City to Remove Monterey Cypress Tree on 4800 Block of Del Mar in Ocean Beach

October 24, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for City to Remove Monterey Cypress Tree on 4800 Block of Del Mar in Ocean Beach

The OB Rag today – Friday, October 21st – received a courtesy message that the City will be removing a Monterey Cypress tree at 4866 Del Mar Avenue on Friday, October 28th.

According to Anthony Santacroce, Senior Public Information Officer for the city, arborists –

“… have diagnosed it as dead and decaying at the roots, trunk and branches as well as suffering from a preponderance of wood boring insects. The assessments recommend the tree be removed immediately, as it cannot be rehabilitated and poses a public safety risk to both lives and property.”

Here is the message:

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San Diego Posed to Act on Short Term Vacation Rentals

October 24, 2016 by Staff

stvr-image-aug016-ed2Residents of the coastal neighborhoods who have been fighting short term vacation rentals (STVRs) are happy right now – relatively speaking – as it appears that the City of San Diego is finally posed to act on them.

One of the key organizations in this fight is Save San Diego Neighborhoods, and they are trying to mobilize their supporters for two critical meetings coming up, October 25th and November 1st.

From SSDN website:

First, on Tuesday, October 25, the Community Planners Committee (CPC) meeting will host City Council President Sherri Lightner. The CPC meets from 7 to 9 pm. at the Metropolitan Op. Ctr. II Auditorium, 9192 Topaz Way, San Diego.

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A Deplorable Crisis in Definitions in San Diego – City Attorney Candidates at PB Town Council

October 24, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for A Deplorable Crisis in Definitions in San Diego – City Attorney Candidates at PB Town Council

Sub-Committee Report from the Pacific Beach Town Council Meeting, Oct 19, 2016

By Micaela Porte

In regards to the PB Town Council meeting last night with City Attorney Candidates, Robert Hickey and Mara Elliot, and discussion of Prop 64 (legalizing cannabis) and Prop 57 (criminal sentencing, non-violent crimes) among other things, it would seem that the City of San Diego is suffering from a deplorable crisis in definitions.

San Diego doesn’t know how to define:

  • visitor accommodations
  • night clubs
  • where the 30 ft height limit is measured from*
  • non-violent crimes.
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OBcentric Design Charrette – Tuesday, Oct. 25th

October 24, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OBcentric Design Charrette – Tuesday, Oct. 25th

The “Movers and Shakers of Ocean Beach” are invited to an OBcentric design charrette – a local event on Tuesday, October 25th from 6-8pm, being hosted by the OB Planning Board and Main Street Association.

The charrette is is part of a month long celebration of architecture and design, Archtoberfest, sponsored by the AIA of San Diego.

This is a follow up to the Newport Visioning workshop held on August 24th, and will be held at Steve Lombardi’s Office, 5035 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107

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New Problem Project in Ocean Beach? Check Out 4741 Del Mar

October 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


OB Planning Board Approved Project Plans 2 Years Ago – But Local Residents Say What’s Being Built Is Different

Ocean Beach residents are concerned about another construction project that appears to be breaking the 30-foot height limit. They’re also afraid that the actual construction does not conform to the original plans that were submitted and approved by the city and the OB planners.

This one is in south OB, at 4741 Del Mar Avenue. Locals have observed that the builders have added a solid deck wall above the house roof that is different from the approved plans the showed it below the roof line. Also, the roof line may also be above the 30 foot limit.

Some of these residents have contacted the OB Planning Board about the project and requested that they check out what is being constructed compared with the plans.

Just about two years ago exactly, the OB Planning Board approved the project as presented – but it was a close vote, 7 to 5.

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Navy Dolphin Gitmo Rally – Sat., Oct. 22nd – Next to Spanish Landing

October 21, 2016 by Source


They call themselves marine mammal protectors – the organizers of a rally this Saturday to protest what they call the Navy Dolphin Gitmo. Their goal, they say, is to “expedite humane end to Gitmo like Navy Marine Mammal Program due to tax waste, national security threat and inadequate dolphin/sea lion housing and care.”

