OB Town Council: Parrots, OB Pier, City Budget Hearings, Scooters, Membership Expansion

by on April 25, 2019 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

The wild parrots of Ocean Beach (and elsewhere) were the main attraction at last nights Ocean Beach Town Council meeting.

Other issues brought up during the course of the meeting included good news about the OB Pier’, the city’s budget hearings where OBceans are needed, the new regs on scooters, a “Hat Contest”, an expanded membership program for the Town Council, and tragically, a death in Point Loma due possibly to fentanyl.

The Parrots

Brooke, Josh and Sarah from SoCal Parrot brought their traveling road show of 2 live parrots and a power point presentation of the parrots of the greater San Diego region to the dozens of people in the audience at the Masonic Center. (Go to socalparrot.org/obtc2019 for more info on Peninsula parrots.)

Sarah narrated the slide presentation, repeating the main issues the group is trying to bring the public’s attention to:

Sarah showed slides of the different local species – which include the red-crowned Amazon. She told the crowd the estimated population of that species in Southern California is 1,500 – while tragically, the estimated population in its “native” Mexico is less than 1,000.

Sarah also spoke of the more rare species, the Blue-crowned Conure, which amazingly, has only been confirmed to have populations in Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

The group also has a big issue with tree trimming – and that it should not be done in the Spring – as the season for parrots to nest. They really like the Canary Island Palms to nest in, and like kumquat trees and tangerine trees for food.

It was mentioned there was a recent case where some men were seen poaching parrots’ nests in broad-daylight in Ocean Beach. “If you see that, that’s a 9-1-1 call,” the audience was told.

On another issue, Brooke spoke about her support for Assembly Bill 1788 which would ban certain pesticides used on crops, which she said, is filtering down now to the larger predators, like owls, foxes, wildcats, coyotes – and observers are seeing more of these animals dying. One particular common symptom is mange from the toxins of the pesticides.

Mayor Says: OB Pier to Be Open on Memorial Day

Anthony  George, Mayor Faulconer’s rep, wasn’t in attendance, but he sent in a written report with updates, read by OBTC corresponding Secretary, Jon Carr. The big news – or rather a confirmation of news about the OB Pier given by the city months ago – is that the repair of the OB Pier is on track and it will be open by the Memorial Day weekend – if not before.

In other news from the mayor’s office, they’re boasting of the unanimous vote by the city council on the mayor’s proposed regulations for scooters. George wrote, which Carr spoke, that the mayor wants community input from the beach communities on where to place “staging areas” for the scooters. Also the mayor’s vehicle habitation measure was passed in committee and is on its way to the full council.

Jen Campbell’s Office

District 2 Jen Campbell’s rep, Seamus Kennedy, gave his updates on the various issues facing the council, He said, regarding scooters, that OB will be part of the “beach overlay zone” for the geo-fencing of the scooters. He also mentioned that the City Attorney’s Office has declared the cit council scooter meeting was not docketed properly and the council needs to go back and take another vote. The second reading of the proposal will be in one month, and if it passes, it goes into effect immediately.

Kennedy also stated the vehicle rehabilitation proposal has not been scheduled as yet for council. He did say a new Safe Parking lot for people living in their cars has opened just north of Qualcomm Stadium.

Seamus also made a big push for OBceans to attend the city’s budget hearings coming right up, and starting on May 1. The budget hearings have been scheduled for night to allow San Diegans to attend.

Community Relations Report

Officer David Surwilo gave his monthly report. He said the Beach Team has been identified and they will have their first duty on the Memorial Day holidays. He said the seasonal shift change happens in mid-May. Surwilo reiterated what the Homeless Outreach Team does, repeating what was reported at last month’s meeting, and that they go out and find homeless people who want or need services and then assist them to get access.

Surwilo also made an impassioned “soap box” statement about our “national crisis in opioid overdoses”. He said marijuana has been legalized but that meth and heroin are killing people and “are still a big problem”. He got somewhat emotional in describing his first call the day before: he had to go deal with a death in Point Loma probably from fentanyl.

