March 2014

San Diego: Jobs Picture Not Looking Good From the Bottom Up

March 11, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

An article in the UT-San Diego business section about employment opportunities caught my eye this morning. While the local picture may be slightly better than the national projections, due to the presence of defense and tech industries, the prognosis for hiring remains heavily weighted towards low paying industries.

Today we’ll take a look at this story and other recent economic reports, along with what they portend for the growing national movement in support of increasing the minimum wage.

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Ocean Beach and its 7 Planning Districts

March 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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For the past six or so weeks, the OB Rag has been running reviews of each of the 7 planning districts of OB. The OB Planning Board is holding its annual election on Tuesday, March 11th, and we wanted to build interest and support for the election and for the Board – which historically was the very first democratically-elected planning committee in San Diego – and in California.

(See details here about the election.)

So, here is each of our posts on the districts:

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OB Planning District 7: The South-End of Ocean Beach

March 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As we complete our romping review of Ocean Beach’s planning districts, we round out our visit with District 7 – the South End of OB.

This has been our efforts at a public service as the OB Planning Board is holding its annual election on Tuesday, March 11th, between 4 and 7pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4826 Santa Monica Avenue.

Here’s District 7
Here in south OB, the ubiquitous airplanes are off in the distance, as are the other attributes of living in a highly packed urban beach area, the noise, the traffic, the parking problems, the congestion, the tourists and other visitors. One can almost feel part of a different neighborhood than the raucous community to the north, the loud OB.

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Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: What’s Left Beyond More Impoverished Choices?

March 10, 2014 by Jim Miller

vote hereBy Jim Miller

The debate rages on. Last week after I spent the final part of my column addressing Adolph Reed’s provocative Harper’s piece on the dismaying state of American politics, “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals, the argument just kept going across the national progressive media landscape.

In a sharp rebuttal to …

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The District 2 Appointment Gambit – Newsom Leads Informal OB Rag Poll, Jane Gawronski Also Running

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

19Candidates So Far In the Running

Now that former Councilmember Kevin Faulconer has been sworn in as mayor, the deck is clear for the appointment process to his seat to begin in earnest.

Applicants – or “candidates” – must have their 50 signatures and qualifying statement to the Clerk’s office by March 17. Then on April 14 and 15 the full City Council will pore over the applications with the plan being to narrow down the field to about 6 “finalists”.

OB Rag Poll In an informal poll that the OB Rag ran …

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OB Planning Board Election Update: Who’s Running – Who’s Not

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s an update to our late February take on upcoming changes to the Ocean Beach Planning Board in light of their March 11th annual election and anticipated vacancies …

From our own inquiries, from candidates’ statements at a recent forum on the 5th and the latest from Raeanon Hartigan, head of the Board committee on the election, we can now summarize what we know and who is actually running.

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Ocean Beach Planning District 6: The Hills of OB

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As we move south across the map of OB in our continuing series about the different planning districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area – we come to District 6 – “The Hills of OB“.

Today’s review of this district is part of the OB Rag’s public education service to build support and knowledge of the upcoming OB Planning Board annual election on March 11th.

District 6 of the Ocean Beach Community Planning Area
Stretching from the lowlands of Cable Street going east, District 6 immediately begins to climb up the hill – the hill of Point Loma – which is very steep at times, hence “Niagara Avenue” – and reaches the “peak” of OB at the intersection of Coronado Avenue and Froude Street. This is the highest point in “official” Ocean Beach –

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Must Progress Come to a Screeching Halt To Save the Planet From Global Warming?

March 7, 2014 by Source

globalwarming11By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Ever since the Enlightenment, progress has been essential to civilization. Defined as steady improvement toward a goal, the progress of society or civilization has been synonymous with growth, inventions, growing gross domestic product.

The very US Constitution was a testament to the Enlightenment era notion of progress. Science and technology would create the conditions for the “pursuit of happiness.”

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OB Town Council Prez Gretchen Newsom in the Running for District 2 Council Appointment

March 7, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

If you would have told Gretchen Newsom a year ago that she would be in consideration for the District 2 seat on the City Council, she probably would have sent you home and told you to sleep it off.

After all, it was just this past year that she was elected president of the Ocean Beach Town Council. Now she is officially “campaigning” – for lack of a better word – for the position, holding a signature-gathering meet-&-greet with friends and supporters Thursday night at her home on Santa Cruz Avenue.

“It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but I’m feeling pretty positive,” Newsom said in between introducing herself to supporters on her front stoop and watching her son, Leif, play in the yard.

“I never, ever, ever foresaw this situation happening. It’s a really unique opportunity.”

In case you haven’t been following along, it more or less all started with former Mayor Bob Filner. When Filner stepped down from office in disgrace, his seat was eventually filled by former District 2 Councilman Kevin Faulconer.

