Ocean Beach

Ed Harris Slams Fire Chief Over Dispatch Changes at OB Town Council Forum

April 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Ed Harris, union leader for San Diego lifeguards, slammed the city’s fire chief over water-rescue dispatch changes recently implemented, Wednesday night- April 26 – at the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting.

Billed as a “public forum on policy change to water 911 calls”, both Harris and Brian Fennessy, the new fire chief, had been invited by the council to debate the issue – but Fennessy had declined to attend, and OBTC president Gretchen Newsom read his email response instead.

The core issue is that after over 30 years of practice, Fennessy unilaterally changed the policy on water-rescue dispatches. Where once 911 calls regarding people in need in the water, whether at the beach, the bays or rivers, were immediately dispatched to the lifeguard dispatch center, they now are dispatched through the San Diego Police Department and then to the Fire Department and then to the lifeguards.

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Midway Planners Frustrated with Zapf and City’s Responses to Homeless Issues

April 27, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Midway Community Planning Board devoted its regular Wednesday monthly meeting April 19th to the topic that is most on the minds of its members: the homeless and the problems they are causing in the Midway area.

Council member Lori Zapf was at the meeting as was the Mayor’s so called “homeless czar” Stacie Spector. There were about 40 people in attendance. The meeting was held at the new EF Language School on Kenyon Street.

Zapf arrived at 3:30 and was the first to speak. She began by talking about the unexpected $50 million pension hit the city just experienced that has required a three and one half percent budget cut from city departments. Zapf said certain essential services would not be touched such as the life services, libraries, and rec centers.

However, Zapf said the city needed tourist revenues and that the homeless problem was detrimental to that goal.

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Peninsula Planners: McMillin Company and Liberty Station Improvements

April 26, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

There was another good sized crowd at the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the Point Loma Library. But, as it turned out, many of those attending were presenters. The biggest group was from the McMillin company, there to show the public plans for improvement at the intersection of Nimitz and Rosecrans.

The improvements were only on Rosecrans north and south of the intersection from Jewell Street to Jarvis Street, nothing was planned for Nimitz.

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Wave of the Future? Regulated Store Fronts on Newport Avenue

April 26, 2017 by Source

By South OB Girl

Yesterday I was strolling down Newport Avenue in OB and I thought one of my favorite stores was closed.

Usually the store has rolling racks of clothes for sale outside, but there weren’t any yesterday.

One of the workers informed me that the OB Main Street Association has been addressing what exactly all the businesses are putting on the sidewalks of Newport.

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OB Town Council Logo Design Contest

April 25, 2017 by Source

The OB Town Council is holding a contest for a new logo design for the organization.

And it’s seeking submissions from members of the OB community. The winning design will represent the unique community of Ocean Beach on all OBTC materials.

The winner will receive a $250 Visa gift card. Submissions must be in by June 5th, 2017.

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Projected Land Loss for Ocean Beach With Sea Rise Due to Climate Change

April 25, 2017 by Source

Editor’s Notes: The following post includes excerpts from Robert Burke’s “Pace of Sea Level Rising Quickly – Disaster Looms for Coastal San Diego“, published recently at San Diego UrbDeZine. Our excerpts focus on the effects on Ocean Beach.

Over the last few weeks, a vocal swath of San Diego has been quite polarized about large and small investors perhaps changing the nature of local communities thru the ongoing rental of homes principally in our coastal neighborhoods for profit. News reports have shown ‘for’ and ‘against’ waging this debate on the overall feel and makeup of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and elsewhere. This certainly is a debate worth having.

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Arrest Made in Stabbing Incident in Apartment above ABC Liquor

April 24, 2017 by Staff

UPDATE: The following is provided by Watch Commander Officer Buttle


The victim and his female friend were renovating an upstairs apartment. An unknown suspect drove up,

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Show Down on Lifeguard Distress Calls at the OB Town Council Meeting: Wed. April 26th

April 24, 2017 by Source

Panel Discussion on Recent Policy Change with Ed Harris and Fire Dept Chief

From OBTC:

The Ocean Beach Town Council has invited San Diego Fire Department Chief Brian Fennessy and Ed Harris, leader of the San Diego Lifeguard Union, to the April 26th OB Town Council Meeting to speak on a recent policy change in the way that water distress calls are handled by the City.

