State Park Closures, an editorial, of sorts

I had planned on posting about my coastal time on Wednesday, but there is panic over California State Park closures. Almost every state park in Big Sur is on the block, according to the SF Chronicle. (See: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/g/a/2009/05/30/stateparks.DTL)

I may be wrong, and I certainly have been before, but the panic I am seeing may be premature. California is facing some tough decisions, it is true, but these proposals are just that. Some state parks will almost certainly have to close, but I am not convinced that all Big Sur Parks will. Those that approach a cost-effective analysis may not have to. Pelican Network is forming a group to go to Sacramento to plead the case for the Big Sur State Park, so if you are interested, please contact Jack at: Rocinante@PelicanNetwork.net

State Parks are not the only ones “on the block.” Those that will suffer the most are seniors, the mentally ill, the disabled, and children. Those who have the least political “clout.” Many will mobilize to save our state parks, our prison guards, our teachers, and others. All have the ability to mobilize members and political influence. Our elderly, mentally ill, disabled, and children do not. Yet, these groups face the biggest impact on services.

Let’s keep things in perspective. Yes, it is important to keep Big Sur viable. Yes, we have suffered, and will suffer even more if our State Parks close, but we are not the only ones. Let’s keep our eye on the broader picture. We cannot continue to function in the bubble we have created. And let’s stop “blaming” our elected officials. They are us. We elected them. We set up the “rules” under which they operate. We need a complete and total overhaul, and it MUST start with each of us.

2 thoughts on “State Park Closures, an editorial, of sorts

  1. I can’r reiterate more, we need to be the ‘chang’ in our system. Its dying on the vine as we look.

    The parks are only the tip of the iceburg as you’ve indicated…

    My daughter Dani, boyfriend Emilio and grandson Elijah are living in a rental in northern CA. IF the state has its way, they won’t be for long.

    Emilio has been looking for work for months (he’s a roofer) and Dani is taking care of baby Elijah (11 months old). They were given notice that Elijah will no longer get medical through the state, nor as a family will they get food stamps.

    The welfare system has determined that Dani can go back to work, as well as Emilio. However the funding for child care is also on the chopping block. Most of CA is short of jobs, and in their area the jobs have had drastic cutbacks in employees. No jobs are to be found (even at the fastfood places).

    The kids figure they have about 30 to 60 days before they are homeless and living in their small truck again. The state welfare worker for their case says if they become homeless they will determin if Elijah needs to be removed from their care. they won’t allow them to move the baby in with us, or with Emilio’s family. We don’t understand why?

    As for the eldery… my 83 year old friend Hallie is facing cutbacks in her Social Security check as are many others. For her she also has a pension from her retirement, but its Cal PERS which is under fire by the state. If both checks get cut, she won’t have enough to keep her low-income rental (about $450 per month). She CAN’T go out on the streets as she is handicapped. How will the state handle her and the many others they are crippling?

    Then there is ‘US’ the taxpayers in CA that are facing much higher taxes (some have already been put into place). House values are down to 1/4 of their value of 3 years ago, yet the county tax accessment office will do nothing to re-evaluate the taxes. They say they don’t have the people to come out (they have had their workforce cut back too).

    The state has sent out notices to counties, cities and whomever they can to take away any money they can find in ‘general fund accounts’. They claim they must have this money to make their budget, yet on the news lastnight they are saying the $14 billion deficit will actually be more like $24 billion by the time this all hits the fan. If the foo sh*ts governer Arnie, wear it.

    RECALL ALL CURRENT STATE POLICY MAKERS, and VOTE IN NEW ONES.

    The current state staff continues to give themselves raises, they sit and dine off all of us with no decision on the budget.

    OK i’m off the soapbox for now.

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