News from the Ocean Beach Sands of Time

by on February 9, 2015 · 1 comment

in Culture, Environment, History, Media, Ocean Beach


The Bossman lives!

Hodad’s Re-Opens

On Sunday, Feb. 8, Hodad’s reopened after a grieve-stricken 2-day hiatus from business as staff and family dealt with the untimely death of Mike Hardin. Quite a spontaneous memorial was set up in the doorway of Hodad’s on Friday, a day after everyone found out about Mike’s death.  The U-T reported:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHardin was found dead in a room at a Madera County Holiday Inn Thursday afternoon. There was nothing suspicious found in the hotel room, a sheriff’s official there said, but an autopsy was ordered because the death was unexpected.

The entire community was grieving over the weekend and as the news spread, his death became major news – with all the TV stations covering it, with the U-T publishing a major story on the front page of its business section, and with its artist Steve Breen devoting his daily cartoon to Mike. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe OB Rag was inundated with hits and readers on our coverage. There were 22,000 hits on Friday to the article about his passing, which also had 2,400 “likes”.

[See my interview with Mike Hardin in 2009.]

OB Comic Gets a Shout-Out

CityBeat: “Jesse Egan remembers the first time he retired from standup comedy. Actually, he just remembers bits and pieces. “The first time I ever really performed stand-up was at a place called Poppy’s in Claremont,” Egan recalls, sitting in his office at Winstons bar in Ocean Beach. “It went well, and I invited my friends to come back and see me the next week, and they were, like, ‘Well, do you have new jokes?’ ”

Kyle WitkowskiMass in Honor of Kyle Witkowski

On Saturday, Feb. 7, a Mass was held at Sacred Heart in OB to honor Kyle’s life, and it was hosted by his parents William Kyle Witkowski and Lorie Lambert Witkowski and siblings Ryan and Melissa Witkowski. Here is an Obit that his family published:

Kyle T. Witkowski, 28, died January 3, 2015, in Ocean Beach, CA. Kyle was born on March 18, 1986, in San Diego, CA. He graduated from University of San Diego High School in 2004 and studied at Mesa College. Kyle worked for Hodad’s in Ocean Beach and as a commercial fisherman. Kyle sought out and embraced adventure and was devoted to his family and friends.

His passions were surfing and sports fishing. He will be remembered for being kind, honorable, fun-loving, with a bright and beaming smile.

The family thanks the first responders and those who cared for Kyle during his last moments and the community for its outpouring of love and support.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALorie Zapf Meets Left-leaning Ocean Beach

Check out writer Tony de Garate’s take in the Reader on the recent appearance by Councilwoman Lorie Zapf at the OB Town Council meeeting. It starts:

 San Diego City Councilmember Lorie Zapf is a Clairemont Republican, but she can get her O.B. on with the best of them. She enjoys Ocean Beach eateries and taking family and pets to Dog Beach, often sporting flip-flop earrings and a tie-dyed T-shirt. Far from being a lifelong politician, she says she didn’t even get the urge to run for political office until she reached her 50s.

But if Ocean Beach voters had their druthers, it would be Sarah Boot would be representing them and the rest of District 2 on the City Council, not Zapf.

Jessops Property Development at City Council Feb. 9

The group Preserve Point Loma has mobilized its supporters to try to prevent the City Council from voting to approve a project on the grounds of the Jessop family estate. The 4 lot subdivision is being proposed for the old Jessop estate, which is located at 414 La Crescentia Drive. Members of Preserve Point Loma believe the project, known as “The Point Loma Summit Subdivision” is in violation of the Peninsula Community Plan. Not approved by the Peninsula planners but approved by the San Diego Planning Commission, it’s the showdown of the month at the City Council.

Friends of OB Library Looking for Some Special Volunteers – A Story Teller and Book Sorter

A wonderful storyteller, Mrs. Small, has been joyfully and dutifully telling stories to our children almost every weekday for years. It would be great if another gifted, qualified storyteller would join Mrs. Small in this task. This extraordinary person would need to be security screened and undergo the city of San Diego’s volunteer training. If this brief description calls out to you, please talk to our fabulous librarian, Matt Beatty, at the library’s front desk.  The Friends also need a reliable volunteer to help sort out the useable books and to replenish the used book shelves in the front of the library. The great OB Friend of the Library, Laura Dennison, who steadfastly, reliably performs this task once a week, but our abundance of used books requires at least one more helper. If you are interested, please talk to our librarian, Matt, or any of the people at the front desk.

