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Kingston Concerned About LVEC
Currently known as the "KROCK Centre"
Formerly the "Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre" or KRSEC
Formerly the "Large Venue Entertainment Centre" or LVEC
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The KCAL News Feed -- February 2007
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February 27, 2007

Identification of some apparent LVEC cost omissions

After reviewing documents, Here is a list of apparent omissions from LVEC cost estimates.

In summary:

Read the whole thing.

Published: 02/27/07 01:57:24 PM
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February 26, 2007

Calling shenanigans on KROCK's Shadoe Davis
Shadoe Davis, K-ROCK's morning man and unabashed Downtown Kingston and LVEC booster, gives us another priceless item, printed on the inside front cover of the Saturday February 24 2006 edition of The Ticket, the Saturday Whig Standard insert.

Read it.

Now compare that with this 1 minute and 52 second clip taken from around the 23-minute mark of the recording of Councillor Vicki Schmolka, Queen's Professor Ken Wong, and KROC's Shadoe Davis (30 Min 25 sec).

Shadoe Davis never let Councillor Vicki Schmolka answer the question, neither did he press his frankly pretentious claim to personally raise millions of dollars (the equivalent of several full United Way campaigns), and it was professor Ken Wong who changed the subject.

But don't take it from KCAL. Read it and hear it for yourself.

What's telling is: Mr Davis apparently sees LVEC fundraising by the Downtown business, which includes KROCK, as an optional activity. Actually, the project has nearly always had a $2M fundraising REQUIREMENT, and that's before we discuss the money that needs raising to meet part of the ever increasing shortfalls.

It's pretty clear today that Downtown Kingston isn't going to do anything unless it's forced to. The question is, will council supinely concede the only taxpayer-protecting hammer it's ever going to get?

Published: 02/26/07 10:33:41 AM
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For the record: KROCK 105FM's pro-LVEC push

Here are links to the materials KROCK 105 FM had online for their "LVEC rally".

We've preserved copies.

We encourage all KCAL readers to download and listen to these MP3 audio files. Share them with friends.

And you do want to listen to these now, especially the recording of Councillor Vicki Schmolka, Queen's Professor Ken Wong, and KROC's Shadoe Davis.

The recording with Rob Baker is good too.

Listen to what is said, the numbers thrown about, the rationales espoused, what the arena will supposedly deliver to our community, where it really stands amid priorities, and who would be paying for it.

Listen carefully. Listen twice.

Also, here is a link to the KROCK online petition on iPetitions.com. At last glance there are 1,953 signatures, not all of them unique, and not all of them in support. But that's not bad as LVEC petitions go, real signatures or not.

To put the KROCK petition into perspective, the Marine Museum collected some 1,100 names in just 4 days in January '07 with essentially zero media coverage. Today the Marine Museun petition effort stands at over 1,300 signatures, which tells you, and hopefully tells Council, where simple quiet dignified waterfront things like the Marine Museum stand relative to the LVEC in our collective civic heart.

We can all agree on this: Currently far more people have long been mobilized to try and inject some sanity to the LVEC project than there are people mobilized and raising real money in support of it. Which is curious because not even the $2M "Donations" ante, which is a long-known REQUIREMENT, is being raised yet, nevermind millions more to cover the escallating shortfall.

The kicker: Shadoe seems to think raising millions of dollars is optional. Is Downtown Kingston caught pantless? Ad space again bought in lieu of stepping up to overdue and growing responsibilities?

Downtown Kingston! We're "mailing it in" because, so far, we still can.

Published: 02/26/07 12:16:36 AM
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February 25, 2007

For the record: Carl Holmberg and Dave Morris

The Whig published several LVEC-related letters on Saturday, of which we've clipped two, both from project boosters.

Carl Holmberg apparently doesn't like the way this multi-million dollar boondoggle is now being publicly discussed by Council.

The second letter is from Dave Morris, who apparently witnessed a wow-invoking display of raw competence by city staff last Tuesday evening.

Do you think we could make this stuff up? Decide for yourself.

Published: 02/25/07 05:18:55 PM
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February 21, 2007

LVEC's first acts booked?
We heard at last night's Council meeting that the first acts are being booked for LVEC.

KCAL has talked of premature bookings before. Here are some of the problem that come with premature bookings:

Would it be that premature bookings make a more expensive building start losing money sooner?

Published: 02/21/07 02:26:29 PM
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Welcome new visitors!

The KCAL website is understandably seeing sharply increased volumes due to recent LVEC-related activities, and also because of last night's City Council meeting in which KCAL had a 10-minute delegation presentation.

If you are a new visitor, then welcome!

