What do people think of prop 21?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What do people think of prop 21?

    The SF Chronicle says to vote no. Almost all the reader comments say to vote yes on it.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...ED0P1FDO0O.DTL

    Personally I'm all for keeping the state parks open.

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    i think the chronicle article and all the comments frame the issue perfectly....

    imo, in theory the chronicle is right--state parks should be funded out of the general fund along with everything else. in practice, however, that just isn't happening. without this 'user fee' (it is as close to a user fee as can be devised) the state parks will be very badly damaged, and that to me is very bad policy. the funny thing is that the parks are a net generator of revenue for the state if you look at all the economic activity that surrounds park usage.

    prop 21 gives citizens the ability to vote to create something almost like a user fee that funds the state park system, which to me is one of the crown jewels in the state. in my opinion they are important enough to deserve off budget funding, even though as the chron states, off budget funding is one of the things that has california in the fiscal pickle it currently is in. while i don't like the intitative process in the state as it causes the budget situation to be more out of control than it would otherwise be, the parks are one of the few things i would support paying for seperately. so i guess i vote yes on prop 21.
    Last edited by cohenfive; 09-15-2010 at 12:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Have a postal stamp made like the cancer stamp. Couple of extra cents for the stamps, the extra $ goes to the parks.
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  4. #4
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    As users, it'll clearly benefit us. The rest of the non users will subsidize our activity.
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  5. #5
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    I can't believe I agree with the SF Chronicle, but I do agree that adding more fee's to pay for the parks in not the way to get this done. Cutting some of the crap out of the budget and learning to live within the available funds is the way to get this done.

    One of the comments basically reads "SF is full of parks so it is good for SF to have everyone one who owns a car pay for them" this represents what is wrong in our world today, "everyone should pay for the parks I enjoy even if they never do, so I don't have to pay for it myself".

    Lets face it, the problem is not that there is not enough money to fix and run the parks, its that the goverment is using that money for other things and the parks are not high enough on the priority list. The solution is to raise the priority, not tax the people more.

    Cops, fire fighters, parks.....save these and start cutting everything else.....
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  6. #6
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    But will the money REALLY go to the State Parks? I think it's just another tax hike camouflaged to help state parks. Think back a few years when the California voters passed Proposition 37 which created the California State Lottery Act of 1984. How is that working out for Public Education?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life
    Proposition 37 which created the California State Lottery Act of 1984. How is that working out for Public Education?
    Working out grate! Skools get .000000078 of every dollar!!
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    addictionms.....i agree with you in theory, and my voting in november will bear this out, but in practice it just isn't happening. so if left with the choice of letting the parks go to pasture or passing this distasteful initiative i'm voting for the initiative. i cannot think of anything else that might come up this way (even for cops, firefighters or education) that i would vote in favor of more taxes/fees....

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    Legalize it!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms

    Cops, fire fighters, parks.....save these and start cutting everything else.....
    The problem with that argument is that each individual has their own idea about what should be saved and what should be cut. Prop 21 would take State Parks out of this equation.

    I'll be voting yes.

    I live in Santa Cruz Co. and the local State Parks (Wilder, Nisene, Henry Cowell, Big Basin, etc.) are pretty much why I live here. If you live up closer to the Sierra or have more access to National Forest land or what have you than you probably could get along fine without the State Parks. On the coast, I think it would be a crushing blow both financially and just in terms of quality of life if this fails to pass.

    Unfortunately, in the current economic climate I think it's going to be a tough sell.

  11. #11
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    Other states have park passes and day use fees. They work, and there's no reason to change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Other states have park passes and day use fees. They work, and there's no reason to change.
    Other states also have similar funds to the one that Prop. 21 would create. They work so maybe there is a reason to change.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    Have a postal stamp made like the cancer stamp. Couple of extra cents for the stamps, the extra $ goes to the parks.
    Yabut when was the last time you bought stamps?

    I bought a 10-pack a while back when the prices hiked up a couple of cents. I still have about 7 of them left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    The problem with that argument is that each individual has their own idea about what should be saved and what should be cut. Prop 21 would take State Parks out of this equation.

    I'll be voting yes.

    I live in Santa Cruz Co. and the local State Parks (Wilder, Nisene, Henry Cowell, Big Basin, etc.) are pretty much why I live here. If you live up closer to the Sierra or have more access to National Forest land or what have you than you probably could get along fine without the State Parks. On the coast, I think it would be a crushing blow both financially and just in terms of quality of life if this fails to pass.

    Unfortunately, in the current economic climate I think it's going to be a tough sell.
    That's well said, and pretty well where I'm at. We spent money on parks even during the Great Depression, recognizing they were a common good and a net benefit to the residents of this state.

    There's ample evidence that the passes and day use fees don't work, at least not as implemented in this state.

    Relative to the state's deficit, the amount needed to fully fund the parks is almost less than the rounding error on the state budget, yet no one has put forth a viable alternative to the imitative.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohenfive
    addictionms.....i agree with you in theory, and my voting in november will bear this out, but in practice it just isn't happening. so if left with the choice of letting the parks go to pasture or passing this distasteful initiative i'm voting for the initiative. i cannot think of anything else that might come up this way (even for cops, firefighters or education) that i would vote in favor of more taxes/fees....
    Let's be clear, this a tax increase. The money currently alloted to the parks from the general fund will be repurposed somewhere else, and the proposed fee will take its place. Net net, I'll vote for it. Anybody wants to buy a 2008 Mini Cooper? I need to thin the stable to save $18 on next year's registration.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    The problem with that argument is that each individual has their own idea about what should be saved and what should be cut. Prop 21 would take State Parks out of this equation.
    I think the point is not what is everyones idea of what should be saved, its about what should the goverment be doing that is within it's mandate, there is a lot of stuff that the current goverment is doing that few of the public have as a priority, but the spending serves the buddys of those in power. The parks, cops, and fire fighters are not high on the list of those who put people into power, but they are high on the publics list, so they are easy targets to get people to accept higher taxes.

    the right thing is to demand the parks get the funding they need before any of the many other programs that are not in the general public interest.

    how about this group take a cut

    "The mission of the California Agency on Service and Volunteering is to increase the number of Californians involved with service and volunteerism throughout the state. The California Agency on Service and Volunteering administers programs such as AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, guides policy development to support the non-profit and service fields, and is responsible for coordinating a statewide network matching Californians with volunteer opportunities in their communities. Through the efforts of the California Agency on Service and Volunteering, Californians of all ages and abilities are provided ongoing opportunities to volunteer, to become better prepared to respond in emergencies and disasters, and ultimately, to embrace a lifetime ethic of service."

    annual budget $34M seem like a bit much for enabling volunteers?

    oh, and for a reference, in the proposed 2010 budget there is $575M for parks already....
    Jim
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Other states have park passes and day use fees. They work, and there's no reason to change.
    I don't know how all the state parks work, but I know for sure that only a tiny percentage of the users at Annadel pay a day use fee. The fees that are paid go to the state general fund, not back to the parks. So I would say that at least in California they don't work.
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  18. #18
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    As much as I love our state parks, we have to break our addiction to taxes and living beyond our economic means in this state. So despite the fact that I would be negatively impacted, I am voting no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM
    As much as I love our state parks, we have to break our addiction to taxes and living beyond our economic means in this state. So despite the fact that I would be negatively impacted, I am voting no.
    http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/...a_state_budget

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  20. #20
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    I have an idea, lets take the money that is allocated for the high speed rail we don't need and spend it on the parks.....
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  21. #21
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    There are lots of interesting comments.

    From what I can tell prop 21 is far from perfect. I think I will vote yes because it will help the state parks.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by javaforce
    There are lots of interesting comments.

    From what I can tell prop 21 is far from perfect. I think I will vote yes because it will help the state parks.
    this is why I am trying to move out of California

    Our taxes are ready too high, some of the highest and rather than forcing the goverment to be more efficient, spend our money wisely, californians vote themselves More taxes.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  23. #23
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    Oh no! Politics...

    Anyway, FWIW, I vote no on *all* propositions. I think they've gotten the state into enormous fiscal trouble by putting big financial decisions onto an uniformed public, who vote with their hearts. The reason why I hire politicians (as much disdain as I have for many of them), is to make financial decisions on my behalf. Yes, I don't always or even frequently agree with the decisions (or non-decisions) that they make, but I think in the end it's a better system than resorting to a populist poll on every hotbutton issue.

    So I'll be voting no, even though I have not read the issue at all. It's much easier that way (for me at least).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTD
    Oh no! Politics...

