By Retired OBcean

I belong to a Medicaid managed-care plan called Community Health Group. It covers me when I go to a local nonprofit clinic in my neighborhood. I really don’t have any complaints about the clinic’s service or of the plan.

The Plan – which has annual revenues of $1.2 billion – serves nearly 300,000 poor and disabled patients in San Diego County – all under a state contract funded entirely by taxpayers. Reportedly, Community Health Group has earned above-average ratings for patient care.

But I just found out from the Los Angeles Times that a couple, Norma Diaz and Joseph Garcia – who have been running the nonprofit health insurer for 3 decades – have been making millions. Off of Medi-Cal patients.

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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The California Democrats State Convention is slated for the San Diego Convention Center this coming weekend (February 23-25), so it seems like a good time to explore what’s going on with the party these days.

I know in my heart of hearts the two-party system is not likely to change in my lifetime. I know I’m drawn to what the Democratic party says it represents. But I also know its history of backroom dealings and the often-outrageous actions of the county party. Both are all-too-often more bound to money than principles. And right now I feel the principles of democracy itself are under attack.

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting about the party and its moving parts. There are clubs, county committees, and the statewide organization, all of whom have some degree of autonomy. It’s a large, mostly volunteer organization, and as such is vulnerable to human foibles, massive egos, and unbridled ambition.

Writing about the Democratic party isn’t easy. Politics is an emotional subject for activists, and I have no intention of holding back. My hope, as always, is to be honest in my writing. Am I biased? You betcha.

Having said that, I’m going to miss stuff in this series. Feel free to educate me and our readers with your comments (or even submissions). Call me stupid for even trying and I’ll find a place in spam hell for your commentary.

The goal here is to provide a window into for what most people is much more a symbol than an actual working organization.

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Another Republican has just jumped into the race for City Council District 2. Kevin Melton announced today, Feb. 21, that he is a candidate. He will join a large list of candidates heading for the June Primary, most of whom are Democrats. Up to now, there was only one other Republican running against incumbent Republican Lorie Zapf.

Melton claims in his announcement that he “will fix a broken council, solve the homeless problem once and for all, bring in more high paying jobs and solve the vacation rental issues in his district.”

A native of Los Angeles, Melton moved to San Diego in 2008 and apparently has been campaigned for numerous offices for the last 17 years or so. Most recently he ran from San Diego for the District 78 Assembly Race in 2016.

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A young man has been arrested in the stabbing death of Walter “Ras” Riley last June 22nd in Ocean Beach.

Noah Mitchell Jackson, 19, is being held in the San Diego Central Jail after his arrest in Hunting Beach in Orange County on Tuesday, Feb. 20, on suspicion of first-degree murder. With his bail currently set at $2 million, he is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Jackson was arrested by San Diego Police detectives along with local police and the U.S. Marshals Service. So far, no motive for the deadly attack has been publicly released, and police declined to report what evidence led them to the suspect. San Diego police obtained an arrest warrant for Jackson after identifying him as the lone suspect.

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Are you through just complaining about the San Diego airport noise (“the OB Pause”) and want to be on a new citizens’ advisory committee as part of a noise study?

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is creating a Citizen Advisory Committee as part of their Noise Compatibility Study Update and they’re looking for residents from the surrounding communities. Interested? Applications – found here – are due by February 28th.

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Peninsula Planners Take Up Recycling Center, 30-Foot Height Measurements, Upcoming Election

February 20, 2018 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board had a lean agenda for its regular monthly meeting February 15 at the Pt. Loma Library but it still allowed for controversy anyway. One issue was the Prince Recycling Center next to the Stumps Market. The other issue was a request for support of a letter asking the city attorney for an opinion on how the Development Service Department is measuring the 30-foot height limit. The second attempt to get PCPB support for this letter stalled.

Prince Recycling Center

The Prince Recycling Center has been the focus of a quickly organized and contentious move by some people to get rid of the facility. The three leaders of this push are members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board,

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End the NRA and Its Reign of Hate and Greed

February 20, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The National Rifle Association needs to be put out of its misery. Despite all the talk about mental health, thoughts and prayers, a national conversation, and sensible gun laws, the solution to our gun madness is obvious.

The gunman in Parkland, Florida did not act alone as he carried out the 18th school shooting of 2108.

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The Irony of Pastor’s Day at Point Loma Nazarene University

February 20, 2018 by Source

by Alexis Szoke / lomabeat.com / February 19, 2018

“Because of all you do” was the premise of PLNU’s Pastor’s Day 2018, as worded under the Events tab on Point Loma’s official website.

