News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

by on March 2, 2018 · 17 comments

in Ocean Beach

Bulldozers Move in to Sunset Cliffs Park – Ancient Eucalyptus Grove to Be Removed

Construction has begun in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on Phase 2 of the “Hillside Improvement Project,” a component of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park master plan. Heavy equipment has moved in to the park to begin grading the new trail system and prepare for the restorations that go along with it. Kyle Inse, biologist on the project, says that the project includes the installation of over 20,000 native plants endemic to the area. Recon Native Plant Company is collecting seed and growing the plants that will be installed.

The grove of eucalyptus trees will be removed along with much of the nonnative weeds covering the hillside, the goal being to restore the native coastal sage scrub and maritime chaparral habitats endemic to the area. The trail system that is being installed will largely follow the existing trails. The surfaces of the trails will be enhanced for durability and safety and erosion protecting features will be added. San Diego Reader

eucalyptus grove circled in red.

OB Not on “Top Beaches” Survey

The travel booking and planning website, TripAdvisor, released its annual Travelers’ Choice Awards, including a list of the “Top 25 Beaches in the United States.” And Ocean Beach is not on the list. But Pacific Beach is … It ranked No. 20 and La Jolla Shores Park claimed the No. 22 spot. TripAdvisor said the rankings were based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches gathered over the span of 12 months. 7SanDiego

Family of OB Man Killed in Wrong-way Crash Dispute CHP Report

The family of the man killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 5 Monday morning, Feb. 26, says the California Highway Patrol got it wrong. According to them, their brother – Justin Callahan – was a driver, but not the driver who caused the crash. On Monday CHP told 10News the following: Just before 2 a.m. Monday, a Volkswagon Jetta was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Inerstate 8 from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. As CHP officers responded, the Jetta entered the northbound Interstate 5 transition ramp to the westbound I-8 in the wrong direction and collided head-on with a Toyota Camry. An SUV then crashed into the back of the Camry, the CHP said.

The driver of the Jetta was 35-year-old Justin Callahan, who was declared dead at the scene. Justin’s family says he usually drives home from work at the time and would have been traveling in the opposite direction – from Chula Vista to his home in Ocean Beach. Based on that information, they tell 10News the CHP’s report just doesn’t add up. “It doesn’t make any sense,” his brother, Tommy Villafranca, said.  “Why would he get back on the freeway and get back the opposite direction?” And if Callahan did turn around and got back on the freeway, the timing doesn’t add up,  his brother said.  He says his work caught on security video leaving at 1:38 a.m. and the crash happened less than 20 minutes later. “It takes 21 minutes just to get from his work to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard,” Villafranca said.   “He’s still got to turn around go back, and that would take even more time, so the timeline is not working at all.” The family has created a GoFundMe to help them pay for arrangements necessary to get Callahan back to Wheatland, California and arrange a funeral. The GoFundMe has raised $7,410 of the $12,000 goal since Tuesday. abc10News

Beach Craft Merchant Brutally Attacked by Man with Baseball Bat

Christian Fischer makes his living selling handmade crafts right next to the beach. The future of his livelihood now rests in the hands of his surgeon who had to put his left elbow and arm back together with steel pins after he was brutally attacked by a man with a baseball bat. “My arm went limp. I turned to run and he hit me two more times in the side,” Fischer said. Photographs of Fischer’s injuries are hard to look at. He has deep bruises on his side and the staples from the surgery incision go almost the whole length of his arm. Christian says the man who attacked him was caught on a security camera a few blocks from the beach.

NBC 7 isn’t identifying the man because police haven’t charged him. They tracked his image to The Philosopher’s Stone in Ocean Beach where he came to have the crystal appraised the day before the attack. Owner Wendy Adelstin says she appraised the crystal he bought from Fischer at a lower price than what he paid for it. “He was very calm. He was nice, he was smiling. He was in good spirits. I did not feel threatened or in danger,” Adelstin said.

Five minutes after that, the customer returned to the beach. Fischer says he threatened his life even though he gave the man his money back. Fischer approached the customer in Nati’s Restaurant parking lot just a few blocks from the beach. He says the alleged attacker saw him, grabbed a bat from the trunk of a car and then beat him with it. The attendant at the restaurant parking lot where the attack happened logs the license plates of the cars parked there. The owner of the restaurant could not verify whether the suspect’s license plate number is on that list. Those close to the case believe the suspect lives in Ocean Beach. Police told NBC 7 they are investigating the case but have not made any arrests. NBC 7

Get ready for a GINORMOUS Book/CD/DVD Sale at the OB LIBRARY, MARCH 10th

Come to the OB Library, 4801 Santa Monica Ave., Saturday March 10th 9:30 to 12:30. We have new books–donated by Barnes & Noble; we have travel books; we have children’s books for all reading levels; we have mystery books; we have do-it-yourself books; you name it! We got it!! Come to the sale!!! (We now take charge cards!!)

