Ocean Beach Planners Okay Project on Bacon and Delay Vote on Controversial Abbott Condos

May 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Planning Board held their monthly meeting Wednesday night, May 4th – and they were presented with the grand, final version of the OB Community Plan, they appointed two new people to the Board, approved one project on Bacon and decided not to vote on a controversial project at Abbott and Muir.

Board Appointments

Two new people were appointed to the Board. Vivian McCardle, a resident of Del Monte Avenue, was appointed to District 1. McCardle is active in the wild parrot group, SoCal Parrots – and the recent spate of shootings is what has motivated her to get involved in the community. When asked, one of her biggest concerns is that Airbnb, the short-term vacation rental giant, is not being taxed enough. She had polled residents in the district and some of their biggest complaints were noise, lack of parking, street sweepers that don’t show up.

The other appointee was William Corwin, who identified himself with environmental activists at OB People’s Food Co-op. Corwin was appointed to District 2. One of his biggest concerns is the cutting down or over-trimming of trees in the right-of-way, especially along some of OB’s business streets. When queried about OB’s floor area ratio of 0.70, Corwin said he supported it and would “fight for it”.

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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Celebrating 40 Years of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and OB Community Plan

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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All this week we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB community plan.

It was on May 4, 1976 that thousands of OB residents, renters, property owners and business-owners voted in the very first panel to sit on the very first Planning Board for the community. It was truly an historic occasion because nothing like that had ever occurred in San Diego before.

So, to highlight this history, all week we will be publishing comments, notes, stories and accounts of the May ’76 vote and memories of those who served on the Board back then as well as over its 40 year history.

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Coastal Commission Still to Rule on Huge 63-Unit Project Slated for Mission Beach School Site

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a whole bunch of Mission Beach residents who have been questioning and challenging a proposed 63-unit development project being slated for the community’s former elementary school site. As the LA Times reports, they are now pinning their hopes of blocking it with the California Coastal Commission, which still has not finalized any decision on the 2 acre project.

With the Coastal Commission raising some issues about the development, the stakes just got higher for the developer, Chris McKellar, who is currently resting his laurels on the fact that the City Council voted 6 to 2 in favor of the project. Residents are banking that the Commission will overturn this decision in early 2017.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early May 2016

May 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* Explosion in Apartment in 4900 Block of Del Monte

* Midway Medical Cannabis Shop to Expand

* Helm’s Brewing to Open on Newport in Mid-May

* Surfrider San Diego’s 16th Annual Art Gala

* 9-1-1 Dispatchers and Cops Taken to Task for Missing Urgent Calls from OB

* Are Sand Crabs in Decline?

* Fund Raiser for Point Loma Shooting Victim

* Cop Involved in Fatal Midway Shooting Accidentally Discharges Weapon

* Pick-up Truck Flips on Canon Street

* Luxury Cinema to Open in Liberty Station

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“This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

April 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Mayor Kevin Faulconer wasn’t too popular at last night’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting during the “mayoral dialogue”.

First, he didn’t show.

Second, both his opponents, former-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and San Diego Lifeguard leader Ed Harris, trained their sights on Faulconer and not on each other.

And third, this was Ocean Beach – the liberal bastion of the city – which usually votes Democratic; Kevin Faulconer is a Republican.

But still, Faulconer used to represent Ocean Beach – and the rest of District 2 – when he sat on the City Council. And the crowd of the 80 or so good-natured souls in attendance probably would have applauded him if he had showed. But he didn’t and neither did his aide, John Ly.

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Hippie Life in Ocean Beach

April 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor Frank Gormlie will speak about “Hippies in OB” this Saturday, April 30th at the OB Library, from 2 to 3 pm.

OB as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego

By Frank Gormlie

In my many writings about Ocean Beach history – some of which I share below – I’ve always noted that in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

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The Story of the First Election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board – May 4th, 1976

April 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: This May 4th Ocean Beach celebrates the 40th anniversary of the historic vote that established the very first OB Planning Board and the first popular community plan for the neighborhood. Below is an accounting of that vote and events leading up to it, taken from a larger article entitled “How Working Class Ocean Beach Spoiled the Establishment Plans and Created a Revolution in Urban Planning” – Part 2.

