December 2020

New Cannabis Bureau May Loosen City Policies in San Diego

December 31, 2020 by Source

City streamlining enforcement, may consider looser regulations and ideas like consumption lounges

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / Dec. 31, 2020

The new San Diego Cannabis Permitting Bureau launching this winter will streamline regulation of the city’s cannabis businesses, step up enforcement and explore new ideas like “consumption lounges” and delivery-only services.

The bureau also may focus on loosening city policies under New Mayor Todd Gloria and a Democrat-dominated City Council, who are expected to take a more permissive approach to legalized cannabis.

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2020 – the Year of the Great Refusal

December 31, 2020 by Staff

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Gaining Perspective While Waiting In Line to Cross the Border

December 31, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

After a day long trip to Tijuana on Wednesday, I found a few emails my phone had not picked up because of where I was. One was from editordude asking if any of his band of merry pranksters had any year-end thoughts to share in The Rag. Had it not been for that trip to TJ, I’m not sure I would have known what to say.

Most of what comes to my mind about 2020 probably comes to most people’s thoughts. This was an odd year and it is safe to say that it was a year when almost everyone was focused on the same things, politics and the pandemic. In other years, attention was not so singularly concentrated because lots of things happened, good and bad, as usual.

This year was different because the good was overwhelmed by the bad.

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City Council Okays Gloria’s 5-Month Extension With SDG&E

December 31, 2020 by Source

By Rob Nikolewski / San Diego Union-Tribune / Dec. 31, 2020

The San Diego City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal brought forth by Mayor Todd Gloria to extend the city’s existing franchise electric and gas agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric by an additional five months.

The extension, which runs through June 1, continues the terms of the current agreement that was set to expire Jan. 17 and is designed to give city officials more time to negotiate a new deal while clearing up uncertainty regarding the millions of dollars SDG&E pays to the city in franchise fees.

Gloria’s proposal to the council comes after the newly elected mayor and his staff negotiated with the utility over the Christmas holidays. On Tuesday, SDG&E’s board of directors agreed to add five months to the existing contract.

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Time for a little schmaltz

December 31, 2020 by Judi Curry

Time for a little schmaltz

By Judi Curry

I’m so glad this year is over,
It hasn’t been the best,
Sometimes it was so unbelievable
I had to think things were said in jest.

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Trump Incites Chaos for Jan. 6, Both Inside and Outside the Capitol

December 31, 2020 by Source

JANUARY 6, the day Congress meets in a joint session to accept the results of the presidential election, should be a testament to America’s enduring democracy.

Yet it may become a demonstration of its poor health. President Trump, along with craven enablers such as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), is seeking to upend what should be solemn but largely perfunctory proceedings to ratify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

The result could be a shameless show of support by numerous congressional Republicans for erasing the votes of millions of Americans — and, perhaps, mayhem incited by the president in the streets of D.C. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!,” Mr. Trump tweeted earlier this month in an appeal to his supporters to come to the capital to buttress his campaign to overturn the election results.

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Mayor Gloria Proposes 5 Month Extension With SDG&E – City Council Votes Today Wed.

December 30, 2020 by Source

From the San Diego Union-Tribune, Wed., Dec. 30, 2020

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria has worked out a proposed extension of the city’s soon-to-expire franchise agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric that will add just over five months to the current deal — through June 1.

Gloria will present the proposed extension before the City Council in a special meeting scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

“I urge the City Council to support it during their special meeting tomorrow,” Gloria said in a statement. “I thank SDG&E for working with me in a collaborative process.” In order for the proposed extension to go into effect, the city council has to approve it on a two-thirds vote — meaning at least six of the council’s nine members have to vote yes.

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Sustainability 101: The Rebirth of Riding Wood: An Interview with Larry O’Brien and Mike Shourds

December 30, 2020 by Terrie Leigh Relf
Thumbnail image for Sustainability 101: The Rebirth of Riding Wood: An Interview with Larry O’Brien and Mike Shourds

Originally posted August 2012

Nothing says OB more than surf, sweet boards, and social consciousness! In the following interview, OBcean Larry O’Brien, vintage body board collector, cave explorer, and aspiring eccentric shares one of his many passions: Creating boards from found wood and other materials.

Coronadoian “Paipo Mike” Shourds, builder of wooden body boards and recycled junk bikes since 1960, is also a collector and all-around creative person.

Terrie Leigh Relf: What inspired you to create your body boards?

