The OB Rag received the following message today from Marina, the OB Mermaid:

To the humans of Ocean Beach and all of San Diego

I want to thank you for the warm and wonderful reception you gave me upon my arrival. I came to OB upon the tides of the full moon in hopes of catching a glimpse of those who might still believe in the ancient legends.


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By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Feb. 13, 2010

Should we vote for Measures A, B, or C? The short version: Yes, No, Maybe.

What does it mean to be a progressive in San Diego? The answer to that question can depend on how one feels about the A,B, & C measures on the primary ballot. (Measure D is a no-brainer)

No matter which side you choose, there will be somebody out there in the chattering classes who will say you’re not a true progressive.

So, with that in mind, bring on the haters. I’ve made up my mind.

Measure A

Measure A is about the approval process for future developments in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County requiring changes to the General Plan for development.

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Background to the OB Library Expansion

Moments Along the Rocky Road

  • 2001-2003 – City develops new design for expanded library with 2 stories, to be connected with next door building at 4817 Santa Monica, complete with courtyard, community garden and maintaining the historic core of the building. 3-D model presented at OB Planning Board.
  • 2005 – The building and land at 4817 Santa Monica Ave. to be expanded into was purchased via a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan;lrental agreements for tenants of the Santa Monica building were not renewed and the tenants vacated the building in 2018 or so.
  • 2007 – 2009, 2011 – Recession hits; Mayor Jerry Sanders threatens to close OB Library or seriously cut back its hours (along with the hours of all other San Diego libraries); Ocean Beach community rallies to save the library (thanks to the OB Rag, the OB Historical Society, People’s Food, and of course, Friends of OB Library) and keep the doors open. Sanders relents and says the reaction in OB was the reason he changed his mind.
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Here is a compilation of news and updates from Friends of the OB Library, much of it taken from their digital newsletter.

The OB Library will be closed Monday, Feb. 17, for Presidents day.

Mary Cairns Elected President

The OB Friends of the Library elected their new officers for the 2020 year. Their new president is Mary Cairns, a retired atmospheric scientist, who worked with the federal government for 34 years in many capacities, including research, development, operations, and policy. She enjoys birdwatching, vounteering, travel, and of course reading! She’s been married to Tim for 29 years and is devoted to her cat, Cassi!

Sharon Novak is continuing as treasurer. She carefully watches expenses and reminds them of their mission: To make as much money as possible for our OB library programs. Judy Collier is their much needed secretary.

Some committee chairs are

  • Tony Cataldo, liaision to the overall San Diego Friends,
  • Laura Dennison, Membership/Communications;
  • Judith Starker, Outside Book Sales;
  • Giovanni Chimienti, Inside Book Sales.

Call Laura Dennison for more information: 858-255-0053.

OB Library Expansion Public Hearings to Begin “Soon”

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Aaron Null and OB Street Stewards Rake Up Success

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 14, 2020

A volunteer street cleaning group that started with one Ocean Beach man and a Facebook page, now has about 400 resident volunteers signing up as “street stewards,” cleaning streets in their community every week.

The movement, which began in Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach last year, recently spread into North Park, where nearly 50 residents have each committed to cleaning up at least one street, often during their daily walks around the neighborhood.

Founder Aaron Null, who has lived in Ocean Beach for 10 years,

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Editordude: Birch Aquarium has successfully bred the rare weedy sea dragon, the lesser known cousin of the sea horse that resembles seaweed when floating.

By Caitlin Scully / Birch Aquarium Blog / February 13, 2020

For the first time ever, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego has bred and successfully hatched two rare Weedy Seadragons.

This is a first for Birch Aquarium, now one of the few aquariums in the world to hatch this unusual fish. The inch-long babies display the characteristic camouflaging appendages of the elaborate adult Weedy Seadragons in miniature, and have already had their first meals of tiny shrimp.

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Primary Election 2020 Guide to Voter Guides and Endorsements

February 13, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds/ February 10, 2020

Who should I vote for? That’s a question I hear all the time. My mail-in ballot lists no less than 85 candidates, running for 13 seats, plus four ballot measures.

