News from Ocean Beach Ten Years Ago – January 2010

by on January 10, 2020 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

sunset green llight

Green light at sunset. Click on image for larger version. Photo: Jim Grant

Editordude: I dragged some ten-year old “news of OB” columns from our archives for your reading pleasure. The news column used to called “OB Flashes” – which is what the news column in the original, newspaper version of the OB Rag was titled back in the first half of the 1970s. So, below are “OB Flashes” from Jan. 4, 2010 and from Jan. 11, 2010.

Fire Pits On the Agenda of OB Planning Board – Jan 6th

fire pits 5 b 05The issue of the City’s plans to remove fire pits from San Diego’s beaches will be on the agenda of the next OB Planning Board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday January 6th. The planning board meeting begins at 6 pm and is held at the OB Rec Center located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The issue is listed as Item #2 on the Board’s agenda, which can be viewed at their website.

Recent media attention and local support for saving OB’s fire pits have prompted the Board to raise the City’s plans for their removal as an issue to be discussed. Part of the purview of the Board is OB’s public recreational facilities – and the fire pits certainly would fall under that aspect of their jurisdiction.

The OB Rag has ascertained that our beach currently has eight fire pits, moved behind the large berm to protect them from the high winter tides. We have also initiated an adopt-a-fire-pit program and numerous groups and friends have stepped forward to adopt them. The City has another 178 fire pits, primarily in Mission Beach, Mission Bay, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.

We encourage any fire pit supporters to attend this meeting and express to the members of the Planning Board their opinion of the idea of the removal of the fire pits.

Oasis school Elum church 005-sm

New Church: “T’was the night before Christmas … and you’re fired!”

How does the fabled Christmas poem go? “T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Well, here in OB, it was the day before Christmas – and ‘you’re fired!’

The new church that has taken over the former ELIM Church and the Oasis Early Learning Center, a Christian school attached to it, closed the school doors and laid off five teachers, effective Christmas Eve day. Merry Christmas, ol’ my flock.

Oasis, located next to the church at the corner of Ebers Cape May, ran a before and after school care and a pre-school.

Oasis school Elum church 003-smTwenty-seven families – involving 30 kids – were affected. Some of the parents are steamed. They were notified back around Thanksgiving that the school was going to close, but they still feel there wasn’t much consideration given them or their children.

As far as the teachers – some of them had been there 15, even 17 years. Much of the equipment used by the school for the students was brought in by the teachers themselves. The teachers were given a 30 day notice, but there were no severance pay or pensions, and no promises of future work.

Oasis closed because the facilities and buildings were taken over by a grouping of churches who want to form a “mega-church” like Rock Church. Five different Assembly of God parishes have come together and formed “New Break” and bought the buildings. New Break has reportedly gutted the old ELIM church and will be opening sometime later this Winter. They also will be re-opening the school but with their own staff and equipment.

To many Christians, the Christmas holidays are the most sacred. For a Christian church, then, to lay off its Christian staff on that holiday seems very un-Christian-like. What would Jesus have done?

Richard Swink unsolvedStabbing Death of OB Homeless Man One of City’s Unsolved Murders of 2009

The killing of Richard Swink, an OB homeless guy, back on April 30th of 2009, remains one of San Diego’s 13 unsolved murders of the year. His stabbed body was found near the OB Library. On January 2nd, the Union-Tribune ran a piece about these unsolved killings and included this:

Richard Howard Iiams Swink, 56, a transient, was found dead with stab wounds April 30 on the sidewalk in front of the Ocean Beach Library. A witness reported seeing a man standing near Swink’s body.

OB Historical Society Presents Local Photographer Steve Rowell in “Our Local Wildlife”

On Thursday, Jan 21st, at 7 p.m. at PL United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., the OB Historical Society will host local OB photographer Steve Rowell who will discuss our local wildlife… the animals in the area (not our local bar scene). Steve will show his extraordinary bird photos that he has taken over many years.

Rowell’s presentation includes his favorite birds, the OB Ospreys, who have set-up permanent residence at Robb Field. These Opreys have become Steve’s extended family. He’s tracked their history and photographed them for years. Come hear Steve’s interesting stories about the birds and wildlife in our area. For info. about Steve Rowell:


OB Flashes blueSaratoga Park Condos Delayed – Apartment Up for Sale

There’s a “For Sale” up at the apartments at Saratoga and Abbott. What does this mean for the planned 3-story 12 condos that were going in there ? Rumor has it that the builder/ developer couldn’t acquire sufficient capital to do the project, and had to scrap the whole plan. (More on this later ….)

Where Is the Missing OB Fire Pit?

According to the Park and Recreation Department, OB is supposed to have nine (9) fire pits. According to a recent survey by the OB Rag, our community only has 8. So, what gives? Is it hidden behind a sand dune somewhere? Help us find the missing OB fire pit.

