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  1. #1
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    Budget Passed...Any info on the State Parks?

    The big picture results were no surprise, living as we do in a state with minority-party-rule, but I haven't seen any info yet on how the state parks fared. Anybody know???
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  2. #2
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    Looks like the parks were spared, though there's little detail.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...politics&tsp=1
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  3. #3
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    Read an article in the LA Times which said "most" of the parks slated for closure will stay open.

    It's still a clusterf@ck, though. I'd like to take Arnold and both houses of the legislature and dump them into the Bay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_weasel
    Read an article in the LA Times which said "most" of the parks slated for closure will stay open.

    It's still a clusterf@ck, though. I'd like to take Arnold and both houses of the legislature and dump them into the Bay.
    Might as well sink the whole state, get rid of the government and the people will vote the same people right back in

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_weasel

    It's still a clusterf@ck, though. I'd like to take Arnold and both houses of the legislature and dump them into the Bay.
    There is enough pollution in the Bay as it is.

  6. #6
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    Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.

    2 more years and I retire with a PERS pension. Then I am moving outta here and away from this dysfunctional cabal of fiscal morons.

  7. #7
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    All I heard was that that the "Governor's office will determine which SP's to close" on the radio this morning. I'm guessing some of the more remote parks without campground facilities will be "closed".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.

    2 more years and I retire with a PERS pension. Then I am moving outta here and away from this dysfunctional cabal of fiscal morons.
    you are spot on...26 billion in deficit vs 15 billion in cuts...the rest is accounting stuff that leaves the state with a 10 billion deficit next year already. they have done this every year they have had a budget problem. the solutions are easy in theory but hard in political reality....

    1. fix prop 13 to eliminate the loopholes..would raise billions a year without elimination of the 1% cap. but yes some corps and people who have been in their homes a while will have to pay their fair share of prop taxes. use the added money for schools and lowering of other taxes.
    2. lower top tax brackets and raise lower brackets, or just raise lower brackets. no chance in heck, but the state needs to get away from relying so heavily on the top bracket. it's the single thing that's killing the state the most.
    3. fix the proposition process so that the budget can't get crushed by props that really should come out of the legislative process, including anything that changes the tax structure.
    4. leave the 2/3 budget passage requirement alone...it's the only thing keeping california from having 20% income tax rates!
    Last edited by cohenfive; 07-21-2009 at 09:40 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.
    +1.

    And BTW, a budget agreement has been reached by the key players, but the full legislature doesn't vote on it for a couple more days.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.

    2 more years and I retire with a PERS pension. Then I am moving outta here and away from this dysfunctional cabal of fiscal morons.
    Kinda funny, because state and local employee pensions are one of the things that are sinking the ship.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  11. #11
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    not the pensions themeselves

    But the loss in value as a result of the bad investments being made by Calpers. They just posted a loss equal to 25% of the entire profolio.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Kinda funny, because state and local employee pensions are one of the things that are sinking the ship.
    Glad I'm not the only one who found that ironic.

  13. #13
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    "The following parks were initially slated for closure by the governor: California State Capitol Museum, Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, State Indian Museum State Historic Park, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, D. L. Bliss State Park, Donner Memorial State Park, Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, Emerald Bay State Park, Empire Mine State Historic Park and Kings Beach State Recreation Area. Which of these parks will remain open and which will close is likely to be known in the coming days."

    From here.

  14. #14
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    Calpers isn't worried. They have special drawing rights which means they get to be near the head of the line when times comes to siphoning off tax $$$.

    http://www.sacbee.com/ourregion/story/1336526.html

    "But CalPERS has the authority on its own to compel state and local governments to increase contributions, and the impact of higher rates could be substantial."

    Of course, the state could wind up like GM and go bankrupt being unable to afford the pension and health costs of their pensioners. Personally, I think that's guaranteed. Vallejo went bankrupt and so did San Diego before it. Why not an entire state?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    But the loss in value as a result of the bad investments being made by Calpers. They just posted a loss equal to 25% of the entire profolio.

  15. #15
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    You're thinking small. Aiming for balancing the budget is for the little people--let's get RICH!

    Balanced budgets, respecting the law, thinking before acting, etc. is Un-American and for losers. Just look at the investment banks, AIG, GE, etc. Pull a huge scam, get rich, and let someone else (the losers) pick up the tab. It's the American way.

    A couple ideas:

    1) Create the Bank of California. Everyone in the state is an executive, except for politicians. We pay executives/everyone $10M/year and dole out huge bonuses. Sell all sorts of fake paper (i.e., muni bonds) and toxic junk like land and houses. We lay-off everyone with a sweeeet gold plated executive package. Arrange donations to Washington and CA politician re-elections funds thereby guaranteeing immunity from future prosecution and clawbacks. Declare bankruptcy and let the fools eat it.

    2) Hire the same people who pulled off the Enron scam to make money fast. Jeff Skilling is already sitting in jail so he's not worried about going to prison!

    Enron and their cronies pulled out tens of billions out of CA alone (probably more than the current $26B shortfall) and Enron didn't have pay any of that money back.

    /snark off

    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    you are spot on...26 billion in deficit vs 15 billion in cuts...the rest is accounting stuff that leaves the state with a 10 billion deficit next year already. they have done this every year they have had a budget problem. the solutions are easy in theory but hard in political reality....

    1. fix prop 13 to eliminate the loopholes..would raise billions a year without elimination of the 1% cap. but yes some corps and people who have been in their homes a while will have to pay their fair share of prop taxes. use the added money for schools and lowering of other taxes.
    2. lower top tax brackets and raise lower brackets, or just raise lower brackets. no chance in heck, but the state needs to get away from relying so heavily on the top bracket. it's the single thing that's killing the state the most.
    3. fix the proposition process so that the budget can't get crushed by props that really should come out of the legislative process, including anything that changes the tax structure.
    4. leave the 2/3 budget passage requirement alone...it's the only thing keeping california from having 20% income tax rates!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    But the loss in value as a result of the bad investments being made by Calpers. They just posted a loss equal to 25% of the entire profolio.
    They lost 25% only after posting years of double digit returns by taking risks they shouldn't have.

    Yes, it is the pensions, the whole concept of DB pensions is an anachronism that will be retired one way(bankruptcy) or another (gradual phase out). It leads to corruption on all sides from the employees - spiking, to CALPERS - taking risks and paying managers lavishly, to politicians - taking contributions from unions and investment companies and putting off the day of reckoning when they are termed out.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    4. leave the 2/3 budget passage requirement alone...it's the only thing keeping california from having 20% income tax rates!
    Imagine the shoe was on the other foot...republicans contolled the legislature with a 65% majority and had to fill a $23 billion gap. Democrats just sat there and said they'd accept absolutely no cuts in spending...not one dollar. "We will never accept any cuts." Republicans kept offering increased taxes to try to sway the democrats to compromise but they wouldn't budge. Finally the republicans had no choice but to fill the hole with tax increases and accounting gimmicks and there was barely anything cut.

    The 2/3 rule is totally unjust. It gives the minority party alot more power then the majority party.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm
    They lost 25% only after posting years of double digit returns by taking risks they shouldn't have.

    Yes, it is the pensions, the whole concept of DB pensions is an anachronism that will be retired one way(bankruptcy) or another (gradual phase out). It leads to corruption on all sides from the employees - spiking, to CALPERS - taking risks and paying managers lavishly, to politicians - taking contributions from unions and investment companies and putting off the day of reckoning when they are termed out.
    From what I understand, 401ks and the like were never intended to replace DB pensions, but to supplement them. It doesn't seem fair to blame employees for excessive risk taking by pension managers.

  19. #19
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    usually an institution offers one type of pension or the other--either defined benefit or defined contribution. the db plans are going the way of dinosaurs because the economics are horrible for the company or governmental body that offered them. think gm, chrysler and the airlines. most private sector pensions are now defined contribution plans where the company and/or the employees put in money and direct investments across different choices.

    no easy answers here--db plans are killing companies and governmental bodies because the guaranteed benefits don't mesh well with a bear market, and dc plans have hurt people who have directed investments into stocks and have seen their retirement assets eroded away.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.
    We don't have a budget yet......they have to vote on it Thursday. It will be less then a year, I'm thinking late October early November then we will be in the same spot. Remember we had a budget in February but it didn't cover all the expenses. Then they slapped us with a 12 billion dollar increase in taxes (sales tax, income tax, and DMV fee increase).

