News Around OB and the Peninsula – Mid May 2014

by on May 13, 2014 · 6 comments

in Culture, Environment, Media, Ocean Beach

OB Peace RockTar Balls on Beaches Are From Natural Seepage

Beach walkers are seeing gooey black tar bars on the sand, and there is some concern that they’re from fracking or oil spills and are harming the ocean.  But not to worry, even though they can temporarily ruin the soles of your feet or shoes and track into your car or home, as the tar balls are from natural seepage.  I used to find them back in the Sixties.  In fact, native Americans used to find them also when they were the only humans living here.

 Demo Against Gov. Brown on Fracking in San Diego

If you are concerned about fracking in California, Governor Brown is touring San Diego, today,Tuesday the 13th of May. He’s here to unveil his latest budget proposal, giving us an important opportunity to publicly confront him and urge him to ban fracking.  Brown won’t stand up to the oil industry unless we push him to, so we need to seize every opportunity we can to press him on his hypocritical refusal to ban fracking.

What: Rally to urge Governor Brown to ban fracking
When: Tuesday, May 13, 2:15 PM
Where: San Diego City Administration Building, 202 C Street in San Diego, CA 92101

Clayton Halbert

 OB Kids Grand Prize Winners in Essay Contest Sponsored by City Library

Ocean Beach residents Clayton Halbert, 10th grade La Jolla High, and Chase Thomas, 4th grade Ocean Beach Elementary, were two of the 13 Grand Prize Winners in the 17th Annual San Diego Citywide Library Student Essay Contest. Both students received laptop computers and Barnes & Noble gift cards for their efforts and they read their essays at the Awards Ceremony on May 1st at the new Central Library.

OB student essay 02

Chase Thomas

Ocean Beach resident Michael Inoue, 8th grader at Audeo Charter School was a Semi-Finalist Winner. The annual essay contest is open to all 4th, 8th, and 10th graders served by the San Diego Public Library. For more information, contact your local library. The Ocean Beach branch is located at 4801 Santa Monica Avenue.

Last Burial Space at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery Claimed

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma, has run out of room for headstones and can only offer columbarium niches for cremations.  The last unclaimed space for burials at picturesque Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego was claimed a week ago, according to the director of the facility. Room at the cemetery overlooking San Diego Bay has been at a premium for decades, with most remains being placed in a wall instead of buried in a casket in the ground.

“We have no new (wall) niches left,” cemetery Director Doug Ledbetter told the media. Ledbetter said space will be available for spouses of those already buried at Fort Rosecrans, and for eligible children. New remains will have to go to the Miramar National Cemetery, he said.

“We’ve known for quite a while that this has been coming,” Ledbetter said. “The whole reason Miramar was built was we knew this was coming.”  He said relatives of members of the armed services can still contact Fort Rosecrans since people sometimes give up spaces that have been claimed, or have their loved ones disinterred. He cautioned, however, that those are rare events.  Around 4,100 burials take place between the two cemeteries each year, Ledbetter said.

Rosecrans has the remains of 112,000 people from military conflicts dating back to the 1800s, including at least 23 winners of the Medal of Honor.  The last space went to Mary Rossa Luzar, a San Diego resident who died in 2010 at age 88. Her husband, Stanislav Rossa, died in March 1945 when his Army bomber was shot down off the China coast.  News source:  KPBS

 OBcean to Stand Trial for Attempted Murder and Robbery of Jewel Store Owner in El Cajon

Travis Scott Kelley, 24,  from Ocean Beach, is going to stand trial on charges of robbery and premeditated attempted murder of  a jewelry store owner in El Cajon.  Kelley is accused of repeatedly striking him with the blunt end of a hatchet, which left him with a oncussion and skull fracture and required 200 stitches. Kelley was also ordered to stand trial for attempted mayhem, three burglaries, assault, elder abuse, grand-theft firearm and fraudulent use of another person’s credit card. The trial will be May 27.  The victim was Carl Hamlin, 75.  The incident occurred on January 22nd.  Kelley was arrested two days later in OB.

Ali Armeen Toombs, 21, of La Mesa, is the alleged getaway driver, and was also ordered to stand trial for robbery, felony assault, burglary and fraudulent use of another person’s identification.  Kelley’s fingerprints were found on the inside door and that Hamlin’s blood was found on his person and on the passenger side of the getaway car.  Kelley faces a life term in prison if he is convicted of premeditated attempted murder. Kelley and Toombs remain in jail on bail figures of $1 million and $300,000 respectively.

Loma Portal Elementary to Host Home & Craft Faire on May 17

Loma Portal Elementary School will host its 2014 Home & Garden Tour and Craft Faire on Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Tour will feature eight homes in the Loma Portal neighborhood, offering views, charming architectural details, recent renovations, beautiful interior design, amazing spaces for entertaining and a variety of wonderful gardens — all unique to Loma Portal.

