No money for a stadium
I couldn't agree more with your Feb. 4 editorial on the push for a new stadium for the Chargers. The city's attitude should be that when the last pothole is filled, the last sidewalk is fixed and the last homeless person is adequately housed, we'll talk about taxpayer support for a new stadium. That is, after the Chargers pay back the funds they extorted from the city's craven politicians for the infamous Chargers ticket guarantee.
Perhaps an example from New England would advance the discussion. A few decades back, the Boston Patriots wanted to have the city of Boston or the state fund a new stadium for them. The responses were negative.
Then the Patriots' owners pushed the old crybaby trick: We'll pack up and leave if you don't give us a stadium. And they persuaded the mayor of Hartford to support a publicly funded stadium there. Then Hizzoner began to get messages from the people who had voted for him and, more importantly, people who had funded his previous campaign, the burden of which was that they would not support his re-election unless he changed his mind about public funding for a stadium. Not surprisingly, politicians being politicians, the mayor backed off. (Mayor Faulconer, take note.)
The outcome was that the Patriots paid for their own stadium, in Foxboro, and re-branded themselves as the New England Patriots. The state made a contribution by adding another lane to the nearby highway to avoid inconvenience to the public, as they would do for any burgeoning business area.
Did I mention that the Patriots, in spite of their lack of public funding, have just won the Super Bowl? And does anyone really believe that, even after a river of public funding, San Diegans would ever see a Chargers team winning the Super Bowl trophy in any new stadium, whether Downtown or in Mission Valley?
William A. Koelsch, Bankers Hill
No need for a wheel
Regarding your Feb. 11 editorial about proposals for a Ferris wheel on the Downtown waterfront: I lived in San Diego from 1990 to 2004—not a long time but enough time to see some worthwhile development of the inner city. I lived in North Park and Hillcrest and watched those communities upgrade nicely—some for tourists but mostly for the citizens.
We built the new ballpark and developed the Gaslamp and more of Downtown, making it nicer for both tourists and citizens. But because I moved to North County, near the coast, I hardly go Downtown anymore. No matter when I plan on going, trying to guess the traffic on Interstate 5 and 805 and State Route 163 is not an easy task. Most of the time I'm sitting in slow-moving traffic in spite of the freeway widening. By the time it's all finished all the way through Oceanside, it'll be too little, too late.
We have some really great amusement parks already. A world-class zoo and wild animal park, SeaWorld and Legoland. These are all pretty permanent parks and bring in tourists, as well as locals. The idea of a pier with a Ferris wheel and games is better left to the traveling fairs. Sooner or later, they lose their attraction and become eyesores, attracting undesirables. Belmont Park is a great attraction, and maybe putting a little money into sprucing it up would make it a better magnet for tourists. Some public transportation to that area might be worth investing in, perhaps another branch of the trolley. The beaches are also a big draw for tourists, as well as our weather. Here it is, Feb. 11, and it's 80 degrees.
With all San Diego has to offer, I don't think we need more, but better. All I have to say is that I'm so glad I live in North County.
M.E. Crane, Carlsbad
A Hideous contraption
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your rational discussion of the proposed hideous, bayside, giant erector-set contraptions ["Editorial," Feb. 11]!
I don't always get insightful city news, but when I do, it's from San Diego CityBeat.
Linda Carlin, Ocean Beach
Regarding your Feb. 11 editorial on proposals for a Ferris wheel on the waterfront and an aerial gondola connecting Balboa Park to Downtown: Your assertion that the county Board of Supervisors' Neighborhood Reinvestment Program money is a "sort of slush fund" misses the mark. It's a taxpayer-funded vote-buying sham.
It's not that some of the recipient causes aren't worthy; it's the supervisors' laughable claim that the money came from them, e.g., "provided with funding from Supervisor Dianne Jacob," etc.
How about "paid for by tax dollars from Supervisor Jacob's discretionary annual fund"?
I'm just saying!
Scott Culkin, El Cajon
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