LIP News is going on a brief vacation!After today, this site will remain silent until Tuesday, September 6, when it will come roaring back.So, here are a few notes and thoughts to wrap things up.
From Democratic mayoral candidate Rick Gray’s website, www.grayformayor.comthere is this calendar note:ART AUCTION PREVIEW SET FOR FIRST FRIDAY – Some of the more than thirty pieces of work donated by local artists to benefit Rick Gray’s campaign for Mayor of Lancaster will be on display at the studio of Gail Gray, 34½ North Queen Street, for this week’s First Friday celebration on September 2nd.The full collection of donated artwork will be auctioned during a campaign fundraiser on September 15th beginning at at Liberty Place.For tickets and information on the auction, call 393-8285.
A GREAT ARTIST AND FRIEND
I recently signed up for the e-Edition of the Lancaster Newspapers and it’s pretty neat.You get the entire paper and can see every article (not to mention every ad) and photograph and the layout of every page.In this Sunday’s paper, I was thrilled to see a photograph of family members of my friend, artist, teacher and wonderful person, Ruth Cooper, who died this year.Her artwork was displayed at Mulberry Art Studios and her sons Jeff and Carl were in the photo.I miss you, Ruth.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
It also means I get to see all of the letters-to-the-editor and editorials,including, of course, yesterday’s New Era’s ultra-flattering piece about Franklin & Marshall president, John Fry, and the new $30 million complex planned for Harrisburg Avenue.As a member of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority, he is the Lancaster Newspaper’s best buddy.And I love their simplistic answer to questions like this that are raised – “There was some concern that the new student housing would create empty rental units around the college.But, this prospect raises the possibility of some rental properties being converted back to single-family homes, a plus for the neighborhoods.”Well, that’s all fine and good, but how much demand is there for single-family rental homes around Franklin and MarshallCollege?I think it would be interesting to ask the worried landlords about that. And while I'm at it, I find the design of the buildings to be boxy and not very creative. But then, maybe that's me.
And one note to the Lancaster Newspaper’s Online team (you read LIP News, I know you do) the “printer friendly” version of the articles in the e-Edition are slightly too wide for standard paper.Otherwise, good job.I get to read a whole newspaper without getting newsprint on my hands.Life is good.
MINORITIES AND POLITICS
Two quick follow-ups on news stories from this week’s SundayNews – the first, “Minorities upset with slice of pie.”Talking about the construction of the Clipper Magazine Stadium, the Rev. Gerald C. Simmons is quoted as follows, “’Less than 11 percent of the money spent went to minority businesses,’ he said, with the highest-paid contract totaling $4,000.‘That is unacceptable,’ he said.”Yes, that is unacceptable.The second, “KICKING OFF THE CAMPAIGN WITH A BANG” (I guess it’s in all capitals because of the mayor’s cannons), Patricia Poist says of the mayoral campaign, “And some say it is going to be an ugly one at that.”Who says that Patricia?You?You and the mayor are the only ones who have been ugly to date with that whole “push poll” nonsense.If it gets ugly, expect it to come from the Smithgall side.Rick Gray doesn’t play those games.
Have a great Labor Day and thank you for reading LIP News.See you on Tuesday!
~ It was not the “right thing to do” ~
RAPE OF THE VICTIM AND
Jerry Grissinger, Jr. was originally charged with “rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of a minor,” according to this morning’s Intell article, “E-town man sentenced, then let out of prison.”
According to the article, he repeatedly had “sexual contact” for over a year with a 9-year-old girl he was baby-sitting.
Grissinger was found guilty of all of the above charges by a jury on January 16, 2004.On March 15, 2004, Judge Michael Perezous sentenced him to to 15 years in state prison.
So why is the Intel reporting that there was a plea bargain in which he only pleaded guilty to two counts of corruption of a minor and he has been released from prison and paroled?Something went very, very wrong and we are not being told what.The Intell article says, “…the state superior court reversed the conviction because, among other reasons, new evidence was uncovered.”What new evidence?And I find the “among other reasons” very interesting.The prosecution must have made a big mistake.They must have made a really, really big mistake for the superior court to reverse the decision and then have the prosecution make this ridiculous plea offer.
The article goes on to say, “The county had the option of retrying the case, but First Assistant District Attorney Heidi Eakin said not seeking a new trial and reducing the charges was in the best interest of the victim’s family.”She goes on to say “This was the appropriate and right thing to do.”
No, it’s not the appropriate and right thing to do.It’s not fair to the victim or her family and it sends the wrong message to society.
You do not reduce the crime of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse against a 9 year-old girl down to corruption of a minor.It’s criminal.The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office has raped this victim and the public yet again.
~ Hennigan, Smart and Hoover ~
CRY ME A RIVER
Dave Hennigan, editor of the Sunday News, is a tired old hack who needs to resign now.Again, he devotes an entire column to Suzy Hoover.This is the second time in less than three months he has devoted his column to the personal problems of this trust-fund baby.She seems to be the Lancaster Newspaper’s favorite “do-gooder.”
