US Chief Executive Waves Bye-Bye After Visit to Jolly ol England

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Man Detained Suspected of Setting 8 Fires in Ocean Beach – One Apartment Complex Had to Be Evacuated

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Police have detained a man suspected of setting up to 8 fires in Ocean Beach between 11pm Thursday to about 6am Friday morning, July 13.

One fire caused the evacuation of an apartment complex.

SDFD Capt. Cory Beckwith told the media Fire Department crews responded to 8 different fires – all clearly intentionally set from about midnight to about 6 a.m. Friday. The fires were in plastic trash cans, dumpsters and at least one car. Most fires were set in trash bins pulled up next to a car.

And law enforcement may have caught a man red-handed as reportedly he was seen in the process of starting a fire on Long Branch Avenue and was then detained.

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The Future of Ocean Beach Is Very Likely to Be Decided on Monday, July 16

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It is a truth that is staggering. And it is not hyperbole.

The future of Ocean Beach very likely will be decided this coming Monday, July 16, when the San Diego City Council votes on regulating short term vacation rentals.

This will be their 4th major hearing on these type of rentals, often called mini-hotels – having failed over 3 years to set policy. Up for discussion is Mayor Faulconer’s proposed “compromise” and all he and the short term platform companies like Airbnb need is 5 votes.

If Faulconer’s plan passes in total or in substance – the future of this community has been decided

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If Judge Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, SeaWorld Will Have a Friend on the Supreme Court

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

“If Brett Kavanaugh wins Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Ken Stone over at The Times of San Diego warns us, “SeaWorld may have a friend in high places.”

It was just in 2014 that Kavanaugh saddled up to SeaWorld’s side in a case involving the death 4 years earlier of a SeaWorld trainer by one of the killer whales. The trainer was Dawn Brancheau and the Orca was named Tilikum, and the case was about a $70,000 OSHA fine slapped on the theme park – which SeaWorld contested and took it to court.

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‘No One From Ocean Beach Showed’ at Historical Board Vote on Nati’s Building

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In Julie Stalmer’s recent San Diego Reader article on the vote by the San Diego Historical Resources Board to deny the OB Nati’s buildings any historic designation, she reported “no one from the Ocean Beach community showed” at their June 28 hearing.

This was according to Amie Hayes, a historic resources specialist with Save Our Heritage Organization, quoted by Stalmer; Hayes was there for the hearing. Hayes said:

“The vote was 2-7, so it didn’t pass. This means the property can now be demolished.”

There was one email on record from a couple who appeared to be OBceans opposing the buildings destruction and extolling the “quirky charm and character” of OB. The email read, in part:

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OB Rag Interviews With Ocean Beach Heroes Over the Years

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag writers have interviewed a good number of local individuals over the years, people whom we consider “Heroes of OB”. What better time to bring these interviews out from the archives and highlight these folks once again – during the doldrums of summer.

Gary Gilmore – from October 2010

Gary Gilmore – Newport Avenue’s goldsmith par excellence – is proud of the fact that he arrived in Ocean Beach in 1973 with nothing else but the clothes on his back, his guitar, and his leather tools. He had journeyed across the country and had found heaven. And he’s been in OB ever since. His is a true classic rags to riches story. Yet it’s an OB hippie version of the classic. For Gary Gilmore certainly looked like a hippie when he arrived 37 years ago.

Gretchen Newsom – from November 2013

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall. Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

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Coalition of Community Groups Opposes Faulconer’s Short Term Rental Plan and Makes Own Recommendations

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Public Forum on STVRs – Thursday, July 12

A San Diego coalition of town councils – including the Ocean Beach Town Council – and other community groups has just strongly come out against Mayor Faulconer’s proposed ordinance on regulating short term vacation rentals, and instead have their own set of recommendations and proposals.

