SN&R Letters 2012-03-22

NBA business, not city business

Re “We did it?” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, March 8):

Thanks for keeping on top of the upcoming arena boondoggle making its way into the wallets of everyone in Sacramento. I doubt we will ever hear the truth from Mayor Kevin Johnson, the city council, The Sacramento Bee or any local TV news station.

It’s already obvious that the numbers are never going to add up. Instead of being honest about it, the disastrous gaps will be filled in with the same kind of deceitful revenue predictions we get from the state Legislature every year. By the time the taxpayers of Sacramento get it together to express their outrage over 50 years of red ink, Johnson and the council members signing off on it will be long gone. None of them will ever be held accountable.

It will be a repeat, on a grander scale, of the lousy 20-year garbage-hauling contract the council approved a while back.

A new arena is not going to make the Kings a better team, and the Kings are almost never going to be playing in a sold-out venue. So let’s stop pretending that surcharges and profit-sharing are going to pay the bills. Empty seats won’t pay for anything.

Future “backfill” will come from higher costs in utility rates, building permits, inspection fees, and anything else city bureaucrats can impose on us to balance their department budgets. That’s going to be the real and hidden cost to everyone for a new arena, whether you go there or not.

Currently, city hall can’t keep the parks, pools and libraries open for the kids. But soon the mayor and friends will rubber-stamp a fantasy scenario that will put the city in hock for the next 50 years—all for a bunch of jock millionaires who, more often then not, fail to be winners.

If Kings fans want to support them, no matter what, that’s their business. It’s not city business. The millionaires of the NBA should pool their money, finance their new arenas with bank loans, and leave the rest of us out of it.

Daniel McMasters

Cold, dark grandchildren

Re “You’ll pry his lightbulb from his cold, dark fingers!” (SN&R Letters, March 15):

John Ryan’s “lightbulb” letter shows how the self-absorbed impede progress in energy conservation.

His indignant assertion to the contrary, what he does is our business, and, for that matter, the business of government which is tasked with providing for the common good. Energy resources are not unlimited, and what we do—and he does—today affects how we all will live in the future, not to mention how our children and grandchildren will live.

Katherine Bell

Just whistlin’ Davis

Re “Keep it short” (SN&R Feature Story, March 8):

Great stories in the 2012 Flash Fiction issue! I love the nose flute guy. It gives me ideas at my own house.

Lyra Halprin

Employees have a choice

Re “Sex and the bishop” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Frontlines, March 8):

Regarding Jeff vonKaenel’s proposition, “But think of a woman employee at, say, a Catholic school. She has to pay $600 a year on contraceptives—that’s a huge bill for her.”

First off, people know in advance before they agree to work for a Catholic institution what the package of benefits includes and does not. They have a choice. Catholic institutions are being given no choice.

Employees of Catholic schools, for example, chose to work there over better-paying public-school jobs because the school is Catholic and the values that they teach. And it’s why parents pay money to send their children there, when public education is free. If the federal government forces Catholic institutions to violate their beliefs, they lose their reason for existing.

Maybe that’s what the Obama administration is after.

Ed Thomas
Granite Bay

It’s all politics

Re “Sex and the bishop” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Frontlines, March 8):

Do you know what the contraception brouhaha is about? Republicans are gaming the long-settled birth-control issue in hopes of gaining some political advantage in this election year. Don’t be distracted by the Rush Limbaugh scandal, the Catholic Church or other conversations swirling around.

Simply put, Republicans are attacking President Barack Obama’s birth-control policy by backing employers and health-insurance companies in denying coverage for contraception, which employers object to on religious and moral grounds. It’s a political thing!

It’s Republican religious politics rearing its ugly head again.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Get jobs, money and arena priorities in order

Re “Lessons from Stockton” by Jonathan Mendick (SN&R Frontlines, March 8):

The Stockton arena is a classic marketing and management mess that was too fast and too soon. That is, it was a good arena at the wrong time.

Sacramento has a good chance for a good arena at the right time. First, get 600 companies into the heart of the city. Second, sweep or draft the homeless out of the city’s core. And third, hire people from this area.

Jobs equal money equals arena, not the other way around. Good luck.

Alan N. Satow

She likes ’em special

Re “Bartender, make mine a special” by Becky Grunewald (SN&R Arts&Culture, March 8):

As a nondrinker, I always try to get [bartenders] to make me a mocktail and see how creative—past juice and soda water—they can get.

Catherine McMuncie

Keep the heat on cannaphobes

Re “Congressional cannaphobia” by David Downs (SN&R The 420, March 1):

Please keep publishing articles like this one. It aptly describes the current situation. The politicos we elected in good faith are failing us.

There is no reason to vote for the current crop of dunderheads. Please print—in capital letters—the names of these uncaring individuals. I, for one, will remember in November the apathy of our elected officials.

Keep up the good work. Someone has to do it.

Caroline Bigard

Thanks, Senator

Re “The stigma” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Feature, March 15):

Thanks, Senator [Darrell Steinberg], for all the work that you and so many of my fellow clients and myself did to get the MHSA approved. I know that the state house is constantly wanting to raid these funds. Please do not allow it. Let’s support a new client voice for California.

Henry N. Willey, Jr.

Opinions, not hate

Re “Real haters of Sacramento” by Kel Munger (SN&R Frontlines, March 15):

Everybody has the right to be able to express their own opinion. Just because you do not agree with what they say does not mean you have the right to deny their first amendment rights. Most of the bigoted behaviors I have seen have been from the homosexual agenda.

Jim Vo