San Diego City Council Approves 18-Acre Christian-Themed Center

On Tuesday, October 17th, the San Diego City Council approved televangelist Morris Cerullo’s $130 – 160 million Legacy International Center project. The Center will replace the former Mission Valley Resort at 875 South Hotel Circle Drive on an 18 acre site at the west end of Mission Valley.

That’s the main headline.

But what the Council also did was approve a mini Disneyland-type of religious theme-park that will promote controversial religious tourism, owned by the head of a extremist Evangelical empire who is outspoken in his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, who was expelled from India for religious disturbances, who is criticized by rabbis for trying to convert Jews, and whose disputed claims of being a faith healer and miracle worker have led to at least one documented death.


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Is there a boycott going on by the San Diego Mayor’s Office in attending Ocean Beach community meetings?

For at least the last six months, the leaders of both the Ocean Beach Town Council and the Ocean Beach Planning Board have openly complained during their public meetings about the absence of anyone from the Mayor’s Office.

I’ve sat through most of these meetings over these 6 months and have heard both John Ambert, chair of the OB Planning Board, and Gretchen Newsom, president of the OB Town Council, cite their continuing disappointment that Mayor Faulconer has failed to send a representative to their community meetings. At times, in fact, it has become a running joke at the village events which dozens of residents and business owners attend.

Meanwhile, over this same time period, a mayor’s rep has attended numerous meetings of the Midway District planners and of the Peninsula Community Planning Board.


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A special hearing by the San Diego City Council set for Monday, October 23rd, on deciding policy on short term vacation rentals has been cancelled. The cancellation – or ‘adjournment’ – was basically due to a last-minute memo from the City Attorney’s Office that raised legal questions about elements of the proposed ordinances by various members of the Council.

Mrytle Cole, President of the City Council, issued a Memo on Thursday, October 19th, that stated in part:

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At a time when many protests over the fact that Target wants to becomes established in Ocean Beach rile the community, I think it is about time that people become aware of how a “little man”, wanting to start a successful business in OB is being met with frustration after frustration.

Just about a year ago I wrote an article about the Surf Check – a dream of Richard Aguirre‘s to own a small business that would enhance the local neighborhood.

For those of you that are not aware of the Surf Check it is located on the northwest corner of Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma Avenue. It is, for all intent and purposes, a “food truck.” Richard wanted it to be more than just a food truck, and, with permits from the city, put in a raised platform and added tables and benches to the area.


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It was ten years ago this month that the online version of the OB Rag was launched into the ether of the internet. We began publishing October 26-27, 2007 – and we began under fire.

10 years ago a massive fire raged across San Diego County from October 19th through the 27th. Over 346,890 acres were burned, over 1,588 residences were destroyed and there were 7 civilian fatalities.

It resulted in one of the largest mass evacuations in California history – and certainly the largest in Southern California – where 640,000 residents were evacuated.


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Development to Begin On the Last Sand Dune of Ocean Beach

October 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It appears with the recent installation of a construction fence around it, the “Last Sand Dune of Ocean Beach” will be demolished with the building of a mixed-use project upon its soon-to-disappear sands.


The project at 5040 Santa Monica Avenue includes a 2-story commercial unit in front and 4 residential units behind and above it. The Ocean Beach Planning Board approved it by a vote of 7 to 2 over two years ago

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98 Year Old Cottage Demolished on Del Mar Ave in Ocean Beach

October 16, 2017 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

After years of blight at 4706 Del Mar Avenue in Ocean Beach, the 1919 cottage and other structures have been demolished.

OB historian Ruth Held described the property many years ago as having a beautiful garden.

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OB Rag Says: ‘Thanks, Ocean Beach, for These Last Ten Years’

October 12, 2017 by Staff

This month the online OB Rag is ten years old! We started publishing during the fires of late October 2007.

And we’ve been going strong ever since! A lot of that is due to the solid support OBceans and friends have given us.

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San Diego City Council Not Ready for Vacation Rentals at Monday Oct. 23 Meeting

October 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It does not appear that the San Diego City Council will be ready to finally make policy on short term vacation rentals at their hearing set for Monday, October 23rd.

