OB Orchard cave sd Frt1

OB Rag Demands Immediate Emergency Mitigation of Dangerous Conditions at the Cave

By Frank Gormlie

Based on complaints heard at the most recent Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, the OB Rag sent a small investigative team out to the end of Orchard Avenue to check into reports that a cave with dimensions of 30 feet by 30 feet existed in the coastal bluff.

My associate, Shawn Drake, and myself set out on an overcast Tuesday with cameras in hand to investigate just what was there, who – if anyone – was there, just how dangerous the cave or caves were, and if the condos above were in danger themselves.

What we found was both disturbing and partially reassuring.

Yes, there is a cave there – along the bluffs between the concrete stairs at the foot of Orchard and the steep drive-way that goes nearly to the ocean. We can definitely confirm there’s one cave.


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Post image for OB Planners Have Full Plate for Wed., Sept 2 Meeting

3 Projects and a Park Re-Name on Agenda

Looks like it’s a full plate for Ocean Beach planners at their upcoming monthly meeting this Wednesday, September 2nd.

They have the re-naming of Saratoga Park to deal with, as well as 3 projects to review;

  • one is a coastal cliff stabilization project at 1759 Ocean Front Street;
  • a garage demolition and construction of a two-story 2100-plus square foot single family residence, with an existing house, at 4821 Coronado Avenue;
  • the construction of two 3,365 duplexs (total of 4 condos) at 2150 Abbott Street.

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Post image for Loss of Community Is Greatest Threat From Airbnb and Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Short-term vacation rentals are on the minds of a lot of people these days, especially with those who live at the coast in San Diego.

The issue bubbles up at community meetings. An OB resident brought it up at a recent Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting. And it was the subject of a panel discussion organized recently by the Point Loma Democratic Club. Also, back in February of this year, residents of Pacific Beach made their complaints about them heard publicly.

Then it came up at the most recent OB Town Council meeting last week, during the non-agenda comment period, where folks on both sides on the issue contended for audience sympathy. And it’s certainly a hot topic among callers to District 2 Councilwoman Zapf’s office.

Zapf’s office is in the middle of the controversy as she heads up a City Council committee on Smart Growth and Land Use, which last Spring held 2 public hearings on the issue, where both sides squared off. The upshot was that city staff have drafted language for a new San Diego Municipal ordinance updating how the City deals with the issue of short term vacation rentals.


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we-sell-gunsBy John Lawrence

It has come to my attention that some of my conservative friends think that the American Constitution was chiseled in stone. Well, no, actually unlike the Ten Commandments which were written in stone, the American Constitution was written on parchment.

I have a lot of respect for the Founding Fathers who came up with this document based on the best Enlightenment thinking at the time with the help of French philosophes such as Montesquieu who believed in the separation of powers and checks and balances. Unfortunately, the Founders didn’t heed the advice of the Marquis de Condorcet who came up with a better voting system than majority rule.

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Post image for Body Found on Ocean Beach Rocks That of Missing Swimmer

Monday evening, a man’s body was found on the rocks at the foot of Orchard Avenue in Ocean Beach.

The body has been identified as missing swimmer Brian Wilson, the medical examiner’s office said, as reported by abc10.

The body was recovered Monday night by search and rescue officials from the rocks. Lt. Andy Lerum of San Diego Lifeguards told the media:

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Immigration Looney Tunes: The Anchor Babies Myth

August 31, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

For months, the signs were clear. A revival of an anchor baby attack was on the way.

Most colleagues scoffed at my warnings. They claimed the battle against xenophobic terminology had been won. The era of using mean-spirited terms, like anchor babies, for political purposes had passed.

I was a town crier, a few said, over-reacting to isolated news events.

Sure, just like the building of new detention cells is unrelated to future arrests and deportations.

Alarmist or not, here’s what I saw:

  • California government agents exaggerated claims of Chinese birth tourism and maternity hotels
  • Louisiana passed legislation to deny marriage certificates to undocumented immigrants
  • Texas refused to issue birth certificates to children born in Texas to undocumented parents
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Problems and Some Advice on Airbnb in San Diego Apartments

August 31, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of keeping the discussion on short-term vacation rentals alive, here below is a view by John P Anderson, a proponent of these types of rentals, with some steady advice.

By John P Anderson

As the Airbnb debate continues in San Diego, I found it interesting to receive a warning letter from my previous apartment manager, Torrey Pines Property Management this week informing tenants that using sites like Airbnb is not allowed in the buildings they manage. [For letter, see below.]

