Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stray Observations from the city council meeting re: the Swamis contest

1. Linda Benson's presentation of the contest was flat, passionless and uninspired. She had zero enthusiasm and zero stoke. I was pretty shocked about this. I was expecting to maybe having my mind changed by her presentation, instead I came away feeling bad for her. She seems like a really unhappy person. I want to take her surfing and cheer her up.

2. I enjoyed all the different speakers on both sides of the issue. Our town has come classic characters.

3. The contest opponents were so afraid of bad mouthing Linda that they heaped gobs of praise on her and I think actually helped give the council confidence that she could pull this event off. I myself feel less confident in her abilities as a organizer after her flat presentation.

4. If the contest goes forward the K Steet streetfair should be axed. It's going to interfere with SRF too much and it's too far away from the actual contest venue.

5. It's obvious that SRF does not want the contest, they were very polite about it, but it was easy to read between the lines. They might cancel their own women's only meditation retreat that weekend due to the contest. That is wacky irony. I think the contest promoter should read between the lines and take a hint.

6. To me Swamis is not the same as a golf course or a soccer field or a park gazebo, but to some individuals in the city it's the same. All public spaces can be reserved for special events?

7. Swamis is already an economic draw as is, I'm not sure this contest will generate business like some people claim. Too bad we can't compare sales tax revenue collected on the weekend of the contest to the same weekend without.

8. Swamis: great wave/bad venue. This really sums it up. So the logic is that the special permit process will determine if Linda can pull off the logistics of a tricky venue. My question is, if she fails does she get a second chance? I would guess most likely.

9. I was called a fear monger early on for warning that contest always beget more contest so I was glad this became a legitimate issue that both sides addressed. There was even some council discussion on how to insure we have only one contest a year at Swamis.

10. So if we end up having only one contest a year at Swamis, is this really the one we want? My opinion is we could craft a better contest.

11. This "World Championship" contest is not sanctioned by the Associated Surfing Professionals or ASP, the governing body of professional surfing. Encinitas may end looking like a bunch of crazy hicks holding our own World Championship contest. Maybe we should have our own World Series of baseball at the YMCA fields.

12. I entered the fray and spoke at the podium. I got super nervous at the last second and kinda blew the first minute (which flies by at light speed by the way). I even abandoned my planned remarks and launched into something that has really been bothering me. I proposed that we end segregated surfing now and forever. Surfing does not benefit from gender separation. I truly believe that if we do have a contest at Swamis it should be coed. This is totally unprecedented and if city boosters want to be put on the map for having a surf contest then a coed event would draw a lot of attention. Maybe I will apply for a special permit to have a coed surf contest at Swamis?

13. The city voted 3-2 to move forward with the special permit process. Jerome Stocks and Teresa Barth voted NO. Dan Dalager, Maggie Houlihan and Jim Bond voted YES.

14. This doesn't mean the contest is going to happen, but the contest is going to happen. Trust me, Linda is lawyered up pretty good and they will make sure all the concerns will be addressed (some of the concerns were pretty far fetched you guys).

15. It's okay to sell out a surf spot if you are a surf legend.

media coverage:
North County Times


  1. One contest a year and Linda gets it to hold it! Final answer.

  2. It was a done deal. The surf community never had a chance. Dr. Lorri and Steve Valois were the only 2 Commissioners that said NO. And, Dr. Lorri and said adios to you.

  3. Are we giving Linda monopoly on contest at Swamis? What happens in 20 years? This precedent concerns me.

  4. What happened to Cotton's raise?

  5. What happened about Cotton's raise?

  6. Cotton's raise, I missed it too. I was out of town until late. I can only bet that they gave him the raise. He probabily has shit on all of the council members.

    Give me the raise or I out you all

  7. Stop the prejudice or we will sue!!!!March 11, 2010 8:03 AM

    nice summary. Why not hold an ASP sanctioned event which is really a world class event if the objective is to attract attention and tourist money to encinitas (seems more harmful than good. I thought the marketing of Encinitas to tourists is a peaceful, beautiful, old school surf town where you can get away from all the SoCA hype? I must be wrong. We want to compete with Oceanside and try and land the Xgames). Why the prejudice against males. If this is the only contest at swamis, I want equal time. I will sue. It prejudice, mean and not fair. Bros and fags have just as much right to compete at chicks and dikes!

    Why wouldn't Linda allow males in the event. Is she saying Females are not on the same level as males in sports and need handicaps like the disabled?

  8. Cotton did not get a raise. I guess they finally figured out that the citizens just might revolt over him getting a raise.

  9. Cotton didn't get the raise. The council simply took no action. I thought at first there would be a compromise of a smaller amount. No go. Stocks was the only real advocate for the 11% increase. Barth simply said no. I liked how she cut to the chase.

    There was effusive praise of Cotton by Stocks, Bond, and Dalager. They all said he has been our best city manager ever!! This is hard to understand considering what has happened recently. Did they forget about Orpheus Park?

    There were only two speakers. George Heyduk hammered the mayor for making him wait so long (4 hours). He had wanted the agenda item moved forward. Tony Kranz gave a comparison of salaries based on population of cities. This undercut Stocks' argument of comparable compensation.

  10. J.P.:

    Good analysis. You didn't mentioned how long Dalablabber went on with his comments about letting the "process" move forward. He must have said the word 15-20 times.

    I find this deceptive. Dalablabber will vote to support the contest. Houlihan too. It's all about fooling the public and making everyone think there will be a transparent process going on, when the decision has already been made to have the contest. Bond will join to give a majority, unless his mind clears. I doubt that it will.

