Providing Lancaster City & County with an Alternative Source for Local News and Commentary  _________________________________________________________
 March 23, 2007                                         Publisher: LLC                                    Volume 1, Number 29
'Yellow Journalism' …
Intell Uses Shaub as Puppet to Attack Commissioners

A March 21 purported "news" article by the Intelligencer Journal uses a gathering in Little Britain Township on the structure of future county government as an excuse to report critical comments by former commissioner Pete Shaub about his former colleagues in the newspaper's blatant attempt to impede the reelection of commissioner Molly Henderson.

The article devotes the initial 22 paragraphs to negative remarks by Shaub about Dick Shellenberger and Henderson, assertions by Shaub that the monopoly Lancaster newspapers has often trumpeted over past months. Thus the Intell makes use of Shaub as its puppet to further its parent company's vendetta against the two commissioners for opposing its Convention Center / Hotel Project. (A subsidiary of Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. is a 44% sponsor of the controversial Project.)

It was only after the article continues on page B2 and in its final paragraphs that the readers read anything about what the other three speakers had to say.

This and other similar Intell and New Era screeds raise the question of how long Lancaster readers and advertisers will go along with the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc., exploiting its monopoly position to pursue its vested interests and conceits.
Where Convention Center Went Wrong

Rather than posing the correct question, "Do we need a large gathering space for meetings and, if so, where would be the best location to place it," the Convention Center project was a response to the wrong question: "What can we build on the downtown Watt & Shand site?"

That was seven years ago. Downtown Lancaster had not yet started on the path of revitalization. Some well meaning people were despairing about finding an appropriate use for the site. And others were eager to feed at the trough of massive public funding.

So without regard to the obvious overwhelming negative aspects of the Watt & Shand site for a Convention Center (as indicated in the 2000 PricewaterhouseCoopers market study), a $70 million project was planned that has ballooned to almost $200 million, counting funds spent to date and yet to be spent.

Not only will the project likely be a blight on downtown Lancaster, but 90% or more of the cost will be on the backs of the taxpayers either up front through grants or down the road due to defaults on the bonds.

The moral of the story: If you don't ask the right questions, you are unlikely to get the right answers.

174 days left until county
appointees become majority on
Convention Center Board.

Commissioners select 4 finalists for Authority Seat

The County Commissioners announced on March 22 that finalists to be interviewed for the September opening on the Convention Center Authority Board are Robert B. Campbell, Jr., Tom LeCrone, Kevin F. Fry and Edward L. Klaus.

The interviews will be open to the public and are to take place starting at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27.

The commissioners plan to announce their selection the following day, March 28, at their regular Wednesday public meeting.

Dan Rather Speaks

On a recent talk show, journalist Dan Rather described his concern that too often journalists draw too close to officials and thus are inhibited from "speaking truth to power."

His comments provide insight to the calamity that has befallen Lancaster as a result of the monopoly newspapers' 44% sponsorship of the proposed

Convention Center project.

However well meaning their original motivations, it should have soon become clear that the project presented too great a conflict of interest and the Lancaster Newspapers needed to withdraw as a sponsor.

Now years of bias have undermined
the press's integrity. Witness accusations of illegal activities by the State Attorney General.

So the issues we face aren't just about the Convention Center project, but also whether the Lancaster Newspapers will avoid conflicts of interest and return to former high journalistic standards.

Passing Ships

An elderly gentleman stands in front of the Central Market passing out fliers. A well dressed, professional looking lady declines but, just before entering the market, stops and asks, "Do you live in Lancaster?"

His reply: "Close by." She: "Then you don't understand."

She perceives the Convention Center as bringing new life to downtown Lancaster.
He favors an upscale residential condominium with retail shops and a scaled down and better designed convention center elsewhere, perhaps on Rt. 30 East.

He has spent half a century as a developer of communities here and abroad.

The elderly gentleman continues wishing passersby "good morning" and handing them newsletters.