By Geoff Page

The Dixieline Lumber and Home Center store on Sports Arena Blvd. came before the Midway-Pacific Planning Group on Wednesday, January 15, asking for help. They did not receive the help they were looking for.

The subject that garnered the most discussion at the planning group’s first regular monthly meeting of 2020 was the expiration of Dixieline’s lease on May 31. The company has been at that location since 1967, leasing the land from the city of San Diego. The city owns the land east and west of the Sports Arena, including the arena and the huge parking lot. The city has plans for redeveloping all of that property and the fate of all the current tenants will depend on those plans.

The city’s land east of the Sports Arena includes the dilapidated shopping center immediately east, Dixieline, and the old Pier One Imports property now a Salvation Army store. On the west side is the Sports Arena Village shopping center bordered by Hancock Street.

Dixieline wants a new lease from the city and they want a realistic term for that lease.

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By Stan Levin

Through the 1960’s and 70’s I taught in the city’s public elementary schools. Each year I told my students about the history of a severe drought that San Diego had been experiencing up until late January, 1916.

A brilliant scoundrel, one Charles Hatfield, arrived on the scene, and convinced the public he could make it rain, but the distraught citizens would need to fork over $10,000 for it.

Be reminded that most of the county was watershed at the time, and the end of the line watershed was low lying Mission Valley, where rainwater from all directions ultimately found its way, and emptied into the sea downstream.

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By Colleen O’Connor

Trying to recover from the flu? Or avoid the wall-to-wall Impeachment imbroglio?

This is a pleasant, fun, and perfect distraction for anyone older than thirty.

Remember all those amazing San Diego gifts once readily available — and mostly free — but, now long gone. Try.

For example, once upon a time, kids could go the publicly-owned pitch and put golf course and learn to swing a club for free. Tap, ballet, and swim classes were also available — for free — from the City’s Park and Recreation Department.

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The United States at Present is an Affront to the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Jim Miller

With the election of Barack Obama, many hoped that the United States had finally taken a decisive step away from its racist past and was perhaps on the road to more fully embodying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a truly democratic and racially and economically just America.

Sadly, only a few years after the end of Obama’s tenure, it’s clear that nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than bending the arc of history toward justice, it seems that the first black president’s two terms, politically moderate as they turned out to be, ironically did much to fuel the fire of white backlash and emboldened reactionary plutocrats to roll back the clock in a myriad of other ways as well.

Indeed, while the Black Lives Matter movement and other new pushes to defend and/or expand civil rights have succeeded in capturing the national spotlight, on a number of centrally important fronts we have and continue to be moving in the wrong direction. To understand why this is happening one needs to look beyond the present, as disgusting as the reactionary, racist rhetoric and policy of the Trump administration is, and examine the historic roots of the contemporary backlash.

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The day before Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, he gave his final speech, known as ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech. Here’s the full text.

By The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., MEMPHIS, Tenn.,/ April 3, 1968

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there.

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There are four judicial seats appearing on ballots for the March primary. None of them are for incumbents. All are for seats vacated by a retiring judge. I wish it was easy to tell you who the progressive candidates are, but the way the system works makes it hard to tell.

With rare exceptions, incumbent judges run unopposed in the primary. In fact, unless there is announced opposition, incumbents names don’t even appear on the ballot.

One third of the 1,535 judges in the California Superior Courts compete in nonpartisan races in even numbered years. Technically the elections are for a six year long judicial “office” as opposed to an individual.

When a judge retires in the middle of a term, his or her seat becomes vacant, and is filled by appointment by the governor. If a candidate files election papers, but the sitting judge decides to retire, it is considered an open seat race, which is what we usually see on the ballot.

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San Diego’s Homeless Tied to Nearly 13% of All Fire Dispatch Calls

January 17, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / January 17, 2020

Fire incident calls tied to homelessness are on the rise in San Diego. Last year, they made up nearly 13% of all fire-related calls. “We’re addressing it as best we can,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber, who added that the growing homeless problem is “no secret.”

