OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors and OBservers

by on July 3, 2014 · 24 comments

in Culture, Environment, Media, Ocean Beach

Reporter dogWill the Marshmallow Ban Hold?  Will Homeless Advocates Be Arrested?

Your online, local website is looking for a few good observers who have cameras for July 4th.  That’s right, the OB Rag wants to sign up a handful of volunteers who will assist us in monitoring what happens in Ocean Beach on Friday, July 4th.

There’s a bunch of stuff to observe – and we’re not talking about the surf or the fireworks.

First, if homeless advocates go ahead as planned and feed  homeless people in Saratoga Park at the beach, they may be arrested.  The group that does feed homeless on major holidays say they have threatened with being arrested if they proceed with their plans. They’ll be doing this from 11 am to 2 pm.

So, we need observers with cameras and monitors for that potential scene.

And second, of course, is what happens down on the beach at night after the fireworks.  Will anyone throw marshmallows despite the ban proclaimed by the OB Town Council – which we support by the way – or what?

The police say their presence will be about as usual, maybe with a few extra officers, but nothing heavy.  Fears of a riot have dissipated.

But we need volunteers to be on locations throughout the beach in OB in order to observe, monitor and record what goes down, if anything.  If nothing happens, that’s news and good to know also.

So, please if you can help us, please contact me at obragblog@gmail.com

If you don’t have a camera, but wish to still help us, contact us, and grab a notepad and pen.

Aging Hippie July 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

So, OB Rag now changes their stance from “we don’t think this is the right approach” to “we support this”? Obviously one position is correct, the other is either self serving or appeasement. Let’s guess which one is which…

gristmiller July 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I believe a little anarchy on Independence Day is patriotic but even if 30% of the local population objects then it should come to a graceful end. I will monitor and just ask people to put their marshmallows in a bag and if they don’t then so be it. I will walk with a friend with a camera. If we really are a community we should be able to take care of our business and ourselves.

Frank Gormlie July 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Gristmiller – thanks, would you be able to send any photos or tips to Patty at obragblog@gmail.com ?

Frank Gormlie July 3, 2014 at 7:16 pm

We now have several (4) people who will send us reports and photos. We’re looking for more. Contact me at obragblog@gmail.com

Frank Gormlie July 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Hey everyone – the OB Rag has a team of volunteer observers and monitors out tonight to see whether the marshmallow ban held, or if not, how does tonight compare with last year?

Frank Gormlie July 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

The OB Rag will have a limited live-blog of tonight’s scene in OB after the fireworks.

Frank Gormlie July 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Have a photo or thought about tonight in OB regarding the marshmallow scene, send it to us – either as a comment here, or text, photo, whatever to obragblog@gmail.com attn Patty.

Mike James July 5, 2014 at 7:56 am

The O.B. Town Council Mallow Out Campaign really reduced the number of idiots throwing Marshmallows. The media exposure was incredible. Plus just the presence in numbers of the SDPD was a deterrent (At least I felt safer chastising the throwers at Veteran’s Plaza right after the fireworks finale, I only got hit by four Marshmallows). Kudos to all the volunteers who immediately started cleaning up last night and to those who will join with the Surfrider Foundation this morning to continue to clean the beaches. Thanks to the businesses who took Marshmallows off their shelves and thanks to all Obceans who once again showed why O.B. is not just a place but an attitude.

Tyler July 5, 2014 at 8:06 am

Agreed, Mike. I’m so impressed by how much reduction we saw this year. Not ONE marshmallow was flown isn’t block of Bacon last night. That is a massive improvement over last year when I picked up 50 pounds just on my block with my fiancé.
As I walked back from Spray Ave post fireworks I only saw families heading back to their cars and everyone being respectful. It also seems like the mallow out campaign kept OB a little lighter on the traffic this year. There was barely any bumper to bumper out of OB and that’s when lots of the mayhem occurred in the neighborhood itself the last two years. Perhaps many that came annually to just throw marshmallows and leave decided to go elsewhere this year.

