Ocean Beach Town Council Asks Jen Campbell to Stop Excluding Beach Residents from Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals

July 17, 2020 by Staff

Open Letter Invites Campbell, Union and Travel Platform to Next Meeting, July 22 Via Zoom and Facebook

The Board of Directors of the Ocean Beach Town Council has sent Councilwoman Jen Campbell an open letter criticizing the City’s failure to protect beach neighborhoods from short-term vacation rentals, and asks her to stop “excluding beach area constituents” from the conversations on them.

The Board also invited Campbell and other members of the deal concocted between her and the union, Unite HERE and Expedia, one of the largest international short-term vacation rental platforms to attend the next OBTC public meeting to “tell us more about how you intend to enact this proposal.” The meeting takes place July 22 at 7pm. All meetings are held via Zoom with a live broadcast on Facebook.

Here’s the full letter from the Town Council, dated July 15, 2020:

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Voter Suppression – San Diego Style

July 15, 2020 by Staff

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / July 14, 2020

I have a secret to confess. When I was a little kid and couldn’t figure out how to deal with a really big problem (like, for example, how to get my mom and dad to play nice with one another), a murderous thought sometimes crossed my mind: One of them would have to disappear… permanently. There seemed no other way.

Not very mature of me, I guess. Not too practical, either. Then again, what do you expect from a seven-year old?

But, when adult politicians and wannabe decisionmakers propose options to resolve San Diego problems, would my childish approach be considered a rational, responsible, appropriate course of action?

And yet, two weighty proposals are currently percolating in the bowels of San Diego that–in some screwy way–are as irrational, irresponsible, and counterproductive as anything a reckless seven-year old could dream up.

Anti-voter proposal #1 would put an end to the longstanding ability of San Diego voters to elect their City Attorney–the legal head of city government.

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Agenda for Peninsula Planners’ Meeting – Thursday, July 16

July 14, 2020 by Staff

Here is the agenda for the next meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board for Thursday, July 16.

It is being held via Zoom, so you need to register if you wish to participate (see agenda). The meeting begins at 6 pm.

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Street Sweeping Enforcement to Return to Ocean Beach July 15

July 10, 2020 by Staff

The City is announcing that street sweeping routes will once again be enforced. Beginning on Wednesday, July 15, posted routes will again be enforced by citations. Talk about a sign of the return of “normalcy.”

The above letters were being left on windshields through parts of OB.

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Bayside Trail Near Cabrillo Lighthouse Invaded by Bees

July 7, 2020 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

The popular Bayside Trail at Cabrillo National Monument has been temporarily closed due to bee activity that has resulted in stings to multiple visitors.

Over the past two weeks, this reporter has made several visits out to the Cabrillo lighthouse hoping to walk the always pleasant 2.5 mile roundtrip Bayside Trail. Each time, the trail was blocked about halfway down by a sign forbidding passage and warning of aggressive bees.

After walking a short distance past the sign to take pictures of the bees, your intrepid reporter and his scofflaw companion were checked out and then pursued by several of the persistent insects who followed them back up the trail about 75 feet before giving up the chase. No stings resulted.

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Public’s Help Needed in Hit and Run That Killed Skateboarder Cameron Loren in Ocean Beach – Reward Offered

July 2, 2020 by Staff

The public’s help is being sought in finding the driver in an Ocean Beach hit-and-run that killed skateboarder Cameron “Cam” Loren. Loren was struck from behind as he skateboarded down Voltaire Street.

This was June 4 and he was hit in the 4500 block of Voltaire around 10:30 pm. His body was found by a passerby.

San Diego police said the driver fled the scene, leaving the 25-year-old Loren on the street with injuries. Emergency crews responded to the incident, but Loren was declared dead at the scene, according to police.

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‘None Dare Call It Treason? ‘

June 30, 2020 by Staff

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In Meeting on Zoom, Peninsula Planners Express Desire to Get Back to Work for the Community

June 24, 2020 by Staff

Volunteer Board Grapples With How to Fill Vacant Seats

By Geoff Page

It is interesting to see the lengths people are going to today, in their efforts to establish a modicum of normalcy. The reasons for this are varied. For many it is a serious worry about money. For some, who may not have a money worry, it is a chance to get back to making more money. And some, like many celebrities out there in front of laptops, are starving for attention.

