Environment

Ocean Beach’s Newport News

July 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Comings and Goings on OB’s Main Street

Several new restaurants on Newport Avenue are set to open while a couple of others are still works in progress.

BBQ House Expansion to Open Publicly

David of the BBQ House family, told me that the new expansion will open to the public this Wednesday, July 29th. Then they’ll figure out, he said, when the ‘grand opening’ will be. This has been a long haul for the family and its employees (and customers) as it’s taken 2 years to get this far.

The day I was there – Friday the 24th – the place looked full – but they were all servers and bartenders in training. The expansion includes a new kitchen, a new bar and new eating areas both in and outside.

Not Much Progress at Apple Tree Market

The new Apple Tree Market on Newport has yet to open and by all looks and appearances, nothing much has progressed since our last visit.

New “OB Brewery”: 50% of Interior Completed

The new brewery – also years in progress – is much closer to fruition.

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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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22-Unit Santa Monica Apartment in Ocean Beach Sells for 2nd Time in Less Than 2 Years

July 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A large apartment complex in the 5000 block of Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach has sold for $7.5 million. This is the second time “Playa”, the 22-unit apartment at 5041-5043 Santa Monica Avenue, has been sold in less than 2 years.

The complex, built in 1957, sits on a one-third-acre lot (assessor’s parcel 448-092-07 and 08) and consists of 14 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, totaling 14,978 rentable square feet. It has a courtyard, 22 off-street parking spaces and an on-site laundry facility.

The sale also represents one of the largest in terms of units in recent years – and joins a trend we have been watching of late – the sale of apartment complexes in northwest OB – this sale is the 5th this year alone. (We think the trend is “unprecedented”.)

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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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Earth’s Most Famous Climate Scientist Issues Bombshell Sea Level Warning

July 24, 2015 by Source
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New Study Concludes More Rapid Rise in Sea Level – at Least 10 Feet in 50 Years

By Eric Holthaus /Slate / July 20, 2015

In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels.

The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate.

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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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Numbers Game at San Diego Anti-ALEC Protests

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Looks Like San Diego Union Tribune Is Up to its Old Tricks In Downplaying Dissent

A hell of a lot of people came out to protest ALEC’s convention yesterday in downtown San Diego. Local demonstrators had their numbers bolstered by bus-loads of union members from Los Angeles.

There were the labor locals, the environmentalists, the Democrats, the progressives and social activists – and many people energized to protest ALEC because they’ve been educated in just what it is and what it does.

There were a lot of demonstrators. Just how many is a good question. And now we’re in a numbers game in trying to determine just how many people were protesting against the right-wing lobby and legislative powerhouse – with all its corporate sponsors.

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San Diego’s Two Borders Can Be Challenging

July 23, 2015 by Source
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By David Helvarg /Blue Frontier / July 16, 2015

I lived for a decade in San Diego and reported on its two borders, the Pacific and Mexico. I recently returned to spend a few days in my old haunts including Ocean Beach, La Jolla and the border.

I visited with Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at its meandering cliffside campus in La Jolla. She told me of many new initiatives taking place there including a soon-to-be-created center for climate impacts and adaptation, a center to look at more traditional hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, ongoing work with creating ocean observation systems and a center on the ocean and human health that will go beyond our traditional focus on seafood safety and harmful algal blooms – or even bio-prospecting for the next cancer cure.

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Poll: Should the OB Planning Board Hold a Design Contest for a New Logo?

July 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Recently, the OB Planning Board changed the logo that the Board has used for nearly 4 decades. They did this without much fanfare due to the request by Bob Sorben, the originator of the iconic OB seagull image, as the Board’s logo looked very similar.

Sorben had copyrighted his image. His request for the planners to change their logo had been made a couple of years ago in a phone conversation with someone from the then-Board.

So, a few of the current Board members took the initiative and designed a new logo for the planning committee. The new image began appearing on agendas and other Board documents.

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Jerry Brown Gushes About “fighting climate change” at Vatican As He Fracks California

July 22, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his “green” image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown on July 21 urged the world’s mayors to “light a fire” and “join California in the fight against climate change.”

Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“We have fierce opposition and blind inertia,” Brown claimed. “And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition.”

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Confronting ALEC’s ‘Everybody Does It’ Defense

July 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz. How can you lose?

If the spinmeisters at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hoped media coverage would focus on the three GOP presidential candidates genuflecting before their annual gathering of corporate lobbyists and state legislators this week in San Diego, they may be proved wrong.

A barrage of press releases and public statements from a wide spectrum of public interest organizations combined with the growing certainty that San Diegans would actually show up in large numbers to protest the closed-door right wing strategy meeting has begun to shift coverage away from the celebrity angle to questions about just what might be going on inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel.

