So, Christine-are you going to continue giving your cronies pay raises? Squander our surplus on more crazy welfare programs? Or perhaps fund our state parks that will benefit ALL Washington State residents-rich or poor-from Pacific County to Pend Oreille County! Does our state's incredible natural and cultural heritage mean anything to you-or anyone else in Olympia, Chrsitine? What's that? You guys aren't paying attention-Howard Shultz and Paul Allen need some more of our tax dollars instead-Sheeesh!
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The State of the Parks II
The Washington State House recently voted to rescind day-use fees cuurently being charged for state park visitation. They say that they are concerned that the fees are keeping thousands of people from visiting the parks. Okay--that's true-but as I have previously stated, if people aren't willing to support their parks and the state legislature isn't willing to raise the ante-then where is the money going to come from?
In a perfect world it would be nice not to have to pay fees to use our parks-it would be nice too, if our state actually funded the parks the way that they and the people of this state deserve. Instead of looking for money to payoff a billionaire sports owner (1st the Mariners-then the Seahawks-now the Sonics-oh yeah-Nascar wants some too), how about FUNDING OUR PARKS!
But, unless this state fully funds our parks-I cannot support a rescinding of day use fees. As our population continues to grow-no make that, EXPLODE-our park system languishes. As our citizins continue to grow fatter and continue to disconnect from the natural world-we need parks more than ever.
The Miller Peninsula (pictured above) should have been added to our park system years ago. Washington State Parks has owned this property for nearly two decades-Yet under four Democrat governors and a mostly Democrat legislature, State Parks hasn't gotten $1 to develop it into a top-notch state park. Under Booth Gardner, the state tried to sell this prime parcel to a Japanese developer. Under Gary Grid-Locke, we lost a handful of (mostly eastern Washington) state parks-Thanks for raising taxes and closing parks, Gary! Right now, State Parks is unveiling plans to finally develop Miller Peninsula into a state-of-the-art park. Yet, the Washington House votes to kill one of the few sources of park income-the day use fee.
And what about our current governor? Will she make state parks a priority? Dino Rossi made it a part of his campaign platform-a Republican! And it convinced enough Dems to cross the fence to vote for him-but King County had other plans. Can you say Cook County NW?