Environment

Environmentalists Win Battle Over Fate of Campland in Mission Bay Park

May 14, 2021 by Source

RV park retreats from De Anza Point proposal after Coastal Commission raises concerns

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 13, 2021

SAN DIEGO —Environmentalists won a battle over recreational vehicle owners Wednesday regarding the future of Mission Bay Park’s northeast corner, which is slated to become a combination of marshland and added park space. The ongoing battle over how the land will be divided among those two priorities took a potential turn toward marshland Wednesday, when opposition from the state Coastal Commission prompted a retreat by supporters of RV camping.

Environmentalists have harshly criticized a plan approved by the San Diego City Council in 2019 to allow the Campland on the Bay RV park to expand onto De Anza Point, site of a defunct mobile home park.

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‘GIMBY’ – Garden In My Back Yard

May 12, 2021 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

“G” is a “Great” letter. So many “Good” words start with “G”. One of my favorites is “Green”.

The world is on the path to understanding that without GREENING, we will not be walking down a garden path to any livable future, which leads to my starring “G” word “Garden.”

Ocean Beach once again is getting its green on! The San Diego Floral Association is featuring the “Vistas and Verandahs: The Gardens of Ocean Beach Garden Tour,” The tour is Saturday, June 26, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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New York Shutters Its Last Indian Point Nuke Reactor

May 3, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News for May 2021

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 working for a nuclear free future.

New York Nuke’s Shutdown Marks Historic Milestone

By the time you read this it may have already happened. On the last day of April this year, the third and final reactor at the unfortunately named Indian Point nuclear plant will be permanently shut down. This plant is located on the Hudson River, just 36 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. Almost all of NYC is within 59 miles of IP.

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Someone Has to Speak for the Trees.

April 30, 2021 by Source

Here’s how TreeWatch San Diego works to protect our urban forest.

By Carolyn Chase / San Diego Union-Tribune OpEd / April 26, 2021

While big events like the EarthFair in Balboa Park were delayed for the second April in a row by COVID-19, the annual observation of Earth Day still gave people time to look for what you can do the rest of the year to connect with nature and help protect it, such as help your local trees and parks.

In the city of San Diego, healthy trees 110 years old and in the public right-of-way have been cut down in violation of city policies and processes. These trees are the latest casualty in a disturbing trend of tree losses to development, disease, pests and neglect. California pepper trees were planted in 1910 in Kensington and about

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These Gorgeous Tiny Houses Can Operate Entirely Off the Grid

April 27, 2021 by Source

It can even generate its own water.

By Adele Peters / Fast Company / May 2019

In a factory in Nevada, a large 3D printer prints the pieces of new prefab tiny homes that can work fully off the grid. When complete, the houses will run on solar power, including heating and cooling. An optional system generates water from moisture in the outdoor air so it isn’t necessary to connect to a city water supply. In the bathroom, the home is among the first in the U.S. to use a new shower that cleans and recycles water.

The house, from a startup called PassivDom, is designed to use as few resources as possible.

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Why I Hate Living In My Tiny House

April 26, 2021 by Source

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

By Adele Peters / Fast Company

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

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Halt the Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld – Sign the Petition

April 19, 2021 by Source

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis,every day for 3 months straight during the summer season alone. They are damaging the overall physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration. Sign the Petition – go here.

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‘There Is More Than Just Water in the Pacific Ocean Off Ocean Beach’

April 14, 2021 by Source

An Introduction To A “Trash Man”

By Judi Curry

Several weeks ago I met a very interesting resident of Ocean Beach and in the course of our getting to know Steve Tatro, I found out that he had a BA degree in journalism. I asked him if he had had anything published and he said a few small things. He realized that he could not make a living as a writer, so he left that field and went to work doing other things. Suffice it to say, he has been quite successful in his other endeavors.

As we continued talking, he told me that frequently he goes down to the beach to pick up trash.

