News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2019

by on July 8, 2019 · 15 comments

in Ocean Beach

“Weed control” in Ocean Beach. Photo by Albert C Elliott.

No More Speeding on OB Pier

The City of San Diego is trying to stop people from driving onto the Ocean Beach Pier, recently installing plastic pylons. The city recently installed the pylons at the foot of the pier after a car sped onto the structure, hitting two people and a police cruiser in June. The pylons are the first step, but the city says it’s still considering additional options to discourage people from driving onto the pier.

The Plunge in Mission Beach Finally Re-Opens

The Plunge at Fit marked the official return of the iconic beachfront pool in Belmont Park on July 4. The completion of its $12 million restoration and construction of the 400,000 gallon swimming pool and building, include:

  • a new contemporary design,
  • floor-to-ceiling glass walls that maximize ocean views and
  • a retractable roof that allows for a climate-controlled environment.
  • historical features from the original 1925 structure
  • replicas of original entrance archways and pool tiles.
  • a dining deck connecting to the newly renovated Beach House for guests to enjoy food, drinks and a fresh ocean breeze.

A series of safety and maintenance issues in the decades that followed led to the pool’s closing in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Pacifica Enterprises embarked on a nearly three year project to restore this beloved attraction to its iconic status. Open to the public daily between the hours of noon – 5:00 p.m, it has a range of daily and monthly Plunge membership options available with discounts for groups, select community members, guests under 17, and guests 65 and up. Aqua classes, swim lessons and water safety clinics will also be offered this summer. Passes and memberships can be purchased on site at the north entrance of the pool located at 3115 Ocean Front Walk. For more information on the Plunge at Fit, please visit or call 858-779-1630.

Social Syndicate Signs $2.4 Million Lease for Former Nati’s Site

Location Matters has arranged a $2.4 million, 10-year lease for Social Syndicate, a San Diego-based multi-concept restaurant group, for a space at 1852 Bacon St. in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego. Nati’s Mexican Restaurant had occupied the freestanding restaurant building for nearly 60 years before the Social Syndicate lease. The new restaurant will also carry a Mexican theme. Nati’s Inc., which is controlled by Foley Development, owns the property. Future plans call for developing the land directly behind the restaurant into an apartment complex. Mike Spilky of Location Matters represented the landlord and tenant in the transaction. Social Syndicate will occupy 2,660 square feet inside the building, in addition to 1,468 square feet of patio space. Rebusiness Online This followed on the report on the deal we published on Thursday.

BB Gun Used to Shoot Out Windows in Midway District and Lyft Car in OB

A BB gun was used to shoot out windows at three businesses in and near the Midway District and the back window of a Lyft car in Ocean Beach. The BBs shattered the window of a Chili’s restaurant on Sports Arena Boulevard around 11 p.m. Saturday, July 6 and multiple windows at an A-1 Storage center on Noell Street and a Vespa Motorsport shop on Pacific Highway. A perpetrator damaged five windows each at the storage center and shop. Two passengers accompanied the Lyft driver at the time BB’s shattered the car window at Nimitz and Sunset Cliffs boulevards. No one was hurt in the vehicle, police said, or the restaurant, where customers remained at the time of the incident. No arrests had been made as of Sunday. Times of San Diego

Similar Incident in College Area

A BB gun was used to shoot out windows at four businesses in the College Area along with a side window of a vehicle parked nearby, police said Monday. The damage was reported around 9:35 p.m. Sunday in the 7100 block of El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego police public-affairs Officer Billy Hernandez said. Officers arrived and found windows shattered at four businesses in the area as well as the driver’s side rear window of a parked vehicle, Hernandez said. Fox5

It Took 2 Years and Loss of 42,000 Gallons of Water Until Navy Fixed Leak in Midway District

After being contacted by local TV station about a leak from a water meter device that has gone on for 2 years, with the loss of possibly 42,000 gallons of water, the Navy has acted. On July 2, a media spokesperson for Naval Base Point Loma sent an email which reads, “We appreciate everyone who took the time to bring this leak to our attention. Our Naval Base Point Loma Public Works team is taking action to fix the leak today. Conserving our natural resources is a high priority and is very important to all of us at Naval Base Point Loma. We encourage active participation by contacting us directly at or use the “Get-It-Done San Diego” app for the City of San Diego. [It] is a quick way for anyone in the community to report service issues (street lights, traffic signals, trash recycling, sidewalks, street flooding, etc.)” 10News verified that the leak has been addressed.

