Closing State Deficit… At the Expense of a Rich Future

June 3, 2009

It has recently been reported that Shwarzenegger’s response to CA’s $24 billion deficit is a proposed closure of 80% or 220 of the 279 California state parks and taking even more away from invaluable state programs.  So now not only will it be more difficult to raise our children to embrace California’s natural beauty, getting quality education will be even further out of reach.

When I look back on my childhood, the some of the fondest memories I have are camping with my family at Big Sur, going to Sunset Beach in Santa Cruz with my friends in high school when we finally had drivers licenses, thinking about one day going to Half Moon bay, hiking and really soaking in California’s natural beauty.  This appreciation for California beaches and state parks has stayed with me and now when I think of my more recent fond memories, I think about running through Torrey Pines State Beach, Torrey Pines State National Reserve to train for and during the La Jolla Half Marathon.  I think about Silver Strand state beach and how I’m looking forward to possibly running another race along that beach in a couple months.  I think about the first time I went fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, next to Cuyamaca State Park.  I think about Carlsbad State Beach and the brief stop I made there a year ago, leaving with a mental note to go back.  What are some of your similar memories?  I know you must have some.

Picture I took at Torrey Pines... it's even more stunning in person

Picture I took at Torrey Pines... it's even more stunning in person

What all these have in common is that they are all part of the list of state park closures proposed if Shwarzenegger’s plan is put into action.  We often take these beautiful sights for granted, when in reality the work that goes into keeping these landmarks open is apparently deemed excessive by our governor.  It devastates me that there is a chance that not only will my quality of life be affected, but that one day my kids and the generation that comes after me may never have a chance to experience such an enriched life.  I think that losing our state parks is one of those things that we won’t fully realize how it’s affecting us until it’s gone.  I know that the state deficit is not a trivial issue, but neither is slowly taking away things that make California great.  There has got to be another way, and I hope that together we can save California.

Sunset I captured at Cuyamaca

Sunset I captured at Cuyamaca

Check out the list of parks: “Proposed state park closure list is not for the faint of heart

-debs


Vote or Don’t Friggin’ Complain! Seriously… ever.

May 26, 2009

Young people make me sad sometimes. We’re a substantial portion of the voting population, yet politicians running for public office hardly listen to the things we have to say about the issues we care about. And I don’t fault them for that one bit. The fact of the matter is that, by in large, we don’t vote. Maybe we vote a little more in presidential elections – especially when there’s a charismatic black guy running for office – but honestly, we’re pathetic. And I hear people complain SO MUCH about the state of the government and our country, but does the average 20something vote in every (especially local) election? Methinks not, friends.

Excuse me if this is something of a rant, but it just bugs and disheartens me that our youth (myself included, of course) are so short-sighted and self-righteous at the same time. I voted by mail in today’s election (Editor’s note: This was originally written on May 19th, the day of a California state special election), and even though I knew it was a very important (that’s why they call it a “special”) election I still had to really push myself to get my ballot out there.

According to the L.A. Times, some 2.4 million Californians cast ballots by mail for the latest state election compared to back in November, when 13.7 million voters put in their presidential tallies. An 82.5% drop-off from six months ago? In the midst of the biggest economic crisis since your grandparents were graduating from high school? Really!?

OK, fine. I can accept that 20somethings don’t quite comprehend how important these elections are, or what long-lasting effects they’ll have. I can take that because no one is quite sure how these propositions will affect California’s economic outlook (as goes with all elections, really). But understand that if you don’t regularly vote in elections, both state and local, although local ones probably have more immediate impact on your life, you have no right to complain about your government. Ever.

-RT


I want to return this Margaritaville!

April 21, 2009

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