February 2020

Councilmembers Campbell and Cate Push for Measure on November Ballot to Remove 30 Foot Height Limit in Midway Area

February 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Our dire prediction nearly 2 years ago that the City of San Diego was poised to dismantle the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District in order to allow massive redevelopment is coming true.

Just yesterday, Feb. 27, Council members Jen Campbell and Chris Cate in a memo have asked a San Diego City Council committee to place a measure on the November ballot to rescind the 30-foot coastal height limit “for the entirety of the Midway -Pacific Highway Community Plan area.”

The thirty-foot height limit was a citizen initiative that was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1972 for the area essentially west of I-5, which included areas north of downtown, in the Midway, Pacific Highway and Sports Arena communities. (See this history of the 30-foot height limit.)

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County Supervisors Take Step to Ban Toxic Weedkiller

February 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors looks like it is feeling the pressure from the public about government’s continued use of Roundup and other pesticides that contain glyphosate, which is a noted carcinogen.

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the Board directed the chief administrative officer to come up with a plan that has organic alternatives to herbicides and report back to them in 120 days.

This is definitely a good step. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who – along with Dianne Jacob – have proposed a ban of the weedkiller of Roundup. Fletcher called for killing weeds “in the most responsible way,” without using toxic chemicals.

Jacob hopes San Diego County will join the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad, Napa and Sonoma, along with Los Angeles County, which have banned using glyphosate, because “this is the right thing to do.”

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Is Trump’s Karma Chasing Him?

February 28, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Odd this.

Trump’s two greatest fears — germs and money — have come back to haunt him, bigly. Some would call it Karma.

As a spiritual practice, Karma means “Good thoughts and deeds contribute to good Karma and rebirths.” Bad thoughts and deeds bring about the opposite. Karma comes back to haunt or bless you.

Trump’s karma seems to be making up for lost time.

First, the stock market is not a true gauge of the country’s economic health, but Trump knows most people think it is. And, so does he. Hence, the angst. And the crash is happening on his watch.

Just last year, Trump predicted “if the I lose the stock market will crash.” Bad timing or bad Karma?

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OB Rag Primary 2020 Recommendations

February 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s the OB Rag Primary 2020 ballot recommendations. (to see how the OB Rag arrived at these recommendations, see below.)

San Diego County Measures

A – Yes
B – No

San Diego City Measure
C – No

United States House of Representatives

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Eye Opening Book: ‘The Power Worshippers’

February 26, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Feb. 20, 2020

Katherine Stewart’s The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism is a brilliant piece of investigative journalism. It shines a light on significant threats to American pluralism and representative democracy.

The religious rights amazing successes now influence every aspect of American life, from the White House to local governments, from schools to hospitals. Stewart documents the origins of “the Russia thing” and the evangelical embrace of Donald Trump. She clarifies that the Christian right is not fighting a culture war; it is a political war waged against the institutions of American democracy and freedom of conscience.

Trump is a Gift from God

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News for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – February 2020

February 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Developer at OB Project Continues to Flaunt Safety Codes for Workers

The workers at the construction “rehab” at Ebers and Greene continue to be forced to work without scaffolding or other safety measures … a

Lawsuit Filed Against Airport Noise Increase

A group of San Diegans said it is not against a $3 billion expansion planned for the San Diego International Airport, …

Midway Burger King Damaged by Fire

OB Mom Songwriter Loves Blacks Nude Beach for Leap Year Day

SoundDiego Podcast EP1: Slightly Stoopid’s Miles Doughty

“In the debut episode of the SoundDiego Podcast, we are pleased to host none other than Slightly Stoopid’s own Miles Doughty.”

Art Historian and Dean at Nazarene Knows Difference Between Street Art and Graffiti

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Factionalism on Peninsula Planning Board Is Simply Amazing

February 25, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Some of the show that was predicted for the February 20 regular monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board played out as expected.  The best description of it came from an audience member who walked by and soundlessly pantomimed the word “Wow” accompanied by an expression of amazement.

The gist of it was this.  The first vice-chair of the PCPB is Scott Deschenes who has resigned after one year of the turmoil.  According to the by-laws, the first vice-chair heads up the yearly election subcommittee.  Despite his desire to leave, Scott is willing to fulfill his duties until the end of the election on March 19.  That was not enough for board members “Lucky” Morrison, Don Sevrens, Margaret Virrissimo, and Mandy Havlik.

This group wanted Deschenes removed from chairing the election subcommittee. 

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OB Town Council : Concerns on OB Elementary Traffic and Pedestrian Safety – Wed., Feb.26

February 25, 2020 by Source

Catch up on the current news and activities around town at the upcoming Ocean Beach Town Council Public Meeting.

Local parents and advocates Mandy Havlik and Ashley Lewis will be on hand to address the ongoing concerns surrounding OB Elementary traffic and pedestrian safety.

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Americans for Safe Access Hosts San Diego Mayoral Candidate Forum – Tuesday, Feb.25

February 25, 2020 by Source

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

Networking Hour : 6:30PM-7:30PM

Meeting : 7:30PM-9:00PM

SDASA is honored to host a candidate forum for the San Diego Mayor race! We have five candidates joining us for a patient-centric discussion on cannabis as medicine. Join us to hear the mayoral candidates’ visions for San Diego cannabis policy!

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Midway Planners and Councilwoman Campbell Disconnect Over ‘Grand Central Station’

February 24, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The highlight of the Midway-Pacific Community Planning Group’s monthly meeting February 19 was an appearance by District 2 City Council member Dr. Jennifer Campbell. But, there appeared to be a serious disconnect between Campbell and the Midway group on the topic of the old SPAWARS site on Pacific Highway. The Navy has renamed it NAVFAC.

Campbell was asked about the site and talked about the “Grand Central Station” transit center idea that SANDAG and the lame duck mayor are pushing. The Navy and SANDAG and the mayor have signed some exploratory documents in this direction. Campbell seemed upbeat about the project and called it a win-win for the Navy and San Diego. This was where the disconnect was apparent.

The Midway group has expressed its displeasure, repeatedly, with how the city has handled everything

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The People, Place, and Spirit of the Wisteria Cottage of Ocean Beach

February 24, 2020 by Staff

by Kathy Blavatt

Under a canopy of flowering fragrant, Wisteria vines in Ocean Beach is an extraordinary place that carries the spirit and history that make our community so very special.

The Wisteria Cottage at 4761 Niagara Avenue, built-in 1907, was owned by Mr. & Mrs. John Clarke. The property has the cottage, a small barn, and shack on the back of the large lot. There was also once a brackish well on the property.

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Facts We Hate

February 24, 2020 by Jim Miller

In Our Moment of Profound Ecological Crisis and Historic Economic Inequality, Sanders is Our Best Hope for a Just and Sustainable Future

By Jim Miller

Last week in the midst of Trump’s revanchist frenzy and the “centrist” anxiety attack in progress that is the Democratic Presidential primary race, a small story in the Guardian noted the release of a statement by 23 former foreign ministers calling for urgent action on the climate crisis and the dramatic loss of biodiversity now in progress.

In advance of a meeting in Rome to begin negotiations on a Paris-style agreement on preserving the natural world, these international leaders starkly observed that, “Humanity sits on the precipice of irreversible loss of biodiversity and a climate crisis that imperils the future for our grandchildren and generations to come. The world must act boldly, and it must act now.”

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John Collom’s Oasis on the Crest of Point Loma

February 21, 2020 by Source

By Clark Anthony / Point Loma Association Newsletter

“You’ll love John’s place!” says a neighbor. “His yard is like a park. You can’t even see the house from the street.”

John Collom calls himself an “average boy, growing up in Ocean Beach in the 1940s.” Fast forward 25 years, and he says, “One can’t imagine how excited I was when I bought a house in 1973, in the same neighborhood in which I grew up!”

The bank wouldn’t make a loan on the “run-down house (shack)”, but they did grant one on the property. Since that day, John has used the property – 7,000 square feet – to garden and create.

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Issa, DeMaio Scrape Bottom of Barrel in Congressional Race for 50th District

February 21, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / February 14, 2020

We’re less than two weeks away from the 2020 California primary, and the two brand name Republicans in the 50th Congressional district contest are fighting it out over who can run the scummiest ads.

Having been rebuked by his own party for running a “wink-wink” video ad pointing out Carl DeMaio as a Gay man, Darrell Issa has now dialed up some old-fashioned racism to make his case.

A new TV ad features a photo of three shirtless and tattooed men (taken in a Latin American prison) as the narrator insists, “Amnesty. Open borders. Citizenship. Carl DeMaio is dangerous.”

