October 2019

‘I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb’

October 31, 2019 by Source

While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited.

by Allie Conti / Vice / Oct 31 2019

The call came about 10 minutes before we were set to check into the Airbnb. I was sitting at a brewery just around the corner from the rental on North Wood Street in Chicago when the man on the other end of the line said that our planned visit wouldn’t be possible. A previous guest had flushed something down the toilet, which had left the unit flooded with water, he explained. Apologetic, he promised to let us stay in another property he managed until he could call a plumber.

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More Debate Over San Diego’s Secret Streetlight Cameras

October 31, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Recently – and to their credit – the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune raised the question, “who’s to blame for San Diego’s secret streetlight cameras?” – and natch, they answered their own question.

In December 2016, when the San Diego City Council preliminarily approved a $30.3 million “Smart Streetlights” project, a key detail — that contractor GE would equip thousands of streetlights with cameras to monitor their surroundings — was never shared publicly. Awareness spread with the sensors themselves, and there is now a set of 4,000-plus cameras that are on all the time — and a sense of conspiracy. Critics complain the contract gave GE an “irrevocable, permanent, worldwide, royalty-free” right to use footage for its own commercial purposes.

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SDG&E Refuses to Credit Ratepayers for Blackouts.

October 31, 2019 by Source

By Miriam Raftery / East County Magazine / Oct. 31, 2019

A day after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to create tough new rules limiting mass outages by utilities seeking to limit their liability for fires and mandating compensation for ratepayers, PG&E announced it will credit its ratepayers for blackouts, Newsom announced.

But San Diego Gas & Electric is refusing to do the same.

In respond to East County Magazine’s inquiry, SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones responded yesterday,

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House of Representatives Votes for Rules for the Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump

October 31, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The US House of Representatives – in an historic move – just voted to approve the rules to be used for the impeachment inquiry into president Trump. By a vote of 232 to 196, the House passed rule that will:

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Search On for 2 Pit Bulls That Fatally Mauled Small Dog on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach

October 30, 2019 by Source

From 10News:

San Diego Animal Control officers are looking for two large dogs that attacked and killed an 86-year-old woman’s beloved pet.

The owner of the dog, Ocean Beach resident Mary Cooper, said it was two large pit bulls that mauled her beloved pet, Gracie, a 10-year-old Bichon-Poodle mix. It happened Monday at around 11 p.m. on Voltaire Street.

“At night, just before I go to bed, we go out for her last potty break. And this is when it happened,” Cooper said.

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Civil Rights Are on the Chopping Block in New Supreme Court Term

October 30, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / Oct. 15, 2019

This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether people can be fired for being transgender or LGBQ, if people brought to the U.S. as children can be deported, whether states can impose restrictions on abortion that disproportionately harm poor women, how firm the separation between church and state is, the scope of the Second Amendment and whether criminal defendants can be convicted by less-than-unanimous juries.

Millions of people will be impacted by the results of these cases.

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After 4 Years, Possible Retaliatory Law Suit Against SDSU and Local News Source Dismissed

October 30, 2019 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / October 28, 2019

The California Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging inewsource’s lease with San Diego State University, bringing to a close a four-year legal battle that inewsource’s editor contends was in retaliation for its investigations of attorney Cory Briggs, now running for San Diego City Attorney.

“The lawsuit is over, dismissed and inewsource won the war,” said Lorie Hearn, executive director and editor of inewsource, in a written statement. “It’s been a long and expensive four years, fighting a lawsuit that was filed against us for exercising our responsibilities as investigative journalists.”

San Diegans for Open Government sued inewsource in 2015 after it published 10 stories about attorney Cory Briggs.

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Joseph Caldwell: In the Shadow of the Bridge

October 30, 2019 by Source

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing / Oct. 29, 2019

When offered an interview with author and playwright Joseph Caldwell, it was not In Such Dark Places, his first novel with its gay protagonist, that launched me from my desk to dance a delighted jig. Neither was it Caldwell’s more recent and charmingly absurd Irish mystery series, The Pig Trilogy— nor anything in between.

