January 2021

Candidate Statements for the OB Town Council – Deadline for Members to Vote Is Friday, Feb.5

January 29, 2021 by Staff

The 2021 Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors election is here and members have begun voting. Voting began on Thursday and runs to Friday, February 5.

OBTC Directors are elected voices in communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies, and are at the forefront of community discussions. When needed, Directors take appropriate action on community issues and are leaders in promoting the general betterment of Ocean Beach.

This year, there’s an unprecedented amount of interest – and there are 18 candidates for the 8 seats up for election on the 15 seat Board of Directors. OBTC members elect Board Directors for two-year terms. Half of the Board stands for election every year. This year, 8 seats are up for election.

Eligible candidates for the OBTC Board of Directors must be over (18) years of age, have Bronze Level OBTC Membership, and either live, work, own property, or operate a business in Ocean Beach (92107). Voting for this election will take place from Thursday, January 28th to Friday, February 5th, 2021 .

Candidate Statements

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Court Rejects Legal Challenge to Stop Work at San Onofre

January 29, 2021 by Source

Nuclear Shutdown News January 2021

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

By Michael Steinberg

Court rejects legal challenge to stop work at San Onofre.

On January 14 Law 360 reported, “9th Circuit Court Denies Advocate’s Nuclear Decommissioning Challenge.” The case concerns San Diego based Public Advocate’s petition asserting that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “abdicated its safety responsibilities” overseeing the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant in Orange county, Southern California, which shut down in 2012.

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San Diego Must Get Real About Reaching Its Bike Commuting Goals

January 29, 2021 by Source

By Paul Krueger / Times of San Diego / January 28, 2021

Count me among that small but dedicated group of San Diegans who embrace bicycling for its health and environmental benefits.

When I worked downtown, I often commuted 14 miles roundtrip from my Talmadge home. Now retired, I bike to doctor’s appointments in La Mesa and Mission Valley, and stores in North Park and Hillcrest.

It’s a rewarding challenge to climb those hills, and fun to see city life up close. But it’s also a bit demoralizing.

That’s because I have so little company on my two-wheeled travels around our county.

San Diego has spent millions of dollars for dedicated bike lanes, but from where I sit, the “if you build them, they will come” strategy has been an abject failure.

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No Deaths at Sunset Cliffs in 2020 But Injuries Average in OB Rag 16-Year Survey

January 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

At least, according to the public news record, there were no deaths at Sunset Cliffs during 2020. There were 5 incidents where people were injured, however.

This is definitely good news from a year filled with bad news. Perhaps because of COVID, less people ventured into dangerous areas on or around the beautiful but treacherous cliffs. Which is unlikely, given all the reports and complaints about how people have jammed Sunset Cliffs these last months of the pandemic.

However, the rate of deaths and serious injuries at the cliffs for the year tracks with the average, according to the survey the OB Rag has conducted for years. Data collected for the study goes back to 2005. The OB Rag has found there’s been an average of 5 deaths or serious injuries every year.

In comparison with 2019, for instance, there were 2 tragic deaths, and only one seriously injured person at or below Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach and Point Loma. (See this study the OB Rag )

Here is an up-to-date chart and more details:

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Movement to Recall Jen Campbell Is Growing

January 28, 2021 by Source

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The San Diego Kaiser COVID-19 Chronicles: Robots, Earthlings and Angels

January 28, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What keeps America together? See for yourself.

“Look at the people that are on the ground. That’s who represents America,” says Admiral William McRaven; the man who oversaw the Bin Laden raid.

Look at the great story of the Oregon health workers who got stuck in a snowstorm on their way back from a COVID-19 vaccination event and went car to car injecting stranded drivers before several of the doses expired.

That “impromptu vaccine clinic” is a prime example of who represents America. Those are the angels among us. As I discovered myself.

Starting from the beginning.

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Feds Warn Americans About Rising Risk of Attacks By Domestic Terrorists

January 27, 2021 by Staff

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, in an extraordinary warning to the American public, the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert about a growing risk of attacks by domestic terrorists – whom they call, “ideologically-motivated violent extremists.”

No other bulletin in recent years has been issued to alert Americans about violence by domestic extremists. The extremists are agitated about President Biden’s inauguration and “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”

In a statement, the department said the purpose of the new bulletin was to warn the public about a “heightened threat environment” across the United States “that is likely to persist over the coming weeks.” The bulletin is a lesser-status warning designed to alert the public about general risks, rather than an imminent attack linked to a specific threat.

