Ocean Beach

Peninsula Planning Board Approves ‘Nimitz Crossing’ Conversion of Retail to Residential

July 29, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

Conversion of retail space to residential space was the topic with the most far-reaching consequences for the community at the Peninsula Community Planning Board’s July 22nd regular monthly meeting.

Nimitz Crossing

The new development, Nimitz Crossing, is just east of Nimitz on Voltaire. This project would be the first one on the peninsula to take advantage of new rules allowing this kind of conversion.

The “mixed-use” type of project has been the favorite development fad for the past 15 to 20 years and it has proven to be a disaster. There are three of these projects within a quarter mile of each other on Voltaire and the retail parts of the mixed-use buildings have never been filled. The Famosa project on the corner of Catalina and Voltaire briefly had a coffee shop in their space but it has been vacant for years since that closed.

Because the mixed-use model did not work for Nimitz Crossing, the owners want permission to convert the unused retail to a series of studio apartments.

The crux of the matter is this.

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Arrest Made in Violent Assault in Ocean Beach Over Firepit

July 29, 2021 by Staff

San Diego police have confirmed a man has been arrested in connection with a violent attack in Ocean Beach on June 15 over a firepit. 34-year-old Gabriel Ramos was arrested on June 24 for a violent assault on Kobe La.

Kobe La and his girlfriend Kristina Castillo were at the beach for a fun time with friends, but it turned ugly.

In the evening, a man approached them and claimed that they stole his spot on the beach.

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San Diego Is About to Sell Off Our Public Spaces for Outdoor Dining

July 28, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s not being touted as a “sell-off”, but that’s really what it is. The City of San Diego is preparing to sell the public spaces, the sidewalks and parking spaces that restaurants used during the pandemic – to those businesses. It’s called a “fee” but it’s more like a sale or lease.

The city is moving in the direction of making the parking spaces and sidewalks taken over by restaurants during the last 15 months or so “permanent.”

Let’s call it for what it is. The privatization of public space, of the “commons.”

City officials announced Monday a new program to “make permanent the emergency outdoor dining permits the city issued to restaurants across the city shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began,” as the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The new program, “Spaces as Places” is admirable on its face. As the U-T described:

In exchange for allowing restaurants to permanently expand into outdoor spaces like sidewalks and on-street parking spots, the city would collect a fee to cover recreational amenities that would aim to make streets more like public promenades.

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OB Town Council Meets Wednesday, July 28

July 28, 2021 by Source

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The Ocean Beach Pier – Past, Present, and Future

July 27, 2021 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Ocean Beach Pier was the main subject of the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democratic Club meeting Sunday, July 25. The club invited local OB historian and author Kathy Blavatt, mayor Gloria’s representative Kohta Zaiser, and this writer to provide information on the pier – past, present, and future.

When the discussion moved on to the pier, Kathy Blavatt was up first, providing history on, and pictures of, the pier and OB. Blavatt was a contributor to Ocean Beach, a history book by the Ocean Beach Historical Society, and wrote Ocean Beach Where Land And Water Meet. Blavatt’s account covered the waterfront of OB including the older buildings that were once there, the saltwater pool, and Wonderland Amusement Park.

It is ironic that Wonderland was mentioned. OB had an early demonstration of what the ocean could easily do to when man build. The ocean put an end to the giant amusement park barely two and a half years after it opened.

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A Return to a Favorite After 10 Years – Taste of the Himalayas in the Midway

July 27, 2021 by Judi Curry

Restaurant Review

Taste of the Himalayas
3185 Midway Drive
San Diego, CA 92110

By Judi Curry

One of the first restaurants in San Diego that I reviewed was the Taste of the Himalayas, way back in 2011 – almost ten years to the day. A lot has transpired in those ten years, and a former student from Switzerland that was with me during those years, suggested that we try it for lunch. I have been back there many times; the food has always been good, reasonable; different, and I have introduced many people to Indian food there.

Corinne and I decided to arrive about 11:30 am for lunch. We wanted to get there early before the crowd arrived – if, indeed, there was a crowd. Few things have changed, but those that we noticed were nice. For one thing, the back room was used for lunch. In the past, I have always eaten in the front room, which I like because it gives me an opportunity to see who is coming in to eat, who is coming in for take-out, etc.

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Inside Baseball and the ‘Blueprint San Diego’ Scam

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

If you hang around journalists for any length of time, you’ll hear the term “inside baseball.” It’s the metaphor of choice for explaining the things that *don’t* get reported in a story.

