June 2020

‘None Dare Call It Treason? ‘

June 30, 2020 by Staff

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San Diego COVID Numbers for Today – June 30

June 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here are the daily charts produced by the San Diego Union-Tribune on San Diego County’s latest COVID-19 numbers. These figures are good as of June 29, 2020.

In the first graph, notice the “Daily positivity rate” of an astounding 7.21%. Also notice the upward-moving curve of daily positive cases.

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San Diego County Orders All Bars, Breweries and Wineries to Close Midnight Tuesday, June 30

June 29, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Well, we did it, San Diegans. We just hit a record high of nearly 500 new positive COVID-19 cases (498) and of the 6,908 tests reported today, Monday, 7 percent were positive.

And we have returned to the days of (some) of the restrictions. County officials have just ordered all bars, breweries and wineries in San Diego to close by midnight Tuesday. Other reopenings are being “paused” through at least August 1.

This all places a grim outlook for the upcoming July 4th weekend. County Supervisor Greg Cox said, “We simply cannot celebrate July 4 as we have in the past.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher added that if cases continue to rise at this alarming rate, San Diego County could return to near total lockdown. Fletcher said:

“It’s certainly a possibility, but the worst-case scenario for our region. We cannot do this alone. We can’t stop (the spread of the illness), but we want to slow it. It’s better if we can take incremental steps to dial things back.”

This weekend will certainly be a challenge. Especially for those folks who rallied to impeach Governor Newsom the other day.

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Next OB Planning Board Meeting Is Wed., July 1 via Cisco Webex – Pre-Registration Required

June 29, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The next OB Planning Board meeting is Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 6pm

This meeting will be held via Cisco Webex. You can register for the meeting here. Please allow a few days for your registration to be accepted. Once you are accepted a link will be sent to your email that will access the meeting.

If you would like to speak during non agenda public comment or during one of the Action items, please email obplanningboard@gmail.com

There are two projects to be reviewed; 4775 Pescadero and 4614 Cape May.

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To Be or Not to Be VP: Harris or Warren? That Is the Question

June 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Unless Biden is clueless, one of these two female Senators will be his pick to be the Vice-Presidential nominee; Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

Neither one is needed to carry their respective state. California and Massachusetts are reliably Democratic. Forget the need to campaign in either state, except for cash, down ticket teams and some press.

Both of these women bring something to the campaign that Biden lacks. Plans, experience, enthusiasm, heritage, and a big cheer from multi-generations of all women (Republican and Democrat) heretofore left out of the highest ranks of U.S. politics.

Both of these women also make no secret of their desire to be selected for a ticket that just might win.

Then, the debate starts. Choose. Harris or Warren? Why? We need both.

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Summer of the Black Veil: Summer Chronicles 2020 #2

June 29, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

It’s the summer of the black veil, and a good number of us are none-too-happy about it. While many understand it as a reasonable public health mandate that serves to protect others, and, in fact, makes it possible for us to be more in the world during a pandemic with less fear of doing potential harm, others see it as an instrument of oppression. Of course, the obvious explanation for this response is the facile politicization of masks in the service of Trumpism, but could there be something deeper going on as well?

If we go back to the 1917 flu pandemic, we know that anti-mask politics in the service of “freedom” were evident then even as many more people died than have at present, so there is a precedent for the current derangement. But perhaps, at another level, the fear of the mask speaks to a profound American aversion to any sort of emblem of isolation.

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San Diego Media Need to Stop Calling Our Airport ‘Lindbergh Field’ After White Supremacist and Anti-Semite Charles Lindbergh

June 29, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The leaders of the Orange County Democratic Party are pressuring to drop actor John Wayne’s name, statue and other likenesses from the county’s airport because of his racist and bigoted comments.

It’s part of a national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names from American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues and teams. And now airports.

Orange County officials passed an emergency resolution condemning Wayne’s “racist and bigoted statements” made in a 1971 interview. They are also calling on the Orange County Board of Supervisors to drop his name, statue and other likenesses from the international airport, whose name is simply John Wayne Airport. They want to restore the airport to its original name, Orange County Airport.

