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Two opposing views regarding the ban on brew at San Diego's beaches inadvertently surfaced during the June 25th meeting of the Ocean Beach town council. When Officer David Surwilo, community liaison for the police department's Western Division, informed the town council that arrests have gone up by over 80 percent over the month of April, while serious crimes like robbery were down, it prompted a question from a council member. Stephen Heverly, 2nd Vice President of OB's town council, asked Officer David Surwilo if the numbers were proof the beer ban was working.

Officer Surwilo responded with a question. "Well, why don't you tell me, is the beer ban working? Does your boardwalk and beach look better?"

Heverly was the first to respond. He said despite hearing the ban on booze was causing a spike in crime, he felt like the ban was working.

Many of the board members nodded their heads, but member Lisa Fenno disagreed. "Yeah, the boardwalk and the beach look good, but now you get accosted more when you leave the beach. To me it's just moved everyone off the beach and pushed them inland."

Officer David Surwilo said the beach division is patrolling the alleys to address the loitering going on, though he seemed to agree with Fenno that the ban is pushing the transient population further inland. While driving through his old beat in Hillcrest, Surwilo said he noticed many different, more hardened homeless faces, which he attributed to the ban pushing the homeless away from the beach and up the hill.

If the ban on booze is merely pushing those hardened faces away from the beach and towards downtown, it is clear that the issue is much more complex than just drinking on San Diego's beaches.

The OB town council meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at the Masonic Temple, located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach. Visit their website at obtowncouncil.org.

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Comments

PBresident June 30, 2008 @ 10:41 a.m.

How hard is it to understand that booze ban (which by the way, is the best thing ever for the beach communities) caused the spike in crime because they were not arresting people or issuing citations last year at this time, therefore its a whole new metric that is invalid for comparison until next year, when there is historical data from which to compare. The important number is the decline in the number of "serious" crimes.

In Pacific Beach, the beach is a much better place than it has been in years and the annual deterioration of behavior has finally stopped and actually appears to be getting better. The beaches are much less crowded, and that is a good thing because the people that have drinking as their #1 priority are not going to the beach. The people that want to go to the beach are there enjoying the beach without the alcoholics that have drinking as their #1 priority and use the beach as a place to engage in their vice.

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lovetheboozeban June 30, 2008 @ 1:16 p.m.

I LOVE THE BOOZEBAN.....Who cares about a bunch of lowlife homeless people or beach punks that just want to drink.....Why don't you worry more about the law abiding, tax paying citizen..In fact I was at a PB beach on Sunday and i saw some lowlife punk types with their lame goatees and tattos drinking so I summoned a cop and they got busted....It was absolutely great. The punks are slowly getting the message...DONT DRINK ON MY BEACH...The booze ban keeps the punks and homeless away from my mansion and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!! The booze ban rocks!!!

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Shpadoinkle June 30, 2008 @ 4:50 p.m.

Lowlife beach punks with lame goatees and tattoos? Can you say stereotype?!?! Facial hair and/or tattoos have absolutely nothing to do with crime whatsoever. I hate to break it to you, but the days of only convicts wielding tattoos are a thing of the past. And facial hair?!?! PREPOSTEROUS! You need to realize that because of the booze ban there are less people at the beach, meaning less people supporting the San Diego economy, at a time when it needs supported most. By general observation I've noticed most of the people with "tattoos" at the beach are military personnel anyway, the people that you should be thanking day in and day out for what they do so that you can sit up there in your "mansion" without a single worry about the economy because you probably have more money than you know what to do with. Get a life. Degenerate.

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VinnyPaesano June 30, 2008 @ 8:24 p.m.

PBresident-

What beach were you on at this time last year where they weren't issuing citations? I have never spent a day at a popular/patrolled beach in San Diego and not seen the cops and lifeguards issuing citations.

If it's serious crimes you're talking about, they were already decreasing before you got your ban. Ask Boyd Long of the SDPD. He'll readily explain to you that Chief Lansdowne's three-year plan for holiday beach management was bringing about the drop in crime in general, and violent crime particularly, that you're looking for.

