Ocean Beach

Large Abbott Street Condo Project Again Rejected – Almost – by OB Planners

September 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Large Abbott Street Condo Project Again Rejected – Almost – by OB Planners

Coronado House Approved and Re-Naming Park After Ruth Varney Held Supported

Last night, Wednesday September 2nd, the Ocean Beach Planning Board nearly voted to reject for a second time a large, proposed two story condo project for Abbott and Muir. Instead, their vote was tabled until the Board figures out its own policies under a particular City building green program.

Did you think that was confusing? You should have been at the meeting.

Okay, let’s try it again.

Last mid-June, the Project Review Committee, a sub-committee of the full Board which does an initial review and recommendation of all the projects heading to the OB planners, unanimously rejected a proposed 2-story condo project slated for the large empty lot at the southwest corner at Abbott and Muir.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Cable and Del Monte Townhouses Sell for $1.8 Million

September 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Cable and Del Monte Townhouses Sell for $1.8 Million

Four old-school looking 2 story townhouses in south Ocean Beach just recently sold for $1.8 million.

The large units, built in 1987, are located at 1736 Cable Street, and sit on a 7,000 square foot corner lot with Del Monte Avenue. A lengthy hedge along Cable protects the bottom floor (or at least it was there the last time we looked).

The units include two 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath units and two 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath units.

Read the full article → 0 comments

City Targets Orchard Cave for Emergency Slope Repairs – Still a Month Away

September 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Orchard Cave SDMemo1-edA memorandum – or actually, a Notice – was made available last night at the OB Planning Board meeting that indicates the City of San Diego is ready to move on OB Orchard cave sd InS1the dangerous Orchard Cave, as it is now set to enact “emergency slope repairs” at the site in OB.

Actual repairs, however, are a month away, the Councilwoman Zapf representative estimated at the meeting.

This is the same cave in dangerous condition investigated by the OB Rag earlier this week – where it appears people are living – .

Read the full article → 2 comments

OB Library Offering Half Off on Most Library Fines All September Long

September 3, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Library Offering Half Off on Most Library Fines All September Long

The Ocean Beach Branch Library is participating in the San Diego Public Library’s Fine Discount Month.

Customers who visit the branch can pay half price on library fines all September long. Almost all fines are included. Treasurer’s Accounts, Library “Circuit” fees, and Interlibrary Loan charges are the only fees not included.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Dangerous Cave at Foot of Orchard in Ocean Beach Allowed to Exist

September 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Orchard cave sd Frt1

OB Rag Demands Immediate Emergency Mitigation of Dangerous Conditions at the Cave

By Frank Gormlie

Based on complaints heard at the most recent Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, the OB Rag sent a small investigative team out to the end of Orchard Avenue to check into reports that a cave with dimensions of 30 feet by 30 feet existed in the coastal bluff.

My associate, Shawn Drake, and myself set out on an overcast Tuesday with cameras in hand to investigate just what was there, who – if anyone – was there, just how dangerous the cave or caves were, and if the condos above were in danger themselves.

What we found was both disturbing and partially reassuring.

Yes, there is a cave there – along the bluffs between the concrete stairs at the foot of Orchard and the steep drive-way that goes nearly to the ocean. We can definitely confirm there’s one cave.

Read the full article → 10 comments

OB Planners Have Full Plate for Wed., Sept 2 Meeting

September 1, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Planners Have Full Plate for Wed., Sept 2 Meeting

3 Projects and a Park Re-Name on Agenda

Looks like it’s a full plate for Ocean Beach planners at their upcoming monthly meeting this Wednesday, September 2nd.

They have the re-naming of Saratoga Park to deal with, as well as 3 projects to review;

  • one is a coastal cliff stabilization project at 1759 Ocean Front Street;
  • a garage demolition and construction of a two-story 2100-plus square foot single family residence, with an existing house, at 4821 Coronado Avenue;
  • the construction of two 3,365 duplexs (total of 4 condos) at 2150 Abbott Street.
Read the full article → 0 comments

Loss of Community Is Greatest Threat From Airbnb and Short-Term Vacation Rentals

September 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Loss of Community Is Greatest Threat From Airbnb and Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Short-term vacation rentals are on the minds of a lot of people these days, especially with those who live at the coast in San Diego.

The issue bubbles up at community meetings. An OB resident brought it up at a recent Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting. And it was the subject of a panel discussion organized recently by the Point Loma Democratic Club. Also, back in February of this year, residents of Pacific Beach made their complaints about them heard publicly.

Then it came up at the most recent OB Town Council meeting last week, during the non-agenda comment period, where folks on both sides on the issue contended for audience sympathy. And it’s certainly a hot topic among callers to District 2 Councilwoman Zapf’s office.

