Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

June 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Protest Rally to be Held at 40-Foot Project on Emerson in Point Loma – Sat. 10 a.m.

Babita Souza, a Point Loma resident who lives near the 40-foot tall project at 3144 Emerson Street, is planning a protest rally at the site this Saturday, June 25th – at 10 a.m.

Souza was widely quoted in a recent San Diego Reader article by Julie Stalmer about the history of hers and her husband’s concerns as they watched the project rise from dirt level to what it is today.

They are being joined by members of the Peninsula Community Planning Board who have been publicly against the project. Those upset with the project believe the City has wrongly approved the project, which violates the 30-foot height limit – which applies to the neighborhood where the project is being constructed.

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Point Loma Murder Suspect Arrested in Downtown San Diego

June 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The suspect in a murder that occurred in Point Loma at Catalina and Voltaire has been arrested in downtown San Diego.

Thomas Burke was busted by police near F Street and 16th Avenue – which is very close to SDPD headquarters. This came down near 8 am Thursday morning.

The incident began around 11 pm Wednesday night when the murder victim – unidentified at this point – walked up to one of the apartments in the newly constructed Famousa complex at the corner of Voltaire and Catalina and was allegedly shot by Burke, who was reportedly inside the apartment.

First responders administered CPR to the victim but were unsuccessful.

A SWAT action ensued through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with police not certain whether Burke was holed up or not in the apartment, but believed he might be barricaded inside. Neighbors were evacuated as a precaution.

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The Loss of Community Is Still the Biggest Threat from Short Term Vacation Rentals

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB airbnb map
The Ocean Beach Town Council will have a presentation and discussion on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, June 22.

Representatives of the group that has been lobbying city government to “do something” about the disruption to residential neighborhoods, Save San Diego Neighborhoods, will be making at least one of the presentations.

They will be discussing how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into San Diego’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive. They will demonstrate how neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted. And even how the character of a neighborhood is altered.

This is all well and good – and necessary.

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An Ocean Beach Garage Repair Has Locals Steamed

June 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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They’ve been doing it for years – if not decades. A local OB garage repair parks its customers’ cars and vehicles on adjoining public streets. And sometimes those vehicles sit there … for long periods of time.

Well, now, neighbors of the garage are so steamed that they have filed a complaint with the City of San Diego.

Everybody knows the Eber Street Garage at the corner of Voltaire and Eber Street in north-east Ocean Beach. And it’s Tony Calfato’s – the owner’s – habit of having his employees park the cars they are working on or that have been fixed on Eber Street, or around the corner of Lotus, or up a block on Froude.

So, nine residences have complained. Homeowners, tenants – from all the surrounding streets. They have filed a citation against the garage, have a case manager, who has been out there on site and who has taken dozens of photos.

Is anything happening?

Not really, locals say.

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Checking Back Into OB’s Attitude about CVS and Its Alcohol Sales

June 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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What Are the Community’s Thoughts – 2 Plus Years After the CVS Debates

By South OB Girl

Following up on Judi Curry’s recent article, some issues were brought to the table by community members concerning the community’s abundance of bars and restaurants.

I have done a preliminary search in the Ocean Beach Planning Board Bylaws and the Community Plan on the terms liquor, alcohol, and license. (If I am missing reference to any say the OBPB has in liquor license approval, I would greatly appreciate being informed about that.)

My interest in this goes back to the heated CVS debates.

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The Sordid History of the OB Rag – the First Issue – September 1970

June 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag cover vol 1 no 1Editor:

Most of the following is a repost of an article published on September 8, 2015, in celebration of the OB Rag’s 45th anniversary.

It was September 1970 when the very first issue of the OB People’s Rag hit the streets of Ocean Beach.
With the banner date of September 17 1970, Volume 1 No. 1 was published on a mimeograph machine, it included 4 pages, back and front, stapled together.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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How Did Ocean Beach and Point Loma Vote in 2016 Primary?

