Friday, April 30, 2010

What Is The Difference Between Premier Gordon Campbell And The Governor Of Alabama?


In 2002 during his first successful run for Governor of the state of Alabama, Bob Riley, who has since become a hater of electronic bingo machines, received a $10,000 donation from a very fine fellow named William Cobb 'Chip' Hazelrig.

A short time later it was revealed that Mr. Hazelrig was a founding investor, in the year 2000, in a company has since gone on to build Casinos on Native American/First Nations Reserves in both the United States and Canada.

As a result, Mr. Riley returned Mr. Hazelrig's money.


In 2009 during his second successful run for Premier of the Province of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell and his Liberal Party of B.C. received a $50,000 donation from a very fine fellow named T. Richard Turner.

As we all now know Mr. Turner has been an investor, since 2003, in a company that has built Casinos on First Nations reserves in Alberta and, due to a very recent decision by the Campbell government, will soon be building a Casino on Crownland smack dab in the middle of downtown Lotusland.

Of course, as a result of the revelations regarding Mr. Turner's investments, Mr. Campbell and his Party returned Mr. Turner's donation.

Say what?

They didn't?

How come?

Could it have anything to do with the fact that the puffed-up proPunditry 'round here told him he didn't have to?


Oh, and for the record, the company that the good Mr. Hazelrig and Mr. Turner both invested in is named, surprise!, Paragon.
Next up during Mile 15 of the Marathon.....The story of another, not completely 'unrelated', early investor in Paragon.....


Thursday, April 29, 2010

RailGate's New Top 40!


Yesterday, Rod Mickleburgh, in the Globe, gave us a few of the 40 or so names that are apparently on the Special Prosecutor's potential witness list for the upcoming Basi-Virk-Basi trial.

Initially, the VSun gave us essentially nothing, but this morning they were good enough to expand CanWest stablemate Keith Fraser's original cryptogram to include a few more names.

As a result we can now add three new members to the New RailGate Top 40...


The first new member is Mr. Gary Rennick, who is the former CEO of OmniTrax, the US Railway company that hired currently scot-free promotions men Brian Keiran and Erik Bornman who are also potential witnesses for the Crown.

The second new member is Mr. Kevin Mahoney, who is the current BC Rail CEO. This means that Mr. Mahoney is now being paid handsomely by the people of British Columbia to oversee 40 km of spur line and no locomotives.

The third new member is Mr. John McLernon, who is the current BC Rail Chairman. Interestingly Mr. McLernon is also the current Chair of the BC Lotteries Corporation which, based on the post-BCLC activities of a former gambling commission Chair, has us wondering if we will soon see a call for really fantastic, not to mention super-great, Canadian Rollingstock Railway Casinos.


Below, is our current total sum knowledge of the 'New' Top 40.

Again, we publish these names here based on the understanding that they were read out, in open court, with the jury present (ie. we are assuming that they are not subject to Mdme. Justice MacKenzie's previous pre-trial publication ban).

Campbell Administration Apparatchiks
Martyn Brown
Kenneth 'The Hatman' Dobell
Brenda Eaton

Former WestCoast FedLib Rainmaker
Mark 'ChristyWho?' Marissen

Former Campbell Government Ministers
Judith Reid
Gary 'HarmonyIs(nolonger)MyName' Collins

Railway Magnates
ClaudeMongeau (CN's current Big Boss not named David)
Rob Ritchie (CP's Former Big Boss who cried wolf)
Gary Rennick (OmniTrax' former Big Boss who did not cry wolf, at least not initially)
John McLernon (BC Rail's current Chairman and the former Chair of the 'Evaluation Committee' during the BC Rail Restructuring*)
Kevin Mahoney (BC Rail's current CEO and a former 'Staff Advisor' during the BC Rail Restructuring*)

Agents of OmniTrax who some consider to be 'Free Men From Scotland'
Brian 'EnamelMan' Keiran
Eric 'SpideySense' Bornman

*Please note that the Organization Chart that describes Mess'rs McLernon's and Mahoney's roles during the Judith Reid-overseen BC Rail 'Restructuring' in 2003 was not obtained through previous pre-trial discovery....Instead it was obtained from a BC Liberal Cabinet Minister-trumpeted 'Interim Fairness Evaluation Report' that is referred to, explicitly, in Hansard in the Fall of 2003 (ie. BEFORE pre-trial proceedings began).

And why do we call it the 'New' Top 40?......
Well, we've published previous lists that, apparently, we are not allowed to tell you about....But if you wanted to type something in the search box in the top left corner of the page, no one could stop you....


RailGate In Hiding....Give Us The ENTIRE List....


We've been told that one of the BC Rail prosecutors read out a list of 40-44 names that they plan to call as witnesses in the trial that is set to resume on May 17th.

This, apparently, occurred in open court, with the just-selected jury present (we presume given that it has been reported on in the public prints) yesterday.

So why are we getting these wee-little dribble-drabbles of a few of the names on that list from the assembled proMedia that was, also presumably (actually) present (this time)?

I mean.....

Is it really that hard to just give us the entire list - even if it is just in the online editions?

Otherwise, now that the trial has begun and the pre-trial gag-order is done we, the people who have been paying attention, are going to have to start speculating.

And the LedgieBoys and the Watercarriers, especially the Watercarrier who makes his living taking calls from people who do nothing but speculate, wouldn't like that very much.



RailGate Trial Going Down....So Far There Are No Plea Deals.


Yesterday, all three defendents in the RailGate trial, David Basi, Robert Virk and Aneal Basi, unequivocally pleaded not guilty to ALL of the charges levelled against them by the Crown.

Which is very good news for the people of British Columbia, indeed.


Because it means that no deals appear to have been made.

Which means we will get a real trial...

In which both the prosecution and the defense will have to put matters to a jury...

Which means that the prosecution and defense will both be forced to be persuasive using lay language that the jurors can actually understand.

Which also means that we, the people, will likely be able to understand most of what is going on too.....

Especially when witnesses are being examined and, yes(!), cross-examined.

And what a witness list it appears to be!

Here are the confirmed so far amongst the list of 44.....

Campbell Administration Apparatchiks
Martyn Brown
Kenneth 'The Hatman' Dobell
Brenda Eaton

Former WestCoast FedLib Rainmaker
Mark 'ChristyWho?' Marissen

Former Campbell Government Ministers
Judith Reid
Gary 'HarmonyIs(nolonger)MyName' Collins

Railway Magnates
ClaudeMongeau (CN's current Big Boss not named David)
Rob Ritchie (CP's Former Big Boss who cried wolf)

Agents of OmniTrax who some consider to be 'Free Men From Scotland'
Brian 'EnamelMan' Keiran
Eric 'SpideySense' Bornman

So who cares about Pinky and The Brain and the Goalie that flogs German touring cars now anyway.....

Because the real game in town is scheduled to begin, for real, on May 17th.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RailGate Run Around.....Say What?....We've Got A Trial Goin' Down!


