October 2015

OB Town Council, Round Two – Where Have All the Students Gone?

October 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council, Round Two – Where Have All the Students Gone?

By Freak Gormlie

This is Round 2 of my Halloween eve report of the town council meeting of last Wednesday, Oct. 28th. (Here’s my gonzo-type account of Round One.)

It is scary to think what OB would be like without a town council to – in a sense – keep it all together. And this current board is luckily still headed up by Gretchen Newsom as she moves into her third term. Probably the OBTC’s most liberal president in its history, Newsom, as most know by now, is also a candidate for the mayor’s seat in this here town of San Diego.

Where Have All the Students Gone?

The big monster item on the night’s agenda was framed by the question: “OB Elementary – Where have the Children Gone?” The issue had surfaced recently – in response to the transfer of 2 teachers – when parents and students staged a picket in front of the school back on October 5th.

Tonight, three from the school and school district were on hand to answer questions: Principal Marco Drapeau, a trustee from the school district Dr. Mike McQuery and Roy – with just a hint of a true Irish accent – one of the 2 people in the district demographics department.

Read the full article → 5 comments

OB Town Council Meetings Are a Gas, Gas, Gas!

October 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Meetings Are a Gas, Gas, Gas!

Take 1 – of several

By Frank Gormlie

The Town Council of Ocean Beach has anything but boring meetings. And the one they held the other night – Wednesday, October 28 – was no exception.

The main entree, a report and discussion about why OB Elementary School is losing students, was buttressed by lots of other reports, announcements by the Town Council itself, by the numerous politician reps that parade before the meeting, and by ordinary OBceans who attend and give shout-outs or pleas on their favorite project.

So, bear with me, dear reader, and accompany me on my journey into the cavern of the Masonic Center, and into my description of the closest thing OB has to a village town hall gathering, clinging closer to the gonzo style than that of the New York Times.

Darkness was approaching as stragglers entered the door off the parking lot that caters to the Masons and their guests and into the meeting hall, with dozens of chairs already set up on the linoleum tiled floor, with board members accumulating behind their designated chairs. The downstairs of the Masonic Center is very plain jane compared to the upstairs where the actual Masons meet occasionally, with plush carpets and thick leather chairs. I’ve even been to a community meeting there – once. If you’ve never seen the upstairs, you must.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Part 2 of How Working Class Ocean Beach Spoiled the Establishment Plans and Created a Revolution in Urban Planning

October 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB CPG Broc Covr

Part 2

By Frank Gormlie

While it participated deeply in the negotiations during the remainder of 1974 and into the next year, the Community Planning Group had enough depth to juggle its activism and successfully respond to new construction projects—mainly large, bulky apartments—still coming down the development pipeline. Over this period CPG was able to block the construction of eight five-story high-rise apartments, most of them aimed for the fragile edges of Sunset Cliffs.

With the limited consensus reached on certain issues in Spring of 1975 the city published a brand new Precise Plan—this confirmed the city’s rejection of the worst of the original plan; no mini-Miami Beach, no marina, no high-rise along the coast.

Read the full article → 3 comments

OBserved No. 6

October 30, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OBserved No. 6

By Terry Ratner

Photography is a memorial art. It selects, out of the flow of time, a moment to capture and preserve.

It’s about retention, not only the ability to make an image out of the interaction between light and the tangible world, but also the possibility of saving that image.

Read the full article → 3 comments

High Tides in Ocean Beach

October 30, 2015 by Staff

OB hi tides 10-29-15 ace 06

Join us in some amazing photos of high tides – and waves – in Ocean Beach, on Thursday, October 29th.

Albert C Elliott and South OB Girl both captured moments documenting this day of splashing waves. Elliott said, however, he’s seen bigger waves and higher tides.

Read the full article → 2 comments

“Let the Chargers Go!” – A Poem by the Widder Curry

October 30, 2015 by Judi Curry

Let the Chargers Go – from a former Charger Fan
– who used to be able to afford to buy a ticket.