I couldn’t help smelling the staunch irony that hung in the air last Friday as PLNU hosted its annual Pastor’s Day here on campus. An event that is likely intended to be a reverent nod towards our community’s pastors far and wide, it read to me more like a public statement in allegiance with one pastor currently at the forefront of all our minds.

In complete honesty, I didn’t know we celebrated Pastor’s Day here at Loma.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – mid-February 2018

February 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Are There More Parrots in OB Now?

Parrots migrate to Ocean Beach every year around this time for their mating season. But Ocean Beach residents are noticing more now than in prior years.

Biggest Increase in Median Resale Home Price in San Diego County Last Year Was in Ocean Beach

Recycling Center Next to Stump’s Evicted

Irish Snowboarder Lives With Parents in Point Loma

and Much More – Come Inside

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Midway Planners Have Many Questions About Community Plan EIR

February 19, 2018 by Source

by Geoff Page

Midway Planners Unhappy With Peninsula Planners Re Recycling Center Protest

Before diving into a discussion of the ponderous Midway EIR (Environmental Impact Report) at the Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group meeting February 15, the board had something to say to Point Loma. The board had learned of the recycling center protest and effort to oust Prince Recycling from the Stumps parking lot on Voltaire Street. The people trying to get the center moved were proposing it be moved behind the Big Lots store in the Midway area.

The Midway planning board was not pleased because no one involved with the effort to move the recycling center contacted them to discuss this idea.

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Working People’s Day of Action at Convention Center Park – February 24th

February 19, 2018 by Jim Miller

This coming Saturday, Feb. 24th thousands of workers, along with their families, friends, and allies in the community, will gather in San Diego to stand up for the rights of working Americans in the face of the impending Janus vs AFSCME decision by the Supreme Court that aims further rig the system against us. Against this assault, we will continue to insist on our right to form strong unions, raise our collective voice, and fight for equitable pay, affordable health care, civil rights, strong communities, and quality public education for all.

As public sector unions confront the threat of Janus, it is important to remember that fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. went to Memphis to support striking city sanitation workers. By the time of his assassination, King had come to see that it was impossible to fight for civil rights without including economic rights. The battle for racial equality was inextricably linked to the fight for economic opportunity.

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They’re Drilling for What in Ocean Beach?

February 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There’s been questions of late on OB social media about what was happening next to the AutoZone on Santa Monica.

Finding myself on Santa Monica Ave on Thursday across the intersection from a small fleet of trucks, drilling equipment and workers clad in white suits next to the AutoZone, I jaunted over and made some inquiries.

Some workers were mixing and pouring what at first looked like mud but turned out to be carbon particles down a hole in the street (I couldn’t actually see the hole) – and this curious scene needed an explanation, I thought. At first I asked a couple of the workers, guys driving trucks or operating equipment, what was going on; they declined to tell me – and pointed me in the direction of somebody that could.

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New Details in Murder of Elizabeth Sullivan – Navy Mom Who Went Missing in 2014 and Found in 2016

February 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

New details have emerged in the murder case of Elizabeth Sullivan, a Point Loma Navy spouse and mother, who went missing in 2014 and whose body was found two years later floating in San Diego Bay right off Point Loma.

Details came out during the arraignment for murder of Matthew Sullivan on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th, in Superior Court in San Diego. Matthew Sullivan is the victim’s husband and chief suspect in the crime.

New elements of the crime now known include the fact that a knife used to slay Elizabeth and that her body had been hidden for a while – in some unknown location – for when her body was discovered in the water, it was badly decomposed but hadn’t been in water all that long. Her body was found in October 2016 – she had been missing since 2014.

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Man Injured in Fall Off Sunset Cliffs Friday Morning

February 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The inevitable has happened … again.

Another fall off the bluffs at Sunset Cliffs – this Friday morning, around 3 a.m. Down near Ladera Street – where the stairs were recently closed – due to unstable cliffs.

Luckily the 30-year old guy – unidentified – survived after he fell roughly 50 feet down the bluff – just northwest of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

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Signs of the Times in OB

February 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Big Changes Could Be Coming to Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach

February 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It appears, that for better or worse, the 4800 block of Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach is destined for some big changes. At least that is one likely development.

Two adjacent properties in the middle of the north half of the block are up for sale – and together they represent at least one-sixth or larger of that side of the block.

The property at Dover Plumbing at 4870 Voltaire is up for sale – and the next door property owned by well-known OBcean Jim Bell will also be up for sale.

