Last night Jinni and I attended the Rhino Times' monthly Shmoozefest with some old friends. This month's shcmoozing took place at Heaven down on Elm Street. This third story open-air bar is the latest offering by one-man-downtown-development-engineer Joey Medaloni. I finally got to meet Joey and found him to be a very nice, down-to-earth guy.
I ran into Rhino editor John Hammer while shmoozing and thanked him for the free beer and great food. John was gracious and said he was pleased to do so and then asked, "Did you read my column today?"
Every week John editorializes on local events - this week's was entitled "Not Everything Rosy in Stadiumland". Knowing that Hammer is a regular reader of this blog, I told him that I had only scanned the column and read enough to know that it would have been nice to have credited HoggsBlog for much of the information he cited. John sort-of agreed and muttered something like, "...perhaps I should have".
His column detailed some of the politics and legailties that continue to surround the completion of the new downtown baseball stadium. I will link to the column when it is posted on Tuesday, but until then you can read what is in it by following the HoggsBlog links in the next paragraph:
Court of Appeals decision looms large (May 27th) The new-stadium fireworks-display-enabling noise ordinance change (June 8th) was rescinded* (June 11th) by the City Council. The Simkins PAC is not getting (May 26th) what it was promised in the way of construction jobs at the new stadium.
*Editing note 6/26: the noise ordinance change was not rescinded, staff was ask to study the amendment and it may be reconsidered in the future - see this post
Just a mention is all I ask, John. Great party.
Coincidental to the Rhino column, yesterday I wrote that there are still very few black workers at the stadium site. In Hammer's piece, John reports that he called NAACP economic development chair Earl Gill about the discrepency between what was promised and what has so far been delivered by and for the Simkins PAC.
Gill says that he has requested to see the Simkins PAC negotiated "written guarantees" of minority jobs that were offered in exchange for the black community's support of the new stadium vote back in October. Hammer writes, "Gill said that his requests to see copies of these written guarantees have been denied".
Yesterday morning (before the Rhino hit the streets BTW) I sent an email to one of the members of the Simkins PAC to alert them to my observations at the stadium site. The PAC member emailed back last night:
"Thanks for the info, the PAC meets tomorrow and you can be sure I'll be bringing this up. I'll let you know the response."
I will keep you posted.
Editing note: After reading Hammer's column I realized that I had been mis-spelling "Simkins" since back in October. There is no "p" in the late Dr. George Simkins' name. I have gone back an corrected each mention of the name. See John - I even cite where I get my spelling lessons.