Ocean Beach

OB Planners and Town Council Consider Converting 5 Blocks of Bacon Street to One-Way ‘Slow Street’

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach organizations are considering turning 5 or so blocks of Bacon Street into a “slow street” which means converting it into one-way traffic going southbound, leaving the northbound lane for pedestrians, skateboarders and bicyclists. It would be from Voltaire to Saratoga.

On Wednesday night at their electronic meeting, the OB Planning Board voted in favor of making the temporary conversion. The initiative for this, for the proposed street change came from the Slow Street Initiative of the city of San Diego. Streets are blocked off with signs to through-traffic – and a section of Diamond Street in Pacific Beach has already made the conversion, as well as a street in Normal Heights.

For the last couple of years, OB planners have been talking up the idea of making Bacon a “bike-friendly” street. Those in favor think now is especially the time to make the changes, as it would make it makes it easier for people to run, bike and walk during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since sidewalks don’t always provide six feet separation.

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May 8, 1970 – the Day the Anti-Vietnam War Movement Came to Point Loma

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Exactly 50 years ago today, May 8, 1970, the anti-Vietnam war was thrust upon the sleepy neighborhood of Point Loma.

4,000 mainly college students showed up in the early hours of that day on Catalina Boulevard and created a passive resistance march and blockade of the gates of NEL, the Naval Electronics Lab (since renamed). NEL was known for its war-related research and the action was seen as a blow against the Vietnam war by thousands of trying to jam up the gears of the war machine.

Nixon had just invaded Cambodia instead of winding down the war, as he had promised. Protests at colleges and universities blew up across the nation. Protests at Kent State in Ohio turned deadly when National Guardsmen fired into crowds of unarmed demonstrators, killing four and wounding eleven others. Fifty years ago this day, the entrance to the military facility was effectively blocked

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City Police Review Board Asked to Investigate Arrest of Black Woman at Ocean Beach

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Community Review Board on Police Practices has been requested to investigate the arrest of an African-American woman on Friday, May 1, at Ocean Beach while walking her dog.

Filing a complaint with the Board, Francine Maxwell, president of the local NAACP office, said she wants it to investigate the arrest – an arrest which created a stir after it was recorded and shared on social media. Maxwell said three officers involved in the arrest used excessive force and she questioned whether they targeted the woman because of her race. Maxwell asked:

“Was she arrested because of her race? Was she assaulted because of her race? Would the officers have found a better way to deal with the situation if (she) had been white?”

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Councilwoman Campbell Calls for the Closure of Sunset Cliffs ‘Natural’ Park

May 8, 2020 by Source

In a statement that San Diego City Councilwoman Jen Campbell just released, she calls for the closure of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park due to San Diegans not following public health orders around Sunset Cliffs, and how the park is more of a regional attraction and not just a neighborhood park.

Here is her statement:

“Since our parks and beaches have been opened San Diegans have, for the most part, done an excellent job following public health orders while returning to public spaces for passive use. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park or in the greater Sunset Cliffs community.

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OB Planning Board to Meet Electronically Tonight, Wed., May 6 – Please Register

May 6, 2020 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hole its regularly scheduled monthly meeting tonight, May 6 – and it will be held electronically. Interested persons need to pre-register for the meeting – details below. As usual, the meeting will start at 6 pm.

On the agenda is a Budget Request Revision as the city has reprioritized its fiscal year 2012 budget due to budget shortfalls from the COVID-19 crisis. The Board is set to review and prioritize its own budget goals.

There’s a Park’s Master Plan to review and make recommendations upon also on tap. For the “Slow Streets Initiative”, the Board is also supposed to put together a map of possible routes it could follow.

The last Action item is the establishment of an “Ad Hoc Committee” to go over recommendations regarding short-term vacation rentals regulations.

Register for the Meeting

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Rough Treatment and Arrest of Black Woman Walking Her Dog at Ocean Beach Raises Questions

May 5, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The arrest and rough treatment Friday, May 1, of an African-American woman for walking her dog at Ocean Beach without a leash raises troubling questions.

