Ocean Beach

A Message to the Readers of the OB Rag

August 20, 2014 by Staff
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As August winds down and we prepare for the Labor Day weekend coming up, the official end of Summer, we at the OB Rag wanted to share what’s going on here at your community website.

On Vacation 8/22 – 8/29

First of all, we’re going on vacation. Yea! We need a break too.

The OB Rag will not be publishing between Friday, August 22nd and Friday, August 29th. Therefore, any reports of meetings or events or reviews will have to wait for our return.

Time to Toot Our Horn

And as we take a break and perhaps reflect on what it all means, it’s time to toot our horn.

  • The OB Rag is coming up on our 7th anniversary – this October. It was October 2007 when we began publishing – during the midst of the huge 2007 wildfire – and we’re still going. This has been no simple feat. But we think we have made a positive impact in OB and within the larger City of San Diego with our brand our citizen journalism.
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Air Force Helicopters Too Close to Ocean Beach Residents

August 20, 2014 by Staff
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A local OB man has complained to the media about low-flying military helicopters. Jim Baird sent a video to Channel 10News and was interviewed by their reporter.

Baird claims the helos are flying under 200 feet, whereas experts say the aircraft must be no closer than 500 feet to vessels, people or buildings. His video confirms his observation. Baird told the station:

“They were scary close. I mean, you could feel the pulsation of the blades on your body. And I was just standing there with my palms up and my hands out like this asking them, ‘What are you doing?!’ And they flew by.”

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News at the Beach You Might Have Missed …

August 18, 2014 by Staff
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Was Sunday’s Broken Water Main in Ocean Beach or Point Loma? Local Media Still Confused About Boundaries of OB

Over the weekend, there was a serious water main break in the Peninsula …

Despite “Upgrades” – Protests Still Continue at SeaWorld

The protesters were back at SeaWorld San Diego on Sunday, August 17th, despite the theme park’s announcement just recently that it was going to build larger tanks for its killer whales, …

Baby Whale Leaves Mission Bay Because It’s Too Stinky

In the middle of last week, a baby gray whale was seen cruising into Mission Bay, right next to Ocean Beach. The whale was spotted surfacing in the bay sometime the morning of Wed., the 13th of August, according to CBS. …

AND MORE INSIDE …

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SeaWorld San Diego to Build ‘Bigger Bathtubs’ for Its Killer Whales

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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In response to the public pressure that has decreased its attendance and finances due to awareness of how its orcas are treated, SeaWorld has announced that it will “upgrade” its facilities for its killer whales. Larger tanks will be built along with “water treadmill” systems to give them exercise.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published today, SeaWorld is spending millions to build the new enclosures – beginning in San Diego:

The company plans to upgrade the killer whale tanks at three of its theme parks, beginning with the San Diego location. The new enclosure in San Diego will be almost double the size of the current one, holding about 10 million gallons of water and extending to a depth of 50 feet. The company wouldn’t specify the cost of the upgrades, only saying it would be several hundred million dollars.

Our lucky San Diego orcas will now have new exercise equipment

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The Widder Curry: My Visit to Fort Rosecrans Cemetery Two Years Later

August 15, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Note: After visiting the cemetery on Saturday, August 9th, 2014, we three widow’s were sorely disappointed in what we saw – or didn’t see, two years later. I sent this article to Doug Ledbetter, the Director of the Ft. Rosecrans and Miramar Cemeteries so that he would be aware of what I was going to write. He called me this morning – Monday, August 11th, and we discussed the conditions I have mentioned in this article. His comments to me are in italics and indented next to our concerns:

Two years ago – August 21, 2012 – I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. The cemetery has special meaning to me because my husband is interred there, and it will be my “home” when I leave my Pt. Loma home. Over the past two years I have written several follow-up articles about the grounds and have complimented the “new” director, Doug Ledbetter on returning the cemetery to its “pre-2012” standards.

I don’t know if it was “karma” but yesterday I received a call from Doug asking me if I had been up to the cemetery lately. I had not, but told Doug that today three of us were going to visit our husbands on Saturday because it has been a long time since we have been there.

I told him that we were looking forward to the improvements we expected to see, and I would let him know our thoughts the first part of the week.

