Tag Archives: huntington beach

Amazing overhead shots of the U.S. open of Surfing in Huntington Beach

Surfer magazine has posted 16 amazingly large overhead shots of the U.S. Open of Surfing and the Orange County coastline.

Here is one of them, mightily shrunk:

 

 

See the rest – Above the Open – an oddly serene look at the U.S. Open

Adventure playground is open! – mud slide, rafting, fort building, rope bridge

The kids will get dirty.

At this Central Park adventure, kids will hammer, saw wood, make forts, push themselves around in the shallow water on a raft and do all sorts of climbing, jumping and whatever they choose. Kids can raft on a small pond, navigate a rope bridge, use a cable slide, go down a mud slide and more. Bring a spare change of clothing, a plastic bag to put the wet clothes in and close-toed shoes for safety.

Parents will not be allowed to tell the kids, “Don’t get dirty.” Sorry mom or dad. The dirt is what this is about and you must just butt out!

This summer-fun event is held annually. Adventure Playground runs mid-June through mid-August. This experience is suitable for kids six to twelve years old. It is only open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. Adult supervision is provided and a small fee is charged. For information and group reservations, phone (714) 842-7442.

Location: Huntington Central Park, 7111 Talbert Avenue , Huntington Beach, California.

 

A google user: “I loved going here when I was younger. Tons of fun!! The rafts and the mudslide were cool and the tree house building area was my favorite! I recommend it.”

 

Source: Beach California, City of Huntington Beach

 

 

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Rockin Fig wins two NSSA Championship titles

What do Kelly Slater and Rick “Rockin’ Fig” Fignetti have in common?

Both surfers seem to be getting better with age.

Fig, as he’s known is the surf world, has been chasing after an NSSA Championship title for decades, and finally this week the 55-year-old was able to claim victory with not one, but two big National titles at the competition on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier.

Fig is a well-known figure around the community and the voice of surfing, his unique and quirky voice recognizable from blaring through speakers at the U.S. Open or from his 20-year stint as the surf reporter on KROQ. He was inducted two years ago in the Surfing Walk of Fame as the “Local Hero,” and has one of the original surf shops in town.

But in the water, Fig is also a fierce competitor. He competed in the first NSSA National Championships in 1978, making the final 35 years ago. He got fourth, but that result gave him something to strive for.

 

Keep readingAfter 35 years, Rockin’ Fig claims two NSSA National Championships

 

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After surfing treats – from the 50s-60s to today

Every week I read the surf column from local surf legend, Corky Carroll, and this week I was delighted to find him musing about the ideal after-surf food. For young whippersnappers, like me, these stories let you know how long surfers have been catching waves and scarfing afterwards.

Enjoy Corky’s stories and afterwards I’ll share my modern-day favorites.

Whenever the subject turns to hanging out at the Huntington Beach Pier in the ’50s and ’60s, somebody always mentions “strips.” I mentioned them right here not long ago myself.

Strips were these fairly soggy and extremely greasy tortilla pieces that were drowned in some sort of cheese substitute and a kind of catsup with a hint of Tabasco. We all loved them for an after-surfing snack. I am not sure what kind of nutritional value they had, but at that time nobody cared about that stuff.

I was sitting at the Sugar Shack not long ago woofing down a stack of their amazing pancakes and thinking that there just is not a much tastier after-surf breakfast than that, especially with a side of bacon to go along with it.

There have always been those certain little taste treats that stick out in your taste-bud memory banks. I remember the Helms bread truck that came down our street every afternoon at about 4 o’clock. It had the most amazing cream puffs known to man. I would beg my mom for the 12 cents. They also had a good glazed donut for a nickel and chocolate and maple bars for a dime. But the ultimate was the cream puff.

Before the Sugar Shack, there was Poor Richards around the corner on Pacific Coast Highway…

 

Keep readingIf not for surfing, it might be called Scarf City

 

For the best seafood, like fish tacos, burritos, tuna tartare, even a grilled artichoke – check out Bear Flag Fish Company.

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Sensitive and endangered species list for the Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Did you know that there are 22 sensitive and endangered species that rely on the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach, California?

As of January 2011, that list includes 16 bird, 1 reptile, and 5 plant species. The full list below doesn’t include the 200+ other birds that call the wetlands home, but it does give you a sense of how important this place is.

