News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early February 2018

by on February 5, 2018 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

An aerial view of Dog Beach in ocean Beach San Diego

Maureen Roeber is the Friends of the Library President

The OB Rag wishes to congratulate Maureen Roeber who is the new president of OB Friends of the Library.

OB and Point Loma Form Neighborhood Watch Network

Nicole Ueno, a native of Sunset Cliffs, sent out the call last month for community members to step up to cover eight different neighborhood watch zones across Ocean Beach and Point Loma. [Ed: Nicole writes about why she did this here.] Within a week, over 650 people had signed on to join the Ocean Beach Neighborhood Watch. On January 31, more than 40 locals gathered to discuss how best to deal with issues plaguing the eclectic beach community from aggressive panhandling and illegal camps to trespassing, vandalism, and arson. See Julie Stalmer’s post at San Diego Reader

Cracks and Sinkhole at Silver Spray Apts

Delinda Lombardo has a new piece via San Diego Reader and asks if,:”Ocean Beach’s Silver Spray Apartments doomed?” – The historic Silver Spray Apartments at 5116 Narragansett Ave in Ocean Beach is fabled for its old salt-pools, the Plunge, and of course, the haunted ballroom. And now, it looks as if the three-story building is adding a new chapter to its legacy — a large and growing sinkhole has formed along the public access sidewalk that wraps around the lower northwest corner of the building.

Swastikas and Slur part of Vandalism to Woman’s Car

A woman in Ocean Beach was left in shock after she discovered her car brutally vandalized in broad daylight. Glass remained all over the ground from her vehicle’s shattered windows Friday and police were still looking for whoever trashed her car.   “I was in shock I was like why would anyone do this?” she told 10News. It wasn’t how she ever thought her morning would start. Now – she’s so scared that she didn’t even want to be on camera. She did share photos of the damage, showing broken windows and rude phrases and symbols carved into the paint. “So it was all scratched all around it and then one of the windows was broken and (I have a) flat tire,” she said. ” (They carved) ‘Jesus loves you’ and they did a swastika on top and (wrote) ‘slut’ all over in several places on the car.”  Some of the things carved into her car were so offensive, 10News decided to blur them. In all, it’s caused thousands of dollars in damage. She says she has no idea what provoked the attack – but that it could be a result of her job. She’s an apartment manager and wonders if she was targeted because of her position. abc10News

What’s the City Up to at Former Sports Arena?

From Voice of SD: “City officials are clearing the way for a massive redevelopment of the land around the Valley View Casino Center. City planners expect to finish a new community plan for the Midway District by this summer. That plan could increase the neighborhood’s population by nearly six times what it is now and increase jobs by 28 percent. At the same time, the city is not extending leases beyond May 2020 for some of the businesses that occupy city-owned land in the area, including AEG Management, which manages the Valley View Casino Center. That could open up nearly 43 acres of city-owned land for private development. The city owns not only the old arena and parking lot but much of the land under businesses like Pier 1 Imports. If the city doesn’t extend their leases beyond 2020 — including the big one to operate the arena — the stage will be set for a major redevelopment of the entire area, perhaps orchestrated by one developer after a city bidding process.” Voice of San Diego

Campland on the Bay Profits Higher in More Than a Decade

Campland on the Bay, one of Mission Bay’s original lessees, reported the highest occupancy and revenue in 2017 in more than a decade. The campground said it generated $2.8 million in city rent and transient occupancy tax in 2017, up from $2.6 million  in 2016. The camp recorded 121,974 site nights of reservations, and in July 2017 achieved an 80.3 percent occupancy rate, with the July 4 weekend sold out. “Campland on the Bay is proud to be an important economic driver for Mission Bay Park and the city of San Diego,” said Jacob Gelfand, Campland’s vice president of operations. “Campland’s growth in occupancy over the past decade illustrates how the demand for waterfront camping and recreation continues to rise.”

Campland on the Bay opened in 1969 as one of the first commercial leaseholds in Mission Bay Park. Campers routinely line up before dawn to reserve their favorite campsite up to two years in advance. The business employs 150 people and attracts not only San Diego residents but also visitors who patronize nearby restaurants and other businesses during their stay, helping to support the local economy. Last year the City Council voted unanimously to grant Campland a three-year lease with options to extend to 2022. Times of San Diego

Pedestrian Seriously Injured Sunday in Point Loma

A man was being hospitalized Sunday after he apparently walked out in front of a car in the Loma Portal neighborhood of Point Loma. At about 9:45 p.m. Saturday, a 31-year-old man stepped out in front of a Ford Focus traveling west in the 2700 block of Chatsworth Boulevard, said Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department. The pedestrian suffered “serious head injuries” and was taken to a hospital. His identity was not released. The driver was identified only as a 27-year-old man. Police were looking into the cause of the crash. San Diego Patch

OB Firefighter Captain Fights Fire-Work-Related Cancer

Veteran firefighter Todd Bechtel, a captain in the Ocean Beach station, said he’s seeing younger colleagues embracing the safety recommendations as they go about their days. After a recent fire, everyone in his station grabbed clean turnouts before the next call. … Bechtel, a firefighter for 26 years, was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago after a routine checkup. He underwent surgery and radiation, but recently learned his cancer has returned. Like others, he would sleep with his pants next to his bunk, take off his mask as soon as flames were knocked down and wear his flash hood over and over without washing it. He wonders if the interrupted sleep cycles typical in a busy station and other stresses also played a role. “When the question is asked of me, do I think it was work related, with all the stuff put in front of me, I can’t see how it wasn’t work related,” he said. “But you never know.” San Diego Union-Tribune

