Photo by Keith Allison

By Jim Miller

Last week when the Baltimore Orioles played a game without fans in Camden Yard, there was much media coverage marking how the surreal event was unprecedented in American sports.

Perhaps, but it was not completely without precedent globally as the 1987 soccer match played to an empty stadium in Madrid, Spain came before it.

On the occasion of that strange contest, French social theorist Jean Baudrillard observed that “thousands of fans besieged the stadium but no one got in” and that this punishment of unruly soccer fans did much to –

“exemplify the terroristic hyperrealism of our world, a world where the ‘real’ event occurs in a vacuum, strippedof its context, visible only from afar, televisually.”

Maybe, Baudrillard wryly predicted, the game in Madrid was a harbinger of a future where no one would actually participate in such happenings “but everyone will have received an image of them.”

Be the first to comment

Read the full article...

Grand Canyon South Rim

‘The Forest Service is paving the way for foreign investors to exploit America’s most treasured natural landmark all to turn a profit,’ says Earthjustice

Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

The U.S. Forest Service is considering approval for a mega-development on the outskirts of the majestic Grand Canyon—a project the superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has called one of the greatest threats in the 96-year history of the park.

The Stilo Development Group, based in Italy, has proposed a sprawling urban development for the tiny town of Tusayan, near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon, which would include more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa, and conference center.

Be the first to comment

Read the full article...

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

Microbead products and alternativesThere are signs that the era where plastic microbeads from personal care products pollute bodies of water worldwide and aquatic food chains might be drawing to a close.

Microbeads are miniscule spheres of plastic commonly added as abrasives to personal care products like face scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste. They’re designed to wash down the drain, but because of their small size, they escape sewage treatment plants. Once discharged into oceans, rivers or lakes or onto land, they’re virtually impossible to clean up.

They’re typically made of polyethylene or polypropylene and do not biodegrade within any meaningful human time scale, especially in aquatic environments.

Be the first to comment

Read the full article...

Post image for News From the Shores of Ocean Beach and Point Loma

People’s Co-op Members Elect 2 Board Members

Plumber Ignites Fire in Cape May Apartment

Police Fatally Shoot Man With Knife in Midway Area

Innocence Project Stages Another Walk to OB from Downtown

Parents of OB 5-Year-Old Battling Leukemia Needs Help

4 Unit Apartment in Midway Sells for $1 Million+

Teen Pulls Elderly Couple From Mini-Van After Crash in Loma Portal



Read the full article...

Civic’s Community Benefit Policy enactment a study in #democracyfail

civicsd board meeting

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The Civic San Diego Board of Directors and President Reese Jarrett scored a victory at their April 29 board meeting. Civic San Diego, which describes itself as a “city-owned non-profit that is the entrepreneurial development partner for targeted urban neighborhoods” approved its own Community Benefit Policy with one dissenting vote after two hours of board discussion and public testimony.

1 comment

Read the full article...

Being Grateful and Happy and All

May 1, 2015 by Ernie McCray

HappinessBy Ernie McCray

Maria recently asked her family and me (a relatively new member of the clan) to look over some questions and maybe talk about them later over a meal.

I took a peek and, regarding the first question, I’m grateful for having reached 77 years of age which, to me, signifies, that I am of the old and the wise, fit, still with it, busting moves everyday. These are “The Good Old Days!”

I’m so grateful to have friends and family to love and to know that they love me back. I’m grateful for my mother and grandfather who, long time ago, got me on the right track.

What am I proudest of? That would be having walked my talk, in a spirit of love, ducking and taking the blows it takes to create, out of that love, learning environments that were respectful of children’s humanity – role-modeling, as an “educator,” each step of the way, how an “educated” person should be in the world.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud

May 1, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud

By Carlos Batara

There are no winners in wars. It’s just a matter of degree.

Both sides lose. One side loses less.

During my law school days, one of my best friends and I discussed this topic quiet often. He had served multiple terms of duty in Vietnam and been wounded twice. I was a dove and anti-war protester.

Outsiders did not understand the basis of our camaraderie. Though our positions started from different perspectives, both of us lamented the violence of war – and detested the negative effects such violence imposes on the world for decades after the firing ends.

Even Dwight Eisenhower, a decorated war hero who rode his triumph to the White House, acknowledged a similar sentiment. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can,” Ike noted, “as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Unprecedented Sell-Off of Ocean Beach Apartments Over Last 4 Years

April 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Unprecedented Sell-Off of Ocean Beach Apartments Over Last 4 Years

According to a review of OB Rag records, there’s been an unprecedented sell-off of apartments in Ocean Beach over the last 4 years. This has included the transfer of nearly $38 millions and involving nearly 160 units.

