News from Ocean Beach, Point Loma, the Midway District and Beyond

by on September 30, 2015 · 11 comments

in California, Culture, Environment, Media, Ocean Beach

OB pier paddle 2012

The Paddle Out for Clean Water – around the OB Pier. 2012

Hundreds Paddled Around OB Pier for Clean Water

Hundreds paddled around the OB Pier on Sunday, Sept. 27th as it was the San Diego Surfrider Foundation’s 24th annual event. The goal of the event is to raise awareness about the need for clean water and healthy coastlines.  The event also featured live music, breakfast for all paddlers and guest speakers talking about the impact of climate change on our coast.

Nico’s California Burrito Wins 2nd Place

Believe it or not, OB’s own Nico’s Mexican Food won the second best burrito in America by The Daily Meal. It was Nico’s California burrito that won the award.  A critic said: “The burritos are the perfect size – not too large and unwieldy but still big enough to not leave you hungry – and there’s carne asada, French fries, cheese, guacamole, lettuce and tomato all rolled together inside.”

NBC7 reports: “Two other local eateries, El Zarape in University Heights and La Perla Cocina Mexicana in Pacific Beach, also made the list of the top 35 burrito spots in the nation. El Zarape ranked at No. 9 and La Perla ranked at No. 22. The only burrito spot to beat out Nico’s is two hours north of here, proving Southern California really is the best place in the country to grab Mexican food: Tito’s Tacos in Los Angeles.” NBCSanDiego

OB Pizza Port Beer Wins 2 Bronzes

OB’s own Pizza Port took home 2 Bronzes this yea at the Great American Beer Festival last week. Taking place in Denver, the 33rd annual competition won San Diego County breweries a whopping 19 medals in all. (Compare this to the 19 medals won by the entire state of Oregon.)

OB Pizza Port brewery bronzed twice — the third year in a row it’s won multiple medals – with one of those in the Coffee Beer category. Overall, Pizza Port won 5 Bronzes between all its breweries (Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, and OB).  San Diego’s 19 medals is up from 13 won last year and included 6 gold, 2 silver, and 11 bronze. San Diego Reader

OB Friends of Library Book Sale Report

The Ocean Beach Friends of the Library Book Sale Saturday, Sept. 26th made $439.50. This will go to fund books, materials, equipment, and programs for our very own Ocean Beach Library. Many thanks to all who donated books and materials, everyone who volunteered, our hard working library staff, everyone who stopped by and bought something, and (ring some bells!) our two new members who signed up.

OB Rag Quoted By Former Nemesis on Short Term Vacation Rentals

The OB Rag and writer Frank Gormlie were quoted on the issue of short term vacation rentals recently in an online website called CalWatchdog article by Chris Reed.  Reed is a former opinion and editorial writer for the San Diego U-T – and ironically, a (former?) nemesis of the OB Rag and Gormlie.

Here is the cite and quotation:

What if  beach neighborhoods are all short-term rentals?

A writer for an Ocean Beach-centric website and publication, the OB Rag, worries about more than neighborhood disruption. Frank Gormlie says the attractiveness of the San Diego beach lifestyle and the easy money to be made with short-term rentals could hollow out communities.

The problem occurs when for residents and local small property and home owners develop the motivation to turn their condo, cottage, second unit, apartment or house over to short-termers who will pay big bucks instead of keeping the interests of the community over that of the immediacy of cashing-in.

If there’s no one left to care about the community or that section of it, then there is no community. … [Take] a walk or bike ride along the boardwalks that run along Mission Beach and Mission Bay. Try to count the buildings where actual residents live. It’s depressing.

This is the same threat, now, aimed at Ocean Beach. If enough little cottages, homes, apartments are turned into vacation rentals, then this is a larger threat to the culture of Ocean Beach than gentrification. …

OBceans need to be vigilante on this issue. It isn’t over yet. Along with gentrification, short-term vacation rentals have the ability to undermine parts of the community, change the character of the neighborhood for the worse and turn a vibrant village into a beach resort for vacationers.

But Ocean Beach and other communities aren’t likely to get clarity soon from San Diego City Hall. The City Council has been considering updating short-term vacation rental rules for months, and nothing close to a consensus has emerged.

Friends of Rose Creek Take Up Where Government Fails and Clean Up Most Important Watershed in Mission Bay Area

On the San Diego County 31st annual Coastal Cleanup Day, Friends of Rose Creek organized about 65 residents to clean up the most important watersheds in the area – the Rose Creek area itself. Twenty of the volunteers were students from USD’s marine environment class. They found litter in small items such as cigarette butts, bottles and food wrappers, but the further up the river, they found broken furniture, mattresses, and shopping carts clutter the creek.

Rose Creek is the natural outfall of a 36-square-mile watershed including nearby Rose and San Clemente canyons and dates back to Archaic (8000-1000 BC) time. One of the oldest archaeological finds was the Late Prehistoric Village of La Rinconada de Jamo, which was observed by the Spanish in 1769, according to Rose Creek Watershed Alliance.

