From San Diego Free Press

A regular reader of this column has developed an app allowing voters to compare side by side recommendations of five organizations, make a choice, and generate a list to help in filling out the ballot.

The five groups included are San Diego Free Press (yay!), Democrats for Equality, the San Diego Democratic Party, Equality California, and Planned Parenthood. Further info on candidates and ballot measures, sans recommendations, is available via the SD Indivisible Voter Guide link on the left side of the page in the app.. (Full disclosure: I am one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide)

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Editor’s Note: Matt Valenti is a lawyer and candidate for San Diego City Council District 6 and has been endorsed by Save San Diego Neighborhoods.

By Matt Valenti

As a candidate for city council in District 6, my top priority is to expose the ways our leadership has failed our neighborhoods and communities. Perhaps no current leader has proven to be more incompetent and corrupt than my opponent Chris Cate, yet others downtown share the blame for bungling so many of the most important issues facing us as a city.

Too often their malfeasance is glossed over by a bipartisan cheering squad downtown that sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil—so long as the campaign cash keeps flowing.

The problem is not that our leaders “lost” the Chargers, for example, but that our leaders lost ten thousand affordable housing units over the last decade.

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Back in January, Frank Gormlie wrote this piece for the OB Rag, entitled:

It’s time for Lifeguard Ed Harris to Jump in and Rescue Residents of San Diego City Council District 2″

I was humbled by Frank’s opinion and proud that he had the courage to share his controversial thoughts, despite the fact that he might make enemies.

Obviously, I did not agree with him 100% and I did not enter the race. It is my belief that there comes a time when leaders must step back and allow others to move forward. I believe it is time for younger leaders with new energy and new ideas to take control of their future and the future of their generation.


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The March for the Ocean is promoting a rapid transition from drilling and spilling to clean, job-generating renewable energy.

By David Helvarg and Bill McKibben / The Nation

Summer beckons—and with it, the season’s first trip to the beach, which remains the number-one outdoor recreational activity for Americans of all classes and ideologies. It may be one of the last truly nonpartisan activities we do together. But thousands will come out of the water on June 9 for the first ever March for the Ocean—and that should be nonpartisan too.

True, the Trump administration has proposed expanding offshore oil drilling to more than 90 percent of our public seas while at the same time eliminating many of the safety measures on oil-rig

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Today in Spring Valley – an unincorporated community of San Diego County – sheriff deputies raided an unlicensed marijuana dispensary on Troy Street. This effort demonstrates that the war against pot continues in this area of California.

Twenty-two years after the voters of California legalized medical cannabis and a year and half after voters over the state voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the County of San Diego pushes on against the will of the people, cracking down on pot shops.

The current crop of County supervisors voted in March 2017 to prohibit any marijuana operations in the unincorporated areas of the County and phase out existing ones.


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OB Town Council Hears Spring Is Worse Time to Trim Trees for the Parrots

May 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

New Police Chief David Nesleit Visits OBTC

The audience at the Ocean Beach Town Council last night, Wednesday, May 23, was graced with the presence of San Diego’s new police chief and heard all about how to help the OB Parrots, in particular, why Spring is the worse time to trim trees.

Fairly early in the meeting at the Masonic Center, Chief Nesleit swept in and addressed the meeting – and was warmly welcomed. Nesleit, a 30-year veteran of the SDPD, was captain of the Western Division – the Division OB is in – for “105 days” he said to some laughter. Some of us recall those days when it seemed like that position was being constantly rotated to someone new.

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Application for Liquor License at Unfinished Ocean Beach Plaza

May 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Looks Like It’s Too Late to Complain – Or Is It?

Perhaps passersby thought it was just one more of the other construction and real estate signs hanging on the chainlink fence that surrounds the unfinished skeleton of the Ocean Beach Plaza.

But there it was.

An application for a liquor license. Geez, the place isn’t even built yet and they’re already trying to get the crucial permission from the ABC.

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Crib Sheet and Progressive Voter Guide for June 2018 Primary

May 8, 2018 by Staff

Here’s a quick and easy way to vote in the June 5, 2018, primary election.

Many San Diego County races, including District Attorney, Sheriff, and Assessor will be decided in this election since any candidate getting better than 50% gets a pass on the November election. City and State races, on the other hand, allow the top two finishers to go on to November.

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The Empire of an Ocean Beach Land Lord

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Originally posted on June 10, 2016

On Saturday, June 4th, 2016, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

Mills owns a lot of property in Ocean Beach – many rental units. And he has a long history buying up properties, raising rents, and maintaining sub-standard living conditions.

Rumors have swirled for years about how many rental units Mills actually owns, so we set out the other day to find just a few of his properties. And what we found initially were four sets of units that Mills either currently owns or has owned in the past – four properties that had a total of 51 units.

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Papa Doug Manchester Is Not Done With San Diego Yet – Not by a Long Shot – His Massive Waterfront Project Will Drastically Alter City Skyline

May 23, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Did you think Papa Doug was gone?

If you did, think again, for Doug Manchester is roaring back after disembarking from the good-ship Union-Tribune, and is about to install his latest and largest implant on San Diego yet. The shovels and cranes are about to start digging – for it’s Papa Doug’s Pacific Gateway project – a massive redevelopment of the Navy Complex at the foot of Broadway in downtown San Diego.

Lori Weisberg at the San Diego Union-Tribune calls it,”the single largest and costliest project in downtown San Diego history.”

Manchester, one of the kingpins of the San Diego hotel industry,

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San Diego Disabled Homeless Who Live in RVs Will Have Their Say in Court – Some Day

May 23, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A class-action suit against the City of San Diego by a group of disabled homeless challenging the enforcement of parking laws that prevent homeless people from living and sleeping in recreational vehicles is winding its way through Federal court.

The suit was filed in November 2017 by 9 homeless men and women who say they have no other housing option except to live in their RVs – which forces them to park overnight in city parks or streets. Their disabilities make them unable to afford rent and that homeless shelters are unsuitable for the disabled.

Their lawsuit demands that the city immediately stop citing disabled people under its long-standing vehicle habitation ordinance and its relatively new RV ordinance. The RV ordinance, enforced by the city in 2014, prohibits such vehicles from parking on any San Diego city street or in any public parking lot between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

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Images of Obama and Filner Invoked as Primary Campaigns Get Down and Dirty

May 23, 2018 by Doug Porter

From San Diego Free Press

The intensity of political campaigning is rising as Californians have one week of mailing in ballots behind them.

Advertising aimed at creating uncertainty in those who don’t follow politics closely, along with messaging featuring deceptive claims is flooding airwaves and filling mailboxes.

The absentee vote tracker at, using information from the San Diego County Voter Registrar’s office, says roughly 10% of those receiving absentee ballots in the region had been returned as of Thursday, May 17.

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Reflecting on What Could Have Been

May 22, 2018 by Ernie McCray

Ernie with sunglasses behind screen


(Photo: Maria Nieto Senour)

Reflecting on my 80 years I find myself still dreaming of a better world. Not some “Kumbaya” singing fantasy world, but one where people, at the very least, try to find ways to understand and appreciate each other. A loving world.

But that was not the dream of my generation. Getting our hands dirty in pursuit of a world where concepts like “peace and justice and equality” rang true, just wasn’t something we cared to do.

We were called the “Silent Generation”

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OB Town Council: How We Can Help the OB Parrots – Wed., May 23

May 22, 2018 by Staff

Please join the Ocean Beach Town Council at their next meeting, Wednesday, May 23, where they will be discussing the OB Parrots and ways in which the community can support these beautiful and unique residents of Ocean Beach.

In particular the discussion will examine the City’s springtime tree-trimming policy, which often endangers parrot nests.

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Restaurant Review: Ceviche House in Old Town

May 22, 2018 by Source

Ceviche House
2415 San Diego Avenue
Old Town.

Bright Flavors at Ceviche House in Old Town

by Bob Edwards

It’s hard to find a good new restaurant to review in the Beach Area. Although it seems like there’s one or two restaurants opening every month, I find that most are boring and predictable or just don’t provide the quality cooking that inspires me to do a review.

I ate three meals at a seafood place in Point Loma recently, took a ton of photos, and started writing about it a few times and finally gave up.

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Interview With Gio Ingolia Over Ocean Beach Plan, Mission Bay Park Committee, Land Grabs and Future of the Bay

May 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Editordude Note: The following is an interview with our friend, OBcean Gio Ingolia, who sits on the powerful Mission Bay Park Committee, via email.

Question: Gio –I know you’ve been involved in Ocean Beach for many years as a community volunteer, on the OB Planning Board and the OB Town Council. Can you give a brief history of some of the roles you’ve taken on, things you’ve done, positions you’ve occupied?

