"You may be surprised at what seclusion with God will do for your mind, body, and soul…. Through the portals of silence the healing sun of wisdom and peace will shine upon you."
— Paramahansa Yogananda
A crowed street fair, contest horns, and sound systems wouldn't be super compatible. I'm guessing the SRF is thinking that one contest (and a token minor second contest) could be swallowed in the effort to avoid conflict with the contest promoters.
Once the contests free zone tradition is broken, there will be much less opposition to contests. Even if the current council gives the WWLB a monopoly on contests at Swamis, a future city council may be much more willing to allow 3, 4, 5 contests a year. The tradition will have already been broken. The press will be bored with the issue and the community disillusioned.
Swamis is so special to so many residents that they hold significant ceremonies at Swamis.
Swamis provides a natural confluence in terms of aesthetics and structure for the social, spiritual, and physical activities of many Encinitas residents. Swamis, the place and its people, are meaningful to many.
People for Swamis identifies the lack of contest as a reflection of the values of our city. Quoted from People for Swamis:
...our struggle with defining why a competition at the Swamis Beach Park is wrong is because our reasoning is unquantifiable. Our reasoning is based in the aesthetic of the community.There is a move in other cities to "create great places". They have a desire (or at least marketing) to get their residents out into the same space, socializing with each other, and participating in activities together. Much of their efforts are very artificial and destined to not live up to the sales pitch. No worries?
Our reasoning is more art than science.
Encinitas as a surf hamlet has distinguished itself from Santa Cruz, Huntington Beach and Malibu, it is a surf community true to its own values as a surf community.
In Encinitas, at Swamis, at the Crown Jewel of Encinitas, surfing is about a lot of things, both good and bad, but the one thing that surfing is NOT about at Swamis is horns and jerseys and scaffolding and winners and losers. The powers that be in Encinitas don't allow for that stuff at Swamis. We think this to be... pretty cool.
Contests are NOT what surfing is about. Winning a trophy is not a core value of surfing.
Take a look at the Swamis Beach Park today. Residents and citizens from ALL walks of life: the young mother with her baby stroller, the guitar dude strumming melodically, the joggers, the watercolor artists, the coffee drinkers, the boot camp Marines, the newspaper readers, the bike riders, the dog walkers, the exercise folks, the daily swimmers, the divers, the Yoga classes, the young families, the lady hawking egg rolls, the balancing wire folks, the exercise classes, the fisherman, sadly a few homeless folks -- and yes the surfers, all of them and many, many more enjoyed the peace and serenity that the Swamis park and the Swamis beach below offered.
Encinitas has many great places already. One of them is Swamis. This is a place where people of all walks of life jointly share in their life experiences. It is not just surfers. It is people of all ages.
Swamis is an icon of Encinitas. For many it is Encinitas. Many of them think that Swamis is a bellwether for their hometown, so this issue has become symbolic.
Calling Swamis sacred is a bit over the top. Yet, most people who don't come to the coast wouldn't understand how important Swamis is to the substance of our city. It may not be sacred, but we should recognize that Swamis is one of our city's truly special places. K.C.
Blogger's Note: The keep Swamis open to the public petition wasn't posted by Leucadia bloggers.