February 22, 1974 – The Day Ocean Beach Lost Its Innocence

February 22, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

February 22, 1974 was the day Ocean Beach lost its innocence. It was the day a man – recently released from prison – who was associated with the then network of OB radicals, tried to commit what we today call “suicide by cop.”

Peter Mahone walked up to a San Diego Police officer sitting in his patrol car in the OB Pier parking lot – and pulled out a gun and shot him. Mahone then calmly walked back to his little shack on Abbott and waited for the fusillade. And it came with a vengeance. Police surrounded Peter’s little hole in the wall and poured lead into it.

Miraculously, no one died that day. The officer shot in the parking lot survived – as did Peter Mahone.

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Good Samaritan Surfer Saves Sunset Cliffs Jumper

February 22, 2021 by Staff

On Saturday, Feb. 20, an unidentified man in this 20s jumped into the waters off Sunset Cliffs about 5 pm. He started having trouble getting out of the water and someone called 911.

When lifeguards arrived at the scene, they saw that a good Samaritan surfer had pushed his surfboard over to the man who jumped to keep him afloat.

The water craft team pulled the man from the water and got him to pocket beach, known as, No Surf Beach. Lifeguards said the man had an extremely low body temperature and needed to be evaluated quickly.

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OB Town Council Welcomes New Board Members

February 22, 2021 by Staff

The Ocean Beach Town Council welcomes it newly elected Board members.

Incumbents who were re-elected include:

  • Corey Dylan Bruins
  • Trudy Levenson
  • Sir Isaac Darby
  • Stephanie Wilcox Kane
  • Scott Grace, and
  • Stacie Woehrle

Brand new Board members include:

  • Gary Gartner and
  • Aaron Null
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Make Your Voice Heard During City Council Hearing on Campbell’s Plan for Short-Term Vacation Rentals – Tues., Feb.23

February 22, 2021 by Staff

Campbell’s Catastrophic Plan Threatens Our Housing Stock

Join other San Diegans in making your voice heard during the upcoming hearing by the San Diego City Council on Jen Campbell’s catastrophic plan for short-term rentals.

Campbell’s plan is a threat to the housing stock of San Diego, particularly to the city’s coastal neighborhoods – where the massive numbers of STVRs are the highest.

Other groups, like Save San Diego Neighborhoods, say it is a “multibillion dollar theft of San Diego housing, by legalizing short term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods Citywide! This ill-conceived proposed ordinance is another Campbell giveaway to big business, special interests and their lobbyists – at our expensive.”

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Midway Planners Continue Isolationist Stance -Reject Support for Critique of City Parks Plan and for OB’s Recommendations to Short-Term Vacation Rentalss

February 22, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group has changed ever since the successful ballot measure last November to remove the thirty-foot height limit within their boundaries. Two positions the group took at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, February 17, were decidedly isolationist. It appears that Midway, now that they got the one thing they wanted, looks at everything only in relation to themselves.

As related in the report of the January meeting, an all-volunteer group of professionals called PARC, made a presentation. It was a detailed review of the city’s Master Plan, specifically the Parks portion, and a list of recommendations they believe are critical. In January, the Midway group voted to table the item until February because there was so much information to absorb.

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Love Among the Ruins: ‘The Road Ahead’ and ‘Nomadland’

February 22, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Unable to travel? Unhappy about sheltering in place? Depressed about our blue planet’s future; aging; or just in a funk about the enormity of change and loss.

Fret not. There is a remedy close at hand. In fact, two of them; both contenders for big acting awards; directing awards; foreign film and storytelling awards.

Think about it. A dreadful 2020 year producing two marvelous films (both based on books) with two great, older actresses.

The stories confront generational and cultural sufferings without sentimentality and hardly any make-up.

The first, The Life Ahead, starring 86-year-old, Sophia Loren, (where she plays the lead as Madame Rosa) has already won the San Diego Film Critics Society “Best International Film” award, and the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival nod for Best Actress.

Oscar nominations and award decisions are still pending; delayed due to the pandemic.

