Life Events

School Board Approves New Stadium Lights and Library at Pt Loma High

May 25, 2016 by Staff
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Tuesday night, May 24th, the school board voted to approve bright lights and other improvements to Point Loma High School which include a new library, despite opposition from some local residents.

In an unanimous vote, the San Diego Unified School District Board moved forward on the improvements,which include:

  • 7 new poles with speakers mounted at the top;
  • Four 70 foot light poles around the field;
  • four 20-foot light poles in the grandstands;
  • a new classroom building
  • a new library
  • upgrades to existing campus structures.
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On Dark Patches and Redemption

May 23, 2016 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

Despite all our best efforts, things don’t always go the way we would hope. Sometimes we are stunned by the unexpected bad turn and left groping for answers.

Last week in my column about what motivated me to go on the March for California’s Future, I explained how the stories of my students inspired me:

As a community college professor at City College, I am particularly attuned to the painful realities of economic and racial inequality because I see the costs of poverty on a daily basis …

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Weekend of Progressive Politics for San Diego

May 20, 2016 by Staff

Here’s a San Diego weekend full of progressive politics – from the March Against Monsanto to all the rallies for Bernie, Hillary, Planned Parenthood and more …(Huge thanks to Doug Porter for his Progressive Weekly Calendar – which much of this was snagged from.)

March Against Monsanto Rally, March, & Festival

Monsanto-protestSaturday, May 21, 10am
Rally & March: Balboa Park Fountain (near Natural History Museum)

Followed by Festival on the lawn between La Cultural de la Raza & World Beat Center. More info: MAMSD.org

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Fundraiser for Mel Roark’s Grandson on May 22nd – Ed Harris to Attend –

May 20, 2016 by Staff
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Grandson Braden Victim of Rattlesnake Attack – Family Needs Help

Well-known OB community activist Mel Roark is holding a fundraiser for her grandson, Braden, who was bitten by a rattlesnake on April 12th. The family is facing enormous hospital bills as Braden had to take more than 35 vials of anti-venom and each one cost $2,000.

Ed Harris, the mayoral candidate, will also be on hand to show support to Mel and Braden.

This all takes place on Sunday, May 22nd, from 3 to 6 pm at The Inn at Sunset Cliffs, 1370 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Food, beverages, drawings and entertainment by very local John Tafolla.

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Ocean Beach Airbnb Listings Rose 64% Since Last Year

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

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

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

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Annual “OB EXPOSED!” on May 20th – May 19th Is the Deadline to Submit Photos

May 19, 2016 by Staff

OB Exposed 2016 grafic

Don’t be left out – ya gotta attend the annual “OB EXPOSED”- an event sponsored by the Ocean Beach Historical Society – and it’s this Friday night, May 20th.

Entitled Photographic Impressions of Ocean Beach and Point Loma, the highly-attended shindig is in the Masonic Center at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard in OB. There’s always great refreshments provided, as well as an opportunity to view old photos of OB.

And by the way, today – Thursday, May 19th – is the deadline to submit photos – and they can be submitted at the OB Business Center at 4876 Santa Monica Avenue no later than 5pm.

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

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

Right now, a majority of Californians favor legalization.

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

So, what does it do?

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Having Fun Watching my Grandson Having Fun

May 18, 2016 by Ernie McCray

Ernie McCray old hippieBy Ernie McCray

The other day, for some reason, a wonderful memory rose in my mind of times when my grandson, Marlon, was dancing on the stage at SCPA (School of Creative and Performing Arts) to the hooting and hollering sounds of girls who were swooning from the very sight of him.

As I remembered those days I couldn’t help but think about how I had never experienced anything like that. Ever. I mean I’ve wondered a few times how somebody in my bloodline came out looking as fine as he does.

Since those days, he’s evolved into ML Wilson, performer, rapper, actor, a hip-hop-beat-maker. Living in San Francisco, pursuing his showbiz dreams.

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Direct Action Journal: Overcoming Fear

May 17, 2016 by Source

Hand painted sign calling attention to threat of rising sea level to South Tarawa and plea to "Save these islands!"

