Some Point Loma and South OB Residents Oppose New VFW Post – Protest Planned Friday, Jan. 28

by on January 27, 2011 · 42 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Popular, Veterans, War and Peace

The "Honor Wall" at the old VFW Post on Newport Ave. (Photo by Andy Cohen.)

UPDATE at 8:30pm:  The event being planned tomorrow we have learned is a public meeting at the new VFW post. We have yet to see the flier. There may be a picket. Stay tuned.

We have just been informed that some residents in south Ocean Beach / Point Loma area are upset that the new VFW post is opening in their neighborhood.  A protest rally is being planned in front of the new post on Friday, January 28th.

Apparently a flier is circulating in south OB with all kinds of rumors about the old VFW plus perceived problems with the new location.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Newport Avenue lost their lease (we did an article on it) and there were rumors that they were moving to the old Ranchos Restaurant location on Point Loma Avenue in southern OB.  Those rumors are true.

The new post is located at Pt. Loma Ave and Ebers Street.

We were told – we have not ourselves seen the flier – that the flier contains numerous rumors or speculations about the old Post, that drugs were easily available, there were problems with all the alcohol drinking, that they served non-vets.  And now it is said that the new post location will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. (the same time period of many bars), that there is insufficient parking.

It is true that there is a liquor store across the street.  But there are no bars in that part of the Peninsula. The old Ranchos did serve alcohol – only beer and wine.

We were told that some people “are up in arms!” about the VFW opening in their neighborhood.

The absurdity of this attitude and this planned protest is all too visible when one considers that Point Loma is saturated with retired vets.  And that this is not the way to show appreciation to those who placed their lives on the line for Uncle Sam – and all those folks in Point Loma and southern OB.

There is even a rumor of a counter-protest.

We’ll keep you informed as we hear more about this.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Goatskull January 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Please post when this “protest” takes place, if it does. I have an issue with that and am quite honestly very surprised. If it’s on a weekend (or I can get out of work) I will be there as one of the counter protesters. Screw these people.


Frank Gormlie January 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm

The counter-protest in favor of the new VFW would be we think at the same time: Friday at 5pm.


bodysurferbob January 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm

wow – this is truly ironic! the hippie, anti-war ob rag is on the side of the vets!!!


Goatskull January 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm

It’s not ironic at all. The majority of war protesters were not against the vets, or rather active duty military people at the time. The media blew things out of proportion as they are known to do.


Frank Gormlie January 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Very good point (didn’t we have a similar discussion earlier on how anti-Vietnam protesters related to returning vets?).


Goatskull January 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Absolutely. We did a couple times, particularly about the spitting myth.


Danny Morales January 28, 2011 at 5:55 am

“Yes Sir No Sir” – If it weren’t for the fighters, the ‘Veet Nam’ War… (to be continued) Hippies be damned. I’ll make my stand w/ The Freaks, Politicos and Uppity Women of the OB RAG!


pat January 27, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I don’t blame the Neighbors for their concern. I have first hand knowledge of drug deals, stolen property being sold in the thrift store, fights, people sleeping outside the post, people smoking and being loud outside the hall.
Having a “bar”, and that is what this is,” a bar” in a residential area (I know its zoned commercial), less than 1000yds from a school is a bad idea. Shame on you for using patriotism to argue your point of view. This is about a bad business for this particular area and keeping a bad idea out of an otherwise good neighborhood. If it was such a good idea or if it was a such a positive asset to the community, why can’t they or didn’t they move to the Newport Ave or Voltaire St. corridor?
I am willing to bet that after just 1 month at the new Pt. Loma location, there will be an increase in noise, fights, drunk in public, urinating in public, disturbing the peace,vandalism, car prowls, and other POLICE calls in that area. Not to mention all the trash that will be left around the street, sidewalks and alleys. (Cigs) Butts and bottles and cans will be the main items.
Medical (fire dept) calls will increase too.
Anyone want to take that bet? Looking forward to all of your reply’s.