Really proud of everyone who helped the campaign in any way over the last year. The one year improvement show if we keep this up it should truly dissipate over the next few years.

I’m off to clean up the beach with my dog!

OB Dude July 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

Just got back from helping out also. So many comments from other helpers that appreciated the reduction in MM. Maybe next year we will only have to clean up trash :-)

Tyler July 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

I should update that I didn’t even fill one trash bag from my doorstep all the way to tower 6 at dog beach this morning!!

OB Dude July 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

Enjoy the wait.

jupiter jones July 5, 2014 at 8:49 am


Here is a video that shows how peaceful and joyful the event still is!

Aging Hippie July 5, 2014 at 10:02 am

I see police in riot gear arresting some poor girl. I see people picking marshmallows up off the street before anybody could step on them, which explains why there wasn’t a sticky mess at 1 AM. I see somebody attacking the person filming it all.

Mike James July 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

For anyone that questions the effectiveness of the Mallow-Out Campaign, compare these videos:


Aging Hippie July 5, 2014 at 10:35 am

Don’t try and change the story now. You and the OBTC said that you would forcibly end the marshmallow fight this year using police, and there would be no negative consequences. Well you didn’t, and there were.

Tyler July 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

The OBTC, Mallow Out campaign, and OBceans alike did a FANTASTIC job this year. We saw a massive reduction in trash and disrespectful people. Everyone passing by me was marveling at how quiet it was post fireworks in my part of the neighborhood.

OF COURSE their would be a few minor incidents, but they were minor and largely focused on people being stupid.

Debra July 5, 2014 at 9:09 am

Yep. There was a heck of a lot less trash on the streets/sidewalks to pick up on the morning after, too. Nary a marshmallow in sight. VERY NICE!!!

Aging Hippie July 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

This is a lie. At 1 AM the beach was filled with marshmallows. There were fewer on the streets than last year, but the beach was still full, the marshmallow fight still happened, and there were fights and arrests (unlike last year).

Tyler July 5, 2014 at 11:47 am

Who care if a few arrests happened to people who deserved it? There are beach arrest every year on 4th of July.

We al knew there would be some marshmallows on the beach this year. Never in my life did it expect the reduction in one year to be so large. Hopefully in the next 3 we can nip this in the bud completely.

Aging Hippie July 5, 2014 at 11:56 am

You claimed that there would be no marshmallow war, and no negative consequences either. And you were wrong. I’ve apologized, now I’m waiting for your apology.

Tyler July 5, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Holy Christ. I never said there would be no marshmallow war. You’ve thrown that claim on me multiple times this morning alone. When some of us starting talking about the no marshmallow war last year the first thing brought up was that it would not end completely for several years. You are using a ridiculously false narrative.

As for negative consequences – the 2 arrests that happened were not that major and none of them were marshmallow throwers from what I read.

Frank Gormlie July 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

Aging Hippie – On the homeless issue re your comments, I agree with you 100% and you have almost single-handedly stood up via comments to homeless haters – and there are so many, but here I disagree with you on your marshmallow stance.

I’m actually embarrassed at some of the comments made by OBceans about the homeless and Aging Hippie has been correct to call them on their prejudices.

jupiter jones July 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

I think it would be great to organize a bunch of volunteers to go out and collect donations (ie. $5/person) a few days before July 4, and on July 4, which will go to hiring people in need to clean up the night of July 4 and early July 5. We could pay them by the number of garbage bags full of marshmallows (we could hand out the standard bag size to them ahead of time) they collected after the event. For example, we could pay them $10-25/large garbage bag full of dirty marshmallows collected after. Others we could pay $10/hr for about 5 hours to clean up the beach the next day, and to scrape off the hardened mallows on the pavement, sweeping the street etc.
Think of how this would benefit the community! It would help those in need of jobs and have everyone working together to keep everyone happy (the mallow lovers and the businesses on Newport etc).

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