San Diego

Accused Serial Killer of Homeless to Stand Trial

November 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Jon David Guerrero, the suspected serial killer of homeless people, has been ordered to stand trial on 15 counts of murder, attempted murder and assault on 13 victims, most of whom were homeless, in a brutal 2016 crime spree. At the conclusion of his preliminary hearing last week, Superior Court Judge Kenneth So found sufficient evidence to bind him over for trial.

Guerrero, 42, is suspected of very gruesome killings of his victims, including driving railroad spikes into some of them, setting two on fire and bludgeoning several on the head with hard objects.

He is charged with four counts of murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, in the deaths of Shawn Longley, 41, – a man who was homeless in Ocean Beach, Angelo DeNardo, 53, Dionicio Vahidy, 23, and Molly Simmons, 83, who was not homeless. Guerrero also is charged with four counts of attempted murder, five of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson.

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SeaWorld to Use 500 Drones for New Light Show

November 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a new article in the Press Enterprise from Orange County that reports SeaWorld San Diego plans to use 500 aerial drones to create images in the sky above Mission Bay. First, SeaWorld plans to do a test run of the aerial drone light show in early February.

The aquatic park has already submitted a proposal to the California Coastal Commission for a test run of the drone show. The dates for the test run are on select nights from Feb. 4-18.

If successful, SeaWorld probably will employ the drones as a replacement for part or all of their nighttime fireworks.

The Seaworld drone show will use 12-ounce Intel Shooting Star quadcopter drones designed specifically for aerial shows.

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Scooters Are Replacing Biking, Walking and Taking the Bus

November 12, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Joshua Emerson Smith, at the San Diego Union-Tribune, earlier this month asked the question, “how green are e-scooters?” He proceeded, of course, to attempt to answer his own query. Here below is a summary of sorts of his findings.

In general, he says – as reflected in the sub-head – studies do find that dockless e-scooters are more eco-friendly than driving – but buses, biking and walking remain the greenest travel modes.

“According to studies, many people are currently cruising around on e-scooters as an alternative to cleaner forms of transportation, such as biking, walking and taking the bus.”

  • The scooter craze may not be as green as advertised;
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Opinion: California’s Infrastructure is Crumbling. Veterans Can Help Fix It.

November 11, 2019 by Source

By Nicole Ueno / November 11, 2019

As state lawmakers rush to increase housing density in California, demographers estimate that our population will continue to increase by 300,000 to 400,000 people annually.

Essential infrastructure like roads, bridges, water pipelines and dams are already in disrepair, and increased strains from additional projected use are causing concern over the long-term sustainability of resident population growth.

A recent report from the League of California Cities states that “Numerous studies suggest that not only is the state unprepared for future growth, its current condition does not adequately support today’s population. Quite simply, California’s infrastructure is crumbling.”

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Veterans for Peace Stage ‘Hometown Arlington West’

November 11, 2019 by Source

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San Diego Mainstream Media Downplay Suspected Serial Killer of Homeless People

November 5, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

For some reason, San Diego’s mainstream press is downplaying the fact that the man in court is suspected of being a serial killer of people who were homeless.

On Monday, a preliminary hearing opened for Jon David Guerrero, 42, who is charged with four counts of murder with a special-circumstance allegation of multiple murders. He is accused of killing four people, three men and one woman during a murderous crime spree in 2016. Plus he may be charged for another murder, as one of the badly injured victims has since died. He also faces charges of attempted murder, arson and assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury.

That’s still a lot of murders. So many I thought of asking the ol’ citadel of wisdom, wikipedia: “How many random murders does it take for it to be a serial killing? ”

Here was my answer:

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OB Library Special Events – November 2019

November 5, 2019 by Source

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Green Events for November 2019 – from the Ocean Beach Green Center

November 5, 2019 by Source

November Events Compiled by the Ocean Beach Green Center
4862 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107

Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

November 14th Thursday 7 pm. Film Night “The Biggest Little Farm” The film chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature. Free of charge

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meeting.

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Biggest Things to Know About New Rent Control Law

November 4, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, you need to be up to date on the new rent control law coming to San Diego and the rest of California in 2020. [The following is taken largely from the San Diego Union-Tribune of Oct. 27, 2019.]

Rent control was signed into law when Gov. Gavin Newsom put his signature on the legislation – Assembly Bill 1482 – about a month ago, in early October.

The basic rule of thumb: rent increases will be capped throughout California from 7 to 8 percent a year. It’s especially important for renters to know the law – as many landlords will get special briefings from their associations. The rent cap will expire in 10 years, but lawmakers are likely to extend It.

