Ocean Beach

More on Faulconer’s ‘Incomplete’ Communities Plan

July 9, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Here’s the Voice of San Diego’s take on Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s latest “legacy-shaping” plan – which we’ll call the “Incomplete Communities” – by Andrew Keatts. For other takes, see OB Planning Board vice-chair Kevin Hasting’s post where he says the plan would bring high-density and eliminate OB’s floor-area-ratio, and San Diego policy-wonk Norma Dameshek’s view that the plan should be jettisoned altogether.

By Andrew Keatts / Voice of San Diego / July 6, 2020

In the waning months of his administration, Mayor Kevin Faulconer is proposing a set of policy changes aimed at delivering on his own previous promises and the city’s long-term goals, as well as reforms required by state law. He hopes the various pieces of the plan, dubbed Complete Communities, would make way for far more homes near transit, remake how the city funds parks and community improvements and change the way it measures the environmental effects of new development.

The first piece of the program is heading toward a City Council vote, after a Council committee last month held a marathon discussion of it, but did not vote to support it.

Council members on the committee praised Faulconer’s ambitions, and said the plan aimed to do the right things. But from both the left and the right, they raised specific issues,

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Former Midway Post Office Getting Ready for a Change

July 9, 2020 by Source

By Eric S. Page / 7SanDiego / July 8, 2020

The hulking concrete structure at the site of the former central post office on Midway Drive in San Diego has been haunting a stretch of Point Loma for nearly a decade, with little to no activity at the location.

No good activity, anyway. Back in 2015, James Dudley cut a lock on a fence and broke into the building, stripping out nearly 700 pounds of copper before he was discovered loading it into his vehicle. He pulled a 30-month sentence and was ordered to pay $123,984.08 to the Postal Service for his trouble.

For years, the property, bounded by Barnett Avenue to the south and Midway Drive to the east, has been as still as a graveyard. Its glory days began in 1972, when the building became the city’s main post office and was San Diego’s go-to for late tax filers, with drivers lining up April 15 to drop off returns. Its descent, however, began in ’93,

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Barbara Bry Speaking on Latest Proposal for Short-Term Vacation Rentals – Thursday Night, July 9

July 9, 2020 by Source

Mayoral candidate and Councilwoman Barbara Bry is speaking tonight, July 9 on the latest Proposal for Short-Term Vacation Rentals – among other issues. Councilwoman Jen Campbell has recently come out with the new proposal – and it’s not receiving good reviews at the beach. This will be Bry’s first public response.

The event is sponsored by the chief group fighting STVRs in San Diego, Save San Diego Neighborhoods. Here’s their announcement:

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Proposals for Sports Arena Redevelopment Available for Virtual Public Viewing on Friday, July 10

July 9, 2020 by Source

Proposals are to be opened Friday, July 10 – the public will then have 11 days to evaluate plans, submit feedback to guide the city’s choice

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 9, 2020

San Diego residents on Friday can take virtual tours of up to four competing proposals to redevelop the city’s 48-acre sports arena property into a modern village, featuring entertainment, housing, retail shops and office buildings.

Each of the proposals will be featured on a special city website created to gather public feedback over 11 days, beginning Friday morning through Monday, July 20. The site is sandiego.gov/sportsarenaopenhouse.

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Seed Libraries Help Communities Grow Food in the Pandemic

July 8, 2020 by Source

By Enrique Gili / Shareable / June 17, 2020

The specter of empty shelves at the store and restrained household budgets have spurred Ocean Beach Public Library members in San Diego to flock to an online seed exchange.

What began as a community project by library assistant Destiny Rivera in 2019 with 150 active members has recently tripled and has a following throughout the county. The library has seeds for leafy greens and root vegetables, by request via Facebook.

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Pacific Beach Town Council Opposes Councilwoman Campbell’s Short Term Vacation Rental Deal

July 7, 2020 by Source

A statement was sent out early this morning, July 7, by the Pacific Beach Town Council board of directors in response to District 2 Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s recent and to them – surprising – announcement on short term vacation rentals released on July 1st with Expedia and Unite Here.

The PB Town Council Board of Directors “strongly oppose this approach by Councilmember Campbell to legalize vacationer accommodations in our neighborhoods and permanently transfer thousands of residential homes into mini-hotels.” One of their main criticisms is that as a community and stakeholder, they’ve been ignored by Campbell and the process that came up with the deal.

