OBcean present in Minneapolis while verdict was read.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter by a jury Tuesday for his role in the murder of George Floyd last May outside of a local convenience store.

Floyd’s death, and the video that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes, became a catalyst for the country’s racial and social justice movement last summer.

A jury of six white, four Black and two multiracial jurors deliberated nine hours over two days — five hours on Monday; four hours Tuesday — before rendering a verdict.

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The Sports Arena site provides an incredible opportunity for showcasing what can and should be done on public properties in California.

By Susan Baldwin/ Voice of San Diego – Patch / April 19, 2021

Imagine a 48-acre site, ripe for redevelopment near the Old Town Trolley/Amtrak/Coaster station, and where a 30-foot height limit has been removed.

Now imagine this prime piece of real estate is owned by the city of San Diego — a public agency that could and should take this unique opportunity not to solicit a development project focused on making the most profit possible, but one that would create a model balanced community that provides housing affordable for individuals and families of all income levels, not just the 10 percent of low-income housing required by the city’s inclusionary housing program. A planner can imagine, right?

To someone who worked much of their professional planning career on solving the region’s housing crisis, the Sports Arena site provides an incredible opportunity for showcasing what can and should be done on public properties in California to provide a true range of housing types for people of all income levels not the primarily market-rate housing affordable only to those who make higher incomes as currently proposed.

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There’s more in the ocean than just water, Part II

by Steve Tatro

Have you ever looked at a mirror with a snorkel on? And a mask? Well don’t, you’ll have nightmares, but for fish watching there’s nothing better. Fish don’t care what you look like; they might giggle, or turn away disgusted, but as long as you don’t try to spear them or catch them, they’re cool.

Ocean Beach fish are particularly cool because they let you swim right up to them, and the orange Garibaldi’s will swim up from their caves just to say “Hi!” Maybe they’re overconfident because of their protected status as our state fish. They really are cute, and they know it.

The Sardines and Anchovies are understandably skittish, but they will allow you within three feet, and in schools of thousands they can envelope you like a flowing silver cloak. They’re mesmerizing, and disorienting if they block out the light, because you can’t tell which way it is to the surface and fresh air! If this happens, use a little precious breath to blow bubbles, and follow them up, no matter which way you think they’re leading you.

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Happy 420!

Cannabis aficionados celebrate today as a near-holiday – today being April 20, 420. And doubtlessly, there will be plenty of parties today at 4:20 pm around OB and Pot Loma. And remember, California had the nation’s first ballot initiative attempting to legalize cannabis (Proposition 19) in 1972 (it failed), and then was the first state to legalize medical cannabis with the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215). Then, of course, in November 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

Don’t forget, though, it was our County DA, Bonnie Dumanis, who used taxpayer monies to take the issue all the way to the California Supreme Court in a failed effort to get the law overturned. Yet, sadly, the war against marijuana continues. Un-certified cannabis dispensaries are still raided by sheriffs right here in San Diego County; costs to establish a certified one are nearly prohibitive; local governments still make regulations so restrictive as to make the process costly, time-consuming, and discouraging. Our “liberal” California legislature still has not set up a banking system for the billion dollar industry, forcing all transactions to be in cash – fostering a dangerous atmosphere for dispensaries. And not until marijuana is de-listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic, will federal laws come up to speed. But hope remains eternal.

So, where did the code or number “420” as a pot signal come from. Chris Conrad, curator of the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland, California, says 420 started as a secret code among a group of friends at San Rafael High School in the early 1970s (one part of the story is that they called themselves “the Waldos”). They would often meet at 4:20 p.m. to get high. Their code gradually spread — possibly via Grateful Dead followers — across California and beyond. It’s even the number of a California Senate bill that established the state’s medial marijuana program. Happy 420.

International Hostel on Udall Sold

A former international hostel on Udall Street in Point Loma was sold recently for $1,300,000. The 2-story building at 3970 Udall was built in 1954, and its lot size is 4,825 square feet.

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Mayor Todd Gloria’s new budget proposal would cut two days, over 150 employees and 10% of the city’s library budget. He also proposes, at the same time, to give over $10 million to the Convention Center.

