OB Heroes

Highlights of some of the special people of OB.

Slightly Stoopid’s Miles Doughty on Ocean Beach Life, Tour Life, and Taking Control of Their Destiny

March 31, 2014 by Source
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By K.C. Libman / Phoenix New Times

Few bands remain as succinctly Californian and categorically challenging as San Diego’s Slightly Stoopid. Signed to the late Bradley Nowell’s Skunk Records in 1995, they’re an act that’s been a signed Golden State institution for almost 20 years, carving out their niche by pulling together a variety of genres into a melding that’s all their own. Having been road dogs for the entirety of their career, even after two decades, they still wouldn’t have it any other way, tribulations and personalities aside.

“You can’t be lazy as a touring artist,” says frontman and founding member Miles Doughty.

“So many bands just want that quick success when you need to have longevity. We’ve never been a band that’s exploded on the radio, that had any Top 10 singles, but we’re a band that draws people to shows, and that’s the difference — we can always tour. We strive to have the longevity in being on the road.”

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Pioneer School Founder At Home in OB

March 21, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Jim Liener knew there was a better way.

Working as a special needs teacher in San Diego, mostly dealing with autistic children, he saw how the public schools system would routinely fail the kids that needed the most attention.

Then he started working with an autistic child who was being home schooled, not able to make it in a normal school environment. He turned the family’s gazebo into a one-room home schoolhouse. An epiphany hit: Why can’t we take this home-school format, which works best for kids with these needs, and make it into an actual school?

“It was kind of like I told myself, ‘Shut up and do something about it,’” Liener said.

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Local Focus: Dave Martin – President of Ocean Beach Town Council

March 22, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Dave Martin, the President of the OB Town Council, agreed to meet me at Shades at 1 pm the other day. That was easy – as he has his own table there – the one closest to the kitchen, the bar, and the serving area – for, as many know, Dave owns Shades. Or rather Dave – along with his wife Jennifer, his daughter and her husband; they’re the four owners.

Even though it was mid-week, the inside of the restaurant was about half-filled, with a few outside in the front. The lunch hour had just passed. But everyone in OB knows Shades – it’s a fairly popular place (even the Widder Curry gave it a thumbs-up).

Yet, even though Dave’s at the restaurant from 10 am to 7 every night, as he told me, it’s apparent that he amazingly still has the time and energy to serve in the leadership of the Town Council – a very active group – plus serve on the board of the OB Mainstreet Association, be active on at least one of its sub-committees, and generally maintain a strong and visible voice for a spirited vision for Ocean Beach.

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The Dynamic Duo on the Ocean Beach Planning Board: Tom and Jane Gawronski

February 11, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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As I mounted the few steps to Tom and Jane Gawronski’s front porch of their house on Coronado the other day, I wondered who of the two had the green thumb – as the modest front yard was sprinkled with succulents, small palms and other drought-resistant plants and landscaping .

I was also wondering just which questions to ask them, as they both had agreed to be interviewed before they left for their hiking trek later this month – an incredible trip to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. My god, they’re both in their 70’s, I thought, as I was hobbling up the walkway and steps due to a swollen left foot.

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Celebrating the 30 Foot Height Limit As It Turns 40

November 28, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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The room was packed, standing room only the other night as the OB Historical Society led all of us in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 30 foot height limit. The downstairs community room of the Methodist Church on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. opens its doors every month to the OBHS presentations, and the night of November 15th was no exception as Society president Pat James welcomed the crowd.

Nearly 50 OBceans and friends had come to hear speakers and presentations on this historic fight four decades ago to preserve San Diego’s coast, and I saw many people in the audience who had waged their own battles to save OB over the years.

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Catchin’ the ‘OB Vibe’ at Bernie’s Bicycle Shop

October 9, 2012 by Mercy Baron
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Roger and Yasuko’s Shop Help Make OB What It Is

Bernie’s Bicycle Shop has been an Ocean Beach institution for almost 45 years. That’s a long time in a town that is celebrating it’s 125th Anniversary!

Current owner, Roger Lovett, had been a regular customer of Bernie’s since he was a kid. Not every grown up can claim they bought the bike shop they used to hang out in when they were little. When Roger bought the shop in it’s original location on Voltaire and Ebers in 1989, he was jokingly threatened by long time customers to retain the original name of Bernie’s. And so he did.