In the intro to the statement by the BOD, Brian White, president, asks, “Why is our elected representative playing the ‘housing giveaway sweepstakes’ with a multi-billion dollar corporation during an unprecedented housing crisis?”

White adds, “The business interests of HomeAway, VRBO, and their cavalry of STVR operators run contradictory to the City of San Diego’s purported affordable housing goals. As stakeholders in the future of our San Diego housing supply, we ask to be heard on this critical issue.”

Here is the PB Town Council Board’s statement:

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Bayside Trail Near Cabrillo Lighthouse Invaded by Bees

July 7, 2020 by Staff

by Joaquin Antique

The popular Bayside Trail at Cabrillo National Monument has been temporarily closed due to bee activity that has resulted in stings to multiple visitors.

Over the past two weeks, this reporter has made several visits out to the Cabrillo lighthouse hoping to walk the always pleasant 2.5 mile roundtrip Bayside Trail. Each time, the trail was blocked about halfway down by a sign forbidding passage and warning of aggressive bees.

After walking a short distance past the sign to take pictures of the bees, your intrepid reporter and his scofflaw companion were checked out and then pursued by several of the persistent insects who followed them back up the trail about 75 feet before giving up the chase. No stings resulted.

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Pacific Beach – New Hotspot for COVID-19

July 7, 2020 by Source

By Claire Trageser / KPBS / Tuesday, July 7, 2020

While the South Bay remains the epicenter of San Diego County’s coronavirus outbreak, cases increased most rapidly during the last half of June in other areas, most notably Pacific Beach, according to a KPBS analysis of case data.

As with many places throughout California, cases have surged across San Diego County since businesses began opening up in late May. The total number of cases in the county nearly doubled from about 7,500 at the end of May to 14,600 by the start of July.

On June 15, the Pacific Beach ZIP code of 92109 had 70 cases. By June 30, the number had jumped to 181 — a 159% increase.

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Which Calamity Will Decide the Election? Pick One

July 7, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

It is conventional political wisdom that nothing changes in an election’s trajectory from July until November. Behind in July. Loser in November.

It matters not the amount of money or the massive political ads. The dye is cast. Except, the 2016 election where Clinton, led, until she didn’t. (That assumes Russian interference played no role).

Leaving that aside, every voter should be able to pick the dominate influence in this election year. Look at the Big 4 contenders; the #MeToo movement; COVID-19; Black Lives Matter; and the fractured economy. Pick the one that will dwarf all others and dominate the news from now until voting begins.

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Creativity With Plants Lightens Hearts in OB and Around the World

July 7, 2020 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

Covid-19 has given me a chance to become closer to my plants, thinking about their future, and analyzing their health. While I am confessing, I will admit I sometimes sing to my plants. Okay, it might be a little weird, but the plants have never complained.

I recently read an article that brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart. Over two thousand plants were special guests at a concert. The article read, “Barcelona Opera House Reopens with a Concert for 2,292 Plants” By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch, June 23, 2020. A Barcelona opera house played its first concert since mid-March to an unusual audience: 2,292 plants.

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News From Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Early July 2020

July 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Motorcyclist Hits and Runs After Striking Pedestrian on Voltaire

San Diego police were searching for a motorcyclist who they said struck and seriously injured a pedestrian in Ocean Beach before fleeing the scene. The crash happened around 8:40 p.m. July 5 on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard near Voltaire Street,

‘Day-After’ Mess Cleaned-Up by Surfrider Volunteers, Again

Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach were targeted by more than 60 volunteers,

New Principal Named for Point Loma High: Kelly Lowry

The San Diego Unified School District has named Kelly Lowry as the new principal at Point Loma High School.

State Asked San Diego to Close Beach Parking Lots for the Fourth, But ‘Oh, sorry, we didn’t have enough warning’ Claims Local Official

The California Office of Emergency Services sent a letter to city officials in San Diego and other cities imploring them to also close beach parking lots. Some did. Some didn’t – including San Diego.

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Mike James: A Look at Past Ocean Beach Street Fairs and a ‘Radical’ Proposal for the Future

July 6, 2020 by Source

Back to the Future: A Proposal to Replace the OB Pier Fireworks Festival With A Light and Water Show

By Mike James

In 1980 I was 24 years old and part owner of the James Gang Custom T-Shirts with my brothers Ron, Rich, Greg and Pat. I was also serving my first term as the president of the Ocean Beach Merchants Association (later renamed Mainstreet Association).

