Now I generally like the Governator. But the firing of two key people on the California State Park and Recreation Commission really has my household up in arms. The firings (or non-renewal of their terms, actually) may have gone unnoticed except for the fact that those two people are actually very public figures – Clint Eastwood and Santa Monica City Councilmember Bobby Shriver. Did the Governator think people wouldn’t notice?
These are not two men who needed the work – they must have originally been chosen by the Governator because he saw the positive attributes they could bring to the Commission. Eastwood and Shriver must have cared and wanted to help protect all the wonderful parks in the State system. Without people with integrity watching over the parks, they could turn into one big mine or freeway. Freeway? Well, the fact that both Eastwood and Shriver were vehemently opposed to the proposed toll road that would forever change San Onofre State Beach is ultimately what cost them their positions.
And how do you fire your own brother-in-law anyway? I could see it if your kin was some ne’er-do-well, but Bobby Shriver – come on. His DNA is programmed to serve humanity. And Eastwood? People like him, people listen to him, and even more important, people trust him.
Though I would never wish for either our esteemed councilmember or the legendary Eastwood to be fired, I must admit I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to hear the conversation between The Terminator and Dirty Harry. While fearless Harry probably said, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” he was no match for The Terminator, who “can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.”
Something about the firings drew the attention of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is looking into the firings.
Don’t be surprised if one day you hear the Commission positions were filled by executives from oil and toll road companies. Teddy Roosevelt must be shouting from heaven, “You idiots – parks are supposed to be forever!”
Speaking about our State treasures, Easter Sunday brought 80-degree temperature to PCH and hordes of people to the beach, the most by far this year. The only downside? For those coming into Santa Monica from the freeway, the backup to get into beach parking lots went well past the Lincoln Boulevard exit on the 10. This is what it is always like in the summer. Can’t anybody think of a solution? Would a traffic light at the entrance to the parking lot with a long left turn signal help? The City of Santa Monica should make it easier for locales and visitors alike to get to the beach on a warm sunny day. Even traffic won’t stop people from coming – and why should it? – the beach is a fantastic place for the entire family. Can’t we just make it a little easier?
Laurie Robin Rosenthal