It is a truth that is staggering. And it is not hyperbole.

The future of Ocean Beach very likely will be decided this coming Monday, July 16, when the San Diego City Council votes on regulating short term vacation rentals.

This will be their 4th major hearing on these type of rentals, often called mini-hotels – having failed over 3 years to set policy. Up for discussion is Mayor Faulconer’s proposed “compromise” and all he and the short term platform companies like Airbnb need is 5 votes.

If Faulconer’s plan passes in total or in substance – the future of this community has been decided

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Public Forum on STVRs – Thursday, July 12

A San Diego coalition of town councils – including the Ocean Beach Town Council – and other community groups has just strongly come out against Mayor Faulconer’s proposed ordinance on regulating short term vacation rentals, and instead have their own set of recommendations and proposals.

The coalition, called the San Diego Community Short Term Vacation Rental Working Group, is trying to gear up San Diegans opposed to STVRs to attend the upcoming City Council meeting on Monday, July 16 where they are set to vote and pass regulations on the controversial rentals.

The STVR Working Group is also hosting a public forum on July 12 to answer questions or concerns about how the proposed Faulconer ordinance will affect schools and residential neighborhoods of San Diego

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In Sunday, July 8th’s Op-Ed page in the San Diego Union-Tribune, discussion on short term vacation rentals fairly monopolized the opinion section as representatives of the hotel industry, Councilwoman Barbara Bry and the head of the Mission Beach Town Council all hashed it out.

The op-ed pieces were responding to Mayor Faulconer’s recent “compromise” proposal to resolve one of the most contentious issues currently roiling San Diego – what to do about the short term rentals.

In their piece entitled, “Neighborhoods, Jobs Must Be Protected“, Katherine Lugar and Lynn Mohrfeld – both CEOs of hotel industry associations – at first came out swinging against STVRs and appeared to be right-on:

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OBceans Urged to Jump on Chartered Bus and to Wear Blue

The Ocean Beach Town Council will be chartering a bus on July 16th to bring the Ocean Beach voice to the City Council meeting on Short Term Vacation Rentals.

The bus will be picking up from the OB Rec Center at 11am, and returning at 6pm.

All are welcome

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Persist With Pride, San Diego

July 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

This weekend provides the opportunity to observe some of the accomplishments of the past few decades by activists and allies in the LBGTQ movement.

San Diego Pride festivities have grown from a small grassroots march for equal rights in the 1970s into the largest civic event in the region, with activities spanning a full week.

The organizers of San Diego Pride have donated over 2.5 million dollars to LGBTQ-serving nonprofits and runs multiple year-round education, advocacy, and community service programs.

This year’s theme is Persist With Pride, a slogan that should serve to remind all of us of the long and winding road we’re traveling.

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Point Loma Nazarene University Added to Previous Lawsuit Involving Former Student and Professor

July 13, 2018 by Source

by Andrew Eakes / LomaBeat / July 9, 2018

Amy McClanahan, the woman suing former Point Loma Nazarene University professor and pastor John Wright, is now naming PLNU in her lawsuit. She filed the additional name on May 9. The civil case management was last Friday, June 29 at the San Diego County Courthouse, which was held to discuss how the case would be handled. PLNU did not appear in court.

The university, along with Wright and Mid-City Church of the Nazarene (where Wright was her pastor), is being sued by McClanahan for negligent hiring and retention related to Wright’s employment at PLNU.

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Man Detained Suspected of Setting 8 Fires in Ocean Beach – One Apartment Complex Had to Be Evacuated

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Police have detained a man suspected of setting up to 8 fires in Ocean Beach between 11pm Thursday to about 6am Friday morning, July 13.

One fire caused the evacuation of an apartment complex.

SDFD Capt. Cory Beckwith told the media Fire Department crews responded to 8 different fires – all clearly intentionally set from about midnight to about 6 a.m. Friday. The fires were in plastic trash cans, dumpsters and at least one car. Most fires were set in trash bins pulled up next to a car.

