Midway Planners Reject Dixieline’s Request for a New, Reasonable Lease

January 20, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Dixieline Lumber and Home Center store on Sports Arena Blvd. came before the Midway-Pacific Planning Group on Wednesday, January 15, asking for help. They did not receive the help they were looking for.

The subject that garnered the most discussion at the planning group’s first regular monthly meeting of 2020 was the expiration of Dixieline’s lease on May 31. The company has been at that location since 1967, leasing the land from the city of San Diego. The city owns the land east and west of the Sports Arena, including the arena and the huge parking lot. The city has plans for redeveloping all of that property and the fate of all the current tenants will depend on those plans.

The city’s land east of the Sports Arena includes the dilapidated shopping center immediately east, Dixieline, and the old Pier One Imports property now a Salvation Army store. On the west side is the Sports Arena Village shopping center bordered by Hancock Street.

Dixieline wants a new lease from the city and they want a realistic term for that lease.

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Custodian at Silver Gate Elementary Injured in Hit and Run in Midway District – Suspect Arrested

January 13, 2020 by Staff

A custodian at Silver Gate Elementary in Point Loma, Sharon Wood, was seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident as she and two others were crossing Sports Arena Boulevard after a Gulls game at Pechanga Arena on January 3. A short time later, a suspect was arrested.

Wood was attending the game with friends and once it was over, they were crossing the 3500 block, reportedly outside the crosswalk. The driver of a silver 2000 Ford Mustang had exited the Home Depot parking lot on the south side of the street, turned right and struck the pedestrians in the No. 2 lane. Ms. Wood suffered a fractured pelvis and left ankle. The others were also injured.

The driver did not stop but continued eastbound on Sports Arena Boulevard.

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Nude Man Rescued While Clinging to Side of Sunset Cliffs Sunday Morning

January 13, 2020 by Staff

A nude man was rescued by first responders clinging to the side of Sunset Cliffs Sunday morning, Jan. 12.

Around 10:40 am, San Diego Lifeguards received calls of a naked man clinging to the very sheer cliff near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Guizot Street. A small crowd, as one can imagine, had gathered to observe the potentially dangerous situation. The man, unidentified as of yet, was gripping the cliff – where there isn’t much to hold on to – about 20 feet from the bottom.

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Run for a Seat on the OB Town Council – Election Mixer at Wonderland, Thurs. Jan.9

January 7, 2020 by Staff

Candidate Statements Due January 20

If you’ve mulled over the idea already – or even if you haven’t – now is the time to get somewhat serious about running for a seat on the Ocean Beach Town Council. You know, the folks who put up OB’s Holiday Tree and who run the annual Holiday Parade and who raise thousands of dollars for seniors and needy families.

Well, every year, half their Board is up for grabs – that’s 7 seats. And, there’s an Election Mixer coming up this Thursday night, Jan. 9 at Wonderland. It’s a chance to meet the current Board members.

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GoFundMe Set Up for Genie Zucchini Phillips’ Celebration of Life – Jan. 25

January 7, 2020 by Staff

Friends of Genie Zucchini Phillips have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for her Celebration of Life. She passed away on December 31 of 2019. (Genie also went by Sapienza.)

Genie’s Celebration of Life has been set for Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Masonic Center in Ocean Beach.

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A Tale of Two Generals

January 6, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Once upon a time there were two generals. One was a fit-looking guy with gray hair, a handsome older face with a square jaw, wearing a nice-looking uniform trimmed in gold braid, decorated with medals and campaign ribbons. The other general was a guy with – well, pretty much the same appearance.

One general worked for Country No. 1, a big, brash, rich, well-armed and -equipped place with millions of patriotic people. The other general worked for Country No. 27 (depending on which Gross Domestic Product (GDP) list you consult). Country No. 27 was not rich; it had some notable armaments and trained soldiers, but it was brash, and its people were very patriotic.

Both countries were involved militarily in countries outside their borders.

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The Many Shades of Red

December 24, 2019 by Staff

All Photographs by Kathy Blavatt

by Kathy Blavatt

In nature, color red is as vital as it’s complementary color green. Red makes the greens pop. What would the Christmas holidays be without the brilliant red poinsettias and berries?

Valentines’ gift of crimson roses is the traditional flower representing love and passion.

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A Christmas Gift to Those Who Struggle With Low Income

December 23, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Picture it. Decorations everywhere. A beautiful tree twinkling in the background. A bright and cheerful tablecloth. Sparkling silverware. Shiny plates. Candlelight winking off crystal. And best of all, a table groaning with your favorite holiday foods and all the trimmings.

Oh, wait. That’s someone else’s Christmas. The one America is preparing for low-income people is different.

