Civil Rights

Safe Parking Lot Opens in Mission Valley – First to Accommodate RVs

June 18, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The Mission Valley parking lot for homeless who live in vehicles has finally opened.

Promised by Mayor Faulconer for months, the lot – located near the corner of Friars Road and Mission Village Drive – opened for the very first time at 6pm on Monday, June 17 . It will continue to operate between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and also is the first such lot that is open to people living in their RVs. The lot, part of the City of San Diego’s Safe Parking Lot” Program accommodates up to 80 RVs or 200 standard vehicles.

A statement from the mayor’s office read in part: “Like the other two parking sites, this lot will include access to case managers, housing specialists, and more.”

Services provided at the lot will focus on several areas, including: basic needs assistance, employment, family wellness, school success, financial education, credit repair and housing.

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OB’s Very First Street Fair – 1983

June 12, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s a photo of OB’s very first Street Fair in 1983. Did anyone wear shirts way back then?

Provided by Mike James and Nicole Ueno.

Oh, and don’t forget the upcoming Street Fair on June 22th.

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3-Way Stand-Off Over Who Will Run the Sports Arena

May 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

AEG manages the old Sports Arena – now Pechanga Arena – and they went to court to prevent the city from turning over how much it makes to the group that owns the San Diego Gulls that is bidding to take over management

By Andrew Keatts / Voice of San Diego

The city of San Diego finds itself in the middle of what’s becoming a bitter fight between the company that runs Pechanga Arena and the venue’s most high-profile tenant. But the central contention of that dispute should be moot by July, when the two sides are scheduled to hash it out in court.

Last month, San Diego officials started accepting bids to run Pechanga Arena – the Midway district venue long known as the Sports Arena

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Duncan Hunter (& Dad) to Crawl Out From Under Their Rocks for Border Issues Town Hall

May 23, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds

Indicted San Diego Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his father, former congressman Duncan Hunter, will participate in a joint town hall-style event focused on border issues on Saturday, May 25, 11:30am at the Ramona Mainstage, 626 Main Street.

Doors are open at 11am, the capacity for the hall is 400 people, and it appears entry is on a first come, first served basis. An article in the Union-Tribune says event organizers are expecting protesters.

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San Diego’s Disenfranchised Win One, Lose One at City Council

May 17, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / May 15, 2019

Tuesday, May 15, should serve as a reminder of the strengths and weaknesses of the presently constituted San Diego City Council.

A non-binding resolution in support of a critical reform in law enforcement policy passed with unanimous support from Democrats. That’s the good news.

Here’s the bad news: An ordinance crafted amid an angry wave of protest about people without homes sleeping in vehicles split the liberal vote, once again proving some people’s empathy ends at their front door.

Our inability to deal with the collateral damage from the currently fashionable economic norms means public employees will be empowered to criminalize homelessness.

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Abortion Is a Men’s Issue, Too. So Why Aren’t Men Speaking Out?

May 16, 2019 by Source

By ZawnVillines / Daily Kos / May 16, 2019

One in four women has had an abortion. It’s a figure that’s prompted activists to remind us that everyone loves someone who has had an abortion, and that group discussions of abortion will almost always include at least one person who has undergone the procedure. Many women have worked tirelessly to destigmatize abortion. They’re willing to risk their lives and reputations, subjecting themselves to judgment, derision, and threats, to share their abortion stories.

Yet a person with a penis is involved in 100% of abortions. Where are they? Why aren’t they shouting their own abortion stories, talking about how abortion allowed them to pursue their dreams, live their lives, and pursue financial health?

I know dozens of women who devote every spare second they have to fighting for safe and legal abortion. Many of them also have full-time jobs and multiple children. Where are their husbands?

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Black Panthers in San Diego

April 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Interview with Henry Wallace – San Diego Black Panther

There are Black Panthers here in San Diego today. Henry Wallace – for one – is a member of the San Diego Black Panther Party. Henry Wallace was also a Black Panther here in San Diego back in the late Sixties, fifty-some years ago.

Today a Black Panther Party chapter exists in San Diego. And Henry Wallace is responsible for breathing new life into the militant political party that calls our town home.

This is all part of the history Henry shares with us here in an interview with the OB Rag.

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Surfline’s SoCal Forecast Analysis: Here Come the NW Winds, Rising NW Windswell

April 9, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

By Keaton Browning / Surfline.com / April 9, 2019

The Bottom Line

  • Surf Trend: Rising NW winds and windswell on Tues PM. Jumbled surf through Wed, but possibly cleaning up Thur AM.
  • Novice: Probably best to hold off for possible cleaner conditions, smaller surf Friday into the weekend.
  • Tides: AM lows, PM highs (but not deep tides).
  • Water Temps: Upper 50s for many areas, low 60s for South LA, South OC and San Diego.
  • Also Watch Out For: Periods of strong onshore wind Tues; Another SSW swell lining up for next week.