If Qualcomm is in such disrepair,
LET THE CHARGERS GO!
It will cost too much to keep them here,
LET THE CHARGERS GO!
Go away Spanos, take them away from here,
Tell old Faulconer, that they will still be near.

Go to Carson, Chargers,
You will still hear me cheer,
But don’t be surprised if it’s not for you
In fact it may sound like a jeer.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Stuff You May Not Have Known About Halloween

October 30, 2015 by Source

Halloween 1

By Susan Grigsby / Daily Kos

Of the differing schools of thought on the origins of Halloween, I prefer the one that roots it in ancient Celtic tradition. And since no one seems to know for sure, why not? According to the American Folklife Center, Halloween originated with the ancient pre-Christian Celtic celebration of Samhain.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Story of How Working-Class Ocean Beach Spoiled the Establishment’s Plans and in the Process Created a Revolution in Urban Planning

October 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

It was early afternoon on a hot July day in 2014 when then San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the Council meeting to order. First on the agenda was a vote on the newly updated community plan of Ocean Beach, a small coastal neighborhood of the city—called simply “OB.” What was going on that day was anything but routine or ordinary. City Hall was swamped with people wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with large white letters saying: “Keep the OBcean attitude.

Read the full article → 8 comments

OB Community Plan Goes Before San Diego City Council on Nov. 9th

October 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Community Plan Goes Before San Diego City Council on Nov. 9th

It’s been announced at several Ocean Beach group meetings, and again at last night’s OB Town Council meeting.

The Ocean Beach Community Plan goes to the San Diego City Council on Monday, November 9th, for hopefully it’s final approval.

The hearing is in Council Chambers in City Hall at 2:00 p.m.

OBceans are being urged to attend – and wear blue shirts – and particularly the t-shirt emblazoned with:
“Keep the OBcean attitude” .

Read the full article → 0 comments

Polls: Who Would You Vote for Mayor of San Diego?

October 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

clipboard w pencilIt’s the OB Rag Poll Time, again.

This time, it’s all about who you would vote for as the mayor of San Diego? Kevin Faulconer? Any Democrat? OB’s own Gretchen Newsom?

Here’s your chance to take part in our numerous surveys below. You will be able to vote in each poll – and you will see the vote totals once you’ve voted yourself.

And please, read each option before you decide. We will keep these polls alive for a week. Have fun.

Read the full article → 6 comments

It’s the OB Rag’s 8th Birthday!

October 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for It’s the OB Rag’s 8th Birthday!

It’s birthday number 8 for the online OB Rag.

Yup, we started this internet gig eight years ago – during the huge late October 2007 firestorm, and have continued to this day, surviving the ups and downs – and actually thriving in our corner of San Diego as part of the alternative media for this town.

Patty Jones and I first initiated the online version of OB’s counter-culture icon of the 1970’s – the OB People’s Rag – with the original intent – to ply the San Diego scene with news and commentary from a progressive perspective, to provide a forum for those views, and to provide a web platform for Ocean Beach …

Read the full article → 9 comments

How OB’s Gretchen Newsom Decided to Run for Mayor — and Where She’ll Go From Here

October 28, 2015 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for How OB’s Gretchen Newsom Decided to Run for Mayor — and Where She’ll Go From Here

By Matthew Wood

Gretchen Newsom insists her announcement to run in the San Diego Mayoral election at the San Diego County Democratic Convention on Saturday night was anything but scripted.

“I’ve been having many conversations over many months with many people to find someone to run for mayor who would stand up for the voices of the people that need them,”

– the current Ocean Beach Town Council President and neighborhood leader said.

“I was very disappointed with what I heard.”

