Mayoral Debate for Beach Communities – Wed., Sept. 18 at Mission Bay High School

September 18, 2019 by Staff

Come one – come all – the Mayoral Debate for the beach and coastal neighborhoods of San Diego. Of course, you’re invited to join your local community organizations, like the OB Town Council and the OB Planning Board, the OB Mainstreet Association, the Point Loma Assoc., Save San Diego Neighborhoods, ReWild Mission Bay, San Diego Lifeguards, Surfrider, Coastkeeper …..

This the time for coastal issues to be debated by Barbara Bry, Todd Gloria and Tasha Williamson at the September 18th Mayoral Debate. That’s a Wednesday and it’s happening at the Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave.

A full auditorium will send a strong message to the candidates

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An Independent Police Review Board for San Diego: Why People Want It

September 17, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

An argument could be made that an assault on the First Amendment led to drafting of the proposed amendment to the San Diego City Charter that will come before the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety and Liveable Neighborhoods Committee on September 18, 2019.

A growing number of local individuals and organizations are hoping the Council will move forward to place the charter amendment on the ballot in the near future, allowing city voters to decide whether to establish an independent citizen review commission to investigate complaints of misconduct by San Diego Police Department officers.

Presently, the City’s Community Review Board (CRB) on Police Practices relies on initial review and investigation of any complaints by the Internal Affairs (IA) Unit of the San Diego Police Department as the foundation of the CRB’s review.

Learning how this new initiative for independent police review evolved, given that citizen boards concerned with police practices have existed in San Diego since 1989, is an important step in understanding the content of the proposed charter amendment.

The First Amendment has always troubled Americans.

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Consensus in Morena Area: San Diego City Officials Heed Developers Over Residents

September 16, 2019 by Staff

Councilmembers Campell and Bry Voted Against Morena Corridor Plan

By Joni Halpern

For more than three years, the machinery of the City of San Diego has been seeding the public with an idea. The broad skeleton of the idea is that San Diego needs more development to house expected population growth. But land within the City is built out, so city officials contend the only places left to accommodate new growth are in selected portions of existing planning areas.

If the details were as simple as that, the meeting last Wednesday night, Sept. 11, 2019, of about 80 residents of the Morena area – Bay Park, Overlook Heights, and Clairemont probably wouldn’t have been necessary. But flesh added to the City’s skeletal idea over the past few years foretells a change in the quality of life for San Diego neighborhoods targeted for intensive development of high-density housing in so-called “transit-priority areas.”

It is that change — which residents believe will lead to fearsome levels of population overload, severe traffic congestion, the overflow of parked cars from new developments onto existing residential streets, unhealthy air quality, and the loss of a neighborhood feeling — that has roused residents along the Morena Corridor to organize.

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Where Is the Hero In Us?

September 10, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

We have been flinging the word “hero” around these United States for quite some time, mostly using it to refer to anyone in uniform, and once in a while, to civilians who risk their lives to save another. Without denigrating the title bestowed on these worthy persons, it is time to call attention to the missing person in all of us — the American hero.

You might have forgotten this character, for he or she has been buried beneath so much angst, anger, partisanship, and turmoil within each of us that it is speculative whether there is anything at all we can do to resurrect this person.

From the time we were children, we were raised on American heroism. True, much was left out of the story. Not everyone acted as a hero in our history.

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An Homage to ‘Wetbacks’:  Marla’s Story

September 3, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

Today Americans are asked to support government conduct that imperils adults and children who have the temerity to ask for asylum from the raging violence or desperate poverty ravaging them in their home countries.

Our country now wants to broadcast far and wide that we are no longer in the market for the “poor and huddled masses yearning to be free.” We are not interested in their sad stories of abuse, deprivation, or torture. Look us up, however, if you are among the well-educated, well-trained, healthy, affluent, select few who want to take advantage of new opportunities in an American venue.

Americans have been told this change of focus is necessary, because immigrants of a lesser god are sucking us dry, committing serious crimes, and

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During Raucous Meeting Peninsula Planning Board Votes to Oppose Any Development of Famosa Canyon

August 30, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board took a stand on Wednesday, August 28, as a result of intense community pressure. The PCPB voted to oppose development on what has been referred to as the Famosa Canyon site on the south side of Famosa Blvd. across from Bill Cleator Park.

The vote came at a special meeting called by the PCPB at the Point Loma Library to discuss just one topic, the San Diego Housing Commission plans to build 78 affordable housing units on that piece of open land. Dedicated PCPB volunteers and community members devoted hours of time and effort during the month of August in five subcommittees discussing the site and collecting community input.

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What’s Going On at Ebers and Greene? An Update on the New Project

August 19, 2019 by Staff

Update on 2269 Ebers Street

By Geoff Page

The project that has sat idle on the corner of Greene St. and Ebers St., basically only a framed two-story addition to an existing old home, has restarted construction as recounted in the OB Rag Thursday, Aug. 15.