As a new organization formed in 1978, we were looking for ways to promote the community. I had remembered watching the Fourth of July fireworks off the Ocean Beach Pier while on vacation in 1974. An event that ended a year later due to lack of sponsorship.

So in the spring of 1980 I proposed to a skeptical OBMA Board of Directors to bring back the fireworks.

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Public’s Help Needed in Hit and Run That Killed Skateboarder Cameron Loren in Ocean Beach – Reward Offered

July 2, 2020 by Staff

The public’s help is being sought in finding the driver in an Ocean Beach hit-and-run that killed skateboarder Cameron “Cam” Loren. Loren was struck from behind as he skateboarded down Voltaire Street.

This was June 4 and he was hit in the 4500 block of Voltaire around 10:30 pm. His body was found by a passerby.

San Diego police said the driver fled the scene, leaving the 25-year-old Loren on the street with injuries. Emergency crews responded to the incident, but Loren was declared dead at the scene, according to police.

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Be a Real Patriot: Stay Home on July 4th

July 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

July 4th is America’s day to celebrate our independence and show our patriotism – and usually is a day for Americans to party as hard as we can, with fireworks, with friends, with nature, out on the beach, in the parks.

Until July 4, 2020. This Independence Day is different. It has to be different. This year, to show our patriotism, we’ve got to stay home, away from friends, from fireworks, from beaches and parks – and hang only with household members.

That’s right; to be a real patriot this July 4th, we’ve got to stay home.

No Repeat of What Happened on Memorial Day

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Navy and San Diego Team Up to Tackle Modernizing the ‘Old Town Campus’ in Midway District

July 2, 2020 by Source


Editordude: We offer the following without comment as a FYI for our Point Loma and Midway readers.

by Elisha Gamboa / Defense Visual Information Distribution Services / July 1, 2020

To keep Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) ready to meet its critical, high-tech, cybersecurity mission, the Navy is working alongside advocates throughout the San Diego region to create a state-of-the-art facility in support the command’s diverse, high-priority mission and rapidly growing cyber requirements.

Known as the Navy Old Town Campus (OTC) Revitalization Project, this effort centers around NAVWAR Headquarters, which is currently located on 70.5 acres of Navy-owned land, in the Midway-Pacific Highway Community.

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‘Urged on by Travel Platform, Jen Campbell Throws Her Constituents Under the Short Term Rental Bus’

July 2, 2020 by Source

Here is the response released Wednesday to Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s proposal on regulating short term vacation rentals in San Diego by the main organization that has opposed STVRs for the past half-decade, Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

Driven By Expedia D2 Councilmember Jennifer Campbell Throws Her Constituents and San Diego Residents Under the Short Term Rental Bus

July 1, 2020 – It appears Councilmember Campbell has learned the political ropes in San Diego fairly quickly. She was elected less than two years ago. She told voters in District 2 that she was adamantly opposed to short term vacation rentals in San Diego residential zones – her constituent’s neighborhoods. And she said, she would work with her fellow councilmembers to enforce the existing Municipal Code, which prohibits short term rentals.

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Councilwoman Campbell Shepherds New Short Term Rentals Proposal With Union and Travel Platform

July 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

On Monday, Councilwoman Jen Campbell announced that she had coordinated a new proposal for short term vacation rentals along with UNITE HERE Local 30 – a hospitality union – and Expedia Group – the parent company for travel platforms Vrbo and Homeaway.

Campbell claims the new regulatory framework could potentially cut the number of whole-home vacation rentals within the city limits by 70 percent. Based on the City Auditor’s estimation that 16,000 STRs exist today in San Diego, 70 percent equates to 3,750 permits, which would reduce the overall number of whole-home STRs.

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The San Diego Progressive Green Calendar for July 2020

July 1, 2020 by Source

The following calendar for progressives and greens showing July events was put together by our friends at the OB Green Center.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. July 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th. Keep up-to-date on climate issues and Climate Action events. To register email Jon Findley at jon@climatemobsd.org. More info: https://www.facebook.com/SDClimateMobilization

July 9th Thursday 4 pm – 6 pm Interview with Dr. Michael E. Mann Hosted by North County Climate Change Alliance Join us to hear from renowned award-winning scientist and climate activist Dr. Michael E. Mann during a one-hour interview and Q&A session moderated by journalist Steve Horn.

