July 2009

Ocean Beach split on World Oil’s Sunset Plaza

July 31, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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For a week we ran a poll on how people feel about World Oil’s Sunset Plaza. The results are in, and with 67 respondents (and there’s no way to tell whether a respondent lives in OB) people are split on the two-story medical building planned for the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire.

The largest bloc of voters, 29 of them for 43% think the building is …

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OB Planning Board fumbles on way to approving World Oil’s Sunset Plaza

July 31, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Sunset Plaza, the World Oil project slated for the corner of Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs is coming back before the Ocean Beach Planning Board at its general meeting Wednesday, August 5th. But you wouldn’t know it by checking out the Planning Board’s website.

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Chris Bowd is improving but cannot communicate yet

July 31, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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We have seen the wonderful news about Chris Bowd…

“Chris is breathing on his own and will be released for rehabilitation on monday or tuesday. He is very aware of his surroundings and can move all limbs. He has been nodding and has even smiled. He is not able to speak yet but should be able to very soon once the endotracheal tube is removed.”

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Another view on Sunset Cliffs

July 29, 2009 by Source
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Editor: In response to our recent post, “Sunset Cliffs – and surf culture – in danger of erosion” by Mary E Mann on July 20th, we have received the following article by Ann Swanson, current Chair of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council.

by Ann Swanson

The article on Sunset Cliffs is filled with misinformation and distortions. I welcome the opportunity to give the facts …

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OB Community Bulletin Board (7/24-7/31/09)

July 28, 2009 by Staff
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This is an Ocean Beach Community Bulletin Board. Please post any news or info that you’d like to share in the comments section. We’ll start it off with the following:

* UPDATE: OBMA HELPS CLEAN UP VETS’ MEMORIAL

* New Medicinal Marijuana Dispensary to Open on Newport …

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The First OB Precise Plan: Pen Inc Plans High Rise for Ocean Beach

July 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Frank Gormlie

Since I came of age here in Ocean Beach, I’ve always believed that urban planning should be a process in which the citizens and residents of a community have a significant and substantial role to play.

This concept was shared by an entire generation of grassroots activists here in OB during the first half of the Seventies.

In this continuous series about the history of urban planning in Ocean Beach, I’m attempting to outline the historical record so newer generations of OBceans can appreciate how OB came to be what it is today.

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Help get California’s“Wacky” USDA food stamps waiver denied and improve access to healthy food for all

July 27, 2009 by Lane Tobias
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by Lane Tobias

In previous articles about food stamps, I touched upon some of the barriers to food stamps eligibility that inevitably makes San Diego one of the hardest places in the U.S. to receive food stamps – even if you fall within the income and eligibility guidelines.

While most of those barriers continue to present problems to applicants, there are local initiatives that have helped pass important legislation to start eliminating them.

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This is what gentrification looks like in OB

July 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Recently, we have raised the issue of gentrification here in Ocean Beach, the controversial process of urban renewal. Acknowledging that it has been on-going here in OB since at least the early 1970s, it is important to understand it and to appreciate it when it rears its head.

Many neighborhoods in major cities across the country have experienced gentrification, where older housing is torn down to make way for newer, spiffier, and more expensive homes, condos, and apartments. The process often displaces the poorer – and in many cases – ethnic minorities – from neighborhoods that have historically been theirs.

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Book Review: “Recipe For America – Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do To Fix It”

July 27, 2009 by Doug Porter
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by Doug Porter

Once upon a time in America we were all promised a future where there would be “better living through chemistry”. Well here we are. It’s the future. And the better living future we’re experiencing is chock full of unexpected consequences.

Jill Richardson’s new book, Recipe For America, is filled with stories about those consequences. I sat down with Jill last week in San Diego to talk about the release of her book and her plans for the future.

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Polls show most want to keep OB’s Marshmallow Fight – but many want some kind of controls placed on the event

July 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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OCEAN BEACH, CA. Two recent polls – one by this blog – and one that is still on-going by the Peninsula Beacon, show that most – or at least the respondents – want to keep the annual July 4th Marshmallow War around. The Ocean Beach public event has been the subject of debate recently after the mess that was left behind.

Our blog ran a poll for a week and received 80 respondents. Clearly most – 56 respondents, 71%, wanted the event to continue, although …

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Chris Bowd Is Awake! OBcean in coma since July 4th makes progress

July 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Christopher Bowd, the OBcean knocked unconscious around 11pm on July 4th and who has been unconscious or in an induced coma ever since, has awoken. This is great news!

