New Year’s News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma in 2019

by on January 4, 2019 · 18 comments

in Ocean Beach

Cabrillo National Monument is closed to all visitors including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Due to the government shut-down, Cabrillo National Monument is closed to all visitors including pedestrians and bicyclists. The following text is from their website:

Due to the lapse of appropriations and the subsequent shutdown of the federal government, Cabrillo National Monument is closed for the safety of visitors and park resources. Access is closed to all visitors including pedestrians and bicyclists. Many other national park sites across the country will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures.

Please visit and select “Find a Park” for additional information about access to other parks and sites in this area. However, note that because of the federal government shutdown, NPS social media and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions. For updates on the shutdown, please visit

Ocean Beach Appears in Netflix’s “Murder Mountain”

Murder Mountain, a six-part Fusion docuseries now streaming on Netflix, follows the disappearance and murder of 29-year-old Garret Rodriguez, a friendly surfer-boy from San Diego who ventured north to cash in on California’s green rush. Through the search for clues in his case—handled almost entirely by his family and a private investigator, in the face of an apathetic local police force—the series infiltrates the notoriously close-knit community of Alderpoint, shedding light on how this supposed Eden became a haven for criminality.  We come to know Rodriguez through his kindly father, who speaks in even tones about the green-eyed boy he bonded with through fishing and surfing in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach. Daily Beast

OB Couple Make Skateboard Dreams Come True at Tijuana Orphanage

It took almost six months of planning, but Brandon Means and Melissa Clark were finally able to achieve one of their humanitarian dreams – building a mini skate ramp for orphans in Tijuana. “Fundraising and getting the word out definitely takes its time, but it was crazy how fast everything was able to come together within that one day of us bringing the ramp down and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and how stoked they were once it was all built,” said Means, a resident of Ocean Beach and full-time freelance photographer. “They really had no idea it was coming.” The project was funded through Olio Artistry, a collaborative artistic design brand created by Means and Clark that aims to make a charitable impact across borders. Fashioned with multi-media illustrations featuring photography by Means and graphic arts by Clark, Olio’s products include journals, iPhone covers, travel mugs, laptop sleeves and more. Peninsula Beacon

Beach Residents Press Faulconer on Scooters

A group of San Diegans concerned that not enough is being done to regulate rental motorized scooters walked a list of proposals to the mayor’s office Wednesday. The group, called “Safe Walkways,” says rental scooters are making it unsafe to even walk around parts of town, and that more needs to be done to hold the companies and users accountable.“My neighbor was walking down the boardwalk and was hit by a scooter. They hit her and took off and she broke her arm in four places,” Bonnie Sue Eisner, a Mission Beach resident, said.

“My dog was hit in the head by a scooter,” Jonathan Freeman told Fox 5 Freeman is the founder of Safe Walkways. He says the scooters are a hazard to pedestrians and will only worsen if nothing is done to hold companies like Lime and Bird accountable. So he and a group of concerned residents and community leaders came up with a list of proposed regulations that they hand-delivered to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer early Wednesday morning.

The mayor’s office responded to the Safe Walkways proposal saying in part:

“The regulations the Mayor will soon bring forward will include limiting the speed of the devices in high-pedestrian traffic areas, limiting how and where devices can be staged and parked, indemnification of the City and a requirement of liability insurance, better education of riders about local laws, data sharing and fees for the right to use our public right-of-way.” Fox 5

Police Shooting Leaves Man With Life-threatening Injuries in Midway

A San Diego police officer shot a 23-year-old man armed with a knife inside a Midway District home Thursday night. The unidentified man has life-threatening wounds. Just before 9:50 p.m., officers responded to a 911 call regarding a man with a knife inside an apartment unit in the 3100 block of Cauby Street. The caller said the unidentified man cut his own throat with a knife and the object was taken away from him. According to SDPD officials, a family member directed officers to a back bedroom where the man was located. Officials said the man pulled a knife from his jacket pocket and raised it toward officers, prompting them to draw their weapons. The man refused officers’ orders to back up and “advanced on the officers with the knife pointed at them,” SDPD officials said. The man’s actions prompted an officer — who feared for his safety — to fire his weapon, hitting the man at least once, according to police.

