Point Loma Residents Show Up and Force City to Postpone Palm Tree Chopping for Today – No Promises Made for Tomorrow

October 21, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The actions of a collection of community residents early Thursday morning resulted in a temporary stay of execution for the historic palm trees on upper Newport Ave. The city had told a resident on Wednesday they would be back this morning at 7:30 a.m. to cut down the trees and they would be bringing the police. So, the locals rallied and showed up to voice very vocal opposition to the city steamrolling the community.

They did indeed bring the police. Community Relations Officer David Surwilo was there, “to keep the peace,” he said. But, he also said trees were coming down today so they were not just there to keep the peace, they were there to assist the city crews.

Eventually, there were at least three police vehicles and five or six uniformed officers. Seemed like overkill when looking at the crowd of mostly retirees who were able to be out there. It really is disheartening to see the police used against the citizens who are protesting what our own civil servants are doing wrong.

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City Forester Threatens Use of Police If Point Loma Residents Interfere With Cutting Down Palm Trees

October 20, 2021 by Staff

City Forester: “We don’t care what you think.”

By Geoff Page

The City of San Diego is moving forward aggressively to cut down iconic and historic, tall palm trees on Newport Avenue, Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.

They are lying to the public saying it is because of a safety issue.

These are healthy trees — there is no safety issue whatsoever. But, when talking to the city’s forester, Brian Widener, it soon becomes clear that he is one of those people who believe if you repeat a lie over and over, people will eventually believe it is true. No matter how many times he says it is a safety issue, it is still not true.

The city is not only using public safety as an excuse, they are bypassing all the normal procedures for removing city trees by designating these as emergency removals. There is no emergency, the city just does not want to take the time to explain to the public why removals are necessary.

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County Supervisors to Honor Former OB Rag Writer

October 18, 2021 by Staff

On Tuesday, October 19, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will honor Doug Porter, a former writer for the OB Rag, for all his contributions over the years to San Diego journalism.

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UPS Driver Killed in Santee Plane Crash Was Steve Krueger of Ocean Beach

October 13, 2021 by Staff

The driver of a UPS delivery truck who was killed when a small plane crashed into a Santee neighborhood on Monday has been identified as Steve Krueger of Ocean Beach.

Krueger, 61, had worked at the company for nearly 30 years. The company identified him as the victim of this freak accident.

Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist from Yuma, was the pilot and was also killed. A moment of silence was held for Krueger’s by his UPS co-workers on Tuesday outside the UPS facility in Kearny Mesa where he worked.

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Stumbling Blocks on the Way to Enact Vacation Rental Regs for San Diego; City Staff Ignored Council Directions on Lottery System, Airbnb Complaints

October 12, 2021 by Staff

Lori Weisberg in the U-T reported this morning:

As the city of San Diego prepares to implement in July its first-ever regulations for short-term vacation rentals, officials unveiled on Monday a lottery system that both longtime hosts and City Council members said failed to give priority to responsible operators, as promised earlier this year.

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Coast Repairs, ADUs, Replacing Car Parking and Public Input on New Library Design – OB Planning Board Report

October 12, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The regular monthly meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, Wednesday, October 6, appeared to have a busy agenda, but much of it took very little time. Some of it was clearly just procedural by the city and looked like a waste of tax dollars.

Action Items #1 and #2 – Emergency coastal repair permits

Sonja Olsen, City of San Diego Transportation Department planner, represented the city in the two action items that involved emergency repairs. It was not clear why a planner from the transportation department was called on to present these two repairs to coastal areas instead of an engineer involved in the work.

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Tar Balls Showing Up As Far South As Del Mar and Other San Diego County Beaches

October 8, 2021 by Staff

Local governments and the media are scrambling to keep up with evidence that the Orange County oil spill has spread as far south as Del Mar and other San Diego County beaches.

Tar balls have been spotted at Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar and Encinitas.

Volunteers with the Southern California oil spill response are now working on North County San Diego beaches, officials said Thursday.

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San Diego’s Trump-Loving OAN Network Funded by AT&T

October 7, 2021 by Staff

Here’s a stupefying bombshell bit of news about San Diego’s Trump-Loving One America Network (OAN): It’s being funded almost entirely by the largest telecom company on the planet: AT&T.

The network, with offices in the Morena district, is known for spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and Covid.

An in-depth Reuters review of court records shows OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr. testified back in 2019 that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T execs.

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OB Skateboarder Suffers Life-Threatening Injuries in Crash With Car

October 6, 2021 by Staff

Early Tuesday morning, a skateboard suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a car at the intersection of Nimitz and West Point Loma.

The unidentified 27-year old reportedly entered the intersection against a red light around 5:55 a.m. and tried to turn left (west).

He went in front of the 63-year old driver in a car driving south on Nimitz and was struck. The Nissan driver had a green light.

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Health Advisory Issued to Swimmers and Surfers Following Rains

October 5, 2021 by Staff

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality Tuesday issued a general rain advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall.

