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Surfing Soapbox: Don’t close off city’s best tourist attraction

Eighty percent? Councilwoman Toni Iseman stated at the Blue Ribbon Task Force hearing that 80% of the population in Laguna Beach was in favor of full closure of the coastline off Laguna Beach to fishing.

Toni, please.

Where are you coming up with these facts? From our sister city in France?

Certainly not from the sea lions, who you want to neuter before releasing back into the ocean after they’ve been nursed back to health. I can’t even remember the last time I saw Iseman on the beach. Oh yeah, never. I have to wonder how many people in this town and otherwise would really want our coastline closed for one’s enjoyment?

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How many jobs would it cost us, and how much good would it really do? Sure, place our Laguna beaches under a bulletproof piece of glass like Stonehenge. Have armed guards at every beach. But I’ve still got two words for you — Aliso Creek. And two more — urban runoff. Litter and pollution, when did we decide it was easier to ban everything instead of teaching? Teaching our younger generations the importance of caring for our beaches and oceans? Not littering but picking up litter? Taking ownership over the things that we love?

We can’t keep taking away the playgrounds of the world. Our beaches offer hope, dreams and good old-fashioned family experiences, and the last time I checked they were our biggest tourist attraction in Laguna Beach.

What we need is a City Council that gets its priorities in order. Beginning with proper regulation of our beaches and ocean and not banning those who care the most about our beaches from using them. The very people who don’t pollute but pick up the litter. The very people who on a daily basis abide by the laws not because they have to but because they love to.

Peace.

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JAMES PRIBRAM can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com


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