Two Water Quality Advisories Hit Ocean Beach : Dog Beach and OB Pier

January 4, 2018 by Staff

San Diego County has issued two water quality advisories for Ocean Beach Thursday, January 4th, 2018 – due to the bacteria levels that may exceed health standards – and are warning people to avoid water contact in the advisory areas.

The Advisory areas include:

  • Ocean Beach – Dog Beach – Station: San Diego River outlet to 300 feet south
  • Ocean Beach – Station: OB Pier to 300′ South to Narragansett Ave.
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The Dangers of Sunset Cliffs: Average of 5 Deaths and Injuries Per Year – 2005 to 2017

January 3, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Sunset Cliffs mattwood


The beautiful Sunset Cliffs that stretch from the residential southern portions of Ocean Beach to the lower reaches of the uninhabited sections of Point Loma are certainly a world-renown, indescribably gorgeous treasure of nature that line the land’s border with the Pacific.

At the right moment when the ocean earns its name and the Cliffs earn theirs, the beauty and serenity cannot be amply replicated by the pen – or keyboard.

With the park along the cliffs celebrating its centennial in 2015, the Cliffs themselves – as they have for thousands of years – continue to erode and evolve with time, and sections fall or collapse to the water and beaches below. (See Needle’s Eye rock formation that has eroded away.)

Yet these same cliffs with their jagged rocks and crashing surf are also very unforgiving

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Burying 3.6 Million Pounds of Nuclear Waste at San Onofre State Beach Is a Terrible Idea

January 3, 2018 by Source

It’s heating up around the shuttered nuclear plant at San Onofre because locals are not happy with the plan to bury 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste at San Onofre State Beach. There were protests recently in the nearest city, San Clemente, against this plan.

Meanwhile, a local group, Citizens Oversight, has submitted a formal petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under NRC Regulations that govern how the nuclear industry handles spent nuclear fuel. They believe the containers of the toxic nuke spent fuel should be designed for 1,000 years rather than the current requirement of only 40 years.

Everybody is talking about San Onofre. In the current San Diego Reader, Don Bauder has a piece about how nuclear waste in the sand now will create a toxic ocean later. Sarah “Steve” Mosko, at Boogie Green writes there’s a ticking time bomb at San Onofre Nuclear Plant.

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LA Times Editorial: Keep Mountain Bikes Out of Wilderness Areas

January 3, 2018 by Source

By The Times Editorial Board

January 3, 2018

The federal Wilderness Act of 1964 was not vague about its intent: to protect significant and as-yet unspoiled land and wildlife habitat from the ravages of “an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization.” Humans could visit, but only under certain conditions, and they couldn’t stay permanently

Preserving land and seeking to maintain it as close to its “natural condition” as possible required developing strict access rules: Everyone is welcome to trek through designated national wilderness areas provided they use their feet or those of horses or other pack animals. No motor vehicles or boats, nor “other form of mechanical transport” are allowed. Years later, the Americans with Disabilities Act made wheelchairs an exception.

Now, Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove), who represents wilderness areas in the Sierra Mountains, is proposing a rule change to allow mountain bikers to cruise through the approximately 109 million acres of land designated as wilderness

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The Republicans’ Fake Investigations

January 3, 2018 by Source

Editor: The following is an article that appeared in the op-ed section of the New York Times on January 2nd by the founders of the research firm Fusion GPS, Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch. Fusion GPS hired Russian-expert Christopher Steele to investigate Trump’s ties with Russia, and who then generated the now infamous “dossier”, now a virtual guide book to conspiracy and collusion between the Trump campaign, transition and White House with Russia.

By Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch / The New York Times / Jan. 2, 2018

A generation ago, Republicans sought to protect President Richard Nixon by urging the Senate Watergate committee to look at supposed wrongdoing by Democrats in previous elections. The committee chairman, Sam Ervin, a Democrat, said that would be “as foolish as the man who went bear hunting and stopped to chase rabbits.”

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Do Nukes Kill? – Nuclear Shutdown News – December 2017

January 2, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg

Do Nukes Kill?

While the decline of the nuclear power industry has become undeniable, one of the more significant aspects of this story still receives scant attention. In order to function, nuclear reactors generate radioactive materials and must release them into the air and water of surrounding communities. This doesn’t just happen during serious accidents as at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, but during day-to-day operations at nuke plants.

