Next Meeting of OBPB Project Review Committee – May 19

The next meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board Project Review Committee is on Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30 PM. …

The Future of Beach Bonfires

Beach bonfires – During the pandemic, law enforcement had turned a blind eye to the beloved practice, but now that the world is reopening there are far too many people leaving hot sand and ashes behind.

Celebrate the OB Vibe – Virtual 5K

Join the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association in Celebrating the OB Vibe with an OB 5K Virtual Race.

Festa to Be Celebrated in Point Loma

In Point Loma, the Portuguese community has been celebrating Festa on Pentecost, the movable feast on the seventh Sunday after Easter, “only” since 1910.

Panga Boat Stuck In Point Loma Surfline – 23 Rescued Monday, May 17

The U.S. Coast Guard pulled 23 people from a panga early Monday, May 17, off the coast of Point Loma

15 Rock Church Employees Test Positive for COVID

Fifteen employees at the Rock Church have tested positive for COVID-19.

Pedestrians Not Faring Well in Point Loma: 1 Killed, 1 Injured

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by Ernie McCray

To the premise
that America is not racist
I can hear my mother say
“You could have fooled me”
with all that
sweeping and dusting
and mopping
she did at AT&T
with her Howard University
college degree,
around 66 years
after slavery,
Jim Crow
then at the helm
of Black folk’s
not mattering,
a complaint
still alive today
in the USA.

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By Colleen O’Connor

This is not news to anyone who lives, works, drives, or opens their eyes.

Not just San Francisco, L.A. or Sacramento are “too damn dirty,” (as the Governor said) so, too is San Diego.

And so, too, is almost every California freeway. What used to be hidden in bushes and under bridges has now overflowed to city streets and neighborhoods. Downtown San Diego is something of a petri dish. Frankly, it is filthy.

As are the city’s beaches, parks, bus stops and any place where the local volunteers are not cleaning up what should have been ongoing government work.

The parks are especially foul. Balboa Park needs serious, antiseptic power washing of all the sidewalks. Same with many poorer neighborhoods’ walkways.

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The Ocean Beach Town Council is asking local residents to take their survey about the future of the OB Pier.

They are gathering information ahead of their town hall meeting on May 26 to discuss the Pier’s future.

In the survey, participants are asked to choose from a list of options, such as “Repair the pier enough to get it at least partially open ASAP. We can deal with long term repairs after the summer,” or “Rehabilitate the pier to get it fully open,” or “Rebuild the pier completely,” or “Other.” Participants can choose more than one option.

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By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / May13,2021

At 1:45 PM Wednesday, May 12, the California State Board of Education (SBE) adopted a “student growth model” to evaluate student learning. It is a method fans of standardized test based accountability have been trumpeting. The big winner here is the testing giant Education Testing Services (ETS) who created the model to be used.

Board member Sue Burr who was appointed to the board by then Governor Jerry Brown made the motion for using the growth model. She carefully presented her motion directly from the state’s California Department of Education (CDE) staff report which recommended:

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By Frank Gormlie

What ever happened to the promised new lifeguard station for Ocean Beach? This question is so untimely, it appears, as OB residents and merchants grapple with the concept of the millions needed to repair or replace the beloved OB Pier. And as our mayor says the city’s coffers are so empty, he’s cutting hours and staff at the city’s libraries.

This is so untimely. And like the elusive rare butterfly, the new OB lifeguard station flutters around in the ether, unable to land and become a chrysalis where it can develop into a beautiful, new being.

Yet, the question needs to be asked. Over the course of the last 12 years, through the administrations of 3 mayors (Filner, Faulconer and now Gloria) and 3 city councilmembers (Faulconer, Zapf and now Campbell), Ocean Beach has been promised a new lifeguard station to replace the one standing today, built in the early 1980s. Nearly 40 years ago.

Here, then, is a brief look at this recent history of promises, pledges and concerns.

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It’s Time to Step Up for the Recall Campbell Campaign – Last Month to Collect Signatures

May 4, 2021 by Staff

It’s now early May and the Recall Jen Campbell campaign has one month left to collect the required number of signatures for the recall petition.

