Forget about watching the America's Cup competition from the grassy knolls of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma.
Yes, it's one of the best dry-land places to enjoy a beer and use your binoculars to watch Dennis and the big boats. Yes, it was listed as such in San Diego Magazine.
But as of late last week, the cemetery is closed to all except those who are visiting the grave of a loved one.
Signs are up; guards are quizzing people; the Veterans Administration is assigning security. The policy will stand until the races finish on Memorial Day weekend.
Cemetery director Jack Shaw says the policy was prompted by hundreds of complaints from cemetery visitors about the mobs of rowdy, rude and disrespectful America's Cup fans who have flocked to Fort Rosecrans.
The final blow may have been when a beer-swiller refused a plea from an elderly woman to move his lawn chair and picnic basket off her husband's grave.
"People were appalled," Shaw said. "This is not a sports arena. This is a place of dignity."
A cacophony of complaints reached Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Coronado), U.S. Sen. John Seymour (R-Calif.) and the local United Veterans Council. All three let Shaw know of their distress.
Also affected by the new policy are local bird watchers.
For years, mild-mannered birders have come to the cemetery, without problems. The cemetery is a good spot to spot migratory birds.
Rare warblers, sparrows and woodpeckers have been spotted at Fort Rosecrans. Recently, a birder even spied a rare bunting, the reclusive cousin of the common finch.
The bad news about the no-entrance edict was relayed to birders through the San Diego field ornithologists' Daily Rare Bird Alert, a telephone hot line.
Reaction among birders was swift, although characteristically restrained and civil. This is not the heavy metal set we're dealing with.
"Why should birders be penalized because we've got a yacht race?" asked birder Jim Sams. "Maybe the ACLU should get involved on behalf of bird watchers."
Shaw says he's sorry the birders are being lumped with the picnickers and beer drinkers. But he says the policy has to be even-handed:
"We just had to do something."
On the Campaign Trail
* Money talks.
Dick Rider, chairman emeritus of the local Libertarian Party, is set to announce his candidacy Thursday for the 3rd District supervisor's seat.
Chances are very good that Rider also will announce that he is trying to let the county government retain $25 million of the interest collected on the Proposition A sales-tax boost. For use exclusively for jails and courts.
Rider was one of the plaintiffs in the suit that brought down Proposition A. He still wants the taxes returned to the public but thinks it would be good policy to let the county keep some of the interest.
And good politics too, maybe. County officials are said to be \o7 very\f7 receptive to the idea.
* Flower grower/Del Mar Fair Board member Ray Saatjian announces today his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 49th Congressional.
A fund-raiser last Friday headlined by his cousin, former Gov. George Deukmejian, grossed a prodigious $40,000-plus.
* Also in the 49th, Superior Court Judge Dick Murphy is sending out letters to would-be supporters asking their advice on whether he should run.
* Rep. Bill Lowery (R-San Diego) visited Mother Teresa in Tijuana and then issued a press release announcing that he has arranged through a San Diego developer to have a motor home donated to her TJ clinic.
* Look for President Bush to get his picture taken here next week with a young child who has just gotten a measles shot.
Bush, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Louis Sullivan, Surgeon General Antonia Novello and Dr. William Roper, head of the Center for Disease Control, will stop in San Diego on Feb. 6.
It's all part of a six-city tour to promote measles vaccinations for all kids under 2.
License plate on the car of Teddy Howatt of San Diego: WUZZN ME. And on the car of her husband, Ed: IZZN ME.