Post image for After Over 30 Years, OB Planning Board Changes Its Logo Due to Request From Originator

For over 30 years (we believe) the Ocean Beach Planning Board has sported its logo on agendas, letterhead, fliers and other documents.

The logo has the famous OB seagull with the “OB” with the planning board’s name below.

But now, the current Board – run by a bunch of upstarts apparently – has changed the logo into a symbolic “OB” with a parrot. My goodness! A seagull for a parrot. What’s next for OB? Veggie tacos instead of fish tacos? (JK guys, really.)

How could they change it after all these years? you may ask yourself.

But wait, they had a good reason it turns out.

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murrieta poster

Editor: As we repost an excerpt of Doug Porter’s column at SDFP, he and another San Diego Free Press editor, Anna Daniels, are on their way up to Murrieta, “the town without pity”. Stay tuned for an update.

By Doug Porter

Latino and Human Rights activists are returning to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate the anniversary of a historic confrontation that laid bare the racism in Southern California for the world to see.

It was one year ago self-styled patriots, acting on rumors and innuendo, blockaded busloads of refugee women and children from Central America on their way to a Border Patrol processing center.

The angry anti-immigrant protesters, seen on TV news across the country chanting of “Go home!’ and “We don’t want you!,” were tacitly encouraged by local authorities. (It was the local police who actually stopped the buses)

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Post image for OB Planners to Review Projects on Santa Monica and Cape May

The OB Planning Board has two projects to review at their next meeting, Wednesday, July 1, over at the OB Rec Center.

The first action item is the application for the proposed project at 5040 Santa Monica Avenue. The Project Review Committee gave it their thumbs up when they met on June 17, voting 6 to 2 for approval. The full Board makes the final decision.

Here is the report we filed then:

Commercial and Residential for Santa Monica – the “Last Sand Dune in OB”

The project proposed for 5040 Santa Monica was a scaled-down version of a development that had been approved back in 2006 but never constructed. The developer was going for a ‘substantial compliance review’ with the city, as the site has been dormant for around 10 years. The lot supposedly contains “the last sand dune in OB”.

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Post image for The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

By Carlos Batara

Henry Adams was right.

A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops. Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life. As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power.

Does Legal Neutrality Exist?

This belief came under heavy attack at law school. At law school, one of my first year professors repeatedly asserted that the law was neutral. Despite trying, I was unable able to buy into his proposition. It did not fit my reality.

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student loan debtBy John Lawrence

With over a trillion dollars in outstanding student loans, young college graduates are being forced to take jobs they hate in order to pay them back. Their futures consist of debt peonage for as far as the eye can see.

Some are opting out of a lifetime of death-in-debtorhood and choosing instead to start over living the life that they foresaw when they enrolled in college in the first place. Such a one is Lee Siegle whose June 6 opinion piece in the New York Times laid out his rational for defaulting on his student loan.

His decision was made based on choosing life over death:

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Protecting Mauna Kea: “We Are Satisfied With The Stones”

July 1, 2015 by Source

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By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

The pohaku stopped the Thirty Meter Telescope construction last Wednesday. They began appearing on the Mauna Kea Access Road like raindrops. First, they were sprinkled lightly underfoot. A small rock here. A larger one there. The cops cussed and swore as they tried to remove them from the path of their seemingly unstoppable paddy wagons.

As the cops ascended, washing over the lines of Mauna Kea Protectors standing in their way, small piles grew into a drizzle of stones formed in the gathering fog. Then, the pohaku became a downpour. Looking up the road half-a-mile, I saw heavy boulders standing up, marching to meet us, making it impossible for the TMT construction crews and their police escort to climb any higher.

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Is Ocean Beach Number 3 in Vacation Rentals for San Diego? Boasts Meet City’s Strict Law

June 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Is Ocean Beach Number 3 in Vacation Rentals for San Diego? Boasts Meet City’s Strict Law

There’s a new vacation rental property management company out there that’s boasting that with 12,000 short term vacation rentals, “San Diego is rapidly becoming the fastest growing market in the country.”

And it also claims that of the top 5 key regions in the San Diego area, Ocean Beach is number 3 in terms of potential earnings from property owners turning their units into short term rentals.

The company Pillow just announced that it is officially launching in San Diego, and it has a nifty graphic that shows that short term rental fees from OB make the community the third top community in the San Diego region.The breakdown: La Jolla, Pacific Beach, then OB, then San Diego generally, and fifth is Coronado.

The company is all about enticing homeowners to rent out their digs and has held several workshops around town. It’s already established itself in several other cities. Pillow

Wow! OB is number 3!

