Monday, November 26, 2012

The Five-Step Regulatory Guide to Converting a World-Class Beach Town into a Pile of Shit

The Five-Step Regulatory Guide to Converting a World-Class Beach Town into a Pile of Shit:
The white stuff ain't snowStep 1: Be a
lovely California seaside town
with gorgeous bluffs and rocks
that everybody (this author included) loves walking and sitting
Step 2: Ban people from walking and sitting on
the bluffside rocks, "partly because of safety concerns."
Step 3: Discover that when you remove the
presence of humans, those bluffside rocks swell up with sea gulls
and cormorants, and predictably begin to smell like
like shit
Step 4: Discover that hosing down the guano is
verboten because of state environmental
regulations, to the
extent that "multiple state regulatory agencies would have to issue
permits before the [cleaning] agents could be used, a process that
regulators have indicated would probably take at least two
That's what color the rocks used to beStep 5: Enjoy the smell of regulatory
success! As the New York Times describes it:
Everyone agrees that it is worst in the hot summer months. Even
on a cool November day, though, the smell was noticeable inside
ocean-facing rooms at local hotels and half a mile inland in the
commercial center. [...]
Ms. Long from Tennessee, covering her nose with a scarf as she
walked around the cove, said she would not eat at any of the
restaurants right on the water or stay in the hotels there (and
next time, she plans to park her car more strategically, away from
the rocks where the birds and seals congregate).
But don't worry, La Jolla's fate is in the trusty hands of
historically (and musically) illiterate environmental
"We need to consider a range of alternatives for cleaning the
rocks, and one of those could be no project, just sit and wait for
rain," said Kanani Brown, an analyst for the California Coastal
Commission, one of the regulatory agencies. "I know
that's not ideal for local businesses, but that's historically been
the approach."