Election Scheduled for Early May 1976

Finally the San Diego City Council set a date for the community-wide election of OB’s first planning committee: May 4, 1976. All residents, all property owners and all business owners could vote, and it would be monitored by the non-partisan League of Women Voters.

The Community Planning Group spun into action and set up a process where local residents vied to be included on an organizational slate for the election.

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Meaningless Police Oversight Charter Amendment Recommended for November Ballot

April 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Council Committee Ignores Community Alliance’s Call for Subpoena Powers

By Hugh Moore

The San Diego City Council Charter Review Committee met yesterday, Wednesday, April 20 and voted to submit for approval to the full City Council a Charter Amendment recommended by the Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee.

The recommended amendment changes the name of the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB), mandates that all police involved deaths be reviewed by the board, and gives the Mayor and City Council joint authority over the board.

However, these are only cosmetic changes, according to Martha Sullivan – member of Women Occupy of San Dieg – and do nothing to improve the CRB’s ability to actually investigate a complaint about the police department.

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Some Friendly Suggestions for the Ocean Beach Planning Board

April 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The Ocean Beach Planning Board, like other neighborhood planning groups around San Diego, is often plagued by low turnouts at its annual Board elections. It’s not uncommon for candidates to receive votes that total in the single digits. This year was no different.

The low audience numbers at the Board’s monthly meetings say something. Plus the fact that the OB Board currently has a 36% vacancy rate – there’s 5 seats vacant on a 14-member Board.

So, I have a few friendly suggestions to make for the OB Planning Board – a good chunk of them aimed at increasing the community’s participation at and with the Board. In addition, My background quickly: 3 years on the OB Board, one year as Chair.

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Huge Vote that Established Planning Board and First Popular Community Plan

April 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

precise plan -newcoverThousands of OB Residents, Property and Business Owners Took Part in Historic Election of May 4, 1976

There are a lot of important anniversaries these days, it seems, like the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Beach Pier, and like the 50th Re-Union of the Point Loma High School Class of 1966.

But there’s one significant anniversary for Ocean Beach that has as of yet been highlighted for its deserved respect and celebration.

And that’s the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote on March 4, 1976 that established both the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB Community Plan (then called the “Precise Plan”).

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5 Open Seats on OB Planning Board – Appointments Available

April 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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There are currently 5 vacancies on the Ocean Beach Planning Board, a Board made up of 14 members, two each from OB’s 7 planning districts. The recent annual election in early March only seated one new board member, and at the same time, 3 members left the board. Two were termed out and 1 is moving out of OB.

Which means that there are vacancies in District 1, District 2, District 3, District 5 and District 7.

It is anticipated that the 2 termed out members will be applying to be appointed to vacant seats in the near future. In fact, one has already collected his signatures, and expects to be appointed at the May board meeting.

Often in situations like this, the Board makes appointments of eligible members to the vacant seats, even though those appointed do not live or own property or a business in the districts they are appointed to.

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Owner of “The Joint” in Ocean Beach Given Correction Notice by City

April 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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“Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease.”

In the “Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease” Department, the OB Rag has just been informed that because of concerns expressed by local OBceans on the encroachment into public space by The Joint restaurant on Newport Avenue, the City did a site inspection which resulted in the eatery’s owner being given a “correction notice”.

OBceans have for weeks been complaining to the City, via the OB Rag, through a poll we conducted, and through calls to Lorie Zapf’s office, that the recent installation of a gated outside railing by The Joint was encroaching too much into the space for the public sidewalk. Some thought it created a dangerous situation, especially on crowded days such as the weekly Farmers Market.

Apparently, on Wednesday, April 6th, a site visit was performed by the City’s Development Services inspection team with the restaurant’s owner, Mr. Lowe, present. Measurements were taken and at least a few of them “were found to be inconsistent with the approved and community plans,” ….

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OB Planning Board: Harris and Saldana Blast Faulconer, Ambert Re-elected as Chair, and Del Mar Project Approved

April 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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A lot going on at last night’s OB Planning Board meeting. As nearly two dozen people crowded into the Community Meeting room at the OB Rec Center, they were witnesses to a type of mini-mayoral candidate debate, when candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldana addressed the meeting.

