Barbara Bry Only Councilmember to Oppose Placing 30 Foot Height Nix in Midway for November Ballot; Gloria Supports Measure

May 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego City Council Rules Committee voted yesterday 3 to 1 – with Councilmember Barbara Bry the only ‘nay’ vote – to push Jen Campbell’s measure to rescind the 30-foot height limit in the Midway area towards the November ballot.

The entire Council still needs to vote on it sometime this summer. Councilmember Chris Cate has joined Campbell in recent months pushing the initiative to “open up” the Midway District to more large-scale development.

As KPBS reported, “Councilwoman Barbara Bry, in the midst of a mayoral campaign, voted against putting the measure on the ballot, arguing it was not an urgent need for the city,….” Bry’s opponent for mayor is Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who supports the measure. Again, from KPBS:

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Oh, to be Out and About Again      

May 14, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Oh, I want so
to be out and about again,
to just grab a hold
of my children and grandchildren
and great-grandchildren
and friends
and hug them
for eternity,
or at least
until my arms fall limp.

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Who Does Has Access to the Beach? Recent San Diego Commentaries

May 14, 2020 by Source

Who does have access to the beach and the coast? What’s with the protests to reopen our sandy parks?

Here are some recent commentaries from local San Diego media.

You couldn’t go to the beach? People of color have had access issues for centuries.

By Anela Akiona & Kayla Wilson / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 14, 2020

As Southern California beaches have opened and closed at various points in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, there have been widespread protests by members of predominantly white,

Reopened Beaches Remain Out of Reach for San Diego’s Poor

By MacKenzie Elmer / Voice of San Diego / May 12, 2020

Early in the pandemic, officials debated when and how to close beaches.

Coverage of anti-lockdown protests in San Diego is ignoring one glaring fact

By Andrew Matschiner / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 13, 2020
To put it plainly, these protests attract predominately white San Diegans.

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San Diego Should Spend Federal COVID-19 Aid Now, Ask Questions Later

May 13, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / May 12, 2020

Here we go again. No matter the year, the danger, or the outlook, the most popular city services get cut the most.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are about to unveil another massive spending proposal—of “Rooseveltian” proportions—to counter the national COVID-19 economic collapse.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s politicians are debating how to proceed with their own deficit. Mayor Kevin Faulconer is considering drawing down about $80 million of its reserve funds to offset revenue losses—while simultaneously sitting on a $248 million pile of federal monies cash courtesy of the earlier COVID-19 Relief and Economic Security Act.

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Coronavirus Diary Thoughts – 9 weeks

May 13, 2020 by Source

Via Steve Zivolich

Has this been an elaborate plan by our dogs to get us to stay home with them more and take daily walks?

Strangest mothers day ever. Sent my wife an ecard; the third try went through and arrived one day late.

Thinking of contacting all the women who told me they would not touch me with 10 foot pole; and asking if the would consider modifying it to a 6 foot pole?

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Lifeguards Kept Busy at Sunset Cliffs with 2 Rescues on Tuesday

May 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego lifeguards were busy at Sunset Cliffs on Tuesday, May 12, with two rescue operations.

The first rescue was of a 23 year old woman who suffered major trauma when she fell 30 feet off the cliffs to the beach below. The SDFD helicopter was brought in to hoist her up to the bluff top and then she was transported to a local hospital. What the status is of the unidentified woman is unknown at this time. Fox5

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City Council Rules Committee to Meet on Placing the Dismantling of 30 Foot Height Limit in Midway on Ballot – Wed., May 13

May 12, 2020 by Staff

The Rules Committee of the San Diego City Council meets Wednesday, May 13 to consider placing a measure that would dismantle the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District on the November ballot.

Councilmembers Jennifer Campbell and Chris Cate are pushing the idea. Campbell represents District 2, of course, which includes the Midway, as well as much of the coastal areas of the city.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public will have very little say in how the Rules Committee – or the full Council for that matter – votes on this crucial vote, a vote seen as an end-run around Prop D, passed by San Diego voters overwhelmingly in 1972. A group in opposition to this move, Save Everyone’s Access,

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Hugs in the Time of Cholera

May 12, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

We have just completed our Mother’s Day celebration without the traditional reliance on buying power to attest to our love of the women who have mothered us. We have sent online deliveries if we could and zoomed ourselves with varied success into the two-dimensional spaces of each other’s screens. We have texted, phoned, and snail-mailed our greetings. But we have not been able to hug.

