As we glide into the Fourth of July, we will soon be immersed in some ol’ American traditions: protests, fireworks and marshmallow fights. And in OB, all of these are truly accentuated – here, let me explain.
Take the fireworks for instance. Well, they were almost “taken” – remember the legal challenges to neighborhood and downtown fireworks by a local environmental group?
Almost Illegal Fireworks
July 4th fireworks in OB and in other coastal towns were threatened when the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundations sued La Jolla for its fireworks permits. The group believes that fireworks need to be reviewed under the stringent California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as they threaten the wildlife, marine environment and do other harm. One of the managers of the group is Marco Gonzalez – a well known San Diego County environmentalist – and brother of newly elected State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales.
But a potential compromise is in the works that would exempt such one-time a year events from CEQA. It’s a new bill that directs the governor to put together clear guidelines for temporary, minor-use special events being exempt from state law requiring often expensive, environmental assessments as a condition of some local permits.
We were never quite clear why the lawsuit proceeded against the community of La Jolla for its once-a-year event when the daily fireworks displays that SeaWorld puts on during the Summer months were not addressed. SeaWorld’s fireworks do much more harm and damage than La Jolla’s or OB’s for that matter. At any rate, the Fourth Fireworks will go on.
Yes, the protest is not in OB, but OBceans will be attending. It’s a rally and march that begins at the fountain in Balboa Park calling to Restore the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and a protest of the government surveillance and spying on citizens.
Restore the Fourth organizers say they are developing “a grassroots, non-partisan, non-violent movement that seeks to organize and assemble nationwide protests on July 4th, 2013.”
Protests in over 100 cities across America have been planned. All will demand demand an end to the unconstitutional surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government and to ensure that all future government surveillance is constitutional, limited, and clearly defined. They also will demand that the government adhere to its constitutionally dictated limits and respect the Fourth Amendment, which clearly protects all citizens’ assets, both digital and physical, against searches and seizures without warrant.
Here are their demands – which most OBceans I think can get behind:
1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.
What’s a Fourth of July celebrating our rights without a protest against those rights being taken away. Get over to Balboa Park. The rally and march should be over by 1 pm, with plenty of time to get back to the beach for the celebrations and the marshmallow wars.
Outta Control Marshmallow Wars?
Has OB’s infamous marshmallow fight gone beyond the limits? Do you know who started the very first one? What can we say – as it’s all been said before. Here’s a series of reports, stories and posts from years past about our fascination with those round, soft and gooey clumps of sugar.
Who Started the First OB Marshmallow Fight?
Polls show most want to keep OB’s Marshmallow Fight – but many want some kind of controls placed on the event
Infamous Ocean Beach marshmallow fight expands onto Newport and at vehicles. (2011)
A Call for Moderation During OB’s “Marshmallow Wars” on July 4th (2012)
Field of View: A Marshmallow Fight on the Fourth of July (a photo gallery – 2012)