Rent is now capped: Landlords cannot raise rent more than 5 percent plus inflation as of Jan. 1, 2020.

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Company Leases Entire Apartment Complexes in San Diego and Turns Them Into Vacation Rentals

November 1, 2019 by Source

Communities of Point Loma, Downtown, North Park and Little Italy All Suffer Loss of Housing

From abc10News

In the midst of a housing supply crunch, San Diego is seeing apartments taken off market and reserved for short-term vacationers.

The units would add to the estimated 16,000 vacation rentals now available in the City of San Diego, according to a recent audit.

Now, a company called Sonder has signed master leases at apartment complexes and towers in locations including downtown, North Park, Little Italy, and Point Loma. Instead of renting them full time, the company leases them to visitors, charging more than $100 per unit on an average night.

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San Diego Group Creates Modern Humanitarian Speed Rail for Asylum Seekers

November 1, 2019 by Source

Speed Rail to Love

By Terrie Best / October 31, 2019

After watching my friends at the Minority Humanitarian Foundation create a modern humanitarian speed rail – nightly trips getting asylum seekers off the side of the road where ICE dumps them and on to airplanes where their sponsor families collect them – I have been profoundly moved by their ability to fill in the many gaps to care along the way.

Using social media, several resourceful people have created a moving system of care that is changing everything.

The gaps to care are addressing a devastating humanitarian crisis and the folks struggling to fill them are laying down tracks from thin air.

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‘I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb’

October 31, 2019 by Source

While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited.

by Allie Conti / Vice / Oct 31 2019

The call came about 10 minutes before we were set to check into the Airbnb. I was sitting at a brewery just around the corner from the rental on North Wood Street in Chicago when the man on the other end of the line said that our planned visit wouldn’t be possible. A previous guest had flushed something down the toilet, which had left the unit flooded with water, he explained. Apologetic, he promised to let us stay in another property he managed until he could call a plumber.

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More Debate Over San Diego’s Secret Streetlight Cameras

October 31, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Recently – and to their credit – the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune raised the question, “who’s to blame for San Diego’s secret streetlight cameras?” – and natch, they answered their own question.

In December 2016, when the San Diego City Council preliminarily approved a $30.3 million “Smart Streetlights” project, a key detail — that contractor GE would equip thousands of streetlights with cameras to monitor their surroundings — was never shared publicly. Awareness spread with the sensors themselves, and there is now a set of 4,000-plus cameras that are on all the time — and a sense of conspiracy. Critics complain the contract gave GE an “irrevocable, permanent, worldwide, royalty-free” right to use footage for its own commercial purposes.

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SDG&E Refuses to Credit Ratepayers for Blackouts.

October 31, 2019 by Source

By Miriam Raftery / East County Magazine / Oct. 31, 2019

A day after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to create tough new rules limiting mass outages by utilities seeking to limit their liability for fires and mandating compensation for ratepayers, PG&E announced it will credit its ratepayers for blackouts, Newsom announced.

But San Diego Gas & Electric is refusing to do the same.

In respond to East County Magazine’s inquiry, SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones responded yesterday,

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After 4 Years, Possible Retaliatory Law Suit Against SDSU and Local News Source Dismissed

October 30, 2019 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / October 28, 2019

The California Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging inewsource’s lease with San Diego State University, bringing to a close a four-year legal battle that inewsource’s editor contends was in retaliation for its investigations of attorney Cory Briggs, now running for San Diego City Attorney.

“The lawsuit is over, dismissed and inewsource won the war,” said Lorie Hearn, executive director and editor of inewsource, in a written statement. “It’s been a long and expensive four years, fighting a lawsuit that was filed against us for exercising our responsibilities as investigative journalists.”

San Diegans for Open Government sued inewsource in 2015 after it published 10 stories about attorney Cory Briggs.

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‘Getting to Know My San Diego State Senator’ and How to Know Other Politicians

October 29, 2019 by Staff

By Richard Riehl

My 38th district State Senator, Brian Jones, emailed me yesterday. The subject line, “Will I see you?”made me wonder where I had met him, on what occasion, and where and when he hoped to see me again.

But the senator’s salutation: “Dear Friends,” suggested his fondness for me only began with his discovery of my name on a list of his district’s registered voters.

My new friend’s form letter alerted me to his legislative open house next month. “Hundreds of local elected officials and community leaders have already RSVP’d,” he gushed. “Believe me, the Open House will be the place to be in East County this fall!”

Well, it won’t be the place for me.

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San Diego Scooter News: Ridership Off by Half Since Summer, a Call to Cap Scooters and Badly Injured Rider Goes Home.

October 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Keeping Track of the Scooter

The biggest scooter news in San Diego is on several fronts.

