Today, Monday, Oct. 22, in a 8 to 1 vote, the San Diego City Council voted to rescind the regulations they had imposed on short-term vacation rentals back in July. Those regulations would have ended the controversial practice of out-of-town investors buying up needed San Diego rental properties and turning them into profit-making vacation mini-hotels.

Facing the onslaught of push-back from the Airbnb-type industry, the Council backpedaled on the issue – except for Councilmember Lorie Zapf – who is facing a tough re-election campaign and couldn’t afford to upset her beach and coastal constituents – the ones mostly negatively affected by the vacation rentals.

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How Does My Garden Grow?

By Kathy Blavatt

As I look upon my garden there are a few plants I can always count on that look good. These are strong and more beautiful as they age, stretching and branching out, providing shade for young sprouts, and blooming in full glory with a scent that attracts the pollinators who dance among her blossoms.

My friend Fran Conley, like her plants, was the standout in the garden. The sprouts she planted over decades had been passed around to those with green thumbs and grown in many gardens. I was one of the lucky ones to benefit from her gifts of posies.

Just recently after pruning a plant given to me by Fran, I had told to my husband how I had missed visiting with her and seeing her smiling face. Then soon after, her smiling face was looking up at me in the “Life Tribute” section of the paper.

On August 9, 2018, at age 99, Frances (Fran) Conley died.

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Yup, that’s right. Monday, October 22 is the very last day to register to vote here in California.

Hundreds of people gathered at Dog Beach and spelled out “VOTE!”

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There’s been some changes at the Ocean Beach Planning Board of late.

Andrea Schlageter – who was interim-chair – has now been selected to be the “full” Chair. Kevin Hastings was selected by Board members to be the new Vice Chair, Craig Klein was chosen to be Treasurer, and rounding out the executive committee, Tracy Dezenzo is now the new secretary.

Kevin Hastings was recently appointed to planning area district 6 and Tracy Dezenzo was appointed to district 1 at the September 6 Board meeting.

At the most recent full Board meeting in early October, the Board appointed 4 new members: Virginia Wilson, Elizabeth Felando, Anthony Ciulla, and Richard Merriman. This means the OBPB has appointed 6 new members, and it is near full operating strength. Three women were added to a prominently-male board to help balance that out. This is all good news.

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It was supposed to be the day in OB without cars. But from the looks of some of the comments in recent posts here at the OB Rag, Ocean Beach had a mixed reaction to “CyclOBias”

Or did it?

We’ve seen complaints of cars being towed. Of other frustrations. Plus an attitude among some locals that ‘hey, OB is one of the most pedestrian-and-bike-friendly neighborhoods around, and we don’t need others telling us we can now “enjoy” our own community …’

We don’t know.

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OB Town Council Meets Wed., Oct.24

October 22, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Town Council meets this Wednesday, October 24, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. The meeting is at the Masonic Lodge, located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, in OB.

Regular speakers include local leaders, political, business and law enforcement representatives , as well as members from all corners of the Ocean Beach community. Whether you’re a long-time OB-cean or just want to learn more about OB, all are welcome!

Also, the OBTC is getting prepared to host the foodie event of the year for Ocean Beach – the annual OB Restaurant Walk – along with the OB Mainstreet Association.

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The Trump of Pahrump, the Unholy Trinity and Other Dystopian Tales

October 22, 2018 by Jim Miller

The Trump of Pahrump is dead.

Yes, the world’s most famous brothel owner, Dennis Hof, left this world peacefully last week in bed at the Love Ranch only hours after celebrating at his birthday party/campaign rally. The event was held to aid Hof in his quest to secure a seat in the Nevada state legislature as a Republican, a race he was heavily favored to win. Hof is best known for his HBO reality TV show about the Moonlight Bunny Ranch and his biography, The Art of the Pimp, which gleefully riffs off of the title of the President’s paean to himself.

Just hours before his untimely demise, Hof was cheerfully holding court at an event that featured the trio of porn star Ron Jeremy, Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. To top it all off, they were joined by Fox News talking head Tucker Carlson, who offered birthday wishes to America’s Pimp by video feed. It was a good night for Hof who, despite the uncomfortable facts that he is both now dead and accused of rape by several former employees, is still a sure bet to win the election in his heavily Republican district largely populated by good Christian folks committed to Making America Great Again.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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San Diego Progressive Voter Guide – 2018 General Election

October 10, 2018 by Staff

Here is the Progressive Voter Guide for the 2018 General Election in San Diego County, published by the San Diego Free Press and now republished by the OB Rag. A few words about our process are in order. The OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are online siblings. The OB Rag has been publishing since October 26, 2007, and the SDFP, as an all-volunteer group, has been publishing daily since June 4, 2012.

