Surf punks

Categories: 241 Toll Road

swindle_page3.jpgSocial Distortion, the Adolescents and even bubblegummy Blink-182 are among the bands whose scheduled UC Irvine shows were canceled at the last minute over the years because fraighty cat campus security fretted onslaughts of scary, leather-clad, facially pincushioned punk rockers.

A quick glance at the surfers, beachcombers and plain ol' average folks lined up against the extension of the 241 Foothill South toll road extension through San Onofre State Beach and other environmentally sensitive areas does not produce evidence of an overwhelming punker presence. But they are apparently just as menacing to UCI officials, who have backed their Bren Events Center out as the venue for a July 25 U.S. Commerce Department hearing on the toll road.

"They feared that the turnout from supporters of San Onofre State Beach and Trestles would overwhelm the facilities at UCI, estimating that over 10,000 of you would show up," reports the San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation's Save Trestles blog.

"Clearly there is strong community opposition to this destructive highway project, and those voices need to be heard. Unfortunately no other venue has been identified, and the Commerce Department has made no definitive decision on how or when to move forward with the hearing."

The Orange County Register's Pat Brennan reported Friday that the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may postpone or cancel the hearing altogether. The NOAA is weighing the toll road builder's appeal of the state Coastal Commission's February denial of the project.

Like the Bren, which only has 5,000 seats, the NOAA says it does not have the funds in its budget to cover the cost of an increased police presence needed to handle the large crowd expected.

But an audience of 10,000 mostly surfers, beachcombers and plain ol' average folks would not be as unruly as, say, the occupants of your typical Adoloescents mosh pit. Then again, the Save Trestles blog's "The Great Toll Road Swindle" opening logo does resemble "The Great Rock & Roll Swindle" logo employed by the punk pioneering Sex Pistols. Hmmm...

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