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Petition Tag - san diego beaches bays fire pits rings squares bonfire
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed to snuff out the fire pits at city beaches to save $173,000 in maintenance costs.
The concrete enclosures have toasted generations of marshmallows and warmed hordes of late-night revelers, a mainstay of Southern California's psyche.
“San Diego's identity is intimately tied up with the ocean and beach culture in general, and it seems to me the damage done to the robust beach culture that we now have – by removing the rings – is not worth saving $173,000 a year,” said Michael Roberts, an assistant professor at San Diego State University who studies the sociology of surfing.
“Perhaps the people in San Diego would prefer to see cutbacks in the bureaucracy, like a top-level position that would cover that $173,000 a year?”
John Elwell, 76, co-author of “Surfing in San Diego,” said beach bonfires hearken back to a primitive part of man.
“They say something deep down in people's feelings about the hearth and from the past, where you went to the fire, warmed yourself, and you had meals, friendship and shared things,” Elwell said. “Every kid who has been to a beach party remembers cooking marshmallows.”
San Diego has 186 fire pits dotting Mission Bay, La Jolla, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach.