Saturday, December 10 , 2016, 11:18 am | Partly Cloudy 62º


Captain’s Log: Can Plaza Del Mar Be Restored as a Community Resource?

Right across the street from the Santa Barbara Harbor is a pretty-as-you-please little park, with plenty of shade trees, grass, fabulous views and, best of all, a little stage — raised and covered where it just looks like someone should be performing for the crowd.

The crowd these days is almost exclusively homeless folks. Others seem to give the spot a wide berth when passing by. That little stage looks sad and wasted.

Plaza Del Mar, next to Pershing Park, was much different some years back. I recall a time when musical groups and other performers were regularly scheduled at the spot, and the community flocked to sit on the grass, lean against the trees and enjoy the entertainment. Stuff like that really makes for a great community!

I recall that when I returned to the harbor from running my charter boat, I would smile broadly when I heard music from there, clean the boat as quickly as possible and wander over to listen and enjoy. Sometimes my family would drive from home to join me. We really considered Plaza Del Mar to be a precious local resource for the whole community.

I do not know why community activities there were dropped like a hot potato. Maybe there are reasons that cannot be overcome. Perhaps it was insurance issues, complaints from people who don’t like music, or just budgetary constraints.

It certainly wasn’t lack of interest on the part of the community. The happy place was often quite well attended, especially when there were some good tunes. New musical groups seemed happy to get a gig at the covered stage because it could help build their following and build their name.

So I’ll pose the question: Can this wonderful community resource be cleaned up, protected and brought back to service to the community? I would love to spend some time listening to a band play after a day’s work at the harbor.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >