Will $8.4 Million in Repairs Open Up the West End of the Ocean Beach Pier for Good?

January 21, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

By Thursday, January 20, city contractors had begun to set up scaffolding near the end of the Ocean Beach Pier. The plan is to spend $8.4 million to repair two damaged piles.

A city spokesperson told media that the scaffolding might take upwards of two weeks to construct, and depending on the weather, repairs should take about eight weeks. He added the entire OB Pier should reopen once those repairs are completed. By the beginning of summer.

We’re all hoping that the city spokesguy is right, that this money will result in sufficient repairs that the end section can reopen.

Our concerns and fears are that this will be just a bandaid that will enable the pier to open the “T” section for just a limited period of time.

The city and the press keep repeating the mantra that the pier was badly damaged just last winter and these repairs will suffice. In the next breath, everyone says that, sure the Pier needs more but this is all funds that are available.

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Pandemic Lowers Deaths and Injuries at Sunset Cliffs for Second Year in 2021: 4 Injuries, 1 Death

January 17, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

It appears that the pandemic has lowered deaths and serious injuries at Sunset Cliffs for the second year. There was one death and 4 injuries due to human interaction with the beautifully stunning but treacherous cliffs during 2021, the second year of COVID-19.

The OB Rag has maintained a survey of deaths and serious injuries at the cliffs since 2005 and we have found an average of 5 deaths / serious injuries per year over that period of time. (Here is a link to last year’s report.)

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Was ‘Suspicious’ Fire at Fletcher and Gonzalez Home an Act of Domestic Terrorism?

January 14, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, the front exterior of the City Heights home of San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez home was engulfed in flames. Fletcher and Gonzalez were awoken by their smoke alarms after 4 am, and were able to safely evacuate with their family. No one was injured.

San Diego police officials said investigators believe the fire was suspicious due in part to the early hours of the blaze and that it began on the outside of the home.

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OB Town Council Elections Coming Up – Candidate Statements to Be Submitted by Jan.24

January 12, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Town Council is holding its elections for the Board of Directors, beginning the latter part of January and is now accepting Candidate Statements. The statements must be submitted by Monday, January 24. Voting by members takes place over the course of the week, from Thursday, January 27th to Friday, February 4th, 2022 .

From the OBTC website on the 2022 election:

There are 15 seats on the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors and OBTC members elect Board Directors for two-year terms. Half of the Board stands for election every year. This year, 7 seats are up for election. If you would like to be considered for candidacy, please submit your Candidate Statement by [going here] by Monday January 24th.

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Much of Northeast Mission Bay Will Return to Marshland Under Mayor Gloria’s New Proposal

January 12, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

On the eve of his State-of-the-City Address, Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled a stunning turnabout on a major environmental issue – the future of northeast Mission Bay. And it’s sure to win him accolades within San Diego’s environmental community.

On Tuesday, Gloria released his proposal to transform much of northeast Mission Bay into marshland – which has been demanded by environmentalists for years. It is a needed change in Mission Bay which will help fight sea level rise and restore animal habitats destroyed when beginning in the fifties, the huge shallow marshland and lagoon that we now know as Mission Bay, was aggressively dredged to make way for the largest aquatic park on the West Coast (some say it’s the largest in the world!).

For years, environmentalist – led by the Audubon’s ReWild Mission Bay project – have been pushing for more acreage as marshland; t

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City Proposes Closing Coastal Parks and Parking Areas in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

January 7, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

The City of San Diego is seriously considering closing coastal parks and parking areas in OB and Point Loma – as well as in other beach communities. They say it’s all about the crime, gang activity, late-night parties, illegal bonfires and unauthorized camping.

David Garrick at the U-T reports:

The parks and parking lots, which span from La Jolla to Ocean Beach, would either be physically closed by installing new security gates or posted with signs announcing the overnight closures. They would be added to several coastal parks and lots that already have overnight restrictions in place, some for as long as 20 years.

The list of new areas proposed for overnight closure is

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OB’s Ranting ‘Whistler’ Back in the News – Makes Art Piece Commemorating Crazy QAnon Fascist Killed While Storming Capitol

January 7, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

He’s back in the news again. OB’s own “Whistler” Matt Baker who gained national attention and derision when videos of him at the County Board of Supervisor whistling and ranting went viral.

This time, Baker has made an art piece commemorating the OB woman who was killed trying to storm the Capitol on January 6. The woman, whose name the OB Rag will not repeat, was a QAnon supporter and harbored fascist views of Biden and trump. She lived in OB a very brief time and was mainly from the East County neighborhood of Spring Valley.