    Anyway, FWIW, I vote no on *all* propositions. I think they've gotten the state into enormous fiscal trouble by putting big financial decisions onto an uniformed public, who vote with their hearts. The reason why I hire politicians (as much disdain as I have for many of them), is to make financial decisions on my behalf. Yes, I don't always or even frequently agree with the decisions (or non-decisions) that they make, but I think in the end it's a better system than resorting to a populist poll on every hotbutton issue.

    So I'll be voting no, even though I have not read the issue at all. It's much easier that way (for me at least).
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    this is why I am trying to move out of California

    Our taxes are ready too high, some of the highest and rather than forcing the goverment to be more efficient, spend our money wisely, californians vote themselves More taxes.
    It sucks here. You should definitely move.

  26. #26
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    wow - a debate about a proposed tax increase in which nobody was called names and in which each side presented well-reasoned points to support their positions. I don't see that very often, especially on the 'net. Yet another reason to read MTBR!
    For my part I'm still on the fence, but tilting toward Yes.
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  27. #27
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    My understanding is that by passing Prop 21, it will do away with the day passes and fees to get into parks.
    Is this true?
    Does anybody have a link to the actual wording of the Prop 21?

    If what I was told is true, it would be far cheaper for me to pay the yearly 'tax', than to pay the day use fees every time I go to a State Park or to buy an annual Poppy Pass.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    It sucks here. You should definitely move.
    again missing the big picture, more and more businesses are leaving, people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving. If you do not focus on shrinking the goverment and spending those who are left will be paying more and more.

    As a reference point, if I move to say northern idaho ( great mtn biking by the way ) I can save enough to rent a place here as well, so I can still enjoy California but not pay the taxes and let you foot the bill of all the fees and taxes you voted for yourselves.


    why do you think oprah does not " live" here? And she one of many who enjoy California but found a way to let others pay for it. When that happens you loose.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  29. #29
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    From what I read, anybody with a CA license plate will get into the parks for free. The funding raised through the new scheme would be greater than what is currently alloted to the parks.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality
    My understanding is that by passing Prop 21, it will do away with the day passes and fees to get into parks. Is this true? Does anybody have a link to the actual wording of the Prop 21?

    If what I was told is true, it would be far cheaper for me to pay the yearly 'tax', than to pay the day use fees every time I go to a State Park or to buy an annual Poppy Pass.
    There is an article on page 5 of the Fall issue of California Kayaker Magazine that covers who would pay and where the money goes. You can download the 10mb PDF from http://www.calkayakermag.com/Califor...g-Fall2010.pdf or view it online using Issuu.com (requires Flash) at http://issuu.com/calkayakermag/docs/...ermag-fall2010.

    In short, it is true. A CA license plate on a car and you don't have to pay the Day Use fees. Still have to pay special fees (guided tours, camping, etc.).

    I am voting for it. I am sure I spend more than the $18 in a year at the parks. But I expect that this will actually make the parks more crowded, as people who were turned of by the entrance fee now start going (including all the MTBers who park just outside the park and bike in).
    Last edited by singlespeed.org; 09-16-2010 at 07:34 PM.
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  31. #31
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    you cannot give money to a group/person in which there
    is no responsibilty for proper use. When the money runs out (for whaterever reason) the standard position is we need more money.
    I have not voted yes for any Bond/Tax issue in 20 years

    How's that Lotto working out for CALIF schools ?

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    Discussions on Prop 21 on KQED (88.5FM) right now (9am on Thursday, Sept 16). You can listen live online or access the audio archive at a later time.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3034
    you cannot give money to a group/person in which there
    is no responsibilty for proper use. When the money runs out (for whaterever reason) the standard position is we need more money.
    I have not voted yes for any Bond/Tax issue in 20 years

    How's that Lotto working out for CALIF schools ?
    exactly right,

    so picture this, this gets voted in, so now we have $500M for parks, well the new Gov have some people to thank for his/her election, so the Jerry & Meg Park Re-Education and Low Income Housing Center is planned to be built, it will only cost $200M so no biggy right, that leave $300M for the up keep of the parks.

    However we have a real problem in the State budget and there is ashort fall and we need to put the juicers and carrot stick vending machines for all the shcools, cause you don't want junk food in the schools, and we all agree that is important. So the State can not "spend" the park money, but they can borrow it, the state is willing to pay .5% over prime in interest, so hey its a good deal for the park fund. OK lets do it, the state will pay it back out of next years budget. Ok so the fund takes a $500M in an IOU, its more than the fund has collected so far, and they are dipping into next years money, but it is to save the chiildren, and it is .5% over prime, so it is a great deal!

    Well, the construction is going not so well, and it looks like the Park Re-Education and Low Income housing Center is running over estimates, about 3x, so its going to cost $600M. But it is already started and promises have been made, so forward we must go.

    So now there is $1.2B of the fund spent, oh I did not do my math wront, $100M is spent managing the fund, and we all know the State will never pay back the IOU, in fact, later in the year they stuff another IOU into the Kitty to help pay for the Plastic Bag Recycling Police Force, casue we need to save the animals and reduce the land fill, and everyone is for that, RIght?

    Well, there is only one answer, since this is a fee, not a tax, at the stroke of a pen, the fee goes to $36 per car, for now, may have to rise to $50 per car, because there are un funded projects that commited to, and we have to pay for those.

    So there you are, now paying $50 per car into the Park Fund and not one dollar is spent on what you thought you where getting when you voted for it.

    Don't think this is realistic, ask yourselves where did the original money for the parks go?

    Last thing, even if you don't believe what I wrote is possible, ask who is the more powerful lobby, horse owners or MTBers?
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    ...more and more businesses are leaving, people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving...
    This claim gets thrown around quite a bit, but I'd sure like to see some references to back it up. A quick check of census figures shows that California's population grew by 9.1% between 2000 and 2009.

    Business have located warehouses out of California for years to avoid taxes, but then incur shipping costs. As to your comment about Oprah, I suspect she doesn't live hear because her business is based out of Chicago. And last I heard, she has no problem paying for a vacation home in Montecito.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3034

    How's that Lotto working out for CALIF schools ?
    Lotto was a scam from the get go. In the name of "accountability", it replaced unrestricted funds with restricted funds. But the legislature then cut school funding by a comparable amount, painting the schools into a financial corner.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    From what I read, anybody with a CA license plate will get into the parks for free. The funding raised through the new scheme would be greater than what is currently alloted to the parks.
    Exactly. Which means that all the people who currently park outside to dodge the day use fee will be paying into the system. Look around any of our state parks on a nice day and see how many cars are parked outside. Just locally, I routinely see dozens parked outside Wilder, Henry Cowell, Point Lobos, and along the Santa Cruz/San Mateo coast.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    This claim gets thrown around quite a bit, but I'd sure like to see some references to back it up. A quick check of census figures shows that California's population grew by 9.1% between 2000 and 2009.

    Business have located warehouses out of California for years to avoid taxes, but then incur shipping costs. As to your comment about Oprah, I suspect she doesn't live hear because her business is based out of Chicago. And last I heard, she has no problem paying for a vacation home in Montecito.
    again look at the big picture, population growth does not mean a growth in tax revenue, California has some of the most generous welfare programs in the USA, so the tax payers are leaving and the non tax payers are coming in, why not move here if your plan is to collect welfare, live in low income housing, have the state pay for your food, and your medical (now including pot). whats not to like if you are not a wage earner.

    and about Oprah, it not about owning a house here, its about paying taxes here...most times the mortgage tax deduction will offset the property taxes paid, so you really are not paying any more to have a house here you live in 6 months less a day, so you don't have to pay state income taxes, I think Oprah calls Nevada home, where there is no state income tax....



    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Exactly. Which means that all the people who currently park outside to dodge the day use fee will be paying into the system. Look around any of our state parks on a nice day and see how many cars are parked outside. Just locally, I routinely see dozens parked outside Wilder, Henry Cowell, Point Lobos, and along the Santa Cruz/San Mateo coast.
    oh, and so would the person who never goes tot he park, and the low income famility trying to make their way who can 't afford the extra $18 for their one familty junker car, and I know this may not be compelling for you, but so would all the rental car companies, and fleets end up paying for this who clearly never use the parks, ever wonder why there are so many rental cars with out of state plates? its cheaper.....

    Jim
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    again missing the big picture, more and more businesses are leaving, people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving. If you do not focus on shrinking the goverment and spending those who are left will be paying more and more.

