Stories from 2011 we can’t forget
Ocean Beach and its nearby neighborhoods had a busy year in 2011. Here are just a few of the stories we can’t forget:
Rip Curl Pro Search – Whether you remember it for Kelly Slater’s record 11th world surfing title (and the goof that gave him the victory prematurely), Gabriel Medina’s win over Slater in the Ocean Beach contest, the controversial decision to ban personal watercraft at the contest (a story the Ocean Beach Bulletin broke) or the fact that it was the greenest major surf contest ever, November’s Rip Curl Pro Search was the story that had people all over the world talking about Ocean Beach.
Ocean Beach Master Plan – The Ocean Beach Master Plan is the biggest, most comprehensive effort to create a vision for the future of Ocean Beach and address its many challenges, including a bewildering jumble of oversight agencies, rising sea levels and competing expectations among its many users. Although work on the master plan official started in 2010, 2011 saw the lion’s share of progress on it. Work and debate continue in 2012, with a final Ocean Beach Master Plan scheduled for release in February.
GGNRA Dog Management Plan – The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the arm of the National Park Service that oversees Ocean Beach, Fort Funston and other park lands in the western Bay Area, is revising its rules for where and how people can visit the park with their dogs. In 2011, debate over the plan raged and dog owners banded together to protest what they saw as an unfair attempt to take away their use of beaches they have enjoyed for decades.
Stolen monkey – Another story that caught the attention of people around the world is the monkey-napping of Banana-Sam, a 17-year-old squirrel monkey who was taken from the San Francisco Zoo just days before the end of the year. The zoo is offering a $5,000 reward for Banana-Sam’s return, and someone has created a Twitter account under the monkey’s supposed persona.
Stolen boat run aground – Early-morning visitors to the Kelly’s Cove area of Ocean Beach April 15 discovered a strange sight: a 38-foot motor yacht run aground on the sand. The boat apparently had been stolen in Vallejo the night before, by a man celebrating his birthday. A salvage company hired by the boat’s owner had to drag the vessel up the beach and use a crane to load it onto a truck.
Man shot to death on sidewalk – Residents of the area around the intersection of 35th Avenue and Rivera Street were shocked when 22-year-old Konstantin Solodukhin was shot to death on the sidewalk early in the morning of Sept. 17. Police later arrested two suspects, one just hours from leaving the country on a one-way flight.
Surfing instructor dies at Ocean Beach – Surfing instructor Jonathan Luhn, a 44-year-old man from San Jose, was found floating unconscious in the surf April 27. Luhn’s death deeply affected his family and friends, as well as the woman who pulled Luhn from the water.
There were many other memorable stories throughout the year. Which ones stand out for you? What do you think will be the big stories in 2012?