Ocean Beach During the Coronavirus Shut-Down

March 17, 2020 by Staff

Folks line up at OB People’s Food. Only 20 customers allowed in the store at a time, one goes out another one goes in.

Others went surfing or visited the tide pools. (All photos by Bob Edwards unless otherwise noted. )

Here are more photos taken today, St. Patrick’s Day – Tuesday, March 17-, in Ocean Beach.

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List of Open and Closed Ocean Beach Businesses

March 17, 2020 by Source

Here is a list of Ocean Beach businesses that are still open and those that are closed. It was compiled by Christoff Huber and posted on Facebook Social OB yesterday, Monday, March 16 and updated today, Tuesday, March 17. The OB Rag, like Christoff has no opinion about any of this, just sharing information.


  • Nico’s
  • Mad Munch
  • BBQ House
  • Olive Tree
  • Chris Liquor & Deli
  • Pure Thai
  • Hodad’s
  • Pac Shores (closed?)
  • OB Smoothie
  • OB Kabob
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USA Hostels Ocean Beach to Close Their Doors on March 20

March 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The owners of the Ocean Beach hostel, USA Hostels, will be closing their doors for good on Friday, March 20. The OB Rag confirmed this today, Tuesday, March 17.

The hostel has been a mainstay on Newport Avenue for years – under different managements and companies – and the iconic building is one of the wonders along Ocean Beach’s main commercial street.

The Rag first reported on the hostel’s up-coming change of hands in February 2014 and confirmed the final sale in October of that year. The new owners formalized a name change and made major upgrades in June 2015.

Yet, this sudden departure after nearly six years leaves us stunned.

The management of the hostel requested that we publish their statement, and here it is:

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No Hunches, Please, as We Fight a Dreadful Disease

March 17, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

One never knows what life
might bring,
like this coronavirus thing,
a deadly disease
that has rolled up its sleeves
and got people shaking at their knees
afraid of themselves
if they cough or sneeze,
hording toilet tissue
as if it’s the answer
to being at ease

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For First Time, Bry Has Slight Lead Over Sherman for Second Slot in San Diego Mayor’s Race

March 17, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

For the first time, Councilwoman Barbara Bry has bypassed Scott Sherman for the second slot in a November runoff for San Diego mayor against Assemblyman Todd Gloria.

Two things: it’s a very tiny lead of only 9 votes, but her lead could very well improve as more ballots are counted.

This was the result of ballot counting results released Monday, March 16.

On the actual election primary day, Sherman had a lead of over 3,000 votes over Bry. But ever since, that lead has been chipped away.

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OB’s Culture Brewing Co. to Permanently Close in April

March 16, 2020 by Source

From SanDiegoVille.com

Seemingly unrelated to the growing coronavirus pandemic, Culture Brewing Company has announced it will permanently close its 5-year-old Ocean Beach tasting room next month.

“It is with great sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we share with you the news we are announcing today,” posted Culture Brewing Co. to the company’s Instagram page. “After 5 years and much careful deliberation, Culture Brewing Co will be officially closing its doors in Ocean Beach on Sunday, April 19th. This decision was not made lightly, but after much consideration and determination of a move for the best interest of our company as a whole.”

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Coping with COVID-19: ‘Cocooning’ in Our Own Chateau

March 16, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl

Two days before the pandemic was declared, we received a warning from the executive director of our 55+ senior community. The Château’s salad bar would be closed during meals. Seating in the dining hall would be limited. Two days later we found the second notice, a critical update after the pandemic was declared, taped to our front door.

The dining room has now been closed, and will remain so for at least 30 days. We may order our breakfast, lunch and dinner by telephone. Meals, packed in disposable boxes, will be carried to our front doors. Servers will not be permitted to enter our units or come within six feet of us upon delivery. It is “highly recommended” that we “limit outside guests or other visitors.” We are urged to “minimize all contact with non-residents.”

You might say we have been quarantined, but we choose to call it cocooned.

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The 2020 Ocean Beach Wisteria Garden Party Is Canceled

March 16, 2020 by Source

From OB Historical Society:

In line with new State and County guidelines for non-essential gatherings in the wake of the COVID-19 scare, Ocean Beach Historical Society will regretfully cancel our Wisteria Garden Party for 2020. The biennial bash had been scheduled for Sunday March 22.

Sadly, this year will be remembered as one in which we made it through the spring without most of our traditional events and celebrations. Thanks to everybody who has worked so hard on this event.