    I agree that Benson was flat in her presentation. Someone else wrote her comments. She seems to be a pawn in the hands of someone else.

  11. Number 6 is the head of the nail. Linda will now complete the city's "PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT SPECIAL EVENTS AND SPECIAL CEREMONIES PERMIT APPLICATION". It will involve much effort on her part to complete the application and plenty of staff time in considering it. If she addresses all the issues on the application and satisfies the bureaucracy, she'll make one more appearance before the City Council. More emotional testimony is inevitable. It does seem a little odd to me that Linda thinks this contest is worth what it's doing to the surfing community. She had a slide in her presentation that said "Mahalo", with a nice picture of two surfers hugging while standing on the shore, one with her board under her arm. Actually, nothing about this process has been very mahaloesque.

    I've been to both the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting about this issue and the City Council meeting last night. Both have left me wondering why the process of filling out a permit application would include so much drama. It has occurred to me that our beaches are the Crown Jewels of Encinitas. They are special enough to deserve their own application. The process of designing and the City Council approving the Beach Use Application should include a debate about what events will be considered at each beach and what the requirements are for obtaining a permit.

    The drama-less paper application, which should be titled something like "PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT BEACH USE PERMIT APPLICATION", should have the appropriate check boxes so that the applicant can make clear to the city staff what the event will entail, including which beach it is proposed to be held at. If the event meets certain thresholds, the Parks and Recreation committee would consider it; from there it might need to be heard (possibly on appeal) by the City Council.

    The model for this process is already in place in the building Planning Department. There is a fairly methodical and clearly delineated process for considering land development plans. There are ways for variances to be considered; there is a process for appealing certain decisions. These are all the important things good cities have.

    Our beaches are special enough to deserve a process that makes that clear.

  12. Before this goes further, it would be nice to have a policy in place for future events at non-reservable areas. This would include Swami's. Sort of like having a dog policy, there should be a policy in place for this kind of thing. It would be less time, and people would know in advance if their contest, or whatever, meets the City's criterion. Sure would save a lot of time, money, and animosity among all involved.

  13. There are probably other forces at work. Linda Benson's contest may be the cover. A few years ago, Dalager voted to close down Saxony for some type of extreme skateboard contest. Is this the type of system where they can get whatever they want as long as the wheels are greased?

  14. This issue should be concerning the surfing community worldwide.

    It just set several precedents, including:

    * City properties extend into the ocean, apparently, and their use can be determined by local government.

    * According to the new aquatic government, anyone with "a good enough reason" can reserve this property.

    By this logic, if the Jim Rose freak show circus thing starts doing their act on surfboards, city hall should consider allowing them to shut down Grandview or Beacons.

    If Rosie O'Donnell wants to have a boat race from Tamarack to 8th street in Del Mar, just inside the kelps, we should shut everything down.

    Contests have always had the benefit of people generally respecting them and not interfering.

    The whole notion that someone can take over a surf spot against the will of the majority without a vote completely violates that mutual respect.

    Doesn't the out pour of SURFERS telling you that your SURF CONTEST IS LAME tell you anything Linda?
    Go do it somewhere else.

  15. JP- Just go surf. Round up your friends and surf Swami's all day that day.
    Neither the city nor Linda nor the state of California own the ocean. The city might be able to rent her the beach, but they can't rent her the ocean. YOU CAN'T RENT SOMETHING YOU DON'T OWN!!!

    If you get what. A little civil disobedience will be good for you and your pals. It is an expression of passion for something that has meaning and value to you. Hell, I'll even throw a $100 bucks to your bail.

    Do you really think the DA will bring charges against you?? She can't be bothered to bring charges against a driver that kills an innocent man on 101. What makes you think she will bring charges against you for surfing in an ocean over which she has no jurisdiction.

    PS- I hope I am on your jury, I will vote for acquittal. If you are really, REALLY desperate go talk with Marco at CLG. He works pro bono.


  17. I think she needs a Coastal Commission permit. That might prove ot be interesting.

  18. A nice compromise would be to let her surf there on one of the flat days.

  19. Who's Joel Tudor ?

  20. Joel Tudor is a gifted surfer from Cardiff.When he was in a contest in malibu a person was surfing who was not in in the contest. His father made a bad move and figured a beat down was in order.It cost him his house.
    avo st mafia

  21. Teresa also brought up the fact that the Swami's area is a marine reserve. This could be very problematic for Benson, especially if the Coastal Commission gets involved. Someone needs to talk to the CC in preparation of the city issuing the permit.

  22. Only in Encinitas does "non-reservable" mean "available to the highest bidder." There was a policy made by the City that Swamis was not to be used for private or public events...but it appears City Policy is only as good as the whim of the current majority. Isn't there some recourse?

  23. 4:59- good, God works in mysterious ways!!

  24. I'll take a beat down from a dike's dad for a nice oceanfront home anyday.

  25. How about some real surf integrity?March 11, 2010 10:22 PM

    Linda's seek for profit is sicking. Why would she want to tear apart a surf community? Dam Linda. I thought you had integrity?


    This is the link to the petition. Please sign it.

    If the link doesn't work Google "stop srfing contests at Swamis"

  27. Someone stole me moniker,Avo St is an imposter.ich bin avo st mafia.
    p.s. Joel is a man, not a dyke, you moron.
    p.p.s. Longboard surf contest at swamis nicht so shmart.Cardiff is better wave for loggin.

  28. Whatever crybaby. there are other poeple who live on Avo street than your wantabe mafia ass.

    What a tool.


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