Medical aid was administered on the man until paramedics arrived. The man was taken to the hospital with injuries police called life-threatening. Police did not release the identity of the officer who opened fire, only saying the officer is a six-year veteran of the force. The incident is being investigated by the SDPD Homicide Unit. No other injuries were reported. 10News

Photo by Debbie Greene

Smog Check Moves to Midway

The Smog Check autoshop on Sunset Cliffs Blvd across from Kaiserhoff has moved to 3464 Midway Drive in the Midway District.

Man Who Jumped on Taylor Swift Stage Denies Midway District Murder Charge

A man who made headlines in 2015 for jumping onstage during a Taylor Swift concert at Petco Park pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge for allegedly beating a man to death in the Midway District earlier this month. Christian Ewing, 29, was ordered held on $1 million bail. Prosecutors also filed allegations that Ewing used a baseball bat in the attack. The defendant faces 27 years to life if convicted of killing 57-year-old Gregory Freeman, who was found Dec. 5 in the 3900 block of Rosecrans Street near the Interstate 5 overpass with trauma to his upper body. He died at a hospital four days later. Times of San Diego

What Will Happen to Campland in Mission Bay?

Commentary – The Mission Bay Park Master Plan, the City of San Diego’s Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), and many citizens are supporting the extension of the Kendall Frost Reserve at the northern edge of Mission Bay. This project would involve turning the existing land that Campland currently leases from the city into wetland at the Rose Creek Delta. The first step was evacuating the De Anza peninsula years ago by permanently removing much needed affordable living and guest residences in San Diego. The city overdeveloped Mission Bay 70 years ago by eliminating almost all of the wetland. Clairemont Times

Peninsula Beacon’s Year In Review

Here’s the Beacon’s list of stories from the year:

“Hot-button issues dominated the landscape in 2018 as Peninsula residents grappled with short-term vacation rentals and the proliferation of dockless bikes and scooters. Battles were also waged over a recycling center, and an affordable housing site some wanted rezoned as parkland/open space.”

Pen. YMCA and Correia Middle School Team Up for 8 Graders

A partnership between the Peninsula Family YMCA and Correia Middle School is giving eighth-graders a chance to learn life-saving skills in the water — something a quarter of them have never experienced. “You would assume every kid could swim in this coastal community, but that’s not the case,” points out Peninsula Family YMCA executive director Vince Glorioso. “About 25 percent of these kids cannot swim. They’re not comfortable even floating in the water.” Combine that with the fact drowning is a leading cause of death in children under age 18, and you start to see these classes are more than just a fun splash in the pool. They could be potentially life-saving. The program incorporates six, 30-minute classes for every eighth-grader. The Y provides certified swim instructors, lifeguards and blocked-out time during physical education classes. Since the middle school is right beside the YMCA, students change into their bathing suits in their own locker room and walk over with their towels. The program is partially paid for by the San Diego Unified School District. The rest of the funding is raised through the efforts of the Y. La Lolla Light

Cross-Border Birds Come to Liberty Station

The bird of paradise is known as the ultimate symbol of paradise and freedom. This January, nearly 350 birds created by schoolchildren from seven schools will be displayed at Arts District Liberty Station as part of a unique cross-border art exchange. The “Birds without Paradise” installation will be inaugurated on Jan. 11 with an opening reception at 6 p.m. at Luce Court (across from The Lot, beyond the Galinson Family Fountain). The project is a collaboration between Vesta, a Mexico-based industrial real estate developer, the San Diego Unified School District, the NTC Foundation and the San Diego-Tijuana Smart Border Coalition.

