Morena Community Fights City Plan With Lawsuit

February 25, 2021 by Source

By Joni Halpern / Special to the OB Rag / Feb. 25, 2021

CEQA: The Last Guardian of the Communtiy

Two visions of the future have collided in a lawsuit set for trial April 9, 2021, challenging the Morena Corridor Specific Plan (MCSP). [The Morena area is just east of I-5 and just north of I-8 at the mouth of Mission Valley.]

Morena United, an informal association of residents and business owners in areas that will be affected by the MCSP, believe city officials have ignored their concerns about the harm the plan will cause.

They believe the City has aligned itself with development interests looking only to maximize profits through sales and rents to high-income residents, while producing only a minimal amount of affordable housing. Even that amount of affordable housing, they say, will be to exclude lower-income households, while at the same time failing to provide for those with middle income.

The MCSP map looks like a gerrymandered voting district, taking in chunks of land that were once part of two other community plans.

One section, for example, bordered roughly by I-5 on the west, Friars Road on the south, Tecolote Road on the north, and a strip along Morena Boulevard on the east, once was covered solely by the Linda Vista Community Plan, which called for additional housing in the center of Linda Vista, not on the periphery, as specified in the MCSP. That Linda Vista Community Plan envisioned growth, but with thousands fewer dwellings than proposed in the MCSP, which now overrides the Linda Vista plan.

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Recall Campbell Proponents Add Their Voices

February 24, 2021 by Source

Here are two Op-Ed pieces that ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, Feb. 23, on the subject of recalling Jen Campbell.

Campbell Puts Special Interests Before Voters

By Wendy D. Gelernter

City Council President Jennifer Campbell has lost the trust of her constituents by ignoring their input, breaking campaign promises and siding with powerful special interests and corporations against the needs of her voters. This is why a diverse coalition of San Diegans this month announced a movement to recall Campbell from office.

As a small business owner and 34-year resident of Pacific Beach, I donated to and campaigned for Campbell when she ran for council. But I soon grew alarmed at her lack of responsiveness to community voices. So did other citizens, town councils, planning boards and Democratic clubs from throughout District 2. My concern grew when she regularly supported SDG&E, the mega-corporation that charges the highest electricity rates in California.

My disappointment finally crystallized into action when Campbell sided with the powerful San Diego Police Officers Association, and against progress on racial and criminal justice reform, as outlined in a commentary by the San Diego Racial Justice Coalition posted elsewhere on this website.

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San Diego Unified: Teachers and Staff to Return Week of April 5, Students the Following Week

February 23, 2021 by Source

After nearly a year of campus closures and at-home learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday announced its target date to reopen its campuses.

San Diego Unified school board member Richard Barrera told NBC 7 that staff members are slated to return to campuses the week of April 5, with students at all grade levels returning the following week, dependent upon whether the county had returned to the red tier and vaccines being fully available to staffers.

The county will begin making COVID-19 vaccines available to school employees March 1.

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OBceans Asked to Take Part in Survey on OB Library’s Future

February 23, 2021 by Source

Your input can help craft the OB Library’s future! Click the link below to take the survey, and let the San Diego Public Library Commission know:

1. What do you need from the Library?
2. How can the Library better serve OBceans?
3. What services, technologies, and programs would help you?

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Peninsula Community Planning Board Election – March 20

February 23, 2021 by Source

From the PCPB / Feb. 23, 2021

As with all other officially recognized community planning groups throughout the City of San Diego, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) from holding its annual election in March 2020.

But, under guidelines recently promulgated by the City of San Diego and procedures approved by the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) at its meeting on February 18, 2021, PCPB will be holding an election this March to fill a total of eleven vacancies.

These eleven Board positions to be filled comprise over two-thirds of the Board’s fifteen positions. Board terms are typically three (3) years in length. Because the 2020 election was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the 2021 election will include several positions with shorter terms. Of the eleven PCPB positions to be filled, five will be for three-year terms, five will be for two-year terms and one will fill a current vacancy for the balance of a one-year term.

