August 2013

Jon Christensen Passes: Would-Be Candidate, Ecology Activist, and Blogger

August 30, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Our good friend Jon Christensen passed away on Wednesday, August 28th, due to a heart attack. Jon would have been 64 on September 9th.

Jon wrote for the OB Rag and for the San Diego Free Press on occasion, and wrote under his initials “JEC”. His last piece – just posted on August 20th – called for the establishment of bicycle expressways throughout San Diego.

Much could be said about this former OBcean, who came to San Diego 40 years ago. He was a “survivor” at the County where he was employed for 30 years as staff and managers for elected officials. He was an avid sailor – twenty years ago, he designed and built his own trimaran and took it on its maiden sail in the Sea of Cortez.

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The Widder Curry Interviews the New Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

August 30, 2013 by Judi Curry
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Finally – some answers about Ft. Rosecrans – Sorta – from Doug Ledbetter

By Judi Curry

It has been three weeks since the new Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery – has moved into his “lodge”. (When I asked him where I should meet him he told me “at the lodge.” Took me a minute to realize he meant the “private quarters.”)

He is in a wonderful position, because he had the courage to not answer all of my questions with a “I don’t know because I wasn’t here” but said he’d find out. Here is my interview with him from Thursday, August 29th, 2013 at 9:00am.

Let me tell you something about Doug Ledbetter first. He enlisted in the Air Force upon high school graduation and hails from Dayton, Ohio. He never attended college and is where he is because of passion and hard work.

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New Obama Policy on States that Support Marijuana: Feds Will Not Interfere

August 29, 2013 by Source

Obama administration will not block state marijuana laws, if distribution is regulated

By Brady Dennis / Washington Post / August 29, 2013

The Obama administration on Thursday said it will not stand in the way of Colorado, Washington and other states where voters have supported legalizing marijuana either for medical or recreational use, as long as those states maintain strict rules involving distribution of the drug.

In a memo sent Thursday to U.S. attorneys in all 50 states, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole detailed the administration’s new stance, even as he reiterated that marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

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Killing Civilians to Protect Civilians in Syria

August 29, 2013 by Source

by Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer / Common Dreams

The drums of war are beating again. The Obama administration will reportedly launch a military strike to punish Syria’s Assad government for its alleged use of chemical weapons. A military attack would invariably kill civilians for the ostensible purpose of showing the Syrian government that killing civilians is wrong.

Credit: Wikipedia

“What we are talking about here is a potential response . . . to this specific violation of international norms,” declared White House press secretary Jay Carney. But a military intervention by the United States in Syria to punish the government would violate international law.

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Sempra Wants to “Fix” Your Energy Bill

August 29, 2013 by Source

By Jay Powell

sdge sempraHold on to your wallets, you are about to get walloped. International energy giant Sempra Energy, owners of SDG&E, have set up a front group called “Fix My Energy Bill” to promote a whopping $120 per year fixed charge on every electric customers bill in the State of California. It is pending in the State Senate in the waning days of this legislative session.

What started out as a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Perea from Fresno to ostensibly help poor elderly folks sweltering in the Central Valley heat be able to afford air conditioning, AB 327 has morphed into a full blown attack on working families ability to control their energy bills and to make homeowner investments in energy efficiency devices and improvements including roof top solar much more difficult.

The Sierra Club and local and state solar industry representatives are trying to blunt this latest proposal by the three huge investor owned utilities Pacific Gas and Electric, SoCal Edison and SDG&E to perpetuate their antiquated business plans that depends on them building more and more power plants and huge transmission lines.

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Sex in San Diego: Marriage Is For Liars

August 29, 2013 by Source

By Dr. Kelly Flanagan / UnTangled

liar-narsbizWe stand together on the marriage altar, and we begin the most important relationship of our lives with a terrible lie. We say, “For better or worse.” But we don’t really mean it.

If we were to be honest with ourselves, if we were to begin the marriage authentically, most of us would say, “I have a bunch of needs which have never been satisfied in my relationships.Today, in front of our friends and family, I’m publicly gambling that you will be the person to finally meet those needs. If you do, I will be happy, and I will try to make you happy. If you don’t, well, God help us…”

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Word to the Wise: Week of August 29, 2013

August 29, 2013 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag wishes to welcome Kelsey Lynore who will be providing OBceans and everyone else – beginning today – with a weekly forecast – or “heads up” as she calls it – based on her Tarot readings for all the zodiac signs.

