Debate Over Comments on ‘Nextdoor’ About Peninsula Building Projects

by on June 28, 2019 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

Editordude: The following is a debate that sprang off Geoff Page’s critique posted June 24 of points made on the Point Loma Association’s online newsletter. It’s all over attitudes about comments made on Nextdoor regarding a Peninsula building project. Here below is a response by Clark Anthony Burlingame, the PLA Vice-Chair. That is followed by a reply by Geoff Page.

Response to Geoff Page by Clark Anthony Burlingame

Thanks for promoting our weekly Point Loma Association newsletter!

Our PLA mission has broadened over the years, but we still focus on beautification and quality of life issues. That includes things like building construction and short term rentals.

If you check out our newsletter content, I think you will find it to be balanced and unbiased. We spoke out against turning NTC’s North Chapel into an entertainment venue. But overall, our aim is to inform (and entertain) rather than incite.

We do tease! Especially elected officials and other people in power. The post that concerns you was written strictly to poke fun at Nextdoor. You have to admit that the juxtaposition of comments was at least smile-worthy.

Here is the most important thing, and I admit this was an error on my part. I did not attribute the quotes that you attacked and assumed were mine speaking for PLA. I should have.

However, I clearly did introduce them with this phrase, “Here are some facts from people who know building…” because they are word-for-word quotes from two members of the PCPB:

Not all projects in the community are required to come before the Peninsula Community Planning Board. It is NOT the responsibility of the planning board to confirm zoning and code requirements. City is responsible to ensure projects comply with zoning, building code, and fire / life-safety regulations. The responsibility of the planning board is to serve as an outlet for public input, and to review projects for conformity to the community plan.

Typically any project that receives a City building permit should be in compliance with code. The comment about this being a nightclub is ridiculous. This area is zoned for residential. A night club or even a bar or restaurant would never be permitted.

According to the city’s website, the project 602453 was approved and a permit issued on 7/5/18 for the addition and remodel of an existing 1-story single family residence. Work to include garage demo, new carport, new roof deck with bar and glass railing, retaining wall, addition to 1st floor, new 2nd story, new stairs. No discretionary review was required, therefore no review by PCPB.

If you look at the article again, I hope you’ll agree that we did not “ridicule” anyone. We only quoted words people posted publicly! We purposely used no names.

We did not comment on the project itself other than to point out that, without City rules regarding STVRs, it may well become an Airbnb. That is a fact. A sad one.

Though I did not feel this particular post needed it, we frequently request feedback throughout every newsletter by writing something like, “Let us know what you think,” and including a link as I just did. We read and respond to every comment received.

As to my “stage name”, I started in radio when I was 16 years old. I was told to pick a surname that wouldn’t need to be spelled for the listeners. My middle name is Anthony. I chose that.

When I was on TV and radio, most people in San Diego knew me as Clark Anthony. After more than 45 years on the Peninsula, raising two sons and volunteering, most people here know our family as the Burlingames.

Personally, I read the Rag regularly and – for our newsletter – often link to the reporting, finding it a nice balance to other coverage of community topics.

……………….

Reply to Clark Anthony Burlingame by Geoff Page

Clark,

The first thing I will say is that I did not write the headline, Frank Gormlie does that.  I believe he got that from the post that said the comment about it becoming a nightclub was “ridiculous.”

I have to say that I don’t look at this quite the way you do.

You wrote “You have to admit that the juxtaposition of comments was at least smile-worthy.” This is an illustration of the point I was making.  I don’t find it smile worthy at all, what I see are some neighbors in Point Loma being snide and catty about a sincere post made by someone with a genuine concern.  I’ve been involved with these people for more than six months and this problem project is extremely upsetting to them.  What I see is the worst of this community, instead of empathy they got eggs pitched at them.  Nextdoor has illustrated that there is a dark, intolerant, underbelly to this Peninsula, which is why I am no longer a participant.

You wrote “they are word-for-word quotes from two members of the PCPB:”  If you are going to quote someone like a PCPB member, attribution would have been nice.  Had I known that these words came from someone on the PCPB and that thery were not comments by the PLA, I would not have been so critical of the newsletter.

Having been involved with the PCPB for many years, I can say with some authority that many sitting members over the years have no idea what the board does or have the wrong idea. Whoever gave you those quotes clearly needs some education about the board they sit on.  The current board has several very knowledgeable members and several who are not, I would like to know who you actually quoted.  If they gave you information about the PCPB for your publication, there should be no problem revealing their names.

My comment about your stage name was not meant to be personal, I assumed the word “stage” was appropriate for someone who uses a name on television or in movies that is different from their real name.  If that appeared offensive to you, I apologize.

I would advise that  the newsletter, if it does not want to make a direct attribution for a quote, at least say something like “the following quotes were provided by knowledgeable community members and put them in quotes so people don’t assume the newsletter writers wrote those lines.  My ire at the whole story centered on those quotes.

I have no quarrel with the PLA, they have been doing good work for a long time, which was what I said in my piece.  All of the community organizations need to get along and work together for the good of the whole Peninsula.  And, I am happy to heart that you read The OB Rag, I think Frank does a marvelous job of providing community information as well as more far-ranging material.  Frank normally prefaces the “rants” he publishes with  disclaimer that it is not necessarily the opinion of The OB Rag. He just provides a pulpit so please don’t think less of him or his blog for anything I write.

Geoff

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Rufus June 29, 2019 at 6:52 am

Drama worthy of Payton Place.

Reply

Avatar triggerfinger June 29, 2019 at 7:01 pm

All I heard was bla bla bla. Maybe keep this to email.

Reply

Avatar Geoff Page July 9, 2019 at 10:24 am

So, if the two of you decided this wasn’t worth reading, then why was it worth hitting the keyboard to make negative comments? Silence is acceptable. Actually preferable.

Reply

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