Life Events

The Ocean Beach Empire of Michael Mills

September 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Slumlord Owns 241 Housing Units in OB

Many OBceans struggle long and hard to earn the financial resources to purchase their one house, condo or apartment. Many never obtain enough to make the plunge into buying property in Ocean Beach. It is so expensive to buy a home here at the coast, that it’s prohibitive for most.

Not Michael Mills, the notorious slumlord of Ocean Beach.

Mills has a virtual empire in OB. He and his trusts own 241 homes, condos and apartments in the Ocean Beach area.

Imagine that. Two-hundred and forty-one units. And many of these units are within multi-unit apartments. Look at that map. See the list.

Back last June, we began the effort to document Mills’ properties in the community. On June 4th, a tenants’ rights rally was held in OB at the end of Newport. During the event, Mills’ name kept coming up. Here’s how we reported then:

On Saturday, June 4th, activists from a renters’ advocate organization called San Diego Tenants United held a rally at the foot of Newport Avenue, where among other issues in the speeches and testimonials given by organizers, supporters and OB tenants, the name of a notorious OB slumlord was mentioned several times: Michael Mills.

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Lamenting a World Without Scully

September 27, 2016 by Source
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Part I – The End of an ERA

By Scott Stephens

In this unstable and unpredictable world, Los Angelino’s have always had one consistency since 1958. Vincent Edward Scully has called Dodger games every season since the team came to Los Angeles. His 67 seasons with the Dodgers (1950–present) is the longest tenure for any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history. He is little more than a year away from his 90th birthday!

Scully never had an RBI; never scored a run and never hit a home run for the Dodgers. Despite not being on the playing field, he was the most recognizable sports personality in the history of Los Angeles. He was bigger than the Dodgers; bigger than baseball. Through the years players came and went but there was always Vinny. It is difficult to comprehend what he meant to this city.

Personally, I dreaded this day. And I suspect my story is not unlike that of many Dodger fans. For those of you who are not fans of baseball or the Dodgers, it may be difficult to understand the emotions felt by those of us who have followed this team over the many years since they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. And the longer someone has followed the team, the more trying this goodbye will be.

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Mary Louise Parker, OB Peoples, Mixed Nut House, and Me

September 21, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg

This past summer, while perusing library shelves 3000 miles from OB, I came upon actress Mary Louise Parker’s 2015 reminiscence, Dear Mr. You, wherein she recounts relationships with some of the men in her life.

As I glanced down the table of contents, one name jumped out and set off a set off a tsunami of flashbacks.

The year was 1984, the place Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-op, aka OB Peoples or just Peoples.

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Keeping San Diego Seafood Local

September 21, 2016 by Source

Seafood

Sustainable Seafood / Slow Food Urban San Diego

On August 24th, stakeholders of San Diego fisheries began meeting with Protea Waterfront Redevelopment about their plans to redevelop the Downtown waterfront. This meeting was important. That the fishing community is meeting at all with the likely developer may affect whether our local and sustainable seafood industry will persist, diminish or flourish in the redevelopment.

The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats.

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A Water Goddess Who Appears and Disappears Suddenly

September 20, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Photo by Ernie McCray goddessOh, I remember days, just a few years ago, when memories of Nancy (my very dearly departed soulmate) would weaken me in the knees and draw heavy tears from my eyes … but thank goodness such dreary days eventually wither and die.

Now, when she comes to my mind’s eye, it’s a welcomed occasion, and she’ll usually surface at a real nice time.

Like everytime one of our grandchildren is born I can’t help but see her as a Grandma: getting little Lyric Allen or Marley Mandela or Indigo Maya (or all of them at the same time) in a headlock on the living room floor, they giggling uncontrollably; guiding them into swimmers on our Pacific shores; holding them to her breast with every ounce of the deep well of love that dwelled in her; making them pose for more photographs than should be legal; singing them silly made-up-on-the-spot ditties and songs…

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The Making of an Accidental Feminist

September 16, 2016 by Source

Business Administration student Beverley Warnagieris completing field work, 1962.