Buddy January 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm


Yes, bars are rowdy. And yes, they tend to leave a trail of cigarette butts. But…

1.) The VFW post is not just a bar. If they were just a bar then they’d make enough money to pay rent on Newport. The fact they’re not capitol-driven is a good sign that they’re community-driven.

2.) VFW posts provide a sense of community for vets that can’t be found elsewhere. You might not agree with the atmosphere, but they need it.

3.) If they could afford rent on Newport, they’d still be there.

4.) The bars on Newport are close to schools too. Portugalia is less than 300 feet from OB Elementary. It’s not the schools these residents are worried about, it’s their big ass South OB houses.

Oh yeah, and they’re vets. The sacrifices they made for this country (agree with the war or not) have made a massive impact on their lives. If a resident has a problem with the difficulties they face today, then they should think of lending a hand- not taking away a huge chunk of the little they’ve got left.


annagrace January 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm

What a noteworthy reply from a “good” neighborhood. Thank you for your example of high standards.

OB VETS, come to City Heights! We are struggling to get by and to get over. For decades. We’ve been pissed on by Wall Street so completely that your “urination in public” isn’t that big of a deal. Our peace has been destroyed by a lack of jobs. We have been vandalized by Wall Street and the police actually don’t come around much.* Your bottles and cans will be recycled immediately by the poor, but please put your cigarette butts in a can. If you make noise, I hope it is a joyful noise of human beings who find happiness and music and laughter despite everything. Trash= VETS???? WTF????

So come here and join our City Heights Surf Club. And find a whole bunch of other people who have served this country from WWII to the present. Welcome!

* We have the City Heights Air Force- flying police cars, as it has been described to me. Just a tad disconcerting….


Goatskull January 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm

You’ll be fine.


Larry Brooks January 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Perhaps you forgot to point out that this is a private school and many of the children attending it are dropped off and picked up by their parents with zero exposure. I bet you also forgot that many of those who were there protesting, did not actually live in OB.

And Pat, rather than post innuendos and “fisrthand” knowlege of things like that. Please back them up with facts, or quit lying. The are is zoned commercial. Are you one of Faulkoners paid posters?


Larry Brooks March 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Pat, all I can say to you is that you are either mistaken or a flat out liar. You cannont have firsthand knowlege of things that never hsppenned. I suspect your tender ego is at work here, causing you to lie. We are going to open the post at that location. I personally extend you an invitation to be my guest. Perhaps if you were to actually see what goes on, you would be less offended by our presense. And I will take you up on your bet sir.


bob January 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Personally this doesn’t affect me, but that never stopped me from giving my 2 cents ;O)

I think that this is a neighborhood issue and those of us that don’t live in that neighborhood have no business protesting either way.

It seems to me to be something similiar to the OB town council’s input to the city over construction issues… when there was a new home being built in our neighborhood we were invited to the OB town counsel meeting where the architect was showing the proposed construction for approval by the council. It was my understanding that the counsil had no real authority to approve/disapprove the architect’s plans, but that their ( the council’s) opinion on the project was given serious consideration by the city.

So I think that this situation should be handled in a similar manner. If this is considered to be Ocean Beach territory, then the OB town counsil should be involved with the residents of the neighborhood and the member of the VFW post to listen to all sides and give the it’s recommendation to the city.

Personally I don’t see why they need to serve alc0hol, but if that is a requirement then they need to meet the same zoning requirement of any other bar in town.

I think that our veterans certainly deserve a place of their own to gather and support each other. I just have some friends and family who were members of various verteran organizations and had to stop going because of the alcohol. The posts were enabling their alcohol addiction. The posts that I am aware of serve alcohol to their members at costs much lower than any neighborhood bar. My brother who is an alcoholic visits his local DAV (disabled american veterans) post EVERY day. Members pick him up and take him home. He hasn’t had a driver’s license in over 30 years due to multiple DUIs.

Now don’t get me wrong.. I’m not saying that this is the norm… but also not that unheard of.