And law enforcement may have caught a man red-handed as reportedly he was seen in the process of starting a fire on Long Branch Avenue and was then detained.

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Explosion and Fire on Bacon Street Sends Ocean Beach Resident to Hospital

July 12, 2018 by Staff

An explosion and fire in an upstairs apartment building sent an OB resident with burn injuries to the hospital on Wednesday, July 11. The unidentified man’s injuries and their severity are not known.

Firefighters arrived after 911 calls came in after 2:20 pm and quickly doused the flames within 10 minutes at a two-story apartment complex on Bacon Street near Cape May Avenue. From Station 15 we’re assuming.

Fortunately, the fire was contained to a single studio apartment on the second floor.

According to Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz, the fire caused an estimated

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SB 237 Threatens Community Choice Energy

July 12, 2018 by Source

By Laura Sisk-Hackworth

SB 237, authored by California State Senator Hertzberg (D-18), threatens to increase the use of fossil fuels in California by undercutting Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs. The bill would allow businesses to circumvent CCE providers and buy electricity directly from suppliers. These suppliers would be subject to the state’s required minimum on the renewable content of the electricity – whereas CCEs consistently exceed those minimums. Therefore, this bill would reduce the use of renewables, hurt renewable energy job growth, and likely bankrupt all current CCEs. This bill would effectively end existing CCE programs and halt their future expansion throughout California.

Community Choice Energy allows communities, rather than the utility companies, to purchase electricity.

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If Judge Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, SeaWorld Will Have a Friend on the Supreme Court

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

“If Brett Kavanaugh wins Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Ken Stone over at The Times of San Diego warns us, “SeaWorld may have a friend in high places.”

It was just in 2014 that Kavanaugh saddled up to SeaWorld’s side in a case involving the death 4 years earlier of a SeaWorld trainer by one of the killer whales. The trainer was Dawn Brancheau and the Orca was named Tilikum, and the case was about a $70,000 OSHA fine slapped on the theme park – which SeaWorld contested and took it to court.

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‘No One From Ocean Beach Showed’ at Historical Board Vote on Nati’s Building

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In Julie Stalmer’s recent San Diego Reader article on the vote by the San Diego Historical Resources Board to deny the OB Nati’s buildings any historic designation, she reported “no one from the Ocean Beach community showed” at their June 28 hearing.

This was according to Amie Hayes, a historic resources specialist with Save Our Heritage Organization, quoted by Stalmer; Hayes was there for the hearing. Hayes said:

“The vote was 2-7, so it didn’t pass. This means the property can now be demolished.”

There was one email on record from a couple who appeared to be OBceans opposing the buildings destruction and extolling the “quirky charm and character” of OB. The email read, in part:

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OB Rag Interviews With Ocean Beach Heroes Over the Years

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag writers have interviewed a good number of local individuals over the years, people whom we consider “Heroes of OB”. What better time to bring these interviews out from the archives and highlight these folks once again – during the doldrums of summer.

Gary Gilmore – from October 2010

Gary Gilmore – Newport Avenue’s goldsmith par excellence – is proud of the fact that he arrived in Ocean Beach in 1973 with nothing else but the clothes on his back, his guitar, and his leather tools. He had journeyed across the country and had found heaven. And he’s been in OB ever since. His is a true classic rags to riches story. Yet it’s an OB hippie version of the classic. For Gary Gilmore certainly looked like a hippie when he arrived 37 years ago.

Gretchen Newsom – from November 2013

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall. Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

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Malcolm X and Police Accountability on My Mind

July 11, 2018 by Ernie McCray

Photo of Malcolm X poster labeled "NOT FOR SALE"

By Ernie McCray

I attended a meeting the other night at the Malcolm X Library about a proposed Amendment to the City of San Diego Charter to create a Commission on Police Practices.

