Fear and Loathing at the Black

by on June 24, 2010 · 94 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, Popular

black protest 6-23-10 jg 01

Picket line and protest in front of The Black, with onlookers, counter-protesters, cops and the media. Photo by Jim Grant.

That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was a few minutes late arriving for the picket line at The Black, a 1960’s throwback head shop on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach that’s been at the center of the controversy over its promotion of teeshirts and stickers that say “Welcome to Ocean Beach, Don’t Feed The Bums”.

There were television trucks lined up along the street and I spotted OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie, dressed in a suit (!) surrounded by an angry, jeering mob. For a few moments I feared for his safety, as the level of anger in the air reached a fevered pitch. Things were clearly getting out hand. The crowd was getting aggressive, pushing him around and trying to silence him. There wasn’t any real dialogue going on–just yelling, with lots of words, gestures and pure loathing. It was evil, unmitigated hatred, garnished with a healthy dollop of vile.

The arrival of the San Diego Police and an (late like I was—hey, it’s OB, nothing starts on time) influx of other people protesting the Black’s sale of these stickers, lowered the level of anger to a barely tolerable level. To be sure, there were individuals in the crowd who continued to try to force physical confrontations, especially one young man who seemed hell-bent on picking a fight. He made it his personal crusade—non-stop for two hours—to personally insult, curse and harass every person who showed up to walk that picket line. At one point a woman came to me in tears, after he called her a “worthless piece of shit” and other things much less printable.

Another older gentleman demonstrated his solution to the panhandler issue, when he whipped out his knife in front of some women walking the picket line (see photo) and proceeded to describe in great detail how he was going to “gut” the next panhandler he encountered, warning them that they could be next if they didn’t leave.

The experience was a test, for each of us that chose to protest, of our commitment to non-violence. In retrospect I can remember a half-dozen different threats against me personally, not counting the jeers, shoves and curses. I have to say that many people held up much better than I did. After about the third confrontation, I just kept my mouth shut and marched back and forth holding my picket sign saying “Boycott Hate”. Frank, Patty, Cindi, Sunshine and Ernie (I’m sure I forgot a couple of people here) deserve kudos for attempted to continue to engage in dialogue with supporters of the “Don’t Feed The Homeless” sticker.

To be sure, you have to give the crew at the Black credit for coming up with the sticker. The homeless issue is no longer a back burner concern. Now Ocean Beach faces some critical choices. I fear the probability that the anger expressed on Newport Avenue will translate into violence: as has happened elsewhere, somebody’s gonna be the victim of vigilante violence.

Over the past decade (1999-2008), advocates and shelter workers around the country have received news reports of men, women and even children being harassed, kicked, set on fire, beaten to death, and decapitated. From 1999 through 2008, in 263 cities and in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, there have been 880 acts of violence committed by housed individuals, resulting in 244 deaths of homeless people and 636 victims of non-lethal violence.

Most hate crimes/violent acts are committed not by organized hate groups, but by individual citizens who harbor a strong resentment against a certain group of people. Some are “mission offenders,” who believe they are on a mission to cleanse the world of a particular evil. Others are “scapegoat offenders,” who violently act out their resentment toward the perceived growing economic power of a particular racial or ethnic group. Still others are “thrill seekers,” those who take advantage of a vulnerable and disadvantaged group in order to satisfy their own pleasures. Thrill seekers, primarily in their teens, are the most common perpetrators of violence against people who are homeless. 43% of attacks against the homeless were committed by teens aged 13-19 and 73% of the accused/convicted attackers were ages 25 years or younger.

There is another way. The community can work together to insist on both better enforcement against aggressive panhandlers and a network of social services that targets the needs of this community. This isn’t sexy, it isn’t thrilling and it won’t completely solve the problem. The Black could (I say should) lead the way here. The OB Mainstreet Association should also step in.

OB’s Churches have stepped up to the plate to explore more positive ways to grapple with this issue. A few hours of your time here and there, and perhaps, a goodwill donation to this effort by those who have personally profited from this situation seems to be a lot healthier and more American way. I, for one, doubt that many (or any) of the people I saw on Newport cursing the OB Rag for raising this issue will be bothered to make the effort. (I’d be thrilled to be proven wrong!)

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Shane Finneran June 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Terrific article, Doug. Kudos to you and the other protesters for taking your stand.

What a shame, the ugliness and intolerance from some of those opposed to you. Of course, it’s not much of a surprise, given that ugliness and intolerance are what The Black’s “bum” stickers/t-shirts are all about.

I can only hope that some of the folks who have defended the stickers/t-shirts on this website are as appalled by the juvenile insults and violent threats as I am. Disagreement is one thing…total abandonment of class and respect is another. Yikes.


avatar doug porter June 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

we have covered the issues surrounding the homeless extensively over the past two years. really, you should check our archives.
as to my fears about the violence: (from the above article) From 1999 through 2008, in 263 cities and in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, there have been 880 acts of violence committed by housed individuals, resulting in 244 deaths of homeless people and 636 victims of non-lethal violence.
and until you can tell us who it is that determines who the “squatter rats” are and what the criteria are (gosh, is there a committee? do they have membership cards?), we’ll continue to maintain that this sort of of “joke” sticker is de-humanizing.
and will you personally step up to the plate and agree to work with the OB interfaith group seeking solutions to the homeless issue?
we will.


avatar Kenloc June 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

can you also give a statistic as to how many homeless individuals perpetrated an act of violence on a “housed” person?


avatar doug porter June 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm

no, but i do have this statistic handy:
OB Crime Index per 1000 people
2009 = 38.16
2008 = 45.39
2007 = 57.68
Source: San Diego Police Department
oh, and for 2010, thus far it’s STILL down.


avatar Kenloc June 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Crime stats are down because the police have stepped it up. I definitely see an increased police presence in O.B. In fact,many people have accused the police of using too much enforcement, particularly against the homeless. So we are against the booze ban and against police harrasing the homeless on the sea wall but we like the result it brings enough to quote the dropping crime rate statistics? you are only proving that the steps that have been impemented in O.B. the last few years, the steps you take exception to,are working.Crime IS down. Give credit where credit is due. GO S.D.P.D.!


avatar Frank Gormlie June 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Actually crime stats go up with an increased police presence. This is a basic lesson in any criminal justice class. The more cops = the more arrests = higher crime stats. For instance, if there is one cop in a ten block area, with stats of xyz, then you increase the police tenfold, you get 10 times xyz = higher crime stats.

