December 2018

OB Planning Board to Review 2-Story Mixed-Use at 4870 Voltaire and 4-Way Stop Sign at Saratoga and Ebers – Meets Wed., Jan.2, 2019

December 31, 2018 by Source

The Ocean Beach Planning Board takes up the 2-story mixed-use building proposed for 4870 Voltaire. And it’s to consider a proposed 4-way stop sign at Saratoga and Ebers.

4-Way Stop Sign at Saratoga & Ebers?

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The Top 15 Stories of Ocean Beach and Point Loma in 2018

December 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s the end of the year – a time when media and press pundits turn reflective and ponder the “best” or “most important” stories published over the last 12 months. After reviewing our archives from 2018, we’ve come up what we think are the “top stories” from OB and Point Loma for the year.

We mainly based the top stories on how significantly they impacted Ocean Beach and the rest of the Peninsula. And the stories include news, photos, analysis and opinions about real issues within these communities, a number of which have continued from last year. And a number will most certainly continue into the new year.

So, here they are, the top 15 stories –

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Nuclear Shutdown News December 2018: 99 Nuke Plants to Go

December 28, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

99 To Go

Two nuclear power plants closed permanently in 2018. Fort Calhoun in Nebraska closed for good in in October, after clanking on for 43 years. And previously, the nation’s oldest nuke plant, New Jersey’s Oyster Creek ceased running after 49 years in September.

US commercial nuclear plants were designed to operate for 40 years. These two nuke plant closures brought the remaining number of the nation’s nuclear plants still (sometimes) running to 99.

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Two Fires of 2018 Through an OBcean’s Eyes

December 27, 2018 by Source

by Bob Edwards

Last week the OB Rag published my story about experiences with wildfires that I’ve had over the 60 plus years I’ve lived in California. I did not include the most recent fires because the unbelievable conflagrations of 2018 warrant their own chapter.

This past year (really the past five months!) has seen the worst cluster of fires to ever hit California.

Since July, we have had the largest wildfire in California history (the Mendocino Complex Fire) as well as three of the top ten destructive fires to ever burn in our state (the Carr, Woolsey, and Camp Fires).

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Company Says First Scooter Fatality in San Diego County Was Riding ‘Without Permission’

December 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Esteban Galindo, 26, is the first scooter fatality in San Diego County. He passed away after colliding with a car while riding a Bird scooter in Chula Vista on Saturday, December 22.

Now Bird is claiming Galindo was riding its scooter “without permission”.

The driver that was involved in the collision with Galindo’s scooter was traveling southbound on Third Avenue and had the green light, according to police.

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Restaurant Review : Ocean Beach’s Thai Time Bistro

December 27, 2018 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Thai Time Bistro
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107

By Judi Curry

I’ve been eating at the Thai Time Bistro ever since it opened. I know that it has changed hands at least once, and it was also closed for a short time while being remodeled. More often than not I order take-out from there and have the food delivered.

On this particular weekend, however, my friend Hugh said that he would love to have a hot soup for dinner. It was a cold, foggy, wet night and I suggested that we try the Thai Time. He was game.

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Tis the Season of the Agave

December 27, 2018 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

Christmas came early this year. The Ocean Beach Christmas tree arrived early, because the first Saturday of the month was the scheduled annual Ocean Beach Parade, which fell on December 1, 2018.

In traditional O.B. style, the Christmas tree was not straight, but leaning, and quite a bit if you looked from the sides.

Nature also surprised us with an early gift of sorts. The “Agave Attenuata”, sometimes known as “Swan’s Necks”, is blooming in mass this year, adorning block after block along our local streets and in my garden.

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Have an OB Christmas

December 25, 2018 by Source

by Ray Blavatt

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King Tide in Ocean Beach – Sat., Dec. 22

December 23, 2018 by Source

King Tide in Ocean Beach, Saturday, December 22, 2018. Photo by Albert C Elliott, ACE.

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Kindness Can Turn This Troubled World Around

December 21, 2018 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Not too long ago I had an encounter with an act of random kindness.

It went like this: I was enjoying an interesting tale in San Diego born Nafissa Thompson-Spires’ wonderful collection of short stories, “Heads of the Colored People” and a meal of scrambled eggs and ham with a buttered biscuit and jam and a Bloody Mary when I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked up and into the beautiful face of a black woman, close to my age, a woman whom I had acknowledged with a slight nod of my head as she left the café.

We black people of a certain age do that when we catch each other’s eye, say, walking down the street or exiting a restaurant, sometimes adding a word or two: “How you doing?” or a “Hey, now” – essentially saying: “I don’t know you, but I can guess what you might have been through.”

With the way the woman was looking at me, as she stood over me, I thought maybe she was about to say something like “Don’t you remember me?” and then I was sure she was going to say “Did you drop this?” because she was handing me something.

