San Diego

A Tribute to the “Ocean Genius” – Walter Munk

February 22, 2019 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Feb. 13, 2019

The great man, who seemed like he would live forever, died the afternoon of Friday, February 8, 2019 at the age of 101. The New York Times had dubbed him the “Einstein of the Oceans” an appellation he rejected.

He modestly bowed to Einstein’s towering intellect. Virtually unknown outside of scientific circles, Munk’s achievements have touched us all; from creating the science of wave prediction that greatly advantaged the D-Day invasion of 1944 to providing initial research pointing to global warming. A contributor to the Huffington Post, Max Guinn observed, “Following Munk’s accomplishments is a Forrest Gump journey through history.”

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Hey Trump! Hands Off Venezuela! – San Diego Protest – Friday, Feb. 22 at 4:30-6 pm

February 22, 2019 by Staff

There’s a “Hands Off Venezeula” demonstration this Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4:30 – 6 PM – at the San Diego Federal Courthouse in downtown San Diego.

Protest Trump’s efforts to get his regime change in Venezuela.

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Online News Site Sues SDSU for Details on Its Mission Valley Stadium Plans

February 20, 2019 by Source

Funny, it was just the other day I was talking to a bicycling partner about the future of a sports stadium in Mission Valley when he began complaining the public didn’t know yet anything about what San Diego State University was planning to build at the former Chargers site. And then bingo! The Voice of San Diego sues SDSU on this very issue.

From Times of San Diego:

A local news organization is suing San Diego State University, claiming that the school has refused to disclose records involving its plans to redevelop SDCCU Stadium, with particular focus on whether the project will necessitate raising student tuition and/or fees.

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Faulconer’s Proposed Ordinance for Scooters at City Council Committee Hearing – Wed., Feb.20

February 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed regulations for scooters and bicycles will be discussed at the City Council’s Feb. 20 Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting, which meets at 2pm in City Hall, 202 C Street, 12th floor.

FYI – Councilwoman Jen Campbell of District 2 does not sit on this committee.

The proposed ordinance is summarized by the Mayor’s office here (italic bold emphasis is OB Rag’s):

Permit and Fees: Each company wishing to operate within City limits will be issued a six-month permit and will be required to pay $150 per device annually. Operators will only be allowed to amend or renew their permit, including increasing the size of their fleet, during the permit issuance months of January and June. Companies offering an approved equity program can receive a $15 per device reduction in their annual fee.

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Tracking the Parrots of Ocean Beach and San Diego County

February 19, 2019 by Source

By dan weisman / Escondido Grapevine / February 18, 2019

Seen a wild pandemonium of parrots lately? Report it immediately. That’s the question and request posed by University of San Diego Biology Instructor Dr. Janel Ortiz and her San Diego Parrot Project, along with “parrot sighting submission form” and a hardy SDPP thank you.

Ortiz takes the academic show on the road Wednesday. That’s when she and her flock of students plan to take flight with a plan to begin a survey of the wild parrots of San Diego County. She is asking fellow county residents if they see something parrot, say something parrot to university parrot watchers.

The parrots shouldn’t be hard to miss. This is parrot time, to be sure, as wild parrots go looking for mates in mid-February,

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San Diegans Rally Against Trump’s Fake ‘Emergency’

February 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A couple hundred San Diegans took their Presidents’ Day holiday to protest the current president’s fake “national emergency.”

Rallying in front of the County Administration Building, speakers denounced Trump’s authoritarian move, that the southern border should not be considered a national emergency, and described other issues that were in more of a need to be addressed, such as climate crisis and gun violence.

The San Diego rally was organized by San Diego Indivisible and, and was one of dozens across the country.

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Building Housing Should Not Lead to NIMBYs and YIMBYs

February 14, 2019 by Source

Editordude: The following appeared as an Op-Ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune online Feb.13 and in newsprint on Feb. 14; we repost it with the author’s permission.

By Roy McMakin / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 13, 2019

San Diego has always built new housing, and will continue to do so. We’ve always been a city that welcomes those wanting to live here. Currently there is need to focus increased energy on home building, both due to demand, but also because the state has mandated we do so. That doesn’t mean we should disregard good planning and robust community involvement in the process.

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Here’s Mayor Faulconer’s New Proposals for Regulating Scooters and Bikes

February 14, 2019 by Source

After months of feedback from some communities of San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer has adjusted his October proposals for regulating scooters and e-bikes and on Thursday, released the newest version.

