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MARCH EDITION 2017
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  • SURFING BALI
  • ONCE THE ERLE STANLEY GARDNER
    BUILDING STOOD PROUD - NOW
    ITS INNERS LIE IN SHREDS & REAR
    IS APPROACHING A DETERIORATED LOOK

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ONCE THE ESG BUILDING STOOD PROUD - NOW ITS INNERS LIE IN SHREDS & REAR IS APPROACHING A DETERIORATION LOOK


Column's History By: Richard Senate
Today's Update By: J. B. Robinson
Posted: 03/22/17

Some of the miraculous architectural nation's buildings stand tall and mighty through all kinds of storms and earthquakes. Until recently, this was true of what is now called the Erle Stanley Gardner Building located on the corner of California and East Main Street in Ventura California rename after Erle Stanley Gardner, the local lawyer who created Perry Mason . The architecture reflects Renaissance Revival elements on her terracotta exterior including Hellenistic Cherubs. It was known for its incredible high ceiling lobby with decorative chandeliers, tall marble pillars and dark-wood paneling.

The ESG Building has survived major storms such as the one in 1949, 1952, 1969 and 1972 as well as the dark days of World War II. It survived the great Long Beach Earthquake of 1933 and the Northridge earthquake of 1992.

Not so today. During the potential relocation of Brooks Institute, James DeArkland, the ESG Building's now owner, and team ripped the downstair's historical beautiful lobby into shreds including the marble off of the tall pillars, tearing out the beautiful dark paneling, defacing the front by removing the brass front door and destroying the look of the building's rear, which has the beginnings of a deteriorate look to it. The latter, of course, diminishes the whole architectural visual look from the rear parking lot and walking up from Oak Street.

The questions here are: (1) did the City of Ventura's Planning Department issue permits for the building's lobby to be shredded destroying its lavish inners, or (2) was DeArkland and his team allowed to move forward without proper permits in order to rush the project through for Brooks Institute to get relocated and its doors open in downtown Ventura ASAP.

Our investigative reporter was told that few if any permits were issued for the remodeling therein. The remodeling permits section of the planning department, we are told lie under the jurisdiction of Dave Ward who in turn reports to Jeff Lambert, Community Development Director for the City of Ventura. Now what lies in the lobby is no more than rubble which has lasted during the six months or so since the Brooks Institute closure took place causing both financial and structural fiasco in the downtown Ventura. In the large Main Street window is posted a "For Lease" sign.

In a rented office on the third floor, the history of the building includes that of Erle Stanley Gardner where he first typed up the first three Perry Mason Mysteries. Gardner patterned Perry Mason's fictional LA office on his own on the third floor.

The present building was constructed in 1926 and used by the First National Bank, Then--in order--Bank of America, Security First National Bank, Channel Islands State Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and lastly the American Commercial Bank. The office provided space for many lawyers including Orr and Gardner. Over the years, many have rented the offices and store front space in the building including such proud downtown businesses as Heirlooms Antiques and more recently Natalie's Fine Threats.

Again, the building's inners lie in shambles and the rear displays the beginning of a deteriorate appearance.


SURFING BALI



By: Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe
Posted: 03/22/17

Sick and tired of surfing in a wetsuit? Want some warm water with world-class waves and consistent tropical temperatures? Then Bali is the place for you. Situated in the Indian Ocean, facing South, Bali is a swell magnet for almost any swell that is heading north. Chances are if there's a swell coming, somewhere on the island will be pumping. But, what if the swell hits on the other side of the island from where your staying I hear you cry?

Well, that's where renting a scooter with a built-in surf-rack comes in handy for an average of $55 USD/£35 GBP per month (prices dependent upon Southeast-Asia negotiation skills). Another perk or maybe not, is that almost anyone knows where to find the best surf spots.

