OB Ranger and his trusty sidekick Indian (from the CD cover art)
Originally posted August 24, 2009
By OB Rag Staffer

“From out of a cave at the foot of Sunset Cliffs, the thundering hoof beats pound, with a hearty ‘Hi Yo Sylvia, away!’ The OB Ranger rides again.”

The OB Ranger was a radio series that aired on “HIS Radio, FM stereo ninety” in 1971 and 72. It was a spoof of the old “Lone Ranger” radio show, but a lot more fun. Ranger fans tuned in every week to find out what new trouble the OB Ranger would stumble his way into.

He introduced himself with “Far out, groovy and outta sight, I am the OB Ranger!”

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By Geoff Page

The highlight of the Midway-Pacific Community Planning Group’s monthly meeting February 19 was an appearance by District 2 City Council member Dr. Jennifer Campbell. But, there appeared to be a serious disconnect between Campbell and the Midway group on the topic of the old SPAWARS site on Pacific Highway. The Navy has renamed it NAVFAC.

Campbell was asked about the site and talked about the “Grand Central Station” transit center idea that SANDAG and the lame duck mayor are pushing. The Navy and SANDAG and the mayor have signed some exploratory documents in this direction. Campbell seemed upbeat about the project and called it a win-win for the Navy and San Diego. This was where the disconnect was apparent.

The Midway group has expressed its displeasure, repeatedly, with how the city has handled everything

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by Kathy Blavatt

Under a canopy of flowering fragrant, Wisteria vines in Ocean Beach is an extraordinary place that carries the spirit and history that make our community so very special.

The Wisteria Cottage at 4761 Niagara Avenue, built-in 1907, was owned by Mr. & Mrs. John Clarke. The property has the cottage, a small barn, and shack on the back of the large lot. There was also once a brackish well on the property.

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In Our Moment of Profound Ecological Crisis and Historic Economic Inequality, Sanders is Our Best Hope for a Just and Sustainable Future

By Jim Miller

Last week in the midst of Trump’s revanchist frenzy and the “centrist” anxiety attack in progress that is the Democratic Presidential primary race, a small story in the Guardian noted the release of a statement by 23 former foreign ministers calling for urgent action on the climate crisis and the dramatic loss of biodiversity now in progress.

In advance of a meeting in Rome to begin negotiations on a Paris-style agreement on preserving the natural world, these international leaders starkly observed that, “Humanity sits on the precipice of irreversible loss of biodiversity and a climate crisis that imperils the future for our grandchildren and generations to come. The world must act boldly, and it must act now.”

Of course, what struck me most about this story is how the issuing of these kinds of warnings along with the subsequent lack of any significant response from what constitutes American leadership at present has become a numbingly regular ritual. In fact, rather than addressing the ongoing climate catastrophe, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to speed the world towards untold suffering while the opposition party refuses to even hold a debate on the central question of our time.

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Editordude: Thanks to the PLA newsletter, John Collom has publicly re-emerged. It’s been 45 years but I remember him well from the early and mid-1970s in Ocean Beach. John was very active in the early days of the urban planning battles OB was having with the city and developers. Plus, he was active in the formation of the OB Community Planning Group – which pushed the city to allow OB to have its very own democratic elections for a community planning board.

By Clark Anthony / Point Loma Association Newsletter

“You’ll love John’s place!” says a neighbor. “His yard is like a park. You can’t even see the house from the street.”

John Collom calls himself an “average boy, growing up in Ocean Beach in the 1940s.” Fast forward 25 years, and he says, “One can’t imagine how excited I was when I bought a house in 1973, in the same neighborhood in which I grew up!”

The bank wouldn’t make a loan on the “run-down house (shack)”, but they did grant one on the property. Since that day, John has used the property – 7,000 square feet – to garden and create.

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By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / February 14, 2020

We’re less than two weeks away from the 2020 California primary, and the two brand name Republicans in the 50th Congressional district contest are fighting it out over who can run the scummiest ads.

Having been rebuked by his own party for running a “wink-wink” video ad pointing out Carl DeMaio as a Gay man, Darrell Issa has now dialed up some old-fashioned racism to make his case.

A new TV ad features a photo of three shirtless and tattooed men (taken in a Latin American prison) as the narrator insists, “Amnesty. Open borders. Citizenship. Carl DeMaio is dangerous.”

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San Diego City Auditor: Much More Needs to Be Done in Addressing Homelessness

February 21, 2020 by Source

The city auditor made a dozen recommendations for the city to do a better job

By Gary Warth / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 13, 2020

The city of San Diego has taken significant steps in addressing homelessness but still needs to do more, a report from the Office of the City Auditor found. The report released Wednesday night Feb. 12 made 12 recommendations, including developing a funding plan and increasing the number of homeless outreach workers.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted a response to the audit shortly after its release, saying the auditor’s assessment “validates” the city approach recommended in its Community Action Plan on Homelessness released in October. “We need more resources, we need dedicated funding streams, and the entire region must step up our outreach and data gathering efforts to be even more effective at tackling what must be this region’s top priority,” he wrote in the tweet.