We received emails from close friends who spent time with him Tuesday. The first email (dated July 22nd, 8:30 am) reported:

Hi, I visited Chris last night at around 8:30 with his mother and he seems to be making progress. …

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Burners and Hoopers: the Police Respond

July 27, 2009 by Mary E. Mann
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by Mary E Mann

Two weeks ago the OB Rag published an article I wrote about burners (people who spin fire at Burning Man), and hoopers (people who dance with flaming hula-hoops). A group of hoopers had been ticketed on June 4th, with fines totaling $2,500. They got these tickets practicing in a small, controlled group at the beach in OB.

The article received a great response, but I started thinking about the voices that hadn’t been heard.

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This Old House

July 25, 2009 by Ernie McCray
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By Ernie McCray

(An Old Man Just Sharing Good Memories Sparked by a Picture)

The house I live in was built in 1911 of some pretty sturdy wood; it had to be with twin girls traveling up and down its stairs in various teenage moods and posing like Tyra Banks in a photo shoot on its roof; it had to be with a boy, like a descendant of the Eveready Energizer Bunny, bouncing off its walls and floors and ceilings like a racquetball until we shipped him off to Long Beach State with a great big “Whew!”; it had to be with a mom and dad pacing back and forth on its carpets wondering aloud: “Whose Idea was it to have kids?”

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Che Guevara’s Daughter Recalls Her Revolutionary Father

July 23, 2009 by Source
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Aleida Guevara was four and a half when her father left Cuba. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, iconic Argentine guerrilla leader, Marxist theorist and second-in-command of the Cuban revolution, departed the island for Africa in 1965 after falling out of political favor with Fidel Castro.

She saw him only once again, before his execution by the CIA-backed Bolivian government two years later.

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Judge Delays Removal of La Jolla Seals – Could be “turning point”

July 23, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by SDNN / July 23, 2009

A judge Thursday delayed the removal of harbor seals from the Children’s Pool beach in La Jolla.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann ruled that the new law, SB 428, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday shifting control of the Children’s Pool back to the city warrants a hearing on the issue Oct. 6.

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A Song to OB: “On the 22nd of July, the homeless left for me”

July 22, 2009 by Jon Carr
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One of our bloggers, Jon Carr, has just written a new song for OBceans about his experiences picking up trash and painting out tagging the past couple week.

Here it is – sung to the tune of “The Twelfth Day of Christmas”:

On the 22nd of July the homeless left for me
A twelve pack of cheap beer …

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You Can’t Fix Healthcare Without Fixing Obesity

July 21, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Jill Richardson / Daily Kos / July 21, 2009

Trying to fix our rising health care costs without fixing our food system is like trying to fix our defense budget without ending our two wars in the Middle East. In fact, it would be like trying to get a grip on defense spending while invading Pakistan. Or something like that.

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OB Planning Board Approves ‘Concept’ of World Oil Sunset Plaza Building

July 21, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: World Oil’s Sunset Plaza is coming back to the OB Planning Board on August 5, 2009. We thought it would be worthwhile to re-post this article, originally posted December 3, 2008.

ORIGINALLY POSTED DEC 3, 2008
Will Ocean Beach be left with an ugly and empty office building at Voltaire and Sunset Cliffs? On Dec. 3rd, in a 9 to 4 vote, the Ocean Beach Planning Board approved the “concept” of World Oil’s Sunset Plaza, a two-story 6600 square foot building, designed to provide medical and dental offices at the controversial corner.

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Poll Results! The Gentrification of Ocean Beach?

July 20, 2009 by Frank and Patty

For a week, we ran a poll asking the reader whether Ocean Beach is becoming gentrified. 63% of the respondents said ‘yes.’ Most of those – 2/3rds – believed it was a very slow process. 33% of the respondents asked us back – in answer number 4 – “What does gentrified mean?”

So, here it is: GENTRIFICATION:

– the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents. …

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Sunset Cliffs – and surf culture – in danger of erosion

July 20, 2009 by Mary E. Mann
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by Mary E Mann

“All this shit – the benches, the trail, the signs – none of it matters if we don’t stop the erosion of the cliffs.”

This is Richard Aguirre’s main message, filtered through a long discussion of erosion, geology, politics, surf culture, and safety hazards.

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BREAKING NEWS: Governor signs Kehoe’s seal bill giving full authority to City of San Diego

July 20, 2009 by Source
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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Sen. Christine Kehoe’s bill giving the city of San Diego full authority over the La Jolla Children’s Pool.

The move comes just hours after a local judge ordered the City Council to begin the dispersal of the seals within 72 hours.

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… here we go again – Judge orders City to remove seals within 72 hours

July 20, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: SEN. KEHOE MAKES STATEMENT – see inside…

The tennis match over the seals at a La Jolla beach ping-pongs again. This time, Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofman, ordered the City of San Diego to remove the seals within 72 hours.

