NAC Update
CALIFORNIA
San Onofre State Beach

December 20, 2010

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                              UPDATE
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DATE: December 20, 2010
SUBJECT: San Onofre Update
TO: All naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an update from the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) on the status of San Onofre State Beach in California and NAC's ongoing effort on behalf of naturists there.

CASES DISMISSED

NAC is pleased to announce that the first two contested citations for nudity at San Onofre State Beach have been dismissed by a Superior Court judge in San Diego County.

Beach regulars Greg and Barbara Young were ticketed by Ranger Mike Story on September 12, 2010. They are among as many as twenty individuals who have received citations for nudity in the traditional clothing-optional area of San Onofre since the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) rescinded the Cahill Policy and abruptly declared the beach to be mandatorily clothed. The tickets have been issued as misdemeanor violations of title 14, section 4322 of the California Code of Regulations.

Although Monday’s action was the first involving contested charges, two other ticketed individuals had previously chosen not to contest their citations and had entered into plea bargains. The accepted deals in those cases had reduced each charge to an infraction, which has been compared to the severity of a parking ticket.

A similar deal was offered to Greg and Barbara Young in court on Monday. However, representing the Youngs, California defense attorney and NAC Board member Allen Baylis rejected the offer, saying that the naturist defendants were understandably upset and indignant about the charges, and they wished to have their day in court, before a jury of their peers.

It was no bluff. The Naturist Action Committee has a list of willing defendants, and NAC has been preparing for this challenge. NAC has enlisted the advice of outside counsel and has set aside funds for the purpose.

Faced with the rejection of her offer and the naturists’ insistence on a jury trial, Deputy District Attorney Chris Ryan moved for a dismissal of the charges. Superior Court Judge Richard E. Mills granted the motion and dismissed the charges.

TICKETING CONTINUES AT SAN ONOFRE

NAC advises naturists that ticketing continues at San Onofre State Beach.

The source of the citations in each of the recent instances has been Ranger Mike Story, a 2006 product of the state's park ranger academy. Story's modus operandi is to stalk his quarry through field glasses or through the viewfinder of a camera from the top of a cliff overlooking the beach.

After he sights his target, Ranger Story cites his target, hurrying down to make the confrontation by driving along the beach at speeds some have called unsafe. Although other rangers (and lifeguards) are authorized to give tickets for nudity, Mike Story is the only one presently doing so at San Onofre State Beach.

WHAT IS NAC DOING?

Citations for nudity at San Onofre are being issued under California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 4322, a misdemeanor. In close coordination with Friends of San Onofre Beach, the local TNS-affiliated beach user group, the Naturist Action Committee is working to help with legal issues. It is our continuing intent to assist persons who are cited for nudity at Trail 6, while they are nude under appropriate circumstances. The specific nature of that assistance will likely vary from case to case.

The San Diego County prosecutor's office has offered plea bargains to defendants. NAC understands and respects the matter of an individual's personal choice in accepting or rejecting such a deal. Nevertheless, standing up to the charges is an important way to challenge their legitimacy. NAC stands ready to assist those who contest the charges.

As detailed in other NAC Action Alerts, Advisories and Updates, the Naturist Action Committee is leading an effort to have areas in California state park units specifically designated for clothing-optional use. While NAC continues to oppose ticketing at the traditional clothing-optional area of San Onofre, we are simultaneously working WITH the California Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as with the California Park and Recreation Commission, to advance the opportunities for officially accepted clothing-optional recreation.

WE MUST NOT ABANDON SAN ONOFRE BEACH

Friends of San Onofre Beach, the Naturist Action Committee and naturists everywhere need your assistance. First and foremost, we must not abandon our beach. If we do not maintain our presence at Trail 6, the Parks Department will have successfully imposed the intolerant will of a tiny handful of bureaucrats on the large numbers who enjoy responsible clothing-optional recreation on public land. We cannot let that happen. The naturist community is depending on us to stand our ground.

A citation for violating section 4322 of the CCR is a misdemeanor and is certainly a legal issue that must be addressed. However, a conviction under section 4322 DOES NOT require sex offender registration. Disturbing the peace may be charged as an infraction, similar to a minor traffic violation.

CAMP PENDLETON

The traditional clothing-optional area at Trail 6 of San Onofre State Beach is immediately adjacent to a portion of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Some who seek escape from the intolerance and harassment of the California Department of Parks and Recreation have relocated their clothing-optional activities across the fence to the Marine Base.

Although there has been no recent response from the Marines, any unauthorized presence on the military property is considered trespassing. The Naturist Action Committee does not endorse or encourage the use of Pendleton's beach for clothing-optional recreation. It's unlikely that NAC will be able to help those who find themselves facing a federal charge of trespass on a military facility.

WHOM TO NOTIFY OF TICKET INCIDENTS AT SAN ONOFRE BEACH

If you witness an incident at the State Beach (e.g., ticketing, harassment - official or personal -, user misbehavior, or shallow burial of a large marine mammal in a recreational area), please contact Allen Baylis by phone at (714) 962-0915 or by e-mail at rab@baylislaw.com

Alternatively, you may contact NAC Executive Director Bob Morton by phone at (512) 282-6621 or by e-mail at execdir@naturistaction.org

LOCAL SUPPORT

Throughout the ongoing ordeal with the California DPR, the members of Friends of San Onofre Beach have done an extraordinary job of pulling their own weight for the beach they cherish. To donate to Friends of San Onofre Beach, you may send a check to:

    Friends of San Onofre Beach
    P. O. Box 6283
    Huntington Beach, CA 92615

WATCH FOR INFORMATION FROM NAC

Watch for NAC Action Alerts, Advisories and Updates on this and other important issues affecting naturists.

You may also stay informed by checking the following websites:

www.naturistaction.org/sanonofre

www.friendsofsanonofre.org

Get on the email list of Friends of San Onofre Beach by sending your request to:
info@friendsofsanonofre.org

PLEASE HELP NAC TO CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee remains committed to the vigorous defense of the clothing-optional use of public land. Activism on behalf of naturists can be expensive. NAC relies entirely on the voluntary financial support of people like YOU.

Won't you please send a generous donation to:

   NAC
   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 (8AM-4PM, Central Time, weekdays) to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:
www.naturistaction.org/donate/

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.

Naturally,
Bob Morton
Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       -
execdir@naturistaction.org
Board Member Allen Baylis       -
rab@baylislaw.com
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  -
naturist@sunclad.com
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