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Friday, January 06, 2012

Aurora Christian Campus for Sale?


Aurora is often referred to as one of the "biggest small towns" in America, partly because, despite its size as the second largest city in Illinois, many of the issues are discussed behind-the-scenes, based upon who-you-know.

Our friends at the Beacon-News published a story on a "rumor" they said was untrue that Aurora Christian was selling its campus to West Aurora School District 129.

As some may know, Fifth Third Bank had taken legal action against the school for default on a loan for the building, which was purchased in 2004.

Earlier this week, we reported the Roundhouse in Aurora (formerly known as Walter Payton's Roundhouse) and currently operated by Two Brothers Brewing after getting over $5 million in taxpayer gifts, was being shopped around for $1.7 million.

That was not a rumor.  That was based upon reliable information and investigation.  And, there's more to the story (coming soon).

In both situations, Aurora Christian and the Roundhouse, the stories have spread like wildfire with phone calls among city officials, business leaders, this and that and discussion among media.

The Beacon-News hasn't done a story on the potential of the Roundhouse sale yet, but to the credit of city hall reporter, Stephanie Lulay, she has been investigating and we look forward to her reporting.

Just a couple weeks earlier, Jennifer Sturges, a different reporter for the Beacon-News, wrote a story that portrayed that all is well with Two Bros and they had long-term plans to reinvent the facility that had been Aurora's top entertainment destination under previous operator Scott Ascher.

In that story by Sturges, it made no mention of the $5 million in taxpayer funds being given to Two Bros, Jim and Jason Ebel.

Oops.

Denise Crosby, the writer for the Beacon-News on the Aurora Christian rumors, expressed "I have to admit, there's comfort in knowing rumors can still spread the old fashioned way.  Not through Twitter.  Not through Facebook.  Just good ol' (not so) reliable face-to-face gossip."

Yes Denise, and that's how Aurora has operated for decades, why it's considered one of the biggest small towns in America, how the old guard has stayed in power and control and why it's critical that Aurora transform itself from that backward mindset into an open, transparent, collaborative and innovative mindset, where issues, facts, reality and what's right, not personalities, gossip and who's who, are what counts.

As for how to solve Aurora Christian's financial challenge, one viewer suggested, as strange as this may sound, they should approach the city and propose opening up a bar and restaurant at the school.

With Ballydoyle, Two Brothers and the Restaurant Row developer, the City of Aurora has given away over $8 million.

Speaking of stuff for sale, we reported weeks ago the Beacon-News was for sale (again).  Despite denials, it turns out they were sold as part of a package with the Sun-Times Media Group.  It's a bit early to determine if they are for sale yet again.

We are hopeful their new ownership has different new media mindset than the old media past.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The best rumor yet that the Beacon had this year was when they printed some guy was not sick

Anonymous said...

The Beacon is useless. They will print something they KNOW is a rumor about Aurora Christian, but not mention $5 million of taxpayer funds was dumped on the Roundhouse owners in a story about them?

Anonymous said...

The Beacon-News learned a long time ago that if you kiss the Mayor's ass, then taxpayer money will eventually flow your way.

Anonymous said...

10:21
How do you know, are you a doctor?

Al Kohollick said...

Why did the Beacon-News give up it's long standing policy of pimping for the United Way? A couple of years there was an apparent backlash to the suspicious panhandling by the local newspaper. After a while people get tired of beggars.

Anonymous said...

Bill Wiet said " the Round House sale is a rumor."

Anonymous said...

Hey, did you hear that Openline Blog is for sale?

Oh, that's right, he already sold out.

Al Kohollick said...

The problem with the Sun-Times Group is how does it compete with a first-rate newspaper/website like the Chicago Tribune. Once upon a time the Sun-Times was a fine newspaper that was oriented more towards working-class Democrats and that was augmented by the fact that they had Mike Royko and guys like Richard Roeper to name a few. Once Murdoch bought it and Black bought it the paper was essentially dead or at least dying. The paper was symbolized by the lousy writing of Jay Mariotti and by other good writers who jumped ship to the Tribune. Over the last few years I have tried to keep an open mind and enjoy the Sun-Times and it's website but there's really not much there anymore. The website is bland and slow. THeir blogs are unedited and full of wackos and racists and other forms of ignorance. In a world where newspapers are dying off like houseflies why would a two-bit newspaper even think it could compete with one of the nation's best newspapers? I think their only assets are the local papers like the Beacon and so on. But in an increasingly global world the local papers have only so much to give and don't figure to generate alot of local advertising revenue. It's still a matter of time maybe 2-3 years before the Sun-Times Group stops operating for good.

Anonymous said...

The Old Second Bank, our only home town bank, should step up and save Aurora Christian from the out of town fifth third bank.

Does anyone think that it would happen?

Anonymous said...

don't worry. Old Second will do the right thing and take care of the Country Club. You need to have priorities.

Anonymous said...

THeir blogs are unedited and full of wackos and racists and other forms of ignorance.

1/8/12 10:01 PM


Sounds like a good description of Openline, except the "unedited" part. Openline is definitely edited -- he edits out anything he doesn't like, leaving in the wacko and racist stuff.

The Old Second Bank, our only home town bank, should step up and save Aurora Christian from the out of town fifth third bank.

1/9/12 5:12 AM


Old Second is too busy trying to save itself!

Anonymous said...

"...that backward mindset into an open, transparent, collaborative and innovative mindset, where issues, facts, reality and what's right, not personalities, gossip and who's who, are what counts."

--with the exception of open line which must remain anonymous and unaccountable and may continue to gossip about and slander its favorite target of the month

Al Kohollick said...

I suspect that in an economic downtrend that there isn't enough money out there for parents who would like their children to go to a private Christian school. However the alternative of sending your kids to a public school like West High is a good option to have. Learning to co-exist with people of different backgrounds and religions does have it upsides. West High is a still a quality public education.

Anonymous said...

I kept my kids at East High, and they all got a good-quality education, there. The youngest graduated in 2009. They got a good real-world education.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in favor of the demise of the Beacon-News, Old Second Bank and the cronies of Aurora.

Anonymous said...

Bill Wiet should be fired from the city, but he's got Marilyn Weisner keeping his job alive. She, not Tom, runs the city.

Anonymous said...

I would like to state that Leaving your children in the east or heck even the west side school districts is a kin to child abuse.