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Winners of the Ocean Beach Holiday Parade 2018

December 21, 2018 by Source

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Ocean Beach Holiday Parade, “It’s A Wonderful Life” – says the OB Town Council, which announced the winners of the annual Holiday Parade on Wed. Here are the winners:

Best Use Of Lights:

Saint Charles Borromeo Academy

Best OB Spirit:

Wonderland Ocean Pub tied with Disco Christmas

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Don’t Throw Away Your Old Surfboard – Donate It to an Art Upcycling and Re-purposing Project

December 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Got an old surfboard? Well, don’t throw it away.

Instead – donate it to art-related upcycling/ re-purposing efforts for end-of-life surfboards. And it doesn’t have to be ride-able.

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‘Tis the Season …’ – 500 New Scooters Released into San Diego

December 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Uber and Lyft Unleash 500 Scooters on San Diego

Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft have unloaded a combined 500 electric scooters on San Diego this week, joining the fray of dockless transportation options on the city’s streets — and they’re undercutting their competitors.

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OB Planners Give Initial Green Light to Commercial Project for 4870 Voltaire

December 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Last night, Wed, Dec. 19, the Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board gave a commercial project slated for Voltaire a green light to proceed to the next step. The next step is being reviewed by the full board at a future meeting.

The review panel also gave tentative approval to 2 other projects before it and asked the owners of another project to return to the drawing board.

The Project Review Committee is a sub-committee of the Board and gets first crack at reviewing projects that come before the Planning Board, and usually gives a recommendation of thumbs-up or thumbs-down to the full board which carries substantial weight.

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Friends Remember Mel Shapiro

December 20, 2018 by Source

By Kathleen Blavatt

About 50 friends of Mel Shapiro’s gathered last Saturday, December 15, to remember him in a wonderful and memorable tribute as he had passed in late November. A handful of OBceans were present at this memorable gathering. There were incredible speakers, tasty food from Hugo’s and it was good to know we still have still a good number of serious, but still fun activists, in town.

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Boy Hit by Car While Looking at Christmas Lights in Ocean Beach Released from Hospital

December 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The 7-year-old boy seriously injured by a car Tuesday night while looking at Christmas lights with his family in Ocean Beach has been released from the hospital.

Caleb De Leon is in a wheelchair with his leg in a cast now but as of Wednesday, he’s back with his relatives. But he has a metal bar and pins in his leg bone and faces a good period of physical therapy and recovery.

Caleb was visiting San Diego relatives with his family from Arkansas when he was hit by a car on the 4700 block of Newport Avenue just after he had stepped off the curb.

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California Wildfires – an OBcean’s Perspective

December 19, 2018 by Source

by Bob Edwards

If you have lived in California for any length of time you have probably had your life touched by wildfires. Possibly you lost your own home or you know someone who did. You could have contributed money, food, or clothes to a fellow worker or community member who was affected by a fire.

Certainly when the Santa Ana blows and smoke fills the air you have experienced ash landing on your car, a blood red sunset, or perhaps cancelled school events or exercise classes.

I have lived in California for over sixty years.

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The Old Broad on Fort Rosecrans Cemetery and UPS/FedEx/ DHL

December 19, 2018 by Judi Curry

The Old Broad Writes …

Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

Several years ago I wrote a number of articles about the deplorable condition of the Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. (See here, here, and here.) At about the same time Michael Turko [ed: of the former “Turko Files”] also did a piece about the cemetery and between us the transformation of the grounds was amazing. Doug Ledbetter, the Director at the time of the articles, listened to us and within a year it was again a beautiful place to visit our loved ones.

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Mystery Outer Reef Break at Sunset Cliffs – ‘It Only Breaks When It’s Big’

December 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Here is another one from ACE – Albert C Ellliott – taken mid-day, at Mystery outer reef break, Tuesday, December 18.

ACE says this is one of our local MYSTO spots. It’s hard to see, hard to photograph and hard to surf. I asked him what size of wave he thought it was.

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Target Angers Another Community – This Time North Park – By Painting Over Beloved Mural

December 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Target – even a so-called “mini-Target” – moving into Ocean Beach has angered many residents and a few businessowners. But OB isn’t the only neighborhood pissed off by the retail giant. Now, they’ve done it to somebody else.

This time the corporate behemoth Target has angered another community – North Park.

Despite community protests, petitions and outcry, Target had a famous dinosaur mural on the corner of University Avenue and Ray Street painted over.

Crews hired by Target were seen on Monday, Dec. 17, spraying over the “Weenasaurus Rex” mural painted on an exterior wall.

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Ocean Beach Surf – Tuesday, Dec. 18

December 18, 2018 by Source

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Local Lifeguard Performs Daring Rescue at Sunset Cliffs

December 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A daring rescue by a local lifeguard on Sunday over at Sunset Cliffs has caught the attention of social media.

