Disney Gate Tax Dialogues, Part 8: The Broader Critique of Tourism Addiction


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Tink, Peter, and the Lost Boys
[Editor’s note: There’s a lot for us to cover here before the Anaheim City Council votes next THIS Tuesday on Disney’s “Gate Tax” proposal — so to make it go down more smoothly we’re presenting it as a play involving Orange Juice characters.  Substantive dialogue from Cynthia Ward.]

[In Part 1 of our story, taking place in in the secret Orange Juice Blog Headquarters overlooking the GardenWalk complex, Cynthia Ward explains to Vern Nelson and Greg Diamond how Disney was originally not bent on sucking as much money as possible out of taxpayers. In Part 2, she explains how and when (and why) Disney started to get nasty.  In Part 3, she explains what happened almost 20 years ago, the LAST time a gate tax was proposed.  In Part 4, she explains how, based on its own figures and promises, the 1996 agreement has been a huge failure for the City.  In Part 5, she explains how Disney has apparently failed to meet the major obligation that made the 1996 deal even arguably reasonable for the City.  In Part 6, she addresses details of the Staff Report for the July 7 meeting.  In Part 7, she presents an epic rant on all of the ways that Anaheim has subsidized Disneyland and ultimately falls into a stupor and onto a couch.  In this Part 8, we are joined by Richard Ward and other healers for Cynthia’s broader purple-prose critique.]

GREG DIAMOND: Richard!  Thank God you’re here.  Did you bring the corgis?

RICHARD WARD (looking grim and handing a pair of leashes to Greg): Where is she?

VERN NELSON (pointing): She’s on the couch.

(Richard strides to Cynthia, kneels, and begins to examine her.)

VN: I didn’t know that Richard was a medical doctor!

GD: He’s better than a medical doctor.  He’s a word doctor!

(Cynthia’s thoughts on Disney are racing madly around her unconscious brain)

CYNTHIA (voice over, obviously):

Worse, the City is begging for lawsuits. … Not just for police misconduct and wrongful death. … Tenants of ARTIC, because they can’t install fixtures on the second floor because of how it’s suspended there. … They only bought because Natalie Meeks faked the figures on expected ridership. … Lied to the Feds about it too. … Those figures were used to sell the Streetcar plan. … Yeah, but a fixed track vehicle into the area of Anaheim most congested with pedestrians. … Distracted strangers to town dragging along their kids. … And the Resort has the largest proportion of non-pedestrians and cyclists in the City. … City study of bicyclist likely paths is wrong. … Accidents. … Lawsuits. … But Council won’t have to pay, Pringle and Disney won’t have to pay. … OCTA shoved liability to City. …  Only Anaheim taxpayers will have to pay….

RW: I’ve seen this before.  She has too much to say and she thinks that people aren’t listening to her.  She’s closed down.  Pass me a corgi, Greg!

(Greg hands him the larger corgi)

RW: Not Maggie, you fool!  She’s in delicate condition!  We have to start small!  Pass me Sara, stat!

GD (taking back Maggie and handing over Sara, says in a trembling voice): I don’t know nothin’ about passing corgis!

(Meanwhile, Cynthia’s unconscious brain continues working at high speed.)

CPRA request sought correspondence on fireworks … Not one record with Honda Center, TNT, and Chamber … How cut monopoly sweetheart deal without making records? … Got many letters complaining on Disney fireworks … Not just noise but toxics too. … copper and cadmium … lithium and antimony … strontium and rubidium … lead and potassium nitrate … Fire Chief monitors safety on ground but no one does while in air … Only “environmental review” limited to noise levels … Lawsuits … inevitable … Disney wants to insulate itself … cut off City’s only means of repaying … Will they buy City Hall at a fire sale price? … “Partnership”? … All a lie ….

RW: She’s still not responsive.  This is worse than I’ve ever seen.  OK, NOW it’s time to apply some Maggie!

(Greg hands over Maggie.  Richard tosses Sara to Greg, who tosses her over to Vern.  There is a loud crashing sound.)

VN (now lying on the floor on his back, face being licked by Sara): HEY!  Next time, WARN ME FIRST!

Anaheim becoming “Reverse Robin Hood” … Hotel Tax good; Gate Tax bad … Poor people pay hotel tax … Working poor lose apartments and forced into motels … Last-ditch effort to avoid homelessness … 15% tax on shelter is regressive … Poor people don’t go to Disneyland anymore … Subsidies only for resort … poor paying jobs … No subsidies for better paying manufacturing in the Canyon … Instead they move homeless there where they can’t be seen … Kills commerce there … Only jobs in resort … Lines around the block to apply … Not because jobs are good … People are desperate and there’s nothing else … Resort splits hours for one job over three part-time workers … No benefits … Shifts cost of healthcare onto taxpayers through Obamacare subsidies … Workers shuttle between multiple jobs … Can’t control schedules … Burden on transit … Double up on housing to save rent … Burden on schools because so many kids … This isn’t inevitable … Due to City’s policies …

RW: I may be losing her!  Must think.  Time for desperate measures.  An idea!  Never tried this before.  Might work!  Vern!  Bring Sara back over here!

VN: I’m here!  And surprisingly quickly.

RW: Apply Sara — to her feet!

VN: Will do, Doc!

Anaheim’s leaders counted school fields as park space … Put them in old orange groves … But unexpected liability issues closed them … Schools can’t fund unlocking, monitoring, and locking up these fields … So denser population of kids has less open space for recreation … Recipe for disaster … City Council members blame the poor …

Hey, is that a dog licking my feet?

Hosting the Happiest Place on Earth comes with its costs. … The City has never tried to quantify the human capital being ground up and spit out by the system we have created. …  Official policies have been imposed upon our citizenry by civic leaders who just don’t get it — or, worse, who get it but don’t seem to care …

Hey … I’m thinking in complete sentences again!

GD:  Cynthia’s dying!

No, I don’t think I’m DYING.  I’m RECOVERING.

GD: I think – I think that she could get well again … if people believed in FAIRNESS!

Oh no.  I know where he’s going with this.  No.  Don’t do this.  NO!  Not THAT!

(Greg looks out at the monitor itself, at whoever may be reading.)

GD:  Do you believe?  Oh, please, please believe!

I believe that when I wake up in a minute I’m going to kick you so hard in the butt that it will fly up and look like shoulder pads.

GD: If you believe, wherever you are, clap your hands – and she’ll hear you!  Clap!  Clap!  Don’t let Cynth die!  CLAP!

(A sudden and overwhelmingly loud organ riff emanates from behind Greg.)

GD (turning around): Really, Vern?  DIES IRAE?


About Anaheim Insider

Identity suspected but unsure, Anaheim Insider is SOME slavish devotee of Curt Pringle and the Disney/Chamber kleptocracy in the OC's biggest city, and can always be counted on to spout their official line. [OK, he's a satirical character based on the anonymous "Anaheim Insider" who posts on Matt Cunningham's "AnaheimBlog.net", and is known for his tagline "Anaheim Insider here" and referring to Mr. Pringle as "The Great Man."] Oh, and of late, the editors have been using "Anaheim Insider" for non-satirical Anaheim-related pieces which are either collaborative or simple announcements.