February 2016

The Cliffs at Ocean Beach – Planning Area District 5

February 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB District 5 mapIn our continuing series of looking at each of the seven planning districts in Ocean Beach, we come to District 5 in southwestern OB.

The OB Rag is performing this public education service as the OB Planning Board is having its annual election on March 2nd. And we feel that development issues are coming to the fore once again in OB’s history, as funds bottled up during the Great Recession are being unleashed and the village is facing multiple pressures – and in fact, is at a development crossroads.

Here are the other districts we have covered. Here’s why it’s important.)

District 5 – the Cliffs at Ocean Beach

The fifth district within OB is the smallest district geographically, but because it hugs the gorgeous Sunset Cliffs, it has some of the most stunning views of sunsets, the coast, the surf, and provides an aura of solitude at those cliffs.

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The Hub of Ocean Beach: Planning District 4

February 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Plan Bd Dist 4 mapEditor: As we continue in our series looking at the different districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area, today we settle in District 4 – the Hub of OB. See their website for details.

District 4 – The Center of the Village – the Hub of OB

It’s easy to see why District 4 is indeed the center and hub of the community of Ocean Beach. Just look at a map and you’ll see that the business district and the main beach are both in this district.

Downtown OB – the 3 commercial blocks of Newport Avenue and the adjacent side streets – is certainly the center of the community, no matter how you measure it. Traffic, pedestrians, events, happenings, music, food – and of course drink – it all – or most of it anyhow – happens right there.

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Where is the Climate Crisis in Our National Discussion About the Future of the World? – The Stunning Moral Failure of the Presidential Debates

February 29, 2016 by Jim Miller

Climate-Crisis-300x204By Jim Miller

If you are an observant reader you might have noticed that last week, amidst the usual banal political commentary surrounding the Presidential race, the New York Times matter-of-factly reported that, “Seas are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”.

If you managed not to spit out your coffee, you read the alarming news that:

The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported . .

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said.

And if that didn’t send you into a morning funk, you might have …

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City Attorney Candidates Present Themselves to Point Loma Democrats

February 29, 2016 by Judi Curry
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Summary – Pt. Loma Democratic Club Meeting

The meeting was called to order by President Susan Peinado with a full agenda awaiting the audience. Rather than go into much detail, the following is a brief synopsis of the meeting itself:

1. There was a petition to abolish the death penalty discussed by the originators of the petition. This is very similar to the one presented a few years back, but there are some changes that will make it more palatable this year, or so the originators think.

2. Lawrence Zynda made a brief presentation as to why he is thinking of running for mayor.

3. The campaign manager for Lori Saldana made a presentation as to her running for mayor as an Independent this year against the current mayor. It should be noted that she has always been a Democrat, but the party treated her poorly during the Filner fiasco, and although her beliefs are primarily those of the party, she will run as an Independent.

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Women Vs. Men: Prepping For That First Date

February 29, 2016 by Annie Lane
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By Annie Lane

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We all know this. But there’s a pretty key difference in how women prep for dates — especially first dates — and it’s way bigger than shaving our legs, trying on multiple outfits multiple times or otherwise attempting to look cute.

In a “so sad it’s funny” social commentary, the YouTube channel Unsolicited Project offers up its newest video, How Women Get Ready for First Dates. In it, the woman tells her roommate: “Just remember exactly what I’m wearing right now just in case I go missing.” By contrast, the guy throws on a jacket and heads out the door.

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OB’s North-East Quadrant: Planning Board District 3

February 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Plan Bd Dist 3 map

The third district of the OB Planning Area is an anomaly because its neighborhoods are diverse and a good portion is physically separated from the others.

The district includes OB’s most north-eastern area, that neighborhood hemmed in by West Point Loma Boulevard and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, but also includes a huge section on the other side of Nimitz Boulevard that has some more expensive condos as well as a sizable area of affordable housing.

The district almost looks like a giant bow tie (or maybe a giant seagull) with two large wings centered at Seaside and Nimitz.

