California

Thoughts on California Midterms: Defeats for Big Money, November Hopes Survive for Democrats

June 11, 2018 by Jim Miller

Thud! What’s that sound? It’s the unceremonious crash landing of tens of millions of dollars of Charter Schools Association money in the Governor’s race backing Antonio Villaraigosa.

Never has such an obscene amount of money been spent on a bad cause with so little to show for it. The good news here is that their efforts to turn the November election into a proxy war between the billionaire boys club and California’s educators failed miserably.

Now, rather than having to watch the tragic irony of a multimillion-dollar crusade against teachers’ unions standing in for our Governor’s race in California while elsewhere in the red states teachers are turning the tide against decades of austerity budgeting brought to us by the GOP, we can watch a Democrat cruise to victory against the Trump-endorsed Republican.

That’s more like it.

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Californians : Today Is a Good Day to Vote Against the Emperor

June 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Today – Primary Day in California – is a good day to vote against the self-proclaimed emperor, Donald Trump.

Yesterday, June 4, Trump tweeted, “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, …” This is akin to what a monarch, a king believes – the view of a dictator, an emperor.

“In this view the president is like kings and emperors of ages past. By definition, he cannot violate the law. It’s not that he is above the law. As president, the argument goes, he is the law.”

That’s not of the OB Rag – that’s from the Los Angeles Times editorial in today’s paper.

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Images of Obama and Filner Invoked as Primary Campaigns Get Down and Dirty

May 23, 2018 by Doug Porter

From San Diego Free Press

The intensity of political campaigning is rising as Californians have one week of mailing in ballots behind them.

Advertising aimed at creating uncertainty in those who don’t follow politics closely, along with messaging featuring deceptive claims is flooding airwaves and filling mailboxes.

The absentee vote tracker at PoliticalData.com, using information from the San Diego County Voter Registrar’s office, says roughly 10% of those receiving absentee ballots in the region had been returned as of Thursday, May 17.

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OB Town Council: How We Can Help the OB Parrots – Wed., May 23

May 22, 2018 by Staff

Please join the Ocean Beach Town Council at their next meeting, Wednesday, May 23, where they will be discussing the OB Parrots and ways in which the community can support these beautiful and unique residents of Ocean Beach.

In particular the discussion will examine the City’s springtime tree-trimming policy, which often endangers parrot nests.

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California Should Not Risk Its Clean Energy Future on Extreme Strategies

May 18, 2018 by Source

By Tyson Siegele / SanDiego350

California will soon decide whether to combine its electric grid management with western states dependent on coal mining and coal-based electricity. This massive change has been proposed in the form of Assembly Bill 813 and before that in Assembly Bill 726. If passed, either of those bills would provide an avenue for coal-fired electricity to gain access to the California market. This would make the transition to renewable energy even harder.

Unifying California’s grid operations with other western states would be a huge risk. Thankfully better options are available.

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Antonio Villaraigosa: A Candidate Backed by the Billionaire Boys Club and Trump Megadonors

May 14, 2018 by Jim Miller

Getting bored yet with all the glossy Anthony Villaraigosa commercials touting the utopia that will be California if only the former mayor of Los Angeles rises from the basement in the polls and becomes our next governor? Just a few weeks ago, Villaraigosa was languishing at 9% in the polls, having fallen behind the no-name Republicans in the race to see who would compete against Gavin Newsom in November. Now the airwaves in the Golden State are awash in all things Antonio all the time.

What gives?

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Shedding Light on the Shady Money Trail of a Candidate for Calif. Superintendent of Public Instruction

April 9, 2018 by Jim Miller

Recently, when the San Francisco Chronicle endorsed Marshall Tuck for California Superintendent of Public Instruction, they did so because, according to their editorial board, he has “the skills and vision to bring about needed change” and would stand up to “the status quo” (read: teachers’ unions).

While it has become quite common for mainstream corporate media outlets to blindly parrot the rhetoric of corporate education reformers, in this case, it is an exercise in doublethink of Trumpian proportions. Far from being a populist outsider fighting the establishment, Tuck is the pure product of the billionaire class.

