Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let the Seals Stay

This La Jolla thing has been batty from the start, so let me make the point that it hurts San Diego more to get rid of the seals than to let them have the Children’s Pool.

There are valid health reasons for getting rid of them but the truth is that the seals can make better use of this beach than we can. They birth and we swim. They seek shelter and we abandon the place at nightfall.

The climate is changing and so must we. As such, we should address other issues (deficits, crumbling infrastructure, etc. ) and leave the seals be.

As a friend of mine noted, in Monterey and Carmel there are million dollar homes on the beach next to Sea Lions who spend about 3-4 months a year having sex and birthing. No one there would dream of calling for their removal. You swim and surf at your own risk but that risk is implicit in doing so there.

And seals are quieter and cuter than Sea Lions.

I’m not anyone of influence but I don’t think San Diego wants to be known as the place where seals are not welcome and happy happens. That leads to bad jokes on late night TV. What San Diegans should do is bust out the seal merchandise and set up shop.

San Juan Capistrano has swallows. We can have seals.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Say NO to New Offshore Drilling

From the CDP:

As you may have heard, legislative leaders and the governor have reached a tentative budget deal that the Senate and Assembly could vote on as soon as tomorrow.

One part of the package is a Republican-written bill that would allow offshore drilling in state-controlled waters off California’s coast for the first time since the devastating 1969 oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast. This proposal is an affront to all Californians and we must urge lawmakers to vote it down.

* This sweetheart deal for one oil company was negotiated behind closed doors, without any legislative hearings to allow public comment.

* It strips the State Lands Commission – which has approved or rejected oil leases for the past 150 years – of this power and gives it to a commission controlled by the governor’s administration. This commission would have unlimited authority to rewrite the lease to benefit the oil company.

* The offshore drilling plan does not solve either this year’s budget problems or systemic problems. That’s because its promises of future revenue are not actually written into law.

This Republican offshore drilling scheme endangers California’s environment. It would further pad the pockets of oil executives. And it does virtually nothing to solve the state’s current or future budget problems.

Ironically, the same Republican legislators who support this sweetheart deal are the ones who refused to vote for our Democratic leaders’ proposal for an oil-severance tax like the one levied in every other oil-producing state.

Please call your local lawmaker and urge him or her to say NO to new offshore drilling. Say NO to jeopardizing our coastline for minimal budget help this year or in the future.

Please call them today to protect California’s coastline. Tell them to vote against allowing new offshore oil drilling.

This scheme reminds us again why it’s so important to have a majority-vote budget in California so Republicans cannot hijack the budget process to make bad policy changes that are extraneous to the state budget.

Peace and friendship,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kehoe issues statement on judge's order to disperse La Jolla seals

From a press release dated today:

SAN DIEGO – SAN DIEGO – Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) issued the following statement today after Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann ordered the City of San Diego to begin dispersing the seals from The Children's Pool beach in La Jolla within 72 hours:

“I appreciate the urgency of this matter and have asked Governor Schwarzenegger to immediately sign my legislation, SB 428, which would give the City discretion on whether the seals stay. Judge Hofman’s order appears to be a hasty move, given that my legislation needs only the Governor’s signature to resolve this 16-year problem. The City has already spent over $1 million in legal fees, and the Judge should take into account the Legislature’s strong bipartisan effort to spare the City from spending an additional $700,000 to immediately remove the seals.”