A video taken of the incident shows a Black woman in a white bathing suit being taken into custody by several San Diego police officers, accompanied by a couple of lifeguard on the shores of Ocean Beach. She apparently had been noticed by lifeguards walking her dog without a leash.

During the incident, she was taken to the ground at least twice by officers, with her arms twisted behind her and handcuffed. She was taken down on the sand and then on the asphalt. At one point the woman being arrested asked bystanders to continue taking a video of the incident.

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery and the head of the local NAACP have raised questions about “equity in enforcement”.

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COVID-19: Re-Imagine Everything, Including Democracy

May 4, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

COVID-19 proves we no longer live in the age of “Readin, ‘Ritin and ‘Rithmetic.” Rather, the present includes the 4th Industrial Revolution; the equivalent of World War III; a replay of the Gilded Age; and the Great Depression; all occurring simultaneously.

Pandemics make history. And this pandemic is no exception. What kind of history COVID-19 leaves in its wake is still in question. Success or failure.

Most of history’s failures can be attributed to a lack of imagination. History’s triumphs, by contrast, sprung from fabulous imaginations.

Sometimes, real talent and artistry break through even in the darkest of hours. For example, the New Deal; the end of colonial rule; the rise of democracy; plus inventions, inventions, and more inventions. All the way from the light bulb to the Moon shot. From robotics and AI to the Internet.

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A Gray May Day in Ocean Beach and Latest San Diego County Numbers

May 1, 2020 by Staff

Charles Landon of StudioCapeMay took this shot Friday morning, May 1, of early enforcement.

Here’s today’s latest graph published by the San Diego Union-Tribune of San Diego County total deaths and total hospitalized. What we are not getting is a graph showing the daily new case rate (it’s in the larger graph but not very prominent). It’s not all that encouraging.

For reference, here are earlier graphs.

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Bumper-to-Bumper Traffic and Crowds at Sunset Cliffs at Night

May 1, 2020 by Staff

For several nights now, there’s been bumper-to-bumper traffic and crowds at Sunset Cliffs – with many people trying to to catch bioluminescent waves in the ocean.

Problem is – according to news reports – people are not practicing social or physical distancing and many are not wearing masks.

Neighbors are also complaining about the traffic and crowds. Cars are circulating trying to find parking – but the small mini-lots are closed.

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Only Orange County Beaches Are to Close Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It was all clarified by Thursday afternoon. Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the the temporary close of only Orange County state and local beaches beginning Friday, May 1. He gave the order, after some confusion, after thousands of people treated this past weekend like it was a holiday at the beach, particularly in LA and Orange Counties.

Which means San Diego beaches are still open – but their strict restrictions still apply. Currently, beachgoers are allowed to surf and swim in the water, as well as jog or stroll on the beach. But they have to keep moving: Sitting down or sunbathing is not permitted.

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Governor Newsom to Order All State Beaches and Parks Closed Again on Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Staff

UPDATE: Around 12:30 pm Thursday Mayor Faulconer tweeted that San Diego beaches will stay open – with restrictions still. Here is what Faucloner said:

Great news: the Governor heard us. San Diego beaches WILL STAY OPEN under our plan approved by lifeguards and health officials. In a time of great crisis we don’t need knee-jerk policies. We need to keep a steady hand. It’s the only way to keep the public’s trust. Keep it up, SD!

It appears that California Governor Newsom will be ordering all state beaches and parks to close again on Friday, May 1. A memo sent to California police chiefs on Wednesday says Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday to curb spread of the coronavirus.

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Harvard Has Released the Testing Plan That America Needs to Safely Reopen

April 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / April 26, 2020 – Updated April 29

Elizabeth Warren may not be running for President anymore, but “a plan” is still very much in vogue and demand. Especially given the still virulent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

Fact. We cannot stay in lockdown forever—especially with the predictions of second and third waves of the virus.

Fact. We cannot “defeat the invisible enemy” by listening to the President, who has called it a “hoax,” promised a miracle, and recommended dangerous treatments.