From their press statement:

Navy Dolphin Rally

Welcome to ALL concerned, peaceful citizens, taxpayers, military spending/national security advocates, elected officials & marine mammal protectors! We invite you ALL to attend or support the Navy Dolphin Gitmo Rally!

WHEN: Oct. 22nd 9:30 am-1pm (10/22/16)

WHERE: San Diego @ Harbor Dr Bridge next to Spanish Landing across from San Diego Airport.

Rally event on facebook:

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Work Continues on Controversial Project at Ebers and Greene

October 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


New Drawings Still Label New Construction just As an “Addition”

Eyewitnesses report that up to 8 workers entered the property of the controversial project at Ebers and Greene Streets this morning – Friday, October 21st – and began doing various jobs at the site.

One worker was seen getting up on the roof and appeared to be removing some plywood. Curtis Nelson, the owner, was also seen on the site. The construction site is behind fencing that prevents any clear views of what’s going on – for at least the ground floor.

In fact, a few workers were seen on the site on this past Sunday, October 16th – the day after there was a rally of 60 OBceans protesting the project in front of the site.

This is the same site, of course, that a town hall meeting was held about on Wednesday night – the 19th, at the OB Rec Center. And it was during that meeting where it was decided nearly unanimously by the large crowd attending that OB is demanding that Mayor Kevin Faulconer issue a stop-work order for the project, much as he did for a project in Point Loma not too long ago – the Emerson and Evergreen project.

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Nelco Properties Breaks Silence – Makes Statement about the Ebers and Greene Project

October 20, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Nelco Properties Breaks Silence – Makes Statement about the Ebers and Greene Project

Nelco Properties – the developer of the controversial construction project in Ocean Beach at Ebers and Greene Streets has made a statement to the local press. We reprint it here without edit or comment (From CBS8 News:)

Full Statement on behalf of Nelco Properties:

Nelco Properties is a strong supporter of the Ocean Beach community and its residents. With this project we are working to beautify the community and bring increased home values to the surrounding neighborhood. The project conforms to all required municipal codes, city development regulations, and has obtained all required permits; it has been approved by City and County agencies.

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Ocean Beach Town Hall Demands “Stop Work” Order by Mayor for Ebers and Greene Project

October 20, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Close to 70 people crowded into the Ocean Beach Recreation Center’s meeting room last night, Wednesday, October 19th, for a special Town Hall meeting on the controversial construction project at Ebers and Greene Streets.

The town hall-type gathering was called for at last weekend’s rally against the project, and the heads of both the OB and Peninsula Planning Boards had committed to help make it happen.

After nearly an hour and half of discussion on ‘what to do?’, the assembled residents fairly-unanimously decided to demand a “Stop Work” order by Mayor Faulconer on the project.

No city official appeared – despite being invited – and no one from the developer was in attendance.

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Measure J: The Mission Bay Park Money Shuffle

October 20, 2016 by Doug Porter

mission-bay-vue-fgBy Doug Porter

Measure J seemed like another non-controversial proposal at first.

It extended the lifetime of an earlier ballot measure dedicating a portion of revenues from leases on properties at Mission Bay Park and shuffled the formula for allocating funds to include other regional parks.

The idea was for these revenues to pay for bonds to be used in capital improvement projects for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including Balboa Park.

Needless to say, Balboa Park groups existing amidst crumbling buildings and other infrastructure shortcomings were thrilled.

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Make the Convention Center Better, Not Bigger

October 20, 2016 by Source

convention center

By David McCullough / UrbDeZine

Earlier this year, a hosted panel of local decision makers was brought together to discuss future of San Diego. Much of the conversation was around the convention center expansion.

If you’ve been following the local news, you’ve noticed much of the dialog is about the benefits of a larger meeting space.

The conversation is often about the need for more space to keep Comic-Con in San Diego or the heavy regional impact, the tax revenues, or the attention it all brings to our city. At the end of the panel discussion, a younger, seemingly naive gentleman stood up to ask a question. The question was, “Why do we need a larger convention center when it seems vacant for most of the year?”

