Post image for Ed Harris: Proposition G and the Belmont Park Lease

by Ed Harris

Last year during my State of the District Address I called upon District Two residents to monitor and weigh in on development projects that came forward but were not resolved while I was in office. One such project is the Belmont Park lease extension. For a primer on the issue you can read an article I wrote about it in September of 2014.

While I was the Councilmember for District Two, it was my duty to protect the taxpayer’s money. When it came to the Belmont Park lease extension, I asked City staff two simple questions: How does the lease extension benefit the taxpayer and how much more will the City make if it extends a lease from 25 years to 55 years? I never received satisfactory answers to either question.

I also had real concerns about whether the City had the legal right to expand the square footage of commercial space at Belmont Park because of Proposition G that was approved by the voters in 1987.

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obama-eisenhower3By Jim Miller

Last week, President Obama gave a pretty good speech in which he outlined a series of solid progressive policy proposals along with a few very bad ideas like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What was most telling about the response to his speech, however, was how glowing the praise was in some quarters for what, in essence, was a fairly pedestrian list of things to do: raise the minimum wage, support collective bargaining, admit that climate change is real and act upon it in some way, tax the rich more than the middle and working classes, recognize basic civil rights, and make community college free for students as a way to expand opportunity, as well as some other modest initiatives.

These proposals, along with Obama’s threat to veto the Keystone Pipeline have encouraged many downtrodden Democrats and progressives as they should, but they hardly represent a significant shift in our politics.

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American SniperBy FDRDemocrat/ Daily Kos

The controversy over the movie American Sniper has predictably reopened the divide among many Americans over the Iraq War. What is more interesting is how the choice made by director Clint Eastwood to choose a sniper as a heroic archetype unravels classic notions of what is considered heroism.

The concept of heroism has been with humanity since the beginning. At it’s heart it contains a common thread where the hero (or heroine) risks themselves for the sake of others.

How then to adapt the heroic archetype to the profession of sniper? This is no easy task.

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Post image for Calling All OB Library Lovers – Come to OB Town Council on Wed., Jan 28


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Post image for San Diego City Council Sets Pot Shop Operating Regs and Fees

OB’s Councilwoman Zapf Casts Only “No” Vote

By Debbie L. Sklar / Times of San Diego

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of a package of amendments to medical marijuana regulations that, among other things, establishes a minimum fee of nearly $1,100 for annual operating permits.

The amendments pertain to an ordinance that sets the terms under which dispensaries will conduct their business. The operating regulations differ from land-use restrictions, which determine the allowable locations for pot shops.

“I anticipate there will be more discussion and more changes down the road as San Diego experiences these operations actually open legally,” Councilwoman Marti Emerald said.

Among other things, the City Council wants the annual permit fee to equal the cost of inspections and other expenses needed to regulate the dispensaries. The city’s projected costs include the use of police officers to make background checks, fire personnel, zoning investigators, planners and City Treasury employees.


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On Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, GOP House Passes Vicious Assault on Women’s Right to Choose

January 23, 2015 by Source

Reproductive rights advocates say legislation would cause entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small businesses

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

[caption id="attachment_121745" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Light Brigade: Vagina Demagogues “On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, today’s action in the House is a vivid reminder of the constant attack women are under from politicians who—unlike most Americans—refuse to trust us and allow us to control our own bodies and make our own decisions about our lives.” (Photo: Light Brigading/flickr/cc)[/caption]

On the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirms a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion, House Republicans passed a far-reaching anti-choice bill that women’s health advocates say would cause the entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small business who provide comprehensive health care to their employees.

After pulling a more extreme anti-abortion bill at the last minute due to intra-party dissent, the GOP on Thursday voted 242-179 in favor of alternative legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that restricts federal funds for abortion.

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What’s the Fix for San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

January 23, 2015 by Doug Porter

infrastructure sdBy Doug Porter

Pssst! Got a spare two billion dollars? That’s a number being talked about in the search for a comprehensive approach to fixing San Diego’s deteriorating streets, pipes and public spaces.

