OB Town Council Hears Spring Is Worse Time to Trim Trees for the Parrots

by on May 24, 2018 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

New Police Chief David Nesleit Visits OBTC

The audience at the Ocean Beach Town Council last night, Wednesday, May 23, was graced with the presence of San Diego’s new police chief and heard all about how to help the OB Parrots, in particular, why Spring is the worse time to trim trees.

SDPD Chief Dave Nesleit addresses the OB Town Council

Fairly early in the meeting at the Masonic Center, Chief Nesleit swept in and addressed the meeting – and was warmly welcomed. Nesleit, a 30-year veteran of the SDPD, was captain of the Western Division – the Division OB is in – for “105 days” he said to some laughter. Some of us recall those days when it seemed like that position was being constantly rotated to someone new.

Most recently, the Chief said, he oversaw the Patrol department, with 1800 people. He did mention, during a Q and A, that he’s 250 officers short, and that, sadly, there were more police officers for San Diego when he entered the force in 1988 than there are today – in absolute numbers. Chief Nisleit’s visit could be the first time any San Diego police chief has come to an OB Town Council meeting.

OB Parrots and How to Help Them

The main event for the evening was a presentation by folks from SoCal Parrot. Having addressed the OBTC numerous times before, Brook from the group appeared at ease as she taught the rest of us about our feathery friends, the OB Parrots. She was there with her husband – a founder of the group – and 2 volunteers – plus a parrot who sat on a volunteer’s shoulder the entire time.

Brook from Socal Parrot makes presentation on helping the OB Parrots. With her were 2 volunteers and an actual parrot.

Parrots are not protected, Brook said, like some birds, as they’re not “native” even though they’ve been in San Diego since the late 1950s. “OB is in the flight path of millions of birds,” she said, “the Pacific Flyover.”

And in fact, OB has a third to one half of an entire parrot species – the Red Crown Amazon, she said. They’re also called the “Green Cheek Amazon” and the “Mexican Red Head”.

Brook’s main thrust in her presentation was to have OBceans be more sensitive to the needs of parrots – and other birds and wildlife. One of the main ways we can help them is to not trim trees during the Spring. Spring time, in fact, is the worse season to trim trees. Parrots especially like to nest in the Canary Island Palms. If these palms are trimmed, the parrots lose their favorite – or only – tree space in which to survive and thrive.

And Brook noted, the City is trimming palms and other trees right now, this week -in OB and Point Loma – right during the parrots’ nesting time. Brook called for the City to not trim the trees on public property during the height of bird nesting season. “It’s okay to trim,” she said, “from August through February.”

She also urged people to contact the City Council, Lorie Zapf and the Mayor to lobby for this change, and also for a Parrot Protection Ordinance. SoCal Parrot suggests the following language, based on a similar ordinance in Harlingen, Texas:

“Prohibiting capture, kill or injury of parrots, their nestlings, unhatched eggs, roosting trees or nesting sites within the corporate city limits of Harlingen.”

SoCal Parrot asks everyone to be on the lookout for tree trimmers, (this reporter suggested Atlas Tree), who only trim trees for the money and are not interested in saving trees or being sensitive to wild habitat. Their website is worthy of your attention. SoCal Parrot

In other news or issues of note ….

New San Diego Police Chief Dave Nesleit, outside the OB Masonic Center, May 23, 2018.

Petition to Have City Depts Issue Citations for Littering –  Next OB Clean-Up June 9

Greg Crowley of CSI-OB (Clean Streets Initiative) explained that his group has been cleaning OB for 7 years, 4 times a year. “We’ve collected over a ton of trash,” he exclaimed – to applause. But he wasn’t there to accept accolades. He pressed on.

“The problem is getting worst,” he said, and that’s why his group has started a petition to request that 3 city departments – police, lifeguards and park rangers – begin issuing citations to people who litter.

CSI-OB is also holding another clean-up on June 9 along with Raglan at 8:30 am.

105 Free City Trees Planted

Virginia Wilson of Save Peninsula Trees and of the Urban Forestry Council announced the city has planted 105 new trees in OB and Point Loma so far through the free tree program. She hopes to see 200. And on Saturday June 16, the group meets at 10 at the Green Center for coffee and bagels and then goes out to recruit new tree owners.

Friends of OB Library Booksale – Sat. June 9th

The Friends of the OB Library are having a book and CD sale on Saturday, June 9 in front of the library. Laura Dennison asked for volunteers to  help as some of their regulars are  out that weekend.

District 2 Budget Stuff

Conrad Wear of Lorie Zapf’s District 2 office gave an update on some of his boss’ budget priorities. They include library security, administrative help for the lifeguards, continued funding for OB’s new lifeguard station, and to restore some of the $880,000 taken out of the tree maintenance funds by the mayor. The City Council will pass the budget, Wear said, on June 11 and urged folks to attend.

Lifeguard Stats

Our old friend Lonnie of the lifeguards appeared again at the OBTC meeting along with the new rep, Sarah MacDonald, to warn people about not swimming near lifeguards. “Lifeguards,” he said, “have a 100% success rate.” MacDonald announced lifeguards had made 66 rescues during the month of April, and there were 140,000 beach visitors.

Zapf rep Conrad Wear gives an update on budget priorities.

Other News

STVRs July 16 July 26 – the Council will meet on July 16 at noon, Wear announced – so bring your sleeping bags and tents, he joked. The Mayor has yet to release his proposed compromise, and will probably do so 2 to 3 weeks before the July hearing. Wear acknowledged that Councilman David Alvarez was the important swing vote for any resolution of the long-simmering issues.

OBTC Forum on STVRs

It was announced the OBTC will be holding a forum on short term vacation rentals at their June meeting.

Route 35 Ridership Doubled – Wear said the OB and Pt Loma ridership of bus Route 35 has doubled since the route was extended and wait time shortened. 5,000 more riders are on it, Wear said.

Council Shoots Down Zapf Ban on Boardwalk Scooters – The City Council did not approve by a vote of 6 to 3 Councilwoman Zapf’s proposed emergency ban of electric scooters on any boardwalks, such as the ones in Mission Beach and PB. Despite 15 accidents involving scooters, claimed Wear, the Council didn’t want to proceed without more study of the situation. The issue was referred back to committee.

Call for Volunteers for Chili Cook-off on June 23

Priscilla Turner made the call for volunteers to help out during the OB Chili Cook-Off on June 23.

OB Planning Board – Andrew Waltz made a plea for people to join the OB Planning Board. He also said Ocean Beach has lost 55 residents this year to short term vacation rentals.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Carr May 24, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Hey Frank, good write up. Quick correction… the SD city Council’s next STVR charade will take place July 16 at noon. But keep a close eye, as I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes again. It feels like a deliberate attempt to keep working residents from attending.

The OBTC will be hosting a meeting June 27th at 7pm in anticipation of the upcoming City Council meeting. I would be gobsmacked if the mayors office shows up to the OBTC meeting in June since they have not attended our meetings at all over the past year. I understand that similar disregard for residents takes place at the other coastal town councils. Which leads to the question, how can the mayor form a proposal for fixing the STVR issue without hearing from the residents of the communities most adversely affected by whole home rentals operated by outside investors? It’s not governing in good faith, and I’m concerned about what his secret proposal will look like. For anyone who loves OB and wants to preserve this special community for future generations, this is issue #1. It’s time to get loud. Don’t let the council and the mayor sell out our beach communities!


Frank Gormlie May 24, 2018 at 6:35 pm

Thanks dude, I made the corrections. Although my notes say “26”, maybe I was thinking July 26, the famous Cuban national holiday.


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