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Citizens Born Here Whom We Should Hold Dear

February 21, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

The very words,
Muslim
and Islam,
conjure in some minds
visions of violence
and terrorism,
an archaic people
wishing hell and damnation
in the form of a jihad
upon our nation.

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Peninsula Community Planning Board Struggles With Its Own Implosion – Thurs., Feb.20

February 20, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Tonight’s meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board promises to be as good as any soap opera on TV. The PCPB is in the process of imploding for a variety of reasons but what has happened in recent weeks borders on the theater of the absurd.

Board chair Robert Goldyn and vice chair Scott Deschenes both tendered their resignations January 21 because they were fed up with a faction on the PCPB that has done nothing but disrupt and attack. Both board members, while wishing to be done with the board, graciously stated their resignations would be effective immediately after the after the yearly election on March 19. They explained:

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Mayor Responds to Millions in Cost Over-runs for San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 20, 2020 by Source

By Dorian Hargrove, Mari Payton and Tom Jones / 7SanDiego / February 19, 2020

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office said it plans to “aggressively renegotiate” the city’s $30 million contract for LED lighting and camera sensors on streetlights throughout San Diego.

The mayor’s statement comes after NBC 7 Investigates reported on a Feb. 12 city memo which found the “smart streetlight” program will cost taxpayers millions more than expected.

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Many Details Unknown in Measure C – the San Diego Convention Center Expansion Initiative

February 20, 2020 by Source

by Mary Plummer / inewsource / February 20, 2020

Measure C has been pitched to San Diego voters as a key to reducing homelessness, a boost for local roads and a necessary investment in the downtown convention center to maintain valuable tourism dollars.

But when inewsource dug into the initiative, which would raise the tax on hotel stays, we found language that showed some promises may have to be adjusted in the future.

Here are examples of what could change if voters approve Measure C on March 3:

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Is ‘Ranked Choice Voting’ in the Future for California?

February 19, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Feb. 11, 2020

Congratulations, California. The legislative and executive branches of our state government have worked hard to make the process of voting easier in a world where 9 to 5 and Monday thru Friday jobs are disappearing faster than big name brick storefront retailers.

Republicans, generally speaking, hate this concept, as their roads to victory involve voter suppression. Whether it’s repeating the oft-debunked tales of voter fraud or scheduling a presidential visit on election eve in the hope of disrupting polling place access (yes, Trump just did this!), the GOP’s ideal democratic republic involves the entitled ruling the roost.

The Golden State and the voting districts within are facing a governance dilemma of a different sort, namely one party rule. Many of our elections in San Diego are little more than personal popularity contests, where a smiling face and the bucks to get it in front of people mean more than actual ability. Take our mayoral contest, for instance.

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YIMBYs – Newest Handmaidens of the Growth Machine

February 19, 2020 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / February 11, 2020

Alternative facts — they’re the latest rage. Even here at home, presumably responsible voices are echoing half-truths, distortion, and misinformation about a number of big-ticket items that face San Diego.

Let’s take the subject of housing, for starters. We all talk about the housing crisis in San Diego. So what makes it a crisis?

For some it’s about sky-high rents. Others say it’s a matter of supply–there aren’t enough houses and apartments to go around. Still others point to the near-million it takes nowadays to buy even a little bungalow… Do the innumerable, uncountable people living on the streets constitute a crisis? And what about the families being pushed out of their gentrifying neighborhoods?

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San Diego Mayor Moves to Enforce Ban on Granny Flat Short-Term Rentals

February 19, 2020 by Source

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / February 19, 2020

San Diego has started enforcing its ban on short-term rentals of newly built granny flats, following an inewsource analysis that identified violators and showed the city let it happen.

The City Council agreed in 2017 to cut the cost of granny flat permits and fees by roughly $15,000, depending on the development. It was an incentive to create long-term affordable housing in a market that is fast pricing out many residents. But council members approved the new law without a plan to enforce it.

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OB Project Review Committee: Demolition of Old House, 3 New Units to Be Built at 4719 Orchard – OB Planners – Wed. Feb.19

February 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s one project to review by the Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board this evening at their meeting. Development permits come before the PRC before being moved over to the full Board. The review sub-committee meets tonight, Wednesday, February 19 at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave. at 6 pm.

4719 Orchard Avenue.

This is a permit to demolish an existing unit and detached structure at 4719 Orchard, and then to construct two single-family residences and a granny flat – for a total of three new dwelling units, along with two, 2-car garages.