Kelsey lives in Ocean Beach and is a professional tarot reader who can enable individuals, as she describes on her own website, “to identify and reorganize repeating themes within their own histories, bringing to light those narratives which bear upon their self identity directly.” Her site is The Tarot Nook, worthy of a look. Shes holds a BA with High Honors in French from U.C. Berkeley and was a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University. She has also studied at New York University and Paris.

Word to the Wise: Week of August 29, 2013

By Kelsey Lynore

Each week, Kelsey throws a “What to do?” spread for each of the zodiac signs. The first card is shown and the other two… well, you’ll just have to infer them from the written forecasts. Mind the heads up and have a lovely week!

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Feeling Zihua

August 28, 2013 by Ernie McCray

Me in La Chole

by Ernie McCray

I love getting out into the world and I’m particularly fond of spending time in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico with Maria, mi querida.

That little seaport town and its surroundings compose a world of beaches and bays and mountains and lush jungles and mahogany colored peoples – and kick-ass mosquitos who seem to savor the taste of tall old black men.

This part of the world, as I learn more about it, gives rise to my spiritual nature, granting me a sense of what it must have been like for the Tarascan, Aztec, Toltec, Olmec and Maya peoples who walked this world many yesterdays ago.

In La Chole, just a few miles away from Casa Contenta, our place in Zihua, I looked upon two ancient structures, a pyramid made of bricks and an arena wherein games were played where the victors were killed and the losers enslaved – making winning for these people a welcoming entry to the next sphere one might say.

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The “Widder Curry” Unmasked

August 28, 2013 by Judi Curry
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The “mystery” woman of yesterday’s Channel 10 news at 6:00pm – Tuesday, Aug. 27 – has been identified. The woman who posted a picture of herself with Bob Filner’s arm around her shoulder. The woman that did not edit out the glass of beer in the Mayor’s hand. The woman that smiled into the lens of the camera as the snap took place. Who, you might ask, was the “mystery” woman? Do I know her? Have I ever met her before? Is she famous? Should I make an effort to get her signature? Might she run for Mayor of San Diego? Is it true that there were over 15 people trying to identify her for Channel 10? Would I have known how to find her if they had contacted me?

How could one picture of a disgraced mayor with a smile on his face and a glass of beer in his hand generate so much interest?

Was this “mystery” woman his new squeeze? Here he resigned only two days before and he is seen in what was described as a “compromising” situation. Who compromised whom?

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Channel 10 News Tracks Down the Widder Curry for Posting Photo of Herself and Bob Filner

August 28, 2013 by Source
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Editor: Ever since our Widder Curry posted an article with a photo taken showing her next to Bob Filner at a Point Loma Democratic Club party two days after his resignation, abc’s Channel 10 News has been searching for Judi, calling her “the mystery woman”. And they finally found her and conducted an interview with her featured under their headline:

Woman talks to 10News about photo taken with Bob Filner two days after resignation speech

Filner attended Democrats event in Point Loma

By Vanessa Van Hyfte / Channel 10 News / August 28

SAN DIEGO – A woman who posed for a picture with a smiling, beer-holding Bob Filner just 48 hours after his resignation speech spoke to 10News about what led to the photo opportunity.

Staunch Democrat Judi Curry told 10News Filner was not in a celebratory mood and far from the outgoing, gregarious man she has supported for years.

Curry has an older photo of her standing with Filner posted next to her front door.

“They say, ‘Isn’t that Filner? Aren’t you going to take that down?’ I say eventually,” said Curry, a retired business owner and former San Diego school administrator.

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Torrey Pine on Orchard Gets a Temporary Reprieve

August 28, 2013 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

The Torrey Pine on the 4300 block of Orchard Street estimated to be more than a century old is still standing, but neighbors wonder for how long.

A tree maintenance service team, scheduled to cut the tree down last week, was persuaded by Doug Harvey and Mary Cairns, neighbors across the alley, to postpone the job. They had reached out to Chris Caplaneris, the owner of the house where the tree sits, to trim branches that reached out over the alley. That somehow turned out into Caplaneris deciding to take out the entire tree, the neighbors say.

