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Governor Brown has proposed closing 70 of California's 279 state parks to save $22 million. About 30 will now be saved. Three of those will turn campgrounds, restaurants and maintenance operations over to private contractors. Twenty-five more are in negotiations. How can the contractors make a profit? Will the services be a shadow of what the state used to provide? Also, Pomona may shut down all its city libraries, and Tesla is producing electric cars in California -- "from the top down." On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the Southern Baptist Convention makes history.

Banner image: Turlock Lake State Recreation Area, one of the parks to be run under a public-private partnership

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Caitlin Shamberg
Lata Pandya

Main Topic Southern Baptist Convention Elects Its First Black President 24 MIN, 57 SEC

167x120 image for tp120619southern_baptist_conSince this morning, when we first recorded our broadcast of To the Point, the Southern Baptist Convention elected its first black president. The Rev. Fred Luter said, "That I can be president of the largest Protestant denomination in the country is unbelievable." He is a black preacher from New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward. The denomination he'll be leading was born before the Civil War in defense of slavery. Resisting integration, it was a bastion of white supremacists through the civil rights movement and into the 1990's.

Guests:
Erik Eckholm, New York Times (@eckholm)
Dwight McKissic, Sr., Cornerstone Baptist Church
David Emmanuel Goatley, Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention
Josef Sorett, Columbia University (@josefsorett)
Amy Black, Wheaton College

Making News Tesla’s New Sedan: An Electric Car for the Every Man? 9 MIN, 42 SEC

"From the top down" is the way Elon Musk's Tesla company is marketing it's electric cars. It started with 2500 Tesla Roadsters at $109,000 apiece.  Production was shut down last year. Friday of this week, the first Model S will be rolling off the assembly line and into showrooms, designed to be affordable to more people. David Baker is energy reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Guests:
David Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

Main Topic California State Parks Under Stress 8 MIN, 41 SEC

Governor Brown likes to sing the praises of California's state parks as "wonderful places… to explore the magnificence of the Golden State." But after years of dwindling support from the general fund, he's proposed to save $22 million by shutting down 70 of the 279 parks in the system. For the first time in state history, 15 will be closed for sure.  Twenty-five might be saved, and 30 have earned at least a temporary reprieve. Three of those have signed contracts with private operators.  Ruth Coleman is Director of the California State Parks.

Guests:
Ruth Coleman, California's Department of Parks and Recreation

Reporter's Notebook Will Budget Cuts Close Pomona Public Library? 8 MIN

A few years ago, the City of Salinas threatened to close its libraries to save money, but it never happened. Now it might happen here in Southern California in the City of Pomona. David Kipen is former Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts. He founded Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and used bookshop in downtown Los Angeles.

Guests:
David Kipen, Libros Schmibros (@LibrosSchmibros)

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