Ocean Beach

Point Loma Nazarene University Added to Previous Lawsuit Involving Former Student and Professor

July 13, 2018 by Source

by Andrew Eakes / LomaBeat / July 9, 2018

Amy McClanahan, the woman suing former Point Loma Nazarene University professor and pastor John Wright, is now naming PLNU in her lawsuit. She filed the additional name on May 9. The civil case management was last Friday, June 29 at the San Diego County Courthouse, which was held to discuss how the case would be handled. PLNU did not appear in court.

The university, along with Wright and Mid-City Church of the Nazarene (where Wright was her pastor), is being sued by McClanahan for negligent hiring and retention related to Wright’s employment at PLNU.

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Man Detained Suspected of Setting 8 Fires in Ocean Beach – One Apartment Complex Had to Be Evacuated

July 13, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Police have detained a man suspected of setting up to 8 fires in Ocean Beach between 11pm Thursday to about 6am Friday morning, July 13.

One fire caused the evacuation of an apartment complex.

SDFD Capt. Cory Beckwith told the media Fire Department crews responded to 8 different fires – all clearly intentionally set from about midnight to about 6 a.m. Friday. The fires were in plastic trash cans, dumpsters and at least one car. Most fires were set in trash bins pulled up next to a car.

And law enforcement may have caught a man red-handed as reportedly he was seen in the process of starting a fire on Long Branch Avenue and was then detained.

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The Future of Ocean Beach Is Very Likely to Be Decided on Monday, July 16

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It is a truth that is staggering. And it is not hyperbole.

The future of Ocean Beach very likely will be decided this coming Monday, July 16, when the San Diego City Council votes on regulating short term vacation rentals.

This will be their 4th major hearing on these type of rentals, often called mini-hotels – having failed over 3 years to set policy. Up for discussion is Mayor Faulconer’s proposed “compromise” and all he and the short term platform companies like Airbnb need is 5 votes.

If Faulconer’s plan passes in total or in substance – the future of this community has been decided

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Explosion and Fire on Bacon Street Sends Ocean Beach Resident to Hospital

July 12, 2018 by Staff

An explosion and fire in an upstairs apartment building sent an OB resident with burn injuries to the hospital on Wednesday, July 11. The unidentified man’s injuries and their severity are not known.

Firefighters arrived after 911 calls came in after 2:20 pm and quickly doused the flames within 10 minutes at a two-story apartment complex on Bacon Street near Cape May Avenue. From Station 15 we’re assuming.

Fortunately, the fire was contained to a single studio apartment on the second floor.

According to Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz, the fire caused an estimated

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If Judge Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, SeaWorld Will Have a Friend on the Supreme Court

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

“If Brett Kavanaugh wins Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Ken Stone over at The Times of San Diego warns us, “SeaWorld may have a friend in high places.”

It was just in 2014 that Kavanaugh saddled up to SeaWorld’s side in a case involving the death 4 years earlier of a SeaWorld trainer by one of the killer whales. The trainer was Dawn Brancheau and the Orca was named Tilikum, and the case was about a $70,000 OSHA fine slapped on the theme park – which SeaWorld contested and took it to court.

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‘No One From Ocean Beach Showed’ at Historical Board Vote on Nati’s Building

July 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In Julie Stalmer’s recent San Diego Reader article on the vote by the San Diego Historical Resources Board to deny the OB Nati’s buildings any historic designation, she reported “no one from the Ocean Beach community showed” at their June 28 hearing.

This was according to Amie Hayes, a historic resources specialist with Save Our Heritage Organization, quoted by Stalmer; Hayes was there for the hearing. Hayes said:

“The vote was 2-7, so it didn’t pass. This means the property can now be demolished.”

There was one email on record from a couple who appeared to be OBceans opposing the buildings destruction and extolling the “quirky charm and character” of OB. The email read, in part:

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OB Rag Interviews With Ocean Beach Heroes Over the Years

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag writers have interviewed a good number of local individuals over the years, people whom we consider “Heroes of OB”. What better time to bring these interviews out from the archives and highlight these folks once again – during the doldrums of summer.

Gary Gilmore – from October 2010

Gary Gilmore – Newport Avenue’s goldsmith par excellence – is proud of the fact that he arrived in Ocean Beach in 1973 with nothing else but the clothes on his back, his guitar, and his leather tools. He had journeyed across the country and had found heaven. And he’s been in OB ever since. His is a true classic rags to riches story. Yet it’s an OB hippie version of the classic. For Gary Gilmore certainly looked like a hippie when he arrived 37 years ago.

