July 2020

More ‘Reader Rants’ on Sports Arena, CirculateSD, Campbell and Mayor’s Race

July 31, 2020 by Source

Editordude: We couldn’t help but elevate the following comments by Paul Webb and Roy McMakin into full-blown “reader rants”. Their writings are worthy of more attention and touch on the Sports Arena redevelopment, the 30 foot height limit, CirculateSD, Jen Campbell and the mayor’s race.

Regarding the Sports Arena Redevelopment ….

By Paul Webb

This is not a case of a developer buying a piece of land, formulating a plan and then going through the entitlements process. This is publicly owned land, and has been for a very long time.

There is absolutely no fundamental necessity for any uses other than public uses on this property. We live in a city, and, in the case of those of us in the Point Loma/OB area, a neighborhood that fails to meet any standards for parkland per 100,000 population put forth by any rating organization. If there is a need for housing, there is also a great need for increasing park land available to the public.

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Trump Cannot Postpone the Election – But Here’s Why We Have to Take his Tweet Seriously

July 31, 2020 by Source

Editordude: I met Erwin Chemerinsky when I took a bar-prep course from him back in 1996, and it was apparent quite quickly then that he had Constitutional Law down pat.

By Erwin Chemerinsky / LA Times / July 30, 2020

Once again, President Trump has shown his ignorance of the Constitution and federal law in raising the question on Twitter of whether the November presidential election should be delayed. To be clear, President Trump has absolutely no legal authority to do this. The date for the election is set by federal statute and can be changed only by Congress.

But that didn’t stop Trump from tweeting on Thursday morning,

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

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Trump’s Threat of Delaying Election Is a Coup in the Making

July 31, 2020 by Source

Trump’s tweet was a shocking display of his authoritarian impulses and his very serious consideration of means to de-legitimize the November election in order to maintain his grip on power, no matter what.

by Robert Weissman / Common Dreams / July 30, 2020

Earlier today [July 30], U.S. President Donald Trump floated by tweet the idea of delaying the November elections.

This is a coup in the making.

Trump’s tweet—now pinned at the top of his Twitter account—says that “Universal Mail-In Voting” means that “2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.” Thus, he asks, “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

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Cardiff Beach Protest Puts Us All at Risk

July 31, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl

Twenty years ago, Karen awakened me in the middle of the night to tell me she had a sharp pain in her stomach. When the pain became unbearable I drove her to the hospital. We discovered she was suffering from a twisted and blocked intestine that would need immediate, life saving, surgery.

I had never felt so helpless in the hours I spent in the waiting room, paging aimlessly through magazines, awaiting the results. Thanks to a very skilled surgeon, Karen was out of the hospital in five days. Today, after 130 days confined to our condo, I’m beginning to feel a little like I did that night, except for the mindless paging through magazines. But the feeling of helplessness is there, the spread of the virus giving no evidence of slowing down. The refusal, by the young and healthy, to wear face coverings and practice social distancing on beaches and in bars, is largely responsible.

The latest example of this occurred on Sunday, July 26, with an estimated 1,250 of the young and healthy gathered on Cardiff Beach

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Big Party Breaks Out in Parking Lot of OB With No Masks

July 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Apparently, a big party broke out last night, Wednesday, after the OB Farmers Market, and flowed over into the lifeguard parking lot.

People were partying, dancing, having a good ol time – perhaps after the traditional drum circle stopped – but hey, guess what? No masks, no distancing. No cares.

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Beach Communities Can No Longer Trust ‘Circulate San Diego’ to Look Out for Our Interests

July 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The beach communities of San Diego can no longer trust that the organization, Circulate San Diego, is looking out for our interests. Why or why not?

Colin Parent, the group’s Executive Director and General Counsel, penned an article published in Voice of San Diego on July 21 about how great the “public benefits” were in the new proposals for the redevelopment of the Sports Arena area. Parent apparently is a prime mover in one of the proposed developments by Midway Sports & Entertainment District and the Toll Brothers development corporation.

Parent has joined those who are pressuring the rest of us – like Jen Campbell – to get rid of the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District. Here is what he and his two co-writers at the Voice stated:

“… the only way our plan or the competing one will be achieved is if the current 30-foot height limit is removed from the Midway area.

