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back to article Want to go to billionaire Sun kingpin's beach? Hope you're a strong swimmer

Surf’s up, but not on this beach. A judge has ruled that Vinod Khosla, the billionaire venture capitalist co-founder of Sun, is allowed to block beach-goers from walking or driving across his property to access the 200-acre stretch of coastal sand in front of it. Martin's Beach road access closure Martin's Beach Road closure ( …

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nice business oportunity

Seems like some money could be made by offering a water-taxi service from a publicly accessible location over to this stretch of beach. Or maybe just do it for free to piss the guy off.

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Coat

Re: nice business oportunity

and if it turns out to be a popular venture...

We're gonna need to get a bigger boat

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Re: nice business oportunity

Yup, perfect opportunity for the loudest water taxi service you can think of, running every 15 minutes.

I believe Sir Christopher Cockerell came up with just the machine for this...

Or maybe Top Gear's spin on it might be even better...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beoTcF2CsvE

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nice business oportunity

"the loudest water taxi service you can think of"

They should pay the extra and go by chopper, over his house.

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Re: nice business oportunity

The US television program TV Nation - a Michael Moore production from the 1990s - once did something similar with beach access in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Snobbsville burghers had declared the beach private and cut off land access, so the TVN crew gathered a bunch of the unwashed, put 'em on a boat, and "stormed" the beach (after which said unwashed were, presumably, washed).

Good fun. And yes, if I lived anywhere near Santa Cruz, I'd be boating over to Martin's Beach too.

(Here in Michigan, the state still permits private lakeshore beaches, and it's unlikely that the Legislature, which is firmly in the hands of the moneyed classes, will be changing that anytime soon.)

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further evidence....

......that anything the rich find inconvenient is made a crime.

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Money v people

In today's world, the things that matter are money, fun, entertainment, 'respect', status, being in the newspapers, money, and...money. People, relatives, friends especially, community, live and let live, these things are no longer very relevant.

I pay 38 million dollars for a huge property near the beach. People have been using one of the paths for years before I came here to access their public amenity, the beach. I don't want this. I find a way to prevent them. I'm happy. They're not happy? Screw them. I have millions. I'm OK. They should work hard and make millions and do the same as I did, the lazy @!$?.

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Devil

What a dick!

Title says it all.

We have a millionaire here who gives OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET vouchers to all the local pensioners for them to get extra food every Christmas.

This guy, by comparison is a complete arse - it doesn't even cost him anything to allow access.

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Re: What a dick!

It stands to reason that the majority of people with a lot of money have a lot of money because they are miserly arseholes. One of the major issues with capitalism is that being nice to people doesn't reward you in the same way as selfishness. Although there are exceptions, as in your example, this guy is sadly the norm.

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Re: What a dick!

This guy is either a shining star of social justice or has a messiah complex, something that it not unknown among business leaders.

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@Loyal Commenter

I have seen it many times personally and anecdotes back it up; rich people are far more likely to be miserly that those with middle or lower income.

Has there been any research on this - or would the rich not be willing to join in?

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Re: What a dick!

No, the rich aren't automatically bad. An entrepreneur might start a business, through hard work and at risk to himself, and end up providing livelihoods for hundreds of families, as well as his own.

Dunno about this guy without more details. Sounds like a jerk right enough

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Re: What a dick!

> An entrepreneur might start a business, through hard work and at risk to himself, and end up providing livelihoods for hundreds of families, as well as his own.

Or he might be a trust fund baby who makes a living off the interest or far worse like that Max factor heir who drugged and raped and filmed women for years before he ran to Mexico and used his money to buy safety for awhile.

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sounds like

a sneaky way to almost get a private beach or at least a very exclusive one.

I agree with water taxi or something preferably shipping thousands of people in.

I am thinking it is not a massively used beach though...

beach party lots of people lots of noise.... oh dear the police cannot get to it to shut it down..

ship some hobos in there also for good measure

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Re: sounds like

"beach party lots of people lots of noise.... oh dear the police cannot get to it to shut it down.."

If said beach party was annoying the owner, which was presumably your point, then I'm faaaairly sure that *he* could grant permission for the law to access the area...

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Paris Hilton

“We are very aware of the community concern about the situation, and it is unfortunate that we were forced into the legal process, but unfortunately my client is a giant dick."

There, I fixed that for you.

Paris, because she likes giant dicks.

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“We are very aware of the community concern about the situation, and it is unfortunate that we were forced into the legal process, but unfortunately my client is a giant *rich* dick."

A pour giant dick. is call a prisoner, or in some states of America, dead.

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Miserable Git

I hope he has to drive 30 miles to the next town to buy his milk.

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Alert

Re: Miserable Git

Solution: everyone in the area refuses to sell groceries or anything else to him; the mailman can dump his letters and parcels at the public end of his private road. That's how the original "Boycott" worked.

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Re: Miserable Git

No his unpaid intern will get to do that as a learning experience.

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Re: Miserable Git

The problem with a boycott is that they just don't work anymore. Not against the rich.

Even if you organised a really good one, he could have a courier or the postal service bring in food, even if you somehow got the national supermarkets offering home delivery to stop feeding him. Beyond that, he could simply hire a goon to do it.

Being mega rich insulates from the requirement of needing people. Indeed, that's half the point. But even kids have all they need these days, the Internet ensures that no-one lacks for 'human' contact and you can have all the pizza delivered to your basement you want...

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Hopefully this appealed to a higher court. This sets a very bad precedent for the California beach access.

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They can't. The treaty was ratified by Congress after the Mexican-American War and thus, under the Constitution, has the force of Federal law. Under the 14th Amendment, unless the law specifically exempts it (this one doesn't), federal law trumps state law.

