Going back to my suggestion of three weeks ago, that Seal Beach ought to encourage the fishing of stingrays, let me propose a crazy notion: how about a fishing derby? I mean in addition to the annual Rotary Club sponsored fishing derby. Seal Beach’s main events are the Car Show, the Run Seal Beach and the Christmas Parade. These are fine traditions that I hope will last for many decades to come.

But I think we need more and a fishing derby seems to me a perfectly reasonable suggestion for one of the other tourist-drawing events we could be promoting. Now, you should know I’m not much of a fisherman. When I was 5 or 6, a trout nearly pulled me into a stocked pond. I was 16 the last time I went fishing and 36 years later I can’t say I miss the sport.

That said, though, there’s really not much else for people to do on the Seal Beach Pier except fish; walk to one end of the pier and back; stand on the pier and watch the surfers, swimmers and body boarders, stand on the pier and look toward Long Beach or stand on the pier and look toward the offshore oil rigs.

It seems to me a fishing derby would be a perfectly appropriate and reasonable activity to bring to the pier once a year. It’s a nice, quiet, family friendly activity. Depending on the level of the response, the money raised might be enough to help offset the cost of enforcing the existing rules posted on the pier.

And if we gave a grand prize to the person who caught the most stingrays, we might reduce the number of stingray injuries each year.

By the way, I’m still looking for public domain stingray recipes. Any suggestions?

My father served in the US Army infantry during World War II, so I naturally think of ground troops when I think of veterans. Natural, perhaps,, but also unfair.

So allow me, please, to ask all of you to think about a group of veterans who paid with “the last full measure of their devotion” as submariners during the Cold War. They are seldom discussed or thought about, but there is a memorial to them at the submarine memorial on Seal Beach Boulevard, next to the entrance to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. Thank you, gentlemen. And thank you to your families. You sacrificed your lives for your country. Your families sacrificed you. Rest in peace and rest well. You’ve earned it.

When I was in journalism school at California State University Long Beach, the CSU system announced it would enforce the rules governing bike riders—particularly the one that forbid bikers from using sidewalks instead of streets.

Bike riders howled.

The reason for that long-ago enforcement effort was that a student in the University of California system had been walking along on his campus when he was struck by a bicycle rider. He suffered permanent brain damage as a result.

The public safety issue did not impress many CSULB bike riders who felt that enforcing the rules was a vicious attack on their freedom.

I had no sympathy for the bike riders. In my experience at that time, cyclists routinely used sidewalks when streets were available. I lost count of the number of times that hordes of cyclists came up behind me without giving warning and swept around me. At least none of them demanded that I get out of their way. I wrote a column about it in the school newspaper. The column triggered angry assertions from bike riders that they would warn me if they came up behind me—ignoring the fact I’d reported quite the opposite behavior. I concluded that people who want to obey the rules will accept enforcement and those who flout the rules will feel oppressed by enforcement. (I wonder if burglars ever accuse policemen of interfering with their freedom?)

Now, decades later, I”m surprised to hear that bike riders are again being asked to follow the rules required of them—and I’m wondering how Seal Beach bike riders will react.

Knowing this town, I expect the vast majority will accept the rules as reasonable and appropriate. Then again, the responsible bike riders were already obeying the rules. It’s the irresponsible bike riders that I worry about.

Seal Beach Marine Safety Chief Joe Bailey reported on Thursday, May 9, that no stingray injuries were treated last week.

That means there were no stingray injuries reported. There’s no way to know how many go unreported, though I once covered a case of a man who did not report his injury to lifeguards—and only discovered much later that the stinger had shattered the heal bone of his foot.

Unfortunately, come summer, Seal Beach receive many stingray injury reports. Seal Beach is the site of roughly one-third of the stingray injuries reported annual nation wide.

I’d prefer my town to be known for something better than that. So would everyone else in Seal Beach.

In the near future Bailey will probably remind the public to do the “Stingray Shuffle” through a City Council presentation and I’ll probably remind you to check out Gary Snow’s “Stingray Shuffle” music video on the sunnews.org website.

But I can’t help wondering if Seal Beach couldn’t solve the problem by reducing the stingray population. Stingrays come here for the same reason humans come to Seal Beach: the weather’s good, good food is readily available and the neighborhood is safe.

I respectfully suggest we make the neighborhood less appealing for stingrays.

I’m not suggesting we import stingray-eating orcas to Seal Beach’s muddy waters. I have no idea how we could do that.

But maybe we should be encouraging our fishing community to pursue stingrays. I’m going to have to look up some stingray recipes—I have no idea if I’d enjoy eating the creatures—but I think this is an idea deserving of further research. I wonder if any local restaurants serve BBQ stingray?

In the meantime, remember to drag your feet along the bottom. The stingrays have no desire to harm you, they just take bitter offense at being stepped on and nature has provided them with a way of making their displeasure felt.

The other day, a woman who was visiting the Sun office thanked me for my work covering Leisure World. I was pleasantly surprised, because I don’t write about Leisure World as often as I’d like.

This wasn’t the first time. Just a couple of months ago, I got off the bus at Leisure World to visit a friend who lives there. A security guard walked up to me and said: “Are you Charles Kelly?”

I told myself to remain calm and said, “Yes.”

The guard thanked me for my work covering Leisure World.

In both cases, I said, “You’re welcome.”

The fact is, we couldn’t cover a gated community without the help of residents of that community. Which brings me to a modest request.

This week, the Sun reported on the 2012 Annual Report for the Golden Rain Foundation of Seal Beach. I don’t live in Leisure World and wouldn’t have seen the document if a friend of a friend hadn’t made it available to me.

So I’d like to ask the residents of all the Leisure World Mutuals to send us the annual reports for their individual mutual benefit corporations. We’re not looking for scandal and we wouldn’t find evidence of any in an annual report. However, the more we know about the retirement community, the better we can cover the home of roughly one third of Seal Beach’s population. So I’m asking you folks to help. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is weakness.

And thank you, Leisure Worlders, for reading the Sun Newspapers.