Monday, April 20, 2009

The big orange problem child

1. A hole in downtown Rockford into which money is poured

What's another $600,000 we'll never see again? That's how it's gonna go down and there's nothing you can do about it.

I returned home to Rockford this weekend from my jaunt in Puerto Rico and returned to work today, recharged and more Patriotic than ever.

Spade, I did get some longboarding (and plenty of sun) in by day. By night, well, that was time for serious debauchery with old friends aboard a yacht called Vajoliroja, which is bigger than my house.

It was hard to leave, especially since I hadn't even pissed off the San Juan authorities yet. But here I am, giving serious consideration to negotiating an early retirement package with my financially strapped public employer. I would think they'd be happy to get rid of me at nearly any cost, but we'll see how far I can push it.

In games of chance, either I'm lucky or my systems simply work. In any case, I think I could easily replace my income by instead spending 40 hours a week at the tracks and at card games.

Going back to work today was nearly enough to make me forget my toes had been wrestling with sand in a carefree paradise for the past week, which can sure make a guy resent working for a living.

The regular crowd was absent from the compound's usual city council drinking event. I suspect they haven't realized I've returned, and that's just as well. I could use the quiet.

Oh, I still drank as I watched the meeting, but at least I was able to do it in peace.

Okay, the Metrocentre wants a $600,000 loan so its employees and other obligations can get paid a little while longer.

They say one of the main disappointments is that naming rights haven't been sold yet. Don't worry, lads and lasses, I fully expect to visit the Puri Center in the near future

The council keeps on getting put in the position of injecting more tax dollars into a Titanic disaster, because the Authority Board knows the city has too much invested to cut them off now. Truly, think of it as using a bucket to rid water from the hull of the doomed luxury liner.

You know, Doug Block mumbled about this issue during the mayoral campaign, but he should have spoken louder, as it was obviously put off by Morrissey until after the election. Alas, hindsight is always 20/20, they say.

What I don't understand is why the city keeps bailing the Metrocentre out, but that the leadership there is never questioned. These people promised us grand results for the $20,000,000+ they talked us into not very long ago and it's time to pull rank and appoint some competence.

-"You think I'm skimming off the top, Mike?"
-"No, I think you're unlucky. Maybe we can do better."


  1. I wonder out loud if the Circus Maximus at Rome was ever designed to make money.

    Perhaps it is only the diversion of panem et circuses that was the Emperor’s intent as Juvenal satirized?

    On that basis, any arena is really just a money pit. And it does serve its purpose of entertaining the plebian masses.

    I still think giving the plebeians 20 Million dollars worth of free flat screen TVs and cable would suffice, except that is hard to justify to the taxpayer.

    An arena needs upkeep. Needs Maintenance. Provides jobs.

    A LCD TV may last decades… and the last time I checked, no Union demands are placed on low voltage cable infrastructure.

    Papa Duke, are you hoping that the plebeians will become enraged with the swindle or are you hoping that they will adopt factions of Blue, Green, Red or White?

    Everyone needs a favorite team and mascotte.

    Isn't that what it all comes down to??

    Isn't the Arena just an artifice of culture?

    Glad to hear you got surf time in.

    Frankly, I am envious…

  2. Nice shot, Duke!

    "It is business, all business. I don't wanta know who gave the order. But it does bother me that the kid, "Moe" Maurici, -- who built this town up from an industrial waste site into one of the greatest cities -- doesn't even have a statue built in his honor."

  3. So I remember watching that Council meeting when they passed the budget,and Ald.Timm wanted to take $225,000 from the General Fund so the non-union city employees would not have to take "furlough"days,unpaid days off without the only argument AGAINST this move was that it would turn a "balanced"budget into a "deficit"budget,I mean,REALLY,it's only a WORD...anyone with any sense knew LarryBoy's flair for spending would not let a little old word like "DEFICIT" rein in HIS "vision".... So that (and the election) seem the only reason the Metro bailout, (IN THE WORKS FOR 6 MONTHS!?[wasn't Dancin'Doug the Mark hired within that time frame?] )wasn't brought up BEFORE was there'd be a "deficit"budget to pass.... (On a related note,seems that although we(the watching public and aldermen) understood that there would be those "furlough"days,apparently the next day the affected employees learned they were actually receiving a PAY CUT...but to "sweeten" the blow,they ALSO RECEIVED EXTRA (paid)VACATION DAYS!!!!!!!! )

  4. "The ideal is to be able to operate without a subsidy," says Rita Pirrello Epperson, chairman of the MetroCentre Authority Board. "But in the long-term, I don't know that this venue can operate without a subsidy for long-term."

    I would like to commend her for her honesty.