November 2018

Mayor Confirms Sale of Liberty Station Leases by McMillin – But Questions Remain

November 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

After the Times of San Diego story of the sale of Liberty Station leases by McMillin Company to a Michigan company broke on Wednesday, there have been further developments in the unwinding of just what and when it all happened.

To recap briefly, it was reported that McMillin sold leases to Seligman Group on Wednesday, but nobody in city government appeared to have heard about it. The city is supposed to monitor and approve any sales of the leases at Liberty Station by terms of its agreement with McMillin. Especially of concern is the fate of the North Chapel at Liberty Station.

But by the next day, things had changed. Thursday afternoon, as the Times of SD reported, Christina Chadwick, a spokeswoman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, had confirmed the deal and added an operator has been found by the new owner who would continue to allow religious worship at the chapel.

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An Early Morning Wet Windy Walk on Ocean Beach

November 30, 2018 by Source

ACE took an early morning walk along the beach Friday, the last of the month, and captured this.

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Students With Autism at Ocean Beach School Assaulted by Teens

November 30, 2018 by Source

By Brett Warnke

Students at Pioneer Day School are being assaulted by local teens. The school – across Santa Monica Avenue from OB Elementary – has many students with severe autism and other special needs. And now the school – also known as the Community School of San Diego – is asking the community for help in identifying the teens.

One autistic student was assaulted on Thursday, Nov. 29, by teens throwing limes as hard as rocks at him while he was on the trampoline.

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‘It’s a Wonderful Life, in Ocean Beach’ Theme of OB’s Annual Holiday Parade – Sat., Dec.1st

November 30, 2018 by Source

From the OBTC facebook:

The Ocean Beach Town Council is proud to bring you the 39th Annual OB Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 1st, 2018 at 5:05 pm!

Our 2018 Parade Theme is “It’s a Wonderful Life, in Ocean Beach.”

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Liberty Station Lease Sold to Michigan Group in Possible Violation of Terms With City of San Diego – Fate of North Chapel Unknown

November 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Nobody in San Diego Government Seems to Have Known About Sale

The Times of San Diego just dropped a big one: it announced the Liberty Station lease has been sold to a brand new investors’ group out of Michigan.

TSD had obtained a copy of an email sent out Wednesday night, Nov.28, to the tenants of Liberty Station that explained in brief terms the sale and that the new owner is Seligman Liberty Station LLC, based in Southfield, Michigan.

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Asylum-Seeking Families Should Not Be Abandoned to Suffer on San Diego Streets

November 29, 2018 by Source

By Edward Sifuentes / ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties

One night in late October, volunteers with the San Diego Rapid Response Network received the first of many reports of asylum-seeking migrant families being released on the streets of San Diego by immigration authorities.

Many of the families, which included women and small children, were disoriented, hungry and penniless. Most knew no one in our region. They were literally strangers in a strange land. These new arrivals – primarily from Central America and from as far away as Africa – are being abandoned on our streets

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Mel Shapiro – San Diego’s ‘Activist’s Activist’ – Passes at the Age of 91

November 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

If you’ve been active in grassroots politics in San Diego over the last 30 years, doubtlessly you came into contact with Mel Shapiro. I certainly did, numerous times. I can safely say Mel was truly the “activist’s activist” in this city.

Following a long illness, Mel passed this week on Monday morning, November 26, 2018 at the age of 91.

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The 39th Ocean Beach Annual Holiday Auction – Thurs. Nov. 29

November 29, 2018 by Staff

It’s that time of year! Time for the 39th OB Annual Holiday Auction!

Hosted by Ocean Beach Town Council, the annual fundraiser is a major part of the annual OB Food & Toy Drive, which benefits local families and seniors in need during the holidays.

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Why Would Anyone Want to Flee Beautiful Honduras?

November 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

As thousands of Honduras camp outside the border of San Diego, their desperation is clearly evident. We’re told they are fleeing their country because of the harsh conditions there.

