Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – May 2020

by on May 26, 2020 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

Off Sunset Cliffs, dolphin teaches how to surf. Photo by Jim Grant.

Man Fell 50 Feet at Sunset Cliffs

A man fell about 50 feet down a cliff at Sunset Cliffs early Sunday, May24 and had to be rescued by a firefighter helicopter crew, a fire official said. Police and firefighters went to the beach at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard near Guizot Street around midnight after someone called to report a man had fallen. Rescuers found a man in his mid-30s amid rocks and grass at the base of the hill. The man was alert and told firefighters he had hurt his back in the fall, San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Dan Eddy reported. Firefighters used a helicopter hoist to lift the man from the beach onto a stretcher, then took him to UC San Diego hospital for treatment. “With that 50-foot fall, you are going to expect some internal injuries and so we are going to take the utmost of caution,” Eddy said. He said firefighters and lifeguards have responded to a spate of rescue calls at Sunset Cliffs in recent weeks and warned beach-goers to keep away from the cliff edges, especially at night. PL-OB Monthly

Point Loma Library Open for Curb-side Pick-Up

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, the San Diego Public Library is offering contact-free pickup service at 11 of its branches beginning Tuesday, including Point Loma’s. There is no word about the OB library. Pickup service will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patrons with existing holds will be notified by email when their materials are available. The San Diego Public Library will begin accepting new holds for pickup on June 1. Patrons will need to present a valid library card or library card number to pick up their materials. Library facilities will not be open to the public and will not accept returns at this time. Due dates on items currently checked out have been extended to June 12. Visit the library’s pickup service website at https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/pickup-service for more information, including how to place a hold and what to expect when arriving to collect materials.

Local OB Artists Are Trying …

According to Ocean Beach artist Celeste Byers (whose work can be recognized by her mural on the trailer at the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve headquarters), the art economy in San Diego — particularly in the Pacific Beach, Point Loma and Ocean Beach communities — relies more heavily on public art, illustration, graphic design and “things you can do from your computer” than it does on galleries and selling at art shows. “We all have been affected in little things, but for the most part, me and all my friends do a lot of freelance work or murals, which are still all happening,” Byers said. However, a mural project Byers was supposed to be working on for the Audubon Society in France was canceled when France went into lockdown because of the coronavirus, and an online art course she was supposed to record in Spain has been postponed, although the project is still moving forward. …

In an effort to support other artists, Aaron Glasson, an Ocean Beach-based artist from New Zealand, has joined the global Artist Support Pledge, initiated on Instagram by U.K. artist Matthew Burrows. Artists post images of artwork they’re willing to sell for no more than 200 euros (about $218) on social media, and with each 1,000 euros they make in sales, they pledge to buy another artist’s work for 200 euros. “The idea is to start this online art economy,” said Glasson, who added that he’s doing well financially during the coronavirus pandemic and hasn’t lost much on his commission work. However, a mural Glasson was set to paint on the side of Red Dragon Championship Martial Arts studio on Garnet Avenue has had to be postponed indefinitely. PB Monthly

Woman With Gun Robs Midway Gas Station

San Diego police are investigating after a woman held up a Shell gas station clerk in the Midway District on Camino Del Rio West, between Hancock and Moore streets, a police officer said Sunday, May 24. The heist happened shortly after 8 p.m., when a woman who appeared to be in her mid-30s walked into the station on Camino Del Rio West near Hancock Street, Officer John Buttle said. The woman walked in wearing a blue windbreaker, pulled out a firearm and demanded cash from the clerk, Buttle said. The clerk opened the register and the thief reached over, removed an undisclosed amount of money from the tray and put it in a bag, the officer said. She fled the store and was last seen running southbound on Camino Del Rio West.No detailed suspect description was immediately available. Fox5

Here’s What They’re Doing in Southern France

“Slow-Streets” Gets Mixed Reviews by PB Residents

Diamond Street in Pacific Beach is temporarily closed to through traffic between Mission Boulevard and Haines Street — a development that may have surprised community leaders and other residents as much as motorists trying to use it. The closure of the roughly three-quarter-mile stretch is intended to provide pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and others participating in alternative forms of transportation with a safer, larger area to practice physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s part of the city of San Diego’s new “slow streets” initiative, which is in its first phase. The program, which began April 30, blocks off sections of designated streets to through traffic. Access to driveways and deliveries is maintained for residents and businesses. Selected streets don’t have bus routes and generally have a speed limit of less than 35 mph.