Larry O’Brien: Back when I was in junior high school, carpentry was something taught in school, and sex was something you learned …

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County Health: Avoid Coastal Waters for 3 Days After Tuesday’s Rain

December 30, 2020 by Source

General Rain Advisory in Effect

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 December 29, 2020.

The GENERAL RAIN ADVISORY for urban runoff contamination applies to beaches from San Onofre State Beach south to Border Field, including Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. While many coastal outlets are posted with permanent metal warning signs, additional temporary signs are not posted for General Advisories.

When a General Advisory is issued:

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‘The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia’ – Or Maybe Back On

December 30, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Yes, it is a song, but a song that might presage the entire fate of the country.

The lyrics tell of a Gothic murder, lots of jealousy, infidelity, and an innocent man hanged.

Then ends with a bizarre twist, with the real murderer (the “little sister” of the man hanged) who confessed and warned,” Don’t trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer, ’cause the judge in the town’s got blood stains on his hands.”

The surprise ending or literary “plot twist” in this song, or any story, requires misdirecting the audience with “fake” information. The finale depends on the element of surprise.

The many surprises coming from Georgia begin with the two U.S. Senate races on January 5th. The outcome will determine not just the control of the U.S. Senate, but choice between deadlock and progress.

Already, this race is the most expensive contest in congressional history

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2020 Has Me Dreaming of an Age of Love

December 30, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

2020. What a year, huh?

I was in Cuernavaca, a town I’ve come to love, when the year began – a little groggy because New Year’s Eve in Mexico is an explosion of firecracker noises and gunshot noises against a background of brass and drums in surround sound at decibels seemingly without bounds.

All that aside, with a little ringing in my ears, I had a wonderful time on the first day of the year.

Our dear friend, Josefina, sat us down to fresh coffee and chilaquiles y juevos, over easy, and papaya, manzanas and peras and cheesecake and we spent the day talking away.

Then the next day we drank margaritas and dined with a beautiful view of a downtown park we had just strolled leisurely through, looking into smiling brown faces, meeting a man who offered us tickets to heaven and we joked about whether the tickets were roundtrip.

It was such a nice trip and the rest of January also was filled with pleasantries,

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Guy on Inflatable Mat Speeds Past Stunned Surfers

December 29, 2020 by Staff

Andrew Buck, a longboarder and surf-mat aficionado from Carpinteria just south of Santa Barbara has an ability to catch sets at Rincon on an inflatable mat and generate speed that has won him fans all over the world.

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When Greta Thunberg Met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

December 29, 2020 by Source

When Greta Thunberg met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

This is what happened when teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and veteran author and environmentalist Margaret Atwood were brought together on a radio station.

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Where Sunset Cliffs Got Their Name

December 29, 2020 by Source

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Sports in 2020: They Should Have Been Stopped or It Was the Year the Champions Thrived

December 29, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Here’s two views of sports in 2020: sports should have been halted during the pandemic versus ‘everything was weird – except who won.’

2020: The Year Sports Should Have Stopped

In this awful year, sports didn’t deliver normalcy. But they did nudge us toward justice.

By Dave Zirin / The Nation / December 2020

This cursed year of 2020 should be remembered as the time when sports was put in a meat grinder, mixed with all manner of offal and served to us as hope.

Professional sports, we were told, represented a “return to normalcy” in a time that was anything but normal. “The games must go on” was the mantra, with athletes presented as “essential workers” by sports leagues and colleges desperate for their billion-dollar fix of television cash.

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105 Years Ago Charles Hatfield Made It Rain in San Diego. The Problem Was He Couldn’t Make It Stop.

December 29, 2020 by Source

By Allison McNearney / Daily Beast / Dec. 27, 2020

Since the beginning of time, humans have sought to stage-direct our environment. The drama of history may have proceeded through act after act, but the trickster in the story has remained the same: the weather.

Over the centuries, our methods for trying to control the elements have gotten ever more sophisticated, and outlandish. We’ve tried to dance the rain down, blast precipitation from the skies, give the atmosphere an electrical wake-up shock, and seed the clouds with chemicals to bend them to our will.

The pseudo-science of what was later dubbed pluviculture, or man’s attempt to artificially bring about rain, began to develop more rapidly in the early 20th century.

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Active Covid-19 Cases in San Diego Jails Over 500

December 28, 2020 by Staff

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department reports that there are more than 400 active cases of the coronavirus among its inmates — or 11% of the total jail population, plus hundreds of staff members have also been infected.

Critics of how the Sheriff’s Department is handling outbreaks at its facilities include inmates, deputies and the head of the union that represents jail workers. And sheriffs are still arresting people for minor crimes and bringing them into the jails.

