OB Swamped with “MamaBear’s” Graffiti and Paint in the Tidepools

by on December 13, 2016 · 5 comments

in Culture, Economy, Homelessness, Ocean Beach


Screen capture 10News

Seems the Village of Ocean Beach has been swamped lately – between someone dumping gallons of paint near the tide pools and a homeless woman named “Mama Bear” covering lots of surfaces with a black marker pen.

10News did a pair of news stories Tuesday, one about the paint dump and the other about “Mama Bear”.

One of the members of the OB Graffiti Task Force, Kevin Hastings, was asked about the mess so close to the ocean and precious pools of life:

“Oh my gosh I didn’t know where to start. It was just, I was so angry. It just kind of got worse and worse and spread all over.  Down just from people walking through this area. It’s tracked down the cliffs, up the stairs.”

Apparently, people had walked through the wet paint and then had tracked it down to the tide pools where it ran into the ocean. City crews poured sand over the wet sidewalk paint and painted out other markers.

Hastings added:

“Who dumps paint over the tide pools? I hope they realize the impact on other people.”  10News

ob-mama-bearAnd then there’s Mama Bear, a homeless woman who has been writing over many surfaces with black markers around the village.  Some of her markings are not discernible, but some of them are about missing people.  Reportedly, she’s responsible for dozens of writings.

OB Mainstreet Association Executive Director, Denny Knox, was interviewed by 10News, and was quoted as saying:

“She’ll write on anything. … Sometimes it’s just scrawling bologna. We’re frustrated. We’re really frustrated. We want her to stop.”

ob-mama-bear-2Ironically, her writings are difficult to find because of the quick work of the OB Graffiti Task Force, who are out painting over graffiti every day.

Yet, 10News reported:

However, there were five sentences written in black marker Monday morning along the boardwalk just north of the Ocean Beach Pier. All five were signed by Mama Bear, and all five referenced people who disappeared in 2016.

Some hope that the police will catch her in the act and arrest, cite or fine Mama Bear. Perhaps other agencies will need to be involved.  10News

Of course, there’s plenty of others out there defacing the cliffs and public walls – so it’s not just about Mama Bear and the paint vandals.

ob-mama-bear-1Fighting against graffiti is a longterm and constant battle. Good people of OB have been dealing with it for years. And of course, we’re not alone – most urbanized neighborhoods sport graffiti. But we have those cliff walls that can hide the actual defacing.

Right on, graffiti task force – don’t get discouraged!

We catalogued in published photos some of the work that the graffiti task force has been doing recently – The Unsung Heroes of OB’s Graffiti Wars.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Dude December 13, 2016 at 12:23 pm

What good are the cameras doing that Zapf spent money on?


kevin hastings December 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm

The police don’t catch taggers. Every vandal that has been detained or arrested by the police in OB in the past year was a direct result of OBceans catching them in the act and pursuing them as needed until the police arrived.


cc December 14, 2016 at 8:15 am

I commented in another article that i sat on hold with the police dispatcher for 45 minutes while a kid spray painted a wall on city property outside my window. Cops never showed up and the kid was sitting there for an hour in broad daylight. He came back the next week and I went down and told him to get lost and that I had him on video tape. He didn’t come back after that, but the police caused me to take the law into my own hands…. and big surprise he tried to argue with me and get in my face. So the lack of response by the police could have caused me to get in a physical altercation. I understand tagging might not be a priority but i threw the cops a layup and they did nothing.


OB Dude December 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Time for a new police chief!


CliffHanger December 14, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Tag the Taggers.
Spray paint THEM.


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