Your Belated Christmas Gift from SaveNewport: Dog Beach is Nearly Won
Many of you have followed the attempts to shut down Dog Beach and the ensuing saga caused by Councilwoman Diane Dixon (who is currently running for Assembly– vote for her opponent, please!) when she tried to decommission Newport’s last remaining Dog Beach, then 99-years-old (now 103). I’ve got some great news for you on this front, but first– support those who support you. All of this was made possible by the folks behind Halo Bowl and Puppy Porta Potty.
The Halo Bowl (www.HaloBowl.com) is the very first (and maybe the most stunning) US EPA approved pet bowl (four sizes Small – XL) both for dogs and cats and 100% Made in the USA. This is the first ever pet bowl ever to be able to claim from the US EPA “kills 99.9% of bacteria on contact and continuously 24 hours per day”). No more “biofilm” aka harmful pet bowl slime! They have a very limited supply (if you remember the Save Dog Beach hats we did we will (again) likely sell out just to the Save Dog Beach supporters). The bowls are available to ship mid February and only to SaveNewport followers and SaveDogBeach petition signers. It is not available anywhere else at any price except right here for the next 90 days. When they are gone they are gone. Then the price goes up and the wait will be 2-3 months.
The Puppy Porta Potty (www.PuppyPortaPotty.com) is perfect if you live in a high rise, have limited outdoor access, bad weather, work too late occasionally, or wish for your dog to go “where you want them to go”. What is distinctive about the Puppy Porta Potty product is the thoughtful design which allows for grass or sod to far last longer, makes cleanup virtually-un-gross, and saves you a ton of money in the process– all while letting your dog have a spot to go indoors.
Check out the Halo Bowl and Puppy PortaPotty, and if you like them, order one up! Everything comes full-circle– more on that at the end.
Back to the people trying to shut down Dog Beach:
We fought them when they tried to close down Dog Beach because dogs were supposedly off-leash *outside* of Dog Beach.
We fought them when they tried to close down Dog Beach because dogs were supposedly going to the bathroom *outside* of dog beach.
We fought them when they tried to close down Dog Beach because dogs were supposedly fighting and killing one another on a regular basis.
We fought them when they tried to close down Dog Beach because the area was supposedly polluted.
We fought them when they tried to close down Dog Beach because the area even existing was supposedly dangerous.
We fought them when they tried to close down Dog Beach because they wanted to expand the area for the Least Terns (the double fenced enclosure on Huntington’s side– they wanted to expand it into Dog Beach)
But now, we’ve picked a battle on our own terms. As everyone knows, during this last summer and even fall the Sheriff’s Department (in quasi-SWAT gear and unmarked SUV’s) has been coming down (Even at 10am on July 4th — the day we celebrate our freedom from oppressive governments) and threatening people with tickets if they didn’t leave the area no matter if you had a dog on a leash, were just a child playing in the sand, or a family enjoying a day at the beach (without a dog), but without actually issuing any tickets.
What they are attempting to do is to cause a culture change, dismantling our Dog Beach (and even Constitutionally protected Sovereign Lands) from the Executive arm via a hyper-aggressive Coastal Commission and hyper-aggressive Sheriff’s Department, rather than the Legislative arm. But there was still one arm of the government left to work: The Judicial arm. But how do we get it there? Initiating a lawsuit would have taken 4 years and several hundred thousand dollars– at a minimum.
However, knowing their threatened tickets would never hold up in court, I went down to Dog Beach to see of the OC Sheriff would actually give me a ticket being present on a Sovereign Lands State of California public beach. I got one and– while I love them– I did not have a dog with me that day. If you are a surfer, fisherman, kitesurfer, beachgoer, paddleboarder, clamdigger, or lover of a government free day at your beach, this concerns you. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything more than a normal traffic ticket citation, however, the OC Sheriff officer wrote me a criminal ticket (an actual misdemeanor with maximum 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, not an infraction), which works out great for us. Because now, we get to have it ruled upon by a jury of our peers, and we get expedited in accordance to the 6th Amendment. A win/win for everyone.
Initially, the OC DA wanted me to give them a sample of my DNA via mouth swab to add to their database of the 150,000 others in OC who have “voluntarily” handed their DNA over in exchange for dropping the charges (more on their unconstitutional “Spit and Acquit” program, later). That was a hard NO. At every step of this process, the DA’s office has lowered the bar more and more to allow us to “plead out”—the last offer was a deal that if we donated $200 to a victims fund, they would drop the charges. I told them I would donate to the victims fund after I won the case in court, instead.
Our next pre-trial court date is in Feb, 2020 with our trial set for March, 2020. The kicker? Diane Dixon’s husband, Pat Dixon, Special Counsel to OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer is third-down in the DA’s office, and he just became very, very aware of my case. So this could get interesting.
It is unfortunate that our entire city council spends several hundred thousand dollars per year in ticketing people who attempt to visit Dog Beach– a $0/year amenity for over a century here in Newport. It is unfortunate that we have not been able to convince our City Council to keep things the way that they have been for over 100 years, thanks to some political donors who want their own private beach. It is unfortunate that our Sheriff has been unresponsive in requests to stop unlawful enforcement in this area– but thankfully, we have good people on our side. From my clients that make it possible (who are launching the Puppy Porta Potty www.PuppyPortaPotty.com) to our friends who are contributing for the legal work (Halo Bowl www.HaloBowl.com), this is truly a community effort. Please go give them a look and support who is supporting your Dog Beach.
Once we win this case, humans will be allowed on Dog Beach by judicial ruling. Once that is official, we will move to allow the guys and gals who will truly appreciate it: Our pups. It’s grueling, but we will get this done, one thing at a time.