Why Does Homelessness Persist in America’s Finest City?

August 17, 2016 by John Lawrence

Housing is Not a Human Right in the US

by Sandro Montefusco from il lavoro culturale, republished under a Creative Commons License

By John Lawrence

Why does homelessness persist in the world’s richest nation? The simple answer is that having a roof over one’s head is not a human right in this society.

Fortunate people, those with a home and a car and other assets will not vote to give others what they possess even on the most basic level. Article 25 of the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being ….

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‘Honey, Don’t Worry about Me. We’ll Find a Place Soon.’

August 17, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Halina is dead.

The effervescent petite blonde with the ebullient smear of sky blue eyeshadow above her sky blue eyes died in a residential hotel earlier this year.

I met Halina over a decade ago while I was working at the information desk of the old Central Library downtown on E Street. She was in the library searching for information on how to replace a lost ID. On a return trip she was looking for the address of her daughter Jessica.

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We Need to Be Aware That the Homeless Are Human Beings

August 17, 2016 by Ernie McCray

ernie-mccray-at-blackBy Ernie McCray

When I heard that there would be a “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” my first thought was “Hooray” and then I thought about how “awareness” isn’t the problem.

I mean we know that there are folks who have no home, no place to stay, penniless, practically completely down and out.

We’ve heard over and over on the news about “rock gardens” being constructed on some streets where the homeless like to sleep; about the police destroying their encampments, places where they feel relatively safe trying to get a good night’s sleep.

We see them as we walk downtown, trying to act as though they’re not there, every now and then giving them a buck or two or buying them a whopper.

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We Can Do It Now! Tiny Home Demonstration part of San Diego Homeless Awareness Activities

August 17, 2016 by Source

Group of volunteers assembling a demonstration "tiny house"

Model Tiny Home Assembly and Viewing
Wednesday August 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM
North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave.

By Amikas

On August 17, in coordination with San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, a model “Tiny Home” will be assembled on site at the North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave. and will be available for photographs and viewing throughout the afternoon.

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August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 17, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for August 17, 2016: San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

Today, August 17th, is San Diego Homeless Awareness Day. And many of San Diego’s media sources – about 20 – have pledged to carry, run, print, publish articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – has joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets.

To this end, we are posting a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag.

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Trump’s Daughter Is Vacationing With Putin’s Girlfriend

August 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Trump’s Daughter Is Vacationing With Putin’s Girlfriend

Just when you thought the 2016 Presidential race couldn’t get any crazier, here come reports that Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka is actually vacationing in Croatia with Putin’s girlfriend, Wendi Deng Murdoch.

From an August 14 article on People online:

Ivanka Trump is taking a break from the campaign trail to vacation with friends. The daughter of GOP nominee Donald Trump shared a scenic snap with Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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Man Who Wants to Overturn 6 Gun Laws Has Business in Ocean Beach

August 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Man Who Wants to Overturn 6 Gun Laws Has Business in Ocean Beach

It turns out that the guy leading 6 petition drives against new California gun restrictions recently signed into law has a business “headquartered” right here in Ocean Beach.

Barry Bahrami has launched campaigns to qualify his six referendum to go up against the gun control laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Barry Bahrami is also the CEO of Commercial Network Services, an online business that touts itself “a global online service provider specializing in hosting low latency algorithmic trading systems, virtual private networks …” and other virtual trading services.

And Commercial Network Services are indeed headquartered in OB, right at the OB Business Center, at “4876 Santa Monica Ave # 111, San Diego, CA 92107” according to his site. Now, true, we’re talking a PO Box here as “headquarters” – but it is an Ocean Beach connection.

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OB Historical Society: One of Point Loma’s Founding Families – Thurs., Aug. 18

August 16, 2016 by Source

OBHS Aug 2016 JimBakerOBHS Aug 2016 graphic

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Ocean Beach Library Get’s Its “Happy 100th Birthday” Banner

August 16, 2016 by Source

OB Library banner up

The banner finally made it up! The banner that celebrates the 100th birthday of the OB Branch Public Library now adorns the outside of our current branch.

All thanks to the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library.

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Is Anybody Judging the Judges? The California Legislature Wants Answers

August 16, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A joint committee of the California Legislature has authorized an audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the only entity that can discipline or remove a state judge.

