July 2021

Let Cuba Live and Free Us From the Mainstream Media Narrative

July 30, 2021 by Source

The San Diego Union-Tribune of late has been running numerous op-eds about the current plight of the Cuban people and even how the US must intervene. The ferocity of these one-sided rants makes it seem like the old Cold War has reignited. And calls for the Biden administration to militarily intervene are stark reminders that the official policy of this government has been to squelch the efforts by Cubans to have their own country ever since the revolution began 22 years ago.

Well, there is a different reality out there other than the narrative propagated by the mainstream media. Here are views you won’t find in the U-T:

Full-Page Ad in the New York Times, July 23, 2021:

Dear President Joe Biden,

It is time to take a new path forward in U.S.-Cuban relations. We, the undersigned, are making this urgent, public appeal to you to reject the cruel policies put into place by the Trump White House that have created so much suffering among the Cuban people.

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Peninsula Planning Board Approves ‘Nimitz Crossing’ Conversion of Retail to Residential

July 29, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Conversion of retail space to residential space was the topic with the most far-reaching consequences for the community at the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s July 22nd regular monthly meeting.

Nimitz Crossing

The new development, Nimitz Crossing, is just east of Nimitz on Voltaire. This project would be the first one on the peninsula to take advantage of new rules allowing this kind of conversion.

The “mixed-use” type of project has been the favorite development fad for the past 15 to 20 years and it has proven to be a disaster. There are three of these projects within a quarter mile of each other on Voltaire and the retail parts of the mixed-use buildings have never been filled. The Famosa project on the corner of Catalina and Voltaire briefly had a coffee shop in their space but it has been vacant for years since that closed.

Because the mixed-use model did not work for Nimitz Crossing, the owners want permission to convert the unused retail to a series of studio apartments.

The crux of the matter is this.

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Arrest Made in Violent Assault in Ocean Beach Over Firepit

July 29, 2021 by Staff

San Diego police have confirmed a man has been arrested in connection with a violent attack in Ocean Beach on June 15 over a firepit. 34-year-old Gabriel Ramos was arrested on June 24 for a violent assault on Kobe La.

Kobe La and his girlfriend Kristina Castillo were at the beach for a fun time with friends, but it turned ugly.

In the evening, a man approached them and claimed that they stole his spot on the beach.

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San Diego Is About to Sell Off Our Public Spaces for Outdoor Dining

July 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s not being touted as a “sell-off”, but that’s really what it is. The City of San Diego is preparing to sell the public spaces, the sidewalks and parking spaces that restaurants used during the pandemic – to those businesses. It’s called a “fee” but it’s more like a sale or lease.

The city is moving in the direction of making the parking spaces and sidewalks taken over by restaurants during the last 15 months or so “permanent.”

Let’s call it for what it is. The privatization of public space, of the “commons.”

City officials announced Monday a new program to “make permanent the emergency outdoor dining permits the city issued to restaurants across the city shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began,” as the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

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7 Key Takeaways From First Day of Testimony at Hearing on January 6 Insurrection

July 28, 2021 by Source

Four officers spoke of the physical and psychological wounds they sustained during the Capitol riot — a day some thought they wouldn’t survive.

By Sara Boboltz / HuffPost / July 27, 2021

Tuesday marked the first meeting of the House select committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, with hours of emotional testimony about the mob of angry Donald Trump supporters who stormed the building and terrorized its occupants.

Four law enforcement officers delivered prepared remarks before the panel and answered questions: U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.

Each was on the front lines of the attack and spoke of injuries they sustained both mentally and physically. Each also showed varying degrees of emotion on the stand ? whether they were clearly holding back tears or reaching for a tissue.

Here are seven key takeaways from the hearing.

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OB Town Council Meets Wednesday, July 28

July 28, 2021 by Source

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Deja Vu: San Diego County Asks Everyone to Mask Up Inside Public Spaces

July 28, 2021 by Source

Public Service Announcement

BY Jonathan Wosen / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 28, 2021

San Diego County officials asked everyone — fully vaccinated or not — to wear masks in indoor public spaces to slow the spread of the coronavirus, echoing a plea issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier Tuesday.

Unlike Los Angeles County, local officials aren’t mandating indoor masking, simply recommending it. But the new announcement still marks a shift from the county’s message over the past few weeks, during which it has encouraged San Diegans to get vaccinated while asserting that wearing facial coverings is a personal choice.