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In Break with the Past, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Cancel Evening Budget Hearings

February 15, 2018 by Doug Porter

In recent years the County Board of Supervisors has held evening budget hearings, providing an opportunity for ordinary citizens with regular jobs to observe the process and give testimony.

Hundreds of people attended these evening sessions, sharing their views and aspirations. Many of the Supervisors commented on how important it was to hear from more San Diegans about budget priorities.

This year, things will be different. The Supes (except Greg Cox) don’t care.

People will have to take time off from work if they have an interest in local government this year. With most of the Board of Supervisors leaving office in the next couple of years due to term limits, they’ve decided daytime hearings are all the people need.

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Mass Transit and Bicycle Advocates Urge San Diego to Reform Community Planning Groups

February 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Circulate San Diego, an advocacy group for public transit, is urging the City of San Diego to enact reforms in how the fifty or so community planning groups within the city are run.

The group has just released its report titled “Democracy in Planning,” – which they claim is “how the City of San Diego can improve democratic representation through the City’s Community Planning Groups.”

The reforms Circulate San Diego calls for include “Prohibitions against policies that restrict the right of community members to vote in and stand for elections,” changes to term limits, increased training and education for citizen planners, as well as “agenda reform” that calls for planning groups to hear land use and transportation items at the beginning of meetings.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Election Results: Marcus Turner Is New President

February 14, 2018 by Source

The results of the two elections the Ocean Beach Town Council just held are now in.

13 individuals were seeking election to the seven open seats for Board of Directors positions, and that election is now over. Afterwards, at their Feb. 13th Board meeting, the Board voted in its new leadership, the Executive Board.

The big news is that Marcus Turner, formerly the vice president, was elected as the new president – and all three incumbents running for the Board were re-elected.

Here are the results for the open seats on the Board, for the 2018-2020 term for the Ocean Beach Town Council:

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San Diego County Government’s Injustice Machine

February 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

I have a few observations about our County so-called government to share :

First Amendment eff up. Journalist Kelly Davis has worked diligently over the past few years exposing injustices in local government. The County of San Diego didn’t take kindly to her (along with Dave Maass) exposés concerning (60!) jail deaths at the SD County Jail. So they decided to drag her into court to reveal her notes, interviews, and recordings from the award-winning CityBeat series. She’s off the hook, for now, thanks to a judge with common sense. But there’s still a chance the County government’s legal counsel will appeal. Read about it here.

Sexual predator County Sheriff still on the loose. County Sheriff Bill Gore’s investigation into a sheriff’s deputy accused by 14 women of groping them,

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr Mueller – ‘Love You’ – from Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach

February 14, 2018 by Source

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Love, Equality, and Saint Valentine

February 14, 2018 by Source

A look at the holiday co-opted from paganism … you know … kinda like Easter. Or Christmas.

By Melissa McEwan / Shakesville

Like most of our holidays, Valentine’s Day has a history that reportedly starts with those horny pagans and another one of their many fertility festivals, makes its way to the Catholic Church, which, in a typical cooption, laid on top its own celebration and gave it a fancy new saint-name, winds its way through the work of a popular British author (no, not that guy for a change, but this guy) who gifted its association with romantic love, and ended up mercilessly corrupted by soulless corporations who want to Sell You Shit Without Which You Can’t Possibly Celebrate This Holiday.

Ya know. Kinda like Easter. Or Christmas.

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Ladera Stairs Closed at Sunset Cliffs While City Studies Cliff Collapse

February 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The city of San Diego has closed the cliff top stairs that lead to the rocks and beaches below at the foot of Ladera Street in Point Loma’s Sunset Cliffs. And the city said the stairs will remain closed while staff studies what has happened and why.

At first a major crack appeared along side of the bluff – and then a portion of the cliff gave way by Tuesday, Feb. 13th. Lifeguards closed the stairs off – and city staff met to discuss and study the situation and figure out what to do.

Seismologist and San Diego State professor Dr. Pat Abbot, Ph.D. told CBS8News:

“This is a life threatening sort of situation.

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Is Massive, Re-development Coming to the Midway District?

February 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Could a massive, redevelopment project be coming to the Midway District soon?

The City of San Diego owns almost 100 acres in the district – all of it leased out to various businesses – but many of those businesses have leases with the city that expire in two years – in 2020. The businesses include the Valley View Casino Center, formerly the Sports Arena, and its 43 acres.

And you can believe developers are chomping at the bit for a crack at all that space.