How unexpectedly descriptive is the absence of a hug, for in not being available, it emphasizes the importance of an embrace. Two arms wrapped around us, pulling us closer to a loving heart, a gesture that could impart power and conflict, for it often occurs between two beings of varying strength. And yet our surrender to a hug is a relief, a comfort, an admission that we persist in life’s most strenuous endeavors because we are loved.

On the other side of a hug is the fact that we concede our need for others.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-May 2020

May 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Cancelled

The 41st annual OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off has been officially cancelled for this year. It will be held next year, on Saturday, June 26, 2021. Originally set for June 27 this year, the annual event – like many other things – had to be cancelled due to health concerns. Denny Knox, ED of the OB Mainstreet Assoc which sponsors the fair, told the Beacon:

“We had to make the call. We just couldn’t commit to signing a contract. The risk is too great.
Some OB Businesses Have Limited “Openings”

OB Teacher Concerned About Opening Schools Too Soon

Joanne Ensign who teaches at Ocean Beach Elementary School, says it’s a challenge teaching kindergarten, but “It’s going well. Kids are participating…. kids are doing it, they’re doing it.” But Ensign is concerned about talk of opening the schools in July. She needs a break, she told 7NBC.

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Kudos to Mara Elliott for Saying SDSU / Stadium Deal Is Seriously Flawed

May 11, 2020 by Source

BRAVA! Mara Elliott

By Colleen O’Connor

Kudos to City Attorney Mara Elliott for doing what is in the best interest of San Diegans. She has made several clear, lucid and legally cogent arguments against the sweetheart developer/SDSU deal. All of them legitimate.


First of all, the bidding for the largest piece of prime real estate in San Diego should have gone to open, competitive bidding. Not restricted to two ballot propositions between San Diego State and its need for some housing and a new, larger football stadium and Soccer City.

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Empowering America to Death

May 11, 2020 by Jim Miller

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s Agenda is on Full Display

It’s easy to stay outraged these days, whether it’s reading about the COVID-19-infected leader of the “ReOpen NC” protests whining about her “rights” being violated by quarantine, the “COVID Mary” of Louisville being arrested after going to the grocery store while knowingly infected, or the knucklehead owner of the Orange County bar who defied state pandemic restrictions, opened up, and told the TV news that everyone would be OK because, “on a sunny day like this, I don’t feel like anybody’s at risk.”

At present, it appears there is an endless well of dangerous idiocy.

And when you watch the Trump Administration ignoring their own guidelines as White House aides get sick and the national response slides into a chaotic patchwork quilt of ineffective policies, one might just conclude that we are dealing with a tragic case of national incompetence.

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OB Planners and Town Council Consider Converting 5 Blocks of Bacon Street to One-Way ‘Slow Street’

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach organizations are considering turning 5 or so blocks of Bacon Street into a “slow street” which means converting it into one-way traffic going southbound, leaving the northbound lane for pedestrians, skateboarders and bicyclists. It would be from Voltaire to Saratoga.

On Wednesday night at their electronic meeting, the OB Planning Board voted in favor of making the temporary conversion. The initiative for this, for the proposed street change came from the Slow Street Initiative of the city of San Diego. Streets are blocked off with signs to through-traffic – and a section of Diamond Street in Pacific Beach has already made the conversion, as well as a street in Normal Heights.

For the last couple of years, OB planners have been talking up the idea of making Bacon a “bike-friendly” street. Those in favor think now is especially the time to make the changes, as it would make it makes it easier for people to run, bike and walk during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since sidewalks don’t always provide six feet separation.