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Bad Day at Blackfish Rock – SeaWorld Now Says Its Losing Visitors and Money

August 14, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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SeaWorld Shares Drop 30%

It was a bad day yesterday, Wednesday, August 13, for SeaWorld, as company execs admitted for the very first time that the aquatic theme parks are losing visitors and money due to the film “Blackfish” – the movie about SeaWorld mistreating orcas. Almost immediately SeaWorld shares dropped 30%.

Up to now, SeaWorld – which has 11 theme parks across the country – has denied that its earnings and numbers of customers have declined due to “Blackfish”.

Yet they had to admit the losses in the company’s financial results for the second quarter of 2014. The losses are due to a drop in people coming to their “destination-parks” – like SeaWorld San Diego. With audiences in decline and sales of everything from tickets and products affected, the company reported:

Attendance of 6.6 million, a 0.3% increase versus the second quarter of 2013” – plus

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Jane Gawronski: “We can preserve our community if we maintain conformance to current code.”

August 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the final speech we are publishing given by Ocean Beach planners at the historic City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan on July 29th – this is by Jane Gawronski, former Chair of the Planning Board and current Board member.

By Jane Gawrsonski

My name is Jane Gawronski and my husband and I live on Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach. You might remember me from when I tried to become one of you when there was a vacancy in District 2.

We moved to Ocean Beach in 1974, jobs took us out of OB in the 80s and we were very happy to be able to return to OB in 1998. I am a member of the Ocean Beach Historical Board, past chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, a board member of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation and a volunteer for the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association.

We own 6 properties in Ocean Beach which have 16 rental cottages with 5 of the cottages over 100 years old. We want the original language to stay in the OB Community Plan to protect the ambiance and attractiveness of OB. This language is what the OB Community, the City Staff, and the City Attorney agreed to.

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“How Many Times Can You Be Screwed?” Let Me Count Another Way

August 13, 2014 by Judi Curry

“No money would exchange hands, but it would be a win-win for both of us…”

facing eastBy Judi Curry

I have always thought of myself as a compassionate person. I frequently do things because I feel it is the right thing to do without ever thinking of any compensation – mentally, emotionally or monetarily. So let’s take a trip down the road to “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Let’s get into the time tunnel and go back approximately nine months.

I was walking my Golden Retriever Buddy around the block when I came across a woman I knew exercising her dog in front of her house. She was having some work done on her house and I stopped and talked to her. Her name is Patty, and it turned out that she was also in the field of education and I enjoyed talking to her.

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Check out the OB Rag Calendar and Classifieds

August 13, 2014 by Staff
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If you haven’t already, you gotta check out the OB Rag Calendar page – called “Events” on the nav bar – and the Rag’s free Classifieds.

OB Rag Events / Calendar Most Complete

The OB Rag Calendar is the most complete calendar in OB because most other calendars focus on the particular group who sponsors the calendar. For example the OB Town Council, or the OB Planning Board’s respective calendars only announce their own meetings, whereas the OB Rag’s Events list both groups’ meetings.

Free Classifieds

The OB Rag has the only free, daily classified section online for Ocean Beach. You can post your own classified. Here’s the ads and how to post.

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The Hitchiker’s Guide to Ocean Beach

August 12, 2014 by Citizen Cane
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Editor: We’re reposting a series we published a few years ago entitled “Hitchiker’s Guide to Ocean Beach“- a series of stories to give people a view of Ocean Beach that can’t be found in the usual tourist guide books, by a knowledgeable local who goes by the nom de plume of Citizen Cane.

Here they are in order of publication :

The Hitchhikers’ Guide to Ocean Beach: Attraction #1- The Sideways Tree

Our first attraction is the Sideways Tree of Ocean Beach.

The tree is in plain view across the street from the Holy Trinity Church on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard near Brighton Avenue.

It’s rarely noticed by the people passing by.
(COME INSIDE FOR THE COMPLETE SERIES)

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News and Notes in and around Ocean Beach

August 7, 2014 by Staff
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Local Point Lomans Nicole Burgess and Andy Hanshaw Appointed to City Bicycle Advisory Committee

Well-known bicycling enthusiast and local Point Loman Nicole Burgess was appointed to the City’s first-ever Bicycle Advisory Committee by the City Council. … .