Also, the Board certified its March election and there was a change of chairs, as several planners left the group, a newly-elected member was seated, and the Board selected their officers for the next year. John Ambert will sit as chair for another term and Blake Herrschaft will continue as vice-chair.

And then finally, the Board reviewed the proposed project for 4620 Del Mar Avenue and voted to recommend its approval.

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Barnstorming for Bernie From OB

April 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Monday night, April 4th, a large crowd crammed into the theater space at the OB Playhouse on Newport. They weren’t there for a stage production or music event, but were all there for Bernie Sanders. It was “barnstorming” for Bernie in OB.

All told, I counted more than 120 human beings assembled on couches, along the back walls and on the rugs laid out on the floor, all for a workshop on the Sanders campaign. It was an event for the west wing of the campaign’s local electoral efforts on Sanders’ behalf, that included OB, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.

A woman named Jessica addressed the crowd from the stage a bit past 7pm, and the noise in the space quieted down. She thanked Stu for allowing the campaign to take over his theater.

It became clear that the show was being run by women, as Jessica and several other women spoke to the crowd and presented the program for the night in front of the very enthusiastic crowd. Those gathered were mostly younger people but there were some middle-aged and even older folks crowding in.

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April Fool’s News from Ocean Bleach and Pot Loma

April 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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* Parrot Shooter Apprehended After Pellet Gun Misfires
* Homeless Hold “People’s Court” and Dish-out Sentences to Thief and Ear Slashers
* FAA Re-Routes Airplane Take-off Routes Over La Jolla and Coronado
* City Crews Decide Torrey Pines Are Not in Danger of Falling – Plan to Plant New Torries

* Decline in Deaths and Injuries at Sunset Cliffs
* Two Breweries on Newport Close – Bookstore and Dispensary to Open
* Homeless Contract With OB Merchants to Clean Sidewalks and Streets

* Travel Blog Downgrades Ocean Beach
* Huge Turn-out at OB Planning Board Election – Inspirational Slate Elected
* Tourists Unite and Clean Beaches and Parks

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE…

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Latest Parrot Deaths Bring Total to 9 Found Dead Since Feb. 19

March 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

parrot Conyer sdr

Mainstream Media Miss Total in Numbers Game of Deaths

The two dead parrots found Easter Sunday at a church in Point Loma bring the total of dead parrots found in the OB and Point Loma area since February 19th to 9. The 2 on Sunday, March 27th, were found at the All Souls’ Episcopal Church on Catalina Boulevard. A parrot expert stated that it’s rare to see two dead parrots in the same area – so human causes are highly suspected.

Somebody continues to kill these local parrots, some of which are endangered species, and so far, authorities have not publicly stated that they have any suspects.

In the meantime, our local mainstream media are seemingly avoiding publicizing the true total number of parrots that have been found dead since mid-February.

We perused the local media reporting of this OB and Point deaths of the latest deaths, two near-threatened red-masked conures, and found that the most useful articles were …

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OB Rag Staff On “Staycation” – Be Back Soon

March 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The OB Rag staff is on a “staycation” – we can’t afford a real vacation – so we’re hanging out in town, enjoying local restaurants, bars, bird-sightings, walks around Famosa Slough, bike rides.

IN the meantime … we’re reposting old articles with interesting subjects. Such as the 45th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot of March 28, 1971.

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City to OB Town Council: No Money and No Plans to Prevent Future Flooding

March 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Poor Bill Harris!. He was the guy from the City of San Diego who had to attend the OB Town Council’s meeting last night – March 23rd – and tell the board that their pleas for help to stem future flooding are falling on deaf ears.

Not exactly ‘deaf ears’ – as the city is listening, but Harris, as supervisor of the city’s information services, is the face that has to stare down community members in their demands that the city do something about problems with the infrastructure.

So poor Bill Harris was the one who had to confront all those faces of the town council and tell them / us that there is no money and there are no plans to deter or stem future flooding in Ocean Beach. It would take a massive capital improvement project, Harris said, and there aren’t any funds for that. So, no project, no plans, no funds.