Gretchen Newsom – from November 2013

It is plain to see why the Ocean Beach Town Council chose Gretchen Kinney Newsom as its new president this Fall. Gretchen is poised, attractive, smart, clear-headed and brings to this off-the-beaten-track seaside village more political experience than the Board usually sees in a decade.

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Coalition of Community Groups Opposes Faulconer’s Short Term Rental Plan and Makes Own Recommendations

July 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Public Forum on STVRs – Thursday, July 12

A San Diego coalition of town councils – including the Ocean Beach Town Council – and other community groups has just strongly come out against Mayor Faulconer’s proposed ordinance on regulating short term vacation rentals, and instead have their own set of recommendations and proposals.

The coalition, called the San Diego Community Short Term Vacation Rental Working Group, is trying to gear up San Diegans opposed to STVRs to attend the upcoming City Council meeting on Monday, July 16 where they are set to vote and pass regulations on the controversial rentals.

The STVR Working Group is also hosting a public forum on July 12 to answer questions or concerns about how the proposed Faulconer ordinance will affect schools and residential neighborhoods of San Diego

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Ocean Beach Through the Lens of ACE

July 10, 2018 by Source

ACE is Albert C Elliott, a local surfboard maker and photographer, who occasionally lets us pick into his portfolio of 2-dimensional treasures.

Which brings us to this collection of visuals from around the Village of OB. And as Albert occasionally gets up on a board himself, this collection includes a number of shots from June in our local waters.

So, sit back and enjoy the sights as you flip through these fotos from the lens of ACE.

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Short Term Vacation Rentals: the Discussion Continues on San Diego Mayor’s Flawed Plan

July 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In Sunday, July 8th’s Op-Ed page in the San Diego Union-Tribune, discussion on short term vacation rentals fairly monopolized the opinion section as representatives of the hotel industry, Councilwoman Barbara Bry and the head of the Mission Beach Town Council all hashed it out.

The op-ed pieces were responding to Mayor Faulconer’s recent “compromise” proposal to resolve one of the most contentious issues currently roiling San Diego – what to do about the short term rentals.

In their piece entitled, “Neighborhoods, Jobs Must Be Protected“, Katherine Lugar and Lynn Mohrfeld – both CEOs of hotel industry associations – at first came out swinging against STVRs and appeared to be right-on:

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OB – ‘Get On the Bus’ to the City Council Hearing on Short Term Rentals – Monday, July 16

July 9, 2018 by Staff

OBceans Urged to Jump on Chartered Bus and to Wear Blue

The Ocean Beach Town Council will be chartering a bus on July 16th to bring the Ocean Beach voice to the City Council meeting on Short Term Vacation Rentals.

The bus will be picking up from the OB Rec Center at 11am, and returning at 6pm.

All are welcome

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The Pros and Cons of Surfing Naked

July 5, 2018 by Staff

In a discussion about surfing naked, SurferToday says it’s “an amazing experience.” The piece begins:

In ancient Polynesia, and before the Europeans and Americans colonized dozens of islands and Pacific Ocean territories, people rode waves in the nude.

And today, there’s a movement.

Legal Nude (Surfing) Beaches

Naturists, or nudists, are part of a worldwide movement that advocates the right to strip their clothes off and live life in harmony with nature.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2018

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

50 Years Ago – OB Pier Dedicated

It was on July 2, 1966, that the OB Pier was dedicated – see article online at the San Diego Union-Tribune; the pier was a promise made to the community when the fishing bridge between OB and South Mission was dismantled in 1950.

Nati’s Building Denied Historic Designation

How to Avoid Fines from Tickets During Fourth of July holiday

Prince’s Recycling Closes With Sympathy


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Long Branch Torrey Pine Was Designated as a Heritage Tree

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The large Torrey Pine at 4633 Long Branch Avenue in OB that the city of San Diego and its contractor are trimming – with a permit to remove next month – was designated a Heritage Tree back in November 2016. It was one of 8 so designated in OB (here’s a map of OB Heritage Trees).

What does it mean for a tree to have this status?

Issues such as tree health, public safety, and overall function and value of each tree are given more extensive consideration.

Also, alternatives such as sidewalk re-contouring, metal grating, corrective pruning and any other feasible alternatives to removal must be considered first.

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BREAKING NEWS: City Posed to Chop Down Long Branch Torrey Pine – Same Tree Saved 7 Years Ago

July 5, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Calling all Torrey Pine lovers!