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Restaurant Review: Kanda Thai Cuisine in the Midway District

February 26, 2016 by Judi Curry
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Restaurant Review:

Kanda Thai Cuisine
3545 Midway Drive #M

It seems that I am still celebrating my birthday last week, because my friend Mary wanted to treat me to a special birthday. I really wanted to have good Chinese food in a restaurant, but could not find any locally that have good reviews. I had a coupon for the “Kanda Thai” restaurant in the same location that another Thai restaurant was at only six months ago and we decided to try it. (It is interested to note that our waitress told us that the “Kanda” is owned by the same owner that owned the now defunct “Thai Time II.”)

The coupon stated that it was their “Grand Opening” but when we asked the waitress how long they had been there the answer was six months. This is important because of several things that occurred during our meal.

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SeaWorld Admits to Spying on Activists – Meanwhile, It’s Stock Is Down Nearly 10%

February 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

PETA says this photo of 2014 Rose Parade arrest shows Paul McComb of SeaWorld, who went by Thomas Jones. (Via Times of San Diego)

SeaWorld has now admitted for the very first time, that some of its employees spied on animal rights groups while they posed as activists. This admission is 7 months after PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – accused SeaWorld of having one of its San Diego HR employees pose as an activist, attend protests and then make outrageous comments on social media.

Meanwhile, could it be that the big story is actually that SeaWorld’s stocks have fallen nearly 10%? It’s 4th-quarter earnings report, released Thursday, February 25th, stated that its stocks were down 9.2%. The company’s admission here was that attendance for the first quarter this year was down.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

February 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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* 50 Years Ago – Ocean Beach Held the World Surfing Championships
* Falling Sky Pottery Gallery/Studio – Art by Kathy Blavatt – Reception Friday, Feb. 26

* OB Elementary School News
* Storm Water Hotline
* Credit Card Swindlers at Gas Pump?
* “San Diego I Love You” – Romantic Comedy Performed Around Ocean Beach, Feb 27 & 28

* OB Library News : The AC is now installed and working; The Library is now open to 6pm on Saturdays.Demonstration on landscaping with native plants – Sat., March 19th,
* Official Opening of First Winery in OB and Point Loma
* Midway Post Office Copper Wire Theft Gets 30 Months
* Decriminalizing homelessness
* Shark of least concern caught off pier – “No one should gurgle up their own blood — no one!”
* Sandbags Available
* Sexual Assault and Violence on Newport
* OB Library Essay Contest Awards
* OBMA Collecting Stories of the OB Pier
* Vets Plaza Begun
* Point Loma Extortionist Looking at 11 Years

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OB Planning District 2 – The Heart of OB

February 25, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Dist 2 Map

District 2 – The Heart of OB

District 2 – the virtual center of the community – is indeed the heart and soul of Ocean Beach.

Positioned within the northwest sector of the community along with District 1 to its north, District 2 consists primarily of residential units, apartments, cottages and houses.

It has about 12 blocks of residences along its 3 major streets, Long Branch, Brighton and Cape May Avenues; Brighton and Cape May have the awesome distinctions of being a few of the OB streets that end in the sand.

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Someone Is Killing Parrots With Pellet Guns – 3rd Death Over Last Week

February 25, 2016 by Staff

Parrot shot pellet 2-24-16

Somebody is shooting and killing parrots with pellet guns in the OB and Point Loma area. Three parrots have been killed in the last 6 or 7 days.

Five parrots have been killed this year.

Two were found on Monday, Feb. 22nd in the area of Talbot Street and Gage Drive. Number three was found dead near the Mariners Cove Apartments on Point Loma, with an X-ray showing a small pellet in it.

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Cordoned Off Section of Sunset Cliffs Collapses

February 25, 2016 by Staff

sunset cliffs collapse 2-14-16 fb

Around 5pm Wednesday, Feb. 24th, a section of Sunset Cliffs collapsed. No one was hurt – as the collapse had been anticipated and an area had been cordoned off.

The falling dirt came at 1303 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue officials, near the first parking lot south of Adair Street.

