This week with warmer weather and impatient people who are tired of staying at home, South Laguna Beach (SoLag) was overrun with beach visitors. It’s only going to get busier this weekend. Because the County has closed its parking lots but NOT its beaches, we have hundreds and hundreds of cars piling into our neighborhoods, U-turning on the middle of Coast Highway (one big accident just a day ago), and people running across Coast Highway instead of walking to the stop lights or crosswalks for crossing. People are knocking down barriers, tearing down closure tape, and tramping through vegetation to find their way around the steel fencing closures in place.
First, let me be clear before you attack me and call me names: Laguna Beach loves its tourists.
I love our tourists.
We adore our visitors.
I adore our visitors.
But until the “all clear” signal is given, we really just want EVERYONE to be safe. This isn’t about us, this is about ALL of us working together so we can all get out of our damned homes and get back to some kind of semblance of “regular” life.
I get that people want to walk on the beach and breathe the fresh ocean air – who doesn’t? – I have no complaints about that freedom to get out and stretch your legs with “social distancing” in play. But that’s not what’s happening here in SoLag. People are setting up tents, umbrellas, chummy beach towels and flat out partying in big groups as we don’t even have lifeguards on site. (Photo above is West Street Beach yesterday at about 1:00 p.m.) While the Laguna Beach City beaches remain closed WITH $1,000 fines, the County has turned a deaf ear to closing the county beaches. Don’t blame our City officials – they have really tried. And don’t blame Lisa Bartlett as she’s been in favor of closing the county beaches all along. She rocks.
To add fuel to the fire, this morning’s OC Register simply reported that all of our county-run beaches are “open.” I think it’s particularly funny that the LA County’s public health director noted that LA residents shouldn’t come down HERE because they could “be exposed to the Corona Virus and bring it back home.” Nice!
The OC Register story by Laylan Connelly: Some of the [Laguna Beach] beaches farther south are county-run, such as Aliso Beach, and still open to the public. Other area beaches, including Doheny State Beach and county-operated beaches Salt Creek and Strands Beach in Dana Point, have remained open with access limited by closing parking lots. Newport and Huntington beaches remain open, but also have parking restrictions.
In Santa Monica, officials also warned people if they came out to the pier and beaches this weekend, police will be out in force. Los Angeles County’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, advised people not to get in their cars and drive to other counties, including Orange County, that might have some loosened restrictions along the coast, noting that people still could be exposed to the coronavirus and then bring it back home.
If you want to complain about beach, traffic or parking chaos, yes, you can write to City Council and tag them in your social media posts. Mayor Bob Whalen has, however, kindly provided the names and handles of the following OC Board of Supervisor personnel as this really is who needs to see the traffic, parking and beach chaos. Just post videos and photos and include their social media handle in your post and tag them. Please be KIND. They are humans, just like the rest of us.
Michelle Steel, Chair of the OC Board of Supervisors – Michelle.Steel@ocgov.com
Michelle Steel Twitter – TaxFighterSteel – https://twitter.com/TaxFighterSteel
Michelle Steel Facebook – TaxPayersAdvocate – https://www.facebook.com/taxpayersadvocate/
Michelle Steel Instagram – TaxFighterSteel – https://www.instagram.com/taxfightersteel/
Andrew Do, Vice Chair of the OC Board of Supervisors – Andrew.Do@ocgov.com
Andrew Do Twitter – JoinAndrewDo – https://twitter.com/joinandrewdo
Andrew Do Facebook – JoinAndrewDo – https://www.facebook.com/JoinAndrewDo/
Andrew Do Instagram – JoinAndrewDo – https://www.instagram.com/joinandrewdo/