In order to understand what is happening with the property, the new permitted plans for it were reviewed on Friday, August 16 at the City of San Diego Records Department.

Here is an overall description of the new project:

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Ocean Beach Historians Host the San Diego City Guard Band at PLNU

August 19, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

On Saturday, August 17, the Ocean Beach Historical Society presented a live sunset concert featuring the San Diego City Guard Band at the Greek Amphitheater at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Over 200 people attended the evening concert and enjoyed 90 minutes of historic and patriotic music performed by the 32 piece ensemble.

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Why Are We Shouting at the Other Side?

August 13, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

I have often heard over the past two years that the reason we are so polarized in this country is that we are not listening to the other side. We simply brand each other as one thing or another, and shout across the distance. Even when we get together with family or friends, we focus on harmless topics, lest we end up throwing cake at each other, the way our Commander-in-Chief did when he was a little tyke attending birthday parties that were not for him.

There is even a popular theory going about that if we were just civil long enough to hear the other side, we would alter our position in light of truth told by those who disagree with us. I am a great believer in civility, in respecting the dignity of others. But it is a natural law of the human eardrum, as immutable as any law of physics, that an unwelcome truth, regardless of how soft the whisper, is always heard as a shout. And this is the source of our acrimony today.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Opposes City’s Plan to Spend $1.1 Million on Dog Beach Sidewalk

August 12, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

One point one million dollars to rebuild the sidewalk at Dog Beach that allows the disabled to access the sand. Because of a lawsuit. That was the agenda item that got the most attention from everyone at the Ocean Beach Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 7. The topic was, to put it mildly, controversial.

Representatives from the city gave a brief presentation of the project and explained why it was happening. Apparently, the city lost an Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, lawsuit about the existing ADA-compliant sidewalk at Dog Beach. The result of the lawsuit was that the current facility has to be redone at a total cost of $1.1 million. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the city explained that the construction costs would be about $400k, the remaining amount was for “soft” costs. Soft costs are for consultants to design the facility and the city to manage the project. To build a sidewalk. It was like attending the theater of the absurd.

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Dear Ohio: Ask About the Rabbiteye’s Future

August 8, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Ohio is deemed one of the nation’s bellwether states, so we Californians need to give them some advice about the upcoming 2020 elections.

Dear Ohio,

I’m guessing that you, like most of us in California, have not given much thought to asking our presidential candidates about blueberries. Certainly you have not contemplated asking them about the red-state species known as the rabbiteye blueberry, which grows from central Florida to eastern North Carolina and from Eastern Texas to Southern Arkansas.

The humble rabbiteye blueberry is a hearty plant apparently unattractive to major pests. Depending upon care and environment, just one rabbiteye blueberry bush can produce about 15 pounds of blueberries in a single season. And darned good blueberries at that, filled with flavor and anti-oxidants, the latter a favorite ingredient of the “live-forever” patrons of high-end supermarkets.

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The Rise of Patriotism

August 7, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

Patriotism is big among American politicians. They wear patriotic clothing of red, white and blue. They spout patriotism in their rhetoric. They mouth the words of patriotic songs. They wear lapel pins referring to God and country. They eat patriotism with their hot dogs and french fries.

But what is a patriot?

Is he or she a loyalist? A nationalist? A flag-waver? A chauvinist?

I will go out on a limb here and offer my humble definition of “patriot.” In the United States of America, the oldest representative democracy in the world, a “patriot” is a person who lives the values of our constitution, no matter the cost.

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Jim Bell Passes

August 6, 2019 by Staff

Long-time OBcean and the community’s resident-ecologist, Jim Bell, has passed.

Friends say he passed away peacefully Friday, August 2 at his home. Jim Bell has left the planet.

Here’s a statement from our friends at the OB Green Center:

In the last year we have periodically talked about our friend and mentor, Jim Bell, who graciously provided a new home for the Ocean Beach Green Center. Jim peacefully passed away this morning

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OB Planning Board to Consider Traffic Calming Measures on Newport and West Point Loma

August 5, 2019 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets this Wednesday, August 7, at the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue, at 6pm sharp.

On the volunteer panel’s plate this week is a number of traffic-calming proposals, and minor public infrastructure and Dog Beach improvements.

Here are the action items for the agenda – briefly:

  • Dog Beach Ramp accessibility improvement;
  • Bacon and Newport traffic calming proposal to place temporary diverts at intersection;
  • Pier Safety – install removable bollards at base of the Pier to block unauthorized vehicles;
  • West Point Loma Traffic Calming – study on roundabouts at Cable Street and Abbott along West Point Loma Ave.
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OB Resister Sisters Hit Again – This Time at ‘Putin’s Mitch’

August 2, 2019 by Staff

Always on top of the latest news, the Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung these signs this morning – Friday, August 2 – over the 163 in Balboa Park.

