Is This Encroachment Into Our Public Space?

February 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Take a look at these photos …

This is The Joint at the intersection of Newport and Cable setting up an outside eating area.

We’ve been contacted by a reader who objects to this encroachment on more than half of the public sidewalk by both The Joint and the soon-to-be-open OB Brewery closer to the ocean.

Here is what reader “CG” says:

The sidewalk expansion of several restaurants is starting to impede pedestrians, and I noticed just recently that The Joint on Cable and Newport has staked out a large area for future tables with metal fencing with permanent posts in the cement.

The Joint is at the busiest corner of the Farmer’s Market at Newport and Cable. . They’ve clearly claimed more than half of the sidewalk without regard the other obstacles like the water meter, street light, and traffic light.

With the street light and a water meter also on the sidewalk and just opposite, I don’t see how anyone in a wheelchair can pass without asking others to move. And, I’m also concerned about the foot traffic being impacted on that corner during Farmers’ Market or just regular foot traffic on a sunny day.

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A Call for OBceans and Point Lomans to Support “the Conscience of OB”

February 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Michael Turko of the well-known “Turko Files” once said that the OB Rag “is the conscience of OB.”

We are humbled by his compliment. And we also think that if you – dear reader – peruse the following list of gains and achievements for Ocean Beach that the OB Rag was instrumental in making happen, then you, too, would agree with Turko.

And if you do agree with Turko, then we appeal to you to support our efforts to maintain an online newspaper for Ocean Beach and the Peninsula.

Consider these:

Saving the OB Library. The OB Rag was instrumental in helping save the OB Library from closing its doors when it was on Mayor Sanders’ butcher block. We joined with the OB Historical Society and the Friends of the OB Library and held several rallies. Mayor Sanders commented that it was the folks in OB who rallied around their library that convinced him to take all libraries off that cutting board.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early February 2016

February 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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15 IPads Stolen From Special Needs Students at Pioneer Day School

Motorist Killed by Falling Tree in PB On Her Way to Play Music in Ocean Beach

Does Councilwoman Zapf Enjoy Her Job?

Some OB Businesses Still Recovering From First Storm

Urbanization, financial backlog hurt flood control

Lifeguards and City Agree on Extended Health Care

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Got Damage From the Storm?

February 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Just about every neighborhood has a tree or large branch down.

Check these out. Palm tree down on Bolinas – …

Got any photos of wind or sea damage to share? Send them in to obragblog@gmail.com

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OB Rag Poll: Sanders, Clinton, Trump

January 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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For a week, the OB Rag ran a poll on the presidential preferences of our readers. The poll was a wide-open horse race that had all the major candidates of both major parties running against each other, and included most of the top-tiered GOP candidates (however, it did not include and we now think it should have included Jeb Bush).

Overall, Bernie Sanders came out way ahead – with nearly 51% of the total vote. Near each other, Hillary Clinton had 17.5% and Trump had 16.7% following Sanders way down the sheet.

Marco Rubio had 3.3%, Ted Cruz had 1.7%, Chris Christie had .8%. Another 3.3% wanted another GOP candidate (Bush?).

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Push-Back Against Pro-Developer Coup at California Coastal Commission

January 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Showdown at Commission Meeting on Feb. 10th

Things are really heating up at the California Coastal Commission, the independent state agency that is the guardian of the 1100 mile California coastline. Nothing is at stake except what’s left of the pristine nature of our coastline and the future ability of Californians to have access to it.

What’s going on – and there’s no way to mince words about it – is that there is a movement afoot on the 12 member board of commissioners to engineer a coup – to fire Charles Lester, the executive director of the Coastal Commission’s staff.

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Lori Saldana to Run for San Diego Mayor as an Independent ‘to Give the Disenfranchised a Voice’

January 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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There is finally some good news for San Diego’s left-of-center voters.

A known local politician with definite name recognition, former Democrat and Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has announced her intention to run for mayor of San Diego. Saldana will run as an independent, having resigned from the Democratic Party about 2 years ago.

Now, finally, San Diego voters who don’t usually vote Republican – which is a majority of the city electorate – have a choice other than Kevin Faulconer and a handful of unknowns.

Saldana said she is running to give San Diegans a voice and to represent those who feel disenfranchised by the electoral process.