The City of San Diego has issued a report outlining what it says are our infrastructure needs over the next five years, and it isn’t pretty. Our roads are falling apart. Public buildings like libraries and fire stations have repair needs that are mounting faster than the city can pay for them.

I’m told discussions about how to sell taxpayers on paying for this among the city’s big time players (led by the Chamber of Commerce) are already underway. While I don’t dispute the need to upgrade the bones of this city, whatever deal emerges to sell us on paying for it needs to include a whole lotta people who’ve been getting the short end of the stick lately.

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Warning Signs Are Up at Ocean Beach: Stay Out of the Water

January 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The signs are up at Ocean Beach that warn people to stay out of the water. The County Department of Environmental Health says the bacteria levels in the water exceed healthy standards. Anyone who swims or surfs in the area takes the risk of getting sick.

This is especially important to follow right now, as weather reports have the weekend warming up into the 70s.

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History of the Ocean Beach Library

January 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: The following is primarily based on a short paper by the Friends of the OB Library.

The original Ocean Beach branch library opened on Abbott Street at Santa Monica Avenue in 1916. It was in a one-room storefront location. Margaret Rankin became the librarian in 1921, and immediately began campaigning for funds for a new and larger branch.

Seven years later, she was successful, and in October of 1928 a new library did indeed open – and it’s been there ever since, at the corner of Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Smaller than the current branch, the original building had classic proportions and more windows than what we have today. The ceiling was built with supports made from cedar. The roof was covered with wood shingles and copper eaves. It won an award from the American Institute of Architects as an outstanding example of civic architecture.

Behind the library, a small park was set up, with shade trees, a decorative sundial and a play area, Inside, the decor was for leisure reading rather than studying, with rocking chairs and subdued lighting.

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Community Discussion: Common Sense, Communication Are Keys to Staying Safe

January 22, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Ocean Beach Residents Discuss Recent Burglaries and Other Issues

By Matthew Wood

By Matthew Wood

‘Lock your doors. Secure your windows.’

That was the underlying theme from Wednesday night’s Ocean Beach community discussion, which mostly surrounded the spate of break-ins in the neighborhood.

About 60 people gathered at Teeter on Niagara Avenue to talk about littering, vandalism and other topics. But the conversation invariably came back to the eight reported burglaries in the neighborhood over the past few weeks that have gained media attention.

“The common denominator is unsecured homes,” said David Surwilo, the community relations officer for San Diego Police Department’s Western Division.

“You have to lock your doors and windows, even when someone is home.”

A number of speakers told stories of having their homes robbed. Solutions were offered, such as added lighting outside of homes and having an air horn handy in case of an incident. Many said they will take pictures of any shady characters hanging out near their homes. But most agreed the top deterrent is keeping your place secured.

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Sign the Petition in Support of the Ocean Beach Library Expansion

January 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Friends of the Ocean Beach Library are circulating a petition these days in support of the expansion of the OB branch. It states:

“We support the expansion of the Ocean Beach Branch Library from the current 4,000-square foot size to a modernized 15,000-square-foot facility that retains the historic core.”

It ends with an appeal to the mayor and City Council:

“We urge the Mayor and Council to support this top community priority …”


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The Passing of Chicano Warrior Reies López Tijerina

January 22, 2015 by Source

King Tiger: Reies López Tijerina

Reies Lòpez Tijerina’s spirit will not be forgotten and will live on in our hearts, minds and history

By Herman Baca

In the late 1960’s Cesar Chavez, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, Jose Angel Gutierrez and Reies López Tijerina were known as the Four Horsemen of the Chicano Movement. With the sad news that Reies Lòpez Tijerina has passed at the age of 88 in El Paso, Texas, on January 19, 2015 only one of the Four Horsemen remains…Jose Angel Gutiérrez.

To those of us in the Chicano Movement who had the privilege of knowing and working with Tijerina, El Tigre del Norte or King Tiger (who I knew since 1970) his passing is another reminder that; “A historical era is slowly, but surely coming to an end.”

