By Nicole Hussey / San Diego Free Press

Some years ago, I took a boyfriend to SeaWorld in San Diego. He had few wants in life and swimming with dolphins was on his bucket list, so I booked us an extravagant SeaWorld experience and we drove down from Los Angeles.

Keep in mind, this was before the release of Blackfish. It was back when everyone felt the way about SeaWorld that they do about zoos; you hate that the animals are trapped in these small spaces but you justify pushing aside that sick feeling because it’s a “learning and conservation center” or because you just really want to see those spectacular creatures up close regardless of their cages.

I had swam with wild dolphins a number of times and spent most of my life in the ocean so I was excited to watch my boyfriend experience the magic these animals had consistently shared with me. He was nervous.

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Join hundreds of your neighbors as we create a human banner spelling out VOTE! on the sands of Ocean Beach San Diego and simultaneously in conjunction with folks up at Ocean Beach San Francisco.

We hope to create a 50 foot long human VOTE! banner on the sands at Dog Beach at 10am, Saturday, April 21st.

This year we will be coordinating with our friends in Ocean Beach San Francisco who will be creating a VOTE! banner simultaneously. Catch the Blue Wave and turn the tide by getting out the VOTE!

We’re asking that everyone wears blue and begin arriving at 10am to fill in the letters. Our aerial photo and video will taken at 11 sharp to coincide with the San Francisco event.

Please bring:


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Book Release: “Last Days in Ocean Beach”- By Jim Miller, Friday, April 20th

The Ocean Beach Green Center is hosting Jim Miller, author, teacher and activist. He will read from his new novel that deals with climate change that is based in our community of Ocean Beach.

“Last Days in Ocean Beach” is the story of William, a scientist working at the Center for Extinction Studies, a think tank at the College of the Sun funded by a green billionaire. William desperately works to raise the alarm about climate change and its dire consequences to an apathetic public, learns to live with grief, and hold on to love. Along the way, we meet the residents of his wonderfully shabby apartment complex in Ocean Beach–bikers, hippies, skate punks, adventure tourists, reggae singers, aimless young professionals, Iraq war veterans, decadent retirees, a hospice nurse, and a Buddhist monk, all of whom are searching for something, looking to live more fully. Last Days in Ocean Beach is a blues song moaning and rocking the beach party at the end of the world.

Proceeds from the book sales will be donated to the Ocean Beach Green Center!

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There are six candidates challenging Zapf in 2018 for the district which encompasses the Bay Ho, Bay Park, Morena, Midway, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Point Loma neighborhoods. (I’m going to focus on her three high-profile Democratic challengers (in alphabetical order) in this post.

Republican incumbent Lorie Zapf was redistricted into her seat, meaning her earlier tenure (2010-2014) as the District 6 Councilperson didn’t count towards the term limit as written in the City Charter.


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Here’s a pictorial tour of recent “progress” on construction projects in Ocean Beach.

Froude Street – Just Outside OB

Here are shots of the 2-unit, 2-story project on Froude Street, a half-width of a street outside Ocean Beach. The project involves the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.There was a bit of controversy with this project at 2257 Froude Street, starting with this, from a post of October 2017:

The east side of Froude in that area is not within the jurisdiction of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and Community Plan, but within the jurisdiction of the Peninsula Community Planning Board and plan. The Peninsula plan has less stringent requirements – especially in terms of the floor-area-ratio (FAR) – than the OB Plan.

There is a line down the middle of the street – one side is “OB” and the other side is “Point Loma”. This is a technicality as it is where city planners and Ocean Beach planning activists drew the border between the two community planning areas back in the mid-1970s.

In reality, this area is definitely Ocean Beach.


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Despite Term Limits for San Diego City Council, Will District 2 Voters Give Republican Lorie Zapf a Third Term?

April 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It is possible this year that District 2 voters will give incumbent Republican Lorie Zapf a third term in office, despite the law that limits San Diego City Council members to two terms.

How is that possible?

Well, it just so happens that current law allows sitting council representatives to reset the clock on term limits when their districts shift due to redistricting. And that’s just what happened to Zapf a few years ago, when the boundary for District 2 moved over her house in Clairemont.

