COVID-19 has left an indelible impression on the world as a whole, and Coronado has certainly not been spared economically or culturally. Last week, two of the city’s iconic events, the July 4th Parade and all associated events for the day were canceled. The next day, the concerts in the park were canceled, with a glimmer of hope that a concert or two could take place.
Concert president Cathy Brown shared her thoughts on what would have been the 50th anniversary of the concerts in the park. “Perhaps the best we can hope for is, and it is a big one, the last week of August and / or Labor Day Sunday, September 6. These dates are based on return. schools and we get town okay. Also, only local bands from Coronado would play those dates. Of course, if anything changes, and we’re allowed to have the concerts, the Council can do that very quickly. We will be celebrating our 50th anniversary next year in 2021. I look forward to seeing you all again, dancing at the concerts.
The news was equally depressing for what would have been the 72nd annual July 4 parade, which annually draws around 100,000 or more people to Coronado. At the same time, the July 4th events provide local businesses with a huge financial boost, while also serving as an unofficial homecoming event for the community. Other events canceled on that date for 2020 are the 12K Run, the Islander Sports Foundation 5K Run / Walk; the Mile Sprint Fun Run, whitewater swimming; Art in the park; the community orchestra concert; and the city fireworks display.
July 4th committee chairman Dave Szymanski said in a city press release: “The decision was difficult, but we believe it is the right decision at this time. Coronado City Manager Blair King added: “It looks more and more like social distancing will be maintained. I don’t think there is another game plan. Large crowds will not be able to come together and we need time to order things. There is no time to do this.
These two cultural setbacks are somewhat mitigated by the fact that with some restrictions the city’s beaches have reopened. King said of the restrictions going forward: “Currently there is still no beach lounging. People cannot gather in groups that stop, but walking and running are okay on the sandy part of the beach. Contact with water in the ocean is acceptable, but lounging is not. Surfing, solo kayaking, and stand-up paddling are allowed, but boating in the bay is not permitted. Tents, chairs, or blankets are not allowed, and partial face coverings will be a requirement from May 1 along with social distancing. “
Additionally, the popular Dog Beach area remains closed, as does Sunset Park. In addition, on-street parking in areas adjacent to the beaches, in the Village, Les Cays and at intermediate points, is still closed. King said, “The basic concept remains if you can walk to the recreation area, that’s fine. But people shouldn’t be driving to the recreation area.
When asked if the subject of beach closures could be revisited in the future, King explained, “The county public health official can issue orders again. Or if we think we can’t keep order and people don’t follow directions, we may impose a more restrictive restriction than the public health worker. “
King, who through the emergency powers conferred on him by the city council has the power to define policy in these areas, plans to have these actions reaffirmed by the council at its meeting on May 5, 2020. For information, authority for public health policy in the state begins with Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, California Public Health Officer, followed by San Diego Country Policy defined by Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten county, then the city of Coronado. At each step of the process, policies can be more restrictive, but not less restrictive, than those defined at the level above.
Another part of the positive local news relates to the city’s Lifeline loan program, which was formalized and approved at the city council meeting on April 21, 2020, is operational. The Board approved a loan program totaling up to $ 2 million, with $ 15,000 available for Level I businesses that have paid sales tax to the State of California. Examples of 124 level 1 businesses in Coronado: catering establishments; retail sales; hotels; motels; bed and breakfast establishments; and cinemas and theaters.
After 30 days, Level II businesses can apply for loans if funding remains from the original $ 2 million program. A sample of these companies includes real estate offices; professional offices; personal services; the musicians; repair services; light industry and light assembly companies; Coronado-based handyman and trade services; photocopying and letterbox services; gymnasiums; as well as martial arts studios. There are additional steps required to obtain Lifeline loans, which can be found in detail at www.coronadochamber.com/lifeline-loan-application.
The loan process begins with the Coronado Chamber of Commerce, which distributes loan forms and then accepts completed loan applications. Loan approvals are the responsibility of the City of Coronado and financing is done through the private bank Cal. King said, “We appreciate the Chamber’s and Cal Private Bank’s collaboration with us. As of Saturday April 25, we had seven applications. Funding is expected to begin today or tomorrow (April 27 or 28).