Part of Doug’s point is that despite all the claims of more crimes by homeless, the stats are going down and these allegations don’t pan out.


avatar Kenloc June 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

So the ten block area doesn’t have an increase in crime,it has an increase in arrests,initially.after many arrests in the 10 block area, the amount of crimes being commited would drop.Arrest stats are not the same as crimes committed.
Many crimes go unpunished when there is 1 cop in the 10 block area.
I understand the point Doug is making. Crime is going down. The less people you have walking around drunk,homeless or not,the less crime your going to have.
As for homeless people and crime, I’ve lived here for 10 years.Here is a few that I have seen:Public intoxication,under the influence of a controlled substance,public urination,tresspassing,theft(from businesses and citizens)possesion of narcotics with the intent to sell,grafitti,assault, arson,attempted murder,loitering,littering.You cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the homeless sometimes do perpetrate crimes because you feel bad about their situation. Housed folks do these thing as well,I know.But to say homeless folks don’t commit crimes is correct.


avatar Frank Gormlie June 25, 2010 at 7:11 am

Kenloc, no one on this blog is defending crimes committed by homeless (or other) people. Where do you get this from: ” You cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the homeless sometimes do perpetrate crimes because you feel bad about their situation.” Who is turning a blind eye??? We are saying there’s problems and let’s work on solving them – yet the damn sticker and t-shirts are not the answer and are dehumanizing to all of us. Here are some facts:
– crime is going down
– homeless numbers are going up
– 8% rise in overall homeless numbers since one year ago
– 12% rise in homeless on the street compared to one year ago
– worst economy since Great Depression still going


avatar john June 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm

– crime is going down
– homeless numbers are going up
– 8% rise in overall homeless numbers since one year ago
– 12% rise in homeless on the street compared to one year ago
– worst economy since Great Depression still going

Isn’t it funny how that first point really contradicts all the others?

It’s like this in many communities in America, and in OB one of the symptoms is that on any given night, go out and take a stroll after 11 PM. It’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Even on some weekend nights. How did this come about, low crime rates at the same time people are just desperately poor? and when was the last time you heard about any significant numbers of gang shootings in San Diego?
After 9/11 the Bush administration, through programs like CitizenCorps and FreedomCorps and USA on Watch, motivated citizens to become proactive about community policing, under the guise of “fighting terrorism” and began programs where neighborhood watches became snitches for the state, reporting legal and illegal behaviour to “terrorism liason officers” in “fusion centers”, and of course we have such a center in San Diego.
the ACLU has done extensive research on this, one of their reports is here:
Here’s a piece by ABCnews detailing the FBI’s similar efforts to organize a stasi-like network of 15,000 covert informants:
and a report that sums all this up nicely:
funny the word “stasi” comes up a lot, because I’ve seen thse people around my block on W. Pt. Loma from time to time, and they communicate with each other using “stasi signals” as they go about their “duties”, largely to fulfill their sociopathic need to control others in their little world.
But it’s worse than that, they are the bottom of the totem pole in what is believed to be a movement in America of eugneics, social engineering, by the powers that be that are ridding American communities- including Ocean Beach- of everyone who marches to the beat of a different drummer, doesn’t toe the line and work 9-5 and pay all their taxes and vote to support all the wars the MIC wants to fight, and I am pretty sure that’s what’s happened to OB in the last decade or so.
It is believed by many that some type of advanced weapons system, either locally or centrally deployed, is used to harass people they don’t want in their vision of the future. The technology exists and it is hard to get equipment to detect or prove this.
It could be “the gov’t” but is more likely to be psychopathic personalities within positions of gov’t, who are behind all this. I have presented some verifiable facts and some beliefs that cannot be verified.
If it is as I think it is, if everyone waits until they are personally involved to do something about it, it will be too late to stop it.
More on fusion centers:
terrorism liason officers:
a site from one of thousands of people reporting incidents of being targeted by stalkers that resmbled “neighborhood watch” that may be using some form of microwave or similar harassment device:

the relevance of all this, Frank, is we all know OB has changed, its makeup, the people who live here, the attitude. It was not as accidental as you might think.


avatar Kenloc June 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

ummmm….. wow


avatar Kenneth Legg June 25, 2010 at 8:09 am

errrr incorrect)


avatar mr fresh June 25, 2010 at 9:25 am

you COULD also say that people who live on Voltaire Street over the last ten years have been guilty of : “Public intoxication,under the influence of a controlled substance,public urination,tresspassing,theft(from businesses and citizens)possesion of narcotics with the intent to sell,grafitti,assault, arson,attempted murder,loitering,littering.”
But that would be unfair, wouldn’t it?


avatar psd June 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

I’ve only been here 4 years and I’ve seen each of those acts committed at least twice by both homeless and housed people.


avatar CJ June 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Remember this is reported crime. Believe me, a substantial amount of crime in OB is not reported. I do suggest you subscribe to eWatch to see the daily reported crime–I find it quite disturbing that OB has such a crime problem—and let’s not compare it to PB because that community is ruined.


avatar Sunshine June 25, 2010 at 8:56 am

244 deaths
244 people killed
244 families who lost a loved one
244 individuals singled out and killed
1 was too many
244 – that’s far too many deaths by hate
who will be 245? you? me?


avatar Kenloc June 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Regardless of what side of the issue you are on,you have to admit that some of the behavior that was on display yesterday was disappointing to say the least. I had my daughter(1 year old) with me and stopped by to see the goings on.I was able to spectate for a good 20 seconds before I had to leave. Foul language,disparaging remarks and pushing and shoving. Adults acting like the worst behaved children I have ever seen. It made me sad to see so many people in our community so angry at eachother.


avatar Ernie McCray June 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

A Letter I wrote to the Union-Tribune:
You say in an editorial, regarding The Black’s “Welcome to Ocean Beach. Please don’t feed our bums” stickers, that the sentiment might be juvenile but it’s not necessarily hateful as some people have declared it to be.
I could agree somewhat if the sticker featured some obvious overblown caricature of a panhandling ogre of some kind but it’s straightforward and as serious looking as can be.
Anyway, I took part in a protest in front of The Black condemning the sticker which is now featured on a t-shirt, holding a sign that read: “Children are Watching. Show them OB’s Loving Heart!” And lo and behold a boy, a juvenile, appears on the scene, checks it out, and in a matter of seconds joins the raucous in your face “Get out of our community and take the bums with you” kind of jeers we faced for two hours with police officers every now and then having to ask the counter protestors to step back away from us.
Now maybe the stickers weren’t hateful but being a 72 year old black man who has faced Jim Crow up close and personal I felt something very familiar in the air on Newport Avenue Wednesday afternoon – something I had never felt before in OB: hate. And there was nothing juvenile about it.