Now seems like an excellent moment to do the same here in San Diego and stop calling our airport after Charles Lindbergh – a known anti-Semite and white supremacist,

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Disturbing Trends in San Diego County and California COVID-19 Cases

June 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Tracking coronavirus in San Diego County and across California

[Some of the following charts and graphs are by Los Angeles Times staff, and were updated June 26, 9:20 a.m. Pacific; others are from the New York Times]

San Diego County

Confirmed cases: 11,961
None yet today
+335 yesterday

Deaths: 352
None yet today
+5 yesterday

What we know

  • Over the past two weeks, San Diego County has recorded 2,963 new cases, failing one of the governor’s performance metrics.
  • In that time, it has reported 44 deaths.
  • Here are self-describing charts and graphs for San Diego County and for the State of California.

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The Widder Curry Says: ‘They’re Fire Crackers – Not Fireworks!’

June 26, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Within the past few weeks, Sunset Cliffs has become a more dangerous place to live than ever before. Dangerous because of the noise and air pollution; dangerous because of possibility of more accidents, both “cliff-wise” and automobile wise; more dangerous because our first responders will not be able to fulfill their job because of the additional traffic on the road. Yes, I am angry; upset, tired and irritated.

Let’s start with the new 4 way stop signs on the corner of Pt. Loma Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

I counted 29 cars stopped at the corner going north after the sunset yesterday. Prior to that I watched people speed up once they passed the stop sign, going south to watch the sunset. I watched people on motor scooters and bikes ignore the signs completely and just go through them while cars were making turns onto the same road as the riders.

I watched – and hoped – that there was not an emergency because if there was there would be no way that our first responders would have been able to respond because there was no place for the lines of cars to go. They could not have pulled over; chaos would have reigned. But just because there were no accidents yesterday,

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San Diego Is Surrounded by Regions that Are Having Spikes in COVID-19 Cases

June 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Late June 2020 finds San Diego County surrounded by regions that are suffering spikes in the numbers of COVID-19 cases.

From Orange County to Imperial County to the Tijuana border – the numbers are all going up. What does all this portend for our secluded paradise?

Let’s check out some of these other regions.

There are troubling signs that hospitalizations may be starting to rise again in Los Angeles County. Tuesday, June 23, LA County had a 28% increase in daily coronavirus hospitalizations since mid-June with 2,259 people hospitalized. Some of the rise could be caused by more widespread testing, but officials said the jump in the case numbers is also caused by granter transmission of COVID in recent weeks.

L.A. County’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, stated this week: “The numbers do tell us that we’re seeing an increase in community transmission.” Nearly two weeks ago, only 5.8% of coronavirus tests were coming back positive over the previous week in L.A. County. But on Monday, June 22, that number had risen to 8.4%.

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Study Shows CBD Could Replace Opioids for Pain

June 25, 2020 by Source

CBD for Pain: 2020 Study of 1,453 U.S. CBD Consumers

By Dwight K. Blake / American Marijuana / Last updated on June 25, 2020

Should you consider CBD for pain relief? Studies upon studies on CBD’s effectiveness against pain relief has been put on the tables. Even though most of them came up with positive results, there still are a few studies that concluded otherwise, claiming that studies still ARE NOT enough.

Does CBD work well for easing chronic, arthritis, and other kinds of pain?

In this study, AmericanMarijuana look at 1,453 Americans that use CBD for pain relief to see how well it performed compared to opioid. Specifically, we’ll look at its effectiveness, advantages, potential downsides, and practitioner’s perception towards the application of CBD for pain relief.

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OB’s Adopt-a-Block Looking for a Few Good Stewards

June 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Just before our world changed with the pandemic, a group had formed in Ocean Beach to organize block-by-block volunteers to help keep paradise clean. It’s the Ocean Beach Street Stewards – and they’re still around and still are searching for volunteers to be OB street stewards.

Here’s what they say on their facebook page:
Ocean Beach Street Stewards

As OB Street Stewards we strive to keep our little portion of this magical neighborhood clean! If you sign up, we just ask that you take a walk around your block around once a week and clean up trash you might see in the street, around sidewalk, thrown into bushes, etc.

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Keeping the Legacy Going

June 25, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

In these times of social distancing and isolating I’ve managed to still find something to celebrate. Like high school graduations.

I take my hat off to a brilliant descendant of mine, Alonzo (A.J.) Morgan, my great-grandson, who just moved his tassel from the right to the left at San Diego’s Lincoln High.

And I’m particularly proud that he’s following my path by accepting an athletic scholarship at my alma mater, the University of Arizona in Tucson, my hometown. Sixty-four years after me.

