Thursday, April 17, 2008


I was unable to post most of last week so I couldn't comment on Reclaiming the River. When I was looking up campaign contributions for this post the week before, I was struck by the generosity of the Cummings family, and their various enterprises, as well as that of William Broadhurst. I wasn't particularly surprised to see John and Sean Cummings giving money to various city council members, but William Broadhurst brought back memories. I didn't realize that the former Edwards confidante and Monkey Business skipper was still involved in local politics. The Riverfront article may have explained:
Upriver, the planners' suggestion that three privately financed residential towers could be built on the wharves between Richard and Race streets has drawn a protest from lawyer William Broadhurst, a friend of Miami developer Michael Samuel, who bought the nearby Market Street power plant in early 2007 for $10 million.

Broadhurst said construction of riverfront buildings would mar the view from the proposed condominium, hotel and retail project and would hurt Samuel's chances of getting financing.

I've scrapped most of the posts that I've done on the riverfront because they've ended up looking like hatchet jobs, but I will finish one up soon. I'll also say that I had a WTF moment when a Google search led to The Nagin Files, but you can't always tell what's meant by "business partner."

Also, I can't believe that I missed this a while back. Of course the mayor's office should be responsible for all complaints about city government. Otherwise, the council wouldn't have given in so easily.

Finally, I don't have time to replay the whole thing, but if I remember the Frontline piece on Katrina correctly, Bennett Landreneau seemed pretty inept.

I can't wait to see how this shakes out.

There is an interesting factoid that you might be interested in. The Dock Board doesn't own the land under their wharves.

They have in effect a right to use the land for "maritime purposes". If they no longer need the land the land reverts to it's owners for whatever use they might see fit.

A few years ago I was involved in a project to convert the abandoned gambling boat dock to a facility for Delta Queen who was then just down the river. They were thinking of putting all of their corporate facilities including administrative and reservation offices in there along with a passenger terminal and some maintenance and loading facilities.

In any event it turned out that Joe Canizaro owned the adjacent land and threatened to sue if the deal went through because the above describes operation wasn't a "maritime use".

I just shook my head, I don't know how it couldn't be a "maritime use".

The project eventually died in part because the Dock Board wouldn't indemnify Delta Queen, although that wasn't the main reason.
I started to do a "cronies" post about the Cummings, Nagin, and the riverfront months ago; it would be an easy post to do just from articles and blog posts that are (or were) easily available online -- that's all I usually have to go on, anyway. I'll still post on the apparent conflicts of interest and the apparent closeness of the Cummings and Nagin, but it will be tempered by the realization that almost anybody who had the background to head the NOBC would probably have some conflicts of interest and you can't expect a mayor to apoint an enemy to head such a post.

I'd be a lot less cynical about "Reinventing the Crescent" if the website and informational videos actually gave us some information.
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