Re: Poachers attack Sea Shepherd within vaquita refuge (issue Jan. 25-Feb. 7)
The Sea of Cortez: Overfished and Dying?
Sea Shepherd is only there to harvest some press coverage – the “real ” news is that the thousands of square miles of what was Colorado River delta is history and has been for 50-75 years and the marshland were an incredible nursery for an environment that no longer exists and likely the conditions that bred the vaquita in the first place. The only thing that we can do now is watch to see what the new conditions will support the best and likely only thing to be done is probably the same thing the Canadians did to the caribou in northern Washington/southern B.C.: Sweep up the stragglers and place them in an environment where they will not be lost until an environment can be found where they will survive. It’s unfortunate that Greenpeace can’t see that the northern Sea of Cortez is like the Mediterranean and is nearly dead and is merely involved in a downward spiral of overfishing in a community where the only local protein comes from the sea.
Re: Newport Beach City Council to review harbor fees and rent for harbor department (issue Jan. 25-Feb. 7)
Harbor taxes, not fees
According to California state law, there are only three ways governments can take in money:
We can all agree that slip costs are not fines.
However, according to California law, they are most certainly not fees, as fees have a direct corresponding cost associated with them. If you have to get your business inspected by the city and they pay someone $50/hr to check it out and it takes them 2 hours to do it, then you would be assessed a $100 fee.
If it took that $50/hr person two hours and you were charged $500– or even $101– that is no longer a fee, according to California state law, because the purpose isn’t to recoup direct costs, it is to raise revenue. Then, the cost turns into a tax.
The purpose of the raising of these costs is NOT a fee, because it is designed to raise revenue. This is a tax increase, and it would be greatly appreciated if The Log could appropriately report proposed tax increases as actual tax increases, rather than reporting that tax increases are “fees”.
Re: Wild West: Sea Lions and Boaters in Oceanside (and Elsewhere) (issue Jan. 25-Feb. 7)
Though Oceanside’s Sea Lion Island works, there are still design flaws
The Sea Lion Island in Oceanside, though a very good idea, suffers from a design flaw. Sadly, the deck of the island was constructed in such a way that is sits 4-5” higher than the nearby guest dock fingers. Predictably, our piniped pals find it much easier to haul out on the dock fingers than on the island. Any other marinas considering this solution should insure that the deck height is low enough so as to not discourage use and that the underwater flotation is sufficient to support the weight of numerous lions.
Re: Charter operators in San Diego growing restless (issue Jan. 25-Feb. 7)
The enduring charter battle
I was there when they started this process two years ago, after being brought to the attention of the Port of San Diego while serving as Co-Chair, and then Chair of the San Diego Harbor Safety Committee. This issue has been front and center for about 4 years total. I know [others] have been battling illegal charters for longer than that. They cut into other legitimate charter business, do not pay Port fees, and do not pay Landing fees. They are unregulated and as such could be dangerous to those who pay to go out on the bay. The Port of San Diego, for whatever reason is dragging their feet and someone is going to get hurt by one of these uninspected vessels. USCG has a very well defined program on how to deal with them. San Diego Harbor PD was working on the problem and about the time I left the Harbor Safety Committee, two years ago, all they had to do was draft the ordinance, similar to one they used to have and put the permitting structure in place. Maybe 90 days of work. From this article, they have not moved any further forward than two years ago and seem to be just putting it off. The staff at the Unified Port District need to get off the ball and get moving on this before some visitor to our waterfront is injured or even worse. They owe it to the legitimate charters who are paying the Port good money for the right to operate on San Diego Bay.
Capt. Ken Guyer