It would require one of two things: agreement between it and Mexico to allow for an exception to the treaty or an overriding federal concern (such as breaching another federal Act or treaty) overruling it.

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Does seem a crappy way of going about things but I guess it depends on whether he now goes into discussions with people about granting access. Much easier to start from a position of "I don't have to be here, I'm legally entitled to just deny access, now let's haggle." than one where the others may or may not have rights.

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That was my first thoughts too. Knowing the litigious nature of many people in the USA, he may simply be asserting his rights before re-opening access. Maybe it's come to his attention that some people are claiming they have a "right" to access the beach via his land so he needs to demonstrate that his right is legal and trumps others rights in this matter.

Or it could just be that he's being a dick.

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Stop being a dick!

see title

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Try some other law

How about the county/state makes a compulsory purchase of the access road? Make use of the law that helps stop poor people getting the way of rich people's plans. Nothing could possibly go wrong...

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Re: Try some other law

Doesn't work that way. One of the idiosyncrasies of the US Constitution is that all Treaties get incorporated into law as part of the Constitution. Since the Treaty with Mexico was signed and approved by the Senate, it's requirement to respect the land grants from Mexico trumps the eminent domain clause of the US Constitution and therefore any State/Commonwealt constitutions as well. And there's not much point in fighting it to SCOTUS because SCOTUS will probably rule 7-2/8-1/9-0 for the Treaty enforcement on it if they do take it.

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Sounds like both Khosla and the "Friends of Martin's Beach" had the money to pay good lawyers, and the Judge didn't really have any choice but to uphold the law as written. Just because it hinges on a 150-year-old treaty, or that one of the parties is a billionaire, doesn't make the law any less valid.

A lot of the complainers here seem to be working on the basis that just because Khosla's rich, he shouldn't be able to benefit from the law. Hardly seems fair, and it's not like that stretch of Highway 1 is short of beaches.

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A lot of the complainers here seem to be working on the basis that just because Khosla's rich, he shouldn't be able to benefit from the law.

That's a fascinating interpretation. My reading is that the "complainers" are complaining because Khosla's a dick, not because he's rich or legally in the right.

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Someone should find some of the natives who lived there before Mexico or California existed, and see if they made any access treaties - or if the treaties are valid and can't be challenged by pre-existing rights.

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Doesn't work - those treaties are by the fed, they are allowed to ignore treaties with natives

(Actually the fed can ignore treaties with anyone who doesn't have nukes)

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Anonymous Coward

So this guy is "like" Larry's "best friend" right...what else would you expect.

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ignore the twat. go to the beach anyway. You've all got guns anyway, have a shoot out about it.

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Mushroom

this feels like the American way... I'm all for it

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Anonymous Coward

Property rights?

The court has established that he has the rights, so stop complaining. Unless you don't like property rights, bloody commies... :-)

The People are free to appeal to a higher court; maybe they'll win.

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Megaphone

OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ! RAVE TIME!

Sounds like the ideal location!

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Bah!

What do you expect from a man who single handedly almost started a war between China and the UK in order to sell newspapers and cable TV airtime?

Luckily for us we had the redoubtable James Bond to thwart his plans and ding up his expensive stealth boat and stuff.

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Re: Bah!

"a man who single handedly almost started a war between China and the UK in order to sell newspapers and cable TV airtime?"

Seems like he would have been better off trying to sell servers and network equipment, but hey, what do I know...

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Well, if it's no longer a public road...

Martin's Beach Road should be officially signed over to the property owner as a private driveway (if it isn't already) and removed from the city highway department upkeep roster. Eventually -- even is SoCal, and with only limited traffic use -- it'll need repairs, which the property owner appears to be well-equipped to pay for, himself. (Up here in the Northeast U.S., the expense of plowing a driveway that long in the winter and repairing the frost-heaves the following spring would be considerable, and we would all stand around to point and laugh!)

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Re: Well, if it's no longer a public road...

Given the state of the road in the picture, it's likely just a dirt path, plus we're talking SoCal: not exactly known for snow. If he has a proper off-road vehicle, he could drive up and down it with little regard for maintenance. Indeed, he may WISH to let the road fall into disrepair as a disincentive for other people or the state (or in this case, the US as it's a FEDERAL treaty blocking it) to try to obtain it through other means.

For further inquiry: Is the state beach enveloped by the private property in such a way that one MUST go through that property to reach it? Or could the state develop some other means to reach the beach, perhaps through an adjacent landowner who is more accommodating?

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Flame

Re: Well, if it's no longer a public road...

Yharrg! Santa Cruz is NORTHERN California! And I always see posts lamenting the geographical ignorance on the left side of the pond. Please figure out where on the Left Coast you are talking about.

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Trollface

I bet ...

...posts on the reg will change his mind about it. SPREAD TO THE WEB MY FELLOW REG READERS. WE WILL RIGHT THE WRONGS OF THOSE WHO LOOK DOWN ON US FROM ISOLATED BEACH FRONT PROPERTY...

(In all serious though... Major dick.)

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Hopefully some people will organise a humungous beach party every Friday and Saturday night just to piss him off. Or he will get eaten by a shark on his now private bit of beach (in the water before you start).

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Anonymous Coward

Not sure dick is the word

Over here we call people like this a "Clarkson".

(except he failed, OK maybe Clarkson is lower down the social scale than dick)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not sure dick is the word

But didn't Clarkson get more people signing the petition for him to be prime minister than our current leader got in votes?

(well it seems that way...)

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Re: Not sure dick is the word

that just means Clarckson is a more likeable dick, which is a given because he is not a politician

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Just wait till the masked avenger hears about this!

The millionaire's sightless eyes seemed to stare at the arras whose surface had been slashed - with a Z! Zorro, the flashing blade, defender of the weak, had righted another injustice.

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