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“Peace Rocks” or . . . . “Signs of the Times”

Editordude: The following exclusive is the whole backstory behind the OB Peace Sign by one of the peace rockers who helped install it in 2007 on Bird Shit Rock off Sunset Cliffs. Thirteen years later, it still sits atop the old OB hotel, presiding over Newport Avenue.

by Johnny Peace Rocker / December 3, 2020

A few days ago a friend sent me a news clipping about the mysterious nine-and-a-half foot tall “Monolith” that was recently discovered in the red canyons of southeast Utah. The Monolith–installed anonymously on government land without publicity or attribution to any artist or group–appears to be made of stainless steel, riveted together into the shape of a triangular prism, resembling the monolith from the classic Kubrick 1968 sci-fi film: 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Anyway, there’s a great story there about the mysterious Utah monolith. A few days later, it mysteriously disappeared. Then another one just turned up in Romania. Go figure! The story is still unfolding, and I encourage you to go read up on it further. But that is not the story I am here to tell.

Instead, I tell today a similar story about which I have some personal knowledge . . . a story of a series of three stunningly beautiful, six-foot, stained glass PEACE SIGNS (each one commissioned at a cost of about $5,000) that appeared–mysteriously and anonymously — on rocks off the California coastline between 2006 and 2007 . . . the first one on this particular rock, located about a mile from my house near Sunset Cliffs in San Diego. The rock is maybe 50-100 feet off shore, stands about 50-60 feet tall, and was known locally, for years, as Bird Shit Rock (in answer to La Jolla’s better-known Bird Rock).


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Christmas Tree Rant

by on December 3, 2020 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

OB Christmas Tree 2020

By Geoff Page

Another beautiful local tree was donated by some residents to be the OB Christmas tree at the foot of Newport this year. It’s a Star Pine and was growing in the upper part of Del Mar Avenue. I decided to check it out when I heard about it on Tuesday from friend who lives near where the tree was.

I went by the location and saw what was left of the tree lying about the yard, not yet cleaned up. A piece of the trunk was among the debris and it was at least two feet in diameter. I was originally told the tree was so large that only a part of it was used.

I rang the doorbell to the residence and a woman answered after a moment. She was quite elderly. I asked why the tree was taken down wondering if it was unhealthy. Her answer was that they were concerned the tree might blow over and hurt the neighbors like the tree that blew over two years ago on Santa Barbara. I asked if an arborist had looked at it and she said no.

It seemed the only reason the tree came down was fear, although this was not the reason they gave the OB Town Council. I explained to her that the tree on Santa Barbara was a Torrey that came down because the root system was cut off to accommodate some construction, damaging the tree’s ability to stay anchored. The damage was on the west side of the tree and it fell to the east.


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LoVerne Brown- Online Meeting and Book- “Garment for a Long Journey Poems”

Please join the Ocean Beach Library for a very special celebration of OB’s own Loverne Brown. This will be an online event with readings from “Garment for a Long Journey.” You can find more information, including the Zoom link to this free event, from the OB Library online calendar.

A NEW Book release of Collected Poems by Ocean Beach and San Diego’s poet, LoVerne Brown. To read select poems from Garment for a Long Journey: The Collected Poems of LoVerne Brown, ordering and information, go to: lovernebrown.com

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December Events All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

December 1st Tuesday 6 pm The California Innocence Project Virtual XONR8 Gala

December 1st Tuesday 7 pm Invisible to Invincible: Homeless Youth Success Stories

December 2nd Wednesday 12 pm – 1 pm Recycling Organics into Resources

December 3rd Thursday ReGenerative Community Development

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Gas Leak on Cape May Causes Evacuations Sunday

A gas leak forced an evacuation Sunday of an Ocean Beach neighborhood, police said. The leak was reported at about 4:45 p.m. at 4700 Cape May Avenue and the north side of the street was evacuated,

Young Man Fatally Shot in Point Loma Heights

An 18-year-old man whose body was found in a vehicle that struck a wall in the Point Loma Heights community of San Diego was shot during an armed robbery, -580-8477.

Padre Outfielder Sues Midway’s Strip Club

San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham has sued a Midway District strip club where he was stabbed last month.

Professors Ben Cater, James Wicks examine the history and culture of surfing at Nazarene U.

