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

October 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

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

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

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

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Point Loma Residents Urged to Call City and Airport ASAP – City Crews Are Beginning to Illegally Remove Trees on ‘Emergency Basis’

October 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Residents of Point Loma are being urged to immediately contact the city and airport because city crews are out and about currently (noon Tuesday) and are attempting to remove some of the trees on their “obstruction” list. Property owners at 4404 Newport “chased” one crew off after it had “topped off” one Palm Tree on their list.

Once a Palm Tree is “topped off” it will never come back.

Residents need to contact the city and airport and get them to halt this practice, immediately.

The airport has informed residents of Point Loma that an independent contractor hired by the city would remove the mainly Palm Trees it identified as “obstructions”. Yet, it is a city crew out today attempting to circumvent proper and legal procedures for removing trees.

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Point Loma’s Endangered Palm Trees

October 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A reader sent in the following list of trees and addresses the airport will have removed or trimmed. The list includes other than Palm Trees, such as several Eucalyptus trees on Alcott Street and trees on the other side of the airport. There are 12 trees from Point Loma on the list:

TREE; PALM
City of SD ROW; 4386 Newport Ave.
City will remove, Airport will inform resident

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Airport Explains Purpose and Location of Point Loma Palm Trees to Be Removed

October 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Airport has responded to Point Loma residents’ inquiries about the nature and purpose of its program to unilaterally remove tall trees that it claims “obstruct” airspace and aircraft paths. Ralph Redman, manager of planning and environmental affairs, sent out a letter, map and descriptions of the locations of the trees – mainly Palm Trees – which are posted below.

“The purpose of removing the identified trees,” Redman stated, “is to ensure the safety of community and flying public as planes approach San Diego International Airport (SAN).” He goes on:

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Airport Set to Unilaterally Remove Palm Trees in Point Loma as ‘Obstructions’ to Airspace and Runway Paths

October 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Airport, working with the City of San Diego, is set to remove palm trees in Point Loma, unilaterally and with or without local adjacent property owners’ consent.

Dozens of letters were sent out by the Airport this month addressed to adjacent property owners in Point Loma warning them that a City of San Diego contractor would be removing palm trees within the next couple of weeks.

The letters inform the property owner that the FAA requires the airport to survey “surrounding airspace and runway approach paths,” to locate “obstructions” which “have a detrimental impact on airport operations, particularly during periods of reduced visibility, low clouds, or nighttime operations.”

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Competing Images for the Midway ‘Emerge’

October 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Now that the redevelopment of the Midway District has returned to the drawing board, competing images of its future have emerged.

Brookfield Properties – former Mayor Faulconer’s favored developer for Midway – has returned with a reworked concept for a mixed-use development called “Discover Midway.” Plus Brookfield has an expanded team which now includes two experienced affordable-housing developers and retains ASM Global, the current operator of Pechanga Arena.

Their project includes a commitment to set aside at least 25 percent of housing units for lower-income families. According to the U-T, “There are no specifics, no renderings, and none of the pomp and circumstance of the last go-around. Some of that will come as the Discover Midway group works to fine-tune its bid, which is due Dec. 3.

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Photographer for Original OB Rag Passes – Bruce Gardner RIP

October 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

One of the first great photographers for the original OB Rag, Bruce Gardner, has passed. Friends believe he was 70 years old.

Around 1974, Bruce joined the staff of the Rag as a photographer, and many of his black and whites made the front cover. He worked out of a garage which he had converted into a darkroom, across the street from where the rest of the staff worked. Those were the days when the Rag was published out of an old surfboard maker’s shed, in the backyard of an OB house near the coast.

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Mid-October 2021 News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma

October 11, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Tarballs Found at Mission Beach – How to Report Them

Tar balls were discovered on Oct. 8 in Mission Beach. To report tar/oil email:

Skateboarder Hit Tuesday Succumbs to His Injuries In Hospital

John Patrick Robinson, 27, passed away Saturday in the hospital.

Gov. Newsom Signs Bill That Expands Outdoor Dining

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10 Years Ago: Sleeping with the Occupy San Diego Movement

October 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 10 Years Ago: Sleeping with the Occupy San Diego Movement

Originally posted Oct. 8, 2011

Having just returned from the Occupy San Diego encampment at Children’s Park with a full 2 hours of sleep under my belt, I wanted to shine a light into the insides of this movement over the last bunch of hours.

