The city of Wheeling just got about $400,000 as part of a federal Community Development Block Grant-Recovery program. So we get almost a half million bucks and the city council morons (with the exception of James Tiu) want to spend it on upgrading the restrooms in the Capitol Music Hall. The main thrust of this objective is to make them handicap accessible. While I honestly sympathize with the plight of the handicapped, this must be the most fucking retarded waste of money I've ever seen.
First and foremost, the Capitol Music Hall is currently not in operation. The symphony left years ago. Every once in a blue moon, a mid range touring act would show up. And there'd also be the annual Linsly Extravaganza (gay). But right now, the doors are locked. As if renovating the restrooms is going to usher in this new era of downtown prosperity.
There's a reason no private entity wants to buy the Capitol. It isn't financially viable. It would cost a shitload to upgrade it, let alone heat the thing in the winter. It also needs a working sprinkler system to comply with existing fire codes. It also has some kind of rodent infestation issues going on in the back. I'm not entirely anti-Capitol Music Hall. It's a spectacular venue. But throwing a half million dollars at it??? What the fuck is that?
We've already got a venue (the Wheeling Island Ballroom) which can host an event for about 1,000. Granted, the Capitol is about 2,000, but there's the Pepsi Cola Roadhouse near Weirton which already has a lock on those mid-range touring acts. The Palace Theatre in Greensburg is marginally successful, but they feed off a nearby population base of over a million. Wheeling feeds off Rush Limbaugh admirers and General Tso, Bloomin Onion eating fucks.
Ok. So here's the half-million dollar question. "Fuck you Saf! What would you do with the money?"
I would build a BOARDWALK that starts at the South end of Wheeling Island and goes along the Ohio river all the way to suspension bridge. I'm not an expert on the price of lumber, but I imagine the cost and labor would be somewhere in the range of 500 lodge. Perhaps more I suppose. Wheeling could become known as the fake Atlantic City. We've already got the casino style gambling. Never underestimate the allure and convenience of I-70. It's the third most heavily traveled interstate in the country. Plus, we've now got those cool "I-70" fast lane logos on the pavement. Nice.
The Victorian houses along South Front could be used as trinket & craft shops. Let's face it. Most of the dumbshits who go to the casino are these little old ladies (some are corpulent) from Zanesville, Cambridge and elsewhere in Ohio. These are the types that eat up that shit. Beanie babies, I LOVE WHEELING t-shirts, crappy fake jewelry and sweatshirts that read "Grandma's my name and Spoiling's my game" - this shit is the sole purpose of their putrid existence. Plus, I think all of South Front is already zoned for light business and some of those homes are impressive, from an architectural standpoint. Some people dig those non-insulated Victorian houses that cost $800/month to heat in the winter. Oh yeah, get on the budget asshole.
Another plus, it connects the Island with downtown Wheeling - this would help boost attendance with the Italian Fest, the Jazz Fest and the African American jubilee thing. And the hike isn't really that far, maybe about 3/4 mile up and back. And it would also showcase the Suspension Bridge.
It would also blend in well with all the fitness/walking trails already in existence. I know it's not fashionable around here to encourage outdoor exercise among the morbidly obese church going WV Northern Baptists who proudly display their collective gunts (gunt is the more aggressive terminology of pussy pillow - it is a combination of both "gut" and "cunt").
And the damn thing would be indestructible when the Island floods, as I'm sure it will again eventually. Plus, most of that area is the highest elevation on the Island. South Front has always been the least affected by the floods, except for the houses on the end.
It also has proximity to the Wheeling Island Stadium for football games and the occasional rock concert (Styx and/or Dwight Yoakim this summer) - probably more to come in the future. I'm sure you could install some decent inexpensive lighting to dissuade the flasher weirdo fucks that regularly frequent the other paths around town. People might actually go downtown to eat (not something I'd currently recommend to friends of mine). Perhaps for my enemies - Nail City or River Shitty is appropriate. Those appetizers kick ass - Vomitous infused gruel w/ excremental topping is a Benwood favorite, or so I've heard.
The main component of my idea - if you want to do something to invigorate downtown Wheeling, why not try to catapult off one of the few successful businesses in Wheeling - the casino. Hell, the casino is already above the law with the whole nonsensical exemption of the indoor smoking ban. Maybe we could use that to our advantage to actually improve things in this god-forsaken wasteland of a town.
By the way, instead of spending a half million on handicapped restrooms, here's an idea from a 3rd grader at Woodsdale Elementary School. "Mommy, why don't they just bring in an oversized handicapped port-a-potty for the 3 or 4 people at the event." I hate to say it but that solution is just way too easy.
Honestly, we could be the "fake Atlantic City." I prefer that over Wheeltown. Slightly.