The news comes hours after the CDC reversed guidance it issued in May,

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The Ocean Beach Pier – Past, Present, and Future

July 27, 2021 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Ocean Beach Pier was the main subject of the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democratic Club meeting Sunday, July 25. The club invited local OB historian and author Kathy Blavatt, mayor Gloria’s representative Kohta Zaiser, and this writer to provide information on the pier – past, present, and future.

When the discussion moved on to the pier, Kathy Blavatt was up first, providing history on, and pictures of, the pier and OB. Blavatt was a contributor to Ocean Beach, a history book by the Ocean Beach Historical Society, and wrote Ocean Beach Where Land And Water Meet. Blavatt’s account covered the waterfront of OB including the older buildings that were once there, the saltwater pool, and Wonderland Amusement Park. It is ironic that Wonderland was mentioned.

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A Return to a Favorite After 10 Years – Taste of the Himalayas in the Midway

July 27, 2021 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Taste of the Himalayas
3185 Midway Drive
San Diego, CA 92110
619-866-6922

By Judi Curry

One of the first restaurants in San Diego that I reviewed was the Taste of the Himalayas, way back in 2011 – almost ten years to the day. A lot has transpired in those ten years, and a former student from Switzerland that was with me during those years, suggested that we try it for lunch. I have been back there many times; the food has always been good, reasonable; different, and I have introduced many people to Indian food there.

Corinne and I decided to arrive about 11:30 am for lunch. We wanted to get there early before the crowd arrived – if, indeed, there was a crowd. Few things have changed, but those that we noticed were nice. For one thing, the back room was used for lunch. In the past, I have always eaten in the front room, which I like because it gives me an opportunity to see who is coming in to eat, who is coming in for take-out, etc.

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Public School Privatization Advocate and Billionaire Eli Broad Opens His Center at Yale

July 27, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

December 5, 2019, the LA Times reported “Broad Center to move from L.A. to Yale along with $100-million gift.” On that occasion, the well known blogger Mercedes Schneider described the Los Angeles-based “Broad Center,” which includes the “Broad Academy” and “Broad Residency” as a “pseudo-credentialing mechanism for would-be leaders espousing market-based ed reform…” The new Ivy League center has adopted Eli Broad’s philosophy while giving it a sheen of academic respectability.

On July 1, 2019, Kerwin K. Charles was selected as dean of the Yale School of Management (SOM). Evidently, while looking around for a way to secure his Broad Center legacy, Eli Broad found the new leadership at Yale SOM a comfortable fit.

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Thoughts Prompted by a Book by a Hollywood Star

July 27, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I’m thinking about Frank Cruz.

He’s an old junior and senior high classmate of mine who wrote a book, a memoir, Straight Out of Barrio Hollywood, a nice story of his journey from “the other side of town” in Tucson to co-founding Telemundo, a television network that broadcasts nationally and across the sea.

Before he pulled that off, he was a much loved and highly appreciated college professor of Chicano History and a well-known L.A. TV personality. A true transition from Barrio Hollywood, a Tucson ghetto, to “Hollywood” where the stars glow.

I felt so proud to have known him as I read of his accomplishments, the significant news he covered, and the celebrated names he dropped.

I couldn’t help but think of how he and I, in 1951, were part of our hometown’s history, how we ended up at the same school when Tucson desegregated its campuses. Before then Latinos, Mexican Americans, in Frank’s neighborhood were considered White although they were treated otherwise.

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Inside Baseball and the ‘Blueprint San Diego’ Scam

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

If you hang around journalists for any length of time, you’ll hear the term “inside baseball.” It’s the metaphor of choice for explaining the things that *don’t* get reported in a story.

Normally meant to describe the nuances of how political decisions are made, in San Diego it’s also about certain media collaborating with the players on whom they report.

The big teams in this league are lobbyist and issue advocacy nonprofits such as Circulate San Diego, BikeSD, the Climate Action Campaign, and Voice of San Diego. They improperly self-report to the IRS not as 501(c)4 “social welfare organizations” — for whom donors’ contributions are taxable yet can engage in political activity, but as 501(c)3 “charities” — which are restricted from political activity as a consequence of donors being able to wholly deduct their contributions.

Once you know the rules you can see how the game is played.

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How San Diego Incubates White Extremism with One America News

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Jean Guerrero / Los Angeles Times / July 22, 2021

The pro-Trump cable propaganda network One America News is headquartered in a sandy-colored building in the San Diego sun.

