January 2020

Senate Republicans Continue Trump’s Cover-Up in Sham ‘Trial’ by Not Allowing Witnesses

January 31, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The US Senate just voted 51 to 49 not to allow any witnesses in their proceeding. This clearly demonstrates that Senate Republicans have now joined in the cover-up of Trump’s impeachable offenses and that the proceedings going on within the Senate chambers cannot be called a “trial”.

Senators Romney and Collins joined all Democratic Senators in voting to allow witnesses and other evidence into the proceedings.

But without witnesses and any documentary evidence, a trial cannot be held, and therefore, the proceedings are a sham, a fake.

As soon as the vote on witnesses was completed, the Senate moved into recess. It’s not clear what the next action will be or when it will occur.

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Are You Interested in Serving on the Oldest Democratically-Elected Community Planning Board in History of San Diego? Try the OB Planners

January 30, 2020 by Source

Have you ever thought about serving on the oldest democratically-elected community planning committee in the history of San Diego? That would be the Ocean Beach Planning Board.

Yes, it’s true – when the OB Planning Board was first sworn in back in 1976, it was the very first, locally-elected urban planning committee for a community in the city’s history. And it was created by a multi-year effort by OBceans during the first half of the 1970s to have one approved by the city and then elected by thousands of OB tenants, residents, property owners and business-owners.

The Board has been staffed by volunteer members of the community ever since. Each year in March, there are elections to the 15-member board – and you should know, there are open seats in each of the 7 planning districts in Ocean Beach. Here are the details about the upcoming March 4 election.

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San Diego Is Allowing Granny Flats to Become Short-Term Rentals – In Violation of City Law

January 29, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / January 29, 2020

San Diego City Council members were clear when they voted in September 2017 to loosen restrictions on granny flats. They wanted new affordable housing for San Diegans. None of these small units, built on land with existing homes, were to be rented for less than 30 days.

The city gave property owners about a $15,000 price reduction in permits and fees to encourage development of granny flats — and it worked. Since the law changed, about 600 permits have been issued, compared to 20 in all of 2016.

But inewsource has learned the city has no mechanism in place to ensure the new granny flats aren’t rented for less than 30 days. Officials rely on citizen complaints and code enforcement.

To determine if the law was being violated, inewsource compared two sets of city data

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Housing Commission Extends Deadline for Developers’ Proposals at Famosa Canyon

January 29, 2020 by Source

From Point Loma Association:

Haven’t heard much about the open space at Famosa and Nimitz recently, have we?

Want some background on the site? [Come inside]

In 2019, following a couple years of feasibility studies, the City decided the time was right (ripe?) for building. On August 29th, they published a Request For Proposals (RFP) to, “solicit proposals from qualified real estate development entities.”

Deadline for submission was published as November 21, 2019.

A funny thing happened between August and November.

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Local OB Love for Citrus and Palms

January 29, 2020 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

This season’s mix of rain, sunshine, and cool nights have created a crowded nursery for green babies in my garden. I have never had so many lettuces, parsley, and greens springing up in my garden.

Needless to say, “my household is eating very healthy meals.”

Flash boiling a mixture of greens is a great way to cook a variety of rich greens and herbs. My latest technique is to heat water quickly in a plugin electric kettle, pour it into a pan of greens and finish the boiling on the stove for a few minutes. These can make a meal of the cooked greens or can be added to another dish such as soup, pasta, smoothies, or quiche. A quick, simple way to eat them is to add a few squirts of lemon juice and nutmeg, making a tasty contrast of flavors and eliminating bitterness.

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‘State of District 2’ Event Hosted by Councilmember Campbell – Thursday, Jan.30 at Liberty Station

January 29, 2020 by Source

From Jen Campbell’s Office:

On Thursday, January 30th, Councilmember Jennifer Campbell will be hosting her first “State of the District” event.

This community celebration will honor the “Neighbor of the Year” and “Small Business of the Year” for District 2’s seven communities with the winners nominated by their neighbors.

This event will be hosted in partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University and will feature remarks by Councilmember Campbell, tabling by local non-profits, and performances by local students.

