Beaches closed County fourth of july Intelwars Los Angeles Sheriff

Los Angeles County orders beaches closed for 4th of July — but sheriff says he won’t enforce it

Los Angeles County in California has issued a decree ordering all beaches closed for the Fourth of July holiday weekend citing a spike in COVID-19 cases, but it is unclear who will be enforcing the dictate after the county’s sheriff declared it won’t be his department.

What are the details?

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Monday in a news release that from Friday through July 6 at 5 a.m., all L.A. County beaches would be closed “to prevent dangerous crowding that results in the spread of deadly COVID-19” and “for that same reason, the department is prohibiting fireworks displays in the County” over the weekend.

The memo noted that the same day, the county had seen “more than 2,900 new cases of COVID-19, the largest one-day case count since the pandemic began.”

The order prohibits people from not only the beaches, but “piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths that traverse that sanded portion of the beach, and beach access points.”

According to Deadline, defying the order “is punishable by law to include, but not limited to, a $1,000 fine.”

But it is unclear who will be writing citations to any “trespassers.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told KTTV-TV reporter Bill Melugin that his department will not be enforcing the county’s order.

The sheriff said in a statement, “We were not consulted on the beach closure, and will only assist our beach cities in closing parking lots and traffic enforcement on PCH. In regards to enforcing the beach closure, we will not be enforcing it because we are ‘Care First, Jail Last.'”

Beaches Coronavirus Intelwars Memorial Day New Jersey Philadelphia watch

‘Don’t go to the beach’: Philly health official warns not to travel to Jersey shore for Memorial Day weekend due to COVID-19

If you’re from Philadelphia, you don’t go “to the beach” — you go “down the shore.”

And one of the time-honored traditions in the City of Brotherly Love is the annual trek over Memorial Day weekend to popular New Jersey coastal destinations such as Ocean City, Wildwood, Cape May, and Stone Harbor.

Image source: KYW-TV video screenshot

But due to the coronavirus, the city’s health commissioner is warning Philly residents not to make the trip this year.

What are the details?

“Don’t go to the beach,” Dr. Thomas Farley said, according to KYW-TV. “We’re not recommending people go to the beach this weekend. It is true that being outdoors is probably less risk than being close to people indoors, but if you go into crowds anywhere, there’s risks.”

Farley added, “We understand the draw, it’s very tempting. You may have gone to the beach every Memorial Day weekend for years, but this is not the time to do that. Let’s wait until the case counts are lower for it to be safer,” the station reported.

What are other officials saying?

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told KYW he’s concerned residents who venture to the boardwalks and sand and surf this weekend could bring the virus back to the city.

“South Jersey does what South Jersey does,” Kenney, a Democrat, told the station. “It’s going to affect us because people are going to go to the beach this weekend, they’re going to congregate with people in too close proximity, then they’re going to drive back home to Philadelphia and perhaps give the virus to somebody in their family.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, also a Democrat, said he’s “not sure why the governors of Maryland and New Jersey have opened their beaches, but they have,” KYW reported. Wolf added, “I wouldn’t go to the beach,” the station said.

Image source: KYW-TV video screenshot

In a recent media briefing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy — another Democrat who’s been prominently aggressive against those who violate his social distancing executive orders — seemed sympathetic to those who want to head to the beach.

“The weather gets better, and your cabin fever is up, who can blame anybody for wanting to break free … and we all want to do that, too, but please, please, please do it responsibly, stay away from each other, and wear something on your face to protect not just you but to protect the folks around you,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s office told KYW there are no restrictions for out-of-state visitors at New Jersey’s beaches, boardwalks, or lakes.

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron told the station he’s not actively encouraging out-of-staters to come down the shore this weekend but understands many plan to just that.

“The forecast isn’t so great, and frankly, even if it was, there isn’t as many activities for the people to take advantage of as a typical Memorial Day weekend,” Byron added to KYW. “Really, if you are going to come to the shore this weekend, you’ve got the beach if the weather is nice, and the boardwalk is nothing more than a place to walk or grab a slice of pizza.”

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Lawyer dressed as grim reaper haunting Florida beaches to protest their reopening — and raise money for Dems

Florida attorney Daniel Uhlfelder has launched a tour of his state’s beaches now that they have been reopened by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after being shut down for several weeks in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Uhlfelder’s mission is not to catch some rays. He shows up dressed in a grim reaper costume to send a warning to beachgoers in protest of the reopening — and to raise money for Democrats.

What are the details?

Uhlfelder, an activist for public beach access in Florida, went viral on Friday after he was handed the microphone by a local television station during his “haunting” of Miramar Beach.

The attorney told the viewers of WMBB-TV that the message he is trying to send is that it is too soon to open beaches to the public because they are a draw to people from around the world. He argues that reopening now increases the risk of diminishing the progress Florida has made in fighting COVID-19.

Grim Reaper in Walton County

As the video of the “grim reaper” made its way through the Twittersphere, a Democratic strategist pointed out that Uhlfelder’s campaign was not only a protest of reopening the beaches, but an attempt to raise “$20,000 for Democrats for office in 2020.”

