Yet here it is.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District, a state bureaucracy that is supposed to monitor bad air quality is pursing eliminating open burning year round at Los Angeles and Orange county beaches.
Most of these beaches have large firepits with the sole purpose of. . .having a bonfire at the beach.
The reason is because, and I would never have guessed this, health concern of beach goers. Because after all, burning firewood at a beach bonfire smoke is kind of unhealthy. You know?
Well here, let this dude, Sam Atwood, of the SCAQMD, explain it:
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that smoke is unhealthy and contains many harmful pollutants — some of which can cause cancer. And it doesn't take a costly scientific study to tell you that dozens of these fires in close proximity create very unhealthy levels of smoke for anyone near them, and for residents downwind."
OK Sammy, do you think that these firepits are literally inches apart? At most beaches that have them, they are quite far apart. And they are not all used at the same time if at all.
But Sammy, he just can't control himself and really thinks that eliminating a huge reason so many take in a beach in So Cal will not make a difference to most. Here he is again:
"This is not going to be the end of California's storied beach culture and history. This is to create a healthier experience for those who go to the beach."
Really, dude?! You really think that this does not got to the heart of a part of that beach culture and history?
This Sammy guy must be an East Coaster. Seriously.
You know what else can ruin a day at the beach, Sammy?
Hey, how about when a surfer has a wipe out and say tha board hits him on the head? What about a body boarder? How about someone just in the water and gets caught in rip current and can't swim with it? I mean, to take Sammy's first pearl of wisdom, smoke has harmful pollutants. Water can be dangerous even for the most experienced body boarder, surfer and swimmer.
This is why this "logic" is rather silly.
But really, you have to go further into the story to see what this is really about.
Newport Beach is a pretty upper-crust beach community. The type that you have north of million dollar homes practically on the beach. a public beach, that barely can fit a family of four. This community wants to remove all firepits from their precious beaches. Because some of the neighbors just can't hack the smoke from these bonfires.
Now understand, Ol' Sammy says it ain't cool for the Newport Beach city council to use them as a cover to remove the firepits. And the California Coastal Commission, which is usually overly draconian it it's pronouncements, is correct is this. That it would deny people a form of entertainment on public land.
In which these beachfront homeowners seem not to understand. The firepits were there before many of the homes were built.
The real issue is classism.
The beach people, they really don't want anyone on "their" beach. No, they do not want even the locals if they can help it. They want the bodyboarders, the surfers, pretty much anyone that they do not like to stay away. But most of all us people from the dreaded valleys, the San Fernando valley and the San Gabriel valley to stay the hell away. Take a look at the photo below.
Now look at that. What it looks like is a family of Black people enjoying a bonfire. In fact, it is. But it can be any race doing exactly the same thing. But while this photo is of a family at a Los Angeles county beach, it could very well be any beach anywhere in So Cal. The reason that I use the word classism and not racism is because it is what it is. Many of the beachfront homeowners are non-White. And quite a few are celebrities.
In California, there is always a battle between people that live on the beach and their property rights. However, the reality is that most of their homes are on public beaches. Thus there is always a battle of accommodation. And as I note, most of the time the Coastal Commission is way to far the other way.
But this seems to be a no brainer.
The firepits are on public beach land. And for all of us not just the few fortunate to be lucky to be in a beachfront home. The people looking for a way to get rid of them are beyond disingenuous. You can't want people to come into your town, spend their hard-earned cash and leave. Yet that is what they really want.
Hopefully the proponents of this will not prevail and a rite of passage in So Cal, the beach bonfire, will be saved.
But this is what happens when classists and environwhackos allign.