Going to Atlanta – See Ya in 5 Days

June 9, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Editordude is leaving for Atlanta for a family wedding on Thursday and will not be returning until Monday, June 14. “Enjoy the heat while I’m gone,” he says.

There will be very little postings in the interim.

However, comments will remain open and moderated.

Read the full article → 1 comment

What Progressives Are Saying About This Dangerous Moment in American History – As The Insurrection Continues

June 3, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Many progressive pundits, politicians, civil rights advocates and observers are calling this moment America finds itself in, a very dangerous one.

For instance, Robert Reich says:

The greatest danger to American democracy right now is not coming from Russia, China, or North Korea. It is coming from the Republican Party. … American democracy is at an inflection point.

Then there is this statement from over 100 scholars who express their deep concern regarding the assault on democracy:

Read the full article → 10 comments

Recall Campbell Campaign Closes Down

June 2, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, the OB Rag was sent an email by the Recall Campbell campaign announcing that the effort did not reach their goal of 14,000 signatures, “not enough to force the recall of Jennifer Campbell.”

Campaign organizers stated they did garner over 10,000 signatures, however. In their statement, the campaign said:

The pandemic combined with competing signature-gathering efforts for other political races and Jennifer Campbell’s low name recognition proved to be an insurmountable challenge.

They were up against “an establishment candidate backed by deep-pocketed special interests ….” and up against the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The effects of the pandemic cannot be overstated.

Read the full article → 11 comments

Complaints Raised About Police Take-Over of Ocean Beach Parking Lot on Memorial Day Weekend

June 1, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There was a twitter storm over the Memorial Day weekend about the massive show of force by San Diego police in Ocean Beach and their take-over of the Pier parking lot.

Reporter and OBcean Alain Stephens sent out a number of tweets calling the police take-over of the area “inappropriate”, “abnormal”, a display of what’s wrong with modern policing, and that the whole scene did not honor Memorial Day but tarnished it. Stephens, who is African-American, also criticized the police show of force and take-over as part of a historical trend to restrict access to beaches by people of color.

Not everyone agreed with him

Read the full article → 18 comments

Sempra Greased the Skids for Gloria and Council Democrats to Approve SDG&E Franchise Agreement

May 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, a “super-majority” of members of the San Diego City Council voted to approve Mayor Gloria’s proposed franchise agreement with SDG&E.

Councilmembers Jennifer Campbell, Stephen Whitburn, Chris Cate, Raul Campillo, Marni von Wilpert and Sean Elo-Rivera voted in favor while Joe LaCava, Vivian Moreno and Monica Montgomery’ Steppe voted no. Campbell, Whitburn, Campillo and von Wilpert are Democrats and Cate is the lone Republican on the Council.

Curious as to whether SDG&E or its parent company, Sempra, gave campaign contributions to any of these Democrats, I dug around some. Didn’t have to go far. Matt Potter over at the San Diego Reader answered most of my questions in his December 21, 2020 piece, entitled, “Sempra’s last-minute money fueled anti-Bry hit campaign,” with a sub-head of “Tortured trail of Democrats’ campaign cash leads to SDG&E’s back door”.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Today, San Diego City Council Takes on Gloria’s Potential 20-Year Franchise Agreement With SDG&E

May 25, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Today, the San Diego City Council considers Mayor Gloria’s potential 20-year franchise agreement with SDG&E. This potential does not sit well with a whole lot of San Diegans.

Specifically, opponents of the deal are not at all happy with a provision that allows SDG&E to recover some of the payments the utility is proposing to make if the deal does not run its full term.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Ocean Beach Town Council Hosting ‘Town Hall’ on Future of OB Pier – Wed., May 26

May 24, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The OBTC will be hosting a “Make Your Voice Heard: Town Hall to Decide the Future of Ocean Beach Pier” at their next public meeting on May 26th to discuss the City’s long-term plans for our Ocean Beach Pier.

They will be inviting our Local, State and Federal representatives to attend and the Town Hall format will allow participants / viewers to weigh-in directly with questions and concerns on this important topic.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Gloria Wants to Take the City for a Ride on the SDG&E Train

May 21, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

In San Diego’s continuing saga over who gets to be the franchise holder for the city’s electric and gas utilities, it is staggeringly clear now that Mayor Todd Gloria really wants SDG&E to stay. Gloria is pushing the city to get on board the SDG&E train for a ride.

He and City Attorney Mara Elliott have concluded “multiple rounds” of negotiations with SDG&E, formed a tentative agreement, and he is beginning to talk with the councilmembers about a new contract. Gloria claims his new deal is “certainly an improvement over the existing franchise agreement….” That’s not saying much.

Nothing is for certain. Gloria needs a “super-majority” of votes from the Council, six of the nine members.

