Reader Rant: ‘The Good, Bad and Ugly of Ocean Beach’ – Here’s the ‘Ugly’

by on September 23, 2019 · 61 comments

in Homelessness, Ocean Beach

By Brett Warnke

THE UGLY:  As much as I adore Ocean Beach, I think the old bitch is finished.  Maybe I’m a doom freak, a pessimist or just don’t know my neighborhood.  But I think the divisions and contradictions are just too great.

In a way, it’s the same song as the rest of the country:  People want cheap junk from Target but they want local business.  They want a hip edge-y vibrant community with no drugs or transients.  They want the golden shore without the glare.

Deep down, the local property owners want the place to be as placid as Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  Yeah, they want a safe, secure, and steady little strip of mom-and-pop shops at Chinese prices with a calming blue streak of ocean to make them forget that just over the eastern hills, the country is a boiling trough of pigshit—it’s real estate as therapy.

Personally, without massive pushback, I think we’ll be watching the local public schools get bulldozed for new glassy monstrosities to the snaps of the cameras and the clapping of swine like Faulconer and other sellouts and business stooges before my hair turns gray.

Have you seen what the beautiful Mission Bay public schools recently?  Oh, wait, they were recently pulverized into dust for condos.  But maybe I’m just a bleak blowhole.  After all I’m not a “local,” whatever the hell that is in San Diego.  But the odd notion that where a person was born gives them sage, soothsaying wisdom about what’s coming or even what is has always seemed to me the worst kind of half-baked identity-politics.  I live here and will stay until they price me out, which will be soon.

But I’ve walked the protests and compared them to the credit-card waving fleet of sun-kissed yogis dropping four digits on rent to keep their tattooed thighs right here.

And it doesn’t smell good, folks.

Case in Point?  OB Neighborhood Watch.

If you don’t know this facebook group, it’s a pack of nattering homeless-haters who creep around sleeping addicts, take pictures of them, and when the poor drugged-up dirty bastards slink out of their dusty sleeping bags for their next hit, our local heroes grab and bag their filthy rags.  They steal what little shit the bums have.  They throw it away or take it home and swaddle their ugly kids with it.

Who knows?  These local vigilantes, as always, see themselves as doing a community service.  They are guardians.  They are “the real OB.”  It’s all horsefeathers, of course!  As if the best way to help Ocean Beach was to hassle bums, type a an illiterate blue streak of hateful spite on the internet, and round up your sackless buddies to break old meth pipes.

It’s a group of mostly noisy hateful men, of course.

There’s the odd female troll, but everyone knows the ugly mean types who rally around this false flag.  This group is the type of ass-backwards reaction that has no business in a neighborhood built as a haven for people who saw the cruel and nasty turn of American social life in the 1960s and ‘70s.

We were supposed to be something different, not another petty little corner of a beach and bar crawl.  I’m not some gooey liberal geek who is going to tell the slime mites in OB Neighborhood Watch about all the resources, help, succor, aid, and charity that could be offered to the homeless.  Get real!

Photos by Brendan Praniewicz

The homeless hate themselves almost as much as their gutless foes hate them.  And no amount of testimony could change the minds of the kick-down, kiss-up vigilantes now making their voices heard.  We all know there is no solution but radical change, advocacy, organization and clear demands, but that would take courage and guts.

What do we get instead from the Brain Trust at OB Neighborhood Watch?

Coward 1:  “I’ll come help remove that dirty troll camp.  Gloves people!!!  Then we’ll wait for them to see if they got a problem with it.  I’m so down.”

Idiot 2:  “I guess compassion for those “beach front squatters” is easy for those who do not live down here.  Also [sic] for supplying free bikes for rides one way, and then the scrap or chop shop.”

King Kahuna Dipshit 3:  “All’s good with people who don’t live here or are transplants with no fucking clue and haven’t had to deal with tweakers and heroin zombies living a hundred yards from them in some hole in the cliff.  Haven’t had to deal with their personal property getting stolen worrying about their home getting broken into (if they are there or not), being assaulted, robbed, getting RAPED or sexually assaulted, vandalism, graffiti and illegal digging in the cliffs, etc etc etc.  [It rambles on and on].  We’re pushing back, to keep our neighborhoods safe for everyone.  That’s the OB way.

She-Moron 4:  “I’m stoked you guys are doing something about this awful epidemic.  This little town I grew up in is turning into [sic] bum camp.

This little clutch of weirdos could be just that.  Or, it could be a rising sensibility in the community that mirrors the country itself:  a mentality that forever targets the victim, excuses cruelty, and turns the wagons in on itself without question or courage.  Whatever the future brings for OB, remembering a few core values might save us from turning this precious open place into another squalid suburb where even a piece of trash seems a horror and heresy.


{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

bobo September 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Brent writes: ” This group is the type of ass-backwards reaction that has no business in a neighborhood built as a haven for people who saw the cruel and nasty turn of American social life in the 1960s and ‘70s.”

Let’s correct Brent here. Because part of the premise of his rant is that OB was BUILT as a haven…in the 1960 and 70s. He erases practically 70 years of history in an attempt to invalidate the Rights of residents of OB to live in a peaceful, crime-free, and clean neighborhood. Brent somehow believes that because Obceans are generally tolerant of different lifestyles, that we should expect to be victimized. I’m not sure how that logic unfolds but it’s absurd.
Just like anywhere else, those of us who call this place home can have and should expect to live in a reasonably safe and clean community while also embracing the differences of our neighbors.

Also, I’ll remind Brent that the MAJORITY of homeless people are not harassed but are actually helped by the same people he implicates as being abusive. It’s bad behavior that is being targeted, and NOT the residential status of the person.

I hope Brent can append the end of his write-up to define the “core values” he touched on. Who’s values? Yours or mine? I know of a slew of “core values” that are codified and agreed-to. In fact, they define our representative democracy. They’re called laws. We have a Right to expect they’re followed and enforced. Brent I hope you divert your energy to push our PD to enforce the laws and close the gap that causes citizens to feel like they need to take matters into their own hands.


Brett Warnke September 23, 2019 at 5:42 pm

“Brett.” “Bobo” and I disagree on the terms of the debate. Bob apparently hasn’t read the horrific things written about the homeless by the many slim mite vigilantes around our neighborhood. Perhaps “Bobo” is a relativist, but I’d start with FDR’s second Bill of Rights from 1944 as a place to start. I want the PD to serve and protect the community by jailing vigilantes, “Bobo.” While we are at it, “Bobo,” I’d like Mayor Faulconer to actually accomplish much more affordable housing, more beds for the homeless in our community, more support for those who need it with addiction, public buildings and public spaces people in our community can use for their talents, and an active lawsuits against vacation rentals so they can be extirpated from Ocean Beach forever.


bobo September 23, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Sorry for misspelling your name Brett,
But while I agree with the points you made about affordable housing, beds for the homeless and other needed resources, those things do absolutely nothing to negate the fact that crime and blight are perpetrated on the residents of OB and other beach communities. Lawsuits against STVRs won’t stop some of the “travelers” who voluntarily come here and purposefully attempt to victimize us because our tolerant nature.
If you carefully read my response to your opinion piece, you’ll note that I (and most all other Obceans) clearly know the difference between homeless vs. criminals.
The jerks who are openly, in real life (not in online) and in broad daylight, are assaulting people, robbing storefronts, tagging, littering, and leaving human waste on our streets, beaches, and cliffs – they aren’t homeless – at least most of them aren’t. I think that we can both agree, that we can work to help the homeless problem while at the same time, rein-in bad behavior from people (homeless or millionaires) who should know better.
I’ll stress this point: It’s NOT the homeless who are being targeted. Your interpretation of the facts notwithstanding, I agree that the SDPD, mayor, and city counsel are to blame for their policies that force residents (justified or not) to take matters in their own hands. Hopefully, the word will be out to them and the jerks – the people of OB have reached their limit of their tolerance.


Brittany September 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

His name is Brett. We want a safe environment free of neighborhood bullies and people who like hurting others over helping them.


Tyler September 23, 2019 at 1:21 pm

I don’t know what the solution is, but my level of compassion wanes each day. During a run last week before dawn, a naked-from the waist down homeless man who frequently causes trouble by 7-11 was mumbling to himself as he walked down the sidewalk SHITTING HIMSELF as he walked. You can still see the evidence along the sidewalk on the east side of bacon just south of Voltaire. Unlike past years, they’re constantly creating dugout areas in the dunes and jetties, leaving massive amounts of trash each time that largely gets taken out with the high tides of the month into our river and ocean. Maybe I’m an asshole, but I care about what our kids see and the health of our beaches and ocean more than I give two sh*** about the addicts that are destroying OB faster than the Neighborhood Watch ever could. It’s a tough balance – there’s also the homeless Mom with her daughter I see each morning walk from the park down Bacon, and it breaks my heart. But surely there’s a way to help that segment without being welcoming to the other MAJORITY.


