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

Local restaurant Dirty Birds Bar and Grill is donating 20% of its sales to help Taal Volcano eruption victims in the Philippines.

Mid-Length Surf Boards Are Going Mainstream

Today, alternative shapes seem to be having a moment. In California, a quick survey of any lineup from Ocean Beach, San Diego to Ocean Beach, San Francisco

OB Cops Pay for Sweater and Socks for Barefoot Homeless Man

This story made it everywhere. In Ocean Beach, two police officers turned a petty theft call into an act of compassion and humanity.

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 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).

Once the Navy makes the transfer of their 70 acre Old Town Campus site to SANDAG, SANDAG can begin redevelopment of the mass transit hub that could one day connect San Diego’s trolley system to the airport.

Also being planned for the site is mixed-use retail, commercial, and residential development. Signing the agreement at the Pentagon impressed our mayor.

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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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Surfrider and Local Leaders Push for Plastic-Free California at Ocean Beach

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Surfrider Foundation and local San Diego political leaders held a press conference in Ocean Beach on Saturday, Jan. 4, and pushed for a plastics-free California. A beach cleanup followed the presser.

Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez and Todd Gloria – who is running for mayor – and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher joined San Diego’s Surfrider is this renewed battle against single-use plastics. And they pushed for support of a new law that, if passed, would require plastic manufacturers in California to drastically reduce production over the next decade. The new bill, Senate Bill 54

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San Diego City Attorney Puts Brakes on Changes Proposed for Neighborhood Planning Committees

January 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Mara Elliott, San Diego’s City Attorney, has pushed the brakes down on a series of changes that have been speeding through the bureaucratic hoops as proposals for the city’s neighborhood planning committees.

In a legal analysis certain to frustrate those forces pushing for the changes, Elliott’s office stated that city policies actually have granted the groups an independent status that may force limitations to any new rules imposed on them. Proponents of the new rules claim

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OB Pier Finally Re-Opens for Friday, Jan. 3

January 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Pier has finally re-opened for Friday, January 3, after a three-day consecutive closure due to high surf.

This photo was taken from the Ocean Beach Webcam at approximately 9:45 am, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

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Final EIR Ready for San Diego Airport Changes

January 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego airport authority has released a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the San Diego International Airport’s proposed plan.

This is the plan, of course, – the one that has been presented here and there about the replacement of Terminal One with a new terminal with up to 30 gates. It involves circulation and road “improvements” naturally, plus modifications to Terminal Two, and the construction of a five-story parking structure next to Terminal One. There are links to the documents at the end of this post.

Here’s the official language:

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Genie Sapienza, Sweet Heart of Ocean Beach, Passes

January 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Genie Sapienza – July 28, 1943 – 12/ 31/19

On the last day of 2019, Genie Sapienza, a sweet heart of Ocean Beach, passed away in her sleep on Tuesday, December 31. She had had some medical problems of late, and had suffered congestive heart failure about a month ago. She had been hospitalized for two weeks but had returned home two weeks ago and seemed on the mend.

Genie lived in many places over her 76 years, but her heart was always in Ocean Beach. Genie had been residing in the Orchard Apartments in the Midway District with her partner Charlie Johnson for several years.

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Ocean Beach Pier Remains Closed for Third Day, Thursday Jan. 2

January 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Pier remains closed Thursday, Jan. 2 – for the third consecutive day – due to high surf warnings. The above pic was taken at roughly 10:50 a.m. Thursday off the Ocean Beach WebCam.

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Sunset Cliffs Deaths and Injuries Dropped Below Average in 2019

December 30, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The good news from 2019 is that deaths and serious injuries at Sunset Cliffs dropped below the average numbers.

According to our record and report keeping, there were only two deaths – tragic in themselves of course – and only one seriously injured person during 2019 at or below Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

The data used in the study the OB Rag has been conducting goes back to 2005 and has found there’s been an average of 5 deaths or serious injuries every year.

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Ocean Beach CDC Halts Veterans Plaza Project

December 26, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation sent out a letter to its supporters informing them that due to a lack of construction funding and the expiration of their permit, they have to halt their Veterans Plaza project, planned near the foot of Newport Ave.

