OB Longbranch-riot-LaborDay68The following is based partially on a post originally published May 15, 2015

By Frank Gormlie

Downtown Ocean Beach during these times on any summer day or night is extraordinarily packed with people, as locals and visitors mingle on the beach, on the Greens, and in the numerous noisy restaurants and pubs that line the commercial streets.

OB’s reputation as being San Diego’s “laid-back” beach community precedes it as tourists flock to our liberal seaside village of tolerance, peace and hipness all in search of being part of it – even for just a moment – in their search for happiness.

Little do they know there actually is a rough and sordid underbelly to OB’s traditions and history.

It’s OB’s history of rowdies, radicals and ruffians.

This rough underbelly includes the stories of the different brands of rowdiness, radicals and ruffians within Ocean Beach over the years -all of whom give rise to the view that OB is indeed a colorful and diverse community with quite an interesting, not-oft spoken history, with some of it downright nasty and ugly – while other parts are enlightening.

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By Mimi Pollack

Helping others is not political. It’s good for the soul. When you help others, you forget about your own problems for awhile. In addition, nobody should make you feel bad about who you decide to help. In my case, as a writer, I have interviewed many good folks assisting others — be they two-legged or four-legged — and ended up also giving to many charitable human and animal organizations.

I had wanted to find a way to help the mothers and especially the children in detention centers. My first thought was to bring stuffed animals to comfort the children at one of the centers, but that didn’t work out.

Then a successful business woman I know, who came here from Central America more than 30 years ago, told me about going to the local bus station to bring things to the mothers and children ICE was dropping off there. I decided that was a concrete way I could help.

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Originally published on Aug. 17, 2017

Less than two weeks after Donald Trump was elected, dozens of OBceans and San Diegans rallied against him at the foot of Newport and then marched down the sidewalks chanting, “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”

This is a common chant these days at anti-Trump protests, yet the inclusion of “KKK” in a chant shouted out in Ocean Beach was not as out of place as it may have seemed, for OB does have its own history of a KKK – or Klan – presence, and the presence of other white supremacists over the years.

And within OB’s well known laid-back character and tolerance for alternative lifestyles – which has allowed artists, musicians, bohemians, gays and lesbians, along with bikers and skin heads, to reside within the dense neighborhoods of the community – there’s also been a fiercely, anti-racist attitude among the more liberal and radical residents, at least since the late 1960s.

But within its storied history, OB has had more than a flirtation with white supremacists.

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The Ocean Beach Project Review Committee has one project on its plate at its upcoming meeting – the demolition of an existing house and the construction of two 2-story condos on Froude Street in southern OB.

Fairly usual fare – but for one thing. This lot has a collection of the most palm trees of different varieties of any of OB or this side of Point Loma. And they – or most of them – would have to be cut down for the construction.

The Project Review Committee is a sub-committee of the OB Planning Board and gives each project an initial review and usually then sends on a recommendation to the full Board. The Committee meets Wednesday, August 15 at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6pm.

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History of the Original OB Seagull Logo

July 6, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for History of the Original OB Seagull Logo

By Bob Sorben – Creator of the Original OB Seagull

Back in the 50’s and early 60’s we all hung out on the beach at the foot of Newport. OB was ruled by the locals and the defense of our beach town from outsiders was almost tribal. We fought with other local communities whenever an occasion arose. Of course, there were always fights amongst ourselves, and some just liked to fight.

The Point was actually broken up into clubs and each had followers, but we intermingled as one. The Sunset Surfers of the 40’s & 50’s and, the Qwiigs Surfing Club, which dated back to the 30’s were the beginning.

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California Senate Bill 964 Will Require Largest U.S. Pensions to Report on Climate Risk

August 14, 2018 by Source

By Laura Sisk-Hackworth / SanDiego350

A landmark bill in the California legislature, SB 964, defines climate-related financial risk in law for the first time and requires the boards of the two largest public pension funds in the nation to report on this risk every three years.

The importance of this bill is that it gives the public a way to respond to the boards’ consideration of climate risk and its investments in key industries. It also protects state employees and our economy from potentially devastating financial losses that could result from climate change.

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Elderly Reflections on a Melancholy Day

August 14, 2018 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

You ever have one of those days
when you just
can’t shake your blues
because your soul feels so completely
battered and bruised
and defused and confused
and mis and/or overused,
seeming as though
it will never ever again
be enthused and amused?

