Battle Over Northeast Mission Bay: Recent Backlash to City’s Plans Is Against Initial Backlash by Environmentalists

May 25, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

There’s been a battle going on over the future of northeast Mission Bay for at least the last 7 years, but just recently in what the U-T described as “a powerful backlash this spring from tennis players, golfers, boating clubs, campers and supporters of youth sports,” this new push-back appears to be on the late side.

Folks in this backlash claim that “the city’s plan to replace some recreational areas with hundreds of acres of climate-friendly marshland threatens vital local institutions that have been part of San Diego’s civic fiber for more than 50 years.

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Due to City’s Neglect, Local Planning Boards in Point Loma and Ocean Beach Faltering Before Our Eyes

May 24, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

It’s a sad but predictable truth, that the local planning boards of Point Loma — Ocean Beach, Peninsula and Midway — are faltering before our very eyes. And it’s all due to the city of San Diego’s neglect.

Take the following as prima facie evidence of this maddening trend.

Ocean Beach Planning Board

The OB Board has been struggling this past year in maintaining enough members to serve. At their May 3 monthly meeting, “there were only eight of ten board members attending for a board this is supposed to have 16 members,” as Rag reporter Geoff Page observed. Getting OBceans to turn out for their annual elections has also been a challenge over the last several years, not discounting the pandemic.

And despite a potentially controversial or contentious issue of planned roundabouts on Bacon Street on the agenda, Page reported, “There was only one person in the audience during the board meeting besides this writer and the District 2 representative.”

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City Council Consents to Coastal Commission ‘Crack-Down’ on Loss of Parking Spaces by Restaurants in Beach Areas

May 23, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego City Council on Monday, May 22, “reluctantly” consented to new California Coastal Commission regulations that will require restaurant owners in the city’s coastal zone to replace any lost parking spaces taken up by outdoor dining areas they operate on the street, as reported by Lori Weisberg at the U-T.

What is affected is a narrow strip of coastal zone known as the “beach impact area,” defined as a stretch of coastline that begins at the northern end of Torrey Pines State Reserve and runs about 15 miles south to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. And the boundary extends inland approximately a quarter of a mile or more for much of the zone.

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Midway Rising Developer and Todd Gloria’s Top Campaign Contributor Is an Owner of New San Diego Soccer Team

May 19, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Did anyone else notice it?

Amidst all the hoopla and genuine joy over the recent announcement that San Diego will have a major league soccer team, is the little-emphasized fact that Brad Termini — the Midway Rising developer and Mayor Gloria’s top campaign contributor — is one of the owners of the new franchise. A minority one, yes, but one nevertheless.

Yesterday’s U-T gave us an insight into the whole origin story and with a nod towards Termini’s role.

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Housing Commission to Apply for State Funds to Buy Abbott St. Apartments in OB and Midway’s Ramada Inn for Homeless Residents

May 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

At their May 12 meeting, the San Diego Housing Commission unanimously agreed to apply for state funds to help purchase a vacant apartment building at 2147 Abbott Street in Ocean Beach and the Ramada Inn in the Midway District  to provide permanent housing for homeless people.

The Commissioners voted to apply for up to $5 million to help purchase the apartment building which would create 13 units. Vacant since January 2022, the property — if bought — would provide 13 units for people who had experienced chronic homelessness and whose income is up to 30 percent of the area median income, which is $27,350 a year for a one-person household.

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Peninsula Planners to Consider Rescinding Request for Stop Sign Along Voltaire — Thursday, May 18

May 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Back in early December 2022, the Peninsula Community Planning Board approved sending a letter to the city requesting a stop sign along Voltaire Street either at Bolinas or Soto. The letter was sent on Dec. 27.

Since then, there’s been a noticeable push-back by residents and property owners who live on Voltaire near those streets. They oppose a stop sign and they have a bunch of good reasons.
And this is on the Board’s agenda Thursday night, May 18.

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San Diego Set to Sue SeaWorld for $12 Million in Back Rent as Park Rakes in Record Revenue

May 16, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

The bickering between landlord and tenant is getting very intense over the back rent the landlord says it’s owed. Normally, this wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, but the landlord is your city and the tenant is the multi-billionaire dollar theme park on public land called SeaWorld.

