December 2020

Scenes From OB’s Historic ‘Reverse Holiday Parade’

December 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here are some wonderful photos of what will be long-remembered as OB’s historic “Reverse Holiday Parade.” They were lifted right off the Ocean Beach Town Council’s facebook page (and we don’t know who the photographer(s) are). Neither do we know who is in the pics or what groups were being displayed – although some are obvious.

The reverse parade had stationary floats and residents drove by in their vehicles in the parking lot of Dog Beach.

Just remember, there’s only one Santa – but he was there.

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Who in San Diego Got the $6 Billions Worth of PPP Loans?

December 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

NBC7 here in San Diego released a list of the local entities that received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program of the federal government.

The data was just released by the feds after it was sued by 11 news organizations, NBC News among them. The New York Times called the data “the first full accounting of how federal money was spent through the program.”

Released this week, the data includes specific details on who exactly, got the money, how much they got, and how many employees were expected to benefit from the loans. It also included locations, making it easy to break down locally. The list is very interesting and somewhat surprising when one views the businesses, churches, private schools, and large law firm that received millions in loans.

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San Diego Shouldn’t Rush into Another Rip-Off Utility Franchise Deal

December 8, 2020 by Source

By Craig D. Rose / Times of San Diego / December 6, 2020

Mention “franchise,” “utility” and “agreement” in the same sentence and a listener’s eyes tend to roll backward.

That’s unfortunate.

If you care about San Diegans paying $100/month more for electricity than customers elsewhere, if you care about the climate crisis and racial equity, if you care about a city property worth more than $15 billion — you must pay attention to San Diego’s utility franchise agreement.

Years from now, San Diegans concerned with these issues will recall with gratitude that City Council President Georgette Gómez pulled the emergency cord on the runaway train to a deal that would have cost San Diegans billions of dollars.

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My Christmas Gift: My Brain

December 8, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / December 4, 2020

Today I agreed to donate my brain to medical science. (I’ll pause here to allow regular readers of my published opinion pieces to stop laughing.)

Twenty-two years ago, after an afternoon of heavy yard work, I reached for a cold beer and sat down to rest. As I brought the bottle up to my mouth I couldn’t keep my hand from shaking. I had to hold on with both hands to keep from spilling. That had never happened to me before. I refused to believe it was because of the onset of old age, chalking it up to the after-effects of unusually hard work on a hot day.

But at my next doctor’s appointment, when I was asked to hold a tongue depressor in front of me, I couldn’t hold it steady. I explained my older brother had been diagnosed with Essential Tremor, having undergone deep brain surgery to reduce the symptoms. The doctor told me this neurodegenerative disease is inheritable. He added ET to my medical record.

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Rents, Debts and Evictions in San Diego

December 7, 2020 by Staff

Rents and the threat of evictions are on the minds of a lot of people these days. Nationally, there are millions of renters struggling to come up with monthly rent. And landlords are wondering what to do. Congress stalling on relief for months hasn’t helped.

Outstanding rent debt is estimated to run as high as $7.2 billion by the end of the year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Last August, Gavin Newsom signed a law that shielded all renters from eviction due to COVID-19-related back rent through February 1, 2021. It’s one of the longest rent moratoriums in the country.

Someone who lost work or income in the early days of the pandemic could avoid paying rent from March to August 31. If hardship continued from September 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, the tenant must pay 25 percent of rent to avoid eviction. The renter is still responsible for money owed. The law also states unpaid rent, considered civil debt, can be claimed by landlords in small claims court starting March 1, 2021. So, how many renters have not been paying in San Diego County?

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‘Stop Councilmember Campbell from Being Council President – Help Elect Monica Montgomery Steppe’

December 7, 2020 by Source

The group Save San Diego Neighborhoods is making a big push this week to “stop Councilmember Campbell” from being elected by the new City Council as Council President, and instead help elect Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe.

Here is what they say:

This Thursday morning, December 10th, the following newly elected City Councilmembers will be inaugurated.

  • Marni von Wilpert (D5)
  • Stephen Whitburn (D3)
  • Raul Campillo (D7)
  • Joe LaCava (D1)
  • Sean Elo-Rivera (D9)

They will join the returning Councilmembers. At 2pm, that same afternoon, the newly composed City Council will meet and vote to select a Council President.

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Famosa Slough Part of Marshland Study

December 7, 2020 by Staff

Famosa Slough in Point Loma is part of a research study in how efficient salt marsh terrains are at storing carbon. Wetlands have the potential of being both a hedge against global warming and a buffer against rising sea levels

The local wetlands joins other areas like Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, the Kendall Frost marsh in Mission Bay, the San Dieguito lagoon, and other coastal wetlands throughout the region in a study by the Scripps Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. This research will help increase understanding of the ecosystems and habitats that are in the nearshore area.

The conservation group, Wildcoast, has led efforts to understand the blue carbon habitats near the ocean which are particularly good at capturing and storing carbon.

