Blane Beckwith 
Member since May 15, 2014

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58, single, straight, lives in Berkeley.

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Updated on May 15, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “Can Bates Outsmart Anti-Growthers, Again?

Even though I agree with the need for people to start driving cars less, at least cars with internal combustion engines, the fact of the matter is that many people avoid coming to Berkeley, simply because there isn't enough parking spaces. This causes them to go to Emeryville, El Cerrito, and other places to shop.

That is one of the major reasons there are so many empty commercial spaces and storefronts in downtown Berkeley; something that the Berkeley City Council has been complaining about for many years, along with many residents who live here.

People here in Berkeley need to realize that they can't have it both ways. If they want people to patronize downtown businesses, there simply has to be enough parking spaces available, or people will just go elsewhere to shop and do business. Even though using public transit, bicycles, or walking might be the most socially responsible and "green" practice and best for the environment, I highly doubt that you can force people to give up their automobiles or not use them.

What sense does it make to have downtown development, when no one, except for Berkeley residents ever goes downtown to patronize businesses? They need to figure out some type of compromise that satisfies everyone. I can't see as were either of these two ballot propositions, the one supported by Mayor Bates, or the one supported by Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, really does that.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Blane Beckwith on 06/19/2014 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Brown's Budget Proves He's a Centrist

As a person with a disability who depends on In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), I can tell you that Gov. Brown's proposed cap on IHSS service hours will cause huge problems for disabled and seniors. This proposal would limit to 40 hours, the amount of time that an IHSS caregiver could work for an IHSS consumer in a week. This would cause huge problems because it would force IHSS consumers to either do without needed care, or hire additional caregivers; something that is next to impossible because there is currently a severe shortage of personal care attendants, especially those who are willing to work for IHSS.

This would place many disabled and seniors in the position that many of them would not be able to live safely in the community and would be forced into nursing homes; something that is not only much more expensive for the taxpayers, but very undesirable for most people.

He is also proposing to maintain a 7% cut in IHSS funding that he put into effect, a few years ago, when the state still had a large budget deficit. Gov. Brown did that with the promise that he would restore this funding once this state achieved a budget surplus.

Now, with the release of his May revise, he is totally reneging on his promise and still wants to keep the 7% cut to IHSS in place. There is absolutely no reason why he should keep on hurting California's disabled and seniors, especially since this state has a budget surplus.

Thankfully, his fellow Democrats don't seem to be going along with his plans for IHSS. Yesterday, Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 rejected both the 40 hour cap on hours and voted to restore the 7% cut to IHSS. Hopefully, they will hang tough and continue to advocate for us.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Blane Beckwith on 05/22/2014 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Wednesday Must Reads: Governor Brown Unveils Centrist Budget; Obamacare Sign-Up Surge Increases Costs to the State

I don't see where Gov. Jerry Brown's budget is centrist. In my opinion, it's conservative. This is especially true if you're a disabled person or senior whose life depends on In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

In his budget, the governor is proposing capping the number of service hours that IHSS consumers receive, despite the fact that most IHSS consumers are already receiving too few hours as it is. Does the governor expect us to somehow reshape our lives or lessen our disabilities, so that we need less care?

Gov. Brown acts like we have a choice about how much care we need in order to live healthy, independent, and productive lives. Most of us are already doing without many things we need because of continuous cuts to IHSS over the years.

Previous governors, mostly Republicans, have been chipping away at the IHSS system for many years to the point where our lives have become increasingly difficult and almost unworkable. Why does Jerry Brown think it's okay to make the situation even worse with this new budget?

The quality of our lives has been eroding for many years because of budget cuts like those the governor is proposing. It has gotten to the point where, because of these proposed budget cuts, that many disabled and seniors will be forced to go into nursing homes, costing the state at least five times more money because it has been long proven that institutional care is way more expensive to taxpayers than to provide homecare through IHSS.

Since this state is enjoying a huge budget surplus, there is absolutely no justification for any type of social service to be cut, especially IHSS, since it has been the target of budget cuts way dating back into the 80s. Hopefully, the Democrats who are opposed to the governor's proposed cuts will either force him to change his mind or defeat his budget.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Blane Beckwith on 05/15/2014 at 7:07 PM

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