May 2019

Peninsula Planning Board and City Sued by Board Member Over Ban on Slates

May 21, 2019 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting on Thursday, May 16, experienced something that was probably a first in its history when one of its members distributed his legal complaint against the PCPB and the City of San Diego. What he handed out was a draft but he actually filed the suit the following day on May 17.

The whole PCPB meeting was devoted to hearing two complaints against board members Margaret Virissimo and Donald Sevrens filed by community members, including this reporter. Briefly, this is what happened.

The way the complaint process works is that the complaint is reviewed by board officers and they decide whether to dismiss it or to pass it along to the full board. In the case of the two complaints, the officers decided to bring them both before the full board but they did not recommend an action, leaving that decision to the board.

The Virissimo complaint was discussed first. Suffice to say, it was a scene man.

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Let’s Do It Again! ‘Impeach on the Beach’ – Human Banner at Dog Beach in OB – Saturday, June 1

May 21, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

We’re going to do it again! Spell out “Impeach” with our bodies – as hundreds of OBceans and San Diegans did on March 4, 2017.

Another human banner is being organized for Dog Beach in Ocean Beach on Saturday, June 1st. There will be simultaneous Human IMPEACH Banners in Ocean Beach, San Francisco and Ocean Beach, San Diego.

We’re meeting up at 11:00am near Dog Beach. We’re asking everyone

  • Bring a towel or a blanket.
  • No signs please.
  • Please bring $1 donation to cover drone services and miscellaneous supplies. Excess money will be donated to future resistance efforts.
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OB Pier to Re-Open Thursday, May 23

May 21, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Pier will re-open this week, with an official ceremony on Thursday, May 23 at 8 am.

The symbol of OB has been closed since it was heavily damaged during storms in January. It was so damaged that many pieces of the railings washed up on shore – only to be carted off as souvenirs by locals and tourists alike.

More than 2,200 feet of guard rail, electric, water and sewer lines had to be substantially repaired or replace. Repairs estimated at $430,000 were made to the pier, which has definitely become the icon image of the seaside village. Many OBceans and other San Diegans have expressed their sadness and frustration over the pier’s closure.

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Police Crack Down on Ocean Beach and Point Loma’s Jaywalkers, Wayward Drivers and Bicyclists

May 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

For a better part of this past Sunday, San Diego police came to Ocean Beach and Point Loma with their citation books out as part of a crack-down on jaywalkers and wayward drivers and bicyclists. They also went to Hillcrest – all part of a city-wide effort by the SDPD to focus on those violations that often cause crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is assumed but has not been confirmed that part of the crackdown was on wayward scooter riders.

The police do something similar at least twice a month, according to a spokesman.

In OB and Point Loma, it began at 10 am and went till 6pm as police centered on those trouble spots

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Point Loman Hopes Phone App Will Bring Power to the People

May 20, 2019 by Source

By Geoff Page

For the past two years, Point Loma resident Michael Winn has been working on creating something Point Loma does not have, a town council. OB, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and many other communities have town councils – but not Point Loma.

It has been a tough road because the reception by existing community groups has been chilly, to say the least. Some of this was made apparent by a special event Winn organized on Tuesday, May 14 at a private home in Point Loma.

The invitation-only event was attended by a collection or people from Point Loma, Clairemont, La Jolla, and downtown. This was an immediate indication that the event was not solely about the Point Loma Town Council Winn has been working to create.

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Hundreds ‘Walk Against Hate’ in Liberty Station

May 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Hundreds of San Diegans – including a whole bunch of OBceans – turned out in the rain to “Walk Against Hate” in Liberty Station on Sunday, May 19.

Sponsored by a number of local organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the demonstration was in response to the rise of anti-Semitic incidents here and around the country, with the recent Poway outrage clear in the minds no doubt of the marchers.

Wayne Starker was there and took these photos.

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The Great Backlash is Upon Us: Women’s Reproductive Rights Are Under Assault

May 20, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew

The war on women is on.

Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, and, soon, Louisiana, will join several other states to enact draconian legislation aiming to criminalize abortion, and, by extension, women’s reproductive freedom. The purported endgame is to wave a red flag under the noses of the Supreme Court to get them to overturn Roe v. Wade and abolish legal abortion in the U.S. once and for all.

As Michelle Goldberg put it in the New York Times :

“You can see, in the anti-abortion movement, a mood of triumphant anticipation. Decades of right-wing politics have all led up to this moment, when an anti-abortion majority on the Supreme Court could end women’s constitutional protection against being forced to carry a pregnancy and give birth against their will.”

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San Diego’s Disenfranchised Win One, Lose One at City Council

May 17, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / May 15, 2019

Tuesday, May 15, should serve as a reminder of the strengths and weaknesses of the presently constituted San Diego City Council.

A non-binding resolution in support of a critical reform in law enforcement policy passed with unanimous support from Democrats. That’s the good news.

Here’s the bad news: An ordinance crafted amid an angry wave of protest about people without homes sleeping in vehicles split the liberal vote, once again proving some people’s empathy ends at their front door.

Our inability to deal with the collateral damage from the currently fashionable economic norms means public employees will be empowered to criminalize homelessness.

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How the California Journalist’s Shield Law Failed to Prevent San Francisco Cops From Breaking into Journalist’s Home and Office

May 17, 2019 by Source

By Terry Francke / Californians Aware / May 14, 2019

As reported this past weekend, on Friday the San Francisco Police Department sent an armed detail to sledgehammer its way into a journalist’s home and office, handcuff him and cart off his phone, computer hard drive, notebooks and other documentation. The police sought to learn who had leaked their report about the death of the city’s public defender to selected local media, which disclosed that this widely admired official fell ill in the apartment of a woman not his wife and had traces of alcohol and cocaine in this system.

Those raids, following a storm of accusations against the police for allegedly releasing the report to smear their longtime nemesis, were authorized by search warrants obtained by either misrepresentation by the police or a judicial disregard for the law protecting journalists’ confidential sources.

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Flyers Left on Cars at Dog Beach in OB Mislead About New Ordinance Banning Living in Vehicles

May 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, May 16, fliers were found on cars in the Dog Beach parking lot in OB that give false warning about police enforcement of a new law that bars people from living in cars. The flyers were found on windshields 2 days after the City Council returned the ban on people living in vehicles on public streets.

The new ordinance bans people from parking a vehicle used for habitation within 500 feet of a school or home.

The flier states:

“You have received this notice because you are on a list of vehicles that has been reported as living in this lot continuously or frequently. Please park elsewhere. Enforcement will begin without further notice.”

In addition, the leaflet claims the entire Dog Beach parking lot is a no-parking area at all times for people who live in their vehicles because of the restriction against parking within 500 feet of any home.

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Women in HIV Research Study Were Not Told by UCSD of Data Breach Despite Pleas by Researchers

May 17, 2019 by Source

By Jill Castellano & Brad Racino / inewsource / May 14, 2019

University of California San Diego officials stonewalled attempts to notify women in an HIV research study that their confidential data was breached more than seven months ago, an inewsource investigation has found.

UCSD researchers conducting the EmPower Women study told university officials in October that participants’ names, audio-taped conversations and other sensitive materials were made accessible to everyone working at Christie’s Place, a San Diego nonprofit supporting women with HIV and AIDS.

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California Senate Bill Will Not Void Coastal Height Limits

May 16, 2019 by Source

By Sara Libby /Voice of San Diego

Many San Diegans collectively freaked out when it appeared that a bill moving through the state Legislature, SB 330, would wipe out the coastal height limit to make way for denser, taller buildings.

Though the purpose of the bill is to beat back many of the local restrictions that block new housing projects, its author made clear this week that the measure won’t kill San Diego’s coastal height limit.

Sen. Nancy Skinner added this revision:

(2) This section shall not be construed to void a height limit, urban growth boundary, or urban limit established by the electorate of an affected county or an affected city on or before January 1, 2018.

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Defendant in Sunset Cliffs Assault Case Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

May 16, 2019 by Source

By Mark Nero/ San Diego Patch / May 16, 2019

A man who hit a popular local surfer in the head with a carbon fiber paddle in the water at Sunset Cliffs has been sentenced to five years in state prison.

