Life Events

OB Town Council Needs 100 Volunteers for Holiday Parade

November 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Needs 100 Volunteers for Holiday Parade

One Hundred Volunteers Are Needed for OB Holiday Parade – Saturday, December 5th

Submit Application by November 30th

The Ocean Beach Town Council is seeking the help of 100 responsible persons who would like to volunteer and help ensure that the 36th Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade is a successful and wonderful event for our community.

The Holiday Parade occurs on Saturday, December 5, 2015, and it cannot occur without the dedicated support of our volunteers.

The Parade starts at 5:05 pm (OB Time). All participating volunteers will need to report in to the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave, Ocean Beach, at 2:00pm sharp on Saturday, December 5th and check in with the OBTC Volunteer Coordinators.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Why Aren’t Seniors Getting a Raise This Year?

November 25, 2015 by John Lawrence

CEOs Got a Pay Increase Last Year But No COLA for Social Security Recipients

Cost-of-Living-Comparison-WBy John Lawrence

The Social Security Administration announced that senior citizens would get no increase in their monthly checks because there wasn’t any inflation last year as measured by the increase in paychecks for urban and clerical workers.

Yes, those workers didn’t make any more money, but CEOs certainly did.

Why don’t they gear their index to the increase in paychecks for CEOs? That was a whopping 3.9%. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (the only Senators who stand up for We the People) are introducing legislation that would give seniors the same increase that CEOs got last year. It has a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing, but they get A for effort.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Laffing it Up

November 25, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Laff it up! - Hubba Jubba decalBy Ernie McCray

My mother used to say “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying,” and when I think back on our days of second-class citizenship she sure wasn’t lying.

The other day Maria and I gave in to that old adage as we laughed about this and that, whiling the time away during her stay in a little two-bed hospital room at Scripps Mercy, worrying about what the doctor might say.

We started laughing ourselves silly listening to a woman’s (Maria’s roommate) emotional and animated conversation in Cantonese, with all the rhythmic inflections and rapidly changing nuances intertwined.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Anti-Muslim Bigotry in San Diego; Trump’s Racist Rampage Continues

November 25, 2015 by Doug Porter

who you should fear

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A female Muslim student at San Diego State University was assaulted on campus last week. An unknown male, believed to be a SDSU student, pushed her and pulled her by her hijab while making hate comments and threats based on her religious appearance.

An unidentified pregnant woman, dressed in a traditional Muslim headscarf and pushing her child in a stroller in Mission Valley, was stopped by an unidentified man making racially charged threats. He went so far as to push her stroller back into her.

Those are just the most recent two of the 170 reported threats against Muslims in San Diego this year, according to officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego’s Hidden Homeless

November 23, 2015 by Source

Homeless women and children undercounted and underserved.

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless kidsIt looks like the issue of homelessness will be getting some airtime during the 2016 election season in San Diego. That should be good news for anyone who is deeply concerned about homelessness in the region. Problem is that some candidates might use the issue to put forth solutions, without taking the time to understand the problem.

By feeding the electorate with misinformation that plays into their eagerness for a quick and easy fix to the city’s growing homeless situation, they will not only fail to solve the problem, they will exacerbate it.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

November 16, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Elizabeth Warren Calls for Us to Sign Her Petition for Social Security COLA Increase

Editor: Senator Elizabeth Warren has started a petition to get Congress to pass a Cost of Living increase for Social Security recipients. As of right now there is no annual increase coming – and this is only the 3rd time in the last 40 years that there hasn’t been a COLA increase for those who received Social Security.

Here’s Elizabeth Warren’s call:

On January 1, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won’t be getting an annual cost-of-living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.

Will you join me in calling on my fellow members of Congress to give seniors and veterans the raise they deserve?

Read the full article → 7 comments

Is It Time to Put Down the Bacon?

November 16, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Is It Time to Put Down the Bacon?

