July 2019

Reforming California’s Dysfunctional Charter School Law

July 19, 2019 by Source

By T. Ultican / Tultican / July17,2019

Members of the California legislature have engaged in an internecine battle over charter schools. Even the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) has expressed concern over lawless cyber charters and filed the first known complaint with the California Department of Education over A3 Education and Valiant Prep which were recently charged with stealing a stunning $50 million.

California State Sen. John Moorlach (R) is warning that 85% of school districts in California are running deficits. Governor Gavin Newsom has stated “rising charter school enrollments in some urban districts are having real impacts on those districts’ ability to provide essential support and services for their students.”

The drive to privatize schools in San Diego, Oakland and Los Angeles has been fueled by enormous sums of money spent on elections.

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Water Quality Advisories at Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach and Mission Bay

July 19, 2019 by Staff

Five water quality advisories have been issued that affect Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach and Mission Bay. The advisories have been issued by the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health.

All of the advisories – which advise that humans avoid any water contact in the area – are due to bacterial levels exceeding health standards. See the map included with this article; the yellow balloons are the advisory areas.

Two of the advisories are for Sunset Cliffs:

Sunset Cliffs at Ladera St. – Beachline adjacent to access stairs; advisory since: July 18, 2019 – Bacteria levels may exceed health standards. Avoid water contact in the advisory area.

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‘Help!’ Lifeguard Presentation at OB Historical Society

July 19, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

On Thursday, July 18, Michael Martino, former Chief Lifeguard for the California State Parks System, gave a presentation on his new book, “Help! San Diego Lifeguards To The Rescue” at Water’s Edge Church on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The recently published book is the first volume of Mr. Martino’s proposed complete history and covers the period of 1868 to 1941. In the audience of 60 to 70 people were about 10 former lifeguards and retired officers from the lifeguard service.

Mr. Martino showed slides of pictures, charts, and news clippings taken from his book and recounted stories about lifeguards in San Diego with a particular emphasis on Ocean Beach’s role in that history.

In the early days before professional lifeguards appeared, ordinary citizens (rowing club members, anglers, and good Samaritans) were the only people available to rescue swimmers who were in trouble. Mr. Martino said that in those days the County paid a $10 bounty (equivalent to $300 today) for people who retrieved the bodies of drowning victims but provided no money for someone who actually rescued a victim!

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San Diego Free Press’ Swan Song: 9 Awards at Society of Professional Journalists

July 18, 2019 by Staff

It is true that the San Diego Free Press, launched by the OB Rag in 2012, closed itself down and has not been publishing since December 2018. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead or its writers had to leave the country.

In fact, in a Swan Song of its last public appearance, the San Diego Free Press won 9 awards at last night’s annual dinner of the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Here’s the list of Free Press winners with links to their contributions:

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‘America Was Never Yours to Speak For’

July 18, 2019 by Source

By Michelle Gormlie Seguin

America was born like a child

You ever heard of Mai Lai?

You ever heard of John Brown?

It’s never been what you think,

it never wanted a crown.

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Fireworks – Cheap Thrills with Toxic Consequences

July 18, 2019 by Source

Pollution from Fireworks is an Unnecessary Risk to Our Personal and Environmental Health

From Back Country Attitude

Why celebrate those special occasions by polluting?

Is poisoning the air and water a patriotic way to recognize the 4th of July??

Is unnecessary air pollution a good way to ring in the New Year??

Do you consider yourself environmentally conscious and responsible?? You might not know that all those colorful explosives used to celebrate special occasions…. (your firecrackers, skyrockets, Roman candles and yes even those so-called “harmless” sparklers)… pose a serious environmental and health danger from heavy metals and other toxic firework fallout.

So the next time you are about to set off or buy some cheap fireworks or even attend an outdoor fireworks display, ask yourself……. Is a few minutes of pyrotechnic entertainment really worth needlessly polluting the environment?

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The History of San Diego’s Thirty-Foot Height Limit

July 18, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Last night at the annual awards banquet put on by San Diego’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie won Third Place in the category Daily Reporting and Writing – Housing / Development Story for his article “The History of San Diego’s 30 Foot Height Limit” published at San Diego Free Press in May 2018. (The same article was first posted on OB Rag. The San Diego Free Press is now defunct.) Here below is the article in its entirely:

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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Are Well-Known Cottages on Niagara Ave Up for Rehab?

July 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There are some stories out there that we try to follow-up on. One of them is about the courtyard cottages at 4938-4948 1/2 Niagara Avenue.

The cottages and the well-known “landscaping” out in front – with bathroom fixtures filled with plants – are psuedo-landmarks. They’ve been there for decades and somebody created a small corner of delight with their landscaping technique.