According to residents on the 4600 block of Long Branch Avenue, the City of San Diego – and its contractor – is posed to chop down the large Torrey Pine on that block – the same Torrey saved by the community seven and a half years ago.

The city’s contractor is on the block at this very moment – 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 5. Local residents were told the tree has moved and unless trimming it solves the problem, it will be chopped down.

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July 3 – Water Quality Advisories in Effect for Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and De Anza Cove

July 3, 2018 by Staff

The County of San Diego has issued a water quality advisory for Dog Beach in OB for Wednesday, July 3.

The County says bacteria levels may exceed health standards and to avoid water contact in the area from the San Diego River outlet to 300 feet south.

There is also an advisory for

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Reader Rant: A Warning to OB from Former Mission Beach Resident

July 2, 2018 by Source

Editordude: The following rant was originally a comment to this post, “Ocean Beach Town Council Gears Up to Oppose Mayor’s Proposal on Short Term Rentals for San Diego”.

By sealintheSelkirks

This is what started to happen to (middle) Mission Beach in the early 1970s when ‘vacation rental units’ exploded in numbers more than they had in the previous decade.

The kids who grew up on that part of the sandbar ran right into this head-on. And got clobbered. By the time we hit the find-a-place-to-rent age, roughly 1972-77, we were already being priced out or, as I personally experienced numerous times, were kicked out each June

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The Back Story to ‘Willamartha’s Honey Pot’ Mural in Ocean Beach

July 2, 2018 by Source

Editordude: Last week we highlighted what we called “Ocean Beach’s Mural Alley“, which included a large mural of a woman with bees. Thanks to commenter “OBlover”, we found out the bee artwork is by a local artist, Celeste Byers – whom we’ve known for a few years and have also showcased some of her OB and other murals.

So, here’s the backstory of the bee mural, right from Celeste’s own website :

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Swim Coach’s Skull Fractured by Paddleboarder at Sunset Cliffs

July 2, 2018 by Source

Nearly a week ago, on Tuesday, June 26, Kevin Eslinger had his skull fractured when a paddleboarder cracked a paddleboard over his head. Eslinger, an accomplished paddleboarder and San Diego swim coach, had gotten into an argument with an unidentified paddleboarder when the blow occurred.

Fortunately, Eslinger was able to get back to shore on his own but the impact was sufficient to fracture his skull. He’s now recovering after being in a hospital for 2 days.

The paddleboarder who attacked him got away. As of this past weekend, no arrests had been made.

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Updates from the Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

June 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

President Marcus Turner opened up the non-agenda comment portion of last Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the OB Town Council – always a treasure trove of local issues and announcements.

Over a dozen members of the board looked out to an audience that approached 60 residents and government officials. (The main forum for the evening was about short term vacation rentals – reported here in a separate post.)

Matt Beatty, head librarian of the OB branch, and this reporter announced the coming “OB Shelf” to be organized over the next few weeks, with materials, books about OB or books by local authors.

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Ocean Beach’s Mural Alley

June 29, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach has a long history of public murals – a history that stretches back at least to the mid-late 1970s.

Some of the more famous ones are those painted each year during the OB Street Fair and hung on exterior walls of various businesses around Newport Avenue. But we’ve had others – and most of them are still around.

Well, we’d now like to highlight an alley off Newport filled with fairly-recently painted murals – an alley many locals have known about for quite some time.

The alley – OB’s Mural Alley – is the alley between Newport Ave and Niagara Ave – and between Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Cable.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Gears Up to Oppose Mayor’s Proposal on Short Term Rentals for San Diego

June 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Many informed voices were heard last night, Wednesday, June 27 at the Ocean Beach Town Council forum on short term vacation rentals, including local OB experts, other heads of neighboring town councils – all opposed to Mayor Faulconer’s proposal – except for one – that of Anthony George, the Mayor’s representative.

The good-sized audience inside the Masonic Center leaned in as presidents of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Clairemont town councils joined in the chorus critical of the impacts coastal communities will suffer if Faulconer’s ordinance is accepted by five of City Council-members. The City Council meets July 16 to once again attempt to address one of the most contentious issues roiling the city.

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‘OB Shelf’ Coming to Ocean Beach Library

June 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag is working with the staff at the Ocean Beach Library to set up what’s being called “the OB Shelf” – a section of the library devoted solely to books and materials about OB.