OB Historical Society Wisteria Garden Party.  Sunday, March 18

Join those in the know at the Ocean Beach Historical Society Wisteria Garden Party.  Spend the afternoon in the garden of the historic O.B. Wisteria Cottage under the largest wisteria canopy in Ocean Beach. Listen to live music including songs from the 1920s by local Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters.  Minimum Suggested Donation: $15 Members  and $25 Non-Members (Includes Membership) Pay entry at the event. at 4761 Niagara Avenue, O.B. 92107 Enjoy Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters band with A dance area, tasty snacks & beverages and an opportunity Drawing. Visit: www.obhistory.

Confusion Still at Prince Recycling Center

Confusion reigns following a February community rally seeking to have Prince Recycling Center, adjoining Stump’s Family Marketplace in Point Loma, moved to a more suitable site in nearby Midway District. Two days after the rally, Prince was reportedly served with an eviction notice by the marketplace’s property owners. Meanwhile, Midway planners turned thumbs down to the proposal to relocate Prince Recycling Center to their neighborhood. A week later, some Peninsulans alleging the recycling center is a homeless haunt, a community blight and a crime catalyst, pled their case for removing the Point Loma “convenience” recycler to  Assemblyman Todd Gloria at a Feb. 17 community town hall. Add to all that frustration on the part of marketplace owner Dirk Stump, who was compelled by state law four years ago to allow a “convenience” recycling center onsite next to his market at 3770 Voltaire St. – or face daily fines. Stump feels increasingly pressured – and trapped in the middle – by this most recent turn of events with Prince Recycling. San Diego Community News Group

OB’s Band of Gringos Ready to Play at THC

The three-member guitar-based power trio Band of Gringos — all born and raised in O.B. and still residents — say they would happily play at the new Holding Company once it is rebuilt. “I can see both sides,” Gringos guitarist/singer Cody Sherman says. “Many OBceans don’t like big party crowds. The Holding Company already tried to hire big bands. When they reopen I think they are really going to go for it. Right now Winstons is the only other killer place to play music in O.B.” San Diego Reader

PLNU Annual “Grade the Media” Included OBcean Taylor Winston, Hero of Las Vegas

Point Loma Nazarene University held its annual “Grade the Media” on Wed., the 28th of February. Sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the event gave subjects of stories a chance to share their thoughts and grade local coverage. And included among the panelists was Taylor Winston, the 29-year-old Iraq war veteran from Ocean Beach who with a female acquaintance drove about two dozen Route 91 Harvest Festival victims to the hospital in a work truck he found on the grounds. Other panelists at the 80-minute forum included: Dulce Garcia, a 34-year-old Dreamer and immigration attorney; and Tony Manolatos, a former GOP operative and SD Union-Tribune reporter. Times of San Diego

Peruvian Cuisine Comes to Point Loma

Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria, location Liberty Station -2401 Truxtun Rd Ste 102 – is a culinary masterpiece resulting from the fusion of two masters – executive chef Emmanuel Piqueras and restaurateur Sammi Ladeki. Celebrating 5,000 square feet of pure joy, Pisco is a food tour-de-force. Mouth-watering traditional dishes align with contemporary fare perfectly paired with namesake Pisco brandy cocktails. A fine selection of South American wine, beer and brandy are also added to the cocktail mix.

SDSU Exhibit Takes Hard Look at Katherine Tingley and the Theosophical society of Lomaland

A new exhibition at SDSU takes a hard look at Katherine Tingley and the Theosophical society of Lomaland. Entitled, Point Loma’s Lost Promised Land, it’s all about San Diego’s former Theosophical community called Lomaland, which was created by Katherine Tingley in 1898 and previously occupied the land where Point Loma Nazarene University’s campus now sits, although most of the original buildings have been torn down. During Lomaland’s peak in the 1920s, 500 residents from 26 nations lived there. CityBeat

Point Loma’s Bicycle-themed Eatery / Espresso Bar to Hold Funky Bike and Relay Races for Anniversary March 3

It has been one year since Point Loma witnessed its first bike-themed café, Coffee Hub & Café, move into the heart of the village. In celebration of this anniversary, owner Sandy Hanshaw and staff invite bike lovers, coffee addicts and San Diegans seeking a unique weekend outing to stop by the café on Saturday, March 3. Kicking off at 10 a.m., guests get locally roasted coffee and conversation, live music, a complimentary slice of homemade anniversary cake. Additionally, a funky bike relay race is set to commence around café involving two wheels, four people, a full cup of coffee and a mission to spill the least amount, one-handed for a prize.  Hanshaw urges those regulars, and others to pedal over on March 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Competitors who wish to participate in the bike race must register and bring their own bike. Those who wish to participate in Coffee Hub Bike Club’s morning group ride prior to the anniversary should arrive with bikes by 8:30 a.m. RSVP’s to Coffee Hub & Café’s one-year anniversary can be secured here. Folks interested in participating in the bike relay team must send their team to