Today, April 9th: 3-4’+ in the morning, trending up to 4-6’+ by afternoon. Rising NW winds/windswell. Old NW swell mix fades out as a fresh round of NW windswell fills in through the day

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Ralph Nader: Boeing Greed Led to Software Without Pilots

March 21, 2019 by Source

By Ralph Nader / Common Dreams / March 21, 2019

As internal and external pressures mount to hold Boeing responsible for its criminal negligence, the giant company is exerting its immense influence to limit both its past and future accountability.

Boeing whistleblowers and outside aviation safety experts are coming forward to reveal the serial, criminal negligence of Boeing’s handling of its dangerous Boeing 737 Max airplanes,

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Rules on Streetlight Spy Cams Released by San Diego Police

March 14, 2019 by Source

Video cannot “harass, intimidate, or discriminate against any individual or group”

By Matt Potter / San Diego Reader / March 13, 2019

More than a year after San Diego launched a video and audio surveillance network incorporated into 3200 streetlights, the police department has finally released new rules spelling out how the system is used by law enforcement.

Since its inception in early 2017, officials have not been eager to acknowledge the eavesdropping potential of the multi-million-dollar surveillance set-up, dubbed the Intelligent Streetlight project.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jen LeBron went so far as to insist in a February 23, 2017, Reuters account that information gathered by the system’s cameras would consist of “anonymous data with no personal identifiers.” Video amassed by the system “is not as detailed as security camera footage,” she went on to assert, per the report.

But the facts were different,

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Might Reparations Lead to Us Living in Harmony?

March 14, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Tried to wax eloquently recently
about reparations,
speaking of it as
a “The checks in the mail”
kind of operation
but now I’m thinking
Reparations?

In this nation?
as I take into consideration|
that Americans
have shown neither the skills
or the will,
by any stretch of the imagination,
to have anything near a genuine
social or political
conversation
focused on bettering human relations,
especially one
regarding compensation
or a people’s history
of pain and suffering
and humiliation.

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Border Intelligence Operation Aimed at Journalists and Activists Part of Bigger Spying Scheme

March 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

Editordude: The outrage following this story about ICE and CBP targeting immigration activists, attorneys and journalists included steamed editorials in both the San Diego Union-Tribune and the LA Times today. Even Steve Breen was tasked to draw up something about it – and now, that’s news.

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / March 7, 2019

NBC 7 News dropped an explosive story on Wednesday [March 6] based on documents provided by a “Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity.”

It’s a great story and there’s been plenty of praise (and reaction) as a local news organization’s scoop has been picked up nationwide.

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Only San Diego Police Have Data from New Streetlight Spy Cams and Sensors

February 25, 2019 by Source

Data gathered “exclusively for law enforcement purposes”

By Matt Potter / San Diego Reader / Feb. 21, 2019

As predicted by privacy advocates, a hoard of surveillance data collected by video cameras and audio sensors incorporated into San Diego street lights is exclusively in the hands of the city’s police department.

The sweeping police powers are contained in a freshly-minted Intelligent Streetlight Data Policy, signed and dated February 6

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Reparations Are Way Overdue

February 21, 2019 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Every now and again
in this nation,
talks of reparations
enter into our conversations
and some folks
are saying
that such
could cost trillions
by some calculations,
implying it would be
too costly.

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If Trump Declares a National Emergency, He’ll Be Breaking the Law

February 15, 2019 by Source

Originally posted Jan. 11, 2019

By Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn Blog / Jan. 11, 2019

Congress refuses to enact legislation containing the nearly $6 billion that Donald Trump is demanding for an unnecessary wall on the southern US border. In response, Trump is considering whether to declare a national emergency, take money Congress has appropriated for other purposes, and divert it to build his wall. But under US law, the president cannot usurp the spending power the Constitution grants only to Congress.

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San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art to Honor the 2019 Keepers of the Culture

February 7, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On February 9, 2019, the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art in collaboration with the San Diego History Center will host the 2nd annual recognition of individual’s whose contributions have resulted in retaining and expanding the cultural expressions that are uniquely African American.

The event will be from 5:30-7:30 PM at the San Diego History Center, located in Balboa Park, Casa de Balboa, 1649 El Prado, Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101.

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Point Loma House Crushed by Pine Tree Was a Vacation Rental

January 21, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The 2-story house in Point Loma that was crushed by a falling pine tree and in which two people were killed, was a short-term vacation rental.

The house at 4404 Santa Monica Avenue is listed on VRBO – a major vacation rental host site – for an average of $193 a night. And tragically, you can see the huge tree that collapsed in the background on the main photo.

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The Constitution Does Not Give Trump ‘Emergency Powers’

January 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Our Constitution does not give President Trump “emergency powers” and he can’t suspend it whenever he perceives there’s a national emergency. So says Constitutional expert and Dean of UC Berkeley Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky. And I believe him over Trump and any of his sycophants.