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New Numbers Shed Light on Potential Impact of Campbell’s Vacation Rental Proposal

February 23, 2021 by Source

By Lisa Halverstadt / Voice of San Diego / Feb. 22, 2021

As City Council President Jen Campbell and stakeholders on both sides of the vacation rental saga prepare to debate yet another regulation proposal, they’re grappling with an inconvenient truth: No one knows exactly how many vacation rentals there are in the city. Campbell has predicted her plan could slash the number of whole-home rentals in the city by at least two-thirds.

But new data obtained separately by Voice of San Diego and the city’s Office of the Independent Budget Analyst suggests Campbell’s proposal may not reduce the number of whole-home vacation rentals as much as she predicts.

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What Campbell’s Runaway Short Term Rental Train Will Do

February 22, 2021 by Source

By Kevin Hastings

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb 23rd, councilmember Jen Campbell will seek to legalize all the Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) in your neighborhood, and leave room for even more. Her proposal has been endorsed by Airbnb and VRBO, but none of the neighborhood community groups.

Campbell’s policy was developed behind closed doors by VRBO and a hotel worker’s union and successfully dodged public input and scrutiny. It would create a 4-tier licensing system covering everything to full-time STVRs without host on site (Tier 3 & 4), to the uncontroversial part-time rentals and room shares (Tier 1 & 2).

It would limit licenses for the full-time whole-home STRs to approximately 6,500 city-wide. Campbell has peddled this as a “78% reduction in STRs” that will “return 7,000 units to long term housing”. She does this despite providing no analysis of the existing number and types of STRs. A cursory study of the existing STR situation, and a previous study commissioned by the city both show her claims to be false.

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Love Among the Ruins: ‘The Road Ahead’ and ‘Nomadland’

February 22, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Unable to travel? Unhappy about sheltering in place? Depressed about our blue planet’s future; aging; or just in a funk about the enormity of change and loss.

Fret not. There is a remedy close at hand. In fact, two of them; both contenders for big acting awards; directing awards; foreign film and storytelling awards.

Think about it. A dreadful 2020 year producing two marvelous films (both based on books) with two great, older actresses.

The stories confront generational and cultural sufferings without sentimentality and hardly any make-up.

The first, The Life Ahead, starring 86-year-old, Sophia Loren, (where she plays the lead as Madame Rosa) has already won the San Diego Film Critics Society “Best International Film” award, and the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival nod for Best Actress.

Oscar nominations and award decisions are still pending; delayed due to the pandemic.

At age 86, Sophia Loren has already collected five Golden Globes, 10 Donatellos, one BAFTA, one Grammy, two Oscars, not to mention multiple lifetime achievement awards.

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Blaming the Wind for the Mess in Texas Is Painfully Absurd

February 19, 2021 by Source

By Bill McKibben / Reader Supported News – The New Yorker / February 18, 2021

Sometimes, all you need is a map. In the wake of this week’s power failures in Texas, which have left millions without heat in subfreezing conditions, right-wing politicians and news networks decided that the emergency was down to “frozen wind turbines,” a phrase that has now been repeated ad infinitum on all the various ganglia that make up the conservative “information” network.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which has managed to be wrong about energy and climate for more than four decades, put it like this:

“Gas and power prices have spiked across the central U.S. while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts Monday as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines.”

Governor Greg Abbott took time out from failing to deal with the emergency that had imperiled many in his state to tell Fox News that “this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America.”

Not to be outdone, on Tuesday afternoon, Representative Dan Crenshaw, a Republican who represents Texas’s second congressional district, including parts of Houston, tweeted that “this is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source.”

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Trump Incited Mob — After Lifetime of Hobnobbing with Mobsters

February 18, 2021 by Source

By Don Bauder / Times of San Diego / Feb. 18, 2021

A mob incited by then-President Trump invaded the Capitol. Everybody knows about that mob.

But what about the other mob that has been nurtured, cuddled, stroked by Trump? By whatever name — Mafia, organized crime, gangsters — this mob has gotten very little media attention, particularly in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Let’s call the first Mob 1 and the second Mob 2.

As noted last September, I have followed Trump’s Mob 2 since the 1980s. But in this essay, I will rely on works of three great investigative journalists: David Cay Johnston, an expert on Trump’s fraudulent finances; the late Wayne Barrett, who for decades reported on Trump and other New York crooks, and Dan E. Moldea, the reporter who exposed the cozy relationship between professional sports team owners and organized crime.

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‘There’s Been Worse Times – Can You Imagine Living in Europe During the 1300s?’

February 18, 2021 by Source

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Hi Ed, I was all set to have a small (and safe) birthday gathering in my back yard with a handful of close friends. But the day before my birthday, the riot at the capital happened and two of my friends backed out . . . One of them said she couldn’t justify going to a party while, as she put it, “[T]he country is on fire.” The other one said that the riot was the last straw, on top of rising COVID-19 and mounting police brutality incidents . . . She even insinuated that I should have cancelled outright. I didn’t, but do you think she was right?

Julene H.M.

Dear Julene, I can’t help but wonder if people like this are real and if so, why they didn’t just slit their own wrists in the womb. Ok, sure, 2020 has been a festering canker on the anus of humanity, but what does 2020 expect us to do, crawl in a cave and watch stalactites grow? If you think like that you’ll always find a reason to avoid living in the moment.

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Are You Interested in Being a Part of Your Ocean Beach Community Governance? OB Planning Board Election and Candidate Forms.

February 17, 2021 by Source

by OBPB

The OB Planning Board is holding elections on March 3, 2021. If you’ve attended a Planning Board meeting within the LAST 12 months, are at least 18, and live, own property or own a business within the OB Planning Area, the Planning Board invites you to submit an application to be a WRITE-IN candidate. Please submit your application by March 2, 2021.

Elections

3 Ways to Vote in 2021

By mail: Print and mail your voter registration form and ballot to Ocean Beach Planning Board, 4876 Santa Monica Ave. #133, San Diego, CA 92107. Must be in our mail box by 4 pm, March 3, 2021 to be counted.

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Federal Watchdog Blasts San Diego VA’s Unethical Research on Vets

February 16, 2021 by Source

by Jill Castellano / inewscource / February 12, 2021

For the second time, a federal watchdog agency found that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ investigation into unethical liver research performed on San Diego veterans was “not reasonable.”

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel published new reports on Tuesday, Feb. 8, revealing more details about the mistakes and violations that occurred during the research and its dissatisfaction with the VA’s investigation into what happened. inewsource broke the story about the unethical study in 2018 as the first article in its Risky Research series.

The study at the San Diego VA was part of a $6 million international project to find new therapies for people with alcoholic hepatitis. Researchers around the world were supposed to collect these patients’ leftover liver tissue after they received biopsies and look for patterns.

But that’s not what happened in San Diego.

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Blue-Collar Frontline Heroes Are Being Neglected in Vaccine Rollout

February 16, 2021 by Source

By Colleen E. Putzel / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2021

Like most tragedies, the onset of the pandemic produced a call for unity with sentiments ensuring “we’re all in this together.”

Every outlet, from the daily news to hand-made window signs, offered appreciation for those on the front line: health care workers, grocery store clerks, public transportation workers, and truck drivers. My father, a truck driver, and my mother, a seamstress, suddenly became heroes.

My father goes to work every day delivering construction materials and my mother paused her Etsy sales to make masks for her local hospital. I feared, especially early on, that my father’s company would begin laying off workers. As that threat seemed less imminent, it was replaced by the fear that he would be exposed to the virus.

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Charts of Hope

February 15, 2021 by Source

On the one year anniversary of San Diego County’s declaration of a local health emergency due to COVID-19, there are hopeful signs that the worst of the pandemic could be behind us. And these charts and graphs demonstrate the basis of that hope.

