OB Project Review Committee: Demolition of Old House, 3 New Units to Be Built at 4719 Orchard – OB Planners – Wed. Feb.19

February 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s one project to review by the Project Review Committee of the OB Planning Board this evening at their meeting. Development permits come before the PRC before being moved over to the full Board. The review sub-committee meets tonight, Wednesday, February 19 at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave. at 6 pm.

4719 Orchard Avenue.

This is a permit to demolish an existing unit and detached structure at 4719 Orchard, and then to construct two single-family residences and a granny flat – for a total of three new dwelling units, along with two, 2-car garages.

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San Diego’s ‘Own’ Peter Navarro to Hunt ‘Anonymous’ White House Staffer

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Did you see who Trump is placing in charge of the Hunt for Anonymous? San Diego’s own Peter Navarro. Yup, that’s right.

Since at least the time of the impeachment process against Trump, Navarro — whom the president affectionately calls “my Peter”— began conducting his own private investigation into the identity of Anonymous, according to three sources with knowledge of Navarro’s efforts.

One of those sources described Navarro’s investigative efforts as partially an in-depth analysis of the language and phrases used in Anonymous’ book and other public writings.

Maybe while searching for Anonymous, Navarro can hunt down the fictional character he quoted in his books on China. He had it turned out, invented an “expert” and quoted him – but it was himself.

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Hey, Amidst All the Campaigning, Don’t Forget About San Diego’s ‘Smart Street Lights’

February 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Amidst all the electioneering this season, it’s easy to overlook that there’s other local San Diego issues of keen interest to city residents out there. One of them is San Diego’s use of so-called “smart street lights.”

These, of course, are the specialized street lights – 3,200 of which have been installed around the city – which include sensors equipped with cameras, microphones and other tech elements. A variety of info and data is captured by the sensors, like for instance, pedestrian and vehicle movements, parking availability, temperature and humidity. And San Diego police have access to the images under department-imposed guidelines.

The issue of smart street lights has swung back into the open just recently,

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Moments Along the Rocky Road of the Expansion of the Ocean Beach Library

February 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Background to the OB Library Expansion

Moments Along the Rocky Road

  • 2001-2003 – City develops new design for expanded library with 2 stories, to be connected with next door building at 4817 Santa Monica, complete with courtyard, community garden and maintaining the historic core of the building. 3-D model presented at OB Planning Board.
  • 2005 – The building and land at 4817 Santa Monica Ave. to be expanded into was purchased via a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan;lrental agreements for tenants of the Santa Monica building were not renewed and the tenants vacated the building in 2018 or so.
  • 2007 – 2009, 2011 – Recession hits; Mayor Jerry Sanders threatens to close OB Library or seriously cut back its hours (along with the hours of all other San Diego libraries); Ocean Beach community rallies to save the library (thanks to the OB Rag, the OB Historical Society, People’s Food, and of course, Friends of OB Library) and keep the doors open. Sanders relents and says the reaction in OB was the reason he changed his mind.
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News from the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library

February 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a compilation of news and updates from Friends of the OB Library, much of it taken from their digital newsletter.

The OB Library will be closed Monday, Feb. 17, for Presidents day.

Mary Cairns Elected President

The OB Friends of the Library elected their new officers for the 2020 year. Their new president is Mary Cairns, a retired atmospheric scientist, who worked with the federal government for 34 years in many capacities, including research, development, operations, and policy. She enjoys birdwatching, vounteering, travel, and of course reading! She’s been married to Tim for 29 years and is devoted to her cat, Cassi!

OB Library Expansion Public Hearings to Begin “Soon”

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New Polls Show San Diegans Want Stricter Regs on Scooters, Oppose Bike Lanes in Exchange for Loss of Parking

February 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune released their latest polling on the mayor’s race and on the city attorney contest – coming up on Primary Day, March 3.

