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DON'T MESSTLES WITH TRESTLES
[Re: Dave Wielenga's "It's Good to Be Natural," Oct. 20]: I applaud your selection of Trestles as the number one pick in the article "Best of OC." As executive director of Surfrider Foundation, I feel compelled to correct some inaccuracies in the poorly researched piece. For the record, no one currently in our employ was contacted or quoted. In fact, the surf industry does support Save Trestles and Surfrider Foundation. Following is an outline of the ways in which they are doing so:
1. Leadership. Every major company in the surf industry is supporting the Save Trestles campaign at the CEO level. That is unprecedented solidarity.
2. Legacy. The surf industry has supported our work for the better part of our existence (22 years). They have helped Surfrider Foundation become the largest coastal environmental nonprofit in the world with activist campaigns spanning five continents.
3. Members. Perhaps the most important thing we get from our industry partners are members. For example, Surfline has recruited more than 7,000 new members.
4. Dollars. The surf industry funded $300,000 of our operating budget in 2006. The leading contributor year after year is Billabong.
5. Messaging. The surf industry is the vehicle of communication to millions in our culture. They can deliver the coastal stewardship message far and wide. I believe every item Billabong sells has Surfrider Foundation information attached to it. That program by itself reaches hundreds of thousands of people.
6. Waterman's Ball. This annual benefit conceived, founded, and hosted by the surf industry celebrates key figures in the industry with an environmental bent. This year more than $450,000 was given to 13 environmental organizations, several of which are involved in the Trestles fight.
Yes, Trestles is a gem. You were right to name it #1. Let's make sure it stays there for years to come. And let's appreciate everyone who is helping in the fight, including the major players in the surf industry.
Dave Wielenga responds: Quoting from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) website, "In the past 16 years, more than $2.5 million in grants has been awarded to various environmental groups through the SIMA Environmental Fund. The annual Waterman's Weekend, including the Waterman's Classic Golf Tournament and Waterman's Ball and Auction, has served as the main fundraising source for the SIMA Environmental Fund since its inception." According to my math, $2.5 million divided by 16 years comes out to an average environmental contribution of $156,250 per year for an industry with annual sales of between $3 billion and $4 billion, depending on who's doing the estimating. If the most recent Waterman's Weekend brought in $450,000 for environmental efforts, that's great. If the CEOs of the industry's major companies are solidly committed to saving Trestles, even greater, especially if they contribute even more cash and influence to the fight. But in 2002, no executives from any of the industry giants based in OC ever showed up at Orange County Sanitation District meetings to throw their big-money influence behind the fight against dumping a quarter-billion gallons a day of undertreated sewage into the ocean off Huntington Beach. And the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), which has no qualms about holding its annual U.S. Open in the polluted waters of Huntington Beach, never made a peep about the poop. The Surfrider Foundation is, indeed, a wonderful organization. The thrust of my piece was that the surf industry has a historically rotten record of recycling its profits toward protecting the oceans that keep it in business, that surfers care more about the waves' shape than their fecal count, and that unless those things change, saving a quaint little beach in South Orange County really won't make much difference, either way. I still feel that way.
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THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
One: Making Trestles/San Onofre State Beach #1 (after we sell out our state park to private developers, we can name the new toll road after one of the species bulldozed to create it). Two: Recognizing Dwight and Leia Smith for all they do to help the homeless at Santa Ana's Isaiah House. Three: The Tree of Life Nursery (hard to believe no other entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the indigenous plant lovers' market). Four: Your thumbs up to Stephanie Pacheco (who tirelessly crusades for OC open space). Five: Your thumbs down to Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. (I once supported him but, sadly, he's devolving into a rubber stamp for developers and corporations).
THEM KIDS OF THE COLD WAR
Your Cold War Kids story is the best piece on music I've read in a long time [Chris Ziegler's "New Song," Sept. 29]. Glad Marc Hogan referenced it in his knee-jerk Pitchforkmedia.com review, otherwise I never would've found it. Thanks for taking the time to delve into the piece; you obviously care, and your hard work yields a very powerful story.
GUSTAVO THE BIGOT
Your report on Bishop Brown [Gustavo Arellano's "Gloria in Exclusion Deo," Oct. 13] and the Latin mass included your ignorant comment that the mass attended by all Catholics for almost 2000 years is a "bore." Once again, you display your form of anti-Catholicism—a form of bigotry still approved by the media, including scribblers like you and other haters. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Gustavo Arellano, roused from his sleep after attending another Tridentine Mass, replies: Huh?