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Photos From the Great San Diego Floods of 1916

January 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego public needs to see these photos – taken 100 years ago in January 1916 during the Great Floods of the Rainmaker. (Most of these photos are from the San Diego Historical Society.)

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After the Storms: Ocean Beach Getting Back to “Normal” – Whatever That Is

January 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Took a tour around Ocean Beach the other day to see just how the village has dug itself out after the huge deluge from El Nino storms.

And I found OB was quickly getting back to “normal” – whatever that is.

Sure, there were still sandbags against the doors of stores, there were a few piles of sand at the grassy parks, …

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

January 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Locals Clean-Up After El Nino Deluge

Point Lomans Mobilize Against CVS Coming in to Old Fresh & Easy Site

SeaWorld Files Suit Against Coastal Commission

January 21 Thursday OB Historical Society: “OB’s History of Volunteerism”

OB Warehouse Makes SurfRider’s “Ocean-Friendly” List

Higher Internet Royalty Fees Could Shut Down Local OB Radio

OB Community Plan Up for Final, Final Adoption by Coastal Commission

January 24th Sunday 4:00PM – 5:30PM Point Loma and OB Democratic Club Election Endorsements

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE …

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OB Police Cameras Update – January 2016

January 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are some of the latest in the ever-evolving controversy over the City’s planned installation of 10 police surveillance cameras along OB’s waterfront.

CAPA Members Sound Off at City Council Comment Period in Effort to Get Zapf’s Attention

On Monday, January 11th, during the non-agenda comment period at the San Diego City Council meeting, several CAPA members made statements in opposition to the police cameras. The OB locals particularly aimed their statements at Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, in an effort to get her attention. Zapf has refused to meet with the group and snubbed her nose at the community by not attending a recent forum on the police cameras.

OB Town Council Gives “Qualified” Support to Cameras “For One Year”

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Green Activist Calendar for January 2016

January 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Here is the Green Activist calendar for January 2016 – taken from the monthly OB Green Center Calendar:

In Ocean Beach

January 21 Thursday OB Historical Society: “OB’s History of Volunteerism”
at the P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Join us Jan. 21 as Claudia Jack presents “OB’s History of VOLUNTEERISM”. The many organizations and volunteers are what has helped make OB special… from it’s parade, beach clean-ups, planning board, Friends of the Library, and many more.!

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Happy New Year Ocean Beach – Time for a Community Clean-Up – Sat. Jan. 9

January 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB clean up 1-9-16 poster

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Abbott Street in Ocean Beach Flooding During Sunset

January 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Reader Allissa Rosa sent these polished photos of Abbott Street in Ocean Beach flooding at sunset yesterday, Tuesday, January 5th.

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Saratoga Million-Dollar Condos Flood for Second Time in 4 Months

January 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Yes, it happened again.

The so-called “million-dollar” condos at Saratoga Avenue and Abbott Street have flooded for the second time in less than 4 months.

In this most recent series of El Nino storms, OB and other parts of the City and County flooded. As did the garage and some of the units at the Saratoga condos. And – as KUSI reported – there was a Lamborghini parked in one of the garages.

The vacationing owner of another car that was under 6 feet of water at the same complex had leased a unit for $5,000 a month and had parked his vehicle in the garage that accompanied the unit. And no one warned him of possible flooding. The very same condo complex experienced flooding during the rains in mid-September 2015. The big news then and reported worldwide was that a brand new Lamborghini was destroyed in the garage of the complex.

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Baby Skylar Rae Arrives in Sedona

January 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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My grand-daughter finally arrived on January 2nd in the New Year – Skylar Rae Seguin was born at 4:50 a.m. Sedona, Arizona time.

She and mom – Michelle – and dad – Forrest – are all doing fine. Tired but fine.

Skylar came in and weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces, and was 20 inches in length.

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Happy New Year from the OB Rag

December 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

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Is Bono right? Is it true that “nothing ever changes on New Year’s Day!”?

Without tangling up on that concept, we now post below articles we have published over the months of 2015 that have some interest for us today as we review the past year and anticipate the new one.

Check these out – perhaps you, dear reader, missed some in the Hurley-burley of modern SoCal life.

