August 2021

Ed Asner – American Socialist

August 31, 2021 by Source

By John Nichols / The Nation / August 31, 2021

“When we can discuss socialism rationally. It will be as if a heavy curtain has been lifted from man’s eyes.” Those were not the words of Karl Marx or Eugene Victor Debs, though either of those radical thinkers might well have uttered them.

Those were the words of Ed Asner, the actor who became a household name in the role of gruff but lovable Lou Grant, the boss at a TV station, in the 1970s TV comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He then carried the character over, with a new job as a Los Angeles newspaper editor, to one of the most socially conscious programs in the history of television, the eponymous Lou Grant of the late 1970s and early ’80s.

When he died Sunday, at age 91,

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Jen Campbell Walking Fine Line in Crafting Street Vendor Regulations

August 31, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

At the August 4 meeting of the OB Planning Board, Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s representative was asked for an update on the vendor ordinance “that has taken a very long time to gestate,” as OB Rag reporter Geoff Page described it.

The rep, Teddy Martinez, replied that it may very well come to the San Diego city council in September – maybe. Martinez explained that it is difficult putting together an ordinance that satisfies state and federal law. The first version of the ordinance was tabled because of flaws in the information gathering effort. That has since been corrected and a new draft is ready. Page commented in his report that:

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OB Planners to Review Parking Lot Time Restrictions and Making Outdoor Dining Spaces Permanent – Wed., Sept.1

August 30, 2021 by Staff

Wednesday night, the Ocean Beach Planning Board meets (via Cisco again due to rising COVID numbers) and there’s three interesting issues on their agenda.

First, the board will discuss and review a letter asking that the $8.4 million received by the city from the state for the OB Pier be budgeted towards rebuilding and included in the 5-year Capital Investment Projects list.

Of more immediate interest is the board’s discussion on time restrictions for overnight closures to beach parking lots. The city has asked the board for its suggestions.

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Neil Young: Concerts Are Super Spreader Events Held by Promoters More Concerned With Profits Than Safety

August 30, 2021 by Source

Neil Young pulled out of Farm Aid earlier in August due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In an August 23 op-ed, Young elaborated on his concerns which accused large concert promoters of valuing profits over safety.

Here is Neil Young’s op-ed:

By Neil Young

Recently I pulled out of Farm Aid for fear that unprotected children may become infected with Covid by folks who went to the show, caught the virus, had no symptoms and returned home to hug their kids or someone else’s kids. I felt that we didn’t know what we were up against and we were endangering others, unprotected innocent children in particular. I know of tours that are out there and have to stop where they are and isolate in motels because one person among them tested positive. I ask myself, why are they out there?

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San Diego Group, ‘Save Our Heritage’, Opposes SB 10

August 30, 2021 by Staff

The San Diego group, Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) is asking San Diegans to contact our State Senators immediately to oppose Senate Bill 10 (SB 10). One problem, of course, is that one of our state senators, Toni Atkins, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

SOHO is extremely concerned that Senator Weiner, the bill’s author, refused to provide any protections for historic resources under this bill. The group stated:

This Planning and zoning: housing development bill is now on its way to the Senate to approve Assembly revisions. If approved, it then goes directly to Governor Newsom for his approval. There are no protections for historic resources in this bill

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Stealth Local Government Forces San Diegans to Read the ‘Fine Print’

August 27, 2021 by Source

Political troubadour Pete Seeger had an apt formula for comparing education and experience: “Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don’t.”

For decades now, San Diegans unschooled in reading the fine print have lost hundreds of millions of dollars to painful experience: the public pension fiasco, the Chargers ticket guarantee fiasco, and more recently, the 101 Ash Street and inflated hotel purchase fiascos.

Each of these scandals began as a City Hall proposal sold quickly to a trusting public. Each erupted when taxpayers learned too late that they should have read the fine print, paid closer attention earlier, and asked tough questions.

And now a batch of stealth government ploys is costing San Diegans two commodities that are as precious and finite as money: public road space and neighborhood open space.

