Peninsula News Briefs for Point Loma, Ocean Beach and San Diego: OBMA awards celebration; traveling exhibits from the Women’s Museum; volunteer sign-ups for OH! San Diego

The residential portal is the third expansion of OpenCounter, which provides online services for zoning and business permits at
The residential portal is the third expansion of OpenCounter, which provides online services for zoning and business permits at
( City of San Diego)

City’s online portal to make home improvements easier

The City recently expanded its online portal, OpenCounter, to make the application process for single-family home improvements easier and more efficient.

With this expansion, OpenCounter will now provide homeowners, contractors and builders with knowledge about the potential permits required and fee estimates. It guides users through the permitting process for projects such as building or repairing a secondary structure like a pool or deck; installing solar panels or graywater systems; and upgrading building exteriors like replacing a roof or windows.

The residential portal is the third expansion of OpenCounter, complementing existing online services for zoning and business permits. Users can access all three innovative tools at

By moving these processes online, the City is providing customized assistance 24 hours a day and giving City officials a new level of insight into economic trends. Since 2017, OpenCounter has logged more than 75,000 site visits and launched more than 23,000 business projects, becoming a valuable one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs and residents.

OBMA awards tout town’s business leaders

Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA) held its annual awards celebration, Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Point Loma Masonic Center, where guests had dinner and desserts, and individuals and businesses were recognized for their community contributions to improvements, safety, design, promotion, revitalization and expansion.

OBMA members voted on a People’s Choice winner in each category, while the Customer Service Business of the Year was chosen by the public via online voting and presented to Mother’s Saloon (first place); Catrina Russell Real Estate (second place) and TapShack (third place).

People’s Choice winners included Ken Moss, for his two years of work to secure new LED lighting for the commercial districts in Ocean Beach (chosen by the Clean & Safe Committee); OB Garden Café, for its outstanding rebuild and remodel (Design Committee); OB Town Council, for a Holiday Parade that reflects the best of OB (Economic Vitality Committee); Run for Cover Bookstore for its marketing as a new business (Promotion Committee).

Community Partner Awards went to event sponsors Point Loma Masonic Center and Union Bank.

Pass the Torch Awards were given to Carl and Carolyn Weidetz of the 100-year-old OB Paint & Hardware store; Lynn Muhlenkord of The Black Bead for 26 years of business; and Craig Gerwig of Newport Avenue Antique Center, for establishing OB as a destination for antique lovers, 25 years ago.

The 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award went to Michele Amsterdam and the Outstanding Volunteer Member of the Year Award was presented to Craig Gerwig. Shane Hardin presented the Mike Hardin “Like a Boss” Award to Claudia Jack in recognition of her many years of volunteer service. This award is given to an outstanding member of community who reflects the late Hodad’s owner’s spirit, generosity and love of Ocean Beach. —

Cabrillo National Monument is back up and running

Following the federal government shutdown, Dec. 22, 2018 to Jan 25, 2019, Cabrillo National Monument resumed regular operations Sunday, Jan. 27. The park is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tide pools are open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cabrillo National Monument offers an annual pass for $35 for unlimited entry to the park for 12 months. Free or discounted passes are available for senior citizens, active duty military, people with disabilities, and fourth-grade students and their family.

Free entry to the park is available start of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day Saturday, April 20; National Park Service Anniversary Sunday, Aug. 25; National Public Lands Day Saturday, Sept. 28; and Veterans Day Monday, Nov. 11. Annual pass $35. Vehicle pass $20. Pedestrian pass $10. (619) 523-4280.

Free entry to Cabrillo National Park is available April 21, Aug. 25, Sept. 28 and Nov. 11.
Free entry to Cabrillo National Park is available April 21, Aug. 25, Sept. 28 and Nov. 11.
( File )

Women’s Museum takes its show on the road

The Women’s Museum in Liberty Station has produced a variety of traveling exhibits suitable for display at schools, libraries or organizations. These exhibits range from exploring how refugee crises affect women globally to feminist waves in the 20th century, to the modern beauty industry and beyond. To apply for a traveling exhibit, fill out the online form at The cost is $100 a week (plus a $50 delivery and set-up fee). The museum is at 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103, (619) 233-7963.

Be an OH! San Diego volunteer in March

The annual OH! San Diego architectural tours are set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 23 and 24 at locations throughout Downtown, Barrio Logan, Bankers Hill, Balboa Park, Point Loma and La Jolla. Sign up now to team with other design enthusiasts and learn more about the City as an event volunteer — no experience necessary. Volunteers must select their site and shift online by March 9 at A wrap party celebration will take place after the last site closes for the weekend on Sunday, March 24. First-time volunteers receive a complimentary year-long San Diego Architectural Foundation membership, which provides discounts for other events and access to members-only design events. Volunteer orientation is mandatory. (619) 232-1385.

Novel by OB author makes library program

“Brokenly Live On,” a historic fiction novel by Lauren Sobka of Ocean Beach, made the 53rd annual Local Author’s Program, sponsored by the San Diego Library. The Jan. 25 event at Central Library, highlighted the intellectual and creative accomplishments of area writers.

Sobka’s novel will be on display in the Dickinson Popular Library at the Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., for the month of February before being available for check out from that location. Via e-mail Sobka stated: “It’s pretty exciting ... because it’s very difficult to get a book into library circulation, even if only for a year!”

Auditions set for Point Loma Playhouse musical

Point Loma Playhouse will hold open auditions for its last production of the 2018-2019 season, the musical “The Fantasticks,” noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 2 and 6:30-9 p.m. Monday, March 4 at Point Loma Assembly Hall, 3035 Talbot St.

Needed in the cast are actors to play a boy and girl (late teens to early 20s); the parents (age 40-60); an old Shakespearean actor; his male mate; a deaf mute; and a swashbuckling young pirate.

Actors should prepare a two-minute monologue and a brief song (bring the sheet music in the correct key), an accompanist will be provided. The production will be directed by Jerry Pilato, and runs May 17 to June 2. Send resume and headshot to Questions? Call (619) 800-5497 or visit