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Sunset Cliffs: 2015 Turning Out to Be Most Dangerous and Deadly Year

December 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

sunset cliffs bench newBack in mid-October we published a chronicle of deaths and serious injuries that have occurred at or around Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach and Point Loma over the last 10 to 11 years, from 2005 through 2015.

Now with this most recent death of a man visiting from the Mid-West who fell off the cliffs while viewing his mobile device, this year – 2015 – looks to be the worst in terms of deaths and injuries.

This tragic death made national and even international news. What didn’t make the news was how dangerous and deadly our beautiful cliffs can be.

Back in mid-October, we summarized the incidents and came up with an average of 3 deaths and serious injuries per year, from 2005 to the present. We found that 2015 was already one of the worst years of these incidents.

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Did Anyone Notice? Southern California Just Went Through Two of the Hottest Summers on Record – Without … Nukes!

December 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Now that we’re in a wet, cold Southern California winter, it’s instructive to look back to that long, hot summer and the very warm fall that this region experienced in order to understand that the summer of 2015 – it turns out – was the hottest summer on record. On earth.

This fact made headlines – summer of 2015 was Earth’s hottest on record (Washington Post / September 17, 2015):

Temperatures soared about 1.5 degrees warmer than the long-term average, passing 1998 and 2014, which were the previous hottest summers on record depending on the dataset. These records date back to the late 1800s.

And as noted above – until this year – the summer of 2014 was the hottest summer on record (USA Today) .

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OB Rag Editorial: There Is No Consensus – Delay the Police Cameras

December 18, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Rag is urging the City of San Diego to delay the installation of the police surveillance cameras – currently scheduled for “sometime at the first of the year”. We urge the City to delay the project until at least there has been adequate discussion within the community of Ocean Beach about the cameras. If anything these last few weeks have shown – it’s the complete lack of consensus within the community about the cameras and whether they should go in at all. There also has been insufficient community debate and discussion about the needs for the cameras. Yet, the cameras are still coming in.

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Major Developments in Midway District Fatal Shooting by Police of Fridoon Nehad

December 17, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Feds to Review Shooting and Victim’s Family Can Release Video of Shooting to the Public

There’s major, major developments in the fatal police shooting of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad last April in the Midway District.

On April 30th, San Diego Police Officer Neal Browder arrived in an alley next to an adult bookstore in the Midway District. There had been a 911 call that reported a man with a knife was outside. Within seconds of his arrival, Officer Browder opened fire, killing Nehan, who – it turns out, was holding a metallic pen, and was having a PTSD episode. A private security camera recorded the entire scene, which up to now has not been made public – but that’s all about to change.

Part of the big news is that the FBI announced that it is reviewing the shooting of Nehan by Browder. This has been confirmed by the police department.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-December 2015

December 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

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@ Will New Vegan Restaurant at Sunset Plaza Be a “Drive-up”?

@ OB Christmas Tree Has Given Twice But Why So Many Cops?

@ Lifeguards May Halt Rescues in Polluted Water Until Healthcare Coverage Improves

@ Midway Fatal Shooting by Cop – Victim’s Brother Speaks Out – ‘No way was he attacking the cop’

@ Three Surfers Rescued Dec. 12th – One With Head Injury – Another Surfer Rescued Off Ladera
@ Newport Ave to Get a Make-Over
@ OB’s Dave Martin Joins Pt Loma Association Board
@ Props for OB’s “Holiday Parade”
@ Short Term Rentals Ordinance Goes Back to the Drawing Board and Peninsulans Weigh in
@ Short Term Rentals Slip

@ OB Makes “Young and Single” Neighborhood List – Duh!
@ Hearing for Point Loma Man Charged with Human Trafficking
@ Homeless Guy in PB Protests McDonalds
@ “Grimace Rock” Off Tourmaline a Hidden Danger
@ Some Reminiscing About Point Loma During World War II

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Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

December 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Newsom and Husband to Divorce

Gretchen Newsom issued the following statement on her blog yesterday on her decision to withdraw from the mayor’s race, December 11th:

“I have decided that I will not run for Mayor. My husband and I have recently decided to divorce on an amicable basis and, therefore, I need to focus on our son. I appreciate everyone’s respect of our privacy.”

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High Tides But No Flooding in OB Friday Morning

December 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

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Tides were high, but thank goodness there was no flooding in OB this Friday morning, the 11th of December.