No, it was Caldwell’s notoriety as a writer for the cult classic soap opera Dark Shadows that transported me to the late 1960s when we—every kid in the neighborhood—happily raced home from school to grab a slice of baloney and settle in for a new episode.

All the more satisfying then, was reading in Caldwell’s new memoir, In the Shadow of the Bridge

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‘Rent Your Driveway’ Latest Attempt to Cash In on Vacation Rental Craze in Ocean Beach

October 30, 2019 by Staff

Now there’s a new effort to cash in on the vacation rental craze in Ocean Beach.

Rent your driveway.Yup.

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Friends of Ocean Beach Library Want Your Feedback on New Design

October 29, 2019 by Staff

The Friends of the Ocean Beach Library want you! Or more accurately, they want your feedback and input on the new design for the expansion of the library.

So, check out the (really) rough-draft floor plan. What would you change, add or subtract?

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‘Live Disinformation’ Is Real Terror for American Politics This Halloween

October 29, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / Oct. 25, 2019

Want to scare yourself this Halloween? Forget witches, goblins, ghosts or haunted houses. Instead, read Christopher Wylie’s book Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America.

It is a must-read primer on the dark arts of cyber politics — ”scaled online disinformation, fake news, and mass profiling.”

If half of what Wylie writes is true, everyone should be seriously frightened.

It comes as no surprise that much of what high-tech, fin-tech, med-tech and cyber-tech have unleashed is a mixed bag of tricks and treats, that remains to be sorted.

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‘Getting to Know My San Diego State Senator’ and How to Know Other Politicians

October 29, 2019 by Staff

By Richard Riehl

My 38th district State Senator, Brian Jones, emailed me yesterday. The subject line, “Will I see you?”made me wonder where I had met him, on what occasion, and where and when he hoped to see me again.

But the senator’s salutation: “Dear Friends,” suggested his fondness for me only began with his discovery of my name on a list of his district’s registered voters.

My new friend’s form letter alerted me to his legislative open house next month. “Hundreds of local elected officials and community leaders have already RSVP’d,” he gushed. “Believe me, the Open House will be the place to be in East County this fall!”

Well, it won’t be the place for me.

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Trying to Help Children Create a Peaceful World

October 29, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Trying to help children create a peaceful world is difficult, to say the least. The reason being, I suppose, is because war seems to be the default way human beings have chosen, over time, to solve problems between nations.

Children are groomed to accept armed conflict in such a world.

I mean I grew up in the 40’s running around with my buddies, loudly mouthing the whistling and booming noises of bombs exploding and the rat-a-tat-tat sounds of war we learned how to playfully mimic at the movies on many a Saturday afternoon.

We were grunts and swabbies and jarheads and flyboys all wrapped in one, anchoring aweigh and flying off into the wild blue yonder and storming beaches and rolling those caissons along, practically every day.

Nobody ever said “Hey, haven’t you children ‘play killed’ enough people today?”

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Scary Food from My Ocean Beach Garden

October 29, 2019 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

Halloween seemed the right time to try my scary orange fruit from my Tomato Tree that I started from a seed years ago from Ecuador.

I had eaten the tart fruit raw. I tried some salsa type sauces – not very spicy – in Ecuador made with the fruit, but I wanted to make a main dish from the exotic fruit.

So, I did what most people do these days and jumped on the internet and googled Tomato Tree Fruit. Most of the suggestions of what to do with the fruit included adding sugar and making it sweet or making a curry dish. I opted for the curry.

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San Diego Scooter News: Ridership Off by Half Since Summer, a Call to Cap Scooters and Badly Injured Rider Goes Home.

October 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Keeping Track of the Scooter

The biggest scooter news in San Diego is on several fronts.

First, San Diego Union-Tribune reporter, Joshua E. Smith broke the news several days ago, that scooter ridership has plummeted by over 50% since summer. Here’s his opening:

It might be the change in the seasons, but since the city of San Diego put its rules for dockless e-scooters in place this summer ridership has been plummeting.

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Trump Booed and Met With Chants of ‘Lock Him Up’ at D.C. World Series Game

October 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The president of the United States was loudly booed at the Washington DC World Series game when he was shown on the Jumbotron- and met with a chorus of chants of “Lock him up! Lock him up!”

