April 2020

Only Orange County Beaches Are to Close Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It was all clarified by Thursday afternoon. Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the the temporary close of only Orange County state and local beaches beginning Friday, May 1. He gave the order, after some confusion, after thousands of people treated this past weekend like it was a holiday at the beach, particularly in LA and Orange Counties.

Which means San Diego beaches are still open – but their strict restrictions still apply. Currently, beachgoers are allowed to surf and swim in the water, as well as jog or stroll on the beach. But they have to keep moving: Sitting down or sunbathing is not permitted.

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Effective Friday, May 1 San Diego County Orders Everyone to Wear Face Coverings in Public While with Non-Household Member

April 30, 2020 by Source

Effective Friday, May 1 everyone must wear face coverings whenever they are in public and expect to come within 6 feet of a non-household member. Face coverings provide a layer of protection that allows us all to stay safe from the spread of COVID-19.

All persons two years of age or older who are present in the County shall be in possession of a face covering when they leave their home or place of residence and shall wear it when they are in a business or within six feet of another person who is not a member of their family or household.

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50 Years Since the Rebellion of May of 1970

April 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Introduction to Series

A half century ago exactly, our country was being literally torn apart over the war in Vietnam and its subsequent escalations. Today, the only reference to the Vietnam War is how the number of American deaths from the COVID-19 virus have now exceeded the deaths of US servicemen during the entire Vietnam period.

Yet, history has caught up with us.

Fifty years ago exactly to the day, on April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon announced to the nation that he had ordered the invasion of Cambodia by US troops. Nixon didn’t call it an “invasion” but it was clear he was expanding the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, not de-escalating it as he had pledged.

With his announcement, Nixon set off a month-long torrent of protest mainly by college and university students, an intensity never seen before on American campuses.

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Governor Newsom to Order All State Beaches and Parks Closed Again on Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Staff

UPDATE: Around 12:30 pm Thursday Mayor Faulconer tweeted that San Diego beaches will stay open – with restrictions still. Here is what Faucloner said:

Great news: the Governor heard us. San Diego beaches WILL STAY OPEN under our plan approved by lifeguards and health officials. In a time of great crisis we don’t need knee-jerk policies. We need to keep a steady hand. It’s the only way to keep the public’s trust. Keep it up, SD!

It appears that California Governor Newsom will be ordering all state beaches and parks to close again on Friday, May 1. A memo sent to California police chiefs on Wednesday says Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday to curb spread of the coronavirus.

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Numbers and Graphs on COVID-19 Cases in San Diego County

April 29, 2020 by Source

Here are some sobering graphs and numbers on county COVID-19 cases from the San Diego County health department and one from the San Diego Union-Tribune. Does that curve look likes it flattening out?

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Harvard Has Released the Testing Plan That America Needs to Safely Reopen

April 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / April 26, 2020 – Updated April 29

Elizabeth Warren may not be running for President anymore, but “a plan” is still very much in vogue and demand. Especially given the still virulent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

Fact. We cannot stay in lockdown forever—especially with the predictions of second and third waves of the virus.

Fact. We cannot “defeat the invisible enemy” by listening to the President, who has called it a “hoax,” promised a miracle, and recommended dangerous treatments.

Fact. There are better, faster, and more intelligent ways to defeat COVID-19.

Simply put, we are not doing enough of anything; hence, slowly failing at everything.

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Joe Biden Warns that Trump May Try to Delay the November Election

April 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Have you checked out lately what Joe Biden has been saying? He said that he fears Trump may try to delay the November presidential election, using the coronavirus as a pretense.

Now, this isn’t something from some extreme, left-wing blog editor, or some marginal conspiracy theorist, or the rantings of some bearded guy holed up in a mountain cabin.

No, this is from the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, the majoritarian party in the country, the unofficial leader of the main electoral opposition to an autocratic maniac in the White House.

Here’s what Biden said at an online fundraising event last week:

“Mark my words. I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” as he warned his supporters Trump could use the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretense for trying to push the election away or otherwise undermining it.

Just to be clear, the president cannot unilaterally delay a presidential election, as it would take an act of Congress

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My Son’s Music Plays On in My Heart and Soul

April 28, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking of my son, Guy, my second child to depart this earth before me.

We had so many memories, running the gamut of father and son relationships but my thoughts have mostly been about some of our really special moments: going at each other on the basketball court, one of our favorite things to do; hiking along the Junipero Serra Trail on some incredibly beautiful days when the sky was clear and blue; a road trip to Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and Vegas on a Spring Break; lounging along the shore in Rosarito Beach for a week; him singing and playing guitar at my 50th birthday celebration…

And when I think of his fine musicianship I’ll always remember his graduation in 1977 from John Muir Alternative School, a K-12 school I helped create with some incredibly innovative educators who were absolutely great.

