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Council Hosts Councilwoman Zapf, Hands Out Parade Awards and Police Give Update on Local Crimes

To a standing-room only crowd, with pizza being handed out over on the side, with a couple of TV cameras in motion, Ocean Beach Town Council president Gretchen Newsom loudly gaveled the monthly meeting to order. The crowd of over 200 took their seats in the large auditorium of the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Newsom called it a “record turn-out” for a town council meeting and then deftly guided the meeting over the next 2 hours, which included handing out awards for the winners of the 35th Annual OB Holiday Parade, and opening the floor up for non-agenda items during which a number of people aired complaints and issues. The room remained in a near-festive mood throughout the evening and not an uncivil word spoken.

The Friends of the OB Library made a big show, wearing “Cat in the Hat” costumes, and addressed the audience and the Councilwoman about the need to expand the local branch.

Also the organizers of the recent “Community Discussion” gave the audience a brief summary of their gathering and issue ideas.

The main agenda item was the introduction of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, after which Zapf gave a personal tale of poverty as a child, then switched to some of her legislative priorities, and finally fielded questions from the audience. Her aid for the community, Conrad Wear, was also introduced.

After the Zapf presentation, Community Relations officer David Surwilo got up before the meeting, introduced the other commanders present, and then launched into sharing a practical perspective on policing, giving an update on the current “crime wave” in OB, …

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san diego sealBy Doug Porter

There’s lots to report on, starting with the annual wish lists for the coming fiscal year’s City of San Diego budget. The consensus item among the city council’s lists is finding more money for paying police.

A local non-profit’s Facebook posting seeking unpaid interns (along with paying positions) to participate in building support for increased minimum wages came under fire yesterday. But things aren’t always as they seem; I think there is another agenda at play here.

And the 114th Congress is off to a great start, unless you want to count passing meaningful legislation as part of it’s goals.

Gimme Money, Honey

The San Diego City Council Budget Review Committee hearing Wednesday morning gave local representatives a chance to air their budgetary preferences for the coming fiscal year.

They’re hoping the mayor will consider requests for police pay raises, new fire stations, new parks, longer hours at recreation centers and street upgrades favoring pedestrians and cyclists for funding out of a projected surplus of $63 million for the coming year.

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By Eric Loomis/ Lawyers, Guns & Money (LGM)

Junípero_Serra_-_MallorcaPope Francis has decided to make Junipero Serra a saint. Serra was a Franciscan in California who founded many of the California missions in the 18th century, effectively making him an agent of colonization as well as a converter of Native Americans to Catholicism.

Building these missions meant forced labor from Native Americans while the conversion process obviously demonstrated a lack of respect for indigenous cultures as well as the compulsion of these conversions. Physical abuse of Native Americans was common, with many recorded beatings and whippings. A lot of indigenous people in California are very upset about the choice to canonize Serra.

Serra is far from the only Catholic saint involved in the colonization process. In Colombia earlier this month, I visited the church dedicated to Pedro Claver, a priest who converted slaves. Being Latin America, his remains are proudly displayed on the church altar.

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By Ernie McCray

The Playwrights Project has been producing plays written by dramatists, under age 19, for 30 years.

It all begins with the California Young Playwrights Contest, a statewide competition.

This year there were 581 entrants, way more than usual, and the stories of eight extremely talented writers made it to the stage – at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre at the Old Globe, no less.

Four of the plays earned full production and four are performed as staged readings – and I mean “staged,” because the Playwrights Project has no bounds when it comes to creative performances.

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Post image for Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy

By Brendan James / TPM / April 18, 2014

A [relatively] new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” they write, “while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Turn Out for Town Council Meeting – Tonight, Wed. Jan. 28th

January 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting their monthly public meeting, and besides dishing out the awards to December’s Holiday Parade winners, the Council will be welcoming new District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to the community. Representatives of the San Diego Police Department will also be on hand, as usual.

The meeting will be gaveled to order by president Gretchen Newsom very close tot 7 pm and is held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. See the meeting agenda.

The OB Rag urges all OBceans to attend this meeting and let Councilwoman Zapf know your issues and priorities. We especially believe there are serious infrastructure problems in Ocean Beach – such as the needed expansion of the OB Library, as well as a new lifeguard station, street lights, etc.

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Dreaming Big For the Q After the San Diego Chargers Leave

January 28, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following post is from SD YIMBY, a local San Diego blog devoted to development issues. We don’t agree with all of it but found some of it of interest, and decided to repost it in the spirit of the discussion about Mission Valley that the OB Rag has helped to initiate.

From SD YIMBY / January 25, 2015

It’s all but certain that the Chargers leave San Diego after next season. (I discussed this in my last post,). Without the NFL in San Diego, there is a huge opportunity to redevelop the Qualcomm site.