The proposed ordinance will be discussed at the City Council’s Feb. 20 Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting, which meets at 2pm in City Hall, 202 C Street, 12th floor.

Here is the summary of what his office describes is included in the new proposed ordinance:

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Billionaire Jacob’s Plan for Balboa Park Back On the Shelf

February 13, 2019 by Source

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a group of major philanthropists are shelving a plan to remodel Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama after bids for the project came in way over budget last month.

Lisa Halverstadt / Voice of San Diego / February 12, 2019

A controversial plan to clear cars from Balboa Park’s central mesa is on hold.

Philanthropist Irwin Jacobs, who has long championed the Plaza de Panama project, said this week that philanthropists have halted fundraising efforts necessary to get the project to the finish line after three construction bids each came in at least $20 million higher than earlier estimates for the project.

“There is an excellent plan for how to proceed, but the costs are a little too high at this point,” Jacobs said.

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A Green New Deal Builds Local Support as the Right Goes Bonkers

February 13, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / February 12, 2019

Socialism, Flintstone cars, and cow farts. Oh. my! *

The introduction of HR 109, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal supporting the vision of a more just and sustainable path for the country has shifted the conversation about climate change simply by pointing out the need for a comprehensive approach.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria announced introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 7) urging Congress to pass a Green New Deal. If passed by the California State Legislature, this will put California officially on the record in support of the recently introduced federal legislation.

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council was first in the nation among its type of local coalitions to pass a resolution supporting a “Green New Deal with strong labor provisions in concert with our environmental and community partners.”

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City Council Repeals Ban on Sleeping in Cars

February 11, 2019 by Staff

On Tuesday, February 6, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to repeal a1983 law that banned people from living inside their vehicles.

The Council vote is partially a response to recent Federal court decisions. There’s the 2014 ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down a similar ordinance in Los Angeles as unconstitutionally vague.

And then there’s the ruling 6 months ago by U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia here in the Southern District of California that ordered the City to stop ticketing people under the law, also stating it was unconstitutional because it’s too vague for enforcement.

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Trump Says There’s an ‘Urgent National Crisis’ at Border – Here’s Actual Numbers

February 11, 2019 by Source

Trump sees ‘urgent national crisis’ at border. You decide. Here are U.S.-Mexico border apprehension numbers.

by Shyla Nott & Brandon Quester / inewsource / February 8, 2019

President Donald Trump urged Congress to pass funding for a border wall during his State of the Union address on Tuesday for what he called an “urgent national crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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It’s Time for San Diego to Rein In Those Scooters

February 10, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

As serious injuries from scooter accidents mount at local emergency rooms, as it becomes known that more people are hurt on scooters than on bicycles or as pedestrians, while San Diego police issue record numbers of citations to scooter riders, while more companies are dumping their e-scooters onto the streets and sidewalks, and while other cities struggle to rein them in – it is time for San Diego to place some controls and restrictions on the motorized scooters.

And certainly more restrictions than what Mayor Faulconer has tentatively proposed (see below).

The Mayor is due to formally roll out his ideas on scooters at the Active Transportation and Infrastructure meeting of the City Council on Feb. 20th – at 2 PM at City Hall. If they are anything like what he has already publicly proposed in the press, they’re woefully inadequate.

The situation is dire.

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Some of San Diego’s Lines in the Sand Are Getting Washed Away by 2018’s Blue Wave

February 8, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / Feb. 8, 2019

Recent developments at both the county and city level in San Diego reveal the impact of victories by Democratic candidates in the 2018 general election.

Supervisor Diane Jacob’s State of the County speech shows the door is now open for a host of new and improved policies, a promising shift in attitude from the not so recent past.

While Jacob is a Republican, the election of Democrat Nathan Fletcher to the Board has already changed the political dynamic.

From the Union-Tribune coverage:

Standing before a full gallery that included leaders from cities, Jacob said the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has entered a new era.

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

February 7, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

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

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

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The Great Dolphin Dilemma and the San Diego Connection

February 5, 2019 by Source

For years, animal rights advocates have waged war against the US Navy for its use of dolphins in warfare and research. Is a resolution possible?

by Lina Zeldovich / Hakai Magazine / February 5, 2019

1. The Great Divide

Michele Bollo stood on Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, close to the US Navy base in Point Loma, San Diego, looking through a video camera trained on a network of pens in the water below. The nine-by-nine-meter ocean corrals held 70 dolphins and 30 sea lions belonging to the US Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP). Bollo was there to document how the navy treated the animals.