It was on February 14th, 2020, Valentine’s Day, that San Diego County declared a local health emergency to combat the coronavirus. At that time there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County and several suspected cases.

One year later to the day, more than a quarter of a million people in San Diego County have tested positive for COVID-19 and 3,000 people have died. But because there is hope, it does not mean we stop or ease up on

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Donna Frye: How to Reduce Misinformation and Political Polarization

February 11, 2021 by Source

By Donna Frye / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 8, 2021

The political polarization facing our country today is not a new thing. People have been fighting about their differing points of view for as long as anyone can remember.

What is relatively new, however, is the speed at which massive amounts of information can be disseminated to millions of people at the same time.

Not that long ago, people generally relied upon the newspaper, television or radio to find out what was happening both locally and nationally. Those were also the venues people used to communicate their points of view, especially to the public at large.

People sent letters to the editor or called radio programs. Sometimes days passed before their response was received and published. In other words, there was time between the information being received and the response being sent.

That’s not how it works today.

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Teachers Are Not the Problem, They Are the Solution – So Work With Them

February 10, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Time to be blunt. Teachers, students and children are the new electoral battering rams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just as I wrote in June of last year, the 2020 Presidential election it was “not Biden v. Trump, but COVID-19 v. Trump).” And the GOP’s own confidential postmortem report (as quoted on Politico), confirms it.

“The autopsy says that coronavirus registered as the top issue among voters, and that Biden won those voters by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. A majority registered disapproval of Trump’s handling of the virus.

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Biden’s Climate Plan Can Work If it’s Sea to Shining Sea

February 10, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg and Jason Scorse / The Hill / Feb. 4, 2021

Last week President Biden made a firm commitment to transition America from polluting fossil energy to clean renewable power. We and other coastal residents are heartened by his “whole government” approach to tackling the climate crisis, especially his focus on the positive employment impacts of making smart climate investments.

However, we get concerned when the president identifies a million jobs linked to building electric cars in the industrial heartland, yet fails to note the millions of additional climate jobs that could be created in our coastal regions and on our public seas in a new blue economy.

[Editordude’s note: for those inclined to follow-up on issues in this post, please go to the original for any links.]

Coastal jobs solve climate too

Two years ago, recognizing that the Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution lacked sufficient focus on the nation’s coasts and ocean, our organizations began developing an Ocean Climate Action Plan coalition to make sure our public seas are central in U.S. climate policy. Supporters include Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, Leon Panetta, climate activist Jane Fonda and ocean explorer Sylvia Earle.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Proposes Changes to Campbell’s Short-Term Vacation Rental Ordinance

February 9, 2021 by Source

Today, February 9, the Ocean Beach Planning Board is sending Mayor Gloria and every member of the San Diego City Council a letter with the Board’s proposed changes to any short-term vacation rental ordinance – the subject of an upcoming discussion at Council.

The ordinance being discussed by Council is the proposed “compromise” concocted by Jen Campbell’s office, on the docket for February 23.

Here is the OBPB’s response – in the form of proposed amendments – and we post it below without edit:

RE: The Ocean Beach Planning Board’s Proposed Amendments to the Short Term Vacation Rental Ordinance, to be Docketed on February 23rd

The Ocean Beach Planning Board opposes the conversion of long-term housing to Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs). Whole home rentals without an owner or longterm lessee on sight are not a compatible use in residential zones. STVRs exacerbate the housing crisis by increasing investor speculation in the housing market and thus the price.

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Ocean Beach Meat Company Set to Open on Newport Avenue

February 8, 2021 by Source

by snackdiego

Hello, fellow OBceans, OB-adjacent and OB-curious; I’m Sal, and I’m here to indulge my second favorite hobby, talking about eating (and sometimes cooking) in and around Ocean Beach.

So, dining out has been a bit tricky lately huh? I’ve done my best to support our favorite spots with a lot of take out, and the rare dining al fresco when it was allowed, and we felt the setup was safe.

Can you imagine trying to open a new place during all of this?

