Letters for June 18, 2015

Sinking deeper

Re “Budget bust” (SN&R Editorial, June 11):

SN&R accurately describes the city of Sacramento's pending fiscal disaster brought to us by Mayor Kevin Johnson. Among the many problems: $17 million in annual bond payments for the new Kings arena. That translates into a $77 million deficit by 2019.

Whether the arena can operate in the black is questionable at best. Most people in Sacramento don't support it. The new arena is a white elephant plopped down in the business district that will generate the mother of all traffic jams.

People are not going to pay the high parking fees and ticket prices, and endure the hassles required to attend games. The acres of parking and four freeway exits that serve the existing Sleep Train Arena in Natomas do not exist downtown. Whoops, somebody goofed.

The ugly combination of rapacious building contractors (greasing political palms as needed), a shamelessly self-promoting mayor, sycophant city council members and a cheerleading local media conspired to shove the project down the throats of the people of Sacramento.

Sadly, there will be an I-told-you-so moment when bottoms do not occupy all the seats. Promoters need to fill every seat, every game and every event, for the arena to pencil out. That's not going to happen. Age-old gimmicks such as giving away tickets will not be sufficient to pay the bills.

Gregg M. Wardrip


Calm down, restaurateurs

Re “Tipping point” by Nick Miller (SN&R News, June 11):

Good piece, with valid concerns from the restaurant industry. There are some solid solutions to them, however:

This is a great opportunity for the United States to finally do away with the outdated tipping system at restaurants (hell, and bars). Restaurant owners can now build the tip into their food items and just pay employees outright what they deserve through that. Europe’s restaurants are still open, so it must be working there!

Regarding small businesses, Kshama Sawant did a pretty good job of addressing that in Seattle. We can help ease smaller shops into the transition by making their wage increases more incremental than larger corporations, who can easily swallow the raise, over longer periods of time, so they have more cushion to adjust. I would even consider limited-time city/state subsidies for the smallest mom-and-pop shops.

Also, the US Department of Labor doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with restaurants’ worries: www.dol.gov/minwage/mythbuster.htm.

Dave Kempa


It doesn’t matter

Re “Budget bust” (SN&R Editorial, June 11):

Unfortunately, it does not matter what your weekly paper uncovers about Mayor Kevin Johnson and the city council, it doesn’t matter what the voters decided and it doesn’t matter what allegations are made about sexual misconduct. Johnson and the city council will continue to do as they please. Simply because they can.

Victor Morales

via email