Post image for OB Planning Board Wed., Sept 3: Quigley Complex for Condos and New Units on Abbott Empty Lot

Here is the official agenda – INSIDE – of the Ocean Beach Planning Board for their monthly meeting, this Wednesday, September 3rd. The Board meets in the community room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave., 6pm sharp. The Board will be looking at permits to convert residential units on Long Branch to condos and to allow the building of three one-bedroom units on Abbott.

Quigley Complex for Condos?

The Board has a couple of important action items on their agenda. First up is a permit and map waiver for the Quigley Complex at 5151 Long Branch. The current owner/developer Bateman wants to convert the 4 residential units in the unique building designed and built by well-known architect Rob Quigley back in the Seventies into 4 condos. (Quigley designed the new Central Library in downtown San Diego.) Bateman needs Board approval of his condo conversion plan.

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Report of OBTC Public Meeting of Wed., August 27

By Lois Lane

If you shot a parrot with a BB gun, the Ocean Beach Town Council would not be the place to defend your action. Up at 5:30 am with the parrots? This is an endangered species we are talking about, believe it or not.

Amanda Plante of SoCal Parrot Society filled us in on the facts. Contrary to popular belief, these Red Crown Amazons are not the descendants of a pair which escaped from an OB apartment. They are an endangered species of Mexican parrot, previously imported by pet owners, and now on the endangered list as a result of the destruction of their native habitat.

Southern California currently has more and larger flocks than those that still exist in their original homes in Mexico.

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george-orwellBy Justin King / The Anti-Media

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

Though many in the modern age have the will to bury their head in the sand when it comes to political matters, nobody can only concern themselves with the proverbial pebble in their shoe. If one is successful in avoiding politics, at some point the effects of the political decisions they abstained from participating in will reach their front door. More often than not, by that time the person has already lost whatever whisper of a voice the government has allowed them.

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labor movementBy Jim Miller

Over the last year, the subject of economic inequality has been in the news quite a bit with the release of Robert Reich’s spectacular documentary Inequality for All and economist Thomas Piketty’s seminal work, Capital in the Twentieth Century. The picture they paint is a grim one and new bad numbers just keep rolling in.

For instance, a few weeks ago a Russell Sage Foundation study revealed that the wealth of the typical American household has dropped nearly 20 percent since 1984 and yet another study notes that private sector wages measured in real terms have dipped 16.2 percent since their 1972 high point. In the wake of that news, another US Census Bureau report came out showing that middle class household wealth fell by 35 percent between 2005 and 2011.

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Post image for Niagara-Bacon Area Quickly Becoming OB’s New Hot Spot

By Matthew Wood

Move over, Newport Avenue. There’s a new hot spot in Ocean Beach.

OK, nothing’s taking over for OB’s main drag in terms of businesses and foot traffic. But if you walk just a block south on Bacon Avenue, you might be surprised at the renaissance of business and shopping.

The long-perceived notion that the only businesses that can survive have to be on Newport is quickly diminishing. That’s evident with the addition of Bar 1502 – the new incarnate of the immensely popular OB Noodle House just eight or so blocks down – at the southeast corner of Bacon and Niagara. It now gives a solid restaurant option at each corner of that intersection, providing ample opportunities for businesses on the block to attract traffic.

“It’s awesome to see,” said Bar 1502 owner Steven Yeng, who passed up offers to open up shop on Newport. For him, the location is a personal dream come true, as it is just steps from his boyhood house.

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Watch the Video of the Guy Who Put “Sucks” in the SeaWorld Freeway Sign

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Steve-O took 2 days and 5 efforts to place “Sucks” in the SeaWorld freeway exit sign last May. He’s a star already. He released this video of his efforts and it has gone viral.

It’s hilarious. Steve got help in climbing up and taping the word “SUCKS” over the mileage part of the giant green sign near the I-5 exit. So, it read “SeaWorld Sucks”.

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San Diego Program Forces Welfare Applicants to Be Subject to Un-Announced DA Searches

August 21, 2014 by Source

P100 1

How San Diego’s P100 Program Screwed Diego and Anna

Part 2 in a Series – [Here's Part 1]

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

San Diego’s Project 100 (P100) program involves intrusive, invasive home searches by law enforcement officials from the DA’s office for everyone that applies for welfare benefits.

These searches are unannounced and the potential welfare beneficiary must be at home whenever the investigator chooses to come or else they will be denied benefits. This makes it difficult for someone who has even a part time job.

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New Online Journal Asks “Is OB Slacking?” Because There’s No Protests at CVS

August 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: There’s a new online journal, “Our City”, which has taken a crack at Ocean Beach with a recent article titled “Is O.B. slacking?” With photos of CVS under construction, the OB Starbucks, Hodad’s, and the new condo construction on Abbott, the article delves into why there haven’t been any local protests of the new in-coming CVS Pharmacy in the old Apple Tree market building.

They ask:

What, no protests? No nasty bumper stickers? No nothing?

A chain store is coming to Ocean Beach, and there’s little sign of any kind of major backlash against this latest corporate invasion.

Their conclusion is interesting. …

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The Grand Experiment at Voice of San Diego

August 21, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic Logo

Editor: This is the latest in a series titled, “Who Runs San Diego?“. The last few articles have focused on San Diego’s media.

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

When Voice of San Diego (VOSD) began online publication nearly a decade ago the excitement in progressive San Diego was palpable. Here, finally, was an answer to the biased reporting that had been a hallmark of the UT for years (even before it was purchased by Doug Manchester).

The world of journalism was being revolutionized as the print media model became too expensive and cumbersome to compete in an instant access world. Slate and Salon opened their digital doors, and it seemed a new dawn of accountable news reporting was upon us.

San Diego journalist/entrepreneur Neil Morgan and Buzz Woolley founded VOSD.

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Less Than Meets the Camera’s Eye – a Former San Diego Journalist’s Recollection of Meeting Reagan and Bush

August 21, 2014 by Source
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What was surprising was Reagan’s ah-shucks, shambling kind of entry walk into the room.”

By Bob Dorn

I’ve met two Presidents of the United States (POTUS, the now fashionably artless acronym via the Secret Service) and they both happened to be Republicans: George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan. I can say with as much confidence as I can name the day I was born that they were far less extraordinary than a lot of other people I’ve met.

I was a nobody who happened to be making a living as a reporter, a more difficult practice these days than it used to be, which is another story, and more difficult to tell than this one. I don’t feel that I earned what I know about the two who appear in the paragraph above. I just happened to be in the right place when they exposed themselves.

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Councilman Ed Harris: ‘My Issues for the second half of my term.’

August 21, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is by Councilman Ed Harris of District 2 of the City Council. Harris represents Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and other communities. His term representing the District ends in early December 2014.

By Councilman Ed Harris
As summer wraps up and the second half of my council term gets under way, I wanted to share some information and provide you with an update from my City Council District 2 office.

  • Illegal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries — Last month when I met with representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, Neighborhood Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Services, I learned there were 63 illegal marijuana dispensaries that remained open in the city, with 17 of those located in District 2. Neighborhood Code Enforcement and the City Attorney’s Office are actively working on getting these storefronts closed. …
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A Message to the Readers of the OB Rag

August 20, 2014 by Staff
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As August winds down and we prepare for the Labor Day weekend coming up, the official end of Summer, we at the OB Rag wanted to share what’s going on here at your community website.

On Vacation 8/22 – 8/29

First of all, we’re going on vacation. Yea! We need a break too.

The OB Rag will not be publishing between Friday, August 22nd and Friday, August 29th. Therefore, any reports of meetings or events or reviews will have to wait for our return.

Time to Toot Our Horn

And as we take a break and perhaps reflect on what it all means, it’s time to toot our horn.

