San Diego

Issa, DeMaio Scrape Bottom of Barrel in Congressional Race for 50th District

February 21, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / February 14, 2020

We’re less than two weeks away from the 2020 California primary, and the two brand name Republicans in the 50th Congressional district contest are fighting it out over who can run the scummiest ads.

Having been rebuked by his own party for running a “wink-wink” video ad pointing out Carl DeMaio as a Gay man, Darrell Issa has now dialed up some old-fashioned racism to make his case.

A new TV ad features a photo of three shirtless and tattooed men (taken in a Latin American prison) as the narrator insists, “Amnesty. Open borders. Citizenship. Carl DeMaio is dangerous.”

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San Diego City Auditor: Much More Needs to Be Done in Addressing Homelessness

February 21, 2020 by Source

The city auditor made a dozen recommendations for the city to do a better job

By Gary Warth / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 13, 2020

The city of San Diego has taken significant steps in addressing homelessness but still needs to do more, a report from the Office of the City Auditor found. The report released Wednesday night Feb. 12 made 12 recommendations, including developing a funding plan and increasing the number of homeless outreach workers.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted a response to the audit shortly after its release, saying the auditor’s assessment “validates” the city approach recommended in its Community Action Plan on Homelessness released in October. “We need more resources, we need dedicated funding streams, and the entire region must step up our outreach and data gathering efforts to be even more effective at tackling what must be this region’s top priority,” he wrote in the tweet.

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Mayor Responds to Millions in Cost Over-runs for San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 20, 2020 by Source

By Dorian Hargrove, Mari Payton and Tom Jones / 7SanDiego / February 19, 2020

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office said it plans to “aggressively renegotiate” the city’s $30 million contract for LED lighting and camera sensors on streetlights throughout San Diego.

The mayor’s statement comes after NBC 7 Investigates reported on a Feb. 12 city memo which found the “smart streetlight” program will cost taxpayers millions more than expected.

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Many Details Unknown in Measure C – the San Diego Convention Center Expansion Initiative

February 20, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / February 20, 2020

Measure C has been pitched to San Diego voters as a key to reducing homelessness, a boost for local roads and a necessary investment in the downtown convention center to maintain valuable tourism dollars.

But when inewsource dug into the initiative, which would raise the tax on hotel stays, we found language that showed some promises may have to be adjusted in the future.

Here are examples of what could change if voters approve Measure C on March 3:

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YIMBYs – Newest Handmaidens of the Growth Machine

February 19, 2020 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / February 11, 2020

Alternative facts — they’re the latest rage. Even here at home, presumably responsible voices are echoing half-truths, distortion, and misinformation about a number of big-ticket items that face San Diego.

Let’s take the subject of housing, for starters. We all talk about the housing crisis in San Diego. So what makes it a crisis?

For some it’s about sky-high rents. Others say it’s a matter of supply–there aren’t enough houses and apartments to go around. Still others point to the near-million it takes nowadays to buy even a little bungalow… Do the innumerable, uncountable people living on the streets constitute a crisis? And what about the families being pushed out of their gentrifying neighborhoods?

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San Diego Mayor Moves to Enforce Ban on Granny Flat Short-Term Rentals

February 19, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / February 19, 2020

San Diego has started enforcing its ban on short-term rentals of newly built granny flats, following an inewsource analysis that identified violators and showed the city let it happen.

The City Council agreed in 2017 to cut the cost of granny flat permits and fees by roughly $15,000, depending on the development. It was an incentive to create long-term affordable housing in a market that is fast pricing out many residents. But council members approved the new law without a plan to enforce it.

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San Diego’s ‘Own’ Peter Navarro to Hunt ‘Anonymous’ White House Staffer

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Did you see who Trump is placing in charge of the Hunt for Anonymous? San Diego’s own Peter Navarro. Yup, that’s right.

Since at least the time of the impeachment process against Trump, Navarro — whom the president affectionately calls “my Peter”— began conducting his own private investigation into the identity of Anonymous, according to three sources with knowledge of Navarro’s efforts.