avatar jim grant June 24, 2010 at 4:58 pm

The incident with the knife is totally glamorized. Please edit that. The woman in the purple hat lied to you. I stood 3 feet from the man I heard the whole thing. I have a 4 shot sequence of shots of the conversation and his actions…..
THE women engaged him in conversation, he simply told them ” I walk the cliffs , seawall and other areas of OB I have been accosted and to protect my self I carry this knife” He then took the knife out of his pocket and showed them ….IF he did make a remark like that she should have reported that to one of the 10 San Diego Police Officers on the streets at that time. This tells me he never even uttered that to her without me hearing it…..
As I looked at my photos that woman in the purple hat was in 75% of my shots…she would run over to drama and confronation and anger and loud words time after time like a media whore or a camera hog….She was warned by San Diego Police 3 times I saw of to ” back off” and ” give others room”….. Please edit these statements about the knife it never happened.
Jim Grant.


avatar Shane Finneran June 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm

“IF he did make a remark like that she should have reported that to one of the 10 San Diego Police Officers on the streets at that time. . This tells me he never even uttered that to her…”

Funny how this is exactly what some of us have been saying about all the alleged criminal behavior by homeless people. Guess the shoe’s on the other foot this time, eh? LOL.


avatar jim grant June 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I really dont care about those other things. I speak of what I actually saw.
Thanks for the concern .


avatar Frank Gormlie June 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I do think there is a misunderstanding about the 3 women and the guy with the knife. The photo was definitely taken pre-picket line. The woman in the purple hat is Nancel and she is a missionary. The three women were praying in front of the Black before anyone else arrived. This guy shows up and shows the women his knife and say something to the effect that he would gut any aggressive panhandler. I don’t think he was threatening them but they did feel intimidated.


avatar jim grant June 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm

No he did not say that. He said if he ” needed to protect his life” he has a means. Get it right. The ” guy” was walking down Newport no way involved in this thing…They engaged him…he simply responded…and walked away.
I am not going to keep on this. But thats what happened.
Done with it.


avatar Frank Gormlie June 24, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Jim – you were there – obviously, Doug and I weren’t. But the women – all religious people – came up to me and Doug separately and all told us that they had felt intimidated by the show of the knife. Why would a guy minding his own business all of a sudden take out a knife and show it to three elderly women? I did see that same guy later during the protest.


avatar jim grant June 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Re-read: June 24 2010 4:58 pm…..
I am not getting in a loop on this thing.
It’s a waste of time.


avatar jim grant June 25, 2010 at 8:02 am

If she is indeed a missionary she knows that Jesus said ” If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat” ……She made it clear she was a woman of faith…So she should know Jesus expcted ablebody people to work at something. Other than making cute signs asking for change….
I spoke with several buisness owners and they all agreed if this roaming pack of young people were to walk Newport pick up trash, cig butts, remove gum or sweep sidewalks they would have no problem with them. It would also teach these kids not to litter.


avatar Frank Gormlie June 25, 2010 at 9:30 am

Okay, how would we organize that? I’m sure many would help out. But we need a core to start and a core to score.


avatar Jack June 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm


I am sorry, but you have taken the words of St Paul completely out of context. It is referring to those of the small and growing Chirstian community. It is not about actual labor for food, but refers to those who consider themselves Christians who do not do the work of God as directed by Jesus, will not eat at the table which has been prepared for us by Christ.

Please Jim, if you are going to quote scripture don’t “sound bite” it.


avatar jim grant June 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

dig a little deeper…or better yet…and faster for you goggle it….


avatar Jack June 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm


I will not discuss this issue with you. You are impolite.

Peace, Jack


avatar jim grant June 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Go back and read your little ” sound bite” comment and tell me who’s impolite. …then do a little bible research.
Get back to me.
Get some back bone while your at it.


avatar Pat June 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I thought I would cruise over to see what was going on in front of the Black and maybe take some pictures and video for historic posterity.
Taking a netural stance on the whole sticker issue, I wasn’t planning to get involved in the demonstration. ( I think the whole issue was blown way out of porportion like the homeless issue itself ). As I approched I was disturbed by what I witnessed. People getting in Franks face and telling him to go back to Lemon Grove. I lost it… Many of these people I know. I got in there face and told them Franks done more for OB than they would ever think of doing. I said things to some people that I later regretted. I said I was sorry to one young lady who would not accept my apology.
She later went and proudly displayed her sticker in front of news cameras. I’m deeply saddened by the display of many of my fellow community members. I’ve lived and worked in OB for 35 yrs . Walking the streets on a daily basis. We’ve been dealing with these same issues all along. I know there’s problems with our transient and homeless population. ( When I first moved here we called them skraggles, in an endearing manner of course). But I just don’t see It being that much worse than it has ever been. I think maybe the tolerence level has changed. When it comes to the business communty, I know I’m a minority when it comes to our street folks and my tolerance for them and their behavior. Maybe because I’ve personaly have had friends who have become homeless. I miss my early carefree days in OB.


avatar Jon June 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm

I hear you Pat. I’ve remained fairly neutral on this issue, and thought it was blown out of proportion on both sides, but the personal attacks and the seething hatred in the pictures I’ve seen make me wonder if I should be more afraid of the homeless, or of those who don’t want me to feed them….. New breed of transients meets new breed of “locals” and equals sad times in OB indeed…..

Take a look at Mr. Decker’s recent piece, it speaks volumes about this “more local than thou” attitude.


avatar Ali June 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm



avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm

actually,this article speaks volumes about drunk idiots.


avatar Ali June 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm

…and makes me want to frequent the Stick, just based on their staff!


avatar annagrace June 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Pat- thank you for being there, making it a point to come by and to acknowledge my presence. You are a kind and decent man, and both kindness and civility were in very short supply.


avatar Patty Jones June 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Yesterday on Newport Avenue I felt more threatened by citizens of OB than I have EVER felt by the homeless of OB. Talk about this “new breed” of homeless, how aggressive they are, yesterday I came face to face with a new breed of…. what? I don’t even have a word to describe it. People who acted the same way they say the homeless do.

