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California Coastal Commission - Why Funding Swap Makes Sense

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) wants to be compensated by California’s state agencies for legal services. It is a reasonable request - considering that last year, the DOJ lost $30 million of its budget and had to cut 130 attorneys from its staff.

As a way to manage their caseload and still provide legal services for state agencies, the DOJ is proposing to have the state re-allocate funds usually provided to the DOJ, to the general fund agencies, and in turn, have the agencies pay the DOJ for legal services provided.

The DOJ annual General Fund has sometimes not been sufficient to accommodate all of the legal services requested by the various agencies, which then outsource private counsel at up to double the cost than if they had been represented by DOJ.

The Governor’s budget overview projected a shortfall for the 2010-11 fiscal year of $6.9 billion, this deficit has grown by $13 billion in the budget, with the largest chunk - $4.9 billion - the result of Federal and State Court Litigation!

Opponents of the funding swap, including Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, have complained that it would be “the greatest threat to the integrity of the Coastal Act since it was passed.”

This is simply untrue.

SINS OF COMMISSION documents the California Coastal Commission’s long history of overstepping the authority provided it under the California Coastal Act. Stopping the commission’s free ride on legal expenses would required it to prioritize its focus and keep it from capricious costly litigation.

The funding swap may reduce the Commission’s dictatorial pattern of obstructionist rulings, which are in clear violation of the Coastal Act and the Constitution, as when it picks unnecessary fights with families, farmers and ranchers at the expense of broader planning.

This important tax-saving, fair-minded proposal is long overdue.

If you would like to express your support for the legal funding swap please contact:

http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/subcommitteeframe.asp?subcommittee=125

http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/newcomframeset.asp?committee=18

http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/sub/BFR_4_AGENCIES/_home1/PROFILE.HTM

http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/sub/BFR_2_JUSTICE/_home1/PROFILE.HTM

Speaking of funding…

SINS OF COMMISSION is a fiscally sponsored film through the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit organization. This means you can support SINS OF COMMISSION the movie,  freedom of speech, documentary film making, the International Documentary Association, and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

California Coastal Commission - Why It Is Time For A Change

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

The Sterling Family

The Sterling Family

Dan Sterling has been locked in a decade-long battle to get a permit to build a home on land he purchased in 1997.

No one should ever have to do that.

This is not environmental protection, this is not politics  - this is EXTORTION, state run, government sanctioned - and its time for it to stop in California.

Mr. Sterling went on to say,” it took seven years to get a county permit to construct a 6,456-square-foot home on the land.”

Then the Coastal Commission took his plan under review and ultimately required he agree to turn over all but 10,000 square feet of the property for an agricultural easement, meaning use of the property surrounding his new home would be limited.

Last Friday, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge George Miram ruled the Coastal Commission acted inappropriately. (HMBReview.com)

“While the (Coastal) Commission may have jurisdiction to impose an affirmative agricultural easement under the Local Coastal Plan, the imposition of the easement here constitutes an unconstitutional taking…

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge George Miram

It was clear that the Coastal Commission was violating the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment prohibition on ‘takings’ forbids government from using the building permit process to extort property from the permit applicant. That’s exactly what the commission was trying to do. “It was exploiting the permit process as a chance to try to confiscate property from the Sterlings,”

J. David Breemer, Pacific Legal Foundation

The Sterling Family Children

There will no doubt be an unnecessary, lengthy. time consuming, and costly appeal processes as there was with another famous case Marine Forest Society.

In the spring of 2001, a superior court judge found the Coastal Commission to be unconstitutional under California’s separation-of-powers doctrine.

The judgment was then affirmed unanimously on appeal, with the appellate court finding a separation of powers violation. NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW [Vol. 79:281]

The problem with the California Coastal Commission is that the issue of the separation of powers still exists, the problem of no term limits still exists, and the appointment process still exists.

Even though the California Coastal Commission was Jerry-rigged at the last minute to pass muster by the state Supreme Court, until such time as the legislature changes what the California Coastal Commission does and how it does it - the California Coastal Commission will continue its end-run policy around constitutional law.

Quasi-judicial organizations like the California Coastal Commission create serious separation-of-powers concerns, and that those concerns are heightened by the scope of the Coastal Commission’s authority and jurisdiction,along with the powerful interests it regulates and has been demonstrated to promote cronyism and out right extortion.

