Response to the Bee’s ‘Take Time’ editorial

Sacramento BEE reveals itself in Kamilos’ camp (pocket?). The Bee’s Sunday editorial advising Cal Expo to give Kamilos additional time to respond to their consultant’s critical report seems oh-so-neutral, inviting Cal Expo to give Kamilos more time and not make any hasty decisions next Friday. Up to now, we might have simply said that the Bee appeared to favor any development plan that proposes the sale or swap of public commons land to finance the arena deal. But a close reading of today’s editorial suggests that the Bee is actually trying to keep Kamilos in the game and advance them to the next round. We also suggest the fair take more time – but a lot of time and that it begin seriously examining The CEAV Project’s ‘Movable Fair’ proposal along with Doug Tatara’s ‘New Fair’ proposal which they have thus far pretty much ignored. Our response to the Bee’s editorial sums up the situation:

[Re: Bee Editorial: “State Fair should give land swap a longer look”, Forum, E6]

“…the fair board should take time get the answers” The Bee got that part right. But ninety days? Why some magic number ’90’. Why not six months, or a few years? The development plan for the future of our state fair (and there are two others on the table that haven’t even been looked at yet) are not a matter for a few months of “vetting” and fiddling. What is decided for the next version of the California State Fair may well saddle the next four or more generations with the result. The original State Fair vision from 1854, face-lifted from time to time, has lasted more than a hundred years and is long past due for an overhaul. All would agree, something that will embrace the new century is badly needed. Even the move to its present location took over a decade to plan and develop. So what’s the hurry? To sell some public land cheap to developers? Kamilos and the NBA are the only folks that seem to own the schedule and hurry things along as suits themselves (except when they need more time or ‘difficulties’ arise). Yes, we’ve heard the Sacramento sports litany, “Get on with it already….” But this isn’t about the Kings or arenas or private undertakings. It’s about the future of the California State Fair and it involves decisions that belong to the whole state, California’s grandchildren and their children as much as to us or Sacramento. Exploratorium? Perhaps the thing that needs to be explored is what might a California State Fair really be if we took the time to use our imaginations? The California Academy of Sciences spent more than a year just answering the simple question, “What is a natural history museum and why should we have one?” That result, as all can see is a truly world-class, world-destination worthy of the time and money spent on it and assured its value and place for centuries to come. Our fair board hasn’t even asked such a question with respect to our state fair. Do we even want a theme-park vision produced by ex-Disney employees? Is that what a state fair means, ought to mean? For starters, the board might take a serious look at the other proposals presented to them, from The CEAV Project and from Doug Tatara . At least that would begin to widen the vision and let a little fresh imagination into the room. Ask yourself, can we really afford to saddle future generations with our politics, our limited vision and some developer’s schedule? We say, “Take time, fair board. Lots of time. Even if we don’t get see the result, our kids will thank us for having the guts to stand up and say, “Let’s do this one right, for their sake.”


One response to “Response to the Bee’s ‘Take Time’ editorial

  1. Pingback: Arco or Expo? Choices from the back-rooms of Arena deals « Stopcalexpo Blog

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