Answer: I served on the Ocean Beach Planning board for 8 years. This included 4 years as vice chair, and the chair for 2 years. …I co-chaired (2 yrs.) the Ocean Beach Community Plan Sub-Committee, along with Mindy Pelissier. Currently I sit on the Ocean Beach Town Council.

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Special Hearing on Famosa / Nimitz Property to Be Held by Peninsula Planners – June 14

May 21, 2018 by Source

San Diego Housing Commission Met With Many Questions From Community Members
By Geoff Page

Once again, the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting May 19 provided entertainment value for those who attended. And, this time, it was also an excellent illustration of what a planning board is meant to be.

The controversy over that piece of open land off Famosa Blvd. across from Cleator Park more or less erupted. The often heated discussion took up about an hour and a half of the meeting, far longer than originally intended.

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Why It Matters: Re-Electing Alicia Munoz & Rick Shea to the San Diego County Board of Education

May 21, 2018 by Jim Miller

Last week, after I wrote about the billionaire boys club behind the California Charter Schools Association pouring millions of dollars into Antonio Villaraigosa’s bid for governor, even more cash flowed into their campaign war chest the very next day.

As the New York Post reported:

Mike Bloomberg has plopped down $1.5 million to help elect former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as California’s next governor.

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Public Employee Union Free-Loaders Pay ‘Fair Share’ in Janus Case

May 21, 2018 by Source

This first appeared at San Diego Free Press

By Peter Zschiesche

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the “Janus Case” and determine the legality of state laws that allow public employee union contracts to require all covered employees to pay at least a “fair share” fee to cover the union’s cost of negotiating and enforcing their agreement. There are 23 states that have such laws and California is one of them.

In 1977 the Supreme Court decided unanimously that yes, states could do that. But just a few years ago several of the current conservative Supreme Court Justices let it be known that they would be willing to revisit that 1977 decision.

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The Origins of the 30 Foot Height Limit

May 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Recently – within the context of discussions over the City of San Diego’s plans to bring massive redevelopment to the Midway District on this site – there has been some serious disparagement of the 30 foot height limit, and it’s being blamed for everything from the housing crisis to the lack of affordability at the coast.

So, apparently it’s time, once again, to present some local history – the origins of the 30 foot height limit – and some of the good folks who made it happen. It all began back in the late Sixties when beach residents began to rebel against a wave of unbridled development occurring at the coast.

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California Should Not Risk Its Clean Energy Future on Extreme Strategies

May 18, 2018 by Source

By Tyson Siegele / SanDiego350

California will soon decide whether to combine its electric grid management with western states dependent on coal mining and coal-based electricity. This massive change has been proposed in the form of Assembly Bill 813 and before that in Assembly Bill 726. If passed, either of those bills would provide an avenue for coal-fired electricity to gain access to the California market. This would make the transition to renewable energy even harder.

Unifying California’s grid operations with other western states would be a huge risk. Thankfully better options are available.

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News and Notices of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-May 2018

May 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

* Book on History of San Diego Lifeguards to Be Released in Ocean Beach
* Stolen Pink Trike Taken During Falling Sky Pottery Class – Reward Offered
* SeaWorld San Diego Attendance Continues to Slide
* Bicycle Injuries Up –
* Point Loma Native Builds Skateboard Parks for Kids
* Benefit for Young Girl Who Needs Surgery – OB Brewery May 21
* OB Hit and Run Suspect Pleads Not Guilty at First Court Appearance
* Slightly Stoopid to Release New Studio Album
* High School Students Can Sleep Longer
* Big Sam’s Funky Nation at Winstons
* Hands Across the Sands at Mission Beach – May 19
* Mariachi Music at OB Library, Sat, May 19


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‘Mum’s the Word’ at OB’s Hostel About Application for Liquor License – But If Granted, Will Only Be for Guests

May 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s basically “mum’s the word” at OB’s hostel on Newport Avenue about their recent application for a liquor license with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Concerns have been raised in some quarters of the community about yet another alcohol establishment on OB’s main commercial drag.

But even if granted, USA Hostel Ocean Beach only plans to serve its own guests – those travelers who lease out spaces at the hostel. No one from the outside would be allowed into the 2-story iconic building – they have 24/7 staffing at the only front door, I was assured by Julie, the on-site manager,

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Protest Against Campaign Litter at Midway and Rosecrans – Today, Thurs, May 17

May 17, 2018 by Doug Porter

Meanwhile, Turmoil Rolls San Diego County Democratic Party

A protest against the visual pollution and littering throughout the region associated with the run-up to the June 5 primary is set for today, Thursday (5/17) at 11am.

