August 2019

You Can Bring a Building Down Faster Than You Can Build It Up

August 21, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Ebers and Greene: These photos tell a story: you can bring a building down a lot faster than you can build it.

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It’s ‘Guns, Baby, Guns’ for Carl DeMaio’s Congressional Campaign

August 21, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / August 20, 2019

It’s a Day Ending in Y in August, so that’s as good as an excuse as any to catch up on what’s going on in California’s 50th Congressional District, also known as #DuncanHunterland.

When I last checked in on this contest, former talk show host Carl DeMaio was throwing his hat into the race, offering up the summary of a pathetic little (302 likely voters) push poll showing a voters liked him more than Duncan Hunter or Darrell Issa.

Since that time, Congressman Hunter’s trial on charges of misusing $250,000 in campaign funds was postponed from Sept. 10 to Jan. 14 until an appeals court considers a defense motion to dismiss the case. This makes it likely a verdict and or a plea deal won’t be done until very close to the March primary debate.

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Finding Jim Desmond: A Search for My San Diego County Supervisor

August 21, 2019 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / August 15, 2019

After discovering Karen and I cannot vote in city elections because our home is located in an unincorporated area of San Marcos, I’ve found we do live within the San Marcos School District, so we can vote on school bond measures. And, as County residents, we can vote in District 5 Supervisor elections. Jim Desmond, former two-term mayor of San Marcos, won his seat in the 2018 election, after Bill Horn stepped down from his 24-year reign.

Once elected, our county supervisors tend to remain there. District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob has the record. She’s in her 27th year in office, the longest serving supervisor since the five districts were created in 1889.

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How the Rich and Not-So-Famous Once Lived in Point Loma: the Bowman-Cotton House

August 20, 2019 by Dave Rice

Ever wonder how the wealthy of Point Loma once lived (and some still live)?

In a recent tour published by the San Diego Reader, local OB writer Dave Rice takes us through the historic Bowman-Cotton House in Point Loma, at 2900 Nichols Street. Constructed in 1929 by a protegee of Irving Gill, the 5,000 square foot mansion sits on the edge of San Diego Bay with its own private dock and direct access to the water.

It’s seen by some as “one of Point Loma’s most iconic waterfront homes,” and an epitome of San Diego Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, with a contemporary interior.

Master architect Richard Requa – who studied under Gill

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Up For Review: Seawall at Ocean Front and 2-Story on 4800 Muir – Wed., Aug. 21

August 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB’s Project Review Committee has two items of interest on its Wednesday night agenda: a seawall at 1409 Ocean Front Street and a 2-story at 4830 Muir. The PRC is a sub-committee of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and has first crack at reviewing projects before they appear at the full Board.

The PRC meets in the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue on Wed., August 21 at 6pm sharp.

1409 Ocean Front Street

This is a Process 3 application to amend a CDP (Coastal Development Permit) and Site Development Permit to allow the construction of a secant pile seawall landward of the existing concrete seawall, with minor grading and landscaping.

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The Ignorance Gap Is Growing

August 20, 2019 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

We’re running out of time. There is too big a gap between what Americans need to understand in order to make informed election decisions and what they believe are facts. We could call this the “Ignorance Gap,” and it is growing by leaps and bounds.

Funny this is happening in an age when all you have to say is “Google (or Alexa or Siri or Ethel Crankenhouse, etc.], tell me…”

How many drops of water in an ounce of rain? 591.47 drops.

What is Himalayan salt? It is a pinkish salt mined from the Salt Range Mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan.

What is the United States National Debt? As of February 2019, it was $22.012 trillion, the highest it has ever been in our history.

In a flash, you can find a fact you never knew before. A fact for which your grandmother or mom would have spent days searching in the library unless they had books on hand that would answer the questions at home.

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More on the ‘Million-Dollar Sidewalk to Nowhere’ at Dog Beach

August 20, 2019 by Source

By Geoff Page

This is a follow up story about a $1.1 million city project that was presented to the OB Planning Board on Wednesday August 7. The City explained to the board and the audience that the accessible sidewalk at Dog Beach had to be replaced as a result of a lawsuit. The distinct impression given was that rebuilding the existing sidewalk was a condition of the lawsuit and there was no choice at all.