Two years later in 1991, he moved the shop to it’s current location at 1911 Cable Street (used to house the Sunshine Surf Shop). Twenty-one years is a long time in a town that has seen too many businesses close in just the last few years alone. There used to be 4 bike shops in OB but most have closed.

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The Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents: A Tribute to Ned Titlow

November 16, 2011 by Source
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Tales of NED – A Man That Made OB History

From the Ocean Beach Historical Society

Thursday, November 17th, at 7 PM
At P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

Beloved Obecian and local historian Ned Titlow passed away Oct. 29th, 2011. Ned was an active community member, Past President and sitting – Vice Chair of the Ocean Beach Historical Society. His legacy stories and joy of growing up in Ocean Beach made him an integral part in teaching Ocean Beach History.

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Remembering Luisa Allen – She Reigned at Nati’s for Over 50 Years

October 29, 2011 by Source
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By Gail Powell

Mourners filled Sacred Heart Church in Ocean Beach on Friday morning, October 28th, to pay their respects to a beloved local lady named Luisa Allen.

Many regulars who enjoy eating at Nati’s Mexican restaurant on Bacon Street have most likely made the acquaintance of this longtime hostess and waitress. Luisa started out at the popular eatery as a waitress 51 years ago! She always greeted every customer with hospitality and a friendly smile. Luisa remembered the favorite menu items of her patrons and she watched as the babies who enjoyed Nati’s in the womb grew up and became Nati’s regulars themselves with kids of their own.

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Ocean Beach Elementary Thrives in the face of State Budget Woes

February 25, 2011 by Andy Cohen
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For over 100 years, Ocean Beach Elementary has been in the business of educating the children of Ocean Beach, the sleepy seaside community of San Diego that is more characteristic of a small Oregon coastal town than it is the second largest city in the largest state in the United States. Take a stroll through OB, as it’s referred to, and one gets a sense that not much has changed in the last 30 years, which is why the local residents love it so much.

Change does not come easy in OB, and that’s just the way they like it.

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Louie and Kathi’s Hidden Garden

December 1, 2010 by Patty Jones
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You could spend all your time in OB and still miss it. There’s a wonderful garden right next to the Blue Parrot restaurant on Niagara that you can just walk right into.

It’s Louie and Kathi’s Hidden Garden at 4973 and 4975 Niagara. It is simply an amazing place and these photos I took don’t do it justice, but at least it gives you an idea of what it is like. Look for an upcoming post about Louie and Kathi and their delightful garden. In the meantime, check it out yourself.

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In the early seventies Gary Gilmore found ‘heaven’ and he’s been in Ocean Beach ever since.

October 26, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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Gary Gilmore – Newport Avenue’s goldsmith par excellence – is proud of the fact that he arrived in Ocean Beach in 1973 with nothing else but the clothes on his back, his guitar, and his leather tools. He had journeyed across the country and had found heaven. And he’s been in OB ever since. His is a true classic rags to riches story. Yet it’s an OB hippie version of the classic. For Gary Gilmore certainly looked like a hippie when he arrived 37 years ago.

Gary’s love for OB is so evident that it’s almost difficult to get him to talk about anything else. This was all apparent as we took our seats for a lunch at the quintessential OB restaurant – the Old Townhouse – featured prominently in the current television series “Terriers” which was filmed in OB.

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Who is this man who knows all about you but you know nothing about him?

October 26, 2010 by Judi Curry
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Who is this man who knows all about you but you know nothing about him?

Let me give you a hint: He is a native San Diegan. Born and raised in San Ysidro thirty-five years ago. (Need more clues?)

Received an AA degree from Southwestern College in Administrative Justice in 1999. Has an AS degree in the Science of Criminal Justice.

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Memories and the OB Spaceman

September 27, 2010 by Source
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By Warren Patch

Ocean Beach has always been a colorful place. The Hippies seem to perpetually reinvent themselves there; long hair, short hair, dread hair, dirty hair, blue hair, no hair, it’s all cool. And tie-dye is still vogue. I buy mine at Sunshine Daydreams on Newport Avenue.

One of the all-time great characters of OB was Clint Carey, alias OB SPACEMAN. He used to sell plots of land on the moon. And he was the only OB’cean who had personally met the “Outer Space People” when they came visiting, and he alone was authorized to sell tickets for spaceship rides when they returned.