“This all came about because we wanted some branches to be pruned,” said Harvey, a real estate agent who says he is in the process of obtaining a degree in landscape architecture. “We’ll live with some sap.”

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Swimmers Reach Point Loma From Santa Barbara – Breaking World Record

August 27, 2013 by Staff
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Six swimmers swam ashore at a beach along Point Loma on Monday, August 26th – with quite a story to tell. They were finishing up a relay swim from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

And in the process, broke a world record for open water relay swim.

They began up north on Friday, the 23rd, at 6 in the morning. A friend raced along the land with them – and he ended up running a full 265 miles to the end. And it was all for charity – for the Monarch Schools for homeless children and the Navy SEAL Foundation.

One of them, Zach Jirkovsky, told local media: “This is going to sound crazy, but it was fun.”

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Reader Rant: “Something smells fishy here in San Diego.”

August 27, 2013 by Source
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By Pete

Something smells awful fishy here in San Diego and I think its the politics. For the past thirty years the Republicans have worked along with the elite developers to spend every dime in & around the downtown area, as the rest of the city went unnoticed. High rise condo’s sit vacant, an over sized & over priced unnecessary library built downtown as libraries around the city closed or went unfunded, A new & over priced Baseball park built downtown for a below average team & lots of talk about a new Charger stadium, again, downtown, for the elite developer friends of the Republican mayors.

When Bob Filner beat the Republican front runner, Carl DeMaio, who was alleged to having been backed by big oil money from the Koch brothers in Texas, it was a shock that traveled through out the city. Filner, not only started his political career here in San Diego being on the City Council representing District Eight, one of the poorest districts in the city, but he also was a United States Congressman for over twenty years, and was returning to where it had all started to finally pull San Diego from the grips of the powerful strong hold the Republicans have been enjoying for thirty plus years.

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Desert tortoises to be slaughtered by their own refuge as BLM closes Vegas rescue center due to budget cuts.

August 27, 2013 by Source
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Government plans to euthanize hundreds of desert tortoises after budget cuts to refuge

By George Chidi / The Raw Story / August 25, 2013

A combination of federal budget austerity and the dramatic decline of the Nevada housing market may claim some unlikely victims: desert tortoises.

The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center — a 23-year-old federal refuge in Las Vegas for the threatened species — has collected only $290,000 from its primary funding source of local developer fees over the last 11 months, the AP reports. The center can’t count on the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Nevada Department of Wildlife to make up the shortfall on the center’s $1 million annual operating budget because of federal and state budget constraints.

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Locals Try to Save Torrey Pines on 4300 Block of Orchard Avenue in Point Loma

August 27, 2013 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag has heard of efforts to save the Torrey Pines tree that we reported was about to be cut down. Some local neighbors of the elderly gentleman who owns the property where the tree is located together with some local tree activists are involved in talks and negotiations with a number of players around this Torry Pines.

Torrey Pines are a protected species and it is illegal to cut them down on public property within the City of San Diego. This tree, however – which has been called ‘one of the most beautiful Torrey Pines on Point Loma’ – is located on private property, in the rear of a yard, right off the alley.

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Going Acai Bowling in OB

August 27, 2013 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Acai bowls are the hottest thing in Ocean Beach since bikram yoga. Any coffee shop worth its beans from Niagara to Voltaire has some form of the smoothie-on-steroids. But unlike Padres losing seasons and Mumford & Sons songs, not all bowls are the same.

At the concoction’s core is the storied acai berry, a so-called superfood rich in antioxidants and amino acids which, long story short, is good for you. It’s layered between everything under the health-food spectrum from granola to coconut to bee pollen – which is different from honey how? – and topped with fresh fruit.

To save you the time and trouble of hitting every one of the myriad acai-erias in the hood, we’re here to break down the best of the bowls. Let’s start on Newport and work our way north.

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Filner Makes One Last Appearance at Point Loma Dems’ Meeting

August 26, 2013 by Judi Curry
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The Widder Curry Reports on Pt. Loma Democratic Club Meeting

By Judi Curry

Sunday August 25 – was the annual pot-luck for the Pt. Loma Democratic Club.

When my husband and I were members years ago we never missed this meeting because people brought food, desserts and good will to the meeting. Today’s meeting was different in some respects – the same in others. The food was still there (in fact I tried a new recipe for lemon bars and when it was time for dessert they were all gone before I ever tasted one.) The salads were good; the camaraderie was nice, and there was an excitement in the air that permeated the atmosphere.