    I'm happy with the no new taxes but where is the $$$$$$$ coming from the fill the 14 billion dollar gap? They need to do what all business do in hard times.....reduce the state work force. My company pulled the dozen or so open positions and is not hiring...all in the name of staying afloat. I'm not sure the clowns in Sacramento get that.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    usually an institution offers one type of pension or the other--either defined benefit or defined contribution. the db plans are going the way of dinosaurs because the economics are horrible for the company or governmental body that offered them. think gm, chrysler and the airlines. most private sector pensions are now defined contribution plans where the company and/or the employees put in money and direct investments across different choices.

    no easy answers here--db plans are killing companies and governmental bodies because the guaranteed benefits don't mesh well with a bear market, and dc plans have hurt people who have directed investments into stocks and have seen their retirement assets eroded away.
    Agreed, we should stop/freeze pension benefits. It's clearly not sustainable. Look at retired cops in San Jose making more while retired than what they made when they were working. Stick everybody in 401k type plans, and we won't be stuck with ever increasing pension liabilities.
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  22. #22
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    I'm 33 and have had 4 different jobs in the past 5 years. The field that I have a degree in is crumbling. What's a pension? Never heard of it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    you are spot on...26 billion in deficit vs 15 billion in cuts...the rest is accounting stuff that leaves the state with a 10 billion deficit next year already. they have done this every year they have had a budget problem. the solutions are easy in theory but hard in political reality....

    1. fix prop 13 to eliminate the loopholes..would raise billions a year without elimination of the 1% cap. but yes some corps and people who have been in their homes a while will have to pay their fair share of prop taxes. use the added money for schools and lowering of other taxes.
    2. lower top tax brackets and raise lower brackets, or just raise lower brackets. no chance in heck, but the state needs to get away from relying so heavily on the top bracket. it's the single thing that's killing the state the most.
    3. fix the proposition process so that the budget can't get crushed by props that really should come out of the legislative process, including anything that changes the tax structure.
    4. leave the 2/3 budget passage requirement alone...it's the only thing keeping california from having 20% income tax rates!
    RE #1,
    You have to see that Corp DO NOT pay taxes. It is part of the wholesale price of the products they produce. So, then the distributor and retailer have their taxes too and that is added to the retail price as a normal business expense (that you dont see). Guess who actually pays the Corp taxes, Yep YOU, the consumer..........

    Not enough people know this and think raising business taxes wont affect them. Things happen when you tax a Corp/business, they raise their prices, cut people (hopefully it isnt your job), or move the company out of state.

    I have been around Corp and small business for a number of yrs and taxes are always a part of product costing that the consumer eventually pays.

    So, be careful what you wish for. It may cost you
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    So what else is new? (They kick the can down the road every year in CA.). The best solution is mentioned elsewhere in this thread with respect to fixing the mess Prop. 13 created. Also, I agree on on keeping the 2/3 requirement. Hopefully, not too many parks, if any, get closed. -gt2005

    [
    quote=dave54]Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.

    2 more years and I retire with a PERS pension. Then I am moving outta here and away from this dysfunctional cabal of fiscal morons.[/quote]

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    I'm 33 and have had 4 different jobs in the past 5 years. The field that I have a degree in is crumbling. What's a pension? Never heard of it.
    I have never heard of a pension either.................I plan my retirement with what I make now. If social security is there when I retire, its just gravy for me. I really dont expect it to be. Or, I will be disqualified be I planned ahead a saved my own money for retirement
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    Man, this is such a backwawrd state is not even funny.
    It's all about the employee unions in bed with the state lawmakers. I say vote all those sleezy state lawmaker out of office next year. A handful of them have real business experience but most of them are typical lifer politicians. And cut the state workforce 20% across the board.

  27. #27
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    Except for THIS yr, CA does not have a revenue problem, it's a spending problem. Look at the revenue vs spend for since prop 13.

    Quote Originally Posted by GT2005
    So what else is new? (They kick the can down the road every year in CA.). The best solution is mentioned elsewhere in this thread with respect to fixing the mess Prop. 13 created. Also, I agree on on keeping the 2/3 requirement. Hopefully, not too many parks, if any, get closed. -gt2005

    [
    quote=dave54]Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.

    2 more years and I retire with a PERS pension. Then I am moving outta here and away from this dysfunctional cabal of fiscal morons.
    [/quote]
    Last edited by ziscwg; 07-22-2009 at 04:02 PM.
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  28. #28
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    I'm so glad they're downsizing the prison population. Get all those drug addicts out of there.
    Finally, the effect of Proposition 5 (2008) without the costs (maybe).

  29. #29
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    ziscwg, all i was pointing out was making prop taxes fairly apportioned across properties. if businesses pass costs along to customers at least it will be a level playing field, with all property equally assessed--very different from what we have now. i hear you on the general level of business taxes and regs creating a very unpleasant business climate in the state. i see it all the time in my work.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Agreed, we should stop/freeze pension benefits. It's clearly not sustainable. Look at retired cops in San Jose making more while retired than what they made when they were working. Stick everybody in 401k type plans, and we won't be stuck with ever increasing pension liabilities.
    I want to be one of these top 10 people/positions when I retire.

    http://www.californiapensionreform.com/calpers/

    Name ------------ Monthly------ Annual------ Employer Name
    BRUCE MALKENHORST $41,639.57 $499,674.84 VERNON
    JOAQUIN FUSTER $24,712.99 $296,555.88 UC LOS ANGELES
    DONALD GERTH $23,171.22 $278,054.64 CSU SACRAMENTO
    etc.



    The crop of soon to retire pensioners will make the current top ten highest paid look like paupers. Lot's of current employees well over $400k/yr salaries.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    ziscwg, all i was pointing out was making prop taxes fairly apportioned across properties. if businesses pass costs along to customers at least it will be a level playing field, with all property equally assessed--very different from what we have now. i hear you on the general level of business taxes and regs creating a very unpleasant business climate in the state. i see it all the time in my work.
    I see your point. Sorry, I kind of went off because I come across people that are just "Tax business and corporations!!!" or "Tax the rich!!!" without really thinking about how that affects the prices I pay at an LBS.
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    Arnie is trying to Shut down the Del Mar Fair grounds in San Diego. Dick!

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    There was a petition though

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes
    KCBS today said it's likely that 30-40 state parks will be closed. I hope they're wrong.
    My HOPE is that everyone figures out there is a cost to all of this CHANGE stuff, and California Parks are a very low priority compared to educating all the people in California who don't have an education and don't have health care. Let's get everyone an education, health care and three square meals before we start worrying about State Parks. You can always poach a State Park if it comes down to that.

    You can't give people an education without having thousands of tutors teaching them how to design and make solar panels, windmills and non-toxic batteries. And his off shore oil drilling and natural gas to generate revenues for California and the US is a bunch of RIGHT WING BS.

    TD

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    My HOPE is that everyone figures out there is a cost to all of this CHANGE stuff, and California Parks are a very low priority compared to educating all the people in California who don't have an education and don't have health care. Let's get everyone an education, health care and three square meals before we start worrying about State Parks. You can always poach a State Park if it comes down to that.

    You can't give people an education without having thousands of tutors teaching them how to design and make solar panels, windmills and non-toxic batteries. And his off shore oil drilling and natural gas to generate revenues for California and the US is a bunch of RIGHT WING BS.

    TD
    Do you live in California?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    Do you live in California?
    Isn't he the guy who moved to AZ? Probably collects a Calpers pension.
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  37. #37
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    Millions cut from state parks - 50 may close

    ...A list of park closures will not be released, park officials said, until donations are sought and partnerships with public and private organizations are fully explored. "We want to cobble together some deals and see if we can keep some of these parks open," said Roy Stearns, the spokesman for the state parks system...
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...MNPJ18UJ3C.DTL

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Isn't he the guy who moved to AZ? Probably collects a Calpers pension.
    After driving around the US for eight years in my motor casa I found a great almost fulltime mountain biking destination, I decided to leave California and move to Sedona. The riding in Sedona isn't for everyone. Many of my Cali friends hate it because of "lack of flow".You need to be a very good technical climber to really enjoy the riding in Sedona.


