Letters for January 10, 2013

No more NBA arena wet dreams

Re “Grid-life crisis” by Nick Miller (SN&R Midtown&Down, January 3):

Nick Miller's alternative vision of downtown Sac without a downtown arena makes perfect sense—particularly since the Maloofs rewarded all of the city parents' work on giving the [Sacramento] Kings a new home by sabotaging the deal at its earliest stages. The vision of the city center Miller describes should be welcomed by all, both to reduce the city's costs to redevelop the rail yards and—for once and for all—getting rid of the arena-based wet dreams that have dominated those plans over the last several years.

Wanna build an arena? Well, think about it in West Sacramento, adjacent to Raley Field, with development of a grand parking lot that could also serve the Capitol Corridor across the Sacramento River and Old Sacramento. An arena downtown would fail as a redevelopment project, anyway, since it's dark too much of the time. Better to incorporate a cohesive plan for downtown renewal and put the sports complexes together in one place, even if it happens to be in Yolo County. And if the Kings do end up leaving, we will not have spent hundreds of millions on a project that would prove to be a white elephant before it was even completed.

As for the Kings, it's clear that the reason they torpedoed the deal had more to do with the decision of the good folk in Kings County, [Wash.] (i.e., Seattle), to build a new arena there than what the possibilities might prove to be in Sacramento. Let them go there if that's what they want to do, but don't waste any more money and time here in pretending that they offer much as a reliable anchor tenant downtown.

Bill Reany

via emai

Less marriage, more relationship ed

Re “Girl-on-guy violence” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, January 3):

As a male victim of domestic abuse, I read your article with interest and felt that you may be interested in a couple of my theories regarding the changing nature of domestic conflict. To begin with, men are still expected to take more social abuse than women; whether it’s from parental beatings or fights between young men, most men feel that they either can or should take the physical attacks that a partner may dish out. Furthermore, with technological advances, be it transportation or the elimination of vast ranges of labor, women increasingly don’t need the help of men to get work done by themselves. Whereas just 100 years ago, a woman without a man was seen as almost helpless, today, with her foot on the gas pedal and higher-paying technical jobs [available], she’s fine without one. While there are many benefits of this change, relationships and intergender expectations have been slow to adapt.

My suggestions are twofold: 1. Eliminate the societal obligation of marriage. Once this is gone, let’s eliminate tax, mortgage and other financial incentives and get the government out of the business of marriage. 2. Introduce a new level of honest relationship discussion before marriage. In addition to sex ed, perhaps we should consider relationship ed as part of social outreach and education that promotes zero tolerance for abuse by either sexes.



Equal opportunity for kindness and malice

Re “Girl-on-guy violence” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R Frontlines, January 3):

One has to handle issues of domestic violence with a double dose of caution, independent of what is actually going on here. First, the greater equity of the sexes will certainly open up more equal opportunities for acts of kindness and acts of malice. How those manifest themselves, and whether there is a gender convergence or gender bias, is a subject for research, but it is really quite separate from the core issue of interpersonal violence, be that physical or psychological in form. Trends might be measurable, but then again, these are areas where there are a number of reasons for uneven incident reporting, so differential trending is not really the issue.

The causes—i.e., the social determinants—of domestic violence are important and in these stressful economic times one would expect certain types of domestic violence to rise. The bigger issue (or issues) surround how to reduce the incidence and severity of domestic violence, both by influencing individual attitudes and by addressing the impacts of the social determinants of domestic violence. The underlying story about more reports of female-on-male violence may be little more than a greater tendency to report [them]. Any story is only of substance if it has a purpose, be that to amuse or to inform. Stories about domestic violence are not [written] to amuse or to solidify [established] opinions. They are to inform, to move us to do things better.

Carlo Lanfranco


Put the pitchforks away

Re “Breton isn’t wrong” by Nicholas Adamek (SN&R Letter of the Week, January 3):

1. I seriously doubt you’ll find anyone who’d agree with you that the grid was appreciably safer 30 years ago. On the other hand, you can find plenty who would claim the opposite is true. 2. The FBI [has released studies] about child abductions, which included the finding that “stranger danger” is extremely rare, and children are far more likely to be abducted or abused by someone known to them. Put the pitchforks and torches away before someone like you or Marcos Breton does something really, irreversibly stupid. Aren’t homeless people stigmatized enough?

Ed Hunter


Child abduction by the numbers

Re “Breton isn’t wrong” by Nicholas Adamek (SN&R Letter of the Week, January 3):

[This letter] is so wrong, it set my teeth on edge. Perhaps if the author taught compassion instead of projecting his fears, his 8-year-old daughter would apply her problem-solving mind to ways to help the homeless rather than escape them. (My cousin distributes blankets and food to homeless people in Canada—sorry, lamb chop, Canada isn’t the answer, eh?)

To her credit, the 8-year-old is applying her mind to the problem, which is more than her father has done. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers. Perhaps if parents taught compassion instead of buying assault rifles, we wouldn’t have young people who are capable of mass killings in kindergarten classes. Perhaps if the author did a mouse click or two of research, he’d know that the people sitting around his Thanksgiving dinner table are more likely to abduct his child than some guy out in the nighttime cold who is begging for change.

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, citing U.S. Department of Justice statistics, nearly 800,000 children younger than 18 are missing each year. Of those, more than 200,000 children were abducted by family members; more than 58,000 children were abducted by nonfamily members; 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping—not necessarily by homeless people, mind you, but by “someone the child does not know or a slight acquaintance who holds the child overnight.” …

Instead of the baseless demonization of homeless people as child abusers, the author should take some time to look around his perfect little world to see where he could … lend his ideas for solutions and act as a compassionate community role model for his daughter. We need more compassion in this world and less judgment.

Ben Bannister