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A Closer Look at the Ebers and Greene Project and the Correction Notice Issued by the City

October 18, 2016 by Source


In Order to Keep Project, Owner May Be Creating “Guest Quarters”

By Geoff Page / Special to the OB Rag

After reviewing the Correction Notice and a few other things as well, it appears to me that the developer – Curtis Nelson of Nelco Properties – and the City of San Diego are changing this development in reaction to public attention. This means that what they may be doing needs scrutiny.

It looks like they plan to designate one of the buildings a guest quarters and only one of the two buildings could possibly qualify – and that would be the existing house.

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Ocean Beach Town Hall Meeting on Construction Project Set for Wed., Oct. 19th

October 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Town Hall Meeting
Wed., Oct. 19th – 6pm
OB Rec Center

The Ocean Beach Town Hall meeting on the construction project at Ebers and Greene has been set for Wednesday October 19th at 6pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

The Town Hall meeting idea grew out of the rally against the project held last Saturday, the 15th. Both chairs of the OB Planning Board and of the Peninsula Community Planning Board had agreed during the rally to organize the gathering.

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OB Torrey Pine Alert

October 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


A city crew has begun chopping off limbs of the Torrey Pine located on Greene Street right next to Ebers Street. This began around noon, Monday, October 17.

Why is the city doing this?

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OBceans Mobilize Against Project at Ebers and Greene – Town Hall Meeting Planned Soon

October 17, 2016 by Staff

ob-ebers-protest-screenshot-ch8Sixty OB residents rallied on Saturday, October 15th against the Nelco Property’s project at Ebers and Greene Streets. With signs, speakers and spirit, OBceans showed their displeasure with the troubled project.

Several TV stations showed up at the protest organized by local residents and the OB Rag. Allison and Mick Rush were introduced by MC Frank Gormlie to the crowd as the couple that got the ball rolling in standing up to the project.

Gormlie called on Mayor Faulconer to order a “Work Stoppage” as was done at the Emerson-Evergreen project in Point Loma.

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World Oil’s “Sunset Plaza” in Ocean Beach Gets an Onion Award

October 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


The folks who do the annual Orchids and Onions awards in San Diego, have awarded an Ocean Beach building a stinky Onion Award.

One of our favorite buildings to knock, World Oil’s Sunset Plaza at the corner of Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, received the Onion. The nomination described the building as:

“… an ugly, ill-advised eyesore besmirching the otherwise beautiful entrance to Ocean Beach.”

The awards were just announced and showcased in Roger Showley’s recent article in the SD U-T. Here’s Roger’s opening:

Orchids & Onions celebrates its 40th anniversary this month after celebrating the good and skewering the bad in San Diego’s architecture, landscapes and other elements of the “built environment.”

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Why Measure A is Bad on Climate and Bad for the Region

October 17, 2016 by Jim Miller

San Diego coast satellite

Flawed Transportation Plan Underlies Measure A

By David Harris, SD 350 and Ruben Arizmendi, Chair, Sierra Club San Diego

Why are most labor unions, numerous environmental groups, and several local elected officials opposing the proposed ballot measure that would utilize a half-cent sales tax increase to improve roadways and public transit? Aren’t we all tired of driving on deteriorated roads and congested freeways?

Yes, of course, but looking beyond the potholes and into the future, we need to ask what should our transportation system look like 20 or 40 years from now?

Measure A on the November ballot follows the “planning as usual” approach. It gives allocations of funding to every city but fails to address our long-term transportation problems. This measure does not substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions that are already endangering our quality of life; nor does it create a more efficient system to meet the mobility needs of a growing population.

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How Much More Extraction of Fossil Fuels Can We Do? – Answer: Zero

October 17, 2016 by John Lawrence

Keep It In the Ground

By John Lawrence

Fossil FuelsBill McKibben of 350.org said recently, “If our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do? Here’s the answer: zero.”

The goal of keeping earth’s temperature rise below 2 degrees C is already in danger even with the coal mines, oil wells and pipelines currently in operation and assuming there will be no new ones. That means we shouldn’t be doing any more digging or drilling. It all has to stop — now — if the earth is to survive.

