Peninsula Planning Board Supports Critique of City’s Park Plan and OB’s Changes to STVR Proposal

February 25, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The very next day after the Midway Pacific Highway Planning Group looked inward, the Peninsula Community Planning Board, looked outward and supported two positions on parks and STVRs intended to benefit the entire city of San Diego. The PCPB should be commended for both of these actions it took at its regular monthly meeting, Thursday, February 21st at 6:00.

The recorded meeting can be seen at the PCPB’s You Tube site titled the “Peninsula Community Planning Board” here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdZqz44Fjy4NrbIbkw6d-EQ

Ocean Beach Planning Board Short Term Vacation Rental letter

The first of the two actions was a letter with a series of recommended changes and additions to council member Jennifer Campbell’s proposed STVR ordinance that the Ocean Beach Planning Board composed. OB was looking for support before the letter was sent to Campbell and the city council. Although the PCPB area is not suffering the effects of the STVR problem as badly as OB is, the PCPB, generously voted to support the letter.

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OB Town Council Meeting – Live Facebook – Wednesday, Feb.24 – The Kate Session Commitment

February 23, 2021 by Staff

Join the Ocean Beach Town Council this Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7pm for a public meeting. It will be live on Facebook.

They will swear in their new board members and receive an update from State Assemblymember Chris Ward.

There will also be a presentation on the Kate Sessions Commitment

The Kate Sessions Commitment is a grass-roots effort to engage community on public and private lands to pledge to plant 100 trees in San Diego County in honor of Kate Sessions–each year and in each community. It’s an effort to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase our urban tree canopy coverage.

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‘New’ Owners of OB Hardware Moving On – Looking for Local Buyer for Oldest Business in Ocean Beach

February 23, 2021 by Staff

The relatively new owners of OB Hardware – which has to be the oldest businesses in Ocean Beach – are moving on and are looking for local buyers to take the storefront over.

Michael DeEmidio and his business partner Michael Grimes bought OB Hardware from Carl and Carolyn Weidetz in 2018. The Weidetzs owned the century-old Ocean Beach Paint and Hardware at 4871 Newport Avenue for half that time. The business – which has become OB’s most iconic, locally-owned storefront – opened in 1919, and has carried tools, gardening, plumbing and electrical supplies as well as paints ever since.

DeEmidio told the Beacon:

“After a lot of heavy-hearted consideration, my wife and I have decided to move out of California to be closer to family. ”

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Good Samaritan Surfer Saves Sunset Cliffs Jumper

February 22, 2021 by Staff

On Saturday, Feb. 20, an unidentified man in this 20s jumped into the waters off Sunset Cliffs about 5 pm. He started having trouble getting out of the water and someone called 911.

When lifeguards arrived at the scene, they saw that a good Samaritan surfer had pushed his surfboard over to the man who jumped to keep him afloat.

The water craft team pulled the man from the water and got him to pocket beach, known as, No Surf Beach. Lifeguards said the man had an extremely low body temperature and needed to be evaluated quickly.

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OB Town Council Welcomes New Board Members

February 22, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Town Council welcomes it newly elected Board members.

Incumbents who were re-elected include:

  • Corey Dylan Bruins
  • Trudy Levenson
  • Sir Isaac Darby
  • Stephanie Wilcox Kane
  • Scott Grace, and
  • Stacie Woehrle

Brand new Board members include:

  • Gary Gartner and
  • Aaron Null
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Make Your Voice Heard During City Council Hearing on Campbell’s Plan for Short-Term Vacation Rentals – Tues., Feb.23

February 22, 2021 by Staff

Campbell’s Catastrophic Plan Threatens Our Housing Stock

Join other San Diegans in making your voice heard during the upcoming hearing by the San Diego City Council on Jen Campbell’s catastrophic plan for short-term rentals.

Campbell’s plan is a threat to the housing stock of San Diego, particularly to the city’s coastal neighborhoods – where the massive numbers of STVRs are the highest.

Other groups, like Save San Diego Neighborhoods, say it is a “multibillion dollar theft of San Diego housing, by legalizing short term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods Citywide! This ill-conceived proposed ordinance is another Campbell giveaway to big business, special interests and their lobbyists – at our expensive.”

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Midway Planners Continue Isolationist Stance -Reject Support for Critique of City Parks Plan and for OB’s Recommendations to Short-Term Vacation Rentalss

February 22, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group has changed ever since the successful ballot measure last November to remove the thirty-foot height limit within their boundaries. Two positions the group took at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, February 17, were decidedly isolationist. It appears that Midway, now that they got the one thing they wanted, looks at everything only in relation to themselves.