With the abundance of empty store front in the strip malls I think they should be able to negotiatea good deal at one of the local ones. They have abundant parking at night and are also have bus stops available for those that know they shouldn’t be driving as well.

Hmmmm… sorry for the ramble ;O) I’ll stop now.



Goatskull January 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

You bring up some good points, but I sort have have a biased opinion that the residents kind of have an obligation to maybe put up a tad with this. These guys (and some gals) were put through a hell no one who was not there can understand.


pat January 28, 2011 at 12:31 am

Buddy, Bob and Goatskull, I like your reply’s, logical and well thought out. No one disagrees that vets have problems, been through hell, and need a place to go where they feel comfortable. Take that out of the argument, its a given. Logistically the Pt Loma location is a bad location for an establishment that is “Bar Like”, “pool hall like” “club like” use any other description you want.
There is no other late nite, long hours (6am-2am?) Establishment in that area.
Laundry mat, Pizza, and Liquor Store don’t count. The neighborhood is not a good fit for that type of Establishment. Its not about snobbery, or wealth or class, its strictly logistics.
If you really want to improve an area, VFW should seriously look into renting, and fixing up the old Blue Seed/Hodads building on Voltaire St. (Across from Jack in the Box.) That fire trap eye sore needs to be occupied soon or torn down (another topic for another time). That location is more suited for the above described establishment, plus I bet VFW could get real cheap rent and give the VETS some much needed since of pride and community and well being by helping to fix the place up. You know, hammer, nails, washing, and painting kind of stuff. Thank for all of your reply’s. I await for more.


Larry Brooks January 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Nice and thoughtful post Bob. I was part of the effort to relocate the VFW and we literally trid all available locations in the area near the original post. They all turned us down. This property has been vacant a long time. And I am sure the residents prefer it that way. However, they may not trample the right of the VFW to have a canteen, very similar to a bar, in that area. It is indeed zoned for it. I also disliked the not so veiled threats of endless lawsuits from Faulkoners attorney friend. Un fortunately, most veterans first thoughts are “BRING IT ON”. There is a peaceful solution to the problem and the VFW is searching for a way to make both sides happy. I was there at the meeting and it reminded me alot of the phony protests and the town meetings for healthcare. The commandant was repeatedly shouted down by people there. And most had no clue about the VFW. I hope there is a compromise. The VFW does not bring with them anything but good wishes and positive actions for the community.


bob January 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I just want to make clear that I have NO problem at all with the post setting up anywhere in OB. I grew up being around either VFW, American Legion and DAV posts. Always been treated well ( I am personally not a veteran) . The members of these post are one and all the type of people that would help anyone out at the drop of a hat.. no question.

Now.. taking all that above in consideration my thoughts and comments are only related to my experiences. I feel that the veterans deserve MORE than just a place to gather and comisserate with each other over cheap beers. (I wish I knew how to write this stuff so it doesn’t sound as bad as I think it is going to be taken ;O)

Now I also have to say that my comments also come out of having been brought up in a family or alcoholics. As a kid I still have vivid memories of my father staggering in at 3am (driving himself home from the American Legion post) waking everyone up and the inevitable fight with my mother. (this was 45 years ago). My brother (65 years old) spends every night at the DAV drinking till they close.
I know that this has nothing to do with the current situation, but why can’t we have a VFW post without alcohol? Wouldn’t that be a better way to serve our veterans? Not to be enablers providing a low cost way to continue their addiction? I think that it is time to rethink the role of the Posts.

Again.. sorry for all the rambling ;O) this has just brought up so many unpleasant memories…



Frank Gormlie January 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Please see my new post published tonight at about 9:25pm.


Deborah January 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

I am the daughter, granddaughter, sister and aunt to veterans that served their entire careers in the military. I am very supportive of military and veteran causes and do greatly appreciate their service to this great country. However, placing a bar in a quiet neighborhood that opens at 6:00 am and closes at 2:00 am makes no sense from a zoning perspective. The impact this kind of traffic will have on this quiet neighborhood is going to be tremendously negative! And the concept that there is plenty of parking is ridiculous!!! To try to portray our dismay and outrage that the OB planners have allowed a bar to move into a quiet neighborhood as one directed against veterans is merely trying to obfuscate the true issues at hand!


Larry Brooks January 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm

It does not and never will open at 6AM. It closes no later than 10 PM. It is NOT a bar. It is a private club that serves alcohol. You should probably be in possession of the facts before making rash statements. I cannot tell if you are obfuscating or are just ignorant of the facts.


editordude January 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

Readers: Please see Andy Cohen’s update – posted today (1/28/11).


Geoff Page January 28, 2011 at 10:16 am


The dividing line between the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) is Pt. Loma Avenue. If a body were to take this up for consideration, it would be the PCPB. This is a decidedly conservative bunch that applauds the American Flag, et al. Contact the Chair, Charles Mellor at and see if they will help.



Frank Gormlie January 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

Geoff, actually, the dividing line between the planning areas of OB and Point Loma is the ALLEY between Pt Loma and Adair – which means the VFW site is in the Ocean Beach planning area. Go to our “links” page on the navigation bar, and seek out the OB Planning Board’s District map:


Frank Gormlie January 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I have just reviewed a better map of the districts and boundaries of the OB Planning Board, and it shows that the southern boundary of the planning area is actually the north side of Adair Street, and not the alley between Adair and Pt Loma Ave.


OB Lawyer January 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

1. VFW’s are non-profit organizations who are allowed by national and state charters to collect money for drinks sold on the premises. They are Club’s or Canteen’s. Not bars. Every penny from these organization goes right back into the OB community.
2. The border for the OB Planning Board is the north side of Adair street. This would definately be an OBPB project to consider.
3. The OBPB has not previously reviewed this move because the move doesn’t trigger a discretionary review. They are moving from a CC4-2 zone to a CC4-2 zone – no change in land use or intensification of use…therefore, no discretionary review triggered by the City of SD or OBPB to provide advisory position on. Onsite sales and consumption of alcholic beverages are allowed in these zones without additional permit like CUP, NDP. So, it is a legal move.
4. South OB and this area of PL is home to many affluent and influential people (ie. Former Councilman Zuchette…) who are all tied to the current admin of Kevin Faulconer. My guess is that these people are congregating around this center of gravity and Faulconer has already decided to move the VFW. Classic battle of the haves vs. the have nots.
5. The fact that there hasn’t been a bar in South OB to date is simply due to capitolism…not zoning, or quiet neighborhood or any other thing. It simply hasn’t penciled out for a bar owner to try to move down there. And here is where I’m speculating…but it won’t really pencil out for the OB VFW either except that they are NOT looking to make any money – they are non-profit.

I’ll be anxious to hear what happens tonight at the meeting….I’m sure it won’t be nearly as toxic as some of the commenters are posting here against the VFW. And if South OB isn’t the place for these wonderful men and women to have a club, then we OBceans need to figure out a place for them somewhere else. Even though from my legal opinion they have every right to be there.


Allison Maris January 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

The good people of our community may some day come to realize that war doesn’t produce the neat and tidy, red blooded, white picket fenced, true blue prettiness that we thought we were defending in the first place. Maybe the good people of our community will someday take responsibility and make amends for the military madness that has ruined our lives, our families and our communities. Until then the rest of us will just have to bear the burden of our good citizens with whatever dignity and pride we can muster.


James Castranova January 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I am the attorney currently representing this VFW Post and I would like to make a few points.

First, this is not a bar, it is a very exclusive private club that does not serve alcohol to the general public. Its not enough to be a veteran, you have to have fought in a foreign war to become a member of the VFW, hence the name “Veterans of Foreign Wars.” I want to repeat this point because it is very important: this is not a bar open to the general public.

