Serge Dedina

It was great to see all the activity at Pier Plaza and Dunes Park for the Sandcastle City event. Thanks to the members of IB Posse for once again demonstrating their sandcastle artistry as well as the Sun & Sea Festival Committee for making it all happen in partnership with the City. Once again the Kids-n-Kastles event was a success. Held at Dunes Park, our local Optimists and high school volunteers did a great job of organizing the kids and the sandcastles. While this year there is just one big sandcastle that will be up through this weekend at Pier Plaza, I like the idea that we have the main sandcastle up for more than just one day at future Sun & Sea Festivals.

I hope that in the future we can continue to keep an area filled with beautiful sandcastles at Pier Plaza for more than a day, so visitors throughout the weekend or the following week can enjoy them. That way we extend the potential range of visitation, tourism and positive economic impact of our longest running and most popular event.

With the Delta variant significantly increasing the number of COVID-19 patients, it is imperative that we all get vaccinated and wear masks when we are inside. I realize that this has made life once again more challenging for everyone, especially our essential workers, teachers and educational support staff. The vaccines clearly work and even with a small percentage of breakthrough cases, the percentage of hospitalizations and deaths is extremely low as compared to those who are vaccinated.

The Delta variant spreads quickly, but through increasing vaccinations (and now the upcoming booster shots), frequent testing, and indoor mask wearing, we won’t have to revert to lockdowns. I am confident that we can get through this phase of the epidemic.

One of the problems when as a City, we fail to invest in the types of programs and services that residents of just about every other city in the country take for granted, is that we begin to believe that they are essentially luxuries that we can’t afford and don’t deserve. With the case of Parks and Recreation and basic community programs that serve to connect us Imperial Beach has for some reason over the past decades decided they were not important. But in just about every other city in the country they among the most important elements of basic city services.

That is why I am so elated that we continue to invest in our new Parks and Recreation Program and will continue to invest in creating opportunities for our residents to engage with each other in healthy and positive activities. This is a fundamental and important element of American civic life that we must make available to our residents in every corner of Imperial Beach.

My condolences to the family and friends of Scott “Bear” Keough, the owner of The Bear Cave gym in Imperial Beach who passed away in May. From his memorial tribute: “Bear is a highly decorated war hero and retired Navy Special Warfare Chief (SWCC & EOD), among MANY other military titles, accomplishments and awards. He proudly and humbly served his country in several tours, for over 21 years. After injuries from an IED blast forced him to retire from the Navy (100% combat disabled), he worked as a military. He opened his beloved full-service, Krav Maga/MMA gym, aptly named “The Bear Cave.” Bear was a big man, with a big heart, who lived a big life, so naturally, he made a big impact on others throughout his extraordinary life. Bear led by example and with integrity, and lived his life with an unparalleled aliveness and wonderment of life.”

Rest in Peace Bear and thanks for your service to our community and country.

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