Friday, May 29, 2009

Attn: LACo Recurrents; Action Steps to Counter Proposed State Park Closures

( Photo above shows Leo Carrillo State Park, which is among the State Parks proposed to be closed; Photo source: )

Attn: LACo Recurrents

This is a two-part Informational and Action Communique to counter the proposed State of Calif. plans to close state parks, including state beach parks:

1. Courtesy of David Kupfer, May 29, 2009 7:47:33 PM PDT

Please take action now and click now to send letters to legislators and the Governor and to see the full list of possible closures and legislators (see attachment).

The Governor's short-sighted proposal will impact every California resident. It is the very definition of "penny-wise, pound foolish". Consider the facts:

FACT: The General Fund budget that state parks receive accounts for less than 1/10 of one percent of the entire state budget.

Cutting the General Fund contribution to State Parks would reduce the $23.4 billion deficit by only .25 percent.

Last year alone, there were over 80 million visitors to state parks – and all indications are that this year was going to be even higher.

FACT: For every dollar that funds the parks, $2.35 is returned to the state's General Fund through economic activities in the communities surrounding the parks.

That means eliminating all funding for state parks could actually result in the state losing over $350 million dollars in revenue and untold number of jobs.

If you can attend Tuesday's Legislative Budget Conference Committee in Sacramento, it may be the only opportunity for public testimony in front of the Legislature on this issue.

2. Courtesy of LACo Recurrent, M. Spyder Thompson
, Ph.d, May 29, 2009 5:01:45 PM PDT;
Re: "this is totally unacceptable..."

Complete List Of State Parks Slated For Closure

Posted: 7:52 pm PDT May 28, 2009Updated: 7:42 am PDT May 29, 2009
SACRAMENTO -- These are the 220 state parks, state beaches, state recreation areas, museums and state reserves that officials say would be closed under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts:

Your attention and consideration and efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Until next time...

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

LACo Recurrent, Lisa Dial-Timmerman Wins Prestigious Teaching Award !


May 28, 2009, Page 3
"Timmerman's Teaching Passion"

Marquez first-grade teacher Lisa Timmerman has won a Lori Petrick Excellence in Education Award from the Palisades Charter Schools Foundation.

(Photo by Rich Schmitt, Staff Photographer, Palisadian-Post)

Here is the link to the article online:

Way to go Lisa !

Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

p.s. Blast from the past, Summer 1989 at SMHQ
(Photo courtesy of Will Maguire)

Third from left on hood of vehicle is Lisa Dial-Timmerman, with Jackie
Burke Carswell, second from left.

SMHQ, Santa Monica Crew Photo Session, Summer 1989.
In this photo, L2R: Dave Estey, Ralph Lee, Lisa Babcock, Dick Orr, Jackie Burke Carswell, Dan Atkins, Mike Frazer, Lisa Dial- Timmerman, Will Maguire, Yoko Shibata, Jeff Gains, Jay Hopkins, Garth Canning.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Spring Smorgasbord

(Santa Monica South T-26. Photo by Mark Holtzman. Used here with permission).

I. First up in this Smorgasbord Blog Post:

Mark "Air Wolf" Holtzman, who started his lifeguard career in 1971 with the City of Santa Monica which merged with LACo in 1974.
For many years now, Mark has been an aerial photographer and helicopter pilot. Here are a few remarks which Mark shared at our request:

"Will, I started my lifeguard days as a Junior Guard in Santa Monica under Rudy Kroon & Herb Suskin. Became a guard in 1971 in a class with Duncan Henderson, Craig Cheetham, Totti, and Mazarella. The rescue I still remember was in October with a south swell at low tide. I was at Tower 26 & Doug Smith was just north of me. The waves were so big with no water underneath that we had a really hard time getting past them. Tom Zahn on the Baywatch left the pier about the same time we hit the water and was waiting as we finally got through. I remember being scraped up, sore and not wanting to . The rest of the day was spent keeping everyone out, which was definitely the smarter way. I had a great time being a Santa Monica Lifeguard. I think there were about 60 of us.