It doesn’t look like the epicenter of a collective delusion in which Trump remains president, the COVID-19 vaccine is deadly and “illegal aliens” are destroying the country.

But OAN, launched in 2013 by Louisiana-born technology magnate Robert Herring, is the latest chapter in San Diego’s history as a hotbed of white paranoid extremism. The network has become Trump’s favorite Big Lie megaphone about the “stolen” presidential election. In March, Pearson Sharp, one of its star correspondents, said in a report, “There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president.” In another, he suggested COVID-19 vaccines are causing mass deaths..”

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Heroes of the Week:  Governor of Alabama, the NFL, and Tokyo Olympics

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Finally, some clarity from unlikely quarters. No more bumbles, stumbles, and contradictory sound-bytes.

Start with the best truth teller on the planet; Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey. Her candor on COVID caught everyone by surprise. She blasted a reporter who asked, “What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?”

“I don’t know — you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

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San Diego County Spike in COVID-19 Cases Highest Since Early February

July 26, 2021 by Source

From KPBS – City News Service / July 23, 2021

San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency is seeing a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases, with 1,264 new cases reported Friday, the highest number since Feb. 5.

The increase in cases is not a single-day phenomenon, but part of a larger trend in recent weeks. In the 30 days between June 21 and July 20, 6,572 San Diegans tested positive for COVID-19. Of that group, 11% were fully vaccinated, while 89% were not. “We are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

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The Way We Were – Ocean Beach in the Spring of 2020 – A Photo Gallery

July 23, 2021 by Frank Gormlie


Here is a jog down ol’ memory lane, from the Spring of 2020. A photo gallery to remind us all of the way we were. (Most recent up front.)
Posted June 2, 2020

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Voters’ Suppression Is Real – Voting Laws Roundup, July 2021

July 22, 2021 by Source

Voting Laws Roundup: July 2021: Eighteen states have already enacted 30 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote.

From Brennan Center for Justice/ July 22, 2021

As many state legislatures conclude their regular sessions, the full impact of efforts to suppress the vote in 2021 is coming into view.

Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely, among other things. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.

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Local ‘Serial Good Samaritan’ Hospitalized For Trying to Put Out Fire in Stranger’s Vehicle

July 22, 2021 by Source

Diane Bell, the U-T columnist, showcased local Michael Pallamary as a “serial good Samaritan” in today’s column. Apparently, Michael had to be hospitalized recently for injuries he suffered trying to put out a stranger’s vehicle fire on Rosecrans Street.

By Diane Bell / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 22, 2021

Michael Pallamary is a serial good Samaritan.

The San Diego businessman’s most recent rescue was about noon on July 10 when he spotted smoke coming from a van on Rosecrans Street near its intersection with Interstate 5 East. Pallamary didn’t hesitate to pull over his car to help — and his heroics landed him in the hospital.

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Will Point Loma High School Be Ready for its Opening on August 26? – Updated

July 22, 2021 by Source

School begins August 26. Will the “new” Point Loma High School be ready?

The principal is optimistic.

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New Ocean Beach Library Manager – Helene Idels

July 22, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Library has a new branch manager: Helene Idels.

Here is what the Friends of the OB Library reported in their April 2021 newsletter:

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Uber and Lyft Drivers Stage Strike Over Pay and Conditions

July 22, 2021 by Source

People looking to use ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber may have had some difficulty on Wednesday, July 21, as many drivers conducted a one-day strike for better pay and status under the law.

Rideshare Drivers United — an independent association of U.S. rideshare drivers founded in Los Angeles — organized the strikes in a number of cities across the United States, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Baltimore.

The group had a rally at San Diego’s Lyft driver center at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

They say the companies have:

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Talk by Geoff Page on the Ocean Beach Pier – Sunday, July 25

July 22, 2021 by Source

Reporter Geoff Page will be giving a talk on the “OB Pier – Past, Present and Future” this Sunday, July 25 at the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democrats zoom meeting.

Here is what the Club announced:
Regular contributor to the OB Rag, Geoff Page, will bring us up to speed on the saga of the OB Pier.

