IS IT TRUE May 24, 2012


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE May 24, 2012

IS IT TRUE that sometimes crime delivers more humor than a comedian?…yesterday it was reported that a 79 year old man from rural Illinois was robbed of his collectable pair of brass bull balls?…that some of the young, male, and dumb specimens who grace our fair city have been spotted with imitations of brass balls hanging from their rear view mirrors or trailer hitches and that is just written off to youthful silliness?…that one must wonder what it was about such a trophy that made a pair of brass balls become the prized possession of a 79 year old?

IS IT TRUE Tuesday’s Democrat primary in Kentucky may have sent a strong message to President Barack Obama?…while the President had no opponent on the ballot, there was an option to vote for “uncommitted” that translates into “I will not be voting for President Obama but I did find a need to vote in the Democrat primary”?…that “uncommitted” got nearly 43% of the votes?…in Arkansas President Obama’s opponent also got over 42% of the vote?…the opponent in the Arkansas primary was an attorney from Tennessee who did not campaign at all?…that the Obama campaign is quick to note that they were not counting on winning in Kentucky, Arkansas, or West Virginia where a similar thing happened in the primary?…that these kinds of losses may be tempting to blow off but that Kentucky and West Virginia in particular are pretty good proxies for how Southern Indiana, Southern Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania will be voting?…that nearly every poll right now is calling for a statistical dead heat between President Obama and Mitt Romney?

IS IT TRUE several of our readers have expressed curiosity about several projects in downtown Evansville?…the one drawing the most interest is of course the McCurdy Hotel that still has open windows and is beginning to look like it is once again going to be the home of snakes, rats, and a beanstalk?…that despite big announcements the McCurdy is still reported on the Vanderburgh Assessors website as owned by City Centre Properties LLC and now owes back taxes of $21,525.84 that corresponds to being a full year behind on property taxes?…our readers have also been asking for an update on the repairs being done at Kunkel Square?…that there was much fanfare a couple of weeks ago when homeland security (????) closed the building over a set of stairs and an alarm system feature?…that we would like a follow up on when the tenants will be back into their apartments?

IS IT TRUE the other project drawing questions is the downtown Convention Hotel status?…we have been treated to the numbers that Hunden Strategic Partners have advised and that the budget should amount to $150,000 per room with no bells and whistles?…what was not released was the amount of public assistance that is being recommended by Hunden that the City of Evansville will have to offer to attract an experienced developer/operator?…that looking back to valuation, rate, and occupancy studies from a year ago one would have to expect that the package will have to increase to roughly $13.5 Million + Bridge to Nowhere + Infrastructure Improvements + Tax Abatements to make this happen right?…that will bring us right up to the total package of about $25 Million to $30 Million that Fort Wayne had to shell out to get White Lodging to town?…that hopefully this time the Office of the Mayor, the Evansville Redevelopment Commission, and the City Council will at least start their thought process with some basis of reality?…the real question is how much is this hotel needed?…we would like to see examples from other comparable cities that have invested 8 figure incentive packages in the private lodging business?


  1. Ok, we have tow abandoned hotels downtown that we can’t seem to do something with, and yet, we are struggling to find someone and money to build a brand new one.

    The same administration and elected officials who thought loaning Earthcare $200K was a sound decision, can’t or refuse to see the overwheleming practical solution.

    Forget the new hotel. Restore the McCurdy to it’s original status as a first rate hotel. Restore the adjoining River House to a retro-chic boutique hotel. Set up a trolley to run between the Ford/Civic Center-McCurdy/Riverhouse and Casino area. You have created three anchors in a triangle for downtown. The remaining will fill in. Any 3rd grader realizes shopping centers are constructed with large and strong anchor stores. This will solve all the immediate concerns, increase traffic between the three points and be at a cost significantly lower than building incentives for a generic hotel with about a 20 year life expectancy.

    Once this takes off, and business increases, then we will probably see a private developer willing to provide a bigger chunk to a new hotel.

    Sadly, the realty is the city will give millions to Kunkel to build a Comfort Inn next to the arena, the McCurdy and Riverhouse will continue to detoriate and our chance to do something unique for downtown will be gone.