Different sport, though. I played basketball during my college days and he’s going to make his way on the gridiron.

We, however, both played each other’s sport. I could cut a figure on a football field and he can play some hoops – and we both have played a number of other sports. But we both dedicated time and effort to our favorite sport, the one we wanted to really excel in.

I can’t even begin to express how stoked I am in his decision to go to my school.

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Join Ocean Beach Town Council on Facebook Live – Wed., June 24

June 24, 2020 by Source

Tonight at this month’s OBTC Public Meeting we are excited to host guest speaker Genevieve Jones-Wright for a discussion about San Diego’s criminal and social justice systems. Genevieve serves on the Board of Directors for the David’s Harp Foundation, is Vice President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, and is a volunteer attorney for the California Innocence Project. Genevieve is also an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Please join us on Facebook Live, Wednesday June 24 at 7:00 pm, for an interactive Q&A and the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions.

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Complete Communities: Scourge or Savior?

June 24, 2020 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / June 23, 2020

Part I: Complete Communities

Over the past six months, the international scientific community has been working its tail off to subdue the coronavirus scourge wreaking havoc on the world population.

Meantime, Americans are taking to the streets demanding the annihilation of other malignant viruses infecting our nation–namely, racist violence by the police and the embedded racism that underlies too many of our country’s institutions.

How are San Diego leaders responding to this pandemic moment of economic, political, and life-threatening upheaval? The answer won’t make you proud. It could make you angry.

Throughout these past months of social turmoil, racial reckoning, and a deadly health crisis, San Diego’s Mayor, along with city planners and the development industry, have laser-focused their efforts on fast-tracking an extraordinary proposal called “Complete Communities: Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices Initiative” which:

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In Meeting on Zoom, Peninsula Planners Express Desire to Get Back to Work for the Community

June 24, 2020 by Staff

Volunteer Board Grapples With How to Fill Vacant Seats

By Geoff Page

It is interesting to see the lengths people are going to today, in their efforts to establish a modicum of normalcy. The reasons for this are varied. For many it is a serious worry about money. For some, who may not have a money worry, it is a chance to get back to making more money. And some, like many celebrities out there in front of laptops, are starving for attention.

The volunteers on the Peninsula Community Planning Board want to resume their business, which has been on hold since their last meeting in February of this year. While it may not be the motive for everyone, most of the sitting members expressed the same sentiment, a genuine concern that the work for the community the board normally does was not getting done.

The kick-off effort to restart their work, Thursday, June 18, was an on-line meeting using used a popular on-line meeting software called Zoom.

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Reopening Schools and Debunking Demagoguery

June 23, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / June 21, 2020

Education professionals throughout America are feverishly engaged in preparing for the first school year in the unprecedented Sars-Cov-2 era. Simultaneously, demagogues are pushing an often uninformed agenda.

For example, congressmen Jim Banks of Indiana and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin have introduced legislation to force all schools to open with in-person classes by September or else lose federal funding.

At the same time McKinsey and Company, the 74 and other school privatization friendly groups are loudly proclaiming that an education gap disaster will devastate Black and Brown children if we do not reopen brick and mortar schools immediately.

Education Leaders are Getting Ready for Fall

Across California and the whole of the US, parents, students, teachers and administrators are involved in intense school reopening discussions with less than two months to go in some cases. County Health Departments in both Los Angeles and San Diego have indicated that masks will be mandatory for all students and school personnel.

California’s second largest school district, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD),

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2020 Election: It’s Not Biden vs. Trump, It’s COVID-19 vs. Trump

June 23, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

President Trump’s “Comeback Tulsa Rally” flopped. Over a million reserved tickets, but only 6,200 attended, which proves several alarming facts.

First, the nation’s much vaunted intelligence community and the President’ campaign “genius” were both AWOL.

Big question: Why didn’t anyone tell Trump?

His nominees head the CIA, the FBI, local and national Republican party apparatus. They remained silent? How about his “digitally superior” campaign team. They stayed mum? All too cowardly to inform the president that a disaster loomed? He shoots the messengers?

How in the world was the President of the United States allowed to get on a plane and fly to Tulsa without any knowledge that the overflow stage for a massive outdoor crowd was being torn down, due to no crowds, and that the arena itself was not even half-full?

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Surfing Confronts Its Racist Past

June 22, 2020 by Source

“Behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe — a locals-only, whites-only vibe,” said Sharon Schaffer, the first African American female pro in the U.S.

