San Diego

State-Wide Group Pushes Initiative for 2024 Ballot to Return Voices to the Neighborhood

March 31, 2023 by Source

The group Neighbors for a Better San Diego have of late been tooting the horn of a state-wide organization, Our Neighborhood Voices – in fact just recently NBSD held an online town hall meeting with Voices. Here’s what ONV says about itself:

The politicians are taking away our ability to speak out when developers damage and gentrify our neighborhoods.

A series of recently passed laws allow developers to build multi-story, multi-unit buildings right next door to single-family homes and deny our ability to fight back.

We are a coalition of thousands of California neighborhood leaders creating an initiative to be put on the 2024 ballot that would bring back our ability to speak out about what happens in our own neighborhoods.

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‘Viva Lorena!’

March 31, 2023 by Source

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman / March 30, 2023

A lot of Democrats have drowned in water under the bridge since Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher wrote this hopeful piece ten or so years ago. But Lorena is still standing and I personally hope she will reassess her situation and our need and carry on.

Included in the flotsam and jetsam are failed political careers of Democrats that Lorena’s essay mentions as up-and-comers

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‘Fire SDG&E!’ Rally at San Diego Civic Center Plaza – Sat., April 1

March 30, 2023 by Source

From Press Statement:

The Public Power San Diego coalition will hold a mass FIRE SDGE! rally on April 1st, Noon, in Civic Center Plaza, downtown San Diego.

The event will be the first mass protest advocating a divorce from San Diego Gas & Electric, which charges the nation’s highest electric rates. “This rally signals a turning point.” said Craig Rose, a member of Public Power San Diego’s steering committee.

“The option to organize a community-owned, non-profit utility has been discussed and researched. This rally moves public power from a talking point to a political movement that aims to end our relationship with SDGE.

“We can’t afford a utility that charges these sky-high rates and is too often an opponent –not a partner – in fighting the climate crisis.”

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Local Mountains Take the Storm

March 30, 2023 by Source


Here is the Mt. Laguna Lodge live cam image at 8:52 this morning, Thursday, March 30. Just in case you thought spring was right around the corner.

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San Diego’s Plan to Crackdown on Encampments Hits a Legal Challenge

March 29, 2023 by Source

by Cody Dulaney/ inewsource / March 28, 2023

A Superior Court judge could undermine San Diego’s strategy to clear homeless encampments from city sidewalks and parks.

This afternoon, Judge Yvonne Campos is set to hear final arguments in a pretrial hearing for a misdemeanor case against a 59-year-old unhoused woman charged with encroachment. It’s a city law that was intended to prohibit trash cans from blocking a sidewalk, but San Diego police have increasingly used it to break up tent encampments that officials say pose a risk to health and safety.

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Myths About Historic Preservation of Houses

March 29, 2023 by Source

Ch-Ch-Changes… Evaluating Historic Places

By Bruce Coons / SOHO / March-April 2023

One of the great misunderstandings or myths about the historic preservation of a house or building is that it must be “frozen in time” to qualify for historic designation.

But this is not the case. The National Register of Historic Places guidelines clearly state:

“Additions and changes to a historic building over time need to be evaluated for their own potential significance, and the historical and architectural importance of the building as a whole should be considered.”

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Kensington’s Historic Over-110 Year Old Trees Have Been Under Threat From the City

March 28, 2023 by Source

By Maggie McCann / SOHO / March-April 2023 Newsletter

After ill-conceived actions by the City of San Diego, Kensington’s parkways still retain 30 of the original California pepper trees planted when the subdivision was mapped in 1910.

When neighbors first proposed that the City designate the trees under Council Policy 900-19’s Conserve-a-Tree program as heritage trees, 37 trees were alive and doing fine. The City has since suspended the program, claiming that having trees designated as historic would cause them California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) problems. As if that’s a bad thing.

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The End of San Diego’s Community Planning Boards: How We Got Here

March 24, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

After decades of existance, the community planning boards of San Diego were delivered a devastating shock last September 13, 2022, when the City Council passed a breath-taking tsunami of so-called “reforms” that laid out a blueprint for the demolition of the city’s current 42 citizen volunteer planning panels.

