The New York Times, generally speaking, may be positively disposed toward nanny-state regulations of the type that make Reason readers howl, but when it comes to California, the Paper of Record has been snorting with (deserved!) derision about the Golden State's regulatory march toward killing the wide-open lifestyle for which it was long famous. The latest installment in an ongoing series: "Is 'No Fun' Sign Next? California Beach Bonfires May Be Doused." Excerpt:
[T]hese days, a blizzard of restrictions — on everything from dogs to playing horseshoes — is being imposed on beach activities up and down the coast, turning beaches into sanitized zones that longtime beachgoers say barely resemble the freewheeling places they once knew.
Smoking is banned at many beaches across the state. On San Diego beaches, playing ball or tossing a Frisbee has been outlawed. Alcohol is no longer allowed on the sand in Huntington Beach. Even surfing is restricted to designated areas here, though this is "Surf City."
And the next thing to go could be the fire pits — concrete rings designed to contain bonfires — which for many people are enduring features of a free, outdoor California lifestyle.
No one wants to hear Grandpa moan about the good old days, but having grown up warming my cockles around the fire pits of Huntington Beach, this stuff just bogues my high.
Related beach shenanigans: