December 2015

Justice Antonin Scalia’s racism is unacceptable – Congress must censure him.

December 15, 2015 by Source

Justice Antonin Scalia’s racism is unacceptable. Congress must censure him.

Scalia racistFrom Credo Action

On Wednesday, December 9th, during oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the case of Fisher v. Texas, Justice Antonin Scalia made a plainly racist argument (emphasis ours): …

Read the full article → 8 comments

Environmental Activists in Paris and San Diego: We Want More

December 15, 2015 by Doug Porter

climate greetingsBy Doug Porter

One hundred ninety nations reached an agreement in Paris this past weekend, theoretically setting the world on a path towards reducing carbon emissions. The San Diego City Council is poised to bless the long awaited Climate Action Plan. People took to the streets of Paris and the byways of Balboa Park over the weekend to affirm their commitment to seeing the challenges of climate change acted upon.

At last!–or so we’re told–there are processes in place to help save the planet, or at least, humanity’s position at the top of the food chain. The truth, however, is much different that the hype. Consider these deals “hope” without the “change.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Pinyon-Juniper Forests: The Oldest Refugee Crisis

December 15, 2015 by Source
Will Falk in a clear cut

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

My thoughts race with yesterday. My friend Max Wilbert and I left Park City, Utah in the pre-dawn bitter cold crossing the Wasatch Mountains that form the eastern edge of the Great Basin. The drive west from Salt Lake City on I-80 is disorienting. We began the journey with the radio on. We both became too frustrated by news of another politician refusing to accept refugees, so we turned the radio off to watch the land as we traveled.

Interstate 80 took us past the sites of some of the West’s most destructive extraction industries including Kennecott Copper’s Bingham Canyon Mine. The Oquirrh Mountains stand tall on the Salt Lake Valley’s west side, each peak a majestic testament to the forces of beauty who formed the Great Basin.

Each peak, save one.

Read the full article → 2 comments

San Ysidro Blues — 30 Years After the Massacre – Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 15, 2015 by Source

San Ysidro Blues: 30 Years After the Massacre

By Francisco J. Bustos

I remember playing on the kitchen floor when the shots started firing.
I remember my cousin and I running outside the apartment, like many others did.
The sound of bullets instantly changed everybody’s eyes and nobody could
explain it.
We lived on Sunset Lane, just a couple blocks, de aquel Mac Donals, 30 years ago.
We jumped outside at the sound of more bullets,
if we could make it to the corner, we could catch a glimpse of our San Ysidro

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Rag Photographer Witness to Neighbor Inn’s Patio Damage From Storm Surf

December 15, 2015 by Staff

A local woman who is also a photographer for the OB Rag was a witness to damages to a neighbor’s patio from recent storm surf. And she was quoted by abc10.

Meredith Houlton lives next door to the Inn at Sunset Cliffs, and had a close view to last weekends storm surf which brought huge waves that battered the Inn’s patio. Meredith is quoted as saying:

“It’s taking a toll on our neighbors her. The ocean splashes all the way up here; 20 feet up onto the street when the tide’s really high.”

Her neighbors now have repairs to make – the patio couldn’t take the pounding of the rough surf. Railing was broken and there’s now a gaping hole on the deck.

Read the full article → 3 comments

OB Noodle House Is Robbed

December 15, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Noodle House Is Robbed

One of OB’s most famous restaurants, the OB Noodle House, was robbed late Monday night, December 14th. All the following information is from the SDPD Watch Commander’s Log

About 10:39pm – a slim male came into the business, located at 2218 Cable Street, and with a hand gun made his demand. He apparently made off with an undisclosed amount of money, and headed in an eastbound direction.

Read the full article → 2 comments

News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-December 2015

December 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie


@ Will New Vegan Restaurant at Sunset Plaza Be a “Drive-up”?

@ OB Christmas Tree Has Given Twice But Why So Many Cops?