The city was unable to tell the OBPB what was wrong with the sidewalk other than it had some cracks and was covered in sand. Those were not great reasons for spending over a million dollars. They had no information on the particulars of the lawsuit. So, this reporter made a Public Records Request of the city attorney and they responded almost immediately with a copy of the complaint and the settlement.

Upon reading the complaint, it appeared the legal action was generated by a man falling in a wheelchair.

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Campland Donated $10,000 to Mayor Faulconer’s Charity, Then Had Its Lease in Mission Bay Extended for 5 Years

August 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A lot of eyebrows are being raised now that it’s been disclosed that Campland LLC contributed $10,000 to Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s charity a year and half ago only to have their sweetheart lease deal in Mission Bay extended for 5 years recently, over the vehement objections of environmentalists.

Is there somehow a connection between their generous giving and the City Council voting to extend their lease in northeast Mission Bay on June 24th this year?

Mayor Faulconer has just been slapped on the wrist for $4,000 by the City’s ethics commission for failing to disclose Campland’s donation to his One San Diego charity which he uses to burnish his image. He failed to make the deadline for disclosures by 16 months.

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What’s Going On at Ebers and Greene? An Update on the New Project

August 19, 2019 by Staff

Update on 2269 Ebers Street

By Geoff Page

The project that has sat idle on the corner of Greene St. and Ebers St., basically only a framed two-story addition to an existing old home, has restarted construction as recounted in the OB Rag Thursday, Aug. 15.

In order to understand what is happening with the property, the new permitted plans for it were reviewed on Friday, August 16 at the City of San Diego Records Department.

Here is an overall description of the new project:

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Ocean Beach Historians Host the San Diego City Guard Band at PLNU

August 19, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

On Saturday, August 17, the Ocean Beach Historical Society presented a live sunset concert featuring the San Diego City Guard Band at the Greek Amphitheater at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Over 200 people attended the evening concert and enjoyed 90 minutes of historic and patriotic music performed by the 32 piece ensemble.

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Is the Democratic Party Leadership Afraid to Have a Serious Debate on the Climate Crisis?

August 19, 2019 by Jim Miller

Will Dems Even Be Allowed Have a Debate on the Crisis in the Midst of the Sixth Extinction?

By Jim Miller

It’s no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention that the Trump administration’s environmental policy is an out-of-control death train roaring down the tracks toward ecocide. The latest bit of insanity hit last week when the administration announced that it was significantly weakening the Endangered Species Act in the wake of the UN report last May warning that up to one million plant and animal species were at risk of extinction.

As the New York Times Editorial Board wrote of this decision:

Now comes what amounts to a thumb in the eye from the Trump administration: The Interior Department announced a set of rules on Monday that, far from enlarging protections, will weaken how the nation’s most important conservation law,

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What More? It’s Both Raining and Snowing Plastic Now

August 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

In a twin news development, it’s being announced that scientists have found plastic in both our rain and snow.

The U.S. Interior Department recently released a study concluding that microscopic plastic fibers have contaminated the air, soil, water, and even rainfall, while other scientists say they’ve found an abundance of tiny plastic particles in Arctic snow, indicating that so-called microplastics are being sucked into the atmosphere and carried to some of the most remote corners of the planet.

Rainwater Samples

Andrew Emmet at Nation of Change reports:

After analyzing rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the U.S. Interior Department recently released a study concluding that microscopic plastic fibers have contaminated the air, soil, water, and even rainfall. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, plastic was found in over 90 percent of samples taken.

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Father of Ocean Beach Planner Writes Hometown Mayor: ‘No Electric Scooters, Please!’

August 16, 2019 by Source

Editordude: The following is an “Open letter to Mayor Mike: No Bird electric scooters, please!” written by the father, apparently, of an Ocean Beach volunteer planner and (former?) member of the OB Planning Board. It’s an open letter to Michael Purzycki, the mayor of Wilmington, Delaware and was printed in the Delaware Business Times:

An open letter to Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki:

This may come as a bit of a shock, but I’d like to ask for some aggressive business regulation in one particular area.

Specifically, I hope you and your colleagues on the Wilmington City Council will resist Bird, the Santa Monica, California-based electric scooter-sharing company.

