OB airbnb mapThe Ocean Beach Town Council will hold a forum on short term vacation rentals tonight at its monthly meeting, – Wednesday, May 24th.

Hopefully, there will be discussions about how the hundreds of short term rentals in OB and other coastal communities are cutting into the community’s housing stock – and making rents higher and even more restrictive.

When there are hundreds of STVRs, neighborhoods are negatively impacted and disrupted, and even the character of a neighborhood can be altered.

And deep critics of short term vacation rentals understand this larger consequence, and that is it indeed, the Loss of Community that is the most dangerous aspect of this ‘home-sharing’ trend – especially at the beach.


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By South OB Girl

As the OB Rag reported on Friday, May 19th, it’s been a long, slow saga for Apple Tree Market to reopen after the owner, Saad Hirmez, was forced out of the site where he had his first market (where the CVS is now at Cable and Santa Monica).

Monday May 22nd is the soft opening for the brand new Apple Tree.


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The old adage that the cover-up is worse than the crime may once again prove true.

By Marjorie Cohn

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has responded to the crescendo of outrage by appointing former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump’’ and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation’’ as well as any other matters within the scope of the Department of Justice (DOJ) regulation on special counsel appointments.

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The San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is part of the world-wide movement to ban plastic straws in restaurants, the so-called “Straw Wars” campaign, part of a wider effort to get restaurants certified as Ocean-Friendly Restaurants (OFR).

A number of OB restaurants are currently ocean-friendly, according to Surfrider.

But now we hear that 3 “high-profile” restaurants in other parts of San Diego have joined this movement to limit the number of plastic straws, many of which end up polluting our oceans and harming marine life. An estimated 500 million plastic straws are used by Americans everyday, and many of them splash down in our coastal waterways and oceans.


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By Rick Jahnkow / Draft NOtices

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) recently released a report on U.S. military personnel policy that, among other things, recommends registering women for the draft and giving all young people the military’s aptitude test when they register.

The report’s title is “Building a F.A.S.T. Force: A Flexible Personnel System for a Modern Military” (F.A.S.T stands for Fully engaged, Adaptable, Sustainable, and Technically proficient). It was created by a BPC task force that includes former Department of Defense officials, retired military officers, and several former U.S. senators.

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Soft Opening of OB’s New Recycling Center with Breathtaking Views

May 24, 2017 by Source

There’s the soft opening of Ocean Beach’s new recycling center going on!

It is conveniently located cliffside, with breathtaking views.

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Peninsula Planners Balk at Idea of Town Council for Point Loma

May 23, 2017 by Source

By Geoff Page

Here is a report of the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Board Opposed to Sponsoring Town Hall Meeting on Forming Point Loma Town Council

The agenda item that seemed to have generated the most interest was a presentation on creating a town council for Point Loma. Peninsula resident Michael Winn is spearheading this effort. It appeared that this was Winn’s idea that came about because Winn and others had seen that the community planning board was unable to deal effectively with some community issues due to various restrictions the board is bound by.

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Short-Term Vacation Rentals On Tap at Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting – Wed., May 24

May 23, 2017 by Staff

This Wednesday, May 24th, the Ocean Beach Town Council will be providing a forum on the topic of short-term vacation rentals. The title of the forum is “Shorting OB Community via Short Term Vacation Rentals”.

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm, inside the Masonic Center at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., in Ocean Beach.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Advocates for New Lifeguard Tower

May 23, 2017 by Source

from OBTC:

Last week, members of the OB Town Council advocated for a new OB Lifeguard Station before the San Diego City Council. Below is a copy of the testimony given by OBTC President Gretchen Newsom with support from OBTC boardmembers Gio Ingolia and Andrew Waltz:

I stand here to inform you that the Ocean Beach Town Council is in support of Councilmember Lorie Zapf’s efforts to obtain design funding for a new Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station as identified in her 2018 Budget Priorities memorandum. This project is consistent with the Ocean Beach Community Plan and is a long time advocated need within the community and by community based organizations.

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Cat Herding and Loathing at the California Democratic State Convention

May 23, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Democrats gathered in Sacramento this past weekend for their annual convention, and there were–surprise, surprise–disagreements. Based on the angst woven into some news accounts of the event, you’d think some of these writers had never heard the comparison made between organizing Dems and herding cats.

Foremost among the hand-wringing coverage were stories about the competition for chair of the California Democratic Party. Kimberly Ellis, widely considered to be an insurgent candidate symbolizing the aspirations of the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, lost to Eric Bauman, Male Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair, by 62 votes.

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California Failing to Track Police Database Abuse

May 23, 2017 by Source

Typically, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office conducts more investigations into CLETS misuse than any other agency. This time, they did not file anything at all.

By Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

Police in California have your data literally at their fingertips.

They can sit at a computer terminal or in their squad car and check your DMV records, your criminal records, your parking citations, any restraining orders you’ve filed or have been filed against you. They can search other state databases and even tap into the FBI’s trove. If you’ve got a snowmobile, they can look up that registration too. Much of this personal data they can access through a smartphone app.

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Midway Planners Like ‘Sunbreak Ranch’ for the Homeless, Dislike Energy Alternative for the Rest of Us

May 22, 2017 by Source

by Geoff Page

A couple of hot topics were discussed at the Midway/ Pacific Highway Community Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 17 at the San Diego Community College’s West City Campus on Fordham Street.

Sunbreak Ranch

The first was something with an endearing sounding name, Sunbreak Ranch, as a possible interim solution for a not so endearing problem, the homeless. The second was an idea for having the City of San Diego become an energy provider.

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What’s the Matter with San Diego Labor (Part 2): Rank and Who?

May 22, 2017 by Jim Miller


It was a palace civil war and nobody in the break-away group even bothered to ask their members what to do.

By Jim Miller

Last week I outlined why the ill-conceived Mickey Kasparian-driven split in San Diego labor was such a bad idea, citing the recent history of the failed attempt of several national unions to form a break-away organization outside of the AFL-CIO called Change to Win (CTW) that eventually fell apart under its own weight accomplishing not much of note in the long run.

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Sexual Assaults at Southwestern Community College Prompt Protests

May 22, 2017 by Source

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

Southwestern Community College Sexual Assault ProtestStudents held a protest against sexual assault at Southwestern Community College on Thursday, May 18th. The group gathered in front of Mayan Hall and several speakers made demands to the administration, after which they marched to the Student Center.

The protest was ignited by a special April edition of the college newspaper The Sun, which devoted itself entirely to sexual assault.

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Mysterious Banner Appeared on OB Pier

May 20, 2017 by Staff

A mysterious banner was placed on the Ocean Beach Pier on Thursday, May 18th.

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Trump’s World Tour. (Gulp) Meanwhile, Here’s the Progressive San Diego Calendar – May 20-31, 2017

May 20, 2017 by Doug Porter

Editor’s note: the following progressive calendar for San Diego County has been briefly edited to update the text.

By Doug Porter

Combover Caligula is on a road trip to a bunch of countries, some of which are populated by brown people. The trip marks the first time since taking office that he has spent a night away from the White House at a property that doesn’t bear his name.

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Trump Motivated Local Ocean Beach Woman to Renew Her Activism

May 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Until recently, Judith S. was enjoying her life as a retired educator, living in a cute 2-bedroom cottage in northeast OB with her husband Wayne, tending to her plentiful garden, playing with her grandchildren when they visited. Everything was good.

Then it all changed on November 8th – the day Trump was elected.

“The day after, I was in disbelief, shock,” Judith told me recently while sitting on her covered patio in the back. “I couldn’t get my head around what had happened.”

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New Apple Tree Market on Newport Avenue to Open May 22nd

May 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It’s been a long, slow saga for the well-known store to reopen after the owner, Saad Hirmez, was forced out of the site where he had his first market – where CVS is now – so many years ago.

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OB’s Farmers Market Turns 25

May 18, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

OB’s famous Farmers Market just turned 25 – and it was acknowledged yesterday, May 17th.

After praising the Market for its quarter century existence and model for other farmers markets, Councilwoman Lorie Zapf presented Denny Knox, CEO of the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association with an anniversary certificate, a Declaration from the San Diego City Council honoring the occasion.

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Old Midway Post Office Bought for $40 Million – to Be Mixed-Use Project “The Point”

May 18, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

The mystery surrounding the old Midway Post Office has finally been solved. Now we have found out that the site was purchased for $40 million and where the developer plans a mixed-use project, tentatively called “The Point,” which will be a new $325 million urban community.

For a number of years, reports and rumors of sales and projects have swirled around the old Midway Post Office – built in the 1970s -and closed in 2012.

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Making our Schools Safe for Muslim Students in a Climate of Hate

May 18, 2017 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Muslim studentsThere’s a survey highlighting that a large number of Muslim students are being bullied at school.

Our school district picks up on it and looks at ways to make them feel safe on their campuses. And before you can say “Way to go!” to the school system, a bunch of hateful folks come up with some “reverse discrimination” kind of BS.

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Addition to Project Review Cmte Agenda – Condo Conversions on Point Loma Ave.

May 17, 2017 by Staff

There’s been an additional Action Item added to tonight’s Project Review Committee’s agenda. The committee meets Wed. night at the OB Rec Center at 6pm, 4726 Santa Monica Ave.