The coalition, called the San Diego Community Short Term Vacation Rental Working Group, is trying to gear up San Diegans opposed to STVRs to attend the upcoming City Council meeting on Monday, July 16 where they are set to vote and pass regulations on the controversial rentals.

The STVR Working Group is also hosting a public forum on July 12 to answer questions or concerns about how the proposed Faulconer ordinance will affect schools and residential neighborhoods of San Diego

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Short Term Vacation Rentals: the Discussion Continues on San Diego Mayor’s Flawed Plan

July 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In Sunday, July 8th’s Op-Ed page in the San Diego Union-Tribune, discussion on short term vacation rentals fairly monopolized the opinion section as representatives of the hotel industry, Councilwoman Barbara Bry and the head of the Mission Beach Town Council all hashed it out.

The op-ed pieces were responding to Mayor Faulconer’s recent “compromise” proposal to resolve one of the most contentious issues currently roiling San Diego – what to do about the short term rentals.

In their piece entitled, “Neighborhoods, Jobs Must Be Protected“, Katherine Lugar and Lynn Mohrfeld – both CEOs of hotel industry associations – at first came out swinging against STVRs and appeared to be right-on:

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2018

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

50 Years Ago – OB Pier Dedicated

It was on July 2, 1966, that the OB Pier was dedicated – see article online at the San Diego Union-Tribune; the pier was a promise made to the community when the fishing bridge between OB and South Mission was dismantled in 1950.

Nati’s Building Denied Historic Designation

How to Avoid Fines from Tickets During Fourth of July holiday

Prince’s Recycling Closes With Sympathy


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Long Branch Torrey Pine Was Designated as a Heritage Tree

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The large Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch Avenue in OB that the city of San Diego and its contractor are trimming – with a permit to remove next month – was designated a Heritage Tree back in November 2016. It was one of 8 so designated in OB (here’s a map of OB Heritage Trees).

What does it mean for a tree to have this status?

Issues such as tree health, public safety, and overall function and value of each tree are given more extensive consideration.

Also, alternatives such as sidewalk re-contouring, metal grating, corrective pruning and any other feasible alternatives to removal must be considered first.

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BREAKING NEWS: City Posed to Chop Down Long Branch Torrey Pine – Same Tree Saved 7 Years Ago

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Calling all Torrey Pine lovers!

According to residents on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue, the City of San Diego – and its contractor – is posed to chop down the large Torrey Pine on that block – the same Torrey saved by the community seven and a half years ago.

The city’s contractor is on the block at this very moment – 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 5. Local residents were told the tree has moved and unless trimming it solves the problem, it will be chopped down.

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4,000 San Diegans Rally and March Downtown in Protest of Trump’s Immigration Policy

June 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

An estimated 4,000 San Diegans rallied at the County Administration Building / Waterfront Park, listened to music and speakers, then marched down Harbor Drive and back around on Pacific Highway to a second rally. All to keep families together

The demonstration was one of 750 protests scheduled around the country

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Updates from the Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

June 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

President Marcus Turner opened up the non-agenda comment portion of last Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the OB Town Council – always a treasure trove of local issues and announcements.

Over a dozen members of the board looked out to an audience that approached 60 residents and government officials. (The main forum for the evening was about short term vacation rentals – reported here in a separate post.)

Matt Beatty, head librarian of the OB branch, and this reporter announced the coming “OB Shelf” to be organized over the next few weeks, with materials, books about OB or books by local authors.

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Ocean Beach’s Mural Alley

June 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach has a long history of public murals – a history that stretches back at least to the mid-late 1970s.

Some of the more famous ones are those painted each year during the OB Street Fair and hung on exterior walls of various businesses around Newport Avenue. But we’ve had others – and most of them are still around.

Well, we’d now like to highlight an alley off Newport filled with fairly-recently painted murals – an alley many locals have known about for quite some time.