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OB Town Council Candidate Is Trumpian Anti-Masker, Supports Newsom Recall and Disparages People of Color

August 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

One of the candidates for the five open seats on the OB Town Council Board of Directors is Jim Musgrove. Musgrove, a former president of the OBTC, was known then as an ardent support of one of the most right-wing politicos to ever walk across San Diego’s stage, Carl Demaio.

Yet, from a review of Musgrove’s facebook page, it is very apparent that Musgrove still harbors his extreme views. He clearly is a Trumpian anti-masker, supports the recall of Governor Newsom, and during the pandemic, he made fun of efforts to maintain public health. Worse, his facebook page carried images that disparaged people of color.

Jim Musgrove is not someone to be on the local town council of a liberal, tolerant community such as Ocean Beach.

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Democracy, the OB Town Council, and Grassroots Activism – 11 Years Ago

August 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The following was originally published on August 26, 2010, exactly 11 years ago to the day. It was another time and another moment, but it’s still interesting, I think. Many of my friends on the OBTC are not aware of this ancient history – and I bear no grudges.

OB Town Council ballot annou Aug 2010

Here above is the official OB Town Council Elections announcement, released August 20, 2010. Notice my name, Frank Gormlie, listed as an official candidate.Last night at their packed public meeting, I pleaded with the Ocean Beach Town Council to allow me to remain a candidate on their ballot for the annual Board election which has just begun.

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OB Town Council ‘Candidate Forum’ Undermined by Refusal to Allow Questions of Candidates

August 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The main and only business at last nights OB Town Council meeting on Zoom / Facebook was a “Candidates Forum.” Candidates introduced themselves for a membership balloting on the five open seats on the Board of Directors early next month.

Originally, there were supposed to be 11 candidates, but for some reason, only 8 are current and only 7 showed up for the meeting. The following statement was on the OBTC facebook page, August 24, 2021: “We now have a wonderful field of 11 interested candidates to consider!” This means that 3 bowed out of running for some reason.

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OB Oktoberfest Is Back : October 8th and 9th, 2021

August 26, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Oktoberfest – the uniquely Southern California salute to the celebration of German culture and fun – is returning this year. It’s scheduled for October 8th and 9th, 2021.

The return was announced at the August 25th OB Town Council zoom meeting, by Denny Knox, head of OB Mainstreet Association.

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1,327 New COVID Cases, 8 Deaths Reported in San Diego County; Officials Encourage Indoor Mask Wearing

August 26, 2021 by Source

Public Service Information

by Elizabeth Ireland / Times of San Diego / August 26, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,327 new infections Wednesday and logged 8 coronavirus-related deaths, increasing the cumulative totals to 327,166 cases and 3,859 fatalities.

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 35.2 overall, 9.3 for fully vaccinated people and 66.9 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

A total of 16,915 tests were reported Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases was 7.8%. The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 7.3%.

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Senate Bill 10 Misleads Public in Effort to End Single-Family Zoning in California

August 25, 2021 by Source

by Danna Givot / Times of San Diego / August 23, 2021

From San Diego to Mt. Shasta, homeowners and their representatives are speaking out against the state legislature’s ill-conceived effort to eliminate single-family zoning. I’m adding my voice to that tidal wave of opposition because I’m convinced that Senate Bill 10 also presents an ethical and probably indefensible legal problem for our elected officials.

I’ve read the fine print in SB 10, and there’s no doubt that the proposed law allows the construction of ten housing units on a single-family lot, plus four additional “Accessory Dwelling Units” (also known as ADUs or “granny flats”). That’s a total of 14 housing units, on one parcel, in a single-family neighborhood like mine.

Those are the facts, even though the author of SB 10 tried to minimize the negative impact of his proposal by not counting the four additional structures as “housing units.” Why the sleight of hand?

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A Sophisticated Scam the Widder Curry Almost Fell For

August 25, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

It isn’t often that I fall for a scam, but this one had me 99% on the road to tapping into my Amazon account, so thought I’d share it with you.

I am a member of a Bunco group. There are 12 women that get together once a month to play the game. We have a yearly calendar that states the month we will host the game; our name, phone number, address, birth date, email address, etc. For purposes of anonymity I will only mention a name – Susan – as we do not have a Susan in our group.

