January 2019

It’s Raining and Cold. The Homeless Are Still Outside.

January 16, 2019 by John Lawrence

by John Lawrence / January 16, 2019

I take a shortcut every day through Walter Way in my home town of El Cajon. It saves me from going through one stop light at 2nd and Madison. Walter Way is little more than a glorified alley paralleling 2nd Street. In between there’s a McDonald’s, a Walgreen’s a Subway and a few other fast food places. Walter Way has been home to quite a large homeless settlement for some time. The other day there were 3 dump trucks and 3 El Cajon police cars clearing out the homeless and all their possessions from Walter Way.

All the tents, shopping carts, dogs, tarps and other paraphernalia were gone by mid day. Walter Way remained clear for about a day and a half, and then the homeless were back minus some of their possessions which had been thrown in the dump trucks. I imagine they got to take at least some things with them before the workers heaved the rest of the stuff into the dump trucks.

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Does Ocean Beach Have a Sinkhole?

January 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Water is coming from underneath the asphalt and concrete of the street along Froude near Narragansett Avenue. And a number of local agencies have responded to what is reported to be a water main break.

But is it also a sinkhole? A city of San Diego spokesperson said they had a report of a sinkhole.

7SanDiego reports that police and fire units are at the scene – and they are telling the media water is coming from beneath the street and there are real concerns the street could buckle, causing potholes and even a sinkhole.

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High Surf Collapses Deck at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs

January 16, 2019 by Source

Neighbors are reporting that the deck at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs collapsed a few days ago due to high surf eroding the cliffs below it.

10News reported:

Chris DuCharme, an Ocean Beach resident of 30 years, said a deck overlooking the beach collapsed at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs a few days ago, after the cliffs below crumbled.

“That entire patio behind me was all one patio about two to three weeks ago,” he said. He said it’s something he has seen plenty of times at Sunset Cliffs. “You get something like that,” he said. “Where you get a super high tide, and a big wave will come and double up on itself right at that patio and that wall.”

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Sweetwater Union – the Largest High School District in California – Is Under Attack by Charter School Proponents – Including the San Diego U-T and Voice of San Diego

January 16, 2019 by Source

Editordude: Here’s the latest post from Thomas Ultican about the latest shenanigans from local charter school supporters in their quest to undermine public education, how the students recruited from public schools into charter ones have drained public school districts’ funds, and how the Sweetwater Union High School District is under attack. In delving into the details, Ultican takes on the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Voice of San Diego for their unabashedly support for charter schools over public schools.

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

The newly hired Chief Financial Officer of Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD), Jenny Salkeld, discovered a significant problem with the budget she inherited. She presented her findings to the Sweetwater leadership team in early September which forwarded her report onto the County Office of Education (COE). The SUHSD board also called in all bargaining units to suspend contract negotiations and inform them of the budgetary uncertainties. Sensationalism and subterfuge became the new reality in Chula Vista, California.

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Women’s March in San Diego – Saturday, January 19

January 15, 2019 by Source

From the Women’s March San Diego website:

The third annual Women’s March will take place on Saturday, January 19th, 2019. Join us in San Diego to bring #TruthToPower!

Saturday, January 19, 2019
10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Waterfront Park (West Side)

Our marchers make a difference.

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The Top Ten Medical Cannabis Developments of 2018

January 15, 2019 by Source

By Sean Khalepari / Americans for Safe Access

It has been an exciting year in the world of cannabis reform. From studies that underscore the therapeutic potential of cannabis to political changes that bode well for patients and consumers, there is much to celebrate. Before we close the books on 2018, let’s take a look back at ten of the most significant developments over the past year from ASA’s perspective and consider their impact.

1. The DEA Removes Misinformation about Cannabis from its Website

For years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency maintained false and misleading information about cannabis on its website. In December 2016, ASA submitted an Information Quality Act (IQA) petition to compel the DEA to stop disseminating inaccurate information to the public. In January 2018, ASA received a letter from the DEA acknowledging that the materials ASA raised concerns about were removed from the DEA website but asserting that this was due to a “regular review process” rather than the IQA petition.

