Coastal Commission Disappoints

Yesterday the California Coastal Commission failed to deny the California Department of Parks & Recreation’s (DPR) proposal to charge $8.00 to park at eight locations along the Sonoma County coast.

How was that even possible?

  1. The State Constitution ensures free public access to the coast.
  2. Proposition 20, passed in 1972 by California voters—the law that brought the Coastal Commission into existence—requires them to maximize free public access to the Coast.
  3. Coastal Commission staff presented a lengthy and detailed report recommending denial of DPR’s inadequate proposal.
  4. The Commission sat through more than six hours of unanimous public opposition. I was there. I spoke.

The result?

They did not follow the law.

They did not follow their staff recommendation.

They disregarded the people’s unanimous and fervent opposition to this proposal to limit access to our coast.

They voted, 11-1, to kick the can down the road. There will be more meetings. At some unspecified future date, they’ll bring back this proposal in modified form. If they think we’ll allow them to charge us to visit the beaches that already belong to us, they are seriously underestimating the vigor and tenacity of Sonoma County citizens.

Shame on the Coastal Commission for not following the law and not listening to the people.

Shame on the Governor of California for refusing to adequately fund the parks.

Yesterday was sad day for our so-called “democracy.”

This fight is not over.

Steve Lopez wrote a good article about this meeting for the Los Angeles Times: here.

2 thoughts on “Coastal Commission Disappoints

  1. This is a total bloody outrage – disgraceful, disgusting and beggars believe. Subverting democracy and flouting the law are always serious matters but another dimension is added when it is elected officials who are involved.

    In a country where annually 36,000 people are killed in homicides using handguns where wholesale destruction of the environment is put before corporate profits, where huge numbers of ordinary people don’t have access to health care or decent wages, where something like 5% of the population owns 90% of the wealth and where currently a political Buffoon Trumps the common sense and decency of ordinary people one has to ask the question – when Ronald Regan called the USSR the ‘Evil Empire’ was he pointing in the right direction, and did he get the name correct?

    A comment such as this may offend, even outrage any American reading it but I have to ask you – Do ordinary US citizens have any idea at all as to how their country (Especially the current political circus) is viewed from the outside at this present time in history? It seems to be sleep walking to oblivion dragging a whole lot of very, very, very decent folks with it.

  2. Alden, thank you for commenting. I guess my anger and outrage came through.

    I cannot speak for other Americans. Too many Americans are under the impression that we enjoy enviable freedoms and a standard of living second to none. These are the American people do not have passports or have them but do not use them to get beyond North America.

    Their world view is framed by Rupert Murdoch and Fox News.

    I often feel like an alien here in my own country. That there are Americans who admire Trump shocks me. Trump reminds me (and many others) of the fascists who came to power in Europe in the 1930’s.

    Here in Sonoma County, where I live, I am not alone. There are many other people who share a much more progressive political outlook.

    America is divided. Many ordinary citizens on both the right and the left are justifiably angry at the political officials who are sycophants of the wealthiest 0.1% who installed them in their offices to rig the system in favor of the wealthy class. These politicians are protected by means of the wealthy class controlling the news, all news in all formats and all media all across America.

    Even my regional “public” radio station, KQED, a supposedly progressive outlet, is funded by Walmart, McDonald’s, and the like. Does no one besides me notice that stories critical of big sponsoring corporations ARE NEVER AIRED?

    Apologies for being off-topic here.

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