In an ironic twist of government bureaucracy, the lower Rose Creek is owned by the City, CalTrans, the school district, the US Navy and a bunch of smaller property owners, and because of this unwieldy mess, no one agency takes an active role in maintaining the creek – so volunteers have to do it.
San Diego Community News Group –

Pt Loma Nazarene Institute Study: Military Continues to Dominate San Diego Economy

Defense-related jobs and spending continue to play a dominant and growing role in the San Diego economy, accounting 328,000 jobs and $45 billion in economic output.  That was the conclusion of the San Diego Military Advisory Council‘s 7th annual military impact study, released at a press conference at the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare base in Pt. Loma.  “The military remains our number one most important economic sector in the county of San Diego,” said Dr. Lynn Reaser, who leads Point Loma Nazarene University’s Fermanian Business and Economic Institute, which produced the study. Times of San Diego

Gigantic 660-Plus Pound Marlin Off Point Loma

The local sportfishing industry is having its most bountiful year in San Diego history. Attributed to El Nino, people are pulling dorado, tuna, and marlin out of the water by the tons.  Wednesday September 23rd, a local fisherman and his buddy — Angler Matt Sanatora and Captain Andy Vo — caught a 662.2 pound blue marlin 13-miles off the coast of Point Loma.  It’s thought to be the largest marlin caught in California since 1931.  For more background, see this.

Annual Cabrillo Festival Was Different This Year – New Discovery of Cabrillo’s Spanish Heritage

Writer Lyndsay Winkley of the San Diego U-T hit the nail on the head in the reporter’s description of this year’s – the 52nd- historical re-enactment of Cabrillo’s “discovery” as hundreds gathered at Naval Base Point Loma on Sunday to watch as Cabrillo and his crew stepped ashore at Ballast Point and claimed the new land for Spain.

“The scene has been played out many times before, but this year, something was very different. Wendy Kramer, a Canadian researcher, recently stumbled onto ancient court transcripts that suggest Cabrillo, long thought to be Portuguese, was actually Spanish. 

For centuries, experts have debated Cabrillo’s birthplace. If Kramer’s discovery can be corroborated by other documents, like birth records, the matter might finally be settled. For experts and history buffs alike, the findings are dramatic.”

Kramer’s findings aren’t the end of the matter, others argued. “There’s going to need to be a reckoning, about what (the Portuguese) are going to do about this, to address this,” said Jeff Madruga, a member of the Portuguese American Social and Civic Club.   San Diego U-T

Kids can fish for prizes in Ocean Beach Fishing Derby Saturday, Oct. 3rd

Children up to age 12 are invited to fish for prizes in the Ocean Beach Fishing Derby this Saturday, October 3, from 8 to 11 am on the Ocean Beach Pier. It’s a free fishing contest for kids, presented by the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Beach. Bait is provided courtesy of the Ocean Beach Pier Cafe, and prizes are donated by Lighthouse Ice Cream. There are prizes for the most fish caught, as well as for the largest, smallest, “ugliest or most unusual”, and whatever else the prize committee decides to award.

Participants must supply their own fishing gear (pole, line, hooks, etc.). No fishing license is needed. Families are encouraged to fish together, but in order to be eligible for a prize, the child must land the fish himself or herself. Refreshments are provided; hats and sunscreen are encouraged. For more information visit, or write to

Taylor Horan vollyballMaryland’s Washington College Gives Props to Local Pt Loma Woman Volleyball Player

Taylor Horan was named Shorewoman of the Week, at Washington College in their volleyball tournaments. Horan, a sophomore, is from the Point Loma area. Horan helped lead the Shorewomen to a 2-0 week. In one win, Horan piled up 31 assists and a career-best 29 digs. During Saturday’s victory, she had 44 assists and 12 digs.  Washington College 

Cliff Collapse at Tourmaline Sends Short-Term Renters Packing

A cliff collapsed in PB at Tourmaline Surfing Park on Friday afternoon, September 11th. It was a cliff collapse inside the cove. A swimming pool at the top of the cliff was in danger of collapsing onto the beach.  The houses affected by the slide are on the south side of the 400 block of Sea Ridge Drive.  The current tenants were short-term renters on vacation. They quickly packed and left.  Sue B., 38, has lived in South Bird Rock for the last six years, after transplanting from Charlotte, North Carolina. “I don’t understand how they can fix and flip a house like this without really being sure it is safe. The pool is going to fall in next.”  San Diego Reader  For a different perspective, see here.

Midway old sharp cabrillo HospFormer Sharp Cabrillo Hospital Property Sold for Language School in the Midway

The former Sharp Cabrillo Hospital property at 3425-3475 Kenyon St. at the edge of Point Loma will soon be turned into The Education First Language School. The property was sold by Greentree Family LLC.   Along with an English language school for foreign speakers, the property would also have student housing on the upper floors. $20 million was paid for the former 226-bed, 173,845-square-foot, Sharp property that has several smaller buildings onsite.  The sale also includes a 13,000-square-foot medical office and a 5,000-square-foot medical office building. The new campus, which would be most active in the summer months, could host as many as 1,500 students.