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San Diego City Auditor: Much More Needs to Be Done in Addressing Homelessness

February 21, 2020 by Source

The city auditor made a dozen recommendations for the city to do a better job

By Gary Warth / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 13, 2020

The city of San Diego has taken significant steps in addressing homelessness but still needs to do more, a report from the Office of the City Auditor found. The report released Wednesday night Feb. 12 made 12 recommendations, including developing a funding plan and increasing the number of homeless outreach workers.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted a response to the audit shortly after its release, saying the auditor’s assessment “validates” the city approach recommended in its Community Action Plan on Homelessness released in October. “We need more resources, we need dedicated funding streams, and the entire region must step up our outreach and data gathering efforts to be even more effective at tackling what must be this region’s top priority,” he wrote in the tweet.

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Citizens Born Here Whom We Should Hold Dear

February 21, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

The very words,
and Islam,
conjure in some minds
visions of violence
and terrorism,
an archaic people
wishing hell and damnation
in the form of a jihad
upon our nation.

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Peninsula Community Planning Board Struggles With Its Own Implosion – Thurs., Feb.20

February 20, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Tonight’s meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board promises to be as good as any soap opera on TV. The PCPB is in the process of imploding for a variety of reasons but what has happened in recent weeks borders on the theater of the absurd.

Board chair Robert Goldyn and vice chair Scott Deschenes both tendered their resignations January 21 because they were fed up with a faction on the PCPB that has done nothing but disrupt and attack. Both board members, while wishing to be done with the board, graciously stated their resignations would be effective immediately after the after the yearly election on March 19. They explained:

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Mayor Responds to Millions in Cost Over-runs for San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 20, 2020 by Source

By Dorian Hargrove, Mari Payton and Tom Jones / 7SanDiego / February 19, 2020

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office said it plans to “aggressively renegotiate” the city’s $30 million contract for LED lighting and camera sensors on streetlights throughout San Diego.

The mayor’s statement comes after NBC 7 Investigates reported on a Feb. 12 city memo which found the “smart streetlight” program will cost taxpayers millions more than expected.

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Many Details Unknown in Measure C – the San Diego Convention Center Expansion Initiative

February 20, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / February 20, 2020

Measure C has been pitched to San Diego voters as a key to reducing homelessness, a boost for local roads and a necessary investment in the downtown convention center to maintain valuable tourism dollars.

But when inewsource dug into the initiative, which would raise the tax on hotel stays, we found language that showed some promises may have to be adjusted in the future.

Here are examples of what could change if voters approve Measure C on March 3:

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Is ‘Ranked Choice Voting’ in the Future for California?

February 19, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Feb. 11, 2020

Congratulations, California. The legislative and executive branches of our state government have worked hard to make the process of voting easier in a world where 9 to 5 and Monday thru Friday jobs are disappearing faster than big name brick storefront retailers.

Republicans, generally speaking, hate this concept, as their roads to victory involve voter suppression. Whether it’s repeating the oft-debunked tales of voter fraud or scheduling a presidential visit on election eve in the hope of disrupting polling place access (yes, Trump just did this!), the GOP’s ideal democratic republic involves the entitled ruling the roost.

The Golden State and the voting districts within are facing a governance dilemma of a different sort, namely one party rule. Many of our elections in San Diego are little more than personal popularity contests, where a smiling face and the bucks to get it in front of people mean more than actual ability. Take our mayoral contest, for instance.

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YIMBYs – Newest Handmaidens of the Growth Machine

February 19, 2020 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / February 11, 2020

Alternative facts — they’re the latest rage. Even here at home, presumably responsible voices are echoing half-truths, distortion, and misinformation about a number of big-ticket items that face San Diego.

Let’s take the subject of housing, for starters. We all talk about the housing crisis in San Diego. So what makes it a crisis?

For some it’s about sky-high rents. Others say it’s a matter of supply–there aren’t enough houses and apartments to go around. Still others point to the near-million it takes nowadays to buy even a little bungalow… Do the innumerable, uncountable people living on the streets constitute a crisis? And what about the families being pushed out of their gentrifying neighborhoods?

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San Diego Mayor Moves to Enforce Ban on Granny Flat Short-Term Rentals

February 19, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / February 19, 2020

San Diego has started enforcing its ban on short-term rentals of newly built granny flats, following an inewsource analysis that identified violators and showed the city let it happen.

The City Council agreed in 2017 to cut the cost of granny flat permits and fees by roughly $15,000, depending on the development. It was an incentive to create long-term affordable housing in a market that is fast pricing out many residents. But council members approved the new law without a plan to enforce it.

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OB Project Review Committee: Demolition of Old House, 3 New Units to Be Built at 4719 Orchard – OB Planners – Wed. Feb.19

February 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s one project to review by the Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board this evening at their meeting. Development permits come before the PRC before being moved over to the full Board. The review sub-committee meets tonight, Wednesday, February 19 at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave. at 6 pm.

