Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Washington Monument Part 1

A "Washington Monument Play" is when government punishes the populace by denying a popular service in order to extort money for unpopular costs. We start this ongoing series with the great State of Arizona

Arizona decides to close most state parks
Facing a multibillion-dollar shortfall, the state will shut 13 parks by June, including the Tombstone Courthouse and Yuma Territorial Prison. Several had already been closed.
January 16, 2010|By Nicole Santa Cruz
Wrestling with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, Arizona decided Friday to close nearly all of its state parks, including the famed Tombstone Courthouse and Yuma Territorial Prison.
The State Parks Board unanimously voted to close 13 parks by June 3. Eight others had already been closed, and the decision would leave nine open -- but only if the board can raise $3 million this year.
The action represents the largest closure of state parks in the nation, although several other states are considering similar moves.
"It's a dark day for the Arizona state parks system," said Renee Bahl, the system's executive director.
"We have 65,000 acres around the state and the majority of them are closing."
The Arizona parks receive about 2.3 million visitors per year who bring about $266 million into the state, Bahl said.

Got that math? $3m is "saved" to help close a multi-billion dollar deficit. That $3m apparently generates 80x in economic ripples. There's no way this is about saving money.


Sweet Cashback said...

Double down FIRST!!!

Jean ValJean said...

Speaking of Doubling Down...
Steve Jobs unveils the IPad:

The lights come down. Steve Jobs appears in a black turtleneck and jeans to huge applause and a standing ovation. He's smiling with hands clasped in front of him. "We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical and revolutionary product today, but before we get to that, we've got a few updates," he says.
"I chuckled when I saw this," Jobs says, showing a quote from The Journal and a photo of Moses and the tablet. Everybody uses a laptop or a smart phone now. Is there room for a third category of device in the middle, he asks.
The bar is pretty high -- those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks, he says. Better than the laptop and better than the smart phone. It needs to do browsing, email photos, video, music, games and e-books, he says.
If there is going to be a third category of device, it is going to have to be better than these. "Netbooks aren't better at anything," Jobs says. "They are just cheap laptops." We think we've got something that is better, he says. "We call it the iPad."
You can turn the iPad any way you want. "It is a dream to type on," Jobs says.
It is so much more intimate than a laptop, he says.
You can watch YouTube with it, and of course it is awesome for watching TV and movies, he adds. Now the demo begins.
IPad is an awesome way to enjoy your music collection, Jobs says.

Pleather Murse said...

BFD, let 'em shut 'em down. There's lots of other places in AZ to hang out at that aren't under state management. Some of these "parks" are basically historic sites as indicated in the article -- an old courthouse and the Territorial prison in Yuma -- not huge wilderness areas.

EconomicDisconnect said...

Good to have you back!

Monica said...

If only Casey, too, came back! I really miss him.

Mark from Michigan said...

FWIW, there was plenty of money to run the parks in the parks fund - it was stolen by the republican legislature, including a $250,000 bequest.



Unknown said...

Feb 1st, 2010 is the trustee sale date of Casey's family's house located at 4932 Dewey Dr, 95628. Sale takes place on the famous Sacramento Court House steps with the guy using the trashcan as a desktop. (Info is from a limited RE foreclosure listing). Anyone have more gritty details?

H Simpson said...

No biggie

Had the same game played in NH a couple years ago. A small state park with a lake was going to be closed to have more funds for the north country where winter vacation money had a higher priority. The state had already cut back lifeguards to just weekends in the summer.

Rather than look at it as a bad thing, the locals went to the state and said, Fine, can we run our park?

For years the park had slowly become a haven for dirtbags from across the border. Left trash everywhere, public drinking, pretending not to know English so they could disobey the rules. The local cops could not come in as it was a state park. State did not have the manpower to do the job right. The park was slowly dying.

People living in the area were getting miffed with the idiots racing around the local roads, the trash etc.

So the town put a committee together, sets up fees that favors buying a low cost season pass (gets money up front), trained and hired local kids as lifeguards and rangers. Locals came in and cleaned the park in the spring. Rules were put up in English and Spanish.

Come summer, anyone was welcome (but now there is a small fee to enter versus free) and if you don't follow the rules, the local cops (station is less than a mile away) will haul your stupid butt to the pokey faster than you can say Huh?

Park now breaks even, has much better coverage with more lifeguards, the trash is gone, and the visitors who come think it is a much nicer and safer operation.

Neighbors now have a jewel instead of a decaying p.o.s.

Call their bluff.
Bottom line is the state flunkies HATE losing power, and you can make it run just as good with a bit of effort.

May not work for Yellowstone type expanses, but for small parks, you can make it happen.


Lost Cause said...

State may sell Orange County fairgrounds to developers.

COSTA MESA Outlet developer Craig Realty Group on Thursday submitted the highest bid to buy the Orange County fairgrounds, with an offer of $56.5 million.

Steven Craig, president and chief executive officer of the group, said he partnered with investor Dwight Manley a week before to put in a bid for the site. The Newport Beach-based company owns and operates outlet shopping centers around the country, including the Cabazon Outlets in Palm Springs and the Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles.