Do not Tear down Sleep Train Arena


I was within a few feet of Sacramento’s former City Manager John Shirley when he announced, Sleep Train could not compete with the new arena.   Something about a non-competing clause.  Sealing the fate of the 30 year old complex.

Arco, (now Sleep Train) opened in 1988, cost a mere 40 million (below average in 1988) dollars to build.  Sixteen years after it opened, the Maloof family, then owners of the Sacramento Kings deemed Arco inadequate and wanted the taxpayers of Sacramento to construct a new 600 million dollar Arena for the team. The voters told the billionaires owners of the Las Vegas Palm hotel, no..

The original home of the Sacramento Kings ,the Sacramento Sports Arena (opened in 1985)  The arena had just over 10,000 seats.  Small by NBA standards.  The name was later changed to Arco Arena.  Today, the building at 1625 North Market still operational as an office building

While Arco Architect Rann Haight said the arena could be modified and expanded. The City of Sacramento fearing the Kings would leave,joined the Maloof’s chorus insisting there were no fixes that could improve Arco Arena.

100 hundred acres

The land the Arena sits on is massive, only the airport has more parking spaces. The City once considered building a new stadium for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders next to Arco.   Other visionaries,  envisioned a complex with fields for soccer, volleyball, rugby, Little League baseball, softball and other non-professional sports. It could include a small, 10,000-seat stadium. For many Sacramentians its location near Interstates 5 and 80 was ideal.

 To remain competitive in an ever changing marketplace  Older arenas are routinely updated.  Again this isn’t true of Arco, as the arena aged the owners (Maloofs) assuming they would eventually move to a  new Arena ,made no significant improvements to Arco .

Magicians In Oakland and Seattle 

When Oracle (Oakland Coliseum) Arena opened in 1966, its capacity was 15,000.  After a major renovation in the late nineties, 4000 seats and luxury boxes were added to the facility without removing any exterior walls.

The Key Arena opened in 1962 in Seattle . The has been renovated three times, when it open its capacity was 13,200 when the current renovation is completed in 2021, it will increase to 18,600.

 Arco/Sleep Train was one of the busiest Arenas on the West coast.  Hosting more than 200 events a year.  The Arena had hosted international acts: Tina Turner, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Garth Brooks.  Until it wasn’t. Peeling paint, a leaking ceiling and an indifferent landlord.

Related image

How old is old? 

West Coast Arenas currently in operation.

The 17,000 seat,Arco Arena opened in 1988.

The 16,000 seat, Cow Place opened in 1941

12,000 seat, Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland ) opened in 1961

17,000 Key Arena (Seattle) opened in 1962

19,000 seat Oracle (Oakland Coliseum) opened in 1966

17,000 seat Perchanga (San Diego Sports Arena) opened in 1966

17,000 seat Forum (Inglewood) opened in 1967

17,000 seat SAP (San Jose  Arena (San Jose) opened in 1993

21,000 seat  Staples Center opened in 1999

The City of Sacramento wants Sleep Train Torn Down 

The City of Sacramento has a large ($255 million) debt in the Golden One Center, which may not paid for several decades.  This debt, doesn’t include the future upgrades the Kings will demand from the city to remain competitive with other NBA arenas.

Sacramento doesn’t want any competition to Golden One.  College and High Schools Commencement events were redirected (at a higher cost) from Sleep Train to Golden One.

 The city doesn’t see the long term benefits of keeping Sleep Train.  Unlike the Convention Center, Sleep Train can accommodate events that the Convention Center and Golden One cannot.  Rent for the newly renovated Convention Center, and Golden One will be significantly higher than Sleep Train resulting in some shows, religious organizations to bypass Sacramento.  Events that would generate revenue to businesses in Natomas and generating additional tax dollars for city.