But isn’t Honduras a tropical paradise somewhere out there in Central America? Don’t they have a lot of neat old Spanish churches and stuff? And all those crazy and wonderful Mayan ruins. Why would anyone want to flee beautiful Honduras?

So, we have to wonder why any person would travel by foot thousands of miles through jungle, desert, towns, large cities and wilderness to reach our borders when they have plenty of nice beaches there.

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A Panoply of Puzzling Projects to Ponder in Ocean Beach

November 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There are three projects – already built except for one – around Ocean Beach that have locals puzzled about how they were ever allowed to be built.

One is on the 4600 block of Orchard Avenue, another on the 4700 block of Pescadero and the third down on the 4900 block of Saratoga.

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Ocean Beach Pier Closed Due to High Surf – and Christmas Tree With Its Own Problems

November 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Due to high surf, the Ocean Beach Pier was closed to the public Wednesday morning. Large waves were smashing the bottom of the pier.

It’s unknown how long the closure will last. Probably until lifeguards determine it is safe to open it.

Long-time locals may chuckle at this, as some of us can remember

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Public Service Announcement: Please Stay Out of the Ocean and Bays for 3 Days After It Rains

November 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Due to the high bacterial levels that usually occur after it rains in San Diego, it’s advised that all humans and dogs stay out of the Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay and San Diego Bay for 3 days after rainfall.

This word of caution ought to be taken seriously by surfers, paddle-boarders and divers. A few years ago in late December 2014 after a storm, a well-known surfer

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Peninsula Planners Demonstrate the Effects of New ‘Granny Flat’ Law

November 27, 2018 by Source

By Geoff Page

The continuing effects of Senate Bill 1069 were seen once again at the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting Thursday, November 15 at the Point Loma Library. SB 1069 is the bill familiarly known as the “granny flat” bill that became effective on January 1, 2017.

It essentially removed almost all rules governing what are called “accessory dwelling units,” second units that can be placed on a property in any type of zoning. The bill has de facto rezoned all single-family neighborhoods into multi-family neighborhoods.

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The OB Christmas Tree Takes ‘Root’

November 27, 2018 by Source

The OB Christmas Tree was put up this morning. Came from somewhere on Froude Street, according to social media.

Bob Edwards was there to witness the annual event and took these photos.

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The Fallen Nest: A Border Story

November 27, 2018 by Source

by Brett Warnke

The park’s gates had been ripped down and rebuilt, higher and fiercer than he had seen in the year he had lived near the coast. Barbed wire had been looped in a crown around the fence’s top and iron doors installed at either entrance. The nest had fallen and lay in the park beneath a tree thirty feet from the new fence.

On his daily morning walks he looked inside the park, before and after the fence’s reconstruction. The flat green grass of the park appeared so different than the faded winter brown of trees in a California city.

In the evenings, walking by the fence, he looked in the park out of habit after completing his part-time shift at the library near the border-crossing. However, the nest, a ratty gathering of dead grass, straw, and tangled stems and fibers, had fallen.

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City Forester Agrees to Keep Long Branch Torrey Pine – and Make ‘Corrective Measures’

November 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In response to some push-back from Ocean Beach residents, the city forester dealing with the Torrey Pine on Long Branch Avenue has agreed to keep the tree and make some “corrective measures” to it and the surrounding area.

On Monday, November 26, Brian Widener, City Forester of the city’s Urban Forestry Program sent an email to the members of the City Forestry Advisory Board advising them the program “will be retaining the 44-inch diameter Torrey pine at 4633 Long Branch Avenue at this time”.

He stated the city would remove 3 branches, reduce the crown by up to 15%, and paint the adjacent curb red. Widener added that the city would take the corrective steps no earlier than 2 weeks from Monday. Which means no sooner than Monday, December 10.

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The Resister Sisters of OB Haven’t Gone Away – ‘Lock Her Up – Ivanka’

November 27, 2018 by Source

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach haven’t faded away now that the Mid-terms are over.