One animal, a 46-year-old bottlenose dolphin named Makai, once deployed to find mines in the Persian Gulf during the 2003 Iraq War, was sick and unable to swim.

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Not Really a Restaurant Review But a Shout-Out for El Maguey de Cotija

February 5, 2019 by Judi Curry

I know that this restaurant is not in our Ocean Beach / Point Loma area. However, I think that a shout-out should go to them for what they did. What do you think?

My husband – before he passed on – was a member of Veteran’s for Peace. I have kept semi-active in the organization and I think they do some wonderful things.

Today I received this message from Kate Beckwith – a retired Veteran – that hands out sleeping bags with so many others. I think this might be appropriate to repost because it talks about a restaurant – one that should be given plaudits for what they did.

A feel good story about an amazing restaurant…

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February 2019 Events Calendar from the Ocean Beach Green Center

February 5, 2019 by Source

Dear friends of the Ocean Beach Green Center,

We are still in the process of setting up at our new location at 4862 Voltaire St. Ocean Beach 92107. We will be opening up soon. Look for updates on our website: Ocean Beach Green Center, 4862 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107 :

February Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Meeting Feb 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd. Ocean Beach People’s Cooperative Community Room, 4765 Voltaire Street. Come help plan for the upcoming Climate Action events. More info Contact:

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New Study: The Economic Costs and Benefits of Airbnb

February 4, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

We now know San Diego County was the second most popular California destination for Airbnb users in 2018; hosts saw $213 million in income from some 1 million guests who stayed in Airbnb rentals. (LA County was first with 2.7 million guests.) San Diego Union-Tribune

Yet a new study out from the Economic Policy Institute reveals the economic costs and benefits of Airbnb – and their summary had a far-less rosy picture of how short-term rentals affect cities and counties.

In their cost-benefit analysis, they found “the costs to renters and local jurisdictions likely exceed the benefits to travelers and property owners.”

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Labor Council in San Diego On Board With the Green New Deal

February 4, 2019 by Jim Miller

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Passes Resolution in Support of a Green New Deal

Sometimes the unexpected happens. Last year, during one of her first visits to the Capitol as a newly elected member of the House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines by joining a group of young activists from the Sunrise Movement protesting outside Nancy Pelosi’s office and calling for a Green New Deal. Since that time, Pelosi has formed a committee to address the idea, but, even more importantly, a Green New Deal has emerged as one of the key progressive talking points in the early days of the Democratic presidential race, forcing even some reluctant candidates to at least give it a nod.

Not surprisingly, probable candidate Bernie Sanders is at the front of the line, but he has been joined by Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and even some less likely suspects who despite their “centrism” seemed to feel it necessary to voice qualified if grudging support to some form of a Green New Deal.

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How to Achieve Walkable Transit Service in San Diego

January 30, 2019 by Source

By Howard Blackson III / San Diego UrbDeZine / January 26, 2019

At last week’s State of the City address, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer enthusiastically stated,

“I want to radically overhaul the system itself. The bureaucracy has been set up to empower anti-housing forces that delay or deny projects at every turn… We need to build more housing near employment centers and transit.”

This is a rejection of our long-standing, auto-oriented, one-size-fits-all approach to city making. Fortunately, in 2008, our City of Villages plan began to shift the standards of new construction of private development from single-family, single-use land use outcomes towards more mixed-use buildings and blocks filled with offices, shops, affordable housing, and market-rate homes. This proclamation officially transitions San Diego from focusing on suburban outcomes, as we have for the past 60+ years, to building within our urban neighborhoods.

Now it’s time to do the same for our transit services.

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San Diego Police Swept Through Homeless Areas Just Before Annual Homeless Count – May Have Had Negative Impact on Results

January 30, 2019 by Source

It appears that San Diego police swept through some homeless areas just before the annual homeless count last week, and now homeless advocates say the police efforts may have skewed the results of the count. Voice of San Diego reports:

Police enforcement spiked in the downtown area most densely populated with homeless San Diegans in the days before the annual homeless census last Friday, spurring questions from advocates and even the group that oversees the count about how the increased enforcement may have affected the effort.

