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Parks Still Worthy 

Editor:

Hats off to the visiting public that continues to support state parks during the current media wars ("State Parks Scandalpalooza," Blogjammin, July 26). Here is hoping that the other part of the public, the ones who are outraged at the funds located suddenly by California State Parks, finds another battle to fight.

There are always people with dollar signs in their eyes ready to pounce on the jewels of California! We all need to think far into the future. Be upset now for the people who are entrusted with our legacy, but keep your eye on what's important in the long run. If there are problems at higher levels, let's fix that. Let's not speculate or toss the baby out with the bathwater.

We should all be proactive. Let's look at the hard work the parks' staff and coordinating agencies have done by being such dedicated stewards. Donors, hard workers, doers, be proud you supported something you love. California has the best park system in the country and even the world.?I am disappointed at the moment and am waiting for the whole story to come out on the reported misdoings in Sacramento, but I am also proud to be a member of the visiting public who support all outdoor parks and open spaces.

As a former resident of Eureka, I am thankful to everyone who works or volunteers for such public spaces. These people who work so hard are sure getting unnecessary flack. ?Please, be grateful, be a good park partner, help preserve these treasures. Embrace history, nature and diversity. Without you, there may be little hope! Who do these parks and public spaces belong to? You, your grandchildren and generations beyond.

Cindi Whitehead, San Anselmo

 

Editor:

It is easy to understand the public's vast disappointment with the state parks' administration both statewide and locally. The series of events that have come to light recently are exposing important problems.

Maybe it is a relief that our state parks now have $53 million they claim they did not know about. The question is can we trust them with it?

I must say after witnessing the botched $1 million "restoration and enhancement plan" unfold at Little River State Beach and learning about a proposed stream restoration project at Bull Creek I am worried. And I am a big fan of stream restoration when it is done right.

Unfortunately and understandably public confidence in state park projects has waned considerably over the last several years. Hiding facts about these projects from the inquiring public is very unbecoming.

Former Director Ruth Coleman may or may not have been aware of the hidden funds (they were stashed before she was appointed). Someone had to take the fall, but we should not be fooled into thinking her departure will solve all problems.

As it stands, the California Department of Parks and Recreation obviously needs a good systemic scrubbing. There are some good people still working in our parks' best interest, yet there are also simply too many that are not.

It is hard to imagine how much more ticked off Californians would be if the DMV tax to save our parks had passed in a recent election. Had we all ended up paying $38 per vehicle the ensuing lawsuits would have added dozens of nails to state parks' coffin. So maybe we saved our state parks by not voting to save them. Sometimes irony prevails.

Uri Driscoll, Arcata

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