Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Voting to Improve California Beaches

I found the results for Prop D in San Diego to be of interest.
From KGTV 10 News:

Beach Alcohol Ban Close To Being Permanent
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego voters appear to have approved a permanent ban on alcohol at San Diego beaches and coastal parks.

With 46.5 percent of precincts counted, 57.6 percent, or 133,805 people, voted in favor of Proposition D, while 42.4 percent, or 98,497 voters, were opposed.

Proposition D makes the consumption of alcohol unlawful at all city beaches, Mission Bay Park and other coastal recreation areas.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents the beach areas, spearheaded a one-year trial ban on alcohol at San Diego's beaches and coastal parks following a Labor Day melee in Pacific Beach. More than a dozen people were arrested during the fracas for throwing beer cans at police clad in riot gear.

In response, the City Council enacted a temporary ban on alcohol at city beaches in November. The prohibition would have expired Jan. 14 if voters didn't adopt Proposition D.

Proponents of the ban argue it has made the beaches safer.

"Frankly, I think the people of San Diego have spoken that they want safe beaches, they want police in the neighborhoods and not babysitting drunks at the beach," Jim Lantry, with the group, told 10News at San Diego's Golden Hall.

His position was backed up by a recent police report that found alcohol-related crimes overall dropped this year in San Diego's beach areas following the implementation of the booze ban.

There were 3,438 alcohol-related citations given in 2007, compared to 2,855 so far this year, a decline of nearly 17 percent, according to a report presented to the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

Opponents argued that other factors contributed to a decline in crime in the beach areas, including a decrease in visitors.

They pledged to keep up the fight.

"The city has voted on this twice before, we have defeated this twice before," Jacob Pyle, with the group, told 10News. "So you know what if we loose this battle, and I don't think we will, we still have two more strikes to go."

Attempts to prohibit drinking at city beaches have failed twice in the past. There was a thwarted attempted to ban booze at the beach in 1991. In 2002, voters narrowly rejected a proposition to prohibit alcohol at the beach.

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