans left, …

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BREAKING: Ed Harris Selected by City Council to Represent District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ed Harris, lifeguard and union head, was selected by the San Diego City Council to take the vacant seat for District 2 left when Kevin Faulconer was elected mayor.

It took two ballots for the 8 Council members to coalesce around one applicant with at least 5 votes. The replacement selection was the only item on the docket, and the Council Chambers were filled with the applicants, their supporters and community people.

Twenty people had originally filled out the paperwork for consideration, but when Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the meeting to order around 2:05 pm, there were only 17; Richardo Flores, Don Mullen and Wayne Raffesberger had all withdrawn their names. (See the list.)

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The 20 Who Wish to Serve the People of District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Today is a big day for 20 people. This is the day that the San Diego City Council will decide who of that twenty will sit in District 2′s seat for the remainder of Kevin Faulconer’s term, until December of this year.

At 2pm today in Council Chambers, the Council will take up the matter – supposedly the only issue on their docket – and listen to the 3 minute spiel each applicant has, then will begin taking votes. The first applicant with 5 votes – a majority – wins and takes their seat immediately.

Who are these people who wish to serve the people of District 2? Here is a brief run-down of these individuals taken from their publicly-available application (in alphabetical order):

  • Stephanie Antin – a professional businesswoman who has lived and been active in Pacific Beach for 15 years; she has a BA in communication from Tulane U in New Orleans;

and many more …..

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Supreme Insanity: How the High Court is Killing Our Democracy

April 7, 2014 by Source

RooseveltBy Jim Miller

Last week was a very bad week for American democracy. With the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, the Supreme Court of the United States dealt a sweeping blow to existing campaign finance laws that seek to limit the influx of money in American politics.

In the wake of the Citizens United case that opened the door for big spending by Super PACS and dark money, this ruling takes another step towards plutocracy by striking down overall limits on campaign contributions. By doing so McCutcheon rudely thrusts us further into a new Gilded Age where our economy and our politics are thoroughly dominated by a small minority of the opulent.

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Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

April 7, 2014 by Staff

Ernie McCray Unsung Hero

Recipient of the Phi Delta Kappa Unsung Hero Award

By Staff

On April 3, Ernie McCray was honored by the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. The Kappan awards bestowed earlier in the evening were for individuals and organizations that have made a substantive difference for those wishing to become educators and for children within the school system.

Ernie’s award came later in the evening, after the recognition of Partner in Education, Educator of the Year, and Leadership. Those of us who know Ernie would be hard pressed to sum up his presence and contributions in just one category– he is known by thousands of students, parents and colleagues as an extraordinary educator; he has been a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the streets and in our schools; you can find him from time to time on a stage, acting and reading his poetry; and he has a following on the San Diego Free Press and OB Rag where he contributes essays and poetry. Unsung Hero is a pretty good fit and that was his award designation.

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OB Elementary Crosswalk Coming In Over Spring Break

April 4, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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UPDATE: A sign on Santa Monica Boulevard says the street will be closed through April 14 between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ebers Street. So much for the project getting done by the end of spring break. Good luck to all the parents taking their kids to school this week. It should be interesting.

By Matthew Wood

It’s not all fun and games at Ocean Beach Elementary School during spring break.

Santa Monica Avenue has been closed between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ebers Street all week as workers have been frantically trying to finish putting in a much-anticipated crosswalk outside the school.

The project was supposed to be finished before students came back on Monday, but as of Friday morning, there was still a big hole in the street and a construction crew working frantically to get the job done. Rain earlier in the week helped to delay the construction.

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SeaWorld Attendance Drops Amid Blackfish Controversy

April 4, 2014 by Source
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By Hugo Martin / LA Times / April 2, 2014

Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year.

The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group.

The notice said attendance for the three-month period that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.

In previous reports, SeaWorld officials noted that attendance numbers may change with the shift of holidays in the calendar. Easter, for example, took place in the first quarter of 2013, but in 2014 the holiday falls in the second quarter.

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UCSD Graduate Students Strike After Just Demands Not Met

April 4, 2014 by Source

Strikers disrupt classes and block public thoroughfares in protest against unfair labor practices while upper level administrators continue to receive exorbitant salaries and enjoy a culture of lavish living

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Grad student strikers and their allies block a pedestrian walkway at UCSD.

Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2865 initiated a two-day strike Wednesday, April 2nd, that will end today Friday, April 4th. The strike at UCSD is part of a statewide action occurring at all the campuses of the University of California for these reasons.