Some scientists think it is already too late. Meanwhile, the Federal government continues to lease land for oil and gas drilling.

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Why Protest Ebers and Greene?

October 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Neighbors of the construction project at the corner of Ebers and Greene streets are calling for their fellow OBceans to rally and demonstrate against the project on Saturday, October 15th. A rally and informational picket line will begin around noon right at the site itself.

So why protest this project at Ebers and Greene?

The owner-developer of the land is Curtis Nelson of Nelco Properties, and his project has had many problems and issues since its beginning, multiple investigations by city, county and state agencies, from the asbestos exposures, to the unlicensed contractors directing the work on the 3-story structure, still in its wood-frame, from the lack of scaffolding, to the underpayment of the workers – and to much more.

But one of the central issues and complaints of the project – raised by neighbors and local planning veterans – is really a question of process.

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San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide

October 14, 2016 by Staff


The editors of the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are pleased to present our 2016 General Election Progressive Voter Guide.

We believe this is a historic election, one that will set the course of the United States for decades to come. If there ever was an election where voting was important — this is it.

The candidacy of Donald Trump is no accident. It is a consequence of decades of building a constituency for a market-driven political economy by capitalizing on fear, bias, and ignorance.

The ballot this year is long and complicated. Not everything is as it seems. Practitioners of deception have deliberately crafted personas and propositions in a manner to trick people into voting against their best interests. There are an equal number of voting decisions to be made on less-than-perfect candidates and causes.

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Props 65 and 67 – Revenge of the Plastic Bag Industrial Complex

October 14, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Props 65 and 67 – Revenge of the Plastic Bag Industrial Complex

By Doug Porter

The bastard sons of the dirty energy industry are trying to pull a fast one on California voters with Props 65 and 67.

In a perfect world, the people who put together Proposition 65, along with forcing us to vote to uphold a legislatively passed ban (Prop 67) on the crappy plastic bags handed out by retail stores, would be tried for crimes against the planet.

If found guilty they would be sentenced to picking up cigarette butts on beaches in Libya for a term of no less than two years, wearing tee shirts emblazoned with We Love Imperialism on the back.

What Proposition 65 is all about is revenge. The plastic bag industry and the oil companies who sell them raw materials want to have it both ways. If they’re gonna lose the vote to ban plastic bags, then maybe they can fool voters with a measure falsely promising to do something good for the environment.

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City Responds to Post on Damage to Torrey Pine on Greene Street

October 13, 2016 by Source

ob-torrey-ebers-truknsignThe OB Rag just received the following email in response to our post, “Did the City Just Damage Another Torrey Pine With a Street Repair?”

Here is the email from Anthony Santacroce, Senior Public Information Officer for City of San Diego
Communications, in which he requests that we publish the city statement:

Mr. Gormlie,

In response to your blog post from yesterday, please see below:

A City concrete repair team responded to multiple community requests to replace a lifted slab of concrete adjacent to a Torrey pine on Greene Street …

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It’s Starting to Heat Up Around Controversial Ebers and Greene Project

October 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


City Issues Inspection Correction Notice to Owner Nelco Properties

It’s definitely starting to heat up around the controversial construction project at Ebers and Greene in northeast Ocean Beach.

For one, the City of San Diego issued an Inspection Correction Notice to the owner-developer, Nelco Properties, run by Curtis Nelson, with offices in Vista. There is already push-back on the Notice – dated October 6th – that it does not address at least one of the main issues, plus an anonymous group of locals sent the developer a letter warning him that the people of OB are watching the project.

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Prop 64 – Just Legalize Marijuana, Already

October 13, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts will be voting on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana this fall.

Some people, including many pro-legalization advocates, think this is about easing another legal intoxicant into society. It’s not. It’s about undoing a prohibition based on ‘scientific racism.’ It’s about a ‘war on drugs’ that served as a gateway towards militarization of law enforcement and eroded the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Legalizing pot won’t undo those things. In case you haven’t noticed, government and society rarely move backward. But legalization does provide a path moving forward that makes a lot more sense than the failed policies proceeding it.