Although the sentence was issued Thursday, May 16, it was last month that Paul Taylor Konen, 34, was convicted of assault, with a great bodily injury allegation, for the June 26, 2018, assault on Kevin Eslinger, 56.

Eslinger sustained a gash to the back of his head that fractured his skull and caused brain damage, rendering him unable to speak until days after the injury, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco said. An emergency room physician said the injury looked “like a hammer blow,” the prosecutor said.

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9 Easy Propaganda Steps to War With Iran

May 16, 2019 by Source

By Juan Cole / Reader Supported News / May 16, 2019

he Trump administration is now in full disinformation mode, using all the classical techniques of propaganda to put the gullible US public on a war footing with Iran. Here is how it is done.

1. Iran warmongers like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pretend to speak for US interests instead of for the narrow and sectarian interests that want a war. Bolton has taken big bucks from the Iranian expatriate People’s Jihadis (MEK), which the State Department for long listed as a terrorist organization. NBC news at one point linked it to Israeli intelligence, and others have suggested a Saudi link. Pompeo is a Kansas oil man and we all know what oil men do to the Middle East (think Bush and Cheney).

2. Having hidden behind the flag, the latter-day Goebbelses then invent an emergency. The favored propaganda talking point at the moment is that US troops and diplomats are in danger. US troops and diplomats are always in danger. It is their job to be in danger. If we don’t want them in danger we should bring them home from dangerous places like Iraq.

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Abortion Is a Men’s Issue, Too. So Why Aren’t Men Speaking Out?

May 16, 2019 by Source

By ZawnVillines / Daily Kos / May 16, 2019

One in four women has had an abortion. It’s a figure that’s prompted activists to remind us that everyone loves someone who has had an abortion, and that group discussions of abortion will almost always include at least one person who has undergone the procedure. Many women have worked tirelessly to destigmatize abortion. They’re willing to risk their lives and reputations, subjecting themselves to judgment, derision, and threats, to share their abortion stories.

Yet a person with a penis is involved in 100% of abortions. Where are they? Why aren’t they shouting their own abortion stories, talking about how abortion allowed them to pursue their dreams, live their lives, and pursue financial health?

I know dozens of women who devote every spare second they have to fighting for safe and legal abortion. Many of them also have full-time jobs and multiple children. Where are their husbands?

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid May 2019

May 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Trial Begins for Man Accused of Knifing Walter “Ras” Riley

Prosecutors in a San Diego court showed jurors images of a man in a light gray hoodie, dark pants and white-soled shoes – stills, taken from an OB ATM camera, which they say captured Noah Jackson moments after he fatally knifed a popular homeless man nicknamed “The Incense Man” in 2017. But attorney Eugene Iredale said, “That is not the face of Noah Jackson. Not even close.” …

Point Loma Comedian at San Diego Comedy Festival

Comic Adam Connie is a Point Loma resident involved in the San Diego Comedy Festival. He has been performing for nine years and can be seen at venues like Comedy Heights in University Heights and Valentin’s Bar & Grill in Jamul. …

Ban on Sleeping in Cars Comes Back

On Tuesday, May 14, the San Diego City Council voted 6-3 in favor of re-establishing a ban that restricts people from living in their vehicles on city streets, with the exception of certain designated lots. …

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Join the Campaign for a Non Toxic San Diego – Sign Petition and Show-Up at OB Town Council Meeting –

May 15, 2019 by Source

Point Lomans Anne Jackson Hefti and Amy Ryan have started a campaign to get the City of San Diego to stop using herbicides and toxic chemicals at city parks, playgrounds and beaches. It’s called Campaign for a Non Toxic San Diego and they are lobbying Mayor Faulconer using an online petition and other traditional tactics.

It all started when Anne and Amy were walking their dogs at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park earlier this year. The women believe they exposed to wind-drift toxic herbicide sprayed by workers there and began doing research on Round-Up. The OB Rag picked up the story with Judi Curry writing about it. Other media have followed suit.