We counted 65 tents last night pitched on the grass and a whole lot of campers slept out in the open. Which means at least two hundred spent the night in our instant tent city of protest. Luckily, it didn’t get that cold last night and there was hardly any dew this morning.

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Occupy Wall Street Came to San Diego 10 Years Ago – Share Your Memories and Thoughts

October 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It was ten years ago this week that Occupy Wall Street came to San Diego. Many San Diegans – and OBceans – were involved in the movement over the months, and the OB Rag gave extended, in-depth coverage.

So, this is an open thread where you, dear reader, can share any memories and / or thoughts of the Occupy movement.

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Building an Infrastructure to Take Over the Public School System

October 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Educating children is expensive. Wealthy people like Charles Koch do not mind paying to educate their own children but they detest the idea of being taxed to pay for educating other people’s children.

In the dystopian market driven system libertarians such as Koch espouse, people should only receive what they pay for. They believe almost all government programs should be ended including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the FAA, the EPA, the Department of Energy, the FDA, The Consumer Product Safety Commission and more. Libertarians contend that mail, schools and roads should be privatized plus personal and corporate taxes should be abolished (Kochland Pages 113 and 114).

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OB Paddle Out for Clean Water Follows Oil Spill Off Orange County, While Questions Raised of Response Time

October 4, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

An estimated 500 people took part in the annual OB Pier Paddle Out for clean water on Sunday, October 3 — just days after one of the largest oil spills in recent California history erupted off the coast of Orange County.

Meanwhile, Southern California residents, business owners and environmentalists are raising questions on why it took authorities so long in reacting to contain the over 130,000 gallon spill, that spans nearly 6 nautical miles.

According to reports from people who live and work in the area, they noticed an oil sheen and a heavy petroleum smell Friday evening. Yet, it wasn’t until Saturday morning after 9 am that the Coast Guard first reported it. It wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that a unified command was established to respond. And it took until Saturday night for the company that operates the pipeline believed responsible for the leak to shut down operations.

It wasn’t until Sunday that booms were deployed on the ocean surface to try to contain the oil.

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‘Brownout’ Closed Point Loma Fire Station Last Weekend

October 1, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The public learned this week that a “brownout” closed the Point Loma fire station on Catalina Boulevard last weekend. On Wednesday, Fire Chief Colin Stowell said staffing shortages forced the department to close the fire engine and also three specialty firefighting units. The department hasn’t had to resort to “brownouts” in over a decade. Stowell said:

“Brownouts are totally our last resort and I can’t remember the last time this happened, so I would not expect this is going to be a regular occurrence. The many factors and complexities creating these challenges will slowly subside over time.”

Those other factors included the pandemic and Northern Cal wildfires.

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New City Policy in Responding to Encampments of the Houseless Explained

October 1, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There’s been a change in how the City of San Diego responds to encampments of the houseless. No longer will police officers respond to reports or complaints of camps, but instead they will be directed to a group partnered with the city, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). PATH then will have up to four days to make contact with people in the camp to begin resolving problems.

All this was explained by writer Steven Mihailovich in the latest Point Loma Monthly magazine.

This is the current state of complaints of encampments through San Diego’s Get It Done app. Long-time Community Relations Officer David Surwilo

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Of Course San Diego Water Use Is Up – Local Water Authority Leaders Told Us We Had Enough Water till 2045 – They Should Resign

September 24, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The big news is that despite Gov. Newsom’s appeal for Californians to cut water use, water use in San Diego County actually went up.

According to new data, water use rose 1.3 percent in San Diego. … On average, Californians reduced water use by just 1.8 percent statewide during July as compared to the same month last year.

Yet is it any surprise that San Diegans haven’t adhered to Newsom’s appeal? We were told by our local water authority back in June ‘Not to worry, we have enough water through 2045.’

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90% of San Diego Cops Say They Would Rather Be Fired Than Fired Upon

September 22, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

This is satire

Roughly nine out of 10 members of the San Diego Police Officers Association who responded to a recent survey say they would rather be fired than fired upon.

