Ocean Beach

Big, Big Book/DVD/CD Sale at the OB Library, Saturday, Mar. 24th

March 23, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Updates on Two Construction Projects in Ocean Beach: on 5000 Saratoga and 5100 Brighton Blocks

March 23, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s updates on a couple of construction projects currently in progress in Ocean Beach. They include a mixed-use project on the 5000 block of Saratoga Avenue and 2 residential units on the 5100 block of Brighton Avenue.

5040 Saratoga Ave.

The OB Rag has been covering this project at 5040 Saratoga Ave. for some time. It includes the construction of a 2-story commercial unit in front and 4 residential units behind and above the front unit. It was approved by the Ocean Beach Planning Board over 2 and a half years ago, by a vote of 7 to 2 on July 1, 2015.

And according to local OB historian, Kathy Blavatt, the site was the last sand dune in Ocean Beach.

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History of Famosa Slough

March 22, 2018 by Source

From Friends of Famosa Slough

Slough (sloo) n.

  1. A stagnant swamp, marsh, bog, or pond, especially as part of a bayou, inlet, or backwater\
  2. A place of deep mud or mire
  3. A shallow lagoon

Wetlands provide an important ecological niche. For migrating and local birds, they provide a rich source of food, a place for resting and for nesting. It is estimated that 95 percent of California’s historical wetlands have been lost to development.

The Famosa Slough was originally a part of the Mission Bay wetland complex known as False Bay. Sediments fed this complex from the San Diego River and local watersheds. The prospect of oil in the 1930s lead to exploratory drilling on the south side of the Slough. Famosa Slough was gradually isolated from Mission Bay due to: the Ocean Beach trolley tracks; land fill for temporary construction related to World War II; and the channeling of the San Diego River.

In the 1970s, almost two acres of the Slough were filled (without permits) for the convenience of nearby construction projects.

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Gym to Open in Former James Gang – and Other News from Ocean Beach

March 22, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

New Gym in Downtown OB

A gym will be opening in the former James Gang at 1931 Bacon Street in Ocean Beach. With a brand new coat of paint on the building, Performance 360 will be opening soon in the building that once housed the nation’s last single lane, manually-set bowling alley, and where the James Gang sat for years. The owners have just begun to move in some equipment. The gym company has two other facilities, both in Pacific Beach.

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Reader Rant: ‘Just Who Is Trying to Control the Peninsula Planning Board?’

March 21, 2018 by Source

By Incensed Peninsulan

I really want to know – given the recent brouhaha over the electioneering for the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s March election – just who is trying to control the Peninsula Planning Board?

The reason I raise this query is because it appears that the electioneering became quite ugly with negative campaigning and possible violations of the Planning Board’s own bylaws.

On the surface, a slate of candidates for the 5 empty Board seats was elected and a number of Board members were ousted and other candidates defeated in the March 15th annual election. This happens every year, doesn’t it – during the elections throughout the City’s 50- some neighborhood planning committees? Or does it?

Negative Campaigning

A review of certain mailers and emails shows something different this year.

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Coronado to Impound Dockless Bikes and Fine Companies

March 21, 2018 by Source

By Gustavo Solis / San Diego Union-Tribune

Dockless bicycles, those ubiquitous two-wheelers that have overtaken downtown San Diego, have been declared a public nuisance in Coronado. The city said it plans to impound the bikes if they are left in the public right-of-way — streets, sidewalks, alleys and public parks or beaches — and potentially charge the companies that lease them hundreds of dollars to get them back.

Enforcement could begin Wednesday, said City Manager Blair King.

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Mayor’s Office Calls for ‘Temporary Hold’ to Disruption of Point Loma Bike Track

March 21, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Housing Commission Asks Residents to Stay Off Track Until Meeting Between All Parties

Mayor Faulconer’s office has called for a temporary halt on any further disruption to the Point Loma bicycle track, called the Famosa Pump Track. This came out of a meeting between the Mayor’s office, Lori Zapf’s office and the San Diego Housing Commission held Tuesday, March 20.

In messages to various local residents involved in the “stand-off” between the neighborhood, the city and the Housing Commission over the community-built track, Anthony George of the Mayor’s Office stated they have asked the Housing Commission “to temporarily hold off on any maintenance on the land until we can get everyone to the table for a conversation about the realities of this lot and how we may move forward with this.”

George said his office will be organizing a meeting between all the parties to resolve the issues and controversies over the track and the land.

