March 2021

Lawsuit Alleges Mayor Gloria’s Bid Invite for City’s Utility Franchises Favors SDG&E and Violates City Charter

March 31, 2021 by Staff

A lawsuit filed by a long-time City Heights resident alleges that the recent invitation to bid on San Diego’s utility franchises by Mayor Todd Gloria favors SDG&E and actually violates the city charter.

Resident John Stump, an attorney, has initiated the lawsuit in which it’s alleged that Gloria’s bid process violates Section 103 of the charter, which requires a two-thirds vote of the City Council to approve a franchise agreement. Stump is represented by the prestigious law firm Aguirre & Severson (that’s Mike Aguirre – the former City Attorney for San Diego); the firm’s Maria Severson told the press that the invitation favors SDG&E.

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Assault on American Democracy Continues at State Capitols – 250 Bills Introduced by Republicans in 43 States to Restrict Voting

March 31, 2021 by Source

By Amy Gardner, Kate Rabinowitz and Harry Stevens / Washington Post

The GOP’s national push to enact hundreds of new election restrictions could strain every available method of voting for tens of millions of Americans, potentially amounting to the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction, when Southern states curtailed the voting rights of formerly enslaved Black men, a Washington Post analysis has found.

In 43 states across the country, Republican lawmakers have proposed at least 250 laws

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America’s Founders Believed in Publick Education

March 31, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican

The second and third presidents of the United States advocated powerfully for public education. Thomas Jefferson saw education as the cause for developing out of common farmers the enlightened citizenry who would take the rational action a successful republican democracy requires. Jefferson contended,

“The qualifications for self government are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training.”

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‘Why I Support Public Education’

March 31, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / March 29, 2021

The original cause for my supporting public education was that my rancher father married a school teacher. Growing up in southern Idaho, I learned many philosophical and theoretical reasons for supporting the establishment and maintenance of public schools from my mother. However, it was from watching mom and her dedicated colleagues in action that I learned to truly respect and appreciate public school.

I remember stories of my father being warned that he better not treat that woman wrong. For several years in a row she won the Elmore County sharp shooting contest. She didn’t like to chop a chicken’s head off so she would pull out her rifle and shoot it off.

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Are We About to Have a Fourth COVID Surge as Some States and European Countries Have Spikes?

March 30, 2021 by Staff

Yesterday, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pleaded with Americans to not give up on using the measures we’re employed this last year to staunch the spread of COVID-19, and warned of a the possible coming of a Fourth Surge.

In an emotional address to the country, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, issued a dire warning of a sense of “impending doom” as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations tick up. Walensky said there are “continuing concerning trends” in the nation’s response to the pandemic, as the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising.

The trajectory of the pandemic in the United States, she said, is following European countries like Germany, Italy and France, which have experienced a “consistent and worrying spike in cases.”

In her televised address, Walensky became emotional, and said:

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Don’t Bee Worried, They’re Not Swarming at the Ocean Beach Post Office

March 30, 2021 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Late last week the OB RAG received an email from a concerned reader who suggested a topic for a new article. “Hey, not sure if you guys are interested but there’s a swarm of bees at the USPS building on Cable St. Might be a cool story about how the city handles it,” the email stated.

This was not the first report of a bee situation in the Ocean Beach/ Point Loma area. Last year there was an infestation of aggressive bees on the Bayside Trail at Cabrillo National Monument that closed down the trail for months as the Park Service struggled to find a solution that didn’t involve a call to Terminex. Ultimately they sealed the “bee cave” that was the little critters’ home with expanding foam caulk and eventually it was bricked over, eliminating (at least for now) the problem.

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When Landlords Didn’t Take COVID Aid Money, Tenants Missed Out on Rent Relief

March 30, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

by Cody Dulaney / inewsource / March 30, 2021

The city and county of San Diego set aside more than $47 million in federal coronavirus aid last fall to pay landlords whose low-income tenants were behind on rent. But some eligible renters didn’t get any help because their landlords didn’t take the money and they weren’t required to explain why.

Public records obtained by inewsource show 1,268 eligible households were denied assistance from the county’s rent relief program because their landlords either refused to participate or missed deadlines. The city’s program, overseen by the San Diego Housing Commission, had 19 households with landlords who wouldn’t accept payments, an agency spokesperson said.

Now, more than $211 million in state and federal funds have poured into the region to help low-income renters. And under a new state law, this time the programs come with built-in incentives designed to persuade landlords to take the money.

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The Color of Authority: San Diego Police and Sheriff’s Disproportionately Target Minorities

March 29, 2021 by Source

Data Shows Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans Bear Brunt of Racial Biases in Local Policing

Long before protests erupted across San Diego County over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died last May after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, community leaders have called on local law enforcement officials to address persistent racial disparities in policing.

