History

Items that are historically significant in some way. They may be recent history or ancient history, pertinent to local history or something on a grander scale…

Dangerous Cave at Foot of Orchard in Ocean Beach Allowed to Exist

September 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Orchard cave sd Frt1

OB Rag Demands Immediate Emergency Mitigation of Dangerous Conditions at the Cave

By Frank Gormlie

Based on complaints heard at the most recent Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, the OB Rag sent a small investigative team out to the end of Orchard Avenue to check into reports that a cave with dimensions of 30 feet by 30 feet existed in the coastal bluff.

My associate, Shawn Drake, and myself set out on an overcast Tuesday with cameras in hand to investigate just what was there, who – if anyone – was there, just how dangerous the cave or caves were, and if the condos above were in danger themselves.

What we found was both disturbing and partially reassuring.

Yes, there is a cave there – along the bluffs between the concrete stairs at the foot of Orchard and the steep drive-way that goes nearly to the ocean. We can definitely confirm there’s one cave.

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OB Planners Have Full Plate for Wed., Sept 2 Meeting

September 1, 2015 by Staff
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3 Projects and a Park Re-Name on Agenda

Looks like it’s a full plate for Ocean Beach planners at their upcoming monthly meeting this Wednesday, September 2nd.

They have the re-naming of Saratoga Park to deal with, as well as 3 projects to review;

  • one is a coastal cliff stabilization project at 1759 Ocean Front Street;
  • a garage demolition and construction of a two-story 2100-plus square foot single family residence, with an existing house, at 4821 Coronado Avenue;
  • the construction of two 3,365 duplexs (total of 4 condos) at 2150 Abbott Street.
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Loss of Community Is Greatest Threat From Airbnb and Short-Term Vacation Rentals

September 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Short-term vacation rentals are on the minds of a lot of people these days, especially with those who live at the coast in San Diego.

The issue bubbles up at community meetings. An OB resident brought it up at a recent Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting. And it was the subject of a panel discussion organized recently by the Point Loma Democratic Club. Also, back in February of this year, residents of Pacific Beach made their complaints about them heard publicly.

Then it came up at the most recent OB Town Council meeting last week, during the non-agenda comment period, where folks on both sides on the issue contended for audience sympathy. And it’s certainly a hot topic among callers to District 2 Councilwoman Zapf’s office.

Zapf’s office is in the middle of the controversy as she heads up a City Council committee on Smart Growth and Land Use, which last Spring held 2 public hearings on the issue, where both sides squared off. The upshot was that city staff have drafted language for a new San Diego Municipal ordinance updating how the City deals with the issue of short term vacation rentals.

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Upgrading the U.S. Constitution: Guns for Everyone!

September 1, 2015 by John Lawrence

we-sell-gunsBy John Lawrence

It has come to my attention that some of my conservative friends think that the American Constitution was chiseled in stone. Well, no, actually unlike the Ten Commandments which were written in stone, the American Constitution was written on parchment.

I have a lot of respect for the Founding Fathers who came up with this document based on the best Enlightenment thinking at the time with the help of French philosophes such as Montesquieu who believed in the separation of powers and checks and balances. Unfortunately, the Founders didn’t heed the advice of the Marquis de Condorcet who came up with a better voting system than majority rule.

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Immigration Looney Tunes: The Anchor Babies Myth

August 31, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

For months, the signs were clear. A revival of an anchor baby attack was on the way.

Most colleagues scoffed at my warnings. They claimed the battle against xenophobic terminology had been won. The era of using mean-spirited terms, like anchor babies, for political purposes had passed.

I was a town crier, a few said, over-reacting to isolated news events.

Sure, just like the building of new detention cells is unrelated to future arrests and deportations.

Alarmist or not, here’s what I saw:

  • California government agents exaggerated claims of Chinese birth tourism and maternity hotels
  • Louisiana passed legislation to deny marriage certificates to undocumented immigrants
  • Texas refused to issue birth certificates to children born in Texas to undocumented parents
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Disposable People: Obama, the TPP, and the Betrayal of Human Rights

August 31, 2015 by Jim Miller

tpp slaveryBy Jim Miller

During the lead-up to the vote on the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) that the President narrowly won, Obama and his surrogates consistently suggested that those in labor and other allied groups opposing the deal were “fighting the last war” and were against “the most progressive trade agreement the world has ever seen.” Indeed, he even went so far as to accuse critics like Senator Elizabeth Warren of “making stuff up”.

As we know, Obama defeated labor and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and, in concert with Republicans and just enough New Democrats like San Diego’s own Scott Peters and Susan Davis, he succeeded in forwarding the multinational corporate agenda.

Since that time the gaze of the national media has turned elsewhere and, as negotiations have encountered difficulties, the administration has sunk to new lows in its zeal to finish the deal on the TPP.