    As a reference point, if I move to say northern idaho ( great mtn biking by the way ) I can save enough to rent a place here as well, so I can still enjoy California but not pay the taxes and let you foot the bill of all the fees and taxes you voted for yourselves.


    why do you think oprah does not " live" here? And she one of many who enjoy California but found a way to let others pay for it. When that happens you loose.
    Actually no, I'm not missing the big picture at all. I think I understand it quite well. There is some truth to what you're saying, no doubt. However, I find it incredibly annoying when people rip a place, meanwhile they enjoy the benefits of living there and to top it off you hope to one day enjoy these benefits and not pay for them?!? Isn't this the kind of behavior that you are arguing against in principle?

    Oprah?!? Umm, ok...I could point out that Oprah owns a real estate empire with property in 7 states and that her production company/TV show is based out of Chicago as for reasons she doesn't "live" here, but I'm not sure what Oprah has to do with anything. I could also point out that your original argument about cops and firefighters is flawed since they are largely paid out of city budgets (except for CHP and Cal Fire of course) not the state budget, although their unions have massive clout in Sacramento, but who's counting?

    See, if you had just said what GMM said, there'd be no debating, but I don't need a lecture on why you're smarter than us dumb Californians. See, that's what happens when you LOSE.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    exactly right,

    even if you don't believe what I wrote is possible, ask who is the more powerful lobby, horse owners or MTBers?
    Well put!
    But....
    Mods please move this to the Politics forum cause it's screwin up my ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbiker
    So what happens if the parks don't get enough funding from the budget or tax increases? Less Rangers? Less hikers and horse back riders because they have nowhere to park their gas guzzlers because the park gates are closed? More animals running around in the open due to less activity? Sh1t, sounds good to me.
    What about a family that wants to go camping at Big Basin or New Brighton? They don't matter?

    How did you first acquire your appreciation for the outdoors? Was it ripping berms at age 4 or was it something maybe a bit more mellow?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    Actually no, I'm not missing the big picture at all. I think I understand it quite well. There is some truth to what you're saying, no doubt. However, I find it incredibly annoying when people rip a place, meanwhile they enjoy the benefits of living there and to top it off you hope to one day enjoy these benefits and not pay for them?!? Isn't this the kind of behavior that you are arguing against in principle?
    not my point, what I am saying the those who can afford to avoid paying the cost, will, those who can't will be stuck with the bill, if you try to make it an everyone pays system not based on usage, I am all for park entry fees where the money go directly to the park where you pay the fee.

    Its not about getting something for free, its about realizing people will shape their behavour based on the rules you put in place, and the more expensive it gets to live here, the more those that can will find a way to avoid paying it, and only those who can not afford to dodge the fees will end up paying them. Why do you think cars are parked outside parks, because that is a way within their means to avoid paying the fee, moving out of state is just parking outside the state and enjoying it, same thing, grander scale.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    See, if you had just said what GMM said, there'd be no debating, but I don't need a lecture on why you're smarter than us dumb Californians. See, that's what happens when you LOSE.
    its not about being smarter, its about being informed, there is lots that I do not know, but there is lots that I do know, I do not understand how anyone could think that having a goverment spend its money wiser and without deficit spending is a bad thing, I also do not know why anyone would agree to pay more for something without asking "what else are you spending my tax dollars on? is there anything there I don't know about and don't agee with?"

    Now if they made a list of the programs where money is being spent, and where it could be spent, and said which are important to you and which are not, and you can only have a total spend of $X and the goveremtn was transparent about it, that would be cool, but all we are getting is " there is no money for the parks, are you willing to pay more for them?" that is an incomplete problem, they need to tell us what could we give up and fund the parks, that would be a more complete question.
    Last edited by addictionms; 09-16-2010 at 10:39 AM.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

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    Voters in CA keep amazing me. Keep up the good work, we need moar cow bell. Poor parks and poor children, how they survived all these years? No idea, I wasn't there, I guess I missed out the terrible times.

    I also heard that Empire of Evil is building HQ on the bottom of the Lake Tahoe, do you want your kids gets gotten by those monsters? (One of the best Family Guy episodes "Lois campaigning for Mayor")
    Last edited by Stalk; 09-16-2010 at 10:43 AM.
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    Visiting the parks is a privilege, not a right. I do not think we should force taxes upon people and guarantee admittance into parks for every resident in the state.

    We should have a better fee system in place for people who actually use the parks. They should be treated like ski resorts - if you want to play, you must pay. In the case of low-income families or people otherwise incapable of paying, we can have a small public assistance fund for park access. This fund can exist as its own budget item, and would cost people <$1 per year in vehicle reg. fees (or wherever else it should come from.)

    This state needs to be run like a business, not a homeless shelter. Let's get some people into government who know how to conduct politics like a business.

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    Besides that I am against raising taxes and fees, I am actually against state funding of state parks.

    I think the community should spend more time and money maintaining their park system, and it can work. In New Orleans, all the city parks depend heavily on private funds and volunteer groups, and I think they look great.

    On a more anarchistic viewpoint, closing of the state parks does not mean the trails are obliterated, just that on site parking is closed and the rangers are reduced. Neither affects me or my riding.

  46. #46
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    I think that from a business standpoint, the bigger issue with CA has to do more with regulation than taxation per se. Doing business in California is expensive primarily because of the more restrictive regulatiion (look at a CEQA document to get a peek at the paperwork involved). Frankly, if we were to loosen up regulations a tad, or at the very least make them more user friendly and not so cumbersome, our economy would do a lot better regardless of income tax level.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    ...

    Now if they made a list of the programs where money is being spent, and where it could be spent, and said which are important to you and which are not, and you can only have a total spend of $X and the goveremtn was transparent about it, that would be cool, but all we are getting is " there is no money for the parks, are you willing to pay more for them?" that is an incomplete problem, they need to tell us what could we give up and fund the parks, that would be a more complete question.
    That's how government should be run. Here's the money, how would it best be spent, can we save money and cut taxes, do we need to raise taxes because true needs aren't being funded? It needs to be done with a view of the overall picture, not piecemeal with a specific tax and earmark that ties our hands. It should be done by our representatives, not via ballot measure.

    I will vote no on prop 21, just as I vote no on almost all ballot measures.
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  48. #48
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    I like how the entrance fee at Rockville is used to pay for the machine that collects the entrance fees at Rockville.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    I think that from a business standpoint, the bigger issue with CA has to do more with regulation than taxation per se. Doing business in California is expensive primarily because of the more restrictive regulatiion (look at a CEQA document to get a peek at the paperwork involved). Frankly, if we were to loosen up regulations a tad, or at the very least make them more user friendly and not so cumbersome, our economy would do a lot better regardless of income tax level.
    I agree, that is another dimension of the problem, good point, taxes are influencing the individual, regulations influence the corporation, so when you look at a company, it is comprised of three constituents, the investors/share holders, the employees, and the customers. two of the three are directly effected by taxes and regulations directly, and ultimately the customer because it raises the cost of the final product.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    again look at the big picture, population growth does not mean a growth in tax revenue, California has some of the most generous welfare programs in the USA, so the tax payers are leaving and the non tax payers are coming in,

    ...Jim
    No, now you are changing your story. I happen to agree with you on welfare reform, but you said "people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving." I don't doubt there are some who have done that, but how many? There are more than 37,000,000 people in this state. So we are to believe all the wealthy people left and the 9% population growth is all people on welfare?

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Visiting the parks is a privilege, not a right. ...

    We should have a better fee system in place for people who actually use the parks. They should be treated like ski resorts - if you want to play, you must pay...
    .
    Wrong. The parks are an amenity, part of preserving our state's heritage and natural resources, and providing outdoor recreational opportunities for the public. They are also an assets to both the state and the surrounding local communities, many of which derive economic benefit from the parks.

    User fees do not fully account for those who derive benefits from the parks. I'd prefer a mechanism other than the vehicle license fee, but there doesn't seem to be another widely accepted idea, and this one is already working in other states.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    I live in Santa Cruz Co. and the local State Parks (Wilder, Nisene, Henry Cowell, Big Basin, etc.) are pretty much why I live here.
    Those places will still be there regardless of the outcome of this vote.

    The State Parks system is just as bad as all the other state run agencies....completely bloated and beyond repair.
    :p

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    its not about being smarter, its about being informed, there is lots that I do not know, but there is lots that I do know, I do not understand how anyone could think that having a goverment spend its money wiser and without deficit spending is a bad thing, I also do not know why anyone would agree to pay more for something without asking "what else are you spending my tax dollars on? is there anything there I don't know about and don't agee with?"

