Todd Gloria Declares for 78th Assembly Seat Race

By Doug Porter

The political reshuffle for 2016 is officially underway in San Diego. City Councilman Todd Gloria has announced his candidacy for the 78th Assembly seat, currently held by soon-to-be termed-out Toni Atkins.

Democratic activist Sarah Boot, who’d declared an interest in running for the job and received an endorsement from Atkins, has thrown her support to Gloria. Former interim City Councilman Ed Harris has also announced his intention to run for the 78th as a Democrat.

This morning’s announcement puts an end to speculation about Gloria running against incumbent Mayor Kevin Faulconer. (Which I’ve said repeatedly wasn’t going to happen.) If the scenario I’ve heard about holds true, we’ll see an announcement from Assemblywoman Atkins later in the year saying she’s going to be the high profile Democrat to oppose Faulconer.   [Read more…]

Ed Harris: Don’t Rush the Belmont Park Lease

by Ed Harris /OB Rag

Last year during my State of the District Address I called upon District Two residents to monitor and weigh in on development projects that came forward but were not resolved while I was in office. One such project is the Belmont Park lease extension. For a primer on the issue you can read an article I wrote about it in September of 2014.

While I was the Councilmember for District Two, it was my duty to protect the taxpayer’s money. When it came to the Belmont Park lease extension, I asked City staff two simple questions: How does the lease extension benefit the taxpayer and how much more will the City make if it extends a lease from 25 years to 55 years? I never received satisfactory answers to either question.   [Read more…]

Trouble With Filing Your Federal Taxes? Try Calling Congressman Darrell Issa

By Doug Porter

National Public Radio broadcast a story this morning on the upcoming tax filing season. In years past it would have been the typical annual “how to” feature timed to coincide with W2’s arriving in mailboxes around the country. But this year it wasn’t.

This year the onset of tax season story was more of a warning. If you expect IRS help with tax questions, expect to wait. And wait.  As in “The IRS is predicting it will only be able to answer half of the 100 million calls it expects from taxpayers this year, and those who do get through can expect to wait a half hour to hear a live voice.” In 2010 the IRS answered calls with an average 11 minute wait.

We can thank Republican Congressman Darrel Issa and his cronies for the 17.5% reduction (adjusted for inflation) in the IRS budget since 2010. The US Treasury will be out about $2 billion, thanks to the inability of the government’s tax collectors to conduct audits. That money could have been used to repair bridges, like the one collapsing on an Interstate last night in Cincinnati.   [Read more…]

Lawsuit Seeks to Shut Down Over The Line’s Boozin Beach Tournament; Preferential Treatment Claimed

By Doug Porter

A non-profit group has filed suit against the City of San Diego, seeking to block approval of a special-event permit for the 60th Annual World Championship Over-The-Line Tournament (OTL), scheduled for two weekends in July., a group that in the past opposed the city’s alcohol ban on beaches, is saying that the permit approval process was illegal and therefore null and void until an environmental review is conducted.

Their opposition to the OTL tournament permit was triggered by the city’s rejection of a permit for a beach event called the Leisure Olympics. FreePB asked for many of the same concessions granted to OTL, including exemptions from San Diego’s beach booze ban that would allow for individuals to bring their own alcohol and purchase alcohol from vendors. They also vowed to impose exactly the same “safeguards” promised by OTL   [Read more…]

School Board Okays Controversial Sale of Prime Mission Beach School Property – Despite Mayor Filner’s Plea

By Frank Gormlie/ OB Rag

On Tuesday, May 14th, the San Diego Unified School District board authorized the sale of the former Mission Beach Elementary School property to private developers – despite objections by Mayor Filner, residents and community activists.

The 4 to 1 vote by the Board was the culmination of the process to cement the controversial sale of 2.23 acres of prime public school land, a half block from the Pacific Ocean and mere yards from Mission Bay. Mayor Filner, community planners and civic activists, as well as residents pleaded with the Board to keep the land in the public arena, and work with either the City or developers on alternatives.

The site was sold for $18.5 million to a duo of developers, doing business as McKellar-Ashbrook LLC, registered in La Jolla.   [Read more…]

Video of Mission Beach Cigarette Citation Goes Viral and Lights Up National Debate Over Cellphone Videos

See Video Below

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

A video by a guy on the Mission Beach boardwalk who was being given a citation for smoking a cigarette has gone viral. The incident involved Adam Pringle who refused to shut off his cellphone while videoing the San Diego police officer – and now Pringle’s video of part of the incident has sparked a conversation that has gone national over the rights of people using the video on their cellphone (or other cameras).

