Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 16, 2004 · Page 4
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 4

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Ukiah, California
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Tuesday, March 16, 2004
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4-TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2004 r: K.C. Meadows, 468^3526 FORUM The Ukiah Dally Journal ' '» d Letters from our readers You can help the Seabiscuit project To the Editor: • We are writing this letter because so many people have supported Seabiscuit and his home, the historic Ridge wood Ranch. We would like to take this opportunity to let the public know about several important and exciting activities we have planned, with the ultimate goal of saving and protecting Seabiscuit's home. As many will remember from attending a tour of Ridgewood Ranch - Home of Seabiscuit during the last couple of years or the Hometown premiere of the major motion picture "Seabiscuit," there is a major project to conserve over 90 percent of Ridgewood Ranch. The project is to protect over 4,600 acres by putting Conservation Easements on the property. The Mendocino Land Trust, a 501(e) 3 non-profit organization, is raising public and private funds to buy these easements. The Golden Rule Church Association, the owner of Ridgewood Ranch, is willing to give up the development rights on these 4,600+ acres so the ranch will remain much as it is forever. (See the enclosed brochure). A major part of the project is to protect the land where the historical buildings associated with the Charles S. Howard family and Seabiscuit are located. We are currently working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other organizations on the development of a plan to permanently protect and restore many of these priceless and historic buildings. We need help to enable us to raise the needed funds to accomplish these goals. We hope that you will consider sending a tax-deductible contribution, made payable to the Mendocino Land Trust, to help in this worthwhile cause. Again this year, the Willits Chamber of Commerce and the Golden Rule Church Association plan on a full schedule of walking tours beginning with a very exciting event on May 29. This tour is especially exciting because this marks the culmination of months of hard and laborious work the Willits Rotary Club lovingly preformed restoring Seabiscuit's stallion barn. The highlight of the tour will be the official grand reopening and dedication ceremony! For information about the 2004 tour schedule, please contact the Willits Chamber office at 459-7910 or visit the web site at www.willits.org. Your help to save Seabiscuit's home is invaluable as you are saving a piece of American history for future generations! For more information on how you or ' your friends, family, and colleagues can help SAVE SEABISCUIT'S HOME, log on to the web site (www.saveseabiscuit- shome.org) or call the Mendocino Land Trust at 962-0470. Tracy Livingston Ron Moorhead Chet Anderson Willits Thank you To the Editor: Special thanks to all the volunteers at the Ukiah Senior Center who participated in the recent Benefit Dance Party for the Mendocino Special Olympics. You all gave 100 percent plus of your time and energy, thus making this event the huge success that it was. The local businesses also played a big role either through food donations, door prizes or gift certificates. Many thanks also to the Ukiah Skating Academy who certainly were a real treat as well as Thelma Hammill's lively line dancers. It certainly was a privilege for me to work with all of you and be a part of this endeavor. Betty Cristiani Coordinator Special Benefit Dance Party Ukiah Senior Center LETTER POLICY The Daily Journal welcomes letters to the .editor. All letters must include a clear name, signature, return address and phone number. Letters are generally published in the order they are received, but shorter, concise letters are given preference. Because of the volume of letters coming in, letters of more than 400 words in length may lake longer to he primed. Names will not be withheld for any reason. If we are aware that you are connected to a local organization or are an elected official writing about the organization or body on svhich you serve, that will be included in your signature. If you want to make it clear you are not speaking for that organization, you should do so in your lelter.AH letters are subject to editing without notice. Editing is generally limited to removing statements that are potentially libelous or are not suitable for a family newspaper. Form letters that are clearly part of a write-in campaign will not be published. You may drop letters off at our office at 590 S. School St., or fax letters to 468-3544, mail to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 749, Ukiah, 95482 or e- rnail them to udj@pacific.net. OH EDITORIALS Daily Journal editorials are written by Editor K.C. Meadows with the concurrence of Publisher Kevin McConnell. VIEWPO NTS Other opinions Long Beach Press-Telegram Superpriced gasoline From around the nation It's official: Gasoline prices in California have hit their highest levels ever. The statewide average has climbed to $2.20 a gallon, surpassing the previous high of $2.177. Experts are predicting another 10-to 15- cent hike by the end of the month. California's leadership must take several immediate steps. 