NBA organizations like the Sacramento Kings are not in the business of being landlords.  However, Kings owners  Vivek Ranadive and Partners are businessmen.   The Arena is worth much more in its present condition than rubble.   Perhaps they signed a blood oath with the City preventing them from placing  the building on the market.   Even in its present condition the building is worth considerably more than 40 million it cost to construct in 1988.

Shortsighted 

Over two million people live in the Sacramento Metro Area. Sacramento is currently the fastest growing large city in the starte.  This region can support two Arena.   Fresno, (metro population  1,1 million) has two operating arenas.  The 12,000 seat Selland Arena opened in 1966 and the 16,000 seat Save Mart Center opened in 2003. The Selland Arena is located in the Fresno Convention Center complex downtown.  Updates have kept the 53 year old venue competitive. Sleep Train hasn’t received any major updates since its opening in 1988

Golden One Center is a success. Pollstar a trade publication for the concert industry.  Ranked Golden One Center #9 in the United States and #18 in the world, selling over 150,000 tickets to arena events from November 22, 2018, to February 20, 2019. Golden 1 Center was also the only Northern California arena to make the top 20 in Pollstar’s first-quarter ticket sales rankings.

Bulldozing Sleep Train is shortsighted. Acts are choosing and will continue to choose Golden One based on its reputation.  The City of Sacramento is spending more than 200 million dollars to expand the Convention Center, which includes improvements to the Memorial Auditorium and renovating Community Center Theater.    Sleep Train can be marketed as secondary events complex, hosting events like RV’s shows. Conferences too large for the Convention Center and  shows can not afford the fees at Golden One.

There are nearly 1400, rooms within five miles of Sleep Train .  Upgrading Sleep Train is considerably less than building or expanding any venue downtown.  With its acreage, it has the flexibility to host larger sporting events than  UC Davis and Sacramento State Combined.    

Jehovah’s Witness and Aftershock

The Jehovah’s Witness Convention is far and away the Convention Centers largest client.     Last year, the Witnesses  moved their meetings from the Cow Palace outside of San Francisco to Sacramento. Last year their meetings were held at Sleep Train. Last year the city said the Witness’s brought $28 million to city . In that same year, the manager of the Malabar restaurant on Del Paso Road welcomed the business.   “ With Sleep Train just sitting there being empty we’re losing a lot of money and a lot of business, so 16 weekends out of the year sounds great to me.”

This year they will meet in Sleep Train, while the Convention Center is renovated. Between May and September there will be 16  events at Sleep Train.  Averaging nearly 11,000 attendees per weekend, more Jehovah’s Witness Conventions are held in Sacramento than anywhere on the west coast.  Last year,despite the aesthetics (weeds)  some of the attendees said they preferred the Sleep Train location over the Convention Center due to the availability of near by moderately priced hotels.

Many businesses in Natomas felt the absence of Sleep Train.  Many of them saw in increases in business last year when the venue held the Jehovah’s Witness Convention.  Like many religious organizations there is no charge to attend the convention.  As a result this organization hold their events in secondary locations.   For years, their events were held at the Cow Palace.    The Cow Palace may be in its final days, a victim of age and location. Golden One, The Oracle in Oakland, the SAP in San Jose  and the new Chase arena in San Francisco are too expensive for organizations like the Jehovah’s Witnesses Its very possible they may outgrown the Convention Center and without the option of Sleep Train, leave Sacramento for Fresno, Stockton, Long Beach or Reno .

Sacramento’s largest two day event is Aftershock, it is held the 2nd week on October.  Attendance has grown steadily through the years, from 35,000 attendees to 60, 000 last year, making it one of the largest music events on the West Coast.

The Aftershock Festival began seven years ago at Gibson Park in Elverta.  A few years ago, the venue moved to a smaller location at Discovery Park.  Attendees currently have an option of parking their cars at Sleep Train and being shuttled to Discovery Park.   Last year the Festival was responsible of filling nearly every hotel room between Woodland and Downtown. Last year the event generated nearly 14 million dollars to Sacramento .  While to goal was to grow the three day event to forty thousand people per day, Sacramento has limited the capacity to 25,000 per day.