First, San Diego Union-Tribune reporter, Joshua E. Smith broke the news several days ago, that scooter ridership has plummeted by over 50% since summer. Here’s his opening:

It might be the change in the seasons, but since the city of San Diego put its rules for dockless e-scooters in place this summer ridership has been plummeting.

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As We Watch California Burn Yet Again It’s Time to Say Yes to ‘Save Our San Diego Countryside’

October 28, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

California’s burning (again) with Governor Newsom declaring a state of emergency for Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties in the wake of twelve fires raging across the state. Smoke swept throughout the Bay Area and parts north and delayed flights into San Francisco. Schools were closed in the affected regions, and close to two million people suffered through pre-emptive power shut-offs to try avoiding yet more blazes.

In Los Angeles, residents agonized through hellishly hot fall temperatures and respiratory problems while blazes in San Diego county broke out in Valley View and Ramona, reviving traumatic memories of apocalyptic fires past for many. In San Diego county, the damage has been minor so far, but the hot, dry, windy conditions ensure that another firestorm is always just around the corner.

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An OBcean Runs the Noble Canyon 50K While Out & About in the San Diego Mountains

October 25, 2019 by Source

By S. Grace

It’s 6:15 in the morning and freezing in this canyon as I’m fantasizing about that expensive long sleeve dri-fit shirt I bought a while back with the thumb holes in the end of the sleeves. Come to think of it, those running gloves I picked up at Big 5 down off Sports Arena…and could there possibly be a better time than now to actually be wearing them?

Instead my hands are tucked up under my armpits trying to keep my thumbs from freezing solid while all that nice running gear is resting soundly back in OB for those precious last few minutes before the airplanes start rattling the windows at 6:35.

My buddy and I are pacing around the starting gate for the Noble Canyon 50K trail run just outside Pine Valley wondering what it is again that made us think this was such a great idea.

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What’s New from District 2 Council Office – by Councilwoman Jen Campbell

October 25, 2019 by Source

By Dr. Jen Campbell

Hello neighbors!

Though it may feel like summer, fall is here. We’ve done a lot of great work for San Diego in my 10+ months on the job, but perhaps the most important issue facing San Diego was the focus of a City Council meeting a few weeks ago. That’s when we got our first look at the new strategic plan to address homelessness.

Fixing our unsheltered crisis has long been a top priority for my office. As a physician, I deeply understand the health risks of homelessness. From veterans living in their cars, young families sleeping on the street to more and more seniors ending up without a roof over their heads. The health ramifications for our unsheltered population are horrifying.

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Committee Sends Proposal for Independent Oversight Commission on Police To Full San Diego City Council

October 24, 2019 by Source


The San Diego City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee voted unanimously Wednesday, Oct. 23, to send a draft ballot measure to the full council that, if approved, would establish an independent oversight commission on police practices.

The measure, proposed by Women Occupy San Diego, would dissolve the city’s Community Review Board on Police Practices and replace it with the commission, which would retain independent counsel and have subpoena power to investigate certain cases of misconduct by local law enforcement officers.

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Rachel Maddow Asks San Diego Judge to Throw Out Defamation Suit of Right-Wing News Outlet

October 22, 2019 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / Oct. 21, 2019

Backed by an all-star team of lawyers, Rachel Maddow is asking a San Diego federal judge to throw out the $10 million defamation suit by the owner of One America News Network.

And it could happen as soon as Dec. 16, according to a motion filed Monday that cites California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

MSNBC’s highest-rated host was merely exercising her First Amendment right to express an opinion (“based on undisputed facts”) when she delivered a “single rhetorical flourish” and “colorful rhetorical hyperbole.”

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Mayoral Candidate Barbara Bry’s Horrible Homeless Crusade

October 21, 2019 by Doug Porter

From Words&Deeds / Oct. 19, 2019

Note: I promised myself I’d stay out of Democrat vs Democrat races where the election of one or the other wouldn’t have a great impact. Barbara Bry has crossed that line. We don’t need four more years of Kevin Falconer.

Councilmember and Mayoral Candidate Barbara Bry isn’t the first person who comes to mind when I hear Senator Bernie Sanders railing against the 1%. Sometimes though, it’s not how much money you’ve got, it’s how the trappings of the uber rich filter down the economic food chain.

The 1% need a little help beyond what money can buy to protect their interests. This means advocacy and ideology supporting their interests. Otherwise well-meaning people parrot policy ideas favoring the status quo that are all about protecting people’s “stuff.”

La Jolla’s Councilmember has been beating the drums lately with an op ed in the Times of San Diego, direct mail, and Facebook ads stirring up issues around homelessness in a manner aimed at juicing up the disgust many San Diegan feel when confronted with the results of decades of heightening inequality.

