Monday, October 31, 2005

Letter to the Caller/Times, Oct. 30, 2005

Letter to the Editor, Corpus Christi Caller/Times
Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dear Editor,
This morning’s lead in-house editorial (Sunday, Oct. 30) calls into question the right of the people to call for a referendum.
Calling this right of the people “Government by Petition” The Caller/Times says, “It’s time for a re-think.”
Of course this particular editorial concerns the recent closing of the 4,200-foot section of public beach by the city council. The Caller/Times has editorially supported this taking of public property and limiting of public beach access.
The editorial states “We think that having a beach where families can let kids run loose without worrying about passing traffic would be an attraction…”
Do any of you people ever go to the beaches around here? There are plenty of places that don’t allow driving right on the beach but still allow vehicular traffic to pass safely past the barriers which separate the driving lanes from the biggest part of the beach, as in Port Aransas, or provides near beach parking, with no traffic by the water, such as by Bob Hall and Horace Caldwell piers.
The referendum is necessary when elected officials fail to listen to the public and the outcry on this issue is such as it should be difficult to ignore. You people are messing around with something that is a local tradition around here and seen as a right, that no city council has the authority to take away with a vote in council.
The idea of limiting the right of referendum is abhorrent. It is un-democratic and elitist.
Dicky Neely

Friday, October 28, 2005

On The Nose

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Late Evening Nose Ride

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dicky At The Fish Pass

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Dicky at the Fish Pass
It's late afternoon on a good day at the Fish Pass on Mustang Island. The Board is my venerable '67, 10'4", Hobie Gary Propper model.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dicky Sailing At North Beach, 1984

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This Is Dicky Sailing at North Beach on a good S. E. breeze!

The board is an F-2 Lightning. The sail is a Scoville 6.8 fathead.

Port Aransas Shorebreak On Thanksgiving!

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Dicky surfing in the Port Aransas shorebreak on a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, 11-26-86. Photos by Gene Cutter.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Local Establishment Has BIG Plans For Corpus Christi Bayfront!

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Local Establishment's BIG Plans For Bayfront!

Have you ever visited or do you live in Corpus Christi, Texas?
Remember how nice the drive once was along Shoreline as you drove on towards Ocean Drive? Well, you better remember it because it is unlikley we will ever see it again!
The great god DEVELOPMENT has infected our community leaders. It is worse than gold fever. In the name of "creating jobs, increasing our tax base, increasing growth, etc." they are very willing to sell out the interests of the public in favor of big time developers, corporations and certain influential, wealthy citizens.
The bayfront development and the Padre Island beach traffic closure in front of the sea wall are the latest results of this malady.
The politicians and developers forget, or don't care, who really owns public properties.
Unfortunately they can count on the complacency of many, the greed of some and the gullibility of others to usually get away with their schemes.
This is doesn't have to be true. Because public support wasn't there other schemes have gone down in flames, such as the proposed "land mass" debacles some years ago.
The recent smoking ban in restaurants is a good example of common sense emerging victorious when the public is informed and the measure is put to a vote.
Get involved, register and vote, write letters, call public officials. The only thing that can counter cubic money is public arousal.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Rape of Padre Island

The Rape of Padre Island Continues

The overdevelopment of the barrier islands along the Coastal Bend of Texas poses a real danger to the environment through loss of wetlands and habitat but also increases the vulnerability of the mainland during a hurricane strike.

The more development there is the faster the dunes and beaches erode. Combine this with rising sea levels and the future of these islands is questionable. What that portends for coastal areas and cities is ominous.
The recent ban on beach driving in front of the sea wall on North Padre Island may prove to be the nose of the camel under the tent as other developers and hotel and condo owners line up to get their private beaches.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Padre Island, Home of the Rich and Famous?

