California Roundup: Plastic Bags and Government Golf Cart Drivers Are Up; Illegal Immigration, Bad Surfers Are Down

* Bankrupt city to make sure every golf cart driver is a government employee: The City of Los Angeles, after spending seven years negotiating the golf cart concession for its seven!!! (7!!!) public courses, drops the private company and decides to get into the golf cart business itself. "I would recommend that someone put a bullet in their head before they try to get a contract with the city," jilted Ready Golf President Michael Bernback tells the L.A. Times' David Zahniser.

* California is objectively anti-turtle: State assembly throws out plastic bag ban AB1998.

* Survivors will envy the dead: First debate between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina happens tonight.

* Now who do we blame? Pew Hispanic Center reports illegal immigrant population is dropping sharply in California and the rest of the country. Full report [pdf].

* Public art and waveriding form: Cardiff-By-the Sea Botanical Society, noted earlier by Matt Welch, puts up a sculpture showing the "the joy, and awkwardness, of learning to surf," but locals focus on the awkwardness. Art vandals wage a campaign of détournement putting the "Cardiff Kook" in a tutu, a clown costume, and the mouth of a shark, to name a few. But do we hate the Kook's bad form or our own? "I'm sure I look like that," one of the pranksters tells the Wall Street Journal. "That's why everybody is so down on it. They like to think they don't look like that, but they do."

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  • Old Mexican||

    Survivors will envy the dead: First debate between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina happens tonight.

    "He would be proud of being here!"

    "That's condescending, senator!"

  • Old Mexican||

    Now who do we blame? Pew Hispanic Center reports illegal immigrant population is dropping sharply in California and the rest of the country.

    "A Day Without a Mexican"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8t8DCSP020

  • skr||

    anyone who has gone to home depot in la knows this already.

  • hee||

    Awesomeness.

  • Old Mexican||

    The City of Los Angeles, after spending seven years negotiating the golf cart concession for its seven!!! (7!!!) public courses, drops the private company and decides to get into the golf cart business itself.

    He made the golf carts arrive on time!

  • ||

    Yer on fire today, did you get a sneak peek at Machete?

  • Apologetic California||

    The Boxer v. Fiorina fight should be bitchy enough to grab my attention. I kinda want to hear the word 'cunt' fly out accidentally.

  • ||

    Or at least a hair joke.

  • Hacha Cha||

    Oh yeah and BY THE WAY the CA legislature passed SB 1449, which if signed by the governor will decriminalize marijuana possession of an ounce or less. This law would make the maximum penalty for possession of 1oz. or less a $100 fine.

  • Hacha Cha||

    California Legislature Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chro....._passes_ma

  • x,y||

    Where is John to tell us that libertarians should support freedom-loving Republicans?

  • skr||

    oh FFS, that was a ballot measure last time around and it got voted down because of the bs propaganda about a "drug dealers bill of rights". Glad to see there is some reason left in the legislature.

  • justj||

    The maximum penalty for possessing less that 8 oz of marijuana, if you went to a "doctor" to get a permission card, has been zilch for a few years now in CA. The "doctor" visit costs about $80. Look at SB 1449 again, from a different angle. What would be the purpose of the $100 fine?

  • ||

    "Now who do we blame?"

    A) The Muslims
    B) Teh Ghay
    C) Hollywood
    D) Bezerkley
    E) All of the Above

  • Almanian||

    I blame Bush

  • Barack Hussein Obama II ||

    So do I!!!

  • ||

    I blame ProL. Or maybe sage.

  • ||

    I'm ashamed of you for creating this needless and false dichotomy. Why not blame me and sage?

  • ||

    It's Warren's fault.

    Always has been, always will be.

  • ||

    My apologies.

    Technically, it was supposed to be a list of things BlownLacko types still have to use as red herrings, so I have an excuse--some of them don't know about Warren and everything he's responsible for.

    Still, I left the most obvious answer off the list, and there's only one person to blame for that...

    And that's Warren.

  • ||

    Yeah, I did it. Of course I'm also busy over at "Strange Bedfellows", a liberal Seattle echo chamber. It's kind of fun to stir the shit there.

    I'm also holding another Caption Contest. My entry:

    "Yes, with the GrassMask 2000 you can ingest your favorite herb AND be an irritant to riot police! Order yours now...so you don't forget!"

  • hee||

    I like it, I do.

  • ||

    Thanks for wrecking my morning, Sage... I hadn't read Bedfellows before, and am now coming to a greater realization of what a bunch of whiny assholes live here. Just last night, I parked my motorcycle on a wide section of sidewalk in an industrial part of Ballard, to leave more parking for other people. (And view of the bike was blocked by a big pickup truck.) I got a parking ticket that said "On complaint," which I'm guessing means that some jerk called in to get the ticket written. I've never seen a police car anywhere near there, otherwise.

