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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Comments

towelheadedcameljockey July 9, 2008 @ 12:58 p.m.

It'd be fun to watch what goes on through the day, from a small distance.

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dkloo July 9, 2008 @ 2:54 p.m.

I think that the ban on alcohol is a good thing and will continue to improve the life style of people that live near the beach. Over the last few years we have seen so much increase in vagrants and bums sleeping in the alleys and under the boardwalks. With the ban , they no longer have "bum" paradise to travel to for $2 on the bus. If I were homeless, the beach's in San Diego would be my destination. I used to live in Northern California and even my bum friends from high school, would always talk about just buying a one way ticket to SD and live on the beach, drinking and parting all day. If we have to pay premium prices to live near the beach, that problem should not exist. The booze ban has driven away many people and also cut down on both the harassment of the local people , but it makes parents like my self feel better about letting my kids play in this neighborhood. If you have a area to drink, that wont stop people from both breaking the rules and being drunk all over the beach. They will walk to the "designated area" pound their booze and then go back to the other beach. All that will do is make them hide it more and try to sneak it on to the beach. You will then find buried can/ bottles, caps, box trash that people were to afraid to get up and throw away in fear of getting caught out of "designated" areas. The ban is a good thing

Derek OB resident

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WT_Effman July 13, 2008 @ 3:52 p.m.

To Derek: I believe I addressed your point of view in the last paragraph of this post. I don't believe you offered a direct response to a very direct question: Why do I, as a law-abiding, reasonable and responsible citizen and taxpayer, have to give up any rights to accommodate the narrow-minded prejudices of people like yourself?

Let's consider this example. Some people don't like children. A large number of the people who have to be rescued from the riptides are children that are not being watched by their guardians. Some may think that society would be better off if children were banned from ALL beaches in order to minimize the investment society has to make to keep them from drowning in our public beaches.

I would be against that.

Just because some parents are negligent is not a good enough reason to deprive you and your family of any rights.

When I first moved to San Diego in the early 1980's, I noticed something a little strange in the classified ads for rental properties. The vast majority of 1- and 2-bedroom rentals flatly stated "NO KIDS". Property owners in San Diego had apparently decided it was bad for business to rent to families with children.

I was always against that, and San Diego's municipal government eventually addressed it with legislation to prevent discrimination against families with children seeking to rent a house or apartment.

Fast forward to 2008, and now we have the families with children I supported 27 years ago telling me I have to stop enjoying one of life's simple joys to make them feel like their children are safer.

Wouldn't you feel betrayed? You don't even want to share a corner of the beach. Your mind can only accept total control -- all or nothing, no compromise.

Do you really want a brighter future for your children? Forget the beach booze ban. Get active fighting the people who are sucking up all your tax dollars for illegal pension benefits and public land giveaways and are firing the best teachers in the area because they're scamming all the money that's supposed to go to education.

Some of the people you call "bums", by the way, are war veterans that have run into hard times. It may surprise you that they have been good Americans at one time or another.

In fact, there are already some very interesting mixed reviews about the effect of the beach booze ban, which is basically to force the homeless from the beach and right up your alley, so to speak.

Check out this story as an example of what I'm talking about:

So don't try to flog me with the argument "won't someone think of the children." Your thinly-veiled contempt for the homeless population is really what's behind your argument. Learn how to be compassionate towards your fellow Americans that have fallen on hard times and teach your children to do the same.

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dkloo July 15, 2008 @ 1:03 p.m.

To answer your question/accusation, I don't have anything against people that have fallen on hard times. Do not point fingers .I DO NOT HAVE COMPASSION for the 20 year old drug addicts sleeping on the beach.To lazy to grow up and live life, to defiant to suck up their pride and go home and grow up. Maybe they do not have a home; they have shelters for the people trying to change their lives. These people are satisfied with less than minimum and will do almost anything to sustain their free way of life. People are entitled to a safe environment that we all pay for. If you want to be a part of that, you should have to abide by the same laws and rules. To address your story about the children and the beach, that’s like comparing apples to oranges. The safety and well being of a child or children are not even in the same ballpark as banning beer (a luxury to most). How about this, since you want to be able to drink on the beach, what if YOU had to take a class and get certified to drink safely and responsibly on the beach or in public places and then pay a tax. Make sense to you? Well if you want to lift the ban, I think that you should have to take the class and pay a fee so that the people that are abusing it will be liable for their actions. To often a person or persons fall victim to another’s inability to control their alcohol. Either to vandalism or violence or just slanderous things. I like to drink, but if it means that we can have a safer, happier place for "people" to be in, I will give that up in a heart beat. People like you are the ones that believe that all people are good and no one does bad. In your fantasyland, are there rides!!!!!! Cause if the masses are left uncontrolled and unsupervised, they will fail. History tells a story that I did not write. That is why we have religion. No belief in your system and it will always fail. Guess what not all, not most but some... some bums/ homeless/ vagrants were or are good people. The others are the ones that were to lazy or to addicted to get help or do something with themselves.

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dkloo July 15, 2008 @ 1:04 p.m.

... to continue.

