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Posts Tagged ‘Daily Nexus’

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.



 
 
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