Post image for Backlash Grows Over Private Clubs Use of Public Beaches

The backlash is growing – the backlash against the use of our public beaches and coast areas by private clubs who host work-outs, volleyball games and yoga classes. About a week ago, the U-T published an article entitled, “Residents Cry Foul at Beach Courts’ Access” – how Carlsbad residents and beach-goers are complaining about a private volleyball club agreement with the state that gives their members priority on volleyball courts.

This echoes a “reader rant” just this summer here on the OB Rag about how a surf school takes too much space on the beach as well as in the ocean. The writer’s complaints about lack of access and safety issues found a lot of resonance among the commenters.

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Restaurant Review:
“Taika Sushi”
4953 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
619-221-1288
http://www.taikasushi.com/ menu-2

It is amazing to me that one block in Ocean Beach can support three Japanese restaurants. But that seems to be the case, with the newest, “Taika Sushi” filled to capacity Friday evening at 6:45pm. I had wanted to try the restaurant ever since it opened, and particularly after reading a review by [Reader writer] Mercy Baron but it just never happened. Until last night.

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Editor: The following is by C0uncilman Ed Harris, who further explains his position on the recent rejection by the San Diego City Council of a proposed lease for the operators of Belmont Park. See our earlier post about Harris’ position.

Guest column by Councilmember Ed Harris

Recently, the City Council was asked to grant an extension to the lease at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. Pacifica, a local developer and current leaseholder of the park’s commercial buildings, wanted the Council to approve a deal that would extend its current lease to 55 years. Pacifica has held the lease for two years.

After reviewing the proposed lease, I asked the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA) to determine whether it was consistent with best practices of other cities, and whether a longer-term lease would be in the City’s long-term economic interests.

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cityworks

November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

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By Lori Saldaña / Part Four of Four

Saldana smilingIn Part Three Lori Saldaña discussed the realities of putting together a door-to-door campaign.

I’ll always remember the shock, joy and celebration my volunteers, friends and family experienced when the first voting results came in on Election night, shortly after 9 pm. I was leading in the 3-way results by 10 points, with 40% of the vote going to me and 30% going to each of my two opponents. The number varied little over the ensuing hours, ultimately staying there for the remainder of the night.

We had overcome the odds and won big, despite being outspent by a ridiculous amount.

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Friends of OB Library Having Book Sale – Sat., Sept. 27

September 26, 2014 by Staff
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The Fall Book Sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9:30 to 12:30, at the historic library, 4801 Santa Monica Ave., in OB, 92107. It’s the Friends of the OB Library at it again.

In addition to their usual eclectic variety of gently used books, DVD’s, and CD’s, Kathy Blavatt, chief author, and members of the Ocean Beach Historical Society will be signing and selling the fabulous new history of Ocean Beach produced in the Images of America series.

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Legalization Here We Come: California Campaign Underway for 2016 Pot Proposition

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Doug Porter

More than four decades ago (1972) California’s Proposition 19, which would have decriminalized marijuana possession, was resoundingly defeated by a 2 to 1 margin.

In the years since then, hodgepodge of voter approved propositions, legislative initiatives and executive orders have sought to lessen or eliminate criminal penalties for use and possession of pot. They haven’t worked as intended. Overzealous prosecutors and law enforcers have continued to put the hammer down, even as juries have increasingly refused to play along.

The beginning of end for pot prohibition in California came Wednesday, Sept. 24, as the Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork registering a a campaign committee to start accepting and spending contributions for a pot legalization initiative on the November 2016 state ballot.

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OB Town Council: Board Election Results and Project Ideas

September 26, 2014 by Source
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The “New Look” of the OBTC for 2015

By Lois Lane, photos by Meredith Lane

The OB Town Council meeting on September 24 announced the newly-elected members of the Board of Directors. Due to take their places at the October meeting, the Board of Directors consists of new members, some re-elected members, a new appointee, and those board members still serving their unexpired term.

They are:

New:

  • Jill Chorak,
  • Julie Eramo,
  • and Melanie Williams

Re-elected:

  • Nate Bazydlo,
  • Giovanni Ingolia,
  • Trudy Levenson,
  • and Zachariah Rowland
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New Owner of OB Hostel Operates Two “USA Hostels”

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The new owner of the OB Hostel – Dr Hostels LLC – owns a company called “USA Hostels” which operates two well-known hostels. There’s one in San Francisco and one in Hollywood, in LA. The OB property makes it their third property.

We are assuming that the company – which was just incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Boulder City, Nevada, will open up an Ocean Beach USA Hostel.

