News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-May 2021

by on May 17, 2021 · 11 comments

in Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach, May 15, 2021 by Albert C Elliott

Next Meeting of OBPB Project Review Committee – May 19

The next meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board Project Review Committee is on Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30 PM. (Note the later than normal start time due to a schedule conflict.) Agenda : Item 1 documents. 4741-4743 Niagara Ave; Item 2 documents.  Inn at Sunset Cliffs; Item 3 documents. 4636 Del Monte Ave. This meeting will be held electronically via Webex.
Join by computer or smart phone:  . Join by phone: (408) 418-9388, Enter access code: 182 289 0224   You may also submit public comment in advance to:   ; Agenda item times are approximate and subject to change.

The Future of Beach Bonfires

Beach bonfires flared forth this Saturday as the sun fell behind a distant marine layer and San Diego’s desert chill struck the bones of all witnesses along Pacific Beach.
Suddenly, some of the fires within eyesight disappeared. The distant buzz of a patrol ATV sealed our own fire’s fate as a mustachioed and apologetic lifeguard handed our group a bucket to douse the flames. He informed us that fires like ours were no longer permitted on city of San Diego beaches. During the pandemic, law enforcement had turned a blind eye to the beloved practice, he said, but now that the world is reopening there are far too many people leaving hot sand and ashes behind. Voice of SD

Celebrate the OB Vibe – Virtual 5K

Join the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association in Celebrating the OB Vibe with an OB 5K Virtual Race. Join the OB Team for just $40 and run or walk at your own pace the weekend of June 26th & June 27th, 2021. All participants receive a commemorative 2021 Celebrate the OB Vibe official t-shirt, finishers medal and race bib. The OB 5K is a 3.1-mile virtual race in which participants have the option to run or walk the five-kilometer distance on the treadmill, sidewalk, trail, beach or anywhere you like. You can upload photos from before, during, or after your virtual run or walk by using the #obvibe. Funds raised through the 5K will benefit the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association’s Friends of OB program. Be a part of the change you want to see in OB and support our mission and programs while enjoying our beautiful community through a 5K run or walk.

Festa to Be Celebrated in Point Loma

In Point Loma, the Portuguese community has been celebrating Festa on Pentecost, the movable feast on the seventh Sunday after Easter, “only” since 1910. Of course, that is plenty long enough to make Festa the oldest cultural and religious celebration in San Diego — a three-day weekend celebration at that. This year it’s May 21-23. Festa mixes the religious observance with food, fun, pageantry, music, service to the less fortunate, the infirm and the elderly, family, community, more food and maybe a little wine. Monthly

Panga Boat Stuck In Point Loma Surfline – 23 Rescued Monday, May 17

The U.S. Coast Guard pulled 23 people from a panga early Monday, May 17, off the coast of Point Loma in San Diego after the boat got itself stuck in the surf line. The people onboard were all in the U.S. illegally, officials confirmed. The panga was spotted just before 2:50 a.m. by a U.S. Border Patrol agent using a vehicle-based video surveillance system, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. The agent could see there were multiple people on board as the panga made its way across the water west of Point Loma. The USCG sent a small boat out to the area that was able to contact the panga west of Sunset Cliffs. The Coast Guard told the captain of the panga to stop. 7SanDiego

15 Rock Church Employees Test Positive for COVID

Fifteen employees at the Rock Church have tested positive for COVID-19. The cases have been reported across all five physical church locations, the rock said Sunday. “We have recently learned that some of our Rock Church employees have tested positive for COVID-19. We are working with and helping these members of our Rock staff get the care and help they need,” the rock said in a statement. The church said some of their locations and teams are directly affected and are in self-quarantine. In-person Sunday services will be limited to the Point Loma and microsite locations on May 16 and May 23. 7SanDiego

Pedestrians Not Faring Well in Point Loma: 1 Killed, 1 Injured

A 75-year-old woman was struck by a Tesla while crossing a street in the Roseville-Fleetridge neighborhood of Point Loma, police said. The crash occurred at about 6:30 p.m. May 13 in the 1400 block of Rosecrans Street, according to San Diego Police Department Officer Robert Heims. Heims said a 75-year-old man was driving the car and had turned left onto Rosecrans from Harbor Drive when he struck the woman. She suffered head injuries and a broken leg and was taken to a hospital for treatment. The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

The incident happened just two days after another pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing in the 1400 block of Rosecrans at about 8:45 p.m. May 11, authorities said. A pedestrian crossing a street in a crosswalk in the Roseville/ Fleetridge neighborhood was struck by a vehicle and killed, authorities said Wednesday morning, May 12. The victim was crossing westbound from the east side of the 1400 block of Rosecrans Street about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday when he was hit by a vehicle on the south edge of the crosswalk, according to Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department. The pedestrian, who was not identified by police, died at the scene. The 21-year-old driver of the vehicle involved was not hurt, Heims said.

