October 2021

Redistricting San Diego: What Will It All Mean for District 2?

October 29, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Redistricting San Diego is happening – whether we pay attention to it or not. What will it mean for OB or for District 2? Or for other districts? For instance, folks in Clairemont are really pissed off as the redrawing has cut their community into 4 different 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.

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Restaurant Review: Cocina de Barrio in the Midway

October 29, 2021 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Cocina de Barrio
3924 West Point Loma Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110

By Judi Curry

Over a decade ago there were four younger ladies that were members of the Peninsula YMCA. They attended the Water Aerobics classes daily and became friends. However, as time passed, these four ladies went separate ways, and although kept in touch on Face Book, only met together one time in the past 12 years. The ladies left it up to me to decide where to go for lunch, and since Cocina de Barrio was relatively new and none of us had eaten there before it seemed like a good choice – and it was.

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Video: Tracy Van De Walker Fights to Save OB Palms

October 29, 2021 by Staff

Tracy Van De Walker is a resident of Ocean Beach and recent palm tree activist. She became the center of the fight to keep the palm trees on Newport Avenue standing, when she stood in front of the trucks and chainsaws to protect the trees.

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City Council Gives Initial Approval for Permanent Outdoor Dining Spaces

October 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

OB restaurateurs must be happy. On Tuesday, October 26, the San Diego City Council tentatively approved a program that will permanently allow outdoor dining previously envisioned as temporary during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Called “Spaces as Places”, proponents claim it will allow for outdoor areas for dining, walking, biking and other activities, and provides ways for temporary outdoor structures to become permanent installations.

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A Stay of Execution for the Palm Trees

October 28, 2021 by Source

By Geoff Page

It appears that the historic palms on Newport Ave., that the city wants to kill, have received a stay of execution. Local residents banded together and engaged an attorney last weekend. The first thing he did was file a cease and desist order that went to a variety of people, none of whom responded as the press release here in The Rag stated.

The next step was to obtain a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from cutting the trees down. That was apparently signed late last night, it seems the courts are open 24 hours a day for certain things. The next step was to file it with the city clerk and deliver it to the named parties.

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Jane Donley of OB’s DogBeach DogWash Fame Has Passed

October 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

We just heard the sad news that Jane Donley has passed.

Jane and Mindy Pellisier ran the well-known DogBeach Dogwash on Voltaire Street in OB for decades. It was one of the firsts do-it-yourself dog washes in the country. They opened it in February 1993.

The couple also organized weekly clean-ups of Dog Beach – literally for years.

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Point Loma Couple Sue City and Airport for Injunction Against Palm Tree Removals

October 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A Point Loma couple have filed for an injunction against the City and the airport to force them to refrain from “cutting down, mutilating, extracting historic and iconic palm trees that line Newport Avenue, Santa Barbara and Newport Avenue to Venice Street,” as a press release from their attorney stated.

John and Tracy Van De Walker, whose property was targeted for palm tree removal, filed in local Federal Court for injunctive relief and damages by their attorney, Marc Steven Applbaum. Tracy Van De Walker helped lead protests of the palm tree chopping last week. Before the petition was filed, Applbaum had sent a cease and desist letter to San Diego Forester, Brian K. Widener, San Diego Mayor, Todd Gloria, Ralph Redman the Manager of Airport Planning and the FAA,

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Slim Majority of Peninsula Planners Favor Reducing Scott Street From 4 Lanes to 2

October 28, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The regular monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board, Thursday, October 21, did not have any major issues on the agenda, but there were a few items of interest to the community.

Traffic Letter

The one item that got the most airplay was a draft letter the board voted to send the city about reducing Scott Street between Talbot and North Harbor Drive from four lanes to two lanes to accommodate cyclists. Here is the letter:

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New OB Library Expansion Design to Be Presented to Community at Planning Board Meeting – Wed., Nov.3

October 28, 2021 by Staff

At long last, the plans for the expanded OB Library will be presented to the community. The OB Planning Board has agreed to have a live meeting so many OBceans can participate. The meeting will be at 6 pm., Nov. 3, at Water’s Edge Church. That was the only venue the Friends of the OB Library could get within the boundaries of OB – which shows why OB needs a big conference room in the expanded library.

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Thanks for All the Birthday Greetings

October 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Thanks to all those who gave us birthday greetings, either here, on OB Rag facebook or in emails.

It’s been an amazing 14 years (for earlier commentaries on our beginnings, go here.)

The following is from our “About” page:
About the OB Rag

It was early October in the year 2007 – George Bush was still president and the war in Iraq was in its 4th year. I lived in a small cottage on the 4600 block of Long Branch with Patty Jones.

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Today Is the OB Rag’s 14th Birthday – So, We’re Taking the Day Off

October 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

We launched the OB Rag online platform 14 years ago today! Whoo-Hooo!

So, editordude is taking the day off (so I can work on my book).