CNN reported that Uhlfelder’s beach tour is “also an effort to donate to the campaigns of Democratic candidates: Phil Ehr, running against incumbent Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R)…and Christy Smith (D), who’s running against former Rep. Katie Hill’s seat in California.”

Anything else?

Uhlfelder is best known for attacking former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) — who owns a home in Walton County, Florida — online last year during a legal dispute over whether the beach in front of Huckabee’s home was public or private. Huckabee filed a bar complaint against Uhlfelder, saying the lawyer crossed the line in his public harassment of Huckabee and his family, as reported by the ABA Journal.

In March of this year, Uhlfelder also sued Florida Gov. De Santis for failing to issue an order closing the state’s beaches, which De Santis eventually issued on April 2, the Daily Mail reported.

NBC News reported that this isn’t the first time Uhlfelder has pulled a stunt to get people off of beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the lawyer traveled Florida beaches wearing a paintball costume in an effort to promote social distancing.

He said one woman told him that he was “scaring people,” to which he replied, “OK, that’s good.” He reasoned, “If people are scared, they they’ll leave. I want to go back to normal as soon as possible, too, but opening our beaches too early is not the way to do this.”

beach Beaches California California beaches Closed beaches Closures Coronavirus Coronavirus lockdown Coronavirus lockdown protests Gavin Newsom Gov. gavin newsom Intelwars Newsom closes beaches

Defiant city officials hold emergency meeting to consider suing Gov. Newsom over his order to close beaches

The battle over California’s beaches ramped up on Thursday when Huntington City officials sought to consider the option of suing Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom over the order in response to the coronavirus threat.

Bill Melugin of Fox-11 Los Angeles reported that city officials were calling an emergency meeting to discuss possible litigation.

The agenda claimed that the order to close Orange County beaches “severely impacts the Public Health and Safety of the community,” and constituted “an immediate threat to disrupt public services facilities.”

Newsom gave the order after several reports of Californians flocking to the beaches as temperatures rose.

The agenda said city officials would confer to discuss “the threat to the security of public services and the right of the public to access public services and facilities related to COVID-19.”

Melugin had published on Wednesday a leaked notice of the intention of the governor to shut down beaches prior to the official announcement.

Newsom only ordered the shutdown of Orange County beaches after receiving pushback. He called the demonstrations at the beaches “disturbing.”

Critics of the lockdown orders have pointed to lower infection cases and deaths than were predicted by various virology models propagated in the media. Proponents of the lockdowns have argued that the lower statistics prove the measures have been successful.

California has more than 50,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and more than 2,000 deaths.

Here’s Newsom’s beach order:

Beaches in Orange County must temporarily close, Newsom says

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‘Bored’ driver with suspended license jailed after joyride on closed beach — and is mercilessly mocked for misdeed

John McGarry was “bored,” according to police in Clearwater, Florida — and he apparently tried to cure it Saturday by driving on a Sand Key Beach at about 35 mph in places.

Officers pursued and arrested the 25-year-old Idaho native in the Sheraton Sand Key parking lot around 2:45 p.m., the Tampa Bay Times reported.

While the beach is closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, vehicles aren’t allowed on the sand even when the beach is open, the paper said.

McGarry now faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with a suspended license, the Times said, adding that he was booked on $650 bail for the three charges.

What did observers have to say?

As you might imagine, folks reacting to McGarry’s stunt on Facebook showed him no mercy:

  • “Well now he can be bored in jail! Idiot!”
  • “It’s Jeff Spicoli from Ridgemont High! Lol!”
  • “COVIDIOT DIPSHIDIOT!!! Just an idiot, period!!”
  • “Maybe he should have been home cutting his hair. Hello. 1980s calling.”
  • “How long did it take him to drive from the 70s to Clearwater Beach?”
  • “Join the Army, you won’t be bored long!”
Beaches California beaches Coronavirus COVID-19 Florida beaches Intelwars

Tens of thousands swarm California beaches despite governor’s stay-at-home orders

This week, tens of thousands of people flocked to beaches in California despite the state’s stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Warm weather enticed Californians to swarm beaches in Orange County that were still open during the COVID-19 outbreak. Surfers, joggers, and sunbathers were seen gathering at the California coastline over the past few days, many not following social distancing guidelines.

Thousands went to Huntington Beach, where one group played a football game on the sand.

Approximately 40,000 people went to the shoreline of Newport Beach, a California town that has a total population of 85,000.

California has over 41,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,618 deaths. As of Friday, California reported 11,877 new confirmed COVID-19 cases this week compared to 8,012 new cases the prior week. There were 562 deaths this week compared to 456 deaths last week. California also suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, with 118 deaths in 24 hours.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) instructed people to continue to stay at home, despite the warmer weather.

“It’s going to be nice outside this weekend,” Newsom tweeted on Friday. “You might be feeling cooped up. Ready for life to go back to ‘normal.’ But can’t stress this enough: CA can only keep flattening the curve if we stay home and practice physical distancing. You have the power to literally save lives.”

San Diego County beaches will open on Monday, but initially, it will only allow access to the ocean for swimming, surfing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s most advanced biocontainment lab touted research that the coronavirus was susceptible to sunlight, warmer temperatures, and humid weather.

