Surfing Soapbox:

Bring back the love

January 01, 2010|By James Pribram

Is it really Dec. 31? Looking outside all I can see are sunny skies without a cloud in sight — maybe an omen for us in 2010? Let’s hope so. Summer had some of the warmest water temperatures in recent memory. The last summer I can remember with such high water temperatures was the epic El Niño summer of 1996, and let’s not forget the dreadful summer of 2005 with the drizzle and hideous red tide that followed the big rains of that winter.

None of us can forget the Bluebird slide of June 1, 2005. This year, although Laguna escaped any major natural disasters, our town did have its first homicide in seven years with the killing of Damon Nicholson.

Rest in peace, our fallen friend.

And Laguna certainly didn’t escape the controversies. Who can forget the onslaught of homeless people flocking to our town and taking up residence in what seemed to be every corner of our downtown beaches and parks?


Kudos to our city for building a homeless shelter for them.

Then came the flurry of finger-pointing of two sides fighting over the Marine Life Protection Act — which, if approved, will see six or seven miles of Laguna coastline off-limits to fishing, not to mention opening the door for future restrictions, including surfing, kayaking, snorkeling; perhaps one day even walking on the beaches or along the tide pools.

And I thought it was bad when the city banned Frisbees.

My hope for 2010 is that cooler heads will prevail and Laguna will continue uniting for great events like the first Saturday of every month participating in picking up trash for Zero Trash Laguna, or showing its support like it did Dec. 10 at Mozambique for the hikers who are being held in Iran.

2010 should be about the community of Laguna Beach, supporting local businesses; finding compromise and solutions to our town’s needs, and bringing back that old Laguna neighborly love.

Happy New Year.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha

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