Clovis Free Press
River Park News
Tower District News
Auto House of Clovis
Cerro Negro Music
Crown Point Cascades
Irene's Cafe Dining
Your Fresno Broker
The 2nd Space
Welcome Back To Your River
~Top 25 PBS Programs.
The American school board transcripts...More!
~Top 25 Book Purchases. Best
loved books 1916 thru 1980...More!
~Baseball Anthology. Baseball
season with writer Roy Blount Jr...More!
November 10, 2002
TROUBLE FOR PacBell?
SBC ON HOLD!
Commonwealth Club of California
FRESNO - The failure of
big-name companies like MCI/WorldCom and Global Crossing has sent
a shock wave through the telecommunications
industry. The weak economy and an uncertain regulatory climate have
created concerns for the entire industry, and consumers.
[Editor's Note: Commonwealth
Club of California. Reservations only. 12:00 p.m., Check-in |
12:30 p.m., Program | Club Office, 595 Market St, 2nd floor, San Francisco
| Free for members, $12 for non-members | Directions to the Club.]
What's the future for this industry that's
essential to our high-technology future? SBC President William Daley
will share his vision of a somewhat dimmed future since 911 at this
week's luncheon of The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco. Word
on the street is that SBC issued over 11,000 lay-off notices in
the past week alone. More to come?.
Letter to Editor
by The River Park Newspaper.
All rights reserved.
November 1, 2002
Top 50+ Economist Reports Working
Papers, Data Sets
Howard Hobbs PhD, River Park Business Journal
Area Working Papers
October 28, 2002
Hopes for a homer rapidy fade
Fresno's dreams of development
rest on new ballpark
Carl Nolte, Chronicle Staff Writer
FRESNO -- On the wall
of the temporary offices of the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team is
a poster for the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams." It says: "If You
Build It, They Will Come."
It is the mantra of every city that ever
dreamed of a new baseball park, including San Francisco. And now
Fresno, the center of the richest agricultural region in the world,
is betting the farm on a brand-new multiuse stadium, a $48 million,
12,500- seat jewel of a ballpark that opens for business Thursday
night when the Grizzlies play the Tacoma Rainiers.
The two Pacific Coast League teams are
just a step below the major leagues. The Grizzlies are the top farm
club for the San Francisco Giants, and the Rainiers are affiliated
with the Seattle Mariners.
But the stadium, financed entirely with
public funds, is a lot bigger than baseball -- it's the key element
in a saga involving politics, redevelopment and a whole new image
for a city that has more people than St. Louis.
Fresno is counting on the ballpark to turn
around its dismal downtown and put the city on...More!
October 10, 2002
Millions in Tax Dollars
Lost on Minor League Baseball Stadium?
College Economics Publications
MASON...(Ohio) -- Dr. Howard Hobbs' detailed economic research
paper --"Public Funded Fresno Stadium: Gross Overestimate of
Economic Benefits, Underestimated Economic Costs
(1997)" provides a nice summary of the arguments for
and against public subsidies for professional sports stadiums.
He argues, though, that the evidence suggests
that the proponents tend to exaggerate the benefits from such projects.
Hobbs points out that while spending on such sports stadiums provides
jobs for construction workers, it withdraws resources from other
alternative investment projects that would also have provided construction
Since the rate of return to investment
in sports stadiums appears to be lower than in other industries,
he suggests that society would be better off if fewer new stadiums
Hobbs suggests that antitrust actions should
be used to break up sports leagues into smaller competing business
He argues that this would reduce the monopoly
power that allows existing sports leagues and teams to pressure
cities to provide heavily subsidized new stadiums. Hobbs' baseball
economics paper may be accessed
Stadium subsidies do not increase economic
activity in total and are not necessary to keep sports leagues in
Cities, though, face competition for sports
teams; small market cities particularly might need to offer subsidies
in response to remain competitive with larger markets. Riverfront
Stadium in Cincinnati had not reached the end of its usefulness.
But with other cities offering stadium
deals, the Reds and Bengals secured new stadiums at a total cost
over $500 million. If residents wish to support a team in this case,
they should recognize that the subsidy reallocates resources, and
investing resources means more sports but less of something else:
police and fire protection, road repair, parks, or private consumption.