Different members of the group have been with this group for years. Many years. As people dropped out, others have been added and I think that I was the last one to join approximately 5 years ago. It is fair to say that we know each other well; are aware of problems, highlights, etc. So when I received the following note from Susan, I immediately answered.

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OB Town Council Pledges ‘Special Election’, Membership Vote for 5 Open Seats; ‘Candidate Forum’ at Virtual Meeting, Wed., Aug.25

August 24, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The current board of the OB Town Council held their monthly private meeting on Wednesday, August 11 and decided to call for a “special election” to allow the membership to vote on candidates to fill the 5 empty seats.

A special election and membership vote had been called for by various members of the community including the 22 community leaders who signed the “Open Letter” to the board.

The membership will choose from candidates vetted by the board. The method of notifying the community about the election and requirement of candidates to submit letters of intent was not widely broadcast or advertised by the board. Non-members of the OBTC were not notified adequately, including former board members.

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Few San Diegans Consider Commuting by Bike

August 24, 2021 by Source

By Paul Krueger / San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed / August 24, 2021

I’m a veteran cyclist who commuted 14 miles to work and back for years. I’m fully committed to clean air, climate action and reduced use of solo-driver vehicles.

But I believe our city’s current strategy for attaining these laudable goals is misguided, and think it has already backfired by alienating the majority of San Diegans whose support we need.
My reading of public opinion — and what I see every day on our streets — has convinced me that only a tiny minority of San Diegans will ever consider commuting by bike. Most live too far from their jobs. Their routes to work include hills and uncrossable freeways. And their bikes won’t carry their briefcases, lunches and the change of clothes they need at their workplace.

The facts confirm my perspective.

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Cat Days of Summer: Ocean Beach 2021

August 24, 2021 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

Will we remember Ocean Beach’s tropical warm, humid days months from now? Will we remember the juxtaposed unusual summer water temperatures in July and August that dipped into the fifties as the surfers wore full wetsuits?

I remember my garden emulating a giant hothouse where my sleepy cats couldn’t bother moving for hours.

While the cats sleep their days away, caterpillars build their cocoons and metamorphizes; then, burst out with fluttering wings butterflies feasting on the flower nectar of their favorite blossoms.

My tropical plants are growing as they live in Hawaii. Unfortunately, the weeds have also thrived during the muggy weather.

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‘When Is the Library Opening?’ and Other Questions Answered by OB Friends of Library Newsletter

August 23, 2021 by Source

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The Campaign Against Climate Action

August 23, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

Two weeks ago today, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its sixth report since 1990, with the appropriate description that it represents a “Code red for humanity.”

Although continued sea level rise is already ‘irreversible’ for likely thousands of years, strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (GHGs) could make air quality better and stabilize global temperatures within a few decades.

The question is how, per IPCC advice to policymakers, this can be accomplished through ‘sustainable development’ — and what exactly that means. So it would seem to make sense that we look at all the sources of GHGs and figure out how to reduce them.

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The Delta Variant Meets ‘Open Schools Now’

August 23, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

It is not possible for schools in most states to open safely. Well respected Dr Jorge A Caballero wrote in the Guardian, “school reopening plans that hinge on universal mask mandates and frequent testing are doomed to fail.” At this perilous time, there is also a political movement demanding that schools be fully opened. Because the delta variant is so much more transmissible, only mandated vaccination and masking will make it possible for schools to safely operate.

This weekend the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten, accepted reality and in a Meet the Press interview called for mandatory vaccination of teachers. The leadership at the National Education Association (NEA) also reversed their opposition on Thursday (8/12/2021) and joined with AFT’s call for vaccine mandates.

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Geoff Page on the OB Pier – Part 2

August 23, 2021 by Source

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More Thoughts on the Ouster of an Ocean Beach Community Leader

August 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

I hesitate to add more commentary to the debacle enveloping the Ocean Beach Town Council these days, but like a pile of rotting seaweed, there are things and questions we cannot ignore.

Just why was Mark Winkie asked to step down as president of the Board of Directors?