Just in case you missed the extremely cryptic Suggest-O-Grams from all the usual proMedia suspects, the BasiVirkBasi RailGate Trial began today.

You want a real eyewitness report with actual context that matters?

Robin Mathews, by way of our good friend Mary, has the story. Here's his lede.

Courtroom 55 was packed today, standing room only - probably about 160 people, present for the process of jury selection. The three accused in the case Dave Basi, Bobby Virk, and Aneal Basi were present and replied clearly "Not Guilty" as the charges were read by the court clerk.

With the presentation of charges and the response of the accused, their counsel standing close by, the trial - so long awaited - in the BC Rail Scandal ... began... in fact.

Associate Chief Justice Madam Anne MacKenzie counselled the assembled potential jurors that the trial is estimated (roughly) to last six weeks ... but might run a few more. Is is presently scheduled to begin May 17. Since the date has been changed countless times over the more than three years of pre-trial hearings, the beginning date may, of course, change again.

Associate Chief Justice MacKenzie, elevated to that position only days ago, appears to be ready to continue with the trial. Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett - upon being raised to the Appeals Court after nearly three years of pre-trial presidence - was removed or removed herself last Fall from the BC Rail Scandal case. Today - in the court lists - Justice Bennett was presiding at a Supreme Court (not an Appeals Court) procedure.....

Now I finally understand what all the PAB-assisted attempts to change the channel have been all about the last couple of days....After all, new rules on skid-lids are way, way more important to the average British Columbian than this.....Right?


Is Now The Time To Cash In On Lotusland's Loco Land Values?


Couldn't help but wonder the following as I rode through the last blossom blizzard of the season this morning...

Is it possible that I am the only person in Lotusland that is not trying to sell their house?

On an unrelated buzzing-fly note.....Which should I be more concerned about....The fact that the PAB-Bots are back in force these days (apparently they have an intense interest in old James Bond movies) or the realization that the constant crawl overs of theGoogleDroids are leading the leading the anarchic archivists of Tubezland to link me up to stuff like this?


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way This Wind Blows


All you need is Carole....


The Globe's Justine Hunter gives us the story in all it's breathy glory. Here's her lede:

Former B.C. finance minister Carole Taylor has joined the chorus of critics of the harmonized sales tax, adding to her successor’s woes Monday just as the government prepares to cut off debate on its tax legislation this week.

“This particular tax takes the tax off businesses – it takes $1.8-billion off of businesses – and puts it on consumers,” Ms. Taylor told a CTV News panel last week. “But I think the bigger issue is that [Premier Gordon Campbell] promised that they would not – they would not – do the harmonization of the sales tax. And then right after the election, decided to do it.”

Don't know about you, but I love the smell of Recall in the Morning.

In not necessarily related news....There is some talk of turfin' goin' down....Anybody have anything specific?.....Or....Is this just Chris Delaney going all-paranoid-all-the-time, again?


Monday, April 26, 2010

What Is Gordon Campbell's Worst Nightmare?

...It's The Recall, Stupid.


Yesterday, on Public Eye Radio's panel segment, Sheila Orr said something extremely interesting.

The so-called rabble-rousers were discussing the topic of whether or not a legitmate 'new' third provincial party could emerge in the aftermath of the anti-HST campaign

The consensus was that this was unlikely given the widely differing political and ideological views amongst the rank and file supporters of the initiative.

Which makes a whole lotta sense, I suppose, in straight-up, real-politick terms at least.

And then Sheila O. dropped the bomb.....


Esssentially Ms. Orr pointed out that what could really impact the government, right now rather than way later, is the possibility that Wee Willy V. et al. could use their lists and the the avalanche of anger that will come cascading down when the anti-HST initiative ultimately fails, to seriously target vulnaerable Liberal MLAs for recall.

All of which could lead to a revolt amongst his backbench, egged-on by a few upfront, that just might start giving Mr. Campbell the non-Stolichnaya -induced night sweats in the coming weeks and months.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Casino Royale: Running Right Off The Track....

....Musical Update, courtesy Mighty-Anon-O-Mouse, at the bottom of the post....


Inspired by a Document Dump last Friday, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia began on the weekend.....Unfortunately, it has now stalled for a bit after reaching its mid-point yesterday.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race so far)


Due to a flare-up in the ol' tendinititis, not to mention the arrival of circumstances beyond my control, I am being forced to pull out of the Marathon at the half-way point....

At least for the time being.

However, for those who want to stay ahead of the mutually-moribund proMedia pack, I strongly suggest you check in regularly over at Sean Holman's PublicEye website to keep track of future developments.


Just this morning Mr. Holman has a new wrinkle up, which I have commented upon rather cryptically, here.

Those circumstances involved the arrival of, via a circuitous Mojo-wire route, news that a Science-Geek competitor is getting ready to publish a spookily similar paper to something we have been working on for a while now ourselves...It is niche that we used to have all to ourselves until others started getting interested in it (which is fine and dandy, because that's the way things are supposed to work)....But, because there are no wild-card winners in the S-Geek business, we've gotta get cracking on our paper right away to make sure the gradual student involved doesn't lose out down the road......
I say 'cryptic' with respect to the comment I left over at Sean's place because it turns out that Bingo v. Casino Wars down south have involved some Principals that are, to say the least, colourful the extreme (more on that latter when I do get time - unless Mr. H. takes a run at it first, which would be just fine with me....
And below, is a most appropriate piece from the fantasmagorical Ukelele Orchestrata of Great Britain, that one of the Anon-O-Mice in the comments pointed us towards, that gets right to the heart of this matter....



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We Interrrupt This Marathon To Bring You...

...Alvin Lee-By-The-Sea.....

...Who, just in case you missed it, let us know that we were all soon going to become 'chicken men' back when he opened his most recent show in Lotusland with 'Atlantic City' in early 2008.

Wonder if Ms. Always Campaigning and the Capri Pants, sitting, free-of-charge, up in the High Roller's Suite even got it at the time, especially given that it was they who were getting ready to open both the barn door and the front gate for the fine folks from Vegas a scant six months later?

Can't believe I didn't already have the above version of Prove It All Night in my collection. It's King Hell Darkness Tour through-and-through, bookended by pure shreddery straight from the gullet of that, as his Dad apparently once called it, "goddamned guitar"....No wonder so many people were converted, pretty much forever, on the spot....
Oh, and here's a little tidbit for all the soon-to-be newly-minted moguls of Lotusland to consider....Apparently, the construction of Casino Industrial Complexes ain't faring so well somewhere out in the Swamps of Jersey these days....


Casino Royale Running Wild...Paragon Marathon, Mile 13


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia has now reached its mid-point.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


Who'd a thunk it, but.....

It turns out that not everybody thinks that we, the People of British Columbia, should be forced to spend $563 million on a stadium roof just because a Casino operator from Vegas named Paragon told us to.*

Shane Bigham, reporting for CKWX, has the story....