Lifeguard Towers ready. Firefighter medics now use fentanyl, the meeting was told by the next public services report, by an OB lifeguard. It’s cheaper and better, the rep said. “Medics don’t use morphine any more,” he commented.

On the beach, Towers 2 and 5 are open now, with Tower 3 open on the weekends. The Santa Cruz beach tower will open June 14 with 2 lifeguards on duty there.

The unidentified lifeguard rep also urged the crowd to attend the upcoming budget hearings down at city hall on May 1st and push for monies for the lifeguard station.

OBTC Membership Expansion

The Town Council is changing its rules about membership – and rolled out Wednesday night was a new program where membership is free, but there are other tiers, bronze, silver and gold which have $20, $100, and $500 donations respectively. Only bronze and above members can vote in the annual election.

Also, t-shirts and OBTC swag is coming.

In other news or developments raised during the meeting, including public comment:

In OB Library news: the OB Library’s head librarian, Matt, announced that on May 4, author Sam Halpern will have a discussion and book signing for his new book, “A Virtuous Life”. Halpern is the “Dad” in the NY Times bestseller, “Sh*t My Dad Says”. There are plenty of other events coming up – check it all out.

Friends of OB Library head Tony urged everyone to attend the city’s hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget to voice our opinions on no new monies for either the OB Library and the OB Lifeguard station.

OB Kite Festival May 18 – Melanie reminded the crowd of the upcoming OB Kite Festival, hosted by the OB Kiwanis Club. “It’s the 71st anniversary” of the kite event, Melanie said, and it’s “the oldest in the country for children.” It’s all at Robb Field and starts at noon. \

City Arbor Day – this Friday, April 26th, Virginia Wilson, our rep on the city’s Urban Forestry Advisory Board, announced the City of San Diego is hosting its first annual Arbor Day event this Friday, April 26th. The free event starts with tree planting around Balboa Park and continues with vendors and entertainment throughout the day. (For more information, visit www.sandiego.gov/tsw/arborday.) Virginia said 50 Torrey Pines will be planted. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the tree planting- no experience needed –

Virginia also stated there are still free street trees to plant in the right of way around the village and Pt Loma. The app to apply is now on the city’s website. “But hurry,” she said, “there is a waiting list” for the free trees. The household has to agree to water the trees.

OB Elementary Update: Marco said to some chuckles the air conditioning unit will be ready by winter. The yearly standardized testing for his students is coming up in mid-May. To answer any questions by parents, he’s holding a parent assembly at 8am on May 2.

OB Green Center 30th Anniversary and Grand Opening Celebration – May 11. Denine Hunt announced the OB Green Center is holding these events on the 11th of May from 2 to 7pm, with live music and refreshments, all at the new place at 4867 Voltaire.

OB Woman’s Club Monthly Gig – Susan Winkie announced the monthly event for Tuesday, May 14, at 5:30pm for a light meal. The speaker will elaborate on San Diego’s human trafficking problems.

Hat Contest – May 9 at Culture Brewing Co. Susan also announced a “hat contest”, where contestants have to show up with hats they made; it’s from 6 to 9pm; prizes will be given for “Most OBcean”, “Most original” and “Most nostalgic”; voting for the winners ends at 8:30pm.

San Diego Earth Fair – Sunday April 28 – Keith reminded everyone of this upcoming event at Balboa Park. “There will be 300 exhibitors,” he said.

OB Street Fair – June 22.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

twogeez April 28, 2019 at 5:19 am

Street Fair JUNE 22


Frank Gormlie April 28, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Yes it is. Made the correction – thanks.


micporte April 29, 2019 at 5:01 am

nice overview, thanks,
birds are good, pesticides/herbicides bad… we have green parrot flocks on Mt Soledad, awareness of our surrounding nature is crucial. thanks to the parrot squad!
As for your new lifeguard tower in OB, it looks dead and buried on the city budget this year, but the one we DONT WANT in North PB (over 7million$ for a badly designed massive concrete structure with limited ocean observation for security on a very sensitive ocean interface zone) is still on the budget… even though the fire-rescue budget is doubling, although the police budget has been cut..
the city attorney’s office is doubling their budget too,
some weird stuff in the budget, read it


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