Here are a few recent pictures (above and below) taken in Santa Monica and Venice taken from my office!!

Mark Holtzman"

(The Venice Breakwater. Photo by Mark Holtzman. Used here with permission).

*** Thanks Mark ! Fantastic Photos !

--- --- ---

II. Next up, Eric Shargo
, Ph.d, LACo Recurrent and Pali High and SMC Alumnus, recently shared with us a story and photo from 'way back', which some of you may recall concerning the famed Malibu Canyon tunnel and some 'scandalous' artwork that appeared almost overnite.

Story and Photo Source:

Pink Lady of Malibu Canyon

"On the morning of October 29, 1966, commuters in Malibu Canyon were shocked by a vision that seemed to appear overnight on a shear rock face. Cavorting on the cliff was a 60-foot-high, brilliant-pink figure of a joyfully nude maiden, clutching flowers. The mysterious Pink Lady became a national media sensation. Crowds came to gawk and to wonder who painted her and how. Throngs grew as the mystery deepened. County officials declared the Pink Lady a traffic hazard and attempted to remove her, but high-pressure water sprays only made her gleam more brightly. Paint remover didn't work. On the ground, her admirers became protective, heckling the county crews and signing petitions that called efforts to erase the Pink Lady "prudish, inartistic, inhuman and apathetic."

When the creator stepped forward, shock reigned again. Lynne Seemayer, a 31-year-old artist and mother who lived in Northridge, had spent nights for several months hanging from ropes in the dark drawing the outline. In one marathon session, she applied the paint then went home to make breakfast for her kids. Acclaim and proposals of marriage rolled in, plus offers to join nudist groups. She also got hate mail and a bill from the county. People read all kinds of meaning into the Pink Lady, but Seemayer explained, "I did it simply as an art piece, and that was all." Fourteen gallons of drab gray paint ended the Pink Lady's short life although for a decade afterward a faint outline could be glimpsed over the tunnel mouth."

*** Thanks Sharkman !

--- --- ---

III. Recently, we also received the following photo from retired recurrent beach lifeguard, Erwin "Erkie" Cheldin, and friend of the much loved and revered (and now deceased), Don Wolf.

"Dear Will: Thought you'd like to see this. It's not such a good shot, but it's all I have. Take care. Sincerely, Erkie Cheldin"

(Photo by Evening Outlook. Photo/article clipping courtesy of Erkie Cheldin (

When I inquired as to the date of this photo, Erkie replied as follows:

"Hi Will: Early 50's. As you know Don is not with us any more. He was one great guy and I miss him. Those where some great times. The Cole twins, Buz Trent Kiven Grant and so many more. Sincerely, Erkie."

Additionally, County Recurrent" inquired of Lifeguard History Prof. Arthur Verge, Ph.d as to whether he had any comments about this photo and he replied: "Will - since it is an Evening Outlook photo the original shot will be with the Santa Monica Historical Society."

*** Many thanks to Erkie for sharing this great photo of him and his dory partner, Don Wolf. Thanks as well to both Erkie and Arthur for their editorial comments with respect to this same photo.

--- --- ---

IV. And Last But Certainly Not Least...
just in from the Central American country of Guatemala where one of LACO's and S.M. City's Finest, albeit retired, ocean lifeguard living legends is now living, "County Recurrent" is pleased to announce that Bill Asturias.......

is now a Grandfather and the photo below shows Bill with his granddaughter Sofia, as forwarded to us on May 7, 2009. Congratulations Grandpa Bill. Please extend our collective Best Wishes to you and yours !

(Photo courtesy of Bill Asturias).

*** Thanks for sharing that great photo and great news with us, Bill !

----- ----- ----- ----- -----

Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

DISCLAIMER: County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When This Rip Struck a Rescue was only a light Schwich away...

(Bradd Schwichtenberg, kickin' it in Florida; photo courtesy of Bradd)

"County Recurrent"
is once again pleased to present yet another epic LACo Recurrent rescue, this time right in front of Central Section HQ, as SMS Tower 16, back in the 1980's. This time, it is LACo Recurrent, Bradd Schwichtenberg, who is telling the story of that day fateful day when the Big Vacuum Cleaner out to sea began hoovering out to sea...

