March 21, 2006

Imagine there’s no Arena Authority meeting. WOW! It’s easy if you try

The Louisville Arena Authority apparently won’t hold its regularly scheduled meeting next Monday because Chairman Jim Host summarily suspended the board’s work until the Jefferson County legislative delegation makes up its mind which site, LG&E or old Water Company, that it supports.But Host’s decision doesn’t mean arena news has halted. Quite the contrary, in fact. So, as a public service, LEO will offer monthly imaginary Arena Authority meetings until the real ones resume. Authority counsel: “Mr. Chairman, John Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza is here today to show us some photographs of both sites, taken from various vantage points on the expressways that approach and bypass both sites. He asked an artist to superimpose basic outlines of the arena on each photo so we can get a rough idea about how an arena will look to passing motorists.”Host: “What do they show?”Authority counsel: “Well, Mr. Chairman, I’m sorry to say that it appears we have grossly overestimated the ‘Wow’ factor of the LG&E site. Except for one off-the-beaten-path location on the Indiana shore, approaching motorists won’t have a clear view of it because of signs, utility posts and the Galt House, plus the fact that the arena floor will be lower than the Clark Memorial Bridge.”Host: “And I suppose these ‘doctored’ photographs show that an arena at the old Water Company site will rise majestically over downtown Louisville and be easily visible from I-65, which has more traffic by far than I-64?”Authority counsel: “I’m afraid so.”Host: “Well, have these photos destroyed. We all know that Schnatter is anti-progress and has no vision or business sense. He’s as bad a citizen as that meddler David Jones. What’s next?”Authority counsel: “LEO Weekly filed an open-records request with us on March 8. This cheesy rag wanted copies of your phone records from the time you left state government on Oct. 14 until you officially convened this Authority on Jan. 20. It also wanted records of meetings you’ve had with U of L, LG&E, Humana, the C-J, Ed Glasscock and others.”Host: “What a crock. Don’t they know I’m above reproach? I hope you didn’t answer them. The reason I had us formed as a non-profit organization was so we wouldn’t be subjected to the state’s open-records and open-meetings laws.”Authority counsel: “Of course, I didn’t answer them. But since that’s considered a tacit admission that we don’t see ourselves as a public agency, LEO has filed an appeal with the Attorney General’s office.”Host: “I can’t believe that even Greg Stumbo, that no-good, politically-driven witch-hunter, will pay more attention to a lousy pinko rag than to an established guy like me. Point out to him that the C-J hasn’t asked us for any records. Now that’s a real newspaper. Those guys know how to play ball. What else?”Authority counsel: “Mayor Waffle House — ah, Abramson — so far hasn’t flipped back to the Water Company. He’s also doing a good job of not revealing the identities of the private investors who supposedly want to develop the Water Company site, but not the LG&E site.”Host: “He’s the kind of Democrat we like.”Authority counsel: “We’ve also managed to keep the secret about the candidates for buying naming rights, and we’ve done a good job with damage control regarding the Herald-Leader’s ‘scoop’ that the state will pay LG&E $62 million to move its transformers and other equipment only 30 yards.”Host: “We didn’t make a secret of that. We just did everything we could to avoid drawing attention to it. Nothing wrong with that. Is that all?”Authority counsel: “Well, President Ramsey is taking a lot of heat for not giving a logical explanation for why U of L will play its basketball games at the LG&E site, but not the Water Company. He could use some support.”Host: “Fine. I’ll tell the Governor to have another press conference. That’s it. I have a meeting with Ed Glasscock and LG&E, followed by one with my Senate Republican buddies in Frankfort. Meeting adjourned.”