The craft fair will take place on the front lawn of Loma Portal Elementary throughout the tour. Vendors will offer a variety of one-of-a-kind items for sale. In addition, a drawing will be held for opportunities to win exciting prizes such as valuable gift certificates from community businesses.  Tickets to the event are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event, and may be purchased online before the day of the event at or at the main office of Loma Portal Elementary School, located at 3341 Browning St.  For more information, call (619) 223-1683.  All proceeds from this event directly benefit Loma Portal Elementary’s school wide music program.

OB Historical Society Exposes Ocean Beach – May 16th – at Masonic Center

The Ocean Beach Historical Society presents another installment of OB EXPOSED!, featuring photographic impressions of Ocean Beach and Point Loma. The  annual contest takes place Friday, May 16 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.  The main event will feature KPBS “Wonderland” series documentarian Noah Tafolla.  OB EXPOSED! is a photo exhibit and contest open to all levels and ages. Old photos, new photos, color or black-and-white pictures are welcome, but they must have been taken in the Ocean Beach or Point Loma areas.  Winning categories

• Best in Show: best color, best black-and-white, best vintage (historic), best “special effects”;
• Best Child’s Under Age 16 & People’s Choice (voted by show guests).
Photos in the above categories will be judged and eligible for prizes. Winners in each category will be awarded cash prizes and a ribbon. Photographers are asked to donate image to the OBHS archives.
• Professional Category: for exhibit only. Not judged.
• Professionals can display cards and/or brochures by their work. They may donate photos if they choose to.

Specifications: Submissions are due May 15 to: OB Business Center, 4876 Santa Monica Ave., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The limit is five total photos, other than the vintage (historic) category. OB Exposed! forms are available at the OB Business Center. All photos must be mounted on white or black card stock, matboard or other art paper. No frames. Fill out the form and attach to the back of the photo. Include a $2 entry fee per photo. The Ocean Beach Historical Society is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. For more information, visit

 San Diego Firefighters and Lifeguards Endorse Sarah Boot for District 2

San Diego City Firefighters and lifeguards endorse  City Council candidate Sarah Boot, citing Boot’s commitment to public safety and experience as a community advocate. Both organizations, which represent hundreds of the city’s public safety employees, declined to endorse Councilmember Lorie Zapf, who is running against Boot in District 2. Boot said:

 “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive these important endorsements from San Diego’s firefighters and lifeguards. The residents of District 2 know I’m a strong advocate for public safety and our beaches, and I’m very grateful for the recognition from these vital organizations.”

 James Gartland, president and CEO of the San Diego Association of Lifeguards, made the endorsement in a letter to Boot as did  Frank De Clercq, president of San Diego City Firefighters.

La Playa Trail Assoc to Present History of Roseville and Tuna Fleet – May 20th

La Playa Trail Association will present a program on the Portuguese Community of Point Loma by Lynn Guidi, past president of the United Portuguese S. E. S. Guidi, a Point Loma native, is exceptionally well-versed in the history of Roseville, the tuna fleet and the annual fiesta, which is to take place this coming June 6-8. Ms. Guidi’s talk will feature a good many historical photographs. Portuguese wine and a vast array of hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the La Playa Trail group.  The affair is to take place on Tuesday evening, May 20, 2014 at the Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot. For more information ring 619/ 223-3418. (Regarding the group photo – is of the owners of the Helen S. on its trail run in 1953. She sank in 1958.)

 Surfrider Raises $32,000 To Protect Our Coastlines

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter’s sold out 14th Annual Art Gala raised $32,000 to help protect the regions oceans, waves and beaches.   The event, which was held last Friday, May 9th at Paradise Point Resort & Spa, celebrated ocean advocacy while showcasing local artists and raising funds for Surfrider’s programs. Highlights from the event, emceed by KPRi’s Madison Keith, included live painting from Hill Young, Rodney Rodrigo Mccoubrey, and Wade Koniakowsky, an interactive art project where guests were asked to write, draw or paint why they love their oceans, waves and beaches, and a musical sets by San Diego musicians Paul Cannon and Tristan Prettyman.

With over one hundred art and non-art auction packages, bidders were tempted by a diverse selection of items. While enjoying the beauty of the bay, the 450 attendees dined on delicious food provided by Paradise Point Resort and Spa and Jimbo’s…Naturally, and beverages from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Stone Brewing Company. The $32,000 raised at the event will directly benefit the Surfrider Foundation’s education, outreach and advocacy directed at protecting San Diego County beaches.

