Oversimplified approach to economic growth will fail
For the uninitiated to Nortese the language of "economic planners" in Del Norte County, here's a brief synopsis ("In Focus: Economic Growth," March 15). The way to solve all underfunding problems in Del Norte is to "grow the economy." You do this by encouraging business (especially local business, though not necessarily small business). You encourage people to shop locally, thereby increasing profits to local merchants, who then will hire the unemployed (unless they are an out-of-state corporation).
Then the tax base grows in Del Norte County, and we all get richer and realize the Del Norte variety of the "American Dream." It's so simple it borders on ridiculous, which it is.
The strategy is a rural county road to financing the future, using simplistic economics for a small-town, tax-free tomorrow
"And how are the children?" Oh, please, that's yesterday's news! Today we are talking economics.
State parks should cater to all age groups by upgrading sites
Regarding how to make our area state parks as successful as those in our neighbor state, Oregon: Over a period spanning nearly 40 years, my wife and I have stayed and camped in almost all of the coastal California state parks from San Francisco north as well as a majority of those on the Oregon coast. The experience has changed over the years as our lifestyle, needs, and wishes have shaped our comfort level. When we were younger, tenting was fine, but in time we evolved to a full-size van with a convertible bed and eventually to a 30-foot full service motorhome.
California State Park Camping is "dry camping." There are no full hook-up sites to accommodate RVers wishing the comforts of those amenities. They do have water fill-up as well as dump-out stations, but for the most part, electrical needs must be fulfilled by 12-volt and propane appliances with recharging by on-board generators at the appropriate time only. Of course, they all have the essential fire pit.
Oregon, on the other hand, has at least a third to half of the camp sites in all state parks campgrounds with full hook-ups; electrical, water, sewer, and even cable TV in some. It still has non-hook-up sites for RVs as well as tent sites. Harris Beach State Park in Brookings is a good example compared to say, Jedediah Smith or even Patrick's Point State Park in Trinidad, there are just more choices for a fuller range of campers.
A simplification may be that California caters to the younger family and Oregon caters to all age groups, even us pre-boomers. But with the large number of retired Americans exploring the country in RV's, it would seem advantageous to make all local parks more motorhome friendly.
One last point is that the merchants, restaurants and thus the local economy will benefit greatly if state parks accommodate even court those with the most expendable income, even if none of the camping fees will find their way into local coffers. I have met many RVers who stay in Oregon but visit the Redwoods Parks for free. Where then is the advantage to us for being a tourist destination?
Grover S. Drengson