The budget crises in California is legendary. Everything has been cut to the bone and some things eliminated altogether. Things are much harder for disabled children then they were when Maggie was young, that is for sure. Parents have to fight much harder and pay much more for less services than were available to Maggie when she was young. From the sounds of it, things will get worse before -- or if – they ever get better.
It’s not only services for the disabled that are cut, of course. All services are effected, including police and fire departments. A man was killed in Berkeley over the weekend because cops were only responding to emergency calls and the victom’s call to the police was made to the local number instead of 911. Ridiculous and tragic. A friend of ours witnessed an assault and called 911 but the police never responded. After 30 minutes of bleeding, the victim simply got up and walked shakily away over the protestations of our friend and another witness. Now in addition to a crime, there is a public health situation because the man was dripping blood as he walked away. In another instance a friend was “jumped” and dissuaded by the police from filing a report. Since she could never have identified her assailant, she went along with that.
If the police cannot respond to or don’t want to file a report in those situations, all serious crimes, someone has to tell me why a cop can make a u-turn across Geary Street, a six lane street, to cite my son for littering. LITTERING. (Admittedly, he did dispose of a free sample of some drink inappropriately, as did 25 other people because the only trash can was locked.) Never mind, I already know the answer. This infraction is income generating while unsolvable assaults are not. The fine for littering is close to $500. That pays for the shift for the officer for the night.
I’m generally not so jaded, but it is difficult not to be. Maggie’s school nurse was recently cited while parked in MY DRIVEWAY. We let her use the driveway everyday because there is two hour parking on the street and she is with Maggie at school for 7 hours. She would be ticketed every single day. She drives a van which just fits in the driveway. One day her car was less than an inch over the line and she was hit with a $100 ticket for blocking the sidewalk.
The second line is the key and her bumper is about 1 inch over it. Ironically, this line is the boundary to insure that a wheelchair can get by behind the car. She is parking there because of a wheelchair user and still gets tagged. We explained that in our letter to the Parking and Traffic department including this picture of Maggie getting by the car on the side and explaining that she could easily pass in the back.
I also explained that we have given up our driveway, that we have five or six nurses that care for Maggie and there is no pass available that can be shared among the nurses. Result: tough bananas. The $100 fine stands because it is possible for us to purchase a pass for each nurse at a total cost of $500 or 600. This is after we have paid the city $200 ourselves for the privilege of parking on our own street for more than two hours at a time.
I call foul.
It seems to me that the budget crises is being solved on the backs of the honest citizenry. Crooks who assault people walk away because the cops don’t have the manpower to respond, but skirt a law that generates income for the city and they find a way to be there.
I am not a crook, and I’m paying for that.