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‘MyTurn’ Pilot Project Regarding COVID Vaccinations Available to San Diego County Residents

January 27, 2021 by Source

The State of California on Monday made a pilot project website regarding the COVID-19 vaccine available for residents in San Diego and Los Angeles counties on which people can sign up to receive alerts on when they’re eligible and then schedule an appointment.

The website, at MyTurn.ca.gov, allows people to input their basic information and learn if they are currently available to receive a vaccination and, if so, allow them to scheduled a shot.

People who aren’t yet eligible can provide information on age and occupation and register to receive an email or text alert about when they will be able to schedule a shot.

The MyTurn system is operating on a trial basis for residents of the two counties. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the system will hopefully be available statewide by early February.

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City Extends Eviction Ban for Renters and Businesses

January 27, 2021 by Source

Reposted as a public service announcement.

Tenants would still need to pay back rent.

By Phillip Molnar / San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 26, 2021

San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to extend an eviction ban for renters and businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

The council unanimously approved the business eviction moratorium and voted 8-1 on the residential moratorium. Both laws were achieved by declaring a state of emergency. The actions were separate from a $42.3 million rent relief program the city is still working on.

Both moves by the council do not erase rent owed to commercial or residential landlords, and require proof of hardship related to COVID-19.

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Peninsula Planners Support Criticism of City’s Master Plan on Parks and Want a 4-Way Stop at Froude and Cape May

January 27, 2021 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board held its first regular monthly meeting of 2021 on Thursday, January 21. The meeting was held using the Zoom meeting system. It is necessary to go to the PCPB.net website and register to attend the meetings in advance. The link to join the meeting is in the agenda.

As a side note, in comparison, the Midway planning group also uses Zoom but does not require registration. An Issue with registration is that attendees are not required to sign in when they attend meetings in person. There is a sign in sheet but it is voluntary and includes very little private information. The on-line registration system actually runs counter to the Brown Act privacy requirements.

A highlight of the meeting was a presentation by a volunteer group concerned about the city’s proposals for the Parks Master Plan component of the Complete Communities plan. The lowlight was the board’s decision to support a request to place a four-way stop at Froude and Cape May despite having a city engineering decision that the intersection did not rate a four-way stop.

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OB Town Council Public Meeting and Candidate Forum – Online – Wed., Jan.27

January 26, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Town Council’s first public meeting of 2021 is their virtual candidate forum. The meeting will be online with Facebook Live on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 pm. Of course, it’s free and open to the public. But it’s virtual.

Candidates vying for a seat on the Board will introduce themselves to the community.

Voting begins Thursday, January 28th and ends Friday, February 5th. Election results will be certified and announced by February 10th.

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8 Residential Units Planned for Former Ranchos on Point Loma Avenue

January 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Eight residential units are planned for the old, Ranchos site on Point Loma Avenue.

An application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4705 Point Loma Avenue has been made by Isabella Vinueza Guzman. Guzman’s application requests a permit for the demolition of the existing retail structure – which years ago used to be a second Ranchos restaurant as well as a food store for the Peninsula – and the construction of two buildings with four units each for a total of eight new units. The application was filed on January 5, 2021.

Notice signs went up January 26 around the immediate neighborhood announcing the future decision by the city’s Development Services Department on the project. (See below.)

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Point Loma Democrats Vote to Support Campbell Recall

January 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

At their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Sunday night, Jan. 25, the Point Loma Democratic Club voted to support the recall effort of Councilwoman Jen Campbell. The vote was 18 to 5 in favor of the recall.

The Club released a statement that listed a number of issues that they believe Campbell has fallen down on:

Club members have seen Dr. Jen Campbell reject dialogue and side with industry and labor union leaders instead of working residents in her district on a host of issues: the coastal height limit, the rewilding of Mission Bay, short term vacation rentals, and homelessness, among many others.

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Nancy and Maria – the Loves of My Life

January 26, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Often, these days, when the world seems grim, I think of how lucky I’ve been to have had two great loves in my life: Nancy Kay, a hippie White girl from Pacific Palisades, down the street from Malibu, and Maria Ester, a Chicana from San Antonio, home of the Alamo.

I remember my first image of Nancy, down on the floor of her classroom, water coloring with students whose love for her radiated in their smiles and comfortable postures, as they asked her, “Miz R,” questions like when are we going to the beach again?” or to Balboa or Chicano Park? “What are you going to teach us how to cook next time?” In that room there was so much rhythm and rhyme.

