Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another shell game - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This is what a lie looks like. This is what a liar does. Meet Dan Onorato, the guy who said no local tax money would go for the new arena.

Another shell game - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pennsylvania's taxpayers already have spent millions on the new Penguins arena despite assurances they would be held harmless.

'Loans' of $19.7 million for site preparation from a state capital fund have morphed into grants. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato have said no local tax money would be devoted to the project.

But speaking in such highly technical terms belies the fact that all Pennsylvania taxpayers -- of which 'local' taxpayers are a significant subset -- are helping to pay for the hockey arena.
Money to buy the land under the Civic Arena, land that is owned by the public, is going to be purchased back from Penguins in 10 years. So, $15-million needs to be put aside now. \

Large sums of money is being put in reserve today to purchase land in the future to the benefit of the Penguins ownership. The team ownership would have a new areana and would have fumbled on the development of the area around the new digs.

Go figure.

Any way you size it up -- Onorato lied.

Half the money is from the city. The other half is from the county. In total, all of it, $15-million, is from city residents as we live in both the city and the county.

I don't want the public authority to buy back land that is already owned by the public.

Furthermore, I want the new arena to be owned by the Penguins. That's going to be public land too.

This is a deal that is as bent as a hockey stick.

By the way, we'll get a free skate in two sessions at the Civic Arena for RAD Days. Oh my gosh. How wonderful. See the Google Calendar along the side of this blog for September 25.

Meanwhile, the only other indoor ice rink, on the South Side, is still closed. And, there is little hope of it opening as the city rejected all the proposals that arrived in May 2007.

They are putting away $15-million for the Penguins and can't release the land where another hockey rink sits, that can be used by city and county residents. We don't need $300,000. Nope. We need the city to grant permission for a developer to make that opportunity real.

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