At age 86, Sophia Loren has already collected five Golden Globes, 10 Donatellos, one BAFTA, one Grammy, two Oscars, not to mention multiple lifetime achievement awards.

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Blaming the Wind for the Mess in Texas Is Painfully Absurd

February 19, 2021 by Source

By Bill McKibben / Reader Supported News – The New Yorker / February 18, 2021

Sometimes, all you need is a map. In the wake of this week’s power failures in Texas, which have left millions without heat in subfreezing conditions, right-wing politicians and news networks decided that the emergency was down to “frozen wind turbines,” a phrase that has now been repeated ad infinitum on all the various ganglia that make up the conservative “information” network.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which has managed to be wrong about energy and climate for more than four decades, put it like this:

“Gas and power prices have spiked across the central U.S. while Texas regulators ordered rolling blackouts Monday as an Arctic blast has frozen wind turbines.”

Governor Greg Abbott took time out from failing to deal with the emergency that had imperiled many in his state to tell Fox News that “this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America.”

Not to be outdone, on Tuesday afternoon, Representative Dan Crenshaw, a Republican who represents Texas’s second congressional district, including parts of Houston, tweeted that “this is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source.”

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Campbell Responds to Recall: ‘Elites’ and ‘Extremists’ Are Behind Campaign

February 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Jen Campbell, currently siting in the District 2 chair of the City Council, has officially responded to the recall campaign organized by her constituents.

She said the recall campaign is being driven by “elites” and “extremists,” and is reckless, divisive, expensive and a distraction during the pandemic.

Campbell’s official response stated:

“This unnecessary recall election will cost taxpayers $2 million that should go to emergency COVID-19 response instead. Reject this reckless recall.”

According to the San Diego U-T: “The $2 million figure is what the county Registrar of Voters estimates as the cost for a special election, which would likely take place in late November or early December.”

Campbell’s statement attacked recall proponents, labeling them, “elites and extremists who expect our elected officials to work toward their interests, instead of building consensus to move all of San Diego forward.”

Her response focuses on her medical experience and how that is helping the city fight COVID-19. The statement describes her as a “board-certified medical physician with the unique experience we need now to protect public health, defeat the virus and get life back to normal.” The U-T commented that the statement did not mention that she is retired.

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Unlicensed Vendors and Crowded Drum Circle Still Go Unchecked

February 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s all happening again – or we should say – it all is still going on. Unlicensed or unpermitted vendors and a crowded, loud drum circle are all still going on unchecked at Ocean Beach’s Veteran Plaza on Wednesdays during Farmers Market Day.

Last summer, politicians, health workers and police attempted to stop the drum circle gatherings – or appeared to – after pressure from the OB Town Council and neighbors. But, their efforts have washed away like a sand castle during high tide.

The vendors are back, the crowds are back – with many not wearing masks.

Corey Bruins, with the OB Town Council, tried to bring it to the attention of the city – once again – and was interviewed Wednesday by CBS8.

Bruins was quoted as saying:

“It’s unregulated, we’re in the midst of a pandemic. There are crowds. … We have a thriving beach community down the street that’s regulated by our Main Street association and just here in front of the beach we have a park that is not regulated and not being checked….”

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Meet the First Woman Mayor of Tijuana – San Diego Mayor Gloria Just Did

February 18, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria just met the “new” mayor of Tijuana – Karla Ruiz MacFarland. She is the city of 2 million’s first woman mayor.

The two mayors met Tuesday, Feb. 16, virtually, and they both pledged to strengthen the cross-border relationship between the two cities, including safety measures for the pandemic. In a news release, Gloria said:

“Our relationship with Tijuana is about much more than trade or economics –- it’s about people. Our cities are inextricably linked, and it’s more important than ever for the leadership of our two cities to work together during these times.”

He will work with the new Tijuana mayor to “ensure the health, safety, and sustainability of our megaregion and stand united on issues of immigration, commerce, and cross-border pollution.”

In a press release by Gloria’s office, the two mayors called out the significance of the meeting, as both mayors represent firsts: the first person of color and LGBT elected mayor of San Diego and the first female mayor in Tijuana.