4719 Orchard Avenue.

This is a permit to demolish an existing unit and detached structure at 4719 Orchard, and then to construct two single-family residences and a granny flat – for a total of three new dwelling units, along with two, 2-car garages.

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San Diego’s ‘Own’ Peter Navarro to Hunt ‘Anonymous’ White House Staffer

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Did you see who Trump is placing in charge of the Hunt for Anonymous? San Diego’s own Peter Navarro. Yup, that’s right.

Since at least the time of the impeachment process against Trump, Navarro — whom the president affectionately calls “my Peter”— began conducting his own private investigation into the identity of Anonymous, according to three sources with knowledge of Navarro’s efforts.

One of those sources described Navarro’s investigative efforts as partially an in-depth analysis of the language and phrases used in Anonymous’ book and other public writings.

Maybe while searching for Anonymous, Navarro can hunt down the fictional character he quoted in his books on China. He had it turned out, invented an “expert” and quoted him – but it was himself.

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Hey, Amidst All the Campaigning, Don’t Forget About San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Amidst all the electioneering this season, it’s easy to overlook that there’s other local San Diego issues of keen interest to city residents out there. One of them is San Diego’s use of so-called “smart street lights.”

These, of course, are the specialized street lights – 3,200 of which have been installed around the city – which include sensors equipped with cameras, microphones and other tech elements. A variety of info and data is captured by the sensors, like for instance, pedestrian and vehicle movements, parking availability, temperature and humidity. And San Diego police have access to the images under department-imposed guidelines.

The issue of smart street lights has swung back into the open just recently,

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Recent Court Ruling Shows Need for Measure A in San Diego County

February 18, 2020 by Source

By Jerry Harmon and Stephen Houlahan / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2020

A recent court ruling has brought into sharp relief the failure of our Board of Supervisors to act in the best interest of San Diego County residents over the interests of deep-pocketed developers.

Three nonprofit and community groups brought a lawsuit a year ago against the County of San Diego, arguing it had violated the General Plan in approving the Valiano and Harmony Grove Village South housing development projects. Petitioners argued the projects’ environmental analyses failed to show how the developments would prevent significant harm

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The Men’s Club at San Marcos City Planning

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / February 15, 2020

All three male members of the San Marcos Planning Commission, whose two-year terms expired in December, were reappointed by the mayor and city council in January. The only woman on the seven-member commission, Wendy Matthews, was also reappointed.

There are no term limits for commissioners, allowing for the growth of the good old boys network. Kevin Norris begins his eleventh year on the council, while Bruce Minnery stepped down after eleven and a half years.

Five women were among the twelve new applicants who failed to win a seat on the commission. Filling vacancies with incumbents was a missed opportunity for the city to bring gender balance to the commission. Here are a few of the qualifications of the women applicants who were passed over.

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Choices to Vote: Your Heart, Your Head, or Your Spleen?

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

In a few weeks, voters must decide. How to vote? And why?

First, the “why?” answer is simple.

The obvious one. People have died to give you that right and to defended it with their lives.

More specifically, let’s remember 1960’s Civil Rights leader, Vernon F. Dahmer, Sr. Then the disqualifying “civics” question asked of most Blacks was, “How many bubbles in a bar of soap?”

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OB Historical Society: Dible Family Silent Movie – Thurs. Feb.20

February 17, 2020 by Source

Come join the Ocean Beach Historical Society and see this fun and captivating step back into OB’s and San Diego’s rich history.

OBHS Presents: the “Dible Family 1928 – 1938 Silent Movie”, which features clips of Sunset Cliffs, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Mission Beach, San Diego Bay, Coronado, Balboa Park, Julian, Downtown San Diego, Catalina, Tijuana, and other locales.


This Program is Free!

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Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Sara Jacobs’ Paid Ads or Will Jacobs Buy Her Way into Congress?

February 17, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Will Sara Jacobs Be Able to Buy Her Way into Congress or Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Paid Advertisements?

If it seems like you can’t keep up with the depressing news about American politics or even try to escape it by watching something else without seeing a Sara Jacobs for Congress commercial, you aren’t crazy.

By this point in the election cycle, I find myself wanting to throw my shoe at the TV every time it tells me that teachers love Jacobs (even though they have endorsed Georgette Gomez) or that she wants to work across the aisle to solve problems (centrist pablum alert). It’s just that pervasive — so much so that the other candidates in the race are practically invisible.

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