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Convention Center, County Voting Initiatives Bode Poorly for Local GOP Leaders

August 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

Last week was a rough week for the status quo in San Diego. The (mostly) unspoken private-public partnership between land developers and local elected officials couldn’t get it done. Not once, but twice.

A faux ‘citizens initiative’ run by hoteliers, and assorted Mayoral toadies won’t be on the November ballot. Visions of economic growth centered on convention center expansion ended amid finger pointing and raised middle fingers. Grift, incompetence and a failure to understand public weariness with past promises of economic benefits trickling down from the schemes of the rich and famous all played in role in the effort’s spectacular failure.

The days of San Diego County being a Republican enclave may be numbered.

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OB Resister Sisters Strike Again – ‘Thanks, GOP – I Couldn’t Have Screwed Your Country Without You – Love, Putin’

August 13, 2018 by Staff

They’ve done it again! The OB Resister Sisters have struck again – this time with a banner over a freeway near downtown San Diego.

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Ocean Beach Women – ‘Make Some Noise’ at OB Woman’s Club Salad Days of Summer – Tues., Aug.14

August 13, 2018 by Staff

Women of Ocean Beach:

Come make some noise and come join the OB Woman’s Club for their Salad Days of Summer – Social & Serenade (+kazoos).

Tuesday, August 14th

Enjoy a light dinner (salad and cool beverages – starts at 5:30) while enjoying a serenade from the Avanti Flute Choir!

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Progressive Calendar for San Diego Aug. 13 – 20

August 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

August 14

Chicano San Diego: A Neglected Heritage

Tuesday, August 14, 1pm
San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado (Balboa Park)
For More Information
Hosted by San Diego History Center

SDSU Professor Emeritus Richard Griswold del Castillo presents a survey of the major themes and contributions to San Diego’s history by the Spanish speaking people.

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Candidate Dumanis Gets Dumped by Deputy Sheriffs Association in Supervisors Race

August 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

San Diego’s Deputy Sheriffs Association has rescinded an earlier endorsement of former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, the Republican candidate in the race for Fourth District Supervisor. [ Editordude: Ocean Beach and most of Point Loma are in the Fourth District.]

Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, the Democratic candidate, now holds the title of ‘law enforcement’s choice,’ according to a press release landing in my inbox this morning.

The Deputy Sheriff’s Association of San Diego County (DSA) today announced their endorsement of Nathan Fletcher for County Supervisor.

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The Music of the Street – Summer Chronicles 2018 #9

August 13, 2018 by Jim Miller

There is music in the street. It’s easy to be enthralled by the sounds of the natural world, but urban noise frequently distresses us, disrupts our head space or intervenes into the sounds we are plugged into at the moment. But sometimes, the city bustle has its charms. So much of the urban noise that we think of as a distraction from some other narrative that has captured our attention or an intrusion into our sealed-off domestic space is seen as ugly.

But perhaps we just need to learn to listen. Is it the sounds themselves that are the issue or our reactions to them?

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News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – August 2018

August 10, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Latest Fundraising Numbers in District 2 Race Between Lorie Zapf and Jen Campbell

Here are the latest fundraising data for D2 campaigns: Lorie Zapf and Jen Campbell

Will OB Get Some of Faulconer’s Bike Racks?

Burglars in White Mercedes-Benz Raid OB Garage
An OB man says he was home when

Sea Turtle Returns to Ocean After Rehab at SeaWorld
This is what SeaWorld is good for
County Mental Hospital on Rosecrans Less than 60% at Capacity. Why?

Patients at Point Loma Convalescent Hospital Without Air Conditioning

Is San Diego Working to Fix 100-Year Old Pipes? History of Breaks Over Last 6 Years

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Suspect in Stabbing Death of Ocean Beach’s ‘Incense Man’ Set for Trial

August 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The 20-year old suspect in the fatal stabbing attack against Walter “Ras” Riley, 65, “the Incense Man” , was ordered to stand trial on Wednesday, August 8. After a 2-day Preliminary Hearing, San Diego Superior Court Judge Steven Stone found sufficient evidence against Noah Jackson for his case to proceed further.

Riley, 65, known around OB for selling incense, was stabbed on Bacon Street about 12:20 a.m. on June 22, 2017. Surveillance videos captured part of the attack and surveillance and photos were made public in an effort to determine who the man was in the vids and photos.

In February, San Diego detectives arrested Jackson at a Huntington Beach medical facility (we don’t know why he was in the facility), partly due to tips to Crime Stoppers.