OB and Pt Loma Restaurants – Bars Join Long List of 2020 Establishments in San Diego Closed for Good

Here’s a list of OB and other local restaurants and bars that have joined a long list of eateries and bars that have closed for good (for various reasons – not all related to COVID-19):

San Diego Highway Man Helped by Hundreds of Locals

Jen Campbell Brings Short-Term Rental Sell-Out to San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday

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The OB Holiday Pandemic Parade 2020 – ‘You Are the Parade’ – Floats Will Be Set Up in Dog Beach Parking Lot for ‘Drive-Through’ View

November 30, 2020 by Source

For the first time in OB history – “you are the parade!” says the Ocean Beach Town Council. The village will have a totally unusual pandemic “parade”. The holiday theme this year is, appropriately, “Home for the Holidays.”

Here’s what the OBTC says:

Your favorite “floats” from the classic OB Holiday Parade will be setup in the Dog Beach Parking Lot for you and your family to drive through and view from the comfort (and safety) of your vehicle. Plus – you are welcome to decorate your vehicle to get in on the action!


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Selling ‘Personalized Learning’ Disguised as Philanthropy

December 1, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Ultican / Nov. 27, 2020

“Personalized learning” is being driven by foundations derived from companies that stand to profit by its implementation. Last year, George Mason’s Priscilla Regan and the University of Ottawa’s Valerie Steeves wrote the peer reviewed paper “Education, privacy, and big data algorithms: Taking the persons out of personalized learning” in which they state, “Other than the Carnegie Corporation, the private foundations who have been most supportive of personalized learning are those supported by the technology companies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Google Foundation.”

In the case of the Carnegie Corporation, the authors note that the philanthropy has been supporting education causes since its founding in 1911. Recently, Carnegie has given monetary support to “personalized learning” but “typically in partnership with one of the tech foundations.”

Based on a listing of the fifteen largest education spending philanthropies in the first decade of the millennium,

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OB Planners’ Committee on Short-Term Vacation Rentals Meets Tuesday, Dec.1

December 1, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board, historically, has led the resistance to the community being inundated with a flood of short-term vacation rentals. This history involves the last five years – and much has changed – and nothing has changed – except coastal residents’ awareness of the problem.

Most recently, however, Councilwoman Jen Campbell has been pushing her plan to allow the vacation rentals into the city. This week, in fact, she’s taking her plan to the San Diego Planning Commission.

Whether this is on the agenda of the Planning Board’s committee is not quiet clear – but we’re sure it will come up. The Board’s committee (actually an ad-hoc subcommittee) that covers short-term rentals meets Tuesday night, December 1.

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Finally Passing the Equal Rights Amendment Would Be a Brilliant Bookend for Women’s History

December 1, 2020 by Source

Champagne, Champagne: to Toast a Brilliant Bookend for Women’s History

By Colleen O’Connor

It only took 100 years from securing women’s right to vote to winning the Vice-Presidency.

Grandmothers; Great Grandmothers; and their ghostly presences are cheering.

My own grandmother was a suffragette who held strategy sessions in her farmhouse in North Dakota.

Could she have imagined a woman becoming the Vice-President of the United States; Speaker of the House of Representatives; Justices on the Supreme Court; Head of the U.S. Treasury; Secretary of State; Ambassador to the U.N.; Presidents of Colleges; Senior Counsel to the President; Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Manager of Major League men’s sport team?

Probably not, but she would be cheering for all of them; astronauts; doctors, lawyers, aviators, professionals in sports, academia, fintech, bio-tech research, environmental justice; and so much more.

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Pt. Loma and OB Democratic Club Endorses Monica Montgomery Steppe for Council President

November 30, 2020 by Source

Influential Democratic Club Comes Out for Steppe for San Diego City Council President

By Kip Eischen – Secretary, Point Loma/OB Democratic Club

Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe showed us the very best of what a City Council President could be. She has exported the values of her district to the city at large. Thanks to Montgomery Steppe the privacy of San Diegans in all council districts is more respected and the city rests assured that the San Diego Police Department will operate with oversight from their communities.

Montgomery Steppe is ambitious and inclusive in pursuit of solutions to constituents’ needs. When the smart streetlight program infringed on all San Diegans’ privacy rights in yet another lopsided contract that drained taxpayers, Montgomery Steppe effectively worked to defund it. As the community awoke to a reckoning over police practices, Montgomery Steppe turned action into administration; she helped to pass Measure B that coupled effective policing together with an independent community review board.