Second, VFW has a spotless, squeaky-clean track record regarding their liquor license. They went 27 years on Newport Avenue without a blemish. No violations, conditions, fines or restrictions were ever imposed by ABC over the last 27 years. These are model tenants that were unfairly associated with the panhandlers hanging out in the alley behind the supermarket.

Third, the VFW is a charitable, non-profit organization that donates turkeys at Thanksgiving and presents at Christmas time to families in need.

Furthermore, the location VFW plans to occupy has been vacant for the last five years. There were holes in the roof from homeless people sleeping on it. How does that help property values? VFW is going to come in, clean the place up, and actually support this wonderful community.

These are not simply veterans, they are veterans of foreign wars who fought for our freedoms, including the freedom to protest a business from relocating into your neighborhood. I hope this irony is not lost on anyone, especially you protesters. I hope to see everyone at the public meeting at 5 p.m.


Larry Brooks January 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Mr Castranova, please excuse Debbie’s ignorance of the openning and closing times. I think she really believes that. My thought is she is more motivated by a change , albeit a legal on, in her community. Just because you have relatives that served, it does not make you an expert. Frankly I a very tired of her lies and distortions.. She needs to educate herself as to the true nature of the VFW.


Deborah January 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

With all due respect Mr. Castranova, this is not about veterans — of foreign wars or otherwise!!! If you would like to improve (or even fit in with) the quality of the neighborhood that you are proposing to move into why open the place and serve alchol at 6:00am and close at 2:00am??? Our objection has nothing to do with whether or not you service veterans. MY FATHER, GRANDFATHER AND BROTHER ALL SERVED IN FOREIGN WARS!!!! I completely resent the fact that you are trying to portray our objections to this relocation as having anything to do with veterans.
Our objections have to do with the location you are proposing to move into. There are two elementary schools within 1/2 block of this location. Why is it necessary to serve alchol at 6:00am to your “exclusive private club members”??? Why is it necessary to continue to serve alchol until 2:00am in what is a quiet, residential neighborhood?? Where do you plan for the members of your exclusive club to park their cars??
Finally, to try to obfiscate the real issues involved in the proposed relocation with the fact that your charitable organization provides turkeys and presents at Thanksgiving and Christmas does a real disservice to both the VFW and to the thoughtful and reasonable objections of the neighbors you proposed reloation will impact!!!!


Goatskull January 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

These guys need a place to gather and the significance of that outweighs the significance of your concerns and that of your neighbors. PEROID. I am absolutely disgusted by your point of view. If you really do have vets in your family that just makes your view that much more disturbing.


Danny Morales January 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Deborah- If we are to agree that this issue is not about veterans then why did you include the veteran members of YOUR family as justification for your point of view. This is a typical canard that is often used to destroy the credibility of an organization. Its like saying that union busting has nothing to do with workers but is a legitimate tactic to reform the labor movement. But we have seen this type of attitude going back to the 1930’s and the Bonus Marches. That being said, I can’t wait to hear your opinions regarding the homeless in OB or any other sector of our pauperized working class for that matter.


Deborah January 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

The reason that I mentioned my family members is to try to put aside the argument that this is about veterans. I AM VERY SUPPORTIVE OF VETERANS. I am trying to redirect the discussion to the one the neighborhood is concerned about — which is a zoning issue — not a veterans issue.
Our concerns deal with three major issues:
1. The proposed hours which do not conform to the neighborhood;
2. The lack of parking spaces in the area for the members; and
3. Selling or “providing” alcohol to the members despite the fact that the location is less than 1000 feet from two elementary schools and a church.
Please, let us have an intelligent conversation about the location of this “business/club” and not inflame the argument with issues surrounding whether or not we support our veterans.
Thank you!


James Castranova January 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Hi, Deborah, and thanks for your comments. I hope I can adequately address them here.