Enter Sleep Train, the festival is currently using the parking area and providing transportation from, Sleep Train to Discovery.  Temporary Amphitheaters could be constructed on the properties existing 100 acres. Insuring the Festival will remain in Sacramento for years to come.

A 28 Million Dollar Lesson   

In 1929, William Fox built the San Francisco Fox Theater considered by many the most opulent theaters in the Fox Chain.   The theater had 4600 seats.  But it was troubled from its opening, the location was too far up Market. and the other theaters. Rapidly decaying, leaders viewed it as a loser for the city.  However, there were others who believed the building had other uses.   The City left the decision with the Citizens and in 1961 the citizens voted to demolish the theater and sell the land.   Which is currently theFox Plaza.

Less than twenty years later, the San Francisco Symphony needed a home, it was sharing  the War Memorial Opera house with the San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco Opera Company.  As a result the Symphony was unable to expand to a full year schedule.

In 1980, The Louise M Davies Symphony Hall opened two blocks away from the site of the Fox Theater Site.

There are many cities who have hastily torn down theaters, stadiums and Arenas.  Some of the cities were unwilling  or lacked the vision, of what could be.   There are other that had the vision to re-purpose these building.    With the Sleep Train in place, Sacramento has four venues, and the city would in directly benefit from events  held at Sleep Train.   Golden One and the Convention Center along with the Community Theater are the premier venues in Sacramento.

Sleep Train at,  30 years old, is still a relatively young venue.  It currently has something the other venues dont , the potential for growth.  It will have most likely to appeal to a different client similar to The Staple Center and the Inglewood Forum.   T’he city will benefit from both venues.   The owners of the Sacramento Kings should place Sleep Train on the market.  The city should  revisit area around Sleep Train as an alternative to downtown.  Possibly changing the zoning to high density (vertical ) commercial and  residential that would make better use of the land and compliment  near by Centene and its projected 5000 employees, who might enjoy a indoor profession tennis match a few blocks from work.

Sacramento continues to struggle with its identity .  It wants to be world class, however its decisions are shortsighted. Its continues to zone like it was 1963. A subdivision and a Raley’s.

It’s plain, its basic and like it or not, Sleep Train/Acro Arena is an iconic building for Sacramento.  Outside of the Capital, it was the most photographed televised building in Sacramento.  Many local are proud of its history.

Bulldozing Sleep Train will not guarantee the success of Golden One.  Like, Sleep Train, it will age and there will be newer Arenas, with larger screens.    Perhaps, our leaders need to Google World Class Cities.  Many have theaters Arenas and Stadiums that are much older than Sleep Train.  Our civic leaders need to be reminded.  The Iconic Sleep Train is still a viable. In 2016, in its worst condition Garth Brooks performed 8 eight shows,sold nearly 90,000 tickets generating over 2 million dollars for singer.  The building was very successful but the landlord let it down, let it leak. But they are no longer in Sacramento.

To bull doze Sleep Train Arena and replace it with another Beazer subdivision doesn’t make Sacramento World Class .  A city that could attract high tech companies like Amazon or Google and their employees  Short term decisions like this continues to make our river city look like a random bedroom community with a capital building.

Do not Tear Down Sleep Train Arena

Contact your Councilperson and Vivek Ranadive, owner of the Sacramento Kings

(Check the City of Sacramento’s Website for Email addresses and Telephone Numbers)

 

District 1 – Angelique Ashby
District 2 – Allen Warren
District 3 – Jeff Harris
District 4 – Steve Hansen
District 5 – Jay Schenirer
Vice Mayor Eric Guerra (District 6)
District 7 – Rick Jennings, II
District 8 – Larry Carr

CityFella

 

 

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You can be completely innocent and spend a month here


Image result for sacramento county jail

Data collected by the Board of State and Community Corrections and analyzed by Sacramento News and Review shows that Sacramento County’s aging jails are glutted with people who are presumed innocent. Through the first six months of this year, 58 percent of the approximately 1,800 people in county lockup on a daily basis had yet to be sentenced. That percentage has remained static for more than two years.