Anne and Amy are mobilizing their supporters to the May 22 meeting of the OB Town Council to present their concerns

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Mother’s Knees

May 15, 2019 by Source

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing

Mother’s knees, they were misshapen by the lumps and scars of a lifetime.

There she sat, unaware of the lens, skirt pulled high to defy the wet Eastern heat that dampened doting offspring. The edema of unspoken words and fateful adventures swelled her joints and crippled her sidestep, yet still she twirled to the rhythms of her youth. Although achingly unsure in her final years, those knees had long served her well.

They held her aloft when she was barely tall enough to reach the outhouse seat—loath, she was, to rest on it for fear of all the crawling, stinging things her older cousins convinced her lurked there. And surely those knees propelled her toward the heavens when the plumbing was miraculously moved inside her grandfather’s Maryland farmhouse.

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It Was 5 Years Ago When the San Diego Planning Commission Tried to Cut-Out the Very Tool Ocean Beach Uses to Prevent Over-Development

May 14, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

At the most recent OB Planning Board meeting, I had to do a double-take when an older gentleman came into the meeting room late and was sitting in the very back. It was David Steffens – a man OB planners knew 5 years ago when the OB Community Plan Update was up for approval with the Planning Commission and City Council.

But no one on the Board that night – except for one – knew who Steffens was. He had come to the meeting to talk about problems with people living in vans at Dog Beach parking lot.

Yet – in an ironic twist, he was there that night to ostensibly aid the Planning Board, operating under the OB Community Plan, in figuring out how to deal with the problem. It was ironic, as I recognized Steffens as the man who led the opposition to the city approving OB’s update to its Community Plan five years ago. He owns one of the McMansions just off the park. Five years ago, he led the effort to squash OB’s tool in controlling over-development, the low floor-area-ration that OB’s Community Plan uses.

After the meeting, I tried to explain all of this to some of the remaining Board members – and realized in a near-jaw-dropping moment – that there was no one left on the Board who was around during that period 5 years ago – except for Jane Gawronski. There has been at least one entire turn-over of the Planning Board during this last half decade.

So, I decided to repost the following article, published in May of 2014, as a recounting of those heady days back then when

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The Great Debate Continues Over Reduction of Lanes and Parking for West Point Loma Blvd.

May 14, 2019 by Source

A Response to Nicole Burgess’ Post on “Wonderful transformation for West Point Loma Blvd”

By Geoff Page

The subject of reducing West Point Loma Blvd. from four lanes to two lanes between Nimitz and Midway has been covered in several OB Rag pieces recently. One such article was written by cycling advocate Nicole Burgess titled “A Wonderful Transformation for West Point Loma Blvd.” Mrs. Burgess is a one-issue person if ever there was one. I will say at the outset that I admire her energy and commitment to her cause. Her constant promotion of cycling, at the expense of automobile traffic, is understandable because Mrs. Burgess does not drive.

I have witnessed her pushing cycling at planning board and town council meetings for several years. Last year, she came before the Midway planning board promoting a plan to remove parking on the south side of Sports Arena from Midway to Kemper.

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Why Are Gray Whales Washing Up Dead Along San Francisco Coast?

May 14, 2019 by Source

By Peter Fimrite / San Francisco Chronicle / May 11, 2019 Updated: May 13, 2019

Exhausted, emaciated gray whales are going belly up along the coast of San Francisco this year at a rate seen only once — during a two-year period 20 years ago — since whaling was banned and the leviathans were pulled from the brink of extinction.

The death toll, part of a disturbing mass die-off from Mexico to Alaska, is happening largely because there is too little food in the ecosystem to sustain the behemoths on one of the world’s longest migrations, experts say.

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OB Historical Society – 25 Years of Photos & OB Exposed! – Thursday, May 16

May 14, 2019 by Source

Join the Ocean Beach Historical Society at their monthly event – which they are presenting as a “Retrospective: 25 Years of Photos & OB Exposed!

They’ll feature many of their extraordinary OB Exposed! past photo entries, their favorite historical photos and photos chosen by their judges.

