Friday, September 30, 2016

Raiders' Las Vegas stadium deal "wobbles"


Nevada will hold a special legislative session in the coming weeks to mull a financing plan for the proposed NFL stadium in Las Vegas.

While there's plenty of support for the construction of the stadium and the Oakland Raiders coming to town, there is opposition.

Essentially, $500 million would come from the Raiders, $650 million from developer Sheldon Adelson and $750 million from a room tax hike.

"They must think we are dumb to raise taxes for their stadium," an opponent said.

"Building a stadium generally transfers income from the public at large to owners and players. So the most equitable thing to do is that the owners and players pay for the stadium," said Thomas Carroll, chief economist at Thomas Carroll and Associates and former UNLV professor.

"That's the real danger. Why does the public have to finance the investment for people that are already wealthy?" Carroll asked.

If the plan is approved, the project will create jobs, especially during the construction phase. Nearby businesses will benefit as well.

"Activities near the stadium will gain. Property values would go up. But if you draw activities from other places, property values and economic activity could go down elsewhere," Carroll said. "What you really need to do is sit back and say, 'Is this such a good deal? And if it's such a good deal, why does it have to be publicly financed?'"

Developers argue the public commitment will be covered by tourists and that the project will translate to long-term, big-picture growth for the Las Vegas Valley.

Carroll said that's not a guarantee.

Thanks to Field of Schemes


Freedom fighters trash the desert

...Since the [2014]standoff at Bunkerville, Cliven Bundy’s roughly 1,000 cattle have remained at large. Nor has the rancher paid the more than $1 million he owes in grazing fees and fines. Cliven Bundy hasn’t escaped altogether, though: In February, he was arrested en route to support his sons’ armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. He is now behind bars awaiting trial in 2017. 

But in other respects, Bundy got what he wanted: His cattle still graze for free on Gold Butte, just as they have done for the past two decades, despite a 1999 ban, and there was little to no federal oversight for two years...

The absence of federal workers did not go unnoticed. Friends of Gold Butte published a report in August detailing the damage inflicted on the area in the last two years, as well as documenting some historic bullet-hole damage. Graffiti and bullet holes riddle the petroglyphs and red sandstone, signs have been removed, and the area is marred by off-road tire tracks and trash. 

Twenty-two miles of illegal irrigation have been trenched through the desert, and a chopped-down Joshua tree was left to rot. The BLM is continuing to assess the situation, and so far staffers can’t say how much the illegal irrigation trenching and vehicle incursions have affected local wildlife populations. “Once this happens, it persists through time,” Moan says of the graffiti and general disregard for the area by visitors...

The Trump basket


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