An Octopus Comes to Dog Beach

The dog-friendly seaside park in Ocean Beach welcomed more than two- and four-legged friends back in early December. An octopus was spotted in shallow waters along the beach. A dog owner captured video of the cephalopod feet from the water’s edge. In the video shared by Dana Walker, a curious dog approaches the octopus but someone stops the pooch from getting too close.  A San Diego Fire-Rescue lifeguard said octopi sightings are common at San Diego beaches but typically they gather in tide pools. It’s a rare sight to see octopi along the shore. 7SanDiego

Loma Vino to Open on Voltaire

A new establishment plans to open in the new building at 4120 Voltaire Street. Loma Vino wants to offer wine, beer and small plates. It’s ABC license number is 602163, and is pending. (Hat tip to Deb Greene)

6 Arrested After Theft of Point Loma Teen’s Cell Phone

Two adults and four juveniles were jailed Dec. 28 on suspicion of robbing a 14-year-old boy of his cell phone in the Point Loma Heights area of San Diego. The boy was walking in the 4400 block of Newport Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Friday when a Toyota Rav 4 with six people inside pulled up next to him and three of the suspects got out of the vehicle and demanded the boy’s cell phone, according to Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department. One of the suspects had a gun and hit the victim in the head with the weapon and took the boy’s cell phone, then the three suspects got back into the Toyota and drove away, Heims said. Police later located the Toyota and ran the license plate, which showed it was stolen, Heims said. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver took off and a police pursuit began. The suspects made it to Willie James Jones Avenue, where they jumped out of the car and ran off, leaving the car to roll down a hill and run into a fence, Heims said. After a short chase on foot, all six suspects were taken into custody. Fox5

Sports Arena Renamed – Again – to “Pechanga Arena San Diego”

On Dec. 4, the San Diego City Council and Mayor Kevin Faulconer approved a new $400,000-per-year naming rights and sponsorship agreement for the former Sports Arena, officially changing its name from Valley View Casino Center to Pechanga Arena San Diego. “We are thrilled about this partnership with Pechanga Resort Casino,” said Ernest Hahn, senior vice president and general manager of AEG Management SD, LLC. “The Pechanga name and reputation carries a lot of weight in the entertainment industry. This partnership will afford us new opportunities and ensures that San Diego will continue to receive the best in premium entertainment and sporting events.” The Valley View Casino Center branding, which took effect in October 2010, officially expired Nov. 30. Opened in 1966 and currently operated by AEG Management SD, LLC, Pechanga Arena San Diego hosts the San Diego Gulls and San Diego Seals teams, respectively, as well as numerous concerts throughout the year.

Shelter Island Boat Launch to reopen on Dec. 21

Construction of the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility has made significant progress and is nearly complete. The Port of San Diego has announced that the boat launch will reopen to the public on Friday, Dec. 21.

The contractor is anticipated to remain on site through January 2019 to complete items such as beach grading and general cleanup, but the work is not expected to impact the public’s use of the facility.

Once completed, the improvements will make the boat launch ramp safer and more navigable. Upgrades include enlarging the maneuvering area in the basin by 80 percent, replacing the worn-out launch ramp, increasing the lengths of the boarding floats, and installing public docks, public walkways, adjacent parking and restroom upgrades to current Americans with Disabilities Act Standards.

The Port of San Diego appreciates the public’s patience during completion of this important public improvement project. Please visit for more information and updates.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma

OB Cop On Skateboard Makes “Feel Good” News

Ocean Beach Skateboarders Think They’re Busted, Officer Surprises Them. Skateboarders in Ocean Beach shared a very cool moment with a San Diego Police Department officer – and a witness was there to capture it on video. The skaters were busting out some tricks near Bacon Street when an officer approached them. Instead of telling them to move along, the officer hopped on a skateboard and attempted to do a kick-flip as the skateboarders cheered him on. 7SanDiego

Man Gets Time for OB Arson – 8 Years

A transient who set seven fires in Ocean Beach, damaging six cars, was sentenced Dec. 20 to eight years in state prison. San Diego Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon ordered Michael Alexander Barringer, 26, to pay $4,823 to the City Treasurer’s office in restitution and a status on further restitution to victims was set for Jan. 30. Barringer, wearing blue jail clothes, said nothing before he was sentenced. Shamoon fined him $5,000 and gave him credit for serving 321 days in jail. Barringer pleaded guilty to seven counts of arson, and five other arson related charges were dismissed after he pleaded guilty on Nov. 21. San Diego Community News Group

Local Businesses In the News or Getting Props



{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page January 4, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Great compilation, Frank, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t think a lot of folks realize the effort that goes into writing pieces like this along with all the other articles you write. Having done a bit of scribbling myself, I will say that this requires real effort and OB is the better for it. Thanks.


