Retail Workers Demand Hazard Pay As Large Companies Reap Record-Breaking Pandemic Profits

November 25, 2020 by Staff

As large corporations like Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger and other major retailers reap record-breaking profits during the pandemic, the money does not trickle down to their front-line workers. And those workers are demanding hazard pay and upgrade safety procedures during the busy holiday shopping season.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents 900,000 ry employees at chains such as Kroger, Safeway and Giant, urged retailers to do more to protect workers from the virus that has sickened more than 12.3 million Americans earlier this week.

At least 131 grocery workers have died of covid-19, according to the workers groups, though the actual death toll is probably much higher. Retailers are not generally required to report infections or deaths to health officials, employees or customers. All told, the virus has killed more than 256,000 Americans.

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The Crooked Tree Ale of Ocean Beach

November 23, 2020 by Staff

Some good news for the holidays!

The OB hamlet is really fortunate to have a strong brewer community thriving within. Last year the OB Town Council gathered together some top San Diego brewers who happen to live in OB to create a special holiday brew just for our town.

The name Crooked Tree Ale comes from the infamous OB holiday tree that we place at the foot of the pier every season. The tree notoriously leans to one side or the other, some years more than others.

Some proceeds from the sale of the brew and commemorative t-shirts will come back to the Town Council to help fund their suite of holiday events which include getting the tree in place.

This year we have a number of well-known and respected local brewers involved.

Among those collaborating include:

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What the Curfew and Its Enforcement Means to San Diegans

November 20, 2020 by Staff

What does the new curfew Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Thursday for counties in the purple tier — including San Diego — mean for San Diegans? And what does the new level of enforcement mean?

Basically, the new curfew will take effect at 10 pm on Saturday, November 21, and all nonessential work and gatherings must stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Right now, the curfew will remain in effect for a month, until 5 am on Dec. 21. It could be revised or extended.

Also on Thursday, San Diego County officials announced that law enforcement will step up COVID-19 compliance education and citations. Sheriff Bill Gore said four two-deputy teams will begin making “a full-time commitment” of the county’s 18 cities and unincorporated areas, ensuring compliance with public health orders. Several cities have already confirmed they will send officers to assist deputies in their duties, Gore said.

While residents are urged to be home by 10 p.m., there are still things they can do at night, including:

  • Going to the grocery or drug store
  • Going out for a walk/walking a dog
  • Get takeout from a restaurant (which can stay open for this purpose only)
  • People will be allowed to do any of those things with members of their households.

The impact on restaurants in San Diego County will be slightly different, as they have already been subject to a previous county public health order to be closed by 10 pm. Before, restaurants could admit new customers at 10 who were allowed to stay till 11. Under the new curfew, customers need to be out the restaurant door by 10.

The same applies to gatherings at private residences.

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New San Diego Ordinances on Regulating Surveillance Win Praise – After Successful Effort by Councilwoman Montgomery Steppe

November 13, 2020 by Staff

On Tuesday, November 10, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to adopt two ordinances, which are intended to increase accountability within city government and law enforcement. The ordinances regulate the use, acquisition and funding of surveillance technology and establish a Privacy Advisory Board.

City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe – who led the efforts – stated:

“My council colleagues joined me in taking the necessary next step to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all San Diegans. The city of San Diego has a chance to lead here, and I look forward to the continuous collaboration with community organizations, my colleagues on the council and our city departments to ensure that we do.”

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San Diego’s ‘Highwayman’ – Who Freely Aided Stranded Motorists for Decades – Now Needs Help

November 13, 2020 by Staff

For literally decades, San Diego’s Highwayman has pulled up behind stranded motorists and offered aid, free of charge.

Tom Weller – who grew up in Ocean Beach – has spent years upon years patrolling San Diego freeways helping people out ever since his car plowed into a snowbank in Illinois in 1966, and he was helped by a good Samaritan who told him to pass it on.

Now Weller needs some teeth, as he told NBC 7 :

“I’ve been reluctant to ask for myself. I didn’t have any trouble asking in my mission for others, but for myself, it’s very difficult. But I need some teeth.”