Diamond Street was one of three streets citywide chosen for the launch. The closure of Diamond Street has triggered a variety of opinions. While many PB residents seem to agree with the idea of providing safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists, those dissatisfied with the choice expressed confusion over how Diamond Street was chosen to be a slow street. Brian White, president of the Pacific Beach Town Council, said he learned of the possibility of a slow street in Pacific Beach only when a memo from District 2 City Council member Jennifer Campbell was released April 27. Three days later, barriers were up at Diamond Street. “This just kind of happened quickly,” White said. “We’re looking to see what people are thinking, get the feedback.” He added that he wasn’t sure of the criteria the city used to select Diamond Street and was unaware of any community input on the matter. Alex Rojas, a resident of Missouri Street, which runs parallel to Diamond, said he likes the idea of a slow street but feels that the effort to create one on Diamond was “poorly executed.” For more, go to PB Monthly.

OB Man Saves Surf Scoter Sea Duck

On Monday, May 18, Ocean Beach resident Manmadh Rebba and a friend got their coffee from Vili’s on Newport Avenue and headed to the beach for an early morning walk. Rebba, who is employed at San Diego International Airport in the Airport Design and Construction Department, was scheduled to work from home that day, which turned out to be fortunate for a distressed Surf Scoter. “I noticed a bird struggling and being swept by the waves. It was moving and struggling to get back on its feet and the waves kept pushing the bird in and out,” Rebba said. “I thought it was a regular beach bird from a distance, but when I got closer it was something I never saw before in my life.”

The male Surf Scoter, a sea duck that is nicknamed “old skunkhead,” is not commonly seen in Ocean Beach because it’s pelagic, but is not a rare bird. Compared to most Northern American sea ducks, the Surf Scoter breeds exclusively in North America, mostly in Northern Canada and Alaska. Then, they take different migration routes to spend the winter in more temperate environments. For more go to the Beacon

Thousands in OB and Pt Loma Suffer Power Outage Tuesday

Thousands of people were left without power Tuesday during an outage across San Diego beach communities including Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, and Pacific Beach. San Diego Gas & Electric reported outages impacting more than a dozen areas at around 11:15 a.m., also including Lindbergh Field, Mission Bay, and the Midway District. Combined and at their peaks, the outages impacted more than 11,800 customers, SDG&E’s maps showed. The utility noted it was assessing the outages to determine the cause. The San Diego International Airport posted a message on Twitter saying the outage impacted the airport for only a few minutes. As of 12:30 p.m., SDG&E was working to restore the power; estimated restoration to impacted communities was 3 p.m. By 12:40 p.m., SDG&E’s outage map no longer displayed the power outages. 7SanDiego

Run-Away Boat on Mission Bay Crashed into Sailboat

A runaway motorboat caused quite a scene Saturday, May 23, on Mission Bay. San Diego lifeguards said the operator lost control of the boat, knocking all of the occupants off and leaving the boat to steer itself. Video shows it making a wide arc, possibly towing an inflatable, and then crashing into a sailboat. It kept spinning out of control until lifeguards flipped it upside down. Two people on board the sailboat were thrown into the bay, and one of them suffered a head injury. Go here to see video.

Gov. Newsom Gives Counties Authority To Reopen Barbershops, Hair Salons in OB and Point Loma

In an announcement that will delight shaggy-haired residents of Ocean Beach and Point Loma, Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday cleared the way for barbershops and hair salons to open in counties that have been cleared to move deeper into California’s reopening roadmap, including Orange County. As of Tuesday, 47 of the state’s 58 counties — including San Diego — have been granted those variances, which are based on criteria such as the rate coronavirus infections and deaths and availability of testing and contact-tracing.