Processed meat may cause cancer, but your personal risk is probably low.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

By now you’ve probably heard the sobering news: Red meat may cause cancer. And bacon and other popular processed meats definitely do, the World Health Organization says.

Does that mean we all need to quit eating processed meats — no pun intended — cold turkey?

For nutrition-obsessed dorks like me, this pronouncement wasn’t news: Bacon’s been suspect for decades. Yet I still occasionally eat the stuff, and I have a weakness for a particular variety of overpriced salami sold at Whole Foods. (It’s great for camping trips, because it stays good outside the fridge.)

Read the full article → 4 comments

America’s Same Old Sad Story: Why the White Working Class is Killing Itself

November 16, 2015 by Jim Miller

despairBy Jim Miller

Last week brought us the stark news that America’s middle-aged white working class is killing itself.

Princeton economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case released a report documenting that:

The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.”

And strikingly, “rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

OBserved No. 7

November 13, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OBserved No. 7

By Terry Ratner

Photos as memory has a menacing side. Our own appearances and faces are now stored and saved in hundreds, thousands, of photographs: pictures made by ourselves or made by others.

Our faces are becoming not only unforgettable, but inescapable.

Photography is at the nerve center of our paradoxical memorial impulses.

Read the full article → 4 comments

SeaWorld San Diego to Phase-Out Orca Circus Shows

November 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld San Diego to Phase-Out Orca Circus Shows

SeaWorld Also Wants a Hotel on Mission Bay

The big news in our neck of the woods – or more accurately – our cove of the bay – is that SeaWorld has just announced that it is phasing out the Orca show performances at its San Diego park. They will be phased out sometime in 2016 – which means they could go on for another year. And replaced in 2017 with a “new orca experience”one with a more “natural” setting.

On Monday, November 9th, the company posted a document that stated that the theatrical Shamu stunts here in San Diego will be replaced with an “informative” experience with a “conservation message inspiring people to act.”

The changes do not affect killer whale shows in Orlando, Florida and San Antonio, Texas, where they own other similar parks with orcas.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Newport News – Latest on OB’s Main Street

November 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Newport News – Latest on OB’s Main Street

Join us as we cruise up and down Newport Avenue – the main business street in Ocean Beach. This is one of our irregular columns on the very latest goings on in the commercial zone – what’s new? What’s old? Who’s in? Who’s out? Who is opening and who is closing? (Pics were taken Friday afternoon – a fine day, Nov.6th.)

OB Brewery Exterior Looks Done … But …

The latest brewery happening in OB is the OB Brewery – whose exterior looks great. But one look inside

No Progress at AppleTree Market

There’s been absolutely no progress – that we can see

Humble Hippie Is Gone

Another victim of the times, the economy, or what?

Yoga Center Is Ready for Everybody

Read the full article → 14 comments

Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana Is a Huge Success

November 6, 2015 by Source

Veer Guest House

Pot taxes to fund school construction and substance-abuse programs

By Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos

Colorado voters agreed on how to spend $66 million of the revenue generated by the legal sale of marijuana.

The measure sends the first $40 million to school construction and $12 million designated for youth and substance-abuse programs.

Read the full article → 2 comments

What Do You Mean It’s Too Early for Dinner? Daylight Savings Takes Its Toll

November 4, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for What Do You Mean It’s Too Early for Dinner? Daylight Savings Takes Its Toll

By Judi Curry

Once again we set our clocks back an hour last Sunday, but my dog Shadow cannot help but wonder why, just the other day, it was okay to have dinner at 6:00pm only to find that today he cannot have dinner at the same time. He said that he is not a farmer that needs more daylight to farm his crops.

In fact, my very intelligent dog said that there are very few small farms left in the entire United States that are maintained by Mom and Pop operations that need their children to help pull in the crops.

Many people, as well as animals, intensely dislike Daylight Saving Time.

Read the full article → 8 comments

Don’t Let Them Blind You With Their Science

November 4, 2015 by Source

plant farm organic

Organic farming can be cutting-edge, too.