One of those sources described Navarro’s investigative efforts as partially an in-depth analysis of the language and phrases used in Anonymous’ book and other public writings.

Maybe while searching for Anonymous, Navarro can hunt down the fictional character he quoted in his books on China. He had it turned out, invented an “expert” and quoted him – but it was himself.

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Hey, Amidst All the Campaigning, Don’t Forget About San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Amidst all the electioneering this season, it’s easy to overlook that there’s other local San Diego issues of keen interest to city residents out there. One of them is San Diego’s use of so-called “smart street lights.”

These, of course, are the specialized street lights – 3,200 of which have been installed around the city – which include sensors equipped with cameras, microphones and other tech elements. A variety of info and data is captured by the sensors, like for instance, pedestrian and vehicle movements, parking availability, temperature and humidity. And San Diego police have access to the images under department-imposed guidelines.

The issue of smart street lights has swung back into the open just recently,

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Recent Court Ruling Shows Need for Measure A in San Diego County

February 18, 2020 by Source

By Jerry Harmon and Stephen Houlahan / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2020

A recent court ruling has brought into sharp relief the failure of our Board of Supervisors to act in the best interest of San Diego County residents over the interests of deep-pocketed developers.

Three nonprofit and community groups brought a lawsuit a year ago against the County of San Diego, arguing it had violated the General Plan in approving the Valiano and Harmony Grove Village South housing development projects. Petitioners argued the projects’ environmental analyses failed to show how the developments would prevent significant harm

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The Men’s Club at San Marcos City Planning

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / February 15, 2020

All three male members of the San Marcos Planning Commission, whose two-year terms expired in December, were reappointed by the mayor and city council in January. The only woman on the seven-member commission, Wendy Matthews, was also reappointed.

There are no term limits for commissioners, allowing for the growth of the good old boys network. Kevin Norris begins his eleventh year on the council, while Bruce Minnery stepped down after eleven and a half years.

Five women were among the twelve new applicants who failed to win a seat on the commission. Filling vacancies with incumbents was a missed opportunity for the city to bring gender balance to the commission. Here are a few of the qualifications of the women applicants who were passed over.

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Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Sara Jacobs’ Paid Ads or Will Jacobs Buy Her Way into Congress?

February 17, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Will Sara Jacobs Be Able to Buy Her Way into Congress or Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Paid Advertisements?

If it seems like you can’t keep up with the depressing news about American politics or even try to escape it by watching something else without seeing a Sara Jacobs for Congress commercial, you aren’t crazy.

By this point in the election cycle, I find myself wanting to throw my shoe at the TV every time it tells me that teachers love Jacobs (even though they have endorsed Georgette Gomez) or that she wants to work across the aisle to solve problems (centrist pablum alert). It’s just that pervasive — so much so that the other candidates in the race are practically invisible.

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The A, B, C’s of San Diego’s Primary

February 14, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Feb. 13, 2010

Should we vote for Measures A, B, or C? The short version: Yes, No, Maybe.

What does it mean to be a progressive in San Diego? The answer to that question can depend on how one feels about the A,B, & C measures on the primary ballot. (Measure D is a no-brainer)

No matter which side you choose, there will be somebody out there in the chattering classes who will say you’re not a true progressive.

So, with that in mind, bring on the haters. I’ve made up my mind.

Measure A

Measure A is about the approval process for future developments in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County requiring changes to the General Plan for development.

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Birch Aquarium Hatches Baby Weedy Seadragons – Cousin of the Sea Horse

February 14, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Birch Aquarium has successfully bred the rare weedy sea dragon, the lesser known cousin of the sea horse that resembles seaweed when floating.

By Caitlin Scully / Birch Aquarium Blog / February 13, 2020

For the first time ever, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego has bred and successfully hatched two rare Weedy Seadragons.

This is a first for Birch Aquarium, now one of the few aquariums in the world to hatch this unusual fish. The inch-long babies display the characteristic camouflaging appendages of the elaborate adult Weedy Seadragons in miniature, and have already had their first meals of tiny shrimp.