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Guerrero Pleads Guilty to Murders and Attacks on Homeless

January 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

One Homeless Victim Asked Him ‘Why?’ Guerrero Replied, “Because You’re a Bum.”

Jon David Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 27, to murdering four homeless men during a grisly serial killing spree in 2016 – including the horrific murder of an Ocean Beach man, Shawn Mitchell Longley. Four of the sleeping, homeless men were stabbed to death with rail spikes and two of those were set on fire.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson. He agreed to be sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison. This will occur on May 1. The charges stem from his attacks on 12 men and one woman over six months between February and July 2016.

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Candidate Statements for Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors – Online Voting by Members to Begin

January 28, 2020 by Source

Every year the Ocean Beach Town Council has elections for its board of directors members. There are 15 seats on the Board and OBTC members elect Directors for two-year terms. Half of the Board stands for election every year. This year, 7 seats on the OBTC Board of Directors are up for election.

There are 6 candidates seeking election or reelection to the Board of Directors. Members of the OBTC are the only ones allowed to vote – and they can select up to 6 candidates whom they wish to represent them on the OBTC Board of Directors.

Candidate letters and statements can be viewed below. In order to vote, a member needs an OBTC online account. Voting will close at 11:59 PM on February 7th. After the results have been certified, they will be announced on social media. For more info, go here for the OBTC website.

Candidate Statements (in alphabetical order):

***Jon Carr
***Arlene Fink
***Grace Quigley
***Cameron Reid
***Christie Romano
***Mark J Winkie

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The Widder Curry Is Back and She’s Voting ‘No’ on Proposition ‘C’

January 28, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

I have received a fair number of calls, emails, etc. asking me why I haven’t been writing lately. There are several reasons that I will briefly mention: One is that I have been ill. Not the flu; not a cold, but something in-between. As a cancer survivor that went through many sessions of radiation, my bronchial tubes are weaker than normal, and illnesses just seem to fester there for awhile. After 3 weeks of feeling like I was dead – and sometimes wishing that I was – I am 98% better.

Another reason for not writing is that my book Liar, Liar came out in early December and I have been doing some promotions on that – at least until I became ill!

Another reason, and some of you will understand this, is that I have become obsessed with the horrific situation that is in the White House. Hours and minutes are spent shaking my head in disbelief as everyday unfolds new lies; new restrictions on our rights; dirty air and dirtier water.

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‘Little Women’ and ‘1917’: Two Great Movies, Two Different Futures and One Common Thread

January 28, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Old things are often new again. Not just in fashion, but in film as well. Two such great movies debuted this last year on their 2019 anniversaries.

Little Women — on the 150th anniversary of its publication and 1917 — on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I.

Both movies are Oscar nominees. Both are box office hits—1917 with a world-wide take of $155 million; and Little Women with a comparable $134 million. And both ranked high on Rotten Tomatoes. Little Women with a 95% rating and 1917 at 90%.

Most importantly, both these old era stories are new and consequential again.

I taught History through Film courses because I found them to often be the best instructors

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Welcome to ‘Primavera Falsa’ – the Annual False Spring

January 27, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

big surf day 11-3-10 jg 03-sm

It’s “Primavera Falsa” time – the False Spring that comes to Ocean Beach and Southern California every year in mid to late January. And it’s happening again. Check out the temperatures coming up this week – the low 70’s to the low 80’s.

Every year around this time SoCal enjoys a week or two of “unseasonably” warm weather. Surfers grab their boards and head for the waves in droves. People flock to the beaches in swimsuits and actually go into the ocean.

Winter sweaters and jackets are stashed – at least temporarily -, and the BBQ grills are rolled back out from their winter hibernation. Yet, alas … it’s only for a short while. For a decade now, we’ve been calling it Primavera Falsa and it happens every January.

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Ocean Beach Town Council: Holiday Parade Winners and Business of the Village

January 27, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The parking lot was full, people had parked in the alley, there was no street parking, and there was a good-sized crowd inside the Masonic Lodge for the first meeting of 2020 for the Ocean Beach Town Council on Wednesday, January 22. The reason was quickly apparent as the council was giving out its annual awards for floats in the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade.