Normally meant to describe the nuances of how political decisions are made, in San Diego it’s also about certain media collaborating with the players on whom they report.

The big teams in this league are lobbyist and issue advocacy nonprofits such as Circulate San Diego, BikeSD, the Climate Action Campaign, and Voice of San Diego. They improperly self-report to the IRS not as 501(c)4 “social welfare organizations” — for whom donors’ contributions are taxable yet can engage in political activity, but as 501(c)3 “charities” — which are restricted from political activity as a consequence of donors being able to wholly deduct their contributions.

Once you know the rules you can see how the game is played.

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Heroes of the Week:  Governor of Alabama, the NFL, and Tokyo Olympics

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Finally, some clarity from unlikely quarters. No more bumbles, stumbles, and contradictory sound-bytes.

Start with the best truth teller on the planet; Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey. Her candor on COVID caught everyone by surprise. She blasted a reporter who asked, “What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?”

“I don’t know — you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

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The Way We Were – Ocean Beach in the Spring of 2020 – A Photo Gallery

July 23, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a jog down ol’ memory lane, from the Spring of 2020. A photo gallery to remind us all of the way we were. (Most recent up front.)
Posted June 2, 2020

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Local ‘Serial Good Samaritan’ Hospitalized For Trying to Put Out Fire in Stranger’s Vehicle

July 22, 2021 by Source

Diane Bell, the U-T columnist, showcased local Michael Pallamary as a “serial good Samaritan” in today’s column. Apparently, Michael had to be hospitalized recently for injuries he suffered trying to put out a stranger’s vehicle fire on Rosecrans Street.

By Diane Bell / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 22, 2021

Michael Pallamary is a serial good Samaritan.

The San Diego businessman’s most recent rescue was about noon on July 10 when he spotted smoke coming from a van on Rosecrans Street near its intersection with Interstate 5 East. Pallamary didn’t hesitate to pull over his car to help — and his heroics landed him in the hospital.

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Will Point Loma High School Be Ready for its Opening on August 26? – Updated

July 22, 2021 by Source

School begins August 26. Will the “new” Point Loma High School be ready?

The principal is optimistic.

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New Ocean Beach Library Manager – Helene Idels

July 22, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Library has a new branch manager: Helene Idels.

Here is what the Friends of the OB Library reported in their April 2021 newsletter:

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Talk by Geoff Page on the Ocean Beach Pier – Sunday, July 25

July 22, 2021 by Source

Reporter Geoff Page will be giving a talk on the “OB Pier – Past, Present and Future” this Sunday, July 25 at the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democrats zoom meeting.

Here is what the Club announced:
Regular contributor to the OB Rag, Geoff Page, will bring us up to speed on the saga of the OB Pier.

Geoff Page has contributed several articles on the state of the pier to the OB Rag, who broke the story that engineering reports commissioned by the city in 2004, 2016 and 2019 highlighted the state of the pier and recommended keeping

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Neighbors Complaining About ‘Rogue’ Bicycle Riders in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

July 20, 2021 by Staff

Neighbors near the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and other are complaining they are seeing more and more rogue bikers all over the park. The bicyclists are destroying the newly re-vegetated areas, damaging the trails they are not allowed on. They are also a serious safety hazard to the visitors to the park.

As one neighbor told the OB Rag:

The City recently spent millions of dollars on the park and have failed to maintain it or supervise activity in the park. The illegal riders are there every morning and evening and often all day.

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Sports Arena Area to Be Declared ‘Surplus Land’ August 3 to Allow Affordable Housing in New Redevelopment

July 20, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On August 3, the City of San Diego will declare the Sports Arena area as surplus land to comply with the state’s Surplus Land Act. This will set off a new, legal process of opening up the bidding for the redevelopment of the 48-acre site.

And for the first time, there is a very real chance the process will require the construction of affordable housing at the Arena tract. Neither Faulconer’s initiative nor Measure E which passed last November required affordable housing to be included.

Declaring the Sports Arena area as surplus land, the first step

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Bridge Housing Corp. Selected by City Council to Build in Controversial Famosa Canyon

July 19, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, July 13, the San Diego City Council authorized the San Diego Housing Commission to build up to 78 affordable housing units on the 5-acre parcel in Famosa Canyon. The council entered into an agreement with Bridge Housing Corporation to design housing units at the southeast corner of Famosa and Nimitz boulevards.