While the number of all fire calls has fluctuated over the past five years, fire calls that mentioned the homeless have steadily increased.

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Book Review: “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo

January 17, 2020 by Source

By Halle Zander / Aspen Daily News / Jan. 17, 2020

While taking one of my first vacations in sunny San Diego, I popped into the corner bookstore in Ocean Beach [ed: Run for Cover bookstore] to pick out my next “Beach Read,” which apparently is its own genre now. In an effort to read more books by authors different from myself, I picked up “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo, a black, British woman with seven brothers and sisters.

The book follows 12 characters, 11 of which are women of color, in their journeys toward something elusive, be it a sense of purpose or the acceptance of a long lost family member. Evaristo sets the tone in her first chapter by exposing the life of the socially conscious, non-monogamous, anti-establishment playwright, Amma. Each of the following characters, I believe, serves as a response to Amma’s unique set of values.

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Long-Time Point Loma Bakery Closes Down for Good After Immigration Audit

January 16, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A long-time Point Loma bakery, Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café, just announced it closed its doors for good on Wednesday, January 15 after an immigration audit determined there were undocumented migrants working there.

The bakery had first opened in 1999 at Rosecrans and Canon in Point Loma, then it moved to Liberty Station in 2010. It was supplying breads to a number of San Diego restaurants. Its owners stated they closed down their Dewey Road location at Liberty Station due to what’s called an I-9 audit by immigration authorities, who apparently had found “suspect documents” of an unknown number of their employees.

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When Tiki Invaded San Diego – by OB Historical Society, Thurs., Jan.16

January 16, 2020 by Source

The Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents: When Tiki Invaded San Diego by Diane Kane, PhD, at Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B., onThursday, Jan. 16, at 7 pm.

Join the OBHS for a lighthearted romp through the immediate post-war period to explore how the allure of the South Seas became synonymous with San Diego.

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All Eyes on Senator Susan Collins Who Says She’s Working With Small Group of Republicans to Ensure Witnesses at Trump’s Trial

January 15, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

All eyes are now trained on Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine who told a local hometown newspaper on Friday that she was working with a small group of Republican Senators to ensure there are witnesses during Trump’s trial in the Senate.

The House just voted today to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and Speaker Nancy Pelosi just named the seven House members who will be “managers” during the Senate trial. The trial is expected to begin next Tuesday, January 21.

According to the Bangor Daily News:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters on Friday that she is working with a “fairly small group” of fellow Republican senators toward a goal of ensuring witnesses can be called in the chamber’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

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Surfrider’s Beach Cleanup Report for San Diego County 2019

January 15, 2020 by Source

From Surfrider / Coastkeeper Report

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County and San Diego Coastkeeper partner each year to host volunteer-powered beach cleanups across San Diego County in order to address the issue of trash on our beaches and in our oceans. In addition to hosting approximately six of these community events per month, both organizations host special cleanup events and empower individuals to host their own.

In 2019, our beach cleanups empowered 11,895 volunteers to remove 16,534 pounds of trash from our coastline. Additionally, they collected data on 237,452 separate pieces of trash.

This report, based on data from 196 separate cleanup events, provides a detailed picture of the waste we found on our beaches this year.

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4th Annual Women’s March in San Diego – Sat., Jan.18

January 15, 2020 by Source

4th Annual Women’s March – San Diego
Saturday, January 18, 2020
10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Waterfront Park (West Side)

From WMSD:

Our marchers continue to make a difference.

2020 Elections…a critical time, and Women’s March San Diego marchers are seen, heard, and powerful!

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California 78th Assembly District 2020 Preview: A Case of Name Recognition

January 14, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

Todd Gloria’s decision to run for Mayor of San Diego left the 78th Assembly District looking for a new legislator.

Comprised of coastal communities and center city neighborhoods, this is a solidly Blue district. It’s so Democratic leaning that Republicans haven’t even put up a candidate for 2020. Donald Trump won a mere 25.9% of the vote in 2016

So we have three Democrats on the primary ballot.