Holiday Parade Winners

Before the awards were announced, the council explained that there were 112 entries in the parade. That number was surprising; the parade has grown a lot over the years. When the judging was over, they handed out the following awards for the best floats:

Use of LightsOB Elementary

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Union Density Continues to Decline: What Does this Mean for American Democracy?

January 27, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

If you’ve been paying attention to the news about labor over the last year or so, you’d think we were in an era of a resurgent union movement. We’ve seen a wave of inspiring, militant teachers’ strikes from West Virginia to Los Angeles along with a successful autoworkers’ strike against General Motors and lots of other signs of life from grocery workers’ actions to pushes for minimum wage increases across America. Unfortunately, the latest numbers on union membership paint a more disappointing picture.

As the Washington Post reported last week:

Union membership in the American workforce was down to 10.3 percent from 10.5 percent in 2018, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The continued slide shows how energy and momentum around the labor movement is not translating into equivalent growth for unions, whose memberships have fallen sharply as a percentage of the U.S. workforce over the past roughly 40 years. In 1983, unions represented about 1 out of 5 workers; now it’s 1 in 10 workers.

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Cusp of Aquarius Jan. 2020

January 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Dirty Birds to Donate 20% of Sales to Help Filipino Volcano Victims

Mid-Length Surf Boards Are Going Mainstream

OB Cops Pay for Sweater and Socks for Barefoot Homeless Man

Surf Rider Pizza Up for Sale

Missing Inmate Found in Midway District

Data Release: 22 Pedestrians, 5 Bicyclists Killed in 2019 in City of San Diego – W.Pt Loma & Rosecrans On List

Pets owned by homeless people get veterinarian care once a month in Ocean Beach

Man on Trial Tells Jury He Didn’t Kill Ocean Beach Resident

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Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Property Transfer for Transit Center

January 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Transfer Property for Midway Area Transit Center

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and representatives from SANDAG and the Navy signed off on a agreement to transfer the Navy property known as NAVWAR over to SANDAG so it can pave the way for the development of a major transit center.

Whether it’s in the Midway District or in Old Town, this is a big deal, which will allow for the redevelopment of the 72-acre property along Interstate 5.

Faulconer and SANDAG reps signed the agreement at the Pentagon with the Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly.

In return SANDAG has agreed to build a “new state of the art facilities” for the Navy for NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command – which used to be called SPAWARS).

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Peninsula Planning Board Calls Proposed Changes to North Chapel ‘Fundamentally Inconsistent’ With Its Historical Use

January 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Chairperson of the Peninsula Community Planning Board, Robert Goldyn, has written a letter on behalf of the Board to Mayor Faulconer and other city officials calling the proposed “modifications” to the North Chapel at Liberty Station “fundamentally inconsistent with the historical use of the property.”

Goldyn was responding to a presentation by the property managers of North Chapel at the most recent meeting of the Board on January 16. (See OB Rag reporter Geoff Page’s report here.)

828 Venues representatives – the current sublessee – had described the proposed changes – as Goldyn noted – “that include, in particular, the removal of substantially all of the pews that are currently installed in the building and the removal of several stained glass windows, each of which have been specifically identified as historic resources in the Guidelines for Historic Properties at NTC.”

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Talking Love in Tucson at a Breakfast for Martin Luther King

January 23, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I’ve been asked,

as we honor

Martin Luther King,

to speak of what I

have overcome in life.

In ten minutes.

And I’m thinking “Wow, really?”

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More on San Diego’s Great Flood of 1916 and Charles Hatfield – ‘the Rainmaker’

January 23, 2020 by Source

Sweetwater Dam and Reservoir (Photo by Barbara Zaragoza)Editordude: The following is a reposting of a two-part series we published in 2016 by Patricia Maxwell on San Diego’s Great Flood of 1916 and on Charles Hatfield, the “Rainmaker.”

Part 1

Originally posted Jan. 21, 2016

By Patricia Maxwell

Today’s residents of Chula Vista have much in common with citizens of a hundred years ago. Make that a thousand years or more. Southern California has always been an arid land, with cycles of drought, interspersed with wet years every now and again.

In December of 1915, San Diego’s city fathers tackled the issue from a completely different angle. They hired a rainmaker!