The decision appears to resolve the controversies over the site, one of the last open spaces in Point Loma and used by kids on bikes for generations. Many in the community have fought this development for years, at the grassroots level and at the local planning board level. But it appears to no avail.

Opponents of the development have been characterized as “NIMBYs” and even “racist” by its advocates,

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The Owner of Fairouz Cafe in the Midway Has a Love Story to Tell

July 19, 2021 by Judi Curry

Talent Abounds in Ibraham Al Nashashibi

By Judi Curry

I have been an educator for over 40 years and have never met a more talented person than Al. I have never met a more talented person that is so unassuming about his talent. If you have ever met this man you are almost immediately aware of the great attributes that he has to offer, for he is the owner of Fairouz Café on Midway Drive. But this article is not about the restaurant; rather it is about the man that created it and showcases the tremendous talent he has to offer to the world.

Al was born in Jerusalem, and among the various occupations he has tried, besides being a restaurateur,

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‘Circulate San Diego’ Shows Its True Pro-Developer Colors By Supporting Navy’s Densest Development Proposal for Old Town

July 16, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The gloves are off! The group “Circulate San Diego” has dropped its environmentally-friendly facade and has now unfurled its full pro-developer colors. It has done this with the group’s recent endorsement of the most dense development proposed by the Navy for NAVWAR or the Old Town area.

Circulate San Diego has come out in public support for the Navy’s preferred Alternate 4. As Jim Perry, Barbara McDonald, and Mary Koto wrote in a recent OB Rag post:

Alternative 4 is the Navy and City’s Preferred Alternative. The existing NAVWAR buildings will be replaced with up to 109 new buildings. There will be up to 35 high rise buildings with a 350 foot maximum (about 32 stories).

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Detailed Drawings for Proposed Deck at Inn at Sunset Cliffs

July 16, 2021 by Staff

There was so much interest in Geoff Page’s report on the OB Planning Board’s review of the proposed deck at the Inn at Sunset Cliffs, that we decided to post its detailed drawings. The images were presented during the OBPB meeting. (More details about the images and drawings may be forthcoming …)

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Ah, the Age-Old ‘Should I Tell the Friend About Their Cheating Significant Other’ Dilemma

July 15, 2021 by Source

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear SWAT,

I know this question has been asked of a million advice columnists already but I’d like to hear your take on it. I recently discovered my friend’s boyfriend of seven years is cheating on her. Should I tell my friend?”

Sincerely, Phillip of Bankers Hill

Ah yes, the age-old, “Should-I-Tell-The-Friend-About-Their-Significant-Cheating-Other” (SITTFATSCO) question. You’re right. SITTFATSCO is probably the oldest and most often asked question of advice columnists. In fact, it was the very first query answered by the very first advice columnist, midwife Cinderwench Wartyface, in the Hertfordshire Town Crier in 1547. It went like this:

“Deary Cinderwench, mine own freond’s jointress hath committed adult’ry with a hairy scallywag. Shoulds’t I acquaint hire? Sincerely, Eathellrelda from Boggy Slogs, Hertfordshire.”

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Deadline for San Diego Outdoor Eating Areas to Get Up to Code Extended to August 2

July 14, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Restaurants in Ocean Beach and across busy sections of San Diego have been given a reprieve by the city of San Diego. The city has extended its deadline to bring outdoor dining areas up to code. The previous deadline was Tuesday, July 13 and business owners would have been liable for a daily fine of $10,000 if their “parklets” for outdoor dining were not scaled back.

A city spokesperson said in a statement on Temporary Outdoor Business Operation (TOBO) structures:

“In an effort to work with our clients and give businesses more time to meet the guidelines and enforcement of TOBO structures, the City has decided to begin enforcement on Monday, Aug. 2.

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Restaurant Review: Breakfast Republic in Ocean Beach

July 14, 2021 by Judi Curry

Breakfast Republic
4839 Newport Avenue
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
Open from 7:00am – 3:00pm.

By Judi Curry

It seems like forever since I stepped into a restaurant for a meal. Perhaps because it has been over a year since I really did an “inside” review. Yesterday I decided it was time to break that barrier, and went with Al, the owner of Fairouz Restaurant, to one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast. Suffice it to say, he had never been there; in fact, he hasn’t been to many San Diego restaurants because you can usually find him at his own establishment. I was curious to see what he thought of the décor; the wait staff; and, of course, the food.

