News for Ocean Beach and Point Loma Residents During the Time of Coronavirus

by on March 25, 2020 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

This photo was taken at 9:30 am Wed., March 25 from the OB Surf Cam.

County Supervisors Okay Moratorium on Residential, Commercial Evictions

San Diego County will place a moratorium on all evictions of residential and commercial renters in the unincorporated areas who have seen their income reduced or been otherwise substantially economically harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, county supervisors unanimously approved a resolution creating the moratorium, which will last until May 31. Even with the moratorium in place, affected residents would still be required to pay back the rent owed at a later date if they miss a payment. As part of the same proposal, supervisors also approved placing a freeze on foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions. for more.

The policy, which was put forward in a resolution sponsored by Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Kristin Gaspar, will give authority to the county’s chief administrative officer to work with financial institutions to halt foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions; and allow the county Housing Authority to extend the deadline for recipients, including those who receive Section 8 support. Fletcher said the proposal will provide relief for four months, up to May 31. The protections are provided retroactively to March 4, when Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency over the pandemic.  Fletcher said the resolution “is a prudent step to protect folks in a period of economic distress.” The supervisors voted remotely, abiding by the social distancing guidelines established by health officials to prevent further spread of the virus. County staff members, including Chief Executive Officer Helen-Robbins- Meyer, were in board chambers but kept their distance from one another. The county resolution does include one change, in terms of the amount of time renters have to inform their landlord about their economic situation, from 15 days to one week. For more

Prospective Jurors Dismissed Thru May 22

Prospective jurors in San Diego County are dismissed from jury service through May 22 in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye issued a statewide order this week suspending all jury trials for two months. Therefore, county residents summoned to appear for jury service any time between March 16 and May 22 were asked not to report to their assigned courthouses. They can consider their jury service fulfilled, according to a statement from the San Diego Superior Court. The San Diego Superior Court previously suspended jury service through April 3. “While we are providing several emergency services to the public at this time, it does not appear to be in the best interest of our community’s health to resume jury trials for the next 60 days,” San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne said. Those summoned after May 22 were advised to monitor sdcourt.ca.gov and follow the San Diego Superior Court for updates.

San Diego Schools: Online Classes and Grading

San Diego Unified will officially start conducting school online beginning on April 27. It is one of the first large area districts to announce a plan to return to grading and normal instruction. “San Diego Unified will return to instruction next month to guarantee students an opportunity to successfully complete the current academic year, even as physical school facilities will remain closed until public health officials determine it is safe for students to return to classrooms,” the district said in a statement Tuesday. The district’s plan is meant to answer the concerns of many students about whether they’ll be able to finish the school year or complete course credits to move on to the next grade or graduate.
“The schedule outlined today by the district will give members of the Class of2020 the assurance they need that they will graduate, whether or not public health officials approve a return to in-classroom instruction,” the district of 103,000 students said in the statement.
The timeline means most students will get about six weeks of formal instruction for the rest of the school year, which for most students ends on June 9. For more.

500 San Diego Area Restaurants Offer Take-Out

All San Diego bars and most non-essential businesses have been forced to close to battle the spread of COVID-19 coronovirus, but area restaurants are permitted to remain open for take-out and/or delivery, and many are now even serving alcohol to-go since the California ABC relaxed its rules. Check out this frequently-updated list of more than 500 local eateries available to satisfy almost any craving – from sushi to sandwiches, barbecue to burger, even farms, grocery, alcohol and weed delivery!

Order Foods From Local Farms

Ordering from these local farms is a great way to avoid the risk of grocery shopping in-person, enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies you need, and support our local agricultural economy during this critical time. Check out the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute website for a great list of local farmers who can deliver grass-fed meat, organic fruits and veggies, milk, eggs, olive oil, and other essentials: https://www.sdsustainable.org/san-diego-farms . Here is a short list of a few options:

Be Wise Ranch – www.bewiseranch.com
Wild Willow Farm – www.wildwillowfarm.org
Sage Mountain Farm — www.sagemountainfarm.com
Sea Breeze Farm – www.seabreezed.com
Yasukochi Family Farms – www.yasukochifamilyfarms.com

Homeless Advocates and Public Health Experts Warn San Diego About Policies Against People Living in Vehicles

Members of the San Diego Housing Emergency Alliance and public health experts caution that the City’s policies punishing people without housing including those who own RVs and other vehicles, and forcing them into crowded shelters or “safe lots” or onto the streets, will worsen the COVID-19 pandemic . The emergency measures announced at the Mayor’s press conference yesterday, which include a plan to shelter large numbers of people together in indoor facilities such as Golden Hall and the Convention Center, and jamming people with vehicles close together into “safe lots,” will increase the risk of harm to people with disabilities and elderly individuals who represent a majority of the homeless and are most vulnerable to this devastating illness.  In addition, such measures will further the spread of the disease throughout the community leading to more avoidable deaths.

