Ocean Beach

OB Town Council Public Meeting and Candidate Forum – Online – Wed., Jan.27

January 26, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Town Council’s first public meeting of 2021 is their virtual candidate forum. The meeting will be online with Facebook Live on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 pm. Of course, it’s free and open to the public. But it’s virtual.

Candidates vying for a seat on the Board will introduce themselves to the community.

Voting begins Thursday, January 28th and ends Friday, February 5th. Election results will be certified and announced by February 10th.

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8 Residential Units Planned for Former Ranchos on Point Loma Avenue

January 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Eight residential units are planned for the old, Ranchos site on Point Loma Avenue.

An application for a Coastal Development Permit at 4705 Point Loma Avenue has been made by Isabella Vinueza Guzman. Guzman’s application requests a permit for the demolition of the existing retail structure – which years ago used to be a second Ranchos restaurant as well as a food store for the Peninsula – and the construction of two buildings with four units each for a total of eight new units. The application was filed on January 5, 2021.

Notice signs went up January 26 around the immediate neighborhood announcing the future decision by the city’s Development Services Department on the project. (See below.)

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Point Loma Democrats Vote to Support Campbell Recall

January 26, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

At their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Sunday night, Jan. 25, the Point Loma Democratic Club voted to support the recall effort of Councilwoman Jen Campbell. The vote was 18 to 5 in favor of the recall.

The Club released a statement that listed a number of issues that they believe Campbell has fallen down on:

Club members have seen Dr. Jen Campbell reject dialogue and side with industry and labor union leaders instead of working residents in her district on a host of issues: the coastal height limit, the rewilding of Mission Bay, short term vacation rentals, and homelessness, among many others.

Some in the minority in the vote wanted to put the decision off for another month – which would allow them to bring in more people to vote on the issue of the recall, presumably more who would vote against it.

A Club member told the OB Rag that the “regular members” of the organization were at the meeting that took the vote. Those are the folks who ought to make a decision like this.

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GoFundMe Page Set Up to Help Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach Rebuild

January 25, 2021 by Staff

A GoFundMe page has been established to help Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach rebuild. The restaurant suffered a major fire over the weekend.

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Coalition Warns Midway Planners About City’s New Master Park Plan – But Midway Doesn’t Care

January 25, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Midway-Pacific Highways Planning Group held its first monthly meeting of 2021, Wednesday, January 20, using the Zoom meeting on-line system. The only action item was a request for support from an all-volunteer organization that is advocating strongly for how parks are treated in the City’s new Complete Communities Plan. They don’t like some of what they see and they are alerting the public.

The “Parks and Recreation Coalition,” or PARC, consists of “city planners, landscape architects, architects, and community planners, each volunteering to improve the Parks Master Plan.” Some of the names are familiar including activist Tom Mullaney and former Planning Commission member Carolyn Chase. Here is the fill list of volunteers from PARC’s presentation:

Susan Baldwin, Nico Calavita, Carolyn Chase, Julie Corrales, Howard Greenstein, Diane Kane, Debby Knight, Stacey LoMedico, Tom Mullaney, Deborah Sharpe, Rene Smith, Mike Stepner, Andy Wiese, Wally Wulfeck

PARC has an immediate need for support of comments and requests PARC is putting to city council concerning the Parks Master Plan, or PMP, component of the Complete Communities Plan. These volunteers have pored over the city’s plan and found it wanting. The most serious concern, among a number, is the city’s proposal to completely drop the current design standard of 2.6 acres of park land per 1,000 residents in favor of a highly flawed points system.

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Stormy Sunset in OB

January 25, 2021 by Source


Stormy sunset in Ocean Beach by Cameron Crombie Reid, Jan. 23, 2021. Cameron said, “These iPhone 12s really do a great job.”

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – January 2021

January 22, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Real Estate Industry Awards “Public Official of the Year” to Trio – Including Jen Campbell

The San Diego Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA San Diego) awarded its 2021 Public Official of the Year Award earlier this month to a trio of City of San Diego figures: Council President Jennifer Campbell (District 2), Councilmember Chris Cate (District 6), and Planning Director, Mike Hansen. …
City Park & Rec Worker Got Her Start in OB

For the better part of 15 years, five days a week, San Diego Parks & Recreation Department employee America Diaz has set foot at the city’s shoreline parks with one job: to make them look better. “Me and my workers maintain the trash, pick up litter and would clean the bathrooms as best we could when the bathrooms were open,” she said. For the last 8 years, she’s worked at Scripps Park, but Diaz started with the city in Ocean Beach and at Belmont Park in Mission Beach before transferring to Scripps Park.