@ Lifeguards May Halt Rescues in Polluted Water Until Healthcare Coverage Improves

@ Midway Fatal Shooting by Cop – Victim’s Brother Speaks Out – ‘No way was he attacking the cop’

@ Three Surfers Rescued Dec. 12th – One With Head Injury – Another Surfer Rescued Off Ladera
@ Newport Ave to Get a Make-Over
@ OB’s Dave Martin Joins Pt Loma Association Board
@ Props for OB’s “Holiday Parade”
@ Short Term Rentals Ordinance Goes Back to the Drawing Board and Peninsulans Weigh in
@ Short Term Rentals Slip

@ OB Makes “Young and Single” Neighborhood List – Duh!
@ Hearing for Point Loma Man Charged with Human Trafficking
@ Homeless Guy in PB Protests McDonalds
@ “Grimace Rock” Off Tourmaline a Hidden Danger
@ Some Reminiscing About Point Loma During World War II

Read the full article → 19 comments

Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

December 14, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

Dear Neighbors,

Hello, I’m Micaela Shafer Porte, born and raised in PB, MBHS class of ’77, member of the PB Town council, Friends of Mission Bay Marshes, PB Library, etc, and

I write to you with serious concerns about the proposed construction of 4000 sq ft of concrete of a large lifeguard station in the middle of the Law Street canyon and beach next to Palisades Park in North PB.

This $7 million project also includes hundreds of sq ft of “plastification” of the beach with “armor flex, a plastic grid driveway – to accommodate heavy trucks and machinery in the regular tidal events that happen on Law St beach.

We have formed a citizen’s committee online called, with a petition, to defend this stretch of beach from this massive development.

Protect PB is not against lifeguarding on this beach, we are against the excessiveness of this design, and the ill-fated location choice in a blind run off canyon in the high tide zone that is the end of Law St. beach.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Setback for Pacific Beach Residents Who Oppose Huge Lifeguard Station on Coastal Bluffs

December 14, 2015 by Source

PB Opp Pet vs LifeG 01

There has been a new development in the campaign by Pacific Beach residents to stop a planned lifeguard station at the end of Law Street in PB. The PB Planning Group at their December 1 meeting, voted to approve the site development plans for construction of the station.

Here’s what we stated about the campaign back at the end of August this year:

Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

The campaign to save the PB coastal bluffs is led by a group called Protect PB – they have a website and petition going on.

Mic Porte, an community activist in Pacific Beach, …

Read the full article → 1 comment

Donald Trump: The Pure Product of American Politics

December 14, 2015 by Jim Miller

Donald Trump :: Instant Karma :: GOP Primary Flavor

By Jim Miller

There’s been a lot of moral indignation recently in light of Donald Trump’s repugnant call to halt Muslim immigration and his fond remembrance of the American internment camps of the WWII era.

Indeed, some folks have even started using the “F” word, rightly noting the fascist tendencies that the Donald’s inflamed rhetoric appeals to and accurately comparing his calls to ban refugees to the shameful exclusion of Jews fleeing the Nazis.

But as righteous as it is to call out Trump’s ugly racism and xenophobia, there is something suspect about the assertion heard in many quarters that somehow now this outlier has “gone too far.” Indeed, the frequent portrayal of Trump as an aberrant figure who has stepped outside the boundaries of mainstream American political discourse simply protests too much.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

December 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

Newsom and Husband to Divorce

Gretchen Newsom issued the following statement on her blog yesterday on her decision to withdraw from the mayor’s race, December 11th:

“I have decided that I will not run for Mayor. My husband and I have recently decided to divorce on an amicable basis and, therefore, I need to focus on our son. I appreciate everyone’s respect of our privacy.”

Read the full article → 3 comments

Why Surfrider Is Against the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

December 11, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Why Surfrider Is Against the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Editor: The following is a press statement from the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation on the opening of the Carlsbad desalination plant.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Opening: The Wrong Solution at the Wrong Time

San Clemente, CA, December 10, 2015 – Since 2009, the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches, along with its San Diego Chapter, objected to the rationale for, and ultimately the process to establish the Carlsbad desalination plant, in California, by the developer, Poseidon Resources, Inc.

Read the full article → 5 comments

Ex-SeaWorld Employee Gives Chilling New Details About Orca Mistreatment

December 11, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Ex-SeaWorld Employee Gives Chilling New Details About Orca Mistreatment

By Ameena Schelling/ The Dodo / December 8, 2015

The past few years have seen a stream of former SeaWorld employees speak out about their time at the company. Now another employee is stepping forward — and revealing even more details about just how poorly the parks’ animals are treated.