    Now if they made a list of the programs where money is being spent, and where it could be spent, and said which are important to you and which are not, and you can only have a total spend of $X and the goveremtn was transparent about it, that would be cool, but all we are getting is " there is no money for the parks, are you willing to pay more for them?" that is an incomplete problem, they need to tell us what could we give up and fund the parks, that would be a more complete question.
    I hear what you're saying and obviously we could all find things in the state budget that we think are frivolous, but I think that sort of goes back to my original point...your frivolous and my frivolous are probably two different things. I think State Parks are really important, somebody else thinks the arts are important and so on and so forth...why am I right and they're wrong?

    It's a big friggin state with tons of people/viewpoints in it. It's far from perfect and I'm not trying to defend a bloated government. I just feel that saying "the government should spend the money better" is overly simplistic and isn't really saying anything at all.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    No, now you are changing your story. I happen to agree with you on welfare reform, but you said "people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving." I don't doubt there are some who have done that, but how many? There are more than 37,000,000 people in this state. So we are to believe all the wealthy people left and the 9% population growth is all people on welfare?
    story is the same, never said everyone who was rich was leaving, never said everyone moving in was on welfare, not playing the absolutes game.

    A very small percentage of the population pays the largerst portion of the taxes, so it does not take many of them leaving to have a large impact. I am not sure of the actual numbers and don't have time to look them up now, got to get some work done, but using very conservative numbers of the top 10% paying 50% of all taxes ( actually they pay much more) 10% of those 10% re-locate their "home" else where, that is 5% of the estimated $47B income tax revenue, it is a big impact, $470M.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  55. #55
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    Alright Awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by GMM
    As much as I love our state parks, we have to break our addiction to taxes and living beyond our economic means in this state. So despite the fact that I would be negatively impacted, I am voting no.
    I think the negative affect on you will be less than you think anyway...your stance is right on and if we all took this stance when a funding panic proposition hit the ballots we might just start getting out of the mess. Here in Auburn I just can't wait to see the ASRA funding completely eliminated.
    :p

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Wrong. The parks are an amenity, part of preserving our state's heritage and natural resources, and providing outdoor recreational opportunities for the public. They are also an assets to both the state and the surrounding local communities, many of which derive economic benefit from the parks.

    User fees do not fully account for those who derive benefits from the parks. I'd prefer a mechanism other than the vehicle license fee, but there doesn't seem to be another widely accepted idea, and this one is already working in other states.

    Re-read my posting before you start spouting off. I said "visiting" the parks is a privilege. I think the parks should exist whether or not people can use them. I do not think they should ever be sold to private companies.

    User fees could be enough to cover most maintenance costs of the park. And I do not agree with the vehicle license fee, as may people just park outside the gates. I agree with a user fee, like a fishing license.

    You need a license to go fishing, or hunting, or whatever. Why not a park user license?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    I hear what you're saying and obviously we could all find things in the state budget that we think are frivolous, but I think that sort of goes back to my original point...your frivolous and my frivolous are probably two different things. I think State Parks are really important, somebody else thinks the arts are important and so on and so forth...why am I right and they're wrong?

    If you like it, you should pay to use it. If you don't like it, don't pay for it, and don't use it!

    It's like anything else in life - if you want a membership to the club, you have to pay for it.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    No, now you are changing your story. I happen to agree with you on welfare reform, but you said "people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving." I don't doubt there are some who have done that, but how many? There are more than 37,000,000 people in this state. So we are to believe all the wealthy people left and the 9% population growth is all people on welfare?

    Historically, which population grows the fastest? The statistics showing population growth from 2000 to 2009 must not have shown that most of this population is in lower-middle to low income people, not in the wealthy population.

    Wealthy people get wealthier, and poor people just have kids.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboulder
    Those places will still be there regardless of the outcome of this vote.
    I hope you're right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboulder
    Those places will still be there regardless of the outcome of this vote.
    Yeah, but whether they stay safe and accessible is open to question. We've got signs at Henry Cowell waring folks to stay on a certain path because of heroin users and armed dealers lurking in the nearby bushes. We've had two female runners assaulted jogging on paths in the park, not in some remote area, but adjacent to town and the picnic grounds.

    So we let them run downhill, then they become a nuisance rather than an asset, and the next step is to sell them. Is that what you want?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboulder
    The State Parks system is just as bad as all the other state run agencies....completely bloated and beyond repair.
    Based on what objective measurements do you make this claim? I happen to think Americans can fix anything they put their minds and efforts into. Sorry you are so pessimistic.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    If you like it, you should pay to use it. If you don't like it, don't pay for it, and don't use it!

    It's like anything else in life - if you want a membership to the club, you have to pay for it.
    Where do you draw the line? Should we eliminate public schools?

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    Where do you draw the line? Should we eliminate public schools?

    So you're equating public schools with the usage of a state park for recreational activities?

    Fail.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    Where do you draw the line? Should we eliminate public schools?
    Oh, could we please?
    It would be a great starting point
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Wealthy people get wealthier, and poor people just have kids.
    No comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    So you're equating public schools with the usage of a state park for recreational activities?

    Fail.

    I'm not equating anything. I was asking you a question to which you did not respond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Yeah, but whether they stay safe and accessible is open to question. We've got signs at Henry Cowell waring folks to stay on a certain path because of heroin users and armed dealers lurking in the nearby bushes. We've had two female runners assaulted jogging on paths in the park, not in some remote area, but adjacent to town and the picnic grounds.

    So we let them run downhill, then they become a nuisance rather than an asset, and the next step is to sell them. Is that what you want?



    Based on what objective measurements do you make this claim? I happen to think Americans can fix anything they put their minds and efforts into. Sorry you are so pessimistic.
    wow, I was going to avoid linking the 2nd amendment into this discussion, but you just opened the door….I don’t think an extra park ranger is going to make me safe, just like police are not there to protect you, another one of my rights trampled.

    Tell me where the budget for the parks went? Its not like the parks are new, they have been there for a long time, so its not like we did not know we needed the money, and I don’t believe that the cost of the parks has gone up that much that we should be surprised,

    The money is not there because it was allocated it to something else, did you get a vote on that? Its not there because it is always easier to get money for parks, cops, and fire fighters,
    Last edited by addictionms; 09-16-2010 at 11:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    Where do you draw the line? Should we eliminate public schools?

    another example of a government system that gets so little return for the money we pump in, I am in favor of vouchers, and let the parents decide, I would be willing to bet private schools would grow, and we would have a better educated bunch of kids.

    so yes we should consider restructuring public schools
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    another example of a government system that gets so little return for the money we pump in, I am in favor of vouchers, and let the parents decide, I would be willing to bet private schools would grow, and we would have a better educated bunch of kids.

    so yes we should consider restructuring public schools
    Well said. I don't agree but well said.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWheels
    wow - a debate about a proposed tax increase in which nobody was called names and in which each side presented well-reasoned points to support their positions
    For my part I'm still on the fence, but tilting toward Yes.
    You ignorant, un-informed slob, vote no, you son of a silly person. I fart in your general direction!
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    Intersting article on the subject...

    "The idea has been spreading for the past couple of years, particularly in Western states, as lawmakers increasingly turn to vehicle fees to make up for drastic cuts in state park funding. Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho and Michigan have either recently increased fees or are considering it this year. Their proposals have picked up support from both parties, despite widespread objections to raising taxes and fees in a recession.

    The model is Montana, which imposed a $4 registration fee in 2004 to resolve a park funding crisis. The fee gives residents free access to the parks, and those who object to it can opt out but give up their right to visit state parks for free. Between 80 and 85 percent of the state’s drivers pay the fee, which has freed the park system from the state’s general fund
    "

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    I'm not equating anything. I was asking you a question to which you did not respond.

    It was an asinine question. Public schools are a requirement of a functional, prosperous society. State parks and recreation areas are not. It's statements like yours that make me realize how many people out there make this much more difficult than it has to be.

    I don't care if you vote Yes or No on Prop 21. I will be voting no, as I do not think it will fix our problem. I would, however, vote yes if the annual tax was less and a user permit or license system was implemented (like a fishing/hunting license.) The tax money could then be used for system wide governance fees, aid packages, etc.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    It was an asinine question. Public schools are a requirement of a functional, prosperous society. State parks and recreation areas are not.
    The 26th President might have disagreed...

    "In utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the Nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight.... The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life."

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Re-read my posting before you start spouting off. I said "visiting" the parks is a privilege. I think the parks should exist whether or not people can use them. I do not think they should ever be sold to private companies.