July 10th Friday 11:15 am – 1:30 pm Protest Del Mar Race Track – Opening day Opening day protest.

July 10th Friday Protest Sea World San Diego Hosted by Ellen Ericksen Since we have all had a “taste” of what captivity feels like the last three months it is important for us to protest the opening of Sea World. The animals once again will be forced to perform stupid tricks to entertain the humans

July 19th Sunday 2 pm 4 pm Police Repression, Police Unions, and the Role of the Labor Movement. Hosted by San Diego Labor Democratic Club

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The Saga of Mr. X and the Crows Goes On

July 1, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

It’s been a little over a week since I wrote about the problem that “Mr. X” was having with the crows in his backyard. They followed him everyplace he went; dive-bombing him unexpectedly at different intervals. It did not matter if he was in his own backyard; in my backyard; walking on Sunset Cliffs, etc. For the most part they missed him, but I noticed that even the neighbors were staying away from him in fear that they too might be injured by these crows.

Since that article appeared, someone suggested that Mr. X have some peanuts available for the crows to eat. Maybe they were hungry.

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‘None Dare Call It Treason? ‘

June 30, 2020 by Staff

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San Diego County Orders All Bars, Breweries and Wineries to Close Midnight Tuesday, June 30

June 29, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Well, we did it, San Diegans. We just hit a record high of nearly 500 new positive COVID-19 cases (498) and of the 6,908 tests reported today, Monday, 7 percent were positive.

And we have returned to the days of (some) of the restrictions. County officials have just ordered all bars, breweries and wineries in San Diego to close by midnight Tuesday. Other reopenings are being “paused” through at least August 1.

This all places a grim outlook for the upcoming July 4th weekend. County Supervisor Greg Cox said, “We simply cannot celebrate July 4 as we have in the past.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher added that if cases continue to rise at this alarming rate, San Diego County could return to near total lockdown. Fletcher said:

“It’s certainly a possibility, but the worst-case scenario for our region. We cannot do this alone. We can’t stop (the spread of the illness), but we want to slow it. It’s better if we can take incremental steps to dial things back.”

This weekend will certainly be a challenge. Especially for those folks who rallied to impeach Governor Newsom the other day.

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Next OB Planning Board Meeting Is Wed., July 1 via Cisco Webex – Pre-Registration Required

June 29, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The next OB Planning Board meeting is Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 6pm

This meeting will be held via Cisco Webex. You can register for the meeting here. Please allow a few days for your registration to be accepted. Once you are accepted a link will be sent to your email that will access the meeting.

If you would like to speak during non agenda public comment or during one of the Action items, please email obplanningboard@gmail.com

There are two projects to be reviewed; 4775 Pescadero and 4614 Cape May.

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To Be or Not to Be VP: Harris or Warren? That Is the Question

June 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Unless Biden is clueless, one of these two female Senators will be his pick to be the Vice-Presidential nominee; Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

Neither one is needed to carry their respective state. California and Massachusetts are reliably Democratic. Forget the need to campaign in either state, except for cash, down ticket teams and some press.

Both of these women bring something to the campaign that Biden lacks. Plans, experience, enthusiasm, heritage, and a big cheer from multi-generations of all women (Republican and Democrat) heretofore left out of the highest ranks of U.S. politics.

Both of these women also make no secret of their desire to be selected for a ticket that just might win.

Then, the debate starts. Choose. Harris or Warren? Why? We need both.

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The Widder Curry Says: ‘They’re Fire Crackers – Not Fireworks!’

June 26, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

Within the past few weeks, Sunset Cliffs has become a more dangerous place to live than ever before. Dangerous because of the noise and air pollution; dangerous because of possibility of more accidents, both “cliff-wise” and automobile wise; more dangerous because our first responders will not be able to fulfill their job because of the additional traffic on the road. Yes, I am angry; upset, tired and irritated.

Let’s start with the new 4 way stop signs on the corner of Pt. Loma Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

I counted 29 cars stopped at the corner going north after the sunset yesterday. Prior to that I watched people speed up once they passed the stop sign, going south to watch the sunset. I watched people on motor scooters and bikes ignore the signs completely and just go through them while cars were making turns onto the same road as the riders.

