San Diego Mainstream Media Get It Wrong About the Ocean Beach Pier

April 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Up until this morning, local San Diego mainstream media have been getting it all wrong about the Ocean Beach Pier. From Fox5News to ABC10News to KUSI, to KOGORadio, they all are making the same journalistic and factual errors.

Tuesday morning, April 13, the OB Rag broke the devastating news about how badly damaged the OB Pier really was, and how it may actually be history – as it’s doubtful the strapped city could come up with the millions needed to rehab or replace the pier.

OB Rag reporter Geoff Page had filed a Freedom of Information Act request over three years ago in an effort to obtain the consultant’s report about the pier. Page just received the report – which was the basis for his post on Tuesday.

Contrary to every other media report, which stated that the City had released the report to the media, Page had to get a crowbar and force it out of the city.

And contrary to standards in relation to a breaking story, not one media source, or outlet, or newspaper, or online news-platform contacted the OB Rag or Geoff Page about his findings. This is a staggering disservice to the community at large – and to the coastal village of Ocean Beach and other Pier patrons from Point Loma.

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Remembering Dave Martin

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Dave Martin outside-ed

Editordude: We have just learned that village giant Dave Martin has passed. The OB Rag interviewed Dave back in March of 2013 – he was still the president of the OB Town Council and Dave’s restaurant, Shades, was still up and running. Here, we repost that interview.

Originally posted March 22, 2013

Dave Martin, the President of the OB Town Council, agreed to meet me at Shades at 1 pm the other day. That was easy – as he has his own table there – the one closest to the kitchen, the bar, and the serving area – for, as many know, Dave owns Shades. Or rather Dave – along with his wife Jennifer, his daughter and her husband; they’re the four owners.

Even though it was mid-week, the inside of the restaurant was about half-filled, with a few outside in the front. The lunch hour had just passed. But everyone in OB knows Shades – it’s a fairly popular place (even the Widder Curry gave it a thumbs-up).

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We Added Some Color to Breen’s Pro-War Editorial Cartoon

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Could not leave alone Union-Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Breen’s piece of work published in today’s paper. Apparently, he falls into that group of patriots who think 20 years in Afghanistan is just not enough. His cartoon today displayed that sentiment.

So, here’s our response – added some color to his graphic.

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Push to Create Mini-Park at Del Monte Overlook

April 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Currently, there’s a push by Point Loma residents to create a mini-park at the Del Monte Avenue overlook. Del Monte is the only Ocean Beach east-west street that doesn’t go all the way through due to the steep climb of the hill. The dead-end at the top of the hill has served as a stopping off point for generations of locals. It has one of the best views of OB and the ocean below.

Now, due to residents’ complaints of sunset and night-time crowds, their noise and trash, the city and the Peninsula Community Planning Board are mulling over options for the small space.

One idea is to transform the site into a mini-park with benches and landscaping

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OB Street Fair, Chili Cook-off and July 4 Fireworks for 2021 Cancelled

April 9, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

“Celebrate the OB Vibe” for June 26 Will Replace Event

The 2021 Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off and July 4th fireworks have been cancelled for this year, due to Covid. The Fair and Cook-off had been scheduled for June 26.

But the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association took the brave step of not risking people’s health and business and organizational monies by putting off any in-person events.

There will be a replacement-type event; OBMA calls it “Celebrate the OB Vibe” which will be held June 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participating businesses will have specials for the day on display. And an arts and crafts, a children’s area and dance lessons will be offered in designated areas, along with art vendor areas near the Ocean Beach Pier and at Veterans Plaza.

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Only 20 to 30 Percent Reduction of Short Term Rentals Under New San Diego Regulations

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune / April 7, 2021

The San Diego City Council Tuesday formally affirmed its decision in February’ to impose a yearly cap on whole-home vacation rentals that could potentially cut the volume by as much as 30 percent.

To enact the new regulations governing Airbnb-style rentals, the council was required to approve a second reading of the ordinance it approved following a six-hour hearing on Feb. 23. The new’ rules will not go into effect until July of next year. Councilman Joe LaCava, whose district includes La Jolla, cast the lone dissenting vote, as he did in February.

