Saturday, February 18, 2012

L.A. "Protects and Preserves" Peace on the Beach

CALIFORNIA HAS been bankrupt for some time now; luckily Los Angeles is here to save the day. As of February 9, 2012 throwing a Frisbee, a football, or even digging a hole deeper than eighteen inches on an L.A. beach could end up costing you up a pretty penny, but thankfully it won’t be a $1000 fine as reported by every news coverage of the new laws. This law is intended to “protect and preserve the peace on public beaches,” as stated in the thirty six page fun killing document.

Throwing a ball of any kind, digging a hole deeper than eighteen inches, disturbing a rock, cussing, producing loud or odd noises, using a tent or structure larger than ten feet by ten feet, holding any group event with more than 50 people without a permit, including a yoga class, and operating a model airplane are all considered a crime on L.A beaches. Luckily these are only considered infractions instead of a misdemeanor. According to the California law, the fine for a first-time infraction will be $100. The second time, it will be $200. And each time after that, the crime of throwing a ball will cost you $500.

Fining people on Los Angeles’ beaches will only be enforced by lifeguards or The Department of Beaches and Harbors’ "peace or code enforcement officers" during the summer season between Memorial Day and Labor Day and will prohibit beach balls, volleyballs, Frisbees, footballs, or in-ocean water polo balls. Only during the off-season are people free to toss, throw, and dig as they please. There is some good news for those who come to the beach looking to do more than just soak up the sun, The Department of Beaches and Harbors will designate special ball-throwing areas or grant permits for a ball game.

This law seems to be a quick and easy way to a lot of money since throwing balls and digging holes are a given at the beach. L.A will make plenty of money from the law, especially when it comes to tourist who may not be aware of the anti-ball throwing and sand digging laws.

This new law is ridiculous. I have been to the beach almost every day for the past twenty years and not once has a football, Frisbee, or a hole deeper than eighteen inches disturbed my time at the beach. This law will change the atmosphere of L.A. beaches from one that is fun, free, and lively. Kids wont be able to try to dig a hole to China or dig a pool big enough for two like I did when I was a kid and adults wont be allowed to do anything other than lay out, swim in the waves, or go surfing or paddle boarding. Adults will however still be allowed to come to the beaches drunk, since that wasn’t added to the list of activities that will disturb the peace on the beach, which makes plenty of sense right? But whatever you do, don't pick up a ball or a shovel on an L.A. beach, or you will not only be committing a crime, you will also apparently disturb the peace.

-Nastassja Habers

Photo Credit: TK

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