Now, sure there are trade offs in the library arena. There would be additional monies for library activities, books and videos. Plus, there are other positive aspects of Gloria’s budget – like pay increases for city employees.

But, the point is, this is the first proposed slash of San Diego libraries in more than a decade. Gloria wants to take $5.6 million out of the library budget, going from $59.7 million to $54.1 million.

He wants to eliminate Sundays and Mondays, a 23% reduction in hours for libraries. All 36 branches would be open 42.5 hours per week instead of 55 hours per week. The budget also calls to lay off 153 people, many of whom are hourly and part-time.

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It’s incredible. A San Diego-based right-wing cable channel still questions whether Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. As recently as March 28, one of the correspondents at One America News Network said, “There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president.” This statement was made by “correspondent” Pearson Sharp.

To go by much of OAN’s reporting, it is almost as if a transfer of power had never taken place.

OANN is currently located at 4757 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117 and its public phone number is (858) 270-6900.

Reportedly, OANN is available in some 35 million households. And it has become “a kind of Trump TV for the post-Trump age, an outlet whose reporting has aligned with the former president’s grievances at a time when he is barred from major social media platforms.”

Earlier in March, we reported:

In January 2020, just as the election campaign had geared up, OAN ran a one-hour of program titled “The Ukraine Hoax: Impeachment, Biden Cash, and Mass Murder with guest host Michael Caputo.”

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Halt the Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld – Sign the Petition

April 19, 2021 by Source

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis,every day for 3 months straight during the summer season alone. They are damaging the overall physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty.

Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration. Humane societies across North America report that after firework displays they are swamped with calls about lost dogs and cats. Dogs are brought to shelters with paws bloody from running or torn skin from tearing through a backyard wooden fence or, worse, crippled from being hit by a car.

Sign the Petition – go here.

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Digging 83

April 19, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

There were times
when I was 82
that 83
didn’t seem in the cards
for me,
as Covid-19
had come on the scene
causing a run
on ventilator machines,
not caring a wit
whose clock it cleaned,
didn’t matter
if you were a pauper or a queen,

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City Continues to Deny How Seriously Damaged the Ocean Beach Pier Is

April 16, 2021 by Staff

The OB Rag story about the condition of the OB Pier has generated a good deal of reaction. It shows how much everyone values the pier. So, how has the city reacted?

The Rag received the following statement from Alec Phillipp, Senior Public Information Officer for the City of San Diego. It appears that this was not sent only to The Rag as it was quoted in today’s Union Tribune article.

The first paragraph was misleading and wrong.

“The 2019 draft report (attached) is an assessment of the pier conditions just after the significant 2019 storm and high surf events. In 2019, damage to the pier’s deck and railing was repaired. The columns and other structural elements were determined to need future repair and replacement but were structurally sound to allow public access under operational guidelines.

It is misleading because the statement makes it appear that the city is now “releasing” the report officially. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that they did this just four days after The OB Rag provided it to the public. Clearly, the pressure was felt.

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San Diego Mainstream Media Get It Wrong About the Ocean Beach Pier

April 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Up until this morning, local San Diego mainstream media have been getting it all wrong about the Ocean Beach Pier. From Fox5News to ABC10News to KUSI, to KOGORadio, they all are making the same journalistic and factual errors.

Tuesday morning, April 13, the OB Rag broke the devastating news about how badly damaged the OB Pier really was, and how it may actually be history – as it’s doubtful the strapped city could come up with the millions needed to rehab or replace the pier.

OB Rag reporter Geoff Page had filed a Freedom of Information Act request over three years ago in an effort to obtain the consultant’s report about the pier. Page just received the report – which was the basis for his post on Tuesday.

Contrary to every other media report, which stated that the City had released the report to the media, Page had to get a crowbar and force it out of the city.

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Remembering Dave Martin

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Dave Martin outside-ed

Editordude: We have just learned that village giant Dave Martin has passed. The OB Rag interviewed Dave back in March of 2013 – he was still the president of the OB Town Council and Dave’s restaurant, Shades, was still up and running. Here, we repost that interview.