In my post from yesterday, I outlined the 3 main methods the city will use to dismantle San Diego’s community planning boards.
None of this is hyperbole. Here is the language at the city’s Planning Department website page under “Community Planning Group Reform“:

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Reader Rant: ‘How California Set Up the Licensed Marijuana Industry to Fail’

March 24, 2023 by Source

By Midnight Toker

Very briefly, here is how the State of California set up the licensed marijuana industry to fail.

Here is the receipt I received after purchasing an eight of an ounce (3.5 grams) of decent cannabis flower recently at a licensed dispensary (not in the city of San Diego):

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Here Are the 3 Main Methods the City of San Diego Will Use to Dismantle Local Community Planning Boards

March 23, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Last September, the San Diego City Council enacted a series of what they called “reforms” to supposedly make local community planning boards or groups “more independent” and the development review process more “streamlined.”

In truth, as the Rag and our writers Geoff Page and Mat Wahlstrom have been warning, is that the city is actually moving to dismantle these volunteer panels, including the Ocean Beach Planning Board — which has been around since 1976, three years shy of half a century. From a review of their writings, the following is offered:

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How We Can Stop the Corporate Surveillance State of Vladimir Gloria

March 23, 2023 by Source

By Matthew S. Melin & Brittany M.Pope


The most profitable mother-load of the $68 Billion mass data collection industry is dragnet surveillance, tracking everyone’s movement 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in perpetuity.

We believe the City has violated the Brown Act and failed to adequately notify the public on the San Diego Police Department “Smart Streetlight Surveillance” presentations between March 3-10th. To be clear, San Diegans have NOT acquiesced our First and Fourth Amendment rights to the Mayor, City Attorney, City Council, the Council President, SDPD, San Diego County Sheriffs, SANDAG and local governments.

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San Diegans Challenge Banks to Stop Funding the Fossil Fuel Industry

March 22, 2023 by Source

From Third Act

Over 50 San Diego climate activists rallied at Chase Bank Plaza at 101 West Broadway and marched to Citibank on Tuesday, March 21 as part of a national day of action across the US to pressure the major banks to stop financing the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.

Organizers included Third Act SoCal, Sierra Club, SanDiego350, SanDiego350 Youth, Climate Action Campaign, ACT, Hammond Climate Solutions, Surfrider, and the Interfaith Coalition for Earth Justice.

The rally was among the more than 100 events that took place in over half the United States involving rallies, art installations

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3-Month Effort to Get City to Move Unsafe Fencing in Downtown San Diego

March 22, 2023 by Source

By Geoff Page

Apparently, no one in city government cares if things fall off a downtown building and hit people on the head or care about pedestrians being hit by vehicles in the street. That is despicable enough, from a humanitarian standpoint. It is also a ridiculous financial risk of city money that is already in short supply.

Back in December 2022, a complaint on Twitter about a fence blocking the sidewalk on C Street and 4th Ave. caught this writer’s eye.

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The Snow Is Baaaccck!

March 22, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Yup. Snow has returned to our local San Diego mountains. Here’s the live cam from Mt. Laguna Lodge at 9:50 a.m. today, March 22, 2023. The Lodge is at 6000 feet elevation.

Snow also reached Lake Cuyamaca.

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University City Residents Pushback Against Community Plan Update that Adds 30,000 Housing Units

March 21, 2023 by Source

Editordue: The following is an open letter to Mayor Gloria and other San Diego officials. 

Dear Mayor Gloria, Ms. Vonblum, and Ms. Graham:

This letter is to provide collective comments from a large group of University City (UC) residents substantiating reasons why the City of San Diego needs to further reduce the proposed number of housing units in Land Use Scenarios A and B of the proposed University Community Plan Update.

Adding between 30,000 and 33,000 housing units,

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San Diego’s ‘Trailergate’ Gets Some Attention

March 20, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Somebody was listening.

