News and community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
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King tides helped create huge waves on Jan. 18 that damaged and closed the Ocean Beach Pier. / JIM GRANT / PENINSULA BEACON
King tides helped create huge waves on Jan. 18 that damaged and closed the Ocean Beach Pier. / JIM GRANT / PENINSULA BEACON
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OB PIER DAMAGED, CITY REPAIRS MAY TAKE WEEKS

A series of winter storms recently that reportedly tore away an estimated 200 feet of railing and planks from Ocean Beach Pier, has caused it to be indefinitely closed for inspection and repairs.

“As of right now, City staff are still reviewing the extent of the damage of the pier, and until that’s done, we won’t have any estimates for repair timelines, costs or projections for re-opening,” said City spokesman Alec Phillipp. “The pier will remain closed in the meantime.”

Added Phillipp about recent developments, “A light for navigational safety was powered on at the end of the pier.”

Concerning nearby bluff damage, Phillipp noted king tides with large surf in the 10- to 12-foot range were responsible.

HEIGHTENED POLICE PATROLS IN OCEAN BEACH

SDPD Lt. Dan Grubbs confirmed at the Jan. 22 PLA community “conversation” that officer patrols would be beefed up in problem areas in Ocean Beach including Newport Avenue and Abbott Street. The announcement came in the aftermath of a spate of assaults in the beach community.

Recent incidents included a woman who was dragged into an alley and sexually assaulted near Narragansett Avenue, and a Jan. 17 altercation outside Winston’s Beach Club, during which a 21-year-old man was stabbed in the arm after midnight. Police officers will be enforcing vagrancy laws and offering the homeless assistance services. Police reportedly were removing vagrants who sit on the wall in front of the ocean.

CABRILLO NATIONAL MONUMENT REOPENS

With the enactment of the continuing resolution, Cabrillo National Monument is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tide pools are open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 pm.

Cabrillo National Monument Foundation's Sunrise 5K Fun Run & Walk will take place Saturday, Feb. 9, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The route takes runners and walkers around the park's most famous landmarks before dropping down 200 feet in elevation on the Bayside Trail. Visit cnmf.org for more information and to register.

TWO KILLED WHEN TREE FALLS ON HOUSE

The early morning peace of a Point Loma Heights neighborhood on Jan. 21 was shattered when a 75-foot-tall Torrey Pine tree toppled onto a vacation rental home at 4406 Santa Monica Ave. killing two of the three occupants. Rescuers later found the bodies of Troy and Jessica Nelson from Grand Forks, N.D. A third person staying in the rental, Ryan Langerud, identified as Jessica Nelson's brother, survived.

NORTH CHAPEL NOT TO BECOME RESTAURANT

Representatives of the new management group operating North Chapel in Liberty Station said the historic building will not be converted into a restaurant. At the Jan. 17 Peninsula Community Planning Board meeting, Joe Haeussler from Pendulum Property Partners, along with Ashleigh Glod and Victoria LaHood from 828 Venue Management, fielded audience questions about North Chapel.

Under “cross-examination” by audience members, they admitted their companies did initially advertise the chapel for multiple uses, including restaurant space. But they added that was done to test the market to see what potential users might possibly be interested in utilizing the facility once it’s repurposed.

New ownership reps reiterated that the chapel is designed “to have multiple denominations worship there on Sundays.” The 828 Venue reps pointed out they have long experience in hosting weddings adding the chapel “is a pretty good fit.”

BIKE LANE FOR WEST POINT LOMA BOULEVARD DEBATED

A debate over putting a new bicycle lane in on West Point Loma Boulevard, which would displace some car parking, was revisited at Peninsula Community Planning Board’s January meeting. After the hot-button issue was vetted at length by both PCPB board and audience members, the board opted to send the matter back to subcommittee for further study.

MIDWAY PLANNERS DISCUSS SPAWAR PLAN

During its first meeting of the new year, Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group preliminarily discussed a proposal to redevelop a portion of the Navy’s existing SPAWAR Old Town facility into a transit station with a rail connecting to San Diego International Airport. MPCP chair Cathy Kenton said she was disappointed that the planning group “has not had an opportunity to weigh-in” on the proposal. 

Kenton questioned whether the transit hub notion is compatible with Midway District’s recently updated community plan, which will guide future development in the area during the next 20-plus years.

OCEAN BEACH WINERY EARNS ‘TOP 10 WINE TASTES’ OF 2018

It’s not every day that you see a San Diego County winery keep company with the wine giants from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Italy. But a small winery in Ocean Beach managed to make that happen. Gianni Buonomo Vintners’ 2015 Charbono earned the “Top 10 Wine Tastes” of 2018. The list was selected by renowned syndicated wine and food columnist Frank Mangio. His top 10 list was published by the Coast News Group.

Owner/winemaker Keith Rolle said he would have been thrilled just to get honorable mention in such famous company as Caymus, DAOU, Sattui, Paul Hobbs, Rombauer and Silver Oak. “It was a very humbling moment. Those are some really elite wines from the best in the industry,” said Rolle. We are grateful. A lot of things had to go right.”