That’s exactly what Bobby and Shannon are doing with the imminent opening of Ocean Beach Meat Company.

I stopped by to have a chat with them recently and am super excited. In addition to a butcher counter with all of the cuts, they will have ready to go take away meals, sandwiches, and hot food to eat on site.

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OBcean to Paint Mural as Tribute to Kumeyaay in Ramona

February 3, 2021 by Source

By Julie Gallant / Ramona Sentinel / Feb. 3, 2021

The next mural to be showcased in Ramona will be a tribute to the Kumeyaay Native Americans. And if artist Simon Melnyk stays true to his ambitions, it will be an historically accurate rendition that celebrates how the tribe lived in harmony with nature for so many years.

Melnyk is just getting started on the 1,200-square-foot mural that will take up about two-thirds of the blank canvas on the Verizon building at 1530 Main St.

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2021 Predictions From Both Sides of the Border

February 2, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor, U.S. and G.L. Goggin, Mexico

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller

United States:

1. Don’t cry for Liz Cheney.
the stalwart Republican who stood up to Trump on mask mandates and voted to impeach him, is now beating back calls to “resign” her post as the #3 in House GOP leadership position. Her response “I’m not going anywhere.

Prediction: Liz Cheney is going to be the first Republican female minority leader after Kevin McCarthy is ditched. She sees the future and it isn’t Trumpism. And McCarthy’s quote that “Everybody in the U.S. has some responsibility” for the capital riot has greased his skids. Plus, Mitch McConnell is now calling Cheney “courageous.”

2.The impeachment of Trump is a win-win for Democrats.
Trump’s conviction would be a win for the rule of law. His acquittal at Republican hands guarantees the Democrats will picked up more seats in 2022.

3. Trump-ism is radioactive. Economic boycotts, internal GOP strife, and more damaging court cases and investigations will infect all things Trump.

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Fitting Paean to Hodad’s and Mike Hardin Who Passed 6 Years Ago

February 1, 2021 by Source

Editordude: Here is a nice, detached paean to Mike Hardin and Hodad’s of Ocean Beach in an entertainment online platform. Mike passed exactly 6 years ago. For links, please go to the original. )

One of ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ Most Popular Burger Joints Has an Incredibly Tragic Story

By Perry Carpenter / Showbiz CheatSheet / January 23, 2021

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host Guy Fieri has visited Hodad’s in San Diego numerous times throughout the show’s history. The restaurant has also been part of other Food Network specials, and it’s become a destination for fans.

The Ocean Beach staple is a classic American diner with walls covered in classic license plates and a menu that features a famous assortment of burgers. But despite its massive popularity, the burger joint actually has an incredibly tragic story.

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February 2021 Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

February 1, 2021 by Source

All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. February 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th.

February 21st Sunday 12 pm Close Guantanamo Now: A Call to Action Event

February 23 – City Council to review Jen Campbell’s “compromise” on short-term vacation rentals.

February 23rd. Tuesday 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm Jobs in a Green Economy Event by Climate Hub, Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Green New Deal Alliance and Hammond Solutions

February 23rd Tuesday 6:30 pm -7:30 pm Earth Justice

February 24th Wednesday 11 am LIVE with The League | POWER STRUGGLE Event by League of Women Voters of San Diego The franchise agreement with SDG&E is ending and San Diego must decide its energy future. Who should own and operate our municipal power? Join us for a riveting discussion of the different arguments for and against privatization of the city’s gas and electric utilities. More importantly, learn how the different outcomes could impact you and your family for years to come. We are pleased to host science, Environment and Energy Writer MacKenzie Elmer of the Voice of San Diego, Community Organizer and Activist Derek Casady and San Diego City Councilmember Chris Cate. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/915732552336873

February 25th Thursday 5 pm – 6:30 pm A Democracy for All of U.S. – Democracy in America’s Finest City hosted by Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies J

February 26th Friday1 pm – 2:30 pm All About Ebikes Event by San Diego Bike Coalition What are electric bicycles? How do the rules of the road apply to ebikers? Why are these things so popular all the sudden? More info: https://sdbikecoalition.org/event/all-about-ebikes/

And Much More …

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Recall Campbell Effort Becomes Official

February 1, 2021 by Source

The effort to recall Councilwoman Jen Campbell is becoming official this week. The Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition is being published and Campbell will likely be served over the next few days. Once these procedural elements have been accomplished, the recall effort can begin to officially collect signatures.