It's also pretty safe to say that there have been significant serious crimes committed this year with the ban in place. Shootings in hotel parking lots, DUI deaths, tourists beaten and thrown into fire pits, stabbings. You won't catch me rooting for those things to happen -as you know I'm against this ban- but if you want to compare some numbers, please take these crimes into consideration.

Your "logic" of waiting it out until the end of 2009 is a shaky attempt to make your legislation permanent while the rest of us are at our jobs instead of at City Council meetings crying on a Wednesday afternoon at 2pm.

Again- figures don't lie, but liars certainly do figure. See you at the City Council meetings later this year.

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LAL June 30, 2008 @ 8:25 p.m.

The Alcohol Ban is another example of local Government and a minority of rich land owners on our beaches and bays taking freedoms away for responsible tax paying citizens of San Diego. We already have laws for every alcohol related issue you can think of that may happen at the beach. Why not enforce the current laws we have? Instead we have a new law that stops responsible citizens for enjoying a beer or wine at the beach this Independence Day.

As everyone celebrates FREEDOM this 4th of July at your backyard BBQ or house parties and not at our local beaches, bays and parks we have our San Diego City Council to thank. They used an unfortunate isolated incident at the beach last summer to create fear and panic in people and passed a new law with no facts or statistics to back it up and no plan to evaluate it.

I bet local business numbers for tax revenue this July 4th are way down this year. The local beach business community is going to suffer and the pro-alcohol ban folks will blame less people at the beach on the price of gas or the weather. This "trial alcohol ban" is another form of prohibition and is bad for San Diego. The City Council will have a chance later this year to drop this trial alcohol ban. If they do not I predict that the citizens of San Diego will rise up and get this issue on the ballot so that we can Vote on this one more time.

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lovetheboozeban July 1, 2008 @ 7:54 a.m.

You "punk types" miss the point.... You cannot overrun the will of the people...We don't want drinking on our beaches....I love to have a few cocktails but you know what I don't miss having drinks on the beach one bit...Its the hoodlum, punk, thug types that like to think they are so cool drinking that they don't know how to act and control themselves..Hence...THE BOOZE BAN..It is so nice to be able to go to the beach and not have scummy homeless, punks with skateboards, and goatee tatooed lowlifes acting like idiots on the beach and near my mansion... And thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN...Crime is down, everyone I talk to says the beach is so much nicer this summer so THE BOOZE BAN will never go away and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!!

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LAL July 1, 2008 @ 9:35 p.m.

BOOZE BAN LOVER- I CAN NOT WAIT TO DRINK MY BEER ON YOUR BAY THIS JULY 4TH!

When the hundreds or thousands or registered voters who can not enjoy a beverage with alcohol on the beach this year get fired up the City Council and you little prohibition organization SavePB better be ready for a rally. The City Council has one last chance later this year to not vote your “trial alcohol ban” back for another year. If they vote to keep it you bet you sweet, you know what, this is going to a VOTE OF THE PEOPLE!

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thecoolestliz July 1, 2008 @ 9:47 p.m.

Since most of us pay taxes this issue should really go on a ballot, I would feel more comfortable about this decision if it was voted by the tax payers of the city, instead of just the city counsel. And really what is this nonsense about "thugs" and "hooligans"??? It is an uneducated argument with no premise or conclusion filled with stereotypical generalizations. If anything there is more drunken behavior on the streets of PB at night then on the beach during the day, and since apparently the powers that be are worried about drunken behavior we might as well shut down bars altogether and while we are at it lets make San Diego a dry county, that way none of us "hooligans" can cause any trouble.

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marko July 1, 2008 @ 9:39 a.m.

do you stupid people realize there is a TON of beach that never gets used?

banning beer at the beach is the worst thing that could have happened. who doesn't like a cold one after a good surf or just laying in the sun?

it's all you uptight people that mess it up for everyone. if you don't like it go 6 blocks down the beach and you can have almost the whole thing to yourself!