As related in the report of the January meeting, an all-volunteer group of professionals called PARC, made a presentation. It was a detailed review of the city’s Master Plan, specifically the Parks portion, and a list of recommendations they believe are critical. In January, the Midway group voted to table the item until February because there was so much information to absorb.

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Is This the End of the Ocean Beach Pier?

February 16, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

A recent puff piece in the local weekly newspaper about the Ocean Beach Pier can serve as an illustration of the differences between what readers get in The OB Rag what readers see in the other local paper. What people need to read about are things that matter. The pier doesn’t need a puff piece, it may need an obituary.

The Beacon article asked why “the fuss over a few washed-out railings?” The answer lies later in the piece after a brief bit of history. That history included a colossal mistake and a truly idiotic location chosen for the pier.

First, the railing comment. The article quoted the general contractor that built the pier as saying:

“Those railings are doing exactly what they were meant to do — wash away in high seas, lessening resistance of water hitting the pier,” says the general contractor who built the pier (he prefers we not mention his name for privacy’s sake). “Rails can be easily replaced, though at an expected cost to the city.”

That the contractor did not want his name used is a really mystery.

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The Heart of the Garden

February 12, 2021 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

Valentine’s Day is a fine time to ignite the “amour” in your life.

Valentine’s Day is by far the most romantic holiday. Valentine flowers and warm hearts remind us of those we love. It is the prelude to Spring, welcoming fragrant scents that burst forth from colorful blossoms.

Nature shows us how to revive and re-energize as we awake from the winter cold and darkness.

Luckily in San Diego, we can hardly complain about the cold, yet many locals think it’s the end of the world every time it rains!

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The Furry Freak Brothers Are Back!

February 8, 2021 by Staff

You thought you had cabin fever?! The Freaks smoked some super weed 51 years ago and just woke up in 2020.

Here to bring you a much needed laugh in a teaser episode called “Kentucky Fried Freaks”are #woodyharrelson? #tiffanyhaddish? #johngoodman? #petedavidson? and more.

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Did Pickleweed Commit Murder?

February 2, 2021 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

The question on everyone’s mind is, “Did the Pickleweed commit murder?”

A gang of suspects covered in green waited until just the right moment to tumble the cliff on three innocent people below.

The January 2020 San Diego Reader cover read “Beach Erosion, Can it Be Stopped?” and laid out the case of possible perps that lead investigators to the culprit being Pickleweed!

Is Pickleweed getting a bum rap, or are they a dangerous plant? The court will soon decide.

Excerpt: January 13, 2020, San Diego Reader – “Will sand save San Diego North County’s bluffs?”: On August 2, 2019, a 30-foot-wide chunk of sandstone came loose at Grandview Surf Beach in Encinitas, beneath a condo development. It fell onto three women, two of them locals, whose children and spouses sat nearby. The three women died. A lawsuit filed by the surviving families calls the poorly maintained bluff “an unnatural, unstable, and unsafe urbanized cliff.”

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Candidate Statements for the OB Town Council – Deadline for Members to Vote Is Friday, Feb.5

January 29, 2021 by Staff

The 2021 Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors election is here and members have begun voting. Voting began on Thursday and runs to Friday, February 5.

OBTC Directors are elected voices in communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies, and are at the forefront of community discussions. When needed, Directors take appropriate action on community issues and are leaders in promoting the general betterment of Ocean Beach.

This year, there’s an unprecedented amount of interest – and there are 18 candidates for the 8 seats up for election on the 15 seat Board of Directors. OBTC members elect Board Directors for two-year terms. Half of the Board stands for election every year. This year, 8 seats are up for election.

Eligible candidates for the OBTC Board of Directors must be over (18) years of age, have Bronze Level OBTC Membership, and either live, work, own property, or operate a business in Ocean Beach (92107). Voting for this election will take place from Thursday, January 28th to Friday, February 5th, 2021 .

Candidate Statements

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Feds Warn Americans About Rising Risk of Attacks By Domestic Terrorists

January 27, 2021 by Staff

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, in an extraordinary warning to the American public, the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert about a growing risk of attacks by domestic terrorists – whom they call, “ideologically-motivated violent extremists.”

No other bulletin in recent years has been issued to alert Americans about violence by domestic extremists. The extremists are agitated about President Biden’s inauguration and “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”

In a statement, the department said the purpose of the new bulletin was to warn the public about a “heightened threat environment” across the United States “that is likely to persist over the coming weeks.” The bulletin is a lesser-status warning designed to alert the public about general risks, rather than an imminent attack linked to a specific threat.