However, here’s an Open Thread in our comment section, so dear reader you can make comments, observations, notes and post any links.

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Video: Oil Clean-Up Crew at Ocean Beach

October 26, 2021 by Source

If you were on the beach this morning you might have spotted people in yellow vests picking through kelp. It appears the oil spill from LA, originating from Huntington Beach has reached Ocean Beach.

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Report on October Meeting of Midway Planning Board

October 26, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

While the agendas for planning board meetings don’t always look enticing, there are usually a few interesting nuggets here and there, some unexpected, in every meeting. This was the case for the Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting, October 20.

District 2

For example, the government report for Council District 2 – oh, pardon please – for the Council President’s office, was provided by Makana Rowan.

The only item Rowan spoke about was the long-awaited vendor ordinance, which is coming to city council December 14. When asked to see the exact language of the ordinance, Rowan said it was essentially the same as the draft that has been previously published. He said the city attorney is reviewing it and the final version is not ready yet. This item is not as much of a concern for Midway as it is for Ocean Beach and other beach areas.

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Midway Developer Team Member Changes His Tune About Affordable Housing

October 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

In parceling through the different developers’ plans for the Sports Arena redevelopment, a cause for concern is raised when reviewing the writings of one of the developers, a team member of the Midway Village+.

Just a few months ago in the opinion pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Nathan Moeder, a principal of London Moeder Advisors and team member of Midway Villages+, wrote:

“The public is not better served by providing affordable housing at the sports arena site.”

Moeder also said that for the city to focus on affordable housing for the city property at the Arena site “is a fatal flaw and will do more damage than good.”

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Court Sides With Kensington Resident Who Sued City Over Lack of Compliance With ‘Climate Action Plan’

October 26, 2021 by Source

A recent court battle unearthed that the city exempts certain kinds of work from triggering a greenhouse gas emissions analysis under its Climate Action Plan.

By MacKenzie Elmer / Voice of San Diego / October 25, 2021

A recent court battle over burying power lines in San Diego neighborhoods unearthed a potentially large shortcoming in the city’s signature climate policy: The city isn’t tracking, and therefore attempting to reduce, tons of planet-warming gases created by infrastructure projects.

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The San Diego Gulls Are Back

October 26, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

It’s been a long time since I have gone to an ice hockey game.

Years ago, when my husband was alive we would attend the games, but I can honestly say that in the past twelve years I have not attended a game. Until yesterday, when my friend Steve asked me if I wanted to go with him for the season’s opener. Of course I said ‘yes’ since I have always liked sports – used to take ice skating lessons at the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles, with the hope, short lived, of joining the Ice caspades.

When Steve asked me to go to the game, I didn’t realize that he had second row seats behind the goal; that every time a puck would hit the wall or glass in front of us it sounded like a gun being shot off. And it sounded like a zillion of them were going off at one time. It was fun watching the woman in front of me jump and spill her drink almost throughout the entire first quarter when those pucks hit the wall. It is interesting to note that she did not come back after the first period intermission – or if she did she sat somewhere else!

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Reader Rant by Concerned Neighbor: Overnight Closure of Sunset Cliffs Parking Lots Will Push Campers onto Residential Streets

October 25, 2021 by Source

By Nearby Concerned Resident

A community safety issue has been identified by our concerned neighbors’ group. A proposal for Coast and Mission Bay Parking Lot Gate Closures that will affect Sunset Cliffs outlines overnight gate closures and signed overnight parking restrictions to improve public safety and reduce illegal activity.

(See Proposed Parking lot closures)

A number of neighbors on residential streets that these parking lots border are concerned these lot closures and restrictions will push overnight parking onto residential streets and don’t see any provisions in this proposal to address this safety issue.

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A Video Regarding the Direction I’d Like to See the World Go

October 25, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

The other day,
in my backyard
on my patio,
I got to read a poem,
and say a few things
on a video,
regarding the direction
I’d like to see the world go.
Young folks,
my favorite folks,
were in the back of my mind
as I spoke,

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The Wicked Yards of Ocean Beach

October 25, 2021 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

Scary yards are popping up everywhere, and I don’t mean just the ones that stopped watering!

My front yard recently turned to Fall colors. It has no need for props this Halloween. It is plenty scary with its piles of leaf mulch, unwieldy cactus, and prolific Spanish Moss.

My plants love to drink my homemade Witches Brew from compost teas … and I don’t mean the drinking kind! Though teas such as Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Mint, and other herbal teas can actually provide a pleasant scent around the yard. But some types of compost teas will have an unpleasant order for a short time.

Some compost teas sprayed on plants attract good bugs, while others make an excellent concoction that can repel bugs.

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City Council to Finally Consider a Hillcrest Historic District

October 25, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

This Wednesday, 10/27, at 2:00 PM, the San Diego City Council Rules Committee will hold its first ever hearing on implementing the Hillcrest historic district. Should it clear this first hurdle, it could go either to the full council for a vote or be on the ballot in the June 7, 2022 election.