Call it an epiphany. A moment of clarity. Or even just an inspiration to do what she does best. She calls the decision her time to step up and lead a bigger constituency.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Poor Mayor Faulconer

October 28, 2015 by Source

red long johnsBy Norma Damashek

It’s enough to make you cringe, the way they toy with our mayor – those brawny Chargers/ Rams/ Raiders sports team owners, our insatiable hotel magnates, those downtown real estate purveyors, our Chamber of Commerce henchmen. So many entitled guys diddling with our small-time politicians just for the fun of it, passing the time until they clinch their publicly-subsidized, taxpayer-financed killer deals.

But our mayor is a good-natured sport. He wears his what-me-worry grin even when he’s left flapping in the breeze, flailing like wet underwear strung up on the clothesline to dry. One minute limp and aimless. The next minute puffed up and billowing like a hot-air facsimile of a political contender hoping to score in big-boy Republican Party politics.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Sunset Cliffs Continue to Change, Erode, and Evolve – Look at “Needles Eye”

October 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Sunset Cliffs Continue to Change, Erode, and Evolve – Look at “Needles Eye”

We cannot destroy Sunset Cliffs anymore in order to save them

Originally published July 11, 2008

OCEAN BEACH, CA. To those who believe that the beautiful Sunset Cliffs – a wonderland stretch along the Pacific just south of OB – are a static monument of nature, should gaze carefully at these photos sent to OB Rag by Larry O’Brien, expert and lover of the cliffs. The old postcards are of “Needles Eye”, a wonderful work of rock, wind and water, and it stood on its lonely pedestal until an earthquake destroyed it, I believe, in the early, mid-1960’s.

Read the full article → 20 comments

Just Who Is Gretchen Newsom?

October 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Just Who Is Gretchen Newsom?

Editor: Now that Gretchen Newsom has announced her intention of running for mayor of San Diego, we offer this interview of Gretchen nearly two years ago.

Originally posted on Nov. 26, 2013 under the title, “New President of OB Town Council, Gretchen Newsom, Loves OB’s Uniqueness

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall. Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

She has not lived in OB 3 years yet – as she and her hubby Kristoffer arrived here in February 2011 – yet she was handed the reins of a most important community organization. Although Kris, we need to say, is the reason she’s here; Kris was raised in OB and lived here most of his life.

Read the full article → 12 comments

Surfing or Surf Schools in Ocean Beach

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Surfing or Surf Schools in Ocean Beach

By Lois Lane

Why do the surfing schools want to extend their hours? [Editor: see this.]

The city of San Diego is very magnanimous in its consideration of the populace, and has made sure that every child will have the opportunity to learn to surf if they so choose by offering surf camps.

This consideration coincides nicely with the holidays the schools have, generating the added benefit to working parents of a baby-sitting service for their offspring. Serving children from ages 5 to 17, presumably there is some age-appropriate organization of the process.

The general feeling at the city, who planned these programs, along with the lifeguards and the surf schools, is that the surfers who are unhappy with the 100 inexperienced surfers at Ocean Beach at the same time along with their instructors are just curmudgeonly. This is for the children, after all.

And then, there are the Surf Schools themselves.

Two are authorized. What exactly are they?

Read the full article → 35 comments

“Short term vacation rentals seemed like a great idea …”

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for “Short term vacation rentals seemed like a great idea …”

By Alison Patton / Special to the OB Rag

I can relate to the battle going on between STVRs (short term vacation rentals) and neighborhood residents in San Diego. The same debate went on in my home.

My husband John Thickstun began work as legal counsel for Save San Diego Neighborhoods (SSDN) many months ago (and since has become a Board member).

My first reaction was, “Why this issue, John?”

Everything I knew about STVRs was positive and I ticked off my list to him:

  • Our friend Ann rents a room in her house through VRBO. Her neighbors have never complained.
  • Our neighbor Nick rented his house last summer so he and his family could travel to Europe. It wasn’t a problem.
  • We rented that house in New York through Airbnb years ago and had a great time.
Read the full article → 47 comments

IMPACT: El Niño, La Niña Events Along the Pacific Coast

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for IMPACT: El Niño, La Niña Events Along the Pacific Coast

By Peter Ruggiero / Oregon State University / The News Guard / October 25, 2015

A coastal hazards analysis of 48 Pacific Ocean beaches in three continents, using data from 1979 to 2012, found the biggest factor influencing communities and beaches in all regions was the impact of El Niño and La Niña events.