Swimmers, surfers and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets.

Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation.

Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs, but additional warning signs are not posted for general rain advisories.

Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.

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‘Take another little piece of my heart now, baby …’ : Electrical Storm Over Ocean Beach

October 5, 2021 by Staff

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OB ‘Whistling Guy’ Appears in Saturday Night Live Skit

October 4, 2021 by Staff

Last weekend’s Saturday Night Live captured the OB “Whistling Guy”, played by comedian Bowen Yang. The “Whistling Guy” – you may recall – showed up at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors back in August and created quite a scene.

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Ocean Beach Library Not Opening Till the New Year, But Plans for Expansion to Be Presented in Early November

October 1, 2021 by Staff

According to Interim Branch Manager of the OB Library, Kristen Mulvihill, and the monthly newsletter sent out by the Friends of the OB Library, the Ocean Beach branch will not reopen until the New Year — possibly in January 2022.

This frustrating news is buttressed, however, by the announcement that renderings and floorplans for an expanded OB Library will be presented to the community soon. The tentative date is Wednesday, November 3rd

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Peninsula Planners Hear the Bad News About ADUs and Grapple With Undeveloped Pocket Park

September 30, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting September 16 had basically two items of interest to the community as a whole, an eye-opening presentation about new state law concerning accessory dwelling units and a pocket park.

State Law and Accessory Dwelling Units – ADUs

One of several organizations that have formed to protest the new state and city laws about accessory dwelling units is Neighbors for a Better San Diego or NBS. Kathy McClelland, an adjunct instructor at Southwestern College and Bob James, a contractor, provided a presentation. Two California senate bills, SB 9 and SB 10,

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San Diego Loosens Funding Application Process for Arts and Culture

September 28, 2021 by Staff

Tracy Dezenzo has some exciting news! The OBcean and member of the OB Planning Board is also a member of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture and has informed the OB Rag that the City Council unanimously passed the Commission’s proposed changes to Transit Occupancy Tax policy 100-03 which dictates how the funding for the Commission is allocated.

Tracy lists some key changes that will be reflected in the FY23 funding application guidelines:

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Kudos to Macy’s for Plants and Volunteers at the Point Loma Native Plant Garden

September 24, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

On Thursday, September 16, Macy’s, Inc. generously donated lots of plants and volunteers to plant them at one of the hidden jewels of the Peninsula: the Point Loma Native Plant Garden. This significant effort by Macy’s deserves kudos from the community.

For those unfamiliar with the Native Plant Garden, it has a gate at Mendocino Blvd. and Greene Street. There is another gate behind the apartment building on the west side of the property. It is just east of the eucalyptus grove on the north side of the apartment building. The Reserve is bordered on the east by Nimitz Blvd.

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Meet the New Members of the OB Town Council Board

September 23, 2021 by Staff

It’s official. The OB Town Council has five new members of the Board of Directors, all elected in the recent Special Election held after the mass resignations of four board members.

Their names and photos are up at the OBTC website.

And here they are (in alphabetical order of first names):

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Midway Planners ‘Tired of Being the Arm Pit of San Diego’ – as They Juggle Homeless and Refugee Shelters Without Being Noticed

September 21, 2021 by Staff


By Geoff Page

The once jubilant mood at the Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group, resulting from having the 30-foot height limit removed and a chosen developer for the Sports Arena, has evaporated due to recent events. The Sports Arena development went down in flames thanks to the previous administration under Faulconer. The new process will bring affordable housing to the site, a homeless shelter has been sited there with no notice, and a refugee shelter, also with no notice, has opened.

The planning group is angry and it appears they have a right to be.

The Lost City on a Hill

For those unfamiliar with what happened to the redevelopment, state law put an end to the process that had gone so far as to chose a developer.

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Coastal Precincts and Most of City of San Diego Voted to Keep Newsom

September 21, 2021 by Staff

Data from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters show Newsom was heavily favored in the coastal areas of the county and throughout the city of San Diego.

In contrast, more rural and desert communities in East County voted for the recall, favoring Republicans Larry Elder and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer as Newsom’s replacement.

Data show precincts south of Interstate 8 in San Diego, such as North and South Park, downtown, City Heights, College Area and Southeastern San Diego overwhelmingly voted to keep Newsom in office. The city’s coastal communities, like OB, PB, Mission Beach, La Jolla all went for Newsom.

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California Community Colleges a Step Closer to Offering More Baccalaureates

September 14, 2021 by Staff

California lawmakers have passed a bill to expand and make permanent a program that allows a select group of community colleges to offer baccalaureates in specific programs. The measure now heads to the governor.

Currently, 15 community colleges in the state offer bachelor’s degrees in workforce fields with high demand and unmet needs. However, the pilot program is set to expire in 2026. Assembly Bill 927 would make the program permanent and allow up to 30 community colleges to offer similar bachelor’s degree programs.

