Letters for August 8, 2013

End arena merry-go-round

Re “Sacramento should vote on the arena” (SN&R Editorial, August 1):

We've all watched the soap opera that is the arena deal for several years now—and although I can certainly understand the concerns of Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, or STOP, this is a merry-go-round that needs to end.

Yes, the true cost of the project needs to be disclosed, yada, yada, yada. But let's be honest here: Even if the issue is put to a vote, and the voters reject it under the guise that the funds are needed citywide elsewhere (police, firestations, etc.), we all know that's not going to happen. The recent school closings, the state of the Franklin Boulevard corridor, et al., clearly demonstrate this. Our neighborhoods are decaying at an alarming rate, but the city has made it clear with this particular item where their priorities lie. Vote after vote after vote isn't going to change that.

Just as I told the two signature-gathering folks that hit me up on the light rail: It's time to let it go.

Dia Toney


City voters will reject arena unless region pays

Re “Sacramento should vote on the arena” (SN&R Editorial, August 1):

Expect a hard fight to deny the arena vote. The übersupporters of the downtown arena are fearful of what would happen if city residents are allowed to vote on the arena issue. One of the biggest reasons for this has, to date, been all but ignored: An arena is an asset to the entire region, whereas the current deal here is being financed by—and the risks of failure allocated only to—Sacramento city residents, as opposed to those in the rest of the county and beyond. If the city electorate learns about this during the campaign, the project will be in serious trouble when individual voters ask why they alone are on the hook.

The census numbers on this are clear: Sacramento city residents consist of only about a third of the population of Sacramento County (if you want precision, it’s 33.6 percent, according to 2012 estimates of the [U.S.] Census Bureau). But under the current proposal, city residents alone must bear the economic risks of the project. Only they will sacrifice the other capital items, which the city government can no longer afford, due to their need to raid the local cash drawer to pay off the project over the next 20 years. The similar proposal in Seattle—although also located downtown—was approved for construction as a full King County project.

One can only guess what percentage of the purple-clad minions who’ve lately been filling the city hearing room for arena votes actually live in the city. And Carmichael Dave’s Carmichael is an unincorporated part of the county—also with no role in contributing tax revenue to the quarter-billion-dollar share of building the facility.

I, too, would rather keep the basketball team, but this attitude of spending as much as possible on the arena while beggaring everything else on the city budget that isn’t nailed down needs to be reined in. Someone must step up to the plate to find a variant that we can finance, and to ensure that everyone in the county at least must contribute to the project. If our city parents can’t do this under their own sense of responsibility as elected officials—and so far, it appears that they won’t—then we, as city voters, should have the right to protect themselves from the mess.

Bill Reany


Don’t be an online troll

Re “Digital integrity vs. the zombies” by Joey Garcia (SN&R Arts&Culture, July 25):

This article was refreshing. In this “me” generation, a large majority of people constantly live through and/or on their social-media websites and technology, leading to a lack in real intimate connection. This article both shows one how to recognize an addiction to technology (as well as it’s consequences) and then how to take steps to relieve oneself from the dehumanizing problem. I especially appreciate step one, “Kill your inner troll.” In today’s society, so much depends upon one’s social-media profile, whether it be a teenage student or a middle-aged business person. We hear too often in the papers of suicides of youth due to these infamous trolls eating at his or her self-esteem, or the loss of a job because of convincing lies spread through out the Web.

Lorelei Neft