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Ocean Beach Homeless Help to Keep Short-Term Vacationers Out – ‘Kind of hippies you don’t wanna be friends with’

January 2, 2018 by Staff

There’s a positive side to all of the homeless folks in Ocean Beach – they help keep the vacationers who rent those short-term rentals down.

Here’s an honest-to-goodness review on TripAdvisor by a vacationer, who spent some time at a vacation rental at 1868 Bacon Street:

Kind of hippies you don’t wanna be friends with

Came with a college friend, her 2 year old and my 5 month old baby and our husbands.

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Ocean Beach Planners Review Condo Project at Abbott and Muir and Hear How to Battle McMansions – Wed., Jan. 3rd

January 2, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets Wednesday, January 3rd, at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. The meeting begins at 6pm.

On its agenda is one of the most controversial projects – now redesigned – to appear before the Board – 3 new condos to be constructed in the vacate lot at Abbott Street and Muir Avenue.

The project has been controversial because its original design has been way out of line with the OB Community Plan. And the project has been before the Board numerous times.

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5 Reasons Why Every OBcean Should Read Russell Banks

January 2, 2018 by Source

By Brett Warnke

Russell Banks is an old New England white man. But he’s a writer who pens better stories about the great swindle and hard times reality — the great jumble of contemporary America — than anyone alive. He is possibly America’s greatest living writer.

Every OBcean should read his latest collection of short stories A Permanent Member of the Family, a book of 12 short stories that are relevant to us here on the beach.

Here’s five reasons why:

1. Disappearing Community: Whether we like it or not, the world of OB’s small beach haven as a sanctuary for the weird, the wild, and the radical is under tremendous threat.

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The OB Rag’s Winter Fund Raising Campaign – Help Us Raise $1,000 Over the Next Week

December 29, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Over the last several years, the OB Rag has hosted two fund-raising drives – one in the summer and one in the winter. And thanks to our readers and supporters, they’ve all been successful – we’ve always met our goals and then some.

Well, we’re at it again. Starting Friday, December 29th, 2017th, we’re doing our Winter fund-raising drive, which will go to next weekend, January 6th – 7th in 2018, and we’re asking our friends to help us reach $1,000.

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Sheldon Dorf – Key Founder of Comic-Con and OBcean – Focus of Rolling Stone Article

December 29, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Shel Dorf-edBy Frank Gormlie

Sheldon Dorf was one of the founders of Comic-Con and he lived in Ocean Beach for many years. “Shel” was living in OB when I met him in the mid-1970s. He passed away at the age of 76 in 2009, but now he’s a key focus in a current Rolling Stone article, entitled “San Diego Comic-Con: The Untold History” by Chris Chafin.

It turns out Dorf was quite a character, even a tragic figure gathering from Chafin’s brief recounts of his early history. Here’s a quote about him from the article:

Many of the founders [of Comic-Con] would go on to successful careers. … For Dorf, things were less smoothly.

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A New Years Wish for My People

December 29, 2017 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

I dream a New Years Wish for my fellow black brothers and sisters, one steeped in my yearning for a country that truly is committed to the mythical land of “liberty and justice for all” we Americans pledge loudly and proudly in classrooms and public gatherings.

I just wish we actively pursued such ideals.

Now, I realize that we, like all other “individual” citizens of the country, can rise and shine and fulfill the loftiest of hopes and dreams.

We can find ample proof of that in our history as we’ve accomplished a little of everything. We’ve won Nobel Peace Prizes and journeyed beyond earth’s skies into outer space.

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Historic Day – Pot Is Legal on Monday, January 1 in California – Here Are Some Answers to Basic Questions

December 28, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

An historic day in California is rushing upon us – Monday, January 1st – the day it’s legal to smoke marijuana in the Golden State.

So, what does it all mean? Can you smoke a joint legally on the way home from your New Year’s Eve party? Can you stop by your local dispensary on January 1 and buy cannabis legally? There’s a lot of smoke enveloping the ganja – lots of confusion out there.

Here are some answers to basic questions – plus updates on a whole range of issues surrounding California’s recreational pot industry and situation.

Can I buy legal weed on January 1?

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Is “92107” Being Discriminated Against?

December 28, 2017 by Judi Curry

By the Widder Curry

Sometimes you learn the strangest things in the strangest ways. Today was one of those days. Shadow, my golden retriever, needed a bath in the worst way. He does not like to climb up the stairs at the OB Dog Wash, so I called “Four Paws” and Cari Huges to come over with her mobile van and make him smell good again.

After the bath we started talking about things, and she mentioned that she was really upset with “Amazon Fresh.” And there-in begins this article.

