What is Lansing City Market Hiding?

25 04 2008

I came across this great article in the Lansing City Pulse by Neal McNamara.  He describes an ongoing battle between the publication and Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority. Apparently, there are plans floating around for a new city market.  The Friends of the Market think that it’s too early to release plans saying they are “conceptual.”

From what I got in an e-mail (the Friends of the City Market) say they don’t feel comfortable sharing” the plans, says (LEPFA Director Eric ) Hart.

“I’m not comfortable doing that,” said Dave Finet, a member of the Friends when asked if he could provide the plans to City Pulse. “My problem is that (the plans) are real preliminary.”

Plans have been sought from other main Friends Kris Zawisza and Diane Thompson, the group’s chairwoman, both of whom met more than a week ago with this reporter to show off their new position statement about the development of the market. (One of their gripes with the new plans is that the community hasn’t been involved.) Zawisza rebuts Hart’s “uncomfortable” claim. She says it’s not her place to hand out the plans, emphasizing that they’re premature. Thompson says she doesn’t have the newest plans.

That’s crap.  If either one of those organizations take any public money at all to operatre, they have no right to exclude the public from ANY information.  It doesn’t matter if the plans are “conceptual.”  The public has a right to have input on how their money is spent.  Release the plans and let the public decide if they like what’s going on or if they have any suggestions.  When the public sector tries to do business like they are a private business, it usually ends up at a loss to the taxpayers. 

I once watched a public school district purchase $300,000 in houses they were going to tear down for a new school. As soon as the public found out what they were doing (after the houses were purchased), there was an uprising against the site and utlimately, the plans were scrapped.  However, the district had already spent the money on the houses and now had 11 properties they couldn’t sell.

Too often, people in charge of public enterprises forget who they serve.  They forget that they are not their own bosses and can’t spend money however they want.  I don’t know the total make-up of either of these two groups, but I know there is SOME public money involved at least on the LEPFA side of things.  That’s reason enough to make these plans available immediately and go from there.

I’ve been to the Lansing City Market once and was extremely disappointed.  We were so excited when we found the website before we moved here.  We had planned to make it a once a week stop for produce, etc.  Our first weekend here, we went down to the market and it was like someone stole all of our toys on Christmas morning.  It was sad.  Fortunately, we found Horrock’s the next day


Arby’s buys Wendy’s

25 04 2008

I don’t eat fast food very often, but when I do, I usually eat Arby’s.  I love their fries.  They were one of the first and still one of the few that actually use fresh cut fries instead of those crappy processed ones.  The Associated Press had an article yesterday on the sale of rival fast food chain Wendy’s.

The deal comes as Wendy’s struggles with declining profits and weak sales compared with rivals McDonald’s Corp. and Burger King Holdings Inc.

Wendy’s said Thursday that its first quarter profit was down 72 percent to $4.1 million, or 5 cents a share, in part because of expenses tied to the work of a special board committee that has been studying ways to boost the company’s stock. Revenue fell to $513 million from $522 million a year ago.

Sales at company-owned stores opened at least a year, considered a key indicator of a retailer’s strength, fell 1.6 percent in the quarter and 0.1 percent at U.S. franchise restaurants.

So, how would Dave Thomas feel about this?

Thomas’ daughter Pam Thomas Farber said the family was devastated by the news.

“It’s a very sad day for Wendy’s, and our family. We just didn’t think this would be the outcome,” said Farber, 53.

If her father were alive to hear news of the buyout, “he would not be amused,” she said.

No kidding.  It seems when the founder dies, those in charge always find a way to ruin a good thing.  It happened to Col. Sanders.  It happened to Sam Walton and now it’s happening to Dave Thomas.

Reminds me of the Chris Farley classic Tommy BoyIt’s sad.  In their lifetime, these American icons build up their dream to make it something great, but as soon as they pass on, corporate greed takes over and destroys the concept and turns people off.  In all fairness, I’ve never been a huge fan of Wendy’s anyway.  I always thought it was too greasy.  As a kid, I ate there all the time.  My dad and brother loved it.  As long as I could get a Frosty, I was happy, but as I grew older, I sorta backed away from fast food.