10 Years Ago in Ocean Beach – Stories From March 2009

March 15, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

What was happening in Ocean Beach and around it 10 years ago? Back in March 2009?

For one …

Abrupt Closure of Rock Paper Scissors Had Vendors Crying “Foul”

The abrupt closure of OB’s popular arts and crafts store on Newport Avenue, Rock Paper Scissors, upset many of the vendors. They claimed the manager, Dr. Jefe (Jeff Fagan), knew business was bad, but the message he gave out to the vendors was that ‘everything was fine.’

Fagan decided to immediately close the business – a business that had grown to be one of the most popular storefronts on Newport Avenue – on February 2nd, 2009, after reading his financial statements. The vendors didn’t believe that. The storefront was in the former Bank of America building, what is now Apple Tree Market.

COME INSIDE FOR THIS AND MORE STORIES FROM MARCH 2009

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma: Mid- March 2019

March 14, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag‘s Judi Curry to Be Interviewed by Local NBC for Her “Scam” Post

On Monday, March 18, OB Rag‘s own columnist, Judi Curry, will be interviewed by the local NBC television affiliate, Channel 7, for her recent post on scams on so-called market researchers. The interview is around 10:30 a.m. so we imagine it will play at noon and 6pm.

Woman to Go to Trial for Manslaughter in Wrong Way Crash that Killed OB Man

Trader Joe’s to Cut Back on Plastic Packaging Waste – After Greenpeace Petition Circulates

Young Woman Left for Dead at Sunset Cliffs Testifies

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri at Hodad’s

OB Elementary One of Top 10 Schools for Disadvantaged Kids

PL Nazarene Surfers Win 5th State Championship

Navy Man Will Go on Trail for Murder of Point Loma Wife – Elizabeth Sullivan

Fractured Leg From Scooter Being Broadsided in Midway

The Jennings Family… More than Meets the Eye! By Cathy Gallagher,

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Trump to Ground Boeing Jets While Smoke Delays Flight of One at San Diego Airport; Pilots Have Been Complaining

March 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Trump has announced he will be ordering all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 grounded.

This news comes while some Point Loma residents have voiced their concerns about the potential for dangers as Boeing 737 jets fly over their neighborhoods, and as we now have learned the unsettling news that on Tuesday, March 12, a San Diego Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 was delayed for hours after smoke billowed out of the plane parked at the San Diego International Airport.

From 7SanDiego:

A battery-type charger overheated inside a piece of luggage in the cargo bin of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at around 11:30 a.m., according to Dan Landson with Southwest Airlines.

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2 Wealthy San Diegans Charged in Elite College Admission Bribery Scandal

March 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Two wealthy San Diegans have been charged in the elite college admission bribery scandal that is rocking the country’s academia community.

One is Elisabeth Kimmel, former owner of KFMB-TV, San Diego’s CBS affiliate, who was arrested Tuesday at her La Jolla home. The other is Toby MacFarlane, a businessman from Del Mar and a former executive of a title insurance company.

From 7SanDiego:

Kimmel is accused of participating in an illegal conspiracy to get her daughter into Georgetown University and her son into USC.

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The OB ‘Re-Pier’ Begins – City Pledges to Have Pier Open by Memorial Day

March 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Come Inside for Photos of OB Pier Being Crushed

The “re-pier” of the OB Pier begins. The City expects to have crews to completely repair the OB Pier and have it open by Memorial Day. As of right now, the city expects to spend $430,000 in emergency repairs.

The Pier has been closed since mid-January when it suffered mucho damage during that winter storm; it was so strong that it literally tore off pieces of wood and they washed ashore and locals and tourists grabbed the remnants as souvenirs. 2,200 feet of railings were damaged by the storm which crashed the pier’s electrical, sewer and water lines.

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How OB Stayed ‘OB’ and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach

March 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for How OB Stayed ‘OB’ and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach

Originally posted June 11, 2014
There is a reason that Ocean Beach has stayed as OB and did not suffer the fate of, say, its neighbor to the north – Mission Beach.

Have you been up to Mission Beach lately? Walked or biked on the Boardwalk? Surfed the MB curls?

Did you realize there’s no community left there? It’s all time-shares, vacation rentals, and empty buildings.

But most importantly for us, it’s practically wall-to-wall 3 story expensive giants facing the ocean for – literally – miles – all along the famous Boardwalk.