Close to 3,000 wines were tasted and the winners included five from Napa Valley, and one each from Sonoma, San Diego, Monterey, Paso Robles and Italy.

It’s not a total shock that a Gianni Buonomo wine was selected. They have been on the radar of many wine critics since opening in 2014. Throughout 2018, the winery collected gold and double gold medals from coast-to-coast in domestic and international competitions.

What makes this rarity intriguing is that Gianni Buonomo Vintners owns no vineyards. They operate out of a 3,000-square-foot converted antique store two blocks from the beach. This urban winery sources grapes from the Sierra Foothills near Placerville and also brings in grapes from Washington State. All winemaking operations take place on-site in Ocean Beach.

OB SURF CLASSIC

Fourth annual OB Surf Classic, presented by the Hodad’s Foundation and AWOL Productions, will take place 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb 2. This surf contest is for all the local rippers and families in the Ocean Beach community. There will be a variety of divisions for men, women, juniors, groms and a fun family division for longboards and shortboards. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the Hodad’s Foundation to encourage more youth sports, summer surf and skate camps.

GOFUNDME STARTED TO FLY VAL HOME

A GoFundMe campaign was started on Jan. 26 to help raise funds for an OB woman to fly home to Brazil for her mother’s funeral. The fundraiser named “Fly Val Home!!” was created by Andrea Macouzet and has raised $500 of its $4,000 goal for Val Fiorini as of press time.

“I have a very dear friend that is grieving the loss of her mother this week,” the description reads. “I'm reaching out to the OB community, friends and family for help. All donations will help with travel expenses to Brazil so Val can be with her family. Val is a huge part of our community. I stop by her coffee shop every morning and everyone there has made me feel like family.”

“Val has been a great friend over the years. She is kind, loving, compassionate, and is always thinking of others. A true gem! Losing a mother has got to be one of the most painful experiences in life. I'm heart broken for my dear friend.”

Fiorini owns Val’s Coffee Corner at 2244 Beacon St. To donate to the campaign, visit gofundme.com and search “Fly Val Home!!”

THE BLACK MAKES TOP 10 LIST

High Times recently recognized one of Ocean Beach’s longtime businesses. The Black was named as one of the “10 Legendary Headshops” in the magazine’s December 2018 issue. It originally opened on 5017 Newport Ave., in 1968. “If you come to San Diego, check it out,” owner Kurt Dornbusch told the magazine. ‘It’ll blow your mind.”

NEW AGENT AT COLDWELL ASSOCIATES

There’s a new face at the Ocean Beach office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Thomas Fessler has associated as an affiliate agent. “I love to help people through difficult situations, and because of my experience in Kundalini Yoga and energy work, I can energetically and spiritually enhance the quality of a client's home,” said Fessler.

OB MAN NAMED LAWYER OF THE YEAR

An Ocean Beach man was recently named “Best Lawyer of the Year” for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. Kevin F. Quinn, a senior partner at Thornes Bartolotta McGuire in downtown San Diego, was recognized for his distinguished reputation for taking tough cases other lawyers avoid to trial — and winning them.

He received an Outstanding Trial lawyer Award for one of the first elder abuse death cases tried under a newly enacted state law in 1998, the Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2010 and achieved the victory for the largest single-plaintiff verdict in the state of California for 2010. He also was among the first to volunteer as a pro-bono representative for the families of those who were killed in 9/11.

CRAZYTOWN X TO PERFORM AT SAN DIEGO STRIKE FORCE OPENER 

CrazyTown X, the band best known for the 2000 hit single, “Butterfly,” will perform at the San Diego Strike Force’s March 3, home opener at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The Strike Force will host the Tucson Sugar Skulls in their home opener on Sunday, March 3. Kickoff is 5:05 p.m. It also marks the first game in franchise history.

Playing a blend of rock, rap and hip-hop, CrazyTown X’s hit song, Butterfly, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and their debut album, The Gift of Game, sold more than 1.5 million albums. The band has toured all around the world and sold millions of records. Subsequent album releases include Darkhorse and The Brimstone Sluggers.

AIR & SPACE MUSEUM OFFERS FREE ADMISSION

The San Diego Air & Space Museum announced that it will continue offering free admission to federal employees through Feb. 21. Federal employees can simply show their federal employee identification and they are allowed to bring as many as three immediate family members with them to the museum.

The museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m.

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Blanche Teyssier
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February 05, 2019
Dear Editor,

I am writing to comment on 'BIKE LANE FOR WEST POINT LOMA BOULEVARD DEBATED'. (It just so happens that I found this page because I was interested in picture of the damage on the OB Pier.) I am an avid bike rider who grew up in San Diego and now live in Massachusetts. Whenever I visit SD I lament how little attention SD has given to making the city bike friendly. For such perfect bike weather there should be bike lanes EVERYWHERE. The Peninsula Community Planning Board should do everything it can to encourage bike travel. Even gentle-person bicyclist can ride to work and other places because of the new ebikes. If more people felt it was safer to ride, they would and the need for the parking would be reduced. PS: San Diego didn't even make the top 50 cities for biking in Bicycling Magazine. https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20048181/the-50-best-bike-cities-of-2016/
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