Owned by Ken and Maggie Harvey – who have passed away (Ken in 2017 and Maggie in 2012), the cottages are now in the hands of a family trust or trustee Doug Harvey, one of their sons. The cottages sit on a 5,179 square foot lot.

Neighbors and local observers fear the worst.

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Federal Appeals Court Re-Opens Case Against San Diego Police Officer in Midway Fatal Shooting

July 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A Federal Appeals Court has breathed new life into a lawsuit filed by the family of Fridoon Rashawn Nehad, shot and killed by a San Diego police officer in the Midway District in 2015.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision by a District Court that had the case thrown out with the new ruling stating the plaintiffs – the Nehad family – deserved to be heard in a trial. KPBS

Ocean Beach residents may recall the case of Fridoon Rashawn who was walking, unarmed, in an alley in the Midway District a little after midnight in April 2015 when San Diego police officer Neal Browder drove up in a patrol car. He was responding to a report of a man with a knife.

But within seconds Browder shot and killed Nehad.

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Hell Yes the Man’s a Racist

July 17, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

The dumbest question I’ve ever heard is
“Is Donald Trump a racist?”
as that’s as obvious a question
Does Dizzy Gillespie have big cheeks?
Do school children like to play hide and seek?
Is Mikhail Baryshnikov a dancer?
Are drum majors and majorettes
marchers and prancers?
Was Gone With the Wind a hit
and Mark Twain a wit?
Could Richard Pryor and Robin Williams
do a comedy bit?
Does a major league player spit?

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Closet Building For Sale in Ocean Beach Could Herald Era of High Expectations of Newport Ave. Property Owners

July 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There are some commercial properties in Ocean Beach for sale on the main commercial streets; one is on Newport Avenue and the other on Voltaire Street.

Closet Building for Sale – New Era?

The building for sale (or lease) on Newport is at 4878 and currently holds the Closet, a large storefront, selling young-women’s apparel. The building – built in 1950 – has approximately 9,500 square feet (.16 acre) – with 2,000 square feet in second floor office space.

The ad for the building states the space can be “easily demisable into smaller units.” The building also coincidentally sits right next to the new Target. Or is it coincidence?

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The House Resolution Condemning Trump’s Racist Comments – A Twitter Enhanced Version

July 16, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / July 16, 2019

Now is the time for all good humans to come to the aid of their country. Enough with the “both sides” bullsh*t some are using to soften their critiques. This is a matter of right or wrong .

The President’s assertion that “many people agree with me” (true, but that does not make it right) cannot go unchallenged. The annotated document below says what you need to know. At the end of this post there are suggestions for concrete steps people can take.

A storm of protest/criticism that blows over won’t do. Nor will feeling like this is an impossible battle to win.

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‘A Nice Break from the Mueller Report’

July 16, 2019 by Staff

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

The politicians and media commentators all have assured us that Americans will never read the Mueller Report, especially since, at this point, the report is considered ancient history. But I like to discourage the idea that Americans are too lazy, short-sighted or just plain obtuse to try to understand what a whole slew of smart guys took more than two years to produce with taxpayer dollars.

So I am still slogging my way through the report. If Ohioans are doing the same thing, they, like me, will need an occasional break. I recommend the draft Comprehensive Plan for the City of Canton as a source of pleasure reading.

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The Widder Curry: ‘Here We Go Again’ With More SeaWorld Fireworks

July 16, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

For some unknown reason, SeaWorld has announced that they are going to resume fireworks every Saturday evening at 9:50 pm until the end of August. They are also talking about a September 1st display.

Several years ago a petition was circulated that garnered over 11,000 signatures asking SeaWorld to stop the fireworks. Cited was the noise pollution that was detrimental to the environment, humans, and animals. The Humane Society talked about how many stray animals were rescued during the displays; about how many animals suffered severe angst from the noise; about how fireworks were not a necessary part of the SeaWorld Shows. And, thankfully, SeaWorld stopped the daily shows.

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Homeless Numbers Increase in Major California Counties – Except Somehow Not in San Diego

July 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

All across California, the numbers of people who are homeless are increasing dramatically – especially in the populated counties – except for San Diego, for some reason.

In the latest count of San Diego County homeless people, conducted on January 25, it was found the homeless population had actually dropped – from about 6 percent to 11 percent (depending on who’s counting) and totaled 8,102 humans.

In late April, the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless released their report, and found 3,626 were in shelters and 4,476 were living on the streets, vehicles, canyons or other open places.

Reportedly, a 5.5 percent drop from last year, the Point-In-Time Count survey states this year’s numbers are down from both last year’s observed total of 8,576 and the 2017 total of 9,116.