Brett A Warnke September 23, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Very well thought out, Tyler. I appreciate your comment and I totally understand your concerns. Seeing this social decay is hard. I was a middle school teacher, many of my students were homeless. Some lived in vans. We had to bring shoes and food and clothes, it was difficult to hold things together some days. There’s much to do, but I think with our time and organization, things can improve through long overdue policy changes. But the night-sticking nitwits and cowardly reactionaries who troll and take up a lot of space in these debates needed to be called out for being reactive instead of thoughtful and measured, as you were here today. Thanks again.


kevin hastings September 23, 2019 at 2:34 pm

I know this is an opinion column, but it reflects poorly on the Rag for posting it as written.

I organized and participated in this particular cleanup that has the author so riled up. I will never apologize for keeping our precious coastal resources accessible and free of encampments and soggy alley furniture and drug paraphernalia and stolen property stashes and everything else that happens while we look the other way.

If the author has an idea to help improve the homelessness situation, then by all means organize, and go do it. But attacking others (and their children) that look out for their community is downright shameful.


ButI'mALocal September 23, 2019 at 3:07 pm

In my opinion he delivered a pretty spot on description of the Facebook group. Picking up trash is one thing, equating humans to trash is pretty gross, and pretty common on the Facebook page. So I guess since opinion on this will differ, I don’t see who it reflects poorly on the Rag for publishing this opinion piece.


bobo September 23, 2019 at 5:49 pm

I think the problem here is one of semantics. Those that are offended are incorrectly assuming that the targets of these reactions (in light of police INaction) are homeless. That’s not at all true. It’s bad behavior. And that bad behavior and illegal activity can and does come from all types of people. The use of the word “troll” is unfortunate and I personally wish they wouldn’t use that term. Because, as evidenced by your post, it’s incorrectly applied to the homeless.
I’ve personally witnessed bad behavior from all sorts of people who others might categorize as “trolls” but who are in no way homeless.
So I suggest that the “Troll patrol” evolve and change it’s name to “street” or “beach patrol” to avoid unnecessary and diversionary dialog. After all, the goal is safety and peace. Not to pit neighbor against neighbor over semantics.


Brett A Warnke September 23, 2019 at 6:18 pm

I think you’re right, Bobo. There is a shortage of police, I’ve read. Perhaps that is the reason for an under-enforcement of basic property violations? But I also think we are in need of social workers and people on-call for psychotic episodes in an area that has a high concentration of people with these issues. In your comment (that I received in my email but hasn’t been posted, you stress that the perpetrators of crimes are not homeless.) I am not in a position to verify or contest that claim. But you seem to have a deep concern for the integrity of the neighborhood, a belief in community as well as safety, in addition to the basic upkeep and maintenance of the infrastructure. All your points are very welcome and fair, I appreciate them. Thanks a lot for posting. You can email the Rag if you’d ever like to talk these over in person, it would be great to hear some more of your thoughts in person.


Frank Gormlie September 23, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Kevin – I think it reflects poorly on OB to be so divided. The city has the 4th largest homeless population in the country – yet is it really the troll patrol vs the bleeding hearts?

It appears that Brett has indeed struck a chord; 19 comments here – none about the mayoral debate report or about how the scooters are taking over our public space or even – god forbid! – about the freaking constitutional crisis our country is in. Our country is falling apart but gotta go after those trolls and the troll patrols.


kevin hastings September 24, 2019 at 6:54 am

There’s a whole lot of support and a few noisy social media warriors. Others nearby were appreciative (and astonished by the amount of stuff) and some of them pitched in to help, including someone from the city. A team effort. I will not be deterred by this guys personal attacks or your publication for broadcasting them for some cheap clicks.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2019 at 11:07 am

We are unaware of any “personal attacks” unless you are taking full responsibility for everything that has happened – which is not at all clear either from the post or the comments. Not certain who the “few noisy social media warriors” are – but most of our writers and bloggers have paid heavy dues in “real life” activism in OB and/ or Pt Loma.

