Good for you, Nick. [Angry Poodle, ”Dewormed but Not Desquirmed,” 4/15/10.]
I too saw the constitutional issues in the beach closure, but no one with whom I attempted to discuss this seemed to see anything untoward, or even to recognize the larger issues here—as, incidentally, few recognize the same issues in the Isla Vista “quarantine” at Halloween.
An analogous situation would arise if the City of Santa Barbara, for precisely the same reasons given by the Board of Supervisors to justify the Isla Vista beach closure (public drunkeness, fighting, litter, filth, petty crime, costs of policing) attempted to shut down Fiesta, or for that matter lower State Street on any and every weekend. Same reasoning (or no reasoning at all) would apply, but of course that would never happen. The restaurants, clubs, bars and hotels would scream about loss of sales tax, bed tax, etc. These factors, much more than any Constitutional issue, would prevent any such radical action at the expense of “legitimate” commerce.—Des O’Neill