Thursday, August 27, 2009

Save California Parks and Their Communities!

California's parks need not close. They need not fail our citizens and our communities, and we need not lose this important heritage.

California's park system is in danger because of the dreadful budget problems in our state. Closure of parks endangers not only the livelihood of those who work in the parks, but also the communities that rely on revenue generated by the associated tourism.

In desperate times like these, old ideas with a new spin can keep our parks out of private hands and open for everyone's benefit and enjoyment. Let the communities take care of the parks.

Communities surrounding parks could establish cooperatives, where the people who work at the park would be funded by park entrance fees. Workers could live at the park in exchange for taking lower pay, and accumulate points based on years of service toward a life-estate ownership interest in a small parcel of land suitable to build a modest sustainable dwelling in, say, five years.

Workers would be chosen by a governing board, at the outset. Once established, the workers themselves would choose new workers based on commitment and knowledge of the park. In this way, those who work there would have a stake in the park as well as the community. To assure that park professionals would have a role, their applications would receive priority treatment.

Title to the park itself would remain with the state, but the revenues would stay with each park. It may be necessary to institute or increase entrance fees to make this model work, but it would be far better than either facing the closure of our parks or turning parks over to the private sector.

Deborah Lagutaris, J.D.
Harris Freeman, M.B.A.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Boycott Sarah Palin headlines! Take the Pledge!

After nearly a year of Sarah Palin coverage, let me be among the millions who are disgusted with corporate media's fascination with this dreadful woman and among the millions who have said NO MORE. It's sort of like looking at roadkill.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I set up four blogs about the terror of Sarah Palin last fall, so I should be the last one to speak. But I swore off Sarah after the election. It was making me sick!

Her deliberate lies deserve no space. Let her return to obscurity, where she belongs, as a cultural footnote in the decline and fall of the Republican Party. I will not click on any headline featuring her name.

Please join me in letting corporate media know that they can't sell any more advertising space by relying on this horror of a human being. Add your comment to this post, pledging not to read anything else about Sarah Palin. You know it isn't going to be worth your time, anyway.