This strategy runs counter to recommendations of public health experts asking people to shelter in place. Indeed, the CDC advises that encampments not be cleared during community spread unless and until individual housing units are available. The CDC also recommends a 12 feet times 12 feet space per individual, which are unlikely to be offered at the City’s shelters or “safe lots”.

The City has had a long-standing policy of punishing people who use their vehicles as shelter, even when they lack adequate housing alternatives. Punishments range from arrest and incarceration to expensive ticketing that can lead to loss of the vehicle through towing and impoundment, resulting in unsheltered homelessness.

Rather than put a temporary moratorium on enforcement of these punitive policies during the COVID-19 outbreak, as has been done by the City of Los Angeles and the City of Seattle and allowing people in vehicles to shelter in place, the City has continued enforcement against this vulnerable population.  The harm is being compounded by the City’s closing of beach and other public parking lots, including closure of restroom facilities, showers and RV waste disposal stations, which leaves many people who rely on their vehicles for shelter with no access to running water and proper sanitation.

California Fishing Industry Hard Hit by Coronavirus

The true economic impact of the novel coronavirus is a long way from being determined, but it has likely already affected every industry in San Diego — including the one that helped define the region. Once called the Tuna Capital of the World, the county is home to some 130 commercial fishermen who bring in millions of pounds of fish each year. Restaurants, which buy the vast majority of their catch, have closed except for take-out orders to contain the pandemic, and the city’s once-a-week fish market is now the fleet’s primary way to reach consumers. “I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Tim Jones, a San Diego commercial fisherman for more than 30 years who is shutting down his operation to wait out the storm. for more

UCSD Begins Testing of Experimental Drug to Fight Coronavirus

UC San Diego said Tuesday that it is beginning to test whether remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug, can be safely and effectively used to fight the novel coronavirus. The school is Joining with University of California medical centers at Irvine, Davis and San Francisco to study the drug, which has already undergone some animal and human testing involving other viruses, including SAIlS-CoV and Ebola. UC San Diego emphasized that the test will be limited to a small number or patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are patients or UCSD Health or other UC Health systems Involved in the project. “Due to the evolving, fluid nature or this research and what we’re learning daily about the virus and about improving treatment, the trial is designed to be adaptive, to shift investigation to the most promising avenues,” Dr. Constance Benson, a UC San Diego professor or medicine, said in a statement. The university said the study will run for about three years and involve hundreds of patients. For more.

San Diego Company to Build More Ventilators

San Diego’s ResMed plans to double or even triple production of hospital ventilators amid growing fears of shortages in the U.S. as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. The company, best known for making sleep apnea machines, also produces ventilators for hospital and home use. Chief Executive Michael “Mick” Farrell said some production lines at factories in Singapore and Australia have switched away from sleep apnea devices to make ventilators for hospitals. For more

Want a Good Laugh? Hotels Now Live-Streaming So We Can Pretend We’re On Vacation

We’re all stuck in our homes practicing social distancing and hotels are now here to offer us a different view, right from our home.
For many people, planning for spring break came to an immediate halt with the news that the coronavirus had spread to the United States. Even those who still planned on chancing a trip became deterred as cities began to shut down one by one and messages of social distancing became prevalent. Now instead of hanging out on a sunny beach to chase the winter blues away, most Americans have decided to stay home to do their part and slow down the spread of the virus. See Mom’s

‘Now’s not the time’: Joshua Tree National Park closed to campers and cars, but crowds keep coming

When Joshua Tree National Park in California was closed to everything but foot and bike traffic Saturday because of the coronavirus pandemic, Brian Rennie knew the trouble was about to begin. First, Rennie said, the park administration closed the park with no warning to neighboring property owners like himself. Rennie has owned his home in Joshua Tree near the park’s popular West Entrance since the 1990s and lived there full-time since 2013. Second, he said, by making the national park’s parking lots inaccessible to visitors, hikers would have to get creative about where to stow their cars while walking into the park for the day. Saturday and Sunday saw hundreds of cars parked at any given moment along the sides of Quail Springs Road leading up to the park’s shuddered entrance, essentially parked in the front yards of property owners like Rennie. See here for more.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 25, 2020 at 4:51 pm

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to place a temporary moratorium on evictions of residents and small businesses that cannot make rent payments amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The council also established a Small Business Relief Fund to support local businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The relief fund will be created by repurposing nearly $4 million in existing grant funding. https://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2020/03/25/san-diego-city-council-approves-moratorium-on-evictions-through-may-31/

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 25, 2020 at 4:52 pm

As part of the action, the council asked city staff to work with banks and lenders to halt foreclosures of properties whose owners are unable to make mortgage payments, and aggressively seek local, state, and federal economic aid packages to provide relief to landlords, which benefits tenants.

Under the ordinance, the San Diego Housing Commission and its nonprofit affiliate Housing Development Partners, are prohibited from evicting tenants who reside in any of the 3,732 commission-controlled affordable apartments.

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