weather5April Showers Turn Violent

By John Lawrence

As April drew to a close, drenching rain expanded across the Southeast states, bringing the threat of flooding and travel delays. Strong thunderstorms were also a concern for Florida.

April has been a particularly wet month across the Southeast due to several slow-moving storms that soaked the region over the past several weeks. Mobile, Alabama, has been one of the wettest cities in the entire country last month from a series of storms – recording over 13 inches of rain.

This is nearly three times higher than their normal rainfall for the month.

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Post image for Millennials see Edward Snowden as a hero – in time, so will the rest of society

By Anthony D. Romero / ACLU

Surveillance reform, like marriage equality, will come about because of generational change

About a year ago, a thirtysomething sculptor in Los Angeles began working on a bust of Edward Snowden. When he was done, he shipped the bust to his artist friends on the East Coast. Just before dawn April 6, the artists crept under cover of darkness into Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park and installed the 100-pound bust atop a Revolutionary War memorial.

“We chose to pay tribute to Snowden through the medium of a bust because that is one of the visual pieces society uses as a guidepost to who a hero is,” one of the artists said in a video released after the bust was installed.

By 3 p.m. the New York Parks Department and police had taken the bust down. But the next morning, a different group of artists cast a holographic image of Snowden where the bust had stood.

The message to the authorities could not be clearer: Snowden is not going away.

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Post image for Body of Local OB Woman Found Off Shelter Island

OB Crime Watch Facebook Describes Death of Anne Hollywood – A Local Character – Possibly Homeless

The OB Crime Watch facebook has been carrying a story about the death of a local OB woman by the name of Anne Hollywood. Although there are no San Diego news or coroner’s reports on her, the facebook that many in OB rely on regarding info or news of crimes, has been discussing her.

Anne Hollywood was a local character – and known by many who saw her always in brilliant lipstick and dressed up – no matter what hour it was. It was very possible that Hollywood was homeless at the time. According to OB Crime Watch:

Around April 28th, here body was found by the docks and her clothes were found scattered by the trash cans next to the boat launch on Shelter Island.


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Post image for Full Plate on the Agenda for the OB Planning Board Meeting – Wed., May 6

Climate Action Plan, Apple Tree Market, Community Plan and Various Transportation Issues on Agenda

It looks like the Ocean Beach Planning Board has a full plate on their agenda for their upcoming monthly meeting, Wednesday May 6th. Newly-installed Board Chair John Ambert will gavel the meeting to order at 6pm in the community room of the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

A close scrutiny of the agenda – see above – shows that most of the items are informational as there are no current projects under review for the action part of the agenda. The actions items on the agenda are to seat new members and to appoint community liaison representatives.

Yet there are plenty of issues on the agenda to warrant a high level of interest from community and business members of the village. The Board may take action on the recommendations from the various reports and presentations scheduled.

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Raising a Jedi in the Modern Age

May 5, 2015 by Source

maythefourthdino Chronicles of a Nerfherder’s Wife

By Olympia Andrade Beltrán

My husband and I are sci-fi nerds. There. I said it. We share a deep love for Star Wars that started in our youth. I was only a year old when Star Wars came out, and four years old when Empire Strikes Back was released… but I remember Return of the Jedi as the most mesmerizing, fantastic movie experience in all of my short 7 years on this planet.

What was it about those characters that captivated my imagination so? I loved the idea of heroes fighting together to bring peace. “Balance to the Force” was something so organic, and resonated with the indigenous wisdom imparted by parents in my Chicano home. Ollin is the Aztec word for duality, harmony, balance. A familiar idea.

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SeaWorld Cited for Violations of Employee Safety by Cal-OSHA in Middle of Its PR Blitz

May 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Cited for Violations of Employee Safety by Cal-OSHA in Middle of Its PR Blitz

In Another Blow – Mattel Pulls “SeaWorld Trainer Barbie Dolls”

In the midst of an aggressive PR campaign in a gigantic push-back against all the negative publicity it has received and the subsequent drop in attendance and profits lately, SeaWorld has just been cited by California health and safety inspectors for serious violations of employees safety.

Four citations were issued to the Mission Bay facility by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health- three of them serious – and all toll they carry about $26,000 in fines.

From an inspection that occurred on October 29th of last year, OSHA cites violations of worker safety that include a failure by SeaWorld to keep its employees aware of the dangers posed by orcas; requiring employees to ride and swim with them in the park’s medical pools and for having trainers be with orcas in more shallow areas on pool edges.