In discussions about the site if the Chargers were to leave for downtown, most people have assumed that the site would simply be sold to developers for a mixed-use development. Although that would be an improvement, I don’t think it is thinking big enough.

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Water Main Breaks Cause Major Problems in San Diego and Nationwide

January 28, 2015 by John Lawrence

water main break cop carBy John Lawrence

In the best of all possible worlds water main breaks would not happen. Local government would replace old water mains with new ones on a regular basis. That means that money for this and other infrastructure needs would be allocated systematically and appropriately.

If we had our priorities straight, money for infrastructure would take precedence over money for football stadiums and convention centers. But in San Diego and in fact throughout the US this rational approach is to be seen rarely if at all.

The Romans gave their citizens bread and circuses to keep them in line. Here in fact only circuses seem to be necessary.

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Offshore Winds + Solid West Swell = Golden State

January 27, 2015 by Source
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From Black’s to Bolsa Chica, Ocean Beach to Ocean Beach, this past weekend saw all-day offshores fanning the NW swell

From Surfline

Millions of waves are breaking all over the planet right now. Spin the globe, and where sea meets land, there’s a good chance there is some kind of breaking wave.

But the number of ingredients that have to come together to create great surf is shockingly high. Storm strength, distance and movement. Offshore bathymetry. Swell direction. Beach orientation. There needs to be some kind of reef, point or curvy beachbreak. Local winds. Tides. Etc. The list is nuanced and many.

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Reader Rant: Have Progressives Given Up on Ocean Beach ?

January 27, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag received this interesting anonymous rant about OB progressives via an unapproved comment at the OB Rag in a fake email address. We’re posting it as a “Reader Rant” as our readers may find it of interest.

The email by “anon” does end by asking OBcean lefties to attend the upcoming Ocean Beach Town Council monthly meeting on Jan 28; It’s at 7pm at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs. We couldn’t agree more with this part of the rant.

Have Progressives Given Up on OB ?

Psst! Don’t tell the government. Don’t tell the right-wing. But progressives, radicals, socialists, anarchists, leftists … whatever you want to call them – they’ve given up on Ocean Beach.

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Honoring Martin’s Dream Beyond MLK Day

January 27, 2015 by Ernie McCray

MLK Caricuture

By Ernie McCray

Martin Luther King. A loving man with the loveliest of dreams. After seeing “Selma,” which told the story of that chapter in the Civil Rights Movement powerfully well, I just had to write something about this dear man.

I didn’t know what I wanted to say until I happened upon a caricature that captured the very essence of how I often see him in my mind’s eye, as I think of him every now and then. How can I not in this world we live in?

The pose he struck in the portrait made me wonder what was going on in his head and based on what my friend, *Rabbi Ben Kamin, recently had to say about him in an examiner.com essay, he could have been thinking about a range of things.

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Change the World, Change Yourself

January 27, 2015 by Source

Unist’ot’en Camp scene

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press
(Photo credit: Zoe Blunt)

Friends and family tell me I too often focus on the negative. My doctors and therapists have told me me this, too. Diagnosed as I am with severe depression and surviving two suicide attempts, I used to believe them.

I came to therapy feeling like I was the problem.

Part of my recovery involved completing a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program.

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Memo Shows Expansion of Ocean Beach Library Budget Priority for Councilwoman Zapf

January 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Memo Shows Expansion of Ocean Beach Library Budget Priority for Councilwoman Zapf

A City of San Diego memo from the office of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf that the OB Rag has obtained shows that the expansion of the Ocean Beach Library is one of Zapf’s top 7 budget concerns.

In a memo from Zapf to Andrea Tevlin, the Independent Budget Analyst, dated January 16, 2015, it states:

“It is important that we fully fund the expansion of the Ocean Beach library.”

Even though the OB Library is listed as number 7 on the list, the memo begins:

“Below is a list of Council District 2 priorities that I would like to see included in the upcoming budget discussions. This list is not in a ranked order.” (Our emphasis)

The memo then goes on to list 7 priorities, with number 7 being “Ocean Beach Library Expansion”.

The other six funding priorities include Police officer retention, De Anza Cove Plan update, street repairs, and the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station.

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Ed Harris: Proposition G and the Belmont Park Lease

January 26, 2015 by Source
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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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The State Of the Union: Obama is an Eisenhower Republican

January 26, 2015 by Jim Miller

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: …

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The American Sniper As Hero

January 26, 2015 by Source

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

January 23, 2015 by Source
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CLICK ON FLIER FOR A LARGER IMAGE OR COME INSIDE.

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San Diego City Council Sets Pot Shop Operating Regs and Fees

January 23, 2015 by Source
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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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 …”

___________
COME INSIDE FOR A RE-PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE PETITION

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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.

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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
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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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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