A coalition of two dozen groups reflecting a wide range of interests, led by the Center for Judicial Excellence wrote letters, made calls and sent emails to urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) to call for the audit.

“The Center for Public Integrity gave California an ‘F grade’ on its 2015 report card for judicial accountability, said Kathleen Russell, the executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence in a press release.

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The Plight of Adjunct Teachers

August 16, 2016 by Source

adjunct facultyBy Mimi Pollack / San Diego Free Press

Here in California, adjunct teachers are like the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, in the community college world. They get some respect, but not a lot, despite being the backbone of the system.

More classes are taught by part-time teachers than full-time teachers. The ratio has been as high as 70% part-time teachers to 30% full-time teachers.

Part-time teachers are paid by the hour; whereas, full-time teachers receive a salary and if one calculates the hourly rate, it is higher. The various districts do this because it saves them money.

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‘Not So Fast’ – Some Ocean Beach Residents Are Saying – ‘We’re Not Ready to Give Up on Torrey Pine’

August 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey Hope 81516

‘Not so fast,’ some residents of Ocean Beach are saying – to any giving up of saving the historic Torrey Pine on Saratoga Street. There’s been some momentum against the sentiment expressed in a press statement sent out over the weekend from one group of residents saying that they’re ready to let the City chop down the tree called “Hope” (Esperanza).

There was some dissent within the group when it was decided to send out the statement. And that stance has led to the group enlisting the services of a second arborist just recently.

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Joint Southern Western Region City-County Low-No Income Housing Relief Task Force Unveils Pilot Program

August 15, 2016 by Source

Mike Williams graphic

By Bell Donic, Staff Writer

South Western Region: The Joint South Western Region City-County Low-No income Housing
Relief Task Force (JSWRCCLNIHRTF) offered guided tours of a pilot program at a location on the west side during their gala event announcing the installations near the green and picturesque foot of Washington Street.

Advocates stressed the ease of installation, and the ease of creating very small group areas, the durability of the units, low cost to the taxpayers, the residents’ improved self-image attained as a result of not sleeping in the bushes somewhere, but, instead, in a sturdy, solid, free space.

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Notes on the Dog Days of Summer: It’s Already Over for Trump

August 15, 2016 by Jim Miller

Image by Thierry Ehrman on Flickr.

By Jim Miller

In late July, I was at the American Federation of Teachers convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota watching Hillary Clinton address a hall of thousands of educators as a handful of #Black Lives Matters and assorted other protesters tried, unsuccessfully, to disrupt her speech, which inspired a few angry delegates to start yelling, “Get them out! Arrest them!” until a wiser soul chimed in with, “Aren’t we supposed to be different than Trump?”

For the most part, Clinton’s speech was a laundry list of interest group button-pushing, but I was pleased to see how far the primary seemed to have forced her to adopt Sanders-like positions and rhetoric on things like affordable higher education.

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Remembering a Sad Moment in ‘Gay Paree’

August 15, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Photo credit: flickr / Sean X. LiuParis. Maria and I and her family spent 16 days there in late June, literally taken by its beauty and its charm.

I have such sweet memories of our time there:

Our cursing the five flight of stairs to our apartment every time we returned from somewhere;

All the sights, the art, the culture, the fashion, the cuisine; the Metro; the soccer madness created by the Euro-Games;

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News from Ocean Beach and the Peninsula – Mid-August 2016

August 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Decco Bike bank 3 ed

* Decco Bikes Signs Not Part of Their Contract With City
* OB Beans to Open on Newport
* OB Library Needs Computer Desk
* Little Fire Damage at Ebers and Greene
* Digging Begins on Upper Voltaire Project
* “Progress” at Apple Tree Market
* Sgt Yu and the OB Yoga Festival
* Former Barnard Elementary Now 180 “Ultra-Luxury” Units Sells for $90 Million

COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES, Y’ALL …

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Reprieve for Ocean Beach Torrey Pine Holds for Now – Residents Continue to Mobilize – Demand Time for Independent Analysis

August 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Saratoga 4600 block google

This morning – Friday, August 12th – around 7 a.m. on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue in the heart of Ocean Beach, there were no signs of Atlas Tree Service trucks or crews, no signs of of any city officials or police barricades and patrol cars, and the ubituious ‘no parking’ signs were nowhere to be seen.

