Post image for OB Planning Board: 2 Projects Approved, Concerns on Community Plan Update, Crosswalks and Stop Signs Cometh to OB

The Ocean Beach planners were certainly busy at their last meeting, held on Wednesday, July 1st. They approved 2 projects, one on Santa Monica and the other on Cape May, they heralded an update on crosswalks and stop signs coming to OB, and they hosted an impromptu debate on the status of OB’s Community Plan Update.

Concerns Raised Over Status of OB Community Plan

Several veterans of OB’s Community Plan update process expressed their concerns over the status of the plan – as it is currently heading to the August meeting of the California Coastal Commission, to be held locally in Chula Vista. Both Mindy Pellissier and Gio Ingolia, co-chairs of the committee that led the update process, were concerned about the timing and any changes to the Plan that city staff were making.

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Murrieta mural July_1_15

Editor: The following is an update on the one year commemoration in Murrieta held on July 1. San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter and Anna Daniels joined those who were bringing light to what happened a year ago to bussed-in immigrants. Doug Porter filed the following report, as part of his daily column at SDFP.

By Doug Porter

The 75 or so people who came to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate resistance to last year’s bus blockade gathered around a stage in the Town Square park under the watchful eyes of a dozen or so police officers. Situated just few yards away behind yellow caution tape, anti-immigration types screamed obscenities and racist insults through multiple bullhorns.

As protest rallies go, there really wasn’t much to see on stage. Banners waved, speakers spoke, people applauded.


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Post image for Reader Rant: The Mainstream Media and the Push for Endless War

By Jeff Stone

Why is the mainstream media only in hysterics over ISIS and the “terrorist threats” from Muslims? Could it be that they are being manipulated, or even directed by our government agencies?

Before you accuse this writer of paranoia realize that there are only six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today: Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, the “big six” absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States. (The OB Rag is not on the list)

And in the not too distance past, the government was admittedly involved in influencing the mainstream media. You may, or may not, have heard of Operation Mockingbird.


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Post image for The “Mallow Out” Campaign for Ocean Beach Continues for July 4th

OB Town Council: Thanks for Taking Pledge – and Asks for Volunteers for “Peace Patrol” and Day After Clean-Up

Editor: The following message from Gretchen Newsom, Chair of the OB Town Council, is all about the the continuation of the successful “Mallow Out” campaign for the second July 4th in OB in a row.

THANK YOU for taking the pledge to ‘Mallow Out!’ Your solidarity and support will help keep our streets, beaches, and ocean clean, enhance public safety, and help our local economy thrive.

Please invite your friends and neighbors to take the Mallow-Out pledge – (Come inside for the link)

Also, what made a BIG difference last year was all the community volunteers that cleaned up marshmallows immediately after the fireworks, i.e. not waiting until the next morning.

If you are able and available, please join our ‘Peace Patrol’ on the 4th of July. …

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Post image for The Abuse of Ocean Beach Tenants on Saratoga

By Frank Gormlie

Mark has lived in his small unit on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach for 14 years. His is one of the front units in the 8-plex, where a sidewalk and a narrow space separate the two buildings that make up a narrow courtyard. A row of garages that face the alley forms a “T” with the buildings.

Mark’s longevity as a tenant is not the only one. A woman neighbor has been there for 17 years and a buddy in one of the back units has been there for ten years.

Everyone got along in his courtyard neighborhood. Everything seemed fine, until about six months ago when the property changed hands. And a new property management team appeared. It was the Torrey Pines Property Management company that took over, as it was one of their clients that had purchased the units.


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California Offers Free ID to Homeless People

July 2, 2015 by Christine Schanes
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By Christine Schanes

As of July 1st, a homeless person, child or youth born in the State of California can get a free certified birth certificate from the county of their birth. And as of January 1, 2016, a homeless person, child or youth will be able to get a free new or replacement California photo identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

These public records fee waivers were provided during the 2013-14 California legislative session by the passage of Assembly Bill 1733 whose primary author was former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and whose joint authors were Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins and Assemblymember Brian Maienschein.

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Ignored by Comic-Con, Barrio Logan Creates Its Own Chicano-Con

July 2, 2015 by Brent Beltran

chicanoconBy Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan, located less than a mile from the convention center, has been mostly left out of Comic-Con over the years. Comic-Con International recently bought a building at 16th and National in Barrio Logan. Yet no official events are scheduled to take place here.

There’s not even a shuttle bus stop yet there will be Comic-Con buses running every twenty minutes down Cesar Chavez Parkway heading towards the freeway. And there will also be countless attendees using this community as a parking lot to escape the outrageous parking fees.

Yet no official activities take place here. No outreach has been done to incorporate a low income, mostly Latino community impacted every year by Comic-Con. And that is unfortunate.

We love comics and the popular arts as well. We’re even known for our art. Yet, Comic-Con ignores us.

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

July 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail 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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The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

July 1, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail 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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Murrieta, the Town Without Pity, Remembered One Year Later Today – July 1st

July 1, 2015 by Doug Porter

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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Student Loan Default a Growing Trend?

July 1, 2015 by John Lawrence

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


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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OB Planners to Review Projects on Santa Monica and Cape May

June 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail 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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Poetry at a Budget Meeting of San Diego School Board Members

June 30, 2015 by Ernie McCray


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
Thumbnail image for People Watching at the OB Street Fair – a Photo Gallery

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
Thumbnail image for Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Is Constitutional

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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