Navy Dredging Plan on the Table

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC SW) is proposing a maintenance dredging project at Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL) in San Diego, California. The proposed project includes dredging and removal of approximately 16,485 cubic yards of material (including a 2-foot overdredge allowance) within the 1.85-acre proposed dredge area in association with Navy ARCO Drydock Sump Project. “The proposed dredge design depth is -60.0 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) for the ADD sump. Samples of the proposed dredged materials were collected and tested according to protocols for unconfined aquatic disposal determination for potential placement at the LA-5 Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) or a beneficial use site,” said the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its announcement.

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources, said USACE. The deadline for submitting the comments for the Naval Base Point Loma dredging plan is July 27, 2019. Dredging Today

4,000 Pounds of Trash Cleared by Volunteers ‘The Morning After Mess” from the 4th

Four environmental organizations removed almost 4,000 pounds of trash from beaches Friday following the Fourth of July. The San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation hosted the annual “Morning After Mess” beach cleanups. I Love a Clean San Diego, the San Diego River Park Foundation and San Diego Coastkeeper supported the effort. Volunteers converged on Ocean Beach Pier, Ocean Beach Dog Park, Belmont Park, Crystal Pier and the Oceanside Pier and collected 3,916 pounds of trash and recycling.

According to San Diego Surfrider Chapter Manager Mitch Silverstein, the cleanups indicate a reliance on disposable items. “Most of what our volunteers pick up could be avoided if we chose reusable items instead of disposable ones,” Silverstein said. “Start simple – reusable bags, reusable water bottles, reusable coffee mugs. Those three items will cut your waste footprint drastically, and they’ll help keep our streets and beaches clean.” At Surfrider’s 2018 beach cleanups, roughly 75 percent of all the collected trash included at least some plastic. Times of San Diego

Pt Loma High School Theater Program Wins Award

Point Loma High School’s recent production of “Heathers: The Musical” received a National Youth Arts award for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical and a nomination for Outstanding Direction.  The NYAA are held at the end of each academic year to recognize outstanding theatrical and technical theater student performances throughout San Diego. This year marks the 14th annual awards ceremony. This past spring, Point Loma High School’s theater program performed the rock musical “Heathers: The Musical.” Based off of the 1988 black comedy “Heathers,” this musical parodies John Hughes’ high school movies and comments on high school romances, queen bee cliques, and teen violence. Pen. Beacon

Junior Lifeguards Got to Jump Off the OB Pier

Dozens of San Diego Junior Lifeguards, their family and some members of the public got the rare opportunity Monday, July 8 to plunge into the Pacific Ocean from the end of the OB Pier. Each kid that participates in the pier jump must know how to swim and have a pair of swim fins ready for their swim back to land, which can be up to 1,000 yards away. All the participants attended a safety class before the jump to make sure they were prepared. Kids jumped from the pier in two groups, one at 8 a.m. and another at noon. While the annual jump is a fun summer tradition, the goal of the event is to raise funds for swimming lessons for children in underserved communities. Organizers say that each $100 donation to the program allows them to fund swimming lessons for one child. Proceeds from the event go towards the Prevent Drowning Foundation of San Diego. Last year’s fundraiser allowed the program to fund swimming lessons for more than 6,000 kids and host other lessons and events. 7SanDiego

9-Year-Old OB Kid Sells Lemonade to Help Others

A 9-year old in Ocean Beach is using his lemonade stand to help others. Dylan Rodriguez sets up his lemonade stand on Bacon Street every Wednesday near the OB Farmer’s Market. Initially, he wanted to make some money for himself. “He wanted to raise a $100 bill,” says his mother, Holly Raines. But after accomplishing that goal, his efforts became more altruistic. “It feels nice helping somebody out, because, if I was in that position, I would like a lot of help too,” says Dylan. Over the past three years, he’s used some of the money from the lemonade stand to pay for a handful of charitable projects. He’s given backpacks of supplies to the homeless, bought art supplies for kids at Rady’s Childrens Hospital and bought holiday presents for refugee families. “It makes me satisfied knowing that he’s got a giant heart,” says Raines.