Said Councilman David Alvarez, a key player on the issue:

“The breaking news is there won’t be anything done on Monday.”

A front page article in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune quotes Alvaraz as saying he doesn’t see how the Council can move forward on the contentious issue after the City Attorney just released

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OB Planning Board Vice-Chair Sounds Off on Vacation Rentals at ‘Voice of San Diego’

October 18, 2017 by Source

Blake Herrschaft Says Vacation Rentals Worsen the Housing Crisis

By Blake Herrschaft / Voice of San Diego/ October 16, 2017

If Councilmen Chris Ward, David Alvarez, Scott Sherman and Mark Kersey get their way, up to 10,000 housing units in San Diego could be effectively taken offline, making the housing crisis we’re now facing far worse.

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Sailboat for Peace Crashes Fleet Week

October 18, 2017 by Dave Rice

Golden Rule Sails In Peacefully

By Dave Rice /San Diego Reader / Oct. 15, 2017

On Saturday (October 14), Fleet Week was in full swing at San Diego Bay.

Crowds lined the waterfront from Tuna Harbor north along the Embarcadero to watch Navy and Coast Guard vessels and helicopters performing in and over the water. More waited in line to tour Broadway Pier, where sailors sporting sidearms and semiautomatic rifles guarded access to the amphibious transport ship USS Anchorage, troop transports, churro vendors, tanks, bubble tea stands, and pieces of heavy artillery on display.

Outside the pier entrance near the foot of Broadway, demonstrators with Veterans for Peace handed out flyers calling attention to the Golden Rule, a 34-foot sailboat serving as an unofficial entry in the ongoing parade of military might.

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Why Councilman Cate Likely Won’t Be Prosecuted for Helping Out Soccer City

October 18, 2017 by Doug Porter

City Councilman Chris Cate’s admission of his decision to pass along a confidential legal memo to a lobbyist working for the backers of the Soccer City development proposal has been at the center of controversy in recent days.

Cate and his PR guy say the decision to share was a necessary part of gathering information to make an informed decision. Except it would appear the Councilman had already taken a stance since his photograph appears alongside a supportive quote with other project backers at And lobbyist Craig Benedetto, who received the memo–stamped “confidential”–donated to and raised funds for Cate earlier this year.

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OB Historical Society Presents: Life of Point Loma’s Own ‘Fly Boy’ – Jack Allen Davis, Jr – Oct.19th

October 17, 2017 by Source

“Read the Book Before You Fly ‘Em”,
By Karen Scanlon –
Thurs. Oct. 19, 2017 at 7 pm
at P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

From OBHS:

Point Loma’s Jack Allen Davis, Jr. wanted to fly airplanes. And fly ‘em he did! This high-flying speculator bought and sold World War II surplus aircraft with daring competence. Jack was a local boy who learned to fly at age 14 with Gibbs Flying Service. “Old Bill Gibbs turned me loose on an old Piper Cub,” Jack bragged.

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OB Planning Board Chair Says Project at Ebers and Greene Is a ‘Public Nuisance’ and Calls for City to Take Action

October 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Ambert Calls Project at 2269 Ebers a Violation of Municipal Code

The Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, John Ambert, in a letter to City representatives, described the decaying construction project at Ebers and Greene Streets a “public nuisance” and calls on the City to take action.

Recently, part of the fence that surrounds the site collapsed at 2269 Ebers and exposed the fact that the skeleton of a 3-story building has been lived in.

Ambert – in his letter to Xavier Del Valle (of the Development Services Dept.?) and Conrad Wear, Councilwoman Lorie Zapf’s community rep – says

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How San Diego’s Transit Went from First to Worst

October 17, 2017 by Source

By Murtaza Baxamusa / UrbDeZine

The current leadership at San Diego’s regional transportation agency hates tax, except that they love to spend it.

This double-standard has become increasingly apparent in the recent months, as they are back-filling the shortfall in the local sales tax revenues and increase in project costs with $5 billion from a statewide gas tax that many on the agency’s board vehemently oppose.