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Primary Election 2020 Guide to Voter Guides and Endorsements

February 13, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds/ February 10, 2020

Who should I vote for? That’s a question I hear all the time. My mail-in ballot lists no less than 85 candidates, running for 13 seats, plus four ballot measures.

I’ve spent a lot of time studying the candidates and issues and written about it extensively. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

There are a handful of websites that go through the process of listing all or most of the candidates, and I’ll review them in this column.

There are dozens of organizations eager to share their knowledge and viewpoints with voters. They endorse candidates whose outlook and record indicate a higher level of support for their organizational objectives.

With the goal of keeping my explorations short enough to possibly get read, I’m not going into individual’s endorsements. You should visit a candidate’s website to learn these if it is important to you.

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New Polls Show San Diegans Want Stricter Regs on Scooters, Oppose Bike Lanes in Exchange for Loss of Parking

February 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune released their latest polling on the mayor’s race and on the city attorney contest – coming up on Primary Day, March 3.

The newspaper’s biggest story from their polls is that Todd Gloria leads the pack for mayor, a head of Scott Sherman, the main Republican, and Barbara Bry, the other major Democratic candidate. Gloria has 29%, Sherman 18%, Bry 13% and Tasha Williamson at 4%. Yet, a big part of the undisclosed story is that a plurality of San Diego voters haven’t made up their minds – 32% are – as of the survey date – undecided.

The U-T’s polling also – besides the candidates – hit other issues – and the results are very interesting. Sure, polls are polls, and in this one, only 527 “likely voters” were surveyed. But for what’s it’s worth, here’s some noteworthy results.

Large majorities of Democrats and Independents Want Stricter Regulations on Electric Scooters

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SeaWorld Has to Pay $65 Million to Investors Who Claimed Deception Over Effects of ‘Blackfish’

February 12, 2020 by Source

Also: SeaWorld Will No Longer Allow Trainers to Ride Dolphins (See Inside)

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 11, 2020

SeaWorld Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has agreed to pay $65 million to settle longstanding lawsuits claiming it deceived investors when it claimed early on that the anti-captivity documentary “Blackfish” had no ill effect on park attendance.

The settlement comes just a week before a jury trial was to begin for a class action lawsuit that originated in 2014 SeaWorld, in a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the settlement does not “constitute an admission, concession, or finding of any fault, liability, or wrongdoing by the Company or any defendant.”

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City of San Diego Seeks Competitive Bids to Develop and Manage Sports Arena Site

February 10, 2020 by Source

Editordude: We aren’t kidding when we say the City is preparing the Midway District for massive redevelopment. The Feb. 7 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune demonstrates how the City is laying the groundwork for the future of the Midway District, centered around the old sports arena complex – which the OB Rag has been predicting for a couple of years now.

From City of San Diego Press Release:

The City of San Diego has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified firms and interested parties to redevelop, rehabilitate, operate, maintain and manage a 48-acre site comprised of six continuous parcels of land, commonly known as the Sports Arena.

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‘No on A’ Campaign Funded by Developers and Out-of-Town Interests

February 10, 2020 by Source

In Contrast “YES ON A” Campaign Relies on Local Sources, Grassroots Support

As of February 7th, the Building Industry Association’s campaign organized to defeat the Measure A citizen’s initiative has brought in more than $1.3 million in contributions.

According to data provided by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, the vast majority of these come from the real estate lobby, developers and building industry trade associations. About $400,000 came from out-of-state groups based in Chicago, Arizona, Texas and New York.

This chart demonstrates the heavy influence of industry groups in the effort to defeat Measure A:

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The Next Mayor of San Diego Will Probably Be Todd Gloria (Not an Endorsement)

February 10, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porterr / Words&Deeds

This is not an endorsement. The sky could fall. Trump could quit Tweeting. Republicans could support the constitution. And Todd Gloria could lose.

I just don’t see it happening. And, by all means, cast a vote for the candidate you think could do the best job. My point of view is informed by observations about the state of the city and the campaigns of those opposing him.