Criminal acts like assaults are really something else. That’s why we have police and even the private security patrols. If they are inadequate in your view, then you ought to be pounding on the mayor’s door (figuratively of course) demanding support, help, attention …

Nothing you have said acknowledges the homelessness crisis that our city is swamped in. The 4th largest homeless population in the country. And we as a community are letting the politicians off easy by not demanding government deal with the crisis in a meaningful and compassionate way. Meanwhile, the people who staff our government services and local businesses and the residents are left stuck mired in the crisis.

Ten years ago, OB went through a similar convulsion over the homelessness issue. We had picket lines, town hall meetings, more meetings – and you know what – the main request from people who were homeless was a need for more public restrooms. If there were more – that would quiet some complaints from residents. But 10 years later – no additional public restrooms have materialized.


kevin hastings September 24, 2019 at 11:37 am

Perhaps dipshit, etc. is a compliment where you come from?

There was no confrontation, no assault, no mob. It was the removal of a large amount of debris from our cliffs.

But it’s hard to be aware of that when publishing one person’s online gripe about something they were not witness to.

Yes there is a lot of BS that flies in our local social media groups. Brett can focus on the negatives, but there’s also many productive efforts that happen and are organized. That’s what happened here.

Similarly, mourners of recent cliff fatality spray painted all over the cliffs. A community member used that platform to bring awareness and others stepped in to clean it up. And a bunch of other people aimlessly rambled.


ZZ September 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Brett’s article also mentions

“boiling trough of pigshit”
“swine like Faulconer and other sellouts and business stooges”
“swaddle their ugly kids”

And the real joke is…. he’s a writing teacher. Some wisdom from my 6th grade writing teacher: “Profanity shows you don’t have a real argument.”

Kevin, your work is appreciated. I’d follow and fan you on facebook if I had a facebook!

Brett should follow your example. I volunteer him as his first task to clean up the feces-soiled napkins blowing in the wind around our parks.


Frank Gormlie September 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Listen zz, there are lots of ways to contribute to a community – and picking up trash and painting over graffiti are particular ways to do that. There’s a lot more to a village that the freaking trash, shit, and paint on our beloved cliffs. But that’s how some people contribute – and we applaud them – and have been applauding and helping them over the 11 years the OB Rag has published. So I don’t think Brett has to “prove” himself by volunteering to pick up the feces that people who are too drunk or homeless to place in the appropriate receptacles. In fact, perhaps OB has too many “beach clean-ups” – how many has OB had in the last month? 4 or 5 and another coming up? (I also realize that the bars are in competition with each other over these clean-ups – nearly each one is sponsored by a bar.) Perhaps people can also focus on other threats to the community – like STVRs or the taking over of public space by corporations or the lack of adequate governmental response to the homelessness crisis.

So, stick that in your pipe – or bong – and smoke it. And quit calling people out with personal info – that would help.


Frank Gormlie September 25, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Oh – not to mention the constitutional crisis we’re in. What does it matter if there’s trash on our byways when our democracy is falling apart?


Tyler September 26, 2019 at 6:42 am

C’mon Frank. That’s a bit of a ridiculous statement to make – why traffic in hyperbole? One does not need to stop caring about things that are important to them (a safe, clean community) because of the national political landscape.


danny September 27, 2019 at 4:34 pm

It ain’t HYPERBOLE or reTricky Dicky to be aware of the existential absurdity of a democratic society in decline?

Elliott September 27, 2019 at 11:20 am

With this logic, why bother taking a shower when you’ll just get dirty again?


Anti troll patrol September 23, 2019 at 3:35 pm

admin of the Troll Patrol group learn and stop!!! Your making things worse !!!. His crew runs around OB acting like they are helping but I turn have done more harm. This group of people will ruin all efforts of ever finding a way to fix the issue. What’s the fix? Consistent pressure on the city, local non Violent gatherings with the community is a start? The louder OB can get without doing what the current groups (Troll patrol this is you…fyi your groups name is rediculous)are doing (violence,attacking and assaulting homeless, mob like antics) Grow up and think smarter you don’t need to attack the homeless need to show LOVE and help them!! We are allll ONE!????


