U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey joining protesters in July 2012
For years, Martin’s Beach was a sleepy cove south of Half Moon Bay, Calif. That changed when one of the country’s richest families bought land around the beach and closed the only access to one of the area’s most beloved recreation spots. The Half Moon Bay Review has covered the resulting controversy from the beginning, and this week a newspaper catering largely to Indian-American readers asked the Wick newspaper for a little help.
California law mandates that all beaches – below the mean high tide line – are public, but access through private land has long been a touchy subject. Often these skirmishes pit local citizens against very wealthy new residents. Such is the case in Martin’s Beach, a bucolic protected cove along the picturesque San Mateo County coast.
Martin’s Beach was purchased by Vinod Khosla for more than $38 million in 2008. He is a billionaire high-tech investor and a leading citizen of Silicon Valley. He closed the long-open road to the beach upon his purchase and coastal access activists took note.
On Oct. 24, a superior court judge ruled Khosla could do as he wished with his private property, citing the 1848 Treaty of Hidalgo between the United States and Mexico as taking precedence over the state constitution.
It all caught the attention of India-West, a weekly newspaper focusing on Indian-American issues and personalities who, like Khosla, live in the United States. The newspaper asked the Review if it could use one of its photos from an earlier protest at Martin’s Beach in order to illustrate its own story. Review Editor Clay Lambert was happy to help a fellow newspaper editor, sending a photo of former U.S. Rep. Pete McCloskey joining protesters in July 2012.
The Review photo appears online at indiawest.com and ran in the print edition as well.