So much happened on the campus that year, students feeling their oats, enjoying freedoms not many students ever achieve,

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It Was an ‘OB-Whack-a-Mole’ for Ocean Beach Lifeguards on First Day of the Limited ‘Re-Opening’

April 28, 2020 by Source

Ken Stone and Chris Stone, over at the Times of San Diego, called it. They described what happened on the first day of the limited “re-opening” of the beach in Ocean Beach:

“a sand version of whack-a-mole ensued in Ocean Beach as lifeguards scurried to keep people moving.” In contrast to some other city beaches, where city officials congratulated beachgoers, “… Ocean Beach saw some lifeguards look weary.”

Here’s more of the Times’ take:

Lifeguards near the OB Pier dealt both with water safety problems — having to race into surf to check on people or warn them of danger — and repeatedly educating people about no-sitting or lying rules.

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Isn’t This What We’re Trying to Avoid? Hundreds Go Surfing in Pacific Beach

April 27, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The day after a protest in Pacific Beach against the COVID-19 restrictions, dozens – perhaps hundreds – of people show up and go surfing today, Monday, the first day of a limited opening of the beaches in San Diego.

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The Widder Curry Still Has Questions

April 27, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Maybe because I am a blond – with a lot more gray – but I am very puzzled by the new mandate that our Mayor is putting into place.

Effective sunrise Monday, April 27th, ocean access will begin.

That means you can go into the ocean and kayak, swim and surf. But it also means that you cannot sit on the sand; you can’t lie down on the sand; you can’t play volleyball and you cannot engage in group activities. You cannot go boating; you can’t walk on the piers, but you can run or walk on the sand. Does running or walking mean that if you have the virus you won’t deposit the germs on the sand, but if you are sitting you will?

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Reopening the Beach – OB Walkabout in the Plague Year, Part 4

April 27, 2020 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

I tried to get up in time for the 6:05 AM sunrise and beach reopening but overslept. By the time I walked down to Dog Beach, the sun had been up for an hour though you couldn’t see any sunlight as Coastal Eddy was in town.

Ran into some guys schlepping their boards down Voltaire and spoke to them briefly. They were jonesing to get out in the water after a month of no surfing and smiling ear to ear.

“How was it?” they asked a dude who had just come out of the water. “Wet”, he replied in a jaded tone of voice. I guess some people are just glass-half-empty at seven in the morning. Still, he was the only person on the beach that I saw today that didn’t have a smile on his face.

Between the jetty and the pier I counted about 70-80 people in the water and more were arriving by the minute. The parking lots remain closed and most of the people seemed to be locals walking down. I did see a few people parking on the street as close as they could get to the beach.

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Republicans to America: Go Back to Work and Die

April 27, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

The battle is on in earnest. Last week, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said it out loud: drop dead blue states. More specifically, McConnell took a strong stand against providing any more financial relief to devastated states and local governments in the midst of a pandemic that has caused the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Instead, the Senate leader suggested, states should just consider bankruptcy.

In a moment of remarkable candor, McConnell outlined his view on a rightwing radio show. As the New York Times reported :

“I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated,” Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said in an interview with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”

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On the Last Day of the Complete Beach Closure

April 26, 2020 by Source

It was the officers’ last day of the complete and full beach closure in Ocean Beach. Hopefully.

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On a Warm, Beautiful Sunday, Ocean Beach Keeps Off the Sand

April 26, 2020 by Staff

There wasn’t anyone on the sand. The parking lots were still closed. It was a warm and beautiful day in Ocean Beach. A day before the beaches were to partially re-open. And OB was keeping on with the restrictions.

OB Rag citizen reporter, Bob Edwards, took in the views at the coast and along the San Diego River. Here’s his pics and comments from today, Sunday, April 26.

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Fierce Blow-Back on Planned Protest of Restrictions in Pacific Beach

April 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a unprecedented and fierce blow-back on a planned protest against the coronavirus restrictions for Sunday in Pacific Beach – a day before many of the restrictions at the beach are to be lifted.

Local residents of PB are telling the organizers and participates to reconsider the use of their community as a stage by outsiders and not to put their neighbors and frontline people, like police officers, at risk by carrying out their protest.

The Pacific Beach Town Council, PB activists and Councilwoman Jen Campbell have all deplored the event, which is scheduled for a key intersection a block from the beach. Brian White, the president of the PB Town Council didn’t mince words when he asked the protesters to stay away:

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Late April 2020

April 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

OB Street Fair 2020 Likely to Be Cancelled

Whether OB’s iconic annual Street Fair will be cancelled this year or not due to the coronavirus situation was supposed to be decided by its main host, the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association Board on Thursday, April 23. But Denny Knox, its executive director told the press, “Our board didn’t take any action today. We’re waiting for the City to notify us we have to cancel.”