A commitment to activism and progressive politics is what drives our dedication to these projects. We’ve been researching the candidates and causes on the general election ballot for the past 18 months. You can see the various articles the SDFP has published at our archive of 2018 election coverage.

The editorial board includes Brent Beltrán, Anna Daniels, Frank Gormlie, Patty Jones, Rich Kacmar, Annie Lane, and Doug Porter. We met on September 24 to vote on endorsements,

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Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association Celebrates 40 Years

October 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag joins the rest of the community in congratulating the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association in celebrating its 40th year.

And the group’s history is neatly compiled in a easy-to-read, 12 page pull-out section of the recent Peninsula Beacon. OBMA members Denny Knox, Mike Akey and Mike James are quoted extensively in the piece. We learned some cool stuff.

The group was originally founded in 1978 as the OB Merchant’s Association, but 20 years later in 1998, it received a national designation as the OB Mainstreet Association, and became a private, non-profit business organization. The quoted founders talk about the hard first days, trying to solicit OB business owners to join for $25. It was slow going at first. After their first year, the OBMA had 55 dues-paying members.

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Zapf Flier Falsely Accuses Campbell of Supporting Airport Expansion

October 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A recent flier put out by pro-Zapf forces falsely accuses her opponent in the District 2 race, Jen Campbell, of supporting the airport’s expansion. On a flier, picked up by Voice of San Diego‘s Scott Lewis (who lives in OB) while walking his dog, Campbell is quoted as saying, “Yes, I do agree with the expansion …” but then it stops and adds another quote about the future of the airport.

Campbell’s campaign has called “foul!”

Campbell’s original quote, according to her staff, was:

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Faulconer Proposes New Rules for Scooters

October 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his new proposed regulations for dockless scooters, Thursday, October 18. They include a speed limit of 8 mph in certain areas, and along the boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.

Another element of the proposal is requiring that scooter companies share ridership data with the city and educate their riders about city and state vehicle and traffic codes (like not riding on sidewalks) including the cost of citations.

Their speeds would also be more limited in Mission Bay Park, Liberty Station NTC Park, Balboa Park, the promenades at the San Diego Convention Center and the Embarcadero area. Supposedly, geofencing technology would be utilized.

Each individual scooter will be required, under Faulconer’s proposals, to carry signage reading: “Riding on Sidewalk is Prohibited.”

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Homelessness Can’t Be Solved with Fines and Arrests

October 19, 2018 by Source

By John Tharp & Maria Foscarinis / OtherWords

When San Diego resident Gerald Stark’s rent increased and he couldn’t afford another apartment, the retired union pipefitter moved into his RV.

But because he lacked an address, San Diego law made it almost impossible for him to park his RV legally. Soon the city confiscated it, leaving him out on the streets.

There, he was ticketed for violating another law prohibiting sleeping in public. Faced with thousands of dollars in fines and fees he was unable to pay, Stark lived every day in fear of being arrested — for simply trying to survive.

He’s not alone.

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Jen Campbell Comes Out Against Bahia Point Land Grab of Mission Bay Park

October 18, 2018 by Source

Statement from Dr Jen Campbell:

The Bahia Resort Hotel is trying to get the City of San Diego to approve an expansion of their leasehold, getting rid of Gleason Road, over 270 parking spaces and public access to the public beach at Bahia point which is one of the few areas where non-motorized, recreational watercraft can launch into Mission Bay.

Currently, hundreds of San Diegans enjoy this area for picnics, wading, swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, outriggers, prone boards, and other types of non-motorized water recreational enjoyment.

I am running for City Council because the residents of District 2 are tired of not being included or informed of decisions the City is making without their knowledge.

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I Keep Thinking of Christine

October 18, 2018 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I keep thinking of Christine,
her story of a man
cupping his hand
over her mouth
so she couldn’t scream
and expose his scheme
to forcefully
have his way with her
like so many men have done
for eons
in human history.
And for decades she didn’t scream,
except for those
inaudible screams that echo in
those dark places inside
human beings
where we try to hide
pain that’s hard to confront,
to bear,

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The How and Why of Measure YY, the San Diego Unified School District Bond Ask

October 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

Back in the old days before Proposition 13, local schools were funded locally. School boards had the authority to raise property tax rates, constrained by the understanding that the electorate would vote them out come election time if they went too far.

In practice, this meant school districts with lower property values ended up with inferior education facilities and programs. Court cases in the 1970’s began the erosion of local control in the cause of rectifying these inequities; Prop 13 put the state in the driver’s seat.

School boards can no longer levy property taxes. They can, however, ask voters to support local funding for schools through parcel taxes and bond measures. And in the majority of cases, voters have agreed with this method of filling the holes blown through local education budgets.