  • Republican Sockpuppet||

    Mosque! Mosque!

  • ||

    The City of Los Angeles, after spending seven years negotiating the golf cart concession for its seven!!! (7!!!) public courses,

    Government has been cut to the bone. We'll have to raise taxes.

  • ||

    Squeezed by a continuing budget crisis, Los Angeles officials scaled back city services over the past year, reducing library hours, laying off child-care workers and taking steps to turn over several public parking garages to private companies.*

    But the golf courses remain open and off the market. If I were unfortunate enough to live there, I wouldn't allow LA to raise another penny in taxes until they get their priorities straight.

    * Good, but why not sell them?

  • ||

    A lot of them wouldn't be golf courses for long.

    There's one on Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach, right before you get to Rosecrans. ...right on the edge of El Segundo? That's some sweet infill right there.

    That wants to be mixed use residential and retail so bad, I can hear it calling to me in my dreams...

    "Ken...Ken...make me into something beautiful Ken!"

    Anyway, yeah, why don't they sell them? Ostensibly because poor people need tee-times too, I bet. The real reason is probably--that's the Parks and Recreation Department, dude! Government jobs! They never die AND they never fade away...

    They'll empty the jails first.

  • Corduroy||

    I'm still reminded of the Torrey Pines public course in San Diego. No reservations, extremely popular. People would camp out overnight or buy places in line for tee times. I never understood it. Part of the attraction of playing golf is getting the hell away from the crowd, not joining it.

  • ||

    I've played that course. I've stayed at the lodge...

    No reservations? We stayed at the lodge 'cause that was about the only way we could get reservations--actually, I remember one of the reasons we paid for the group lesson was so we could get a tee-time...

    Nicest City Course--on the planet!

    San Diego is a crappy representation of what other cities can do. Same thing with the stadium downtown--just 'cause it works in San Diego doesn't mean it'll work anywhere else.

    People in Hamilton up in Canada are pointing to San Diego for what can happen with a new stadium--no Hamilton!

    No Hamilton. Building a stadium like San Diego's will not transform your downtown into San Diego.

    Torrey Pines. Padres Stadium. Broken Clocks. Twice a Day. ...you do the math.

  • ||

    The golf course on Sepulveda is in the city of El Segundo. It's a municipal course owned by that city, which is far better run than L.A. I used to work less than a mile from that course, and El Segundo residents would vehemently oppose turning it into a residential or mixed-use development. Sepulveda Boulevard is already extremely crowded during rush hour - it's the main north-south route to LAX airport, as well as the most-used surface street alternative when the 405 freeway is jammed going to or from West L.A. (normally 6-8 hours every day). The retail development they built a few years ago just south of that golf course did enough to commute times as it is.

    Sometimes NIMBYism has a point.

  • ||

    One of the reasons traffic is so bad there is because Manhattan Beach hasn't widened the road there yet...

    It is astounding that Sepulveda narrows right there! I'm no traffic engineer--although I know a great one if you're looking? ...but the traffic is already so bad between Manhattan Beach and LAX, my bet is that putting some residential there probably wouldn't have as much of an impact as you might think.

    It certainly wouldn't be as bad as putting some office there--that's gonna generate a ton of traffic in and out. A little retail on the bottom floor? Probably not so much...

    Think of that center by the course where the Togo's? That's not really adding much to traffic. And from the residential side, most of the project would be mainly accessible from El Segundo Boulevard, which would make it even less of an impact.

    I'll tell you what--we'll put a dog park for the public in there for ya! How 'bout that? Just 'cause we want to be good partners with the community?

    There may be times in life when having a city owned golf course is a good idea? ...but now may not be one of those times. And, certainly, keeping a golf course because anything else would add to traffic isn't a good enough reason not to do anything. Surely something else should factor into that equation.

    Want to improve traffic? Widen Sepulveda as it goes into Manhattan Beach! Want to improve traffic? Make the stupid Green Line run to the airport! ...and connect it to somewhere on PCH or maybe Del Amo mall!

    If they could have thought of a worse place to put the Green Line in the South Bay? I don't know where that would have been.

  • ||

    A lot of them wouldn't be golf courses for long.
    You say that as if less water guzzling eco disasters that golf courses are would be a bad thing.

    I really don't give a flying fuck if poor people don't have a place to play polo golf.

  • ||

    All those minority kids in LA with nowhere to play golf?

    You insensitive bastard!

    Seriously though, people have no idea how far some of us will stretch to try and become the caricatures their opponents make them out to be. Yes, strapped cities really do justify owning courses so poor people can play golf. That's funny, but I haven't yet used the word that should really make everybody buckle over with laughter...

    "GreenSpace"

  • DRM||

    Thanks to the magic of zoning and deed covenants, you can guarantee they'll be golf courses forever.