    User fees could be enough to cover most maintenance costs of the park. And I do not agree with the vehicle license fee, as may people just park outside the gates. I agree with a user fee, like a fishing license.

    You need a license to go fishing, or hunting, or whatever. Why not a park user license?
    If it costs $400M to run a park system, user fees will most likely never be high enough to cover the cost of running the parks. Especially since it's so easy to evade the user fees in the first place. Parks are one of those things, like safety, public education, that can only be funded through general taxation, whatever form that takes.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    Intersting article on the subject...

    "The idea has been spreading for the past couple of years, particularly in Western states, as lawmakers increasingly turn to vehicle fees to make up for drastic cuts in state park funding. "

    so why were there drastic cuts in state park funding? tell me that first.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Yeah, but whether they stay safe and accessible is open to question. We've got signs at Henry Cowell waring folks to stay on a certain path because of heroin users and armed dealers lurking in the nearby bushes. We've had two female runners assaulted jogging on paths in the park, not in some remote area, but adjacent to town and the picnic grounds.

    So we let them run downhill, then they become a nuisance rather than an asset, and the next step is to sell them. Is that what you want?

    Based on what objective measurements do you make this claim? I happen to think Americans can fix anything they put their minds and efforts into. Sorry you are so pessimistic.
    What does keeping the park open have to do with policing the park?

    Do park rangers arrest drug dealers and rapists? Is picking up trash in the parking lot going to keep users safe?

    Like said, you should look into the private funding of City Park in New Orleans.

    P.S. I ride frequently in McLaren Park in San Francisco. The trails are maintained by the two volunteer groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    What does keeping the park open have to do with policing the park?

    Do park rangers arrest drug dealers and rapists? Is picking up trash in the parking lot going to keep users safe?

    Like said, you should look into the private funding of City Park in New Orleans.

    P.S. I ride frequently in McLaren Park in San Francisco. The trails are maintained by the two volunteer groups.
    Sanjuro, I'll check out the New Orleans park you mention. And I'm all for volunteer work in parks, but there are limits to that. Meanwhile, in case you've missed it, some of the state parks employees are LE officers. Yeah, they are the ones dealing with dealers, rapists, and assorted other unsavory folks. We had a ranger in our district shot and permanently disabled a few years ago.

    The parks budget pays for the law enforcement in the park. County sheriffs are spread too thin for the most part. When regular city police patrols started pushing the dealers and customers towards state parks, the rangers stepped up patrols to move them back. In response to the sexual assaults, they posted warning signs, and stepped up patrols. Someone was caught, but I don't honestly remember which agency caught the guy.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    so why were there drastic cuts in state park funding? tell me that first.
    I'm not a budget expert so I can't really give you a complete answer. If I had to guess I'd say it's a combination of the increased costs of the state doing business (inflation), poor investments (the state makes investments just like individuals do and as I'm sure you know, many of those have not gone well) and some of it is a result of bloated departments as you and others have suggested. There are probably other reasons as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Sanjuro, I'll check out the New Orleans park you mention. And I'm all for volunteer work in parks, but there are limits to that. .
    why are there limits? what are the limits? remember we do spend about $34M promoting volunteering....

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Meanwhile, in case you've missed it, some of the state parks employees are LE officers. Yeah, they are the ones dealing with dealers, rapists, and assorted other unsavory folks. We had a ranger in our district shot and permanently disabled a few years ago.

    The parks budget pays for the law enforcement in the park. County sheriffs are spread too thin for the most part. When regular city police patrols started pushing the dealers and customers towards state parks, the rangers stepped up patrols to move them back. In response to the sexual assaults, they posted warning signs, and stepped up patrols. Someone was caught, but I don't honestly remember which agency caught the guy.
    this just re-enforces the need to ask the question, where is the money going? what happened to the money that was previously allocated to pay for the parks, plus not so sure it is because the "city police are pushing them back" as much as it is there is more of them. If the bad guys knew that as a responsible citizen I might be armed, they would re think a lot of what the do, ever wonder why most mass shootings happen in gun free zones? why not move the drug trade into state parks, you know for sure no one there will have a gun....

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    I'm not a budget expert so I can't really give you a complete answer. If I had to guess I'd say it's a combination of the increased costs of the state doing business (inflation), poor investments (the state makes investments just like individuals do and as I'm sure you know, many of those have not gone well) and some of it is a result of bloated departments as you and others have suggested. There are probably other reasons as well.

    I too am no budget expert, but most states, california for sure spends every dollar they take in and then some. most of the money lost through investments were retirement funds, but unlike the private sector where your retirement income takes the hit, state workers have a fixed retirement income and new tax revenue is used to offset the losses.

    inflation is a possibility, but that should not lead to "drastic cuts"
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

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    I think about my two main riding areas, McLaren and Crocker-Amazon.

    Both city parks in the middle of the hood. Without public funding, I suspect it would become a haven for trash, homeless, and druggies.

    However, these are city parks, not state. Obviously places like GG Park are going to managed differently than places like Coe, Tam, or Diablo, all of which are in relatively remote areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Both city parks in the middle of the hood. Without public funding, I suspect it would become a haven for trash, homeless, and druggies.
    Final note from me, I am not questioning if Parks should be funded, I agree they are a huge asset to California, my question is why does the State need another $500M to maintain the parks on top of the close to $50Billion they already are collecting from its people?

    Using the Parks as the tug on your heart string is an easy thing to do, threaten to close the Parks, and people will suffer the additional tax burdon for the parks, its a dirty trick, you are never told what else you are paying for with the $101B, so you are not given the chance to cut some fat out of the budget. Parks are not new, so the budget for them shuold have been there, there is no reason it is not fully funded, and before I would vote to add a new tax I want to know in detail where the money you have is going and how did it come about that there is no money for the parks......
    Last edited by addictionms; 09-16-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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    Good healthy debate everyone. Thanks for playing. See you on the trails, State Parks or otherwise!

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    The 26th President might have disagreed...

    "In utilizing and conserving the natural resources of the Nation, the one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight.... The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life."

    Teddy Roosevelt did not face the same budget crises that public schools face today. Thank you for digging up 100-year-old history that is not applicable for today's issues.

    Plus, you continuously fail to see that we are comparing access to state parks and education. I am not talking about the existence of said parks, just the unlimited access to them. Please stop digging up irrelevant information, it makes you seem a bit crazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    If it costs $400M to run a park system, user fees will most likely never be high enough to cover the cost of running the parks. Especially since it's so easy to evade the user fees in the first place. Parks are one of those things, like safety, public education, that can only be funded through general taxation, whatever form that takes.

    If it only costs $400M to run a park system, why are they asking for $700M in tax revenue?

    I suggested a hybrid approach. Parks should not be funded solely upon taxation, which is why other states don't do it either.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Please stop digging up irrelevant information, it makes you seem a bit crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Wealthy people get wealthier, and poor people just have kids.
    You are right. I am crazy. Have a good day boss.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus
    You are right. I am crazy. Have a good day boss.

    You must not pay attention to the world around you. Good talk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    Using the Parks as the tug on your heart string is an easy thing to do, threaten to close the Parks, and people will suffer the additional tax burdon for the parks, its a dirty trick, you are never told what else you are paying for with the $50B, so you are not given the chance to cut some fat out of the budget.......
    Here we go, found my favorite fragment

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUTIP...eature=related
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    Final note from me, I am not questioning if Parks should be funded, I agree they are a huge asset to California, my question is why does the State need another $500M to maintain the parks on top of the close to $50Billion they already are collecting from its people?

    Using the Parks as the tug on your heart string is an easy thing to do, threaten to close the Parks, and people will suffer the additional tax burdon for the parks, its a dirty trick, you are never told what else you are paying for with the $101B, so you are not given the chance to cut some fat out of the budget. Parks are not new, so the budget for them shuold have been there, there is no reason it is not fully funded, and before I would vote to add a new tax I want to know in detail where the money you have is going and how did it come about that there is no money for the parks......
    That's certainly the best argument. Apparently, this is where our money is going:
    http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/...a_state_budget

    Before we all make sweeping generalizations, let's remember that one man's fat might be another's lifeline. As a parent of child with special needs, I certainly hope that there will be some kind of government program to take care of him when I'm gone.