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Some Big Developments – My Reporter’s Life, Part Two

October 18, 2018 by Source

Here’s Part One

By Bob Dorn

I didn’t know that the police beat was one of the tests normally applied to newcomers until the San Diego Evening Tribune editors released me from it after six months and, to my surprise, had me cover the County Board of Supervisors.

Developers had been pumping out two-story stuccoes amidst the chapparaled and original Spanish land grants to the east and the north of the city. The collapse of C. Arnholt Smith’s US National Bank was at this time the largest bank failure in US history, so I was a bit surprised to be assigned to cover the Board of Supervisors; after having been in town only 12 months or so I figured I didn’t know f-all about the county.

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Donna Frye Endorses Dr. Jen Campbell for District 2

October 17, 2018 by Source

“I am endorsing Dr. Jen for City Council District 2. One of the main reasons is because of her determination to do what she knows to do and not what others tell her to do.

She has spent most of her life caring for other people and will be able to bring that experience to the community she hopes to serve.

It’s important to me that people in public office understand the basic concept of the job and Dr. Jen gets it.

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A Look at Voter Guides for San Diego

October 17, 2018 by Doug Porter

I don’t know if there’s Blue Wave building, but I can tell you I haven’t seen such engagement and interest in an election in recent memory. An indication of voter interest is the proliferation of voter guides. Not that long ago, the term ‘voter guide’ either meant a handout from a political party or a slate mailer from a pay to play outfit.

Given that I worked on two such efforts this year, I thought I’d take a few minutes to catalog and comment upon some of what I’m seeing in the way of election-related compendiums and endorsement lists.

Vote Smart offers up a wealth of information on elections around the country, with details on 13,849 congressional, gubernatorial, state legislative, statewide, and state judicial contests, along with ballot measures. …

Voter’s Edge works by having you to plug in your address to see research on those candidates and propositions appearing on

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Ocean Beach Lawyers of Innocence Project Help Free Man Imprisoned for 20 Years

October 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Justin Brooks is an attorney who lives in Ocean Beach. He teaches at Cal Western School of Law in downtown San Diego and is also director of the California Innocence Project. The project works to free wrongly convicted and imprisoned people in state prisons. It receives requests for assistance from about 2,500 inmates each year.

And just earlier this month, the Innocence Project helped to free Horace Roberts, who had been incarcerated for 20 years. He is the 29th prisoner freed by the group since its inception in 1999. It was 15 years ago when the California Innocence Project, based at the California Western School, took on Roberts’ case.

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Tight Squeeze

October 17, 2018 by Source

by Albert C Elliott – from Friday, Oct. 12

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The Route Map and Everything Else You Need to Know About CiclOBias in Ocean Beach on Sunday, Oct.21

October 17, 2018 by Source

From CiclOBias Website:
Here is everything you need to know about CiclOBias in Ocean Beach this Sunday, October 21.

Want to participate in CiclOBias? Below you’ll find everything you’ll need to know to jump in and enjoy the event!

What is CiclOBias?

The coastal neighborhood of Ocean Beach will host this year’s open streets celebration, CiclOBias, an annual event held in various neighborhoods around the city. San Diego Bike Coalition invites families to bike, skate, scooter, walk — anything outside a car — while experiencing OB’s the most popular streets while not in a car. Participants can cruise along the three-mile route, stopping to check out any of the dozens of local restaurants and shops that make up the vibrant community of Ocean Beach.

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Recycling, the Chargers and Sample Ballots

October 17, 2018 by Judi Curry

The Old Broad Ponders – Just Before She Takes Off for Vegas

By Judi Curry

So here I sit with two 36 gallon bags filled with plastic bottles; one 33 gallon bag filled with bottles, and one 33 gallon bag filled with aluminum cans and no close place to go to redeem them. My neighbor said to me that I should just throw them into the blue recycling receptacle and put it out in front of the house come recycling day.

Why? I am paying for those bottles, cans and glass containers. Why should I just throw them away?

I remember when I would return those items to the grocery store and get my “deposit” back. Why can’t I do that now? The closest place to redeem those items will cost me almost the same amount of money in gasoline to get there that I will get back from the redemption.

To quote Turko – “it ain’t right.” We need to have a recycling center in the Ocean Beach/ Point Loma area again.

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Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach Say ‘Register to Vote’ by Oct. 22

October 17, 2018 by Source

The Ocean Beach Resister Sisters were out Tuesday morning, Oct. 16 with three new signs over the 163 and the Interstate 5.

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My Reporter’s Life, Part One: Pain and Suffering at the San Diego Police Department

October 16, 2018 by Source

By Bob Dorn

I worked for the San Diego Evening Tribune for approximately eight years and 11 months. I was just 13 months short of being vested in the retirement program when I quit. That’s okay.

