Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Open Thread #18

Ok, Open Thread #16 got over 50 comments, but Open Thread #17 got less than ten.

Consistency, people, consistency!

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

someone should start insulting people, to start this thing off on the right foot.

Kupchella? Marilyn Hagerty? Lacey Crisp?

someone, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Kupchella is a lame duck. Marilyn Hagerty doesnt't know where she is anymore. Lacy Crisp I know nothing about...

daniel vincent john said...

i have a leak in the roof of my garage.

Good Ol' Boy said...

....liberals.......

Anonymous said...

lol!

Anonymous said...

lol!

Anonymous said...

good ol' boy:

I love your blogs. They represent everything that is hilarious about conservatives.

But seriously? Are you being serious, or is your blog supposed to be satirical? I really want to know.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the public get an explanation of the elusive Alerus "concert fund"? Randy Newman convinces he city that many small-medium tours are bypassing the Alerus. He then influences the city to give him 200K to essentially start up shop as a promoter and pursue in-house promotions (competing with their customers, that's another story). Anyway, it looks good on paper: more events, more people coming in from out of town. The whole voodoo on why it was built. Now, in reality, the commission turns around and gives all the money (almost) to existing promoters to offset losses on existing events.

I know why the citizens aren't demanding an explananation; bad decision-making breeds apathy. The citizens are so fed up that they've tuned out and now it's easier to "get away" with these scams.

Anyone interested in the concert fund? What shows have they brought with the money? What shows are they bringing? Oh, I forgot, too late. The money's gone.

ec99 said...

"Why can't the public get an explanation of the elusive Alerus "concert fund"?"

Because Newman and Co. have a vested interested in not revealing exactly how much money the Alerus loses every year. Thus they creat all these different accounts so that a firm figure can never be known. One thing is certain, if his bank showed the same results he'd be out on his butt.

Anonymous said...

"His" bank just wrote off a 5M fraudulent loan. I'd like to hear the fraudulent circumstances. He won't reply to the media. No surprise there. Who was the borrower? Maybe that Nigerian dude?

Anonymous said...

I REALLY wish there was a real newspaper in this town, not just a mouthpiece for the "Grand Cities". For instance: the county tells FEMA "you owe us money", FEMA relpies, "no we don't", the county replies "okay, you're right". Excuse me?

Somebody got a big chunk of change, not conforming to FEMA's program. Who? How much? Why?

dale said...

"His" bank just wrote off a 5M fraudulent loan. I'd like to hear the fraudulent circumstances.

Probably something associated with this.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Interesting article. I had no idea how inside Randy Newman is to the entertainment biz.

What a stud (I meant putz).

Anonymous said...

That's very interesting. I cancelled my subscription to The Herald, even though I used to enjoy reading the paper everyday. I do check in, on-line, everyday though. I have to admit, The Herald does a fantastic job of burying some stories. They ran 2 stories on this recently that you never would have seen on-line, unless you specifically searched these topics.

N-Sync, and The Backstreet Boys, owe us a date on their reunion tours!

Anonymous said...

Ouch, tough year Mr. Newman? You lobbied for a 200K "concert fund" and then blew it all without presenting one show. You also made a $5.3M bad loan to one of your fellow big time entertainment business associates.

What do you think fellow citizens? Time to get the broom and clean house out there?

ec99 said...

I'm wondering what the siutation is with the Alerus. Is it a private bank? And if so, beyond president, what is Newman's stake in it? Is he majority owner also? Short of a run on the place, is it possible to get rid of him?

ec99 said...

OK, my bad. A quick check shows that Newman is CEO and Chairman. It seems to be a publicly held company. Also, of interest, is than Gershman is on the Board of Directors.

Anonymous said...

Gershman micromanages the joint from his Board of Directors seat...that's one reason why morale is very low and so many good people have left. No big deal, I guess, cuz hey!
They know Lou Pearlman!!!

bethski said...

Alerus is also responsible for running SLUM apartments. Their landlords are horrible, and never take their tenants seriously. If you ever been on 13th ave north next to the gateway hugos, and you have been inside one of them, you know what I'm talking about.

Appreciate the Alerus center, completely. But this slum lord crap has GOT to stop.

Matthew said...

I'm still confused why the city of grand forks and the Alerus center are even connected in this venture. If you want to build an entertainment facility, you should be responsible for building it and running it, and not looking to the city to support you if you csan't make it work.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't the citizens demanding an explanation of the several snufus at The Alerus?