I watched – and hoped – that there was not an emergency because if there was there would be no way that our first responders would have been able to respond because there was no place for the lines of cars to go. They could not have pulled over; chaos would have reigned. But just because there were no accidents yesterday,

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OB’s Adopt-a-Block Looking for a Few Good Stewards

June 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Just before our world changed with the pandemic, a group had formed in Ocean Beach to organize block-by-block volunteers to help keep paradise clean. It’s the Ocean Beach Street Stewards – and they’re still around and still are searching for volunteers to be OB street stewards.

Here’s what they say on their facebook page:
Ocean Beach Street Stewards

As OB Street Stewards we strive to keep our little portion of this magical neighborhood clean! If you sign up, we just ask that you take a walk around your block around once a week and clean up trash you might see in the street, around sidewalk, thrown into bushes, etc.

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Join Ocean Beach Town Council on Facebook Live – Wed., June 24

June 24, 2020 by Source

Tonight at this month’s OBTC Public Meeting we are excited to host guest speaker Genevieve Jones-Wright for a discussion about San Diego’s criminal and social justice systems. Genevieve serves on the Board of Directors for the David’s Harp Foundation, is Vice President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, and is a volunteer attorney for the California Innocence Project. Genevieve is also an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Please join us on Facebook Live, Wednesday June 24 at 7:00 pm, for an interactive Q&A and the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions.

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Complete Communities: Scourge or Savior?

June 24, 2020 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / June 23, 2020

Part I: Complete Communities

Over the past six months, the international scientific community has been working its tail off to subdue the coronavirus scourge wreaking havoc on the world population.

Meantime, Americans are taking to the streets demanding the annihilation of other malignant viruses infecting our nation–namely, racist violence by the police and the embedded racism that underlies too many of our country’s institutions.

How are San Diego leaders responding to this pandemic moment of economic, political, and life-threatening upheaval? The answer won’t make you proud. It could make you angry.

Throughout these past months of social turmoil, racial reckoning, and a deadly health crisis, San Diego’s Mayor, along with city planners and the development industry, have laser-focused their efforts on fast-tracking an extraordinary proposal called “Complete Communities: Housing Solutions and Mobility Choices Initiative” which:

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In Meeting on Zoom, Peninsula Planners Express Desire to Get Back to Work for the Community

June 24, 2020 by Staff

Volunteer Board Grapples With How to Fill Vacant Seats

By Geoff Page

It is interesting to see the lengths people are going to today, in their efforts to establish a modicum of normalcy. The reasons for this are varied. For many it is a serious worry about money. For some, who may not have a money worry, it is a chance to get back to making more money. And some, like many celebrities out there in front of laptops, are starving for attention.

The volunteers on the Peninsula Community Planning Board want to resume their business, which has been on hold since their last meeting in February of this year. While it may not be the motive for everyone, most of the sitting members expressed the same sentiment, a genuine concern that the work for the community the board normally does was not getting done.

The kick-off effort to restart their work, Thursday, June 18, was an on-line meeting using used a popular on-line meeting software called Zoom.

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2020 Election: It’s Not Biden vs. Trump, It’s COVID-19 vs. Trump

June 23, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

President Trump’s “Comeback Tulsa Rally” flopped. Over a million reserved tickets, but only 6,200 attended, which proves several alarming facts.

First, the nation’s much vaunted intelligence community and the President’ campaign “genius” were both AWOL.

Big question: Why didn’t anyone tell Trump?

His nominees head the CIA, the FBI, local and national Republican party apparatus. They remained silent? How about his “digitally superior” campaign team. They stayed mum? All too cowardly to inform the president that a disaster loomed? He shoots the messengers?

How in the world was the President of the United States allowed to get on a plane and fly to Tulsa without any knowledge that the overflow stage for a massive outdoor crowd was being torn down, due to no crowds, and that the arena itself was not even half-full?

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Surfing Confronts Its Racist Past

June 22, 2020 by Source

“Behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe — a locals-only, whites-only vibe,” said Sharon Schaffer, the first African American female pro in the U.S.

By Dennis Romero / NBCNews / June 21, 2020

One day 40 years ago, actor and stuntwoman Sharon Schaffer returned to her SUV after riding the waves at Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, California, to find a racial epithet written in dirt on its windows.

In surfing, “there was always the good, aloha vibe,” she said recently, “but behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe – a locals-only, whites-only vibe.” “I shrugged it off,” said Schaffer, of Los Angeles and celebrated as U.S. surfing’s first African American female professional. “But I don’t think I would shrug that off so easily today.”

U.S. surfing, still viewed as largely white and advantaged, may be undergoing a new awakening

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