Logs obstruct public's entrance to Haskell's.

Silvia Uribe

Logs obstruct public's entrance to Haskell's.

Haskell’s Beach Is Our Beach

Bacara, Tear Down This Wall

Sunday, June 19, 2011
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Although the super-warm days are not yet in sight, for a while I have been craving to go to the beach. So, finally, last weekend I gathered my towel, my sandals, sunscreen, and a big bottle of water, and I ventured to the Bacara Hotel’s Beach anyway.

Yes, I know I called it the Bacara Beach and not Haskell’s Beach. I purposely didn’t because our Haskell’s Beach is ours no more. Very few of us have been able to enjoy the beach or its ocean water for a while.

First, medium and large rocks appeared there. I was told that these were the result of storms. They are located at the top of the beach, and go along the entire length of it. Based on its present appearance, many may think that Haskell’s Beach has always been a “no sand” beach, meaning it only has rocks and water, and people cannot stroll there. However, I cannot count the hundreds of times that I went to that beach since the time I moved to Goleta in 1998. It always had a wide and beautiful sand beach. I guess Nature does these things at times.

Silvia Uribe

Now the sand is back, but huge tree trunks are blocking one of the entrances to the beach. No one could explain the presence of these trunks to me. At the other entrance, a big, uneven, and dangerous step presents itself even before you get to the rocks, making it impossible for most little kids, seniors, and others to get safely to the beach and into the water.

As background information, for those who never knew or have forgotten, one of the main conditions under which the hotel was built was access to the beach. The Coastal Commission then ruled, and the City of Goleta enforced, that the Bacara had to provide access to the beach 24/7 and certain services to the public. The Bacara finally agreed, and to that end the hotel built a public parking lot and a beach trail, and offered some services to the public at their facilities. They made an investment, and in so doing they won the community’s approval (to some degree).

Wouldn’t it make sense then, for the Bacara to offer at least one clean pathway for the public from their facilities to the beach, now that the sand is back? Wouldn’t it show good will on its part to do this for all members of the community? How much could it cost? Can the Bacara not afford it?

As citizens of Goleta, we support private, clean businesses that create and maintain jobs for locals. However, it is also true that businesses should give back to the communities that embrace them. By creating a short, clean path to the beach, the Bacara would be partnering with and supporting the city’s efforts to maintain and improve the quality of life for all Goleta residents.

Haskell’s Beach has always been our community beach, and as a member of that community I know that I would love to have our beach back, by having easy and safe access to it. I’m sure others feel the same way.

Will the Bacara help us get there?


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Good points. But I wouldn't bother asking the Bacara for any favors. Instead, get ready to fight their expansion plans. If they have their way, our access will be even more remote.

Haskullsloke (anonymous profile)
June 19, 2011 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Big Caca will attempt to block and restrict public access any way they can. This is common knowledge.They make their money off of our of towners and care nothing for locals. We are the riff raff as far as they are concerned. It is the role of the city of Goleta, Surfrider Foundation and other local activists, and the Coastal Commission to stop them. If the community does not oppose every single thing they attempt to do they will steam roll us and steal our beach.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
June 19, 2011 at 8:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So, so sad to read this. What a sad, sick joke. I remember when Bacara promised to keep public access for locals. But, as is the sad case, money talks. Where is the City of Goleta (or, should it be Santa Barbara since Bacara likes to say it's in Santa Barbara, not Goleta)?
It may not be as splendiferous where I live now compared to Santa Barbara, but at least Oregon takes seriously the term "The People's Coast"--where coastal access is a right for all residents, not just those with the bucks!

GDogMama (anonymous profile)
June 19, 2011 at 9:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I remember when the Bacara was trying to use all sorts of shady tactics to comply with the beach access condition but still scare off the locals. They gave that up long ago and I've never had a problem (in five years or more) going down there. Yeah, the path is a bit worn, but I find it to be no different than many other beaches. Haskell's now vs Haskell's "then" is easier to find parking and there's a very nice path that takes to to the edge of the sand. The best part is that Bacara guests seem to rarely visit the beach. I'm not thanking the Bacara, but I think we have sufficiently reclaimed Haskell's. After all, you think the parks dept or anyone else in Goleta gov't would be building you a nice trail??

