Here is a jog down ol’ memory lane, from the Spring of 2020. A photo gallery to remind us all of the way we were. (Most recent up front.)
Posted June 2, 2020


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Reporter Geoff Page will be giving a talk on the “OB Pier – Past, Present and Future” this Sunday, July 25 at the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democrats zoom meeting.

Here is what the Club announced:

Regular contributor to the OB Rag, Geoff Page, will bring us up to speed on the saga of the OB Pier.

Geoff Page has contributed several articles on the state of the pier to the OB Rag, who broke the story that engineering reports commissioned by the city in 2004, 2016 and 2019 highlighted the state of the pier and recommended keeping “large concentrations of pedestrians” away from certain areas of the pier.

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Originally posted July 11, 2019

by Bob Edwards

Imagine you are a resident of inland San Diego in the Summer of 1926. Seeking relief from the 90 degree heat, you and some friends pile into a buddy’s Model A Ford and head down to Ocean Beach to spend the weekend at a cottage another friend has rented at the Camp Holiday Auto Court, adjacent to the Silver Spray apartments.

The cute white cottages on the cliffs are a bit small for your group but you’re spending most of the time on the beach anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. The rental cost, $10 a month, is a little steep, but what the heck, it’s a vacation. Each morning you head down to Benbough’s Ocean Beach Bath House and rent a scratchy, saggy, woolen “bathing costume” for 10 cents and spend your day swimming in the ocean or in the saltwater pool next to the Silver Spray.


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Voting Laws Roundup: July 2021: Eighteen states have already enacted 30 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote.

From Brennan Center for Justice/ July 22, 2021

As many state legislatures conclude their regular sessions, the full impact of efforts to suppress the vote in 2021 is coming into view.

Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely, among other things. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.

The new laws restricting voting access are not created equal. For example, four of these laws are mixed, meaning they also contain pro-voter policies

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Diane Bell, the U-T columnist, showcased local Michael Pallamary as a “serial good Samaritan” in today’s column. Apparently, Michael had to be hospitalized recently for injuries he suffered trying to put out a stranger’s vehicle fire on Rosecrans Street.

By Diane Bell / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 22, 2021

Michael Pallamary is a serial good Samaritan.

The San Diego businessman’s most recent rescue was about noon on July 10 when he spotted smoke coming from a van on Rosecrans Street near its intersection with Interstate 5 East. Pallamary didn’t hesitate to pull over his car to help — and his heroics landed him in the hospital.

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School begins August 26. Will the “new” Point Loma High School be ready?

The principal is optimistic.


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New Ocean Beach Library Manager – Helene Idels

July 22, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Library has a new branch manager: Helene Idels.

Here is what the Friends of the OB Library reported in their April 2021 newsletter:

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Uber and Lyft Drivers Stage Strike Over Pay and Conditions

July 22, 2021 by Source

People looking to use ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber may have had some difficulty on Wednesday, July 21, as many drivers conducted a one-day strike for better pay and status under the law.

Rideshare Drivers United — an independent association of U.S. rideshare drivers founded in Los Angeles — organized the strikes in a number of cities across the United States, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Baltimore.

The group had a rally at San Diego’s Lyft driver center at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

They say the companies have:

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From Negligence to Malevolence: How the Climate Crisis has Gone Critical

July 21, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Progressive / July 20, 2021

In June, record heat waves hit Russia, Northern Europe, Canada, and the United States. When these increasingly common weather phenomena began killing hundreds of people, the U.S. media focused its coverage on a single record breaking 116-degree day in Portland, Oregon.

When unprecedented flooding in Germany and Western Europe had killed more than 100 people by July 16, I watched as three U.S. network news shows rolled that report into coverage of the West’s wildfires and California’s worst drought in 1,200 years. Yet, none of the three main TV news outlets—NBC, CBS, or ABC—mentioned climate change,

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A Book that Influenced Me: ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’

July 21, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Since the age of three every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way as I’m very much an empathizer.

But no book has resonated with me more than Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

As I absorbed his words I felt as though he was writing directly to me. I mean his declaration that education systems were designed to produce passive non-critical thinking learners, especially those relegated to the lower classes in our society, validated my very thoughts as an educator, making me feel not so alone in a school district that was standardized to its very core.