Once you are done, see also K7Waterfront.org which is dedicated to celebrating and watchdogging Kingston's waterfront. "K7" was created after the misguided attempt by Mayor Harvey Rosen to clobber a vibrant 70-employee boatbuilder and marina to put his taxpayer-subsidized family-occupied OHL arena on our waterfront. That almost succeeded, partly because Kingston's water-lovers were, at the time, mostly disorganized and unable to respond cohesively. Hopefully that's changing.

Published: 02/21/07 11:59:06 AM
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Today's Whig: no correction for yesterday's multi-million dollar errors of fact on LVEC costs

It's notable that there is no correction in Today's whig for yesterdays article by Brock Harrison and Steve Ladurantaye that wildly understated current LVEC costs and misrepresented the state of OHL franchise movements as part of its overtly partisan pro-project coverage.

Published: 02/21/07 11:35:53 AM
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The latest KPMG Report festers on Council (Updated)
The latest KPMG report on the LVEC project, just recently released by Staff without its cover page, was apparently delivered well before the last election. No dates appear on any of the inside pages of the document as posted. Update: It looks like this KPMG report was delivered on September 23 2006. So this damning indightment of LVEC project managent sat, covered up, for four and a half months until it was publicly released last week.

Would Harvey Rosen be Mayor today had Staff, presumably pro-Harvey partisan staff, not buried this document until recently?

We know this for sure: Most of Council, with the notable exception of Ed Smith as usual, is rightfully upset about this. Stay tuned.

Published: 02/21/07 11:19:05 AM
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February 20, 2007

For the record: The Chamber of Commerce weighs in

Here's a Kingston Chamber of Commerce email that's been circulating today.

Is the venerable Kingston Chamber of Commerce insinuating that municipal reserves aren't taxpayer or commonwealth assets? See also other Chamber LVEC shenanegans.

--- LVEC Update from the Chamber of Commerce ---

Kingston City Council meets tonight; councilors will discuss a motion By Vicki Schmolka and Bill Glover to cancel the LVEC already under construction. The public meeting starts at 7:15 pm at Kingston City Hall.

The project is expected to run about $4.3 million over the original budget. However, taxpayers will not be footing the bill for the additional costs if the project goes ahead. $4.3 million can be raised through municipal reserves, through operational revenue once the centre is running, and this money can also be debentured over the life of the project.

Cancelling the centre will cost, conservatively, $13.4 million, plus the $17 million that has already been spent on the project, plus anticipated law suits against the City of Kingston for reneging on the project. Costs for a scrapped project could be from $25 to $60 million. Any penalties levied on the city for cancellation would be payable by the taxpayer immediately. These costs could not be debentured over the life of the LVEC, since there would be no LVEC. A 1% increase in Kingstonians' taxes would only yield $1.5 million.

If you own a $200,000 home, your taxes would rise 16.6% to cover a $25 million debt; to cover a $60 million debt, your property taxes would rise 40%.

Without a new sports and entertainment centre, Kingston will also lose its OHL team, the Frontenacs, the chance to host the Memorial Cup, and numerous other opportunities that benefit the community and its quality of life.

As of 11:00 am this morning, there were over 1095 signatures at the K-Rock petition to city council to save the Entertainment Centre. You can sign the petition, and read the comments made by other people by following this link. www.krock1057.ca/station_info/morning_show.jsp

Email addresses for city councilors are also available on the K-Rock site. Let your councilors know how you feel about cancelling the LVEC.

Published: 02/20/07 04:52:48 PM
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The Whig hits rock bottom

There are several LVEC-related stories (here, here, and here) in The Whig today, and most of them appear riddled with grievous errors that really serve to cloud and skew the issue. For example:

Memo to The Whig: Do your homework, okay? You're an embarassment to yourselves, and to this city.

Published: 02/20/07 11:56:09 AM
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Councillor Glover shares his thoughts on tonight's Council meeting on BillGlover.org

Councillor Bill Glover shares his thoughts about tonight's meeting on his website.

Published: 02/20/07 10:30:22 AM
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February 19, 2007

Time for the Kingston Ice Dogs?

Doug Springer apparently believes the taxpayers of Kingston owe him.

Eugene Melnyk's Mississauga Ice Dogs are shopping for a new home, and they've been a far better team than Mr Springers' in four out of the past five years, logging 34 playoff games, compared to Kingston's 11 playoff games in the same 5-year period.

In all respects, we can do way better than what Mr Springer currently brings.

Published: 02/19/07 11:21:02 PM
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February 17, 2007

LVEC situation summary

Here's the latest scuttlebutt:

There, now you're up to speed.

Published: 02/17/07 02:16:24 PM
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February 16, 2007

LVEC Numbers At A Glance (Updated)

Judge for yourself.