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Trump Incited Mob — After Lifetime of Hobnobbing with Mobsters

February 18, 2021 by Source

By Don Bauder / Times of San Diego / Feb. 18, 2021

A mob incited by then-President Trump invaded the Capitol. Everybody knows about that mob.

But what about the other mob that has been nurtured, cuddled, stroked by Trump? By whatever name — Mafia, organized crime, gangsters — this mob has gotten very little media attention, particularly in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Let’s call the first Mob 1 and the second Mob 2.

As noted last September, I have followed Trump’s Mob 2 since the 1980s. But in this essay, I will rely on works of three great investigative journalists: David Cay Johnston, an expert on Trump’s fraudulent finances; the late Wayne Barrett, who for decades reported on Trump and other New York crooks, and Dan E. Moldea, the reporter who exposed the cozy relationship between professional sports team owners and organized crime.

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‘There’s Been Worse Times – Can You Imagine Living in Europe During the 1300s?’

February 18, 2021 by Source

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Hi Ed, I was all set to have a small (and safe) birthday gathering in my back yard with a handful of close friends. But the day before my birthday, the riot at the capital happened and two of my friends backed out . . . One of them said she couldn’t justify going to a party while, as she put it, “[T]he country is on fire.” The other one said that the riot was the last straw, on top of rising COVID-19 and mounting police brutality incidents . . . She even insinuated that I should have cancelled outright. I didn’t, but do you think she was right?

Julene H.M.

Dear Julene, I can’t help but wonder if people like this are real and if so, why they didn’t just slit their own wrists in the womb. Ok, sure, 2020 has been a festering canker on the anus of humanity, but what does 2020 expect us to do, crawl in a cave and watch stalactites grow? If you think like that you’ll always find a reason to avoid living in the moment.

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Memories of the Closures and Damage of the Ocean Beach Pier

February 17, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Pier overflow 12-28-09-sm

With all the discussion about the current state of the Ocean Beach Pier, we thought about all the times over the past 12 years the pier has been forced to close and damaged. Here, then, is a memory tour of many of those moments, and a reminder of how much we all love the OB Pier. (The text and photos are from posts at the OB Rag.)

OB Pier – Monday, December 28, 2009. Photo by Jim Grant.

December 28, 2009 – The big news around downtown OB today was the big waves, number one – which forced the OB Pier to be closed by lifeguards. With large swells arriving up and down the Southern Cal coast, and with a National Weather Service high surf advisory in effect until 10 p.m. on Monday, local lifeguards had to close the pier, while a few top-notch surfers braved the waves – which could have been as high as 8 feet.

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Are You Interested in Being a Part of Your Ocean Beach Community Governance? OB Planning Board Election and Candidate Forms.

February 17, 2021 by Source

by OBPB

The OB Planning Board is holding elections on March 3, 2021. If you’ve attended a Planning Board meeting within the LAST 12 months, are at least 18, and live, own property or own a business within the OB Planning Area, the Planning Board invites you to submit an application to be a WRITE-IN candidate. Please submit your application by March 2, 2021.

Elections

3 Ways to Vote in 2021

By mail: Print and mail your voter registration form and ballot to Ocean Beach Planning Board, 4876 Santa Monica Ave. #133, San Diego, CA 92107. Must be in our mail box by 4 pm, March 3, 2021 to be counted.

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Is This the End of the Ocean Beach Pier?

February 16, 2021 by Staff

By Geoff Page

A recent puff piece in the local weekly newspaper about the Ocean Beach Pier can serve as an illustration of the differences between what readers get in The OB Rag what readers see in the other local paper. What people need to read about are things that matter. The pier doesn’t need a puff piece, it may need an obituary.

The Beacon article asked why “the fuss over a few washed-out railings?” The answer lies later in the piece after a brief bit of history. That history included a colossal mistake and a truly idiotic location chosen for the pier.