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Friends of Ocean Beach Library Gear Up Campaign to Get Branch Back on City Expansion List

January 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Friends of Ocean Beach Library Gear Up Campaign to Get Branch Back on City Expansion List

The Friends of the OB Library are not happy. They’ve been working to get the local branch back on the city’s library expansion list for awhile now, but the recent news that the Ocean Beach Library is not on the list was upsetting to many of them.

So, the committee of about a dozen OBceans, with women outnumbering men 6 to 1, headed by Judy Collier, decided at their monthly meeting yesterday, Jan. 20, to gear up their campaign. They will continue to push their petition that they have been circulating to drum up support for the expansion – they already have more than 500 signatures; they’ll continue to meet with politicians and library staff in efforts to press their concerns.

Members of the committee will be attending the upcoming OB Town Council meeting with Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to show their support for the expansion. Some of them had given Ms. Zapf a tour of the library last Fall.

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Town Council Prez Urges OBceans to Come Out to Meet Councilwoman Zapf

January 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Newsom Cites Spike in Numbers of Travelers in OB and Spike in Complaints About Them

Gretchen Newsom is urging OBceans to come out to the next OB Town Council meeting next week and meet the new Councilwoman for Ocean Beach – Lorie Zapf – elected last year.It will be held on Wednesday, January 28th at the Masonic Center.

She has real concerns these days about a spike in the numbers of travelers in Ocean Beach lately. Newsom is the president of the OB Town Council, recently elected to a 2nd term. And she is no stranger to working with homeless and on the homelessness issue. “It’s very complicated,” she told the OB Rag in an interview.

Newsom thinks the spike in the numbers is connected to it being the winter months, with the warm weather and sunshine of the beach a strong attraction for travelers from the East. Not to mention, the East and Mid-West were both hammered early this winter.

“There’s rumors,” she said, “that ‘Slab City’ was shut down.”

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Extreme Weather Watch: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

January 21, 2015 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

It’s official: NOAA and NASA have confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Despite the fact of Arctic cold winters on the US east coast, the average earth surface temperature was the hottest on record. Those cold temperatures were more than made up for elsewhere.

The fact that the three hottest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 points in the direction that climate change is indeed a reality, a reality that is only getting worse as time goes on.

The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, a reflection of the relentless planetary warming that scientists say is a consequence of human activity. Climate change deniers have pointed to 1998 as the year they say the earth stopped warming. Despite the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record up to that point, that record has since been broken … many times!

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Humans Have Brought World’s Oceans to Brink of ‘Major Extinction Event’

January 21, 2015 by Source

But ‘proactive intervention’ could still avert marine disaster, researchers find

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

fish circleMarine wildlife at all levels of the food chain has been badly damaged by human activity, says a new report that urges immediate and “meaningful rehabilitation” if we are to avert mass extinction in the world’s oceans.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara and an author of the study, told the New York Times.

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OB’s PopUp Picnic from Saturday, Jan 17th – Photo Gallery

January 20, 2015 by Staff
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Folks with the OB Town Council organized a “PopUp Picnic” last weekend – and it was a total success. It all came down near the famous OB SeaWall around noon on Saturday, Jan. 17th.

Some saw it as a chance to “take back” the end of Newport Avenue, others saw it just as a chance to have fun with neighbors and others who care about OB.

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The War on Hen-Pecking

January 20, 2015 by Source

All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better.

laying-hensBy Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly.

After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper, the birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings, or turn around.

That’s still not very much space. And it’s certainly not “Chicken Disneyland,” as egg producer Frank Hilliker told UT-San Diego.

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Taking Back the Streets and Their Stories, Thousands Reclaim MLK Day

January 20, 2015 by Source

New York Marchers

In year that saw renewed calls for racial justice, over 50 nationwide demonstrations held to ‘desanitize’ the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

Thousands of people took to the streets on Monday rebuking what they say is the “sanitized” version of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and calling to restore the legacy of a man whose protests, like their own, were never “convenient.”