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Candye Kane, Charles McPherson Among Honorees at San Diego Music Hall of Fame in Ocean Beach – Friday, Oct.18

October 17, 2019 by Source

By George Varga / PacificSanDiego / Oct. 16, 2019

The Friday event at Newbreak Church in Ocean Beach will also honor blues ace Robin Henkel, Americana vocal dynamo Eve Selis, Latin-jazz mainstay Bill Caballero and bluegrass fingerpicking wiz Walt Richards.

The nonprofit San Diego Music Hall of Fame, which held its first induction ceremony and concert last fall at the Ocean Beach Playhouse, will move to the nearby Newbreak Church for its second edition on Friday, Oct. 18.

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San Diego Progressives Lose an Icon – Floyd Morrow Passes

October 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

One of San Diego’s most popular progressives in the modern era has passed. Floyd Morrow died October 3; he was 86.

Called “independent” or a “lone ranger” by his colleagues on the San Diego City Council – Floyd represented the greater Clairemont community of the 5th District for 3 terms – 15 years.

Others – such as those within the then-small progressive community of San Diego – saw him as a populist, a hero to the downtrodden or under-represented, and an early environmentalist and supporter of parks and people’s movements.

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Is the ‘Wild West’ of Scooters Over in San Diego?

October 15, 2019 by Source

‘Wild West’ environment may be easing with citations, impounds, and speed curbs

By John Wilkens / San Diego Union-Tribune / Oct. 10, 2019

For more than a year, San Diego was all carrot and no stick when it came to electric scooters. Now the stick is out, hitting both the scooter companies and their riders.

Three months after new city regulations went into effect, two companies, Jump and Skip, have left town. Another, Lime, may lose its permit because of repeated operating infractions. Almost 500 riders received traffic tickets, more than half of them for riding on sidewalks. The city impounded more than 3,700 scooters for parking violations.

The Wild West, it seems, may finally have a sheriff.

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Is Inspire Charter School the Next to Be Indicted?

October 15, 2019 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Oct.9, 2019

Inspire Charter School mirrors the methods of A3 Education. It employs practices strikingly similar to those that led to the 67-count indictment in May against A3’s leaders. Furthermore, the California Charter School Association (CCSA) took the unusual step of sharing concerns about Inspire and A3 with California authorities.

Both are virtual schools that concentrate on obtaining authorization from small school districts. These systems have a similar structure in which a central organization controls the schools that are contracting with it and they transfer funds among multiple organizations making it difficult to monitor their activities. Students at Inspire and A3 struggle academically.

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Winter Is Coming and Vets for Peace Still Provide Sleeping Bags to People Who Are Homeless

October 14, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

When my husband Bob was alive, he was a member of the local Veterans for Peace Organization (as well as a docent for the Star of India). He has been gone a little over ten years and as a memorial to him I made a donation to the VFP to purchase sleeping bags for those that are less fortunate than I am in that I have a warm bed, heat, and three meals a day.

Whatever the reason may be that there are so many homeless in San Diego, the fact is that the numbers are mind-boggling.

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Labor, Community and Environmental Activists Need to Find Common Ground for a Green New Deal

October 14, 2019 by Jim Miller

Labor and the Environment Panel – Wednesday, October 16th

By Jim Miller

In Naomi Klein’s new book, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, she outlines precisely how challenging it will be to respond to the climate crisis in the urgent fashion called for in the last UN IPCC report:

Pulling off this high-speed pollution phaseout, the report establishes, is not possible with singular technocratic approaches like carbon taxes, though those tools must be a part. Rather it requires deliberately and immediately changing how our societies produce energy, how we grow our food, how we move ourselves around, and how our buildings are constructed.

What is needed, the report’s summary states in its first sentence, is “rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

In the face of this daunting task, the answer to the question “What can I do as an individual?” is, Klein tells us, “nothing.”

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City Council Committee Gives Go-Ahead to ‘Tiny Houses’ on Wheels for San Diego Backyards

October 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A key San Diego City Council committee has given the go-ahead to allow property owners to have movable “tiny houses” on wheels which they hope will help alleviate the city’s affordable housing crisis and steep homelessness. The small units can be moved into backyards and have their wheels removed.

The council’s Land Use and Housing committee voted voted unanimously Wednesday, October 9, to have the City Attorney’s Office come up with language for an amendment to San Diego’s municipal code which would permit the movable tiny houses.

Councilwoman Dr. Jennifer Campbell, a member of the committee said: “I think it’s a good idea. Let’s do it.”

Here’s some of the proposed restrictions and requirements property owners would need to comply with:

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