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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Origins of the First OB Rag

September 14, 2020 by Staff

How and Where It All Started

Fresh off the campuses of the University of California, three young friends in their early twenties decided to publish an “underground” newspaper for Ocean Beach, the hippie area of San Diego.

John Lyons and Frank Gormlie – from UCSD – and Bob “Bo” Blakey – from UC Berkeley – had all just graduated and had moved in together in an old house on Etiwanda Street in northeast OB. Gormlie and Blakey had known each other at Point Loma High School and both had been involved in student government; Blakey had been Senior Class President and Gormlie had been President of the Student Body. Lyons and Gormlie had cut their activist teeth on the radicalism at UCSD.
All three had been deeply involved just months earlier in the anti-Vietnam war movement on their respective campuses.

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Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach — It’s Not for the Birds!

September 3, 2020 by Staff

By Budd Titlow

I get it.

I love all dogs and I know they need a special place to romp and splash. Dog Beach in Ocean Beach — at the western end of the San Diego River Channel—is just such a place. Created in 1972, it has a long history of providing the perfect playground for pooches— with no leashes restricting their activities.

But I’m also a serious birdwatcher and photographer. Since moving to the San Diego area 2 1/2 years ago, I’ve found that the San Diego River Channel — centering around Smiley Lagoon — offers the best birding opportunities of any place I’ve ever lived.

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A Dozen UC San Diego Doctors Tell County to Slow Down Reopenings

September 2, 2020 by Staff

In a letter to San Diego County officials, a dozen University of California San Diego doctors urged them to slow down the reopenings of businesses and facilities out of concern of potential spikes in coronavirus cases.

“If you have a situation where 8 or 10 or 12 percent of a population is infected and you get together with 10 people, there’s a good chance one of them is going to get infected,” said Dr. Robert Schooley, who was among the dozen of doctors who penned the letter.

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Latest Poll: Measure ‘E’ to Abolish Midway 30 Foot Height Limit ‘Too-Close to Call’, Elliott Leads Briggs by 10 Points

September 2, 2020 by Staff

Measure E “Too Close to Call”

In a very recent poll of how San Diego’s voters feel about the candidates and ballot measures facing them in November taken by the San Diego Union-Tribune/ 10News – SurveyUSA, the measure to do away with the height limit in the Midway is neck and neck.

Measure E, which would abolish the 30-foot height limit in the Midway-Pacific-Highway Community Plan Area, is too-close-to-call, 31% in favor, 29% opposed. Measure E needs a simple majority to pass. The measure is supported by Democrats 35 percent to 24 percent, opposed by Republicans 33 percent to 28 percent, and opposed by Independents 39 percent to 25 percent.

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Kathy Blavatt’s New Book on History of Sunset Cliffs Out Soon

September 1, 2020 by Staff

OB’s own Kathy Blavatt will be soon releasing her latest book – this one is on the history of Sunset Cliffs Park. Arcadia Publishing will be releasing San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs Park: A History, on Monday, October 12, 2020.

Here are the promos:

About the book

Sunset Cliffs Park meanders along a mile and a half of San Diego’s coastline, beckoning tourists and locals alike. These stunning cliffs inspired Albert Spalding, sportsman and visionary, to create a park in 1915 for all to enjoy.

In the century since, many have left their mark, including the powerful Pacific Ocean. John Mills, an enterprising land baron, restored the original park, only to have it fall into neglect during the Depression and World War II. It became a popular spot for pioneering surfers and divers in the postwar boom, and the park’s colorful landscape attracted artists and children. Join author Kathy Blavatt as she relates the many transformations of this beloved park and looks to us future.

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OB Planners: ‘Measure E’ to Remove Height-Limit in Midway, Street Vending Ordinance and Granny Flat on Pescadero – Wed., Sept.2

August 31, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hear a one-sided presentation about Measure E to remove the 30-foot height limit from the Midway area. It will be from “Yes on E” campaign co-chairs.

The Board will also “re-review” San Diego’s Street Vending Ordinance to either reaffirm their prior recommendations or make new ones in light of the pandemic.

Also, there is a project at 4838 Pescadero Avenue coming before the panel of volunteer community planners.

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Coastal Group Goes to Court to Protect 30-Foot Height Limit

August 31, 2020 by Staff

On Friday August 28, the coastal-preservation group, Save Our Access, took two court actions to protect the Coastal Height Limit. This voter-enacted San Diego 30-foot coastal height limit is under attack by Proposition E, which will be on the November ballot.

Save Our Access filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court, charging that the City of San Diego violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to properly consider the impacts of removing the 30-foot height limit in the Midway Area.

In a separate action, Save Our Access responded to a challenge to its ballot argument against Proposition E. The court approved the statement with minor revisions.

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Should San Diego County Health Officials Tell the Public Where COVID-19 ‘Hot-Spots’ Are?

August 27, 2020 by Staff

There’s a debate going on in San Diego County on whether local health officials should be telling the public where COVID-19 hot-spots are. The editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune believes “the county is making a big mistake.”

