Post image for Bill Fulton: Appellate Court Upholds Coastal Commission’s Tough Stance on Encinitas Seawall

Editor: The following was written by Bill Fulton, San Diego’s former Planning Director. Fulton comments on the latest development in the ongoing saga between the California Coastal Commission and some cliff-side property owners up in Encinitas. The Court of Appeal here in San Diego (Calif 4th District) just ruled in favor of the Commission’s requirement about how long private sea-walls can remain without being re-approved. We reported on this two months ago.

By William Fulton / Calif. Planning & Development Report / Sept 13, 2014

In a split decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld the Coastal Commission’s conditions on two property owners’ reconstruction of a seawall in Encinitas after it was destroyed in a storm, including limiting the new seawall’s permit to a 20-year term.

The majority ruling by Presiding Justice Judith McConnell is written much like a dissent, whereas the dissent by Justice Gilbert Nares reads like a majority opinion. This suggests that the third justice, Cynthia Aaron, may have switched her position during the writing of the opinion.

In any event, the ruling is a strong affirmation of the Coastal Commission’s muscular approach to permit conditions, …

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Post image for Nine Months Into $15 Minimum Wage – WA State Town Prospering

By Nathaniel Downes / Addicting Info / Sept 14, 2014

In January, the town of Seatac, Washington, put in to effect a new $15 per hour Minimum Wage. No ramp ups, no tiered implementation. One day it was the state standard, the next, the highest minimum wage in the nation. The Koch Brothers sank a fortune to fight this measure, which fell on deaf ears as the town rejected their trickle-down theories and instead voted for the measure. The result is that for one town, they became a test bed, to put the theories behind trickle-down economics to the test.

Now, nine months on, we are witnessing one of the most dramatic recoveries in the Pacific Northwest.

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Post image for What really happened at the Battle of San Pasqual? Come to OB Historical Society Presentation – Sept. 18th

Come to the OB Historical Society presentation, Thursday, September 18th for “the Battle of San Pasqual – Looking Through the Haze of Gunsmoke” – featuring local historian Richard L Carrico.

Ever wonder what really happened at the Battle of San Pasqual on Dec.6-7, 1846? Who really won the battle between Andres Pico and the Californios and General Kearny and the American forces?

What was Kearny’s objective? How many men did he lose in the ill-fated skirmish? What was the role of the Kumeyaay at the village of San Pasqual and who was the mysterious Indian Andre who accompanied Kit Carson to seek reinforcements? How can you visit the site of the battle and learn more?

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Post image for 3-Foot Rule Between Bicycles and Cars Goes Into Effect

The 3-foot rule goes into effect today, Tuesday, September 16, 2014. A new California law – signed by Gov. Brown a year ago – called the Three Feet For Safety Act – requires vehicle drivers to stay three feet away from bicyclists while passing from behind or slow down to a “reasonable and prudent” speed. Then the driver must wait for a chance to pass safely. It also does not allow drivers to cross a double-yellow line to pass.

A $35 fine awaits the driver for a violation of the law which jumps to $220 if there is a collision and the bicyclist is injured. The California Bicycle Coalition says, however, that with court fees, fines are really somewhere between $230 and $960.

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The OB Rag has heard that the Ocean Beach Community Plan will NOT be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission in October, as we reported, but instead will not go to the Commission until their January 2015 hearing. Their hearing is scheduled for somewhere in the South Coast area of the state.

According to emails from City staff, they were able to meet with Coastal Commission staff on August 29th. At that meeting, the two staffs agreed on all points except for three: …

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The People’s Climate March – What Will It Take to Save the Planet?

September 15, 2014 by Jim Miller

ClimateMarchBadgeBy Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew

This coming Sunday, September 21st, is the People’s Climate March in New York City, here in San Diego, and elsewhere around the world.

The organizers hope that it will be “an unprecedented citizen mobilization” occurring “[a]s world leaders meet at the United Nations climate change summit” while marchers demand “the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities. . . . Other marches will take place around the world as we collectively call on our leaders to act on climate change.”

