Nuts and Bolts of Recall Campbell Campaign

December 18, 2020 by Staff

The folks who are mounting the Recall Campbell campaign have issued a recent update:

“The campaign to recall Councilmember Jennifer Campbell has begun. The notice of intent to circulate a recall petition will be published in early January. As required, within five days of publication, Jennifer Campbell will be served with the notice of intent.

The petition will begin to circulate – signatures of resident registered voters of District 2 will begin to be gathered – 21 days after the date of publication. We will then have 99 days to collect a minimum of 13,553 signatures.”

Nuts & Bolts of the Recall

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The Electors Have Voted and Joe Biden Is Confirmed as President-Elect

December 14, 2020 by Staff

With the vote of California’s electors, President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win over Donald Trump has been formalized.

States have been voting throughout the day, but it took California’s 55 votes to bring Biden over the 270 needed to win. As of this writing, Biden has 302 votes; he needed 270 – as if we could forget.

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Join the Campaign to Recall Jen Campbell

December 11, 2020 by Staff

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Rents, Debts and Evictions in San Diego

December 7, 2020 by Staff

Rents and the threat of evictions are on the minds of a lot of people these days. Nationally, there are millions of renters struggling to come up with monthly rent. And landlords are wondering what to do. Congress stalling on relief for months hasn’t helped.

Outstanding rent debt is estimated to run as high as $7.2 billion by the end of the year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Last August, Gavin Newsom signed a law that shielded all renters from eviction due to COVID-19-related back rent through February 1, 2021. It’s one of the longest rent moratoriums in the country.

Someone who lost work or income in the early days of the pandemic could avoid paying rent from March to August 31. If hardship continued from September 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, the tenant must pay 25 percent of rent to avoid eviction. The renter is still responsible for money owed. The law also states unpaid rent, considered civil debt, can be claimed by landlords in small claims court starting March 1, 2021. So, how many renters have not been paying in San Diego County?

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Famosa Slough Part of Marshland Study

December 7, 2020 by Staff

Famosa Slough in Point Loma is part of a research study in how efficient salt marsh terrains are at storing carbon. Wetlands have the potential of being both a hedge against global warming and a buffer against rising sea levels

The local wetlands joins other areas like Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, the Kendall Frost marsh in Mission Bay, the San Dieguito lagoon, and other coastal wetlands throughout the region in a study by the Scripps Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. This research will help increase understanding of the ecosystems and habitats that are in the nearshore area.

The conservation group, Wildcoast, has led efforts to understand the blue carbon habitats near the ocean which are particularly good at capturing and storing carbon.

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Minute Past Noon on January 20, 2021

December 3, 2020 by Staff

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Readings From LoVerne Brown – OB’s Poet – Online Sat., Dec.5 – By Ocean Beach Library

December 2, 2020 by Staff

LoVerne Brown- Online Meeting and Book- “Garment for a Long Journey Poems”

Please join the Ocean Beach Library for a very special celebration of OB’s own Loverne Brown. This will be an online event with readings from “Garment for a Long Journey.” You can find more information, including the Zoom link to this free event, from the OB Library online calendar.

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OB Planners’ Committee on Short-Term Vacation Rentals Meets Tuesday, Dec.1

December 1, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board, historically, has led the resistance to the community being inundated with a flood of short-term vacation rentals. This history involves the last five years – and much has changed – and nothing has changed – except coastal residents’ awareness of the problem.

Most recently, however, Councilwoman Jen Campbell has been pushing her plan to allow the vacation rentals into the city. This week, in fact, she’s taking her plan to the San Diego Planning Commission.

Whether this is on the agenda of the Planning Board’s committee is not quiet clear – but we’re sure it will come up. The Board’s committee (actually an ad-hoc subcommittee) that covers short-term rentals meets Tuesday night, December 1.

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OB Planning Board: Bermuda Beach Stairs, Mariner’s Cove, All-Way Stop at Froude & Cape May – Wed., Dec.2

November 30, 2020 by Staff

There are several projects up for review of interest at Wednesday’s Ocean Beach Planning Board. The Board meets at 6 pm and is held virtually via Cisco WebEx – and you can register for the meeting (see below).