Originally posted March 22, 2013

Dave Martin, the President of the OB Town Council, agreed to meet me at Shades at 1 pm the other day. That was easy – as he has his own table there – the one closest to the kitchen, the bar, and the serving area – for, as many know, Dave owns Shades. Or rather Dave – along with his wife Jennifer, his daughter and her husband; they’re the four owners.

Even though it was mid-week, the inside of the restaurant was about half-filled, with a few outside in the front.

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Grunion Are Running – ‘Look But Don’t Touch’

April 15, 2021 by Source

Along San Diego shores, the grunion are spawning once again. These small silver fish swarm the beaches on the waves at night and bury their eggs in the sand. It is a phenomenon unique to southern California and the northern Baja coast, and if you’ve never tried to find them, you’re in for a treat.

Grunion expert Dr. Karen Martin, Biologist and Executive Director at Pepperdine University’s Grunion Greeters Project spoke with Patch about the “look but don’t touch” season.

“This is usually the best time to see the grunion run because the fish should not be disturbed,” Martin says. “Grunion are running all along the SoCal coast to Santa Barbara.”

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Dave Martin – Giant of the OB Village – Passes

April 15, 2021 by Staff

Winston David Martin died Friday, April 9, 2021, after a valiant fight against cancer. He is survived by a village comprised of his loving wife, family, friends, and the community that he cared so much for.

David participated in too many projects, both large and small to mention, but he regretted greatly his inability to shepherd one of his most personally meaningful projects to fruition. The Ocean Beach Veterans Memorial.

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Chelsea Handler Wants to Skip Trial for Derek Chauvin

April 15, 2021 by Source

By Edwin Decker

It’s rather shocking to me that someone of comedian Chelsea Handler’s age and experience considers the idea of fair trials for all as being “pathetic.”

It’d be one thing if it was some dung-brained undergraduate majoring in Neotraditional Jazz Puppetry spouting this nonsense to their dorm-mates, but we’re talking about a 41-year-old woman here. She has traveled the world as a successful producer, writer, actor, TV host, comedian, activist and drunk. She should know some stuff! But this? This is dumb.

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We Added Some Color to Breen’s Pro-War Editorial Cartoon

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Could not leave alone Union-Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Breen’s piece of work published in today’s paper. Apparently, he falls into that group of patriots who think 20 years in Afghanistan is just not enough. His cartoon today displayed that sentiment.

So, here’s our response – added some color to his graphic.

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Have You Signed the Recall Jen Petition Yet?

April 14, 2021 by Source

Have You Signed the Recall Jen Petition Yet?

You can download and print the petition from your computer!

Please Read before Downloading
The instructions are as important as the petition. Please watch the video or read them so that your petition counts.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY.

MORE INFO HERE

Sign the Petition

There are 3 ways to turn it in.

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‘There Is More Than Just Water in the Pacific Ocean Off Ocean Beach’

April 14, 2021 by Source

An Introduction To A “Trash Man”

By Judi Curry

Several weeks ago I met a very interesting resident of Ocean Beach and in the course of our getting to know Steve Tatro, I found out that he had a BA degree in journalism. I asked him if he had had anything published and he said a few small things. He realized that he could not make a living as a writer, so he left that field and went to work doing other things. Suffice it to say, he has been quite successful in his other endeavors.

As we continued talking, he told me that frequently he goes down to the beach to pick up trash.

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A History of OB People’s Food Store

April 14, 2021 by Source

By Eric DuVall / PtLoma – OB Monthly / April 13, 2021

It happened on Voltaire Street.

In the early decades of the community, Ocean Beach “boosters” touted Voltaire Street as an “avenue of opportunity” and Ocean Beach as the little town with two business districts.

And didn’t most of the folks who came out to OB in those days take the old street car down Voltaire Street to Wonderland Station? They sure did. And isn’t Voltaire the only “author street” that runs all the way to the beach? In fact, it is.

This is a uniquely OB-centric story, and moreover, every one of the events we are going to consider here happened right on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach.

