“Just how third world do we want our infrastructure to be?”—Asks Rob Kerth, by way of saying he thinks Measure B is really dumb, for real. On the other hand, the city kind did its own stupid stuff to provoke a ratepayer revolt, at least that’s the argument that Craig don’t-call-him-a-gadfly Powell makes in my story this week. Other stuff I wrote for money this issue: The guy who cooked up Prop 23 (to suspend California’s greenhouse gas regs) has a spotty record of paying his taxes, and conservative republican Roger Niello stops by the socialist mothership (SN&R) to stump for votes from lefties. Oh, and I think I wrote about bingo, weird.
“I guess that’s why you write crappy articles for SN&R and not a real newspaper.”—My biggest fan, Strychnine, reacting to my column this week about the likely rejection (right on schedule) by the Cal Expo board of Gerry Kamilos’Convergence plan, and the likely pursuit of an entirely different scheme to sell of public land for private development. Luckily, Strychnine doesn’t know about my secret blog.
Sacramento City Council comes out for free thought
Atheists, brights, and other free thinkers were mightily bummed last year when Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson denied their request for His proclamation of Freethought Day in Sacramento. Freethought Day rolls around every October 12, and marks the day in 1692 when Massachusetts governor William Phipps declared “spectral evidence” was no longer allowed in court proceedings.
Spectral evidence is of course evidence based on dreams and visions. Spectral evidence comes in handy when you’ve got some witches that need burning but no real facts to pin on them. Or when you’re trying to disprove the existence of global climate change.
Anyway, former mayor Heather Fargo was always good for a proclamation, with its “Whereas, this day commemorates our nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights, courts and judges, heritage of a fair trial for all, the Enlightenment values,” and all of that.
But Mayor Johnson—by all accounts a pretty religious guy—and his staff couldn’t quite get their heads around freethought and so declined to sign off. The organizers with the Sacramento Freethought Day committee were even given a list by the mayor’s office, printed out on the mayor’s letterhead, with the mayor’s motto “A City that Works for Everyone” at the top, showing that theirs was the only request turned down that October. Among the special events that were granted a mayoral proclamation: Make a Difference Day, American Pharmacists Month, and, naturally, St Hope Day.
But those were the dark ages of 2009. In fact, despite lacking His seal of approval the actual celebration of Freethought Day went off without a hitch. As it will again this year, On Sunday October 10, in Cesar Chavez park from noon to 4 pm. The event is free and will include live music and vendors and “critical thinking activities” for the whole family. And this year, organizers are packing something better than a mayoral proclamation. They got the entire Sacramento City Council to pass a resolution recognizing Freethought Day. And Mayor Johnson signed it too. Makes a pretty good case for evolution.
“We are deeply appreciative of the historic 24-year run we enjoyed with our friends at ARCO…Now there is an incredible opportunity for a new brand to integrate across all Maloof Sports & Entertainment platforms.”—
Speaking of branding. This just came over the transom from the Maloof Sports and Entertainment. Next year, it won’t be Arco Arena anymore, as the Arena Naming Rights Partnership is set to expire. In a joint statement with the gas company, the Malooves said, "We are deeply appreciative of the historic 24-year run we enjoyed with our friends at ARCO.”
Who’s on the short list of possible new patrons? Hell, how many Sacramento based corporations are there in town that could even afford to lend their name to the aging facility. McClatchy Arena? Tsakopoulos Field? What company would even want to sponsor the building here in its final, uncertain, years?
School district introduces new corporate-sponsored menus. But where are they?
We were getting impatient at my house earlier this month, waiting for the Sacramento City Unified School District to post the school menus online
It turned out the delay was because SCUSD has developed new menus that let you know what’s for lunch AND include a bunch of nifty advertising for the big food companies that manufacture school food. This is the first time in years that the district has distributed paper menus to families.
