Ocean Beach

Testing Resilience in the Game of Existence

March 31, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

By Jeoffrey B. Gordon, MD, MPH / March 24, 2020

We know of only two crucially important rounds remaining in the game of human existence on earth. This round – THE CORONA PANDEMIC -has been more like a rapid play, rough and tumble, basketball game. During pre-game warm up drills, most everyone felt strong and invincible.

Like past pandemics, the corona virus burst on the scene suddenly, but not quite unexpectedly, to start the round. Nonetheless, as we entered the early minutes of the first period we have already lost the game. Asian countries, forewarned by past challenges such as SARS, had plans, staff, capacity.

China, stunned by a sudden surge and massive morbidity and mortality, was able to rapidly, scientifically identify the germ down to its DNA underwear and take comprehensive public health and medical care actions and in a powerful “Hail Mary” effort sacrificed its economy to shut down the threat in merely two months.

Singapore and Taiwan, close by in the circle of danger, activated a playbook of well thought out, previously planned, well manned and scientifically based public health programs with sophisticated leadership curtailing the epidemic on their court.

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The Questions San Diego’s Next Mayor Must Answer

March 31, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego

Amid this pandemic, an historic event yet to be named by historians, San Diego faces a pivotal election for Mayor.

San Diego is confronting a massive budget deficit, a pension shortfall, a countywide pandemic, a statewide shutdown, a local economy in free fall, and a yearning for clear direction.

Sheltering in place, working from home—for those lucky enough to still have a job—and fearing the unknown makes the next Mayor’s task all the more critical.

The city budget is projected to face a $109 million funding shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30. The new $2 trillion federal coronavirus bailout has penciled in massive amounts of money for municipalities and non-profits. All this means a lot of pressure on City Hall.

How can a Mayor translate that in an easy, understandable and manageable fashion for everyone? Not just for the rich or savvy, but for all San Diegans?

This is not an unreasonable question to ask of the two contenders seeking to be our next Mayor.

And here are other must-ask and must-answer questions for Todd Gloria and, most likely, Barbara Bry.

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Ocean Beach Planners to Hold Virtual Meeting – Wed., April 1

March 31, 2020 by Staff

In an historic first, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will meet this Wednesday via Zoom, which means they’ll have a virtual meeting over the internet. And anyone who wishes can observe and participate – see the information about how to be included either on the official agenda, posted below, or just before the agenda. But this is a first – created by the COVID-19 crisis (and unless the Board has practiced this method, it could be a tad bumpy – but fun! Check it out!)

The meeting will begin at 6 pm Wednesday, April 1 (… and no, this is not an April First joke). Usually the Board meets in the community room at the OB Rec Center.

Most of the agenda has to with the Board’s recent election, appointments to the Board and the election of the new Executive Board. The volunteer panel of community planners will certify the March election results, consider appointing veteran Jane Gawronski to the vacant District 2 seat, and likewise, the same with Derek Dudek who is seeking appointment to the vacant District 1 seat. Finally, the Board will elect their Executive Board, which includes the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

Info on How to Connect to the Meeting Via Zoom

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Ocean Beach ACE and Mindy Make It Back After Being Stuck in Ecuador

March 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The last time my cousin Albert Elliott – known as “Ace” – was in the local news was when his surf shack burnt down. That was last August. Now – he and his spouse Mindy are back in the news as they are the “San Diego Couple home after being stuck in Ecuador.”

Every winter the two head down to Ecuador to do some surfing and hang out for about 3 months. This year – the year of COVID-19 – it was different.

Channel 10 got the story:

A San Diego couple was stuck in Ecuador after the country canceled all travel due to the Coronavirus. After several days of travel, the couple is finally back in their home.

A few days ago, Albert “Ace” Elliott was not sure if he and his wife Mindy would ever make it back to their Ocean Beach home.

“Without any warning at all, we hear that Ecuador has closed down the country,” Elliott said. “No bus travel, no plane travel.”