Recently, Dylan’s giving has become more personal. One of his friends was diagnosed with a form of Muscular Dystrophy. Dylan decided to help with payments for his treatments. “He needs a lot of money for each treatment,” says Dylan. “It’s, like, $10,000 each time. So I’m trying to raise money for him.” In June, Dylan was able to give his friend $200. He says he’ll keep giving his lemonade money to his friend indefinitely. “I’d like to give him $10,000,” says Dylan. “I don’t know if I can get that much money, but I’m hoping to make a lot of money for him.” 10News

What’s the bluegrass scene like in Ocean Beach?

From BlueGrass Today: It’s a very young scene with several bands blending bluegrass with other types of music. Quite a few national touring acts like Hot Buttered Rum, Front Country, Old Salt Union, and Iron Horse have played to packed crowds of young and old alike in the clubs here in Ocean, like Winston’s OB and the Holding Company. MohaviSoul is one of the usual support acts for these groups, blending the local with the national music. We find the scene very supportive of a band like ours.

Point Loma Playhouse Welcomes Actors of All Levels for Summer Workshop

This week marks the beginning of Point Loma Playhouse’s 11th Annual Summer Shakes Workshop. Within this workshop, actors will be studying Shakespeare monologues as a vehicle to become stronger actors and performers. This program will culminate in the Summer Shakes Showcase. … and now hosts a variety of workshops, classes, and full-length theatrical productions. … The Summer Shakes Workshop lasts for eight weeks. The workshop’s director, Jeanette Knight, welcomes actors of all levels of experience to join the workshop. The minimum age is 16, and there is no maximum age. Knight explains, “A normal workshop will be very hands-on. Students should bring an open mind and come prepared to work and play with like-minded individuals.” … This workshop begins Monday, July 8 from 7-10 p.m. and continues every Monday night for eight weeks. There will be two final showcases on August 31 and September 1. For more information on the workshop or the showcase, please visit San Diego Community News Group

Monument to Tuna Industry Has Room for More Plaques

It’s time to honor those who served in the industry with a plaque or paver at the Tuna Industry Monument in Point Loma. Located in the front of The Portuguese Historical Center since 2014, the large black monument made of granite pays homage to all those in the tuna industry. With about 85 names engraved on plaques, there is room for more to be added. …Today the monument stands proud and is rectangular in shape, has a fountain with a tuna man in bronze in the middle. There are also floor pavers surrounding it and leading into the center, as well as a granite bench. … There are around 85 names on it with room for about a handful more on the monument itself. …The cost is $225 for a plaque on the monument and $150 for a paver. …

Criteria for applying to have a paver or a monument includes being male; a tuna fisherman as a livelihood on a commercial vessel; a tuna industry-related job such as a captain, deck, boss, deck hand, unloading worker or owner; a resident of San Diego at any time; and doesn’t have to be injury related. If you are interested in honoring those that gave, or those still giving, their livelihood to the tuna fishing industry, please see the application for criteria and questionnaire at All applications will need to be approved by the PHC board of directors before the plaques and or pavers will be added, Garces said. It could take up to three months for names to be added and only 20 characters are allowed including spaces. Peninsula Beacon

Beach Jeep-Theft Ringleader Gets 37 Months

A motorcycle gang leader who led others to steal Jeep Wranglers in a high-tech way in Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and elsewhere has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. Go here for more.

