Life Events

Body Found on Ocean Beach Rocks That of Missing Swimmer

September 1, 2015 by Staff
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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:

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Problems and Some Advice on Airbnb in San Diego Apartments

August 31, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of keeping the discussion on short-term vacation rentals alive, here below is a view by John P Anderson, a proponent of these types of rentals, with some steady advice.

By John P Anderson

As the Airbnb debate continues in San Diego, I found it interesting to receive a warning letter from my previous apartment manager, Torrey Pines Property Management this week informing tenants that using sites like Airbnb is not allowed in the buildings they manage. [For letter, see below.]

I contacted Torrey Pines and was informed that this is a proactive measure to avoid issues in future, not in response to issues that have occurred. Good for them for taking a proactive, informative approach to the issue.

I wanted to share this since there are likely many San Diegans that would like to utilize sites like Airbnb to rent a spare room, or their apartment while they are out of town.

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Search for Missing Swimmer off OB Continues

August 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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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.

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News and Notes From OB Town Council Meeting

August 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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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.

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A Day in Court as a Prospective Juror

August 28, 2015 by Source
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By Bob Dorn

I had the distinction of being the first person thrown off a jury peremptorily in a courtroom this week. Before any evidence was introduced in this criminal misdemeanor case (a DUI), and before prosecution and defense had opened their arguments, the judge was forced to dismiss me from service.

It was the Deputy DA who had me thrown out. I’m not sure I understand why he did it.

In legal terms, it was a peremptory challenge, and it means the attorney who exercised this right, the Deputy DA, could object to my presence on the jury without offering any cause or reason.

Was it my blue eyes? Do I look like a drunk? My curriculum vitae? Was it something I said?

Most likely, it was that last possibility, though I wouldn’t rule out the third.

Judges and attorneys might not look favorably on journalists called up to jury duty, not even old, (re)tired ones.

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

August 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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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.

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“I don’t always smoke pot …”

August 25, 2015 by Staff
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Push-Back Grows Against Jumping Off Sunset Cliffs

August 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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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.

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Traumatized

August 25, 2015 by Source

My Niche logo

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

The first time I was accused of being a privileged white woman,
I was defensive.
I tried to explain all of the non-privileged experiences
I’ve endure in my life,
despite the fact that I am white.
But my accuser wasn’t buying any of it.
She doubled down on her angry outbursts.

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Camping on Mt Palomar on the Edge of the Wilderness

August 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Camping to me is a lot of fun, but I only get to do it maybe once a summer. But feeling burnt by the daily challenges and pressures of society, I needed some quiet time doing some car-camping. This time I chose to camp on Mt Palomar – the large mountain with the famous observatory (which was closed) that guards San Diego County on its north-side.

Taking off Thursday morning, I arrived at the top around 1 pm. Usually I take S6 up the steep incline, but its twists and turns are too hairy for a relaxed cruise up the mountain. So, for the first time ever, I took the alternate route, S7, which begins on the western edge of Lake Henshaw.

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

August 17, 2015 by Source
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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.

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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
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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.

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OBserved

August 7, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Please welcome photographer and writer Terry Ratner to the OB Rag, as today’s collection of photos of OBceans begins her possible weekly column entitled, “OBserved”.

By Terry Ratner / Special to the OB Rag

I’m an OBserver, a voyeur, a paparazzi of everyday people.

When the opportunity strikes, I have to be quick to click in order to capture the moment. OB serves as my canvas, my street theater, my Haight Ashbury on the beach with its rich texture of OBceans—locals, transients, and tourists who made the wrong turn on their way to Mission Beach and then decided to stay.

I’ll do anything for a good photo.

I’ve climbed bar tables on balconies overlooking Newport Avenue zooming in on unsuspecting subjects.

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Thankful That I Have No Regrets Such as These

July 31, 2015 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

The other day I saw a graphic on facebook titled the “Top Five Regrets of the Dying” and they are:

  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Oh, how sad to be burdened in one’s last days with regrets such as these. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers such disappointments. I can see how one might regret that he or she didn’t travel more or go for a doctorate degree or blew some opportunity to hit it rich or the like.

But I can’t imagine living a life not true to oneself, or a life according to someone else’s desires. I mean I’ve gone after all my hopes and dreams, full-out, simply as me. Who else could I be?

I sure couldn’t have been that foot shuffling “Yassuh, Massa” character Jim Crow wanted me to be.

And it had nothing to do with “courage.” It was just me being me.

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BASE Jumper From OB Dies in Brazil Accident

July 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Fernando Goncalves Is 5th BASE Jumper to Die in Last 6 Weeks

A BASE jumper from Ocean Beach has died in a recent accident in Brazil. OBcean Fernando Goncalves was a professional wingsuit pilot but was killed while diving off Pedra da Gavea, a 2,769-foot granite dome mountain in Brazil.