Now is the time for everyone who supports her recall to step up, step in, sign the petition, volunteer and send the campaign some funds. The campaign needs 14,000-plus valid signatures by early June.

Have You Signed the Recall Jen Petition Yet?

You can download and print the petition from your computer!

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The Crowd at the Ball Game

April 9, 2012 by Jim Miller
Thumbnail image for The Crowd at the Ball Game

Having emerged from the season opening series against the hated Dodgers with no beer or blood stains on my jersey, I thought a few observations on the nature of watching baseball were in order as we amble toward the sweet days of summer, win or lose.

In William Carlos Williams’s fine poem “The Crowd at the Ball Game” he notes the beauty, love, and menace of the crowd:

The crowd at the ball game
is moved uniformly
by a spirit of uselessness
which delights them —
all the exciting detail
of the chase
and the escape, the error
the flash of genius —
all to no end save beauty
the eternal –

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San Diego Cannabis Workers Vote to Ratify First Union Contract

May 14, 2021 by Source

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 just announced that they have successfully completed union bargaining agreements for workers at cannabis retail outlets owned by March and Ash.

Cannabis workers at March and Ash locations in San Diego and Imperial Counties voted on May 12, 2021 to ratify their first ever union contract. It’s also the very first cannabis industry union contract originating in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The outlets are in the City Heights community of San Diego, the City of Vista, and the City of Imperial. The City Heights and City of Imperial locations offer recreational cannabis products, while the Vista location is medicinal only.

Union officials believe this contract will set “the gold standard in the unionized cannabis industry,” and that it “will be used as a model in future negotiations with companies whose workers choose to go union.”

Here is the official press statement of UFCU Local 135:

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Environmentalists Win Battle Over Fate of Campland in Mission Bay Park

May 14, 2021 by Source

RV park retreats from De Anza Point proposal after Coastal Commission raises concerns

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 13, 2021

SAN DIEGO —Environmentalists won a battle over recreational vehicle owners Wednesday regarding the future of Mission Bay Park’s northeast corner, which is slated to become a combination of marshland and added park space. The ongoing battle over how the land will be divided among those two priorities took a potential turn toward marshland Wednesday, when opposition from the state Coastal Commission prompted a retreat by supporters of RV camping.

Environmentalists have harshly criticized a plan approved by the San Diego City Council in 2019 to allow the Campland on the Bay RV park to expand onto De Anza Point, site of a defunct mobile home park.

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San Diego Police De-Escalation Policy Goes Into Effect

May 14, 2021 by Staff

See story about this incident where a Black, homeless man was taken down for public urination, at today’s San Diego Union-Tribune.

See Nicole Bansal’s video here.

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Wife Won’t Let Husband Help With Her Gambling Problem

May 13, 2021 by Source

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed, Me and the wife like to play blackjack at the casino from time to time. The problem is that she is a terrible player. It’s not the money I care about but the groans and eyerolls (sometimes even outbursts) she receives from players who are seated after her. As a blackjack player yourself, you know how much it sucks playing behind a bad player. Especially when they hit when they should be standing and end up taking the card YOU were waiting for.

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‘GIMBY’ – Garden In My Back Yard

May 12, 2021 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

“G” is a “Great” letter. So many “Good” words start with “G”. One of my favorites is “Green”.

The world is on the path to understanding that without GREENING, we will not be walking down a garden path to any livable future, which leads to my starring “G” word “Garden.”

Ocean Beach once again is getting its green on! The San Diego Floral Association is featuring the “Vistas and Verandahs: The Gardens of Ocean Beach Garden Tour,” The tour is Saturday, June 26, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Mural of Padres’ Fernando Tatis Goes Up in Ocean Beach

May 12, 2021 by Staff

Appletree on Newport Avenue just joined the modern age with a brand new mural of Padres player Fernando Tatis.

Muralists Paul Jimenez and Signe Ditona were the creators of the large image – which is part of a series of murals the Padres commissioned they are painting.

The muralists also did the Tony Gwynn and Joe Musgrove murals earlier this year.

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Liz Cheney: A Master Class in Politics

May 12, 2021 by Source

Short Update on Liz Cheney v. Trump

By Colleen O’Connor

What a real time Master Class in politics. Liz Cheney is “a hero,” as Reuters headlines. She may be “down, but not out.”

