NewsLanc.Com

    Providing Lancaster City & County with an Alternative Source for Local News and Commentary  _________________________________________________________
 October 12, 2007    Publisher: NewsLanc.com LLC       Combined Circulation 80,000 monthly         Volume 1, Number 45
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S. Dale High Controls "Naming Rights" For Convention Center!

It was not abuse enough that Penn Square Partners, LLC (a partnership of subsidiaries of the monopoly Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. and The High Group) is to receive 50% of the proceeds from the naming rights to the Convention Center, which is 100% owned by the public.

A study of documents rushed through the Convention Center Authority in March discloses that S. Dale High shall have "the right of first offer with respect to all Naming Rights."
Apparently High has not only come up with a way for the Partners to pocket half of the proceeds for the naming rights to something in which they have no ownership, but has effectively deterred the rights being sold to anyone but himself, instead of being auctioned to the highest bidder.

So much for the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. and S. Dale High being altruistic benefactors of our community!

End to Conestoga View Litigation

At the County Commissioners' meeting of Oct. 10th, Assistant Solicitor Mel Newcomber announced that an arrangement has been reached between CHR, the owner / operator of the Conestoga View Nursing Home, and the County Medical Society whereby the first floor of the Alms House structure will be made available rent-free for a possible medical museum.

Chairman Dick Shellenberger confirmed that the agreement resolves all litigation pertaining to the sale and called the settlement "a good thing."


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Support for Project Amounts to "Tacit Approval"

"I am convinced that offering any kind of approval for this project is telling the politicians and the plutocrats that they can get away with this kind of thing anytime they want to. Already we are seeing pie-in-the-sky proposals for both a streetcar system and a performing arts center, and the trolley supporters have already come up with ways to circumvent the legal approval process. The attitudes that have allowed this project to rape and pillage the taxpayers must not be permitted to continue."

Editor’s note: NewsLanc favors cooperation with the Authority to minimize the anticipated damage to downtown and the taxpayers.


Mayor and Sunday News Misconstrue City Assessment
It is apparent from the front page Sunday News article of Oct. 7th titled "Assessing the city’s fiscal future; A new look at real estate values could mean higher taxes, heavier coffers for Lancaster" that both Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray and the newspaper have ventured into complex matters that they do not properly understand. (A county-wide reassessment took place in 2003.) Assessments do not determine real estate property taxes. The sole purpose of assessment is to make sure that all properties are assessed at about the same ratio to their actual 'Market Value.' (Market value is what the property would actually sell for.)

The usual way to enhance tax revenue is to increase the tax rate
(millage). It’s painful, but it’s transparent.

If indeed real estate values in the city are assessed at a lower ratio than those throughout the county, then city folk are getting a break when it comes to paying county taxes!
What the Intell and New Era Failed to Report

None of the local media outlets reported any of Molly Henderson's comments about the hotel and convention center project. Here is a verbatim transcript of her comments:

"When we first came to office in '03, I supported the project.
At that time, it was a 50-50 public-private partnership, it was 70 million dollars. There was no bond guarantee.

"After being in office for about a year, I started to look at the project. It had changed dramatically.
It is now almost entirely public funding. Not only the convention center, but the hotel in addition.

I believe if additional funding is needed, and it will be – make no mistake, additional funding will be needed – we need to look to our private partners, Penn Square Partners, to put in their equal amount."




Central Market Shows the Way

Saturday visitors to the Central Market were welcomed by vendors offering breakfast staples, delicacies and other items in the side-street and joyful music of the talented five piece Gadjo Playboys ensemble.

Regular Saturday shoppers were joined by hundreds of others, bringing vibrancy and color to the usually somber downtown streets.
Sponsored by Central Market merchants, this was an example of how to truly invigorate downtown by building on successes.

According to their website: "Formed in 2001, the Gadjos are a collection of five gifted musicians who respectfully attempt to walk in the footsteps of the likes of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. The music, reminiscent of 1930s Parisian string jazz clubs, is hot, sophisticated, and swings... big time."