Saturday, July 30, 2005 - Malibu's rich and famous fight to keep beach private
Mystery Reader points out that today's story about the Michigan Supreme Court mandating public access to the Great Lakes shoreline, across private property, is reminiscent of this blast from the recent past about the Hollywood/Malibu set trying to keep the great unwashed off their coastline.

MALIBU, Calif. — A tide of ordinary people is lapping at the secluded beaches of the rich and famous. Malibu, a 27-mile strip of spectacular coastline northwest of Los Angeles, has been resisting encroachment by average folks for decades. A retreat for Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Goldie Hawn, Pierce Brosnan and scores of other Hollywood stars, Malibu has come to connote entertainment royalty watching Pacific sunsets from exclusive sands. Privacy means a lot to celebrities, and they have achieved it by walling off luxurious oceanfront hideouts worth up to $15 million. Now, state officials are moving to assert the public's right to share Malibu's vistas.
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Vegas heading for 'dry future'
The Las Vegas area is exploding with privately governed gated communities, and people are moving there in droves. One unanswered question remains: Where is the water for all these folks--and their lawns and golf courses and swimming pools--going to come from? I am very skeptical of any sentence that includes the words "environmentalists warn," because that is usually followed by an exaggerated or utterly groundles claim based on some bogus computer model. But in the case of Vegas, they may have a point. It is a desert, after all.

Las Vegas is world-renowned as a city of fantasy, flaunting its reputation for excess. It appears a green oasis of refrigerated plenty, set in a blazing desert. But environmentalists warn water supplies could run dry within the next 50 years; while urban sprawl is out of control and development is encroaching on protected areas.
Amendment would mandate water link for subdivision
Nancy Levy sends this interesting piece from Oregon about the intricate politics of water supply and real estate development.

SALEM — An amendment forcing the Medford Water Commission to treat and transmit water to a rural subdivision in Central Point was added to a plumber's certification bill Wednesday by a House-Senate conference committee. The so-called "stuff and gut" ploy — often used near the end of a legislative session — was engineered by Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, who represents the Westwood Subdivision just off Ross Lane. The subdivision, several miles outside the Medford urban growth boundary, relies on wells. But they are going dry as a result of a declining water table and other problems. The enclave of some 60 homes repeatedly has asked the Medford Water Commission to treat and transmit water through a private service line near the subdivision. The line serves a naval reserve station that is on the Pentagon's list for closure.

Chicagoist: Dead People To Be Evicted For New O'Hare Expansion
Mystery Reader send along this Chicago piece about the FAA approval of Mayor Daley's proposal to expand the already humungous O'Hare Airport. Seems it will require digging up 1300 graves and relocating them. The unanswered question is, what voting precinct will these folks be in after they are relocated?
Public has right to walk along Great Lakes beaches, Michigan Supreme Court rules

Private property rights haven't been doing well in the courts this year. Here's another example:
People can stroll along Michigan's 3,200 miles of Great Lakes beaches whether owners of adjacent private property like it or not, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Libertarians Propose Taking Breyer's Land - Yahoo! News
Why not get back in action with one from the "Sauce for the Goose" Department:

PLAINFIELD, N.H. - Libertarians upset about a Supreme Court ruling on land taking have proposed seizing a justice's vacation home and turning it into a park, echoing efforts aimed at another justice who lives in the state. Organizers are trying to collect enough signatures to go before the town next spring to ask to use Justice Stephen G. Breyer's 167-acre Plainfield property for a "Constitution Park" with stone monuments to commemorate the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions. "In the spirit of the ruling, we're recreating the same use of eminent domain," said John Babiarz, the Libertarian Party's state chairman. The plot mirrors the party's ongoing effort to get the town of Weare, about 45 miles to the southeast, to seize Justice David Souter's home. Souter's property is also the focus of a proposal by a California man who suggested the town turn the farmhouse into a "Lost Liberty Hotel." The efforts are meant in protest of the high court's June ruling that let a Connecticut city take land by eminent domain and turn it over to a private developer. Breyer and Souter supported the decision.

Why haven't I updated this blog since July 15?
I've had a few people ask me that, and it's a good question. The answer is that I went off on vacation to French Lick, Indiana, on July 16. There I had practically zero access to the internet, and what little I had went to dealing with direct e-mails. When I got back home I had so many matters backlogged that I have been spending the week dealing with them and had no time to post anything. However, the good news is that I have a host of great links from many contributors and will be going through them and updating the blog over the weekend.