Point Loma Planners Like the “New” Point Loma Village

In his article at The Peninsula Beacon on July 31, Dave Schwab reported that the Peninsula Community Planning Board unanimously approved – with a “thumbs up” – to the Point Loma Village, at their recent July meeting. …

Third Sexual Assault on Women in PB Since Mid-June

There’s now been three sexual assaults on women in Pacific Beach over a 6 week period, since basically mid-June. The last one occurred on late Saturday night, August 2nd, when a woman …

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Short Video of City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s a short video montage – COME INSIDE FOR VID – by Anthony Palmiotto on last weeks City Council vote on the OB Community Plan – back on Tuesday, July 29th. Palmiotto is the OB Town Council’s Community Relations Chair.

Here, Palm has captured several memorable scenes, especially those moments as Gretchen Newsom, the OB Town Council president was reading off the list of OB organizations that support the Plan, and as members of the audience – mostly OBceans – stood as the name of their group was read.

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Advisory Council: Safety in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

August 6, 2014 by Source
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Report of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Council

By Lois Lane

At their recent meeting on August 4th, the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Council welcomed Lt. Jason Weeden of the San Diego Police Department, on his first day as a Lieutenant. He will be replacing Lt. Natalie Stone in her Western Division duties, as she has moved to investigations.

Lt. Weeden, with a background on the SWAT team and the Vice Squad, seems very well equipped to take on whatever Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs Park have in store for him.

The topic for the evening was “Safety in the Park”, and Community Relations Officer David Surwilo was there to explain what was happening in the beach area, and how the community and the police can work more effectively together.

His message: “Report, report, report!

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Is CVS Breaking Promises to OB Before Doors Have Even Opened?

August 5, 2014 by Source
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Union to Flier Community Over CVS’s “Broken Promises” on Wed., August 6th

By Micah Mitrosky

CVS is coming to Ocean Beach. In doing so, they promised OB they would be good community partners. In fact, CVS agreed to a Community Benefits Package that included the following promise:

“CVS will provide 20-30 new highquality jobs to the community including strong training, pay, and benefit packages…CVS has the highest rated job satisfaction in its industry and will contribute these beneficial jobs to the Ocean Beach community by prioritizing qualified candidates from within the community in its hiring process.”

Now, with retrofits underway at their new OB location, CVS is quietly breaking their promise to the OB Community before the doors have even opened.

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Reverberations from Historic City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The reverberations from last week’s historic City Council vote July 29th to approve the OB Community Plan have yet to be felt – other than the celebrations -, either in OB or throughout the City, but the vote will have consequences – good ones – for two or three decades.

Plus the dust hadn’t settled after the unanimous vote, when the question was raised ‘What’s next? What is the next hurdle the Plan must take before it becomes a reality?’

The short answer is that the Plan goes before the California Coastal Commission in October, according to city staff.

Meanwhile, the vote was a clear victory for Ocean Beach but it was also a win for other communities around San Diego. Let’s examine this.

OBviously, with a new community plan, OB will be affected for the next 20 to 30 years. What else does the vote mean? For Ocean Beach, the vote did several things.

First, it vindicated the resistance by the OB Planning Board …

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What I Love About My OB People’s Organic Food Co-op

August 5, 2014 by Source
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Editor: OB People’s Organic Food Market is celebrating forty-two years of “food for people not for profit” this month. Read what Co-op owner Kim McGinley loves so much about People’s.

by Kim McGinley / People’s Co-op News

Outside of the great service provided to me as an individual, I believe that the community of Ocean Beach as a whole benefits from the positive presence of O.B. People’s Organic Food Market, our very own food cooperative.

What follows is a partial list of what I love about my Co-op:

  • People’s provides a Community Room as a meeting space at no cost for Co-op member-owners, who in turnoffer monthly workshops and lectures that are always free of charge.
  • Additionally, the Co-op provides donations to Ocean Beach Elementary School and other programs that benefit the youth, as well as providing donations for many community events.
  • The Co-op also offers a daily discount for member-owners who are senior citizens.
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OB Planning Board Agenda – Wed., Aug. 6

August 5, 2014 by Staff
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Here’s the agenda for the Ocean Beach Planning Board which meets Wednesday night, August 6th. The Board meets at 6pm sharp in the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave.

It’s all fairly self-explanatory. There will be an update on the historic City Council vote on the OB Community Plan last week.