For years, study after study has shown that people of color — especially Blacks — are stopped, searched and arrested at higher rates than their White counterparts.

A new analysis by The San Diego Union-Tribune of nearly 500,000 stops of drivers and pedestrians made by San Diego police and sheriff’s deputies

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The Campaign for Collier Park, the Riot and the Aftermath

March 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Today, March 28, is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot – and the OB Rag continues our celebration and commemoration of the event. (On Friday, we covered the basics, and on Saturday we recounted how DC Collier’s landgrant gift to “the children” of the peninsula became “the incredible shrinking park” and how Collier is considered the “true founder” of Ocean Beach.)

Today, we discuss the actual day itself, half a century ago, the campaign and build-up to the day, its aftermath and significance for Ocean Beach in 2021.

And this is part of our continuing efforts to ensure that the Ocean Beach of the 21st century has not forsaken its very own history that helped to make the village what it is today. It’s definitely part of the story of our celebrated iconoclastic corner of the hippie counter- culture, a seaside town that has consciously and consistently set itself apart from mainstream San Diego.

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Charles Collier : the True Founder of Ocean Beach

March 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There’s an historical character who walked across Ocean Beach’s stage over a hundred years ago, who had such an effect on the development of the community that he’s considered by many to be the “true founder” of Ocean Beach. And that is Col. David Charles Collier – who Collier Park up in northeast OB is named after.

Although Collier came later than other contenders for the title, he had as much to do with what turned into our little village by the sea as anyone else. And more so.

“Charlie” Collier’s Story

Ocean Beach and Col DC Collier first intersected in 1887, when young “Charlie” – then only 16 – bought one of Billy Carlson’s lots in Ocean Beach. The lot was close to the cliffs, over on Pacific Avenue – now Coronado Avenue – and Bacon Street. Of course, as a youth – in all probability – he was backed by his father, DC Collier, Senior – a lawyer and former judge from Colorado.

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How DC Collier’s Land Grant for Ocean Beach and Point Loma Became the ‘Incredible Shrinking Park’

March 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

This weekend, the OB Rag is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot, which occurred on March 28, 1971. Our post for the occasion yesterday was just to cover the basics. Today, we use the historical event to delve more into the history of Collier Park itself and of DC Collier, who donated the land it sits on to the City.

The History of the DC Collier’s Park Landgrant of 1909

In 1909, David Charles “Colonel” Collier, a real estate developer who lived in Ocean Beach, gave a 60-acre parcel of land to the city as parkland “for the children” of the Point Loma peninsula.

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Point Loma & OB Democrats Host Panel on Short Term Rentals and Quality of Life – Sunday, March28

March 27, 2021 by Source

For Zoom Registration link, see end of article.

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Sunday, March 28 Is the 50th Anniversary of the ‘Infamous’ Collier Park Riot

March 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Sunday, March 28 will be the 50th anniversary of the Collier Park Riot. And the OB Rag remembers that moment each year at this time.

But whoa! Riot? What riot? Where is Collier Park and who is Collier? And why should we care? 50 years is a long time, dude.

What Was the Collier Park Riot?

The riot was a violent clash between young people in Ocean Beach protesting the Vietnam war and the sale of land meant for a park with San Diego police officers. During the afternoon of March 28, 1971, a peaceful crowd of hundreds of young OBceans and college students had gathered on a vacant hill site in northeast OB along Greene Street – on what was to become Collier Park – as part of an anti-Vietnam war protest and a ‘clean-up the park’ project.

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Overlooked State Law Could Delay or Block Midway Redevelopment Unless Affordable Housing Is Included

March 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Andrew Keatts over at Voice of San Diego bylined an explosive article yesterday that charged an overlooked change to state law could delay or even block the City’s efforts to “redevelop the area around the Sports Arena into an urban entertainment district.”

And Keatts also found out that “City officials have paused negotiations” with Brookfield Properties – the developer who was chosen by former Mayor Faulconer to redevelop the nearly 50-acre area.

It turns out that while Mayor Todd Gloria was in the State Assembly, the California legislature in 2019 passed AB 1486 which strengthened the Surplus Lands Act. The Surplus Lands Act has a requirement that before any state public agency sells land it doesn’t want, it first must offer it to other state and public agencies OR affordable housing developers. If none of these want the land, then the public agency can move forward with the sale to private parties.

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Public Comments on ‘Central Mobility Hub’ of San Diego Airport Due Friday, March 26

March 26, 2021 by Staff

Comments on the Central Mobility Hub concepts for the San Diego International Airport are due today, Friday, March 26!

The public’s input is essential – especially from residents who live near the San Diego airport and plan on using transit – as SANDAG and CalTrans consider potential locations, services, and features for the Central Mobility Hub.

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The Beloved Wisteria Garden of Ocean Beach

March 26, 2021 by Source

Wisteria Garden Goes Online!

