OB Flashes – News, Calendar, and Discussion Board:December 26, 2009 – January 3, 2010

by on December 26, 2009 · 15 comments

in Culture, Economy, OB Flashes!, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Homeless guy on trashcan

Not every holiday has a happy ending. Photo: Jim Grant.

Tsunami 01

Photo by Jim Grant.

OB’s Tsunami Signs Merit a Union-Tribune Quote from the OB Rag

Today’s (12/26/09) local section of the Union-Tribune carried a story by Helen Gao about the tsunami signs going up in OB and other coastal communities.  Apparently, the City is spending $21,000 on installing the warning signs.  Helen gave us an honorable mention, as she quotes from a post I did last week on the budgetary issue of tsunami signs versus OB’s fire pits.  Go here for the article. (The comments to her article are hilarious!)

Pagan Trees to Robb Field

Remember to take your Christmas pagan trees to Robb Field for recycling.  Please remove all trimmings, gifts, and turkey fat before tossing your greens into the pile.  Director of the Environmental Services Department Chris Gonaver told the press:

“Green waste, such as yard clippings and other organic materials, including Christmas trees, have made up over 20 percent of the material buried in the landfill. By recycling their trees, residents help reduce the amount of material in the landfill and give holiday trees a second life as compost, mulch or wood chips.”

OB Christmas Tree Comes Down for Recycling on Dec 29th

The ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas Tree at the foot of Newport will be taken down on the 29th.  Be sure to get those last-minute photos of one of the more infamous trees to grace the beach.  BTW, the Beacon ran a nice story about Gerry Boehmke, who for the past 15 years has been the man behind the Ocean Beach community Christmas tree.  Go here for the remainder of the article by Anthony Gentile.

OB Parade Committee Email Hi-Jacked!

There is the following note on the OB Town Council’s website (the Town Council sponsors the Parade Committee):

Ocean Beach Christmas Parade Participants:

Some of you may have received an unofficial email from the obparade@yahoo email address soliciting money. This email address was stolen without our knowledge and we did not send this email. We apologize for any confusion.

People with questions were advised to contact Kelly Touhill of the Tree Committee.  So I did.  I caught Kelly just before she went in for an MRI, but she did confirm that the Committee’s email address had been “hijacked” and the Committee was very concerned that unsuspecting participants may have fallen for any solicitations for money.  Kelly said that their email address was taken – and Yahoo had caught it.  But unfortunately, Yahoo shut down their email for a few days – just before the Parade.  So, for three days before the event, participants could not communicate with the Parade Committee – which wrecked havoc on the committee trying to contact people in those crucial last days.  Kelly said they feared that whoever did it had sent out emails asking for money to the some 100+ participants on their email list.

They did hear back from one sponsor who had received a solicitation, and that person forwarded the email in question to the committee. But the sponsor had suspicions as the return email address was in England.

Smugglers boat OBUp to 30 Suspected Illegal Immigrants Run from Boat in OB

San Diego 6 News Team reported that as many as 30 suspected illegal immigrants made a dash for a new life in the United States Christmas morning.  A panga was seen coming ashore at Ocean Beach early Friday morning. Everyone had scattered by time federal agents arrived to investigate.  A witness, William Clark, told San Diego 6 News he saw an estimated 25 to 30 people climbing out of the boat as it landed on the beach.  Clark says the group arrived between 5:30 and 6:00 Friday morning.  There have been no arrests.

Councilmember Faulconer Proposes ‘Sponsors’ for Lifeguard Training and Equipment

(Editor: Councilmember Faulconer must have heard about our Adopt-A-Fire-Pit Program as he wants to expand it.) To mine for extra revenue in the face of chronic budget deficits, one city councilman recently floated an idea to allow businesses to sponsor lifeguard training, as well as trucks and other city-owned equipment.  Councilman Kevin Faulconer, whose district includes the beachfront from Ocean Beach to La Jolla, sent a letter to Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Tony Young suggesting the city sell sponsorships to fund lifeguard training as well as advertising on city equipment such as trucks and garbage cans.  For the remainder of this article, go here.

New York Times to Pick Up OB’s “Adopt-A-Fire-Pit” Story

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the New York Times article here.

A day or so before Christmas, Randy Archibold, the New York Times stringer out of LA contacted us about the “Adopt-A-Fire-Pit” campaign that the OB Rag is waging.  He had once lived in San Diego and had worked for the U-T, so he was familiar with the town.  I told him about the ridiculous idea that the City has to remove San Diego’s fire pits in order, supposedly, to save some money. I recounted how in 1990 the City had 450 fire pits but that by this decade, it only had 180 something remaining, and they wanted to remove those too.   I added that we now had sponsors for about 7 of OB’s fire pits.  It was not a very long phone interview, but Archibold said he would be writing up something in a week or so, and promised to send us a link to his story. So, watch these pages for an update. OB’s fire pits could soon be famous!

Noah TafollaLocal “Wonderland  San Diego” Producer Noah Tafolla Gets Props

A local San Diego news website is giving Noah Tafolla some props.  Tafolla is not only the producer of Wonderland San Diego, a show on KPBS about the City’s neighborhoods, but is the son of local OB musician John Tafolla.  Of course, Noah, began his quest in his home town, OB.  He was quoted in saying:

“I love San Diego, and I know the town like the back of my hand – I’ve been here forever,” says Tafolla. Wonderland San Diego is a show about San Diego communities, which airs on KPBS-TV and online at SanDiego.com. “My grandparents came here in the ’40s. My parents grew up in Ocean Beach , and so did I, and I’ve never left – I still live in OB.” Here is the remainder of the article.

