You don’t say

“It’s a very unique job. (For) one thing, you get to work for Wink.”

– Former Hartman Arena general manager Eric Blockie, who is helping Wink Hartman Sr. find his replacement since he’s taken a job as GM at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas

You don’t say

“This is but the first shot across the bow.”

Wink Hartman Sr., who says the arena business is competitive and he wants to be the best, so parking is now free for every event at Hartman Arena

Enertech Inc. responds to Hartman lawsuit

WICHITA — Newton-based Enertech Inc. has responded to the lawsuit filed against it by Hartmoor Arena, which does business as Hartman Arena.

In a lawsuit Hartmoor filed last month, the company alleged that the wind turbine Enertech sold the arena has never worked properly.

Enertech says there were issues related to the inadequate electrical service the arena installed and that Enertech replaced damaged components at its own expense before the arena upgraded the electrical service.

The response also says the arena didn’t indicate that there were further electrical problems.

“The wind turbine was working and generating electricity when Hartmoor barred Enertech from coming out to perform warranty work,” says Paul McCausland, the lawyer representing Enertech.

McCausland isn’t sure why Hartmoor barred Enertech from coming back.

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Hartman Arena sues wind turbine maker Enertech Inc.

nullWICHITA — Hartmoor Arena, which does business as Hartman Arena, has filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against Newton-based Enertech Inc., the company that installed the arena’s wind turbine.

“Hartman Arena . . . was always conceived of as a green venture,” says Zoe Newton, businessman Wink Hartman Sr.’s vice president and general counsel.

“The wind turbine was supposed to be the centerpiece of our green initiative,” Newton says. “Unfortunately, the turbine has never worked or has never worked properly. Mr. Hartman was really disappointed because he was really committed to these green initiatives.”

Newton won’t go into the specifics of the case. Nor will Enertech’s attorney, Paul McCausland, though he says the turbine is working.

According to the lawsuit, here’s what arena officials claim:

The arena entered in an agreement to buy the turbine for $264,400 in October 2008 and paid a deposit of $118,980.

The arena further paid $133,822 to provide a foundation and wiring for the turbine, $19,134 to erect it and an additional $118,980 to Enertech in February 2009.

The hope was to have the turbine operational by the March 2009 Alan Jackson inaugural concert at the arena.

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You don’t say

“I was even told by a couple of banks that I couldn’t do it, which kind of hurt my feelings a bit.”

Wink Hartman Sr., speaking at the Andover Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Friday, on criticism he heard before building his Hartman Arena last year

Prairie Polo rezoning is approved by planning commission

WICHITA — A rezoning request Jack Shelton first sought in Summer 2008 for his Prairie Polo at 95th Street South and Broadway has now been approved and is on its way to the county commission for final approval.

“We got a lot of slack the first time we went through it,” Shelton says.

Part of the problem was he needed approval from the city of Haysville first, which he now has.

More than a decade ago, Shelton put two polo fields on his 125 acres.

More recently, his goal was to attract people for lessons.

Shelton is former chairman of the United States Polo Association.

This year, the association approved Prairie Polo as a regional training center for the Midwest.

But Shelton ran into difficulties when he erected signs to attract potential students.

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Brooks & Dunn coming to Wichita in May

brooksWICHITA — According to the Brooks & Dunn Web site, the duo is bringing its “Last Rodeo” tour here on May 27.

But most of the country act’s 47 dates for its farewell tour don’t have announced venues yet. So will Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn play Intrust Bank Arena or Hartman Arena?

Hartman is known for having some top country acts. For instance, Alan Jackson was the arena’s debut concert earlier this year, and Martina McBride played there Friday night.

But Intrust already has country acts booked for next year, including the popular Taylor Swift, whose show sold out in 15 minutes on Friday.

Intrust spokeswoman Beth King gave her standard, “I can neither confirm nor deny,” response. But, as it turns out, her oldest brother, Scott Edwards, is the tour manager for Brooks & Dunn. Surely he wouldn’t risk upsetting his sister and going to Hartman, right?

“Oh,” King says, “I don’t have any control over that.”

PR exec longs to be a Cubs bat girl

cubsWICHITA — Wichita native Susan Howe is president of the Chicago office of the international PR firm Weber Shandwick, but her true passion seems to be baseball.

That’s why she’s flying in for Koyie Hill’s Big Wish gala fund-raiser for Make-A-Wish on Saturday at Hartman Arena.

Hill is a catcher for Howe’s beloved Chicago Cubs, and one of the auction items for the evening is to be a bat boy for the Cubs one day at spring training.

“Spring training is almost a holiday for my family because it’s celebrating the return of baseball,” Howe says.

Her father, Al Vargo, is a die-hard Shocker fan, and Howe and her husband wear their Shocker hats every time Hill is catching for the Cubs.

“I don’t think anyone knows what the WuShock is,” she says.

Howe strategized for how she’d win the auction. She liked that it was for spring training instead of a game at Wrigley Field so there would be less pressure.

But then Howe learned the devastating news that no one over 18 can be a bat boy.

She’s now regrouped and decided to bid on throwing out the first pitch for a Cub’s game.

“But the bat boy or girl on that day had better watch out!”

You don’t say

“I’m very happy because the first thing those folks thought of was Hartman Arena.”

Wink Hartman Sr. on how some people wanting Intrust Bank Arena tickets are calling his Park City arena

John Nath is out as general manager of Hartman Arena

nath2WICHITA — On the heels of Jacque Wedel’s departure from Hartman Arena, general manager John Nath (pictured left) is now gone, too.

“Effective today, John Nath is no longer associated with the Hartman Arena,” says Wink Hartman Sr. “Arena management has decided to go in a new direction at this time.”

Nath couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wedel, who was marketing and advertising manager, and Nath used to be in similar positions at the Kansas Coliseum and joined Hartman Arena in 2008 before its March 2009 opening.

“Effective immediately, Mr. Eric Blockie will fill the general manager’s position at Hartman Arena,” Hartman says.

Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that Blockie joined Hartman Arena as director of financial and marketing development, which resulted in Wedel’s departure.

“I just felt when Eric came on board, it was time for her to pursue other opportunities,” Hartman said at the time.

Blockie is from the St. Louis area, where he worked for Live Nation, the world’s biggest promoter.

“Eric brings a diverse background in the industry to Hartman Arena,” Hartman says, “and will continue to bring a wide range of entertainment options to the community.”