The new menus are chock full of branding. For example, the first Monday was Foster Farms Chicken Dippers day. Wednesday was Wild Mike’s Hawaiian Pizza day. On Thursday the lunch ladies were slinging Manwich “Beefy” Sloppy Joe Sliders and on Friday kids who got there early macked on Pillsbury Cherry Frudel for breakfast. Whatever Frudel is.
On the flipside, the new menus sport company logos and blurbs for each of the month’s “featured suppliers.”
Hey kids, did you know that Fosters Farms chicken “is handled without any fundamental alterations or exposure to radiation?”
So, what’s the district get in return for delivering ad copy to this captive audience?
District media guy Gabe Ross told me that the suppliers have agreed to pay for the costs of printing and delivering the full color flyers to each of students’ families. The menus are expected to cost about $8000 a year to produce and distribute. That’s compared to the $0 the district spent last year distributing full-color paper menus.
I get it. Not everyone has internet access, and every family needs good information with which to plan meals.
But, has the lack of paper menus really been an issue for SCUSD families—low income or otherwise? Even if you don’t have a computer, menus are posted at school every week.
And most businesses and government agencies are trying to go paperless these days— or at least cut down on the amount of paper they use, not introduce a lot more dead trees and litter into their operations.
It seems like if you’re going to strike an advertising deal with a bunch of corporations (and in the process take a big step backwards in your efforts to reduce waste) you’d at least give the parents a heads-up. Are we getting a good deal from the advertisers? Should the SCUSD Board of Trustees have at least had a look? Nah, you’re right. Public input is no way to run a school system.
But here’s the part that bothers me: Where in the hell are the damn menus? It’s three weeks in and my family has yet to actually see one of the exciting new corporate-sponsored beauties.
“…The costs of a new fairground facility at the existing ARCO Arena site in North Natomas are unlikely to be feasibly funded from a combination of: (a) the initial payment for the land proposed by Sacramento Convergence; (b) subsequent proposed additional payments from participation in future sale proceeds; and (c) bond financing Sacramento Convergence proposes to be supported by designated portions of property tax and sales tax revenues.”—I haven’t gotten through all 144 pages of the Cal Expo Development Plan Alternative Analysis Report (aka the Plescia report) yet. But the intro isn’t looking so good for the Convergence arena plan. If anyone wants to compare notes later, dig in…
“West Sac residents I’ve met feel safer because of the [gang] injunction. The activists who most hate it mostly live in Sacramento.”—Today in “What the fuck is Marcos Breton talking about?” - Has Breton’s column been longer lately? Perhaps it’s to make room for sweeping statements like this. In fact, I think the people who really hate the West Sacramento gang injunction the most are those people who live in Broderick and Bryte and are directly affected by it. People who’ve been labeled as gang members when they’re really not, for example. Also, it’s not just “being challenged” in court, it’s already been thrown out by the courts and now Reisig is trying a new version he hopes will pass constitutional muster. As for the supposed unity of West Sac’s city hall, DA Reisig left Cabaldon and the West Sac city council completely out of the loop when he cooked up the gang injunction. Talk about your “can-do” attitude.
“Lyon is one of the Sacramento region’s most successful business people. We knew our findings would have significant impact on him, his family, his company and its brokers and employees.”—
Sac Bee editor Melanie Sill in her Sunday column today. The Bee seems to be spending as much time telling us about Michael Lyon’s importance as they are reporting the facts of his (allegedly) pervy secret indoor surveillance system. Lots of folks attribute Friday’s Bee-J and Sill’s column today to the fact that Lyon is a big Bee advertiser. I think it’s more likely intended to head off any possible defamation suit down the road. After all, Lyon has yet to be charged with any crime. Any reporter would feel a little squeamish reporting stuff like this without a good solid criminal complaint in hand. Especially when the subject is someone as “successful” as Lyon.
All that said, I’ve got a realtor buddy who went to work for Lyon a little while back. The way things have been going, my friend really doesn’t need this shit right now.