Putting aside for a moment the issue of how Winkie was dealt with by the Board, we look at the context. And let’s put aside for another moment the fact that three board members have since also resigned due to the manner in which he was asked to leave. For background, the Point Loma Monthly reported:

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Urgent Call on Biden Administration: Do Not Abandon Afghan Women and Girls

August 20, 2021 by Source

The following women’s letter was organized by Vital Voices and Women for Women International, a group of celebrities, policy experts, NGO leaders and activists.

Urgent Call on Biden Administration: Do Not Abandon Afghan Women and Girls

We join a growing chorus of global leaders and advocates in raising up the voices of Afghan women’s rights activists who are under imminent threat, and urge the Biden administration to honor its commitment to gender equality by acting swiftly to support women who are trapped in a dire crisis.

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Bartender Wants to Confront Stiffing Customer

August 19, 2021 by Source

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed, I am a bartender and have a regular customer who doesn’t tip. It’s not that he doesn’t have enough money. He drinks a lot, buys top shelf drinks for himself and others and often runs up a hefty tab. He’s a really nice guy and I don’t want to offend him, but still, enough is enough. Should I take him aside and politely say something?

Sincerely, Slightly Riled by a Regular

Dear Riled,

Nope. No. Absolutely do not confront him – politely or otherwise.

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Vaccinations Are All About ‘One for all, and All for One’

August 18, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

So, only 60% of us Americans are vaccinated to protect ourselves and everybody else from the ravages of Covid-19?

That’s a sad scene.

Know what I mean?

That’s telling a killer virus to just do its thing.

And Covid, bound by rules set down by Mother Nature (remember her?) has no choice but to run free – which it is doing incredibly, spreading like a wind fueled prairie brush fire, giving into Mother Nature’s propensity, every now and then, for thinning human populations.

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Anti-Vaxxer OBcean Goes Off the Rails at County Board of Supes Meeting

August 18, 2021 by Staff

An OBcean went off the rails on Tuesday at a San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting, as a group of anti-vaxxers criticized the Board for their vaccine mandates during public comment. Here’s a brief Daily Beast report.

By Blake Montgomery / Daily Beast / August 17, 2021

A San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting descended into chaos Tuesday, August 17 as anti-vaccine activists gathered to make their opinions on vaccine mandates known.

According to local conservative outlet KUSI, several groups—ReOpen San Diego, Let Them Breathe, and San Diego Rise Up — gathered outside to protest and inside to give speeches demanding that the board bar employers and businesses from requiring proof of vaccination for employment or services. An OBcean named Matt Baker

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Man Survives 40-Foot Fall Off Sunset Cliffs

August 18, 2021 by Source

by Nexstar Media Wire KTLA / Aug 17, 2021

Dustin Tanis said he had never been to the area before Saturday night and didn’t know the rocks were unstable.

“I went to one of the cliffs at the edge to take a look down to see if it was a way to get down there, and before I knew it, the rock underneath me cracked and fell,” he said. “I went from standing on solid ground to falling through the air.”

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San Diego’s New ADU Law Will Destroy Our Queer Neighborhoods

August 18, 2021 by Source

By Don Stanziano

Where we live and our quality of life is important to all of us. The diverse communities of San Diego offer something for everyone. And our diverse LGBTQ community is no different. We’re not monolithic in where and how we choose to live. Some of us want to live in the middle of the action in Hillcrest while others prefer a quiet street in Azalea Park or near Morley Field.

Our community, once concentrated in Hillcrest, has expanded throughout the region, and especially across mid-city and we have played an important and significant role in the continued success and vibrancy of these communities.

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Rachel Maddow Wins in 9th Circuit; OAN Loses Appeal in Defamation Case

August 18, 2021 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / August 17, 2021

Score one for Rachel Maddow — again.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said a San Diego federal judge was right to throw out a $10 million defamation suit against MSNBC’s top-rated host. The opinion of a three-judge panel was posted three weeks after hearing arguments in a virtual hearing based in Pasadena.

A lawyer for owners of San Diego-based One America News argued July 27 that Maddow should face trial for calling OAN “literally … paid Russian propaganda” in a 3 1/2-minute segment two years earlier.

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