In stead, about 2 dozens residents and supporters were sitting or milling around, some of them giving interviews to the nearly half-dozen TV stations and reporters. These folks were responsible for the City’s last-minute temporary reprieve issued yesterday evening – backtracking on their plans to chop down the giant Torrey Pine across the street from where people were sitting this morning.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Board Elections Coming Up – Here’s How to Be a Candidate

August 12, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Town Council Board Elections Coming Up – Here’s How to Be a Candidate

From the OBTC Board (edited for clarity)

The 2016 Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors election is coming up! This is a great opportunity to play an active role in this community – and if you are already active, to take your activism to a new level.

By being a Board Director, you can be an elected voice in communicating the views and needs of Ocean Beach to government agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take action on local issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of OB.

Half of the Board’s 15 seats on the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors stand for election every year.

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A Little Bit of “Fluff” – the Four Paw Spa Mobile Pet Salon

August 12, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for A Little Bit of “Fluff” –  the  Four Paw Spa Mobile Pet Salon

Four Paw Spa
Mobile Pet Salon
858-699-3400

Getting away from restaurant reviews for a few days, allowing the wounds to heal, I thought it might be better for me to talk about another topic – and what do I like to talk about almost as much as restaurant reviews, grandchildren, fishing, cooking, jamming, etc. – but my 4 year old Golden Retriever, “Shadow.”

Shadow is a rescue dog from the Baja Sanctuary in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. The feeling was that he fell off of an American’s boat and swam to shore. When found he had bee stings – so severe that he had to have surgery to remove one of them.

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This Is Mary Olive with Esperanza … Her Father Planted this Torrey Pine Before WWII.

August 12, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for This Is Mary Olive with Esperanza … Her Father Planted this Torrey Pine Before WWII.

This is a screen capture from the wonderful video made of Mary Olive’s memories by Renee Owens.

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City Declares a Temporary Halt to the Removal of the Saratoga Torrey Pine

August 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Just got off the phone (7:38 pm Thurs.) with Katie Keach, contact person for the City on the issue, and she confirmed that the City is indeed “temporarily” delaying the destruction of the Torrey Pine – “Esparenza” – on Saratoga in OB. Keach stressed that the City still stands by its assessment that the tree needs to be removed, and the delay is only “temporary”.

Just this evening – mere hours after the City sent out a notice it was proceeding with the removal – the City backtracked and sent another notice out to the media stating:

“The City of San Diego has temporarily suspended plans to remove a failing tree from 4652 Saratoga Avenue in OB that had been slated for Friday morning, August 12th. The work had been scheduled for Friday morning.

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Here’s City’s Announcement of Taking Down Torrey Pine

August 11, 2016 by Source

Here’s the announcement – without our comment – by the City that the Torrey Pine on Saratoga will be chopped down on Friday morning, August 12th.

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016

Contact:
Katie Keach at 619-847-8274 or kkeach@sandiego.gov

Unsafe Tree to be Removed

Tree Cannot Be Saved, Must Be Removed to Protect Homes

San Diego – The City of San Diego today alerted community members that a failing tree would be removed from 4652 Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach on Friday, Aug. 12, starting at 7 a.m.

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City and Atlas Plan on Chopping Down Saratoga Torrey Pine Friday, Aug.12th

August 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest ed goodtree dist

The City of San Diego and Atlas Tree Service are planning on chopping down the Torrey Pine – “Esperanza” – on Saratoga Friday morning, August 12th.

A representative from the City informed John Ambert, head of the OB Planning Board today, Thursday, of the plans for Friday.

The City believes it has the proper documentation that proves the tree is unstable and is dangerous. This despite the fact that the residents who have halted the cutting so far are moving on hiring an independent arborist and Torrey Pine specialist. In fact, a GoFundMe has been set up to help finance a 3rd party evaluation.

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Newport Ave. Corner with OB Town Council Bulletin Board and Palms Taken Out

August 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Newport Ave. Corner with OB Town Council Bulletin Board and Palms Taken Out

Have you noticed the changes at the southwest corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street?

The OB Town Council had a bulletin board there, and there were some palms and shrubbery. And Willie’s Shoe Shine place was also right there, just steps from the corner.

The Town Council had at their own expense installed the bulletin board and maintained it. They had an arrangement with the furniture store, Mallories. For years. The OBTC also had an agreement that their board would down be changed or removed without their involvement.

Well, all that has changed.