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Opposition to Police Cameras Dominates Packed Public Forum

December 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Police and Councilwoman Zapf Snubbed Meeting

In its first, genuine public display, the opposition to the police surveillance cameras being installed in OB sounded off at last night’s forum. In a packed community room at the OB Rec Center, where over 50 people crowded into the space along with 4 or 5 television cameras and sets of reporters, the group that has led the opposition, Citizens Against Privacy Abuse (CAPA) held its very first community public event.

By all accounts – the forum was very successful, as its structure allowed for nearly an hour and half of public dialogue and discussion of the camera issue, with participants sitting in a wide circle. CAPA organizers had pulled the event off in just over one weeks time – having announced the forum at last week’s Planning Board meeting. Several hundred posters, fliers, human bill-boarding along with petitions and media coverage paid off for the brand new group – which itself was barely one month old.

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10 Reasons to Oppose Police Surveillance Cameras in Ocean Beach

December 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are 10 reasons to oppose the ten police surveillance cameras being installed along OB’s waterfront.

1. The cameras are unconstitutional – violations of both the First and Fourth Amendments. They violate our right of assembly and right of association. They are an unreasonable search and seizure of our persons and of our images

2. The cameras violate our right to privacy. Citizens do have the right to certain privacies – even on the beach or in parks; lawful citizens have the right not to be subject to surveillance by government or the police. In this age of government surveillance via emails and cellphones (especially as has been uncovered by Edward Snowden), concern for citizens’ rights to privacy are heightened.

3. Video Surveillance has chilling effect on public life. Cameras bring subtle but profound changes to the character of our public spaces, as citizens behave more self-conscious and less free-wheeling.

4. The police have not submitted any statistics on crimes at the beach or other empirical data to justify the cameras.

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War of Words Erupts Over Police Cameras at OB Planning Meeting

December 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag Editor Kicked Out of Meeting for Profanity

In one of the most contentious meetings in its recent history, the OB Planning Board meeting Wednesday night – December 2nd – literally erupted into a “war of words” over the police surveillance cameras being proposed for Ocean Beach.

Opponents and advocates of the cameras traded pontifications, comments, tirades and insults – in a packed meeting with standing room only. However, the meeting soon devolved into a one-sided show, where proponents of the surveillance cameras and police were allowed to dominate what had been described as “a forum”. And yes, this author was ordered to leave the room due to an outburst of profanity (more on that later).

Much of the crowd was there because of the agenda item No. 2Surveillance Cameras along the waterfront, with a promise that the Board would discuss the issue and “gather consensus regarding their use”.

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First Community Forum on Police Cameras Set for Dec. 9th

December 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The first community forum on the planned installation of the police surveillance cameras has been set for Wednesday, December 9th.

The forum is being sponsored by the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse (CAPA) and will be held at the OB Recreation Center. The forum will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and will include a presentation or two by members of CAPA as well as a question and answer session with San Diego Police representatives.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf has been invited to address the forum, as well, as it was her office that found funds for the surveillance cameras.

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Shades Restaurant in OB Had Fire Over Thanksgiving

December 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Waterfront Bistro Will Attempt to Open By Weekend of Dec. 5

One of our favorite restaurants in OB suffered a fire over the Thanksgiving holidays and has been closed ever since.

Shades had a fire in its kitchen – and due to the flames, the sprinkler system went off – and probably damaged more than the fire did.

When we checked on the restaurant on Wednesday, workers and electricians were making repairs.

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15 Years Ago Today – Dec 1 – Was a High Water Mark for OB Activism

December 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

In 2000 OBGO Held Its First ‘Coming-Out’ Community Forum

Grassroots activism has been in the air in OB of late, with a definite spike last year during the campaign to have the OB Community Plan approved, but it also has been seen this year around the Plan at the Coastal Commission. Prior to 2014, however, there had been many a lean year in terms of genuine local activism across the village, many a moon had passed without throwing shadows on such OBcean activity as petitions and community mobilizations.

And that’s the way grassroots activism is, it comes and goes – like the tides that lap OB’s beaches and cliffs.

Coincidentally or not, there has been some talk – also of late – of a former OB activist group. It was mentioned in an article about ‘why SeaWorld can’t build a hotel at its current location’, and it’s also been longingly mentioned at some meetings of another group, the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse.

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