Its decision to refuse to disclose specifically where outbreaks have occurred — instead offering generic descriptions of, say, a local business or a local restaurant — denies residents basic health-risk information that can shape their decision-making. Los Angeles County’s practice of specific disclosure allows residents to see patterns. On Thursday, for example, three of the county’s four outbreaks were in a single small city (Commerce).

County officials say that nondisclosure is a best-practices public health tactic that encourages businesses to provide information about outbreaks,

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Free Health Care Returns to Ocean Beach – on Wed., Sept.2

August 26, 2020 by Staff

Here is some good news. Free health care is returning to Ocean Beach and will be available for the uninsured at two clinics beginning Wednesday, September 2.

The group, Southern California Care Community, is reopening their free medical clinics in OB. One will be the OB1 Clinic at the First Baptist Church on Santa Monica and the other will be the ECC Clinic at the Episcopal Church Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

A whole of medical services will be provided, including adult and pediatric care, chronic disease management, prescription assistance and laboratory services. Each clinic will be open one to two days each weekday to serve unsheltered persons as well as individuals who do not qualify for health insurance.

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Mara Elliott and Cory Briggs at Tonight’s Ocean Beach Town Council Facebook Live Meeting – Wed., Aug.26

August 26, 2020 by Staff

Join the Ocean Beach Town Council monthly meeting tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 26 and hear from current San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott and candidate for San Diego City Attorney Cory Briggs.

The public meeting will be held on Facebook Live, at 7:00 pm, and will be an interactive Q&A. Participants will have the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions. If you have a specific question for the Mara Elliott or Cory Briggs please share it with the OB Town Council before the meeting at

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OBceans Rally to Save the Post Office

August 24, 2020 by Staff

It was hot and humid Saturday in Ocean Beach but still fifty people came out and demonstrated their support for the OB Post Office – and all other Post Offices – against the attacks on our democracy by Trump and postmis-master Louis DeJoy, his hand-picked sycophant.

Organized by Susan Sratton and Frank Gormlie in just a couple of days as part of a national campaign to save the post offices, everyone had masks on and practiced social-distancing.

At one point, most of the demonstrators moved over to the intersection of Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Santa Monica to take advantage of its visibility to passing motorists. Demonstrators with signs stood on every corner of the intersection. There were many thumbs up and horn honking in support.

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Groups of Kids and Parents at Cleator Park in Point Loma Without Masks or Distancing

August 18, 2020 by Staff

Sadly, it’s not just wild, irresponsible crowds at OB’s drum circle on Wednesday nights. Breakdowns in employing the standard COVID-19 health advisories happen outside OB and on the playing fields of Point Loma.

On Sunday morning, August 16, kids, parents and adults at Bill Cleator Park / Field played sports and hung out in groups without masks (the vast majority) and no proper physical-distancing. Despite the park posting that gatherings are not allowed.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Postpones Sub-Committee Meetings

August 18, 2020 by Staff

The OB Planning Board has announced they are postponing two of their sub-committee meetings. The Project Review Committee, originally scheduled for Wed., Aug. 19 has been adjourned, and its next meeting is not until October 21.

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4 of the 5 Businesses With Most Health Order Complaints Are at the Beach

August 14, 2020 by Staff

ABC 10News reviewed data from 211 and the more than 9,400 complaints about violations of the public health order, and found the five businesses with the most complaints. And four of the five are at the beach. And the County has only taken action against two of them, in the form of cease and desist or shutdown orders. The complaints were received from April 3 through July 29.

The businesses included 3 gyms, a restaurant, and a juice shop.

Here they are:

OB -Midway: Self Made Training Facility (4030 Sports Arena Boulevard)

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Refuses to Endorse Councilwoman Campbell’s Short Term Vacation Rental ‘Compromise’

August 11, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

One of the advantages of on-line community planning board meetings is that they are not constrained by the time requirements that owners of brick and mortar meeting facilities have set. The OB Planning Board meets in the OB Rec Center and has the room for a set period of time. As the three-hour OBPB meeting on August 5 demonstrated, the on-line venue easily allows for as long a meeting as needed.

Jen Campbell and Short-Term Vacation Rentals

The cause of the unusually long meeting was a discussion of short-term vacation rentals (STVRs). The discussion began with an appearance by District 2 council person, Jennifer Campbell. Appearing with Campbell was her chief of staff, Venus Molina, who did most of the heavy lifting. Campbell herself seems to have retreated to two talking points saying she wanted to create more housing for San Diegans and ensure that San Diegans have peace and tranquility in their neighborhoods. This was repeated several times.

What Campbell was referring to about creating more housing is a sleight of hand trick.

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Tuesday Press Conference to Unveil Enforcement Efforts to Deter Large Wednesday Night Crowds

August 11, 2020 by Staff

City and County officials are holding a press conference today, Tuesday, August 11, in Ocean Beach to “unveil future enforcement efforts to deter large crowds gatherings on Wednesday nights at Veteran’s Plaza.” They will be joined by OBceans Mark Winkie and Corey Bruins from the OB Town Council and Denny Knox of the OB Mainstreet Association.

