January 21, 2003
Board of Directors
East Bay Regional Park District
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
P.O. Box 5381
Oakland, California 94605-0381
Re: Commercial Water Park at Shadow Cliffs
Are you sure you want to go down that slippery slope? You must think you need money pretty badly, to "sell" our precious public lands to the highest bidder…. My heartfelt thanks to Doug Siden and John Sutter for voting against that boondoggle! Judging from your budgets, the main reason that you "need more money" is that you operate in a very money-intensive way -- totally dependent on motor vehicles and all that goes with them: roads and parking lots (especially paved ones), enforcement of auto-related crimes, etc.
I guess you, like most people, still haven't accepted the fact that we are running out of oil (especially our own!), and you should therefore start planning for a motor-vehicle-free park system. And now that I mention it, water isn't getting any more plentiful, either! Humans have already appropriated 50 percent of the world's fresh water supply. Wasteful uses of fresh water, like water parks and cattle grazing, are already obsolete.
Ayn Wieskamp's argument for the water park is classic, but specious: the area has already been messed up (it used to be a quarry), and therefore, it's okay to mess it up some more. I hope Ms. Wieskamp doesn't apply that same reasoning in her own home…. In fact, aren't most of the world's problems caused by people applying logic that they would never use in their own homes and lives?!
And how do you expect to be able to ask the public for money, after they see you raking it in -- and especially, through lowering your standards?
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.
Hinrichsen, Don, "A Human Thirst", in World Watch, Vol. 16, No. 1, January/February, 2003.
Vandeman, Michael J., http://mjvande.info, especially "The Effects of Mountain Biking on Wildlife and People -- Why Off-Road Bicycling Should be Prohibited" and "Equal Access to Our Parks".