Our progressive mayor, Bob Filner, had resigned from office just 72 hours before this meeting. They was a lot of talk about who would take his place and maybe carry on his ideas for San Diego. The consensus was that there is probably no one that is willing to stand up to Big Business and, for the most part, we will be returning to the “Good Old Boys” method of governing. What a shame, because Filner, in spite of his foibles, had many good ideas and was set to put them in use.

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Mourning the Death of a Neighborhood Torrey Pine

August 26, 2013 by Source
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by Mary Cairns / Special to the OB Rag

Friday morning, August23, I saw a tree removal/trimming company show up in the alley behind my house. My first thought was great! The Torrey Pine in the backyard of the house behind me is finally going to be trimmed. I had spoken with my next-door neighbor a month ago, and he said we should trim to get the branches off the wires.

Short information on the tree and neighborhood:

My parents bought the house I live in within a year after it was built in 1948. All of the houses in Point Loma Heights were built after the war, this area from ~1948-1950’s. The tree is estimated to be 80-100 years old, 40 feet tall. The tree location is the 4300 block of Orchard Avenue, a house down from Santa Barbara. More on the species later.

Walking out back to provide access to my yard for tree droppings, I was appalled to find out the tree was being removed! I have taken a picture of it from my back yard for you to see how beautiful it is.

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Global Warming is Cooking the Planet Now – Not in Some Far-Off Future

August 26, 2013 by Source

90 Million Tons of Carbon Dioxide are Dumped into the Atmosphere Every 24 Hours

globalwarming12By John Lawrence

As Bill McKibben, founder of, states in his book, Eaarth, global warming is not some far-off event that we will have to prepare for sometime in the future; it is here today and the effects of global warming are being manifested here today. Yet the oil and gas industry is pulling out all the stops to convince people that global warming is just a myth perpetrated by fuzzy headed liberals.

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The Collected Works of Our Savior Nathan Fletcher, the Magic Democrat

August 26, 2013 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

fletch1In the aftermath of the Filner resignation, a group of Democratic Party insiders and money people are continuing to run around with their hair on fire trying to anoint Nathan Fletcher as our savior and discourage other truly progressive candidates from entering the field.

Of course this includes folks like Christine Forrester, who runs a marketing consulting firm that connects businesses with hedge fund money, and former Labor Council leader Lorena Gonzalez, who has long been championing her personal friend, the former Assemblyman with an 18% labor voting record over the vociferous objections of many in labor.

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California Has the Lowest Rate of Food Stamp Participation in the Union

August 23, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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The news about California was not good last week. The LA Times ran a jaw-dropping article on August 17th about how our great state of California has the lowest rate in the country of food stamp participation. Lower than even Texas which prides itself in limiting government.

By discouraging Californian needy to sign up for the giant federally-funded food stamp program, the LA Times reported that “only about half of those qualified get the aid ….” This is in contrast to other states – some of which are run by Republicans are able to “enroll 80% to 90% of those with incomes low enough to qualify.”

And this is despite California’s image as a “liberal” and blue state.

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Lining Up to Piss on Filner’s Political Grave

August 23, 2013 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

As this is being written before the San Diego City Council’s meeting today, I’m operating under the assumption that the deal negotiated with Mayor Bob Filner will be approved. It’s hard for me to see any other conclusion to this kabuki theater.

A political writer with the Los Angeles Times is saying via Twitter this morning that the deal will involve Filner not formally quitting until the end of August and that he’ll be making a televised speech following the council meeting.

The timing of Filner’s exit has to do with the potential dates for runoff elections.

Attorney Gloria Allred took to the airwaves yesterday to demand her pound of flesh, warning against any deal that didn’t help her share of any settlement with her client.

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5 Companies That Make Money By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

August 22, 2013 by Source

CounterTerrorismA massive industry profits off the government-induced fear of terrorism.

By Alex Kane/Alternet

Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, has invaded America’s television sets in recent weeks to warn about Edward Snowden’s leaks and the continuing terrorist threat to America.

But what often goes unmentioned, as the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out, is that Hayden has a financial stake in keeping Americans scared and on a permanent war footing against Islamist militants.

And the private firm he works for, called the Chertoff Group, is not the only one making money by scaring Americans.