What a wonder.

Cheney now has a national audience and she got it on the cheap! Think of how many campaigns, how many fundraisers, and how many elections battles that countless other politicians have endured, and never even earned a national headline, let alone dominated them for months.

Then, there is Liz Cheney. She took on the biggest villain in the room; literally and figuratively.

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Feeling Langston

May 11, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Feeling Langston.
Mr. Hughes.
Feeling how he could piece together
a rhyme
that gives you the blues
or string a line of words
sweet
as the floral taste
of late summer
honeydew,
making
Black folk’s hearts
sing
like a bird,
once caged,

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Ocean Beach Pier Sign Reminds Us that State of California Was Involved in Its Development – Perhaps It Can Help With Repairs or Replacement

May 11, 2021 by Staff

The sign for the Ocean Beach Fishing Pier is right at the entrance on the concrete wall, before you get to the gate in the pier.

Reading the sign makes you realize

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5 Facts About Pesticides in Foods

May 11, 2021 by Source

Are They a Cause for Concern?

By Miguel Leyva

When shopping for produce, you might know that it sometimes comes with potentially harmful pesticide levels. Even organic food, grown without chemical additions, suffers from pesticide overexposure.

What you eat today may have been sprayed with pesticides. Pesticides are used on crops to control insects, weeds, and other pests that could harm the growth of plants. In addition to agricultural use, some pesticides can be found in homes and gardens for insect control.

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Good News on the Library Funding: The Municipal Employees Association Does Not Support Library Cuts

May 11, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Sometimes, I am happy to be wrong. And this is one of those times.

In my article, “Save the Libraries: Throw Books at the Mayor: Part II,” I implied that the Municipal Employees Association supported the Mayor’s cuts to the libraries.

Specifically, I asked:

“Is it the Municipal Employees Union that is blocking the Library funding? Surely, their membership includes families and friends who use the libraries. Or people who want jobs. Or just rational individuals who understand that depriving library users in every neighborhood free access to knowledge is just plain stupid.”

The MEA’s, General Manager, Mike Zucchet, was kind enough to respond and correct that impression.

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Environmental and Other Groups Push Council to Bar SDG&E From Bidding on New Utility Franchise Due to Breach of its Current Agreement

May 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A coalition of sorts of a group of environmental and nonprofit groups want the San Diego City Council to bar SDG&E from bidding on any new utility franchise agreements. In a letter addressed to all Council members sent last week, the group is pushing the Council to hold a hearing to discuss whether the utility giant can be debarred from bidding.

The letter asks the Council to hold a Debarment Proceedings Against SDG&E as soon as possible. Items are placed on the Council docket by the council president, Jen Campbell, who has not committed at this point in doing so.

The groups state that since SDG&E has been in material breach of its current franchise agreement with the City, it cannot by law bid on any new agreements.

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Small Gems and Victories for the Neighborhoods

May 10, 2021 by Source

Part I

By Colleen O’Connor

A bit of good news. Brought to you by good people. And lots of human effort.

A new hotel built in Point Loma, where the community worked with developers to get what each wanted most. Something attractive, with an emphasis on “local” faire; a family friendly meeting place, a restaurant with local chefs, local beers, and local morning coffee.

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Ocean Beach and La Jolla Planners’ Collaboration on Metrics for Short-Term Rentals to Be Submitted to City

May 10, 2021 by Source

‘You cannot manage anything you cannot measure’

By Ashley Mackin-Solomon / La Jolla Light / May 8, 2021

Hoping to find quantitative data that can measure the impact of short-term rentals under the city of San Diego’s new ordinance, the La Jolla Community Planning Association will work with the Ocean Beach Planning Board on a set of metrics to submit to the city.

The idea came from the San Diego Community Planners Committee, which has representation from all the city’s planning groups. The metrics were to be taken back to the groups for feedback before a final list is voted on this month.

The new STR ordinance was signed into law in April and is to be reviewed annually for effectiveness. “We already know STRs impact our quality of life,” said Ocean Beach Planning Board Chairwoman Andrea Schlageter.