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In a Black History State of Mind in the Time of Virus

March 16, 2020 by Ernie McCray

(With a Little Help from Coretta Scott King)

by Ernie McCray

I had a very nice time, a little while ago, on an exceptionally lovely Saturday afternoon at “A Gospel Brunch” at the Educational Cultural Complex, “ECC” – a place that means a lot to me, personally.

We were there to celebrate Coretta Scott King and her contributions to keeping Martin’s dream, for social justice and inclusion for all, alive.

I arrived in a Black History state of mind, playing in my mind, some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had at ECC, acting on the stage, a wonderful space that will be renovated from part of the proceeds from the day, or addressing a class or reading my poetry and attending special occasions like on this day.

I kind of felt that I was in a fantasy world, in a way, sitting among so many friendly smiling faces, enjoying a mimosa and some down home southern cooking – just appreciating, for one thing, that for three days in a row, I had been to ceremonies where San Diego Black History was being kept very much alive – beyond February.

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Governor Newsom: Provide ‘Drive-Through’ Testing for Staff at California’s Prisons

March 16, 2020 by Source

Governor Newsom: Make the Call Re: Coronavirus

California is one of the best educated, richest, most advanced states on the planet. In fact, we are really an “nation-state.”

We have the talent, the wealth, the high-tech labs and universities capable of leading the nation in innovative responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Ideas and discipline are required for success in any crisis.

So, here is one simple idea that can help stop an explosion of infections in an existing “petri-dish” environment.

These people cannot “stay home;” cannot “shelter in place” and cannot avoid probable infections. Yes, these are the front-line responders—firefighters, nurses, doctors, and other health care providers. That is common knowledge.

However, often overlooked are their less popular clients—the homeless and prisoners. California has the largest populations of these individuals as well. Local governments will provide necessary care for their homeless populations — some greater than others.

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American Fecklessness in the Time of Pandemic

March 16, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

After waiting a week for California’s and San Diego’s glacial election returns, I had planned to write a post-election column. Then the COVID-19 pandemic got real and everything changed. As a professor at San Diego City College and as the father of a high school student, I was thrust into the chaos that “social distancing” brings to educational institutions and family.

In between planning for teaching virtually for three weeks (or perhaps the rest of the semester) and dealing with the contradictory stew of confusion, panic, fear, hostility, sadness, as well as with the personal courage, compassion, and community solidarity that arose all around me, I talked to friends and family who were slow to respond and watched their retirement and/or college funds collapse before they had time to act as the stock market went on its manic roller coaster ride.

Poof! the markets were gutted. Would they come back in time? Nobody knows.

As for my working-class students, mostly of color, the scary thing was not the stock market, but their lack of healthcare and their need to work

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Gov. Newsom Calls for Closure of All Bars, Clubs, Wineries and Brewpubs

March 15, 2020 by Source

From LA Times:

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday significantly ramped up California’s response to the coronavirus, calling for the closure of all bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs, and urging people 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions to stay indoors in an effort to slow the virus’ spread.

The governor also called on much greater social distancing measures for restaurants. They will be directed to reduce their occupancy by roughly half and ensure that tables are at least six feet apart, he said.

“We recognize that social isolation for millions of Californians is anxiety inducing but we recognize what all the science bears out and .. we need to meet this moment head-on and lean in,” Newsom said.

The governor said the request of older Californians was made in hopes of limiting their exposure to the virus, given that health officials have pointed out higher dangers for those who are older. “We are prioritizing their safety,” he said.

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Should People Still Go Out to Ocean Beach Bars and Restaurants During This Coronavirus Era?

March 15, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

As everything closes down during this coronavirus era – from the OB and other farmers markets, to concerts, mass meetings, schools, religious centers, to the County’s prohibition of large gatherings – it’s time to ask the question: should people still go out to bars and restaurants? Especially in Ocean Beach – where they are very popular.

Some restaurant groups here in San Diego have already temporarily shuttered their kitchens and doors. And some law makers are asking folks – especially those 40 or under – to stop going out to these places right now. For instance, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is asking people to stop in light of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, adding that anything closer than six feet to another human is “too close.”

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Ocean Beach Farmers Market Closed Through End of March and All Others Also

March 13, 2020 by Source

Many farmers markets are being canceled through the end of March over concerns of community spread of COVID-19. The closures are part of the county’s decision to follow the state’s lead, banning all events of 250 people or more.