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Use Mayor Gloria’s App to Prevent Fires

April 14, 2021 by Source

What’ Up With the Mayor’s App? Part III

By Colleen O’Connor

Guess what. California is headed for another drought.

The snowpack is below normal. The rainfall insufficient. And the reservoirs are catching mostly heatwave-driven snow-melt runoff.

“The 2020-2021 winter was the third driest on record, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The region’s reservoirs are beginning to see the impact and are at half their total capacity.” Sfgate.com

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Unless There’s a Miracle, the Ocean Beach Pier Is History

April 13, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

After three years of trying to obtain a copy, the city finally coughed up the engineering report on the Ocean Beach Pier. As expected, the pier is in real trouble. The OCEAN BEACH FISHING PIER Draft Evaluation Report, dated September 3, 2019, was not shared with the public by former Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The current District 2 councilmember Jen Campbell has not shared it either.

This report explains why the city is closing the pier every time the surf is even head high. The closings have been much more frequent than in the past when the pier was only closed when it was actually damaged. The city is worried about the pier.

The Executive Summary of the report stated:

“During the inspection, areas of significant deterioration of the primary structural elements was observed. Seven piles were found to have spalling, while 25% of the piles were cracked. There is also significant corrosion in the majority of the pile caps and the soffit of the deck panels.

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Cato Indoctrination for Educators

April 13, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

The Education Week Advertiser just notified me about an opportunity to be indoctrinated into the Cato Institute’s culture and education views. The ad proclaims, “The Cato Institute and the Sphere Education Initiative are excited to announce the return of Sphere Summit: Teaching Civic Culture Together for the Summer of 2021!” They generously offer impressive full scholarship programs for educators and administrators.

The money for all this comes from Charles Koch and associated libertarians. It is funneled through the Cato Institute which was originally called the Charles Koch Foundation, Inc. when he and fellow libertarian Edward Crane founded it in 1977. It is one of the many organizations and businesses that Charles Koch uses to advance his personal interests which are often referred to as the Kochtopus.

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What’ Up With the Mayor’s APP? Part 2

April 13, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Recently, featured in my Part 1 was a disgusting trash site on the corner of Witherby and Hancock.

Remember, San Diegans have been encouraged to use the “Get it Done” app that Mayor Todd Gloria announced has been improved.

However, you still cannot upload photos or work from iPhones or iPads, and the most under-served and elderly constituents do not have internet access at all. So, how are they to register their trashing streets and sidewalks?

After the first photo was posted, that site was cleaned up.

Here are two new photos of the horrid conditions of just two of the city’s bus stops. More are available.

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Push to Create Mini-Park at Del Monte Overlook

April 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Currently, there’s a push by Point Loma residents to create a mini-park at the Del Monte Avenue overlook. Del Monte is the only Ocean Beach east-west street that doesn’t go all the way through due to the steep climb of the hill. The dead-end at the top of the hill has served as a stopping off point for generations of locals. It has one of the best views of OB and the ocean below.

Now, due to residents’ complaints of sunset and night-time crowds, their noise and trash, the city and the Peninsula Community Planning Board are mulling over options for the small space.

One idea is to transform the site into a mini-park with benches and landscaping

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Stop the Folly of San Diego Convention Center Expansion ‘Re-Vote’

April 12, 2021 by Source

San Diego’s “Stop the Steal” Should be Named “Stop the Folly”

By Colleen O’Connor and Don Bauder

What was the Council thinking by trying to overturn a legitimate election result?

It wasn’t thinking. It was showing that it is utterly incapable of reading economic tea leaves.

First, the politics: The Council recently voted to overturn a legitimate election result, similar to what Donald Trump has been trying to do. It wants a Trumpian recalculation. The defeat – and it was a defeat – of Measure C to authorize a special tax to expand the convention center did not meet the then-required threshold of a 2/3 affirmative vote to pass.

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A Nice Day Via a Haircut, a Couple of Tight Hugs, and a Meal at a Cafe

April 12, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I had a very nice day the other day.

Not because, “I didn’t,” as Ice Cube once rapped, “have to use my AK,” which I don’t happen to own anyway, by the way, but because I got my first haircut in many a day, not wanting, during the pandemic, to give into my vanity in any way. No sirree. I took that stuff seriously.