Here are items of interest:

  • Nimitz I-8 Safety Improvements – on consent agenda;
  • Bermuda Beach Access Stairs
  • Mariner’s Cove Redevelopment
  • All Way Stop at Froude and Cape May
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The OB Christmas Tree Arrives Tuesday Morning

November 30, 2020 by Staff

More than a rumor has it that the famed Ocean Beach Christmas Tree arrives on site at the foot of Newport Avenue Tuesday morning, December 1.

Workers were seen this morning digging up the “manhole” the tree trunk sits in.

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Happy Thanksgiving From Ocean Beach

November 26, 2020 by Staff

Happy Thanksgiving ! From Ocean Beach.

Judith Starker saw these latest chalk works by Sidewalk Chalk Dad and preserved them for the rest of us.

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Retail Workers Demand Hazard Pay As Large Companies Reap Record-Breaking Pandemic Profits

November 25, 2020 by Staff

As large corporations like Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger and other major retailers reap record-breaking profits during the pandemic, the money does not trickle down to their front-line workers. And those workers are demanding hazard pay and upgrade safety procedures during the busy holiday shopping season.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents 900,000 ry employees at chains such as Kroger, Safeway and Giant, urged retailers to do more to protect workers from the virus that has sickened more than 12.3 million Americans earlier this week. At least 131 grocery workers have died of covid-19,

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The Crooked Tree Ale of Ocean Beach

November 23, 2020 by Staff

Some good news for the holidays!

The OB hamlet is really fortunate to have a strong brewer community thriving within. Last year the OB Town Council gathered together some top San Diego brewers who happen to live in OB to create a special holiday brew just for our town.

The name Crooked Tree Ale comes from the infamous OB holiday tree that we place at the foot of the pier every season. The tree notoriously leans to one side or the other, some years more than others.

Some proceeds from the sale of the brew and commemorative t-shirts will come back to the Town Council to help fund their suite of holiday events which include getting the tree in place.

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What the Curfew and Its Enforcement Means to San Diegans

November 20, 2020 by Staff

What does the new curfew Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Thursday for counties in the purple tier — including San Diego — mean for San Diegans? And what does the new level of enforcement mean?

Basically, the new curfew will take effect at 10 pm on Saturday, November 21, and all nonessential work and gatherings must stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Right now, the curfew will remain in effect for a month, until 5 am on Dec. 21. It could be revised or extended.

Also on Thursday, San Diego County officials announced that law enforcement will step up COVID-19 compliance education and citations. Sheriff Bill Gore said four two-deputy teams will begin making “a full-time commitment” of the county’s 18 cities and unincorporated areas, ensuring compliance with public health orders. Several cities have already confirmed they will send officers to assist deputies in their duties, Gore said.

While residents are urged to be home by 10 p.m., there are still things they can do at night, including:

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New San Diego Ordinances on Regulating Surveillance Win Praise – After Successful Effort by Councilwoman Montgomery Steppe

November 13, 2020 by Staff

On Tuesday, November 10, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to adopt two ordinances, which are intended to increase accountability within city government and law enforcement. The ordinances regulate the use, acquisition and funding of surveillance technology and establish a Privacy Advisory Board.

City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe – who led the efforts – stated:

“My council colleagues joined me in taking the necessary next step to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all San Diegans. The city of San Diego has a chance to lead here, and I look forward to the continuous collaboration with community organizations, my colleagues on the council and our city departments to ensure that we do.”

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San Diego’s ‘Highwayman’ – Who Freely Aided Stranded Motorists for Decades – Now Needs Help

November 13, 2020 by Staff

For literally decades, San Diego’s Highwayman has pulled up behind stranded motorists and offered aid, free of charge.

Tom Weller – who grew up in Ocean Beach – has spent years upon years patrolling San Diego freeways helping people out ever since his car plowed into a snowbank in Illinois in 1966, and he was helped by a good Samaritan who told him to pass it on.

Now Weller needs some teeth, as he told NBC 7 :

“I’ve been reluctant to ask for myself. I didn’t have any trouble asking in my mission for others, but for myself, it’s very difficult. But I need some teeth.”

Now 72 — Weller needs some help himself of the dental variety. He has launched a GoFundMe in an effort to be able to pay for dental implants, since he’s unable to wear his dentures anymore because his anchor tooth broke. “It’s been a difficult time ’cause I’m losing weight, losing confidence and am at my last resort, so to speak,” Weller said.

