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Politics

Cause and Effect

Though I believe everyone has the right to beach access, & I found myself getting a bit irritated as I tried to back out of my garage at 6 a.m. to make the 10 minute trip to Tidelands Park where the race was to start. In front of my house two 20-something men were unloading cases of beer and bags of ice... no cooler. Were they going to bury the ice in the sand and put the beer on it... or sit on the ice and drink the beer really fast?

These were the mysteries I was pondering as I exited my neighborhood onto the Strand. Stretching for miles in both directions were cars lined up waiting for the State Beach gates to open. I later learned that some people had been there since 10 p.m. the night before.

Ultimately, it took me 40 minutes to drive to Tidelands; by then there was not one parking place to be had in all of Coronado, so I missed the race entirely. Oh well, I was probably saved the humiliation of being one of the last contenders to cross the finish line.

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By the time I made it back to my neighborhood, the beach was at full capacity and Park Rangers were turning people away. I could empathize with the frustrated drivers cruising around and around as they futilely searched for someplace to stash their cars.

The uncharacteristic chaos continued throughout the day, with various grumpy neighbors expressing their annoyance. & Actually, I kind of enjoyed the lively energy, though at times it did get out of hand. Unfortunately, by the day's end, what started out as merely irritating had turned tragic.

Because of the traffic, we decided to forgo our customary trip to the Coronado golf course to watch the fireworks; instead we watched on the bay from a 40-year-old wooden trawler that we are attempting to restore. The number of drunks operating boats that evening was scary enough, and we were thankful to have made it back to the dock without incident, only to be met with helicopters, searchlights blazing as they hovered back and forth throughout the neighborhood.

For what seemed like hours, they rumbled above the house. We didn't learn until Saturday that a 16-year-old boy and a 21-year-old woman had been stabbed in allegedly "gang related" incidents at the corner of our street. Five young people were eventually arrested, though all were later released except one who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The woman was released from the hospital but from what I have been told, the boy remains hospitalized.

Monday morning found the neighborhood associations mobilizing to request that the San Diego Coast District ban alcohol from the Silver Strand State Beach, effective immediately.

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I reluctantly find myself in agreement.

-Citizen Voices blogger Candace Suerstedt is a filmmaker and a mother of three who lives in Coronado.