Wednesday, November 24, 2010


California Coastal Commission Appointments Post-election but Pre-transition

Governor Schwarzenegger is warming up to make a couple California Coastal Commission appointments before leaving office in January. The soon-to-be open seats are for the North Coast District elected official (filled by outgoing elected Bonnie Neely) and the South Central Coast District (filled by Commissioner Achadjian who was elected to the state Assembly). Governor Schwarzenegger called for the list of candidates with no public announcement and little-to-no notice to interested candidates. For the South Central Coast, Pismo Beach's Mary Ann Reiss and San Luis Obispo's Bruce Gibson have been nominated. In the North Coast, District Supervisor Mark Lovelace and Arcata City Councilman Mark Wheetley appear to be the local possibilities for nomination.

According to the recent Times-Standard article, Governor-elect Jerry Brown is not expected to act on these Commission appointments or any new public appointments any time soon after taking office, opting to focus on the state's budget dilemma.

A current list of Coastal Commissioners can be found, with their voting scores in the 2009 CCC Voting Chart.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Los Angeles County Bans the Bag!

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to ban single-use plastic bags and put a 10 cent fee on single-use paper bags in the Los Angeles County area. The ban will specifically affect supermarkets and pharmacies in the County's unincorporated areas, which still affect over 1 million people. That makes this ban the largest municipal effort to date!

Julia Brownley, the author of the recently-failed statewide legislation (AB 1998), was on hand to give testimony as to why this bill is important for the environment, for our oceans, for the natural aesthetics of our neighborhoods, and for fiscally-responsible communities to avoid clean-up and litter abatement costs. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky echoed these comments, stating that it is time to "be part of the solution, not part of the pollution." He also thanked the County Counsel for their outstanding background work in analyzing the environmental and fiscal impacts of the ordinance. Both Yaroslavsky and Chairwoman Gloria Molina expressed the hope that the rest of the state of California will take notice of this bag ban and work to implement similar ordinances in their areas.

The final ordinance was approved by County Supervisors Molina, Yaroslavsky, and Ridley-Thomas with an objection by Antonovich. Supervisor Don Kanabe was absent, but was able to suggest a friendly-amendment to the bill to allow all reusable bags which can be cleaned or disinfected. This amendment was added to create more jobs in the LA area by reusable bag manufacturers. There was also an amendment to conform the wording of the bill to AB 1998 standards to protect from lead contamination, in addition to the Prop 65 standards which are already in place.

Overall, it was a good day for Surfrider activists in LA and California who work to Rise Above Plastics!

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