Lifeguard Kirsten Rich dove into dangerous waters off a cove on Sunday sans wetsuit to rescue a surfer struggling while hanging onto some rocks.

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Which Presidential Candidate Will You Support in 2020?

December 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

Ugh. The next presidential sweepstakes has already started. They’ve barely finished counting votes from the midterms and already there are [stupid] political rants on social media about the Democratic headliners for next election. It’s almost as bad as hearing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in September.

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7-Year-Old Boy Injured in Ocean Beach While Looking at Christmas Lights

December 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A 7-year old boy was injured early Monday evening on Newport Avenue by a car while he and his family were looking at Christmas lights. The young lad remains hospitalized Tuesday with a serious injury to his left leg.

Just before 6:30 p.m. Monday the boy and his family were walking on the north side of the 4700 block of Newport Avenue looking at the holiday displays on the south side when the as-yet unidentified youngster stepped into the street. The north side of that block borders OB Elementary School and there are many residences across the street with festive and lit displays.

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OB Planners’ Project Review Committee Has 4 Projects Up for Review – Wed., Dec. 19

December 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Projects on Cape May, Narragansett, Saratoga and Voltaire Up for Review

The most important sub-committee of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, the Project Review Committee, has a full plate on its agenda with 4 projects to review for its Wednesday night meeting. The panel meets at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave on Dec. 19 at 6pm.

The Project Review Committee has first crack at the projects the Planning Board reviews and usually gives a recommendation to the full board which carries substantial weight. Up for review are the following:

4744 Cape May Ave

This is a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to construct a new 1,974 square-foot, 3-story residence with decks;

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California’s Largest Landowner – the State Itself – Can Achieve Environmental Justice

December 17, 2018 by Source

By Angela Mooney D’Arcy and Paloma Aguirre / Times of San Diego

Every year, the state Lands Commission makes decisions that impact the lives of millions of Californians and over 150 indigenous nations. This little-known agency manages more than four million acres of the state’s public lands. From managing oil and gas leases along the coast, to overseeing development in the vicinity of the Tijuana River in the south, and Goose Lake in the north, the commission’s decisions have consequences that last for generations.

One of the commission’s core responsibilities is ensuring the people of California can use the public lands and waters under its care. But right here in San Diego County, we have a river that is inaccessible due to pollution, and tribal communities that have been displaced from ancestral homelands.

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Microplastics Are Everywhere – In Us Too

December 17, 2018 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko

What do beer, oysters, table salt, air & tap water have in common? They’re all ways humans are ingesting microplastics, tiny bits of plastic waste ubiquitous in oceans, lakes and rivers and even soil and air.

Wildlife as diverse as whales, seabirds, fish and zooplankton are polluted by ingesting plastic debris. It’s naïve to assume that humans, sharing the same global environment and eating at the top of the food chain, are magically spared contamination from plastics.

Though no one has yet measured how much plastic pollution humans actually carry around, there’s plenty of evidence we’re taking the stuff in, by eating, drinking and just breathing.

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Amazon’s Disturbing Plan to Add Face Surveillance to Your Front Door

December 17, 2018 by Source

By Jacob Snow, Technology & Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU of Northern California / ACLU Speak Freely

Recently, a patent application from Amazon became public that would pair face surveillance — like Rekognition, the product that the company is aggressively marketing to police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — with Ring, a doorbell camera company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

While the details are sketchy,

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Lead Exceeding Standards Found in Water at 5 Sites at Ocean Beach Elementary School

December 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In recent tests by the school district at Ocean Beach Elementary, water was found at 5 sites with lead that exceeded local standards. Parents were reportedly informed last week of the report results.

Water standards at San Diego Unified School District for lead are 5 parts-per-billion (ppb) (this is a targeted goal) and the District requires action to be taken if lead is found at 5 ppb or higher. This is in comparison with State and Federal guidelines which require action to be taken if lead is found in drinking water at levels of 15 parts-per-billion (ppb) or higher.

According to the December 14, 2018 report, sites that exceeded the standard included:

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After 30 Years, 98-Year Old Ocean Beach Woman Being Evicted from her Cottage

December 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

After living as a model tenant for nearly 30 years in her Ocean Beach cottage, a 98-year-old woman is being evicted by the landlord. Abc10News is reporting that Betty Morse received a 90-day-notice in July terminating her lease.

Why? It appears the owner is quitting the Section 8 housing assistance program, which Morse has been using to help cover her rent.

The landlord is evicting Morse, a model tenant, in order to make substantial renovations to the cottage and then place it on the market for a higher rental value. Short-term vacation rental anyone?

Here is part of 10News report:

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