    As far as the pension plan goes, I basicly saved and invested about 20% of my earnings from the age of 13 when I got my first paper route. During my non-government work career I would go out to lunch with fellow workers who would spend $10 to $15 on lunch and I would bring my sack lunch or eat food that very cute girls would leave on a table next to where we were sitting.

    I would then take the saving from lunch and pay down my house morgage which Rob Black says is a stupid idea. As we know Rob Black is still working and the traildoc is out riding, enjoying the American Dream.

    I am so happy to be out of California for most of the time. My sister in law said her SF Cronicle bill just went from $90 to $320. That pretty much represents what is happening in the progressive state of California.

    TD

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    My HOPE is that everyone figures out there is a cost to all of this CHANGE stuff, and California Parks are a very low priority compared to educating all the people in California who don't have an education and don't have health care. Let's get everyone an education, health care and three square meals before we start worrying about State Parks. You can always poach a State Park if it comes down to that.

    You can't give people an education without having thousands of tutors teaching them how to design and make solar panels, windmills and non-toxic batteries. And his off shore oil drilling and natural gas to generate revenues for California and the US is a bunch of RIGHT WING BS.

    TD
    Typical (ex)Californian. Weeee! Lets make windmills and solar panels and non-toxic batteries and, like, food and stuff. We'll have blushing earth-maidens checking our blood pressure and giving us vitamins all from the goodness of their hearts rather than because they're pulling down a salary.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    After driving around the US for eight years in my motor casa I found a great almost fulltime mountain biking destination, I decided to leave California and move to Sedona. The riding in Sedona isn't for everyone. Many of my Cali friends hate it because of "lack of flow".You need to be a very good technical climber to really enjoy the riding in Sedona.


    As far as the pension plan goes, I basicly saved and invested about 20% of my earnings from the age of 13 when I got my first paper route. During my non-government work career I would go out to lunch with fellow workers who would spend $10 to $15 on lunch and I would bring my sack lunch or eat food that very cute girls would leave on a table next to where we were sitting.

    I would then take the saving from lunch and pay down my house morgage which Rob Black says is a stupid idea. As we know Rob Black is still working and the traildoc is out riding, enjoying the American Dream.

    I am so happy to be out of California for most of the time. My sister in law said her SF Cronicle bill just went from $90 to $320. That pretty much represents what is happening in the progressive state of California.

    TD
    I hope that when I am retired I have better things to do with my time than troll mountain bike forums of states that I no longer live in. You say that you are happy you left us but your constant attempts at baiting suggest otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    I hope that when I am retired I have better things to do with my time than troll mountain bike forums of states that I no longer live in. You say that you are happy you left us but your constant attempts at baiting suggest otherwise.
    Hung:

    Actually I am living in Cali right now and am enjoying the mild temperatures of where I am staying at the present now compared to Sedona. Fortunately when I am here I can live for basicly nothing since I am in the motor casa and live in parking lots.

    It is true I do go on MTBR a lot and present my point of view on different subject matter that seems to be rejected by some and embraced by others.

    Since I have always been a penny pincher I just go wacko when I see the waste in government. A Cal Trans work crew is one of the biggest visual examples of inefficentcy IMHO and represents why the state is bankrupt.

    As I was driving up Hwy 5 a couple weeks ago I couldn't help but being amazed at the amount of tire rubber and litter present along the highway. Seems like a great summer job opprotunity for my lazy couch potato nephews who claim to be mentally disabled due to smoking too much medical marijuna. There is way too much compassion for those California citizens that choose to milk the system IMHO.

    Curious if the MTBR crowd has gotten to watch that documentary on the early evolution of mountain biking staring Gary Fisher and Tom Richy? That is definitely a great insight as to how the passion of mountain biking started and why it is so popular today.

    TD

  42. #42
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    Arnold cuts 14.2 Billion out of state parks

    Quote Originally Posted by bikemapdude
    The big picture results were no surprise, living as we do in a state with minority-party-rule, but I haven't seen any info yet on how the state parks fared. Anybody know???
    State Parks
    The $14.2 million reduction to the Department of Parks and Recreation reflects an expenditure reduction to the state park system. This reduction will achieve $22.2 million in savings when fully implemented. It will result in the closure of probably more than 100 parks which will be identified once the Department has been able to complete a full assessment of its remaining resources and be in a position to determine where it will need to shut facilities down.

    so many local economies, adverse, indirect and direct jobs. Not to mention that the expense of operation and maintenance will increase.

    FU Arnold

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    ............

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Arnold cuts 14.2 Billion out of state parks
    Whoa!

    Obviously, "Billions" is a typo. Here's what happened today...

    SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday used his executive
    powers to cut nearly an additional $500 million from programs ranging from child
    welfare to AIDS prevention to state parks to health care for the poor.

    The line item vetoes, coming on top of more than $15 billion in spending cuts
    approved by the Legislature last week, capped weeks of agonizing negotiations
    over how to close a deficit that comprised almost one-third of the California's entire
    general fund.

    ...

    The governor also vetoed an additional $6.2 million for state parks, on top of
    $8 million legislators had taken away. That means 100 of the state's 279 state parks
    will close, although administration officials said they had not yet identified which ones.
    San Jose Mercury News
    http://www.mercurynews.com/politics/ci_12930356

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    Great... that's 100 more places the Mexican Mafia can grow dope without interference.
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

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    Often mentioned is that attendance will be one of the factors in determining which parks are closed. So this is interesting, the 2008 data:

    http://coastsider.com/images/uploads...attendance.pdf

    ///Charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35
    Often mentioned is that attendance will be one of the factors in determining which parks are closed. So this is interesting, the 2008 data:

    http://coastsider.com/images/uploads...attendance.pdf

    ///Charlie
    Great Find!

    I just hope Coe makes the cut, or finds some alternative source of funding. 39k visitors is on the low end. Most of the other state parks with good mtb access look fairly safe (based on attendance) from my initial quick look.
    Maps, Routes, Photos - www.bikemapdude.com

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    Send an email if you can

    It only takes about a minute to send an email at this link.
    http://ga3.org/campaign/budget072909/

    Please forward to people who may be interested.

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    Today's press release regarding Park fee increases...

    CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
    News Release
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Roy Stearns / Sheryl Watson
    August 11, 2009 (916) 654-7538

    State Park Camping and Day-Use Fees to Increase, Partners Sought to Help Keep
    More Parks Open


    California State Parks day-use and camping fees will increase and begin to help offset
    recent budget reductions and help keep more parks open. Partners in the public and
    private sectors are still being sought, as the fee increase will help keep some parks open,
    but not all.

    “In these dire economic times, we can no longer afford to keep our fees at their current
    levels,” said State Parks Director Ruth Coleman. “The people of California understand that
    by charging more, we will be able to keep more parks open and preserved for these and
    future generations.”

    Beginning Aug. 17, day-use parking fees will increase by $2 to $5, and camping fees will
    increase by $10 - $21 a night. Camping reservations made prior to that date will be
    honored at the lower price.

    Annual Passes will go back on sale immediately at the existing price of $125. In future
    months, additional fee and pass increases are possible as State Parks assesses how the
    partnership program stretches the reduced budget funding to help keep parks open.

    A list of specific parks where fee adjustments will occur will be made available when they
    go into effect. In deciding which parks will receive a fee increase, and by how much, park
    managers are evaluating attendance, with higher fees charged where demand is greatest.
    In that way, the fee increase will have the least effect on attendance, resulting in a
    revenue gain. Managers will watch revenues closely, and may make adjustments to
    particular fees throughout the year.

    It should be noted that these increases do not raise park revenues to the level of
    self-sustainment for the system. Doing that would require steep increases that would
    price people out of their public park system. These increases are another tool in the
    efforts being taken by California State Parks to keep more parks open during this time of
    budget cuts and employee furloughs.

