News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – on the Cusp of Aquarius 2019

by on January 29, 2019 · 18 comments

in Ocean Beach

Sunset Cliffs – from the Point Loma Natural Park Master Plan

Police Announce Arrests of 2 Stabbing Assailants – Ask Public for Help in OB Sexual Assault

At the OB Town Council meeting on Jan. 23, Officer David Surwilo announced that police have arrested the two people who had stabbed someone in separate incidents in OB. They are still working on the alleged sexual assault. Walking teams are patrolling Newport in an added effort to get things under control. Police are asking the public for help.

On Sunday, Jan. 20, a little after 2 am a woman was walking on the sidewalk in the 1800 block of Bacon Street near Narragansett Avenue when a man emerged from an alley, grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her about 30 feet into the alley. The woman was hit in the face and thrown to the ground; then she was sexually assaulted. The suspect ran away from the scene. Here is a description of the sexual assault suspect in OB:

Hidden Spa Changes Owners

The OB Rag received the following email from Jill Coppola, the original owner to The Hidden Spa on Santa Monica Avenue:

You guys wrote a great owner article about me/the spa a few years ago. I just read that you posted the the hardware store sold and thought that I would let you know that I sold as well. The new owner has already taken over and I no longer have any ties to the spa. Thank you for your support over the years and please feel free to let your readers know.

Point Loma’s Rosecroft Garden: The Master Work of Horticulturist, Alfred D. Robinson – Jan. 29

Vonn Marie May, Cultural Landscape Historian will  be speaking at the Point Loma Assembly January 29, 2019, from 5-7pm, at 3035 Talbot St, San Diego, CA 92106. This is a free event but reservations are required: Call Susan 619 977-9190.

Tree Falls on Nimitz Near Poe in Point Loma

A tree was blocking a major Point Loma Street Tuesday morning, Jan. 29,  after it collapsed overnight. City of San Diego crews said the 20- to 30-foot tree tumbled down, possibly because of wet ground and older roots, at around 2 a.m. The tree may have been part of a residence on Quimby Street and fell onto Nimitz Boulevard near Poe Street, blocking at least one direction of the typically busy roadway. Crews worked overnight to chop up the tree and haul it away. Major progress had been made by 6 a.m. and most of the tree was gone but one direction of Nimitz Boulevard remained closed.

OB Surf Classic – Feb. 2

The fourth annual OB Surf Classic,will take place 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb 2. This surf contest is for all the local rippers and families in the Ocean Beach community. There will be a variety of divisions for men, women, juniors, groms and a fun family division for longboards and shortboards. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the Hodad’s Foundation to encourage more youth sports, summer surf and skate camps. The contest is sponsored by the Hodad’s Foundation and AWOL Productions,

Cabrillo National Monument Re-Opens

The Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma resumed operations Sunday, Jan. 27, following a 35-day shutdown of the federal government. The park is just one of the several dozens affected by the shutdown. The National Park Service said it was preparing to resume regular operations at all its parks. The agency said some park operations may vary depending on staffing and other recreational needs. “I love working for the National Park Service,” Cabrillo National Monument chief interpreter Elizabeth Skinner said. “The park rangers really believe in the mission of the National Park Service which really is to protect and preserve these special places. Feels really good to be back at work doing that.” 7SanDiego\

Farmers Market Arrest for Pot Has OB Link

One man was arrested for his part in organizing marijuana “farmer’s markets” in San Diego, police said. On Thursday, Jan. 24, police raided Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center in North Park, were they say an event called “Ganja Galaxy” was regularly held. Police said illegal marijuana sales and use would occur at the event and the market was regularly advertised online. SDPD said during an investigation over the last several months, they determined 24-year-old Ramin Moghadam was responsible for the “farmer’s market,” which was also held in Ocean Beach. 10News

The Black Makes “Top 10” Headshops in America by High Times

The Black on Newport Avenue was named one of the Top 10 Legendary Headshops in America in the December 2018 issue of High Times: “The store’s survived recessions and raids, and it still sells hacky sacks and huaraches to local surfers.” The Blackhas operated on Newport Avenue for more than 50 years — longer than any other business on the block. La Jolla Light