Some urban stadium facilitiesbuilt in blighted
areas, have had positive spin-off effects that no other type of
development could have matched due to the regional support for professional
sports. Not only did the facilities stimulate development in the
immediate area, but it happened with help from entire metropolitan
areas. It is unlikely that suburban counties would ever subsidize
core-city development in any other circumstance
There has been an extensive amount of public
investment in the construction of municipal sports stadiums in recent
years. Cities wishing to either attract or keep a professional sports
team are often forced to provide new stadiums as a result of competition
with other cities.
Proponents of this public investment argue
that investment in these stadiums provide multiplier effects in
the local and regional economies. They also suggest that this investment
may help to revitalize downtown areas that are experiencing economic
Baltimore's public investment in
Camden Yards is often seen as an example of a successful public
investment project that helped encourage growth in the Inner Harbor
Advocates of public investment in stadiums
often suggest that the increased tax revenue that accompanies economic
expansion will outweigh the cost of the subsidies.
Many of the studies that suggest that municipal
sports stadiums generate substantial economic returns for states
and municipalities rely on the use of regional multipliers.
These studies attempt to measure the direct
and indirect impacts of spending by those who attend events at municipal
stadiums. The direct impact includes spending on tickets and merchandise
at the stadium as well as visitor spending on restaurant meals,
hotel rooms, and similar tourist-related items. The increased spending
and income in these tourist-related sectors generates a multiplier
effect throughout the local and regional economy. Advocates of public
investment in municipal sports stadiums generally cite studies that
suggest that such investment results in large multiplier effects.
Critics argue, however, that in the absence of a municipal sports
stadium, much of the money that is spent by those attending sports
events would have been spent on other entertainment events. Critics
of public investment in new stadiums also note that the multiplier
effects of new stadiums is likely to be small since most new stadiums
contain larger parking, restaurant, souvenir, and other concession
This reduces the amount of spillover benefits
in the neighboring community. Most economic studies have found that
the local economy receives at best only limited economic benefits
from the construction of such stadiums.
Opponents of public subsidies for municipal
stadiums argue that the U.S. economy as a whole does not benefit
from their construction.
While a new stadium may provide economic
benefits for the city in which it is located, money spent on this
type of entertainment at this location would likely have been spent
on some other form of entertainment if the stadium were not built.
When a sports team relocates from one city
to another in response to the construction of a new stadium, one
city's economic gain is often equivalent to the loss received by
the city that lost the franchise.
Since the nation as a whole does not benefit
from the construction of municipal stadiums, there have been some
attempts to eliminate the federal tax exemption for municipal bonds
used to finance stadium construction projects.
Those who oppose public subsidies note
that the federal tax exemption helps subsidize these projects. It
is argued that federal subsidies should not be provided for projects
that do not benefit society as a whole.
Opponents of public investment in municipal
stadiums argue that political decisions involving such issues are
likely to reflect the interests of special-interest groups rather
than the interests of the entire community.
Firms in the hotel, restaurant, and other
tourist-related industries have a large financial stake in the outcome
while a typical taxpayer receives only a small impact in the form
of higher taxes.
Those with a large financial gain have
a strong incentive to lobby for public investment in municipal stadiums
while each individual taxpayer has much less incentive to become
involved in this political process.
The problem is that the costs are spread
among so many taxpayers that no individual taxpayer has an incentive
to argue against such projects even if the total costs to taxpayers
outweighs the benefits received by the community.
Note: South-Western provides innovative research to professional,
corporate and retail business. It is the market leader in accounting
and taxation, and business law. The company also specilizes inecision
sciences, economics, finance, management, marketing, office technology,
and real estate.
A noted reseaRECHER IS Roger Noll, a sports
stadium critic who said reccently, "America is in the midst
of a sports building boom. Professional sports teams are demanding
and receiving fancy new playing facilities that are heavily subsidized
In many cases, the rationale given for
these subsidies is that attracting or retaining a professional sports
franchise--even a minor league baseball team or a major league pre-season
training facility--more than pays for itself in increased tax revenues,
local economic development, and job creation.