Now 72 — Weller needs some help himself of the dental variety. He has launched a GoFundMe in an effort to be able to pay for dental implants, since he’s unable to wear his dentures anymore because his anchor tooth broke. “It’s been a difficult time ’cause I’m losing weight, losing confidence and am at my last resort, so to speak,” Weller said.

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Gloria, Elliott Lead, Measures B and E Appeared to Have Passed

November 4, 2020 by Staff

Gloria In the Lead But Bry Refuses to Concede

Assemblyman Todd Gloria held a significant lead Tuesday night over fellow Democrat Councilwoman Barbara Bry in the battle to become San Diego’s next mayor, according to unofficial results released by the county registrar of voters. Bry has refused to concede and said Tuesday night that she expects to gain ground as more votes are counted.

Record Turn-out in San Diego?

Meanwhile, more than 1.2 million ballots were cast in San Diego County. Registrar of Voters Michael Vu was not discounting the possibility of record turnout. He said he expects turnout will exceed 80 percent, which would come close to matching the 81 percent in 2016 or possibly eclipse the record of 84 percent, set in 2008.

Elliott Has Huge Lead

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott was leading by a substantial margin over challenger Cory Briggs in the race to become the city’s top lawyer.

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Election Signs Seen Around Ocean Beach

November 2, 2020 by Staff

These 2020 election signs were seen around OB.

OB Rag reporter Bob Edwards scoured the neighborhood for special signs and found these.

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OB Chalk Dad Has a Message

November 2, 2020 by Staff

Ocean Beach’s greatest sidewalk chalk artist in memory, Erick Toussaint, has a message. And our good friend, Judith Starker, captured it.

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‘What’s Natural About Sunset Cliffs Natural Park?’

October 28, 2020 by Staff

Originally posted Nov. 19, 2019

By Geoff Page

In October of last year [2018], I did some checking on why the Sunset Cliffs Park project was not yet finished. I contacted the city and the emails that follow tell the story. I’m not using the person’s name because there is no reason to cause him any difficulty as some of his responses might. This is a really sorry tale.

Oct. 16, 2018 – the response I got to my initial inquiry:

The contractor has been waiting for some materials that required a long lead time to obtain. These materials are scheduled to be delivered on site next week.

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OB Resister Sisters Ask You to Vote Because 225,000 Americans Can’t

October 27, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Resister Sisters are at it again, a week before the big election. This banner appeared over the east-bound Interstate 8 in Mission Valley.

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OB Town Council Facebook Live Meeting Wed., Oct. 28: Two Projects With Direct Impact on Our Coast

October 26, 2020 by Staff

Please join the Ocean Beach Town Council on Facebook Live, Wednesday October 28rd at 7:00 pm for their Monthly Public Meeting.

At this month’s meeting, the OBTC is hosting presentations on two upcoming environmental projects that will directly impact our coastal community:

Park Ranger Araceli Dominguez will present on the OB Estuary Enhancement Project.

Matt O’Malley, Executive Director for SD Coastkeeper will present on the recently announced large scale aquaculture project and the potential impacts it could bring to our coastline.

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The Sports Arena Redevelopment Proposal Mess

October 23, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The City of San Diego told the public that it received four proposals for redevelopment of the Sports Arena properties. They said two of the four proposals were rejected as “non-responsive” leaving only two choices.

To begin with, that the city only received four proposals was an indication of a problem. This is a billion-dollar redevelopment project. This should have attracted more than four proposers. When results like this are seen, it can mean several things, but suffice to say, the Request For Proposals (RFP) may have been badly crafted, or worse, intentionally crafted to discourage proposers. The result was that the citizens of this city were only offered two choices, when the RFP probably should have been redone.

These kinds of proposals are expensive to put together and the process is also expensive.

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Donna Frye: ‘Measure E Deserves a No Vote’

October 22, 2020 by Staff

Donna Frye came out today opposed to Measure E, the San Diego ballot proposition that would destroy the 30-foot height limit in the Midway area.