I have, after all, been wrong before. My list of fallen favorites spans the decades, going way back to when I was “Clean for Gene” (McCarthy). But with every loss has come a bit more insight.

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San Diegans Join Thousands Across Nation in Rejecting Coverup and Trump’s ‘Acquittal’

February 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Wednesday, Feb. 5, local San Diegans joined thousands of others across the country in more than 200 protests of the coverup and Trump’s acquittal.

The San Diego chapter of Indivisible mobilized people at several street corners, and about 40 demonstrators showed up at the corner of Sixth and University avenues in Hillcrest, the SanDiegoUnion-Tribune reported. A steady stream of supportive honking from drivers flowed by. The group chanted slogans such as “sham trial, not above the law” and “come November, we will remember.”

There were other protests including one on North Harbor Drive.

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‘Reject the Coverup’ Protests – Wed. Afternoon, Feb. 5 – Organized by San Diego Indivisible

February 5, 2020 by Source

Two Impeachment Protests Wed., Feb. 5 in San Diego: Downtown at North Harbor Dr. and at Genesse & Governor Dr.

Reject the Coverup protests are scheduled for this afternoon at multiple locations in San Diego County .The protests begin at 4:30 and 5:30 with flag waving citizens on street corners protesting the impeachment trial that was not a trial but a coverup.

This action is part of a nationwide mobilization with the simple demand of End the Coverup.

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Enrollment Mismanagement Plagues Palomar College

February 4, 2020 by Source

By Richard J. Riehl / Riehlworld / Feb. 4, 2020

After a campus visit, a state-funded agency, the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistant Team (FCMAT) issued its November 8, 2019 report, describing Palomar College’s financial position and management practices. The news wasn’t good.

The report gave the school’s Fiscal Health Risk Analysis a 44.5% rating, indicating the school’s probability of insolvency in the near future. According to FCMAT, in two years the school will have drained all its reserves, forcing it to borrow $6.5 million from an external source to stay solvent.

Here’s but a sample of what FCMAT found:

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Chancellor Constance Carroll of San Diego Community College District Calls it Quits

February 4, 2020 by Source

“A Quiet Leader” to Retire

By Colleen O’Connor

She reads a dead language — ancient Greek — to relax. Will be the distinguished guest speaker at UCSD with a lecture on “Aeschylus’s Oresteia and Athenian politics [ed: see below for more info].”

Yet, insists that her 5,000 employees (faculty, staff, administrators and contractors) and over 100,000 students in her colleges, call her Constance — not Dr. Carroll.

A Ph.D. in classics, a lover of all things operatic, and one of the largest developers in San Diego, “Constance” is retiring from the San Diego Community College District that she has led for sixteen years — after a presidential stint at Mesa College for eleven years.

But, not before having changed the landscape and buildings in and near San Diego City College; San Diego Mesa College, Miramar and various Continuing Education sites. That she accomplished by overseeing the $1.55 billion bond money from propositions S and N.

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Calendar for February 2020 from the OB Green Center

February 3, 2020 by Source

February Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

Ocean Beach Green Center, 4862 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107 (619) 613-5616

Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

February 13th Thursday 7 pm. Film Night. “Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective”
Inhabit is a 2015 documentary introducing permaculture: a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, and on. …

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meetingg. February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd. 29th. Ocean Beach Green Center 4862 Voltaire St.

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Senate Republicans Continue Trump’s Cover-Up in Sham ‘Trial’ by Not Allowing Witnesses

January 31, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The US Senate just voted 51 to 49 not to allow any witnesses in their proceeding. This clearly demonstrates that Senate Republicans have now joined in the cover-up of Trump’s impeachable offenses and that the proceedings going on within the Senate chambers cannot be called a “trial”.

Senators Romney and Collins joined all Democratic Senators in voting to allow witnesses and other evidence into the proceedings.

But without witnesses and any documentary evidence, a trial cannot be held, and therefore, the proceedings are a sham, a fake.