1: Launch investigations with the goal of bringing the price escalation to a halt. Fuel-price investigations rarely produce concrete evidence, but they do have a strange way of reducing prices. 2: Lobby the federal government forcefully to drop California's ethanol requirement. The rule, which stems from nothing more than a politically motivated subsidy to Midwestern fanners, adds at least 10 cents a gallon to California's gas with little discernible benefit. 3: Begin addressing the difficult long-term supply- and-demand issues, as well as the lack of marketplace competition, that lies at the heart of the gas-price problem. California had 33 refineries in 1990; now it's 13 and about to drop to 12. That number isn't getting the job clone, and the tight supplies (along with restrictive federal requirements that •discourage imports from other states) make the mar- ket vulnerable to gaining. The gasoline spikes are beyond inconvenient, they are now costing Californians serious money and are threatening to further dampen an already sluggish economy. While alternative fuels, mass transit and conservation should also be a key part of slate planning, California motorists need two kinds of immediate action from Sacramento: One to bring prices down quickly, and another to stabilize costs in the near future. Orange County Register It's time to stop the highway robbery Tucked within an analysis of this year's state budget by the California Legislative Analyst's Office are some facts that will hardly surprise most California drivers. Between 1998 and 2004, the state government reduced pavement-maintenance spending (adjusted for inflation) by 39 percent. Caltrans repaved only 1,000 lane miles this budget year, compared to 3,850 lane miles in 2000-01. As a consequence, according to a Federal Highway Administration study, some 26 percent of California's roads rate as unacceptably rough... Obviously, too much of the kind of maintenance that should be simply routine has been neglected in recent years. ... Part of the problem ... has to do with the state's current financial crunch. Former Gov. Gray Davis raided the highway trust fund — which comes, mostly from taxes on gasoline and is supposed to be dedicated to highway building and maintenance — to pad the general fund by about $2 billion and pretend to paper over the deficit. Gov. Schwarzenegger is reaching for the appearance of a balanced budget by raiding about $1 billion from the highway trust fund. There's another problem, too ... The highway trust fund comes mostly from gasoline taxes paid by motorists, and it is supposed to operate almost as a user fee, with the money gping to build and repair highways used by motorists. But ... officials have siphoned off increasing amounts of money for trains and other varieties of "mass transit" that continue to be favored by social planners but not commuters. As Gov. Schwarzenegger reviews priorities in every state department, he should spare a moment or two to get the highway trust fund — paid for by drivers — operating as it should, building and maintaining roads. WHERE TO WRITE President George Bush: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500; (202) 456-1111, FAX (202)456-2461, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: State Capitol, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-2841; FAX (916)445-4633 Sen. Barbara Boxer: 112 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510; (202)224-3553; San Francisco, (415) 4030100 FAX (415) 956-6701 Sen. Dianne Feinstein: 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202)224-3841 FAX (202) 228-3954; San Francisco (415) 393-0707; senator@fein- stein.senate.gov Congressman Mike Thompson: 1st District, 119 Cannon Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3311; FAX (202)225-4335. Fort Bragg district representative, Kendall Smith, 430 N. Franklin St., PO Box 2208, Fort Bragg 95437; 962- 0933.FAX 962-0934; www.house.gov/write rep Assemblywoman Patty Berg: State Assembly District 1, Capitol, Rm. 2137, THOMAS D, ELIAS Sacramento, 95814. (916) 319-2001; Santa Rosa, 576-2526; FAX, Santa Rosa, 5762297. Berg's field representative in Ukiah and Lake County is Kathy Kelley, located at 104 W. Church St, Ukiah, 95482, 463-5770. The office's fax numbe. is 463-5773. E-mail to: assemblymember.berg@assembly.ca.gov Senator Wes Chesbro: State Senate District 2, Capitol Building, Room 5100, Sacramento, 95814. (916) 445-3375; FAX (916) 323-6958. Field Rep. in Ukiah is Jennifer Puser, P.O. Box 785, Ukiah, 95482, 468-8914, FAX 468-8931. District offices at 1040 Main St., Suite 205, Napa, 94559,2241990, 50 D St., Suite 120A, Santa Rosa, 95404, 576-2771, and 317 3rd St., Suite 6, Eureka, 95501,445-6508. Mendocino County Supervisors: Michael Delbar, 