News of Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Midway – Mid-June 2019

by on June 13, 2019 · 1 comment

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?OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off – The 40th Annual – Sat. June 22

Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival offers attendees eclectic fun in the sun for all ages. More than 70,000 visitors will attend the Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off from 10am to 8pm on Saturday, June 22, 2019, for tasty festival nosh, art, beachfront entertainment, shopping, and more. Entry to the Street Fair is always free! The Chili Competition featured tastings from amateur entrants competing for the titles of Hottest Chili, Judges’ Award, and Grand Prize: People’s Choice Award. For much more, go here.

Driver Crashes into OB CVS – Then Fights Police

A driver who crashed his van into an Ocean Beach CVS store was arrested after he ran from the scene and then fought police officers trying to take him into custody. At around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, San Diego police received reports of a van hitting a tree in the 5000 block of Santa Monica Avenue and doing donuts in the roadway, striking at least one parked vehicle during the incident. Witnesses told police the van proceeded to slam into a wall at the CVS Pharmacy on 4949 Santa Monica Ave., and the driver was then seen fleeing the wreckage.

A short time later, police received reports of a man matching the driver’s description swinging a crowbar in the 4900 block of Brighton Avenue. Responding officers tracked down the driver and tried to take him into custody, but the man began to fight them off. During the struggle, the driver struck one officer in the face. Officers eventually used a stun gun to subdue the driver and took him into custody. The driver, believed to be in his 20s, could possibly face assault, DUI and resisting arrest charges, an SDPD official told 10News. The officer struck is expected to be OK. 10News

A New Concept in Yoga at reUnify

Nikki Rae Bose has been living in OB for 8 years now and just recently opened up a yoga studio at Bacon & Voltaire, called reUnify Yoga. She decided to do things a bit differently with her small business. She opened up her yoga studio on April 1st with a unique concept of memberships that “give back” to different non-profit foundations. Her end goal is to create a community of yogis who realize that selfless service is a huge part of the practice., 773-391-6181

Suspect in Serial Killings of San Diego Homeless Found Competent for Trial

A man accused of driving railroad spikes into several homeless people in San Diego three years ago – including a man in Ocean Beach- , killing four and injuring others in separate assaults, has been found mentally competent to stand trial in what could be a death penalty case. Criminal proceedings against Jon David Guerrero, 42, had been suspended while he received psychiatric treatment at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County. After hearing testimony from mental health experts and arguments from attorneys, San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So on Monday, June 3, found that Guerrero is able to understand the charges against him and assist his lawyers in his defense.  The judge set a preliminary hearing date of Nov. 4 to hear evidence in the criminal case and decide whether to send Guerrero to trial.

Guerrero is charged with four counts of murder, three of attempted murder, two counts of arson and five counts of assault likely to cause great bodily injury. He faces a special-circumstance allegation that he committed more than one murder, which could lead to the death penalty. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek that ultimate penalty. Angelo DeNardo, Shawn Longley, Dionicio Vahidy and Molly Simmons all died within what prosecutors say was a six-month spree of vicious, unprovoked attacks in 2016 — mostly on homeless men while they slept. Simmons was walking from her home to a bus stop when she was struck on the head, and she died a few days later.

Several victims were struck on the head by a man who rode up to them from behind on a bicycle. The attacks occurred in areas including the Morena district near Interstate 5 — where a sleeping man was set on fire after spikes were rammed into his head and chest — and in Ocean Beach and East Village. Guerrero was arrested in the Bankers Hill neighborhood of San Diego less than two hours after one man survived blows that broke his jaw and one eye socket. Police found a mallet and railroad spikes in Guerrero’s backpack and more spikes at his apartment, according to a court document.

Both defense and prosecuting attorneys asked for mental health evaluations of Guerrero and later that year he was sent to Patton. Since then, he has seesawed back and forth from the hospital to county jail as psychiatrists declared him competent to stand trial, then not competent. A mental competency trial set for last spring was delayed until May of this year. Experts testified on several days spread out over two weeks, agreeing that Guerrero is severely mentally ill, with psychosis and long-term schizophrenia. They differed on whether he could, under medication, assist in his defense. The judge decided that Guerrero should remain at Patton for treatment between court appearances. San Diego Union-Tribune

“Suspicious Person” Attempts Entry to Navy Complex in Midway

Navy security officers shut down a gate and detained a “suspicious person” Wednesday morning as the person attempted to enter the complex in the Midway District, authorities said. Shortly before 6:45 a.m., the main gate of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command — formerly known as Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command — was shut down to vehicle and pedestrian traffic after Navy Security Forces detained a suspicious person who attempted to enter the complex in a vehicle, Capt. Brien Dickson, the base commander, tweeted. Around 7:55 a.m., Dickson tweeted that the person’s vehicle had been checked and cleared, and that the gate had been reopened. Shortly before 8 a.m., San Diego police reopened Pacific Highway, which had been shut down between Barnett and Kurtz during the incident. No additional information was immediately available. Times of San Diego

