News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July, 2021

by on July 2, 2021 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

No Fireworks Off OB Pier This Year

Unfortunately there will not be fireworks off the Ocean Beach Pier in 2021. The Ocean Beach MainStreet Assocation is disappointed to announce this due the Ocean Beach Pier’s instability. The City of San Diego was unable to issue a permit for the fireworks off the pier because of its condition. Unfortunately there is no other viable option at this time. The OBMA hopes to have the Ocean Beach Fireworks back in 2022. (If the instability of the OB Pier is news to you, please check this out.) Meanwhile, see Mike James’ ideas on an alternative to fireworks.

Mike James: “Back to the Future: A Proposal to Replace the OB Pier Fireworks Festival With A Light and Water Show”

Mike James: In 1980 I was 24 years old and part owner of the James Gang Custom T-Shirts with my brothers Ron, Rich, Greg and Pat. I was also serving my first term as the president of the Ocean Beach Merchants Association (later renamed Mainstreet Association). [For the balance of this post, originally posted June 21, 2019, see here.]

“Morning After” Clean-Up Sponsored by SurfRider

As part of the chapter’s first official beach cleanup since the COVID-19 Pandemic, Surfrider Foundation San Diego is once again hosting its “Morning After” Beach Cleanup Series on Monday, July 5. Thousands of residents and visitors will flock to San Diego’s beaches to celebrate July 4 this Sunday. While the beach is an epic place to celebrate the fourth, The Surfrider Foundation has long referred to July 5 as “the morning after,” when volunteers remove incredible amounts of red and blue single-use plastic cups, food packaging waste, abandoned toys and clothing, fireworks and cigarette butts from beaches nationwide. In other words, July 4 is the dirtiest beach day of the year. The “Morning After” Cleanup Series will be hosted from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Ocean Beach Pier, Ocean Beach Dog Park, Belmont Park at Mission Beach, Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, and the Oceanside Pier.  Surfrider volunteers will host the OB Pier, Crystal Pier, Moonlight Beach, and Oceanside Pier sites.  Partner organizations San Diego River Park Foundation and I Love A Clean San Diego will be hosting OB Dog Beach and Belmont Park cleanups, respectively.

The “morning after” exemplifies the disastrous consequences that our reliance on wasteful, single-use plastic products wreaks upon our coastal environment. Each year, the San Diego County Chapter and partners host the “Morning After” cleanup series to help tackle the mess. The cleanup is open to the public; registration is live at Surfrider San Diego’s website. Bags,  gloves and trash grabbers will be provided while supplies last, but participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable supplies if they have them. “These cleanups raise awareness about how we’re unintentionally trashing the beaches we love,” said Mitch Silverstein, chapter manager for Surfrider Foundation San Diego. “More than anything, we’d love to see beachgoers ditch common single-use plastic picnic items like bottled water, cups, plates, utensils, etc. and replace them with reusable versions, which are much less likely to be left behind as litter.”

OB Town Council Asked to Support Mission Bay Parking Lot for Homeless People Living in Vehicles

Members of the Ocean Beach Town Council were approached seeking their support for a proposal to repurpose a beach parking lot at Mission Bay as a nightly safe parking area for homeless people living out of their vehicles. Regina Sinsky-Crosby, chairwoman of the Pacific Beach Parking District Advisory Board, presented the concept at the Town Council’s June meeting. If the Town Council lends its support, it would join a roster of groups already backing the Mission Bay safe lot concept, among them Shoreline Community Services, Blackbrownpb, Clairemont Coalition on Homelessness and BeautifulPB, of which Sinsky-Crosby is a board member.

Sinsky-Crosby said: “Criminalization doesn’t work. It creates a revolving door that circulates individuals from the street into the criminal justice system and back. A lot of these folks who are criminalized for being unsheltered will later lose housing opportunities because they have a record. They lose employment opportunities, their public benefits are suspended, and without an address it’s almost impossible to navigate the criminal justice system.” At the time the city’s law was approved, Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell, aid, “This law is not Draconian and it’s not made to criminalize.” Currently, San Diego has four safe parking lots across the city, run by Jewish Family Services and Dreams for Change.