People who are released without charges still spent an average of 32.5 days in jail, the review found. Those who had their cases dismissed in court averaged more than 39 days in custody.

Click on link below for the full story in Sacramento News and Review

https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/inmate-until-proven-guilty/content?oid=27430335

Facts Fiction and Don Lemon


CNN anchor Don Lemon on a Wednesday evening segment of CNN Live.

Perhaps there would be less outrage if the story was told by Wolf Blitzer or Jake Tapper.

There are many white men who are OUTRAGED!!!   Here you have a black man stirring the racist pot.    IF a white man said something about a Black man, they’d lose their jobs.    Megan Kelly lost her job over “Blackface’ so here we have a black man calling white men terrorist, he should lose his job is only fair!

There are white men in this rapidly changing world who believe that they are under attack.  It had gone too far and it far more difficult to be a white man in America and this morning advertisers and CNN will  demand that Don Lemon lose his job.

THE OUTRAGE

In the course of a week, 14 bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats.  On Wednesday, a white man attempted to enter a black church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Fifteen minutes later, he drove to near by Kroger Supermarket and killed two black people.  As the gunman passed a white shopper in the parking lot he said, I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”   Saturday, a white man entered a synagogue and killed 11 worshipers and wounded six others including four Police Officers.

Cnn’s Don Lemon said Trump would have people believe immigrants are to be feared, but statistics reveal the biggest threats are home-grown.   He went on to say, we have to stop demonizing people and realize that the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. So ,have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”

“the biggest terror threat in this country is white men.”

This is what some people heard!   Other’s heard he called for a “white guy ban”               Fox news said Lemon was ranting!   Others called him a racist!

You decide, Listen. 

There are many in this country who supported the Presidents ban on Muslims and individuals from the middle east based on a unsupported belief that, Muslims hate Americans and want to destroy America.    The facts are white men are the principle source of terrorism in the United States and no one is proposing a ban on “white men” this is what I believe Mr Lemon meant.

When its not Fake News

Since 9/11 attacks in 2001, far-right violent extremists have killed 106 people in 62 attacks in the United States, while radical Islamist violent extremists have killed 119 people in 23 attacks.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/683984.pdf

From  2008 to 2016, there were almost twice as many terrorist incidents carried out on U.S. soil by right-wing extremists — many of whom are white — than by Islamist extremists.  It showed there were 115 incidents involving right-wing extremists and that those that ended in death were more deadly than incidents carried out by other groups.

https://www.revealnews.org/article/home-is-where-the-hate-is/

An analysis of the Global Terrorism Database by researchers at the University of Maryland published in 2017 shows a “sharp increase”in the share of attacks by right-wing extremists, from 6% in the 2000s to 35% in the 2010s. The share of attacks by religious extremists also increased, from 9% to 53% between the two decades.

https://qz.com/1435885/data-shows-more-us-terror-attacks-by-right-wing-and-religious-extremists/

White supremacists in the United States killed more than twice as many people in 2017 as they did the year before, and were responsible for far more murders than domestic Islamic extremists, helping make 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence in America, a new report states.

https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-report-white-supremacist-murders-more-than-doubled-in-2017

Politics of Fear

For decades,some members of the GOP have demonized immigrants from Mexico. They were accused of  straining our resources and crossing the border to have babies and to get on welfare.

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump took it further, he said the people coming from Mexico were bringing drugs, bringing crime and-they’re rapist.   There isn’t any subjective data that supports any of these claims.

