YIMBYs – Newest Handmaidens of the Growth Machine

February 19, 2020 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / February 11, 2020

Alternative facts — they’re the latest rage. Even here at home, presumably responsible voices are echoing half-truths, distortion, and misinformation about a number of big-ticket items that face San Diego.

Let’s take the subject of housing, for starters. We all talk about the housing crisis in San Diego. So what makes it a crisis?

For some it’s about sky-high rents. Others say it’s a matter of supply–there aren’t enough houses and apartments to go around. Still others point to the near-million it takes nowadays to buy even a little bungalow…

Do the innumerable, uncountable people living on the streets constitute a crisis? And what about the families being pushed out of their gentrifying neighborhoods?

As for the causes of this crisis, everyone’s got a different take–too many regulations? building fees? zoning restrictions? government roadblocks? parking requirements? environmental protections?

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San Diego Mayor Moves to Enforce Ban on Granny Flat Short-Term Rentals

February 19, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / February 19, 2020

San Diego has started enforcing its ban on short-term rentals of newly built granny flats, following an inewsource analysis that identified violators and showed the city let it happen.

The City Council agreed in 2017 to cut the cost of granny flat permits and fees by roughly $15,000, depending on the development. It was an incentive to create long-term affordable housing in a market that is fast pricing out many residents. But council members approved the new law without a plan to enforce it.

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Recent Court Ruling Shows Need for Measure A in San Diego County

February 18, 2020 by Source

By Jerry Harmon and Stephen Houlahan / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2020

A recent court ruling has brought into sharp relief the failure of our Board of Supervisors to act in the best interest of San Diego County residents over the interests of deep-pocketed developers.

Three nonprofit and community groups brought a lawsuit a year ago against the County of San Diego, arguing it had violated the General Plan in approving the Valiano and Harmony Grove Village South housing development projects. Petitioners argued the projects’ environmental analyses failed to show how the developments would prevent significant harm related to fire safety and greenhouse gas emissions. Both issues are required to be addressed under the General Plan.

In a tentative ruling issued on Jan. 27, a San Diego County Superior Court judge agreed with the petitioners.

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The Men’s Club at San Marcos City Planning

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / February 15, 2020

All three male members of the San Marcos Planning Commission, whose two-year terms expired in December, were reappointed by the mayor and city council in January. The only woman on the seven-member commission, Wendy Matthews, was also reappointed.

There are no term limits for commissioners, allowing for the growth of the good old boys network. Kevin Norris begins his eleventh year on the council, while Bruce Minnery stepped down after eleven and a half years.

Five women were among the twelve new applicants who failed to win a seat on the commission. Filling vacancies with incumbents was a missed opportunity for the city to bring gender balance to the commission. Here are a few of the qualifications of the women applicants who were passed over.

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Choices to Vote: Your Heart, Your Head, or Your Spleen?

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

In a few weeks, voters must decide. How to vote? And why?

First, the “why?” answer is simple.

The obvious one. People have died to give you that right and to defended it with their lives.

More specifically, let’s remember 1960’s Civil Rights leader, Vernon F. Dahmer, Sr. Then the disqualifying “civics” question asked of most Blacks was, “How many bubbles in a bar of soap?”

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OB Historical Society: Dible Family Silent Movie – Thurs. Feb.20

February 17, 2020 by Source

Come join the Ocean Beach Historical Society and see this fun and captivating step back into OB’s and San Diego’s rich history.

OBHS Presents: the “Dible Family 1928 – 1938 Silent Movie”, which features clips of Sunset Cliffs, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Mission Beach, San Diego Bay, Coronado, Balboa Park, Julian, Downtown San Diego, Catalina, Tijuana, and other locales.


This Program is Free!

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Ocean Beach Street Stewards’ ‘Adopt a Block’ Expands into Point Loma … and North Park

February 14, 2020 by Source

Aaron Null and OB Street Stewards Rake Up Success

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 14, 2020

A volunteer street cleaning group that started with one Ocean Beach man and a Facebook page, now has about 400 resident volunteers signing up as “street stewards,” cleaning streets in their community every week.

