Ocean Beach

Big Step Taken in STVR Fight

March 25, 2017 by Source

From Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

Panel advances home-sharing proposal, declines on whole-home rental plans

MARCH 24, 2017 – In a victory for opponents of short-term vacation rentals, San Diego’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee today agreed that only a proposal regulating home-sharing should go before the entire City Council with its recommendation. At the same time, the panel declined to push for any of three options brought by the Development Services Department (DSD) dealing with whole-home rentals.

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OB Town Council Provides Forum for Groups to Recruit

March 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie


The Ocean Beach Town Council held their monthly public meeting Wednesday night, March 22nd, at the Masonic Center – and more than 60 people filled the large hall.

The high point of the evening was something called “Engage OB” where chair Gretchen Newsom allowed representatives from different groups to address the crowd, each asking attendees to join their group or project. And 8 to 9 individuals made their pitches, including this reporter asking for people to be involved with the OB Rag.

The meeting began as per usual, with non-agenda public comment.

  • One guy who called himself a “5th generation OBcean”, complained that there hasn’t been enough public input into the plans for Saratoga Park, and he thought, for instance, that it needed input from the PTAs. He was reminded that it’s a project of the OB Community Development Corp.
  • Board member Keith Fink announced the upcoming 28th annual Earth Day in Balboa Park on April 23rd. It’s “the largest free event on the planet,” he said. For info, go to earthdayweb.org .
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Carlsbad Leaders Use Alternative Facts to Bring in ‘Big Brother’ Stationary Cameras

March 24, 2017 by Source

carlsbad stationary cameras

Editor: OBceans may find this article about security cameras going up in Carlsbad of interest as Ocean Beach has its own controversial camera issue. This was also reposted at San Diego Free Press.

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World

Fifty-one stationary cameras, in 14 locations, together with six mobile devices added to the ones already installed on two police cars, will soon capture the license plate numbers of all cars passing through the Carlsbad. They’ll be submitted to a national database that tracks stolen vehicles and those involved in crimes.

At its March 14 meeting, on a 4 to 1 vote, the Carlsbad City Council approved the $802,000 plan to conduct surveillance of residents and non-residents alike.

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Was the OB Rag Yahoo Account Hacked by the Ruskies Back in 2014?

March 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Back in June of 2014, a Yahoo account that I used for personal matters as well as for OB Rag business and communications was hacked. I lost thousands (at least 2300) of email address that I had gathered over the years as my contact list. I wrote about the hack and the loss. Here is part of what I said then:

Yes, it is true, and at first, I sort of laughed it off, as I went ahead and changed my password to the email account that was hacked on Thursday, June 19.

But then I realized all 2300 of my email contacts were gone ! – stolen by the hacker. Hundreds of those were my OB Rag email accounts. (It was my personal yahoo email account that was hacked – not the OB Rag gmail account.)

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Is it a Joke? Or Is it Real? Airbnb Advertises “Van Living” in Ocean Beach

March 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Somebody named “John” is advertising his van for $25 a night in Ocean Beach on Airbnb. “Van livin’ at the beach” is the come-on line.

That’s right. It’s incredible – too incredible to be real do you think? Is it a joke?

He advertises his van:

“Empty van with a bed in the back. Parked in a quiet safe neighborhood.”

He says it accommodates 4 but with no bathroom. Hmm.

Check out these screen captures INSIDE. You tell us if it’s a joke.

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Adios to a Friend of Ocean Beach – Eric Gerhardt – Moving to Washington State

March 22, 2017 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Adios to a Friend of Ocean Beach – Eric Gerhardt – Moving to Washington State

Adios to a Friend of Ocean Beach

At the risk of embarrassing him – it’s worth the risk – I would like to wish one of our community members a fond farewell, and hope that he will find success in his new endeavor. Many of you know Eric Gerhardt because of the many volunteer projects he has been involved in in the area.

In the early morning hours you can usually find him at the beach picking up trash that others have left behind.

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San Diego Council Committee to Hear Proposals for Short-Term Rentals – Fri., Mar. 24th

March 22, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

A San Diego City Council committee is posed to hear three different options for short-term vacation rentals being proposed by the Planning Department this coming Friday, March 25th.