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Demystifying Rent Control – 7 Myths and 7 Facts

March 1, 2018 by Source

Demystifying Rent Control

Rent control can help solve California’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis by decreasing displacement and protecting the rights and dignity of working families, the elderly, and long-term tenants. To demystify rent control in California, here are seven rent control myths followed by seven anti-poverty tenant protection ordinances cities can implement.

By Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi / San Diego UrbDeZine / February 22, 2018

Articles and studies from newspapers to academic journals warn the public against the havoc and devastation caused by rent control ordinances. However, it is not tenants and community based organizations that are funding these articles and studies, …
Myth 1: Rent control is illegal.
Fact: Rent control is legal and an effective tool to address housing affordability.

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Why Should I Be A Democrat? – How the Party Works in California and San Diego, Part 2

February 28, 2018 by Doug Porter

Part Two in an Irregular Series.

Part One: The State Democrats Come to San Diego

In the Golden State you really only have one option if electoral politics is your thing: the Democratic Party. Should you choose to be involved, realize that the mass media portrayal of this organization is driven by the need for headlines, controversy, and conflict. The day-to-day reality is another matter altogether.

Understanding how the party functions in California should guide your activism. So today’s column will be primarily a guide to navigating your way through the largest State Democratic Party in the country. (I’ll save internal/external controversies for future columns.)

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Diablo Canyon – the Last California Nuke – Is on It’s Way Out: Nuclear Shutdown News January 2018

February 6, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free future. Here is out January 2018 report:

Diablo Canyon. The last of California’s nuclear power plants is on its way out.

The year began with a bang in Cali. Pretty much all the state’s major media outlets, as well as others across the nation, carried it as their lead story.

My personal favorite was this headline from the January 11, San Diego Union-Tribune

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A First Hand Account of the Northern California Fires

October 16, 2017 by Source

Editor: We have all read about the horrible fires and devastation north of us. This account was sent to OB Rag staff member Judi Curry by a friend living in the Bay Area, who has given permission to post.

I am going up today to look around. I am still shut out of my neighborhood. The boys are staying at the beach.

Reflecting on the current reality, and thought I’d share, since some folks who haven’t been here yet are driving in this weekend …

We walk around in masks, and know what N95 means. We regularly ask if you “saw flames or just smoke.” We gather in parking lots to watch our hillside, discuss “back fire,” and argue over white vs. black smoke. We end conversations with strangers with “Be Safe.”

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Why Does the Colorado River Need to Sue for Its Right to Exist?

September 29, 2017 by Source

View of Dead Horse Point, Colorado River

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

On Tuesday, September 26, the Colorado River will sue the State of Colorado in a first-in-the-nation lawsuit requesting that the United States District Court in Denver recognize the river’s rights of nature. These rights include the rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and naturally evolve. To enforce these rights, the Colorado River will also request that the court grant the river “personhood” and standing to sue in American courts.

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California Hating by the Heroes of Populism

August 22, 2017 by Source

By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

For whatever reason, California envy has been rising lately.

Remember Rick Perry’s failed attempt to lure high tech and other of the state’s businesses (Elon Musk’s Tesla, included) to Texas in 2013 and 2014?

Did you know that a Utah state legislator has offered a bill to support California’s secession from the United States?

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California’s Senate Bill 17: First Step Toward Fixing Our Other Big Drug Problem

August 9, 2017 by Doug Porter

The California Assembly will be considering legislation in just a few weeks holding drug makers accountable by demanding greater transparency in decisions leading to price increases. It’s a small, but necessary, step toward making health care more affordable, so pay attention when you hear about Senate Bill 17.

America’s Other Drug Problem, namely consumers all-too-often being gouged on the price of prescription drugs, has proven to be a tough nut to crack. “Everybody knows” drug prices are ridiculously high. Other developed nations average 41% of U.S. net drug prices (for the 15 companies marketing the 20 top-selling drugs).

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Ten Concrete Actions Jerry Brown Can Take to Become a Real Green Governor

June 19, 2017 by Source

by Dan Bacher

Responding to President Donald Trump’s decision on June 1 to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, California Governor Jerry Brown immediately issued a bluntly-worded statement condemning the decision.

“Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course,” said Brown. “He’s wrong on the facts. America’s economy is boosted by following the Paris Agreement. He’s wrong on the science. Totally wrong. California will resist this misguided and insane course of action. Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle.”

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Cat Herding and Loathing at the California Democratic State Convention

May 23, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Democrats gathered in Sacramento this past weekend for their annual convention, and there were–surprise, surprise–disagreements. Based on the angst woven into some news accounts of the event, you’d think some of these writers had never heard the comparison made between organizing Dems and herding cats.

Foremost among the hand-wringing coverage were stories about the competition for chair of the California Democratic Party. Kimberly Ellis, widely considered to be an insurgent candidate symbolizing the aspirations of the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, lost to Eric Bauman, Male Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair, by 62 votes.

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California Failing to Track Police Database Abuse

May 23, 2017 by Source

Typically, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office conducts more investigations into CLETS misuse than any other agency. This time, they did not file anything at all.

By Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

Police in California have your data literally at their fingertips.

They can sit at a computer terminal or in their squad car and check your DMV records, your criminal records, your parking citations, any restraining orders you’ve filed or have been filed against you. They can search other state databases and even tap into the FBI’s trove. If you’ve got a snowmobile, they can look up that registration too. Much of this personal data they can access through a smartphone app.

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Return of the Freewayblogger!

March 16, 2017 by Source

By Freewayblogger / Daily Kos

How mad do you need to get? How many lies do you have delivered straight to your face by this administration? How long do you just sit there and take it?

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Trump’s Border Brownshirts Already Running Amok

March 1, 2017 by Doug Porter

The ‘gloves are off’ is a terrible thing to say to anybody with a gun and a badge

By Doug Porter

We’re already seeing glimpses of what ‘empowered’ agencies charged with immigration enforcement will look like in the Trump era, and it’s not a pretty sight.

What seems to be clear at this point is that some enforcement personnel in Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol (two separate agencies, both in Homeland security) aren’t even waiting for the official go-ahead.

San Diego has been lucky–thus far– …

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Ocean Beach, Peninsula and Midway Planning Boards All Have Elections in March

February 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

All three of the planning boards that make up the Point Loma planning areas have their annual elections coming up in March.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its election on Wednesday, March 15th, the Peninsula Community Planners hold theirs on March 16th, and the election for the Midway – Pacific Hwy Planning Group will also take place March 15th.

Here are details for the various planning committee elections:

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OB’s Electric Car Charging Stations Promoted as San Diego Surges to Become Green Leader

February 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilwoman Lori Zapf were in Ocean Beach last week promoting the two new electric vehicle charging stations installed in the Life Guard parking lot. Both politicos feel that with the City’s surge in offering stations to the public – now up to 68 – shows that San Diego is becoming a municipal leader in dealing with climate change.

“Move over Portland, San Diego is growing greener and we’re growing smarter,” Zapf said, as it has been reported than there are currently an estimated 13,000 electric vehicles on the road in San Diego.

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Locals Organize to Spell Out “IMPEACH” on the Sands of Ocean Beach in San Diego – March 4th

February 15, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

In an upfront effort to replicate the effort by folks up in Ocean Beach of San Francisco to spell out the word “RESIST”, locals are now organizing a similar move here in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

In a definite move to up the ante, San Diegans want to spell out the word “IMPEACH” on the beach just north of the OB Pier on Saturday, March 4th.

The plan is to march up the beach from Dog Beach and in a ‘putting your body where your mouth is’ kind of thing, spell out in hundred foot letters the word “Impeach”.

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Thousands Spell Out “Resist” on the Sand at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach

February 15, 2017 by Source


Thousands of protesters gathered on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach on Saturday, using their bodies to send a political message. To spectators on the beach, the purpose of the protest may have seemed unclear.

But from the sky, there was no question. Thousands of people spelled out “RESIST!!” on the sand.

Organizer Brad Newsham wrote on Facebook that “a close study of a high-resolution overhead shot shows between 4,600 and 5,600 participants.”