Fact. There are better, faster, and more intelligent ways to defeat COVID-19.

Simply put, we are not doing enough of anything; hence, slowly failing at everything.

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It Was an ‘OB-Whack-a-Mole’ for Ocean Beach Lifeguards on First Day of the Limited ‘Re-Opening’

April 28, 2020 by Source

Ken Stone and Chris Stone, over at the Times of San Diego, called it. They described what happened on the first day of the limited “re-opening” of the beach in Ocean Beach:

“a sand version of whack-a-mole ensued in Ocean Beach as lifeguards scurried to keep people moving.” In contrast to some other city beaches, where city officials congratulated beachgoers, “… Ocean Beach saw some lifeguards look weary.”

Here’s more of the Times’ take:

Lifeguards near the OB Pier dealt both with water safety problems — having to race into surf to check on people or warn them of danger — and repeatedly educating people about no-sitting or lying rules.

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Isn’t This What We’re Trying to Avoid? Hundreds Go Surfing in Pacific Beach

April 27, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The day after a protest in Pacific Beach against the COVID-19 restrictions, dozens – perhaps hundreds – of people show up and go surfing today, Monday, the first day of a limited opening of the beaches in San Diego.

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The Widder Curry Still Has Questions

April 27, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Maybe because I am a blond – with a lot more gray – but I am very puzzled by the new mandate that our Mayor is putting into place.

Effective sunrise Monday, April 27th, ocean access will begin.

That means you can go into the ocean and kayak, swim and surf. But it also means that you cannot sit on the sand; you can’t lie down on the sand; you can’t play volleyball and you cannot engage in group activities. You cannot go boating; you can’t walk on the piers, but you can run or walk on the sand. Does running or walking mean that if you have the virus you won’t deposit the germs on the sand, but if you are sitting you will?

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Reopening the Beach – OB Walkabout in the Plague Year, Part 4

April 27, 2020 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

I tried to get up in time for the 6:05 AM sunrise and beach reopening but overslept. By the time I walked down to Dog Beach, the sun had been up for an hour though you couldn’t see any sunlight as Coastal Eddy was in town.

Ran into some guys schlepping their boards down Voltaire and spoke to them briefly. They were jonesing to get out in the water after a month of no surfing and smiling ear to ear.

“How was it?” they asked a dude who had just come out of the water. “Wet”, he replied in a jaded tone of voice. I guess some people are just glass-half-empty at seven in the morning. Still, he was the only person on the beach that I saw today that didn’t have a smile on his face.

Between the jetty and the pier I counted about 70-80 people in the water and more were arriving by the minute. The parking lots remain closed and most of the people seemed to be locals walking down. I did see a few people parking on the street as close as they could get to the beach.

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On the Last Day of the Complete Beach Closure

April 26, 2020 by Source

It was the officers’ last day of the complete and full beach closure in Ocean Beach. Hopefully.

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On a Warm, Beautiful Sunday, Ocean Beach Keeps Off the Sand

April 26, 2020 by Staff

There wasn’t anyone on the sand. The parking lots were still closed. It was a warm and beautiful day in Ocean Beach. A day before the beaches were to partially re-open. And OB was keeping on with the restrictions.

OB Rag citizen reporter, Bob Edwards, took in the views at the coast and along the San Diego River. Here’s his pics and comments from today, Sunday, April 26.

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Fierce Blow-Back on Planned Protest of Restrictions in Pacific Beach

April 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a unprecedented and fierce blow-back on a planned protest against the coronavirus restrictions for Sunday in Pacific Beach – a day before many of the restrictions at the beach are to be lifted.

Local residents of PB are telling the organizers and participates to reconsider the use of their community as a stage by outsiders and not to put their neighbors and frontline people, like police officers, at risk by carrying out their protest.