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Prop 63 – Ammopalousa, GunGhazi and Second Amendmenting

October 12, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Prop 63 – Ammopalousa, GunGhazi and Second Amendmenting

In some states, candidates fight to see who can pose with the largest gun. In California, they fight to see who can craft the toughest regulations on guns and ammo.

By Doug Porter

This measure is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s baby. Prop 63 requires a background check to purchase ammo, bans possession of large capacity ammo clips, sets up a way to remove guns from felons, and requires reporting of stolen firearms/ammo.

This is all good stuff and there no denying it’s part of Newsom’s image building in the lead up to the 2018 gubernatorial contest.

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Did the City Just Damage Another Torrey Pine With a Street Repair?

October 12, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


Incredibly as it may seem, it appears that a City of San Diego street crew just damaged the roots and branches of another Torrey Pine – this one near the corner of Greene Street and Ebers.

A city crew tore up the concrete and asphalt of a patch of Greene Street yesterday, Tuesday, October 10th. It was a city crew – not a contractor – a city crew from the General Services department.

And apparently, in the process, they managed to damage the roots of the Torrey Pine right there and even broke off one of its branches and possibly damaged another one.

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OB Needs to Have a Discussion About What it Means for So Much of OB to Be Concentrated in the Hands of So Few

October 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie


A bunch of us at the OB Rag feel that Ocean Beach needs to have a conversation, a discussion – let’s say – about what it means to have so much of Ocean Beach concentrated in the hands of so few people.

We recently published The Ocean Beach Empire of Michael Mills, about how one man and his trusts owned 241 units in OB.

Looking at things one way – if there are 2-3 people living behind each one of those 241 doors, that’s between 480 to 720 people. If the total population of OB something like 12,000, that would put something like 1 out of every 16 to 25 residents in a Mills building.

What does that mean? What are the consequences of that?

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San Diego Coastkeeper Says Latest Report Shows Immediate Need for Permanent Conservation Regulations

October 11, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego Coastkeeper Says Latest Report Shows Immediate Need for Permanent Conservation Regulations

San Diego Coastkeeper has released a statement in response to latest release from California State Water Resources Control Board, Statewide Water Conservation Drops Below 18 Percent in August.

This statement is submitted by San Diego Coastkeeper’s Legal and Policy Director Matt O’Malley:

“We are still very much in a drought. Our southern coast lies somewhere between extreme to exceptional drought. The monthly conservation numbers released by the State Water Resources Control Board yesterday prove that without the statewide conservation mandate, we are seeing bad habits once again take hold.”

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SANDAG vs. Clairemont Over Empty Lot Near Future Trolley Station

October 10, 2016 by Source


An empty lot on Clairemont Drive in Bay Park is at the center of a lot of debate.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is considering using eminent domain to take over the private property for public use. It needs the property as a staging area while it builds a new trolley station. Then, the plan is to use the land for a park and ride.
By Jim LaMattery

The question was asked at the “Choose or Snooze” event on October 1st, “Why doesn’t the Board of Directors of SANDAG want to work with Protea Properties in developing the Vacant Lot?”

Rory Devine of NBC Channel 7 News asked me the same question. Julie Stalmer, while preparing her article for the Reader, asked me the same question.

Allow me, for the moment, to put on my my “real estate broker” hat. In my opinion, the reason for the Closed Session vote to continue eminent domain action against the new owner of the lot, Protea, is very clear.

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Vote No on Measures A and B for a Sustainable Future for San Diego

October 10, 2016 by Jim Miller

San Diego County Photo Sustainable future

By Jim Miller / Jana Clark

Much of the reporting on the early campaign surrounding Measure A is falling victim to the proponents’ attempts to greenwash their deeply flawed measure.

They are doing this by representing a few astroturf “environmental” organizations in league with big money from corporate interests and a handful of unions doing the bidding of downtown insiders as a “split” in progressive circles.

This is unfortunate as the fact of the matter is that the opposition to Measure A by the Quality of Life Coalition represents a historically significant new alliance between progressive labor and nearly all of the local environmental organizations doing serious work around climate.

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