The nationwide actions marked the birthday of the civil rights leader in a year that saw renewed calls for racial justice in the face of persistent inequality, discrimination, and police targeting of communities of color.

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350.Org’s High Water Line in Mission Beach

January 20, 2015 by Source
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Excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at San Diego Free Press:

Volunteers with the local chapter of fanned out in Mission Beach yesterday, using chalk to mark off where predictions of sea level rise fueled by climate change will cause flooding in the coming decades.

They sought public input by getting petition signatures for a strong, enforceable City of San Diego Climate Action Plan.

From KPBS:

After New York’s HighWaterLine art project, San Diego’s Mission Beach was one of several communities across the country holding similar events. San Francisco, New York and Miami also used art to address climate change.

Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography predict a combination of high tides and big storms will cause massive flooding within the next 35 years. That’s why volunteers withSanDiego350 were using chalk along the Mission Boulevard sidewalk to illustrate those threats.

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Despite Disappointing Turnout, 100 San Diegans March 4 Miles for Justice

January 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

It wasn’t a massive turnout here in San Diego Monday for the 4 Mile March – far from it – but you can’t get away from the fact that one hundred San Diegans did march four miles for social justice in an effort to rekindle Martin Luther King’s militancy on his celebrated birthday.

San Diego joined a list of at least 30 other cities nationwide that also had “4MileMarches”. A small crowd of around 140 gathered at the City Heights park next to its library – about a quarter African-Americans – , and listened to a few speeches from the organizers of the different groups that set up the event. The speakers spoke of institutional racism, the killings by police of young Black men – and in San Diego – of young Latino men, of the connections between the days of Martin Luther King with today. They spoke of the need to strengthen an independent civilian police review board,

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OB’s People’s Food Expansion Plans Put on Hold

January 19, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Organic Store Had Agreement With “Tiny” of Tiny’s Tavern Before His Recent Passing

By Frank Gormlie

The expansion plans of Ocean Beach’s largest employer, the famous OB People’s Organic Food Market, have been placed on hold due to the unfortunate and untimely death of “Tiny”, the owner of Tiny’s Tavern.

The market co-op, which is a mainstay on Voltaire Street in OB, has just recently purchased the two parcels of land directly to the store’s east, one containing a duplex and the other containing Tiny’s Tavern. And part of the store’s expansion plans were based on an agreement with “Tiny” who was on the verge of retiring from operating his bar and small grill. “Tiny” – the nickname of Alan Kajiwara – had planned to use the land sale to the co-op as a push for him to move back to Hawaii where he has family, but his fatal stroke at the age of 54 ended all that.

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San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH – Today – Monday, January 19

January 19, 2015 by Source
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San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH
Monday, January 19, 2015 San Diego, Ca –

From Press Release of United Against

Please join United Against Police Terror – San Diego, ACTIVIST SAN DIEGO San Diego Branch of the ISO with the Coalition Against Police Violence for San Diego’s #4MILEMARCH.

The 4 Mile March will take place on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the rally will start at 1:00pm at the City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex 3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, California 92105 ending at Malcolm X Library at 5148 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92114

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We Need Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Fierce Urgency of Now”: Beyond Our Current Failure of Imagination

January 19, 2015 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

It’s the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and we will be greeted, as is the case these days, with lots of empty gestures and vanilla rhetoric that erases the radical nature of King’s legacy and neuters the impact of his ideas. As I have noted in years past, King was not a moderate whose only idea was that we should all just get along and respect each other. He was a provocative thinker and activist who challenged the core values of our society both then and now.

King fought what he characterized as “the triple evils of racism, materialism, and militarism,” sought to restructure “an edifice which produces beggars,” and called for us to move forward with a “divine dissatisfaction . . . until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice.”