I’ve spent a lot of time studying the candidates and issues and written about it extensively. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

There are a handful of websites that go through the process of listing all or most of the candidates, and I’ll review them in this column.

There are dozens of organizations eager to share their knowledge and viewpoints with voters. They endorse candidates whose outlook and record indicate a higher level of support for their organizational objectives.

With the goal of keeping my explorations short enough to possibly get read, I’m not going into individual’s endorsements. You should visit a candidate’s website to learn these if it is important to you.

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New Polls Show San Diegans Want Stricter Regs on Scooters, Oppose Bike Lanes in Exchange for Loss of Parking

February 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune released their latest polling on the mayor’s race and on the city attorney contest – coming up on Primary Day, March 3.

The newspaper’s biggest story from their polls is that Todd Gloria leads the pack for mayor, a head of Scott Sherman, the main Republican, and Barbara Bry, the other major Democratic candidate. Gloria has 29%, Sherman 18%, Bry 13% and Tasha Williamson at 4%. Yet, a big part of the undisclosed story is that a plurality of San Diego voters haven’t made up their minds – 32% are – as of the survey date – undecided.

The U-T’s polling also – besides the candidates – hit other issues – and the results are very interesting. Sure, polls are polls, and in this one, only 527 “likely voters” were surveyed. But for what’s it’s worth, here’s some noteworthy results.

Large majorities of Democrats and Independents Want Stricter Regulations on Electric Scooters

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Point Lomans: Nominate a Utility Box Near You for Beautification

February 13, 2020 by Source

Nominate Your Box!

The Point Loma Association has a great program. They have artists who beautify utility boxes – and they’ve been doing it for quite a few years.

Some of their artwork is stunning, indeed. Their artists have joined a long tradition on the Peninsula and Ocean Beach of painting utility boxes.

If you’ve seen some of the PLA artwork – or others – and said to yourself, ‘sure wish they’d do the one near my street ….’ now is the time to act.

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New Poll Shows Every Democratic Frontrunner Beating Donald Trump in 2020 Election

February 12, 2020 by Source

What radical, revolutionary rag is spouting this nonsense about every Democratic frontrunner beating Trump in 2020?

Oh. It’s Newsweek.

New poll results from Morning Consult released Monday showed all five of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination defeating President Donald Trump in hypothetical match-ups.

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SeaWorld Has to Pay $65 Million to Investors Who Claimed Deception Over Effects of ‘Blackfish’

February 12, 2020 by Source

Also: SeaWorld Will No Longer Allow Trainers to Ride Dolphins (See Inside)

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 11, 2020

SeaWorld Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has agreed to pay $65 million to settle longstanding lawsuits claiming it deceived investors when it claimed early on that the anti-captivity documentary “Blackfish” had no ill effect on park attendance.

The settlement comes just a week before a jury trial was to begin for a class action lawsuit that originated in 2014 SeaWorld, in a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the settlement does not “constitute an admission, concession, or finding of any fault, liability, or wrongdoing by the Company or any defendant.”

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OB Bookstore ‘Run for Cover’ to Host Bestselling Author, Anti-Death Penalty Activist Sister Helen Prejean

February 12, 2020 by Source

The Ocean Beach bookstore on Voltaire Street, Run for Cover, is hosting the bestselling author and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean. Sister Prejean will speak about her new book and about California’s death penalty.

The event will take place Sunday February 23 at 6 pm and is free to the public. RSVPs are requested to guarantee seating (see below). And due to the anticipated interest in the event, it will be held at First Church of the Nazarene at the Point Loma Nazarene University.

From Run for Cover press release:

Sister Helen is the bestselling author of Dead Man Walking, which chronicled her work in death row ministry and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film that put a spotlight on the issues and complexity around the death penalty. She will be speaking as well as signing her new book, River of Fire, which explores her spiritual journey to her social justice work.

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Simple, Solar-Powered Water Desalination

February 12, 2020 by Source

System achieves new level of efficiency in harnessing sunlight to make fresh potable water from seawater.