    The department continues to seek support from cities, counties, corporations and nonprofit
    organizations who may want to sponsor or operate particular parks to help keep them
    open. Further, park managers have been reducing services and modifying their operations
    by closing portions of parks and reducing operating hours.

    “We have loyal visitors who truly love our parks,” added Coleman. “We will do our best to
    maximize the use of additional funds so that parks continue to be available for public
    enjoyment.”

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/712/fi...eeIncrease.pdf

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    That just sucks

    I just saw the article about fee increases posted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. I can't help think that they are blowing it. It will work in some places where you have to arrive at the park by car. But there are lots of parks, at least on the central coast, where you can just walk or bike in. What do they think is going to happen?

    http://coastsider.com/images/uploads...attendance.pdf

    I'd urge folks to look at that document Skyline35 posted earlier. It shows something like 70 million unpaid state park visitors last year. I already have the lower cost state park pass, and got hit up for an extra $20 this spring, since they don't honor it at Point Lobos. The day use lots at Henry Cowell are mostly empty most days, while dozens of cars park on the shoulder of Hwy 9. Same thing at Wilder

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    i for one am happy to pay the fees, and wish more people felt the same way. they are small potatoes relative to the benefits of use...it's not like we pay high taxes in california anyway.....

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    Problem is that no one pays the fees, because they park right outside the park. I use Mt. Diablo all the time but either drive there for a ride, or if I hike, the trail head we like to leave from doesn't have a parking lot. Maybe I'll pay to park at Annadel on Saturday if I go.

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    what i would like to see is some sort of annual pass for access to the entire system. ebrpd has this (i don't sign up for it any more) and while it acts as a pass for the parks, for the most part i think it acts as a donation to the system since most people don't pay for parking anyway.

    heck, maybe the mtb community could raise some funds to help save some parks if we can get some concessions on access...lots to consider here.

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    it's the same thing at Annadel. I bet most users don't even know there's a pay lot. One Sunday I saw a ranger taking pictures of the "free" lot (technically not on park property) at Cobblestone. She was trying to show the state how many people used the park. She said that the park only used parking receipts to figure how many people used the park.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

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    I would be willing to buy a annual parking pass, even if I ride my bike. But, I would want to know that I would get equitable access to trails as a cyclist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    what i would like to see is some sort of annual pass for access to the entire system. ebrpd has this (i don't sign up for it any more) and while it acts as a pass for the parks, for the most part i think it acts as a donation to the system since most people don't pay for parking anyway.
    To combat this, there was a proposal to add a annual state park fee into the vehicle license fee which ended up getting vetoed by der furer, da govuhnatuh.

    There is a case against the Governor now that his line-item vetoes to further trim programs including the parks overstepped his authority. Let's see how that goes.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BA4J196PJU.DTL

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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic
    To combat this, there was a proposal to add a annual state park fee into the vehicle license fee which ended up getting vetoed by der furer, da govuhnatuh.

    There is a case against the Governor now that his line-item vetoes to further trim programs including the parks overstepped his authority. Let's see how that goes.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BA4J196PJU.DTL
    Shred:

    What upsets me about the gov is that he never got health insurance for all Californians. California could have been the poster child to all of the other states as to how a progressive state like California could provide comprehensive health care (including free medical marijuna) for all Californians by just uping the State sales tax to 18%.

    The California budget is laughable, if it looks like a disaster it probably is. I am sure all Californian's understand that they have been sold down the river by their slick state politicians. Wait until next year when California's bond rating is downgraded.

    I hope I am full of beans, but I wouldn't bet on it. Next year they will probably have to sell a few State parks to the Chinese just to get some cash.

    TD

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    they should sell some prisons first..location, location, location!

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    they should sell some prisons first..location, location, location!
    Yes. Close old state prisons like San Quentin, and let the private sector run new prisons in the boonies where labor and real estate cost less. Savings would be significant.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

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    maybe they could put a prison in briones and/or pleasanton ridge!

  61. #61
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    Or use prisoners instead of cows

    to maintain the grasses. Viola no more cow poop and the prisoners can make baskets or something.

  62. #62
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    Whats with all this "let the private sector" do this and that, Zorg?! The private sector has proven beyond a doubt that it can't be trusted to govern itself in anything, let alone something such as the prison system. What would you want, for the private prisons to attempt to make money by increasing the number of prisoners? How is that accomplished? More laws? More things being illegal?

    We're already over-imprisoning people for petty (drug) crimes. The last thing we want is an entire industry who's sole purpose is to increase the prison population.

    No, the private sector is not the answer ... at least not for things our government should be handling, such as prisons and military-industrial complexes, etc. Do we want a version of Blackwater for our prison system?

  63. #63
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    I'm all for making Mary Jane legal so that we can tax it. That being said, the state prison system has mostly shown so far to being good to the prison guard union who got itself some sweet deals over the years. Deals that we'll be paying for ever, unless 1) we revisit those deals (as if...) or 2) we transfer the inmates to less costly prisons. I heard not long ago that we spend something like $48k per year per inmate, which is way above the national average. And for that princely sum, we have subpar healthcare, and overcrowded prisons. Clearly, something's amiss.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

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    as far as the prison system, that could be fixed by immediately killing everyone in jail for their second felony. All of them. 2 felonies means death, no matter what. $48K/year saved per inmate, maybe $3 for the bullet. First-time felons should be worked 8 hours a day, no choices. Cut grass or starve. In fact, build singletrack or starve. I like that better.

    While we are at it: legalize all drugs, tax and regulate them like alcohol, and make it the death penalty to supply to underage kids. Same thing with prostitution and gambling. All the vice stuff that is so lucrative for organized crime, we should just embrace it ourselves, tax and regulate it. Why should the profit go to criminals when we could all enjoy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    what i would like to see is some sort of annual pass for access to the entire system. ebrpd has this (i don't sign up for it any more) and while it acts as a pass for the parks, for the most part i think it acts as a donation to the system since most people don't pay for parking anyway.

    heck, maybe the mtb community could raise some funds to help save some parks if we can get some concessions on access...lots to consider here.

    do you know about http://store.parks.ca.gov/detail.aspx?ID=105 ?

    I just found out about it myself and im going to buy one I have probably spent near that in parking fees sense January

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatdave
    as far as the prison system, that could be fixed by immediately killing everyone in jail for their second felony. All of them. 2 felonies means death, no matter what. $48K/year saved per inmate, maybe $3 for the bullet. First-time felons should be worked 8 hours a day, no choices. Cut grass or starve. In fact, build singletrack or starve. I like that better.

    While we are at it: legalize all drugs, tax and regulate them like alcohol, and make it the death penalty to supply to underage kids. Same thing with prostitution and gambling. All the vice stuff that is so lucrative for organized crime, we should just embrace it ourselves, tax and regulate it. Why should the profit go to criminals when we could all enjoy it.
    fat:

    You may be onto something there. I am sure you have heard about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I think he has some good ideas on trimming prison costs that actually work. It might be a good idea to set up such a camp somewhere between Bakersfield and Paso Robles or somewhere in ElCentro.

    I just signed up for his email updates so I can be on the cutting edge of what is going on in the world of prision reform.

    http://mcso.org/index.php?a=GetModul...page=Subscribe

    TD

  67. #67
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    New fee schedules

    New Day Use Fees by Park (PDF Version) - Effective August 17, 2009
    New Camping Fees by Park (PDF Version) - Effective August 17, 2009

    for example:
    Henry Coe HQ day parking was $5, now $8
    Henry Coe Hunting Hollow day parking was $4, now $6

    ///Charlie

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    AndrewJL posted a link to the state park site -- they have annual passes for $90 that cover a lot of the parks. That's on my list - probably have to pick one up soon. I go to wilder a lot, and always park in the lot. That is $8 now. Used to be $6 I think. When the rangers aren't there (weekdays), you can leave it in an envelope. But, damn, $8 is a lot to park. I want to make sure they get money, but that is just too much.

