Providing Greater Lancaster with an Alternative Source for Local News and Commentary  _________________________________________________________
 January 19, 2007                                         Publisher: LLC                                    Volume 1, Number 21

Totaro's disgrace

A careful reading of the grand jury report on the Conestoga View sale indicates the county commissioners were not guilty of anything.

From the commissioners� vantage point, an indictment not only would tarnish their reputations, but also require them to devote months to their defense and spend tens of thousands of dollars of their own money for legal fees.

Had District Attorney Donald Totaro allowed the three commissioners and their counsels to examine a draft of the grand jury findings before deciding whether to plead guilty, they likely would have challenged him to take them to court In fact, on the critical issues, the grand jury recommended that misinformation in documentations be made a crime, and that the "Sunshine Act also should be amended to prohibit 'avoidance techniques'..."

Given the paucity of evidence in the report to prosecute the most minor offense, the offer made to the commissioners was an implicit and unwarranted threat and a serious violation of prosecutorial discretion.

Censuring Totaro would discourage future district attorneys from exercising undue influence.

Shellenberger paid to publish announcement:

"I have been maligned and
misrepresented so many times."

When Lancaster County Commissioner Dick Shellenberger placed an ad in the suburban Merchandiser / Penny Saver to announce he was not seeking re-election, for Shellenberger the reason was clear.

"I wanted my message to reflect my vision,� said Shellenberger, �and I was not confident that my message would be faithfully conveyed by Lancaster Newspapers." Shellenberger and fellow commissioners Pete Shaub and Molly Henderson have been the subject of near daily vituperative headlines in the news sections of the monopoly press, as well as attacks in the editorial sections.

"I have been maligned and misrepresented so many times that I felt it was necessary to get my pure message out to the public. It has and continues to be an honor to serve them."

Convention Center Project
attracts national media attention

In its February edition, Budget & Tax News, a monthly national publication focusing on government economic issues, published an investigative report on the proposed downtown Lancaster convention center/hotel project.

According to the article, "In 1999, a $75 million convention center and hotel was conceived for downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania...Today the project, which hasn't begun construction, has mutated into a $175 million behemoth..."

The report ("Lancaster Convention Center Battle Shatters Penn. Amish Country Calm") was written by Christiaan A. Hart-Nibbrig, News Editor of


Excerpts from Grand Jury Report

(The following demonstrates that the grand jury was unable to determine violations of current law based upon testimony. Instead, they relied upon the commissioners' pleas to "establish" guilt).

Sunday News' coverage got it right ... for a change!

Kudos to the Sunday News! Its Jan. 14 edition fairly reports the disparity of views pertaining to the Grand Jury Report on its front page.

Although the Perspective section contains a stinging
editorial entitled, "Have grace to resign," it also prominently includes letters-to-the-editor expressing opposing points of views.

We are hopeful this issue will be representative of future Sunday
News editions and serve as a model for the Intelligencer Journal and the New Era.

But we won�t hold our breath!