Under the pier, August 7
  • Under the pier, August 7
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

“The stench by the wall is overwhelming. I barely go that way anymore. So unfair to the actual residents! Come on SDPD-DO SOMETHING,” said Tracey, an Ocean Beach local. “All the trash and sketchy/drugged out/aggressive people discourage me from going to the wall and surrounding area…I’ve lived in OB for 10 years and it has never been this bad. I actively report things and communicate with the police, and it’s just disheartening to see the state our great town is in. I don’t understand why the police can’t make it less comfortable for them so the actual citizens can enjoy the beach, parks and town.”

Discarded needles, human feces, homeless camp, graffiti, all along the seawall

Discarded needles, human feces, homeless camp, graffiti, all along the seawall

Her sentiment is widely shared by other long-time locals who avoid the beach area.

“Where are the police in general?,” Chelsea asks. “I haven’t seen the police foot-patrol presence in a while. Dog Beach lot and grass area has been bad too. Saw this peach of a citizen sleeping in his customized fort on Thursday. Guess who had to clean it all up Friday morning? So frustrating. Like my boyfriend says, sadly this population has completely given up on society. So cleaning a mess is the last thing on their minds. If the police actually gave tickets for things like littering, dogs off leash, public intoxication, indecent exposure or whatever, then after so many unpaid tickets wouldn’t jail be the next step? I don’t understand the 'don’t even give tickets cause they won’t pay them' justification.”

Brant Long, another long-time local who works along Newport Avenue, shared his experience:

Someone sleeping in his customized fort on Thursday.

Someone sleeping in his customized fort on Thursday.

“Parks & Rec / Park Ranger / Lifeguards / SDPD have been ignoring the backside of the wall for the entire summer. Where's the PD beach team specifically designated to handle this type of stuff? There's evident broken glass, human waste, needles, leftover drug baggies, alcohol bottles, cigarette butts, trash, and all sorts of random crap. I’ve been working along Newport for the past 4 weekends and haven't even seen PD drive by a single time. Once again this community had been (purposefully?) forsaken by the city.”

Aside from the ignored health and safety code violations strewn along the beachfront and sand, graffiti has become the norm along the seawall at Newport and Abbot Street, mediums used for this ‘art’ include chalk, peanut butter, mayonnaise, and paint.

“Rubbing peanut butter on the wall, the cops came by and just rolled their eyes."

“Rubbing peanut butter on the wall, the cops came by and just rolled their eyes."

Marc has a front row seat to the destruction, volunteering his time to clean the walkway along the seawall, everyday, but even he’s having difficulty.

“We can't even get the walkway swept with all the bodies along the wall that won't move. We had to leave two big piles of sand because there was nowhere to throw it without burying someone,” he said. “On the bright side, our lack of sweeping made cleaning up spilled paint on the walkway pretty much effortless. Maybe rubbing freshly tagged areas with sand will remove it as easily?”

So what has happened to OB?

“There was a guy this painting the whole wall with crap and food,” Randy told me. “Rubbing peanut butter on the wall, the cops came by and just rolled their eyes and said, ‘we have more important stuff to do.’”

“We can't even get the walkway swept with all the bodies along the wall that won't move."

“We can't even get the walkway swept with all the bodies along the wall that won't move."

Photo by Dancing Panda

Some locals report issues via the city of San Diego’s Get It Done app, pleading for the city to help, however, both of these reports made on Aug 10, 2019, were referred out to the Active Homeless Encampments departments and essentially closed on the website.

The entrance to the Ocean Beach Pier has become a San Elijo camping site without the fees. This is an ongoing problem that needs police enforcement. This morning, August 10 at 6:15 am there were six people sleeping on the sand on the left side entrance to the pier, with their prized possessions littering the beach. On the right side entrance, four people were sleeping on the beach – same scenario, but with a blue pup tent next to them. Can the SDPD perhaps do a late night sweep daily to help alleviate the ongoing problem?

Discarded needles, human feces, homeless camp, graffiti, all along the seawall at the beach. Police walk by and say they have better things to do.

On April 1 of this year, the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association removed the police trailer that had been located in the OB Pier parking lot for over 20 years.

President of the association, Denny Knox, explained at the time: “We talked to the police department about it, said we’d be happy to keep it but they said things have changed, especially in the last three or four years, they all have computers in their cars, a lot of tools in their car, they don’t have to go in somewhere to write up a report and so there’s no need for the trailer and I just don’t want to put money where its not being useful, I would actually like to have something that actually helps us, but think 20 years is a long run and it definitely made a difference for us when it started but they just don’t use it like they used to…this will not affect police presence in the lot.”