1. The proposed hours would ultimately be set by ABC after a public hearing. After listening to concerns from the community at a public hearing, they would decide whether restrictions on hours would be required or not. I know the VFW is not opposed to listening to suggestions regarding what hours are appropriate.
2. Unless people are proposing that no new business should be allowed at 4705 Point Loma Avenue, I would expect parking to be an issue any new prospective tenant would face. I’m not sure how fair it is to complain that the VFW would be taking away “your” parking spaces when that location has been vacant for the last five years.
3. I encourage you to visit ABC’s website, specifically question #18 of their FAQ. Here is the link: 18.
While ABC may deny a license within 600 feet of a school, church or playground, mere proximity alone is not enough to deny the license. Considering the proposed location is more than 100 feet away from a school or church, there has to be “evidence that normal operation of the licensed premises will be contrary to public welfare and morals.” My interpretation of that statement is that the community will have the burden of establishing that evidence. I’m not sure how you meet that burden when the VFW has operated for 27 years without a single blemish on their liquor license.

If this location was within 100 feet of the school or church then VFW would have the burden of establish they are not a threat to the welfare or morals to the community. Its not within 100 feet and VFW does not have that burden, but I am confident with their record and history of charitable donations, VFW is more than capable of meeting that burden, regardless.

I believe you are supportive of veterans. I think some posters may have felt claiming so was a bit like saying you aren’t racist before launching into a stereotype, if you know what I mean.


Deborah January 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Let me address your second point first, the previous tenant was a convenience store/Mexican take-out restaurant. There were no parking issues because a majority of their customers lived in the neighborhood and therefore did not remain parked in the area for any length of time. The tenant did not sell alcohol. The members of this VFW Post do not live within walking distance of this location and, I believe, do intend to remain parked for some length of time in the neighborhood. The VFW’s intention is to sell alcohol very close to elementary schools and a church. I believe that the neighborhood is united in our desire to see the vacancy at this location filled. However, we are also desirous of maintaining the tone and flavor of our quiet neighborhood.
With regard to your first point about any hearing that the ABC might hold with regard to the VFW’s liquor license, I believe that the majority of the neighborhood feels that an appropriate hearing before the Ocean Beach Planning Board or proper notification from the landlord and opportunity to provide our input and concerns prior to leasing space to a non-conforming tenant would have been a more appropriate forum to allow the neighborhood to discuss the potential impacts that the VFW will have than any hearing before the ABC.
Finally, although I appreciate your interpretation of the burden of evidence necessary to overturn any potential liquor license, we are seeking legal counsel to represent the neighborhood’s interest in this matter — how such evidence will be ultimately interpreted remains to be seen.
Thank you.


Goatskull January 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm

”The tenant did not sell alcohol” Actually it did. It sold beer and wine.

”The members of this VFW Post do not live within walking distance of this location and, I believe, do intend to remain parked for some length of time in the neighborhood.” Most don’t but a few probably do. You cant say there are no vets living in your neighborhood that might take advantaged of it being there. Nope.

“The VFW’s intention is to sell alcohol very close to elementary schools and a church. I believe that the neighborhood is united in our desire to see the vacancy at this location filled. However, we are also desirous of maintaining the tone and flavor of our quiet neighborhood.” OMG get over yourselves. Do you think the vets who will hang out there are going to head over to the school and drink with the kiddies?
As for the church, heaven forbid alcohol is being sold near by. Can’t have that now can we?

As to the peace and quite, these people are vets most of whom are over the age of 50. What do you think they’re going to do? Hold raves? Even if there is more noise than before cut them some slack. These are war vets who need a comfortable place to gather and relax and to me the significance of that outweighs your need to maintain your neighbor hood the way you want it to be. The fact that you have vets in your family doesn’t make you point of view any more valid. In fact it makes it rather disturbing. You and you neighbors are selfish. If that offends you I couldn’t care less.


just my 2 cents January 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

I guess the $64,000.00 question was not asked or answered during the public commets I asked afterwards:
If the liquor license is not trasferable to the new location will the VFW move into the building anyway? I was told by Bill Havrilla ” We have a signed lease and he would have to consult with the attorney representing the VFW to see if they could get out of the lease ” and ” they might need help doing that” what ever that means…..
Why sign a lease if you are not sure what will be acceptable at the location?
Why call for this meeting with little facts?
And why wrap the flag around the opening of a place to get cheap drinks, is it possible for the VFW to still do the charitable work withOUT a liquor being served?
I say let the location open up , and SDPD will have plenty of DUI tickets to write on Pint Loma Ave. …opps Point . With 150 members in the OB/Pint Loma VFW I am sure the vast majority of them will be driving to the Canteen…That is what they call the post…says it all…..