The Smart Growth and Land Use Committee of the Council will meet in the morning at the Jacob Center and attempt – once again – to juggle the contentious issue of how to deal with these particular types of rentals, an issue that the Council and city staff have bounced around now for 2 years.

The issue of short-term rentals have roiled the beach areas and Ocean Beach in particular.

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Russian Bots and Bernie Lovers

March 22, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Last Tuesday night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow did an extensive report on how Russians used information warfare during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign. And, she said, they are still using those cyber tactics to this day.

One of the main ways the Russians worked to throw sand on the Clinton electoral machine, was to sow discord among Bernie Sanders supporters and divide them from pivoting after the Primary to give Clinton their donations and volunteer hours.

The primary example Maddow used when she was drawing attention to the Russian information warfare effort against the United States was a fake Bernie Sanders supporters Facebook page that appears to be part of the Russian game plan. It’s called Bernie Sanders Lovers, and despite what the home page says about it being from Vermont, it’s actually out of Albania.

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Midway Planning Group Hosting Beach Community Planners Discussion About Homelessness in April

March 21, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group regular Wednesday monthly meeting, held at the San Diego City College – West City Campus on Fordham Street on March 15th, was abbreviated because of a lack of action items and a number of government report no shows.

The only action item was a partial decision of the Midway community plan, a draft of which was coming out in March according to Vicki White from the Planning Department.

Small Parks Included in New Community Plan

White introduced a document that depicted areas of the Midway district that will be set aside as park land. Two small areas on the bike path along the river were the subject of the action vote. One area was designated “San Diego River Park Pathway” and the other was “San Diego Mini Park.”

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Ballast Point Boycott Tied to Support for Congressman Paul Ryan and Trumpcare Fight

March 21, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

A boycott of Ballast Point products is being pushed by groups in Chicago as part of a campaign of resistance to the Trump administration’s hurry-up plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Ballast Point is the largest brewer in San Diego and was acquired by Constellation Brands in November 2015 for a reported of $1 billion. The parent company’s Political Action Committee has donated $25,000 thus far in 2017 in support of Rep. Paul Ryan, who’s leading the congressional fight for passage of what I like to call #TrumpDontCare.

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OB Planning Board Unofficial Election Results and Current Make-up

March 21, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The results are in from last Wednesday’s OB Planning Board annual election (they’re not official until certified by the Board, which is expected to occur at the next regular meeting, April 5, 2017).

From the OBPB website:

The unofficial results of the 2017 general election of the Ocean Beach Planning Board are:

DISTRICT 2
Tom Gawronski

DISTRICT 4
Blake Herrschaft

DISTRICT 6
Dan Dennison

DISTRICT 7
Richard Aguirre

Come Inside for an Analysis and Current Make-up of Board

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Restaurant Review – OB Surf Lodge

March 20, 2017 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

OB Surf Lodge
5083 Santa Monica Ave., #1F
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
619-955-5475

One of my favorite restaurants in Ocean Beach was Shades. It was my “go-to-it” place for everything – celebrations, brunches, breakfasts, dinners, romantic interludes, etc. There were a lot of us that were sorry to see it close, and hoped that a similar place would take over when the new restaurant opened. I am sad to say, in my opinion, that this is a place that I will not be patronizing again.

In the first place the noise was deafening! I was sitting right next to Eric and we could barely hear each other.

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Peninsula Planners: Carleton Mixed-Use Project Too High; Election Results

March 20, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board’s yearly election to fill five seats had a large turnout on Thursday, at the March 16 regular monthly meeting. The final tally was 553 votes.

The winners were incumbents Jon Linney, Don Sevrens, and David Dick along with newcomers Fred Kosmo and Margaret Virissimo. A “slate” of five candidates that circulated before the election, contrary to the election rules, had four of the winners on it. Incumbent David Dick, who did not appear on the slate, defeated one of the five people shown on the slate. The new members will be seated at the regular monthly meeting in April.

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What’s Happening on the Mean Streets of Ocean Beach

March 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s not easy being a small businesperson, shopkeeper, store or office owner on the commercial streets of Ocean Beach. Rents are high in this popular, sunny, beach outpost from the rest of the world.