There was a very short wait for our table at 10:00 am, but by the time we left an hour and a half later, customers were lined up on the stairs

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The Navy Is Launching a Major Redevelopment Project and Many San Diegans Aren’t Paying Attention

July 14, 2021 by Source

By Phillip Halpern / San Diego Union-Tribune OpEd / July 13, 2021

The U.S. Navy has embraced “stealth” technology with the launch of three Zumwalt class warships. This technology allows the ships to elude radar, sail into enemy territory undetected and conduct surveillance in a clandestine manner. Such stealth strategies are, of course, both necessary and laudable when undertaken in the national interest.

Unfortunately, the Navy has also recently launched a stealthy redevelopment project, which has been flying under the radar of most San Diego residents. This project — which is shamefully supported by the city of San Diego — seeks to modernize the old SPAWAR site

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Deck Expansion at Inn at Sunset Cliffs Nixed by OB Planning Board

July 13, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Inn At Sunset Cliffs dominated the discussion during the Ocean Beach Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting, Wednesday, July 7. A cycling issue was listed on the consent agenda but it was pulled by the board’s vice chair, Kevin Hastings. It was placed at the end of the agenda but the meeting went on for three hours and the board did not get to it. It will be discussed at the next meeting.

Ocean Front Project Approved Without Discussion

There was a second consent agenda item that was passed:

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Public Comment Today on Famosa-Nimitz Development

July 13, 2021 by Source

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The Tide May Be Turning on Pro-Developer ‘Rise Uptown’ Type Slates in Local Planning Group Elections

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

As any regular reader of the OB Rag can tell you, the undertow of all San Diego politics is not just money but developer money. With the meltdown of the Republican Party and the rise of California as a de facto one-party state under the Democrats, developers and former GOP influence peddlers pivoted to rebrand their same trickle-down policies as “progressive.”

Their success at this has meant that most every politician and pundit regardless of party now self-identifies as YIMBY, for ‘yes in my back yard.’

Consider how this has been playing out at even the local level.

Sometime before 2019, the city attorney’s office decided to make a quiet but very consequential change in how it would interpret the law governing community planning groups (CPGs).

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City Commission for Arts and Culture Awards $400,000 to Peninsula Groups

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Tracy Dezenzo

Congratulation are in order to our local Peninsula awardees!

The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture announced 174 funding awards for FY2022. More than $7.7 million will be distributed to nonprofits that make meaningful impacts in communities and expand access to arts and culture throughout the city. But locally, more than $400,000 is going to 16 organizations in Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Midway district.

The groups awarded include:

Ocean Beach:

  • Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association

Point Loma:

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Democracy’s Refugees: Offer Them Sanctuary

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a time to be alive. Wake up early and pay attention.

Tuesday offers all manner of news about chaos; pandemics, culture feuds, cyber-terrorism, domestic terrorism, racial and sexual cruelties, financial and food insecurities, raging fires, and devastating drought, alongside a couple billionaires blasting into space.

Forget the World Soccer Cup matches that unleashed hideous social network racism against Black players on England’s losing team; or the nail-biting (and history-making) Wimbledon finals or even the coming fan-less Tokyo Olympics.

The most riveting political spectacle (with massive consequences for the future of democracy) is Tuesday’s duel between Texas and Washington, D.C. 67 Democrats in the Texas legislature, flew to D.C. on Monday,

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Sophisticated Spam Call at 10:47 pm

July 12, 2021 by Judi Curry

The Widow Curry with a warning

By Judi Curry

SCENARIO: Household sound asleep on a Saturday night. The telephone rings at 10:47pm. A woman’s voice says, “May I speak to Judith Curry please. This is the fraud unit of Target credit card and we have detected a fraud billing of $475 on her account.”

“This is Judith.”
“I am so sorry to wake you up but we have detected a $475 on your Target account for pharmacy items. Have you shopped the pharmacy at Target recently?”
“Have you made a $475 purchase at Target at all?”
“Do you know where your credit card is?”

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State Budget Includes $8.4 Million for Ocean Beach Pier ‘Renovation’

July 12, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The California state budget signed recently by Gov. Gavin Newsom includes $8.4 million to the city of San Diego for the Ocean Beach Pier “renovation.”

Lawmakers are still ironing out details, but according to the Voice of San Diego – which made a list of what San Diego is set to get out of the budget so far – OB’s Pier will get some of that share.

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