The solution from the city …

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America, Got Fascism?

March 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Okay, America – are we ready for fascism?

Is this a legit question these days? It happens that a lot of political commenters, pundits and journalists are asking the question: ‘is the good ol’ US of A ready for an American brand of fascism, in the form of the Donald Trump for president movement?’

As the presidential campaign season degenerated into racist and xenophobic diatribes by the Republican front runner, with those images of Trump supporters pledging their loyalty to him in Hitleresque salutes, after that scene in Chicago when the Trump rally was cancelled, triggering skirmishes between Trump supporters and demonstrators, it seems everybody is forming an opinion of whether Donald Trump is a fascist, comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini, and other dictators.

Those denouncing Trump as a fascist include who you’d expect – progressive and liberal journalists and commentators, like Bob Dreyfus on TomDispatch, who called Trump a “proto-fascist”, or like Robert Reich who called Trump out as a fascist. Also, moderate columnist Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post sees Trump as flirting with fascism.

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Jensen’s Moving into Former Fresh & Easy Store in Point Loma – Hopes to Open in 6 Months

March 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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A small Southern California market chain, Jensen’s Finest Foods, has bought the former Fresh & Easy grocery store off Catalina Boulevard in Point Loma. And it plans to open in up to 6 months, a Jensen’s vice president told the press.

This news should bring a sigh of relief to many Peninsula residents, who uttered a collective groan when Fresh & Easy closed last fall. But when CVS started making noise that they wanted to acquire it, the reaction among local residents was immediate: they were against it.

In fact, an online petition began. At last look, the petition had nearly 2900 signatures. So, CVS Corporate must have heard it.

Earlier this week, the good news was that Jensen’s bought the grocery store in bankruptcy court. It will be the first market in San Diego County for the San Bernardino County-based chain, which has eight other stores, 4 in Riverside County and another 4 in San Bernardino County.

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News From Around Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid March 2016

March 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* Some Police Cameras Installed
* March 19th – Friends of OB Library Book and Yard Sale – Donations Needed
* Wife of Drowning Victim in OB Asks “What Was He Thinking?”
* Hess Brewery Dinged by Lack of Parking Citation
* Point Loma High Players and Fans Left in the Dark
* OB Elementary Principal to Kiss a Pig
* No Good Leads in Parrots Killings – Issue to Be Addressed at OB Town Council Meet
* New Construction Fence Around Former Doctors’ Offices – the Future “OB Plaza”
* OB Chili Cook-Off Contestants Needed
* Chapter One Tattoo Parlor Opens
* Hookah Parlor Closes
* Dog Lost at Sea Returned to San Diego Owner 5 Weeks Later
* Two Local Women Beaten Up by Female Traveler
* OB Picked as “Best” Neighborhood of a Large City

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Just How Many Breweries Can Ocean Beach Handle?

March 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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With 3 New Breweries About to Open on Newport, Is OB Becoming Another Pacific Beach?

Just how many breweries or beer tasting storefronts can Ocean Beach take? Just how many beer joints can Newport handle? These are the questions that are paramount on the minds of those OBceans who understand what’s happening on Newport Avenue, the main commercial drag in the village.

We ask the questions, because as of right now, there are 3 (that’s right – three) new beer breweries about to open on Newport. Actually, they’re not all real “breweries” – as two will be beer tasting rooms. A real brewery has to actually brew the sudsy stuff on site.

Everyone knows that the OB Brewery on lower Newport is about to open. We’ve been talking about the place as it has an exterior railing that has upset some in the community as an unnecessary encroachment into public space. The place is owned by the folks who own Newport Pizza, across the street.

Now, there are 2 new beer places about to open. Each has their alcohol notice taped to the doors.

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Somebody Is Politely Upset Over Abbott and Voltaire Condo Project

March 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Polite Graffiti Sprayed on Construction Fence

The OB Rag was informed by the company that is building the condo project at Voltaire and Abbott that their construction fence was tagged with what they called “some pretty polite graffiti”.