Coming in the next few weeks, the OB Shelf will have books about Ocean Beach and books written or published by local authors. Matt Beatty, the head librarian,

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Off-Newport Avenue on a Wednesday in Ocean Beach – a Photo Gallery

June 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Some Wednesdays get a little crazy in the late afternoon on Newport Avenue – due, obviously, to the famous OB Farmers Market. To see what else was happening around the village and “off-Newport”, this reporter found the following.

Face-Lift at Pat’s Liquor

Pat’s Liquor has been a mainstay at the intersection of Voltaire and Abbott for decades. Now, locals may recognize a whole new look as the 1940s exterior has given way to the trendy “industrial” look.

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Effort to Save Ocean Beach Architecture of Nati’s Buildings at Historic Resources Board

June 26, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There’s an effort going on right now to save the architecture of the buildings at Nati’s in Ocean Beach. Locals and activists of SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organization) are attempting to change the opinion of San Diego’s Historical Resources Board at their upcoming June 28 meeting.

The Nati’s building is on the agenda.

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‘How to Save OB Character and Keep Local Residents’ – Forum on Short Term Rentals at Ocean Beach Town Council – Wed., June 27

June 26, 2018 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Town Council is holding their monthly public meeting, Wednesday, June 27, and high on their agenda is a forum on short term vacation rentals – and “how to save community character and keep local residents.”

They meet at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107, form 7-9pm. It’s free and open to the public and well worth your effort.

From OBTC Facebook:

Short-term Vacation Rentals, or STVRs, create a cascade of problems in our neighborhoods.

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Planners’ Meeting Heats Up Over Housing Numbers for Midway Community Plan

June 26, 2018 by Source

By Geoff Page

Tribalism. It is a vestigial feature, much like an appendix. It once served the purpose of self-protection but has long since out-lived its usefulness. It is, in fact, harmful in an advanced society. But, unlike an appendix, it is not easily excised; it seems to be an indelible imprint on the psyche of homo sapiens.

This was demonstrated clearly, and sadly, at the Midway/Pacific Highway Community Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting on June 20 at the San Diego City College – West City Campus on Fordham Street. It seems that the planning group boundaries now are tribal boundaries.

Meeting Heats Up Over Midway Community Plan

The meeting got heated over Midway’s Community Plan

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Are Granny Flats the Future of Ocean Beach and Point Loma?

June 25, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Are so-called “granny flats” the future of Ocean Beach and of Point Loma?

It certainly appears to be so – at least for OB, given what happened at the last meeting of the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee. Wednesday night, June 20, the sub-committee of the full Board sent recommendations for approval for three granny flats in Ocean Beach. The full Board will meet in August to make the final determinations of approval (the Board is dark Wed, July 4).

Granny flats – also known as secondary units, backyard cottages, or ADUs – accessory dwelling units – have become all the rage now because California has just recently changed the laws surrounding the building of ADUs, making it easier, requiring less fees and dropping parking requirements. Some housing advocates, planning panels – and many construction companies – see them as a panacea for the state’s housing crisis.

Essentially, the state has mandated that if a proposed secondary unit meets certain requirements, than a city or volunteer planning board must allow it.

And this is what happened last week

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Young Man Air-Lifted from Sunset Cliffs June 14 Died From His Injuries

June 25, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Neither the OB Rag nor our primary source can confirm the death of the man who was airlifted from Sunset Cliffs June 14A young man who had to be air-lifted by chopper from rocks at the foot of Sunset Cliffs near Hill Street after a 30 foot fall on June 14, actually died from his injuries. He has not been publicly identified.

This is what happened, according to Julie Klein, who has chaired the Public Safety Committee for the OB Mainstreet Association for years. Usually, Julie is the one of the first to hear news from police officers and is very credible on such issues.

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Peninsula Planners: Board Rescinds 2017 Letter Advocating Housing on Famosa Site

June 25, 2018 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meetings at the Point Loma Library are becoming one of the best shows in town and the June 19 meeting was no exception.

This time the show was about an classic battle between a public agency and the community. The excitement was over that piece of open land on the south side of Famosa Blvd. across from Cleator Park. There was a large audience present, most of whom were there to express their displeasure with the San Diego Housing Commission’s plans to build 78 low income housing units on that site.

Community Displeasure With Planning Board’s June 2017 Letter Recommending Housing at Site in Question

Actually, the immediate displeasure had to do with a letter about “Affordable/Workforce” housing the PCPB sent to Councilmember Zapf and the San Diego Housing Commission in June of 2017.

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