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Gloria, Elliott Lead, Measures B and E Appeared to Have Passed

November 4, 2020 by Staff

Gloria In the Lead But Bry Refuses to Concede

Assemblyman Todd Gloria held a significant lead Tuesday night over fellow Democrat Councilwoman Barbara Bry in the battle to become San Diego’s next mayor, according to unofficial results released by the county registrar of voters. Bry has refused to concede and said Tuesday night that she expects to gain ground as more votes are counted.

Record Turn-out in San Diego?

Meanwhile, more than 1.2 million ballots were cast in San Diego County. Registrar of Voters Michael Vu was not discounting the possibility of record turnout. He said he expects turnout will exceed 80 percent, which would come close to matching the 81 percent in 2016 or possibly eclipse the record of 84 percent, set in 2008.

Elliott Has Huge Lead

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott was leading by a substantial margin over challenger Cory Briggs in the race to become the city’s top lawyer.

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Election Signs Seen Around Ocean Beach

November 2, 2020 by Staff

These 2020 election signs were seen around OB.

OB Rag reporter Bob Edwards scoured the neighborhood for special signs and found these.

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OB Chalk Dad Has a Message

November 2, 2020 by Staff

Ocean Beach’s greatest sidewalk chalk artist in memory, Erick Toussaint, has a message. And our good friend, Judith Starker, captured it.

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‘What’s Natural About Sunset Cliffs Natural Park?’

October 28, 2020 by Staff

Originally posted Nov. 19, 2019

By Geoff Page

In October of last year [2018], I did some checking on why the Sunset Cliffs Park project was not yet finished. I contacted the city and the emails that follow tell the story. I’m not using the person’s name because there is no reason to cause him any difficulty as some of his responses might. This is a really sorry tale.

Oct. 16, 2018 – the response I got to my initial inquiry:

The contractor has been waiting for some materials that required a long lead time to obtain. These materials are scheduled to be delivered on site next week.

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OB Resister Sisters Ask You to Vote Because 225,000 Americans Can’t

October 27, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Resister Sisters are at it again, a week before the big election. This banner appeared over the east-bound Interstate 8 in Mission Valley.

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OB Town Council Facebook Live Meeting Wed., Oct. 28: Two Projects With Direct Impact on Our Coast

October 26, 2020 by Staff

Please join the Ocean Beach Town Council on Facebook Live, Wednesday October 28rd at 7:00 pm for their Monthly Public Meeting.

At this month’s meeting, the OBTC is hosting presentations on two upcoming environmental projects that will directly impact our coastal community:

Park Ranger Araceli Dominguez will present on the OB Estuary Enhancement Project.

Matt O’Malley, Executive Director for SD Coastkeeper will present on the recently announced large scale aquaculture project and the potential impacts it could bring to our coastline.

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The Sports Arena Redevelopment Proposal Mess

October 23, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The City of San Diego told the public that it received four proposals for redevelopment of the Sports Arena properties. They said two of the four proposals were rejected as “non-responsive” leaving only two choices.

To begin with, that the city only received four proposals was an indication of a problem. This is a billion-dollar redevelopment project. This should have attracted more than four proposers. When results like this are seen, it can mean several things, but suffice to say, the Request For Proposals (RFP) may have been badly crafted, or worse, intentionally crafted to discourage proposers. The result was that the citizens of this city were only offered two choices, when the RFP probably should have been redone.

These kinds of proposals are expensive to put together and the process is also expensive.

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Donna Frye: ‘Measure E Deserves a No Vote’

October 22, 2020 by Staff

Donna Frye came out today opposed to Measure E, the San Diego ballot proposition that would destroy the 30-foot height limit in the Midway area.

In today’s Letters to the Editor in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Frye called it “just plain wrong” to promote the idea that the Midway area can only be “successful” if the height limit is rescinded.

Frye- former councilwoman for San Diego and the “woman who should have been mayor,” also took the measure to task for not including any public benefit nor requiring any affordable housing.

Plus the “half-baked measure” was placed on the ballot “with no environmental review,” she wrote, and added, “The public has a right to know the impacts associated with the new height limit before, not after, giving their approval.” Frye hit on a number of facilities surrounding the myths about Measure E:

Measure E does not require affordable housing.

