State parks suffer from lack
of quality management
Having camp-hosted several state parks over a nine-year period, I am familiar with the park user and camp host viewpoints on park operations.
The most cost-effective preventive and corrective maintenance was observed to be low on the priority list. New projects or cooperative efforts with the National Park Service look good on personal records, but mean nothing to the public.
Roads in Jed Smith and Mill Creek parks have been in unsatisfactory condition for decades with little more than patching. Where did (does) the money go? Howland Hill Road is a dusty, pothole-filled mess every year, more suitable for testing military tanks than public use.
Funding alone is not the problem. With creative supervision, more volunteer help and a tourist's viewpoint, parks could be more attractive and useful to users at less cost and more profit.
State parks should abandon the National Park Service as a "crutch" and get down to the reality of seeking volunteer hosts to occupy, protect and do minor maintenance in closed parks until (not if) funding is restored.
Extraordinary results come from extraordinary managers.
Mother: Justice not served
for death of Breena Cardenas
My daughter was killed Sept. 12, 2008, in a car wreck. The driver was placed under arrest that night, then released to get medical treatment at UC Davis. He was sent home after two weeks. I asked the district attorney why he wasn't in jail. He said there wasn't room in the County Jail for him, and the county didn't want to be responsible if he was to fall and reinjure himself. What a joke.
So I said to the D.A., I guess I can go out and commit any crime and they won't throw me in jail, because my chances of falling and getting hurt are 100 percent greater than Angel Lopez (the driver in the fatal wreck) because I'm blind.
I kept asking why did it take 2 1/2 months to put a warrant out for his arrest? The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, he turned himself in at the jail. I was told by the DA I would be notified of bail hearings, which I was not. Several court dates were cancelled.
On March 30, 2009, Angel pleaded guilty. I was told by the DA they were going for the maximum 10-year sentence. Probation said they put in their report that their recommendation was also for 10 years. I found out less than 24 hours before court on May 13, 2009, what the DA and probation told us they were going to do was not what they did. They have treated the death of my daughter like it was a big joke. The DA's office should have been seeking justice for Breena and her family. We didn't have much say in the way this case was being handled.
What happened to our justice system? Breena was a beautiful loving daughter. Angel took a good 60 years of her life away. He got a six-year sentence, and will only have to serve 85 percent of it. Breena got the death sentence.
Breena, we love and miss you dearly. We are still fighting for you.
Angel was a repeat drunk driver. Justice was not served for the death of Breena.
Several actions taken to memorialize Dr. Onik Arian
Dr. Onik Arian, a long-time friend to California's birds and birders, was tragically killed December 14, 2008, after being swept from a jetty in Crescent City while participating in his local Christmas Bird Count.
His untimely death at age 61 represents a devastating loss to his family, of course, and to the wider California birding community, as well as to the many international friends he made over the last 30 years during his annual spring visits to Pt. Pelee National Park in Southwest Ontario, Canada.
Since Onik's death, a number of actions have been initiated in his memory, among them the following:
andbull; An Onik Arian Warbler Research Fund has been set up through Bird Studies Canada, located in Port Rowan, Ontario. The mission of Bird Studies Canada is to advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, in Canada and elsewhere, through studies that engage the skills, enthusiasm, and support of its members, volunteers, and the interested public.
Bird Studies Canada is a not-for-profit organization built on the enthusiastic contributions of thousands of volunteer citizen scientists. Data from Bird Studies Canada's volunteer surveys and targeted research projects are used to identify significant population changes and help direct conservation planning.
andbull; Pt. Pelee National Park agreed to inaugurate Parks Canada's new "bench program" with a memorial bench in Onik's memory. This bench was dedicated May 18 during a simple ceremony in the presence of many of Onik's friends and will be permanently located in Tilden's Woods on one of his favorite Pelee trails.
Anyone wishing further information regarding either of these projects should contact Brock May, a 30-year Canadian friend of Onik's, via email at: Outside_Exposure@telus.net.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Talented LRT needs financial support to renovate theater
Saturday night, at the well decorated Veteran's Memorial building, supporters of the Lighthouse Repertory Theatre were again reminded of what a depth of talent our community has.
Following an excellent dinner, the LRT proceeded to pull all the stops. In a particularly ambitious undertaking, soloists and chorus performed the signature numbers of some of Broadway's most famous musicals: "Les Miserables," "Hairspray," "Sweet Charity," "Cats," "Mary Poppins" and "Phantom of the Opera."
It made for a spectacular evening. The solos and duets were outstanding. My particular favorite was the especially poignant duet from "Les Miserables" performed by Bob Cochran and Erin Louy. Actually, there were at least 6 show-stopping numbers, thanks to so many beautiful voices capable of singing the leads of those musicals. Thanks also to musical director Katherine Cena who coordinated what must have been hours and hours of rehersals by LRT cast members.
After 30 years of wonderful plays and musicals, the LRT has finally purchased "Red's" theater. We musn't let them down now. Saturday's dinner theater was just the start of fundraisers. We can all help with LRT's Red Theater renovations with our donations and by becoming sponsors. Call the LRT office at 465-3740.