Birds

  • Peregrine - (Falco peregrinus anatum) – recently delisted
  • White tailed kite - (Elanus leucurus) – California Fully Protected
  • Loggerhead Shrike - (Lanius ludovicianus) – California Species of Special Concern
  • California Gnatcatcher - (Polioptila californica californica) – Federal Threatened
  • Burrowing Owl - (Athene cunicularia) – California Species of Special Concern
  • Cooper’s Hawk - (Accipiter cooperii) – California Watch List
  • Merlin - (Falco columbarius) – California Watch List
  • Northern Harrier – (Circus cyaneus) – California Species of Special Concern
  • Osprey - (Pandion haliaetus) – California Watch List
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk - (Accipiter striatus) – California Watch List
  • Northern Cardinal - (Cardinalis cardinalis) – California Watch List
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher - (Contopus cooperi) – California Species of Special Concern, USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern
  • Tricolored Blackbird - (Agelaius tricolor) – California Species of Special Concern, USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird - (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – California Species of Special Concern
  • Yellow Warbler - (Dendroica petechia brewsteri) – California Species of Special Concern
  • Yellow-breasted Chat - (Icteria virens) – California Species of Special Concern

Reptiles

  • Silvery Legless Lizard - (Anniella pulchra pulchra) – California Species of Special Concern

Plants

  • Southern tarplant - (Centromadia parryi ssp. Australis) – CNPS 1B.1
  • Southwestern spiny rush - (Juncus acutus ssp. Leopoldii) – CNPS 4.2
  • California box thorn - (Lycium californicum) – CNPS 4.2
  • Coast Woolly Heads - (Nemacaulis denudata var. denudata) – CNPS 1B.2
  • Woolly sea-blite - (Suaeda taxifolia) – CNPS 4.2

 

// Information provided from the California Department of Fish and Game – Lower Mesa Restoration Project

Huntington Beach's Oil Rush from 1919 to 2010

"Oranges and Oil - a Combination That is Hard to Beat," Circa 1921

“March 11, 1919 put Orange County in the black in more ways than one. On that day Fullerton area citrus grower Charles C. Chapman watched as his gusher came in. Thousands of gallons of crude oil flew into the sky at Chapman No. 1, his Placentia-Ritchfield District well leased to the Union Oil Co. This well began producing 8,000 barrels of oil a day and quickly became the most productive single well in California.

Representatives of Rockefeller family-controlled Standard Oil were impressed, too, and scouted the surrounding countryside. Standard quickly leased the Samuel Kraemer property across the street and drilled six wells including the deepest “Kraemer Zone” well. All were productive in 1919.

The county’s single most productive “soil product,” crude oil, accounted for nearly on fourth of 1912′s $26 million countywide take. After Chapman No. 1 came in in 1919, estimates put the county’s production at 1,475,000 barrels a month, which equated to $22.15 million a year.

Standard Oil was quick to exploit the newfound oil potential of Orange County and quickly leased 500 acres in the northwestern of Huntington Beach. By 1920, the first well, A-1, was bringing in 91 barrels a day. The town’s sleepy population of about 2,400 in the late teens nearly quadrupled by 1922, changing forever the face of the coast as derrick forests spread to the beach.”

- From Orange County 2000, The Millenium Book, pg 54, Chapmans Gusher

Huntington Beach Pier, circa 1930s

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Huntington Beach’s Oil Rush from 1919 to 2010

"Oranges and Oil - a Combination That is Hard to Beat," Circa 1921

“March 11, 1919 put Orange County in the black in more ways than one. On that day Fullerton area citrus grower Charles C. Chapman watched as his gusher came in. Thousands of gallons of crude oil flew into the sky at Chapman No. 1, his Placentia-Ritchfield District well leased to the Union Oil Co. This well began producing 8,000 barrels of oil a day and quickly became the most productive single well in California.

Representatives of Rockefeller family-controlled Standard Oil were impressed, too, and scouted the surrounding countryside. Standard quickly leased the Samuel Kraemer property across the street and drilled six wells including the deepest “Kraemer Zone” well. All were productive in 1919.

The county’s single most productive “soil product,” crude oil, accounted for nearly on fourth of 1912′s $26 million countywide take. After Chapman No. 1 came in in 1919, estimates put the county’s production at 1,475,000 barrels a month, which equated to $22.15 million a year.