First, the railing comment. The article quoted the general contractor that built the pier as saying:

“Those railings are doing exactly what they were meant to do — wash away in high seas, lessening resistance of water hitting the pier,” says the general contractor who built the pier (he prefers we not mention his name for privacy’s sake). “Rails can be easily replaced, though at an expected cost to the city.”

That the contractor did not want his name used is a really mystery.

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Federal Watchdog Blasts San Diego VA’s Unethical Research on Vets

February 16, 2021 by Source

by Jill Castellano / inewscource / February 12, 2021

For the second time, a federal watchdog agency found that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ investigation into unethical liver research performed on San Diego veterans was “not reasonable.”

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel published new reports on Tuesday, Feb. 8, revealing more details about the mistakes and violations that occurred during the research and its dissatisfaction with the VA’s investigation into what happened. inewsource broke the story about the unethical study in 2018 as the first article in its Risky Research series.

The study at the San Diego VA was part of a $6 million international project to find new therapies for people with alcoholic hepatitis. Researchers around the world were supposed to collect these patients’ leftover liver tissue after they received biopsies and look for patterns.

But that’s not what happened in San Diego.

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Blue-Collar Frontline Heroes Are Being Neglected in Vaccine Rollout

February 16, 2021 by Source

By Colleen E. Putzel / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2021

Like most tragedies, the onset of the pandemic produced a call for unity with sentiments ensuring “we’re all in this together.”

Every outlet, from the daily news to hand-made window signs, offered appreciation for those on the front line: health care workers, grocery store clerks, public transportation workers, and truck drivers. My father, a truck driver, and my mother, a seamstress, suddenly became heroes.

My father goes to work every day delivering construction materials and my mother paused her Etsy sales to make masks for her local hospital. I feared, especially early on, that my father’s company would begin laying off workers. As that threat seemed less imminent, it was replaced by the fear that he would be exposed to the virus.

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Peninsulans in the News

February 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Former Charger Owns and Runs OB’s Sunnie’s

Like most San Diegans, former Chargers player and Point Loma resident Israel Stanley grew up eating good Mexican food. Today, he’s sharing his love of the cuisine with his community, one dish at a time, at his family-owned restaurant. Stanley owns and operates Sunnie’s in Ocean Beach, a Mexican café and taco shop on Point Loma Avenue. Sure, he’s the Black owner of a Mexican café (and likely the only Black-owned taco shop in San Diego), but he doesn’t consider Mexican culture his adopted culture. “It’s just my culture,” he told NBC 7. …

OB Dad and Son Set Up Foundation for Mexican Surfers

Areck Madden and his son Cole, who works at Ocean Beach Surf & Skate Shop, have helped to set up a foundation to donate surfboards and accessories benefiting less-fortunate wave riders south of the border through the shop. And it all started with Areck and Cole encountering a Mexican surfing dad-son duo on a recent Baja trip. …

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Charts of Hope

February 15, 2021 by Source

On the one year anniversary of San Diego County’s declaration of a local health emergency due to COVID-19, there are hopeful signs that the worst of the pandemic could be behind us. And these charts and graphs demonstrate the basis of that hope.

It was on February 14th, 2020, Valentine’s Day, that San Diego County declared a local health emergency to combat the coronavirus. At that time there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County and several suspected cases.

One year later to the day, more than a quarter of a million people in San Diego County have tested positive for COVID-19 and 3,000 people have died. But because there is hope, it does not mean we stop or ease up on

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It’s Shameful that Treasonous Trump Republicans Are Celebrating ‘President’s Day’

February 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Here it is – today is “President’s Day” – a holiday meant to celebrate all American presidents and specifically Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays.

And here we are – more than three months after the Presidential election in November – and the Republican Party still refuses to accept Joe Biden as The President. The nation watched over the weekend and witnessed 43 US Republican senators refuse to hold Trump accountable for the bloody, seditious January 6 insurrection.

Not all Republicans – and certainly not the 7 who voted to convict – nor those in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach. And currently there are hopeful signs that the anti-Trump wing may even form a new party.