It is not clear, however, that the appointment structure has actually insulated commissioners from political influence, and in fact, the appointment process has been called the Commission’s greatest flaw. It is precisely in a situation like this that courts should be wary of political self-interest leading legislators to diverge from the procedures that promote good law and help protect individuals from arbitrary policy-making.

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW [Vol. 79:281]

Dan Sterling's children wait

The Sterling Family wait their fate

Until the structural mechanics of the California Coastal Commission is brought under reform, the commission will continue to abuse its power.

It is unfortunate for all the people of California that the California Coastal Commission does not care about the pain it inflicts on California coastal families.

Perhaps this is the best example of why it it important the  California Coastal Commission foots its own legal bills as proposed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Maybe then, and only then, we will see the end to the California Coastal Commission’s abuse of their authority, stop their over reach of jurisdiction, and end years of ruining people’s lives…for what? A “dedication” of property.

 

Still got a few - and I mean a few - of these stylin’ SINS OF COMMISSION hats, and I will send you one FREE as a personal thank-you gift with any donation over $110.00.  ($10 is Shipping + Handling). You receive both a tax deduction and a hat when you click the donate now button on the upper right.

California Conservation Groups At It Again

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

In yet another example of “what good for me is what is good for the environment…”

What’s wrong with this picture?

Conservation groups last Wednesday unveiled a new version of their lobbying efforts for an oil company’s expansion of drilling off the coast of California in exchange for definite end dates to its local petroleum operations.

The project could inadvertently open up the entire California coastline to new drilling, ending a 40-year moratorium. (Associated Press)

I guess the wholesale sellout and degradation of California’s resources only makes sense if it is done by and for the benefit of environmental groups- whether on our waters or on our land. 

We Won’t Get Fooled Again

Funny, it is those same groups that say developers can’t build, homeowners can’t expand, and ranchers and farmers can’t do their thing - but - as long as they are the recipient of an oil company bribe, I mean donation - it’s OK to degrade the environment.  

Even the fact President Barack Obama opened many federal waters to drilling — except along the West Coast means nothing. The only thing that matters is they get their $100,000 C.O.D.

Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, who is running for state attorney general, said the agreement is not in the best interest for the state.

Bottom line for me, in 2008 we were told that the deal was the deal of the century and it wasn’t, he said. “Why am I going to believe this one is any better than the last one?”  (Associated Press)

Bottom line - it all boils down to payoff, payoff, payoff.

Other environmental groups raised concerns that the end date may not be enforceable. Others worried that approving the project could inadvertently open up the entire California coastline to new drilling, ending a 40-year moratorium.   (Associated Press)

… backers said there are no title or other issues to prevent PXP from turning over 3,900 acres on shore to the Trust for Public Land. (Associated Press)

And we all know how land-addicted the California Coastal Commission and conservancies are. Although It it is sketchy how much the Environmental Defense Center is getting paid, in the previous contract, PXP agreed to pay the groups’ fees and out-of-pocket-costs, as well as $50,000 up front and another $50,000 upon approval.

In exchange, the environmental groups agreed to lobby in writing for the project and testify at public hearings before State Lands, Santa Barbara County and the California Coastal Commission.  (Associated Press)

California Coastal Curmudgeons Torpedo Floatopia

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Kids have been going to the beach at spring break as long as there have been kids in colleges in America. Each new generation is labeled worse than all the others - but a situation unfolding in Santa Barbara right now takes the cake.

What the California Coastal Commission and the City of Santa Barbara are doing is an anathema to public safety and possibly unconstitutional by abridging the people’s right to peaceful assembly.

Authorities say they plan to close access points to popular beaches near the University of California, Santa Barbara  (SF Chronicle)

The entire mind set: setting up barricades and deploying armed police, keeping kids off the beach is just the kind of provocation that creates bad situations people regret later, and rather that keep the peace is exactly how situations that could have been prevented get extreme.. Look at the quote below -

Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lt. Brian Olmstead said the county is “planning for the extreme”. There will be barricades at all accesses, there will be deputies stationed at all accesses and there will be [deputies] out on the water,” (Daily Nexus)

Why not plan for the best?