The alley – OB’s Mural Alley – is the alley between Newport Ave and Niagara Ave – and between Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Cable.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Gears Up to Oppose Mayor’s Proposal on Short Term Rentals for San Diego

June 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Many informed voices were heard last night, Wednesday, June 27 at the Ocean Beach Town Council forum on short term vacation rentals, including local OB experts, other heads of neighboring town councils – all opposed to Mayor Faulconer’s proposal – except for one – that of Anthony George, the Mayor’s representative.

The good-sized audience inside the Masonic Center leaned in as presidents of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Clairemont town councils joined in the chorus critical of the impacts coastal communities will suffer if Faulconer’s ordinance is accepted by five of City Council-members. The City Council meets July 16 to once again attempt to address one of the most contentious issues roiling the city.

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‘OB Shelf’ Coming to Ocean Beach Library

June 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag is working with the staff at the Ocean Beach Library to set up what’s being called “the OB Shelf” – a section of the library devoted solely to books and materials about OB.

Coming in the next few weeks, the OB Shelf will have books about Ocean Beach and books written or published by local authors. Matt Beatty, the head librarian,

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Off-Newport Avenue on a Wednesday in Ocean Beach – a Photo Gallery

June 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Some Wednesdays get a little crazy in the late afternoon on Newport Avenue – due, obviously, to the famous OB Farmers Market. To see what else was happening around the village and “off-Newport”, this reporter found the following.

Face-Lift at Pat’s Liquor

Pat’s Liquor has been a mainstay at the intersection of Voltaire and Abbott for decades. Now, locals may recognize a whole new look as the 1940s exterior has given way to the trendy “industrial” look.

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Effort to Save Ocean Beach Architecture of Nati’s Buildings at Historic Resources Board

June 26, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There’s an effort going on right now to save the architecture of the buildings at Nati’s in Ocean Beach. Locals and activists of SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organization) are attempting to change the opinion of San Diego’s Historical Resources Board at their upcoming June 28 meeting.

The Nati’s building is on the agenda.

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Are Granny Flats the Future of Ocean Beach and Point Loma?

June 25, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Are so-called “granny flats” the future of Ocean Beach and of Point Loma?

It certainly appears to be so – at least for OB, given what happened at the last meeting of the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee. Wednesday night, June 20, the sub-committee of the full Board sent recommendations for approval for three granny flats in Ocean Beach. The full Board will meet in August to make the final determinations of approval (the Board is dark Wed, July 4).

Granny flats – also known as secondary units, backyard cottages, or ADUs – accessory dwelling units – have become all the rage now because California has just recently changed the laws surrounding the building of ADUs, making it easier, requiring less fees and dropping parking requirements. Some housing advocates, planning panels – and many construction companies – see them as a panacea for the state’s housing crisis.

Essentially, the state has mandated that if a proposed secondary unit meets certain requirements, than a city or volunteer planning board must allow it.

And this is what happened last week

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Young Man Air-Lifted from Sunset Cliffs June 14 Died From His Injuries

June 25, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Neither the OB Rag nor our primary source can confirm the death of the man who was airlifted from Sunset Cliffs June 14A young man who had to be air-lifted by chopper from rocks at the foot of Sunset Cliffs near Hill Street after a 30 foot fall on June 14, actually died from his injuries. He has not been publicly identified.

This is what happened, according to Julie Klein, who has chaired the Public Safety Committee for the OB Mainstreet Association for years. Usually, Julie is the one of the first to hear news from police officers and is very credible on such issues.

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Point Loma and Ocean Beach Have 3 of Top 4 ‘Most Dangerous Intersections for Cyclists’ in City of San Diego

June 22, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

You can’t get away from it. Point Loma and Ocean Beach between them have three of the top four most dangerous intersections for bicyclists within the City of San Diego.

This, according to an analysis as part of a project by local attorney Michael Bomberger, who is trying to make local bicycle riders more aware of the most dangerous areas.

