City moves to block free juice along Newport Ave.

by on August 19, 2010 · 13 comments

in Culture, Economy, Ocean Beach, San Diego


Editor: There’s a new ‘bad boy’ in town, and he’s not a bum or a homeless person. He … or she … is the person who grabs free electricity from the Newport Avenue light poles.  The “new” U-T (Union-Tribune) felt this story still had legs and quotes our own Denny Knox, CEO of the OB Mainstreet Assoc., and Jim Musgrove, head of the OB Town Council. Go to it.

Siphoning electricity from OB street lamps

Tamper-proof utility covers are on the way to limit access to sockets on Newport Avenue

By Christopher Cadelago / U-T / August 19, 2010

City street crews are looking to curb the number of people in Ocean Beach who siphon electricity from outlets on street lamps to power everything from cell phones to recreational vehicles.

The San Diego Streets Division is awaiting another shipment of tamper-proof utility covers that restrict access to electrical sockets on a three-block stretch of Newport Avenue, said Joe Castillo, whose department maintains and repairs sidewalks, storm drains and street and traffic lights.

The outlets are meant for farmers market vendors and other business-related events. But the allure of free power has become too great for others. …

Our locals were interviewed and quoted later in the article:

Jim Musgrove, president of the Ocean Beach Town Council, said the neighborhood advisory group is aware of the problem, but has not held formal discussions.

Organizers with the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association said they have had enough.

“It’s the bane of our existence. And the problem we’ve been having is people think it’s OK to steal from the city,” Executive Director Denny Knox said. “What they don’t realize is they are stealing from the local economy — not the city.”

For the remainder of this article, go here.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

BillRayDrums August 19, 2010 at 9:04 am

Wow. A U-T story on OB, and no one lost their life. How strange.


Brian August 19, 2010 at 9:21 am

Hm… seems like they should’ve wired up those outlets with a master switch behind a locked door somewhere. Then only make ’em hot during the farmer’s market/other OBMA activities. Seems a smarter solution than fighting a never ending, and expensive, battle to prevent folks from accessing the outlets.


jim grant August 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

I am printing up a New sticker…..


Brian August 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

Welcome to OB. Please don’t suck juice from our poles?


Frank Gormlie August 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

All right, a free OB Rag T-shirt to the best new sticker. Ah, Brian, too many late nights at local establishments?


ClubStyle_DJ August 20, 2010 at 7:22 am

Welcome to OB… Our Poles are HOT… and our Checs and Germans ain’t bad either!


Frank Gormlie August 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

Sometimes, you’re a funny man.


kenloc August 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I walk Newport a lot. I don’t think I have ever seen someone with something plugged into a lightpole.Is this really a huge problem?


Abby August 20, 2010 at 8:26 am

Honestly, I haven’t seen anyone doing this since I left NYC.


Danny Morales August 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm

– (from an old timey Utilities Workers campaign against SDG&E)
just a few off the top-Danny


stevo August 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

hey you with the with the dead phone, wanna share my pole?


Wireless Mike August 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

This story just made KNX news in LA.


devon September 13, 2010 at 9:02 pm

One toke of freedom up in smoke

i’ve noticed the plugs for 5 years
im on newport often
i only have seen them used once by a cellphone charger in 5 years
I was surprise I hadnt seen it more, but loved the access and freedom
we are talking about city electricity
the amount of electricity syphoned by these locations is most likely minimal
my entire electricity bill in my aprtment is $11 a month
there is no way these outlets get used to a problematic extent of money
compared to the citys internal glutonous waste
Im sick of hearing people believe that you have to enslave yourself to deserve anything
what’s wrong with 10 cents of free elctricity?
its apparently illegal to stand idle in this town
you have to be coming or going
why the hell is it illegal to be idle?
as for the homeless sticker advertised on this site…….its not about ending homelessness, its about respecting it………..some choose it, and they have every right to. they have every right to be idle.
outlets should be available on purpose
in case you need them
like toilets, when your shit out of luck
this town needs to stop pointing fingers at street kids
since the beacon ran the first article about a new breed of homeless in town, I have overheard a lot of late night fights involving housed people kicking the crap out of homeless, ganging up on them, telling them to get out of town. Hearing both sides, they were straight up being wrongly abused. They were targeted by this new hatred based on fear steming from lack of understanding. Ive read hand written signs in alleys on telephone poles threatening homeless people. Im not against the sticker. You should be able to make any sticker you want. i just truely do not understand how anyone can walk these streets wearing these tshirts and proudly put them on thier car. what are they representing themselvs as? I hvnt seen one on a car yet that also hs the ob gull. I do not belive that this people actually like ob. the smile that these people have when they wear em……I never noticed it before, but its not a smile of confidence. I now know these decieving smiles. its absolutely ignorant. i am wondering if by supporting this anti homelessness they deep down realize they are decieving themselves. Its all so crazy, I feel like im dreaming. or maybe, ive just been in ob too damn long and reality really is getting blurred out. I know people who say they love ob, but say they hate how dirty it is, they hate the homeless, they hate the flight path. They really dont love ob. they love the affordble rent. they wont admit thats why they love ob. I think a huge part of our homeless problem are these housed newcomers in the past couple of years. I welcome them, but not if they are terrified of homeless and react with negativity.Because they arrived late…..they arrived after the divide…….we were once a whole town. It’s why I stopped traveling and have been her for 6 years. I never saw such a place so whole, so everyone, so equal. I dont see it anymore. now it seems to be ‘for’ and ‘against’ the unhoused which is what i believe this whole electricity plug is all about. sounds like jeleousy to me. When i moved to town, the only sides ob picked was ‘to live’ ‘or not to live’ in the supposed ‘war zone’. i guess i moved in when the war was over…….and now it’s just begun. most people never noticed the outlets were there, or too afraid to use them, or didnt have thier charger on them
i was once on a 3 hour skate trip to lansdowne maryland to skate an amazing vintage skatepark in 1998. the park covered in amazing grafitti,made for an amazing video session………….untill I noticed my immediatly dead battery………in town i found an outlet……we weezed the juice and it saved the day. Im a 10 cent criminal.
I’ve found that people who have moved her after the drinking on the beach band, don’t seem to understand what ob is really about
they blame ‘the trolls’ the street kids for everything
these post beach beer people never saw true freedom
it was in those ob days that i saw freedom and the love that glows from it for the first time in my life
laws and restrictions kill culture
kill variety
kill love
kill creativity
they kill just to kill

another toke of freedumb up in smoke
to better who?

this frustrtaes me, so im not editing. trashy thoughts deserve trashy writing.

p.s. i f’in love ob. even though it feels like its going down the shitter, even though i cant belive the morals of my new neighbors, now that the vcationers are gone……………I can feel it, and smell it, and its not as cool as it was 4 years ago………but its still here, we are all still connected even though we are fighting because ob is bigger than us due to the many who poured thier peace and love into it over the years. you cant kill a heart this big with all the evils of the world. THIS BEACH BREATHES! i dont see em in the windows anymore, the people come and go, but the ob gull will never stop shitting in a starbucks cup.


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