California

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

Step 1: Be a lovely California seaside town with gorgeous bluffs and rocks that everybody (this author included) loves walking and sitting on.

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The white stuff ain't snow

Step 1: Be a lovely California seaside town with gorgeous bluffs and rocks that everybody (this author included) loves walking and sitting on.

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 years."

That's what color the rocks used to be

Step 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 regulators!

"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."