The total number of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 1,000, which includes more than 500 active infections among inmates and employees, according to data on the Sheriff’s Department website.

There’s been a total of 757 inmates infected with the virus so far in 2020. This includes 414 active cases. Another 114 inmates have been placed into isolation. Among deputies and staff,

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OB – On a Winter’s Day

December 28, 2020 by Source

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A Second Visit to Soi-OB Thai Street Food

December 28, 2020 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Soi-OB Thai Street Food
1916 Cable St.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107

By Judi Curry

When this restaurant first opened, Soi-OB Thai Street Food, my foreign language student – Hitomi – and I were there the first week. We both really enjoyed what we had, and went back several times until she moved to Los Angeles in July.

Last night I decided it was time to try it again, so went on-line to set up a delivery of a few items. Now that I do not have any students, I am not trying as many items as I did in the past. However, tonight one of my tenants – George – was home and he joined me in my tastings.

I ordered a Tom Kah Soup, with mild spices, and just vegetables.

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The Best Christmas Gift of My life

December 28, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Someone on Facebook posted “What’s the best Christmas gift of your life?”

My answer was swift: a bike.

I’ll always remember the Christmas it became mine. It was in 1947 when I was nine.

That morning, though, I was down as down could be. Because my mother had led me to believe (and she had never ever deceived me) that this Christmas there would be a bicycle under the Christmas Tree for me. But when I woke up that was not the reality.

I was crushed, to say the least, and I couldn’t hold my feelings inside and if my family had been an ass whuppin’ kind, my mother had a reason to tan my behind…

And after a little time of me giving my mother and the world a piece of my mind she says to me, giving me “the look” mothers flash when they’ve had enough of your ungrateful ass: “Shut your mouth and put your new jacket on. We’re going to Sergeant Hudson’s house to wish him a Merry Christmas.”

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Jen Campbell Is Looking for Feedback on District 2 Priorities

December 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A friendly reader wrote us and suggested the OB Rag offer this post as one way for input to our council member, Jen Campbell.

Campbell’s office just recently emailed constituents looking for feedback for District 2 budget priorities.

Here is the link to the Campbell survey.

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In Search of the Best Tamale

December 23, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Many years ago I worked with a teacher named GiGi that taught Office Skills to our Job Corps Students. GiGi was outgoing, fun to be with, and about 45 years old. One year she invited about 15 of our staff members to her home in Tijuana to make tamales for Christmas. I am pretty sure that none of us had ever made tamales before – and I am almost willing to bet that none of have made them since!

I wish I had pictures of the scene, but I will do my best to recreate it for you. When we walked into her huge living room/ dining room, we found that she had prepared different fillings for the tamales – pork, chicken, fruit – for a typical Christmas tamale – cheese and beef. Imagine seeing all of these in huge pans on 10 long tables in her house!

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Democracy and Education

December 23, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tulican / Dec. 19, 2020

Democracy and free universal public education are foundational American ideologies. They have engendered world renowned success for our experiment in government “by the people”. Two new books – Schoolhouse Burning by Derek Black and A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door by Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire – demonstrate that these principles which were integral to the American experiment are shockingly under serious attack by wealthy elites.

After his father Fred died in 1967, Charles Koch took a disparate set of assets – a cattle ranch, a minority share in an oil refinery and a gas gathering business – and stitched them together. Today it is the second largest privately held corporation in the world. In the excellent 2019 book, Kochland, Christopher Leonard states, “Koch would eventually build one of the largest lobbying and political influence machines in US history.”

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The ‘Recall Campbell’ Campaign Must Be Official – the U-T and Beacon Both Reported On It and ‘Contra’ Recall Group Forms

December 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Recall Jen Campbell campaign must be official – now that both the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Beacon have reported on it. (In contrast, the lowly OB Rag has been reporting on it for over a month.)

The recall effort is not only official, it now officially has an opposition group that has formed to oppose the recall, to counter the signature gathering petitions, to contradict those efforts. It is the “Contra Recall” group.

As the U-T reported, the recall campaign “gained significant momentum since Campbell was elected council president” on Dec. 10 by a very narrow 5-4 vote – which split up the Democratic super-majority on the council. As per the U-T: “Leaders of the campaign say they’ve been flooded with donations and offers to volunteer from across the city since the Dec. 10 vote ….”