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Vote Mayor Primary 2016

How did OB and the Peninsula vote in the Primary held last week? What was the breakdown in the mayoral race in Ocean Beach?

Check out these maps that show the winners in each precinct in OB and Point Loma for the various races.

Go to the original map site, and you can click on individual precincts to see the vote tallies and percentages for each candidates.

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3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The City of San Diego has sent out notice that the construction of a three-story dwelling unit is being planned for 4768 Del Mar Avenue in Ocean Beach. A process 2 Coastal Development Permit has been applied for by Justin Salbato for the project.

The permit calls for the demolition of a “non-habitable accessory structure”. The site contains an existing single family residence at the front of the lot, which is 0.16 acres. The new dwelling unit design includes a garage, with the unit having 2,226 square feet.

Plus – following a new trend – the new building design incorporates a roof-mounted photovoltaic system with solar panels “sufficient to generate at least 50-percent of the project’s projected energy consumption”, in conforming to the City’s new, so-called Affordable / In-fill Housing and Sustainable Buildings Expedite Program.

There appears to be several trees on the property, including a large pine tree (possibly Torrey Pine) in the back portion of the lot. It’s assumed that if the project is given the go-ahead, this tree will also be demolished.

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More News from Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Beaches

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* City Plants New Tree Where Old One Was Cut Down Mistakenly

* OB First Responders Appreciation BBQ – Sat., June 11th

* SeaWorld’s ‘Grand Dame,’ Bubbles the Pilot Whale, Dies

* Gunman Ransack OB Home
* Red Tuna Crabs Swamp Mission Beach
* Man Spots 7 Foot Snake at Sunset Cliffs
* Airplane Noise Results in Letter to FAA by Politicos
* Beach Pedalers Join Solstice Bike Ride on June 16
* Pt Loma High Girls Sand Volleyball Team at Championships
* Mission Bay Wetlands to Draw Community Input at Two Public Meetings

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The Empire of an Ocean Beach Land Lord

June 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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On Saturday, June 4th, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

Mills owns a lot of property in Ocean Beach – many rental units. And he has a long history buying up properties, raising rents, and maintaining sub-standard living conditions.

Rumors have swirled for years about how many rental units Mills actually owns, so we set out the other day to find just a few of his properties. And what we found initially were four sets of units that Mills either currently owns or has owned in the past – four properties that had a total of 51 units.

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Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

June 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Neighbors of the controversial project coming in at 2257 Froude Street and the Peninsula Community Planning Board recently lost an appeal of the project at the San Diego Planning Commission.

Here, then, are some thoughts on the various options that those neighbors have.

  1. Appeal the decision of the Planning Commission; §112.0508 of the San Diego Municipal Code allows for appeals of Process Four decisions of the Planning Commission to the City Council. This is the most likely option to be pursed by the Peninsula planners. Yet we don’t know when or even if an appeal has been made.
  2. Change the zoning in that area of the Peninsula Plan to match or reflect the floor-area-ratio of the adjoining neighborhoods of Ocean Beach, which are 0.70. This could occur through a concerted effort by the neighbors working through the Peninsula Community Plan update process to make those changes.
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Militarization of San Diego Police Bubbles Up in Mayoral Race

June 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Ed Harris Criticizes Police Management for Ordering “Storm-troopers” to March into Barrio Logan

The race for San Diego’s mayor just became a little more relevant and interesting over the weekend – mere days before the California Primary.

In a debate Friday night on NBC San Diego, mayoral candidate Ed Harris made comments critical of the way San Diego Police were utilized after the anti-Trump protests on May 27th at the Convention Center. Police with riot gear were ordered into Barrio Logan and made over 30 arrests in a massive display of militarization. Many have criticized this action by police and Chief Zimmerman – including this writer.

During the debate, Harris said:

“It’s not responsible, it’s not respectful marching into Barrio Logan when people come out of their house because they hear the storm troopers coming down the street.”