According to one police officer who wished to remain anonymous, the removal of the police trailer has “embolden the criminal element in that lot.”

“It is sad and disgusting and I worry a lot that my kids will step in something,” Meredith said, “I’ve lived here my entire life and it’s never been this bad. But... this morning (August 10), as I walked by with my kids and looked at this mess, I decided to keep walking and show them the beautiful ocean and sand and pier right in front of us. Not to turn my eyes to reality but to show them all the beauty that is right in front of them if they just look…the ocean will always make me smile. “

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


Ponzi Aug. 12, 2019 @ 4:55 p.m.

This link is to a documentary by KOMO News in Seattle. It's worth watching because it shares a lot of the problems people are experiencing in OB and other communities in San Diego. It illustrates how bad it can get when the politicians and the police give up enforcement of laws.

Seattle is dying.



CaptainObvious Aug. 13, 2019 @ 1:02 p.m.

They never show bums in the San Diego tourism commercials here in Northern California. I sure see them when I'm there, though. These are people, deserving of proper care. I believe the Sheriff has some nice camps in the mountains for them


ceehound619 Aug. 13, 2019 @ 4:10 p.m.

You youngsters think it’s bad now.....you should have seen it 30 plus years ago BEFORE the police trailer went in there....it was a warzone lol


Socks3742 Aug. 13, 2019 @ 10:45 p.m.

The homeless are everywhere. It's really out of control in CA because of the cost of living.


AlexClarke Aug. 14, 2019 @ 6:57 a.m.

Why do people think that everything would be fine if there were housing for the homeless? Most of the homeless are living on the streets because they want to. They do not want to work or contribute to society. Most are druggies. The mentally ill are mentally ill because of drug use. There are a few that are homeless through no fault of their own and they should be helped. The non drug induced mentally ill should be placed in an institution. The rest are worthless human trash. Help those who want to help themselves and who want to become productive citizens.


Socks3742 Aug. 14, 2019 @ 2:39 p.m.

No one is homeless by choice. They're homeless by circumstances. A lot of them "remain" homeless by choice, while others choose to get their act together. Most homeless people are homeless for a very short period of time. The ones we see are the chronically homeless. It's a serious problem throughout the world, and in San Diego (like anywhere in CA) it's out of control. Sadly, no one knows how to effectively deal with the homeless. If they did, we wouldn't be in this situation. It will only get worse, with no real solutions.


clockerbob Aug. 14, 2019 @ 6:51 p.m.

ocean beach

By clockerbob, June 14, 2008


Ocean Beach is just a drive by for commercial airlines and the San Diego police.

Baghdad car patrol. The cops don't even stop to eat in OB. Coffee and donuts while steering and peering at the freaks. "Taxi driver" in black and whites.. No visual police street presents in OB, except, perhaps presents for that same group of “taxi drivers" constantly congregating outside two local stores laden with bottled beer and liquor for sale.

Street present are the crusty winos. Cardboard mats, cardboard colored beer bags, cardboard colored clothing, cardboard colored hair, skin, sand and lovers. Fashion by ‘ beersun&wind’. Toothless mouths squirt saliva and alcoholic juiced slang when probing for spare change and romance.

The OB library always has more people working behind the counter then public available 1hr computers.

Two bus lines the #35 and 923 with brake happy chauffeurs tram the noisy sailors, reading students, silent workers, seniors with their bus pass hanging around their neck and smelly circus freaks in and out of town.

The corner of Cable and Newport Ave looks like the greyhounded public transit center of OB. Peoples market is the spiritual center of OB. The juice there is a $1 cup of organic COFFEE made with filtered water, sweetened with amber avocado honey and chalky soymilk.

The pier is the wild habitat center of OB. Pelicans perching on the railings for discarded fish heads, whales and dolphins for sightings and the surfers tubing through the pier’s concrete pilings for danger. There are more liquor stores owned by Arabs in Ocean Beach then African Americans. The lone New York Jewish woman rides her 1958 bike with big tires around town, the fenders rattle. The gentile women have trucks or SUVs, arms tattooed from wrist to shoulder, wear flip-flops, wool caps and totes big dogs on chains. If as you kneel and pet; the dog sniffs and likes you, well the gentile ladies pick out and buy themselves flowers at OB's farmer market every Wednesday.

The gods blessed Ocean Beach with good air quality, a Mediterranean climate, a wicked riptide and no senior center.

The beach has more trash left on it then any in the states. If the Surfrider’s foundation didn't volunteer to clean up the beach the morning after July 4th Ocean Beach would be closed. Yet, millions are spent by the city on earthmovers shifting piles of seaweed and sand around the beach. Disrupting the morning calm while eschewing the trash bobbing on the edge of our world.

