robs me of that which enriches him not
and makes me poor indeed.
Wm Shakespeare, “Othello”, Act 3 scene 3
The February 2nd meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board (OBPB) began with its usual silent reading of the minutes leaving the packed room in a funereal quiet for some time. Only the modifications to include the attendance of District 4 Representative Craig Klein caught my attention. After the protest of the Center City Development Corporation (CCDC) regarding the Governor’s current proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies, we got to the main courses of the agenda.
Normally the one minute public comment section of the agenda doesn’t include much substance but these weren’t normal OBceans filling up the seats. According to Vietnam veteran and business owner Mark Babicky, most of those present were part of a loose organization cobbled together by Ocean Beach MainStreet Association vice-president and chair of its crime prevention committee, Julie Klein.
Julie K. addressed the issues of crime in the Newport Ave. business district, most notably the rashes of graffiti and window etchings. The other one-minute speakers spoke out against what appeared to them to be a threat to their serenity, their children and their way of life. That threat being the VFW post 1392.
Karen M. Pastor of St. Peters by the Sea Church, said that the serving of alcohol close to a church with its preschool was inappropriate and that the members of the VFW might use the church’s parking lot as a public restroom.
Maria W. owner of Sunset Cliffs Pilates on Point Loma Ave. expressed her concern for the safety of women and the ambiance of her business.
Patty L. stated that her long term support of veteran family members didn’t give Veterans (of Foreign Wars) the right to bring (bad) behavior into her neighborhood.
John H. a veteran from Point Loma, was emphatic in his opposition to “the proposed bar with its 160 members within ten feet of a residential neighborhood” based upon his family values and the safety of his children.
Concerned Resident Ron P. also used the “safety of our children and our grandchildren” as the rationale for being against what he called “a bar in a residential area.”
Karen Lee R. made it clear that although she was not against VFW Post 1392 she would in “no way allow a bar in her neighborhood” and would even help the VFW find another place to locate if she could.
Having run past their allotted time on the agenda the one-minute speakers then pressed the Board for advice about what to do next in their crusade to protect the moral fiber of Ocean Beach. Stepping outside their role as planning board representatives, attorneys Ronson Shamoun (Dist.7) and Craig Klein (Dist.4) counseled the 1 minuteers on how to make their case before the State Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control. (ABC)
After making clear their intent to report to the ABC the presence of any alcohol around and about the location of VFW Post 1392, the 1minuteers began to file out in anticipation of the less sexy agenda items concerning public infrastructure, economic restructuring and crime prevention. Too bad that they won’t know about Water Group 914 until their streets get tore up, Westfield Corporation’s transfer of private property to the commons and the plight of the Brighton Street comfort station. Craig Klein did report on the OBMA economic restructuring committee and deferred to his wife Julie’s one minute presentation as the report from the OBMA crime prevention committee.
So are we to count on the Ocean Beach Planning Board to make a decision without contempt prior to investigation when a conditional uses permit or any other matter within their purview regarding VFW Post 1392 comes up? Not if the opinion of OBPB District 3 representative Bill Busche is any indication of board sentiment. He talked to me after the meeting and said that he was against the new location for the VFW, citing the very same reasons that were presented in the one-minute presentations of non-agenda items. So in whose name does the OBPB speak? And what name are they giving to Ocean Beach? I guess you’ll have to keep paying attention to the OB Rag dear OBcean. See ya’ in the funny papers!