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Point Loma Community Fights for Local Park for Cyclists and General Public Use

March 20, 2018 by Source

By Fred Robinson

If you’re a mountain biker or BMX rider you’ve probably read this story 100 times before: locals find an unused or otherwise vacant piece of land and start shaping dirt by the shovel load. After a few months, sometimes even up to a year, the city or landowner comes in with bulldozers and flattens the land, returning it once again to its unusable and empty condition, in which can sometimes remain in decades or more. It’s a sad reality of the off-road cycling scene in the United States, as we’re sure it is elsewhere in the world.

The particular piece of land we’re referring to, in this case, is la long-vacant plot of dirt situated between a middle school and a townhome community, directly across the street from a popular community park.

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San Diego Housing Commission Ordered Destruction of Point Loma Bike Track – Neighborhood Rallies to Save It

March 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It was confirmed to the OB Rag this morning that it was the San Diego Housing Commission that had ordered the plowing under of the Point Loma bike track system known as the Famosa Pump Track. The property – or much of it – is owned by the Housing Commission.

John Demoss of Benchmark Landscape – the company whose bobcat and workers began to destroy the track Monday morning – confirmed to this reporter that it was indeed the San Diego Housing Commission who had hired the company to do the work. Demoss told me his company is commonly hired by the Commission.

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A War of Words in the District 4 County Supervisor Race

March 20, 2018 by Doug Porter

Editor: County District 4 includes most of the City of San Diego, OB and much of Point Loma – there’s a portion of Point Loma in District 1.

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The race for District 4 County Supervisor is heating up. And not necessarily in a good way.

Four Democratic candidates are seeking the seat: attorney Omar Passons, former Deputy Fire Chief Ken Malbrough, along with former Assemblypersons Lori Saldaña and Nathan Fletcher. Former DA Bonnie Dumanis is the sole Republican on the June 5 primary ballot.

Saldaña and Fletcher are the ones making the news this week, with stories in the Union-Tribune and the Times of San Diego. You’d need a scorecard to keep track of the charges and counter-charges between two camps.

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‘A Bunch of Dads’ and Moms and Kids Move to Save the Famosa Pump Track

March 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Since about 2006, Darren has see three attempts to plow or bulldoze the series of bike tracks called the “Famosa Pump Track” just across the road from Bill Cleator Park in Point Loma. The latest one was this morning.

Darren, who lives close by, has been maintaining and repairing the pumps and trails of the dirt course since then. It’s just “a bunch of dads” he told me this afternoon, about 6 to 7 who regularly show up and help – and about 30 kids – who use and maintain the track.

But this morning, around 8:15, he got a call that there was a bulldozer at the track plowing down the hills. He rushed over there – and pleaded with the work crew to stop what they were doing. ‘Orders are orders,’ they told him back.

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Peninsula Parents and Kids Block Bulldozer From Tearing Up Bike Track – Rally Today Monday to Save Track 4pm

March 19, 2018 by Staff

Sometime Monday morning, March 19th, apparently, a private homeowner sent a bulldozer to tear up the Famosa Slough Bike Track. But it is reported that parents and kids literally stood in front of the bulldozer and brought it to a stop.

Now locals have organized a rally today at 4 pm to save the Famosa Slough Bike Track. At the bike track, across Catalina from Bill Cleator Park.

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Peninsula Planning Meeting – Where Residents Vent Support for Recycling Center and for Saving North Chapel at Liberty Station

March 19, 2018 by Source

By Geoff Page

The March 15 regular Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting was packed with people because one of the agenda items was the Prince Recycling Center next to Stumps market on Voltaire Street. This very divisive issue also attracted the news stations who filmed the proceedings and interviewed various people involved with the recent effort to oust the recycling center. The action item on the agenda was to approve a letter to Councilmember Zapf asking for help but, as has happened frequently with this board, it was an action item that received no action.

Prince Recycling Center at Stump’s

Action Item 2 on the PCPB agenda, brought forth by board member Don Sevrens, stated:

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Will Nati’s Buildings Be Demolished? Historians Scramble to Save ‘Eclectic’ Design of Famous Architect

March 16, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

In a brand new article in the San Diego Reader, local writer Julie Stalmer raises the issue of whether the Nati’s shopping center will be demolished. She also provides some needed history on the original owners and some great old photos – including one of the “original” Nati.

The new Nati’s owner has proposed, Stalmer wrote, to demolish the shopping center. Stalmer got wind of this when she spoke with Amie Hayes, Historic Resources Specialist, with Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO). SOHO got involved with the issues surrounding Nati’s proposal to demolish the building, when on February 28, as part of the development process, Nati’s submitted a report to the city’s historic resources board for a preliminary historic review of Nati’s parcel.