Post-9/11 America has witnessed a boom in private firms dedicated to the hyped-up threat of terrorism. The drive to privatize America’s national security apparatus accelerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and it’s gotten to the point where 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on private contractors, as author Tim Shorrock reported.

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San Diego’s 10News & the GOP Scum That Feeds Them

August 22, 2013 by Doug Porter
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Editor: We realize that by now this is old news, especially in light of a probable deal involving Mayor Filner’s resignation, but if you haven’t heard about this, it’s worth sharing.

By Doug Porter

Nobody likes to hear bad news about people important in their lives. Lately a lot of folks have been piling on KPBS for its role in bringing accusers in the Mayor Filner harassment scandal to the forefront. But if you want to see some really mean coverage designed to denigrate, you need to move down the channel listings a bit.

Our local ABC affiliate, KGTVs 10News has sunk to a new low. They’ve published embarrassing photographs of a woman purported to be Mayor Filner’s press secretary taken at her bachelorette party last weekend in Las Vegas.

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Deal Reached: Filner’s Likely Finished, Details to Be Announced Friday

August 22, 2013 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Editors: Note this story was posted at 7:45pm Wednesday, and updated at 6 & 8am Thursday, Aug. 22.

Following three days of negotiations held in San Diego’s Federal Building, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith informed the media Wednesday evening just before 7pm that a proposed settlement has been reached.

Monday morning started with a mediation session including Filner, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, lawyer Gloria Allred, City Council President Todd Gloria, and Councilman Kevin Faulconer. The gathering was presided over by J. Lawrence Irving, a former federal judge who is highly sought after as a mediator.

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Sex in San Diego: A Brief History of Sex Dolls

August 22, 2013 by Annie Lane
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It’s difficult to imagine anything other than a crusty, inflatable, creepy-looking … thing when picturing a sex doll in the mind’s eye. A likeness to the figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream, though slightly more unsettling if that’s even possible.

But sex dolls actually have quite an interesting history, reaching back as far as 8 A.D. with the myth that Pygmalion obsessed over a woman he sculpted from ivory so much so that Aphrodite eventually made her real. In the 1940s, Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler devised the “Borghild Project,” which involved the production and shipment of sex dolls to German soldiers in an effort to lure them away from diseased French prostitutes.

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City Attorney Announces Proposal on Mayor Filner Has Been Reached – Needs Council Approval

August 21, 2013 by Staff

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has announced after the third day of mediation that a deal has been reached regarding Mayor Bob Filner and his future.  No details have been made public. The City Council must approve the proposal – and it is reported that the Council will meet to vote on it at […]

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House and 3 Apartment Units on Santa Moncia Aveune Go for Over Million and Half Dollars

August 21, 2013 by Staff
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A small, single-family house built in 1918 and three adjacent apartment-type units on Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach just sold for over a million and half dollars.

The units are next to the two story Santa Monica mall that contains Shades, Tower Two and other businesses near the end of the 5000 block that runs into Abbott Street.

The nearly century-old house has approximately 772-square-feet, and is a one-bedroom/one-bath house and is at 5063 Santa Monica Ave. It was sold for $675,000, with financing of $328,000 from Flagstar Bank. (assessor’s parcel 448-092-06)

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American Hero Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years

August 21, 2013 by Source

Bradley ManningComparisons between WikiLeaks and Pentagon Papers cases raise serious questions about government and judicial discretion.

By David Gespass/Military Law Task Force

Today, Bradley Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years for the “crime” of revealing the seamy underside of US diplomacy and war-making. The sentence is substantially less than sixty years the prosecution asked for, but greater than what the defense requested. It was predicated on alleged damage done to the US, though it remains unclear what actual damage, aside from embarrassment, occurred.

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CicloSDias Recap: Streets for the People

August 20, 2013 by Source

CHCDC CicloSDias 13By Andy Hanshaw / San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

As many of you know, CicloSDias happened on a recent Sunday, and call me biased, but it was a resounding success.

Bikes, joggers, skaters and people of all kinds started walking and rolling around 9:30 a.m. A little after 10 o’clock, councilmembers Marti Emerald and David Alvarez along with County Supervisor Dave Roberts and a few other event speakers addressed the growing crowd at Cherokee Point Elementary School to get attendees excited about this event.

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