Civil Rights

Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

May 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This Thursday, May 26th, the San Diego Planning Commission will hear an appeal of the City’s decision to approve a controversial project slated for the 2200 block of Froude Street in Ocean Beach.

The project – two multistory residences – has outraged neighbors enough that they have supported the effort to appeal the decision by the City’s Development Services to okay it. The project includes:

“the demolition of an existing single-family structure and the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.”

This is at 2257 Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene.

The Planning Commission begins their regular hearing at 9 am in the City Council Chambers on the 12th floor at City Hall, 202 West “C” Street. The Froude project appeal is the first substantive item on the Commission’s agenda, after agenda and minutes approvals, staff reports. Here’s the agenda for May 26. And City Development staff have recommended denial of the appeal.

Here’s why there’s controversy – besides the bulk, style, etc of the project itself – :

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UPDATED: San Diego Mobilizes Against Trump – Due Here Friday, May 27

May 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump Love trumps hate solid netwk fb -edTrump DumpTrump fb -ed

Trump Union del Barrio fb -edTrump SmashTrump fb -ed

UPDATED: Four San Diego Networks or Groups Planning Protests for May 27th Trump Rally

San Diego is mobilizing against Donald Trump’s appearance later this week, when he stages a rally on Friday at the Convention Center.

At least four networks or groups are organizing protests outside the Trump rally. One of the 3 has also stated its intention of organizing something inside his event. One of the groups is mobilizing protesters from the LA area as well. And, of course, each network has their own facebook page.

The networks include:

The Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network

Days before Trump announced his speech in San Diego, the group Activist San Diego, organized a planning meeting at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest with a call that went out to San Diego’s social justice community. About two dozen people showed up – including yours truly as a rep of the OB Rag / SD Free Press – and laid the ground work and some basic plans for an expected visit by Donald Trump. They are having a follow-up meeting this Monday, May 24.

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Ocean Beach Airbnb Listings Rose 64% Since Last Year

May 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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New data from Airbnb shows that their short term vacation rentals listings in Ocean Beach have risen 64% since last year. This equates to 230 units, according to an article from Voice of San Diego.

The Voice article by Ashley McGlone, relies on new information from Airbnb analytics company Beyond Pricing, and says that “the number of Airbnb listings is rising in nearly every neighborhood across San Diego,”yet, “Ocean Beach and La Jolla saw the greatest gains.” (While OB had a rate of 64%, La Jolla rose to 58 percent with 404 rentals.)

And once again, Ocean Beach joined 5 other neighborhoods this year as well as last year in being the locations of almost half of all San Diego’s Airbnb listings. The other neighborhoods: Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, North Park and East Village.

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Progressive San Diego Voter Guide for June 2016 Primary

May 19, 2016 by Doug Porter

imageBy Doug Porter

Over the past few months the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have reported on the candidates and causes central to the June 2016 primary elections.

We have combined our research and analyses with information from public sources to create a progressive voter guide for electoral contests appearing on ballots in the San Diego region.

This guide includes links to candidate websites, symbols indicating endorsements and a short overview of contests, along with links to our reporting.

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The Pot Wars 2016: The End to Marijuana Prohibition in California Is Near

May 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The war on marijuana continues even at mid-point of 2016 – the year that California voters will end the marijuana prohibition in the state. While California voters get set to vote to legalize the recreational use of pot, there are good signs and bad signs around the state as the Pot Wars continue.

Right now, a majority of Californians favor legalization.

The folks who have been organizing the more successful of the legalize recreational marijuana initiatives have gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It’s a certainty that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be on California’s November ballot. This is the initiative that has support from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker. And many marijuana policy reform groups also support it.

So, what does it do?

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Local San Diego Anti-Trump Emergency Response Network Forms

May 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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The “Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network” Commits to Counter-Protest at Trump’s San Diego Rally

Two-dozen San Diegans met at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest last night, May 16th, and formed the skeleton of a local anti-Trump emergency response network.

So, once it’s announced that the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee is coming to town, a coalition has already began organizing a counter-protest. The same if Trump waits to visit San Diego until after he is nominated, San Diegans are getting ready now.