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San Diego Activists Go All Out for Anti-ALEC Protests

July 21, 2015 by Doug Porter

Alec Mtg

Labor, Environmental and Community Groups Plan Multiple Actions

By Doug Porter

A wide range of organizations, some of whom rarely get involved in non-electoral politics, are calling upon San Diegans to put on their protesting shoes during the upcoming annual meeting of the American Legislative Council (ALEC).

Protests, press conferences, teach-ins, rallies and guerrilla theater will be happening throughout the coming week commencing on Tuesday, July 21st as ALEC delegates are checking in. Buses will coming in from the Los Angeles/Long Beach areas on Wednesday for what organizers expect will be the largest events of the week.

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Field Guide for Getting Lost in San Diego – Summer Chronicles #5

July 20, 2015 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

Back in 2011, at the OB Rag, I did a column where I had some fun applying the idea of psychogeography to our fair city and played with the notion of the dérive observing that,

“The purpose of dérive is to detourn the calculated space of the city, to turn it around and reclaim its lost meanings.

The Situationists wanted to see how certain neighborhoods, streets, buildings, or other spaces ‘resonated’ with states of mind or desires.

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12 Unit Apartment Complex on Saratoga Sells for $3.3 Million

July 20, 2015 by Staff
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Another apartment complex in Ocean Beach has been sold. A 12-unit complex at 4878-4882 Saratoga Ave just exchanged hands earlier this month for $3.3 million cash.

It joins a recent rash of apartment sell-offs that have hit OB over the last months and years, particularly in northwest OB. Here’s what we wrote in April:

According to a review of OB Rag records, there’s been an unprecedented sell-off of apartments in Ocean Beach over the last 4 years. This has included the transfer of nearly $38 millions and involving nearly 160 units.

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San Diego Gardening: How to Ditch the Lawn

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Connie Beck

You probably realize by now that the most water­-wasting thing in your landscape is your lawn. So how to get rid of the existing lawn so you can plant a beautiful new drought tolerant landscape this fall…

If it is a cool season type grass (fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass types) then your removal is easy. You can quit watering and cover it with 6” of mulch after mowing it to the ground. Or you can mow it to the ground and dump 3” of compost on it and then turn it over, using a spading fork or a rototiller. If you have ANY bermuda grass or St. Augustine this won’t work. You will have to work on those areas in one of the following ways.

The best bet for removing a bermuda grass or St. Augustine lawn is available to you right now. It is called Solarization and it works beautifully, though your neighbors may wonder what you are doing.

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ALEC and Sempra Energy: the Attack on Rooftop Solar in San Diego

July 16, 2015 by Source

Solar Panels, Navy, Old Town

By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is lead on attacking rooftop solar by working to end “net energy metering” (NEM), where homeowners and businesses are paid for (net) energy they generate above their own use. Their role in states like Arizona is outlined in The New Yorker Article “Power to the People” (Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous) by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

NEM is now the subject of intense proceedings at the California PUC which so far this past year hasn’t seen a fossil power plant or utility rate restructuring scheme they don’t like. This is the same PUC which is under investigation by the State Attorney General for improper communications between regulators and the regulated utilities.

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San Diego’s Agreement With Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes Gave Them Huge Windfall

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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If you are one of those people who are keeping track of the short-term rental issue here in San Diego, you’re probably aware that Airbnb – the largest online short-term rental company – has just made an agreement with the City to begin collecting tourist taxes from visitors and remit them to the City.

And July 15th is the day that Airbnb will begin collecting those taxes on behalf of the hosts that sign up with them for rentals within the City.

This is great if you’re longing forward to see more money pour into the City’s coffers.

But guess what – this agreement includes a huge win-fall for Airbnb.

Okay, you ask, just what did our “Number 2″ city just give away to the online rental agency, worth an estimated $20 Billion?

Okay, what just happened in our town?

Comic-con, of course, which just ended after a 4-day bonanza.

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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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The Day – One Year Ago – that the San Diego City Council Unanimously Approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan

July 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: On July 29, 2014, the San Diego City Council took an historic vote and unanimously voted to approve the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update. This is a repost of the report of last year’s City Council vote .

With a 9 to zip vote, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update, yesterday, the 29th of July and in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately, the 150 plus OBceans jumped to their feet with whoops of delight and sustained applause that went on for minutes.

It was an emotional day for OB, with the Council vote culminating a very long process of updating the community’s urban design blueprint, a blueprint that will significantly affect OB for the next 20 to 30 years.

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Special Meeting of OB Planners to Review City Changes to Community Plan – Wed., July 15

July 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s entirely reasonable for OBceans to believe that the Ocean Beach Community Plan was a done deal – what with all of last years fanfare and mobilizing and petition drives and all.

On July 29th, 2014 – nearly one year ago exactly, the San Diego City Council approved the Community Plan in an unanimous and historic vote.