By Dennis Romero / NBCNews / June 21, 2020

One day 40 years ago, actor and stuntwoman Sharon Schaffer returned to her SUV after riding the waves at Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, California, to find a racial epithet written in dirt on its windows.

In surfing, “there was always the good, aloha vibe,” she said recently, “but behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe – a locals-only, whites-only vibe.” “I shrugged it off,” said Schaffer, of Los Angeles and celebrated as U.S. surfing’s first African American female professional. “But I don’t think I would shrug that off so easily today.”

U.S. surfing, still viewed as largely white and advantaged, may be undergoing a new awakening

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Massive Uprisings Confront White Supremacy

June 22, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Jurist / June 19, 2020

That’s not a chip on my shoulder.
That’s your foot on my neck.
– Malcolm X

On May 25, a Minneapolis police officer tortured George Floyd to death in what his brother, Philonise Floyd, called “a modern-day lynching in broad daylight.” Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in all 50 states and Washington D.C.; the anti-racist uprisings continue.

Why do a majority of people in this country now support the Movement for Black Lives? Why have calls to defund and abolish the police entered the mainstream discourse? Why are people risking the deadly coronavirus to join the protests? And why are we seeing what may be the broadest popular movement in the history of the United States?

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The Crows and Mr. X – Time for a Little Levity

June 22, 2020 by Judi Curry

You have to picture this scenario – a beautiful tall tree, with huge green leaves, and at the top of the tree an aerie – (crossword answer for “nest”).

In that nest are two baby birds, and hovering over those baby birds are three of the biggest crows you have ever seen in your life. (Well…maybe not in your life, but, relatively speaking, very large.)

As life evolves, a sad thing happened to those baby birds – they both fell out of their nest as they were beginning to learn how to fly. One died on impact; the other one tried to move around but its parents could not get it up to the nest again. Enter the “Mr. X” – the man of the house closest to the tree and crows’ nest.

“Mr. X” saw the two babies; knew that the nest was too tall for him also and hoped that the parents would be able to save him. The baby moved over to the garage, and the parents watched him move.

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Summer Chronicles 2020 #1: Hope Is in the Streets

June 22, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Hope is in the streets. In the midst of a pandemic that brought an economic collapse during which a series of police murders inspired an international wave of protests, a new era is being imagined, one that would rise out of the ashes of a dying, corrupt order. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Yes, the ugliness is still very much with us in all its myriad forms, but amidst the teargas, rubber bullets, fascist tweets, and posturing, the young are demanding the impossible. What is wonderful about this is the fact that they don’t care what those who “know better” are telling them. They don’t care about what’s realistic or likely to move the needle in the November election. And they certainly don’t care whether you approve of their rhetoric and demands.

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Torrey Pines on 4600 Block of Saratoga in Ocean Beach Are Dead

June 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Locals, neighbors and Ocean Beach tree-lovers had feared it for months. Now, it’s official. The Torrey Pines on the 4600 block of Saratoga are dead.

A press statement from Jen Campbell’s office made the announcement. And we post it below. A couple of things. It was on behest of the city that Torrey Pines on that block were chopped down back in 2016. (See the “Sordid Saga of the Saratoga Torrey Pines.”) And in fact, there’s been so many efforts by the city to remove the Torreys in OB, that a group formed to “save Peninsula trees.”

The Torreys in question are at 4605 Saratoga Ave.

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Young Adults Now Make Up Largest Number of COVID-19 Cases in California

June 19, 2020 by Source

By Artie Ojeda / 7SanDiego / June 17, 2020

Young adults between the ages of 18 through 34 now make up 44% of positive COVID-19 cases in California. The figure is up from 29% compared to one month ago. The age group represents the largest share of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The new data is provided by Bay Area epidemiologist George Lemp, who crunched numbers provided by the California Department of Public Health.

There is no definitive reason as to why there is a marked increase in positive cases in the age group. But it coincides with the reopening of many businesses, including bars and restaurants in the state. There’s also been an increase in the availability of testing.

“In general, younger people feel like they’re invincible. They move away from the mitigation strategies, the masking, and social distancing,” says Dr. William Tseng, MD, with Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.

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As San Diego County Reaches ‘Trigger’, Gov. Newsom Says ‘Put the Mask On’

June 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Just when many people thought it was safe to go back out … San Diego County reached the so-called “trigger” – or at least one of them – that could require public health officials to retract decisions that allowed a variety of businesses, parks and activities to reopen or restart.

