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Surfer Killed in Bali Touched Many Lives

November 24, 2002

Re "Friends Salute Surfer Killed in Bali," Oct. 20:

Thank you for your coverage of Steve Webster's tragic death in Bali. I wanted people to know that Steve was not only a beloved family man and fellow surfer, but also that he cared a lot about his community, especially kids.

One of my most vivid memories of Steve was when he spoke several years ago to the Newport Beach City Council, urging the council to ratify the Parks and Recreation Department's plan to allow board surfing at all times in Newport's "Hottest Hundred Yards" between the 52nd and 56th streets jetties.

Gesturing to the crowd packed with supporters of this small concession to the surfing community, Steve asked the reluctant council, "Isn't this a democracy?" The mayor smugly replied to Steve that "democracy is a representative system to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority." We knew at that moment that the council would side with the wealthy beachfront homeowners, who didn't want their weekly summer renters to have to walk 50 yards to the next jetty to swim. The weekend before Steve left for Bali, I stood with Steve and his son Dylan, 6, while Steve fished off the 52nd Street jetty. It would be a nice tribute to Steve if we could see kids surfing 54th Street every summer afternoon.

Gregory Ozimec

Newport Beach


When I read the article regarding Steve Webster's funeral, I realized I knew Steve long ago in Newport Beach. I cried when I read about his untimely death.

I was a new resident in Newport Beach in the late '80s and was learning to surf at the 52nd Street jetty, where locals were very territorial.

"Webs" was a gifted surfer, highly respected for his skills. And he supported me and my dream to become a surfer. Many times in the lineup, he would tell me to take a wave that he could have had. When other "locals" would get on my case for insufficient surfing skills, he would tell them to back off and let me surf.

Thanks, Steve, for being my friend.

Brian Amster

Los Angeles

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