Pringle – from Escondido – was smoking a cig on the boardwalk at Mission when he was approached by San Diego Police on bicycles. As the officer began writing up a citation, an infraction, Adam Pringle began using his cell phone to video the officer.

The officer then asks Pringle to shut off his cellphone. Pringle refuses – saying it was his right. The officer asks him at least one more time – and Pringle continues to video the officer.

Pringle then told the press that his cellphone was then slapped out of his hand and then tackled to the ground by the same officer who was writing the ticket. He was then arrested for disorderly conduct.   [Read more…]

The Best Bicycle Ride Around Mission Bay

A Tour of the Best Bicycle Route Around San Diego’s Aquatic Playland

By Frank Gormlie

This started out as a chronicle – complete with a photo journal – of the best bicycle ride around Mission Bay. I had planned to post nearly one hundred photos with complete descriptions and commentary – but due to a glitch in our programs, I was having too many problems to present all the pics. So, I temporarily shelved that idea and gravitated to a briefer version, this one. (As you peruse the photos, be sure to click on them for larger versions to view.)

The tour I now present around Mission Bay is a great one and it is a ride that has been honed by me and a few riding friends over the last three decades – since the early Eighties.

It is a ride along a route that has a minimum of traffic and street exposure, and it is a route that is practically 13 miles round trip from the Ocean Beach Skateboard Park in Robb Field.

  [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Congressman Peters Trumpets Vote for Flawed Cybersecurity Bill; President Threatens Veto

By Doug Porter

The press release was a master stroke of Orwellian NewSpeak.  Representative Scott “Better Than Bilbray” Peters was touting passage of H.R. 624, ‘The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA),’ “which passed the House of Representatives with 288 votes in favor and 127 against on a bipartisan basis.”

Finally, we are led to believe, Congress has taken action to protect the nation against “cyber attacks that could cripple our infrastructure and our national security, and cost our country untold amounts of money and jobs.”

Oh, and all those concerns people might have about privacy and oversight were taken care of via amendments, or so we’re told.

The only problem with all this congratulatory rhetoric is that it’s not true.

INSIDE: Big Pharma Fights Back, Local Actions in Support of Boston Marathon Runners & Gun Safety, Anti-Union Group Cries Wolf

BREAKING: We will have coverage of events in Boston later on. Unlike the New York Post & CNN we aren’t in any big hurry to misinform you.   [Read more…]

The State of District 2

Councilman Faulconer says things are looking good here in San Diego

By Mic Porte

Wednesday April 10, 2013, Paradise Point Resort – Sounds like the name of the sequel of a sci-fi film, but it was actually a fantasy island dream moment with our San Diego district 2 elected official, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, and his team, at beautiful Paradise Point Resort in the middle of beautiful Mission Bay in beautiful San Diego, on a beautiful evening and with all the beautiful people around, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

And according to Councilmember Faulconer, things are looking pretty beautiful around here, and with a little more bi-partisan effort on the part of the city council and everybody else in San Diego and the great state of California, and regional funding, we might even be able to finally get the crumbling oldest part of the seawall in front of Belmont Park repaired in time for the rising ocean levels, and balance the city budget too, and get back to pursuing happiness, something we do great here in San Diego.

Boys and girls, are we lucky? Yes, thank you.   [Read more…]

SDFP Exclusive – Jean Marc Barr: Cruise Control, Soul Grind, and Jack Kerouac

By Micaela Shafer Porte

Jean Marc Barr, international French/American film actor and director, and part-time Pacific Beach, California local, loves Pacific Beach for its mellowness and great skateboarding.  “San Diego is the place where ‘nothing’ is supposed to happen.  It is a nice break from my hectic life, living out of suitcase, travelling around the world. “  He is here for the holidays, in preparation for attending the Sundance  Independent Film Festival 2013, in his latest role as Jack Kerouac  in the film, Big Sur, which is being presented on January 23.

“I started skateboarding late in life, at the age of 42, because I was inspired by my nephew, Oliver, and I needed a physical activity to keep me in shape during my stays with my family in California.  Entering my 40’s, I felt “vulnerable,” so wanted to try a new sport, a dangerous one, as a challenge…”   [Read more…]

Field of View: Under the Boardwalk

OK, so the walk along the Mission Beach boardwalk doesn’t lead to under anything at all, but whenever I’m there that song by The Drifters always pops into my head.

Here are some pictures from two different trips. In addition to a surprisingly quiet Belmont Park, I was able to catch the sunset and — man, oh man! –what a sight. Putting politics aside for a moment, we live in a beautiful world.

All photos by Annie Lane   [Read more…]