Larry Brooks January 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I live in OB as well as many other of the members of this post. Unfortunately, I cannot walk long distances thanks to serving in Viet Nam. deborah likes to have it both ways. She is ignorant of actual opening and closing times. She is also ignorant of the actual activity that goes on inside the canteen. She tends to speak first and not bother to gather facts at all. I am perfectly willing to have her be my guest any time at the new post.


Deborah January 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I appreciate your invitation. I’m a fun, intelligent and easy going gal and would probably enjoy your company.
If this situation had been handled differently — if the VFW had done some outreach to the neighborhood, provided notification of the intent to enter into a lease and allowed us an opportunity to voice our concerns regarding parking mitigation, hours that conflict with the tone of the neighborhood and consuming liquor so close to elementary schools — there would be no controversy.
If Mr. Havrilla had come prepared to discuss what he should have known are the legitimate concerns regarding moving a VFW Post to this location, the neighbors would have been much more receptive to what he had to say.
Finally, if the VFW had appealed to the community to assist them in trying to find a new location for their Post when they originally lost their lease, the generally tolerant and generous OBcean community would have been glad to assist! I’m sure that the community would have been happy to donate funds, realtor services, and even legal representation to assist the VFW in finding a new home within the community that is more “suitable” to their needs.
None of us in OB doubt that the VFW is an honorable organization that deserves our support. As I indicated earlier, I’m a military brat. My grandfather served in WWII, and my father and brother were lifers in the Air Force. Mr. brother served in the first war against Iraq. I am very proud of my family. I have nothing against veterans and have donated time, money and energy to support their causes in the past.
It’s just too bad that this entire situation was handled so poorly — this is no way to get along with your new neighbors.


Danny Morales January 30, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Deborah- I spoke to Post Quartermaster Vic Tulsie. and he revealed that in the Post’s initial outreach, the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (of which Julie Klein is a vice-president) was of no help in finding an alternative location. In addition Post Commander Bill Harvilla admitted that bypassing the Ocean Beach Planning Board was regrettable. In hindsight having members of VFW Post 1392 (including the board vice-chair) recuse themselves from the OBPB on this issue in favor of Craig Klein (Julie’s husband) appears as correct from a strategic perspective. What are your thoughts?


Frank Gormlie February 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Nope, wrong move. It has to be a material self-interest that would lead to a recusal. Just being a vet is not sufficient reason. Although, being the spouse of the leader of one of the sides sure would.

Craig and Julie do so much for the community, and they are some of the few local businessowners who step up to challenges around our homelessness issue. But I certainly don’t agree with them all the time, and now is one of them. They’re still friends and just because of our differences, I refuse to vilify them. But they’re still wrong!


Gunner March 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

As one of the uppity residents, and a combat veteran, I’d like to welcome Vets to the neighborhood. However, don’t come wrapping your booze in my flag. We don’t want the bar, and it really doesn’t change anything to call it a canteen or a social club. As to property values, spare me … show me someone who wants their pockets picked and I’ll show you a fool, or more likely, a loser with empty pockets. or a liar. And contrary to the bs caricture of a wealthy neighborhood, well, maybe above us a number of blocks, maybe a little further out on the cliffs, but most people I know in the immediate area are working people who have worked hard for their little slice of paradise. Get real and get a clue. Take a look around. You won’t see much on Ebers, on Adair, that is pretentious or “rich”. What you will see is a quiet little neighborhood that intends to stay that way.


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