The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 October 2004

Fox to oversee henhouse construction

I know, I spend a lot of space on New Jersey stuff here, but let's face it: New Jersey manages to provide a whole lot of bizarre stories, and as far as Big Media are concerned, which isn't much, New Jersey and Oklahoma are in a dead heat for National Laughingstock, and stories like this give me a chance to, um, play favorites.

The Newark Housing Authority will assume responsibility for the construction of the city's downtown sports-arena complex.

This ought to be interesting, what with Authority director Harold Lucas under HUD scrutiny for managing to spend upward of $400,000 in a year and a half to renovate the Authority's offices, including a plasma TV for his own inner sanctum.

Amusingly, there will be a board empaneled to oversee the NHA's oversight of the arena. From his vantage point at Pavement Narrows, the Prop asks:

Why select an agency to run a major development that is so corrupt you won't vote for it without adding another group to oversee it?

Newark Mayor Sharpe James will be on the oversight board. He's quite excited about the new facility, which he says will mean a "new image for Newark." Given the nature of Garden State politics, I suspect not even a new mayor will be able to give Newark a new image.

Obligatory Oklahoma comparison: The 18,000-seat Newark arena will cost, says the city, no more than $210 million. The proposed new arena in Tulsa, with similar seating capacity, carries a $125-million price tag (the oft-quoted $183 million includes the cost of renovating the Convention Center). Oklahoma City's Ford Center, with 2,000 more seats, took a shade under $88 million to build.

(Dear Susanna: Aren't you just tickled pink to be in Alabama these days instead of New Jersey?)

Posted at 3:26 PM to Political Science Fiction

There's nothing scathing you can say about the "Garden" (?) State that's not richly deserved.

Posted by: Greg Hlatky at 8:44 PM on 7 October 2004

Having lived in Jersey all my life, except for a couple years courtesy of Uncle Sam, I can confirm that the government at every level is pretty much rotten to the core, with Newark being one of the poster cities for corruption.

I can also tell you that Newark is run by democrats, Essex County is run by democrats, we have a democrat governor (you know about HIM), a democrat state assembly, a democrat state senate, a democrat congressional delegation, and two democrat senators.

And, an electorate that is dumber than shit.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at 12:14 PM on 9 October 2004