Sam September 23, 2019 at 5:30 pm

I applaud any action to help clean up our little town. It is absolutely shameful that we have to beg the police to come and arrest people who are clearly breaking the law. Why do junkies get a free pass when they are up to no good? I say we buy one of those little ghost towns out in the desert and the junkies can have free reign. They can open up little junkie shops and sell junkie things to all of their junkie friends. They can make their own little junkie police force and rule how they see fit. It will be a junkie utopia. It will be grand!


paul avery September 23, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Gross misrepresentation of what the anti-bum groups are doing. At this point they are the only hope until government changes their stand from Sacramento on down. It doesn’t take too large a number of drugged out anti-society homeless to degrade and community. Even 20 aggressive bums can terrorize 100’s of residents through harassment, thievery, public pissing and pooping, shooting drugs and dumping needles and spreading garbage far and wide. Anyone defending these sleazy losers as “humans too” is crazy. Bravo Neighborhood Watch and Troll Patrol!!!


Frank J September 23, 2019 at 5:43 pm

As a PB resident who frequents OB… It’s worse here in PB.
As a San Diego resident for 40+ years, I’m amazed at the ignorance & neglect shown by the city toward the beach communities providing so much revenue in taxes.
As a citizen of the United States for over 60 years, I am ashamed the level of income inequality in this country, among the highest in the world, but not surprised considering the leadership.
As a democratic socialist I am aware of the countries which have solved & eliminated issues like these.
Get involved, speak out, and vote accordingly.


Troll Patrol is a Joke September 23, 2019 at 6:14 pm

The only thing Troll patrol group has done is start a hate group…they bully and attack homeless and try to recruit others to join them while gleefully recording and slapping themselves on the back…humans hating humans is what they want OB to turn into. Sad sad bunch of bullies only looking for self gratification…I hope for a peaceful solution that starts with caring for each other and not attacking someone because they are sick and need help. Grown men acting like fools and bullies. ? be kind to each other and try to help instead of knock down


Cynthia September 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm

I’ve always enjoyed your writing Mr. Warnke. The kicks in the teeth coupled with the sit down in the sand and debate vibe, let me know you’d be an interesting conversation at least. It also makes me think that even though you may be a transplant, I’m glad you give a shit about the magic of Ocean Beach.


LKSD September 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Thank you Brett for posting the truth. I don’t live in OB but I can tell you homeless is in every part of San Diego. The City of SD needs to step up and provide safe places for the homeless. Do we all remember the outbreak of Hepatitis in downtown. The City provided sleeping areas, tented and indoors, social workers, outhouse, hand washing stations and nightly powerwashing the streets. Why are they not stepping up in all areas of San Diego to get the homeless the help they need. Why not spend your time making numerous calls to the Mayor, call the press and maybe the power of the people will work but everyone needs to step up. The homeless are not the problem, the Mayors office is the problem


Eric September 23, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Whatever anyone says, I think we can all agree it’s the worst it’s ever been. I’ve lived here over 30 years. I used to let my kids run the whole town now I watch women cringe as they walk the wall. Something must be done, for sure.


Shi September 24, 2019 at 7:01 am

Wonderfully written, Brett; but I admit, the average folk won’t be able to get through much of this and understand it, unfortunately. Kudos to you!


Shi September 24, 2019 at 7:11 am

Great points Brett. Homelessness is not about enabling addicts. Homelessness is a multifactorial infrastructural issue and we must include those who are homeless to develop and implement solutions!


Shi September 24, 2019 at 7:13 am

I truly believe the people on here who are posting negative comments are not understanding the writers sarcasm… We must come together as a community and understand one another and each other’s circumstance in order to provide solutions. One must not fear that which is misunderstood or unknown.


Chris September 24, 2019 at 7:35 am

Holy crap do people love to get triggered. While there are some extremely serious issues to be addressed, threads like this are popcorn worthy.


thequeenisalizard September 24, 2019 at 8:42 am

Gee, weren’t all those expensive cameras on the beach we were suckered into installing supposed to stop, or at least reduce this behavior?
I seem to remember that was the promise by the merchants association and the police when they used our tax money to install them.


Mercy Baron September 24, 2019 at 9:13 am

Really nothing new here. So tired of hearing it all. The buck does not stop with the police. It stops higher up as mentioned on here. I’d like to take all the officials who do nothing, sit them down, prop their eyes open Clockwork Orange style and force them to watch “Seattle is Dying.” On You Tube. It is the only solution.