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Who’s Running Against Jen Campbell in the ‘New’ District 2

January 5, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

We don’t have all the facts yet, but we have names. Or at least the names that have been floated about of those maybe running against Jen Campbell for the newly-redrawn District 2. The primary is June 7.

The Point Loma & OB Democratic Club stated the following Democrats were candidates in the race against Campbell:

  • Joel Day
  • Mandy Havlik
  • Lori Saldaña

But wait, there’s more.

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AG Garland Assures American Public DOJ Will Hold All Perpetrators at Any Level Accountable for Capitol Insurrection

January 5, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

In brief, Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke for nearly a half hour to assure the American public that the Department of Justice is committed to holding all perpetrators at any level accountable for the violent Capitol insurrection one year ago. The DOJ investigation, he said, will follow the facts no matter where they lead.

Garland ticked off a number of accomplishments the nation-wide investigation has accomplished to date:

  • 725 defendants involved in the siege have been arrested and charged;
  • 145 defendants have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in the early months of the investigation;
  • 325 defendants have been charged with felonies, assaulting police officers or disrupting congressional procedures;
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It’s Anti-Insurrection Week at the OB Rag – 1 Year Anniversary and No One of Significance Has Been Brought to Account for This Treason

January 4, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

It’s anti-insurrection week at the OB Rag.

One year ago this week, Trump instigated an attempt at a violent coup and thousands of his supporters laid siege to the Capitol while the Presidential election was being certified.

Over the course of the next few days, we plan to acknowledge the anniversary of this act of treason and review what the status is of the Big Lie. Here are some major points worthy of note (in the coming days we’re examine many of these with accompany links and evidence):

  • In the year since the insurrection, no one of any significance has been brought to account for the act of treason, despite plenty of evidence that shows high-level planning and coordination of the riotous siege of our democracy.
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News Over the Holidays You May Have Missed From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – End of 2021

December 29, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

*** Ocean Beach Apartment Complex Sells for Almost $2.4 Million

*** Local Woman Killed in Wrong-Way Crash at End of I-8

***Maria Senour Re-Elected as Prez of Community College District Board

*** Police Dog Recovering From Stab Wounds in the Midway

***New Shelter Opens in Midway District

*** Man Who Gunned Down Romantic Rival at Pt Loma Gym Pleads Guilty to Murder

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Mayor Gloria to ‘Fight Like Hell’ to Protect His Legacy Over Sports Arena Redevelopment

December 21, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Todd Gloria has recently pledged to “fight like hell” to save the Sports Arena redevelopment from Judge Bacal’s axe. Bacal just ruled last week that Measure E — which removed the 30-foot height limit in the Midway District — was illegally place on the ballot by the city council because of a lack of environmental review on buildings over 30 feet.

The lawsuit was brought by the nonprofit group, Save Our Access.
Gloria told KPBS:

“The revitalization of the Midway District is critical to the future of our city — not just for a new sports venue, but again, for the provision of housing that is attainable to low- and middle-income San Diegans.”

Now, don’t forget, dear reader, that Measure E contained no guarantees that affordable housing would be built.

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Residents Along Abbott Street in Ocean Beach Have Been Complaining About Non-Working Streetlights For Over a Year

December 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Residents on Abbott Street in OB have been complaining for a long time about broken and non-working street lights. At least for a year.

Neighbors are worried about crime and accidents at night on the darkened street.

Take Jon Carr, for instance. The Abbott Street resident and former vice-president of the OB Town Council (and former Rag writer) told News8 that he’s filed many complaints on the city’s “Get It Done” app and has written Councilmember Campbell’s office about his complaints and concerns. He’s been told more than once that they’re ‘get back’ to him.

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Save Our Access Responds to Court Ruling Nixing Measure to Lift Height Limit in the Midway

December 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Editordude: “Save Our Access,” the group that brought the lawsuit to block the implementation of Measure E, the lifting of the 30-foot height limit in the Midway District, responds here to the recent court ruling in their favor.

Regarding the 30′ Height limit lawsuit

Save Our Access brought the lawsuit because of how the city asked the public to lift the 30′ height. Established law says that an Environmental Impact Report must be made that includes public participation when major changes to a neighborhood plan is made. The city failed to do that.

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Here Are the 5 Contenders for the Sports Arena Redevelopment

December 14, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

There are 5 remaining redevelopment teams bidding to take on San Diego’s 48 acres of city-owned land around the sports arena in Midway District. Proposals from the Panacea Group and Cotterkey Investments were deemed not responsive and have been eliminated.

The developer groups are going for a longterm ground lease for the city’s real estate holdings at 3500, 3250, 3220 and 3240 Sports Arena Blvd. These include San Diego’s sports arena — the long-time home of the San Diego Gulls. Bidders are supposed to be submitting site redevelopment plans with a new or improved sports arena, and withat least 25 percent of proposed housing units for lower-income families.

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San Diego Vending Ordinance Sent Back to Committee

December 13, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Just about everyday it seems, there’s a letter to the editor in the San Diego U-T complaining about vendors taking over the Boardwalk at Belmont or swamping walk-ways in Balboa Park. In Ocean Beach, merchants and residents have long been complaining about vendors taking over the Vets’ Plaza and the grassy area at the end of Newport Avenue.

And merchants critical of vendors were hopeful that a mid-December hearing on a new vendor ordinance was about to be held. But, then, the city councilperson shepherding the proposed ordinance, Jen Campbell, lost her seat as Council president, and the new council president, Sean Elo-Rivera, shelved the hearing set for this week and sent it back to committee.

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Is a 5-Unit, 2-Story Bed and Breakfast Coming to the 4700 Block of Voltaire?

December 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Is a 5-unit bed & breakfast coming to the 4700 block of Voltaire Street?

That’s what the applicant hopes. A Coastal Development permit has been applied for by Stephanie Ibarra to build a 2-story, 5-unit bed and breakfast at 4744 Voltaire. The property is right across the street from the former People’s cafe. She filed the application on November 19 and the community was notified just recently.

First, the permit requests the “demolition of an existing 6,430 S.F. 2-story Single Dwelling/Storefront/Garage structure” –

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Latest Redistricting Map Change Returns Old Town to District 2 and Helps Campbell’s Re-Election

December 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Old Town has “returned” to District 2. It’s part of the latest redistricting map changes the volunteer commission has made of late. And the decision to keep all of Clairemont in D2 and say ‘bye-bye’ to Pacific Beach helps Jen Campbell keep her seat in her upcoming re-election campaign.

The adjustment to take Old Town from District 3 and place it with Ocean Beach, the Midway, Mission Beach, Clairemont, and the Peninsula was all ostensibly about finding balance — balance in population.

District 2 lost population in the map redrawings and the 1,200 residents of Old Town will boost its people number. Old Town used to be in District 2 until the 2011 redistricting changes and boundaries redrawn.

Some believe District 2 has been “radically redrawn

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SANDAG ‘Screwed Up’ Its Bikeways Plan, Continues to Face Neighborhood Opposition, Bureaucracy and Cost-Overruns

December 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata admits the agency “screwed up” its plan to create 70 miles of bicycle lanes and bikeways throughout San Diego County.

Since 2013, when the plan was adopted by the San Diego Association of Governments — eight years ago, it has completed 14 miles of bikeways and spent $186.5 million. SANDAG is planning to finish 11 more miles by spring of 2022 and to begin on another 18 miles by the end of 2022.

The original plan was to build 77 miles of streets and pathways by 2023 for $200 million. Now, the cost has risen to $446 million, even after SANDAG dropped 7 miles from the project. Officials say that rising construction costs have contributed to problems.

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Reality Check: Hundreds of White Nationalists March at the Lincoln Memorial

December 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

And you thought you were upset at antifa at the Pacific Beach demonstration. What about these guys – with flags, shields, leg guards and masks – all chanting “Reclaim America.”

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It Was a Bad Day for Jen Campbell: Replaced as Council President While Questions Raised Whether She Illegally Influenced Redistricting Process

December 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Monday was a bad day for Jen Campbell. She was replaced as City Council president and a local watchdog group has asked the San Diego City Attorney’s Office to investigate whether she or her staff illegally influenced the ongoing process of redistricting – the drawing of new council districts.

As the Voice of San Diego reports:

San Diego City Council members decided not to re-elect their colleague Councilwoman Jen Campbell as Council president, Monday. She became the first Council president not to win at least a second term in the role since it was formed in 2006 when the city switched to the strong mayor form of government. Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera, who represents City Heights, Kensington and the College Area, took the position instead.

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It Is Unacceptable That Only Left-Wing Counterprotesters Are Arrested From January Clash With Trump Supporters in Pacific Beach

December 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On January 9 this year, when Trump was still calling himself “president” and just 3 days after the Trump-inspired violent insurrection at the Capitol, pro-Trump supporters held a rally in Pacific Beach.

This was a time when Trump was still trying to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory and about one hundred Trump supporters showed up in PB for a so-called “Patriot March.”

And roughly 100 counterprotesters also showed up. Many of these were Americans sickened by the Capitol insurrection attempt and by Trump’s continued refusal to admit defeat. Clashes did break out that Saturday afternoon between the Trumpists and the counterprotesters. San Diego Police Department were also in attendance and eventually declared an unlawful assembly — but it only applied to the counterprotesters.

