November 4, 2008

Eager Beaver

Wow, that sounded dirty.

I, like the rest of America - and some of Canada - am champing at the bit to start seeing election results tonight. I've been watching cable news all day (and no, not just Fox News, there's some MSNBC and CNN thrown in the mix, too), watching random interviews, a few exit polls, and prattle about young voters. It goes without saying that a lot of young voters are going to flock to Obama; the same thing happened with Bill Clinton in 1996. I would know, I flocked with the young herd. I was 17 when he was elected, thus having no say, but I saw him on MTV and thought he was the coolest president ever. I guess it's all a matter of perspective, huh?

Anyway, I'm wetting-my-pants excited about the evening that lies ahead of me. Naturally, the presidential election is my top concern, but beyond that, there are a lot of propositions in California that are on my mind.

Proposition 2. Standards for confining farm animals. Initiative statute.
- The long and the short of this is that farm animals raised for food - cows, chicken, pigs, etc. - be kept in larger, roomier cages allowing them to, "...fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around..."

Initially, without thinking too deeply about it, I wanted to vote Yes on this. Then I really thought about it: if animal farms are forced to accommodate these new standards, it'll cost them money and space. They won't be able to raise as many animals. They may have to raise their prices drastically, move their business to another state or close up shop all-together. All of these effects will adversely affect California's revenue. a rise in the cost of meat will cause a lower demand, and a move to another state or a closing will deprive California of the sales tax.

Proposition 3. Children's Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. Initiative Statute.
- It would provide "...$980M in general obligation bonds towards construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of eligible children's hospitals..." It'll cost the state a LOT of money.

I hate voting for anything that'll cost the state that much money, but I can't look at my kids and say no. Children are innocent; they don't ask for health problems and certainly did nothing to warrant the horrors of the types of illnesses that land them in children's hospitals. It just takes knowing one child who's in and out of children's hospitals, or seeing a commercial about St. Jude's, to realize how much these hospitals mean to these kids AND their parents.

District Measure WW
- I'm assuming it's a measure, since it's not a proposition. All it's heading says is, "District." Anyway, it provides up to $500M to continue restoring urban creeks, protecting wildlife, purchasing/saving open space, wetlands/shoreline, acquiring/developing/improving local and regional parks, trails and recreational facilities in the East Bay Regional Park District.

It's impact on property owners? No more than the current rate of $10/year per $100,000 of assessed property evaluation. My family and I love all the East Bay parks, especially Lake Elizabeth, Lake Chabot, Del Valle, Quarry Lakes and Niles Pond, and the Hayward Regional Shoreline. I want to see them stay around as long as I'm here! So much of California is a concrete jungle anymore and one can only imagine just how beautiful California was before "progress" came in and mowed it down.
All it takes is one trip down Highway 1 to see what I'm talking about. Or this...

Lake Chabot in Castro Valley

Central Park in Fremont

Del Valle in Livermore


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