Point Lomans Rallied to Save Famosa Canyon

Dozens of Point Loma residents rallied on Saturday, Jan. 26 to save Famosa Canyon. The group tried to bring awareness to a plan that would turn the open space park into 78 affordable housing units. One organizer told the media, “they are going to end up selling the land to a private developer which would be even worse news. The private developer could double the number of units – so there would be 168.” The group filed a petition with the City of San Diego, hoping to get 3,000 signatures. Organizers say the five acres of open space would be a bad fit for the land which would in turn drastically increase traffic. Residents know that affordable housing is critical in San Diego, but they say the city needs to find another spot for the units. CBS8

Warning About Dogs and Drugs

A local veterinary technician is sending a warning to pet owners after her dog ingested methamphetamine and marijuana at a popular dog park. Eva Nielson said her dog ate the drugs in separate incidents at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach a few months ago. She’s since heard about similar incidents from clients at the clinic where she works and decided to try and spread the word. She took a video of her 3-year-old-lab mix Noey frantically pacing and looking around the room as if she was paranoid a few hours after they visited the beach. They were some of the first symptoms she noticed before finding out Noey had consumed methamphetamine. 7SanDiego

Man Breaks Leg While on Scooter in Mission Beach

A 27-year-old man suffered a fractured leg when he crashed the scooter he was riding in the Mission Bay area, police reported Monday, Jan. 28. The man was riding a motorized scooter southbound in the 3900 block of Ocean Front Walk around 10:45 p.m. Sunday when he put his foot down to stop and fell off the scooter, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment of a fractured leg, Buttle said. Times of San Diego

New Interactive Map for Exploring OB

While working at the Ocean Beach Business Center, Mike Saffran said he talked to a lot of tourists. “We always had tourists coming in and asking for advice on what to do and where to go,” Saffran said. “The business center became a hub, but I didn’t have anything to hand them as they walked out the door.” Wanting to change that, Saffran and his friend Brad Fernbaugh began brainstorming about creating an interactive map for Ocean Beach. Their brainstorming resulted in OB Bizmap, a printed map of Ocean Beach businesses combined with an interactive website that leads users on a scavenger hunt through the community. Peninsula Beacon

Midway Murder Suspect “Competent” Says Judge

A judge on Jan. 23 found a Midway area murder suspect mentally competent to stand trial in the Oct. 29, 2018 slaying of a clerk at an adult bookstore. Shaun Douglas Ward, 39, is accused of fatally stabbing Diane Spaguolo, 65, on Oct. 29 at the X-Spot adult bookstore at 3600 Midway Drive. San Diego Superior Court Judge Cindy Davis read the psychiatric evaluation of Ward that was prepared by a psychologist who visited Ward in jail. The psychiatric evaluation is not public record. Davis set a Feb. 15 preliminary hearing for Ward, who has pleaded not guilty. San Diego Community News Group

OB Planning Board Head Calls Short-Term Rentals in Residential Zones “Illegal”

Andrea Schlageter, chair of the OB Planning Board, told a forum organized by the Point Loma Association last week that short-term vacation rentals in residential zones are illegal. “They’re an illegal use in residential zones,” she said. “Visitors are buying properties in neighborhoods with all-cash offers. We need to tell them to stop.”

150th Anniversary of Roseville Celebrated

Members of Point Loma Assembly and La Playa Trail Association will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Roseville with dinner and a lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The public is invited, with a suggested donation of $10 at the door at Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St. For dinner, RSVP to Klonie Kunzel at 619-222-1950.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and Erosion

Erosion has been eating away at the cliffs, making the park a beautifully dangerous, albeit scenic, route to walk. This majestic 68-acre natural site has been in danger of crumbling away for years now, and it doesn’t look like Sunset Cliffs can come out on top without careful, considered effort from both the community and the City. A Master Plan for the restoration and revegetation of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park has been under way since 2005. You can view the 134-page plan online here.   Via e-mail, the City’s Sunset Cliffs Restoration Project team provided an update: Phases 1 and 2 are currently underway, but are not specifically addressing the precarious erosion — that aspect will be part of a drainage project still being designed.