    Have to look at the prison reform stuff. Probably not as simple as I make it out to be

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    I've got the $90 pass; it's called the poppy pass, I think. It isn't honored at some parks, mostly beaches in SoCal, but also Point Lobos down at Carmel. But it is good for Wilder, Cowell, Nisene Marks and Henry Coe. In addition to being nice parking in the lot at Wilder, I have a dog that I walk a lot at Cowell. My pass probably paid for itself in 2 months at the old rates, now, even faster.

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    18% sales tax!

    What a great idea. . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup
    18% sales tax!

    What a great idea. . .
    pu:

    Californian's should pray it's only 18%. The crazies at Fox news are predicting a national sales tax to help with the potential tripling of the National Debt. I don't know what they are smoking, but I wonder if they get their medical marijuna from California. Is there any sales tax on Medical marijuna that would help reduce the California deficit?

    TD

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    Here is a rumor saying the closure list will be released on Sept 18, 2009

    http://www.theunion.com/article/2009...parentprofile=

    Yuba park to close?
    Friday, September 11, 2009
    By Dave Moller
    Senior Staff Writer,

    Sources close to the impending California state park closure situation said Friday it looks good for Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley because of its ability to make money as an enclosed facility.

    Those same sources said closure of the South Yuba River State Park is possible because it takes in virtually no money and is wide open for miles, with no fenced exit or entrance points to control fee taking.

    That could also be true at Malakoff Diggins on the San Juan Ridge with its wide open nature. There was no speculation on what could happen at Donner Memorial State Park adjacent to Truckee.

    A spokesperson there referred The Union to state park department headquarters, which was closed because of budget deficit furloughs.

    The sources also said that anything can happen when the hit list of 100 parks is announced Sept. 18. The closure of any of the county's four state parks would probably effect the economy.

    Grass Valley Mayor Lisa Swarthout recently said the Empire Mine park means $10 million a year to the city's economy.

    With a state parks estimate of each visitor spending $57.63 per visit, the impact would be huge from a South Yuba River park closure as well, according to the park's booster association.

    Empire Mine Park Association President Jim Dierberger was confident Friday the facility would survive because of a recent meeting with state parks Sierra District Superintendent Pam Armas.

    The Union could not locate Armas for comment Friday or regular parks department spokesman Roy Stearns because of the furloughs.

    “We were encouraged to believe the Empire Mine Park will not be on the closure list,” Dierberger said. “There will be changes, we don't know what they will be yet.”

    Once the list is out, “There will be a flurry of political activity,” Dierberger said.

    “There will be a lot of efforts from these legislators to keep their area parks open.”

    “We don't know how much staff sharing or innovation will come up,” Dierberger said.

    Ever since the parks were put in jeopardy by the state budget deficit situation, department officials and legislators have said communities may have to chip in to keep their parks open, either with volunteer time, money, or something innovative.

    Diane Marten of the South Yuba River State Park was not as confident as Dierberger for the facility on several spots of the river and famous for the Bridgeport area.

    “I know we'll be hit, how hard, I don't know,” Marten said. “I understand it's an income-based thing, but we can't charge because of the openness of the park. It seems unfair to me.”

    Marten said Sen. Sam Aanestad had advised her of the income-based criteria. Aanestad was busy on the floor of the Senate late Friday, but spokesman Bill Bird was available.

    “They may close the parks that don't generate money because they need all the revenue they can get to keep as many open as possible, that's the rumor” Bird said.

    “The governor has said the parks will only get so much money,” Bird said. “The department of parks will decide which parks will be closed, it's up to them.”

    “We won't know until the 18th,” said Jeremy McReynolds, Supervising Ranger for both the South Yuba and Malakoff Diggins parks. “There is talk of something happening, but it's politics, anything can happen.”

    The Union was unable to locate Malakoff Diggins State Park Association President Wes Nelson for comment.

    To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    Is there any sales tax on Medical marijuna that would help reduce the California deficit?
    There is an easy fix - stop giving away sweat deals to the organized racket of SEIU and other government employee unions. If we had been spending the same amount per person as ten years ago, adjusted for inflation, we would have a surplus right now.

    Tens of thousands of useless bureaucrats retiring at 55 with full lifetime benefits and 80% of a fat salary is not sustainable. But they keep lobbying for more.

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    More time needed to decide which parks to close

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...MNVP19N26J.DTL


    More time needed to decide which parks to close

    SFGate
    Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    (09-15) 20:46 PDT -- Neighborhood watch-style groups will have to do the work of rangers
    to prevent illegal activity in closed state parks unless voters approve a vehicle license fee
    or some other method is found to save the beleaguered park system, officials and park
    supporters said today.

    California State Park officials - who had planned to tell the public this week which state
    parks were going to be closed this year due to budget cuts - admitted today that the job
    of determining which parks to shutter is more complicated than they thought it would be.

    As a result, they indefinitely delayed naming the 100 parks to be closed. They also said
    they did not know when the closures will occur.

    "We are involved in a process we didn't understand was as complicated as it is," said Roy
    Stearns, spokesman for the park system.

    One big problem, officials said, is that they don't know exactly how they're going to keep
    the public out of closed state parks and beaches. Officials fear a free-for-all among
    squatters and ruffians for dibs on thousands of acres of unpatrolled parkland.

    Hard to fence in

    "That's the difficulty and also the worry as we try to come up with a list of closures," said
    Stearns. "It's pretty impossible to close (many of the beaches and parks) or put a fence
    around them. People are probably going to go there. We hope they are careful and don't
    put themselves at risk."

    Stearns said local sheriff's deputies will primarily be responsible for patrolling the closed
    parks, but many state beaches and remote wildland areas will be impossible to supervise
    adequately.

    "We hope there is a kind of statewide neighborhood watch where people make a call if
    there is something that shouldn't be there," Stearns said. "Ninety-nine-point-nine percent
    of our visitors are very watchful of these places and are as disappointed as we are that
    they are closing. I would suspect people will be eager to be watchful and report
    unscrupulous activities."

    2010 ballot measure

    Stearns said the final list, when it is released, will be a working document that may
    change if funding changes or if there are new ideas to keep parks open.

    One idea is to put a $15 vehicle license fee on the ballot in November 2010. The initiative,
    being considered by a coalition of environmental groups, would raise about $400 million a
    year and eliminate entrance fees for motorists at all state parks.

    The California Conservation Action Fund, which lists the California State Parks
    Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society as contributors,
    will decide this fall whether to spend some of the nearly $1 million in the committee's
    coffers to get the issue on the ballot.

    "We want off this roller coaster ride, and we are looking for a tool that will be viable and
    will provide a long-term funding source for the state parks," said Elizabeth Goldstein,
    executive director of the parks foundation, which is leading the effort.

    Voters unpredictable

    But a ballot initiative is not a sure thing. Legislation for such vehicle fees failed in 2008
    and 2009 after Republican lawmakers opposed new taxes. Despite initial support in polls,
    it is unclear whether cash-strapped voters would agree to another Department of Motor
    Vehicle fee.

    The agreement to close as many as 100 of the parks was part of a deal signed in July by
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to erase a $24 billion budget gap this fiscal year. The
    deficit-elimination plan means virtually every state department will lose personnel and see
    funding slashed, but the state park hit list is weighted with a huge amount of public
    anxiety and outrage. It will be the first time in the 108-year history of the park system that
    a park has been closed to balance the budget.

    California's 279 state parks, which cover 1.5 million acres, were already operating on little
    more than a shoestring budget, having absorbed years of cost cutting and staff
    reductions. As it is, the state parks have $1.2 billion in deferred maintenance on the
    books. Now, many of these under-maintained parks are facing outright abandonment.

    Which parks?

    Which parks will be closed remains a mystery. Park officials had said that parks that
    don't make money, cannot be operated with minimal staffing and are not self-sustaining
    through fees are in jeopardy. Stearns said the project now is to determine which parks
    can be patrolled by personnel from nearby parks or by part-time workers.

    At least 25 state parks within an hour of San Francisco are vulnerable, including Mount
    Tamalpais, China Camp and Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County, Mount Diablo
    and Angel Island, and beaches in San Mateo County and along the rugged Sonoma coast.