By Anne Haule / Women’s Museum of California

The year was 1970, I was to graduate with a BA, the Kent State killings had just occurred and campuses all across the nation, including mine, were shut down. Never having to take our last set of final exams, my class was graduated – some of us walking down the aisle to receive our diplomas wearing black arm bands to signify opposition to the war in Vietnam. Having financed my education, my parents congratulated me and quickly let me know that I was now on my own as far as money was concerned.

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Washing Our Hands of Toxins

September 14, 2016 by Source

The bacteria on your skin is safer than these two chemicals the FDA just banned from your soap.

soap washing

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Some people love to hate government regulations. Many believe they’re just bureaucratic barriers that waste our time. But the Food and Drug Administration just passed a new regulation that’ll actually protect us, and may save you a few bucks and an unnecessary purchase at the store.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who buys antibacterial soaps, you’ve been, at a minimum, duped. But more importantly, you’ve been exposed to harmful chemicals. Antibacterial soaps sound good.

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On the Road to Becoming A Believer (Not)

September 12, 2016 by Judi Curry
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By Judi Curry

Let’s begin this article by acknowledging that I am not a believer. I am agnostic at best; still looking for answers that I haven’t yet found. With that in mind, three things have happened over the past few years that I can’t explain, and the latest still gives me goose bumps in thinking about it. Let’s start at the beginning.

Seven years ago my husband Bob died. I joined a widow support group and one of the things we decided to do was to see if a “Medium” could bring our husbands messages back to us. There were nine of us going to Harmony Grove to find out.

As we were all coming from different parts of San Diego, we met at a central location, and I drove with Rosey to meet the others. On the way there, she mentioned that she was always puzzled why she had such a bad relationship with her mother.

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On San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, the Peninsula Beacon Missed the Point

September 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Local Newspaper Sends Out Mixed Message About Homeless

About 3 weeks ago, August 17th was the “San Diego Homeless Awareness Day” – a day set up by various media sources around San Diego to bring a new awareness of those less fortunate and who live on the streets and in the shelters.

And about 20 of San Diego’s media sources carried or ran or printed or published 40 or so articles and posts about the homeless and homelessness today.

The OB Rag – along with our sister publication, the San Diego Free Press – joined this effort to highlight the plight of our area’s citizens who have no home, other than the streets, and we both posted a series of articles from the writers of the SDFP and OB Rag. (For other articles from the publications on the homeless, visit the SD Homeless Aware website.)

Many of the articles and posts painted and reflected compassionate understandings of the homeless and their plight, with efforts to examine the underlying reasons for so many homeless in one of the richest nations on earth. This day of awareness followed – by a little over a month – a serial murderer who preyed on sleeping homeless men in San Diego.

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The Widder Curry Discovers a Solution to Robo Calls and Asks “Why Didn’t I Know About This?”

September 7, 2016 by Judi Curry
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Why Didn’t I Know About This?

For the past three weeks, beginning at about 9:00pm, I have received the following calls:

“Hello. My name is Lisa. You have been awarded a full paid, all-expense trip to the Bahamas by just answering a few questions. Are you ready to begin?”

That is call number one.

Call number two comes in an hour later – or so – and it is a foreign voice telling me that he is calling from Windows 7.

“There seems to be a problem with your computer; go turn it on.”

I say that “I don’t have a windows computer” and the voice answers back, “go turn on the windows computer that you don’t have. . . .”

Then my cell phone begins to ring. The first call is from Lisa; the second call is from the Windows 7 Computer guy.

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Sunrise … Sunset

September 2, 2016 by Source

By Anne Haule / Musings of a Boomer Feminist

Anne Haule Photo Kath Rogers

“Let me help you tighten your helmet. Is the seat okay? Do you know how to shift the gears? Let’s stay on the sidewalk until you get the hang of your new bike. . . . .”

Sound familiar? These could have been my words 25 years ago but they are not my words . . . they are my daughter’s as we get ready to take our first bike ride together on my new bike.

Helmets secured, we take off . . . my daughter in the lead so she can pick a safe route with little traffic. When we start up a hill, she turns around to keep an eye on me. When I topple over, having unsuccessfully tried to turn while going too slowly up the hill, she is right there to help.

