Arena talk on Stan Savran today 5pm--Onorato, Morehouse

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Postby ExPatriatePen on Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:47 pm

Being an out of towner with limited access to Pittsburgh radio, I can't thank you enough TD!
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Postby NIN on Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:56 pm

"The best way to do that is in a POSTIVE, POLITE, and EFFECTIVE manner (stressing this point heavily). Comments or letters or emails that are in a negative or nasty manner, BELIEVE ME, will not have a good effect. We have already seen some emails that have been... well......pretty bad. Support this issue in a positive manner. That will help. "


I think this is a very important statement. The voices of the people cannot be dismissed as low class or taseless. Being angry can cloud your judgement . Everybody needs to collect their thoughts and deal with the facts and not the feelings. There are enough facts to show your point of veiw with much authority. No need to freak out because they wont even take you seriously and that equals one less voice. The majority of sensible poeple who state their opinion will ring louder then a few lunatics.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:59 pm

Second guest was Dan Onorato.

Savran: I would think that with all the plans having been submitted for awhile now, that there has been sufficient enough time to digest them. Why no endorsement?

Onorato: It is too soon. Only thing that we know about the proposals is what the PR machines of all 3 applicants have put out. Let the gaming board work this out. The details take several months to verify. Later on, we might want to endorse a plan, but right now it would be irresponsible to do so.

Each gaming board member is getting $165K to do their job. Let them do it.

Whoever gets the license, I want them to fund a multi-purpose arena. WE NEED IT. We need it for this region. I let all 3 applicants know this.

Savran: Do you speak to the gaming board? Will they call you and solicit your opinions on a specific, since you are representing this region? And would seemingly be able to answer questions that they will have? Or will you call them?

Onorato: I am sure that if they have any questions, that they will call me. As regard to any accusations that have been levied against the applicants, and believe me, all 3 applicants have had accusations thrown their way, the gaming board will do the research to find out what is true or not.

Savran: Who is to decide what is better in terms of what is more important? Condo's or Hill district redevelopment? Who decides what is of more value?

Onorato: Well, you can start out with the law. And that is the quality of the facility and the amount of state tax revenue that will be generated to go to property tax relief. Everything else is bells and whistles. Which is good. Competition is good.

My goal is to find a way to get a multi-purpose facility built.

Savran: Will you endorse a plan?

Onorato: Too early to say. Next few months are important, and I am working to get all the applicants to agree to arena funding. I recognize the Pen's have timeline. And that the license award might come to late for the Pen's. That is why I am working hard to have alternatives in place in case the the timing is not good in regards to the Penguins.

Savran: What influence will the Ratner campaign contributions have?

Onorato: None. I can only cite my example. In the biggest battle of my political career, running against Jim Roddy, the FC group gave $50k to Roddy.

I beileve that what will win out in the end, is the plan that is best for the area. It is too hard to fix something like this because too many people involved on both sides of the aisle.

Savran: So was the Mayor wrong when he said the fix was in?

Onorato: You will have to ask him why he said that. This issue is too bipartisan to be fixed.

(part 1--I will split this segment up.)
Last edited by td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NIN on Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:15 pm

td_ice wrote:Savran: So was the Mayor wrong when he said the fix was in?


This quote is a shocking revalation to me. Are you suggesting that Randell actually SAID that there is a "fix"? If so when and where did he actually say that?

Thanks
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:20 pm

Dan Onorato segment (part 2)

Savran: Is a Plan B viable? How far along is such a plan? What about the IOC clause that prevents the Penguins from seeking such a Plan B?

Onorato: I understand the IOC condition that they have in their contract with the Penguins. But that does not mean we cannot start preparing alternative plans. We want to have a plan in place, so that if the license does not go to IOC, then we are ready to go with another Plan in place for the Penguins.

I realize that the Penguins need to know within a certain time frame. I know that after their lease expires they can start talking to other cities. And I also realize that the Pen's were promised certain things 7 years ago. But realize I have only been in this office for 2 years. I don't really care what they were promised in the past. That doesn't help us now. Let's all sit down like adults and get this worked out.

Savran: Yes, but can you proceed with a Plan B if the Pen's are not at the table with you?

Onorato: There are two tracts we can take. Tract #1, make any of applicants fund a multi-purpose arena. We can have alternative plans in place, ready to kick in, when needed, in order to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Right now, and I cannot stress this enough, IT WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE to endorse any plan because of the lack of knowledge of all the details behind the plans. All we know is the general concepts that companies have put out through their PR.

