Driving into the parking lot at the OB Masonic Center right off Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, I knew there was going to be a large crowd at the town hall meeting called by a variety of Ocean Beach groups to talk about all the arson and vandalism that’s been going on. I also realized there was no more parking due to all the police and private security patrol cars and television vans taking up any extra spaces. I was 5 minutes late already.

Finding a spot on Santa Cruz, I took one last gulp of my coffee and walked quickly into the large meeting room. After a few brief hellos to some of those standing at the back of the room, like Jon Carr, Dave Martin, Jim Musgrove, I grabbed a metal chair in one of the last rows.

Having missed the very beginning of the meeting, I could hear Community Relations officer Dave Surwilo speaking about police call times.

The place was packed. Just about every chair was taken and there was a dozen locals standing in the back.

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San Diego Police say they know who murdered “Ras” Riley on an Ocean Beach street last June.

The African-American homeless man was stabbed to death on Bacon Street without provocation on June 22, 2017. Video cameras caught an image of a man in the vicinity.

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From Website:

On January 20th we will march again, this time for our voices and votes to be heard! This peaceful demonstration will bring attention to the 2018 elections, magnifying the work being done by community organizations to turn out the vote!

First we MARCH, then we VOTE!

For their support, we thank the Kumeyaay people on whose land we march.

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Beach residents and San Diego lovers of Bahia Point in Mission Bay are mobilizing to stop Bill Evans – the owner of the Bahia Resort Hotel – and his land grab of the public park at Bahia Point.

On January 2nd, the Mission Bay Park Committee voted to agree that Evans’ baby, the Bahia Development Plan, is consistent with the Mission Bay Master Plan. This vote so angered a room full of frustrated neighbors that they formed a group to oppose the plans. They passionately believe the Bahia Point access should be kept open for the general public.

So, a group called the Citizens and Paddlers against the Bahia Hotel land grab on Bahia Point was organized – and established a facebook page. Now, the group is organizing a presence at the San Diego Parks and Rec Board meeting coming up on Thursday, January 18th,

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Join the Ocean Beach Historical Society for their monthly presentation this Thursday, January 18th. This month’s presentation is titled, “San Diego’s Naval Disaster and the Zeal for Conviction” and will be presented by Karen Scanlon.

It was business as usual along San Diego’s waterfront in the early morning of July 21, 1905. But a boiler explosion aboard the patrol gunboat USS Bennington, at anchor in the stream of the bay, plundered the ordinary and remains one of the deadliest peacetime disasters in the history of the United States Navy.

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Advocates Arrested for Feeding Homeless in El Cajon Vow to Contest Legality of Ordinance

January 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Advocates Have Also Been Threatened with Arrest Over the Years

On Sunday, January 14th, about a dozen people were arrested for feeding homeless people at a park in El Cajon. Police cited them and did not actually cuff or take the arrested in but released them.

The very next day, Monday the 15th, the homeless advocates – part of a group called Break the Ban – held a news conference in Balboa Park to announce they will be filing a lawsuit against El Cajon that will claim the city ordinance banning food sharing in public spaces is unconstitutional.

It was in October when El Cajon City Council members passed the ban in an unanimously vote, claiming the ordinance would help protect the public from hepatitis A.

But one of the attorneys representing Break the Ban and one of the people arrested, Scott Dreher, disputed the claim by El Cajon officials and stated the city was using the hepatitis A outbreak as a cover that punitively dehumanized and criminalized the homeless.

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Donald Trump Is a Lying, Traitorous, Racist Shithole of a Person

January 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

We have to tell it like it is: the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is a lying, traitorous, racist shithole of a person.

Donald Trump is a liar and lies all the time. The fact checkers at the Washington Post report:

Trump has made 2,001 false or misleading claims in 355 days, according to our database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of more than 5.6 claims a day.

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High Surf Closes Ocean Beach Pier

January 16, 2018 by Staff

Lifeguards closed the Ocean Beach Pier on Tuesday morning due to high surf.

As a major winter swell pounded the San Diego County coastline, the National Weather Service reported waves could reach 15’ at select west-facing beaches, with the largest in South County, where forecasters say the surf is in the 5’ to 8’ range, with sets to 10’ to 12’.

The swell will reach its peak today, then start to fade on Wednesday. However, ways will still be large, and the rip currents will last into Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory that will be in effect for San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties through 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 18th.

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Trump Apologists Are Gunning for Mueller

January 16, 2018 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Blog / Dec. 21, 2017

As special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moves closer to Donald Trump, there is a concerted effort by the president’s apologists to shut it down. Commentators on Fox News and Republican Congress members are attacking Mueller, causing speculation that the special counsel’s days are numbered.