Of the City of San Diego’s top 4 worse intersections, 3 are in OB and Point Loma:

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Water Quality Advisory Up for Dog Beach in Ocean Beach – Friday, June 22

June 22, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The County of San Diego’s Water Quality Program has issued an immediate advisory to avoid contact with any water at Dog Beach in OB.

The advisory covers the San Diego River outlet south three hundred (300) feet. The County says “Bacteria levels may exceed health standards.”

Here is their Advisory

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America’s Soul On the Line as Trump Moves to Set Up 4 Prison Camps for Babies and Toddlers

June 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Under pressure from the entire country, Trump signed an executive order today, Wednesday, that is meant to keep families together at the border, halting a policy he instituted earlier this year.

13 Governors Pull Back their National Guard Units from Border in Protest of Trump Child Separation Policy

Rachel Maddow wept openly on TV as she struggled to read the last report of her nightly broadcast on MSNBC last night, June 19. It was an AP story about how the Trump administration was moving to set up a 4th prison camp for hundreds of babies and toddlers in south Texas, euphemistically called “Tender Age Centers”.

Maddow’s empathy matched that of most of the country, as America reeled under the horrifying images and audio recordings of small children wailing for their parents –

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Claudia Jack Returns to OB Historical Society Monthly Event – Thurs., June 21

June 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s true – Claudia Jack returns to the monthly Ocean Beach Historical Society get together.

Due to the popularity of her previous OBHS program Claudia Jack is returning to talk about her O.B. tales – going back to when she came to Ocean Beach in 1957.

She will also show her latest sign collection acquisitions and

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This Is Not the America We Want

June 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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3 Proposed ‘Granny Flats’ Up for Review by Ocean Beach Planners – Wed., June 20

June 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There are 3 projects up for review this Wednesday by Ocean Beach planners – and all three are proposed “granny flats” (you can bet ‘Granny’ will never live there) – 4629 Coronado, 4828 Long Branch, and 4741 Brighton.

It’s a meeting of the Project Review Committee, a subcommittee of the full board, which gives recommendations to the board on proposed projects. They meet at 6pm at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

On June 20 then, the planners will review the following:

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Around Ocean Beach

June 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

What’s Behind That Green Curtain at the OB Fire Station?

Have you driven by OB’s Fire Station on Voltaire Street only to become curious of just what’s behind those green curtain fences? This reporter dropped by on Friday, June 15 to find out. Without the proper procedure being completed which can take days and maybe weeks, reporters cannot visit inside, and as this was just a peak over the fence, I bypassed that.

Is that a food truck? No, it’s a …..

Ocean Beach Plaza Begins Its Domination

Work has been progressing on this major construction project,

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Housing Commission Accuses Point Lomans of NIMBYism in Opposing Huge Housing Project on Open Space

June 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Last night, Thursday, June 14, about 80 Point Lomans crowded into the meeting room at the local library and gave representatives from the San Diego Housing Commission a piece of their collective mind about the proposed 78 units on the table to be built.

It was a special meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board on the open space land at Famosa and Voltaire – and although the Board failed to manage a quorum – they really didn’t need one as it wasn’t a voting meeting for them. What it the meeting represented was another chance for the Housing Commission to explain their project and get feedback.

Apparently, the discussion became testy – as different sides were being heard

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Missing Point Loma Man Murdered, Suspect in Custody Already

June 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A Point Loma man, Peter Bentz, went missing just before Thanksgiving last year. His family went to the police and reported that he didn’t show up for a planned family outing out of town, and it was unlike him to not contact friends and family members. Bentz, 68, was last seen at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach on November 19. Missing posters went up.

Somewhere along the line – and for as yet undisclosed reasons – developments in the case caused police investigators to believe they had a murder case on their hands and it was turned over to homicide detectives.

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OB Mermaid Is Gone But Not Forgotten

June 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

This reporter’s cousin, Mindy Elliot, reports on facebook that the OB Mermaid has been blown off “Bird Shit Rock”.

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