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OB Hostel Gets New Name and Improvements

June 30, 2015 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for OB Hostel Gets New Name and Improvements

By Matthew Wood

Say goodbye to the Ocean Beach International Hostel and hello to USA Hostels Ocean Beach.

That’s the new name of the iconic housing building for those passing through our magical beach community, which was bought last year by USA Hostels.

The company also owns a hostel in downtown San Diego, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s part of a number of changes the company is making to improve the guest experience, according to Chief Operating Officer Maria Argyropoulos-Minos.

She said rooms will have a new look, including new flooring, fresh paint and new lockers.

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Poetry at a Budget Meeting of San Diego School Board Members

June 30, 2015 by Ernie McCray

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By Ernie McCray

I had the honor of spending a day with a room full of progressive School Board Members from around San Diego County.

I wasn’t so sure, at first, as the subject was: Budgets.

Whenever I got my budget sheets at my schools, it might as well have been expressed in hieroglyphics – I just can’t relate to language like “Total Available Funds minus Total Outgo.” Gives me vertigo.

I was there, though, to kick things off. And in doing that I shared three poems and one went like this:

Our schools now,
at this stage
of a rapidly aging New Century,
are about to introduce
our kids
to the realm of Ethnic Studies.
Sure does
make sense to me

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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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People Watching at the OB Street Fair – a Photo Gallery

June 29, 2015 by Source
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Here is Albert C Elliott’s black & white photo gallery on people watching at the Ocean Beach Street Fair 2015.

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How to Measure the 30 Foot Height Limit in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

June 29, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for How to Measure the 30 Foot Height Limit in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

By Geoff Page

There continues to be confusion as to how to measure a building so that it conforms to the 30-foot height limit. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how this was calculated but learned some things had changed.

I also learned that the Development Services Department (DSD) has started using a twisted interpretation that resulted in a building on Avenida de Portugal being 36 feet high.

I would like to explain what I have learned about how height is to be measured. There are three issues.

The first issue is the question of where on a lot the measurement is taken from. The second issue is wording that the City has brought into the measurement language.

The third issue is the worst one, allowing measurement from future structures on a site, not existing conditions.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – June 2015: Balloon Shuts Down Troubled Indian Point Plant

June 29, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – June 2015: Balloon Shuts Down Troubled Indian Point Plant

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and the efforts of those who are working to bring about a nuclear free future. As US nukes increasingly approach or surpass their 40 year lives, they are becoming more qnd more dangerous and outdated. They need to be shut down and replaced with renewable energy sources—now!

1. Balloon Shuts Down Indian Point Plant

On June 16 the New York state The Journal News reported, “a balloon tangled in electrical wires led to a sequence of events resulting in the shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear plant,” which is located 35 miles up the Hudson River from New York City.

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Summer Chronicles #2: That Music You Are Hearing is the Grateful Dead

June 29, 2015 by Jim Miller

TranslucentBy Jim Miller

Gary Snyder is a courage teacher. His fine new book of poems, This Present Moment, is a meditation on wonder and impermanence. In it, for instance, we learn to value our laptops –

“Because whole worlds of writing can be boldly laid out and then highlighted/and vanish in the flash at ‘delete,’/so it teaches of impermanence and pain.”

And it’s true, the miracle of creation that comes out of “a formless face/which is our Original Face,” but as soon as the words are formed the self who made them is no longer there.

Still there is beauty, and moments of grace are there to be found and cherished in “the morning and night coming together,” the “glacier scrapes across the bedrock,” and “the deep dense woods.” You just need to follow “the shining way of the wild” and “hang in, work it out, watch for the moment.”

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Is Chumming Legal Off the Ocean Beach Pier?

June 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB pier fishingIs chumming legal or allowed off the Ocean Beach Pier?

Okay, you ask, what’s “chumming”?

There’s a variety of modern slang-type of definitions, but in relation to fishing, it’s when people fishing off the pier or in the ocean cut up large chucks of bait and throw them over the railings or overboard in hopes of attracting large fish – like tuna – or like sharks.

If the fisherman or fisherwoman is trying to attract sharks while fishing off the OB Pier – or any pier – when there are surfers and swimmers nearby – that makes it an extremely dangerous activity.

It was suspected that chumming may have been partially responsible for attracting the sharks that attacked children off Oak Island in Southern North Carolina back in mid-June, where two kids each lost a limb. The incidents – 2 miles apart – were followed by calls to regulate chumming off a local pier.

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Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Is Constitutional

June 26, 2015 by Doug Porter
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A More Perfect Union: Let’s Just Call it “Marriage” Now

by Doug Porter

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling Friday morning was a historic victory for gay rights. The majority said the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live.

“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.

As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.

Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.

