It’s official! The Ocean Beach Town Council’s 2019 Holiday Food & Toy Drive begins today, Monday, Dec. 9. Come on down to the Point Loma Masonic Center to donate items or lend a hand sorting and boxing food and gifts!The event continues through Dec. 12, and is held at the Masonic Center from 5:30 – 8 pm.

The Delivery Day is on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 am to 1 pm. Traditionally, 80 local and needy families receive the food and toys.

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From SOS:

In a striking reversal, San Diego Supervisor Jim Desmond withdrew his last-minute proposal to change the ballot question for the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Initiative that will appear in the March 2020 election voter guide.

The decision to withdraw the proposed changes was announced at this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Desmond’s proposed amendments closely reflected the misleading messaging of the “No on SOS” campaign, which is funded primarily by the Building Industry Association, an advocacy organization for the building industry.

“The last-minute attempt to change the official description of this community-led ballot measure makes it clear why San Diego County needs the SOS initiative,” said Susan Baldwin, president of San Diegans for Managed Growth and a key campaign volunteer. “Once again, we see an elected member of the Board of Supervisors acting at the behest of the building industry instead of supporting a transparent and democratic process.”

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Careful observers of the OB development scene may have been wondering, ‘whatever happened to the commercial project coming in on Voltaire Street?’

It was a year ago almost exactly that the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee gave approval to a 2-story, mixed-use commercial project for 4870 Voltaire Street – which is the former Dover Plumbing property next to the Jim Bell property. Mark Brencick was the owner-developer. Brencick was going to demolish the former Dover building and the construct his 2-story, 7,430 square-foot, mixed-use building consisting of 2 for rent dwelling units and 2,380 square feet of commercial space. The dwelling units were designed to have 2 and 3 bedrooms.


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“Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the President of the United States Donald J. Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said Tuesday morning, December 10. CNN reported:

Democratic leaders announced they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress to set in motion the third impeachment of a US president in history.

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A Southern California church flipped the lights on its outdoor manger scene Saturday evening to reveal Jesus, Mary and Joseph as border detainees, each figure isolated in its own chain-link cage with a barbed-wire top.

The nativity display from Claremont United Methodist Church, a suburban congregation east of Los Angeles,

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AMAZON and UPS: A Failed Marriage

December 9, 2019 by Source

By Richard Riehl

It was a dark and stormy night at the Riehl’s a couple of weeks ago, when Karen told me her ancient computer keyboard had been misbehaving. I suspected it only needed dusting, but unable to find our compressed air canister, I ordered a new keyboard from Amazon. It arrived the next day.

A few days later, I ordered a four-pack of Falcon Dust Off Electronics Compressed Gas Dusters. Amazon wouldn’t sell me just one. Buying four online was easier than driving to the nearest CVS store to pick one up.

Judging by how seldom we use them, our four new keyboard dusters will last longer than both of us. I must have inherited my security issues from my father. At my age, Dad wore a belt, plus suspenders.

Two weeks after my order, Amazon notified me that my package could not be delivered. I was told to check with UPS to find out why.

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Ocean Beach Holiday Parade Had ‘Miracle on Newport’ – No Rain and No Injuries From Car that Drove Through

December 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie


Grace Quigley – one of the co-chairs of the OB Holiday Parade – sent out an email to the hundreds of parade volunteers on Saturday – including this reporter – promising the parade would go on “with or without rain.” And she was so right.

The 2019 OB Holiday Parade was so lucky – it ducked the rain – and any injuries from a car that drove through a line of pedestrians.

Thousands of people – adults and kids jammed the sidewalks of OB’s three business blocks – as they do every year. But this year, the rain was making it a dicey game. But nature smiled and the rain passed.

The Grand Marshall(s) this year was/ were the James brothers, Pat, Mike, Ron and Greg. The Citizen of the Year was Gio Ingolia, who has been on every community board or panel there is for years. And it was Alison Lyons – former prez of the OB Woman’s Club – who bid enough at the auction to win the privilege of turning on the lights of the Christmas Tree at the foot of Newport – which she did with a flourish.

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Don’t Cry for Kamala, America — She Could Be Vice President

December 9, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Lots of political obituaries are being written about Senator Kamala Harris’ exit from the 2020 presidential contest.

The causes range from “poor treatment of staff” to “no real direction” to “a woman of color who faced a daunting double standard” and even just “too attractive.”

The “what happened to Harris” question, after her flawless campaign kickoff in front of 20,000 cheering supporters in Oakland and her opening debate performance, now mystifies the pundits.

As Harris herself admits, “it was the hardest decision of my life” to exit the race but “I couldn’t fund my own campaign”— a blunt reference to new billionaire contenders and her inability to raise enough money.

