Richard Carrico in Ocean Beach and His Story of Warner Springs Ranch

September 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Before a good-sized audience of at least 80 people who had assembled in the old pews of the Water’s Edge Faith Community church, Richard Carrico – the well-known archeologist, writer and lecturer – entertained with his stories of Warner Springs Thursday evening, the 20th of September.

Carrico appears in Ocean Beach once a year to give lectures – mostly about the native peoples of San Diego County – and this time was no different. Accompanied by a slide show, Carrico and his knowledge and wit held the audience for over an hour and half.

The Original Cupeños and Warner Springs Ranch

Carrico explained he was hired 4 years ago by the new owners of the Warner Springs Ranch to begin assembling environmental documents for an on-going archeology study at and around the old Ranch – and two years ago he moved there. The new owners have spent about $22 million “on 2500 acres of heart ache” he said. He took a moment to give props to Katheryn Fletcher’s book on Warner Springs Ranch.

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The Midway District Is Now Ready for Massive Redevelopment, 9,000 New Units and 23,000 New Residents

September 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It really was inevitable that the San Diego City Council would approve – as they did – the Community Plan for the Midway District earlier this week on Monday, Sept. 17.

Being touted as the next best thing to sliced bread, as my old man used to say, its proponents claim it will bring thousands of jobs, needed development of the old red light district, thousands of new homes to help alleviate San Diego’s housing crisis – and heaven on earth.

The plan – over the next couple of decades – will enable the population of the area to increase from between 3000 and 4600 to 27,000. It will increase housing from the current less than 2,000 to more than 11,000 – a seven-fold rise. … And, don’t forget this – proponents of the plan view the overturning of the 30 foot height limit as a crucial step toward their goals.

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Woman Dies at Foot of Point Loma Avenue at Sunset Cliffs

September 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Beautiful Sunset Cliffs claimed another victim, Wednesday, September 19. A woman was found dead out on a stretch of rocks off Point Loma Avenue in south Ocean Beach.

About 2:30 pm, a call came in to lifeguards, reporting a woman appeared to be stuck on the rocks. But by time first responders got to her, she had already passed. She was then covered, placed on a stretcher and hoisted up the bluffs using a lifeguard cliff rescue vehicle. A purse was found next to her body.

At this point, she remains unidentified and the cause of her death is yet unknown.

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Public Service Announcement: Riding Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk Is Against the Law

September 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Public Service Announcement: Riding Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk Is Against the Law

Next time you see someone riding an electric scooter on a sidewalk, please politely remind them that it is illegal and ask them to get into the street. They can use the bike lanes.

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FBI and DOJ Warn Trump Is Crossing ‘Red Line’ By Ordering Declassified Documents from Russian Investigation

September 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Is Trump barreling towards a high-stakes confrontation with the FBI and Department of Justice?

A confrontation that could unfold within the next several days is about to overtake the news cycle and signal yet another abuse of power move by Trump. But this one could be the trigger – as FBI Director Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – decide how to respond to the president’s latest attempt to subvert the investigation into whether the Russian sabotage of the 2016 election included Trump and his people.

Did you miss the memo on the latest installment in the continuing American constitutional crisis? On Monday Trump ordered the FBI and the DOJ to release – without redaction

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Hey Ocean Beach – Got Flies?

September 18, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Hey OB – got flies?

Several weeks ago, I was having dinner with a group of friends in Point Loma – and we were eating outside. The hosts apologized numerous times for the flies that seemed to be trying to enjoy our food. Later, I thought, we’ve eaten outside many times before at their house – which is just a few blocks from OB – but never have the flies been this bad.

Then just this weekend, I was visiting with friends who live down in the flatlands of Ocean Beach. We were sitting outside in their back yard – and there was no food around – but there were flies. As my friends were lighting a whole bunch of incense sticks and placing them around the patio in an effort to ward off the flying nuisances, they told me the flies have never been this bad since they’ve lived here – over 10 years now.

So – have you been bothered more than usual this year by flies? Just why are there so many at the beach?

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Fentanyl-Laced Coke Kills One in Ocean Beach and Two in PB

September 17, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Fentanyl-laced cocaine has taken the life of one OBcean and killed two people in Pacific Beach recently. Two other people survived an overdose. The identities of those affected are not known.

No details have been reported about the death in OB but the 2 PB victims who died – between 30 and 47 years old – were found in a home after relatives grew concerned of the lack of communication from one of them. However, the toxicology results show the victims ingested cocaine laced with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be deadly even in very small doses, as it is 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

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China Doesn’t Want Our Trash Anymore and Now We Have a California Recycling Crisis

September 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s a sad fact of our Californian recycling world – China no longer wants our trash.