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May 4th – 45th Anniversary of the 1970 Kent State Massacre During Student Strike

May 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970



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

Today, May 4th, is the 45th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus. Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid

May 4, 2015 by Jim Miller

Photo by Keith Allison

By Jim Miller

Last week when the Baltimore Orioles played a game without fans in Camden Yard, there was much media coverage marking how the surreal event was unprecedented in American sports.

Perhaps, but it was not completely without precedent globally as the 1987 soccer match played to an empty stadium in Madrid, Spain came before it.

On the occasion of that strange contest, French social theorist Jean Baudrillard observed that “thousands of fans besieged the stadium but no one got in” and that this punishment of unruly soccer fans did much to –

“exemplify the terroristic hyperrealism of our world, a world where the ‘real’ event occurs in a vacuum, strippedof its context, visible only from afar, televisually.”

Maybe, Baudrillard wryly predicted, the game in Madrid was a harbinger of a future where no one would actually participate in such happenings “but everyone will have received an image of them.”

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Grand Canyon in the Crosshairs? Risky Mega-Development Moves Forward

May 4, 2015 by Source

Grand Canyon South Rim

‘The Forest Service is paving the way for foreign investors to exploit America’s most treasured natural landmark all to turn a profit,’ says Earthjustice

Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

The U.S. Forest Service is considering approval for a mega-development on the outskirts of the majestic Grand Canyon—a project the superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has called one of the greatest threats in the 96-year history of the park.

The Stilo Development Group, based in Italy, has proposed a sprawling urban development for the tiny town of Tusayan, near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon, which would include more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa, and conference center.

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Tide Turning Against Plastic Microbeads in Toiletries

May 4, 2015 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

Microbead products and alternativesThere are signs that the era where plastic microbeads from personal care products pollute bodies of water worldwide and aquatic food chains might be drawing to a close.

Microbeads are miniscule spheres of plastic commonly added as abrasives to personal care products like face scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste. They’re designed to wash down the drain, but because of their small size, they escape sewage treatment plants. Once discharged into oceans, rivers or lakes or onto land, they’re virtually impossible to clean up.

They’re typically made of polyethylene or polypropylene and do not biodegrade within any meaningful human time scale, especially in aquatic environments.

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News From the Shores of Ocean Beach and Point Loma

May 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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People’s Co-op Members Elect 2 Board Members

Plumber Ignites Fire in Cape May Apartment

Police Fatally Shoot Man With Knife in Midway Area

Innocence Project Stages Another Walk to OB from Downtown

Parents of OB 5-Year-Old Battling Leukemia Needs Help

4 Unit Apartment in Midway Sells for $1 Million+

Teen Pulls Elderly Couple From Mini-Van After Crash in Loma Portal


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Public Scrutiny Turns Civic San Diego Board Testy and Defensive

May 1, 2015 by Anna Daniels

Civic’s Community Benefit Policy enactment a study in #democracyfail

civicsd board meeting

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The Civic San Diego Board of Directors and President Reese Jarrett scored a victory at their April 29 board meeting. Civic San Diego, which describes itself as a “city-owned non-profit that is the entrepreneurial development partner for targeted urban neighborhoods” approved its own Community Benefit Policy with one dissenting vote after two hours of board discussion and public testimony.

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Being Grateful and Happy and All

May 1, 2015 by Ernie McCray

HappinessBy Ernie McCray

Maria recently asked her family and me (a relatively new member of the clan) to look over some questions and maybe talk about them later over a meal.

I took a peek and, regarding the first question, I’m grateful for having reached 77 years of age which, to me, signifies, that I am of the old and the wise, fit, still with it, busting moves everyday. These are “The Good Old Days!”

I’m so grateful to have friends and family to love and to know that they love me back. I’m grateful for my mother and grandfather who, long time ago, got me on the right track.

What am I proudest of? That would be having walked my talk, in a spirit of love, ducking and taking the blows it takes to create, out of that love, learning environments that were respectful of children’s humanity – role-modeling, as an “educator,” each step of the way, how an “educated” person should be in the world.

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Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud

May 1, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud

By Carlos Batara

There are no winners in wars. It’s just a matter of degree.

Both sides lose. One side loses less.

During my law school days, one of my best friends and I discussed this topic quiet often. He had served multiple terms of duty in Vietnam and been wounded twice. I was a dove and anti-war protester.

Outsiders did not understand the basis of our camaraderie. Though our positions started from different perspectives, both of us lamented the violence of war – and detested the negative effects such violence imposes on the world for decades after the firing ends.