And the reason OB didn’t go that way is because …

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Ocean Beach Planning Board: Add OB to Geo-Fencing, More Limits on Scooters; Board Election Results

March 7, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Election Upset in District 1? – Record Number of Women Members on Board

At the Wednesday, March 6 evening meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, the volunteer community planners took up the issue of Mayor Faulconer’s proposals for regulating electric scooters. Election results to the Board were also announced – with an upset in District 1 apparently and maybe a record number of women members now on the Board.

On scooters and the Mayor’s proposals – which were confirmed by a Council committee recently and are slowly on their way to the full City Council – the Board raised a number of substantial issues and concerns not addressed by the recommendations. In short, the panel wants to include Ocean Beach

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It’s Time for San Diego to Rein In Those Scooters

March 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Originally posted Feb. 10, 2019

As serious injuries from scooter accidents mount at local emergency rooms, as it becomes known that more people are hurt on scooters than on bicycles or as pedestrians, while San Diego police issue record numbers of citations to scooter riders, while more companies are dumping their e-scooters onto the streets and sidewalks, and while other cities struggle to rein them in – it is time for San Diego to place some controls and restrictions on the motorized scooters.

And certainly more restrictions than what Mayor Faulconer has tentatively proposed (see below).

The Mayor is due to formally roll out his ideas on scooters at the Active Transportation and Infrastructure meeting of the City Council on Feb. 20th – at 2 PM at City Hall. If they are anything like what he has already publicly proposed in the press, they’re woefully inadequate.

The situation is dire.

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District 7 – the South End of Ocean Beach

March 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB District 7 map

The OB Planning Board is holding its 2019 General Election on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

As we complete our romping review of Ocean Beach’s planning districts, we round out our visit with District 7 – the South End of OB.

The 2 seats on the Board for District 7are currently held by Andrea Schlageter, the Chair of the Board, and by Richard Aguirre. Andrea’s seat is good until 2010, and Richard doesn’t appear to be running for re-election. Another current member of the Board, Andrew Waltz, has jumped over to this district and is the candidate for the open seat.

Andrea Schlageter

(From bio at OBPB website:) Andrea Schlageter was born and raised in the Ocean Beach Point Loma area. SEE MORE INSIDE
Richard Aguirre

Richard has been on the Board since April 2017 and is the owner of a small eatery at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Pt Loma Avenue. (No bio available.)

Andrew Waltz – Candidate for District 7

(Edited bio from OBPB website) Andrew Waltz has a BFA degree from the University of Delaware, SEE MORE INSIDE

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Ocean Beach Planning Board to Review City’s Proposals for Scooter Regulations – Wed., March 6

March 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Planning Board takes on dockless scooters at their Wednesday, March 6 public meeting.

Or rather they are set to review the proposed regulations for scooters recommended by a City Council committee, before those recommendations go before the full Council. And the recommendations are really Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposals, with some amendments. The OB Board meets at 6pm sharp at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue

The only other major item on the Board’s agenda is a discussion and recommendations of budget funding requests for local projects for the upcoming fiscal year. There is also the annual election going on that Wednesday with polls open from 4pm to 7pm – also at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

It is time for the OB planners to take on the scooter issue. This community – and others – have been inundated with the various brands of scooters clogging our public right of way, sidewalks, crosswalks, any open spaces – and it is time to rein in these motorized vehicles, as local injuries mount literally on a daily basis.

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District 6 – The Hills of Ocean Beach

March 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB Dist 6 viewtop

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its 2019 General Election on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. Each of the 7 districts has 2 seats and there are 2 at-large seats on the Board.

As we move south across the map of OB in our continuing series about the different planning districts within the Ocean Beach Planning Area – we come to District 6 – “The Hills of OB“.

The district is currently represented by Jane Gawronski and Dan Dennison. Jane has been a volunteer on the Board for at least 5 years and Dan has been on it since May of 2016. Only Dan is up for re-election, and he is running against George McCalla.

Jane Gawronski

(From bio at OBPB website:) Jane retired as Superintendent of the Escondido Union High School District in 1998 – SEE MORE INSIDE

Dan Dennison

(From bio at OBPB website:) Dan grew up in San Diego, spent five years in the Navy – SEE MORE INSIDE

George McCalla – New Candidate for District 6

George introduced himself at a recent OB Town Council meeting as a candidate. SEE MORE INSIDE
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District 6 – The Hills of Ocean Beach

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District 5 – The Cliffs at Ocean Beach

March 6, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB District 5 map

The is an updated and slightly edited version of an earlier District 5 review from February 2016.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its 2019 General Election on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

In our continuing series of looking at each of the seven planning districts in Ocean Beach, we come to District 5 in southwestern OB, the “Cliffs of OB”. The district is currently represented only by Numan Stotz as the district’s other seat remains vacant. Each of the 7 districts has 2 seats and there are 2 at-large seats on the Board.