The Mission Bay location proposed to be repurposed is the Rose Marie Starns South Shores parking lot, currently used as a boat launch. The lot, where overnight camping is currently prohibited, features a fenced perimeter, trash bins, lighting and washrooms maintained by the city Parks & Recreation Department, making it a desirable spot for people to stay overnight. [The lot is also a former city dumpsite.] Pt Loma-OB Monthly

Population Shifts Could Affect Council Districts

A City staffer and a local planning group chair have been filling community planners in on political redistricting, which will redraw the boundaries of San Diego’s nine council districts. Redistricting is the government-mandated process of redrawing political district lines every 10 years following completion of the U.S Census, which occurred in 2020. The federal government requires that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. Lora Fleming, chief of staff to the City of San Diego Redistricting Commission, along with Fred Kosmo, chair of Peninsula Community Planning Board, one of nine San Diego independent redistricting commissioners, have been giving slideshow presentations discussing the Decennial Census conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. …

“From my perspective as a commissioner and resident, District 2 is too big,” noted Kosmo, who is on the redistricting commission for a second time. “So it’s going to change a little bit. We really need input from the leaders of the different parts of the community. That’s why we’re here. Point Loma, Ocean Beach, and Midway should stay together. The beach communities share a lot of issues in common. But with redistricting there is pressure to move the boundaries of our district, and that could be moving the boundaries toward downtown, or toward Mission Hills or La Jolla.” … The Redistricting Commission website is at How the public can participate in commission virtual hearings and submit their public input is at

Murder Charges Dropped Against OB Man, Manslaughter Added

A murder charge was dismissed June 23 against a 19-year-old Ocean Beach man and he was ordered to stand trial for voluntary manslaughter. Attorney Paul Pfingst argued his client, Thurs Loo John, did not commit a murder when he allegedly shot James Chase, 58, on Sept. 15, 2020 at 1 a.m. on the sand near a lifeguard tower in Ocean Beach. San Diego Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein heard seven witnesses in the preliminary hearing before ruling that John would only stand trial for manslaughter. Three police officers testified. San Diego Community News Group –

“OB Vibe” a Successful Celebration

After more than a year of battling the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, several businesses in Ocean Beach celebrated the start of summer with the return of a traditional fair — albeit with a twist this year. The Ocean Beach MainStreet Association presented “Celebrate the OB Vibe,” a free community event along the waterfront on Abbott Street to support businesses affected by the pandemic. It was akin to the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off but on a smaller scale and set up in parking lots rather than on streets near the beach. Due to the uncertainty of health-related restrictions, the usual event was canceled in 2020 and this year. Pt. Loma-OB Monthly

Petition Against Scooters on Sidewalks

Jonathan Freeman who started Safe Walkways, a nonprofit advocating for the restoration of safety for pedestrians on walkways, has begun a petition drive to bar motorized scooters from walkways. “From its arrival in San Diego in February 2018 the motorized scooter rental industry has created obstacles and hazards for pedestrians as well as liabilities for property owners,” said Freeman. “We’ve had over three years of mayhem and chaos, and the safety of pedestrians being put at risk, with a City that’s doing virtually nothing to alleviate the problem.”

Proposed solutions advocated by Safe Walkways to scooter issues include: requiring that rented motorized scooters only be staged and parked in City-designated corrals and prohibited from parking on sidewalks; limiting the number of companies renting scooters; requiring companies to remove their vehicles from corrals where road sweeping will occur; and creating a fines schedule and enabling traffic officers to give citations to the companies parking their vehicles on sidewalks. The scooter petition is available at

Mayor Gloria Committed to Re-Start Sports Arena Redevelopment Bid Process With Affordable Housing a Priority

Stakeholders and City officials reacted with trepidation to news that the proposed Sports Arena redevelopment is likely in violation of the state’s Surplus Land Act, which could cause a reboot of the visionary project. In response, Mayor Todd Gloria wants to begin a new bid process involving reissuing a request for proposals for the Sports Arena site that prioritizes affordable housing and complies with state law. “I am committed to working quickly to restart this process in compliance with the Surplus Land Act,” said Gloria. “It is critical that we do not squander this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a modern arena through a process that prioritizes the affordable housing our region desperately needs.”

Regarding the Surplus Land Act, Jen Lebron, City director of communications, said: “It is not yet certain that the Sports Arena must go through an RFP process. Rather, it must go through the surplus land process. The first action is to declare the property ‘surplus land’ at the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee next month.” “We will not repeat the mistakes of the past administration,” said Nick Serrano, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff. “We are exploring available options and we will take a thoughtful approach to the development of a competitive process.”