The Petition outlines a host of reasons for the recall effort (see below) and ends with, “Councilmember Campbell has betrayed the voters and is unfit for office. Having no other recourse, we the residents of District 2, together with concerned residents throughout the city, have come together to take this action.”

Five fairly prominent and active residents of District 2 have stepped up during this crucial moment and have signed their names to the Petition. They represent every neighborhood of District 2 and include:

  1. Kevin Hastings – Vice Chair, Ocean Beach Planning Board
  2. Cathie (Jolley) Umemoto – presently a director on the PB Town Council Board of Directors. Cathie is two-time past President of PBTC and 2019-2020 Honorary Mayor of PB.
  3. Mandy Havlik – Board Member & Secretary, Peninsula Community Planning Board
  4. Erin Cullen – Board Member, Clairemont Community Planning Group
  5. Gary Wonacott – Past President, Mission Beach Town Council

Here is the Notice statement:

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Court Rejects Legal Challenge to Stop Work at San Onofre

January 29, 2021 by Source

Nuclear Shutdown News January 2021

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

By Michael Steinberg

Court rejects legal challenge to stop work at San Onofre.

On January 14 Law 360 reported, “9th Circuit Court Denies Advocate’s Nuclear Decommissioning Challenge.” The case concerns San Diego based Public Advocate’s petition asserting that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “abdicated its safety responsibilities” overseeing the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant in Orange county, Southern California, which shut down in 2012.

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San Diego Must Get Real About Reaching Its Bike Commuting Goals

January 29, 2021 by Source

By Paul Krueger / Times of San Diego / January 28, 2021

Count me among that small but dedicated group of San Diegans who embrace bicycling for its health and environmental benefits.

When I worked downtown, I often commuted 14 miles roundtrip from my Talmadge home. Now retired, I bike to doctor’s appointments in La Mesa and Mission Valley, and stores in North Park and Hillcrest.

It’s a rewarding challenge to climb those hills, and fun to see city life up close. But it’s also a bit demoralizing.

That’s because I have so little company on my two-wheeled travels around our county.

San Diego has spent millions of dollars for dedicated bike lanes, but from where I sit, the “if you build them, they will come” strategy has been an abject failure.

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Movement to Recall Jen Campbell Is Growing

January 28, 2021 by Source

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The San Diego Kaiser COVID-19 Chronicles: Robots, Earthlings and Angels

January 28, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What keeps America together? See for yourself.

“Look at the people that are on the ground. That’s who represents America,” says Admiral William McRaven; the man who oversaw the Bin Laden raid.

Look at the great story of the Oregon health workers who got stuck in a snowstorm on their way back from a COVID-19 vaccination event and went car to car injecting stranded drivers before several of the doses expired.

That “impromptu vaccine clinic” is a prime example of who represents America. Those are the angels among us. As I discovered myself.

Starting from the beginning.

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‘MyTurn’ Pilot Project Regarding COVID Vaccinations Available to San Diego County Residents

January 27, 2021 by Source

The State of California on Monday made a pilot project website regarding the COVID-19 vaccine available for residents in San Diego and Los Angeles counties on which people can sign up to receive alerts on when they’re eligible and then schedule an appointment.

The website, at MyTurn.ca.gov, allows people to input their basic information and learn if they are currently available to receive a vaccination and, if so, allow them to scheduled a shot.

People who aren’t yet eligible can provide information on age and occupation and register to receive an email or text alert about when they will be able to schedule a shot.

The MyTurn system is operating on a trial basis for residents of the two counties. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the system will hopefully be available statewide by early February.

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