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Another episode with anxiety knocks me to my bedroom floor. Rational thought forsakes me. My body shakes with the strangled sobs of a man ashamed of his tears. Alicia bends over me. Her dark brown eyes – normally calm with the consistent rationality characterizing her personality – are wide with concern and weariness. We’re only several nights removed from the last episode. She must think, “Oh god, not again.”

Alicia seeks to hold me. I find a deep comfort in her touch – and a deep revulsion. It’s not her. The contradiction is born from the lies fear instills in me.

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Is Affordable Housing In the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 4

May 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

Section 8 Rental Assistance is a Cruel Jokesection 8

By Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

Approximately 46,000 households in San Diego are on a waiting list to obtain a federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The average wait time to obtain a housing voucher is 8 to 10 years.

Nobody’s housing needs remain constant over a period of time that long. Many people on the waiting list will have died before they are called for their Section 8 rental assistance voucher. Cruel irony.

In theory, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will pay the balance of a rent payment that exceeds 30% of a renter’s monthly income.

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Is It Socially Acceptable to Breast-Feed in Public Yet?

May 12, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

San Diego photographer Vanessa Simmons started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography. This past weekend in Washington, D.C., she photographed a troop of active-duty military officers standing on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, feeding their children in uniform.

This past weekend a group of some 100 young mothers also gathered in Hong Kong to breast-feed in public. And last month, eco-conscious fashion brand Reformation featured a nursing model.

Then there’s the “brelfie,” or breast-feeding selfie, on the rise in social media especially among celebrities.

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From 1969 Original SD Free Press Article on San Diego’s Critical Housing Shortage – ‘So What Is New?’

May 11, 2016 by John Lawrence

housing fistJL: This article was originally published in the 1969 print edition of the San Diego Free Press. It follows on to our 4 part series on affordable housing in San Diego. So what else is new? Nothing except the price of real estate. [Items in parentheses are my updated comments.]

Rent Going Up? Planning to Move? Welcome to the Street

By John Lawrence

The housing situation in San Diego, especially for people with low incomes, bears all the earmarks of a terminal illness. The condition is grave and seems destined to get worse. The City will tell you that 1968 was a year in which San Diego experienced a record boom in housing construction, but their figures are completely misleading.

It is true that there were 12,525 units of housing begun in 1968, as compared with 6,100 units in 1967, and that while city building doubled, rural building was up 47% in 1968 over the previous year.

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Final Results – 1st Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic

May 9, 2016 by Source
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Here are the final results of AWOL & Hodad’s 1st Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic

Final Results

Grom Boys Final:
1st: Evan Gallen
2nd:Ben Murphy
3rd: Ethan Haughey
4th: Shane Neiner

Grom Girls Final:
1st: Summer nelson
2nd: Aurora Jackels
3rd: Hanna Dunfee

Jr Boys Final:
1st: Steve Musutts
2nd: Jack Gallen
3rd: Lucas Minori
4th: Riley Morgan
5th: Cole Brucher
6th: Thor Willin

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May News From Ocean Beach 92107

May 6, 2016 by Staff
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* Healthy Chinese Flame Tree Cut Down by City on Voltaire

* Newport Avenue to Be Repaved in June
* Roundabout Being Considered by City at West Pt Loma and Bacon
* Many Former Hippies Turn Out for Frank Gormlie’s Talk on “Hippies in OB”
* OB Tenants United Meeting
* Now OB Residents Can Order Their Booze Thru Delivery Service
* Update on Police Cameras – Signage Finalized, Still Month Away From Placement
* Oldest in the Country: the OB Kite Festival – May 14th
* OB Fire House to Have Major Rehab
* OB Library Expansion Could Be Caught in Catch-22 as City Insists on New Design Assessment
* City Budget Includes Gains for OB
Lifeguard Rescues for March

OB Planning Board Presented with Final Version of Plan, New City Planner

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Excellent Artificial Waves in the Middle of California Farmland?