This improbable scenario has been playing back and forth for a couple of years as each side of the warring factions gets a favorable court ruling.

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Blogger Rant: Make Love Not Smores

July 19, 2009 by Dave Gilbert
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by Dave Gilbert

I’m a little more than surprised that 11 days after the Marsh Mallow fights of 2009 have ended, that the mess at Veteran’s Rock still remains.

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so here’s what it still looks like down there after all of that “fun” has subsided.

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A Great Start on the Veteran’s Memorial Cleanup

July 19, 2009 by Jon Carr

by Jon Carr

UPDATE: NEXT CLEAN-UP: SAT AT 10 AM
Hey Ragsters, Jim Grant and I were down at the Veteran’s Memorial yesterday to clean. Here’s the results…
Only two people showed up to help clean the marshmallow mess off the veterans memorial. In the heat of day, we worked for one full hour before calling it quits. The task is simply too large for two people to complete in a reasonable amount of time. However, in just one hour, the two of us were able to make quite a noticeable difference in about 20 square feet. And we learned some good stuff along the way.

First of all, the goop, which now resembles tar, comes up rather easily with just warm water (NO SOAP) a bristle brush, and a scraping tool such as a putty knife.

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San Diego Gay Pride 2009

July 19, 2009 by Staff
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By OB Rag Staffer

Saturday, July 18 marked the 35th Annual San Diego Gay Pride Parade and Festival. The parade is an annual event that draws about 160,000 spectators and 152 floats and contingents. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people are joined by family, friends and supporters to celebrate gay life and have some fun. It started at University Avenue at Normal Street and worked its way through Hillcrest, down 6th Avenue to the northwest corner of Balboa Park.

When I arrived shortly before 11:00, the sidewalks along 6th Avenue were packed with anxious spectators. The weather was the usual perfect day in San Diego. The crowd included infants in strollers, seniors on scooters, and everything in between. There were a lot of families with children. The majority of people were young to middle-aged men and women, and many same-sex couples.

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OB Music Rocks the House at “Waves” CD Release Party

July 18, 2009 by Doug Porter

by Doug Porter

The serenity of the Masonic Temple was banished for a few short hours last night as six Ocean Beach performing groups took to the stage to celebrate the release of a compilation CD that features local artists performing songs about the community.

The CD, entitled Waves, included fourteen tracks from Obcean musicians and photography from local photographer Jim Grant. It was compiled by producer Chuck Schiele in support of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association’s 30th Annual Street Fair.

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Reformers threaten County union’s status quo

July 17, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Frank Gormlie

There is an insurgent reform movement within the union that represents most of the County of San Diego’s employees. The candidate for president on the reform slate is Monty Kroopkin, an old friend of ours.

SAN DIEGO, CA. Monty Kroopkin appears to be an unlikely candidate for president of SEIU Local 221. With his salt and pepper beard and pony-tail, and glasses tipping off his nose, he appears to be more suited for some intellectual post at a local university, or perhaps polishing and working on his Harley.

Yet he and his fellow reformers are running against the status quo in Local 221 …

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Veteran’s Memorial Clean-Up Slated for This Saturday – July 18th

July 17, 2009 by Jon Carr
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Editor: OB Rag blogger Jon Carr and local photographer Jim Grant are heading up a clean-up of the Veteran’s Memorial at the foot of Newport Ave this Saturday morning. The Memorial was grossly soiled by marshmallows thrown two weeks ago on July 4th.

The clean-up is at 1:00 pm and volunteers are asked to bring appropriate cleaning implements.

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The Union Tribune’s Last Throes: The Deathwatch Countdown

July 17, 2009 by Doug Porter
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by Doug Porter

Like a mutant monster in a B-Grade science fiction flick under attack, the besieged local daily fishwrap is flailing desperately as it stumbles towards its ultimate destiny. This death won’t be quick, and, using the vernacular of its militaristic editorial ancestors, there is likely to be a lot of collateral damage along the way.

The staff at the paper now seems to have realized that their new overlords could care less about the actual practice of publishing.

The new owners –Platinum Equity– have continued shrinking the payroll and hired a “journalistic mortician” to oversee the newspaper’s operations.

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(Some of) the Best of Jeff Stone, OB Photographer

July 17, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Jeff Stone, our local OB photographer and contributor to this blog, is in the hospital. He was admitted Wednesday night with severe intestinal pain, and has been diagnosed with a type of colitis.

He is feeling much better today, as his spouse Carole has reported. Jeff has inspired us with his images, so we thought we’d run a few of his best shots. Whether it’s parrots, fireworks, surfers, graffiti, or random pics of OB, you can readily see his love for our beach community.

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