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Debate Over Rock Church’s Decision to Refrain From Feeding and Clothing the Homeless

June 26, 2015 by Source

WorkingStandDownBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A recent post on the Facebook page for Homeless News San Diego showed a letter from the Rock Church regarding a change in policy for feeding homeless people.

Part of one sentence was highlighted:

refrain from feeding homeless people on the streets, as well as distributing items such as clothing and blankets.

The post indicates there were 107 shares and 206 comments!

I can’t recall ever seeing an issue evoke such passionate responses from so many people with opposing, yet reasonable points of view.

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Chipping Away at “The Black Problem”

June 26, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Angela Y

By Ernie McCray

The madness in Charleston, to me, is so much deja vu because blacks being shot or bombed where they worship and pray is not something that’s new here in the USA.

In no way. These atrocities started, practically, when they shoved us off the ships to pick cotton, way, way back in the day.

And where’s a good place to find a lot of us to slay? Church. Makes sense to a hateful evil-minded KKK kind of person who all of a sudden, out of his madness, just can’t stand to see a Negro alive.

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Four-Unit Muir Apartment in Ocean Beach Sold for $1 Million

June 25, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Four-Unit Muir Apartment in Ocean Beach Sold for $1 Million

A 4-unit apartment at 4649-4655 Muir Avenue was just sold for $1.06 million.

Built in 1951, the 4 units have between them 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, and stands on a 5,000-squareófoot lot (assessor’s parcel 448-531-04). Presently, they include 2,246 square feet together.

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OB Town Council: Drought Remedies, Mallow-Out Campaign, Caves, Grants, Vendors and Park Rangers

June 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council: Drought Remedies, Mallow-Out Campaign, Caves, Grants, Vendors and Park Rangers

The Ocean Beach Town Council juggled a lot of issues last night at its monthly public meeting – drought solutions, its “Mallow-Out” Campaign, the day after July 4th clean-up, the funding of grants …

It was well over half-way through the meeting when the keynote presentations on the drought and solutions were finally made to the crowd of about forty audience members and a dozen Council members.

Drought Remedies: Native Plants, Rainbarrels, Greywater and Diet

One-by-one several presenters laid out remedies that included learning about native plant gardens, which native plants are good to plant, about installing grey-water systems in your home, and how our diets also contribute to the waste of water.

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Getting Into the Spirit of OB Street Fairs – Looking Back at the Street Fair of 2009

June 24, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Getting Into the Spirit of OB Street Fairs – Looking Back at the Street Fair of 2009

We’re getting into the swing of things like street fairs and chili cook-offs. In an effort to get into the spirit of this weekend’s OB Street Fair of 2015, we decided to conjure up the spirits of a Street Fair of yesteryear, the 2009 annual OB festival down Newport.

Six years ago, the OB Rag – in conjunction with the OB Mainstreet Association, published a series of articles about different aspects of the yearly tradition, giving extensive coverage to the musicians, the street vendors, the trolley, the chili cook-off, and where all the money came from and went.

Plus some history – was the OB Street Fair of 2009 the 30th as was officially claimed or was it the 28th as one of the founders of the tradition claimed?

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Why Don’t Corporations Contribute to Charity Instead of Hitting Up Their Customers?

June 24, 2015 by John Lawrence

petco charity 1By John Lawrence

Do you find it annoying to be hit up for a donation every time you make a purchase? You’re out buying groceries or cat food or mouthwash and you get asked to make a donation to some charity.

“Would you like to contribute a dollar to help homeless dogs?”, the check out person asks.

I’ll tell you what.

Why don’t you reduce my total by $1.00 and contribute that to charity?

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The San Diego-Tijuana Boundary Monuments

June 24, 2015 by Source

Mexican war MapBy Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

In 1848, the U.S.-Mexican War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty stipulated that Mexico relinquish 1.2 million square miles of its territory to the United States in return for $15 million. It also assigned a Joint U.S. and Mexican Boundary Commission to determine the exact location of the new boundary line.

The Commission consisted of a large caravan of men, including a commissioner and a surveyor for both sides. The drawing of the boundary line took two years to complete–from 1849 to 1851. The Joint Commission erected 52 boundary monuments with #1 overlooking the Pacific Ocean in what today is Border Field State Park.

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Donna Frye Calls for “Massive River Park” at Qualcom Stadium Site

June 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Donna Frye Calls for “Massive River Park” at Qualcom Stadium Site

Donna Frye is trying to upset the apple cart that surrounds all the discussion about the Chargers and the Qualcomm football stadium site. Yesterday – Monday, June 22nd – she called for “a massive river park” at the 166-acre Mission Valley site.