May 6, 2016 by Source

waves artificial kelly slater

“This Changes Fundamental Things … About Surfing”

Kelly Slater is an 11-time world champion surfer, but he’s done something else no one else has – and that is to make great artificial waves in the middle of farmland. He posted a video of him riding waves from the machine and within a week, it had 9 million hits. Up to then, he’d been keeping his project a secret.

The LA Times sent a reporter out to find him and filed a report:

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San Diego’s Crisis of Compassion: Scorn and Indifference Do Not Solve Homelessness

May 6, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless familyIt doesn’t take the recently released Point in Time Count report to know that the number of unsheltered people in downtown San Diego is exploding.

Seeing every vacant lot encircled with blue tent and tarp encampments propped against chain-link fencing has ceased to evoke alarm. It’s now the norm.

The fact that we have become so accustomed to seeing human beings huddled in these makeshift shelters is a pathetic indictment of our city’s dismal failure to solve our housing problem.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 3

May 5, 2016 by John Lawrence

The City Needs to Build and Own More Affordable Units

SD Housing CommissionBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

According to a recent Zillow report: “Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego are unaffordable for both renters and buyers. … Looking forward, the picture doesn’t look bright for renters.

Rents will likely keep rising at roughly their current pace for at least the next few years, which will lead to a continued affordability crunch unless wage growth significantly improves.”

Enter the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) whose job is to redress the balance of unaffordable rents to make it possible for San Diego to be inhabited by other than rich folks.

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
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Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early May 2016

May 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* Explosion in Apartment in 4900 Block of Del Monte

* Midway Medical Cannabis Shop to Expand

* Helm’s Brewing to Open on Newport in Mid-May

* Surfrider San Diego’s 16th Annual Art Gala

* 9-1-1 Dispatchers and Cops Taken to Task for Missing Urgent Calls from OB

* Are Sand Crabs in Decline?

* Fund Raiser for Point Loma Shooting Victim

* Cop Involved in Fatal Midway Shooting Accidentally Discharges Weapon

* Pick-up Truck Flips on Canon Street

* Luxury Cinema to Open in Liberty Station

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OB Surfer Survived Shark Bite Off Bali – But Needs Help – GofundMe Set Up

April 29, 2016 by Staff
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Ryan Boarman Has Reached Singapore – More Surgery Possible

According to a San Diego U-T article:

An ardent Ocean Beach surfer was bitten by a shark off the coast of Bali, Indonesia Monday morning, April 25 and managed to ride a wave into shore before passing out. 26-year-old Ryan Boarman was sitting on his board waiting for a wave when a shark estimated to be about 6 feet long swam up behind him and chomped onto his elbow. Boarman was either able to shake loose, or the shark let go, but he was losing blood fast.

Boarman was in excruciating pain, but ended up surfing a wave into shore. He was quoted as saying, ‘It was a good ride,’ and then passed out.”
See Update Inside

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Hippie Life in Ocean Beach

April 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor Frank Gormlie will speak about “Hippies in OB” this Saturday, April 30th at the OB Library, from 2 to 3 pm.

OB as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego

By Frank Gormlie

In my many writings about Ocean Beach history – some of which I share below – I’ve always noted that in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 1

April 20, 2016 by John Lawrence

Has the City squirreled away millions of dollars in off-budget funds which could be used for affordable housing and housing for the homeless?

afordable housing coverBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

In the City of Palo Alto, if you make less than $250,000 a year, you’re eligible for a housing subsidy. The city council has voted to study a housing proposal that would essentially subsidize new housing for what qualifies as middle-class nowadays, families making from $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

Here in San Diego, the situation is not much better as teachers, police and government workers cannot afford to live in the city they work in. So if middle class, college educated professionals can’t afford to live here, how can anyone else lower on the economic ladder afford to live here either? In particular, those on the bottom most rung, the homeless, can’t even afford a foot in the door.

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Beaches

April 19, 2016 by Staff
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* OB Pier Surf Classic on April 30th

* Meanwhile, Still Time for Art at Pier’s 50th Birthday Celebration

* Frank Gormlie to Speak on “Hippies in OB” – Sat., April 30th – at OB Library

* O.B. Reggae Band Remembers Patrolling Iran with New Single, “Black Line”

* Jessops Project Battles Point Loma Grassroots Group

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE ….