Plus, the recall campaign now has a bit larger profile since former Councilwoman Barbara Bry has lent her name to it. The issues that have angered coastal residents of District 2 about Campbell are not new

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Look What the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ Gifted Us

December 22, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

The amazing planetary “conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn, aka, the “Star of Bethlehem,” appeared Monday in the morning and evening sky. And will be visible for several more days.

Not seen for over 800 years, this vision portends amazing graces. Just as the Three Wise Men witnessed the Star and trudged for days, through the desert to meet the newborn Savior; so, too has the current apparition lifted the aspirations of many to a higher level.


Just look at the gifts that have already been unwrapped.

No, not the thousands of telescopes and binoculars purchased and put to early, good use as an introduction to astronomy; all thanks to the “conjunction.”

Nor the “Zoom” apps or the new game toys, cookbooks or bicycles.

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Tribute to a Special Friend Whom the Coronavirus Is Taking

December 22, 2020 by Judi Curry

Jaimee Dawson, Native of Spring Valley

By Judi Curry

In 1992 I went to work as the Vocations Manager for the San Diego Job Corps. For those of you that do not know about the history of Job Corps, it is a Federally funded program for males and females 16-24 that have not finished High School, and want to learn a Vocation.

It is an old program – both my husband and former husband worked at the Pleasanton Job Corps in 1964-5.

In addition to being an education program, the students enrolling in the program live, for the most part, on Center. They are fed three meals a day; their clothes are provided for them, and they attend classes all day long.

We had approximately 650 students living on Center, and if I remember correctly, we offered at least 12 vocational classes for them – solar, plumbing, painting, plastering, carpentry, culinary arts, auto mechanics, office skills, landscaping, security, computer repair, CNA, etc.

And we also gave them the opportunity to complete their high school diploma’s and/or obtain a GED. All classes were taught on Center. It was, and still is, a very viable program and our success rate was enormous. And what made it so successful?

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How Will the Ocean Fare Under a Biden Administration?

December 22, 2020 by Source

By David Helvarg

In 1890 the Census declared the frontier closed but in 1983 President Ronald Reagan established a new frontier, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) stretching 200 miles out from America’s shoreline. At 3.4 million square miles it’s an area larger than our continental landmass.

Unfortunately for almost four years President Trump has treated the nation’s ocean frontier as little more than a gas station and a garbage dump as he attempted to open up 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling despite bipartisan opposition from governors of coastal states. His administration also undermined environmental laws and regulations from clean water standards to mercury emissions in ways that continue to threaten U.S. coastal jobs, wildlife and seafood.

So, what can we expect from a Biden-Harris administration when it comes to our public seas and blue economy that’s worth an estimated $373 billion?

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Where COVID Has Struck in San Diego County and the Latest Grim Charts

December 21, 2020 by Source

Community outbreaks of COVID-19 have touched every corner of San Diego County and all types of establishments over the past nine months, but they are most prevalent in big box stores, restaurants and group living situations like nursing homes and jails, according to county outbreak records obtained exclusively by KPBS.

If you’ve gone out at all since the pandemic first struck, you quite likely walked into a place where an outbreak occurred, according to the KPBS analysis of 1,006 outbreak records dating from March through the end of November. For example:

  • At least 208 outbreaks have occurred in restaurants, with popular chains like Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, Denny’s and The Broken Yolk Cafe having multiple outbreaks each.
  • At least 205 outbreaks have occurred in businesses with services that run the gamut from car repair to pet care to banking and shipping.
  • At least 125 outbreaks have occurred in large retailers and grocery stores like Walmart, Costco, Target, Home Depot and Trader Joe’s.
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The ‘Great Conjuncture’ Tonight – Dec. 21, 2020

December 21, 2020 by Staff

This evening, on the first day of astronomical winter, you may be able to see a rare phenomenon witnessed when the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei was alive: Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close to one another in the night sky, the gassy behemoths will look like one star: the Christmas star.

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Little Chef Restaurant in Ocean Beach

December 21, 2020 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Little Chef Restaurant
4910 Newport Avenue
Ocean Beach, CA 92107

By Judi Curry

This is my third review of the various Chinese restaurants in the Ocean Beach – Point Loma area. I used to go to the Little Chef all the time and I was curious to see if there were any changes since the last time I was here – over 5 years ago. But before I get into the review itself I found out a few things I want to share with you.

It was too early to call in my order to Grubhub so I decided to go through the menu and have everything written down as to what I wanted to order. I also had down the prices on my list, so I didn’t go over the amount I had allocated for this meal. Imagine my surprise when I finally placed the order to find out that everything was more expensive than the menu listed.

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