Fact Checking: LA Beaches are to Remain Fun

02.9.12

Last night I saw a story on the KPCC Website entitled No fun: L.A. county beaches to levy $1,000 fine for throwing footballs and Frisbees. Because KPCC is my local NPR affiliate and a trusted news source I assumed this was true. KCAL which is a less trusted, but trusted site nonetheless ran a similar story.

I trusted these news sources and became agitated. Los Angeles does NOT need to lose any of it’s tourism dollars. We cannot afford this sort of debacle. So I picked up the phone.

Tony Bell who is with the LA County Board of Supervisors assures me that county is not banning football or Frisbee playing on the beach. The real story is that there was an existing law in place that banned all sorts of play on public beaches and that it was recently revised. Essentially this is a modification to an existing law wherein IF you are playing ball or frisbee on the beach and the ball is repeatedly hitting people on the head or presenting danger the Lifeguard can issue you a warning — and then, if you don’t stop, you could receive a fine of up to $100. — NOT $1000!

A local news outlet ran the story without fact checking and the public was led to believe that there would be a thousand dollar fine for kids playing football.

I called the County Offices, less as a blogger and more as a ticked off citizen, starting with “I’m pissed.” and I got the above explanation. Further there will be motions on Tuesday that will eliminate some of the poorly worded language so the public can be assured that the beaches are, in fact, for families.

In reality someone presenting that sort of hazard could probably also be arrested for battery.

It seems that this is much ado about not that nothing, and in the future I will be sure to fact check even when reputable journalists break the story. I cannot over emphasize how disappointing it is to have been the first person to call the city and ask for details.

On Tuesday there will be a motion to reword some of this.

The following is the text of the ordinances that seem to be confusing are below. Out of context they appear to be rather Draconian. In context they appear to be written in legalese, which as we know is not meant to be easily deciphered.

UPDATE: Here’s another blogger who gets it.

I’m All Talked Out

07.19.11

This morning started early. I was in a car at 3.20am to head over to Fox News so I could tape live for their show. I crawled back into bed at 5am and slept fitfully until almost 9.

I sent girls to the beach and took my son bowling. I worked in a few conference calls during the day. I’m working with a great brand that’s looking to connect with parenting bloggers so if I haven’t reached out to you yet, you know where to find me.

Tomorrow I’m going to fly. Really, I am. I’ll have some video for you tomorrow I hope.

I’m tired of talking about the Breastfeeding doll. It’s less creepy to me than a doll with a fake plastic nipple. Breastfeeding is normal. The halter is weird, but kids are weird. I remember the Barbie dream house coming with a chicken that laid eggs. The egg was a tic tac. I really wanted the dream house so I could eat the chicken’s tic tac egg. I also loved my brother’s Six Million Dollar Man doll. Whenever I look at the Intel logo I think of the chips in this stomach.

The wacky phone calls have begun. Hint to the nerds: when you call here pretending to be a reporter they typically start with this, “Hello this is [first name] [last name] from the [name of outlet] I was calling to [fact check/get a quote from you]. Is this a good time.” The phone calls don’t typically begin with, “I’m calling for Jessica, I’m with a small town newspaper.” And then you make up the name of a newspaper that doesn’t exist, ask me if Fox News is scripted and then you hang up. See, I’m helpful, I give tips.

I’m excited that I’ve joined the Moms Clean Airforce. I’d love to ask you to look at what you put into the environment and what you expect to take from it. There are many shades of green, and I’d like to move from lighter to a darker shade of green. Mindfulness is where it begins.

Tomorrow I’ll fly. Tomorrow blogging will be different.