police

Early OB Rag – ‘underground newspaper’ for OB – where the surf meets the hip

July 17, 2012 by Staff
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Originally posted September 29, 2009

Editor: This is part of a irregular continuing series about Ocean Beach since the late Sixties and the early history of the first OB Rag.

1968: The Rowdy College-Surf Town Morphs Into Hippie Haven

OB was already well-known for its rowdy and irreverent culture of beach, surf & beer; but by 1968, it began its transformation into something more. Bleach blond long-haired surfers lived next door to long-haired hippies, and soon you couldn’t tell them apart. It became official: Ocean Beach had become the hippie mecca. Since the late sixties, Ocean Beach had morphed into the hippie hangout for the entire city. OB had become the Haight-Ashbury of San Diego, shadowing the more famous early birthplace of hippie-ism. But if you were young and a hippie in San Diego, you ended up in OB.

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Old Home Haunts OB VFW Outpost – Issue May Go to Planning Board

February 2, 2011 by Andy Cohen
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The controversy over the proposed relocation of the Ocean Beach VFW Outpost 1392 to a new home on the corner of Pt. Loma Ave. and Ebers St. rages on, pitting residents concerned over the reputation of the outpost’s previous home against a VFW post that suddenly finds itself without one.  The primary concern centers on […]

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Homelessness Myth #18: The Police Will Solve It

January 27, 2011 by Christine Schanes
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By Christine Schanes

Homeless is first and foremost a social service issue. In other words, homelessness can be and will be resolved through the work of compassionate individuals and social service agencies, be they nonprofit organizations or government agencies. Nevertheless, the myth exists that homelessness is primarily a police issue.

If homelessness is truly a social service issue, why is police activity often seen as the ultimate solution to ending homelessness?

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Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio: Abuse protected by the badge

August 23, 2010 by Rocky Neptun
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By Rocky Neptun

“Do not forsake me, ohhhh..my darling,” the deep raspy voice of Gary Cooper intoned as Hadleyville Marshal Will Kane walked out into the middle of town to meet the evil that was arriving on the noon train. Having just gotten married to a pacifist Quaker that day, hanging up his guns and badge; he would have to make a choice between the effortless escapism in the waiting buggy, horses harnessed and ready, and facing down the malicious criminal who was approaching – even though everyone in town was frightened and hid.

Gary Cooper won a Best Acting Oscar for that performance, while Tex Ritter’s theme High Noon won Best Song.

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San Diego Police Ready to Be a Presence At the Beach

May 26, 2010 by Source
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By Stephen Luke / NBCSanDiego.com / May 26, 2010

San Diego police are laying out their summer staffing plans for the city’s beach areas. Starting this Friday with the Memorial Day weekend crowds, San Diegans will see a lot more officers near the coast.

“You know, when it’s summertime and there’s more people, there’s more opportunity for problems,” Mission Beach resident Dave Cummings said.

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Woman Feeds OB Homeless Every Monday for 22 Years – Is Now Halted by Police

May 18, 2010 by Source

Everyone complains about the homeless. OB merchants, local residents, … you name the group and there is grumbling galore about those without a home who dot our beachside community.

One person is doing something about it. Lupe Haley is a cancer survivor and believes deeply in Jesus Christ. She has been answering his call to feed the needy for the past 22 years. Every Monday for all those years, Lupe comes down to Saratoga Park and sets up a food line where she literally dishes out food for the dozens of homeless people who show up.

In April FOX News Channel 5 did a story about her work. The very next Monday, Lupe showed up as usual – but this time there was a different ending. She was stopped by police who threatened to cite and even arrest her for not having the proper permits.

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Watch Channel 10 News Tonight About Surveillance Cameras

May 5, 2010 by Staff
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Michael Chen, a Channel 10 News reporter, has a brand, new piece that he is broadcasting tonight about the surveillance cameras in and around the beach. His report has a new slant on the fact that the City of San Diego plans to install up to 16 cameras around Mission Bay and including one on the OB Pier.

Chen came out to OB today (5/5/10) and interviewed Frank Gormlie about the cameras. Gormlie has written about the “creep of Big Brother” and has taken a strong stance against the cameras.