This bickering has gone on for two years but on Monday, May 15, your city council gave the city attorney the authorization to take SeaWorld to court to get the $10 million in rent and another $2 million in penalties and interest. And when he heard that SeaWorld hadn’t paid its back rent, the president of your city council, Sean Elo-Rivera, got mad, real mad.

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Colin Parent Shows His True Colors as Sole Vote for Monster 950-Unit Complex in La Mesa With No Affordable Housing

May 15, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Last week the City of La Mesa City Council voted 4 to 1 against a monster apartment complex that would have included up to 950 units and 8 stories in the west section of the city.

Opponents criticized the size of the 4 building sprawling structure and its lack of affordable housing. The sole vote in favor was Colin Parent – the head of the controversial group Circulate San Diego. The Alvarado Specific Plan was proposed for a 12 acre site, located at 7407 Alvarado Road,

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KUSI Being Bought by Mega-corporation and Owner of ‘The CW’

May 9, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Local San Diego TV media politics might soften up a bit.

The most right-wing news station in San Diego, KUSI, will be bought by media conglomerate Nexstar Media Group, the owner of “The CW.” And KUSI may turn into the CW channel for the area. Or may be merged with Fox5, another TV station here owned by Nexstar. Or maybe both. The purchase of KUSI was for $35 million.

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Hundreds Protest Mayor Gloria, San Diego’s Housing Policies and SB-10

May 8, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Hundreds of San Diego residents rallied across a wide swath of  the city on Saturday, May 6, to protest Mayor Gloria and the city’s housing policies, as well as Senate Bill 10 (SB-10).

From University City to Hillcrest, from Mission Hills to the College area, from Clairemont to North Park and in Normal Heights, people stood on street corners at major intersections holding signs that decried the direction Gloria and the City Council were taking their neighborhoods. Councilmembers Steven Whitburn and Kent Lee were also targeted for supporting Gloria’s policies.

It’s a conservative estimate that 600 people took part in the 7 different rallies. Two small counter-demonstrations were also held.

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It’s Been 53 Years Since the Kent State Massacre

May 4, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

For at least an entire generation of Americans, the day May 4, 1970, will always be associated with the shootings of unarmed students by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. Four students were killed – two had nothing to do with the protests, one was an ROTC cadet – and nine others were wounded, including one permanently paralyzed. The shootings will be eternally remembered as a grim stain upon US history.

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OB Planning Leader Speaks Out Against City’s Enforcement Plan for New Vacation Rental Rules – Plus Over 50 Mission Beach Hosts May Have Committed Fraud

May 3, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

During a 90-minute STRO Zoom community briefing on April 27 by the City’s Development Services Department Code Enforcement Division on their plans to enforce regulations of the City’s new Short-Term Residential Ordinance which took effect May 1, not all went well.

Also, not all is going well with Mission Beach short-term rental hosts, as it turns out over 50 may have lied on their license applications (see below).

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Early May 2023 News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma

April 28, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Winners of OB Woman’s Club Hat Contest

2-Sided Mural at United Portuguese Painted by 2 Who Grew Up in Ocean Beach

Man Rescued After Sliding Down Sunset Cliffs

OB Brew News ###########

Despite the Sound, All is Punk Bliss at The Holding Company

Chef Phillip Esteban Is Bringing a Seafood to Liberty Station

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If La Jolla Can Secede from San Diego, Why Can’t the Peninsula?

April 26, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Indeed, if La Jolla can secede from the City of San Diego, why can’t the Peninsula? The Peninsula — made up of the communities of Point Loma, Ocean Beach and the Midway District — could be its own city, its own municipality.

First, to answer my own question, La Jolla hasn’t seceded — yet — from San Diego, although there’s been countless efforts to do so since the 1950s.

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May 1 Is Deadline for Complying with San Diego’s New Vacation Rental Law — But STVR Landlords Aren’t Biting

April 26, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Monday, May 1st is fast approaching. It’s the City of San Diego’s deadline for complying with the new short-term rental regulations. But there’s been a lot less licenses issued than the city anticipated.