By Kathy Blavatt

One of the best things about living in Southern California is that you can have a usable yard. Many locals in Ocean Beach and Point Loma are very proud of their yards. They use it as outdoor living space, edible gardens, socializing, working-out, sunbathing or relaxing in the shade, planting, playing with pets, and hundreds of other uses.

In addition, as COVID has proven, a garden can improve your health and mental state. Many gardeners these days are looking to personalize their gardens to their specific needs and wants.

Ocean Beach’s best-know garden is the historic Wisteria Garden on Niagara Avenue just up the block from Sunset Cliffs Blvd. on the southside.

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The Saga of the Million Dollar Ocean Beach ‘Walkway to Nowhere’

March 25, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The project is underway to rebuild what used to be referred to as the handicap ramp at Dog Beach. This is the wide zigzag concrete walkway from the parking lot up to the bike path and down to the sand on the Dog Beach side. The actual work of building the new walkway has been a bumbling continuation of a bad idea.

This is the story of poor design executed poorly. It is about the city of San Diego, not the contractor.

The Project

The new walkway is being placed in the same location as the old one. This design was seen by everyone but the city of San Diego as ridiculously expensive and a wasted opportunity to really improve beach access for the disabled.

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OB Walkabout: The Plague Year – One Year Ago

March 25, 2021 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

In years past, the OB Rag‘s Walkabout series has tried to provide humorous and enlightening photo essays that capture the beauty and weirdness of Ocean Beach. On occasion it’s even been successful.

During the past week this reporter has walked the mean streets of Ocean Beach in search of elusive necessities such as hand sanitizer, rice, and prescription meds. In the process, a few photos have been taken that show some of our town’s varied responses to this horrible situation that has impacted every aspect of life in our community.

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When I See Stacey

March 25, 2021 by Ernie McCray

When I See Stacey

by Ernie McCray

When I see Stacey
I feel pride
for my people’s history,
for how we
journeyed across the sea,
packed like spoons,
between the holds
and decks of slave ships,
in our very misery,
snatched from Mother Africa,
our homeland,
like the cotton
we would pick
in the Americas,
on the first leg
of a rocky path
to an as yet still undisclosed

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Latest San Diego Airport Noise Study Has a ‘Hole’ in It

March 24, 2021 by Source

Our friends at the Point Loma Association have discovered something fishy in the latest noise study by the San Diego Airport. They found a “hole” in it, as in Jackson Hole. And our friends at PLA who publish their email newsletter were pretty disgusted with it all.

Let them explain.

From Point Loma Association:

The San Diego International Airport Draft Part 150 Report.

It is now available for review.

For people following the future of our airport, it’s a big deal. Part 150 is a noise study. (Yes. Yet another.) It’s been in the works for about three years.

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OB Town Council Facebook Live Video Meeting – Wed., March 24

March 24, 2021 by Staff

Join the the Ocean Beach Town Council at 7 pm tonight, Wednesday, March 24 for a facebook live video public meeting. They will have a presentation from PATH , an organization that has new homelessness outreach services in Ocean Beach starting up with new funding from the city.

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Bravo Biden! Move Fast and Fix Things

March 24, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

How can anyone justify needing an assault rifle for personal use?

How can anyone justify the horrific killings of people just shopping, going about their business, about their day, about their job in Colorado or any place else?

How can anyone justify cowardly silence and inaction in a moment of another mass killing?

No one can or should ever even try.

And no one can possibly find the words, the emotions, even the thoughts to describe what happened in Boulder, Colorado yesterday; or any of the other multiple mass murders of innocents. We, as a nation, have almost become numb.

So, I stand up and applaud the President of the United States, Joe Biden who has shown no hesitancy, whatsoever, on doing the right thing.

And I quote him:

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Low-Income San Diegans Encouraged to Apply for Rental Relief

March 23, 2021 by Source

San Diego officials – including Mayor Todd Gloria – are encouraging city residents to apply for an $83 million rental relief program that launched last week.

The City of San Diego COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program can pay up to 80 percent of past-due rent and utility bills for families with household incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income — which is about $92,400 a year for a family of four or $64,700 for an individual.

To qualify, renters must show that at least one member of the household lost wages due to COVID-19. The program will pay 80 percent of unpaid rent from April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021 — if the landlord agrees to waive the remaining 20 percent.

If the landlord declines, the program pays 25 percent of the past-due rent.

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Mayor Gloria Opens Up Bidding for San Diego’s Utility Franchise Agreements

March 23, 2021 by Staff

Last Friday, March 19, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria opened up the bidding process for the city’s utility franchise agreements- the exclusive right to provide gas and electricity services to city residents and businesses.

Included among the terms for the invitations to bid is a 10-year period, plus an additional 10 years if the franchisee has been a good partner. Any new agreement would allow the franchisee to use the public right-of-way to install and maintain utility infrastructure, such as pipes, poles and wires.