Standard Oil was quick to exploit the newfound oil potential of Orange County and quickly leased 500 acres in the northwestern of Huntington Beach. By 1920, the first well, A-1, was bringing in 91 barrels a day. The town’s sleepy population of about 2,400 in the late teens nearly quadrupled by 1922, changing forever the face of the coast as derrick forests spread to the beach.”

- From Orange County 2000, The Millenium Book, pg 54, Chapmans Gusher

Huntington Beach Pier, circa 1930s

“A third strike in 1933 had world wide impact because of the new techniques it demonstrated. Up until that time, drilling had been on he near-vertical, directly over an oil pool, With the invention of controlled directional drilling, first used successfully here to tap the tide land pools, a well could be drilled on a slant, in any desired direction. Within a year, 90 wells were producing from tall rigs along the coastline.

These bobbing pumps remained the symbol of coastal Huntington Beach for many years and were frequently used as background for movies, including “Giant.” Now, most are gone or masked by plantings.

A final oil strike came in 1953.”

- From a Brief History of HB, by Barbara Milkovich, 1986

January 28, 1940.

View from the Huntington Beach Pier

1960s

“Cal Nagel says, “It may have been ‘a stinkin oil town’ to the outsiders, but for the natives it was a comfortable small town of about 5,000 people. Before, we knew each other; now, the bigger the city has become, the more isolated everyone is.”

In 1970 Huntington Beach was the fastest growing city in the U.S. and the largest city in land area in Orange County. Today (1976) Huntington Beach has a population of over 150,000 in its 25 square mile area. It now has over 30 elementary schools, four high schools, and Golden West College.

Two recently completed projects are the new civic center and library, and a partially completed 400 acre Central park. The expenditures for these projects are subjects of debate.”

- From the 1976 Discoveries magazine.

Offshore rig in 1976 with 52 producing wells.
Modern day offshore oil rig taken in October 2010, with Catalina Island in the background.

Photos/Sources:

Orange County Archives: Pier 1930s, Orange and Oil, Brea Oil Field, & View from HB Pier

Jan 28, 1940 by former LA Times staff photographer Ted Hurley

1960s full-color pier shot by StockTeam

Oil Pie Chart from the 1981 HB City report on Oil Operations

1976 offshore rig from a fully-scanned article in the 1976 Discoveries magazine

Modern day offshore rig by Neil Armstrong2

cc

Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy

In 1985 a small group of concerned citizens set off on a mission to protect the last remaining wetlands in Huntington Beach, some 147 acres out of what used to be over 3,000.

Today, their dream is coming true as the Huntington Beach Wetland Conservancy owns and has restored a majority of the land, some 100 acres from the Santa Ana River to the AES Power Plant.

The remaining pieces are a 44-acre parcel located between Newland and Beach Blvd, and a tiny triangle, some 7/10 an acre, sandwiched between the Huntington Waterfront Hilton and a new residential neighborhood. These, too, will soon be owned by the Conservancy.

Here is how that Newland Marsh looks now:

Dry, full of trash and non-native invasive plants

And, the restored marshes:

That's a Grey Heron in the center drinking some water (click pic to view large size).

The difference is clearly the water.

Why Wetlands?

A wetland is “the link between land and water and are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. Some common names for different types of wetlands are swamp, marsh and bog.

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Walking with endangered species: California Least Tern

I’ve always heard a lot about endangered species. Even seen a few pictures, but let’s be honest. The creatures that most of us see are rats, pigeons, and spiders.

Not the beauties of the animal kingdom. Which has caused me to wonder about the exotic animals on the Discovery channel. Does everything eat out of trash cans and look like rabies?

My answer came at the beach where I spotted some dolphins. In fact, I’m seeing a lot of them, nearly everyday. Which is a huge change from my childhood in the 90s, when seeing them then was like winning the lottery, maybe once a summer.

This launched me on an investigation that revealed a treasure trove in my backyard. There are nature preserves, tidal basins, wetlands, habitats, and nesting grounds.

I began noticing all sorts of animals all around me. Some that I passed by without even thinking twice. Like the birds in the picture below.

It turns out that those a few of those are an endangered species, and they are beautiful.

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