China used to be California’s — and the world’s — largest overseas market for recyclables, but in January, China began not accepting “contaminated” material it once brought to its shores. For China, now, if the recycled material is one-half of 1% contaminated, it’s too impure for recycling.

An official for Recology, a curbside hauler that does San Francisco Bay Area trash for recycling, stated:

“There’s no market for a lot of stuff in the blue bin. What we can’t recycle we take to a landfill.”

Back in 2017, Recology was getting $100 a ton for newsprint. Now they are averaging about $5 a ton.

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Should San Diego Adopt Los Angeles’ Rules for Scooters?

September 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

If you’ve been to San Diego’s beach communities or to downtown, you’re aware of the changes – both good and bad – that have been wrought on these neighborhoods by the new brand of scooter – the electric, dockless scooter.

You’ve seen them dart in and out of traffic, you’ve seen them on the sidewalks – and none of the riders are wearing helmets. You may have even heard a scooter rider coming down an OB sidewalk and demand you get out of the way.

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Three-Story Going Up on 4900 Block of Saratoga – Despite Being Denied by Ocean Beach Planners

September 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Apparently, a three story building is going up in the backyard at 4925 Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach. Despite any other 3-story residences in the immediate neighborhood and despite the project being denied by the Ocean Beach Planning Board on May 3, 2017.

Applicant-Owner Todd Schak applied for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to build a two-story house (okay, it’s a small house with only 918 square feet) on top of a 4-car garage. There’s already a rehabbed Craftsman 2-bedroom in the front which is 800 square feet.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – September 2018

September 10, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

New Pet Store Opening on Bacon Street

Review of Long Branch Torrey Pine by Advisory Board Postponed

Protest at Famosa Property on Sept 29

Scientists are finding pollutants after storms can stay trapped near shore longer than previously thought.


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Scuba Diver Dies Off Point Loma Saturday

September 10, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Tragedy struck Saturday morning, Sept.8, when a 73-year-old scuba diver drowned while diving off the tide pool area near the sewage treatment plant in Point Loma.

Apparently the as-yet to be identified man became separated from his dive partner. The dive partner called 911 and just before 11 a.m. emergency crews responded by boat after they received reports of a scuba diver in distress. One news report had a bystander pull the unconscious guy out of the water by the time they arrived.

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Update on New Owner of Boarded Up 3-Story at Ebers and Greene Streets

September 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

We have recently learned one of the lenders on the boarded-up and fenced-off 3-story at Ebers and Greene streets, ended up purchasing the place.

Apparently, Albert Boyajian bought the place at 2269 Ebers from the primary lender, Center Street Lending, for $925,000 a couple months after the trustee sale.

And, Boyajian has been sitting on the property for the last five months, doing nothing. Yet, he’s a pretty big deal up in Los Angeles.

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OB Rag Editorial: Leave the Torrey Pine on Long Branch Alone!

September 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Here are four things you need to know about the Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch Avenue in northeast Ocean Beach.

One. The tree is not moving. There is at least 1 pin in the tree (possibly 2) placed by the city as an intersect to measure movement; a city engineer told a local resident there has been no movement by the tree, and its not falling. This means the city has data about the tree that demonstrates it is not going to collapse or that it has even moved.

Two. The City wants to chop the Torrey Pine down. This was evident on July 5 when a crew showed up to do just that. If they hadn’t been deterred by local residents, they would have removed it. Plain and simple. And thank you Matt Madruga.

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Do You Have a Local Group or Small Business? How About a Free Ad for One Week

September 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag Extends Its Offer for Groups or Small Businesses in Ocean Beach or Point Loma

Do you have a small or home business – or are you a member of an organization or group that does public service?

How about one week of free advertising on the OB Rag? You send us the display “camera-ready” and we’ll post it our website for a week.

The OB Rag has between 1,000 to 2,000 readers a day – most by far are from the city and county of San Diego.

This is all part of our support for local groups and small businesses.

Here are the details:

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Ocean Beach Planners Appoint 2 New Board Members, Approve Two-Story Condos on Froude

September 6, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Meeting last night before a packed crowd in the OB Rec Center, the OB Planning Board – once it obtained a quorum – appointed two new board members, approved the proposed 2 condo project on Froude and agreed to send letters to the City regarding safety issues on OB streets.

2 New Board Members

Two individuals who qualified to be members of the Board were appointed to fill 2 of the 6 open seats on the Board. Kevin Hastings was appointed to planning area district 6 and Tracy Dezenzo was appointed to district 1.