Sharp Cabrillo was built as a 62-bed facility in 1958. The center was expanded in 1975, when a tower was added to house 200 additional beds. The hospital was purchased by Sharp in 1981 and remained open until the complex closed for good in early 1998.  Thor Kamban Biberman of San Diego Source

Former Midway Post Office Sold to Developer Planning Warehouse and Office Project

The old Midway Post Office – built in the 1970s -and closed in 2012 – is in escrow to an unnamed developer who is planning a distribution, warehouse and office project on a 15.68-acre portion of the old postal processing site. The site is a 26-acre complex which consists of a 436,000-square-foot mail processing facility, and a 28,000-square-foot post office along with vehicle maintenance and warehouse functions. The processing facility was moved to Carmel Mountain Ranch.  Thor Kamban Biberman of San Diego Source

Gulls Coming to the Midway District

The former Sports Arena, opened in 1966, and now the Valley View Casino Center, will host the San Diego Gulls this fall. Ernest Hahn is very excited. He’s an AEG partner – of the AEG Management who run the arena. The Gulls are expected to bring an additional 200,000 people to the Center per year.  Thor Kamban Biberman of San Diego Source

Other Midway News

New Midway-area construction and new leases include:

  • Sunbelt Properties is constructing a 20,000-square-foot commercial building between Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Dick’s Sporting Goods to house Old Navy and Forever 21;
  • the 20,000-square-foot Victory MMA gym on Midway Drive,
  • a new 12,000-square-foot Sherwin-Williams store on Sports Arena Boulevard;
  • the 9,600-square-foot Rock Thrift Store on Camino del Rio West;
  • transforming the former 7,100-square-foot Tower Records building on Sports Arena Boulevard into the Rescue Mission Thrift Store,
  • the 8,000-square-foot Discount Tire on Midway Drive,
  • and the construction of a car wash on Rosecrans at Cauby Street slated to open soon.

Oktoberfest in Ocean Beach, Oct. 9-10

Ocean Beach will celebrate with a heap of contests and entertainment. The event will kick off Friday night with a 21 and up beer garden. On Saturday, the activities begin with the 9 a.m. Brat Trot, offering a 2K family run and a 5K beach run. Beach-goers can enjoy live entertainment for all ages by a traditional oompah band, paired with a vendor and craft area set up on the Veterans Plaza lawn. Other festivities include the Sausage Toss Competition with a cash giveaway of $10,000; and stein-holding and brat-eating contests.  Times: 4:20-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.  Location: Newport Avenue and Abbott Street, Ocean Beach.  Cost: $5 for two-day entry to beer garden. More

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

editordude September 30, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Hey kids – this is the only place you’ll find so much news from OB, Pot Loma, the Midway – all rolled into one.

Hey – and give us a “lick”. Do you babyboomers even know what a like is? It’s the like button – hit it.


Frank Gormlie September 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Editordude, pressed for time as always and without a proofreader obviously meant “like” – but hey, a lick is agood he says.


PL Local October 1, 2015 at 10:13 am


*Joint Loma

Don’t forget. Some useless news from Barrio Logan.


tia September 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Yes, Frank, most of us know what a Like is. However, many of us aren’t on F’book (we don’t like it) so we can’t Like your articles. That being said, I do Like your wonderful community updates very much.


Doug Porter September 30, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Reports of Chris Reed’s departure from the editorial ward at the local daily are greatly exaggerated. Either that, or he needs to update his bio on Twitter.


Frank Gormlie September 30, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Hmmmm, perhaps time for Uncle and the Cheshire Cat.


Geoff Page September 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Excellent round up of local news, OB Rag. I know what a “like” is but I have to confess I don’t know what a “lick” is, something new out there? Is it sanitary?


Tessa September 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm

I don’t deal with facebook, either (or any of those other things….twitter, tweet, pinterest, apps….have a flip phone which is plenty smart for me)….however, I just want to add a thanks for your advocacy and diligence on the Air b and b issue… is a giant threat that could just hollow out O B.
Keep up the good work and keep Zapf’s feet to the fire.


Frank Gormlie September 30, 2015 at 10:06 pm

The “like” button is usually at the end of the online article – not facebook.


tia October 1, 2015 at 10:12 am

Ok, but… When I hit “Like,” I am immediately asked to log in to F’bk.


Liveinob September 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm

What if beach neighborhoods are all short-term rentals?
I’ve lived in OB for the last 15 years, I’ve volunteer for many events in this wonderful community throughout these years and I have also served on the OBTC and the OBPB and proudly so.
My rent was raised $250.00 a year ago in August , I was fortunate to secure a 2 year lease and will no longer be able to afford this place come August of next year.
The tiny 1 bedroom in the back that has a tree growing out of the closet and is being held up but termites is now asking $1850.00. The last tenant was paying $1350.00
If you don’t own you’re screwed I can only speak for myself, but OB won’t be able to survive without some good, honest owners, but they don’t live here :(
Thanks for listening


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