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Parents at the rally are angry the province is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the new roof for B.C. Place Stadium and renovations for Empire Field near the P.N.E.

Tim is one of the organizers and says what galls them is the fact that the Vancouver Board of Education is short $18-million and stadiums are the government's spending priority. "This is actually my first protest and this is the first time any of us have organized anything likes this...the reason is because it's something that we all feel very passionate about."

*via a phone call, of coursefrom Paragon's man about town and Campbell government insider, Mr. T. Richard Turner, to the Minister responsible.
And here is a good follow-up from letter writer Hilary Reid who does the VSun's Editorial Board's job for them.
And thanks to fellow Marathoner, although his race is for real, Ian Reid, for bringing the power bars.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Casino Royale Running Wild....Paragon Marathon, Mile 12


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now moving along nicely, thank-you very much.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


Hard to believe, amid all the huffing and puffing and gasping for air, that...

The first half of The Marathon is pretty much done.....

Hopefully this little excercise in running around to gather everything together in one place will help keep the Document Dump from totally Disappearing all things Casino Royale from the Public View down the road.


To recap the gathering so far.....

We have established that BC Liberal Party Donor, Campbell Government Insider, and former Chair of the BC Lotteries Corporation, Mr. T. Richard Turner, intervened three times on behalf of Paragon Canada ULC, a private company that he, Mr. Turner, has had a financial interest in since before he stepped down as Chair of the BC Lottery Corporation in 2005, while negotiations were ongoing between Paragon and the Public's representatives (PavCo) regarding the construction and operation of a massive Casino and Hotel Complex that will be built next door to the re-furbished, and still-to-be re-roofed, BC Place Stadium.

Furthermore, these three interventions by Mr. Turner occurred AFTER PavCo sent out a public request for proposals to develop the land next to BC Place in the spring of last year (2009) and BEFORE the deal to build the Casino/Hotel Complex was finalized in the spring of this year (2010).



Given all that is described above regarding Mr. Turner's interventions, why did Paragon spokesperson Naomi Strasser tell Sean Holman of PublicEye the following on or before March 31st of this year (2010):

"....(Mr. Turner) was not involved in Paragon's response to the public request for proposals for the development of the lands surrounding BC Place."

Curious that - no?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Casino Royale Running Wild....Paragon Marathon, Mile 11


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now moving along nicely, thank-you very much.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


A little winded at this point and why, exactly, would anybody ever want to run one of these silly things anyway.

So - let's get right down to it shall we...

We have already established, in the earlier Miles of the Marathon that PavCo CEO, Mr. Warren Buckley, the man responsible for making the Casino Industrial Complex deal in downtown Vancouver on behalf of, apparently, the People of British Columbia, either does not know, or chooses not to let us know that he knows, that Mr. T. Richard Turner is actually one of the three Principals in Paragon Canada Holdings ULC, the company that he and his just awarded the huge, and groundbreaking on a whole lotta levels, Casino Industrial Complex contract to.


How do we know what Mr. Buckley does not, or chooses not to, tell us what he, perhaps, does or does not know regarding what Mr. Turner's true level of involvement in Paragon is?

Because, it's all there in the corporate registry documents that Sean Holman of Public Eye was good enough to dig up for us*:
(click to enlarge image)


Regardless the hows, ifs, ands, or buts.......The fact that Mr. Buckley cannot state, clearly and unequivocally, that Mr. T. Richard Turner is in fact one the Principals in Paragon tells us, in my opinion at least, a lot about the state of PavCo's desire and/or ability (or lack thereof) to undertake the the appropriate due diligence that is required to enter into massive deals like both the Retractable Roof for BC Place and the Casino Industrial Complex to ensure that we, the People of British Columbia don't get ourselves into a disastrous situation that will, ultimately, cost us hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars more than originally planned.

After all, it's not as if such a disaster has not happened in the wake a PavCo-brokered project in the past.


*And it's a good thing that Mr. Holman did that digging. Otherwise we, the People of British Columbia, would all be playing the part of Sgt. Schulz on this entire matter. Especially given the fact that rest of the local proMedia 'round Lotusland is clearly already playing the part of the hapless, lazy, and totally ineffective Col. Klink....


Casino Royale Running Wild....Paragon Marathon, Mile 10


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now moving along nicely, thank-you very much.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


Just taking a wee break by the duck ponds in Q&E Park before we move into the mid-section of Marathon......

Which gives a chance to return to that 2nd letter involving the actions of Paragon Principal and Campbell Government insider T. Richard Turner that was sent by PavCo CEO Warren Buckley to the Opposition's Marshmallow critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.


We have already established that Mr. Buckley misrepresented Mr. Turner, if however obliquely in his letter, and more explicitly in his previous verbal statements on this matter, as NOT actually being a Principal in Paragon.

And we have already established that Mr. Turner helped arrange at least two meetings between Paragon Principals (ie. Principals that were not him) and PavCo, the Crown Corporation Responsible for the Marshmallow, during the final negotiations that led to the Casino Industrial Complex deal that will be built in the parking lot next to the Marshmallow and will be run using the current Edgewater Casino license that was purchased by Mr. Turner and the Paragon Principals together with some, as yet, unknown folks behind a Numbered Company.

Regarding the latter point described above, it is also important to reiterate that in his previous verbal statements on this matter, PavCo CEO Buckley said that it was Campbell government insider, and current PavCo Chair, Mr. David Podmore who made at least one direct request of Mr. Turner who, in addition to being a Paragon Principal since 2006 and a co-investor with Paragon in a separate out-of province casino projects since 2003, is also the former BC Lotteries Corporation Chair (until Dec 2005) and the current Chair of ICBC, to arrange at least one of the meetings between the Paragon Principals that were not him (ie. Mr. Turner) and PavCo.

I just wrote 'at least one of the meetings', above, because when he made his verbal statements about Mr. Podmore contacting Mr. Turner as a member of Paragon's 'advisory board', Mr. Buckley made no mention that more than one set of meetings had been arranged, at the behest of PavCo, with those Principals of Paragon that were not Mr. Turner.

Got it all now?

Good. (I think)

And, just to make sure that Mr. Chandra Herbert would be convinced that everything else that Mr. Turner did with respect to the Casino Industrial Complex negotiations between PavCo and Paragon was way, way, way more above board than all of the very fine, and vitally important, and most definitely non-conflicty meeting arranging described above, Mr. Buckley also wrote the following sentence in his letter to the Opposition's critic who is responsible for The Marshmallow:

"At no time did Mr. Turner participate in, or attend any of the discussions between the parties."

Which is all fine and good.

Except that, as Mr. Buckley himself revealed in his letter, if not his previous statements on the matter, there was more than one set of meetings.

And that there was a considerable period of time between those meetings (ie. presumably between January and February of this year, 2010, just before the Olympics began....And by the way, just for the record, Mr. Turner and one of PavCo's Directors, Mr. Peter Brown, both served on VANOC's board together).