ZZ January 4, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Another biased anti-scooter blurb. Have you ever printed a single positive word about them? Or quoted someone who likes them? How hard could that be given so many people in Ocean Beach obviously like them?

Not surprised given the similar treatment of AirBNB. Doug Manchester would probably pay you for each article like this if you asked nicely.

The banner says “progressive,” the reality is anti-technology, pro-car, pro-free-parking, reactionary conservatism.


Frank Gormlie January 5, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Wow, zz, that’s quite a mouthful, figuratively speaking of course. Given your statements, you must like scooters without regulations, love short-term rentals without regulations, kind of a laissez-faire capitalist.

As for your claims we’re “pro-car” and “pro-free-parking” – I think you’ll find plenty of positive posts here on the OB Rag (do a word search in our search bar above) about riding bicycles and the need for mass transit, and not one promoting cars.

I’ve personally seen other beach communities lock up gentrification with paid parking. You’re trying to turn our politics on its head and you failed miserably.


ZZ January 7, 2019 at 1:42 pm

All parking on city land in urban areas is “paid parking.” The only question is, who is paying for it? People without cars subsidize those who do when scarce city owned land is devoted to parking and city funds to maintain the spaces. Likewise, private parking requirements force people who don’t want parking to subsidize those that do.

Ahhh, you just want “regulation” you say? Yet you flooded the zone supporting a law that banned 95% of existing vacation rentals. (Only single granny flat units were permitted).

“other beach communities lock up gentrification”

The median OB house is right now priced at $1,237,000. The “gentrification” ship sailed a long time ago. Demand to live in OB is very high. The 0.7 FAR and parking requirements should be eliminated to let more people live here. We should not be enslaved by the demand of current residents who want city-subsidized “free” ample parking day or night.

The State Democratic Party is doing great work with the granny flat law and density near transit laws at freeing our urban areas from being hostages to NIMBYs.


Eddie January 7, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Get over yourself, we all pay for the use of the roads. Yes, even us “evil” car owners in the form of DMV fees, gas taxes, registration fees, etc.


Zz January 7, 2019 at 9:59 pm

But you don’t pay for the environmental damage that your use of the roads causes. It is good California has the highest gas tax in the USA, but bad it is still far below the taxes in the more enlightened countries in Western Europe.

In any event, I was talking about free street parking and parking mandates in zoning code. Read the link I posted.


Eddie January 8, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Are you prepared to pay $10 for a gallon of milk? Because that’s exactly what’s going to happen if our gas prices become as high as those “enlightened” countries in Europe.

You think the poor and less fortunate are going to go for that? Man you ecotards really are something special.


Bob Edwards January 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Exaggerate much, Eddie? Milk costs $4.20 gallon in Berlin. And they have more convenient public transport (subsidized in part by higher gas taxes), less cars, less motor vehicle injuries, less CO2 pumped into the atmosphere, and less obesity. And “ecotard”? Really? That’s pretty offensive to both developmentally delayed people and to environmentalists who are improving quality of life for everyone, including Einsteins such as yourself. I guess you don’t mind drinking shitty water and breathing filthy air either. Because we have environmental activists to thank for cleaner water and air.


Richard Ross January 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm

The state banned bicycles on the sidewalks. It should do the same with those motorized scooters. They are a severe saftey hazard to pedestrians. As the scooters are left lying all over the place there is nothing good to say about them.


Frank Gormlie January 5, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Yup, scooters are a hazard to pedestrians and their riders themselves. Not to nitpick, but bicycles are legal on residential sidewalks in San Diego.


GML January 6, 2019 at 8:17 am

Thanks for all the work, these are the types of articles that inspire me to donate tot he OB Rag.


mjt January 6, 2019 at 8:59 am

With all this extra activity that scooters produce how is that green? Are human locusts buzzing by from every direction conservation.
This is truly an upside down world.

These two wheeled toys create activity, their batteries are toxic, they impede pedestrian traffic, they suck take a bus.

No one hates cars more than i but this idea is BS. I would approve if someone buys a scooter, but this leave them anywhere rentals reflects citizen passivity and stupidity.