So, Zapf is taking advantage of this loophole – a loophole that allows her to run for a third term, despite term limits. It all could change, however,

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Interview With Brad – the Guy Who Has Been Organizing Human Banners for 10 Years

April 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Editor’s Note: Hundreds of people will congregate at Dog Beach in OB this Saturday, April 21st to spell out “VOTE!” with their bodies. Here’s the OB Rag interview – via email – with Brad, the guy who has been organizing human banners for ten years.

Question: Brad, we understand you’ve been doing what’s called “human bannering” for some 10 years now. And you’re part of a group who will be doing human bannering at Ocean Beach in San Francisco on Saturday, April 21st – the same time people in Ocean Beach, San Diego are doing it. Both towns spelling out “Vote” … and maybe more.

First, for the uninitiated, what is human bannering?

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The OB Rag Had Technical Problems All Day – Will Be Up and Running Thursday

April 18, 2018 by Staff

Actually, it was more than “technical” – around 11:15 this morning apparently a fiber optic cable was cut near San Antonia, Texas.

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Activists Protest County Supervisors’ Anti-Immigrant Scheme

April 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Photo by Kathy Statler - Supes protest 4 17 2018

According to Indivisible activists, about 100 – 150 people rallied this morning at a press conference held on the steps of the County Administration Building to protest opposition to the anticipated Supervisor vote on whether to oppose Brown’s sanctuary laws.

After the rally – where a number of people spoke – the crowd went upstairs to the Supervisor’s chambers on the 3rd floor. There were so many people that the spill-over room had to be used.

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OB Project Review to Look at 2 Garage Conversions to Granny Flats – Wed., April 18

April 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Planning Board sub-committee called the Project Review Committee meets Wednesday night, April 18th at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave, at 6pm.

The Project Review Committee does just what its title suggests – it reviews development projects prior to the full Board meeting on them, and usually gives a recommendation about the project to the full board. Board vice-chair Andrea Slageter chairs the meeting. The Board and its sub-committee are instituting a new process to hear project presentations. The presentation will be limited to 10 minutes, then 5 minutes for public comment and lastly 10 minutes for board discussion and motion.

On the panel’s agenda are 2 projects – one at 4715 Cape May and the other at 4629 Coronado.

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Still Loving After All These 80 Years

April 17, 2018 by Ernie McCray

Still Loving After All These 80 Years
(The Formative Years: More to Come)

Infant sitting on table next to birthday cake with one candle

If I’m breathing April 18th, 2018,
I will be 80 years old.
And to brag a little bit,
I lived those years
with a lot of love in my soul
and that’s quite an ac-com-plish-ment
for someone with
COLORED written on his birth cer-ti-ficate
if the truth be told,
considering I first said “Hello”
to the world
in Tucson, Arizona,

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Under Crashing Attendance Numbers and SEC Investigation, SeaWorld Opens Up New Thrill Ride in San Diego

April 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Can things get much worse for SeaWorld?

SeaWorld San Diego is experiencing crashing attendance numbers, the parent company is under a criminal SEC investigation, the top leadership was recently removed for failing to stop the slide, revenues are down, shares are falling, there’s an investors’ lawsuit, and 350 workers were recently fired – a bunch here in San Diego.

Ignore the fact San Diego SeaWorld marine park suffered an astounding 14 per cent drop in attendance in 2017 – that’s more than half a million less people than the year before.

But don’t mind all that – get ready for SeaWorld San Diego’s latest thrill ride, the “Electric Eel” coaster! Please.

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Beach Residents Rally to ‘Save Bahia Point’

April 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

More than 60 people rallied near the Bahia Hotel on Sunday, April 15th – protesting Evans Hotels’ plans to nearly double the size of the private resort – by taking public parking and public access to Mission Bay.

For those demonstrating, one of the main issue is the elimination of the main parking lot, which now allows anybody, locals and visitors, direct access to the water. Their fear is the near-doubling of what’s there now will turn Bahia Point into a private beach for hotel guests.

This is the latest grassroots event in what has been an on-going battle over the site.

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Protests Set as County Supervisors Ready Endorsement of Trump’s War on Immigrants – Tues., Apr. 17

April 16, 2018 by Doug Porter

On Tuesday, April 17, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet in closed session to consider endorsing the Trump administration’s lawsuits challenging California’s legislation offering some minimal protections for immigrants.