In today’s Letters to the Editor in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Frye called it “just plain wrong” to promote the idea that the Midway area can only be “successful” if the height limit is rescinded.

Frye- former councilwoman for San Diego and the “woman who should have been mayor,” also took the measure to task for not including any public benefit nor requiring any affordable housing.

Plus the “half-baked measure” was placed on the ballot “with no environmental review,” she wrote, and added, “The public has a right to know the impacts associated with the new height limit before, not after, giving their approval.” Frye hit on a number of facilities surrounding the myths about Measure E:

Measure E does not require affordable housing.

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Peninsula Planning Meeting: Bry Opposed to Campbell’s Proposal on Short-Term Rentals

October 20, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The regular monthly Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting October 15 had its highs and, as usual, its lows. The on-line meeting was held last Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

First, the highlights. The lowlight will be left to the end.

Barbara Bry

Councilmember Bry made an appearance as a council representative, not as the mayoral candidate. Bry was careful to make this distinction and declined to comment on any of the political races. She was there to give her opinion on short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) and Point Loma’s councilperson’s proposal. In a nutshell, Bry stated that the law needs to be enforced, STVRs are not legal.

Bry opposed what Jennifer Campbell is pushing, an agreement between a private travel industry giant and the local hotel workers union. Bry said the illegal vacation rental stock needs to be returned to regular housing, especially considering the current housing shortage. Bry said there were 16,000 STVRs in the city, the same figure that Campbell also used. Bry said those 16,000 units would go a long way toward relieving the housing shortage.

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How to Handle Customers Who Refuse to Wear a Mask

October 15, 2020 by Staff

Straight-up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed,

As a manager of a [501(c)(3)] non-profit organization, I am frequently confronted about us enforcing our state’s mask mandate. We will refuse access to our building to anyone if they will not wear a mask. . . I have been called names, screamed at, and even threatened. My question is how as the manager can I politely tell them to fuck off?

Sincerely, Barbara Curry
Cherryville, NC

Thanks for the question Barbara. Even though I have never been in a position to enforce a mask mandate, I have seen many-a YouTube video featuring customers throwing anti-mask tantrums so I do have an idea about what you, and others, are going through.

Now, I’m not going to get into the controversy over mask-wearing itself – whether it is unconstitutional for the government to mandate them, or if the COVID risk has been exaggerated or even if the pandemic is a straight-up hoax concocted by our alien overlords – because none of this matters when it comes to private organizations such as yours. Every privately-owned business, including a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has the right to refuse service

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Love or Hate: The Daisies, Eucalyptus, and Native Plants of Sunset Cliffs – It’s All History!

October 13, 2020 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

What do you think of when you think of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park: Daisies, Native Plants, and Eucalyptus Trees?

As I was writing San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs: A History, over the last couple of years, I was surprised that the number one thing people were most passionate about was the park’s plants.

Just telling people I was writing a book about Sunset Cliffs Park’s history seemed to be a trigger to many people when it came to the park’s plants. The impassioned comments I received included: “Why are they taking out the daisies?” “Why did they cut down the eucalyptus trees?” and “The park should be native plants!”

Sunset Cliffs Park and the surrounding community have a unique and extraordinary history of horticulture, landscape, the development of food crops, and the propagation of plants that grow in coastal zones.

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A Review of ‘San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs Park, a History’

October 13, 2020 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

This month has seen the publication of a wonderful new book, San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs Park, A History. Published by The History Press, the book tells the complex and interesting history of Sunset Cliffs Park.

Written by Kathy Blavatt, local author, historian, photographer and garden columnist for the OB Rag, the book provides a detailed history of the park and includes dozens of photos, many from the author’s private collection, complemented by additional pictures from the OB Historical Society and family photos from local residents.