The impetus for their decision was the unfilled Morena Reservoir in the mountains sixty miles east of San Diego. A rock-filled dam had been completed in 1912, but the reservoir had yet to be filled beyond a third of its capacity. Other reservoirs in the area shared the same problem. None were filled and the city was growing. The rainmaker, Mr. Charles Hatfield, said “I will fill the Morena Reservoir …”

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County Board of Supervisors District 1: A Big Change is Coming

January 23, 2020 by Doug Porter

District One Includes Point Loma and Sunset Cliffs

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Jan. 22, 2020

In 2021, for the first time in more than two decades, the 631,000 residents of District One will have a new representative on the County Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Republican Greg Cox was appointed in 1995 to replace Brian Bilbray, who was moving on to the House of Representatives, has faced minimal opposition over his six terms. Now he’s termed out.

Democrats have a 72,000-person advantage in voter registration in the sprawling district, which includes the cities of Coronado, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City and communities within Southeast San Diego, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs and parts of downtown San Diego. The district also includes the unincorporated communities of Bonita, Sunnyside, Lincoln Acres, and East Otay Mesa.

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Bees Absolutely Love Cannabis and It Could Help Restore Their Populations

January 22, 2020 by Source

By Elias Marat / TheMindUnleashed.com / Jan. 17, 2020

Bees are major fans of hemp and a recent study has found that the taller the hemp plants are the larger the number of bees that will flock to it.

The new research, spearheaded by researchers at Cornell University and published last month in Environmental Entomology, shows that humans aren’t the only fans of weed. The findings also reinforce a study published last year at Colorado State University that discovered the same thing.

The study shows how bees are highly attracted to cannabis due to the plant’s plentiful stores of pollen, and it could pave the way for scientists to figure out new ways to support their struggling population as well as floral populations.

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Taking a Cue From Schools, Doctors and Hospital Should Color-Code Their Patients’ Conditions

January 22, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl

Twenty years ago the California State Legislature passed the Public Schools Accountability Act, leading to the creation of an Academic Performance Index. Each year, every public school was to be assigned an API score, ranging from 200 to 1000, to measure its success. Proficiency in English and Math, based on standardized test scores, were the primary measures of a school’s API.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, passed by Congress, was for all school children to become proficient in English and Math by 2014. After the failure of both of these well-intentioned efforts, the California State Board of Education has teamed up with the California Department of Education to launch still another plan to measure the quality of public schools.

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Peninsula Planners Review North Chapel Changes

January 22, 2020 by Staff

“Factionalism” on Planning Board Has Led Chair to Resign in March

By Geoff Page

The subject of what was happening to a revered building at Liberty Station was the main item of interest at the first monthly Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting of 2020 – held on January 16 at the Point Loma Library. The changes coming to the North Chapel are better known now and the only people in the room in favor of the changes were the new operators.

The North Chapel has been in the news for the past two years at least. When McMillin divested itself of Liberty Station ownership, operation of the chapel changed hands. A company named 828 Venue Management Company has control of the old building now. They came to the meeting to explain their plans.

On the 828 Venue Management Company website, the opening banner reads “Unique Wedding & Event Venues Across the Nation.”

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Water Quality Advisory in Effect for Ocean Beach and All San Diego Coastal and Bay Beaches

January 22, 2020 by Source

County Health Issues General Rain Advisory – Water Contact Should Be Avoided for 72 Hours After Rain of Jan.21

The Department of Environmental Health has issued a GENERAL RAIN ADVISORY for the coastal waters of San Diego County due to contamination by urban runoff following rain.

Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff.

Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided for 72 hours following rain.

The most recent rain event occurred January 21, 2020.

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Midway Planners Reject Dixieline’s Request for a New, Reasonable Lease

January 20, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Dixieline Lumber and Home Center store on Sports Arena Blvd. came before the Midway-Pacific Planning Group on Wednesday, January 15, asking for help. They did not receive the help they were looking for.