OBMA’s Winners of the Holiday Storefront Decorating Contest

Bone Appetit snowman

Bone Appetite's Snowperson.

The OB Mainstreet Association ran a contest for the best holiday storefront decorations. Here’s their winners and photos of the holiday decor.  Our fave was Bone Appetite’s “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow”.

Sparks Fly – Duplex Burns on Niagara in OB

Channel 6 reported that no injuries resulted from a fire sparked by an electrical problem at an Ocean Beach duplex Thursday, December 25th, that caused an estimated $25,000 in damage, authorities reported.  The blaze in the 4700 block of Niagara Avenue was reported shortly before 7:30 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.  It took crews less than 10 minutes to extinguish the flames, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.  Investigators set the monetary losses at $15,000 to the structure and $10,000 to contents, Luque said.

Donations Gathered for the Pets of the Homeless

The Animal Defense Team of Ground Zero Players is gathering donations for homeless dogs and their human companions who are living on the streets of downtown San Diego. Can you help?  Suggestions for dogs: food, bedding, collars, leashes, treats. Suggestions for humans: socks, nonperishable food, water, toiletries, blankets, sleeping bags, tarps, coats, raingear, gloves, hats. San Diego Pet Supply, 1490 Island Ave. at 15th and Island downtown, 619-263-2211, has generously agreed to let you drop off donations there during business hours, through January 9. Or contact us directly at keafs2@yahoo.com or groundzeroplayers@yahoo.com

We also protesting the sale of puppy mill, factory farmed USDA dogs at the Pet Works Pet Store in Grossmont Center Shopping Mall in La Mesa, most Sundays from noon – 2 PM. Come and join us for the protests or drop off your donations to us.  The National Coalition on the Homeless says 5-20% of homeless people have pets, mostly dogs. Some owned them before they became homeless. Others have adopted strays along the way. The vast majority of shelters do not accept pets, which forces folks to choose between shelter and abandoning their dogs. With the current economy, we can all imagine a time when this could be any one of us. What would you do?  It is winter. It is cold. People and animals are suffering as you read this. Together, we can make a real difference. Please help.

Don’t forget OB Historical Society’s Meet with Local Photographer Steve Rowell

On Thursday, Jan 21st, at 7 p.m. at PL United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., the OB Historical Society will host local OB photographer Steve Rowell who will discuss our local wildlife… the animals in the area. Steve will show his extraordinary bird photos that he has taken over many years.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

mr fresh December 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

and for those of you looking for the rudest Christmas carol ever… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X96Un6POoo8


Larry OB December 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm

We should have green (plant) recycling at Robb Field all year long…or Sunset Cliffs park….or both.


Shawn Conrad December 28, 2009 at 7:58 am

Anyone get the scoop of what hit the Arizona? It looks like someone drove right into it without even applying the brakes.


Frank Gormlie December 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

Here’s the link to the New York Times article about San Diego and OB’s fire pits: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/us/28firepits.html?_r=2&scp=5&sq=journal&st=cse


Editor December 28, 2009 at 10:47 am

We heard from the OB Tree Committee chair that OB’s Charlie Brown tree is down and on its way to be recycled today the 28th.


justmy2cents December 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Nice article about the fire pits….In the words of forrest gump i am not a smart man….BUT….hazardous waste?? hummm…So I again pose the question I asked a year ago when discussing the fire debri that was trucked out of San Diego after the last big fire ….Where did that debri go ?? to a hazardous waste area ?? I think not…


doug porter December 29, 2009 at 9:40 am

Casting Call? our facebook follower Colleen Waltner has asked us to post the following:
Hello San Diego! We’re currently casting cluttered and unorganized families in the San Diego area to participate on a national makeover TV series. Email me ASAP at makeovertvshowsd@gmail.com if you’d like to participate. It’s FREE!

Are your closets packed to capacity?
Do you have trouble finding bills, car keys or other important items in your home?
Is your house a cluttered mess?
Is your design sense totally outdated?

If you have a desire to change, then we’d love to hear from you! Our team of experts will help you declutter, organize, redesign and reimagine your home on a shoestring budget.


Editordude December 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

One of our bloggers will attempt to interview the homeless man in the photo, whose name is John Baker.


Molly December 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Hey, I have an idea! Why not save lots of money by having our entire city government funded by corporate sponsors – oh, wait, it already is – my bad.


Molly December 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Annagrace said it: “To OB or not to OB – that is the question”


justmy2cents December 29, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Well I like my life a litte unorganized….if it were any different I might really be confused.


Abby December 31, 2009 at 7:41 am

So what’s everyone doing for NYE?


Frank Gormlie January 1, 2010 at 10:09 am

We’re all back home now, but at about 8 this morning, with Patty in the background stoking the flames, Doug and I were interviewed by Steve Bosch of KUSI down at the fire pits. It was live – we haven’t seen it yet, but if anyone captured it please let us know.


Geniezuc January 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hey, just saw the coverage on channel 9 this morning again! @9:25. Good for you! and good for the coverage.


Norm of the Liberator underground February 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

It is sad indeed to see this news of the assult on the firerings of O.B. It costs the town vital revinue
since these visitors do trade some with shops in the magic town .

It will steal the comeradery of a friendly fellowship of their warmth with people from around the
world that i have had the honer to have met at these gatherings who’e become my friends.

Friend {N}


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