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What Was Going On in OB Exactly 10 Years Ago – July 30, 2010

July 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

sunset at pier jg july 2010

EditorDude: What was going on in OB ten years ago? Here’s one of our first news columns on the OB Rag from July 30, 2010 and it gives us a glimpse into the village’s happenings a decade ago. From everything – Jim Grant’s stunning sunset photos to the OB Library getting a new rug, to the highly-anticipated airing of the new TV series filmed in OB, “Terriers” – to recollections of Dusty Rhodes and Bob Kenny, two men whom parks in OB were named after.

OB Library Gets a New Rug

It was announced at this weeks OB Town Council meeting that the Ocean Beach branch of the library will be getting a new rug. $4,000 from infrastructure funds is being made available for a recarpeting of one of the centers of the community. Plus, the City needs to repair the roof first. First the roof, then the new carpet. Some of us learned that the hard way.

Sunset over the OB Pier – July 14, 2010. Photo by Jim Grant. (Don’t forget to click on the photo to get a slightly larger image.)

“Terriers” airs on September 8th

Tentatively, “Terriers” the comedy private eye TV series filmed this year in OB is set to hit the air waves Wednesday, September 8, at 10pm on FX (according to the OBMA website.)

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Let an Old Man Hip You to Something

July 29, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I’ve always
thought of myself as hip,
up on things,
tuned in, with it, aware.
And then along comes a serious health scare
seemingly out of nowhere
and I’m feeling a bit square,
not so tuned in
and with it
and aware
because when I got word
that we could maybe
bring this deadly disease
to its knees
by wearing masks
and not getting too
close to each other
and washing our hands frequently,

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The Lincoln Project – Why Can’t Democrats Be Like Republicans?

July 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

It didn’t start with Rex Harrison singing, “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like a Man?” in My Fair Lady.

It didn’t even start with the classic PoliSci 101 debate between Hobbes and Locke. “Is man basically good or evil?” If “good,” government provides support. If “evil,” rulers deliver punishment.

Oddly, both of these examples of choice, have come together this election cycle.

How? Not just with the COVID-19 macho-mask debate, the President’s abusive tweets and appalling treatment of women, or his hyper masculine reliance on military solutions to all who dare challenge him.

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‘If You’re Not Terrified about Facebook, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention’

July 28, 2020 by Source

By Carole Cadwalladr / The Guardian / July 26, 2020

In 2016, we didn’t know. We were innocent. We still believed social media connected us and that connections were good. That technology equaled progress. And progress equaled better.

Four years on, we know too much. And yet, it turns out, we understand nothing. We know social media is a bin fire and that the world is burning. But it’s like the pandemic. We understand in outline how bad things could get. But we remain hopelessly human. Relentlessly optimistic. Of course, we believe there’ll be a vaccine. Because there has to be, doesn’t there?

In Facebook’s case, the worst has already happened. We’ve just failed to acknowledge it. Failed to reckon with it. And there’s no vaccine coming to the rescue. In 2016 everything changed. As for 2020… well, we will see.

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New Departure Procedure Would Provide Jet Noise Relief for Coastal Communities

July 28, 2020 by Source

By Anthony Stiegler / La Jolla Light / July 28, 2020

This is an update about the “Part 150″ study on commercial jet noise associated with departures from San Diego International Airport. On July 20, La Jolla representatives submitted comments and their proposal for coastal community wide noise mitigation. These are the highlights:

Quiet Skies La Jolla retained aeronautical engineering and noise consulting firm ABCX2 to offer noise mitigation opinions and a report. The core recommendation is to implement the “ELSO” procedure (equivalent lateral spacing operations), alternating three departure paths to disperse noise and keep flights farther from our coast and over the ocean.

Four central design principles underly this proposal:

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Is It Time to Change Name of Cabrillo National Monument? – Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – July 2020

July 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Is It Time to Change Name of Cabrillo National Monument?

Perhaps it’s time for this discussion – should the Cabrillo National Monument name be changed?

New Revelations About 2015 Police Shooting in Midway of Fridoon Nehad

When the board that reviews San Diego Police Department shootings looked into the 2015 shooting of Fridoon Nehad in an alley in the Midway district, it was not allowed to see an outside review of the case,

Former Surfrider Pizza Owner Gina Champion-Cain Pleads Guilty in Massive Ponzi Scheme Case

Local businesswoman Gina Champion-Cain – former owner of OB’s Surfrider Pizza – pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of justice,

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Faulconer’s ‘Complete Communities’ Plan Devalues Parks, Is Being Too Rushed in Nontransparent Process

July 27, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Deborah Sharpe, Howard Greenstein and Jeff Harkness are all landscape architects who retired from the city of San Diego with over 80 years of combined public service. Here they draw a line in the sand against Mayor Faulconer’s “Complete Communities” Plan in this post from Voice of San Diego.

