CALIFORNIA: OCEAN STILL BELONGS TO EVERYONE
If you’ve ever driven down Highway 1 from SFO toward Monterey, you’ve driven by Half Moon Bay. And past Martin’s Beach, which is just south of Half Moon and doesn’t belong to anyone named Martin, or to Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla, even though he posted signs on his property closing the road to Martin’s Beach. In 2012 five San Mateo County surfers crossed Khosla’s land to access the public beach. They were cited by the sheriff and fought the case and yesterday the county court threw out the charge of trespassing against the surfers, saying that everyone has the right to the ocean, to surf, fish, walk the beach, or build sand castles. It’s a California state law that protects this right, and the Surfrider Foundation says it demonstrates that, not just in California, but in the United States as a whole the ocean and the beach that buffers it is a natural resource owned by all Americans. At least for the moment, that’s true in California. Via Marin Independent Journal.
ASPEN TO LEGALIZE COMMONSENSE CYCLING
Pull up to a stop sign in your car and if no other car’s at the intersection do you come to a complete, hard stop? Nope. Even though it’s not legal, the “rolling stop” is the norm. And in Idaho, on a bicycle, a rolling stop is actually the law. 30 years ago Spudville passed a yield-as-stop-law, citing common sense: on a bicycle momentum is hard-won, and stopping at a sign when a bike has the right of way, or when there aren’t any cars to pose a danger, is just plain silly. Now Aspen is considering the same statute as town leaders look for easy ways to encourage cycling. Naturally, as is the case in Idaho, a cyclist who doesn’t have the right of way will stop, just like always. And, yes: Why isn’t this the law everywhere? Via Aspen Times.
HIGH-SPEED QUAD DATING, JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINE’S
Black Mountain, in New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington Valley, is once again running a clever take on hooking up for the heart holiday. Its double chairlift has a speed-dating day for Valentine’s (observed two days after, on the 16th of February). The program is simple: Get in the “singles” line (wink) and ride the lift. If your uphill ride goes well you probably know what to do next, and if not, get back in line and try again. This is the fourth year in a row that Black Mountain’s run the “service,” so it must be working. But this is buttoned-up New Hampshire, so there’s not much kissing and telling. Via WMUR.
NUKE OPERATOR IGNORED SAFETY RISKS
The San Onofre nuclear generating plant sits just south of the birthplace of California surfing, where groms still learn and longboards still rule. On sunny mornings, SUP riders, segregated to the south of paddle surfers, literally play in the shadows of the cooling towers. The plant, however, has been idled since a leak of radioactive steam more than a year ago, and yesterday California Senator Barbara Boxer accused the plant’s owners and equipment makers of ignoring “serious problems” with steam generators and installing them anyway — the same issues that led to the radioactive leak. The reason? The cost of fixing the generators and the hassle, cost, and time of having to get new federal licensing for the upgrades. Southern California Edison wants to restart the plant, but a coalition of nearby surf towns and residents is arguing it should be mothballed forever. Via LA Times.