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Chargers Say They’ll Fund Their Own Stadium Downtown (Sort of)

February 25, 2016 by Doug Porter

SD Convention CenterOh, to have been a fly on the wall at city hall as the local football franchise went public with a ‘no thanks’ to the officially blessed plan of building a stadium in Mission Valley.

Once again the mayor and his minions have been left out in the cold.Last time they were spurned for an alliance with the Raiders to build a facility in Carson. This time it’s even worse, as the Chargers have thrown their support to a political coalition including the ne’er-do-well Cory Briggs.

In making this move the Chargers have rejected $350 million in city and county support –and the strings that came with it– saying they would get their own financing.

How’d they do that? Well, it’s complicated.

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OB Planning Area – District 1 : the Frontline vs. Gentrification

February 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB District 1 Map off'l

The annual election to the Ocean Beach Planning Board is coming up on Wednesday, March 2nd. This 14-member board reviews, approves and monitors development in OB as it adheres to the newly updated and approved OB Community Plan as the blueprint for the community.

District 1 – Northwest OB

We begin with District 1 – the northwest sector of OB – a very important section of the community. It’s bordered on the north by Dog Beach, the San Diego River and Robb Field – which makes the district the gateway to two of OB’s parks.

It’s the site of the most famous dog-friendly beach park in the city and due to the district’s proximity to the beach, it has a heavy impact from tourists and visitors.

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I Don’t Mourn Scalia’s Passing

February 24, 2016 by John Lawrence

Photo by Cknight70

By John Lawrence

The man who gave us Citizens United and Bush vs Gore is gone from the face of the earth. I for one do not mourn his passing.

His decisions have not only contributed to the destruction of the US, but major portions of the world as well, and he was set to destroy the world consensus on climate change which would have destroyed the entire planet.

It was Scalia who said that unlimited corporate campaign spending is something “we should celebrate rather than condemn,” (Citizens United), that vote-counting should be halted for causing “irreparable harm” to the candidate who might lose as a result (Bush v. Gore), that protecting the right to vote is an odious example of “racial entitlements” (comments related to Shelby County v. Holder), and that allowing local anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians amounts to “special treatment”

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The Needed Fix For Our Broken Political-Economic System

February 24, 2016 by Source

bernie-sanders-portrait-01By Frank Thomas / San Diego Free Press

I admire Bernie’s outspoken, honest portrayal of the breakdown of our egalitarian democracy – “a government of, for and by the people” – by a corrupt, immoral plutocratic political-economic ESTABLISHMENT threatening the very existence of our democracy.

I was appalled by David Brooks’ disingenuous critique of Bernie’s call for a ‘political revolution’- systemic reform for a systemically broken, money corrupted governance. Brooks beguilingly discredits Bernie’s bold ideas in the recent article, Livin’ Bernie Sanders’s Danish Dream.

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Ocean Beach Growing Wary Over Private Encroachments into Public Space

February 23, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Growing Wary Over Private Encroachments into Public Space

From Restaurants to the Beach, Private Interests Are Taking More Public Grounds

The recent uproar among OBceans over the intrusions into public sidewalks by two Ocean Beach restaurants illustrates a broader and growing wariness by the public of the larger issue of encroachment by private interests into public space.

Just several weeks ago, the 2 OB restaurants, The Joint and the yet-to-open OB Brewery – both on Newport Avenue – have installed permanent fixtures outside their establishments that seriously curtail pedestrian traffic and block the public accesss to the public sidewalk immediately in front of the restaurants.

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OB Planning Board Elections – Wed., March 2nd – Still Time for “Write-In” Candidate Application

February 23, 2016 by Staff

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2016 Elections

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its 2016 General Election on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. Mail-in ballots are also available upon request.

Seven of the Board’s 14 seats will be up for election, one from each of the seven districts in the OB Community Plan Area (map of the 7 districts). If elected, members serve a two-year term of office. It is a volunteer position and receives no compensation.

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There’s a Vacancy on the OB Town Council – Applications Due March 4th

February 23, 2016 by Staff

OBTC Meet 6-25-14 front

There’s a vacant seat on the Board of Directors of the OB Town Council.