A point of reference for some against Mexican immigration is the murder of Arizona Rancher Rob Krentz in 2010.   Krentz’s property is near the Mexican border. The Krentz family was accustomed to undocumented migrants crossing their 35,000 acres.  Because of this, many assumed he was killed by one of those undocumented migrants. His widow was convinced his was killed by an illegal immigrant. After an extensive search, no one has been linked to his murder.  Today, many are convinced he was killed by a Mexican national.

Less than a year after the Death of Mr Krentz.  Arizona passed a law requiring anyone suspected of being in US illegally to produce papers to the police.

 

Race Baiting 2018 (Donald Trump’s Evil Caravan)

Before I talk about our president current attempt to inject white fear in the midterms, I want to look back a few years.

But first thing’s first! What is “Race Bating?:    The unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people

A look Back to 1986

In 1986, a convicted felon named Willie Horton — who was serving a life sentence for murder — was released from a Massachusetts prison on a weekend furlough program, during which time he escaped and raped a woman. Then-governor Michael Dukakis had supported the prison furlough program, and when he ran for President in 1988, his opponent, George H. W. Bush, used that to his advantage. The “Revolving Door” ad never mentions Horton by name, but the connection was clear and the ad received considerable news coverage.

Bush Played on the fears of whites who were terrified of blacks.

2018, President Trump,  has told his base a Caravan is coming, filled with thugs, bad people, including people from the middle east.   He has a few days to convince his base these horrific people filled with diseases  (so says Fox News) will be here at any moment.  In a world where facts don’t matter.  These terrible people are walking and they only have 800 miles to reach our borders.  Tuesday, if you believe the president. Bringing lawless people who will kill the men and rape the women. (a small exaggeration)

The footage is several years old and his story about Democrats allowing illegals in is patently false.  Donald Trump is doubling down on his attack on brown skinned people using fear to get them to the ballot box.

Luis Bracamontes was first deported to his native Mexico in 1997, during the Clinton administration, after he was busted selling drugs. But, according to U.S. Immigration officials, Bracamontes managed return to the United States by 2001, when he was deported a second time for being in the country illegally. That was during the first year of the Bush administration.

Bracamontes was back in America again by 2002. He married a U.S. citizen and remained in the country even as the Bush administration deported people at a record rate, topped only by the Obama administration.

When Bracamontes shot and killed the two Sacramento county deputies in 2014, he had been deported once under a Democratic administration and once under a Republican administration. He had been back in the United States for at least six years during the Bush administration and five years under the Obama administration.  He is currently on death row in San Quentin.

It’s 2018

Perhaps, some white men would have been more comfortable with CNN’s Jake Tapper or  Wolf Blitzer talking about this subject.   One would think, in 2018 we are beyond this. Apparently not.

By the reaction,s only black people should talk about black on black crime in cities like Chicago or Detroit.  Or Hispanics in El Paso or Albuquerque.     Don Lemon ins’t racist, he didn’t attack white men, he talked about the news and the double standard.

I can’t remember a time when a white reporter was dismissed after reading statics about black people or any other persons of color.     I can remember when a reporter or personality was dismissed after saying  spic, called black women nappy headed hoes, fag and other disparaging words or terms on air.   Blackface, hasn’t been acceptable since the 1930’s neither are insulting ethnic impersonations.

 It’s 2018, come on America, come on

 

CityFella

The Sacramento Convention Center: Bad Money


Image result for new sacramento convention center

 

An Old Updated Joke

A man walks into a Pet Store he is immediately drawn to the sounds of a parakeet.  Who resides in this large elaborate cage.   It was love at first sight, he had to have the bird.

The price was unimportant, he buys the bird and a small cage.

Arriving home, he clears a special place in the center of the room for the cage.   He was excitedly awaiting for the bird to sing..  But the bird sat in silence on its perch.  Hours passed. Perhaps it was the new surroundings?  After a few hours the owner, thought the bird would be happier if the cage was similar to the cage in the pet store.   