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Community Energy in San Diego Threatened by “Poisoned Chalice” Electric Rate Fix

September 15, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

This – below – was one of six parting observations offered by Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron when he resigned from the PUC due to serious health issues in January of this year:

poisoned chalice “… with the passage of AB 327, the thorny issue of Net Energy Metering and rate design has been given over to the CPUC. … recognize this is a poisoned chalice: the Commission will come under intense pressure to use this authority to protect the interest of the utilities over those of consumers and potential self-generators, all in the name of addressing exaggerated concerns about grid stability, cost and fairness.

You—my fellow Commissioners—all must be bold and forthright in defending and strengthening our state’s commitment to clean and distributed energy generation.”

This from a gentleman who, before returning to California in 2009 and being appointed to the PUC by Governor Brown in 2011, spent 25 years in global finance, banking and operations …

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Lori Saldana: San Diego Needs to Regulate the Initiative Industry

September 15, 2014 by Source

Sign-Petition-300x226By Lori Saldaña

It’s time to point out the obvious: San Diego is becoming a city governed not by democratic process, and not by elected officials who achieved office after being supported by the most voters. It is increasingly run by checkbook politics, flush with funds deposited by businesses intent on overriding the votes of the City Council.

Former Mayor Sanders may have left City Hall, but he learned how to take the power with him. For the past year he has been able to demonstrate this power by pushing aside Council policies on community planning and now minimum wage. He is actively supporting conservative interests that hire signature gatherers to do this dirty work in public, while he and others in the Chamber ranks raise and bundle money and write checks behind the scenes.

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California Fish Stories – How Some Seafood Has ‘Come back’ and How San Diego’s Bluefin Tuna ‘Is On the Way Out’

September 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for California Fish Stories – How Some Seafood Has ‘Come back’ and How San Diego’s Bluefin Tuna ‘Is On the Way Out’

There’s mixed California fish stories right now. There’s good and bad.

Twenty-one species of commercial fish have just come off the ‘watch list’ and are no longer on the ‘avoid list’.

On the other hand, at the same time, the population of Bluefin Tuna – popular here in San Diego – has plunged to just 4% of its historic highs on a worldwide basis.

It was recently announced that 21 commercially important species of West Coast groundfish have been removed from the “Avoid” list. This was announced by the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. They were upgraded to either “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative”, and includes species such as sablefish, rockfish typical sold as “snapper,” and popular flatfish species caught by bottom-trawl and other methods.

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OB Community Plan Tentatively Scheduled for Coastal Commission Hearing in Newport Beach, Oct. 8 – 10

September 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Right now, the Ocean Beach Community Plan is tentatively on the agenda of the California Coastal Commission for its October meeting. Each month, the Commission changes its location, and in October it will meet at the Newport Beach Civic Center. The dates are October 8 – 10th.

Where exactly the OB Plan is on their agenda is not known at this time.

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Who Runs San Diego? Six False Premises for Convention Center Expansion

September 12, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

In 2009, then Mayor Jerry Sanders, the hotel industry, the Chamber of Commerce et al. decided that it was a really keen idea to expand the Convention Center.

They guessed that it would cost about $520 million to build and that there was a BIG market for expanded convention centers, and they warned us that Comic-Con would move on if we didn’t expand the Convention Center. They knew they could never convince enough people in San Diego to agree to pay for this idea so they created a special financing district comprised of just hoteliers.

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American Football Fantasy

September 12, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

football punchI enjoy American-style football because I enjoy the variety of plays, the effort, the amazing feats that occasionally occur during a game. The incredible runs. Completed forward passes. (I think the forward pass is one of the finest inventions of mankind) Intercepted passes and run backs from kickoffs.

I only played dis- or intentionally un- organized football in various intramural and amateur leagues or just plain back lot, mud ball where we refereed ourselves. We sanctioned players who wanted to hurt people. We loved playing the game.

