About 1 p.m. Oct. 27, I took my 9-year-old daughter to Blackies by Newport Pier. I had surfed that morning and it was fun, so I wanted her to get a chance to surf before the tide drained out too far.
The waves were small, and I had already been out, so I stood on the beach by the water to watch her as I often do. Well, not five minutes into her session, the board pearled on a wave and shot about 10 feet in the air. She was in shallow water and couldn't take cover. I saw it come straight down and heard it hit her head. This was a longboard on a little head. I knew it must have hurt so I called her to come in.
Then I heard blood-curdling screams and realized she must have been cut. I went in the water after her to find two very deep lacerations on her forehead. There was a lot of blood, and I needed to get her to the emergency room.
As we exited the water, I yelled for someone to please call the lifeguard. Amazingly, a women strolling the beach with her husband greeted us at the water's edge with the most amazing tissues she must have been carrying on her stroll. I am a registered nurse, and we don't even have gauze that absorbent in the hospital! I think those tissues were sent straight from God. That couple seemed to disappear as suddenly as they appeared. The tissues were a lifesaver.
Another man came running out of the water in his wetsuit, looked me in the eyes and asked what I needed him to do. He was so helpful by helping to calm my daughter, putting the board in my car and leaving a note so I wouldn't get a ticket. Another man was calling for help. The lifeguard, paramedics and EMTs were all so kind. Some of the people even put quarters in the meter for my car while my daughter and I were being loaded in the ambulance.
I am so grateful to all these wonderful people who helped me get my daughter to the hospital; it really helped me to be able to be there for her and keep her calm. They have all crossed my mind so many times and I would just like to say thank you. I don't know why my daughter had that accident that day, but it seems the people were strategically placed. She is doing well, and has her first cool surf story to tell along with the scar to prove it.
Don't give city power to just a few
Why shouldn't Costa Mesa adopt a charter? According to a recent letter to the Daily Pilot, "There are really no disadvantages in Costa Mesa becoming a charter city ("Charter would 'Free Costa Mesa!'" Nov. 7).
I could respond in two words: "Bell, Calif."
Or one word, "Rajneeshpuram," the Oregon commune that in the 1980s commandeered democratic procedures to allow the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers to completely take over Wasco County and commit serious crimes against the citizens of Antelope, Ore. It took the federal government to step in and deport Rajneesh for immigration fraud before the citizens could regain control. They then had to work long and hard to repair the damage.
Or we could consider Vernon, another charter city, which is notorious for the scandalous way it has been run.
A critical downside of a city charter is that it concentrates power intensely in the hands of a very few people. In the case of a city like Costa Mesa with a five-member City Council, it would take only three people to form a majority voting bloc that could quickly and completely ruin the city.
A general law city, on the other hand, has the protection of state law and courts to enforce it. State law limits the power of local government officials and prevents any small group of rapacious politicians from taking over the city and running it for their own private benefit, keeping themselves in power for decades.
Costa Mesa has been getting along just fine, through good times and bad, for 58 years as a general law city. We don't need the expense, trouble and risks of a charter.