Thus bringing me onto possibly the only downside of Bali, crowds. Avoiding the crowds is key when it comes to Bali. If you are inexperienced with Southeast-Asian negotiations, the culture is just built around negotiating on prices for anything and everything. The general rule is to never take the first price they give you, because 90% of the time, unless it's a marked price, you can knock 30-50% off it with some determination.

It's just one of those things about traveling to places like Bali - just don't be afraid to negotiate. Visa on arrival is the standard procedure in Bali and each visa lasts for one month, prices were $15 USD/ $25 AUD last time I visited. If you want to get a one-month extension, you can apply for one at the immigration bureau in Kuta.

Any longer, if you want to get your Visa extended beyond one month, you have to pay for it through a bribe or leave the country and fly back for the Visa renewal. Singapore is the best pace to do a quick hop in and out.


WHEN TO GO TO BALI



Clip Map Above For Larger View


WET SEASON VERSES
DRY SEASON BALI

The 'Wet Season' is great for beginners/intermediates, being from the UK, I don't get to surf anything decent for more than four weeks per year, so any practice is good practice.

This season spans technically from November-February/March although the best time to go is January-March, as the rain has stopped (for the most part) and the swells are very consistently 3-6 feet.

This season is best surfed on the East-Coast of Bali, as the winds are almost always blowing from the East. This is definitely the season to come and get less crowded waves. The 'Dry Season', which runs from May-September is the 'real deal' when it comes to Bali. From July-September there are consistently 4-7 feet swells rolling in week after week. It is rare that you will have a flat period for more than a few days.

And when you do have a flat period, it's quite often followed by a big swell. 'Dry Season' meaning no rain, big swells and ultra-consistent westerly blowing winds of 10-20 m.p.h. all add up to 'Dry Season' meaning no rain, big swells and ultra-consistent westerly blowing winds of 10-20 m.p.h. all add up to world-class waves for months on end.


WET SEASON SPOTS ON BALI

In the wet season, it's the East Coast of Bali that is going off, unlike the dry season. This is because in the months from November to April the winds change direction from Westerly to Easterly, meaning consistent offshore winds for months on the East Coast.


NUSA DUA

Nusa Dua is probably one of the best all-around spots for beginner/intermediate surfers in the whole of Bali. Situated inside a 5-Star resort complex, Nusa has three spots within a 3km stretch of beach, separated with headland lookouts which are great for checking conditions before you paddle out.

Nusa consists of Blackrock, Mushrooms and Sri Lanka, all of which are ideal for beginners in the wet season as the average swell is around 3-5 feet. The most beginner-friendly is definitely Blackrock, which is the third bay on the right, with a long beach and multiple peaks to play with.

All in all, this is a great location for practice, although if you're looking for barrels, mushrooms (middle bay) is the one.
  • Best surfed on low/mid tide
  • Reef break / mushrooms (soft reef)


SERANGAN ISLAND

Located directly south of Denpasar, on the bigger of the two small islands, Serangan is a swell magnet and is often 4-6 feet plus and can produce barrels.

The easiest way to get to Serangan is to take the highway up past the airport and head East, Serangan will be signposted and if you get lost just ask any local, they will know where to go.

There is only one downside about this spot, the crowds. Even in the wet season, Bali has a lot of surfers and they all congregate at Serangan, especially when conditions get good. Despite this, it still a great spot if you can get there early, dawn patrol or late afternoon is best.

Beware, however, this spot is not the best for beginners as the rips can get pretty powerful on a 5 feet plus swell, and will put you straight into the main peak.

  • Best surfed on low/mid tide
  • Reef break rocky

SURFING BALI
(Continued Top Of Column #5)

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SURFING BALI
(Continued From Column #3)


By: Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe
Posted: 03/22/17


GREEN BALL

The 'if it's flat here, it's flat everywhere' spot in Bali. Green Ball is possibly one of the most beautiful spots on the island, although don't let that fool you; it's notorious for strong rips, huge sneaker sets and the 500 steps you have to walk down.

