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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 -- April 2007
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April 26, 2007

Ottawa approves $1.4M bailout for Bell Sensplex

Ottawa approves $1.4M bailout for Bell Sensplex

It works out to about $500k per year.

It was built with financing from a group of private companies, but the city guaranteed the debt through the Municipal Capital Facilities Agreement. The city also waived the facility's property taxes and development charges, buys 2,400 hours of ice time annually from the facility to resell to the public and contributes $250,000 each year to the facility's operating reserve.

It's another one of those 30-year agreements. Read the whole thing.

Published: 04/26/07 03:11:51 PM
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April 25, 2007

Comparing apples and oranges

Identical circles placed over London, Oshawa, and Kingston at night. As stark as this looks, it's worse: everything South East of Kingston is over the border.

Published: 04/25/07 02:55:56 AM
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April 19, 2007

Roundup: Memorial Cup bid presentations

Here's a roundup of some of the news stories today about the 2008 Memorial Cup bid presentations, which happened yesterday.

The Site Selection Committee will award the 2008 CHL Memorial Cup the week of May 7.

Published: 04/19/07 01:14:32 PM
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Whig: Mark Gerretsen's LVEC audit motion withdrawn

This week Councillor Mark Gerretsen withdrew the motion that would have ensured some accountability for the LVEC project.

Hands-up if you think this Council has, in the end, turned out to be a complete pushover.

Published: 04/19/07 12:23:15 PM
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Letter in The Whig: New councillors were elected to do what they're doing

Yesterday's letter in The Whig from M.E. Vincent, in response to recent Whig "Opinion" pieces, is right on.

The new councillors have also been blamed for Kingston's unsuccessful Memorial Cup bid (how ridiculous is that?), for the difficulty in attracting donations for the Market Square project and for picking on city hall staff. They have been called "naive," "parochial" and, obliquely, anti-Semitic. There has been despicable namecalling going on by people who should know better. All in print, of course. The new councillors have had the class not to answer in kind.

Why was there so much venom because the new councillors insisted on seeing the September, 2006 report on the downtown sports and entertainment centre project - a report that, shamefully, had been held back? Why have they been criticized for showing disgust over the renaming of Market Square and the arrogance that is still being exhibited over this matter? Why are they being criticized for wanting more accountability from city staff regarding money paid out and the arena?

It's sad that anybody would criticize these people for trying to protect our interests rather than special interests. Every time they attempt to get information from city hall, though, I read about the dire consequences predicted by chief administrative officer Glen Laubenstein. It makes me wonder what he's afraid of.

That's just a sample. Read the whole thing.

Published: 04/19/07 11:42:44 AM
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April 17, 2007

At Council tonight: Project Status Report: Kingston Regional Sports & Entertainment Centre

Here's the Project Status Report: Kingston Regional Sports & Entertainment Centre which is part of the Council package for tonight's televised meeting.

Yesterday's Whig reports that the LVEC project is behind schedule because of structural steel work.

In fact, here are some of the things listed as "behind schedule" in the report:

Oddly, "Fundraising" is listed as "on schedule", though everyone knows that should have started months ago.

And FINALLY the public is shown a detailed project schedule with milestones. Too bad the person who scanned it was sloppy: It's barely legible! Click the image to see for yourself, starting on page 39. Note that these diagrams are already about a month out of date.

Published: 04/17/07 01:23:04 PM
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April 16, 2007

City to hold mystery LVEC public meeting tonight at 6:00 PM

The City of Kingston continues it's unbroken streak of LVEC opacity and pretense of public consultation with a mystery "public" meeting to be held at an undisclosed location tonight about the reconstruction of Place d'Armes and Ontario Streets.

Here's what the City calendar web page says today about it. No link, no meeting location is disclosed.

Moreover there is nothing about this meeting in the City's LVEC project pages.

After inquiring, we've been told two things:

  1. The meeting is in the Wilson Room of the Kingston Public Library, 130 Johnson street, and
  2. project director Lanie Hurdle won't attend.
Published: 04/16/07 01:19:13 PM
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April 13, 2007

Predictable angst from predictable quarters?

In today's Whig, the author of the "Opinion" piece titled Council is burning its bridges before it even builds them is the same person who wrote We're all politicians, unfortunately for the mayor on March 6th, and the same person figures among those 27% pro-LVEC in our Whig Letter Tally who, evidently, still pretend to represent a majority view.

Somewhat related to this, The Whig's new Community Editorial Board, announced last week, appears disproportionately drawn from the Downtown Kingston echo-chamber.

As amalgamated Kingston gradually shifts away from being controlled by Downtown Kingston interests, how much angst will be seen and heard from these quarters?

Which pre-amalgamation partner had this angst about "getting things done" development? Kingston Township? Pittsburgh Township? Or Kingston, specifically Downton Kingston?

Why, then, is this angst being projected over all of amalgamated Kingston? Whose complex is this, anyway?

Clearly this has been Harvey Rosen's schtick since before the November election. Is it getting old? How does it serve as a framework for solving the myriad real and chronic problems in our city?