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OB Planning Board Fails to Block Incompatible 2 Story Houses on Brighton

March 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last night, the OB Planning Board approved the project at 4746 Brighton Avenue – a project that involves the demolition of an older, existing house on a large lot and the construction of two 2-story houses – that several Board members described as “incompatible” with the surrounding neighborhood and with the new Precise Plan.

Yet, by a vote of 7 to 4, the Board approved the project.

After the developer’s adult son Yale Jallos had made his presentation to the full board, audience members and then Board members had their say. Jallos had already made one pitch at the Board’s subcommittee, the Project Review committee, on Feb. 19th, and they had simply punted the project for the entire Board to consider without approving or denying it.

It was a full house in the audience as I counted 30 people in the chairs.

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City Left Holding the Bag as Balboa Park Centennial Group Folds Up Shop

March 6, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Piñata formerly known as Mayor Filner blamed

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The Balboa Park Celebration, Inc., a group empowered by former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to organize a centennial celebration of the Panama-California Exposition, is calling it quits.

Despite having $2.8 million in taxpayer-funded startup monies and a contract giving them exclusive control over the nation’s second oldest urban cultural park, the organization is dissolving its corporate entity and handing back its responsibilities to the City of San Diego.

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Extreme Weather Watch: February 2014 – Nowhere To Hide

March 6, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

USA Today did a report: Nowhere to hide from extreme weather. As it turns out, the US is uniquely positioned for extreme weather whether it’s hurricanes in the southeast, tornadoes in the lower plains, noreasters along the eastern seaboard, wildfires in the west, earthquakes, volcanoes and possible tsunamis along the west coast.

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Why I like the Big Red-Head (Bill Walton)

March 6, 2014 by Ernie McCray

The Big Red-HeadBy Ernie McCray

I remember one time, long ago, back in the day, hearing a guy say, about Bill Walton, “Aw, man, that dude can’t play no ball.” Hey, I don’t know what his definition of “playing ball” was but I had just, a few moments before, seen basketball played at a level or two above what you’d ordinarily see a teenage red-head high school kid do on a basketball court.

First of all he gangster slapped the notion of “white guys can’t jump.” I mean he blocked shots like he was …

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Cheswick’s Bartenders Pass the Boot in OB to Help Firefighters

March 6, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

For years, Cheswick’s West bartenders Allie Shea and Shelly Hutchison would ring the bell behind the bar whenever one of the local fire trucks would drive by on Newport Avenue to show their love.

Now they do it with a purpose: To raise money for the Fallen Firefighters Foundation (link). That’s because every time one of the trucks drives by, the bar passes around the firefighter’s boot they have perched behind the bar for everyone to donate.

“Every time they drive by, we ring it. People love it,” Hutchison said.

The idea to raise money came about after Shea took part in the San Diego Memorial 911 Stair Climb at the Hilton Bayfront last year. More than 900 people gathered to climb 110 stairs in honor of the firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

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New Regulations Prohibit Food Trucks From 2 to 3 Blocks of Beach … and More

March 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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New food truck regulations just passed by the City will prohibit them near the beach in Ocean Beach. In fact, the new law will not allow any food truck – unless on private property – from operating within 2 to 3 blocks of the beach. This will certainly bring smiles to restaurant owners in OB, but it is also bringing frowns to the mobile meal managers.

However, the new restrictions will not apply near the coastal communities until the California Coastal Commission weighs in and grants its approval

Yes, the City of San Diego finally took action to provide guidelines and new rules for the exploding gourmet food truck industry, …

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Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – Then and Now

March 5, 2014 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park consists in part of the large portion at the south end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd, stretching to the Navy property on the South and Point Loma Nazarene University uphill. The somewhat scruffy and undeveloped natural wonder holds a certain charm to some people in its present form, while many others would like to see it become more park-like.

The advisory committee for this park is the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Committee, formed to give advice to the city of San Diego on Park matters. The meeting on Monday, March 3, consisted primarily of a single agenda item: Proposal regarding Hillside Improvement Plan – Planning Commission hearing.

As background, this park area was once the home of the isolated and enchanting home of Dan Dixon. Called Villa Surf, and it provided the elegant background during the 1960’s …

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Remembering the UCSD “Compton Cookout”, the Noose, and their Aftermath

March 5, 2014 by Source

An Open Letter : Four Years After the “Winter of our Discontent”
By:
Jorge Mariscal / UCSD Professor of Literature

Fnann Keflezighi / UCSD ‘11
Patrick Velásquez /San Diego Chicano/Latino Concilio
UCSD DemonstrationFour years ago, the fragile tranquility of the La Jolla campus was shattered by a series of events now known as the “Compton Cookout.” (Ed.: see OB Rag coverage here.)

As much as administrators would like to erase the “Cookout” and its aftermath, it is crucial that we remember the events of February 2010.

