After reading Louis Sargent’s letter “Beach love” (The Daily Astorian, Oct. 23), I wondered why Sargent was puzzled by Matt Love’s unrelenting paeans to Oregon’s “historic Beach Bill,” which created Oregon’s public beach access. Love’s constant concern for keeping Oregon’s coast an open road should be encouraged, not criticized, because without people like Love, Oregon’s Beach Bill would not exist “in perpetuity,” as it is now written.
Sargent’s ramble about the use of the public beaches in other states, walking more miles than Love, and being twice his age, is irrelevant. What Sargent omits is the fact that if you look up beach access laws in any of the states he mentioned, you will find that these states have major problems when it comes to private versus public access. This is why Love continues to cry out for us to protect Oregon’s beaches, and to help him in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Oregon’s historic Beach Bill on July 6, 2017.
Perhaps Sargent doesn’t know that Love’s 2009 hardback compilation of the best of Oregon writing, “Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon’s Sesquicentennial Anthology” also contains a DVD of Tom Olsen’s film documentary “Politics of Sand.”
If Sargent were to see Love’s participation in that documentary, and listen to his passionate and perceptive commentary concerning the political process that resulted in Oregon’s Beach Bill, then I’m sure Sargent would not ask, as he has in his letter, “Why doth Love protest so much?”
But if an answer is needed, Matt Love might quote Abraham Lincoln and say, “Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail.” In terms of Oregon’s statewide open-road free access beaches, that cannot be said enough.