Now, here's the real thing.....

Mr. Turner himself, in a previous interview with the NaPo's Bruce Hutchinson, made it very clear that he gets together with his fellow Paragon Principals so that they can collectively make decisions about how they should move forward with their Casino Industrial Complex project, a project that will utilize some of the most extensive real estate in North America, land that is owned, not by them, or PavCo, or even the government of Premier Gordon Campbell, but instead by the People of British Columbia.

In fact, as Mr. Turner made crystal clear in his interview with Mr. Hutchinson, that is exactly how he and his fellow Paragon Principals collectively decided that he, himself, as a Paragon Principal, and not as a Campbell government-appointed Chair of ICBC, should call up the Minister responsible for the Marshmallow, Mr. Krueger, and tell him, the Minister, that the retractable roof on BC Place Stadium, which is going to cost the People of British Columbia at least $563 million dollars (and climbing) is very, very important to the private owners and the Principals of Paragon (who are, just to be even clearer than crystal clear here, most definitely NOT representatives of, with a fiduciary responsibility to, the People of British Columbia).

Thus, in my opinion, Mr. Buckley's written statement about Mr. Turner's non-participation in the meetings he arranged between PavCo and the other Paragon Principals is, based on the evidence available so far, essentially, for all intents and purposes.....

.... Meaningless.


And just in case you've forgotten what the 1st letter that was part of last Friday's Document Dump was all about, that was the letter from the Lobbyist Registrar to Mr. Chandra-Herbert that said he could not investigate Mr. Turner's phonecall to the Minister Responsible for the Marshmallow due to the fact that he, Mr. Turner had not actually registered as a lobbyist prior to April Fool's Day of this year....Hmmmmm.....Imagine if we did that with car thieves and ponzi scheme makers.


Casino Royale Running Wild....Paragon Marathon Mile Nine


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now moving along nicely, thank-you very much.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


Chugging up Cambie now....

Streets in the teens and twenties are wide, and wide open.


What were all those merchants complaining about during the trench-digging for the RAV Line? After all, it was only a few years of lost business.

I mean, heckfire!

Why didn't they just call up the Cabinet Minister concerned and demand a $500 million dollar fix?


Casino Royale Running Wild....Eighth Mile Of The Marathon To Promote Paragon


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now moving along nicely, thank-you very much.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)



Fell asleep for awhile there under the awning in front of the Crossroads Building @ Broadway and Cambie...

Time to get rolling on the 8th Mile, with the coming-up of the Sun.....

But before we do, we need to return to that 2nd letter, the one from PavCo CEO Warren Buckley to Spencer Chandra-Herbert regarding the 'role' that former BC Lotteries Corporation Chairperson, current ICBC Chairperson, and Paragon Principal T. Richard Turner played in arranging meetings between other Paragon Principals and PavCo during the delicate final negotiations on the Casino Industrial Complex.


That right.

Turns out there were meetings.


To quote from the 2nd letter, you know the one that Lotusland Pro-Media has so far chosen to ignore:

"....Mr Turner was again contacted in early February with a similar request to obtain assistance in having the Principals participate in the negotions....."


Definitely no news there....move along....enjoy your Sunday Papers....

And if you want to keep one ear glued to the longwave while you read everything there is to know about nothing, Sean Holman's radio show starts here at eight.....Or, if you are off to an early morning work-out and/or perogi-eating contest , you can jump into the Pod and swim with the Orcas while you listen to shows that have already moved through Active Pass here.


Casino Royale Running Wild....Mile Seven Of The Marathon To Promote Paragon


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now underway.....

(please see the sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


It's Mile Seven and it's late on a Lotuslandian Saturday Night as we jog south, out of Downtown, over the Cambie Street Bridge.

Reaching the bridge's highpoint we can't help but glance back over our shoulder at the Marshmallow and wonder if, when Paragon's Gaming Inc.'s Casino Industrial Complex is completed, whether the North False Creek Skyline will most resemble that of Vegas, Marksville Louisiana or Enoch Alberta.

No matter.

Because all are world class.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Casino Royale Running Wild....Marathon To Promote Paragon, Mile 6


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect the all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now underway.....

(please see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


It's Mile Six of the Marathon, and we are doing our best to pass by the dejected punters pouring forth from BailOut Motors Place without incident as we saunter down Smithe thinking about that 2nd T. Richard Turner Letter.....

That's the one that PavCo's CEO, Warren Buckley wrote and sent to the Opposition's Mr. Spencer Chandra-Herbert that has gone unreported in essentially all of Lotusland's proMedia outlets, with the exception of PublicEye Online:

The following is just one key passage from said second letter:

"....In early January 2010, the negotiations between lawyers and owner's representatives reached a point where further progress could only be achieved by having the Paragon Principals participate to a greater degree. It was in this regard that BC Pavilion contacted Mr. Turner to see if he could faciliate that meeting....."

Three things:

1) Mr. Turner himself is himself a Principal in Paragon, both as a Director and as a financial investor. If Mr. Buckley is not aware of this fact (ie. Mr. Buckley misspoke in this regard in a similar, more explicit, fashion when he first spoke to Sean Holman about this matter more than two weeks ago) he is either clueless about the company that he has just done a huge deal with or, alternatively, he is being obfuscatory in the extreme.

2) Why couldn't PavCo get Paragon to pay attention in January 2010, more than six MONTHS after the former had chosen the latter to be it's preferred bidder to build the Casino Industrial Complex in a process that took only six WEEKs from start to finish? Is it posible that the latter thought that things were already a done deal?

3) Strangely, the actual person from PavCo whom Mr. Buckley previously said had contacted Mr. T. Richard Turner about arranging this meeting was not named in the letter. Who was that person? Well, according to what Mr. Buckley said, but did not write, it was PavCo's chairperson Mr. David Podmore. Which means that, if it did indeed happen, that one Gordon Campbell-appointed Chair of a government-controlled Crown Corporation (ie. PavCo) called the another Campbell-appointed Chair of a government-controlled Crown Corporation (ICBC) and asked that 2nd Chair to help grease the wheels for a deal that could, if all goes according to plan make him very, very rich indeed.

Next up....It's Mile Seven, in which we will be crossing the Cambie Street Bridge and heading back towards Vancouver City Hall, a place where Paragon first made its pitch to become the owner of a Lotusland Pleasure Palace almost four years ago....

Casino Royale Running Wild....Marathon To Promote Paragon, Mile 5


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, the Marathon to resurrect the all that has been buried by Lotusland's lazy proMedia is now underway.....

(please see the sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


It's Mile 5, and we are now jogging along a strangely buzzing Pacific Boulevard in the weepy rain thinking about what that letter from PavCo's CEO Warren Buckley to Spencer Chandra-Herbert is really all about Alfie.

First some background....