But we cannot divulge the content of Chen’s report until after tonight. His report should be either at 6pm or 7pm this evening on Channel 10.

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38 Years ago today: February 22, 1974 – the Day Ocean Beach Became an Armed Police State

February 22, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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Originally posted February 22, 2009

OCEAN BEACH, CA. Exactly 36 38 years ago today, on February 22, 1974 – all hell broke loose in Ocean Beach – and for many of the seventies generation, this day will always live on in their memory as a day of infamy – the day the world came crashing down on our little seaside community. It was the day that Pete Mahone, a politicized ex-convict and member of OB’s anti-Vietnam war community, tried to commit suicide by cop. It was also the breaking point in police-community relations, relations that had been simmering for years.

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The “Kids” Speak Out on the Homeless, Traveling, and the Naked Swimmer

February 11, 2010 by Mary E. Mann
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Angela from Santa Cruz is not semantically homeless. The 19-year-old has supportive parents, so much so that they pay her cell phone bill so that they can reach her on the road. Because, although Angela has a house that she can live in, the road is where she chooses to be. Angela is not homeless; she is traveling.

This bit of semantics is the true distinction between the permanent “bums” on Newport Avenue (most vocally represented by Boston James, www.bostonjames.com, the “first homeless man on the internet”), and the groups of transient youth known as the Kids. “Traveling” is the label that binds them together. They are without a home by choice.

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Should OB Have a Town Hall Meeting on the Homeless Youth and the Police ?

February 10, 2010 by Lane Tobias
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The last week or so has been an incredibly busy time here on the OB Rag, due in part to Obecians’ emotional attachment to some very deep seated issues – namely, the police and the young transient/homeless population.

We have now seen what seemed like an unnecessary police response to a skinny dipper on a Saturday afternoon culminate with a number of young transients being the target of a crackdown on “loitering” and other “quality of life” issues this past weekend. In between these two events, we have seen a community both divided and mutually concerned on the possible implications of these and future events.

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Police Respond to “Open Letter” to Chief

February 9, 2010 by Anna Daniels

by Anna Daniels

Chief Lansdowne, I received a message very early yesterday morning from Boyd Long, Assistant Chief of Patrol Operations, and was not able to return his call until later that evening. I want to acknowledge his quick response to my prior email about disparate police responses in different communities. Chief Long was professional and courteous and we had a long, interesting conversation on the topics within my email.

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An Open Letter to Police Chief Lansdowne: A Tale of Two Crimes

February 7, 2010 by Anna Daniels
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Dear Chief Lansdowne:

I awoke this morning(Saturday Feb. 6th) and began doing what I do every morning- reading the news and drinking my coffee. A signonsandiego article regarding the police investigation of a murder-suicide in City Heights caught my eye I could not help reading it as a disturbing counterpoint to a OB Rag blog posting about the police crackdown on homeless youth in Ocean Beach.

I have lived in City Heights for over 20 years and I also contribute to the OB Rag. What I read this morning was essentially articles about not only different kinds of crime but articles about what seems to be two different cities in terms of police involvement.

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Reader Rant: Police Response Was Too Overwhelming, Costly and Wrong

February 1, 2010 by Source

By the looks of what happened at the foot of Newport Avenue on Saturday afternoon with the nude swimmer, you’d think that police-community relations in OB had returned to the 1970’s.

Reports of up to twenty police cars roaring into OB, speeding down residential streets – to deal with one nude guy and the commotion that resulted when police and lifeguards tried to cite him – has made my blood boil.

It’s apparent that the San Diego Police Department has not learned a single thing in all the decades of its “troubles” with the citizens and youth of Ocean Beach.

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Breaking news on Newport, naked man nearly incites riot

January 30, 2010 by Nate Hipple
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by Nate Hipple

At 2:30 PM a naked man waded into the ocean in the ‘surfing only’ section next to the pier in Ocean Beach. This immediately caused a reaction from people who were hanging out on the boardwalk as well as those standing in the tide pools. Some were cheering. One man shouted, “Put your clothes back on!”