The county’s decision to blockade I.V. beach access points and patrol waters on Saturday is extreme - and borders on a violation of our rights.

Even worse than a one-day beach closure, the Sheriff’s Dept. has stated that it will consider blocking beach access beyond this weekend, as it deems necessary. This kind of heavy-handed, preemptive police presence sets a dangerous precedent - where is the limit?

For a plan supposedly intended to promote safety, this blockade is shockingly short-sighted. Just as controlling a symptom does not cure the disease, blocking students from official beach access points will not stop them from drinking to excess if that’s what they want to do. Realistically, it won’t even keep them off the beach-determined drunks can slide down the cliffs, a far more dangerous alternative to the stairs.

If the county’s real goal here is to protect students and the environment, there is a better solution. Instead of wasting thousands of dollars maintaining barricades and patrolling the surf, officers could staff standard checkpoints. By acting in such a forceful manner, based only on hypothetical misconduct, the county and police department are violating the spirit (if not the letter, through a series of lucky loopholes) of California law that guarantees public beach access.

(Daily Nexus)

The people have a right to utilize public resources no matter what. Period. Why didn’t the City of Santa Barbara organize the event to Country Standards way in advance?  What a failure on the city’s part.

Not surprisingly, The California Coastal Commission, the self-professed champions of beach access for all,  is also failing to insure coastal access to the beach.

If people gain access to the beach, they will be subject to citations and arrests. Olmstead also said there will be an increased deputy presence throughout I.V. and strict enforcement for those who find an alternate way onto the beach. (Daily Nexus)

Whose beach is it any way?

If you say it’s the people’s beach, then the people ought to be able to go to the beach.

However, if people become intoxicated, act-out inappropriately, carry glass bottles, piss on flora or fauna, park improperly, drive recklessly - then Hawaii 5-0 their ass and “Book ‘em, Danno! That’s ostensibly why laws were created, but to resort to heavy handed police policies and using enforcement agencies because elected ones failed the people steers us ever further away from the the concept of Americans able to live freely in America.

There are much bigger challenges facing this future generation of college kids.

Going to the beach should not be one of them.

California Coastal Commission - A Gaseous, Solid Waste

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

The California Court of Appeals ruled that a 15-minute, Fourth-of-July fireworks display on private property in Gualala, California, is a “development” that may be regulated by the California Coastal Commission through its permitting process. The reason? A fireworks display emits “gaseous” and “solid” waste. (PLF)

With this decision, the Coastal Commission likely will tout there is no thing nor any limit to the human activities that it can regulate. Last year the coastal Ayatollahs went after night football. Maybe these kinds of capricious lawsuits is why the Department of Justice is over budget $30million?

What next?

Does the California Coastal Commission step in and regulate when, where, and how individual freedoms are exercised in the coastal zone?

It would not be surprising if the Commission began demanding permits from individuals who enter the coastal zone, on the theory that mere breathing, walking, or driving is “development” requiring its permitting oversight. (PLF)

Regulating every aspect of human existence is not what the California Legislature or the electorate had in mind when the Coastal Act was enacted in 1976.

This could very well be the death knell for small town fireworks in America. Once a precedent like this is on the books, other regulatory committees in other states can do the same thing by citing the California ruling.

Learn more bout a “gaseous” and “solid” waste.  Attend a California Coastal Commission meeting. Afterwords, you can also add “financial” waste to the list.

MEMO TO: Sara Wan RE: The Coast is Under Attack

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Sara, read your open letter on CALITICS website, and I’d like to share a few thoughts.

Aren’t you being a bit over dramatic, crying wolf, telling everyone that the coast is under attack? Unless of course, you’re saying The Crab Monsters are at it again… and that’s some serious Mojo.

On the contrary, Ms. Wan, coastal people say that you, the California Coastal Commission, are the attackers.

People living along the coast of California welcome this new legislation, and consider it is very good news for ALL the people of California especially if pending legislation in the Public Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ)  requires the Coastal Commission to pay for all legal services previously supplied by the Attorney General (and swept under the rug - so to speak). The People of California need to know how much your commission really spends..

This is something that should have been done long ago - but now is a good time to start.

The California families you sue, that defend themselves in court against the California Coastal Commission, pay their own legal bills.