Sarah Fischbeck joined SeaWorld San Diego as a water quality diver right after high school in 2007. During six years with the company, she worked jobs across the animal departments, performing maintenance on tanks and cleaning them, and regularly diving with the animals.

Read the full article → 3 comments

SDG&E: Solar’s Fake Friend

December 11, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for SDG&E: Solar’s Fake Friend

By Hutton Marshall/

San Diego Gas & Electric, our friendly neighborhood energy provider whether we like it or not, continues to prove that their claims to support clean energy are merely superficial. Especially in regards to solar energy, the most efficient, environmentally friendly energy source available to homes and businesses, SDG&E continues to favor policies that diminish the critical financial incentives that allow San Diegans to generate their own clean energy.

Read the full article → 0 comments

High Tides But No Flooding in OB Friday Morning

December 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie


Tides were high, but thank goodness there was no flooding in OB this Friday morning, the 11th of December.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Opposition to Police Cameras Dominates Packed Public Forum

December 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Opposition to Police Cameras Dominates Packed Public Forum

Police and Councilwoman Zapf Snubbed Meeting

In its first, genuine public display, the opposition to the police surveillance cameras being installed in OB sounded off at last night’s forum. In a packed community room at the OB Rec Center, where over 50 people crowded into the space along with 4 or 5 television cameras and sets of reporters, the group that has led the opposition, Citizens Against Privacy Abuse (CAPA) held its very first community public event.

By all accounts – the forum was very successful, as its structure allowed for nearly an hour and half of public dialogue and discussion of the camera issue, with participants sitting in a wide circle. CAPA organizers had pulled the event off in just over one weeks time – having announced the forum at last week’s Planning Board meeting. Several hundred posters, fliers, human bill-boarding along with petitions and media coverage paid off for the brand new group – which itself was barely one month old.

Read the full article → 17 comments

“Santa Paws” is Coming to OB

December 10, 2015 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for “Santa Paws” is Coming to OB

Local Pet Store Throws Holiday Benefit for Cat Rescue Shelter

By Matthew Wood

We all know the good little boys and girls of Ocean Beach will get a visit from Santa Claus in a few weeks.

But did you know that all the good little pets will also get their chance to visit the big guy this weekend?

They do – and it’s all part of Bone Appetit’s annual fundraiser for the store’s cat rescue shelter.

For a $5 donation, owners can bring their pets in this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. for a picture with “Santa Paws” at the store’s Sunset Cliffs/Narragansett location. The store will also offer specials on pet supplies and 15 percent off all holiday items.

Read the full article → 2 comments

In San Diego and Elsewhere, Increasing Demands for Police Reform

December 10, 2015 by Doug Porter

San diego police carsSDPD Union Contracts Under Scrutiny

By Doug Porter

Despite promises of increased transparency and action to prevent misconduct, the San Diego Police Department continues to draw criticism.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are under increasing scrutiny, as reports about use of excessive force, sexual assault, and abuse of power surface. Here, I’ll take a look at recent developments both locally and nationally.

Taking things one step further, activists associated with Black Lives Matter have broadened their Campaign Zero to include researching police union-negotiated labor agreements in many jurisdictions with the aim of flagging provisions delaying the interrogation of officers being investigated for use of force and used in erasing documentation of abuse.

San Diego is one of the cities under scrutiny.

Read the full article → 2 comments

It’s Time that Ordinary People Get a Break – Instead of the Banks

December 9, 2015 by John Lawrence

graph avg inc by grp 2007

Income Inequality is Getting Worse

By John Lawrence

Income and wealth inequality is only getting worse. It’s not hard to understand why. Certain corporations have a lock on economic activity throughout the world.

Mom and Pop operations have been forced out of business or have merged with the Big Guys.

Artificial intelligence, automation, robots, and computers have taken over many menial but used-to-be-better-than-minimum-wage jobs like check-out clerks, bank tellers and customer service operators. Other jobs have been offshored to cheaper labor jurisdictions.