Situated on the south coast of the Bukit Peninsula, it picks up almost every swell, however, is often ruined by crosswinds. It rarely gets good; but when it does, it can pump huge barrels with the most remote backdrop to a wave anywhere on the island.

Just beware of the paddle out; try and stay directly to the right of the rip channel and follow it out to the side of the lineup. And if you do get caught in the rip, stay calm and ride it out unless you're a strong swimmer.
  • Best surfed on mid/high tide
  • Reef break


DRY SEASON WAVE IN BALI

The real deal, there will be somewhere on the west coast pumping more often than not; it just becomes a race to get there before the crowds in the months June-August.


KUTA BEACH & REEF

Kuta is the craziest town on the island. You will be bombarded by Balinese locals trying to sell you anything from soft drinks to tasers; however, it still boasts one of the best spots for beginners on the island.

Due to the location (dependent on where you're staying) Kuta is very easy to get to and has a long stretch of beach break that is rare compared to the rest of Bali as the majority of spots are reef breaks. It has a variety of different peaks and as long as you dodge the crowds from the various surf schools, there are good waves to be had for beginner/intermediate surfers.

However, if you are confident enough, I would suggest paying the $5 return ticket for a boat ride to Kuta reef. Kuta reef is around 1km out to sea as you look at Kuta beach to the left (south), and has a consistent peak that is brilliant for intermediates looking for a taste of reef break surfing. It can handle a decent size swell, barrels sometimes but not often and has long rides, which are perfect for practicing turns.


BALANGAN


Balangan was my local beach for two of my three trips to Bali and there is a good reason for that. It is one of the most untouched beaches avoiding hotel development left on the whole island, which is what adds to its allure.

When conditions are right, which in the dry season, they more than likely are, Balangan - a mirage of barreling lines from one end of the beach to another. Another great thing about this spot is that the paddle out is relatively short compared to somewhere like Green Ball; and, there are no nasty rips when surfed on low/mid tides.

Just beware of the end section (far right of the beach, it gets VERY shallow on lower tides and many of us paid the price after exiting waves there. The local spirit is very much a part of this spot so respect them; and they will respect you; and, be sure to check out the local Warungs on the beach for cheap Bintang.

  • Best surfed low/mid tide
  • Reef break (shallow / sharp on right side of the beach)


ULUWATU

Chances are if your planning on coming to Bali, you've heard about Uluwatu, and there is a reason for that; it's possibly the best spot on the island.

With multiple peaks and crystal clear water, Ulu's is a barrel pumping machine whether its 3 feet or 13 feet. It has three main. It has three main peaks; the peak (first peak you see in front of you from the cave), outside corner (far right, best on big swells), racetracks (left of the main peak, favorite of mine) and temples (furthest down on the left).

As this spot isn't really for beginners, I wouldn't recommend it; however, if you fancied a challenge, then go down to racetracks at mid tide, as you will really struggle to get a wave at the main peak. If a big swell is hitting, the wave from the main peak will connect to the outside corner and should have multiple barrel sections but you need speed.

Racetracks are great for intermediates looking to practice getting barreled, fast, hollow and sometimes unmake able; it definitely provides some great fun.


PADANG PADANG

Padang Padang is quite possibly the best barrel pumping machine on the island. The real Padang only starts to work with a big 6 feet plus NE swell, although you can surf 'baby Padang' which is a direct paddle out from the beach.

The real Padang only starts to work with a big 6 feet plus NE swell, although you can surf 'baby Padang' which is a direct paddle out from the beach, the main peak- however, is around the cliffs to the left through a sketchy channel. Don't surf this place unless you know what you are doing; because, it can get super shallow and even suck dry in places. The wave itself is incredible, a sharp takeoff into multiple barrel sections, equal a world class left that can produce up to 5 second plus tube rides if our good enough.

Wave Tribe
https://www.wavetribe.com

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