Ocean beach has one street (Newport Ave) with bars, big hamburgers, Mexican food and that street leads to the entrance to the wino’s hood: the beach, the fire pits, the pier, the public bathrooms and the cliffs. .

and Ocean Beach has one street (Sunset Cliffs) with all its’ community active churches feeding the forgotten and that street leads one out of town.

And Ocean Beach has one street (Voltaire) plast


AlexClarke Aug. 15, 2019 @ 6:30 a.m.

OB is filled with druggies and worthless human trash. I wouldn't set foot in the place.


themanthemyththelegend Aug. 20, 2019 @ 9:28 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Ponzi Aug. 16, 2019 @ 1:04 a.m.

Put a fork in it. My family lived in OB in the 1980's. It was fun but fu***d then. Liberal policing has led to letting the inmates run the asylum. Those are not homeless, they are drug addicts. Until the liberal do-gooders realize that homeless people are homeless because they are drug addicts that don't want to work or live in our society, it will always be a shithole in OB. They invited and invented the vibe 50 years ago and now they are reaping their harvest. I used to go there after my family moved out and it was just to get a burger. Now, that is a pain in the ass. No, I have no hope for OB with their homeless, travelers, drunks, addicts and dogs running loose everywhere. Should make money being the set for The Walking Dead.


carolemelda Aug. 15, 2019 @ 11:31 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


ChristopherStrong Aug. 17, 2019 @ 3:33 p.m.

You people make me sick, almost as bad as you did when you voted to send me to Iraq over propaganda. I walk ocean beach at least 3 days a week and don't see what you see. A large portion of the homeless population are veterans. I am a disabled veteran with PTSD. I waited EIGHT YEARS for the VA to process my disability claim, meanwhile I struggled to keep out of homelessness with a pitiful social security disability check that couldn't afford rent in a sh17hole (san antonio, tx). If I had ended up on the street for more than a couple days during that eight years, you can bet anything I wouldn't choose to die of heat stroke in 110 degree weather. If I wasn't fortunate enough to have my wife work two jobs to support us, if I didn't have SOMEBODY to help me survive, I would have hitch-hiked to san diego. The weather here won't kill you. It isn't rocket science. Next time we go to war, send YOUR spoiled children so we know our veterans will have wealthy parents to support them when they come back dysfunctional. Viola! Problem solved. Check your privilege. You are NOT WELCOME for my service. It was the biggest mistake of my entire life. Instead of enlisting on 09/01/01, I should have been a crackhead, that way i'd "deserve" the shoes I "chose" to wear. Ever wonder why an average of 22 veterans commit suicide everyday? You treat them like garbage. I can't believe I was dumb enough to serve you. I'll hate myself until the day I die for that. It haunts me everyday, mostly with crappy comments like yours.


ChristopherStrong Aug. 17, 2019 @ 4:22 p.m.

has any of you whiny people ever volunteered at the homeless shelter or any other type of program to help the homeless get off the street? Have you volunteered even one hour of your time? Stop complaining if you aren't willing to help resolve the issue. The police have better things to do than hassle a disabled veteran with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or the common one PTSD, for smearing peanut butter in a public space. Your privilege is blinding. THAT is the problem we need to be discussing.


Socks3742 Aug. 18, 2019 @ 9 p.m.

Christopher - I've been volunteering helping people in need (including the homeless) since I was a teenager in the 70s. I'm in my late 50s, so over forty years experience.


ChristopherStrong Aug. 20, 2019 @ 8:40 p.m.

The community appreciates your help. I apologize if you thought my comment was aimed at you. My comments are aimed at those treating these PEOPLE like trash.


Socks3742 Aug. 20, 2019 @ 9:06 p.m.

I didn't think your comment was directed towards me. I just wanted to let you know that a lot of us really do care. Take care...


themanthemyththelegend Aug. 19, 2019 @ 8:48 a.m.

OB has always been like that since I can remember; what has changed, is the housing prices and the teardown-rebuilds, and people who used to live in the suburbs expecting a suburb environment. IB and Oceanside (Oceanside people!! Wow... I mean gangland shootings on the beach O-Side, i mean O-Side so bad, that Junior was looked at like a Saint for making it out... THAT OCEANSIDE!!!!) is in better shape these days and that's saying a helluva a lot.


chrispix Aug. 25, 2019 @ 5:27 p.m.

Sadly, America’s Finest City has become America’s Finest Campground. What happened to the protection of public health and safety, and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for us law abiding citizens?


Sign in to comment