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It’s finally here: the Arena website

The West Haymarket arena project finally has its own website — aside from the one the city had been maintaining. Click here to see it.
You’re paying for it, so what do you think? The board that is handling financing and construction of the arena bought it — along with this Facebook page — for $24,000. They were created by the Thought District, a Lincoln company.
I teased them a bit for budgeting like $1,500 just for the Facebook page, but I guess somebody has to keep that baby updated, so that’s probably not so bad.
I think it looks nice and professional (as opposed to the old site) but it really doesn’t have much more than the Lincoln Journal Star already had on its site (much of which I gave them to put there). The LJS had pretty much all of those same documents and maps and so on in the months leading up to the spring election.
But they should be there. However, even though they say the website’s purpose is to ensure the project’s transparency, clearly it’s a marketing tool — the latest rendition of the YES campaign’s work. They even used the same green YES campaign style.
Then again, what sense would there be in the city spending money to foment more debate over whether to build the arena? That ship has sailed.
As an aside, even though the arena won’t open until 2013, the concert industry is slipping now, according to this Wall Street Journal article.


What was Heineman thinking?

Four inaugural events in four cities, spread across two days?
Gov. Dave Heineman is normally considered pretty politically savvy, but he really whiffed this time. What is he thinking, having not one, not two, not three but FOUR inaugural events? I can understand being excited about being elected governor — THE FIRST TIME around. I might even wear a dress.

Gov. Dave Heineman

But this is his second time at the ball, and the nation is still trying to break out of the Great Recession, Nebraska is grappling with a huge budget gap, and so even if you get all your buddies to pay for the hoopla (and I’ve yet to see a cost estimate), symbolically, it sends the wrong message.
I understand the desire to spread the joy around — after all, capital cities often get to have all the fun and what could be more fun than going to an inaugural event? Well, lots of things, but maybe not if you live in Champion, for example.
But on the eve of what will be a(n) historic budget-slashing session, Heineman needs to forgo the ridiculous pomp and circumstance and let his colleagues in state government know he’s willing to tighten his own belt — or cumberbund. Instead, he’s refusing to say how much this grand party will cost and who will pay for it. Not smart, gov. Even if the law doesn’t require it, you ought to do it.
Kudos to the Omaha World-Herald for first writing about this about three weeks ago, and for some reason the Lincoln Journal Star followed suit with pretty much the same story today (but still put it on the front page, even though it’s old news).
Look for an editorial to follow.

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