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OB Town Council Public Meeting and Candidate Forum – Online – Wed., Jan.27

January 26, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Town Council’s first public meeting of 2021 is their virtual candidate forum. The meeting will be online with Facebook Live on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 pm. Of course, it’s free and open to the public. But it’s virtual.

Candidates vying for a seat on the Board will introduce themselves to the community.

Voting begins Thursday, January 28th and ends Friday, February 5th. Election results will be certified and announced by February 10th.

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GoFundMe Page Set Up to Help Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach Rebuild

January 25, 2021 by Staff

A GoFundMe page has been established to help Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach rebuild. The restaurant suffered a major fire over the weekend.

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Coalition Warns Midway Planners About City’s New Master Park Plan – But Midway Doesn’t Care

January 25, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Midway-Pacific Highways Planning Group held its first monthly meeting of 2021, Wednesday, January 20, using the Zoom meeting on-line system. The only action item was a request for support from an all-volunteer organization that is advocating strongly for how parks are treated in the City’s new Complete Communities Plan. They don’t like some of what they see and they are alerting the public.

The “Parks and Recreation Coalition,” or PARC, consists of “city planners, landscape architects, architects, and community planners, each volunteering to improve the Parks Master Plan.” Some of the names are familiar including activist Tom Mullaney and former Planning Commission member Carolyn Chase. Here is the fill list of volunteers from PARC’s presentation:

Susan Baldwin, Nico Calavita, Carolyn Chase, Julie Corrales, Howard Greenstein, Diane Kane, Debby Knight, Stacey LoMedico, Tom Mullaney, Deborah Sharpe, Rene Smith, Mike Stepner, Andy Wiese, Wally Wulfeck

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Locals – Including NAACP – Oppose Biden’s Pick of Cindy Marten

January 19, 2021 by Staff

Ken Stone over at Times of San Diego published a piece Monday that included critiques and opposition to President-Elect Biden’s choice of San Diego Unified schools chief Cindy Marten for a federal education post. Marten was nominated for a Deputy Secretary of Education post.

Locals who are not happy with Biden’s nomination include the NAACP’s San Diego chapter and community activist Tasha Williamson, the former mayor candidate.

Amidst the wide-spread praise for Marten, Stone writes – and he ticks off praise from everybody from Mayor Gloria to Assemblywoman Weber to former mayor Faulconer – he adds that the NAACP and Williamson oppose her nomination:

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Woman Fighting for Her Life After Scooter Crash in Ocean Beach

January 19, 2021 by Staff

An unidentified woman is fighting for her life after she was thrown from an electric scooter after it struck a crack in the road in Ocean Beach.

The 27-year-old woman was riding a Bird scooter Sunday afternoon, Jan. 17, on Cape May Avenue heading west towards the beach when the scooter hit a crack in the sidewalk. She was launched over the handlebars and head-first onto the pavement, SDPD said.

Medics transported her to the hospital, where she has remained with life-threatening injuries, including a brain bleed and a fractured skull. It is not known whether she was wearing a helmet.

SDPD’s Traffic division is investigating the incident.

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Projects on Lotus and Del Monte Up for Review at OB Planners’ Sub-Committee – Wed., Jan.20

January 19, 2021 by Staff

There are two projects up for review at the Wednesday night meeting of the Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of OB’s Planning Board.

Projects up for review include one at 5064 Lotus Street and 4675 Del Monte Avenue.

The volunteer panel will meet electronically, beginning at 6 pm (see below for registration info and links). Links to documents referenced in the agenda are also listed below.

Here is the official agenda:

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Capitol Police Search for Rioters

January 15, 2021 by Staff

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San Diego Law Enforcement Warn Trump Supporters About Any Violent Protests of Biden Inauguration

January 14, 2021 by Staff

San Diego County’s top state and federal prosecutors warned Trump supporters on Wednesday that any violence within the county related to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration would result in prosecution.

The joint statement from San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer was issued in connection with an FBI warning that armed protests were being planned at state capitols across the country in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The prosecutors also condemned last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said:

“We are issuing the strongest warning possible to anyone who is planning violence in connection with the inauguration. If you repeat the despicable behavior we saw at the Capitol last week, and if you disrespect our great democracy by bringing harm to people or property in a display of hatred and rage, the consequences will be swift and strong. You will be found, and you will be charged. Don’t let that become part of your story.”

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OB Pier Damaged for Third Time in 5 Years

January 11, 2021 by Staff

For the fourth time over the last 5 years, the OB Pier has been damaged by big waves.

High surf and a high tide combined on Monday, Jan. 11, to raise the 10- 12-foot waves up enough to skin at least 100 feet of railing boards off the south side of the pier, a witness told NBC 7.