Read the full article → 7 comments

About Those Outdoor Restaurant Structures …

May 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag first raised the issue back in March: “Are Ocean Beach Restaurants Ready to Give Back Our Public Spaces?”

We wondered whether OB eateries were ready to give back all that public space taken during the pandemic in order to keep their doors open. We simply raised the question. …

A good number of readers’ comments suggested shutting down Newport Avenue permanently to auto traffic and allow the outdoor structures to continue. But shutting down Newport

Read the full article → 34 comments

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

May 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The Future of Beach Bonfires

Celebrate the OB Vibe – Virtual 5K

Celebrating the OB Vibe with an OB 5K Virtual Race.

Festa to Be Celebrated in Point Loma

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

15 Rock Church Employees Test Positive for COVID

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

Read the full article → 11 comments

The Elusive New Lifeguard Station for Ocean Beach

May 13, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

What ever happened to the promised new lifeguard station for Ocean Beach? This question is so untimely, it appears, as OB residents and merchants grapple with the concept of the millions needed to repair or replace the beloved OB Pier. And as our mayor says the city’s coffers are so empty, he’s cutting hours and staff at the city’s libraries.

This is so untimely. And like the elusive rare butterfly, the new OB lifeguard station flutters around in the ether, unable to land and become a chrysalis where it can develop into a beautiful, new being.

Yet, the question needs to be asked. Here, then, is a brief look at this recent history of promises, pledges and concerns.

Read the full article → 8 comments

Environmental and Other Groups Push Council to Bar SDG&E From Bidding on New Utility Franchise Due to Breach of its Current Agreement

May 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A coalition of sorts of a group of environmental and nonprofit groups want the San Diego City Council to bar SDG&E from bidding on any new utility franchise agreements. In a letter addressed to all Council members sent last week, the group is pushing the Council to hold a hearing to discuss whether the utility giant can be debarred from bidding.

The letter asks the Council to hold a Debarment Proceedings Against SDG&E as soon as possible. Items are placed on the Council docket by the council president, Jen Campbell, who has not committed at this point in doing so.

The groups state that since SDG&E has been in material breach of its current franchise agreement with the City, it cannot by law bid on any new agreements.

Read the full article → 0 comments

County Supervisors Repeal Ban on San Diego Tribal Land Expansions

May 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Wednesday, May 5, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to repeal policies that basically stopped any expansion by Native American tribal governments.

Federal policy requires Native People’s tribal governments to secure land they own for their reservations under a fee-to-trust process. In turn, tribes are allowed to build housing and energy projects on the land and also access natural resources. But in March 1994, the San Diego Board of Supervisors approved a policy

Read the full article → 1 comment

Remembering May 4, 1970 Half a Century Later

May 4, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

May 4, 1970 for at least an entire generation of Americans will always be associated with the shootings of unarmed students by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State Ohio. Four students were killed – two having nothing to do with the protests, one was an ROTC cadet – and eleven were wounded – they will be remembered as a stain upon US history for eternity.

At the time, it shocked the nation – and visibly and viscerally divided the country, already fractured from more than a decade of the African-American movement for civil rights and a handful of years of the ever -increasing militancy of the anti-Vietnam war movement centered on college and university campuses. A deep cultural divide had also developed in America

Read the full article → 2 comments

San Diego Library Supporters Urge Push-Back Against Cut-Backs

May 4, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

From Library Advocates:

The Independent Budget Analyst recently released her review of the FY22 Proposed Budget. The IBA identified a $5.6 million Library budget cut, noted that a majority of Councilmembers supported maintaining Library Department service levels, and addressed the Library’s current, unsustainable staffing model.

We remain concerned about these significant cuts and call on the Mayor and Council to make no Libray budget cuts, address the Library’s long-term staffing needs, and make overdue new investments in materials and programs.

Read the full article → 1 comment

San Diego Creating Its Own Municipal Utility Opposed by All the Usual Suspects

April 29, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s really no surprise that a study recently released by a business institute at Point Loma Nazarene has come out strongly opposed to the City of San Diego creating its own utility company, which would be then publicly-owned.

The study by Nazarene’s Fermanian Business & Economic Institute claims it would cost the city nearly $9 billion in taking over SDG&E’s assets – way too costly – and there would be no benefits to the process called “municipalization.” At a recent press conference, Nazarene chief economist Lynn Reaser and primary author of the study, stood outside a SDG&E substation. Reaser was joined by all the usual suspects:

Read the full article → 8 comments

Franchise, Franchise – Who’s Got the Franchise?

April 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There’s been a number of developments in San Diego’s efforts to sign a new franchise agreement for its gas and electric utilities.

