IS IT TRUE: PART 2 August 28, 2011 “A Brick has an IQ of ZERO”


IS IT TRUE: PART 2 August 28, 2011 “A Brick has an IQ of ZERO”

IS IT TRUE that the team of professionals lead by Mr. Mike Alley that took on the Herculean task of trying to rescue Integra Bank should be thanked and admired for their efforts even though Integra ultimately was taken over by the FDIC?…that this team could have taken the path of least resistance as humans routinely do and just found other jobs or even gone to the beach 2 years ago when this challenge crossed their paths?…that taking the easy road and never taking risks are par for the course in the Midwest and are among the biggest contributors to brain drain, shrinking population, and abandoned neighborhoods?…that for taking on this task, disrupting their own lives to pursue a noble but difficult effort, and for sticking it out until the end that the City County Observer salutes this fine group of professionals and wishes them well in the future?…that we hope their future is right here in Evansville as the value added and lessons learned from the Integra experience may have made them one of the best teams to handle future financial calamities available?…that one only improves by taking on the difficult or impossible task as opposed to sitting comfortably at the helm of a ship in a safe harbor?

IS IT TRUE that it seems as though that Evansville and every village in driving distance has been opening new and beautiful centers that are dedicated to entrepreneurship and training?…that has been over $100 Million invested in bricks, steel, and mortar over the last several years in hopes that these carefully placed inanimate objects will somehow become the catalyst through which economic transformation will occur?…that bricks, mortar, steel, wood, and other things like that have never ever transformed anything?…that once upon a time in Arizona a city called Lake Havasu they reconstructed the London Bridge in the desert in hopes of becoming a tourist attraction?…that they even built English Pubs and invested in places that sold fish and chips?..that Havasu City after all of these years is still not London and that it was the lake that attracted visitors before the London Bridge and after the London Bridge?…that on my last visit the Pub was closed and the fish and chips place was selling snow cones but the lake was still beautiful and the wave runners were still great fun?…that the stones of London Bridge were a flash in the pan?

IS IT TRUE that there are places in America that are consistently churning out entrepreneurs and the companies that they found that transform places and the way that we live?…that most (no all) of these places have active and vital sources of venture capital?…that all of these places have atmospheres that encourage risk taking and even reward failure when that failure was from taking on a monumental task?…that most entrepreneurial success in such places always seems to start in a garage or a dorm room as Apple, HP, Dell, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn all did?…that each and every entrepreneurial business that has transformed the way people live has been about the spirit of the dreams of these entrepreneurs and their willingness and ability to “go for it”?…that the vital ingredients to such success are not bricks, mortar, or even a cool décor?…that critical business infrastructure like internet speed, availability of professional talent, access to capital, and a desirable lifestyle are what matters?…that all bricks have the same IQ and that is zero?

IS IT TRUE that one can reproduce Harvard University brick by brick and stone by stone on the banks of the Ohio River and it will do absolutely nothing unless the people, the intellectual curiosity, and the atmosphere can be reproduced?…that unless the professors, the staff, the “je ne sais quoi”, and the students that make Harvard what it is can be attracted that the bricks and stones will do nothing but look pretty and grow moss?…that bricks and stones are more expensive than talent?…that one can only wonder what could happen in a place like Evansville if several hundred million dollars were committed to doing what really matters in the economic transformational process?


  1. Wouldn’t the same idea apply to the Arena.

    Putting the Aces or the Eagles in a new arena will not do a darn thing for the team. Athletic excellence is all about talent that neither of these teams seems to be able to attract in recent history.

    As for entertainment, 11,000 seats will attract only what 11,000 seats will attract. We just dropped $200M to move 200 jobs from Boeke to Main with no new features. Pretty yes! Adding value? He!! No.

  2. Architect, you are spot on with your post. Both the Aces & Icemen will have the same teams as before. We are told we will be getting performing artists which Boeke Rd. could never have attracted, but we will stay tuned on that. As I’ve commented several times before, we need to make capital spending choices based on the guidance of many consulting groups which have pointed out Evansville’s infrastructure problems. None of these studies said we lacked an entertainment venue. So the taxpayers pay for all of these studies, and then the local government people ignore the advice. CCO: good work with the posting a few days ago about the Gran Prix of Baltimore ! In my opinion, the $ 200 Million for the Arena could have seeded a lot of meaningful efforts to turn this City around, but the local government people failed us by going for the sizzle instead of the steak, same thing they did in Baltimore.

  3. Re: Mike Alley, and the hero status he is being afforded: I have nothing against Mike Alley, I don’t know him. But all he did was a job. He did the job no doubt with a lot of stress, but he was well paid. It was not his personal money he was defending, it was ” Other People’s Money” he was trying to lookout for. Mr. Alley is to be congratulated for having the pluck to at least hang in there until the bitter end, and perhaps for making the highly stressed out “downsizing survivors” at Integra feel somewhat better about their plight as the end drew near , but he is not a hero as the C& P made him out to be in its print edition today. Ditto for Bob Jones of ONB, who was also granted hero status by the C&P about 3 weeks ago. Mr. Alley can’t really say he accomplished anything at Interga, because they did, after all, fail. Good effort with no result, something all of us have experienced.

  4. When someone that is new that has not played at Roberts multiple times comes to the Ford Center that normally plays at places at 20,000 seat forums we can be impressed.

    Bob Seger would sell just as much at Roberts as he will at the new arena and he does not travel with a spaceship full of speakers.

    Bring in Metallica with their stage set up and we have done something. There are only a few acts period that can not play Roberts because of stage gear.

    There are plenty that won’t play Roberts or the Ford Center because the number of seats is too small to bring in the number of dollars that they typically get. You could put Madison Square Garden in downtown Evansville and it is still Evansville. The professional sports teams of New York will not follow the bricks here.

    Evansville’s demographics to not support elite professional sports and won’t support a monthly lineup of top entertainment either.

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