Bids will be opened on April 16, after which the city may initiate negotiations with the responsive bidders, and tentatively, the franchises will be awarded in May.

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Restaurant Review: StarFish Filipino Eatery in Ocean Beach

March 22, 2021 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

StarFish Filipino Eatery
1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., Suite E
San Diego, CA 92107

By Judi Curry

I am always intrigued when a new ethnic restaurant opens nearby. I have long felt that Ocean Beach has enough Mexican, Pizza and Asian – read Japanese – restaurants and not enough “other” kinds. I was thrilled to hear that a Filipino restaurant has now opened right on Sunset Cliffs.

When I was working at Job Corps in Imperial Beach, I had several instructors and secretaries that were Filipino. When they brought in food for different occasions it was usually the first to go. They could never make enough Lumpia to satisfy the staff – you have to know that I had over 130 staff members! – and the Pancit was the best I had ever tasted. I “borrowed” Alicia’s recipe for Lumpia, and would spend hours cutting up the vegetables the way she taught me to but it never tasted as good as hers.

The pancit was interesting, because Alicia would put a layer of raw oysters on the top, and that stopped many of the staff from devouring the tasty dish. Other staff members did not put any topping on theirs at all and they were the first to be finished!

Now we have a Filipino restaurant in Ocean Beach. They have very limited hours – close their doors by 6:00 – which I am hoping will change as the pandemic decreases.

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Did Peninsula Planning Board Voting System Cause a Flawed Election?

March 22, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board held its first election in two years Thursday, March 18. Last year’s election was cancelled due to COVID. This election was also clearly affected by COVID and not in a good way.

Every year, five of the 15 seats on the PCPB are up for election. Because there was no election last year, 10 seats were up for election. Because a board member resigned last year without completing the term, there were 11 open seats. This was a large number of seats to fill but the election attracted 16 candidates.

There were 644 total ballots, which surprised the Board. In fact, that was the largest election turn out in many years. Is it possible that the complete relaxation of all voting rules was the reason?

A Comparison of How Local Planning Boards Handled Their 2021 Elections

The pandemic threw planning board operations and elections into a turmoil.

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Looking Back at the Year With a Smile

March 22, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Someone, unknown, once wrote “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.“

I can’t help but say amen to that just from having, the other day, read my journal about the past year and noticing how in between my comments about the enormous loss of human lives and a dangerous looney-ass president’.’ string of improvised lies, and wide political divides, and the like, there were so many entries that literally made me smile.

Especially one about me swatting a pesky fly just to see him die, borrowing from a Johnny Cash line.

And I sure smiled a lot at what I wrote about visiting Maria’s family and friends in San Antonio, home of the Alamo, and in Jalapa, Cuernavaca, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo in the beautiful country of Mexico.

I couldn’t help but smile as my words made me recall how I, after being such a recluse, finally dared to go out during the pandemic and wined and dined and laughed outdoors with dear friends, wearing masks and keeping a distance.

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Jen Campbell Recall Petitioning in Point Loma – Saturday, March 20

March 19, 2021 by Staff

Here are two events Saturday in Point Loma for the Campbell Recall campaign.

Saturday: Petition Drive at Famosa Canyon

Saturday, March 20th from 10 am – 1 pm

Famosa Canyon – 2320 Famosa Blvd. Across the street from Bill Cleator Park. Neighboring Sea Colony and Park Point Loma. We need lots of community support and positive energy! Time to Stand Up and Speak Out! This is our community!

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Are Ocean Beach Restaurants Ready to Give Back Our Public Spaces?

March 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

With restaurants able to have 25% capacity now that San Diego County is in the Red Tier, we’re wondering whether OB eateries are ready to give back all that public space they grabbed during the pandemic in order to keep their doors open.

Anyone who has been on Newport Avenue or Voltaire Street knows what we’re talking about. Local restaurants commandeered parts of sidewalks and parking spaces to be able to offer outdoor dining, and those bars who were able to arrange food service are also in that same boat.

And many in the community have been sympathetic to their plight and understanding

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New Ocean Beach Businesses Ready for the ‘Grand Re-Opening’

March 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Cruising down Newport Ave, it’s clear that a number of new Ocean Beach businesses are ready for the Grand Reopening – the county’s entry into the red tier allowing many businesses to reopen. Other newbies on Abbott and Sunset Cliffs will be joining them.

Here then, is a casual pictorial of many of these upstarts, ready to take on the world from their OB sites.

Teitan Tattoo

This new tat parlor offers “Neotradtional” skin engravings. The Las Vegas-transplant tattoo shop artists are also trained in customer service to provide a world-class experience for clients. Patrick DeMarco, founder, and chief artist at Teitan Tattoo, saw his new shop as the best logical step in their expansion, following their widely successful flagship shop in Las Vegas.


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