As Scott Lay at Around the Capital points out, …”[D78] it’s now perhaps the epicenter for LGBTQ electoral politics, even surpassing San Francisco. Before Gloria, the area (district numbers have changed because of redistricting), previous trailblazers from this area include now-Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Christine Kehoe. In a 2019 interview, Atkins–originally from Virginia–talked about this with pride.”

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Pranksters Paste Donald Trump Jr. Recruitment Posters in Front of Armed Forces Career Center

January 14, 2020 by Source

In an Instagram caption, the two wrote, “We put up some #honestsigns at the Army Recruitment Center. Hopefully we aren’t going to war, but if we did, we know one guy who won’t enlist.”

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San Diego Bans Marijuana Billboards Within 1,000 Feet of Children Gathering Locations

January 14, 2020 by Source

by Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / January 13, 2020

The San Diego City Council Monday approved a ban on marijuana billboards within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, public park, day care center or youth center.

The council voted 9-0 in support of the changes championed by Councilman Chris Cate after hearing from community members, most of them in favor.

Cate said the changes were necessary because state law applied to legitimate cannabis businesses advertising on billboards and is enforceable only by state officials, and not applicable to illegal cannabis businesses.

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It’s Time of ‘Imagine the Unimaginable’

January 14, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

I once taught an upper-division seminar at UC Riverside titled “Strategies of Defense in the Nuclear Age.” The prompt for designing such a course was the simplistic, but serious responses of many undergraduates whenever I asked. “How would you solve this crisis?”

Lots of contemporary crises were available then—just as they are today. The students’ frequent answer: “Nuke ‘em.”

These nonchalant remarks about the devastating power of a nuclear weapon caused me to add a whole section of actual film footage about the human as well as environmental consequences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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One of Largest Apartment Complexes in Ocean Beach Just Sold for $18.3 Million

January 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

One of the largest Ocean Beach apartment complexes in the community has just been sold for $18.3 million.

The 60-unit complex at 4464 Castelar Street in northeast OB was sold to Interstate Enquiries Corp. of Los Altos by the Groebli Revocable Trust of La Jolla. Supposedly the property had never been placed on the open market before.

The Groebli family developed the 45,302 square-foot complex in the early 1970’s and have owned and operated it ever since.

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Looking Backwards: Taking Stock of the 10 Key Moments and Trends of the Last Decade

January 13, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

I took a week off from my soapbox for some holiday traveling and came home to a world on the brink of spiraling into a dangerous new global conflict. It wasn’t surprising.

In fact, crisis-all-the-time is our new normal, the zeitgeist of our era. While it would be easy to point to Trump as the central player in our increasingly overwrought national drama, the fact is that many of the trends that helped to shape the present preceded his presidency.

Thus, as we head into a new decade with the future on the line like it never has been before, it might be useful to consider some of the key moments of the last ten years along with the social, political, and economic forces that fostered them.

What are the ten most important happenings of the last American decade? Here is my best shot at the inevitably imperfect quick instant history:

* Occupy Wall Street: In the wake of the economic crisis and the steady, decades-long growth of economic inequality and bipartisan embrace of neoliberalism, Occupy exploded onto the American scene and forced issues of inequality, plutocracy, and the threat to American democracy into mainstream media circles and our national political discourse.

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Custodian at Silver Gate Elementary Injured in Hit and Run in Midway District – Suspect Arrested

January 13, 2020 by Staff

A custodian at Silver Gate Elementary in Point Loma, Sharon Wood, was seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident as she and two others were crossing Sports Arena Boulevard after a Gulls game at Pechanga Arena on January 3. A short time later, a suspect was arrested.

Wood was attending the game with friends and once it was over, they were crossing the 3500 block, reportedly outside the crosswalk. The driver of a silver 2000 Ford Mustang had exited the Home Depot parking lot on the south side of the street, turned right and struck the pedestrians in the No. 2 lane. Ms. Wood suffered a fractured pelvis and left ankle. The others were also injured.