As usual, the City of San Diego had the largest number of homeless people in the county: 5,073 humans

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City of San Diego Is Illegally Providing Free Trash Collection for 16,000 Short-Term Vacation Rentals

July 15, 2019 by Source

In an explosive admission that the City of San Diego is illegally providing free trash collection services to up to 16,000 short-term vacation rental units, the interim City Auditor has notified the City’s Chief Operating Officer of this fact.

In a memo dated July 10, 2019, Kyle Elser, Interim City Auditor notified COO Kris Michell, that his office had received a “Fraud Hotline report” that the City was improperly providing free trash pick-up services to thousands of short-term vacation rentals.

Generally, a vacation rental is a property that is leased out for less than a month at a time. Elser and the city use the terms “short-term residential occupancy (STRO)”; and it’s the City’s Environmental Services Department (ESD) that is responsible for trash collection.

In the memo, Elser dropped this bomb:

Our investigation determined that up to 16,000 STRO units receive free trash collection service from the City.

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OB Resister Sisters Remember Bastille Day

July 15, 2019 by Staff

Sunday, July 14 was Bastille Day, the national holiday in France commemorating the 1789 storming of the Bastille, the fortress-like prison in Paris.

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung this sign Sunday over the I-5 in downtown San Diego.

Vive La Resistance!

Oh, you don’t recall what happened on Bastille Day?

See this:

July 14th: Viva Bastille Day! Viva la France! Viva Revolution! Viva the modern world!

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San Diego’s New Mayor Must Save Our Threatened Neighborhoods

July 15, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / July 12, 2019

What makes a city strong?

Is it a large police force? Multiple hospitals? Numerous colleges and universities?

Or a concentrated high-tech center of wealth and innovation, plus public libraries?

One might argue all of these make a city strong. Certainly, they are important.

But, I would argue that resilience—amid looming, super-wicked problems—is now the number one ingredient for any city’s survival.

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OB Historical Society: Lifeguards of San Diego County – Thurs., July 18

July 15, 2019 by Source

The Ocean Beach Historical Society this Thursday is presenting: HELP! Lifeguards of San Diego County by Michael Martino at Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B. This is on Thursday, July 18, at 7 PM – a free event.

Join Michael Martino, former chief lifeguard with the California State Parks, as he discusses the life and death stories behind the formation of San Diego’s lifeguard service.

This lecture, based on Martino’s book HELP! San Diego Lifeguards to the Rescue, begins with the early pre-lifeguard years when citizens helped with rescues and bathhouses along the coast hired their own private lifeguards.

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Summer Chronicles 2019 #4: The Body Electric on the Beach

July 15, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

A stroll down the beach on a hot summer day is a prayer to the human body. To be in and of your body, just as it is, loving and unashamed, is everyone’s birthright. Feeling the sun on your skin, the sand underfoot, and the cool embrace of the sea is a divine pleasure, and surely if there was no one else on the shore, it would be sublime.

But at the height of summer, the crowd too is a delight.

As I lumber along in my now middle aged body, with its surplus flesh, scars, and gray hairs beginning to mix with the rest, I lose myself in the throng of other bodies—young and old, fat and thin, oddly and elegantly shaped, homely and beautiful—all the arms, legs, backs, stomachs, breasts, backsides, and faces sun-kissed and sprinkled with fine grains of sand—a collective expression of the embodied self.

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San Ysidro: Nearly 2,000 Rally and March in Protest Against Trump’s Detention Camps

July 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Between 1,500 and 2,000 demonstrators rallied at Larsen Field in San Ysidro on Friday, July 12, against Trump border policies which have resulted in migrants and children being kept in camps and centers under inhumane conditions.

About 7pm the demonstrators formed up and marched out of the park and along Camino de la Plaza down to the bridge over I-5 at the entrance to Mexico.

The protest was organized by Lights for Liberty and the Coalition to Close the Concentration Camps and was supported and endorsed by a wide arrange of community organizations.

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Why Would the City Allow Round Up Dabbers at OB’s Dog Beach Area the Day Before July 4?

July 12, 2019 by Staff

A Pictorial Essay of the Poisoning of the Sensitive Coastal Habitat Next to OB’s Dog Beach

On Wednesday, July 3 – the day before the big 4th holiday – Scott Mac Laggan, a local concerned citizen and photographer, visited the sensitive coastal habitat area right next to OB’s Dog Park.

What he found – and photographed – was very disturbing. He found a crew from contractor, Diversified Landscape, using Round Up dabbers on plants in an area frequented by families, dogs and wildlife. Obviously, the crew had been hired by the City of San Diego.

Why would the City of San Diego allow Round Up dabbers to be used prior to July 4, when the park was going to be packed with tourists, dogs and our families?

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OB Has 4 New Fire Rings for Total of 8

July 12, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Just before the July 4th holiday, this reporter counted only four fire rings on the beaches of OB.