A San Diego Police Department email sent to farmers market organizers in the city stated:

With the County of San Diego Health and Human Services’ declaration today, large gatherings of 250 people or more are banned from taking place. This ban will take effect at midnight, March 12, and will be in place through the end of March. Accordingly, Special Event Permits for all Farmers Markets through the end of March will be canceled. We will provide updates as we receive them from the County.

Market closures include ones in City Heights, North Park, Hillcrest, Little Italy, Leucadia, Poway, Solana Beach, Carlsbad Village, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. …

In other parts of the county, there are still some markets that will remain open.

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

March 13, 2020 by Source

It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.

Peter Wehner at The Atlantic has made this declaration and he’s a Republican. Here’s his conclusion:

Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment.

He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president’s disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.

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Father Joe’s Villages Monitor Coronavirus Among San Diego’s Homeless Community

March 13, 2020 by Source

There Is No Known Infection Among San Diego’s Homeless Community

Here Is An Update from Father Joe’s Villages on Current Efforts Around Coronavirus

Father Joe’s Villages is monitoring the status of COVID-19, the disease caused by a novel coronavirus, in San Diego. While there is no known infection among the homeless community in San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages is prepared to respond to the complex health needs of people on the streets.

The homeless service provider is currently devoting its resources to collaborating with partners at the City and County of San Diego and will remain up-to-date on ongoing news related to the spread.

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Trump to Declare a National Emergency

March 13, 2020 by Source

From The Washington Post

President Trump plans to declare a national emergency Friday, as public life in America continues to grind to a halt. Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic rippled across the globe, as more events were canceled and more landmarks were shuttered; U.S. schools closed to millions of students; Louisiana delayed its presidential primary until summer; and the Group of Seven leaders planned a virtual crisis conference.

Here are some other significant developments:

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San Diego Schools to Close Down Monday, March 16 and Re-Open April 6

March 13, 2020 by Source

Teachers’ Union Had Called for Closures

San Diego Unified School District is closing to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The school district made a joint announcement Friday morning with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Both school districts will shut down Monday, March 16.

The two largest school districts in California serve more than 750,000 students combined.

Superintendent Cindy Marten of San Diego and Superintendent Austin Beutner of Los Angeles issued the following joint statement:

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Bry Does Some Serious Trimming to Sherman’s Lead in San Diego Mayoral Race

March 12, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Councilwoman Barbara Bry has done some serious hedge trimming to Councilman Scott Sherman’s lead in San Diego’s Primary mayoral race for the second top position.

As of Wednesday, Sherman only had 758 more votes than Bry. On election night, he had a lead of more than 3,000. Over the last 24 hours, as the Registrar of Voters continues to count provisional ballots, Bry gained 100 from Tuesday’s results.

There is a projected 77,000 provisional ballots still to be counted.

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Engineering Students Create ‘Sled’ to Help Wheelchair Users Get to the Ocean

March 12, 2020 by Source

By Evelyn Duffy / Mustang News / March 10, 2020

Four members of the Cal Poly engineering department recently partnered with AmpSurf and Quality Life Plus in creating a project to provide people with disabilities a way to get from the beach to the ocean.

The four team members Arthur Zaayer, Marius Jatulis, Jose Covarrubias, and Griffin O’Malley have been working on this project since September 2019. The overall impact, the community and the hands-on work are what drew these students to this project.

“I’ve been surfing for awhile, so having something I’m passionate about and sharing that with people and then creating a device for them to better enjoy that activity more is so cool to me,” Jatulis said.

The product itself is a rolling sled with large air tires in the back, and smaller, denser wheels in the front.

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Could San Onofre Nuke Demolition Cause Catastrophe?

March 12, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2020

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

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

As San Onofre nuke demolition begins Watchdogs assert it could cause a nuclear catastrophe.

On February 6, Coastal News, from Solana Beach in San Diego County, reported, “Public Watchdog, a nonprofit (San Diego-based) advocacy group filed a petition with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission” to put the kibosh on that action.

Coastal News continued “The advocacy group claims that if the facility if flooded with rain or ocean water, the proposed method of disposing of nuclear waste could lead to an explosion of a radioactive steam geyser.”

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A Warning From a Friend in Italy

March 12, 2020 by Source

Editordude: A good friend of the Widder Curry who lives in Italy wrote her to share what was really going on. We are not certain when it was written, so the dates mentioned are hazy.

To Judi Curry

I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis.

The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here. I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality.

The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today. If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy.