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Use Mayor Gloria’s App to Prevent Fires

April 14, 2021 by Source

What’ Up With the Mayor’s App? Part III

By Colleen O’Connor

Guess what. California is headed for another drought.

The snowpack is below normal. The rainfall insufficient. And the reservoirs are catching mostly heatwave-driven snow-melt runoff.

“The 2020-2021 winter was the third driest on record, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The region’s reservoirs are beginning to see the impact and are at half their total capacity.” Sfgate.com

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April 2021 Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

April 1, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Green Center will be celebrating our 32nd Anniversary on Earth Day April 22nd. We can’t have our usual celebration this year but we will be open from 12:30 to 6:30 with Covid-19 protocols if you want to drop by and say hi! We will have a donation jar available if you are so inclined to make a small donation. Do not feel obligated as we know a lot of people are having a hard time. Your presence is our present. Happy Earth Day

A lot is happening this month. Because it is Earth Day Month environmental events dominate the calendar. Peace and Social Justice highlighted events are listed but check out our list of all P & SJ groups for more of their events. Go to http://www.oceanbeachgreencenter.org/get-involved.html for their links

April Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

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SeaWorld Fireworks! Here We Go Again – But Why?

March 16, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

When you think of SeaWorld what do you think of? Shamu? Orcas? Dolphins? Seals? Sharks? Fish? What was the reason that Sea World started in the first place?

Let me give you some history:

“SeaWorld® opened its gates for the first time in 1964, founded by George Millay, Milt Shedd, Ken Norris and David DeMott. Originally planned as an underwater restaurant, the concept grew into a marine zoological park on 21 acres along the shore of Mission Bay in San Diego. With an initial investment of $1.5 million, 45 employees, several dolphins, sea lions, and two saltwater aquariums, SeaWorld drew more than 400,000 visitors its first year.

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San Diego Set to Build Pure Water Sewage Recycling System

March 12, 2021 by Source

Water & Wastes Digest / March 11, 2021

San Diego, California is ready to build the Pure Water sewage recycling system.

According to city officials, officials resolved litigation that delayed the project 18 months and increased its estimated cost to $5 billion.

The Pure Water sewage recycling system will recycle 83 million gallons of treated sewage into potable drinking water by 2035. The project consists of 10 projects in its Pure Water phase one.

Regulatory permits have been secured and construction bids are being opened and analyzed for the 10 projects. A large treatment facility is slated to open in 2025 near Miramar that will be connected to many miles of pipeline in the northern part of the city.

For phase two of Pure Water, a separate recycling facility near San Diego International Airport is slated to start operating in 2035.

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10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Hummingbirds

March 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

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

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

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

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

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

4. Hummingbirds have no sense of smell.

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Dying OB Palm Trees Make the News – Thanks to the Palm Weevil

March 9, 2021 by Source

Dying palm trees in Ocean Beach made the news Monday. Sadly.

The San Diego U-T had a spread on Monday that focused on OB and Point Loma at its start:

Ocean Beach and Point Loma have both reported dead palm trees due to the palm weevil. In Ocean Beach, diseased palms can be seen along Santa Monica Avenue, according to Mark Winkie, President of the Ocean Beach Town Council. And in Point Loma, the trees that line Catalina Boulevard are showing signs of infestation, according to Mike McCurdy, chairman of the Point Loma Association.

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San Diego’s Master Plan for Parks Will Mean Less Parks for San Diego

March 3, 2021 by Source

There’s a group out there who firmly believe San Diego is heading the wrong way in its current Master Plan for parks. The group – Parks And Recreation Coalition (PARC) – is made up of a network of volunteers who are highly critical of the city’s Parks Master Plan. They’ve been going around lately and giving presentations to local planning boards and other civic groups, called “Parks for All”.

For instance, they’ve given presentations at the Midway planners and the Peninsula planners.

But their point – in a nutshell – is that the master plan – the first one in 50 years – is wrong, and will actually translate into fewer parkland for this growing city. So, here is an introduction of PARC and their concerns – from their powerpoint presentation.