The driver did not stop but continued eastbound on Sports Arena Boulevard.

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Nude Man Rescued While Clinging to Side of Sunset Cliffs Sunday Morning

January 13, 2020 by Staff

A nude man was rescued by first responders clinging to the side of Sunset Cliffs Sunday morning, Jan. 12.

Around 10:40 am, San Diego Lifeguards received calls of a naked man clinging to the very sheer cliff near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Guizot Street. A small crowd, as one can imagine, had gathered to observe the potentially dangerous situation. The man, unidentified as of yet, was gripping the cliff – where there isn’t much to hold on to – about 20 feet from the bottom.

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News from Ocean Beach Ten Years Ago – January 2010

January 10, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

sunset green llight

Editordude: I dragged some ten-year old “news of OB” columns from our archives for your reading pleasure. The news column used to called “OB Flashes” – which is what the news column in the original, newspaper version of the OB Rag was titled back in the first half of the 1970s. So, below are “OB Flashes” from Jan. 4, 2010 and from Jan. 11, 2010.
Fire Pits On the Agenda of OB Planning Board – Jan 6th
The issue of the City’s plans to remove fire pits from San Diego’s beaches will be on the agenda of the next OB Planning Board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday January 6th. The planning board meeting begins at 6 pm and is held at the OB Rec Center located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The issue is listed as Item #2 on the Board’s agenda, which can be viewed at their website.

Recent media attention and local support for saving OB’s fire pits have prompted the Board to raise the City’s plans for their removal as an issue to be discussed. Part of the purview of the Board is OB’s public recreational facilities – and the fire pits certainly would fall under that aspect of their jurisdiction.

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Lime to Pull Its Scooters Out of San Diego

January 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Lime Scooter is pulling all of its scooters out of San Diego and says they will likely be gone by the end of January. The corporation is closing down its operations in 11 other markets as well.

Lime spokesperson Alex Youn said:

“As part of our path to profitability, Lime has made the difficult decision to exit San Diego and focus our resources on markets that allow us to meet our ambitious goals for 2020. We’re grateful to our team members, riders, Juicers and communities who supported us throughout this journey. We appreciate the partnership we’ve enjoyed with San Diego and remain hopeful we can reintroduce Lime back into the community when the time is right.”

Lime called San Diego one of the first cities to “welcome” their scooters but one of the last to develop rules. At its peak, Lime had 4500 scooters, or “devices” as some call them, in San Diego. So why is Lime leaving paradise?

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California’s 52nd Congressional District: Scott Peters 2020 Primary Challenges & Challengers

January 9, 2020 by Doug Porter

The second decade of the 21st century saw San Diego’s 52nd Congressional District change from red to blue. In 2010 it was represented by the second generation of the Republican Hunter family; in 2020 Democrat Scott Peters has a firm grip on the seat.

In part the shift in partisan outlook can be attributed to redistricting, but when Peters went up against Brian Bilbray in 2012, the GOP still had a voter registration advantage, despite redrawn boundaries.

The latest stats for the upcoming primary from the California Secretary of State show registered Republicans in third place, fifteen thousand voters behind No Party Preference and thirty five thousand behind Democrats. It’s a testament to the sagging fortunes of a political party burdened with inept local leadership and a cult figure at the top nationally.

So it’s safe to say an incumbent Democrat should feel optimistic about their chances for re-election.

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Trump Threatens War Crimes Against Iran. Congress Must Stop Him.

January 9, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn

Trump has already committed the crime of aggression against Iran, and he is now threatening to commit a war crime if he carries through on his January 4 promise to target Iran’s cultural sites. The United States has violated the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of military force. This is the time to raise our voices and demand that our congressional representatives put a halt to Trump’s illegal war-making.

It should be clear to any legal analyst that Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to order the illegal assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and Iraqi senior military leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis constituted the crime of aggression and violated both the United Nations Charter and the U.S. War Powers Resolution.