One inebriated woman held a sign that said she “Supported the Black and Free Speech”, then told Frank, on camera, “if I wanted your opinion, I’d give it to you.” A boy, probably no more than 12, came up behind Frank and pushed him! A man old enough to be his grandfather! This wasn’t one of the homeless kids.


avatar Brian June 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Ouch, sorry Frank. Not for getting pushed, but for the “old enough to be his grandfather” shot. :P


avatar Patty Jones June 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I already apologized…


avatar RB June 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Sorry to hear about the women intimidated at the protest.
I just wish you were as concerned my 14 year old daughter, her friends trying to get to the beach and all the OB women who have to walk the streets with the bums demanding money and swearing when they don’t get it.


avatar hoodie June 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm

that annoying kid that pushed frank and got up in ernie’s grill is always around town. his dad was working a couple hundred feet down the block at a certain taco joint. it was a sad display he showed, being supported by young and old alike. he probably got in too many people’s faces and as much as he avoided a backlash with several officers around, he lives in this neighborhood and doubtfully remain so lucky.

when i hear the old school OB folk saying it was one of the most hateful displays they’ve seen, i realize it goes beyond my 5 year residence here. i was certainly not proud to be an OBecian yesterday afternoon and it has nothing to do with a sticker or store.

hate has filled this town. yesterday showed this is not the end… things could get ugly.


avatar teary eyed June 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I was the one who came up to you in tears after one of the other protesters lit into me verbally. Thank you for your kind support and hugs. you are a true gentleman.
~real name withheld by request~


avatar lane tobias June 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

i am dumbfounded….I really thought my neighbors were above this kind of behavior.

i feel for those who have lived in this community for decades, and have never seen anything like this before. if you look back at the archives of the Rag, you can see articles about locals’ clashes with the police in the 70’s. if this was as it sounds and was more heated, violent, and aggressive than police in riot gear…well, that is just plain sad. the kid who pushed frank should be ashamed.

i have for a long time been vocal about the way san diego deals with the houseless. i also felt at first that this entire issue may have been overblown on both ends, thinking that not making a big deal about the sticker would have resulted in most of them sitting on a shelf.

after hearing about the behavior displayed during the protest, i know i was wrong. had it not been for the OB Rag’s coverage of this issue, it would have remained just below the surface….that is, until someone took vigilantism too far and killed or maimed a “panhandler” who maybe didn’t look at them right. at least now the folks who live on the streets (and the nonviolent folks who run this blog) know that OB isn’t safe for everyone. frank was right – this anti-homeless sentiment has been an underground movement and its finally come to a head. thank you all for putting yourselves out there and doing the right thing.


avatar BillRayDrums June 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm

This whole thing is going to end up tragic. Mark my words. The price for this kind of national exposure on such a local issue is way out of whack and when things come around as they do, you can expect a very undesirable outcome.

Fanning flames is fun until someone gets burnt.


avatar Frank Gormlie June 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I think someone would have gotten hurt without the exposure. The exposure is not the issue or the problem. The issue and problem is the hatred and bias towards ALL homeless, the problems of homelessness and the problems that homeless cause others. The hatred that we saw and heard the other day confirms that we have a problem, Huston. I want us to start focusing on solutions.


avatar obecean June 24, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Meanwhile on the Mediterranean, some rich American guy on his $100 million dollar yacht is enjoying the heck of this dysfunctional drama. He knows he and his family’s fortunes will always be safe. Pit the poor against the not-quite-as-poor and voila….entertainment AND security!

The world’s billionaires thank you for looking away.


avatar Bankster June 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Best comment on the thread.. too few are paying attention to what this type of stuff is really all about.

Someone else said that a perception of increased aggressiveness is a result of increased competition between those panhandling, which is also insightful. Thing is, we’d better find a way to work together, cause there is going to be increased competition all around, it is going to be the new Official Policy. In Europe they’re calling it Austerity, no word yet on what they’ll call it in the USA, but I’m sure it will rhyme with some personal responsibility / rugged individualism stuff that works so well on American minds


avatar Shane Finneran June 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Hear, hear. The USS USA has started sinking, and just now, people are realizing that we’ve been selling off the lifeboats for the last 30 years. I suppose it’s perfectly natural that things are going to get ugly.

Paid any attention the McCourt divorce up in LA? Frank and Jamie made over $100 million from 2004 to 2009 – and didn’t pay a penny in income tax. Meanwhile, we’re turning on homeless people. It’s like a person with a massive head wound desperately trying to get a pedicure. Good luck, and good night.


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

obecean, Bankster and Shane Finneran–best three comments on the thread. I’m with all of you.


avatar justmy2cents June 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm

wow thread police at work…


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm

“wow thread police at work…”

Nope–only need the police when there’s a body.

By the way–for those out there that follow this line of thinking–there’s a youtube of David Simon talking about this sort of thing. Simon was a journalist back in Baltimore who used his experiences to script some pretty good shows–one of them being The Wire on HBO.

this is the first part:
David Simon on the End of the American Empire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJNkL12QD68


avatar Pat June 25, 2010 at 7:43 am

Thank you.
The last time we where together in a crowd was the rally at the OB Library, to urge the city to keep it’s doors open. Thank you for your good work in the community.
Ernie, it was a pleasure meeting you, you are a fine gentleman.
It’s folks like you who give me hope someday the world will be a better place.


avatar Ernie McCray June 25, 2010 at 10:19 am

And, Pat, it’s feedback like yours that buoys my spirit and keeps my hope alive.


avatar lane tobias June 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

pat – i know how much you love this community, and im guessing it pains you to see this type of behavior going on. im sorry that as an unsuspecting, neutral party you were inevitably forced to express your own disbelief in what was happening – and as a result, caught some of that anger your way as well. you are a kind and decent person, as are all the other folks who showed up to boycott, and i commend you for stepping outside comfort and being real. those people probably have little concept of how much history there is in OB, and how much you do to preserve that history for future generations. shame on them.


avatar Kenneth Legg June 25, 2010 at 8:27 am

Perhaps you are correct.”a blind eye” was incorrect wording.I should have said you are”downplaying” the crimes by homeless.check some of the other threads.quoting lower crime rates,stating that there is no “1st person accounts” of such aggresive behavior.Sometimes is sounds as though some folks on here think people are making this crap up because we don’t like homeless people.The increase in aggresive panhandling is due to the increased competition the panhandler has.walking down Newport on some days is as annoying as walking though the games section of the fair with all the carnies hitting you up.The working folks are making less and feeling the squeeze as well and perhaps that is why all the irritation when they are hit up for money on a constant basis.Work to fix the problems that are causing the attitude and the sticker goes away on it’s own.Take the demand for the sticker out of the equation.It is obvious from the protest that your views are the minority in the current state of OB.Your going to have to attack this sticker issue another way.The church meeting is a good start.


avatar Shane Finneran June 25, 2010 at 9:00 am

Last time I checked, being annoyed or irritated does not constitute being the victim of a crime. Heck, if it were, I’d be calling the cops right now.