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Federal ADA Lawsuit Targets San Diego Scooters

January 15, 2019 by Source

By Greg Moran / Los Angeles Times

SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego and electric scooter brands Lime and Bird are the targets of a lawsuit filed in federal court alleging the ubiquitous motorized vehicles are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by impeding and blocking access to city streets and sidewalks.

The suit filed by the group Disability Rights California and three disabled San Diego residents is seeking class-action status for people with mobility or sight disabilities who navigate sidewalks, curb ramps and public spaces also occupied by scooter riders.

“Without full use of the sidewalk and curb ramps at street intersections, persons with mobility and/or visual impairments have significant barriers in crossing from a pedestrian walkway to a street,” the suit alleges. “This is exacerbated when the sidewalk itself is full of obstructions and no longer able to be fully and freely used by people with disabilities.”

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It’s Tough to Be a Renter in San Diego County

January 15, 2019 by Source

More than half are burdened by housing costs.

by Jill Castellano / inewsouce.org – San Diego

San Diego County is one of the least affordable places to live in America, and renters know it.

When housing costs are high, people have less money to spend on other necessities such as food and medical care, which hurts their quality of life.

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Surfing Dangerously in Ocean Beach

January 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A lone surfer glides right on a wave off the jetty.

Meanwhile the County has posted “Danger” signs at the beach. And Joe Ewing was there Monday and caught the drama.

What drama, you ask.

This surfer – and others who ignore the signs – are surfing dangerously. There’s a County water quality advisory out and humans and dogs are asked to stay of coastal waters and bays for at least 72 hours after it rains. Especially in OB where the San Diego River empties.

Here is the County’s advisory:

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Review of Springboard West Festival in Ocean Beach

January 14, 2019 by Source

By Bob Edwards

This past week, Ocean Beach hosted Springboard West, a music festival and conference for aspiring artists. Organized by an LA-based company, the festival featured two days of panels and workshops attended by 50 artists from around the world and culminated on Saturday with a “Band and Brew crawl” at five OB venues.

Hundreds of music fans from San Diego and elsewhere were entertained at the OB Playhouse, Mothers, the Harp, Winstons, and Te Mana by an eclectic mix of artists. The acts that performed work in a variety of genres such as singer/songwriter, pop, and country-, punk-, and soul-influenced rock acts.

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Michelle Obama is Right: ‘They Aren’t That Smart’ —They’re Just Greedy

January 14, 2019 by Jim Miller

Michelle Obama caused a small stir last fall during the London leg of her book tour when she observed that her time in the highest circles of the global power elite had revealed a startling truth about our faceless masters:

“Here’s the secret: they’re not that smart. There are a lot of things that folks are doing to keep their seats because they don’t want to give up power.”

More specifically, the former First Lady observed that, “I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.”

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OB Historical Society: ‘Trolley to the Beach’ – Thursday, Jan. 17

January 14, 2019 by Source

“Trolley to the Beach”

Everyone is invited to a presentation of “Trolley to the Beach” by Eric DuVall – president of the OB Historical Society – this Thursday, January 17.

It’s a story of how dependable electric streetcar service allowed people to live at the beach— specifically Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach and La Jolla — and still be able to work downtown. It will be this Thursday

It is the story of the Point Loma Railroad and the San Diego Electric Railway and how they helped our city to grow. As such, it is also the story of D. C. Collier and John D. Spreckels.

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Two Seals Players Did Just ‘Dive In’ and Had to Be Rescued at Sunset Cliffs

January 13, 2019 by Staff

Hey the Pro lacrosse Seals players rescued from heavy surf at Sunset Cliffs who just living their team’s billboard. This billboard appeared recently on Sunset Cliffs Blvd near Voltaire – and OB Rag photographer Bob Edwards snapped this shot.