I contacted Torrey Pines and was informed that this is a proactive measure to avoid issues in future, not in response to issues that have occurred. Good for them for taking a proactive, informative approach to the issue.

I wanted to share this since there are likely many San Diegans that would like to utilize sites like Airbnb to rent a spare room, or their apartment while they are out of town.

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Search for Missing Swimmer off OB Continues

August 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Lifeguards continued their search for a missing swimmer off Ocean Beach early Monday morning.

A 23-year old man named Brian Wilson had entered the ocean at the foot of Santa Cruz Street, and was last seen between 4:30 and 5:20 pm Sunday. He was not that far out and no one reported that they saw him struggling in the water.

Coast Guard aircraft, a cutter and a small boat went out at daybreak Monday in the search for Wilson.

Over a dozen lifeguards were involved in the search on Sunday for over an hour using boats, jet skis and a helicopter until it was suspended because of heavy rips and rough waters and poor visibility along Sunset Cliffs.

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Disposable People: Obama, the TPP, and the Betrayal of Human Rights

August 31, 2015 by Jim Miller

tpp slaveryBy Jim Miller

During the lead-up to the vote on the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) that the President narrowly won, Obama and his surrogates consistently suggested that those in labor and other allied groups opposing the deal were “fighting the last war” and were against “the most progressive trade agreement the world has ever seen.” Indeed, he even went so far as to accuse critics like Senator Elizabeth Warren of “making stuff up”.

As we know, Obama defeated labor and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and, in concert with Republicans and just enough New Democrats like San Diego’s own Scott Peters and Susan Davis, he succeeded in forwarding the multinational corporate agenda.

Since that time the gaze of the national media has turned elsewhere and, as negotiations have encountered difficulties, the administration has sunk to new lows in its zeal to finish the deal on the TPP.

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News and Notes From OB Town Council Meeting

August 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Caves at Foot of Orchard Bring Complaints of Government In-Action

Here’s more news and notes from the recent monthly public meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council, held Wednesday, August 26th.

One of the best things of the OB Town Council meetings is the “non-agenda public comments” period at the very beginning. This is when folks can get up and either complain or announce or comment on anything – usually OB-related – and have not only the Council members hear what they have to say, but also the reps of the various elected officials who have some jurisdictional claim on OB, as well as members of the first-responders who show up to give reports.

And last Wednesday, it was no different.

During this period, 3 women rose from their seats in the back, and nearly in unison complained of the homeless people burrowing into the cliff at the foot of Orchard Street. This was not the first time the OBTC has heard of complaints about the caves behind concrete slabs that homeless people have dug. But here was the issue again.

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SANDAG’s Transportation Plan is Stuck in Reverse

August 28, 2015 by Source

traffic jam 2By SanDiego350.org / San Diego Free Press

Climate change is a local issue that reaches every corner of the globe. Human activities, especially burning coal, oil and gas, are pumping heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

More than any other time in human history, we’re seeing unlivable marine habitats, rising seas that threaten to subsume coastal societies, and, on land, increases in extreme weather including droughts, floods and severe storms. The changes are happening everywhere, but the effects are felt locally. And the solutions have to come from changes we make in every community.

At SanDiego350, a local nonprofit fighting climate change, we believe that San Diego is at an important crossroads where we must decide how we will reduce our contribution to Earth’s looming climate crisis.

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A Day in Court as a Prospective Juror

August 28, 2015 by Source
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By Bob Dorn

I had the distinction of being the first person thrown off a jury peremptorily in a courtroom this week. Before any evidence was introduced in this criminal misdemeanor case (a DUI), and before prosecution and defense had opened their arguments, the judge was forced to dismiss me from service.

It was the Deputy DA who had me thrown out. I’m not sure I understand why he did it.

In legal terms, it was a peremptory challenge, and it means the attorney who exercised this right, the Deputy DA, could object to my presence on the jury without offering any cause or reason.

Was it my blue eyes? Do I look like a drunk? My curriculum vitae? Was it something I said?

Most likely, it was that last possibility, though I wouldn’t rule out the third.

Judges and attorneys might not look favorably on journalists called up to jury duty, not even old, (re)tired ones.

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Candidates for OB Town Council Introduced – Election Begins Friday, Aug. 28

August 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Annual elections to the board of the Ocean Beach Town Council begins on Friday, August 28th and continues to midnight September 7th. Those eligible to vote are the members of the OBTC in good standing (dues are paid). Ballots will be emailed out and the electronic voting will begin.