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Evans Hotels Lawsuit Against Unions Over Bahia Resort Expansion Is Dismissed

January 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Labor Unions’ First Amendment Rights Upheld by Federal Judge

Bill Evans – the owner of Evans Hotels, which owns three major hotel resorts in San Diego, – wants to double the size of one of them, his Bahia Resort in Mission Bay. In order to accomplish this Evans would remove public parking and public access to the bay. The local community has been fighting him on this issue over the last couple of years, calling it a public-land grab. Remember, Mission Bay is public property – it belongs to all of us.

Joining the community fight against the Bahia expansion were a couple of San Diego labor organizations, Unite Here Local 30 and the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council.

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News for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early January 2020

January 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Point Loma Library Art Makes “San Diego’s Finest Art” List

A painting at the Point Loma Library has made “Our Finest Art” list

Murder Trial Begins in Case Where Missing OB Man’s Body Never Found

A murder trial began Tuesday, Jan. 6 for a man accused of killing an Ocean Beach resident who went missing in 2017 and whose body was never found.
Police Foot Patrols Added to OB Last September

In September 2019, San Diego Police said they added two officers dedicated to patrolling the Ocean Beach area on foot, each working 40 hours a week in the area. In a tweet from January 7, 2020, SDPD stated:

OB Beach Clean-Up – Jan. 18

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Springboard West Music Festival Returns to Ocean Beach – Will Highlight Aspiring Musicians – Jan. 9-11

January 8, 2020 by Source

From Springboard West:

The Springboard West Music Festival is returning to Ocean Beach this week – January 9 through January 11 – and it’s all about providing aspiring musicians the opportunity to pitch their music to industry professionals plus it brings music lovers an event in what feels like a grassroots “American Idol” or South by Southwest.

The conference begins on January 9 with a two-day Band Bootcamp — an opportunity for emerging artists from all over the U.S. to take the stage and showcase their talents in front of veterans and professionals in the music industry — followed by intimate, VIP unplugged performances.

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Duncan Hunter to Resign From Congress on Monday, Jan.13

January 7, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the Republican who has been representing the 50th District in Congress, declared he will officially resign from Congress on Monday, January 13.

It was in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom sent Tuesday, Jan. 7 that he made the official notification.

On December 3 Hunter pleaded guilty to a felony involving campaign spending. He’s expected to be sentenced March 17.

Indicted in August 2018, after serving in Congress for ten years, he faced 60 federal counts as he and Margaret Hunter, his wife and former campaign manager, were accused of stealing $250,000 of campaign funds, using the monies for family vacations – including at least one to Italy – , groceries, his extramarital affairs and other non-campaign uses, including airfare for a pet rabbit.

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Another Mystery Book Where ‘Hero’ Lives in Ocean Beach

January 7, 2020 by Source

It looks like Ocean Beach is becoming famous for being the hometown of “heroes” and protagonists in mystery novels these days. Forget “Almost Famous”, forget “Terriers”, for we have author G.M. Ford‘s mystery Heavy on the Dead. It’s hero, Leo Waterman, lives in OB – as does Ford.

And now we have another mystery thriller, The Fourth Rising by Martin Hill where “The hero of The Fourth Rising, Peter Brandt is a war-scarred freelance journalist living in San Diego’s Ocean Beach.”

Hill, a former journalist and military analyst, is the author of seven novels and one book on military history.

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‘Kochland’ – the Secret History of the Koch Family – Is Timely Look into Corporate Capitalism

January 7, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

This may be the finest book thus far in the twenty-first century. Kochland; The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America is the second book by former agribusiness reporter for the Associated Press, Christopher Leonard.
Kochland is uniquely special. It is an economic history of America since 1967 that shows the deep changes in our economy that have given rise to a new kind of capitalism. Kochland is told through the lens of Koch Industries whose “annual revenue is larger than that of Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and US Steel combined.”

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