For all it has going for it — a world-class surfing beach, tourist-drawing attractions, decent housing, decent schools, extractable oil, a new Costco and Home Depot, two heavily-trafficked boulevards lined with retail tax generators, a successful downtown — you have to ask why Huntington Beach has to waste everyone’s time with plastic bags.
You’d think their proposed ban, being supported by the liberal City Council majority would have been sensibly dropped given the research that’s continuing to surface regarding their cloth bag replacements. Here are just two recent stories about the hazards from two sources not known for conservative positions:
- S.F.’s plastic bag ban may be unhealthy
- Plastic Bag Ban Responsible For Spike In E. Coli Infections, Study Says
We’re pretty sure these electeds will ignore the obvious and trudge forward with this nonsense, ignoring the grander problems their beaches are facing as referenced in this LA Time$ story (by their senior Orange County reporter) from just last summer: Beach pollution at third-highest level in 22 years (note also there’s no mention of plastic bags in this piece). Can HB residents look forward to the introduction of E. Coli into one of the most livable cities in southern California when the bag ban is probably up for a vote on March 18th?
But the most amusing part of this fictitious crisis (which started with ex-Councilman Devin Dwyer losing a boat motor, which then likely led to his losing re-election) was why the vote’s been delayed from last year. According to last week’s Register story, Plastic bag ban to come to H.B. council in March, the hippies at the Surfrider Foundation, and possibly others, offered to PAY for a $30,000 study on the killer bags that the Council voted to sanction last October. Now that the study and the bill has come in, Surfrider’s only ponied up $4,500 — but Mayor Connie Boardman excuses them by telling the Register that “the volunteer who agreed to raise the funds did not have the go-ahead from the group and the offer was said in the heat of the moment at an emotional council meeting.” That must make it OK then, and the city’s on the hook for $25,500. Or maybe Boardman ought to be pulling out her checkbook.
Apparently no one, including the City Attorney or City Manager (who didn’t have anything to do with San Bernardino’s bankruptcy in the 12 years he worked there) have offered up any written agreement or letter that Surfrider might have signed as a commitment to pay for the work. Neither has the study turned up, and no one’s mentioned who did it. City Council Joe Shaw apparently wouldn’t accept another study which was mentioned above in the San Francisco story — “the study Councilman Sullivan is citing was paid for … by one of the biggest manufacturers of plastic bags” — the study was actually done by the Wharton School Institute for Law and Economics.
There’s a lot more to this story, and we’ll see if the Surfrider Foundation shows up at the next City Council meeting with a bag full of money to keep the commitment they made. HB residents IN NO WAY should be paying this bill, or putting up with this nonsense. And Whole Foods will need to find another way to overcharge their customers.