ZZ January 7, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Not everyone has a place to store and charge an e-scooter. Or the ability to lift them up a flight of stairs. Or can afford to buy one.

More people will start buying them after trying them out on the rentals first.

If you have the Uber app already, you can still ride their Jump scooters completely free until Jan 9. They are harder to find than Bird and Lime, but it is hard to beat free! The setup is even easier since you don’t have to download and register anything.


Bob Edwards January 8, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Hey ZZ, most people I know in OB don’t totally oppose the scooter idea. It is a useful tool for some people who want to avoid the exertion of walking after they get off public transportation, say. The problem is that the scooter companies want to make their profits but they don’t want to accept ownership of all the problems associated with scooters. One of these problems is blocked and crowded sidewalks that impair the disabled, elderly, and people pushing strollers. These same vulnerable people are endangered by people riding scooters on sidewalks at a dangerous speed. Other problems include visual pollution and damage to landscaping and blocking building entrances and loading zones. The companies that wish to profit from scooters accept no ownership for any of the above problems, though they could easily come up with solutions. Those would cost them money, though, and they’re greedy. And yeah, they are cheap to ride now. They’re hoping to wipe out their competitors and then will jack the price after the other companies fold.


ZZ January 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm

The scooter companies are greedy in theory like all for-profit companies. But subsidizing green tech while losing a bunch of venture capital money sounds OK with me. Probably the end game in a year or two is just 2 companies, as with Uber and Lyft. Indeed they have both now entered the market.

I walk around OB almost daily, typically about 1 mile down Sunset Cliffs, Cable, Bacon, or Abbot. I’ll see 50+ scooters, but very rarely actually blocking a sidewalk. And when I do see one, it is typically one that was pushed or fallen down laying on its side. So the number that block a sidewalk or drive way I’d guess is well under 1% of them. And I usually pick them up unless I am carrying something or in a huge rush. Likewise, while obviously it does happen, instances of dangerous e-scooting is extremely rare in my lived experience.

In terms of visual issues, I can see your point on that. However, cars parked on the street take up a ton of public space. Ten scooters take up less space sitting on an unlandscaped dirt or concrete parkway, where the vast majority are parked.

In terms of quality of life issues in OB, irresponsible e-scooting isn’t even in the top 10. Personally, I find motorcycles with illegal mufflers to be 20 times worse. I hear them even inside, much louder than airplanes. And they often set off multiple car alarms.

Pollution and traffic issues are worsened on peak beach days by people circling around looking for free street parking. SF installed dynamic parking meters that are really cheap or free in low periods, but get expensive at peak periods. The goal is to have about 1 in 15 spaces open so people are not hunting and circling for street parking. Doing the same here would raise money without additional taxes, reduce pollution, and prevent accidents.

Here’s another issue: long pickup trucks and vans parked on Newport and Santa Monica in the diagonal parking zones, making every single vehicle slow to nearly a stop to go around them, and sometimes stop completely mid-block to let another car pass. While not a big deal to me and something I am used to, still a bigger annoyance than scooters.


Vern January 10, 2019 at 8:10 am

Scooters aren’t green tech.


Frank Gormlie January 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

This just in: Police are searching for a driver who hit a woman riding a bicycle near Mission Bay. The accident happened at around 8 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of West Mission Bay Drive near Quivira Road when the woman in her 40s was hit trying to cross the street going from north to south.

The bicyclist was crossing outside of a designated crosswalk, SDPD said. Police said the woman suffered a serious injury but is expected to survive. The San Diego Police Department said the car pulled over for a moment and then fled. They have not been able to locate the driver. Another driver who saw it all happen pulled over and called the police. Investigators say they are looking for a gold sedan with significant damage to the hood and windshield.


Frank Gormlie January 8, 2019 at 11:50 am

Also: Police have identified the man who was shot by an officer in the Midway District Thursday night after a reported confrontation. Ryan Bowers suffered life-threatening injuries after the incident with the San Diego Police Department, the agency said.
Officers responded to a home on Cauby Street just before 10 p.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a man with a knife in a nearby apartment, according to SDPD.
The man was later identified by SDPD as Bowers, 23.


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