As for panhandling, I’ve walked OB streets several times a week over the last several years, and I’ve almost always said no to panhandlers, and I’ve never been accosted for saying no. I know that doesn’t mean no one has been accosted. Just pointing out (as many have already) that it’s the exception, not the rule.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

i hear you Shane. I’ve never been accosted either.But i am 6 foot 4 and weigh 230. I don’t know about the knife weilding ninja bum lore,but I have seen folks harrassed by them.(my wife being one)not that being annoying is a crime,but the other things i listed surely are. When you are walking the streets of ob and there are 4 guys sittingwith a dog in front of a business asking folks for money,that is not good for the owner of that business.Business owners just want to do hassle free business,not have to police their area all the time and call the police because street kids are loitering in front and refuse to leave.


avatar Shane Finneran June 25, 2010 at 10:36 am

Ken, I understand that harassment does occur. I haven’t seen any evidence that it’s occurring more frequently than ever before…and to the contrary, crime stats provided by Doug Porter suggest it’s occurring less…but again, if anyone has evidence of the reverse, please share it. (of course, repeated requests for this evidence have yielded nothing so far).

But even if harassment has increased, or even if people are just more upset by existing levels of harassment, what bugs so many of us sticker-critics is that some folks seem to want to do away with not the harassment but a certain type of people that they blame for the harassment. And that’s wrong.

By way of example, think of the pro-sticker folks who behaved outrageously at yesterday’s protest. It would be wrong to claim that because of that behavior, all pro-sticker folks are out of line.

With that, I’ll muzzle myself on this issue. Thanks for hearing me out.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 11:52 am

I wonder how many people at that protest were more pro “The Black” than pro sticker. You guys were boycotting OB’s favorite head shop. A dangerous undertaking indeed)


avatar Frank Gormlie June 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

Ken, you make a lot of good points, and I still disagree with you on several. This blog has been discussing the homeless and homelessness for a while now – not homeless just in OB, but around the nation, around this state. We had posts on the tent-cities that homeless people have created in all the different cities, including the tents in downtown San Diego. Homelessness is a nation-wide and region-wide problem.

The sticker to us represented an entry into the open of what’s been an on-going underground campaign against the homeless in OB for many months. We reported on the ugly fliers that appeared calling for the removal of “trolls” – another dehumanizing term.

We could have ignored the sticker. There may not have been this level of attention given all of us. But you cannot ignore intolerance. We are but the messenger about this pimple of intolerance.

It was obvious that some in that crowd on Wed were much more vocal than others who supported us. This does not mean that our “views are in the minority” – not at all. On that corner of OB, maybe. But did you know that 50 people came up to us and asked to sign our petition. Do you know how many OBcieans are signing our online petition? So Ken, sorry I’m not granting you that point.

But that is not really the point, either. We’re not doing this to be popular. The issue is the problems with homeless and homelessness. We have been saying all along that the merchants have valid complaints. Let’s deal with those complaints. The sticker and the graphic are not the answer, and has caused a huge division in this community – and now the nation knows.

The point is – and I think that you will agree – is to move on and try to resolve these problems. We have helped this process, you have helped it with your cogent observations, the churches will be helping with their community forum. And hopefully, City Hall will help and the Feds too.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

Check your own poll.Sure with compassion 18. will attend no matter position 10. remove the homeless (knida extreme!) 38 geez.and that’s the peeps who read your rag!I would have to think you get more of the liberal minded readers here.so yes, I still think your opinion, while morally correct,is the minority here. People are just too fed up with the situation to become angry about the sentiment of the sticker.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

and the sale of 3000 stickers and sold out hats and t shirts speak volumes


avatar just my 2 cents June 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

And now offering them to others cities…..with a custom message from that city…


avatar Frank Gormlie June 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Just for the record, Ken, we have no way of knowing who the respondents are to our polls. We have polled our readership in the past and it basically breaks down by city: San Diego – 50%, another 25% in the County, and the remaining 25% nationally and internationally. Even though this current poll seems to be location-specific (OB) there’s no way of knowing. Joe Smoe from Lakeside could write in very easily and vote “it’s all a waste of time.” So, no, you still don’t win this point, dude. But that’s okay. We’re not in a race. Except the human one, and we’re trying to get our neighbors to accept everyone as such.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm

joo got a point on the poll meng….but 3000 stickers…………..


avatar ADubyaJ June 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

An open letter to my neighbors and readers of the Rag –

Please stop referring to someone like me as “hateful” “vile” and even “racist.” It lowers your argument to the point of absurdity. I realize that OB prides itself on being disconnected with reality (see: 7 miles surrounded by reality…), but I’m afraid you all – the majority of posters on this blog – are in complete in utter denial of a serious issue that you all have been ignoring for far too long.

Let me set a premise that I believe (and this is only a theory of mine) plays a role. I live within one block of the ocean. I think that if you speak to those of us that live within, say, 4 blocks of the ocean versus those of you that live East of Ebers for example, there is a very different reality. The closer you get to the ocean, the more “real” this situation becomes. Walking your dog at night up the hill vs. walking your dog at night anywhere near the pier are 2 very different experiences. I sincerely hope you can acknowledge that.

I was interested to see comments expressing concern that if this sentiment is not quickly put in check, it will lead to violence. Lest I remind all of you of what happend to the Austrialian tourist that was beaten to near death and dragged into a fire pit. What was done after that incident of violence? Anything? And who was responsible for those actions? [insert symantic word of choice here – – down-on-their-luck, homeless, drifter, bum, troll, etc]

Since “tolerance” is a base word that has been used throughout this discussion, I will use it, though it may more aptly be described as being simply fed up:
– I am no longer willing to tolerate being harrassed
– I am no longer willing to tolerate open drug use
– I am no longer willing to tolerate the smell of urination everywhere
– I am no longer willing to tolerate the fact that safety has become such an issue that my wife no longer walks the dog at night
– I am no longer willing to tolerate seeing “bums” sleeping on the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz nearly every morning, surrounded by their trash
– I am no longer willing to tolerate defication in our alleys
– I am no longer willing to tolerate our friends with kids say, “Sorry, we’d rather just take our kids to the beach at Shores or even PB. It’s just safer there”
– I am no longer willing to tolerate safety being a genuine concern for all of us

Does all of this make me “intolerant”?