Late last week, we reported that the city was close to utilizing 12 or 13 of the trailers it had stored for 3 years, given to the city by the state for unhoused needy families. On Wednesday, March 15, the San Diego City Council‘s Rules Committee had voted unanimously to move forward a plan to open a safe parking lot in the Clairemont – Rose Canyon neighborhood for people who sleep overnight in campers or other vehicles.

We’ve been covering the “lost trailers” for the homeless for weeks in the hopes there would be some public and or media traction that would pressure the Gloria administration to get on the ball and put the trailers to the use that was intended.

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National Day of Action Against Banks that Finance Fossil Fuels — Tuesday, March 21

March 20, 2023 by Source

Activists in downtown San Diego and around the country will demand that the world biggest banks stop funding fossil fuel projects on Tuesday, March 21.

The national day of action against banks over climate change comes ahead of investor resolutions at their annual general meetings next month to pressure them to stop funding climate chaos.

The top four fossil fuel financing banks are:

  • JP Morgan Chase,
  • Citi,
  • Bank of America and
  • Wells Fargo

These banks are pumping over one quarter of the $4.6 trillion total financing for fossil fuels by the top 60 global banks between 2016 and 2021.

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Relief for Lifers Is an Imperfect Road to Freedom

March 20, 2023 by Source

By Terrie Best

The inhumane “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” philosophy is being reevaluated in the state of California and it sometimes has startling results. It’s the “throw away” part that has always been crushing to those who watched the harm of mass incarceration over the tough-on-crime decades. But lawmakers are offering hope and it’s working.

California plans to close a whole schedule of prison yards over the course of 3 years and there will be tears of joy and significant fear.  The effects are staggering to some. A lot of prison guards will be out of jobs. Clearly folks’ spirits are better off without a job warehousing others.

Prison cops who get laid off, if they even do, will land on their feet because the California Correctional and Peace Officers Association, a union that protects them, will do their job and the union is powerful.

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After 3 Years in Storage, San Diego Finally Readies Trailers for the Homeless

March 16, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

After storing for 3 years more than a dozen empty trailers meant to be used by homeless people,  San Diego appears ready – finally – to utilize them for a safe parking lot in the Clairemont neighborhood near Rose Canyon.

The 20 trailers were given to the city by the state for the unhoused during the height of the pandemic. But for some reason, the city just stored 13 of them near the city’s Rose Canyon Operations Yard on Morena Boulevard — north of Costco. (It’s unclear where the other 7 are.) So, San Diego’s Trailergate — a minor scandal that no one really cares much about — may soon be over.

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Where Did All That Snow Go? Mission Valley?

March 16, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Mt. Laguna late this morning, Thursday, March 16, 2023, from the live cam at Mt Laguna Lodge. Where did all that snow go?

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Speak Out Now About SDG&E Rates to Calif Public Utilities Com. Virtual Hearing – Wed., March 15

March 15, 2023 by Staff

How would you like to sound off on SDG&E about your high bills?

Right now — today, Wednesday, March 15 — the California Public Utilities Commission is holding a virtual public hearing. It starts at 1pm.

So, how can you get involved with the upcoming hearings?

The March 15th meeting is virtual and starts at 1pm.

You can access it by phone or computer.

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San Diego’s Trees are Going…Going…

March 15, 2023 by Source

By Anne S. Fege / SOHO Newsletter March – April 2023

Considering the history of shade and ornamental trees in San Diego neighborhoods, it’s clear the numbers are going down—just as we need thousands more in every part of the city.

In older “privileged” neighborhoods (Kensington, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla, for example) that were developed in the 1920s and 1930s, there were large lots for trees. Some developers planted street trees, which were likely watered by tree roots reaching soil water in irrigated front lawns.

In older “redlined” and lower-income neighborhoods (south of the 94 freeway, now the Promise Zone) that were developed in those same decades, the lots were small, the streets were unpaved, and there were no sidewalks or street trees. Today, there are few places to plant trees, as paved parking areas cover many front yards and business districts.