My man, Paulo, let me know that I was on to something as I indulged my students with notions of justice, wanting them to know how their country operates so they could transform it.

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Time for Democrats’ Political ‘YOYO’ Strategy: ASAP

July 21, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Most recognize those shorthand text and radio signals.

“BOLO” is the police code for “Be On the Lookout” for villains escaping on roads, in the air, and everywhere.

“YOLO” the younger set’s call to quit work as in “You Only Live Once” so ditch that dead end job and go places.

I don’t know if this shorthand code already exists, or not, but it is time for the Democrats to embrace it ASAP: “You’re On Your Own.” The Texas Democrats who left their state, arrived in D.C.,

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Neighbors Complaining About ‘Rogue’ Bicycle Riders in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

July 20, 2021 by Staff

Neighbors near the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and other are complaining they are seeing more and more rogue bikers all over the park. The bicyclists are destroying the newly re-vegetated areas, damaging the trails they are not allowed on. They are also a serious safety hazard to the visitors to the park.

As one neighbor told the OB Rag:

The City recently spent millions of dollars on the park and have failed to maintain it or supervise activity in the park. The illegal riders are there every morning and evening and often all day.

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Sports Arena Area to Be Declared ‘Surplus Land’ August 3 to Allow Affordable Housing in New Redevelopment

July 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On August 3, the City of San Diego will declare the Sports Arena area as surplus land to comply with the state’s Surplus Land Act. This will set off a new, legal process of opening up the bidding for the redevelopment of the 48-acre site.

And for the first time, there is a very real chance the process will require the construction of affordable housing at the Arena tract. Neither Faulconer’s initiative nor Measure E which passed last November required affordable housing to be included.

Declaring the Sports Arena area as surplus land, the first step in starting over in rebidding the project, will then require the city to first offer it to affordable housing developers.

The city had to halt the prior process of requesting and awarding bids initiated by former mayor Kevin Faulconer, as it was determined to be illegal and not in compliance with the Surplus Land Act.

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Bridge Housing Corp. Selected by City Council to Build in Controversial Famosa Canyon

July 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, July 13, the San Diego City Council authorized the San Diego Housing Commission to build up to 78 affordable housing units on the 5-acre parcel in Famosa Canyon. The council entered into an agreement with Bridge Housing Corporation to design housing units at the southeast corner of Famosa and Nimitz boulevards.

The decision appears to resolve the controversies over the site, one of the last open spaces in Point Loma and used by kids on bikes for generations. Many in the community have fought this development for years, at the grassroots level and at the local planning board level. But it appears to no avail.

Opponents of the development have been characterized as “NIMBYs” and even “racist” by its advocates,

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Hey, America, Stop Tampering With Our Right to Vote

July 19, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I’ve so had it with
your evil ways,
especially the way
you make us Black folks
slave away
to just prevent you
from taking our right to vote away,
ad nauseam.

And what pisses
me off the most
about this is

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Radical Right Opposes Another American Institution – the PTA

July 19, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Founded in 1897, the ubiquitous PTA has been a long time powerful voice in legislative halls. With their many victories, they have developed enemies especially among school privatization advocates. However, the reports of their imminent demise have proven inaccurate. PTA’s robust 2019 tax form (EIN: 36-2169155) and a reported membership of more than 4 million indicates they will be viable for some time to come.

Radical Right Opposes another American Institution

One of the first big hit pieces on the PTA came from the Brookings Institute in 2001. Thomas Toch claimed that the PTA was floundering because they were “out of step with many parents’ demands for change in public education.” Toch also claimed that the PTA was working with teachers to slow the pace of reform,

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The Owner of Fairouz Cafe in the Midway Has a Love Story to Tell

July 19, 2021 by Judi Curry

Talent Abounds in Ibraham Al Nashashibi

By Judi Curry

I have been an educator for over 40 years and have never met a more talented person than Al. I have never met a more talented person that is so unassuming about his talent. If you have ever met this man you are almost immediately aware of the great attributes that he has to offer, for he is the owner of Fairouz Café on Midway Drive. But this article is not about the restaurant; rather it is about the man that created it and showcases the tremendous talent he has to offer to the world.