The Pier was damaged in 2016 2018, and in 2019. Lifeguards stated in a tweet that they anticipate the pier will remained closed until Tuesday, the 11th.

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‘If There Ever Was a Reason to Leave Facebook …’

January 11, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

If ever there was a reason to leave Facebook in droves, the scene on January 6 in Washington, D.C., would be it. The LOSER would never have been elected were it not for Facebook.

In mid-November 2018, I wrote a piece in The OB Rag explaining why I deleted my Facebook account. I quoted the following paragraph from an article by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker. And before anyone turns their nose up at the New Yorker look at the piece titled “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?” It is an exhaustive, detailed article.

The quote is from the LOSER’s campaign staff.

“During the campaign, Trump used Facebook to raise two hundred and eighty million dollars. Just days before the election, his team paid for a voter-suppression effort on the platform. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it targeted three Democratic constituencies—“idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans”—sending them videos precisely tailored to discourage them from turning out for Clinton. Theresa Hong, the Trump campaign’s digital-content director, later told an interviewer, “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.”

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OB Planning Board to Prep for Annual Election – Now Is a Good Time for OBceans to Think About Running for All-Volunteer Board

January 5, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its first monthly meeting of the new year on Wednesday, January 6. It will be held virtually via Cisco WebEx – and you can register for the meeting (see below).

The main item on the short agenda is the formation of an election committee to oversee the annual community election to the Board in March. Every year in March, about half the Board seats are open for election. And it’s quite an honor – and responsibility – to sit on the Board and represent your district.

In fact, now is a good time to think about running for the Board. You don’t have to be an engineer, a social scientist, or planner, you just have to be interested in your OB community, its history, and concerned for its future.

Here are some of the Board Member and Candidate Eligibility requirements & Instructions

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New Years Day Fire Burns RV, Damages Buildings in Ocean Beach

January 4, 2021 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

A fire broke out in the 4700 block of Voltaire on January 1, destroying an RV and damaging at least two structures including the Tropic Island Bird and Supply store across the street from OB People’s Food. The fire started at about 3:30 PM in an RV parked in the driveway of the home next door to the bird store. Flames spread to the buildings and, according to Channel 10 News, caused an estimated $750,000 damage.

An OB local, Carole, said she could see a huge tower of smoke from her home on Long Branch Street and went over to check out the blaze. She said that fire engines from Station 20 (near Home Depot) and Station 22 on Catalina Blvd. responded. The firefighters from OB’s Station 15, just a block away, were out on another call. She said that one firefighter popped the door to the bird store to make sure that no feathered friends were injured or endangered and discovered the store empty.

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2020 – the Year of the Great Refusal

December 31, 2020 by Staff

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Gaining Perspective While Waiting In Line to Cross the Border

December 31, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

After a day long trip to Tijuana on Wednesday, I found a few emails my phone had not picked up because of where I was. One was from editordude asking if any of his band of merry pranksters had any year-end thoughts to share in The Rag. Had it not been for that trip to TJ, I’m not sure I would have known what to say.

Most of what comes to my mind about 2020 probably comes to most people’s thoughts. This was an odd year and it is safe to say that it was a year when almost everyone was focused on the same things, politics and the pandemic. In other years, attention was not so singularly concentrated because lots of things happened, good and bad, as usual.

This year was different because the good was overwhelmed by the bad.

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Guy on Inflatable Mat Speeds Past Stunned Surfers

December 29, 2020 by Staff

Andrew Buck, a longboarder and surf-mat aficionado from Carpinteria just south of Santa Barbara has an ability to catch sets at Rincon on an inflatable mat and generate speed that has won him fans all over the world.

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Active Covid-19 Cases in San Diego Jails Over 500

December 28, 2020 by Staff

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department reports that there are more than 400 active cases of the coronavirus among its inmates — or 11% of the total jail population, plus hundreds of staff members have also been infected.

Critics of how the Sheriff’s Department is handling outbreaks at its facilities include inmates, deputies and the head of the union that represents jail workers. And sheriffs are still arresting people for minor crimes and bringing them into the jails.

The total number of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 1,000, which includes more than 500 active infections among inmates and employees, according to data on the Sheriff’s Department website.

There’s been a total of 757 inmates infected with the virus so far in 2020. This includes 414 active cases. Another 114 inmates have been placed into isolation. Among deputies and staff,

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The ‘Great Conjuncture’ Tonight – Dec. 21, 2020

December 21, 2020 by Staff

This evening, on the first day of astronomical winter, you may be able to see a rare phenomenon witnessed when the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei was alive: Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close to one another in the night sky, the gassy behemoths will look like one star: the Christmas star.

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