Some part of me, in those moments, fell in love with her too and we eventually got together and loved each other for thirty-four wonderful years and then she passed away and in time Maria came my way, a woman much like Nancy in so many ways.

And I fell in love with Maria in much the same way as I did with Nancy, …

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GoFundMe Page Set Up to Help Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach Rebuild

January 25, 2021 by Staff

A GoFundMe page has been established to help Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach rebuild. The restaurant suffered a major fire over the weekend.

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Coalition Warns Midway Planners About City’s New Master Park Plan – But Midway Doesn’t Care

January 25, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Midway-Pacific Highways Planning Group held its first monthly meeting of 2021, Wednesday, January 20, using the Zoom meeting on-line system. The only action item was a request for support from an all-volunteer organization that is advocating strongly for how parks are treated in the City’s new Complete Communities Plan. They don’t like some of what they see and they are alerting the public.

The “Parks and Recreation Coalition,” or PARC, consists of “city planners, landscape architects, architects, and community planners, each volunteering to improve the Parks Master Plan.” Some of the names are familiar including activist Tom Mullaney and former Planning Commission member Carolyn Chase. Here is the fill list of volunteers from PARC’s presentation:

Susan Baldwin, Nico Calavita, Carolyn Chase, Julie Corrales, Howard Greenstein, Diane Kane, Debby Knight, Stacey LoMedico, Tom Mullaney, Deborah Sharpe, Rene Smith, Mike Stepner, Andy Wiese, Wally Wulfeck

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Feeling the Joy

January 25, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Feeling so relieved
these days,
for this chance
to change our ways
to what “normal”
used to be,
when the news
didn’t necessarily
give you the blues,
a feeling of being
like a young eagle
taking to the skies
soaring above
dark clouds that
for years
dropped rainstorms
of confusions and lies,

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Stormy Sunset in OB

January 25, 2021 by Source


Stormy sunset in Ocean Beach by Cameron Crombie Reid, Jan. 23, 2021. Cameron said, “These iPhone 12s really do a great job.”

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – January 2021

January 22, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Real Estate Industry Awards “Public Official of the Year” to Trio – Including Jen Campbell

The San Diego Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA San Diego) awarded its 2021 Public Official of the Year Award earlier this month to a trio of City of San Diego figures: Council President Jennifer Campbell (District 2), Councilmember Chris Cate (District 6), and Planning Director, Mike Hansen. …
City Park & Rec Worker Got Her Start in OB

For the better part of 15 years, five days a week, San Diego Parks & Recreation Department employee America Diaz has set foot at the city’s shoreline parks with one job: to make them look better. “Me and my workers maintain the trash, pick up litter and would clean the bathrooms as best we could when the bathrooms were open,” she said. For the last 8 years, she’s worked at Scripps Park, but Diaz started with the city in Ocean Beach and at Belmont Park in Mission Beach before transferring to Scripps Park.

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Bernie Sanders: This Is the Agenda Democrats Should Go For Under Biden’s Leadership

January 22, 2021 by Source

By Bernie Sanders / CNN – RSN / January 22, 2021

The headlines dominating the news understandably deal with the outrageous behavior of President Donald Trump and the attempted coup he inspired at our nation’s Capitol.

Yes, it was important for the House of Representatives to impeach Trump. Yes, the Senate must convict him. No president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the United States government and get away with it.

But as enormously important as that is, we must not lose sight of the pain and anxiety of millions of working families all over this country, as they suffer through the worst public health and economic crises in the modern history of our country. In fact, many working families are facing more economic desperation today than any time since the Great Depression.

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Ocean Beach Black Lives Matter Caravan – Sunday, Jan.24

January 22, 2021 by Source

This Sunday, January 24, there will be an Ocean Beach Caravan for Justice for Black Lives Matter.

The two hour event will begin at Old Sea World Drive at 2 pm, when there will be car decorating; the caravan will start at 3 pm.

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Surfing Off the Big Jetty – By ACE

January 21, 2021 by Source

ACE – or Albert C Elliott – has shared some New Year surfing pics. And here they are – ‘surfing off the big jetty,’ in color and black & white – the days of the storm surf.

The photos were taken Jan. 16-Jan.18, 2021, at Dog Beach.

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Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’

January 21, 2021 by Source

Here is the full text of Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” which she delivered at the Biden-Harris inauguration:

The Hill We Climb

When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.

We braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

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‘Is the Customer Always Right?’

January 21, 2021 by Source

Straight-Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Hi Ed, I co-own a small, boutique clothing store in San Diego. A few days ago, a woman came to the register with a vintage leather aviator jacket. When I went to ring the item up, I noticed that the price on the tag was $29 when it should have been $299.