Savran: You talk about getting the other applicants to add arena funding to their proposals, isn't it a bit too late for that?? The applications are already in.

Onorato: That is up to the gaming board. I talked to all 3 companies about arena funding. I spoke to Don Barden the other day about this. He said, 'I will look at some numbers and get back to you.' That is direction I want to move them in.

We are working on alternative plans, that we will likely have the details of by late March early April.

The alternative plan might consist of some gaming money, also tapping into the $90 million that the state has had earmarked for this region for some time. But as you know, there will be no city or county money available. You know the finances of this region.

As far as Plan B we have to determine if it is a legitimate form of funding? Does it make sense?

Savran: Well thanks Dan, I know that you have to go.

Onrato: I will come on anytime you ask me to Stan. I will not run from this issue.

I also want to clear up this, because I got a lot of emails on it, resulting from something I said in another interview. And that is the land issue. The SEA and the land donation, that will involve ANY proposal connected to a new arena.
Last edited by td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:20 pm

NIN wrote:
td_ice wrote:Savran: So was the Mayor wrong when he said the fix was in?


This quote is a shocking revalation to me. Are you suggesting that Randell actually SAID that there is a "fix"? If so when and where did he actually say that?

Thanks

Mayor Murphy was quoted as saying the fix was in.
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Postby NIN on Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:51 pm

td_ice wrote:
NIN wrote:
td_ice wrote:Savran: So was the Mayor wrong when he said the fix was in?


This quote is a shocking revalation to me. Are you suggesting that Randell actually SAID that there is a "fix"? If so when and where did he actually say that?

Thanks

Mayor Murphy was quoted as saying the fix was in.


OH crap! :oops: I was thinking RANDELL said it. :D Now THAT would be refreshing!
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:18 pm

3rd and final guest on the topic, David Morehouse political consultant for the Penguins.

Savran: Any comments on what the previous 2 guests had to say?

Morehouse: No, not really. We are very pleased to have the support of Frank LaGrotta and 23 other local officials.

Savran: Your reaction to Onorato saying that is too early to endorse a plan?

Morehouse: I understand him saying that. I don't agree with it, but I understand it. They have heard our plans for the last year in talks we have had with them. So they know about our proposal. Would it help to have Dan Onorato's endorsement, yeah, it definitely would.

Savran: Do you speak to the gaming board?

Morehouse: I just want to make this clear, the Penguins are not the applicants. We do not run casinos. We are not in that business. We are just attempting to find the best way to keep the team in Pittsburgh.

Savran: What about alternative plans?

Morehouse: (imo, you could hear the frustration in Morehouse's voice, or should I say the lack of being enthused from what he heard earlier about alternative plans. Just my interjection there.)

Look, we have talked to people for 7 years about alternative plans. And repeatedly we were told no public money of ANY KIND. There has been plenty of time for other plans.

In fact we waited as long as could, in wanting other plans, before committing to the slots path. The slots option is only the result of no other options being available in alternative plans.

The day after the license is awarded, we can leave. (if not awarded.) We could then talk about an alternative plan to stay, And that is our priority to stay in Pittsburgh. But we don't understand why our proposal should not win out.

If this were strictly about the money, we would not have got involved in this process and would simply solicit the highest bidder and go there. We want to stay in Pittsburgh.

Yes, the revenue the casino will generate is important. But we also believe that the community giveback is very important as well. And if we had the back of the local officials here, we believe that it would carry the day.

The IOC plan would connect the Hilll. Literally and figuratively. (he mentioned a road way, IIRC, that would be built)

Look at the jobs that would be created and/or kept with the IOC plan. Look at all the construction jobs that would created. The construction in building the casino. And the construction in building a new arena.

Savran: What about the gaming board timeline?

Morehouse: I have no idea. By the statute, the process is supposed to take no longer than a year. But the way it is worded is "within a year when processed." Who is to say, what they will define as "processed."?

Savran: Do you believe that the campaign contributions will carry the day or not?

Morehouse: I believe it will be based on the merits. Mainly because of all the scrutiny that this issue has created.
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Postby Draftnik on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:25 pm

Morehouse also said the best thing fans can do is keep contacting local and state politicians to put the heat on them so they make the arena issue a priority in this process.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:27 pm

Draftnik wrote:Morehouse also said the best thing fans can do is keep contacting local and state politicians to put the heat on them so they make the arena issue a priority in this process.