Here’s the news:

Two members of the San Diego Seals professional lacrosse team were rescued from heavy surf Thursday morning at Sunset Cliffs. Both suffered only minor injuries. The Seals players — identified as Garrett Epple and Nick Ossello — asked a bystander to film them jumping off the cliffs and into the Pacific Ocean at a well-known spot called “The Arches”.

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If Trump Declares a National Emergency, He’ll Be Breaking the Law

January 11, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn Blog / Jan. 11, 2019

Congress refuses to enact legislation containing the nearly $6 billion that Donald Trump is demanding for an unnecessary wall on the southern US border. In response, Trump is considering whether to declare a national emergency, take money Congress has appropriated for other purposes, and divert it to build his wall. But under US law, the president cannot usurp the spending power the Constitution grants only to Congress.

Desperate to appease his right-wing base and Fox News pundits, Trump backed off his commitment to sign a bill that would have reopened the government that has been shuttered for 20 days. Although Congress unanimously supported that bill, Trump is stubbornly holding out for money to build his wall, continuing to hold the American people hostage. One quarter of the federal workforce has not been paid, airline safety is imperiled, the Food and Drug Administration is postponing food safety inspections and national parks are being desecrated while Trump plays wall politics.

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Humboldt Sheriffs Critical of Netflix, ‘Highly Sensationalized’ Murder Mountain; Director Responds

January 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has blasted Netflix over its docu-series “Murder Mountain” as a”highly sensationalized” and incomplete show that portrays law enforcement in a negative light.

The 6-part series now streaming on Netflix follows the case of an Ocean Beach surfer, Garrett Rodriquez, who traveled up to Humboldt County to make money in the cannabis industry, who disappeared and was murdered, and whose body was eventually found in a shallow grave.

But the local Sheriff’s Office put out a statement saying when they were approached by the series producers, the producers claimed their documentary was going to be about the changes in the County from the legalization of marijuana. Instead, the Sheriffs say, the show became “highly sensationalized” and focused only on the death of one man, Rodriguez.

The show is about Garrett from OB and his dad, but it’s also about the history of marijuana cultivation in Humboldt – which today accounts for 60% of all cannabis grown in the U.S. – and the difficulties of once “outlaw” growers are having becoming “legal”; many are facing the prospect of having to end their farming livelihoods.

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A Threat at the Back Door Scared Away by Judi’s Hero Dog

January 11, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Something happened this morning that I have feared for years. I am so disappointed how I handled it, and I am so grateful to the San Diego Police Department. This is what happened:

At approximately 6:25am I heard a noise but thought that it was one of my students. I live on a corner, and there is construction happening across the alley from my house and I thought they were starting work on the house early – again – and got angry. But then Shadow began barking – loudly – and in a tone that I have never heard him use before. I continued to get ready for the day, and still Shadow barked.

I finally walked to the kitchen and saw what Shadow was barking about. Standing at my back door was a young man – 21 or so; wearing a hoodie; and knocking at the door. Fortunately I have a metal screen security door and even if he had been successful in breaking into the back door, he could not have had access to the house.

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San Diego Is the Largest City in California to Ban Styrofoam

January 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The City of San Diego became the largest city in California to ban Styrofoam when the City Council voted 6 to 3 Tuesday, January 8 to approve a law that restricts the use of products made with polystyrene and plastic foam, like take-out containers, coolers and egg cartons.

Imperial Beach and Encinitas join San Diego within the County that also have adopted similar rules. Over 100 other California cities have such bans or restrictions. …

The new ordinance – due to go into effect probably in April 2019 – prevents restaurants and grocery stores from using plastic-foam food containers (often called “Styrofoam” – which is a brand name – referring actually to polystyrene). In addition, it bans anyone from bringing polystyrene products to the beaches or city parks, and it prohibits restaurants from giving out any plastic straws or utensils, unless customers ask for them.

