San Diego Activists Go All Out for Anti-ALEC Protests

July 21, 2015 by Doug Porter

Alec Mtg

Labor, Environmental and Community Groups Plan Multiple Actions

By Doug Porter

A wide range of organizations, some of whom rarely get involved in non-electoral politics, are calling upon San Diegans to put on their protesting shoes during the upcoming annual meeting of the American Legislative Council (ALEC).

Protests, press conferences, teach-ins, rallies and guerrilla theater will be happening throughout the coming week commencing on Tuesday, July 21st as ALEC delegates are checking in. Buses will coming in from the Los Angeles/Long Beach areas on Wednesday for what organizers expect will be the largest events of the week.

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Think Whole Foods is a Ripoff? It’s Worse Than You Thought

July 21, 2015 by Source

Faith Gardner / Daily Kos

Whole Foods Market store

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods you’ve probably been shocked at the prices. But a recent investigation shows that not only are its products overpriced, it’s also dishonest—and its shady practices when it comes to weighing and mislabeling may be illegal.

The investigation looked at products that are weighed and labeled and found a “systematic problem” whereby customers were routinely overcharged for things like nuts, snack foods, poultry and other grocery products.

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Can a Child Born in the US Sponsor Their Immigrant Parents for Legal Status?

July 20, 2015 by Source
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Questions and Answers with Carlos Batara

Our Child Was Born In The United States. Can My
Husband And I Get Green Cards Through Her Citizenship?

By Carlos A. Batara

Question:

“My husband and I would like to know if we become permanent residents. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen. She is three years old right now. Can we get green cards through her? Both of us came to the United States on student visas. We met in college. We fell in love. Our visas have not expired.” (Submitted by Paula G., Corona, CA)

Answer: Maybe. But not at this time.

Let me briefly explain.

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Field Guide for Getting Lost in San Diego – Summer Chronicles #5

July 20, 2015 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

Back in 2011, at the OB Rag, I did a column where I had some fun applying the idea of psychogeography to our fair city and played with the notion of the dérive observing that,

“The purpose of dérive is to detourn the calculated space of the city, to turn it around and reclaim its lost meanings.

The Situationists wanted to see how certain neighborhoods, streets, buildings, or other spaces ‘resonated’ with states of mind or desires.

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12 Unit Apartment Complex on Saratoga Sells for $3.3 Million

July 20, 2015 by Staff
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Another apartment complex in Ocean Beach has been sold. A 12-unit complex at 4878-4882 Saratoga Ave just exchanged hands earlier this month for $3.3 million cash.

It joins a recent rash of apartment sell-offs that have hit OB over the last months and years, particularly in northwest OB. Here’s what we wrote in April:

According to a review of OB Rag records, there’s been an unprecedented sell-off of apartments in Ocean Beach over the last 4 years. This has included the transfer of nearly $38 millions and involving nearly 160 units.

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San Salvador Replica to Be “Launched” Sunday, July 19th

July 17, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Finally, after 4 years of construction, numerous delays, controversies and logistical problems, the San Salvador – actually a replica of the original San Salvador – is being “launched” into San Diego Bay this Sunday, July 19th.The event off Spanish Landing next to Point Loma is not open to the public but is to the media.

Actually the replica of the galleon Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo used when he sailed into San Diego Bay back in 1542, and built mainly by volunteers, is being hoisted onto a barge and floated over to a dockside boat yard and lifted into the water.

Begun in February 2011 as a joint project of the San Diego Maritime Museum and the City and Port of San Diego, the ship was originally scheduled to be launched in 2013. Then it was scheduled to be launched on April 19th earlier this year but the builders discovered that it weighed 20 tons more than originally estimated …

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OB Noodle House Owner Gives Back to Ocean Beach Elementary

July 17, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Bar 1502’s Steve Yeng Donates ‘Barmageddon’ Winnings to OB Elementary

By Matthew Wood
OB Noodle House owner Steve Yeng further cemented his status as a reality television star with his recent appearance on the TruTV show “Barmageddon.”

He also showed off his love for the community when he donated his winnings from the show – $10,000 – to the Ocean Beach Elementary School.

“I love that school and I owe a lot to it,” he said. “I just have my fondest memories from there. It’s where I learned to speak English. It’s where I met my wife. Such a great place.”

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Book Sale by Friends of OB Library – Sat., July 18

July 16, 2015 by Staff
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It’s that time again – think books.