If I’d stayed on at the paper I might have gone fully crazy.

I was 28 when the Trib hired me out of a small-town daily in New Jersey’s rural northwest.

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Progressive Activist Calendar, Mid-October 2018

October 16, 2018 by Doug Porter

Vintage photo taken by Henry Miller

The following Progressive Calendar is based on Doug Porter’s weekly calendar at San Diego Free Press. It has been edited and shortened to include only City of San Diego events and exclude out-of-date events.


Help Light Up a busy Freeway Overpass with #YesOn10! https://twitter.com/hashtag/YesOn10?src=hash

It’s easy and fun — we will be on a different overpass each week through November 5th, the night before Election Day.
October 20

"VOTE" button

Ballot Measures 2018 Pro & Con
Saturday, October 20, 1pm
Point Loma Branch Library
3701 Voltaire Street

Hosted by League of Women Voters of San Diego

Confused about the Midterm ballot measures? Come hear our Prop Talks, where we review the ballot propositions and take your questions. Always nonpartisan; only the facts. Bring your ballots and take notes!

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Update on Project Progress in Ocean Beach

October 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s an update on some of the projects in and around Ocean Beach. Like the projects near the foot of Santa Monica, over on Froude Street, the THC rebuild on Newport and the Ladera Street stairs repair.

5040 Santa Monica Ave.

The mixed-use project at 5040 Santa Monica Saratoga Ave. includes the construction of a 2-story commercial unit in front and 4 residential units behind and above the front unit. It was approved by the Ocean Beach Planning Board by a vote of 7 to 2 on July 1, 2015.

The project now nearing some level of completion is a scaled-down version of an original development plan that had been approved back in 2006 but never constructed. The site sat dormant for around 10 years, but construction did begin in late 2017. The lot supposedly contains “the last sand dune in OB”.

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Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of the Mob Protest and Women

October 16, 2018 by Source

By Beau Grosscup

President Donald Trump says “it’s a scary time for young men in America,” meaning young (and by definition any) men should be very afraid of being falsely accused of sexual assault/rape.

Yet, according to many studies (Stanford University, BBC News among them) just two percent of rape and sexual assault charges are proven to be false. President Trump (and many others) would have us believe that false charges are the rule rather than the exception.

Fortunately, the #MeToo movement and many other sexual assault victims support organizations are here to correct the record.

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OB Historical Society: ‘Villa Surf – Dan Dixon’s Pleasuredome’ by Barbara Houlton – Thurs., Oct.18

October 16, 2018 by Staff

Come join the Ocean Beach Historical Society’s monthly presentation on our local history. This Thursday, Oct. 18, the Society presents “Villa Surf – Dan Dixon’s Pleasuredome, 1950-1962”
by local author Barbara Houlton. Villa Surf is the magnificent home of Dan Dixon which overlooks the ocean where Sunset Cliffs Boulevard ends

Barbara Houlton has written two books about Villa Surf – located where Sunset Cliffs Natural Park has obliterated all evidence of its past and history. Beginning with the undeveloped site, its construction, its subsequent coverage in the Sunday edition of the San Diego Union, the books cover the early years.

The third volume is now being written,

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San Diego City Council Votes to Ban Styrofoam

October 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

On Monday, October 15, the San Diego City Council voted 5 to 3 to ban Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene. The tentative ban is on the use and distribution of products, such as egg cartons and food service containers, that use Styrofoam.

The ban would also prohibit the use and sale of items made partially or completely of polystyrene foam such as:

  • coolers,
  • ice chests,
  • pool or beach toys,
  • mooring buoys and
  • navigation markers .
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It’s True After All – Pop Pie Moving Into Former Nati’s

October 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It took Eater San Diego to break the big news: Pop Pie from University Heights is moving into the former Nati’s in Ocean Beach.

It reports Pop Pie co-founder Steven Torres has confirmed – after months of denials – they’re moving into the space at Bacon and Niagara that previously was the home of one of OB’s original eateries.

Construction of the new Pop Pie could be over by the end of this year or early 2019. They’ll have space for a 130 patrons. They report:

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Tell Airport Leaders San Diego Needs Better Mass Transit to the Airport – Send Letter Provided Now

October 15, 2018 by Staff

Circulate San Diego is trying to get San Diego residents to let the leaders of the San Diego airport know how we want to see better mass transit – even a trolley – to the airport. And they urge everyone to send a letter now – through a form they provide.

It’s criminal that there isn’t a trolley already to the airport. Many other major cities have a train, street car or tram to theirs.

Here’s the message from Circulate San Diego:

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