While the Supes action is mostly symbolic, it is a statement of values. It is an affirmation of a cruel campaign waged by militarized forces, based on irrational fears, and drummed up by those who seek to disenfranchise all minorities as a means of building a political base.

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A Review of ‘Last Days in Ocean Beach’ by Jim Miller: Coping With the End of the World As We Know It

April 16, 2018 by Source

Editor’s Note: We’re giving Jim Miller’s column a week off to celebrate the publication of his new book.

By Ian Duckles

Jim Miller’s new book Last Days in Ocean Beach (City Works Press, 2018), explores the question of how to live one’s life in the face of looming catastrophic climate change. The novel, like life, is challenging, depressing, hopeful, sad, and filled with moments of incredible beauty and incredible tragedy and is highly recommended.

In this piece, however, I want to take a more philosophical look at the novel by stripping away some of its rhetorical beauty to focus on the responses to catastrophic climate change suggested by its various characters. One of the more interesting aspects of the novel is its formal structure. Divided into 19 chapters, each odd-numbered chapter focuses on the character of William, a marine biologist, who works at the fictional Center for Extinction Studies housed at the equally fictional College of the Sun.

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Landmark Lawsuit Against SANDAG Ends With a Victory for Clean Air

April 16, 2018 by Staff

The San Diego County Superior Court has formally ordered the San Diego Association of Governments to decertify its defective Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for 2011 the Regional Transportation Plan. SANDAG has also agreed to cover attorney’s fees in the amount of $1.7 million for the petitioners in this public interest case.

It has taken six long years to reach this point, with the lawsuit going to the California Supreme Court. The two precedent-setting court opinions arising from this case will guide SANDAG and other agencies in addressing greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and public health impacts of regional transportation planning.

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Removal of Point Loma Bike Track Halted – Temporarily – Over Questions of Property Ownership

April 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Wednesday morning, April 12th, a crew was all set to plow under the Point Loma bike track when a local neighbor raised questions about whether the San Diego Housing Commission actually owned the property the crew was working on. It was a crew hired by the Housing Commission as the Commission is planning to build 78 units on the land.

At the dirt tract this particular morning, Kate Bendixen, the neighbor, approached Anthony George of Mayor Faulconer’s office – who was at the site Wednesday morning –

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San Diego Progressive Activist Calendar April 13-23, 2018

April 13, 2018 by Doug Porter

Morality Guide

Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement.

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We Will Protest If Trump Crosses the Line

April 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s the plan of action in the likely event President Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as is widely expected. We’ll publish updates as information becomes available.

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Trump Is About to Fire Rosenstein

April 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s Friday the 13th and by all appearances, President Trump will fire Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenteine today. A while ago, the White House announced it would be making a special announcement about Rosenstein this afternoon.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC tried to warn us last night; she said eat your Wheaties, get plenty of sleep, contact your friends, your family …. and get ready for something drastic to happen very soon.

Consider the following:

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Woman Found Bleeding From Gunshot Wounds on Ladera Street Stairs in Sunset Cliffs

April 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A woman in her twenties was found on the Ladera Street stairs bleeding from gunshot wounds around 7 Thursday morning. A passerby found her and called police.

Firefighters rushed the victim to the UC San Diego Medical Center’s trauma unit for treatment, who was initially listed in critical condition, but by 11:30 a.m., she had undergone surgery and was in stable condition.

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San Diego Veterans and Nurses to Rally Against Privatization of VA Health Care – Fri. April 13

April 12, 2018 by Source

Some local San Diego veterans and VA Hospital nurses will rally Friday against the proposed privatization of VA health care.

Members of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, accompanied by VA nurses and several veterans who receive VA health care at the La Jolla Veterans Hospital, will be holding a joint rally outside of the La Jolla Veterans Hospital, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, SD, CA 92161 on Friday, April 13th, 2018 from Noon to 1:30 PM.

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Interview With a Resister Sister of Ocean Beach

April 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Editordude: The following is an interview between the OB Rag and a Resister Sister of Ocean Beach via email.

Question: Without revealing your name, just who are you?