The presser will be at 1 pm at the OB Veteran’s Plaza. Officials will include Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, Dr. Joel Day, Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response and Recovery, and Dr. Ankita Kadakia M.D., Chief/ Medical Director, County Public Health.

Sparked by large, irresponsible crowds at the Drum Circle after Wednesday’s Farmers Market

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Man Stabbed Early Friday Morning Found Under Ocean Beach Pier

August 7, 2020 by Staff

San Diego’s Fox5 News is reporting this morning, Friday, that a man suffering from a stab wound was found underneath the Ocean Beach Pier in the early hours, but he was expected to recover, police said.

The stabbing victim, a man in his 30s, was reportedly assaulted around 4:15 a.m. It’s not clear whether he was stabbed while under the pier or if that is where he went after being wounded.

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OB Planning Board to Consider ‘Amendments’ to Councilwoman Campbell’s ‘Compromise’ on Short Term Vacation Rentals

August 3, 2020 by Staff

The Board Will Also Review “Improvements” to Spray Street Park and Proposed Round-About on W. Pt. Loma

This Wednesday, August 5, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its online meeting at 6 pm via WebEx and requires pre-registration (see below).

First up on its agenda is an informational item where the Board will hear about the upcoming round-about on West Point Loma Blvd and other ADA improvements. Also the volunteer panel will review recommendations from a Park Ad Hoc sub-committee on improved amenities at Spray Street Park or the grassy area next to Dog Beach parking lot.

The big ticket item on its agenda is a review of the Board sub-committee’s recommendations on short term vacation rentals (STVRs). In response to Councilwoman Campbell’s recent “compromise” proposal on STVRs, the Planning Board formed an Ad Hoc sub-committee which has come up with a number of recommendations for the full Board to consider.

The motion that passed in the subcommittee is as follows – note that this was not a recommendation to vote for or against the proposal – :

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4 Million Cases of COVID-19 in U.S.; 25,000 in San Diego County

July 24, 2020 by Staff

The United States on Thursday, July 23, 2020 passed the grim milestone of 4 million confirmed coronavirus infections.

The rapid spread of the virus this summer is striking, taking just 15 days to go from 3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases to 4 million. By comparison, the increase from 1 million cases to 2 million spanned 45 days from April 28 to June 11, and the leap to 3 million then took 27 days.

Nearly every public health metric suggests America is losing the fight against the virus.

  • Positivity rates have reached alarming levels in numerous states,
  • hospitalizations are soaring, and
  • more than 1,100 new coronavirus deaths were reported across the United States on Wednesday, July 22, marking the first time since May 29 that the daily count exceeded that number.
  • The rolling seven day average of Infections has doubled in less than a month, reaching more than 66,000 new cases per day Wednesday. The U.S. death toll now exceeds 141,000.
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Ocean Beach Lets Councilwoman Campbell Know How They Feel About 30-Foot Height Limit and Vacation Rentals

July 24, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

It would not be a stretch to say that our District 2 city council member Dr. Jennifer Campbell would have preferred to be almost anywhere other than where she was Wednesday evening. She was sitting in front of a computer having a meeting arranged by the Ocean Beach Town Council in front of the council and audience members, on-line.

These Obceans all did Ocean Beach proud. They asked tough questions and refused to let Campbell slide away with political answers. It was not an easy hour-long session and when Campbell signed off at the end, she was clearly irritated.

Campbell came into the meeting smiling and happy and the reaction seemed to surprise her. It was like the almost confused, angry disappointment you see when someone thinks they are being benevolent and, instead of love and respect, they are scorned and do not understand why.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Hosts Councilwoman Campbell on Facebook Live – Wed., July 22

July 20, 2020 by Staff

At this month’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, the Board will be hosting Councilmember Dr. Jen Campbell for a discussion about the recently announced Short Term Rental agreement with UNITE HERE Local 30 and Expedia.

You’re invited to join them on Facebook Live, Wednesday July 22 at 7:00 pm, for an interactive Q&A and the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions. If you have a specific question for the Councilwoman, share it with the OBTC at

Campbell initiated a deal with Expedia and Unite HERE in June, when they signed an agreement. You can read the Memorandum of Understanding here.

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Young Adults Now Make Up Largest Number of COVID-19 Cases in California

July 17, 2020 by Staff

Young adults between the ages of 18 through 34 now make up 44% of positive COVID-19 cases in California. The figure is up from 29% compared to one month ago. The age group represents the largest share of COVID-19 cases in the state.

In San Diego County, the age group 20 through 39 makes up nearly 45% of positive cases.

The new data is based on numbers provided by the California Department of Public Health. The marked increase in positive cases in these age groups coincide with the reopening of many businesses, including bars and restaurants in the state and San Diego.

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