Midway Murder Suspect Could Turn Himself In

The suspect in a murder outside a 24 Hour Fitness in the Midway District, Ernesto Martinez, is still a free man — but a neighbor that knows Martinez says he called his San Diego pastor from Mexico and may turn himself in. Police have yet to confirm the information, however, and say he’s yet to come forward. A neighbor and an employee at one of the nearby restaurants attached to the building confirmed Martinez’s identity from his picture on Facebook, and told FOX 5 they knew him. “He lives in the building,” said Nick Green, a neighbor. But police suspect Martinez shot 27-year-old Alexander Mazin outside a 24 Hour Fitness on Sunday. The two were recent acquaintances, but police aren’t saying how they knew each other and they are still investigating the motive behind the murder. The mother of the victim told FOX 5 that the family would like to remain private during this time to make sure nothing will interfere with the murder investigation. A celebration of life for Mazin is taking place on Sunday at the Bahia Hotel in Mission Bay. Fox5

Dockless Bikes Could Hurt Local Businesses

Kevin White has been running his beach rental business, K-Dub’s Beach Rentals, for a little more than a year. “We’re just starting to get the foot in the door, our name is being spread. Next thing you know we see all these bikes,” said White. He is referring to the dockless bike-sharing bikes that have rolled into beach communities where White rents his bikes. “I’m all for more bikes, less cars – but this is kind of over the top,” said White. Fox5

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Toolpusher March 2, 2018 at 5:57 pm

“Ancient” Eucalyptus Grove. An interesting concept regarding natural landscapes/wilderness. The original landscape of San Diego did not have Eucalyptus trees. These are native to Australia and were only planted in California in the mid-nineteenth century (an interesting history in itself). But, that is still a long time ago, certainty beyond anyone’s memory or even probably their grandparent’s memory, and so it seems they have been here forever (i.e. ancient) and are part of the natural landscape of the area. But, no they are invasive even if originally intended. Nevertheless, have these trees been fully integrated in the local Eco-system? Or, do they have a negative impact and is it even enough of an impact to try to do something about it? Do we disrupt the current Eco-system to try to bring it back to “original,” whatever that concept means? A good book that discusses some of these concepts is: Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West.


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 3, 2018 at 8:26 am

Thanks. I said “ancient” because they’ve been there since I was a young lad, and I used to camp and play in those dunes just to the north of them 55 years ago. First, I don’t agree that we should cut down all “non-native” species. The eucalyptus grove provided cover, shade and housing for plenty of “native” birds and “native” animals. The grove does not look like it’s being doing well – and it hasn’t been maintained by the city.


Tyler March 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm

The grove is infested with bark-beetle


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 5, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Yeah, they look in really bad condition.


Leonard Armstrong March 4, 2018 at 4:56 am

According to the horticulture experts at Balboa Park, both red and white Eucalyptus trees were planted by the Hearst family throughout California in the early 1800’s to create a harvest source for railroad ties. The Eucalyptus wood in Australia was strong and long lasting but after the planted tree grew in foreign California soil, it’s DNA mutated and the tree became brittle and weak. It’s propensity to fracture made it unusable to railroad industrialists and it’s evasive reproduction made it a prolific nuisance to naturalists. It’s only beneficial characteristic is it’s shade production but it’s branches are known to fall and kill pedestrians without warning.


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 5, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Eucalyptus trees also provide habitat for countless birds and small animals.


Eric March 5, 2018 at 8:21 am

Eucalyptus has taken over the Berkeley Hills and parks where I grew up and it’s a scourge on the landscape. It’s eucalyptus oil sterilizes the ground where only the hardiest plants like poison oak and blackberry grow, nothing native feeds on it, falling branches from the brittle trees have and will kill and destroy. It burns incredibly, check out videos of the Oakland Hills firestorm. It only has redeeming in Australia where it belongs. While the smells of it illicit memories of childhood in the hills and creeks the reality is that it is not meant to be here. Pull them out and let the environment recover.


Geoff Page March 5, 2018 at 10:23 am

A few clarifications about the recycling center. Stump’s was not compelled to put it there, the owner of Prince Recycling approached Stumps about locating there and Stumps agreed. According to Jaime Prince, he was paying rent to Stumps all the time he was there even though there was no rental contract. That was because Stumps does not own the property. What needs to be clear is that Stumps is responsible for the recycling center being where it is.


Tyler March 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Should be interesting to see what happens. The master plan calls for a more accessible path down to Garbage. With the stairs closed indefinitely will this path be in the works?


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

OB gets a passing mention whereas PB is highlighted in “7 Rad Spring Break Destinations for Bodysurfing”


John O. March 7, 2018 at 10:46 am

Maybe edit the “ancient” to something accurate… the headline only make me question the OB Rag accuracy.


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 7, 2018 at 10:54 am

Dude, anything that has survived Southern California for over 50 years is “ancient”. I could have place quotation marks around it.


Geoff Page March 7, 2018 at 11:14 am

I don’t know how old you are John O. but I can say that when you reach the advanced ages of people like Frank and I you will have heard yourself referred to as “ancient” by your kids so the word has a relative meaning. When you look the word up, the definitions are “old” and “having had an existence of many years” both of which actually apply to Frank and I so it is appropriate for the trees too.


rick callejon March 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Editordude, Did I miss The Rag piece on the Marmalade Hairball’s border visit?


Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 9, 2018 at 2:12 pm

That’s next Tuesday isn’t it?


rick callejon March 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm



Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Your wish is my command. See latest …


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