Fools rush in where fools have been before. On Friday, June 6, the majority of Santa Monica College teachers held a successful vote of no confidence aimed at the leadership of their college president, Dr. Piedad Robertson. Dr. Robertson is only guilty of cutting Santa Monica City College costs in line with the abridged funding from the State. A strident group of teachers have suggested a special parcel tax of $400 per parcel be placed on the next ballot for approval to replace the 9.6 million dollar State shortfall. Have the teachers forgotten that the voters have already placed additional burdens on the property owners with the approved Measure U, a $160 million addition to property taxes for the rebuilding and expansion of the college’s physical plant. Measure U will be on our 2003 tax bill along with the recently passed Measure S parcel tax and school taxes override Measure X and Measure Y along with copious other special interest taxes. There is the upcoming vote on a special Recreation Tax in Malibu along with a doubling of moving traffic violation fines on Pacific Coast Highway to generate more city monies. Where will the pleas for more property taxes end? How many more hours must property owners labor to prop up local government before they lose their land?
Harks back to the legend of the advice given at the dedication of Santa Monica Mountains, Tapia State Park, in the late 1940s. According to tale, when the State of California was preparing for the dedication, the Park Rangers took several locals and some Native Americans, who claimed to be descendents of the Malibu Chumash, to view the site of the park. A Chumash Elder and his son were in the party and the Elder upon viewing the site (he spoke only Chumash and his son translated for the State Parks people) asked if he could make a special blessing to the “Earth Spirit” at the dedication.
The State Parks official accompanying the group promptly approved the request. On the day of the dedication, the Chumash Elder’s comments into the microphone were brief. The Parks official asked the son if he would translate what his father had said. The son, laughing raucously, refused to translate. So the State Parks people took a tape recording of the dedication to other Native Americans with knowledge of the Chumash language. They, too, laughed and refused to translate the Elder’s message. Finally, an official government translator was summoned. When he finally stopped laughing the translator relayed the message addressed to the “Earth Spirits” by the Chumash Elder. “Watch out for these Piumas’ behinds-they have come to steal your land.”
And that is all I have to say (sure).