The movement, which began in Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach last year, recently spread into North Park, where nearly 50 residents have each committed to cleaning up at least one street, often during their daily walks around the neighborhood.

Founder Aaron Null, who has lived in Ocean Beach for 10 years,

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Birch Aquarium Hatches Baby Weedy Seadragons – Cousin of the Sea Horse

February 14, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Birch Aquarium has successfully bred the rare weedy sea dragon, the lesser known cousin of the sea horse that resembles seaweed when floating.

By Caitlin Scully / Birch Aquarium Blog / February 13, 2020

For the first time ever, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego has bred and successfully hatched two rare Weedy Seadragons.

This is a first for Birch Aquarium, now one of the few aquariums in the world to hatch this unusual fish. The inch-long babies display the characteristic camouflaging appendages of the elaborate adult Weedy Seadragons in miniature, and have already had their first meals of tiny shrimp.

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Point Lomans: Nominate a Utility Box Near You for Beautification

February 13, 2020 by Source

Nominate Your Box!

The Point Loma Association has a great program. They have artists who beautify utility boxes – and they’ve been doing it for quite a few years.

Some of their artwork is stunning, indeed. Their artists have joined a long tradition on the Peninsula and Ocean Beach of painting utility boxes.

If you’ve seen some of the PLA artwork – or others – and said to yourself, ‘sure wish they’d do the one near my street ….’ now is the time to act.

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New Poll Shows Every Democratic Frontrunner Beating Donald Trump in 2020 Election

February 12, 2020 by Source

What radical, revolutionary rag is spouting this nonsense about every Democratic frontrunner beating Trump in 2020?

Oh. It’s Newsweek.

New poll results from Morning Consult released Monday showed all five of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination defeating President Donald Trump in hypothetical match-ups.

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SeaWorld Has to Pay $65 Million to Investors Who Claimed Deception Over Effects of ‘Blackfish’

February 12, 2020 by Source

Also: SeaWorld Will No Longer Allow Trainers to Ride Dolphins (See Inside)

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 11, 2020

SeaWorld Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has agreed to pay $65 million to settle longstanding lawsuits claiming it deceived investors when it claimed early on that the anti-captivity documentary “Blackfish” had no ill effect on park attendance.

The settlement comes just a week before a jury trial was to begin for a class action lawsuit that originated in 2014 SeaWorld, in a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the settlement does not “constitute an admission, concession, or finding of any fault, liability, or wrongdoing by the Company or any defendant.”

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OB Bookstore ‘Run for Cover’ to Host Bestselling Author, Anti-Death Penalty Activist Sister Helen Prejean

February 12, 2020 by Source

The Ocean Beach bookstore on Voltaire Street, Run for Cover, is hosting the bestselling author and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean. Sister Prejean will speak about her new book and about California’s death penalty.

The event will take place Sunday February 23 at 6 pm and is free to the public. RSVPs are requested to guarantee seating (see below). And due to the anticipated interest in the event, it will be held at First Church of the Nazarene at the Point Loma Nazarene University.

From Run for Cover press release:

Sister Helen is the bestselling author of Dead Man Walking, which chronicled her work in death row ministry and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film that put a spotlight on the issues and complexity around the death penalty. She will be speaking as well as signing her new book, River of Fire, which explores her spiritual journey to her social justice work.

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Simple, Solar-Powered Water Desalination

February 12, 2020 by Source

System achieves new level of efficiency in harnessing sunlight to make fresh potable water from seawater.

By David L. Chandler / MIT News Office / February 6, 2020

A completely passive solar-powered desalination system developed by researchers at MIT and in China could provide more than 1.5 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour for every square meter of solar collecting area. Such systems could potentially serve off-grid arid coastal areas to provide an efficient, low-cost water source.