City Continues to Fund Midway Homeless Shelter

A contract to provide funding to three homeless advocacy groups for the operation of temporary homeless shelters in San Diego has been extended to 2020 as the city lays the groundwork to open a fourth shelter. The San Diego City Council voted 6-3 Tuesday to use more than $11 million to keep three temporary bridge shelters through June 2020. This includes the Midway District facility operated by Veterans Village of San Diego and houses about 200 homeless veterans each day, which received $3.5 million. 7SanDiego

Dark Musical at OB Playhouse & Theatre Co.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Stephen Sondheim’s dark musical about a vengeful barber who begins to kill customers. Directed by Manny Bejarano, it runs through June 16 at the OB Playhouse & Theatre Co. in Ocean Beach.

Armed Robbery of 2 7-Elevens – Midway district and Point Loma

An armed man robbed two 7-Eleven stores in Point Loma and the Midway District within two hours late Friday and early Saturday morning, June 8. The description and behavior of the robber was similar in both incidents, although the man was described as clean-shaven in one case and having a mustache in the other. The first robbery reportedly happened just after 11 p.m. Friday at the 7-Eleven store on Voltaire Street at Catalina Boulevard in Point Loma. According to the report, a man walked in, lifted his shirt to show the handle of a gun in his waistband, and demanded money from the clerk. He then left the store with an unknown amount of cash and fled southbound on Catalina Boulevard. The robber was described as white, in his late 20s or early 30s, between 5-feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall and weighing 170 to 180 pounds. He had short brown hair, was clean shaven and wore a black jacket, white shirt and blue jeans.

A similar robbery was reported at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday at a 7-Eleven on Midway Drive between Riley Street and East Drive. The robber reportedly lifted his shirt, pulled a handgun from his waistband and placed it on the counter, pointing toward the clerk. He took an unknown amount of money from the clerk, placed it in a bag, then tucked his gun back into his waistband and left.
He was last seen headed north on East Drive and into the Target parking lot. The robber matched the same physical description as in the earlier incident, but was said to have a mustache and a black baseball cap. San Diego Union-Tribune

Suspect in Peninsula 7-Eleven Robberies Could Be Involved in LA Killing of Off-Duty Cop

San Diego authorities are trying to figure out if the man accused of shooting and killing an off-duty LA County deputy standing in line at a Southern California Jack in the Box is a suspect in a series of armed robberies this month in San Diego County.  Deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano was shot while at the counter of a Jack in the Box restaurant at 2531 W. Valley Blvd. in Alhambra around 5:45 p.m. Monday. Sheriff’s officials believe it was a random attack. Rhett McKenzie Nelson, 30, of Utah, was arrested Tuesday after a short police chase in Long Beach.

The San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and Carlsbad Police Department say they are working with the LA County Sheriff’s Department to determined if Nelson is a suspect in any of the following incidents:

  • June 7 at approximately 11 p.m. at the 7-Eleven at 4205 Voltaire Street in Point Loma;
  • June 7 at approximately 11:55 p.m. at the 7-Eleven at 3185 Midway Drive in the Midway District;
  • June 8 at approximately 6:10 p.m. at the 7-Eleven at 7607 Broadway in Lemon Grove;
  • June 9 at approximately 2:25 a.m. at a Circle K at 7602 El Camino Real in Carlsbad.  7SanDiego

Request Your New Yard Sign to Save San Diego Neighborhoods

The effects of yard signs are visible in news stories, informed neighborhood conversations, and negative guest reviews on Airbnb. Save San Diego Neighborhoods has a bunch of new signs. “Vacation Rentals Make Our Housing Crisis Worse” –
Every inch of San Diego’s residential dwelling space used as full-time short-term vacation rentals is that much less living space available to San Diego families. Losing living space anywhere in the city affects the entire city. – Common sense denied only by those who profit from illegal vacation rentals.

Vacation Rentals Hurt Schools” – Short-term vacation rental properties threaten the stability and sense of community necessary for neighborhoods to be able to support their local public schools. – San Diego Unified School District Board of Education (Unanimous). “Vacation Rentals Destroy Neighborhoods” – Neighborhoods are not made of buildings. They are made of residents. This isn’t sentiment. It is fact. Youth sports, congregations, schools, neighborhood businesses, and large corporations that drive our economy require neighborhoods filled with residents to survive. And then there’s “Neighborhoods Are for Neighbors Not Vacation Rentals” – San Diego zoning laws do not and have never permitted vacation rentals with stays less than 30 days in residential areas. Illegal vacation rentals continue to operate and threaten San Diego only because Mayor Kevin Faulconer chooses to not enforce our zoning laws. Request a new yard sign to help spread the truth about harmful vacation rentals.