E-Bikes Vs. Bicycling Advocates

I was chugging up Mission City Parkway, crossing Interstate 8 on my 30-pound street bike, when another cyclist breezed by me. She was pedaling comfortably, but was moving effortlessly up the incline, at maybe twice my speed. How’s she doing that, I wondered, as I sweated my way to the crest of the short street. Then I spotted the rectangular black box on her bike frame. Hah, no wonder she’s not panting like me! It’s an e-bike. Right there and then, I realized that e-bikes can be an absolute game-changer in our effort to get commuters out of their cars and on to their bikes. That’s because e-power makes even long, hilly rides to and from their workplace reasonable.  Voice of San Diego

Point Loma Girls Among First to Achieve Eagle Scout

The first female class of Eagle Scouts has been granted the honor, including three young women from Point Loma’s Troop 555. Kaya Hoffman, Eden Tillotson and Alienor Alexander are friends who are active in Scouts BSA, among other Scouting organizations. After the decision to allow females, the three jumped at the chance to join. They had grown up with male relatives and friends in Boy Scouts and were excited to have the opportunity to participate. The trio helped found Troop 555, an all-female Scouts BSA troop. They’ve all held leadership positions in the troop and have helped shape it. And now they have achieved Eagle Scout rank. Ken Stipanov, committee chairman for Troop 555, said that at the time of the troop’s formation on Feb. 1, 2019, it had about 15 members. Kaya, Alienor and Eden were among the originals. Because Eagle Scout must be achieved by the time a member is 18, there was no time to waste in getting the three to that rank. Monthly

Point Loma High Commencement at Petco – June 12

Commencement ceremonies for Point Loma High’s Class of 2021 will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 12 at Petco Park, the school announced. Each student will be allowed to bring four guests to the ceremony, the 96th in the school’s long and rich history. Audience members will be able to see the ceremony on the stadium’s massive video screens and those unable to attend will be able to view on a live-cast. Current plans call for the stage to be located directly behind the pitcher’s mound while graduating seniors will be seated in field level seats behind home plate. The school’s stadium will be unavailable due to construction during this time period.

Surfing Brothers Advocate Using Rips

The Willis Bros are advocating City and State Officials nation wide post the words Rips Out, Waves In on signs along with the pictograph formatting. Educating the public is key. “Informing beach goers to avoid rip currents by wading or swimming in front of waves and to escape rip currents by swimming towards the nearest waves will dramatically reduce rescues and save lives.” says Michael Willis. Cision

Blackstone Group Is Buying 5,800 Units in San Diego, Including OB, for $1 Billion Plus

Blackstone Group in partnership with TruAmerica, plans to acquire 66 multifamily communities in San Diego County for more than $1 billion. The sale is one of the largest real estate transactions in county history, according to reports by The San Diego Union-Tribune. The seller is Conrad Prebys Foundation — a philanthropic organization created by local real estate owner Conrad Prebys.  The assets largely feature below-market-rate rents for low-income renters. The report by KPBS lists that the portfolio includes Conrad Villas apartments in Spring Valley, alongside communities located in San Ysidro, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, Lemon Grove, Lakeside, Spring Valley, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, El Cajon, Escondido, Ramona and Santee. The 5,800-unit, market-rate portfolio is set to undergo $100 million in renovations under the new ownership, according to the Union-Tribune.

Blackstone also plans to partner with the nonprofit organization Pacific Housing to provide services for residents, including after-school tutoring, financial literacy classes, and health and wellness initiatives at no cost. The deal will add to Blackstone’s existing portfolio of $4.5 billion worth of assets in San Diego County, including Legoland California and the Hotel del Coronado. The transaction is expected to close within the next few weeks, according to the Union-Tribune.  Rebusiness\