Yup, the Ocean Beach Friends of the Library are having a Book Sale on Saturday, July 18, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

They’re also looking for volunteers to help them sort through all their books and materials which they’ll do on Friday, July 17, from 12:30 until 2:30 or so.

And if you would like to donate (gently) used books, DVD’s, CD’s, videos, and/or tapes, please bring them to the library by Friday afternoon.

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San Diego Gardening: How to Ditch the Lawn

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Connie Beck

You probably realize by now that the most water­-wasting thing in your landscape is your lawn. So how to get rid of the existing lawn so you can plant a beautiful new drought tolerant landscape this fall…

If it is a cool season type grass (fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass types) then your removal is easy. You can quit watering and cover it with 6” of mulch after mowing it to the ground. Or you can mow it to the ground and dump 3” of compost on it and then turn it over, using a spading fork or a rototiller. If you have ANY bermuda grass or St. Augustine this won’t work. You will have to work on those areas in one of the following ways.

The best bet for removing a bermuda grass or St. Augustine lawn is available to you right now. It is called Solarization and it works beautifully, though your neighbors may wonder what you are doing.

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‘It’s Not Socialism, It’s Democratic Capitalism’

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

In a recent interview about the groundswell of popularity for Bernie Sanders, Richard Wolff, author of “Democracy at Work, a Cure for Capitalism,” opined that we are seeing a new form of socialism that doesn’t give the power to the government, but rather focuses on –

“changing the way we organize enterprises, so they stop being top-down, hierarchical, where the board of directors makes all the decisions, and we move to this idea which is now catching on: cooperation, workers owning and operating collectively and democratically their economy and their enterprise.”

Instead of looking at this as a new kind of socialism, I like to think of it as a new kind of capitalism—democratic capitalism, where workers are actually free.

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ALEC and Sempra Energy: the Attack on Rooftop Solar in San Diego

July 16, 2015 by Source

Solar Panels, Navy, Old Town

By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is lead on attacking rooftop solar by working to end “net energy metering” (NEM), where homeowners and businesses are paid for (net) energy they generate above their own use. Their role in states like Arizona is outlined in The New Yorker Article “Power to the People” (Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous) by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

NEM is now the subject of intense proceedings at the California PUC which so far this past year hasn’t seen a fossil power plant or utility rate restructuring scheme they don’t like. This is the same PUC which is under investigation by the State Attorney General for improper communications between regulators and the regulated utilities.

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Sign a petition calling for John Oliver to be Jon Stewart’s replacement on the Daily Show.

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Sign a petition calling for John Oliver to be Jon Stewart’s replacement on the Daily Show.

Comedian John Oliver has just shown that he is the best person to replace Jon Stewart on the Daily Show what with his recent pieces on the public monies being spent on privately-owned football stadiums, on ALEC, on visiting Edward Snowden in Russia – and the list is much longer.

His humor and wit and incisive, cutting insights and satire demonstrate that Oliver is the guy to continue the tradition that Stewart started – and besides that, John Oliver became famous on Stewart’s show, so he’s a graduate. Currently Oliver is on weekly on HBO.

COME INSIDE FOR THE PETITION

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San Diego’s Agreement With Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes Gave Them Huge Windfall

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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If you are one of those people who are keeping track of the short-term rental issue here in San Diego, you’re probably aware that Airbnb – the largest online short-term rental company – has just made an agreement with the City to begin collecting tourist taxes from visitors and remit them to the City.

And July 15th is the day that Airbnb will begin collecting those taxes on behalf of the hosts that sign up with them for rentals within the City.

This is great if you’re longing forward to see more money pour into the City’s coffers.

But guess what – this agreement includes a huge win-fall for Airbnb.

Okay, you ask, just what did our “Number 2″ city just give away to the online rental agency, worth an estimated $20 Billion?

Okay, what just happened in our town?

Comic-con, of course, which just ended after a 4-day bonanza.

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Why Suburbanites Contribute More to Climate Change

July 15, 2015 by Source

suburbia1By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

More and more Americans are taking responsibility for their personal contribution to global climate change by driving fuel efficient cars, insulating their homes and switching to energy efficient lighting and household appliances.

However, even someone that’s gone to the extremes of traveling only on foot or bicycle and forsaking home heating, cooling, lighting, food refrigeration and cooking will likely shrink their carbon footprint by only about a third. That’s because roughly two-thirds of Americans’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are embedded instead in consumption of other goods and services, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Global Development (CGD), a non-profit policy research organization.

