Last night, City Council unanimously approved the monument to our lost lifeguard, Ben Carlson, to be placed at the foot of Newport Pier.
This has been a long and hard-fought journey to reach this point, and while it may feel like it is over now, there is still a long way to go. The foundation will now build the monument (about a 4-month process), excavate the site, landscape it, and then finally install the monument itself. The statue will feature NFC technology donated by Devion which will launch information on water safety, helping to re-enforce one of the primary purposes of the statue– doing our best to prevent this and other water tragedies from happening again.
This project has gone through the Arts Commission, the Planning Commission, and now the City Council– and fingers are crossed that despite the long 4-month stretch to pour the metal, this statue can be up by the end of the year.
A big shout-out to Jake Janz, Josh Yocam, and Danny Schmitz for pushing this project as far as it has come. It is an incredible tribute to Ben and will shine a light on water safety which has gone without an appropriate public spotlight for far too long. GREAT job guys!