This ends a seven-year effort for a new Veterans Plaza that was supposed to replace the existing memorial at the foot of Newport. In their letter, the OBCDC recaps how they received community input on the design, met City requirements and obtained a permit from the city, and spent $100,000

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All of San Diego’s Congressional Reps Voted to Impeach – Except Hunter, Who Is Barred from Voting

December 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The four members of San Diego County’s Democratic Congressional delegation all voted for impeachment on that historical date when the vote was taken: Wednesday, Dec. 18. Reps. Susan Davis, Mike Levin, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, all Democrats, voted to impeach Trump on both articles — abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The lone Republican, Duncan Hunter, was barred from voting due to his recent guilty plea to federal corruption charges.

When Rep. Susan Davis got up before the microphone, she was fairly brief and abrupt (actually sounding like she had laryngitis), and said:

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San Diego City Council Bans Scooters on Boardwalks from Mission Beach to La Jolla, Not Ocean Beach

December 20, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

In a close vote last Monday, December 16, the San Diego City Council voted to ban scooters and other motorized devices along the boardwalks from Mission Beach to La Jolla. The ban does not include Ocean Beach. It could be argued OB doesn’t really have a “boardwalk” or the one it has is very short.

At any rate, Councilwoman Barbara Bry has been pushing for a ban – and she got four other votes on Monday: Jen Campbell of District 2 – who reportedly strongly supported the proposal – , Monica Montgomery, Vivian Moreno and Mark Kersey. And Council President Georgette Gómez, Chris Ward, Chris Cate and Scott Sherman voted in opposition.

Bry is, of course, running for Mayor; Gomez is running for Susan Davis’ 53rd Congressional seat,

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-December 2019

December 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

King Tide in Ocean Beach, Saturday, December 22, 2018. Photo by Albert C Elliott, ACE.

OBcean Tracy Dezenzo Appointed to Arts & Culture Commission for District 2

Tracy Dezenzo, who is on the OB Planning Board and is its secretary, was just appointed by the Mayor and Council to the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture to represent District 2.

Point Loma House Gets Hit for Third Time in 15 Years

A driver suspected of being under the influence struck two parked vehicles, a fence and a tree before coming to a stop just feet from the front of a Point Loma home.

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The People’s House Impeaches the 45th President

December 19, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

In only the third time in US history, the House of Representatives – the People’s House – impeached a president, this time the 45th president, Mr. Donald Trump. In a historic vote, the House impeached Trump on two counts, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Articles now go to the Senate for a trial.

Article one, abuse of power, was passed by 230 to 197

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OB Town Council’s Food & Toy Drive Reaches 100 Local Families and Seniors

December 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Town Council did it again. All month they’ve collected food and toys for their annual Food & Toy drive, and most of last week, OBTC board members and volunteers organized the boxes, the packages, the gifts.

And on Saturday, Dec. 15the, more volunteers arrived to help deliver the food, toys and gifts to over 100 local families and seniors. It all happened at the OB Masonic Center.

Here are pics from the week (from OBTC facebook) including the many volunteers:

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OB Planners to Have Update on Bermuda Stairs – Wed., Dec. 18

December 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee has two projects to review and will have an update on the Bermuda Beach Access Stair. Development projects that require public review first come before this committee, and then are forwarded to the full board usually with a recommendation. The committee meets Wednesday night, December 18 at 6 pm in the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Ave.

Bermuda Beach Access Stair

It’s a public infrastructure project by the city to (finally) replace the existing beach access stairway with frames and wooden treads. The project will also demolish the existing stairway and broken concrete panels.

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Russia to Offer Trump Asylum If Things Go Badly for Him

December 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

If things go badly for Trump, Russia is getting ready to offer him asylum – much like they did to the former president of Ukraine when he was forced to flee to Russia in 2014 after the Ukrainian people threw him out. Okay, it was meant mockingly, but one never knows.

Over at the Daily Beast, reporter Julia Davis offered an in-depth look at various instances of Russian state TV’s reporting on Trump, in a post entitled, “Russia’s State TV Calls Trump Their ‘Agent’”. Davis reported on how Russian state TV does not even pretend anymore as they openly call Trump their ‘agent’ — and joke about offering him asylum

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Water Quality Advisory Still in Effect at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach

December 13, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There is still a water quality advisory for Dog Beach in Ocean Beach – according to the County’s Department of Environmental Health – due to high bacterial levels. Humans and dogs are advised to avoid any water contact at Dog Beach.

The advisory covers the San Diego River Outlet to 300 yards south. It’s been in effect actually since November 26, 2019.

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