Dixon puts Dog Beach in Jeopardy Once Again

As you all know, we’ve been advocates for Dog Beach for the more-than 18-months since Dixon initially attempted to get rid of it.  However, with your help, we secured a 7-0 vote from Newport’s Parks and Recreation and a 5-0 vote from the County of Orange to implement Dog Beach.  In addition to that– thanks to your public pressure, Diane Dixon actually wrote a letter in support of Dog Beach along with all 6 other council members.  However, a lot has changed since then, and Dog Beach has had a mystery person behind the scenes who has been attempting to stop us at ever corner.
Here’s the new lay of the land:

First, Dog Beach is NOT official yet.  The County required a second reading of the ordinance, but someone alerted the Coastal Commission, California Fish and Wildlife, and a whole schlew of other agencies and nonprofits.  These people– armed with horribly inaccurate information– came out to fight against Dog Beach.  As it turns out, though, once we got the opportunity to explain that this is NOT going to interfere with the Least Tern preserve and that not once in history has there ever been a documented “take” on the endangered birds by dogs, every single agency eventually backed down– except the Coastal Commission, who we have not had a chance to meet with, yet.

During this time, we rotated out councilmembers for new members– but all of those new members have already pledged their support for Dog Beach as well.

As everyone knows the area is safe, the signs warning of “DANGER ZONES” have gone largely discounted– but that is where tragedy struck.  Due to these signs being put in safe areas, some assumed that the signs themselves meant nothing anywhere, and because Dog Beach has not yet become official, warnings of where the danger zones actually were went unheeded.  This, tragically, led to the death of a dog named Rupert as he was pulled into a stormdrain in the area that is actually dangerous.  His owner said she saw the signs but ignored them because they meant nothing elsewhere– so why should they mean anything here?  This is the danger of not making dog beach official, and the price that a community member paid was the life of her dog.  I cannot say how horrible this is– this isn’t just for fun– we need to make this official for safety purposes.

So why has the city spent your taxpayer money to launch a new campaign against Dog Beach, putting no fewer than eight “flipboard” signs at the mouth of Dog Beach warning that “dogs are illegal on beaches”?  Why did the NBPD go on a Twitter Storm stating that dogs on the beach are not allowed?  Who contacted these agencies and gave them such horrible information that they are making nonsensical remarks and have held up the legitimizing of Dog Beach for over a year and a half now?

The answer to at least some– and potentially all– of those questions is just a single person: Diane Dixon.

Writing from her private and non-government email address, Dixon used the city seal and official city letterhead to pen emails to government agencies telling them that– despite supporting it in the past– she no longer supports Dog Beach, and that it is “dangerous”.  When we did a Public Document Request Act (basically the CA-version of the Freedom of Information Act), she said that she had no responsive documents– but that’s not what other government agencies said, and they gave us the documents.  This means either Dixon is illegally deleting her correspondence on these matters, or she is willfully violating CA Public Records law and refusing to hand over documents that she has in her possession.  These actions are in violation of multiple city policies and also in violation of state law, but there appears to be no actions which the council is going to take to remedy this.

In short: We have found the source of the problem here, and that’s where we will need your help, once again.  If you haven’t already, please sign the Dog Beach petition below and share this with your friends.  We will be figuring out a plan on how to deal with this persistent problem and threat to our four-legged friends, and I will be updating you both here and through email on how we can be most effective at making Dog Beach both official and safe.

SAVE DOG BEACH!

Do not ban off-leash dogs at dog beach!!! Regulars at Dog Beach know that off-leash dogs are not problematic. If, there are some which are, then address the problem dogs.
If there are problems with waste, address those who create those problems.

The public OVERWHELMINGLY supports keeping DOG BEACH a place for DOGS. Newport Beach has some of the longest coastline in Southern California and Dog Beach only accounts for roughly 100 yards. Let dogs have their small stretch of beach.

KEEP DOG BEACH THE WAY IT IS!

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About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport, owner of the software company Devion, the VP of Newport Beach's Republican Assembly, Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge, an outspoken taxpayer advocate, and a sworn alternate voter for the Orange County GOP. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at michael.glenn@devion.com