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News and Notes From OB Town Council Meeting

August 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Caves at Foot of Orchard Bring Complaints of Government In-Action

Here’s more news and notes from the recent monthly public meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council, held Wednesday, August 26th.

One of the best things of the OB Town Council meetings is the “non-agenda public comments” period at the very beginning. This is when folks can get up and either complain or announce or comment on anything – usually OB-related – and have not only the Council members hear what they have to say, but also the reps of the various elected officials who have some jurisdictional claim on OB, as well as members of the first-responders who show up to give reports.

And last Wednesday, it was no different.

During this period, 3 women rose from their seats in the back, and nearly in unison complained of the homeless people burrowing into the cliff at the foot of Orchard Street. This was not the first time the OBTC has heard of complaints about the caves behind concrete slabs that homeless people have dug. But here was the issue again.

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SANDAG’s Transportation Plan is Stuck in Reverse

August 28, 2015 by Source

traffic jam 2By SanDiego350.org / San Diego Free Press

Climate change is a local issue that reaches every corner of the globe. Human activities, especially burning coal, oil and gas, are pumping heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

More than any other time in human history, we’re seeing unlivable marine habitats, rising seas that threaten to subsume coastal societies, and, on land, increases in extreme weather including droughts, floods and severe storms. The changes are happening everywhere, but the effects are felt locally. And the solutions have to come from changes we make in every community.

At SanDiego350, a local nonprofit fighting climate change, we believe that San Diego is at an important crossroads where we must decide how we will reduce our contribution to Earth’s looming climate crisis.

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Candidates for OB Town Council Introduced – Election Begins Friday, Aug. 28

August 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Annual elections to the board of the Ocean Beach Town Council begins on Friday, August 28th and continues to midnight September 7th. Those eligible to vote are the members of the OBTC in good standing (dues are paid). Ballots will be emailed out and the electronic voting will begin.

There are 8 seats to be filled and there are 11 candidates. Last night’s OBTC public meeting included a Candidates’ Forum where the the candidates were introduced.

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Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

August 27, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Restart Relapse

Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the US Atomic Bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the literal meltdown of over 200,000 human beings, the current Japanese government announced the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, the first to resume operations since the Fukushima disaster of March, 2011.

On August 10, Bloomberg Business reported: ‘The safe restart of Sendai is important for Japan and for the worldwide community,” according to “Dale Klein, former chairman of the US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).”

“It can demonstrate that nuclear energy can play a role in the safe, reliable generation of electricity,” Klein also told Bloomberg.

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The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

August 27, 2015 by Source
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By Herman Baca / August 26, 2015

Long forgotten by US history and barely remembered by many (even in the Chicano community) is the historical 45th anniversary of the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium against the War in Vietnam.

The Moratorium held in Los Angeles, California was one of the most seminal historical events for Chicanos in the US since the end of the US/Mexico War of 1848.

Depending on whom you speak with; the moratorium drew 20 to 40,000 Chicanos from all over the US that marched and protested the war in Vietnam, where Chicano youths were dying in disproportion numbers. Parents, children, seniors, working people, students, war veterans and activists from thru-out the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico marched.

Numerous persons were hurt; hundreds were jailed including national Chicano leader, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. Three people were shot and killed by the police; martyred Angel Diaz, Lynn Ward, and LA Times Journalist, Ruben Salazar.

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Straight Outta Compton to Right Now

August 27, 2015 by Ernie McCray

N.W.A.

By Ernie McCray

I saw Straight Outta Compton
the other night.
It was a trip, fly, tight.
Kickass.
Jamming.
Hip.
Got to it
from the git with
“You are now about to
witness the strength of
street knowledge”
coming through the theater’s
wall rattling
surround sound
with funky
downhome,

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Tyranny of the Majority: The American Winner Take All System

August 26, 2015 by John Lawrence

Is it no wonder that among the 21 democracies in Western Europe and North America the US is next to last in voter turn-out?
tyranny of the majorityBy John Lawrence

A lot of people these days are concerned with getting the money out of politics.

That’s an admirable goal, but it doesn’t solve the problem that’s built right into the American political system: a voting system in which the majority rules and there is no minority representation because the winner takes all.

At every level the US is divided up into districts whether its state assembly and senatorial districts, US Congressional districts, San Diego city council districts or what have you. Citizens in a particular district can only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins in that district.

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Push-Back Grows Against Jumping Off Sunset Cliffs

August 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Close to a year ago exactly, we published a “reader rave” about “Why I Jumped Off Sunset Cliffs Yesterday” on why a 65-year old purported local man jumped off a place along the cliffs called Arches (or just “the Arch”) – the popular spot along the cliffs – on a hot, end-of-summer day.

