[UPDATED with Council Approval:] Laguna Beach Re-ignites Skateboard War
See the update at the end of this post on the City Council approving the ordinance for all ages.
ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 16, 9:34 A.M.: The Laguna Beach City Council is poised tonight to pass an ordinance allowing police to remove a scourge of society from the streets.
No, not meth, prostitutes or those goddamn campaign signs.
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Downhill Skateboarders Facing Regulations and Limitations From Laguna Beach City Council
Laguna Beach is blessed/cursed with steep canyons that seem to flow right into the ocean. Over the years, gravity-defying, ever-more-expensive homes have been built in those canyons, requiring the paving of long, curvy roads to get up to them. It's not only created challenges for those forced to ply those roads (like first responders heading up to fires, mudslides and O.D.'s of young reality television cast members) but for a particular breed of thrill-seekers: downhill skateboarders.
The sight of young 'uns blowing past their Beemers has alarmed some residents, so much so that these mostly Republican, anti-government voters have turned to the local government for relief over the past few years. Calls for complete bans of skateboarding citywide have failed, despite the best efforts of the "Get off my freakin' lawn" crowd. But, last spring, the Laguna Beach City Council did prohibit downhill skateboarding on eight residential streets.
And all's well that . . . uh, check that: some residents are still reporting problems with skateboarders, who are gone by the time local police make the trip from South Swell Donuts, up the windy roads and up to Snothead Drive. Hell, as far as these cops know, the kids blew by them so fast they assumed it was a passing tumbleweed.
Anyway, council members who allow water pollution, child obesity and those goddamn campaign signs have finally found something to sink their dentures into. Councilwoman Toni Iseman, whose hip loses bone density at the mere sight of a skateboard, has proposed confiscating them from riders under 18 who are not wearing helmets.
First-time offenders would only have their boards held at the Laguna Beach police station for a week, with the time escalating up to a month for repeat violators. And all young riders would have to drag a parent along when retrieving the boards, which would allow watch commanders who usually deal with cops in the field rustling the homeless to give Ma and/or Pa a stern stink eye.
The fun begins tonight at 6 in the council chambers. Pray that all the board parking spaces are not taken for a change.
UPDATE, OCT. 17, 8:56 A.M.: The City Council Tuesday night approved the ordinance that would confiscate skateboards from riders of all ages who are caught not wearing helmets.
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