However, there may be more compelling reasons for her exit.

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Underneath Impeachment: 25 Random Headlines from Last Week

December 9, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Her Heart Stopped for 6 hours. Now She’s Ready to go Back to Work

Fractured Forests Are Endangering Wildlife, Scientists Find

Killer Heat: US Cities’ Plans for Coming Heatwaves Fail to Protect the Vulnerable

Eight-Year-Old Girl Strip-Searched Before Visiting Father at Prison

No Sex in the Bunkbeds!: Tales from the Most Intimate Sharing Economy Start Up Yet

Google’s Anti-Worker Actions Evoke IBM’s Racist Past

This Has Been the Warmest Decade in Earth’s History

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Bomb Cyclone that Hit Northern California Had Record 75-Foot Wave

December 7, 2019 by Source

From KTLA / Dec. 6, 2019

The bomb cyclone that pounded the West Coast last week brought with it some of the tallest waves ever recorded off the California coast.

A monstrous 75-foot wave was recorded about 20 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino in northern California, according to the University of California, San Diego’s Coastal Data Information Program.

In the 15 years the program has operated a station in that location, the significant wave height — or the average height of the tallest third of waves that occur over 30 minutes — typically doesn’t exceed 10 feet tall during the winter.

The 75-footer was the tallest of the waves recorded in that period, which averaged around 43 feet tall.

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OB Friends of Library Year-End Update for 2019

December 6, 2019 by Source

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Ocean Beach Has the Best Holiday Parade in San Diego in ‘Miracle on Newport Ave.’

December 5, 2019 by Staff

Holiday Parade – Saturday, December 7 – 5:05 p.m.

For 40 years, our quaint little surfing village of Ocean Beach has hosted one of the best Holiday Parades in SoCal. On Saturday, December 7th, Newport Avenue is lined with colorful OBceans and visitors all eagerly awaiting the commencement of the 39th Annual OB Holiday Parade at 5:05pm. Our 2019 Theme is ‘Miracle On Newport Ave’!

This year, float entries will be judged based on the following categories:

Best Use of Lights
Best OB Spirit
Most Unusual
Best Kids Group
Best Performance
Best Live Music
Best Overall

2019 Holiday Parade Guidelines

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The Company That Sells Failed 50-Year-Old Math and English Lessons to School Districts

December 5, 2019 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Nov. 23, 2019

i-Ready sells digital math and English lessons to school districts.

It provides diagnostic testing which recommends interventions for struggling students that it then provides. i-Ready’s pedagogy embraces competency based education (CBE) a theory promoted by the US Department of Education and blended learning theory also financially supported by the federal government.

CBE is the latest name for an education theory that failed in both the 1970’s and 1990’s. Blended learning theory is an experiment with almost no research supporting it but lots of research pointing to its health risks. Students dislike i-Ready.

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US Is Again Complicit in an Illegal Coup, This Time in Bolivia

December 5, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / Nov. 28, 2019

Once again, the United States is complicit in an illegal coup d’état in Latin America, this time in Bolivia. On November 10, a right-wing, anti-Indigenous group seized power after the Bolivian military’s removal of President Evo Morales, who had declared victory in the October 20 presidential election.

The United States’ fingerprints are all over the coup. Advisers from the U.S. Southern Command have been stationed on Bolivia’s border with Argentina, Ivanka Trump made a surprising visit to an Argentine province near the Bolivian border in September, the pro-U.S. Organization of American States (OAS) cast unfounded doubt on Morales’s election victory, and the U.S.’s National Endowment for Democracy provided suspicious grants to Bolivia.

At least 32 people have been killed and hundreds injured since the coup began.

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Michael Bloomberg’s Hidden Agenda for Securing the White House

December 5, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / Dec. 3, 2019

Why is a man worth over $50 billion running for President?

Boredom? More power than a demigod? Ego? Or a hidden agenda?

Maybe some of each, but there is an even better explanation and one that the Democrats should cheer.

Michael Bloomberg wants Donald Trump defeated by someone — anyone. And towards that end he is prepared to self-fund his campaign and torpedo the President with TV, radio, and social media messaging.

No need for mountains of paperwork, accountants and lawyers to keep track of the thousands of names, email accounts, job descriptions and zip codes of large and small donors—as other candidates must do.

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Starting the Holidays with a Bit of History and Food from the Garden

December 5, 2019 by Staff

by Kathy Blavatt

The season changed as cold weather has arrived.

In November, my husband and I attended a Congress of History San Diego and Imperial County board meeting at Barona Indian Reservation. After the meeting was adjourned, we toured the school and the children’s native garden, which included a lovely mural.