Numan Stotz

(From bio at OBPB website:) As a born and raised local, he has seen Ocean Beach grow and change over time. MORE INSIDE
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District 5 – the Cliffs at Ocean Beach

The fifth district within OB is the smallest district geographically, but because it hugs the gorgeous Sunset Cliffs, it has some of the most stunning views of sunsets, the coast, the surf, and provides an aura of solitude at those cliffs.

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Ocean Beach Planning District 4 – the ‘Hub of OB’

March 5, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB Plan Bd Dist 4 map

On Wednesday March 6th the Ocean Beach Planning Board is holding its annual election, and the OB Rag is publishing a series of examinations of the different planning districts within the Ocean Beach Community Plan Area. This is an updated and somewhat edited version of a post published on District 4 in 2016.

There are 16 seats on the Board, two from each district and two at-large seats. Currently District 4 is only represented by Craig Klein as its other seat is vacant. Klein, a veteran community volunteer planner is running for re-election.

Craig Klein

(From his bio at OBPB website:) Graduate of USD School of law , SEE MORE INSIDE
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District 4 – The Center of the Village – the Hub of OB

It’s easy to see why District 4 is indeed the center and hub of the community of Ocean Beach. Just look at a map and you’ll see that the business district and the main beach are both in this district.

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District 3 – The Wings of OB

March 4, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB Plan Bd Dist 3 map

On Wednesday March 6th the Ocean Beach Planning Board is holding its annual election.

Virgina Wilson

Virginia is up for election and Andrew is running for a seat in District 7. Virginia and her husband Nick are home-owners in OB and both are vehemently opposed to short-term vacation rentals. MORE INSIDE
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District 3 – the ‘Wings of OB’

The third district of the OB Planning Area is an anomaly because its two neighborhoods are separated from one another, with one section across Nimitz and seemingly in a different world. .he district almost looks like a giant bow tie (or maybe a giant seagull) with two large wings centered at Seaside and Nimitz.

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Ocean Beach Planning District 2 – ‘the Heart of OB’

March 4, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB Dist 2 Map

The Ocean Beach Planning Board is holding its annual election this Wednesday March 6th.
There are 16 seats on the Board, two from each district and two at-large seats. Currently District 2 is represented by Elizabeth Felando, who was appointed in October 2018, and by Tom Gawronski, who has been a veteran volunteer planner, a member since April 2011. Tom appears to be termed out and is not running for re-election.

Tom Gawronski

(From bio at OBPB website:) Tom Gawronski earned his PhD in Molecular Biology SEE MORE INSIDE

Elizabeth Felando

(From bio at OBPB website:) Liz grew up in San Diego, playing soccer at Robb field SEE MORE INSIDE

Richard Merriman – (no bio or photo available) is running for one of the seats for District 2; he’s been on the Board since October 2018.


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What Ocean Beach Planning District Do You Live In? — Here’s District 1, Northwest OB

March 4, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

OB District 1 Map off'l

The annual election to the OB Planning Board is coming up on Wednesday, March 6th. This 15-member board reviews, approves and monitors development in OB as it adheres to the OB Community Plan – the blueprint for the community updated and approved in 2014.

Each planning district has 2 representatives on the Board. Currently Tracy Dezenzo and Anthony Ciulla represent District 1. Anthony is up for election this time around.

Tracy Dezenzo, Secretary

(From bio on OBPB website:) Tracy Dezenzo has been an OB resident for over 22 years and is proud to represent District 1. See more inside …….

Anthony Ciulla

(From bio on OBPB website:) Anthony has 25 years experience as an aviation industry professional in addition to having 12 years in the construction industry/trades industry – see more inside ….

