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Council Hijacked By Activist Environmental Group

Here we go again!  First the “Road Diet” and now this.  Our town council has allowed themselves to be hijacked by an activist environmental group based in Malibu, California (Surfriders). You can go to the Surfriders website and view their interactive map of the U.S. where they have targeted campaigns. They have New Hanover County listed for a plastic ban and Wrightsville Beach listed for a smoking ban. I guess Carolina Beach fell into their lap because of our weak-minded Town Council. By the way Surfriders, you left behind the bottle tops, fishing line and hooks, plastic bottles, dirty diapers, dog crap, and other assortments of trash to fill your container with cigarette butts to make an impression on the Council.  What’s next guys?  Are you going to ban fishing because PETA doesn’t like it?  

At least Wrightsville beach had the decency of putting the issue to the resident voters (something Sara Friede opposes).  She was quoted in Star News as saying "I'm not sure this issue is appropriate to put on a ballot," Friede said. "In the 1960s, there were a lot of small towns and states where no one would've voted for civil rights or integration. There comes a time when the leadership has to lead and say this is where we're going and this is what is right and this is what we're going to do. This is one of those issues."  Really Sara?  Discriminating against smokers equates to not discriminating against minorities?  What you are really saying is “I’m going to make the decision for you because I don’t trust you to make the decision I want”.  Nice display of fascism Sara.  This kind of attitude gave us the “Road Diet”.

If the real issue is litter and more practical measures can be taken to address that issue rather than singling out a group to pick on and passing fascist laws.  The real issue isn’t litter though, is it?  And it isn’t about second hand smoke either as we are talking about outdoors where the ocean breeze keeps the air fresh.  This is about one group of people and trying to control and force other people to live the way they want them to live.  You know like Prohibition in the 20s.

Kudos to Ray Rothrock.  He is the only person in our town government who is attempting to be rational on this issue.  I wish we could get more people like him on our Town Council.   Also I think Willard Killough’s idea for a beach rake is an awesome idea!
Stephen D. Haynes
Carolina Beach, NC