By Sunday, the San Diego Police Officers Association was fuming and called on Harris for an apology in referring to their members as “storm troopers”.

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Did San Diego Police “Overreact” During Anti-Trump Protests or Did They Simply Follow “The Zimmerman Plan”

June 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Is it true that San Diego Police overreacted during the anti-Trump protests in downtown last Friday, May 27th, or did they simply follow Chief Zimmerman’s plan to corral demonstrators and push them into Barrio Logan where they could make arrests – arrests made out of the lens of the national media?

I attended the protests and was downtown for about 6 hours that day a week ago. The following observations and opinions are my own. What I did see and experience has led me to believe that the police manipulated the anti-Trump protesters in order to declare an illegal assembly – which then gave them the authority to make mass arrests – arrests police made largely out of sight – and in the ethnic Chicano- Mexican-American community of Barrio Logan.

Knowing that the police had earlier announced that they were setting up two separate “free speech zones” – one for the Trump supporters and one for the anti-Trump protesters – …

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A Football Stadium in East Village? Not so Fast

June 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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by American Institute of Architects San Diego / San Diego UrbDeZine / May 31, 2016

At first glance, the recent East Village Convadium proposal has many appealing qualities: it is an attractive, modern complex with many interesting features. However, the Charger’s owners hope to capitalize on the recent trend in California and use the ballot initiative process to “expedite” California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, and for good reason. The flash and hype of the ballot initiative covers many significant, unanswered questions about potential cost overruns and environmental impacts that may cost San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Like many San Diegans, the American Institute of Architects San Diego (AIASD) would like to see a NFL franchise remain in San Diego. However, our 900 member organization is dedicated to advancing good urban planning and design in San Diego, and we have many concerns about the current Convadium proposal. We also feel it is critical to remind San Diegans there are better alternatives.

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OB Latino Possible Victim of Local Nazi Vandalism

June 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Channel 10 News is running a story about somebody carving racist and nasty messages into freshly poured concrete in Ocean Beach – near the residence of Juan Viella, a five-year resident.

The messages were racist and political and were signed “OB SS” – “SS” being a Nazi reference.

Here are the messages that Viella found (WARNING: vulgarity approaching):

Trump 2016,” “F*ck Bernie”, “Build the wall,” “No F**s, OBSS”

Viella has since scraped most of the hateful messages off the concrete on Lotus Street near Sunset Cliffs .

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OB Planning Board Meets Wed., June 1: Round-abouts, “Citizens Plan”, and Vets’ Plaza

May 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OBPB Meet 5-4-16 board
The OB Planing Board meets Wednesday, June 1st, at the OB Recreation Center. And at the top of their agenda are a series of presentations and updates, with no new development projects up for review by the Board.

Instead, the Board will receive a presentation about the so-called “Citizens Plan for San Diego” by veteran politico, Jeff Marston. This is the plan backed by the Chargers and some environmentalists and public-interest lawyers to construct a new stadium and convention center downtown.

Next up, is a presentation by Joe LaCava, head of the Committee of Planning Committees – a body of all the planning boards and committees across the city – about the City’s goal to install twenty round-abouts throughout the city. We know the City and OB planners have been considering a round-about at the intersection of West Pt Loma and Bacon.

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Planning Commission Approves Froude Project – OB Planning Board Chair Blasts Process

May 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Froude New Design project red

If the Planning Commission does not listen to the voice of the Peninsula Planning Board or the Ocean Beach Planning Board, then what is the purpose of having community groups speak on behalf of the communities they represent.”
John Ambert, Chair of OB Planning Board

On Thursday, May 26th, residents along Froude Street in northeast OB received bad news. The San Diego Planning Commission had approved the controversial project where 2 two large homes with 2 stories and underground garages is planned for 2 small lots. A single-family residence is currently on the lots.

Part of the problem, as we have reported, is that the property is just a few yards from the formal Ocean Beach planning district line – and if it had been in OB, it would not have met the more restrictive requirements that the OB Community Plan. But it was in the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s jurisdiction. Yet, the Peninsula planners voted 9 to 1 against the project and some of them called it “sore thumb” because of its relatively large size and flashy, more modern architecture.