Art Show on Guns by Point Loma Nazarene Art Prof

Guns are one subject most people have strong feelings about. You either don’t like them or hold them dear as the right of every American. In fact, guns are the topic of so much debate that it’s hard to envision any way to take a fresh look at the subject. But that is the goal of a new art exhibit in San Diego. The show is called “There Be Dragons” and will be on display at Quint Gallery in La Jolla through Feb. 23. It is composed of 20 pieces by David Adey, a professor of art and design at Point Loma Nazarene University. Adey said he was inspired to create the pieces after the Sandy Hook and Las Vegas shootings. KPBS

Baron’s Market: Suds for Schools – Jan. 30

On January 30 Barons Market will serve IPAs to benefit local schools and PTAs. Each of the store’s 7 locations will team up with Temecula’s Refuge Brewery for an evening of bites paired with craft beer. The family-owned market will transform loading docks and stock rooms into food and local brew speakeasies at all seven Barons Market locations in Southern California. The neighborhood grocery store will donate 100 percent of proceeds from the event to local schools and PTAs of each store location’s choice. This will be on Wednesday, January 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The PL location is 4001 W. Point Loma Blvd. 92110. To purchase tickets, please click here.

OB and Pt Loma Calendar Events

Go here for a list of events in OB and Pt Loma compiled by the La Jolla Light.

OBMA Announces Award Winners

At their annual awards dinner on Jan. 24, the OB MainStreet Association announced the winners for 2018.

The winners:

  • Ken Moss – for his two years of work to secure new LED lighting for the commercial districts in OB;
  • Lighthouse Ice Cream – for their charming shop design.
  • OB Garden Café – for their outstanding rebuild and remodel.
  • Pat’s Liquor – remodeling and upgrading signage on their corner lot.
  • Sapporo Japanese Restaurant – for the addition of beautiful mural on their exterior.
  • CC Summerfield, Realtor – outstanding new office interior remodel.
  • Shore Thing Pet Supply – (formerly Bancroft Pet Supply) – excellent product displays and window decorating
  • The Design Committee People’s Choice Award went to OB Garden Cafe.
  • Kilowatt Brewing Co – for spearheading OB’s first collaborative beer at OB Oktoberfest with six local breweries.
  • Gianni Buonomo Vintners – for receiving gold and double gold medals from coast-to-coast in domestic and international competitions.
  • OB Town Council – for an outstanding Holiday Parade that reflects the best of OB.
  • OB Brewery – for receiving a coveted Gold Medal  and the designation of  “Small Brewery of the Year” award from Great American Beer Festival.
  • The Economic Vitality People’s Choice Award went to OB Town Council.
  • Run for Cover Bookstore – outstanding marketing as a new business.
  • Intrepid Network – for producing the outstanding OBMA’s 40th Anniversary Timeline Video.
  • Culture Brewing Co. – for their community outreach and involvement in the community.
  • Creations – for participating in multiple membership opportunities to market  their business.
  • The Promotion Committee People’s Choice Award went to Run for Cover Bookstore.
  • OB Paint & Hardware for their 100 years of business in OB;
  • The Black Bead for 26 years of business in Ocean Beach;
  • Newport Avenue Antique Center for 25 years of business in Ocean Beach, which established Ocean Beach as a destination for antique lovers.
  • Point Loma Masonic Center for generously donating the hall for the event.
  • Union Bank for being a major event sponsor.
  • Michele Amsterdam – 2018 Volunteer of the Year.
  • Craig Gerwig – outstanding volunteer member of the year award.
  • Mike Hardin “Like a Boss” Award (presented to an outstanding member of the community who reflects Mike Hardin’s spirit, generosity, and love of Ocean Beach): Claudia Jack, for her commitment and volunteerism in her community.
  • First – Mother’s Saloon;
  • Second – Catrina Russell;
  • Third – TapShack.