Published: 04/13/07 04:32:53 PM
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April 12, 2007

Project Newsletter #5 is released

The City has posted the measly 2-page Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre Update, Issue #5. This one is dated on Good Friday.

That's it. No drawings. The public still has never been shown drawings of the luxury suite level, details of its private entrance, or drawings that conclusively show all those great meeting spaces that this disfunctional building just doesn't have.

Published: 04/12/07 02:29:03 AM
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April 11, 2007

Try a Google search on "dispersed parking"
Try this: search for "dispersed parking" in Google. It looks like the City of Kingston website is today, according to Google, among the world authorative resources on "dispersed parking".

Bruce Todd told everyone this in September 2006 about the traffic and parking report prepared by LVEC project consultants, IBI:

THE CONCEPT OF "DISPERSED" PARKING IS NOT EVEN RECOGNIZED IN MAINSTREAM TRAFFIC ENGINEERING.

Meanwhile, The Kingston Whig Standard slept through the whole thing.

That's not the only thing Bruce Todd said. There's more.

September 18, 2006

The main points that I have trouble with are the following -

(1) IBI sticks to their assumption that people will be willing to walk 600 metres (straight line - 700 to 800 metres actual) to events, despite data which has studied the movements of people and advises a maximum 500 metres for tolerable walking distances. They don't give their sources because they don't have any.

(2) IBI uses information from the CastleGlenn Report (also here) despite the fact that that report has never received final approval, and that is not ethically correct in my opinion.

(3) IBI does not take into consideration the narrow sidewalks surrounding this site, and the consequences (safety aspects) of these sidewalks regarding pedestrian flows, and this is a major oversight for a Traffic Impact Study.

(4) IBI stresses the positive effects of people leaving the area after an event from several parking areas rather than one big one (supposedly with few exits), but says very little about the difficulties of finding parking in the first place when it is spread out in small areas. The concept of "dispersed" parking is not even recognized in mainstream traffic engineering. The big problem with such a scheme is creating hundreds of trips to parking lots only to find they are full, with the resultant driver frustration and unsafety this can cause.

(5) IBI has not shown a similar case of so-called "dispersed" parking for anyone to judge whether it can work or not.

(6) IBI insists it has studied the parking supply on a Friday night in Kingston around 6-7 p.m., despite the fact that the CastleGlenn Report did not study it, and IBI does not mention the word Friday in its report. All street parking and most of the surface parking lots are already full on a Friday night between 6-7 p.m. There are 23 OHL games on a Friday night. Where will people park?

(7) IBI says they have been told that "the City will establish a parking supply equilibrium" in the downtown core so that any parking lost by development will be replaced. But recent articles in the Whig Standard suggest there is no ability to create more surface parking in the downtown because the city has no land to develop parking. What are we to believe?

(8) IBI falls into the same trap of using London as an example of their so-called dispersed parking scheme. But London has 10,000 parking spots. There are 33 parking lots within 500 metres (the published and accepted maximum) of their arena, with very large lots and a parking garage nextdoor to the arena. The parking lots are laid out one right after the other in many cases, creating a giant parking lot right around the block on which the arena sits. IBI is comparing apples to apple blossoms.

In summary, IBI has unprofessionally wriggled its way around addressing any problems with this project. IBI is proposing a parking scenario that is clearly in uncharted waters. And the city and the taxpayers are left to resolve their own problems.

(9) IBI skirts the issue of daytime event impact by saying capacity events don't occur during the day. Well, we don't need any where near a capacity event to cause parking problems in the daytime downtown. We are all aware of the recent parking study which suggested ways of trying to ease the parking shortfalls in the downtown core. So, it takes only a couple of hundred people trying to find daytime parking to attend an event for the problem of parking to be exacerbated again and again.

(10) IBI had an excellent opportunity to tell the City what traffic would be like with a completed Wellington Street Extension, and/or with a 6000-seat arena (should the city decide to expand in 10 years or so), and/or use the 2026 scenario which the Transportation Master Plan used, to give the City an indication of what could confront them down the road. But IBI did none of these things to help us understand.

In summary, IBI has unprofessionally wriggled its way around addressing any problems with this project. IBI is proposing a parking scenario that is clearly in uncharted waters. And the city and the taxpayers are left to resolve their own problems.

Published: 04/11/07 10:06:40 AM
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April 10, 2007

Whig: Business owners unite

Today The Whig reports on page 2 about a forthcoming KEDCO old-boys get-together to form a group to lobby City Hall.

Something, say, like this group? Except with traction. Right!

The Whig will presumably be there to partake in the luncheons, and dutifully report what is said.

No word whether stepping-up to LVEC fundraising responsibilities will be on the agenda.