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Trump People Had 101 Contacts With Russian-Linked Officials

January 10, 2019 by Source

Members of President Donald Trump’s campaign and transition team had more than 100 contacts with Russia-linked operatives between September 2015 and January 2017, according to an updated report by the Center for American ProgressMoscow Project.

These contacts reportedly included at least 28 meetings, both in person and over Skype, and involved several prominent members of Trump’s inner circle including the president’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.; his former attorney Michael Cohen; and his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank based in D.C., said Wednesday that it had raised the number of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia-linked operatives to 101 following reports this week that Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data on the 2016 election with a Russian consultant who had links to Moscow’s intelligence agencies.

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Midway District Man Gravely Wounded by Police Is ‘Up-and-Coming Rapper’

January 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Ryan Bowers was on hard times, apparently. On New Year’s Eve he posted on Facebook, “My life is so stupid.” The 23-year old lived in the Midway District with family. Yet his life got even worse.

On Thursday night, January 3, he allegedly cut his own throat; family members called police; police arrived – confronted him as he refused to drop a knife, and he was then shot multiple times. He now has life-threatening wounds and may not survive.

Yet it turns out Ryan Bowers is described as “an up-and-coming rapper” and is signed to Nick Cannon’s label. Cannon has know him for years.

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Point Loma Brewer: Gov’t Shutdown Could Adversely Affect San Diego Craft Beer Industry

January 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The head brewer at Bay City Brewing Company in Point Loma, Austin Pinder, complains that the Federal government shut-down could adversely affect the entire craft beer industry in San Diego.

Pinder told 7SanDiego the Federal agency’s offices that handle new beer labels are closed as part of the shutdown. Yet, every new beer label requires federal approval. Pinder said:

“The Tax and Trade Bureau requires government mandated things on beer labels like alcohol content. It also requires that the content on the packaging is unoffensive.”

Pinder claimed Bay City Brewing Company comes out with up to 30 new beers a year. Plus, other new craft breweries trying to open in San Diego’s heavy bud market could be hurt by the closing of the government.

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Man Dies After Saving Dogs at Jetty in Ocean Beach

January 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The man rescued off the OB Jetty by lifeguards Wednesday has died, reports the San Diego Fire Rescue-Department and County Medical Examiner’s Office today, Thursday, Jan. 10.

Identified as Gregg Owens, the man was rushed to UCSD Medical Center intensive care unit but was later pronounced dead.

Reports have Owens – visiting from Nevada – entering the rough ocean around 2pm to retrieve his dogs.

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High Surf and Ocean Hazards – OB Pier Remains Closed

January 10, 2019 by Source


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The Old Broad: Follow-Up to My COX Complaint

January 10, 2019 by Judi Curry

The Cox technician came out today to perform the necessary changes to fix my land line. [Editordude: please see Judi’s earlier complaints about COX.]

I had several things I wanted to have done:

(1) the modem needed to be changed;

(2) whenever someone called me with an unlisted phone number they had to dial “*82” in order to reach me. That meant that they were dialing 13 numbers to ask me a question.

(3) Somehow Cox has their own “answering machine” and it had circumvented my own answering machine. It frequently told people that I was too busy to talk to them; that the phone was disconnected; their number was blocked, etc.

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Here’s How to Surf at Lunchtime in Ocean Beach

January 10, 2019 by Source

OB photographer Joe Ewing captured Jeff Timons surfing at lunchtime on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

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Around Town in Ocean Beach

January 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s a few updates and photos of various businesses and projects around town in Ocean Beach.

Green Center to Open in New Location by End of January

The OB Green Center has moved into Jim Bell’s building, and according to Kip Kruegar, will reopen by the end of this month – January. Bell’s building is directly across Voltaire from the store’s former location. There’s a bunch of interior dry-walling to be done, Kip said – and many boxes to be emptied and items to be re-organized in the front space of the one-story site. The ‘end-of-the-month’ seemed optimistic.