County officials on Thursday reported that there are now eight community outbreaks that had occurred in the seven-day period from Thursday, June 11, through Wednesday, June 17. Sufficient to trip the trigger.

This was going on just as California Governor Newsom announced a statewide order requiring everyone to wear a mask in most indoor settings and outside when maintaining a physical distance from others is not feasible.

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Happy Juneteenth! – An American Holiday to Celebrate the End of Slavery

June 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Today June 19 is Juneteenth – so happy Juneteenth – it is an American holiday – or should be.

Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the liberation of African Americans who had been held as slaves in the United States.

Originating in Texas, it is now celebrated annually on the 19th of June in every state, except three (Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota) with varying degrees, however, of recognition. Only Texas, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania are states that recognize it as an official paid holiday for state employees.

Juneteenth (a combo of the words June and nineteenth) commemorates Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all people held as slaves in Texas were free. President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation which had officially outlawed slavery in the south nearly two and a half years earlier, but for whatever reason, slaveowners in Texas had trouble notifying their former slaves they were now free. So, it wasn’t until the Union army arrived did the enactment become known.

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Latinos Have Higher Rates of COVID-19 Because of ‘More Physical Affection’? Push-Back Against Dr. Wooten’s Claims

June 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s been some push-back against San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten’s assertion about why Latinos have a higher rate of infection from the COVID-19 virus.

The head of the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Nancy Maldonado, takes Wooten to task for her “simplistic explanation” of the impact of the virus on the Latino community.

On Wednesday at a press briefing, Wooten discussed the issues that could trigger county officials to reconsider the loosening up of the restrictions that have been in place due to the pandemic.

Wooten also reported that the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have been disproportionately high in the Latino community. Wooten was not quoted directly but the SD Union-Tribune reporters put it this way:

Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said there are multiple reasons why the virus is having a more severe impact on the Latino community, including the presence of more underlying medical conditions and a tendency to show more physical affection. (OBRag emphasis.)

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Public Health Official: San Diego County Close to Trigger that Could Force Modification to Loosening of Restrictions

June 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego County’s Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten at a Wednesday press briefing reported that three new community outbreaks now bring the total to six within one week. That is just one away from the number that could trigger the county to modify its loosening of restrictions that have occurred recently away from closures due to the pandemic.

If the trigger is reached, county health officials could reverse or halt the reopening of local businesses, parks, etc.

Of the six outbreaks, Wooten said, only two are in restaurants; one is a private residence and the others are in businesses of various types. So what is a “community outbreak”? It is defined as three or more confirmed cases from different households contracted in the same location. Outbreaks in nursing homes and other congregate living facilities are not applied to the trigger total.

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That Ocean Breeze May Be Full of Tiny Bits of Plastic

June 18, 2020 by Source

By Emily Pontecorvo / Grist and RSN

Want to know how much plastic is entering the ocean every year? I regret to inform you that nobody knows.

A commonly cited figure — 8 million metric tons — comes from a decade-old estimate based on population and waste data, and scientists now believe the number could be significantly higher. But there’s an even more puzzling question for researchers who study plastic in the ocean: Where has it all gone?

Field studies of marine plastic have accounted for only a small fraction of the material that scientists believe has been dumped into the seas, leading researchers to wonder where the rest of it is. A peer-reviewed study published in PLOS ONE this month backs up one theory for what could be happening to at least some of the missing plastic: Tiny particles are getting spat back out of the ocean and up into the atmosphere.

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Our San Diego Schools Must Reopen in August Despite Real Fears Amid Coronavirus

June 18, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / June 16, 2020

The warnings are dire. The options limited. The fears real. But keeping schools closed the remainder of the year may be a mistake.

Why open up in August? The reasons are obvious and many.

First, San Diego education leaders warn of financial calamity. If even a small number of parents choose not to send their children back to traditional schools, it could trigger a funding crisis and threaten the link between neighborhoods and schools.”

Public schools, as libraries, are often the cornerstones of safety in many neighborhoods.

Yet, some parents will seek out alternative education sites: private schools, charter schools, academies, tutors and home-schooling options — further eroding the tax base allotments for the public ones—as those funds are calculated on a daily head count in every district. No one can blame parents for wanting to keep their children safe.

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