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The Billionaire Drive to Privatize Public School

August 16, 2019 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / August 10, 2019

The New Teachers Project (TNTP) is one of several organizations that only exist because billionaires have financed them. Wendy Kopp founded TNTP in 1997. She assigned Michelle Rhee, who had recently finished a two year Teach For America (TFA) tour, to run TNTP. Along with TNTP and TFA there are also the uncertified Broad Superintendents Academy and the fake school for professional educators called Relay Graduate School forming a significant part of the infrastructure instilling a privatization mindset into the education community.

TNTP says it mission is to partner with educational entities to:

  • “Increase the numbers of outstanding individuals who become public school teachers; and
  • Create environments for all educators that maximize their impact on student achievement”
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Water Quality Advisory Still in Effect at OB’s Dog Beach – High Bacterial Levels for 4th Day

August 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego County continues its Water Quality Advisory for OB’s Dog Beach for the fourth day. The advisory – due to high bacterial levels – extends from the San Diego River outlet to 300 yards south.

Ocean goers are urged to avoid water contact in the advisory area as bacteria levels may exceed health standards. And that goes for dogs and pets, too.

The advisory for Dog Beach has been in effect since Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

Here is what the County’s Beach & Bay Water Quality Program website states:

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On the Precipice: Scripps Study Identifies California Cliffs at Risk of Collapse

August 15, 2019 by Source

Originally published Dec. 20, 2017

Scripps News

A California Sea Grant-funded study provides the largest analysis of cliff erosion throughout the state and provides a new hazard index for determining which areas are at most risk

Danger – Unstable Cliffs – Stay Back

The yellow warning signs that pepper coastal cliffs from northern California to the US-Mexico border may seem overly dramatic to the casual observer. But actively eroding cliffs make up the majority of the California coastline, and sudden landslides and collapses have caused injuries and several fatalities in recent years. In addition, eroding cliffs currently threaten highways, houses, businesses, military bases, parks, power plants, and other critical facilities—all in all billions of dollars of development.

Research suggests that erosion rates will increase as sea level rises, further exacerbating these problems.

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San Diego’s Ocean Bluffs – Clear and Present Danger?

August 15, 2019 by Source

By Ry Rivard / Voice of San Diego / August 5, 2019

In the decades since [Swami’s] temple slid off the cliff (in Encinitas), more houses have been built along the coast, altering the landscape and, perhaps, endangering those who live there and below.

Of course, erosion has happened long before humans started building houses along the ocean. It’s caused primarily by wind and water. Some water is natural — waves and runoff, for instance. Other water is unnatural, like leaking water systems that weaken the ground, or the rising seas caused by human-made climate change. On Friday [August 9], the catastrophic consequences of cliff collapses again became clear when a bluff near Encinitas collapsed and killed three people.

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Ebers – Greene Project to Be Remodeled into 2-Story Single Family Residence

August 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

It started Wednesday, the 14th of August – the remodel of the infamous Ebers-Greene project at 2269 Ebers Street. Workers were noticed on the site and up on the top floor removing wood. The boarded-up, 3-story monstrosity has stood on that corner for a long time, an albatross around the neck of the northeast neighborhood of Ocean Beach.

And there’s a long story behind it for the uninitiated or newly-curious – which we get into below, but it’s just one more chapter of a long saga for neighbors, local planning board members and our readers.

Suffice to say, presumably the same owner who purchased the site now has made a scope change to the permit and is moving ahead with the remodel. There is, we’re told, a combination permit issued in mid-June for an existing 2-story single family residence, which will include a complete remodel to the first and second floors along with a new roof deck. (Project 634951 – Ebers St Remodel; Geo 52, RM-1-1 N-APP-2, Designated Historic. CE# 239245)

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A Thousand Reasons Why a Woman Will Be on the Democratic Ticket

August 14, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / August 9, 2019

The reasons why a woman will be on the Democratic ticket are in the news every day.

That news is not just ugly, violent and unbelievably cruel, but repulsive in the extreme. And it affects women in visceral and now political ways.

While this may sound alarming, the list below points to some reasons why even Orange County—that Republican bastion—is now majority Democratic.

The answer is women.