And they’re looking for someone interested in becoming more involved with the community. Someone with a strong desire to promote the general betterment and beautification of Ocean Beach and the welfare of our residents, is asked by the OBTC to consider applying for the vacant seat. The Town Council provides a great venue for folks to engage deeply in our community and make a meaningful and lasting impact.

There are requirements and there is an appointment process.

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Public Announcement: Empty Lot at Voltaire and Abbott to Be Fenced In – Car Towing Begins Sat., Feb. 27th

February 23, 2016 by Staff

Voltaire 509- emtylot

This is a public announcement:

The empty lot at the southeast corner of Abbott and Voltaire will soon be fenced in, as construction on the 2-story units will begin soon.

“No Parking” signs went up Monday – and any cars in the lot will be towed beginning Saturday, February 27th.

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OB Town Council: Preventing Future Flooding, Broken Streetlights, Sandbags and Pie in the Sky – Wed., Feb. 24th

February 22, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council: Preventing Future Flooding, Broken Streetlights, Sandbags and Pie in the Sky – Wed., Feb. 24th

Wednesday’s meeting of the OB Town Council – the 24th – will feature City representatives on preventing future flooding and repairing broken streetlights. Five hundred sandbags have been promised to be handed out as well by Lorie Zapf’s office. Plus the “Annual Pie with the President” will conclude the meeting – held at the Masonic Center, Sunset Cliffs and Santa Cruz.

The Town Council has invited the San Diego Department of Transportation & Storm Water to debrief our community on current and upcoming measures to prevent future flooding and repair broken streetlights. This part of the meeting is intended to be an interactive session whereby community members are invited to bring photos of the OB Flood to be plotted on a giant map, along with locations of broken street lights. The Council promises prizes for the best photos.

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February 22, 1974 – the Day Ocean Beach Became an Armed Police State

February 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OCEAN BEACH, CA. Exactly 42 years ago today, on February 22, 1974 – all hell broke loose in Ocean Beach – and for many of the seventies generation, this day will always live on in their memory as a day of infamy – the day the world came crashing down on our little seaside community.

It was the day that Pete Mahone, a politicized ex-convict and member of OB’s anti-Vietnam war community, tried to commit suicide by cop. It was also the breaking point in police-community relations, relations that had been simmering for years.

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“Belly Laughs, Chuckles and Guffaws” at OB Comedy’s 10th Anniversary

February 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for “Belly Laughs, Chuckles and Guffaws” at OB Comedy’s 10th Anniversary

By Byron Morton

Although primarily known as a music venue, Winston’s Beach Resort and Bar – at 1921 Bacon Street in the heart of Ocean Beach-, has for the past ten years been a showcase for some of San Diego’s finest comedy talent. And last Friday, the 19th, I went to see the Ocean Beach Comedy 10th Anniversary show, right in the heart of OB’s business district.

There was so much talent performing their bits that I can’t review them all, as comedians from across the country came to celebrate and perform.

Winston’s large open window and emerald tiled entrance transports you into an old school hipster joint, complete with brick wall interior, reminiscent of New York’s East Village.

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The FBI’s iPhone Emergency: Crying Wolf to Beat the Fourth Amendment

February 22, 2016 by Doug Porter

iphone-5c-review-32By Doug Porter

The Federal Bureau of Investigation persuaded a judge to order Apple to create a workaround for iPhone security restrictions preventing them from trying unlimited PIN codes to crack into the phone used by one of San Bernadino terrorists.

Apple has said ‘no way’ and likely intends to appeal the order. The FBI and Department of Justice, with the Obama administration’s “full” support, say they are “not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to their products,” but rather are seeking entry “to this one device.”

What the government’s not saying is that the process of gaining entry to this device once possessed by a TERRORIST (are you afraid yet?) provides a precedent amounting to unlocking all secure phones. They’re banking on judges and the public not grasping the scope of what is going on here. And it turns out they’ve been looking for a way to make this happen for quite some time.

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What A New Supreme Court Means for Unions, Education Funding, and the Future of California

February 22, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by tedeytan

By Jim Miller

With the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13th, public sector unions in America were given a reprieve from what was sure to be a bad ruling in the Friedrichs v CTA case before the Supreme Court.