733 current officers took the poll, conducted by the Police Officers Association, and 45% responded that they cannot comply with the Department’s requirements that they conduct patrols and risk being killed or wounded by gunfire. And roughly 65% said they would consider resigning from their jobs if the city and the department forced them to go out on patrol.

In fact, they say, 35 San Diego police officers have died in the line of duty since the force was created, and they do not intend to add their names to the hallowed list. The SDPD was first formed in 1889.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – September 2021

September 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

OB Mobile Media Production Gig

DharmaDen’s Sessions have been staged at the Template in OB with performers such as Riston Diggs (playing with the Gravities) and a new band called the Gnarly Heads,

IB Pier Closes – Sound Familiar?

The Imperial Beach Pier is closed after part of the pier collapsed into the ocean, officials said. The Port of San Diego, which manages the wooden pier

Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins – The Worst Singer in the World

Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins – The Worst Singer in the World opens at 8 p.m. Friday at Point Loma Playhouse.

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Looks Like the OB Town Council Is Trying to Move On – Is the Rest of the Community Ready to Do So?

September 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Notices are going out. Announcements have been typed up and emailed. Online ticket sales have been organized. By all appearances then, the Ocean Beach Town Council is moving on by organizing this year’s “OB Pier Pancake Breakfast” in early October – but it won’t be on the pier.

Yet, the larger question is – is the community of Ocean Beach ready for the Town Council to move on? Have the issues and twerks that caused the recent crisis been worked out and resolved?

The election by the membership to fill the five open seats did happen. There are now five new members of the board of directors. All – except one – brand new to community volunteerism and activism.

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2 Days After Smashing Recall Effort, Newsom Signs Controversial Housing Bill SB9

September 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Two days after literally smashing the recall effort with 64% of the vote, Governor Gavin Newsom signed one of the most controversial housing bills on his desk. Newsom signed Senate Bill 9 by Senate leader Toni Atkins, formerly of San Diego, on Thursday.

Newsom said, “The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity.”

No one would argue with that statement, although SB 9 doesn’t create affordable housing. In fact, 241 cities came out against SB 9. In a letter from the League of California Cities, 241 cities asked Newsom not to sign the measure.

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1960 Winter Olympics Site Changes Racist, Sexist Name

September 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Once in a while, a news story about a change comes along that resonates, and here is one that does. I personally have been championing this specific change for some 20 years now. And it has finally happened.

The site of the 1960 Winter Olympics near Lake Tahoe is having its name changed. Its owners have decided that the old name that rhythms with “fall” is offensive to Indigenous women. The new name is Palisades Tahoe. Historically, it’s also been called Olympic Valley.

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Despite Favorable Polls, Democracy Is Still on the California Recall Ballot

September 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Despite recent favorable polls for Governor Newsom, democracy itself is still on the California recall ballot. This is not hyperbole. The very concept of “democracy” is up for grabs.

If Newsom is knocked out in this $276 million process, then the highest candidate could be elected governor with as few as 25% of the vote. This is plainly not democratic. Newsom was originally elected with 62% of the vote in 2018. So, for the “system” to allow a new chief executive for the state with such low support is undemocratic, un-American and not acceptable.

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9 – 11 : Where Were You When …

September 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Twenty years ago, tomorrow Saturday, our world changed.

Some see 9-11 as a generation’s “Pearl Harbor” of December 7, 1941 infamy.

Yet, many of us of different generations certainly remember where we were when the NYC Towers, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania (thanks to a brave contingent on board) were all hit. For the past week, the mainstream media has been running memorials and memories. You couldn’t miss them. So, here is your chance, dear reader, to offer yours. This is an open thread so the comments are for the taking.

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Luigi’s in Ocean Beach Hit With $1200 a Day Code Violations

September 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Restaurant on Newport Ave Has Until September 30 to Comply Without Fines

Luigi’s restaurant at the corner of Newport Avenue and Bacon Street has been hit with potentially $1,200 a day fines for four code violations by the city. The new Ocean Beach restaurant, owned by Luigi Agostini, was notified by the city on August 20 that they were in violation of the following: …

The restaurant was given until September 30 to correct the violations or else it would be subject to a $300 fine for each of the four violations every day until compliance.

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Jen Campbell Walking Fine Line in Crafting Street Vendor Regulations

August 31, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

At the August 4 meeting of the OB Planning Board, Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s representative was asked for an update on the vendor ordinance “that has taken a very long time to gestate,” as OB Rag reporter Geoff Page described it.

The rep, Teddy Martinez, replied that it may very well come to the San Diego city council in September – maybe. Martinez explained that it is difficult putting together an ordinance that satisfies state and federal law. The first version of the ordinance was tabled because of flaws in the information gathering effort. That has since been corrected and a new draft is ready. Page commented in his report that:

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OB Town Council Candidate Is Trumpian Anti-Masker, Supports Newsom Recall and Disparages People of Color

August 27, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

One of the candidates for the five open seats on the OB Town Council Board of Directors is Jim Musgrove. Musgrove, a former president of the OBTC, was known then as an ardent support of one of the most right-wing politicos to ever walk across San Diego’s stage, Carl Demaio.

Yet, from a review of Musgrove’s facebook page, it is very apparent that Musgrove still harbors his extreme views. He clearly is a Trumpian anti-masker, supports the recall of Governor Newsom, and during the pandemic, he made fun of efforts to maintain public health. Worse, his facebook page carried images that disparaged people of color.

Jim Musgrove is not someone to be on the local town council of a liberal, tolerant community such as Ocean Beach.

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Democracy, the OB Town Council, and Grassroots Activism – 11 Years Ago

August 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The following was originally published on August 26, 2010, exactly 11 years ago to the day. It was another time and another moment, but it’s still interesting, I think. Many of my friends on the OBTC are not aware of this ancient history – and I bear no grudges.

OB Town Council ballot annou Aug 2010

Here above is the official OB Town Council Elections announcement, released August 20, 2010. Notice my name, Frank Gormlie, listed as an official candidate.Last night at their packed public meeting, I pleaded with the Ocean Beach Town Council to allow me to remain a candidate on their ballot for the annual Board election which has just begun.

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OB Town Council ‘Candidate Forum’ Undermined by Refusal to Allow Questions of Candidates

August 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The main and only business at last nights OB Town Council meeting on Zoom / Facebook was a “Candidates Forum.” Candidates introduced themselves for a membership balloting on the five open seats on the Board of Directors early next month.

Originally, there were supposed to be 11 candidates, but for some reason, only 8 are current and only 7 showed up for the meeting. The following statement was on the OBTC facebook page, August 24, 2021: “We now have a wonderful field of 11 interested candidates to consider!” This means that 3 bowed out of running for some reason.

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OB Town Council Pledges ‘Special Election’, Membership Vote for 5 Open Seats; ‘Candidate Forum’ at Virtual Meeting, Wed., Aug.25

August 24, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The current board of the OB Town Council held their monthly private meeting on Wednesday, August 11 and decided to call for a “special election” to allow the membership to vote on candidates to fill the 5 empty seats.

A special election and membership vote had been called for by various members of the community including the 22 community leaders who signed the “Open Letter” to the board.

The membership will choose from candidates vetted by the board. The method of notifying the community about the election and requirement of candidates to submit letters of intent was not widely broadcast or advertised by the board. Non-members of the OBTC were not notified adequately, including former board members.

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More Thoughts on the Ouster of an Ocean Beach Community Leader

August 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

I hesitate to add more commentary to the debacle enveloping the Ocean Beach Town Council these days, but like a pile of rotting seaweed, there are things and questions we cannot ignore.

Just why was Mark Winkie asked to step down as president of the Board of Directors?

Putting aside for a moment the issue of how Winkie was dealt with by the Board, we look at the context. And let’s put aside for another moment the fact that three board members have since also resigned due to the manner in which he was asked to leave. For background, the Point Loma Monthly reported:

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What’s the Latest in the Ocean Beach Town Council Debacle? Here’s a Time Line

August 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The current debacle involving the Ocean Beach Town Council continues to churn. There’s been another resignation from the Board. Isaac Darby resigned last week.

With Darby’s resignation, that means two of the ten Board members who signed a letter to then president Mark Winkie asking him to resign, have since resigned themselves. One Board member resigned without signing the letter.

And with all these resignations – there have been a total of five over the last couple of months – there are only ten current members on the Board and there are now five open seats. What remains of the Board is in reality a rump group, having caused the ouster of four members. One-third of the Board has departed.

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