And the OB Planning Board didn’t have a say at all.

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The Very Latest on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day” on Friday

May 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Here is the very, very latest in what’s happening on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day”, Friday May 27th.

More groups have announced they are mobilizing their members to protest Trump’s appearance in downtown. They include the LGBT community, San Diego Human Rights organizations and our very own Light Brigade – which is shining on tonight, Thursday.

The seven-or so networks that have been organizing their protest continue to mobilize, and are showing signs of cooperating with one another.

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Reader Rant: ‘Tell the City to Reject Design’ of Controversial Froude Project

May 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Froude New Design project parry

 

Editor: The following “Reader Rant” was submitted to the OB Rag as a comment to the controversial Froude project – being heard by the San Diego Planning Commission today, May 26.

By Milladro

I am a third generation OB/ PL resident.

My great grand father, on my mothers side, arrived in San Diego during WW1 while serving in the US Navy. He purchased a modest home in the 1940’s where two subsequent generations have raised families.

That home has had its ocean views blocked by not one–but two boxy, out of proportion architectural designs.

These kind of developments really get under my skin.

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“Friday Is Going to Be One Crazy Anti-Trump Day in San Diego”

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

It’s going to be literally one crazy, anti-Trump day in downtown San Diego on Friday, May 27th. So much is going on that it boggles the mind to try to imagine everything.

First, of course, Donal Trump is arriving at the San Diego Convention Center to speak to his throngs around 2pm. And coming out to see and hear him, of course, will be probably thousands of ticket-holders. There will be long lines of them snaking around the Convention Center – which undoubtedly will be off-limits to protesters. Except those protesters in line with tickets.

Second, there will be thousands of protesters coming out to demonstrate against Trump and all that he stands for. There’s at least six different networks or groups mobilizing their supporters to show Trump that San Diegans will not stand for him.

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OB Town Council – Presentations on OB’s Controversial Private Cops and Women’s Self-Defense – Wed., May 25th

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB security patrolThis Wednesday, May 25th, the Ocean Beach Town Council will hold its monthly public meeting at the Masonic Center, located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, at 7pm as usual.

Besides the usual reports from the different politicians’ reps, reports from the public agencies that serve OB: fire department, police, lifeguard, elementary school, and library, and after all the Board members give their reports, the Town Council will move into its main agenda item: ‘OB public safety – engagement and empowerment”.

At the top of the public safety element, is a presentation of the OB Mainstreet Association’s “OB Security Program”- the enlistment of private security team patrols of a company called the National Public Safety (NPS). Reportedly, NPS teams “patrol the business districts of OB and work closely with SDPD to get positive results for the entire community.”

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Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

May 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This Thursday, May 26th, the San Diego Planning Commission will hear an appeal of the City’s decision to approve a controversial project slated for the 2200 block of Froude Street in Ocean Beach.

The project – two multistory residences – has outraged neighbors enough that they have supported the effort to appeal the decision by the City’s Development Services to okay it. The project includes:

“the demolition of an existing single-family structure and the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.”

This is at 2257 Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene.

Here’s why there’s controversy – besides the bulk, style, etc of the project itself – :

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UPDATED: San Diego Mobilizes Against Trump – Due Here Friday, May 27

May 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

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UPDATED: Four San Diego Networks or Groups Planning Protests for May 27th Trump Rally

San Diego is mobilizing against Donald Trump’s appearance later this week, when he stages a rally on Friday at the Convention Center.

At least four networks or groups are organizing protests outside the Trump rally. One of the 3 has also stated its intention of organizing something inside his event. One of the groups is mobilizing protesters from the LA area as well. And, of course, each network has their own facebook page.