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Ocean Beach Green Center Leads Campaign to Support Local Businesses in Opposition to New Target

August 2, 2019 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Green Center is leading the campaign against the new Target – which is a campaign to support local independent businesses. Under the campaign’s slogan of “Protect Our Community from Further Corporate Takeover!”, the Center has organized a number of events this week.

August 4th Sunday Noon to 1 pm Help Support Our Local Businesses in front of Target, 4864 Newport Ave.

The Center is asking folks to carry “Shop Local” signs and help pass out flyers educating people on where they can shop local. They’ve had a weekly presence since Target opened July 21st.

August 6th Tuesday 6:23 pm – 8 pm Support Independent Businesses meeting at Ocean Beach Green Center, 4862 Voltaire St.

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Calling on Member-Owners of People’s in Ocean Beach: Get Involved in the Democratically-Run Business

August 2, 2019 by Staff

The Board of Directors of the OB People’s Organic Food Market – otherwise simply known as “People’s” – is making a call on its member-owners to get involved in the democratically-run business. Now in its 47th year (see below).

In the most recent issue of People’s Market News this is what the call stated:

Love People’s? Get involved!

Board of Directors’ Information Table Saturday, August 10, 12 – 2 p.m.

Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market’s Board of Directors encourages member-owners to engage in owner activism.

You are invited to stop by People’s Board of Directors’ information table, located at the entrance to the market, on August 10, 2019 between 12 and 2 p.m. Board Directors will be available to answer questions about co-op governance and the responsibilities of the board.

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A Solar Impulse for Our Soul

July 30, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

Dear Ohio,

Remember the days when every presidential candidate had to tell us how great we were? Whenever they spoke to us, they had to tell us we were the greatest country in the world, we were the most powerful, we had the mightiest military, the biggest economy, we were the leader of the free world. We demanded this. “American exceptionalism” is what they called it, and we couldn’t get enough of it.

Well, no more of that. Today we have wiped our hands of world leadership, slipped off the pedestal of our inflated self-image, and begun to talk about what’s really bothering us.

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Concerns Over Port’s Plans for Shelter Island Lead to Packed Peninsula Planning Meeting

July 25, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The big event room at the Point Loma Library was so packed that some people had to stand for the whole July meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board. This is a good sized room, too. Planning board meetings don’t usually draw large crowds, to understate it a bit, so when the room is as packed as it was, there is something of interest on the agenda. It was the Port District.

Some information about the Port District’s Master Plan has been in the news recently and some of what seemed to be in store for Shelter Island was what brought out the crowd.

The Port is updating its Master Plan and the 90-day public comment period ends July 31

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New Murder Mystery by G.M. Ford Set in Ocean Beach

July 25, 2019 by Staff

By Bob Edwards

An award winning mystery and thriller novelist, G.M. Ford has just published a new book, Heavy On The Dead (Thomas and Mercer, Seattle, 2019) that is set largely in Ocean Beach.

From the first pages of the book when a body is discovered next to the Santa Cruz Avenue stairs during a beach cleanup to an episode searching for a homeless man along the San Diego River, to the protagonists battling traffic on Sea World Drive at rush hour, Heavy On The Dead has numerous local references that most OBceans will recognize.

It’s tempting to go on and on about the fun OB details that permeate the novel but articles with spoilers suck, right? Just get a copy and read it, already!

The novel is the twelfth in a series of books that feature former Seattle private detective Leo Waterman. The previous books were set in the Northwest but as this novel opens, the detective and his associate Gabe have relocated to Ocean Beach

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Ocean Beach Town Council – Annual Grants Awards – Wed., July 24

July 24, 2019 by Staff

Join the Ocean Beach Town Council at their Public Meeting on Wednesday, July 24th. They will be presenting their annual Community Grants to 15 local non-profits -all worthy organizations who are contributing to the betterment of our community.

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What Makes a War ‘Good’?

July 23, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

Dear Ohio,

I was wondering if Ohioans could give a little thought to what makes a war “good.”

Your answer might be important as we listen to the increasing thunder of American leadership shaking their fist at passersby on the world stage. After all, wars conceived are not wars remembered.

Our lasting impression of any war is its true outcome. If people could agree about what makes one war good and others bad or even forgotten, it might help us evaluate the use of our military might. That could help us choose our next president.

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Midway Planners: Candidate Barbara Bry, Port District Master Plan and ‘Grand Central Station’

July 23, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Councilmember Barbara Bry, a candidate for mayor this year, had this to say about the situation downtown, “City Hall, quite frankly, is a mess,” when she came to the Midway-Pacific Community Planning Group’s meeting on July 17. Those are words that resonate with many people these days, but it has to be kept in mind that this is a candidate for office.