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lovetheboozeban July 1, 2008 @ 9:48 a.m.

Marko,

You are so ignorant....It's not the "uptight people" that rioted last summer, it's not the "uptight people"who raped girls in their apt. in mission beach...It's the punks who can't control themselves who did, so we responsible people had to finally say enough is enough....Stay home and drink....just remember one thing.......We LOVETHEBOOZEBAN and it is here to stay...All punks off the beach!!!

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thecoolestliz July 1, 2008 @ 10:10 a.m.

I feel conflicted over the matter because the beaches are cleaner and nicer, but it is so nice to drink a cold beer on the beach on a hot day. I think they should have specific beaches where you can drink and specific beaches where it is banned that way everyone would be happy. Also to respond to the article,

  "If the ban on booze is merely pushing those hardened faces away from the beach and towards downtown, it is clear that the issue is much more complex than just drinking on San Diego's beaches."

Not to sound obnoxious, but DUH!!! Hello San Diego has an awful homeless problem. Instead of worrying about a few young people that had a few to many beers at the beach (which is what generations of young San Diegans have always done) WHy don't we spend that much time and money into developing ways to fixing our homeless problems, with current housing costs everyday more and more people are going homeless, and its not just "hardened faces" in OB its women and children too. When are we going to start focusing on the real issues instead of the superficial?

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ddrew July 1, 2008 @ 11:51 a.m.

What a joke... I assume everyone on this board is a "law abiding tax paying citizen" so who are any of you to speak on all of our behalf.... I personally enjoy the freedom of being able to relax on the beach and drink a beer... but since most of you think it is YOUR BEACH - and you don't like drinking, you think that NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DRINK ON ANY BEACH... WTF

Why is this all or nothing... we could make everyone happy - instead of half the population... designate one beach as a place where you can bring alcohol, and one where you are not allowed..

But instead you idiots think it is okay to tell others how they should be living on "YOUR BEACHES" what a joke.... especially as we get set to celebrate our "independence day" we can all sit back and remember times when government did not try to run every part of our lives...

whats next - some old lady does not like how skimpy girls bikini's are these days... well we'd better ban them.. we don't want your children exposed to sexuality.... one piece suits only....

These laws are actually Taliban esq.... honestly

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JimG July 1, 2008 @ 12:10 p.m.

I would hate to be the person trying to argue that the beach was not a problem area prior to the ban. There is no credibility to that argument! The beach ban came because some people will not behave unless a cop makes them. The rest of us shouldn't have to put up with their behavior, or pay for the additional police presence that is required just to control them.

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lovetheboozeban July 1, 2008 @ 12:43 p.m.

Drew,

You are such a fool....We all love having a drink on the beach but idiot punks like you can't control yourselves after a few drinks so......yes we all have to pay the price but you know what.....I LOVETHEBOOZEBAN....and it's working....My beach is now peaceful and quiet and families can now come down and play with their kids without a bunch of drunk hooligan punks ruining it....And designating a drunk only beach is not the answer beacause all you out of control punks will not be able to control yourselves...Deal with it...The ban is working..You punks know it, the people in the beach areas know it, and the cops know it.......and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN.

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ddrew July 1, 2008 @ 1:38 p.m.

LOVETHEBOOZEBAN,

WOW... a punk? an idiot? a hooligan? Can you please give me some insight on what makes a person any of these things and particularly what makes me any of these things...

So I am assuming that you are the kind of guy that tries to convert other people to his religion, the kind of guy who wants anything you deem "inappropriate" off the TV, the kind of guy who thinks they know what is best for everyone... yes - YOU ARE THAT GUY... instead of YOU monitoring what your kids are exposed to - you'd rather society do it for you... your that lazy guy making 50K a year, working 40 hours (but only actually working 15 of those) who expects the government and others to alter their lives so not to expose your children to anything you don't like.. THAT GUY...too lazy to monitor and regulate what your own children are exposed too - so just punish everyone else instead... we should all live to make you happy

For you to say I am any of those things through that little message is... well it is ignorant.... I am a 28 Y/O COO of multi million dollar company...nothing close to a "punk, idiot, or hooligan" I can assure you that I pay my fair share of taxes, and I can also assure you I am not arrogant enough to call any public space MINE... why - because public spaces are just that - PUBLIC... and people like you think everything should be all or nothing.. compromise is a foreign term to you...