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Savin’ Lives and Takin’ Names – the Lifeguards of Ocean Beach

August 20, 2010 by Annie Lane
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by Annie Lane / August 20, 2010

Meet Jacob Magness, a native San Diegan who’s spent the last 13 years saving lives in Ocean Beach.
As one of OB’s permanent lifeguards, Magness, 32, is no stranger to the ocean or making rescues. In fact, he’s been in or near the water for the last 24 years.

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Woman Feeds OB Homeless Every Monday for 22 Years – Is Now Halted by Police

May 18, 2010 by Source

Everyone complains about the homeless. OB merchants, local residents, … you name the group and there is grumbling galore about those without a home who dot our beachside community.

One person is doing something about it. Lupe Haley is a cancer survivor and believes deeply in Jesus Christ. She has been answering his call to feed the needy for the past 22 years. Every Monday for all those years, Lupe comes down to Saratoga Park and sets up a food line where she literally dishes out food for the dozens of homeless people who show up.

In April FOX News Channel 5 did a story about her work. The very next Monday, Lupe showed up as usual – but this time there was a different ending. She was stopped by police who threatened to cite and even arrest her for not having the proper permits.

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Local OB artist creating mobile community mural

May 13, 2010 by Jon Carr
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by Jon Carr

Ahhh…Ocean Beach, it’s beside the point. It’s an attitude, not an address, it’s a bastion for bohemian drifters, free thinkers, artists, bikers, and an occasional right wing nut-job. But we love it. We thrive on it. It’s our home.

While on a leisurely bike ride the other day, I was reminded of another reason I love OB; because OB has been keepin’ it weird since before I was born, and local artist Robert Guenther is no exception.

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Jeoff Gordon, MD: Busy OB doc has time for social justice

April 8, 2010 by Dixon Guizot
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By Dixon Guizot

Though he doesn’t seem like he’s in a hurry, Ocean Beach’s Dr. Jeoffry Gordon gets a heck of a lot done.

In addition to treating patients and managing his practice, Dr. Gordon speaks to local political clubs. He writes articles for medical journals. He works with the national movement for a single-payer health care solution. And along the way, the doctor stays powerfully well-informed in areas like politics, history, and finance. He recommends works by authors such as Kevin Phillips, Niall Ferguson, and Thomas Frank.

You might think a person with all that to keep him busy wouldn’t have a moment to spare, but Dr. Gordon’s demeanor isn’t rushed. He speaks deliberately, choosing his words carefully. And on a recent Monday afternoon, as we walked to lunch at Rancho’s Cocina from his office at the corner of Cable Street and Santa Monica Avenue, he strolled at a relaxed pace, prompting me to slow my normally anxious stride.

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Movers and Shakers : Stefanie Sekich of The Surfrider Foundation

March 25, 2010 by Jon Carr
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A Review of Past Movers & Shakers: Originally posted April 8, 2009

by Jon Carr

Our first Mover and Shaker is Stefanie Sekich, local clean water activist and employee of The Surfrider Foundation.

Stefanie was the driving force behind the Save Trestles campaign which successfully blocked big developers and the Transportation Corridor Authority (TCA) from building a toll road through San Onofre State beach and the legendary Trestles surf spot.

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Falling Sky Pottery: dances with clay

March 18, 2010 by Gary Gilmore
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Originally posted April 21, 2009

by Gary Gilmore

Any artist with the moniker of EZ is going to have to live up to the nickname. Isauro Elizondo does that in the first 30 seconds of conversation. Owner of Falling Sky Pottery on the corner of Abbott & Santa Monica, EZ is one of those individuals who makes you feel like a friend as soon as you walk in the door.

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Famous OBcean and Major League Pitcher David Wells Honored

March 12, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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David Wells is arguably one of the most famous (living) Ocean Beach residents and locals. Class of 1982 at Point Loma High, Wells became a major league baseball pitcher, amassing amazing awards such as a record of 239-157 during his twenty year league career that included a perfect game (1998) and two stints with the San Diego Padres.

Recently, he has received numerous accolades, having the high school’s baseball facilities named after him, as well as having the Dana Middle School baseball field renamed the David Wells Field. He also was just inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions Hall of Fame.

Today, Friday, March 12, there is a fundraiser for Pointers baseball and Wells is planning on attending.

