You won’t see Jane Schmauss riding a wave. She never has. But she knows what surfers are looking for — the “green room.”

“Being in that curl, being totally encapsulated in the wave, and all you see is out through it, like through the sights of a gun. You see a little bit of land or a little bit of ocean. You’re totally surrounded, and it makes this noise like nothing else,” she says. “Guys come out of this and they weep.”

A non-surfer really shouldn’t know all this. But Schmauss is no ordinary landlubber. She’s the historian at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside. In this week’s Q&A feature, she talks about the hardy men who helped the sport bloom in the 1920s and 1930s, her passion for surfing and surfers and why she couldn’t date a surfer in the sixties.

Mission Beach Remained Closed

A day after a reported spotting of a shark by a lifeguard, a surfer reported seeing a shark dorsal fin off Mission Beach yesterday. The sighting prompted lifeguards to again close the beach to bathers after briefly opening it. (NBC7 San Diego)

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It’s not clear why a shark might limit its activities to Mission Beach instead of going north or south to other ones.

Here’s a safety tip you may not know: “Don’t wear bright colors or shiny objects in the water. Sharks can mistake that for fish or just get curious enough to investigate,” says the U-T. Maybe it’s time to retire my polka-dot trunks and leave all my bling at home?

Working Behind Bars Can Be Quite Rewarding

Thirty-eight people who work in the medical field at Otay Mesa’s Donovan state prison — including doctors, dentists, nurses and others — are among the 50 highest-paid non-university state workers in the county, the U-T finds. They make from $183,473 to $264,780.

It’s tough work, a state prison system spokeswoman told the paper. “You don’t walk through the doors of a Kaiser or a Mercy every day and worry about coming home each night.”

Q&A with the King of FIP, UZR and wOBA

If you’re a numbers-minded baseball fan, you probably know all about statistics like the xFIP and the OPS.

If you’re like me, your head just spun around Linda Blair-style. (If this was a newspaper column, I’d tell you to go read the comics instead of continuing with this item. Marmaduke is such a funny big dog!)

Anyway. Those statistics have become huge thanks to the analytical mind of Bill James, baseball’s top numbers guru. I’m in touch with him, and he’s agreed to answer your questions about the Padres and other baseball topics.

Calling North Park Parents of Schoolkids

If you live in North Park around Jefferson Elementary (it’s near Morley Field), our education reporter Emily Alpert wants to hear from you about how you choose where your kids go to school.

• We’ve got an updated map showing how individual San Diego elementary schools were affected by recent teacher layoffs.

Navy SEAL’s Hometown in Iowa, Not Indiana

A Morning Report item yesterday incorrectly identified the hometown of San Diego Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, where his funeral was held (and his dog seemed to honor him) after he was killed in Afghanistan. It’s Rockford, Iowa, not Rockford, Indiana.

They’re Still Gettin’ It Done

A new UCSD study of 1,235 local women finds that sexual satisfaction doesn’t dip as women get older. “Although the levels of sexual activity and functioning did vary significantly, depending on the woman’s age, their perceived quality of life, successful aging and sexual satisfaction remained positive,” a researcher tells

Almost a third of those in their 80s reported recently engaging in sexual activity. There are no numbers about how much of that was due to an early-bird dinner and a movie.


What We Learned This Week:

Behind the Big Housing Decision: A couple years ago, the City Council allowed San Diego’s housing agency to buy properties with drastically less oversight. It was touted as a way to combat the foreclosure epidemic. Two and a half years later, the agency has barely used the policy for foreclosures, instead focusing on complex public-private partnerships.

One of the city’s seven housing commissioners tells us that he’s disturbed by the way things have played out. Meanwhile, the agency’s CEO has responded to our story with a letter to the editor.

Investigative reporter Will Carless also spoke about it on KPBS-FM’s Midday edition.

School Board Member’s Family-Minded Vote: She told us she wouldn’t do it. But last year, school board member Shelia Jackson went ahead and voted for a contract with a company that employs her daughter. “How could this possibly stink more?” wrote a commenter.

Jackson was already under fire after our reporting raised questions about whether she lives in the region she represents on the board.

Issa vs. NYT Drama Goes On and On: The New York Times has run two more corrections about its front-page story about the business dealings of high-profile North County Congressman Darrell Issa, bringing the total to three, although at least one wasn’t the newspaper’s fault. Meanwhile, the newspaper and the congressman’s office continue to exchange angry letters, while the paper says a retraction isn’t necessary. Erik Wemple in the Washington Post has the chronology.

Dumanis Plays Hard to Debate: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says she won’t join two of her main rivals at mayoral debates over the next few months, including ours at Politifest. She also flip-flopped on what’s shaping up to be a major issue in the race: she now supports the pension reform initiative — it would do away with pensions for most new city workers — that’s being pushed by her fellow Republicans. (U-T)


Quote of the Week: “Think outside the wave.” — Jane Schmauss, historian at the California Surf Museum, when I tried to coax her to use surfer terms to describe her passion for surfing.


Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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