64% of San Diego Voters Passed 30-Foot Height Limit in 1972; Only 57% Voted for Measure E in 2020

August 17, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

A Reality Check

Supporters of the elimination of the 30-foot height limit consistently point to the passage of Measure E in 2020 with 57% of San Diego voters supporting it. The same measure is again heading to the ballot this November after the original vote was invalidated by a judge, ruling the city needed to fulfill the required environmental impact study.

Wow, 57% — that’s a huge majority. The people have spoken! The will of the people demands that the height limit should be eliminated in the Midway area / Sports Arena zone. And they will speak again come the fall.

But wait.

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Rape by San Diego State Football Players 10 Months Ago Still Has Gone Unpunished

August 8, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

The following is based on news accounts but edited on the premise that the victim, her family and friends are telling the truth.

Close to Halloween last year in October 2021, a then 17-year old woman, as yet publicly identified, was out with friends on a Saturday night. She wore a costume. They had heard about a night house party so she and her friends decided to check it out.

Once at the party, she either began or continued to drive alcohol and was intoxicated. At some point, she was approached by a man who made small talk and offered her a drink. He then led her to a room. Other men were there.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early August 2022

August 3, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Dead Torrey on Long Branch Still Up – City Forrester to Be Contacted by Local Campbell Rep

Councilmember Chris Cate Wants to Remove Entire Midway District from 30 Foot Height Limit

Punchy pit punctuates Tourist show in Point Loma

Modern Times Beer to Be Bought by Maui Brewing?

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Despite Failure by City and Community to Resolve Issue, Compromise Must Be Sought Between Tennis and Pickleball Players

August 2, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Clearly a compromise between local tennis and pickleball players must be sought, before more angry public arguments, yelling and disruptions through acts of faux civil disobedience lead to fisticuffs or worse.

After months of simmering, the conflict between pickleball and tennis players burst out into the open over the weekend when a group of pickleball players ambushed staff at the Peninsula Tennis Club  and took over tennis courts for about 40 minutes. Staff called in San Diego Police and eventually the scene quieted down when the pickleball players left.

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Torrey Pine on Long Branch Saved by Residents and OB Rag Now Needs to Come Down

July 27, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

The lone Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch, saved by local residents along with the OB Rag 11 years ago, now is dead and needs to come down.

After multiple “trimmings” and the cutting off of major limbs over the years by the city, the Torrey — which dominates the block — is now brown and is dangerous to residents and houses along the street.

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San Diego City Council Places Measure to Eliminate 30 Foot Height Limit in Sports Arena Area on November Ballot

July 26, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Close observers of the issue knew it would happen. In its latest move on Monday, the San Diego City Council — in an unanimous vote — placed the measure to eliminate the 30-foot height limit in the Midway on the November ballot.

If approved by voters, the measure would wipe out the height limit in a 1,324-acre area of the Midway District that includes the sports arena and nearby city-owned land, and not to the entire Midway.

This is the latest chapter in a saga which Councilmembers Jen Campbell and Chris Cate began

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In Defense of OBcean Sheldon Dorf, One of the Founders of Comic-Con

July 22, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Sheldon Dorf was one of the founders of Comic-Con and he lived in Ocean Beach for many years. He passed away at the age of 76 in 2009.

“Shel” has been the subject of numerous articles both in the local media and national outlets, like the Rolling Stone .

Currently the San Diego Reader has an article entitled, “In defense of San Diego Comic-Con co-founder Shel Dorf – Personal POV of the original annoying comic geek,” by Jay Allen Sanford. Near the end of the article, Sanford writes:

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Andrea Schlageter – Chair of OB Planning Board – Makes the Big Time: Is Chosen as Head of San Diego Community Planners

July 11, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Andrea Schlageter, the chair of the OB Planning Board, has just been selected to lead the influential Community Planners Committee, a group that represents San Diego’s four dozen neighborhood planning groups at City Hall.

At 30, Schlageter is the youngest person ever to lead the CPC, the first woman this century to have the post and only the second renter. The chair of the CPC has been held almost exclusively this century by middle-aged white men who are homeowners from affluent neighborhoods. She’s also a local, having graduated from Point Loma High School in 2009.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2022

June 30, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Best Fence in OB?