The volunteers on the Peninsula Community Planning Board want to resume their business, which has been on hold since their last meeting in February of this year. While it may not be the motive for everyone, most of the sitting members expressed the same sentiment, a genuine concern that the work for the community the board normally does was not getting done.

The kick-off effort to restart their work, Thursday, June 18, was an on-line meeting using used a popular on-line meeting software called Zoom.

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New Rules for the Reopened OB Farmers Market

June 12, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Farmers Market reopened on Wednesday, June 10. It does look a bit different.

Here’s what the sponsor the OB Mainstreet Association says about the new rules and the new look:

The market is a one-way market. The entrance is located at Cable Street & Newport Avenue. Please come prepared with a list, rather than to browse, to make the best use of your time and allow us to move the public through efficiently.

NO BACKPACKS and NO PET ALLOWED other than service animals COME INSIDE FOR THE COMPLETE LIST OF NEW RULES

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Ocean Beach Pier, Beach Parking Lots and Boardwalks Reopen Today – Tuesday, June 9

June 9, 2020 by Staff

Beginning today, Tuesday, June 9, the Ocean Beach Pier, beach parking lots and boardwalks reopen.

Social – or physical – distancing still needs to be practiced by beachgoers. This means people should only sit near people whom they live with.

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Police as Community – a Challenge for Us All

June 8, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Antonin Scalia, the late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, was fond of reminding people that he and other American children of immigrants were not responsible for slavery. His folks had emigrated from Italy, he said; they had nothing to do with the subjugation of Black people in America.

This was not the only point on which the revered Justice was grossly ignorant, despite his celebrated intellect, but it was a point he shared with many of us white Americans.

For nearly 400 years, with very little interruption, we white people have taken refuge in this and other morally bankrupt justifications for how things have turned out for yesterday’s and today’s Black Americans. And even today, most white Americans allow Black youth and their supporters to march without our visible presence behind them, allowing them to bear the full brunt of rage by police departments desperate to remain as they are, militarized and polarized into an “us-versus-them” idea of their role in our communities.

Police argue they are doing all they can.

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Ocean Beach Paddle Out for Peace and Unity in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter – Sunday, June 7

June 5, 2020 by Staff

On Sunday, June 7, there is a paddle out in Ocean Beach for Peace and Unity in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. It’s at 9 am at the OB Pier near the front of the Lifeguard Station.

It’s being hosted by a group called We Be OB and here is what their facebook says:

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Death of Skateboarder on Voltaire in Ocean Beach May Have Been Hit and Run

June 5, 2020 by Staff

A skateboarder was found dead in the street on the 4500 block of Voltaire Street in OB around 10:30 pm Thursday evening. And as of the latest report from 10News, it may have been a hit and run.

Police and media initially reported the person was a “pedestrian” with “a crumpled skateboard nearby.”

San Diego police were called to the site after a call came in around 10:30 that there was a man lying in the street.

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Thousands March From Downtown to North Park in Latest George Floyd Protest

June 4, 2020 by Staff

Check out these photos, taken around 7:15 pm tonight in North Park. Thousands marched from downtown near the SDPD station up to North Park and along University Avenue.

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‘All Chill on the Western Front’ of OB

June 4, 2020 by Staff

The roving OB Rag reporter sent this brief pictorial in, with pics taken on Tuesday, June 2, the first day of sun-bathing and sitting on the beach.

He reported it was all chill.

“Groups of people were chillin’ and maintaining physical-distance between groups though some groups were probably not people from the same household.

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George Floyd Protest in San Diego – Today, June 2 – Balboa Park

June 2, 2020 by Staff

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OB Walkabout in the Plague Year, Part 5

June 2, 2020 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

Here comes another one, just like the other one. One day seems to morph into another. It’s almost like Groundhog Day all over again. Or it would be, except for the brutal murder of a young Minnesota man and the mainly righteous response it provoked.

It’s taken this OBcean to new levels of depression. Have we really made so little progress that such abuse has to occur again and again? How is it that when my son’s friends got busted smoking in the parking lot of the Christian Science church across from Point Loma High, all they got was a lecture and were not allowed to walk at graduation instead of ending up beaten, arrested, or killed like what could have happened if they were African-American kids in Minnesota, Georgia, or Florida. Or Oakland, California. Or on the sand in Ocean Beach.