Stranded Sea Lion Pup Taken In

A stranded sea lion pup was found by beachgoers in OB on Sunday next to the seawall near the Pier. Rescuers took the pup to SeaWorld. Channel10 News states that “Since the start of the year, SeaWorld says it has rescued 120 sea lion pups that washed ashore. At about this time two years ago, there were only 19 sea lion rescues. 10News has learned the pups are weaning off their mothers earlier this year and are having a hard time finding food. Four additional sea lion pups were rescued Sunday – two in Pacific Beach and two at La Jolla Shores.”

OB Gothic TomNJane

“Ocean Beach Gothic” – Jane and Tom Gawronski

Highlights of O.B.’s Historic Beach Cottages

The OB Historical Society’s monthly presentation this month is all about OB’s historic cottages. Kathy Blavatt, Jane Gawronski & Tom Gawronski will give the presentation about O.B.’sHistoric Beach Cottages, a subject that is near-and-dear to their hearts. All three have local planning board experience and been advocates in preserving our historic structures. Tom and Jane own historic Ocean Beach homes
including the famous “Red House”. Kathy has interviewed cottage owners, collected photos and written about O.B.’s historic homes. These presenters will talk about the importance of the Mills Act, the role the cottages play in the Ocean Beach Community Plan (approved at San Diego City Council 2014), and in retaining our beach town character. Cottage owners are welcome and encouraged to talk and show photos of their houses towards the last segment of the program. OB Niagara 4677 frontPlease come and learn why preserving O.B.’s cottages is so important. This program is FREE! Thursday, February 19, at 7 pm at the P.L. United Methodist Church at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

OBcean Mentioned in KPBS Article on Looming Healthcare Coverage Date

Ocean Beach resident Rob Keller was mentioned in an article on KPBS about the looming healthcare coverage date.

OB Musician Goes After Surf-Rock

According to the Reader, former OBcean John Reis is worth watching and listening to.

“Born in Ocean Beach, Reis lives with his family in South Park. He’s best known for Rocket, your basic rocking punk band with horns. The more experimental Drive Like Jehu, considered by many to be foundational to the post-punk movement, started at the same time, during the early ’90s. This theme would play itself out again — the simultaneous membership in experimental-versus-traditional bands — when Reis cofounded Hot Snakes and the Sultans.”


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Frank Gormlie February 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

The U-T reports the City Council rejected the proposed development at the Jessops’ property:
The San Diego City Council voted 6-3 on Monday to reject plans to build three additional homes on the Jessop estate in Point Loma, which now has one home built in 1926.

Critics, many of whom have signed petitions and spoke at Monday’s council meeting, said the proposed subdivision would damage the area’s character, increase fire risk and set a dangerous precedent for allowing more intense projects in Point Loma.

Supporters said the proposed homes are similar in size to those nearby and that they would have been clustered to allow preservation of the 1.5-acre property’s environmentally sensitive areas.

Council members who voted against the proposal agreed with the residents that it would be too intense for a site with sharp slopes in a single-family residential zone about four blocks west of Rosecrans Street.

“When you have properties this big, you shouldn’t be putting the houses 12 feet apart,” said Council President Sherri Lightner, adding that the design would make fire fighting difficult. “I have grave concerns about public safety.”

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, whose district includes Point Loma, said she could support adding more development to the site, but not this particular proposal because of the locations of the new homes.

“The greatest concern I have is where it’s being built,” she said.

Monday’s council vote was actually in favor of a resident’s appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of the proposed subdivision last June.

Council members David Alvarez, Todd Gloria and Scott Sherman didn’t speak in favor of the proposed homes, but Gloria and Alvarez said they didn’t think the council had adequate grounds to grant the appeal.

The owner of the property, Carolyn Kutzke, has been trying for several years to develop it.

Several hundred Point Loma residents, including a large group called Preserve Point Loma, circulated petitions and lobbied local politicians to help block the project proposed for La Crescentia Drive.


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