Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dear Arnie

With all due respect, you've had your share of ridiculous schemes, social gaffes (remember the Nurses?) and ill-conceived programs. But closing the State Parks? Not only is it impossible to enforce (closed road? no problem. We'll just four-wheel over or hike in from down the road) but it's truly dangerous. Of all your hare-brained ideas, this is the worst I've ever heard.

First of all: the State Parks are a tremendous resource for the stressed-out populace whose non-existent incomes can no longer provide other forms of relaxation and entertainment. This is a time when we need the parks the most, where folks can exercise or be in nature to relieve their economic worries. It is not only healthier to be at the beach, but even with parking fees, it's cheaper than movies, or walking around a mall stressing out about what you can't buy. And camping is a much less expensive alternative to Disneyland or other travel vacations.

Secondly: have you tried to book a camping vacation? Most of the parks are already full, meaning income, Arnie, income. Parks bring in money. Maybe not as much as you'd like, but it's money coming straight to the State. Why turn off the spigot? What the bleeep are you thinking?

Thirdly: With no rangers or staff around, who do you think will be the first to populate empty campsites and avail themselves of bathroom facilities? Will a closed fire-gate keep the riff-raff out of beaches or wilderness? I think not, Arnie. Without supervision, parklands and campgrounds will become squattervilles and party-down HQ's. Who's going to patrol the parks? The Rangers you just fired? Certainly not the over-stretched police and fire forces. Can't you see the scenario? Alcohol, drugs, impulsive, thoughtless behavior, and worst of all, un-monitored camp fires. You thought last fire-season was bad; wait until irresponsible riff-raff have unfettered access to our treasured woodlands. And fighting fires, of course, cost money. Now where's the savings?

This idea might look good on paper, Arnie, but it will only cost us, not only in the long run, but as early as next month. Myself (and others I'm sure) would rather see increased fees and better tax schemes, as painful as it might be, than lose our parks and woodlands. It makes more sense for legislators to take the same 15% pay cut, lose their perks and pay more for their healthcare like the rest of us than close parks, an act that punishes everyone in California.

Legislators need to accept the fact that when prices go up and income goes down, sometimes the adults in the family have to get another job. It's time for the legislators to grow up and admit that California needs more income in order to maintain the basic functions as a government.


  1. When I first heard this, I didn't believe it was true. It's probably the one vacation most people can still afford.

    Crazy. There MUST be a better way to save money.

  2. I still can't believe it. I haven't heard that much about it lately but Arnie is pretty much threatening to shut the whole government down if a budget solution isn't found. Unfortunately, I think it's the only way to get certain knuckleheaded legislators to pull their heads out of the sand and smell the coffee. Really, there aren't many ways left to save money. The State has to consider raising revenues in some way.


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