Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Healthy Revenge for Mayor Jones

I knew this was coming. Ever since the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department investigated the facilities that Danny Jones used to prepare his barbecue ribs for a big firefighters dinner last year, it has been a foregone conclusion that the mayor would exercise his power in a punitive way. Today the Gazette reported that the honorable mayor has decided to direct his vengeance toward Board of Health president Steven Artz.

"He's getting in the way," Jones said. "We don't need his help. When his term ends, I'm going to replace him."

While I'm sure there is disagreement about the job that Dr. Artz has done leading the Health Department (he has been the leading voice in promoting smoking bans - an unpopular position), I would hope there would be some agreement that a person shouldn't be summarily whacked in such an obvious act of revenge. It seems that Mayor Jones is becoming more and more open about his proclivity to seek harsh retribution against people who offend him.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Kanawha County Courthouse at Night

Another contribution from wvsky.

This is a very well done portrait of one of Charleston's oldest buildings and the place from which all of the shenanigans of county government emanate.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

From Staggering Success to Bankruptcy

The Charleston Gazette reports today in its "On File" blurbs that Eimors Construction has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means that the company will be liquidated. Sad.

Eimors rocketed to prominence in the Charleston construction industry over the last few years. For a while it seemed that every construction project in downtown Charleston was being done by Eimors and half the pickup trucks on the road seemed to have the Eimors name lettered on their side doors. The company was a real local success story and it employed a whole bunch of people in all aspects of the construction trade. Among their many projects of the past few years was a major rehab on the Capitol Street building where The Manahan Group has its offices. It seems now that it was that project that was the beginning of the end for Eimors.

When the restaurant Cazon, which resides in the same structure as Manahan, closed abruptly last year the story came out that the newly renovated building was woefully inadequate, both structurally and electrically. Cazon, the stories said, was forced to close because the building was unsafe. I never heard any scuttlebutt as to the final resolution of these claims, but it certainly cast a shadow over Eimors quality of work.

About the same time the Manahan building was finishing up, and at the height of Eimors' success, the contractor signed on to take the lead in the St. Jude Children's Hospital fundraiser house built in Putnam County. Once that highly publicized project was finished it didn't take long for the stories of unpaid suppliers and subcontractors to hit the papers, putting a real damper on all of the positive press that Eimors might have gotten otherwise. That was the straw that left the formerly proud company crippled. Eimors told the Gazette in October they would be going out of business. Today's report puts the final nail in the coffin.

Business 101: Companies that exhibit skyrocketing success in a short time nearly always fall to the ground with a thud just as quickly. It's sad that all of Eimors employees had to learn this lesson the hard way.

By the way, this story isn't over. There are other businesses who were in partnerships with Eimors who are reeling from the experience. Barring outside intervention, one or two of those will probably fall to the same fate as Eimors in the next year or so. Watch Capitol Street closely over the next few months and you'll see what I mean.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Andy & Company - Out of Business

I didn't hear it for myself, but it's my understanding that Andy Albertini called it quits today, resigning on the air. The reason for his abrupt departure might be the new Arbitron Ratings:

ARBITRON Quarterly Report
12+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid
Pop: 214,100
Black: 0 (0%) Hispanic: 0 (0%) Asian: 0 (0%)

Station Format Owner Spr 06 Fall 06 Spr 07 Fall 07
WQBE Country Bristol 20.5 20.2 18.1 14.4
WVAF AC West Virginia 11.3 11.7 11.1 12.8
WVSR Top 40/M Bristol 6.7 5.0 9.1 9.3
WCHS-A News West Virginia 5.3 9.2 6.4 8.2
WKWS Country West Virginia 7.1 10.3 7.7 8.2
WKLC Rock LM Communications 5.3 6.7 6.4 7.4
WKAZ Adult Hits West Virginia 3.2 1.8 5.7 5.1
WRVZ Top 40/R West Virginia 6.7 4.6 4.4 4.3
WZJO Alternative Bristol 3.5 2.5 4.4 4.3
WMXE Classic Hits LM Communications 4.2 2.5 3.4 3.1
WAMX Active Rock Clear Channel 1.1 1.1 0.7 1.2
WEMM Religious Mortenson 1.1 1.8 1.0 1.2
WKAZ-A Oldies West Virginia 1.1 1.1 2.0 1.2
WRYV Classic Rock Connoisseur 1.1 1.1 0.7 1.2

Note that WVTS (the station that carried Andy & Co.) doesn't appear anywhere on this list.

Can someone please start a decent local talk show? Please?