Even Dwight Eisenhower, a decorated war hero who rode his triumph to the White House, acknowledged a similar sentiment. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can,” Ike noted, “as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

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Unprecedented Sell-Off of Ocean Beach Apartments Over Last 4 Years

April 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Unprecedented Sell-Off of Ocean Beach Apartments Over Last 4 Years

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.

Since the summer of 2011, there’s been nearly 20 of these transactions – the sale and purchase of multiple-unit properties in the OB village. There’s been at least ten since January 2014 and 3 this year already.

In particular, what’s been called “the War Zone” over the years – northwest Ocean Beach, has been especially busy.

Here’s what we found since August 2011, …

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OB Town Council’s Response to Lack of Funding in Mayor’s Draft Budget for Ocean Beach Infrastructure

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB Warm Lifeguard statinEditor: The following is the response in the form of a letter to Councilwoman Zapf by the Ocean Beach Town Council to Mayor Faulconer’s Draft Budget.

April 27, 2015

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

At our most recent public meeting we were made aware of a list of Ocean Beach-related priorities within the Mayor’s FY2016 draft budget. While we are pleased to have additional hours at the Rec Center, and increased funding for our Fire Station, the community was disappointed that there was no proposed funding for some of our most treasured infrastructure. The Life Guard Station and the Ocean Beach Library were noticeably absent from the draft budget. Earlier this year, we were elated to see these items listed in your Budget …

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Open Letter to Councilwoman Zapf From Friends of OB Library

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB LibraryEditor: The following letter was originally sent to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf by the OB Friends of the Library back in February of this year.

Here, the Friends’ President, Judy Collier, has resent the letter with the opening phrase, “what progress has been made since I sent this letter …?” We share it with you.

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

What progress has been made since I sent this letter on February 9, 2015? Thank you for your help and support.

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The Connection Between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War

April 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The War in Vietnam Formally Ended 40 Years Ago Today

By Frank Gormlie

There is a direct connection between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War – which formally ended 40 years ago today when the National Liberation Front finally captured Saigon – the then-name of the capital.

Or I should say, there’s a direct connection between the OB Rag and the anti-war movement against the Vietnam War. I was a militant member of the anti-war movement on my campus at UCSD from 1968 to 1970 when I graduated – along with hundreds and even thousands of other students.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: History for Haoles

April 30, 2015 by Source

Queen Liliuokalani at Iolani Palace in Honolulu

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

In the first essay of my Protecting Mauna Kea series, I made a mistake. I wrongfully described the ongoing, illegal American occupation of Hawai’i as an “annexation.”

Hawaiian friends of mine pointed this out to me and gave me a thorough history lesson. I was referred to documents, books, and websites that tell the truth. For the last several days, I’ve been reading everything I can on the subject.

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South Mission Beach Opposes New Lifeguard Station While Ocean Beach Can’t Get Its Funded

April 29, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for South Mission Beach Opposes New Lifeguard Station While Ocean Beach Can’t Get Its Funded

Here’s a difference between Ocean Beach and South Mission Beach:

South Mission residents and property owners are opposed to a new 4,000 square foot lifeguard station currently being built by the City of San Diego – while OB residents can’t get funding for a new lifeguard station here.

The City began construction recently on the 30 foot facility in South Mission. Meanwhile, OBceans found out just recently that there’s no funds for the OB station in the current budget being proposed by Mayor Faulconer – who used to represent OB while on the City Council.

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Peninsula Planners Confused Over Process for Nominating Officers

April 29, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

The normally routine annual process of selecting officers has become a befuddling mess at the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). This became evident at their latest meeting, held on April 16th.

Like the other 40-plus planning boards that are sanctioned by the San Diego City Council to make recommendations on land use and quality-of-life issues, the PCPB hosts an election every March in which members of the community vote for board members. These board members then select officers for one-year terms in April.

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Civic San Diego: The Kiss of Death for San Diego Neighborhoods

April 29, 2015 by Source

angry crowdBy Norma Damashek

The city of San Diego has first-class universities, first-class biotech companies, first-class ethnic restaurants, first-class theater, first-class engineers, artists, and musicians. Also: Our city has first-class standing as a prototype of community-based planning.

Who would have guessed that during the heady years of the 1960s while the Pump House kids were tripping the waves fantastic at Windansea Beach, other San Diegans – more firmly-grounded and civic-minded – were partnering with City Hall as official members of newly-created community planning groups. The La Jolla community plan was the city’s first. Then the Peninsula plan. Soon came the others.