Intruder in Point Loma Home Dies in Police Custody

A man who allegedly entered someone’s home Wednesday, June 12 in a Point Loma neighborhood died after becoming unresponsive once officers handcuffed him. The man, who appeared to be in his 40s, entered a rear door of a home in the 2900 block of Hornet Way about 3:35 p.m., prompting a call to 911 from a resident who reported the suspect was in the front of the house acting strangely, according to San Diego Police Department Lt. Matt Dobbs. An officer arrived and tried to take the man into custody, but he resisted attempts to handcuff him, leading to a struggle, Dobbs said.

Two more officers arrived and “used a combination of physical force and strikes to the arms to get the suspect handcuffed,” Dobbs said. “The officers believed the suspect was demonstrating symptoms of excited delirium and requested paramedics,” Dobbs said. “As the paramedics began assessing the suspect’s condition, he became unresponsive and life-saving measures were initiated.” The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:49 p.m., Dobbs said.

“From the initial witness interviews we have learned the suspect apparently broke down the rear fence to the residence and entered an open door,” Dobbs said. “Two adult residents were upstairs, while their 9-year-old daughter was asleep downstairs. “The male resident came downstairs when he heard the commotion and confronted the suspect. A fight ensued and the resident punched the suspect twice, rendering him unconscious. The resident kicked the suspect, who woke up and ran out of the house and again began displaying bizarre behavior until the police arrived and the additional struggle ensued. The resident and witnesses believed the suspect was under the influence of drugs.” Another resident had reported earlier that someone was attempting to open doors to homes in the 2900 block of Belknap Way, about a block from where the fatal confrontation took place, Dobbs said. The suspect was not immediately identified. Patch San Diego

Hey! San Diego Media: Where Is the Midway District?

Three different news reports of the intruder who died once he was handcuffed by police after going into a home in the 2900 block of Hornet Way (see above) cited the neighborhood where the incident occurred as the “Midway District”. Yet Hornet Way and the 2900 block of Belknap Way are definitely not in the Midway, But in a Point Loma neighborhood near Liberty Station. What gives? Don’t these reporters have google maps? Now, here’s a clue: all the reports were based on a news report by City News Service. So, perhaps that’s where the misguided location originated. The Times of San Diego, Patch San Diego and 7SanDiego all got the location wrong.

Living on the edge in OB. Near foot of Pescadero. Photo by Frank Gormlie, 6-12-19

Full Council to Vote on Campland Lease

The San Diego City Council‘s Land Use and Housing Committee voted 3-1 Wednesday, June 12 to forward a proposed five-year lease extension for the Campland on the Bay campground to the full council. The extension would enable Campland to remain in its current 46-acre space in the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park and expand to a large swath of the adjacent De Anza Cove mobile home park, which recently closed following decades of litigation with mobile home park residents. Campland would take over the Mission Bay RV Resort, located at the center of the De Anza Cove mobile home park. The full council is expected to vote on the extension either later this month or in early July.

The proposed extension is contingent on Campland making various improvements to the former mobile home park, such as removing around 100 old and decrepit mobile homes. Campland would also nearly double its number of recreational vehicle rental slots from 560 to 970. The proposal comes as the city considers multiple redevelopment options for the northeast corner of the park, including a wetland restoration project drafted by San Diego Audubon. The city is conducting environmental and feasibility studies of the area, which are expected to be completed around the time the five-year lease ends.

Opponents of the extension argue the city should establish a shorter lease and pivot to the wetlands restoration project, which would turn Campland’s current 46-acre footprint into restored marsh area. Currently, according to San Diego Audubon, only about 5% of Mission Bay’s original 4,000 acres of wetlands remain. The three committee members to vote in favor of the lease extension told opponents, mostly environmentalists, that five years is a short-term lease considering the speed at which government moves. The lease would also have little bearing on long-term plans for Mission Bay Park or wetlands restoration, they said.

“It does not prevent, it does not delay the long-term conversation, and the city will continue to study all options for the long-term solution,” said Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell, whose district includes Mission Bay. “In the meantime, instead of waiting longer, I appreciate the efforts that Campland has come forward to clean up De Anza and help begin to clear this area of environmentally hazardous structures.”