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March 2021 Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

March 2, 2021 by Source

From the Ocean Beach Green Center

All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

* Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. March 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th.
* Month of March People’s Budget Panel Events by Community Budget Alliance
* March 3rd – Ocean Beach Planning Board Annual Election;
* March 3rd Wednesday 6 pm – 8 pm Nat Talk Climate Series: A 27-Year Wildflower Journey
* March 3rd Wednesday 4 pm California Outdoor Recreation Town Hall with Special Guest Congressman Mike Levin
* March 3rd Wednesday 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Building Electrification Community Workshop
* March 4th Thursday 6 pm – 7:30 pm Miseducation and Racism in America: A Review of the Education System
* March 4th Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm Public Comment Training Event by San Diego Green New Deal Alliance
* March 4th Thursday 9 pm Film showing of “The Kitchenistas” on KPBS Filmmakers,

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Deep Freeze Shut Down Texas Nuke

March 1, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

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

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Deep Freeze Shuts Down Texas Nuke

On February 15 the South Texas Project nuclear plant shut down after arctic weather descended on the region, Arctic Insights reported. A spokesperson for the plant said 1350 Megawatt reactor #1 shut down at 5:37 a.m.. The shutdown “resulted from a loss of feedwater attributed to cold-weather related failure of pressure sensing lines to feedwater pumps causing a false signal, which in turn caused the feedwater pump to trip (shut down).”

According to a February 16 Nuclear Regulatory Commission report, the shutdown was due to “low steam generator levels. The low levels in turn were due to loss of Feedwater pumps 11 and 13 (cause unknown).”

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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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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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Did Pickleweed Commit Murder?

February 2, 2021 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

The question on everyone’s mind is, “Did the Pickleweed commit murder?”

A gang of suspects covered in green waited until just the right moment to tumble the cliff on three innocent people below.

The January 2020 San Diego Reader cover read “Beach Erosion, Can it Be Stopped?” and laid out the case of possible perps that lead investigators to the culprit being Pickleweed!

Is Pickleweed getting a bum rap, or are they a dangerous plant? The court will soon decide.

Excerpt: January 13, 2020, San Diego Reader – “Will sand save San Diego North County’s bluffs?”: On August 2, 2019, a 30-foot-wide chunk of sandstone came loose at Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas, beneath a condo development. It fell onto three women, two of them locals, whose children and spouses sat nearby. The three women died. A lawsuit filed by the surviving families calls the poorly maintained bluff “an unnatural, unstable, and unsafe urbanized cliff.”

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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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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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When Greta Thunberg Met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

December 29, 2020 by Source

When Greta Thunberg met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

This is what happened when teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and veteran author and environmentalist Margaret Atwood were brought together on a radio station.

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How Will the Ocean Fare Under a Biden Administration?

December 22, 2020 by Source

By David Helvarg

In 1890 the Census declared the frontier closed but in 1983 President Ronald Reagan established a new frontier, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) stretching 200 miles out from America’s shoreline. At 3.4 million square miles it’s an area larger than our continental landmass.

Unfortunately for almost four years President Trump has treated the nation’s ocean frontier as little more than a gas station and a garbage dump as he attempted to open up 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling despite bipartisan opposition from governors of coastal states. His administration also undermined environmental laws and regulations from clean water standards to mercury emissions in ways that continue to threaten U.S. coastal jobs, wildlife and seafood.

So, what can we expect from a Biden-Harris administration when it comes to our public seas and blue economy that’s worth an estimated $373 billion?

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With Just One Bid for Gas and Electricity, Advocates for Publicly-Owned Utility See Opening for San Diego

December 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, December 17, the San Diego City Council and Mayor Gloria opened the bids for the right to provide gas and electric services within the city limits and discovered that San Diego Gas & Electric was the only entity that placed a bid.

This does not mean that SDG&E will be able to continue with its century-long monopoly on the city’s power. Neither the Council nor the Mayor took any action.