USA Hostels San Franciso

Of the two hostels, USA owns, it seems at first look that their property at 711 Post Street in San Francisco is by far the more substantial. The 5 story building, built in 1907, has 123 rooms and 79 bathrooms including 36,780 square feet. The total assessed value of the entire property is near $8.5 million,

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Pedestrian Controls Proposed for Newport and Abbott

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Have you been bugged by the lack of pedestrian controls at Newport and Abbott?

There’s apparently some money around that will enable the City to make specific infrastructure repairs and improvements for pedestrians.

So, some City staffers are looking into installing some pedestrian controls at the busy half-intersection of OB’s main commercial drag – the grand Newport Avenue and Abbott Street – the street that parallels the ocean.

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Channel 10 News Gives Nod to the OB Rag Over the Penguin Stencils

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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As the controversy surrounding the anonymous stenciling of penguins around Ocean Beach continues, local TV station Channel 10 was one of the only stations to send out a camera to cover it. And in the process, they gave a nod to the OB Rag.

Here is their report:

Residents in Ocean Beach want to know who is behind mysterious penguins that have been popping up around town. Whoever is responsible uses a stencil to paint the penguins as fast as they can in public places.

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OB Hostel Sold for $1.5 Million

September 25, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The rumors proved to be true: the OB International Hostel has been sold!

The iconic hostel – a former hotel – located at 4961 Newport Avenue right smack in the middle of downtown Ocean Beach – was sold to Dr Hostels LLC for $1.5 Million.

The two-story building was built in 1930 and includes 6,016-square-feet on a 7,000 square foot lot, with 28 rooms.

The seller, John C. Asher, trustee of the John C. Asher Trust, took back a first trust deed for $220,000, a second for $1,055,000 and a third for $405,000. Asher did this as Hostel Group, P.O. Box 33226, San Diego 92163.

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Reader Rant : ‘I watched the City Council debate on the Belmont Park lease and agree it’s not favorable to you and me.’

September 25, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader

It was interesting to watch the San Diego City Council meeting on the proposed lease for Belmont Park – last Monday, Sept. 22nd – to listen to who said what, how they said it and what they meant when they said it. Watch it for yourself.

For an oceanfront piece of property, the City of San Diego AKA you and me, has only collected annual rental income of $61,000 averaged. No, that number is not missing a zero! That’s $5,083 per month.

No matter who takes over the lease, the city is on the hook to pay for the repairs to the Plunge. Prior lessees were responsible for maintenance but that didn’t always happen and the city did little to enforce the terms of the lease and now the Plunge is a mess!

If Pacifica Enterprizes, the current lessee, does the repairs they get a rent credit.

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Peninsula Planners Protest “Portugal Place” Project

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Point Loma Planners Believe City Allowed Developer to Build Condo Complex Over 30 Foot Height Limit

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Did the developers pull a fast one – with the help of a compliant Development Services Department staff at City Hall – when they built a four-condo structure featuring three stories over semi-underground parking in Roseville?

The Peninsula Community Planning Board is sending a letter of protest to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, alleging the city allowed the developer to exceed the 30-feet height limit when they built condos named Portugal Place at 3102-3104 Avenida de Portugal and 1120-1122 Locust St.

The board approved the letter 12-0 at its monthly meeting Sept. 18 at the Point Loma/Hervey Library.

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Midway Planners : Orange Cones and Jack Hammers Are a Comin’

September 24, 2014 by Source
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Report of Midway Planners Meeting of September 17

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

If you use Midway Drive during the course of your day, consider yourself warned: orange cones and jack hammers are coming.

Traffic along the entire length of Midway Drive, one of the most heavily-traveled and retail-oriented arteries in the Peninsula area, will be reduced by at least one lane because of a three-year, $25.5 million project to replace worn-out sewer and water mains.

And because of proximity to residential areas and hotels, it’s unclear how much – if any – of the construction may take place at night, said Kevin Gibson, project manager for Rick Engineering, during a presentation Sept. 17 at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group (MCPG). …

COME INSIDE FOR OTHER MIDWAY PLANNERS NEWS

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – “We Walk, We Win”

September 24, 2014 by Source

we walk we winBy Lori Saldaña / Part Three of Four

In Part 2, Lori Saldaña discussed the path to her decision to mount a grass-roots campaign for the California Assembly in 2004. She really didn’t have a choice: all the political pros around thought she was too much of an outsider.

__________

I decided to give up on getting support from Sacramento. My volunteers and I adopted the motto “We Walk, We Win.” A typical weekday would be: make calls to raise money in the morning (rarely more than a few hundred dollars), walk precincts in the afternoon (rarely actually talking to voters at that time of day), then teach in the evening. On weekends I would walk 4 precincts: 2 on Saturday, 2 more on Sunday.

