Thursday, April 14, 2005
Big Waves Win
Two of the five finalists for the 2005 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards were ridden last month at the spot dubbed “Ghost Tree” off Pescadero Point in Pebble Beach. The annual Billabong XXL prize recognizes the biggest wave ridden anywhere in the world in the last year.
During the landmark Mar. 9 session, Carmel local Don Curry and Santa Cruz’s Tyler Smith were towed by jet-powered watercraft onto giant walls of water estimated at 55-60 feet.
A panel of big wave experts will analyze photos and video clips of the nominees and determine the largest face size of the year, which will earn a prize of $1,000 a foot, with a minimum payout of $60,000. Last year, Hawaii’s Pete Cabrinha earned $70,000 for his world record 70-foot wave.
The other three nominees for this year’s prize are from Peahi, commonly known as Jaws, a wave off of Haiku, Maui. Well-known surfers Shane Dorian, Garrett McNamara and Dan Moore caught the XXL contenders on two huge and crowded days in December and January.
The winner will be announced at an invitation-only show before 1,500 surf world VIPs on April 22 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, Calif. For more information and to view images of the five finalists visit www.billabongxxl.com. [RM]
Civil Liberties Lose
Civil liberties expert Ann Fagan Ginger will speak about her book, Challenging U.S. Human Rights Violations Since 9/11, at 3pm on April 17 at the Sasoontsi Gallery, 40 Central Ave. in Salinas. Salinas attorney Miguel Hernandez, who fought and ultimately lost a legal battle to overturn Prop. 21, the initiative passed in 2000 that makes it easier to try juveniles as adults, will also discuss the impact of Prop. 21 on the human rights of young people locally.
Ginger founded the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in 1965 as a center for human rights and peace law. An attorney since 1947, in 1959 she won a case in the US Supreme Court against the Ohio Un-American Activities Committee.
On Sunday, she will report on how the Bush Administration, since Sept. 11, has trashed constitutional rights, allegedly committing more than 180 violations. She will also discuss the recent trial and conviction of Lynne Stewart, a veteran civil rights attorney found guilty in February of defrauding the government, conspiracy, and providing material support to terrorism. She was the court-appointed lawyer for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and in May 2000, she released one of his statements to the media. Stewart will be sentenced on July 15 and could face up to 30 years in prison.
The event is co-sponsored by the Salinas Action League and the law office of Miguel Hernandez. For more information, call 206-5043. [JL]
Monterey Readies for a Fight
Monterey’s planned $14 million Public Service Center is ready for its close-up.
At the April 19 meeting, an ad hoc subcommittee of Mayor Dan Albert and Councilmember Clyde Roberson will recommend that the Monterey City Council move the controversial new city hall forward.
Albert and Roberson want their fellow councilmembers to green light a decision to refer an Environmental Impact Report on the proposed Public Service Center project to the Historic Preservation Commission, Architectural Review Committee and Planning Commission for their review and recommendation.
But the vote won’t likely be a quiet one.
Newly-elected councilmembers Jeff Haferman and Libby Downey have said they would like to see the city scale back its multimillion dollar plan.
The new government building would consolidate the city’s decentralized municipal offices, which are currently scattered throughout Monterey. But critics of the proposed new municipal offices, which would be built behind Colton Hall in downtown Monterey, feel it’s too expensive and would squeeze an already-tight parking situation.
Haferman, a self-appointed municipal watchdog, says the proposed new government office building is an example of wasteful spending.
“Much of the necessary office space could be provided by constructing a much smaller building and reorganizing existing space at a fraction of the cost,” he says. [RM]