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Coastal Commission needs more scrutiny in the wake of dubious firing

Coastal Commission needs more scrutiny in the wake of dubious firing

There's a bad smell seeping out of the California Coastal Commission, which voted 7-5 behind closed doors late Wednesday to fire Executive Director Charles Lester in direct repudiation of the huge number of environmentalists, local government officials, commission staff members and former commissioners who had supported him.

Why did Lester fall out of favor with some commissioners? His supporters contend that the commission has grown increasingly receptive to the entreaties of developers who want more freedom to build on California's coastline. And even after a day-long hearing Wednesday, which was held at Lester's request and drew an estimated 1,000 people from across the state,...

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