The commercial streets, Newport Avenue, Voltaire Street and Point Loma Avenue are tough for the unwary business enterpriser who takes a gamble opening up any kind of establishment on them. That’s why small businesses are always coming and going, and why empty storefronts remain vacant for months.

The commercial streets of OB are some mean streets and here’s what’s happening on them in mid-March 2017.

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Ocean Beach Town Council to Host “Engage OB” Forum – March 22nd

March 17, 2017 by Source

From the Ocean Beach Town Council

In the past few months there has been an explosion of political activism across the country. Grassroots advocacy organizations are steadily gaining new members and civic engagement is high. A national discussion is taking place, and it is our responsibility as citizens to be fully engaged through voting, representation in Congress, and actively speaking out on the direction of our nation. …

To foster democracy and further our civic engagement and community activism, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting an Engage OB forum to invite individuals and organizations to speak on ways in which community members can get involved in political advocacy at the local and national levels. The next OB Town Council public meeting, held 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, will be dedicated in part to hearing from activists on a wide variety of current political issues.

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San Diego City Attorney Issues Memo Stating Short Term Vacation Rentals Are Illegal in Residential Zones

March 16, 2017 by Source

From Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

City Attorney: Short-term vacation rentals not permitted under City’s Municipal Code

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott has issued a memorandum of law advising the City Council and Mayor that short-term vacation rentals (STVR) are illegal in the city’s residential zones.

“The City has a “permissive zoning ordinance.” This means that any use that is not listed in the City’s zoning ordinance is prohibited. Short-term vacation rentals are not specifically defined, expressly permitted, or listed in any of the zone use categories, including residential or commercial,” Elliott said in her memo, issued on March 15.

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Why Restore Kellogg Beach? A Look at Its Inheritance and Legacy

March 16, 2017 by Source

By Michael Winn

A real estate speculator has proposed to replace a single family home on Kellogg Street in La Playa with a concrete sea wall and 9 condominiums, where there is now a beach.

How can the community assess this proposed development without consensus about the fate of this beach? Colloquially called, Kellogg Beach it’s actually the last remaining part of the beach for which this community was originally named, La Playa, perhaps, in the 17th century.

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The Widder Curry on Petitions and Pollsters: “The Frustration Is Mounting!”

March 16, 2017 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The Widder Curry on Petitions and Pollsters: “The Frustration Is Mounting!”

The Frustration Is Mounting!

There is no question that the results of the Presidential Election sent me into a tailspin. And I can’t help but feel that I am in an eddy, spinning, spinning, spinning out of control.

No, I am not going to do anything that I will regret – except change my party affiliation to that of a Republican in the election in 2018 so I can vote against all the “balless” people running for office. That I might regret – temporarily, but I can always change it back if I can even find a candidate that I support. (Just to throw it out – how about Robert Kennedy Jr?)

What has really pissed me off – and I use the word advisedly – is the number of petitions that have come my way in the last TWENTY-FOUR hours.

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Return of the Freewayblogger!

March 16, 2017 by Source

By Freewayblogger / Daily Kos

How mad do you need to get? How many lies do you have delivered straight to your face by this administration? How long do you just sit there and take it?

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San Diego Lifeguards Complain of Yet Another Rescue Delay Due to New Dispatch System

March 15, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Another life-saving incident occurred recently that San Diego lifeguards say shows that a new dispatch system installed by San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy is causing problems. The new system is confusing dispatchers and adding to response times for first-responders.

The new system has water-rescue calls routed to the firefighters and not to lifeguards, as had previously been the system.

Sgt. Ed Harris, head of the lifeguard union, said that over last weekend a small child had to be rescued from the Model Yacht Pond in Mission Bay Park.

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Neighbors Mobilize Against Additions to Short Term Vacation Rental on Saratoga in Ocean Beach

March 15, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Neighbors in and around a property on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue are mobilizing tonight, Wednesday March 15th, at the OB Planning Board’s subcommittee meeting.

They aim to speak out against planned additions to the property at 4925 Saratoga, because the recently rehabbed main house is being used as a short term vacation rental – and they view this permit to add a garage and a house over the garage as an expansion of yet another STVR and a threat to their neighborhood.