Kensington pepper tree fight moves to Ocean Beach palms – City forester Brian Widener under attack

“The Street Vet” Now Providing Services to Pets of OB Homeless

OB-Born Skrewball Whiskey Getting Canned

Point Loman Is ‘Called” to the Sea

Point Loma Couple Create “Magical Garden” After Removing Palms and Ficus Trees

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‘We’ll Miss the OB Pier Fireworks … But Maybe It’s Time to Move On’

June 30, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

We’ll certainly miss the OB Pier fireworks, which has been cancelled again for the third year in a row. Watching those blazing white sparkles flow off the pier into the ocean were a sight worth remembering. And holding your child up so they could see the colorful explosions illuminating the night sky over OB is a memory worth cherishing.

This year we’ve been told that the pier cannot handle trucks and other weight-causing activity.

But, you know, maybe it is time to move on. Something different. Did you see how Imperial Beach this July 4th is replacing its fireworks with a high-tech drone show?

Here in OB, we need to accept the reality.

The reality is that pyrotechnics from and over the Ocean Beach Pier cannot continue – for two main reasons:

Now, there are alternatives — see inside. In the meantime …

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California Coastal Commission Causes San Diego to Tighten Up Rules on ADU Parking, Public Review and Other Requirements

June 21, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Due to demands from the California Coastal Commission, the City of San Diego was forced to backtrack on its new accessory dwelling unit rules regarding parking requirements — none.

And on Monday the City Council voted unanimously to require new ADUs near the beach to have parking spots if they aren’t close to a trolley stop or a bus line with frequent service. The council was forced to trash its earlier blanket parking exemption for those who build new ADUs (“granny flats”).

The Commission’s logic:

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Can State Policy Trump the Will of the People Over San Diego’s Coastal Height Limit?

June 21, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

A recent opinion piece by a state agency bureaucrat on the coastal 30-foot height limit has developers and San Diego’s establishment licking their chops.

Shannon West, head of housing accountability for California’s Department of Housing and Community Development, wrote “a technical assistance letter” which declared the 30-foot height limit conflicted with state law and thus was “void.” The letter was for San Diego’s development services department

Heidi Von-blum, director of San Diego’s planning department, immediately leaped for joy and repeated the claim that state law supersedes “local voter initiative.”

Why this all came about now is because a local developer, the San Diego Community Housing Corporation, wants to build a 60-unit, 60-foot-high residential building, called Rose Creek Apartments, on a 0.4-acre site at 2662 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.

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Coincidence? City Prepares Pier to Reopen Just in Time for the Ocean Beach Street Fair

June 20, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Check out Charles Landon’s brief video, shot Monday morning, of the city power-washing the OB / San Diego Pier.

Obviously, the city is preparing the pier for some kind of re-opening. Is it just coincidence that the city will reopen the iconic structure just in time for the famous Ocean Beach Street Fair happening this weekend?

Will there be a ceremony for the reopening? Will there be another ribbon-cutting? Will officials be too afraid to even go on the pier?

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Head of ‘Circulate San Diego’ Nixes Developers’ Fees in La Mesa

June 20, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

The head of the controversial group, Circulate San Diego, is Colin Parent. Parent also sits on the La Mesa City Council.

He and his group have often been subjected to criticism in the pages of the Rag over the last months, mainly because, as we see it, they masquerade as bicycling environment-friendly, housing advocates who are actually enabling developers and their friends in city government.

One quick piece of evidence: Circulate San Diego came out in support of the very worse, most dense, most high-rise model that the Navy recently offered to the public for their redevelopment of Old Town – and then withdrew after the withering community response. … Back to Parent. And La Mesa.

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Final Results in District 2 Primary: 70% Voted Against Jen Campbell

June 20, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

In viewing the final results for the District 2 primary election, it’s difficult to ignore one glaring fact: 70% of the voters voted against incumbent Democrat Jen Campbell.

Campbell did win 67 precincts — as you can see by the graph – but many were by slim margins and all were only with a plurality. That is, Campbell failed to take any precincts with a majority of the votes.

The sole Republican, Linda Lukacs gained 19 precincts, Lori Saldana took only 4 precincts — all in Ocean Beach, and Joel Day, from Clairemont, only took 1 precinct, also in OB. The other major candidate, Mandy Havlik (whom the U-T failed to individually include) — from OB, failed to take any precincts.