It’s this Thursday, May 16, at 7pm at Water’s Edge Faith Community, located at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Here’s the announcement from their website:

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The Mind Is Such a Creative Creature

May 14, 2019 by Judi Curry

The Old Broad Is Left to Ponder After Hitting Her Head on the Garage Door – Twice

By Judi Curry

The mind is so creative. It can imagine all sorts of things, some that are based on fact, and many that are based on fiction. The old adage that “if you say it enough times it will be believed” is certainly true, if one looks at the political situation today.

But this is not about the politics facing the nation today. No, rather this is about me and my mind, and the scare that I caused just by thinking.

I frequently blame my decisions – whether right or wrong ones – on being blond. I actually have always been a blond – even a “towhead” until the age of 15. I figure that I am allowed to make one wrong decision a year, and if you total up my number of years you will see that I made my fair share of bad ones. Of course, I made a whole lot of good ones to offset the others.

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5 Years Ago: CVS Began Rehab of Former Apple Tree Market

May 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Five years ago this month, in May 2014, CVS Pharmacy has begun the work of rehabbing the former Apple Tree Market in OB.

This reporter visited the site on Thursday, May 22nd, 2914 and witnessed plenty of activity that dispelled that nothing was happening in the old market that has sat there empty for months.

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San Onofre Nuke Plant Still in the News

May 13, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News April 2019

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the declines and fall of the nuclear power industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free future.

Last year’s Radwaste ‘near misses’ continue to plague San Onofre Nuke Plant – Southern California’s nuke plant shut down in 2013 after gross mismanagement and release of radiation into the environment by major owner Southern California Edison. San Diego Gas & Electric is a secondary owner.

The plant is, in retrospect, at an insane location.

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The Earth is Dying – Is Anyone Up to Facing this Historic Crisis?

May 13, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

The headlines screamed across front-pages last week. “One Million Species Face Extinction, U.N. report says. And Humans will Suffer as a Result,” blared the Washington Post . “Humans are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace,” the New York Times echoed. “Human Society Under Urgent Threat from Loss of Earth’s Natural Life,” warned the Guardian).

Suffice to say, this is a big deal. As the Post piece noted, the UN Report outlines “alarming implications for humanity” in that:

The landmark report by seven lead co-authors from universities across the world goes further than previous studies by directly linking the loss of species to human activity. It also shows how those losses are undermining food and water security, as well as human health.

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Will San Diego Keep Its Title of Area With 4th Largest Homeless Population?

May 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

It’s too soon to tell if San Diego will retain its title of being the area with the 4th largest homeless population. Even though the official homeless count numbers are in, HUD has not determined the order of cities currently with the most homeless.But San Diego is proud to have retained this position since 2015.

It’s done everything it can to increase the numbers – and so has California in general.So, while homeless advocates and government grant writers await the final results of the yearly national contest, we can still look at the numbers we have.

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OB Green Center Celebrates 30 Years at New Location – Sat., May 11

May 10, 2019 by Source

On Saturday, May 11th the Ocean Beach Green Center’s is celebrating 30 years and is having its Grand Opening at their new location.

It’s all happening at 4862 Voltaire Street in OB at Jim Bell’s place (Right across from the old location), from 2 pm – 7 pm.

Come join and help celebrate their 30 years of environmental, peace & social justice activism.

There will be live music featuring the following line-up:

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Keepers of the Dream -To the Boys of Excellence of Hoover High

May 10, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Hey, I just want to say
“Hi” to you “Boys of Excellence”
of Hoover High,
especially since I haven’t
met with you as much as
I would have liked to.

But, I often think of you
and I value each moment
I have spent with you
kicking back in my seat
munching on a treat
listening to you speak,
coming to realize
that you young men,
when it comes to excellence,
can’t be beat.

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It’s Official: We’re In a Constitutional Crisis

May 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The US of A is now officially in a Constitutional Crisis. That’s not the rant of a Southern California beachtown raq, that’s what the top Democrats in Congress are saying.

On Wednesday, Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the nation was in a constitutional crisis after his committee recommended the House hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over an unredacted version of the special counsel’s report, along with the report’s underlying evidence.

And today, Thursday, Speaker of the House Pelosi said she agreed with Nadler.

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