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COASTAL COMMISSION.jpgAssembly Speaker John A. Pérez has named a green building specialist to the California Coastal Commission.

Mark Vargas's appointment to the 12-member commission begins today. Vargas, an alumnus of the Gov. Gray Davis administration and the secretary of state's office, resigned from the Little Hoover Commission yesterday to take this new post.

"California's coast is one of our most important environmental and economic assets," Pérez said in a statement. "Mr. Vargas will provide an important voice in the Commission's ongoing work to ensure the sustainability of this vital resource."

Vargas replaces former commissioner William Burke, who stepped down last week amid controversy over remarks he made about a proposal to ban beach bonfires and questions about whether it was proper for him to serve on both the Coastal Commission and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Albion River, lower left, flows into the Pacific Ocean in Albion, Calif., in this 2002 file photo. AP Photo/ Eric Risberg, File)



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