Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early June 2015

by on June 1, 2015 · 5 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, Media, Ocean Beach

Albert Elliot OB 2015 rolling

OB 2015 – People who roll in OB by Albert C Elliot

Editor: Just about every week, we publish an roundup of sorts of recent news from OB, Point Loma, the Peninsula, the Midway District, Mission Bay and, at times, other beach areas – along with updates on issues and notices of community events.  Here’s the latest from over the last week or so:

Another Stabbing in OB

There was another stabbing in Ocean Beach, in the alley of the 4900 block of Newport Ave. It occurred Tuesday night, May 25th. Community Relations Officer David Surwilo reported the incident at the recent OB Town Council meeting. This time the stabbing came down when one of the workers of a business told a homeless guy he couldn’t stay on a couch that he had occupied. The guy stabbed the employee a couple of times and fled. The worker was taken to a hospital – and probably already released, Surwilo said on the 26th.

Woman Seriously Injured in Fall at Sunset Cliffs

A woman was seriously injured when she fell off Sunset Cliffs on Saturday, May 23rd.  She suffered serious neck, back and head injuries, but was conscious and talking when a rescue team got to her, and her injuries are not life-threatening. The 50-year old had fallen down a 60 to 80 foot cliff in the area near the bottom of Hill Street along Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The call came in around 5:20 pm and she was airlifted out to a hospital.   NBC7    Fox5

Locals know that these cliffs – although providing staggeringly-beautiful views and sunsets – are also extremely dangerous. There’s one informal study of injuries and deaths along these cliffs that concluded that there is an average 4 deaths or serious injuries every year over the last 8 to 9 years.

Residents Complain of Homeless Digging Caves in Cliffs

The Sunset Cliffs not only are beautiful and dangerous, they also provide shelter to a few hearty … and foolhardy … souls who dig caves in the sandy walls or behind concrete structures.  The cliffs are already eroding due to Mother Nature but people who risk their lives carving out temporary shelters are also aiding in the erosion.

Just recently, some local residents who live in condos and housing above have complained to 10News about people digging a cave behind concrete barriers on the cliffs. They’re worried about the stability of their buildings. They believe it’s homeless who have turned some of the space into makeshift housing, and have left trash. Somebody  has been camping there.

A geologist told the TV station that a lot of the concrete is unstable itself.  Pat Abbott told   10News:

“Look at the material itself, it’s weak, it breaks, it crumbles in your hand. People going inside some of those little caves that are forming and taking out more sand, they’re simply speeding up the process.”

 People have dug in these cliffs for eons. But it’s still always dangerous.  This OB Rag reporter remembers an incident from 1973-74 during which a sailor lost his life after the cave he was digging in the cliffs not too far from the pier collapsed on him. Only his foot and shoe stuck out from the cliff when rescuers got to him.

OB Town Council Accepting Grant Applications

The Town Council of OB is now accepting applications for their annual and generous grant program. They have $8,000 in available funds for the grants, correspondence secretary Jon Carr announced at the last OBTC meeting last week. The 8k, by the way, is a record. All info and grant applications can be found at their website.

Planning Board Appoints Two New Members to Board – Still Has 2 Vacancies

At their last meeting in early May, the OB Planning Board appointed two new members to the Board.  Resident Nancy Kelley, a retired vocational rehab counselor and teacher was appointed to District 2. Kelley has been a resident since 1971 and told the Board  her interests included sustainability and climate change.

Recently-retired city planner Georgia Sparkman, also a resident for 35 years, was appointed to District 7. Sparkman worked as a planner for almost 3 decades, including a stint as a community planner for OB back in the mid-1980s.

The Board has two more vacancies.  In order to be appointed to the volunteer Board, the requirements hold that one must be at least 18 and live, own property or run a business in the OB Community Planning Area, as well as gather 35 signatures in the district they wish to represent. For more info, go to their website. (Hat tip to Tony de Garate and the Beacon.)

 Councilwoman Zapf Supports Plastic Bag Ban

The Councilwoman for OB, Lorie Zapf, supports the ban on plastic bags, her aide announced at the recent May 27 OB Town Council meeting. Conrad Wear announced this publicly during the monthly meeting of the OBTC.

 Stop Signs at Newport Ave and Abbott? 4-Way Stop at Abbott and Santa Monica?

The City has supposedly “evaluated and approved” stop signs at Newport Avenue and Abbott Street. This was announced by OB Planning Chair John Ambert at the planners’ most recent meeting. Crosswalks at that intersection could also be coming. Stop signs could be a controversial issue, as there has never been a stop light or stop sign at this intersection at the heart of OB’s beach life. There’s really no “intersection” per se as Abbott and Newport both end in each others asphalt embrace and curve together.

The city has also “evaluated and approved”a four-way stop sign at the Ocean Beach lifeguard station at the corner of Abbott Street and Santa Monica Avenue. (The “four-way” aspect came from Beacon Tony de Garate’s article, even though there is no “four-way” as Santa Monica and Abbott form a “T”.) Ambert reported that city officials told members of the Board that there is $20,000 available for pedestrian improvements in OB. No word on when, however.  San Diego Community News Group

 Expansion Plans at People’s Co-Op

Jim Kase, store manager at Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-Op, announced that the preliminary plans for their much-anticipated organic juice bar and vegetarian cafe will be made public probably sometime in June. The bar/ cafe will include residential units on top. The market’s expansion included the purchase of the site of the former Tiny’s Tavern on Voltaire.   Kase explained that plans will probably require the demolition of the former bar, actually 3 buildings that are not up to code, and the duplex that adjoins them.   San Diego Community News Group –

Belmont Park Lease Challenged by Lawsuit

A group called San Diegans for Open Government filed a lawsuit challenging the Belmont Park lease extension, recently approved by the City Council.  According to The Beacon / San Diego Community News Group, the suit:

“alleges the City Council’s approval was illegal on grounds that it violated Proposition G, a 1987 voter-approved initiative restricting non-recreational uses at city-owned Belmont Park; the California Coastal Act; the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the San Diego City Charter.

“The suit contends Prop. G was violated because it provides for public park and recreation uses but specifically prohibits “retail and commercial uses, except within the historically rehabilitated Plunge pool and related buildings.” “

 The Belmont Park’s lease extension was approved by City Council on April 6 by a 7-2 vote, (with council Lightner and Alvarez  dissenting, while Zapf praised the vote).


June 13th – “Bike Fiesta” at OB Elementary School

June 20th – International Surfer Day

June 27th – OB’s Street Fair & Chili Cook-off

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

dd June 1, 2015 at 11:12 am

There needs to be a 4 way stop at the intersection by bar 1502 and Raglan.

So man near misses there for pedestrians and cars. I saw a skateboarder get ran over by someone speeding to get across the intersection


BR June 1, 2015 at 11:54 am


I agree! Crossing Bacon street to get to Raglan or 1502 is scary. I always try to cross at Newport and Bacon.


OB Mercy June 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Wow, really good point dd. That is a scary intersection. You should propose that at the next town council meeting.


OB Mercy June 1, 2015 at 5:29 pm

In regards to people living or partying at the Cliffs….Someone brought this up at the last town council meeting and Officer Surwillo said that Cliffs are dangerous and not their jurisdiction. He said they are not going down there. He claimed that is for Parks and Rec and obviously, they’re not handling it either.


rick callejon June 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm

We don’t need no more stinkin’ signs.


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