Thursday, June 20, 2019

Factory farming is poisoning us

A new documentary sheds light on how factory farming is poisoning us, and how an unlikely coalition of citizens is fighting back.

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Billionaire Warriors try to rip off Oakland

Noah Graham

You knew the owners of the Golden State Warriors were phonies after their stupid "The Town" fiasco that was supposed to show how much they appreciate Oakland, which they had already decided to abandon for a tonier venue in San Francisco: Warriors to show Oakland some love with debut of "The Town" jerseys.

Chris De Benedetti in the East Bay Express:

The owners of the Golden State Warriors...are asking a court to overturn a decision that would force them to pay $40 million to settle the team's Oracle Arena debt.

The franchise has filed a notice of appeal in a San Francisco court in its second attempt to reverse the ruling issued by an arbitrator last October, according to court documents...

The long-running dispute centers on the $140 million bond debt that Oakland and Alameda County took on to renovate the arena for the Warriors in the late 1990s. Warriors owners since then have followed the arena's license agreement by paying $7.5 million per year to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the agency that runs the Coliseum complex. The remaining arena debt today is roughly $40 million, according to the authority.

But now that the Warriors have played their last game in Oracle Arena and are leaving East Oakland for the glitzy $1.4 billion Chase Center in San Francisco, team owners claim they no longer are on the hook for the renovation costs.

If the Warriors franchise gets its way, Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers would have to foot Oracle Arena's bill. The recent appeal means the team is taking the matter to a judge for the third time in less than a year. The Warriors already have a legal losing streak in this dispute.

First, the franchise lost an arbitrator's decision last October when Judge Rebecca Westerfield affirmed the authority's argument that the Warriors must continue paying the debt if the team terminated the arena's license agreement any time before June 30, 2027.

The Warriors appealed the arbitrator's ruling and claimed they were no longer responsible for the bond debt because they were allowing the arena lease to expire at the end of the 2018-19 season. But Judge Ethan Schulman rejected that argument and upheld the arbitrator's decision...

After those two courtroom losses, however, Warriors owners are refusing to take no for an answer. Team attorneys filed the most recent notice of appeal on May 30...

The Warriors franchise is the NBA's third-most valuable organization and is worth an estimated $3.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. That's up from the Dubs' $3.1 billion franchise value in 2018. The team's value likely will rise again after its fifth-straight NBA Finals appearance this spring and with a new arena opening in the fall.

The Warriors' ownership group, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, paid $450 million to buy the franchise in 2010.

The team has already booked about $2 billion in "contractually obligated income from sponsorships, suites, and season ticket holder fees" at Chase Center, Forbes magazine reported in February.

Some critics wonder why one of pro sports' most lucrative franchises continues to risk negative headlines by squabbling over money with cash-strapped government bodies.

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan has sharply criticized the Warriors' legal maneuvers, saying the effort "to stick local taxpayers with their arena debt" runs counter to the team's popular slogan.

"To spend that much effort to do something so offensive to their longtime fans and supporters is the opposite of 'Strength in Numbers,'" Kaplan said.

"And if they are trying to steal $40 million from struggling people while bragging about their billions to waste on an inaccessible San Francisco palace, it is despicable."

See also Golden State Warriors: Crybabies.

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Steve Breen

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