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Will Biden lease Miramar land for homeless tent city?

Soon-Shiong loses augmented reality patent battle against Niantic,

“In February, [George Mullen] and Brian Caster, CEO of A1 Self Storage, wrote an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune that proposed using large industrial tents to temporarily house the homeless near Brown Field in Otay Mesa. Originally proposed as Camp Hope, the idea now is called Sunbreak Ranch.”
“In February, [George Mullen] and Brian Caster, CEO of A1 Self Storage, wrote an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune that proposed using large industrial tents to temporarily house the homeless near Brown Field in Otay Mesa. Originally proposed as Camp Hope, the idea now is called Sunbreak Ranch.”

Sunbreak’s second chance

It didn’t take long for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and the New York Post to pick up on a homeless opinion piece co-authored by ex-basketball pro Bill Walton, adding to growing suspicions that San Diego’s Democratic mayor Todd Gloria may be in for a high-profile election battle waged by well-connected national Republicans next year. “Most of us can no longer walk or bicycle our downtown city streets, sidewalks, and parks without facing an obstacle course of tents, bodies, human excrement, needles, trash, and a slew of walking zombies who are impossible to distinguish between those just down on their luck and others who are out-of-control substance abusers about to attack us,” writes Walton in the Post-quoted piece, said to be written with local political idea-man George Mullen, that initially appeared in the online Times of San Diego on January 15.

George Mullen: pitching pitching tents for the homeless up in Miramar.

The January 16 Post account highlights Sunbreak Ranch, first proposed more than five years ago by Mullen, as reported in August 11, 2017 coverage by the Union-Tribune: “In February, [Mullen] and Brian Caster, CEO of A1 Self Storage, wrote an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune that proposed using large industrial tents to house the homeless temporarily near Brown Field in Otay Mesa. Originally proposed as Camp Hope, the idea now is called Sunbreak Ranch. The proposal gained some traction, and supporters of the idea include Jerome’s Furniture Chairman Jerry Navarra, Metropolitan Airpark CEO Charles Black, the East Village Residents Group, Jacobs Center for Innovation chairmen Norm Hapke Jr. and Val Jacobs Hapke, Serving Hands International, and former San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn.” But the idea went nowhere.

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Sponsored

These days, the plan is to lobby the Biden Administration for free federal property and military services near Miramar Ranch. “We need our President and federal government to lease 2000 acres of MCAS Miramar land to Sunbreak Ranch at $1 per year, and to designate this land as a temporary ‘federal emergency homeless help zone.’ This will eliminate local red tape and opposition,” the Post account quotes the Walton-Mullen piece as saying. “We need our President to deploy the military and security services to build a tent city for Sunbreak Ranch on this site with surplus equipment from the Afghan and Iraq deployments. Our military and security services have the manpower, expertise, and equipment to build out this entire tent city within weeks. The cost of this Sunbreak experiment is minimal compared to the untold tens of billions of dollars currently being spent (to no avail) on homelessness annually.”

Lack of wizardry

Billionaire LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has lost a round of his augmented reality patent battle against Niantic, maker of the games Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. According to a January 5 account by Bloomberg Law, a San Francisco federal court has ruled that a patent infringement claim brought by Soon-Shiong-owned NanWorks LLC [sic] can’t be enforced “because it covers an abstract idea.”

When the case was filed in September 2020, the website ScreenRant reported that NantWorks claimed Niantic had misappropriated “three patents that cover the use of “groundbreaking” AR systems for video games.” Four years ago, NantWorks acquired a minority interest in San Diego video game developer Daybreak, maker of EverQuest and H1Z1, the Union-Tribune reported on September 6, 2018. “Working with NantWorks, NantStudio and Dr. Soon-Shiong will allow us to maintain our cutting-edge development in the video game industry and to benefit from Nant’s technological expertise and reach as a resource,” majority owner Jason Epstein said in a statement cited by the paper. In late 2020, Stockholm-based games group Enad Global 7 bought Daybreak for $300 million.

John Smedley isn’t going to play, er, make Bezos’ little games any more.

Meanwhile, in other local video game maker news, San Diego Amazon Game Studios chief John Smedley has abruptly quit the company after seven years, reports Bloomberg News. “Amazon first launched Amazon Game Studios in 2013 and has had spotty success so far, canceling several games and releasing one, Crucible, that was shut down after a month,” notes the January 11 post. ‘“After a lot of thought, I’ve decided it’s time for me to try my hand at something new,” read a Smedley email to staff cited by the account. Andy Sites will step in as studio head while Smedley wraps up and helps with a transition, according to the letter. The departure comes as Amazon is set to begin laying off 18,000 employees...