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The Changing Tides of Ocean Beach – Electric Chair Gets a Make-Over

March 30, 2020 by Staff

The Electric Chair on Newport Ave gets a make-over. … And now, it’s gone.

Thanks to Steve O from Kilowatt to keep us up to date. Here’s what it used to look like:

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3 San Diego Lifeguards Test Positive for COVID-19 But City Ends Quarantine

March 27, 2020 by Source

By Edward Harris

Three San Diego Lifeguards have tested positive for COVID-19.

Up until March 26th, employees for the San Diego Lifeguard Service and San Diego Fire Dept. were quarantined if they were showing symptoms or if they had been exposed to someone who had tested positive.

The City of San Diego and Fire Chief Colin Stowell have made a unilateral decision to end this practice.

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Widder Curry Raves: The Angels Among Us

March 26, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

In this very contemptuous time that we are living in, where many people are in violent disagreement with their neighbors, it is so refreshing to know that those disagreements can be put aside and “neighbor helping neighbor” shines through the clouds.

There are many people struggling right now to make ends meet; to put food on the table; to purchase prescription drugs, etc. Many of those people are “Senior Citizens” – referred to by that horrible word, “elderly” in today’s society. Being a “senior” does not make us elderly, but that is another story.

A group of “restaurateurs”, bakers, interested people have started an organization entitled, “Stayhomesd.com” – a “grocery assistance program for the elderly.” (Damn!). Their aim is specifically for those residents that are 65 and older, but if there are others with compromised situations something may be able to be worked out for them.

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News for Ocean Beach and Point Loma Residents During the Time of Coronavirus

March 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

*** County Supervisors Okay Moratorium on Residential, Commercial Evictions
*** Prospective Jurors Dismissed Thru May 22
*** San Diego Schools: Online Classes and Grading
*** 500 San Diego Area Restaurants Offer Take-Out
*** Order Foods From Local Farms
*** Homeless Advocates and Public Health Experts Warn San Diego About Policies Against People Living in Vehicles
*** California Fishing Industry Hard Hit by Coronavirus
*** UCSD Begins Testing of Experimental Drug to Fight Coronavirus
*** San Diego Company to Build More Ventilators
*** Want a Good Laugh? Hotels Now Live-Streaming So We Can Pretend We’re On Vacation
*** ‘Now’s not the time’: Joshua Tree National Park closed to campers and cars, but crowds keep coming

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Pressure on Ocean Beach and SoCal Surfers to Stop Surfing During Coronavirus Shut-Down

March 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a lot of pressure on OB and SoCal surfers right now to stop surfing during this coronavirus shut-down. As local cases and deaths mount, government has had to respond to the ignoring of pleas from the Governor on down to the mayor to get off the beach. The front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune for today, Wednesday, March 25, showed SDPD officers stopping a surfer from going down the stairs at Sunset Cliffs. The City of San Diego was forced to shut beach and coastal parking lots because many didn’t take the warning seriously at the beach and in the ocean.

One of the largest surf websites, Surfline, issued this statement:

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Park and Beach Parking Lots Closed by San Diego

March 23, 2020 by Source

By Phil Diehl and David Hernandez / San Diego Union-Tribune / March 22, 2020

In response to crowds seen in public across San Diego over the weekend, the city on Sunday closed parking lots at city parks and beaches in an effort to discourage gatherings and encourage social distancing under a statewide stay-at-home order.

“Public health officials are clear that gatherings of any size can lead to the spread of COVID-19, which is why they continue to be prohibited everywhere, including at beaches and parks,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell said. “Local and state rules limiting groups have been in effect for days, so this should not be a surprise to anyone.”

Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland said people can still walk, run or ride a bike, so long as they abide by social distancing rules, which call on people to stay 6 feet away from others.

