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BLOG: Take Two on Morning View

A look at performance versus PR.

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The film studio proposal that has transfixed and fascinated many Dixonites for almost six months now is still a big mystery to me. I would like it to happen – who wouldn’t?

I talked with new city manager Jim Lindley, and he sounds very optimistic about it. It would certainly be a feather in his hat to help usher in such a major project.

But we have to look at what Morning View leader Carissa Carpenter has accomplished in a concrete sense, and not what she says in her uber enthusiastic way.  

Looking back in newspaper articles, the idea of a movie studio was first presented to Dixon around August 1 of last year (2012). Carpenter indicated she was in a big hurry to obtain approvals, financing, land purchases, and to complete planning and building – and her hoped-for timeline was to have film studios constructed after two years (in 2014).

Now, six months later – one-fourth of the way through the two years – what do we have? She has said she has associates in the movie industry, developers, financing and studio customers, but cannot reveal any of them until the right time. Carissa, it’s now six months later and there’s no convincing reason not to.

She has said she wants to keep the community informed and was planning at least one community forum to answer the public’s questions. After six months, nothing. She had planned to give a presentation to the city council on January 8, but withdrew. She had agreed to give me an interview in early December, but pulled out at the last moment.

As others have indicated, Morning View needs to show it’s for real by purchasing the land in the Southwest Development Area – from around seven landowners. In talking with one of them, I learned that since the initial group meeting they had with her and her lawyers in August this landowner hasn’t heard a thing from Morning View, while on the other hand, Ms. Carpenter claims that property purchases are about to happen and negotiations are leading to escrow. (The other landowners, unfortunately, didn’t return my calls.)

On Tuesday evening, January 22, 2013, Dixon’s city council voted to require Morning View to provide $100,000 to fulfill its promise to pay for staff and contractor time to work on its plans and city approvals. Is this a litmus test to determine if Morning View has the wherewithal to proceed? If Morning View does provide that amount, it will certainly raise its credibility, although my understanding is that it paid Vallejo a similar $50,000 and that studio plan still fell apart.

From the beginning I was put off by Carpenter’s seeming lack of businesslike attributes, her talk about her health problems and her grandiose imagery of movie stars in Dixon. But I was and still am willing to suspend disbelief as long as she delivers on her promises, buys the land, and makes public her developers, financiers, and studio tenants.

But what I’m finding lately are excuses why she can’t move forward, including Measure N and negative rumors about her and Morning View – plus an unreasonable need to keep secret the names of her partners and associates.

Of course, it all comes down to money. Does Morning View have the bucks? Where’s the beef?  

There will be those who say I’m jeopardizing the project by asking questions. No, I’m just asking the questions that need to be asked.

Morning View could take a big step in the right direction by holding a public Q&A session, and answering all the questions people have. After a long six months, right now is the right time. I would be there with the 16 questions I had intended to ask during our scheduled interview.

 

 

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Mike Smith January 23, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Bill, You are all wrong about parts of your blog: "On Tuesday evening, January 22, 2013, Dixon’s city council voted to require Morning View to provide $100,000 to fulfill its promise to pay for staff and contractor time to work on its plans and city approvals. Is this a litmus test to determine if Morning View has the wherewithal to proceed? If Morning View does provide that amount, it will certainly raise its credibility, although my understanding is that it paid Vallejo a similar $50,000 and that studio plan still fell apart." #1 it is not a litmus test #2 they do not need to raise any credibility #3 Vallejo is not similar and you are missing a number of facts I'll post the lastest information concerning Morning View in a new blog. However, I will address some issues here. Morning View is not responding to requests from every blogger on the internet for an interview. Information is provided to news sources that look at both sides of the issues and provide a fair and balanced news. Morning View doesnot bring up the past, requires privacy and considers material posted on the internet is available world wide - forever. As always, questions and comments conerning Morning View can be directed to me at mikes@ibewlu180.org. Mike Smith
Russ s January 24, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Hmmm
Jason Dudley January 24, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Good questions Bill. Mike if I recall a newspaper article that said Mrs. carpenter was planning on revealing her financial backers by the first of the year. Well we are at the end of January and still nothing. I am all for her project to succeed, I think it would be great for Dixon and all parties involved. All the city of Dixon and its residents are asking for is a update of the progress. Her track record of project completions isn't a path of rose petals so the people of Dixon is proceeding with a little caution.
Mike Smith January 24, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Jason, The financial backer will never be named. The financial lender will. As for a track record of project completions, that is another matter. She has been out on front on this for a long-time as a special project. Otherwise, she has been on the team of other projects. The industry is very hush-hush about who is doing what with whom. Building a $2.8-bil studio is a huge undertaking. If the location, people or team partners don't feel right, then they move on. Mike Smith
Patty Graves January 27, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Some of us are wondering if this is a studio to make X rated films.
Ian Arnold January 27, 2013 at 02:06 AM
To be honest, I think building a studio in Dixon for x-rated movies would be a waste of time, effort and money. All they need for x-rated movies is a motel room or a house. Plenty of those everywhere.
Gary Erwin January 27, 2013 at 02:09 AM
Patty, They have stated several times that they are not shooting that type of material.
Mike Smith January 28, 2013 at 05:43 AM
Patty, No X rated films will be made in Dixon. Mike

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