My first in-water shark encounter was in San Diego, in La Jolla Cove. I was snorkeling in the cove, out near “Alligator Rock” when I saw a Gray Smoothhound, an entirely harmless shark maybe 3’ long. But, hey, it’s a shark that looks like a shark and I wanted to share the moment with my friend Dave, who was maybe a hundred yards away. So I called out to him.
In my head, what I called out was along the lines of “Dave! A carcharhinid! Certainly a Mustelus, most likely californicus!” (I’d convinced myself that my career in Marine Biology would be aided by memorizing scientific names) But since I was snorkeling and couldn’t quite get all that out, what I shouted was, instead, “Shark! Shark!”
Which, it turns out, is not the most appropriate thing to shout out in a cove crowded with casual swimmers.
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Damon Tucker, probably the Big Island’s most prominent blogger, was given a pretty solid roughing-up by Big Island police on Friday night, while videotaping police arresting people after a concert in Pahoa. The photos on Tucker’s site clearly indicate that excessive force was used against Tucker, who probably weighs 150 pounds soaking wet. As for Tucker’s “crime,” it is not against the law to photograph and videotape police in Hawai’i (or most states), and such records are an important check on the possibility that police will occasionally overstep their authority and, say, rough up a guy who’s obeying the law and weighs 150 pounds soaking wet.
Of course, police have a hard job, I wasn’t there, etc., but I have a hard time imagining him interfering with the police or disobeying their instructions on crowd control. What I don’t have a hard time imagining is him standing with a good view, with his camera up, recording the scene. “Standing around taking photos” is what Damon does and has been doing for the past half-decade or more.
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