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Ocean Beach Black Lives Matter Caravan – Sunday, Jan.24

January 22, 2021 by Source

This Sunday, January 24, there will be an Ocean Beach Caravan for Justice for Black Lives Matter.

The two hour event will begin at Old Sea World Drive at 2 pm, when there will be car decorating; the caravan will start at 3 pm.

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Surfing Off the Big Jetty – By ACE

January 21, 2021 by Source

ACE – or Albert C Elliott – has shared some New Year surfing pics. And here they are – ‘surfing off the big jetty,’ in color and black & white – the days of the storm surf.

The photos were taken Jan. 16-Jan.18, 2021, at Dog Beach.

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‘Is the Customer Always Right?’

January 21, 2021 by Source

Straight-Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Hi Ed, I co-own a small, boutique clothing store in San Diego. A few days ago, a woman came to the register with a vintage leather aviator jacket. When I went to ring the item up, I noticed that the price on the tag was $29 when it should have been $299.

I apologized and said it was a typo but she demanded I honor the price on the tag. I told her that as a small business owner, I could not afford to let the jacket go that cheaply. She insisted that I was required to honor the price on the label and gave me that old line that, “The customer is always right.” A heated argument followed and I kicked her out of my store. So, what do you think? Was I in the wrong? Is the customer always right? How would you have handled it?

Just an Independent Businesswoman Trying to Get By

Dear Indie Businesswoman,

thanks for the questions. I will answer them in order.

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Run for a Seat on the Ocean Beach Town Council – Candidate Statements Due Monday, Jan.25

January 21, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) Board of Directors is now accepting Candidate Statements for the 2021 board election.

If you would like to take your community involvement to the next level, here’s a great opportunity to do so.

As a volunteer OBTC Director you would help to plan and organize the many local OB events produced by the Town Council. You will also serve as an elected voice communicating the views and needs of the community to the appropriate agencies, be at the forefront of community discussions, take appropriate action on community issues and be a leader in promoting the general betterment of Ocean Beach.

There are 15 seats on the Board of Directors. OBTC members elect Board Members for two-year terms. Half of the Board stands for election every year. This year, eight seats are up for election.

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Liz Cheney May Be the GOP’s Last Gasp for Relevance

January 21, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Helen Keller could have been describing today’s Republican party, when she remarked (over half a century ago); “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”

An apt portrait of today’s GOP that finds itself in disarray, disbelief, and even disgust as a minority party, lacking any vision (except blind loyalty to Trump) while now desperately trying to divorce themselves from his malignant legacy.

The Democrats won the trifecta; White House, the House and Senate.

Nowhere to hide after the Trump-inspired insurrectionist mob stormed the Capital, waving their Trump flags and promising eternal fealty to overthrowing the certified 2020 election results.

Then came the swift move for a second impeachment of the now “most unpopular President in U.S. History). Speaker Pelosi marshaled the House votes and signed the verdict to impeach Trump “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States” –

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Woman Fighting for Her Life After Scooter Crash in Ocean Beach

January 19, 2021 by Staff

An unidentified woman is fighting for her life after she was thrown from an electric scooter after it struck a crack in the road in Ocean Beach.

The 27-year-old woman was riding a Bird scooter Sunday afternoon, Jan. 17, on Cape May Avenue heading west towards the beach when the scooter hit a crack in the sidewalk. She was launched over the handlebars and head-first onto the pavement, SDPD said.

Medics transported her to the hospital, where she has remained with life-threatening injuries, including a brain bleed and a fractured skull. It is not known whether she was wearing a helmet.

SDPD’s Traffic division is investigating the incident.

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Projects on Lotus and Del Monte Up for Review at OB Planners’ Sub-Committee – Wed., Jan.20

January 19, 2021 by Staff

There are two projects up for review at the Wednesday night meeting of the Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of OB’s Planning Board.