As I lie in the street with my bike on top of me (and my ego bruised more than my knees), people seemed to materialize out of nowhere asking if I was okay. My daughter lifted my bike off me and soothingly said, “poor momma, let me help you up.” Had a crowd not gathered, she would likely have offered to kiss my boo-boo.

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The Red Cross Showed Up When OBceans Had to Evacuate

September 1, 2016 by Source
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Red Cross Services for OB During the Gas Leak Evacuation

By South OB Girl

When Ocean Beach residents had to be evacuated because of a gas leak last week, they were met by the arrival of the Red Cross disaster action team. The team arrived on the scene around 10 p.m. on Monday, August 22 to provide canteen services to first responders and evacuees. Authorities asked the Red Cross to set up a Temporary Evacuation Point at Ocean Beach Recreation Center on Santa Monica Avenue.

Maureen Kilkenny, Regional Communications Director of the American Red Cross of San Diego/ Imperial Counties, provided the following information detailing the services provided by the Red Cross during the evacuation.

At 2 a.m. when it was determined it wasn’t safe for residents to return to their homes the Red Cross turned the Temporary Evacuation Point into a shelter.

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Why Are Some People Always Happy and Others Not So Much?

September 1, 2016 by John Lawrence

Drugs: the Human Dilemma, Part 2

By John Lawrence
happy_people_jumpingIs there a balanced way to live so that chemicals released by the brain, which produce feelings of well being and happiness, can happen without addiction to drugs or exercise?

For some these endorphins seem to naturally produce ‘enough good feeling’ without their having to do anything more. For some the ‘happiness gene’ seems to be turned on at all times regardless of what happens in the events of their lives.

For others there is a deficiency that leads to a tendency for them to become alcoholics or drug addicts. A person’s natural energy level seems to have something to do with it. High energy people need to release that energy in non-sedentary pursuits or mitigate the effects of it like so-called ADHD with drugs.

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Lionel’s Legacy: Rescuing and Educating

September 1, 2016 by Source

By Mimi Pollack / San Diego Free Press

1In May, as I was walking around checking out all the booths at the San Diego Humane Society Walk event, I saw two sweet and funny little faces that drew me in. They were two senior Chihuahuas named Fred and Ethel, like the couple who lived next door to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. What perfect names for those silly little faces!

Fred and Ethel are two lucky pooches that were taken in by Lionel’s Legacy, a non-profit organization, out of El Cajon, CA, that specializes in rescuing senior dogs.

Lionel’s Legacy was founded in 2011 by elementary school teacher, Laura Oliver, and her family. Lionel was a 15 year old pit bull that inspired them to start an organization that specializes in fostering and finding good homes for senior pets.

When Lionel first came to Laura’s family, he was in terrible shape and everyone thought he had little time left to live. He was painfully thin and very scared. Slowly, he began to trust his new family, and more importantly eat like a lion. He also blossomed into a loving family pet and got along with everyone, including the family cat.

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Black Breastfeeding Week 2016

August 29, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

San Diego based photographer Vanessa Simmons has attracted quite a bit of attention nation wide with her “Normalize Breastfeeding Tour.” She has previously been featured in Vogue, The Huffington Post, and here at The OB Rag/San Diego Free Press.

Vanessa started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography.

And August is National Breastfeeding Month (which many of us may not have known). And August 25 – 31st is Black Breastfeeding Week.

Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW) was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women.

BBW is intended to focus on the racial disparity and draw attention to the issue. Here are the top 5 reasons behind BBW :

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Drugs – the Human Epidemic – Part 1

August 25, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

Drugs SexMoney ArtworkAmericans are using drugs of various kinds at an increasing rate. Of course drugs have been around for a long time, since the beginning of time in fact.

In 5000 BC the Sumerians used opium.

The earliest record of alcohol production was in Egypt in 3500 BC. Tea in China was used in 3000 BC.

Humans have used various substances to manipulate and alter their mood levels for millennia.

In the category of drugs I include any mood altering substance such caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs such as opiods and other pain killers, amphetamines etc.