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Easing Into University City

July 15, 2015 by Ernie McCray

University CityBy Ernie McCray

I’ve lived in Golden Hill/South Park for 40 years. It’s got to be one of the great neighborhoods in the world.

But one of my daughters needed more time away from her work to give her two young ones the kind of start in life she and her husband want for them. So they moved in with me – and I gradually moved in with my sweetheart in University City who came into my life after my wife passed away six years ago.

I love it that those two little precious beings are living in a house where Nancy and I raised their mother and her sister and brother.

I’m gradually easing into UC. It’s taking some getting used to as it’s a little less energized than my old stomping grounds where people are always moving about, both people who live there and people who come to just enjoy the inviting vibe of that part of town.

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Comedian John Oliver Gives San Diegans Some Advice in How to Deal With Chargers and the Stadium

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s John Oliver of Last Week Tonight take down of stadiums using public monies in building stadiums that make private profits for the NFL owners – and he used San Diego and the deal with the Chargers and our stadium. It’s excellent, btw, and every San Diegan should watch it.

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The Day – One Year Ago – that the San Diego City Council Unanimously Approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan

July 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: On July 29, 2014, the San Diego City Council took an historic vote and unanimously voted to approve the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update. This is a repost of the report of last year’s City Council vote .

With a 9 to zip vote, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update, yesterday, the 29th of July and in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately, the 150 plus OBceans jumped to their feet with whoops of delight and sustained applause that went on for minutes.

It was an emotional day for OB, with the Council vote culminating a very long process of updating the community’s urban design blueprint, a blueprint that will significantly affect OB for the next 20 to 30 years.

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Special Meeting of OB Planners to Review City Changes to Community Plan – Wed., July 15

July 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s entirely reasonable for OBceans to believe that the Ocean Beach Community Plan was a done deal – what with all of last years fanfare and mobilizing and petition drives and all.

On July 29th, 2014 – nearly one year ago exactly, the San Diego City Council approved the Community Plan in an unanimous and historic vote.

Yet, there’s always been one more hurdle to go – and it’s always been the California Coastal Commission. The Commission always had to give its stamp of approval on the Plan. Their vote on it was originally set for August 2014 – but has been constantly pushed back.

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Chargers Stadium Financing Plan: Sell City Owned Unicorns and Fairy Dust

July 14, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

This whole deal with using public money to build a stadium for a privately owned football team just keeps getting stranger.

Yesterday we learned the idea of using funds from developments adjacent to the Mission Valley site to fund the project was off the table. Ancillary development has been part of every stadium plan proposed over the past 15 years. That’s $225 million just vanishing. Gone. Poof!

Then where’s the stadium construction funding coming from? Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s spokesman, Craig Gustafson, emailed Scott Lewis at Voice of San Diego: “The plan the City/County team is developing is based on negotiations and discussions with the Chargers and the NFL.”

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council: Vote “No” Today on Stadium EIR

July 14, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The views expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and staff of the OB Rag.
_________

Dear San Diego City Council:

As a sports writer and stadium activist, I urge you to vote ‘NO’ with regard to ITEM-S500: Establishment of Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to AECOM Agreement for Environmental Review Services. (Mission Valley Community Area. District 7.)

In 2009, I broke the story for SanDiego.com that the Chargers had re-engaged city officials and the focus for a new stadium had turned to downtown. Since then, I have built a strong relationship with the team and spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Chargers beat writer for CBSsports.com.

With deep knowledge of the stadium issue, I am extremely concerned that a ‘YES’ vote will cost the city

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California Should Be a “No ALEC Zone”

July 14, 2015 by Source

ALEC American Legislative Exchange CouncilBy Francine Busby / San Diego Democratic Party

Sometimes we just need a little sunshine. That shouldn’t be too much to ask here in Southern California. Unfortunately, a dark cloud is headed our way in the form of a shadowy lobbying organization that buys loyalty from state legislatures with untraceable corporate dollars and threatens the very fabric of our democracy.

Exaggeration? Not even a little. Concerned yet? You should be.

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How to Fix California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

July 14, 2015 by Source

housing-construction

California should require developers to include affordable housing for a fifth of all new projects

By / San Diego UrbDeZine

As the economy improves, California’s affordable housing crisis is worsening. The average rent in California ($1,240) is almost fifty percent higher than the national average. This is pricing out our state’s low-wage blue collar workers, who have flat incomes and rising commutes. It would take a service worker in San Jose 20 years to save up enough to buy a home.