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Reader Rant: Keep San Diego’s Parks Open – They’re Essential

March 20, 2020 by Source

By La Mesa Reader

This morning, with my bicycle in the back, I drove up to my favorite place to bike to take a much needed break from being cooped up inside during this Coronavirus Shut-Down. As I approached the gate to Lake Murray, immediately I could see the gate was closed and a small sign announced something I’m sure about having to close the park as it wasn’t essential.

Now I know Lake Murray isn’t in Ocean Beach or Point Loma and I know I don’t live out at the coast. But I read the OBRag almost daily and thought its readers might be interested in these thoughts. I’m sure there’s plenty of parks in OB and Point Loma.

Finding the gate closed and locked kind of pissed me off – I need my exercise as an older person – and I have to mightily disagree with the notion and government policy of closing parks during the shut-down.

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First Day of Spring 2020 in Ocean Beach

March 19, 2020 by Staff

It’s the very first day of Spring 2020 in Ocean Beach.

One would never know it. Empty streets. Plenty of parking on Newport. Shops closed. No one on the beach under “blue” skies. The Pier Parking lot looking nearly empty.

This is our new reality.

Luckily for us, some OB Ragsters ventured out to record what they saw – and didn’t see.

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Bry’s Lead Expands to 444 Votes Over Sherman for Second Slot in Vote for San Diego Mayor

March 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / March 19, 2020

Barbara Bry widened her lead over Scott Sherman on Wednesday, March 18 for the second slot In a November runoff for San Diego mayor.

Bry’s lead Increased from 169 votes to 444 votes when the county Registrar of Voters added more late-arriving ballots to the candidate totals. Bry seems likely to keep the second slot, based on how the ballots have trended since the primary. The candidate who secures the second slot In the runoff will face Assembly-man Todd Gloria, who took to 444 votes over Sherman. Sherman are both on the City Council.

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The People Who Created the Peace Sign and Donated It to the Community of Ocean Beach Hope It Stays

March 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Now that we know the OB hostel will close and probably be sold to another investor, the question of the future of the iconic “OB Peace Sign” that has sat on the roof for years is front and center.

The Peace Sign – created by the OB Peace Rockers – was first installed atop the fabulous rock off Sunset Cliffs known as ‘Bird Shit Rock’, and then after its mysterious disappearance, it wound up being donated to the community of Ocean Beach and the folks at the then-OB International Hostel agreed to place it on their building. When the business was sold to USA Hostels, the new owners agreed to keep it.

And since it was given as a gift to Ocean Beach, the original creators hope it can stay atop the old building despite an ownership change.

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Elizabeth Sullivan’s Husband Found Guilty of Murdering Her and Dumping Her Body in Bay Off Point Loma

March 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Elizabeth Sullivan, a Point Loma Navy wife and mother of two girls, went missing in October of 20, 2014. Sullivan and her husband Matthew had been having marital problems. And he is the one who contacted police and filed a missing persons report.

Yet there was always something hinky about Matthew Sulllivan’s stories about her and her disappearance. The OB Rag took up the coverage of her missing, recovery and what transpired later to ensure her case wasn’t forgotten.

Over two years later, the search for her came to a tragic end when her body was found in San Diego Bay waters off the 2600 block of Farragut Road in October 2016 and she was finally identified on December 7 of that year.

At that point, police re-opened their investigation and began focusing on Matthew. And finally, on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018,

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Ocean Beach During the Coronavirus Shut-Down

March 17, 2020 by Staff

Folks line up at OB People’s Food. Only 20 customers allowed in the store at a time, one goes out another one goes in.

Others went surfing or visited the tide pools. (All photos by Bob Edwards unless otherwise noted. )

Here are more photos taken today, St. Patrick’s Day – Tuesday, March 17-, in Ocean Beach.

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List of Open and Closed Ocean Beach Businesses

March 17, 2020 by Source

Here is a list of Ocean Beach businesses that are still open and those that are closed. It was compiled by Christoff Huber and posted on Facebook Social OB yesterday, Monday, March 16 and updated today, Tuesday, March 17. The OB Rag, like Christoff has no opinion about any of this, just sharing information.


