Fundraiser for Two Homeless Men Who Clean Up OB Nets More than $28,000

September 15, 2020 by Staff

A fundraiser for two homeless men who pick up trash in Ocean Beach has now raised more than $28,000.

David Hendon and Marc Gervais are two friends who wake up at the crack of dawn every day to pick up trash for free around Newport Ave and the local parking lots. They drive up in a dilapidated, broken-down van every morning while it’s still dark, get out their buckets and brooms and start cleaning.

A local reporter for CBS caught wind of the two from a viewer who lives in New Jersey who watched the guys from the Ace Tattoo Surf Cam.

The story of Marc and David is so heart-warming and breaking at the same time, that the reporter, Jeff Zevely, got the word out on them and a Go Fund Me page was re-ignited. (As of this writing, it had raised $28,195 – the guys had originally set it up to raise $1,500.) Also a local car dealership has pledged to fix their van.

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Man Found in Ocean Beach Sand Dies of Gunshot Wounds

September 15, 2020 by Staff

An unidentified man in his 50s found in the sand in Ocean Beach has died of gunshot wounds early Tuesday morning.

Police received a call of an assault with a deadly weapon around 1 a.m. and responded to the area near Saratoga Park and the lifeguard station.

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Origins of the First OB Rag

September 14, 2020 by Staff

How and Where It All Started

Fresh off the campuses of the University of California, three young friends in their early twenties decided to publish an “underground” newspaper for Ocean Beach, the hippie area of San Diego.

John Lyons and Frank Gormlie – from UCSD – and Bob “Bo” Blakey – from UC Berkeley – had all just graduated and had moved in together in an old house on Etiwanda Street in northeast OB. Gormlie and Blakey had known each other at Point Loma High School and both had been involved in student government; Blakey had been Senior Class President and Gormlie had been President of the Student Body. Lyons and Gormlie had cut their activist teeth on the radicalism at UCSD.
All three had been deeply involved just months earlier in the anti-Vietnam war movement on their respective campuses.

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Celebrate With Us the 50th Anniversary of the Very First OB Rag this Week

September 14, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Fifty years ago this week, the very first OB Rag was published and hit the mean streets of Ocean Beach. Called “The OB People’s Rag”, the first issue was four pages stapled together and distributed at OB’s main stores at the time, Safeway and Mayfair, on choice OB street corners and in front of Point Loma High School.

So, all this week, we’ll be publishing memories, background, the behind-the-scenes stories and actual articles of the gritty “underground” rag that became the main community newspaper for Ocean Beach for nearly five years. Art Kunkin, the editor and publisher of the grandparent of all underground newspapers, the LA Free Press or “LA Freep”, once called the OB Rag the best alternative, community newspaper in the country.

Online Party Thursday Night, Sept. 17

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Flies and Butter on the Rocks Or a Fly on the Tongue is Worth Two on the Screen

September 14, 2020 by Source

By manly pink scooter

Peter From South Oceanside reminded me of a heartwarming instance when he jokingly requested a cancellation to his OB Rag subscription on September 4, 2020 in a comment to my first post on this website.

One warm summer morning on the canyon’s edge I was on coyote watch while my coffee was abrewin’ and the bread was atoastin’. I can spend several hours on the couch in the morning drinking coffee and perusing life and gazing out the picture window . I’m so lazy sloths look down upon my habits. Turtles wonder if I ever will catch up.

On that wonderful morning I stepped into the kitchen for the toast & coffee, and I spotted a fly on the butter.

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Being Grateful for What I Can Be Grateful For

September 14, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I remember when
my grandfather
would talk to me
during those times
when the world’s
troubles and woes,
the likes of
extreme poverty
the fear of A-bombs
and Jim Crow
were keeping everybody
on their toes,
he’d say,
“No matter
how life was going,
you need to know
we’d best
be grateful
for anything|
we can be grateful for” so

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Is This the Dawning of the ‘Age of Direct Democracy’?

September 14, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Historians, writers, journalists, astrologers and even amateurs sometimes coin a phrase that perfectly describes an entire epoch. Or a decade.

Many of these “Age of” descriptions come long after the fact. For example, the “Age of Exploration” or the “Age of Empires.”

The truly magnificent titles capture so much than just a decade. Some span centuries. Others end quickly. The “Enlightenment.” “The Age of Reason.” “The Dark Ages.”