Meanwhile, this dispute within the local Democratic Party is symptomatic of division between long-time stalwarts who often seem more concerned about major donors’ interests and activists demanding a more active organizational role in support of those being victimized by the current administration’s policies.

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Jim Bell’s House on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach Is Up for Sale

May 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Twenty years ago, Jim Bell – OB’s well-known ecology consultant – bought an old building on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach, which once housed a variety of businesses over the years, including Seedless, one of the incarnations of Hodads and Effie’s Cafe. And for 2 decades Bell rented out the numerous interior rooms while he worked out of his office, “the cave”, deep inside the building.

Now the property is up for sale. Jim Bell’s daughter Heather, who lives in Seattle, confirmed to this reporter she is trying to sell it. The lot is 50 by 100 feet. This turn in events is all due to Jim’s failing health – he’s now bedridden in a local Point Loma senior assisted living facility, and his well-being is dependent on the sale.

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Placemaking, Community Building and Permits: Taking Back the Alleys in San Diego Neighborhoods

May 16, 2018 by Source

By Beryl Forman / San Diego Free Press

City planning tends to be a long range, expensive approach to transforming cities, with a greater focus on the creation of planning documents versus the implementation of projects. While there’s no argument that regional and transportation planning has led to a new wave of urban living throughout the country, on a localized level, placemaking offers neighborhood leaders a greater opportunity to engage the public, envision tangible projects, and work together to enhance their surroundings. When The Media Arts Center of San Diego expanded their operations on El Cajon Boulevard in 2012, they launched an initiative called Take Back the Alley to transform their

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City Poised to Dismantle 30 Foot Height Limit to Allow Massive Redevelopment in Midway District

May 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It appears the City of San Diego is getting set to dismantle the 30 foot height limit in order to allow massive redevelopment of the Midway District.

With the Midway area community plan update – okayed by the Midway planning committee on March 21 – about to be approved by the City Council in June, all the chips are falling into place to set the stage for some kind of political action that would get rid of the sacrosanct height limit for the some 1324 acres being considered for the redevelopment. The redevelopment would bring in dense housing – some of it affordable -, “modern commercial districts”, and 7-fold population increase to the area.

But the 30 foot height limit stands in the way of the dreams of developers, city planners, and their sycophants within the mainly commercial zones of the district.

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Housing Commission Rep and Point Loma Bike Track Advocates at Peninsula Planners’ Meeting – Thurs, May 17

May 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The upcoming Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting should be interesting as a San Diego Housing Commission representative and advocates for the Point Loma bike track will all be present. The bike track is on the agenda.

The Board meets Thursday, May 17 at the Point Loma Library, 3701 Voltaire Street, from 6:30 to 9pm.

Around 7pm, track advocate Katie Bendixen will assist the Board in a discussion about open space, development of the property at Famosa and Nimitz and the future of what’s called the Famosa Pump Track.

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OB Community Cleanup – Sat., May 19

May 15, 2018 by Source

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Today All of Palestine Is On Strike.

May 15, 2018 by Source

By Cathy

Today all of Palestine is on strike. No schools, no business as usual…all in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Words truly fail us today, but we are safe and together. The streets are eerily quiet.

When we visited Balata Refugee Camp last week a person on the delegation asked Ibrahim from Balata what he told his children about his life. He had been shot by the Israeli police at a demonstration and had been thought dead.

He told us that he never talked about this with his young children. That he talked with them about the need for a good education and that he wanted them to have hope.

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Three of Ocean Beach’s Top Photographers – OB Historical Society Presents – Thurs., May 17

May 14, 2018 by Staff

This Thursday, May 17, the Ocean Beach Historical Society will present: “Picture Perfect – Three of O.B.’s Top Photographers”, at Water’s Edge Faith Community at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., at 7 PM,

The above photograph is of three of O.B.’s top photographers and OB Exposed! judges Cliff Beck, Steve Rowell, and Joe Ewing.

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Antonio Villaraigosa: A Candidate Backed by the Billionaire Boys Club and Trump Megadonors

May 14, 2018 by Jim Miller

Getting bored yet with all the glossy Anthony Villaraigosa commercials touting the utopia that will be California if only the former mayor of Los Angeles rises from the basement in the polls and becomes our next governor? Just a few weeks ago, Villaraigosa was languishing at 9% in the polls, having fallen behind the no-name Republicans in the race to see who would compete against Gavin Newsom in November. Now the airwaves in the Golden State are awash in all things Antonio all the time.

What gives?

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