I’m not even sure I should be posting another (hopefully) humorous Walkabout feature at a time like this.

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Cabrillo National Monument Is Partially Open (but keep it on the down low!)

June 1, 2020 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

This past Saturday, May 30th, I was looking at the Cabrillo National Monument web page to see if there was any news about a future reopening. To my surprise I found the following information under “Alerts Now In Effect”:

“Outdoors areas and restrooms at Cabrillo National Monument are open from 9 am to 5 pm.

We are working to increase access to the park in a phased approach. Outdoors areas and restrooms are open from 9 am to 5 pm. Indoor facilities such as the Lighthouse, Visitor Center, and some exhibits remain closed.?The tidepools close at 4:30 pm.”

I usually walk the Bayside Trail a few times a month and have been really missing it, so I immediately hopped in the car with my wife, drove up to Catalina Blvd., and headed out past the cemetery to the monument. (As a side note, I just found out that there are 101,000 souls interred at Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. That also happens to be the number of people who have died of Covid-19 in the USA as of this weekend.)

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UPDATED: Trump Plays Golf While Americans Die From His Incompetence

May 26, 2020 by Staff

By Peter Wade / Rolling Stone / May 25, 2020

While the U.S. pandemic death toll approaches 100,000, the president left the White House for one of his personal golf courses.

President Trump, who has faced mounting criticism for his administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis and his lack of empathy throughout, decided to leave the White House on Saturday to play golf.

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In the Pink of My Ocean Beach Garden

May 22, 2020 by Staff

by Kathy Blavatt

May has brought out various shades of pink in my garden. These cheery blossoms nicely contrast with the green foliage, and blues skies that peek through as the gray burns off through the morning’s May gray.

The growth in my garden has been spectacular.

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Councilmember Jen Campbell Appears Too Eager to Please the San Diego Establishment

May 18, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

No one who knows me would ever describe me as an eternal optimist. And, the supply of optimism a person comes into this world with dwindles with the passing of many years. Yet, I can say, a flicker survives and is fanned occasionally by events. Mine was when a Democrat was finally elected mayor of this city and by some of what he began to do before the establishment destroyed him, with some help of his own. But, he never stood a chance.

Then, another event fanned my flame when a Democrat defeated the incumbent Republican for the District 2 city council seat. Yes, the city council is supposed to be non-partisan, but it ain’t. While I did not vote for Dr. Jennifer Campbell, enough people did and she was elected to the seat, ousting Lorie Zapf. This was good for two reasons: anyone else would have been an improvement over Zapf, and, a Democrat replaced a Republican. Or so we thought.

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‘What a Difference a Week Makes During COVID’ in San Diego County: 962 New Cases, 35 More Deaths

May 15, 2020 by Staff

The above SDU-T chart is from today, Friday, May 15, 2020, with the data good through Thursday, May 14. Compared with last week’s chart published Friday, May 8, with data good through the 7th, we can see the increases in total deaths, total cases and new positive cases. With increased testing, the numbers are bound to go up. Yet, in one week in San Diego County, there were 962 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths.

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City Council Rules Committee to Meet on Placing the Dismantling of 30 Foot Height Limit in Midway on Ballot – Wed., May 13

May 12, 2020 by Staff

The Rules Committee of the San Diego City Council meets Wednesday, May 13 to consider placing a measure that would dismantle the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District on the November ballot.

Councilmembers Jennifer Campbell and Chris Cate are pushing the idea. Campbell represents District 2, of course, which includes the Midway, as well as much of the coastal areas of the city.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public will have very little say in how the Rules Committee – or the full Council for that matter – votes on this crucial vote, a vote seen as an end-run around Prop D, passed by San Diego voters overwhelmingly in 1972. A group in opposition to this move, Save Everyone’s Access,

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Hugs in the Time of Cholera

May 12, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

We have just completed our Mother’s Day celebration without the traditional reliance on buying power to attest to our love of the women who have mothered us. We have sent online deliveries if we could and zoomed ourselves with varied success into the two-dimensional spaces of each other’s screens. We have texted, phoned, and snail-mailed our greetings. But we have not been able to hug.