Anyone seeking balance to the often biased
public relations presentations for and against the construction
of new facilities should look at the well documentreed published
research for guidelines on the formulation of the informed answer
to the always complex problems in this arena.
There is more to the sports franchise game
than 'build it and they will come.' Those complex parameters are
analyzed by some of America's foremost scholars focusing on the
Copyright © 2001 South-Western. All
October 3, 2002
Movie & Music Chatter
By Nancy Drake, Hollywood
David Fincher will direct
the next Mission Impossible installment with Tom Cruise to
Ben Stiller and wife Christina Taylor have
their first child. Josie Bissett and husband Rob Estes welcome second
Clint Eastwood will join the park and recreation
panel in Calif. and James Gandolfini wants to play Ralph Kamden
in Honeymooners film.
Destiny's Child singer Beyonce Knowles
will star with Cuba Gooding Jr. in new movie Kelsey Grammer and
Pamela Anderson will voice animated characters in new series for
TNN David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are going on tour.
Looks like Panic Room director David Fincher
has settled on his next movie: the third installment in the Mission:
Impossible franchise, according to Variety.
The intense Fincher, who also directed Fight Club and Seven, has
been palling around with star/producer Tom Cruise in recent months,
due to similar interests in the Columbia Pictures WWII project,
They Fought Alone.
Even though Cruise has since passed on
the Columbia film, the two seem to have developed a genuine desire
to work with each other. Voila! Mission: Impossible III is
The other two Mission movies were
directed by Brian De Palma (1996) and John Woo (2000) and grossed
$454 million and $546 million worldwide, respectively. Celebs Actor/director
and all-around funny guy Ben Stiller and his wife, actress Christina
Taylor (The Brady Bunch Movie), welcomed their first child, a baby
girl. No word on the baby's name or weight.
Actress Josie Bissett and her husband,
actor Rob Estes--formerly co-stars of the primetime melodrama Melrose
Place (boy, we miss that show)--have a new addition to the household:
a 6-pound baby girl.
Bissett gave birth to Maya Rose Estes on
Sunday in Los Angeles, according to her publicist. The couple, who
have been married for nine years, also have a 2-year-old son, Mason.
As if we ever had any intention of doing
it, Madonna doesn't want to be called "Madge." Playwright David
Williamson, who is currently working with the diva on the new London
West End play Up For Grabs, told The Australian, "The English
newspapers call her 'Madge' to try to domesticate her, and she hates
it." He added that she has requested all the other actors to simply
call her "M." And we call this news. The play opens in May.
Clint Eastwood has been OK'd. To do what,
you may ask? Well, the politically minded Eastwood, who was the
mayor of Carmel for a few years, has been appointed to the California
State Park and Recreation Commission by Gov. Gray Davis.
The actor/director will sit on a nine-member
panel, which meets about six times a year and governs policies for
the more than 260 parks in the Golden State.
Casting Call To the moon, Carmela!
James Gandolfini wants to shed his Tony Soprano image for
awhile and take on a new role: Ralph Kramden in the big-screen adaptation
of The Honeymooners.
Variety reports he has put out the word
to Paramount and the producers that he is interested, looking to
fill up his time during The Sopranos hiatus, which starts
The filming for the fifth season of the
hit HBO show won't begin until January 2003. Forget singing--Destiny's
Child frontwoman Beyonce Knowles has gotten bit by the acting bug.
Making her movie debut in this summer's
Austin Powers in Goldmember, Knowles is positioning herself
to star in The Fighting Temptations with Cuba Gooding Jr., about
a rap producer who has to put together a gospel choir and lead it
to success in order to get an inheritance.
Just in, MTV News says former Van Halen
lead singers David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are going on tour together
beginning May 29 near Cleveland. "Sammy and I are like fraternity
brothers that have been through the same sh---y hazing," Diamond
Dave said at Tuesday's press conference. "I think this tour is going
to last a lot longer than Marilyn Manson and Courtney Love," who
once toured together for nine shows.
by The River Park Newspaper.