Since his investigation began in May, Mueller has already obtained two indictments and two guilty pleas. Most recently, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. Although he could have been charged with more serious crimes, Flynn secured the deal by promising to cooperate with prosecutors and provide evidence against other, as yet unnamed, individuals. Flynn’s guilty plea brings Mueller’s investigation into the White House.

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Surviving 2017 – Looking Like a Palm Tree Bent Over By the Wind

January 15, 2018 by Ernie McCray

Lone slightly leaning palm tree in grassy plain, cloudy skies, mountain range in distance

I am so glad to say “Good riddance” to 2017 because it was a bit unearthly to me.

I mean, on top of being barraged by all the abject buffoonery in D.C. that was unleashed by that fool who occupies the presidency, I had to go around most of the year looking like a palm tree bent over by the wind.

All due to some life-threatening vicious form of bacteria that found its way into my body and started whacking away like a field hand taking a machete to the stems of sugarcane, devastating my belly and tightening and weakening my muscles, making an absolute wreck of my lifelong bad back. It made standing and walking upright kind of an aerobic exercise that took all my might.

And let me tell you, trying to struggle to get your health back in a world that’s out of whack isn’t easy by any means.

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The Last Speech of Martin Luther King: ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ – The Full Text

January 15, 2018 by Source

The day before Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, he gave his final speech, known as ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech. Here’s the full text.

By The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., MEMPHIS, Tenn.,/ April 3, 1968

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God’s children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there.

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Ocean Beach Town Hall Meeting on Arson and Vandalism – Tues., Jan.16

January 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A number of Ocean Beach and Point Loma community groups are hosting a town hall meeting focused on the recent string of arson and vandalism that has happened in the area, Tuesday, January 16th.

The groups include the OB Town Council, the OB Planning Board, OB Community Development Corp., OB Community Foundation, OB Main St. Association, OB Historical Society, Point Loma Association, and OB Clean Streets Initiative.

The town hall will be held at the Masonic Center at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, from 6 PM – 8 PM.

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Love and Resistance: Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 15, 2018 by Jim Miller

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and, for those of us who deeply value his legacy, it’s hard not to greet the first official King holiday of the Trump era with a deep sense of painful irony. As I wrote last year at this time on the eve of his inauguration:

Today we are at [a] dead-end with Trump’s administration full of revanchist billionaires, right-wing demagogues, and military strongmen representing the triumph of market fundamentalism married to racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and authoritarian militarism. Simply put, in Trump Nation, King’s “triple evils” [of racism, economic injustice, and militarism] are akin to the holy trinity.

Unfortunately, the last year has done little else but confirm this proclamation, making this year’s remembrance especially important. For King’s critique of American society is now even more relevant than it has been in the decades since his death—it haunts us like a ghost.

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It’s Time for Lifeguard Ed Harris to Jump in and Rescue Residents of San Diego City Council District 2

January 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s time for Ed Harris – the lifeguard union chief – to jump in and rescue the citizens of San Diego City Council District 2.

Why do they need rescuing? Well, consider this …

The next election – the June Primary – is less than 5 months away and incumbent Lori Zapf is up for re-election. Zapf, a Republican, faces a district where registered Democratic voters outnumber registered Republicans by nearly 9,000. That ought to make her very vulnerable come next November.

Yet, she faces a field of weak challengers. All of them – and here is where OB Rag makes enemies – from Bryan Bease to Jordan Beane to Jen Campbell – they all have political flaws that make them unable ultimately to mount the District 2 seat in City Council Chambers downtown. And that’s why Ed Harris – who once sat in that chair for the District – needs to dive in

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General Rain Advisory in Effect for San Diego Coastal Waters – Avoid Ocean for 72 Hours After Rain

January 9, 2018 by Source

General Rain Advisory in Effect

The Department of Environmental Health has issued a GENERAL RAIN ADVISORY for the coastal waters of San Diego County due to contamination by urban runoff following rain.

Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets that discharge urban runoff.

Activities such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided for 72 hours following rain.

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The OB Rag Is Just $125 Away From Our Winter Fundraising Goal

January 9, 2018 by Staff

We’re down to the wire, and the OB Rag is just $125 from our Winter fundraising goal of $1,000.

If you haven’t donated but read us daily or even monthly, please help us over the top. There’s a “Donate” button via PayPal up at the top of our homepage. It’s safe and very easy – and it goes right to our account.