Jeff Hatfield, former Lifeguard President, longtime Ocean Beach resident, and Lifeguard dispatcher will also sit on the panel.

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From Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara: 4 Days on a Bike to Heaven

April 24, 2017 by Source

Editor’s Note: OBcean Dave Milligan – who’s no spring puppy – took off on his bicycle April 10th and rode all the way from OB to Santa Barbara with his friend John. The amazing journey took them four days, and it’s recounted in detail here in Dave’ daily log. Dave called it “to heaven and back”.

By Dave Milligan

Day One: Sunday morning, wake up my good friend and riding partner, John, at 5:30. The edge of a new day is barely apparent. It’s quiet in Ocean Beach, it will be another half hour until we can see to ride, and another half hour beyond that until Lindberg Field sounds its general area wake-up alarm. A quick protein bar and banana and we are off down the alley and on the streets, a little after 6:00.

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Why the People’s Climate March Matters Now More Than Ever

April 24, 2017 by Jim Miller

Climate March

By Jim Miller

In the lead up to Earth Day, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, accurately observed that this year there wasn’t much to celebrate.

She’s right. An administration that can’t seem to stop stepping on its own feet in nearly every other area has been pretty darn good at gearing up to kill the planet. As Kolbert writes in the New Yorker:

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News from Ocean Beach: April 2017

April 21, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

After 24 Years Loan Ranger Pawn Shop to Close

The Loan Ranger Pawn Shop, which opened in 1993 at 1909 Cable Street, is closing. Signs up at the storefront indicate that the business is closing and ‘everything must go’. The space is also up for lease. Owned by Robert Johnston, the store was estimated to generate $130K in annual revenues and employed 3 people.

OB Man Convicted of Manslaughter

Lifeguard Disses Ocean Beach at La Jolla Shores Meeting

PETA Claims Heartbreak Killed SeaWorld Polar Bear


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OB Rag Readers Choice Awards: Public Infrastructure

April 20, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Here Are the Winners and Losers – the “Best” and the “Worst”

Two weeks ago, we asked our readers to join in on our OB Rag Readers Choice Nominations for “Best” and “Worst” of Public Infrastructure in Ocean Beach. It was a chance for OBceans to weigh in on their favorite or not-so-favorite element of our public landscape here in the Village of OB.

We asked readers to give opinions on everything from the best neighborhood park to the worst intersection – and they did. Some gave their view of the overall “best” and “worst” of OB, which we include at the end.

So, here they are, the “Best” and “Worst” of OB’s public infrastructure:

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The End of the Era of Mega-Antique Malls in Ocean Beach – Antique Center Building for Sale or Lease

April 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It’s the end of the era of the mega-antique mall in Ocean Beach.

The 18,000 square foot Antique Center building – which takes up a large portion of the north side of the 4800 block along Newport Avenue – is up for sale or lease. The Antique Center business is also for sale.

Umpteen years ago, village merchants and leaders believed that what the then-failing main commercial street in OB needed for an uplift was to become the “antique row” of San Diego. Up to then, there was only one antique storefront in the area, one owned by local Gary Carlson (class of 1966 PLHS).

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Draft Update of Midway District Community Plan Has Been Released

April 19, 2017 by Staff

The draft community plan update for the Midway District has been released by the City of San Diego’s Planning Department.

The planning document – formerly called the April 2017 draft Midway – Pacific Highway Community Plan – is an update to the planning framework established in the previous November 2013 draft.

Here is the press release from Vickie White, Senior Planner: …


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O.B. Thru the Eyes of a Photographer : Thursday, April 20

April 19, 2017 by Staff

Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents

O.B. Thru The Eyes of a Photographer
By Fran Del Santo
Thursday, April 20, 7 pm
at P.L. United Methodist Church,
1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

Fran Del Santo is an Ocean Beach Street Photographer who wears many hats that include: photographer, sign interpreter, motorcyclist, teacher, community supporter, and more. Fran is well known in Ocean Beach for her amazing street photography.

