IS IT TRUE March 4, 2014 “contracts with ghosts”


ghostsIS IT TRUE for the first time since the Opus One Christmas Party at Biaggi’s, putting together the right words to accurately describe the mind numbing ignorance coming from the Civic Center and its surrogates seems challenging to squeeze into the number of words that a daily column holds?…between the shortcomings of the financial performance of the Ford Center, similarly deficient numbers at the Victory Theatre, and now the extension of a loan made to Earthcare Energy LLC two years ago under cloak and dagger it is beginning to seem as though there is no hope for sanity to prevail in anything that passes through the Winnecke Administration’s hands?…the oversights in contracts, the failure to VET and the arrogance to dismiss VETTING as unnecessary, and the lust for photo ops like yesterday’s “Ellen DeGeneres” style selfie are as astonishing as a shirtless Vladimir Putin taking a horseback ride for photographers?…anyone who is not stunned by the last week in Evansville politics is truly numb to arrogance and narcissism?

IS IT TRUE we must point out that the extension for the loan to Earthcare Energy LLC was crafted to be signed by Ken Haney on behalf of Earthcare Energy LLC?…the public records for the State of Texas do not have a record of Earthcare Energy LLC existing?…it seems as though the Loan Administration Board has entered into a contract with a non-existent entity?…as pointed out previously Earthcare Energy LLC seems to have been reborn as Enviro Energy LLC with a nearly identical website, the same cast of characters in management, and just concluded a fundraising effort on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo without raising so much as a single dollar?…one would think that the City Attorney Ted Ziemer or GAGE President Debbie Dewey would at least verify that Earthcare Energy had legal status to enter into a contract before recommending that a city of over 100,000 people make a contract with them?…this is like a scene from the banking TWILIGHT ZONE playing out for all to see?…the Ford Center and the Victory may be coming up short on dollars because the free entertainment coming from the Civic Center is better than any professional act they could ever bring to town?

IS IT TRUE in one online document Enviro Energy LLC even claims to have had revenue of $200,000?…one wonders how taking out a loan constitutes generation of revenue in anyone who has even taken Accounting 101’s mind?…unless some other entity paid Enviro Energy $200,000 for some service rendered it would seem as though the Evansville loan money was paid by Earthcare to Enviro and booked as revenue?…this is not only bad accounting it is intentionally misleading to any potential investor or benefactor?

IS IT TRUE that Evansville has 900 fewer people working than it did two years ago in spite of the “official” unemployment rate dropping due to people just giving up?…seeing things like have happened here during the past week go unchallenged in the mainstream media as though such idiocies are as common as frost makes one believe that whatever hope there once was for returning Evansville to a place of significance has vaporized before our eyes?…as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Mayor Winnecke dances and takes selfies while encouraging his minions to enter into contract extensions with ghosts?…if this goes without a serious challenge from the people of Evansville and the Evansville City Council these fingers will soon write no more about a place which seemingly cannot be saved from itself?

IS IT TRUE that the CCO staff members that attended yesterdays “Loan Board” meeting were taken back by the way the Mayors Chief of Staff conducted himself?  …we are tired of the way he publicly shows disrespect towards our elected officials?  …we feel its time for someone to step forward to stop his bulling attitude towards city council members by putting him in his proper place?


  1. Is it time to take a serious look at council-manager style government and eliminate that is wrong with the current so call “strong” mayor. Imagine if we had allowed the city government expand to the county lines two years ago. Could it be time for the change?

  2. Good recap of the Earthcare mess. It is truly astounding that the ‘loan’ was ‘extended’. Similarly amazing that Gage continues to exist.

    The good recap notwithstanding, I hope the editor is not trying to maneuver Winnecke into riding a horse down the walkway shirtless. I believe in the mayor, I believe it’d take more than a passing reference to Putin to put that photo op in motion. I believe a nod from Haney might do it.

  3. U.S. taxpayer money given away by an appointed board. Could this be considere taxation without representation? A policy should be adopted for both city and county requiring ALL expenses be run thru an elected body[with required vetting].

  4. It all boils down to a fatal lack of ethics in government. If it is not corrected, Evansville will go the way of Detroit, Chicago, SF and LA, all bankrupted, even if all of them have not filed yet.

    “Cal-Tax researchers counted $443 billion in state and local debts, roughly two-thirds of it carried by the state and the other third by local agencies.” (, sept. 2013)

    Hoosier had better wake the hell up! All politics is local.

    • Pressanykey: We read your post yesterday on the update info for the letdown generator site.
      Shows something fatally lacking about the claims. We suspect the ideation is ok, but, as we said before,the prototype needs refinement.
      Wondering whether any attempt at a certifiable Codes and Safety test plan as taken place. The one prototype unit demonstrated doesn’t show any instrumentation as required per standards for those evaluations. The prototype was also missing some key equipment required to base any thermodynamic conditional range of operational specification with,as observed. “And, we’re not telling…yet.”

      Myself,I’ve performed and set thermodynamic prototype testing plans as such since 1982,So
      The system for what it is does what cooling turbines do. The mention of additional preheating also draws some other issues onboard.
      They mentioned some thermodynamics in the spiel,kinda a fatal mistake,that would be conceptually ok,but then the claim must be proven by a certified facility,and it must use standard regulatory test procedures,and either meet or exceed those as specified for the device “and”, its subcomponents.

      Questions,we won’t derate on the innovative conception of the device for power generation,its nothing new though.

      The trade partners they listed kinda,took some hits lately,as well.

      The DOD,Russia,China,really. Ole Kerrys gonna have to work on that Russia DOD “thingy” right now,we “thinky.”