Al was born in Jerusalem, and among the various occupations he has tried, besides being a restaurateur,

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‘Circulate San Diego’ Shows Its True Pro-Developer Colors By Supporting Navy’s Densest Development Proposal for Old Town

July 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The gloves are off! The group “Circulate San Diego” has dropped its environmentally-friendly facade and has now unfurled its full pro-developer colors. It has done this with the group’s recent endorsement of the most dense development proposed by the Navy for NAVWAR or the Old Town area.

Circulate San Diego has come out in public support for the Navy’s preferred Alternate 4. As Jim Perry, Barbara McDonald, and Mary Koto wrote in a recent OB Rag post:

Alternative 4 is the Navy and City’s Preferred Alternative. The existing NAVWAR buildings will be replaced with up to 109 new buildings. There will be up to 35 high rise buildings with a 350 foot maximum (about 32 stories).

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Detailed Drawings for Proposed Deck at Inn at Sunset Cliffs

July 16, 2021 by Staff

There was so much interest in Geoff Page’s report on the OB Planning Board’s review of the proposed deck at the Inn at Sunset Cliffs, that we decided to post its detailed drawings. The images were presented during the OBPB meeting. (More details about the images and drawings may be forthcoming …)

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Kremlin Papers Show Putin’s Plot to Put Trump in White House

July 15, 2021 by Source

By Luke Harding, Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh / The Guardian / July 15, 2021

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.

The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.

They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them “social turmoil” in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position.

Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature.

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Ah, the Age-Old ‘Should I Tell the Friend About Their Cheating Significant Other’ Dilemma

July 15, 2021 by Source

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear SWAT,

I know this question has been asked of a million advice columnists already but I’d like to hear your take on it. I recently discovered my friend’s boyfriend of seven years is cheating on her. Should I tell my friend?”

Sincerely, Phillip of Bankers Hill

Ah yes, the age-old, “Should-I-Tell-The-Friend-About-Their-Significant-Cheating-Other” (SITTFATSCO) question. You’re right. SITTFATSCO is probably the oldest and most often asked question of advice columnists. In fact, it was the very first query answered by the very first advice columnist, midwife Cinderwench Wartyface, in the Hertfordshire Town Crier in 1547. It went like this:

“Deary Cinderwench, mine own freond’s jointress hath committed adult’ry with a hairy scallywag. Shoulds’t I acquaint hire? Sincerely, Eathellrelda from Boggy Slogs, Hertfordshire.”

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COVID Cases On the Rise in San Diego County – What the Hell?

July 15, 2021 by Staff

In the U.S., with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, newly confirmed infections per day have doubled over the past two weeks to an average of about 24,000, though deaths are still on a downward trajectory at around 260 a day.

As COVID-19 cases slowly rise in San Diego County – including an increase in Delta variant cases – new research is looking into why San Diegans still are not getting vaccinated.

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Legislation Introduced in Senate to Federally Decriminalize Marijuana

July 15, 2021 by Source

By Eugene Scott / San Diego Union-Tribune – Washington Post / July 15, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced legislation Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, vowing to use his clout as majority leader toward reversing policies and laws that he says have caused significant harm to the lives of thousands of Americans. The draft bill, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Cory’ Booker, D-N.J., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would remove federal penalties associated with cannabis, expunge nonviolent federal cannabis-related criminal records and begin regulating and taxing the drug.

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Deadline for San Diego Outdoor Eating Areas to Get Up to Code Extended to August 2

July 14, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Restaurants in Ocean Beach and across busy sections of San Diego have been given a reprieve by the city of San Diego. The city has extended its deadline to bring outdoor dining areas up to code. The previous deadline was Tuesday, July 13 and business owners would have been liable for a daily fine of $10,000 if their “parklets” for outdoor dining were not scaled back.

A city spokesperson said in a statement on Temporary Outdoor Business Operation (TOBO) structures:

“In an effort to work with our clients and give businesses more time to meet the guidelines and enforcement of TOBO structures, the City has decided to begin enforcement on Monday, Aug. 2.