If convicted, Jackson could face 26 years to life in prison.

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‘We Can’t Talk Ocean Conservation Without Addressing Climate’

August 9, 2018 by Source

The Climate 1970-2100

By David Helvarg / Blue Notes / August 8, 2018

Wildfires are burning across California (and much of the world) this summer amidst record-breaking heat. Meanwhile I took a weekend off to go bodysurfing in Ocean Beach (where I used to live) and the water was surprisingly warm. Now Scripps Institution of Oceanography reports it’s actually the warmest ocean water recorded in 100 years of record keeping.

Given the threats posed by offshore drilling, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, plastic (petrochemical) pollution, rising seas and much more it seems pointless to discuss ocean conservation without addressing climate. The ocean is the driver of climate and weather but is also impacted by human caused climate change

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Are Our Beaches Being ‘Over-Groomed’ – and Killing Off Wildlife?

August 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The beaches in Ocean Beach certainly get their share of human trash. And the beaches here are also cleaned up – constantly, by city crews and by nearly weekly neighborhood clean-ups.

But are the beaches being kept too clean? Are they being groomed to death?

Some people are beginning to re-evaluate how and how often beaches need to be cleaned. Scientists and marine biologists raised the question of whether or not over-grooming urban beaches is killing off wildlife, in a new article in Hakai magazine, a magazine that takes a coastal perspective in exploring issues of science and the environment.

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San Diego Billionaire’s Plan for Balboa Park Back in Court

August 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego billionaire and Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacob’s $80 million plan for Balboa Park – the so-call Plaza de Panama make-over – is back in court after being stalled for months. Actually it went back to court, Monday, July 30, or at least part of it did, as one of the two current lawsuits against the Jacob-backed plan went before a judge.

The one back in court involved a suit filed by attorney Cory Briggs on behalf of San Diegans for Open Government. It challenges the city of San Diego’s use of bonds to financially support the city’s share of the then $78 million make-over, and contends the City Council should have sought voter approval before deciding to issue bonds to pay for the city’s share.

The second case was filed by Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) and now it awaits a state Court of Appeal hearing. SOHO appealed the earlier Superior Court ruling that favored the city,

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OB Rag Fundraising Goal Surpassed! Thank You Everyone Who Stepped Up

August 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A little over a week ago, the OB Rag launched our summer fundraising campaign – with a goal of $2,000.

Now, 10 days later, we can announce with the help of readers and supporters, we surpassed our goal, and actually received a total of donations of $2,130.

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What’s New Around Ocean Beach? New Bookstore Coming, Business Anniversaries and the OB Shelf

August 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

New Bookstore to Open on Voltaire

Some nice folks are working on opening a new bookstore on Voltaire Street. (They have to be nice, right? if they like books in this day and age.) It will be called Run for Cover and advertises as a “Bookstore & Cafe”. It will be wedged in between Lucy’s and a salon place next to the closed bead shop next to Hungry Lu’s.

It appears a local named Marianne Reiner has been planning this endeavor for a while; she has a website and recently obtained her license to officially serve coffee, tea and pastries when her bookstore-café opens.

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Speak Out Against the Nuke Dump on the Beach at San Onofre

August 7, 2018 by Staff

State Lands Commission to Hear Public Comments on San Onofre Decommissioning Plans at Meetings in Oceanside and San Clemente

Anti-nuke activists are mobilizing at two upcoming meetings of the California State Lands Commission in order to ‘speak out against the nuke dump’ at San Onofre. One is in Oceanside and the other is in San Clemente.

The California State Lands Commission is the lead organization conducting the Environmental Impact Report on the San Onofre decommissioning project.

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3 Vegan Restaurants in Ocean Beach Named Among ‘Best in San Diego’

August 7, 2018 by Source

Pam Kragen at the San Diego Union-Tribune has just come out with “San Diego’s Best Vegan Restaurants” – and she lists three from Ocean Beach.

Kragen begins with declaring “vegan food has been named among the top six global culinary trends of 2018, and San Diego is well ahead of the curve,” and then she lists several new vegan eateries that have opened around the county recently along with some ‘oldies but goodies’ – a total of 24 eateries in all.

(Turns out the list is not so much a “best of” but more like a showcase of what’s out there.)

Here’s what Kragen says about OB’s vegan places on the list:

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‘Don’t Shoot’: Thoughts on California Assembly Bill 931

August 7, 2018 by Ernie McCray

I was just about to write down my thoughts on a meeting I attended a little while back, but I thought I’d check my email first so I could really settle in with what I wanted to say.

