This Cannot Stand! Trump’s War on the Press Just Got Real as White House Bars Select Media from Briefing

February 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Donald Trump’s rhetorical war on the press just got very real.

Today, Friday, Feb. 24th, hours after Trump threatened the press – again – this time at a conservative activist confab, the White House barred select media organizations from a press briefing.

Reporters from CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed, and Politico were prohibited from being in a press briefing at the White House on Friday afternoon. The briefing – in Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s West Wing office – was a so-called “gaggle”— an informal, off-camera question-and-answer session between the press secretary and reporters. The Hill, the BBC, the Guardian were also denied entry.

However, right-wing media outlets were allowed in. These included the white nationalist Breitbart, the arch-conservative The Washington Times and One America News Network.

A half-dozen journalists from mainstream press, such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Fox News, ABC News, and CBS News were also allowed entry.

The subject of the briefing?

Most of it – as it turns out – was on the reporting by CNN of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’ efforts to pressure the FBI to downplay or “knock down” reports that some of Trump’s top people were in communication with Russian government officials.

But wait, CNN wasn’t there.

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OB Town Council Spotlights Unsung Heroes in Graffiti and Trash Wars

February 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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During Wednesday’s Ocean Beach Town Council’s monthly meeting – Feb. 22nd -, the Council cast a spotlight on and honored some of the unsung heroes of OB’s graffiti and trash wars.

Representatives of two groups – OB Clean Streets Initiative and the OB Graffiti Task Force – were on hand to give updates and overviews of their efforts to clean up the village.

Greg Crowley of OB’s CSI told the gathered audience of some 70 people that his group’s motto is “Not talking spotless, just a little bit cleaner,” and how the group has organized 5 clean-ups in OB over the last year. They and the volunteers they organized collected over 600 pounds of trash – with the main items picked up being cigarette butts. One of the differences between CSI and other clean-up efforts, Greg said, was that his group goes into the alleys and away from the beaches to find their trash.

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Reader’s Rant: Will New “Smart” Led Street Lights on Newport Ave in Ocean Beach Write You a Parking Ticket?

February 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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By Not Amused in OB

Are “smart” led street lights coming to Ocean Beach to surveil you and write you a parking ticket? I heard Newport Avenue is slated to get new led lights.

The evening news on Channel 10 covered this, and it appears that our mayor, Kevin Faulconer , just rolled out on Wednesday a program of installing new street lights in San Diego and Ocean Beach. The mayor announced he’s expanding this program of putting in “smart sensors” which will be able to “gather and disseminate data on things like traffic, parking availability, public safety and air quality.”

And Kevin said that his city has partnered with a company from back east called Current which will install 3200 of these “Smartlight Sensors”, powered by GE.

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Ocean Beach, Peninsula and Midway Planning Boards All Have Elections in March

February 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

All three of the planning boards that make up the Point Loma planning areas have their annual elections coming up in March.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its election on Wednesday, March 15th, the Peninsula Community Planners hold theirs on March 16th, and the election for the Midway – Pacific Hwy Planning Group will also take place March 15th.

Here are details for the various planning committee elections:

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OB’s Electric Car Charging Stations Promoted as San Diego Surges to Become Green Leader

February 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilwoman Lori Zapf were in Ocean Beach last week promoting the two new electric vehicle charging stations installed in the Life Guard parking lot. Both politicos feel that with the City’s surge in offering stations to the public – now up to 68 – shows that San Diego is becoming a municipal leader in dealing with climate change.

“Move over Portland, San Diego is growing greener and we’re growing smarter,” Zapf said, as it has been reported than there are currently an estimated 13,000 electric vehicles on the road in San Diego.

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Vehicle of Woman Missing Found Near Sunset Cliffs

February 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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Amanda Cruz Visiting From Arizona Vanished Over the Weekend

A young woman visiting San Diego for the first time from Arizona has reportedly gone missing – and her car with her purse and backpack were found near Sunset Cliffs on Monaco Street.

30-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Cruse vanished over the weekend. At her hotel in Point Loma, there is surveillance footage showing her leaving about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Her family presumes she left early to photograph the sunrise – as her high-quality digital camera was missing. This was the last time she was seen and no one has heard from her since.

Mandy is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 115 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. When she left the hotel, she was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans, and black and white Converse shoes.

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Organizers of Spelling Out “Impeach” on Sands of Ocean Beach Issue Mission Statement

February 22, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The good folks who are organizing the “OB March 4 Impeachment” have issued a Mission Statement (the OB Rag is co-sponsoring the event) on the facebook page – and as of this posting, nearly 400 people pledged their participation, with another near 2,000 interested.

Here is the statement:

Mission Statement:

Welcome to the resistance!