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SeaWorld is Guilty of Disturbing the Peace

August 23, 2016 by Judi Curry
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For years the residents of the Point Loma and Ocean Beach areas have been complaining of the noise and air pollution spewed forth nightly by SeaWorld. Some people that own dogs have complained that the dogs are scared nightly by the horrendous percussion sounds while trying to hide from the shaking windows and doors. Some people that have children and babies complain that it wakes them up, usually crying, and has affected their everyday life.

Sunday night, August 15th, was one of the worst incidents of noise that I have heard in a long time. The noise reverberated for over two minutes; and as soon as one could relax another wave hit. And it wasn’t just here on the Point. Looking over the comments made on Facebook, Laura stated that she heard it in La Mesa. She said it wasn’t real loud; more like thunder but it was from Sea World.

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Save the Date! Sat., Sept. 10th – Celebrate 100th Anniversary of OB Library

August 19, 2016 by Source

OB Library Cent Notice

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More Details Emerge in Shooting on Ebers Street

August 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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More details have emerged about the shooting that involved roommates on Ebers Street Monday, August 8th.

The man arrested for the shooting, Lance Touchstone, 40, a resident of Petaluma in northern California pleaded not guilty Tuesday, August 16, to the charges leveled against him: attempted murder and discharging a firearm.

Touchstone’s charges stem from the shooting of the boyfriend (or ex-boyfriend) of his sister Becky, one Jeff Renteria, 30 at their home on the 2100 block of Ebers Street.

Renteria was shot 3 three times and was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries – to his right side with at least one to his abdomen.

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Why Does Homelessness Persist in America’s Finest City?

August 17, 2016 by John Lawrence

Housing is Not a Human Right in the US

by Sandro Montefusco from il lavoro culturale, republished under a Creative Commons License

By John Lawrence

Why does homelessness persist in the world’s richest nation? The simple answer is that having a roof over one’s head is not a human right in this society.

Fortunate people, those with a home and a car and other assets will not vote to give others what they possess even on the most basic level. Article 25 of the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being ….

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‘Honey, Don’t Worry about Me. We’ll Find a Place Soon.’

August 17, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Halina is dead.

The effervescent petite blonde with the ebullient smear of sky blue eyeshadow above her sky blue eyes died in a residential hotel earlier this year.

I met Halina over a decade ago while I was working at the information desk of the old Central Library downtown on E Street. She was in the library searching for information on how to replace a lost ID. On a return trip she was looking for the address of her daughter Jessica.

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We Can Do It Now! Tiny Home Demonstration part of San Diego Homeless Awareness Activities

August 17, 2016 by Source

Group of volunteers assembling a demonstration "tiny house"

Model Tiny Home Assembly and Viewing
Wednesday August 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM
North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave.

By Amikas

On August 17, in coordination with San Diego Homeless Awareness Day, a model “Tiny Home” will be assembled on site at the North Park Community Park, on Oregon St. between Polk Ave and Howard Ave. and will be available for photographs and viewing throughout the afternoon.

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News from Ocean Beach and the Peninsula – Mid-August 2016

August 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Decco Bike bank 3 ed

* Decco Bikes Signs Not Part of Their Contract With City
* OB Beans to Open on Newport
* OB Library Needs Computer Desk
* Little Fire Damage at Ebers and Greene
* Digging Begins on Upper Voltaire Project
* “Progress” at Apple Tree Market
* Sgt Yu and the OB Yoga Festival
* Former Barnard Elementary Now 180 “Ultra-Luxury” Units Sells for $90 Million

COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES, Y’ALL …

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Ocean Beach Town Council Board Elections Coming Up – Here’s How to Be a Candidate

August 12, 2016 by Source
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From the OBTC Board (edited for clarity)

The 2016 Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors election is coming up! This is a great opportunity to play an active role in this community – and if you are already active, to take your activism to a new level.

By being a Board Director, you can be an elected voice in communicating the views and needs of Ocean Beach to government agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take action on local issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of OB.

Half of the Board’s 15 seats on the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors stand for election every year.