Arizona Man to Stand Trial for Murder of Girlfriend in Midway District

An Arizona man arrested last year after his girlfriend was fatally shot in a Point Loma parking lot last fall was ordered in late June to stand trial on a murder charge. Joe Bennette Conway, 42, is suspected of killing Octavia Williams, 20, from Phoenix, while they were arguing outside of a Domino’s Pizza on Point Loma Boulevard. At a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior Court on Wednesday, witnesses who worked at the Domino’s and at a Denny’s restaurant across the street testified that they heard the argument, then a woman’s voice crying, “No!,” followed by a single gunshot. San Diego Union-Tribune

Arizona Man Who Died in Scooter Crash in Mission Beach ID’ed

Authorities have publicly identified a 48-year-old man who was killed in June in a collision between two dockless scooters on the Mission Beach Boardwalk. Brian Witzeman of Mesa, AZ, and a 22-year-old female friend were riding the two-wheelers next to each other in the 3300 block of Ocean Front Walk when they collided and fell onto the concrete pedestrian path about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to San Diego Police. Both suffered scrapes and bruises in the crash, and Witzeman complained of chest pains. Medics took him to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, where he was pronounced dead, San Diego Police Department Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said. A preliminary autopsy report concluded that Witzeman died of blunt-force trauma to his torso. Times of San Diego

 15 Serious Scooter Crashes This Year So Far

Since Jan. 1, there have been at least 15 reported serious crashes involving the popular single-person rental conveyances in San Diego, according to San Diego Police Department Lt. ShawnTakeuchi. “The injuries range from serious fractures to significant head injuries,” Takeuchi said. “Scooter riders should be aware of their surroundings and yield to pedestrians when appropriate.” The city is implementing new regulations on dockless devices, including motorized scooters, Takeuchi said. Starting July 1, operators of the machines will be required to reduce speeds in specific areas, including beach-area boardwalks. Use of motorized scooters is also regulated under the California Vehicle Code.

OBcean Quoted on Beach Dangers

Shannon Craig spent the day at Ocean Beach Sunday. “We live a couple of blocks away, so we come down here a couple of times a week.” Her daughter Sam likes to play tag with the waves, as they ripple towards her older brother Alex. The Ocean Beach residents say they know the potential dangers of their favorite play area. “I talk to my son about it because he is a little bit bigger,” Craig said. “But my daughter, she stays close. We talk about the ocean being dangerous.” 10News

Woman Seriously Injured Crossing Highway in Midway

A 58-year-old woman who was crossing a busy street in the Midway District was struck and seriously injured by an SUV, a San Diego police officer said Saturday. The crash took place at 8:35 p.m. Friday, June 28 at 4100 Pacific Highway, SDPD Officer Robert Heims said. According to police, the woman was crossing Pacific Highway diagonally from east to west across the northbound lanes when a 2007 Chevy Tahoe driven by a 27-year-old man sideswiped the woman, Heims said. The woman suffered serious fractures of her legs requiring surgery. The driver was not cited by police. Anyone who witnessed the crash was asked to call San Diego police at 619-531-2000 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Fox5

79-Year-Old Pedestrian Killed in Midway Traffic

A 79-year-old man was struck by a car and later died late Saturday, June 29 when he walked into the street from a sidewalk in the Midway District, San Diego police said. The man was standing on the south sidewalk on Kurtz Street near Pacific Highway when he “darted out” in front of a 59-year-old woman driving a 2006 Toyota Prius around 10:50 p.m., San Diego police Officer Robert Heims said. The man was rushed to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. Investigators said the driver was not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Heims said. SD U-T

Local Businesses in the “News”

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Ol OB Hippie July 8, 2019 at 9:52 pm

Thank you Albert for being at the right place at the right time to get that farout photo of the cops walking by the canabus.


bodysurferbob July 8, 2019 at 10:00 pm

yippee ca-yay the plunge is open. must dismount from my board and check it out.

btw, what’s this with the navy missing a leak for years, wasting all that aqua????


Brenda McFarlane July 8, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Visited Ocean Beach for my favorite festival, the Chili Cook-off. I had to work selling my wares (soap and stuff) but still had a blast. Great food, great music, better beer than was available in my time. Okay, seeing a Target almost ready to open made me deeply sad but OB still is a special place. There’s something that makes me crazy about OB though and I didn’t do anything about it while I lived there. I should have tried. Vehicles speeding around in the parking lot by Dog Beach. Why no big ass speed bumps? Dogs and children (and others) are constantly racing out into the parking lot without looking. I saw a dog hit there once. And it is still just as dangerous.