If Trump tries to simply invoke emergency powers and build a wall between the United States and Mexico without congressional approval, it would “constitute an unconstitutional and dangerous expansion of presidential power,”

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Have an OB Christmas

December 25, 2018 by Source

by Ray Blavatt

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Amazon’s Disturbing Plan to Add Face Surveillance to Your Front Door

December 17, 2018 by Source

By Jacob Snow, Technology & Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU of Northern California / ACLU Speak Freely

Recently, a patent application from Amazon became public that would pair face surveillance — like Rekognition, the product that the company is aggressively marketing to police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — with Ring, a doorbell camera company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

While the details are sketchy,

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30 Arrested at Border for Nonviolent Action in Support of Migrant Caravans

December 11, 2018 by Source

Border Patrol agents in riot gear stop faith leaders in Border Field State Park

By American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

On the afternoon of December 10th, dozens of faith leaders were arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience at the U.S.-Mexico border. More than 400 people of faith and supporters gathered in Border Field State Park in San Diego in support of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. Faith leaders guided the group in a solemn procession to the border. When they reached the enforcement zone, they were stopped by a line of Border Patrol agents in riot gear. Leaders moved forward to offer a ceremonial blessing. Thirty people were taken into custody.

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Chaos and Cruelty at the San Diego Border

November 26, 2018 by Anna Daniels

We have become the barbarians at the gate
By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

As if ripping children from their parents’ arms, locking them up in cages or sending them to facilities on the other side of the country weren’t the absolute low point of the Trump administrations response to immigrants seeking asylum, we are now tear gassing children.

Let that sink in for a moment. We are tear gassing children, who were reported as running screaming and crying from the tear gas canisters shot into Mexico, a foreign country, by US Border Patrol. (Imagine this situation reversed, with Mexico lobbying canisters into the US.)

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Marjorie Cohn to Speak – Church of the Brethren – Sunday, Nov.18

November 16, 2018 by Staff

This Sunday, Marjorie Cohn is the Souper Supper Speaker at the Church of the Brethren. In celebration of San Diego peace and justice.

Marjorie’s profound analysis of human rights, US foreign policy and the contradictions between the 2 is deeply respected around the world.

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Midterm Voters Rejected One-Party Rule and Created Most Diverse Congress in U.S. History

November 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie


What happened one week ago cannot be over-stated. Yeah, those mid-term results – whose vote totals are still coming in. And despite pundit declarations there wasn’t a “blue wave”, Democrats continue to be declared winners.

Yet, we must underscore and duly acknowledge the two huge things that happened last Tuesday. A majority of American voters rejected the one-party rule we’ve had these last two years, at least on the Federal level, – and in the process created the most diverse Congress in history. Or vice-versa.

The results were devastating to Trump. That’s why – the very next day – he fired Attorney Jeff Sessions

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Dumanis Was Swamped by Fletcher in County Supervisor Race

November 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

County Supervisor candidate and former District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, was simply swamped by Nathan Fletcher.

Check out this map of how all the precincts in Supervisor District 4 voted, thanks to inewsource.

As you can see plainly, Fletcher took all but 11 precincts, and one of those was a tie. District 4 includes most of the City of San Diego, including Ocean Beach, more than half of Point Loma, and all the other northern beach areas, as well as most neighborhoods north and south of I-8. All in all, a very Democratic-leaning area.

We can easily speculate that this race was probably the last one that Dumanis will run.

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OB Hardware About to Celebrate 100 Years in Ocean Beach

October 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Hardware store at 4871 Newport Avenue is about to celebrate being one-hundred years old, having first opened in 1919. We don’t know yet how they plan to celebrate and we don’t know the details of the original days on a dusty street called Newport. But we wish them the best – one hundred years for a business, especially these days, is a very, very long time.

The storefront, formally called OB Paint and Hardware, has been at its current location for about 5 or 6 years, having moved just a few doors down from the space they occupied literally for decades.

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50 Years Ago Today – October 2, 1968: Massacre in Mexico City

October 2, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Troops opened fire on protesters in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas - APWhen I traveled in Mexico in the late 1970s, I would often come across political graffiti that read “gobierno asesino” with ‘remember October 2’ inscribed on walls or fences. These referred to the huge massacre in Mexico City of protesters on October 2, 1968, right around the time of the Summer Olympics in that city.

Fifty years ago today. Thousands were killed by the bullets of soldiers and police in an unbelievable display of authoritarian might in our southern neighbor. This mass murder came down at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco . The protests in Mexico City mirrored upheavals around the world that explosive year – in Paris, in Prague, in Chicago. Yet no where else, did a government simply murder so many of its own citizens as in Mexico City.

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OB Rag Is Taking a Sick Day Monday

October 1, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Thank god for MediCal

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What Just Happened With the Kavanaugh Vote?

September 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Bi-Partisan Group of Senators Agree to Delay Kavanaugh Vote One Week on Senate Floor for FBI Background Investigation; Trump Still Has to Authorize It

If you’re wondering ‘what just the heck happened?’ in the Senate Judiciary Committee vote this afternoon – here,

IN BRIEF:

Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley had scheduled a vote on Judge Kavanaugh this afternoon at 1:30 pm ET. But there were some last-minute ‘backroom’ discussions going on involving Republican Jeff Flake and Democrats. Earlier in the day, Flake had announced he intended to confirm Kavanaugh.

But something was up.

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We Didn’t Publish Today as We Watched the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Dr Ford and Judge Kavanaugh

September 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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