Block Party Blues

Pacific Beach business owner Kevin Frank says the PB Block Party has gotten out of hand. As the owner of New Seed Nutrition on Garnet Avenue, Frank concludes that this year's attempt to bring in bands for an older crowd didn't help matters. He and other businessmen want the PB Block Party out of PB.

"It has gone from a neighborhood festival to a massive drunken party," says Frank.

All Pacific Beach businesses are members of Discover PB, an association set up by the city and to which the party permit is issued. The 1200 members of the association have been polled by mail to determine their satisfaction level with the event. The results will be available July 15.

"If there [is] an overwhelming negative response, we'd have to look at it," says Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of Discover PB. He says that if the survey indicates a lack of support, Discover PB may consider dropping its sponsorship, which could put an end to the event that drew about 130,000 people on May 14.

"It is unclear how many people like it and how many don't," says Nicholls. "Discover PB had opposed the Block Party for many years," but in 2004, the group became a cosponsor, "to get involved and work to improve it."

Yet, negative opinions persist.

"There is excessive urination behind my store," says Mark Nussbaum, owner of Raw Clothing on Garnet Avenue. "I've always had to close my store two hours early to safeguard my staff, my customers, and my store.... My neighbor is a beauty-supply store. She had her windows blown out that night with beer bottles and bricks. I heard four other businesses had broken windows as well."

"They said the Street Scene had outgrown downtown," says Jeff Kinney, who has owned Surf Club surf shop since 1980. "They have to move this.... People flew in from Boston for this. There is no parking during Block Party from Mt. Soledad to I-5."

Kinney says he and other Discover PB members are growing frustrated with the group and Nicholls. "He's not a bulldog in our corner."

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