ZZ July 9, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Mr. Moto Pizza is now open. The sign said $3 slices and $15+ pies. The new complex overall looks great.


Judy Swink July 9, 2019 at 1:22 pm

The woman struck by a car when crossing “a busy street” was crossing Pacific Highway, not PCH. Look at any street map of San Diego. The Pacific Coast Highway is north of Camp Pendleton into the LA area and beyond.


Frank Gormlie July 10, 2019 at 11:13 am

Thanks Judy – you’re absolutely right; I changed the name in the column above and checked the original story from Fox5, and yup, they got it wrong.


Paul Webb July 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm

I cannot believe that they are charging $15 per day for entrance to a publicly owned swimming pool


Michael July 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm

You pay for what you use. Glad they’re recouping some of the costs from folks who enjoy it.

I pay for a pool at my complex so I’d rather not pay for two.


Paul Webb July 11, 2019 at 9:54 am

You have chosen to enjoy the benefits of living with a private pool in your complex, one that is not open to the public, so you have chosen to pay for it. In the case of the plunge, this is a publicly owned facility on public lands. Yes, the developer did put in substantial improvements but it sure feels like if I want to use the pluge I’m paying for it twice – once as a taxpayer and once as a pool user.


Michael July 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Same could be said about gas taxes, car registration, boat registration, bus fares, etc… It’s subsidized by the government but you pay a portion of the cost when you use it. It’s a recreation center, not some great public need.

Makes sense those who use it pay for it. The rest of us already built it for you anyway via our taxes.


Paul Webb July 12, 2019 at 10:08 am

First of all, I would argue that exercise is a great public need, given that obesity and its related health issues are a major public health challenge and that public facilities that encourage healthy activities should be supported and available to all San Diegans.
I don’t mind paying a fee for the use of the plunge, but $15 is an awful lot of money, particularly for a facility that is supported with tax dollars but is operated by a private entity. I belong to a gym which has two pools and the fee is $16 per month. I don’t object to a fee, I just felt that the $15 is excessive and prices a large part of our community out of the ability to use the pool.


Geoff Page July 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

Don’t get your reasoning, Michael. Gas taxes and car registration fees go toward our roads as do other taxes. Anything “subsidized” by the government comes from taxes. As for boat registration fees, not sure what the government subsidizes there. Bus fares are part of the cost, the rest comes from taxes. The word subsidizes is not applicable that I can see.

I agree with Paul Webb, that fee is obscene considsering the development deal they got for the Plunge and the surrounding real estate.


Paul Webb July 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Actually, Geoff, some of the boat registration fee goes to the division of boating and waterways and is used to fund a number of different types of projects, from beach and bay improvements to programs providing education and access to boating activities for young people who wouldn’t otherwise have opportunities for water recreation. It’s a good example of the fees we pay going to actual good projects and programs.


Michael July 12, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Geoff, I think we’re saying the same thing. If you engage in those activities, you pay a fee that goes toward the support of that activity.

When I say subsidized, I’m referring to the fact that the general tax base (regardless of what individuals pay) pays for the a portion of the development (i.e. all taxpayers) and the remainder is paid by the user like any private business.

Regarding obesity, if only there were a natural body of water you could use near San Diego ;)

I’m obviously joking, but $15 doesn’t sound that bad to go swimming in a nice spot. I paid $14 the other day to go to a museum in Palm Springs and I would have rather gone swimming.

This is starting to get into a debate about socialism/individual responsibility, so to side step that, I bet we can agree on this:

In a private enterprise, prices are set to maximize (net)revenue while being agnostic to supply. We should set the prices at a level that best utlize the asset for the public good (i.e. maximum users) but high enough to prevent overcrowding.


ZZ July 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm

$15!!! It was $7 when I last went there, and it included the use for a day of their very premium gym. I went a few times a year. Something magic about a giant historic pool on the beach.

I’ll check it out anyway, but at $15 probably not as often as I used to.


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