70 state parks get the ax

May 14, 2011

Seventy state parks across California including Morro Strand State Beach will be closed starting in September and completed in July 2012, State Parks’ officials announced on Friday.

The governor’s mansion, Limekiln State Park in Big Sur Redwood forests and some of the states historical parks will be closed. As many as 220 jobs will be eliminated as part of the states budget cuts recently approved by Gov. Jerry Brown.

In March, the legislature and Brown agreed the closures would help cover $22 million in cuts to the state parks budget. The cuts were made to help shrink the states former $26 billion budget to its current $15.6 billion.

Brown had proposed tax increases or extensions to help repair the budget deficit, but Republicans have successfully blocked his plan.



  1. willie says:

    Every time the government reports a significant problem, they want to tax more or make us feel guilty for not paying more, it never ever stops no matter who is next elected.
    From hereinafter, every problem they can’t resolve with their existing contingencies should be “privatized!” thus, no more problem!

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      Ah, the venerable “sacred cow” sacrifice! Give us our blood money or you’ll never see your again! Muahahaha!

      Yeah. It’s getting old. I’m just glad more people are waking up to it.

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
    • r0y says:

      bah, issue with braces… should read “or you’ll never see your {sacred cow} again!”

      (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
  2. knows1 says:

    Closing 70 California parks that attracts millions of tourists who spend tens of millions in tourist dollars. Throwing this away to save $22 million. Great-I’m sure we will use that $22 million to throw a couple hundred more prisoners in the pen.
    The prison guards and their union have been tight lipped for years about their $100k in salary and bloated benefits package. They started yacking a few years ago when there was a threat to their hefty pay raise they get every single year. They started blowing the whistle with hopes that tax payers would protest the bleeding of cash through the prison system. I have 12 very good friends employed at CMC. Here’s what they told me then in order to gain sympathy from the public. By the way-this has all been verified:

    CMC can only issue brand name meds for prisoners. It is costing you and I $2 million A MONTH at CMC alone for the prisoners to take brand name meds. Did you catch that-$2 million for CMC prisoners.
    HERES THE REAL CRIME: The officers union is in bed with the pharmaceutical companies. They struck a deal where all prisons in California MUST issue brand name meds rather than generics. If CMC would issue generic meds (like we take) it would cost you and I about $2 million a year instead of $24 million. Can you imagine how many $$$$ hundreds of millions you and I are spending on brand name drugs for murderers, child molesters in California prisons?
    HERES MORE: The union struck a deal so that EVERY prisoner that needed an MRI had be taken up to San Jose for a simple MRI. 4 guards taking 1 prisoner at a time. WHY? The union wants to employ as many hours as possible for their union members/prison guards. If they take ONE prisoner at a time-the (4) guards rack up 32 hours of regular pay-plus 16 hours overtime for ONE prisoner at a time!!!
    THE REAL CRIME: If they weren’t so selfish-they would take 4 prisoners at a time and save us a hell of a lot of money.
    WHY DON’T THEY? They wouldn’t be able to rack up as many hours. By taking one prisoner at a time we get billed 128 hours and 64 hours of overtime, $500 in fuel and about $700 in perdiums for food etc. All this for one prisoner-one ride.
    HEY greedy fricking union and paid off politicians-why don’t you take 4 or 6 prisoners at a time to get their MRI’s in SLO? It would cost us about $10 in gas, 16 hours of labor and 0 dollars for perdeims. They are also contracted to take prisoners out of the county for simple surgeries.
    HOWS THIS: it costs us a minimum of $68,000 per prisoner PER YEAR to house these murders, rapists, child molesters. It costs us @ $120,000 a year for prisoners who are heavily medicated. The most consistant # I see is it costs us an average of $80,000 per prisoner.
    SUMMARY-we need to layoff atleast 2 teachers for each medicated child molester/murdered in prison. Multiply that by tens of thousands of prisoners.
    I heard California is considering building another prison. Great. The only way we can do that is to lay off all the teachers in California and close every single state park.

    This is going on right outside our city, up and down the state-from one corner to the next.
    We are getting screwed.