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San Diego’s ‘Own’ Peter Navarro to Hunt ‘Anonymous’ White House Staffer

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Did you see who Trump is placing in charge of the Hunt for Anonymous? San Diego’s own Peter Navarro. Yup, that’s right.

Since at least the time of the impeachment process against Trump, Navarro — whom the president affectionately calls “my Peter”— began conducting his own private investigation into the identity of Anonymous, according to three sources with knowledge of Navarro’s efforts.

One of those sources described Navarro’s investigative efforts as partially an in-depth analysis of the language and phrases used in Anonymous’ book and other public writings.

Maybe while searching for Anonymous, Navarro can hunt down the fictional character he quoted in his books on China. He had it turned out, invented an “expert” and quoted him – but it was himself.

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Hey, Amidst All the Campaigning, Don’t Forget About San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Amidst all the electioneering this season, it’s easy to overlook that there’s other local San Diego issues of keen interest to city residents out there. One of them is San Diego’s use of so-called “smart street lights.”

These, of course, are the specialized street lights – 3,200 of which have been installed around the city – which include sensors equipped with cameras, microphones and other tech elements. A variety of info and data is captured by the sensors, like for instance, pedestrian and vehicle movements, parking availability, temperature and humidity. And San Diego police have access to the images under department-imposed guidelines.

The issue of smart street lights has swung back into the open just recently,

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Recent Court Ruling Shows Need for Measure A in San Diego County

February 18, 2020 by Source

By Jerry Harmon and Stephen Houlahan / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2020

A recent court ruling has brought into sharp relief the failure of our Board of Supervisors to act in the best interest of San Diego County residents over the interests of deep-pocketed developers.

Three nonprofit and community groups brought a lawsuit a year ago against the County of San Diego, arguing it had violated the General Plan in approving the Valiano and Harmony Grove Village South housing development projects. Petitioners argued the projects’ environmental analyses failed to show how the developments would prevent significant harm

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The Men’s Club at San Marcos City Planning

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / February 15, 2020

All three male members of the San Marcos Planning Commission, whose two-year terms expired in December, were reappointed by the mayor and city council in January. The only woman on the seven-member commission, Wendy Matthews, was also reappointed.

There are no term limits for commissioners, allowing for the growth of the good old boys network. Kevin Norris begins his eleventh year on the council, while Bruce Minnery stepped down after eleven and a half years.

Five women were among the twelve new applicants who failed to win a seat on the commission. Filling vacancies with incumbents was a missed opportunity for the city to bring gender balance to the commission. Here are a few of the qualifications of the women applicants who were passed over.

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Choices to Vote: Your Heart, Your Head, or Your Spleen?

February 17, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

In a few weeks, voters must decide. How to vote? And why?

First, the “why?” answer is simple.

The obvious one. People have died to give you that right and to defended it with their lives.

More specifically, let’s remember 1960’s Civil Rights leader, Vernon F. Dahmer, Sr. Then the disqualifying “civics” question asked of most Blacks was, “How many bubbles in a bar of soap?”

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OB Historical Society: Dible Family Silent Movie – Thurs. Feb.20

February 17, 2020 by Source

Come join the Ocean Beach Historical Society and see this fun and captivating step back into OB’s and San Diego’s rich history.

OBHS Presents: the “Dible Family 1928 – 1938 Silent Movie”, which features clips of Sunset Cliffs, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Mission Beach, San Diego Bay, Coronado, Balboa Park, Julian, Downtown San Diego, Catalina, Tijuana, and other locales.

COME INSIDE FOR MORE DETAILS

This Program is Free!

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Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Sara Jacobs’ Paid Ads or Will Jacobs Buy Her Way into Congress?

February 17, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Will Sara Jacobs Be Able to Buy Her Way into Congress or Will Georgette Gomez Cut through the Wall of Paid Advertisements?

If it seems like you can’t keep up with the depressing news about American politics or even try to escape it by watching something else without seeing a Sara Jacobs for Congress commercial, you aren’t crazy.

By this point in the election cycle, I find myself wanting to throw my shoe at the TV every time it tells me that teachers love Jacobs (even though they have endorsed Georgette Gomez) or that she wants to work across the aisle to solve problems (centrist pablum alert). It’s just that pervasive — so much so that the other candidates in the race are practically invisible.

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The A, B, C’s of San Diego’s Primary

February 14, 2020 by Doug Porter

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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Moments Along the Rocky Road of the Expansion of the Ocean Beach Library

February 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

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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News from the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library

February 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

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!

OB Library Expansion Public Hearings to Begin “Soon”

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Ocean Beach Street Stewards’ ‘Adopt a Block’ Expands into Point Loma … and North Park

February 14, 2020 by Source

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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Birch Aquarium Hatches Baby Weedy Seadragons – Cousin of the Sea Horse

February 14, 2020 by Source

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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