Presidential candidate John Edwards likes to talk about the "Two Americas" - and here in Orange County we have a great example of this in Santa Ana. My city has some of the poorest people in the county - but we also have an upper crust that loves spending tax money on their pet projects.
For example, the Bowers Museum has been funded, in part, by the City of Santa Ana, for years. In return they have allowed the city residents to enter their facility for free, one day per month. Now they have increased their admission during the week to $17 [No, actually make it $19!!] per person. That effectively shuts out most of the city's population. And we still get only one free day in return for subsidizing the place.
So the city helps subsidize the Bowers Museum, yet all we get is ONE FREE DAY, and a $19 price tag all the rest of the time... What's wrong with this picture? Even as the Santa Ana Unified School District is having to close an elementary school and fire ninety-six teachers, and even as the city of Santa Ana still suffers from a severe shortage of parks and open space...
The Bowers Museum doesn't even have the decency to let the residents of its city see all the fine art that THEY ALREADY PAY FOR without charginf them an extra arm and a leg!
And oh yes, Santa Ana "Independent Democrat" Republican Councilmember Carlos Bustamante sits on the Bowers Museum President's Advisory Council. But I guess as long as Flip-flop Carlos feels good about "supporting the arts" on the backs of the working poor while not even fighting for their right to enjoy the art that THEY PAY FOR, I guess everything is just hunky dory here.
(Cross-posted at Calitics)