    Happy trails.
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    my problem with any of these kinds of taxes, bonds, etc. that are supposed to help a certain cause is that when they pass, then other funding that went to those services get yanked. often resulting in no net gain and sometimes even a loss. if they really complemented already existing funding then sure, but they don't. the lottery and education is a good example. lotto money goes to education, but the money that was going to education before the lotto got pulled.

    so if i knew that the money was going to be on top of what they already get, then sure. but i have my doubts.
    will you rep me?

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    Here is good example of what addict was saying (pasted from the site Zorg linked)

    "Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed the complex budget maneuver that swaps fuel sales taxes for excise taxes, which have fewer restrictions on how they can be used"

    So first you get new fee/tax, then you amend the rules of use. Rinse and repeat. The worst part is none of the "give me money" program/measures have elimination mechanism. Once it's in, it's in forever.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalk
    Here is good example of what addict was saying (pasted from the site Zorg linked)

    "Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed the complex budget maneuver that swaps fuel sales taxes for excise taxes, which have fewer restrictions on how they can be used"

    So first you get new fee/tax, then you amend the rules of use. Rinse and repeat. The worst part is none of the "give me money" program/measures have elimination mechanism. Once it's in, it's in forever.
    BINGO!!!

    Now let's go ride. Happy Trails.

  91. #91
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    My cat was starved when we got her so now anytime we leave food out she overeats until she throws up. The only way to help her is by limiting her food a bit.

    Governments work the same as my cat. They don't know how to stop eating our money, every time something like this comes up it's just another way they are trying to trick us into overfeeding them.

    Just no.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Thank you for digging up 100-year-old history that is not applicable for today's issues.
    The constitution is 200+ years old. Applicable for today's issues?

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    Just not the issue

    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    again missing the big picture, more and more businesses are leaving, people with wealth are leaving, basically those who pay the bulk of the taxes are leaving. If you do not focus on shrinking the goverment and spending those who are left will be paying more and more.

    As a reference point, if I move to say northern idaho ( great mtn biking by the way ) I can save enough to rent a place here as well, so I can still enjoy California but not pay the taxes and let you foot the bill of all the fees and taxes you voted for yourselves.


    why do you think oprah does not " live" here? And she one of many who enjoy California but found a way to let others pay for it. When that happens you loose.
    It is a shame we are loosing such a great insight into our malaise with your parting.

    Go and live with Oprah. I have listened to people blab about what is wrong with California for years. Don' t let the door hit you on the fanny on your way out. Happy trails.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    It is a shame we are loosing such a great insight into our malaise with your parting.

    Go and live with Oprah. I have listened to people blab about what is wrong with California for years. Don' t let the door hit you on the fanny on your way out. Happy trails.
    Oprah does live here for everything except for taxes, kind of a nice deal for Oprah. As he said, enjoying the benefits without paying for them.

    That's the beauty of being rich, you can encourage the government to be fiscally irresponsible but let other people foot the bill.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy
    The constitution is 200+ years old. Applicable for today's issues?
    Yes it is, but the earlier TR issue was not. Any other smartass remarks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    Go and live with Oprah. I have listened to people blab about what is wrong with California for years. Don' t let the door hit you on the fanny on your way out. Happy trails.
    So your soluiton is to stick you head in the sand, and not talk about the issues, accept what ever happens and suck it up? that is why we are so messed up in this country,

    I on the other hand am willing to see the problems, and act to try to fix them.

    apathy kills liberty
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    I spend an awful lot of time in CA State Parks. They're also one of my clients. Every month I pay $12 to the CA State Parks Foundation as a "Park Protector", which earns me a bright pink placard that I can use for unlimited year-round entrance into the parks. $18 a year instead of $144 a year seems like a bargain to me.

    All this discussion about volunteerism seems to assume that there isn't already a significant proportion of work done by volunteers in the State Park system. There is. State Parks already uses volunteer (or off-budget) labor for maintenance (think of all the CCC folks you always see working on projects), security (e.g. mountain bike patrols), interpretive services (docents), environmental monitoring, and more. Unless skilled laborers start donating their time, too (plumbers, environmental consultants, etc.), there are always going to be significant budgetary items that volunteer labor just can't fill.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
    Are you a whiny Marin liberal, or a hand-wringing Berkeley liberal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    If it only costs $400M to run a park system, why are they asking for $700M in tax revenue?

    I suggested a hybrid approach. Parks should not be funded solely upon taxation, which is why other states don't do it either.
    I don't know how much it costs, but I put a number in the ballpark. The point was that parks have to be funded out of taxes if we want them. Now, whether a user fee should be levied or not is another story. I don't have stats for the state parks, but when I looked at the user fees for the EBRPD, it was a tiny portion of the overall budget (<5%), and user fees are easily avoided (can't fence off the whole park). So, my take is that we're better off funding the parks out of taxes and make them free for all residents.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

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    this continues to be a really good and balanced discussion. i continue to be torn between the theory (the state already collects enough in taxes and is horribly inefficient in how it spends our money) and the practice (the parks continue to be a low priority in terms of state budget funding and are important enough to be fully funded somehow).can't someone tell me the right answer already??

    and zorg, we already do fund the parks via our taxes...the money is just being siphoned off and spent (some would argue wasted) on other things...

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426
    I spend an awful lot of time in CA State Parks. They're also one of my clients. Every month I pay $12 to the CA State Parks Foundation as a "Park Protector", which earns me a bright pink placard that I can use for unlimited year-round entrance into the parks. $18 a year instead of $144 a year seems like a bargain to me. .
    you express the problem perfectly, you "spend an awful lot of time in CA State Parks" so you are getting a lot of value out of them, Others do not, but they own a car, and your "redistrubution of wealth" attitude or brainwashing, allows you to see this as a "bargain" because you are willing to let everyone else pay for something they may never set foot in so you can "spend an awful lot of time" there for less.

    Its not a bargain, for a very large portion of the population.

    But this is really off topic for my main argument, I will ask again how is it in a $101B budget, the State somehow can not afford parks, its not like they are a new expense, it is simply that we are allowing the State to spend the money else where, and the State knows the average CA resident is willing to pay to keep the parks, so steal the allocated park money and ask for more.

    Plus one other question, why tie it to auto fees and not add a tax to the purchase of new outdoor equipment? I say add a 20% tax on all out door gear, that way those who use the parks will be paying for it, and those who can afford new and higher priced gear will pay more for it.....are you ready to pay more for a mtb tire so you can ride in the park?
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    I don't know how much it costs, but I put a number in the ballpark. The point was that parks have to be funded out of taxes if we want them. Now, whether a user fee should be levied or not is another story. I don't have stats for the state parks, but when I looked at the user fees for the EBRPD, it was a tiny portion of the overall budget (<5%), and user fees are easily avoided (can't fence off the whole park). So, my take is that we're better off funding the parks out of taxes and make them free for all residents.

    User fees may be avoided, but tickets are not. Much of the revenue generated by law enforcement agencies comes from the tickets issued, and the same could be said for state parks.

    I absolutely agree with addictionms that the unilateral tax on auto registration doesn't make sense, nor does the sudden lack of funding for these parks. Where did all the funding go that was approved previously for the parks? Was it reallocated to other buckets? I am more in favor of a consumption tax or user fee system than a statewide tax that many people already have trouble affording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    you express the problem perfectly, you "spend an awful lot of time in CA State Parks" so you are getting a lot of value out of them, Others do not, but they own a car, and your "redistrubution of wealth" attitude or brainwashing, allows you to see this as a "bargain" because you are willing to let everyone else pay for something they may never set foot in so you can "spend an awful lot of time" there for less.

    Its not a bargain, for a very large portion of the population.
    Dude, if you wanna talk about brainwashing, let's talk about Oprah some more.

    You don't have to visit the Parks to benefit from them. The woman who makes commission selling tents at [enter name of outdoor store here] benefits from Parks because people buy tents so they can camp in Parks. The person who owns the 7-11 franchise outside China Camp benefits from people buying Gatorades after a hike. It's not just about who is actually setting foot in the Parks; it's about the revenue they produce for the economy as a whole. This has been fleshed out by people much more versed than me in this topic. The Parks aren't just a resource for outdoor recreationalists - they're a resource, period, for our economy. Contrary to popular belief, people don't just visit California for the burritos.

    Slightly OT, I find it interesting that the concept of "redistribution of wealth" has somehow been equivocated with "EVIL COMMIES COMING TO TAKE YOUR MONEY AND GIVE IT TO STUPID DRUNKS BLERGH!" So often I see opposition to the concept - not even its practice - espoused by those who would most directly benefit from it. We live in curious times, indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
    Are you a whiny Marin liberal, or a hand-wringing Berkeley liberal?