Lougate?
Concert fund?
How the simple "naming rights" have morphed into total control?
That's just a few...start there.

A small town bank in N.D. with a population of 1500 gets taken for $8,000,000. Did that hot lead come from our bigtime G.F. boy?

dale said...

Did that hot lead come from our bigtime G.F. boy?

How big is that axe you're grinding, anonymous? Do you work for a rival bank, or did this guy run over your dog?

Assuming that this guy was some sort of Pied Piper than suckered other banks into losing money demonstrates a) you don't like him and b) you believe that banks invest in things without doing due diligence.

If I had money in the "small town bank" you refer to, I think I'd be asking my questions of said bank, not looking for someone else to blame.

The "outraged citizens" you cite are, in this instance, limited to the customers of the Alerus bank. How that bank whizzed money away is of no concern for anyone who doesn't have cash there, and if enough people who DO have cash there remove it, there's your ramifications.

Me, I could care less. My money is (and has always been,) in another bank. Well, two of them.

Anonymous said...

No problem, if you don't see the big picture, I'm cool with that.

I know you're a music fan, the timing couldn't be more perfect for you to call "Mr. Concert Fund" and bring Uriah Heep into one of the meeting rooms at The Alerus. I believe there's enough left in the fund to pull this off. I'll buy a ticket and go to the show. I'll buy the drinks all night!

LALS said...

Did anyone read the article in the herald about the library? GFPL is a great resource but has really outgrown itself. I'd like to see the city build either a whole new building or a large addition.

dale said...

I know you're a music fan, the timing couldn't be more perfect for you to call "Mr. Concert Fund" and bring Uriah Heep into one of the meeting rooms at The Alerus.

They're back together? I thought Ken Hensley had gone off to do a solo career.

Joking aside, I realized a long time ago that Grand Forks is not, and likely never will be, a big name music town. I'm not sure we're even at the "State Fair" level of attracting acts. Once in a while, someone comes through that holds marginal appeal, but for the most part, there's not enough of a market in GF to support it.

I don't remember being in favour of the Aurora... er, Alerus Centre when it was put to the vote, but if I was, it was in the expectation that it would be a football facility, not because I figured that I'd be seeing the Mars Volta, Muse or Coldplay locally. Get another, oh, 25,000 local residents, then maybe you'll start to see "b-list" bands consider it a market opportunity.

In the meantime, it's country, football, country, the occasional monster truck rally, and an odd Aerosmith show here and there. "Concert funds" not withstanding, that's about all one can hope for.

mattfacingsouth said...

75% of our requests are either country or Skynyrd.

'Nuff said.

Matthew said...

What bothers me is that there is a perfectly good football field behind the Hyslop. What do we need the Alerus center f

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Have you ever attended a football game in ND in late October? Check the attendance figures vs. Memorial Stadium.

Anonymous said...

At the very minimum, it's time for the alerus center commission president to take the high road and resign.

Anonymous said...

I agree with comment about the Library, it's time we updated/renovated the Public Library. Wonder if it would be a good downtown addition, maybe the Civic Auditorium?

On the Memorial Stadium, how about an outdoor concert there (weather permitting)? Outdoor venues make great concerts.

C. Y. said...

I hear Big Lots is closing. Some kind of corporate downsizing. I'll miss them, there are a few of their trees growing in our back yard.

Anonymous said...

I saw the story in The Hearld this morning regarding the 10th anniversary flood celebration. The date is less than one month and it's not planned? Does anyone know why?

Another stellar job by our elected officials.

Matthew said...

If YOU want a flood celebration, why don't YOU plan it, and leave the city officials freedom to do whatever it is their jobs actually are?

Anonymous said...

Dude, relax, city officials have been hyping up the 10 year celebration for months. Now, here we are one month out...no details.

BTW...give me a budget and I'll plan it.

GrandForksGuy said...

"On the Memorial Stadium, how about an outdoor concert there (weather permitting)? Outdoor venues make great concerts."

That sounds like a fabulous idea. I wonder if anyone at UND has ever thought of it? I suppose they would have to install a better sound system. Still, I think it would make a great venue for outdoor concerts during the warmer months.

Anonymous said...

Yuk! What's up with the siding on the brownstones downtown? It's not working for me.

GrandForksGuy said...

Ugly siding? Explain, please. What does it look like and what part of the building is it on?

