state parks

California’s Unspent Water Funds: An Instinct for the Capillary

The AP reports today that California has failed to spend $455 million of federal money for improving the state’s water infrastructure, even though many of the state’s communities suffer from unclean water. The state has received more than $1.5 billion for its Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund over the past 15 years, but has failed …


California State Parks: What’s the Real Scandal?

Make no mistake: the disclosure last week that the California State Parks Department was sitting on $54 million of excess funds while claiming that parks all over the state had to be closed is a real hit.  Parks director Ruth Coleman — actually, a talented and dedicated public servant — did the right thing and immediately resigned, …


The Privatization of State Parks & Ocean Management in California–And Why That’s a Good Thing

California boasts the nation’s largest state park system–over 1.5 million acres of natural, historical and cultural resources contained in 278 separate, state-owned parks that attract over 80 million visitors annually.  But California’s extensive system of state-owned parks, beaches and marine reserves is in crisis–a victim of draconian budget cuts, chronic under-staffing and over $1 billion …


Why Republicans Should Support Proposition 21

In my lonely quest to get people interested in Proposition 21, I’ve written other posts about it, and tried to answer objections.  But one objection, usually offered by Republicans, deserves a closer look, because addressing it means that Republicans should vote for Proposition 21 even if one accepts their premises about the Legislature and the …


The Hypocrites Fighting Proposition 21

California’s Proposition 21 would add a paltry $18 to the state’s vehicle license fee, and provide $500 million a year to the state’s park system.  This would vastly augment its budget, and help clear a $1.3 billion maintenance backlog.  It also would eliminate parking and user fees for the parks.  Who could be against that? Well, …


Yes on Proposition 21

Proposition 21 on next month’s California ballot seems like a pretty easy call: it would raise the state’s Vehicle License Fee by $18, with the money being dedicated to the state’s park system (it would also end parking and user fees to enjoy those parks).  That system remains one of the nation’s best but is …