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Second Public Workshop on Design of Saratoga Park: Tuesday, April 18th at OB Rec Center

April 18, 2017 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation is holding its second workshop for the design of Saratoga Park – tonight, Tuesday, April 18th.

The workshop will be held at the OB Recreation Center, starting at 7:30 pm in the Community Meeting Room. The Rec Center is located at 4726 Santa Monica Ave.

Members of the OB CDC and the landscape architects will be present to receive community input on the design concept that the CDC has so far.

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Mignon Scherer Passes, One of Principle Organizers for the 30 Foot Height Limit,

April 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Mignon Scherer of Point Loma passed on March 25th earlier this year at the age of 92.

She and her family had lived in their residence near the high school for 50 years. Born Mignon Harwith on June 27, 1924, in Detroit, MI, she was the youngest of three girls.

During World War II, Mignon was a “Rosie the Riveter” and worked on B-29 “Superfortress” Bombers at the Chrysler Plant in Detroit.

Mignon was best known locally as one of the main organizers in the effort to place the thirty-foot limit on coastal construction in San Diego.

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SeaWorld Ends Summertime Fireworks for Now

April 17, 2017 by Staff

SeaWorld has announced its Mission Bay theme park will not shoot off fireworks this summer. Fireworks will still go off during 3-day holiday weekends and a few other special events. Plus, SeaWorld will not disclose whether nightly fireworks are gone for good, only that they are on “hiatus for the foreseeable future.”

The “official story” is that SeaWorld is preparing for its new “Electric Ocean” a nighttime lighting display. In typical fashion, SeaWorld could not admit that maybe – in its effort to be more environmentally-sensitive – that the summertime tradition is halting due to public pressure. (For more of the official line, see SDU-T)

For years, San Diegans have signed petitions calling on SeaWorld to stop their summer explosions over the Bay.

From our July 2015 post,
Seaworld Pet vs firewords picHit the link and sign the Petition that calls on the San Diego City Council to ban the nightly fireworks at SeaWorld.

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OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee Looks at Companion Unit Permit at 4528 Cape May on Wed., April 19

April 17, 2017 by Staff

On the agenda of the Project Review Committee – a subcommittee of the OB Planning Board – is an application for a permit to construct a 700 square foot companion unit over a carport and to demolish the existing car garage and storage shed.

The site is located at 4526 Cape May Avenue.


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Restaurant Review : ‘Swami’s’ in the Midway District

April 17, 2017 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Midway Towne Center
3924 W. Point Loma Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110

“Widow” get-together time again for Irene, Candy and myself. I have tried to eat at all of the restaurants in Ocean Beach proper, and find that I have reviewed most of them during the six years I have been writing for the OB Rag. There are still two that I want to visit, but found that neither of them are open at lunch time.

I have been to Swami’s in La Mesa and Encinitas. This time I decided it was time to try the one in my “own back yard.”

I have fond memories of Embers, and not so fond memories of its replacement, so went into this restaurant with a little excitement and trepidation. Some people told me it was good; others were not so nice.

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OB Rag Readers Choice Nominations for ‘Best’ and ‘Worst’ Public Infrastructure in Ocean Beach

April 7, 2017 by Staff

Welcome to the OB Rag Readers Choice Nominations for the “Best” and “Worst” Public Infrastructure!

Inspired by the recent Peninsula Beacon Readers Choice Awards for 2016, we decided to run our own nomination / award game – not to emphasis retail services – but to showcase our readers’ views on the public infrastructure that makes up the landscape of Ocean Beach and the 92107 area in general.

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“Revenge Girls of the West” to Benefit Cancer Patients

April 7, 2017 by Source

By Tom Roebuck

“Revenge Girls of the West” returns to the Masonic Lodge this weekend, a dinner-theater production that brings the action from the stage to the audience.

The show was locally written and produced with a cast and crew consisting mostly of OB residents, and is an immersive experience where the story unfolds throughout the room. There will be a Saturday-night show that has already sold out, but tickets for Sunday’s 6:01 PM show are still available at www.shetrick.com.