Maybe now is a good time for the CCC to return to doing what you were supposed to do when the voters passed proposition 20, e.g., protect the coast, that area from the mean high tide land to 1,000 yards in land. By the way you do such good work on the Navy Sonar marine mammal issues and overwhelming plastic debris…why not just stick the coast of California, as it was defined before you and the California Coastal Commission skewered the definition of “coast” to allow you to blitz-krieg  inland?

This new budget proposal would force you to stay away from people’s homes, and private property…and stay the heck out of their lives.

This would also mean the California Coastal Commission would be have to think real hard before it capriciously attacked picnic tables, rogue rose bushes, eucalyptus trees, horses,  sheep, goats, showers, house colors, trespass on private property, spy on folks, extort people’s land out from under them in exchange for a building permit or any other stuff like that.

This may be also a good time to send Mr. Cease-and-Desist Douglas packing especially since he’s so darn sue-happy.  You commissars have done enough to wreck life, liberty and the California economy. Maybe this may be why so many Californians are angry.

You also say that, ” the commission may be unable to initiate lawsuits to protect public access or other coastal resources.” This is a load of rubbish. I’m sure you will still have an appropriate budget to be spent wisely… like on the beach -however this also means you have to close your department of silly lawsuits. In case you elitist imperialists haven’t noticed… times are tough for We the people.

You say, “Jerry Brown’s (the Attorney General) budget people support this bad idea.” Could that mean Jerry B does too? And perhaps what you’re calling a bad idea is actually a real good idea…and an idea that is  way overdue.

You say, “this also effectively means that the Commission would be unable to deny any applicant or to impose any conditions on any proposal that the applicant opposes, based on whether the Commission could afford the cost of litigation.”  Yes, that is what it effectively means.

What this proposal also suggests is that  your bad-ass commission needs to stop the 30 year wave of terror. Quit lying and trying to steal folk’s land, then hiding underneath the judge’s robes. And most important of all - quit storm-trooping around people’s private property.

Like what you’re reading? Here’s how you can help --

SINS OF COMMISSION is fiscally sponsored film by International Documentary Association, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the art and advancement of all documentary films.

This means you can support SINS OF COMMISSION and receive a tax deduction at the same time when you donate through the International Documentary Association. Simply click the DONATE NOW link on the upper right… or the Crab Monsters may attack you next..

California Coastal Commission - Pirates of California

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Many good citizens up and down the coast of California would agree, these are treacherous times on the California Coast.  While the California Coastal Commission’s shills gloat that “justice” has been done in Corona del Mar… has it?  And if so, exactly what justice was it…and what is the cost to all the citizen of California? I would be amused my fair state spent decades and countless thousands of dollars and man-hours against a picnic table if it wasn’t so pathetic. Why doesn’t the governor or legislature have the balls to stand up to the California Coastal Commission?

The answer is, for the past 30 years, a revolution has been underway on the California coast orchestrated by a petty tyrant named Peter Douglas. This revolution as been largely unnoticed except for the poor unfortunates who have come up against this putsch in land use management. If the commission succeeds at what they do, then their actions become a template for other quasi judicial organizations like them in other states.

This revolution can be identified by the sophisticated land acquisition techniques that stir conflict between property rights and environmental resources - like improperly designating land ESHA when it isn’t. Placing an endangered species on an unsuspecting party’s land, and then “finding it” later. Declaring puddles, ruts and pot holes to be wetlands. Nasty stuff like that. Other techniques include trespassing, spying, bleeding families of all of their fiscal resources, tying them up in endless, costly litigation, and depriving them of full use of their land, like George and Sharlee McNamee, or in some cases driving them off their land altogether. Yeah, California Coastal Commission supporters, really something to be proud of.

The California Coastal Commission, state land trusts, in concert with the National Park Service, and their proponents break constitutional law, use fake science, skew data... and it’s all accepted by the California judiciary - because regulatory law presumes the commission is correct..

To implement resource protection plans, existing governmental agencies and nonprofit land trusts have experimented with emerging and often controversial nonregulatory approaches to land use problems. In California, this experimentation was accompanied by the creation of new governmental agencies, set up specifically for these purposes.

Joseph E. Petrillo, author “ Coastal Management” Volume 16, Issue 1 1988

Our government’s been bought out from under us.