Point Loma Student Creates Free Grocery-Delivery Service for Needy

The idea behind creating a free grocery-delivery service by students to the needy occurred to Point Loma High School student Madelyn “Maddie” Wozniak pre-pandemic, when her high-risk grandparents moved in with her family. “We needed to get them groceries and they just couldn’t leave the house,” said the 16-year-old junior. “It was very hard to find a service that could help us get those groceries. It took us hours (of looking) to find one.” Noting she didn’t want others to face the same dilemma, the notion struck Wozniak that there was a community void that needed to be filled. “I texted a few friends and asked if they would be interested in delivering groceries to seniors or other needy people like women with babies,” she said.

Her friends’ response was so positive, it prompted Wozniak to start Store-2-Door with a website promoting a free student delivery service. “It just took off from there,” said Wozniak noting those availing themselves of Store-2-Door’s services pay for their own groceries while adding there’s no charge whatsoever for delivery.  San Diego Community News Group

Brigantine Is Hiring

One of San Diego’s biggest restaurant chains will reopen Friday, May 29 with plans to hire up to 250 new people by summer. Each of the Brigantine’s 14 restaurants will begin hosting guests at the end of the week with spaced out tables, employee temperature checks and increased hand sanitizing stations, chief executive Mike Morton said in an interview Tuesday. Morton added that tables will be spaced out, but that outdoor event space at some locations will be converted to main dining to increase capacity. The chain includes Brigantine, Miguel’s Cocina, and Ketch Tap and Grill. Morton said the organization has been able to bring back most of its 1,100 furloughed workers, though some have declined because of unemployment boosts. He cautioned that decision as short sighted, given the tight job market that will persist after the extra benefits have gone away.

Meanwhile, Brigantine is advertising 134 openings on its website at locations across the county. Additionally, Morton said Brigantine plans to hire as many as 250 additional for its Portside Pier complex, which is scheduled to open in July along the Embarcadero, on the site of the former Anthony’s Fish Grotto. The facility will include three restaurants, two bars and a gelato and coffee shop. 10News

3 Point Loma Motels Were Being Considered by City for Purchase, But Didn’t Make the Cut …

The San Diego Housing Commission voted unanimously Friday, May 15 to end talks to buy 10 motels that would have permanently housed homeless people now sheltered at the convention center in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Three of the motels were in the Point Loma area.   Homeless people are among the most vulnerable populations to illness and infectious disease. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said providing them with a safe place during and after the COVID-19 crisis is a priority. City officials will continue exploring options to lease or purchase other motels for homeless people, a Housing Commission spokesman told inewsource after the vote. Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed the idea of acquiring motels last month.
The commission’s action comes more than three weeks after inewsource found that six of the 10 motels being considered had a history of code enforcement complaints about bedbugs, cockroaches and mold. Four of the motels also had logged more than 100 calls to San Diego police since January 2018, including the E-Z 8 Motel on Pacific Highway with over 500. Because the commission was considering real estate purchases, the board was allowed to meet behind closed doors on the negotiations.

The 3 local motels that were being considered are Wyndham Garden, 3737 Midway Drive, Midway District, Days Inn & Suites, 3350 Rosecrans St., Midway District, and The Consulate Hotel, 2901 Nimitz Blvd., Point Loma. Patch San Diego

PB Bar Gets the Hammer

Consequences were swift Friday for El Prez, a Pacific Beach bar and restaurant that blew up social media after patrons posted videos featuring crowds of people drinking, often maskless and far closer to each other than the 6-foot standard set for restaurants under newly-approved reopening guidelines. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that while he knows the “overwhelming majority” of local restaurants and other businesses are doing everything they can to follow reopening rules, the scene inside El Prez, as shown in footage played during the health department’s regular COVID-19 briefing Friday, created “an imminent health and safety risk.” “We simply cannot tolerate such blatant and intentional violations of the public health order,” Fletcher said, adding that Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, served the business with a closure notice. It was a very visible and clear signal to the public — one made on the eve of Memorial Day weekend — that the county won’t hesitate to crack down on businesses that flout the region’s public health regulations.  SDU-T

Summer Book Fair for Loma Portal Elementary

Running out of books to read on quarantine? Loma Portal Elementary School in Point Loma is holding a Virtual Book Fair. Shop online to stock up on all the awesome scholastic titles you see at the school’s book fairs. Loma Portal will earn 25% of purchases back to support the school. For more information, contact Devon Gaudet at dbozdlphn@gmail.com or Leann at lkearsley2000@yahoo.com.