    Henry W. Coe State Park, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, Tomales Bay State Park
    and Candlestick Point State Recreation Area were on an earlier hit list and could very well
    be on this one too.

    "The last thing we want to do is close parks if there are alternatives out there, so if
    someone shows up the day after we release the list with an idea, then it would behoove
    us to listen," Stearns said. "The goal would be to have this run its course in two years or
    less when hopefully the economy improves, state revenues improve and we can put our
    state parks back together."

    E-mail Peter Fimrite at pfimrite@sfchronicle.com.

    © 2009 Hearst Communications Inc.

  75. #75
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    I was wondering how they would factor in patrolling closures into the reduced budget.

    Neighborhood watch type groups? Seems like a good place to repost Sorcerer's message on the Coe bike patrol before it disappears into obscurity:

    Heads up Coe riders,

    Volunteer patrols are re-forming for Coe. Foot, horse, and bike. I am forming the bike patrol now. Please message me, email me, contact me, if you would like more details.

    This is a great opportunity to help the park, park visitors, and help yourself keep cycling in Coe a part of your routine.

    2nd Saturday Coe trailwork is suspended until December 12. If the park stays open. FYI

    coe_liaison@romp.org

    -Paul

  76. #76
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    Thought better of my previous post. So let me get this straight: after looting money from the counties to paper over the budget deficit, the plan is to ask the counties to step up sheriff's patrols?
    Last edited by HarryCallahan; 09-15-2009 at 11:00 PM.

  77. #77
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    I should open a new thread because I love this response:

    One big problem, officials said, is that they don't know exactly how they're going to keep the public out of closed state parks and beaches. Officials fear a free-for-all among squatters and ruffians for dibs on thousands of acres of unpatrolled parkland.
    How did officials know that I was going to hammer now "decriminalized" trail with my ruffian style!

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz0RI569cQH

  78. #78
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    The plot thickens...

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13361538

    Leaked memo: California could face major lawsuits if Schwarzenegger closes state parks

    By Paul Rogers
    progers@mercurynews.com
    Posted: 09/17/2009 06:27:06 PM PDT
    Updated: 09/17/2009 07:35:25 PM PDT

    California taxpayers could be on the hook for millions of dollars in damages if the
    Schwarzenegger administration moves ahead with plans to close up to 100 state parks,
    according to an internal memo drafted by the state parks department's attorneys.

    "It is likely that state parks would be liable for breach of contract" with the 188
    agreements the state has signed with private companies that provide concession
    services, from restaurants to boat rentals to gift shops in parks, the memo concluded.

    Those concessions generated $89 million in gross sales last year.

    Further, if people enter closed parks and are injured or start fires, the state "can be held
    responsible for dangerous conditions," the attorneys added, even if the park goers were
    trespassing.

    The memo, which was written earlier this month for state parks director Ruth Coleman
    and distributed to high-level parks managers, was leaked and obtained by a
    Sacramento-based environmental group, Public Employees for Environmental
    Responsibility, which has posted it on its Web site.

    The document is almost certain to increase the growing public and political pressure on
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to soften or abandon his plan to close up to 100 state parks
    as a budget-saving measure. The parks closure list was expected out this week, but has
    been delayed.

    "Often we think we are saving money when in fact we are creating new costs and
    unintended consequences. I take this very seriously," said Assemblyman Jared Huffman,
    D-San Rafael, chairman of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

    Huffman plans to raise the state's potential legal exposure Tuesday at a legislative
    hearing he will oversee on parks closure.

    Roy Stearns, a spokesman for the state parks department, declined to comment
    Thursday on the specifics in the 11-page leaked legal document.

    "We feel it is attorney-client privilege," Stearns said.

    There are multiple reasons the closure list has been delayed, he said. State parks
    leaders are trying to close as few parks as possible, and are studying visitor numbers,
    revenue and complex staffing issues, including complying with union seniority guidelines.
    Stearns acknowledged the legal questions also have taken time.

    "It is absolutely common and responsible for us to examine our legal liability for closing
    parks. We have to do that. It's part of the due process," Stearns said.

    Schwarzenegger would become the first governor to close a park for budget reasons in
    the 108-year history of California's storied state parks system — which includes ancient
    redwoods, the shores of Lake Tahoe, glimmering beaches and historic sites like Sutter's
    Fort.

    "We've never done this before," Stearns said. "I would hope we could have (the list) out by
    the end of the month."

    Faced with a $24 billion deficit amid plummeting tax revenues, the Legislature cut $8
    million from the state parks budget. Last month, Schwarzenegger cut an additional $6.2
    million through a line-item veto, for a total of $14.2 million.

    Parks director Coleman raised entrance fees and searched for partnerships with counties
    and cities, without much luck. She announced there was no other way to make ends
    meet but to close up to 100 parks, and the governor's office agreed.

    The legal headaches spelled out in the memo portray a Gordian knot of potential lawsuits.

    "This shows there are no savings. It could cost taxpayers more money, so it raises the
    question of why are they doing this?" said Karen Schambach, California director of Public
    Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

    Schambach said her group obtained the leaked memo from a former state parks
    employee. When Schambach posted it to the Web, Tara Lynch, chief legal counsel for
    state parks, called her and asked her to remove it, she said. She declined, citing the
    public interest.

    If concessionaires sue over the park closures, the state could potentially have to repay
    them for lost sales. According to state parks budget documents, those sales totaled
    $88.9 million last year, a figure that far outstrips the $14 million the state was trying to
    save.

    "It is likely that state parks would be in breach of contract and (the) concessionaire would
    be entitled to the profits he or she would have received had the contract been performed
    for the remaining term of the contract," the memo said.

    Jack Harrison, executive director of the California Parks Hospitality Association, which
    represents companies with concession contracts in parks, said many are anxious.

    "We've been following this very closely," he said. "We do have some members who are
    very concerned."

    Most of the companies are small businesses renting horses or tent cabins or running
    snack stands and gift shops, he said. Together they paid $11.9 million last year in
    royalties to the state.

    Although none have threatened lawsuits, Harrison said, they are already raising the issue
    of asking the state to renegotiate their contracts.

    Other legal problems spelled out in the memo include the Endangered Species Act. The
    state might face fines by the federal government if poachers kill endangered salmon,
    condors or other animals on unpatrolled state park property, for example.

    Further, the state also could be sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. State
    parks settled a 1999 lawsuit by the California Council for the Blind and Californians for
    Disability Rights in which the agency agreed to make its entrances, paths, signs,
    restrooms and other facilities accessible to the disabled between June 2009 and 2016. If
    state parks missed the court-ordered deadlines, the plaintiffs would likely sue, and "it is
    unlikely state parks could use lack of funding as a defense to making parks accessible,"
    the memo said.

    The state may also be in violation of the California Coastal Act if it blocks public access
    to beaches. It even might be required by a court to write an time-consuming, costly
    environmental impact statement to close parks, the memo adds.

    Contact Paul Rogers at 408-920-5045.
    On the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility web site:
    http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=1242

    For Immediate Release: September 15, 2009
    Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

    CALIFORNIA FINDS CLOSING PARKS NOT SO EASY — Liabilities, Lawsuits and
    Losses Threaten to Swallow Savings from Park Shutdowns

    Sacramento — The looming shutdown of up to 100 California state park facilities is
    fraught with unexpected expenses, large financial uncertainties and a big basket of legal
    headaches, according to a state legal analysis posted today by Public Employees for
    Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Unanticipated problems include both short and
    long-term liabilities, increased risk of wildfires, marijuana plantations on unmonitored
    parklands and “increased danger to the public” due to absence of lifeguards and other
    protective services.

    The extraordinary September 14, 2009 memo by the California Department of Parks and
    Recreation Legal Office analyzes “potential liabilities if units of the State Park System
    close, partially close, or are operated at reduced service levels.” The memo is being
    distributed as a guide to park managers for “mitigating risks.”

