Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Proposed arena draws loud debate
An area that shoots down projects
It seems that those opposed to a new arena have threatened to sue if it is approved [“Arena foes tell city: try to build it; we will sue,” page one, July 6]. This area has a long history of opposing most anything that is progressive.
When Interstate 5 was built, there were plans to build an expressway to avoid downtown. The right of way was purchased, and even the funds were there to build it, but an initiative was put it on the ballot and the expressway was shot down. Now for years, all the traffic for the Northeast area has been pushed through downtown. Many say it was poor planning, but it was not planned this way.
A monorail was planned from West Seattle to Ballard; here again, structures were purchased for the right of way, and once again it was voted down. For years, elevated and rapid transit could have been in operation. Portland has had light rail in operation for years.
This area opposes, shoots down and defeats things; and if in later years a project is built, it costs several times more than if it had been built years before.
— Renus Cabe, Bothell
Objections to the arena
I’m writing to voice my strong opposition to the area proposal for the arena being considered by the city of Seattle. The reasons for my opposition are manifold, but I will only mention two in this letter.
My primary objection is prioritizing professional sports, “bread and circuses,” [“Bread, circuses and arenas,” NWSunday, July 15] over real commerce, employment and one of Seattle’s primary strategic competitive advantages — the short sailing time from Asia to the Port of Seattle.
I have lived in Seattle all my life and have served Seattle-area businesses as a certified public accountant (CPA) and business adviser for over 15 years. During that time, I have witnessed an exodus of businesses and family wage jobs — particularly in manufacturing, wholesaling and distributing — from the city of Seattle. Doesn’t the city’s leadership care about those businesses or jobs? Or do we only want white-collar and low-wage service jobs in Seattle?
My second objection is political and economic. It is simply irresponsible for the city to subsidize a pro-sports arena at the bottom of a business-cycle when the city tells citizens it doesn’t have the budget to fix potholes or traffic concerns absent data showing they are causing accidents.
I’m sure I could craft a strong argument for or against the arena based on the available data and reasonable assumptions. However, the fact is that if the proposal didn’t require anything of the city, the promoters would do it without the city. If the arena goes forward, it will cost the city property-tax revenue and family-wage manufacturing, wholesaling and distributing jobs and probably more. In exchange, we’ll get an arena, more low-wage retail service jobs, more traffic and maybe a pro-basketball team. Ridiculous.
If the majority of Seattle-area residents want another arena, put it on the Eastside.
— Dante J. Driver, Seattle