The March 4 Impeachment is just one of thousands of events to promote the efforts to resist the Trump agenda. We resist his misogynistic, xenophobic, and climate denial policies to name a few.

Why Impeach?

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Late February 2017

February 21, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

* Friends of the OB Library to Hold Booksale – Sat. Feb. 25th
* Kellogg Beach Developer’s Connections to OB
* Surfer Rescued off Sunset Cliffs – Sat, Feb. 18th
* Almost a Million Bucks for That?
* Starbucks Sign Routed Non-Customers to Other Businesses
* DId LA Times Foodie Just Diss Ocean Beach?
* OB Puffery from New York Times
* Fish for Free
* Roberto’s Shows Solidarity with Immigrants
* Point Loma Has a New Book Store
* Voltaire and Chatsworth Changes?
* Shuttered Hospital Lot Transformed into Outdoor Gathering and Green Space
* Props for Dog Beach
* Choral Group Performs “Slave Narratives”
* Power Outages Hit Point Loma and OB

COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES

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Scott Peters Holds Largest Town Hall Meeting He’s Ever Seen

February 21, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

He’s the Democratic Congressman for District 52 – the Congressional District that includes Ocean Beach and Point Loma – and his name is Scott Peters. Last night at the Islamic Center of San Diego, there were so many people crowded into the large room, that he called it the largest town hall meeting he’d ever seen – all because of Trump, he said.

Estimates of the crowd range from over 200 to about 150 – and included several OBceans at least – but whatever the number, the town hall meeting at Eckstrom Avenue in San Diego was lively as Peters fielded questions from the audience on immigration, Trump’s border wall, the EPA, and how to deal with the Trump administration.

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Immigration Rallies and March in Downtown San Diego – Photo Gallery

February 20, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Here are a few photos from the Solidarity with Immigrants rallies and marches held Saturday, February 18th in downtown San Diego – under the banner, “No Ban No Wall – Sanctuary for All” .

The demonstration began at the San Diego County Administration Building, and then the massive crowd poured onto Harbor Drive, turning and marching down Broadway to the Federal Building on Front Street. As the protest moved onto Harbor Dr., I stood on the median and personally counted 2,000 people in the street (give or take a hundred) – with another hundred or so stragglers or latecomers.

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San Diego Lawyers and Legal Workers Rally in Solidarity with General Strike Against Trump

February 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

As part of a set of actions at courthouses across the country, San Diego lawyers and legal workers rallied in downtown San Diego today – February 17 – in front of the Federal Courthouse on Front Street, all in solidarity with the proclaimed General Strike Against Trump on F17.

Several dozen brave folks made their voices heard and presence known in front of the red-bricked buildings, as the wind kicked up and the skies promised rain. Additionally, there were courthouse rallies in at least 17 other cities nation-wide.

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Batten Down the Hatches, OB! Powerful Storm to Bring Rain, Wind and Possible Flooding

February 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

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Looming City Council Decision Threatens Famed Ocean Beach Marijuana Testing Lab

February 16, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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A looming decision by the San Diego City Council could threaten the presence of a well-known marijuana testing lab in Ocean Beach that has been here for 6 years.

PharmLabs on Cable Street is reportedly “one of the first internationally accredited testing labs for marijuana in the world,” and “the premier business of its kind in the region”, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But it’s possible that the lab will be closed by new City rules on dealing with marijuana legalization and have to move out of metro San Diego. In early February, the City Council voted to authorize medical cannabis dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana after California guidelines are completed, probably in late 2017.

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Locals Organize to Spell Out “IMPEACH” on the Sands of Ocean Beach in San Diego – March 4th

February 15, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

In an upfront effort to replicate the effort by folks up in Ocean Beach of San Francisco to spell out the word “RESIST”, locals are now organizing a similar move here in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

In a definite move to up the ante, San Diegans want to spell out the word “IMPEACH” on the beach just north of the OB Pier on Saturday, March 4th.

The plan is to march up the beach from Dog Beach and in a ‘putting your body where your mouth is’ kind of thing, spell out in hundred foot letters the word “Impeach”.

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Controversial Abbott and Muir Condo Project Returns to OB Planners – Wed., Feb. 15th

February 14, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The Project Review sub-committee of the OB Planning Board meets Wednesday night, February 15th and on their agenda is a 4-condo project for the empty corner of Abbott and Muir. (Maybe it’s only 3 units as the Action Item has it both ways.)

This is the same, controversial project that has see-sawed back and forth with the Planning Board.

The last time (that we know of) the project was before the full Board was on May 4th, 2016. And although we don’t have a report from that meeting, the approved minutes from that date state:

“The Board did not take action on project as proposed for exceedance of FAR and lack of
evidence that supports LEED certification and net – ero building design.”

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Liquor Store Coming in Next to Karen’s Consignment in Point Loma?