OB Man Who Tried to Kidnap Little Leaguer Sentenced to One Year

A man was sentenced Thursday afternoon for trying to kidnap a Little League baseball player at an Ocean Beach field earlier this year.  As part of a plea agreement, Jarrod West pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and will serve one year in jail, followed by two years of mandatory supervision.  “That’s my baby brother, it’s painful,” Vickie West-Wysingle said of her brother.

In February, West was arrested after police said he tried to abduct a 7-year-old boy at Robb Field. According to police, West tried to kidnap the boy from the field during practice, claiming he was the player’s father.  However, coach Scott Hedenkamp intervened.  “The kid tells me, ‘That’s not my dad! I don’t know this man!’ and he started crying hysterically,” said Hedenkamp. Hedenkamp protected the 7-year-old until police came to arrest West.

West was labeled an alcoholic by his sisters and Judge Robert O’Neill, who noted nearly a dozen arrests — most for being drunk in public. West-Wysingle told 10News after the hearing, “I show my emotions. I wear my emotions on my sleeve so it’s hard to hold it back. That’s the baby of the family so it’s very hurtful. I’m glad he’s going to get help for his alcohol abuse.”  10News

 2 San Diego TV Stations Admit They Ran Fake Video of Great White Shark Off Point Loma

Two San Diego stations warned viewers last month about a great white shark swimming close to shore. In their stories, both ABC affiliate KGTV and CBS affiliate KFMB used a photo that appeared to show a 15 foot shark with its dorsal fin out of the water swimming near Point Loma. Trouble is, the photo was fake.  KGTV spoke to Will Phillips, who said he took a picture of a dolphin. He said a friend of his made it into a shark.  iMediaEthics reports the photo was originally published by the Shark Research Committee, a non-profit scientific research organization. After the stations picked it up, Phillips told them all it was fake.

Both KGTV and KFMB have aired retractions and have posted stories about the hoax on their websites. Watch KGTV’s retraction and interview with Phillips after the jump.  Joel Davis, KGTV news director, told iMediaEthics his station started looking into the shark story after seeing the fake picture on the SRC website. He said they contacted Ralph Collier, president of SRC who felt the faked picture was real.

“We tried different search engines to find the person who actually took the photo to get his story, but he has a very common name and we were unable to contact him,” said Davis. “So, we ran the story with the context that it was posted by the Shark Research Committee website, and explained that they as experts believed it to be authentic.”

Davis said the station will “continue to run any such photos by experts” before publication and also pointed out that transparency is key whenever there is a problem in news reports.  “If somehow the expert(s) get fooled, we’ll be transparent about that,” he said. “I think viewers give a lot of credit to media who are transparent about the process they used for both the initial story, and the followup.”  Go here for the videos.

San Diego Symposium on Energy and Climate Change May 14

Energy and climate change have become conflictive and political issues in the San Diego community, with groups becoming too polarized to effectively deal with solutions. This is a first effort at bringing everyone to the table, to work out our differences and brainstorm ideas that will both provide our energy needs and safeguard us from global warming.

What: Symposium on energy and climate change.
When: Wednesday, May 14, 7:30 am – 5 pm
Where: Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego

In collaboration with the University of San Diego and the San Diego World Affairs Council, this symposium will feature panel discussions and speakers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California Center for Sustainable Energy, California Independent System Operator, California Air Resources Board, General Atomics, Sempra Energy, San Diego Gas and Electric, Climate Action Reserve, and University of San Diego Center for Sustainability.

Community partners for this event include the American Nuclear Society, San Diego Gas and Electric, Pacifica Institute, the Global Network Energy Institute, America’s Power Plan, UNA-USA, San Diego Diplomacy Council, San Diego Indian America Society, St. James by the Sea Episcopal Church, Congressman Scott Peters, SanDiego350, Citizens Climate Lobby and Sempra Energy.

This symposium is also an opportunity for area students to hear about new employment opportunities in energy and climate mitigation. Presenting at the symposium about these opportunities will be representatives from Qualcomm, KYOCERA Solar, General Atomics, Akamai and other area corporations.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah May 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm

I, for one, am SHOCKED that the report of the great white shark off Pt. Loma was a fake.


ob dude May 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Jarrod West ….has got to have more than an alcohol problem….NO? Trying to kidnap a 7 year old! Thankfully the coach intervened and the Little Leaguer is well and ALIVE!


Thaddeus Heffner May 14, 2014 at 7:10 am

I think viewers give a lot of credit to media who are transparent.


Jeffeck May 14, 2014 at 8:12 am

For better or worse, you guys at the OB Rag call ’em as you see ’em from your perspective and even though I am a conservative and may disagree with alot of what I read here, I respect you for that. Keep up the great work and superb local coverage!


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