The implementation of a historic district for Hillcrest is important for all San Diegans.

Although originally proposed in 1981 and recommended in the 1988 Uptown Plan, a Hillcrest historic district has never been docketed by the council for consideration.

Flash forward to June 2015, and the draft Uptown update of the 1988 Plan clearly defined

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Surfrider: Report Tarballs on San Diego Beaches – Now Found in Ocean Beach

October 22, 2021 by Source

From Surfrider:


We are getting reports of tarballs washing up across San Diego County. To record those sightings and ensure clean up, Surfrider has created a simple oil/tarball mapping tool that uses your phone to photograph and map your findings in realtime.

We believe this will ultimately be a great tool to record and report oil that seems to be showing up everywhere and could help with clean up and understanding the full impact.

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Media Reports on Point Loma Palm Tree Removal Controversy

October 22, 2021 by Source

Here are other media reports on the Palm Tree controversy raging in Point Loma this week.

The first is from ABC 10News:

Some Ocean Beach residents gathered to protest the removal of palm trees in their neighborhood Thursday morning. The City of San Diego and Federal Aviation Administration have cited a row of palm trees as a potential threat to airplanes traveling to and from San Diego International Airport.

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San Diego Has a New Boss. Uh Oh…Looks Just Like the Old One

October 22, 2021 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / Oct. 21, 2021

Part I: The endless summer is fading fast

Breeze through this nostalgic snapshot of the place we call home, seen through the lens of the New York Times travel page:

Like its urban rival Los Angeles, San Diego is not so much a city as a loose collection of overlapping (and sometimes colliding) communities bound by arterial, life-giving freeways: it’s a military town in Coronado; a surf town in funky, eclectic Ocean Beach; and a border town in the historic Mexican-American neighborhood of Barrio Logan.

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Video: Ernie McCray on Looking Forward

October 22, 2021 by Ernie McCray

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Point Loma Residents Show Up and Force City to Postpone Palm Tree Chopping for Today – No Promises Made for Tomorrow

October 21, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The actions of a collection of community residents early Thursday morning resulted in a temporary stay of execution for the historic palm trees on upper Newport Ave. The city had told a resident on Wednesday they would be back this morning at 7:30 a.m. to cut down the trees and they would be bringing the police. So, the locals rallied and showed up to voice very vocal opposition to the city steamrolling the community.

They did indeed bring the police.

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Don’t Let Your Friends Decide Who Your Friends Are

October 21, 2021 by Source

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed,

One of my acquaintances is a devoted Trump supporter. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that but some of my other friends are appalled by our relationship. They say that my friendship with him is a problem for them and that I should terminate if I want to continue being friends with them. I honestly don’t want to do that, but I am much closer to them and I frankly value their friendship more. Any suggestions?


Sashona of Point Loma

Dear Sashona, when I was in 9th grade I befriended a kid who I will call Georgy Von Doofydork,

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A Perfectly Legal Free-For-All at the Foot of Newport in OB

October 21, 2021 by Source

By John Williams

In 2018’s Senate Bill 946 the state of California eliminated penalties for unlicensed street vendors offering products to the public while on public property.

It’s nice, I guess, if you’ve got responsibilities and this is how you earn.

OB has for many years been known for its Wednesday Farmers Market which started as something much closer to a market with fruits and vegetables, coffee, honey, etc., than the repetitive hand-crafted variety of jewelry and other sideways stuff available now.

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The Widder Curry: More Water Cut-Backs Will Kill My Fruit Trees While New Housing Developments Are Allowed to Grow

October 21, 2021 by Judi Curry

California’s Drought Emergency Extended to San Diego County

By Judi Curry

Here we go again. Another drought. Another curtailment of the use of water. The Governor is asking people to cutback on water usage 15% over last year.

My question is what about those of us that cut back 15% last year and are still cutting back? How much are we supposed to cut back

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Point Loma Residents to Protest City Cutting Down Palm Trees – Thursday, Oct.21, 7:30am

October 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

For the last two mornings, city crews have been out in the Point Loma neighborhood attempting to remove Palm Trees that have been determined to “obstruct” aircraft flight paths and airspace.

No permits have been made, no traffic or parking control signs have been put up, no planning boards or neighborhoods informed. All in the name of “emergency” and public safety.

Rag writer Geoff Page reported on what has been going on:

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Debate On Whether ‘Progress’ Has Been Made Over Jet Noise in OB, Point Loma and La Jolla

October 20, 2021 by Source

There’s currently a debate going on in the “pages” of the La Jolla Light over whether “progress” has been made regarding commercial jet noise, particularly over Point Loma and OB.

Anthony Stiegler, the co-founder and secretary of Quiet Skies La Jolla, wrote a piece on September 7 about the progress that has been made with the noise from aircraft.

Stiegler reported on the progress his group has made with the FAA and the County Airport Authority:

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