News from Ocean Beach and the Beach Area

by on January 20, 2016 · 4 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach

hands cross sand OB mj 02

Hands across the sand in OB, June 2010.

Abbott Street Residents Upset Over Broken Street Lights – SDG&E Lacking


People who live along a 10-block stretch of Abbott Street in Ocean Beach say their lives are at risk once the sun goes down.  They say street lights have not worked for at least three months. And some residents say they fear walking outside in the dark.

“People are stalking women at night, there’s people coming home from bars all drunk harassing residents, the lights need to be repaired,” said resident Andrew Mendez. Mendez and others say the city has been unresponsive and has failed to come out and fix the problem.

“The majority of the people here are paying taxes, isn’t that what the city is supposed to be doing, hopefully city councilman will jump on the ball and make it happen,” said Mendez.

The city of San Diego says it has fixed the lights and has been waiting on San Diego Gas & Electric to turn the power back on. A spokesperson for SDG&E says they have crews in Ocean Beach and are waiting on further repairs to be made before they can turn the power back on. And it’s unclear how long those repairs will take.

Flooding Closes OB Mainstreet Assoc Office

The recent rains brought flooding to a number of businesses and homes around OB. And even to the office that represents the businesses. The OB Mainstreet Association office on Bacon Street had to be closed due to the damage. Re-tiling and drywall repairs were needed.  The office is expected to be open in a week or two.

Also suffering some damage was Wings in the former Strands building on Newport Avenue.

State Probing Experimental Hubbs Fish Breeding Program That’s Spawned Deformities, Mixed Results

Ry Rivard / Voice of San Diego / January 19, 2016

The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is trying to build a massive fish farm off the San Diego coast, the most ambitious aquaculture project of its kind in the United States.  The ocean farm could ultimately raise about 11 million pounds of fish a year in cages about five miles off the coast.

But a much smaller Hubbs undertaking to breed fish has drawn the attention of environmentalists and state regulators, and not always in a good way. Over the past two decades, Hubbs has received $28 million from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to run an experimental program to help restock the ocean with white seabass.

Fish spawned as part of that effort have horns, deformed hearts or are blind.

The state is now auditing the whole program. It’s unclear if it’s had any significant effect on the white seabass population, which was in decline because of pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction.

While Hubbs’ white seabass program receives considerable positive attention, its problems are rarely discussed in public.  In internal documents, one of the state’s top fish scientists said Hubbs basks in the positive attention while burying important facts about its operations “under a mountain of bullshit.”

An untold number of Hubbs fish are deformed and thought unlikely to survive long in the wild. Hubbs has also killed hundreds of thousands of white seabass through negligence and mishaps or because its fish were deemed too genetically alike, misshapen or diseased.

Most of the government records that form the basis of this story were first obtained by San Diego Coastkeeper, an environmental organization that requested documents about the white seabass program from the state. Coastkeeper is seeking to block construction of the new offshore farm. If Hubbs is having trouble running one fish-farming operation, it shouldn’t be trusted with another, the group argues. More

No new Mission Beach lifeguard station

Construction stopped following judge’s ruling

By Dorian Hargrove/ San Diego Reader/ Dec. 26, 2015

On December 24, superior-court judge Katherine Bacal ruled that the City of San Diego violated the city’s own site development permit while going about the construction of a state-of-the-art lifeguard tower in South Mission Beach.

The city had waited eight and a half years after permits were obtained to demolish the current 897-square-foot lifeguard station to make room for a new structure. The three-story, 3125-square-foot building with observation tower was to have a first-aid room, a lobby, enclosed parking and storage for safety vehicles, and restrooms.

A group of residents calling themselves Citizens for Beach Rights filed an emergency writ of mandate after witnessing construction crews prepping the site for construction in March 2015, six years after the city’s building permit expired. More

Caught on camera: Fisherman pets, kisses pelican

by Kandiss Crone/ 10News

A fisherman in Ocean Beach got up close and personal with a pelican, and video of the encounter is circulating online. Cell phone video captured the man showing some love to the pelican. Oddly, enough it didn’t seem to ruffle the bird’s feathers.

“He’s just gently petting the pelican’s neck,” Mike Stenger said.

Mike Stenger was in disbelief and whipped out his phone to record the close up encounter.
Stenger says the fisherman told him he comes out to the pier to pet the bird often and that the pelican recognizes him each time. More

De facto seawall denied –  Coastal commission tells beach club to pound sand

By Marty Graham / San Diego Reader / Jan. 19, 2016

Despite a push by San Diego County supervisor Greg Cox to approve it, on January 14 the California Coastal Commission shot down the Solana Beach & Tennis Club’s attempt to get permission to fill in five sea caves on the ocean bluff with concrete.

The homeowners’ association for the 152-condominium project is pushing for 110 feet of infill on the bluffs where the commission staff report says there are already 250 feet of concrete infills. The group says its plan involves using concrete formulated to erode at the same rate as the bluffs. If it doesn’t erode the way promised, the commission wants a promise that the concrete will be removed — something the homeowners seemed reluctant to agree to do.

“This is a de facto seawall,” said Julia Chunn-Heer, policy manager for Surfrider San Diego. “The commission’s policy is to reserve seawalls for when they are unavoidable and necessary.” More

USA Hostels – Owner of OB’s Hostel – Has 2 Award Winners

Press Release Rocket

San Francisco and USA Hostels Hollywood wins’s HOSCAR awards for fourth and fifth consecutive year. Two USA Hostels’ locations were named as winners of the 2016 HOSCAR for Most Popular Hostel in their respective cities. Awarded were USA Hostels Hollywood, for which this is the fifth consecutive win for Los Angeles, and USA Hostels San Francisco, which has earned this award for the fourth year in a row. …

In 2015, USA Hostels’ expanded their chain with a second San Diego location at Ocean Beach. It has quickly risen in stature on booking sites, currently ranked the #1 San Diego hostel on both and This seaside hostel is just 2 blocks to beach in the heart Ocean Beach’s tourist district.

In addition to the exclusive USA Hostels amenity of ‘privacy pods’ on all dorm beds and daily activity offerings, this hostel also shares a free shuttle service with its sister hostel in downtown San Diego. Stops also include various tourist sites, the airport and the La Jolla shoreline. In addition, this hostel provides guests with all they need for a day at the beach, including beach umbrellas, chairs, mats and even sunscreen. Low cost rentals for surfboards and body boards is also available.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Dude January 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

No lights???

Call Turko or Channel 10 …. it’s amazing what happens when things get televised.

Do a candlelight vigil and call the media!


Jon January 20, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I started reporting this in November. The city has consistently pointed the finger at SDGE. But it’s really gotten ridiculous. 3 months, at least 4 complaints just from me and I’m sure there are others. Yet nobody can seem to explain what the problem is and why on earth it has taken 3 months and still is not solved. And low and behold, we have a multiple stabbing 1 block away last night. I’m surprised there haven’t been more serious issues.


Jon January 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm



Isla January 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

Cracks, concrete, el niño, King Tides… what is the future of the Cliffs… And compare and contrast– disparities in environmental issues and politics of North County.


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