The newspaper’s biggest story from their polls is that Todd Gloria leads the pack for mayor, a head of Scott Sherman, the main Republican, and Barbara Bry, the other major Democratic candidate. Gloria has 29%, Sherman 18%, Bry 13% and Tasha Williamson at 4%. Yet, a big part of the undisclosed story is that a plurality of San Diego voters haven’t made up their minds – 32% are – as of the survey date – undecided.

The U-T’s polling also – besides the candidates – hit other issues – and the results are very interesting. Sure, polls are polls, and in this one, only 527 “likely voters” were surveyed. But for what’s it’s worth, here’s some noteworthy results.

Large majorities of Democrats and Independents Want Stricter Regulations on Electric Scooters

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Guardian Angels to Host Ocean Beach Community Event for Potential Recruits – Wed., Feb.12

February 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Guardian Angles are hosting a community event for Ocean Beach on Wednesday Feb. 12. at 6pm-7:30pm.

They’ve set up a chapter in Pacific Beach and are now trying to meet OBceans who are interested in joining them for a potential chapter in OB.

Their hosted event will be at South Beach Bar and Grill as all guests who attend will be treated to a complimentary taco from the eatery. South Beach Bar and Grill is located at 5059 Newport Ave.

In their invite, the Guardian Angels say they will be “discussing patrols, training, what we do, and how you can get involved with us to make our community safer.”

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OB Street Stewards Looking for Volunteers to ‘Adopt a Block’

February 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Street Stewards is a group effort by locals to keep Ocean Beach clean on a block-by-block basis. They also search for other OBceans and get them to adopt their block in keeping their area spruced up.

It’s the OB “Adopt a Block” campaign. They are looking for volunteers to join them and sign up on their facebook page.

They only ask that people who do sign up walk around their block once a week and pick up trash, either in the street, the sidewalks or bushes. And it would be a way for people to get to know their neighbors better.

Here’s how they describe it all:

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-February 2020

February 7, 2020 by Frank Gormlie


Random Street Art in OB

Newport Pizza to Close With Hopes of Moving to Jungle Java

There’s more news about Newport Pizza. The OB Rag first reported the ale and pizza house was set to close in October 2019. Now we’ve learned it will shut its doors on February 9 but with the hope of relocating in what’s now Jungle Java, the open-air coffee patio by the end of summer. ….COME INSIDE FOR MORE

City Prepares Groundwork for Massive Redevelopment of Midway District

Jennifer Van Grove wrote in the Feb. 7 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune about how the City of San Diego is laying the groundwork for a massive redevelopment of the Midway District, centered around the old sports arena complex. COME INSIDE FOR MORE

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San Diegans Join Thousands Across Nation in Rejecting Coverup and Trump’s ‘Acquittal’

February 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Wednesday, Feb. 5, local San Diegans joined thousands of others across the country in more than 200 protests of the coverup and Trump’s acquittal.

The San Diego chapter of Indivisible mobilized people at several street corners, and about 40 demonstrators showed up at the corner of Sixth and University avenues in Hillcrest, the SanDiegoUnion-Tribune reported. A steady stream of supportive honking from drivers flowed by. The group chanted slogans such as “sham trial, not above the law” and “come November, we will remember.”

There were other protests including one on North Harbor Drive.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board: Reviewed New Bermuda Stairs Design, Denied Orchard Project, Okayed Pedestrian Safety at OBE

February 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It was a packed, standing-room-only crowd at last night’s meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The various issues on the busy agenda each brought out their own numbers of residents and this reporter counted 50 people in the audience over the scope of the meeting in the OB Rec Center.

The board of community volunteers received a presentation on the design for the new stairs at the foot of Bermuda, shot down a project proposed for the 4600 block of Orchard, were asked to support parents at OB Elementary in their efforts to achieve pedestrian safety improvements around the school, and were asked to okay reaching out to the Mission Bay Park Committee to seek improvements to the River Bike Path trail.

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Jen Campbell Declares She’s ‘First District 2 Council Member to Get Funding for the OB Library Expansion’

February 5, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The city council person who represents Ocean Beach and Point Loma – as well as the rest of District 2 – gave a “State of the District” speech late last week, Jan. 30. Yet the only print media this writer has seen about the address is the account by Dave Schwab at the Peninsula Beacon.

