CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2012 |
Reporting from Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, Calif. -- California parks officials closed a gem of the state park system last spring, sadly shuttering Mitchell Caverns, a natural wonder that for eight decades had drawn visitors to this remote spot in the Mojave Desert. Workers hauled away the precious Native American artifacts and historical documents and locked the gates, assuming the area would sit undisturbed until the state could afford to reopen it. But several times in the last four months, vandals traveled 16 desolate miles north from Interstate 40 to plunder and damage the park's isolated structures.
December 2, 2011 |
The good news: Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve has been given a reprieve from the budget-chopping plan to shut 70 California State Parks by next summer. The bad news: Visitors will have to pay a new fee to stop at the ancient saltwater lake in the Eastern Sierra near Lee Vining, Calif. State parks announced Thursday that the Bodie Foundation has stepped forward and signed a contract to collect fees -- no word yet on how much -- at Mono Lake that would raise money to keep the park open.
October 17, 2011 |
Three California State Parks of the 70 slated to be closed next year because of the state's budget crisis have been given a reprieve for at least a year. The National Park Service has agreed to step in and operate these state parklands that fall within national boundaries: --Tomales Bay State Park in Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area; --Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Golden Gate National Recreation Area; --Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park within Redwood National Park, near Crescent City.
June 29, 2011 |
California's budget passed Tuesday night by the Legislature still includes a plan, announced in May, to shutter about 70 state parks amid deep cuts made to education, courts and social programs. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the new budget before the new fiscal year starts Friday. But don't worry if you have camping reservations at any of those sites through the end of this year. Tentative plans are to postpone park closures until 2012 and refund campsite fees for reservations at parks that close, according to California State Parks spokesman Roy Stearns.
May 29, 2011
June: If you believe summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, then let us help you celebrate the season. We'll start with the first 34 days (which conveniently takes us through the month of June): May 28: Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The 10th season of Cinespia kicks off tonight with a screening of "Vertigo. " Bring blankets and picnics and be prepared to scream. Movies are freakier when there are dead people around.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2011 |
Reporting from Sacramento -- A surge in revenue has prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to scale back his proposal for more taxes, even as his administration on Friday announced its intention to close 70 state parks. Officials familiar with Brown's plans said the revised budget he presents Monday will propose raising income tax rates on Californians for four years rather than the five he initially wanted. The higher rate would not take effect until 2012. The governor will continue to push for a five-year extension of increases in sales taxes and vehicle fees that are due to expire by July 1, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.
May 13, 2011 |
Come fall, Californians could find themselves with fewer parks to visit and fewer services available at parks that are open. That was the tenor of the plan that California State Parks officials outlined Friday as they targeted for shutdown 70 of the state's 278 parks because of budget problems. But don't panic. The closure plan is far from final, and in the meantime, summer camping reservations are being honored, officials said. Several parks on the hit list are in Southern California , including popular and well-known places such as: McGrath State Beach near Ventura, which draws campers and bird-watchers; Fort Tejon State Historic Park in the Grapevine Canyon north of Los Angeles, with restored adobes and exhibits on Army life; Palomar Mountain State Park in San Diego County, near the world-famous Palomar Observatory, which offers mountainous hiking trails with views of the Pacific; And the quirky and fascinating Salton Sea State Recreation Area in Riverside County, known for its bird life and infamous for its periodic mass die-offs of fish.
March 11, 2011 |
Campers were evacuated from park campgrounds from Ventura to Crescent City early Friday in response to the tsunami warning for the California coast triggered by the Japanese earthquake. Beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties also were closed. The California Department of Parks and Recreation issued a statement about the closures. Near Crescent City , where 8-foot waves battered the city's harbor, campgrounds at Usal and Bear Harbor in the Sinkyone Wilderness area were evacuated and closed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2010 |
Nick Franco squinted across Morro Bay to the potential future of the California state parks system. The district superintendent of this coastal jewel, Franco ticked off money-making possibilities: Install gates and charge to get in the parking lot. Sell off the nearby county-run golf course. In the marina, bring in more concessions. Outsource to allow motorized recreation in the wetlands. And in the wild, undulating spine of sand dunes at Montaña de Oro State Park, he could foresee a string of profitable billboards facing beachgoers on the opposite shore.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2010 |
Ronald P. Schafer, who as superintendent of the California state parks' Angeles District pushed to develop urban parks in the core of Los Angeles, has died. He was 53. Schafer had finished competing in a Malibu triathlon Sept. 12 and was eating with friends when he had a stroke. He died Wednesday at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, said his brother, Randy. In a statement, Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, said Schafer did everything in life with "tremendous passion" and left behind "a legacy of park protection.