Under the new plan, whole-home rentals that are available for more than 20 day’s in a year will be capped at 1 percent of the city’s more than 540,000 housing units, or about 5,400. An exception, however, was made for Mission Beach, which has a long history’ of vacation rentals that predates the rise of online home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. For that community, the allocation is much more generous, limited to 30 percent of the community’s total dwelling units, or about 1,100.

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San Diego City Council Resurrects Measure C – Defeated at the Ballot Box – in Order to Expand Convention Center, Long Sought by Establishment

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council resurrected the local establishment’s long-sought expansion of the convention center, by declaring that Measure C – the hike to the city’s hotel tax to enlarge the center defeated by the voters of San Diego – actually was passed. The measure needed two-thirds of the vote but only garnered 65.24 per cent.

But, business writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Lori Weisberg, reflecting the general attitude of the council majority, said the measure only “technically failed.” Tax hike measures need that two-thirds. Until now, it appears. Weisberg explains:

… there have been three appellate court decisions concluding that simple majority approval is adequate when a tax hike is placed on the ballot by citizens, which was the case with Measure C. The state Supreme Court has so far denied review in two of those cases, which is seen as an encouraging sign for Measure C backers. A third case is awaiting the high court’s review.

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Weber Wins 79th Assembly Special Election

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It appears that short of a Southern California earthquake, Dr. Akilah Weber has won the special election to succeed her mother in the 79th Assembly District.

Akilah Weber, currently a La Mesa City Councilmember – and an obstetrician and gynecologist – gained 52 per cent of the vote. The sole Republican in the race, Marco Contreras, came off with 33 per cent. The other 3 Democrats shared the remaining 15%.

These are “unofficial” results but with 100% of the precincts reporting, it definitely looks like Weber will be going to Sacramento.

Weber was taking the win. Late Tuesday night, she said:

“Tonight’s win and these results are staggering. I am deeply honored and humbled by the faith that the voters have placed in me. My campaign is focused on one mission — creating healthier communities for everyone who lives and works in the 79th District.

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Recall Campbell Campaign Has 5,000 Signatures – Well On Its Way for Required Total

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Five thousand. That’s 5,000.

That’s the number of signatures the recall Jen Campbell campaign has gathered up to now. This means the campaign is well on its way for the required total of 14,421 signatures needed by June 3. The 14,421 number is based on 15 percent of the 96,140 registered voters in District 2 at the time of the general election on November 3, 2020.

On Tuesday, organizers of the recall effort told the press that the 5,000 signatures have been vetted to ensure there’s no duplicates or otherwise unusable ones. They’re planning on collecting many more signatures than are needed – as typically a good number of signatures on any petition are invalidated by the County Registrar of Voters for different reasons.

Campaign leaders said by Thursday, they could add a few thousand more from several hundred petitions they are in the process of downloading from the recalljen.com website.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early April 2021

April 5, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Dottie of OB Hardware Passes

One of the most familiar faces on Newport Avenue, Dottie of OB Hardware, has passed. She had worked at the storefront for more than 30 years.

Pt Loma Football Team Ends Season Due to Safety Concerns

OB Man to Stand Trial for Murder of His Mother

Bike Rentals Boomed During Pandemic – New Shop Opens in P.L.

The Return of the Scooter

Rincon Tribe’s Beer Set to Star in Ocean Beach This Summer

Feeding San Diego Food Distribution at Pechanga Arena April 7 and May 1 (Sports Arena)

Shout Out to The Log for its 50 Years

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Gina Champion-Cain, Former Owner of OB’s Surf Rider Pizza, Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Giant Ponzi Scheme

April 1, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Gina Champion-Cain, the former owner of the Surf Rider Pizza chain, a host of “patio restaurants”, vacation rentals and clothing businesses, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for operating almost a $400 million Ponzi scheme, with hundreds of victims.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said Champion-Cain deserved the maximum, calling her crimes a “tremendous fraud” and a “betrayal,” and likely the biggest fraud committed in the history of the federal court’s Southern District of California.

Her Ocean Beach Surf Rider Pizza had to close – and now the building has a whole different business. Champion-Cain was not the original owner of Surf Rider Pizza, having purchased the small chain from other owners.