Another issue that is integral to understanding the extraordinarily high win rate of the California Coastal Commission in courts is the issue of a fair, incorruptible judiciary. Our government is not broken; it’s been bought out from under us. No wonder people have lost faith.

In the movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” idealistic freshman US Sen. Jeff Smith (Jimmy Stewart) reminds us that it is the struggle that counts. “Lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for,” he says. Just before collapsing on the Senate Floor, he croaks, “you fight for the lost causes even harder than the others

California Coastal Commission Sues Over a Backyard Picnic Table

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

George and Sharlee McNamee have a beautiful home and a bounty of children and grandchildren who visit them in their Corona Del Mar, California.

Life should be good. It’s not. The reason: For the last decade, the McNamees’ backyard has been a battlefield. The retired couple has spent $250,000 in legal fees fighting for the freedom to use a picnic table, a built-in barbecue pit and other amenities in their own backyard.

The Coastal Commission issued a cease-and-desist order against the McNamees in May, 2004

We fight for two reasons, property rights and freedom,” says George McNamee, a silver-haired former insurance salesman. “My wife and I decided a long time ago, those two things matter. Without that, there isn’t much left.”

The commission wants the McNamees to convert their private backyard into a public nature reserve for the pleasure of the viewing public,” said the couple’s attorney, Paul Beard, of the Pacific Legal Foundation. “It is important we are able to restrain these kind of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in order to set an example to other agencies around the country that people have property rights that need to be respected.”

(FoxNews.com)

Although it is not, strictly speaking an eminent domain case, the case raises fundamental issues of property rights: Although the Coastal Commission hasn’t formally confiscated the McNamees’ beach property, the Commission is trying, effectively, to take control of their land. (PLF)

The case also illustrates the arrogance of the California Coastal Commission, a un-elected rogue agency long notorious for abusing property rights and property owners.(PLF)

The McNamees offered a compromise — they would get rid of the flower garden, palapa and shed if they were allowed to keep the picnic table, shower and barbecue.

The commission said no.

(FoxNews.com)

Is frivolous, capricious, and costly litigation over beach furniture the best use of the State of California’s scant fiscal resources, the office of the state Attorney General, The California Coastal Commission and the judiciary?

I think not.

California Coastal Coastal Commission - Confidential

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Join SINS OF COMMISSION filmmaker Richard Oshen on Radio Liberty February 5th at 8PM PST as he takes listeners on an incredible journey into the shadow world of the California Coastal Commission - a nether world of twisted schemes and broken dreams -where ’dedication of property’ is the buzz-word for extortion, and driving people off their land a secret agenda of state.

Find out what happened to the family farm, private property and how the commission continues to destroy lives along the coast.  Discover why ordinary people can’t win against the California Coastal Commission, the politics of fire, the infulence of Paganists, social-engineering, the emergence of the eco-industrial complex, and why California Coastal Commission rulings could potentially destroy you - no matter where you live.

 Radio Liberty is hosted by Dr. Stan Monteith, outspoken radio personality, author of  “AIDS: The Unnecessary Epidemic”, and  “A Nation Deceived and Betrayed“, February 5, 2010, 8 PM  - 89.9 FM Santa Cruz. The program also streams live on the web at Radio Liberty Online and is carried over the ACN Network, and CRB Network.

Listen to Radio Liberty. Click the link http://www.radioliberty.com/

Sins of Commission on California Coastal Commission - 89.9 FM

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

SINS OF COMMISSION Filmmaker Richard Oshen talks with Dr. Stan Monteith, outspoken  Radio Liberty talk show host, author of  “AIDS: The Unnecessary Epidemic”, and  “A Nation Deceived and Betrayed“, February 5, 2010, 8 PM  - 89.9 FM Santa Cruz.

The program streams live on the web at Radio Liberty Online and is carried over the ACN Network, and CRB Network.

The filmmaker said he identifies with the program’s mission to bring listeners the story behind the story and the news behind the News. 

Oshen went on to say, “It is up to small independently owned, grassroots radio stations to carry the message of truth - a message that is being systematically destroyed by big multinational corporations who chose our news for us. Broadcast news, as we once knew it is gone with few rare exceptions.”  

Hear today or be gone tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                         Richard Oshen

Listen to Radio Liberty. Click the link http://www.radioliberty.com/



 
 
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