  • The OB Rag is coming up on our 7th anniversary – this October. It was October 2007 when we began publishing – during the midst of the huge 2007 wildfire – and we’re still going. This has been no simple feat. But we think we have made a positive impact in OB and within the larger City of San Diego with our brand our citizen journalism.
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Air Force Helicopters Too Close to Ocean Beach Residents

August 20, 2014 by Staff
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A local OB man has complained to the media about low-flying military helicopters. Jim Baird sent a video to Channel 10News and was interviewed by their reporter.

Baird claims the helos are flying under 200 feet, whereas experts say the aircraft must be no closer than 500 feet to vessels, people or buildings. His video confirms his observation. Baird told the station:

“They were scary close. I mean, you could feel the pulsation of the blades on your body. And I was just standing there with my palms up and my hands out like this asking them, ‘What are you doing?!’ And they flew by.”

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San Diego’s P100 Program Targets the Poor and Vulnerable While Letting the Rich and Powerful Off the Hook

August 20, 2014 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Part 1 of a Series

black-mom-3-kids-250x250[1]Since 1997, San Diego County has required all families applying for California’s version of welfare called CalWORKs to submit to warrantless, suspicionless, unannounced home searches and interrogations by District Attorney investigators.

As of June 2013 about 150,000 families, or about 9,300 families each year, have been subject to these searches. This policy, called Project 100% or P100, diverts money away from the poor and has not been shown to be effective at detecting or preventing fraud.

San Diego is the only place in the whole nation which has such an intrusive, untargeted policy …

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As Abortion Rights Shrink, What’s the Best Language to Use to Protect Women’s Options?

August 20, 2014 by Source

Planned_Parenthood_HCRAs leaders like Planned Parenthood are dropping “pro-choice” language, is there a smart alternative—and should there be one?

By Alyssa Figueroa / AlterNet

Across America, reproductive freedom is shrinking. Even with Alabama’s recent court victory protecting abortion rights in that deep red state, the overwhelming trend is very discouraging.

Red-state Republicans have shut down clinics in states like Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld protesters’ right to harass women going to clinics. State legislatures have …

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The Drought – Basic Q and A

August 19, 2014 by Source
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We Haven’t Come Close to Meeting Conservation: Water Supply Q & A with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley

by Matt O’Malley / San Diego Coastkeeper

With the worst drought in recorded history parching the state, water and water sourcing options are hot topics. Join us in a chat with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, who discusses the Colorado River, future water prospects and more.

Why is water considered the lifeblood of the Southwestern US?

Water is vital to almost everything we do, in particular the Colorado River is vital to our everyday existence. The reality is that most of the Southwest is desert, but we don’t live as though it is. Instead we try to make it look and live like regions that get much more rainfall – such as Hawaii or Florida.

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A Battle Over Increasing the Minimum Wage in San Diego

August 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Don’t Sign It! Don’t Sign the Petition to Overturn San Diegos’ Minimum Wage – see below

Editor: The following is Doug Porter’s article posted today on DailyKos about the fight over our city’s minimum wage law. Much of it is a repeat of material Doug has used in his Daily Column at our sister online media partner, San Diego Free Press. (“douigbob” is Porter’s online handle at that site.)

by dougbob /DailyKos / Aug 19, 2014

A City Council veto override on Monday has set the scene for a showdown between local and national business interests vs. a labor-community coalition over San Diego’s Earned Sick Day / Minimum Wage ordinance.

Following months of public hearings and invitations (mostly declined) for local businesses to hammer out a compromise, the city council passed an ordinance providing access to five earned sick days and setting a local minimum wage increasing to $11.50 over three years.

This action makes San Diego the largest city in the nation to raise the minimum wage.

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Can We Just Create a Civil Society Where Black Boys Can Feel Free to Just Be?

August 19, 2014 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

Michael Brown. Another black boy dead, unvalued and unloved by this society, unseen for what he is, a human being, dehumanized before he’s memorialized because we love to show a victim at his worse. They just had to show him strong arming a man for a pack of cigarillos.

So now we get away from his being shot (six times I just read) by someone paid by the citizenry to “serve and protect” and we start thinking, because of his criminal shenanigans, that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t deserving of continuing to live on earth with the rest of us.

Well, I’ve known many kids, a grandson of mine being one of them, who thought, at one time, they were slick and went off and committed some stupid crime and then went on to become outstanding human beings. Why? Because nobody killed them. My grandson spent some time in juvenile hall away from all who loved him and came out declaring “The criminal life is not for me” and went on to graduate from UCSD and learned to speak Chinese and is now embarking on a possible business venture with China. We have to give children a chance.

To borrow words from Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights hero of mine, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” of this American game where a black boy is killed and then painted in an ugly dismissive light as rationalization for the taking of his life.

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“A Trail for Humanity’s” Final Walk Begins in Chicano Park

August 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

A Trail for Humanity's walkers and supporters march through Barrio Logan.

By Brent Beltran / San Diego Free Press

On the morning of Saturday, August 16 over 100 people gathered by the temescal (sweat lodge) in Chicano Park for a ceremony to honor the walkers of A Trail for Humanity.

On July 22 a group of women and children left Merced, California on a journey south to the US-Mexico border in San Ysidro to pressure the Obama administration to put a halt to its deportation enforcement only policies; call for an end to the use of police as immigration enforcement agents; demand an end to family separations; and stem the tide of racial profiling that has incarcerated so many migrants and African Americans.

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News at the Beach You Might Have Missed …

August 18, 2014 by Staff
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Was Sunday’s Broken Water Main in Ocean Beach or Point Loma? Local Media Still Confused About Boundaries of OB

Over the weekend, there was a serious water main break in the Peninsula …

Despite “Upgrades” – Protests Still Continue at SeaWorld

The protesters were back at SeaWorld San Diego on Sunday, August 17th, despite the theme park’s announcement just recently that it was going to build larger tanks for its killer whales, …

Baby Whale Leaves Mission Bay Because It’s Too Stinky

In the middle of last week, a baby gray whale was seen cruising into Mission Bay, right next to Ocean Beach. The whale was spotted surfacing in the bay sometime the morning of Wed., the 13th of August, according to CBS. …

AND MORE INSIDE …

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Our Communities Are Not Warzones

August 18, 2014 by Source

fergusonmilitarizationTell the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice: Stop funding the siege on communities of color.

By American Civil Liberties Union

Last week, local police fatally shot an unarmed African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days that followed, there have been massive protests in Ferguson and heavily armed SWAT teams are roaming the streets in response. Our communities are not warzones.

And yet the police, armed to the teeth, treat us like the enemy, especially if we’re black, young, poor or homeless. Tanks are rolling through our towns. What will it take for police to start protecting communities of color, not waging war on them?

The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice are funneling billions of dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies every year to help them purchase military weaponry and equipment. What business do DOD, DHS, and DOJ have funding a war here at home?

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Latest Plan to Privatize Post Office Hits Unexpected Obstacle

August 18, 2014 by Source
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By David Morris / On the Commons / Nation of Change

Labor solidarity is stopping the U.S. Postal Service’s pursuit of a fully privatized post office. Could this be a game-changing obstacle?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) management just ran into a possible game-changing obstacle to its shameful pursuit of a fully privatized post office: labor solidarity.

Here’s the background. For a decade the USPS has been aggressively shrinking, consolidating, and outsourcing the nation’s postal system. In July 2011 management upped the ante by announcing the rapid closure of 3600 local post offices, a step toward the eventual closing of as many as 15,000, half of all post offices in the nation.

A groundswell of opposition erupted. Citizens in hundreds of towns mobilized to save a treasured institution that plays a key and sometimes defining role in their communities. In December 2011, after Congress appeared ready to impose a six-month moratorium on closures USPS management voluntarily adopted a freeze of the same length.