Some other aspects of LVEC financing that, though they appear to not vary much with project cost, are nonetheless telling:

Updated: Download the data

Published: 02/16/07 12:32:28 AM
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February 15, 2007

Apparent errors in City cash flow projections (Updated)

It looks like there may be questionable tallies in the documents titled KRSEC Cash Flow Continuity - With Federal Grant Funding $4.0M (Schedule A) and KRSEC Cash Flow Continuity - Without Federal Grant Funding -$4.0M (Schedule B).

In these documents, present-value amounts in excess of $200,000 per year are supposedly forthcoming from the BIA levy over 32 years, and KAP each year over 33 years.

Yet, in the deal the BIA cut for itself for the LVEC, we're reading present-value amounts closer to $80,000 per year for the first 10 years, then $140,000 (in 2017 dollars) for the years 10 to 30. The same generally applies to the KAP numbers -- the flows are nominally different -- but nowhere near $200,000 per year for 30 years.

It should be interesting to hear how these numbers end up reading like they do, with the clearly wonky 32 and 33 year terms, in the latest (and so far only) cash flow projections we've seen in the nearly three years since day one.

Update: A sharp-eyed reader reports that the LVEC debenture is, in fact, 25.5M over 33 years at a rate of 5.391%. See a document from August 22 2006 here and the most recent budget update here.

Still, this doesn't change that the LVEC deals with the BIA and KAP are over 30 years and the BIA's yearly payments are back-end loaded, with larger sums in the later years.

Also, it's telling that one must dig through PDFs to assemble a clear picture of this project. The arbitrary change from "LVEC" to "KRSEC" (and variants) in the City's documentation doesn't help.

Can somebody please explain this? comments@kcal.ca.

Published: 02/15/07 02:32:33 PM
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February 14, 2007

LVEC project documents posted by the city
A raft of 14 LVEC documents have just been released, at the very last minute, by the City.

There's a lot to digest, and there will be a lot more to say, but in sumary here's what's striking in reading so far:

In a word: the city is in way over its head.

The Project Schedules (Exhibit F) is actually not a Project Schedule, but rather it's Arcturus SMG's work plan. It's a great document, and Arcturus sends all sorts of signals of flexibility -- no fixed dates anywhere -- but it's not a Project Schedule. It's Arcturus' Project Schedule. One quibble: it's clearly labeled "FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY - SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON ACTUAL CONDITIONS" and none of the materials sports a date nor a revision number. In other words, we're looking at a first-pass general template here.

The Risk Management Plan (Exhibit C) is atrocious. For one thing, it's a scanned image, so none of the text therein is selectable, nor searchable. When this project is officially investigated, this document won't be found by search methods. What's more, get this:

Really, heads should roll for the way LVEC risks have been overtly soft-pedalled and biased since day one.

(This screen capture has been modified for display clarity. Click for the original)

This says that, on a scale of 1-3, the risk of shortfall in fundraising and grants are as follows:
Likelihood (A): 2
Impact (B): 2
Risk Score: (C): A * B = 4
Control (D): 2
Residual Risk: C / D = 2

That's just dumb. Ridiculous. Who are they trying to kid? Moreover the control strategy they cite has mostly nothing to do with fundraising (donations) and grants.

All city projects in recent history suggest differently about "donations"
Likelihood (A): 3
Impact (B): 3
Risk Score: (C): A * B = 9
Control (D): 1
Residual Risk: C / D = 9

Really, heads should roll for the way LVEC risks have been overtly soft-pedalled and biased since day one.

Stay tuned. Last updated at 4:20 PM Feb 14th.

Published: 02/14/07 10:11:43 AM
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February 12, 2007

Finding scratch for LVEC

This diagram is from last September's IBI Transportation Study. That's *before* the current accessibility concerns, namely reserved bus and drop-off areas adjacent to the building, among others.
All the following sources should please get in line before city reserves, ultimately taxpayers, are to carry any additional burden for LVEC.
Published: 02/12/07 09:42:15 PM
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Whig: Arena costs could climb by millions

More on the first of many LVEC cost overrun reports today in The Whig.

Take note: Today (February 12 2007) marks the first time our local daily, The Whig Standard, mentions the LVEC's inadequate contingency

Published: 02/12/07 01:16:29 PM
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February 10, 2007

CKWS-TV: LVEC Overruns

CKWS-TV reports, wait for it, the first of surely many LVEC cost overruns.

Published: 02/10/07 11:16:00 AM
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February 8, 2007

The Whig: Show us the money
Thursday's editorial in The Whig: a memo to Lawrence Cannon: Show us the (LVEC) money.

KCAL asked the same thing on November 1, 2005.

Closely related: the Provincial Ministry of Health Promotion still doesn't publicly acknowledge its $4M LVEC association.

See for yourself:

Google

A coincidence?

Maybe the Federal Government did due diligence (took a whiff, as it were) and, just like most Kingstonians, don't buy it. And why would they?

