May 2018

Michael Mills Expands his Ocean Beach Empire With Purchase of 16 Units on Bluff at Narragansett

May 31, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Originally published May 31, 2018

Michael Mills – the gigantic land owner of Ocean Beach – has just expanded his OB empire larger with the purchase of 16 units on the bluff at the end of Narragansett Avenue.

One of Mills’ trust has purchased 5101-5107 Narragansett Avenue, a 3-story apartment complex right on the coastal cliffs for $6.8 million – according to an industry source. The seller was William R. Mundt Trust.

The large structure, built in 1973, includes a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments which range between 484 and 1,527 square feet on the 12,141-square-foot chunk of prime real estate cliffs.

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Homelessness and Capitalism: Some Untold Truths

May 31, 2018 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo

According to the survey in the 2018 Point-in-Time Count (PITC) of homeless people in San Diego County, the four main reasons for becoming homeless are: Loss of Job; Money Issues; Cost of Housing, and Other. Abuse/Violence ranks lowest.

But this survey is missing input from thousands of families, as I explained in my prior column, so in reality, fleeing from domestic violence could be a major cause of homelessness. So too could deportation of the primary breadwinner be a factor, which is not even listed as an option, but is a contributing factor for some homeless families.

Underlying those four highest causes are specific failings in our current economic system, such as: jobs that don’t pay enough to cover the basics;

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San Diego – the Exceptional City

May 31, 2018 by Source

By Norma Damashek / Numbers Runner

Never before in human history have ordinary people – you and me – been able to peer into the quirky, submicroscopic genomic particles that direct traffic within our mortal bodies (hooray for our tenacious medical researchers) while simultaneously scanning the vast cosmos for the daunting mysteries of black holes (posthumous homage to Stephen Hawkings). ­­­­­­­­­­

By contrast, tackling the routine challenges of daily existence ­– love, work, family, politics – should be a piece of cake. Alas, not so. The scientific method, the intellect of experts… these tools are woefully inadequate in the realm of social and political affairs.

To illustrate, let’s look at our own city of San Diego.

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Now Is Not the Time to Abandon the Guardians of Ocean Beach

May 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Andrew Waltz was very gracious at the last OB Town Council meeting May 23 in giving his monthly report on the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Andrew, a member of both the Town Council and the planning board, is the liaison between the groups. And in his update on the planning board, he noted the May meeting of the Planning Board had been “dark”.

But actually, the Planning Board meeting was not dark, – it just failed to have a quorum. A quorum is 8 members if there’s a full 14-member board – there is not – or a majority of the remaining filled seats. And of course, without a quorum, the board cannot conduct its business.

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6 Days Before Primary Incumbent Zapf Does Photo Op for New Bridge to Help SeaWorld Traffic

May 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Incumbent city councilwoman Lorie Zapf – running hard to keep her seat – joined Mayor Faulconer today, May 30, just 6 days before the June Primary, for a major photo op announcing a set of new bridges whose construction will begin later this summer.

The bridges will replace the existing West Mission Bay Drive bridge which stretches across San Diego River, and will help to improve traffic flow to SeaWorld and the beach communities.

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San Diego Coalition Seeks a Budget for the People from Police Reform to Playgrounds

May 30, 2018 by Source

By Susan Duerksen / Center on Policy Initiatives

San Diego’s Community Budget Alliance (CBA) has won approval of environmental, labor, police reform, and pedestrian safety projects this year, and will continue to push for more equitable spending throughout the final month of brewing the 2018-19 City budget.

The City Council has several chances in June to modify the proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The CBA coalition, which advocates for budget equity to benefit low-wage working people and underserved communities, is asking the Council to fund these items:

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Feeling in Tune With ‘La Neighbor’ and Logan Heights

May 30, 2018 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I just finished reading a collection of essays, “La Neighbor: A Settlement House in Logan Heights,” written by a longtime friend, Maria Garcia.

Maria and I go back a ways and we’re soulmates in so many ways. We’re writers, and activists, who’ve taken to the streets many a time in the pursuit of equality. We’re educators who modeled, in our schools, how to treat children with respect and

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Mermaid Appears on ‘the Rock’ at Sunset Cliffs

May 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A mermaid has appeared on top of what some locals call “the Rock”, or “Bird-Shit Rock” or “Ross Rock”.

As the art installations that have appeared on the same rock over the years have been, this was done anonymously.

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Fundraiser for Ocean Beach Elementary School – Sat., June 2 at Winston’s

May 29, 2018 by Source

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Manly Fear

May 29, 2018 by Source

By Bob Dorn

I have a pair of tan pants, made by … Dickies, an intriguingly long lasting brand name, perhaps because on one level it is a tad juvenile, but on another it’s very manly.

I’m no philologist but I think that’s one of the great attraction of words, their instability and ambivalence. Think about it: manly dickies? But of course.

It’s true these pants from Dickies are manly. They even have a slit pocket at the right thigh where a guy could put his money bag so that he’d notice if someone groped for it. Another manly thing is that they’ve lasted a very long time; I purchased them more than five years ago and they look today like they did when I first bought them down in National City.

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Lori Saldaña and the Lincoln Club? Just Say NO

May 29, 2018 by Jim Miller

Campaign flyer showing funding sources

By Jim Miller

There’s been a lot of controversy lately about Lori Saldaña’s previously floundering County Board of Supervisors run getting a big money boost in the form of an independent expenditure campaign by the Lincoln Club, and while Doug Porter did a fine job of connecting the dots and explaining why both the Lincoln Club and the Working Families Council would be involved in a dark alliance to attack Nathan Fletcher and promote Saldaña, some folks wandering the barren landscape of social media still don’t seem to grok precisely how troubling these connections are for those inclined to support Saldaña, the self-proclaimed savior of the Democratic Party.

Thus, some history is in order.

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A Voter App for San Diego Progressives Now Available

May 25, 2018 by Doug Porter

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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Candidate for San Diego City Council District 6 Takes on Chris Cate for his Support From Airbnb

May 25, 2018 by Source

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

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Former Council Member Ed Harris Endorses Jordan Beane for San Diego’s District 2 Seat

May 25, 2018 by Source

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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Trump Wants to Expand Oil Drilling to 90 Percent of Our Seas. We’re Marching on June 9 to Stop Him.

May 25, 2018 by Source

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.

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War Against Pot Continues in San Diego County

May 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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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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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