Dog Owners Urged to Act Re: Fiesta Island

Fiesta Island Dog Owners is asking supporters to join them in lobbying the California Coastal Commission to back the City’s plan to preserve Fiesta Island’s off-leash area. That plan, which FIDO has worked for 15 years on, would leave the off-leash area intact with no roads or fences bisecting it. The Fiesta Island issue is expected to be on the Coastal Commission’s June agenda, meaning public comments will open in late May. The public will only have an eight-day window in which to submit comments. FIDO is asking supporters to submit personal stories about why it’s important to keep the off-leash area intact, focusing on the benefits to people and not just dogs. For more information visit,

Jim and Barbara Peugh: Caretakers of Famosa Slough

As volunteers of Friends of Famosa Slough, Jim and Barbara Peugh are caretakers of the 37-acre wetland between Ocean Beach and Midway District. The slough is a transitional zone between saltwater and freshwater, as well as being a prime habitat for numerous plants and animals. It’s also a birder’s paradise. The goals of Friends of Famosa Slough are to help restore the slough and to promote public awareness of the importance of wetlands. Asked if he feels obligated to care for the high-profile salt marsh, Jim Peugh answered, “It’s just what I do.” The Peughs are frequent visitors to the slough (pronounced sloo, according to American Heritage Dictionary). Jim typically carries a bucket to gather ever-present trash, which collects in the slough like stormwater runoff that drains into the marsh endangering its delicately balanced habitat. San Diego Community News Group

Pro-Nature To Go Food at Sunnie’s OB Mexican Cuisine

The growing mountain of take-out waste grew a little less last week as the first San Diego restaurant began implementing “Ocean Friendly To-Go.” Sunnie’s Ocean Beach Mexican Cuisine & Coffee at 4723 Point Loma Ave. is ready for you to place your to-go orders sans the disposable container waste. All you have to say is “Ocean Friendly To-Go” when you place your order and your order will come out on reusable dinnerware. From there, you can pack it up in your own containers at their designated and sanitized “Ocean Friendly To-Go” station and be on your way. Nothing complicated about it. For more information, visit

White Rice Food Stall Coming to Liberty Station

After a pandemic-extended delay, chef Phillip Esteban’s White Rice food stall at Liberty Public Market in Point Loma will open June 12. White Rice will specialize in rice bowls based on the traditional Filipino dishes Esteban grew up on. The business was born last year after the pandemic forced the shutdown of his corporate catering company. In its place, he launched a meal prep and delivery service that specialized in Filipino rice bowls. Business was so good that when an opportunity came up at Liberty Station, he decided to turn his temporary business into a permanent one. SDU-T

Point Loma Cluster’s 9 Schools Up for Full Return in August

San Diego Unified School District, of which the Point Loma Cluster and its nine schools are a part, is planning for a full return to full-day, in-person learning, five days a week, for the 2021-22 school year, beginning August 2021. All of the work SDUSD is doing is in service of welcoming the students back to campus now, in the summer, and in the fall. The district has announced its fall programming will not include a hybrid model for students and district educators will not be required to simultaneously teach both an onsite instructional model and an online instructional model. SDUSD is in the process of developing an online learning program for students who will choose an online instructional model. Therefore, the district will be able to accommodate students and families who choose to remain at home based on health and safety needs, as well as students and families with sensitive medical needs.

Kid Wonder Gym in OB

The story behind San Diego’s first and only Kids Ninja Warrior indoor obstacle course is inspiring for the tenacity of its owners. Armonty and Kim Bryant, a former NFL player, and a collegiate gymnast and athlete, respectively, opened KidWonder – Ninja Warrior, Gymnastics, Camp, and Pre-K Prep, in February 2020. Then COVID struck shutting them down for three months. Armonty had a kidney transplant. Kim is pregnant. “We were scared. We thought it was doomed, it was over,” said Kim of their fledgling enterprise at 4735 Point Loma Ave. in Ocean Beach. “But then we pivoted and did a kinetic learning camp for kids that weren’t in school, helping them out with their digital learning. Kids came down here and Zoomed on computers in the morning, then they had the gym to play in and socialize.” Peninsula Beacon


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks May 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm

On the Covid-sick church group story; is this any surprise to anyone? The insanity of ‘opening back up’ with the new caved-to-the-republicans CDC ‘GUIDELINES(?!) of no masks or physical distancing if you’ve had a freaking shot is..I don’t have a word for what I’m thinking that can be printed here. Anybody pay attention to the fully vaccinated NY Yankee baseball team with 8 sick players two are sick one for the 2nd time, and the other 6 are asymptomatic but all of them are carriers now so they are in quarantine. This is nuts.