Victims of Fire Ring Attack Called Racist Names During Incident

The victims of the June 15 attack at an Ocean Beach fire ring were called racist names during the incident. Members of the party of college students, Kobe La and Kristina Castillo, spoke to the media about the attack. Kobe La’s jaw was broken. According to NBC7, “One of the students, who caught the tail end of the fight on video, told La that he was hoping to use the footage to identify the accused aggressors. In the video you could hear one woman yell, ‘You yellow.. you yellow [expletive]!’ La told NBC 7 that he didn’t hear the racial slur at first. ‘I think the fact that because we are Asian, smaller, younger, it’s easier to target us,’ said La. ‘I think it gave an extra motivation to pursue us,’ added Castillo.” NBC7. An African-American member of their party was also called the N-term during the incident. There have no arrests as of late – at least nothing public has been announced.  And it is not even clear if the people in the video are suspects, have been contacted or questioned by police.

Kellogg Beach to Be ‘Re-Sanded’

The Port of San Diego will begin replenishing sand at Point Loma’s Kellogg Beach next week in an effort to protect the beach from natural erosion. The work will start on or shortly after Tuesday, July 6, according to a news release. It is expected to be completed in two to three weeks. About 2,200 cubic yards of natural sand will be placed on the beach between Kellogg and McCall streets. The Port of San Diego placed 2,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach in June 2020. Pt Loma-OB Monthly

OB Lego Club Begins at Rec Center

Come join the OB LEGO Club! The Ocean Beach Recreation Center is now offering a LEGO class. We encourage creative thinking and imagination we’ll use our imagination to create a wide variety of fun things (i.e. castles, robots, playgrounds, amusement parks, etc.). Due to COVID everyone will work on their very own project. All Legos will be disinfected after each class and ready to go for the next class. See here for more info.

OB’s “Loaves & Fishes” Receives Certification From UCSD School of Medicine

Ocean Beach Emergency Food, Inc., which has continuously served the community since 1977, has received Gold Certification from the Nutrition Pantry Program at UC San Diego School of Medicine. OBEFI, also known as Ocean Beach Loaves & Fishes, is supported by area churches and community organizations and currently distributes monthly 4,800 pounds of food and hygiene items to 435 individuals, including the elderly, disabled, families and unsheltered. Distributions occur every Monday morning from space generously provided by Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

“We are deeply grateful to receive this meaningful award in recognition of our ongoing mission to feed the hungry in Ocean Beach,” said Father Lawrence Bausch, president of OBEFI’s board. “It is especially meaningful to be recognized at this time as we have seen the need for our services double during the pandemic, as many in our community have struggled to feed their families.” The Nutrition Pantry Program supports food distribution centers across San Diego in implementing practical, client-based strategies aimed at improving health. The program, which was designed by Leah’s Pantry,, is directed by the UC San Diego Center for Community Health, which works to improve health equity in diverse communities.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Webb July 2, 2021 at 12:33 pm

I generally support using parking lots for sheltering homeless in their vehicles, but there are factual errors in the reporting or in the information disseminated by the proponent of the south shores parking lot proposal The site is not fenced, at least not at the time of my last visit a month or two ago. Google street view shows the only fence as being the fence around the SeaWorld parking lot. I believe that a fence and access control would be critical for the safety and security of any users of the lot. I also believe that a fence would be a ruinous addition to this park.

I also note that this proposal has been promoted entirely by residents of PB and Clairemont. It moves them much closer to OB and the Peninsula, which already have a huge homeless problem. It feels like they just want to push it out of their community and into another.

I would love to work with all the beach communities to solve or at least ameliorate the issues posed by the homeless. Merely pushing them out of one community does not help the common good, which should be the goal of all of our communities.


sealintheSelkirks July 3, 2021 at 12:28 am

The Surfrider Morning After clean-up SINCE the Covid pandemic? Excuse me? What planet are they living on because it sure isn’t the planet Earth that is being swept by the 2nd Wave of mutated variant strains…Isn’t anybody paying attention to the rest of the world and what is happening in Missouri at the moment? Delta is here and coming soon (by Fall) to a lot of unvaccinated people near you… DON’T get stupid, folks, there’s already enough of those in this country.



Chris July 5, 2021 at 9:20 am

Morning after clean up can’t be any worse than the three days before. You can be befuddled but it will be to no avail. Even I went sailing with friends yesterday. Time will tell.


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