Called together by a well-known group, Activist San Diego, and chaired by Martin Eder, a long-time mobilizer for that organization, the meeting included at least one Republican, a bunch of socialists, Democrats, Bernie supporters, a Green Party person, a few independents, some just curious – and yours-truly, the rep from the OB Rag / SD Free Press.

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Much Ado About Raised Fists

May 17, 2016 by Source

cadets

By Denise Oliver Velez / Daily Kos

Here we go again, with yet another “incident” fueling right-wing outrage about black people and symbolism. The latest was over a photograph of 16 black female cadets who had come together to celebrate their upcoming graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The New York Times reported:

The gesture, posted on Facebook and Twitter last week, touched off a barrage of criticism in and out of the armed forces as some commenters accused the women of allying themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement and sowing racial divisions in a military that relies on assimilation.

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The Gentrification Machine Marches On – 5 Condos Planned for Lotus Street

May 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Residents in and around the 5000 block of Lotus Street have just been notified of a development application to build 5 condos on a lot currently holding a single-family residence. Some of those residents contacted the OB Rag out of extreme concern.

In the Notice of Application, see inside, the City announced that an application has been filed for the construction of 5 residential condominiums on the .15 acre site at 5064 Lotus. The five condos will total 10,560 square feet. The application also requests that the requirements to underground existing utilities be waived.

No reason for the request for a waiver was on the face of the Notice, but new developments these days are encouraged by City staff to obtain “waivers” on code requirements if they conform to the City’s Green Building Program.

The existing structure, a single-family residence with attached garage, would presumably be demolished – although there is no mention of that in the Notice. There is a large backyard and in the front there must stand one of the tallest Palm Trees in all of Ocean Beach.

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The California Way of Poverty

May 16, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

Last week, I pondered the obscene spectacle of holding a mega-concert catering to the wealthy in the Southern California desert town of Indio where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

The truth is that events like this that underline the contrast between the heedless luxury of the affluent with the deprivation of the poor are not the exception to the rule, but rather, a basic fact of everyday life in our era of historic economic inequality. It’s just the way we live now.

And in sunny California, San Diego in particular, the poor are accustomed to watching the party from the outside.

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Is Affordable Housing In the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 4

May 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

Section 8 Rental Assistance is a Cruel Jokesection 8

By Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

Approximately 46,000 households in San Diego are on a waiting list to obtain a federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The average wait time to obtain a housing voucher is 8 to 10 years.

Nobody’s housing needs remain constant over a period of time that long. Many people on the waiting list will have died before they are called for their Section 8 rental assistance voucher. Cruel irony.

In theory, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will pay the balance of a rent payment that exceeds 30% of a renter’s monthly income.

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“As a California Primary Voter – I’m Pretty Pissed Off!”

May 13, 2016 by Source
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By OB Joe

You know it. I’m a California Primary voter and I’m pretty pissed off!

The Primary is already over – and I haven’t even voted yet. And neither have my fellow 8 million California voters.

The candidates have been selected – yet, the largest state in the Union has not spoken.

Oh, I know, there are some who still think Bernie can get the nomination – but the real math is not there – and I’m a Bernie supporter! I observed an MSNBC breakdown of the numbers – and Sanders would have to score REAL big in all the remaining primaries – short of a miracle – it will be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.

I really wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist – and I was among the 13,000 San Diegans who came out to support him when he was in town not too long ago. But by now, it’s been decided.

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Is It Socially Acceptable to Breast-Feed in Public Yet?

May 12, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

San Diego photographer Vanessa Simmons started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography. This past weekend in Washington, D.C., she photographed a troop of active-duty military officers standing on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, feeding their children in uniform.

This past weekend a group of some 100 young mothers also gathered in Hong Kong to breast-feed in public. And last month, eco-conscious fashion brand Reformation featured a nursing model.

Then there’s the “brelfie,” or breast-feeding selfie, on the rise in social media especially among celebrities.

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Reader Rant: ‘Sorry, Ocean Beach, your opinion doesn’t count.

May 12, 2016 by Source
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2 Multi-Story Residences on Border Between OB and Point Loma Approved by City Without OB Planning Board Input, While Peninsula Board Votes to Oppose Project

By Tom and Judy Parry

“Sorry, Ocean Beach, your opinion doesn’t count.”