The addition is a Map Waiver and permit for the conversion of 2 existing residences to condos at 4628 – 4630 Point Loma Avenue in south Ocean Beach.

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Embrace the Hate

May 17, 2017 by Source

By Brett Warnke

Every Sherlock needs his Moriarty. When Doyle’s great detective called his brilliant nemesis the “Napoleon of crime,” the reader kept reading to see London’s equally matched talents collide.

The great exposers in journalism, like Izzy Stone, America’s first blogger, self-published and changed the conversation when consensus was king. The great haters, meanwhile, purified public outrage at the crimes or embarrassments of those in power, and had the skill to peel the muck of sentiment and the grime of politeness.

Truth is uncomfortable. Facts are ugly. And hate is very real.

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May 17, 2017 by Source


by sloanranger

Does anyone remember Howdy Doody?
Howdy was a puppet on early TV, and us kids,
we sat there in the Peanut Gallery – at home, or in the studio –
and watched, watched Clarabelle the Clown running up and down
the aisles squirting Buffalo Bob with his seltzer bottle.

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Keeping a Tucson Neighborhood’s Spirit Alive

May 17, 2017 by Ernie McCray

be the best neighborhood

By Ernie McCray

Recently I received an email from a friend asking me if I would lead a conversation that would begin with a piece of art, next April, on issues important to Dunbar, the neighborhood in Tucson, where I spent the first 24 years of my life.

I couldn’t get back to her with the answer, “Yes,” quick enough. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do, in life, than take part in a rap session on behalf of a community that resides at the core of who I am as a human being.

I mean, I am Dunbar personified.

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More Photos … and Cartoons … Found of Charles Lindbergh

May 16, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Dr. Seuss Knew a Thing or Two About Lindbergh

By Frank Gormlie

A week and a half ago or so, the San Diego Union-Tribune published a bunch of “rare, never-before-published photographic images of Charles Lindbergh on his way to becoming Charles Lindbergh,” while he was training in San Diego, photos that had been “hiding in storage for 90 years.”

It was of course in mid-May, 1927, that Lindbergh made the first-ever nonstop solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris, a total of 3,610 miles and he made it in 33 hours. The flight certainly “turned him into one of the most famous and admired people on Earth,” … for a while at least.

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Sunset Cliffs One of Top Two ‘Trashiest’ Beaches in 2016

May 16, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach-related Beaches Have Scored “Worst” Beach in 4 Out of Last 10 Years

On May 15th, Surfrider and Coastkeeper released the bad news:

188,000 pieces of trash were removed by more than 6,500 volunteers who cleaned up San Diego County beaches in 2016. 80 percent of all trash removed contained plastic.

But the bad news for OBcean and Point Lomans is that Sunset Cliffs was deemed one of the top two “trashiest” beaches in the County. Sunset Cliffs provided the most refuse on a per- volunteer basis, with an average of 7.65 pounds per person. The other was the Oceanside Pier. La Jolla Shores was the cleanest beach with 0.42 pounds of trash found per person.

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As Chinese Exclusion Act Turns 135, Experts Point To Parallels Today

May 16, 2017 by Source

By Kat Chow / Code Switch

A Chinese man stands on a pedestal surrounded by a harbor as a cartoon imitation of the Statue of Liberty. His clothes are tattered, his hair is in a long, thin tail, his eyes squint. The words “diseases,” “filth,” “immorality,” and “ruin to white labor” float around his head.

This man is the center of an iconic image from 1881 called “A Statue for Our Harbor,” made by the cartoonist George Frederick Keller.

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‘My Way Or the Highway’ Isn’t a Rallying Call for San Diego Labor Activism

May 16, 2017 by Doug Porter

In a not-so-improbable dystopian future, forces loyal to fearless leader Donald Trump will have rounded up local labor leaders, only to be surprised to learn of a faction demanding a separate firing squad…

By Doug Porter

A breakaway group –the San Diego Working Families Council– led by deposed Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian includes seven local branches of some big-name unions.

The San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have offered up three perspectives of what this split means for local activists.

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10 San Diego Progressives Who Brought Down Mickey Kasparian

May 16, 2017 by Source

Mickey Kasparian

By Marcus Bush / San Diego Free Press

After nearly 6 months of controversy and tumult stemming from lawsuits on hostile work environment, retaliation, and sexual harassment, on Monday, May 8th, Mickey Kasparian was removed as President of the San Diego Imperial-Counties Labor Council by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

The shocking announcement rocked the regional political climate, as Kasparian was one of the most powerful leaders of the Labor Movement and Democratic Party in San Diego County.

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