The subject that garnered the most discussion at the planning group’s first regular monthly meeting of 2020 was the expiration of Dixieline’s lease on May 31. The company has been at that location since 1967, leasing the land from the city of San Diego. The city owns the land east and west of the Sports Arena, including the arena and the huge parking lot. The city has plans for redeveloping all of that property and the fate of all the current tenants will depend on those plans.

The city’s land east of the Sports Arena includes the dilapidated shopping center immediately east, Dixieline, and the old Pier One Imports property now a Salvation Army store. On the west side is the Sports Arena Village shopping center bordered by Hancock Street.

Dixieline wants a new lease from the city and they want a realistic term for that lease.

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Reader Rant: The ‘100-Year Flood’ Will Come to San Diego Some Day

January 20, 2020 by Source

By Stan Levin

Through the 1960’s and 70’s I taught in the city’s public elementary schools. Each year I told my students about the history of a severe drought that San Diego had been experiencing up until late January, 1916.

A brilliant scoundrel, one Charles Hatfield, arrived on the scene, and convinced the public he could make it rain, but the distraught citizens would need to fork over $10,000 for it.

Be reminded that most of the county was watershed at the time, and the end of the line watershed was low lying Mission Valley, where rainwater from all directions ultimately found its way, and emptied into the sea downstream.

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‘Once Upon A Time’ in San Diego

January 20, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Trying to recover from the flu? Or avoid the wall-to-wall Impeachment imbroglio?

This is a pleasant, fun, and perfect distraction for anyone older than thirty.

Remember all those amazing San Diego gifts once readily available — and mostly free — but, now long gone. Try.

For example, once upon a time, kids could go the publicly-owned pitch and put golf course and learn to swing a club for free. Tap, ballet, and swim classes were also available — for free — from the City’s Park and Recreation Department.

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This Martin Luther King Jr. Day Is Not a Day to Celebrate.

January 20, 2020 by Jim Miller

The United States at Present is an Affront to the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Jim Miller

With the election of Barack Obama, many hoped that the United States had finally taken a decisive step away from its racist past and was perhaps on the road to more fully embodying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a truly democratic and racially and economically just America.

Sadly, only a few years after the end of Obama’s tenure, it’s clear that nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than bending the arc of history toward justice, it seems that the first black president’s two terms, politically moderate as they turned out to be, ironically did much to fuel the fire of white backlash and emboldened reactionary plutocrats to roll back the clock in a myriad of other ways as well.

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San Diego Has Four Open Seats for Judges on March 2020 Primary Ballot

January 17, 2020 by Doug Porter

There are four judicial seats appearing on ballots for the March primary. None of them are for incumbents. All are for seats vacated by a retiring judge. I wish it was easy to tell you who the progressive candidates are, but the way the system works makes it hard to tell.

With rare exceptions, incumbent judges run unopposed in the primary. In fact, unless there is announced opposition, incumbents names don’t even appear on the ballot.

One third of the 1,535 judges in the California Superior Courts compete in nonpartisan races in even numbered years. Technically the elections are for a six year long judicial “office” as opposed to an individual.

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San Diego’s Homeless Tied to Nearly 13% of All Fire Dispatch Calls

January 17, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / January 17, 2020

Fire incident calls tied to homelessness are on the rise in San Diego. Last year, they made up nearly 13% of all fire-related calls. “We’re addressing it as best we can,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber, who added that the growing homeless problem is “no secret.”

While the number of all fire calls has fluctuated over the past five years, fire calls that mentioned the homeless have steadily increased.

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Book Review: “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo

January 17, 2020 by Source

By Halle Zander / Aspen Daily News / Jan. 17, 2020

While taking one of my first vacations in sunny San Diego, I popped into the corner bookstore in Ocean Beach [ed: Run for Cover bookstore] to pick out my next “Beach Read,” which apparently is its own genre now. In an effort to read more books by authors different from myself, I picked up “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo, a black, British woman with seven brothers and sisters.

The book follows 12 characters, 11 of which are women of color, in their journeys toward something elusive, be it a sense of purpose or the acceptance of a long lost family member. Evaristo sets the tone in her first chapter by exposing the life of the socially conscious, non-monogamous, anti-establishment playwright, Amma. Each of the following characters, I believe, serves as a response to Amma’s unique set of values.

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