By David L. Chandler / MIT News Office / February 6, 2020

A completely passive solar-powered desalination system developed by researchers at MIT and in China could provide more than 1.5 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour for every square meter of solar collecting area. Such systems could potentially serve off-grid arid coastal areas to provide an efficient, low-cost water source.

The system uses multiple layers of flat solar evaporators and condensers, lined up in a vertical array and topped with transparent aerogel insulation. … The key to the system’s efficiency lies in the way it uses each of the multiple stages to desalinate the water.

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Open Letter to Encinitas City Council Re: ‘Surfing Madonna’

February 12, 2020 by Source

The Surfing Madonna artist is threatening to relocate the iconic mosaic. Here’s a solution below. The Encinitas City Council meets at City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., Encinitas CA, 92024 at 6 pm.

Open Letter to Encinitas City Council

Re: Status of “Surfing Madonna”

By Colleen O’Connor

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

You will vote tonight on the future of the “Surfing Madonna” mosaic.

As it is indisputable that there are issues with the Charitable Foundation, its partnership with the City and the future of its special needs surfing camps and fundraising runs, I would like to propose a temporary solution.

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OB Optometrist Ben-Moshe Gives Out Free Eye Exams and Glasses to OB Elementary Students

February 11, 2020 by Source

Editordude: We couldn’t pass up this great article at the Peninsula Beacon about our friend, Dr. Eli Ben-Moshe, Newport Avenue’s optometrist. Had no idea he was doing this – providing free eye exams and glasses to needy student at OB Elementary. And he’s been doing it for years. Eli moved into his location when Dr. Donald Mitchell was still practicing. Dr. Mitchell was my family’s eye doc for years. Please read this great piece by Scott Hopkins.

By Scott Hopkins / Peninsula Beacon / Feb. 11, 2020

Visual health is critical to success for students of all ages in today’s classrooms and Dr. Eli Ben-Moshe is determined that no needy students at Ocean Beach Elementary School will be hampered by vision issues. Ben-Moshe’s Newport Avenue Optometry has been a community fixture

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Guardian Angels to Host Ocean Beach Community Event for Potential Recruits – Wed., Feb.12

February 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Guardian Angles are hosting a community event for Ocean Beach on Wednesday Feb. 12. at 6pm-7:30pm.

They’ve set up a chapter in Pacific Beach and are now trying to meet OBceans who are interested in joining them for a potential chapter in OB.

Their hosted event will be at South Beach Bar and Grill as all guests who attend will be treated to a complimentary taco from the eatery. South Beach Bar and Grill is located at 5059 Newport Ave.

In their invite, the Guardian Angels say they will be “discussing patrols, training, what we do, and how you can get involved with us to make our community safer.”

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OB Street Stewards Looking for Volunteers to ‘Adopt a Block’

February 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Street Stewards is a group effort by locals to keep Ocean Beach clean on a block-by-block basis. They also search for other OBceans and get them to adopt their block in keeping their area spruced up.

It’s the OB “Adopt a Block” campaign. They are looking for volunteers to join them and sign up on their facebook page.

They only ask that people who do sign up walk around their block once a week and pick up trash, either in the street, the sidewalks or bushes. And it would be a way for people to get to know their neighbors better.

Here’s how they describe it all:

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City of San Diego Seeks Competitive Bids to Develop and Manage Sports Arena Site

February 10, 2020 by Source

Editordude: We aren’t kidding when we say the City is preparing the Midway District for massive redevelopment. The Feb. 7 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune demonstrates how the City is laying the groundwork for the future of the Midway District, centered around the old sports arena complex – which the OB Rag has been predicting for a couple of years now.

From City of San Diego Press Release:

The City of San Diego has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified firms and interested parties to redevelop, rehabilitate, operate, maintain and manage a 48-acre site comprised of six continuous parcels of land, commonly known as the Sports Arena.

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‘No on A’ Campaign Funded by Developers and Out-of-Town Interests

February 10, 2020 by Source

In Contrast “YES ON A” Campaign Relies on Local Sources, Grassroots Support

As of February 7th, the Building Industry Association’s campaign organized to defeat the Measure A citizen’s initiative has brought in more than $1.3 million in contributions.

