August 2019

As San Diego Police Increase Their Use of Streetlight Cameras, Criticism Mounts Over Lack of Oversight and Potential for Abuse

August 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Public Workshop scheduled for August 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown Central Library.

San Diego Police have increased their use of so-called streetlight cameras that the City has installed recently, stating they’ve aided in the solving of crimes. At the same time, criticism of their use has increased, mainly around issues of lack of civilian oversight, the potentials for abuse and of outside hacking.

Since 2016, San Diego has installed roughly 3,200 streetlamp cameras with a goal of 4,200 by summer of 2020. The City’s corporate partner and sponsor, General Electric, beef the system up as the “world’s largest smart city platform.”

Initially called “smart streetlamps”, the City began the program ostensibly to collect metadata from cameras tracking the number of people walking, biking or driving through busy intersections. And as a LED upgrade, the City installed the recording system to the streetlamps. Officials tout all the savings the new bulbs will bring in by 2030 – enough money (on electricity savings) to pay for the $30 million program.

All these thousands of microphones and cameras in streetlamps made San Diego’s Police Department sit up straight and look into their potential. Which they did. Now police say they’ve used the videos from the smart streetlamps to aid them in over 140 investigations –

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‘Are They Crazy? San Diego the Nation’s ‘Best’ Airport?

August 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Perhaps the writers for a popular travel guide have just been at high altitudes for too long, or maybe they’ve lounged around in airport restaurants for too long, but somehow they have just declared that the “best airport” in the country is the San Diego International Airport.

Holy guacamole! Are you freaking kidding?

San Diego the best airport in the entire good ol US of A?

But this is what has happened. A new study of the best and worst airports around the country has just been completed by The Points Guy travel website, and yeah, they say – based on a myriad of factors of course – that we have the best.

The second-best is Phoenix Sky Harbor International and the worst is Chicago’s Midway International with – according to TPG – Orlando International the second-worst.

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Dear Ohio: Ask About the Rabbiteye’s Future

August 8, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Ohio is deemed one of the nation’s bellwether states, so we Californians need to give them some advice about the upcoming 2020 elections.

Dear Ohio,

I’m guessing that you, like most of us in California, have not given much thought to asking our presidential candidates about blueberries. Certainly you have not contemplated asking them about the red-state species known as the rabbiteye blueberry, which grows from central Florida to eastern North Carolina and from Eastern Texas to Southern Arkansas.

The humble rabbiteye blueberry is a hearty plant apparently unattractive to major pests. Depending upon care and environment, just one rabbiteye blueberry bush can produce about 15 pounds of blueberries in a single season. And darned good blueberries at that, filled with flavor and anti-oxidants, the latter a favorite ingredient of the “live-forever” patrons of high-end supermarkets.

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Some of the ‘Best’ of ACE’s Ocean Beach Photos

August 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Albert C Elliott hasn’t been taking photos as long as he’s surfed and shaped boards, but he’s still got a good eye. We’ve published many of his shots – more than a few black & white – over the last few years.

By-the-way, there’s a Go-Fund-Me page for ACE – and there’s a Saturday morning clean-up of his back yard – which once held a surfboard shaping garage but which was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. The community is stepping up and nearly $5,000 has been raised as of this post. But more has to be …. please join the 85 and more folks who have contributed to the fund to help Albert and Mindy get back on their feet.

So, here we re-post some of ACE’s “best”:

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Home in ‘Fallbrook the Friendly Village’

August 8, 2019 by Source

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

“Peligro,” I said. “La mujer fotografia tu auto.”

It was pitiful Spanish—I really need to learn the language—but it was my best, and I wasn’t convinced it was the right thing to do, but I did it anyway.

It all started with my early morning walk, accompanied by my not-quite-right dog and my quite-all-right neighbor. This morning, we were halfway into a good sweat when another regular dog-walker pulled up in her very snazzy pickup. She leaned out the window with her phone, poised in camera mode.

“Do you see that car? Do you see what’s in that car?” She held the phone to her angry face and started shooting photos.

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Trump’s Blame Game on Mass Shootings Continues Unabated

August 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / August 7, 2019

One of the things you can say this administration has done well is gaslighting people on mass shootings.

While I know pointing out the ten thousand plus falsehoods coming from the Oval Office isn’t going to change the mindset of Trumpanistas, staying aware of reality is an important part of civic consciousness.

These fabrications and fictions have the cumulative effect of tamping down overall voter enthusiasm while keeping the thirty percent of Americans who represent Trump’s base energized.

Faced with overwhelmingly bad news –mass shootings, winning trade wars isn’t easy, after all, and those darn statistics about climate change– the administration and their allies are cranking out absurdities at a frightening pace.