For people of inadequate means, we have a gift that keeps on giving. It is a gift that will take them far and help them realize the American Dream they have desired for so long. The American People writ large generously give them this gift so they can finally rise from the ranks of inadequacy and join those of us gathered around a Christmas table like the one described above.

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Impeach Trump Rally in San Diego Turns Out Hundreds

December 16, 2019 by Staff

An impeach Trump rally was held in San Diego, Sunday, December 15, in front of the San Diego County Admin Building off Harbor Drive. Reportedly, at least 400 San Diegans joined in the event – to send a message to Congress and the Senate.

The rally was part of the nationwide “Nobody Is Above the Law” protests.

This national mobilization is part of a massive, grassroots effort to ensure Congress holds Donald Trump accountable for using military aid to pressure Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 elections.

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OB Subway Closed But Thai Restaurant to Open in Same Location

December 11, 2019 by Staff

By OB Rag Staff

The OB Subway shop on Cable Street is indeed closed. In fact the former owner, Maziar Boushehry, wrote a good-bye of sorts on social media, re-posted below. What is coming in to take its place?

Our intrepid reporter walked into the location and saw 4 people reading blueprints. They told him a Thai restaurant was coming in – and they hope to open in February 2020. The owner of the new Thai eatery owns another shop in North Park, called Soi 30th.

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Former Lola Luna to Be Jewelry Store

December 11, 2019 by Staff

By OB Rag Staff

The space at the former Lola Luna had been empty for a long time. The former women’s hip apparel storefront has been closed for years. There were rumors of structural problems with the building.

But someone took it over and installed one of those sliding gates and it’s been tough to figure out what was coming in.

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Electric Chair in Ocean Beach Has Closed – Building Owners Looking for New Salon Tenant

December 11, 2019 by Staff

By OB Rag Staff

It’s a sad day for those who loved the Electric Chair and knew Paul and Lynn Bolton the original owners. For the Electric Chair is no more. It’s closed up tight and the banner that proclaimed “New Ownership – Grand Re-Opening Just Days Away” is gone. And there’s a “For Lease” sign on the window. The place is at 4844 Newport Avenue.

The building owners, Lyle and Linda Cocking, are hoping to find the ideal tenant – another salon – to move in, as the place could still be a beauty salon. The space has 1,500 square feet.

A little over a week ago, we reported that the new owners were having a “Grand Re-Opening”.

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Ocean Beach Businesses in Flux: Pepe’s Has Closed for Good

December 11, 2019 by Staff

By OB Rag Staff

Reliable locals told the OB Rag staff that Pepe’s – the Italian restaurant on Sunset Cliffs – has closed for good. It’s been closed for days or even weeks already.

It was just last March that we reported there were new owners – Vanessa Perez and her hubby John – and they promised they’d keep the restaurant the same as the previous owners. Vanessa had deep restaurant connections – her mother owned a Los Angeles restaurant for 12 to 15 years and was the personal chef for George Carlin. Vanessa’s extended family has restaurants in Mexico. And John come to Pepe’s with a lot of restaurant experience – he worked for the Marriott and for Brinker, who owns the Chili’s chain.

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Ocean Beach Has the Best Holiday Parade in San Diego in ‘Miracle on Newport Ave.’

December 5, 2019 by Staff

Holiday Parade – Saturday, December 7 – 5:05 p.m.

For 40 years, our quaint little surfing village of Ocean Beach has hosted one of the best Holiday Parades in SoCal. On Saturday, December 7th, Newport Avenue is lined with colorful OBceans and visitors all eagerly awaiting the commencement of the 39th Annual OB Holiday Parade at 5:05pm. Our 2019 Theme is ‘Miracle On Newport Ave’!

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Starting the Holidays with a Bit of History and Food from the Garden

December 5, 2019 by Staff

by Kathy Blavatt

The season changed as cold weather has arrived.

In November, my husband and I attended a Congress of History San Diego and Imperial County board meeting at Barona Indian Reservation. After the meeting was adjourned, we toured the school and the children’s native garden, which included a lovely mural.

After our visit to the native garden, we headed over to the Barona Museum.

The museum showcases Indian utilitarian and fine artwork displays, maps, and historical displays.

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OB Holiday Tree – a Native OBcean – Arrives at Foot of Newport Ave.

December 3, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Some say that the Holiday Season starts with the trick or treaters. Others say Thanksgiving dinner is the opening event. For this reporter the holidays really kick off with the arrival of the OB Holiday Tree, an event that happened this Tuesday morning in a finely coordinated process perfected over the years by Town Council volunteers, arborists, crane operators, and SD Police Department officers.