According to data provided by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, the vast majority of these come from the real estate lobby, developers and building industry trade associations. About $400,000 came from out-of-state groups based in Chicago, Arizona, Texas and New York.

This chart demonstrates the heavy influence of industry groups in the effort to defeat Measure A:

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The Next Mayor of San Diego Will Probably Be Todd Gloria (Not an Endorsement)

February 10, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porterr / Words&Deeds

This is not an endorsement. The sky could fall. Trump could quit Tweeting. Republicans could support the constitution. And Todd Gloria could lose.

I just don’t see it happening. And, by all means, cast a vote for the candidate you think could do the best job. My point of view is informed by observations about the state of the city and the campaigns of those opposing him.

I have, after all, been wrong before. My list of fallen favorites spans the decades, going way back to when I was “Clean for Gene” (McCarthy). But with every loss has come a bit more insight.

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Bloomberg Isn’t Here to Save Our Democracy, He’s Part of What’s Wrong with It

February 10, 2020 by Jim Miller

by Jim Miller

After the Iowa debacle ended with an embarrassing mess that left Sanders and Buttigieg on top of the wreckage with Joe Biden struggling for air underneath it, a good number of corporate media pundits and panicked Democrats have been learning to love Mike Bloomberg.

Their lack of confidence in the inexperience of Mayor Pete, whose polling plummets once the primaries move to states with people who aren’t white, combined with their fear of a Democratic Socialist frontrunner has them pining for a billionaire savior.

With Trump riding high on his post-impeachment acquittal and the Democratic party not looking ready for prime time, many in establishment circles as well as fearful liberals terrified of the prospect of Trump’s re-election are finding solace in Bloomberg …

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-February 2020

February 7, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Random Street Art in OB

Newport Pizza to Close With Hopes of Moving to Jungle Java

There’s more news about Newport Pizza. The OB Rag first reported the ale and pizza house was set to close in October 2019. Now we’ve learned it will shut its doors on February 9 but with the hope of relocating in what’s now Jungle Java, the open-air coffee patio by the end of summer. ….COME INSIDE FOR MORE

City Prepares Groundwork for Massive Redevelopment of Midway District

Jennifer Van Grove wrote in the Feb. 7 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune about how the City of San Diego is laying the groundwork for a massive redevelopment of the Midway District, centered around the old sports arena complex. COME INSIDE FOR MORE

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San Diego Mayoral Forum on Homelessness & Housing: Is the Answer ‘Build, Baby, Build’?

February 7, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / February 5, 2020

“There is not a poll that you see, there’s not a discussion that you go to, where homelessness isn’t the primary concern of the electorate and to have a forum where you talk about homelessness and housing is really special.” — Voice of San Diego Editor Scott Lewis at Voices of Our City Mayoral Forum

While some folks chose to subject themselves to the painful experience of watching President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, a few hundred San Diegans gathered at the Fraternal Order of Eagles auditorium in Hillcrest to hear a discussion among Mayoral candidates about reality in America’s Finest City.

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Hey Ocean Beach – The Surfing Madonna Needs You

February 7, 2020 by Source

Dear Ocean Beach: this is your opportunity to save the iconic mosaic

By Colleen O’Connor

Quick. Put in an application. Encinitas is in a twist about the “Surfing Madonna’s” future.

You know that iconic piece of art put together in the dead of night — under a bridge overpass — to everyone’s surprise and delight.

The 10×10 foot mosaic of the Virgin of Guadalupe, surfing a wave, cape waving and hands praying, with a “Save the Ocean” inscription became national news.

Few locals cared about the lack of permits or the mystery behind the artist’s name or inspiration. It was a kind of “love at first sight.” The devotion and intrigue grew.

The city of Encinitas, however, declared the Madonna “graffiti” and ordered it removed. No permits.

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Widder Curry Hopes Our Vote Will Show ‘the Emperor Has No Clothes’

February 7, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Sometimes I get so peeved at happenings going on around me.

