Ocean Beach

They’re Cutting Down Torrey Pines

July 22, 2019 by Source

By Gaye Macy

It seems at least two Torrey Pines have been/ are being cut down on Ebers and West Point Loma Blvd. I don’t know why the City has now begun taking down Torrey Pines, whether they were asked by the community, or whether it was based on risk assessment.

From one of the NextDoor strings that followed, it seems that some people feel Torreys are dangerous and want to see them cut down. One man linked to the story of the Torrey that fell on a house during a severe wind storm last winter. Another woman suggested that not all the Torrey Pines needed to be cut down, “only the ones in backyards and near sidewalks.”

I’d like to look at Torrey Pines in their own light, but, first, I’d like to address the Torrey Pine that fell in the windstorm and frightened people, so much so that many seem to feel that all Torrey Pines are dangerous.

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City Creates Safety Hazard on Canon Street in Point Loma by Not Forcing Developer to Follow Law

July 22, 2019 by Staff

By Geoff Page

What would you say if someone told you that you would have to walk over 700 feet out of your way to make it from one side of a 90-foot wide project to the other side on a sidewalk?

You would probably ask why.

If the only answer from the City of San Diego was just “because we say so,” I imagine you’d be a bit unsatisfied with that response. But that is precisely what the city has been doing to residents of Point Loma who live in the area near St. Agnes Church on Canon Street for over a year. This is a tale of how much more developers matter to the city than do regular community residents.

For a year, local residents have been complaining bitterly about a temporary construction fence on Canon St. between Evergreen and Rosecrans.

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Water Quality Advisories at Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach and Mission Bay

July 19, 2019 by Staff

Five water quality advisories have been issued that affect Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach and Mission Bay. The advisories have been issued by the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health.

All of the advisories – which advise that humans avoid any water contact in the area – are due to bacterial levels exceeding health standards. See the map included with this article; the yellow balloons are the advisory areas.

Two of the advisories are for Sunset Cliffs:

Sunset Cliffs at Ladera St. – Beachline adjacent to access stairs; advisory since: July 18, 2019 – Bacteria levels may exceed health standards. Avoid water contact in the advisory area.

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‘Help!’ Lifeguard Presentation at OB Historical Society

July 19, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

On Thursday, July 18, Michael Martino, former Chief Lifeguard for the California State Parks System, gave a presentation on his new book, “Help! San Diego Lifeguards To The Rescue” at Water’s Edge Church on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The recently published book is the first volume of Mr. Martino’s proposed complete history and covers the period of 1868 to 1941. In the audience of 60 to 70 people were about 10 former lifeguards and retired officers from the lifeguard service.

Mr. Martino showed slides of pictures, charts, and news clippings taken from his book and recounted stories about lifeguards in San Diego with a particular emphasis on Ocean Beach’s role in that history.

In the early days before professional lifeguards appeared, ordinary citizens (rowing club members, anglers, and good Samaritans) were the only people available to rescue swimmers who were in trouble. Mr. Martino said that in those days the County paid a $10 bounty (equivalent to $300 today) for people who retrieved the bodies of drowning victims but provided no money for someone who actually rescued a victim!

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San Diego Free Press’ Swan Song: 9 Awards at Society of Professional Journalists

July 18, 2019 by Staff

It is true that the San Diego Free Press, launched by the OB Rag in 2012, closed itself down and has not been publishing since December 2018. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead or its writers had to leave the country.

In fact, in a Swan Song of its last public appearance, the San Diego Free Press won 9 awards at last night’s annual dinner of the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Here’s the list of Free Press winners with links to their contributions:

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Fireworks – Cheap Thrills with Toxic Consequences

July 18, 2019 by Source

Pollution from Fireworks is an Unnecessary Risk to Our Personal and Environmental Health

From Back Country Attitude

Why celebrate those special occasions by polluting? Is poisoning the air and water a patriotic way to recognize the 4th of July?? Is unnecessary air pollution a good way to ring in the New Year??

Do you consider yourself environmentally conscious and responsible? You might not know that all those colorful explosives used to celebrate special occasions…. (your firecrackers, skyrockets, Roman candles and yes even those so-called “harmless” sparklers)… pose a serious environmental and health danger from heavy metals and other toxic firework fallout.

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The History of San Diego’s Thirty-Foot Height Limit

July 18, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Recently – within the context of discussions over the City of San Diego’s plans to bring massive redevelopment to the Midway District on this site – there has been some serious disparagement of the 30 foot height limit, and it’s being blamed for everything from the housing crisis to the lack of affordability at the coast.

So, apparently it’s time, once again, to present some local history – the origins of the 30 foot height limit – and some of the good folks who made it happen.

It all began back in the late Sixties when beach residents began to rebel against a wave of unbridled development occurring at the coast.

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Are Well-Known Cottages on Niagara Ave Up for Rehab?

July 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There are some stories out there that we try to follow-up on. One of them is about the courtyard cottages at 4938-4948 1/2 Niagara Avenue.

The cottages and the well-known “landscaping” out in front – with bathroom fixtures filled with plants – are psuedo-landmarks. They’ve been there for decades and somebody created a small corner of delight with their landscaping technique.

Owned by Ken and Maggie Harvey – who have passed away (Ken in 2017 and Maggie in 2012), the cottages are now in the hands of a family trust or trustee Doug Harvey, one of their sons. The cottages sit on a 5,179 square foot lot.

Neighbors and local observers fear the worst.

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Federal Appeals Court Re-Opens Case Against San Diego Police Officer in Midway Fatal Shooting

July 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

A Federal Appeals Court has breathed new life into a lawsuit filed by the family of Fridoon Rashawn Nehad, shot and killed by a San Diego police officer in the Midway District in 2015.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision by a District Court that had the case thrown out with the new ruling stating the plaintiffs – the Nehad family – deserved to be heard in a trial. KPBS

Ocean Beach residents may recall the case of Fridoon Rashawn who was walking, unarmed, in an alley in the Midway District a little after midnight in April 2015 when San Diego police officer Neal Browder drove up in a patrol car. He was responding to a report of a man with a knife.

But within seconds Browder shot and killed Nehad.

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Closet Building For Sale in Ocean Beach Could Herald Era of High Expectations of Newport Ave. Property Owners

July 17, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

There are some commercial properties in Ocean Beach for sale on the main commercial streets; one is on Newport Avenue and the other on Voltaire Street.

Closet Building for Sale – New Era?

The building for sale (or lease) on Newport is at 4878 and currently holds the Closet, a large storefront, selling young-women’s apparel. The building – built in 1950 – has approximately 9,500 square feet (.16 acre) – with 2,000 square feet in second floor office space.

The ad for the building states the space can be “easily demisable into smaller units.” The building also coincidentally sits right next to the new Target. Or is it coincidence?

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‘A Nice Break from the Mueller Report’

July 16, 2019 by Staff

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

The politicians and media commentators all have assured us that Americans will never read the Mueller Report, especially since, at this point, the report is considered ancient history. But I like to discourage the idea that Americans are too lazy, short-sighted or just plain obtuse to try to understand what a whole slew of smart guys took more than two years to produce with taxpayer dollars.

So I am still slogging my way through the report. If Ohioans are doing the same thing, they, like me, will need an occasional break. I recommend the draft Comprehensive Plan for the City of Canton as a source of pleasure reading.

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The Widder Curry: ‘Here We Go Again’ With More SeaWorld Fireworks

July 16, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

For some unknown reason, SeaWorld has announced that they are going to resume fireworks every Saturday evening at 9:50 pm until the end of August. They are also talking about a September 1st display.

Several years ago a petition was circulated that garnered over 11,000 signatures asking SeaWorld to stop the fireworks. Cited was the noise pollution that was detrimental to the environment, humans, and animals. The Humane Society talked about how many stray animals were rescued during the displays; about how many animals suffered severe angst from the noise; about how fireworks were not a necessary part of the SeaWorld Shows. And, thankfully, SeaWorld stopped the daily shows.

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City of San Diego Is Illegally Providing Free Trash Collection for 16,000 Short-Term Vacation Rentals

July 15, 2019 by Source

In an explosive admission that the City of San Diego is illegally providing free trash collection services to up to 16,000 short-term vacation rental units, the interim City Auditor has notified the City’s Chief Operating Officer of this fact.

