After Governor Gavin Newsom closed beaches in OC, the crowds arrived.
Sunday morning PCH was as crowded as ever. The lowrider from the Orange County Car Club and many others were on hand packing in along PCH. Even though parking meters and beach lots were closed, hundreds of people could be seen walking up and down Pacific Coast Highway from Seal Beach to Dana Point. The people still got outside.
Thank fully the protesters were not violent as Huntington Beach has seen in the past. Sofa’s and police cars were sparred this weekend. Many outlets have called the protest a “partisan statement”. Being a local Huntington Beach based news outlet, we saw it very different.
While it is true there was a lot of Red and MAGA out there, we also met several people who said things like “I’ve been an environmentalist my entire life, and in one press conference Newsom is getting me to vote republican” and “If he is the only democrat on any ballot he [Newsom] still won’t get my vote.”
If this was a “partisan” issue, it is only because Governor Newsom made it so. More than eight million people visit Huntington Beach each year. Telling them the beach is closed didn’t keep this weekends crowd away. All that happened was the space they could occupy was reduced so everyone was closer together.
Gov. Newsom’s ideas and policy clearly didn’t result in the outcome he had hoped. Unless the outcome he wanted was to punish the people of Orange County or create a buzz for a new recall petition that is.
Hopefully the Governor will find a better balance for social distancing and preventing the spread of Covid than closing beaches and bringing people closer together.
Our opinion here at Beach Street News is that if you need to load a bike or surfboard on or in a motor vehicle, you should not go. We agree that gathering at the beach to sit and sunbathe isn’t helping. That said, Gov Newsom’s policies didn’t accomplish anything related to social distancing. Instead we saw more people walking streets with closed shops, and walking, jogging and biking along PCH.
Why force people to walk the highway with a perfectly good path just a few feet away? That isn’t a partisan question, it is a common sense question.