And something that is on alot of OBceans’ minds as they drive around the village – the replacement of water and sewer pipes in and around OB – is also on the agenda in terms of a report from the contractor.

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John Ambert: “OB Is Classic California”

August 4, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag has been publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. Here is John Ambert’s speech.

My name is John Ambert and I am an architect, I am the Vice Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, and I am a born and raised as an Ocean Beach native.

There are three reasons why you should support the Ocean Beach Community Plan as presented to you today:

First, because OB is classic California

Second because FAR variances destroy the character of beach neighborhoods;

and third, because coastal redevelopment at this scale, pushes the residents out of their community.

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Two-Story OB Apartment Complex on West Pt Loma Sold

August 4, 2014 by Staff
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A two-story, 8-unit apartment complex on West Pt Loma Blvd was just sold for $1,675,000, cash.

The single building complex is located at 5065 West Pt Loma and is a 4,224-square-foot apartment building with only 8 bedrooms and bathrooms.

The building was originally constructed in 1959 on a 5,000-square-foot lot …

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Mindy Pellissier: “We OBceans are a resilient and tenacious lot.”

August 1, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag is publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. This is by Mindy Pellissier, long-time OB planner, Co-chair of Sub-committee on OB Community Plan Update, plus co-owner of the Dog Beach Dog Wash.

My name is Mindy Pellissier. I am a home owner and business owner — & a proud OBcean for more than 20 years.

I have also been a dedicated participant in the OB Planning process & several community organizations.

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“A Toast to O.B.s Community Plan! ” – a Poem by Kathy Blavatt

August 1, 2014 by Source
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July 29th, 2014… A Toast to O.B.s Community Plan!

By Kathy Blavatt

“A TOAST, A TOAST” …. No I didn’t say “A toke”….
Though in O.B. fashion, each celebrate in their own manner.
Just as early arrivals “to the EVENT” grabbed a beer beforehand.

The “event” to the “unknowing” was just one in the stream of bureaucratic,
sometimes moronic meetings at council.
Yet, this day, on the 29th of July in the year 2014,
a sea breeze of blue blew into council chambers.

Riding in were waves of people….“Real people”, not the usual suits!
Passionate OBeacans in articulate prose…
Speeches splashed with humor and well-researched fact
took center stage and laid fort “their plan”.


(COME INSIDE)

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Gretchen Newsom: “We’re not a special interest group! We are Ocean Beach!”

August 1, 2014 by Source
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By Gretchen Newsom

I am Gretchen Newsom, President of the Ocean Beach Town Council.

Our OB Community Plan is the result of over a decade of extensive community engagement and outreach.

All OB community organizations have collaborated with one another on the Community Plan and ALL OB community groups have united together to endorse the Ocean Beach Community Plan.

We are here before you today to support our Plan and to defend and protect our small- scale community character.

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Peter Ruscitti: ‘OB Community Plan’s Goals to Maintain Small-Scale and Harmony between New and Existing Housing.’

August 1, 2014 by Source
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“…variances for FAR should be discouraged except in true exceptional circumstances.”

By Peter Ruscitti

My name is Peter Ruscitti, and I’m the chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. I’m also a property owner in OB and a professional planner. I’m going … to address some of the concerns that the Planning Board has faced with our Community Plan— particularly the variance language contained in Recommendation 4.2.9 and elsewhere.

I would like to make clear the intent behind this language and the position of the Planning Board on variances. The Planning Board will always review applications for variances on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are consistent with the Community Plan— whose goals include maintaining small-scale development, and achieving harmony between new and existing development.

We recognize that special circumstances may exist that could justify a particular variance, and that variances in themselves are not necessarily inconsistent with the Community Plan.

We just want the Community Plan to be clear that variances— particularly for FAR— should be discouraged except in truly exceptional circumstances.

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Gio Ingolia: The OB Community Plan “Ensures Our Small-Town Feel”

July 31, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first of several we hope to publish of the speeches given by OB planners at the July 29th City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan.

By Giovanni Ingolia

My Name is Giovanni Ingolia and I am the Co-Chair of the OB Community Plan update Sub-committee. I have also served 8 years on the OB Planning board and a former Chair.

This plan has been a collaborative effort from a myriad of community group and citizens of Ocean Beach.