Bernie’s Bikes Is Still Open

There was a concern going around OB that Bernie’s Bikes on Cable had closed. But no, it’s open – but with limitations. See the sign on the front door. See this if you’re interested: San Diego bike shops riding high with sudden boom in sales.

Point Loma Summer Concerts Cancelled

The Point Loma Summer Concerts board has decided to postpone the 20th season of the Point Loma Summer Concerts until the summer of 2021.

With Faulconer Opening Sunset Cliffs Park – Too Many Visitors Not Employing Precautions

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Still Dreaming After All These Years

April 24, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I had a pretty nice birthday, the other day, my 82nd such day.

I got the day going up on my feet, getting down to a funky beat. I posted it on Facebook for my friends to see, hopefully, as a treat.

Later I celebrated on Zoom with family and friends, got some reading and love making in, greased on some shrimp and grits and lost my soul to a moist super delicious vanilla pound cake.

But, hey, it wasn’t all happy and gay because I clicked on my TV, feeling a need for a brief summary of what’s going on with the coronavirus, and the first images I happened to see was a bunch of European American “patriots” waving “Old Glory” like crazy.

I mean it was a sight to see: grossly misguided misfits open carrying automatic weapons, all pissed off that they’re being told what to do to lessen their chances of losing their lives to a deadly disease. “Don’t tell us to stay off the street! This is the Land of the Free!”

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Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach Reopens With Limitations

April 24, 2020 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Earlier this week an OB RAG article noted that some San Diego City parks are starting to reopen with activity and physical distancing rules in place.

This reporter checked out Dusty Rhodes Park on Thursday, April 23 and took the accompanying photos.

The entry driveway on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. remains blocked off. Bike and foot traffic are the only ways to access the park at the present time.

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Trump Suggests Injecting Disinfectant as Deterrent to Coronavirus

April 24, 2020 by Staff

Your President just suggested that injecting a person with disinfectant could treat the coronavirus.

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said during his coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, April 23. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

The question, which Trump offered unprompted, immediately spurred doctors, lawmakers and the makers of Lysol to respond with incredulity and warnings against injecting or otherwise ingesting disinfectants, which are highly toxic. Washington Post

Meanwhile … Protesters Lay “Body Bags” outside Trump Hotel in DC

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Federal Charter Schools Program a Fountain of Corruption and Disruption

April 24, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / April 19, 2020

Last year, the Network for Public Education (NPE) published two investigations of the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP).

The first one called “Asleep at the Wheel” came in March. In it they made several claims including that hundreds of millions of dollars had gone to schools that never opened or were shut down.

The authors, Carol Burris and Jeff Bryant, stated, “Therefore, we recommend that Congress end funding for new charter grants coming from CSP.”

Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, harshly criticized the report to Congress saying, “It makes sweeping conclusions without supporting data or methodological rigor.”

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Without a Mandate, Jen Campbell Leads the Charge to Destroy the 30-Foot Height Limit in the Midway

April 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Councilwoman Jen Campbell, we find, is leading the charge to destroy the 30-foot height limit in the Midway District. And she is doing this despite the lack of any mandate from her District 2 community or constituents.

Yes, it is true, Campbell is touting the recent approval of her plan by the Midway planning committee.

But that decision by literally a handful of people who, under the cover of the pandemic, voted without public participation to get onboard her roaring train – is definitely not a mandate. There’s barely a Midway District resident on that committee of business-minded planners. Okay, there aren’t that many residents in the planning area, which also includes the Pacific Highway area. As OB Rag reporter Geoff Page recently described:

The Midway group is made up mostly of business people who own property or businesses in the Midway area. After having attended these meetings for more than three years, this reporter can say that this is a nice group of people, they are not a rapacious group of developers like the Mission Valley planning group. The Midway people have good reason for wanting to see the area improved, anyone who has spent any time there would understand. But, many do have a vested interest in the future development.

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New Poll: Few Americans Support Easing Virus Protections

April 23, 2020 by Source

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that Americans overwhelming support stay-at-home orders to slow the coronavirus. Here’s the report:

Americans remain overwhelmingly in favor of stay-at-home orders and other efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a new survey finds, even as small pockets of attention-grabbing protests demanding the lifting of such restrictions emerge nationwide.

The survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also finds that a majority of Americans say it won’t be safe to lift social distancing guidelines anytime soon, running counter to the choice of a handful of governors who have announced plans to ease within days the public health efforts that have upended daily life and roiled the global economy.

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Ocean Beach Town Council to Meet Wed., April 22 on Facebook Live

April 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Please join the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting this evening, April 22nd, at 7pm on Facebook Live.