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Community Budget Alliance Letter to Civic San Diego on Community Benefit Policy

April 29, 2015 by Source

community benefitsEditor Note: The Civic San Diego Board of Directors is meeting today to discuss adoption of their Community Benefit Policy (Item 8).

Dear Civic San Diego Board Members,

In light of the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies, the City of San Diego has a responsibility to establish clear policies and standards for publicly subsidized community economic development. In October 2014, the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee directed Civic San Diego to conduct a community outreach process.

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Fined by China, Qualcomm Losing Chip Business as CEO Departs

April 29, 2015 by John Lawrence

Qualcomm Sucks Up To China

Qualcomm1By John Lawrence

Qualcomm has been fined almost a billion dollars by China for violating its anti-monopoly law. China has the world’s most internet users and the largest smartphone market so Qualcomm has to tread gingerly with the authorities there since it doesn’t want to be booted out of the world’s most lucrative market.

The fine will knock 58 cents a share off Qualcomm’s earnings for the year. Qualcomm CEO Steven M. Mollenkopf thinks paying the fine will make Qualcomm better positioned to cash in in the future.

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Point Loma – OB Dems Get Lit on Medical Marijuana Regulations in San Diego

April 28, 2015 by Source
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Report of Pt Loma – OB Democrats Meeting Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Lois Lane

This past Sunday’s meeting had a decidedly progressive tone, with a panel discussion on the topic of medical marijuana, and a presentation about the OB Rag.

The medical marijuana topic had some high-powered speakers – Terrie Best from the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access; Alex Kreit, Associate Professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Ebon Johnson, director of the Green Nectar Dispensary.

Cynara Velazques, a club member, served as moderator. The guidelines stated that the topic was past the “for/opposed” stage, and was meant to provide information about the current law. Some interesting highlights: …

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Climate Mobilization Coalition Gears Up for Next Action – Meetings Every Saturday in OB

April 28, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Climate Mobilization Coalition Gears Up for Next Action – Meetings Every Saturday in OB

Local Climate Mobilization Coalition meets at People’s Co-op every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. — Here’s Report of April 25th Meeting

By Colleen Dietzel / Special to the OB Rag

Since early February this year the Coalition for Climate Mobilization has been organizing a series of events to build the movement leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November. (See OB Rag coverage of March 15th event.)

The Climate Mobilization Coalition’s goal is a call to the United States Government to immediately commence a national World War II-style mobilization to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, including solar, wind and water.

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Still Groovin’ After All These Years

April 28, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

A few days before my 77th birthday – “Hip-Hip! Hooray!” – I stepped into the Big Kitchen Cafe and the Rascal’s were “Groovin'” on the stereo and I couldn’t help but go back into time to when that song played in the background of my life.

I was, in this moment in time, slowly getting out of an unhealthy situation and found myself truly “Groovin'” on many a “Sunday afternoon,” kicking it with a beautiful high spirited funny-as-hell woman who, it seemed to me, was looking for what I was looking for at that stage of my life: fun, with no strings attached. Turned out later, I was the only one looking for that. She was more in tune with “Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly…” We parted amiably.

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How Communities Can Benefit from Private Development in California

April 28, 2015 by Source

south san franciscoBy Murtaza H. Baxamusa, Ph.D., AICP / San Diego UrbDeZine.

There is a building boom across California, but many communities have been historically left behind. Property tax increment has served as a planning and investment tool to provide public benefits such as affordable housing, good jobs and neighborhood amenities.

However, with the end of redevelopment, cash-poor cities across California are exploring innovative strategies to fund public benefits. One such strategy is to partner with developers for community benefits in exchange for planning and development rights.

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Right-wing Media Exploits Unrest in Baltimore to Push ‘Race War’ Narrative

April 28, 2015 by Source


By Adam Johnson / Alternet

When Breitbart’s Matt Boyle isn’t framing xenophobia as “pro-worker” or rambling on about a big gay hate machine (don’t ask), he’s attending baseball games with his family. A harmless enough act, and one I’m glad to see rightwing demagogues and communists alike can agree is a wonderful way to spend a spring evening.

While attending last night’s Orioles game, however, things quickly got out of hand for the Breitbart journo when unrest resulting from the apparent police killing of Freddie Gray boiled over into property damage and “clashes” between police and angry citizens outside of Camden Yards baseball stadium.

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