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OB Planners Look for Details on Pier Money, Set Time Limits on Beach Parking Lots, and Give Their 2 Cents on Outdoor Dining Spaces

September 8, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The OB Pier, parking in OB’s beach lots, and outdoor dining – that resulted from COVID – were the main issues taken up at the OB Planning Board’s monthly meeting, September 7, 2021. All pretty serious matters for OB.

Pier – There was a lengthy discussion of the pier mostly focused on a pot of money amounting to $8.4 million coming from Sacramento.

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OB Town Council Membership Elects 5 New Board Members

September 7, 2021 by Staff

Over the past week or so, members of the Ocean Beach Town Council elected five new directors to its board. And they are:

  • Tracy Dezenzo
  • Mara Cunningham
  • Deanna Polk
  • Anna Firicano
  • Gregory Winter
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Man Takes Car Surfing at Dog Beach

September 3, 2021 by Staff

After taking his car on a surfing venture at Dog Beach, a man gave up and abandoned it in the middle of the surf Wednesday morning.

Fox5 reported that the vehicle was out in about 100 feet of ocean around 5:30 am, which was reported to SDPD.

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OB Planners to Review Parking Lot Time Restrictions and Making Outdoor Dining Spaces Permanent – Wed., Sept.1

August 30, 2021 by Staff

Wednesday night, the Ocean Beach Planning Board meets (via Cisco again due to rising COVID numbers) and there’s three interesting issues on their agenda.

First, the board will discuss and review a letter asking that the $8.4 million received by the city from the state for the OB Pier be budgeted towards rebuilding and included in the 5-year Capital Investment Projects list.

Of more immediate interest is the board’s discussion on time restrictions for overnight closures to beach parking lots. The city has asked the board for its suggestions.

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San Diego Group, ‘Save Our Heritage’, Opposes SB 10

August 30, 2021 by Staff

The San Diego group, Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) is asking San Diegans to contact our State Senators immediately to oppose Senate Bill 10 (SB 10). One problem, of course, is that one of our state senators, Toni Atkins, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

SOHO is extremely concerned that Senator Weiner, the bill’s author, refused to provide any protections for historic resources under this bill. The group stated:

This Planning and zoning: housing development bill is now on its way to the Senate to approve Assembly revisions. If approved, it then goes directly to Governor Newsom for his approval. There are no protections for historic resources in this bill

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Anti-Vaxxer OBcean Goes Off the Rails at County Board of Supes Meeting

August 18, 2021 by Staff

An OBcean went off the rails on Tuesday at a San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting, as a group of anti-vaxxers criticized the Board for their vaccine mandates during public comment. Here’s a brief Daily Beast report.

By Blake Montgomery / Daily Beast / August 17, 2021

A San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting descended into chaos Tuesday, August 17 as anti-vaccine activists gathered to make their opinions on vaccine mandates known.

According to local conservative outlet KUSI, several groups—ReOpen San Diego, Let Them Breathe, and San Diego Rise Up — gathered outside to protest and inside to give speeches demanding that the board bar employers and businesses from requiring proof of vaccination for employment or services. An OBcean named Matt Baker

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Today – August 12 – Is Last Day for Public Comment on Navy’s Massive Development at NAVWAR

August 12, 2021 by Staff

The Navy is proposing a massive development on the NAVWAR site alongside Pacific Highway, just east of Old Town. And today, August 12, is the very last day for public comment. (If today is the deadline, then comments made today should be accepted.)

Go to NAVWAR’s website: www.navwar-revitalization.com to submit a comment before the Aug. 12 deadline.

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OB Planners Take On Luigi’s Lost Parking Lot, Bike Parking Instead of Cars, Roundabouts, Vendor Ordinance and Capital Projects

August 9, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Building code violations, bike parking in exchange for car parking, traffic roundabouts, a vendor ordinance, a Capital Improvement Project wish list, and arts & culture news. These were the items of interest that were discussed at the OB Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting, August 4.

Pizzeria Luigi

Board member Craig Klein, who initially brought up what he saw as code violations on the Pizzeria Luigi property at last month’s meeting, had more to say. Klein directed his comments to the District 2 representative, Teddy Martinez. Apparently, Code Enforcement is involved and has visited the site but according to Klein work is progressing. Klein wanted Martinez to make this a priority.

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OB Legend Jimmy Marudas Has Passed

August 4, 2021 by Staff

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Former Federal Prosecutor Phillip Halpern to Outline Major Flaws in City-Navy NAVWAR Proposal – Tuesday, Aug.3

August 3, 2021 by Staff

Today, Tuesday, August 3, Phillip Halpern, a former federal prosecutor and head of the white collar crime section, will outline major flaws in City-Navy NAVWAR proposal. The press conference will be outside City Hall at 202 C Street in the public plaza at 11 am.

Unbeknownst to most San Diegans, the Navy and City are fastracking a massive redevelopment project that will adversely impact the lives of all those who live, work, and visit our city.

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