I couldn’t help but think of Malcolm throughout the evening because he would be pleased at the very idea of why we were gathered together, considering that he relentlessly tried to keep an eye on the police, especially in black communities where they have, throughout our country’s history, practically run rampant in black neighborhoods: cruising up and down the street flashing “the look”; messing with folks for giving them “the look”; taking somebody out because of “how they looked.”

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Ocean Beach Through the Lens of ACE

July 10, 2018 by Source

ACE is Albert C Elliott, a local surfboard maker and photographer, who occasionally lets us pick into his portfolio of 2-dimensional treasures.

Which brings us to this collection of visuals from around the Village of OB. And as Albert occasionally gets up on a board himself, this collection includes a number of shots from June in our local waters.

So, sit back and enjoy the sights as you flip through these fotos from the lens of ACE.

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Former San Diego Police Chief Zimmerman’s Fake News on Marijuana Takes on a Life of Its Own

July 10, 2018 by Source

By Jessica Sutherland / Daily Kos

Ever since the term “Fake News” entered the popular lexicon, almost everyone knows to check their news sources closely, and roll their eyes at Trump. But what’s a responsible citizen to do when “Fake News” and “alternative facts” originate with reliable, trusted sources?

Recently retired San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman should, in theory, have been one of those reliable, trusted sources, assuming you trust law enforcement. Unfortunately, a recent investigation by Voice of San Diego’s Jesse Marx reveals that the former chief manufactured crime statistics in an apparent effort to block expansion of the cannabis industry within America’s Finest City. Worse, her fake facts are now being used to justify and shape cannabis attitudes and policy in other municipalities.

This is how it begins.

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U.N. Breastfeeding Resolution Opposed by Trump Administration’s Corporate Shills

July 10, 2018 by Source

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health.”

By Julia Conley / Common Dreams

International delegates to the United Nation’s World Health Assembly looked on at the group’s recent meeting, as U.S. representatives appeared to put the interests of the $70 billion baby food industry ahead of those of parents and children—and pressured other countries to do the same.

The New York Times reported Sunday that American officials, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, attempted to strongarm Ecuadorean delegates out of introducing a resolution to encourage and support breastfeeding and urge governments to restrict misleading marketing claims about baby formula.

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Summer Chronicles 2018 # 4: Getting Inside the Inexhaustibility

July 10, 2018 by Jim Miller

“A desire to be inside the inexhaustibility.”
–Karl Ove Knausgaard My Struggle

In Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, he writes eloquently about how writing is what helps one escape the prison of our “purely fabricated world” that gives us the feeling that “the world is small, tightly enclosed around itself, without openings to anywhere else.”

This bubble world that the construct of modern civilization has locked us into is only exacerbated by the closed feedback loop of our cell phones and social media which pretend to expand our known worlds while, in reality, deeply limiting our consciousness to a simulacrum of screens.

What does writing do? Well, as Knausgaard observes, it speaks to our desire for more,

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Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dissents

July 9, 2018 by Source

#SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

He says a lawsuit or indictment would interfere with the President’s ability to protect national security.

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Superman as ‘Enemy of the American People’

July 9, 2018 by Staff

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The Good, the Bad, and the Stupid: State Ballot Propositions You’ll Vote on in November 2018

July 9, 2018 by Doug Porter

One hundred seventeen years ago, direct democracy came to California with the adoption of the initiative, referendum and recall processes by way of a special election called by a newly empowered progressive wing of the Republican Party (yes, there was such a thing back then).

The push for direct democracy was a reaction to the excesses of the gilded age when millionaires and their corporate entities became powerful politically. In California, the entire state government was under the control of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Bribery was the accepted method of doing business in the state capitol.

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The Pros and Cons of Surfing Naked

July 5, 2018 by Staff

In a discussion about surfing naked, SurferToday says it’s “an amazing experience.” The piece begins:

In ancient Polynesia, and before the Europeans and Americans colonized dozens of islands and Pacific Ocean territories, people rode waves in the nude.

And today, there’s a movement.