Zapf’s office is in the middle of the controversy as she heads up a City Council committee on Smart Growth and Land Use, which last Spring held 2 public hearings on the issue, where both sides squared off. The upshot was that city staff have drafted language for a new San Diego Municipal ordinance updating how the City deals with the issue of short term vacation rentals.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Body Found on Ocean Beach Rocks That of Missing Swimmer

September 1, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Body Found on Ocean Beach Rocks That of Missing Swimmer

Monday evening, a man’s body was found on the rocks at the foot of Orchard Avenue in Ocean Beach.

The body has been identified as missing swimmer Brian Wilson, the medical examiner’s office said, as reported by abc10.

The body was recovered Monday night by search and rescue officials from the rocks. Lt. Andy Lerum of San Diego Lifeguards told the media:

Read the full article → 0 comments

Search for Missing Swimmer off OB Continues

August 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Search for Missing Swimmer off OB Continues

Lifeguards continued their search for a missing swimmer off Ocean Beach early Monday morning.

A 23-year old man named Brian Wilson had entered the ocean at the foot of Santa Cruz Street, and was last seen between 4:30 and 5:20 pm Sunday. He was not that far out and no one reported that they saw him struggling in the water.

Coast Guard aircraft, a cutter and a small boat went out at daybreak Monday in the search for Wilson.

Over a dozen lifeguards were involved in the search on Sunday for over an hour using boats, jet skis and a helicopter until it was suspended because of heavy rips and rough waters and poor visibility along Sunset Cliffs.

Read the full article → 0 comments

News and Notes From OB Town Council Meeting

August 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for News and Notes From OB Town Council Meeting

Caves at Foot of Orchard Bring Complaints of Government In-Action

Here’s more news and notes from the recent monthly public meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council, held Wednesday, August 26th.

One of the best things of the OB Town Council meetings is the “non-agenda public comments” period at the very beginning. This is when folks can get up and either complain or announce or comment on anything – usually OB-related – and have not only the Council members hear what they have to say, but also the reps of the various elected officials who have some jurisdictional claim on OB, as well as members of the first-responders who show up to give reports.

And last Wednesday, it was no different.

During this period, 3 women rose from their seats in the back, and nearly in unison complained of the homeless people burrowing into the cliff at the foot of Orchard Street. This was not the first time the OBTC has heard of complaints about the caves behind concrete slabs that homeless people have dug. But here was the issue again.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Candidates for OB Town Council Introduced – Election Begins Friday, Aug. 28

August 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Candidates for OB Town Council Introduced – Election Begins Friday, Aug. 28

Annual elections to the board of the Ocean Beach Town Council begins on Friday, August 28th and continues to midnight September 7th. Those eligible to vote are the members of the OBTC in good standing (dues are paid). Ballots will be emailed out and the electronic voting will begin.

There are 8 seats to be filled and there are 11 candidates. Last night’s OBTC public meeting included a Candidates’ Forum where the the candidates were introduced.

Read the full article → 4 comments

New Surfer Mural Adorns Wall at Entrance to Ocean Beach

August 26, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for New Surfer Mural Adorns Wall at Entrance to Ocean Beach

Meeting the Artist – Henry Goods – Commissioned by Gas Station Owner

by South OB Girl

Entering Ocean Beach along Sunset Cliffs Blvd., the brightly colored mural on the 76 gas station wall may have caught your eye.

One can’t help but see the new mural shortly after seeing the Ocean Beach entry way sign. On the right — Robb Field and the iconic Ocean Beach entry way sign (newly restored and freshly painted).

On the left — Dusty Rhodes Park and the 76 gas station wall with a mural depicting two surfers (male and female), a giant wave, and some sea gulls. The mural might appear to be part of Dusty Rhodes Park, but actually is on the property of the 76 gas station at the corner of West Point Loma Blvd. and Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The mural is the work of Henry Goods. And upon meeting him, it is clear that his personality comes out in his painting and his painting captures his energetic and vibrant personality.

Read the full article → 14 comments

“I don’t always smoke pot …”

August 25, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for “I don’t always smoke pot …”
Read the full article → 3 comments

Push-Back Grows Against Jumping Off Sunset Cliffs

August 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Push-Back Grows Against Jumping Off Sunset Cliffs

Close to a year ago exactly, we published a “reader rave” about “Why I Jumped Off Sunset Cliffs Yesterday” on why a 65-year old purported local man jumped off a place along the cliffs called Arches (or just “the Arch”) – the popular spot along the cliffs – on a hot, end-of-summer day.

Currently, the article is getting a lot of hits – and it’s all because the entire “sport” has become controversial.

There’s a definite push-back growing against people jumping off that spot, right now. One report cited a hundred people jumping off Arches.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Residents in Pacific Beach Mobilize Against Large Lifeguard Center Planned for Coastal Bluffs

August 25, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Residents in Pacific Beach Mobilize Against Large Lifeguard Center Planned for Coastal Bluffs

Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

One PB community activist wrote us to urge us to sign:

Please sign this people’s petition to halt plans, and reconsider site locations, of the lifeguard station proposed to concrete the Law St beach and canyon for $7 million.