Projects up for review include one at 5064 Lotus Street and 4675 Del Monte Avenue.

The volunteer panel will meet electronically, beginning at 6 pm (see below for registration info and links). Links to documents referenced in the agenda are also listed below.

Here is the official agenda:

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Open Letter to President Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain

January 19, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

An American dies from COVID-19 every 33 seconds.

Repeat. Every 33 seconds an American dies from the COVID-19 virus.

With that in mind, I write this blunt message to you as President Biden’s Chief of Staff-to-be.

There is no time for festivities. No time for press conferences. No time for photographs. Repetitious speeches or platitudes.

This is war; albeit against an invisible enemy. As Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher wrote: “Every battle is won or lost before it is even fought.” Plan, prepare, execute.

And most importantly, “Quickness is the essence of war.”

In order of priorities:

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Ocean Beach in 1978

January 18, 2021 by Source

Here’s a Channel 8 news report about Ocean Beach in 1978 by reporter Cathy Clark – inside.

It’s a great journey down memory lane for some – those of us who lived in OB that year.

But also, it’s a reminder of the problems OB has had over the decades. Check out the complaints by residents, businesses and visitors – do they sound similar?

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San Diego’s Right-Wing Extremist Roots, from KKK to QAnon

January 15, 2021 by Source

Hosted by Steve Chiotakis / KCRW / Jan. 14, 2021

The death of military veteran Ashli Babbitt at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 is shining a light on far-right extremism in San Diego County. Family and friends say the Ocean Beach resident was fervent in her beliefs on social media, amplifying QAnon conspiracy theories and anti-immigrant sentiment.

“Our region’s history of reactionary fascism goes back several decades,” says Joel Day, a research fellow at the USC Center for Public Diplomacy who specializes in combating violent extremism and homeland security.

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San Diego Law Enforcement Warn Trump Supporters About Any Violent Protests of Biden Inauguration

January 14, 2021 by Staff

San Diego County’s top state and federal prosecutors warned Trump supporters on Wednesday that any violence within the county related to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration would result in prosecution.

The joint statement from San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer was issued in connection with an FBI warning that armed protests were being planned at state capitols across the country in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The prosecutors also condemned last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said:

“We are issuing the strongest warning possible to anyone who is planning violence in connection with the inauguration. If you repeat the despicable behavior we saw at the Capitol last week, and if you disrespect our great democracy by bringing harm to people or property in a display of hatred and rage, the consequences will be swift and strong. You will be found, and you will be charged. Don’t let that become part of your story.”

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Serial Killer of Homeless Men – Including OBcean – Sentenced to 4 Life Sentences

January 13, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the serial killer of homeless men, Jon David Guerrero, was sentenced to four life sentences without parole, plus an additional 143 years to life in prison. One of those homeless men was an Ocean Beach man, Shawn Mitchell Longley.

Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2020 to murdering four homeless men during a grisly serial killing spree in 2016. Four of the sleeping, homeless men were stabbed to death with rail spikes and two of those were set on fire.

Guerrero also pleaded guilty to five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson. He agreed to be sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison. This will occur on May 1. The charges stem from his attacks on 12 men and one woman over six months between February and July 2016.

Guerrero is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he had been treated at Patton State Hospital, then returned to court where he was recently pronounced mentally competent in order to stand trial. He has a history of arrests and mental competency hearings.

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‘Tomcat’ – OB Blues Musician From the Seventies – Dies of COVID

January 13, 2021 by Source

This will hit die-hard OB blues fans hard. One of OB’s favorite blues musicians from the 1970’s, Tom “Tomcat” Courtney, has just passed after a battle with COVID-19. He was 91.

Here’s the report from NBC7:

Friends, loved ones and local music fans are mourning the death of Tom “Tomcat” Courtney, a Texas transplant and San Diego Music Award winner who was the longtime anchor of San Diego’s blues scene.

Courtney, who died Monday afternoon, was 91. He is survived by his longtime partner, Jojo Riegel, and a large extended family. Riegel told NBC 7 that his death followed a battle with the coronavirus that began in December.