Published: 04/10/07 01:33:30 PM
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April 9, 2007

Kingston Frontenacs' summary and detailed attendance have been updated
Kingston Frontenacs Home Games
2006-2007
DateVisitorAttendance
Mar 29, 2007Oshawa Generals 2425
Mar 25, 2007Oshawa Generals 3112
Mar 16, 2007Sudbury Wolves 2410
Mar 9, 2007Barrie Colts 2356
Mar 4, 2007London Knights 2328
Mar 2, 2007Toronto St. Michael's Majors 1954
Feb 25, 2007Mississauga IceDogs 2168
Feb 23, 2007Peterborough Petes 2281
Feb 16, 2007Oshawa Generals 2453
Feb 13, 2007Ottawa 67's 2147
Feb 11, 2007Barrie Colts 2333
Feb 9, 2007Sarnia Sting 1904
Feb 2, 2007Owen Sound Attack 2398
Jan 26, 2007Peterborough Petes 2396
Jan 19, 2007Brampton Battalion 2198
Jan 12, 2007Belleville Bulls 2871
Jan 5, 2007Oshawa Generals 2145
Jan 1, 2007Erie Otters 2007
Dec 29, 2006Peterborough Petes 2203
Dec 17, 2006Ottawa 67's 1886
Dec 15, 2006Belleville Bulls 2337
Dec 8, 2006Toronto St. Michael's Majors 2129
Dec 1, 2006Windsor Spitfires 2026
Nov 28, 2006Ottawa 67's 2013
Nov 24, 2006Oshawa Generals 2325
Nov 12, 2006Kitchener Rangers 2584
Nov 10, 2006Mississauga IceDogs 2180
Nov 5, 2006Plymouth Whalers 1803
Nov 3, 2006Belleville Bulls 2853
Oct 27, 2006Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds2210
Oct 15, 2006Saginaw Spirit 1788
Oct 13, 2006Guelph Storm 2317
Oct 6, 2006Brampton Battalion 2251
Sep 29, 2006Belleville Bulls 2788
Sep 24, 2006Oshawa Generals 1928
Sep 22, 2006Ottawa 67's 2427
We've updated the tally of the Frontenacs attendance figures to include the 2006-2007 season and playoffs in both summary and detail.

In short, for this year:

Remember, these tallies are paid tickets sold. The actual attendance is usually several hundred less than the announced number.

The kicker in all this: the City of Kingston signed a 30-year LVEC deal with this chronically underachieving outfit.

And who would have done this? Click to read the whole deal.

Published: 04/09/07 04:21:36 PM
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April 6, 2007

WatchKingstonGrow.com: See it while you still can
You have under a week to enjoy the website created by Kingston Accommodation Partners, KEDCO, and other Rosen pals in order to help convince the past council about breathtaking benefits we can all expect from the LVEC.

On April 11th, unless the registration is renewed (it costs about $20), the "Watch Kingston Grow" internet property will dissapear, but not before a gauntlet of scam-artist takers.

Consider, for example, what happened to a related organization named "Friends of the Entertainment Centre" who let their internet domain lapse. Today the Friends' website, whose address is (was) FriendsOfTheEC.org, shills porn and internet scams.

Read more about how porn sites hijack expired internet domain names.

More about "Watch Kingston Grow":
* We've just updated our LVEC relationships diagram
* Kingston Accommodation Partners is behind the new pro-LVEC website
* Responding to the deceptive $50,000 pro-LVEC ad campaign:
It is being touted by a campaign so misleading it would never be approved to sell used cars or soap. -- Claude Scilley, Sports Editor, Whig Standard, May 27, 2006.

Click each image to see what's really behind each advert.

Published: 04/06/07 08:02:23 PM
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April 2, 2007

Another self-serving LVEC report from CEO Glen Laubenstein

Glen Laubenstein reports to Council that it would cost an additional $150,000 and the assignment of additional personnel and consultants to support an audit of the LVEC project as moved by Councillor Gerretsen and seconded by Councillor Hutchison.

Moreover, so ridiculously tight are the project's finances that this additional 0.33% of the budget (one-third of one percent) would require a separate funding motion, further impeding the audit.

In order to support the audit, we will require additional staff or consulting services. Until the scope of this assignment is known, it is difficult to calculate a cost for such support; however it could be expected to be an additional $100,000 to $150,000 in direct project costs with funding from the Municipal Capital Reserve Fund.

Nowhere in the report is any mention of cost and operational savings from executing the audit now, as opposed to later, when it would be an exercise in forensics with no possibility for correction of project mismanagement.

Were the LVEC project properly managed, the planning and the documentation to support and execute this audit would already largely be in place. We suspect that much is hidden, that the paper trail is an absolute mess (on par, say, with project communications) and that all this is more the reason to go ahead with an aggressive audit of the LVEC project before it's too late, well before it becomes an exercise in forensics.

Elsewhere in LVEC-related documents, staff evidently has no intention of making public the agreement between The City and the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, which sees $4M worth of "health promoition" funds being funneled to the LVEC.

The legal agreement is approximately 50 pages in length including schedules. Full copies of the agreement will be provided to any member of Council by request through Lanie Hurdle, Director, Project Development.

Finally, some trivia

How many of Kingston's seven (7) Public Access Defibrillators are to be located in the LVEC? How many are to be found in Cook Brothers, Harold Harvey, and Wally Elmer arenas combined?

Answer: brace yourself: Two Public Access Defibrillators are supposed to go into the LVEC, and a total of zero for Cook Brothers, Harold Harvey, and Wally Elmer arenas.

Published: 04/02/07 08:57:57 AM
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Last Updated: March 3, 2009