San Diego’s ABC news affiliate Channel 10 came out to interview me this morning about our ideas of adopting fire pits in OB. Mike Chen, the reporter and camera guy all rolled into one, appeared at our doorstep wanting an interview and we couldn’t resist the PR. I quickly threw on my OB Rag T-shirt and got in front of the camera.
As you may know, the OB Rag is promoting the idea that instead of the City of San Diego removing OB’s eight fire pits, that people, individuals, businesses, churches, civic organizations adopt them and pledge to maintain them. This is similar to the idea that CalTrans has – having groups adopt sections of the freeways in order to maintain them.
So, I stood in front of the camera talking about the fire pits with Mike asking questions. It will run, he said, tonight at 5 or 6:00 7:00. He liked the idea – and in fact told us he gets all his news from our blog (haha, at least Patty knew he was joking).
I explained that we’re trying to do this “the OB way” – that is without official sanction or permission. I told him we thought the city could save the money it will spend removing the fire pits, save the money – the $173,000 – it spends maintaining the 186 or so fire pits around town – mainly at the beaches and Mission Bay – and allow this adoption process to bear fruit.
Mike was interested in the issue that kids have burned their feet walking on sand that has been dumped over burning and smoldering fires – that people used to have fires on the beach before there were fire pits. Chris Brewster, San Diego’s former fire chief, has complained of this problem if the pits are taken out.
What about the liability issues, Mike asked. “There’s risks in daily life,” I told him. I recounted how OBceans had painted over graffiti on the public cliffs – they could have slipped on the wet rocks – but they went ahead and did it anyhow. The folks who do that are my heroes. And there’s liabilities everywhere.
We’ve had at least 3 individuals or groups step forward and say they’d like to adopt a fire pit. We have documented them – where they are – and have numbered them #1 through #8 – with #1 being the closest one to Dog Beach. All we ask is that they send us their contact info and do a pledge that they will maintain their fire pit. It’s all confidential right now. So, if you are interested, get on the ‘adopt-a-fire-pit’ band wagon now.
Here’s Channel 10’s online news:
Ocean Beach Man Has Plan To Save Fire Pits
An Ocean Beach man has a unique plan to save a long-held San Diego tradition hit by budget cuts, 10News reported.
On Monday, the San Diego City Council voted 7 to 1 on a second reading to adopt an 18-month budget plan. Among the cuts, all of the city’s 186 shoreline fire pits will be removed by June, which will save more than $120,000 in maintenance costs.
Frank Gormlie, editor of the OB Rag blog, has called for residents to adopt a fire pit.
“These are part of the beach lifestyle that has been around for generations. Why don’t we adopt fire pits like folks are allowed to adopt sections of the freeway? This is the O.B. way; we don’t always wait around for authorization,” said Gormlie.
For the remainder of the article, go here.