Assembly speaker picks new Calif. coastal member

The Associated Press

Posted: 04/24/2013 02:16:14 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES””A new member has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission following the resignation of a long-timer.
California Assembly Speaker John Perez said Wednesday he has chosen Mark Vargas to serve on the panel, which regulates coastal development. Vargas heads a management firm that has worked on environmental projects.

Vargas replaces William A. Burke, who resigned earlier this month after two state lawmakers questioned his dual roles on the Coastal Commission and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The two agencies have disagreed on the fate of fire pits on some Southern California beaches. Coastal Commission staff recommends keeping them to allow families to enjoy the coast. But the air district is considering banning fire rings in Los Angeles and Orange counties because of smoke from bonfires.