    Or at least until the city changes its mind, condemns them as blight, seizes them under eminent domain, and hands them over to someone who promises to build on them.

  • skr||

    I had a friend that worked for parks and rec as IT support and he was appalled at the way they ran things. He said they viewed everything as their own little fiefdom.

  • Hugh Akston||

    But do we hate the Kook's bad form or our own? "I'm sure I look like that," one of the pranksters tells the Wall Street Journal. "That's why everybody is so down on it. They like to think they don't look like that, but they do."

    Now we see but through a sculpture darkly...

  • Corduroy||

    If it were intended to like your average beachgoer, the dude would be floating like Baron Harkonnen among the kelp looking for his next seal to eat.

  • ||

    Councilman Dennis Zine, who is on the council's budget committee, had similar worries about the proposal.

    "There are a number of questions," he said. "Is this a core service of the city?"

    That shouldn't be a question, you asshat. That should be a declarative statement that begins "This is NOT ..."

  • Corduroy||

    That would mean going on the record as making a declarative statement against something tangible and definite. Politicians don't do that unless bamboo is inserted under their fingernails.

  • Dennis Zine||

    Sorry, Dude. I'll rephrase.

    This is NOT a number of questions. Is this a core service of the city?

  • ||

    The plastic bags will not be oppressed! Freeeeeedoooooom!!

    The only time I don't fear my CA legislature, is when they fail to act. Thanks Sacramento. Now go on a god dammed vacation, Please, for a couple years.

  • MNG||

    The plastic bag ban is one of the dumbest things I've seen liberals embrace since gun buybacks. Jesus Christ.

  • Hockey Guy||

    Or the banning of paper bags that started the use of plastic bags. These enviro types can't get their poop in a group.

  • ||

    It is funny how saving trees was once a cause celebre and now burning trees for energy is supposed to be the solution.

    They used to make fun of people who pointed out that trees grow back--now they're hyping trees as an energy source. ...'cause trees grow back!

  • skr||

    better not clear cut those trees though, cause that's ugly.

  • ||

    What about Palin Obsession Syndrome?

  • Row vs Wade||

    dohohoho. So glad to see this idiocy crash and burn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UoKoaTBjPs

  • Oscar Gamble||

    They think it don't be like it is, but it do.

  • justj||

    Was "Plastic Bags" a reference to Boxer and Fiorina or turtle wellness?

  • ||

    Plastic bags are a problem. I don't think we should minimize that.

    And it isn't the turtles so much as the sea floor, the seals, the birds, and apparently, the plastic in the ocean is becoming a significant problem. The plastic breaks down, I understand, into small pieces and--unlike in a land fill--it never goes away. It just floats around in the ocean like a permanent problem.

    The oil spill in the gulf was bad, but eventually, it will sink or dissipate. All the plastic that washes into the ocean from Los Angeles, day in day out? That plastic never goes away. It just accumulates.

    When you're walking past a storm drain in Hermosa Beach out on PCH or something, and you see that the city has stenciled "Drains to Ocean" on it, it makes you think. All the crap that comes down the curb really does flush out into the ocean...

    I've seen dolphins while I was swimming out there dozens of times. I've caught white sea bass, people catch red snapper and stuff right off Palos Verdes. Sometimes you have to compete with the seals out there for your catch, and all that's a pretty cool thing to lose...

    Just 'cause some a-hole wants plastic rather than paper. I guess this is a libertarian kind of view for me--for me? We can start talking about how various taxes are okay just as soon as they start penalizing the fuck out of people for litter and pollution.

    It's kind of an old Locals Only surfer custom to decorate people's cars with the trash you see them drop or leave behind--usually right in front of them. Maybe the law doesn't need to get involved, but I'd have no problem starting something like that directed at supermarkets...

    Use plastic bags if you want to, but if volunteers start finding bags from your grocery store on the street or on the beach? Don't be surprised if volunteers start collecting them and dumping them in the middle of your grocery store--the irresponsible fucks.

  • PantsFan||

    What if the universe wanted plastic?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRquiS1pis

  • ||

    The Republicans are so funny, when the economy is good you say let’s all celebrate “Cinco de Mayo, my brothers” but when the economy is down “it’s all your fault, you damn immigrant”. When most Americans (with Latin America roots) go to the polls this November we will remember that the GOP has gone on a nationwide rant in proposing and passing several anti-immigration legislation (that our US Courts continue to strike down) and have continue to blame the immigrant for the flat economy or worse. We will remember who stands with us and who stands against us, so trying to stop it now is somewhat funny, but go ahead, you will not change our minds. Plus the more radical of the GOP are now attacking our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, in a misguided attempt to garner some much needed votes, they really are fools, and leading the GOP towards obscurity because they are no longer a party of ideas, just of empty suits. Your hate made you do it, in November; you will reap what you have sown. I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say about todays GOP, he unlike the current GOP was a man of ideas.

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