You’ve seen the ads. Pristine beach… not a speck of sand out of place… a cold beer sitting just out of reach… clean water as far as you can see… a palm tree drifting into the top third of the photo.
At least the word “dream” is accurate.
We don’t think a beach exists on the planet without bits of plastic on it.
We’ve taken our fantasy of a pristine beach and trashed it.
Our pals over at Heal the Bay just posted some photos of Santa Monica after the “first flush” (the term Southern Californians use to describe what happens during the first heavy rain of the winter). The photo is a “first flush” photo. If you think this pic is nasty, check out the others here.
We, surfers and beach lovers, are sick of this trash.
This is why we do what we do.
How would a prayer at city council meetings in California hold up if the invocation mentioned Tom Cruise or Scientology, a 9th Circuit judge asked.
“What if someone has an objection, not to Jesus Christ, but to Abraham or Mohammed or Martin Luther, Confucius, Buddha?” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain asked. “I mean we can make a long list, Tom Cruise and Scientology. Where do we draw the line?”
The judge put the amusing hypothetical to a lawyer fighting the recitation of prayers referencing Jesus at the start of every city council meetings in Lancaster, Calif.
Shelly Rubin and Maureen Feller filed suit over the practice in 2010, but a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled last year that the prayer survived the test laid out by the Supreme Court in 1983.
Claims about a prayer that makes a single reference to Jesus would require the court to analyze the content of the prayer, but that is barred under Marsh v. Chambers, according to the court.
“Because plaintiffs do not even claim the April 27 invocation was ‘exploited to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other, faith or belief,’ this court cannot properly perform such an analysis,” U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer wrote.
Rubin and Feller’s attorney, Roger Diamond of Santa Monica, fine-tuned the claim last week before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit.
Saying that a pre-meeting invocation is fine, generally, the plaintiffs say that Lancaster violated the establishment clause by more commonly choosing Christian prayers over those of other denominations.
“In a period of about a year, and the council meets every two weeks, 20 prayers were given in the name of Jesus Christ,” Diamond said. “If it were an isolated situation then we might have a different case.”
He added that the appeal does not challenge an isolated event, but rather a city practice that led to repeated references to Jesus Christ.
For nearly 60 years at Christmastime, Christian congregations from Santa Monica have come together to organize a life-sized Nativity scene, using 14 display areas in a city park to illustrate the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year, however, the story had to be abridged.
Because of a city lottery system to dole out available spots in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park, along Ocean Avenue, atheists have been able to claim most of the display spaces traditionally used for the Nativity, leaving room for only three of the scenes.
Damon Vix, an atheist, had a display last year that included a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “Religions are all alike — founded on fables and mythologies.” And this year, he told the Santa Monica Daily Press that he encouraged other atheists to join him.
“For 60 years, it’s almost exclusively been the point of view of Christians putting up Nativity scenes for a whole city block,” Vix told the Daily Press.
But the group that has long organized the Nativity scenes bristled at the atheists’ move, saying it upends a long-standing winter tradition for the city — and impedes their freedom of expression.
A homemade bomb caused an explosion near a Californian synagogue, police said Friday, naming an “extremely dangerous” homeless person they are hunting over the blast.
Some 100 peope were evacuated after the explosion Thursday near the Chabad House Jewish temple in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles, which officials had said was due to some kind of industrial accident.
But Santa Monica police spokesman Jay Trisler said late Friday that further investigation had found material linked to a known transient in the debris of a metal post which landed on a nearby roof after the blast.
The suspect was named as 60-year-old Ron Hirsch — who also goes by the name of Israel Fisher — wanted on charges of possessing a destructive device and other unrelated charges.
“Hirsch is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons,” said Trisler, adding that while the motive for an attack was unknown, Hirsch should be considered “extremely dangerous.”
Nobody was injured in the early morning blast, which triggered initial reports of a pipe bomb before police said it due to “some type of mechanical failure,” apparently underground.
Santa Monica police say an explosion that sent an object hurtling onto the roof of a home near a Jewish school and prayer house was an accident — not a bomb.
Sgt. Jay Trisler says a mechanical failure caused a pressure buildup resulting in the blast at about 6:45 a.m. Thursday.
Sgt. Marty Fine says the blast shattered windows at the Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica and launched an object onto the roof of a building next door. TV reports showed a hole in the roof with a long cylinder poking out.