All rights reserved.
September 17, 2002
in Rare Evening Sky
Griffith Observatory Presss Release
RIVER PARK -- The five
naked-eye planets gather in the west in the evening sky during the
last half of April and the first three weeks of May, and this is
a rare opportunity to see five planets simultaneously.
moon joins four planets in mid-April and then joins all five on
May 13, 14, and 15.
The planets orbit the sun, each at its
own speed, and from earth they appear to move around the sky against
the background of stars. Generally one or two planets are visible
at any given time, but seldom can you see five at once.
The last time all five naked-eye planets
were visible together in the evening sky was in December, 1997,
September 9, 2002
Take a Stroll in the Park
By Trent Conrad, Contributor
RIVER PARK -- Every year
Spring Fever hits River Park, a community of
film fans, writers, and cultural enthusiasts, patio restaurateurs,
and an assortment of folks who spend most of the morning in local
coffeehouses and book sellers' establishments.
The temperature builds from there. It builds
from the crescendo of the annual Peach Blossom Festival a
few weeks back, when hundreds of thousand of Valley wildflower lovers
got themselves to country roads, river courses, and mountain trails
to see the golden California Poppy and the River Lupine
in all their annual glory.
After more than seven decades of recognizing
excellence in local color and Nature's finest achievements along
the Kings River and San Joaquin River, their Sierra foothill uplands
and vernal pools, most folks around here, know where the The
Blossom Trail is.
Most folks will eagerly direct strangers
to the most famous roadway in Central California. Though, lately
most folks just get on the new Sierra Highway 168 and head easterly.
Can't miss it.
About this time there is also the Academy
Awards to suffer through. But, the presentation enables the
organization to maintain a varied year-around calendar of programs
and events and a wide-ranging educational and cultural agenda.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, is a professional honorary organization of over 6,000
motion picture professionals. The Academy Awards Presentation
is pretty important to the folks here in River Park.
I would guess that everyone has their
own ideas about who should get the award. And most of the folk who
are regular's here, make their way into the Edward's 21 Cinema
here at River Park, many times during the year. They know the films
and which actors are worth the money paid for movie tickets.
But, the Academy really has
precious little to with it, if anyone ask me. Though, some say the
Academy advances the arts of motion pictures. Like River
Park, I guess.
During the year it should be a law that
all the creative leaders, the cultural, educational and wealthy
River Park patrons get some recognition for their outstanding
achievements right here in River city.
I have in mind they should. After all,
they cooperate on community improvement and are developing methods
to provide The River Park News, that is already a common
forum and meeting ground that represent the viewpoint of motion
picture viewers and fosters educational activities between the River
Park community and the public-at-large.
When I have time, I like to stroll over and get
a great noon meal at Chuck's River Park Cafe.
Lets hear it for a stroll in The Park!
Letter to Editor
by The River Park Newspaper.
All rights reserved.
|Fresno Unified School Board Evictions - Action to evict citizens
from home and business has stunned voters in an aging neighborhood
of weather-beaten bungalows, where some men pass the morning drinking
beer and others vent about drug dealers, there's talk these days of
bulldozers and school construction. Eviction, relocation and demolition
|Tennis Champ Pete Sampras -- He purchased
a home in the $8-million range, according to real estate sources not
involved in the deal. The five bedroom, 8,000-square-foot-plus
house on slightly more than an acre with a swimming pool was described
as being in need of ...More!
Responses to Uncertainty in a Complex World
-- Persons respond in a variety of ways to to the stresses that
uncertainty causes in their lives. This, in recent years, has led
to polarization in: legislative bodies of government, political
parties, school boards -- Postmodern
Judgment at Nuremburg Theatre Review -- Judgment
at Nuremburg, which opened last night at the Longacre Theatre,
is Abby Mann's stage adaptation of his teleplay and subsequent
screenplay about war guilt, responsibility, and accountability;
specifically the trials of several Nazi judges for their complicity
in Nazi atrocities and the Holocaust. Itís a serious subject
with implications which are as timely today as they have been for
the last 60 years -- Nuremburg