The system uses multiple layers of flat solar evaporators and condensers, lined up in a vertical array and topped with transparent aerogel insulation. … The key to the system’s efficiency lies in the way it uses each of the multiple stages to desalinate the water.

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Open Letter to Encinitas City Council Re: ‘Surfing Madonna’

February 12, 2020 by Source

The Surfing Madonna artist is threatening to relocate the iconic mosaic. Here’s a solution below. The Encinitas City Council meets at City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., Encinitas CA, 92024 at 6 pm.

Open Letter to Encinitas City Council

Re: Status of “Surfing Madonna”

By Colleen O’Connor

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

You will vote tonight on the future of the “Surfing Madonna” mosaic.

As it is indisputable that there are issues with the Charitable Foundation, its partnership with the City and the future of its special needs surfing camps and fundraising runs, I would like to propose a temporary solution.

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OB Optometrist Ben-Moshe Gives Out Free Eye Exams and Glasses to OB Elementary Students

February 11, 2020 by Source

Editordude: We couldn’t pass up this great article at the Peninsula Beacon about our friend, Dr. Eli Ben-Moshe, Newport Avenue’s optometrist. Had no idea he was doing this – providing free eye exams and glasses to needy student at OB Elementary. And he’s been doing it for years. Eli moved into his location when Dr. Donald Mitchell was still practicing. Dr. Mitchell was my family’s eye doc for years. Please read this great piece by Scott Hopkins.

By Scott Hopkins / Peninsula Beacon / Feb. 11, 2020

Visual health is critical to success for students of all ages in today’s classrooms and Dr. Eli Ben-Moshe is determined that no needy students at Ocean Beach Elementary School will be hampered by vision issues. Ben-Moshe’s Newport Avenue Optometry has been a community fixture

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City of San Diego Seeks Competitive Bids to Develop and Manage Sports Arena Site

February 10, 2020 by Source

Editordude: We aren’t kidding when we say the City is preparing the Midway District for massive redevelopment. The Feb. 7 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune demonstrates how the City is laying the groundwork for the future of the Midway District, centered around the old sports arena complex – which the OB Rag has been predicting for a couple of years now.

From City of San Diego Press Release:

The City of San Diego has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified firms and interested parties to redevelop, rehabilitate, operate, maintain and manage a 48-acre site comprised of six continuous parcels of land, commonly known as the Sports Arena.

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‘No on A’ Campaign Funded by Developers and Out-of-Town Interests

February 10, 2020 by Source

In Contrast “YES ON A” Campaign Relies on Local Sources, Grassroots Support

As of February 7th, the Building Industry Association’s campaign organized to defeat the Measure A citizen’s initiative has brought in more than $1.3 million in contributions.

According to data provided by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, the vast majority of these come from the real estate lobby, developers and building industry trade associations. About $400,000 came from out-of-state groups based in Chicago, Arizona, Texas and New York.

This chart demonstrates the heavy influence of industry groups in the effort to defeat Measure A:

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Hey Ocean Beach – The Surfing Madonna Needs You

February 7, 2020 by Source

Dear Ocean Beach: this is your opportunity to save the iconic mosaic

By Colleen O’Connor

Quick. Put in an application. Encinitas is in a twist about the “Surfing Madonna’s” future.

You know that iconic piece of art put together in the dead of night — under a bridge overpass — to everyone’s surprise and delight.

The 10×10 foot mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe, surfing a wave, cape waving and hands praying, with a “Save the Ocean” inscription became national news.

Few locals cared about the lack of permits or the mystery behind the artist’s name or inspiration. It was a kind of “love at first sight.” The devotion and intrigue grew.

The city of Encinitas, however, declared the Madonna “graffiti” and ordered it removed. No permits.

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‘I’m a stranger in my own city’: Prague Takes on Airbnb to Block Flood of Tourists

February 5, 2020 by Source

By Robert Tait / The Guardian / Feb. 1, 2020

For decades, its mesmerizing blend of baroque and Gothic beauty was closed to mass tourism by the iron curtain that divided the communist east from the capitalist west during the cold war.