1st District; Richard Shoemaker, 2nd District; Hal Wagenet, 3rd District; Patricia Campbell, 4th District; David Colfax, 5th District. All can be reached by writing to 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1090, Ukiah, 95482, 463-4221, FAX 463-4245. bos@co.mendocino.ca.us Prop, wins show Arnold's clout There may have been doubts before the March 2 vote about the extent and efficacy of both the political skill and the political clout of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not any more. For sure,' the results should bolster Schwarzenegger's credibility when he threatens to bypass the Legislature and go straight to the voters whenever he feels frustrated. For this novice governor was able to take Proposition 57, a huge bond ballot measure that trailed in the early polls by a 44-35 percent margin, and turn it into an easy winner. This was no easy task, especially for bonds that didn't promise voters anything tangible like new stadiums or highways. Historically, bond measures that don't start off with good poll numbers have almost always lost. That marks this win as Schwarzenegger's second big political victory in five months and adds to the aura of invincibility he loves to flaunt. The governor argued passage of the $15 billion Proposition 57 and its companion Proposition 58 spending restrictions was crucial to California's well- being. For sure, it was critical for his own political credibility. If these measures had lost, which Schwarzenegger always said was impossible, he would now face a budget hole of at least $15 billion that would force him either to agree to raise taxes - anathema to his Republican backers and contrary to many promises he's made - or make draconian cuts in state programs. Neither course figured to make him more popular ' with many voters. Most likely, he'd eventually have had to compromise with Democratic legislators, who would never willingly go along with some cuts sure to have been on the menu: closing of state college and university campuses, shuttering of some state office buildings and county courthouses, tossing thousands of Medi-Cal patients onto their own non-existent resources, ending many education initiatives including the push for smaller class sizes. And on and on. Such choices could have placed Schwarzenegger in a bind between being viewed as one who reneges on pledges like his promise not to raise taxes or being remembered as the governor who created many thousands of new homeless, gutted environmental protections and reduced the University of California to mediocrity or worse. Not a choice Schwarzenegger wanted to confront. It's a good bet even he could not have called that scenario "fantastic." Never stupid, Schwarzenegger realized he had a lot to prove in the bond votes. For one thing, he did not win a majority in the recall election last fall; only a plurality. But the bonds needed a majority to pass. And the conservative Republicans who drew about 14 percent of the recall vote were adamantly opposed to the bond measures. They favored cutbacks and nothing else. So Schwarzenegger had to reach beyond the base that elected him for those bonds to win. He did this by a wide margin. Give Schwarzenegger full credit. He put together the most comprehensive political coalition in decades, including Democrats like U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, state Controller Steve Westly and the maverick president of the state Senate, John Burton of San Francisco. Blast him, as many do, for contradicting himself. Fault him for taking campaign contributions during budget negotiations when he pledged not to. But never question his energy or dedication once he decides to move on something. So it was with the bond measure. Schwarzenegger campaigned up and down the state for it. He raised many millions of dollars (exact figures are not yet known) at fund-raisers from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach. He declaimed that "failure is not possible," and single-handedly made his forecast accurate. Now what? For sure, legislators noticed exactly what occurred. They've heard Schwarzenegger threaten to run more ballot proposition campaigns if they don't pass laws he likes. Some may even fear the governor can push any old law through without worrying about what anyone in the capital building may think. Chances are star-struck lawmakers will be eating out of Schwarzenegger's hand and dancing to his tune even more than before. His threats to bypass the Legislature now might be much more potent than mere paper tigers. Which means that while Schwarzenegger won a lot of power in October, he's got much more today. Thomas D. Elias is a syndicated columnist. Visit our web site at iikiahdailyjournal.com email us at udj@pacific,net The Ukiah DAILY JOURNAL Publisher: Kevin McConnell Editor: K.C. Meadows Advertising director: Cindy Delk Office manager: Yvonne Bell Circulation director; Daniel Miller Group systems director: Sue Whitman Memb«r Audit Bureau 01 Circulations McmJMr California New«pap«r Publisher* AMOclallon

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