Overall the plan meets the needs and desires of the community including but not limited to our transportation desires, historic preservation, and community character.

Unfortunately the Planning Commission has recommended more permissive language to the Community Plan when it comes to our community character as it relates to bulk and scale.

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OB – the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” – Not Eligible for Medical Marijuana Dispensary – But Midway Is

July 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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San Diego’s Community Planning Groups Lobbied by Anti-Weed Group

Apparently, according to the new City of San Diego ordinance passed in March that regulates them, OB, the “Haight-Ashbury of San Diego” can’t have a medical marijuana dispensary. But the community of Midway can have a number.

It’s not just Ocean Beach – as the ordinance severely restricts dispensaries in most communities of San Diego. They are only allowed in a limited number of industrial and commercial zones. They also have to be:

  • at least 100 feet away from residential property and
  • at least 1,000 feet from schools,
  • playgrounds,
  • libraries,
  • parks,
  • churches
  • and facilities focused on youth activities.

That excludes OB – the community that most resembles the “hippie capital” of America, the Haight up in San Francisco.

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OB Residential Sales: Abbott Street Triplex Sold to Point Loman

July 31, 2014 by Source
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It took $827,000 to take an Abbott Street triplex off the market.

The recently renovated 3 unit at 2033-35 Abbott Street was sold to Point Loman Dak Ang Yeng, who lives at 1853 Venice St., San Diego 92106, just up the hill from OB.

Leonard W. Tobey sold the property which is assessor’s parcel 448-101-36.

The construction of the 2-story building in the front, and the unit in the rear of the property was in 1954.

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City Council Unanimously Approves OB Community Plan

July 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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With a 9 to zip vote, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update, yesterday, the 29th of July and in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately, the 150 plus OBceans jumped to their feet with whoops of delight and sustained applause that went on for minutes.

It was an emotional day for OB, with the Council vote culminating a very long process of updating the community’s urban design blueprint, a blueprint that will significantly affect OB for the next 20 to 30 years.

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Ocean Beach: All Out to the City Council Hearing Today – July 29th

July 29, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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4,000 Signatures Collected in Support of OB Plan

This is the day that Ocean Beach has been waiting for – for months, and for some, they’ve been waiting for years for this day. This is the day that the San Diego City Council does a final review for approval of the OB Community Plan – recently updated.

The Council takes up the OB plan at 2 pm. Every OBcean who can is urged to attend the hearing to show support for the Plan – and everyone who attends is asked to wear blue. (Blue OB “attitude” T-shirts are available at Dog Beach Dog Wash for $10 – 4933 Voltaire.)

Over a 100 OB supporters are expected to gather – as 40 were present last month just for a continuance. Already 85 have signed up on the online facebook page.

The City Council meets at City Hall, 202 “C” Street in downtown San Diego, 92101, on the 12th floor in Council Chambers. OB

Organizers are, in addition, asking OBceans to attend a 1:30 pm “rally” downstairs at City Hall on the bottom floor outside.

Plus, organizers expect to submit approximately 4,000 signatures in support of the Ocean Beach Community Plan –

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Ocean Beach Mobilizes for City Council Show-Down on Tuesday, July 29th

July 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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You can tell something is happening in Ocean Beach by the number of emails fluttering around OB’s cyberspace.

For instance, the OB Town Council is sending out their email announcements calling on members of their group and supporters of their “Respect OB” campaign to attend tomorrow’s City Council hearing on the Community Plan.

The OBTC says:

Do you love Ocean Beach? Do you want to protect our small-scale character? Do you want to prevent bulky over-development?

Then heed this call to action!

Step 1: Sign the online petition to protect the small-scale character of Ocean Beach

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OB Town Council: ‘Happiness is within your reach when you live in Ocean Beach’

July 25, 2014 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Everybody was happy. The determined OB Town Council had formulated a plan that routed the forces of anarchy at the marshmallow wars on the Fourth of July. It was also awards night, where 10 lucky and deserving recipients got grants from the Town Council for their projects.

The Town Council meeting on July 23 began with congratulations all the way around for the success of their “Mallow Out” campaign. The doom-sayers who predicted riots were proved to be wrong. Reported later by the Surfrider Foundation, the trash pickup the next day was dramatically reduced from 1802 pounds of trash in 2013 to 621 this year, not all of it marshmallows, of course.

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