Now Prague, which has gained an unenviable reputation as a destination for stag nights and pub crawls, has become the latest European city to propose a radical assault on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms as over-tourism threatens to overwhelm it and drive out residents.

Under plans pushed by the city’s liberal mayor, Zdenek Hrib, property owners would be barred from leasing out entire flats except when it was their own home and they were temporarily vacating it.

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10th Annual Skate for Kids Day Is a Fundraiser for Ocean Beach Elementary – Sunday, Feb.9, Robb Field

February 5, 2020 by Source

The Ocean Beach Elementary PTA is hosting the 10th Annual Skate for the Kids fundraiser on Sunday, February 9, 2020. The fundraiser for Ocean Beach Elementary marks its tenth year of, as they say, fostering a love of skating in local school kids while contributing to their education.

It all happens from 12-3 p.m. at Robb Field Skate Park.

The PTA is partnering with the Ocean Beach Surf & Skate Shop for the event.

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‘Reject the Coverup’ Protests – Wed. Afternoon, Feb. 5 – Organized by San Diego Indivisible

February 5, 2020 by Source

Two Impeachment Protests Wed., Feb. 5 in San Diego: Downtown at North Harbor Dr. and at Genesse & Governor Dr.

Reject the Coverup protests are scheduled for this afternoon at multiple locations in San Diego County .The protests begin at 4:30 and 5:30 with flag waving citizens on street corners protesting the impeachment trial that was not a trial but a coverup.

This action is part of a nationwide mobilization with the simple demand of End the Coverup.

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National City Man Convicted of Murder of Ocean Beach Resident, Peter Bentz

February 4, 2020 by Source

By Neal Putnam / The Star News / Jan. 30, 2020

After 2 1/2 days of deliberations, a jury convicted a National City man Monday of first-degree murder of an Ocean Beach man whose body has never been found.

Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Dort said Brian Eleron Hancock, 49, will have to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before he could become eligible for parole in the death of Peter Bentz, 68.

Dort said Hancock faces a sentence of 85 years to life in part because of his prior convictions for arson in 1999 and residential burglary in 2003.

“I’m totally satisfied,” said the victim’s brother, Kirk Bentz, after the verdict. “This is the correct and just verdict for Peter.”

Bentz was last seen leaving a gym on security cameras on Nov. 21, 2017.

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Enrollment Mismanagement Plagues Palomar College

February 4, 2020 by Source

By Richard J. Riehl / Riehlworld / Feb. 4, 2020

After a campus visit, a state-funded agency, the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistant Team (FCMAT) issued its November 8, 2019 report, describing Palomar College’s financial position and management practices. The news wasn’t good.

The report gave the school’s Fiscal Health Risk Analysis a 44.5% rating, indicating the school’s probability of insolvency in the near future. According to FCMAT, in two years the school will have drained all its reserves, forcing it to borrow $6.5 million from an external source to stay solvent.

Here’s but a sample of what FCMAT found:

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Chancellor Constance Carroll of San Diego Community College District Calls it Quits

February 4, 2020 by Source

“A Quiet Leader” to Retire

By Colleen O’Connor

She reads a dead language — ancient Greek — to relax. Will be the distinguished guest speaker at UCSD with a lecture on “Aeschylus’s Oresteia and Athenian politics [ed: see below for more info].”

Yet, insists that her 5,000 employees (faculty, staff, administrators and contractors) and over 100,000 students in her colleges, call her Constance — not Dr. Carroll.

A Ph.D. in classics, a lover of all things operatic, and one of the largest developers in San Diego, “Constance” is retiring from the San Diego Community College District that she has led for sixteen years — after a presidential stint at Mesa College for eleven years.