San Diego Community News Group


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ January 29, 2019 at 1:02 pm

“They’re an illegal use in residential zones,”

Sorry Boomer-NIMBY crew, but state law trumps local zoning. And the state coastal commission act requires visitor accommodations in coastal zones. The city obviously knows about STVR because it has been accepting hotel taxes from them for a long time without complaint.

That’s why they “unpassed” the STVR ban shortly after it was passed. They knew it would quickly get blocked in court.


retired botanist January 29, 2019 at 3:03 pm

ZZ, if that is true, that sucks, but I still question the ‘trump’ of coastal zone vs. residential zone and believe a case can be made that one cannot operate a business (beauty parlor, car parts, B&B, etc) in a residential neighborhood. Just b/c visitor accommodations may be ‘required’ in coastal zones ( seems strange to me) does not necessarily dictate they are allowed within residential neighborhoods.
And in case you think it just the “NIMBY crew” (super sick of that moniker), I advocate strict regulation of STVRs globally, not just in OB. To wit, see Palma Mallorca’s recent ruling on STVRs-I lived in Palma as a child. You can’t have it both ways- you either have a neighborhood, where people work and personally invest, or you have a tourist center, where people work and don’t personally invest. While the two may co-exist in a larger geographic area, they just can’t in the same space!


zz January 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

STVR is renting a house by the day or week rather than by the month or year. The house is still used for the same purpose. That’s simply not comparable to selling car parts in a residential zone. (Though I note that OB’s AutoZone’s lot adjoins residential lots without the world ending.)

Regarding the CCC, remember their comments on the recent revision of the neighborhood plan? They approved it, but criticized the lack of visitor accommodations. As they should have: it is state law, whether you like it or not.

STVR are and long have been, at minimum, de facto legal. Changing that is a removal of visitor accommodations, and of course will raise the price of what remains. I highly doubt the CCC would approve a ban, or the near ban the city counsel passed.

Tired of hearing “NIMBY”? Well I am tired of hearing people who have AirBNBs are doing something “illegal.” They aren’t.


Frank Gormlie January 30, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Did you forget that the San Diego City Attorney ruled that STVRs in residential zones are illegal?


ZZ January 30, 2019 at 10:40 am

Regarding you not liking state law trumping local zoning… well sorry, but that is the way it is.

All those San Diego lots where the zoning doesn’t allow a granny flat. Under state law, now they do, regardless of what the local zoning says.

I think OB has gotten better since 2005, even as the number of STVR has grown. Yes, rents have gone up, but that is the case everywhere in San Diego, as well as in most nice cities in the USA. San Diego rents have gone up less than Denver, SF, San Jose, Seattle, LA, NY, Miami, etc.


Frank Gormlie January 30, 2019 at 12:31 pm

What a mechanical and dogmatic stance you take. You must not rent.


retired botanist January 30, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Haha, true that, Frank. As a renter, I got priced out of OB, but even if I hadn’t, the STVR problem is so much bigger than ZZ conjects. First of all, renting a house by the day or week is COMPLETELY different than renting a place to LIVE. Enough said on that. Second, I have several issues w/ the CCC and its role/function, I guess I wasn’t aware that this is, apparently, yet another dysfunction of that agency. And third, w/ respect to the “tired of NIMBY” comment, I am also uber tired of people who constantly implement “can you” instead of “should you”. ZZ, give us ‘greater good” folks a break! :-)


ZZ January 30, 2019 at 4:06 pm

I own now, but I rented in OB for more years than I have been a homeowner.

Regardless, this isn’t about my personal interest. NIMBYism benefits me because it drives up property values. I agree with the CCC that coastal neighborhoods should be open to all Californians.

Dogmatic? I am not the one who wants to throw people out of work because “that’s the law.” (Actually it isn’t.) The one person I know who does do AirBNB has disabilities that precludes a normal 9-5 job, but AirBNB works out perfect. The sharing economy is going to be part of our future.


retired botanist January 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm

ZZ, but being “open to all Californians’ somehow immediately excludes the lower socioeconmic echelons! Its all about who can afford to garner a piece of that pie!! Its the same in Hawaii (lived there for 11 yrs), Fla (born in Key West), and basically any geographic area within coastal proximity! The laws that are supposed to protect public access to the coastlines, that are supposed to protect the coastlines and their biological habitats, that are supposed to protect coastal communities, are simply failing! An STVR community does NOTHING to protect ANYTHING except its profit! If it isn’t about your personal interest, I’d like to gently suggest that it should be :)


Frank Gormlie January 29, 2019 at 3:04 pm

zz- Don’t you dare apply a broad brush here. STVRs are the scourge of San Diego’s coastal areas; they wipe out what little housing stock there is – driving rents up. And airbnb types destroy communities. So stick that in yer pipe and smoke it. I’ve been to Germany and I wish we had their zoning laws. Here, every little piece of dirt is cemented over and sold.


Frank Gormlie January 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

I meant to add this: Tomcat Courtney – the “blues legend” – just turned 90. He used to play in OB where the Tilted Stick is now; there was a neat and popular bar there called “Peoples” (I think).


Frank Gormlie January 29, 2019 at 3:21 pm

This just in: Kayla, one of SeaWorld’s oldest remaining orcas, has died after first showing “signs of discomfort” two days earlier, the chain of animal theme parks said.
The 30-year-old female orca died Monday morning, with animal care specialists by her side, SeaWorld said in a statement. “The exact cause of death will not be known until the results of a post-mortem examination are complete, which may take several weeks,” it said.


Eric January 29, 2019 at 4:03 pm

That spot Tomcat played was called the Texas Tea House. My band Stoney Bologna opened for him for about year. We played for pitchers and tips. Good times! Way to keep the dream alive Tomcat.


Frank Gormlie January 29, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Right, but there was another bar at the same place called something like “the People”.


Frank Gormlie February 2, 2019 at 5:23 pm

A man riding a scooter was injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Ocean Beach Friday night, Feb. 1, police said. Witnesses say a grey minivan hit a 36-year-old man near the intersection of Voltaire and Froude streets around 9:20 p.m.

The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for a broken leg. The minivan was last seen headed west on Greene Street.


Frank Gormlie February 2, 2019 at 5:26 pm

A 17-year-old boy was hospitalized Saturday morning with multiple leg fractures suffered in an accident in the Midway area of San Diego.

Police responded at 9:10 p.m. Friday to the 2700 block of Truxtun Road and determined the victim was riding a scooter southbound on the west sidewalk when a 35-year-old woman driving her 2016 Land Rover northbound made a left turn into a driveway and the teenager hit the passenger side of the SUV, according to Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department.

The boy was taken to a hospital with two open fractures to his lower leg, Heims said.
San Diego Police Traffic Division investigated the crash. No arrest was reported.


ZZ February 3, 2019 at 11:15 am

Time to ban Land Rover SUVs outside of African safari tours. They hurt people, hurt the environment, and 99.9% of the time their “off road” features are never used, and are just $60,000 of conspicuous consumption.


retired botanist February 3, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Ack, ZZ, if it wasn’t such an outlandish idea, I’d agree with you. :-). Indeed, what is the “utility” of these vehicles in urban environments? I drive a 2006 Toyota Camry and its still doing just fine, can hold plenty of groceries, soccer balls, car seats, bike or surfboard racks, doesn’t have a car alarm or those incredibly annoying car lock beepers, and still uses an actual key! And ever try and park in a narrow, City space between two SUVs? Ridiculous! Oh, and did I mention that they completely block any other driver’s view when they are at a stop sign, intersection or when one is trying to pull out of a parking spot?!
Of course, I feel sorry for both the victim and the driver. And not sure what the rider was doing with a scooter on the sidewalk, aren’t they supposed to be in the streets, too, in line (behind) other vehicle traffic? Regardless, sadly neither of us are going to see the phasing out of SUVs anytime soon! :-)


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