So he grabbed his keys and drove to the pet store and bought the large elaborate cage that was on display at the store.  Even in it’s familiar surroundings the bird remained silent.   He returned to pet store with his cell phone and at great expense bought every item in the cage and with his cell phone he took a picture so he could correctly stage the cage.    Within minutes the cage looked exactly like the one in the store and yet the bird didn’t sing.     So the owner walked away from the cage and left the bird alone.   After a few hours, the owner was exasperated and screamed at the bird.   I have given you everything, why wont you SING!  The bird slowly opened its mouth and said, FOOD!

_______________________________________________________________

In mid seventies, The City of Sacramento opened the Convention Center.  Leaders said the Center would generate millions of dollars for the city.   Unfortunately, that didn’t go as planned, the center was losing money.  Some believed a hotel of size, near the center would help generate business.

In 1988, the Hyatt Regency opened, it would be the largest hotel in the city with 503 rooms. The City of Sacramento subsidized the project.

Andy Plescia, deputy executive director of the city/county agency refers to as “a $13.3-million investment that’ll return about $28.5 million to local government within the decade.”  Those returns will come in the form of tax revenues, a lease-back parking arrangement involving the city government, the city/county agency and the developers, and from expected land sale profits (under the terms of the 55-year ground-site lease, developers may opt to buy the property outright after the ninth year). Sam Burns, director of the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, thinks the Hyatt Regency will help attract another 25,000 convention delegates a year and generate $1 million in room tax for the city and $25 million for the local economy.

Once again, with the new hotel the convention center didn’t come close to generating those ambitious numbers for the city.   The good news the city did eventually make a profit after the hotel was sold.

In the nineties, the money losing center was expanded again.  Operators said, the  convention center was too small and not competitive with other centers.  According to”Eye on Sacramento” the City loaned the Center 7.5 million to cover negative cash flows.

 Convention center operators said the center said it needed another component to become profitable. The twenty five story Sheraton Grand opened 2001 across the street from the center.  With all the expansions and additions, what the center needs was CUSTOMERS.

*In the last 17 years, the Center has lost an astounding $268 million taxpayers dollars!  $51 million in the last three years!

At 87% Sacramento currently spends nearly twice as much of its hotel taxes on the Convention Center than other cities. (The average is 45%) San Francisco’s spends 11%.

The Sacramento Convention Center is Sacramento’s “White Elephant”. Despite all the additions remains a drain on the city.    With 87% of the hotel taxes going to the city, Sacramento has virtually no funds to promote tourism.

Eye on Sacramento says:  City staff  presented the council with a staff report that relied heavily on the city’s primary convention center consultant ,the firm of Conventions, Sports and Leisure International (CS&L).  City staff cherry-picked data and findings from the CS&L study, but failed miserably to provide council members with crucial findings in the CS&L study that clearly states that an expansion of the Convention Center is not needed nor justified  given market conditions.

In short, the city council was mislead by its staff into believing that its principal conventions center consultant was solidly in favor of the proposed expansion,when, in fact, it was opposed to it.

If this is true, then there are larger issues in City Hall.  

The Vote to expand the center last December was unanimous!   Mayor and council members approved Two hundred forty million dollars to expand the Convention Center.  Which included adding a large ballroom to the plans .  The convention center will be closed for 18 months so work can be done quicker than initially planned and to renovate the Community Center Theater. 

The city reiterated that its general fund will not be used to pay off the debt.  That’s far from the truth.  If the convention center is unable to make its payments, the city has to cover the shortfall.

From the renderings, the new center and theater will be beautiful.  Mayor Steinberg said: We are going to have a convention center and a community center theater that is equal to the vision of our great city.   

Sacramento is a great city, over five hundred thousand people live within its boundaries.  Like any other city Sacramento has many other needs.  Cities build convention centers to generate income for the city.

As a business model ,the Sacramento Convention Center is a poor investment with little or no benefit to the majority of its citizens.  If the Convention Center was operated by a private entity, the owners would have longed walked away from the project.