By Deborah Sharpe, Howard Greenstein and Jeff Harkness / Voice of San Diego / July 24, 2020

The San Diego mayor’s office and the Planning Department are engaged in a frenzied attempt to overhaul land use, parks and transportation planning and financing policies and regulations before Mayor Kevin Faulconer leaves office. The “Complete Communities” initiative is the all-encompassing title given to this major effort. This overhaul is probably the most significant citywide planning effort since Mayor Pete Wilson’s 1979 tiered growth management plan.

Some of Complete Communities’ goals are good, especially its emphasis on equity; some of it is perplexing. We’re particularly interested in the changes to parks standards.

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Ocean Beach Chalk Man Creates Sidewalk Masterpieces

July 27, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Monday, the San Diego Union-Tribune ran a story by Pam Kragen about Ocean Beach’s greatest sidewalk chalk artist in memory. Erick Toussaint has turned sidewalks into masterpieces, copying great artists in Cranola chalk and using the concrete that we all walk or bike over as his canvas.

Back in April, to entertain his house-bound children, Erick began creating some chalk art on the sidewalk in front of their house. His kids grew quickly bored – but not his neighbors and not other OBceans who have seen his work. Toussaint told the U-T:

“Whether people are artistic or not, I live in a community that appreciates it. My neighborhood is really chill and supportive.”

When the pandemic hit, Toussaint, was and still is the design director for the San Diego Natural History Museum, which has been closed to the public for most of the past months since mid-March. Creating masterpieces has been a way for him to keep his art skills fresh during the pandemic.

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Baseball in the Summer of Dread: Summer Chronicles 2020 #6

July 27, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

The pandemic belongs to Swole Daddy. In case you missed it, Swole Daddy is the mascot of the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). He is, as his name aptly signals, the super buff cartoonish dinosaur who joins the cheerleaders on top of the dugout in the empty ballpark during games. Actually, his name is Sseri, but “Swole Daddy” took off on social media and it stuck.

“We love you, Sexy Dino,” the meme exclaims. Yes, a jacked dinosaur wearing a necklace is as good as it gets this year, really.

As FiveThirtyEight recently noted, statistically speaking, the NC Dinos may just be the best KBO team to ever take the field at this point in the season. That’s the kind of thing you learn if you take a few moments off from obsessively checking the daily polling and political punditry on the site and scroll over to their sports analysis. Here is where sports and politics meet: in the strange alchemy of the daily numbers. They create their own reality as they seek to document it. The tool of measurement grants an aura to that which can be quantified and reified.

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Couple Maced by Woman at Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach

July 24, 2020 by Source

From SanDiegoVille.Com

A video is making waves on social media that appears to show a woman macing a man at Dusty Rhodes Park in San Diego’s Ocean Beach. Allegedly, the woman approached a young couple who was enjoying lunch with their puppy and harassed them for not wearing facial coverings before macing both them and their food.
“So this happened today at dusty rhodes dog park today in ocean beach,” wrote Ash Sherilynn O’Brien on her Facebook page.

“This is my husband getting maced by a random old lady. We had our 3 month old pug with us. We were just sitting down eating lunch and minding our own business. We were not wearing masks because we were eating. You can’t wear a mask and eat at the same time. She kept calling us idiots and flipping me off. Then she started saying more stuff and I told her to leave the park and stop harassing us. She then came right up to our table wear we were eating, pointed the mace at me first and got a little on me, and then my husband stepped in and took the entire can.”

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4 Million Cases of COVID-19 in U.S.; 25,000 in San Diego County

July 24, 2020 by Staff

The United States on Thursday, July 23, 2020 passed the grim milestone of 4 million confirmed coronavirus infections.

The rapid spread of the virus this summer is striking, taking just 15 days to go from 3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases to 4 million. By comparison, the increase from 1 million cases to 2 million spanned 45 days from April 28 to June 11, and the leap to 3 million then took 27 days.

Nearly every public health metric suggests America is losing the fight against the virus.