Since the summer of 2011, there’s been nearly 20 of these transactions – the sale and purchase of multiple-unit properties in the OB village. There’s been at least ten since January 2014 and 3 this year already.

In particular, what’s been called “the War Zone” over the years – northwest Ocean Beach, has been especially busy.

Here’s what we found since August 2011, …

Read the full article → 10 comments

OB Town Council’s Response to Lack of Funding in Mayor’s Draft Budget for Ocean Beach Infrastructure

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB Warm Lifeguard statinEditor: The following is the response in the form of a letter to Councilwoman Zapf by the Ocean Beach Town Council to Mayor Faulconer’s Draft Budget.

April 27, 2015

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

At our most recent public meeting we were made aware of a list of Ocean Beach-related priorities within the Mayor’s FY2016 draft budget. While we are pleased to have additional hours at the Rec Center, and increased funding for our Fire Station, the community was disappointed that there was no proposed funding for some of our most treasured infrastructure. The Life Guard Station and the Ocean Beach Library were noticeably absent from the draft budget. Earlier this year, we were elated to see these items listed in your Budget …

Read the full article → 2 comments

Open Letter to Councilwoman Zapf From Friends of OB Library

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB LibraryEditor: The following letter was originally sent to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf by the OB Friends of the Library back in February of this year.

Here, the Friends’ President, Judy Collier, has resent the letter with the opening phrase, “what progress has been made since I sent this letter …?” We share it with you.

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

What progress has been made since I sent this letter on February 9, 2015? Thank you for your help and support.

Read the full article → 1 comment

The Connection Between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War

April 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Connection Between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War

The War in Vietnam Formally Ended 40 Years Ago Today

By Frank Gormlie

There is a direct connection between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War – which formally ended 40 years ago today when the National Liberation Front finally captured Saigon – the then-name of the capital.

Or I should say, there’s a direct connection between the OB Rag and the anti-war movement against the Vietnam War. I was a militant member of the anti-war movement on my campus at UCSD from 1968 to 1970 when I graduated – along with hundreds and even thousands of other students.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Protecting Mauna Kea: History for Haoles

April 30, 2015 by Source

Queen Liliuokalani at Iolani Palace in Honolulu

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

In the first essay of my Protecting Mauna Kea series, I made a mistake. I wrongfully described the ongoing, illegal American occupation of Hawai’i as an “annexation.”

Hawaiian friends of mine pointed this out to me and gave me a thorough history lesson. I was referred to documents, books, and websites that tell the truth. For the last several days, I’ve been reading everything I can on the subject.

Read the full article → 9 comments

South Mission Beach Opposes New Lifeguard Station While Ocean Beach Can’t Get Its Funded

April 29, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for South Mission Beach Opposes New Lifeguard Station While Ocean Beach Can’t Get Its Funded

Here’s a difference between Ocean Beach and South Mission Beach:

South Mission residents and property owners are opposed to a new 4,000 square foot lifeguard station currently being built by the City of San Diego – while OB residents can’t get funding for a new lifeguard station here.

The City began construction recently on the 30 foot facility in South Mission. Meanwhile, OBceans found out just recently that there’s no funds for the OB station in the current budget being proposed by Mayor Faulconer – who used to represent OB while on the City Council.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Peninsula Planners Confused Over Process for Nominating Officers

April 29, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peninsula Planners Confused Over Process for Nominating Officers

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

The normally routine annual process of selecting officers has become a befuddling mess at the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). This became evident at their latest meeting, held on April 16th.

Like the other 40-plus planning boards that are sanctioned by the San Diego City Council to make recommendations on land use and quality-of-life issues, the PCPB hosts an election every March in which members of the community vote for board members. These board members then select officers for one-year terms in April.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Civic San Diego: The Kiss of Death for San Diego Neighborhoods

April 29, 2015 by Source

angry crowdBy Norma Damashek

The city of San Diego has first-class universities, first-class biotech companies, first-class ethnic restaurants, first-class theater, first-class engineers, artists, and musicians. Also: Our city has first-class standing as a prototype of community-based planning.

Who would have guessed that during the heady years of the 1960s while the Pump House kids were tripping the waves fantastic at Windansea Beach, other San Diegans – more firmly-grounded and civic-minded – were partnering with City Hall as official members of newly-created community planning groups. The La Jolla community plan was the city’s first. Then the Peninsula plan. Soon came the others.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Community Budget Alliance Letter to Civic San Diego on Community Benefit Policy

April 29, 2015 by Source

community benefitsEditor Note: The Civic San Diego Board of Directors is meeting today to discuss adoption of their Community Benefit Policy (Item 8).

Dear Civic San Diego Board Members,

In light of the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies, the City of San Diego has a responsibility to establish clear policies and standards for publicly subsidized community economic development. In October 2014, the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee directed Civic San Diego to conduct a community outreach process.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Fined by China, Qualcomm Losing Chip Business as CEO Departs

April 29, 2015 by John Lawrence

Qualcomm Sucks Up To China

Qualcomm1By John Lawrence

Qualcomm has been fined almost a billion dollars by China for violating its anti-monopoly law. China has the world’s most internet users and the largest smartphone market so Qualcomm has to tread gingerly with the authorities there since it doesn’t want to be booted out of the world’s most lucrative market.

The fine will knock 58 cents a share off Qualcomm’s earnings for the year. Qualcomm CEO Steven M. Mollenkopf thinks paying the fine will make Qualcomm better positioned to cash in in the future.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Point Loma – OB Dems Get Lit on Medical Marijuana Regulations in San Diego

April 28, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Point Loma – OB Dems Get Lit on Medical Marijuana Regulations in San Diego

Report of Pt Loma – OB Democrats Meeting Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Lois Lane

This past Sunday’s meeting had a decidedly progressive tone, with a panel discussion on the topic of medical marijuana, and a presentation about the OB Rag.

The medical marijuana topic had some high-powered speakers – Terrie Best from the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access; Alex Kreit, Associate Professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Ebon Johnson, director of the Green Nectar Dispensary.

Cynara Velazques, a club member, served as moderator. The guidelines stated that the topic was past the “for/opposed” stage, and was meant to provide information about the current law. Some interesting highlights: …

Read the full article → 2 comments

Climate Mobilization Coalition Gears Up for Next Action – Meetings Every Saturday in OB

April 28, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Climate Mobilization Coalition Gears Up for Next Action – Meetings Every Saturday in OB

Local Climate Mobilization Coalition meets at People’s Co-op every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. — Here’s Report of April 25th Meeting

By Colleen Dietzel / Special to the OB Rag

Since early February this year the Coalition for Climate Mobilization has been organizing a series of events to build the movement leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November. (See OB Rag coverage of March 15th event.)

The Climate Mobilization Coalition’s goal is a call to the United States Government to immediately commence a national World War II-style mobilization to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, including solar, wind and water.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Still Groovin’ After All These Years

April 28, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

A few days before my 77th birthday – “Hip-Hip! Hooray!” – I stepped into the Big Kitchen Cafe and the Rascal’s were “Groovin'” on the stereo and I couldn’t help but go back into time to when that song played in the background of my life.

I was, in this moment in time, slowly getting out of an unhealthy situation and found myself truly “Groovin'” on many a “Sunday afternoon,” kicking it with a beautiful high spirited funny-as-hell woman who, it seemed to me, was looking for what I was looking for at that stage of my life: fun, with no strings attached. Turned out later, I was the only one looking for that. She was more in tune with “Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly…” We parted amiably.

Read the full article → 0 comments

How Communities Can Benefit from Private Development in California

April 28, 2015 by Source

south san franciscoBy Murtaza H. Baxamusa, Ph.D., AICP / San Diego UrbDeZine.

There is a building boom across California, but many communities have been historically left behind. Property tax increment has served as a planning and investment tool to provide public benefits such as affordable housing, good jobs and neighborhood amenities.

However, with the end of redevelopment, cash-poor cities across California are exploring innovative strategies to fund public benefits. One such strategy is to partner with developers for community benefits in exchange for planning and development rights.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Right-wing Media Exploits Unrest in Baltimore to Push ‘Race War’ Narrative

April 28, 2015 by Source


By Adam Johnson / Alternet

When Breitbart’s Matt Boyle isn’t framing xenophobia as “pro-worker” or rambling on about a big gay hate machine (don’t ask), he’s attending baseball games with his family. A harmless enough act, and one I’m glad to see rightwing demagogues and communists alike can agree is a wonderful way to spend a spring evening.

While attending last night’s Orioles game, however, things quickly got out of hand for the Breitbart journo when unrest resulting from the apparent police killing of Freddie Gray boiled over into property damage and “clashes” between police and angry citizens outside of Camden Yards baseball stadium.

Read the full article → 2 comments

9-Unit Apartment on Saratoga Sold for $2 Million

April 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 9-Unit Apartment on Saratoga Sold for $2 Million

A 9-unit apartment complex on the 5000 block of Saratoga Avenue has been sold for a cool $2 million cash just recently.