What can we do to incentivize that part of the game and dis-incentivize all the behavior that is really just sanctioned violence …

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Senator Al Franken : Citizens United Is Money Laundering

September 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Senator Al Franken : Citizens United Is Money Laundering

By: Jason Easley / Politicususa / September, 9th, 2014

As the Senate continues to debate final passage of a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) came to the Senate floor and called Citizens United money laundering that was made legal by the Supreme Court.

During his remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Franken said,

This is real, M. President: spending by outside groups more than tripled from the 2008 presidential election to the 2012 presidential election, when it topped a billion dollars – that’s billion with a “b.” What happened in the interim? Well Citizens United was decided in 2010 – the floodgates were opened.

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KPBS Review of “Psycho Beach Party” at OB Playhouse

September 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for KPBS Review of “Psycho Beach Party” at OB Playhouse

Review: “Psycho Beach Party,” Ocean Beach Playhouse, Sept. 12-14

By Beth Accomando / KPBS / Sept 10, 2014

What better way to escape the summer heat than with some local theater productions that might be flying under the radar.

First off, hit the beach with the newly formed Ocean Beach Ensemble Experiment. The Ensemble describes itself as “a collaborative theatre experiment that encourages the development of provocative, innovative, and unusual theatrical works. Like Ocean Beach itself, our Ensemble embraces a playful and off-kilter celebration of the funky, the bizarre, and the unique, utilizing performance, music, art, and dance.

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Councilman Ed Harris: “Why I voted to increase the minimum wage in San Diego.”

September 11, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Councilman Ed Harris: “Why I voted to increase the minimum wage in San Diego.”

By Ed Harris

Last weekend I was outside the Trader Joe’s at Liberty Station where I met Pete.

Pete is from Los Angeles and came down to San Diego to obtain signatures opposing the minimum-wage ordinance. I listened to him talking to a woman about the ordinance, and since Pete wasn’t completely forthcoming with his information, I felt compelled to intervene.

I introduced myself as one of the San Diego City Councilmembers who voted in favor of the ordinance. I then asked the woman if she knew what she was signing. “Not really,” she said. When I asked Pete why he was gathering signatures, he told me, “Hey, I’m just trying to make a living.” (People collecting signatures make between $5 and $7 per signature.)

I supported an increase in the minimum wage because an additional $1.50 over three years is a fair compromise. That pencils out to $12 a day more for minimum wage workers. …

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There’s Always a Bad Smell Downwind of Carl DeMaio

September 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for There’s Always a Bad Smell Downwind of Carl DeMaio

Lori Zapf – the Future City Councilwoman for OB – Is Portrayed in DeMaio Ad as Simply Another Republican

By Doug Porter

Voters in the 52nd Congressional District come November will get to make their choice between the former City Councilman and incumbent Democrat Scott Peters. Today I’ll argue that this choice is more than ideological; it’s a question of character.

What differentiates DeMaio in my mind from others who I disagree with (including Congressman Peters from time to time) is the way he does business. A couple of recent examples serve to illustrate my point. (And I’ll remind you of some past incidents that bolster my contention.)

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Praise to the OB Rag From the Planning Board

September 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Praise to the OB Rag From the Planning Board

The other day, the OB Rag received a wonderful letter of appreciation from the Ocean Beach Planning Board, signed by Chair Pete Ruscitti. The Rag was praised for our work on the OB Community Plan.

Thanks so much, OB Planners. The Rag was inspired by all those who dropped their normal lives for a few months and got involved in pushing the Plan through the various challenges – and finally to the San Diego City Council

Here is the letter itself: INSIDE

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Reader Rave: “Why I Jumped Off Sunset Cliffs Yesterday.”

September 10, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rave: “Why I Jumped Off Sunset Cliffs Yesterday.”

Editor: The following “reader rave” was sent to us anonymously by someone who claims they’re a local resident and reader.

Yesterday, while searching Sunset Cliffs for waves, I stopped, got out and then walked over to where the kids jump, and I jumped off the cliffs – and I’m 65 years old. Here’s why:

It was hot yesterday … and muggy. I was looking for waves as I cruised the Cliffs. I had my suit with me and I knew I had to hit the water at some point.