Republican Mission Valley developer Tom Sudberry came up with $5000 on January 17 for liberal Democratic County supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s 2024 state senate bid. The cash shows how much local politics has changed in a decade, since Sudberry was written up in a June 12, 2012, U-T story as the top donor to the GOP-backing Lincoln Club with $241,966. “I feel like there’s more going on politically that’s affected our business, and I look at the state of California, which in the last several years has become the least business-friendly state in the nation,” Sudberry complained to the paper.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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“In February, [George Mullen] and Brian Caster, CEO of A1 Self Storage, wrote an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune that proposed using large industrial tents to temporarily house the homeless near Brown Field in Otay Mesa. Originally proposed as Camp Hope, the idea now is called Sunbreak Ranch.”
“In February, [George Mullen] and Brian Caster, CEO of A1 Self Storage, wrote an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune that proposed using large industrial tents to temporarily house the homeless near Brown Field in Otay Mesa. Originally proposed as Camp Hope, the idea now is called Sunbreak Ranch.”

Sunbreak’s second chance

It didn’t take long for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and the New York Post to pick up on a homeless opinion piece co-authored by ex-basketball pro Bill Walton, adding to growing suspicions that San Diego’s Democratic mayor Todd Gloria may be in for a high-profile election battle waged by well-connected national Republicans next year. “Most of us can no longer walk or bicycle our downtown city streets, sidewalks, and parks without facing an obstacle course of tents, bodies, human excrement, needles, trash, and a slew of walking zombies who are impossible to distinguish between those just down on their luck and others who are out-of-control substance abusers about to attack us,” writes Walton in the Post-quoted piece, said to be written with local political idea-man George Mullen, that initially appeared in the online Times of San Diego on January 15.

George Mullen: pitching pitching tents for the homeless up in Miramar.

The January 16 Post account highlights Sunbreak Ranch, first proposed more than five years ago by Mullen, as reported in August 11, 2017 coverage by the Union-Tribune: “In February, [Mullen] and Brian Caster, CEO of A1 Self Storage, wrote an opinion piece for The San Diego Union-Tribune that proposed using large industrial tents to house the homeless temporarily near Brown Field in Otay Mesa. Originally proposed as Camp Hope, the idea now is called Sunbreak Ranch. The proposal gained some traction, and supporters of the idea include Jerome’s Furniture Chairman Jerry Navarra, Metropolitan Airpark CEO Charles Black, the East Village Residents Group, Jacobs Center for Innovation chairmen Norm Hapke Jr. and Val Jacobs Hapke, Serving Hands International, and former San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn.” But the idea went nowhere.

Sponsored
Sponsored

These days, the plan is to lobby the Biden Administration for free federal property and military services near Miramar Ranch. “We need our President and federal government to lease 2000 acres of MCAS Miramar land to Sunbreak Ranch at $1 per year, and to designate this land as a temporary ‘federal emergency homeless help zone.’ This will eliminate local red tape and opposition,” the Post account quotes the Walton-Mullen piece as saying. “We need our President to deploy the military and security services to build a tent city for Sunbreak Ranch on this site with surplus equipment from the Afghan and Iraq deployments. Our military and security services have the manpower, expertise, and equipment to build out this entire tent city within weeks. The cost of this Sunbreak experiment is minimal compared to the untold tens of billions of dollars currently being spent (to no avail) on homelessness annually.”

Lack of wizardry

Billionaire LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has lost a round of his augmented reality patent battle against Niantic, maker of the games Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. According to a January 5 account by Bloomberg Law, a San Francisco federal court has ruled that a patent infringement claim brought by Soon-Shiong-owned NanWorks LLC [sic] can’t be enforced “because it covers an abstract idea.”

When the case was filed in September 2020, the website ScreenRant reported that NantWorks claimed Niantic had misappropriated “three patents that cover the use of “groundbreaking” AR systems for video games.” Four years ago, NantWorks acquired a minority interest in San Diego video game developer Daybreak, maker of EverQuest and H1Z1, the Union-Tribune reported on September 6, 2018. “Working with NantWorks, NantStudio and Dr. Soon-Shiong will allow us to maintain our cutting-edge development in the video game industry and to benefit from Nant’s technological expertise and reach as a resource,” majority owner Jason Epstein said in a statement cited by the paper. In late 2020, Stockholm-based games group Enad Global 7 bought Daybreak for $300 million.

John Smedley isn’t going to play, er, make Bezos’ little games any more.

Meanwhile, in other local video game maker news, San Diego Amazon Game Studios chief John Smedley has abruptly quit the company after seven years, reports Bloomberg News. “Amazon first launched Amazon Game Studios in 2013 and has had spotty success so far, canceling several games and releasing one, Crucible, that was shut down after a month,” notes the January 11 post. ‘“After a lot of thought, I’ve decided it’s time for me to try my hand at something new,” read a Smedley email to staff cited by the account. Andy Sites will step in as studio head while Smedley wraps up and helps with a transition, according to the letter. The departure comes as Amazon is set to begin laying off 18,000 employees...

Republican Mission Valley developer Tom Sudberry came up with $5000 on January 17 for liberal Democratic County supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s 2024 state senate bid. The cash shows how much local politics has changed in a decade, since Sudberry was written up in a June 12, 2012, U-T story as the top donor to the GOP-backing Lincoln Club with $241,966. “I feel like there’s more going on politically that’s affected our business, and I look at the state of California, which in the last several years has become the least business-friendly state in the nation,” Sudberry complained to the paper.

— Matt Potter

(@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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