Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Of Mice and Men

It always amazes me how adaptable nature is to human development, almost as if it is all really part of nature, all natural, the works of humans and of critters, and this story of the nesting swallows on the river barge is such a story.

Moving the bus depot from downtown is a very good thing as downtown bus depots traditionally attract the transient, often loitering populations that can cause some distress to the commercial establishments near by, but in the discussion by the city council to approve the move, the good point was made that we still need to remember that poor people are as worthy of our respect as the rich, and that is so very true.

The county has opened up Parkway adjacent parking for free use to help with the traffic congestion during the I-5 big fix by encouraging people to park their cars then bike on the Parkway bike trail to work, and that is very good, but better still would be if they left the access free, which, considering the common good resulting from it being easier to bike commute, would be worth the tradeoff.

And if the Parkway comes under nonprofit management, as we suggest, the resulting ability to generate philanthropic funding to supplement government funding could very well make up the difference and more.

One of the original organizers of Earth Day back in 1971 is still coming up with good ideas and his powerful electric car is one of them.

An ARPPS Letter was published in the Bee today, and here it is:

Of mice and men

Re "Rodents shouldn't trump humans in disaster recovery," May 19: David Stirling's commentary is a poignant reminder that we really do need to begin to restore some balance between our shared concern to protect the environment and private property rights, as it has gotten too far out of balance.

The creation of rights for animals is a form of environmental stewardship most people can support, but using those rights to pursue government actions that outweigh the property rights of human beings is going to an extreme few people will support.

We can have both, the protection of property rights and the protection of animal rights, but we need to remember that the balance has to lean toward human beings.

This is an issue similar to what is playing out in the ongoing discussions around the American River Parkway and how much space should be devoted to natural preserve vs. how much to developed recreation.

While both are crucial, the need for more developed recreation to address the needs of all parkway users, including the frail elderly and the disabled, has to become a higher priority.

- David H. Lukenbill, Sacramento
Senior Policy Director,
American River Parkway Preservation Society