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If You Love Your Park So Much, Buy It

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If You Love Your Park So Much, Buy It

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onstage at the Andre Agassi's 10th Grand Slam for Children press conference at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 1, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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There's been way too much whining about the impact of state budget cuts on parks and other treasured spaces.

If people want to preserve important sites, they should step up and take ownership themselves.

The latest example of unproductive whining was occasioned by Gov. Brown's proposal that the state sell a ranch in Malibu that was long ago donated to the state by the singer Barbra Streisand.

A state agency, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, owns it, and it's popular with everyone from hikers to brides and grooms in search of a place to get married.

But the Brown administration argues, with reason, that a cash-strapped state shouldn't be in the business of owning such a place.

Opposition is already lining up to the proposal of sale. But opponents in and around Malibu would be far better off figuring out a way so they can buy it -- and preserve the property.

Local ownership and management would be a far more stable solution.

Even if the state doesn't sell the land this year, the state budget crisis isn't going away--and neither is the financial pressure to sell off such properties.

But California's governance has become so centralized in Sacramento that we've grown accustomed to whining about the budget -- and have forgotten the maxim that local solutions are best.

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