"I was working Santa Monica Tower 16 on a sunny day right in front of the Santa Monica Lifeguard Headquarters, just south of the Santa Monica pier. It was getting near the middle of the day, waves were medium size, but the bottom was chewed up, rips were beginning to pull. I became more and more nervous, finally I called HQ “where is my late man” “he is on a workout and will be there soon", the voice on the other end assured me. No sooner had I set down the phone when a massive rip cut loose right in front of my tower. I flipped my phone, grabbed my can, ran down my ramp, across the berm and into the water. I yelled at a couple of people heading into the spot to swim “Danger, large rip, move down the beach 400 yards, get out of the water, now”. As I got into knee-deep water I began to high step it. I saw a man frantically waving for me who was in waist deep water “help, help, help” he screamed in a panic. You’re ok, walk in, don’t try to swim, walk, in” I shouted over the roar of the surf. I had my eye on someone further out that looked like he was in big trouble. I flipped my can free, put the sash over my shoulder, and began to swim through the waves at full speed towards the victim. In a couple of minutes I reached him, exhausted, he immediately grabbed onto the can. This one would not have made it I thought.

(Photo show SMS Tower 16 in background, circa Winter 2009, with new Dept.
Ford Escape Hybrid Rescue Vehicle in foreground; Photo by Will Maguire)

Most rips I had encountered were mild enough - that I could swim a victim back to shore straight through the rip or certainly at an angle parallel to shore. No matter how hard I swam, parallel to shore, we could not get out of the rip. After about 5 minutes, my backup guard showed up. The victim was now on two cans being swum out by two guards, parallel to shore. Surely we could get him out together I thought. This was not the case. No matter how hard we both swam, we could not get out. We swam, and we swam, then we rested, then we swam some more. I suppose eventually we would have made it, but this rip was relentless. Finally, we were relieved to see Baywatch Santa Monica pull up. Get in the skipper yelled as the boat swung around. The deck hand hoisted the victim aboard. We climbed in over the transom after him, exhausted.

We rested for a few minutes, while the skipper motored to another stretch of beach out of the rip. With the skill that only comes from years of experience, he gingerly backed the boat through the surf line in a lull between sets. We jumped off and easily swam the victim to shore while he punched it through the oncoming surf. Walking back to my tower I reflected on the rescue. As the song says “I get by with a little help from my friends”; in this case a couple of hundred horsepower from Baywatch Santa Monica didn’t hurt either."

--- --- --- --- ---

Thanks Bradd ! Well done.

(Photo shows Bradd, in close-up, circa 2009)

"Bradd was in the LACO rookie school of 1976 which he recalls included the likes of Less Wulk Barkley, Mike Newman, Ron Pearlman, Tom Katsouleas and Tony Whitmore. He has been on schedule in Venice and Manhattan Beach and worked the beach through 1994. Since his days on the beach, Bradd for many years has been a civil engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to being responsible all for coastal, navigation, and ecosystem restoration studies for the state of Florida, he is on the Corps National Urban Search and Rescue team. He lives with this wife and family in Florida. Bradd grew up in Pacific Palisades where he swam for many years with the Palisades YMCA age group swim team. He later swam at Pali High for Coach Dave Anderson and for Johnny Joseph at SMC. At Pali, Bradd swam with such future LACo lifeguards as Eric Shargo, Eric Moore, Devon Clark, Mike Newman, the undersigned, Les Wulk Barkley, and this is just to name a few. At SMC, on Bradd's team were even more teammates who also became LACo Recurrents and included Arthur Verge, Bill Bischoff, Bruce Stahl, Roy Salter, Jeff Anderson, Terry Hearst, Mike Broneau, Kieran Graner, Tom Katsouleas, Mike Moses..."

Until next time...

Will Maguire
"County Recurrent" News

***** ***** ***** ***** *****