Archive for the ‘Santa Monica’ Tag

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Be Beautiful … But Not Here   1 comment

Palisades ParkI’ve had trouble relating to Santa Monica.  When Governor Moonbeam ran the state (oh wait, he does again), Santa Monica was known as the People’s Republic of Santa Monica for their “progressive policies.”  This was back in the 80s.

Here's the million dollar view ... actually, a $5 million view ... unsullied by sweaty bodies in leotards.

Here’s the million dollar view … actually, a $5 million view … unsullied by sweaty bodies in leotards.

A few weeks ago, I reported on their problem with nativity displays — and atheistic displays — in public parks.  They kicked that can down the road by outlawing all displays in 2012, and will resolve the issue for 2013.  They say.

Now they have another problem with displays in Palisades Park, which is a lovely ocean front strip of green.  420 acres.  Seems that it’s being used by (gasp) people exercising together.

Greeting the morning sun with a view of the sparkling Pacific … sounds pretty good right?

It should.  If you want to buy a condo overlooking Palisades Park, you can pay $5 million or more.  And, apparently, if you’re spending that kind of money then you must feel some sort of entitlement that the common people shouldn’t be over-running (I kill me sometimes) the public park that you live next to.

So the property owners are agitating to get the exercisers out of the park.  The city government is  considering outlawing the practice, or perhaps just taxing it to death.  More control seems to be in the offing, with a decision expected in the next few weeks.

The city administrators seem to understand that they have gotten themselves into the curious position of potentially outlawing exercise in a public space … and haven’t they heard that exercise is good for the public’s health?  Here’s the quote that ran in the LA Times:

“We’re very committed to having people be active and healthy and having really wonderful public spaces that encourage people to do that,” said Julie Rusk, Santa Monica’s assistant director of community and cultural services. “We are really trying to strike the right middle ground.”

Given how well that worked out for them with the public displays around Christmas, I’m not holding my breath on this one.


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Posted January 11, 2013 by henrymowry in California

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Santa Monica Promenade   2 comments

Santa Monica Pier   Leave a comment

Nudity, Jesus and Public Displays   3 comments

What’s a city?

It’s a place where people gather.  By living closely to each other, we derive benefits such as better education for our children, easier access to healthcare and a  broader array of food sources.  We get 24/7 grocery stores, movie multi-plexes and a Starbucks on every corner.

A city provides public spaces for the public good, such as parks.  And now we get to the problem of the day.

The Santa Monica nativity spaces were next to a sidewalk, but kept inside a chain link enclosure.

Yesterday, a judge in Santa Monica ruled that the city of Santa Monica has the right to not allow nativity scenes in public parks.  This really blew up last year, when a group of determined atheists decided it was time to end the domination of Christian displays in Santa Monica’s Pallisades Park during the Christmas season.  The atheists were apparently tired of the tradition that began in 1953: nativity scenes were faithfully put up by a group of Santa Monica churches every year.

The atheists banded together and pressured the town council to give them a chance to display their alternate message in that same public park … and eventually the city decided to hold a lottery to see who would get the 21 spaces in 2011.  The final lottery score:  Christians 2, Jews 1 and atheists 18.

This year, the city decided that they didn’t want to play any more, so they passed an ordinance that the public spaces would not be used for any displays.  The Santa Monica churches sued, the court held for the city, and in 2012 there will apparently be no Santa Monica parks with static Christian, atheistic or Jewish displays.

I’m actually OK with this.  I am a Christian, and I deplore the tactics of the atheists that decided that their philosophy should hold sway over a long-standing, international tradition.  However, I agree that the Christians in this case should not be given undue benefit or advantage by the city.  But couldn’t the atheists have done their public displays in January?  Why did they need to destroy the status quo in order to be satisfied?

They won the votes, however, the city got the judge to agree, and that’s where we stand.  No public park space to be appropriated for religious, or un-religious displays.  Well, OK, then.

Now we go to San Francisco, where the city lawmakers are voting today about whether they should allow unrestricted public nudity.  The law in question does allow special event nudity, mind you. There’s apparently some traditional clothing-optional events in the Bay Area … and the city leaders wouldn’t want to lose those, apparently.  The proposed law even allows some semi-public nudity, where people have to erect (sorry) visual barriers between their bodies and the general public.  Well, OK, then.

However, some residents want the right to, uh, strut their stuff any day, every way.  They don’t want their desire to expose their flesh to be limited, “like in the Dark Ages.”

The city lawmakers seem to disagree, however, and think there should be some limits to the pubic displays (sorry again).  We’ll see how the vote turns out.

Who controls the city?  The people, through their elected government.  We are a nation of laws, and your elected officials actually make decisions about what laws to create, and what laws to end.  Sometimes your votes really do matter.

In Santa Monica, a very vocal minority derailed a 58-year old tradition of placing nativity scenes in a public park because they simply didn’t want them there.  They got the votes, and that’s the way it will be in 2012.

In San Francisco, a very vocal minority wants to increase their public exposure, but in this case it appears they do not have the votes.  We’ll see later today.

Or, hopefully, we won’t.

UPDATE November 20:  As expected, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted today to ban public nudity in most circumstances.  Special event nudity is still allowed.  Here’s the LA Times story.