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Five Decades of ‘MarketWorld’ Education Reform

August 7, 2019 by Source

By T. Ultican / Tultican / July 27,2019

There has been a fifty-year push to reform education using business management principles. In the period, Harvard Business School has trumped Columbia Teacher College concerning pedagogy. Unfortunately, the results are an unmitigated disaster for most communities and students.

This market based endeavor – financed by billionaires – has transformed public schools into non-democratic profit centers. It is the precursor to the ultimate goal of dismantling universal free public education.

The radical right is pushing to privatize everything from policing; to prisons; to schools. They have spread the gospel that governments are incapable of solving problems but businessmen can. In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan declared “…, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Viewing society as consisting of “makers” and “takers,” these apostles of privatization fear the tyranny of democratic majorities. They strive to make property rights the paramount civil right.

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The Rise of Patriotism

August 7, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

Patriotism is big among American politicians. They wear patriotic clothing of red, white and blue. They spout patriotism in their rhetoric. They mouth the words of patriotic songs. They wear lapel pins referring to God and country. They eat patriotism with their hot dogs and french fries.

But what is a patriot?

Is he or she a loyalist? A nationalist? A flag-waver? A chauvinist?

I will go out on a limb here and offer my humble definition of “patriot.” In the United States of America, the oldest representative democracy in the world, a “patriot” is a person who lives the values of our constitution, no matter the cost.

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Go-Fund-Me Page Set Up for ACE – OB’s Iconic Hometown Surfboard Maker – After Fire Destroys His Garage

August 7, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Albert C Elliott has been making surfboards for decades in Ocean Beach.

Albert – known as ACE – has carried on the old, classic OB tradition of making surfboards in the back shed or garage. In ACE’s case, he has been making them in his detached garage in the back of the old house on Froude Street he and his wife, Mindy, have owned for many years.

And in truth, ACE has become a sort-of iconic OB legend. Many people have bought his boards over time. The 70 old-year local has been handling his camera more often than his surfboard these days – and the OB Rag has published many of his photos.

Trouble is – yesterday – August 6 – his entire garage burnt down. Along with all his personal surfboards and those he wanted to sell. And all his tools were destroyed as well.

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OB Department of ‘Oh, No!’ : Local All-Star Pitcher David Wells Sues Local Restaurateur Steven Yeng Over Whiskey

August 7, 2019 by Source

From / August 7, 2019

Former MLB All-Star Sues OB Noodle House Owner Over Alleged Skrewball Whiskey Deal

Former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher David Wells has filed a lawsuit against the founder of San Diego’s popular OB Noodle House for allegations that include breach of contract. The purported hand-shake deal was to include equity ownership in the Ocean Beach-based company behind Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey.

Last year, Cambodian-born Steven Yeng – who owns OB Noodle House, Bar 1502, and recently unveiled The Holding Company, all in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood – launched his own bottled peanut butter whiskey based on a popular signature shot he has long-served at his restaurants.

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Green Calendar for August 2019

August 6, 2019 by Source

From the Ocean Beach Green Center

Ocean Beach Green Center, 4862 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107

Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meeting. 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st Ocean Beach Green Center 4862 Voltaire St. Come help plan for the upcoming Climate Action events. More info

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Jim Bell Passes

August 6, 2019 by Staff

Long-time OBcean and the community’s resident-ecologist, Jim Bell, has passed.

Friends say he passed away peacefully Friday, August 2 at his home. Jim Bell has left the planet.

Here’s a statement from our friends at the OB Green Center:

In the last year we have periodically talked about our friend and mentor, Jim Bell, who graciously provided a new home for the Ocean Beach Green Center. Jim peacefully passed away this morning

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Gloria Steinem: ‘Let’s Treat Every Young Man Who Wants to Buy a Gun Like Every Woman Who Wants an Abortion’

August 6, 2019 by Source

Here’s a recent gem from Gloria Steinem:

“How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion:

– mandatory 48-hour waiting period,

– parental permission,

– a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do,

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Three Skull Fractures from Scooter Crashes in Less Than One Week in San Diego

August 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego is certainly racking them up.

In less than one week, there’s been 3 skull fractures from electric scooter crashes, including a very tragic one in Point Loma last weekend.

There was one last night, Monday, August 5, around 9:10 pm when a 35-year old man fell off and crashed his scooter downtown near the intersection First Avenue and C Street. It’s unclear why he fell off the vehicle while riding north on First but he struck his head and was admitted to a local hospital for treatment of a fractured skull and a brain bleed. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. He remains hospitalized Tuesday.

Another occurred about 8:30 pm Sunday night when a 25-year-old man was riding on the north sidewalk of G Street between 10th and 11th streets in East Village when he lost control of the scooter.