Cybele Thompson, director of city of San Diego Real Estate Assets, was quoted in a recent Voice of San Diego article by Lynn Walsh as stating:

“developers are extremely interested in the sites that end in 2020, which present a very attractive contiguous site.”

There’s a number of factors, of course, that stand in the way of any smooth sailing for developers in this expansive area on the edge of Point Loma and Ocean Beach.

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San Diego Congressional Campaigns – Show Us the Money, Part 2

February 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

Will San Diego See a Blue Wave in Red Districts?

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Campaign financial reports were filed recently, and it’s worth a look at this time to see who’s looking to be a serious contender in the five contests for the House of Representatives in San Diego.

The really juicy stuff–contributions by Political Action Committees, etc., revealing the special interests backing candidates–typically come in the final months before the election, so we’ll have to wait for numbers.

Yesterday’s column included information on City and County campaigns, which is sourced differently than contests for federal or statewide office. We will be publishing a voter information guide in early May with details on candidates in many San Diego contests.

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Unique and Funny O.B. Stories – OB Historical Society Presents: Thurs. Feb. 15th

February 13, 2018 by Source

Join the Ocean Beach Historical Society on Thursday, February 15 for a nostalgic trip back in time with a trio of O. B. historians — Kitty McDaniel, Dedi Ridenour, and Jonnie Wilson.

Jonnie and Kitty will regale you with stories of strange things that went on at Wonderland — O.B.’e early amusement park — as well as introduce you to some important Obecans you’ve probably never heard of, and reveal political shenanigans that went on during the early days of our beach town. (News flash: Things weren’t any better back then!)

Dedi, on the other hand, will focus her attention on her favorite topic — Ocean Beach during World War II.

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Adair Street Live-in Project Handily Approved by Ocean Beach Planners

February 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Chair John Ambert to Step Down

When the Ocean Beach Planning Board met last Wednesday, Feb. 7th, they approved 2 projects, one at 4664 Adair Street and the other one a two, 3-story house project on Bermuda (see separate post here), had a presentation by Geoff Page regarding the 30 foot height limit (see separate post here), created a sub-committee on transportation and set the ball rolling for their annual election coming up in March.

The owner gave a brief presentation on his application for a coastal development permit to demolish an existing residence and detached garage at 4664 Adair, and to build in its stead,

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Show Us the Money, Part 1: San Diego City and County Campaigns

February 12, 2018 by Doug Porter

Campaign financial reports for the second half of 2017 were released recently. There’s good news and bad news, and news needing to be taken with a grain of salt.

In San Diego County, the system of passing the torch from retiring officeholder to anointed successor gives the GOP candidates for District Attorney and D4 Supervisor all the advantages of incumbency sans the need to defend past actions. Republican Bonnie Dumanis is running as a “Judge” in the hopes of creating some distance from the scandals associated with her tenure as County District Attorney.

Simply put, the County government is the biggest entity impacting the most lives in San Diego.

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Will ‘Money Is Speech’ Logic of Supreme Court Be Used to Screw American Workers?

February 12, 2018 by Jim Miller

In the wake of my last column on the agenda of the billionaire backers of the Janus vs. AFSCME case soon to be heard by the Supreme Court, the Los Angeles Times published a solid piece that outlined the broader context and suspect reasoning guiding this shameless attack on American labor:

This year, the high court is poised to announce its most significant expansion of the 1st Amendment since the Citizens United decision in 2010, which struck down laws that limited campaign spending by corporations, unions and the very wealthy.

Now the “money is speech” doctrine is back and at the heart of a case to be heard this month that threatens the financial foundation of public employee unions in 22 “blue” states.

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The Crusade for a Legal Opinion by City Attorney Against Current City Practice of Enforcing 30-Foot Height Limit

February 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Geoff Page appeared in front of the Ocean Beach Planning Board last Wednesday night, Feb. 7th, and gave a brief presentation of a crusade that he and a handful of other Peninsula members are waging in efforts to maintain and protect the 30 foot height limit. (“Crusade” is my word, not his.)

Geoff has been a Peninsula activist for years, sat on the Peninsula Community Planning Board, is an environmental-friendly small developer and consultant, plus writes for the OB Rag. And, in particular, Geoff has been a stalwart fighter for the height limit and its empowering citizen-run initiative Prop D back in 1972 which established 30 feet as the limit for all buildings west of I-5.

Page and others believe the City’s Development Services Department current practice allows developers to flout the law and the height limit by illegally raising the grade.

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