In a memo dated July 10, 2019, Kyle Elser, Interim City Auditor notified COO Kris Michell, that his office had received a “Fraud Hotline report” that the City was improperly providing free trash pick-up services to thousands of short-term vacation rentals.

Generally, a vacation rental is a property that is leased out for less than a month at a time. Elser and the city use the terms “short-term residential occupancy (STRO)”; and it’s the City’s Environmental Services Department (ESD) that is responsible for trash collection.

In the memo, Elser dropped this bomb:

Our investigation determined that up to 16,000 STRO units receive free trash collection service from the City.

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OB Resister Sisters Remember Bastille Day

July 15, 2019 by Staff

Sunday, July 14 was Bastille Day, the national holiday in France commemorating the 1789 storming of the Bastille, the fortress-like prison in Paris.

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung this sign Sunday over the I-5 in downtown San Diego.

Vive La Resistance!

Oh, you don’t recall what happened on Bastille Day?

See this:

July 14th: Viva Bastille Day! Viva la France! Viva Revolution! Viva the modern world!

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San Diego’s New Mayor Must Save Our Threatened Neighborhoods

July 15, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / July 12, 2019

What makes a city strong?

Is it a large police force? Multiple hospitals? Numerous colleges and universities?

Or a concentrated high-tech center of wealth and innovation, plus public libraries?

One might argue all of these make a city strong. Certainly, they are important.

But, I would argue that resilience—amid looming, super-wicked problems—is now the number one ingredient for any city’s survival.

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OB Historical Society: Lifeguards of San Diego County – Thurs., July 18

July 15, 2019 by Source

The Ocean Beach Historical Society this Thursday is presenting: HELP! Lifeguards of San Diego County by Michael Martino at Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B. This is on Thursday, July 18, at 7 PM – a free event.

Join Michael Martino, former chief lifeguard with the California State Parks, as he discusses the life and death stories behind the formation of San Diego’s lifeguard service.

This lecture, based on Martino’s book HELP! San Diego Lifeguards to the Rescue, begins with the early pre-lifeguard years when citizens helped with rescues and bathhouses along the coast hired their own private lifeguards.

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Summer Chronicles 2019 #4: The Body Electric on the Beach

July 15, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

A stroll down the beach on a hot summer day is a prayer to the human body. To be in and of your body, just as it is, loving and unashamed, is everyone’s birthright. Feeling the sun on your skin, the sand underfoot, and the cool embrace of the sea is a divine pleasure, and surely if there was no one else on the shore, it would be sublime.

But at the height of summer, the crowd too is a delight.

As I lumber along in my now middle aged body, with its surplus flesh, scars, and gray hairs beginning to mix with the rest, I lose myself in the throng of other bodies—young and old, fat and thin, oddly and elegantly shaped, homely and beautiful—all the arms, legs, backs, stomachs, breasts, backsides, and faces sun-kissed and sprinkled with fine grains of sand—a collective expression of the embodied self.

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Why Would the City Allow Round Up Dabbers at OB’s Dog Beach Area the Day Before July 4?

July 12, 2019 by Staff

A Pictorial Essay of the Poisoning of the Sensitive Coastal Habitat Next to OB’s Dog Beach

On Wednesday, July 3 – the day before the big 4th holiday – Scott Mac Laggan, a local concerned citizen and photographer, visited the sensitive coastal habitat area right next to OB’s Dog Park.

What he found – and photographed – was very disturbing. He found a crew from contractor, Diversified Landscape, using Round Up dabbers on plants in an area frequented by families, dogs and wildlife. Obviously, the crew had been hired by the City of San Diego.

Why would the City of San Diego allow Round Up dabbers to be used prior to July 4, when the park was going to be packed with tourists, dogs and our families?

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Share Your Good Times With Jim Bell Party – Saturday, July 13

July 12, 2019 by Staff

Jim Bell, a well – known local ecologist, is at home receiving hospice care.

His friends would like you to come join them for one of Jim’s great parties at his home at 4862 Voltaire St in OB this Saturday, July 13th at 5 pm.

Come and share your memories and good times with Jim.