Answer: Hi, I’m the 63-year-old lady you see at the grocery store or walking her dog, but I have a secret hobby. I make anti-Trump signs — BIG anti-Trump signs — and hang them over freeways in San Diego and a few other places around town.

Q: What’s your background? Are there really sisters from OB doing this?

A: I’m a born-and-raised OBcean: OB Elementary, Collier, and Point Loma High.

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Reader Rant: ‘Stop Any Purchase of House If Sole Purpose Is Converting It to Short Term Vacation Rental’

April 12, 2018 by Source

By Rebecca Ferguson

I would like to share an email I sent to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf’s office about 4 weeks ago (I have not heard back on this):

Conrad Wear,

I am sure both you and Lorie have already heard an earful on this topic but I would like to share my feelings and experience on this for what it’s worth.

I see nothing wrong with a homeowner using Airbnb for what I believe its original use/intention was … sharing your home from time to time with travelers or even home swapping or opening your home to travelers when you are out of town.

My fiancé and I have a home in Ocean Beach

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High Winds and Stormy Surf in Ocean Beach

April 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

High winds and stormy surf is the prediction for OB today – Thursday, April 12th. Here’s what it looked down at the beach around 11 am this morning.

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Ocean Beach – You Can’t Forget About Short Term Rentals

April 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

During the last Ocean Beach Town Council public meeting in late March, Board member Jon Carr – with tongue firmly in cheek – suggested that all the short term vacation rentals in OB be painted a lime green – that way he said we’d know how much impact they’re having on our community. Then they would be very visible, like the lime green bikes all around OB.

Much as we’d like to ignore it, the contentious issue of what to do with all the vacation rentals is still very much with us. Jon Carr knows, as the houses and an apartment building very close to his home in northwest Ocean Beach have been turning into the “short-termers”- and he complains he no longer knows his neighbors.

Short term rentals have had a very serious impact on this community, especially in the northwest quadrant of OB. This was demonstrated during

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March for Science in San Diego – Sat., April 14th

April 11, 2018 by Source

Join thousands of your fellow San Diegans this Saturday, April 14th for The March for Science – at Waterfront Park next to the County Administration Building along Pacific Highway.

Here are details – taken from the March for Science website:

Why We March

The March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest. Read more about our goals and concerns.


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The History of Ocean Beach

April 11, 2018 by Source

By Delaney Mowers

The clock on the wall of the archive room in the church read 9:00 o’clock AM. The volunteers trekked up the stairs into their room in the church at 10:00 AM Friday morning, their usual meeting time every other Friday. Perhaps it was fitting that the volunteers entered into a room that purported to be an hour behind the times, as the room functions as a microcosm example to Ocean Beach’s history and antiquity.

Located in an upstairs room at the newly established Water’s Edge Church at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92107, the archive room of Ocean Beach’s history is filled to the brim with files, photographs, and antique objects that combine to tell a spasmodic history of Ocean Beach.

The archives are collected and maintained by the Ocean Beach Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the history of Ocean Beach.

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Fifteen Years Later: Remembering the Invasion Of Baghdad

April 10, 2018 by Source

By Kilian Colin

On April 9, 2003, I woke up to the sounds of bombs.

My bed was shaking and my sister, who was sleeping in the bed next to me, was awake crying and shaking in her bed. It was like an earthquake with very scary sounds. Shards of glass from the windows covered my bed. My parents ran into the room. My father said let’s go downstairs.

We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment on the second floor. We went downstairs and knocked on our neighbor’s door. The neighbor opened the door and let us inside his apartment without saying a word. He was clad only in underwear and held a copy of Quran in his hand. His name was Abo-Allaa.

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Antique Center in Ocean Beach to Close April 15 Making Way for Target Express

April 10, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Many thought it would never happen – but the Newport Avenue Antique Center will finally close on Sunday, April 15th – in anticipation of a Target Express store moving in at some point.

Mall vendors have to be out by the 21st of April. And according to one clerk, “There’s a ton of sales.”

Vendors at the center were initially supposed to vacate at the end of January, but were given a temporary 3-month reprieve and were told they didn’t need to leave until the end of April. The 21st is not that far off.

It’s unknown when the Target store will be set up.

It was July 2017 when the OB Rag was the first to report a Target Express was moving in to the Antique Center.

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