3domfighter (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 12:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Whine, whine, whine. Haskell's beach, like all beaches in CA, is public. It's up to the gov to maintain them. If they didn't spend so much on pensions and goodies for themselves, maybe they could do what govs are supposed to do.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 9:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If you went to Haskull's or any other beach in the winter, you would know the rocks and the tree trunks are from winter storms. They've been showing up on the beaches for thousands of years! Winter beach erosion is a natural process, as is summer sand returning. Part of the problem there, as at Goleta, is the manmade structures in the erosion zone - although I have to say it is nice to have working and clean bathrooms there!

First you didn't want the Bacara there (I didn't either for the record), now you want them to build you a nice path?

I'm happy if they just let it be and let nature do what it does.

cycleboy (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Just look at the picture! Do you really think that those trunks were strategically set there by nature? Come on! It is a way that the Bacara has found to block access more, and more, and blame nature for it.

The idea for the city to pitch-in is not a bad idea either. Maybe the Bacara and the City could collaborate on this project? I'd like to know if there are any conversations about this, or even if the city is aware of this problem.

I'm glad that the person who wrote that they have no problem accessing the beach can do it. I can't, and many of my neighbors can't either. That's why it is almost empty all the time.

I concur with the article. Goletans demand our way to the beach completely restored, and safe!

justice101 (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 11:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's a wild beach folks! Climb over the log, be careful on the rocks, and enjoy. This is an absolutely silly wank fest from Silvia. Keep in mind, if Bacara was to get some heavy equipment on the beach to move around some rocks and move some big logs, I'm sure plenty of you Silvia types would start wanking about that as well. Might even be messing up some Snowy Plover habitat!

Riceman (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 3:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Just look at the picture! Do you really think that those trunks were strategically set there by nature? Come on! It is a way that the Bacara has found to block access more, and more, and blame nature for it. "

Umm, yes, I do think they were "put" there by nature. I've seen winter swells tossing trees like they are matchsticks. When they get washed onto the beach, where do they end up? Well, let's see there's a small berm at the top of the beach and when the trees get pushed by the waves, it seems pretty likely they will end up pushed parallel to that area. I saw these logs around the time they initially ended up where they are and there were no dozer tracks or large cranes around such as the hotel would've needed to put them there. One or more of them have been there for at least several years.

People need to get out more and realize nature doesn't build nice little paths to the areas they like to visit. Typical SB trying to make issues out of non-issues.

cycleboy (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't know if those are the same logs from back in the day (mid-'60s), but Haskell's has had logs at the entrance since at least back then. (All up and down the area that meets the sand, for that matter.)

I remember seeing an number of old photos from when there was nothing but piers up and down the waterline in that area -- that goes WAY back -- so no surprise.

binky (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The way to keep our access to the beach is to use it. I'm getting out there -- pronto!

NanoKelp (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 9:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with Binky, I remember those logs at Haskell's from the 80's through the mid 90's well before Bacara.

OldDawg (anonymous profile)
June 20, 2011 at 10:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I just was at the beach, and the beach was stripped of all drift wood, of any size. none, I think Bacara is taken the drift wood off the beach to stop us from using it for a beach fires. The smoke must bother them. I looked for any drift wood and their is not a piece bigger than a twig, are they allowed to do this, I thought it was against the law from removing items from a wild beach. Plus they are using the public beach parking lot as a vendor parking lot, of the 50 parking slots, they had at least 40 vendor pickup trucks parked there, unloading what material they have to use to work there, is this legal

scott441 (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2013 at 7:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Baccara should be shut down. All any owner of that place has done is harass locals and break laws. Shut it down.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In addition there's ample parking inside the resort. Blocking off those spaces is another attempt to limit local access. You can be sure I tell all my friends looking for a hotel what a bad neighbor the Baccara is.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 19, 2013 at 12:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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