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Get on Board SANDAG’s New Transit Center Vision

January 28, 2019 by Source

By Gretchen Newsom and Brigette Browing / San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 25, 2019

Hasan Ikhrata knew what he was getting himself into when he accepted the job as the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) new executive director. As San Diego County’s regional planning agency, SANDAG is charged with mapping out and funding transportation projects throughout the county.

But the agency became so dysfunctional that in 2017 the state Legislature intervened to increase transparency in SANDAG’s operations and ensure that decisions were made to best serve the needs of the majority of area residents.

The new and improved SANDAG — under Ikharata’s leadership

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San Diego’s Women’s March 2019 – Photo Gallery

January 21, 2019 by Staff

For the third year in a row, thousands of San Diegans rallied and marched for women’s rights on Saturday, January 19.

The massive crowd – estimated by police at 20,000 – gathered at the front of the County Administration Building, listened to speeches and music beginning around 10 a.m. and near noon, the throng moved to Pacific Highway on the now-familiar march route for downtown demonstrations.

And although half the size of the first Women’s March the day after Trump was inaugurated in 2017, and not quite as large as last year’s, this year’s crowd was decidedly younger – with many youthful women participating. This reporter spoke to half a dozen participants who all observed a younger crowd.

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It’s Raining and Cold. The Homeless Are Still Outside.

January 16, 2019 by John Lawrence

by John Lawrence / January 16, 2019

I take a shortcut every day through Walter Way in my home town of El Cajon. It saves me from going through one stop light at 2nd and Madison. Walter Way is little more than a glorified alley paralleling 2nd Street.

In between there’s a McDonald’s, a Walgreen’s a Subway and a few other fast food places. Walter Way has been home to quite a large homeless settlement for some time. The other day there were 3 dump trucks and 3 El Cajon police cars clearing out the homeless and all their possessions from Walter Way.

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Sweetwater Union – the Largest High School District in California – Is Under Attack by Charter School Proponents – Including the San Diego U-T and Voice of San Diego

January 16, 2019 by Source

Editordude: Here’s the latest post from Thomas Ultican about the latest shenanigans from local charter school supporters in their quest to undermine public education…. In delving into the details, Ultican takes on the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Voice of San Diego.

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

The newly hired Chief Financial Officer of Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD), Jenny Salkeld, discovered a significant problem with the budget she inherited. She presented her findings to the Sweetwater leadership team in early September which forwarded her report onto the County Office of Education (COE).

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Women’s March in San Diego – Saturday, January 19

January 15, 2019 by Source

From the Women’s March San Diego website:

The third annual Women’s March will take place on Saturday, January 19th, 2019. Join us in San Diego to bring #TruthToPower!

Saturday, January 19, 2019
10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Waterfront Park (West Side)

Our marchers make a difference.

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Federal ADA Lawsuit Targets San Diego Scooters

January 15, 2019 by Source

By Greg Moran / Los Angeles Times

SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego and electric scooter brands Lime and Bird are the targets of a lawsuit filed in federal court alleging the ubiquitous motorized vehicles are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by impeding and blocking access to city streets and sidewalks.

The suit filed by the group Disability Rights California and three disabled San Diego residents is seeking class-action status for people with mobility or sight disabilities who navigate sidewalks, curb ramps and public spaces also occupied by scooter riders.

“Without full use of the sidewalk and curb ramps at street intersections, persons with mobility and/or visual impairments have significant barriers ”

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It’s Tough to Be a Renter in San Diego County

January 15, 2019 by Source

More than half are burdened by housing costs.

by Jill Castellano / – San Diego

San Diego County is one of the least affordable places to live in America, and renters know it.

When housing costs are high, people have less money to spend on other necessities such as food and medical care, which hurts their quality of life.

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San Diego Is the Largest City in California to Ban Styrofoam

January 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The City of San Diego became the largest city in California to ban Styrofoam when the City Council voted 6 to 3 Tuesday, January 8 to approve a law that restricts the use of products made with polystyrene and plastic foam, like take-out containers, coolers and egg cartons.

Imperial Beach and Encinitas join San Diego within the County that also have adopted similar rules. Over 100 other California cities have such bans or restrictions. …

The new ordinance – due to go into effect probably in April 2019 – prevents restaurants and grocery stores from using plastic-foam food containers (often called “Styrofoam” – which is a brand name – referring actually to polystyrene). In addition, it bans anyone from bringing polystyrene products to the beaches or city parks, and it prohibits restaurants from giving out any plastic straws or utensils, unless customers ask for them.

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