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Pearl Harbor Day – Can We Muster the World War Two Strength to Combat the Third Wave?

December 7, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Today – December 7th – is Pearl Harbor Day – it was 79 years ago today that the US fleet was attacked in Hawaii – an attack which pushed the country into World War II. It’s difficult for us to even remember the day; there’s hardly any veterans of the day still alive, there was absolutely no mention of Pearl Harbor in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune.

But the day is symbolic of a time when our nation mobilized to combat a common enemy. Our forebears had the courage and strength during the war years to give all, to make many sacrifices at a time when it was needed.

Today, we’ve faced with another common enemy – the coronavirus.

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Christmas Is ‘the Point’ at Point Loma’s Portuguese Hall Celebration

December 7, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

In the age of Covid-19 pandemic, everyone is tasked with re-imaging the future.

Drive-in movies, flu shots. Take out and to go orders. Outdoor weddings and family gatherings.

Christmas celebrations might be full of “bubbles,” Zoom calls and Facetime visits.

Ocean Beach continued its Christmas tree in the sand “happening,” but needed to redo its annual parade of floats, people, pets, and cars in a “reverse parade”; in keeping with OB’s motto: “Its’ beside the Point.

Thus, the OB Town Council announced that a totally unusual pandemic, “you are the parade” event; where the streets were lined with the usual floats and everyone could drive by. “OB’s holiday theme this year is, appropriately, “Home for the Holidays.”

Likewise, San Diego’s Portuguese community, re-imagined a sacred holiday with verve and tradition.

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Cooking For One Ain’t No Fun – Review of Pick Up Stix in Point Loma

December 7, 2020 by Judi Curry

Pick Up Stix
3365 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, CA 92110

By Judi Curry

As far back as I can remember I have always cooked for many people.

Beginning with my family of 5 – three daughters, husband and myself, trial and error was the key to breakfasts and dinners.

Later on, as my family grew to 18 grandchildren and the number of foreign language students that I have hosted – 598 – (not all at the same time!) I developed many different recipes that eventually made way into the three cookbooks that I authored. I always had “guinea pigs” to try the new concoctions that I was developing. I made it a point not to serve the same meal to my foreign language students for at least 6 months!

Now, because of COVID, several of the English Language schools that I dealt with have closed. One of the remaining schools placed a student with me on October 31, and he was a great guy. However, he is only 19 and really didn’t want to do his learning “on-line” and I did not feel safe from COVID by having him live here. After he told me that he “discovered” Black’s Beach, I asked the school to move him, and with his agreement, it was done. And so I find myself with no one to cook for, talk to, or even do laundry for.

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For First Time Ever, House of Representatives Passes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana at Federal Level

December 4, 2020 by Source

The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and seek to “address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs.”
Friday’s vote in the Democratic-led House is the first time a chamber of Congress has voted on federal marijuana decriminalization. It has little chance of passing the Republican-led Senate, however.

The bill passed largely along party lines: 222 Democrats, five Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian, voted in support while 158 Republicans and six Democrats voted against.
The Republicans who voted for the bill are Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, the bill’s co-sponsor, as well as Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Tom McClintock of California, Denver Riggleman of Virginia and Don Young of Alaska. The Democrats against were Reps. Cheri Bustos and Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

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San Diego Planning Commission Likes Jen Campbell’s Plan for Short-Term Vacation Rentals

December 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Planning Commission liked Councilmember Jen Campbell’s plan for short-term vacation rentals so much that on Thursday, they unanimously endorsed it and even made it more friendly towards STVR hosts.

The Commission raised the percentage cap of short-term rentals of the city’s housing units. Campbell had proposed 0.75 percent threshold of the city’s more than 540,000 housing units to be STVRs. The Commission raised the cap to 1 percent. Both Campbell’s and the Commission’s versions allow a “carve-out” for Mission Beach.

Proponents of the plan say the new regulations “would slash” the number of vacation rentals by a whooping 50%! Aren’t we lucky.

Apparently, a lot of people raised objections to Campbell’s plan.

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Two Runways at San Diego International Airport?

December 4, 2020 by Source

Point Loma Association/ Peninsula News / Dec. 3, 2020

Two weeks ago, before the holiday break, we noted the possible closing of MCRD. Details here.

We wondered aloud, if that land became available, could San Diego International Airport use it to build a second runway?

It was a naïve question that we foolishly thought the Airport Authority could easily address. And yet, several requests for comment went unanswered.

We should have guessed, one of our Point Loma sages, Wayne Raffesberger, has a sharp perspective on the topic.

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Earthquakes and Nukes

December 4, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free future.

Earthquakes & Nukes

When we think of earthquakes and nuclear plants in the US, it usually concerns shakers and nukes in California. In the 1980s, a mass antinuclear movement, The Abalone Alliance, waged a fierce battle against the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant on the central California coastline near San Luis Obispo.

Over a two week period in 1981, there were almost 2000 arrests of those committing civil disobedience in opposition to Diablo Canyon. One of the key issues in this struggle was concerns about building a nuke plant in an earthquake prone area.