I only just moved out of OB a few months ago and even though there are so many things I miss there (mainly the ocean) I don’t miss hearing the same issues over and over again and experiencing them. I “only” lived there for 10 yrs ( visiting for over 30) but so many liked to point out on social media that I wasn’t a “local.” Really? I started OB Citizens Patrol with Tim, owner of the now defunct Tower Two, but it turned vigilante. I didn’t want to be a part of that. Greg Crowley and I then started CSI-OB and they do four cleanups a year. Still not local right? Tired of hearing that shit.

We should be allowed to criticize what’s going on in OB because it is OUT OF CONTROL. I’m friendly with many who have lived here thirty years or more, own businesses here and those that were born here. They said it’s the worse they’ve ever seen it here. Some of those, you’ve NEVER heard an unkind word about OB out of them. Until now.

I now live in a different state, even though I’ve lived in S. CA my whole life No short term vacation rentals being built or operating next door to me. Deep in the suburbs here, no homeless defecating and urinating on our streets and leaving needles around to scare and threaten children and adults. Much cheaper here too. OB is not the place it was when I first started going there over 30 years ago. So sad.

You just told it like it is Brett. I had to leave OB Neighborhood Watch and a few other hateful groups while I still lived there. No solutions, only vitriolic comments. What’s it going to take?


kevin hastings September 24, 2019 at 11:19 am

The irony in your comment is the author was the main source of vitriolic comments on a community group about a beach cleanup, of people actually getting out there and doing something. It’s going to take more of that action, and less people sitting on their keyboards complaining and sowing divisiveness.


Troll Patrol assaults and attacks homeless for fun? September 24, 2019 at 1:45 pm

if you are attacking( and yes troll patrol attacked and assaulted homeless) you are a also a troll…thinking your the police and taking the law into your hands is called vigilante …mobbing homeless with violence and forcefully touching someone against their will is assault….if your removing the little bit they own and bragging about it your also a troll…


kevin hastings September 25, 2019 at 9:43 am

If your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle.

You must be talking about something else because no one was attacked, or even confronted, and nothing of the sort was even described in the article.


editordude September 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

As always, we’re open to publishing any rebuttals or alternative opinions on the issue. Just send it to – and as long as you are open with your true identity to me, it can be confidential.


kevin hastings September 25, 2019 at 9:45 am

Considering the readership, no thanks.


Frank Gormlie September 25, 2019 at 1:01 pm

You didn’t mind the readership when the OB Rag published your critique of the city’s lack of response in fixing beach and coastal access.


Frank Gormlie September 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm

As you are yourself an admin of a social media platform and know darn well you can’t control people’s comments unless you’re monitoring the platform 24/7. That’s like me saying I’ll never go onto Social OB cuz of all the troll comments there.


Troll Patrol truth...facts won’t be silenced September 24, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Found a great post of what really happens when the Troll Patrol unites….sad these are grown men !!

What this post fails to mention is this group “escorting” a person out of Ocean Beach was really a mob. After pinning this person to the street, and forcing traffic to maneuver around the scene, the mob then proceeded to run after this person, shouting obscenities and for a few cringey moments chanting “OB UNITE!” before surrounding this individual in the parking lot at the Ocean Beach Hotel. During this portion of the confrontation you can hear the sparking of the taser that one member of the group is brandishing and threatening to use on the person who is trying to run away from them. They continue to run after this person up Newport Avenue shouting threats the whole way. Then while the mob was chasing the person back up Newport Ave, one member of the mob decided that another homeless person deserved to be “escorted” out as well. This person then grabbed the homeless person and sort of flung him across the sidewalk. When a bystander got involved and yelled that the person they just assaulted did not do anything, the mob decided that the bystander was not “local” so they don’t know anything. This disgusting event was streamed live on Facebook. It is not the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last, and if this “troll patrol” keeps imitating background actors in the Purge, I can only hope that it does not end in tragedy.


lynne taylor September 25, 2019 at 10:40 am

as much as i love POWER TO THE PEOPLE, i’m also aware of the mob mentality shown here. it breaks my heart to see the cruelty of the troll patrol. actually, these days i can look at the president for a lot of the hate mongering. sadly, lynne taylor


lynne taylor September 24, 2019 at 2:10 pm

thank you Brett for
thinking [what a concept] bout our problems and not playing the blame game on all homeless. i too can see the pain/hate in their faces and help when i can. i know my opinions are not popular but aren’t we ALL human ?? i drove a cab for 10 years here and gave food and dogfood and sometimes free rides to the troubled. took in a homeless woman once who lost her apartment due to illness and once she had an address, she got some benefits. am not tooting a horn, just doing what i can. ps i also have been ripped off, screamed at and been afraid but it doesn’t derail me. peace, lynne