Judge Burns said Champion-Cain could have been charged with many more criminal counts — and faced a much longer prison term —

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When Landlords Didn’t Take COVID Aid Money, Tenants Missed Out on Rent Relief

March 30, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / March 30, 2021

The city and county of San Diego set aside more than $47 million in federal coronavirus aid last fall to pay landlords whose low-income tenants were behind on rent. But some eligible renters didn’t get any help because their landlords didn’t take the money and they weren’t required to explain why.

Public records obtained by inewsource show 1,268 eligible households were denied assistance from the county’s rent relief program because their landlords either refused to participate or missed deadlines. The city’s program, overseen by the San Diego Housing Commission, had 19 households with landlords who wouldn’t accept payments, an agency spokesperson said.

Now, more than $211 million in state and federal funds have poured into the region to help low-income renters. And under a new state law, this time the programs come with built-in incentives designed to persuade landlords to take the money.

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The Campaign for Collier Park, the Riot and the Aftermath

March 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Today, March 28, is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot – and the OB Rag continues our celebration and commemoration of the event. (On Friday, we covered the basics, and on Saturday we recounted how DC Collier’s landgrant gift to “the children” of the peninsula became “the incredible shrinking park” and how Collier is considered the “true founder” of Ocean Beach.)

Today, we discuss the actual day itself, half a century ago, the campaign and build-up to the day, its aftermath and significance for Ocean Beach in 2021.

And this is part of our continuing efforts to ensure that the Ocean Beach of the 21st century has not forsaken its very own history that helped to make the village what it is today. It’s definitely part of the story of our celebrated iconoclastic corner of the hippie counter- culture, a seaside town that has consciously and consistently set itself apart from mainstream San Diego.

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Charles Collier : the True Founder of Ocean Beach

March 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There’s an historical character who walked across Ocean Beach’s stage over a hundred years ago, who had such an effect on the development of the community that he’s considered by many to be the “true founder” of Ocean Beach. And that is Col. David Charles Collier – who Collier Park up in northeast OB is named after.

Although Collier came later than other contenders for the title, he had as much to do with what turned into our little village by the sea as anyone else. And more so.

“Charlie” Collier’s Story

Ocean Beach and Col DC Collier first intersected in 1887, when young “Charlie” – then only 16 – bought one of Billy Carlson’s lots in Ocean Beach. The lot was close to the cliffs, over on Pacific Avenue – now Coronado Avenue – and Bacon Street. Of course, as a youth – in all probability – he was backed by his father, DC Collier, Senior – a lawyer and former judge from Colorado.

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How DC Collier’s Land Grant for Ocean Beach and Point Loma Became the ‘Incredible Shrinking Park’

March 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

This weekend, the OB Rag is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot, which occurred on March 28, 1971. Our post for the occasion yesterday was just to cover the basics. Today, we use the historical event to delve more into the history of Collier Park itself and of DC Collier, who donated the land it sits on to the City.

The History of the DC Collier’s Park Landgrant of 1909

In 1909, David Charles “Colonel” Collier, a real estate developer who lived in Ocean Beach, gave a 60-acre parcel of land to the city as parkland “for the children” of the Point Loma peninsula.

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Sunday, March 28 Is the 50th Anniversary of the ‘Infamous’ Collier Park Riot

March 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Sunday, March 28 will be the 50th anniversary of the Collier Park Riot. And the OB Rag remembers that moment each year at this time.

But whoa! Riot? What riot? Where is Collier Park and who is Collier? And why should we care? 50 years is a long time, dude.

What Was the Collier Park Riot?

The riot was a violent clash between young people in Ocean Beach protesting the Vietnam war and the sale of land meant for a park with San Diego police officers. During the afternoon of March 28, 1971, a peaceful crowd of hundreds of young OBceans and college students had gathered on a vacant hill site in northeast OB along Greene Street – on what was to become Collier Park – as part of an anti-Vietnam war protest and a ‘clean-up the park’ project.

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Overlooked State Law Could Delay or Block Midway Redevelopment Unless Affordable Housing Is Included

March 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Andrew Keatts over at Voice of San Diego bylined an explosive article yesterday that charged an overlooked change to state law could delay or even block the City’s efforts to “redevelop the area around the Sports Arena into an urban entertainment district.”

And Keatts also found out that “City officials have paused negotiations” with Brookfield Properties – the developer who was chosen by former Mayor Faulconer to redevelop the nearly 50-acre area.