Hundreds of Epidemiologists Expected Mask-Wearing in Public for at Least a Year

The C.D.C. said Thursday that vaccinated Americans no longer needed masks in most places. Other disease experts recently had a different message: that masks were necessary in public.

New Study Estimates More Than 900,000 People Have Died Of COVID-19 In U.S.

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study’s authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

And this article explains a LOT of why this is truly an insane behavior on the part of politicians…but perfectly understandable in context:

What’s Up With the Herd?

The problem with the current pandemic is that we don’t know if we’re coming or going. It’s as if we’re swimming far from shore, overwhelmed by one wave after another, and we’re unsure if we’re heading toward land or away from it.

I for one am NOT going to ‘get back to normal’ anytime soon. My house is still off-limits to anyone without a vaccination AND A MASK on, I haven’t played music in a year with other musicians in the bar scene that is now open, and I have recently turned down invitations to come play at a few local gatherings. There are numerous people selling fake ‘vaccination cards’ on eBay!!!

I didn’t snowboard at my hill all this last winter because standing in a lift line with people breathing hard from riding or skiing was crazy much less sitting on a 2-person chair shoulder to shoulder, and the thought of sitting in a restaurant scares the hell out of me because around here you are only required to wear one when you walk IN not while inside, and it’s already hitting the upper 80s and people are turning on air conditioning instead of heat and both are what has been proven to aid the spreading of this damn virus and the mutated more-infectious variants in the buildings. That’s even happening now in New Zealand and their government is thinking about changing the quarantine conditions from hotels to military bases where they can be controlled better. This came from Kevin Hester’s NZ website…fully vaccinated people are going down there.

My Army Sgt. in France grandpa Merle survived the 1918/20 pandemic that lasted three years. I hope to do the same. Check your history, there was the same idiocy going on about mask wearing then as now. Isn’t anybody paying any attention to what is going on in the rest of the world? Do people really think that what happens outside of this country WON’T manage to get in? With jet travel that travels the entire world in one day? REALLY?

We already have cases of the Brazilian variant, the two British ones, and the South African. When the killer India’s highly infectious variant rolls in that is killing 20-30 year olds and burying hospitals in bodies; maybe that’s what it will take to wake up the politicians? Virus’ always find a way and with worldwide jet travel who really thinks it won’t?

Oh wait, it’s all a democrat hoax anyway and will magically disappear sometime soon…how’d that work out Trump sycophants?

Take a deep breath and realize we need to be far more cautious no matter how stir crazy we are getting. Vaccines are NOT 100% effective, and the new mutations are going to make the current round of vaccines useless within a year according to the epidemiologists. Boosters are coming, folks. Remember to never shoot the messenger even when you don’t like what they are saying…



Frank F May 18, 2021 at 8:37 am

Nice rant, but that’s about it.

I’ve watched a parade of MDs and virologists on major news programs this week say that the chance of a vaccinated person shedding viable covid cells is slim to none. “Fully vaccinated” seems to be the key. Look at the numbers, people are lagging at getting fully vaccinated.

Save your rant for the vax hoaxers and those who are too lazy to get their shot(s).

And BTW, when you dive into politics and invoke Orange Man Bad, you lose half of your readers.


Frank Gormlie May 18, 2021 at 9:26 am

Hey Frank F – I really don’t think half of our readers like the Orange Neo-Fascist, and once you dove into politics yourself, you lost at least half of your credibility.


sealintheSelkirks May 18, 2021 at 11:54 am

So Frank F, I’m assuming you didn’t read into any of the article links? No interests in the amazing number of virologists that are heavily against this CDC move? Who pushed that decision, the US Chamber of Commerce?

And obviously you didn’t bother to look up and read anything about the 8 NY Yankee fully inoculated baseball players that all caught it regardless of the shots? Maybe you should search engine for the New Zealand jet sterilizing crew that just went down, all fully inoculated along with the mandatory quarantine hotels’ crews who have also been infecting. Vaccines are no guarantee just a very good precaution as are continuing mask wearing and physical distancing and trying to avoid large crowds indoors. There is no 100% immunity, this isn’t the Salk vaccine or Smallpox virus vaccines. This deadly virus will continue to mutate and spin variants off that are evolving as tougher cousins to the original. Becoming better at replication is what virus’ do and the bigger the population base is, yee-ha! The variants are the 2nd Wave not the ‘surges’ we had of the 1st since last year. Covid is following the three year 1918-1920 pattern quite closely. This is just the start of our second year with it…and look at India…Brazil, Africa…oh my this is not looking good or what?