There are 8 seats to be filled and there are 11 candidates. Last night’s OBTC public meeting included a Candidates’ Forum where the the candidates were introduced.

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Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

August 27, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Restart Relapse

Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the US Atomic Bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the literal meltdown of over 200,000 human beings, the current Japanese government announced the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, the first to resume operations since the Fukushima disaster of March, 2011.

On August 10, Bloomberg Business reported: ‘The safe restart of Sendai is important for Japan and for the worldwide community,” according to “Dale Klein, former chairman of the US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).”

“It can demonstrate that nuclear energy can play a role in the safe, reliable generation of electricity,” Klein also told Bloomberg.

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The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

August 27, 2015 by Source
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By Herman Baca / August 26, 2015

Long forgotten by US history and barely remembered by many (even in the Chicano community) is the historical 45th anniversary of the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium against the War in Vietnam.

The Moratorium held in Los Angeles, California was one of the most seminal historical events for Chicanos in the US since the end of the US/Mexico War of 1848.

Depending on whom you speak with; the moratorium drew 20 to 40,000 Chicanos from all over the US that marched and protested the war in Vietnam, where Chicano youths were dying in disproportion numbers. Parents, children, seniors, working people, students, war veterans and activists from thru-out the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico marched.

Numerous persons were hurt; hundreds were jailed including national Chicano leader, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. Three people were shot and killed by the police; martyred Angel Diaz, Lynn Ward, and LA Times Journalist, Ruben Salazar.

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Straight Outta Compton to Right Now

August 27, 2015 by Ernie McCray


By Ernie McCray

I saw Straight Outta Compton
the other night.
It was a trip, fly, tight.
Got to it
from the git with
“You are now about to
witness the strength of
street knowledge”
coming through the theater’s
wall rattling
surround sound
with funky

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Are the NFL Chargers Causing the NCAA Aztecs to Lose?

August 27, 2015 by Source


By Bill Adams /UrbDeZine

Are the San Diego National Football League (NFL) Chargers causing the San Diego State University Aztecs football team to lose games and fans? If so, which is worse for San Diego, losing its NFL franchise to another city, or sub-optimal performance and attendance at Aztecs football games?

While these question at first appear both absurd and provocative, there have been several studies that can answer these questions – at least to some degree. Moreover, the studies go further. The studies indicate that the success of a college sports team has an effect on the regional economy.

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OB Rag Joins Media Call for San Diego Police to Release Security Video of Fatal Cop Shooting in the Midway

August 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Joins Media Call for San Diego Police to Release Security Video of Fatal Cop Shooting in the Midway

We at the OB Rag applaud the efforts of local media to obtain the security video of a San Diego police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed man in the Midway District last April, and we join in the call for the police to make public the video.

The Voice of San Diego, KPBS, KGTV, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and inewsource have joined together in filing a motion in court seeking a court order allowing the media to have access to the videotape.

The motion, filed in Federal Court a week ago, demands that the video – a security camera video – taken by a business near the alley where the fatal shooting took place – be made public and be released under the First Amendment and federal court rules. A statement about the shooting made by the police officer involved is also being sought.

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New Surfer Mural Adorns Wall at Entrance to Ocean Beach

August 26, 2015 by Source
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Meeting the Artist – Henry Goods – Commissioned by Gas Station Owner

by South OB Girl

Entering Ocean Beach along Sunset Cliffs Blvd., the brightly colored mural on the 76 gas station wall may have caught your eye.

One can’t help but see the new mural shortly after seeing the Ocean Beach entry way sign. On the right — Robb Field and the iconic Ocean Beach entry way sign (newly restored and freshly painted).

On the left — Dusty Rhodes Park and the 76 gas station wall with a mural depicting two surfers (male and female), a giant wave, and some sea gulls. The mural might appear to be part of Dusty Rhodes Park, but actually is on the property of the 76 gas station at the corner of West Point Loma Blvd. and Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The mural is the work of Henry Goods. And upon meeting him, it is clear that his personality comes out in his painting and his painting captures his energetic and vibrant personality.

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Tyranny of the Majority: The American Winner Take All System

August 26, 2015 by John Lawrence

Is it no wonder that among the 21 democracies in Western Europe and North America the US is next to last in voter turn-out?
tyranny of the majorityBy John Lawrence

A lot of people these days are concerned with getting the money out of politics.