These Beaches Belong to the Public,Not Developers or Politiicans!
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The Corpus Christi City Council has voted in a final reading to close a nearly mile long stretch of beach in front of the sea wall on Padre island. John Marez was the sole vote against the measure and Bill Kelly abstained.
This vote has to be approved by the General Land Office of the State of Texas but there is little doubt this approval will be forthcoming.
This is a contentious issue and the battle is not over. Opponents of this measure fear, correctly, that this is just the the first step towards the banning of vehicular beach access altogether, thus creating de facto private beaches for condo, hotels and future developments along the beach.
There is a long time tradition here of being able to drive on the beaches, pick your spot and enjoy fishing, barbecuing, surfing, snoozing, walking or whatever you wanted to do. The miles of local beach provides plenty of room for all with no overcrowding.
Those wishing to ban traffic cite safety as their main concern. This is a bunch of bull! The beaches have a fabulous safety record as most respect the space and rights of others on the beach.
The real motivation for this action is that greedy developers, politicians and hotel and condo owners want a public treasure turned over to them for their exclusive use.
If you support our open beaches now is the time to stand up and be counted. There will be a petition drive forthcoming to place an amendment on the city charter to prevent the city council and future city councils from having the ability to enact such measures. Get involved with this movement.
Be a Son of the Beach and help Save Our Beaches!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dicky Sailing in The Laguna Madre, In His Own Backyard

Sailing in the Laguna Madre,
right in my backyard!

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Dicky at Puerto Escondido, Mexico

This ia a long shot! Great waves that day!
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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hurricane Beulah

On the Port Aransas South Jetty, 1967

As Hurricane Beulah churned in the Gulf my friend Cliff Schlabach and I decided to ride some "big waves" in Port Aransas.
The beaches were closed and under water so we parked on the road next to the jetty and carried our boards out nearly to the end of the jetty and prepared to jump off into the raging surf which was towering over us and washing across the jetty into the ship channel.
I was getting a little apprehensive since I had never seen waves that size before, and they were not clean, peeling waves but churning, choppy monsters with no discernible shape or form to them.
When Cliff went to his knees and made the sign of the cross I got worried. I had been surfing not quite two years and wasn't that skillful and had never ridden big waves. Cliff was a real surfer, he had been surfing for about four years already. We had surfed together many times and I knew he was skilled. But this was ...
We leapt off the rocks, timing the waves in the same way an Acapulco cliff diver might, and paddled for our lives as a huge set moved through the raging seas.
The currents were strong and conflicting, moving us around like corks in a rapids. We soon lost sight of each other, something I didn't really want to happen.
I finally stopped paddling and I realized there was no outside. I decided to try to ride one. A big, ugly, grey green peak soon swang towards me and I thought "this is the one!"
I turned my old, longboard towards shore and started paddling. The wave quickly lifted me up into its crest and suddenly I was descending towards the pit of the abyss at an unimaginable speed. I sprang to my feet and did my utmost to keep the nose up and not pearl up to my neck on this treacherous, moving mountain!
Somehow I made it to the bottom still on my feet but I had nowhere to go. The lip was falling fast and there was no shoulder, no channel, no refuge. This was long before we had surf leashes and it occurred to me I didn't want to lose my board out here!
So I proned out on the board and took the falling lip on my back as it came crashing down. Somehow I was able to squirt out onto the flat water and head towards the beach at a great speed until I was finally caught up in the reforming wave as it pushed a huge bounce of white water over me.
I was thrashed around, spun over and over, held under water and it seemed the water was doing its utmost to rip my board from the death grip in which I held it with my arms and legs, wrapped around the board for dear life.
When the wave let me loose I was closer to shore but not safe yet. Another wave took me for a similar "ride" and then another and at last I washed up on the beach. I was never so happy to reach land!
I met up with Cliff after a while, he had had a similar experience and had also made it to shore safely. It was a lesson learned. Though I still wanted to ride bigger waves I learned a lot about when to say when and to have much more respect for the sea and that her waves were not always just playthings!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Dicky at San Miguel in Baja

Dicky at San Miguel Point near Ensenada in Baja California.

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Cliff Dropping In At Port Aransas

Cliff Schlabach dropping in on a clean wall in Port Aransas.
Wave courtesy of Tropical Storm Grace, 8-30-03
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