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Flawed Review Fails to Weaken the Case for Public Power in San Diego

May 10, 2021 by Source

by Bill Powers/ Times of San Diego / May 8, 2021

Point Loma Nazarene University’s Fermanian Business & Economic Institute on April 27 published a summary review of public power for San Diego. The review somehow concluded that San Diego transitioning to a nonprofit public utility would have an uncertain impact on rates and little impact on the city’s struggle to deal with climate change.

Unfortunately, the Fermanian review relies on misinformation, worst-case assumptions and omissions to make its case. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce paid for the review. The chamber was the recipient of over $250,000 in dues and contributions from Sempra and its affiliate San Diego Gas & Electric in 2020. There is no mention

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Working Committee for Ocean Beach Pier Being Organized

May 7, 2021 by Staff

The OB Mainstream Association is coordinating the committee’s formation.

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Throw More Book(s) at the Mayor

May 7, 2021 by Source

Save the Libraries: Part II

By Colleen O’Connor

Why, ask yourself, is the 8th largest city in the country unable to completely fund its libraries?

Why, with a Democratic-majority City Council, are buckets of taxpayer monies found for a convention center expansion (in the middle of a pandemic); while gutting the greatest aid where it would do the most good?

Granted the outcry from the “friends of the library;” the users of the libraries; the Library Foundation; and the parents of the children without Internet access and a refuge to read; managed to get the Mayor “promise to reduce the cuts.”

The sizeable blowback was politically significant,

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OB Planners: Pier ‘Update’, City Budget Hearing, and Cell Towers on Apartment

May 7, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The OB Planning Board meeting Wednesday, May 5, drew an abnormally large crowd because of an agenda item that stated, “The board will hear a presentation from the City about the current status of the pier and what options there are to reopen.” According to the on-line meeting information, 68 people had tuned in, far more than most meetings draw.

Unfortunately, the presentation from the city did not happen due to a scheduling mix up, but one will be rescheduled. The city was, however, represented by Teddy Martinez, the District 2 representative. Martinez was not there specifically for the pier item but did field a number of questions during the pier discussion.

In his remarks during the standard “Representatives Report” portion of the agenda, Martinez said

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Ocean Beach Community Garden – Open to the Public – Saturday, May 8

May 7, 2021 by Staff

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County Supervisors Repeal Ban on San Diego Tribal Land Expansions

May 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Wednesday, May 5, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to repeal policies that basically stopped any expansion by Native American tribal governments.

Federal policy requires Native People’s tribal governments to secure land they own for their reservations under a fee-to-trust process. In turn, tribes are allowed to build housing and energy projects on the land and also access natural resources. But in March 1994, the San Diego Board of Supervisors approved a policy

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3 Point Loma Homes Designated as ‘Historical’ by Board

May 6, 2021 by Source

In March and April, the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board (HRB) designated ten new historical resources, and among these there are three in Point Loma: 4415 Long Branch Avenue, 977 Albion Street, and 3551 Garrison Street.

Here they are – from Save Our Heritage Organization‘s May – June newsletter:

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Billionaire Laurene Jobs Continues to Pitch Privatizing Public Education

May 6, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Laurene Powell Jobs and Amplify Education are hosting a “Virtual Summit” which is what they’re calling this May’s sales event. Jobs is very confident that her billions qualify her to shape education policy.

In her drive to privatize public education, she has accumulated and created several pro-edtech and anti-teacher organizations.

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Liberty and Justice for All at Our Beck and Call

May 6, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Hints of “Liberty and Justice for All” have come upon us suddenly like waters rushing from a broken dam, washing away long held resistance to social and political change.

How else can one explain a shift from disparaging notions such as “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” as well, to where a man can marry a man, and a woman a woman.

Legally. All across the country.

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Update on the Ocean Beach Pier – the West End May Be Permanently Closed Off

May 4, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

On April 13, The OB Rag published a piece about the OB pier, exposing the existence of a detailed engineering report on the pier’s condition dated September 3, 2019, that the city had been sitting on. Four days later, the city responded by “releasing” the report to the general public using the media.

In the days that followed, the city explained there was an on-going assessment of the pier and a report was expected soon. A public records request was initiated to obtain information on who was conducting the assessment, and what was being done because the city did not provide those details. The following is an account of what was provided,

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