By / OtherWords

When I first began researching agriculture, I had no idea how organic farming worked. I saw it as a somewhat backward yet non-toxic and desirable way to grow food.

Organic farmers didn’t use fertilizer, I figured, so maybe the plants would be smaller. And they didn’t use pesticides, so I’d have to settle for some damage to my food — and I’d pay more for the privilege.

As for the people who thought organic agriculture produced better, healthier food than conventional farming, I figured they were nuts. That sounded like magical thinking to me. Did organic farmers grow food using fairies and rainbows?

The notion that organic farming is at odds with modern science is an attitude I’ve heard repeated many times, even by organic activists. “We just need to go back and grow food how we used to,” they’ll say.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Tom Hom, a “Rabbit on a Bumpy Road”

November 3, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Tom HomBy Ernie McCray

I just put down a nice read, “Rabbit on a Bumpy Road,” by Tom Hom, a man who was the first person of color to be elected to the San Diego City Council.

That took place back in 1963, a year after I had moved to the city. So I was greatly interested in the book for the history, a history in which, as a citizen, I’m a player.

I was a 24-year-old back then, still getting my feet wet and my mind wrapped around what was going on in my world socially, politically, and otherwise.

I already had a few concerns, having come to San Diego from Tucson, the Old Pueblo, thinking that I had somehow escaped Jim Crow and had landed in a city of open-minded thinkers, and seeing that that wasn’t so, I started paying attention to who was who and what was what – and the more I looked around I began to see, clearly, that Tom Hom, …

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Day After the Day of the Dead

November 2, 2015 by Jim Miller

day of the dead robot

By Jim Miller

It’s the day after the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday which traditionally is both a time of remembrance of lost loved ones and a moment when the dead mock the pretenses of the living. Death is the leveler of rich and poor, proud and humble.

It reminds us that, in the end, all our bones are equal.

As Octavio Paz observes in “The Day of the Dead” from his classic book The Labyrinth of Solitude, “Death is a mirror which reflects the vain gesticulations of the living. The whole motley confusion of acts, omissions, regrets and hopes which is the life of each of us finds in death, not meaning or explanation, but an end.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Marijuana and Tax Measures Vie for California 2016 Ballot

November 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

legalizeBy Doug Porter

As we come down the stretch into the final year before the 2016 general election, there are competing interests backing ballot measures seeking to legalize recreational marijuana use and increase taxes on upper-income earners in California.

The downside in this situation is the possibility of enough confused voters rejecting the choices on the ballot on both issues. And you can bank on opponents of legalization and tax increases will do their best to sow doubt and confusion.

Divisions in the pro-pot camp led to the defeat of Proposition 19 in 2010, despite not having a competing measure on the ballot and polling showing voters favoring legalized marijuana. Advocates for tax increases in 2012 were divided between competing propositions, but a strong effort on the part of organized labor gave Proposition 30 the votes needed to win.

Read the full article → 1 comment

OB Town Council Meetings Are a Gas, Gas, Gas!

October 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Meetings Are a Gas, Gas, Gas!

Take 1 – of several

By Frank Gormlie

The Town Council of Ocean Beach has anything but boring meetings. And the one they held the other night – Wednesday, October 28 – was no exception.

The main entree, a report and discussion about why OB Elementary School is losing students, was buttressed by lots of other reports, announcements by the Town Council itself, by the numerous politician reps that parade before the meeting, and by ordinary OBceans who attend and give shout-outs or pleas on their favorite project.

So, bear with me, dear reader, and accompany me on my journey into the cavern of the Masonic Center, and into my description of the closest thing OB has to a village town hall gathering, clinging closer to the gonzo style than that of the New York Times.