But the main wing of Trump’s party, including those sycophants in state parties who have censured the brave GOP’ers who didn’t go along, are apparently the majority. And it’s shameful that today, they are celebrating President’s Day even while dishonoring the current president – not to mention, the will of the people.

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The Heart of the Garden

February 12, 2021 by Staff

By Kathy Blavatt

Valentine’s Day is a fine time to ignite the “amour” in your life.

Valentine’s Day is by far the most romantic holiday. Valentine flowers and warm hearts remind us of those we love. It is the prelude to Spring, welcoming fragrant scents that burst forth from colorful blossoms.

Nature shows us how to revive and re-energize as we awake from the winter cold and darkness.

Luckily in San Diego, we can hardly complain about the cold, yet many locals think it’s the end of the world every time it rains!

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Donna Frye: How to Reduce Misinformation and Political Polarization

February 11, 2021 by Source

By Donna Frye / San Diego Union-Tribune / Feb. 8, 2021

The political polarization facing our country today is not a new thing. People have been fighting about their differing points of view for as long as anyone can remember.

What is relatively new, however, is the speed at which massive amounts of information can be disseminated to millions of people at the same time.

Not that long ago, people generally relied upon the newspaper, television or radio to find out what was happening both locally and nationally. Those were also the venues people used to communicate their points of view, especially to the public at large.

People sent letters to the editor or called radio programs. Sometimes days passed before their response was received and published. In other words, there was time between the information being received and the response being sent.

That’s not how it works today.

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Teachers Are Not the Problem, They Are the Solution – So Work With Them

February 10, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Time to be blunt. Teachers, students and children are the new electoral battering rams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just as I wrote in June of last year, the 2020 Presidential election it was “not Biden v. Trump, but COVID-19 v. Trump).” And the GOP’s own confidential postmortem report (as quoted on Politico), confirms it.

“The autopsy says that coronavirus registered as the top issue among voters, and that Biden won those voters by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. A majority registered disapproval of Trump’s handling of the virus.

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Biden’s Climate Plan Can Work If it’s Sea to Shining Sea

February 10, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg and Jason Scorse / The Hill / Feb. 4, 2021

Last week President Biden made a firm commitment to transition America from polluting fossil energy to clean renewable power. We and other coastal residents are heartened by his “whole government” approach to tackling the climate crisis, especially his focus on the positive employment impacts of making smart climate investments.

However, we get concerned when the president identifies a million jobs linked to building electric cars in the industrial heartland, yet fails to note the millions of additional climate jobs that could be created in our coastal regions and on our public seas in a new blue economy.

[Editordude’s note: for those inclined to follow-up on issues in this post, please go to the original for any links.]

Coastal jobs solve climate too

Two years ago, recognizing that the Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution lacked sufficient focus on the nation’s coasts and ocean, our organizations began developing an Ocean Climate Action Plan coalition to make sure our public seas are central in U.S. climate policy. Supporters include Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, Leon Panetta, climate activist Jane Fonda and ocean explorer Sylvia Earle.

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‘She’s Almost Among the Living Again’

February 10, 2021 by Judi Curry

The Saga of the Widder Curry’s Covid -19

By Judi Curry

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that sent me prayers, positive thoughts, greeting cards, flowers, soups, foods, magazines, funny sayings, etc. during these past 22 days that I have been wiped out by Covid.

NEVER in my entire lifetime, which is substantial, have I ever been so weak, so indisposed as I have been the past three weeks.

When I say that I had no energy even to lift myself off the commode, that is no exaggeration. I needed help, each and every time. And do you want to know the strange thing about this disease? I had a “mild case.” I never had an elevated temperature; I never had low oxygen; my blood pressure remained normal throughout the entire 22 days.

I just had no energy. None. Nada. And one of the worst sensations I had in the 22 days was that my bones were on fire! Truly! They felt like there were flames emanating from them. All day. All night. For 18 days!

And how did it start?

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February 6 – Then and Now

February 10, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I got my first vaccine for covid-19 on February 6, 2021. One more to go for this old son of a gun.