And they are defined and remembered in multiple forms; all personal. Literature, sports, music, art, movies, economics and politics.

Take the “Gilded Age” known for the lopsided wealth and extravagance generated by railroads, industrialization, with cosseted nouveau riche existing alongside abject poverty.

Or Edith Wharton’s, “Age of Innocence.” The writing of which, she said allowed her to find “a momentary escape in going back to my childish memories of a long-vanished America… it was growing more and more evident that the world I had grown up in and been formed by had been destroyed in 1914.” And the first “world” war.

Then there are the obvious ones. The “Atomic Age.” The “Industrial Age.” “The Space Age.”

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The Great Dumpster Fire Of 2020: What Will Be Left Amidst the Ashes?

September 14, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

It’s that time again. The world is burning. The sky is hazy from smoke in the Southland, Bladerunner-orange over San Francisco, and a tenth of the state of Oregon is under evacuation.

I’ll try not to write the same column that I did last year during fire season.

Or the year before that.

Or the several years before that.

With the media screaming about these fires it finally seems that the “unprecedented” angle is having its last gasp. Gavin Newsom is sick of climate deniers, and the connection between the extreme heat and the fires seems to finally be unquestioned.

As I write this on a Friday afternoon, my friends and family in the Bay Area can’t leave their homes for fear of toxic air. Family in Portland are watching a megafire come their way.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – September 2020

September 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Lost Parking Spaces on Newport Ave

As OB restaurants and bars responded to the new COVID reality, they applied for and were granted the authority to set up outside – and in the process took over Newport Ave parking spaces. Out of a total of 204 parking places between Abbott and Sunset Cliffs, 45 have been occupied by tables and chairs of the eateries. It’s a trade-off, certainly.

New Management of OB Hostel Acknowledges Counter-Culture

Donations Starting to Flow For Prop E – Demolition of 30 Foot Height Limit in Midway

Coastal Tide Pools Being “Loved to Death”

Point Loma Sisters Start a COVID Safety Course for Small Businesses

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Trump Lied. 200,000 Americans Died.

September 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It is true. It is not hyperbole. It is not partisan over-reach. President Trump lied about Covid-19 and now nearly 200,000 of our fellow Americans have died.

Sure, there were a handful of deaths and cases by early February when Trump told The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, “This is deadly stuff,” and “You just breathe the air,” the president explained, “and that’s how it’s passed.”

This is not like the other 20,000 plus falsehoods that Trump has uttered since taking up residence in the White House. These lies about the virus were fatal.

  • On February 24, Trump tweeted to the world, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”
  • On February 27, he said, “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
  • On March 10, he said, “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

So, why did Trump say all this? Why did he lie? Why didn’t he fulfill his duty to protect American citizens?

On March 19, Trump told Woodward, ”I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

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A Bridge Too Far for San Diego?

September 11, 2020 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Residents of San Diego County have long had concerns about the quality of our physical environment.

The entire slow-growth movement that brought Pete Wilson to the mayoralty, for example, came about because San Diegans worried that unfettered development would overcrowd the landscape and turn the city into another Los Angeles. Never mind that in his tenure, from December 1971 to January 1983, Mayor Wilson presided over unprecedented growth.

As a coastal region, San Diego has always been in a love-hate relationship with developers.

On one hand, we need more housing to shelter our growing population. On the other hand, we fear the loss of livable communities, the feeling of neighborhoods, the relief of open space and proximity to green spaces, the safety of pedestrian walkways. These necessities of livable communities are already at risk and can be completely lost with on-street parking and hundreds of new residents seeking refuge from densely packed multi-family developments.

Politics in this region is a smoldering battle between community groups and forces advocating the reduction of constraints on development.

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Act Two of Tragicomedy – the 2020 Race for San Diego Mayor

September 11, 2020 by Source

ACT II: A Cautionary Tale About What a Council Member’s Negligence, Lack of Independence, Inept Management, and Behind-the-Scenes Manipulation Can Do to a City

Scene One: Setting the stage for the winners… and losers

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / September 10, 2020

There’s no denying it– life feels out of control nowadays. Upended. Throw in the national political scene and it’s enough to push you over the edge.

But gird yourself for some good news. Here at home we’re blessed with the extraordinary opportunity to seize control of San Diego’s political destiny. It’s no exaggeration.