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San Diego Police Sided With Pro-Trump Supporters During Clash in Pacific Beach on Saturday

January 12, 2021 by Source

Some observers questions whether police showed bias in the way they responded to Trump supporters versus counterprotesters, some of whom identified as anti-fascist

By David Hernandez / San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 11, 2021

When San Diego police declared an unlawful assembly during dueling protests in Pacific Beach on Saturday, Trump supporters stood on one side of a line of officers. Counterprotesters, some of whom identified as anti-fascist, stood on the other side of the police formation.

The Union-Tribune reported that both sides had skirmished quite a bit that day.

But it turns out the order to disperse applied only to one side — the group of counterprotesters, some of whom threw bottles, rocks and eggs at officers, a police spokesman said Monday.

Three counterprotesters were arrested: two adults who police said failed to disperse and a juvenile accused of assaulting an officer.

The police response to the two demonstrations raised questions among some observers about whether police showed bias based on race and/or ideology.

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Info on the Recall of Jen Campbell

January 12, 2021 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Until now, I didn’t know what was really happening with the recall of Councilmember Jennifer Campbell. I got a phone call from Bridger Langfur who kindly filled me in. Here’s what I learned.

The core of the movement is a large group of District 2 community members who, having witnessed Jennifer Campbell’s “governing style” over the last two years, now agree that her removal from office is the only way forward.

Campbell’s tenure has been characterized by reversals of promises she made during her campaign. Two notable examples are short term vacation rentals and the preservation of the 30 foot Coastal Height Limit Law.

During her campaign, she vowed to advocate for enforcement of the existing municipal code ordinances which prohibit short term rentals in residential zones. She’s now pushing an ordinance that not only would legalize short term rentals, but also earmarks thousands of San Diego housing units to be used as tourist lodging, in perpetuity, by billion dollar multinational corporations such as Airbnb and Expedia.

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OB Pier Damaged for Third Time in 5 Years

January 11, 2021 by Staff

For the fourth time over the last 5 years, the OB Pier has been damaged by big waves.

High surf and a high tide combined on Monday, Jan. 11, to raise the 10- 12-foot waves up enough to skin at least 100 feet of railing boards off the south side of the pier, a witness told NBC 7.

The Pier was damaged in 2016 2018, and in 2019. Lifeguards stated in a tweet that they anticipate the pier will remained closed until Tuesday, the 11th.

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No Time for Pot-Holes and Height Limits During National Security Crisis – Caused by Trump’s Insurrection

January 11, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

This is not news: the entire country is reeling from Trump’s insurrection attempt, and we’re in a very serious national security crisis as long as he’s in the White House.

The OB Rag believes this is such a serious crisis that we will refrain from publishing our usual array of articles – until the crisis has been resolved. We will continue, however, to post articles about this dark moment.

So, this is not a time for pot-holes and height limits. We cannot in good conscience pretend that everything is back to normal – and be focused on the local issues that usually take our attention. “Pot-holes” are synonymous with those ubiquitous, nagging problems that we wish government would fix. Height limits are damn important – but mean nothing if our federal government is attacked.

The Rag will continue to remind and inform our readers about this still evolving crisis. It’s not over yet. Armed white nationalists are still planning on more violence later this month – and not just at the Capitol on January 20 for Joe Biden’s inauguration.

There is some good news: there is a dramatic and deep revulsion going on across the nation against Trump, his acolytes, his fellow insurrectionists, his enablers in Congress and around the country.

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‘If There Ever Was a Reason to Leave Facebook …’

January 11, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

If ever there was a reason to leave Facebook in droves, the scene on January 6 in Washington, D.C., would be it. The LOSER would never have been elected were it not for Facebook.

In mid-November 2018, I wrote a piece in The OB Rag explaining why I deleted my Facebook account. I quoted the following paragraph from an article by Evan Osnos in the New Yorker. And before anyone turns their nose up at the New Yorker look at the piece titled “Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?” It is an exhaustive, detailed article.

The quote is from the LOSER’s campaign staff.

“During the campaign, Trump used Facebook to raise two hundred and eighty million dollars. Just days before the election, his team paid for a voter-suppression effort on the platform. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it targeted three Democratic constituencies—“idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans”—sending them videos precisely tailored to discourage them from turning out for Clinton. Theresa Hong, the Trump campaign’s digital-content director, later told an interviewer, “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.”