Nope. Donald Trump is still president, isn’t he?

The sisters were active late last week

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SeaWorld Ends Deal With Evans to Build a Hotel in Mission Bay

November 26, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Back in March of this year, the OB Rag reported that SeaWorld and Evans Hotels had entered a deal in January to build a hotel at SeaWorld’s location in Mission Bay.

But it has all gone sour. Earlier this month, SeaWorld Entertainment released its quarterly report which stated the company had decided in September to cancel the agreement with Evans. SeaWorld reported it lost $2.8 million in expenses and fees in unraveling the deal.

So, why the termination? What are the official explanations?

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GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy Under Scrutiny for In-Laws’ Awards of Gov’t Contracts Due to Dubious Claim of Being ‘Native American’

November 26, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Congressman Kevin McCarthy represents California’s 23rd district, up north in Kern County. He’s been there since 2006 and was just recently elected the Republican’s Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. So, for a short time – the lame-duck post-Midterms period – he’ll be the top guy in the House.

But there’s been a bubbling controversy about McCarthy since mid-October when reports first surfaced that his brother-in-law won over $7 million in federal contracts on a dubious claim that he is Native American.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Needs You to Volunteer for the Holiday Parade – Sat., Dec.1

November 26, 2018 by Source

From the OBTC:

2018 Holiday Parade Volunteers

The Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) is seeking the help of 100 responsible persons who would like to volunteer and help ensure that the 39th Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade is a successful and wonderful event for our community. \

The Holiday Parade occurs on Saturday, December 1, 2018, and it cannot occur without the dedicated support of our volunteers.

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Abandoned Craftsman House on Voltaire Street Badly Damaged by Fire

November 26, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: “Feigley House” Burned – Once Considered Historic (See Inside)
It was really bound to happen. On Friday night, Nov. 23, in the wee houses, a fire broke out in the old, abandoned Craftsman house at 4921 Voltaire St. (U-T listed it as “4927”.) By time firefighters arrived around 4:40 a.m. it had already been badly damaged. They had the flames out in minutes.

Fortunately, a retaining wall prevented the fire from spreading.

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Chaos and Cruelty at the San Diego Border

November 26, 2018 by Anna Daniels

We have become the barbarians at the gate
By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

As if ripping children from their parents’ arms, locking them up in cages or sending them to facilities on the other side of the country weren’t the absolute low point of the Trump administrations response to immigrants seeking asylum, we are now tear gassing children.

Let that sink in for a moment. We are tear gassing children, who were reported as running screaming and crying from the tear gas canisters shot into Mexico, a foreign country, by US Border Patrol. (Imagine this situation reversed, with Mexico lobbying canisters into the US.)

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America Is an Oligarchy : Billionaires Are Undermining Our Democracy and Killing the Planet

November 26, 2018 by Jim Miller

We live under oligarchy. Yes, we have elections, but the interests of a tiny opulent minority are far better represented in our government than the concerns of the vast majority of Americans.

That conclusion was the central takeaway of a Benjamin Page and Martin Giles study published a few years ago that grimly observed, “economic elites and organized interest groups play a substantial part in affecting public policy, but the general public has little or no independent influence.”

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All Day Activities During Small Business Saturday – Nov. 24

November 24, 2018 by Source

All Day Activities: 10am-4pm

Greetings from Ocean Beach Giant Postcard: Veterans Plaza Lawn
(Newport Ave. & Abbott St.)

Take a holiday photo that’s larger than life with a giant postcard from local muralist Celeste Byers on the Veteran’s Park lawn. A professional photographer will be taking free portraits throughout the day. Don’t forget to stop by the Small Business Saturday booth on the lawn and pick up a goodie bag and your “Passport to OB” card for a chance to win great prizes from local businesses!*

Local Musicians
(Throughout the Community)

Stop by Tiki Port (2201 Cable St.), Jungle Java (5047 Newport St.) and Noodle House 1502 (4993 Niagara Ave.) to hear local musicians playing music from around the globe.