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Peninsula Planning Meeting: Bry Opposed to Campbell’s Proposal on Short-Term Rentals

October 20, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The regular monthly Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting October 15 had its highs and, as usual, its lows. The on-line meeting was held last Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

First, the highlights. The lowlight will be left to the end.

Barbara Bry

Councilmember Bry made an appearance as a council representative, not as the mayoral candidate. Bry was careful to make this distinction and declined to comment on any of the political races. She was there to give her opinion on short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) and Point Loma’s councilperson’s proposal. In a nutshell, Bry stated that the law needs to be enforced, STVRs are not legal.

Bry opposed what Jennifer Campbell is pushing, an agreement between a private travel industry giant and the local hotel workers union. Bry said the illegal vacation rental stock needs to be returned to regular housing, especially considering the current housing shortage. Bry said there were 16,000 STVRs in the city, the same figure that Campbell also used. Bry said those 16,000 units would go a long way toward relieving the housing shortage.

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How to Handle Customers Who Refuse to Wear a Mask

October 15, 2020 by Staff

Straight-up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed,

As a manager of a [501(c)(3)] non-profit organization, I am frequently confronted about us enforcing our state’s mask mandate. We will refuse access to our building to anyone if they will not wear a mask. . . I have been called names, screamed at, and even threatened. My question is how as the manager can I politely tell them to fuck off?

Sincerely, Barbara Curry
Cherryville, NC

Thanks for the question Barbara. Even though I have never been in a position to enforce a mask mandate, I have seen many-a YouTube video featuring customers throwing anti-mask tantrums so I do have an idea about what you, and others, are going through.

Now, I’m not going to get into the controversy over mask-wearing itself – whether it is unconstitutional for the government to mandate them, or if the COVID risk has been exaggerated or even if the pandemic is a straight-up hoax concocted by our alien overlords – because none of this matters when it comes to private organizations such as yours. Every privately-owned business, including a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has the right to refuse service

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Love or Hate: The Daisies, Eucalyptus, and Native Plants of Sunset Cliffs – It’s All History!

October 13, 2020 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

What do you think of when you think of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park: Daisies, Native Plants, and Eucalyptus Trees?

As I was writing San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs: A History, over the last couple of years, I was surprised that the number one thing people were most passionate about was the park’s plants.

Just telling people I was writing a book about Sunset Cliffs Park’s history seemed to be a trigger to many people when it came to the park’s plants. The impassioned comments I received included: “Why are they taking out the daisies?” “Why did they cut down the eucalyptus trees?” and “The park should be native plants!”

Sunset Cliffs Park and the surrounding community have a unique and extraordinary history of horticulture, landscape, the development of food crops, and the propagation of plants that grow in coastal zones.

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A Review of ‘San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs Park, a History’

October 13, 2020 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

This month has seen the publication of a wonderful new book, San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs Park, A History. Published by The History Press, the book tells the complex and interesting history of Sunset Cliffs Park.

Written by Kathy Blavatt, local author, historian, photographer and garden columnist for the OB Rag, the book provides a detailed history of the park and includes dozens of photos, many from the author’s private collection, complemented by additional pictures from the OB Historical Society and family photos from local residents.

The book includes a chapter on the park’s animals, marine life, and habitat. Other chapters discuss the prehistory of the Point Loma Peninsula, the changes once Europeans arrived, and the string of events that followed

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Report on OB Planning Meeting: Dog Beach Fencing, Parking Lot Limits, Del Monte Overlook, Ebers St. Park, Nimitz & W.Pt.Loma

October 9, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Ocean Beach Planning Board on-line meeting Wednesday, October 7, did not have any OB projects to discuss but did have five interesting action items for the community.

Fencing at Dog Beach

The first one they covered was the following, taken directly from the agenda:

“Action Item #1: Ocean Beach Estuary Enhancement Project – The board will review a proposal from Parks and Rec. to improve the fencing of the estuary at the end of Dog Beach.”

The discussion that followed did not match the agenda description.

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Short-Term Rental Proposal Before San Diego Planning Commission Thursday, Oct.8 – District 2 Residents Encouraged to ‘Fight Back’ by Phone or Written Comment

October 7, 2020 by Staff

The so-called “agreement” on short-term vacation rentals that Councilwoman Jen Campbell brokered will be before the San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday, October 8.

Residents of District 2 are encouraged to fight back and participant easily by phone or by written comment (details inside).

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