It is no secret, The Sacramento Convention Center is a drain on the city and yet those charged with expenditures in the city unanimously approved spending 240 million dollars towards upgrading and expanding something that had never worked.    In a city who’s budget is already at its limits due to increased pension costs.   

City leaders often get it wrong. If they have one in Anaheim, we want one too.  Prestige at any cost to the city.  It doesn’t have to make sense, as long as we get one, just reach into the bottomless taxpayer cookie jar.    The Sacramento Convention Center is a forty year old joke, that’s not funny.  They’ve done everything imaginable to make it competitive with other convention centers in the state, and based on its history, it will be state of the art and has everything except CLIENTS.

CityFella

*Eye on Sacramento

End of the line for Sac’s Riverfront Street Car ?


The Trump administration isn’t keen on Public Transportation.  The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is not distributing money earmarked  for public transit.  Many projects in cities across the nation including Sacratomatoville are waiting for federal funding have hit Trumps Wall      Nearly 2 billion dollars is on hold.   Construction has already begun in some cities awaiting funding to complete the projects.

The FTA says the reason the projects haven’t received funding is because they aren’t yet ready. The Transportation Department hasn’t set a specific date when the funds will be released.   Many communities are hesitant to complain because it could result from in future delays.

In 2015, the astute citizens of Sacramento rejected the ridiculous  ( measure B ) 4.4mile street car line between West Sacramento and Midtown called the Riverfront Street Car Project.   The 100 million dollar line duplicates existing bus routes operated by Yolo County and Regional Transit.

Image result for crazy town gif

 Undaunted by the defeat, Council Member Steve Hansen and company went looking for extra funding for the project.   Shortly after the election he told the Bee  “We have identified all but $30 million of the funding we need, and we will work to find that $30 million.”

Did they? 

One of the challenges for Sacramento and a few other cities is funding. Transit agencies have to round up funding for the rest of the project, get agreements with contractors and other third parties, develop cost estimates and prove that they can manage a project of its scope. Then the FTA reviews the projects and rates them. Projects must earn a “medium” rating to obtain funding. To qualify for  Trump dollars, cities need to secure all of its non-federal funding first.    Sacramento hasn’t, as a result the project is in jeopardy.

 According to Eye on Sacramento, The California Transportation Commission provided 25 million dollars and the 30 million dollar rejected by the voters?  May come from the Cap and Trade funds.

Where did the money come to work on the project, thus far?

 

Image result for questions gif

 

These desperate times for supporters of Downtown Riverfront Street Car Project.  Failure to meet all the requirements could mean the end of the line.   Last December, the group representing  the Downtown  Riverfront Street car requested for 3.5 million dollars in Proposition A1 funds from the cash strapped Sacramento Regional Transit District.

Proposition 1A (High Speed Rail Act 2008)  bond proceeds are to made available for capital projects on other passenger rail lines to provide connectivity to the high-speed train system and for capacity enhancements and safety improvements to those lines.

RT’s  Board of Directors denied the request. It would consider releasing the 3.5 million dollars after the Federal Transportation District approved the project.

The issue for RT is if the street car financing isn’t nailed down, those fund may not be available for other projects.  The Street Car project was an agenda item at last weeks RT meeting.

News at 11

 

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for crazy town gif

 

Street Cars: Trump Delays funding on Sacramento’s next White Elephant


Image result for white elephant

white elephant (def)  a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.

 

 2015, Supporters of  Sacramento’s measure B told us.  Sacramento would  benefit all our neighborhoods by improving mobility between midtown, downtown, and West Sacramento with an affordable transit system that is authentically Sacramento.   Measure B would improve our economy. Streetcars create a vibrant local economy, which means more small businesses and more jobs in downtown and midtown.  The streetcar project will help create 12,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in economic development over 20 years and will allow seniors, students, visitors, workers, and central city residents to go car-free.