Or mail us a check to our Post Office Box:

OB Rag
PO Box 7012
Ocean Beach CA 92167

 

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Looks at Incentive-Based Zoning

January 9, 2018 by Staff

At the most recent Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting on January 3rd, the Board heard a presentation on Incentive Based Zoning which is a method of zoning that is designed to keep down over-development of McMansions in communities along the coast, in particular, and the so-called exemptions to Coastal Development Permits. The presentation was by Sharon Wample, who is part of a group called Citizens for Responsible Coastal Development.

For background, this Citizens group was formed originally as an ad hoc committee in 2015 by the La Jolla Community Planning Association with locals who wished to battle McMansions and who wanted to abolish the so-called “50 percent coastal exception rule”. They want to replace it with an “Incentive-based zoning” approval process. This process would reduce the project applicant’s floor area ratio (FAR) and the applicant would then have to conform to a community’s list of design incentives to earn back their right to build their home more densely to the current FAR allowed.

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OB Rag Is Doing a 10 Hour Auction of 2 Tickets for Saturday at Springboard West ‘Band and Brew Crawl’ in Ocean Beach

January 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag has 2 tickets for Saturday, January 13th at the Springboard West “Band and Brew Crawl” being held in Ocean Beach.

Event hosts describe Saturday as:

Sat, Jan 13th: Band & Brew Crawol, 1PM – 11PM (40 Bands on 4 Stages)

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Springboard West 2018 in Ocean Beach – Jan 11th – Jan 13th

January 9, 2018 by Source

Come Inside for More

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-January 2018

January 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

* James Gang Up and Roaring
* OB Alley Arsonist Back at It? Fire in Alley Between Brighton and Long Branch Sunday Night
* OB Man with Dementia Goes Missing Twice in Less than 2 Weeks
* OB Kilowatt Gets a Shout-Out at CityBeat
* George Varga Notes Cow Records in Survey of San Diego’s Music History
* Memorial in Coronado for Surfer Who Died After Sunset Cliffs Rescue – Led by Local Mayor with 500 Attending

* OB Elementary School Volunteer Crossing Guards to Have Body-Cams
* Point Loma High Graduate Jamal Agnew Is Now All-Pro
* Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill One of 50 “New Most Anticipated” Restaurants for 2018
* Royale Makes the 10 Hot Plates: San Diego’s Top Food News in January
* Point Loma Makes “the To-Do List” for the San Fran Chron

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Point Loma Woman Killed in Murder-Suicide Remembered

January 8, 2018 by Staff

Terrie Best remembers her friend, Tiffani Kjeldergaard – the Point Loma woman killed in a murder-suicide last Thursday, January 4th -. Best told NBC 7:

“Tiffani was a character. You couldn’t be in the same room with her without knowing she was there. She was whip-smart. Funny. Just a really interesting human being.”

San Diego Homicide detectives have ruled the fatal shooting of Kjeldergaard by 59-year-old Kenneth Everhart, who then turned the gun on himself at the Point Loma apartment complex, a murder-suicide. The two were reportedly having an argument when the shootings began.

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Why San Diego Lifeguards Need to Be Independent From the Fire Department

January 8, 2018 by Source

By Ed Harris

On December 6th, San Diego Lifeguards voted on whether to pursue an independent department, or to stay within the Fire-Rescue Department.

The fact that 95% of the guards cast a vote, and 80% voted to leave the Fire Department, was unprecedented and clearly shows that there are deep problems. The vote represents an indictment of Fire Department leadership, but also of the structure and history of the Department. It is a clear message to the Mayor and City Council from rank and file Lifeguards who love serving and saving lives.

For the last 40 years, there have been repeated attempts by Fire Department leadership to encroach on Lifeguard job responsibilities.

This has not been a battle fought by the line personnel, who work well together, but rather by the Fire Union and Fire Chief’s determination to expand their Department.

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O.B. Garden Cafe Is Open for Vegetarian Business in North Ocean Beach

January 8, 2018 by Source

Sit-Down Restaurant a Goal of Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market for Many Years

By Bob Edwards

In mid-December, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market opened its new restaurant, O.B. Garden Café, just a few doors east of the market on Voltaire Street between Sunset Cliffs and Ebers Street.

O.B. Garden Café is not just another new restaurant, it’s an enterprise that, like People’s Food, is a democratically owned cooperative, dedicated to reinvesting its profits into the community, paying workers a living wage, and keeping the cost of food at a fair and reasonable price.

