I can no longer sit and be quiet on the subject of the Black & White Ball (“Petition drive started against Downtown Auburn street party,” Journal, March 27). The more lies and hypocritical comments (Ben) Asgharzadeh and (Margareta) Swann spew infuriates me and I can’t stand by and let them continue.
They state that the Black & White Ball shuts down Downtown (Auburn) for three days. That is a lie. It shuts down the streets for one day.
They state that the Black & White Ball doesn’t raise money for anything but the salaries of the people who work for the chamber. That is a lie. Many of the chamber functions are funded by money raised by the Black & White. For example, the Festival of Lights parade, the Fourth of July fireworks. And let’s not forget the video that won Auburn the Amgen tour starting point. The chamber worked vigorously with the city to produce this video. The Swanns need to get their facts straight. Just because you have a burr up your craw doesn’t give you a free pass to make things up just to get people on your side.
Let’s talk about Cruise Nites. They shut down Downtown for five nights out the year. People get drunk. They set up lawn chairs in front of businesses and block the sidewalks. They bring dogs that pee and poop in the streets. People go there to party and look at cars, not to shop the stores. They do, however, pack the bars in Downtown. Why aren’t the anti-Black & White zealots petitioning this event, as well?
The chamber has addressed many of the problem areas of the past events. It will be a much smaller area in Downtown (and won’t be anywhere near Lincoln Way). The attendance will be limited to 2,000. The cost of tickets will be higher. And it’s formal attire. This is a one-night event and if it’s more low-key, why not give it a chance before condemning it?
After all, why blame the Black & White for problems that arise from individuals who use poor judgment? Should we blame restaurants for people who drink with dinner and then drive? Do you blame bars for their patrons who drink and then drive?
Maybe we should blame these same hypocritical jewelers for having dinner parties in their jewelry store and serving their guests alcohol and then letting them leave and drive home. Let’s not be hypocritical now.
Before going out and telling lies and fabrications, take a look at yourself. Give the scaled-down version of the ball a chance.
Robert Bairy, Grass Valley