Those opposed to Measure B said, the streetcar project would operate at an enormous annual loss. Ticket sales are expected to cover about 20% of cost of operation; the other 80% will require a subsidy.  The shortfall will likely come from the City’s General Fund, reducing local services such as parks, bike lanes, street repairs, the homeless, and police.  It runs on, or near, the same Streets served by existing light rail and buses.

November 2015: Measure B, didn’t receive the required ( two thirds) required to pass the tax increase.

Despite its failure, Mayor Steinberg and other city leaders continued to press on. The voter rejected project received funding from the state and a 100 million dollar  commitment from Congress.  The Riverfront streetcar project grew in size, from 3.3 miles to 4.4 miles ending at West Sacramento’s City Hall.

The arguments against the project in 2015, continues to be true in 2018.  The proposed route continue to be served by buses and light rail.   While there are more housing along the routes, no one has identified need.

What we do know!

If completed, the route will require a subsidy.   Regional Transit, is looking for riders.

In the last 12 months, Regional Transit has seen more than 2 million fewer bus and light-rail trips compared to the year before, a 10 percent loss. That adds up to a more than $800,000 deficit in fare revenue.  The hope was the Golden 1 Center would attract more customers, but a year after opening and a year after rate hikes, RT just isn’t seeing the impact (CBS Sacramento January 2018)

Nearly four years ago, Regional Transit opened the Green Line from Downtown to Richards Boulevard (Township 9)   Today the line carries fewer than estimated 200 passengers a day is a drain on RT.

Sacramento along with Albuquerque, Dallas, El Paso, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Orange County, Reno, Seattle, Gary,Indiana, St. Petersburg ,Florida and Tempe Arizona.  Recently learned, the funds approved by Congress in March is being held up by President Trump’s Federal Transit Administration.

Thank you, Donald?

It isn’t clear why the Trump’s administration halted transportation funding. If his administration re evaluated the methods used for cities to qualify for funding, then this is a positive move for tax payers.   If the project is completely funded, Sacramento’s Riverfront  street car line will be a financial drain on Sacramento and the cities served by RT on day one.

Its only taxpayer money, the project doesn’t have to make fiscal sense.  Fiscal independent studies aren’t important, history or profitability isn’t important (Sacramento Convention Center) If Des Moines have one, well our city should have one too.

CityFella

Legal Chinese Discrimination in Sacramento


 

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The Story is the same, individuals immigrating to the United States with the hope of having a better life.

Immigrants from China were unique, unlike other groups where families immigrated to the United States most of the Chinese immigrants were single males.  They were considered cheap labor, because these workers didn’t utilize hospitals and schools.  Chinese workers were often sought out because they would work for less.   At one point in California, Chinese men represented nearly a quarter of all wage earners in the state.

Some people believed Chinese workers  were taking jobs from white people.  Starting in the mid 1880’s there were laws created to exclude Chinese immigrants.  Communities throughout the west created statutes designed to drive out Chinese immigrants.   In 1882, President Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, this law prevented  immigration of Chinese laborers.

Shortly after the law passed some citizens took matters into their own hand to drive out Chinese immigrants.  Hundreds of Chinese were killed throughout the west.   The goal was to intimidate the Chinese so that they would return to China. With the law intact, many employers illegally hired Chinese workers.

In Sacramento, mysterious fires were set in Chinatown to drive them away.  Local newspapers wrote stories suggesting the Chinese brought disease to Sacramento.  Sacramento’s Chinatown was located on I Street between 2nd to Sixth Street.  The city was mostly successful in dismantling  Chinatown.  The Railyard covers most of what was  Chinatown.

Chinese immigrants played a major role in developing the Western United States, from the Intercontinental Railroad to Sacramento Valley Levees.   The Exclusion Act was remained law until its repeal in 1943.

This was an ugly period in America.  Lets hope we’ve learned from it.

CityFella