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Mindy Pellissier – from a dog wash to serving Ocean Beach for 17 years

February 27, 2010 by Sunshine
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Meandering west along Voltaire Street I begin to notice of how truly “walkable” this area of our community is. The towering trees provide much needed fresh air and shade; the sidewalks clean and lit at night by brightly painted light poles; there are virtually no traces of doggie doo anywhere; many shops have their doors open with business in full swing. From all appearances, Voltaire Street is alive and well in this current economy.

As I approach Mindy Pellissier’s shop, Dog Beach Dog Wash, at 4933 Voltaire, I notice large coolers of fresh water perched atop custom made semi-circular wooden benches out front. They hover directly above clean dog water bowls that rest on green outdoor turf. It’s only a matter of moments before the first of many passing pooches stops for a refreshing drink of cool water.

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Getting to know our public servants: David Surwilo – Community Relations Officer

January 13, 2010 by Mary E. Mann
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Editor: The OB Rag is beginning a series on ‘Getting to know our public servants’ with this report by Mary E Mann of an interview with OB’s Community Relations Officer.

Picture your high school guidance counselor in a police uniform, and you have a pretty good idea of Officer David Surwilo, the one and only community relations officer in San Diego Police Department’s Western Division.

The Western Division is huge and diverse, comprised of North Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Linda Vista, Hotel Circle, Fashion Valley, Old Town, Sports Arena, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, and the airport area. Surwilo used to manage this area with three other officers, with four different “storefront” offices. That was in the sunny days before budget cuts hit the SDPD hard, and three officers and three storefronts were cut, leaving only Surwilo and his office on Sports Arena.

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Sheldon Dorf dies – OBcean helped start Comic-Con

November 4, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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OCEAN BEACH, CA. I met Sheldon Dorf back in the mid-seventies here in Ocean Beach. The OB resident passed away on Tuesday, November 3rd, to diabetes complications. He was 76. Sheldon was perhaps one of the most culturally influential OBceans as he was a co-founder of San Diego’s now infamous Comic-Con.

Comic-Con – now the convention that draws tens of thousands every year to San Diego. The City jumps hoops just to keep the event local.

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OB Rag awarded by OBMA for annual Street Fair coverage

October 23, 2009 by Staff
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OCEAN BEACH, CA. Last night 10/22/09 at the Masonic Temple, the OB Rag received a special award from the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association for our coverage of OB’s annual Street Fair held last June.

OBMA awarded the blog a 2009 Community Partner Award “For outstanding coverage of the 30th Annual Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival”. Doug Porter and Frank Gormlie accepted the plaque on behalf of the website. Others from OB Rag attending were Lane Tobias and Gary Gilmore – who is also on the OBMA Board of Directors.
It is true that the OB Rag’s coverage of the Street Fair was awesome!

Here’s a break-down of the scope and breadth of what we presented : ….

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Late Night Talk Show “Matt Cook Live” has OB Buzzin’

August 17, 2009 by Lane Tobias
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by Lane Tobias

Its easy to find talented people in OB. For such a small community, we have an unusual amount of creative people, both artists and entrepreneurs, within our midst. I learned this first hand over the last few weeks as I got to know my neighbors Matt Cook and self described “couch-monkey” Joe Clarke.

Matt and Joe have spent the last three months showcasing local residents who make OB San Diego’s most unique and exciting ‘hood on their late night talk show, Matt Cook Live.

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Sunset Cliffs Litter and Graffiti Clean-Up – ‘… and nature smiled back!’

August 15, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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OCEAN BEACH, CA. As litter never ends and graffiti tagging seems endless along sections of Sunset Cliffs, another clean-up happened on Friday, August 14th.

As this one was organized by a group calling themselves “The Cliff Dwellers”, and headed up by long-time local and cliff expert, Larry O’Brian, a bunch of us OB Ragsters joined them after work at the foot of Santa Cruz Avenue.

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An Arch to Build a Dream On

April 27, 2009 by Mary E. Mann
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By Mary Mann

Walking down the long row of trailers, I wonder how I will recognize the one that belongs to Daniel Wallace and Judith May. They all look the same. As I near it, though, the ownership of the mobile home is made obvious by a preponderance of what their makers refer to as wobblies, wooden creatures, each with a name and a story. I should have known there would be something.

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