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Scooter Corrals Being Marked in Ocean Beach by City Crews

July 12, 2019 by Staff

There is a report on Social OB facebook that just was posted around 11am that states the City of San Diego has crews out there “right now” marking locations for scooter/ bikeshare corrals throughout Ocean Beach. These are on the street by existing red curbs.

If you see a spot near you that you have a serious beef about (other than just hating scooters)

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Americans Are Pressuring EPA to Ban Round-Up While City of San Diego Still Uses It on Beaches, Playgrounds and Parks

July 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Pressure is building on the Environmental Protection Agency to ban Monsanto and Bayer’s RoundUp, which is linked to cancer, with its glyphosate. For the last couple of months groups and companies have been petitioning the EPA to get rid of the dangerous herbicide.

Up until July 5, the EPA was collecting public comments for glyphosate’s proposed interim registration review, which could allow glyphosate to be used in the U.S. for another 15 years.

In late June environmental and consumer groups delivered more than 149,000 public comments to the EPA advocating for a ban on RoundUp. In early June, more than 100,000 Americans and 20 companies called on the EPA to significantly restrict the use of Monsanto’s weedkiller glyphosate ….

Meanwhile, pressure locally in Ocean Beach and Point Loma is growing as demands to the City of San Diego increase to halt its use of Roundup on parks, playgrounds and beaches.

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The Weirdest Building In Ocean Beach History? An Egyptian Revival Trolley Station Once Stood at Bacon and West Point Loma

July 11, 2019 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Imagine you are a resident of inland San Diego in the Summer of 1926. Seeking relief from the 90 degree heat, you and some friends pile into a buddy’s Model A Ford and head down to Ocean Beach to spend the weekend at a cottage another friend has rented at the Camp Holiday Auto Court, adjacent to the Silver Spray apartments.

The cute white cottages on the cliffs are a bit small for your group but you’re spending most of the time on the beach anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. The rental cost, $10 a month, is a little steep, but what the heck, it’s a vacation. Each morning you head down to Benbough’s Ocean Beach Bath House and rent a scratchy, saggy, woolen “bathing costume” for 10 cents and spend your day swimming in the ocean or in the saltwater pool next to the Silver Spray.

Throughout the day you pig out on hot dogs and cotton candy and in the evening you toss back a few brews at one of the bars on Newport. After dinner, you walk down to the New Ocean Beach Dance Pavilion at the foot of Newport where you and a thousand other patrons flirt and foxtrot the night away to the sounds of a live band.

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Restaurant Review: Cesarina Ristorante in Point Loma

July 11, 2019 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Cesarina Ristorante
4161 Voltaire St.
Point Loma, CA 92107

By Judi Curry

I don’t usually go back to a restaurant with a two month period of time, but I had to make an exception for Cesarina. The first time that I ate there they had only been in business a month or so. That experience was delightful, from the china flown in from Italy, to the foods offered on the menu.

The second time I went back there I went with different people and our experience was the same. The service was impeccable; the food was tasty and authentic.

The pasta was made there – you can watch it being made – and the tiramisu was to die for. It was made for us right at our table.

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Navy and SANDAG Agree on ‘Grand Central Station’ for Point Loma’s Former SPAWAR Site

July 10, 2019 by Source

Federal and local government agencies formalize talks around using base for airport transit hub.

By Jennifer Van Grove / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 10, 2019

The Navy is making room for the possibility of a much-talked-about transit center, one that local leaders have dubbed “San Diego Grand Central Station,” at the 70-acre base that overlooks Interstate 5 in Point Loma.

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The Widder Curry Warns: Poisonous Round-Up Used in Coastal Habitat at Dog Beach Where Restoration Event Planned

July 10, 2019 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

I say, Ocean Beach and Point Loma – you have choices: either start complaining – or die because you didn’t.

Harsh? Yes. But do you know that as you sit and admire the green grass, the disappearing birds and bees, the city is slowly killing off every living thing near you? And it isn’t just the “birds and bees,” – it’s people. It is you too!