Please don’t tell me that the last thing we want is another PB or La Jolla because that is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that there is an issue and to hear so many of you defend those who are causing this issue really disturbs me. And yes – I believe “these people” are the root of the problem.

What is the solution? I’m not sure. I do think the religious community has a role to play and has played that role to the best of their ability. But I also believe that law enforcement has the real role to play here. We don’t need a “police state,” but we do need something better than the near lawless anarchy that is taking place now.

I respectfully submit this to you not as someone that is hateful, but as someone that has a real concern with our community, as I know all of you do.

Forget the stickers. They simply highlight what SO MANY of your neighbors are: fed up. So now, let’s get real. Let’s acknowledge a serious issue. And let’s be civilized in how we discuss it.


avatar Shane Finneran June 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

FYI, something did happen to the two people who assaulted the Australian tourist Robert Schneider — police apprehended them and charged them with felony torture and mayhem charges. They’re in the court system, or maybe even in jail by now.

As for your attempt to apply that crime to a broad group of people, well, the Australian tourist’s parents see right through that. “There were two bad people in San Diego; there’s been thousands of people that have poured their hearts out to us,” Peter Schneider said.

Sorry you’re fed up with that list of stuff going on in OB. If it’s so rampant, maybe you could produce some photos, videos, statistics, or other evidence? Until then, all you’ve provided are unverifiable personal observations and anecdotes.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

My wife and I go through the exact same things.Again, you can’t discount what he is saying because he doesn’t have photographic evidence.The next time I have to pick up a homeless persons turd do you want me to take a photo for you? I too live 1 block from the beach and see much of the same.I wasn’t aware I needed to tote a camera crew around so I could have a documentry put together in case I ever wanted to engage in conversation about the topic.


avatar ADubyaJ June 25, 2010 at 11:34 am

“unverifiable personal observations and anecdotes” ?!?!?

Shane – I don’t know where you live, but it ain’t in my neighborhood.

My wife called the police yesterday because there was “someone” (the symantics drives me crazy) passed-out, on the sidewalk, at the end of Del Monte, with clothes and trash all around him. I actually told her we should start carrying a camera – not to share with you, but to share with Sanders, Faulconer, police, and more importantly, the media. Did you not see the videos our neighbors sent in of what was going on down on the cliffs just a few months ago? All the news could do was show a blurred-out version because what was taped was horrific. And in broad daylight. And happening everyday.

This is the root of my frustration – – you refusing to see and/or accept what is happening all around our neighborhood. Pull as many stats from whatever source you choose. Then step outside whatever bubble you live in and experience reality.


avatar Shane Finneran June 25, 2010 at 11:42 am

AdubhyaJ and Ken,

I understand that nasty stuff does occur. I haven’t seen any evidence that it’s occurring more frequently than before…and to the contrary, crime stats provided by Doug Porter suggest it’s occurring less…but again, if anyone has evidence of the reverse, please share it. (of course, repeated requests for this evidence have yielded nothing so far).

But even if nasty stuff has increased, or even if people are just more upset by existing levels of nasty stuff, what bugs so many of us sticker-critics is that some folks seem to want to do away with not the nasty stuff but a certain type of people because some people of that type may have committed some of the nasty stuff. And that’s wrong.

By way of example, think of the pro-sticker folks who behaved outrageously at yesterday’s protest. It would be wrong to claim that because of that behavior, all pro-sticker folks are out of line.

With that, I’ll muzzle myself on this issue. Thanks for hearing me out.


avatar CJ June 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Time to open your eyes to what is happening in your ” Camelot”. I receive a crime report for OB daily. Below is a a typical week–actually it can get much worse. I guess this is acceptable to you. I find it reprehensible that many in this community accept crime. In no way do I attribute all the crime to homeless. In fact, a significant amount is likely generated by those who reside off the street, but abuse substances and victimize others. Regardless, it needs to be addressed and not defended.

Incident Type Date Time Location
AUTO_THEFT 06/10/2010-06/14/2010 2100-1030 4800 CAPE MAY AV (SD)
ASSAULT 06/15/2010 1205 2100 POINSETTIA DR (SD)
CITATIONS 06/15/2010 0840 4600 NIMITZ BL (SD)
RES_BURGLARY 06/18/2010-06/23/2010 1200-0740 4700 ORCHARD AV (SD)
RES_BURGLARY 06/19/2010 2130 2100 SUNSET CLIFFS BL (SD)
VANDALISM 06/19/2010 1910 5000 NEWPORT AV (SD)
ROBBERY 06/23/2010 0041 4900 CAPE MAY AV (SD)
CITATIONS 06/19/2010 1515 4900 NEWPORT AV (SD)

(sorry about the formatting–anyway, you can subscribe to ewatch via this link should you wish a dose of reality


avatar Kenloc June 28, 2010 at 11:14 am

I get that daily update as well. Lots of car theft and burglaries(auto and residential) lately. Be careful out there.


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 11:46 am

“This is the root of my frustration – – you refusing to see and/or accept what is happening all around our neighborhood.”

I can say the exact same thing. Maybe I should be carrying a camera too!


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I know you as the lone protester.Are you homeless in OB? If so I’d really like you to weigh in on what you see on your end. How much do you get harassed in OB?Do people try to help you? Offer you food?Money?I’m just trying to get your perspective on things. Are you treated inhumanly around here? I don’t ever really see that side of it but perhaps you are.I always try to help our houseless peeps as many other people in ob do. I guess that’s why it is such a hotbutton issue for us.We try to be humane and feed people that are less fortunate only to have some of them dump on our neighborhood and disrespect our neighbors.It’s a car cover,not a tent.It’s a trashbin,not a toilet.It’s the ocean,not a trash bin. You get what I’m saying I’m sure.I know it isn’t every homeless person that does it. I know many homeless with good hearts.Just as we aren’t all the Evil Empire of People with Houses.We are just folks that like our beach town, try and keep it nice,and don’t want to be hassled when we are walking around it by homeless or housed people.