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Public Comments Invited on Dredging Project at Naval Base Point Loma

August 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Los Angeles District is inviting public comments on the Naval Pier 5000 North Outer Berth and Approach Area Dredging and Disposal Project in San Diego County, California.

The scheme, proposed by the Department of the Navy, NAVFAC SW, involves dredging of approximately 110,619 cubic yards of sediment from the northeast side of submarine Pier 5000 in the North Side Outer Berth and Approach Area.

According to the plan, suitable dredged material and disposal would occur either at the Silver Strand Boat Lanes 8 and 9 beneficial use site or the LA-5 Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS).

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Asteroid ‘Out of Nowhere’ Flew By Only 45,000 Miles From Earth

August 5, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On July 25 a hunk of space rock named Asteroid 2019 flew uncomfortably close to Earth. And no one seemed aware it was coming.

The rock was about 187 to 427 feet wide and it moved on a course that brought it within 45,000 miles of the Earth’s surface. That’s one-fifth of the distance to the moon. One scientist stated: “It’s probably the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth in quite a number of years.”

As the Washington Post reported:

This asteroid wasn’t one that scientists had long been tracking, and it had seemingly appeared from “out of nowhere,”

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Salk Institute Biologist Works With Scientists Making Human-Monkey Hybrids in China

August 5, 2019 by Source

Scientists may have taken a big—and controversial—leap by mixing human cells into monkey embryos.

by Antonio Regalado / MIT Technology Review / Aug 1, 2019

In a controversial first, a team of researchers have been creating embryos that are part human and part monkey, reports the Spanish daily El País.

Daring biologist: According to the newspaper, the Spanish-born biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, who operates a lab at the Salk Institute in California, has been working working with monkey researchers in China to perform the disturbing research.

Their objective is to create “human-animal chimeras,” in this case monkey embryos to which human cells are added.

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Who We Are

August 5, 2019 by Source

By Stan Levin

Two more mass murders put the lie to an increasingly tiresome but popular cliché, “This is not who we are”.

Unless and until we make reasonable gun control the law of the land,

Unless we cease pursuit of the empire by making war all over the world,

Unless we put an end to taking inestimable human lives as well as wasting more than half of our national budget expanding the military,

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OB Planning Board to Consider Traffic Calming Measures on Newport and West Point Loma

August 5, 2019 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets this Wednesday, August 7, at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6pm sharp.

On the volunteer panel’s plate this week is a number of traffic-calming proposals, and minor public infrastructure and Dog Beach improvements.

Here are the action items for the agenda – briefly:

  • Dog Beach Ramp accessibility improvement;
  • Bacon and Newport traffic calming proposal to place temporary diverts at intersection;
  • Pier Safety – install removable bollards at base of the Pier to block unauthorized vehicles;
  • West Point Loma Traffic Calming – study on roundabouts at Cable Street and Abbott along West Point Loma Ave.
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Summer Chronicles # 7: We Are the Stories We Tell Ourselves

August 5, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

I had to find an old picture the other day, and I found myself flipping through decades of photos in boxes and on my computer. Other than showing me, sometimes brutally, how much older I am now, I found that this exercise did much more than chip away at my vanity.

When we see images of ourselves in our childhoods, adolescence, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and on, it gives us a chance to consider how that thing we like to call “ME” is far more transient, indeed downright flimsy, than we sometimes like to think.

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Story #2 — Winners and Losers in the San Diego Edition: The Bob Filner Story

August 5, 2019 by Source

Editor’s Note: The following opinion piece by Norma Damashek does not reflect the views of the OB Rag.

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / August 2, 2019


Stories #1 and #2 are connected by a common thread: the selective system that elevates, protects, and rewards San Diego’s compliant players while throwing principled nonconformers to the wolves…

Story #1 revisited the 1984 San Ysidro massacre. Not many people think about this story anymore.

Story #2 revisits the Bob Filner story. It’s a third-rate operetta compared to the San Ysidro tragedy. But sex sells and the Filner story has morphed into a national hit.

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Tim Foley Could Decide the Future of Downtown Ocean Beach

August 2, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a new sheriff in town – in OB town – and his name is Tim Foley and he could very well determine the future of downtown Ocean Beach.

Who the heck is Tim Foley, you may righteously ask?

He’s the big-time developer who will decide what goes in on that choice 27,000 square feet of land that used to be Nati’s and its parking lot. Sure, part of that decision has already been made, as the folks who own Wonderland are bringing in La Dona, a Mexican restaurant.

Yet Tim Foley is jazzed. Having all that land a block from the Pacific Ocean – wow! He’s excited. In a recent interview with the San Diego Business Journal, he said:

“I like beach areas. This is a crazy location.” As in “good” crazy.