The Pacific Beach Town Council, PB activists and Councilwoman Jen Campbell have all deplored the event, which is scheduled for a key intersection a block from the beach. Brian White, the president of the PB Town Council didn’t mince words when he asked the protesters to stay away:

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Late April 2020

April 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

OB Street Fair 2020 Likely to Be Cancelled

Whether OB’s iconic annual Street Fair will be cancelled this year or not due to the coronavirus situation was supposed to be decided by its main host, the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association Board on Thursday, April 23. But Denny Knox, its executive director told the press, “Our board didn’t take any action today. We’re waiting for the City to notify us we have to cancel.”

Bernie’s Bikes Is Still Open

There was a concern going around OB that Bernie’s Bikes on Cable had closed. But no, it’s open – but with limitations. See the sign on the front door. See this if you’re interested: San Diego bike shops riding high with sudden boom in sales.

Point Loma Summer Concerts Cancelled

The Point Loma Summer Concerts board has decided to postpone the 20th season of the Point Loma Summer Concerts until the summer of 2021.

With Faulconer Opening Sunset Cliffs Park – Too Many Visitors Not Employing Precautions

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Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach Reopens With Limitations

April 24, 2020 by Staff

by Bob Edwards

Earlier this week an OB RAG article noted that some San Diego City parks are starting to reopen with activity and physical distancing rules in place.

This reporter checked out Dusty Rhodes Park on Thursday, April 23 and took the accompanying photos.

The entry driveway on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. remains blocked off. Bike and foot traffic are the only ways to access the park at the present time.

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Without a Mandate, Jen Campbell Leads the Charge to Destroy the 30-Foot Height Limit in the Midway

April 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Councilwoman Jen Campbell, we find, is leading the charge to destroy the 30-foot height limit in the Midway District. And she is doing this despite the lack of any mandate from her District 2 community or constituents.

Yes, it is true, Campbell is touting the recent approval of her plan by the Midway planning committee.

But that decision by literally a handful of people who, under the cover of the pandemic, voted without public participation to get onboard her roaring train – is definitely not a mandate. There’s barely a Midway District resident on that committee of business-minded planners. Okay, there aren’t that many residents in the planning area, which also includes the Pacific Highway area. As OB Rag reporter Geoff Page recently described:

The Midway group is made up mostly of business people who own property or businesses in the Midway area. After having attended these meetings for more than three years, this reporter can say that this is a nice group of people, they are not a rapacious group of developers like the Mission Valley planning group. The Midway people have good reason for wanting to see the area improved, anyone who has spent any time there would understand. But, many do have a vested interest in the future development.

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Ocean Beach Town Council to Meet Wed., April 22 on Facebook Live

April 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Please join the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting this evening, April 22nd, at 7pm on Facebook Live.

As always, you’ll hear from elected officials, public servants, and the board. Also Assemblymember Todd Gloria – who is running for mayor – will be joining the OBTC on the call.

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What Local Ocean Beach and Point Loma Parks Are Open, and What Are the Rules?

April 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The City of San Diego reopened over 300 neighborhood parks, fields and trails on Tuesday, April 21 for walking and jogging under social distancing guidelines. However, major regional parks, shoreline parks, boardwalks, golf courses and most areas of Balboa Park remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the Ocean Beach and Point Loma parks that are open or still closed, and the rules.

Bill Cleator Community Park – Open

Bob Kenny Field (also known as Ocean Beach Elementary Joint Use) – Closed

Cabrillo Elementary Joint Use – Closed

Cabrillo Recreation Center – Closed

Cabrillo Tennis (SUP Holder) – Closed

Collier Neighborhood Park – Open

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Opening Up San Diego Too Quickly Expected to Backfire, County Officials Say

April 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Today’s San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the local county death toll jumped by 15 people Tuesday, April 21, and hit triple digits for the first time since April 4, according to the latest daily COVID-19 update from the county health department. These newly-counted deaths did not come on a single day but are a serious warning to those who talk about opening sectors of the economy prematurely.

County officials say that would “be expected to backfire.” According to the U-T:

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher made his daily effort to convey that those keeping these orders in effect in the face of public protest over the weekend are doing so out of a desire to prevent a deadly resurgence in cases such as the one now under way in Singapore.