That’s essentially what the city has told residents of a quiet Ocean Beach street where two multistory residences would be squeezed onto a tiny parcel and tower over the single-family homes on the block, if a developer prevails, . The ultra-modern architecture would blend in with Southern California Spanish style homes and graceful bungalows as well as a fisherman’s wading boots at a black tie dinner.

That’s the situation where we live, on Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene Street. The applicant wants two twin residences on two tiny lots, each just 25 feet wide. There’s an imaginary line that runs down Froude Street – our side is under Peninsula Community Planning Board jurisdiction. The other side, though less than 50 feet away, belongs in the Ocean Beach Planning Board district.

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Backlash Grows in Ocean Beach Against City Cutting Down Trees

May 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean beach beachfront

There appears to be a growing backlash in Ocean Beach against the City’s cutting down of trees in the public right-of-way around the community. The backlash also includes negative reactions to the severe trimming of trees along commercial streets.

Three recent examples of OBceans exhibiting opposition to the downing or harsh trimming of trees illustrate this backlash.

The City is responsible for trees in the public right-of-way, and, of course, the City itself doesn’t cut down or trim trees – it contracts with private companies to do the dirty work. Signs of the backlash trend include, …

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Excellent Artificial Waves in the Middle of California Farmland?

May 6, 2016 by Source

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“This Changes Fundamental Things … About Surfing”

Kelly Slater is an 11-time world champion surfer, but he’s done something else no one else has – and that is to make great artificial waves in the middle of farmland. He posted a video of him riding waves from the machine and within a week, it had 9 million hits. Up to then, he’d been keeping his project a secret.

The LA Times sent a reporter out to find him and filed a report:

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San Diego’s Crisis of Compassion: Scorn and Indifference Do Not Solve Homelessness

May 6, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless familyIt doesn’t take the recently released Point in Time Count report to know that the number of unsheltered people in downtown San Diego is exploding.

Seeing every vacant lot encircled with blue tent and tarp encampments propped against chain-link fencing has ceased to evoke alarm. It’s now the norm.

The fact that we have become so accustomed to seeing human beings huddled in these makeshift shelters is a pathetic indictment of our city’s dismal failure to solve our housing problem.

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The OB Green Activist Calendar for May 2016

May 5, 2016 by Source
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UPDATED – More Events Have Been Added

Events in
Ocean Beach or in Point Loma

May 12th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “Bitter Seeds” at the OB Green Center, 4843 B Voltaire in OB. –

May 14 Saturday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 68th Annual OB Kite Festival – at Dusty Rhodes Park,

May 20th Friday 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. OB EXPOSED Ocean Beach Historical society presents Photographic Impressions of Ocean Beach and Point Loma Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. OB

May 21st Saturday 1:00 p.m. Friends of Famosa Slough Nature and Bird
May 25th Wednesday 7:00 pm – Monthly meeting of the OB Town Council, Masonic Center.

FOR MORE INFO – COME INSIDE

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1983: Proposal to Increase Density in OB Met by Community Meeting of 400 – Most Opposed

May 5, 2016 by Source

OB CPG Broc Graf2
Editor: Today, we showcase a personal account of a density battle in 1983 by Steve Wimmers, who was on the Board during the Eighties, was its Chair in 1983 and still lives in the area:

By Steve Wimmers

There was another historic vote that affected, and still affects, the future development of Ocean Beach. It was a vote by the Ocean Beach Planning Board that occurred in 1983.

The composition of the Planning Board at that time consisted of seven environmentalists and seven realtors and pro developers. The realtors and pro developers supported a proposal that would change the density in the OB Precise Plan area.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 3

May 5, 2016 by John Lawrence

The City Needs to Build and Own More Affordable Units

SD Housing CommissionBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

According to a recent Zillow report: “Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego are unaffordable for both renters and buyers. … Looking forward, the picture doesn’t look bright for renters.

Rents will likely keep rising at roughly their current pace for at least the next few years, which will lead to a continued affordability crunch unless wage growth significantly improves.”