  • Positivity rates have reached alarming levels in numerous states,
  • hospitalizations are soaring, and
  • more than 1,100 new coronavirus deaths were reported across the United States on Wednesday, July 22, marking the first time since May 29 that the daily count exceeded that number.
  • The rolling seven day average of Infections has doubled in less than a month, reaching more than 66,000 new cases per day Wednesday. The U.S. death toll now exceeds 141,000.
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Ocean Beach Lets Councilwoman Campbell Know How They Feel About 30-Foot Height Limit and Vacation Rentals

July 24, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

It would not be a stretch to say that our District 2 city council member Dr. Jennifer Campbell would have preferred to be almost anywhere other than where she was Wednesday evening. She was sitting in front of a computer having a meeting arranged by the Ocean Beach Town Council in front of the council and audience members, on-line.

These Obceans all did Ocean Beach proud. They asked tough questions and refused to let Campbell slide away with political answers. It was not an easy hour-long session and when Campbell signed off at the end, she was clearly irritated.

Campbell came into the meeting smiling and happy and the reaction seemed to surprise her. It was like the almost confused, angry disappointment you see when someone thinks they are being benevolent and, instead of love and respect, they are scorned and do not understand why.

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City Council Approves Moveable Tiny Houses in San Diego

July 23, 2020 by Source

The San Diego City Council Tuesday, July 22, unanimously approved an amendment to the land development code allowing moveable “tiny houses” to be permitted in the city as companion or junior units.

The amendment will allow the city and its residents to increase housing supply in space already zoned for residential use, said Councilman Scott Sherman.

“Moveable tiny homes are a great option that naturally increases affordable housing at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a win for the homeowner, it’s a win for the renter, and it’s a win for the taxpayer,” Sherman said. “I appreciate my colleagues’ support for this important housing reform. We must continue pushing for common-sense solutions that result in naturally occurring affordable housing.”

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San Diego Mayor’s New ‘Complete Communities’ Plan Is Gentrification in Disguise

July 23, 2020 by Source

By Howard Wayne / Times of San Diego / July 19, 2020

San Diego’s Planning Department, which works for the mayor, is going under the radar to rush through a dangerous land use change. Hiding under the innocuous name “Complete Communities Housing Solutions Initiative,” the scheme would radically and surreptitiously rezone large swaths of San Diego with minimal public participation and potentially reduce affordable housing opportunities in the City.

The premise of Complete Communities is that San Diego needs more housing. But what we really need is more affordable housing. Builders are generating lots of market-rate houses, but young people, first responders, teachers, and especially essential workers are being left behind.

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Why Is COVID-19 Hitting Some North County Cities Harder than Others?

July 23, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl

San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency issues daily reports on the number of Coronavirus cases in each city. Here are the counts for North County, as of July 21, indicating the rate of cases per 100,000 residents.

  • Carlsbad: 349
  • Encinitas: 374
  • Oceanside: 448
  • San Marcos: 513
  • Vista: 595
  • Escondido: 645

I searched North County city websites, looking for clues to explain the differences in cities in the rate of infection. Would it be caused by the quality of city leadership, the demographics of the city residents, or both?

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President Trump’s ‘Wishing Well’

July 22, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a day yesterday. Earthquakes everywhere.

No, not the 7.8 quake in Alaska. That is in the range of “normal.”

Not the confrontation between Florida Rep., Ted Yoho and New York Rep., Alexandra Ocasio Cortez. There, on the Capitol steps, the GOP congressman called AOC “disgusting,” “out of her freaking mind,” and a “f***ing b**tch.”

That, too, seems to be the new “normal.”

Yoho, in typical Trumpian fashion denied it happened, fudged some empty words, “apologized” on the House floor, where he accepted no responsibility, and instead defended his “passion,” and lassoed his wife and daughters into the mix.

All of which prompted AOC to righteously refuse to accept the non-apology apology. Trump’s promise to send more masked, unidentified, camouflaged troops into cities beyond Portland, into Oakland and Chicago doesn’t rank as an earthquake.

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Jen Campbell Gets Her ‘Demolish the 30 Foot Height Limit’ Proposal on the November Ballot

July 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, July 21, the San Diego City Council, by a vote of 7 to 2, approved Jen Campbell’s proposal that would demolish the 30 foot height limit in the Midway area for the November ballot. Councilman Chris Cate also sponsored the initiative. Councilwoman Barbara Bry – who is of course running for mayor – and President of the Council, Georgette Gomez – who is running for Congress – both voted against the measure.

