News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2022

2022-07-01 04:04:03 By : Ms. Lan Shi

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by Frank Gormlie on June 30, 2022 · 1 comment

John Atkinson and his wife Tuktha bought 4870 Voltaire Street back in March of 2021. Since then, he designed and built a new fence and cleaned up the front. They wanted an open design so they could still talk to people out front, so he designed the fence from a small art project called the Great Wave off Kanagawa. Tuktha does the gardening. He designed the post around the planters for Newport Ave 9 years ago, but they were never used so he used them for Voltaire. In the future they plan to put a small retail building on the property. In the meantime, John and Tuktha believe they have “the best fence in OB.” Why do you think, dear reader? [An earlier version of this paragraph cited the property incorrectly as “4780” Voltaire.]

Kensington pepper tree fight moves to Ocean Beach palms – City forester Brian Widener under attack

A lawsuit that would force the city to abide by its own tree protection policy was lost this month, which may make it even harder to stop the removal of other mature, greenhouse gas-trapping trees. A case similar to one in Kensington will be heard next month over the historic, city-owned palm trees that line Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, valued by locals for their iconic beauty. The ruling, which has not yet been released, declared the tree policy an “unfunded mandate,” lacking the weight of an ordinance, according to Margaret McCann who filed the lawsuit along with Celia Conover.

“I can find the money in every Councilmember’s budget priorities,” McCann says. The policy bars the hasty or needless removal of heritage trees, which qualify for nomination if they are 50 years or older or are linked to historic events or people, like the four city-owned peppers that prompted the lawsuit. It doesn’t restrict the removal of designated trees that threaten public safety, but only after “reasonable efforts have been made for additional care, corrective actions or maintenance to correct these problems.” For more go to San Diego Reader

“The Street Vet” Now Providing Services to Pets of OB Homeless

Veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart, also known as “The Street Vet” is now providing semi-regular free veterinary services to pets and pet parents experiencing homelessness in Ocean Beach.He helped found Project Street Vet, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity that provides free veterinary care, treatment, and non-judgmental support to the pets of individuals experiencing homelessness and/or housing vulnerability currently in Southern California. Dr. Stewart and his team at Project Street Vet visited Ocean Beach twice since May to provide over 30 pets with needed care such as examinations, core vaccines, flea meds, and donated pet supplies. The team will continue to do semi-regular visits to the Ocean Beach area to provide core veterinary care to pets of residents experiencing homelessness. Project Street Vet is run 100% on public donations and asks for the public’s support to achieve this work. Those looking to get involved including local businesses looking to donate supplies or other local veterinarians looking to volunteer can visit

OB-Born Skrewball Whiskey Getting Canned

This summer Ocean Beach-born Skrewball Whiskey is upping the ante with its new first-to-market 100ml cans. Rolling out across the United States all summer long with its initial debut in Southern California, the original peanut butter whiskey’s new, ultra-convenient 100ml can offers two servings of the sweet and savory flavored whiskey with no additional ingredients, perfect for sipping straight by the pool or at the beach.

Point Loman Is ‘Called” to the Sea

From the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, Point Loma resident Melissa Morris has created waves of change through her full-time job at Oceana (a nonprofit ocean conservation organization) and her nonprofit, Service to Sea. Pairing her love of the beach with advocacy and conservation, she is making a splash and addressing the environmental issues in her community.

In May, Morris had her first in-person Oceana event since the beginning of COVID-19. The event, Hands Across the Sand, collaborated with the Surfrider Foundation to focus on offshore drilling and protecting the coasts as the Biden administration plans to release the country’s next five-year program for offshore oil and gas development. With a turnout of roughly 150 people and speakers like Rep. Mike Levin, Morris said she was amazed at how many showed up to support and speak up.

Morris’ drive for ocean conservation has flourished in San Diego, but it all started in Miami. Originally from Florida, her “calling” to the sea was the undercurrent directing her story from the beginning.

Point Loma Couple Create “Magical Garden” After Removing Palms and Ficus Trees

Guests who step behind an architecturally striking stucco home sitting atop a Point Loma Heights ridge will experience a magical wonderland. Following the sinuous path leads to discovery of a garden filled with repurposed discards, whimsical thrift shop finds and stained-glass treasures, along with containers artfully filled with lush drought-tolerant plantings.

Rebecca Long and Eric Johannesen purchased the Point Loma Heights home 15 years ago, starting their marriage fresh in a new home. Built about 1963, it began as a ranch house but, after remodels, morphed into a multilevel midcentury design with twin peaked roofs and vaulted ceilings, which Long described stylistically as “modern midcentury meets Victorian.”