And thanks to Schwab, we have a sense of what Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell said and did during the event at the Liberty Station Conference Center in Point Loma. Schwab said she “touched on everything from monarch butterflies and pesticide use to housing, homelessness, electric scooters, and short-term vacation rentals.”

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Ocean Beach Planners to Review 2 Residential Projects and New Bermuda Stairs

February 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Planning Board has two residential development permits to review when it meets next, this Wednesday, Feb. 5, plus a review of stairway to replace the damaged one at the end of Bermuda, and a review of pedestrian improvements around OB Elementary School. The Board meets at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave., at 6 pm sharp.

4640 Orchard

The Board will review a process 5 tentative map waiver and CDP (Coastal Development Permit) to separate 2 lots, demolish the existing house and construct 2 new residences. See these photos.

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Senate Republicans Continue Trump’s Cover-Up in Sham ‘Trial’ by Not Allowing Witnesses

January 31, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The US Senate just voted 51 to 49 not to allow any witnesses in their proceeding. This clearly demonstrates that Senate Republicans have now joined in the cover-up of Trump’s impeachable offenses and that the proceedings going on within the Senate chambers cannot be called a “trial”.

Senators Romney and Collins joined all Democratic Senators in voting to allow witnesses and other evidence into the proceedings.

But without witnesses and any documentary evidence, a trial cannot be held, and therefore, the proceedings are a sham, a fake.

As soon as the vote on witnesses was completed, the Senate moved into recess. It’s not clear what the next action will be or when it will occur.

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Guerrero Pleads Guilty to Murders and Attacks on Homeless

January 28, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

One Homeless Victim Asked Him ‘Why?’ Guerrero Replied, “Because You’re a Bum.”

Jon David Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 27, to murdering four homeless men during a grisly serial killing spree in 2016 – including the horrific murder of an Ocean Beach man, Shawn Mitchell Longley. Four of the sleeping, homeless men were stabbed to death with rail spikes and two of those were set on fire.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson. He agreed to be sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison. This will occur on May 1. The charges stem from his attacks on 12 men and one woman over six months between February and July 2016.

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Welcome to ‘Primavera Falsa’ – the Annual False Spring

January 27, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

big surf day 11-3-10 jg 03-sm

It’s “Primavera Falsa” time – the False Spring that comes to Ocean Beach and Southern California every year in mid to late January. And it’s happening again. Check out the temperatures coming up this week – the low 70’s to the low 80’s.

Every year around this time SoCal enjoys a week or two of “unseasonably” warm weather. Surfers grab their boards and head for the waves in droves. People flock to the beaches in swimsuits and actually go into the ocean.

Winter sweaters and jackets are stashed – at least temporarily -, and the BBQ grills are rolled back out from their winter hibernation. Yet, alas … it’s only for a short while. For a decade now, we’ve been calling it Primavera Falsa and it happens every January.

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Cusp of Aquarius Jan. 2020

January 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Dirty Birds to Donate 20% of Sales to Help Filipino Volcano Victims

Mid-Length Surf Boards Are Going Mainstream

OB Cops Pay for Sweater and Socks for Barefoot Homeless Man

Surf Rider Pizza Up for Sale

Missing Inmate Found in Midway District

Data Release: 22 Pedestrians, 5 Bicyclists Killed in 2019 in City of San Diego – W.Pt Loma & Rosecrans On List

Pets owned by homeless people get veterinarian care once a month in Ocean Beach

Man on Trial Tells Jury He Didn’t Kill Ocean Beach Resident

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Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Property Transfer for Transit Center

January 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Faulconer, Navy and SANDAG Agree to Transfer Property for Midway Area Transit Center

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and representatives from SANDAG and the Navy signed off on a agreement to transfer the Navy property known as NAVWAR over to SANDAG so it can pave the way for the development of a major transit center.