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Michigan Lawmaker Escorted to State Capitol by Armed Black Citizens

May 8, 2020 by Source

By Lois Beckett / The Guardian / May 7, 2020

A black lawmaker came to Michigan’s capitol with an escort of armed black citizens on Wednesday, days after white protesters with guns staged a volatile protest inside the state house, comparing the Democratic governor’s public health orders to “tyranny”.

The state representative Sarah Anthony, 36, said she wanted to highlight what she saw as the failure of the Michigan capitol police to provide legislators with adequate security during the protest, which saw demonstrators with rifles standing in the legislative chamber above lawmakers. “When traditional systems, whether it’s law enforcement or whatever, fail us, we also have the ability to take care of ourselves,” she told the Guardian. Anthony became the first African American woman elected to represent her district in Lansing, Michigan’s capital, in 2018.

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May 8, 1970 – the Day the Anti-Vietnam War Movement Came to Point Loma

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Exactly 50 years ago today, May 8, 1970, the anti-Vietnam war was thrust upon the sleepy neighborhood of Point Loma.

4,000 mainly college students showed up in the early hours of that day on Catalina Boulevard and created a passive resistance march and blockade of the gates of NEL, the Naval Electronics Lab (since renamed). NEL was known for its war-related research and the action was seen as a blow against the Vietnam war by thousands of trying to jam up the gears of the war machine.

Nixon had just invaded Cambodia instead of winding down the war, as he had promised. Protests at colleges and universities blew up across the nation. Protests at Kent State in Ohio turned deadly when National Guardsmen fired into crowds of unarmed demonstrators, killing four and wounding eleven others. Fifty years ago this day, the entrance to the military facility was effectively blocked

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UCSD Student George Winne Burned Himself to Death in Protest of the War – May 10, 1970

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

George Winne, 23, a History major at UC San Diego strolled out to the middle of Revelle Plaza on Sunday, May 10, 1970. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A huge anti-war protest had occurred earlier that weekend in downtown San Diego. It’s not known whether Winne attended it, but it’s unlikely.

President Nixon had invaded Cambodia and the campuses across the nation blew up in protests. One protest at Kent State University in Ohio ended in the deaths of four students shot by National Guardsmen.

When Winne came out to the plaza, he carried a sign, which read, “In God’s name, end this war.” It was a simple message. He also carried rags which he had saturated with gasoline.

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City Police Review Board Asked to Investigate Arrest of Black Woman at Ocean Beach

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Community Review Board on Police Practices has been requested to investigate the arrest of an African-American woman on Friday, May 1, at Ocean Beach while walking her dog.

Filing a complaint with the Board, Francine Maxwell, president of the local NAACP office, said she wants it to investigate the arrest – an arrest which created a stir after it was recorded and shared on social media. Maxwell said three officers involved in the arrest used excessive force and she questioned whether they targeted the woman because of her race. Maxwell asked:

“Was she arrested because of her race? Was she assaulted because of her race? Would the officers have found a better way to deal with the situation if (she) had been white?”

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San Diego County COVID-19 Cases – the Numbers, the Graphs, the Zip Codes and Map

May 8, 2020 by Staff

Here are the most recent numbers, charts, graphs and map of San Diego County COVID-19 cases. They are the most recent updated figures published today, Friday, May 8, as of May 6 and May 7 from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County.

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Councilwoman Campbell Calls for the Closure of Sunset Cliffs ‘Natural’ Park

May 8, 2020 by Source

In a statement that San Diego City Councilwoman Jen Campbell just released, she calls for the closure of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park due to San Diegans not following public health orders around Sunset Cliffs, and how the park is more of a regional attraction and not just a neighborhood park.

Here is her statement:

“Since our parks and beaches have been opened San Diegans have, for the most part, done an excellent job following public health orders while returning to public spaces for passive use. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park or in the greater Sunset Cliffs community.

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The Murders at Jackson State, Mississippi During the May 1970 Student Rebellion

May 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The killings at Jackson State occurred 5 minutes after midnight, May 15, 1970
Besides the Kent State Four, there were two other murders during the May 1970 student rebellion fifty years ago. Police opened fire on a Black girls’ dormitory at Jackson State College in Mississippi on May 15, killing two young, African-American men, and wounding another dozen people.