Clean Oceans Art Installation
OB Surf Lodge Patio (Abbott St. & Santa Monica Ave.)

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Thanksgiving 2018

November 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Vintage Revivals Going Out of Business

An antique storefront on Newport Avenue, Vintage Revivals Home & Garden Decor, has hung a banner above one of its front windows that reads: “Going Out of Business”.

San Diego U-T Asks ‘Will OB Be Able to Move On After Hardware Store Closes and Target Moves In?’

John Wilkins at the U-T raises the relevant issue whether OB can recover from the double whammy of having its beloved hardware store close along with a new Target moving in across the street. Wilkins ponders:

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Here is Councilwoman Bry’s Memo to City Attorney Requesting Investigation Into McMillin’s Lease and North Chapel

November 21, 2018 by Source

Here is San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry’s memo to City Attorney Mara Elliott requesting an investigation into McMillin’s compliance with its lease of Liberty Station and its management of the North Chapel. The memo is dated November 15, 2018. (See here for background.)

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Letter to City Arborist From Ocean Beach Biologist About the Long Branch Torrey Pine

November 20, 2018 by Source

Editordude: The following letter was sent to the San Diego City-paid arborist Brian Widener by Kris Schlech, a retired biologist.

Mr. Widener:

My name is Kristen Schlech. I am a former long-standing resident of OB, a retired biologist (Botany), and spent over 20 years in San Diego working to protect and preserve the unique flora of San Diego County. While I have not been privy (yet) to the City’s 11th hour arborist’s report regarding the Torrey pine tree on Long Branch Ave., I have been previously deeply involved in the preservation efforts for all of OB’s Torry pine trees.

With the help of Save Penninsula Trees, and in collaboration with Anne Fege, a forester and member of the City Forestry Advisory Board, we collectively produced a handbook in 2016, for free and for use by the City, on stewardship for San Diego’s trees. In addition, we successfully identified numerous Torrey pine trees within the OB

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San Diego Free Press to Suspend Publication After December 14

November 20, 2018 by Staff

We — the people who’ve overseen this incredible platform called the San Diego Free Press — have decided it’s time to move on. Dec. 14, 2018, will be our last day of posting.

We would like to say thank you to everyone who subscribed to, commented on, and shared our articles over the years — and to those who showed your support more quietly simply by visiting our site. We saw your presence in the stats, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

In fact, we’re going out on a high note. We’ve just had our best two months ever in terms of readership. We have funds in the bank, and — most importantly — all of us on the Editorial Board remain good friends.

Initially, we’d planned on taking a break after the 2016 election

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Restaurant Review: Fig Tree Cafe at Liberty Station

November 20, 2018 by Judi Curry

Fig Tree Cafe
Liberty Station
2400 Historic Decatur Rd., #103
San Diego, CA 92107

One of the fun things about having visitors come to San Diego that have never been here before is introducing them to the variety of restaurants in the neighborhood. I used to think, when I lived in San Francisco, that I would like to start trying restaurants on Lombard Street and try a different one every day. I doubted if I would ever get to try them all because there were so many different ones.

San Diego does not have as many restaurants as Lombard Street, and restaurants seem to change more rapidly than they do in San Francisco, but there is still a huge variety of different tastes in our fair city.

So Friday Hugh and I decided to try the “Fig Tree Café” in Liberty Station.

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Greens Make the OB Holidays Greener

November 20, 2018 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

Thanksgiving is reminder that it is time to work on your yards, to get down and dirty in your garden to prepare for winter. It is time to turn on the creative juices for the holidays.

Autumn is the perfect time to inventory your garden and see what trimming, mulching, composting, planting and prepping needs should be done1 for winter.

Ocean beach has its own microclimates, and varies depending on if you live right on the beach, on the flats, or up on the hill. Along the coast we sometimes can have months of fog and overcast skies.

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