The person we choose as our next mayor (Barbara Bry? Todd Gloria?) will shape the quality of daily life for more than 1½ million San Diegans for years to come. Which one can we trust with the power to control who gets what in our city… who benefits from the policies, decisions, contracts, appointments, agreements, awards, favors, negotiations, and other goodies originating in City Hall… and who gets left with the crumbs?

Based on Todd Gloria’s history and campaign contributors, the answer is clear: Mr. Gloria is the wrong choice for the mayor’s job.

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Critter’s Salad Bar

September 11, 2020 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

On a warm day in Spring day after a night of rain, I trudged through dense greenery in my back yard. I heard a bit of noise a couple of feet away and realized I was standing next to a skunk. The skunk was busy happily digging and could care less that I was beside him.

A week later, while examining my passionfruit plant, I found a baby opossum below the vines. The awkward youth looked at me, then slowly walked away.

Interestingly, my thick viny passion fruit plant that produces much green fruit slightly bigger than golf balls goes missing long before they change to burgundy-red sweet ripen fruit. I think that opossum may have made the large lush plant his home and snack bar. I suspect he has quite a belly on him these days!

Other years, I have had some very bold raccoons making their grocery runs through my yard.

It is these kinds of experiences that make me feel like I am living in the country.

To top things off, my husband told me he saw an amazing piece of aerodynamics as a parrot divebombed my apple tree plucking the fruit without slowing as he headed straight back up into the sky.

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Soon We Will Know Who We Are

September 9, 2020 by Source

By Joni Halpern

We are fast coming to a crossroads in our life as an American people. We shall either be brothers and sisters emerging from a frenzy of chaos into the light of our motto, “Out of many, one.” Or we shall hack apart the bonds of our American family, wrapping our hatred and hostility toward our fellow Americans in a flag of patriotism.

With the former choice, we will revitalize our democracy. With the latter, we will shred our stripes and scatter our stars until they are strewn across the barren fields of our future as the United States of America. We are only 50-some days from our destiny.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, I have tried to understand my fellow Americans who support him. At first, it was said they felt forgotten by mainstream politics. Their economic futures had been lost in the closures of manufacturing plants and the loss of thousands of other jobs to global forces. No one in Washington cared. People who supported Donald Trump said they wanted someone would take seriously their hunger for economic, social and political justice.

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The 2020 Race for San Diego Mayor: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

September 9, 2020 by Source

ACT I : A Cautionary Tale About What a Mayor’s Negligence, Lack of Independence, Inept Management, and Behind-the-Scenes Manipulation Can Do to a City

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / September 8, 2020

Scene One: Let’s talk politics

We can start by noticing that “politics” is simply the exercise of power that determines who gets what, when, and how.

It means that on election day, either Barbara Bry or Todd Gloria will be handed the power to determine which beneficiaries will prosper (for decades to come) from the policies, decisions, contracts, agreements, awards, favors, negotiations, and other goodies originating in City Hall.

So before we decide which candidate deserves the political power to determine who gets what, when, and how, we might want to know which one can be trusted to take the interests of the public seriously enough to place it ahead of all others.

And of course we need to be sure about which candidate has the ability and integrity to successfully oversee and manage our deteriorating, problem-plagued city.

These are not frivolous questions.

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Losers and Suckers at the Trump Boat Parade

September 9, 2020 by Source

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Nothing Is Being Done About the Night Time Firecrackers and Parties Along Sunset Cliffs

September 9, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Nightly since before July 4th, my southern Ocean Beach neighborhood has gone to sleep and been awakened by the sound of firecrackers. I can count on one hand how many nights this has not been the case. They start early and go on until the wee hours of the night.

Frequently there are large parties with cars parked in the Sunset Cliffs parking lots, with cars parked on Sunset Cliffs itself, and with cars parked on all of the side streets leading to the ocean. Those cars that are parked in the lots almost always have lights with them to shine on the revelers dancing, smoking, and shooting off firecrackers. (Please notice that I purposely use the word “firecrackers” – not fireworks.) Yes, sometimes fireworks are used, but usually it is M80s that echo off the water’s edge and project all the way up to Santa Barbara Street. (Just ask people that live near the Thursday Club.)

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OB Rag Calls Out San Diego Media on Reports of ‘Thousands’ in Trump Boat Parade

September 8, 2020 by Source

Editordude: San Diego Bay suffered through the Trump Boat Parade #2 in on Sunday. Luckily, no boats were swamped here – but other Trump boat parades keep sinking other boats.