As always, you’ll hear from elected officials, public servants, and the board. Also Assemblymember Todd Gloria – who is running for mayor – will be joining the OBTC on the call.

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What Local Ocean Beach and Point Loma Parks Are Open, and What Are the Rules?

April 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The City of San Diego reopened over 300 neighborhood parks, fields and trails on Tuesday, April 21 for walking and jogging under social distancing guidelines. However, major regional parks, shoreline parks, boardwalks, golf courses and most areas of Balboa Park remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the Ocean Beach and Point Loma parks that are open or still closed, and the rules.

Bill Cleator Community Park – Open

Bob Kenny Field (also known as Ocean Beach Elementary Joint Use) – Closed

Cabrillo Elementary Joint Use – Closed

Cabrillo Recreation Center – Closed

Cabrillo Tennis (SUP Holder) – Closed

Collier Neighborhood Park – Open

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How Did We Get From Earth Day To Trump?

April 22, 2020 by Source

Fifty years after the first Earth Day, the connection between the environment and human health has never been more obvious.

By David Helvarg / HuffPost / April 22, 2020

Twenty million people rallied, marched and staged clean-ups across the country on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day. Many carried signs that read “Mother Nature Bats Last.”
But who knew there would be actual bats involved?

Fifty years later, the COVID-19 pandemic is the starkest example of natural disasters foretold but not prepared for.

The destruction of unique habitats, logging of rainforests and consumption of displaced wildlife such as bats, chimps and endangered pangolins has led to most of our recent viral outbreaks, from AIDS and Ebola to the coronavirus. This only confirms the scientific consensus that human health and prosperity depend on a healthy environment.

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Opening Up San Diego Too Quickly Expected to Backfire, County Officials Say

April 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Today’s San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the local county death toll jumped by 15 people Tuesday, April 21, and hit triple digits for the first time since April 4, according to the latest daily COVID-19 update from the county health department. These newly-counted deaths did not come on a single day but are a serious warning to those who talk about opening sectors of the economy prematurely.

County officials say that would “be expected to backfire.” According to the U-T:

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher made his daily effort to convey that those keeping these orders in effect in the face of public protest over the weekend are doing so out of a desire to prevent a deadly resurgence in cases such as the one now under way in Singapore.

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Arizona Wildcats’ Game Scoring Record-Holder Ernie McCray Celebrates 82nd Birthday With a Dance

April 21, 2020 by Source

By Javier Morales / AllSportsTucson.com / April 18, 2020

Ernie McCray turned 82 years old today, a legendary figure in Arizona history as the first African-American men’s basketball player to graduate from the school and also his program-record 46 points against Cal State Los Angeles 60 years ago at Bear Down Gym.

McCray, ever spry and whimsical, still writes a column titled, “Thoughts From the Soul of the Tucson Kid,” published by the OB (Ocean Beach) Rag.

The Tucson High School legend (Class of 1956) posted today this video of him celebrating his birthday, dancing at his San Diego home.

Made it.
On my feet,
still grooving to a beat.
A moment…

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Outdoors Is the Way to Keep Your Sanity Indoors!

April 21, 2020 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

2020, the year of the coronavirus, is also the year of record-breaking rain, which could not have come at a better time, in the worst of times.

The rain helps keep us indoors during the storms, and we appreciate the outdoors much more when the sun is out!

A jungle surrounds me! My very healthy Spring garden is making me very healthy. My daily workout program consists of several hours of heavy-duty weeding, trimming, planting, and turning my huge compost pile. To top it all off, I’ve emptied countless buckets of rain-water into the garden. This routine is working every muscle in my body, which I can feel!

My fresh homegrown vegi-meals are spoiling me. Most restaurant meals may be a disappointment by the time they fully reopen when the lockdown lifts. But it will be enjoyable to sit at a table again and have someone else cook for me.

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Reader Rant: Barbara Bry and Kevin Faulconer Are Playing a Dangerous Game

April 21, 2020 by Source

The following opinion does not necessarily reflect the views of the OB Rag.

By Molly Maguire

Barbara Bry – who wants to be mayor – and now Mayor Kevin Faulconer – are playing a dangerous game with their calls to open up San Diego’s beaches.

On Friday, April 17, Bry called for the re-opening of the city’s beaches and parks during the first week of May – which is only 9 or so days away. They haven’t even been closed for a month yet. Well, almost. According to the Times of San Diego:

City Councilwoman Barbara Bry on Friday called for San Diego’s beaches and parks to be reopened as soon as the first week of May.

“As always, such decisions must be based on science and the advice of public health experts, but I believe it will be possible to develop prudent plans to reopen our beaches and parks by early next month,” she said.

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