As for the "Ministry of Health Promotion" distancing? That could be damage control, for exactly the same reasons. Face it: the Downtown Kingston LVEC just doesn't pass the stink test.

Published: 02/08/07 11:53:20 PM
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February 6, 2007

OHL: Six Memorial Cup Bids Announced

The field is six: Kingston, Kitchener, London, Oshawa, Saginaw MI, and Sarnia.

Since the Memorial Cup is foremostly about bringing game, and (usually) the host city can expect a bye into the tournament, here's how they currently rank:

The the Memorial Cup is also about money. Here's how the six rank in terms of venue capacity:

Other factors:

One thing appears sure: Regardless of the winning bid city, the Kingston Frontenacs won't be playing in the tournament.

The selection committee is composed of:

Published: 02/06/07 11:31:07 PM
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Whig: Arena funding '50/50': Segal

Today The Whig is running this LVEC article on the front page.

Read the whole thing.

The denial by Mayor Rosen and Cynthia Beach of deceitful project accounting and inadequate contingency is palpable.

Published: 02/06/07 11:24:22 AM
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February 5, 2007

Kingston Frontenacs: Bravo! Bravo! (Clap-Clap-Clap) Part deux

David Branch, OHL Commissioner and the man who will eventually be announcing the Memorial Cup winning bid (the deadline for which, coincidentally, is today) has this to say about our spectacularly underachieving Kingston Frontenacs:

City of Kingston Staff, at the beheist of the Downtown Kingston power network, and without any public consultation whatsoever, has taxpayers engaged and on-the-hook in a 30-year sweetheart LVEC deal with this outfit.

Published: 02/05/07 05:57:36 PM
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Two LVEC-related items on Tuesday's Council agenda

There are two LVEC-related items on Tuesday's Council agenda.

Published: 02/05/07 11:48:32 AM
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February 3, 2007

The accessibility disgrace
The third "update" from Lanie Hurdle, Director, Project Development, gives us a glimpse of what Kingston's LVEC project has become. Ms Hurdle's document comes on the heels of project architect's report on accessibility which is also an interesting and telling read.

In summary, in these two documents the residents of Kingston are being told to buy-in to the following things:

To think that the City of Kingston not only accepted, but actively "pushed" an arena design that did not accommodate persons with disabilities, in 2006, is an absolute disgrace. Especially considering that this arena project (this "done deal" pushed by narrow Downtown interests) should be viewed as a 30-50 year proposition.

Concerns about accessibility for the Anglin Bay site date back to May 2005, and the North Block site is evidently worse in almost all respects.

The North Block Transportation Study claims 5% of patrons will be "dropped off" even though the data collected by a prior consultant at a Kingston OHL event suggests an 11% drop off rate. Regardless of the proportion of drop-offs, Bruce Todd wrote this in May 2005:

...We are told that 11% of the mode share of attendees would be dropped of and picked up after an event. This percentage was determined by the consultant from information gathered at the Memorial Centre site during an OHL game night.

Eleven percent of 5000 means that 526 people will arrive in 292 cars to be dropped off. After an event 292 cars will be trying to access the site against 5000 pedestrians and vehicles trying to leave the site. Where will these 292 cars stack up to await their passengers? THIS IS A MAJOR TRAFFIC CONCERN AND PLANNING COMMITTEE SHOULD HAVE A CLEAR ANSWER BEFORE ACCEPTING THIS REPORT (Ed: the Anglin Bay site traffic report, it should be noted, as flawed as it was, was deemed usable for the North Block site by those responsible for the LVEC).

292 cars represents a single line of cars about twenty blocks long. It would be almost equivalent to the entire contents of the Anglin Lot (182) and the OHIP Lot (about 160, allowing for reserved spaces, if they let us use it) sitting out on the street somewhere.

I cannot think of a reasonable place to stack up these 292 vehicles along any of the adjacent streets.

Published: 02/03/07 11:26:17 AM
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February 1, 2007

Kingston Frontenacs: Bravo! Bravo! (Clap-Clap-Clap)
The Kingston Frontenacs show their class while being thumped 5-1 by the Belleville Bulls.

Just in time for the 2008 Memorial Cup bid deadline, which is Monday, February 5th.

Published: 02/01/07 09:23:08 PM
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CKWS-TV: Labour Leaves

Yesterday CKWS-TV reported that Kingston's major projects are not benefiting local labour.

WITH ALL THE NEW PROJECTS UNDERWAY IN KINGSTON -- FROM THE POLICE STATION TO THE LVEC -- YOU'D THINK THERE'D BE PLENTY OF JOBS UP FOR GRABS IN THE LOCAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY.

NOT SO -- ACCORDING TO LABOUR GROUPS.

Read the whole thing.

Yeah. When we build it, construction workers will come. From out of town.

Published: 02/01/07 07:30:59 PM
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Last Updated: March 3, 2009