Reportedly, the sustained boos and chants were the loudest expression of the fans at the game.

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Voltaire Beach House Cancels Its Bowling Alley

October 28, 2019 by Source

From SanDiegoVille

It was announced more than a year ago that Ocean Beach’s Voltaire Beach House had plans to expand into the neighboring space that previously housed a local caterer for the opening of a 4-lane bowling alley called OB Lanes. After much speculation on whether the project would ever come to fruition, the company took to social media today to announce that OB Lanes is not happening.

Voltaire Beach House is a Nantucket-inspired, open-air bar and restaurant that was opened in January 2017 by restaurateurs David Schiffman, George Somers and Mark Huber – who also have ownership interests in San Diego Double Deuce, Whiskey Girl, The Horn and The Rabbit Hole.

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As We Watch California Burn Yet Again It’s Time to Say Yes to ‘Save Our San Diego Countryside’

October 28, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

California’s burning (again) with Governor Newsom declaring a state of emergency for Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties in the wake of twelve fires raging across the state. Smoke swept throughout the Bay Area and parts north and delayed flights into San Francisco. Schools were closed in the affected regions, and close to two million people suffered through pre-emptive power shut-offs to try avoiding yet more blazes.

In Los Angeles, residents agonized through hellishly hot fall temperatures and respiratory problems while blazes in San Diego county broke out in Valley View and Ramona, reviving traumatic memories of apocalyptic fires past for many. In San Diego county, the damage has been minor so far, but the hot, dry, windy conditions ensure that another firestorm is always just around the corner.

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An OBcean Runs the Noble Canyon 50K While Out & About in the San Diego Mountains

October 25, 2019 by Source

By S. Grace

It’s 6:15 in the morning and freezing in this canyon as I’m fantasizing about that expensive long sleeve dri-fit shirt I bought a while back with the thumb holes in the end of the sleeves. Come to think of it, those running gloves I picked up at Big 5 down off Sports Arena…and could there possibly be a better time than now to actually be wearing them?

Instead my hands are tucked up under my armpits trying to keep my thumbs from freezing solid while all that nice running gear is resting soundly back in OB for those precious last few minutes before the airplanes start rattling the windows at 6:35.

My buddy and I are pacing around the starting gate for the Noble Canyon 50K trail run just outside Pine Valley wondering what it is again that made us think this was such a great idea.

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Long, Lost Sunset Cliffs Surfing Lore Comes to Shore at OB Historical Society Gig

October 25, 2019 by Source

By Eric DuVall

A standing room only crowd at Water’s Edge Faith Community learned some long lost local lore and enjoyed some tall tales as Ocean Beach Historical Society presented The Original Sunset Cliffs Surfers on the evening of October 17.

Local surf pioneers Tom “Lizard” Chapman, Billy Chapman, Jim “Mouse” Robb, Marsh Malcolm, and John Holley reminisced about long gone days, hardly imaginable now, when there were no stairs down, and nobody out. The engaging group detailed the “Surf Wars” of the early 1960s, when restriction of surfing to just a few local beaches, and actual licensing of surfers were seriously being considered by San Diego lawmakers.

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What’s New from District 2 Council Office – by Councilwoman Jen Campbell

October 25, 2019 by Source

By Dr. Jen Campbell

Hello neighbors!

Though it may feel like summer, fall is here. We’ve done a lot of great work for San Diego in my 10+ months on the job, but perhaps the most important issue facing San Diego was the focus of a City Council meeting a few weeks ago. That’s when we got our first look at the new strategic plan to address homelessness.

Fixing our unsheltered crisis has long been a top priority for my office. As a physician, I deeply understand the health risks of homelessness. From veterans living in their cars, young families sleeping on the street to more and more seniors ending up without a roof over their heads. The health ramifications for our unsheltered population are horrifying.

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Committee Sends Proposal for Independent Oversight Commission on Police To Full San Diego City Council

October 24, 2019 by Source


The San Diego City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee voted unanimously Wednesday, Oct. 23, to send a draft ballot measure to the full council that, if approved, would establish an independent oversight commission on police practices.

