OB Rag at Crossroads: Readers and Supporters Weigh In

by on November 4, 2013 · 4 comments

in Culture, History, Media, Ocean Beach, Politics

Last week we posted an article entitled “After 6 Years – OB Rag Is at a Crossroads“.  It was an editorial asking for feedback from our community of readers and supporters – it really was – and is – a cry for help.

The practicalities of maintaining the Rag as a daily platform and source of local news and analysis has just become too challenging for our meager – and present resources. Something has to change if the OB Rag is to publish as it has for over half a decade.

And perhaps there will be a positive change – as the response from our readers and supporters has been wonderful.

There were a lot of comments to the post as many people have weighed in – giving or supporting different ideas on how to keep the online daily going.  This is great and many have pledged support – and donations have begun to be accepted by our PayPal account (on our homepage) and PO Box.

Several good locals have begun to send in their monthly ten dollar donations. (There were a couple of really nasty comments – unpublished – one even amounting to a threat against us, but the vast majority were downright positive and supportive.)

Ideas rolled in on how to keep us alive.  “Coffee clatches”, putting together a community advisory board, having sponsorships, fundraisers, weekly or monthly donors, publishing an OB Rag hard-copy, getting ads ‘like the big boys’.

It would be excellent if we had enough resources to pay a reporter for OB on a half-time basis, at least.  And keep our office at the Green Store open.

Yet, we’d really like to keep the discussion going as we’d like to see more ideas or affirmations on how the OB Rag can heighten the reciprocal relationship it has with our readers – local and afar.  We have found – and always knew – that former OBceans and others who love the community but live thousands of miles away rely on the Rag as a way to stay connected.  Let’s keep talking.

To this end, we’ll have a limited posting this week. For example, we’ll publish the OB Planning Board agenda without comment. But we’ll be holding off on posting any summations of local news and decline right now to publish reviews.

OB Is Also at a Crossroads – a New Generation Is Stepping Up – the “New Wave”

Ocean Beach is also at a crossroads as its problems and issues mount up. From gentrification, high rents, homelessness, a crumbling infrastructure including promises made but not met by an ignoring city, the challenges of maintaining family-oriented businesses alongside a trend on mainstreet of more bars and alcohol-serving restaurants ….

Yet there is a new generation of OBceans stepping up and taking responsibility for aspects of the community. Gretchen Newsom – the newly elected head of the OB Town Council – and Pete Ruscitti – the vice-chair of the OB Planning Board – both are symbolic of the new wave.

The new OB gen – in order to fulfill the roles that they are grabbing hold of as they step up – needs to  learn the recent and past history of the village, to teach themselves the issues, the victories and defeats, the symbols, the meanings. In order to confront the problems and issues and opportunities that are already present, the new gen has to educate itself on their evolution and origins and trends.

What has this to do with the OB Rag? The new gen must rely on the village institutions, like the OB Rag, like the OB Historical Society, like the Green Store, like People’s Food Co-op for that history.  The Rag in particular has reams of the community’s history within our archives – both online and in the pages of the original OB People’s Rag (also available for donations).

We venture the argument that the New Wave needs the OB Rag – so, we especially make the plea for help, feedback, direction, and involvement by the new generation of potential OB leaders.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve zivolich November 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Dear Frank G. and staff:
May be time for the OB rage to become part of the SD Free press; rather than separate entity.
For the time being I will follow both on line.
If it does transition to SD press, my donations will follow to that area.
A faithful reader and old friend.


Frank Gormlie November 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Steve – as you know, the OB Rag started the Free Press, so in that sense we are already part of it; Patty and I are both editors for the SDFP. But we’re gonna try to continue with the Rag.


unwashedwalmarthTHong November 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm

If we lose net neutrality, it will be a moot point. The monolithic telecoms may play soft ball at first, but then they will play hard ball & block any media that does not agree with neoliberalism; we little guys will be priced right out of the market. Ciao.
The Rag may have to resort to hard copy paper printing methods.
I’d start looking for an old AB Dick 320 offset printing press.
Maybe Frank can find a ditto machine in some museum somewhere.


John November 6, 2013 at 4:18 am

Or a printer as reliable as my old HP 841c Deskjet, and a gallon jug of refill ink. (just need to refill it before the head dry out) I got it secondhand almost 15 years ago and it just doesn’t quit.
Ditto machines, that’s funny I remember those in school. Better yet remember the M*A*S*H episode when Radar was on his last tattered piece of carbon paper.
There was a day when white out was the greatest thing ever- before that when the teacher said “I want 5000 words on the American Revolution on my desk on Monday morning” you sat down and wrote each word out and if you got halfway down the page and goofed…. the page went in the trash if you expected a B or better.
Hey, copy/paste and don’t look back.


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