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Why Read? In Defense of Uselessness

August 18, 2014 by Jim Miller

happyfaceBy Jim Miller

While I still deeply love my chosen profession of teaching after twenty-five years of work at various colleges with the last seventeen of those at San Diego City College, it’s hard not to notice the constant drumbeat of critics casting doubt on the value of my life’s work in the humanities.

Whether they be corporate education reformers bent on imposing a business model on colleges or techno-boosters with a zeal to toss all that I hold dear into the dustbin of history, there is a long line of naysayers.

As David Masciotra recently noted in “Pulling the Plug on English Departments” in The Daily Beast, “The armies of soft philistinism are on the march and eager to ditch traditional literature instruction in favor of more utilitarian approaches . . . It is easy to observe the sad and sickly decline of American intellectual life, through the cultural and institutional lowering of standards, when prestigious publications promote the defense, if not the celebration, of lower standards.”

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From San Diego, LA, to New York City – Americans Demand End to Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men In Solidarity With Ferguson

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From San Diego to Los Angeles and across the nation to New York City, Americans of all colors rallied and held vigils on Thursday, August 14th, in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, in their struggle against local police who shot and killed a young Black man, Michael Brown.

The common issue and demand that are uniting Americans is a call to end police shootings of unarmed Black men.

In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, more than a hundred people gathered to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and with the family of Michael Brown. Organizer Kim Moore yelled out:

“Put our hands up, don’t shoot!”

This refrain has become a rallying call for those in Ferguson and in San Diego and elsewhere. Reportedly, Brown, the teenager killed by police, had his hands up before being gunned down.

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SeaWorld San Diego to Build ‘Bigger Bathtubs’ for Its Killer Whales

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld San Diego to Build ‘Bigger Bathtubs’ for Its Killer Whales

In response to the public pressure that has decreased its attendance and finances due to awareness of how its orcas are treated, SeaWorld has announced that it will “upgrade” its facilities for its killer whales. Larger tanks will be built along with “water treadmill” systems to give them exercise.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published today, SeaWorld is spending millions to build the new enclosures – beginning in San Diego:

The company plans to upgrade the killer whale tanks at three of its theme parks, beginning with the San Diego location. The new enclosure in San Diego will be almost double the size of the current one, holding about 10 million gallons of water and extending to a depth of 50 feet. The company wouldn’t specify the cost of the upgrades, only saying it would be several hundred million dollars.

Our lucky San Diego orcas will now have new exercise equipment

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The Widder Curry: My Visit to Fort Rosecrans Cemetery Two Years Later

August 15, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Note: After visiting the cemetery on Saturday, August 9th, 2014, we three widow’s were sorely disappointed in what we saw – or didn’t see, two years later. I sent this article to Doug Ledbetter, the Director of the Ft. Rosecrans and Miramar Cemeteries so that he would be aware of what I was going to write. He called me this morning – Monday, August 11th, and we discussed the conditions I have mentioned in this article. His comments to me are in italics and indented next to our concerns:

Two years ago – August 21, 2012 – I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. The cemetery has special meaning to me because my husband is interred there, and it will be my “home” when I leave my Pt. Loma home. Over the past two years I have written several follow-up articles about the grounds and have complimented the “new” director, Doug Ledbetter on returning the cemetery to its “pre-2012” standards.

I don’t know if it was “karma” but yesterday I received a call from Doug asking me if I had been up to the cemetery lately. I had not, but told Doug that today three of us were going to visit our husbands on Saturday because it has been a long time since we have been there.

I told him that we were looking forward to the improvements we expected to see, and I would let him know our thoughts the first part of the week.

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San Diego’s Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up With Arrival of Sleaze of Political Consultant Hired to Defeat Ordinance

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for San Diego’s Minimum Wage Battle Heats Up With Arrival of Sleaze of Political Consultant Hired to Defeat Ordinance

Editor: Doug Porter over at our online partner, San Diego Free Press, has hit the nail on the ol’ proverbial head with today’s column on the battle heating up over San Diego’s minimum wage ordinance.