The rest of us, college graduates included, have been reduced to being expendable appendages of the large corporate machines to be sucked in and spit out at their pleasure. When our skill sets are outmoded, we will be laid off and fresh talent will be acquired.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Donald Trump’s Audacity of Hate

December 9, 2015 by Doug Porter

Make America white againBy Doug Porter

The debate went on inside my head throughout the night as I drifted in and out of dreams. Should I call out this latest batch of hate-mongering from The Donald?

Or am I just giving him what he wants? The man sees his polls drop in Iowa and he’s at the ready with some new bit of outrage to keep his name in the headlines.

‘If you see something, say something’ won the debate. Plus, I realized Trump’s merely surfing the wave of fear empowered by his fellow chicken hawks and amplified by the media. Today I’ll examine reaction to the latest proclamations from the GOP candidate.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Response to “War of Words” at OB Planning Board Meeting

December 9, 2015 by Source

Editor: In the interests of continuing community debate about the installation of police surveillance cameras, the opposition and the reasons to oppose the cameras, the OB Rag publishes a response by Dan Dennison to our report of the most recent OB Planning Board meeting. Dennison is a member of the OB Planning Board.

By Dan Dennison

It is regrettable that the “forum” for presentation and comments about the anticipated OB beach surveillance cameras at last weeks’ OB Planning Board meeting became so contentious.

I believe that expression of the strongly held feelings of our residents is an enduring tradition of Ocean Beach and has to be respected and acknowledged. I personally appreciate the strong advocacy of opposition to the whole issue of surveillance from mounted cameras. However, I recognize that the world is not like it used to be when I was younger. The virtual digital ‘“vice grip” affecting all of us today very significantly eliminates both private and public privacy.

I believe a bit of perspective about last weeks’ meeting is helpful in understanding why the conflicts arouse so much emotion.

The OB Planning Board has no jurisdiction or approval capacity for what are generally called Public Safety issues.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Widder Curry Predicts “Fall” of OB Sushi

December 8, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Widder Curry Predicts “Fall” of OB  Sushi

Editor: A local OB restaurant is in the news, but not for good reasons. The operator of OB Sushi was just convicted of seafood fraud for serving fake “lobster rolls” – along with 7 other operators of sushi restaurants across San Diego.
Well, our own Widder Curry predicted all of this – not necessarily the fraudulent lobster – but the poor quality of the food – and service – in her most recent review – before the news broke. Here it is:

Restaurant Review – OB SUSHI SUSHI – Gets a “C” From the Widder Curry

Recently, my friend David and I decided we were hungry and ventured down Newport Avenue to grab a bite to eat. The first sushi restaurant we passed was crowded and noisy so we decided to walk a few stores down to the “OB Sushi Sushi” house. I noticed as we were greeted by a friendly person at the door, that the restaurant was in the process of changing hands but it was open, was clean, and we were hungry.

The first thing I felt was the extreme cold of the environment.

Read the full article → 21 comments

Winners of the 36th Annual OB Holiday Parade

December 8, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Winners of the 36th Annual OB Holiday Parade

From Gretchen Newsom

Please accept our sincere appreciation for your participation in the 36th Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade. We hope you enjoyed the parade as much as we did!!

We want to extend our Congratulations to each of this year’s Parade Winners:

Category Winner

Family: Whale Riders: mOBy dick


Read the full article → 0 comments

Reader Rant: “My Arguments Against OB Police Cameras”

December 8, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: “My Arguments Against OB Police Cameras”

Arguments By OB Rag and Others Opposed to Cameras Are Misguided

By Kevin Hastings

I strongly object to the installation of surveillance cameras along the beachfront.

With that said, I think the arguments by the OB Rag and others opposed to it are a bit misguided.

Appealing for liberty to sheep … you may as well try and teach a dog how to fly. In order to win over anyone on this, you have to consider their perspective.

It appears to me that a majority of OBcians currently support the cameras in the name of safety. Your newsletter poll said otherwise, but perhaps because they are birds of a feather, to an extent.

Police do not care about the privacy of anyone else. … Here’s my arguments: …

Read the full article → 8 comments

“Those People”

December 8, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Little-Boy-MeFriday after Thanksgiving, every two years. As black people and/or African Americans.

And let me tell you, it’s so nice to be among people who were at your side when you were a kid growing up trying to figure out how to make it in a world where you’re looked at as “Those people.” People to be looked down upon.