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426
    You don't have to visit the Parks to benefit from them. The woman who makes commission selling tents at [enter name of outdoor store here] benefits from Parks because people buy tents so they can camp in Parks. The person who owns the 7-11 franchise outside China Camp benefits from people buying Gatorades after a hike. It's not just about who is actually setting foot in the Parks; it's about the revenue they produce for the economy as a whole. This has been fleshed out by people much more versed than me in this topic. The Parks aren't just a resource for outdoor recreationalists - they're a resource, period, for our economy. Contrary to popular belief, people don't just visit California for the burritos.

    Slightly OT, I find it interesting that the concept of "redistribution of wealth" has somehow been equivocated with "EVIL COMMIES COMING TO TAKE YOUR MONEY AND GIVE IT TO STUPID DRUNKS BLERGH!" So often I see opposition to the concept - not even its practice - espoused by those who would most directly benefit from it. We live in curious times, indeed.
    Missing the big picture again, sure the tent seller benefits, so does the tent manufacturer, I have never said get rid of the parks, so these individuals would still be able to sell their goods, But again the real issue is the money was there, and now its not, and this is money that is collected from the people, not in an even manner like prop 21 attempts to, it is in a total biased progressive tax system,

    So why are you ready to vote to pay more before you ask, WHERE DID YOU SPEND THE MONEY YOU ALREADY HAD FOR THIS?

    and as for redistribution of wealth, yes in general I prefer to take MY money and give it to organizations that I LIKE, maybe if the goverment would keep its hands off my money and yours we would have more to give to the parks because we value them, as it is, the goverment has already decided something else is more important to spend the the money they took from you and me, and they are telling you if you want your parks you need to pay more.....


    last bit of digging,

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=569540

    this thread was 11-05-09 about a year ago, I opposed it then too, same reason, and yes I still have more than an average number of cars....

    so if this passes, and everyone decides "well I am paying for I am going to the park and use it" how happy will you be when the parks are crowded, the littering goes up, the crime goes up, and trails get closed to mountain bikes because they are not safe and good for the park overall
    Last edited by addictionms; 09-17-2010 at 03:23 PM.
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    You just have to decide whether to send a message to Sacramento and punish the parks, or fund the parks and send the wrong message to the legislature.

    I haven't made up my mind, but I feel that either way I vote I lose.
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  105. #105
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    This is a difficult one to figure out. I really don't like any of the options presented to us so far... I love my parks and open space, but I realize there are other services that gain priority given the crisis we're in.

    For anyone crying redistribution of wealth about higher taxes- please take a economics 101 and do some research on the distribution of wealth in our great country since we've been duped into Milton Fridman's libertarian wet dream known as Reaganomics aka trickle down theory- not really a theory- it's proven the rich get a lot richer! If you wanna talk about the redistribution of wealth, it's been happening continuously since 1980- with an ever widening gap between the middle and working classes vs the top 20% earners in the nation.

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    Yes it is, but the earlier TR issue was not. Any other smartass remarks?
    Fast Eddy beat me to the observation about the constitution. You are the one in this thread throwing out comments like "spouting off" and smartass. As opposed to what? Your measured comments? How about keeping it civil?

    So what do you see irrelevant about TR's viewpoint, which was visionary 100 years ago? Do we have more open space, a smaller population, less need for healthy outdoor recreation and beauty? Why is that point of view not just as important today?

    For the record, I see the point that in some ways, this avoids making the state gov't live within it's means. It's frustrating and frankly criminal the legislature can't balance the budget. We are the only state out of 50 that doesn't have a budget at this point. But I'm also not willing to sacrifice the parks for philosophical reasons, and I feel 21 is a fair use of the citizen initiative process. I'd rather see it limited to one car per household, but I didn't write it or get the signatures. It is what it is.

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss
    For anyone crying redistribution of wealth about higher taxes- please take a economics 101 and do some research on the distribution of wealth in our great country since we've been duped into Milton Fridman's libertarian wet dream known as Reaganomics aka trickle down theory- not really a theory- it's proven the rich get a lot richer! If you wanna talk about the redistribution of wealth, it's been happening continuously since 1980- with an ever widening gap between the middle and working classes vs the top 20% earners in the nation.
    google "self made millionaire" funny that Google is run by two self made billionaires,

    http://www.rd.com/home-garden/secret...icle50301.html

    you are thinking about wealth in terms of a zero sum game, there is only so much to go around, and if you have it I can not have it, life is not like that, wealth can be created, someone else does not need to give it up for you to have it.

    redistribution is the game of those who think wealth is finite, and I must take if from someone else for me to have it, so rather than earn yours you take it from someone who has. The widening gap is there becuase too many people are waiting for someone to give them their wealth and not enough trying to earn it "I want some of Obama's stash"


    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I feel 21 is a fair use of the citizen initiative process.
    the only down fall with these are it is mob rule, 51% wins, and if 51% live near parks and the other 49% don't, then the 51% get to make the 49% pay for their pleasure. If there was a way to break the process up so there was the equivalent of a house and a senate, so areas had equal input as well as the people, oh wait, that is what we are supposed to have in Sac, and they can't agree, so lets go around them and use mob rule....as soon as 51% of the people can vote themselves money from the other 49% its over.....
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms

    the only down fall with these are it is mob rule, 51% wins, and if 51% live near parks and the other 49% don't, then the 51% get to make the 49% pay for their pleasure. .....
    But how is that any different whether done by direct voter initiative or by vote of elected representatives? ( I see a distinction or two, but want to hear what you think.)

  109. #109
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    Vote YES on PROP 19
    Honestly... ahh I give up

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    Oh, and if you think this is not MTB related - Think about the the thousands of miles of trails that go through rural areas - and the armed doods who protect the crops....
    Honestly... ahh I give up

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Fast Eddy beat me to the observation about the constitution. You are the one in this thread throwing out comments like "spouting off" and smartass. As opposed to what? Your measured comments? How about keeping it civil?

    So what do you see irrelevant about TR's viewpoint, which was visionary 100 years ago? Do we have more open space, a smaller population, less need for healthy outdoor recreation and beauty? Why is that point of view not just as important today?
    You should thank him for making a foolish comment so you didn't have to.

    TR worked hard on conservation issues in a time when it had never been on America's radar. Today everyone is at least aware of the importance of our own natural resources. The problems today are not awareness of the issue - they are logistical and budgetary.

    Since you and Fast Eddy like to bring up people and items of historical significance to support your arguments, I'd like to contribute by reminding everyone that the Bible shared many important messages of ecological conservation. We should really consider its message before going to vote on this issue.

    And lastly - the state "not living within its means" is not a philosophical issue. It is the greatest problem facing Californians over the last decade, and is very much quantifiable. The state has no right to waste taxpayer's money in its budgetary ineptitude. I'll reiterate my previous statement in that someone who knows how to run a business needs to take control. The single greatest improvement to the quality of life in California would come in the form of financial stability within the government.

  112. #112
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    No good

    jmartino,

    I don't know how much more clearly I could have spelled out how unacceptable I think the state's budget problem is.

    I think your take on TR and his relevance is too narrow, but that's just my opinion. And I see you've managed to once again work in some gratuitous sarcasm and more insults. That's so unnecessary.


    HC

  113. #113
    tjp
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    redistribution

    I don't think the issue is "redistribution of wealth" as the talking heads like the put it. It's that the working class has seen wages stay fairly stagnant, while the executives have seen pay skyrocket, as they lay the working class off or outsource their jobs. The wealth should have never been distributed the way it has been to begin with. Reigning this practice in is not "redistribution of wealth". It just ethical. Sure, the upper tax brackets should go up, but I also think there should be a cap of executive salaries, relative to what the average worker in the company makes. Probably too hard to implement, but the idea is sound, I think. As far as parks go, I'm going to hold my nose and vote yes. You'd have to look really hard to find a person in this state who doesn't get $10 benefit from state parks, in one way or another. As an aside, I really want to know where all that excess $$ went. Our budget needs some transparency.

  114. #114
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    cut government pensions.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    But how is that any different whether done by direct voter initiative or by vote of elected representatives? ( I see a distinction or two, but want to hear what you think.)
    its different in two ways, the first is easy to see, the second a little harder.

    1) we use a representative government, that means we send representatives to represent us. Most individuals do not have the time or inclination to read every bill, so we effectively hire representatives to do it for us (granted to many are not doing their jobs and actually reading the bill and understanding what is the desire of those who elected them). But this should still lead to better informed decisions, since it is their job to meet the people they represent and read the bill and reflect the peoples will.