After our visit to the native garden, we headed over to the Barona Museum.

The museum showcases Indian utilitarian and fine artwork displays, maps, and historical displays.

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OB Planning Board to Review Application for 6 Cell Towers on Lifeguard Station

December 4, 2019 by Source

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Here’s the Preface to the Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report from House Intelligence Committee

December 4, 2019 by Source

Editordude: Below is the short Preface to the House Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report. Go here for the full 300 page report.

This report reflects the evidence gathered thus far by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in coordination with the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

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Nuke Plant Millstone and Me – 2020

December 4, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

As a new decade approaches, I find myself reflecting on the 21st anniversary of my 1998 book, Millstone and Me: Sex, Lies and Radiation in Southeastern Connecticut.

Perhaps the story of this book began with my mother. Midge, as everyone called her, was a nurse, and long before feminism, cell phones and networking, spent significant amounts of time talking with her women friends on the phone.

In our home in the small town of Niantic in shoreline Southeastern Connecticut on Long Island Sound, there wasn’t a whole lot of privacy, and Midge’s conversations were broadcast around the house with little regard for who overheard her.

As time went on and my ears got larger and more curious, I couldn’t help but notice that the topic of cancer was becoming increasingly prominent.

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Jen Campbell: Largest SDPD Class, Clean Power and New Trees

December 4, 2019 by Source

Hello Neighbors!

As we look forward to the holidays (with the gift of rain), there’s clearly a lot to celebrate here in San Diego. I’m proud of the progress that we’ve made so far.

The Biggest SDPD Recruiting Class in 25 Years – Addressing our police force’s recruitment and retention issues have been a high priority for me since coming into office. One big step towards increasing the size of the police department was in the budget we passed, which increased pay, funded a better marketing campaign to recruit officers from other departments and bonuses for those who join. That work is paying off, with more officers on the streets and the largest recruiting class SDPD has seen in 25 years. While there are more spots to fill, more officers means more community policing, safer neighborhoods and increased quality of life.

Clean Power Coming to San Diego – As an alternate to the board of San Diego’s new community choice energy program, I’m seeing firsthand how quickly our region is moving towards a clean energy future.

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Basketball Has Been Very Good to Me

December 4, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Late in the morning, on Thanksgiving Day, I turned the television on, thinking, in that moment, of what I’m thankful for: my beautiful children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, my sexy woman, my wonderful friends, my health, my pension, so many things…

The first image I saw when my TV came on was a basketball player, dribbling right at a defender and suddenly, ever so smoothly, with grace, pulled up and sunk a jump shot right in the defender’s face.

That very shot was always money in the bank for me back in my playing days.

And, in the blinking of an eye, I was reminded of something else I’m thankful for: the role basketball has played in my life.

I mean basketball in many ways probably saved my life – from the front end, giving me a kind of spiritual place to go to, a place where I would get caught up in the sound of a ball being bounced smartly on a gym floor, where I could hear my and my teammates’ pounding feet as we hustle down the court to the rhythm of a fast-break being nicely run, on its way to being complete – when all that was going on, old Jim Crow and the other manifestos of racism in America were screened out of my mind much as a dense cloud hides the sun.

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OB Holiday Tree – a Native OBcean – Arrives at Foot of Newport Ave.

December 3, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Some say that the Holiday Season starts with the trick or treaters. Others say Thanksgiving dinner is the opening event. For this reporter the holidays really kick off with the arrival of the OB Holiday Tree, an event that happened this Tuesday morning in a finely coordinated process perfected over the years by Town Council volunteers, arborists, crane operators, and SD Police Department officers.

Community members and neighbors gathered at 7 am today to observe the harvesting of the 40 foot tree from a home on Muir Street, a few blocks east of Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Three hours later the tree had been cut down, transferred to the foot of Newport on a flatbed truck, and lowered into the concrete-encased vertical steel pipe that lies dormant beneath the sand for eleven months out of each year.

Grown from a live Christmas tree purchased in 1975 and planted about five years later, the tree was donated by a family with deep OB roots who wish to remain anonymous. In high winds the tree was starting to threaten the family’s home as it swayed back and forth so they kindly decided to donate the star pine to the community.

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Navy Presented Plans for Former SPAWARS Property at Midway Planners’ Meeting

December 3, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The final 2019 meeting of the Midway-Pacific Planning Group was supposed to have been the one on Wednesday, November 20 at the Bay City brewery on Hancock Street. But, the prospect of a special meeting came up when discussion focused on 31 recently recommended Draconian changes to the planning board system.