In comparison, South Mission Beach has eleven (11) and the Belmont Park area of Mission Beach has another five. La Jolla has 7. Most of San Diego’s fire pits are around Mission Bay, including 37 on Fiesta Island. Here is the breakdown of the total of 186:

  • La Jolla: 7
  • Belmont: 5
  • South Mission: 11
  • Ocean Beach: 9
  • Mission Bay Mission Point: 1
  • Mission Bay Bonita Basin: 6
  • Mission Bay Mariners: 8
  • Mission Bay Ventura Cove: 10
  • Mission Bay Sunset Park: 4
  • Mission Bay Dana Landing: 2
  • Mission Bay South Shores Park: 2
  • Mission Bay Vacation Isle / North Cove: 19
  • Mission Bay Vacation Isle / South Side: 11
  • Mission Bay Ski Beach: 12
  • Mission Bay Crown Point: 16
  • Mission Bay De Anza Cove: 8
  • Mission Bay De Anza Boat Launch: 2
  • Mission Bay Playa Pacifica: 11
  • Mission Bay Hilton – North side: 2
  • Mission Bay Hilton – South side: 3
  • Mission Bay Fiesta Island: 37

Lifeguards Do Cliff Rescues – Man on Sunday and Woman on Saturday

On Sunday, January 10th, at Sunset Cliffs, a fully dressed man jumped into the water and was unable to get out. A group of surfers pulled the man to safety. Once paramedics arrived, the man, with bloody feet, was vomiting and complaining of back pain, said Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum.

The Union-Tribune reported that on Saturday, Jan. 9th, about 5:30 pm, a woman walking along some rocks with friends near Narragansett Avenue slipped and fell. She apparently injured her leg and needed help. But due to local big-wave conditions – the incoming tide and high waves – her rescue was very tricky and required a joint action between San Diego lifeguards, police and firefighters, said San Diego lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma.

The unidentified woman was taken to a local hospital but was not seriously injured. The high surf remained through the weekend, and was expected to drop off on Monday, the 11th.

Competition between OB’s Dog Beach and Coronado

For January’s Golden Local debate, NBCSanDiego is asking locals to vote for their favorite dog beach — Coronado or Ocean Beach. Voting lasts until Jan. 20. Let them know what you think. Click here to register your vote.

Short Film by Nazarene U Alumnus Could Get Oscar Nod

“Short-term 12,” a film by 2001 Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) alumnus Destin Daniel Cretton, claimed the U.S. Jury Prize for short films during the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Now, the production may also become an Oscar nominee.

Last month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 live-action short films had advanced in the voting process for the 2010 Academy Awards. Cretton’s film is among those making the cut.

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee helped winnow the list from the 71 films originally qualified in the category to the 10 now still in the running. Committee members viewed all the eligible entries at screenings in New York and Los Angeles and made their preliminary votes. For the remainder of this article, go here to SDNN.

Longboard Association to Hold First 2010 Event at Ocean Beach

The Professional Longboard Association has announced it has changed the date and location of its first event of the 2010 PLA season. The PLA’s first event which was originally set for February 13-14 in Ventura, CA, will now be held on February 27-28 in Ocean Beach, at the Ocean Beach Pier.

The PLA schedule changes, comes from complications with city schedules as well as other established events scheduled in other areas of the world. Jeff Stoner, Executive Director of the PLA, explained:

“We felt pushing the contest back to late February would help the surfers with other travel arrangements and registration for the event. We loved being down in Ocean Beach in 2009 and are very happy to be headed back to that community.”

The PLA is schedule to other events in Costa Rica, Huntington Beach, Oceanside, and Seaside Reef San Diego throughout the year. Information about the PLA, its sponsors and all schedule information can be found on the PLA website,

Here’s the full 2010 PLA Schedule:

  • Feb 27-28 Ocean Beach (San Diego), CA- “C” St 2-Star
  • April 1-4 Costa Rica- Boca Barranca 3- Star
  • May 21-23 Huntington Beach, CA 6-Star
  • Oct 8-10 Oceanside, CA 3 Star
  • Oct 15-17 Seaside Reef- San Diego 6- Star

San Diego Reader: Sand Shift at “Big Jetty” Still a Concern for OB Surfers

Here’s San Diego Reader’s OB stringer Jimi Olsen’s take on the shifting concerns of local OB surfers due to the repairs at “Big Jetty” :

Since repairs to the Mission Bay Channel jetties began (a 350-ton crane capacity derrick barge and at least one support vessel have been at work there off and on since October), the enormous mound of boulders piled onto the tip of the southern jetty has had local surfers worried.

Their concerns are about the effects the increased size of the jetty, along with its modified footprint, might have on the quality of the waves. The fear was that swells might be blocked or refracted in such a manner as to ruin the waves for surfing. This has proven to not be the case.

As television news anchors continued to hype another “media swell,” hordes of surfers charged into the blue, hoping for the perfect wave (alone) on Saturday. The “Big Jetty” delivered head-high surf with excellent form to a daylong crowd of 30-plus surfers. One young surfer said it was “the best day all year” as peeling right-handers broke across the sand bar. Although crowded, the vibe in the lineup was mellow and there seemed to be plenty of waves to go around.

The next concern about the channel repair project will be the impact of tons of bottom sand that will be pumped over to Mission Beach as the channel is dredged to the proper depth for safe navigation. As this sand migrates off the beach and out into the surf zone, it will change the sand bars. This can be a good thing or it can ruin an existing peak. We’ll wait and see.

Sunset Cliffs Restoration Party – January 16th

The San Diego Audubon Society is hosting a restoration work party at Sunset Cliffs Park Saturday, Jan. 16 – 9 a.m. to noon. The event is to install about 300 native plants. Volunteers are asked to wear long pants, and sturdy shoes. Gloves, and tools will be provided. If you are coming, go ahead and join group about 50 yards south of parking lot along cliffs at roped area near where Sunset Cliffs Boulevard ends at Ladara Street. For more info call 619-224-4975.

OB Artist Designs Local Postage Stamps

Have you thought about getting your very own OB postage stamps? You can, because local OB artist David Linton creates his original images for US postage stamps, using oils, acrylic, water color, pen and ink, and pastels. Visit

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