How unexpectedly descriptive is the absence of a hug, for in not being available, it emphasizes the importance of an embrace. Two arms wrapped around us, pulling us closer to a loving heart, a gesture that could impart power and conflict, for it often occurs between two beings of varying strength. And yet our surrender to a hug is a relief, a comfort, an admission that we persist in life’s most strenuous endeavors because we are loved.

On the other side of a hug is the fact that we concede our need for others.

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San Diego County COVID-19 Cases – the Numbers, the Graphs, the Zip Codes and Map

May 8, 2020 by Staff

Here are the most recent numbers, charts, graphs and map of San Diego County COVID-19 cases. They are the most recent updated figures published today, Friday, May 8, as of May 6 and May 7 from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the San Diego County.

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OB Planning Board to Meet Electronically Tonight, Wed., May 6 – Please Register

May 6, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hole its regularly scheduled monthly meeting tonight, May 6 – and it will be held electronically. Interested persons need to pre-register for the meeting – details below. As usual, the meeting will start at 6 pm.

On the agenda is a Budget Request Revision as the city has reprioritized its fiscal year 2012 budget due to budget shortfalls from the COVID-19 crisis. The Board is set to review and prioritize its own budget goals.

There’s a Park’s Master Plan to review and make recommendations upon also on tap. For the “Slow Streets Initiative”, the Board is also supposed to put together a map of possible routes it could follow.

The last Action item is the establishment of an “Ad Hoc Committee” to go over recommendations regarding short-term vacation rentals regulations.

Register for the Meeting

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A Gray May Day in Ocean Beach and Latest San Diego County Numbers

May 1, 2020 by Staff

Charles Landon of StudioCapeMay took this shot Friday morning, May 1, of early enforcement.

Here’s today’s latest graph published by the San Diego Union-Tribune of San Diego County total deaths and total hospitalized. What we are not getting is a graph showing the daily new case rate (it’s in the larger graph but not very prominent). It’s not all that encouraging.

For reference, here are earlier graphs.

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Bumper-to-Bumper Traffic and Crowds at Sunset Cliffs at Night

May 1, 2020 by Staff

For several nights now, there’s been bumper-to-bumper traffic and crowds at Sunset Cliffs – with many people trying to to catch bioluminescent waves in the ocean.

Problem is – according to news reports – people are not practicing social or physical distancing and many are not wearing masks.

Neighbors are also complaining about the traffic and crowds. Cars are circulating trying to find parking – but the small mini-lots are closed.

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Governor Newsom to Order All State Beaches and Parks Closed Again on Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Staff

UPDATE: Around 12:30 pm Thursday Mayor Faulconer tweeted that San Diego beaches will stay open – with restrictions still. Here is what Faucloner said:

Great news: the Governor heard us. San Diego beaches WILL STAY OPEN under our plan approved by lifeguards and health officials. In a time of great crisis we don’t need knee-jerk policies. We need to keep a steady hand. It’s the only way to keep the public’s trust. Keep it up, SD!

It appears that California Governor Newsom will be ordering all state beaches and parks to close again on Friday, May 1. A memo sent to California police chiefs on Wednesday says Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday to curb spread of the coronavirus.

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Reopening the Beach – OB Walkabout in the Plague Year, Part 4

April 27, 2020 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

I tried to get up in time for the 6:05 AM sunrise and beach reopening but overslept. By the time I walked down to Dog Beach, the sun had been up for an hour though you couldn’t see any sunlight as Coastal Eddy was in town.

Ran into some guys schlepping their boards down Voltaire and spoke to them briefly. They were jonesing to get out in the water after a month of no surfing and smiling ear to ear.

“How was it?” they asked a dude who had just come out of the water. “Wet”, he replied in a jaded tone of voice. I guess some people are just glass-half-empty at seven in the morning. Still, he was the only person on the beach that I saw today that didn’t have a smile on his face.

Between the jetty and the pier I counted about 70-80 people in the water and more were arriving by the minute. The parking lots remain closed and most of the people seemed to be locals walking down. I did see a few people parking on the street as close as they could get to the beach.

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