Friday night lights out

Come to think of it, darkness does have its advantages.

Anyone who thinks there’s a snowy plover’s chance in hell that the California Coastal Commission will support the cleanup of the Balloon Track property and ultimately allow a 313,500 square foot mixed-use development across the street from Humboldt Bay–we do love an optimist. Really. Dream big.

But before you go out and start spending all that money you would save on competitively priced building supplies, consider the recent Coastal Commission decision involving Malibu High School, which didn’t ask to build or sell anything and wanted only to continue using six temporary lights so the kids could play football at night.

School officials stipulated that they would use only lights equipped with visors that direct the light downward and minimize impact on the surrounding area. Additionally, they would use the lights no more than 16 nights a year–up to eight practices and eight games during the course of the football season.

The staff report supported the request, noting that the football field was more than 2,000 feet from the nearest coastal resource. There was no environmentally sensitive habitat area, or ESHA, in or around the impact area, and the impact itself was deemed “less than significant.”  The magnitude of the light did not exceed the effect of deep twilight past 150 feet from the football field and would produce no light effect off campus.

Staff considered the possibility that birds, none of which are endangered, might sometimes roost in a small stand of eucalyptus and black walnut trees to the east of the campus. However, they concluded, the light from the football field didn’t reach the trees.

Staff, including at least one scientist with a Ph.D., also investigated whether the lights might possibly confuse migrating birds, but determined that the elevation of the school and the height of the light effect was far below the altitude generally occupied by migratory birds.

In another section of the report, staff found the temporary lights compatible with the the scenic resources of the surrounding area, which included already a number of lights, including security lights, parking lot lights and numerous additional fixtures.

In sum, staff found no impact on ESHA or any bird or animal species, no impact on the “scenic resources,” as they’re called, and no inconsistency of use or appearance with the surrounding area.

One last hitch was the city’s Local Coastal Plan, or LCP, which included language preventing use of lights for private sports facilities, such as all those tennis courts rich folk in Malibu like to put in their backyards. But counsel confirmed that this clause did not apply to the public sporting facilities of schools.

What’s not to love, yes?

It was hard to tell, really, but that didn’t seem to stop the enviros from not loving it.

“Of all the irritating, outrageous and unacceptable project proposals that end up before you,” a Sierra Club rep began, “this one should really make you angry.”

And so it went. Speaker after speaker told the commission how the continued use of six lights 16 nights a year that experts said didn’t effect anything would, in fact, hasten the end of the world. The ocean would die. The polar bears would drown. Future generations would hear about California’s beautiful coast only in stories they would not dare to believe.

It the end, Honorable Chair Bonnie Neely asked whether it was even necessary to take a roll call vote.

It wasn’t. All ten commissioners, her honor included, voted no.

Note: If you have some free time and wish to spend it immersed in stupidity, watch the discussion for yourself here. Scroll down to item 12a and click on the film reel next to the permit number. The footage starts with the staff report.
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15 Responses

  1. They’re an obstructionist lot, to be sure. But I think Rob and the entire Security National family of companies is going to bring some hurt to the game. This is just the beginning.

  2. If there’s anything dumber than a political appointee, it’s ten political appointees sitting in the same room trying to save us all from ourselves. Throw in a couple of enviros, and you’ve got IQ slipping into negative numbers. I consider this a case in point.

  3. Exactly anonandon, that Rob’s strongsuit

    When’s the next mixer?

  4. Never count Rob out. Never.

  5. Yeah, when? I’d love to see Larry cry again.

  6. Oh call the Wa-mbulance. Somebody pushed me and I almost spilled my asparagus salad. Wa wa wa.

  7. Rob got atleast two good shots in last time.

    I predict Larry will be on his ass next time around.

    Let him have it Rob!

  8. Oh sure. The brave lawyer defenders of Arkleyville will vanquish the evil bureaucrats this time. Dream on. At least Humbug understands what’s in store — when push comes to shove the Marina Center EIR doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell in front of the Coastal Commission.

  9. Ah yes, friend, but the question remains whether the Coastal Commission stands a snowball’s chance in hell in front of Rob.

  10. I tell you one thing. Even a snowy plover wouldn’t fuck Bon Bon.

  11. Hellooooo! Weren’t you at the Cal PIne debacle? You know, the one that if you supported the City of Eureka CONSIDERING a proposal you were the enemy? Remember?
    Remember the ad against Cal Pine that features a nuclear explosion? And the poor woman with her child by her side who shook with the fear of the “explosions” that would ensue by having a natural gas terminal?
    Funny.
    There were an awful lot of loud voices out there against that too.
    Anything that resembles “good paying jobs” in Humboldt County is shot down. No wonder proposals that include Big Box stores are making inroads. People are tired of not working. Or working out of town.
    Let’s face it. With Paul Gallegos cutting deals with the great Tokyo Drifters and his pro pot mentality, the best paying jobs are going to be during “harvest time” and involve the word “clipping”.

  12. Yay!

  13. Not evil, just arbitrary. The Nollan’s beat you activist fuckers in court. Your time is coming again!! Keep protecting the kids from play football you bastards.

  14. Although I completely disagree with the obscene scare tactics used to vilify LNG, it is probably good that we didn’t set up some big ass natural gas depot. Seen the price of natural gas lately? The industry is putting out commercials like use more natural gas people, we got plenty.

    My biggest (and only) objection to the Cal Pine thing at the time was this thought that the price of natural gas was going to continue to rise and everyone in on the natural gas thing would eventually be rolling in ducats. This was touted at exactly the same time natural gas producers were horizontally drilling like hell and exploiting huge quantities of fresh natural gas on a scale that would supply us for 100 years. They acted like people were going to drive up the price by using exponentially more natural gas which was simply impossible.

    All that stuff about terrorists blowing up LNG ships, pirates jacking LNG, straight up plants blowing up and bigass exploding LNG clouds and shit… I can’t believe people believe this fantasy shit. Take a goddamned chemistry class. LNG is stored at relatively low pressure. If I went and busted an LNG tank (which are by law reinforced to the point that buckshot would just bounce off), the natural gas would come dribbling out and float away. Try doing that with a propane tank which we have thousands of around here… propane would coming flying out all over the place. Freaking people who majored in anthropology tryna tell us about flaming gas clouds, bullshit.

  15. I’ve been thinking alot about this. The Coastal Commission is absolutely out of control if they are doing things like this.

    …In sum, staff found no impact on ESHA or any bird or animal species, no impact on the “scenic resources,” as they’re called, and no inconsistency of use or appearance with the surrounding area….

    It the end, Honorable Chair Bonnie Neely asked whether it was even necessary to take a roll call vote.

    And voted against allowing LIGHTS.

    This is insanity. The people who are throwing around the term “flat-earthers” have it all wrong. What you are seeing here is akin to natives who believed an eclipse meant the end of the world.

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