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The Peninsula Beacon Got It Wrong About Ocean Beach Con-Men Carlson and Higgins

April 6, 2017 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Peninsula Beacon Got It Wrong About Ocean Beach Con-Men Carlson and Higgins

Over the years the OB Rag and the Peninsula Beacon have shared a friendly rivalry over coverage of the Ocean Beach and Point Loma areas. Even though we may make fun, we certainly appreciate their consistent and widespread reporting of these neighborhoods.

So, when we point out something that the Beacon got wrong, they know not to take it personally and take it in stride as part of the journalist’s world.

Such is the case, then, when recently Beacon editor Thomas Melville got it wrong about the early Ocean Beach pioneer developers Billy Carlson and Albert Higgins.

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The Widder Curry Thanks You for Your Replies

April 6, 2017 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The Widder Curry Thanks You for Your Replies

Earlier this week my “editor-dude” published my story asking you what you would have done in a situation that I found myself in a few days earlier. I was curious to see if there was a difference in the “male” way of looking at the situation vs the “female” way of looking at it. I was a little surprised by the outcome.

There were 92 respondents – several on the OB Rag; more on “Next Door” and a few more on Facebook. I also had eight telephone calls regarding the problem. Of the 92, 78 were women and 14 were men. I was very surprised by total answers given to me. Let me share with you:

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Car of Missing Woman Found in Ocean Beach

April 6, 2017 by Staff

The black 2013 Hyundai of a woman missing since late March was found in Ocean Beach on Tuesday, April 4th.

Debra Puente, 50, did not show up for work on Friday, March 31st, as she was expected, nor did she call in. She was last seen on Tuesday, March 28th leaving the area of Mission Gorge and Friars roads, where she had gone with friends after work.

Her car was found abandoned on the 5000 block of Santa Cruz Avenue near Bacon Street, and its windshield had a parking ticket dated Thursday, the 30th.

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Girlfriend of Man Who Jumped Off Pier Speaks

April 4, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The local ABC affiliate 10NewsReporter Bree Steffen spoke with Samara Malczewski, who said she and her boyfriend, Kevin Chilson-Moyers, were visitors from Nevada. They were in OB and wanted to walk out on the Ocean Beach pier. They’d had some drinks during dinner, and once out on the pier, found a bench and were enjoying the scene.

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OBceans – Beware of the Plant Vandal

April 4, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

A reader up on the 4500 block of Orchard sent us these photos of plant vandalism at his and a neighbor’s houses.

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Smiling Sabrina Finds a New Home in South O.B.

April 4, 2017 by Source

By South OB Girl

One of the first things people may notice about Sabrina when she is on a walk around her new neighborhood is her smile. And when you hear her story it is almost a surprise she can still smile.

Sabrina recently was adopted into a new home near Sunset Cliffs. It can be hard for animal rescue organizations to find homes for senior dogs. And even harder to find homes for dogs with special needs. Sabrina is a senior dog with special needs.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board to Meet Wed., April 5th

April 4, 2017 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Planning Board to Meet Wed., April 5th

The OB Planning Board holds their regular monthly meeting this Wednesday, April 5th. They meet in the OB Recreation Center, at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The meetings usually begin sharply at 6pm.

The Board will certify the recent election results, review the applications of people who wish to be appointed to the Board for seats 1, 3 and 5, appoint a new Executive Committee for the year, decide whether to make a recommendation to the City about the Soccer City proposal for Qualcomm Stadium, and have a quick overview of the city’s development process by chair John Ambert.

Come Inside for the official agenda

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More Questions About “Villa Famosa” on Camulos Drive in Point Loma

April 3, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

After a closer look at the site of the planned project called “Villa Famosa” on Camulos Street right off Famosa Slough, this reporter, at least, has more questions about the project.

On March 28th, we reported:

The “Villa Famosa” project is slated for a remodel of one already existing 2-story apartment building at the site on Camulos Drive, the 90 degree “turning” of the other already-existing 2-story, and the construction of a brand new third 2-story building that will hold 6 units.

The plans also call for a underground parking garage that will include 22 spaces for cars, and an additional 2 for motorcycles and 8 for bicycles.

And it also calls for a new driveway into the lot at Temecula Street.
New Photos of Site Raise Questions

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