Sometime late Monday night perhaps, March 14th, somebody or somebodies sprayed messages expressing discontent over the planned project, being developed by the group, Three on Abbott. The project includes 3 two-story condos. And unfortunately for the neighbors who have been parking on the dirt lot that is now fenced-in for literally decades, that convenience is now gone forever.

Three on Abbott notified us by email of the tagging, sent us photos, and asked us to remind the community that –

this project was approved by the Ocean Beach Planning Board in a monumental vote of 11-3 and that the board is elected and run by residents of Ocean Beach.

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San Diego Police and FBI Drove Local Black Panthers Underground

March 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Union-Tribune Finally “Finds” San Diego’s Black Panthers

In a very decent February 28 article about San Diego’s Black Panthers penned by Peter Rowe of the San Diego U-T, some of the city’s turbulent civil rights and Black power movement history from the Sixties and Seventies was uncovered.

First, it’s amazing to some San Diegans, including Rowe, that San Diego even had a Black Panther chapter back in the day. And that’s a credit that the San Diego Union and Tribune themselves can claim, for the coverage of local Panthers and the civil rights movement in general was skewed due to the right-wing – and yes, racist – policies and bias of its owners and editors. Think the Copley family, who ran the city’s only pair of dailies for decades.

But now thanks to Rowe, some of this history has been dusted off and bared for all to read. Much of the article recounts the experiences of one Henry Lee Wallace, now 64 and still in San Diego, but back then, a member of the local Panthers.

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City of San Diego’s Program for Outdoor Cafes

March 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The City of San Diego has had a program for a decade now, that allows merchants and restaurants to use the sidewalks in front of their businesses.

It’s called the Public Right of Way (PROW) Program and was passed unanimously by the San Diego Planning Commission in March of 2006.

The program – according to the City’s new info website – allows:

“… merchants with ground-level storefronts in the twelve Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will now be able to use the sidewalks in front of their businesses to place A-frame signs, limited displays of merchandise, and outdoor cafes without railings. ” (Our emphasis.)

The main Ocean Beach commercial district has such a BID – the OB Mainstreet Association.

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Encroachments Into Public Space in Ocean Beach – A Photo Essay

March 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Take a walk with us through the streets and sidewalks of Ocean Beach as we visit all the encroachments into public space by restaurants and bars across the community.

Many of the encroachments are welcomed as part of the new trend of cafe-style eateries and any intrusions into that common space are incidental and minimal. Others are where there is plenty of sidewalk or there isn’t much pedestrian traffic.

Some encroachments, however, are actually dangerous and unnecessary. Especially those encroachments that are permanent.

Whether an encroachment is dangerous or not often depends on its particular factors and circumstances.

So, take a walk with us – let us know whether you agree or not.

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Where Are these Women Activists of Yesteryear’s Ocean Beach?

March 8, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Where are these women activists of OB’s past – from the ancient year of 1975?

The above photo is a cropped version of the photo on the front cover of the OB Rag, March 1975.

OB Rag staff organized this photo shoot on the OB Pier for the Women’s Day front cover.

If you recognize anyone, please let us know in the comments, and let us know if you know what they’re up to these days, if they have prospered and survived, or …

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early March 2016

March 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Fenced Lot Signals Condo Construction at Abbott and Voltaire

The fenced-in end lot off Abbott and Voltaire signals that the condo project coming down at that location is about to enter the construction phase. The development will include three 2-story houses …

Owners of Large Dogs That Killed Chihuahua Sought

Two large dogs mauled a Chihuahua at the entrance to Dog Beach, Thursday morning, March 3rd, and their owners are now being sought.

New Apple Tree Market on Newport to Open in June

Reward Offered for Parrot Killer

Tattoo Shop to Open in Gilmore’s Storefront

“Hippie House” Moves to Narragansett ….

AND MORE INSIDE …

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Unofficial Results of OB Planning Board Election

March 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Here are the “unofficial” results of Wednesday’s election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board:

  • District 4

There is no winner as there is a tie between Craig Klein and Marissa Spata. The Board Election committee is awaiting for direction from city staff;

  • District 5

Jane Gawronski was re-elected;

  • District 6

John Ambert was elected.

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