The book includes a chapter on the park’s animals, marine life, and habitat. Other chapters discuss the prehistory of the Point Loma Peninsula, the changes once Europeans arrived, and the string of events that followed

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Report on OB Planning Meeting: Dog Beach Fencing, Parking Lot Limits, Del Monte Overlook, Ebers St. Park, Nimitz & W.Pt.Loma

October 9, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Ocean Beach Planning Board on-line meeting Wednesday, October 7, did not have any OB projects to discuss but did have five interesting action items for the community.

Fencing at Dog Beach

The first one they covered was the following, taken directly from the agenda:

“Action Item #1: Ocean Beach Estuary Enhancement Project – The board will review a proposal from Parks and Rec. to improve the fencing of the estuary at the end of Dog Beach.”

The discussion that followed did not match the agenda description.

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Short-Term Rental Proposal Before San Diego Planning Commission Thursday, Oct.8 – District 2 Residents Encouraged to ‘Fight Back’ by Phone or Written Comment

October 7, 2020 by Staff

The so-called “agreement” on short-term vacation rentals that Councilwoman Jen Campbell brokered will be before the San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday, October 8.

Residents of District 2 are encouraged to fight back and participant easily by phone or by written comment (details inside).

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Dead Trees Walking

October 6, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The community is about to lose a whole bunch of trees again, and the landscape will be very obviously altered after it happens.

I’ve walked my dogs for several years along the top of the slope, on the east side of Bill Cleator Park, between the park and Correia Middle School. There is a tall chain link fence at the top that separates the school grounds from the slope and the park at the bottom. We walk along a narrow path at the top from Famosa north to the YMCA where we descend to the park by the indoor soccer field.

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OB Rag’s Progressive City, County and State Ballot Recommendations for November 2020

October 5, 2020 by Staff

Here are the OB Rag 2020 Election recommendations. Basically, we took Doug Porter’s recommendations – which we generally agree with – but reversed three of his recommendations. We recommend a “No” on Measure E which would erase the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District. We recommend Barbara Bry for Mayor and in the toss-up for City Attorney for San Diego, we recommend incumbent Mara Elliott. But thanks to Doug, who did a lot of research work, most of the other candidates and proposals we agree with are also outlined below.

San Diego Ballot Measures

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OB Resister Sisters Strike Again! ‘Honk If You Paid More Tax than Trump’

September 29, 2020 by Staff

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung another sign over the northbound 163 in beautiful Balboa Park Monday, just in time for the afternoon rush hour traffic.

And you should’ve heard the honking!

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Mayoral Candidates Bry and Gloria at OB Town Council Facebook Live Meeting – Wed., Sept.23

September 23, 2020 by Staff

Join the Ocean Beach Town Council for their Monthly Public Meeting. This month, the OBTC is hosting San Diego Mayoral candidates Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria.

Join them on Facebook Live, Wednesday September 23rd at 7:00 pm, for an interactive Q&A and the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions.

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Brookfield Redevelopment and SANDAG Presentations Made at Midway Planners Meeting

September 23, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The first item of note about the Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group is a special meeting that will be held Wednesday, September 23, on-line at 3:00, to decide if “the CPG wish[sic] to take action to support the selection of Brookfield for the Sports Arena Development.”

The decision to have this special meeting was made at the Midway group’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 16. In order to provide as much notice as possible, the meeting announcement was e-mailed in the early afternoon the following day.

Because the group does not have a website yet, distribution appears to depend on email lists. The link to the meeting is on the emailed agenda and is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Here is the link:

Brookfield and Redevelopment of the Midway

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Peninsula Planning Board Wrangles Over Froude and Voltaire – Received Presentation on Measure E

September 21, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

As it almost always does, the Peninsula Community Planning Board offered up some controversy again during its regular monthly meeting held on Thursday, September 17. (Because it was conducted on Zoom, it was recorded and can be viewed here – ) This is one definite benefit to on-line meeting forums.

The controversy occurred during discussions of three letters the PCPB’s Traffic subcommittee drafted and wanted the board to approve to send to the city. These three letters contained recommendations that could have directly affected the community, so they are described below along with the actions taken.