Beacon Finally Finds Sunset Cliffs Are Dangerous

The Pen. Beacon has finally discovered the dangers of Sunset Cliffs. It reports in its Feb. 2th issue: “It’s inevitable. Over time, chunks of the Peninsula’s ever-eroding, iconic Sunset Cliffs will be undermined and topple down onto the beaches below. A naturally occurring event, the likelihood of cliffs collapsing is greatly increased by high surf  and during — and after — winter storms. It’s a recurring problem for residents and visitors alike in and around Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, a 68-acre city park adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Sunset Cliffs is renowned for its sheer cliffs, surfing spots, and for its interlocking network of well-worn cliffside walking trails especially popular for sunset viewing. But the undeveloped cliffs can be as dangerous as they are gorgeous. People falling from them have injured themselves — and died.” And of course, the Beacon never mentioned or gave credit to the OB Rag‘s extensive study on ‘deaths and distress at Sunset Cliffs (we know they’ve read it), as they never do.

Mother’s Saloon Band Signs Up With Label

Savage Entertainment has announced today that the band, “Angelyn & Blind Innocence” has become the newest act to sign up with Orange County based record label Wright Records, Inc. Ranked the #1 Alternative band in both L.A. and Orange Counties by industry powerhouse, ReverbNation, Blind Innocence has been performing in Southern California for the past 5 years. From Hollywood’s world famous Whiskey A Go Go to San Diego’s popular Mothers Saloon in Ocean Beach, fans have been entertained by their unique blend of alternative, country, and rock & roll music.

Belching Beaver Eatery

Belching Beaver Brewery – which has one of its tasting rooms on Newport Ave in Ocean Beach – debuted its new Pub 980 concept in January, taking the unusual step of converting the tasting room of its original Vista brewery location into a casual eatery with a taproom bar. SD Reader.

Friends of Marc Snelling Giggle

Marc Snelling used to live in OB and many knew him and worked with him in those activist days of yore. It may be interesting to those who knew him to know he now writes an online column, Sneller, at Milltown in Canada. Here’s his latest:

Much of my adult life has been spent living in the United States. Ocean Beach San Diego in particular. Now I love that place, it’s endless summer, it’s fast-paced, and on the cutting edge of many trends. Still, when it came to raising up my kids, my first thought was “I want a place that will give my kids the time to grow up.” Almonte! The reasons why are tied to my memory. These memories; good, bad, and otherwise that shaped who I am. So much of who we are is cast in the mold of our youth. Those youthful memories color the rest of our lives. We strive to recreate what was good in our childhood for our kids. We seek to protect them from the pain, the bad experiences.

Social Media to Blame for Crowds, Grafitti and Trash at Sunset Cliffs

If you ask officials and residents why litter, graffiti and homeless camps are becoming more problematic around Sunset Cliffs, you’ll get a quick answer: social media. “With social media, there’s been a huge increase in the population down there,” said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rick Romero. “The population at some of the favorite spots has just skyrocketed in the past five years.” A case in point is The Arch at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, where mostly young people every summer make the 30-foot leap from the arch.  Despite it’s being illegal, after being alerted to thrill seeking by social media, more and more young people continue to flock to The Arch to test their mettle. “It used to be just locals doing it,” said Romero. “But now, everyone knows about it.”

Gene Berger, chairman of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council, agreed social media is a major “culprit” in the worsening litter, trash, and homelessness situation. “In the last two years, with social media and the Internet, we’ve seen just a gigantic increase in the amount of people coming to Sunset Cliffs,” Berger said. “And with an increase in people — it’s just going to be more problematic.”


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

rick callejon February 6, 2018 at 11:36 am

Marc, My children were raised in OB . They are 29 and 26 and doing well. They still live in OB and I’m told they are doing well. Friends of mine report seeing them on occasion, panhandling on Newport.


Geoff Page February 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Yes, and my kids grew up with Rick’s, they still live in OB, and they tell me they are doing well also. The panhandling is quite lucrative and supports their part time hobbies of spraying graffiti and making sure car doors are locked.

Seems mine had the same amount of time to grow up as did Rick’s kids so there are at least some success stories. While pain and bad experiences are no fun, shielding children from the realities of the world leads to naivete and the results of that can be pretty awful.


Moses February 11, 2018 at 8:59 am

Its a problem when we do nothing but complain…we need to act positively and pick up the trash….no excuses!!!!


Frank Gormlie February 13, 2018 at 10:32 am

Dave Schwab at (Pen. Beacon et al) says: “Following a tip from a reliable source, the Peninsula Beacon has learned that Pop Pie Co. will occupy Nati’s space at 1852 Bacon St., pending the signing of a lease.”–to-take-over-Nati-s-restaurant-in-Ocean-Beach?instance=sdnews


Frank Gormlie February 13, 2018 at 10:34 am

SanDiego7 reports: “The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department found a boat capsized near the Ocean Beach Pier Monday morning. The 16-foot boat was empty. No registration information or numbers were found aboard. The U.S. Coast Guard was called to the scene at the end of Del Mar Avenue, just five blocks south of the pier.”


Geoff Page February 13, 2018 at 10:43 am

I’d say some apologies are in order folks.


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