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-August 2019

August 14, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

New Activity at the Ebers-Greene Monstrosity

Wednesday morning, August 14, workers were seen upstairs at the ol’ Ebers-Greene monstrosity. They told neighbors they will tear down the entire structure and even work on the closed-up house next door – full of asbestos. This is of course the infamous 3-story monster built without the proper permits and has been an eye-sore even since the City forced the owner to close down. It’s a long story and to gain insight into the whole mess, read this.

Bill Walton Joins Electric Waste Band

The towering Bill Walton, who was born and raised in La Mesa and still resides in San Diego, is a frequent guest percussionist in the Electric Waste Band (comprised of drummer Danny Campbell, keyboardist Dave Chesavage, guitarist Mark Fisher, drummer Ed Fletcher, guitarist Robert Harvey and bassist Bob Rosencrans) and often spotted at their weekly Ocean Beach Monday night residency shows — which they’ve been playing for nearly three decades. 7SanDiego

Fire Damages Nimitiz Pointe Apts at End of Seaside

An Ocean Beach apartment complex was damaged by fire late afternoon on Aug. 12. Passersby observed smoke coming from the Nimitz Pointe Apartments at 2401 Seaside St. and notified San Diego Fire-Rescue. Responding fire units were dispatched at 6:07 p.m. As the first fire engine approached the site, firefighters reported to other units they could observe smoke and flames coming from the units. While those first firefighters prepared to fight the fire, other arriving Fire-Rescue units were directed to begin a precautionary evacuation of the apartments.

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Why Are We Shouting at the Other Side?

August 13, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

I have often heard over the past two years that the reason we are so polarized in this country is that we are not listening to the other side. We simply brand each other as one thing or another, and shout across the distance. Even when we get together with family or friends, we focus on harmless topics, lest we end up throwing cake at each other, the way our Commander-in-Chief did when he was a little tyke attending birthday parties that were not for him.

There is even a popular theory going about that if we were just civil long enough to hear the other side, we would alter our position in light of truth told by those who disagree with us. I am a great believer in civility, in respecting the dignity of others. But it is a natural law of the human eardrum, as immutable as any law of physics, that an unwelcome truth, regardless of how soft the whisper, is always heard as a shout. And this is the source of our acrimony today.

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We’re Drowning in Plastic – the California Legislature Aims to Do Something About It

August 13, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / August 13, 2019

Three bills being considered by the California Legislature in coming weeks seek to change the economics of recycling, which–if you haven’t heard already–is in big trouble. It’s time to watch Sacramento closely, as corporate interests seek to protect their short range profits as damage to our health and the environment escalates.

The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, a set of identical bills that started in the Senate as SB 54 (Ben Allen) and the Assembly as AB 1080 (Lorena Gonzalez) would require manufacturers to reduce waste from packaging and certain plastic products.

AB 792 (Assm. Phil Ting) requires manufacturers use sharply escalating percentages of recycled plastic in beverage bottles over the next decade.

Earlier this month rePlanet, a major collector of beverage bottles and cans, shut its 284 collection centers in California.

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In a Freedom State of Mind

August 13, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray


What an alluring concept: The power to move about in your world unhindered and unrestrained under normal circumstances.

But such a definition of “liberty,” based on my life experiences, is but a fantasy, as I’ve spent a lifetime pursuing it, relentlessly, like I used to go after rebounds back in my basketball days – but it’s been as elusive as a black cat, at midnight, in an unlit alley.

Because just when you think you’re about to finally board that freedom train, a young black quarterback, in the NFL, takes a knee as thousands of football fans, his fellow Americans, stand proudly with their hands over their hearts, straining their vocal chords as they end the anthem they’re singing with “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

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OB Historical Society Presents: The City Guard Band at the Greek Theatre August 17

August 13, 2019 by Source

From OB Historical Society

Did you ever dream of traveling back in time, to an era when life seemed simpler, less pretentious and . . . more fun? An opportunity to do just that presents itself this Saturday, August 17 when the Ocean Beach Historical Society presents the San Diego City Guard Band in a Free Concert at the famous Greek Theater on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University.

When Carlson and Higgins first subdivided the sand dunes that they had chosen to name Ocean Beach, they decided that they would need something more than the salt air to draw potential buyers out to the remote coastal hillside.