I have been on my own since I was seventeen. I could have given up, I could have become what most are, a leech on a good country, but I chose to move forward and perservire. When I couldn't pay my bills, I cleaned houses, mowed lawns, suck up your pride and get it done. I am licensed investment Executive, made millions in equipment sales and came from nothing.... Nothing and when you see able bodied man begging for money, he's just going to use my money to get messed up. Neither I nor anyone else has to support that, for you to have a good time. What do I get for my troubles, some guys asking if I have any spare change? When you buy them food, they look at you like " what am I supposed to do with that". So to answer this once and for all, Get a job, find a way , but don't spend your time and our money having a good time on someone else's dime. Just realize something, not all people have the best intentions and when I can prevent something that will benefit others safety and well being, I would feel guilty not doing all you can as an individual.

Derek

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WT_Effman July 15, 2008 @ 1:55 p.m.

Derek, you and I are the masses, don't kid yourself. I don't believe for one second that you or I need to be controlled or supervised. That's not the free society I signed up for and have valued so very much my entire life.

Furthermore, far from living in a fantasy land where everyone is a good person, I am very aware of the fact that there's bad people out there.

I'm not one of them.

I don't have to give up my rights to make you feel safer about your kids. My accusation stands as you continue to make broad generalizations about the homeless population as an argument that extends to an unreasonable limitation on my personal liberty.

The fact that I respect your concern for your children is the reason I'm proposing a "solomonic" beach booze ban -- one that accommodates the concerns of all parties. To quote the dictionary definition: "Adj. 1. Solomonic - exhibiting or requiring the wisdom of Solomon in making difficult decisions."

I actually find your idea about drinking education to be quite intriguing. It may be a vital part of the correct response -- instead of a jihad-style ban -- to America's bipolar cultural attitudes about alcohol. We already tried prohibition and it was much worse than regulated consumption. That's a lesson in our recent history that's apparently being forgotten in the debate about dealing with alcohol and drugs in our freedom-based society.

Alcohol is heavily taxed at every level of government. Our poor City Hall would be devastated if they lost this very juicy (so to speak) revenue stream, especially now that they've navigated our municipality into near-bankruptcy.

Other cultures are much more permissive about alcohol regulation and are no worse off than America if not outright better off. The issue is complex and has no easy answers without unintended consequences. A complete booze ban is an example of such an attempt at an easy answer.

Which brings me to another question for you: What's your take on the story about the homeless being driven inland by the booze ban? In case you missed it, here's the URL once again:

I'm curious to hear your take on that. It's clear you have strong feelings about this issue and I feel that your opinion as a member of the community is important, as much as I disagree with your conclusions.

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bakera76 July 17, 2008 @ 3:34 p.m.

Original post is only validated by the way the conversation became a discussion of the homeless. This is some of the best weather in the entire world, this climate will always be attractive to them. It's just a question of if they sleep on the sand or the pavement.

I pay a premium rent to live within walking distance of the beach, and I believe it an absolute shame that I can't enjoy a beer in the afternoon sun or while watching a beautiful sunset.

I believe the proposed idea is valid. What's the difference if somebody is "hammering" down drinks on one side of the beach or in the alley right by the beach? If they are out of control, arrest them for public intoxication, disorderly conduct or whatever is appropriate. Also, the alcohol permitted beach would centralize the activity, therefor making it easier for law enforcement to supervise.

It's just the same as anything else, if people want to do something they will find a way to do it. That 10% that were the problem before the ban, are still a problem after the ban. The only people gaining anything on this ban are the bars located right at the beach.

On a less serious note, I would love to see the results if you tried to run a petition to ban children from the beach. I know this is a ridiculous and impossible statement, but I know I would sign it. We all put up with things we don't like, for me it's your kids.

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dkloo July 20, 2008 @ 1:06 p.m.

Ok, fair enough..... If you take a step back and realize, that one, this is the only county in California that drinking is legal. If you call the police department and ask for statistics on crime in your area, you will find that alcohol related crimes and accidents are higher than any other city in CA. I used to live in Redondo Beach and there weren't people drinking in alleys, in cars ,.. etc.. they just know that you are not allowed to drink on the beach. I paid almost double what I pay here and people weren't complaining about their right to drink. Show me where it says , " you have the right to drink on the beach" .. If thats the case, I wonder why you don't complain about not being about to drink in a movie theater.. I love to drink a bit and watch a funny movie. or why not letting others drink in the car.. I love to drive in cars and be buzzed. If we trust the driver won't drink, why should we have to give up our right to drink on my property, IE my car, then banning booze on the beach, should have the same effect as banning smoking in public. I smoke , but I dont feel I have the right to put others at risk and if you do not want to deal with all the things that other people think is their right, we need to come to an agreement on what is best for everyone.. And to address your comment, not everyone is part of the masses. You choose your side.. Some people are sheep and others are sheep dogs.... Always on the look out for the wolves of this day and age... Just love your neighbor and realize that other people have just as much of a "right" to ask for people not to drink on the beach. Until we go before the city council and change something, we are jsut blowing smoke up our own asses

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surfdad Aug. 21, 2008 @ 8:30 p.m.

Derek: how do we contact you in the "real" world? There are a lot of people who share your view regarding the benefits of the beach booze ban. We need to organize to be sure that San Diego beaches do not return to the drunken "dark ages". I too enjoy a beer now and then, but have happily given up my abstract right to drink a cold one on the beach to not have to deal with a crowd of drunks every time I walk down to the seawall by the pier to check the surf.

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