South Carolina and Georgia opened their beaches this week.

Crowds at Florida beaches during the coronavirus pandemic have been well-documented. It all started in mid-March when crowds assembled on the shores of Clearwater Beach, most of which were spring breakers, and many of them were from outside of Florida. One Miami Herald columnist said that reopened beaches should help “thin the ranks” of President Donald Trump’s supporters in Florida.

A few days after the lack of social distancing on the beaches, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) closed all of the beaches in the Sunshine State. On April 17, DeSantis gave municipalities in his state the authority to reopen beaches, but only if it can be done safely while observing social distancing guidelines.

Duval and St. Johns counties immediately reopened their beaches, and thousands of Floridians converged to the shore near Jacksonville.

Photos of the crowds on the beach went viral, and the hashtag #FloridaMorons trended on Twitter. As of yet, the hashtag #CaliforniaMorons has yet to trend.

Beaches Coronavirus lockdown Crime Florida Florida stay-at-home Intelwars Jacksonville beaches Pennsylvania social distancing Stay at home

Cops nab murder suspect after he breaks social distancing rules at Florida beach

The controversial social distancing rules in place to battle the coronavirus pandemic have led to the arrest of a murder suspect in Jacksonville, Florida.

Jacksonville Beach Police say that they identified 31-year-old Mario Matthew Gatti as a murder suspect wanted in relation to a criminal investigation in Pennsylvania.

Gatti was enjoying the beach in Jacksonville, but he was flouting the social distancing rules which prompted police to apprehend him.

He was wanted for the homicide of 33-year-old Michael Coover Jr. in January. Coover was shot multiple times at a home in Westmoreland County.

Police at the time said that Gatti was considered armed and dangerous.

He was captured while wearing shorts with an American flag design. Police said that he had been “lounging” at the dunes at the beach.

In addition to the homicide charge in Pennsylvania, Gatti faces charges in Florida for giving false information to police and for drug possession.

Social distancing orders have caused an economic collapse in many sectors of the economy, leading many Americans to protest publicly for the re-opening of society to ease the economic pain. Public health experts warn that opening up too soon could lead to a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry re-opened the beaches on Friday, but only to limited use in order to try to maintain the social distancing guidelines.

Here’s a local news video about the capture:

Murder suspect caught after failing to follow social distancing rules

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Reopened beaches amid coronavirus should help ‘thin the ranks’ of President Trump’s supporters, Miami Herald columnist says

A Miami Herald columnist said that reopened beaches amid the coronavirus pandemic should help “thin the ranks” of President Donald Trump’s supporters in Florida — as well as those who back Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami’s Republican Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Fabiolia Santiago — in a now-deleted tweet — wrote: “Packed beaches should work nicely to thin the ranks of Trump/DeSantis/Gimenez supporters in #Florida who value money over health.”

Image source: Twitter

Santiago piggybacked on a tweet by colleague Adriana Brasileiro — the Herald’s environmental reporter — which highlighted a story she co-authored topped with the headline, “Packed Florida beach offers glimpse of what may come when outdoor spaces are reopened.”

Brasileiro’s story looked at partially reopened beaches in Jacksonville and elsewhere after DeSantis let some open as long as safety and social distancing were respected.

Interestingly, Brasileiro’s tweet wasn’t on her Twitter feed Monday afternoon.

Santiago gets dragged by Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. blasted Santiago over her “thin the herd” tweet as well as the Herald:

“This tweet from a
Miami Herald columnist tells you all you need to know about her, and based on their hiring choices, likely everything you need to know about the Miami Herald as well,” Trump Jr.
tweeted. “Their flagrant bias continues to go on unchecked. Disgusting.”

A change of heart?

Santiago soon apologized for her words: “I deleted the tweet commenting on people at the beach because it didn’t accurately convey my sentiment and I want to apologize for the phrase I used that offended many people. Regardless of political differences, I would never wish any harm on anyone.”

She added: “In fact, my intent was to sound an alarm about prematurely opening up the country and the state. I was trying to open eyes, minds and save lives, not create a controversy about me instead of the issue, which merits discussion.”

Well, apparently not completely

Santiago, however, left up another tweet which excoriates “stupid” people gathering in Miami Lakes and calls them “the red-hatted listening to their masters” — an apparent reference to the “Make America Great Again” hats, which were the iconic symbols of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

How did folks react?

As you might expect, a number of Twitter users had little good to say about Santiago’s mea culpa:

  • “Your intent was quite clear, and wished death on those you disagree with. We all saw it, and we all saved it. You deleted it, but you still meant it. And the internet is forever.”
  • “But you did wish harm on others and put it in writing. You denial exposes your character. Or lack thereof…”
  • “I like how she tries to steer the discussion away from herself, too. She was just trying to start a discussion about this serious issue, so please pay attention to that and not her disgusting remarks.”
  • “How about this for opening eyes. You are a fan of the climate change activists who want people to live in cities with stacked housing, common areas, government assistance lines and public transportation. All breeding grounds for contagions. I’d re-examine your choices.”
  • “FIRE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”