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm

thanks for the reply Kenloc.

So what you’re saying here is you have valid grievances–and the only way to address them is through what is effectively a collective punishment of all homeless people–even ones who don’t live in OB since this kind of thing spreads like wildfire.

Thing is, since you don’t seem like an evil guy, you have to be thinking–I wish there was a more humane way to go about solving problems like this.

And you don’t seem like a dumb guy so you have to also be wondering if somehow, there isn’t a greater responsibility–a social responsibiltiy–not being attended here.

And why is that?

Once you start asking questions like that, and getting away from all this inhumane shit and the like, you start to see what the other commenter calls “the root of the problem.”

You just have to be willing to ask those kinds of questions.

Shit!!–I hope I didn’t ramble.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I don’t think I ever said to collectively punish anyone. I was trying to get your take on everyday happenings. Why are some people getting that way though?Say you have a few homeless folks hanging around the alley behind your house.Hell,maybe they aren’t homeless but just like to hangout in an alley. they never really cause a problem.Now you have a pack of unruly street kids that come into town and see where the other guys are hanging out so they go there too and problems ensue. Do you tell them that only certain one’s can hang out there and the rest have to leave?Or do you now have to say”you guys can’t hang out here anymore” and throw down a blanket gauntlet because some folks can’t act civil.I think that is what some folks around here are starting to feel on a large scale.Some people are taking advantage of our towns liberal attitude and the knee jerk reaction is “time to not be so welcoming”.The sticker is lame and misguided but the problem is real and frustrating.Kudos to you for standing up for what you feel is right.There is a social responsiblity that isn’t being addressed,true, but the erosion of personal responsiblity isn’t being addressed either.You can be down on your luck or homeless and not cause other folks problems. You should also be able to protest without harassment.I honestly don’t know what the solution is.Hopefully the more enlightened folks that are educated on the subject can make a positive change. I’m just a working average joe trying to feed a family.It’s good to see folks talking about it though.


avatar just my 2 cents June 25, 2010 at 11:47 am

You make great pointsADJ…..and those types of photos are what started this WHOLE thing months ago when 10 news got ahold of photos of drugs being done right under the pier on the sidewalk…..the next day a video surfaced of drunk naked people have sex on the cliffs…..it was on from there…The Beacon did numerous stories …The rag has done many : In fact now the online Rag comments about The Sticker, The Black and Urban Dwellers number close to 500 in the past 20 stories….Stories such as off shore drilling, BP, city goverment, death at the border, and children in war zones , have only generated 43 commets….HUMMM What really concerns Ocean Beach….S. Finneran: You cant tell me that with 500 thats FIVE HUNDRED remarks that you don’t think these things happen and maybe somebody should get a photo of somebody taking a dump on a porch, drive way or storefront…..


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

It’s interesting that none of the people here with opposing viewpoints to mine bother to respond to my comments. It’s like I’ve been made invisible. Maybe that’s what they’re after.


avatar just my 2 cents June 25, 2010 at 11:59 am

you ramble, you get off subject…you dont know OB, you were not at the protest the other night…the OB kids dont like you…..
nuf said.
you had a sticker on the back of your shirt the whole time you were at the black on saturday…..
nuf said.


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 12:06 pm

“…the OB kids dont like you…..”

That’s all a pretty damning indictment.

So to get back on point, let me ask you. Do you think all people should be treated with decency and fairness?–you know, whether the OB kids like’m or not?


avatar just my 2 cents June 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

People who sell drugs, use drugs or do things that are illegal should not be treated with decency or fairness.
People who use the sidewalk as a restroom should not be treated with decency or fairness.
I could go on for 20 minutes , but I think you get the message. If you don’t you never will.
FYI: The part about the OB kids was humor….
Have a great sunny friday…..


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm

“I could go on for 20 minutes , but I think you get the message.”

No need to go on for 20 minutes–nuf’ said when you wrote:

“People who sell drugs, use drugs or do things that are illegal should not be treated with decency or fairness.”

If those people are not to be treated with decency and fairness then no one will be treated with decency and fairness.

Which is the sad state of affairs we all suffer under now.


avatar just my 2 cents June 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm

It’s called , Natural Logical Consequence.

Short answer is: Don’t do that stuff.

it’s a beautiful day and i spent way to much time on this issue that lies in the hands of the street kids who dont want help…Heading to the cliffs .

avatar psd June 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Take a trash bag!

avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

scroll up Greg)


avatar Shane Finneran June 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

OK, one more time, I can’t resist… No one is denying that disgusting and shady stuff happens. It certainly does, and I agree, the number of comments indicates lots of people don’t like the bad behavior.

I just object to blaming this group or that group for the actions of some people. It’s like blaming all Seven Dwarfs when only Dopey does something wrong. And then distributing a “Dwarfs Suck” sticker with Ocean Beach’s (and San Diego’s) name on it, thereby staining our neighborhood and city.

Also, plenty of bad behavior is being done by people who aren’t homeless. For example, I recently skimmed the dozens of Facebook photos from prolific OB photographer Jim Grant after he provided a link in an OB Rag comment. There is a shot of a young woman who just puked on Newport Ave…she clearly is not a “bum.” There is a shot of the naked swimmer who resisted arrest…he is a college student, not an urban dweller. There is a shot of another naked guy getting arrested…not sure on this one, but the guy doesn’t look like a “bum.”

In fact, among the countless shots of OB scenes, I didn’t see any of “urban dwellers” or “bums” committing lewd acts…and Jim seems to catch just about everything in OB on his camera…including the disgusting behavior of counter-protesters supporting The Black’s anti-bum merchandise (as a sign in one of Jim’s photos reads…”Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”)

So again, I believe bad behavior occurs in OB now and then. Just don’t try to assign it all to certain types of people you don’t like.