The vaccines that are out now are expected to be effective for no more than 9 months to a year last I read. Boosters for the mutated variants are already in the works, too,

And I agree with Frank Gormlie, invoking the orange menace and the anti-vax crowd isn’t the point along with my thought that admitting to watching the parade of MDs allowed on neoliberal corporate news-owned television maybe thinking it will impart all the truth and nothing but is rather an underwhelming idea. Go beyond what the corporations want/allow you to hear, delve deeper that the boob tube into the science that is being published but not so much talked about on the MSM.

On a side note, a nurse at the local hospital said last week a covid patient of hers from last year walked in complaining of feeling sick and tested positive again just about a year after her moderate bout with it. Coronavirus’ are well-known for not conferring long-lived immunity. Hence the ‘common cold’ always comes back.



sealintheSelkirks May 18, 2021 at 1:03 pm

Sorry, forgot to paste this link:




Dr. Jack Hammer May 17, 2021 at 3:17 pm

There was also an abandoned panga off Garbage beach on Friday morning. It was discovered around 7 am. There was a helicopter circling above until lifeguards towed it away. Also read that folks are paying $15,000-18,000 for passage by sea.


Frank Gormlie May 18, 2021 at 9:36 am

A man was arrested Monday morning after he struck a law-enforcement vehicle and hitting at least two other cars during a short pursuit in the Point Loma area, police said.


Frank Gormlie May 18, 2021 at 4:03 pm

A man who stabbed a San Diego police dog during an altercation with officers in the Midway District was sentenced on Monday day to one year in custody and two years of felony probation.

Dedrick Daknell Jones, 35, pleaded guilty last month to felony charges of animal cruelty and resisting arrest for stabbing K-9 Titan on Jan. 25 after an hours-long standoff with officers from the San Diego Police Department.

The dog was treated for stab wounds to his side that caused a laceration to his colon in three places, police said. Titan had six to eight inches of his colon surgically removed and received more than 100 stitches.


Frank Gormlie May 19, 2021 at 11:35 am

The OB Rag covered this story back in 2018: A man who shot his 20-year-old girlfriend in the head in the parking lot of a Point Loma strip mall pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder. Joe Bennette Conway, 44, is slated to be sentenced next month to an 18- year-to-life prison term for killing Octavia Williams on Oct. 9, 2018.

Conway and Williams — both Arizona residents — were at the Domino’s Pizza restaurant on Point Loma Boulevard shortly before the shooting.


Douglas Blackwood May 19, 2021 at 7:14 pm

Aloha Frank, I love this May report! Will this be a monthly feature? OB Rag forever! Mahalo.


sealintheSelkirks June 1, 2021 at 9:38 am

More on Covid; I received an email yesterday from a friend up in Bonner’s Ferry whose relative in Loon Lake (7 miles east of me) has come down with Covid AFTER she had gone through the Maderna shot series a couple of months ago. Her kid tested positive at Loon Lake Elementary though her husband hasn’t for some reason.

I don’t know if it’s one of the many variants loose in this country or the original strain, but this is on-going at this school this last month since every week more kids and staff keep testing positive.

Carrie became extremely ill, like Judy Curry did, after contracting it from her husband who brought it back from Montana last Fall and is still experiencing side effect 8 months later…

Singapore has closed back down with TEN different mutated strains found in their population:

The Gilt Comes Off: Singapore Goes Into Lockdown

Japan is freaking out according to my best friend in Hawai’i whose wife is Japanese/Hawai’ian with many relatives in that country, and over 90% of the population of Japan wants the Summer Olympics cancelled but the Olympic Committee is refusing (they can go against the will of the people & the Japanese government due to ‘financial contracts’).

National Nurses United Condemns CDC for Endangering Frontline Workers With Latest Covid-19 Guidance

“Nurses follow the precautionary principle, which means that until we know for sure something is safe, we use the highest level of protections, not the lowest.”

On the first day of June I’m sorry to say this ain’t over folks and I know nobody wants to hear any of this. Too bad that Covid doesn’t care how we feel, eh? Don’t listen to Biden and the CDC who have caved to the ‘business interests’ and Republicans. Vaccines are NOT 100% effective, keep wearing masks & physical distancing, stay away from crowds. The 2nd Wave, just like 1918-1920, is running across the world.

The radical mutated variant ripping through India is in England and it’ll be here soon just like the two British strains that already showed up.

Covid in India and the Indian Variant in the UK



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