And my trip to the barber shop, one I had never visited, was just what I needed in my path back to normalcy. Whatever that happens to be. I stepped into the place, walking one kind of way, and then suddenly I put a little dance in my step as I sought a seat, moving to the beat of some rather mellow funky R&B sounds playing in the background and I sat down slightly moving my head and shoulders to the feeling that was enveloping me.

And the next thing I knew I was engaged in some playful Black barbershop repartee

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High School Senior Says: ‘Something Needs to Be Done About OB’s Homeless, But Talking Bad About Them Is Not the Answer.’

April 9, 2021 by Source

Editordude: The following post about homelessness in Ocean Beach was written and sent to us by Eliana Phillips, who is a senior at High Tech High International.

By Eliana Phillips

Homelessness in Ocean Beach has been a long standing issue but it has recently been getting more attention.

Local news boards criticize these people and discredit their situations. “The stench by the wall is overwhelming. I barely go that way anymore. So unfair to the actual residents! Come on SDPD-DO SOMETHING,” said one Ocean Beach local.

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‘Stop the Suffering’ – Shut Down the SeaWorld Fireworks

April 9, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

I realize that I have written about the fireworks at SeaWorld many times in the past. There are definitely two camps in this on-going battle – those that love the fireworks and those that see the pain and suffering to animals, big and small; pain and suffering to those people diagnosed with PTSD; the harm it is doing to the environment; and the lasting effects every time a firework is shot off.

I am, quite frankly, tired of the people that give stupid advice about turning up the volume of the television to distract the animals from reacting to the noise and repercussions of the fireworks; the people that are now advocating giving the animals a small dose of CBD to calm them down. (I wonder how small a dose you would have to give an Orca, a seal, a porpoise, a dolphin, etc. to “calm them down.”)

How loud would you have to turn up the volume of a television, or a radio, or….to calm them down?

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OB Street Fair, Chili Cook-off and July 4 Fireworks for 2021 Cancelled

April 9, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

“Celebrate the OB Vibe” for June 26 Will Replace Event

The 2021 Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off and July 4th fireworks have been cancelled for this year, due to Covid. The Fair and Cook-off had been scheduled for June 26.

But the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association took the brave step of not risking people’s health and business and organizational monies by putting off any in-person events.

There will be a replacement-type event; OBMA calls it “Celebrate the OB Vibe” which will be held June 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participating businesses will have specials for the day on display. And an arts and crafts, a children’s area and dance lessons will be offered in designated areas, along with art vendor areas near the Ocean Beach Pier and at Veterans Plaza.

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Ocean Beach Planners: Schlageter Continues as Chair, Updates on OB Library, Parks and Pickleball?

April 9, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

While there were no projects to review on the OB Planning Board’s, Wednesday, April 7 meeting agenda, two things that matter to almost everyone, libraries and parks, were.

There was a presentation by the San Diego Public Library Foundation, or SDPLF, on its efforts to revise the citywide library master plan.

There was also a presentation by the OBPB’s parks subcommittee that contained a well detailed inventory of the parks in and around OB with ideas for improvements.

City of San Diego Library Master Plan

It is important to first understand the entities involved with the library system, for folks who are not intimately familiar with the system. The system is owned and operated by the City of San Diego. The SDPLF is a private, non-profit corporation based in the Central Library downtown.

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A Team That Believes in Change

April 8, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Wow! What a game!

A game that was truly anybody’s game as the University of Arizona Women Wildcat Basketball team lost to Stanford, 54 to 53.

A “March Madness” NCAA Championship game that ended like a well-crafted suspenseful drama where you really don’t know how it’s going to end until the very end of the last scene…

Oh, it was so much fun seeing those young athletes chasing their dream, steam rolling over one team like they were merely running drills, then scratching and crawling to get a win, then, voila, they were enjoying the thrill of being in the “Sweet Sixteen,” the “Elite Eight,” and the “Final Four,” rings on a ladder upon which no Wildcat women had ever climbed before.

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