  • Nico’s
  • Mad Munch
  • BBQ House
  • Olive Tree
  • Chris Liquor & Deli
  • Pure Thai
  • Hodad’s
  • Pac Shores (closed?)
  • OB Smoothie
  • OB Kabob
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USA Hostels Ocean Beach to Close Their Doors on March 20

March 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The owners of the Ocean Beach hostel, USA Hostels, will be closing their doors for good on Friday, March 20. The OB Rag confirmed this today, Tuesday, March 17.

The hostel has been a mainstay on Newport Avenue for years – under different managements and companies – and the iconic building is one of the wonders along Ocean Beach’s main commercial street.

The Rag first reported on the hostel’s up-coming change of hands in February 2014 and confirmed the final sale in October of that year. The new owners formalized a name change and made major upgrades in June 2015.

Yet, this sudden departure after nearly six years leaves us stunned.

The management of the hostel requested that we publish their statement, and here it is:

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For First Time, Bry Has Slight Lead Over Sherman for Second Slot in San Diego Mayor’s Race

March 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

For the first time, Councilwoman Barbara Bry has bypassed Scott Sherman for the second slot in a November runoff for San Diego mayor against Assemblyman Todd Gloria.

Two things: it’s a very tiny lead of only 9 votes, but her lead could very well improve as more ballots are counted.

This was the result of ballot counting results released Monday, March 16.

On the actual election primary day, Sherman had a lead of over 3,000 votes over Bry. But ever since, that lead has been chipped away.

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OB’s Culture Brewing Co. to Permanently Close in April

March 16, 2020 by Source

From SanDiegoVille.com

Seemingly unrelated to the growing coronavirus pandemic, Culture Brewing Company has announced it will permanently close its 5-year-old Ocean Beach tasting room next month.

“It is with great sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we share with you the news we are announcing today,” posted Culture Brewing Co. to the company’s Instagram page. “After 5 years and much careful deliberation, Culture Brewing Co will be officially closing its doors in Ocean Beach on Sunday, April 19th. This decision was not made lightly, but after much consideration and determination of a move for the best interest of our company as a whole.”

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The 2020 Ocean Beach Wisteria Garden Party Is Canceled

March 16, 2020 by Source

From OB Historical Society:

In line with new State and County guidelines for non-essential gatherings in the wake of the COVID-19 scare, Ocean Beach Historical Society will regretfully cancel our Wisteria Garden Party for 2020. The biennial bash had been scheduled for Sunday March 22.

Sadly, this year will be remembered as one in which we made it through the spring without most of our traditional events and celebrations. Thanks to everybody who has worked so hard on this event.

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Gov. Newsom Calls for Closure of All Bars, Clubs, Wineries and Brewpubs

March 15, 2020 by Source

From LA Times:

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday significantly ramped up California’s response to the coronavirus, calling for the closure of all bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs, and urging people 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions to stay indoors in an effort to slow the virus’ spread.

The governor also called on much greater social distancing measures for restaurants. They will be directed to reduce their occupancy by roughly half and ensure that tables are at least six feet apart, he said.

“We recognize that social isolation for millions of Californians is anxiety inducing but we recognize what all the science bears out and .. we need to meet this moment head-on and lean in,” Newsom said.

The governor said the request of older Californians was made in hopes of limiting their exposure to the virus, given that health officials have pointed out higher dangers for those who are older. “We are prioritizing their safety,” he said.

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Should People Still Go Out to Ocean Beach Bars and Restaurants During This Coronavirus Era?

March 15, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

As everything closes down during this coronavirus era – from the OB and other farmers markets, to concerts, mass meetings, schools, religious centers, to the County’s prohibition of large gatherings – it’s time to ask the question: should people still go out to bars and restaurants? Especially in Ocean Beach – where they are very popular.