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Restaurant Review: Breakfast Republic in Ocean Beach

July 14, 2021 by Judi Curry

Breakfast Republic
4839 Newport Avenue
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
Open from 7:00am – 3:00pm.

By Judi Curry

It seems like forever since I stepped into a restaurant for a meal. Perhaps because it has been over a year since I really did an “inside” review. Yesterday I decided it was time to break that barrier, and went with Al, the owner of Fairouz Restaurant, to one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast. Suffice it to say, he had never been there; in fact, he hasn’t been to many San Diego restaurants because you can usually find him at his own establishment. I was curious to see what he thought of the décor; the wait staff; and, of course, the food.

There was a very short wait for our table at 10:00 am, but by the time we left an hour and a half later, customers were lined up on the stairs

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The Navy Is Launching a Major Redevelopment Project and Many San Diegans Aren’t Paying Attention

July 14, 2021 by Source

By Phillip Halpern / San Diego Union-Tribune OpEd / July 13, 2021

The U.S. Navy has embraced “stealth” technology with the launch of three Zumwalt class warships. This technology allows the ships to elude radar, sail into enemy territory undetected and conduct surveillance in a clandestine manner. Such stealth strategies are, of course, both necessary and laudable when undertaken in the national interest.

Unfortunately, the Navy has also recently launched a stealthy redevelopment project, which has been flying under the radar of most San Diego residents. This project — which is shamefully supported by the city of San Diego — seeks to modernize the old SPAWAR site

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Deck Expansion at Inn at Sunset Cliffs Nixed by OB Planning Board

July 13, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Inn At Sunset Cliffs dominated the discussion during the Ocean Beach Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting, Wednesday, July 7. A cycling issue was listed on the consent agenda but it was pulled by the board’s vice chair, Kevin Hastings. It was placed at the end of the agenda but the meeting went on for three hours and the board did not get to it. It will be discussed at the next meeting.

Ocean Front Project Approved Without Discussion

There was a second consent agenda item that was passed:

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Public Comment Today on Famosa-Nimitz Development

July 13, 2021 by Source

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The Tide May Be Turning on Pro-Developer ‘Rise Uptown’ Type Slates in Local Planning Group Elections

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

As any regular reader of the OB Rag can tell you, the undertow of all San Diego politics is not just money but developer money. With the meltdown of the Republican Party and the rise of California as a de facto one-party state under the Democrats, developers and former GOP influence peddlers pivoted to rebrand their same trickle-down policies as “progressive.”

Their success at this has meant that most every politician and pundit regardless of party now self-identifies as YIMBY, for ‘yes in my back yard.’

Consider how this has been playing out at even the local level.

Sometime before 2019, the city attorney’s office decided to make a quiet but very consequential change in how it would interpret the law governing community planning groups (CPGs).

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City Commission for Arts and Culture Awards $400,000 to Peninsula Groups

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Tracy Dezenzo

Congratulation are in order to our local Peninsula awardees!

The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture announced 174 funding awards for FY2022. More than $7.7 million will be distributed to nonprofits that make meaningful impacts in communities and expand access to arts and culture throughout the city. But locally, more than $400,000 is going to 16 organizations in Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Midway district.

The groups awarded include:

Ocean Beach:

  • Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association

Point Loma:

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Democracy’s Refugees: Offer Them Sanctuary

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a time to be alive. Wake up early and pay attention.

Tuesday offers all manner of news about chaos; pandemics, culture feuds, cyber-terrorism, domestic terrorism, racial and sexual cruelties, financial and food insecurities, raging fires, and devastating drought, alongside a couple billionaires blasting into space.

Forget the World Soccer Cup matches that unleashed hideous social network racism against Black players on England’s losing team; or the nail-biting (and history-making) Wimbledon finals or even the coming fan-less Tokyo Olympics.

The most riveting political spectacle (with massive consequences for the future of democracy) is Tuesday’s duel between Texas and Washington, D.C. 67 Democrats in the Texas legislature, flew to D.C. on Monday,

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