Use this URL for your news reader: http://lvec.ca/KCalNewsAndArticles.XML
According to TheStar.com: Wages behind crane strike.
Large-scale building projects across Ontario slowed Wednesday as about 2,000 crane and other heavy-equipment operators went on strike to push for more money and stave off work-day changes their employers want to make.
Within hours of the walkout, construction at sites as diverse as a hospital in North Bay, an expansion at the Toyota plant in Woodstock and a power project in the port lands of Toronto were affected, with predictions of more to come.
Just in time for the LVEC fundraising push which, for some reason (stupidity?), only got started this month and, by all accounts, is already stalled: Construction Woes.
Mayor Harvey Rosen and our Chief of Police: two people who clearly aren't up-to-speed on the LVEC dossier. Read the whole thing.
Both are apparently unaware that:
But what the Chief may be saying is: "don't expect to use the Police budget to hide KRSEC operating expenses".
That's good, but how is this supposed to work in practice? Is the Chief of Police really able to further maroon the Mayor, who has already grossly overplayed his hand in the LVEC boondoggle?
Let's keep an eye on this to ensure that the full operational costs of the LVEC accrue to the LVEC. Let's ensure that those who manufactured the pretense of rich benefits, and those who manufactured the pretense of public support for the project, are properly held to account.
CKWS-TV covers this in Chris Harvey's story titled Market Funding. Also, here's today's report in The Whig, which has a number of other fundraising-related stories (hospitals and schools).
The unrealized donation budget of over $1.2M is an aggressive one that carries considerable risk of not being attained as the project nears completion.
Read the May 2007 LVEC / KRSEC project status report which goes to Council on Tuesday, including the charts that start on page 68.
Take note that the project schedule charts are dated April 6th, more than a month out of date already.
Considering these reports are available at a touch of a button from the project management software, the schedule presented at the May 15th Council meeting should be dated May 6th, not April 6th.
When this project is examined in retrospect, if there is any suspicion that Staff has misled Council, one need only look back at this period and realize that what Council is being told is grossly stale.
All this apparently passes for project status reporting in the Harvey Rosen and Glen Laubenstein era.
The City of Kingston pays quite a lot for software, information technology, and project consultants. Month-old stale project schedules are outrageous.
Despite its strong and unambiguous electoral mandate, why is this Council such a pushover?
CKWS-TV reports that, so far, no bites on the LVEC's naming rights.
See also: The LVEC / KRSEC brand in peril.
Judge for yourself.
Based on this 2-month old project document, the LVEC project appears to be 8 to 12 weeks late. They are nowhere near to be working on "Interior Finishes" for example. The structural steel aspects look to be far more behind schedule than staff has been letting on.
In the snippets below, what's yellow should be already (or very soon to be) finished. In purple is what should be (or very soon to be) started. Red arrows point to some visibly and obviously lagging tasks.
Don't miss this funny Heritage article by Bill Hutchins about how some Councillors feel about donating to the LVEC fundraising campaign.
Harvey Rosen certainly appears to be oblivious to the difficulty he faces in raising United-Way-scale dollars for his LVEC boondoggle.
Here's a roundup of recent news stories about Kitchener's selection to host the 2008 Memorial Cup.
Bienkowski said the Rangers' organization didn't have to pre-sell tickets to demonstrate fan support to the tournament selection committee.
"We were one the few bidders that didn't pre-sell tickets," Bienkowski said.
"I felt I had nothing to prove to the selection committee. I stood up and said: 'We've had 238 consecutive standing-room-only crowds. That's six years of consecutive games.' So they are quite aware of the support we have, and that's a huge factor," Bienkowski said.
Read that again: 'We've had 238 consecutive standing-room-only crowds. That's six years of consecutive games.' Compare that to the pathetic performance, one sellout, by the Kingston Frontenacs over the same 6-year period.
LONDON'S MEMORIAL CUP BID
Key components of the London Knights bid for the 2008 Memorial Cup tournament.
- Financial guarantee: $1.8 million
- Projected profit: $2.2 million to $2.4 million
- Corporate support to date of presentation: $600,000
- Volunteers: 700
- Presold ticket packages: 10,500
- Theme: Celebration of the history of the Ontario Hockey League.
- Components: Creation of an OHL Hall of Fame. Inductees to include all-time Western and Eastern Conference teams voted on by fans and media; Red Tilson Award winners; Bill Long Award winners, top coaches; plus one player nomination per team for each 10 years of existence.
- OHL Avenue: Outside John Labatt Centre 20 tents, one for each OHL team dedicated to team history, colours, sweaters and tradition.
- OHL Alumni Association: Creation of alumni association including compilation of statistics for players and a data base of contact information.