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Soulless Food at Cafe Rio Mexican Grill in Point Loma

March 16, 2018 by Source

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
3309 Rosecrans
Loma Square

Point Loma

OBites Visits Cafe Rio for Promise of New Mexico Cuisine

by Bob Edwards

Ever since my first visits to Albuquerque and the Four Corners region, I’ve been in love with New Mexican cuisine. The delicious chile verde (green chili) sauce, made from Hatch or other New Mexican chile peppers is quite unlike the chile verde you find in most California Mexican food. It’s silky smooth and the taste of the roasted chiles has incredible depth.

The sauce is fantastic with enchiladas and can also be used in a stew with vegetables, rice, beans, and usually chicken or pork. The New Mexican red chile sauce, made from dried chile pods, is also a delicious treat and goes great on enchiladas or as a base for posole, the hominy stew available at most restaurants in the region.

When I heard that there was a new restaurant, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, that serves food inspired by the cuisine of “the Rio Grande region,

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Peninsula Planning Board Meeting Focus of Efforts to Save Prince Recycling – Thurs. March 15

March 15, 2018 by Source

Tonight’s Peninsula Planning Board meeting is the focus of efforts by some locals to save Prince Recycling – the recycling center at the center of a recent storm of controversy. Residents and businessowners in the Peninsula and the Midway area are being urged to attend the planners’ meeting to counter the push to close it down.

The Peninsula planners meet at 6:30 pm at the Point Loma Hervey Library, 3701 Voltaire Street, SD 92017.

Here is the text from a press statement put out by some local activists and Sean Foldenauer of the Foldenauer Law Group:

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Two New Books by Ocean Beach and Point Loma Authors

March 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There’s two new books by two different local Ocean Beach and Point Loma authors. One is already published in paperback and other will be released in mid-April.

Kathy Blavatt and Dianne Lane are the local authors; Kathy wrote “Ocean Beach: Where Land and Water Meet” and Dianne has written “From Where We Sail: A Family’s Six and a Half Year Journey Around the World on Sorcery“.

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Come to the OB Historical Society Wisteria Garden Party – Sunday, March 18

March 15, 2018 by Staff

Every year as one of its signature events, the Ocean Beach Historical Society throws a wonderful Wisteria Garden Party on the 4700 block of Niagara.

The party is held under the largest wisteria canopy in Ocean Beach.

OBHS invites everyone to spend the afternoon in the garden of the historic O.B. Wisteria Cottage, listen to live music

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Vast Majority of Point Loma High School Students Join National Walk-Out Against Gun Violence

March 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The vast majority of Point Loma High School students joined a national walk-out against gun violence, this Wednesday morning – the 14th of March.

There’s 1900 students on campus the principal told me and by far most of them had gathered near the east end of the school’s football field. A few minutes before 10:00am – the hour of the walk-out – a bell went off and students began streaming towards the southern end of the school where the athletic fields are.

By time I got to the football field, massive numbers of students were listening to and cheering on a series of speakers – most of them students – plea and demand changes to how this society handles guns and violence

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs – OB Walkbout

March 14, 2018 by Source

By Joaquin Antique

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Reader’s Rant: ‘Blame it on the Homeless!’ Who Is Really Responsible for Crime in OB?

March 13, 2018 by Source

by anonymous

All the following statements are direct quotes or paraphrased from either local social media pages or comments I’ve heard in Ocean Beach:

Multiple cars vandalized on the block Those damn trolls.

Arson in our alley. Hey, I saw a troll with matted hair going through our recycling cans the same day. Must have been him that set the fire.

That stabbing on Newport last year: Probably a beef between a couple homeless guys.

Graffiti sprayed on my back wall. Homeless again.

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False Accusations Fly in Peninsula Planning Board Election

March 13, 2018 by Source

Someone once said ‘all politics is local politics.’ This is no truer right now than here in Point Loma, where politics are indeed swirling around the local planning committee’s annual election.

Apparently, false accusations have been spread against some candidates running for seats on the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB). And one of those candidates is Geoff Page – a Point Loma activist, former chair of that planning group, consultant – and a writer / reporter for the OB Rag.

On the surface, the imbroglio surrounds the controversial recycling center at Stump’s Market on Voltaire, and who supports it and who doesn’t. Page and 3 other candidates have been falsely accused by a sitting Board member of supporting the recycling center and who also has sent out emails urging Peninsula voters to not vote for them.