Locally, the biggest-Trump media supporter, KUSI, predicted there would be 2,000 boats and 50,000 spectators.

Our reporter on the scene Sunday at San Diego Bay filed this post:

By John Michael Williams

I arrived onsite, east-facing Ullman St., and parked under the lone palm tree on the south side of the block, at 12:19PM. It was 93 degrees F according to my car, but haze still veiled the mountain backdrop of the cityscape and bay and bit of white cloud drifted overhead as seven piston-engine planes, in groups of five and two, overflew the bay and left contrails as they passed.

At first glance, it was obvious that this Parade would not replicate the previous one.

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When I Think of Love

September 8, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

When I think of love,
I think of how
it has safely
taken me through
life’s dark clouds
and drowning seas
as well as through life’s joys
and well-earned victories;
I think of how love
has been sung
as “the only thing
that there’s
just too little of”
and being that that’s one thing
I’m truly certain of
I feel compelled
to speak to
all the madness
and sadness
I see to the right and left of me
in a society,
falling behind

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The Final Season of the Trump Show – Part II: a Failed Supernova That Goes ‘Poof’ Without a Trace 

September 7, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

When will the chaos all end? Will democracy survive the tumult?

Heady questions.

No need for polls or op/ed pieces to divine the answers. Nor even a need to read Shakespeare, eloquent tho’ he be.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Rather, look to the scientists. Sometimes scientists are amazing. No, not the ones currently fighting COVID-19; or rushing for live-saving treatments and effective vaccines. They are very good. Even now, they are writing Agatha Christie-worthy descriptions of the epidemic.

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Labor Day in the Midst of a National Crisis: Dreaming of a Just Recovery

September 7, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

This weekend we celebrate Labor Day, but how many of us have any idea where the holiday came from or what it celebrates?

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 in New York City and was proposed by the Central Labor Union (CLU) at a time when American workers were struggling for basic rights such as the eight-hour day. The CLU moved the “workingman’s holiday” to the first Monday in September in 1883 and urged other unions to celebrate the date as well. The movement grew throughout the 1880s, along with the American labor movement itself with 23 states passing legislation recognizing Labor Day as a holiday. By 1894 Congress followed suit and Labor Day became a national holiday.

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What Was Going On in OB 5 Years Ago – Mid-Sept. 2015 ?

September 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Hey, as part of your Labor Day read, check out what was happening in Ocean Beach exactly 5 years ago. The following was originally posted on September 9, 2015. December 2015. Photo by Albert C Elliott.

OB Historical Society – Sept 17 – Kummeyaay On the Coast

The OB Historical Society presents Professor Richard Carrico, on Kumeyaay on the Coast –

Annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast – Sept 19

Friends of OB Library Book Sale – Sept 26 – In front of the OB Library

SD Police Chief: Release of Video of Cop Shooting Could Cause Violence

Largest Fish Farm in America Planned Off OB and Mission Beach

Bank Robber of Midway Store Sought

Driver Slams Brick Wall in Point Loma

Mission Beach to wait longer for new lifeguard tower

Brazen Taggers Piss OBceans Off

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Nukes, Storms and Hurricanes

September 4, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News September 2020

By Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world.

Midwest ‘Derecho’ Storm Forces Shutdown of Iowa Nuke Plant

On August 8, Nagasaki Day, a violent storm with hurricane force winds knocked out power at the Duane Arnold nuclear plant, 11 miles from Cedar Rapids, IA. The Star Tribune reported that the plant “lost connection with the electrical grid and declared an Unusual Event, the lowest of four kinds of nuke plant emergencies.”

“The loss of power triggered an automatic shutdown” of the plant’s reactor, the Star Tribune reported. “It also “damaged the plant’s cooling towers, which are used to cool steam after it emits from the plant’s turbine.”

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Citizens’ Report Shows Developers Buying Santee City Council Votes

September 4, 2020 by Source


Citizen Report Shines Light on Corruption

From Preserve Wild Santee

A new report, “A Money Laundering Web: Who is Buying Santee City Council Votes” traces the flow of funds from the development industry through intermediaries with the intent of purchasing favorable decisions.