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Mr. Moto Pizza Goes for Alcohol License, New Owners at Pepe’s and Other News of Ocean Beach Businesses

March 4, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

New Owners at Pepe’s Promise “No Changes”

There’s new owners at Pepe’s on Sunset Cliffs. Vanessa Perez and her hubby John have taken charge and promise no menu changes – and in fact, stated John – who doubles as manager and cook – nothing has changed; they’ve kept it the same way as the previous owners. COME INSIDE FOR MORE

Mr. Moto Pizza Goes for Beer and Wine License

As workers continue to finish the interior of the brand new Mr. Moto Pizza House opening up in the brand new OB Plaza – there’s a sign on the front window.

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OB Town Council Juggles Planning Board Candidates, Traffic Safety at OB Elementary, Van Sleepers, Famosa Park, Library Expansion……..

February 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There was a lot going on at the February 27 Wednesday night meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. .

First off, new Board members were introduced and those re-elected at the last Board election acknowledged. They included newbies Dan Grofer, Stacie Woehrle, Isaac Darby, Scott Grace and Stephanie Kane. Those re-elected included Trudy Levenson, Corey Bruins, and Jill Kent. (Here’s the full Board.)

OB Planning Board Candidates Introduced

Another bevy of candidates – this time, those running for seats on the OB Planning Board – were also introduced by OBPB Chair Andrea Schlageter. The election is coming up on March 6 – and any resident, property owner or business owner in the OB Planning Area can vote. (See this. )

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Young Gray Whale Off Mission Beach Attracts Humans and Dolphins – Some Rules to Follow in Close Encounters

February 28, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, a young gray whale in shallow waters off Mission Beach was so close to shore that it attracted a bunch of humans – and dolphins.

About noon, lifeguards received a call that a whale was maybe trapped in a fishing line, but upon investigation by a lifeguard who swam up to the whale, it was seen not to be entangled.

Meanwhile dolphins and surfers approached the whale – which could have been up to 50 feet in length. It was estimated to be a year and half old – still a youngster.

These humans probably got too close,

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Watching the Michael Cohen Testimony in Which He Describes Trump as a Racist, Liar, Cheat and Conman

February 27, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

We haven’t posted anything today – Wednesday, Feb. 27 – as we’re watching the unprecedented testimony of former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, describe how Trump is a racist, liar, cheat and conman. See this.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Late Feb. – Early March 2019

February 26, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Point Loma Whale Carcass Heading to the Big Deep

Often, whales that wash up on shore are hauled to landfills or pushed back into the water. …, a biologist from NOAA wrote that a large female fin whale had washed ashore four days previously, on the rocky beach at Point Loma

Wedding Singer at OB Playhouse Presented by OB Theatre Co., it runs through March 3 at the OB Playhouse in Ocean Beach.

Drama at Point Loma Playhouse Samuel D. Hunter’s “A Permanent Image,” 8 p.m. Feb. 22-23, March 1-2 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and March 3, Point Loma Assembly,

Slightly Stoopid Announces Summer 2019 Tour Slightly Stoopid announce their annual summer amphitheater tour, with this years installment: “How I Spent My Summer Vacation 2019”.

Celebration of Life for Good Samaritan Who Died in Jump off Bridge

Man Steals Tips from OB Subway – Caught on Video

Friends of OB Library Push for Expansion

Andrea Schlageter, Chair of OB Planning Board Interviewed

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Deaths and Dangers at Beautiful Sunset Cliffs : A Survey from 2005 through 2018

February 25, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Sunset Cliffs mattwood
The OB Rag has been tracking deaths and serious injuries caused by or at Sunset Cliffs since 2005 -14 years. And we have found a yearly average of 5 deaths or serious injuries at our world-renown cliffs. These include surfers who’ve had heart attacks out in the water, divers who didn’t make it back alive and people who have suffered fatal falls.

Here’s a chart showing the deaths and serious injuries for the years 2005 through 2018, last year. And it’s based on what information and data we have available to us. It shows a total of 24 deaths and 49 serious injuries during that period.

We have conducted this on-going chronicle as a public service project, to make people aware of the dangers of Sunset Cliffs and of the rocks and waters below the cliffs. This is not an advocacy for more and more fencing – it’s an advocacy for more and more public education.

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Woman Left for Dead at Sunset Cliffs Sues City – Alleges 911 Dispatchers Ignored Calls

February 21, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Last April 12, a woman in her twenties was found on the Ladera Street stairs at Sunset Cliffs bleeding from gunshot wounds around 7 in the morning. A passerby found her and called police. Initially listed in critical condition, she was in stable condition after she had undergone surgery. Yet what happened to her remained a mystery.