With the failure of the local sales tax measure last year, and the gridlock in Washington D.C., the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG – in charge of planning and building transit in the county) is now far more dependent on the passage of transportation taxes by the California legislature.

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Ocean Beach Planners’ Panel to Review New Design of Condos at Abbott and Muir – Wed., Oct. 18th

October 16, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Planning Board Project Review Committee meets Wednesday, October 18th, and has two projects on its agenda.

The first is the 4 condos project at Abbott and Muir and the second is the Houlton Family bluff repair project. The Project Review panel is a sub-committee of the OB Planning Board and makes recommendations to the full board. The meetings take place at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica in the Community Meeting Room. They start at 6pm.

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OB Walkabout No. 2

October 16, 2017 by Source

By Joaquin Antique

Being an occasional column featuring sights and sounds from Ocean Beach and Point Loma.


My nephew was surfing Dog Beach a few years back and he heard some distant thunder.
Two other guys were talking to each other about the situation:

First Surfer: Do you think we should get out of the water?

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A First Hand Account of the Northern California Fires

October 16, 2017 by Source

Editor: We have all read about the horrible fires and devastation north of us. This account was sent to OB Rag staff member Judi Curry by a friend living in the Bay Area, who has given permission to post.

I am going up today to look around. I am still shut out of my neighborhood. The boys are staying at the beach.

Reflecting on the current reality, and thought I’d share, since some folks who haven’t been here yet are driving in this weekend …

We walk around in masks, and know what N95 means. We regularly ask if you “saw flames or just smoke.” We gather in parking lots to watch our hillside, discuss “back fire,” and argue over white vs. black smoke. We end conversations with strangers with “Be Safe.”

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The New Democrats Crab-Walking with the Radical Right, San Diego Style

October 16, 2017 by Jim Miller

Last week in the second part of my review of Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” I noted how the complicity of neoliberal Democrats with the aims of the Right is one of the reasons why fighting the Koch brothers of the world has been so difficult. Thinking they are reasonably compromising or engaging in a savvy war of position, these Democrats are instead simply crab walking us over a cliff.

More specifically, following MacLean’s argument, I observe that:

The key here was the embrace of privatization as the point of the spear, the starting point for their greater, unstated war on government and democracy itself. One of things that made this effective, of course, was the fact that many neoliberal Democrats were unwitting accomplices in this slow-motion demolition of democracy. MacLean again notes:

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SANDAG Reform Becomes Reality; Governor Brown Signs Assembly Bill No.805

October 13, 2017 by Doug Porter

I’m pleased to report some good news today. San Diego’s regional transportation agency is going to change the way they do business, thanks to AB 805, legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher and signed by the Governor on Wednesday, October 11th.

This is a big deal, even if most of the benefits are in the future. The balance of power is shifting to areas of the region where most people live. The old boy network’s influence over long-term planning for San Diego County has been diminished.

This is a good thing .

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San Diego’s Dangling Participles

October 13, 2017 by Source

By Norma Damashek / San Diego Free Press

Dangling participle – a piece of a sentence in search of its true identity. Here’s an example: Sitting in the boss’s chair, deadly disease runs rampant among homeless people on the streets of San Diego.

What’s wrong with this sentence? Something’s missing. We can fix it this way: Sitting in the boss’s chair, Mayor Kevin Faulconer twiddles his thumbs while deadly disease runs rampant among homeless people….

An equally correct alternative might be: Sitting in the boss’s chair, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors lazily ignore their civic responsibilities as deadly disease runs rampant….

Once we get the grammar right, the picture becomes clear. Locally-elected officials – by choosing to ignore their political duty

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Point Loma Project at Garrison and Locust Raises Community’s Eyebrows

October 12, 2017 by Source

Roseville developers’ runaround in progress

Editor: This article by Julie Stalmer originally appeared in the San Diego Reader on October 6th. Since its publication, the City’s Development Services Department (DSD) got back to Julie .