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In Tentative Ruling, Judge Sides With ‘Save Our Access’: 2020 Ballot Measure E’s Removal of 30-Foot Height Limit in Midway Was Illegal

December 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Residents of the Midway District, as well as others in OB and Point Loma took a sigh of relief Friday upon the news that a San Diego judge made a tentative ruling against the 2020 ballot Measure E that eviscerated the 30-foot height limit in the Midway.

Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal agreed with petitioner Save Our Access in her tentative ruling that the city should be barred from implementing Measure E. Judge Bacal ruled that the City of San Diego improperly placed the measure on the November 2020 ballot because the city failed to study the environmental impacts of buildings taller than 30-feet, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

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Some in Pacific Beach Not Happy With Redistricting Map: Want to Keep PB Together With Mission Beach and Mission Bay

November 29, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Some folks in Pacific Beach are not happy with the latest redistricting map being proposed for the new boundaries of San Diego’s council districts.

Specifically, they are not pleased with the prospect of being separated off from Mission Bay and Mission Beach and being attached to La Jolla in District 1. They are also very against any map that divides Pacific Beach up into different council districts.

Currently, PB sits in Council District 2, along with Mission Beach, OB, the Peninsula and western Clairemont.

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Councilmember Pledges Reforms for Community Planning Groups Will Make Them ‘More Independent’ and In Line With City Charter

November 23, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Joe LaCava, the councilmember for District 1, says he has a bunch of reforms for community planning groups that will bring them in line with the city charter while making them more independent.

In a recent article at the La Jolla Light by Ashley Mackin-Solomon, LaCava spoke about his reforms.

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New Rule: Parking Requirements Eliminated for Most San Diego Businesses – Coastal Commission Approval Still Needed for Coastal Zone

November 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The big news from San Diego City Hall Tuesday was the New Rule: for many businesses starting January 1, parking space requirements are eliminated.

The City Council unanimously voted a change to the municipal code that eliminates parking space minimum requirements for many businesses. Commercial tenants and building owners in transit priority areas and commercial neighborhoods citywide, beginning the New Year, can decide to provide as much parking as they think their customers need, or use those spaces for outdoor dining or outdoor spaces.

Also, new entrepreneurs will no longer be prevented from starting a new business because their building doesn’t have enough parking.

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Fiesta Island – From Lagoon to Dog Park

November 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A week ago, on Tuesday November 9, the San Diego City Council finally adopted a plan for Fiesta Island, the 470-acre island in the middle of Mission Bay.

The city was considering two options for the fate of the southwest portion of Fiesta Island, which includes a very popular dog park.

  • Option “A” would have reduced the space of the fenced-in dog park to accommodate room for a playground, picnic area, boat launching area and a road to go through the dog park;
  • Option “B” was the more dog-friendly plan that calls for most of the southwest part of the island to be dedicated to our canine companions as solely an off-leash dog park.
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Map, Map, Who’s Got the Map?

November 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

If you’ve been attuned to the recent flurry of maps across your screen or TV recently having to do with redistricting, then you’ve been paying attention to an important process that will affect all voters.

It’s redistricting season and everybody’s been yelling, “Map, map! Who’s got the map?” Even in San Diego. And even for District 2 — the district that OB and Point Loma are in.

Here’s a good question to ponder: are there changes for District 2 coming with whatever map is eventually selected? We’ll have to see.

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Kudos to San Diego Unified for Naming New Mission Valley Elementary School After Kumeyaay Village

November 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Kudos are certainly due to the San Diego Unified School District and its leadership for naming a new elementary school opening in 2022 in Mission Valley after the Kumeyaay village that was located in the vicinity long before the arrival of the Spanish.

The new school will be named Nipaquay Elementary (Nipaquay is pronounced ni-puh-kwai) and will open within the Civita development. Construction is 75 percent complete for the school that will have 500 students and 23 classrooms.

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Palm Trees Lose in Court; Point Loma Residents Vow to Block City Crews

November 10, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The iconic palm trees of Point Loma did not have a sympathetic judge in Federal Court yesterday. On the narrow issue of “property rights,” the judge ruled that the residents who have targeted palms in their right-of-way do not have have the property rights to deny the city and FAA the ability to chop down the trees.

According to KUSI and Marc Applbaum, the attorney hired by a Point Loma couple, no paperwork was required or issued by the city or airport in court to show why the palm trees needed to be chopped down for an “emergency.” Apparently, the judge did not require any documentation to prove the “emergency” – so the residents still do not know what the reasons are for the hurried state of affairs.

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