Bry came to the planning board at the invitation of chair Cathy Kenton. Last month the group hosted Dr. Campbell from District 2.

Bry spoke for some minutes explaining her background and her positions on several things. For example, she said she was against the city buying the old SDG&E building because it needed work and the city has spent, and is spending, $30 million to renovate it. Bry said she was against land use being dictated from Sacramento referring to several current bills that are intended to help ease the housing shortage.

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City Creates Safety Hazard on Canon Street in Point Loma by Not Forcing Developer to Follow Law

July 22, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

What would you say if someone told you that you would have to walk over 700 feet out of your way to make it from one side of a 90-foot wide project to the other side on a sidewalk?

You would probably ask why.

If the only answer from the City of San Diego was just “because we say so,” I imagine you’d be a bit unsatisfied with that response. But that is precisely what the city has been doing to residents of Point Loma who live in the area near St. Agnes Church on Canon Street for over a year. This is a tale of how much more developers matter to the city than do regular community residents.

For a year, local residents have been complaining bitterly about a temporary construction fence on Canon St. between Evergreen and Rosecrans.

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Water Quality Advisories at Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach and Mission Bay

July 19, 2019 by Staff

Five water quality advisories have been issued that affect Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach and Mission Bay. The advisories have been issued by the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health.

All of the advisories – which advise that humans avoid any water contact in the area – are due to bacterial levels exceeding health standards. See the map included with this article; the yellow balloons are the advisory areas.

Two of the advisories are for Sunset Cliffs:

Sunset Cliffs at Ladera St. – Beachline adjacent to access stairs; advisory since: July 18, 2019 – Bacteria levels may exceed health standards. Avoid water contact in the advisory area.

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‘Help!’ Lifeguard Presentation at OB Historical Society

July 19, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

On Thursday, July 18, Michael Martino, former Chief Lifeguard for the California State Parks System, gave a presentation on his new book, “Help! San Diego Lifeguards To The Rescue” at Water’s Edge Church on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The recently published book is the first volume of Mr. Martino’s proposed complete history and covers the period of 1868 to 1941. In the audience of 60 to 70 people were about 10 former lifeguards and retired officers from the lifeguard service.

Mr. Martino showed slides of pictures, charts, and news clippings taken from his book and recounted stories about lifeguards in San Diego with a particular emphasis on Ocean Beach’s role in that history.

In the early days before professional lifeguards appeared, ordinary citizens were the only people available to rescue swimmers

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San Diego Free Press’ Swan Song: 9 Awards at Society of Professional Journalists

July 18, 2019 by Staff

It is true that the San Diego Free Press, launched by the OB Rag in 2012, closed itself down and has not been publishing since December 2018. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead or its writers had to leave the country.

In fact, in a Swan Song of its last public appearance, the San Diego Free Press won 9 awards at last night’s annual dinner of the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Here’s the list of Free Press winners with links to their contributions:

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‘A Nice Break from the Mueller Report’

July 16, 2019 by Staff

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

The politicians and media commentators all have assured us that Americans will never read the Mueller Report, especially since, at this point, the report is considered ancient history. But I like to discourage the idea that Americans are too lazy, short-sighted or just plain obtuse to try to understand what a whole slew of smart guys took more than two years to produce with taxpayer dollars.

So I am still slogging my way through the report. If Ohioans are doing the same thing, they, like me, will need an occasional break. I recommend the draft Comprehensive Plan for the City of Canton as a source of pleasure reading.

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OB Resister Sisters Remember Bastille Day

July 15, 2019 by Staff

Sunday, July 14 was Bastille Day, the national holiday in France commemorating the 1789 storming of the Bastille, the fortress-like prison in Paris.

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung this sign Sunday over the I-5 in downtown San Diego.

Vive La Resistance!

Oh, you don’t recall what happened on Bastille Day?

See this:

July 14th: Viva Bastille Day! Viva la France! Viva Revolution! Viva the modern world!

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Why Would the City Allow Round Up Dabbers at OB’s Dog Beach Area the Day Before July 4?

July 12, 2019 by Staff

A Pictorial Essay of the Poisoning of the Sensitive Coastal Habitat Next to OB’s Dog Beach

On Wednesday, July 3 – the day before the big 4th holiday – Scott Mac Laggan, a local concerned citizen and photographer, visited the sensitive coastal habitat area right next to OB’s Dog Park.

What he found – and photographed – was very disturbing. He found a crew from contractor, Diversified Landscape, using Round Up dabbers on plants in an area frequented by families, dogs and wildlife. Obviously, the crew had been hired by the City of San Diego.

Why would the City of San Diego allow Round Up dabbers to be used prior to July 4, when the park was going to be packed with tourists, dogs and our families?

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