    (23) 29 Total Votes - 26 up - 3 down
    • RaoulDuke says:

      Every prisoner does not go to San Jose for an MR scan. Imaging providers are contracted throughout the state for this service usually following a request for proposal to contract for these services. In fact some institutions use buses to take multiple prisoners with fewer guards for examinations. Your “12 very good friends” need to do a better job of understanding what goes on in their facility.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • knows1 says:

        My friend of 30 years is one of the 4 guards who takes them up to San Jose. It is assignment, He also takes prisoners out of town for other simple procedures.
        You say imaging providers are contracted throughout the state. THAT’S EVEN WORSE!!
        Why should they prisoners anywhere for an MRI other than locally? That is my point:
        4 guards for each prisoner out of town = 32 hour regular hours, 16 hours of overtime, $100 in gas and @ $50 per guard per day for perdiem (they pack food and eat cheap pocketing about $40).
        It is costing us about $4,000 per day to take prisoners out of town for an MRI. I’d hate to know what kind of deal the union is making for the procedure-probably about $8,000.
        SUMMARY-Safe to say that CMC and it’s union is screwing us out atleast $10,000 a week for each prisoner to get MRI’s all over the state when they can get it done locally for hundreds.

        You cannot say that we the tax payers are not getting screwed. This union is the strongest in the state. I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW THEY CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT KNOWING THEY NEGOTIATE CONTRACTS THAT INFLATES WAGES AT THE PRISONS BY TEN FOLD.
        This state isn’t getting choked by gas, the state parks or anywhere else-we are getting ripped off from the union and the prison system….ALL THIS FOR PRISONERS!!!!
        Our schools, state parks are getting pushed aside for the benefits of the guards and prisoners.

        (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
    • SanSimeonSam says:

      We need to privatize the corrections system in California. Its the only way to get the costs in line. Then there will be money for the parks. Interesting that the public is being punished. its the govenors way of getting us to vote for the tax hikes he is proposing. FIX the state pension system and get these state employees that are nothing more than welfare bums of the dole. Leave the teachers alone….they earn their money, but the bureaucrats and rent a cops that work for the prisons are worthless parasites on the state dole.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • r0y says:

      While I cannot speak to your other points, the Brand-Name medications are often purchased at a MUCH lower cost than many of their generic equivalents. Not always, but often. Usually, when the public sees amounts, they can easily be skewed one way or another by leaving off certain meds or including others (i.e. mental health meds included or excluded with bodily health?)

      I’m not going to say there are no abuses (all government agencies have abuses, especially unionized ones); however, I would question the figures in your post for the meds.

      The prison system should just be out-sourced to China. That’d be an awesome deterrent.

      (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
  3. SLORider says:

    I vote for option 1. For the past 40 years the Democrats have been pushing button number 2. No more.

    Closing parks is a stunt to raise outcry. Parks are 0.5% of the state budget, and this closure is about 0.008% of the state budget. Kill 10% of CARB’s $1 billion budget and reign in the Coastal Commission’s mad dog litigation practices. Then kill a dozen or so useless state boards that are haven’s for ex-politicians who receive $100K+ for going to a meeting once a month.

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      You guys tried your lower taxes for the past ten years and look where it’s gotten us.

      (-8) 26 Total Votes - 9 up - 17 down
      • SLORider says:

        Yes, Republicans helped impose the highest taxes in the nation. Whored out Democrats and Republicans in bed with the unions.Look where it got us.

        (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
      • r0y says:

        Who are “you guys” ? Would this be the voters? Yeah, California has some really questionable voters, I’ll admit, but while one tax might appear to go down, hundreds of fees, liens, and other taxes go up.

        People who point out that Americans are taxed less, need to look at their utility bills, gasoline purchases, and any new development (or remodel) of property. Sure, we’re all paying less and it shows! We’re in the roaring 21st century, right?

        (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          Oh yeah, GE and Exxon paid a lot of taxes, those poor guys. ‘You guys’ try and confuse the issue and make it as if we (many of us not all libs) want to raise everyones taxes. Let me clear things up for anyone that might be reading with an open mind. Most of us just want the wealthy to pay their fair share. If you r0y make over a half mill or a year then yes you probably need to pay more. I am talking about the upper 2% and most likely that doesn’t include most of the people that post here. Making them/big corps pay their fair share and cutting waste would go a long way at stimulating this economy and getting us back to the good ole days of the Clinton years when my business was doing well and I employed twice the people that I do now,,,,and paid more taxes. If it means that I can get back the profits that I used to make then yes, tax me more. If I make more then I’ll pay more.

          (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down
          • r0y says:

            Making them/big corps pay their fair share and cutting waste would go a long way at stimulating this economy and getting us back to the good ole days of the Clinton years when my business was doing well and I employed twice the people that I do now,,,,and paid more taxes.

            You do understand that was a result of the “tech bubble” where taxes were lowered on investment capital and venture capitalism ran wild? You do understand that it was not until near the end of Clinton’s second term that people began asking how a “list of subscribers” was worth millions or billions? The bubble burst. You’re comparing apples to oranges, and making neither point very well to boot!