The bulletin board is gone. The palms are gone. And Willie’s store has been pushed back – more into the interior of the parking lot. And new asphalt has been poured in the immediate site.

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Who Would Have Ransacked the Widder Curry’s Peach Tree?

August 11, 2016 by Source

Peach Tree Thieves Took Over 100 Ripe Peaches and Have Struck at least Once More

By South OB Girl

This isn’t brand new news — it happened back on May 30th. But it only recently came up at a staff lunch (for those who didn’t know it, sometimes we do have writer/contributor meetings or lunches!).

It came up that Judi Curry – the Widder Curry – had a peach tree completely ransacked of over 100, nearly 150, ripe, luscious peaches. All at one time.

This means someone, or a group of people, first scouted out her fruit laden tree. The tree is not visible from the street or sidewalk. The individual (or individuals) then plotted a time to trespass and sneak into her fenced yard (over the approximately six foot fence and gate).

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DA Dumanis Subpoenaed in Campaign Conspiracy Case

August 11, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for DA Dumanis Subpoenaed in Campaign Conspiracy Case

By Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has been and is expected to testify in federal district court on Monday at the trial of Mexican businessman Jose Susumo Azano Matsura.

Defense attorney Michael Wynne has been questioning witnesses about the DA’s direct knowledge of illegal campaign contributions and told freelance reporter JC Playford in an on-the-street video about the summons.

Although their initial support for her campaign is at the core of the government case against Azano and his co-conspirators, prosecutors have this far crafted a case that avoids avoiding linking her to any participation or awareness of illegal activities.

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FX Teases Potential Revival of “Terriers” – TV Series Shot in Ocean Beach

August 11, 2016 by Source

Terriers actors on truckby Blair Marnell /CraveOnline / Aug 9th, 2016

Six years ago, the private investigator series Terriers hit FX and failed to find an audience before it was canceled after a single season. Shows get canceled constantly in television, but Terriers was a cut above almost ever other series. CraveOnline even named it the best drama on television for 2010, and it was also widely recognized by other outlets. Since its cancellation, Terriers has been rediscovered on Netflix and there may yet be some hope that the series could return.

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The Abortion Fight Goes On – Right Here in San Diego

August 11, 2016 by Source

Forced birthers intimidate and shame women at health clinic

Abortion story 1

By Anne M. Haule /San Diego Free Press

The shouts of the “religious” zealots ring in my ears as I help escort patients from their cars to the front door of a local family planning clinic that provides abortion services one morning per week.

Armed with earplugs to hand out to patients who don’t wish to hear the abuse, I take the elevator up to stand by the door of the clinic.

Today the zealots are carrying large signs with graphic photos of bloody aborted fetuses and words claiming that Jesus saves and babies are not body parts. The good news is the “preacher” with a voice louder than the decibel limit who bellows out the scripture is not here today.

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Saving the Saratoga Torrey Pine – a Waiting Game

August 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest shift 3 ed1

Organizers Have Created Tree Watch Shifts – Zapf and Mayor Are No-Shows

Directly across the street from “Esparenza” – the name protesters have given the Torrey Pine target for chopping – is a small group of local residents sitting in chairs, eating, talking, reading.

They’re the current shift on Saratoga Street doing a “watch” for any signs of Atlas Tree Service crews or equipment. If they are sighted, then the call goes out to dozens of residents and supporters to gather at the Torrey Pine.

They were there today, Wednesday, by 7 a.m. – some having breakfast and coffee. They told this reporter that an Atlas “scout” truck drove by to check them out and just drove on.

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Bob Peace – Bringing California Grooves to OB (and beyond)

August 10, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Bob Peace – Bringing California Grooves to OB (and beyond)

By South OB Girl

A native New Yorker, Bob Peace (his website) brings a loaded resume from his time on the East Coast. He previously performed live with Phish drummer Jon Fishman at a benefit concert in Vermont, and his album “The Peace” charted a few spots away from Jack Johnson on jambands.com.

I felt a world away as I listened to his music at The Loma Club last Thursday, where Peace will be playing as the Thursday evening guest artist for the next two months. The warm summer evening was as beautiful as could be, as the sun set over the golf course. And Peace’s mellow, soulful tunes filled the air.

He describes his music as “uplifting soul music with reggae and blues roots.” A Bob Peace show does just that — lifts up the soul.

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