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Open Letter to City Officials Re: Smart Streetlights and License Plate Readers – Personal Privacy and Civil Liberties Are at Stake

March 15, 2023 by Source

By Lance Murphy/ Peninsula Newsletter / March 9, 2023

Dear City Officials,

I am writing to express my concerns about the rapid deployment of Smart Streetlight Surveillance Systems in the City of San Diego. I request that appropriate safeguards and protections be put in place to ensure the privacy and civil liberties of all San Diego residents.

While I understand and support the benefits of these systems to improve public safety, reduce crime and improve the productivity of law enforcement officers, I also strongly believe that the risks associated with the use of this technology must be carefully considered and sufficiently managed.

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Mexican President Lopez Obrador Insists Mexico Is Safer than the US

March 14, 2023 by Source

By Mexico News Daily Staff / March 13, 2023

Mexico is safer than the United States, President López Obrador said Monday [March 13] without citing any hard data to back up his claim.

His assertion came in response to a question from a United States-based reporter at his morning press conference.

“Is traveling to Mexico safe at the moment with everything we’re seeing, with all these [travel] alerts and these very regrettable events?” asked Octavio Valdez of Los Angeles-based television station Univisión 34.

“Mexico is safer than the United States,” López Obrador responded.

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Jury Sides With Former News Anchor Sandra Maas on Gender Equity Pay Over KUSI

March 14, 2023 by Source

By CBS8 Staff / March 9, 2023

It took less than two days for the jury to come to a decision in the civil trial of former news anchor Sandra Maas against KUSI.

The jury was split on the claims but did award Sandra Maas more than $1.5 million for the difference in pay attributed to gender, past and future lost wages, and past and future emotional distress.

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Dueling Rallies Held Over Future of University City

March 13, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Dueling rallies were staged in University City on Saturday, March 11, over the future of the community.

One group of dozens took over the four street corners at Genesee Avenue and Governor Drive to protest Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilman Kent Lee’s support for a proposal to add thousands of housing units to a small, 7.35-square-mile community.

Around the same time, a different group held a rally at the Nobel Trolley Stop Platform in favor of density and more housing.

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Report on Midway District Public Meeting on Smart Streetlights and License Plate Readers

March 8, 2023 by Source

The Voice of San Diego has a report about the Midway District public meeting held March 6 by the city and the SDPD on the smart streetlight cameras and license plate readers police want. Here’s the first part of the report by Jesse Marx:

The city of San Diego kicked off a series of public meetings this week about a proposal to revive its streetlight cameras and merge the devices with license plate readers. Though police are promising to do essentially the same things they were in 2020, the technology is different.

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San Diego Police Want 500 More ‘Smart’ Streetlights Plus License Plate Readers – Public Meeting in Midway Today, March 7

March 7, 2023 by Staff

On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department said it wants access to 500 of its Smart Streetlights that need to be restored — and they want to add another crime-solving tool to the network: automated license plate readers.

Because the Smart Streetlight cameras had not been well maintained over the years, the city would need to install new cameras. Adding the license plate reader technology would mark the first time the city of San Diego would have the readers in fixed locations.

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San Diego Set to Redevelop Northeast Mission Bay – Plans Call for 219 Acres of Marshland and Third Beach

March 7, 2023 by Source

Latest Proposal Boosts Land for Active Recreation and Restoration of Marshland

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / March 7, 2023

Plans to transform northeast Mission Bay into a combination of marshland, campsites and recreation areas will take a key step Tuesday, March 7, with the release of a multiyear city analysis of how the changes could affect the environment.

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‘Call in the Flak Catchers’

March 6, 2023 by Source

By Neighbors for a Better San Diego / March 5, 2023

As a result of our media turnout effort and supporters who were able to show up on short notice, we had excellent coverage by both CBS 8 and ABC 10. It’s rare that we get to frame the news, instead of the carefully crafted magical thinking that the City presents to the media.

As for inside the room: The gist of Tom Wolfe’s book “Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers” is that city governments use consultants as human shields when they want to promote something that they know will be incredibly unpopular.

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