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OB Library Book Sale Postponed Due to Rain

March 12, 2020 by Staff

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The Heartbreaking Tragedy of Bernie Sanders

March 11, 2020 by Source

By Scott Stephens

The outcome was nearly inevitable, but it was still painful, nonetheless. On Tuesday, March 10th, Bernie Sanders made his last stand. If the United States is ever to become a democracy again, a younger version of Bernie Sanders will have to lead the way. But at this point, with the majority of wealth held by so few individuals, it’s conceivable that Bernie may be the last of his kind.

Just like the last election, the establishment wasn’t about to risk letting Bernie go any further. This wasn’t just the DNC putting on the brakes; it involved almost all the major media outlets. Even MSNBC gave Sanders almost no support. Ironically it comes back to the same thing that Bernie has been preaching all these years, the ultra-rich having a disproportionate say in the electoral process.

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News and Notices for Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-March 2020

March 11, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Point Loma High Renovation Hits New High

This is the first time the school has ever seen a renovation project of this magnitude.

***Man Found Guilty of Murdering OBcean Sentenced to 83 Years
***San Diego Police Push Their Use of “Smart Street Lights” in Minor Mission Bay Pedestrian Accident
***Point Lomans Have Problems With New Bike Lanes on West Point Loma
***Closing Arguments on March 11 in Point Loma Murder Trial

***Coastal Habitat Restoration – Sat., March 14
***Skate for the Kids Benefit for OB Elementary – March 15, Robb Field
***Slightly Stoopid Sets Summer Schedule
***4 Arrested in Point Loma

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OB’s Bookstore, Run for Cover, Presents Author of ‘American Daughter’ – Mon., March 16

March 11, 2020 by Source


Run For Cover
Monday, March 16
@ 6:30pm
4912 Voltaire St
Ocean Beach, CA 92107

OB’s only bookstore, Run for Cover, is presenting the author of a new and remarkable memoir, American Daughter, written by first-time author, Stephanie Plymale, on Monday, March 16 – at the storefront on Voltaire.

By Lisa Willis

The book is receiving incredible interest from national media outlets across the country. Stephanie will be in San Diego the week of March 16 as she makes her media and multi-city book tour. American Daughter tells an extraordinary story of trauma, healing and transcendence-

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A Woman as Vice President Would Open a New Era in America

March 11, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / March 10, 2020

Remember the massive Women’s March that erupted almost spontaneously after Donald Trump was inaugurated as President?

Remember the elation about turnout and then the jealous remarks regarding crowd size from the same President?

Or how about the 2018 wave election in which so many women in so many counties and cities delivered control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats and the Speakership to Nancy Pelosi?

And those highly educated, articulate women all running for —gasp — President of the United States on the Democratic ticket?

Or Greta Thunberg’s wind-driven voyage across the ocean to steer attention towards a greener planet? Or the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s championship. Or the culture-changing #MeToo movement.

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Ocean Beach Girl Scout and Her Cookies ; She Got Scammed But OBceans Bought Them Up

March 9, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The good news is that OBceans and good neighbors rallied to help out a local girl scout sell her cookies.

The bad news was that another unidentified neighbor refused to hand over the money he promised her for two full cases of cookies. Instead he and his spouse just gave her back the cookies at the very end of the Girl Scout Cookies sales period and she had to scramble to sell them.

It all started when a neighbor who owns a short-term vacation rental and a winery offered to buy on consignment two cases of cookies – one Samoa’s and the other Thin Mints – from 9-year old girl scout Kadence Casey. His plan was to sell them to his own customers at his winery – not the OB winery. The winery owner had Kadence draw up a contract and she fronted him the cases. (There’s 12 boxes in a case.)

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Mission Bay Sundown

March 9, 2020 by Source

Mission Bay sundown – taken March 6, 2020 by Paul Emus.

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Here Are the Candidates for the Peninsula Community Planning Board Election

March 9, 2020 by Source

By Geoff Page

The following is a list of the people running for seven open seats on the Peninsula Community Planning Board with information taken directly from their candidate applications. A brief analysis follows.

Jesse Benson
Third generation Point Loman. Resident checked on application. Occupation: Deli cook/ OB People’s Organic Food Market

Volunteer with several groups including Save Famosa Canyon, Save Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, the PLA, and others. Benson is an active member of the Save Famosa Canyon group. The tree canopy and the new swimming complex at Liberty Station are other areas of interest.

Howard Haimsohn
Point Loma native. Property owner and resident checked on application. Occupation: Business owner with over 40 years of experience in the furniture business.

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