Ebers and Greene Monstrosity Exposed to the Elements

Black tarps covering parts of the infamous Ebers and Greene building have been shredded and dislodged by the wind and are now exposing the interior to the elements – which is not easy on unprotected wood structures.

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There Is Hope Yet for the OB Hardware Store

January 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Carl Weidetz – the owner of the OB Hardware store on Newport Avenue – gave this reporter hope that there may yet be a positive end result in the current saga of the future of the store.

On Tuesday, the 8th, as I entered one of the most popular storefronts on OB’s main commercial drag – one that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year as a business, Carl had a friendly smile and outstretched hand for this reporter.

And in a few minutes of discussion, Carl – who is definitely retiring very soon – told me that there are two possible groups of buyers who want his store. But there’s been a hang-up, he said, in talks between “the lawyers”.

“There’s no sense in buying my business,” he said, “if you can’t get the lease too.”

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Willie Is Back! OB Legend Returns to His Corner

January 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

One of the most famous personages in Ocean Beach has returned to his corner at Newport and Cable – Willie is back. An absolute OB legend, Willie is back in front of his Shoe Shine shack behind the coffee kiosk at the corner.

Having been hospitalized for a year, he appeared to this reporter in good spirits and ready to chat with anyone who stops by to say hello. He told me he was 85 years old. He’s a former Marine and was in Korea in the early -50s. But Willie has been a mainstay on Newport Avenue for decades.

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The Constitution Does Not Give Trump ‘Emergency Powers’

January 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Our Constitution does not give President Trump “emergency powers” and he can’t suspend it whenever he perceives there’s a national emergency. So says Constitutional expert and Dean of UC Berkeley Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky. And I believe him over Trump and any of his sycophants.

Two decades ago, I met Chemerinsky after one of his “Constitutional Law” lectures – as he was one of the professors hired to teach hundreds of us San Diego law school graduates how to take the California State Bar. Totally impressed with his sweeping grasp of the Constitution, I followed his career over the years. At some point, he became the very first dean of the brand new law school at UC Irvine. Now, he’s at Berkeley – and today he wrote an Op-Ed piece for the LA Times, “Trump’s border wall woes”.

If Trump tries to simply invoke emergency powers and build a wall between the United States and Mexico without congressional approval, it would “constitute an unconstitutional and dangerous expansion of presidential power,”

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We’re Still Calling People ‘Illegal’ After All These Years

January 8, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Note: I found an old piece I wrote for the San Diego Tribune in November of 1994, twenty-four years ago. The piece was about Proposition 187, a ballot measure that required me, a school principal, to rat on families who were in the country illegally. And, as I read it, I felt as though we, as a society, had been frozen in time, because what I wrote, with all the talk nowadays about caravans and building walls and such, would speak to these times:

Despite the passage of Proposition 187, my disposition remains the same. I will not, in any way, play a role in willfully hurting another person.

I have sat at the back of the bus. I’ve had someone tell me to get my “black ass” out of a hotel where there were plenty of rooms available. I’ve skaked at the rink on special “Negro” days.

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San Diego County’s Most Endangered List of Historic Resources

January 8, 2019 by Source

Every year, SOHO – Save Our Heritage Organization – puts out a list of the most endangered historic resources of the county. Here’s their latest:

2018 Most Endangered List of Historic Resources – And one lost site from the 2017 list

SOHO’s annual reckoning with the state of preservation in San Diego County is again a bleak one. This year’s list, which is intended to raise public awareness about landmarks and feasible options, and to bolster political will for crucial historic preservation and restoration, includes 9 significant sites. Two of them—the Villa Montezuma in San Diego and Big Stone Lodge in Poway—did not appear on the 2017 MEL. Tragically, one from last year’s MEL was needlessly demolished by Southwestern College in December 2017. [Ed: for links to each site, go to SOHO here.]

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