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A Family Affair

Arnold

Marreeea. Baad newz...

Maria

Another booty grabbing story!?

Arnold

Worse. I must terminate your brother Bobby.

Maria

Why Arnie?

Arnold

He is a puny Councilman from Santa Monica - and he advocates against me! My own brother-in-law! I need him with me on der Toll Road! Itz a moneey saver for Caleeeefornia!

Maria

This is about Clint, isn't it?

Arnold takes this lightly, smiles and rises... he moves behind Maria and wraps her in his most tender Conan embrace. She loves it when he does this.

Arnold

I have no problem with Eastwood - he's just a movie star and a mayor! Of course he will vote to save waves and Trestles and surfers and Eddie Vedder's friends. I love the guy, I trust him - so what if he has final script approval over The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Terminator .

Maria

Let it go Arnie, it doesn't matter if the Terminator is killed by the Gunfighter - it's going to be huge either way.

Arnold

Exactly! You can't kill the Terminator if he can't die!... Eastwood & will also be terminated from the Parks Board. I am the Governator!

Maria

But you're not the Decider.

Maria suddenly rises in a squat thrust and lickety split - she has Arnold slung over her shoulder, swatted across the tush and carried off stage. He gives a Kindergarten Cop smile as he goes....

This tantalizing first scene is, of course, from a previous season. The current & 241 Toll Road/Trestles Saga has reached a new turning point. A federally sponsored public hearing has been cancelled. &

Last January, the Toll Corridor Authority (TCA) received an 8-2 spanking at the hands of the California Coastal Commission (CCC). & Schwarzenegger and the TCA were denied a proposed extension of Orange County's Toll Road 241 through the San Onofre State Beach and campground. The decision looked to be a reprieve for the San Onofre - as well as SoCal's most sacred and rippable wave, Trestles. Not to mention Old Man's.

But the TCA is not a lie down and die sort of outfit. Lobbyists on their behalf worked hard to convince a still unidentified, phantom member of the U.S. Congress to slip in a bit of legislation that allows the TCA to circumvent certain state regulations (and get their road). State Senator Christine Kehoe (go District 39!) rode in hard and fast on this one - alerting Boxer and Feinstein to this nonsense, she enabled them to stamp out this TCA bill stuffing chicanery. Still, the TCA has not tapped out yet.

The TCA is currently appealing their case to the Department of Commerce. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez has the authority to overrule the CCC Trestles decision; if found to conflict with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 .

The Department of Commerce scheduled a public hearing on the matter for July 25 at the University of California, Irvine. Among the thousands who showed up at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the CCC's January public hearing , were surfers and, "mustachioed" Labor Union muscle. Irvine was clearly not looking forward to hosting another "Surfer's Woodstock" on campus. The University rescinded its space available offer.

The Department of Commerce has announced no new date and suggested a reluctance to bear the burden of a large public meeting. A Los Angeles Times Op-Ed and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer suggested this is a mistake, the public should be heard. More than ready for a thousands strong turnout; the Del Mar Fairgrounds announced their availability in early September. &

There is a dangerous precedent at stake. If the public is muffled and the TCA wins some kind of Hail Mary ruling by a Bush controlled Commerce Department, California will lose its inherent right to play "Decider" over its own lands. &

Gov. Schwarzenegger's public advocacy of the Toll Road is debatable on merit, but encouraging a federal leap over our CCC is bad governing. Californians Clint Eastwood and Bobby Shriver are right to save Trestles. Determining the future of California's wilds and coasts should be left to the people who live in, near and enjoy these lands - and not to phantom congressmen ready to bargain away our treasure.

Save Trestles and keep the fight in California.

- Citizen Voices blogger Chris McConnell is a bookseller, freelance writer, & former & high school & English teacher & and odd jobber who lives in La Jolla.

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