LOCAL CALIFORNIA

California's 1,100 miles of coastline is a glorious global destination because generations have fought to protect it. But property owners are still locking out the public and bulldozers are still revving up to tear into open space. Times columnist Steve Lopez and photographer Allen Schaben are on a road trip from Oregon to Mexico to explore beaches, wetlands, wave-pounded coves, rocky cliffs and the characters who thrive in this iconic realm.

How well have we preserved this resource? Where have we failed? What risks remain? Let us know what you think.

See more photos from the road trip.


Profiles in courage: Legislators soften Coastal Commission reform, leave no fingerprints

A perfectly sensible bill to clean up the way California coastal commissioners do business has been getting the waterboard treatment.

First, Santa Barbara Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson's SB 1190 was submerged by a ludicrous report claiming it would cost too much money to prohibit private conversations between developers and commissioners.

Then it was tossed overboard and dragged like chum.

Then on Thursday, legislators pulled SB 1190 back into the boat so badly decomposed it's barely recognizable.

As my colleague Dan Weikel reports at latimes.com, five amendments gutted the good intentions. The most egregious one allows commissioners to meet privately with developers during on-site visits.

This comes just weeks after reports that Coastal Commission Chairman Steve Kinsey met twice with developers of the massive Newport Banning Ranch development and failed to properly report those confabs.

Environmental groups, however, would not be able to have such meetings in the bill's current form.

On my best day, I could not have come up with a more Alice in Wonderland outcome.

Details were still  emerging, and it wasn't clear which legislators were responsible for the hatchet job, or whether they caved in to political, development or union pressure, or all three.

No fingerprints on the body, in other words.

Three environmentalists I checked with were livid, and understandably so.

Stay tuned for updates on the autopsy, and don't stop letting @JerryBrownGov know how you feel about what's happening to coastal  preservation on his watch. #SaveYourCoast

 

 

 

 

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