avatar john June 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I will say while I probably am on the same page with you about the over the top **** that a lot of the street people are engaged in, your description of your wife calling the police just because someone was passed out on a public sidewalk with, as you describe, “clothes and trash all around him” suggests you and/or your wife may not be the kind of folks that we’re used to having as neighbors in OB, though maybe I’m from the old school here.
OB’s unwritten code on cop calling was that neighbors handled our problems amongst ourselves, and that generally included any homeless people you knew frequented the area, if you had a problem with them you walked up to them, asked them their name, gave them yours and in a friendly tone asked that they keep their behaviour in line and explained why it wasn’t. This puts a human face on things, he knows you, you know him. You aren’t the faceless homeowner always calling the man out to hassle him, but someone he will have to look in the eye and respect and that means he’s not as likely to take a dump in your flowerbed out of spite for the man, or the system. This provides a societal conscience for his behaviour. Sounds to me like your wife called the cops with the idea that the cops will haul this “person” away and you will no longer be blighted by their presence. Unfortunately it’s not so easy and there’s too many and the numbers are growing. I’m not suggesting you encourage their loitering or need to befriend them all but if you try to look through them and don’t treat them as a person, you can expect contemptuous behaviour toward your neighborhood by them- not treating it as the home of another person, but the system that dumped on them. Understand that many of these people were residents here in better times and maybe they ****ed up, maybe they fell through the cracks, maybe the economy got so tight they gave up caring- but in their twisted way consider your street their home too. I remember the walking man, Mike, I used to see him walk by every day when I was wrenching on my corvette or my hearse, and I just assumed he lived “around” somewhere. I made eye contact with him. He was a human and deserved that.
Oh yeah, that “OB code”. We handled our problems, neighbor to neighbor.
We called the police, when there was a body.


avatar doug porter June 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

Nobody here at the OBRag has ever said that the behavior of some people who are allegedly homeless was not a problem. In fact we’ve pointed this problem out and talked about it many, many times before this whole “sticker” thing came up.
It is a serious issue. and seeking solutions in a civilized way is the BEST solution. When people are willing to do MORE than sit at home and complain about it, as opposed to buying a sticker, then we have a chance to find solutions.
Will you (you in the larger sense here) commit to spending few hours of your life working with the faith community on this issue? Did you bother to vote in the last election? Do you know what positions your City Councilman has taken on this issue?


avatar Greg Sullivan June 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

“What I’m saying is that there is an issue and to hear so many of you defend those who are causing this issue really disturbs me. And yes – I believe “these people” are the root of the problem.”

I can’t speak for the others, but what I am “defending”–as you put it, is principle. And that principle is that we are all equal in human worth and therefore should be treated as such.

The same level of fear, anxiety and frustration you express so clearly here is the same level of fear, anxiety and frustration I experience due to our fellow citizens who feel they have a right to harass, abuse and inflict bodily harm on me as well as other homeless individuals because of a perceived notion that some people are of lesser human worth than others–you know: “those people.”

Now, the focus of our fears etc. are certainly different–but when it comes right down to it, we have a common foe.

And that foe is those who benefit from a society based on self-interest, resentment and a lowered sense of human worth.

They sir, are the “root of the problem.”


avatar charley June 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

Why would anyone “tolerate” the behavior being cited by so many ? Granted we all have different levels of tolerance, but none of the behaviour at issue is acceptable in modern society. Yet when brought up as a problem we are called “intolerant” and “hateful” ? How long do we to accept bad behavior before we say STOP, at the risk of being branded “intolerant” ?


avatar psd June 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

Hi there. I’m not sure I know you, but from how you describe your neck of the woods, there’s a good chance we’re neighbors. As for your list of items you plan to be intolerant of, I’ll agree with you on virtually all counts, except maybe for the part about people sleeping at the cove. I wish they (and everyone else that hangs out on the cliffs between the pier and the cove) were cleaner, but I understand they need somewhere to go and I’m not gonna pull the NIMBY card and say they’re welcome anywhere EXCEPT my block.

Piss and crap suck. Not having adequate public bathrooms is probably a big cause of this, and if we had more there would probably be less of an issue…though I know there are going to be plenty of drunks with and without indoor residency that are still going to pee all over the place. It was a lot worse when I was cleaning it off my stoop daily at the north end of town. The only way I see to entirely address that is to close down all the bars and enact a curfew so that no one can leave their house drunk after dark to go for a walk.

I wish people that have to toke up in public would be a little more discreet about it. My daughter loves to walk up and down the cliffs and look for crabs and critters, but I feel a lot less comfortable taking her there now than I did a couple years ago. I won’t say I’ve ever been flat-out harassed, but I have felt intimidated by the packs of people who’ve taken to hiding out down there since the booze ban went into effect. And some have been pretty aggressive in trying to sell me pot, though I’ve never been offered any hard drugs. Maybe ‘fat guy in a polo shirt with 6 year-old’ doesn’t send off the same tweeker/cokehead/junkie vibe that other people must exude when they say they’ve got problems with this.

Again, I think we agree on a lot of things, namely that we have a set of serious problems with community behavior that need to be addressed. Where we diverge is on the idea of the sticker. I think it does nothing constructive by calling all homeless people ‘bums’ and serves to foster argument rather than open discussion of our issues. Someone said it might be more effective in conveying the point that the sticker is only trying to attack SOME homeless if there were a picture of a knife-wielding monster and the sticker said something more specific to the behavior of the bad homeless rather than against all of them in general. I still don’t know if that would accomplish anything, but I might reconsider my current assertion that the logo is hateful were it more specific.

Now let’s figure out how to get these people more places to use the bathroom so they don’t use our streets, somewhere safe to set up camp, and some opportunities to rejoin our ‘sellout’ society, if they’re capable and willing. And let’s figure out how to chase off, lock up, or otherwise thwart the behavior of the minority that’s causing the whole population to be demonized. I’m sure there are already plenty of laws on the books that will help us do that.


avatar lud June 25, 2010 at 6:06 pm

ADubyaJ, I`m 2 blks from ocean in OB and you`re right…Read every word on your post…good for you….i echo your statement


avatar Wireless Mike June 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

What has happened to the people of OB?

I can remember seeing panhandlers on Newport in the late 1950s when my mother would take me shopping with her. Even in the late 1940s, my parents used to find people passed out in their yard on Voltaire. This is not new. What is new is this attitude of intolerance that has recently crept into Ocean Beach. This new attitude is not part of the Ocean Beach that I know and love.

Where did this new conservative attitude come from? Is it a difference in thinking between generations? Is it brought in by newcomers from other places? Is there a gentrification of thought going on here? Or is it just part of the conservative frenzy that is causing people everywhere to be afraid? Whatever it is, I can only hope that it is a temporary phase.

On the positive side, this issue is bringing both churches and non-religious individuals together to work in a charitable effort. That sounds more like OB.


avatar Kenloc June 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Nothing is as it was 60 years ago.Live in the now dude.


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