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A Little Bit of “Fluff” – the Four Paw Spa Mobile Pet Salon

August 12, 2016 by Judi Curry
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Four Paw Spa
Mobile Pet Salon
858-699-3400

Getting away from restaurant reviews for a few days, allowing the wounds to heal, I thought it might be better for me to talk about another topic – and what do I like to talk about almost as much as restaurant reviews, grandchildren, fishing, cooking, jamming, etc. – but my 4 year old Golden Retriever, “Shadow.”

Shadow is a rescue dog from the Baja Sanctuary in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. The feeling was that he fell off of an American’s boat and swam to shore. When found he had bee stings – so severe that he had to have surgery to remove one of them.

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Who Would Have Ransacked the Widder Curry’s Peach Tree?

August 11, 2016 by Source

Peach Tree Thieves Took Over 100 Ripe Peaches and Have Struck at least Once More

By South OB Girl

This isn’t brand new news — it happened back on May 30th. But it only recently came up at a staff lunch (for those who didn’t know it, sometimes we do have writer/contributor meetings or lunches!).

It came up that Judi Curry – the Widder Curry – had a peach tree completely ransacked of over 100, nearly 150, ripe, luscious peaches. All at one time.

This means someone, or a group of people, first scouted out her fruit laden tree. The tree is not visible from the street or sidewalk. The individual (or individuals) then plotted a time to trespass and sneak into her fenced yard (over the approximately six foot fence and gate).

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Saving the Saratoga Torrey Pine – a Waiting Game

August 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Torrey protest shift 3 ed1

Organizers Have Created Tree Watch Shifts – Zapf and Mayor Are No-Shows

Directly across the street from “Esparenza” – the name protesters have given the Torrey Pine target for chopping – is a small group of local residents sitting in chairs, eating, talking, reading.

They’re the current shift on Saratoga Street doing a “watch” for any signs of Atlas Tree Service crews or equipment. If they are sighted, then the call goes out to dozens of residents and supporters to gather at the Torrey Pine.

They were there today, Wednesday, by 7 a.m. – some having breakfast and coffee. They told this reporter that an Atlas “scout” truck drove by to check them out and just drove on.

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Shooting Between Roommates on Ebers Street in Ocean Beach Puts Man in Hospital

August 9, 2016 by Staff

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A shooting that involved roommates occurred on Ebers Street Monday, August 8th, around 5 p.m.

Jeffrey Renteria, 30, was sent to a local hospital after being shot three times by his girlfriend’s brother. He is expected to recover.

The shooting suspect is in police custody, claiming self-defense.

According to law enforcement, Renteria and the unidentified brother of his girlfriend, Becky Touchtone, had been arguing for most of the day inside the house they all share on Ebers near Muir Street in north OB.

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Cody Miller Wins Bronze in 100-Meter Breaststroke

August 8, 2016 by Source

Cody Miller w bronze

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Cody Miller won bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing behind Britain’s Adam Peaty, who set a world record in 57.13 seconds.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa took silver in 58.69, .18 seconds ahead of Miller.

Cody Miller is a local OB celebrity – in a real sense – as he is the son of an Ocean Beach homeless man, Craig Miller, who died last year on Christmas Day.

Writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey wrote about it for the OB Rag a couple of weeks ago. They described it then:

The road for Cody did not come easy.

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The Debate Over the Ocean Beach Breweries

August 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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A debate has been growing over whether Ocean Beach can handle all the breweries, brewpubs and beer-tasting rooms that have just opened on Newport Avenue or are on their way.

As we have reported, there are or will be 5 beer-tasters or breweries on or next to Newport: Culture Brewing Co. which has been around for a while, Helm’s Brewery, the new OB Brewery, and two that are in the works, Belching Beaver and Kilowatt Brewing Co. just off Newport on Cable.They add to OB’s established award-winning brewery, Pizza Port – a block from Newport – and Hess Brewing Co. over on Voltaire.

The OB Rag jump-started the debate back in mid-March of this year when we asked :

Just how many breweries or beer tasting storefronts can Ocean Beach take? Just how many beer joints can Newport handle? These are the questions that are paramount on the minds of those OBceans who understand what’s happening on Newport Avenue, the main commercial drag in the village.

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