State Sen. Joe Simitian pushes to keep parks open | May 11, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 11, 2012

State Sen. Joe Simitian pushes to keep parks open

Nearby state parks in La Honda and Saratoga are on the shutdown list

by Dave Boyce

With a July 1 deadline looming over a budget-cutting plan that would close some 70 of the 270 state parks, two state senators are proposing an alternative that could keep about 50 of the parks open.

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Almanac Staff Writer Dave Boyce can be emailed at


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Posted by Another-Day-Another-Press-Conference
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

> "The state has never closed a state park,
> not even in the Great Depression," Evans said.

> A closed park has higher risks for criminal activity,
> wildfire and possible lawsuits over injuries.
> "It's a false economy," he said.

So if California has never closed a park, how can any of these claims be known to be true? Notice too, the use of the term “higher risks” for criminal activity. Park employees would probably have a different story—since the level of crime has risen in the nation’s parks, because of people/gangs from urban areas have moved into many of these parks in order to traffic in drugs. With no legitimate visitors in closed parks, it’s difficult to understand just how much crime is going to happen—and who would be the victims of this crime—other than people illegally in the closed parks.

As to lawsuits from injuries—who were be injured in a closed park? Certainly Sen. Simitian supports arresting people trespassing on restricted state properties—included closed parks.

Raise the entrance fees so that the people using the parks pay for them, just like everything else in life.

More smoke and mirrors from Joe Simitian.

Like this comment
Posted by Gump
a resident of Barron Park
on May 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I find it very odd that Joe will come to the aid of state parks, somehow scrounging together $41M to cover operating costs, but continues to support High Speed Rail that will cost California Billions EVERY year for decades to come if approved, for a project that has been so thoroughly discredited by every outside review board.

What gives? Joe can barely scrape a few million to 'save' parks, but schemes to commit CA for BILLIONS every year for a train wreck, a fraud, a fiscal albatross this state can not afford.

This is clearly politics as usual, look at my small good deed here, while I prepare to rob the state blind over there.

It's long past time for Joe to go.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 11, 2012 at 12:13 am

The problem with higher entrance fees is that eventually the parks just become country clubs for the rich. Or maybe that's not a problem. I greatly enjoy the peaceful exclusiveness of Foothills Park, which has one of the highest fees around, viz. cost of being a Palo Alto resident. But I suspect some Palo Alto residents who don't use the park would like me to pay even more; or would like to sell off the park to developers.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.