Remember this whole plan? It was concocted by Councilmember Jen Campbell and her staff in the great “compromise” with a billion-dollar home-share corporation and a local union that represents hotel service workers. It was going to be the end-all arrangement and a final solution to the “wild west” atmosphere that permeated the STVR crisis at the coast for years.

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Hey Jim Desmond — SDG&E’s Proposed Fixed-Rate Structure Is Definitely NOT ‘Socialism’

April 25, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

There are certainly plenty of problems with a recent proposal by California electric companies to break up monthly charges by the amount of energy used and the income of the household.

SDG&E and other giant utility companies have submitted a joint proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission which outlined a fixed-rate restructuring based on household income. In short, higher income earners would be charged more than those who make less than them.

Yet, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond — a conservative Republican who often appears on San Diego’s most right-wing  TV station – has called the proposal “socialism in its finest.”

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Disclaimer to Our OB Rag Online Subscribers

April 25, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

To all our OB Rag subscribers:

The online image that our subscribers receive in their email is only partly from the OB Rag. Below our posts are sponsored ads and even articles.

Yet, we do not have any control over what our subscription service adds to our sub list. The ads are NOT ours – and we don’t make one cent from them. And the sponsored articles are not ours either. Some of them are downright embarrassing.

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Mayor Gloria Cuts Down More Trees Than He Plants

April 24, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Todd Gloria and dozens of volunteers planted 60 trees in Mission Bay on Saturday, Earth Day — which was also Arbor Day. Most of the trees planted were fig trees.

Meanwhile, city crews and contractors are busy counting the number of trees along city streets — estimated to be about 300,000 — as part of a year-long effort to update San Diego’s inventory of tree canopy.

San Diego’s climate action plan initially called for tree canopies to cover about 15 percent of the city by 2020. Mayor Todd Gloria recently doubled down on the goal, calling for 35 percent coverage by 2035. The city’s current canopy coverage was last assessed about a decade ago at 13 percent.

The counting of trees — part of the city’s ambition to expand the city’s tree canopy as climate change spurs more extreme heat events — should be completed by December 2023. But this could be a steep hill to climb for San Diego, as recent events have demonstrated that the city likes to chop trees down.

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Was It Spite that Caused Navy to Force Park Service to Close Down Popular Web Cam at Cabrillo Monument?

April 18, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

A popular web cam at Cabrillo Monument that has provided millions of viewers with a look over San Diego Bay has  been closed down by the Park Service after pressure from the Navy. The live web cam has been on for 10 years and last year had more than 6 million views.

The founder of the webcam and YouTube channel, Barry Bahrami, said he was shocked to learn the Navy had concerns and asked the National Park Service to turn it off. He told CBS8 ,

“This was done in spite. “

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Navy Keeps Identity of 4 Development Teams on Shortlist a Secret in Next Round of Competition for NAVWAR Site

April 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

On April 11, the Navy disclosed that it had chosen four development teams for the next round of real estate competition to redevelop the 70 plus acres of the NAVWAR site in the Midway District. Yet, the Navy would not identify the teams on their shortlist. It is the largest real estate competition in the federal agency’s history.

This secrecy may not sit well with local residents who were clearly rankled by the initial concept drawings offered to the community by the Navy that showed a wall of skyscrapers towering over I-5. The Navy said it received more than 1,000 letters in response to the models presented. Ironically, the Navy says those letters and the “public’s strong reaction as part of the rationale for undertaking the solicitation process prior to finalizing the environment work,” as reported by the Union-Tribune.

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Local Groups Sue San Diego Over ‘Reforms’ that Allow One-Mile Transit Standard and More ADUs

April 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Two local groups have sued the City of San Diego in an effort to overturn a controversial 5-4 City Council vote back in February that allowed taller apartment buildings and more ADUs or “granny flats” when a property is near mass transit.

Neighbors for a Better San Diego and Livable San Diego contend in their suit filed April 7 that the city policy will encourage dense projects too far away from transit for most residents to be willing to use it.

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Martin Luther King’s Assassination Changed San Diego’s Media Forever

April 5, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Thousands of miles away, his death changed San Diego media forever.

Many San Diegans don’t know the connections between citizen journalism in San Diego and King’s death. But they exist – ….