Darkness was approaching as stragglers entered the door off the parking lot that caters to the Masons and their guests and into the meeting hall, with dozens of chairs already set up on the linoleum tiled floor, with board members accumulating behind their designated chairs. The downstairs of the Masonic Center is very plain jane compared to the upstairs where the actual Masons meet occasionally, with plush carpets and thick leather chairs. I’ve even been to a community meeting there – once. If you’ve never seen the upstairs, you must.

Read the full article → 3 comments

OBserved No. 6

October 30, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OBserved No. 6

By Terry Ratner

Photography is a memorial art. It selects, out of the flow of time, a moment to capture and preserve.

It’s about retention, not only the ability to make an image out of the interaction between light and the tangible world, but also the possibility of saving that image.

Read the full article → 3 comments

The Story of How Working-Class Ocean Beach Spoiled the Establishment’s Plans and in the Process Created a Revolution in Urban Planning

October 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

The Story of How a Small Working-Class Coastal Community Within San Diego Spoiled the Establishment’s Plans and in the Process Created a Revolution in Urban Planning

By Frank Gormlie

It was early afternoon on a hot July day in 2014 when then San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the Council meeting to order. First on the agenda was a vote on the newly updated community plan of Ocean Beach, a small coastal neighborhood of the city—called simply “OB.” What was going on that day was anything but routine or ordinary. City Hall was swamped with people wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with large white letters saying: “Keep the OBcean attitude.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Just Who Is Gretchen Newsom?

October 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Just Who Is Gretchen Newsom?

Editor: Now that Gretchen Newsom has announced her intention of running for mayor of San Diego, we offer this interview of Gretchen nearly two years ago.

Originally posted on Nov. 26, 2013 under the title, “New President of OB Town Council, Gretchen Newsom, Loves OB’s Uniqueness

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall. Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

She has not lived in OB 3 years yet – as she and her hubby Kristoffer arrived here in February 2011 – yet she was handed the reins of a most important community organization. Although Kris, we need to say, is the reason she’s here; Kris was raised in OB and lived here most of his life.

Read the full article → 11 comments

Surfing or Surf Schools in Ocean Beach

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Surfing or Surf Schools in Ocean Beach

By Lois Lane

Why do the surfing schools want to extend their hours? [Editor: see this.]

The city of San Diego is very magnanimous in its consideration of the populace, and has made sure that every child will have the opportunity to learn to surf if they so choose by offering surf camps.

This consideration coincides nicely with the holidays the schools have, generating the added benefit to working parents of a baby-sitting service for their offspring. Serving children from ages 5 to 17, presumably there is some age-appropriate organization of the process.

The general feeling at the city, who planned these programs, along with the lifeguards and the surf schools, is that the surfers who are unhappy with the 100 inexperienced surfers at Ocean Beach at the same time along with their instructors are just curmudgeonly. This is for the children, after all.

And then, there are the Surf Schools themselves.

Two are authorized. What exactly are they?

Read the full article → 33 comments

“Short term vacation rentals seemed like a great idea …”

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for “Short term vacation rentals seemed like a great idea …”

By Alison Patton / Special to the OB Rag

I can relate to the battle going on between STVRs (short term vacation rentals) and neighborhood residents in San Diego. The same debate went on in my home.

My husband John Thickstun began work as legal counsel for Save San Diego Neighborhoods (SSDN) many months ago (and since has become a Board member).

My first reaction was, “Why this issue, John?”

Everything I knew about STVRs was positive and I ticked off my list to him:

  • Our friend Ann rents a room in her house through VRBO. Her neighbors have never complained.
  • Our neighbor Nick rented his house last summer so he and his family could travel to Europe. It wasn’t a problem.
  • We rented that house in New York through Airbnb years ago and had a great time.
Read the full article → 46 comments

IMPACT: El Niño, La Niña Events Along the Pacific Coast

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for IMPACT: El Niño, La Niña Events Along the Pacific Coast

By Peter Ruggiero / Oregon State University / The News Guard / October 25, 2015

A coastal hazards analysis of 48 Pacific Ocean beaches in three continents, using data from 1979 to 2012, found the biggest factor influencing communities and beaches in all regions was the impact of El Niño and La Niña events.