She was conscious when police arrived and with multiple wounds to her head and lower body. She initially claimed she didn’t know what had happened or who had shot her. Later news reports stated the young woman was shot by someone she knew – that she had been targeted – but police could not reveal by whom or why.

About a month later, – in May 2018 – the fog around the mystery started to lift.

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Project Review Committee – of OB Planning Board – Has 3 Projects – Wed., Feb. 20

February 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There are 3 projects on tap to review by the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee. Here’s the agenda for the Committee, which meets Wednesday night, Feb. 20, at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave.

4811 Pescadero Avenue
1776 Cable Street
4645 Coronado Avenue

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Ray Blavatt – OB Artist – Part of Winning Team for International Adult Literacy Award

February 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Many of us know Ray Blavatt as the quiet, tall man with long blond hair behind the projector or setting up the sound system for presentations by the OB Historical Society. Or we may know him as the cartoonist whose drawings have adorned the walls of local :coffee houses.

But now, the nation knows him – as do even people across the seas – for Ray is a professional animator and artist who has been for decades part of a San Diego team working on developing “handcrafted” video games that teach adult literacy by using music to teach reading and math. For now Ray’s team has just won an international award for adult literacy.

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10 Years Ago in Ocean Beach – February 2009

February 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

What was going on in Ocean Beach 10 years ago? Back in February 2009. We cracked open our archives to see what were the issues, controversies and concerns among OBceans a decade ago.

It turns out almost exactly ten years ago to the day the coast received a huge downpour – it rained an inch in just 4 hours in OB on February 16, 2009. Back then the OB Rag was advocating that people harvest their rainwater.

There were a couple of controversies rocking Newport Avenue back then – the closure of the store Rock Paper Scissors and a dispute between the Farmers Market and a jewelry storeftont. So, we have tracked down some of the more interesting and provocative posts and share them with you inside …

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Faulconer’s Proposed Ordinance for Scooters at City Council Committee Hearing – Wed., Feb.20

February 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed regulations for scooters and bicycles will be discussed at the City Council’s Feb. 20 Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting, which meets at 2pm in City Hall, 202 C Street, 12th floor.

FYI – Councilwoman Jen Campbell of District 2 does not sit on this committee.

The proposed ordinance is summarized by the Mayor’s office here (italic bold emphasis is OB Rag’s):

Permit and Fees: Each company wishing to operate within City limits will be issued a six-month permit and will be required to pay $150 per device annually. Operators will only be allowed to amend or renew their permit, including increasing the size of their fleet, during the permit issuance months of January and June. Companies offering an approved equity program can receive a $15 per device reduction in their annual fee.

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San Diegans Rally Against Trump’s Fake ‘Emergency’

February 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A couple hundred San Diegans took their Presidents’ Day holiday to protest the current president’s fake “national emergency.”

Rallying in front of the County Administration Building, speakers denounced Trump’s authoritarian move, that the southern border should not be considered a national emergency, and described other issues that were in more of a need to be addressed, such as climate crisis and gun violence.

The San Diego rally was organized by San Diego Indivisible and MoveOn.org, and was one of dozens across the country.

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News From Ocean Beach – Mid-February 2019

February 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

98 Year-Old Betty Morse’s Eviction Dismissed

Just in time for her 99th birthday, Betty Morse – on the brink of losing her Ocean Beach home – won a legal victory to stop her eviction.

OB Pier Repairs Delayed Even More

Poor weather conditions and high surf caused delays in the repair assessment for the iconic Ocean Beach Pier.

Fake Tickets Harass People Who Live in Cars

Just days after the San Diego City Council voted to repeal an ordinance that banned people from living in their vehicles on city streets, fake parking citations have popped up in OB.

East County Man Stabbed Outside Winston’s Is Recovering

An East County man is recovering after he was stabbed outside an Ocean Beach bar for trying to break up a fight.

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Renaissance on Voltaire Street?

February 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Is there a renaissance happening on Voltaire Street right now? There’s a bunch of new businesses that appear to bring a sense of renewal on this major east-west boulevard that connects Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

Two new eateries – both Italian – are happening on “upper Voltaire” – on the other side of Catalina from OB. Check them out.

Leucadia Pizza Opens

A new pizzeria – Leucadia Pizza Kitchen has opened at 4161 Voltaire Street (where the salad in a jar place was previously, as was another pizza franchise).

“Super High-End” Italian, Cesarina, Opens This Week

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