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California Assemblywoman Wants to Make Beaches and Coast More Accessible

February 8, 2017 by Source

From East County Today

California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) announced on Feb. 3rd a push for more affordable overnight accommodations along the California coast to help ensure that the state’s iconic beaches and shores are affordable and accessible for low- and middle-income residents to visit.

Under Assembly Bill 250, which the Assemblywoman introduced last week, the state agency in charge of preserving the Golden State’s 840 miles of coastline would be required to develop a Low Cost Overnight Accommodations Program in an effort to reverse a troubling trend in which visiting on the coast has become prohibitively expensive for many Californians.

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March Elections for Ocean Beach Planning Board Approacheth

February 6, 2017 by Staff
Thumbnail image for March Elections for Ocean Beach Planning Board Approacheth

Tenants Are Encouraged to Run as Candidates for Board

Every year community planning boards and committees around the city hold their annual elections – most of them – in March.

And the Ocean Beach Planning Board is no different. The annual election to the panel of OB volunteers who make recommendations about projects that come before it to the city is being held Wednesday, March 15th. The balloting takes place inside the OB Recreation Center.

Any tenant, resident, property owner or business owner in Ocean Beach can take part in the election.

Importantly, everyone from these categories can also be a candidate for one of the seats on the 14-member Board.

So, if interested, check the district map for the district of your residence or business or property. At least one seat in each of the 7 districts is up for election each year.

CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS INSIDE

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Reader’s Rant: Peninsula Planning Board Chair Prevented Community from Important Questioning of City Development Director

February 1, 2017 by Source
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Lost Opportunity to “Grill” Director Vacchi Over 30-Foot Height Enforcement

By Geoff Page

I want to relate some observations and opinions about the 30-foot height discussion and the sorry appearance of Robert Vacchi, Director of the Development Services Department (DSD), at the January 19 monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). I wrote a report of the meeting that appeared in the OB Rag last week but that report was an attempt at an objective account of the meeting; my opinions, and I have a few, were held in check.

Let me start my piece with a little background. Recently, the editor of the OB Rag drafted me into his informal and diverse staff to provide regular reporting on the Midway and Peninsula monthly planning board meetings. To his credit, the editor is making a real effort to provide as much news as he can about the community around us, if he can manage to cajole enough folks to help. The main focus is OB, of course, and Point Loma, but also beyond.

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San Diego Is First California City to Approve Adult-Use Cannabis Sales at Medical Dispensaries

February 1, 2017 by Source

By TG Branfalt / Ganjapreneur

San Diego California’s city council unanimously voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales at the cities current 15 medical dispensaries once the voter-backed program is fully implemented, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Officials also indicated they would consider regulations later this year that would permit commercial cannabis cultivation, testing, and distribution.

A “sunset clause” is included in the measure, which requires the council to vote whether or not to allow cultivation within nine months.

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Point Loma High Students Voice Their Concerns about Trump

January 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Point Loma High Students Voice Their Concerns about Trump

A group of students from Point Loma High School’s Cinematic Arts class has made a PSA of students voicing their concerns with President Elect Donald Trump.

Please come inside for video

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OB Historical Society – Meet Maggie Espinosa : Traveler Journalist & Author – Thurs., Jan. 19th

January 16, 2017 by Staff

Thursday, January 19, 7 pm
Ocean Beach Historical Society Program
Thursday, January 19, 7 pm
at P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

Maggie Espinosa

Traveler Journalist & Author

Maggie Espinosa embarked on an 800-mile walk to visit California’s 21 missions from San Diego to Sonoma along the El Camino Real. What ensued was the journey of a lifetime to become the 11th person to complete this sojourn.

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Protect San Diegans’ Obamacare – Call to Action!

January 6, 2017 by Anna Daniels

no obamacare repeal

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The 115th Congress convened for the first time earlier this week. After their disastrous behind closed doors attempt to gut the Office of Ethics went down in flames, they decided that it was time to concentrate on the number one priority–Repeal and Replace Obamacare.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare has been the Republican mantra since 2009. Their call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act is gratuitous, but it has kept the base hopeful if not happy. Repeal is infinitely easier than proposing a replacement and Republicans have nothing to offer in its place.

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