In an Op-Ed piece in Voice of San Diego, Donna Frye – former City Councilwoman for the district that includes Mission Valley – called for something akin to another Balboa Park or Mission Bay Park.

In her piece, Frye dismissed the discussion about whether the Chargers want the current site and all the discussion about commercial and residential development of it, instead declared that it actually is “a big opportunity staring us right in the face – the potential to create a real San Diego River Park.”

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OB Town Council Takes on The Drought – Meets Wed., June 24

June 23, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Takes on The Drought – Meets Wed., June 24

The Ocean Beach Town Council is taking on The Drought at their next public meeting, this Wednesday, June 24th.

The OBTC wants the village to focus on the drought and does OB respond to it as a community and as a collection of individuals. In their newsletter, the OBTC states:

California’s drought is on everyone’s mind – from ‘drip pinching’ to help your pocket book, to being part of an eco-H2O savvy community, to joining the ‘dirty car club’ – we’ll all trying to do our part. Join us to learn about community and individual solutions to the drought!

They’ve assembled a panel of speakers for the meeting, due to begin at at 7pm at the Masonic Hall, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd – and they include: …

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All Aboard! Get Ready for the Great White Line Skyway

June 23, 2015 by Doug Porter

skyway white lineBy Doug Porter

Last Friday – June 19 – we learned about a proposal moving forward to add a two-mile long aerial tram from Balboa Park to the Bay. County Supervisor Ron Roberts, … found $75,000 i… to fund a “let’s do this!” study. … To nobody’s surprise, SANDAG’s transportation committee loved the idea, directing its staff to start making the “Skyway” operational in 5 years or so.

Since San Diego’s light rail system has color coded routes, it only makes sense to stick with this scheme. So let’s call this newest leg the “White Line.” Because that’s who it will be serving: white people and assorted tourists looking for a cheap thrill.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: This Is a War

June 23, 2015 by Source

defend mauna kea

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Sitting outside the 10 by 20 foot makeshift tent that has served as my home for the last 34 days on Mauna Kea, I watch the tent poles shudder to the concussion of US Army howitzer cannons firing live shells at their training grounds below. When the wind blows just right, from the south, the rattle of automatic rifle fire reaches the occupation. There’s no denying it: A war rages in Hawai’i.

It’s a war on native peoples, a war on women, a war on the land, a war on life itself. The war did not start in Hawai’i. …

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News Around Ocean Beach – Late June 2015

June 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Cheswick Bartender Memorial “Ride Out” for Shay Whitman Shay Whitman, a bartender at Cheswicks on Newport, was killed in an accident on June 4th,

BBQ House Expansion The expansion of OB’s BBQ House is really picking up pace.

OB Hookah Lounge Now Wants to Serve Food and Drink The hookah lounge at 4851 Newport Ave,

Voltaire Brewery Progress There has been progress on the brewery slated to open on Voltaire Street.

Sunset Plaza Towers Over Intersection It’s now clear just how large the building at the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire will be.

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“Ocean Beach Plaza” Planned for Cable and Santa Monica

June 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “Ocean Beach Plaza” Planned for Cable and Santa Monica

Demolition of Former Medical Buildings and Construction of Mixed-Use Commercial Buildings Planned

The owner of the large lot at the southeast corner of Cable and Santa Monica – whose buildings have for decades housed medical and dental offices – has applied for a permit to demolish the buildings and construct something he’s calling “Ocean Beach Plaza“.

The new planned project for the site – owned by well-known OB property-owner John Small – is for two commercial and mixed-used buildings, including a section with 2 stories, totaling 10,453 square feet. The lot is .45 acres and currently has a large parking lot in the rear of the building with alley access off Cable and street access off Santa Monica.

All the medical and dental offices have been emptied at this point, with only the dry cleaning business right on the alley still going. The property is addressed 1929 Cable Street and this is the address for the permit to demolish and build anew.

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Summer Chronicles #1: The Day After Father’s Day

June 22, 2015 by Jim Miller

sad-fathers-dayBy Jim Miller

In the summer of 1967, the great Brazilian writer, Clarice Lispector, began a seven year stint as a writer for Jornal de Brasil [The Brazilian News ] not as a reporter but as a writer of “chronicles,”a genre peculiar to Brazil.

As Giovanni Pontiero puts it in the preface to Selected Chrônicas, a chronicle:

“allows poets and writers to address a wider readership on a vast range of topics and themes. The general tone is one of greater freedom and intimacy than one finds in comparable articles or columns in the European or U.S. Press.”

What Lispector left us with is an eccentric collection of “aphorisms, diary entries, reminiscences, travel notes, interviews, serialized stories, essays, loosely defined as chronicles.”

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