Brad September 24, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Sadly, the self-righteous “make OB great again” mindset is not contained to just the sunny shores of OB. It’s really a pervading mindset that has been around since the first ‘person-I-don’t-want-to-look-at-in-my-precious-view’. I think social media, facebook in particular, has just made the feelings feel new and more pronounced, by allowing lazy people to organize around their hate in a way that -in the past – would have taken burning crosses and hoods to gather a collective traction.

I really love some of the commentary from clearly experts discussing how they know who the real homeless who deserve our compassion are and who are the ones with black souls. I’m pretty sure I have a few dozen biblical retorts there. Definitely a collective of individuals well-versed in data and ethics.


Kristen September 24, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Very interesting read, the author is describing his perception and doesn’t hold back when getting his point across. Sometimes when the truth is exposed, people become angry.


James Collins September 24, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Its obvious that you don’t mind having your property stolen from yourhome or yard. Having these unfortunite drug addicts shooting up in front of your house. Perhaps you can help with the homeless issue by taking them in, let them live in your yard. Seems a little over the top doesn’t it, so does your article (rant). I have had my back door kicked in by a transient, I have witnessed vampers having sex after shooting up, in the middle of the afternoon, on a very busy street, for all to see. I can list several other things i myself have witnessed, I won’t tolerate it in my neighborhood and no onne else should either
You also need to remember, the homeless are people, so there are different types of homeless in OB. You should realize that the neighborhood watch isn’t anti homeless, there have been many instances they have stood up and protected some of these individuals. My wife and I have given blankets, shoes and clothing to many of these unfortunite people. Keep in mind not all the homeless in OB are considered trolls. There are many homeless people who in spite of their unfortunate circumstances are not thieves, drug addicts, etc… They are instead respectful, considerate and kind, just in an unfortunate situation. The neighborhood watch, keeps an eye on the neighborhood, just as it states, it does not discriminate, as you state. You need to educate yourself on the facts before you pen a rant as you did. Have a good day sir, we will be looking forward to your help at the beach clean up.


OBKid September 25, 2019 at 9:59 am

The fact remains – OB is in a better position community-wise than it has ever been. The beaches are filled with families and tourists having fun. The restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are lively. People out and about is a great thing to see.

The homeless are the same homeless that have always been here…the NIMBY complaints are what is new.


ron September 25, 2019 at 12:19 pm

As of today the 25 th of September a noticeable difference in the quality of the area along the beach. Last night @ Saratoga Park for the sunset, regular people some with families and children, dogs playing while their responsible owners watched, surfers and many of the regulars returned and it was beautiful again This am for the surf check again minimal issues. What a difference. Is it the increased police presence or the locals handling it. Likely a combination. Just hope it lasts as long as possible as I know the bad elements return quickly when the required maintenance lessons.


Vern September 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm

“… The restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are lively. People out and about is a great thing to see….”. I think that you can attribute this, in part, to the Obama Economic Legacy.
Unfortunately, old man tRump is fumbling the ball.


Geoff Page September 25, 2019 at 12:23 pm

I just have two comments. First, I have met Brett. He is a gentle, intelligent friendly soul. When a person like Brett gets this upset, we should all pay attention. I admit, I was taken aback by the tone of this piece but I do not doubt the sincerity of his words. I’m sure it was painful for him to write this.

My second comment is that my job takes me to different states during the year and I see this everywhere. The homeless problem is everywhere. I was in Denver in April and walked past the downtown park around the capitol building and the scene was easily as bad as anything in OB and this was around the state capitol and government buildings. I was in Alaska a few weeks ago and saw homeless in Fairbanks. I read an article about all the homeless encampments around Anchorage. Alaska of all places. This is not just an OB problem and I think it is important to bear that in mind to have some perspective. No amount of violence will solve this problem. And, ever since the orange-haired one was dumped on us all, the level of violence in this country has increased, leading by a very bad example. I think this is something that Brett was trying to articulate.