    2) we have a house and a senate, the house is basically mob rule, the number of representatives is based on population so in theory everyone get equal representation and 51% of the people can/should pass a bill in the house. The Senate is not population based rather regional based, so if you look at the states, Rhode Island gets two senators and California get two, so the people of RI are as powerful as the people of CA even though there are way fewer people RI. This prevents mod rule in the senate, so it balances out the mob rule from the house. Both systems are a good measure of what the people want, and it takes both to agree to pass a law, the president need to sign it, the final check an balance. California has a house and a Senate at the State level, so we run the same system

    Initiatives are as if we only had the house, and no Senate, with the equal challenge that most will never read the bill, so a high risk of passing something you don't understand and/or allow 51% to vote themselves benefits at the expense of the other 49%, mob rule.

    Adding to this, it is not a perfect system, that is why there is such a big issue over where you draw the lines for both the house member and senate voting area, If you think about it, it is possible to have a 50/50 split on ideals and if you draw the lines right make it appear as a 80% majority. It is complex to do right and apathy about it will allow evil to take power.




    Quote Originally Posted by tjp
    I don't think the issue is "redistribution of wealth" as the talking heads like the put it. It's that the working class has seen wages stay fairly stagnant, while the executives have seen pay skyrocket, as they lay the working class off or outsource their jobs. The wealth should have never been distributed the way it has been to begin with. Reigning this practice in is not "redistribution of wealth". It just ethical. Sure, the upper tax brackets should go up, but I also think there should be a cap of executive salaries, relative to what the average worker in the company makes. Probably too hard to implement, but the idea is sound, I think. As far as parks go, I'm going to hold my nose and vote yes. You'd have to look really hard to find a person in this state who doesn't get $10 benefit from state parks, in one way or another. As an aside, I really want to know where all that excess $$ went. Our budget needs some transparency.
    While I agree that it is unethical what some companies do, giving the government the power only shifts the power base and allows the government to decide who gets what, ultimately resulting in an unethical situation again.

    The better solution is to vote with you feet, and provide as much accurate information as possible to everyone possible and let the people make the decisions.

    Education is our friend here

    IF a company is overpaying its executives and board members (they need to approve the pay as well of most execs) and under paying the workers, then two things should happen, if you work there find a job with a company where they are more ethical, sooner or later they will have no workers, or workers that see the pay equal to their effort and so it is ok with them, second, tell as many people as you can about the problem and encourage people to buy from sources other than the unethical company.

    When you think about it, if someone does not have morals and does not care about ethics you can not create enough laws to prevent them from being evil, they will always find a new way to overcome the current law, so you end up with a zillion laws and still the problem will exist because that person is still fundamentally unethical,

    If someone is ethical, they don’t need any laws, they will always try to do the right thing, and if they make a mistake, they will endeavor to correct it, because they are ethical.
    Last edited by addictionms; 09-18-2010 at 01:26 PM.
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

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    addictionms,

    Thanks for the comment. I understand about the two house system, although I don't think I'd refer to it as "mob rule". But you make some good points.

    The big difference I see between the legislature doing something and doing it by initiative is that initiatives just get passed as written, whether or not they favor a special interest, are constitutionally flawed, or whether they really make sense. I think in the legislature there is much more likely to be compromise and some consideration given to opposing points of view, especially in close votes. (At least, I'd like to think that's how it works.)

  117. #117
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    I am writing from Bay Nature Magazine. Between now and Nov 2, if you buy a $21.95 subscription to Bay Nature, we'll donate $4 to Yes on 21 for CA state parks. Just type in promo code EWK921 at checkout, and we'll donate. Or call 1 (888) 4-BAYNAT and mention the save-our-parks code WEK921. Click here to subscribe: http://store.baynature.com/Detail.bok?no=7

  118. #118
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    I just saw this in the San Jose Mercury news:

    "Mercury News editorial: Prop. 21 is a solution to state parks problems"
    http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_15773343

  119. #119
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    also from the SJ Merc

    "Unlike most patchwork funding measures, Proposition 21 really appears to solve the parks challenge. Expected revenue, some $500 million a year, is high enough that money can be kept in trust for future years when inflation takes its toll. By bringing parks up to a well-maintained standard now, they'll be cheaper to keep up in the long run. Meanwhile, the $130 million parks now get from the general fund can go to other needs."

    so there it is, confirming what I said, redirect the money that is in the budget for the parks to some unknown purpose (probably one you may not agree with), a trust they will somehow figure out how to raid,

    and why $500M not $130M? because they want to excess to spin off, remember they can "borrow" from the fund, and who says they will not build the Jerry/Meg Park Re-education center in some park with the money rather than what you would like done.

    Safety in the parks is one of the issues, that is easy to solve, issue CCWs to Californians,
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  120. #120
    Paper or plastic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms
    also from the SJ Merc

    "Unlike most patchwork funding measures, Proposition 21 really appears to solve the parks challenge. Expected revenue, some $500 million a year, is high enough that money can be kept in trust for future years when inflation takes its toll. By bringing parks up to a well-maintained standard now, they'll be cheaper to keep up in the long run. Meanwhile, the $130 million parks now get from the general fund can go to other needs."

    so there it is, confirming what I said, redirect the money that is in the budget for the parks to some unknown purpose (probably one you may not agree with), a trust they will somehow figure out how to raid,

    and why $500M not $130M? because they want to excess to spin off, remember they can "borrow" from the fund, and who says they will not build the Jerry/Meg Park Re-education center in some park with the money rather than what you would like done.

    Safety in the parks is one of the issues, that is easy to solve, issue CCWs to Californians,
    Without taking side,it's been pretty well established that the parks have been underfunded for a while and have a huge amount of backlogged maintenance. So, my understanding is that the $500m was a number that would allow the parks to be properly funded. I haven't looked in the numbers, but that's what I read.

    As for the $130M being repurposed, we all know that the new fee is a tax increase (as was debated above).

    Now, whether the next governor/legislature can repurpose the funds earmarked for the parks via the initiative, I think that it's a stretch, but then again I'm no legal expert.

    As for the CCW, frankly the wild wild west is over.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  121. #121
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    This argument completely ignores the history of park funding. The parks were never meant to be funded out of the General Fund in the first place! The parks were funded from the vehicle license fee that the Governator did away with his second day in office. After that, the funds had to either be borrowed from the General Fund, or they had to be completely done away with. As you might recall, the parks were very close to being axed completely. The GOP in this state makes it sound like the park system is this overbloated agency full of waste and extravagance, when they were the ones that took away the parks funding, forcing them to borrow money from the GF in the first place! Have you ever visited a state park??? If you're lucky, they've refilled the toilet paper in the pit toilet. Prop 21 basically undoes the harm that was done, and sets things back to the way they were.

    What the article says is they need the $500 so there is always a source of funding for the parks, and we don't have to face the prospect of closing them all down again.

    "Starve the beast" and lowering taxes is a very politically popular stance until people realize what has to get cut. We expect roads to be fixed when a bad winter washes them away. We expect bathroom facilities and place to park our cars when we go visit a park. We expect firefighters to at least attempt to save our homes when there is a wildfire. We expect the police to respond when we call 911. We expect the roofs of the schools to not leak rain water on our kids' heads. We expect to not have to pay $100,000 for in-state college education. We expect violent criminals to be kept in jail. The money for all of that doesn't just grow on the money tree. WE fund all of that. And it's worthwhile, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by addictionms

    so there it is, confirming what I said, redirect the money that is in the budget for the parks to some unknown purpose (probably one you may not agree with), a trust they will somehow figure out how to raid,

    and why $500M not $130M? because they want to excess to spin off, remember they can "borrow" from the fund, and who says they will not build the Jerry/Meg Park Re-education center in some park with the money rather than what you would like done.

    Safety in the parks is one of the issues, that is easy to solve, issue CCWs to Californians,
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
    ~Fairfaxian

  122. #122
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    but do we need this?

    "Schools Go Orange with Carrot Vending Machines"

    http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/09/...ding-machines/

    sure there are things the goverment should do, why is those things that always get thrown out there as what we will have to give up if there is not eoungh money? There are alot of things that would be better run if left to local goeverment or private business, those are the things we should be cutting.....
    "It is a bad sign when people stop identifying themselves with the county and start identifying with a group."

  123. #123
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    IMBA has an action alert for prop 21
    http://www.imba.com/alerts/support-prop21

  124. #124
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    Here's what I think (and on the other propositions as well):

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=657927

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