The day before his death, Goncalves, 36, posted a video of a dive on his Facebook page off Pedra da Gavea. That was Thursday of last week – a week ago – and then on that Friday, he was killed making a similar jump, using a wingsuit and parachute.

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As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

July 30, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare program. After more than five decades of failed attempts dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, at least some Americans were eligible for coverage under a federal health insurance program.

Today more than 54 million people are covered by Medicare. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the alternatives being proposed by the GOP. In fact, many of the problems facing medicare can be addressed by e x p a n d i n g the program, an idea gaining currency nationally.

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OBTC: Toni Atkins, Marty Block and Community Grant Awards

July 27, 2015 by Source
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Report of OB Town Council Meeting July 22, 2015

By John Loughlin / Special to the OB Rag

The Ocean Beach Town Council monthly meeting was packed full of goodies with the presentation of community awards and reports from the Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins and State Senator Marty Block, plus the regular array of reports from law enforcement, firefighters, lifeguards and others.

Amid the long list of topics covered on Wednesday night, July 22, were surprise announcements about a feature of the OB Library – air conditioning is coming! – and the theme for the Holiday Parade.

The meeting started with the presentation of a certificate to two young community core volunteers, Soren and Kobi Oldenburg who went above and beyond the call of duty clearing armloads of marshmallows after the 4th of July OB Fireworks.

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Summer Chronicles #6: Lost in the Woods

July 27, 2015 by Jim Miller

redwood1a

By Jim Miller

Every year I make an effort to find my way to the deep woods. Living in California, we are lucky to have access to some of the world’s precious dwindling areas of real wilderness, including the last vestiges of old growth redwoods.

There, if you are intrepid enough to get out of your car and go a few miles past the first markers, you can still lose yourself in the ancient forest. Take a difficult trail and, after a while, you just might find yourself alone with the tall trees, banana slugs, birdsong, and bear scat.

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Reader Rant: “We Should All Take Notice of What Is Truly Going On in Mission Valley”

July 24, 2015 by Source
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By Carole Thompson

The river in Mission Valley exists even though few San Diegans have really looked at it.

I served on the Mission Valley Community Council for more than five-years and sat through many discussions on the river and Mission Valley as a concerned San Diegan.

More people should take notice of what is going on in Mission Valley before we wind up with a situation much like New Orleans, because the valley is at or below sea level.

In a time with so much attention given to drought why are those in charge so tempted to mess with one of our water sources? Although, much of it is underground the San Diego River is more than 60 miles long and part of the water table. The water table is part of the cycle of water.

Most people in San Diego are aware of the flooding in Mission Valley, but they do not know why the river floods here.

It floods in Mission Valley because they have taken an aquifer and tried to manipulate it by paving over it, tucking it under roads, and small passages on its way to the ocean.

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PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

July 24, 2015 by Source
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by James Sullivan/ Science Recorder / July 24, 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that the California Coastal Commission reject SeaWorld San Diego’s efforts to expand its killer whale tanks.

The project is estimated at $100 million, to be completed in 2018, but has yet to received endorsement from the Coastal Commission.

“This item has been postponed because of all the information submitted,” said commissioner Alex Llerandi.

“The coastal staff is taking the time to ensure all potential issues and viewpoints are considered in any final recommendations.”

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What’s the Future of Short Term Rentals ? Panel Discussion – Sunday, July 26

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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From Pt Loma – OB Dems / July 21, 2015

Earlier this month the Democratic Woman’s Club hosted a great presentation by (and discussion with) Sarah Saez (United Taxi Workers of San Diego) on Making a Living Wage in the 1099 Economy. The focus was on taxi drivers, the rise of Uber and Lyft, and the move to contracted (1099) labor.

The ability to use internet services for alternative transportation, delivery services and accommodation may (at least in the short-term) be great for (some) consumers, but the longer term effects are likely to only benefit the corporations who rise to dominate each space. We only have to look at the $40 billion valuation given to Uber, by a salivating Wall Street, who sees in it the future of cash generation and wage control.

The short-term vacation rental market poses many similar challenges and has made strange bedfellows of San Diego hoteliers and progressives.

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Can a Child Born in the US Sponsor Their Immigrant Parents for Legal Status?

July 20, 2015 by Source
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Questions and Answers with Carlos Batara

Our Child Was Born In The United States. Can My
Husband And I Get Green Cards Through Her Citizenship?

By Carlos A. Batara

Question:

“My husband and I would like to know if we become permanent residents. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen. She is three years old right now. Can we get green cards through her? Both of us came to the United States on student visas. We met in college. We fell in love. Our visas have not expired.” (Submitted by Paula G., Corona, CA)

Answer: Maybe. But not at this time.

Let me briefly explain.

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Why Suburbanites Contribute More to Climate Change

July 15, 2015 by Source

suburbia1By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / Boogie Green

More and more Americans are taking responsibility for their personal contribution to global climate change by driving fuel efficient cars, insulating their homes and switching to energy efficient lighting and household appliances.