Geoff Page has contributed several articles on the state of the pier to the OB Rag, who broke the story that engineering reports commissioned by the city in 2004, 2016 and 2019 highlighted the state of the pier and recommended keeping

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From Negligence to Malevolence: How the Climate Crisis has Gone Critical

July 21, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Progressive / July 20, 2021

In June, record heat waves hit Russia, Northern Europe, Canada, and the United States. When these increasingly common weather phenomena began killing hundreds of people, the U.S. media focused its coverage on a single record breaking 116-degree day in Portland, Oregon.

When unprecedented flooding in Germany and Western Europe had killed more than 100 people by July 16, I watched as three U.S. network news shows rolled that report into coverage of the West’s wildfires and California’s worst drought in 1,200 years. Yet, none of the three main TV news outlets—NBC, CBS, or ABC—mentioned climate change,

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A Book that Influenced Me: ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’

July 21, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Since the age of three every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way as I’m very much an empathizer.

But no book has resonated with me more than Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

As I absorbed his words I felt as though he was writing directly to me. I mean his declaration that education systems were designed to produce passive non-critical thinking learners, especially those relegated to the lower classes in our society, validated my very thoughts as an educator, making me feel not so alone in a school district that was standardized to its very core.

My man, Paulo, let me know that I was on to something as I indulged my students with notions of justice, wanting them to know how their country operates so they could transform it.

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Time for Democrats’ Political ‘YOYO’ Strategy: ASAP

July 21, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Most recognize those shorthand text and radio signals.

“BOLO” is the police code for “Be On the Lookout” for villains escaping on roads, in the air, and everywhere.

“YOLO” the younger set’s call to quit work as in “You Only Live Once” so ditch that dead end job and go places.

I don’t know if this shorthand code already exists, or not, but it is time for the Democrats to embrace it ASAP: “You’re On Your Own.” The Texas Democrats who left their state, arrived in D.C.,

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Neighbors Complaining About ‘Rogue’ Bicycle Riders in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

July 20, 2021 by Staff

Neighbors near the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and other are complaining they are seeing more and more rogue bikers all over the park. The bicyclists are destroying the newly re-vegetated areas, damaging the trails they are not allowed on. They are also a serious safety hazard to the visitors to the park.

As one neighbor told the OB Rag:

The City recently spent millions of dollars on the park and have failed to maintain it or supervise activity in the park. The illegal riders are there every morning and evening and often all day.

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Sports Arena Area to Be Declared ‘Surplus Land’ August 3 to Allow Affordable Housing in New Redevelopment

July 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On August 3, the City of San Diego will declare the Sports Arena area as surplus land to comply with the state’s Surplus Land Act. This will set off a new, legal process of opening up the bidding for the redevelopment of the 48-acre site.

And for the first time, there is a very real chance the process will require the construction of affordable housing at the Arena tract. Neither Faulconer’s initiative nor Measure E which passed last November required affordable housing to be included.

Declaring the Sports Arena area as surplus land, the first step

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Bridge Housing Corp. Selected by City Council to Build in Controversial Famosa Canyon

July 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, July 13, the San Diego City Council authorized the San Diego Housing Commission to build up to 78 affordable housing units on the 5-acre parcel in Famosa Canyon. The council entered into an agreement with Bridge Housing Corporation to design housing units at the southeast corner of Famosa and Nimitz boulevards.

The decision appears to resolve the controversies over the site, one of the last open spaces in Point Loma and used by kids on bikes for generations. Many in the community have fought this development for years, at the grassroots level and at the local planning board level. But it appears to no avail.

Opponents of the development have been characterized as “NIMBYs” and even “racist” by its advocates,

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Hey, America, Stop Tampering With Our Right to Vote

July 19, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

America.
I’ve so had it with
your evil ways,
especially the way
you make us Black folks
slave away
to just prevent you
from taking our right to vote away,
over-and-over-again
ad nauseam.

And what pisses
me off the most
about this is

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Radical Right Opposes Another American Institution – the PTA

July 19, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Founded in 1897, the ubiquitous PTA has been a long time powerful voice in legislative halls. With their many victories, they have developed enemies especially among school privatization advocates. However, the reports of their imminent demise have proven inaccurate. PTA’s robust 2019 tax form (EIN: 36-2169155) and a reported membership of more than 4 million indicates they will be viable for some time to come.

Radical Right Opposes another American Institution

One of the first big hit pieces on the PTA came from the Brookings Institute in 2001. Thomas Toch claimed that the PTA was floundering because they were “out of step with many parents’ demands for change in public education.” Toch also claimed that the PTA was working with teachers to slow the pace of reform,

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