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The Celebration of the OB Red House Centennial

July 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tom and Jane Gawronski hosted a celebration of the centennial of one of OB’s most famous old houses – the historic “Red House” o- n Saturday, July 11th. In attendance were some of OB’s most well-versed historians and socially-minded folks.

The Red House celebration was complete with speeches, beverages, a birthday cake and song, with tours of the house – since rehabbed and remodeled from the days during the 1970s when it earned its reputation for being a center of the anti-Vietnam war movement and grassroots politics in OB -.

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A Critique of the Austerity Proposal for Greece

July 13, 2015 by Source
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A Critique of the July 10th, 2015 Austerity Proposal for Greece from Syriza; There is an Alternative!

by Peter Bohmer / July 11, 2015

It is increasingly likely although not a done deal that Greece will come to an agreement with the 19 European Union countries that use the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (the troika) in the next week or so.

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Summer Chronicles 4: Mourning Time: Animals Are Passing From Our Lives

July 13, 2015 by Jim Miller

extinctionBy Jim Miller

Last summer about this time, I did a couple of pieces about the clear prospect that we are in the midst of the sixth extinction. Since then, the news has continued to get worse, with a recent study showing that the current rate of extinction is ample cause for alarm.

In “Vertebrate Biodiversity Losses Point to a Sixth Mass Extinction” published in Biodiversity and Conservation Malcolm McCallum summarizes recent findings succinctly when he writes that “the great speed with which vertebrate biodiversity is being decimated are comparable to the devastation of previous extinction events.”

More concretely, that means we have bid adieu to:

  • the Golden Toad,
  • the Baoji Dolphin,
  • the Hawaiian Crow,
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San Diego Gardening in July: It’s about the Water!

July 13, 2015 by Source

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

tomato on vine

Friends—India and Pakistan had devastating heat waves in June. This makes my whine about too much heat in San Diego gardens a bit of a whine. Nonetheless, the heat in my La Mesa garden just about did my veggies and me in. I thought I was watering deeply only to discover that I was not.

San Diego County has many water districts, each of which has warned consumers about percentage of water reduction for their residential customers. Be sure you know how much water reduction is required (read mandatory) in your neighborhood.

We all waste more water inside and outside our homes than we realize and it really must stop. Here’s how to be water wise in the garden in July and probably August.

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More Memories of “Red House” of Ocean Beach

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Since we were alerted to the Centennial of OB’s famous “Red House”, we asked fellow travelers who once lived there or lived in OB during the Seventies who had memories of the political house and its residents. Here is another “memory” of Red House, by Dickie.

By Dickie

I moved into Red House on March 1, 1973, one of 6 activists to take occupancy beginning a long stretch of time when Red House was identified as a center of the OB community movement.

We were community and antiwar activists and we had been living for a month across the street on Cape May in the little 4-in-a-row fourplex we called the “Barracks” because it was all activists living there.

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Improving Parks in Ocean Beach – 2 Projects, 1 Area

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Report on the OB CDC Meeting

By Lois Lane

The Ocean Beach CDC met Thursday, July 9, at the OB Rec center, as usual. The meeting was called to order by the President, Tom Perotti, with the primary topic being, the usual, the Veterans Plaza and the Children’s Play / Lifeguard Fitness

Plans for the Veterans Plaza has been submitted to the City of San Diego Development Services Department (DSD). This is called the “Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza-CDP”, an application for a Coastal Development Permit, submitted on 16 June.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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California State Beach Showers to Be Shut Off Beginning July 15

July 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Ready for a sandy summer?

California state beach showers will be shut off to save water, beginning July 15th. State park officials announced the new policy as an effort to deal with the severe drought. The ban only applies to outdoor showers, not the indoor ones at state campsites.

City of San Diego outdoor beach showers – some call them ‘rinse stations’ – will continue – beaches like Ocean Beach. OB has such stations near the main lifeguard station and over at the new public restrooms on the beach near Dog Beach.

It’s estimated that each shower at the beach to rinse off uses 1.2 gallons of water. State officials hope to save up to 18 million gallons annually with the shut-offs.

Most of the beaches affected by the water-tightening rules are in Southern California.

In San Diego County, beaches affected by the change are:

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