LIFE'S A BEACH and then you die....


LIFE'S A BEACH and then you die. Such is the popular surfing saying. Its implications are holding truer than ever from Malibu to Monterey.

The waters along the Pacific beaches are being contaminated by sewage -- up to alarming levels of 60 percent of the beaches contain unacceptable levels of sewage in the water. What's a surfer to do?

An entire group of wave-worshipers have gone the eco-surfer route. The goal of the 17,000 members in the environmentally-correct Surfrider Foundation is to act as a citizens watch group for water pollutants.

The group evolved after many of its now-current members suffered from the rashes and viral infections associated with too-high levels of sewage in California's coastal waters. These .. levels result from overflowing storm drains to untreated sewage spills which then make their way down to the lowest point of the Golden State, the ocean.

Members, from surfers to actors, banded together after they concluded that public officials weren't keeping the waters safe.

The organization acts as a citizen's water-testing group which sends out someone to test bacteria levels of oceanic water if it receives a series of complaints about a location. Surf-riders are hoping this will increase government focus on a problem which keeps many from enjoying the beaches and endangers wildlife.

Hopefully others in coastal areas will catch the wave in trying to prevent this pollution rip tide.

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"IT TAKES A lot of talent to dress a brick."

Such were the utterances from organizers of Brickfest '91 about the various brick competitions during the recent three-day festival dedicated to the rectangular clay objects.

Malvern, Ark., the self-proclaimed "brick capital of the world" is home to three brick factories, responsible for 200 million clay and shale blocks a year. The residents take pride in tossing their bricks for distance.

In addition to the brick-throwing contest, no festival would be complete without its sweetheart: Miss Brickfest.

But for those who have neither the beauty nor the brawn, there were competitions in dressing a brick and entering the family pet in the "dog that looks most like a brick" contest.

The celebration even offered a raffle: grand prize, 10,000 bricks.

Malvernians also gave a new meaning to the expression "painting the town red" -- brick red, of course.

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HOW, IN PRINT, do you whisper? A Baltimorean, contemplating the tortures of summer 1991, shrieks but the sound is diminuendo. Let's not arouse the little buzzards, even in September.

It is, shhh, an off-year for mosquitoes.

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