This weekend, the sign at the north side of the bridge entrance to Balboa Island was altered to say:
STAY SAFE AT HOME
WEAR A MASK”
However, the people who maintain this sign are private citizens– not the City of Newport Beach– and therefore have no authority to close parking to non-residents.
By doing so, they not only betrayed their already-struggling merchants, depriving them of much-needed 4th of July numbers (4th of July is the highest-grossing weekend for many businesses)– but they also fulfilled an ugly stereotype of Newporters: That we are all snooty rich people who don’t want “others” coming to “our” area.
Just for the record, everyone, we are not all “snooty”, not all “rich”, and clearly by virtue of whoever decided to put this sign up and ruin a day at the beach for families seeking to celebrate independence, not all of us even meet the qualification to be “people”, either. Our beach is your beach, so come on down and we look forward to you allowing us to share it with you. Even if we might live a little closer to it, the beach is for all of us, not just a snooty few.
Being ourdoors– like on the beach or bay– is the safest place to be during a pandemic– ironically the exact thing Mayor Will O’Neill previously made very convincing arguments about (Linked here: http://savenewport.com/2020/05/07/will-oneill-myth-busts-all-inaccuracies-relating-to-newport-and-the-coronavirus/).
Our sincere apologies on behalf of the cretins who put this sign up, on behalf of our city council who, under pressure by an “Emergency Meeting” by current Mayor Will O’Neill, decided to violate the Constitution by dismantling the 1st Amendment to close the beach to you. They don’t represent the majority, and we are collectively embarrassed of their reprehensible behavior.