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OB Planning Board: Bermuda Beach Stairs, Mariner’s Cove, All-Way Stop at Froude & Cape May – Wed., Dec.2

November 30, 2020 by Staff

There are several projects up for review of interest at Wednesday’s Ocean Beach Planning Board. The Board meets at 6 pm and is held virtually via Cisco WebEx – and you can register for the meeting (see below).

Here are items of interest:

  • Nimitz I-8 Safety Improvements – on consent agenda;
  • Bermuda Beach Access Stairs
  • Mariner’s Cove Redevelopment
  • All Way Stop at Froude and Cape May
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Helping Black Students Shine

November 30, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Lately I’ve been thinking of Black kids, Black students, specifically. Thinking of all the teachable moments out in the universe that I would call on to help them shine if I were in the classroom during these times.

And the first thought that came to mind is I would turn them on to what it means to be Black at this very time.

We’d talk about what we’d all just seen this past NBA season, superstars flying through the air slamming monstrous dunks and shooting rainbow 3’s with “Black Lives Matter” sewn into their jerseys.

We’d talk about the significance embedded in a Black woman taking on the role of Vice-president of the United States, the first of her gender to serve in such a capacity.

We’d talk about how Black voters showed up in large numbers, essentially rescuing a drowning democracy.

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The OB Christmas Tree Arrives Tuesday Morning

November 30, 2020 by Staff

More than a rumor has it that the famed Ocean Beach Christmas Tree arrives on site at the foot of Newport Avenue Tuesday morning, December 1.

Workers were seen this morning digging up the “manhole” the tree trunk sits in.

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The Autumn Colors of Ocean Beach and Point Loma

November 30, 2020 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

Autumn is the season when deciduous trees burst into rich hues from red to yellows. We don’t have the full fall colors that the East Coast is known for, but Ocean Beach and Point Loma have many lovely trees such as Sweetgum Tree, Liquid Amber Tree, Decorative Crabapple Tree, and others throughout the committees.

As Winter approaches, these colorful trees drop their colorful frock of leaves and stand bare and dormant through the Winter.

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Happy Thanksgiving From Ocean Beach

November 26, 2020 by Staff

Happy Thanksgiving ! From Ocean Beach.

Judith Starker saw these latest chalk works by Sidewalk Chalk Dad and preserved them for the rest of us.

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Retail Workers Demand Hazard Pay As Large Companies Reap Record-Breaking Pandemic Profits

November 25, 2020 by Staff

As large corporations like Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger and other major retailers reap record-breaking profits during the pandemic, the money does not trickle down to their front-line workers. And those workers are demanding hazard pay and upgrade safety procedures during the busy holiday shopping season.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents 900,000 ry employees at chains such as Kroger, Safeway and Giant, urged retailers to do more to protect workers from the virus that has sickened more than 12.3 million Americans earlier this week. At least 131 grocery workers have died of covid-19,

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This Thanksgiving – Look to the Stars

November 25, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Want a graceful prayer for this Thanksgiving? One that will help alleviate all the chaos, the fear, the divisions and the frustration gripping the country? Or just change the topic?

Try quoting the great, Bette Davis’ best lines, in “Now Voyager.”

“Oh, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We’ve already got the stars.”

And do we have them.

Not just the zillions that twinkle the night skies; or the millions of frontline responders lighting up countless hearts in the midst of a pandemic; or the thousands of our neighbors behaving like grown ups, or the hundreds of of our family and friends that keep us optimistic, but also other standout candidates in a chaotic year.

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‘Flipping the Bird’ at the Holidays – How to Cook the Juiciest Roast Turkey You’ve Ever Tasted

November 24, 2020 by Patty Jones
Thumbnail image for ‘Flipping the Bird’ at the Holidays – How to Cook the Juiciest Roast Turkey You’ve Ever Tasted

By Patty Jones

I want to share a family secret with you – one long held in the Jones family holiday tradition – on the accepted method of “flipping the bird” at Thanksgiving.