Some restaurant groups here in San Diego have already temporarily shuttered their kitchens and doors. And some law makers are asking folks – especially those 40 or under – to stop going out to these places right now. For instance, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is asking people to stop in light of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, adding that anything closer than six feet to another human is “too close.”

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Ocean Beach Farmers Market Closed Through End of March and All Others Also

March 13, 2020 by Source

Many farmers markets are being canceled through the end of March over concerns of community spread of COVID-19. The closures are part of the county’s decision to follow the state’s lead, banning all events of 250 people or more.

A San Diego Police Department email sent to farmers market organizers in the city stated:

With the County of San Diego Health and Human Services’ declaration today, large gatherings of 250 people or more are banned from taking place. This ban will take effect at midnight, March 12, and will be in place through the end of March. Accordingly, Special Event Permits for all Farmers Markets through the end of March will be canceled. We will provide updates as we receive them from the County.

Market closures include ones in City Heights, North Park, Hillcrest, Little Italy, Leucadia, Poway, Solana Beach, Carlsbad Village, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. …

In other parts of the county, there are still some markets that will remain open.

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San Diego Schools to Close Down Monday, March 16 and Re-Open April 6

March 13, 2020 by Source

Teachers’ Union Had Called for Closures

San Diego Unified School District is closing to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The school district made a joint announcement Friday morning with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Both school districts will shut down Monday, March 16.

The two largest school districts in California serve more than 750,000 students combined.

Superintendent Cindy Marten of San Diego and Superintendent Austin Beutner of Los Angeles issued the following joint statement:

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Engineering Students Create ‘Sled’ to Help Wheelchair Users Get to the Ocean

March 12, 2020 by Source

By Evelyn Duffy / Mustang News / March 10, 2020

Four members of the Cal Poly engineering department recently partnered with AmpSurf and Quality Life Plus in creating a project to provide people with disabilities a way to get from the beach to the ocean.

The four team members Arthur Zaayer, Marius Jatulis, Jose Covarrubias, and Griffin O’Malley have been working on this project since September 2019. The overall impact, the community and the hands-on work are what drew these students to this project.

“I’ve been surfing for awhile, so having something I’m passionate about and sharing that with people and then creating a device for them to better enjoy that activity more is so cool to me,” Jatulis said.

The product itself is a rolling sled with large air tires in the back, and smaller, denser wheels in the front.

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A Warning From a Friend in Italy

March 12, 2020 by Source

Editordude: A good friend of the Widder Curry who lives in Italy wrote her to share what was really going on. We are not certain when it was written, so the dates mentioned are hazy.

To Judi Curry

I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis.

The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here. I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality.

The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today. If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy.

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OB Library Book Sale Postponed Due to Rain

March 12, 2020 by Staff

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-March 2020

March 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Point Loma High Renovation Hits New High

This is the first time the school has ever seen a renovation project of this magnitude.

***Man Found Guilty of Murdering OBcean Sentenced to 83 Years
***San Diego Police Push Their Use of “Smart Street Lights” in Minor Mission Bay Pedestrian Accident
***Point Lomans Have Problems With New Bike Lanes on West Point Loma
***Closing Arguments on March 11 in Point Loma Murder Trial

***Coastal Habitat Restoration – Sat., March 14
***Skate for the Kids Benefit for OB Elementary – March 15, Robb Field
***Slightly Stoopid Sets Summer Schedule
***4 Arrested in Point Loma

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A Woman as Vice President Would Open a New Era in America

March 11, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / March 10, 2020

Remember the massive Women’s March that erupted almost spontaneously after Donald Trump was inaugurated as President?

Remember the elation about turnout and then the jealous remarks regarding crowd size from the same President?

Or how about the 2018 wave election in which so many women in so many counties and cities delivered control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats and the Speakership to Nancy Pelosi?

And those highly educated, articulate women all running for —gasp — President of the United States on the Democratic ticket?

Or Greta Thunberg’s wind-driven voyage across the ocean to steer attention towards a greener planet? Or the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s championship. Or the culture-changing #MeToo movement.

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