When the Minister responsible for The Marshmallow first started babbling on about the phone call he received from Paragon Gaming Inc.'s Mr. T. Richard Turner sometime last fall to tell him that it would, according to the Minister, be a 'deal-breaker' if his government reneged on the now $563 million (and climbing) retractable roof, it soon thereafter came out that Mr. Turner had also been involved in arranging a meeting between the Crown Corporation PavCo and Paragon on matters pertaining to stalled negotiations regrding the construction of the Casino Industrial Complex next door.

Here is what PavCo's CEO, a fine fellow whose salary is paid by the people of British Columbia, had to say to Sean Holman of Public Eye the day before April's Fools:

"...(We) were expressing our frustration at getting these guys (from Paragon) to the table. And I know (PavCo chair David Podmore) sent an email to Rick (Turner) and said,'You're on the advisory board (for Paragon), give them some advice. We need to get to the table...."

This caused Mr. Chandra-Herbert to ask Mr. Buckley to explain, specifically, what went down between Mr. Turner, who is much, much more than a member of PavCo's 'advisory board' (ie. he is a member of the Board of Directors and he has a financial interest in the Canadian Division of the Company that has owned the Edgewater Casino since 2006 and whose license will be flipped into the Casino Industrial Complex).

The result?

Well, it took more than two weeks for Mr. Buckley's one page letter to reach Mr. Chandra-Herbert, which is ironic in the extreme given that it took only three weeks for PavCo to choose Paragon to be it's preferred bidder on a $450 million dollar project that will change the face, not to mention the culture, of downtown Vancouver forever.


What exactly did Mr. Buckley's letter to Chandra-Herbert reveal about the 'role' of Mr. Turner in arranging said meetings?

Well, we'll tell you all about it during Mile 6 of the Marathon.....

Hopefully the fans pouring out of BailOut Motors Place after the game, drunk on either victory or cheap eight dollar beer, will not impede our progress.....


Casino Royale Running Wild....Marathon To Promote Paragon, Mile 4


Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, which appears to have been designed to bury all pro-Media stories about Paragon Gaming Inc., the Marathon to resurrect the buried, at least until Monday, is underway.....

(see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to the finish line)


It's Mile 4 and we're starting to settle into a groove while we lope along concentrating on that second letter that the Opposition's Spencer Chandra-Herbert received recently from PavCo.

Unlike the first letter to Chandra-Herbert from the Lobbyist Registrar, the second letter has essentially gone unreported in Lotusland's proMedia.

Luckily, PublicEye's Sean Holman was good enough to post it up for those of us who wish to know what is actually going in this province:
(click to enlarge)

Background and analysis coming soon

During Mile 5.....

Which we should hit as we pass by BailoutMotors Place des (non)Arts during the 1st period intermission of tonight's Kings-Canuckleheads game deux....


Casino Royale Running Wild....Marathon To Promote Paragon, Mile 3


Inspired by the most recent Document Dump Friday just past, which appears to have been designed to bury all pro-Media stories about the Purveyor of the Pleasure Palace, Paragon Gaming Inc. , the Marathon to do exactly the opposite has begun.....
(see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to Monday's finish line)


We're in the middle of mile 3, and the first burn is starting to kick in.

Which means that our mind is starting to wander....

Away from the letter that NDP Opposition critic Spencer Chandra-Herbert received from the Lobbyist registrar Mr. Paul Fraser that referred to Campbell government insider, BC Liberal Party monetary supporter, and Casino Builder, Mr. T. Richard Turner....

Towards a second letter that Mr. Chandra-Herbert recently received.....

This second letter also refers to the recent actions of Campbell government insider, BC Liberal Party monetary supporter, and Casino Builder, Mr. T. Richard Turner.....

This second letter, however, was not from Mr. Fraser. Instead, it was from the CEO of PavCo which is the Campbell government-controlled Crown Corporation that made the decision about both the Retractable Roof for BC Place Stadium and who will build the massive Casino Industrial Complex next door....

PavCo chose Mr. Turner's company.....

And, surprise!, this second letter is something you have heard essentially nothing about if you have only been paying attention to the big media monopolists that run the Lotuslandian pro-Media.

And we'll tell you all about it when after we have galloped past the four mile post....


Casino Royale Running Wild....The Marathon To Promote Paragon, Mile 2


Inspired by the most recent Document Dump Friday just past, which appears to have been designed to bury all pro-Media stories about the Purveyor of the Pleasure Palace, Paragon Gaming Inc. , the Marathon to do exactly the opposite has begun.....
(see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to Monday's finish line)

During Mile 1 of the Marathon we established a number of the non-reasons why Mr. Paul Fraser, the Province's erstwhile Lobbyist Registrar will NOT further investigate the Paragon Director's potential act of alleged lobbying for his company's proposed pleasure palace.....


What is the actual reason?

Well, according to Mr. Fraser, in his letter to Mr. Spencer Chandra-Herbert of the NDP, dated yesterday, it is because he can't investigate anything done by anybody who had not, in point-of-fact, registered as a Lobbyist before April Fool's Day 2010.

In other words, because Mr. Turner had not registered before that date he is free and clear, no matter what he did, or did not, do......

Or some such codswallop (see below/click to expand and note, in particular, the passages outlined in red).


Casino Royale Running Wild....Marathon To Promote Paragon, Mile 1



Inspired by the Document Dump Friday just past, which appears to have been designed to bury any and all stories about the Purveyor of the Pleasure Palace, Paragon Gaming Inc. , the Marathon to do exactly the opposite has just begun.....

(see sidebar for a mile-by-mile breakdown of the race to Monday's finish line)


As we're sprinting as fast as we can't to get out in front of the non-existent proMedia pack, our thoughts have returned to.....

The decision of BC's Lobbyists Watchdog Paul Fraser to NOT investigate the actions of Paragon Director, current Chair of ICBC, and former Chair of the BC Lotteries Corporation, Mr. T. Richard Turner, when he called up the Minister Responsible for BC Place and, according to the Minister himself, but not Mr. Turner, said that the removal of the retractable roof from the gameplan would, allegedly, be a "deal breaker".

Which left us wondering, when we heard the breathless, if cryptic report, on the notsoGiant'98 yesterday afternoon, if Mr. Fraser's decision could possibly have based on any or all of the following possibilities:

1) Lobbying, schmobbying, there's money to be made here, and this is all good for everybody involved....

2) Who cares, for all intents and purposes the deal was already done....

3) An unequivocal statement from Mr. Fraser that, like Pavel Bure ten years before him, Mr. Turner "didn't do anything wrong"....


It turns out that the real answer is a most emphatic 'None-Of-The-Above'.

And we'll give you that answer, straight from the horse's/lobbyist registrar's mouth/pen, in Mile Two of The Marathon.....

....Coming up soon.


Casino Royale Gone Wild... Document Dump Friday Triggers Marathon 'Till Monday...



If you've been trying to do your duty as a good citizen AND get through your week so that you could enjoy Friday night with the kids, or at the club, probably noticed the small flurry of stories in the proMedia yesterday noting the fact that British Columbia's Registrar of Lobbyists, Mr. Paul Fraser, has decided that he will not investigate the ramifications of a phone call that Mr. T. Richard Turner placed to the Minister responsible for BC Place regarding the retractable roof and its importance to his company's then still-pending proposal to build the Casino Industrial Complex right next door.

And, being the good citizen you are, you may have even spent a millisecond or considering the ramifications of that decision before you started watching The Sid-The-Kid Show and/or popped the first top on your Lost Weekend to come.

But what you probably didn't know, then or now, is that another story broke yesterday involving Mr. Turner and the crown corporation, PavCo, that actually made the decision to go forward with company, Paragon's, proposal to build the largest pleasure palace this province has ever seen.....

More on that document dump-spiked story coming soon which will be revealed in the early miles of the "Marathon to Promote Paragon" as we move, at the slow and not-so steady pace of a tortured turtle suffering from spin-induced Turette's syndrome, towards Monday's finish line...


Friday, April 16, 2010

OMG! OMG! OMG!....Kelly Kapoor Loves VanCity!.... For Money!


Well, whaddy'a know.

Bob Mackin, writing in 24 Hours, lets us know that the government of The Great Manager, Mr. Gordon Campbell, coughed-up more than $17 million dollars of our money, at least in part, to entice NBC to insert a snippet of dialogue about Lotusland into an episode of their almost-hit TeeVee show "The Office" during the Olympics just past.

Which is all fine and good as far as it goes I suppose.


How world class can we really be given that, not long ago, Winnipeg got an entire freaking episode?

And just how much did that One Great City have to pay for their entire day in the sun anyway?

I actually remember that line in that episode....Essentially, Steve Carrell's character calls up a Vancouver hotel to cancel a reservation during The Circus....At the time I actually figured that NBC was just shilling for its own coverage...I mean, imagine making a sweetheart deal/kickback wherein you get paid to pimp your own programming....Sheesh....No wonder Brian Williams, US American version, loved us so much in the end.....
Original Link Source to the Mackin story.....FABula.


Kash Heed's Campaign Manager Says The Mojitos Made Him Do It...



"The only information I had on that (now dismantled) Facebook page was I had mojitos up there. That's all there was - pictures of mojitos from around the world," he (Mr. Heed's formerly missing-in-action Campaign Manager, Barinder Sall) said.

I'm telling you......

If PublicEye's Sean Holman hadn't demonstrated his bonafides a thousand times over already I'd be tempted to say he just made that quote up.

As for Mr. Sall himself.....

Well, I think I'll wait for a Google-Cached screen-shot before I make any decisions about the veracity, or not, of his claim.

Oh, and here's a tidbit that, to the absolute very best of my knowledge, has never come up in any of the RailGate pre-trial hearings.... It comes, ironically enough, from Mr. Holman's vast archives, and is titled "David Basi, Mark II"?......


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Casino Royale Remembered....All The Bingo That Fits


Well, well, well.....

The Edgewater Casino, whose license will soon be flipped into the massive Casino Industrial Complex adjoining the re-roofed Marshmallow, was conceived way back in 2003.

And, as Sean Holman reported yesterday, one of the conditions of the Edgewater's birthing was that its owners would also build a Charitable Bingo Facility*.


Who knew that taking care not to damage the Bingo business which, even now, generates large sums of money for various charities, from sports groups to daycare centers, was once an important issue to regulatory bodies and/or municipalities bent on trying to do the right thing.

And from a provincial point of view, it was ultimately the job of the BC Lottery Corporation to oversee the process and approve the new license for the Edgewater.

At that time, the fine folks from Vegas, Paragon Gaming Inc., together with the unknown investors hiding behind a Numbered Company and Mr. T. Richard Turner, did not yet own the Edgewater - they bought it in 2006 and promptly re-upped on the promise to build the Bingo Parlour as part of the license renewal process after the initial owners failed to follow through.


But here's the thing.

When the original deal went down and the BC Lottery Corporation approved the plan for the Edgewater, which included the then very controversial addition of slots as well as gaming tables (ie. it was a class '2' license), the man in charge was none other than Mr. T. Richard Turner.

Was there anything nefarious in that?

Of course not.

Especially given that the City, which was at that time being run by COPE/pre-Vision Vancouver, was also on board.

But here's something else kind of interesting that was also included in the City's Planning Document that Mr. Holman used as one of his primary sources for the Bingo post:

"....The casino proponents are seeking a permanent site for a new casino with a bingo facility. However, that project (site selection, programming, design, approvals, construction and occupancy) will take several years to accomplish. In the interim, the proponents wish to locate a temporary Casino - Class 2 at the Plaza of Nations....."

In other words, right from the beginning, the current Edgewater site was only meant to be a temporary home.

Which meant that whomever owned the Edgewater also owned a casino license that was built to move.

And that fundamental portability was as true in 2006, when Mr. T. Richard Turner bought into the then financially ailing Edgewater with Paragon and the Numbers, as it was back in 2003 when the very same Mr. Turner oversaw the deal in the first place.

Oh, and just in case you forgot, as Mr. Holman reported last week, Mr. Turner first bought into a separate, out-of-province casino project being run by Paragon way back in the year of.....


Is there anything nefarious in that?

Of course not.

*Andrea Woo, also noted this as well in her not-so-foolish April 1st VSun story on the Casino Industrial Complex announcement wherein she noted that the group involved, Planet Bingo, even now supports over 100 charities.....Clearly, the social safety net's dependence on this revenue stream is a lot more serious than being hooked on phonics.....


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Casino Royale's Birth Pangs....Did Smilin' Sammy Ever Suffer From Morning Sickness?


Before we get going on the substance of today's post, let us first return to a portion of "A. Dave's" timeline, shown with bold headers below, that brackets many of the newly confirmed points that Sean Holman posted-up yesterday (in italics beginning with asterisks):

November, 2008: Province Treasury Board approves PavCo’s $365 million business case for all renovations noted above, with an estimate given by PavCo’s David Podmore that it will cost $200 million for the retractable roof alone – the approved business case is over $200 million higher than the original estimate of only 8 months prior.

* BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) issued by invitation, the RFP for 'General Contractor - Construction Management' of the BC Place Phase 2 Retractable Roof Construction project on November 3, 2008.

* The RFP closed November 17, 2008.

* PavCo signed a letter of intent to PCL on November 26, 2008.

* RFEI (Request For Expression of Interest) issued March 6, 2009 for Site 10A lands, based on renovations to BC Place, including a new retractable roof.

* RFEI closed March 27, 2009.

* Pre-qualified respondents to the Site 10a RFEI were short-listed and invited to respond to the RFP on April 20, 2009.

* On April 27, 2009 PCL completed pre-qualification reviews of the sub-trades for the retractable roof construction project.

* RFP for Site 10a development closed on May 22, 2009.

* June 29th, 2009, Paragon was notified of its selection as Preferred Proponent (subject to negotiation of an acceptable "Master Development Agreement").