By Julie Stalmer/ San Diego Reader / Oct. 6, 2017

Since moving into the Roseville neighborhood in May, Toni Popoki Reed had not seen much happening in the vacant lot across the street. She knew of the housing project that broke ground there in 2016. She was aware it had stalled sometime early 2017 but didn’t know why. She was surprised when, mid-September, she saw something other than the weeds getting taller on the corner of Garrison Street and Locust Street.

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The Boycott of Target Express in Ocean Beach Is On

October 12, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Members of the “No Target in OB” group hosted a forum Wednesday night, October 11th, and the message from all the presentations is, the boycott of Target Express in Ocean Beach is on, baby!

About 40 people crammed into the meeting room of the OB Rec Center to view a good power-point presentation by Kim McGinley with updates and messages the group wants to get out to the community about why a boycott is necessary. McGinley pressed the message, “it’s not a done deal yet,”

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Reader Rant: ‘My Family Just Got Robbed of Our Rent’

October 12, 2017 by Source

By Josh Weber

My family just got robbed of our rent.

We have two girls and a baby on the way, so this is extremely tough … for the first time since my oldest was born, thoughts of homelessness cross my mind.

We were trying to move from one place to another. It’s the same size as where we lived before, just cheaper and a further commute. Finally we could save a little, and our kids would still have their own room and space.

We were struggling to get in with individual agents, each charging us around $100 for applications or credit checks.

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If Trump Is Impeached Will His Base Mobilize Against a ‘Liberal Coup’?

October 11, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Second of Two Parts

In one of the most provocative incidents involving self-styled Neo-Nazis since Charlottesville, about 25 men in masks and bandanas descended on a progressive book fair in Houston, Texas on Sunday, September 24th. They set off smoke bombs, shouted “sieg hiel!”, “blood and soil!” and generally harassed folks at the event.

It was a story totally missed by mainstream media, but observed by reporters from AlterNet who filed a report, picked up by other progressive news sites:

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‘No Target in OB’ Community Forum – Wed. Oct. 11th at OB Rec Center

October 10, 2017 by Source

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Disasters Are Us

October 10, 2017 by Source

By David Helvarg / Blue Notes – Blue Frontier

The Ocean is in trouble is a familiar refrain.

A year ago we seemed to be making some progress, but most of that is now being reversed. Denial of science and common sense solutions to existential threats like fossil fuel-fired climate disruption also put our lives and our future at risk.

That is why I can’t understand people like EPA Chief Scott Pruitt or Governor Rick Scott of Florida who refuse to believe NOAA scientists when they tell them climate change is real

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Ocean Beach Memories of Tom Petty

October 10, 2017 by Source

Editordude: Here are two tributes to Tom Petty by two members of the Ocean Beach community.

Tom Petty RIP

by Bob Edwards

Another giant of rock passed away last week. Tom Petty had the same sort of swaggering, rock and roll presence as Bruce and Mick and Ray Davies of the Kinks.

Tom Petty and Bob Dylan at the San Diego Sports Arena

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

I’d already heard the OB Dylan stories–at least some of them.

“Yeah, he owns a place on Abbott Street, everyone knows that.”

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OB Walkabout

October 9, 2017 by Source

Editordude: Please welcome this new column, “OB Walkabout” by Joaquin Antique, which will feature photos of oddities, signs and other things Joaquin finds of interest plus funnies he overhears in his walkabouts in OB.

By Joaquin Antique

The Week’s Anecdote

Overheard at Roberto’s:

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A Real Hero of Sunset Cliffs

October 9, 2017 by Source

The Widder Curry writes: On Friday morning, October 6th, Matthew Alford was surfing off of Hill Street and Sunset Cliffs. This is his own story, as posted in Next Door. Nice to read a good story! Matthew is a professor at La Jolla Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Wow. An amazing thing happened this morning while I was surfing: I saved a life.

I was surfing my favorite high tide spot at Sunset Cliffs and people on the cliff started yelling and pointing. A woman had fallen off the cliff and was getting swept by the waves toward the rocks.

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