      Something else,that the council should be aware of (reverse/engineering)check this out. (The B-29 in O.D.) 😉

    • Mr Pressanykey,,

      Here’s what Evansville will eventually look like….380 mil approx debt loan…42 for the Johnson Control deal..20 mill hotel…540 mil sewers + 160 mil for compromise with EPA…210 mil unfunded post retiree health benefits….10 mil Robert’s dog park….20 mil ADA crosswalk consent order with DOJ under the Lloyd Adm….20 mil African exhib at Mesker…1300 miles of cast water pipes est. cost 200 mil…so, we will be staring down on over 1.5 billion dollars or simply speaking $13,500 per resident…now, Detroit has $18,000 per resident, but, wait a minute, this is before the mass exit of 26%, so before the mass exit, the debt load was $13,300…I wonder if those pass decades in Detroit, they gave any thought to the future of their City???

  5. “as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Mayor Winnecke dances and takes selfies while encouraging his minions to enter into contract extensions with ghosts?”


    This pretty well says it all in a nutshell, you get the impression very quickly that these people don’t take their jobs or our money seriously, either that or god help us if they really are just that stupid and it’s the best Evansville has to offer us as representatives in government!

    Western Kentucky is looking better and better as a place to spend my retirement years.


  6. Could this be the main reason (smart ass and know it all attitude) why the Mayors Chief of Staff was let go by the area Chamber of Commerce?

    • Enough already with the passive agressive treatment of Steve Schaefer (at least call him out by name, people).

      1) What did he do yesterday, specifically ? Unless the CCO was there, one of the Councilmen obviously told you about this. Just report it !; and

      2) What in the world did Schaefer do at Chamber of Commerce ? I heard it was a palace coup he tried to orchestrate–but it backfired. Can someone (ANYONE) elaborate on this ?

      Schaefer needs to be dealt with harshly and directly. He is just one of several reasons this Administration is in a MAJOR FAIL mode. Let the sunshine in, folks.

    • Mr Schaefer’s attitude has always been his problem no matter which position he has held. It is time to put civility, manners and transparency back into city government but I do not see that happening any time soon. Remove the rotten apples. Listen to the public because we pay the bills. And please please get a new attorney for the city.

      • We could make a start by setting an example on these boards. Just a suggestion.

  7. Excellent post! Thank you for your fearless, incisive and outstanding journalism and for filling the void left by media lackeys and slackers in our area.

  8. Is it true we have 900 people less working in EVV?

    I have no idea. The CCO provided no numbers, facts, or anything to back up that claim.

  9. We don’t have any republicans or democrats in this town we have a bunch of kleptocrats enriching themselves and they all cover and look out for each other.

    • Say what you want about Al Lindsey, but he was right as rain about loans to Earthcare:

      “But Dewey said the deal sounds solid. She cited positive results from an independent research firm, blossoming agreements with two utility companies, her personal observation of the prototype Earthcare plans to manufacture, the conservative estimate of 120 jobs provided the community and a $32 million return on the city’s investment.

      “From what I saw with my own eyes, this all performed exactly as predicted,” Dewey said Sunday of the technology. “These are the kinds of things that tell me, ‘yes, this is a calculated risk, but I would recommend it.'”

      Dewey, At-Large Councilman Dan Adams and Council President Connie Robinson said they hope the proposal passes. But At-Large Councilman Jonathan Weaver and Finance Chairman John Friend have said they have reservations and Sixth Ward Councilman Al Lindsey said he opposes the loan.

      “Since when did the city start acting as a bank?” Lindsey said Saturday. “I think we should be spending our money on other things, like building roads.””

  10. I’m not surprised in the least bit that Winnecke & the Sports Corp decided to do a selfie. It’s much better than talking about the horrific handling of sports facilities around here whether it’s our arenas, our ball fields, our ballparks, and even our amphitheatre.

    Speaking of ghosts, just wait til this GLVC Tournament rolls into town. If USI is eliminated early, this tournament may not have more fans than janitors in the arena.

      • Ron Payne also announced a master plan for the area around it is next on the city’s to do list. A MASTER PLAN. Can you believe there’s a city that still does those?

  11. I don’t have a guilty conscience. I didn’t vote for Winnecke. I voted for Davis.
    The rest of the people in this town who didn’t vote are to blame. (Plus the Dems who did everything they could to make people feel comfortable about staying home on Election Day rather than voting). Kentucky is looking better and better every day.

        • He meant Mitch McConnell. Mitch is up against Matt Bevin Tper in the KY Senate primary and the Mitch is a RINO talk is already swirling around.

          Pass the popcorn.

          • Thanks for the correction! I interpreted the vote of Evansville mayor with Indiana politics and the mention of Kentucky as a “escape to” from Evansville.

        • It does make one wonder… If the engineer(s) representing Vectren thought it was a viable technology, they would have already sold several units, and theoretically, paid the note in full on its due date. The current situation leads me to believe the GAGE letter is exaggerating its “due diligence”.

    • After two years there is no new patent issued either to Langson, Earthcare, or Enviro Energy. GAGE got snookered two years ago and it still hasn’t sunk in. I repeat THERE IS NO PATENT.

    • Show me where Haney has sold one of these that was installed and is currently working as described and producing power and a stream of revenue/savings.


      • Again I will say that Enviro Energy, LLC is not currently registered with the SOS to do business in Indiana.

    • Sports clichés are almost always bad.

      Good point yesterday morning. I’m softening him up for the next round. It’ll be awful, he’ll never see it coming.

  12. “…whatever hope there once was for returning Evansville to a place of significance has vaporized before our eyes?”

    This is the conclusion to which I’ve come.

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