We believe this land to be invaluable to the city of San Diego as a natural and cultural treasure, and that no consideration has gone into other options for a lifeguard facility.

Read the full article → 6 comments

When the Name’s the Game

August 25, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for When the Name’s the Game

By Lois Lane

The following is a report on the most recent meeting of the OB Community Development Corporation (held on Wednesday, August 13).

The OB CDC lacked a quorum to vote on any action items; the discussion was provided as information from the regular agenda on the recurring topics:

  • The OB Entryway,
  • the OB Veterans Plaza,
  • and the Children’s Play Area/Adult Fitness area.
Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Town Council Meeting: Candidate Forum and Update on OB Veterans Plaza – Wed., Aug. 26

August 25, 2015 by Staff

A Candidates’ Forum and an update on the OB Veterans Plaza headline the Ocean Beach Town Council’s August 26 public meeting. The Council meets at 7:00pm at the Masonic Lodge – located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The Forum is for candidates who are seeking election to the OBTC Board of Directors. The Council then holds elections during the remainder of the month for the 8 seats that are open. To be eligible to vote, you must be a member of the OBTC. (It’s too late to apply to be a candidate, as written candidates statements were due by midnight on Monday, August 24th.

Read the full article → 2 comments

San Diego Takes the Lead in Greenpeace Strike

August 24, 2015 by Source

11221482_551484888338136_7897254867420767881_oBy Andrew J. Mackay and Bryan Kim

On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Report of Panel Discussion: Short Term Rentals – What’s the Future?

August 17, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Report of Panel Discussion: Short Term Rentals – What’s the Future?

Editor: The following is a slightly-edited report of a panel discussion on short term rentals held at the July meeting of the Point Loma OB Democratic Club.

By PL OB Dem Club Admin

The moderator, Omar Passons, attorney that the San Diego municipal code does not currently define a short-term vacation rental and that ordinance and formal definitions would soon be introduced by City Council.

There is a ‘border and lodger’ definition (generally stays are more than 30 day stay) and a ‘bed and breakfast’ definition (generally stays are less than 30 day stay, but this is not within the code) within the code. Short-term vacation rentals (STVR) means the renting of any portion of your property for less than 30 days.

Read the full article → 9 comments

Ocean Beach News, Notes and Nuggets

August 17, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach News, Notes and Nuggets

Mainstream Media on Coastal Commission Approval of OB Community Plan

Town Council Offers Reward for Info on OB Entry Way Sign Graffiti

San Diego’s First Centrally Located Licensed Pot Dispensary Opened in Midway District

OBcean Quoted in NY Times About Use of Facial-Recognition Software by San Diego Police

OB Lifeguard Team Wins Annual Competition – Again!

Big Companies, Not Homeowners, Run Biggest Share of Short-Term Rentals

Liquid Blue Fast Becoming an OB Band

Read the full article → 10 comments

San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

August 17, 2015 by Anna Daniels
Thumbnail image for San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

By Anna Daniels

The San Diego Free Press celebrated its third birthday on August 8 with a Galastravaganzaversary party at Border X Brewing. Wow–three years!

It has been an astoundingly active year for this unique all volunteer operated San Diego media presence. Contributors and editors have provided another year of progressive views with a distinctly grassroots perspective on the topics of labor, the environment, immigration, criminal justice, politics and government.

Our approach–multi-media and multi-genre– reflects the talents and interests of our contributors. Video essays, personal narratives, cartoons and poetry are essential …

Read the full article → 2 comments

What Happened at the Foot of Cape May Last Week? Was It Sexual Assault or Just 2 Drunken Friends?

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for What Happened at the Foot of Cape May Last Week? Was It Sexual Assault or Just 2 Drunken Friends?

Last Saturday, we reposted a news account from TV Ch8 about a sexual assault in OB in broad daylight that had occurred on Thursday, August 6th at the foot of Cape May Avenue. Witnesses had called police and ended up very dissatisfied with the attitude and activities of the arriving officers.

The alleged attacker was initially detained by witnesses but only hours later arrested by police and led away in handcuffs. One of the key witnesses was informed later that he was released and not charged. There was a lot of interest in the story among our readers, so we wanted to provide an enlarged picture of what happened. Arriving on Cape May, I found “Con” Harris who lives nearby and who had been the key witness to the incident.

Read the full article → 19 comments

The California Coastal Commission Approves the Ocean Beach Community Plan – Finally!

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The California Coastal Commission Approves the Ocean Beach Community Plan – Finally!

Some Coastal Commission Modifications Accepted by City Staff in Final Compromise

In an unanimous vote, the California Coastal Commission approved the OB Community Plan Update yesterday, August 13, in the City Hall chambers of Chula Vista.