Whether it’s in the Midway District or in Old Town, this is a big deal, which will allow for the redevelopment of the 72-acre property along Interstate 5.

Faulconer and SANDAG reps signed the agreement at the Pentagon with the Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly.

In return SANDAG has agreed to build a “new state of the art facilities” for the Navy for NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command – which used to be called SPAWARS).

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Peninsula Planning Board Calls Proposed Changes to North Chapel ‘Fundamentally Inconsistent’ With Its Historical Use

January 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Chairperson of the Peninsula Community Planning Board, Robert Goldyn, has written a letter on behalf of the Board to Mayor Faulconer and other city officials calling the proposed “modifications” to the North Chapel at Liberty Station “fundamentally inconsistent with the historical use of the property.”

Goldyn was responding to a presentation by the property managers of North Chapel at the most recent meeting of the Board on January 16. (See OB Rag reporter Geoff Page’s report here.)

828 Venues representatives – the current sublessee – had described the proposed changes – as Goldyn noted – “that include, in particular, the removal of substantially all of the pews that are currently installed in the building and the removal of several stained glass windows, each of which have been specifically identified as historic resources in the Guidelines for Historic Properties at NTC.”

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Long-Time Point Loma Bakery Closes Down for Good After Immigration Audit

January 16, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A long-time Point Loma bakery, Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café, just announced it closed its doors for good on Wednesday, January 15 after an immigration audit determined there were undocumented migrants working there.

The bakery had first opened in 1999 at Rosecrans and Canon in Point Loma, then it moved to Liberty Station in 2010. It was supplying breads to a number of San Diego restaurants. Its owners stated they closed down their Dewey Road location at Liberty Station due to what’s called an I-9 audit by immigration authorities, who apparently had found “suspect documents” of an unknown number of their employees.

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All Eyes on Senator Susan Collins Who Says She’s Working With Small Group of Republicans to Ensure Witnesses at Trump’s Trial

January 15, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

All eyes are now trained on Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine who told a local hometown newspaper on Friday that she was working with a small group of Republican Senators to ensure there are witnesses during Trump’s trial in the Senate.

The House just voted today to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and Speaker Nancy Pelosi just named the seven House members who will be “managers” during the Senate trial. The trial is expected to begin next Tuesday, January 21.

According to the Bangor Daily News:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters on Friday that she is working with a “fairly small group” of fellow Republican senators toward a goal of ensuring witnesses can be called in the chamber’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

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One of Largest Apartment Complexes in Ocean Beach Just Sold for $18.3 Million

January 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

One of the largest Ocean Beach apartment complexes in the community has just been sold for $18.3 million.

The 60-unit complex at 4464 Castelar Street in northeast OB was sold to Interstate Enquiries Corp. of Los Altos by the Groebli Revocable Trust of La Jolla. Supposedly the property had never been placed on the open market before.

The Groebli family developed the 45,302 square-foot complex in the early 1970’s and have owned and operated it ever since.

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News from Ocean Beach Ten Years Ago – January 2010

January 10, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

sunset green llight

Editordude: I dragged some ten-year old “news of OB” columns from our archives for your reading pleasure. The news column used to called “OB Flashes” – which is what the news column in the original, newspaper version of the OB Rag was titled back in the first half of the 1970s. So, below are “OB Flashes” from Jan. 4, 2010 and from Jan. 11, 2010.
Fire Pits On the Agenda of OB Planning Board – Jan 6th
The issue of the City’s plans to remove fire pits from San Diego’s beaches will be on the agenda of the next OB Planning Board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday January 6th. The planning board meeting begins at 6 pm and is held at the OB Rec Center located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The issue is listed as Item #2 on the Board’s agenda, which can be viewed at their website.

Recent media attention and local support for saving OB’s fire pits have prompted the Board to raise the City’s plans for their removal as an issue to be discussed. Part of the purview of the Board is OB’s public recreational facilities – and the fire pits certainly would fall under that aspect of their jurisdiction.

