03 February 2008

City Zine Article #4

Surf Report: Must Everything In This State Be For Sale?

Perhaps this is all part of a modern-day Faustian drama. Our protagonist, a character with aspirations to rule a feudality whose laws prevent outsiders from becoming king, orchestrates a deal with the devil for both his soul and the souls of the people he currently governs. By the time President Arnold Schwarzenegger takes office in 2013, the citizens of California will all have gone to hell . . . in a handbasket personally delivered by then-Governor Schwarzenegger.

If the governor has his way, the California he extols in television ads will cease to exist before he leaves office (ostensibly to make a run for the White House). After years of neutrality on the issue of the extension of the Foothill-South Toll Road in Orange County, Governor Schwarzenegger recently expressed support for the measure. The fact that the extension would decimate San Onofre State Beach, which former Governor Ronald Reagan established in 1971, is of no concern to our current governor. He seems unable to hear the vociferous opposition from surfers, environmental activists, prominent Native American groups and the State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. What he did hear was the $100 million the Transportation Corridor Agencies group (TCA) is offering the state if the toll road extension is approved. With that, California became the “Show Me the Money” state.

San Onofre State Beach is a mecca for surfers of all persuasions, boasting breaks for both longboards and shortboards, the most notable of the latter being the well-known Trestles. Los Angeles area surfers, as do surfers from other areas around the state, eagerly plan pilgrimages to the numerous breaks within the state beach. Nature, in its honest-to-goodness natural state, exists there. The City of Angels paved over what was left of its nature years ago. Do the names Playa Vista and Malibu Colony ring a bell?

On Wednesday, February 6, the California Coastal Commission will convene a hearing at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on the application for the extension of the toll road. Should Governor Schwarzenegger decide to attend, his only hope for navigating through the many hundreds of surfers expected to attend is to mow them down with one of his beloved gas-guzzling Humvees. Once the governor announced his support for the toll road extension, the Surfrider Foundation began rallying the troops (as did other groups opposed to the extension). Jim Moriarty, the foundation’s CEO, pointed out that San Onofre State Beach is “the last clean watershed in Southern California.” Surfers from all over the state are prepared to fight the good fight to save the jewel that is San Onofre State Beach. Why would anyone, particularly someone who claims to love this state and its citizens, readily sell such a gem to the highest bidder?


At 2/3/08, 3:30 PM, Blogger Vanessa said...

I'm very happy to see your blog about the upcoming meeting. I'm planning on driving down early Wednesday morning. I feel compelled to speak up about this - we all have to show the coastal commission that trestles and san o are precious assets of the state. I'm hoping someone from the malibu/westside Surfrider Foundation will get back to me about carpooling. Either way, I'm going!

At 2/4/08, 8:41 AM, Blogger Drew said...

I hope to walk over to this (since I work across the street from the fairgrounds right on the coast highway). I sure hope it works!


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