The vote was a ringing endorsement for compromise and civil give-and-take between the respective staffs of the Commission and of the City of San Diego – a civility and willingness to compromise brought on no doubt by the crowd of OBceans present in the Chambers.

San Diego city staff who participated in the presentations and discussion, stated that the vote was a “major victory for Ocean Beach”.

It had been a long process – since last summer when the City Council approved the OB Plan.

Read the full article → 5 comments

One Coastal Commission Problem With Ocean Beach Community Plan Linked to Mandate for Affordable Coastal Visitor Accommodations

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

One of the major issues that the California Coastal Commission has with the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update – on their agenda this Thursday, August 13th – is that language in the Plan in support of low-cost visitor accommodations is not strong enough.

On the face of it, this may seem weird. Why would the Commission reject the OB Update after over a dozen years in the making on an issue that has nothing to do with OB residents?

Coastal Commission staff have recommended that the Commission reject the OB Plan unless there are modifications to the language regarding affordable-housing for visitors at the coast, among other things.

Read the full article → 12 comments

OB Must Descend on the Coastal Commission Thursday

August 12, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Must Descend on the Coastal Commission Thursday

Ol’ OB Hippie Joins Calls for Community Action In Support of OB Community Plan

Any OBcean worth her or his salt has been following the travails of the Community Plan Update for Ocean Beach.

And they know that the California Coastal Commission is holding a hearing on the OB Plan on Thursday, August 13. They also may want to know that there will be a bus to take OBceans over to Chula Vista where the Commission is holding their meetings.

This is a critical hearing on the OB Plan – for the Coastal Commission has a mandate to protect our coast and to provide public access to the coast. Any project within the coastal zone has to have their final approval. …

Yet, OB has got to descend on the Coastal Commission on Thursday.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Ocean Beach Entryway Sign Vandalized – and Then Cleaned Up

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Entry Sign vand 1By South OB Girl

Same week that Ocean Beach locals have been preparing to defend the OB Community Plan at the California Coastal Commission meeting on Thursday — the iconic Ocean Beach entry way sign was seriously vandalized late Sunday night – August 9th or early Monday morning.

OB Town Council President Gretchen Newsom has tackled the issue full throttle. And no doubt, she will fight for the Community Plan just as hard.

Read the full article → 3 comments

The Re-Naming of “Saratoga Park” Hits Snag

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Re-Naming of “Saratoga Park” Hits Snag

There’s a movement afoot to change the name of “Saratoga Park” – that grassy area at the foot of Saratoga Avenue – and to have it named after Ocean Beach’s preeminent historian, Ruth Varney Held.

Held wrote the local classic about OB – “Beach Town” – and also wrote a column for a local regional beach newspaper.

Folks with the OB Community Development Corporation are developing a children’s play area within the grassy area and other elements such as an adult fitness are – and are pushing for the name change.

Saratoga Park has been the name for the grassy area next to the sand and lifeguard parking lot for decades. Today, it sits in front of the new condo complex recently constructed with million dollar units.

Read the full article → 12 comments

Special Meeting Called for OB Planners’ Final Prep for Coastal Commission Hearing

August 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Special Meeting Called for OB Planners’ Final Prep for Coastal Commission Hearing

A special meeting has been called by OB planners to finalize their preparations for the California Coastal Commission hearing on the OB Community Plan Update.

The special OB meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Wednesday, August 12 at the Dog Beach Dog Wash community room, 4943 Voltaire Street. The Commission will hear the OB Plan sometime during Thursday, August 13.

Volunteer leaders from the OB Community Plan Update sub-committee along with the leadership of the current OB Planning Board joined in calling the meeting.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

August 11, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

To Our Members and Friends:

On Thursday, August 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider approval of the Ocean Beach Community Plan at their meeting in Chula Vista.

The larger hearing begins begins at 9am, but the Community Plan is item #22c on the agenda, so the actual time it will be heard is currently unknown.

The Ocean Beach Town Council is sponsoring bus transportation to Chula Vista. If you would be interested in bus transportation, please email your name, phone number, and address to: communityplan@oceanbeachplanning.org.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Shirt Design Commemorating Centennial of Ocean Beach Firefighters Goes Public

August 11, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Shirt Design Commemorating Centennial of Ocean Beach Firefighters Goes Public

The design for the T-shirt commemorating the centennial of the first Ocean Beach fire station is now made public.

Todd Barry talked to OB Rag writer Matthew Wood earlier this month about how the shirt’s logo will commemorate the house’s very first fire truck. He and other OB fire and rescue guys designed it. As Matt wrote:

OB history buffs may recall the original fire station opened in August of 1915 on Newport Avenue. It moved from there to its current location in 1946.

Read the full article → 4 comments