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The Battle in the Sand at Broad Beach

June 13, 2005

Re "Battle Over Broad Beach Takes New Turn, With Earthmoving Equipment," June 9: This whole Broad Beach issue is beginning to look like a bad episode of "The Rifleman" or some such old TV western in which an ongoing feud between the old landowners and the new settlers erupts into violence.

Our beaches are one of the state's most valuable natural resources, so it should come as no surprise that a group of Broad Beach homeowners continue to try to subvert the public's right of access, unbelievably this time by literally stealing the public part of the beach and piling it up on private property.

Maybe it's time for a public referendum on making it a law that any interference with the public's right of access to the beach will result in the forfeiture and reversion to the state of beachfront property whose owners grossly violate the law in such a manner. Pay them fair market value less a substantial fine.

If the shoe were on the other foot, I wonder what Marshall Grossman or his neighbors would say if they were to return home one day to find their houses bulldozed and the splintered wood piled up on the public beach!

John Trask

Thousand Oaks

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Furthering Grossman's logic that the homeowners were merely restoring dunes previously washed into the ocean, one might suppose that because all mountains eventually wash into the sea, the sand is not really owned by the homeowners along the beach; it belongs to the public.

Unrestricted access to sand belongs to all residents who are merely visiting property that eroded during storms, earthquakes, fires and other natural and unnatural events.

I think we are all in agreement that the Broad Beach homeowners should be able to lay claim to the bedrock, which I am sure is well below the water level. I wonder if similar logic emerged in Grossman's capacity as a coastal commissioner.

Joseph A. Fass

Rancho Palos Verdes

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I am so outraged and disgusted by the recent actions of Broad Beach residents. Do they take the public, Coastal Commission and anyone capable of rational thought for fools? Do they really expect us to believe their concern for the environment is at the root of this supposed "dune reconstruction"?

I am appalled at the continual displays of absurd, selfish, antisocial snobbery. Is this what we have been reduced to? Childish spitefulness! Why don't they just stand together and scream, "Mine, mine, mine!" The coast belongs to no one, but in their efforts to draw lines in the sand, they destroy natural habitats and endanger species. Grow up!

Tulani Kowalski

Marina del Rey

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With the precedent set by the Broad Beach homeowners who moved sand from the public beach onto their property, I finally have found a free source of fill dirt for the grading in my suburban backyard. I think I'll just tool down the road in a skip loader and scoop up free dirt and sand from my neighborhood public park. I'm sure the ballplayers and other (former) park users won't mind. Hey, I need to pave my driveway too. Think anyone will miss a lane of PCH?

Phil Hof

Castaic

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