Currently, the article is getting a lot of hits – and it’s all because the entire “sport” has become controversial.

There’s a definite push-back growing against people jumping off that spot, right now. One report cited a hundred people jumping off Arches.

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Residents in Pacific Beach Mobilize Against Large Lifeguard Center Planned for Coastal Bluffs

August 25, 2015 by Staff
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Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

One PB community activist wrote us to urge us to sign:

Please sign this people’s petition to halt plans, and reconsider site locations, of the lifeguard station proposed to concrete the Law St beach and canyon for $7 million.

We believe this land to be invaluable to the city of San Diego as a natural and cultural treasure, and that no consideration has gone into other options for a lifeguard facility.

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OB Town Council Meeting: Candidate Forum and Update on OB Veterans Plaza – Wed., Aug. 26

August 25, 2015 by Staff

A Candidates’ Forum and an update on the OB Veterans Plaza headline the Ocean Beach Town Council’s August 26 public meeting. The Council meets at 7:00pm at the Masonic Lodge – located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The Forum is for candidates who are seeking election to the OBTC Board of Directors. The Council then holds elections during the remainder of the month for the 8 seats that are open. To be eligible to vote, you must be a member of the OBTC. (It’s too late to apply to be a candidate, as written candidates statements were due by midnight on Monday, August 24th.

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Bernie Sanders, American Socialist

August 24, 2015 by John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders bnwBy John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds to his rallies. The American media cannot ignore that. But they will never use the S word to describe Bernie even though that is how he describes himself.

Bernie represents those who would tax Wall Street to preserve social security and a host of other common sense proposals. He dares to suggest that college should be free rather than the first stage of a life of indentured servitude and indebtedness.

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Ocean Beach News, Notes and Nuggets

August 17, 2015 by Staff
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Mainstream Media on Coastal Commission Approval of OB Community Plan

Town Council Offers Reward for Info on OB Entry Way Sign Graffiti

San Diego’s First Centrally Located Licensed Pot Dispensary Opened in Midway District

OBcean Quoted in NY Times About Use of Facial-Recognition Software by San Diego Police

OB Lifeguard Team Wins Annual Competition – Again!

Big Companies, Not Homeowners, Run Biggest Share of Short-Term Rentals

Liquid Blue Fast Becoming an OB Band

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Ready for the Revolution? Clinton, Sanders, #BlackLivesMatter and Other Tales from the Campaign Trail

August 17, 2015 by Jim Miller

hillary clinton photo

By Jim Miller

Last week, Hillary Clinton paid a visit to her base in San Diego at a breakfast fundraiser in the home of Qualcomm executive Irwin Jacobs, which was billed as “A Conversation with Hillary.” Clinton arrived in a motorcade with two San Diego police cars and entered through the back door.

Of course, to be part of the conversation, you had to drop $1,000 to $2,700, the maximum contribution for an individual allowed under federal law.

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San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

August 17, 2015 by Anna Daniels
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By Anna Daniels

The San Diego Free Press celebrated its third birthday on August 8 with a Galastravaganzaversary party at Border X Brewing. Wow–three years!

It has been an astoundingly active year for this unique all volunteer operated San Diego media presence. Contributors and editors have provided another year of progressive views with a distinctly grassroots perspective on the topics of labor, the environment, immigration, criminal justice, politics and government.

Our approach–multi-media and multi-genre– reflects the talents and interests of our contributors. Video essays, personal narratives, cartoons and poetry are essential …

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The California Coastal Commission Approves the Ocean Beach Community Plan – Finally!

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Some Coastal Commission Modifications Accepted by City Staff in Final Compromise

In an unanimous vote, the California Coastal Commission approved the OB Community Plan Update yesterday, August 13, in the City Hall chambers of Chula Vista.

The vote was a ringing endorsement for compromise and civil give-and-take between the respective staffs of the Commission and of the City of San Diego – a civility and willingness to compromise brought on no doubt by the crowd of OBceans present in the Chambers.

San Diego city staff who participated in the presentations and discussion, stated that the vote was a “major victory for Ocean Beach”.

It had been a long process – since last summer when the City Council approved the OB Plan.

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One Coastal Commission Problem With Ocean Beach Community Plan Linked to Mandate for Affordable Coastal Visitor Accommodations

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

One of the major issues that the California Coastal Commission has with the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update – on their agenda this Thursday, August 13th – is that language in the Plan in support of low-cost visitor accommodations is not strong enough.

On the face of it, this may seem weird. Why would the Commission reject the OB Update after over a dozen years in the making on an issue that has nothing to do with OB residents?

Coastal Commission staff have recommended that the Commission reject the OB Plan unless there are modifications to the language regarding affordable-housing for visitors at the coast, among other things.