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Cleaning Up ACE’s Surf ‘Shack’

August 12, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Neighbors and friends came on Saturday, August 10, to help friends and neighbors. A lot of people showed up to help Albert and Mindy Elliott with the remains of the fire that demolished their garage and Albert’s surf “shack”.

It reminded one of how great people are and how great OB makes people.

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Widder Rants #39: Bike Lanes Without Bicycles and trump Without Humanity

August 12, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Although I haven’t stayed out of the fray completely, I have been reasonably quiet about things that are really bothering me lately. I realize that there are many that will disagree with me, and, quite frankly, I have tried to see it your way but have not been able to do so. The first thing are these damn bike lanes.

Today, while driving down West Point Loma Avenue towards Ocean Beach, I saw three near misses of cars almost being hit by other cars and they came out of the parking lane into the flow of traffic. If there had been a car to the left of any of those cars there would have been a head on collision, because all of those cars swerved into oncoming traffic lanes. And the ironic thing about the episodes was that there were NO bike riders in the bike lanes!

Two days ago, while attempting to get to an appointment in Old Town, I was stuck in traffic for almost 45 minutes while lanes changed from 2 lanes to 1 lane. Again, there were no bike riders in the bike lanes.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Opposes City’s Plan to Spend $1.1 Million on Dog Beach Sidewalk

August 12, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

One point one million dollars to rebuild the sidewalk at Dog Beach that allows the disabled to access the sand. Because of a lawsuit. That was the agenda item that got the most attention from everyone at the Ocean Beach Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 7. The topic was, to put it mildly, controversial.

Representatives from the city gave a brief presentation of the project and explained why it was happening. Apparently, the city lost an Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, lawsuit about the existing ADA-compliant sidewalk at Dog Beach. The result of the lawsuit was that the current facility has to be redone at a total cost of $1.1 million. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the city explained that the construction costs would be about $400k, the remaining amount was for “soft” costs. Soft costs are for consultants to design the facility and the city to manage the project. To build a sidewalk. It was like attending the theater of the absurd.

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Summer Chronicles #8: Moments of Grace

August 12, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

We need to escape the prison of measured time.

Time as we know it is a social construct, a product of historical and economic forces which, in turn, serves to reify them so that we confuse them with nature.

Our particularly American sense of time is not just the product of centuries of the western progress narrative, but also of our unique mutation of the Protestant work ethic, born of Calvinism, secularized by Benjamin Franklin, and perversely systematized by Fredric Winslow Taylor, whose project to create a more efficient workplace in the early 20th century through time and motion studies fostered a gospel of time-management and efficiency that devalued everything that makes life worth living in the service of efficient production.

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Impeachment Is Here – Jerry Nadler Says So – and He Should Know as Chair of House Judiciary Committee

August 9, 2019 by Source

By Amber Phillips / Washington Post / August 9, 2019

House Democrats have begun impeachment proceedings against President Trump. A key Democrat admitted as much Thursday.

“This is formal impeachment proceedings,” the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), told CNN on Thursday, after weeks of dancing around whether his committee would formally consider impeaching Trump.

“We are investigating all the evidence, gathering the evidence,” Nadler added. “And we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.”

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Walk – Don’t Dive – Into the History of Mission Bay

August 9, 2019 by Source

Editordude: It’s not safe to dive into Mission Bay; it’s very polluted. But this article had an original headline of “Dive Into …”

By Laurie Delk / Pacific San Diego / Aug. 7, 2019

As one of the recreational hubs of San Diego, Mission Bay draws a multitude of visitors annually for its boat races, water sports, Belmont Park and Sea World attractions. But did you know the popular outdoor spot is human made?

PACIFIC teamed up with professor Andy Strathman, PhD, co-editor of The Journal of San Diego History and lecturer at California State University, San Marcos to find out the low down (or is it low tide?) of Mission Bay for the this year’s 250th anniversary of San Diego.

PACIFIC: What’s the connection between Mission Bay and its former name False Bay?

ANDY STRATHMAN: Originally it was called False Bay, partly because it was very shallow and practically dry at times. In a lot of ways it was more of a marsh than a true bay. The Spanish explorers gave it that name.

PACIFIC: How did the bay come into being?

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