Lousy Sacramento Kings closer to getting new arena

Environmentalists say passage of SB 743 has statewide implications

Supporters of the Sacramento Kings pro basketball team are trying to get a $258 million subsidy for a new arena. The deal has been controversial because of the size of the proposed giveaway and the fact that — well — the Kings are a lousy team that fans shun.

According to an article in Capitol Weekly, a bill passed by the legislature in September and signed by the governor, SB 743, was supposedly meant to streamline environmental review for the arena, but the bill has statewide implications.

The Capitol Weekly article points out that the bill will weaken requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by giving priority to projects that have some kind of public transit available within a half mile from the project location.

Environmental groups opposed the bill, warning that it opens the door to questonable projects around the state and could lead to another bill next year that would further weaken CEQA.

Sponsor of SB 743, senate leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, boasted, "We [combined] a great opportunity for Sacramento with the imperative to modernize the environmental statute statewide."

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Watch out for Darrel Steinberg in 2014. He wants to bring back SB1, which is legislation to create Infrastructure Financing Districts in the guise of “Sustainable Communities.” These entities will have eminent domain authority—taking private property to hand over to real estate developers—for any reason. He also wants to bring back another bill to gut CEQA even more, so it will be easier to create IFDs. The proposed funding method is tax increment financing. The TI will come from city and county general funds.

Brian; You are absolutely right. Steinberg wants to bring back redevelopment under another name. He wants to gut CEQA even more and in the process bring back tax increment financing...which is essentially bringing back redevelopment. Best, Don Bauder

Does anyone still believe that the government is run for the benefit of the governed?

Sports and entertainment is subsidized, consumption encouraged, with the revenue from these optional activities accumulated into a few greedy hands.

The media is closely connected to the sports teams, which provide content, access to stories, and advertising revenue to the same outlets urging public subsidies for the moguls. These same moguls have more than enough politicians and their staff in their pockets (look at how many free tickets are doled out to our "public servants" in disclosure reports...let's all pretend those don't affect decisions).

It's like the public innocently goes to the bar to watch the game, gets slipped some "roofies", wakes up injured and humiliated...and the perpetrators of the rape snort and high five, selling the television rights.


Fred: You have analyzed the situation correctly. When a billionaire team owner wants a huge subsidy from taxpayers for a stadium, the local media -- which get much advertising revenue from sports -- are almost always leading the cheers for the handouts.

This is particularly true for the papers such as the Union-Tribune which editorially oppose welfare for the needy, but enthusiastically support it for billionaires. Best, Don Bauder

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