I had seen them as I drove south along Sunset Cliffs Blvd – the kids jumping off that section of the cliffs into the Pacific below, and then climbing out over the rocks back up. You know where I’m talking about. It’s between Adair and Osprey. Heck, there’s even a Yelp page for it.

Kids, young people, have been doing it for years – jumping at that small outcropping -

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Extreme Weather Watch: August 2014 – Southwest May Face Megadrought

September 10, 2014 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Extreme Weather WatchThree new studies do not bode well for the future of the American southwest. California is in the midst of the worst drought in recorded history. However, this may be just the beginning.

There have been megadroughts before. And scientists are now 99.99% certain that climactic changes responsible for this extreme weather condition are caused by human activity which spews greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

And as the drought continues in California, record amounts of groundwater are being pumped by corporations which are bottling and selling it in other states.

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“I’m No Longer Ready for Some Football.”

September 10, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for “I’m No Longer Ready for Some Football.”

By Doug Porter

There was a time, back when I ran a sports bar in Washington DC, when celebrating our national gladiator sport was a near obsession for me. Televised games (no matter who was playing), betting pools, fantasy teams and the ultimate thrill of a couple of actual seats in an stadium were a big deal.

Not any more. The onset of the NFL marketing mix this year leaves me feeling empty. And sad. And mad.

It’s no longer about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. (It never was, but that’s another story.) Now its about brain damage. Now it’s about closing the ranks to hide egregious behavior. Now it’s about money, power and a platform for flaunting greed.

The big news yesterday was Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice. He was banned from the sport following release of a February 15th elevator video showing him punching his fiance.

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Todd Gloria: “Living the Wage is Indeed a Challenge in San Diego”

September 10, 2014 by Source

Live the WageBy Todd Gloria / President, San Diego City Council

My morning ritual on most days is to buy a cup of my favorite coffee in Hillcrest. This week I did not do that. I couldn’t because I was trying to live on the minimum wage. After paying for housing and taxes, I had $51 left to spend on all my expenses including food and transportation. This meant carefully considering how to spend every penny, and I couldn’t afford my morning coffee.

My reduced consumption wasn’t limited to coffee. I knew this challenge would require a drastic reduction in what I was able to contribute to the local economy. I didn’t eat out this week. I didn’t dry clean my clothes. I skipped washing my car. The businesses that I did patronize saw far less of my money than they would in an average week.

As I struggled to live on $51 for one week, …

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9/11: San Diegans to Demonstrate Against Supreme Court Justice Scalia

September 9, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for 9/11: San Diegans to Demonstrate Against Supreme Court Justice Scalia

Some San Diegans will be honoring September 11th by demonstrating for their freedoms and against US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – who is attending the California State Bar Convention being held in San Diego this week – for abusing the rights of so many Americans. Scalia consistently voted against women’s rights, most recently in the Hobby Lobby case, has equated homosexuality to murder and bestiality, and overturned key elements of the Voting Rights Act.

Justice Scalia will be here on Thursday, September 11th. – MORE INSIDE …

Scalia: an Utter Moral Failure – SEE INSIDE

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Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine

September 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine

Exclusive: With a new Amnesty International report on possible war crimes by a Ukrainian militia against ethnic Russians in the east, the evidence is mounting that the U.S.-backed Kiev regime knowingly deployed extremists, including neo-Nazis, as part of a conscious strategy, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry / Consortiumnews.com/September 8, 2014

In the Ukraine crisis, U.S. and European politicians and media have relentlessly condemned Russia for violations of international standards, particularly Moscow’s acceptance of Crimea’s hasty vote to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. But the West has gone nearly silent regarding Kiev’s violation of rules for controlling armed militias, including neo-Nazi forces.

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Staving Off Traffic Jams Along the Information Super-Highway

September 9, 2014 by Source

Every major consumer group, a nationwide coalition of mayors, and thousands of startups and small businesses have joined millions of people in urging the FCC to save Net Neutrality.

By Timothy Karr / OtherWords

Sinistra Ecologia Libertà/Flickr

There was no vacation for the Internet this summer.

