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Original post made
on May 13, 2012
Thank you for making Palo alto High School's Math teachers letter accessible to the public.
Letter was sent past April, more than a year ago. Letter was addressing all board members. This letter became visible to the public past December.
Seems that visibility has everything to do with some changes, attitude.
long way ahead..allot can be done without spending more $
" proposing that $20 million a year be allocated to the park system from two existing state funds: the Motor Vehicle Account, which funds road maintenance and law enforcement on public roads"
NO! Stop the theft of our road funds!!!
Public parks should be funded through use fees and volunteer groups. Put the Sierra Club to good labor.
> State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) is hoping to
> leave one final legislative mark
As if Joe Simitian hasn't done enough already
Shortfall in California's Budget Swells to $16 Billion
Published: May 12, 2012
LOS ANGELES The state budget shortfall in California has increased dramatically in the last six months, forcing state officials to assemble a series of new spending cuts that are likely to mean further reductions to schools, health care and other social programs already battered by nearly five years of budget retrenchment, state officials announced on Saturday.
Simitian has never shown any public interest in the long-term structural deficit that he and his fellow Democrats have legislated onto the California people, economy, and government during his very long time in Sacramento. It's clear he doesn't have a clue, and will do anything to scare up a few votes as he tries to bring his brown-thumb of spend/spend/spend back to Santa Clara County. He is a first class DISASTER, and should be retired by the Voters immediately!
Let's hope that Gov. Brown's cuts take precedence of Simitian's attempt to gouge money out of the highway programs. If the parks are so important, then the people who use them should pay for their costseither through increased fees, or volunteering, or both.
It is past time for Joe Simitian to retire and live happily ever ever after
Time for some new blood and younger people to have a chance at public office
We wish him well in his dotage and it is time for Joe to say
-- good bye
Most visitors to state parks buy gasoline for the occasion. I'd vote to have a portion of gas taxes fund the parks. The route through Big Basin is state highway 236, a public non-toll thoroughfare like highway 9 or 17 or 35. Someone may complain that maintenance costs on a lane-mile usage basis are not equitable, but then why are we here chipping in for snow removal on highways in the Sierras? Why does mailing a letter to Sunnyvale subsidize mailing to Butte, Montana? Also seems reasonable to have some clean water funds go to state parks, since many have water within their boundaries, much of which flows out their boundaries. Yeah, I'm one of those selfish park users who wants everyone else to pay. But there are thousands of other tax-payer funded amenities which I don't use, and with an average Palo Alto income, I feel I've been paying more than my share of state taxes. And however large the deficit gets, I'll end up paying more than my share to cover it. Call me entitled.
> Most visitors to state parks buy gasoline for the occasion.
> I'd vote to have a portion of gas taxes fund the parks.
The problem with this is that most people don't use the parks--but because they drive, they are being expected to fund the parks over-and-above the base support that already comes from their other taxes.
A better solution is to recognize that the parks are business generators in the areas around the parks, and to allow local park-funding tax districts that would permit a small sales tax increase so that the people who are using the parks pay a small increase in the sales taxes for goods/services spent when they are in this park district. In this way, additional revenue is generated from the people who are using the parks--not everyone in the state.
It would also be a good idea to find out which of these parks are poorly usedand shut them down. This basic bit of analysis has not be done by anyone promoting more money for the parks. It's pretty clear that there are too many of these parks, and better management than we are going to get from the likes of Joe Simitian is needed.
Re new graduation requirements: "The change would add two years of foreign language, increase from two years to three of math, including Algebra 2, and change the current two-year science requirement to include a laboratory science. . . Passage of the new requirements is an important step in improving Palo Alto's relatively poor record of educating both minority students and economically disadvantaged students compared to other school districts in the state."
This is a perfect plan to push out the poor and weak students from our district and will add stress to our student population. PAUSD BoE: Just because most of you are Ivy League grads, doesn't mean everyone else is capable academically.
This is a public school system, and it now has the criteria of a private school. What a shame. Students without intelligent genes need not apply.
No liberal, but... What would you suggest as an alternative for those students who are not academically gifted? Certainly raising the standards won't work. Should there be two lanes for students? One for college bound and others who can do good work in other fields but don't have the ability to compete academically?
@ "No liberal, but": Did you actually read the editorial or did you stop after the first 3 paragraphs? Read the entire column, take a breath and think for a moment.
80% of the current grads already meet the A-G requirements.
PAUSD has stated that they want to create an alternate path for those students who do not or cannot go the A-G route.
The statement "...Motor Vehicle Account, which funds road maintenance and law enforcement on public roads..." is misleading. Some of the funds that Simitian wants to plunder are already earmarked for keeping State Parks open (roads in State parks are Public Roads!) These are heavily used parks, with large volunteer organizations already providing support and maintenance. Simitian wants to rob these STATE Parks to keep open other less used State parks.
Tourism is big in California. Muir Woods, many beaches, Hearst Castle, are all state parks. If we fund their operation through local taxing authorities, wouldn't they become local parks? Then the locals could vote to keep the rest of us out on crowded days.
Oh yeah, Palo Alto already does it that way with Foothill. Parks provide benefits to all, even without use: Watersheds, biodiversity,trees to suck up greenhouse gases, places to exercise, etc. Just like roads benefit all (commerce, emergencies, etc) even if one does not drive. If you bike but don't drive, don't complain about the condition of the road, since you don't buy gas (gas tax is virtually the only funding source for road repairs). The decision is about how to remain a "first world" civilization as a state. If you want to be able to pay lower taxes to live in a more simple, less expensive, less complex, "third world" community; Please consider immigrating to one. Silicon Valley inovates for the world in part because really smart people want to live here!
Roads in the public parks should be funded from the gas tax, because they are public roads. However, general maintenance and operations should keep out of our road funds! Just tell them NO, NO, NO!!!!!!
> If we fund their operation through local taxing authorities,
> wouldn't they become local parks?
No .. not really. Parks are currently paid for by various revenue streams: 1) State Money, 2) Visitor Fees, 3) Grants, 4) State land ownership, 5) volunteers. The local taxing "authority" would be a "regional" taxing authority that would likely remain at the state level, and have nothing to do with "local control". Perhaps "Regional" would be a better way to describe this approach.
> Then the locals could vote to keep the rest of us out on
> crowded days
The Bay Area Transportation Agencies get a small slice of the 9+% sales tax that is charged here in the Bay Area. Each Agency uses the money to provide for "regional transportation". Even though these particular taxes were authorized via the ballot, there is no way that the same voters can then vote to close the Regional transportation systems on "busy days".
State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) is hoping to leave one final legislative mark: saving as many California parks from closure as possible.
I guess the editor(s) have forgotten that Joe has been helping the High Speed Rail project along for years, always needing a bit more time, a bit more information, yet another study, before he can figure out what to do with it. The ploy to save parks is nice, I can't argue with that. However, the alleged hoops he claims to have jumped through to cobble some $40M to achieve that admirable task are pennies compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars he will help saddle Californian's with for decades to come if he's part of the crowd that give HSR yet another chance, and votes to approve funding that disaster.
The fiscal unraveling of the state will be Joe's legacy, because shortly after HSR sucks the CA Treasury dry, the parks will undoubtedly be closed again. Somehow I doubt Joe's pension will be affected though.
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