Possible Future Special Board Meeting on City’s “Improvements” to Community Planning Committees

A special Task Force was assembled by the city to make recommendations for improvements to the planning board system. These recommendations were reviewed by the Ocean Beach Planning Board at their regular monthly meeting November 7, which was detailed in the OB Rag’s November 11 account of the discussion. It did not appear that the Midway group had focused on these 31 recommendations.

When it was pointed out to the Midway group that some of the 31 were very onerous, such as requiring board member to provide private financial information, a definite interest was sparked.

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Electric Chair Closed Temporarily – Re-Opening ‘Just Days Away’ Under New Ownership

December 3, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Tuesday, December 3, the Electric Chair – one of OB’s mainstay hair salons – is closed and locked up. A hand-written sign taped on the glass says “Closed Tuesday 12/3/19 – Open on Wednesday 12/4/19“.

Yet over one of the large main windows hangs a banner that boldly states:

“New Ownership – Grand Re-Opening Just Days Away!”

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It’s Time for the 40th OB Annual Holiday Auction – Thursday, Dec. 5

December 3, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

It is that time of year, once again, for the annual OB Holiday Auction – but this year the folks who put it on want you to come on out cuz it’s the 40th Anniversary of one of the major social and festive events of the holidays.

It’s all happenin’ this Thursday, December 5, from 5:30-9 pm at the Sunshine Company, located at 5028 Newport Avenue. Of course, behind it all stands the good citizens of the OB Town Council – and the auction is a major part of the annual OB Food & Toy Drive, which benefits local families and seniors in need during the holidays.

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Duncan Hunter to Plead Guilty Tuesday for Illegal Use of Campaign Funds

December 2, 2019 by Source

By Melanie Zanona and John Bresnahan / Politico / Dec 2, 2019

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter will plead guilty in federal court on Tuesday after denying for more than a year that he illegally misused campaign funds.

Hunter told TV station KUSI in San Diego that “Tomorrow, on Tuesday, I’m going to change my plea to guilty.” Hunter said he wanted to avoid a trial “for my kids. I think it would be really tough for them.”

The California Republican didn’t say definitively that he was resigning, but the former Marine officer did mention that “It’s been a privilege to serve in Congress. I think we’ve done a lot of great things for the nation.”

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December 2019 Events for OB and San Diego From the Ocean Beach Green Center

December 2, 2019 by Source

Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

December 12th Thursday 7 pm. Film Night.

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meeting. December 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th.

Events not at the Ocean Beach Green Center

December 2nd. Monday 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm Energy Efficiency – Health & Wellness Nexus

December 2nd. Monday 6:30 pm ES5- USA Health Care- Policy and Politics in 7 Biopsies

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Ghost Guns, Armed Teachers, and School Shootings: A Deadly Recipe

December 2, 2019 by Source

By Richard Riehl / Riehl World

There was another school shooting last weekend, this time in a grade school parking lot in Union City, California, 30 miles from San Francisco. Two boys, 11 and 14 years old, were shot to death while sitting in a parked van at 1:30 AM on a Saturday morning.

This was not a typical school shooting, of course. It took place after school hours, with the shooter, or shooters, still unknown.

But nine days earlier, a student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, celebrated his 16th birthday by assembling his own .45 caliber handgun and shooting five of his classmates. Two died, before he turned the gun on himself.

The common denominators in these tragedies were guns and children dying. I wanted to know more about how a teenager was able to obtain gun parts online, together with do-it-yourself instructions on how to assemble it. Here’s what I found

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Ocean Beach Holiday Calendar for the First Week of December

December 2, 2019 by Source

Here’s the Ocean Beach Holiday Calendar for this glorious week, the first week of December 2019.

Holiday Tree Arrives at the Beach – Lower Newport – December 3, help decorate Dec. 4

OB Holiday Auction, December 5, 5:30-9pm at Sunshine Company

OB Elementary Decorates Holiday Tree with SantaDecember 5

40th Annual OB Holiday ParadeDecember 7, 5:05pm (OB TIme) – Come join editordude as he does his announcements at Newport and Sunset Cliffs.

And don’t forget these:

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Peninsula Planners Deny ‘Shoebox’ on Coronado, Ask for Famosa Blvd as Safe Route

December 2, 2019 by Staff

The final meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board for 2019 closed out the year like the proverbial lamb, except for a project on Coronado that was denied approval by the Board.

Projects – 2 Approved, 1 Denied

There were three projects before the board, two of which passed easily while one was denied. The denied project was an application to convert a previously approved guest quarters to a companion unit. This was the result of changing laws that have relaxed standards on secondary dwelling units that make companion units more attractive, such as no requirement for parking.

The denied project at 4411 Coronado Ave. was opposed by neighbors. The structure is an eyesore consisting of what looks like a tall shoebox on end.

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