    • This could work. My wife and I recently went to an event at the Ford Center. Afterward, we decided to walk to Angelo’s to get something to eat. Upon arriving at Angelo’s without reservations, they said it would be 30 minutes before they could seat us. We decided to walk to the riverfront then walked toward the Four Freedoms Monument before returning to Angelo’s. What I realized while doing this is it’s not a very far of a walk from the Ford Center to the McCurdy. The trolleys could travel between the hotels and the Ford Center/The Centre/Victory and stop at every corner on Main St. to let people on/off. As you say, this would benefit all the businesses along the way and I don’t think people would mind that the hotel wasn’t next door to the Ford Center. This would be especially true if the McCurdy and Riverhouse were beautifully restored. Another advantage of these hotels are their proximity to Casino Aztar. It would be a short walk or shuttle/trolley ride in either direction to go to the Casino or to the Main St. buinesses and Ford Center, The Centre, and Victory.

  2. If you want to know how to do a project, go ask the people in Owensboro. They have TWO hotels being built, largely with private money. The incentives that were given came from the State. They were also based on the projected tax revenue the state would receive within a set time period. Owensboro got the hotels they needed and wanted and the builders got a leg up now which will pay dividends to Owensboro and the State of Kentucky into the future. It was a win/win. It was also much different from the paying to be screwed that the City of Evansville has been doing. Prostitution is illegal in Indiana, unless you’re a developer and your “customer” is the City of Evansville. We pay for it all day long and have nothing to show for it except for a sore backside.

    • Thank you for this! I have often watched local media and wondered how Owensboro is so capable of accomplishing the same things Evansville is failing at. Then our leaders go to Savannah, GA to figure out what they could have learned in their back yard, AND on the taxpayers dime?

      • I do the same thing. Evansville and Owensboro are both doing very similar downtown revitalization projects, so the stories often run back to back on the news. Owensboro always looks like they have their act together while Evansville runs around like the Keystone Cops or Three Stooges. I’ve been watching Owensboro work on their riverfront front at least 15, if not 20, years. I did the same with Louisville. The biggest difference is that the cities across the river actually plan and get the community buy-in instead of trying to throw something together on the fly and shoving it down everyone’s throat. The contrast is stark.

    • I’ve many times in the last couple of years wondered the
      same thing. Owensboro always seems to be way ahead of

  3. Yes it seems that 3 and a half years of propagandizing the American public with false allegations of “job killer,” “European style socialist,” “foreign born Muslim,” “not one of us,” “anti-gun,” “anti-traditional marriage,” blah, blah, blah, coupled with latent racism, all working together has succeeded in brainwashing 40%+ of the so-called “Democrat” voting base in the Blue Dog, Regan Democrat, and Dixiecrat demographics.

    Look, if the People want a “severely conservative” corporate vulture in the White House, a man with a history of gutting companies for whatever profit could be squeezed out at the expense of workers’ jobs and retirement funds, a man whose job creating record as governor was the 47th worst in the nation, a man who already has said he will gut the Dept. of Education like a 40 pound catfish, then I say go for it! Americans have survived worse. What’s another 4-year disaster? Right? Well, except if you have kids and grandkids, and care about them. Otherwise, vote Romney, and bring on European style corporate socialism!

    • I will vote for the candidate who is NOT a dog-eating Marxist.
      If you don’t like the country our Founders envisioned, please leave.

      • Thank you, Carol, for providing a perfect example of exactly what I was talking about: A teabanger brainwashed by the propaganda of your corporate handlers.

        • I don’t know about Carol, but I for one am not a brainwashed teabanger. I am an independent who has voted for about as many Democrats as Republicans for president. I will not vote for Obama. I don’t see how anyone who studies the facts and figures of our economic mess, let alone the huge expansion of the reach of the federal government (health insurance mandate as but one example) could possibly consider giving him a second term. His comment to the Russians president that he (Obama) will have more flexibility in his second term was downright scary.

          • Whether or not I agree with all your reasons to vote against Obama, at least they are reasoned out and well presented opinions.