The study also found their influence had alternate impacts in different parts of the Pacific basin. When one side of the Pacific experienced extreme coastal erosion and flooding because of El Niño the other side often experienced these hazards during La Niña. Some climate projections suggest that these events may occur more frequently in the 21st century, meaning that populated regions could experience more severe flooding or erosion.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Why Is Navy Waste Water Carving Valleys in Point Loma?

October 26, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Why Is Navy Waste Water Carving Valleys in Point Loma?

One of our local readers, Andrew, was visiting the beaches along Sunset Cliffs on Saturday, October 24th. He was walking way south of Ladera Street with his dog.

It was low tide, so he could walk around the point the cliffs make south of the famous surfing spot known as Newbreak. He wanted the beach all to himself and his dog. At low tides, it is possible to walk along the beaches and rocks for many blocks south of Ladera, south of the Pt Loma Natural Park, south of the college.

However, as Andrew told us in an email, when he made it to the other side of the point – at the location marked in the graphic – he was greeted with hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water washing off the cliff side. According to his location as he indicated, he was standing on the beach directly west of the military and US Navy facilities.

Read the full article → 15 comments

The Widder Curry Bids a Fond Farewell to Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

October 26, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The Widder Curry Bids a Fond Farewell to Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

By Judi Curry

On August 21, 2012 I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery. The trees we dying; the grass was dying; and the one place I found solace after my husband Bob’s death was no more.

On August 15, 2014, I wrote a subsequent article about the same place, still unhappy about the conditions of the cemetery. I sent a copy of that article to Doug Ledbetter, the Director of the Cemetery, and what followed was a miraculous change for the better. (Not because of my letter, but because Doug also recognized the problems and set forth to correct them.)

Read the full article → 6 comments

Guns, Angry People and Mass Murders: The Cycle Continues Until We Stop It

October 21, 2015 by John Lawrence

pm_gun_violenceBy John Lawrence

We live in a sick society where little kids play violent video games, you can’t flip through the channels on a TV without seeing drawn handguns, and hunters use automatic weapons to kill innocent animals.

It’s a culture of violence in movies and TV, a culture of violence in video games and a culture of violence in terms of unending wars and people blown to smithereens every night on the nightly news.

It was disheartening to me to see a few days after the horrific mass murder at Umpqua Community College, pro gun demonstrators protesting the American President as he landed there to give comfort to the families who had lost loved ones. Where were the anti gun protesters?

Read the full article → 6 comments

Reader Rant: Believe It or Not! STVRs Are Already Illegal in San Diego

October 20, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: Believe It or Not!  STVRs Are Already Illegal in San Diego

By John E. Thickstun

There are only two possibilities here in San Diego: STVRs (short term vacation rentals) are either “Visitor Accommodations” under the Municipal Code, or they’re not a listed use in the Municipal Code.

In either case, STVRs are not permitted in residential zones.

STVRs are Visitor Accommodations –

“Uses that provide lodging, or a combination of lodging, food and entertainment, primarily to visitors and tourists”

Hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments are Visitor Accommodations. Visitor Accommodations are unlawful in all residential zones. They are a non-conforming use.

Read the full article → 26 comments

Finally, Democratic Presidential Candidates Say Good Things about Marijuana Legalization

October 20, 2015 by Source

mjballotboxIn years past, candidates totally ignored the failed war on drugs and the harms of marijuana prohibition

By Tony Newman / AlterNet

During the first Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became the first major presidential candidate to say that he would support legalizing marijuana if given the chance. Asked whether he would support an upcoming ballot measure on legalization in Nevada, Sanders said:

“I suspect I would vote yes. And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OBserved #5 – Updated

October 20, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OBserved #5 – Updated

By Terry Ratner

In a split second, a face makes its first impression on us.

Each photo tells a story, but it probably doesn’t tell the same story to any two people.

Read the full article → 6 comments