Legal Nude (Surfing) Beaches

Naturists, or nudists, are part of a worldwide movement that advocates the right to strip their clothes off and live life in harmony with nature.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2018

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

50 Years Ago – OB Pier Dedicated

It was on July 2, 1966, that the OB Pier was dedicated – see article online at the San Diego Union-Tribune; the pier was a promise made to the community when the fishing bridge between OB and South Mission was dismantled in 1950.

Nati’s Building Denied Historic Designation

How to Avoid Fines from Tickets During Fourth of July holiday

Prince’s Recycling Closes With Sympathy

COME INSIDE FOR THESE AND MORE STORIES

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Long Branch Torrey Pine Was Designated as a Heritage Tree

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie


The large Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch Avenue in OB that the city of San Diego and its contractor are trimming – with a permit to remove next month – was designated a Heritage Tree back in November 2016. It was one of 8 so designated in OB (here’s a map of OB Heritage Trees).

What does it mean for a tree to have this status?

Issues such as tree health, public safety, and overall function and value of each tree are given more extensive consideration.

Also, alternatives such as sidewalk re-contouring, metal grating, corrective pruning and any other feasible alternatives to removal must be considered first.

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BREAKING NEWS: City Posed to Chop Down Long Branch Torrey Pine – Same Tree Saved 7 Years Ago

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Calling all Torrey Pine lovers!

According to residents on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue, the City of San Diego – and its contractor – is posed to chop down the large Torrey Pine on that block – the same Torrey saved by the community seven and a half years ago.

The city’s contractor is on the block at this very moment – 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 5. Local residents were told the tree has moved and unless trimming it solves the problem, it will be chopped down.

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Wind Farms – Not Nuke Plants

July 3, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News June 2018

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our June 2018 report.

While Nukes Continue to Fade Away, the Answer Is Increasingly Blowing In the Wind

While most attention has been paid to California’s last two nuclear plants shutting down, New England has had more close permanently

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July 3 – Water Quality Advisories in Effect for Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and De Anza Cove

July 3, 2018 by Staff

The County of San Diego has issued a water quality advisory for Dog Beach in OB for Wednesday, July 3.

The County says bacteria levels may exceed health standards and to avoid water contact in the area from the San Diego River outlet to 300 feet south.

There is also an advisory for

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Reader Rant: A Warning to OB from Former Mission Beach Resident

July 2, 2018 by Source

Editordude: The following rant was originally a comment to this post, “Ocean Beach Town Council Gears Up to Oppose Mayor’s Proposal on Short Term Rentals for San Diego”.

By sealintheSelkirks

This is what started to happen to (middle) Mission Beach in the early 1970s when ‘vacation rental units’ exploded in numbers more than they had in the previous decade.

The kids who grew up on that part of the sandbar ran right into this head-on. And got clobbered. By the time we hit the find-a-place-to-rent age, roughly 1972-77, we were already being priced out or, as I personally experienced numerous times, were kicked out each June

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Authoritarianism Thrives on Demoralization: How to Fight Trump and Stay Psychologically Healthy

July 2, 2018 by Source

By Dawn Villines / Daily Kos

My daughter was a newborn when Donald Trump was elected. On Election Day, I dressed her in a pantsuit, covered her in feminist stickers, and ensured she saw me voting. We took lots of pictures. I wanted her to know she was part of the moment in history when the first woman president was elected. So waking up to a Trump win hit me hard. I feared for my daughter’s future, and for my own.

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The Back Story to ‘Willamartha’s Honey Pot’ Mural in Ocean Beach

July 2, 2018 by Source

Editordude: Last week we highlighted what we called “Ocean Beach’s Mural Alley“, which included a large mural of a woman with bees. Thanks to commenter “OBlover”, we found out the bee artwork is by a local artist, Celeste Byers – whom we’ve known for a few years and have also showcased some of her OB and other murals.

So, here’s the backstory of the bee mural, right from Celeste’s own website :

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