I would love to hear your explanation of why we could not have some area's designated as alcohol free, and other's not... (I guess it is because as long as your happy, screw everyone else...) why do you think I have to make sacrifices for YOUR KIDS - you had them, you make the sacrifices!

I am in full agreement that drunk idiots running around the beach is NOT a good thing, but these are things that can be controlled... the beaches went from everything goes - to nothing goes... opposed to taken steps to determine what regulations will create the desired effect EVERYONE would be happy with...

Your just a bitter old JOKE... Keep up the GREAT parenting you loser

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joann July 1, 2008 @ 1:45 p.m.

I agree that the beaches are cleaner, but I am a responsible tax paying citizen and there are times that I would like to be able to have a drink at the beach. It is a shame that the bad behavior of a few dictates what the masses are able to do. I have never been in a fight nor have I committed any crimes, but my right to have a drink on occassion has been taken away. It seems that we should be able to come up with a solution that everyone can live with instead of an all or nothing plan.

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lovetheboozeban July 1, 2008 @ 2:01 p.m.

Nice try Drew....If you are a COO of a million dollar company then im the starting QB for the Chargers...You are such a hoax...I could care less what other people do as long as they DONT BOTHER OTHERS. It's obnoxious punks like you that come to the beach, drink, cuss and act like idiots and BOTHER the rest of us that annoys a long time beach resident like me...You are such a hoax and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!!...If you and your "kind" could have a drink, be relaxed and enjoy themselves rather than pissing on peoples yards, trashing the neighborhood and harrassing the girls then there would be no ban...But your generation has no respect for others and have grown up without having to be responsible for your actions...well now you do and you blew it and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!!

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VinnyPaesano July 1, 2008 @ 9:32 p.m.

And on the note of a separate beach to drink on, that system was already in place: The alcohol-free beach was called La Jolla. You should check it out sometime. It's nice up there too.

As with any decision one would make for their children and entire family, weigh your options first. I'll readily admit that the foot of Reed St. before the ban was less than family friendly, but simply walking three blocks down you'd find almost a mile of deserted Mission Beach until you reached Belmont Park. Going north of the pier was pretty easy too, or to Crown Point, De Anza Cove, Playas, Ski Beach and plenty of other places.

Now the rest of us working folk can't make a free choice to go anywhere for a beer on the sand. We'll just have to get inner tubes and float out three feet onto the bay this 4th of July to crack open a cold one instead.

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gee742 July 1, 2008 @ 3:45 p.m.

I think Drew makes some very interesting points. Why not have a seperate beach to drink on. There should be some sort of fee associated with it and maybe the city would take a second look. There will be a shortfall of revenue this year and less visitors spending money in San Diego. This guy who calls himself the "LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!!" is a riot. I really don't think you own a mansion and sounds to me like you may be drunk right now. If anything, "LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!!" may be an employee of the READER who is put on all topics they write columns on to piss off normal, level headed people. That makes more sense to me!

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lovetheboozeban July 1, 2008 @ 4 p.m.

Gee 742,

Get your head out of the sand....Who says there is going to be a shortfall of revenue and less visitors?? Are you crazy?? You mean to tell me that because a bunch of drunk obnoxious hooligans are not going to be drinking at the beach that the SD economy is going down the tubes?? Have you completely lost your mind? If anything, getting the lowlife scum punks off the beaches will increase tourism...But i don't care about that...I just want MY beaches taken back from the punks who have to act like a bunch of idiots....Lets face it...The BOOZEBAN is working...And by the way your idea of a paying beach is probably the dumbest thing i've heard since Drew got on here....The beaches are safer, cleaner and more fun now and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!! THE BOOZEBAN ROCKS!!! BOOZEBAN FOEVER!!! Drunk punks off the beach!!!