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Reader Rant: “We Need a Point Loma Town Council”

March 15, 2017 by Source

By Michael Winn

We need to elect a Point Loma Town Council that appropriately reflects demographics on the Peninsula, and charge it with promulgating a vision to preserve and restore quality of life on the Peninsula.

The Emerson project and San Diego airport (SAN) flight path expansions show us what we should expect from traditional back-door politics and ad hoc citizen protests.

Kellogg Beach shows us that unless we organize better, this will continue to plague our community because we must organize unpaid labor for each new proposal, while developers can budget it.

Our Peninsula Community Planning Board carries little political weight, has no authority and is limited in scope.

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Wisteria Garden Party – Sunday, Mar. 19th

March 14, 2017 by Source

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Saratoga Addition on Project Review Agenda – Wed., March 15th

March 14, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The Project Review Committee, a sub-committee of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, has one project before it at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, March 15th.

It’s a permit application to build a 918 square foot residence over a garage at 4925 Saratoga Avenue.

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San Diego Indivisible to Rally Tuesday March 14th Against GOP Health Care Bill

March 14, 2017 by Source

Senators Feinstein and Harris Asked to Host Town Halls in San Diego – Duncan Hunter to Be Called Out on Ethics Violations

From Indivisible San Diego Media Team:

SAN DIEGO – Following a successful weekend mobilizing thousands of members at four congressional town halls, San Diego Indivisible will rally this week to stop the TrumpCare legislation proposed by Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act and to call out Rep. Duncan Hunter for his ethics violations. They will also ask California’s two U.S. senators to hold town halls in San Diego during the April recess.

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A Freshly-Paved Newport Avenue

March 13, 2017 by Source

Taken by South OB Girl, around noon on Friday, March 10th.

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Restaurant Review – Pepe’s Italian Restaurant in Ocean Beach

March 13, 2017 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Pepe’s Italian Restaurant
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92107
619-221-1926
www.pepesitalian.com

It’s been many years since I ate at “Pepe’s.” I do not even think that I was doing restaurant reviews at that time, and I have been doing reviews for almost 8 years. When Irene called and suggested that we get together for lunch I knew just where to go. And I am certainly glad that we went there.

We were early; just a little bit past 11:00am, and there was one other diner in the restaurant. We were greeted by “Ed/Pepe” with a smile and exuberance that had us feeling good before we ever sat down.

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San Diego Lifeguards Want to Leave the Fire Department Because of New Dispatching Procedures

March 10, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego City lifeguards and their union are seriously considering getting out from under the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The lifeguard union leader claims that recent changes in dispatching procedures initiated by the new fire chief, Brian Fennessy, now route all water-related 911 calls to the fire department instead of directly to lifeguards- who have historically made all water rescues.

This is leading to longer response times and a waste of resources, says Sgt Ed Harris of the lifeguard union.

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the OB Rag, Harris wrote:

“We cannot afford to have the Fire Department divert our trainers, personnel and budget. … Teaching Fire Fighters how to swim and perform river rescue is not acceptable.”

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Ocean Beach Spring Cleaning – Saturday, March 11 – 8:30 AM

March 10, 2017 by Source

Ocean Beach – Clean, Green and Ready for Spring!

Over 300 Volunteers Pitch in to Clean Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach will be cleaned and enhanced by over 300 volunteers under the direction of I Love A Clean San Diego and funded by Councilmember Lorie Zapf.

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Covering Ocean Beach and Point Loma in the Time of Trump

March 9, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

At the most recent OB Town Council meeting, a friend who is active in Ocean Beach and an OB Rag supporter, took me aside, and said, “You’re killing me with all the national news.” He was complaining that he felt the OB Rag was straying from its focus on local, OB news and material.

I explained to him that we had to do both, be the source of uber news for the village and the Peninsula and provide news and analysis about what’s going on nationally – especially now in the time of Trump.

Ever since we began trying to be the online newspaper for OB and providing a platform for the community, we’ve experienced a tension between covering really local stuff about OB and Point Loma versus both throwing out our news net for wider issues, more city and county related issues – and being a source for progressive views and analysis on national and international news and goings on.

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