Over the years fire rings have been an issue – as the City has tried to remove them in those lean years back a decade ago.

But today, we can announce: Ocean Beach is blessed with four brand, new fire rings – which now makes eight – the number OB is “supposed” to have.

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Share Your Good Times With Jim Bell Party – Saturday, July 13

July 12, 2019 by Staff

Jim Bell, a well – known local ecologist, is at home receiving hospice care.

His friends would like you to come join them for one of Jim’s great parties at his home at 4862 Voltaire St in OB this Saturday, July 13th at 5 pm.

Come and share your memories and good times with Jim.

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Scooter Corrals Being Marked in Ocean Beach by City Crews

July 12, 2019 by Staff

There is a report on Social OB facebook that just was posted around 11am that states the City of San Diego has crews out there “right now” marking locations for scooter/ bikeshare corrals throughout Ocean Beach. These are on the street by existing red curbs.

If you see a spot near you that you have a serious beef about (other than just hating scooters)

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Lights for Liberty – Close the Camps Protest at San Ysidro – July 12

July 12, 2019 by Source

Lights for Liberty and the Coalition to Close the Concentration Camps – San Diego are collaborating to unify our communities with one event at Cesar Chavez Park at Larsen Field in San Ysidro this Friday, July 12!

This is a peaceful vigil that is being led by a coalition of parents, children, families, and community groups. Bring your signs and join us! Together in unity and solidarity we will shine a light on the horrific abuses of the Trump administration in human detention camps.

Schedule of Events – July 12, 2019

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Americans Are Pressuring EPA to Ban Round-Up While City of San Diego Still Uses It on Beaches, Playgrounds and Parks

July 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Pressure is building on the Environmental Protection Agency to ban Monsanto and Bayer’s RoundUp, which is linked to cancer, with its glyphosate. For the last couple of months groups and companies have been petitioning the EPA to get rid of the dangerous herbicide.

Up until July 5, the EPA was collecting public comments for glyphosate’s proposed interim registration review, which could allow glyphosate to be used in the U.S. for another 15 years.

In late June environmental and consumer groups delivered more than 149,000 public comments to the EPA advocating for a ban on RoundUp. In early June, more than 100,000 Americans and 20 companies called on the EPA to significantly restrict the use of Monsanto’s weedkiller glyphosate ….

Meanwhile, pressure locally in Ocean Beach and Point Loma is growing as demands to the City of San Diego increase to halt its use of Roundup on parks, playgrounds and beaches.

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The Weirdest Building In Ocean Beach History? An Egyptian Revival Trolley Station Once Stood at Bacon and West Point Loma

July 11, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Imagine you are a resident of inland San Diego in the Summer of 1926. Seeking relief from the 90 degree heat, you and some friends pile into a buddy’s Model A Ford and head down to Ocean Beach to spend the weekend at a cottage another friend has rented at the Camp Holiday Auto Court, adjacent to the Silver Spray apartments.

The cute white cottages on the cliffs are a bit small for your group but you’re spending most of the time on the beach anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. The rental cost, $10 a month, is a little steep, but what the heck, it’s a vacation. Each morning you head down to Benbough’s Ocean Beach Bath House and rent a scratchy, saggy, woolen “bathing costume” for 10 cents and spend your day swimming in the ocean or in the saltwater pool next to the Silver Spray.

Throughout the day you pig out on hot dogs and cotton candy and in the evening you toss back a few brews at one of the bars on Newport. After dinner, you walk down to the New Ocean Beach Dance Pavilion at the foot of Newport where you and a thousand other patrons flirt and foxtrot the night away to the sounds of a live band.

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Restaurant Review: Cesarina Ristorante in Point Loma

July 11, 2019 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Cesarina Ristorante
4161 Voltaire St.
Point Loma, CA 92107

By Judi Curry

I don’t usually go back to a restaurant with a two month period of time, but I had to make an exception for Cesarina. The first time that I ate there they had only been in business a month or so. That experience was delightful, from the china flown in from Italy, to the foods offered on the menu.

The second time I went back there I went with different people and our experience was the same. The service was impeccable; the food was tasty and authentic.

The pasta was made there – you can watch it being made – and the tiramisu was to die for. It was made for us right at our table.

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Navy and SANDAG Agree on ‘Grand Central Station’ for Point Loma’s Former SPAWAR Site

July 10, 2019 by Source

Federal and local government agencies formalize talks around using base for airport transit hub.

By Jennifer Van Grove / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 10, 2019

The Navy is making room for the possibility of a much-talked-about transit center, one that local leaders have dubbed “San Diego Grand Central Station,” at the 70-acre base that overlooks Interstate 5 in Point Loma.

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