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OB Resister Sisters Hit Again – This Time at ‘Putin’s Mitch’

August 2, 2019 by Staff

Always on top of the latest news, the Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung these signs this morning – Friday, August 2 – over the 163 in Balboa Park.

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Issa to Host La Jolla Fundraiser for Senator ‘Moscow Mitch’ McConnell

August 2, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / July 29, 2019

Ex-Congressman Darrell Issa has invited prospective donors to a reception at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club on Monday, August 12 starting at 5pm.

A check for five thousand dollars, payable to McConnell for Majority Leader, merits individual entrance to the event plus a photographic memento.

There are four things going on here: a fundraiser for the primary enabler of Trumpism, an opportunity to protest, the Majority Leader’s opposition to elections free from outside interference, and the return of Darrell Issa to the spotlight.

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Majority of House Democrats Now Support Impeachment Inquiry

August 2, 2019 by Source

(San Diego Congresswoman Susan Davis Still on Sidelines)

By Mike DeBonis , Felicia Sonmez , John Wagner and JM Rieger / Washington Post / August 2 at 1:44 PM ET

The movement to oust President Trump from office crossed a new threshold Friday, with a majority of House Democrats endorsing an impeachment inquiry — a development that ramps up pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has resisted such a move.

The push in the House to remove Trump has been accelerated by testimony from former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III confirming that the president could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office — prompting more than 20 Democrats to announce support for an inquiry since then.

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Ocean Beach Green Center Leads Campaign to Support Local Businesses in Opposition to New Target

August 2, 2019 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Green Center is leading the campaign against the new Target – which is a campaign to support local independent businesses. Under the campaign’s slogan of “Protect Our Community from Further Corporate Takeover!”, the Center has organized a number of events this week.

August 4th Sunday Noon to 1 pm Help Support Our Local Businesses in front of Target, 4864 Newport Ave.

The Center is asking folks to carry “Shop Local” signs and help pass out flyers educating people on where they can shop local. They’ve had a weekly presence since Target opened July 21st.

August 6th Tuesday 6:23 pm – 8 pm Support Independent Businesses meeting at Ocean Beach Green Center, 4862 Voltaire St.

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Widder’s Rant #40: California Wines Show Glyphosate Residue – You Know, That Stuff in RoundUp

August 2, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Last Thanksgiving one of my daughter’s was hospitalized for an unknown stomach problem. As we tried to trace what caused the problem a very interesting development came to the forefront. But more about that in a moment.

A few nights ago that same daughter began experiencing the same stomach symptoms and that is where answers began to form. Because – in November and that eventful night last week it was determined that she had had a California wine both times.

Now that doesn’t sound so bad; California wines are well known throughout the world. But what isn’t known – and I didn’t know it until I did some research – that EVERY California wine that was tested – and some beers also, showed glyphosate residues. Granted, not EVERY wine made in California was tested, but enough were tested to find this startling information.

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Calling on Member-Owners of People’s in Ocean Beach: Get Involved in the Democratically-Run Business

August 2, 2019 by Staff

The Board of Directors of the OB People’s Organic Food Market – otherwise simply known as “People’s” – is making a call on its member-owners to get involved in the democratically-run business. Now in its 47th year (see below).

In the most recent issue of People’s Market News this is what the call stated:

Love People’s? Get involved!

Board of Directors’ Information Table Saturday, August 10, 12 – 2 p.m.

Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market’s Board of Directors encourages member-owners to engage in owner activism.

You are invited to stop by People’s Board of Directors’ information table, located at the entrance to the market, on August 10, 2019 between 12 and 2 p.m. Board Directors will be available to answer questions about co-op governance and the responsibilities of the board.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early August 2019

August 1, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

*Mayor’s Deadline for Scooter Companies Is Here – Has City Crews Check “Parking Corrals”

* 4-Way Stop Now at Ebers and Saratoga
* Campaign to Begin for a Bronze Mermaid Next to the Bronze Lifeguard?
* Petra de Luna on Voltaire Closing
* Man Jumps Out of the Way But Gets Hit in Midway District
* Pickets Greet Target’s Opening
* Street Vendors May See New Rules
* OB Playhouse Extends Avenue Q!
* Margaritaville To Take Over Paradise Point in Mission Bay
* Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty in Death of OB Man
* Man Brandishing Gun-Like Lighter Forces Midway Students to Shelter
* Local Businesses in the “News”

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Historic North Chapel at Liberty Station ‘Rebranded’ for Parties

August 1, 2019 by Source

From the online newsletter of the Pt Loma Association:

Over the past eight months, since meeting with executives from Pendulum Properties regarding their plans to “repurpose” the structure, we have requested updates multiple times and received no response.

However, the Chapel is no longer closed to events. A new booking website makes little mention of the historical significance of North Chapel. In fact, they have rebranded it simply…

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