Whaley finally announces development plans for West Dayton

Ohio Medical Marijuana logoIn an early morning announcement, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley unveils her plan to revitalize West Dayton, promising to bring life back to several large failed city projects on the west side. “I’m glad to announce that the City of Dayton has been selected as one of the cannabis grow operators by the State of Ohio  Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The former McCall printing plant across from the soon to be renovated DeSoto Bass housing will become a indoor cultivation site, and promises to create 20 jobs. “These aren’t high paying jobs, but we know we will find plenty of highly qualified employees nearby, since I’ve been told that illegal cannabis cultivation has been going on over on the West Side for quite some time” said Whaley. The OMMCP is also allowing the city to do a scatter-site program, with a second operation in the former Kroger location on Gettysburg Ave.  It will include a dispensary and in a novel twist, Premier Health Partners will be opening up a “Doc in a box” location to provide access to prescriptions of medical marijuana on the spot- since there are limited medical offices on the West Side.

Whaley says that the revenues from the West Dayton cannabis cultivation and dispensary will be used to back fill the general fund, which has been severely drained from all the investments the city has made in Downtown projects under her watch; like the new Student Suites project on the old Dayton Daily News site, River Run, The Levitt Pavillion, the arcade, new downtown housing, and for future investments in the Fairgrounds property.

This will be the pilot program for government owned medical marijuana facilities in Dayton, when asked how she negotiated this deal with the Republicans in Columbus, Whaley said she had a sit down with governor Kasich, she showed him the quality of locally grown cannabis that had been seized on the West Side, and once they both smoked a bowl, the deal was done. Kasich’s aides, said that the Governor wasn’t prepared to comment, but that he would highly recommend the Dayton branded pot if it’s even remotely as good as what Whaley had been smoking for the last 3.5 years of her Mayorship.

New plans for the Dayton Arcade leaked

poker-tournamentsThe sudden abandonment of the Fairgrounds project by Miller Valentine left many scratching their heads, especially when their new project, the Dayton Arcade is a project that’s been floundering for almost 30 years.

An anonymous source says Miller Valentine and the city are busy lobbying to grant a limited gambling license to the Arcade for, ready, a poker palace.

Dayton has been identified as poker heaven, with leagues, private games, and bootleg poker operations running rampant and around the clock, especially since the elimination of online poker.

The difference between poker and other table games- if there is actual skill involved, and the house only takes a small rake on every hand. This is why normal casino operations devote a small amount of space to poker, as compared to other actual gambling where the house has much better returns.

The idea is to use poker to draw other businesses, and provide the critical mass of people to sustain round-the-clock food, massages, and other services, as well as liquor- which MV will hold on to to generate revenue.

The Arcade’s poker rotunda also will make a stunning backdrop for televised tournaments.

MV sees this as an opportunity to also lure a boutique hotel operator to the site- and offer “Poker getaway weekends” for the serious poker player.

Plans to have the initiative on the ballot for the fall are being finalized with a hopedfor opening date of April 1, 2017.

Dayton to get WNBA team, BREAKING NEWS

Indiana Fever logo

The future Dayton Fever?

In a strange series of events, I learned last night that the University of Dayton is going to be a minority owner in a the Indiana Fever, which will be leaving Indianapolis and will play at UD Arena. UD’s investment will be the addition of air conditioning and a new parking garage, with first-floor retail space just West of the arena. Simon Properties will manage the garage and retail, and construction, in exchange for a dollar a year lease on the land. A similar tax abatement on the property as what GE aviation got will be fast-tracked through city hall.

The reason for the move? The “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which was just passed in Indiana last week and the UD Women’s program recent run in the NCAA Tournament, coupled with the crowds of the first Four tournament.

While the Fever have been routinely drawing an average of 8,000 to 9,000 fans in Indy- since Bankers Life Fieldhouse holds 18,165, they felt a move to the more right sized University of Dayton arena (capacity 13,435) would increase the value of the ticket and provide a better game time fan experience- there being nothing worse than a half-empty arena.

In another potentially huge win for Dayton, there has also been talk of the NCAA moving its corporate HQ to Dayton according to high level sources, although the offices may be at Austin Landing.

There has been no indication that the Fever will change its name, but there is the possibility that both current UD Stars Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott are potential draft choices giving current UD fans like this writer the potential to continue following these two amazing talents as they go pro- in the same arena that they played their college career.

University of Dayton President Dan Curran has shown a willingness to enter UD into other business deals like the purchase of the Dayton Marriott, which was a key part of luring the WNBA team to Dayton. University of Dayton housing will also be provided to team players, since the WNBA season mostly coincides with the reduced summer student population- it’s described as a win-win for the university. The Fever will rely heavily on UD students in the Exercise Science program, and also partner with Wright State with its athletic training program. UD marketing majors will also have opportunities in the Fever marketing department.

UD has had the air conditioning plans in the works for several years, the system will be  geothermal, and cost estimates ran between $7 and $10 million.

Herb Simon, majority owner of the Fever, was impressed with the attendance at the First Four games over the last few years, realizing that Dayton fans will come out to watch teams that have no-connection to Dayton, although he too, was surprised when Dayton got to play on its home court.

The move will be for the 2016 season, with tickets to go on sale on April First 2016.

Esrati.com to shut down, Esrati to work for Dayton Daily News

Dayton Daily News Editor in Chief,  Jana Collier, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: get paid to investigate local political backroom deals. Starting today, I’ll be the new editor for the special investigative MetroGov desk. Collier said it was becoming obvious that most of her reporters were depending on Esrati.com for leads on stories, going back years. “If you can’t beat’em, join’em” was the philosophical reason David Esrati agreed to the multi-year contract. “Although I was beating them on the stories, I couldn’t dedicate the time it takes to fully expose the graft, corruption and nepotism that I’ve been exposing since 2005 on Esrati.com” said Esrati, 50, who is also a candidate for Dayton City Commission.

Details are still being worked out on what to do about his Commission race.

Since no journalist has ever also worked for the people he’s investigating, although, Publisher Julia Wallace has blazed new journalistic trails by sitting on the Dayton Development Coalition board, Esrati may have to drop out of his commission race. Luckily, since the Dayton City Commission petitions provide for a nominating committee, he is going to accept applications from potential candidates to run in his place. So far, only William Pace has expressed interest. Other possible candidates are the dozen or so candidates who were denied an opportunity on the ballot due to the Board of Elections finding faulty with more than half the candidates petitions.

In other breaking news the UAW CAP Council has endorsed the Montgomery County Democratic Party candidates, Joey Williams and Jeff Mims. Esrati knew he was in trouble when he talked about the nepotism in local government, and one of the council told him that Esrati knew his daughter who worked in the Board of Elections.

Esrati is not shutting down his ad agency The Next Wave. As part of the negotiated deal, since he won’t have to spend the time on the campaign or unpaid time writing his popular blog, he will still be able to put in the same amount of hours he does now- and do both.