Please shoot me (don’t shoot me)
Media, city leaders should chill on the Kings, focus on crime in the city
If you’re sick of the latest Sacramento Kings soap opera, I’m sorry: This is the new regularly scheduled programming.
As during the previous two years, the Maloofs-Sacramento divorce will again dominate the first four months of 2013. Last week’s frenzy of media gossip masquerading as journalism accomplished exactly what the brethren Maloof wanted: a bidding war between monied interests in Seattle and Sacto, which will persist until NBA owners meet in April.
The NBA precludes the sale or relocation of a franchise without approval of ownership. And the bigwigs won’t play face-to-face again until well-after April Fools’ Day. Meanwhile, pity the fool who gets their chonies in a funk by riding the Maloof’s Thunder Mountain Railroad for another three months: more K.J. press conferences; local sports “journalists” citing anonymous sources-cum-Scotch-drinking buddies; ubiquitous talk-radio blowhardery; and storm-of-the-century sensational TV newscasts ad nauseam.
For the record, my money is on the team staying right here in Sacto—and with a spankin’-new arena, to boot. K.J. has to hang his second term on something, and he’s got Grant Napear tears and Tesla, too, in his arsenal. Love will find a way, right?
(Please shoot me.)
Actually, don’t shoot. I don’t want to be the latest Midtown crime statistic.
Last Friday night, a thug shot a woman twice in a robbery turned nightmare. The victim apparently is in stable condition at an area hospital, but this incident, which occurred around 10:30 p.m. near H and 27th streets—the same damn neighborhood where multiple other robberies went down over the past month—has rattled already on-edge residents.
Sacto’s thug contingent is still at it, it seems. And while city leaders and police hold neighborhood powwows and scramble together new patrols after hours, there’s really no practical vision for how to stop the recent surge in home invasions, car thefts and robberies on the grid. Other than to twiddle thumbs and wait for Measure U tax revenues to kick in, so that city brass can start training more cops. Sometime later this year. At the earliest.
There are certain neighbors, however, with a “plan.” But it’s a familiar mantra: “Close the bars!” they proclaim. “And bars masquerading as restaurants!” “And by 7 p.m.!” Which won’t rid Midtown of its thuggish visitors.
Meanwhile, police advise that those with less-than-fortuitous juju who fall victim to a mugger to not fight back and, instead, hand over the goods while memorizing the assailant’s appearance. Even though I’d imagine the last impression you probably want to leave on a robber is that you’re taking extensive mental notes.
If this all seems backward and hopeless—e.g., City Hall and the media’s bloodthirst for the Kings and co-occurring nonchalance toward crime in its breadwinning central-city neighborhoods and entertainment districts—then you’re not alone.
So, it’d be nice if the 24-seven will-they-stay-or-will-they-go Kings media frenzy took a Xanax. Remember: In 1992, the San Francisco Giants were a done deal, sold to owners who wanted to ship the team to Florida, yet the Giants have remained.
To that end: NBA commissioner David Stern says Sacramento will have a chance to counterbid, and Mayor Kevin Johnson announced at a State of Downtown breakfast on Tuesday that he’s gotten the green light to present at the NBA board of governor’s meeting this April.
So, until then, let’s focus on Midtown and downtown, where over the past 40 days there have been: 241 reported breaking and entering incidents, two homicides and two homicide attempts, 32 robberies, 215 vehicle and person thefts, 40 assaults, 55 property crimes, and 120 quality-of-life crimes.
And tens of thousands of shaken residents.