That’s an admirable goal, but it doesn’t solve the problem that’s built right into the American political system: a voting system in which the majority rules and there is no minority representation because the winner takes all.

At every level the US is divided up into districts whether its state assembly and senatorial districts, US Congressional districts, San Diego city council districts or what have you. Citizens in a particular district can only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins in that district.

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“I don’t always smoke pot …”

August 25, 2015 by Staff
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Push-Back Grows Against Jumping Off Sunset Cliffs

August 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Close to a year ago exactly, we published a “reader rave” about “Why I Jumped Off Sunset Cliffs Yesterday” on why a 65-year old purported local man jumped off a place along the cliffs called Arches (or just “the Arch”) – the popular spot along the cliffs – on a hot, end-of-summer day.

Currently, the article is getting a lot of hits – and it’s all because the entire “sport” has become controversial.

There’s a definite push-back growing against people jumping off that spot, right now. One report cited a hundred people jumping off Arches.

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Residents in Pacific Beach Mobilize Against Large Lifeguard Center Planned for Coastal Bluffs

August 25, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Residents in Pacific Beach Mobilize Against Large Lifeguard Center Planned for Coastal Bluffs

Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

One PB community activist wrote us to urge us to sign:

Please sign this people’s petition to halt plans, and reconsider site locations, of the lifeguard station proposed to concrete the Law St beach and canyon for $7 million.

We believe this land to be invaluable to the city of San Diego as a natural and cultural treasure, and that no consideration has gone into other options for a lifeguard facility.

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When the Name’s the Game

August 25, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The following is a report on the most recent meeting of the OB Community Development Corporation (held on Wednesday, August 13).

The OB CDC lacked a quorum to vote on any action items; the discussion was provided as information from the regular agenda on the recurring topics:

  • The OB Entryway,
  • the OB Veterans Plaza,
  • and the Children’s Play Area/Adult Fitness area.
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OB Town Council Meeting: Candidate Forum and Update on OB Veterans Plaza – Wed., Aug. 26

August 25, 2015 by Staff

A Candidates’ Forum and an update on the OB Veterans Plaza headline the Ocean Beach Town Council’s August 26 public meeting. The Council meets at 7:00pm at the Masonic Lodge – located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The Forum is for candidates who are seeking election to the OBTC Board of Directors. The Council then holds elections during the remainder of the month for the 8 seats that are open. To be eligible to vote, you must be a member of the OBTC. (It’s too late to apply to be a candidate, as written candidates statements were due by midnight on Monday, August 24th.

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August 25, 2015 by Source

My Niche logo

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

The first time I was accused of being a privileged white woman,
I was defensive.
I tried to explain all of the non-privileged experiences
I’ve endure in my life,
despite the fact that I am white.
But my accuser wasn’t buying any of it.
She doubled down on her angry outbursts.

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Camping on Mt Palomar on the Edge of the Wilderness

August 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Camping to me is a lot of fun, but I only get to do it maybe once a summer. But feeling burnt by the daily challenges and pressures of society, I needed some quiet time doing some car-camping. This time I chose to camp on Mt Palomar – the large mountain with the famous observatory (which was closed) that guards San Diego County on its north-side.

Taking off Thursday morning, I arrived at the top around 1 pm. Usually I take S6 up the steep incline, but its twists and turns are too hairy for a relaxed cruise up the mountain. So, for the first time ever, I took the alternate route, S7, which begins on the western edge of Lake Henshaw.

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San Diego Takes the Lead in Greenpeace Strike

August 24, 2015 by Source

11221482_551484888338136_7897254867420767881_oBy Andrew J. Mackay and Bryan Kim

On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively.

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Bernie Sanders, American Socialist

August 24, 2015 by John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders bnwBy John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds to his rallies. The American media cannot ignore that. But they will never use the S word to describe Bernie even though that is how he describes himself.

Bernie represents those who would tax Wall Street to preserve social security and a host of other common sense proposals. He dares to suggest that college should be free rather than the first stage of a life of indentured servitude and indebtedness.

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Why Teach? In Defense of the Public Good

August 24, 2015 by Jim Miller


By Jim Miller

These days it seems a new school year can’t start without being greeted by yet another pronouncement that my profession and/or higher education itself is heading for the dustbin of history.

Last year around this time, I pondered the proclaimed death of the English major and this year the front page of the most recent issue of Harper’s is bemoaning “The Neoliberal Arts: How College Sold Its Soul.”

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