Jessica Lawrence, Gloria’s director of policy, informed the Council the mayor’s staff would review the bids along with the City Attorney’s Office to determine whether the SDG&E bid has met all the requirements laid out by the city. His office will then consider what steps should be taken next. Lawrence said, “The mayor may reject (the bids), he may cancel the process entirely, he may make recommendations for award of any responsive bid.”

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Famosa Slough Part of Marshland Study

December 7, 2020 by Staff

Famosa Slough in Point Loma is part of a research study in how efficient salt marsh terrains are at storing carbon. Wetlands have the potential of being both a hedge against global warming and a buffer against rising sea levels

The local wetlands joins other areas like Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, the Kendall Frost marsh in Mission Bay, the San Dieguito lagoon, and other coastal wetlands throughout the region in a study by the Scripps Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. This research will help increase understanding of the ecosystems and habitats that are in the nearshore area.

The conservation group, Wildcoast, has led efforts to understand the blue carbon habitats near the ocean which are particularly good at capturing and storing carbon.

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Earthquakes and Nukes

December 4, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News

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 working to create a nuclear free future.

Earthquakes & Nukes

When we think of earthquakes and nuclear plants in the US, it usually concerns shakers and nukes in California. In the 1980s, a mass antinuclear movement, The Abalone Alliance, waged a fierce battle against the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant on the central California coastline near San Luis Obispo.

Over a two week period in 1981, there were almost 2000 arrests of those committing civil disobedience in opposition to Diablo Canyon. One of the key issues in this struggle was concerns about building a nuke plant in an earthquake prone area.

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SurfRider San Diego Asks Public to Tell Water Authority to Reject Study at Board Meeting Thursday, Nov.19

November 18, 2020 by Source

From SurfRider San Diego

Action Alert: Stop the San Diego Water Pipeline – Again

The San Diego County Water Authority is considering a Regional Conveyance System (RCS) AGAIN as a way to bring San Diego more water. Such a system would cost more than $5 billion dollars, and would dig, tunnel, and pump water over 100 miles through San Diego state parks, a national forest, several active earthquake fault lines, and some of our region’s most prized wildlands. While only in the study phase, this pipe dream is the stuff of nightmares.

According to an independent analysis, such a system would increase regional energy demands by 40% over our current conveyance, significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions while bringing minimal long-term economic or community benefits to San Diego.

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Trump Rushes To Sell Oil Rights in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

November 17, 2020 by Source

By Tegan Hanlon/ NPR / November 16, 2020

Starting Tuesday, oil and gas companies can pick which parts of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge they’re interested in drilling. It’s the latest push by the Trump administration to auction off development rights in the pristine landscape before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The official “call for nominations” launches a 30-day comment period. It will also allow the Bureau of Land Management to move forward with a lease sale, which it must announce 30 days in advance. The exact timing is not clear, but it raises the possibility that a lease sale might happen just days before Biden’s inauguration.

“It’s been quite a lot of work to get to this point,” said Kevin Pendergast, deputy state director for resources with the bureau in Alaska. In a separate statement, the agency said the lease sale will be a historic move “advancing this administration’s policy of energy independence.” In a dramatic shift after nearly four decades of protections, a Republican-led Congress in 2017 approved legislation that opened up part of the refuge to oil development.

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Battle Over Famosa Open Space Continues

November 16, 2020 by Source

By “Just a Bike Mom”

Ah, Friday the 13th. As we all sat down to work that morning, so did the San Diego Housing Commission (aka SDHC) to discuss the “exclusive” agreement for Bridge to develop Famosa Open Space.

Short story: They voted to proceed with their exclusive agreement. The exclusive agreement to develop the last plot of natural, urban, open space on the Point.

We last heard from the SDHC in spring/summer of 2019 at the Peninsula Community Planning Board meetings. They had no plans to develop the land at that time they said. Yet, their PCPB presentation included a set of “visionary” plans.

Our community spoke out. Apparently they did listen to some points,

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