Should California Head to the Beach?

Does this lens make me look fat?Mindy Schauer/Orange County Register via ZUMA

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Los Angeles closed its beaches last weekend, so instead people flocked south to Orange County beaches and north to Ventura County Beaches. This made our governor mad:

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off,” Newsom said during his daily COVID-19 briefing in Sacramento. “The only thing that will set us back is people stopping to practice physical distancing and appropriate social distancing. That’s the only thing that’s going to slow down our ability to reopen this economy.”

So he’s considering a statewide beach closure. LA Times columnist George Skelton is not happy about that:

Going to the beach is our birthright as native Californians — and our promise to newcomers. It’s our gift from the Creator — a trade-off for all the quakes, wildfires, mudslides and smog….And forget about wearing masks on the beach. One of the ocean’s appeals is breathing in that salt air drifting in on a soft breeze.

My parents left Oklahoma and Tennessee in the 1920s searching for the California Dream. They met at a Ventura beach party. I practically grew up on beaches between Ventura and Santa Barbara — Hollywood Beach, the Rincon, Carpinteria, East Beach — while sheltering in Ojai.

Fighting over beaches is the most California thing ever, right up there with the way we now treat the marijuana industry with the same seriousness that the Wall Street Journal gives to banks and hedge funds. But Newsom better act fast if he’s going to act at all: the weekend weather forecast looks pretty awesome right now.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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