Friday, July 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

"We hope the council votes against something the chamber wants soon — just to show they still can."

- Editorial,
Northwest Arkansas Times, July 23, 2010


  1. This is rich. When Bill Ramsey and the "Cowbirds" were leading the charge for the TIF Districts and Southpass, the Times was their head cheerleader. Now that Steve Clark has brought a new vision and energy to the Chamber -- the children's book drive at the public library, the Greenway initiative, supporting the mayor's green jobs training center and the Buy Fayetteville campaign, and actually bringing new jobs that pay a decent wage -- the Times is jealous of the Chamber's successes, just as they are of the city administration.

    The NWA Times has become a print version of this blog, always against something and never for anything worthwhile. This quote sums up their view of how government should work, just voting against something without considering the merits because it is supported by the Chamber. That editorial suggested that they thought advertising was a waste of time since they weren't getting any of it like they do on their overpriced legal notices. They should stick to endorsing losers and let the Chamber and the City Council keep working for a better Fayetteville.

  2. "The NWA Times has become a print version of this blog, always against something and never for anything worthwhile."

    Citizen, this blog has become downright wimpy. If you want some really fucked up anger by bloggers who are adamantly against everything going on in northwest Arkansas, just cruise on over to the comments section on the Flyer. BurgerBoy, OffCamber, and DanielManer know everything about everything and are always ready to pitch in a discouraging word on any topic.

  3. Anonymous 10:22--

    Although I don't always agree with burgerboy, OffCamber or Daniel Maner, I have to say that they are generally consistent in their opinions, and they seem to be more interested in making points than in scoring points. They do not strike me as particularly angry, and when they disagree with something or somebody, they offer reasons and alternatives.

    For "really fucked up anger by bloggers who are adamantly against everything", subscribe to the on of the conglomerated Arkansas newspapers and read the comments at No reasons, no reason, no alternatives except those involving the Second Amendment.

    While I'm happy that the Fayetteville Flyer has a growing base of online copmmenters, I think it's a shame that The Iconoclast has pretty much lost its engaged readership.

  4. In other local news:

    FAYETTEVILLE — The Cosmopolitan Hotel came under new management June 22 and its court appointed receiver, Ozark Asset Management, is working to ensure the Fayetteville hospitality landmark survives to serve future generations.
    The receiver is still trying to determine the delinquent amounts outstanding to taxing authorities, according to the report.

    The court report also indicated that one of the hotel’s owners, Richard Alexander, withdrew $36,000 from the hotel’s Arvest bank account, made out in cashiers check to the Internal Revenue Service on June 15.

    The receiver required Alexander to turn the check over to his attorney, David Fisher, as the withdrawal was prohibited by the receivership order.

    Reynolds said the parties are working together to decide what is the best use for the withdrawn funds, that have not yet been returned to the receiver."

    That was pretty ballsy Richard. Defying a federal court order can draw jail time.

  5. L...Thanks for the real news! I wonder why Jonah hasn't had any blogs on the demise of the Cosmo, and the takeover by new ownership from the foreclosure process. It's finally out of the hands of Nock and Alexander as of June 22. They really screwed themselves. In rehabbing the top six floors they took the hotel from a 235 room hotel to a 91 room hotel, but just after starting the transformation, their lender (ANB) went under, which meant no more money to fund the renovation.

    Given the desperate straits that Nock was/is in with his house of cards real estate empire, I would love to look at the Cosmo's financial records from these last few years to see if there were any other shenanigans going on, like what you mentioned above with Alexander. I wonder if the receiver will hire an auditing firm to do a full audit from the day those guys bought it four or five years ago.

    The new owner had to kick in $21,000 in June and $38,000 in July to pay the bills. That's an average $30,000 money pit every month, and that doesn't even take into consideration money needed to finish the renovation, upgrading things, etc. The funny thing was the guy saying he hoped football season would help turn things around, etc. Hey buddy, there are five home games, that's ten days of the year, Bikes Blues makes twelve days of the year. You've got another 353 other days in the year. Good frigging luck, you sucker, that hotel is a dump and a money pit. Read the reviews on Trip Advisor some time. Everything Nock touches turns to trash.

  6. I wonder if the fact that the Cosmo is such a mess is playing into the Walton Arts Center thought process about moving up north. Now that the Walton Family is going to build a fancy high end hotel up there next to Crystal Bridges, wouldn't it make sense for WAC to have their main theater up there, and put the traveling shows in the Walton's new hotel, rather than have the existing WAC as the main theater and putting the shows performers and crew up at the run down Cosmo.