It turns out that while Mayor Todd Gloria was in the State Assembly, the California legislature in 2019 passed AB 1486 which strengthened the Surplus Lands Act. The Surplus Lands Act has a requirement that before any state public agency sells land it doesn’t want, it first must offer it to other state and public agencies OR affordable housing developers. If none of these want the land, then the public agency can move forward with the sale to private parties.

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Are Ocean Beach Restaurants Ready to Give Back Our Public Spaces?

March 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

With restaurants able to have 25% capacity now that San Diego County is in the Red Tier, we’re wondering whether OB eateries are ready to give back all that public space they grabbed during the pandemic in order to keep their doors open.

Anyone who has been on Newport Avenue or Voltaire Street knows what we’re talking about. Local restaurants commandeered parts of sidewalks and parking spaces to be able to offer outdoor dining, and those bars who were able to arrange food service are also in that same boat.

And many in the community have been sympathetic to their plight and understanding

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New Ocean Beach Businesses Ready for the ‘Grand Re-Opening’

March 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie


Cruising down Newport Ave, it’s clear that a number of new Ocean Beach businesses are ready for the Grand Reopening – the county’s entry into the red tier allowing many businesses to reopen. Other newbies on Abbott and Sunset Cliffs will be joining them.

Here then, is a casual pictorial of many of these upstarts, ready to take on the world from their OB sites.

Teitan Tattoo

This new tat parlor offers “Neotradtional” skin engravings. The Las Vegas-transplant tattoo shop artists are also trained in customer service to provide a world-class experience for clients. Patrick DeMarco, founder, and chief artist at Teitan Tattoo, saw his new shop as the best logical step in their expansion, following their widely successful flagship shop in Las Vegas.

 

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San Diego-Based Cable Channel Aired Anti-Biden ‘Documentary’ as Part of Kremlin Campaign to Influence 2020 U.S. Election

March 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A brand new, declassified intelligence assessment has come out about how Russian President Putin tried to influence the 2020 election in favor of Trump.

And part of the Kremlin campaign of disinformation that was pro-Trump and anti-Biden, was the use of un-named American “media conduits to launder their narratives to US officials and audiences,” states the report by the National Intelligence Council.

And specifically, as part of the campaign efforts, “they also made contact with established U.S. media figures and helped produce a documentary that aired on a U.S. television network in late January 2020.” Who do you think aired that propaganda? None other than the San Diego-based cable channel

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San Diego County Back in the Red and Schools Are Back in the Green

March 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, San Diego County is back in the Red, tier that is! And San Diego area schools have been given the green light to reopen.

Dr. Wilma Wooten on Tuesday announced that San Diego County has attained a case rate low enough to rejoin the red tier Wednesday, March 17.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:

In a biweekly COVID-19 update to the Board of Supervisors, the county’s public health officer foreshadowed the contents of the state’s weekly tier report, listing the score at 6.8 cases per 100,000 residents.

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Elizabeth Sullivan’s Husband Sentenced to 16 Years to Life for Her Murder in Point Loma

March 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag has followed the tragic saga of Elizabeth Sullivan, a 31-year old Point Loma Navy spouse, who disappeared in mid-October, 2014. Nearly two years after she vanished, her body was found off Point Loma and Liberty Station, in San Diego Bay.

Four years after her disappearance, her husband, Matthew Sullivan, was arrested in 2018 at his home in Delaware and extradited to San Diego on murder charges.

In 2020, Matt Sullivan was convicted of of second-degree murder for fatally stabbing Elizabeth. On Friday, March 12, this year, he was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison.

Here are some details – some new – about the case

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Man Shot in Ocean Beach for Refusing to Turn Over Cellphone

March 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A man standing on the corner of Abbott and Lotus streets in Ocean Beach early Sunday, March 14, was shot in the hand and stomach after he refused to turn his phone over to a robber.

The 48 year old victim was approached about 12:45 am by a young White man who demanded that he turn over his cellphone.

When the unidentified victim refused, the other man fired a weapon. The bullet appeared to penetrate through the victim’s hand and entered his lower abdomen. He was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening by paramedics.

The suspect was last seen headed north on Abbott Street

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San Diego Does Not Have the Money or Staff to Fix OB and Point Loma Street Lights … Nor Anybody Else’s

March 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Residents along Abbott Street in Ocean Beach have been complaining about street lights that need repair for a long time. So have residents near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard – especially since the pandemic as the cliffs have become a magnet for people and cars at night.