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Continued Sell-Off of Keen Family Trusts Ocean Beach Properties: 6 Unit Apartment on 5000 Block of Cape May Sold for $1.2 Million

March 5, 2014 by Staff
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The OB Rag has been following the recent sell-off of their Ocean Beach properties originally owned by the Keen family trusts. In a clear sign that this trend continues, more property was just sold on the 5000 block of Cape May Avenue.

Six units at 5026-5032 Cape May Ave. were sold for $1.2 million, cash, to the Mills Family Trust, with Marcie L. Matassa trustee. Selling it was U.S. Bank, successor trustee of the Keen Family Declaration of Trust No. One.

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Little League Coach Prevents Bizarre Kidnap Attempt at Robb Field – Suspect Arrested

March 5, 2014 by Staff
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A story is emerging that on Feb. 20th, a little league coach at Robb Field prevented a very bizarre kidnapping attempt of a 7-year boy by a man who was later arrested by police.

Coach Scott Hedenkamp is reported to have placed his body in between the boy and a man later identified as Jarrod West to prevent West from grabbing the boy. The incident occurred during little league practice at the OB park.

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Man Who Sexually Assaulted Two Women in Ocean Beach Agrees to 30 Years

March 4, 2014 by Staff

The man who committed sexual assaults against two women in OB pleaded guilty on Monday, March 3rd, and agreed to be sentenced to 30 years in state prison.

On the day he was to go to trial, Richard C Butts, 26, plead guilty to to one count of oral copulation with a kidnapping allegation and one count of forcible rape with a multiple victim allegation. He’ll be formally sentenced April 17th.

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Large Swells Expected Tuesday Through Wednesday Afternoon

March 4, 2014 by Staff
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Surfs up! Hey, large swells are coming to local beaches and they’re expected from 2 p.m. today – Tuesday, to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 5th. Five to 8-foot surf is predicted with sets to 10 feet.

A large long-period west-to-northwest swell is approaching SoCal.

The National Weather Service has scheduled a high surf advisory for local and County beaches during those hours, which means above average waves are coming, bringing rip currents and beach erosion.

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Candidates’ Forum at Meeting of OB Planning Board – March 5th

March 3, 2014 by Staff
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Also on Agenda : 4766 Brighton Project

The OB Planning Board will be hosting a “Candidates’ Forum” at its monthly meeting this Wed., March 5th. This will give candidates for the Board running for the March 11 election a chance to address the community.

The Board meeting will start at 6pm sharp and is held in the meeting room at the OB Rec Center, 4826 Santa Monica Ave. on this Wednesday. Scheduled for 7pm, the Candidates Forum may be especially important as a number of people are running as “write-in” candidates, individuals not on the official ballot.

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Secret Report Damning Use of Force by Border Patrol Obtained by LA Times

March 3, 2014 by Source
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By Southern Border Communities Coalition

Southern border communities continue to call for transparency from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after the Los Angeles Times published a story on a report critiquing the agency’s use of force policy.

The PERF Report – an independent review by the Police Executive Research Forum commissioned by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection — evidently says border agents deliberately provoked confrontations that led to avoidable violence.

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Now Is the Time to Save Our Postal Commons

March 3, 2014 by Source
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By Matt Stannard / Nation of Change

Editor: There are too many links in the original for us to provide them, so please go to the original article for those links.

For some, the postal service has become an ideological punching bag, proof that “government programs” don’t work and that the state inevitably bureaucratizes services better left to the private sector. In the case of the postal service, this narrative lacks a critical element: fidelity to truth.

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A Mindful Walk Down a Dark and Slippery Slope

March 3, 2014 by Source

Here’s what the Zen manual advises for a stress-free existence: notice… let it go… then smile.

Truth is, I’m not ready for bliss. And it’s not for lack of trying. You know how it is once you’ve noticed certain things… how can you let them go? Maybe tomorrow.

Right now I can’t help noticing someone’s big bad joke. Here’s how it goes:

A guy walks into a bar, orders a beer on tap, and announces that the annual advent of Sunshine Week is just around the corner.

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Ocean Beach Hit Hard by Storm – OB Pier Still Closed

March 3, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Ocean Beach is digging out of palm fronds up to our ankles after the weekend’s big storm.

The Pier was closed Saturday morning and there’s no time table for reopening it after waves crashed over it throughout the weekend.

Things got a bit dicey during the weekend’s biggest rain and winds, but could have been worse. Most businesses stayed open as usual, despite most places on Newport putting out sandbags.

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What’s Left: Surrender or Resurgence?

March 3, 2014 by Jim Miller

education01By Jim Miller

Just when you thought the Obama administration’s education policy couldn’t get any worse, it did.

Last week Obama nominated founder and CEO of New Schools, Ted Mitchell, to the second highest post at the Department of Education.

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