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An Open Letter To The SMCHD Regarding The District Demanding Access To Our Waves, Beach, And Bluffs Be Denied To YOU So That Somebody Can Make A Buck

Hello Team SMCHD,

As you may know, I have expressed my flabbergastment at the notion of Surfers, Surfers I tell you, hiring the cops to restrict access to some waves, a beach, and our bluffs.

I mean, come on man! What next? Is the NRA going to deny people the right to carry guns at a shooting competition it sponsors?

Per a letter that Mavericks/Cartel sent the SMCHD I found out that Surfers would never do such a thing. While this helped untilt the skewing of my world view per the above mentioned flabbergastment, the reason the ocean, beach, and our bluffs is denied access to during the Mavericks Surfing Competition is that the San Mateo County Harbor District Commission demands that the ocean, beach, and bluffs be closed off to the people who rightfully own them so that somebody can make some money.

This is a horrible horrible precedent. 11,600 pieces of silver the SMCHD gets for selling the rights to privatize some waves, a beach, and our bluffs. Worse, staff refunds the 11,600 pieces of silver without a specific policy, no contractual provision allowing it, and without informing the Board of Directors.

Some of you in the past have been willing to trespass and risk arrest so as to oppose this kind of greed vs public access issues. Some of you are willing to force a man who owns a road to provide access to it so that surfers and others can enjoy some waves and a beach.

You now have a glorious opportunity to make a stand and advance the cause of universal public access to waves, beaches, and bluffs vs the cause of making a buck. Rarely in life are people fortunate enough to be blessed with the opportunity to do the right thing for everybody. You as San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioners are so blessed but do you comprehend the opportunity?

If there is to be a contest, fine. I'm as greedy as the next guy. Profit is good. But YOU as representatives of the people who own the assets YOU are trusted to protect, that YOU in fact promised to protect, are not required to make anybodies business model work. Heck, notice the item on your agenda required deficits. Your own business model is failing.

Do the right thing. Rescind the requirement to close off access to the wave, beach, and bluffs.

Thanks for considering my rant and enjoy this fine day!

John Charles Ullom


Comments

Dan, maybe I'm missing your point-- wasn't event day bluff access restricted to prevent damage and erosion from hundreds of onlookers, and also to keep the public from falling off the bluff edge? Wasn't beach access limited after high surf conditions and seawall inundation caused injuries like broken bones?

So maybe insurance requires it. Or maybe the SMCHD doesn't want to be sued by some numbskull event goer who got himself into trouble. 'Splain, please? Thanks.


Or maybe SMHCD is just interested in hosting a sustainable event that minimizes environmental damage and is properly managed.


Lets start with the notion that numbskulls are responsible for the fiasco the resulted in broken bones. Watch this short video of the event you speak of. Notice where the grandstand, the beer shack, and the rest of the contest infrastructure is set up. Who put it there? Who put all of that infrastructure right next to a sign that warned of rouge waves on a day specifically selected because there would be LARGE WAVES? Who invited strangers to stand in harms way?

Web Link

I suppose it is true that numbskulls were responsible for getting people hurt.

The reason the SMCHD began insisting on denial of access is because Team Mavericks caused people to be hurt. The reason Team Mavericks whole heartily endorses the restriction its reckless planning necessitated is that in order to score the big bucks they need to restrict access to the images created at the event. That is the exact same reason whey their competitor, the WSL, hired cops in Chile to shut down a local webcast. Unless they control the images, no big bucks for Team Mavericks.

"So maybe insurance requires it."

Nope. If you pay the money you can buy the insurance. It may be that the cost would be prohibitive so Team Mavericks needs the restriction of access in order to make their business model work.

"...hosting a sustainable event that minimizes environmental damage..."

Think about it from the other side. If denying people access to a beach and bluffs, even those who could not care less about surfing is required, is the event really sustainable? If their activity causes environmental damage, should the people who own the resource pay the price in order to allow their activity?

"...and is properly managed."

I think we can all agree that a properly managed event would have its permits and insurance in place by the time specified in the agreement they signed. The permit was not paid for until two weeks after the contest window opened. The insurance was not purchased until four weeks after the event. For some reason, Team Mavericks had the event fee refunded to them on February 27th, 2015. A full month before the closing of the contest window.

Does this sound like a properly managed event?

Try this out. A guy with a billion dollars comes to town. He wants a private beach for his little princess to have her dream wedding. The guy pays the district 11,600 so that he can then hire the cops to chase off anybody who wants to watch or even just go for a walk on the bluffs.

What would surfers say? What would you say? Are surfers some how differently entitled that billionaire?

Or try this. What if the pro volleyball league wanted to have a tournament at Francis Beach. As the athletes are hot, sweaty, and nearly naked, Web Link , the images are quite popular. The PVL wants the "Athletes" to be given the respect and treasure they rightfully deserve. So they close down access to Francis, or Mavericks, or Martins beach for few hours so as to make the business model work.

Who would support that? What would surfers say? What would you say?

Take a magnificent resource such as Mavericks. There are only a few days if any in a year where surfers can enjoy this god given resource. Not all surfers care about Jeff Clark's scheme to wring gold from the wave. Many just love surfing.

The day that a wave comes, such a surfer who is not one of the Committee 5 anointed will not be allowed to surf the wave. If she tries, the cops hired by Griffen Guess will arrest her.

Surf punk gangster-ism is what that sounds like. There are a few surfers who think they own a specific break. If somebody intrudes on their territory, pissing matches, fights, slashed tires, and worse have resulted.

Jeff Clark and Griffen Guess with the aid of the Harbor District are just wanna be respectable corporate versions of "Locals Only Surf Punk Gangsters". Its their wave, they own it, they will decide who surfs it. From what I've been told by those who attended, when you see the video from last night's meeting you will see what I mean. Until then: Web Link


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