I apologized and said it was a typo but she demanded I honor the price on the tag. I told her that as a small business owner, I could not afford to let the jacket go that cheaply. She insisted that I was required to honor the price on the label and gave me that old line that, “The customer is always right.” A heated argument followed and I kicked her out of my store. So, what do you think? Was I in the wrong? Is the customer always right? How would you have handled it?

Just an Independent Businesswoman Trying to Get By

Dear Indie Businesswoman,

thanks for the questions. I will answer them in order.

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Run for a Seat on the Ocean Beach Town Council – Candidate Statements Due Monday, Jan.25

January 21, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) Board of Directors is now accepting Candidate Statements for the 2021 board election.

If you would like to take your community involvement to the next level, here’s a great opportunity to do so.

As a volunteer OBTC Director you would help to plan and organize the many local OB events produced by the Town Council. You will also serve as an elected voice communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take appropriate action on community issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of Ocean Beach.

There are 15 seats on the Board of Directors. OBTC members elect Board Members for two-year terms. Half of the Board stands for election every year. This year, eight seats are up for election.

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Liz Cheney May Be the GOP’s Last Gasp for Relevance

January 21, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Helen Keller could have been describing today’s Republican party, when she remarked (over half a century ago); “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”

An apt portrait of today’s GOP that finds itself in disarray, disbelief, and even disgust as a minority party, lacking any vision (except blind loyalty to Trump) while now desperately trying to divorce themselves from his malignant legacy.

The Democrats won the trifecta; White House, the House and Senate.

Nowhere to hide after the Trump-inspired insurrectionist mob stormed the Capital, waving their Trump flags and promising eternal fealty to overthrowing the certified 2020 election results.

Then came the swift move for a second impeachment of the now “most unpopular President in U.S. History). Speaker Pelosi marshaled the House votes and signed the verdict to impeach Trump “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States” –

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Meet California’s New Senator: Alex Padilla

January 19, 2021 by Source

5 Things to Know About Alex Padilla

By Ben Christopher / CalMatters / Updated Jan. 18, 2021

After Joe Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate in August, the parlor game of choice for California’s most politically plugged-in was: Who will Gov. Gavin Newsom pick to fill her vacant Senate seat?

Alex Padilla — California’s secretary of state, a Democrat from Pacoima, loyal Newsom ally and a Latino in a state that has never had a member of that largest ethnic group serve as senator — was a top pick among the predictions of insiders. The governor announced his choice in late December and made the appointment official today.

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Locals – Including NAACP – Oppose Biden’s Pick of Cindy Marten

January 19, 2021 by Staff

Ken Stone over at Times of San Diego published a piece Monday that included critiques and opposition to President-Elect Biden’s choice of San Diego Unified schools chief Cindy Marten for a federal education post. Marten was nominated for a Deputy Secretary of Education post.

Locals who are not happy with Biden’s nomination include the NAACP’s San Diego chapter and community activist Tasha Williamson, the former mayor candidate.

Amidst the wide-spread praise for Marten, Stone writes – and he ticks off praise from everybody from Mayor Gloria to Assemblywoman Weber to former mayor Faulconer – he adds that the NAACP and Williamson oppose her nomination:

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Eugene Robinson: Trump’s Last Day

January 19, 2021 by Source

By Eugene Robinson / Washington Post / Jan. 19, 2021

On Wednesday, the nation will have a president who would never summon thousands of his followers to Washington, whip them into a frenzy with lies and then aim them at the Capitol.

We will have a president who sees the unimaginable and unacceptable national tragedy in every one of the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died from covid-19, rather than lamenting the calamity only as an unfair stain on his precious “brand.”

And we will have a president who, I am confident, won’t seriously inquire about buying Greenland.

The moment Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris are sworn in as president and vice president the world becomes a better and brighter place.

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The Biden Team and Education

January 19, 2021 by Source

Editordude: The following column by Thomas Ultican was written before the announcement that President-Elect Biden had chosen Cindy Marten for his education team.

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Jan. 16, 2021

Joe Biden has garnered wide spread praise for his choice of Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education; maybe too wide. The co-founder of Bellwether Education, Andrew Rotherham says Cardona is “a Goldilocks on charter schools.” However, Goldilocks was a fairy tale and Rotherham is a well known neoliberal who campaigns for “school choice.”

At the Democratic convention in 2008, the largest groups of delegates cheering the loudest for their new standard bearers were teachers.

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