And now we find out the city just doesn’t have the money nor the staff to make the needed street light repairs.

City officials report that about 8% of the city’s 54,000 streetlights have open service notifications and are in need of repairs. A study by a local media group found there have been more than 5,000 complaints across the city about street lights from September 2020 through January of this year. The most complaints came from Point Loma, PB and downtown.

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Mayor Gloria, in OB, Pledges Caseworkers – Not Cops – Will Reach Out and Assist Homeless Community; OB to Be the Test Case

March 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Todd Gloria was in Ocean Beach Wednesday, inside the OB Rec Center touting a new approach to San Diego’s homeless population. The city, he said at a press conference, has put together a coordinated outreach program that will send out 12 outreach caseworkers into neighborhoods across the city to provide help to those living on the street.

The coordination will be through the People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) program whose team members will have the ability to connect the houseless with the assistance they need – that day. Gloria said:

“With this new coordinated outreach program, we’re acknowledging that we need to provide a whole toolbox of options to the people who interact with our homeless.”

In referring to the outreach team, he said:

“They will help them overcome the unique challenges, whether it’s drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, physical health problems or other legal entanglements. We call it ‘person-centered, neighborhood-based, trauma-informed, housing focused approach.”

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Editordude Is Taking the Day Off – Just Got His Second Dose

March 11, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Yes, I’m taking today off. Feeling achy and tired as I received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine yesterday. I’ll be back Friday.

Stood in line for about 40 minutes early in the afternoon and luckily no rain fell during that period. The shot itself was totally painless. But I spent a good part of the night watching TV from the couch.

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News of Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-March 2021

March 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie


Point Loma Nazarene Takes on Hate vs. Asians and Pacific Islanders

“Superwoman” at 106, Natalie Berndes & Family Settled in Point Loma in 1951

OBceans Continue to Complain to City About Non-Working Street Lights on Abbott

Point Loma Westerly Public House to Open in Spring

Point Loma Women’s Soccer First Top 10 National Ranking

Point Loma Native Garden Gets a Spotlight

…And More Inside …

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10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Hummingbirds

March 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

We’ve had two hummingbird feeders on our deck for years and have come to enjoy watching and knowing about the 2 most common hummingbirds in our area: Anna’s and Costa’s. Recently, a Rufus or Rufous hummingbird showed up, a rare occasion for us.

10 Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Hummingbirds

1. They are the smallest migrating bird. They don’t migrate in flocks like other species, and they typically travel alone for up to 500 miles at a time.

2. The name, hummingbird, comes from the humming noise their wings make as they beat so fast.

3. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

4. Hummingbirds have no sense of smell.

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Campbell’s Claims of High Cost for Recall Misleading

March 5, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Apparently, the so-called high costs of a recall campaign pushed by Jen Campbell and her supporters are misleading. Campbell and the contra-recall consultants have been propagating the figure of $2 million for any possible recall.

But according to a story by David Garrick in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune, city officials and the County Registrar of Voters are pushing back on that price tag. Campbell & Associates have been claiming their number was based on an email from a Registrar official in February. City and registrar folks are saying that $2 million number was the high end of a “rough cost projection” subject to many variables and many unknowns – known and unknown.

Garrick reports that Liliana Lau, a registrar official, wrote the following in an email to Campbell’s staff on February 8:

“Without the specificity required, there is too broad of a cost range to make an appropriate projection. A rough cost projection based on prior elections that were similar on size is approximately $1.6 million to $2 million.”

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Shout-Out to OB’s Surveillance Cameras

March 2, 2021 by Frank Gormlie


Drop down to the very end of the article and you get this:

Devices like ShotSpotter’s are supposed to have a psychological effect on communities, reminding anyone who comes into the orbit that they’re being monitored for potentially criminal behavior — in this case, for loud noises that might signal a gunshot.

During her questioning of police leaders, then-Councilwoman Lorie Zapf argued that cameras in Ocean Beach, along with signs telling people they’re under surveillance, had helped reduce crime. She wondered if deterrence was the goal with ShotSpotter too.

“Very much so,” Zimmerman responded. “We say that we would prefer to prevent crime instead of responding to crime.”

 

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