Situated on a spacious 6,300-square-foot lot, the property overlooks the sea at Ocean Beach and offers expansive views toward Mission Bay and Mount Soledad. The 2,700-square-foot house with its four bedrooms, three baths plus attached and freestanding garages, needed only basic updates when they purchased it, the couple said, but they knew they wanted to overhaul its landscaping. “We removed almost all the landscaping, especially the ficus and palm trees, and brought in rock,” Johannesen explained. For more, go here.

Point Loma High Alum Disabled Years Ago Now Heals Through Painting

Will Barton was hospitalized in a coma in the aftermath of the unprovoked street assault that forever changed his life. Ten years later Barton, a Point Loma High School alum, has found expression and some sense of renewal and healing through painting using his mouth to compensate for partial arm paralysis. He said the recent spate of national mass murders has brought him back to that defining moment when he was in limbo between life and death – and chose life. Go here for more

Point Loma Monsarz Hotel Wins Design Award

Point Loma’s new Monsaraz Hotel has won an international award for its design, which is meant to reflect the Portuguese heritage of its neighborhood. Finished in 2021, the hotel just won a LIV Hospitality Design Award from the prestigious design organization based in Zurich. The LIV awards recognize excellence in hospitality architecture, interior design and guest experiences on a global scale. The Monsaraz was built by Alliance Development Services, based in Carlsbad, in partnership with Lamming Co., which is headquartered in Point Loma. Interior designs came from Los Angeles-based KNA Design and exterior design by Joseph Wong Associates based in Bankers Hill.

The Monsaraz was built at the site of the former Dolphin Hotel, which was razed along with an adjacent palm reading shop and a billboard. The 39-room Dolphin closed in 2017 after it was acquired by Alliance Development for $5.2 million. The new 92-room Monsaraz cost about $30 million to build. … The decision was made to design the hotel to reflect the area’s Portuguese heritage. Including an 8,000-square-foot courtyard, the Monsaraz is “a coastal modern design.” The hotel is even named after a Portuguese fishing village. Touches of Portugal are blended throughout the hotel, from the blue and white color palette that dominates and the pattern in tile work to photographs and art work on display, nautical ropes used as accents, and wooden chandeliers made of old fishing traps in the lobby.

The Monsaraz is geared toward vacationing families, although LaMarca said it’s attracted a mix of guests. “The old Dolphin used to get a lot of guys that went on sport fishing trips,” LaMarca said. “We get some of that but we’re a little more upscale from that.” Lamming said he wanted the hotel to be “a place that the locals are proud to have there.” San Diego Business Journal

Mission Beach Leaders Want City to Enforce Non-Vendor Code

Fed up with sidewalk vending and increasing crime in the area, Mission Beach Town Council held a press conference on June 14 demanding that the City enforce existing codes to curb vending at Mission Beach Park. But even though San Diego’s new sidewalk vending ordinance takes effect this week, the City cannot enforce it in coastal areas until the California Coastal Commission endorses it.

“Like most residents, I understand the privilege of living in the middle of a huge beautiful park. With that privilege comes a responsibility to help protect our parks and beaches,” said current MBTC president Larry Webb. See Beach & Bay Press

Point Loma – Cabrillo Tennis Clubs Wants Pickleball Players

The Point Loma/Cabrillo Tennis Club wants residents to know its court sports are thriving and new members are welcome. Supporting its mission to promote fun and safe tennis and pickleball in Point Loma, the club maintains six tennis courts – four behind the fire station at 1049 Catalina Blvd., and two at Cabrillo Recreation Center at 3051 Cañon St., including lined pickleball courts. Point Loma/Cabrillo is a City-owned public tennis club operating under a special-use permit renewed periodically. Membership is $75 per year, per person. All membership fees go to maintaining the courts making sure they are tennis- and pickleball-ready. For more information, visit

Former OBcean Sentenced for Role in Jan.  6 Capitol Riot

A former Ocean Beach man was sentenced June 27 to 30 days in prison for his part in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Philip Weisbecker, 51, pleaded guilty in March to one misdemeanor count of parading or demonstrating in the Capitol. He is among a handful of people with San Diego ties who have been charged or linked to the Capitol breach and the resulting riot. During a virtual hearing in Washington, D.C., where the federal prosecution is based, Weisbecker’s attorney argued for a sentence of time served. Prosecutors asked for three months in prison. The judge settled on 30 days, which can be served intermittently on weekends if desired, along with two years’ probation. Weisbecker already had agreed to pay $500 in restitution as part of his plea agreement to help cover damage to the Capitol. For more, see here.

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Editordude: An earlier version of the lead paragraph cited the property with the new “best” fence as 4780 Voltaire. It’s actually at 4870 Voltaire. The owner had mistakenly sent the incorrect one to us.

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