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VinnyPaesano July 1, 2008 @ 9:26 p.m.

Well, thankfully LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!! is not doing any favors for his cause. He's trying to dig the bottom out of a hole he's already dug with his stupidity. I'm beginning to think he might be one of the homeless who used to live at the foot of Reed St. It seems like he never took any time to see the other 26.2 miles of beach from which our freedoms were revoked. Or maybe he just watches TV news all day, or maybe he's Kevin Faulconer's lackey. I wouldn't want to be any of those three things, personally.

Keep it up, pal. You're making the rest of us "punks" look like nuclear physicists with the way you present yourself and your point.

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lovetheboozeban July 2, 2008 @ 1:25 p.m.

Face it....The BOOZEBAN IS HERE TO STAY!!! Stay home and drink...We don't need you drunks out in public...Remember, it's the drunk, rowdy, punks who ruined it for all of us...If you don't want to pay the price then don't commit the crime...The beaches are so much safer and thats why we LOVETHEBOOZEBAN!!!

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WT_Effman July 2, 2008 @ 2:14 p.m.

I've got an idea that should please everybody. Since we have beaches that are designated for special purposes, such as exercising dogs, why can't we have a specific beach area that allows regulated consumption of alcohol? Regulations would include the usual and obvious, such as a ban on glass containers, and could contain other regulations to prevent abuse, such as not allowing anything larger than a quarter keg on the beach. This is pretty much how the smoking issue is handled and it seems to work well. In Ocean Beach, I would suggest that the area on the south side of the pier and going north to the lifeguard station would be perfect. The area in front of that beach is a surfing-only area, so swimming under the influence would be discouraged. The area north of this allows swimming and body boarding, which families would be more inclined to enjoy. By the way, I'm 49 years old, self-employed, and it's MY BEACH too. I don't see why I have to deprive myself of any rights to indulge the narrow-minded prejudices of others. Treating bad behavior by a minority of people with a full ban for everyone is tantamount to treating dandruff by decapitation.

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marko July 10, 2008 @ 10:22 a.m.

anyone that likes the ban is a communist. go live somewhere else, let us do whatever we want on the beach. i can't believe how many uptight freakin people actually like the ban. i only wish there was a form of natural selection for stupid people.

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Ctheworld Aug. 10, 2008 @ 1:32 p.m.

I think "lovetheboozeban" is like a silly character from an SNL skit...I'm picturing the old "church lady" from the 90's. This can't be a real person. I mean, come ON! "hooligans", "scum punks", "my beach", "my mansion"....too ridiculous and out of touch to be real.

I think the real issue is all the litter that some leave behind (many.) On July 4th, due to the ban, lots took to the bay on floating devices and just threw their trash into the bay. This is a real tragedy since the beach clean-up volunteers couldn't get to it.

Support responsible drinking on the beach!!!!

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LAL Aug. 25, 2008 @ 9:13 p.m.

Vote No On Prop D ~ No Permanent Alcohol Ban

www.NoOnPropD.org

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SanDiegoVisitor July 8, 2009 @ 1:27 p.m.

It seems a lot of residents have a problem with the homeless. Maybe since lovetheboozeban is happy their away from his/her mansion he/she would help fund a shelter with an alcoholics treatment program to help those homeless that were their in the first place instead of having them incarcerated. I guess that would be the "right" thing to do. I have seen homeless everywhere in this USA from my travels and lets not forget they're citizens like the rest of us. Maybe their suffering from depression and are alcoholics due to that or they've recently lost their job due to the economy. So lets all try to show a little compassion towards the downtrodden and try to help them as best we can. I'm sure you would want the same if you were put into that situation ( God forbid for the "millionaires")and not have the police called on you because you're homeless with problems you can't get help for. Thank you...

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magicsfive July 8, 2009 @ 2:25 p.m.

23 that was awesome.

lovetheboozeban probably rents a crappy little cottage in city heights.

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