Between these activities, I was looking after 2 houses and providing care for my mother and grandmother, whose illnesses had required additional surgeries and hospitalizations.

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A Photo Essay of Sunday’s San Diego People’s Climate March – The Time for Change is Now

September 24, 2014 by Staff

By Court Allen

310,000 people marched in NYC Sunday to make politicians and world leaders focus on Climate Change in the upcoming United Nation’s Climate Summit. That’s right – 310,000 people. All in one place. All with one message – the time for change is now.

PIC 1 The Peoples Climate March in NYC – just a few people attending.

Here in San Diego, roughly 1,500 people gathered, marched and added their voice to the cause of Climate Justice. The march went from the Civic Center over to Broadway and then on to the County Administration building along Harbor Drive. Speeches were made, signs were held high, pledges were signed.

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Sign the Petition to Throw Out Lynching Charges Against Pro-Immigrant Protesters Arrested at Murrieta

September 24, 2014 by Staff

Two More Days to Sign Petition to Dismiss Charges

Gerald Singleton, a local San Diego attorney is representing a group of pro-immigration protestors who were assaulted first by anti-immigration demonstrators -who outnumbered them 4-5 to 1 , and then by the local police -who sympathized with the anti-immigration group.

Singleton and his supporters are trying to get 7,000 signatures on a petition below to drop the charges and dismiss before the Sept. 25 hearing. [Editor: at this moment there are 6,840.]

He is hoping you will consider signing the on-line petition below requesting that the Riverside DA drop the felony lynching charges against the 5 pro-immigration protestors who were charged.

The incident occurred because, on July 1, the anti-immigration group blocked several buses carrying refugees from Central America from entering a Customs and Border Patrol detention center in Murrieta, CA -the anti-immigration people demanded that the refugees be deported immediately.

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Councilman Ed Harris: Why He Rejected the Proposed Lease for Belmont Park – “It’s Pathetic.”

September 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Councilman Ed Harris: Why He Rejected the Proposed Lease for Belmont Park – “It’s Pathetic.”

Harris: “We can’t keep giving away our assets to big business.”

Just got off the phone with Councilman Ed Harris – he represents OB, Mission Beach and the rest of District 2, of course.

He had a lot to say about the Belmont Park lease that the City Council just rejected on Monday. He knew that we’d been covering the issue. Today, the U-T ran an article on the rejection, tacking in favor of the current managers, it seemed. Harris wanted to set the record straight.

Harris, you see, led a Council majority yesterday in rejecting the proposed new lease for Pacifica Enterprises because the cut the City is getting is not fair. All the Democrats followed his lead (Emerald was out) and are having the issue return to the Council in 60 days. The Republicans all voted to renew the current lease.

“We have to take in the big picture,” Harris told me. “We can’t keep giving away our assets to big business,” he said.

The deal that the City of San Diego has in the current lease for Belmont Park is not fair, he said in so many words.

“The City has received $1.6 Million dollars in 26 years – that’s only $5,000 a month,” he said. “It’s pathetic.”

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Marjorie Cohn: Obama Declares Perpetual War

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / Sept. 15, 2014

President Barack Obama escalated the drone war he has conducted for the past five and a half years by declaring his intention to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, or ISIL. Since August 8, Obama has mounted at least 154 airstrikes in Iraq. He will send 475 additional US troops, increasing the total number in Iraq to about 1,600.

Obama announced he would conduct “a systematic campaign of airstrikes” in Iraq, and possibly in Syria. But, not limiting himself to those countries, Obama declared the whole world his battlefield, stating “We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are . . . if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

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What’s up with all the penguin stencils around Ocean Beach?

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Anonymous Reader:
Hey, what’s up with all the penguin stencils (some call it “graffiti”) around OB? What the heck is going on?

Someone is using a penguin stencil to paint a penguin with a heart just about everywhere. It’s on a utility box or sign or someplace every other block. There are a bunch around the 8 freeway ramp.

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Nimitz Boulevard Dreams and Reality

September 23, 2014 by Staff
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By Staff

On Wednesday – September 17th – the Point Loma Association held an open meeting at the Family Life Center, Point Loma Presbyterian Church to get input from the residents of the Point (that would be those who live in Point Loma and Ocean Beach).

Just recently, the Point Loma Association finished the first phase of the “Nimitz Boulevard Median Enhancement Project”. Take a peek at the median on Nimitz the next time you drive, bike or walk near West Point Loma Blvd. to the entrance of the Catalina on ramp. The black asphalt was removed and replaced with colorful succulents along with accent boulders and bordered by stamped concrete.