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Lime to Pull Its Scooters Out of San Diego

January 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Lime Scooter is pulling all of its scooters out of San Diego and says they will likely be gone by the end of January. The corporation is closing down its operations in 11 other markets as well.

Lime spokesperson Alex Youn said:

“As part of our path to profitability, Lime has made the difficult decision to exit San Diego and focus our resources on markets that allow us to meet our ambitious goals for 2020. We’re grateful to our team members, riders, Juicers and communities who supported us throughout this journey. We appreciate the partnership we’ve enjoyed with San Diego and remain hopeful we can reintroduce Lime back into the community when the time is right.”

Lime called San Diego one of the first cities to “welcome” their scooters but one of the last to develop rules. At its peak, Lime had 4500 scooters, or “devices” as some call them, in San Diego. So why is Lime leaving paradise?

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Evans Hotels Lawsuit Against Unions Over Bahia Resort Expansion Is Dismissed

January 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Labor Unions’ First Amendment Rights Upheld by Federal Judge

Bill Evans – the owner of Evans Hotels, which owns three major hotel resorts in San Diego, – wants to double the size of one of them, his Bahia Resort in Mission Bay. In order to accomplish this Evans would remove public parking and public access to the bay. The local community has been fighting him on this issue over the last couple of years, calling it a public-land grab. Remember, Mission Bay is public property – it belongs to all of us.

Joining the community fight against the Bahia expansion were a couple of San Diego labor organizations, Unite Here Local 30 and the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council.

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News for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early January 2020

January 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Point Loma Library Art Makes “San Diego’s Finest Art” List

A painting at the Point Loma Library has made “Our Finest Art” list

Murder Trial Begins in Case Where Missing OB Man’s Body Never Found

A murder trial began Tuesday, Jan. 6 for a man accused of killing an Ocean Beach resident who went missing in 2017 and whose body was never found.
Police Foot Patrols Added to OB Last September

In September 2019, San Diego Police said they added two officers dedicated to patrolling the Ocean Beach area on foot, each working 40 hours a week in the area. In a tweet from January 7, 2020, SDPD stated:

OB Beach Clean-Up – Jan. 18

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Duncan Hunter to Resign From Congress on Monday, Jan.13

January 7, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the Republican who has been representing the 50th District in Congress, declared he will officially resign from Congress on Monday, January 13.

It was in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom sent Tuesday, Jan. 7 that he made the official notification.

On December 3 Hunter pleaded guilty to a felony involving campaign spending. He’s expected to be sentenced March 17.

Indicted in August 2018, after serving in Congress for ten years, he faced 60 federal counts as he and Margaret Hunter, his wife and former campaign manager, were accused of stealing $250,000 of campaign funds, using the monies for family vacations – including at least one to Italy – , groceries, his extramarital affairs and other non-campaign uses, including airfare for a pet rabbit.

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Around Ocean Beach in the New Year – A Photo Journey of Sorts

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Join us for a cruise around Ocean Beach in the New Year. We’re highlighting the changing of businesses in this photo journey.

Is Apogee moving into former Lola Luna?

Last month we reported that the former Lola Luna was being remodeled for Apogee’s jewelry customers. But now it appears that the entire Apogee storefront will be moving into that space across the street.

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The Sad Saga of OB People’s Quest for a Vegetarian Restaurant Has Ended

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

People’s Cafe Property for Sale

Indeed, the former OB Garden Cafe property is for sale by OB People’s Organic Market. It’s a sad ending to People’s saga for a new vegetarian restaurant. A neighbor told this reporter that he believed the sale price was for $2 million. This has not been confirmed.

It was in 2014 that People’s purchased the property with Tiny’s Tavern and some other structures on the lot. But in January 2015, Tiny’s owner passed away.

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Two Dozen OBceans Call for More Police at the Beach

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

More than two dozen OB residents held a protest rally at the foot of Newport Avenue on Sunday, Jan. 5, and hoped to send a message to city leaders. They want to see more police presence around the waterfront of the community.

About a dozen of them marched down Newport Avenue earlier before they gathered along the OB Wall.

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