Point Loma / OB Dems Support Thriving Arts Community – Meet (Virtual) Sunday, May 31

As San Diegans “stay at home,” many have turned to the arts: live-streaming concerts, taking up an artistic hobby or taking virtual museum tours. How can our city support a thriving arts scene? And, how can our artists support a thriving city?  Join us at our (virtual) May meeting for a discussion on the importance of a resilient arts community and about ways the creative community expands political dialogue within San Diego. Sunday May 31, 4:00-5:30PM; Guest Speakers include Zoya Sardashti, Performance Researcher, Jacqueline Marino, Exhibitions and Programs Manager, San Diego Art Institute, H Puentes, Art/Politics/Tech Innovator, and Todd Gloria, candidate for mayor.

Click here to register for the Zoom meeting.  If you’re new to Zoom don’t worry, we’ll help get you into the Social Time and the meeting. We’ll bring everyone up to speed on some of the features of the Zoom application – including polling, voting and breakout rooms. Bring your own refreshments :) and positive news to share. Sunday May 31, 4:00PM – Zoom registration; If you can’t make the meeting we’ll stream it on the Point Loma & OB Dems YouTube channel so you can watch it later.

Salvation Army Re-Opens Point Loma Store

Up until now, The Salvation Army’s Family of Thrift Stores have remained closed due to COVID-19. But as Governor Newsom accepted the County plan to accelerate Phase 2, they feel the time is right to slowly begin reopening their Point Loma store. The other 5 stores will reopen gradually later this month and next. The Salvation Army Family Store is an integral part of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center and the operation of the stores is essential to the rehabilitation program. This program is made possible through the generosity of those who donate goods that can be sold in our Family Stores. Our Center has been without necessary funding for more than 8 weeks.

OB’s TapShack for Kombucha

TapShack in Ocean Beach offers same day, free local growler delivery in San Diego. Their rotating menu of flavors is posted daily and orders must be put in before noon. While the kombucha is less effervescent than other brands, they pack their brews full of flavor. They start with organic green tea and organic sugar, then use only real spices, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables to create dynamic flavor combinations. For summer in San Diego, you can’t beat their Mango Mojito flavor that combines mango, mint, spirulina, and lime for vivid tropical drink. Located on Sunset Cliffs and Lotus.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page May 27, 2020 at 8:35 am

It appears that District 2 council member Campbell is continuing her practice of ignoring the community, this time in Pacific Beach. She never contacted the community leaders to discuss closing a street to cars, it just happened. How did this person ever get elected to represent District 2? What does she think she was elected to do if not to consider the wishes and opinions of the people in her district? I think the people in PB should be outraged at how this closure came about and let her know loudly and in great numbers. Someone needs to explain to this woman how she is supposed to be doing her job.


Judi Curry May 28, 2020 at 9:46 am

They need to let the Mayor know also. No response to my two letters to him re: the fiasco on Sunset Cliffs. A form letter not addressing the situation from Campbell’s office.


Frank Gormlie May 28, 2020 at 10:44 am

Mother’s Saloon in OB is closing its doors – After almost a decade, no lease renewal. SD Reader https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2020/may/27/mothers-saloon-ob-closing-its-doors/


Geoff Page May 28, 2020 at 1:52 pm

How could a business owner of sports bar have ever imagined that it’s main draw, professional sports, would disappear? That plus the distancing requirements dealt these folks a double whammy. But, I wonder. They are showing a lot of reruns of great games and boxing matches on TV that took place before all of this that are very entertaining. I’ve been watching boxing matches I never saw originally and they have been interesting. Old great football games, whether or not you’ve seen them, are also fun. I wonder if the sports bars like Mother’s could do something like that? Of course, a little consideration from the landlord would be helpful.


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