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Invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment – Sara Jacobs and Chuck Schumer Are Right

January 7, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

In medicine, a malignancy that threatens the life of a patient, must be removed.

So, too, in politics. When an American president threatens the very existence of democracy, he must be removed. And a constitutional remedy does exist.

Rep. Sara Jacobs of San Diego and Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer are correct. The Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet must invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment asap.

Section 4 states that if the vice president and a majority of Cabinet concludes the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they can put that in writing and send it to congressional leaders.

Once that happens, the vice president immediately becomes acting president.

If the president disputes it, (which he will) Congress decides the matter, with a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate needed to keep the vice president in charge. Surely, that discussion can eat up the remaining 13 days of the Trump presidency and deprive him of more abuses of power.

Quickest solution and should have been triggered last night.

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Trump and His Fascist Cohorts Must Be Held Accountable for the Attempted Coup on American Democracy

January 7, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

It’s difficult writing anything today after watching 16 hours of TV yesterday, trying to be a witness to the fully-anticipated attempt at a coup by Trump and his supporters – one of the darkest days in American history.

But the main thing that comes to mind is that Trump and those who instigated the attempt at a fascist coup yesterday on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol, need to be held accountable for what they did.

Read no further if you’re bothered by the term “fascist” here as I’m not going to spend time trying to justify the use of the word to describe Trump and his cohorts.

And plenty of pundits and politicians have already called what happened Wednesday, January 6th – a day of infamy – a “coup” and “insurrection.” Why, newly-elected President Joe Biden used those terms just today. He also called the mob that stormed the Capitol, “domestic terrorists.”

The terrorists, the insurrectionists, the mob, the fascist crowd – packed with Proud Boys, Qanon supporters, white nationalists, Klan supporters – have to be held accountable. They tried to take over our government and disrupt the business of Congress – making the final certification of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ election.

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Woman Killed During Insurrection at Capitol Was From Ocean Beach

January 6, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

The woman who was shot and killed inside the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday was from Ocean Beach, according to local media who have had contact with her extended family.

35-year-old Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt has been identified as the person who succumbed to a gunshot wound during the mob action. She had been carried out of the area on a stretcher and reportedly died at a hospital.

Babbitt was part of the violent pro-Trump insurrection and attempted take-over of the Capitol.

According to the Union-Tribune, a reporter spoke to a family member who said they saw videos of the incident and are positive the woman shot was Babbitt. “It’s her. It’s her. It’s definitely her,” the family member said. The family as of the local media reports had not been able to confirm anything with DC authorities. No one at the time of the report had contacted the family.

An Air Force veteran, Babbitt was a big Trump supporter, promoted QAnon conspiracies and her twitter page contained references to the fringe, extremist group. She had gone to DC to “stop the steal.” She wrote:

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‘Most of My Predictions for 2020 Have Come True’

January 5, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Exactly one year ago on January 2nd, 2020, I wrote a column with 10 predictions to cover the next 18 months. Checking now, almost all have come to fruition 6 months early.

In order of rank: Wins and Losses.

Best Prediction: “There will be a woman on the Democratic 2020 presidential ticket. Why? Because Nancy Pelosi will insist and California will deliver. That candidate will be Kamala Harris (whether as President or Vice-President).”

Next Up: Mitt Romney will rise to be the “conscience” of the Republican Senate. Indeed, the only GOP member to vote for impeachment; the earliest to confront the “election fraud” allegations; same with the separation of families on the border. And now his quote of the day,” “The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.”

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OB Planning Board to Prep for Annual Election – Now Is a Good Time for OBceans to Think About Running for All-Volunteer Board

January 5, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold its first monthly meeting of the new year on Wednesday, January 6. It will be held virtually via Cisco WebEx – and you can register for the meeting (see below).

The main item on the short agenda is the formation of an election committee to oversee the annual community election to the Board in March. Every year in March, about half the Board seats are open for election. And it’s quite an honor – and responsibility – to sit on the Board and represent your district.

In fact, now is a good time to think about running for the Board. You don’t have to be an engineer, a social scientist, or planner, you just have to be interested in your OB community, its history, and concerned for its future.

Here are some of the Board Member and Candidate Eligibility requirements & Instructions

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