            My comments above not directed at persons like you who think rationally and independently, rather my comments are made with regard to dumb lies spread by people who have succumbed to rediculously transparent propaganda that has been proven false yet continues to find a roost in empty minds.

        • Sounds like the musings of a brainwashed communist to me.

          Bain Capital like President Obama has had both successes and failures. The difference is that Bain went into every deal with a clear objective to make money for their shareholders.

          I wish President Obama and Bush before him would have operated the same way Bain did and tried to get positive returns for the shareholders (people) of the United States.

          • Problem is, if Romney becomes president, the shareholders will be reduced from 95%+ of the People to somewhere more in the neighborhood of 2%.

  4. Here is a perfect example of what should be done with the McCurdy. A couple of years back, I attended a convention/trade show in Dubuque, IA. The convention was at a casino/hotel complex along the river. I stayed at this hotel and it was truly memorable. It was about 6 blocks to the convention and no one seemed to mind who was staying here. I loved the hotel, and walked around Dubuque and really enjoyed the downtown area. I have been to numerous shows in mid sized cities throughout the mid-west and south, and Dubuque stood out because of this hotel. All too similar to what we have here.

    Instead of our elected officials playing in Savannah, I would suggest a trip to Dubuque to see what this hotel is doing.

    • Nice find. For $30 Million (sound familiar) the Hotel Juliene Dubuque now has 135 rooms fully refurbished and looking good. That is nearly $225,000 per room with amenties. What is fascinating is that the building was acquired and the project announced in 2007 and the renovation was completed in 2009. While Evansville was in yet another episode of amateur hour by the river and delusional about the cost and value, Dubuque was busy watching a private investor refurbish a classic hotel. You are right, a trip to Dubuque may have yielded some value. Isn’t Dubuque only a few miles from Galena, IL where the new head of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau came from? Maybe there is already some knowledge of this project in town.

  5. I wish good leadership elected countywide would be making these decisions about the McCurdy. Instead we’re left with the ridiculous city council. This is yet another reason to unify city-county government. We need to shake things up.

    • If we could elect good leadership we would already have it on the city council! The reason we do not have it on city council is the same reason you would not have it on a “consolidated” council. You have to first break up the machine into so many tiny pieces that it can not be reconstituted before you can move forward.


      • Local government is broken. Reorganizing city and county government is the only solution.

        • Evansville is a chartered city. They can have any form of government the majority of her voters approves. If your city government is broken fix it first before you go seeking other people to join you.


          • The folks who promote government consolidation, and whose shills wrote the merger plan, are just fine with the City of Evansville’s form of government. They don’t think it’s broken. They simply want to extend it across every acre of Vanderburgh County.

          • Also, and I hope I’m addressing the correct person, I’ve thought about the point you were trying to convey to the rest of us last evening at the NP Library and wonder if it might be better asked this way:

            When city voters cast their vote on the referendum this November, shouldn’t they be required to declare whether:

            a) they are dissatisfied with the current structure of the city government, and therefore would not wish it upon the rest of the county; or

            b) they so delighted with the current city form of government that they just cannot wait to impose it on the rest of the county.

  6. I admit it: I am a democrat (who voted for goldwater some years ago and would do so again).

    This is a republican town, run by republicans and right leaning democrats, who want to use public money to build a hotel to be profited on by capitalist “developers” who won’t risk their own money!
    What is wrong with this picture?
    How dumb can we actual taxpayers get?

    • To quote Curly: “How dumb do you want me to be?”

      And another Curly quote that goes right to the soul of some people in this community like a wood steak to a vampire’s heart:

      Curly: “We are filthy with money!”, Moe: “You are filthy without it!”


      • Do all of you guys spend all day on ths site because you work for the government, or are you unemployed? Oh, excuse me, there’s no difference between the two! Nearly five hours spent jawing back and forth?

        It’s time to get a real job, or a life, people!

        • Dr. J this is the communication age. Only dinosaurs like Leach seek to stifle speech.

          COMMENTS || Disabled

          You are not Chuck, are you?


          • Over time, I’ve come to think of Dr. J not as a Chuck Leach, but more as a semi-lovable, lonely, old Scrooge.

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