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Descendants of Early Native Point Lomans Speak Out

September 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Local Indians Called Point Loma “Mat Loan

By Charlie Best / Special to the OB Rag

Five elders of the Kumeyaay Nation spoke out in Point Loma on Tuesday, September 16th. At the invitation of La Playa Trail Association, they presented an hour-long program at the Point Loma Assembly, where roughly 60 people attending the event – with strong contingent coming from OB.

Campo chairman Paul Cuero kicked off the affair with an overview of the Kumeyaay Nation, which we learned is made up of 12 bands living in 13 reservations north of the Mexican border, and five communities spread throughout northern Baja California. Kumeyaay are responsible for the protection of a little over three million acres in San Diego County.

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Newly-Renovated OB Episcopal Church Center Dedicated

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Hannah Wilder

Over 200 people attended an open house at the newly renovated Episcopal Church Center at 2083 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, Friday, September 12. Open to the community, the affair mostly drew people from the congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego; pastors from nearby churches and neighbors also attended.

The facilities were renovated as part of the diocesan Build the Serving Church capital campaign, which focused, in part, on creating a new center for the diocese. Working with Platt Whitelaw Architects, Canon Nancy R. Holland remodeled the rooms in order to maximize multi-purpose use. Every effort was made to use earth-friendly materials, and to optimize the free flow of air and light.

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Annual Fundraising at Pancake Breakfast Scores Big for OB Town Council

September 22, 2014 by Source
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Overcast skies didn’t appear to keep anyone away from the beach on Saturday morning, as hundreds of locals descended on the Ocean Beach Pier for the OB Town Council’s annual pancake breakfast.

The cooler temperatures may have even helped turnout, providing a respite from the seemingly never-ending heat wave that’s pummeled the county, as lines formed early and stayed strong through the morning, with Council volunteers hustling to serve a crowd of the hungry and civic-minded. Workers fought to stay cool inside the Walk On Water Café near the end of the pier, with the kitchen operating at full capacity and three extra griddles fired up to assist in pancake production.

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Earthdance in Ocean Beach at Winston’s: Saving the Planet Through Music

September 22, 2014 by Source
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By Christina Dallenbach

Many of the Climate March participants in downtown San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 21, found their way back to Ocean Beach, where Earthdance festivities, though organizers had cross-promoted the climate march, had been underway since 2 p.m.

Scott Stephens, front-man for Liquid Blue , an OB-based band known for its social activism and billed as “the world’s most traveled band,” said a healthy crowd had been stopping by for different portions of the event, though the venue really started to fill in the late afternoon as the justice-minded turned their attention from the People’s Climate March to Earthdance.

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San Diegans Turn Out for March for the Climate

September 22, 2014 by Source
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By Chris Dallenbach

Sunday was a busy day for activism in San Diego and around the world, as 1,000 or more people filled Civic Center Plaza downtown to demand leadership from government in taking action to stem the tide of climate change, taking part in the People’s Climate March.

The event world-wide featured more than 2,700 demonstrations including an event that drew an estimated 400,000 people in New York City.

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America’s First Banned Book and the Battle for the Soul of the Country

September 22, 2014 by Jim Miller

New English Canaan CoverBy Jim Miller

It’s Banned Books Week and what better way to kick it off than with a salute to America’s first banned book: Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan published in 1637? New English Canaan is a three-volume affair containing Morton’s sympathetic observations about Native Americans along with a celebration of the beauty of the natural world and a fierce satire of the Puritans.

While some scholars point to other books such as John Eliot’s The Christian Commonwealth (written in the late 1640s) or William Pynchon’s The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption (1650)as the first books to be banned by the Puritans for theological or historical reasons, Morton’s New English Canaan precedes both of these texts and the conflict surrounding it is far more important and illustrative with regard to the political and cultural history of the United States.

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Paddle Around the OB Pier for Clean Water Attracts Hundreds

September 22, 2014 by Jeff Stone
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At the annual Surfrider-sponsored Paddle for Clean Water, hundreds of surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, boogieboarders, and others jumped into the Pacific Ocean at and around the OB Pier, on Sunday, September 21. It was the 23rd anniversary of the organization’s Paddle for Clean Water event around Southern California’s longest pier in a mass display of solidarity for the protection of our precious coastlines.

They came from far and wide, they were young and old, and all participants were fed a free breakfast.

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Who Runs San Diego? … How Do You Solve a Problem like Sea World?

September 19, 2014 by Source
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Shamu, we hardly knew ye

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By Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

For most of us it has been a slow, painful process to understand that our love affair with cute, cuddly, smiley Shamu has made us participants in a cold-blooded business that imprisons and mistreats sentient, social creatures in ways that turn the stomach and shock the conscience.

Concerned environmentalist and civic leaders have been telling us for years that the capture of orcas was nasty and brutal

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