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‘My Cancer Demands a Rematch’

December 4, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / WordsandDeeds / December 3, 2020

As of December 10th, I’ll be taking a break from my daily musings [writing at Words&Deeds].

To make a long story short, I’m going to have surgery at UCSD La Jolla on December 11th. All the preoperative appointments are crowding my schedule making it difficult to write a daily column, so I’ve missed a day or two recently.

This has been on the horizon for a while. A biopsy found cancerous cells. A CT scan didn’t find any tumors. A PET scan says, yes, there is localized cancer in my throat at the same location leading to the surgery that cost me my vocal chords in 2012. A sonogram says my tissues can take another round of surgery.

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Minute Past Noon on January 20, 2021

December 3, 2020 by Staff

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The Whole Story Behind the OB Peace Sign

December 3, 2020 by Source

“Peace Rocks” or . . . . “Signs of the Times”

by Johnny Peace Rocker / December 3, 2020

A few days ago a friend sent me a news clipping about the mysterious nine-and-a-half foot tall “Monolith” that was recently discovered in the red canyons of southeast Utah. The Monolith–installed anonymously on government land without publicity or attribution to any artist or group–appears to be made of stainless steel, riveted together into the shape of a triangular prism, resembling the monolith from the classic Kubrick 1968 sci-fi film: 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Instead, I tell today a similar story about which I have some personal knowledge . . . a story of a series of three stunningly beautiful, six-foot, stained glass PEACE SIGNS

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Christmas Tree Rant

December 3, 2020 by Source

OB Christmas Tree 2020

By Geoff Page

Another beautiful local tree was donated by some residents to be the OB Christmas tree at the foot of Newport this year. It’s a Star Pine and was growing in the upper part of Del Mar Avenue. I decided to check it out when I heard about it on Tuesday from friend who lives near where the tree was.

I went by the location and saw what was left of the tree lying about the yard, not yet cleaned up. A piece of the trunk was among the debris and it was at least two feet in diameter. I was originally told the tree was so large that only a part of it was used.

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Readings From LoVerne Brown – OB’s Poet – Online Sat., Dec.5 – By Ocean Beach Library

December 2, 2020 by Staff

LoVerne Brown- Online Meeting and Book- “Garment for a Long Journey Poems”

Please join the Ocean Beach Library for a very special celebration of OB’s own Loverne Brown. This will be an online event with readings from “Garment for a Long Journey.” You can find more information, including the Zoom link to this free event, from the OB Library online calendar.

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Selling ‘Personalized Learning’ Disguised as Philanthropy

December 1, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Ultican / Nov. 27, 2020

“Personalized learning” is being driven by foundations derived from companies that stand to profit by its implementation. Last year, George Mason’s Priscilla Regan and the University of Ottawa’s Valerie Steeves wrote the peer reviewed paper “Education, privacy, and big data algorithms: Taking the persons out of personalized learning” in which they state, “Other than the Carnegie Corporation, the private foundations who have been most supportive of personalized learning are those supported by the technology companies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Google Foundation.”

In the case of the Carnegie Corporation, the authors note that the philanthropy has been supporting education causes since its founding in 1911. Recently, Carnegie has given monetary support to “personalized learning” but “typically in partnership with one of the tech foundations.”

Based on a listing of the fifteen largest education spending philanthropies in the first decade of the millennium,

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December 2020 Events from the Ocean Beach Green Center

December 1, 2020 by Source

December Events All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.


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OB Planners’ Committee on Short-Term Vacation Rentals Meets Tuesday, Dec.1

December 1, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board, historically, has led the resistance to the community being inundated with a flood of short-term vacation rentals. This history involves the last five years – and much has changed – and nothing has changed – except coastal residents’ awareness of the problem.

Most recently, however, Councilwoman Jen Campbell has been pushing her plan to allow the vacation rentals into the city. This week, in fact, she’s taking her plan to the San Diego Planning Commission.

Whether this is on the agenda of the Planning Board’s committee is not quiet clear – but we’re sure it will come up. The Board’s committee (actually an ad-hoc subcommittee) that covers short-term rentals meets Tuesday night, December 1.

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Finally Passing the Equal Rights Amendment Would Be a Brilliant Bookend for Women’s History

December 1, 2020 by Source

Champagne, Champagne: to Toast a Brilliant Bookend for Women’s History

By Colleen O’Connor

It only took 100 years from securing women’s right to vote to winning the Vice-Presidency. Grandmothers; Great Grandmothers; and their ghostly presences are cheering.

My own grandmother was a suffragette who held strategy sessions in her farmhouse in North Dakota. Could she have imagined a woman becoming the Vice-President of the United States; Speaker of the House of Representatives; Justices on the Supreme Court; Head of the U.S. Treasury; Secretary of State; Ambassador to the U.N.; Presidents of Colleges; Senior Counsel to the President; Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Manager of Major League men’s sport team?

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