The anti-minimum wage forces, boosted by Mayor Faulconer’s veto of the ordinance last week, plan on running a petition to overturn the anticipated City Council over-ride of Faulconer’s veto.

Today, Porter focuses on the political consultant hired to run the petition drive, and gives needed context and background to the whole battle – which is being fought nation-wide.

By Doug Porter

I’ve been saying it for months now–the minimum wage battle in San Diego will bring out the Really Big Lies and the Really Bad Guys. Today we’ll give you a little taste of what they’re saying and what they really believe.

On Monday City Council President Todd Gloria has called for a special session of the City Council to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto of a minimum wage increase and paid sick days for San Diego workers.

Gloria is quoted in this morning’s UT, saying, “The City Council should stand up for the 38 percent of San Diegans who are counting on this raise to help them better make ends meet, and I hope they will override the mayor’s veto”

On Tuesday, The “San Diego Small Business Coalition,” created by big businesses, will roll out a small army of signature gatherers armed with a spiel designed to fool voters into thinking they’re signing a reasonable petition.

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Who Runs San Diego? Papa Doug the Kingmaker

August 14, 2014 by Source

Who Runs San Diego? A Project of the Democratic Women's ClubBy Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

Last week we provided an overview of Doug Manchester, the U-T, and the influence this combination has on the electorate of San Diego County.

This week, the goal is to delve a bit deeper, using a recent issue to illustrate the intensity of collusion with the publisher of the region’s largest paper and other powers that be.

From Voice of San Diego:

“It was Saturday, Aug. 31. No Republican had announced his or her intention to run to replace Mayor Bob Filner, whose term in office ended quietly the night before.

“A group of about 30 of the city’s most influential conservatives and right-of-center business representatives assembled at developer Tom Sudberry’s La Jolla estate.”

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Bad Day at Blackfish Rock – SeaWorld Now Says Its Losing Visitors and Money

August 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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SeaWorld Shares Drop 30%

It was a bad day yesterday, Wednesday, August 13, for SeaWorld, as company execs admitted for the very first time that the aquatic theme parks are losing visitors and money due to the film “Blackfish” – the movie about SeaWorld mistreating orcas. Almost immediately SeaWorld shares dropped 30%.

Up to now, SeaWorld – which has 11 theme parks across the country – has denied that its earnings and numbers of customers have declined due to “Blackfish”.

Yet they had to admit the losses in the company’s financial results for the second quarter of 2014. The losses are due to a drop in people coming to their “destination-parks” – like SeaWorld San Diego. With audiences in decline and sales of everything from tickets and products affected, the company reported:

Attendance of 6.6 million, a 0.3% increase versus the second quarter of 2013” – plus

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Giving Praise When Praise Is Due: Delta Airlines and Toyota of San Diego

August 14, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Delta Airlines

For the past ten years I have not flown anywhere. I think flying everyday when my husband was in training for Ma Bell in Los Angeles and my working in San Diego – good old PSA – took its toll on me. When I was transferred to Maine I found that I was still doing a lot of flying, and, quite frankly, didn’t like the small commuter planes I had to take from Maine to Boston for various conferences, conventions, etc. When we returned to California and finally San Diego, I could not fathom flying anymore and decided to either take trains or drive.

My daughter lived in North Park at the time of the PSA airplane crash and for years I had nightmares about not being able to find her for 6 hours after the crash. (She was attending classes at SDSU and didn’t even know about the crash. Obviously there were no cell phones then!)

And one trip that the entire family took to the Yucatan, Mexico City and Guadalajara was a real nightmare in that we took off from Tijuana and in our return found out that due to a bad storm the instrument landing that would have been used was not operable. After attempting to land 3 times we finally landed in San Diego and, to make a long story short, returned to TJ to get our car by bus. There had not been any reason to leave San Diego for the past ten years and I was content to stay home.

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