The battle over banning booze in San Diego

by on October 21, 2010 · 2 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

floatopia 02 s

Floatopia in Mission Bay, Summer 2010

By Christopher Cadelago / San Diego U-T /  October 19, 2010

PACIFIC BEACH — When San Diegans approved a booze ban at city beaches, bay shores and coastal parks, they uncorked a cascade of complications that two years later have left some calling for tighter restrictions and others decrying further affronts to their liberties.

There’s little argument that the ban, enacted after a drunken melee and later made permanent by voters, has led to a marked reduction in crime, vagrancy and littering.

The ban also is blamed for spawning a series of alcohol-fueled parties on Mission Bay and at Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park in Pacific Beach, all promoted through Facebook and other social-networking websites. In response, the San Diego City Council moved to end “floatopia” booze parties by voting unanimously to prohibit drinking on the bay.

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Alcohol ban at PB park gets committee support

By Christopher Cadelago / San Diego U-T / October 20, 2010

PACIFIC BEACH — Overwhelming support for a blanket ban on alcohol at a neighborhood park beset by binge drinkers led a San Diego City Council committee Wednesday to expedite the prohibition process.

The Natural Resources and Culture Committee voted unanimously to cast aside a proposed compromise and instead recommended that the 24-hour alcohol ban at Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park be rushed to the full council within 30 days. Committee members also directed the City Attorney’s Office to study a potential emergency ordinance that, if passed, would take effect immediately.

The popular park in Pacific Beach has been the focus of the community’s fight against public drinking since voters approved the beach booze ban two years ago. Because of the park’s proximity to the surf, and its ocean views, it has become a favorite spot for young adults looking to get sloshed.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Old Hermit Dave October 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Oh yes that old Vietnam Veteran in his wheelchair remembers wheeling down to Dusty Rhodes Park with his old dag named FAULKNER for the Labor Day Pig Roast. Cold beer good food in the open shaded grass of the park. No FENCES no WRISTBANDS no SECURITY GUARDS. But that was before the San Diego we want to protect you council decided to protect you rather you wanted protection or not. So just line up, show your ID, get a wrist band, stand behind a fence, raise your drink, and toast your nearest security guard. The COPS are watching.

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avatar Aaron January 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Hey OB Rag,

Do you have some old archive pictures of people crackin’ cold ones on the beach?

After moving from a world where you had to purchase a “beach tag” to step on the sand, and drinking a beer was an unspeakable crime, moving to OB was entering a land of Utopian freedom. Watching the surf, grilling some food, and drinking a cool beer seemed both relaxing and harmless. I asked myself, “why would something so simple be illegal back home?”

Now it’s all changed, and time at the beach with friends is just…a little different. Some old images of San Diegans enjoying the sunshine in the classic days might add some historical precedent to the side of liberty.

Let’s work together to fight back OB Rag! We must stand up for our rights now, or be prepared for beach tags in the future.

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