Like Muslims today, who, in the way we look at folks, could be anyone wearing a head scarf that covered their face. It’s a “They all look alike” kind of thing.

Read the full article → 2 comments

10 Reasons to Oppose Police Surveillance Cameras in Ocean Beach

December 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 10 Reasons to Oppose Police Surveillance Cameras in Ocean Beach

Here are 10 reasons to oppose the ten police surveillance cameras being installed along OB’s waterfront.

1. The cameras are unconstitutional – violations of both the First and Fourth Amendments. They violate our right of assembly and right of association. They are an unreasonable search and seizure of our persons and of our images

2. The cameras violate our right to privacy. Citizens do have the right to certain privacies – even on the beach or in parks; lawful citizens have the right not to be subject to surveillance by government or the police. In this age of government surveillance via emails and cellphones (especially as has been uncovered by Edward Snowden), concern for citizens’ rights to privacy are heightened.

3. Video Surveillance has chilling effect on public life. Cameras bring subtle but profound changes to the character of our public spaces, as citizens behave more self-conscious and less free-wheeling.

4. The police have not submitted any statistics on crimes at the beach or other empirical data to justify the cameras.

Read the full article → 13 comments

March and Rally for Climate Justice -Sat, Dec. 12

December 7, 2015 by Jim Miller

save the planetBy Jim Miller

Last week as the big climate talks kicked off in Paris it was my pleasure to co-host with Masada Disenhouse of SanDiego350 a community screening of Naomi Klein’s new film This Changes Everything.

We used this screening to help facilitate a discussion among folks from the local labor and environmental movements along with representatives from various community and student groups that was focused on the intersection between the climate crisis and the fight against economic inequality. Many folks expressed spirited opinions on how we might join the interests of the poor and workers with those fighting to save the planet.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Reader Rant: “Must Dusty Rhodes Dog Park Be this Dusty?

December 7, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: “Must Dusty Rhodes Dog Park Be this Dusty?

By Jon Linney

What a gem the Dusty Rhodes dog park is. It is – or rather was – also an eye-pleasing splash of green awaiting us on our commute home to Ocean Beach or Point Loma. A gem on a key entryway to the Peninsula.

Visiting time clearly is the best time of the day for many a four-legged friend who gets to romp and run and roll – and socialize. That goes for their owners as well, a chance to enjoy the outdoors and sit and watch or socialize with other people who have brought their pets. Even non-dog owners who pass by cannot help but smile.

“Disneyland for Dogs,” is what OB resident Scott King calls it.

But “Disneyland for Dogs” has fallen into disrepair. Lush green has turned into drab desert brown as the spigots have been turned off completely to fight the drought. This dog park has done its part in the effort to conserve and much more.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Livin’ La Vida Logan – Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II:

December 7, 2015 by Brent Beltran

barrios unidos

By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Diego. It used to be one whole community called Logan Heights, named after congressman John A. Logan, but the creation of the Interstate 5 freeway that bisected the neighborhood changed that.

Then the building of the San Diego–Coronado Bridge changed it again. Thousands were displaced from building the freeway and the bridge. Now Barrio Logan encompasses a relatively small patch of land sandwiched between the San Diego Bay and the I-5 freeway and north of National City and south of San Diego’s East Village.

Read the full article → 0 comments

War of Words Erupts Over Police Cameras at OB Planning Meeting

December 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag Editor Kicked Out of Meeting for Profanity

In one of the most contentious meetings in its recent history, the OB Planning Board meeting Wednesday night – December 2nd – literally erupted into a “war of words” over the police surveillance cameras being proposed for Ocean Beach.

Opponents and advocates of the cameras traded pontifications, comments, tirades and insults – in a packed meeting with standing room only. However, the meeting soon devolved into a one-sided show, where proponents of the surveillance cameras and police were allowed to dominate what had been described as “a forum”. And yes, this author was ordered to leave the room due to an outburst of profanity (more on that later).

Much of the crowd was there because of the agenda item No. 2Surveillance Cameras along the waterfront, with a promise that the Board would discuss the issue and “gather consensus regarding their use”.

Read the full article → 30 comments