February 14, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Concerns have been raised about the possible opening of a liquor store in the building that holds Karen’s Consignment Gallery.
The site at 4051 Voltaire Street, at the corner of Voltaire and Wabaska Drive, is in a small mall that has other businesses, the owner of one at least is so concerned that he is organizing neighbors and other concerned people to the upcoming local Point Loma planning committee meeting.

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Large Demolition and Construction Project on 4500 Block of Newport – 5 New Units Coming

February 13, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Neighbors and passersby know about it. On the 4500 block of Newport Avenue, there is a fairly large demolition and construction project underway. Nothing has been built yet, just the initial beginnings of the take-down of an older 2 story and the chopping of a couple pine trees – one of which was a Torrey Pine.

Five new houses are coming in after the old building is demolished, on the 0.4 acres at 4537 Newport Ave. A Process 2 Coastal Development Permit application was filed on January 19th, 2017 by Tony Struyk for five units each with 2,275 square feet on the 5 contiguous lots perched up on a commanding plot of land.

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After 15 Years, “Lola Luna” Kicked Off Newport Ave in Ocean Beach

February 10, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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The women’s apparel shop, Lola Luna, has lost its fight with its landlord, Lamden Property Management, and after 15 years it has been kicked out of its storefront on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. The owner, Kimberly Johnson, has to move out of the space by the end of February.

To help with the bills, Lola Luna, had a wine & cheese and fingerfood event last night, Thursday, Feb. 9th with half off, for friends and its favorite customers. Hostesses Allison, Rio, and Kim met the small crowd when the doors opened at 5pm. As people went through the clothing racks looking for things that fit, there was a celebratory atmosphere, but yet – it was a sad moment for Johnson and her small staff.

Starting today, Friday, the 10th, Lola Luna will expand its sale – and offer everything – even the fixtures – at 40% off.

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The Very Latest on “Rancho’s” of Ocean Beach

February 10, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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Name Change and ‘Soft’ Opening in Restaurant’s Future

The last time I ran into Hugo Carrillo, the perennial manager of Rancho’s restaurant in Ocean Beach, he told me that he hoped the famed Mexican and vegetarian eatery would re-open in early February.

So, yesterday, I dropped by the place on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to check its progress, and even though Hugo and his associate Matt were deep in a discussion right inside the door, they had time to give me an update.

Right off, Hugo explained that they had re-furnished the floors and installed tiles in the ceiling. The kitchen, which had been striped bare, has all new equipment – but wasn’t expanded – and they’ll have the same eating capacity as the 3,000 square foot restaurant has had for years, but change the lay-out, Matt added. And they’ll keep the wonderful patio, of course.

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Anti-Trump “Indivisible” Movement Explodes Across San Diego and Across the Country

February 9, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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To get a sense of the depth and breadth of the new anti-Trump “Indivisible” movement that has exploded across the country, – consider this just here in San Diego: last Saturday, February 4th, three different networks of Indivisible San Diego held rallies and meetings on that same day.

There was a large gathering of at least 60 folks who met in Point Loma, that we carried a report on, there was a meeting of 200 at a coffee house in downtown San Diego, and up in Hillcrest, there was a third rally and meeting of another 200 people. This was all on the same day.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early February 2017

February 8, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Craig Larson has a t-shirt that many people might want!!! Spotted at People’s Coop.

New Bus Benches

Slightly Stoopid Sounds – 20 Years After Debut Album – Are a Lifestyle for OB and World Fans

Chargers Ex-Employee and Democrat to Challenge Zapf for District 2

Electric Waste Band celebrate 25 years at Winston’s

Car Thief Hits Cop Car, Careens Through OB and Escapes

***Come inside for these and more stories …***

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Bluff Collapse Reminds Us of the Natural and Inevitable Erosion of Sunset Cliffs

February 7, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Sections of the bluff along Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach collapsed January 28th, right after heavy rains. First reported by Delinda Lombardo in the San Diego Reader, the collapse affected two properties, 5107 Narragansett Avenue – the Pelican Point apartment complex, and the property just to its south, 1783–1787 Ocean Front Street.

None of the units on the properties were directly affected, but the cliff gave way under patios on the first floor at the Pelican Point. Lombardo reported, “Though there was no reported damage to the structure itself, the seawall located below the property is crushed.”

Even though some tenants still live there, it has not been determined just how safe they are or how risky the cliff is in its current state. NBC reported that “the apartment manager is still living on the property along with dozens of other tenants.”

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Thank You UC Berkeley Students and Community for Confronting Racist

February 3, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

This Is Not an Issue of “Free Speech” for a White Nationalist with Connections to the White House

Risking becoming the lone voice in today’s wilderness, we say today that somebody has to say “thank you” to the UC Berkeley students and community members who demonstrated against the white nationalist Breitbart News senior editor back on Wednesday, February 1st, and helped cause the campus to cancel the talk by Milo Yiannopoulo.

