This week's issue of the SNR has a great piece in it by Cosmo about ways that our city government could be improved upon. Amongst the ideas put forth by Cosmo, two of my favorites include term limits for city council people and establishing an ethics committee to oversee city operations. In the meantime a special commission has already been put in place to examine the city charter and make suggestions should a strong mayor initiative rear its ugly head once more. I am hopeful that some real progress comes from this. Granted Sacramento has made some dumb moves in the past so I'm not holding my breath, but for the first time in a while I feel like something in our local government might just be going right.
On another city related topic... the recent discussion within the city to possibly combine the planning and preservation departments in order to ease the way for area developers really f*&^n' grinds me. Another thing that grinds me is this stupid mermaid pizza dough B.S. that's proposed for K Street. Having recently spent a bunch of time in Portland and Seattle over the past few months I'm reminded of how far behind we are from the two cities that are constantly held up as models for what we want to aspire to. Both cities have active after hours scenes which are allowed to flourish by local government, fliering is legal, there is a real sense of diversity in regards to coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants, shit is walkable, green spaces are preserved and well maintained and overall I can't say that any one development project or franchise seems to anchor any of the places that make these two places so enjoyable to be in. Furthermore whenever I visit most any city, Portland, Seattle whatever, I don't normally return home raving about the franchises that exist in those places which I could have just as easily enjoyed if I had stayed home. Nor am I primarily knocked out by the new development projects that look like they could have been stamped from the same mold as any one would see in most west coast cities. No. It's the local institutions, history, art, food, and architecture that goes home with me. As we move forward in Sacramento especially in this crap-ass economy I hope our city leaders are mindful of this and keep a big picture plan in mind when making any of the important decisions which are before us right now.
Which brings me to this stupid mermaids and dough plan that's been dreamt up for K Street. Many have already voiced their opinions on this goofy scheme so I have little new to add except this... Not to be the feminist wet blanket that I can sometimes be but mermaids?!?!?!?!? Really??!?!?!?!? If this was say 1950 and folks were following the kitschy restaurant craze then fine. In fact I would probably still frequent the place should it exist today in a corny local institution sorta way. This proposed project, however, was not conceived of in a time when folks were still backward enough to think that floating some female eye candy in a pool would be a good way to bring folks to your business. Instead, it's dreamt up in a time when a woman recently made a semi successful bid for president and the importance of women in society is better appreciated and acknowledged than ever before. Besides unless that pizza is really damn good I suspect the charm would wear off on something like that pretty quick.
Finally, the other day while driving past the Bee headquarters I was thinking of their worries which make me sad because I want us to continue to have a daily and I remembered that Sac Bee HQ used to be the Buffalo Brewery. I then thought brews rhymes with news. Voila! I've solved the Bee's problems. They could just start up beer production again in part of the building which could then subsidize the daily operations of the paper. Done and done! People should really consult me first when looking to solve most problems...