When the skinny dipper returned to the beach, moments later, lifeguards and police were waiting to detain him. One eyewitness saw the naked man struggle with authorities and was forcibly brought to the ground. Onlookers on the boardwalk reacted with obscenities, shouting, “F- the police!” and “Pigs!”

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Getting to know our public servants: David Surwilo – Community Relations Officer

January 13, 2010 by Mary E. Mann
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Editor: The OB Rag is beginning a series on ‘Getting to know our public servants’ with this report by Mary E Mann of an interview with OB’s Community Relations Officer.

Picture your high school guidance counselor in a police uniform, and you have a pretty good idea of Officer David Surwilo, the one and only community relations officer in San Diego Police Department’s Western Division.

The Western Division is huge and diverse, comprised of North Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Linda Vista, Hotel Circle, Fashion Valley, Old Town, Sports Arena, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, and the airport area. Surwilo used to manage this area with three other officers, with four different “storefront” offices. That was in the sunny days before budget cuts hit the SDPD hard, and three officers and three storefronts were cut, leaving only Surwilo and his office on Sports Arena.

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Breaking News: Cops Shoot and Kill “vicious” Dog at OB Farmers Market

October 17, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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Originally posted October 7, 2009

OCEAN BEACH, CA. The usual calm and fun at OB’s famous Farmers’ Market was broken this afternoon when a San Diego Police officer shot and killed a local pit bull in Hodad’s parking lot on the 5000 block of Newport Avenue. Police claim the officer was forced to shot the dog as it was attacking another officer.

The shooting of the dog, described as a black pit bull, and named “Blue” occurred around 5pm. At the 10 pm news, two TV stations reported that apparently an undercover police officer was either approaching the dog’s owner or was in the vicinity when the dog began attacking the officer and a woman. ……

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City Beat: Dispensaries raided for acting like for-profit businesses

September 10, 2009 by Source

The police raids on numerous San Diego County medical marijuana dispensaries that took place throughout the afternoon are the culmination of a five-month investigation, CityBeat has learned. A law enforcement source close to the operation and familiar with the details told CityBeat the investigation revealed that many of the marijuana collectives and co-ops were functioning as for-profit businesses, and thus lost the protection granted to them by voters under Proposition 215 in 1996.

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Chris Bowd is improving but cannot communicate yet

July 31, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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We have seen the wonderful news about Chris Bowd…

“Chris is breathing on his own and will be released for rehabilitation on monday or tuesday. He is very aware of his surroundings and can move all limbs. He has been nodding and has even smiled. He is not able to speak yet but should be able to very soon once the endotracheal tube is removed.”

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Polls show most want to keep OB’s Marshmallow Fight – but many want some kind of controls placed on the event

July 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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OCEAN BEACH, CA. Two recent polls – one by this blog – and one that is still on-going by the Peninsula Beacon, show that most – or at least the respondents – want to keep the annual July 4th Marshmallow War around. The Ocean Beach public event has been the subject of debate recently after the mess that was left behind.

Our blog ran a poll for a week and received 80 respondents. Clearly most – 56 respondents, 71%, wanted the event to continue, although …

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Burners and Hoopers: the Police Respond

July 27, 2009 by Mary E. Mann
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by Mary E Mann

Two weeks ago the OB Rag published an article I wrote about burners (people who spin fire at Burning Man), and hoopers (people who dance with flaming hula-hoops). A group of hoopers had been ticketed on June 4th, with fines totaling $2,500. They got these tickets practicing in a small, controlled group at the beach in OB.

The article received a great response, but I started thinking about the voices that hadn’t been heard.

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Police continue their investigation into who attacked Chris Bowd while (most) local media still ignore him

July 13, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Frank Gormlie

San Diego Police are still conducting an investigation into what happened to Chris Bowd, the OBcean found unconscious at Newport and Bacon the night of July 4th. Bowd remains unconscious.

To get an update, I spoke with Detective Patrick Hall, who is leading the investigation, and his sergeant.

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Grumbling from the parking lots on July 4th as police moved in

July 7, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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The Reader reported on Monday, July 5th, that over two dozen RV owners were forced out of the OB Pier parking lot by San Diego Police.