I asked her what she was upset about and she said, “they won’t deliver to “92107”. I thought she was being a little pessimistic so I decided to do some research on my own – and – guess what. She is right!

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72-Year Old Ocean Beach Man With Dementia Has Gone Missing

December 28, 2017 by Staff

UPDATE: Police said the 72-year-old man diagnosed with dementia was found Thursday. The circumstances of how James Burks was found were not released. San Diego police confirmed that he was found Thursday morning.

James Burks – a 72-year-old man diagnosed with dementia – left his home Wednesday, December 27th around 12:30 pm – and hasn’t been seen since.

His home is in the 4600 block of Newport Avenue. The elderly OB resident routinely goes on walks in the Ocean Beach area and has had multiple contacts with people there, police said. But he usually returns within 15 minutes or so, according to San Diego police.

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2017 Meant Pain and Demons for Many Women

December 28, 2017 by Source

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway

By Eva Posner / San Diego Free Press

2017 hurt.

It hurt a lot of people in a lot of ways. For most of us, the pain started in 2016. Many people sang the praises of 2017 as the new year, hoping for a reprieve. I was not one of them. All I could think this time last year was, “You guys know it’s just going to get worse, right?”

And it did.

2017 made things worse for families. For children. For seniors. For immigrants. For women. For national parks. For scientists.

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6 Months After ‘Ras’ Riley Was Stabbed to Death on the Streets of Ocean Beach, There’s Been No Arrest

December 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It’s been 6 months now since Walter “Ras” Riley was stabbed to death on Bacon Street in an unprovoked attack, and there have been no arrests.

Riley was found with multiple stab wounds on a sidewalk on Bacon Street near Newport Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on June 22nd, 2017, and he died from his injuries at UC San Diego Medical Center.

Riley, 65, was a light-skinned homeless African-American who often sold incense in front of People’s and at the Farmers Market. He was described as “very quiet, soft-spoken person”.

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For Susan L. Taylor: The Green Fuse Drives the Flower

December 27, 2017 by Anna Daniels

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.

Dylan Thomas

Editor’s Note: Susan Taylor, who wrote gardening columns for the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press, passed in mid-December.

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Susan Taylor began writing columns about gardening for the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press in February of 2014. The biography that she provided to append to the end of her articles is quintessential Susan—direct, spirited and humorous. It deftly conveys details of an intriguing past, establishes the commitments of her heart and intellect and reflects her whimsical optimism about the future.

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Burning the Christmas Greens

December 27, 2017 by Jim Miller

[Editor: Here are sites for San Diego’s Christmas Tree Re-cycling Program.]

In William Carlos Williams’s famous poem “Burning the Christmas Greens” he notes how at “the thick of the dark moment” in “winter’s midnight” we turn to the trees because “green is a solace” that we use to “fill our need.” Thus the “living green” along with “paper Christmas bells covered with tinfoil and fastened by red ribbons” seem “gentle and good to us.”

But then when their time is past we feel the relief as we clear our rooms and assign the greens to the fireplace and “in the jagged flames green to red, instant and alive.” And we stand “breathless to be witnesses as if we stood ourselves refreshed among the shining fauna of that fire.”

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‘Take Your Community Involvement to the Next Level’: Be a Candidate for OB Town Council Director

December 27, 2017 by Source

Edited From OBTC:

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

The Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors is now accepting Candidate Statements for the 2018 election.

There are 15 seats on the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors and half of those seats on the Board are up for election every year. This year, seven seats are up for election. OBTC members elect Board Members for two-year terms.

As an OBTC Director you would :

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In the Midst of All the Negative News – Let’s Remember the Good News in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

December 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean Beach Town Council Delivers Food and Toys for 150 Local Families and Seniors – Point Loma High Students Collect 25,000 Pounds of Food

Tires slashed, fires in Point Loma alleys, an arsonist, outrageous behavior, mentally-challenged people acting out, acts of vandalism … there’s plenty of negative news out of Ocean Beach and Point Loma these days.

Yet, in the midst of all this bad stuff, we have to remember all the good news.

Just last week, the OB Town Council was able to provide nearly 150 local families and seniors with groceries, a fresh holiday meal, and gifts – as part of their annual OB Food & Toy Drive.

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Multiple Tires Slashed in Ocean Beach

December 22, 2017 by Staff

A reader of the OB Rag informed us today, that last night, Thursday, Dec. 21st, someone appears to have randomly slashed the tires on many cars, at least from Narragansett to Coronado on Cable and west of Cable.

