Posts Tagged: coastal
California's Highway 1 in Marin County. (Photo: Constantine Kulikovsky)
FIELD POLL: Californians are taking a more positive view of the direction of the state than then did four years ago when near record proportions (80%) felt the state was seriously off on the wrong track. However, views about California’s overall direction vary considerably depending on where a voter lives and his or her party registration.
A stealth move to rewrite state law to allow the newly elected Long Beach mayor to hold a seat on the California Coastal Commission has emerged in the final days of the legislative session.
An oil-drilling platform off California's southern coast. (Photo: Theo Fitzhugh)
OPINION: The California legislature passed the Coastal Sanctuary Act, which banned offshore drilling in state waters in most of the state. But the way the Act was drafted, it created a loophole that makes it possible to start new offshore drilling in one place only in California: Tranquillion Ridge in Santa Barbara County.
A drought-stricken farm in Central California. (Photo: Johnny Habell)
As California suffers through its third-driest year on record, the effects of the drought are hitting home in some of the nation’s richest farmland. The state’s $37.5 billion-a-year agricultural yield represents about 12 percent of the nation’s total. Agriculture uses about about 80 percent of the state’s water.
The state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: AMadScientist, via Wikimedia)
FIELD POLL: Slightly more voters believe California is generally on the wrong track (46%) than say it is moving in the right direction (41%). In addition, more voters disapprove (47%) than approve (35%) of the job performance of the state legislature. Opinions about both matters are directly related to the party registration of voters. Democrats offer a much more optimistic assessment of the direction of the state and hold more positive views of the job the state legislature is doing than Republicans.
The bicycling competition at Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Photo: Rodolfo Arpia)
For years, the California Coastal Commission has sought the power to impose fines on people who violate the state’s coastal protection laws. But the high-profile efforts – at least three times in five years — were defeated in the Capitol by business interests, developers and property rights activists, among others. But beginning July 1, in what environmentalists described as a “sea change,” the Coastal Commission will have the authority to fine property owners who block the public’s access to beaches.
The California coast along Redwood National Park, north Humboldt County, (Photo: Don Forthuber, redwoods.info)
OPINION: It’s been a year since I resigned from the California Coastal Commission, and it’s time to tell a few stories of what I learned as a Coastal Commissioner. Each and every month I learned that not everything was how it seemed. My first lesson was learning that developers love farmers.
For the third time in five years, California lawmakers have rejected an attempt to give the California Coastal Commission, which has jurisdiction over 1,100 miles of coastline, authority to impose fines on those who violate coastal protection laws. Opponents of the plan were led by business, farm, petroleum and construction interests, and the measure failed after Assembly Democrats who backed it earlier withdrew their support.
Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was viewed as a strong environmental voice on the California Coastal Commission, has resigned his position, saying that the commission’s role was weakened by the death of long-time executive director Peter Douglas, and other factors.
Blank, who was appointed in 2007 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and later