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Prune Nourry: French Artist’s Terracotta Daughters Are on the Move

April 4, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following article and photos were sent to us from Paris, France, by Mic Porte, a community activist who lives in Pacific Beach who is visiting Europe with her daughter.

By Mic Porte

I love Paris, the city where people will stand attentively in line for hours to view an art exposition. Galleries, book stores and theaters are always packed. In France, food is art, clothing is art, life is art, and art is in their hearts from the beginning of recorded time– think of the beautiful Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings.

French children are taught art appreciation from day one and it reflects in the architecture and design and lifestyle all around the country. Visual art. The French invented photography and cinema to further the reach of art for the modern world. They are not afraid to expand the boundaries of acceptability, always challenging our perspective of the world, from Impressionism to Dadaism.

The 2014 Spring Equinox heralds the arrival of one of their own, Prune Nourry, young woman sculptress and multimedia artist, and her astonishing and powerful army of Terracotta Daughters, come to Paris to change the world. There is one word to describe this art show: Awesome.

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The Blue Dot Refill in OB: First Eco-soap Self-serve Refill Store in San Diego

April 4, 2014 by Source

By Joe Moreno

What happens when a lawyer leaves Corporate America to get in touch with her inner hippie?

She opens San Diego’s first eco-soap self-serve refill store in Ocean Beach to do her part to keep our world plastic-free. Less than a month ago, Deidre Prozinski opened Blue Dot Refill next to Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Co-op on Voltaire Street. Within days of hanging out her shingle – and without any marketing or advertising – she hit her first milestone: $100 in sales in a single day, thanks, in part, to being right next to a co-op with like-minded customers.

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Point Loma High School Takes Honors as Best Surf Team

April 4, 2014 by Source
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from Surfer Today

Point Loma High School has conquered the San Diego stage of the 2014 Oakley High School Surf Team Challenge, held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, California.

Ten teams of four surfers each from area high schools competed in the fun rippable swell on offer.

But at the close of the final, only one team could claim the honor of best San Diego area High School Surf Team and this year’s honor went to Point Loma High School.

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If We Don’t Connect It to Race and Class, Then Green Politics Is Just High-End Consumerism

April 4, 2014 by Source

greenpovertyInstead of advocating “green” lifestyles that are financially and culturally inaccessible to millions of Americans, artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph proposes we ask a single, crucial question that connects race, class and ecology: What sustains life in a community?

By Marc Bamuthi Joseph / Creative Time Reports

As environmentalism goes mainstream, corporations are marketing the word “green” as a panacea for the world’s climate crisis. Today the word describes a set of prescribed, mostly consumerist actions: buy local, organic and fresh; go vegan; eat in season; skip the elevator; take the stairs. “Green” has come to mean shopping at Whole Foods and possessing a Prius. Meanwhile, leading corporate polluters like BP and Exxon Mobil place commercials on CNN advertising their “green” practices.

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Ocean Beach Planners Elect New Officers, Make Appointments and Approve Project on Muir

April 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Ruscitti Elected New Chair

At their monthly meeting last night (Wed., April 2), the Ocean Beach Planning Board appointed two new members and elected their officers for the upcoming year.

Two veterans of the Board, Jane Gawronski and Seth Connolly, were appointed to vacancies on the normal-14-member Board. Jane was appointed to District 5 and Seth to District 4. With the departure of Barbara Schmidtknecht from the Board, and with the additions of Connolly and Gawronski, the Board now stands at 11 members.

Tom Gawronksi announced that Board member Bill Bushe is having major medical problems and he doubted that Bushe would be able to return to his seat.

For those who are seeking future appointments to the Board next month, there are 2 confirmed vacancies in District 1 and 7, and maybe a vacancy in District 4.

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News Round-Up for OB, Beaches and Peninsula

April 3, 2014 by Staff
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District 2 Appointment Decision Moved Up to April 7

Chet Barfield – rep for the currently vacant District 2 Council seat – announced at recent community meetings that the appointment decision on who replaces Kevin Faulconer for the remainder of his term has been moved up. The new date is now April 7 – …

Steer clear of the ocean directly following rainfall

The County’s Department of Environmental Health Wednesday issued a general advisory to beachgoers to stay out of the water for the next 72 hours due to the recent rainfall. …

April Calendar for OB

    San Diego Soliciting Bids for Improvement Mission Beach Lifeguard Station While OB’s Older Lifeguard Station Is Ignored ….

    And much more ….

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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Extreme Weather Watch: March 2014

April 3, 2014 by Source

Winter Weather Made a $55 Billion Hit to US Economy

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

weather5The winter of 2014 broke records and budgets. NBC News reported that the economy took a $55 billion hit because of the extreme winter weather. There was $5.5 billion in damage to homes, businesses, agriculture and infrastructure.