The Froude and Voltaire Intersection

The first letter was about the intersection of Froude and Voltaire streets. It is important to state first that this reporter spoke out strongly in opposition to the letter. The reason for this is that this reporter lives very near the intersection, has used it extensively for many years, and thought the letter was misleading and completely incorrect. A little history.

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Ocean Beach Post Office’s Missed Mail Referenced in LA Times Article

September 17, 2020 by Staff

In our efforts to report on all things OB, we found a reference to the Post Office in Ocean Beach in today’s Los Angeles Times. In an article about how the takeover by the new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has resulted in empty mail trucks, falsified records and chaos at the Postal Service, an OB mail carrier discovered a snafu.

In the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, a mail carrier arrived at work the morning of Aug. 18 to find tubs of mail sitting outside an office. The mail had been collected the day before but never made it to the plant because it had missed the last truck.

The carrier, a 22-year veteran of the Postal Service who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that would not have happened in the past; a post office manager would have authorized overtime for an employee to make an extra trip to the distribution facility.

“Some way or another, we always got the mail out every day,” the carrier said.

August 18 was just 4 days before the protest / support rally at the OB Post Office attended by 50 OBceans.

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Requiem for the Real American Dream

September 16, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

There is a time in life when all things that once were new and filled with promise become old and worn out, their shiny surfaces dull and scratched, their presence a mere reminder of the past. These things that once fueled our imaginations, set us in pursuit of impossible goals, drove us to creativity, and embodied cherished values must all be bade farewell when their time has passed.

I noticed today that the American Dream is badly worn.

I do not mean the American Dream of Horatio Alger, that rags-to-riches-if-you-work-hard-and-never-give-up dream. No, that one still lives in our hearts and minds. But it is not the true American Dream, for rags to riches is a story that happens all over the world. Truthfully, it has always been more like winning the lottery, even in this country.

But that didn’t matter, because riches have never been the dream of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

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Debate on Measure ‘E’ – Demolition of Midway 30 Foot Height Limit – at Peninsula Planners’ Meeting – Thurs., Sept.17

September 15, 2020 by Staff

There will be a debate on Measure “E” at the next Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting, Thursday, September 17, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Measure “E” is the controversial ballot initiative to demolish the 30 foot height limit in the Midway area, placed on November’s ballot by District 2 Councilmember Jen Campbell.

Cathy Kenton, chair of the Midway planning committee will present the “Yes” side, and Tom Mullaney, of Safe Our Access, will give the “No” side.

Proponents of the measure – who now include Mayor Kevin Faulconer – claim the Midway area should never have been included in the 1972 measure that established San Diego’s thirty footer limit of development west of I-5. There’s no ocean views, and the area is so run-down, it is desperate need of redevelopment. Besides, they say, it’s such a small area, only 1300 acres. Ocean Beach, by the way, is half that.

Opponents see this as a cynical move in the time of the pandemic

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Fundraiser for Two Homeless Men Who Clean Up OB Nets More than $28,000

September 15, 2020 by Staff

A fundraiser for two homeless men who pick up trash in Ocean Beach has now raised more than $28,000.

David Hendon and Marc Gervais are two friends who wake up at the crack of dawn every day to pick up trash for free around Newport Ave and the local parking lots. They drive up in a dilapidated, broken-down van every morning while it’s still dark, get out their buckets and brooms and start cleaning.

A local reporter for CBS caught wind of the two from a viewer who lives in New Jersey who watched the guys from the Ace Tattoo Surf Cam.

The story of Marc and David is so heart-warming and breaking at the same time, that the reporter, Jeff Zevely, got the word out on them and a Go Fund Me page was re-ignited. (As of this writing, it had raised $28,195 – the guys had originally set it up to raise $1,500.) Also a local car dealership has pledged to fix their van.

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Man Found in Ocean Beach Sand Dies of Gunshot Wounds

September 15, 2020 by Staff

An unidentified man in his 50s found in the sand in Ocean Beach has died of gunshot wounds early Tuesday morning.

Police received a call of an assault with a deadly weapon around 1 a.m. and responded to the area near Saratoga Park and the lifeguard station.

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