The guy who informed us was himself a victim and says the number of tires cut could be higher than twenty.

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Early Sightings of Santa in Surf at Ocean Beach

December 22, 2017 by Source

There’s been an early sighting of Santa in Ocean Beach today, the second day of winter.

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‘San Diego Free Press’ Contributors Make the News

December 22, 2017 by Staff

By Staff

This past quarter a number of San Diego Free Press contributors and editors have been mentioned on other media sites or received special recognition for their activism in the community. Our congratulations to the people acknowledged below, not just for their words on this site, but for their compassion, insights and commitment.

SDFP contributor and retired executive director of the City Heights Community Development Corporation Jay Powell played a special role in the City Heights Community Development Corporation Scholarship fundraiser which raised over $4,000 dollars for next year’s scholarship awards. Jay, his wife Roz Hirst and Ken and Kate Grimes matched the donations that will help City Heights students with their college tuition. (December 2017)

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‘Have a Very Mueller Christmas’ – Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach Do It Again

December 22, 2017 by Source

Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach have done it again.

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Has Rupert Murdoch Finally Crossed the Line?

December 22, 2017 by Source

By Bill Adams / Urbdezine

Fox News has recently engaged in a coordinated attempt to intimidate and derail the Special Counsel investigation of President Donald Trump. Fox commentator Judge Jeanine Pirro has gone as far as accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller of attempting a coup d’état and suggesting he and his investigatory team should be taken away in handcuffs.

Rupert Murdoch was born an Australian, the son of a newspaper magnate. He is the owner of the News Corp., which has massive media holdings, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and the largest cable news company, Fox News.

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Second Homeless Shelter Opens in the Midway District – Focus on Veterans

December 22, 2017 by Staff

The second so-called “Temporary Bridge Shelter” opened Friday, December 22nd in the Midway district with the capacity to shelter up to 200 people. It’s located on the 2800 block of Sports Arena Blvd.

Operated by Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), the shelter will provide a variety of supportive services that are found in the other two shelters. This shelter will also include access to services specific to veterans.

The facility will offer meals, showers, restrooms, 24-hour security, connections to alcohol and substance abuse counseling, job training and mental health services, and each resident will be assigned a case manager and housing navigator who will develop a plan to get them permanently housed.

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Push-Back Needed by OBceans to Protect Public Land from Bikes

December 21, 2017 by Source

By Brett Warnke

“…a turn or two I’ll walk, To still my beating mind.” –William Shakespeare’s Prospero, The Tempest Act IV, Scene i.

Would you take a mountain bike down Cabrillo’s cliffs?

Or do a bike-trick on your i-phone off of Sunset Cliffs as the day expires? If not and you imbibe your experience on public land through the serenity of a craggy desert walk or a trip up the melancholy hills of Southern California, a local group is trying to spice up your walks with a cascade of helmets, rubber tires, rapid speed, and dry-fit gear.

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association has has been recruited by Republicans to help roll back wilderness protections on public lands. According to the LA Times the new measure would “invite mountain bikers to shred through the iconic landscapes.”

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San Diego Organizations Launch Rapid Response Network to Protect Immigrant Families

December 21, 2017 by Source

24-hour hotline now offers live support during immigration enforcement activity in San Diego County

Edited from a Network Press Statement:

On December 19th, interfaith leaders and a diverse cross section of organizations launched the San Diego Rapid Response Network, an interconnected system of hundreds of community members who as volunteer responders gathered to pledge their commitment to protecting community members who are undocumented. They were responding to dehumanizing immigration enforcement activities in San Diego County. The gathering took place at Saint Jude’s Shrine of the West near Barrio Logan. The Rapid Response Network follows models already in place in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

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Judge Rules Officer Reasonable in Use of Deadly Force Against Unarmed Fridoon Nehad in 2015 Midway Shooting

December 21, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It’s been over two and a half years since an unarmed man, Fridoon Nehad, was shot to death by San Diego Police Officer Neal Browder at night in an alley in the Midway District. The fatal shooting on April 30, 2015 occurred after a mere 33-second encounter between Nehad and Officer Browder.

Just this week, on Monday, December 18th, a federal judge ruled that the officer acted reasonably in his use of deadly force, and dismissed the family’s civil suit. The City had brought a motion for summary judgement – a typical legal maneuver in civil suits – which is a claim by one side that there are no facts in contention and they should win by matter of law; this throws the decision-making solely onto the shoulders of the judge – and not a jury.

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