Certainly the farce of acquittal of the dictator in the White House is an example of “the emperor wore no clothes.” The stupidity or fright of all the Republican Senators – save one, Mitt Romney – has changed America for generations to come.

We may never heal from the horrible renderings of these balless people. How can one ignorant man have so much power over the members of Congress is a mystery to me.

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San Diegans Join Thousands Across Nation in Rejecting Coverup and Trump’s ‘Acquittal’

February 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Wednesday, Feb. 5, local San Diegans joined thousands of others across the country in more than 200 protests of the coverup and Trump’s acquittal.

The San Diego chapter of Indivisible mobilized people at several street corners, and about 40 demonstrators showed up at the corner of Sixth and University avenues in Hillcrest, the SanDiegoUnion-Tribune reported. A steady stream of supportive honking from drivers flowed by. The group chanted slogans such as “sham trial, not above the law” and “come November, we will remember.”

There were other protests including one on North Harbor Drive.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board: Reviewed New Bermuda Stairs Design, Denied Orchard Project, Okayed Pedestrian Safety at OBE

February 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It was a packed, standing-room-only crowd at last night’s meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The various issues on the busy agenda each brought out their own numbers of residents and this reporter counted 50 people in the audience over the scope of the meeting in the OB Rec Center.

The board of community volunteers received a presentation on the design for the new stairs at the foot of Bermuda, shot down a project proposed for the 4600 block of Orchard, were asked to support parents at OB Elementary in their efforts to achieve pedestrian safety improvements around the school, and were asked to okay reaching out to the Mission Bay Park Committee to seek improvements to the River Bike Path trail.

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‘I’m a stranger in my own city’: Prague Takes on Airbnb to Block Flood of Tourists

February 5, 2020 by Source

By Robert Tait / The Guardian / Feb. 1, 2020

For decades, its mesmerizing blend of baroque and Gothic beauty was closed to mass tourism by the iron curtain that divided the communist east from the capitalist west during the cold war.

Now Prague, which has gained an unenviable reputation as a destination for stag nights and pub crawls, has become the latest European city to propose a radical assault on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms as over-tourism threatens to overwhelm it and drive out residents.

Under plans pushed by the city’s liberal mayor, Zdenek Hrib, property owners would be barred from leasing out entire flats except when it was their own home and they were temporarily vacating it.

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Jen Campbell Declares She’s ‘First District 2 Council Member to Get Funding for the OB Library Expansion’

February 5, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The city council person who represents Ocean Beach and Point Loma – as well as the rest of District 2 – gave a “State of the District” speech late last week, Jan. 30. Yet the only print media this writer has seen about the address is the account by Dave Schwab at the Peninsula Beacon.

And thanks to Schwab, we have a sense of what Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell said and did during the event at the Liberty Station Conference Center in Point Loma. Schwab said she “touched on everything from monarch butterflies and pesticide use to housing, homelessness, electric scooters, and short-term vacation rentals.”

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10th Annual Skate for Kids Day Is a Fundraiser for Ocean Beach Elementary – Sunday, Feb.9, Robb Field

February 5, 2020 by Source

The Ocean Beach Elementary PTA is hosting the 10th Annual Skate for the Kids fundraiser on Sunday, February 9, 2020. The fundraiser for Ocean Beach Elementary marks its tenth year of, as they say, fostering a love of skating in local school kids while contributing to their education.

It all happens from 12-3 p.m. at Robb Field Skate Park.

The PTA is partnering with the Ocean Beach Surf & Skate Shop for the event.

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‘Reject the Coverup’ Protests – Wed. Afternoon, Feb. 5 – Organized by San Diego Indivisible

February 5, 2020 by Source

Two Impeachment Protests Wed., Feb. 5 in San Diego: Downtown at North Harbor Dr. and at Genesse & Governor Dr.

Reject the Coverup protests are scheduled for this afternoon at multiple locations in San Diego County .The protests begin at 4:30 and 5:30 with flag waving citizens on street corners protesting the impeachment trial that was not a trial but a coverup.

This action is part of a nationwide mobilization with the simple demand of End the Coverup.

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