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News for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-June 2022

June 16, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

View Short Video of “Progress” on the OB and San Diego Pier

OB’s Charles Landon made a short video of the repair crew removing the final form from the OB Pier. Here’s the link

Suspicious Fire at Midway’s Heritage Inn — Person Detained

Nimitz Crossing Sold for $30 Million

City hires real estate firm to evaluate bids for the sports arena site

Come Inside for More

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University Heights Protests Loss of Parking Spaces

June 15, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

A couple dozen residents and business owners in University Heights protested the City’s removal of 88 parking spaces on Monday, June 13. The parking spaces are being taken out for protected bike lanes along a one-mile stretch of Park Boulevard between Adams and University avenues.

They also did not have kind words for San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria or the city council. Susy Holts of University Heights told San Diego News7:

“I’m incredibly frustrated. I despise what’s happening. [Gloria] and the city council are not listening to the people or the residents.”

Meanwhile, city crews began working on Park Boulevard on the next phase of the city’s resurfacing plan.

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San Diego Adopts Restrictions on Water Use

June 10, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Public Service Announcement

After weeks of warnings about the worsening California drought, San Diego will adopt new statewide restrictions on water use for residents on Friday, June 10.

California’s State Water Resources Control Board ordered the new rules late last month. The emergency water conservation regulation carries the following changes for residents in the city of San Diego:

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Campbell Campaign Admits Their Mailer Attacking Saldaña and Promoting Republican Lukacs Was ‘Pivotal’

June 9, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Despite U-T reporter David Garrick’s claims that Tuesday’s primary in District 2 became “an old-fashioned Democrat-versus-Republican battle,” — it didn’t — we now have an admittance by the Jen Campbell campaign that a mailer they paid for that attacked Democrat Lori Saldaña while promoting Republican Linda Lukacs worked.

“The mailer promoting Lukacs was pivotal,” said Dan Rottenstreich, Campbell’s campaign consultant and main attack-dog.

“On her own, Lukacs wouldn’t have been able to consolidate Republicans.”

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Leftist Counter-Protesters at Pacific Beach Clash With Trump Supporters Face Stiffer Sentences Than Jan. 6 Insurrectionists

June 9, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Thanks to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, a group of 11 leftist counter-protesters were just indicted by a county grand jury for their role during a January 2021 Pacific Beach “Patriot March” organized by Trump supporters. The indictment does not add any charges beyond what they were initially charged with in December in San Diego Superior Court.

But incredibly, the 11 charged individuals are facing more serious sentences than defendants in the January 6 insurrectionist cases.

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Roger and Yasuko’s Bernie’s Bike Shop Celebrates 33 Years

June 8, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Roger and Yasuko at Bernie’s Bike Shop are celebrating. A casual observer could tell something special was up by the three balloons near the old funky cash register.

33 years ago this June, Roger Lovett bought the original Bernie’s in its location on Voltaire and Ebers. It was 1989 and Roger was in his late 20’s – having graduated from Point Loma High School in 1980. As a kid, he had been a regular customer of Bernie’s.

Yasuko came into Roger’s life around that same time — they met on a blind date. They married and she has worked in the shop with Roger ever since.

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With Campbell in Lead, District 2 Challenger Too Close to Call

June 8, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

When polls closed Tuesday night, District 2 incumbent Jen Campbell had the lead with not quite 31% of the vote. Linda Lukas, the Republican dentist, had over 25% with 5300 votes versus Democratic challenger Lori Saldaña with 18% and 3780 votes – a mere 1520 votes apart.

But with 250,000 ballots yet to be counted County-wide, the challenger race was too close to call. The next tally will not be announced until Thursday, June 9, by 5 pm.

Local activist Mandy Havlik came in with 8% and 1700 votes and Joel Day from Clairemont had 13% and 2700 ballots.

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Vice-Chair of San Diego Housing Commission Behind Group Mailing GOP Hit Pieces Against Saldaña

May 30, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

As recently disclosed by Geoff Page here at the OB Rag and by U-T columnist Michael Smolens, a shadowy group called Community Voices San Diego has been mailing out hit pieces against Lori Saldaña and in support of the lone GOP candidate in the District 2 race, Linda Lukas.