  7. Wow, I get to appear to defend RAlexander. Don't get used to it people.
    Doubt we are getting the full story from the paper. It would seem that beyond a certain moment in time RA withdrawing any $$ at all would be problematic in view of the receivership.
    But a cashier's check to U.ncle S.ugar is a sign of major problems. Indicates major tardiness in Trust Fund (payroll withholdings that are not the property of the bus.) & he was most probably trying to avoid a bank levy or lien or both.
    Here's the fun part: both IRS and DFA (Sales Tax) will pursue Nocketal PERSONALLY to collect this type of tax. We won't get to hear about it however, unless they file personal bankruptcy.
    But, as we are reminded o so often: they are just victims of forces beyond their control.

  8. Yeah, it's funny, the standard line isn't "I stuck my neck too far out and got involved in way too many risky real estate projects." but rather "The economy tanked."

    When they were having successes, the developers never credited the economy or the upswing in the real estate/ housing market because the developers thought it was their own genius that led to the successes. They took all the credit. Now when things have turned, they take none of the blame and pass it all off on the economy. What a bunch of losers. I'm glad they all got wiped out or are going to get wiped out.

  9. Where did Greg Harton go to school to learn his journalism genius? Not the U of A, I hope.

  10. Where are the AA type groups for these bad businessmen?
    Where's the 'fearless moral inventory' with the goal to take responsibility for one's own screwups?
    A financial 12-step program should be required treatment, certainly before being allowed any more loans or public-teat access.

  11. >>Where did Greg Harton go to school to learn his journalism<<

    Although Tebbetts credited the editorial to Northwest Ark Times that is erroneous. The identical editorial appeared in ALL versions of NWA Newspapers. You have no idea of who wrote the editorial since no credit was given.

    NWA Newspapers is a result of combining The Moron News, NWA Times, Benton County Daily Record and NW version of ADG. It is jointly owned by Hussman-WEHCO MEDIA (ADG) and Stephens Media with Hussman retaining business control of the publication and Stephens retaining editorial control.


  12. >>Wow, I get to appear to defend RAlexander. Don't get used to it people.
    But a cashier's check to U.ncle S.ugar is a sign of major problems. Indicates major tardiness in Trust Fund (payroll withholdings that are not the property of the bus.) & he was most probably trying to avoid a bank levy or lien or both.<<

    There is ONE major problem with your assumption:


    No one knows that to be the case and I agree the reporter was limited or bereft in omitting key details but did mention that Alexander was not available for comment.

    I ask, given Alexander's history of extreme self-interest, how does one know if he was intending to pay corporate tax liability or his own related tax liability from the cashier's check illegally withdrawn from receivership funds?


  13. L...that's the big question we don't know the answer to...was he intending to pay personal tax liability or the hotel's tax liability.

    I hope a full audit is done from when Nock/Alexander bought the place. I have a feeling if every rock is turned over, they'll find some strange things.

  14. I've always wondered why there weren't more people asking questions about the Nock/Alexander financial house of cards, and the apparent cozy relationship they've enjoyed with the former Mayor. (and his with them)

    Just sayin'......

  15. Nock's the one with the house of cards, as he was a Johnny come lately, only getting involved in real estate deals starting from I think around 2005, and he dove in with both feet. So he had no cushion or honey pot of money from past successes.

    Alexander has been involved in real estate I think going back to the mid 1990s and has a lot of small successes under his belt, although he got out on a limb during the bubble with a lot of high dollar projects (Renaissance Tower, Cosmo, EJ Ball, One East Center, Underwood Plaza, etc.). If I had to guess, I'd bet that all those high dollar money pits have probably eaten away at most of the profits he made from all his small successes over the years.

  16. Here's a further chunk of weirdness I picked up recently.
    N & A had / have(!) a public/partnership relationship with our fair City.
    Dunno about y'all, but when I see the word *partnership*, I think marriage. Then I think what if the worst happens?, etc. In other words, you may want to check out your *partner* BEFORE you crawl into bed.
    NOT SO WITH MUNICIPALITIES, apparently. With knowledge comes liability. [If you knew, why didn't you do something?}
    So it seems that the City is perfectly happy to let the Banks determine everything & then try to cover its butt thru contract (who pays how much & when). No required due diligence or submission of financial info. needed.
    Altho' in the case of South Park, one would have to put the word "contract" in quotes: [Perhaps written BY if not almost solely in favor of the developer].

  17. Cattle are grazing, wildflowers are blooming, south park is safe for now.
    All is harmonious!

  18. Southpark is safe for now?

    Did the city of Fayetteville ever receive the promised deed? The thing they "traded" for?