Enter the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) whose job is to redress the balance of unaffordable rents to make it possible for San Diego to be inhabited by other than rich folks.

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
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Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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America’s Finest City Preparing for a Visit from Donald Trump

May 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

trump logo

Presumptive Republican Nominee May Descend on San Diego on Sunday, May 8th

By Doug Porter

Officials in San Diego are preparing for an as yet unannounced visit on Sunday, May 8th by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a report broadcast on 10News Tuesday night.

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Celebrating 40 Years of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and OB Community Plan

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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All this week we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB community plan.

It was on May 4, 1976 that thousands of OB residents, renters, property owners and business-owners voted in the very first panel to sit on the very first Planning Board for the community. It was truly an historic occasion because nothing like that had ever occurred in San Diego before.

So, to highlight this history, all week we will be publishing comments, notes, stories and accounts of the May ’76 vote and memories of those who served on the Board back then as well as over its 40 year history.

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Whose University? UCSD’s Racial Climate and the Making of Student Minorities

May 3, 2016 by Source
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By the Lumumba-Zapata Collective

On the night of Friday April 8th, the University of California, San Diego campus was covered with anti-Mexican slogans chalked by supporters of presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Following a string of throughout the country (including incidents at UC Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and Riverside), slogans supporting Trump have persistently coincided with xenophobic attacks against underrepresented communities, specifically Latino, Black, Arab and Muslim students.

The recent chalking incident at UCSD specifically targeted incoming admitted students of Mexican descent. The perpetrators chalked “Build the Wall,” “Deport them All,” and “Fuck Mexicans” …

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early May 2016

May 2, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* Explosion in Apartment in 4900 Block of Del Monte

* Midway Medical Cannabis Shop to Expand

* Helm’s Brewing to Open on Newport in Mid-May

* Surfrider San Diego’s 16th Annual Art Gala

* 9-1-1 Dispatchers and Cops Taken to Task for Missing Urgent Calls from OB

* Are Sand Crabs in Decline?

* Fund Raiser for Point Loma Shooting Victim

* Cop Involved in Fatal Midway Shooting Accidentally Discharges Weapon

* Pick-up Truck Flips on Canon Street

* Luxury Cinema to Open in Liberty Station

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Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

May 2, 2016 by Staff
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Here is a video of Dr. Jeoff Gordon speaking on the wealth gap in America using lots of slides and graphics. In the vid, he is introduced by Derek Casady, of People’s Food Store Co-op.

Dr. Gordon practiced medicine for decades, and until retirement a few years ago had a thriving office in Ocean Beach.

Before coming to OB, Dr. Gordon had an office in Pacific Beach, and was one of the founders of the very first Free Clinic in Mission Beach in the early Seventies.

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Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

May 2, 2016 by Source

Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism

By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams

Dan Berrigan visit 1982

Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

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County Board of Supervisors Extends Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Projects

April 29, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie Best / San Diego ASA / April 28, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday to vote on staff recommendations to extend a moratorium against new medical marijuana activity in San Diego County. The 45 day moratorium was put in place on March 16 and was largely a knee-jerk reaction to a group of community members from Julian and Ramona.

At the March meeting the Board instructed staff to come back with options including a ban on medical cannabis; enhanced enforcement and more zoning restrictions among other things. Instead, staff returned with a request for more time which was ultimately granted.

While the moratorium was extended to ten and a half months, the vote came with instructions to give consideration for those medical cannabis projects already in the building and permitting pipelines.

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Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

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Hippie Life in Ocean Beach

April 27, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor Frank Gormlie will speak about “Hippies in OB” this Saturday, April 30th at the OB Library, from 2 to 3 pm.

OB as the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego

By Frank Gormlie

In my many writings about Ocean Beach history – some of which I share below – I’ve always noted that in the late 1960s, OB became the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego. By 1967 – a year after the OB Pier had officially opened – it was already evident that Ocean Beach was morphing into the San Diego equivalent of that fabled and iconic San Francisco neighborhood synonymous with “hippie-ism”. If you were a hippie or a hippie-wannabe during this time somewhere in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

Of course, other factors contributed to the incubation in Ocean Beach of a community sympathetic and supportive of the new emerging counter-counter:

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