Yeah, I was just about to post, if anyone can add to what I wrote, (I was doing my best to keep up with the interviews) please add to it.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:33 pm

Another point in the LaGrotta interview.

LaGrotta: This is issue much deeper than the Pittsburgh Penguins, and I say that with all sincerity, as someone who enjoys hockey and is in deep appreciation for all that Mario has done for the city. And he is truly a resident of this area. This is an issue that is so important to the Western Pa region. So when people say do this for Mario, do this for the Penguins, I hope people realize that this is very important to this region for many reasons. (he went on to speak about the many benefits that IOC will bring to the area if chosen.)

Savran: So, do people do the issue a disservice when they mention the Penguins when discussing the slots?

LaGrotta: No. Because the Penguins are a very important regional asset. And I think it is important on many levels that we keep a major league status and having an NHL franchise is very important.
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:35 pm

Well, at the very least, I think it's clear that the noise that has been generated by the Pens' supporters is being heard. Will it be enough? I dunno. But, Onorato knows it is there, and that is a good thing.

One thing that is clear to me is that this process will take a long time. Given the allegations about a fix, and the fact that the former mayor made the accusations months ago, it would not surprise me that if FC does indeed win this thing, somebody somewhere is going to sue. This whole process could drag out for years if FC wins.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:40 pm

After all the guest had been interviewed, Stan closed the slots talk with this point.

Just remember, that there is a provision in the slots bill, that allows a certain amount of monies to be sent back to individual municipalities, to use however they want. That money can be used in any alternative plans.
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Postby NIN on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:52 pm

td_ice wrote:After all the guest had been interviewed, Stan closed the slots talk with this point.

Just remember, that there is a provision in the slots bill, that allows a certain amount of monies to be sent back to individual municipalities, to use however they want. That money can be used in any alternative plans.


If it comes down to each Municipality chipping in I think they would but how much is uncertain. THere is no way each one would say OK here is every red cent for the arena. Thats highly unlikely but the final sum could be a significant amount of money.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:54 pm

NIN wrote:
td_ice wrote:After all the guest had been interviewed, Stan closed the slots talk with this point.

Just remember, that there is a provision in the slots bill, that allows a certain amount of monies to be sent back to individual municipalities, to use however they want. That money can be used in any alternative plans.


If it comes down to each Municipality chipping in I think they would but how much is uncertain. THere is no way each one would say OK here is every red cent for the arena. Thats highly unlikely but the final sum could be a significant amount of money.


That is my impression as well.
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:09 pm

Well, the Pens are going to have to be even more patient than they've been. I highly doubt that this is going to be settled by June, unless Onorato decides to gamble and float some bonds that he will pay off once the final arrangement is reached, if borrowing in that way is even possible.
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Postby netwolf on Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:19 pm

Again td_ice, thank you very much for transcribing all of those interviews. It was good to hear some of those questions being asked and if nothing else, it is a positive that the importance of this issue does not seem to be lost on Onorato.
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Postby td_ice on Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:26 pm

To all those who posted thanks, you are quite welcome. I know how much I appreciate reading interview summaries when I am unable to catch a particular show. I am happy to do it.

I think a quick email thanks to Stan and Frank LaGrotta (perhaps Dan Onorato, if you feel he deserves it. At least, he is speaking on it. Hopefully it is more than lip service) would be in order.

Stan mentioned that he will not let this issue go, and will continue to speak about it.
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Postby Admin on Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:27 am

Excellent work, td_ice! Thank you.
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Listen to Onorato

Postby td_ice on Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:43 pm

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Postby ExPatriatePen on Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:21 pm

I'm getting the following message when I attempt to connect???

Sorry, the file you have requested could not be found
or has been intentionally disabled by the content owner.
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Postby Admin on Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:56 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:I'm getting the following message when I attempt to connect???


I've fixed td_ice's links. Try them again.
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Postby ExPatriatePen on Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:00 pm

The ironic part of this is that Stan grew up in Cleveland. :-)
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:24 pm

And right now, Stan's advocacy is far more effective than MM's. I doubt that MM can get any heavyweights on his show to talk about this issue.
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Postby ExPatriatePen on Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:31 pm

bill from turtle creek wrote:And right now, Stan's advocacy is far more effective than MM's. I doubt that MM can get any heavyweights on his show to talk about this issue.


Agreed. I've been saying for months (Since the first rally) that MM is the LAST person you want connected with this effort.
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