As you may know, the city’s 100 years with the SDG&E has ended – there’s a temporary extension right now with the giant utility company that has had a virtual monopoly for a century with the fair city. And two mayors, Faulconer and Todd Gloria had tried to re-establish a utility franchise contract with SDG&E, only to be met with intransigence from city council members and those pesky ratepayers. And it turns out, after Gloria opened a second round of bidding for the franchise, once again, SDG&E was the sole bidder:

Read the full article → 1 comment

News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma on 420, 2021

April 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Happy 420!

Cannabis aficionados celebrate today as a near-holiday – today being April 20, 420. And doubtlessly, there will be plenty of parties today at 4:20 pm around OB and Pot Loma. And remember, California had the nation’s first ballot initiative attempting to legalize cannabis (Proposition 19) in 1972 (it failed), and then was the first state to legalize medical cannabis with the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Proposition 215). Then, of course, in November 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Happy 420.

International Hostel on Udall Sold

A former international hostel on Udall Street in Point Loma was sold recently for $1,300,000. The 2-story building at 3970 Udall was built in 1954, and its lot size is 4,825 square feet.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Mayor Gloria’s Budget Cuts 2 Days, 150 Workers and 10% from City Library Budget While Giving $10 Million to Convention Center

April 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Todd Gloria’s new budget proposal would cut two days, over 150 employees and 10% of the city’s library budget. He also proposes, at the same time, to give over $10 million to the Convention Center.

Now, sure there are trade offs in the library arena. There would be additional monies for library activities, books and videos. Plus, there are other positive aspects of Gloria’s budget – like pay increases for city employees.

But, the point is, this is the first proposed slash of San Diego libraries in more than a decade. Gloria wants to take $5.6 million out of the library budget, going from $59.7 million to $54.1 million.

Read the full article → 8 comments

San Diego National Cable Channel Still Doubts Biden Is President

April 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s incredible. A San Diego-based right-wing cable channel still questions whether Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. As recently as March 28, one of the correspondents at One America News Network said, “There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president.” This statement was made by “correspondent” Pearson Sharp.

To go by much of OAN’s reporting, it is almost as if a transfer of power had never taken place.

OANN is currently located at 4757 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117 and its public phone number is (858) 270-6900.

Reportedly, OANN is available in some 35 million households. And it has become “a kind of Trump TV for the post-Trump age,

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego Mainstream Media Get It Wrong About the Ocean Beach Pier

April 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Up until this morning, local San Diego mainstream media have been getting it all wrong about the Ocean Beach Pier. From Fox5News to ABC10News to KUSI, to KOGORadio, they all are making the same journalistic and factual errors.

Tuesday morning, April 13, the OB Rag broke the devastating news about how badly damaged the OB Pier really was, and how it may actually be history – as it’s doubtful the strapped city could come up with the millions needed to rehab or replace the pier.

OB Rag reporter Geoff Page had filed a Freedom of Information Act request over three years ago in an effort to obtain the consultant’s report about the pier. Page just received the report – which was the basis for his post on Tuesday. Contrary to every other media report, which stated that the City had released the report to the media, Page had to get a crowbar and force it out of the city.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Remembering Dave Martin

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Dave Martin outside-ed

Editordude: We have just learned that village giant Dave Martin has passed. The OB Rag interviewed Dave back in March of 2013 – he was still the president of the OB Town Council and Dave’s restaurant, Shades, was still up and running. Here, we repost that interview.

Originally posted March 22, 2013

Dave Martin, the President of the OB Town Council, agreed to meet me at Shades at 1 pm the other day. That was easy – as he has his own table there – the one closest to the kitchen, the bar, and the serving area – for, as many know, Dave owns Shades. Or rather Dave – along with his wife Jennifer, his daughter and her husband;

Read the full article → 3 comments

We Added Some Color to Breen’s Pro-War Editorial Cartoon

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Could not leave alone Union-Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Breen’s piece of work published in today’s paper. Apparently, he falls into that group of patriots who think 20 years in Afghanistan is just not enough. His cartoon today displayed that sentiment.

So, here’s our response – added some color to his graphic.

Read the full article → 9 comments

Push to Create Mini-Park at Del Monte Overlook

April 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Currently, there’s a push by Point Loma residents to create a mini-park at the Del Monte Avenue overlook. Del Monte is the only Ocean Beach east-west street that doesn’t go all the way through due to the steep climb of the hill. The dead-end at the top of the hill has served as a stopping off point for generations of locals. It has one of the best views of OB and the ocean below.

Now, due to residents’ complaints of sunset and night-time crowds, their noise and trash, the city and the Peninsula Community Planning Board are mulling over options for the small space.

One idea is to transform the site into a mini-park with benches and landscaping

Read the full article → 7 comments

OB Street Fair, Chili Cook-off and July 4 Fireworks for 2021 Cancelled

April 9, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

“Celebrate the OB Vibe” for June 26 Will Replace Event

The 2021 Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off and July 4th fireworks have been cancelled for this year, due to Covid. The Fair and Cook-off had been scheduled for June 26.

