Posts tagged ‘Entertainment Tax’

December 1, 2011

Is Bill Turlay In For The Mielke Treatment?

by lewwaters

Like them or not, we have to admit the Columbian is about the most transparent newspaper in existence. You can pretty much tell where their articles lean politically every time.

All we need do is look back at the disparity in their coverage of Tea Party rallies compared with nearly twice as much coverage given to Occupy rallies in Vancouver. Several reporters were sent out to cover the initial rally of between 600 to 700 people while a previous Tea Party rally in Esther Short Park saw no coverage at all.

We were treated to numerous articles covering the scandalous resignation of former Republican representative Richard Curtis, while no one is at all interested in a single rumor on alcoholic escapades and harassment against female staffers by former Democrat representative Jim Jacks.

It is difficult to find any favorable mention on Republican State Senator Don Benton just as there is with county commissioner Tom Mielke, who beat out Democrat Pam Brokaw, who the Columbian just so happened to endorse.

The negative coverage of candidates they do not endorse and those who support them reach legendary status, as we saw last year with Alan Svehaug and as we saw this year with Josephine Wentzel and with successful businessman David Madore, who happens to oppose a major project they support, CRC with light rail from Portland.

read more »

July 26, 2011

Show The Yakima Bears the Door

by lewwaters

[Updated to reflect a major correction by the Columbian in who owns the stadium]

[Update 2: More on specific ownership of the stadium from Stephanie Rice added]

Vancouver’s city council got their first formal presentation for the Class A ball Team, Yakima Bears planned move to Vancouver. All council members except Pat Campbell have given City Manager “Erik Holmes the OK to research the issue and engage in potential discussions with Clark County” for adding a 5% entertainment tax throughout the county pay for construction of a $23 Million stadium adjacent to Clark College.

The Columbian

There are several pros & cons to relocating a Class A ball team to Vancouver, a large con being that 5% entertainment tax added to movie tickets, golf courses and several other forms of entertainment.

Although Clark County taxpayers will be on the hook for 70% of the costs of the proposed stadium, we were told “the stadium would be owned and maintained by Short Season LLC.” Stephanie Rice, the writer of the article posted this morning, “Key correction: the sentence should read (and now does) ‘the stadium would be publicly owned but maintained by Short Season LLC’.”

UPDATE 2: Comment from Stephanie Rice, “Lew, to be even more specific, the team would own it while the debt was being repaid, then it would be publicly owned. Here’s what I was told by the team when I asked why in documents it says the team would own it: ‘Ownership is during the period in which the facility is indebted. It secures the asset until the debt is retired. Then it is free and clear a public facility’.”

City council members Larry Smith and Jack Burkman asked to hear alternatives to the entertainment tax and were told of none.

Asked why taxpayers should pay for the stadium, Mike Thiessen of Short Season LLC said that “the team would be putting up 30 percent of the construction costs for a stadium it would use 13 percent of the time.”

That’s not exactly reassuring.

I have kept an open mind on this proposal, even though voicing concerns over its location next to the Vancouver Campus of the Veterans Hospital, but reading “After the workshop, co-owner K.L. Wombacher said the team does have alternate plans, but they don’t involve the city of Vancouver seals it for me.

It’s time to close the books and show these people the door.

We do not need to be threatened into coughing up tax dollars for a new stadium to be owned by a private enterprise “at a time when public services are being cut, a fire station closed, federal grants used to keep cops on the street and the city lacks money to fill all its potholes,” as expressed by Tim Leavitt’s former campaign manager, Temple Lentz as she “questioned the rationality of raising a tax for a stadium.”

Ms. Lentz expressed, “The terms political will and vision were used as qualities to make this happen. But giving $20 million of other people’s money to the first guy who comes up and asks for it is not political will or vision.”