So, thank you.

The whole incident has now blown up, with claims the protesters violated free speech, with Trump threatening to cut off funds to UC Berkeley – which he cannot do unilaterally – and the subsequent push-back against him from school and California officials.

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OB Town Council – Parade Winners, Zapf’s Budget Priorities and the Usual Suspects

February 2, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

At its monthly public meeting on Wed., January 25, the Ocean Beach Town Council celebrated the New Year and its first public event of 2017 by handing out awards to the winning floats that were in the December OB Holiday Parade.

As is true for many of the OBTC meetings, there was not one over-riding issue that dominated the meeting last week. Usually the audience is peppered with reports from the people who work for our politicians, from community groups, and from the reports of Board members – and this meeting was no exception.

Over 50 people sat in the audience, while half a dozen uniformed men stood off to the side, representing police, fire and lifeguard services. They all had their turn to address the meeting, as did reps from the City Attorney’s office and from Councilwoman Zapf’s office, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins’ office and Congressman Scott Peters’ office. Noticeably absent was anyone representing the Mayor’s office.

Winning Floats of OB Holiday Parade

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Local Ocean Beach Hostel Wins 3 Global Awards

February 2, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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Ocean Beach’s own hostel has just won three global awards by the industry’s international association HOSCAR.

Owned and run by USA Hostels, Ocean Beach ranked best in the world in 3 categories. The 15th annual HOSCAR awards, which celebrates the best hostels around the globe just came out. The awards are based on travelers’ reviews of hostels in countries around the world, and this year’s are reportedly based on one million reviews.

The OB hostel won the following awards:

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OB Planning Board Meets – Wed., Feb. 1st

January 31, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board holds its monthly meeting this Wednesday, February 1st. The meeting begins at 6pm and is held in the community meeting room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

COME INSIDE FOR THE OFFICIAL AGENDA

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Death of Yoga Empire Founder in Point Loma Ruled Self-Inflicted Accident

January 31, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Trevor Tice, the founder of a yoga fitness empire, whose death in December at his Point Loma mansion initially thought by police to be “suspicious”, accidentally inflicted serious injuries on himself in a number of falls and collapses. His death has been ruled an accident by the San Diego County Medical Examiner in a report released January 26th.

Tice, whose body was found by police December 12th at his house at 952 Cornish Drive, died of head injuries after several drunken falls inside his multi-million dollar home it was concluded. After testing, he was found to have been very intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of .20 percent and had taken a benzodiazepine — a tranquilizer like Valium and other antidepressant drugs.

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News from the Point Loma Avenue Commercial Area of Ocean Beach

January 30, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Today, we look at what’s new among the businesses along Point Loma Avenue in south Ocean Beach.

This is the last part of our 3-part series on the commercial areas of Ocean Beach. (Here is the Voltaire Street update and here is the Newport Avenue update.)

The commercial area along Point Loma Avenue is the smallest and shortest business district, and like the other main business streets in OB, it’s a tough, challenging street – as it’s never easy being a small storefront along that one block. And our photo-report of the block is not pretty.

John Baker Frames Closed

One of the most well-known business, John Baker Picture Frames, has definitely closed its doors.

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Vigil Held in Louisiana for Woman Who Died After Being Swept off Ocean Beach Rocks

January 30, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a candle light vigil was held for Ariana Toro, the woman who died after being swept off rocks at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach January 21st. The vigil was held on Saturday, the 29th, as co-workers of Toro mourned her loss.

Meanwhile, in Ocean Beach, a debate has developed in our pages over how to respond to her death and the other injuries and fatalities along Sunset Cliffs, and Santa Cruz beach itself.

We offer the following report of the vigil as a way for OBceans to get to know the actual person who died off our cliffs …. from Baton Rouge channel 9CBS:

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News of the Newport Avenue Commercial Area in Ocean Beach

January 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

This is the second part in a series on the changes, the projects and the comings-and-goings of businesses in the commercial areas and streets of Ocean Beach. More visual with photos than actual news, everything was taken on Wednesday, Jan. 25th. Yesterday, we covered Voltaire Street.

The Newport Avenue Commercial Area

Newport Ave in Ocean Beach is a tough street. Commercial rents are high and business endeavors are risky. There is a constant turnover in the storefronts that struggle to survive, while such long-term establishments like the OB Hardware Store and Newport Optometry maintain their vigilance. Antique stores are slimming down but beer pubs are expanding faster than one could imagine a decade ago.

Little Miss Brewery

The latest beer tasting room on Newport Ave is Little Miss, a taproom that is moving into the space where Smart Clips Salon and Parker’s gift shop used to be.

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