Nanny Dickinson scolds the unscrubbed masses

Yesterday Roger Dickinson just seemed like a misguided local politician trying to justify being in bed with the NBA. But this morning I’m starting to feel like the pressure must be getting to him. From the Bee:

“I think people would be well advised to wait and see first of all if there is a deal, and then once there is, to examine the terms and the entirety of the proposal,” he said. “People simply ought not, and need not, rush to judgment.”

“Would be well advised”? Are we the British prime minister now?
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It’s a free country…

KCRA has the recap of today’s news conference by People United, the grassroots group that is promising to oppose a publicly funded arena. Choice quote by the county’s man on the negotiation table, Roger Dickinson:

“Do we want the finest facilities to allow us to enjoy the great artists, the great sports of the world, or not? And that’s a choice people can make.”

I mean, feel free to disagree, but I think we should try to make Sacramento the greatest city since Rome. If you feel like we should live in mud huts and eat our own poo, then that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.

Arena deal a pack of lies?

Marcus Bretón thinks it is. It seems like the Bee might be bowing to public pressure and trying to tell a less one-sided tale about the arena deal. However, for all Bretón’s throwing around of the “L” word, it’s not really clear what lies he believes are being told. Has anyone on the negotiation table ever said they don’t care if the arena deal goes through? Bretón sees the fact that the NBA is now sending their lawyer, Harvey Benjamin, to the negotiation table as a sign that the NBA “badly wants Sacramento and the Kings to cut an arena deal.” I say, that’s not big news–I don’t think the NBA has ever put out a vibe to the contrary.
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More on the arena talks

Good discussions on the arena question the other day, so I’d like to try to keep that going. I am definitely sympathetic to those who believe that not paying the tax guarantees the Kings will skip town. We have to pay money or something bad will happen to us… I think I saw that on The Sopranos.

Talks will resume today in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada (if you’re wondering, yesterday was apparently “exhausting but productive” according to Darrell Steinberg–more on him below). Here is an interesting tidbit from today’s update: “In Sacramento, another major cost escalator on projects over $25 million is a city requirement that workers be paid Bay Area-scale wages.” Huh? How’s that again? Part of the added cost is that the added cost adds additional cost. I don’t know how this State can afford to buy the paper that the budget is printed on (when it gets around to being printed).
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Return of Arena chatter

From the zombie news department, the Kings, Sacramento, and the NBA are scheduled to meet tomorrow at — in a shocking turn of events — the Palms casino in Las Vegas. For those of you playing along at home, “The most recent proposal would require voter approval for an increase in Sacramento County’s sales tax,” as opposed to those other proposals that involved paying for the arena by mortgaging the Capitol building, robbing Mick Jagger, mining for spice in Rocklin, and building the new arena out of pieces of the other two.

“The city/county interests will be represented by [Vice Mayor Rob] Fong, [Assistant City Manager John] Dangberg, [county economic development director Paul] Hahn and arena and stadium consultant Dan Barrett.” By city/county interests they apparently do not mean the interests of the citizens and residents of the city and county. With friends like this, who needs friends?

I’m willing to concede that there are plenty of people out there who would pay a tax increase to build a new stadium. But read the article, this whole deal seems extra shady with a side of sleaze. “Joe and Gavin Maloof… initiated Tuesday’s session and suggested they be held in Las Vegas to ensure the presence of George Maloof…” Was the golden jet powered by dreams in the shop that day? Shouldn’t the guys asking for me to pay an extra tax be making more of an effort?


Urban construction projects

My Urban Vista blogs about major construction projects in downtown/midtown. I’d like to springboard off this helpful list and ask my readers, preferably (like me) completely uneducated about urban planning to comment on this post with more suggestions for major construction projects.

I’ll get the ball rolling: slash and burn J Street from 9th to 11th and replace it with a Borders.

Jay Street Ghost Town

Driving up Jay Street from the the plaza (heretofore known as the DTP!) the other day I noticed that Jay Street has become an utter wasteland from about 9th to 12th street. Which is weird because as we all know the vacant lot on the southside of 8th-9th is becoming non vacant, which it has been for centuries or at least 25 years. The most striking block is the southside of 10th-11th, where all doors but Mother India are gone. At the time of posting, a few days after this observation, more vacancies might possibly have ocurred (The Sac Rag, as a fledgling snarkblog, lacks the budget for live camera feeds of every block of the city).

Two possible ways to read this: a) somebody has bought that block and is tearing the whole shebang down, or b) there is nowhere to park within 3 blocks and there was nothing there anyway except a vacuum repair shop. I hope a) and that what goes up next is either not a multiplex or is the giantest, most fantabulous hamburger stand the world has ever seen.