The Jackson State killings, however, never received the media and protesters’ attention as those at Kent State did. There were demonstrations in response, of course, but not as wide-spread as those following the deaths of the 4 white students. From an ingrained media racism, to the privileges of white, middle-class young, to the fatigue and exhaustion of a protest movement nearly spun out – there are a number of factors for this difference.

But – as in the Kent State incident – no one was ever held accountable for the killings.

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OB Planning Board to Meet Electronically Tonight, Wed., May 6 – Please Register

May 6, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hole its regularly scheduled monthly meeting tonight, May 6 – and it will be held electronically. Interested persons need to pre-register for the meeting – details below. As usual, the meeting will start at 6 pm.

On the agenda is a Budget Request Revision as the city has reprioritized its fiscal year 2012 budget due to budget shortfalls from the COVID-19 crisis. The Board is set to review and prioritize its own budget goals.

There’s a Park’s Master Plan to review and make recommendations upon also on tap. For the “Slow Streets Initiative”, the Board is also supposed to put together a map of possible routes it could follow.

The last Action item is the establishment of an “Ad Hoc Committee” to go over recommendations regarding short-term vacation rentals regulations.

Register for the Meeting

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The Virus and the Nukes

May 6, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News May 2020

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

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

The Virus and the Nukes

As reported in last month’s Nuclear Shutdown News, the pandemic has been affecting workers at US nuclear plants.

The April 10 Philadelphia Inquirer reported that some workers at the Limerick nuke plant in Pennsylvania had tested positive for the virus and 44 others had been quarantined “because they may have come in contact with infected workers.”

Limerick shut down one of its reactors in early March to switch out old nuclear fuel and replace it with new, a process known as refueling. At that time safety measures to discourage the spread of the coronavirus were not yet in place. While this work is going on, up to 1000 extra workers are added. They all need places to stay and eat locally.

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‘Moments With My Mom’

May 6, 2020 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

My mother has been on my mind, ever so vividly, lately. I can see her in moments in our lives.

Moments where she’s waving goodbye to me as I take off for school or play, against a background of clothes to be washed and hung up to dry; dishes to be washed and dried; floors to be washed and dried.

Moments when she’d hug me, fighting back tears brought on by the sheer energy required to raise a son alone, a Howard University graduate of the Class of ’31, working her fingers to the bone as a janitress at the Mountain States Telephone Company, cutting hair and selling Avon products and doing tax returns and a ton of odd jobs on the side.

Moments when, because of her heavy load, she’d say to me, shaking her head and chuckling, “Sometimes you got to laugh to keep from crying” and the next thing I knew we’d be slapping our knees and rolling on the floor doubled up, grabbing our bellies – overcoming, momentarily, the “race cards” the country had dealt us openly and hatefully and not the least bit regretfully.

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May 5, 1970 Was the Most Violent Day Within the Country in American History

May 5, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The day after the Kent State Massacre, Tuesday, May 5, was one of the most violent days in American history. It was the day when college and university students realized that four from their generation were dead because of protests against the Vietnam war. It certainly ranks up there as one of the most turbulent days inside the country.

What follows in our latest installment in the series commemorating the student rebellion and strike of May 1970. We offer it without apology, without recourse but with the knowledge that despite the tedious repetition, it is part of our American experience, an important day in our modern history.

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Calling on My Fellow Citizens to Help Us All Keep Safe

May 5, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

If I have expertise
in anything
it’s kicking back,
being at ease.
Why not,
since stress,
can buckle your knees.
But now
after maintaining
my cool
for 82
around the sun,
I’ve become kind of an edgy

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No, Cinco de Mayo Is Not Mexican Independence Day

May 5, 2020 by Brent Beltran

cinco-de-mayo oldschool

Editor: The following is an excerpt from Brent Beltran’s weekly column Desde Logan at the San Diego Free Press in 2013. What follows is worth repeating as Gringos typically are kept in the dark about the history of a people a few dozen miles away.

By Brent E. Beltrán

Cinco de Mayo commemorates El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla) where in 1862 a ragtag Mexican army lead by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated a much superior and better equipped force of the French army. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. It’s not even a significant holiday in Mexico except in the state of Puebla where the battle took place.

