Thursday, April 23, 2009

HOLY S**T! The Scene grows a pair and tells the truth about Mayor Dean's convention center

After its big tomato festival spread about east Nashville, the Scene fell off my reading list.

It had lost so much fire and fury with the departure of its leader Liz Murray Garrigan. And the changes brought in by the new editor watered down the product's sense of immediacy and its undeniable swagger.

But this week, the old Scene returned in spectacular fashion with a well-reported and deftly written cover piece taking apart the Chamber of Commerce rah-rah pitch by Mayor Karl Dean and his Dean-ees about the city's desperate, "I'm going to pee my pants" need to build a billion-dollar convention center and hotel.

I'm not going to recite every pie in the sky-popping point reporter Caleb Hannan wrote and key statistics cited -- from other cities that showed how projections never met reality in big-time convention cities such as Boston and St. Louis.

But he told a complete story that is going to become a fiscal tragedy for Nashville if it drinks the fiscal Kool-Aid Mayor Dean is offering.

Remember, Dean is a student of Gov. Bredesen. People really never meant a lot of Bredesen as Nashville's mayor. He just wanted to make big deals with fellow millionaires and build things. But his deals turned out to be losers for taxpayers.

Dean's dream will be no different.

Folks, Nashville was a great city way before the Titans or Predators came. It probably was America's best kept secret for a place to live and make a living. Now it is in immediate danger of becoming much less, as the profiteers make more snake oil appeals of incredible riches on the other side of construction worksite.

So here's to the Scene. Welcome back!

We've missed you.

More -- with Dean still pouring his Kool-Aid and The Tennessean setting on the horizon as far as offering any oversight of such boondoggles -- we need you, your courage and your edge.

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