JZY September 26, 2019 at 10:22 am

You rock fuck ya so right on…..?


sealintheSelkirks September 27, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Don’t know if anybody is still paying attention to this subject but below are a couple of articles that the violence-prone pro-vigilante commenters should read. Sorry I’m late to the party. Been busy getting ready for winter.

I agree with Geoff as I see homeless everywhere. Not just the cities, either, the small mountain towns and off in the woods hiding where they can, families not just single people. And I live where it hits -30’F some winters (not so often anymore with ongoing climate destabilization). Homeless up here freeze to death trying to live in tents or cars or shacks or broken down old travel trailers much less in a blanket on a frozen concrete sidewalk. And they lose toes and feet and nose tips to frostbite. Fingertips. Corpsicles are not a joke but a reality.

Bluntly, if I went destitute and suddenly found myself on the street I’d be heading for the warm zones and maybe even OB where I was born. Not freezing to death encourages migration…

So read these articles below to help with educating yourselves:

Homelessness in Los Angeles: the good, the bad, and the ugly
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Center for Economic Policy and Research
No Help for the Homeless, Please!

A cut from article: After reading the news, I find Trumps recent comments regarding America’s homeless particularly appalling, scary and dangerous. According to Trump the homeless are “living on our best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings, where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes.” “How the hell can we get these people off the streets?” he was also reported to have asked by a senior administration official. (Wash/Post)

NOTE: I guess TheRump has never actually slept on a concrete sidewalk or under a bridge. Best isn’t exactly the word I’d use to describe this condition, but I do have some choice words in mind to describe his condition….probably take me off his mailing list I should be so lucky…

As a disclosure, I was one of those born and raised local surfer homeless back during Nixon’s ‘Stag-flation’ period, another cute term for recurring economic disasters that are inherent in a Capitalist system at least for the bottom rung of workers. The early ’70s when the family broke up there were too many with too few jobs. And when the tourists went home in September you couldn’t find a freaking dishwashing job much less find the money to pay rent on a converted 1-car garage…that you’d have to move out of when June rolled around anyway when the tourists came back. And then be homeless again. Recurring misery becomes a hard pattern to break.

And rent was incredibly cheap when comparing minimum wage buying power in the early 70s to the insanely ridiculous skewed into the sewer levels it’s at now.

I was lucky, I had managed to buy an sort-of working ’55 GMC 16 ft. deliver van to live in for $300. Sometimes the engine even ran but most of the time I had friends help push it down the MB Strandway alley when the cops would bang on it with their clubs at 3am…until friends gave me space to park in a backyard off the street. Lucky.

So remember this you quasi-assault & battery boyos: touch them with your hands or feet that’s assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, and with a stick in you hand it becomes a deadly weapon felony. Brandishing a stick, same thing. Threatening assault, again a crime. And in the modern times of the PATRIOT Act etc etc you are already guilty of giving terrorist threats. Think on that for a minute. Another thing to think on is that there are a hell of a lot of combat vets on the streets all PTSD screwed up with what they did and experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan etc etc and you may just run into someone that may turn and go through you all like a tiger in a sheep pen. Think real hard on that idea, too.

The homeless you are chasing around like may be your freaking neighbor in a few years, or you may be his on the concrete…chaos theory happens to everyone and the only thing you know for sure is that you are going to die.



Geoff Page September 30, 2019 at 9:33 am

Although we have had our differences, seal, I will say that this was well said.


sealintheSelkirks September 30, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Thanks, I try to get it right. And nope we won’t always agree…

I’ve taught Kenpo for decades (first belt at UKF of OB in 1982) and these folks have no idea just how ugly it can get on the street, how fast it can go wrong, how fast it all happens. Push a guy over and he hits his head on a curb…as happened up at PB Point by a local surfer vs outsiders a number of years ago. I believe that story ended up 2nd degree manslaughter…the same charge my stepson had after a DUI accident that killed a man. He was paroled by Cali after 7 years just a couple years ago. I’m sure they don’t want any part of living his stories and he is 6’6″….

I think people are, in general, getting meaner. These vigilante types certainly justify my outlook. Unfortunately.



Homeless shouldn’t be assaulted in OB!! October 3, 2019 at 3:28 pm

I hope the OB NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH AND THE LAUGHABLE TROLL PATROL doesn’t screw up again. Read this mans words they are WISE ….step down and be smarter!!!


Rufus September 29, 2019 at 6:38 am


May I assume that you’re a glass half full sort of guy?


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