Providing Lancaster City & County with an Alternative Source for Local News and Commentary  _________________________________________________________
 May 26, 2007      Publisher: LLC       Combined Circulation 80,000 monthly         Volume 1, Number 34
Failure to Pay Undermines
Convention Center Project

Who has the most important job: The mayor of Lancaster? The County Commissioners? The Chief Executive Officer / Chair of the Convention Center Authority?

That's a tough question to answer.

So how much do we pay these important public officials?

The Mayor: $73,459 annually.

The Commissioners: $83,439 each, a total of $250,317. And add on an extra $1,000 for the chairperson. So the total leadership package comes to $251,317.

The CEO / Chairperson of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority: $ 0

How can we expect Art Morris or anyone else heading the Convention Center Authority to devote the 30 to 50 hours a week needed to make sure that close to $200 million, mostly public or publicly guaranteed money, is spent appropriately? How can we expect an unpaid CEO / chairperson to oversee plans to properly staff, promote and operate the facility?

If we can spend around that much for this turkey of a project, certainly we should ante up $50,000 to $75,000 annually over the
next 36 months to enable the chairperson to devote sufficient time to see that it is done as well as possible.

Or perhaps Penn Square Partners would prefer not to have someone looking over its shoulders?

Keystone Award re Conestoga
View a Big Mistake

To the shock and horror of many, the Keystone Award judges for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association gave an award to the New Era's Jack Brubaker for reporting on the county commissioners' sale of the Conestoga View Nursing Home.

In fact, both editor-in-chief Ernie Schreiber and Brubaker should be censured for their unwillingness to report how the three commissioners were (1) exonerated by the grand jury of any legal wrongdoings pertaining to the sale and (2) were coerced through outrageous prosecutorial abuse by district attorney Donald Totaro to accept a plea bargain for unlikely violations of the Sunshine Act, a law so vague that the jury recommended it be revised.

Then the monopoly Lancaster Newspapers printed banner headlines day after day treating the minor violations as the crime of the century.

More on this at a later date!

Break free from the monopoly press! Visit daily

To Host Conventioneers,
City Must Avoid "Katrina"-like
Response to Winter Storms

The May 20 Sunday News reported that Mayor Rick Gray has reached out to the James Street Improvement District (JSID) for assistance in strategizing for improvements in services and for attracting businesses to downtown Lancaster.

This is a smart move because F & M College
and the JSID organization have demonstrated both competence and energy in their improvement efforts.

However, Lancaster cannot afford another "Katrina" like response to a winter storm as was apparent this past winter when downtown was virtually shut down for three days with three-foot icy snow banks along the curbs and blocking intersections, and with a quarter of the sidewalks left totally unshoveled.

Two Letters to the Editor
( welcomes comments)
Misdirected State Expenditures

Almost ONE BILLION DOLLARS of PA taxpayer money being spent on two convention centers (Philadelphia & Lancaster) in PA!

No wonder PA taxes are twice as much as California.

No wonder we have the worst roads in the USA.

No wonder we do not have affordable healthcare for uninsured in PA.

No wonder good paying jobs keep leaving PA.

Where is the PA taxpayers' outcry demanding change!

111 days left until county
appointees become majority on
Convention Center Board.
Megan's Web Site Not Enough;
Advocates branding or tattooing

First I'd like to say I enjoy your writings and I read them daily. But your comments "Bad Judgment" are off base!

The public has a right to know who are the criminals and predators in the streets. Especially sexual predators. I would go as far as branding or tattooing them for easy identification purposes.

As far as your assertion they will not get a job, I have hired ex-convicts and even a sexual predator on work release from prison. Megan's web site does not go far enough. These people have forever lost the trust of society and need to be tracked forever.

[Editor's note: We anticipated that the WATCHDOG posting, supporting Megan's law but decrying the New Era publishing of a photo and address as bad judgment, would be controversial. We welcome the discussion.]