But the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association took the brave step of not risking people’s health and business and organizational monies by putting off any in-person events.

There will be a replacement-type event; OBMA calls it “Celebrate the OB Vibe” which will be held June 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participating businesses will have specials for the day on display. And an arts and crafts, a children’s area and dance lessons will be offered in designated areas, along with art vendor areas near the Ocean Beach Pier and at Veterans Plaza.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Only 20 to 30 Percent Reduction of Short Term Rentals Under New San Diego Regulations

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune / April 7, 2021

The San Diego City Council Tuesday formally affirmed its decision in February’ to impose a yearly cap on whole-home vacation rentals that could potentially cut the volume by as much as 30 percent.

To enact the new regulations governing Airbnb-style rentals, the council was required to approve a second reading of the ordinance it approved following a six-hour hearing on Feb. 23. The new’ rules will not go into effect until July of next year. Councilman Joe LaCava, whose district includes La Jolla, cast the lone dissenting vote, as he did in February.

Under the new plan, whole-home rentals that are available for more than 20 day’s in a year will be capped at 1 percent of the city’s more than 540,000 housing units, or about 5,400. An exception, however, was made for Mission Beach, which has a long history’ of vacation rentals that predates the rise of online home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. For that community, the allocation is much more generous, limited to 30 percent of the community’s total dwelling units, or about 1,100.

Read the full article → 1 comment

San Diego City Council Resurrects Measure C – Defeated at the Ballot Box – in Order to Expand Convention Center, Long Sought by Establishment

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council resurrected the local establishment’s long-sought expansion of the convention center, by declaring that Measure C – the hike to the city’s hotel tax to enlarge the center defeated by the voters of San Diego – actually was passed. The measure needed two-thirds of the vote but only garnered 65.24 per cent.

But, business writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Lori Weisberg, reflecting the general attitude of the council majority, said the measure only “technically failed.” Tax hike measures need that two-thirds. Until now, it appears. Weisberg explains:

… there have been three appellate court decisions concluding that simple majority approval is adequate when a tax hike is placed on the ballot by citizens, which was the case with Measure C. The state Supreme Court has so far denied review in two of those cases, which is seen as an encouraging sign for Measure C backers. A third case is awaiting the high court’s review.

Read the full article → 17 comments

Weber Wins 79th Assembly Special Election

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It appears that short of a Southern California earthquake, Dr. Akilah Weber has won the special election to succeed her mother in the 79th Assembly District.

Akilah Weber, currently a La Mesa City Councilmember – and an obstetrician and gynecologist – gained 52 per cent of the vote. The sole Republican in the race, Marco Contreras, came off with 33 per cent. The other 3 Democrats shared the remaining 15%.

These are “unofficial” results but with 100% of the precincts reporting, it definitely looks like Weber will be going to Sacramento.

Weber was taking the win. Late Tuesday night, she said:

“Tonight’s win and these results are staggering. I am deeply honored and humbled by the faith that the voters have placed in me. My campaign is focused on one mission — creating healthier communities for everyone who lives and works in the 79th District.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Recall Campbell Campaign Has 5,000 Signatures – Well On Its Way for Required Total

April 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Five thousand. That’s 5,000.

That’s the number of signatures the recall Jen Campbell campaign has gathered up to now. This means the campaign is well on its way for the required total of 14,421 signatures needed by June 3. The 14,421 number is based on 15 percent of the 96,140 registered voters in District 2 at the time of the general election on November 3, 2020.

On Tuesday, organizers of the recall effort told the press that the 5,000 signatures have been vetted to ensure there’s no duplicates or otherwise unusable ones. They’re planning on collecting many more signatures than are needed – as typically a good number of signatures on any petition are invalidated by the County Registrar of Voters for different reasons.

Campaign leaders said by Thursday, they could add a few thousand more from several hundred petitions they are in the process of downloading from the recalljen.com website.

Read the full article → 2 comments

News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early April 2021

April 5, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Dottie of OB Hardware Passes

One of the most familiar faces on Newport Avenue, Dottie of OB Hardware, has passed. She had worked at the storefront for more than 30 years.

Pt Loma Football Team Ends Season Due to Safety Concerns

OB Man to Stand Trial for Murder of His Mother

Bike Rentals Boomed During Pandemic – New Shop Opens in P.L.

The Return of the Scooter

Rincon Tribe’s Beer Set to Star in Ocean Beach This Summer

Feeding San Diego Food Distribution at Pechanga Arena April 7 and May 1 (Sports Arena)

Shout Out to The Log for its 50 Years

Read the full article → 3 comments