The complex located at 5076 Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach consists of a 2-story building with 6 one-bedroom units and 3 two-bedroom units. There’s approximately 5,730 “rentable” square feet on the 7,000 square foot lot, assessor’s parcel number 448-101-04-00.

The buyer of the property was Mills Trust, with Marcie Matassa listed as trustee, with an address of 8517 Lubec St., Downey 90240.

Gordon Pettus and Gail Pettus, as trustees of a trust, were the sellers.

Read the full article → 5 comments

Midway Planners Savor First Area Medical Marijuana Dispensary

April 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Midway Planners Savor First Area Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Report of Midway Community Planning Group

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Like it or not, medical marijuana is coming to the Midway area – and police are calling on its citizenry to prevent the area from becoming overrun with rogue operators.

Only one Midway dispensary has gained legal status so far in the 13 months since the San Diego City Council approved regulations to allow storefronts to legally sell medical pot. But with its abundance of industrial areas that are devoid of churches, libraries, parks and residential housing, the community reeks of dispensary-friendly zoning — and potential opportunities for non-certified medical pot merchants who want to fly under the radar, police say.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Upper Voltaire Project to Begin Construction of 28 “Quality” Townhomes

April 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Upper Voltaire Project to Begin Construction of 28 “Quality” Townhomes

Some in OB and Point Loma remember it as the old Domino’s Pizza place on upper Voltaire Street. Others knew as a surf-board making business.

However the place is remembered, changes have begun which will result in the construction of 28 2-and 3-story townhomes along Voltaire, east of Catalina Boulevard. Called the “Upper Voltaire Mixed Use” project, demolition has begun on the one-acre triangular-shaped piece of Point Loma that overlooks Nimitz Boulevard.

Read the full article → 31 comments

Ramblings of an Insomniac

April 27, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Ramblings of an Insomniac

10:00pm Got into bed to watch the nightly local news. Set the timer on the television to go off at 11:00pm. Fell asleep

11:15pm Wide awake. Turned on the light and read some of a new book.

12:00am Crappy book; still wide awake.

12:30am Can’t turn off the thought processes. Turned on the news on the radio – KNX – 1070 Los Angeles

1:07am Mind going a mile a minute. When did I become an insomniac? Probably about eight years ago, shortly after my husband Bob was diagnosed with lung cancer. Wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, and as the end was nearing and it was difficult for him to speak, he would turn on a light that would signal he needed help.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Is San Diego Up for the Challenge of Marrying Environmental and Economic Justice?

April 27, 2015 by Jim Miller

“A beautifully sustainable city that is the playground of the rich doesn’t work for us.”

one new yorkBy Jim Miller

Some of the best political news in America in quite a while happened last week in New York City. While much of the country is still under the sway of the climate-change denying right and thus fiddling while the world burns, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio came out with precisely the kind of bold, visionary plan that we need to address not just the existential threat of climate change but the equally pressing and dangerous trend toward deepening economic inequality.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Community Update from Officer Surwilo on “Oversized Vehicle Ordinance”

April 24, 2015 by Source

from SDPD Officer David Surwilo / OB Crime Watch Facebook

Re: Neighborhood Parking Protection Ordinance (NPPO) sometimes referred to as the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance (OVO)

Greetings Community Members,

The Neighborhood Parking Protection Ordinance (NPPO) us sometimes referred to as the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance (OVO). There has been some confusion and frustration expressed regarding the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance. I hope to shed some light on the subject as well as give you direction on how to report these violations.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Earth Day at the OB Town Council

April 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Earth Day at the OB Town Council

It was “Earth Day” at the OB Town Council’s meeting, last Wednesday, April 22nd, or I should say ‘Earth Night’, as it was fairly late in the evening by time the main agenda item – presentations by environmental advocates – came around before the unusually-sparse crowd.

When it came time for the presentations, Vice-chair Gio Ingolia announced that neither of the city reps, Robert Anthony and David Adkins with the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department who were to give a presentation on water conservation and drought response, could show. (Perhaps they were out getting ready for the rain?)

That left Roger Kube of the Surfrider Foundation to give the main talk, and he did a fine job. Kube – an OBcean and former president of the local Surfrider chapter – explained some, of the local organization’s main environmental issues.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Barrio Bits: Placas, Chicano Park Day and Barrio Art Crawl

April 24, 2015 by Brent Beltran

chicanoartgalleryCPD2015By Brent E. Beltrán

Locally raised writer’s play makes SD debut tonight through Saturday
Last week I posted an extended two part interview with Doris Duke Artist Paul S. Flores where we discussed his roots in San Diego, his experiences as a college student at UCSD and SFSU, the formation of Los Delicados and his play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo (among other cool stuff, go read them here and here.).

Read the full article → 0 comments