The study also found their influence had alternate impacts in different parts of the Pacific basin. When one side of the Pacific experienced extreme coastal erosion and flooding because of El Niño the other side often experienced these hazards during La Niña. Some climate projections suggest that these events may occur more frequently in the 21st century, meaning that populated regions could experience more severe flooding or erosion.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Planning Board Adopts Policy on Acceptable Deviations to OB’s FAR for Green Buildings

October 26, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Planning Board Adopts Policy on Acceptable Deviations to OB’s FAR for Green Buildings

From the OB Planning Board:

At its meeting on October 21, 2015, the Ocean Beach Planning Board adopted a policy on acceptable deviations to floor area ratio (FAR) under City-mandated incentive programs for sustainable development.

Policy for Deviations to Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Under Sustainability Incentive Programs

The Ocean Beach Planning Board recognizes the value of sustainable development in the urban environment. We support the City of San Diego Climate Action Plan goal of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035. In addition, the Ocean Beach Planning Board recognizes California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan to make all new residential construction Zero Net Energy by 2020, and all new commercial construction Zero Net Energy by 2030. This element is also noted in Section CE-A.5 of the City of San Diego General Plan.

Read the full article → 8 comments

Why Is Navy Waste Water Carving Valleys in Point Loma?

October 26, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Why Is Navy Waste Water Carving Valleys in Point Loma?

One of our local readers, Andrew, was visiting the beaches along Sunset Cliffs on Saturday, October 24th. He was walking way south of Ladera Street with his dog.

It was low tide, so he could walk around the point the cliffs make south of the famous surfing spot known as Newbreak. He wanted the beach all to himself and his dog.

Read the full article → 15 comments

The Widder Curry Bids a Fond Farewell to Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

October 26, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The Widder Curry Bids a Fond Farewell to Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

By Judi Curry

On August 21, 2012 I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery. The trees we dying; the grass was dying; and the one place I found solace after my husband Bob’s death was no more.

On August 15, 2014, I wrote a subsequent article about the same place, still unhappy about the conditions of the cemetery. I sent a copy of that article to Doug Ledbetter, the Director of the Cemetery, and what followed was a miraculous change for the better. (Not because of my letter, but because Doug also recognized the problems and set forth to correct them.)

Read the full article → 6 comments

Inequality for All in America’s Higher Education System

October 26, 2015 by Jim Miller

equity logoBy Jim Miller with Ian Duckles

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing Thomas Piketty speak on economic inequality at UCSD.

In his talk, Piketty hit on the central themes of his seminal work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century: how our current level of economic inequality is now back to where it was before the “great compression” of the mid-twentieth century when union density, progressive taxation, and educational policies helped produce the high point of the American middle class.

Read the full article → 0 comments

5 Reasons Gretchen Newsom Is Running for San Diego Mayor

October 26, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for 5 Reasons Gretchen Newsom Is Running for San Diego Mayor

Will make San Diego a place where people thrive not just survive.

OCTOBER 25, 2015 – Today at the San Diego County Democratic Convention, Gretchen Newsom, a community leader and advocate for working families announced that she will run for Mayor of San Diego in 2016.

“I’m running for Mayor because San Diego deserves a leader who will stand up for our communities,” stated Newsom. “I am committed to the values that are important to us, and I have a vision for a better San Diego that will build bridges of opportunity for all.”

Following her announcement, Newsom released her five priorities to Raise San Diego.

1. Create a San Diego that is more RESPONSIVE Local government should respond to the needs of our communities. Our community groups are laboratories for finding solutions to improve our neighborhoods, but they aren’t being heard by the current mayor.