While many Americans slipped away to the beach, Internet users were busy defending the openness of a network that has become this era’s engine for free expression, ingenuity and just about everything else.

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Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

September 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

By Denis Cuff / Contra Costa Times

PLEASANTON — It’s not everyone’s idea of great swag, but Tri-Valley homeowners are lining up for a new drought freebie — recycled sewer water.

Toting empty milk jugs, tubs, buckets, even water tanks, residents have been lining up to fill ‘em up since mid-June at what sewer district officials say is the only plant giving away free treated effluent to residential customers.

Dublin San Ramon Services District officials say they weren’t sure there would be any takers, but about 60 eager do-it-yourselfers are now making regular runs to haul water to irrigate their yards and vegetable gardens, fill decorative fountains, wash off horses and control dust at stables.

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News From the Sands of September at the Beach

September 8, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for News From the Sands of September at the Beach

* Councilman Ed Harris and Nathan Fletcher Urge Veterans Not to Sign Petition Against Minimum Wage

* CHP Goes After SeaWorld “Sucks” Guy on Charges of Vandalism and Trespass

* Planners tackle concerns, nuances of Veterans’ Plaza rock-wall design

* More About the Parrots and About the Parrot Shot in OB

* City’s plan to uproot illegal pot shops is a slow, arduous process

* Rock in peace? Fat chancePoint Loma man says city’s noise ordinance is unconstitutional

* Former Point Loma Man Arrested in Hawaii on 7-Year Old Murder Case of Wife

* Coast Guard Rescues 5 People and One Boat Off Point Loma

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Bernie Sanders: “I Want To Know If Ordinary People Are Ready to Stand and Fight”

September 8, 2014 by Source

Bernie Sanders

US Senator from Vermont is touring the country to capture the pulse of populist sentiment and to see whether or not hunger exists for a real ‘political revolution’

By Jon Queally / CommonDreams

The Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders has a hunch about the American electorate, but he says the only way to be sure is to go out and meet them.

It’s called the ‘Fight For Economic Justice Tour,’ but it’s really what the self-identified Social Democrat described earlier this year as his attempt to travel the country in order to gauge the country’s hunger for a grassroots ‘political revolution‘—couched in a possible presidential bid—to challenge the economic inequality and corporate malfeasance that have severely wounded the nation’s democracy and are strangling its promise of shared prosperity.

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What’s Shaking in Ocean Beach?

September 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for What’s Shaking in Ocean Beach?

What’s shaking in OB? Not an earthquake. But plenty of other things make the coastal village a happening place – especially in construction and new businesses.

On a recent tour of Ocean Beach, I discovered the following developments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEntryway Project Improvements

There’s lots happening at OB’s Entryway Project – at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Blvd and West Pt Loma Avenue. The project at the frontdoor of OB has a history of delay, so any momentum forward is certainly welcome.

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Obama Reneges on Using Executive Action to Implement Immigration Reform Until After Midterm Election

September 8, 2014 by Brent Beltran

San Diegans Speak Out Against the President’s Unwillingness to Help the Latino Community

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Latinos throughout the United States woke up yesterday morning to the news that President Obama had decided not to use his executive powers to push immigration reform forward until after the November election.

For months the President has said he would do whatever he could to implement reforms for millions of undocumented immigrants in the US. He kept the Latino community’s hopes up only to have those hopes crushed in an act of political cowardice.

The Deporter-in-Chief once again lets the Latino community down.

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The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce: Oppressed Underdog?

September 8, 2014 by Jim Miller

A Pathetic Attempt to Re-Write History

Jerry Sanders 7By Jim Miller

Recently UT-San Diego sat down with San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders for an interview so he could lay out the Chamber’s “new” aggressive political action plan.

During the course of the interview Sanders was steadfast in his insistence that the Chamber exists to respond to the mythic hegemony of labor in San Diego politics.

For instance, when discussing the perceived need for the recent referendums on affordable housing, the Barrio Logan plan, and the minimum wage and earned sick days ordinance he explained:

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