Campbell’s office yesterday released a press statement (posted in full, below) praising the move, in which Campbell called it “democracy in action.” Critics of the plan have called it just the opposite, as Campbell and Cate pushed the measure through Council during the pandemic with little or no public input.

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Sports and Politics Mix Together Quite Nicely If You Ask Me

July 22, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

There are a lot of folks who are complaining about black athletes drawing attention to Black Lives Matter, saying “Politics and sports don’t mix.”

Have to say that’s news to me since, in our country’s history, particularly, if black athletes didn’t confront the racism inherent in our society and in our politics, there would have been very little notice of a people’s struggle to achieve equality.

I think back to July 4, 1910. On that day Jack Johnson, an African American, entered the ring in Reno, Nevada to face Jim Jeffries, the “Heavyweight champion of the world,” in the “Fight of the Century.”


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Reopening Schools: Issues and Evidence

July 22, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / July 21, 2020

The President of the United States and his Secretary of Education have demanded schools open with in-person classes five days a week. Many parents are not confident their children will be safe and significant numbers of teachers are profoundly frightened. How does the rhetoric square with credible scientific evidence concerning the Covid-19 pandemic?

President Trump has tweeted,

“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

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When Did Point Loma Become the ‘Stepchild’ of San Diego?

July 21, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

You do not have to be a resident of the Point Loma or Ocean Beach area to know that there are many problems facing us at this time. A few examples might be the steady traffic of cars on Sunset Cliffs during the sunset hours; the new stop sign at the corner of Pt. Loma Ave and Sunset Cliffs; the incessant noise from firecrackers being shot off at all hours of the day and night; the steady stream of emergency vehicles answering the calls for service from people jumping (or falling) off the Cliffs, etc.

We are having an influx of homeless people looking for refuge not only on the beach, but in driveways, under cars, and, in many more cases, in backyards where gates are being left open.

Should I go on? The parking lots on Sunset Cliffs seem to be open 24 hours a day for loud parties,

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California Getting Ready to Overtake New York in the Most COVID-19 Cases

July 21, 2020 by Source

By Sara Sidner and Jason Kravarik / CNN / July 21, 2020

Nearly 12,000 New Cases in One Day

California looks set to surpass New York as the state with the most cases within days, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. It has recently been reporting about 9,000 new cases each day for a total of 397,870 on Monday.

New York, meanwhile, has been adding a little more than 700 cases a day in the last week. Its total number of cases Monday was about 404,000.

It was the first state to impose a stay-at-home order on March 19. Less than two months later, on May 8, the numbers had fallen enough that the state started the first phase of reopening.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom told his citizens,” You have bent the curve.” But then Memorial Day came around.

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Trump Threatens to Send Federal Law Enforcement to More (Democratic) Cities in Election Ploy

July 21, 2020 by Source

By David Smith / The Guardian / July 21, 2020

Donald Trump has vowed to send federal officers to several American cities led by Democrats in what critics say is an attempt to play the “law and order” card to boost his bid for re-election.

The president’s threat came after a federal crackdown on anti-racism protests in Portland, Oregon, that involved unmarked cars and unidentified forces in camouflage.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump identified New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland as places in need of federal agents, describing those cities’ mayors as “liberal Democrats”.

“We’re sending law enforcement,” he said. “We can’t let this happen to the cities.”

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Midway Planners Presented Sports Arena Area Proposals

July 21, 2020 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Midway-Pacific Planning Group held the largest planning board meeting this reporter has seen in over three years- and it was on-line. Approximately 65 people attended the meeting using the ubiquitous Zoom software. The meeting went well and there were none of the hacking attacks that Zoom users have experienced in the past, such as the OB planning board experienced.

The reason for the crowd was information about the redevelopment possibilities for the city property that includes the sports arena and lots of land around it. The current Salvation Army Store is the easternmost parcel of the property. To the west, and north, the boundary is Hancock Street.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Hosts Councilwoman Campbell on Facebook Live – Wed., July 22

July 20, 2020 by Staff

At this month’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, the Board will be hosting Councilmember Dr. Jen Campbell for a discussion about the recently announced Short Term Rental agreement with UNITE HERE Local 30 and Expedia.

You’re invited to join them on Facebook Live, Wednesday July 22 at 7:00 pm, for an interactive Q&A and the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions. If you have a specific question for the Councilwoman, share it with the OBTC at info@obtowncouncil.org.

Campbell initiated a deal with Expedia and Unite HERE in June, when they signed an agreement. You can read the Memorandum of Understanding here.

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