Five days after King’s death hundreds of students and some faculty at UC San Diego met in a protest meeting decided to form various committees or collectives and one group of students and grad students wanted to move off campus and publish a newspaper.

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Something’s Happening at Abbott and Muir — Could It Be the Return of One of OB’s Most Controversial Projects?

April 4, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

An alert member of the OB Planning Board, Tracy DeZenzo, sent us these photos of “something happening at Abbott and Muir.”

The large, empty lot at the southwest corner of the intersection has been vacate for decades. Since 2015, developers who wanted to build on the lot have appeared in front of the OBPB with various plans to harness those wild weeds. And one set of plans became very controversial and was continually rejected by the Board.

But we have not seen the new plans and can only speculate at this point. Perhaps they’re the old plans now that the “rules” have been loosened up. Come inside for background to the controversial project:

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Mayor Gloria Dangles Hope that Ocean Beach Pier ‘Can Reopen Before Summer’

April 3, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

On Saturday before the city’s workshop on the future Ocean Beach Pier, Mayor Todd Gloria spoke to reporters and stunningly, dangled out the hope that the pier could reopen “before summer.”

The Times of San Diego reported:

that San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria stated:

“My hope is that we can reopen the pier before the summer.”

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After Over Quarter of Century With Same Owners, Ortega’s in Ocean Beach to Change Hands

March 30, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Whenever I inform out-of-town friends or OB newbies about restaurants in Ocean Beach, I always describe Ortega’s on Newport Ave as the best Mexican eatery in the village.

Now, however, after over 25 years under the same family ownership, Ortega’s Cocina is changing hands.

Brothers Adolfo and Erik Barrientos-Ortega have been operating Ortega’s at 4888 Newport Avenue since the mid 1990s. Over its 27 year tenure, the restaurant has become known

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3-Story With 3 Units to Replace Modest House on Cable in Ocean Beach

March 27, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

The city has announced that owner Dominic Ballerino has applied for a Coastal Development Permit to construct a new 3-story, 4,631 square foot building at 2077 Cable Street in OB.

The new buildings would include:

  • a dwelling unit, laundry, and 2-car garage on the first level, and
  • two 2-story accessory dwelling units on the second and third floors
  • with a roof deck.
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The End of San Diego’s Community Planning Boards: How We Got Here

March 24, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

After decades of existance, the community planning boards of San Diego were delivered a devastating shock last September 13, 2022, when the City Council passed a breath-taking tsunami of so-called “reforms” that laid out a blueprint for the demolition of the city’s current 42 citizen volunteer planning panels.

In my post from yesterday, I outlined the 3 main methods the city will use to dismantle San Diego’s community planning boards.
None of this is hyperbole. Here is the language at the city’s Planning Department website page under “Community Planning Group Reform“:

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Here Are the 3 Main Methods the City of San Diego Will Use to Dismantle Local Community Planning Boards

March 23, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Last September, the San Diego City Council enacted a series of what they called “reforms” to supposedly make local community planning boards or groups “more independent” and the development review process more “streamlined.”

In truth, as the Rag and our writers Geoff Page and Mat Wahlstrom have been warning, is that the city is actually moving to dismantle these volunteer panels, including the Ocean Beach Planning Board — which has been around since 1976, three years shy of half a century. From a review of their writings, the following is offered:

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The Snow Is Baaaccck!

March 22, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Yup. Snow has returned to our local San Diego mountains. Here’s the live cam from Mt. Laguna Lodge at 9:50 a.m. today, March 22, 2023. The Lodge is at 6000 feet elevation.

Snow also reached Lake Cuyamaca.

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San Diego’s ‘Trailergate’ Gets Some Attention

March 20, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

Somebody was listening.

Late last week, we reported that the city was close to utilizing 12 or 13 of the trailers it had stored for 3 years, given to the city by the state for unhoused needy families. On Wednesday, March 15, the San Diego City Council‘s Rules Committee had voted unanimously to move forward a plan to open a safe parking lot in the Clairemont – Rose Canyon neighborhood for people who sleep overnight in campers or other vehicles.

We’ve been covering the “lost trailers” for the homeless for weeks in the hopes there would be some public and or media traction that would pressure the Gloria administration to get on the ball and put the trailers to the use that was intended.

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