Coastal Commissions Lester’s Public Hearing 2/10

The Coastal Commission has been critical to helping to protect Humboldt’s coastlines natural heritage.  We should be paying close attention then when developers begin a power play to gut the Coastal Commission’s mandate and fill it’s ranks with those who wish to develop the coast “reasonably”.

Let’s be clear, those that stand to lose will inevitably be all of us as we inevitably lose more of our unique natural coastal heritage.  Those that stand to win are those that can pay for a forced-dismissal and continual pressure on this Commission.

This has been in the offing for a while and it brought to mind a warning that the Commission was losing it’s ability to perform it’s mission to protect California’s coastlines that former Commissioner Steve Blank gave as he resigned in 2013.

A year before that the Commission (and the public) had lost Peter Douglas someone who had been with the organization for 34 years.

What is happening now?  As the T-S headlined last Thursday, there is a power-play lead by the commissions chairman Steve Kinsey to fire Executive Director Charles Lester.  Kinsey exercised his right to a public hearing and this will take place on Feb 10th.

From the T-S article, “Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network said Lester’s ouster would leave the agency in turmoil and intimidate its staff.”  Ah, it always seems to come down to that doesn’t it?  Development interests have learned that they not only have to head up these public boards, but then they have to be able to intimidate staff to unlearn their fancy planning, engineering and administration educational backgrounds and listen instead to the people.  And by “people” we of course mean those people who have enough wealth and influence to populate the boards that have been so much trouble to them.


TS Headline on Coastal Commission
From the 1/21/16 Times Standard, click link below for the article.

Staff turmoil shakes powerful California coastal agency (Times Standard, 1/21/16)

How dark forces are chipping away at our beloved California coast (LA Times, 1/23/16)

Blank resigns with warning for commission (Half Moon Bay Review, 1/18/2013)

Peter M. Douglas dies at 69; California Coastal Commission chief (LA Times, 4/4/2012)

For good measure, what “progressive” (in the sense that he knows politically how to progress forward, unlike  us Goerblels lovin’, smart-growth-in-name-only-promotin’, Saul Alinsky readin’ B.A.N.A.N.A.s) and Coastal Commission scold Matthew Owen has recently written on the Coast Commission.  It is development-progressives like Matthew and those whose land values will skyrocket who will be the winners if we lose people like Commissioner Lester. .

MATTHEW IN THE MIDDLE: BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) (Lostcoast Outpost 4/28/15)


7 thoughts on “Coastal Commissions Lester’s Public Hearing 2/10

  1. The other error in that graf: according to the LA Times, Lester is the one who chose a public hearing. Kinsey would rather keep this in-cabal. … And the BIG one is the headline: Lester is the Executive Director (staff), not a Commish. Read (and write) for clarity, especially headlines.

  2. Thanks Poo. Sincerely. The headline mistakes are the most embarrassing largely in part b/c I can’t fix the problem once it goes over to LoCO.

    The reason your participation is important is exactly b/c I don’t have an editor, nor do I have the time to edit myself. Even if I did on this one, I would not have understood that Lester was not a Commissioner. As Rumsfeld might say, that was an unknown (and assumed) known for me.

    I did understand that Lester chose the public hearing, as is his right and I think that was correct in the post.

    Thank you again.

  3. Dr. Lester should be replaced.

    ——– Forwarded Message ——–

    Subject: Consideration of Dismissal of the Executive Director, Agenda Item W8-10, February 10, 2016 Coastal Commission MeetingDate: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 16:20:22 -0800From: Douglas Deitch To:,,,,,

    Subject: Consideration of Dismissal of the Executive Director,
    Agenda Item W8-10, February 10, 2016 Coastal Commission
    Meeting-Comment from Douglas Deitch, Executive Director-Monterey Bay
    Conservancy, Santa Cruz, California … a 501c3 Monterey Bay Water
    Policy Thinktank since 1996

    Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 04:18:23 -0800

    From: Douglas Deitch

    To: California Coastal Commission, Governor Brown , Mark
    Cowin/DWR , Natural Resources Secretary John Laird (on

    In re: Dr. Charles Lester’s Job performance, results, and retention
    as ED …

    Dear California Coastal Commission et al,

    Query: In the Monterey Bay, is there any coastal resource more
    critical and necessary to every aspect of our lives, survival,
    prosperity, and “sustainability” on the coast than our tragically
    and now permanently salt water intruded and decades long massively
    “Big Ag” defiled and mined out coastal ground water commons?

    It’s a real simple decision, California Coastal Commission …

    “The mission of the Coastal Commission (CCC) is to: Protect,
    conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based
    resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally
    sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.”

    Instead of this, here’s what Dr. Lester did and told us in 2009 he
    erroneously believes and understands the “mission” and “mandate” of
    the CCC to be …

    … in response to my numerous pleas (eg. please see: 2009: ,

    , and , , , ) from 2007 through 2011 to the CCC and Dr.
    Lester, CCC and Coastal Conservancy staff, and supervisor/CCC
    commissar Mark Stone, in particular,

    … to please recognize and enforce our 1987 Gary Patton “Well
    Ordinance and Local Coastal Plan” which, unique in the State of
    California, by law ( ,, forbade/forbides ANY overdrafting/water
    mining of our Santa Cruz County aquifers.

    The CCC, Dr. Lester, and the late Dr. Douglas refused in 2009 and
    any time thereafter to this moment … and here’s what we here in
    Santa Cruz and the entire Monterey Bay ended up with instead, as I
    testified we would in 2010 …

    … The entire CCC was “complicit in the greatest environmental
    catastrophe (ie the tragic and permanent decimation and waste of our
    local coastal Monterey Bay ground water commons) in the history of
    the Monterey Bay”

    … ( @ 3:35 ,


    … ending up this month, officially, Folks, as the most tragically
    overdrafted and mismanaged ground water commons in the once Golden

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    Respectfully and regretfully submitted,

    Douglas Deitch

    Executive Director, Monterey Bay Conservancy

    501 Mission Street, #1

    Santa Cruz, California, 95060


    ps/btw … I have noticed an op-ed in a number of papers, LA Times,
    etc., by Mr. Steven Blank, former CCC commissioner 2007-2013,
    lauding Dr. Lester’s performance and advocating his retention. Maybe
    if Mr. Blank had been paying a little closer attention and respect
    (, along with
    Commissioner/SC supervisor Mr. Mark Stone, ESQ., in particular)
    during his CCC tenure, he might have a far different view of Dr.
    Lester’s performance AND the Monterey Bay’s ground water commons
    (along with the rest of our invaluable though now critically
    threatened and failing natural coastal resources and systems) and
    Dr. Lester’s and his own tragic failure to protect, steward, and
    sustainably conserve them?

    ps/btw II:

    Gary Patton FB post 3/2015: …

    ps/btw III:

    My 2009 Santa Cruz Metro Op-Ed on our undeclared by our Santa Cruz
    Board of Supervisors’ ground water emergency … :

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