Here is Geoff Page’s response to an email

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‘Trump Special – Big Sale at Home Depot 32-Foot Ladders’

March 13, 2018 by Staff

On the eve of Trump’s visit to San Diego to view wall prototypes at the border, this sign was spotted by over the 163 freeway in San Diego.

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Point Loma’s Planning Committees Have Elections Coming Up: Peninsula on Mar.15 and Midway on Mar.21

March 12, 2018 by Source

Point Loma’s other local community planning committees – other than Ocean Beach – have their annual elections coming up in March.

The Peninsula Community Planning Board holds theirs on March 15th and the Midway Community Planning Group has theirs on March 21st. (The Ocean Beach Planning Board had theirs on March 7th. )

Here are the details:

Peninsula Community Planning Board Elections

The Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) will be holding elections in March 2018 to fill five (5) vacancies. Board terms are three (3) years, with exception of unexpired terms which are filled.

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General Rain Advisory in Effect for All San Diego Coastal Waters Due to Contamination from Urban Runoff

March 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Avoid Contact With Water for 72 Hours Following Rain of March 10

There is a General Rain Advisory in effect for all of San Diego’s coastal waters – including, of course, all Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Point Loma, Mission Bay – all the other beaches.

The water quality advisory is due to contamination by urban runoff following rains that occurred on March 10, 2018.

Swimmers, surfers, and other ocean users are warned

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Just How Many Torrey Pines Will Be Planted at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park?

March 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Contractor Tells OB Rag 51 Torrey Pines Will Be Planted at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

The OB Rag has just been contacted by Keith Adamek,vice-president of Silverstrand Construction – mentioned below – that the number of Torrey Pines trees they will plant is 51.

Virginia Wilson of Save Peninsula Trees told this reporter that the company working on developing Sunset Cliffs Natural Park had pledged to plant 130 Torrey Pine trees within the park. She had heard this number at the recent meeting of the citizens’ council that oversees the park from a representative of the company, Silverstrand Construction.

The planting of Torrey Pines is mentioned several times in the Master Plan for the Sunset Cliffs park – which is great. OBceans love Torrey Pines – and fight to keep them.

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Save Bahia Point Park – Paddle & Appreciation Day – Saturday, Mar. 10

March 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a “Save Bahia Point Park ! -Paddle & Appreciation Day” being put together by some of the beach folks mobilized against mega-hotelier … Evans public land grab at Bahia Point in Mission Bay. It’s happening Saturday, March10th.

From a flier put out:

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Blake Herrschaft Elected Chair of OB Planning Board – Forum on Dockless Bikes Held

March 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

New Executive Committee Chosen

At last night’s monthly Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting, Blake Herrschaft was elected Chair of the Board, a step up from his former position as vice-chair. And Andrea Schlageter was elected the new vice-chair – whose task mainly is to chair the monthly subcommittee meeting of the Project Review panel. Rounding out the Executive Committee, Craig Klein was selected again as the Treasurer and Dan Dennison the Secretary of the Board.

In community election results, the 4 incumbents who ran were all re-elected; they include Klein, Numan Stotz, Jane Gowronski and Schlageter. John Ambert and Bill Corbin have stepped off the Board. Ambert was chair for 4 years.

Discussion on Dockless Bikes

The main draw for the night’s meeting – evidenced by a packed meeting room and at least 3 television cameras – was a promised discussion or forum on the invasion into OB by bike-share, or dockless bikes.

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Tooling Around Point Loma and Ocean Beach – A Photo Gallery of Sorts

March 8, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

We were just tooling around the Point in my Nissan Verse, out to Ladera Street to check the stairs, up the road to see what’s happening with the trees and construction of the new park at Point Loma Natural, up Hill Street to inspect the progress of the new Point Loma Fire Station, then north to Voltaire to take in the views of the Upper Voltaire project. And everywhere (not literally) we saw LimeBikes – not in huge groups – but in ones, and twos ….

Ladera Street Stairs Still Accessible Despite Tape

The City of San Diego believes the cliffs around the end of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at Ladera Street are unsafe.

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Tonight – Ocean Beach Is the ‘Battleground’ over Dockless Bikes

March 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Tonight – Wednesday, March 7th – Ocean Beach becomes the focus in the “battle” over dockless bicycles, for representatives of 3 so-called bike-sharing companies will appear at the OB Planning Board. The Board holds their monthly meeting at 6pm in the Community Room of the OB Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

OB – as have other communities around San Diego – has been swamped of late with LimeBikes appearing overnight without warning. Tourists and visitors seem to like them – but what about locals?

Complaints about the lime green bikes have been sharp on OB’s social media

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