Yet, there’s always been one more hurdle to go – and it’s always been the California Coastal Commission. The Commission always had to give its stamp of approval on the Plan. Their vote on it was originally set for August 2014 – but has been constantly pushed back.

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council: Vote “No” Today on Stadium EIR

July 14, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The views expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and staff of the OB Rag.
_________

Dear San Diego City Council:

As a sports writer and stadium activist, I urge you to vote ‘NO’ with regard to ITEM-S500: Establishment of Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to AECOM Agreement for Environmental Review Services. (Mission Valley Community Area. District 7.)

In 2009, I broke the story for SanDiego.com that the Chargers had re-engaged city officials and the focus for a new stadium had turned to downtown. Since then, I have built a strong relationship with the team and spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Chargers beat writer for CBSsports.com.

With deep knowledge of the stadium issue, I am extremely concerned that a ‘YES’ vote will cost the city

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How to Fix California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

July 14, 2015 by Source

housing-construction

California should require developers to include affordable housing for a fifth of all new projects

By / San Diego UrbDeZine

As the economy improves, California’s affordable housing crisis is worsening. The average rent in California ($1,240) is almost fifty percent higher than the national average. This is pricing out our state’s low-wage blue collar workers, who have flat incomes and rising commutes. It would take a service worker in San Jose 20 years to save up enough to buy a home.

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Summer Chronicles 4: Mourning Time: Animals Are Passing From Our Lives

July 13, 2015 by Jim Miller

extinctionBy Jim Miller

Last summer about this time, I did a couple of pieces about the clear prospect that we are in the midst of the sixth extinction. Since then, the news has continued to get worse, with a recent study showing that the current rate of extinction is ample cause for alarm.

In “Vertebrate Biodiversity Losses Point to a Sixth Mass Extinction” published in Biodiversity and Conservation Malcolm McCallum summarizes recent findings succinctly when he writes that “the great speed with which vertebrate biodiversity is being decimated are comparable to the devastation of previous extinction events.”

More concretely, that means we have bid adieu to:

  • the Golden Toad,
  • the Baoji Dolphin,
  • the Hawaiian Crow,
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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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More Memories of “Red House” of Ocean Beach

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Since we were alerted to the Centennial of OB’s famous “Red House”, we asked fellow travelers who once lived there or lived in OB during the Seventies who had memories of the political house and its residents. Here is another “memory” of Red House, by Dickie.

By Dickie

I moved into Red House on March 1, 1973, one of 6 activists to take occupancy beginning a long stretch of time when Red House was identified as a center of the OB community movement.

We were community and antiwar activists and we had been living for a month across the street on Cape May in the little 4-in-a-row fourplex we called the “Barracks” because it was all activists living there.

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Improving Parks in Ocean Beach – 2 Projects, 1 Area

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Report on the OB CDC Meeting

By Lois Lane

The Ocean Beach CDC met Thursday, July 9, at the OB Rec center, as usual. The meeting was called to order by the President, Tom Perotti, with the primary topic being, the usual, the Veterans Plaza and the Children’s Play / Lifeguard Fitness

Plans for the Veterans Plaza has been submitted to the City of San Diego Development Services Department (DSD). This is called the “Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza-CDP”, an application for a Coastal Development Permit, submitted on 16 June.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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California State Beach Showers to Be Shut Off Beginning July 15

July 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Ready for a sandy summer?

California state beach showers will be shut off to save water, beginning July 15th. State park officials announced the new policy as an effort to deal with the severe drought. The ban only applies to outdoor showers, not the indoor ones at state campsites.

City of San Diego outdoor beach showers – some call them ‘rinse stations’ – will continue – beaches like Ocean Beach. OB has such stations near the main lifeguard station and over at the new public restrooms on the beach near Dog Beach.

It’s estimated that each shower at the beach to rinse off uses 1.2 gallons of water. State officials hope to save up to 18 million gallons annually with the shut-offs.

Most of the beaches affected by the water-tightening rules are in Southern California.

In San Diego County, beaches affected by the change are:

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Centennial Celebration of OB’s Famous “Red House” – Sat., July 11th

July 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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This Saturday, July 11, is the celebration of the centennial anniversary of a house in OB. It’s not your ordinary 100-year-old house at the beach – for this is OB’s famous (some say ‘infamous’) “Red House”.

What is the “Red House” you ask?

The Red House is an old craftsman-type single-story house on Cape May Avenue that was the home to a bevy of radicals during the 1970s.

Painted red, the house was lived in by some of OB’s most notorious leftists and anti-Vietnam war activists. Beginning in 1972, the large, roomy house – a half block from the sand – at 5113 Cape May, became a type of leftwing movement and social center. Some of the leaders of San Diego’s anti-war movement lived there during that heady decade, as well as some grassroots activists who were instrumental in helping to cause a shift in local community politics.

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