However, even someone that’s gone to the extremes of traveling only on foot or bicycle and forsaking home heating, cooling, lighting, food refrigeration and cooking will likely shrink their carbon footprint by only about a third. That’s because roughly two-thirds of Americans’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are embedded instead in consumption of other goods and services, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Global Development (CGD), a non-profit policy research organization.

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Easing Into University City

July 15, 2015 by Ernie McCray

University CityBy Ernie McCray

I’ve lived in Golden Hill/South Park for 40 years. It’s got to be one of the great neighborhoods in the world.

But one of my daughters needed more time away from her work to give her two young ones the kind of start in life she and her husband want for them. So they moved in with me – and I gradually moved in with my sweetheart in University City who came into my life after my wife passed away six years ago.

I love it that those two little precious beings are living in a house where Nancy and I raised their mother and her sister and brother.

I’m gradually easing into UC. It’s taking some getting used to as it’s a little less energized than my old stomping grounds where people are always moving about, both people who live there and people who come to just enjoy the inviting vibe of that part of town.

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San Diego Gardening in July: It’s about the Water!

July 13, 2015 by Source

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

tomato on vine

Friends—India and Pakistan had devastating heat waves in June. This makes my whine about too much heat in San Diego gardens a bit of a whine. Nonetheless, the heat in my La Mesa garden just about did my veggies and me in. I thought I was watering deeply only to discover that I was not.

San Diego County has many water districts, each of which has warned consumers about percentage of water reduction for their residential customers. Be sure you know how much water reduction is required (read mandatory) in your neighborhood.

We all waste more water inside and outside our homes than we realize and it really must stop. Here’s how to be water wise in the garden in July and probably August.

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The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

July 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Henry Adams was right.

A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops. Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life. As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power.

Does Legal Neutrality Exist?

This belief came under heavy attack at law school. At law school, one of my first year professors repeatedly asserted that the law was neutral. Despite trying, I was unable able to buy into his proposition. It did not fit my reality.

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Summer Chronicles #2: That Music You Are Hearing is the Grateful Dead

June 29, 2015 by Jim Miller

TranslucentBy Jim Miller

Gary Snyder is a courage teacher. His fine new book of poems, This Present Moment, is a meditation on wonder and impermanence. In it, for instance, we learn to value our laptops –

“Because whole worlds of writing can be boldly laid out and then highlighted/and vanish in the flash at ‘delete,’/so it teaches of impermanence and pain.”

And it’s true, the miracle of creation that comes out of “a formless face/which is our Original Face,” but as soon as the words are formed the self who made them is no longer there.

Still there is beauty, and moments of grace are there to be found and cherished in “the morning and night coming together,” the “glacier scrapes across the bedrock,” and “the deep dense woods.” You just need to follow “the shining way of the wild” and “hang in, work it out, watch for the moment.”

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Is Chumming Legal Off the Ocean Beach Pier?

June 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB pier fishingIs chumming legal or allowed off the Ocean Beach Pier?

Okay, you ask, what’s “chumming”?

There’s a variety of modern slang-type of definitions, but in relation to fishing, it’s when people fishing off the pier or in the ocean cut up large chucks of bait and throw them over the railings or overboard in hopes of attracting large fish – like tuna – or like sharks.

If the fisherman or fisherwoman is trying to attract sharks while fishing off the OB Pier – or any pier – when there are surfers and swimmers nearby – that makes it an extremely dangerous activity.

It was suspected that chumming may have been partially responsible for attracting the sharks that attacked children off Oak Island in Southern North Carolina back in mid-June, where two kids each lost a limb. The incidents – 2 miles apart – were followed by calls to regulate chumming off a local pier.

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Debate Over Rock Church’s Decision to Refrain From Feeding and Clothing the Homeless

June 26, 2015 by Source

WorkingStandDownBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A recent post on the Facebook page for Homeless News San Diego showed a letter from the Rock Church regarding a change in policy for feeding homeless people.

Part of one sentence was highlighted:

refrain from feeding homeless people on the streets, as well as distributing items such as clothing and blankets.

The post indicates there were 107 shares and 206 comments!

I can’t recall ever seeing an issue evoke such passionate responses from so many people with opposing, yet reasonable points of view.

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OB Town Council Takes on The Drought – Meets Wed., June 24

June 23, 2015 by Staff
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The Ocean Beach Town Council is taking on The Drought at their next public meeting, this Wednesday, June 24th.

The OBTC wants the village to focus on the drought and does OB respond to it as a community and as a collection of individuals. In their newsletter, the OBTC states:

California’s drought is on everyone’s mind – from ‘drip pinching’ to help your pocket book, to being part of an eco-H2O savvy community, to joining the ‘dirty car club’ – we’ll all trying to do our part. Join us to learn about community and individual solutions to the drought!

They’ve assembled a panel of speakers for the meeting, due to begin at at 7pm at the Masonic Hall, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd – and they include: …

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