Anonymous said...

re: concerts at memorial stadium

I don't know if they even need to install a sound system, many touring bands travel with their own sound systems. During summer nights it would be a great place to hear/see a show. I suppose one potential problem would be noise.

mattfacingsouth said...

re: sound systems

Neither the Alerus nor the Ralph have indigenous sound systems for concerts. You're absolutely right that the acts bring in a PA system; often they contract one locally. Heck, we lug around a PA.

The reason is simple: every act has a different stage setup, monitor requirements, crowd sizes, etc. You need to tailor your PA to fit your needs as a band with regard to each and every venue. That's why they often rent locally. What works in GF may not work in Chicago.

That said, it's really cool when a small venue has a good PA installed - like Suite 49. If we could only get the Moose to follow suit...

Anonymous said...

National acts don't carry their own P.A. (generally), the promoter provides it...at their expense. Okay, it may appear that the band carries, but that's just a case where a particular promoter uses the same prod. company for a string of dates. A big-big tour, like The Stones or U2, carry because it's an essential part of the massive scope of the production.

By "touring bands", if you mean hacks like Johnny Holm for instance, yes they generally carry.

Even in a case where a National act is carrying, it's a contractor contracted for the run.

The assumption, by GFG, that an act would play Memorial Stadium and use the venue's P.A., now that's just silly.

Matthew said...

Dude, relax, city officials have been hyping up the 10 year celebration for months. Now, here we are one month out...no details.

BTW...give me a budget and I'll plan it.


I don't really care. Go get the city to give you a budget if they think it's such an important part of Grand Forks to have a celebration.

Anonymous said...

Well, regardless of where/who provides sound for the band, it seems the Memorial Stadium's sound system is not the hurdle to a concert ther.

Assuming that is so, why not have a concert at the Memorial Stadium? Anyone from UND student council/events/local promoters out there? How about a festival of local bands? [disclaimer: I have no idea how many local bands exist]

mattfacingsouth said...

Lots of local bands exist, it's just that most of them are either decent cover bands getting paid to play the bar/restaurant/club circuit, or not really good bands playing originals at free shows that nobody shows up to (primarily kids playing metal).

There's not a lot of middle ground - good original bands with an attentive audience. And if they are worth their salt, they all aspire to get out of GF ASAP. If they don't, they invariably fall apart.

Neither of the two remaining band-types really work out for a festival, as it were, unless it's in the middle of the summer and you attract the country/bluegrass scene. But the students are mainly gone at that point.

I'm almost ready to start a blog about local music.

Anonymous said...

Memorial Stadium show? What? Nobody remembers the B.T.O., Head East, and WhiteWing concert? A beautiful summer day in 1975, full house, and a certain distinctive smokey odor wafting throughout the venue (probably the whole town for that matter!).

Anyone else remember?

GrandForksGuy said...

"I suppose one potential problem would be noise."

I'm not sure that noise would be such an issue. Memorial Stadium isn't actually very close to any homes or apartment buildings. To the north is a parking lot and greek houses. To the west is Hyslop, Parking Garage, etc...no housing. To the east is old Engelstad, EERC, etc...no housing. The closest apartment buildings are to the south...across the railroad tracks...not all that close, really. Besides, a concert at Memorial Stadium would likely take place duringh the evening hours...not really late night. I think Memorial Stadium could be a fabulous location for open-air concerts. I think Bob Dylan recently came to Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo...that would have been a great event for Memorial Stadium.

Anonymous said...

It's very simple people; there's noise ordinances. If you're producing a show of this magnitude, trust me, you'll be talking to the city council. If you want to go beyond the limits, they'll decide whether or not to grant you a variance. Frankly, there will never be a major show at Memorial Stadium. There's several reasons...insurance issues, weather risk, relatively soft market in the summer. The best hope for town would be to revive an event similiar to the prior Grand Pasta Parties on the Prairie. The World's Smaller Riverside Blues Fesitval was a fantastic event also. Bottom line, private promoters probably wouldn't roll the dice on a large outdoor show. However, a coummunity event, with a good sponsorship structure, would be the way to go. They can take a few years to build and require key people.

Matthew said...

Frankly, there will never be a major show at Memorial Stadium.

This is what pisses me off about this town. If someone has a decent idea, let them see it through before automatically shooting it down. This attitude is why nothing new every happens here.

Anonymous said...

Matthew, reality pisses me off too.