Cities had additional costs for salt for roads and asphalt for potholes. There were more than 30,000 potholes in Toledo, OH alone. The companies that supply salt and asphalt are making a fortune. This winter also saw 79.3 inches of snow falling in Chicago where there were 23 days below zero.

In California drought covers 99.8% of the state. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically holds at least half of all the water that will flow to the state’s farms and cities each year, is at just one-fourth of its normal level.

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CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

April 3, 2014 by Source

By Greg Miller, Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima / The Washington Post / March 31, 2014

A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

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UCSD Grad Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

April 3, 2014 by Source

UCSD grad students protesting.Doctoral students rally against the 18 Quarter Limit

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — Students at the University of California, San Diego stormed the Office of Graduate Studies Tuesday, April 1, to protest a controversial employment policy implemented across the University of California.

The “18 Quarter Limit” restricts doctoral students by only allotting them 18 quarters to be teaching assistants, readers, or graduate student researchers. Such positions, if secured, reduce a graduate student’s tuition from roughly $5,200 a quarter to a mere $196. The action came on the eve of the two-day strike that will be held April 2nd and 3rd at UCSD.

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“If I could sit down with SeaWorld executives, I would share my vision …”

April 2, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

If I could sit down with the Sea World executives, I would share my vision for their new park.

Since I’m an incurable optimist I believe that wishes do in time come true. I’ve dedicated my life to talking and writing about the power of hope — even when all seems so hopeless. Indeed, one of the most famous Holocaust survivors was the one who told me that “Even if the end of the world would be imminent, you still plant a tree today.” Those words were expressed to me years ago by the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank. He gave me hope as he did a worldwide global family.

So surrounded by others who are strong believers in seeing a harmonious world for orcas, dolphins, indeed, all captive beings I appeal to Sea World to “sea” your next 50 years as the one we all wish to celebrate.

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Reader Rant: OB Needs More Tenants On Planning Board

April 2, 2014 by Source

By OB Joe

Just noticing that there are 5 potential open seats on the OB Planning Board, I have a special plea to the Board:

Please Appoint Some Tenants !

Six out of every 7 OBceans are people who rent – tenants. And from I can remember of the goals of the OB Planning Board in the beginning – yea, I was there – the planning committee is supposed to represent and reflect the makeup of the citizens, property owners and businesses of OB.

But 6 out of 7 are renters, who don’t own property and who don’t own businesses. In my interpretation, that means that the Board ought to have a large majority of renters on it.

So how many tenants or renters are on the present OB Planning Board?

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Wanderings in OB – Our Concrete Canvases

April 2, 2014 by Source
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By Chuck Cofer

On my recent OB wanderings I tried to document some of the “concrete canvases” that decorate our sidewalks and buildings.

I’m not sure where the line is between illegal graffiti and art but in general I feel these colorful, inspirational, informative, historical, and sometimes humorous works represent the freedom of expression and lifestyle many OBceans revel in.

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So They Are All … All Honorable Men

April 2, 2014 by Source

honorable menBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

San Diegans are no dummies. We know what happens to politically independent, outspoken, public-minded individuals who are brash enough to shake things up. They get maligned, noogied, humiliated, sent packing. Open your mouth too wide in this city and… you’re dead meat.

So we’re polite and genteel. Why look for trouble? Yes, the public gets screwed over and over again but we’ve learned to turn the other cheek. Forgive and forget — that’s our MO.

We swoon over the nice guys, especially the ones with agreeable manners. Like our avuncular ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, our puckish council president Todd Gloria, our sunkissed mayor Kevin Faulconer — honorable men beyond public reproach. Even when they’re plotting to pull the rug out from under us.

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OB Planners: Election of Officers, Board Appointments and Demolition of Near-Century Old House on Muir

April 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its monthly meeting tonight – Wed., April 2nd – at the OB Rec Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6 pm sharp.

First on their potentially busy agenda after the normal quorem-agenda-minutes housekeeping is the certification of the Board’s most recent election – held on March 11th. This is usually a pro forma procedure.

Board Appointments

Next is the decision on whether there will be any appointments to the Board itself. At the most recent OB Town Council meeting, the liaison with the planners, Gio Ignolia, announced that there are 5 appointments available – two in the all-important District 4, and one each in Districts 5, 6 and 7. And there are indications that several people have applied for an appointment. If applicant candidates qualify, then the full Board votes them up or down.

(For an intro to OB’s 7 planning districts, go here.)

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