    In sobering terms, the memo outlines an array of legal and fiscal thickets from park
    closings, including:

    * Legal liabilities from “dangerous conditions” in unstaffed parks, deteriorating facilities
    and risks to adjoining property from occurrences such as wildfires. The memo concludes
    “From a liability standpoint, closing the parks would probably not benefit State Parks and
    could in fact increase its liability for dangerous condition of public property;”
    * Contractual obligations from grants, land donations, concessionaire contracts and
    earmarked federal and state funds may leave the parks legally obligated to keep operating
    despite a claim of funding shortfalls; and
    * Public safety dangers and legal claims from nuisance uses and trespass. The memo
    predicts that state losses from theft, encroachments and other unauthorized uses “will
    only increase if State Parks cannot take immediate and effective action….”

    “Closing parks may be far more expensive than keeping them open and operating,” stated
    California PEER Coordinator Karen Schambach. “Paradoxically, in order to avoid losses
    of life and property, California will need to spend its supposed savings to keep families out
    of beaches, parks and recreation areas.”

    In addition to potential liabilities, the state legal memo concedes that the state may be
    vulnerable to lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act, the California
    Coastal Act and the federal Endangered Species Act, among other statutes. These suits
    could force the state to keep park units designated for closure open.

    “It is clear that the consequences of park closures have not been thought out – a glaring
    oversight that is only going to make a bad situation worse,” added Schambach. “We have
    pointed out that there are ready alternatives to state park shutdowns if only the factions in
    Sacramento will set aside their turf wars.”

    PEER is urging the state to tap California’s Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund monies that
    are now limited to projects benefiting dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles, despite the
    fact that these vehicles generate just 17% of the $60 million of fuel tax revenue that goes
    to the OHV program. Significantly, none of the State Vehicular Recreation Areas (off-road
    parks) is slated for closure, and the OHV Division added 82 positions this year.

    State Parks & Recreation legal memo:
    http://www.peer.org/docs/ca/09_15_9_...Legal_Memo.pdf

  79. #79
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    Thanks for the update Charlie. I still put this in the category of BART strike and the Bay Bridge opening late, as it gets a lot of coverage, but I don't think it will happen. Still makes me nervous though just in the event it did. Those articles are certainly encouraging. There are so many places the state could take $100 million out of without anyone noticing.

  80. #80
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    Wow what a fiasco. What originally seemed like a simple, straight-forward way to save money is now apparently laden with obstacles. Keep in mind all this research and analysis is taking away time and money from people who should be working on other things rather than this ridiculous plan.

    Reducing spending is surely the way to go but not in the area of natural resources that we all have the right to enjoy. The government is doing whatever it can to cut costs in a way that avoids laying off "their own", but that is really whats necessary. Either that or reduced salaries.

    They need to look at whatever programs were "fatted up" or created after the huge influx of money during the boom years and find ways to eliminate or reduce those costs. Its really that simple.

  81. #81
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    "Often we think we are saving money when in fact we are creating new costs and
    unintended consequences. I take this very seriously," said Assemblyman Jared Huffman,
    D-San Rafael, chairman of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
    YES! THANK YOU! I'm glad that someone in a position of power finally said it!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Idiots!!

    All they did was kick the can down the road for another year. By deferring expenses and accelerating tax collections they just guaranteed the same problem next year, only it will be a bigger mess to clean up. It seems being a vertebrate is not a requirement for the state legislature.

    2 more years and I retire with a PERS pension. Then I am moving outta here and away from this dysfunctional cabal of fiscal morons.

    Take that PERS retirement and run as soon as you can. They wont be so readily available in the near future

  83. #83
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    http://www.kcra.com/politics/21064431/detail.html

    Fewer Than 100 State Parks To Close
    Schwarzenegger's Office Says No Timeline To Release List

    POSTED: 11:21 am PDT September 22, 2009
    UPDATED: 12:17 pm PDT September 22, 2009

    SACRAMENTO, Calif -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office said there's no timeline to
    release a list of California state park closures, and that it will be far fewer than the 100
    parks that the department had originally suggested.

    The office said it disagrees with the number of parks that need to be closed, and that it
    believes it can make up for the $14 million budgeted savings in other ways.

    "We think there's other savings they can make without closing parks. And that's why
    we're going to go through their books and figure out ways to make those savings to the
    department without closing so many parks," governor's spokesman Aaron McLear said.

    The threat to close 100 state parks came after lawmakers rejected a proposal this
    summer to raise car registration fees.

    ...

    Copyright 2009 by KCRA.com. All rights reserved.

  84. #84
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    Seriously?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35
    WE"RE GOING TO CLOSE 100 STATE PARKS!!!! ummm...nevermind.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    WE"RE GOING TO CLOSE 100 STATE PARKS!!!! ummm...nevermind.
    Scare tactics to try to push higher taxes, so that sweet contracts that public employee unions racketeered for themselves can be preserved.

  86. #86
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    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13396160

    Schwarzenegger changes course: Far fewer than 100 state parks to close

    By Paul Rogers
    progers@mercurynews.com
    Posted: 09/22/2009 04:18:18 PM PDT
    Updated: 09/22/2009 06:24:30 PM PDT

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will close far fewer than 100 state parks, and has dropped
    plans to release a list this month, as his administration previously planned.

    Backing away from an issue that prompted growing criticism and threatened the
    governor's environmental legacy, on Tuesday Schwarzenegger's office asked the state
    Department of Finance to find other cuts in the state parks budget to minimize the
    number of parks closed.

    "That 100 number isn't something to hang your hat on," said Jeff Macedo, a spokesman
    for Schwarzenegger. "We wanted to find a way to keep as many parks as possible open.
    We are still working with the parks department to find other ways to save besides closing
    parks."

    Macedo did not rule out the possibility that all state parks might remain open, although he
    said it was unlikely.

    "If there's some way we can work that out, it would be great. But with the cuts in their
    budget that may not be feasible," he said.

    When will the closure list come out, if there is one?

    "I don't think we have a specific time line," he said.

    Budget troubles

    In recent weeks, the prospect that Schwarzenegger would become the first governor in
    the 108-year history of the state parks system to close a state park to save money has
    prompted protests, letters from the public, critical newspaper editorials and requests from
    Republican lawmakers in rural districts that their parks not be closed because of the loss
    to tourism. An internal memo from state lawyers even said it could expose California
    taxpayers to millions in lawsuits.

    Schwarzenegger's staff tried Tuesday to downplay that the changing policy was a major
    shift in the governor's position. Last Monday, however, Schwarzenegger was asked at a
    press conference about closing parks, and he did not mention that his staff would be
    re-evaluating the plan to close 100.

    "I never wanted to make cuts with our parks. I actually wanted to pump more money into
    the parks because people love parks," Schwarzenegger said. "But you can't go and
    promise people things you don't have. I don't have more money."

    California's storied state parks system includes ancient redwoods, the shores of Lake
    Tahoe, glimmering "Baywatch" beaches and historic sites like Sutter's Fort.

    Faced with a $24 billion deficit amid plummeting tax revenues, Schwarzenegger proposed
    eliminating all $143 million in state general fund money for parks by next year. That move,
    according to the state parks department, would have required 220 of the 279 state parks
    to close.

    After public outcry, the Legislature restored all but $8 million this summer. Last month,
    Schwarzenegger cut an additional $6.2 million through a line-item veto, for a total of $14.2 million.

    State parks director Ruth Coleman raised entrance fees and searched for partnerships
    with counties and cities, without much luck. She announced there was no other way to
    make ends meet but to close as many as 100 parks, and the governor's office did not
    overrule her. Further, the official state budget summary Schwarzenegger's office released
    on July 28 declared that the cuts "will result in the closure of probably more than 100
    parks."

    On Tuesday, H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state finance department, said that plan
    will be revisited.

    "We will be meeting with our counterparts in the parks department in the coming days to
    review their proposal, review the underlying assumptions and determine whether there are
    ways to achieve the budgeted level of savings in a manner that can reduce the number of
    parks that can be closed," Palmer said.

    How much role did public pressure play? Palmer didn't answer directly.

    "We're asking 'can we get to the same destination by a different route?'" he said.

    Annual surcharge?

    Environmental groups reacted with caution.

    "Obviously we are hopeful that state parks closures can be minimized, but we are
    skeptical about whether the Department of Finance will find easy targets within the
    department budget to find savings of this magnitude," said Elizabeth Goldstein, executive
    director of the California State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group in San
    Francisco.