October 23, 2009: Province reapproves PavCo’s revised business plan at $365 million, but only a month later a fixed-price contract to replace the roof (none of the other work is included) with Poole Construction is signed for $458 million – the roof work alone is suddenly $258 million more than Podmore’s $200 million estimate of only 11 months earlier.


Here's the thing - a close examination of the timeline above strongly suggests that the Casino always followed the Roof in it's conception (and thus the Casino always comes second so that it can help pay for the Roof.......yada, yada, yada).

But there is something missing in the timeline above.

Which is - when was the actual Casino itself first conceived of?

Well, in Municipal terms at least, it would appear that we can pinpoint that date to October of 2008, which would put it quite a bit higher up on the timeline.

Because that was when Sam Sullivan's soon-to-be-extinct Vancouver City Council approved an amendment to the North False Creek Official Development Plan, and inserted the following language into the section entitled: Land Use In False Creek North Generally; Cultural Recreational, and Institutional Uses Serving the City and Region (Section; pg 11; careful large pdf):

"...The proximity of the (BC Place) Stadium, General Motors Place, and Science World and their ready access to public transit, reinforces the role of the area as a centre for entertainment, sports, and cultural and public events, serving the City and region.

To enhance this role, Council may allow sub-area zonings to include other cultural and recreational facilities, including a major art gallery and a major casino......"

Interestingly, the term 'major casino' was not mentioned in the actual amendment as it pertains specifically to the potential non-residential uses of Area 10 (Section 3.4.3, pg 9 of document linked to above), which, as you can see in the Holman portion of the timeline above, is the chunk of land directly adjacent to BC Place Stadium where the Casino Industrial Complex will now be built and operated by Paragon Gaming Inc.

However, the term casino was used when the potential Non-Residential uses of the land specifically surrounding the Stadium were described in a separate slightly earlier City of Vancouver document - which was the original planning document dated Sept 3rd 2008 (see Section 2.2; Non-residential Uses; pg 11, smaller pdf).


Why the uncoupling of any mention of the casino, specifically, from Area 10, as one moves from the planning document in September of 2008 to the official, Council-approved ammendment one month later October of 2008?

Well, I suppose one could argue that it may have been that the super sharp council of Mr. Sullivan just wanted to keep all of North False Creek's geographic options open for said concern.

Then again, if one were cynical, one might alternatively suggest that the switcheroo was done to help keep the Roof out in front of the Big Casino.

Because here is what Premier Gordon Campbell told us a few months earlier in May 2008, when he first announced the BC Place Stadium improvement scheme:

"This is something we believe every British Columbian will benefit from," he said B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell this morning, inside the 25-year-old stadium.

The changes include:

- Upgrades to the existing roof, in time for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics. Opening ceremonies organizers are happy with their preparations to date.

- There will be new concessions, improvements to seating, and a B.C.-style wood look to the interior of B.C. Place, in time for the opening ceremonies.

- A new retractable roof installed by 2011. It will be based on the canvas roof used in Frankfurt Germany.

- A new home for the Vancouver Art Gallery on the old Plaza of Nations site, with 320,000 square feet of space, twice the size of its current home on West Georgia.

- Creation of a cultural and retail hub outside the stadium.

- Possible high-rise condo development, on the B.C. government-owned site.

Now - the new Art Gallery is there, which turns up in the Amendment five months later....But can you find the word Casino anywhere in that statement by the good Premier?

Of course not.

In fact, truth be told, I, myself, took that last phrase in blue to mean that there was a condo-jacking on the way, as did former, pre-Smilin' Sammy City Councillor Anne Roberts.

Which could, based purely on the currently known, publically available facts at hand, have been the true intention at the time, I suppose.


Someone can now move the Casino's Conception, immaculate or otherwise, even further up the timeline ......


So, how did I get onto all this City ammendment stuff anyway?.....Well turns out that I came across the following statement in PavCo's publically available 'Capital Project Plan' dated Dec 27th, 2008 (I'm sure Lotusland's hard working proMedia were really on the ball that day, the day after Boxing Day during the Big Snowmaggedon, eh?), "....the City of Vancouver approved the Official Development Plan (ODP) for a gross buildable area of 1,400,000 square feet in late Oct 2008...." which made me go searching - and sure enough that figure is in the section of the Amendment specifically pertaining to Area 10 (although it is in square meters not feet)....I also got a couple of very explicit follow-on nudges from 'Ian' in the comment threads, and whose blog is now linked to in the sidebar (EastOfTheSun)....
One final thought.....Can't help but wonder, given their now fully-documented penchant for getting together and making and deciding to appoint one of their members to call decision makers prior to deals going down for good, if any of the fine folks from Paragon, who had already purchased the teeny-tiny Edgwater Casino back in 2006, ever spoke to Mr. Sullivan, or any of Mr. Sullivan's 'people', about the amendment before it was passed on that fateful day in the Fall of 2008.....


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Casino Royale Timeline Building, Part Deux.....


Mr. Holman has added some small, but important, bricks here.

(Please see my update to a previous post, where this timeline seriously impacts one aspect of my original analysis of Bruce Hutchinson's NaPo piece from last week, here)


Casino Royale Reconnected....When Did Discussions With The City of Vancouver Actually Begin?


Yesterday, Bob Mackin, writing in 24 Hours, had an interesting little tidbit that was culled from current city manager Penny Ballem's recent appointment book schedule that he gained access to by FOI:

Vancouver’s city manager spent three hours gabbing about gambling on Feb. 25 (2010).

According to Penny Ballem’s calendar, obtained via Freedom of Information, she met with Housing and Social Development minister Rich Coleman about Hastings Racecourse before discussing the racino’s operating agreement with unnamed Great Canadian Gaming officials. She also had a conference call with Edgewater Casino president Scott Menke.....

Interesting that, no?

Especially when you recall that the good Mr. Menke is also the man from Las Vegas' Paragon Gaming Inc. that was present when Gordon Campbell and the fine folks from PavCo made the big announcement about the Casino Industrial Complex that will be built next to the BC Place Stadium and will ultimately use Edgewater's gaming license to operate.

But, given that the Casino Industrial Complex deal was essentially done by February of this year, one can only wonder if there were any discussions or contacts between the fine folks from Paragon and even finer folks from the City earlier than that?

After all, some pretty interesting, and important, decisions regarding where and how any and all Casino Industrial Complexes could be built next to the marshmallow were made a long time ago - well before Dr. Ballem became the City Manager.



Monday, April 12, 2010

Casino Royale Report Card....Rating The Wretches, Ink-Stained And Otherwise, So Far


Jonathan Fowlie, VSun:
We would have given him an F for swiping all of Sean Holman's stuff, unattributed, but he moved up to supplemental status for being the first to get Mr. T. Richard Turner to quasi-contradict the Minister Responsible for the Marshmallow, Kevin Krueger, on the record.