            Simple economics says that if you tax “the guy with the money” (aka “evil rich” in your world) then they will not create as many jobs, whether through consumption or investment. Every dollar taken out of YOUR pocket (even your liberal pocket) is one less dollar that will stimulate our economy. Can you not understand this? Your faith in the government is commendable, but horrible misplaced. You do not trust “neocons” or “republicans” or whatever the slogan of the day is. Fine. They exist in this government you want to give your tax dollars to. Do you trust them to invest it wisely? Do you trust yourself to invest it wisely? Is it becoming clearer?

            I’m sorry for the patronizing tone, but I really think you are not seeing the economy as a whole; likely due to the seemingly rabid ideology you’ve bought into hook, line and sinker. Anytime someone makes a case in economics a political one, then the point is missed. Republican or Democrat – they will NEVER spend our money wisely. It is prudent to give them less of it.

            (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          BTW, I veered off a bit there. WE aren’t paying less, the wealthy are paying less.

          (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down
  4. r0y says:

    Brown had proposed tax increases or extensions to help repair the budget deficit, but Republicans have successfully blocked his plan. Democrats have 25 senate seats, Republicans have 15. Dems have 52 Assembly seats vs. Republicans 28.

    How exactly does a minority party “successfully block” the majority party’s executive branch (governor)? Is it like the even more minority national Republicans blocked Obamacare (that was passed, amazingly enough)?

    I am quite weary of statements like this, no wonder there is no by-line. I did not vote for Brown, as I was here the first time and am still sane; but I will admit, my hopes were high when he went in. Just before he caved to his union buddies (among other things). I no longer have hopes for him; perhaps he’s a better mayor than he is a governor.

    (0) 18 Total Votes - 9 up - 9 down
    • eradicate ignorance says:

      r0y–Raising taxes in California requires a two-thirds majority which the Dems and Brown don’t have. So if no one gets the two-thirds majority we will continue to have gridlock.

      As I see it, there are only three options:

      1. Cut spending
      2. Raise taxes
      3. Both A & B

      I vote for option 3. Not ideal but lets bite the bullet and get it together.

      (0) 28 Total Votes - 14 up - 14 down
      • danika says:

        I vote for them using the tax dollars they have been taking from us for YEARS and forget raising taxes. That is how I will vote. Not one penny more. It will be painful, it will be deep, and it will be NECESSARY.

        How about those who appear on this list cough up the money ? They paid Brown to work for them….now they can pay for us!


        (3) 17 Total Votes - 10 up - 7 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        I’m with you- #3. You left out cut waste or I suppose that could be part of #1.

        (-5) 13 Total Votes - 4 up - 9 down
      • ds_gray says:

        There is an option 4: Privatize the parks system. The parks do not need to be run by the State, with state employees. Allow private business entities to bid on – and PAY – the state for the privilege of operating the parks on a for-profit basis, akin to a concession contract. Then instead of the parks being a money pit, they may actually turn into a revenue source. Some of the parks are indeed a revenue source and can be operated in the black – they are absent from the list of parks closing, or course. Some parks cannot, either due to low attendance, high operating cost, or lack of facilities to appeal to visitors. Privatizing will allow investment in the park infrastructure to attract visitors and make money from gate fees.

        It is a shame that Limekiln is closing. It is a beautiful place, Morro Strand, on the other hand, is a glorified parking lot. It also sits right next to a Snowy Plover preserve, and could be removed to provide more room for the native birds.

        (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
      • r0y says:

        True about the 2/3rds for raising taxes (thank God); however, I would never trust either party (especially in California) to do #1… ever.

        But like danika said, Excramento has been bleeding us for years, and as the result of their mis-management and sweetheart union deals (CalPERS), it’s all crumbling down. Unfortunately, it’s been so bad for so long, we literally have generations that have grown up expecting publicly-funded pensions to do nothing but increase (at least CoLA), government to keep hiring, and taxpayers to increase their “fair share” to sustain our governments largess.

        It simply isn’t working anymore. I would only support a tax increase if other B.S. fees and fines were eliminated or reduced to ‘reasonable.” How is that $500 75-in-a-65 speeding ticket (aka driving tax) going to help anyone but the CHP’s bottom line? Or the latest DMV “third-and-only” notices that all went out with their draconian penalties… I can go on and on, but the gist is fairly clear, Government is too inefficient to be entrusted with more money.

        Until that changes, I’d not give them anymore. In fact, I’d give them less.

        (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down

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