Judge tours California beach in public access case

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. - A judge deciding whether public access should be restored to a picturesque Northern California beach held court on the white sandy strand itself.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach and attorneys in the case toured Martins Beach on Thursday. The only access road to the beach 35 miles south of San Francisco was closed suddenly to the public after its purchase by Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla.

Attorneys for surfers and environmentalists accuse the billionaire of violating the California Coastal Act.

Khosla's lawyer, Jeff Essner, says the road has always been private property and his client has a right to keep off trespassers.

Khosla says he will leave it up to the court to decide if the public has a right to use his road.

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