Use this URL for your news reader: http://lvec.ca/KCalNewsAndArticles.XML
Stay tuned: the costs of Downtown Kingston upgrades, deceitfully omitted from LVEC project budgets so far, are coming to light.
The first of many, surely.
Fast forward to today, The Whig dutifully conveys the pretense that the public might have some say in the matter of the 4800 seats in the LVEC. According to the City of Kingston website, some seat samples are on a two-week tour of the city so the common folk can see them. How sweet.
The city would be well advised to pick the cheapest functional seating option possible.
It took less than a week for the Marine Museum to far surpass the number of backers the "Friends of the Entertainment Centre" (link is not work-safe) collected online over a full year. Recall, moreover, that the Friends' were aided by the support of local celebrities and very sympathetic, overtly sycophantic coverage in some cases, from all the local mainstream media outlets.
By early Tuesday evening, the Marine Museum had cllected almost 900 non-"anonymous" names in support. By contrast, the Friends of the Entertainment Centre collected little more than 750 voting-age names over a full year.
(Note that the Friends of the Entertainment Centre apparently couldn't muster the will and the $20 it would have taken to keep their website online; their ownership of the domain lapsed, and today it's run by cyber squatters, purveyors of porn, amazing medicines, and other sortid content.)
Earlier this week we reported that the Marine Museum collected more names in 3-days than the "Youth of Kingston Support The LVEC" collected over more than two years.
It's unfortunately looking like the LVEC has all the makings of becoming the biggest and most expensive con-job in Kingston's considerable history.
Today The Whig reports predictable pushback from Mayor Rosen and Staff about more honest cost appraisal, and the tax impacts, of the LVEC.
Apparently Mayor Rosen and Staff don't yet "get" that the gig is up.
Once Mayor Rosen awakes, the question is: what will Downtown Kingston pay, and what will it forego, for its fair share of the project's burden? In the end, whether measured in dollars, or of its honour and goodwill that has already begun ebbing, downtown Kingston will pay for its share of the LVEC.
It's hard to imagine a worse outcome for Downtown Kingston than the continued erosion of its goodwill. Taxpayers, remember, have been repeatedly told that they are not on the hook. Something must give. Stalling, as Mayor Rosen is doing, simply means that the general resentment of Downtown Kingston will continue to grow, and worse, without diminishing the financial inequity that's becoming increasingly obvious.
Recall that before all this, Downtown Kingston was supposedly vibrant and successful, and not in need of "fixing", certainly not like this. The Mayor ignores these unintended consequences at the peril of Downtown Kingston and, by extension, the city as a whole.
The naming rights process for BOTH the LVEC and the Multiplex, and city naming rights policy in general, are the subject of this 56-page report by Wakeham & Associates of Toronto (also New York and Los Angeles) that will be presented to Council on Tuesday.
It's interesting reading.
First, know that the creaky LVEC business plan anticipated $150,000 per year in revenue from naming rights, and that naming rights are one of the few revenue-sources whose fruit is not split with the Frontenacs ( Click here to read the agreement with the Frontenacs, already consummated).
Evidently Wakeham & Associates Marketing Inc. haven't done much quality fieldwork in scouting Kingston for the pickings.
Dude, it's a hockey rink.
That's three times the value imagined in the business plan, three and a third times the amount raised in Sault-Ste Marie from a local brewery, and not much less than amount commanded by the 9,000-seat John Labatt Centre. How marvelous!
One thing is clear: the City of Kingston hereby admits that it is incapable of naming this turkey, to the point now that we must ship all this marketing money out of town, just like they've already agreed to do with the facility builders, the facility operators and, of course, like we'll do with almost all the performers. Kingston failed to sell the building to the public, and they've admitted utter failure to sell it to corporations.
Taxpayers are such pushovers.
Here's the text in Council Agenda; click it to open the original PDF file at page 15.
Staff should probably explain why anything they reply is nowhere to be found in staff's insipid assessment of why the project should not be de-railed, or should that be, "de-railroaded"?
It's most interesting that in just three days, the Marine Museum online petition already has 50% more signatures than the The Youth of Kingston Support LVEC online petition acquired over a period of two years from a supposedly ultra-"wired" target audience.
Moreover the Marine Museum's tally isn't padded by the large proportion of bogus entries we can see in the Youth of Kingston support the LVEC petition.
Recall that in August and September 2005, KCAL collected a total of over 4,000 actual signatures opposing the LVEC on Anglin Bay.
You'd think City Staff would have gotten the hint: you tamper with our waterfront at your peril.
Apparently the Downtown Kingston BIA's LVEC missed out on the last of the three intakes for COMRIF funding.
Looking at the list of projects that were funded, $46M to 72 communities, nothing like luxury-box containing sport palaces is anywhere to be found. It's mostly all about bridge repair and replacement, and road reconstruction.
We expressed doubts about COMRIF back on October 14, 2005, but its vast improbability never stopped LVEC proponents from bandishing this among all their other fabrications.
At the Tuesday, January 9, 2007 Council meeting, a motion will be considered to address some clear omissions in the scope of the LVEC / KRSEC project.
No word yet on when the project will have a realistic contingency. With this motion, the measly contingency is blown several times over, and arena construction is not yet beyond grade level. That money needs to be raised. Where is that going to come from? Taxpayers, or the project's wealthy, land-rich proponents and beneficiaries? Where's the money?
Remember this City staff statement from June 2006?