Last bus to Hicktown
Newspaper bully stings RT. Who’s next?
The Sacramento Regional Transit Board of Directors just doesn’t get it.
Bullied into mind-numbing submission by repetitive jeremiads from our editorial page honcho BIG DAVE, the quixotic crusader of Q Street, RT board members are slated to approve a budget-busting cut in student fares at the board’s next meeting. They took too long to give in. They probably wouldn’t have fought for months if they just understood whom they were dealing with: There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Big Dave Holwerk.
Yes, student fares are a problem. The relief certainly will help the three hapless kids whose pitiful picture ran on the Bee’s editorial page every time BIG DAVE got all worked up over a greedy transit agency, which was every day. Heaven forbid if shelling out money for overpriced RT student passes forced one or more of those kids into drug dealing, prostitution or worse so they could afford an expensive, full-fare bus-riding habit.
Now, thanks to BIG DAVE, the RT board will sleep better at night, knowing that they won’t be shamed again when they open the paper, only to be greeted by the same three forlorn faces of Fransisca, Monique and Christopher staring like refugees from the opinion page.
But will we, the hicks, er, citizens of Sacramento, ever be the same after the torturous and boring rantings from the crazed editorialist? Probably not, because: There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Big Dave Holwerk.
It’s a good thing there aren’t more serious problems in Sacramento that could garner the attention of our famously fat and happy watchdog daily. No greedy, politically connected developers to take on. No pro basketball team looking to shake down taxpayers for a sports complex because their 13-year-old arena is “obsolete.” The people in power who aren’t friends of the McClatchys better watch themselves, because now that he’s single-handedly fixed the RT problem, BIG DAVE is no doubt looking for the next drum to beat. And beat. And beat.
What will that be? Perhaps those out-of-control squirrels on the State Capitol grounds? Teenagers who dress like Rocky Horror Picture Show rejects, but don’t understand what BIG DAVE’s 1980s were really about? Dogs that bark at inappropriate hours at objects imperceptible to humans? (Sheriff BIG DAVE pulled this strong-arm stuff in Lexington, Kentucky, before. Did he call them hicks, too?)
Maybe he’ll start a campaign to raise money for the beleaguered transit agency, which claims its budget will be at least a half-million dollars short because of his extortion. This time BIG DAVE shouldn’t have to even work up a sweat. After all, the highest-paid executive in Sacramento has an office in the same building. We’re sure McClatchy golden-boy CEO Gary Pruitt won’t have any objection to donating last year’s bonus of $525,000 to the RT (after all, he’ll still have his $725,000 base salary). Golly, Pruitt could donate a bus for the kids and paint the side with a big Bee. And maybe, to make up any difference, they can send stinging columnist Dan Walters out on a lecture tour of high-school civics classes and donate his $3,500-a-speech fee. BIG DAVE could claim victory again in no time. Just as long as the donations don’t come out of the kids’ bus money.
Hicktown City Councilman Ray Tretheway: Asleep at the switch regarding Capitol Park’s rampaging squirrels, or just doesn’t care?