And alot of grumbling was going on. Apparently, many of the RVs had pulled into the parking lot at the end of Newport Avenue in the early hours of the 4th in order to get close, set up their grills and their families. The police arrived at 8 am and forced them all to leave, upon threat of arrest and towing of their vehicles.

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OB Burners and Hoopers Get Busted

July 1, 2009 by Mary E. Mann
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By Mary E Mann

A young man spins unlit fire chains by himself, in the middle of Collier Park at Soto & Greene. His phone rings, a tinny sound from his pocket. He pauses to answer it, tucks it between his shoulder and his ear, and continues to spin while he talks. The spinning is almost an afterthought, his body dancing slowly, almost like tai chi, but with whizzing metal balls on chains involved.

Slowly a troupe forms, ten people or so, mostly men and mostly young-looking, in their 20’s and 30’s. MORE INSIDE …

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Remember the Collier Park Riot! March 28, 1971

March 28, 2009 by Staff
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38 years ago – check out our account of the riot – reposted here, what led up to it, the causes, the reporting, and the aftermath.

the Battle for Collier Park

Spring 1971. One of the first major issues the OB Rag jumped into wholeheartedly was to join up with a new OB environmental group, OB Ecology Action, and lead a fight to save Collier Park, an urban patch of land in northeastern OB.

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San Diego really is a police state: SDNN refused press passes by police until they “prove” themselves

March 26, 2009 by Source
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by Pat Flannery

I recently got dramatic proof of this shortly after joining a team of young journalists at San Diego News Network, SDNN, a new online news journal. I was supposed to become its political analyst and columnist. I was looking forward to probing the underbelly of San Diego politics with young idealistic journalists.

Unfortunately it was not to be.

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OB vs. Police in the 1970s

March 25, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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by Frank Gormlie

It was a nice spring day in the month of May. The 21st to be exact. It was in the year 1974. A generation ago. It was show-time for us as we were going up against the Chief of Police.

Four of us had traveled to City Hall to have a “get-down” meeting with Chief Ray Hoobler and our Councilman. The situation in OB had become intolerable. We had come to talk because police – community relations there had broken down.

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Ocean Beach and the Police in the mid-1970s: demand grows for that strange and foreign concept of civilian review

March 10, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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It may be true, as someone has suggested, that young people of Ocean Beach today have no idea of the on-going, daily tension between the police and the youth of OB a generation ago. Things are taken for granted.

Take the concept of police review, of the idea that civilians with some authority review the activities of police officers through an independent process. Heh? What’s the big deal? you ask. Of course, there should be some sort of civilian monitoring of and control on how police act and behave toward citizens.

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Police Brutality: Deal with it!

March 10, 2009 by Source

by Norm Stamper

As police brutality cases go, it may not be one for the annals.

In late February, King County, WA sheriff’s deputy Paul Schene deposited a slender 15-year-old girl into a holding cell and ordered her to remove her shoes. The teen used her right toe to loosen the heel of her left sneaker, which she then cast off, the rubber-soled shoe apparently striking Schene in the shin.

As she began the mirror process with the other shoe, Schene stormed the holding cell, …

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Ocean Beach in the 1970s – How an armed police camp led to reforms in police practices

February 27, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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In my earlier post, I described how all hell broke loose 35 years ago on February 22, 1974. It was the day that Pete Mahone tried to commit suicide by cop – a guy many of us active in OB’s progressive community knew. The subsequent armed take-over of Ocean Beach by the San Diego Police in response to the shooting led to an outrage among residents, an outrage that manifested itself into a campaign for human rights and reforms in police practices – a campaign that eventually did win some changes.

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6th Anniversary of death of Danny ‘the Walker’ – OB homeless man killed by police Feb 4th 2003

February 4, 2009 by Frank Gormlie
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There will be a small vigil tonight at 6 pm at the site where exactly 6 years ago, a well-known homeless man in Ocean Beach was gunned down and killed by San Diego police officers. Danny “the Walker” Woodyard was filled with bullets on West Point Loma Avenue near the intersection with Voltaire Street, a few yards from the entrance to north beach parking lot.

Danny was a well-known homeless man, who was always seen walking around the community, hence his nickname. The morning of Feb 4, 2003, he had been dumpster diving with his only tool, an old knife.

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