Read the full article → 22 comments

Sunset Plaza in Ocean Beach Unveiled

October 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Sunset Plaza in Ocean Beach Unveiled

Leaving a local OB restaurant after dinner the other night, a good friend looked up and exclaimed:

“What’s that building! Is that People’s?”

His shock at the edifice – and immediate reference to the other large building across the intersection – may mirror the reaction of other OBceans and Point Lomans upon their first view of the recent unveiling of Sunset Plaza – the large, 2-storied enterprise at the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire Street.

Now to be fair, this friend lives near the border between south OB and Point Loma and may not venture into the village along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard all that much.

But it’s clear that the Plaza has shed its exterior trappings of scaffolding and mesh curtains for all to see. And it is quite a shock for some to see that box at that corner.

We do not know any of the other details, such as the “official opening” or what is going in – except for the vegetarian restaurant moving into part of the space on the bottom floor. (And no, there will not be a “drive-thru” as rumored.)

Read the full article → 10 comments

Is Bernie a True Socialist?

October 23, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Is Bernie a True Socialist?
Read the full article → 3 comments

The Only Licensed Medical Pot Shop in the Midway Has 5,000 Patients

October 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Only Licensed Medical Pot Shop in the Midway Has 5,000 Patients

Hannah Steria showed me into the cramped back office of the only licensed medical marijuana storefront in City Council District 2, the Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative, one of the only places in the building where we could do an interview in private. The place was crowded with patients and staff – two friendly security guards were very visible. We were about 2 miles as the seagull flies from downtown Ocean Beach – and this was OB’s closest licensed pot storefront.

Read the full article → 22 comments

“The Giant Pumpkin” Lives in Ocean Beach

October 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “The Giant Pumpkin” Lives in Ocean Beach

Somewhere on Santa Monica Avenue in north OB, the Giant Pumpkin Lives!

OBceans are making Halloween a lit-up “holiday” – and are stringing up (usually) orange lights and digging up front yards to make graves -as new polls show adults are taking over the night of ghosts and spending goblins of cash.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Sea-rise Projections for Ocean Beach Show Bacon Street at Water’s Edge

October 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Sea-rise Projections for Ocean Beach Show Bacon Street at Water’s Edge

By the year 2100- a mere 85 years from now -, scientists project that temperatures will have melted polar ice enough to have raised ocean water levels in the Pacific nearly 10 feet. If this does occur – and it seems likely – north Ocean Beach will have a new beachfront, with Bacon Street being the new Abbott Street, right at the water’s edge. According to maps just released last week from a group of scientists who have studied climate change, the projections of the effects of sea levels rising for coastal communities around the globe, including Ocean Beach and the rest of San Diego, are very disquieting.

Read the full article → 23 comments

OB Planners’ Special Meeting on “Deviations” to the FAR

October 21, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Planners’ Special Meeting on “Deviations” to the FAR

The Ocean Beach Planning Board is holding a “special meeting” tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 21. The one-item agenda is on the City’s “Sustainable Building Expedite Program” and whether the OB Board will craft policies allowing “deviations” to OB’s historic floor area ration (FAR) or not. They meet at 6pm sharp in the community meeting room in […]

Read the full article → 1 comment

Guns, Angry People and Mass Murders: The Cycle Continues Until We Stop It

October 21, 2015 by John Lawrence

pm_gun_violenceBy John Lawrence

We live in a sick society where little kids play violent video games, you can’t flip through the channels on a TV without seeing drawn handguns, and hunters use automatic weapons to kill innocent animals.

It’s a culture of violence in movies and TV, a culture of violence in video games and a culture of violence in terms of unending wars and people blown to smithereens every night on the nightly news.

It was disheartening to me to see a few days after the horrific mass murder at Umpqua Community College, pro gun demonstrators protesting the American President as he landed there to give comfort to the families who had lost loved ones. Where were the anti gun protesters?

Read the full article → 6 comments