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 -- June 2006
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June 23, 2006

City seeks a Capital Program Manager

Here is the City of Kingston ad for a Capital Program Manager. Interesting that the term "risk" appears zero times in the advertisement.

Judging by the very near closing date -- two weeks, about the same time alloted to the hiring of clerks -- and the mix of skills required, this ad appears to be ceremonial. Another done-deal down at City Hall? Regardless, candidates with substantial private-sector experience need not apply.

Published: 06/23/06 09:09:34 AM
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June 22, 2006

Whig: Market Square falls short

The Whig Standard reports today that public donations for Market Square renovations are falling over a million dollars short.

Considering that Market Square is seriously damaged goods, we probably should be thankful the shortfall isn't much greater.

The people "managing" the LVEC "process" would be well advised to get the $2M in "public donations" in the bank before the LVEC acquires any more of that rancid, Market-Square smell. In both these cases, the taxpayer is ultimately on the hook, and the promises made by half-baked fundraising side-shows is just another among a long list of promises from Kingston's downtown business community that should never have been taken at face value by demonstrably incompetent City staff and our current systemically biased Council.

Published: 06/22/06 10:16:33 AM
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June 13, 2006

Independent Voice: In which we follow the money

Jamie Swift asks in the June 2006 edition of Independent Voice: Who pays? Who profits?

Published: 06/13/06 10:31:38 PM
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June 9, 2006

Entertainment facilities ineligible for development charges
A sharp-eyed contributor points out that, according to the Development Charges Act of 1997, entertainment facilitiy funding is considered an ineligible use of development charges. Kingston's dodgy LVEC project has a $3M component of its funding that is supposed to come from development charges.

It looks like the project's obviously inadequate $1.5Million contingency may already be spent twice-over.

Nevermind that Kingston's development charges bylaw, created in 2004, is intended in part to address Kingston's very low per-capita recreational square footage, and its hijacking for the LVEC is nothing less than outright theft from the residents of Kingston.

From the Development Charges Act:

Considering the LVEC is now informally named at the "Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre" there is little doubt that the LVEC is ineligible to a notable degree.

From the LVEC Business Plan:

From the LVEC Design-Build documents (the Business Plan part deux):

Published: 06/09/06 12:25:28 PM
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June 8, 2006

City of Kingston's statement of taxpayer immunity
The City of Kingston published this item in Kingston This Week on June 6 2006. It's also available here. We've preserved copies of this because, well, because this one's a keeper if ever there was.

Over the next few days we'll have a lot more to say about this. For the time being, enjoy this piece of propaganda in its pristine and original condition, un-annotated, with the full pretense of its credibility un-shredded.

The person admitting responsibility for this ad, and presumably its creative aspects, is Paul MacLatchy, P.Eng.

Keep in mind that these numbers were only released on May 27th 2006, and on May 30th, a mostly supine, gullible, and unduly influenced Council (see also here and here) voted 8-5 in favour of final approval of the LVEC project.


Published: 06/08/06 10:59:54 AM
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June 6, 2006

The Grand Theatre cost overrun report exposes City staff weaknesses
The Whig recently published two stories about the Grand Theatre cost overrun fiasco. Yesterday's story, No one to blame for Grands cost overrun, report finds, and today's, Lifting back the Curtain. Also CKWS-TV has a story transcript here and Kingston This Week weighs-in here. These accounts all broad-brush the findings and recommendations of the 19-page Assessment of the Grand Theatre Redevelopment Project prepared by the firm of KPMG.

The tally of hidden costs of the rushing and selling the deeply flawed LVEC project to swing Councillors remains unknown, but the derailing of the Grand Theatre project, along with the resources KEDCO wasted away from its core mission both ought to count for something. So more than an imminent financial disaster, the Rosen LVEC adversely affects everything else, including what some on this Council prematurely hail as accomplishments.

There is probably no better example of the managerial incompetence of City staff than the following pargraph in the 314-word Risk Assessment section of the Large Venue Entertainment Centre: Evaluation of Design-Build Proposals which, in fact, is the long overdue and rushed (and buried) revision to the stale and misleading[1] business plan documents that are still central to the city's so-called "communications" for the LVEC project.

Who is responsible for this drivel? Cynthia Beach, P.Eng. If anyone should answer for sugar-coating the LVEC project, the planning shortcuts, the whitewashing of risk, the wonky communications, and her department's inability to execute, all leading to an eventual taxpayer fleecing, it's Ms. Beach. Expect to eventually hear news of her mysterious exit to employment elsewhere.

[1] The business plan documents still show Anglin Bay concept diagrams, a site that was rejected nine months ago, in September 2005.
Published: 06/06/06 10:55:18 AM
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June 3, 2006

Whig: Does arena deal give Fronts home-ice fiscal advantage?

Now that it's too late, The Whig finally explores a pertinent question.

The abject failure of Kingston's mainstream media in conveying the many dodgy aspects (also here and here and here and here and here and here and here...) of the arena deal and its evolution is astounding. We hope to fully summarize the failure of mainstream media to serve Kingston citizens, but for now it's notable that Whig publisher Fred Laflamme is a founding member of the "Friends of the Entertainment Centre" and that both Kingston This Week and The Whig Standard newspapers are owned by the same struggling outfit and pandering to advertisers evidently trumps everything else.

There is probably no better example of this than a line from the story by Stephen Petrick in Kingston This Week on Friday, June 02, 2006.

But overwhelming community support for the project shifted the attitude of a few councillors who were iffy from the get go.
Overwhelming community support?. That's rich.

Over most of a year the Friends of the EC collected only 800 names online. Over more than a year the "The Youth of Kingston Support LVEC" petition collected only 200 names online. In both those online polls a notable proportion of names belong to children.

In contrast, KCAL submitted 3,700 real signatures, on paper (over 4,000 with late returns) collected over a single one-month period. Both the tally of Whig Standard letters and the more recent oldies 960 online poll show LVEC support at one-in-three at best. The same can be said of media polls that were visible for a time, conducted online by The Whig, Kingston This Week, and CKWS-TV. At no point did any indicator ever show even a hint of majority support for the LVEC project.

What really happened is Downtown Kingston pulled out all the stops (also here), blatantly lied to Kingstonians, and most of Council, including ALL THREE so-called "swing" Councillors are systematically entwined by downtown business interests. Councillor Patterson even went so far to publicly thank Mr Jeff Garrah for his dilligent work on the project. If that doesn't qualify as a malappropriation of public resources, what does? Rick Downes warned everyone about using city staff to ram through the arena back in October 2004.

Overwhelming community support? Stephen Petrick needs to get a clue.

Published: 06/03/06 01:25:25 PM
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Last Updated: March 3, 2009