“Round-Up” is being spread everywhere in San Diego even as these words come out of my computer. Round-Up that is prohibited in almost every other country but sprayed here regularly. Here is a note I received today from Ann Jackson just minutes ago:

San Diego City has been using Round Up, a known carcinogenic, Dabbers in this very area all month. In fact they are using them there again today, July 9, 2019.

San Diego is inviting the community to come on down and help save the very area they are poisoning.

Yes! Come on down and walk through the area we spent the last month covering with Round Up. Bring the family, bring the dog, help San Diego save it.

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Gone Are the Golden Months of the Fetus

July 9, 2019 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State

Dear Ohio,

It has occurred to me to ask you to take a second look at the abortion controversy. It seems to be splitting us apart as a nation. Apparently, it is not enough for some groups of Christians to refrain from abortion in their own lives. They seem to believe they can save their souls only if they ban abortion for every woman of every belief, under every circumstance. They contend that a full-fledged human life with all rights to maximum protection begins at the moment sperm and egg join. They believe government must protect the fetus.

In the old days, long before modern techniques of abortion were available, women of every culture and religion knew how to encourage miscarriage. Mothers and grandmothers taught daughters and granddaughters. There were potions and teas before there were coat hangers and curettes.

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Goodbye to the Village Kitchen in Ocean Beach

July 9, 2019 by Judi Curry

Farewell to a Staple

Editordude: On Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 Judi Curry visited OB’s Village Kitchen, probably for her last time – under the current management – as it is up for lease.

By Judi Curry

Thirty-two years ago my husband Bob and my three daughters and I had our first meal at the Village Kitchen. Lopez was the owner cook; Esther was the cashier – she later became my beautician – and Liz and Eleana were waiting tables. It turned out that they were the children of Lopez and Esther.

We had so many delightful times there. We had our first taste of “menudo”; our first taste of “albondigas”; some of the best Machaca we have ever had. Bob loved their breakfasts – so much for so little money. The recipes were extraordinary and I even asked Lopez for several of them.

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2019

July 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

No More Speeding on OB Pier

The City of San Diego is trying to stop people from driving onto the Ocean Beach Pier, recently installing plastic pylons. The city recently installed the pylons at the foot of the pier after a car sped onto the structure, hitting two people and a police cruiser in June. The pylons are the first step, but the city says it’s still considering additional options to discourage people from driving onto the pier.

The Plunge in Mission Beach Finally Re-Opens

The Plunge at Fit marked the official return of the iconic beachfront pool in Belmont Park on July 4. The completion of its $12 million restoration and construction of the 400,000 gallon swimming pool and building, include:

Social Syndicate Signs $2.4 Million Lease for Former Nati’s Site

Location Matters has arranged a $2.4 million, 10-year lease for Social Syndicate, a

BB Gun Used to Shoot Out Windows in Midway District and Lyft Car in OB


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Scott Peters and Juan Vargas Support Impeachment While Susan Davis Wants to Wait

July 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Scanning where San Diego County Congressional Representatives stand on impeachment, Congressmen Scott Peters and Juan Vargas both support the impeachment of Donald Trump.

Back in April, Rep. Juan Vargas was addressing the Mueller Report at a meeting of the San Diego County Chamber of Commerce when he stated:

“We should impeach him”

Vargas was the first San Diego Congressperson to join the growing list of more than 80 House members on board the impeach train. He told The Hill:

“We should start the impeachment process. I think it gets us to a place where we can get this information, and then frankly be able to make a determination.”

“By the time the courts decide, I think I’ll have grandchildren and my daughters aren’t married.”

Then in late June, Rep. Scott Peters, called for Trump’s impeachment, saying the current president has committed “more significant wrongdoing than even the Watergate break-in.”

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Study by San Diego Housing Commission Finds Famosa Property Suitable for 78 Rental Units

July 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Housing Commission has just sent a memo to Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council informing them that the study of the Famosa property at the center of much recent dispute has determined that the land at the corner of Famosa and Nimitz Boulevards is suitable for 78 affordable rental units.

The memo from Richard Gentry, CEO of the SDHC, dated July 2, 2019, stated his agency hired a consultant “to perform a study to evaluate whether or not the potential development of affordable housing is feasible on this property,…” which has determined “affordable housing development at Site 428 is feasible.” Site 428 is another name for the property.

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