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Meeting to Form Possible Cooperative at OB Playhouse – Sat. April 16

April 16, 2016 by Staff

This is directed at the Creative OB and San Diego Arts Community:

According to Stu Schreiber, the sublease on the beautiful Ocean Beach Playhouse ends May 31st. Due to many personal challenges, he and his were really never able to get it off the ground as they had intended, and are now actively looking for serious contenders to purchase (the equipment and furnishings), the theatre, and start a new lease for the space with the landlords on June 1st.

If they do not find those people this month, they will need to begin the unfortunate process of dismantling on May 1st, Stu told the OB Rag.

Today- Saturday, April 16th, there will be a meeting held at the OB Playhouse from 4-6 pm …

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RIP Joe Marillo, San Diego’s Godfather of Jazz

April 6, 2016 by John Lawrence

joe marillo 1By John Lawrence

Joe Marillo passed away Saturday, March 26. Born in Niagara Falls, NY, 83 years ago, he moved to San Diego in 1974 from Las Vegas where he had played in show bands for 10 years. He started out playing saxophone in Atlantic City, NJ while swinging from a trapeze.

He was dedicated to bringing straight-ahead, mainstream jazz to San Diego for almost 50 years both with his virtuoso playing and his skills as a presenter and impresario. He received the San Diego Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

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April Fool’s News from Ocean Bleach and Pot Loma

April 1, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

big surf day 11-3-10 jg 03-sm

* Parrot Shooter Apprehended After Pellet Gun Misfires
* Homeless Hold “People’s Court” and Dish-out Sentences to Thief and Ear Slashers
* FAA Re-Routes Airplane Take-off Routes Over La Jolla and Coronado
* City Crews Decide Torrey Pines Are Not in Danger of Falling – Plan to Plant New Torries

* Decline in Deaths and Injuries at Sunset Cliffs
* Two Breweries on Newport Close – Bookstore and Dispensary to Open
* Homeless Contract With OB Merchants to Clean Sidewalks and Streets

* Travel Blog Downgrades Ocean Beach
* Huge Turn-out at OB Planning Board Election – Inspirational Slate Elected
* Tourists Unite and Clean Beaches and Parks

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE…

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Wee Lives Matter

March 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

(Written for the closing of the Social Justice Conference at City College)

Group of four small children sitting in a group on the floor

“Black Lives Matter”
is heard
from a chorus of voices
in a protest in the street.
“All Lives Matter”
someone screams
from a car rolling by
on the street,
in denial
that Black Lives Matter
wouldn’t have come to be
if All Lives Matter
had ever been a reality
in this country
at any time
or any place.

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“I Had Tears in My Eyes at Last Night’s Bernie Rally”

March 23, 2016 by Source

Event Was Historic Occasion Where So Many Progressives Come Together

The Old OB Hippie Speaks

Old Hippie ob timeThere were tears in my wrinkled eyes last night at the Bernie Sanders rally at the Convention Center in downtown San Diego. I couldn’t help it.

There were so many young people – it was so amazing. It was historic. And the crowd was so diverse – it was even more amazing. And even more historic. I was simply overwhelmed by it all.

There was no beer being served, as this was not a beerfest.

There was no live music, as this was not a concert.

This was politics in San Diego – thousands of people – reportedly more than 13,000 – had gathered and stood in long lines – a mile long it was said repeatedly – for hours.

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San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

March 18, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access / March 17, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met yesterday [March 16] and the patient community barely escaped a ban on medical cannabis.

The ban would have affected unincorporated areas of the county, such as Julian, Ramona and many other rural parcels where it would otherwise be safe and advantageous to cultivate cannabis.

The advantage would be a regulated and local supply of product to the growing number of licensed medical cannabis co-ops in the city of San Diego. The city is the only municipality in the county with a retail distribution ordinance on its books. But, the city’s law does not address the cultivation of cannabis at all. Many cannabis patients saw the need for cultivating a local supply of medicine and began to eye the dysfunctional county ordinance.

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