The womp, womp, womp of a low flying helicopter sends chills down the spine of residents in my neighborhood, San Francisco’s Outer Sunset. The sound could very well be an emergency response to a desperate man or women being pulled out to sea by the strong rip currents of Ocean Beach. In the past four months four people have died, including two this week and in April the tragic death of two 16 year old boys who were simply wading in waist-deep water. Every year similar incidents occur at Ocean Beach. While the unique geography of Ocean Beach is primarily to blame, the City of San Francisco and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) have continued to bury their heads, refusing to take steps towards improving safety at the beach, costing multiple lives year after year.
My stomach has been in knots recently. The western edge of San Francisco – where I call home – has experienced two tragic accidents in the past week. A teenager was swept out to sea by a rip at Ocean Beach and a three year old boy was critically injured after being struck by a truck. The emotions and pain these two youngsters suffered haunts my thoughts each night while the pain and loss their families are enduring breaks my heart.
Another year has come and gone faster than I imagined. As I reflect, there were many more good memories than bad. Most significant of all was marrying my wonderful wife. The rest, however, makes for a good list in any year: a new job at Kiva, the launch of Farmanac – my first iPhone app, a trip to Bali, three visits to British Columbia, and a great year of skiing in Tahoe and surfing at Ocean Beach. With so much of our attention constantly focused forward it’s great to take a minute and look back. Here is a brief recap of my 2011.