10 Years Ago in Ocean Beach – Stories From March 2009

by on March 15, 2019 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

What was happening in Ocean Beach and around it 10 years ago? Back in March 2009?

For one …

Abrupt Closure of Rock Paper Scissors Had Vendors Crying “Foul”

The abrupt closure of OB’s popular arts and crafts store on Newport Avenue, Rock Paper Scissors, upset many of the vendors. They claimed the manager, Dr. Jefe (Jeff Fagan), knew business was bad, but the message he gave out to the vendors was that ‘everything was fine.’ 

Fagan decided to immediately close the business – a business that had grown to be one of the most popular storefronts on Newport Avenue – on February 2nd, 2009, after reading his financial statements. The vendors didn’t believe that. The storefront was in the former Bank of America building, what is now Apple Tree Market.

See “Vendors Strike Back at Dr Jefe of Rock Paper Scissors“, posted March 6, 2009.

OB Kite Festival and Parade

Well over a thousand young people and their families came to OB to just “fly a kite” on Saturday, March 7th , at the OB Elementary School and Recreation Center for the 61st Annual Ocean Beach Kiwanis Kite Festival and Parade. … There were also a crafts fair, carnival and llama rides. Young musicians from the School of Rock played, along with a band called Beer Feat. …

Everyone marched from OB elementary down Santa Monica Street to the beach. There were lots of people along the way cheering us on. When we got to the beach, everybody started flying their kites. There were lots of dogs, some gymnasts and everybody was having fun. See our post and photos.

Union-Tribune sold to private equity firm – Platinum Equity

March 18, 2009: Platinum Equity – a private equity firm in Beverly Hills. … We at the OB Rag blog welcome the new owners. We expect a call from then any day now to solicit from us directions on how to proceed with their new paper.

Eric Wolff of City Beat reports today:

The purchasers of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Platinum Equity and Black Press, opened negotiations to buy the paper at $15 million, sources tell CityBeat. While the final terms of the deal have not been announced, those same sources say the final cash price was “only a little more” than the original $15 million, but Copley Press will retain an equity stake in the company and also receive a share of revenues.

Jim Bell Told Us ‘There’s Plenty of Water in San Diego’ – despite the drought.

In an interview with Jim Bell, he stated:

Despite all the drought doom and gloom coming out of Sacramento lately, the San Diego/Tijuana Region can easily become renewable water self-sufficient. Even if we assume the worst case scenario of zero precipitation and the complete cutoff of all imported water, the San Diego/Tijuana Region could completely replace all the freshwater it currently uses by installing PV panels over 4.3% of its roofs and parking lots. In 2050, 2.3% of our region’s roofs and parking in 2050 will be about 12 sq. miles.

The OB Rag Asked: Why Is Our Society’s Response to Homeless Tent Cities to Send in the Police and Slash Up the Tents?

Sacramento “Tent City” Closed Down by Police; St. Petersberg Police Slash Tents – Posted March 17, 2009

Why is it that our society’s response to the tent cities that have sprung up of late been to send in the police who roust the inhabitants and slash up the tents? Just recently, the Tent City that had been set up in Sacramento was raided by police without warning and  hundreds of occupants were immediately forced out under threat of arrest. (See video here.)

‘This Is Not a Wall’

On March 20, 2009, we posted a piece by John Fanestil who wrote:

My new friend, who works for the Border Patrol, resists my use of the word “wall” to describe the vast system of barriers being erected along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border.   He would prefer that I – and others who oppose current U.S. border policy – talk about the barriers by referring to them as “tactical infrastructure.”

If the City plans to spend $150,000 replacing OB Library roof, does this mean it won’t be closed?

On March 20, 2009, we posted the following:

The Union-Tribune reported today that the Ciy of San Diego is borrowing $103 million for a slew of repair projects, which include a sum of $150,000 to replace the roof of the Ocean Beach branch library. If the City is about to replace the 80 year old building’s roof, that probably means we don’t have to worry about its closure during the next round of budget crisis maneuvering. Doesn’t it?

As we know, the OB branch was slated to be one of the 7 libraries Mayor Jerry Sanders wanted  last October to close in order to meet budgetary short-falls.  Community reactions – especially in Ocean Beach – but all over the City gave Councilmembers enough backbone to block Sanders’ proposed gutting of the libraries.

… Councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s District 2 office … Communications Director Tony Manolatos sent me an email:

The City plans to get bids this summer for all the work included in the $103 million infrastructure bonds. When the work will begin is not definite, although the City plans to begin construction after the rainy season. The roof replacement is expected to last 4-6 months. The library is expected to remain open during this time. The repairs were included in the infrastructure bond plans because there have been issues with the roof.

Colleen Dietzel being interviewed by Frank Gormlie. Photos by Patty Jones

OBceans Join San Diegans March and Rally on 6th Anniversary of Iraq War

Sunday March 21: Protest was in the air in Hillcrest. It was the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War. Hundreds of San Diegans marched down University Avenue – then down Park Avenue to a rally on the lawn at the front of the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park for a protest of the wars in War and Afghanistan – and a myriad of other issues. … We met all kinds of young people at their very first anti-war demonstration.  This means people are still coming to the anti-war movement for a place to express themselves – and this is very important.

Sponsored by the Coalition for Peace and Justice, and numerous other peace, activist and veteran groups, the event represented a sign that people feel it is very important to keep pressure on the Obama administration, and to keep educating others about the nature of the wars and the Empire we live in.


Colleen Dietzel, a veteran peace activist who also runs the Green Store in OB, just happened to be our first interviewee.  She said that “we need to let Obama know we’re still out here. We still have to be a voice for peace.” Colleen’s theme was echoed by the majority of people we spoke to.

[On a side note, it was also the same protest where I interviewed an old friend, Ernie McCray, and convinced him to write for the OB Rag.]

Abbott Street Cottage Burns – Arson Suspected

On March 27, 2009, Dave Gilbert wrote: “I was walking down the 2000 block of Abbott St. between Cape May & Saratoga and I saw first hand the devastation on the west side of the street and was really blown away. I’ve been walking past this little cottage for years. I’ve always noticed that it had some of the coolest cactus plants outside of it, but that now it’s all been completely destroyed. What’s worse is, it looks like it was arson.

“Just about everything these folks owned was destroyed. The looks of devastation on their faces as they tried to salvage and pack up the remains of their burnt and blackened belongings made me and the others I talked to about it, well up.”


A Tale of Two Ovens: Azucar & Stephanies Hit OB’s Sweet Spot

In late March 2009, Doug Porter reviewed 2 of OB’s then-bakeries: Azucar – which is still there – and Stephanies – which isn’t. At the conclusion of his post, he wrote:

So there you have it. Two women who have drawn the culinary line and stood up for what they believe in. They both work six and sometimes seven days a week to sustain their visions. In this era of corporate blandness and mass produced factory farmed foodstuffs, it’s a welcome change, one that we’re glad to see OB supporting.

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