Kevin Hastings

Board member Craig Klein introduced Kevin – who is well known in planning board and town council circles – by stating Kevin “single-handedly provided a huge amount of data [on short term vacation rentals] to help the City Council, to give residents ammunition.”

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The Sins of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf – Part 2

September 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Here is Part 1.

Zig-Zags on the 30 Foot Height Limit

These days, it does appear Councilwoman Lorie Zapf is a strong supporter and defender of the sacrosanct 30-foot height limit for San Diego’s coastal and and beach communities. She did come out against a 4-story monstrosity on Emerson Street in the Roseville neighborhood of Point Loma, and along with Mayor Faulconer, issued a joint statement announcing a “stop-work” order for the project.

However, we have to note, as we reported then in June 2016:

The stop work order comes after a community protest by nearly a hundred residents … and after a widely-attended town hall meeting about the huge duplex … after a facebook page was set up and after an online petition to stop the project was begun – … it had close to 550 signatures.

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Matt Madruga and the Long Branch Torrey Pine

September 4, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Matt Madruga has lived on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue in Ocean Beach for 16 years – he still lives in the house his grandparents bought back in the mid-1950s.

So, Matt – who runs a small diving and yacht services company – knows about the large Torrey Pine that towers over the eastern end of his block. It stands in the right-of-way next to the narrow street near his property line with his nextdoor neighbor. In fact, one can see a portion of its trunk through a crack in Matt’s concrete patio.

This is the same Torrey that was saved by the community 7 years ago from the city wanting to chop it down and is the same Torrey that was almost cut down this past July, and it’s the subject of an upcoming Urban Forestry Commission meeting.

Matt has been watching the tree for 25 to 30 years now, he told the OB Rag recently. He knows how it lives, he knows what lives in it, he knows how it blows in the wind,

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OB Planners to Review Two, 2-Story Condos Project at Froude and Del Monte – Wed., Sept.5

September 4, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will take a look at a project proposed for the northwest corner of Froude and Del Monte, plus possibly appoint new board members and take up a slew of recommendations coming in from the board’s transportation sub-committee.

The board meets Wednesday, September 5 at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, starting at 6pm. (The official agenda is posted below.)

1750 Froude Street

Richard Harmon, new owner of 1750 Froude, has a Coastal Development Permit and tentative map for his proposed project for the board to review

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Proponents of Over-Turning City Council Vote on Short Term Vacation Rentals Turn Signatures into County Registrar

September 1, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, August 30, proponents of over-turning last month’s San Diego City Council vote establishing limits on short term vacation rentals turned in – what they say – is more than 62,000 signatures to the county Registrar of Voters.

In order to force a public vote on the restrictions, Airbnb and Homeaway representatives need 36,000 valid signatures of registered voters. They and their consultant, PCI Consultants, employed an army of signature gatherers across the city who in turn employed aggressive tactics to wrest signatures from unwary residents.

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The Sins of Lorie Zapf – Part 1

August 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

by Frank Gormlie

As Councilmember Lorie Zapf does her victory laps through the coastal neighborhoods of District 2 for her successful stand against unrestricted short term vacation rentals, locals need to remember Zapf is also a partisan candidate running to keep her seat on the Council (and hoping for an unusual third term).

While her STVR coalition with Councilmember Barbara Bry ultimately and admirably won the day for restrictions on STVRs and for saving communities from the deluge of mini-hotels plaguing the beaches, one need only peek at some of the other issues Lorie has taken positions on to have your eyebrow raised.

A more serious look into her record over the past 8 years on Council does more than raise eyebrows – it raises the blood pressure.

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Lustful Dolphin Closes French Beach

August 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A sexually aroused dolphin has been getting so close to human swimmers at a picturesque French beach in the northwestern Brittany region that the local mayor has closed the beach at the village of Landévennec in Finistère to bathing.

Brittany is a region of France known for its beautiful beaches with beaucoup swimming and sailing opportunities.

The local mayor, Roger Lars, issued a new law prohibiting swimmers from getting closer to 40 meters (close to 130 feet) to the dolphin, whose name is Zafar. The dolphin has a name, you might ask with eyebrows raised? Mais qui.

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San Diego Trader Joe’s Files Suit Against Aggressive Pro-Airbnb Signature Gatherings

August 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It has come to this: Trader Joe’s in San Diego filed suit on Friday, August 24 against the aggressive tactics by pro-Airbnb signature gatherers after all kinds of complaints by shoppers at local stores came in.