The measure, proposed by Women Occupy San Diego, would dissolve the city’s Community Review Board on Police Practices and replace it with the commission, which would retain independent counsel and have subpoena power to investigate certain cases of misconduct by local law enforcement officers.

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‘We’re Building a Wall in Colorado. … a Beautiful Wall …’

October 24, 2019 by Source

During remarks at a shale-energy conference in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Oct. 23, Trump’s said “we’re building a wall in Colorado. … a beautiful wall …”

Here’s the full statement:

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‘What’s All That Construction on Friar’s Road? It’s Been There for Years …’

October 24, 2019 by Source

by Natallie Rocha / inewsource.org

[inewsource.org answers reader Peter Doft about a construction site on Friars Road: ]

“What’s going on with the portion of Friars Road west of the trolley tracks as you approach Sea World Drive. It’s been under construction for years yet no one is ever working there. A real eyesore.”

You can’t miss what Doft is asking about if you’re on Friars Road between Morena Boulevard and SeaWorld Drive. The road has been cut down to two lanes, with the other lanes used to store heavy equipment and stacks of construction material.

The reason for that “eyesore” Doft sees — the San Diego River Double Track project.

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As Trump Aids and Abets Turkey’s War Crimes, the UN Must Act

October 24, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / Oct. 23, 2019

Nearly two weeks have passed since Turkey launched its ground and air attack on Rojava, the autonomous region of northeast Syria, following Trump’s sudden removal of 1,000 U.S. troops from the area.

While the United States and Turkey reached a “ceasefire” agreement on October 17, there are ongoing reports of violations of the deal. A U.S. official told CNN that Turkish-backed forces broke the ceasefire on its first day, saying that they were either acting beyond the scope of Turkish control or Turkey “didn’t care what they did.” Two U.S. officials said the ceasefire “is not holding.”

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Impeachment Day 30: Quid Pro Quo and Smoking Gun Means a GOP Shutdown

October 23, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Oct. 23, 2019

Ambassador William Taylor’s bombshell testimony.before congress on Tuesday laid waste to the Trump administration’s ‘No Quid Pro Quo” defense.

Another round of polling shows further erosion of the President’s support among independent voters, and GOP insiders are whispering about an as yet unreported fall in Republican support.

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OB Town Council Looking for a Christmas Tree Donation for Annual Display at Foot of Newport

October 23, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Hey, it’s not even Halloween yet, but your Ocean Beach Town Council is looking for a giant, tall Christmas present. The Town Council is looking for a donated Christmas Tree for the annual display at the foot of Newport Avenue.


Preferably one that is crooked, or bent like a question mark or …. whatever.

If you have one to donate, please

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Peninsula Planning Board Not Happy With Development Plans for San Diego Airport

October 23, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The San Diego airport has plans for a great deal of new development and the Peninsula Community Planning Board is not at all pleased with what is being proposed – judging by the comments at the regular monthly meeting Thursday October 17 at the Point Loma Library.

The PCPB’s Airport subcommittee reviewed the new Draft Environmental Impact Report in detail and composed a strong letter with comments that the board voted almost unanimously to support. The lone vote against the letter came from board member Don Sevrens who did not explain his opposition.

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Rachel Maddow Asks San Diego Judge to Throw Out Defamation Suit of Right-Wing News Outlet

October 22, 2019 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / Oct. 21, 2019

Backed by an all-star team of lawyers, Rachel Maddow is asking a San Diego federal judge to throw out the $10 million defamation suit by the owner of One America News Network.

And it could happen as soon as Dec. 16, according to a motion filed Monday that cites California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

MSNBC’s highest-rated host was merely exercising her First Amendment right to express an opinion (“based on undisputed facts”) when she delivered a “single rhetorical flourish” and “colorful rhetorical hyperbole.”

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Water Quality Advisory Issued for Dog Beach

October 22, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Effective October 22, 2019 at 8:30am, the County’s Department of Environmental Health has issued a water quality Advisory for San Diego River outlet – Dog Beach – in Ocean Beach.

The County says humans [we add “and dogs”] should avoid water contact in the advisory area, as bacteria levels may exceed health standards.

Bacterial exceedance Advisories are issued when monitoring

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