Who Gets to Use the Beach?
Plus, a photo essay of my holiday weekend
What day is it again? I’ve lost track with the way the Fourth broke up this holiday week, and I have to say, I’m not mad about it. My husband, stepdaughter, son, and I met our friend at a lake near Pagosa Springs to camp, paddleboard, and eat Frito pies (IYKYK).
MVP goes to Stella, the best paddle dog around. The last time we brought Squeaker, one of our labs, out on a lake, he fidgeted around nervously, rocking the boat, and jumped off half a dozen times. So when I suggested we leave the puppies with our friend’s dogs in his Airstream while we hit the lake, but bring Stella, our 12-year-old pug mutt, with, my husband was skeptical. But I know my good girl very well. She just hung out on the back of our pedal board the entire time, and she stayed so calm and quiet, we kept forgetting she was there.
Then, back to work for a day before we all got an intermission to the week to bike and watch some live music and fireworks, and now here we are, ringing in the end of our very short week. Happy weekend. I hope you all get to have some fun outside.
What I’m reading
Disputes over land use are nothing new. We’ve seen it with rivers, acreage, and of course, grid-locked public land. It’s a topic that is about as contentious as wolves in the West. In this Q&A with watchdog Surfrider Foundation’s senior legal director, Dwell asks some interesting questions about preserving beach access.
With enough money, you can own the beach. Or at least you can behave like you do. There are a lot of bad actors on this front, but two you’ve likely heard of are tech billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who, in 2016, built a wall around their Kauai estate they purchased at the dismay of locals, greatly diminishing access to a stretch of pristine coastline once easily enjoyed by the public.
Read “Who Gets to Use the Beach?” here.
I really loved this long read about a new skate park on the Omaha Reservation. I’ll just leave it at that.
A Lincoln skate shop has donated three brand-new skateboards to be given away today, as soon as the speeches end. As the last one does, Moises edges nearer the skateboards, trying to get a better look. He asks how much they are worth. They are $140, he is told.
Moises does not have $140. Like most kids here, he does not have a board – he’s been borrowing Junior’s, and every day after school Junior has been teaching him where to put his feet and how to do basic tricks.
Moises audibly schemes ways to use all of his savings to buy it off a kid who wins one. Maybe $20 will do the trick, he thinks. He has saved $20, all the money he has, to buy a skateboard.
Finally, the raffle begins, and Mike Grant calls the first name.
“John Sherman Jr.!” he yells. “Junior!”
Some kids laugh. Some throw up their hands in mock horror at the unfairness of the Tony Hawk of Walthill winning the first free skateboard. But then the crowd grows silent. Cute kindergartners and gawky middle schoolers freeze in place. They watch as the best skateboarder they know grabs the board, holds it briefly aloft and begins to walk.
He walks right toward the crowd of young kids. He beelines to one.
He bends slightly, extends his arm and hands the brand-new skateboard to Moises Del Angel.