The company is asking a judge to halt the gathering of signatures for petitions in front of its stores, after customers complained of overly aggressive signature solicitors at stores in Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Hillcrest and Mission Valley. Trader Joe’s is asking for a restraining order against Airbnb and the firm that’s collecting the signatures, PCI Consultants.

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Jim Bell’s House and Dover Plumbing to Be Demolished – 3-Story Mixed Use with 10 Units and 3,000 Sq Ft of Commercial Coming In

August 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Unfortunately, we predicted it back in February that big changes were coming to the 4800 block of Voltaire Street in north Ocean Beach. And it looks like they are. We predicted that somebody could come in and purchase both Jim Bell’s old house and the old Dover Plumbing building – and make way for a huge complex.

It’s happened. The city has posted notices that Jim Bell’s former house at 4862 Voltaire and the former Dover Plumbing at 4870 will both be demolished, to make way for a 3-story mixed use building, with 10 residential units and near 3,000 square feet of commercial space.

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Peninsula Planners’ Sub-committee Meeting on Famosa Property in Doubt – Still Set for Wed., Aug. 29

August 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Long Range Planning sub-committee meeting set for Aug. 29 has been cancelled.

It appears that the Peninsula planners’ sub-committee meeting on the Famosa property scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 29, is in doubt. The board’s Long Range Planning sub-committee was due to begin a discussion of possible additional action items to be recommended to the full board about the Housing Commission Project and/or other alternatives for the Famosa site.

After an outcry from certain quarters of the Peninsula about a “lack of notice” for the meeting, Board chair Robert Goldyn questioned whether the action item regarding the property ought not to be cancelled. In an emailed shared with a number of people, Goldyn stated:

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The Whole World Was Watching 50 Years Ago Today – the Day a Whole Generation Was Radicalized

August 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

by Frank Gormlie

50 years ago today, the Democratic Party was in the midst of holding its 1968 national convention in the city of Chicago. While hundreds of party delegates met in the steamy convention hall to hammer out who was to be the nominee. Thousands of anti-war demonstrators had converged on the city, an armed camp.

50 years ago today, I was 20 years ago and living with my 19-year old spouse, Susan, in a small, one-bedroom cottage on Brighton Avenue in Ocean Beach.

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OB Town Council Parties Like It’s 1968 – As It Celebrates 50 Years

August 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

On Saturday, Aug. 25, the Ocean Beach Town Council partied. It was their 50th anniversary – and the celebration rocked the patio of Newbreak Church.

Local bands played, pizzas from Pizza Port and SurfRider were the menu, draft beer from the OB Brewery was on tap – and raffle prizes were handed out.

President Marcus Turner got the ball rolling with welcomes and intros; past presidents Dave Martin and Gretchen Newsom were on hand, and Councilwoman Lorie Zapf joined the fun – and stayed quite a while.

The infamous Mike James gave an inspiring speech. Happy Birthday was sung and a delicious birthday cake was carved up and dished out.

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Federal Judge Puts a Temporary Hold on San Diego Police Ticketing Homeless People Living in Their Vehicles

August 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A federal judge last week ordered San Diego police to temporarily stop ticketing homeless people living in their vehicles. Sitting in San Diego, U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia issued the injunction until he makes a final ruling in a case brought to court by a class-action suit by a group of disabled homeless people living in recreational vehicles.

They filed the suit last year against the law, which they claim is discriminatory, with the help of the Disability Rights California and The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. In his order issued August 21, Battaglia called the city ordinance that prohibits people for living inside vehicles too vague

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OB Rag Offer: Free Ad for One Week for Small or Home Businesses in Ocean Beach

August 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Do you own or run a small or home business in Ocean Beach?

If so, the OB Rag is offering you one full week of free advertising on our platform. And there’s no catch. It’s just part of our showing support to very small and local businesses and merchants.

All you have to do is send us what we used to call in the print business, “camera-ready copy” – that is your ad all ready to go, send it to us in an email, and we’ll post it in our side-bar for one week. Plus we’ll connect the ad with a business link you have. Here are the details:

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Questions Being Raised About New Sunset Cliffs Merchants’ Group and So-Called ‘Street Fair’

August 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There’s just too many questions being raised about the newly-formed Sunset Cliffs Merchants Association and a so-called “Street Fair” they are organizing.

On this past Wednesday, Aug. 22, the OB Rag published a post about the group and the street fair supposedly calendared for September 1 – a week away – using a report in the online The Beacon by Judi Curry and using the group’s facebook page.

But over the last two days there’s been some pushback mainly in the form of comments and questions to the article, private comments made at Wed’s OB Town Council meeting, and more concerns raised after some quick digging by locals.

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