As soon as the vote on witnesses was completed, the Senate moved into recess. It’s not clear what the next action will be or when it will occur.

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San Diego Is Allowing Granny Flats to Become Short-Term Rentals – In Violation of City Law

January 29, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / January 29, 2020

San Diego City Council members were clear when they voted in September 2017 to loosen restrictions on granny flats. They wanted new affordable housing for San Diegans. None of these small units, built on land with existing homes, were to be rented for less than 30 days.

The city gave property owners about a $15,000 price reduction in permits and fees to encourage development of granny flats — and it worked. Since the law changed, about 600 permits have been issued, compared to 20 in all of 2016.

But inewsource has learned the city has no mechanism in place to ensure the new granny flats aren’t rented for less than 30 days. Officials rely on citizen complaints and code enforcement.

To determine if the law was being violated, inewsource compared two sets of city data

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Guerrero Pleads Guilty to Murders and Attacks on Homeless

January 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

One Homeless Victim Asked Him ‘Why?’ Guerrero Replied, “Because You’re a Bum.”

Jon David Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 27, to murdering four homeless men during a grisly serial killing spree in 2016 – including the horrific murder of an Ocean Beach man, Shawn Mitchell Longley. Four of the sleeping, homeless men were stabbed to death with rail spikes and two of those were set on fire.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson. He agreed to be sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison. This will occur on May 1. The charges stem from his attacks on 12 men and one woman over six months between February and July 2016.

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The Widder Curry Is Back and She’s Voting ‘No’ on Proposition ‘C’

January 28, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

I have received a fair number of calls, emails, etc. asking me why I haven’t been writing lately. There are several reasons that I will briefly mention: One is that I have been ill. Not the flu; not a cold, but something in-between. As a cancer survivor that went through many sessions of radiation, my bronchial tubes are weaker than normal, and illnesses just seem to fester there for awhile. After 3 weeks of feeling like I was dead – and sometimes wishing that I was – I am 98% better.

Another reason for not writing is that my book Liar, Liar came out in early December and I have been doing some promotions on that – at least until I became ill!

Another reason, and some of you will understand this, is that I have become obsessed with the horrific situation that is in the White House. Hours and minutes are spent shaking my head in disbelief as everyday unfolds new lies; new restrictions on our rights; dirty air and dirtier water.

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Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Property Transfer for Transit Center

January 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Transfer Property for Midway Area Transit Center

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and representatives from SANDAG and the Navy signed off on a agreement to transfer the Navy property known as NAVWAR over to SANDAG so it can pave the way for the development of a major transit center.

Whether it’s in the Midway District or in Old Town, this is a big deal, which will allow for the redevelopment of the 72-acre property along Interstate 5.

Faulconer and SANDAG reps signed the agreement at the Pentagon with the Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly.

In return SANDAG has agreed to build a “new state of the art facilities” for the Navy for NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command – which used to be called SPAWARS).

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More on San Diego’s Great Flood of 1916 and Charles Hatfield – ‘the Rainmaker’

January 23, 2020 by Source

Sweetwater Dam and Reservoir (Photo by Barbara Zaragoza)Editordude: The following is a reposting of a two-part series we published in 2016 by Patricia Maxwell on San Diego’s Great Flood of 1916 and on Charles Hatfield, the “Rainmaker.”

Part 1

Originally posted Jan. 21, 2016

By Patricia Maxwell

Today’s residents of Chula Vista have much in common with citizens of a hundred years ago. Make that a thousand years or more. Southern California has always been an arid land, with cycles of drought, interspersed with wet years every now and again.

In December of 1915, San Diego’s city fathers tackled the issue from a completely different angle. They hired a rainmaker!

The impetus for their decision was the unfilled Morena Reservoir in the mountains sixty miles east of San Diego. A rock-filled dam had been completed in 1912, but the reservoir had yet to be filled beyond a third of its capacity. Other reservoirs in the area shared the same problem. None were filled and the city was growing. The rainmaker, Mr. Charles Hatfield, said “I will fill the Morena Reservoir …”

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