- OHL Foundation: Create and fund a charitable foundation to help members of the extended OHL family with $100,000 from the Memorial Cup.
- OHL coaches' conference: Honour and bring back OHL coaches to meet and discuss coaching with minor hockey coaches.
- OHL alumni appreciation concert: Day following the Memorial Cup final.
- OHL alumni hockey and softball games: Fundraisers for the OHL foundation.
- Junkies lounge: Place for the hard-core junkies who travel to all Memorial Cup tournaments to hang out.
From the Toronto Star: The 2008 Memorial Cup awarded to Kitchener.
Kitchener, you will recall, has the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, which was built in 1950, and renovated in 2001-2002 for less than $10 Million. We're betting that this fact will escape Whig-Standard coverage tomorrow.
All this is very embarassing for Mayor Harvey Rosen. But it's not over: the LVEC situation is about to get much worse for him.
This is the building we're all supposed to be "building together".
Here are interesting facts about this diagram:
Remember, you saw it here first.
Are the taxpayers of Kingston really stakeholders in this whole project? Do you think this might affect fundraising a little? A lot?
It's taken TWO MONTHS since the release of a DVA Navion's fundraising report on $2M LVEC fundraising for the City to put up a 450-word web page on the matter.
We're not talking about an online donation mechanism. That would be too sensible, and far too convenient. What we have instead is a 1-page PDF that folks will presumably download, print, complete, and mail or fax to City Hall, where some paid City employee will spend several minutes manually processing each and every single one.
There's more: it's taken THIRTEEN MONTHS since DVA Navion was first retained, in April 2006, for the LVEC fundraising web page to appear.
The $2M fundraising goal has been a known requirement since September 20 2005, some TWENTY MONTHS ago.
For those who may be wondering, it takes about an hour to set up test, and deploy a simple web page with donation buttons leading to reputable online payment services such as Google Checkout or PayPal or others, which accept all major credit cards, seamlessly process transactions in Canadian dollars, and with service charges comparable to standard credit card transactions.
Something like this should have been online on September 21st, 2005.
"Boondoggle, Appearing Live, Every Sunday Night at The Merchant Taphouse". The silhouette in the poster is the LVEC as it looks today.
The Merchant's website appears to be offline at the moment, so no link.
The definition of Boondoggle: a North American term referring to the performance of useless or trivial tasks whilst appearing to be doing something important.
Or how about 28,900 Rolling Stones videos, for free, instantaneously, just a click or two away?
How digital is your LVEC gamble, your so-called motor of economic development?
Back on April 21st The Whig published this spread that tries to answer questions posed by readers.
Any doubt that The Whig is acting as little more than a boardroom bulletin publisher for the project are dispelled by beauts like this:
Do any streets have to have work done on them - e.g., widened - to accommodate the extra traffic?In fact, streets are being narrowed to accommodate the shoehorning of the building on a block that's just too small. And the Downtown Action Plan barely mentions the North Block, and that $3.4M sum was never approved by Council in the context of the Downtown Action Plan. It's money spent on the LVEC imperative that conveniently doesn't count towards LVEC costs.
No streets will be widened around the centre. The city has actually been widening sidewalks in the area to make it more pedestrian friendly. Surrounding streets, buildings and intersections, including Place D'Armes and Ontario Street that will become signalized for two-way traffic ($155,000), will be worked on, at a total cost of $3,686,205 (all numbers from the 2007 budget). About $1.2 million was spent in the 2006 budget. According to a city staff report, $222,355 needs to be spent to have the centre open on time, while $3,463,850 is being spent as part of the downtown action plan for the North Block.
Then there's this:
Will there be recreational skating?Remember: the LVEC project has received $4M from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, money that clearly doesn't, in fact, go towards health promotion for Kingstonians.
There won't be recreational skating time at the arena. Anyone will be able to rent the ice surface when it is available and there could be community events that will open the ice up to the public for skating.
I hear different prices. How has the price tag changed since the arena was first approved at the original site?
The only budget council approved was for the North Block at an original price tag of $41.77 million. A $4.345-million cost overrun brought the total approved budget to more than $46.1 million.
Earlier costs for the Anglin Bay site that was once under consideration were never approved by council.
The estimated cost for a facility at Anglin Bay was $28.5 million in March 2004, then $37.45 million in September 2005.
That's incorrect. Earlier costs for the North Block LVEC were, in fact, approved by Council. Read the September 20 2005 Council minutes where a motion with specific wording related to $37.3M costs which, at the time, included $8M coverage from upper levels of Government.
Is The Whig's duplicitous in distorting the LVEC's historical record? Why these powder-puff answers to softball questions?