Sealing off the shore


From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

New Englanders are not unfamiliar with the phenomenon of rich people sealing off access to beaches in front of their big houses and estates. It’s outrageous that they do but the rise of an increasingly arrogant plutocracy means that we’re seeing more such seizures of the public commons. So it was gratifying to read about a victory, though perhaps a tentative one, in California, where a three-judge state appeals court has ruled that Vinod Khosla, a billionaire co-founder of Sun Microsystems, can’t block access to a popular strip of  beach south of San Francisco; he owns 89 acres behind the beach.

This may go up to the U.S. Supreme Court. God help us.

California has generally been much more supportive of the public’s right of access to the shore than have the New England states, where it has long been  very difficult to get to the shore in many communities, in some places because of laws that go back to colonial days.