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“PopUp Picnic” Planned for Ocean Beach Seawall – Sat. Jan. 17th

January 16, 2015 by Staff
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Some folks associated with the OB Town Council have planned a “PopUp Picnic” to be held down at the end of Newport Avenue, near and around OB’s famous SeaWall, the Veterans’ Plaza and grassy area, this Saturday, January 17.

They see it as a “way of taking back the SeaWall for families, community members, and people that Respect OB.”

There’s a facebook page on this …

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“The solid citizenry of Ocean Beach are aroused.”

January 16, 2015 by John Lawrence

Complaints About Homeless Have Echoes

By John Lawrence

The solid citizenry of Ocean Beach are aroused. For some time now, there has been a virtual state of war existing between businessmen and merchants, on the one hand, and homeless on the other. The growing homeless community in OB has been met with growing alarm on the part of the established citizenry.

Those with Establishment interests want to drive the homeless out of OB since they view them as a treat to their businesses and are offended by the mores and folkways of the homeless youth culture. Homeless contribute very little economically to established businesses and tend to scare away more conventional people who would have patronized these businesses. Homeless people have been refused service at several places of business and in turn have taken revenge through acts of vandalism and theft. Because of this, insurance companies have raised the rates charged to OB businessmen.

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Ocean Beach Business and Development Update

January 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s one of our irregular updates on Ocean Beach construction and development.

CJ Catering Moving Into Former Voltaire Street Bakery – Some good news for those with a sweet tooth,

CVS Opens in Former Apple Tree

In the Meantime New Apple Tree on Newport Makes Progress

Saratoga Condos to Open February 1

New Poles at Site of Future Sunset Plaza

Fourth 3-Story Behemoth on West Pt Loma Makes a Fine Blocked View

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In Deep: Sea-Level Rise and San Diego

January 16, 2015 by Source
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OBceans Take Note: Group Will Mark Off New High Water Level Mark in Chalk in Mission Beach on Monday, Jan. 19th

By Bill Avrin / San Diego

As we burn more fossil fuels, and thus pump more heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are changing every aspect of earth’s climate system. One of the many consequences is that the sea is rising.

On January 19, San Diego 350 will stage a simple action to help make people more aware of what rising seas mean to San Diego right now, as well as in the future. We’re going to Mission Bay, which is pretty much ground-zero for sea-level rise in our county, to mark out where the high-water line is likely to be in about thirty years. Come join us. It’s pretty striking where that line will be.

This article will give you some of the background on why this action is important. We’ll fill you in on what is causing the sea to rise, how it is likely to rise over time, and why it matters to us in San Diego.

Why the sea is rising.The sea is rising now because …

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The Ocean Beach Library Was on the Original Expansion List

January 15, 2015 by Anna Daniels
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Veteran Librarian Advises OB on How to Proceed to Get OB Back on the List

By Anna Daniels

Here’s some historical info that may be helpful in presenting your case to Councilwoman Zapf, Mayor Faulconer AND new library director Misty Jones:

“In 2002, the City Council approved a program to build or improve 24 libraries throughout San Diego, including a New Central library.”

Ocean Beach was on that original expansion list.

As recently as 2008, Ocean Beach appeared on a list of City of San Diego & CCDC Projects. The construction costs were $10,186,500 for an expansion to 15,000 square feet.

In 2010, over $2M in capital improvement funds were (I vaguely remember) used to fix the roof and other maintenance.

Thirteen years have passed and why is Ocean Beach (and so many other branches) on hold?

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Reader Rant: ‘OB public restrooms are a disgrace.’

January 15, 2015 by Source
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By Matthew Smith

I was wondering if the OB Rag had ever done any investigation into the horrible state of the public bathrooms at the OB beaches?

I regularly visit the beaches and each day Parks and Rec staff clean the bathrooms at 7 o’clock or 8 o’clock in the morning – every morning. There are two toilets in the main lifeguard tower bathroom and two more in the bathrooms on the beach near Brighton Ave. I’ve only seen the men’s bathrooms so these are the ones I’m asking about.

Every single day by noon all four toilets are clogged and unusable. This happens every day.

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