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OB Must Descend on the Coastal Commission Thursday

August 12, 2015 by Source
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Ol’ OB Hippie Joins Calls for Community Action In Support of OB Community Plan

Any OBcean worth her or his salt has been following the travails of the Community Plan Update for Ocean Beach.

And they know that the California Coastal Commission is holding a hearing on the OB Plan on Thursday, August 13. They also may want to know that there will be a bus to take OBceans over to Chula Vista where the Commission is holding their meetings.

This is a critical hearing on the OB Plan – for the Coastal Commission has a mandate to protect our coast and to provide public access to the coast. Any project within the coastal zone has to have their final approval. …

Yet, OB has got to descend on the Coastal Commission on Thursday.

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The Re-Naming of “Saratoga Park” Hits Snag

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a movement afoot to change the name of “Saratoga Park” – that grassy area at the foot of Saratoga Avenue – and to have it named after Ocean Beach’s preeminent historian, Ruth Varney Held.

Held wrote the local classic about OB – “Beach Town” – and also wrote a column for a local regional beach newspaper.

Folks with the OB Community Development Corporation are developing a children’s play area within the grassy area and other elements such as an adult fitness are – and are pushing for the name change.

Saratoga Park has been the name for the grassy area next to the sand and lifeguard parking lot for decades. Today, it sits in front of the new condo complex recently constructed with million dollar units.

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U.S. Mayors Fed Up With Paying Wall Street Interest and Fees

August 12, 2015 by John Lawrence

Establishment of Public Banks Considered

wall street flagsBy John Lawrence

At their meeting on June 19-22, the US Conference of Mayors considered the possibility of establishing public banks as an alternative to Wall Street.

Instead of spending a fortune in Wall Street fees and interest, a public bank would keep the money right in each Mayor’s jurisdiction. Finally, Mayors are wising up.

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Special Meeting Called for OB Planners’ Final Prep for Coastal Commission Hearing

August 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A special meeting has been called by OB planners to finalize their preparations for the California Coastal Commission hearing on the OB Community Plan Update.

The special OB meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Wednesday, August 12 at the Dog Beach Dog Wash community room, 4943 Voltaire Street. The Commission will hear the OB Plan sometime during Thursday, August 13.

Volunteer leaders from the OB Community Plan Update sub-committee along with the leadership of the current OB Planning Board joined in calling the meeting.

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OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

August 11, 2015 by Source
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To Our Members and Friends:

On Thursday, August 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider approval of the Ocean Beach Community Plan at their meeting in Chula Vista.

The larger hearing begins begins at 9am, but the Community Plan is item #22c on the agenda, so the actual time it will be heard is currently unknown.

The Ocean Beach Town Council is sponsoring bus transportation to Chula Vista. If you would be interested in bus transportation, please email your name, phone number, and address to: communityplan@oceanbeachplanning.org.

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Shirt Design Commemorating Centennial of Ocean Beach Firefighters Goes Public

August 11, 2015 by Staff
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The design for the T-shirt commemorating the centennial of the first Ocean Beach fire station is now made public.

Todd Barry talked to OB Rag writer Matthew Wood earlier this month about how the shirt’s logo will commemorate the house’s very first fire truck. He and other OB fire and rescue guys designed it. As Matt wrote:

OB history buffs may recall the original fire station opened in August of 1915 on Newport Avenue. It moved from there to its current location in 1946.

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If You Live in OB or Point Loma, Where Do Recycled Plastic Bags Go?

August 10, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

Recycling plastic bags should not be this hard.

If you get a grocery bag, it is likely to have printed on it “Please return to a participating store for recycling.”

This may not mean the store where you got it. Not governed by local regulations, recycling locations are left to individual businesses. Plastic bags are designed to be confusing.

As a reminder, you can recycle plastic bags:

  • CVS in Ocean Beach on Cable Street. This is a CVS program, utilizing the G2 (Go Green) process. These are gathered in bale-sized boxes and sent to the Go Green recycler via UPS. The customer recycling bin is just inside the front door.
  • Stumps, on Voltaire Street and close to Ocean Beach. Their plastic bags are recycled via the wholesale vendor. When the truck drops off the house brand, they pick up the bag of recycled bags, and return it to the warehouse, where they are baled and sent to a recycler. After that, you have a choice of …
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Staring Over the Brink: Obama, Brown, and High Stakes Climate Politics

August 10, 2015 by Jim Miller

on the brink 2By Jim Miller

President Obama made big news last week when he unveiled his plan to significantly reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants as part of his strategy to address the climate crisis. His speech was urgent, moving in fact, and showed that, at least rhetorically, he is committed to making this part of his legacy:

[W]e’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it. And that’s why I committed the United States to leading the world on this challenge, because I believe there is such a thing as being too late.

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