    Goldstein's organization is leading a coalition of the state's top environmental groups in
    drafting a statewide parks funding measure that could go on the November 2010 ballot. If
    it passes with a simple majority, it would impose a $15 surcharge on annual vehicle
    registrations, raise roughly $400 million a year and allow all California motorists free
    access to every state park.

    "It's not surprising that ultimately the governor's office is beginning to discover what
    thousands of Californians have known for many months," Goldstein said. "Closing state
    parks would be devastating for the environment, public access and for affordable public
    recreation."

    Last week, the Mercury News reported that an internal memo from state parks lawyers to
    Coleman said California taxpayers could be liable for millions of dollars if parks close.
    Potential liabilities include breach of up to 188 contracts with private concessions
    companies that operate restaurants, boat rentals, gift shops and campgrounds in parks.
    The memo also said the state could be sued if people entered padlocked parks and
    became injured or started fires, and could even be fined by federal agencies if poachers
    killed endangered fish or wildlife.

    Macedo said Tuesday that the memo played no role in the decision to change the
    timetable and scope of parks closures.

    "We disagree with that memo. We feel we are within our legal rights to close parks," he
    said.

    Contact Paul Rogers at 408-920-5045.

    Copyright © 2009 - San Jose Mercury News

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    State parks to stay open: Schwarzenegger

    http://www.centralvalleybusinesstime.../001/?ID=13174

    State parks to stay open: Schwarzenegger
    SACRAMENTO
    September 25, 2009 1:57pm

    • Announces plan to avoid closure

    • Hours or facilities use may be trimmed

    The threat to close a hundred or more state parks to save money seems averted Friday.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled what he calls a plan that would allow
    for all state parks to remain open without increasing the Department of Parks and
    Recreation budget appropriation.

    Following the passage of the budget reduction in July, the Governor tasked the
    Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Finance to work together on a
    plan to achieve $14.2 million in budget savings in the current fiscal year while mitigating
    the number of park closures.

    Several of the parks on a closure list that was never made public were actually not being
    proposed to be closed, but were going to remain open with substantial service reductions,
    the governor says.

    “Furthermore, the parks that were identified on the closure list included closure plans that
    differed significantly from one park to another. In some cases, the parks were proposed to
    be fully, or 100 percent, closed. In other cases, the parks were proposed to be less than
    1 percent closed,” he says.

    To avoid full and complete park closures while achieving budgeted savings of more than
    $14 million, the governor says that during the current fiscal year, the state Parks and
    Recreation Department will reduce ongoing maintenance for the remainder of 2009-2010
    and eliminate all major equipment purchases, such as vehicle replacements.

    Mr. Schwarzenegger says this will save about $12.1 million.

    But most state parks will see reduced hours or even days of operation, reducing
    expenditures on seasonal staff, reducing staffing and operations at Headquarters,
    resulting in a savings of about $2.1 million.

    Some facilities will close weekdays and be open on weekends and holidays; portions of a
    unit may be closed, such as the back loop of a campground; for a park with multiple
    campgrounds, one whole campground or day use facility may be closed while the rest of
    the park remains open; and parks that already close due to seasonal conditions may see
    a longer closure.

    To achieve the $22.2 million of ongoing future General Fund savings that was included in
    the 2009 Budget Act, the administration can explore various solutions for inclusion in the
    January 2010 budget to generate ongoing budget savings while minimizing full and
    complete park closures, the governor says.

  88. #88
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    Let's see... the Governator is going to "reduce ongoing maintenance" at parks that have already been neglected for years? Sheesh. When are we ever going to catch up on this "deferred" maintenance?

    Why not just give the parks to the dope growers and be done with it?
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

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    State Park "Service Reductions" details are being released...

    Service Reduction Summary [pdf]
    New releases on individual districts
    Examples of Service Reduction Plans



    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13655176

    Sweeping cuts imposed on more than half of California state parks
    By Paul Rogers
    progers@mercurynews.com
    Posted: 10/27/2009 07:18:38 PM PDT
    Updated: 10/27/2009 10:04:14 PM PDT

    More than half of California's 279 state parks will see reduced hours, closed
    campgrounds, canceled school field trips and gates padlocked several days a week under
    a wave of unprecedented new cuts completed Tuesday by the state parks department.

    The cuts, an alternative to fully closing dozens of parks, take effect Sunday and continue
    until at least June 30, 2010.

    "People will notice these. We would ask patience and understanding from the public,"
    said Roy Stearns, a spokesman for the parks department. "In these really tough budget
    times, these reductions are better than closing parks. They will save us the money we
    need to get through the year."

    Among the changes:

    • Campgrounds at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County, now open
    every day, will only be open Fridays and Saturdays from December to March.

    • Picnic tables and garbage cans will be removed, school visits reduced by half and
    gates closed Sunday and Monday at Marshall Gold Discovery Site State Historic Park in
    Coloma, where California's Gold Rush began at Sutter's Mill in 1848.

    • Fort Ross State Historic Park, a prominent former Russian settlement on the Sonoma
    coast, will close four days a week, remaining open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

    • Henry Coe State park in Morgan Hill will stay open every day, but its restrooms and
    some back country camps will be closed, and the park will be cleaned less often.

    No ranger layoffs

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the parks department to reduce spending by $14.2
    million on Sept. 25 after he decided not to completely close as many as 100 parks, as he
    had considered doing to help balance the budget.

    For the past month, according to Stearns, parks officials have worked to find cuts that
    would save money while minimizing the impact on visitors.

    The moves affect 143 parks. They will not cause layoffs of park rangers or other
    employees but will mean the state will hire fewer seasonal staff members next year, he
    said. Parks leaders increased entrance and camping fees last year but decided not to do
    it again, for fear of losing revenue if too many visitors stayed away, Stearns said.

    Complete details of which parks would be open which hours were not available Tuesday
    evening. Stearns said residents should contact their local state parks district for specifics.

    Environmental groups reacted with disappointment.

    "After the governor said he saved state parks last month, the pain wasn't going away. It
    was just going to be spread further. It was great political cover," said Jerry Emory, a
    spokesman for the California State Parks Foundation, a parks advocacy group in San
    Francisco.

    More woes ahead

    Ominously for California's nationally renowned park system — which includes redwood
    forests, one-third of the state's coastline, rocky beaches along Lake Tahoe and historic
    museums — the budget approved this year by Schwarzenegger calls for an even larger
    cut of $22 million starting in the next fiscal year beginning July 1.

    "State parks are already suffering under a $1.2 billion deferred maintenance backlog,"
    Emory said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it is going to get worse."

    A consortium of many of California's largest environmental groups — including the Nature
    Conservancy, Audubon California and the Trust for Public Land — is likely to turn in
    paperwork in the next several weeks to the state attorney general to begin trying to qualify
    a measure for the November 2010 ballot to increase operations funding for parks.

    The measure would increase vehicle registration fees by about $15 a year, collecting
    funds that would roughly double the parks budget. Organized by Emory's organization,
    the measure would require a simple majority to pass.

    "These are state, national and international treasures," Emory said. "This funding would
    allow us to keep them open year round and catch up on neglected maintenance," he said.

    The measure was floated in the Legislature this year but opposed by taxpayer groups and
    Republicans, both of whom are expected to oppose any ballot measure.

    Pam Villa, a San Jose school psychologist who regularly rides horses in Henry Coe State
    Park, said she is pleased the parks aren't closing entirely.

    "It doesn't surprise me that they are cutting back on hours and days," she said. "One
    would hope they that keep the parks open on the days when most people use them, like
    Sundays. Taxpayers are working during the week. It seems ridiculous to close any parks
    on Sunday."

    Villa said she will vote for the $15 DMV fee if it appears on the ballot.

    "The parks are an incredibly important part of our recreational lives," she said. "I
    understand the state of California is suffering. I think most people would be more than
    willing to add another $15 a year to access parks. They are the beauty of California."

    Contact Paul Rogers at 408-920-5045.
    Copyright © 2009 - San Jose Mercury News

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