Sean Holman, Public Eye Online: A
Mr. Holman has done essentially, ALL the digging on this deal....It was he who first revealed that Mr. T. Richard Turner is connected to the Las Vegas Casino Builder that 'won' the big bid to build the massive Casino Industrial Complex next to the Marshmallow that will soon be getting a new skin....It was also Mr Holman who first revealed that Mr. Turner has been involved with The Builder since 2003, at which time he, Mr. Turner, was still the Campbell Government-appointed Chair of the BC Lotteries Corporation....It was also Mr. Holman who first revealed that Mr. Turner, the Builders from Vegas, and, ultimately, a group of unknown folks hiding behind a Numbered Company all got together and bought the failing Edgewater Casino, whose license will be flipped into the new Casino next to the Marsmallow, back in 2006, a process that began (less than) seven months after Mr. Turner stepped-down as Chair of the BC Lottery Corporation... It was also Mr. Holman who first revealed that one of Mr. Turner's other companies (ie. not the one formed to buy the Edgewater) had given Mr. Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal Party $50,000 on, or just prior to, the day of the last provincial election......It was also Mr. Holman who confirmed, after it came up in the legislature during estimates debates, that Mr. Turner had arranged meetings between representatives of the fine folks representing the Builders from Vegas with the even finer folks that work for Mr. Warren Buckley, the current CEO of PavCo, which is the Campbell government-controlled CrownCo that a short time later awarded the winning bid to Mr. Turner, the fine folks from Vegas, and the unknown folks behind the Numbered Company. This all happened after the last provincial election and after the $50K was given to Mr. Campbell's political party and after Mr. Turner and friends had been identified as the 'preferred bidder' by PavCo but before the deal had actually gone down that was announced two weeks ago....Interestingly, it was not Mr. Holman who was first able to get Mr. Turner on the record contradicting Mr. Krueger because, unlike Mr. Fowlie of the VSun, whose soon to be previous parent company also once gave Mr. Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal Party $50,000, Mr. Holman's initial request for an interiew was spurned by Mr. Turner's people.*

Vaughn Palmer, VSun: B-
Mr. Palmer was caught, on the audio portion of a videotape, shot by, surprise!, Mr. Holman, going after Minister Krueger, hard, on this matter on the afternoon of the Thursday before the Good Friday just past....Mr. Palmer then stayed up late on the Eve of the long, long weekend and wrote a solid column in which he first credited Mr. Holman for breaking the story and then laid out a number of the possible conflicts associated with this matter.....So, why didn't we give Mr. Palmer a better grade?....Well, unfortunately, Mr. Palmer pulled back at the end of the column and he has since, especially in his statements on the (notso)Giant'98, lapsed into a non-committal, and some might say coquettish, 'this kind of thing happens all the time'-type mode.

Keith Baldrey, Global TeeVee: F-
Not only did Mr. Baldrey not weigh in on this matter at all initially, he actually did a wee bit of out-front water carrying for the Casino Industrial Complex in the days just prior to the breaking of the story.....Then, a week after the fact, he told Michael Smyth on the (ns)G'98 that the NDP did this kind of thing too way back when, so it doesn't really matter now anyway....

Michael Smyth, The Province and Goodship Watercarrier Fill-In: D+
Mr. Smyth just barely passes for telling us, repeatedly, that 'this story has legs'.....But he does not get to move up a grade until he, himself, actually starts digging and stops lapsing into faux populism wherein he makes mountains out of molehills, not to mention backyard chicken coops.

Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail: C
Had one decent story, based on her own interview with the good Mr. Turner, in which she got him to confirm that he likely called the Minister Responsible for the Marshmallow before the deal was finalized in the Fall of 2009....Now she, and her entire bureau, need to get down to brass-tacks and do some follow-up that will require spending a little time on their homework if they want to make the Principal's list at the end of the year.

Bruce Hutchinson, NaPo: B
Did no actual digging of his own, but did drop a big stinky one on much of the local Lotuslandian punditry with just one column... Most importantly, he actually followed the timeline all the way back to 2005/2006 and noted Mr. Turner's involvement with BCLC, the Builders from Vegas, and the Edgewater...Also noted that all this activity did, indeed, bracket, at least in terms of timing, that $50K donation to Mr. Campbell's political party...Lost marks for giving too much credit to Mr. Fowlie's allegedly awesome investigatory powers (possibly because they are in the same stable?).

Jill Bennett, nsG'98: F
Clearly spent too much time not paying attention in class.....After all, how else can one explain the fact that she got the basic facts wrong when, even as late as a week after the fact, she was still writing in her notebook that Mr. Turner is the Director of a company 'linked' to the casino development.....'Linked', Ms. Bennett?...Really?....We think, perhaps, that that word does not actually mean what you think it means....

Harvey Oberfeld, nolonger-proBloggodome: B+
Came back from holidays (he'd sent the teachers a note before he left, so it was OK for him to leave while school was in - barely) and immediately saw this matter for what it really is....As such, he boldly and unequivocally called for a full inquiry.

David Berner, nolonger-proBloggodome: B
Showed a little too much the world-weariness and cynicism that often besets the trouble-maker who fires off spit-balls from the back of the class but, still, like Mr. Oberfeld was willing to call a spade a spade and that counts - a lot.

Frances Bula, quasi-proBloggodome: B-
Her head has been somewhere else lately, and she has been spending way too much time on her French homework....But, still, she raised her hand a couple of times and helped get the kids in the class talking about this matter in earnest.....Also had the good graces to give her classmate Mr. Holman his due.

The Tyee, proBloggodome: DNW
DNW stands for 'Did Not Write' .....Unfortunately, there has has not been one story from this collective on the matter at hand so far....The only excuse that will be accepted is if it turns out that Mr. Beers et al. signed a non-aggression pact with Mr. Holman ahead of time....Otherwise, this will become a failing grade for all involved if the situation is not rectified, and soon.

City Caucus, b&pfBloggodome: Home Schooled
Like so many whose parents, guardians and protectors pull them out of the rough-and-tumble of the real world, Smilin' Sammy's former Spam-A-Lotteers are averting their eyes, plugging their ears, and covering their mouths on this one hoping, no doubt, that no one will notice that it was actually their former(?) boss who ammended the City of Vancouver's Official Development Plan for 'Area 10' of the North False Creek area in Oct of 2008 such that it cleared the decks for the building of the Casino Industrial Complex itself.....(you'll read more on that matter later, but not likely at City Caucus we reckon).

*So.....Why didn't we give Mr. Holman an A+?.....Well, this is only the end of the first term, and we don't want him to stop digging now.....

Did we get something wrong?....Or....Did we miss one of the pupils?.....Let us know in the comments....Or.....You can always send us an Email to pacificgazette at yahoo dot ca if you are worried about being bullied by one of your classmates....

Already made one correction (Monday morning)....Changed the 'revealed', which was written originally, to 'confirmed' regarding Mr. Holman's role in establishing that Mr. Turner did, indeed, help arrange meetings between Paragon and PavCo.....