I can't believe I'm about to write this, but SanTana Mayor-for-Life Don Papi Pulido just might be the last, best hope to save OC's beach fire pits from the idiots at the South Coast Air Quality Management District–and I'm rooting for him to do it.
Excuse me while I vomit…BLECCH. I just praised the Don Papi–and it ain't the Wild Turkey talking!
After a lifetime of siding with the elite, of dismissing the problems of the hoi polloi with a dismissive wave of the hand, the Don Papi has suddenly turned into Che Guevara by siding with the masses that want to keep the cherished tradition and lambasting those who want the pits of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach pulled at the request of whiners and the SCAQMD's clueless management.
Last month, the Don Papi held a public meeting alongside HB mayor Connie Boardman at Huntington Beach City Hall to let the public vent against those who want to take the rings away. There, Pulido said of the rings, “There's something magical here…It's something, in my book, like a sacred process that we're talking about; something deep in peoples' psyche. The benefit could be emotional, it could be virtually spiritual. It's something very deep in the people.”
Then last weekend, at a ceremony honoring legendary Chicano artist Emigdio Vasquez, Pulido out of nowhere brought up the fight to save the fire pits, much to the puzzlement of the crowd. It really had no place in the parade of praise for Vasquez, but the crowd did cheer–and more than a few of those in attendance later on admitted that they didn't even know about the controversy, but were pretty peeved about it.
So how can the Don Papi be the pit's savior? He sits on the SCAQMD board, one of only two OC representatives. OC Supervisor Shawn Nelson is the other, but he has all the grace of Dana Rohrabacher around alcohol. Pulido, on the other hand, is known as the Don Papi for being able to sell anything to anyone, for befriending Republicans and Democrats alike. As the sole Latino on the board, Pulido can also rally up the Mexis across Southern California to stand behind the issue (so far, the most vocal opponents of the proposed beach fire pit ban have been awesome gabachos in Newport and HB). Imagine if Pulido becomes Mexican for once and gets a bunch of wabs to start hounding the SCAQMD board? All those old gabachos that sit alongside Pulido would quiver in fear!
A meeting on the issue was scheduled for this coming week but was pushed into July, no doubt to try and quash the growing realization by the public of what the SCAQMD board wants to do. In the next month, Pulido can turn into Zapata, can leave a wonderful political legacy and unite Southern California in a way it's never been against the NIMBY menace.
So howzabout it, Don Papi? ¿Tienes los pinche huevos pa' empezar DESMADRE? The taco is in your court…