Community members and neighbors gathered at 7 am today to observe the harvesting of the 40 foot tree from a home on Muir Street, a few blocks east of Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Three hours later the tree had been cut down, transferred to the foot of Newport on a flatbed truck, and lowered into the concrete-encased vertical steel pipe that lies dormant beneath the sand for eleven months out of each year.

Grown from a live Christmas tree purchased in 1975 and planted about five years later, the tree was donated by a family with deep OB roots who wish to remain anonymous. In high winds the tree was starting to threaten the family’s home as it swayed back and forth so they kindly decided to donate the star pine to the community.

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Navy Presented Plans for Former SPAWARS Property at Midway Planners’ Meeting

December 3, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The final 2019 meeting of the Midway-Pacific Planning Group was supposed to have been the one on Wednesday, November 20 at the Bay City brewery on Hancock Street. But, the prospect of a special meeting came up when discussion focused on 31 recently recommended Draconian changes to the planning board system.

Possible Future Special Board Meeting on City’s “Improvements” to Community Planning Committees

A special Task Force was assembled by the city to make recommendations for improvements to the planning board system. These recommendations were reviewed by the Ocean Beach Planning Board at their regular monthly meeting November 7, which was detailed in the OB Rag’s November 11 account of the discussion. It did not appear that the Midway group had focused on these 31 recommendations.

When it was pointed out to the Midway group that some of the 31 were very onerous, such as requiring board member to provide private financial information, a definite interest was sparked.

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Peninsula Planners Deny ‘Shoebox’ on Coronado, Ask for Famosa Blvd as Safe Route

December 2, 2019 by Staff

The final meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board for 2019 closed out the year like the proverbial lamb, except for a project on Coronado that was denied approval by the Board.

Projects – 2 Approved, 1 Denied

There were three projects before the board, two of which passed easily while one was denied. The denied project was an application to convert a previously approved guest quarters to a companion unit. This was the result of changing laws that have relaxed standards on secondary dwelling units that make companion units more attractive, such as no requirement for parking.

The denied project at 4411 Coronado Ave. was opposed by neighbors. The structure is an eyesore consisting of what looks like a tall shoebox on end.

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The OB James Gang Rides Again into Their Legend and Lore

November 22, 2019 by Staff

By Bob Edwards

“The Legend and Lore of the OB James Gang” was presented at the Ocean Beach Historical Society’s November meeting, Thursday, November 21st, all at Water’s Edge Faith Community on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The program covered the business and personal histories of the James family whose printing business – The James Gang – and community involvement has had major effects on the Ocean Beach community since the late 70s and early 80s.

It was one of the most humorous and touching presentations yet provided by the OBHS

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The Name ‘Sunset Cliffs Natural Park’ Is Now a Joke

November 19, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

In October of last year, 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. The contractor intends to resume working full time on site starting this Friday or at the latest on Monday October 22nd.

Planting will begin the first week in November and will be done in two phases. Planting will likely continue through January, weather permitting.

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Ocean Beach Planners Parry Attacks from ‘Reformers’, Bicycling ‘Radicals’, and Code ‘Revisionists’

November 11, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

It was an unusually long Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting Wednesday, November 6, at three hours, but there was a lot to talk about. The political attack on the planning boards was one of two major issues that involved some lengthy discussion.

Community Planning Group “Reform”?

There is a document posted on the OBPB website, attached to the November Agenda, titled “Taskforce on Community Planning Group Reform Draft Findings & Recommendations.”

In a nut shell, this document contains a list of 31 reforms the Task Force believes are necessary for the planning board system. The Task Force is a group of people representing planning groups, small businesses, a Planning Commission member, a Development Services Department employee, someone from Mass Transit, a member of an Environment/ Climate Change advocacy organization, and an infill developer. The document states:

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‘Rent Your Driveway’ Latest Attempt to Cash In on Vacation Rental Craze in Ocean Beach

October 30, 2019 by Staff

Now there’s a new effort to cash in on the vacation rental craze in Ocean Beach.

Rent your driveway.Yup.

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Friends of Ocean Beach Library Want Your Feedback on New Design

October 29, 2019 by Staff

The Friends of the Ocean Beach Library want you! Or more accurately, they want your feedback and input on the new design for the expansion of the library.

So, check out the (really) rough-draft floor plan. What would you change, add or subtract?

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‘Getting to Know My San Diego State Senator’ and How to Know Other Politicians

October 29, 2019 by Staff

By Richard Riehl

My 38th district State Senator, Brian Jones, emailed me yesterday. The subject line, “Will I see you?”made me wonder where I had met him, on what occasion, and where and when he hoped to see me again.