Saldaña is perceived by many to be the main contender against fellow Democrat and incumbent Jen Campbell in the contest. Now, Matt Potter at San Diego Reader has informed us that Ryan Clumpner, a Republican political consultant, is the principal officer of Community Voices

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City Picks 3 Teams for Negotiations in Sports Arena Development

May 24, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Midway Rising, HomeTownSD and Midway Village+ On City’s Short List

ON Monday, May 23, the San Diego City Council choose three of the five teams vying to redevelop the 48-acre sports arena site in the Midway District. The council — in a unanimous vote — picked development teams Midway Rising, HomeTownSD and Midway Village+ — all recommended by the mayor and the city’s real estate department. The city will now begin negotiations with the three teams.

As today’s San Diego Union-Tribune surmised,

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Sempra Joins Pile-On Against Saldaña, Helps Fund Attack Group ‘New San Diego’

May 19, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Veteran politics writer Matt Potter over at San Diego Reader has just contributed to our understanding of just who and what are attacking City Council candidate Lori Saldaña.

Potter found out that giant Sempra Energy, “which maintains one of Sacramento’s biggest influence peddling operations,” is funding the attack group New San Diego that has targeted Saldaña.

Repeating much of what Rag writer Geoff Page reported on in who has donated to the group mailing out hit pieces, Potter did state:

Sempra made its $2500 donation to New San Diego on December 20, per the corporation’s Major Donor filing for the year 2021, dated January 22, 2022.

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Tuesday, May 17: City Council Expected to Approve Short Term Rental Regulations for San Diego

May 17, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Today, Tuesday, May 17, the San Diego City Council will make history by voting in new regulations for short term vacation rentals. It’s been a long haul — some say 7 years the battle over STVRs has been going on in the city.

Once the the Coastal Commission approved the new rules by a 12-0 vote in March of this year, it was a green light for Jen Campbell’s proposal to go back before council for its final approval.

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San Diego to Host 8 Community Forums on Barriers Entering Legal Cannabis Industry – May 23 – June 16

May 17, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

While the City of San Diego plans to make key changes to how it regulates the local cannabis industry, city officials are hosting eight community forums this spring to encourage residents to speak about barriers they’ve encountered in entering the legal cannabis industry.

Residents will also be asked about any ideas they may have for ways to make the industry more inclusive. The forums, which are being held in neighborhoods with relatively high minority populations, will take place May 23 through June 16. There will also be a June 15 forum on Zoom.

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Friday the 13th – Bad Luck or Good?

May 13, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

In European culture, Friday the 13th, conjures up bad luck. And some bad things have happened on the date. I was once kicked in the leg by a pony while ridding another pony as a young pre-teen. But good things have happened also — my mate, Patty Jones, was born on Friday the 13th.

But some people have taken it seriously over the years. For instance, did you know that certain older high-rise buildings in downtown San Diego don’t have a 13th floor?

There’s lots of myths of its origins.

According to some folklore historian, the unlucky nature of the number “13” originated with a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party in Valhalla. The trickster god Loki, who was not invited, arrived as the 13th guest,

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-May 2022

May 11, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Reward Offered in OB Hit-and-Run Against Bicyclist

First Beer Solely Brewed on Tribal Land Opens in OB: Rincon Reservation Road Brewery

Presentation on New OB Library Design – Tuesday, May 31 – Place Unknown

OB / San Diego Pier on Agenda of OB Planning Board – June 1

Coastal District C School Board Race Heating Up

Point Loma Office Building Sold for Nearly $3.6 Million

Will OBceans Be Able to See Blood Red Moon Sunday Night?

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‘Save Famosa Canyon’ Sues Housing Commission for Any Plans for Development

May 9, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Famosa Canyon is back in the news – that section of open land with bike trails just off upper Voltaire Street.

It’s in the news because the group, “Save Famosa Canyon,” is taking the San Diego Housing Commission – who owns the land – to court. The group is trying to get the Housing Commission to release documents it has about potential plans for the land and it filed a lawsuit on April 28.

Attorney Everett DeLano represents Save Famosa Canyon and warns that the case is all about the public records act. If the Housing Commission has entered into some king of agreement with a particular developer, his clients as taxpayers need to know exactly what is happening.

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