But when I got back home after my shot I was reminded that this wasn’t the first time that February 6 was special to me, since on that day 61 years ago I took to the court with my teammates in Bear Down Gym at the University of Arizona and got to shaking and baking and whipping outlet passes to start fast breaks and shot the lights out all over the place, and came away with 46 points, a record that stands to this day.

The fun and glory of that will never go away.

And I couldn’t help but think, in those moments, what a difference six decades can make in one’s life. In so many ways. I was so strong back then physically, even with a bad back, something that’s plagued me since those days.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Proposes Changes to Campbell’s Short-Term Vacation Rental Ordinance

February 9, 2021 by Source

Today, February 9, the Ocean Beach Planning Board is sending Mayor Gloria and every member of the San Diego City Council a letter with the Board’s proposed changes to any short-term vacation rental ordinance – the subject of an upcoming discussion at Council.

The ordinance being discussed by Council is the proposed “compromise” concocted by Jen Campbell’s office, on the docket for February 23.

Here is the OBPB’s response – in the form of proposed amendments – and we post it below without edit:

RE: The Ocean Beach Planning Board’s Proposed Amendments to the Short Term Vacation Rental Ordinance, to be Docketed on February 23rd

The Ocean Beach Planning Board opposes the conversion of long-term housing to Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs). Whole home rentals without an owner or longterm lessee on sight are not a compatible use in residential zones. STVRs exacerbate the housing crisis by increasing investor speculation in the housing market and thus the price.

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Lawsuit Maintains San Diego Police Showed Favoritism towards Trump Supporters During Pacific Beach Protest

February 9, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

A lawsuit was filed Friday, February 5, in federal court against San Diego Police that maintains police showed favoritism toward Trump supporters during a protest in Pacific Beach on January 9.

The suit by two San Diego women alleges police unlawfully cracked down on Black Lives Matter activists and other counterprotesters at the pro-Trump rally, and allowed Trump supporters to continue marching undisturbed.

Plaintiffs Mandy Lien and Erin Smith assert police aggressively dispersed counterprotesters with batons and projectiles at the demonstration – held a mere 3 days after the Trump-incited insurrection at the Capitol – which violated their civil rights and displayed a bias in favor of the mostly White and male supporters of Trump. Police officers even “high-fived and chatted it up” with Trump supporters, the suit says.

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Campbell Schedules Her Own Short-Term Vacation Rental Sell-Out for the City Council on Feb. 23

February 8, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

As Council president, Jen Campbell sets the agenda for the City Council. And now she has scheduled her own proposed “compromise” on short-term vacation rentals to be heard by the full City Council for Tuesday, February 23.

Campbell’s compromise is more of a sell-out to the vacation rental industry.

Her office announced that the proposal will be on the council’s docket on in about two weeks.

On December 3, the mayor-appointed City Planning Commission voted 7-0 for Campbell’s proposal. The proposal covers licensing them, capping their numbers, and penalizing violators, while creating a City office to administer the new program while making it subject to annual review. Commissioners also agreed to a “carve out” for Mission Beach, the community with the highest percentage of short-term rentals citywide.

Campbell’s sell-out plan is one of the reasons there’s a recall movement against her. Recall backers have until June 3 to collect 14,421 signatures from registered voters in District 2, 15% of its 96,140 registered voters.

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Ocean Beach Meat Company Set to Open on Newport Avenue

February 8, 2021 by Source

by snackdiego

Hello, fellow OBceans, OB-adjacent and OB-curious; I’m Sal, and I’m here to indulge my second favorite hobby, talking about eating (and sometimes cooking) in and around Ocean Beach.

So, dining out has been a bit tricky lately huh? I’ve done my best to support our favorite spots with a lot of take out, and the rare dining al fresco when it was allowed, and we felt the setup was safe.

Can you imagine trying to open a new place during all of this?

That’s exactly what Bobby and Shannon are doing with the imminent opening of Ocean Beach Meat Company.

I stopped by to have a chat with them recently and am super excited. In addition to a butcher counter with all of the cuts, they will have ready to go take away meals, sandwiches, and hot food to eat on site.

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