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Reflections on 2017: The Year of Generalized Rage

January 8, 2018 by Jim Miller

My first column back after the holiday hiatus comes in the wake of all the usual end-of-the-year media ruminations on the significance of 2017, most of which focused on a notable person, seminal event, a list of significant trends, etc. While there were many astute observations to be found, the one thing that stood out to me as definitive of 2017 was not a person, place, or thing, but the phenomenon of generalized rage.

In his most recent book, Requiem for the American Dream: The Ten Principles of the Concentration of Wealth and Power Noam Chomsky describes the phenomenon that more than anything else defines the Age of Trump:

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Vendors at Ocean Beach Antique Mall Slated for a Target Express Given Over 3 Month Reprieve

January 6, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Rumors Abound that Amazon Will Buy Target

The vendors at the Antique Center on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach slated to be a Target Express have been given over a 3 month reprieve, and now do not need to be out of the building until the end of April 2018.

Meanwhile, rumors of Amazon buying Target have thrown new hope into the mix of speculations of what will happen.

According to sources at the mall, the vendors now have until April 30 to vacate the premises. Their earlier date to get out had been January 31st – so this is certainly good news for the remaining vendors – and there are many.

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Mission Bay Park Committee Okays Near-Doubling of Bill Evan’s Bahia Resort and Take-Over of Public Beach

January 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The Mission Bay Park Committee met Tuesday night, January 2nd, and at the top of their agenda for the meeting held at the Santa Clara Rec Center was a presentation by San Diego hotelier Bill Evans on the renovation and expansion plans of his Bahia Resort.

Who else to make the presentation, really? Evans is one of the top hoteliers in the City, a man of great influence, someone who has contributed mightily to the campaigns of Republican mayoral candidates – like Kevin Faulconer, Jerry Sanders and Carl DeMaio. Who else to explain his development plans – to nearly double the size of his resort, sitting as it does on public land

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Why Jeff Sessions’ War on Weed Is a Futile Pursuit

January 5, 2018 by Source

By Phillip Smith / Alternet

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement Thursday that he is rescinding Obama-era guidance to federal prosecutors directing them to take a laissez-faire approach to state-legal marijuana except under specified circumstances (violence, out-of-state diversion, money laundering, etc.) is sending shock waves through the marijuana industry, but its impact is likely to be limited.

That’s because marijuana prohibition is a dying beast, and while the twitching of its tail in its death throes could cause some injury, neither the attorney general nor his minions are going to be able to get that beast back up and roaring again. They are too late.

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Water Quality Advisory Lifted at OB Pier – But Not Dog Beach – and Advisories Added at Shelter Island and Kellogg Beach inPoint Loma

January 5, 2018 by Source

The County’s Water Quality Advisory for the Ocean Beach Pier – south to Narragansett – has been lifted.

But the Advisory for Dog Beach has not and is still in effect.

Both were in effect due to high bacterial levels that may exceed health standards – and people were /are warned to avoid water contact in the advisory areas.

And now Advisories due to high bacterial levels have been added for

  • the Shelter Island shore in Point Loma and for
  • the Lawrence Street area, 100 feet south and 200 feet north – which appears to include the southern end of Kellogg Beach
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Springboard West Music Festival Comes to Ocean Beach Jan. 11 to Jan. 13

January 5, 2018 by Source

By Kate Kelly

Springboard Music Festival is taking over San Diego for the second time to provide aspiring musicians the opportunity to pitch their music to industry professionals and bring music lovers an event in what feels like a grassroots “American Idol” or South by Southwest. The unparalleled three-day conference and festival ends with a Band & Brew Crawl in Ocean Beach.

The Springboard “West” Music Festival begins on January 11 at OB Theatre with a two-day “Band Bootcamp” — an opportunity for emerging artists from all over the U.S. to take the stage and showcase their talents in front of veterans and professionals in the music industry and generate exposure in front of a live crowd. Ticketed attendees are invited after the boot camp to enjoy unplugged performances, local art, fashion and craft beverages.

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Friday Morning Tragedy at Sunset Cliffs: Surfer Dies After Being Rescued

January 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Another tragedy has occurred at Sunset Cliffs. Friday morning, January 5th, a 56-year old surfer died after being rescued by lifeguards.

The unidentified surfer was surfing with a friend early in the morning, when he took off on a wave and wasn’t seen again – until he was found face-down in the ocean. This occurred near Point Loma Nazarene University.

When emergency crews found him, he was not breathing and they performed CPR during the ride in a lifeguard boat and up on the dock – but to avail. The County Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

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