Ocean Beach 10 Years Ago in July 2009

by on July 23, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

OB Burners and Hoopers

What was going on in Ocean Beach a decade ago? In July of 2009? We took a gander at our archives from that month – and discovered a treasure trove of old articles covering issues that still resonant with us today.  From gentrification to fireworks, from Sunset Cliffs to the “Marshmallow Wars”, the OB Rag covered these local issues – and more. Take a look.

Fireworks are costly

As part of a group report by OB Rag writers on the 2009 Street Fair, Gary Gilmore showed us the money. He wrote:

The rockets’ red glare is gone. The echoes of the bombs bursting in air have faded. The volleys of marshmallows have been put to rest for another year. It’s time for an accounting. Where did all the money go?

At the risk of tainting the innocent pleasure that our fireworks bring to the happy hordes of revelers that flock to our little beach town on this holiday I’m going to tell you what they cost. Twenty five grand. $25,000.

In the span of time that it takes to have a leisurely stroll to the end of the pier and back twenty five thousand dollars was launched into the sky to bring a climax to a local tradition that is now 30 years old. This display is brought to you by the revenues generated by the annual OB Street Fair. While a healthy chunk of change was raked in, it took a lot of bucks to pull it off.

One of Sunset Cliffs’ hidden caves, only accessible during very low tides.

Sunset Cliffs received attention –

Certain locals were waging a fight to save Sunset Cliffs – over what they perceived to be the problems – and were afraid of their erosion – and that of surf culture. Here’s Ann Swanson’s view of some of the problems with the cliffs, “the real skinny“.

One of my personal favorites about the cliffs: A Paradise Guarded by the Tides – Photo Gallery (actually written in July of 2008 but reposted the next year).

Here’s the intro:

There are secret caves along the cliffs in Ocean Beach. It just so happens that the stretch of cliffs next to the boulevard of the same name, from Point Loma Boulevard south to Ladera Street, contain an array of beautiful, hidden and fairly inaccessible caves.

Only during real low tides are some of them reachable. But these hidden geological grottoes and cuts in the sandstone cliffs and the beaches and pools inside them are nature’s displays of the wondrous interplay of land and sea that has occurred over time – right here on our front porch.

For many of the populace who reside above them, these are truly secret caves, as one can live in OB or Point Loma for decades without knowing or visiting these caves of mystery.

Marshmallow damage to OB’s Veterans’ Memorial; such damage eventually led to a ban on the marshmallow wars.

Questions raised about OB’s traditional marshmallow wars.

We learned who started the first “marshmallow wars” at the beach from Rich Grosch. Meanwhile, one of our writers expressed his concerns – he felt OBceans should “make love, not smores.” Dave Gilbert commented – just before he and a few other volunteers went out to do the cleaning:

I’m a little more than surprised that 11 days after the Marsh Mallow fights of 2009 have ended, that the mess at Veteran’s Rock still remains.

Jon Carr and Jim Grant and just one or two others found themselves washing the Veteran’s Memorial – alone. Then there was this post: Polls show most want to keep OB’s Marshmallow Fight – but many want some kind of controls placed on the event.

OBcean attacked on July 4th and put in coma

On July 4, 2009 at about 11 p.m. SDPD dispatchers received a call from a citizen saying that he found a man who had sustained a head injury and was unconscious in the 1800 block of Bacon Street. Police officers located 44-year-old Christopher Bowd at the scene and paramedics transported him to a local hospital. The officers searched for evidence of a crime scene but found none.

A week later, there appeared to be a mainstream media “blackout” on Chris’ story as the mystery unfolded. Here is some of what we posted:

Up until a few hours ago [on July 10], no major mainstream media, print, online or television had covered the tragic and still unfolding story of Chris Bowd – the OBcean who was knocked unconscious after the fireworks on July 4th. Bowd is still unconscious and in the hospital, although as of this writing, he is in a stable condition.  This mainstream media blackout on him is finally ending.

The OB Rag blog has been the only media covering this story trying to get the word out in order to find witnesses or somebody who knows something about what happened to Chris ….  This has been crucial to the police investigation and to his family and friends.

This afternoon, SignOnSanDiego – the online version of the Union-Tribune – ran a short piece about Bowd, … a report about Bowd will appear tonight on Fox News Channel … one of the first televised news story on Chris’ predicament.  Other media are, thankfully, hopping on this news wagon. I just got off the phone with Fox News, the Union-Tribune, Channel 10, Channel 39, the Beacon newspaper, most of whom plan to run stories about Chris this evening, tomorrow or by this weekend.

But these media reports on Chris, although welcomed, are coming after Chris has been unconscious for nearly a week.

Chris Bowd – fully recovered – with his OB Rag t-shirt; September 2009

As of July 14, Bowd had not regained consciousness since the night of the attack and remained at a local hospital. Crime Stoppers put up $1,000 for information … But by July 31, Bowd had awoken and was greatly improved, but could not communicate yet.

The World Oil Building Stirs Controversy

The company, World Oil, the owner of the corner lot at Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire, made their moves to have their design for the 2-story “office building” approved by OB planners, who stumbled on the way to giving their okay. The design was horrible and it wouldn’t be for another six years that World Oil unveiled the building’s current design – where Plant Power grows. Yet 10 years ago, the neighborhood was split.

OB Rag begins campaign against gentrification – here is what it looks like

Gentrification happens because the new housing can only be afforded by more affluent residents. Whether the new owners move in themselves or rent out to higher-income tenants, the results are the same. We ran a poll and nearly two-thirds of the respondents believed OB was becoming gentrified.

Cody Stone in a curl; photo by Jeff Stone.

Jeff Stone’s photos

In the July of a decade ago, Jeff Stone was taking a lot of photos around OB. Whether of the July 4th fireworks or that year’s annual OB Street Fair, Jeff took them and we posted them. And here are “some of” his best.

Questions raised about cliff diving

Jim Grant raised the issue about cliff diving – When is it good ol’ fun – and when is it too dangerous?

OB Burners and Hoopers and the Police

OB Burners and Hoopers got ticketed by police

Mary Mann reported:

… in June, 2009, four women with hula-hoops all received tickets and fines from an a police officer. The women in question are professionals, and were practicing for an upcoming event. Their hula-hoops were on fire, and they had two safety people ready at either end of the practice. They were each given a ticket for “uncontrolled fire, fire-throwing, or walking on fire”.

And as Mary reported, the police responded on the issue.

The See-Saw of the Seals of La Jolla

Back then we were watching the back and forth of the conflict among seal-supporters, their opponents, the City and the courts.

At one point, a judge ordered the City to remove the seals within 72 hours; then Governor signed State Sen. Kehoe’s seal bill giving full authority to City of San Diego – we reported:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Sen. Christine Kehoe’s bill giving the city of San Diego full authority over the La Jolla Children’s Pool. The move comes just hours after a local judge ordered the City Council to begin the dispersal of the seals within 72 hours.

Here’s some other noteworthy posts:

Mission Bay of Yesteryear – Photos

A Song to OB: “On the 22nd of July, the homeless left for me” by Jon Carr

An investigation into the history of OB street names Did you know Sunset Cliffs Boulevard used to be called DeFoe Street?

Doug Porter wrote about the insanity of bottled water.”

Updates on sewer spills and graffiti.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

OBmercy July 23, 2019 at 3:12 pm

This is when I moved to OB. 10 yrs later, I’m gone. ?


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