Many years ago my mother stumbled through her early morning Thanksgiving ritual of prepping a huge turkey for the afternoon feast. Before her first cup of coffee she dropped the bird in the roasting pan and shoved it into the oven. A couple of hours later she opened the oven door and she realized she had put it in the pan upside (or breast-side) down. At this point the huge bird was too hot to handle so she basted it, tented it and shoved it back into the oven. The resulting bird has lingered in mouthwatering memory…

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Peninsula Planners: Presentations on ‘Central Mobility Hub’ at Old SPAWAR and Residential Displacement at Marina’s Cove Redevelopment

November 24, 2020 by Source

By Geoff Page

The two main items of interest at the November 19 regular Thursday monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board were two presentations. One presentation was by SANDAG titled the “Central Mobility Hub Project Update.” The other presentation was by the company redeveloping the Mariner’s Cove apartment complex on West Point Loma next to the Barnes Tennis Center.

“Central Mobility Hub Project Update.”

SANDAG was up first and Gia Ballash gave a very polished PowerPoint presentation. One thing that seems very clear is that the idea of large central mobility building on part of the old SPAWAR facility on Pacific Highway has moved far beyond the idea stage. Notice it was “Project” update. Ballash’s presentation was about something that is steamrolling along, with SANDAG leading the charge.

That the process is moving along was evidenced by the $50 million SANDAG has already authorized to pay for preliminary engineering and environmental work. And, this before an actual decision where the hub will go. The clear favorite is at the SPAWAR site but a second, less favorable possible location is just south of Washington Street.

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The Widder Curry: Right-Wing Heroes and Gun Rule

November 24, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

What in the world is happening to America? What has happened to the values our ancestors fought so hard for? How can so many people be so obtuse as to approve the “goings-on” in the world today with a smile and a “victory” sign? And I am not just talking about the man in the White House. No, I am talking about the people that somehow have taken a wrong turn.

Does the name “Kyle Rittenhouse” mean anything to you?

He’s the new “hero” (sic) of the conservative right. He’s the 17 year old boy whose mother drove him across state lines – Illinois to Wisconsin – with a rifle to attend the “Jacob Blake” protest. He’s the 17 year old boy that killed two people and said it was “self defense” when every television channel showed him walking down the street with his rifle just “itching” to take a shot a people.

He’s the same 17 year old boy that was released from jail on a two million dollar bond, primarily funded by Mike Lindell – the “Pillow Man” and Ricky Schroder, the “Silver Spoons” actor of yesteryear.

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Hey Everybody! Let’s All Email Emily Murphy of General Services Admin and Tell Her to Do Her Job

November 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Walter Shaub (former head of Office of Government Ethics) has recommended that people contact Emily Murphy of General Services Administration and ask her to ascertain the election.

It is her responsibility, and the longer she delays, the more the COVID response will be hampered.

Her email address is Emily.murphy@gsa.gov . I hope that an effort of massive public outcry will make a difference.

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News Briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma During the Pandemic Holidays

November 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Sports Arena redeveloper delinquent on $190 million loan

A unit of the Toronto investment behemoth that bankrolled the demise of San Diego’s Midway area height limit in the form of this month’s successful Measure E is falling short on mortgage payments to retire a multi-million-dollar debt.

OB Holidays Will Be Different This Year

Ocean Beach is ramping up for its year-end charity fundraisers, Christmas parade, community brew, and other holiday highlights. Like everything else with COVID, things will be handled a little differently this year. Though fear not, the “crooked” Christmas tree will be firmly planted in the oceanfront sand. And people can still buy and decorate ornaments, especially Ocean Beach MainStreet Association’s annual themed ornaments, to decorate that tilted tree.

There will be a parade. Though social distancing will require parade floats to be stationary in the Dog Beach parking lot. Families can drive through the lot to check them out, like a drive-through light show.

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The Crooked Tree Ale of Ocean Beach

November 23, 2020 by Staff

Some good news for the holidays!

The OB hamlet is really fortunate to have a strong brewer community thriving within. Last year the OB Town Council gathered together some top San Diego brewers who happen to live in OB to create a special holiday brew just for our town.

The name Crooked Tree Ale comes from the infamous OB holiday tree that we place at the foot of the pier every season. The tree notoriously leans to one side or the other, some years more than others.

Some proceeds from the sale of the brew and commemorative t-shirts will come back to the Town Council to help fund their suite of holiday events which include getting the tree in place.

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Midway Planners: Proposed Land Use Changes Going to San Diego City Council

November 20, 2020 by Source

By Geoff Page

The main take-aways from the Midway Pacific Highway Community Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday, November 18, were from the government reports. The planning boards and some town councils have an agenda section titled something like “Government Reports.”

During that part of the meetings, representatives of various government agencies provide up to date information from whoever they are representing such as Jennifer Campbell for District 2. (See list from the MPHCPG below.) The Ocean Beach Town Council list includes the city Lifeguards and the Fire Department.

These reports are often a snooze and mostly consist of nothing more than campaign ads for the politicians as their reps recount all the wonderful things they have done. But, some good information does come out. Usually, only a few of the reps show up.

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Will Trump’s Attempted Electoral Coup Succeed?

November 20, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Jurist / November 18, 2020

Joe Biden has won states worth 306 Electoral College votes, 36 more than the 270 needed to win, and received in excess of 5 million more popular votes than Donald Trump. Yet Trump insists the election was stolen from him and he is the victor.

Trump started attacking the election months before it happened. He leveled unsupported charges of massive voter fraud from mail-in ballots to create doubt about the integrity of the election. Knowing that Democrats would cast mail ballots in the midst of the pandemic, Trump told his supporters to vote in person on Election Day to prematurely inflate his vote totals.

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What the Curfew and Its Enforcement Means to San Diegans

November 20, 2020 by Staff

What does the new curfew Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Thursday for counties in the purple tier — including San Diego — mean for San Diegans? And what does the new level of enforcement mean?

Basically, the new curfew will take effect at 10 pm on Saturday, November 21, and all nonessential work and gatherings must stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Right now, the curfew will remain in effect for a month, until 5 am on Dec. 21. It could be revised or extended.

Also on Thursday, San Diego County officials announced that law enforcement will step up COVID-19 compliance education and citations. Sheriff Bill Gore said four two-deputy teams will begin making “a full-time commitment” of the county’s 18 cities and unincorporated areas, ensuring compliance with public health orders. Several cities have already confirmed they will send officers to assist deputies in their duties, Gore said.

While residents are urged to be home by 10 p.m., there are still things they can do at night, including:

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California Curfew Comes Saturday Amidst Highest Daily Coronavirus Case Rate Ever – Applies to Purple-Tiered San Diego County

November 19, 2020 by Source

Starting this Saturday, November 21, most Californians will be under a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am outside the home, unless activity is essential. It will apply to those counties in the strictest tier – the Purple Tier. San Diego County is in the Purple, so the curfew will apply to San Diegans.

California is right now in the highest daily case count ever, even higher than last summer’s surge. The coronaviris is spreading so fast that health officials say the next few days and weeks are critical to stop the current surge. There have been more than 10,000 new daily cases on four days since last Thursday.

The curfew restrictions will be similar to those imposed state-wide in mid-March, a part from the limited nigh hours.

From LA Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a mandatory overnight stay-at-home order that will be instituted throughout most of California to combat a surge in new coronavirus cases, a measure that comes just days after the governor enacted a dramatic rollback of reopening in much of the state.

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Faulconer and Republicans Pile On Over Gov. Newsom’s Screw-Up But Should Look to the White House for the Real Problem

November 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has emerged as Gov. Newsom’s chief critic and was the first one out of the gate to come down on Newsom’s screw-up of attending an indoor party with people from more than three households. Faulconer tweeted:

“His kids can learn in person. But yours can’t. He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t. He can dine on a $350 meal at one California’s fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can’t. Can you believe this? I can’t.”

Faulconer’s tweet came out the same day as the news of Gavin’s party. This means he’s taking the gov on and has added fuel to the speculations that he is running for the office next time around.

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Is OB’s Recycling Center at Pat’s Liquor Still Open?

November 19, 2020 by Judi Curry

Are they Or aren’t they? That is the question.

By Judi Curry

I received a phone call this morning telling me that the recycling center at Pat’s Liquor Store at 5096 Voltaire was closed. That there was a YELP review that said it had been closed for awhile, and there was no place left to recycle cans, bottles and plastic left in Ocean Beach.

I told my caller that I didn’t think that was right; that the “YELP” review was probably referring to the old recycling center next to Stumps. She thought I was wrong.

So, I called Pat’s Liquor and had a delightful conversation with Basil, the owner of the liquor store, who said that the recycling center was very definitely open, from 11:00am to 5:00pm six days a week.

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