But, not before having changed the landscape and buildings in and near San Diego City College; San Diego Mesa College, Miramar and various Continuing Education sites. That she accomplished by overseeing the $1.55 billion bond money from propositions S and N.

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Calendar for February 2020 from the OB Green Center

February 3, 2020 by Source

February Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

Ocean Beach Green Center, 4862 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107 (619) 613-5616 oceanbeachgreencenter@gmail.com

Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

February 13th Thursday 7 pm. Film Night. “Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective”
Inhabit is a 2015 documentary introducing permaculture: a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, and on. …

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meetingg. February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd. 29th. Ocean Beach Green Center 4862 Voltaire St.

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Are You Interested in Serving on the Oldest Democratically-Elected Community Planning Board in History of San Diego? Try the OB Planners

January 30, 2020 by Source

Have you ever thought about serving on the oldest democratically-elected community planning committee in the history of San Diego? That would be the Ocean Beach Planning Board.

Yes, it’s true – when the OB Planning Board was first sworn in back in 1976, it was the very first, locally-elected urban planning committee for a community in the city’s history. And it was created by a multi-year effort by OBceans during the first half of the 1970s to have one approved by the city and then elected by thousands of OB tenants, residents, property owners and business-owners.

The Board has been staffed by volunteer members of the community ever since. Each year in March, there are elections to the 15-member board – and you should know, there are open seats in each of the 7 planning districts in Ocean Beach. Here are the details about the upcoming March 4 election.

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San Diego Is Allowing Granny Flats to Become Short-Term Rentals – In Violation of City Law

January 29, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / January 29, 2020

San Diego City Council members were clear when they voted in September 2017 to loosen restrictions on granny flats. They wanted new affordable housing for San Diegans. None of these small units, built on land with existing homes, were to be rented for less than 30 days.

The city gave property owners about a $15,000 price reduction in permits and fees to encourage development of granny flats — and it worked. Since the law changed, about 600 permits have been issued, compared to 20 in all of 2016.

But inewsource has learned the city has no mechanism in place to ensure the new granny flats aren’t rented for less than 30 days. Officials rely on citizen complaints and code enforcement.

To determine if the law was being violated, inewsource compared two sets of city data

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Housing Commission Extends Deadline for Developers’ Proposals at Famosa Canyon

January 29, 2020 by Source

From Point Loma Association:

Haven’t heard much about the open space at Famosa and Nimitz recently, have we?

Want some background on the site? [Come inside]

In 2019, following a couple years of feasibility studies, the City decided the time was right (ripe?) for building. On August 29th, they published a Request For Proposals (RFP) to, “solicit proposals from qualified real estate development entities.”

Deadline for submission was published as November 21, 2019.

A funny thing happened between August and November.

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Local OB Love for Citrus and Palms

January 29, 2020 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

This season’s mix of rain, sunshine, and cool nights have created a crowded nursery for green babies in my garden. I have never had so many lettuces, parsley, and greens springing up in my garden.

Needless to say, “my household is eating very healthy meals.”

Flash boiling a mixture of greens is a great way to cook a variety of rich greens and herbs. My latest technique is to heat water quickly in a plugin electric kettle, pour it into a pan of greens and finish the boiling on the stove for a few minutes. These can make a meal of the cooked greens or can be added to another dish such as soup, pasta, smoothies, or quiche. A quick, simple way to eat them is to add a few squirts of lemon juice and nutmeg, making a tasty contrast of flavors and eliminating bitterness.

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‘State of District 2’ Event Hosted by Councilmember Campbell – Thursday, Jan.30 at Liberty Station

January 29, 2020 by Source

From Jen Campbell’s Office:

On Thursday, January 30th, Councilmember Jennifer Campbell will be hosting her first “State of the District” event.

This community celebration will honor the “Neighbor of the Year” and “Small Business of the Year” for District 2’s seven communities with the winners nominated by their neighbors.

This event will be hosted in partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University and will feature remarks by Councilmember Campbell, tabling by local non-profits, and performances by local students.

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