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Constructive Comments

Constructive Comments

By Dick Snow

Sept. 5, 2002

Lambeau has its own leaks

Dick Snow

It doesn’t have a roof generating squeaks and leaks, but Lambeau Field, to date, nevertheless has its own problems.

We hasten to point out that the new Lambeau is light years ahead of L-2001. We were fortunate to eyeball the venue last Friday night at the final preseason game with the Tennessee Titans. Here’s what we saw:

  • The new entrance to the field for Packer players is wider and more convenient to the new locker room digs than the north entrance.

  • Most of the concourses have been paved, the various cracks and bumps alleviated.

  • The new toilet facilities are convenient and A+.

  • Stacking all luxury boxes between the goal lines is definitely an improvement, and the field lighting seems the same.

  • The atrium on the east side is spectacular, including a readily accessible pro-sports shop. When the Packer Hall of Fame moves in, the atrium will likely be well studied by other NFL franchises.

On the other hand:

  • Although one new gate has been added and another one or two may be on the way, there are still long backups in entering the venue. Perhaps this is caused by overzealous security forces who insist on patting down all entrants.

  • Despite the many new permanent toilet facilities there is still a plethora of porta potties. Perhaps the traditionalists would have it that way.

  • There’s a single, impressive scoreboard at the south end of the field overlooking the 6,000 new seats added to the south rim and a much smaller, down-and-distance board at the northwest corner that appears to be an afterthought.

  • And if the Packers are going to continue to encourage the Lambeau Leap, they need to install some Velcro next to the stands.

Charles Lee’s try at it as the south end landed him on his backside. (This failure may have led to Lee’s cut from the squad on Labor Day. Can’t have a TD-maker who missed on his Lambeau Leap, can we?)

Some things at Lambeau remain unchanged. The hard-nosed winning football we love, but we could do with fewer, less noisy, obnoxious drunks and the incessant hype of too many lame promotional events before, after and during the game.

In summary, Lambeau is still Lambeau, though greatly enhanced with more to come for the 2003 season, post-Super Bowl 2002 for the Packers. Life is good — play ball!

New era for Menomonee Valley

Although the redevelopment of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley continues to be a work in progress, it most certainly received a massive stimulant from the recent opening of the new Sixth Street Viaduct.

The new structure is not only pleasant to look at but offers smoother access to Valley.

The catalytic nature of the project can only heighten the evolving renaissance of the Walker’s Point neighborhood, which includes the opening of Bradley Tech.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, though, to add some pizzazz to the city’s image by renaming the new bridge between the downtown Milwaukee and the near south side?

Matter of fact, why not do the same for the bridges on 16th, 27th and 35th streets? Why stop with Sixth Street?

Learned reader reaction

One of our items last Friday reported that Associated General Contractors of America’s executive vice president had written a letter to the Wall Street Journal advocating raising the threshold numbers for using percentage of completion accounting methods to determine taxes from the current $10 million to $25 million each year.

One of the enlightened members of the congregation e-mails:

"This limit, like many others, is outdated, and there was a movement afoot to raise it to $25 million. Unfortunately, it did not pass.

"While AGC certainly campaigned in favor of raising these limits, I must assume that the wide majority of AGC members do more than $10 million in volume annually (if not $25 million for that matter).

"The law has much greater impact on subs and specialty contractors, who, as a group, tend to be much smaller. Currently, those who do not do over $10 million a year in volume can prepare financial statements for their banker and
surety using a percentage of ‘the percentage of completion’ and pay taxes on a ‘completed contract’ basis."

We would only add that while a substantial number of AGC general contractors do report an annual volume in excess of $10 million (or even $25 million), a wide majority it isn’t.

Whatever, the IRS does create a large pain in the maximus gluteus with some of its regulations.

Sept. 11 an enigma?

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If an enigma is defined as puzzle, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, might certainly qualify as enigmatic.

If the objective of the terrorist assault on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and/or the Capitol and White House was to signify the disdain of a demented group of world citizens toward the United States, we read it loud and clear and have launched one of the strangest wars in world history.

If a corollary objective was to totally disrupt and shut down the normal activities of Americans, the attack was and is a miserable failure.

Yes, certain aspects of the U.S. economy declined, but the overall effect of the egregious action has been near nil.

The prime example of how little has really changed lies with the construction industry and its continued, positive activity during the past year and its outlook for the future. The industry has maintained its health despite some economic setbacks in other sectors.

Oh, we’ll all remember Sept. 11, 2001, all right, but one of the country’s basic industries, construction, is solid and moving forward with no visible signs of

So, do build on and stay tuned!

Dick Snow, the ultimate insider, has been a leading figure in Wisconsin’s construction community for decades. We, and Mr. Snow, invite your response. Call us at 800-508-3800 ext. 125, or e-mail.

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