One particular email in my inbox got my attention right away: news the San Diego City Council hadn’t taken a step that was necessary in the process of readying an amendment regarding the creation of a Commission on Police Practices for placement on the November ballot.

They just let it drop. And although that’s shocking to me, I’m not the least bit surprised because,

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San Diego’s Forest Advisory Panel to Meet on Long Branch Torrey Pine – City Forester Wants It Removed – Wed., Aug. 8

August 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The Long Branch Torrey Pine Has Protected Status

The City of San Diego’s Community Forest Advisory Board meets this week to discuss removing the large Torrey Pine on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue in northeast Ocean Beach. This particular Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch was literally saved by the community 7 years ago from the city’s buzzsaws.

The City forester has recommended removing the Torrey and to counter that view

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Councilmembers Ward, Cole and Zapf Block Effort to Place Police Review Reform on Nov. Ballot

August 6, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

While San Diego City Councilmembers Lorie Zapf and Chris Ward were reaping props and applause in Ocean Beach and other coastal neighborhoods due to their efforts to regulate short term vacation rentals, the toast-of-the-town duo had moved on other planes and joined the conservative members among their colleagues to wreck havoc and short circuit another popular effort. The effort to reform how police officers have civilian oversight.

Ward – maybe hoping to become the darling of San Diego liberals – what with his proposed ban on styrofoam – crashed and burned that plan. On Monday, July 30, at a Council hearing he joined other councilmembers to thwart an effort to place a measure on the November ballot which would have substantially improved civilian oversight of the San Diego Police Department.

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There’s an Emergency at the Ocean Beach Planning Board – 6 Seats Out of 14 Are Vacant

August 6, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag is declaring an Emergency at the Ocean Beach Planning Board. And this emergency has not been sanctioned by the Board itself – but is an independent determination by a seasoned observer – this reporter.

The Board, established in 1976, has 14 seats – two from each of the 7 planning districts of OB. Well, right now, six of those seats are vacate. Board chair Blake Herrschaft announced his resignation last Wednesday, Aug.1 and that he was departing for Tahoe immediately. Vice-chair Andrea Schlageter will step and be the interim chair.

Herrschaft’s absence makes this an unprecedented situation

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‘Already Dead’: A Lunch Poem for Golden Hill – Summer Chronicles 2018 #8

August 6, 2018 by Jim Miller

On the back cover of Frank O’Hara’s classic City Lights Books collection, Lunch Poems, he defines his efforts succinctly:

Often this poet, strolling through the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noontide,

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The Creeping Privatization of Public Libraries

August 6, 2018 by Source

By Susan Grigsby / Daily Kos

At 17,566, there are more public libraries in the United States than there are Starbucks coffee shops. And just like at Starbucks, patrons have access to free wi-fi. But unlike Starbucks, public libraries will usually provide the free use of a computer as well as internet access.

Perhaps it is their very ubiquitousness that makes them such a tempting target for libertarians like the Koch brothers and right-wing economists like the one who recently suggested a takeover of libraries’ functions by Amazon.

Forbes quickly pulled the controversial op-ed

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The OB Green Center Calendar for August 2018

August 4, 2018 by Source

August Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

Ocean Beach Green Center, 4843 B Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107
oceanbeachgreencenter@gmail.com 619.225.1083

August 9th Thursday 7 p.m. Film night ” The Homeless Chorus Speaks”

This 2018 film is a compelling documentary that creatively depicts a critical and timely social issue: people living without support and shelter.

August 25th Saturday 1:00 p.m. Native Bee Presentation .


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Winning Banner in OB Rag Contest Hung by OB Resister Sisters

August 3, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The winning banner in the OB Rag – Resister Sisters contest was hung today. On 163 southbound in Balboa Park.

The winning banner, “Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus”, was proposed by one of our readers during our week-long contest. The winner was picked by the Sisters and hung up this morning, Friday, August 3.

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Gov. Brown Condemns Trump’s Lowering of Fuel Standards, But Expands Oil Drilling in California

August 3, 2018 by Source

By Daniel Bacher

SACRAMENTO – California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday condemned the Trump Administration’s proposal to weaken the nation’s clean vehicle emissions standard at the same time that California regulators have approved an expansion of offshore and onshore drilling in California.

“For Trump to now destroy a law first enacted at the request of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an assault on the health of Americans everywhere,” said Brown in a statement.

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