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Sacramento Arena Debates Postponed





SACRAMENTO, - Two of the first three Sacramento Arena Town Hall Debates scheduled for December between John Hyde and R.E. Graswich have been postponed, pending the certification of an initiative to place arena public funding on the June 2014 ballot.

"After greater reflection, I have asked R.E. Graswich to postpone two of the debates scheduled for December 10 and 11," said Hyde, spokesman for STOP, or Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork.

"Every voter-led initiative faces challenges and uncertainty qualifying for the ballot, and STOP's campaign is no different. Until the county has validated the signature petitions gathered by STOP and counted the petition withdrawals submitted by DowntownArena.org, we won't know whether the initiative will be on the June ballot. Making this adjustment now allows us to best serve the community," Hyde said.

Nevertheless, Graswich and Hyde believe that there is value in discussing the initiative while it's in the media and on the minds of Sacramento voters. The issue will certainly be fresh in early December. STOP must turn in its signature petitions by December 10.

Rather than debating the arena for three straight days, on Hyde's request the two debaters will hold just one town-hall debate and discussion in December:

Thursday, December 12 at the North Natomas Library
Location: 4660 Via Ingoglia, Sacramento

The focus of this town hall meeting will be to provide greater information about the arena issue, including the status of the initiative, what a new arena (and demolition of Sleep Train Arena) would mean for both the downtown and Natomas, what citizens should expect in the coming months, and what they can do to learn more or get involved.

Graswich and Hyde will provide their own perspectives on STOP's initiative and the downtown arena, but the tone for this first town-hall meeting will be decidedly more cooperative and less contentious than is expected for future meetings between the two would-be debaters.

"I'm disappointed by the postponement, but I understand why John has made this request," said Graswich, author of the new book Vagrant Kings, a history of the Sacramento NBA franchise. "I would rather know for sure whether the arena ballot initiative will qualify. Once it does - if it does - I will look forward to vigorous debate with my opponent."

Assuming the initiative qualifies, the next arena debate on January 9 will proceed as scheduled. Future debates dates and locations around Sacramento will be announced around the same time.

For more information, please visit the Sacramento Arena Debate website: http://www.arena-debate.com/