Councilwoman Vivian Moreno voted against the proposal, the only committee member to do so, because she also sought to amend the proposal to ensure the council has legislative authority over options to extend the lease with Campland in the future. As it stands, Campland could opt to extend the lease by a year or more without coming back to the council for approval. “Council meetings, council committees are really the only place where members of the public have an opportunity to provide testimony on how we use our public park land,” Moreno said. “If the option does not return to the council for discussion, that essentially cuts the public out of the conversation.” Times of San Diego

Eco-Friendly Beach Chairs Made with 2.5 Pounds Upcycled Plastic

It’s being called the world’s most eco-friendly beach chair. A company in New Jersey called LowTides OP has just releashed beach chairs which incorporate 2.5lbs of upcycled ocean bound plastic from at risk coastal areas in the products design.  Ocean bound plastic is different from other recycled plastic.  LowTides OP’s supply chain sources single use plastic from target areas around the globe, which are called “At-Risk Zones.”  These coastal areas lack professional collection efforts to recycle, and as a result, there is a high likelihood that the plastic waste in these zones will enter landfills, the environment and even the world’s oceans.

The plastic is collected from the beaches of Haiti and the Yucatan Peninsula. The plastic is broken down, through what’s called the “cracking process,” into individual pellets called resins. Through a process called resin casting, a hardened mold of resins is created, forming the upcycled plastic parts of the chair. Yahoo Finance

Old Point Loma Lighthouse a Member of SoCal’s History

Our own Point Loma lighthouse – we call it the Cabrillo Lighthouse – is on a list of Southern California’s more historic lighthouses. We’re not surprised. Here’s a report from KCET about ours:

The San Diego harbor’s historic first lighthouse can be found on the San Diego peninsula known as Point Loma, within the bounds of Cabrillo National Monument. First put into service in 1855, the two-story, Cape Cod-style lighthouse appears small and modest, more house than light. It’s still a beacon, though, as it rises high above the city – in fact, the highest in the U.S. But it turned out to be too high up there, when low-hanging fog and clouds would too often obscure its light beams at 462 feet above sea level. In 1891, a lighthouse on the low tip of the Point replaced it.

As part of its decommissioning, its original Fresnel lens was removed – and went missing, never to be found again. To add insult to injury, the “Old” Point Loma Lighthouse was threatened with demolition in 1913. But it was still a popular attraction for tourists who loved the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the entire San Diego shoreline and the mountains in the distance. Thankfully, acquisition by the National Parks Service and a rehab completed in 1935 took Old Point Loma Lighthouse off the chopping block.

The lighthouse museum is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but the monument’s entrance station (where you must pay a fee) closes at 4:20 p.m. Your fee is valid for seven consecutive days of entry. However, there are just three days a year when the lighthouse tower is open to the public – and only from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check the schedule online, and make sure you’re comfortable climbing a spiral staircase and a ladder. If not, there’s plenty to see otherwise – including next door, where a museum is housed in the former a living quarters of the assistant lighthouse keeper. KCET

Mr. Moto to Open in July

Mr. Moto Pizza House will open its newest restaurant in Ocean Beach, at 1929 Cable St., on July 6, starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.  Mr. Moto is owned and operated by Gibran Fernandez, a San Diego native, who started in the business at the age of 23 in 2009. His New York style pizza restaurants offer the largest “by the slice” options in San Diego. The milestone opening is a tangible example of Mr. Moto’s continued growth in just 4 years. Mr. Moto OB will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

2 on 1 Bicycle Injured in Midway

Two people riding on one bicycle were hit by a car in the Midway District Friday evening, June7 leaving one of the riders with serious injuries. SDPD said the riders were pedaling against traffic on the 3550 block of Rosecrans Street at around 8:45 p.m. when they were hit by a silver car. Investigators said the driver was looking toward oncoming traffic while pulling out of a driveway and did not see the cyclist coming from the other side. SDPD and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department responded.The 32-year-old man operating the bicycle suffered an open fracture to his leg, his passenger suffered bumps and bruises. Both were transported to a local hospital, according to SDPD. Rosecrans Street in the area of the accident is expected to be closed for at least an hour. Police said no drugs or alcohol appear to be involved. 7SanDiego

Body Found Along Freeway

A person was found dead June 4 in an area frequented by transients alongside a Midway-area freeway offramp. The discovery of the unidentified body next to the southbound side of Interstate 5 at the West Washington Street exit was reported shortly before 12:30 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. An investigating CHP officer reported that the fatality appeared possibly drug-related, said Jim Bettencourt, a spokesman for the state agency. There were no reported indications of any suspicious circumstances related to the death, Bettencourt said. The county Medical Examiner’s Office was called in to take custody of the body for identification and autopsy purposes. 10News

Local Businesses in the “News”

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Frank Gormlie June 14, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Authorities Thursday released the name of a man who passed out and died after allegedly entering a Point Loma-area home uninvited, getting into a fistfight with a resident and violently resisting officers as they took him into custody.

Officials pronounced Buddie Thomas Nichols, 40, dead at a hospital late Tuesday afternoon, about an hour after officers arrested him, according to San Diego police. Times of San Diego


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