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Arizona Wildcats’ Game Scoring Record-Holder Ernie McCray Celebrates 82nd Birthday With a Dance

April 21, 2020 by Source

By Javier Morales / AllSportsTucson.com / April 18, 2020

Ernie McCray turned 82 years old today, a legendary figure in Arizona history as the first African-American men’s basketball player to graduate from the school and also his program-record 46 points against Cal State Los Angeles 60 years ago at Bear Down Gym.

McCray, ever spry and whimsical, still writes a column titled, “Thoughts From the Soul of the Tucson Kid,” published by the OB (Ocean Beach) Rag.

The Tucson High School legend (Class of 1956) posted today this video of him celebrating his birthday, dancing at his San Diego home.

Made it.
82.
On my feet,
still grooving to a beat.
A moment…

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Outdoors Is the Way to Keep Your Sanity Indoors!

April 21, 2020 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

2020, the year of the coronavirus, is also the year of record-breaking rain, which could not have come at a better time, in the worst of times.

The rain helps keep us indoors during the storms, and we appreciate the outdoors much more when the sun is out!

A jungle surrounds me! My very healthy Spring garden is making me very healthy. My daily workout program consists of several hours of heavy-duty weeding, trimming, planting, and turning my huge compost pile. To top it all off, I’ve emptied countless buckets of rain-water into the garden. This routine is working every muscle in my body, which I can feel!

My fresh homegrown vegi-meals are spoiling me. Most restaurant meals may be a disappointment by the time they fully reopen when the lockdown lifts. But it will be enjoyable to sit at a table again and have someone else cook for me.

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Reader Rant: Barbara Bry and Kevin Faulconer Are Playing a Dangerous Game

April 21, 2020 by Source

The following opinion does not necessarily reflect the views of the OB Rag.

By Molly Maguire

Barbara Bry – who wants to be mayor – and now Mayor Kevin Faulconer – are playing a dangerous game with their calls to open up San Diego’s beaches.

On Friday, April 17, Bry called for the re-opening of the city’s beaches and parks during the first week of May – which is only 9 or so days away. They haven’t even been closed for a month yet. Well, almost. According to the Times of San Diego:

City Councilwoman Barbara Bry on Friday called for San Diego’s beaches and parks to be reopened as soon as the first week of May.

“As always, such decisions must be based on science and the advice of public health experts, but I believe it will be possible to develop prudent plans to reopen our beaches and parks by early next month,” she said.

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COVID-19 Protests – Genuine or Rent-a-Mob?

April 20, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

The open secret in politics is that most protests and rallies often look spontaneous and genuine, but are actually bought and paid for. These “rent-a-mob” activities designed to attract dramatic photo shots, lots of news coverage, social media hits, and propaganda.

Once aired only on the staid nightly news programs, as when the C.I.A. fomented demonstrations to overthrow Mosadddeq, and returned the Shah of Iran to power; these new protests often generate a disproportionate amount of attention.

Who are the protestors? Where do they come from? Why are they marching? Decide for yourself.

Look at the photographs. Study the videos. Who is holding the bull horn? Who is most vigorously waving the flag in front of the camera? Chanting the loudest. Look at the profile of the crowd. How many men, women, minorities? Old, young? Affluent or not?

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Ten Years Ago to the Day: In Search of 420 in Ocean Beach

April 20, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Pier cliffs on 4-20 005-sm

Editordude: Exactly ten years ago today, on April 20, 2010, we published the following post “In Search of 420 in OB.” What a difference a decade makes, eh?

Closing in on the 4th hour of the afternoon on April 20th (4/20), I grabbed my camera and note pad and headed for the beach. I was in search of the 420 celebration, hoping to catch OBceans partying for the holiday at 4:20 pm. I also hoped I would have more luck than other reporters searching for the same.

Easing my car into the lifeguard parking lot, I scanned the beach for a cannabis style floatopia or some such event. Yet, I saw only a couple here and there on the sand, enjoying the last rays of a sun about to be gobbled up by in-coming clouds. No mass gathering of youthful civil disobedients on this beach, flaunting johnny law to light up on this holiday.

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