After the great liberal Mexican president Benito Juarez decided to stop paying Mexico’s foreign debt for two years to help it’s near bankrupt national treasury France’s Napoleon III, pissed off by this move, decided to invade and build up it’s empire.

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Rough Treatment and Arrest of Black Woman Walking Her Dog at Ocean Beach Raises Questions

May 5, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The arrest and rough treatment Friday, May 1, of an African-American woman for walking her dog at Ocean Beach without a leash raises troubling questions.

A video taken of the incident shows a Black woman in a white bathing suit being taken into custody by several San Diego police officers, accompanied by a couple of lifeguard on the shores of Ocean Beach. She apparently had been noticed by lifeguards walking her dog without a leash.

During the incident, she was taken to the ground at least twice by officers, with her arms twisted behind her and handcuffed. She was taken down on the sand and then on the asphalt. At one point the woman being arrested asked bystanders to continue taking a video of the incident.

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery and the head of the local NAACP have raised questions about “equity in enforcement”.

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May 4, 1970: Kent State Murders 50 Years Ago Today – ‘The Day the World Turned Upside Down’

May 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Fifty years ago exactly, on May 4, 1970, was the day the world turned upside down for an entire American generation of young people. It was the day National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio aimed their M1 rifles at crowds of unarmed demonstrating college students and fired.

15 students were hit by bullets – four of them died either instantly or within minutes and eleven were wounded, one so badly he was maimed for life.

This day, then, stands out – as Pearl Harbor did for an earlier generation, as 9-11 did for a later generation. It was one thing to protest the Cambodian invasion and the war in Vietnam, it was quite another to be shot to death by American soldiers on an American college campus for protesting the wars.

The date May 4, 1970 will forever be associated with the murders of four young people.

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‘I was in a sit-in at UCSD when we heard about the killings at Kent State.’

May 4, 2020 by Source
Thumbnail image for ‘I was in a sit-in at UCSD when we heard about the killings at Kent State.’

Originally posted May 4, 2009.

By Dr. Anonymouse

May 4th, 1970, is forever etched in my brain and memory cells. I was a student at UCSD, and we had just taken over the 5th floor of Urey Hall – a Science building – in protest of the University’s complicity in the Vietnam War, when we heard the bad news from Kent State. It came over a small radio someone had perched on a chair out on the balcony overlooking the Quad. …

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The Virus of Sextortion

May 4, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / May 4, 2020

It’s Cocooning Day 50, with no Covid -19 cases so far, in our Château Lake San Marcos community. Karen and I wear facemasks when we leave our condo to take daily walks. We discovered how to fashion a mask by using two rubber bands to hook over our ears to hold a hospital sock over our nose and mouth. We tried everyday socks, but discovered their thickness hindered our breathing. The thinner hospital sock souvenirs, if less fashionable, are more comfortable.

Thanks to Netflix, Prime Video, our “Social Distance Singers” YouTube production, and ongoing writing projects, we’ve been able to fend off the boredom of social isolation.

An unexpected benefit in our daily lives has been the unusual absence of scam telephone calls. But that hasn’t kept the online predators away. Yesterday I received this email

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COVID-19: Re-Imagine Everything, Including Democracy

May 4, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

COVID-19 proves we no longer live in the age of “Readin, ‘Ritin and ‘Rithmetic.” Rather, the present includes the 4th Industrial Revolution; the equivalent of World War III; a replay of the Gilded Age; and the Great Depression; all occurring simultaneously.

Pandemics make history. And this pandemic is no exception. What kind of history COVID-19 leaves in its wake is still in question. Success or failure.

Most of history’s failures can be attributed to a lack of imagination. History’s triumphs, by contrast, sprung from fabulous imaginations.

Sometimes, real talent and artistry break through even in the darkest of hours. For example, the New Deal; the end of colonial rule; the rise of democracy; plus inventions, inventions, and more inventions. All the way from the light bulb to the Moon shot. From robotics and AI to the Internet.

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