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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Share Your Good Times With Jim Bell Party – Saturday, July 13

July 12, 2019 by Staff

Jim Bell, a well – known local ecologist, is at home receiving hospice care.

His friends would like you to come join them for one of Jim’s great parties at his home at 4862 Voltaire St in OB this Saturday, July 13th at 5 pm.

Come and share your memories and good times with Jim.

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Scooter Corrals Being Marked in Ocean Beach by City Crews

July 12, 2019 by Staff

There is a report on Social OB facebook that just was posted around 11am that states the City of San Diego has crews out there “right now” marking locations for scooter/ bikeshare corrals throughout Ocean Beach. These are on the street by existing red curbs.

If you see a spot near you that you have a serious beef about (other than just hating scooters)

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The Weirdest Building In Ocean Beach History? An Egyptian Revival Trolley Station Once Stood at Bacon and West Point Loma

July 11, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Imagine you are a resident of inland San Diego in the Summer of 1926. Seeking relief from the 90 degree heat, you and some friends pile into a buddy’s Model A Ford and head down to Ocean Beach to spend the weekend at a cottage another friend has rented at the Camp Holiday Auto Court, adjacent to the Silver Spray apartments.

The cute white cottages on the cliffs are a bit small for your group but you’re spending most of the time on the beach anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. The rental cost, $10 a month, is a little steep, but what the heck, it’s a vacation. Each morning you head down to Benbough’s Ocean Beach Bath House and rent a scratchy, saggy, woolen “bathing costume” for 10 cents and spend your day swimming in the ocean or in the saltwater pool next to the Silver Spray.

Throughout the day you pig out on hot dogs and cotton candy and in the evening you toss back a few brews at one of the bars on Newport. After dinner, you walk down to the New Ocean Beach Dance Pavilion at the foot of Newport where you and a thousand other patrons flirt and foxtrot the night away to the sounds of a live band.

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Love Those Trees!

July 3, 2019 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

Photos by Kathy Blavatt

You know you are headed home to Ocean Beach as you drive toward the bridge from Sea World Drive and see the line of tall palms in the distance.

Placement of trees can make a community’s landscapes iconic. Sadly, we have lost most of the tall North Island Pines (Star Pines) that once ran along the top of the hill above Ocean Beach and Point Loma. The Monterey Cypress trees which once graced many of the Peninsula’s streets are no more.

Unfortunately, in mid-June 2019, the renown Monterey Cypress at San Diego’s Ellen Browning Scripps Park, by La Jolla Cove, had fallen. It was the last of the Monterey Cypress in the grassy park.

This whimsical cypress tree was thought to be the Dr. Seuss’ inspiration for his beloved 1971 children’s book the “Lorax”.

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OB Town Council Previews Plans and Programs at Peninsula Y

July 2, 2019 by Staff

Also: Campbell’s Office Defends Campland Vote

By Geoff Page

The highlight of the June 26 OB Town Council meeting was supposed to be a presentation by the Peninsula YMCA detailing its plans to basically rebuild the existing facility adjacent to Correia Middle School. There was some information about that but it seemed to be only a small part of the Y’s presentation.

The news is that the existing buildings, built in 1977, will be wholly replaced. The Y is showing its age after 40 plus years so folks who use the Y will be happy about the improvements. The slide presentation had only three renderings in it and two seemed to be the same picture. What was shown looked very much like what is there today except for the third slide showing a new entrance.

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Union-Tribune’s Community Almanac Highlights OB Rag

July 1, 2019 by Staff

Once again, the San Diego Union-Tribune‘s “Community Almanac” – inserted in last Sunday’s edition – highlights the OB Rag and its founder Frank Gormlie in the page on Ocean Beach. The text is essentially the very same as the daily’s almanac from last year.

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Councilwoman Campbell Visits Midway Planners – Announces City Issued RFP for Sports Arena Area

July 1, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

An appearance by District 2 Councilperson Dr. Jennifer Campbell was clearly the highlight of the Midway-Pacific Planning Group meeting on June 19. As recounted in the last article about this group, the regular monthly meetings are now held at the Bay City Brewery, courtesy of the brewery owners. The location presented some audio challenges on the 19th but Dr. Campbell seemed to take them in stride during her appearance.

Yet, the meeting room has a large garage-style roll up door and a regular door to the outside. And the noise from large trucks on Hancock Street, from young guys revving up dirt bikes in the parking lot, probably from a repair shop next door, barking dogs, and delivery trucks, made it difficult to hear or be heard. This was the noisiest of the three meetings the group has held at the brewery so far and it seemed to be noisiest when Dr. Campbell was there.

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