The networks include:

The Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network

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Kamala Harris Wins OB Rag Senate Poll

May 20, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, won the OB Rag poll on the US Senate race for the state. In a field of 2 Democrats and 3 Republicans, Harris ran at the top with 49.3% of the vote, with Republican Tom Del Beccaro coming in a far second with 18.8%.

The other Democrat, Loretta Sanchez, received 5.8%, and the other Republicans George Sundheim came in with 2.9% and Ron Unz also had 2.9%.

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Ocean Beach Airbnb Listings Rose 64% Since Last Year

May 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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New data from Airbnb shows that their short term vacation rentals listings in Ocean Beach have risen 64% since last year. This equates to 230 units, according to an article from Voice of San Diego.

The Voice article by Ashley McGlone, relies on new information from Airbnb analytics company Beyond Pricing, and says that “the number of Airbnb listings is rising in nearly every neighborhood across San Diego,”yet, “Ocean Beach and La Jolla saw the greatest gains.” (While OB had a rate of 64%, La Jolla rose to 58 percent with 404 rentals.)

And once again, Ocean Beach joined 5 other neighborhoods this year as well as last year in being the locations of almost half of all San Diego’s Airbnb listings. The other neighborhoods: Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, North Park and East Village.

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The Pot Wars 2016: The End to Marijuana Prohibition in California Is Near

May 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The war on marijuana continues even at mid-point of 2016 – the year that California voters will end the marijuana prohibition in the state. While California voters get set to vote to legalize the recreational use of pot, there are good signs and bad signs around the state as the Pot Wars continue.

Right now, a majority of Californians favor legalization.

The folks who have been organizing the more successful of the legalize recreational marijuana initiatives have gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It’s a certainty that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be on California’s November ballot. This is the initiative that has support from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. And many marijuana policy reform groups also support it.

So, what does it do?

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Local San Diego Anti-Trump Emergency Response Network Forms

May 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The “Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network” Commits to Counter-Protest at Trump’s San Diego Rally

Two-dozen San Diegans met at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest last night, May 16th, and formed the skeleton of a local anti-Trump emergency response network.

So, once it’s announced that the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee is coming to town, a coalition has already began organizing a counter-protest. The same if Trump waits to visit San Diego until after he is nominated, San Diegans are getting ready now.

Called together by a well-known group, Activist San Diego, and chaired by Martin Eder, a long-time mobilizer for that organization, the meeting included at least one Republican, a bunch of socialists, Democrats, Bernie supporters, a Green Party person, a few independents, some just curious – and yours-truly, the rep from the OB Rag / SD Free Press.

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The Gentrification Machine Marches On – 5 Condos Planned for Lotus Street

May 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Residents in and around the 5000 block of Lotus Street have just been notified of a development application to build 5 condos on a lot currently holding a single-family residence. Some of those residents contacted the OB Rag out of extreme concern.

In the Notice of Application, see inside, the City announced that an application has been filed for the construction of 5 residential condominiums on the .15 acre site at 5064 Lotus. The five condos will total 10,560 square feet. The application also requests that the requirements to underground existing utilities be waived.

No reason for the request for a waiver was on the face of the Notice, but new developments these days are encouraged by City staff to obtain “waivers” on code requirements if they conform to the City’s Green Building Program.

The existing structure, a single-family residence with attached garage, would presumably be demolished – although there is no mention of that in the Notice. There is a large backyard and in the front there must stand one of the tallest Palm Trees in all of Ocean Beach.

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“Gallagher’s 1502” Launches Soft Opening Tonight on Newport – Friday the 13th

May 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Discounts Extended to 92107 Locals

It is happening. The “Soft Opening” of Steve Yeng’s latest bar and restaurant – called (for now) “Gallagher’s 1502” is on for tonight, Friday the 13th.

Steve Yeng and his family, owners of the original OB Noodle House on Cable and of Bar 1502 on Niagara, have taken over the former Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue – as we announced on Tuesday.

And tonight, beginning at 5pm and lasting till 2am, Steve will introduce his new “traditional Irish pub” to the OB community that he so loves.

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