The report documents substantial flows of money from Fanita Ranch and Carlton Oaks Golf Course Development interests flowing directly to Santee elected officials campaign and allied PACs.

The report reveals hundreds of thousands of dollars in “unitemized receipts” in need of explanation.

“City Council votes should not be for sale,” stated Van Collinsworth, PWS Director.

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The Trinity in My Manly Home

September 4, 2020 by Source

The Holy Trinity shall not be desecrated.

There exists in my house a sacred triangle: it’s composed of the TV, couch, refrigerator. This is where all philosophical thought originates, where argument adheres to strict rules of conduct. Rules inviolate.

Take Myles Doughty’s (Slightly Stoopid) rules regarding monkey rolls in the wrestling room at Pt. Loma High School and multiply times ten. I am that strict regarding the Holy Trinity.

First, if I am on the couch, then anytime is beer time. Second, whiskey consumption begins after 5 p.m. (or 3 p.m. if there was a recent full moon) Third, there shall be only 12 paces or less from couch to refrigerator.

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Law Enforcement Blocks Police Reform in Sacramento While Cops Keep Shooting Black People

September 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

When the California legislation closed up their session for the year the other night, and after press reporters described the “chaos” at the Capitol, it became clear that state law enforcement had helped block any police reform bills that had been initiated in the shadow of the Black Lives Matter protests. Meanwhile, police keep shooting and killing Black people.

On the day that the legislators ended their business, LA County Sheriffs shot and killed Dijon Kizzee in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of Westmont. Najee Ali, a community activist, was quoted by the LA Times: “The deputies essentially executed a man riding his bicycle.”

“They’ll say he had a gun, but what they won’t say was that he was not armed with the gun. He did not point the gun. … There was no reason for deputies to shoot a running man.”

After the killing, deputies said that Kizzee was riding his bicycle in violation of the vehicle code.

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The Washington Post Editorial Board Warns the Director of National Intelligence Is Providing Cover for Putin’s Attacks on Our 2020 Election

September 3, 2020 by Source

The Director of National Intelligence Is Providing Cover for Putin

By Editorial Board, The Washington Post / September 3, 2020

After the intelligence community briefed members of Congress in late July about threats to the upcoming election, Democrats expressed alarm about what they had learned — and about the fact that the information had not been shared with the American public. “The warning lights are flashing red. America’s elections are under attack,” wrote Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a Post op-ed, without disclosing any specifics.

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Boxing Match for City Attorney at OB Town Council Zoom Meeting

September 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It got a little testy at the August 26 online Zoom meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council when the two candidates for City Attorney spared. City attorney Mara Elliott and candidate Cory Briggs took verbal swings at each other over issues that concern people at the coast, such as short-term rentals and sidewalk vending.

(We must rely on Steven Mihailovich’s report on the meeting in the Point Loma-OB Monthly, a publication of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and on Dave Schawb’s article in the Peninsula Beacon, a member of the San Diego Community News Group – as the OB Rag does not have a reporter who can sit for three hours and write a report for minimum wage. – If you know of one, let us know.)

Both candidates gave introductory – and closing – remarks and answered questions from “audience” members.

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Blackout Blackmail Behind Mid-August Power Outages?

September 3, 2020 by Source

by Thomas D. Elias / The Coast News / September 2, 2020

Never before in California’s long experience with power blackouts have systematic, preplanned outages been as short as the 20-minute to 30-minute electric shutdowns inflicted on about 3 million homes and businesses around the state in mid-August.

Without doubt these blackouts were pre-planned. “(We will have) excessive weather conditions and a persistent shortage of electric supply for the California grid,” said a warning texted to electric customers hours ahead of the first outages.

There was a lot odd about this, aside from the short span of the blackouts. Gov. Gavin Newsom said later he didn’t learn of the shutdowns until just beforehand,

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Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach — It’s Not for the Birds!

September 3, 2020 by Staff

By Budd Titlow

I get it.

I love all dogs and I know they need a special place to romp and splash. Dog Beach in Ocean Beach — at the western end of the San Diego River Channel—is just such a place. Created in 1972, it has a long history of providing the perfect playground for pooches— with no leashes restricting their activities.

But I’m also a serious birdwatcher and photographer. Since moving to the San Diego area 2 1/2 years ago, I’ve found that the San Diego River Channel — centering around Smiley Lagoon — offers the best birding opportunities of any place I’ve ever lived.

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