As Michael Hiltzik explained in the Los Angeles Times:

The target of the Friedrichs lawsuit, and several others just like it, is the “agency” or “fair share” fee. Under the law and according to a 1977 Supreme Court decision known as the Abood case, unionized public employees can be assessed nonmember fees to cover solely the cost of negotiations and contract enforcement, without being compelled to join the union and support its political activities by paying full union dues. That’s the arrangement in California.

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Ocean Beach Comedy – 10 Year Anniversary Show at Winston’s – Fri. Feb. 19th

February 19, 2016 by Source
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Ocean Beach Comedy (OBC) was created 10 years ago, almost by accident.

The show started with Andrew Deans and Steven Kendrick needing an outlet to continue their stand up desires after moving from Texas.

Soon Jesse Egan and Bob Hansen were brought on.

The team added spontaneity to the show by creating topics, sticking them in a hat, randomly drawing, and creating jokes on the spot with what was written on the paper. The show blossomed from there as the original crew started finding other local comedians and giving them a stage to work on material.

Throughout the years, OBC saw some of the best comedians in the business like Doug Stanhope, Joey Diaz, and Jeff Richards.

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“The Major Minus” on Their Way After Debut in Ocean Beach

February 19, 2016 by Source
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By Sunny Rey

Has the new EP, Shooting star, lit your sound waves yet?!

When the manager of one of San Diego’s top music venues, The Irenic, starts a music venture of his own, the city takes notice!

The Funkyheads of North Park had found their dancing shoes sleepy and uninspired for some time until the Major Minus came with all the tricks and edge that the cool kids had been craving!

Like a history bloated with great things that come about unplanned, the music of the Major Minus formed and swelled into the great solid sound it hits hard on in their breakout EP, Shooting Star, with as much surprise to the music fans as it was to the musical men themselves.

The band started as just a breezy idea off the cuff from Brit, the lead singer, to go in and lay some vocals down since he had some booked studio time to claim.

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Past Fatal Shootings of Civilians by San Diego Police

February 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

danny thewalkerwoodyardCall for Federal Investigation Echos Earlier Cries for Reform After Shootings of OBceans Danny the Walker and Tony Tumminia

Every now and then, San Diegans get so outraged by police shootings of civilians who are usually unarmed, that they do something about it, whether through protest, or art – or by calls for the Department of Justice to come to town and investigate excess shootings by San Diego Police.

Just yesterday, February 17th, the ACLU and 26 San Diego groups and law firms called on the US Justice Department for an investigation into the SDPD’s use of force when encountering people living with mental illness. We certainly applaud this effort to bring a spotlight to an ugly underside of San Diego.

Sadly, this is not the first time that San Diegans have been upset by police shootings of other San Diegans – most which tragically end up in death.

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ACLU and 26 Groups Call on Justice Department to Investigate San Diego Police Use of Force on Mentally Unstable People

February 18, 2016 by Staff

acluThe ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, along with 26 civil rights, social service organizations, and law firms on February 17th asked the Federal government for an investigation into the SDPD’s use of force when encountering people living with mental illness.

An inquiry by the ACLU, following the police shooting of a mentally ill man holding a pen, and the district attorney’s decision not to press charges against the officer, revealed what they believe was a disturbing pattern and practice of improperly handling incidents with people with mental illness or who are experiencing a mental health crisis by SDPD personnel.

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Centennial of the Great Flood of 1916 and the Rainmaker – Thurs. Feb. 18th

February 18, 2016 by Source

San Diego flood 1916 oldtown

Thursday, February 18, 7 pm, Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents:

“Centennial of the Devastating 1916 Flood and the Rainmaker” at St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church 1371 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, Ocean Beach;

In words and pictures this presentation will re-visit the famed Rainmaker Flood and look at the strange story of an itinerant sewing machine salesman-turned rainmaker, who claimed the historic rainfall as “an act of Hatfield.” Rick Crawford is the supervisor of Special Collections at the San Diego Public Library and former archives director at the San Diego Historical Society.

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