But the senator’s salutation: “Dear Friends,” suggested his fondness for me only began with his discovery of my name on a list of his district’s registered voters.

My new friend’s form letter alerted me to his legislative open house next month. “Hundreds of local elected officials and community leaders have already RSVP’d,” he gushed. “Believe me, the Open House will be the place to be in East County this fall!”

Well, it won’t be the place for me.

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Scary Food from My Ocean Beach Garden

October 29, 2019 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

Halloween seemed the right time to try my scary orange fruit from my Tomato Tree that I started from a seed years ago from Ecuador.

I had eaten the tart fruit raw. I tried some salsa type sauces – not very spicy – in Ecuador made with the fruit, but I wanted to make a main dish from the exotic fruit.

So, I did what most people do these days and jumped on the internet and googled Tomato Tree Fruit. Most of the suggestions of what to do with the fruit included adding sugar and making it sweet or making a curry dish. I opted for the curry.

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Peninsula Planning Board Not Happy With Development Plans for San Diego Airport

October 23, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The San Diego airport has plans for a great deal of new development and the Peninsula Community Planning Board is not at all pleased with what is being proposed – judging by the comments at the regular monthly meeting Thursday October 17 at the Point Loma Library.

The PCPB’s Airport subcommittee reviewed the new Draft Environmental Impact Report in detail and composed a strong letter with comments that the board voted almost unanimously to support. The lone vote against the letter came from board member Don Sevrens who did not explain his opposition.

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Midway Planners Give Thumbs-Down on Scooter Moratorium

October 22, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The highlight of the regular monthly meeting of the Midway Pacific Community Planning Group meeting, Wednesday, October 16 was a proposed six month moratorium on the electric scooters that have inundated our communities. This was a citizen lead proposal offered by a fellow named Bill Zent.

The proposal that Zent is looking to gain support for would require cessation of the scooter business for six months that would include removing the scooters from the streets and storing them while the companies and the city work out agreements and rules are set.

Zent’s handout stated that this was to support Council member Barbara Bry’s call for a moratorium, which Bry did call for this summer.

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Dear Ohio: The Fight to Say We Are Good

October 17, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

There were moments of hope on October 15, as I watched the youthful audience respond to the Democratic Presidential Candidate debate. One word spoken often by almost all the candidates was “fight.” “I will fight for you.” “I will fight the billionaires.” “I will fight for the American people.” “I will fight the corporations.”

Why must we be so embattled?

I remembered the answer when I connected with a memory that had been plaguing me all that day. October 15 was the birthday of Aida Reyes, who would have been 68 if she had outlived a vicious cancer. Her body may have left us, but her spirit remains. She was a person who always knew why we must fight and why we can never stop.

It is a condition of the human species that we are a combination of opposites, even within ourselves.

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Sustained Outrage…With a Smile: ‘Life and Times of Molly Ivins’ Playing in Hillcrest

October 14, 2019 by Staff

By Brett Warnke

“Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins,” is playing up in Hillcrest. If you’ve got 93 minutes to spare this week, I’d spend every one of them at this fine movie. It’s a funny biopic about a writer who walked with Civil Rights marchers, warned us about both George Bushes, and could drink the notoriously pickled Texas legislature right out of the bar.

You’ve probably heard of Molly Ivins (1944-2007). Occasionally, you’ll find her books Who Let The Dogs In or Bushwhacked or Shrub flung out on the Bargain Bin shelves. Grab them. Buy them all. Open them when the empty suits on the left say “we can’t because it’s costly” or when the idiots on the right say “we won’t because they’re brown.”

Molly was raised in a Texas house with a pool, born to a right-wing oil man who was shocked she allowed black friends to the house (and the pool). Her mother was wonderfully lazy and would watch TV, talk on the phone, and personified the suburban wife Molly never wanted to be.

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Ocean Beach Has a New In-Residence Mystery Writer: G.M. Ford

October 11, 2019 by Staff

By Bob Edwards

A resident of Ocean Beach since 2017, mystery writer G.M. Ford seems to have settled in to the OB lifestyle. With over twenty books published, the author’s latest novel Heavy On The Dead (reviewed in the OB Rag this past July) in set mostly in OB.

Ford participates in a local writers group that regularly meets at Te Mana on Voltaire. He reads the OB Rag and social media webpages such as the Social OB Facebook page. Perhaps most importantly, he has thrown himself into one of the most pressing controversies our community faces in the 21st Century: Where does one go to get the best fish taco in Ocean Beach?

I joined Gerry Ford at one of his favorite watering holes and taco purveyors, South Beach Bar and Grill on Newport Avenue, where we talked about various topics including his move to OB, his writing process, and the American publishing industry in the digital age.

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