Gil Smart wrote a column about her on February 22, 2004 titled, “In flooded basement, do-gooder swims against city’s tide.”Smart tells us that Hoover bought a 217 year-old home at 204 East King St. in Lancaster.“The 200 block of East King wasn’t exactly SchoolLaneHills when she moved in.But Hoover had the luxury of not having to work, thanks to an inheritance.She became a full-time do-gooder,” Smart says.
His whole column deals with the fact that Hoover alleged that city workers nicked her sewer line while installing a new water line to her home, “and all the digging around her foundation caused water to flow in different directions.”
So, get this, “Hoover got an estimate showing it could cost up to $16,000 [emphasis mine] to fix the problem, depending on the amount of excavation required.”The city balked and according to Smart, “Smelling a rat, she [Hoover] hired a lawyer.”
“The city brought in inspectors, dug everything up and fixed the sewer line.But every time it rains, Hoover still gets water in her basement,” according to Smart’s piece.
Ms. Hoover bought a 217 year-old home.How many Lancastrians get water in their basements when it rains?Should the city fix everyone’s home at $16,000 a shot?
Then Smart says poor Suzy “fished some $3,000 from her own pocket to pay her lawyer and other expenses.”On top of that, Smart says that the bottom of her furnace has begun to rust.“Every time it rains she has to be down there with a broom, sweeping the water into the sump pump pit.”
Poor, poor Suzy.In June, Hennigan covered her fight with her neighbors over the soil grade on her property.Suzy, of course, was now blaming them for the water in her basement and she thought they should pay to fix it.
Now, in a pointless, pointless column, Hennigan says that poor Suzy still has a runoff problem and she has taken her complaint to city council (again).And her neighbor is installing a fence which, from his column, they have every legal right to do.And Hennigan never explains the problem with this other than, “Ms. Hoover, who has been very active in city revitalization, feels a sense of ‘worthlessness,’ her word, over the whole situation.”
If I were her neighbor, I’d build a fence, too.This is absolutely ludicrous.Someone should investigate how much money the city has spent on Suzy’s basement and why.Charlotte Katzenmoyer, the city’s director of public works is quoted in Smart’s column as saying, “We’ve been bending over backwards to resolve the issue.We’re trying to find out what else we can do.”No.Stop.Don’t spend another cent of city money.Tell that spoiled, complaining woman to fix her own basement.Now.
And find something real to write about, Hennigan.Or better yet, retire.
Well, well.Ron Harper, Jr. is back after his time in newsprint for his phone calls to Chris Lilik of GrassrootsPA.comHe chanced upon a county employee allegedly viewing porn.Ron says, “We don’t just write about the news, we make the news!”That’s an understatement. We’re still waiting to read all the gory details on Lilik, Ron.Produce.Your 15 minutes are over for this month.
THE COSTS OF GOVERNMENT
A press release just in from Bruce Beardsley, the Chairman of the County Democratic Committee – “Democrats oppose sales tax increase.The Executive Committee of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee voted at its meeting on August 25 to oppose the proposal of a group of state representatives, calling themselves the Commonwealth Caucus, to increase the sales tax as a way to reduce the state property tax.Bruce Beardsley said, ‘This proposal by the Commonwealth Caucus epitomizes one of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans.They want to tax the basic necessities of life, like clothes, food, medicine, doctor’s visits, hospital care and college tuition – burdens that already push middle incomes to the limit.And, at the same time, give huge tax cuts to the very wealthy.We Democrats believe simply that the costs of government should be paid according to one’s ability to pay.’”
Eat lots of corn today, Democrats.Hey, Ron, are you going to the Corn Roast?You know now what a questionable lot those Republicans are.Jump ship and share in some Democratic fellowship!
This email in from Bruce Beardsley, the County Democratic Chairman:
U.S. Senate Hopeful to speak at Corn Roast.
Chuck Pennacchio, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, will appear and speak at the Lancaster County Democrat’s Annual Corn Roast on Saturday, August 27.Dr. Pennacchio is a Professor of American History at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and currently resides in BucksCounty with his wife and two children.In addition to Pennacchio, many of the over 50 Democrats running for local office will be in attendance.Sam Mecum, candidate for CountyJudge, will also speak.The Corn Roast will be held tomorrow in Long’s Park at Pavilion #2 at Tickets can be purchased at the door.
It’s Friday and Dr. Fraud has me in a stew.Will he get a free lunch from the Lancaster Newspapers?How will he crash the mayor’s cannon shoot?He’s messing with me and I am not amused.I will get the answers. “A Free Lunch” is here.
WHY CAN’T I WRITE THIS GOOD?
“I actually wouldn't mind bat duty if it didn't happen in the middle of the night. I like to spend the middle of my nights sleeping. Bats don't understand that. They like to spend the middle of their nights eating. It's a wonder they don't get fat.”
(Jeff Hawkes, “Bat arrives, and I fly into action,” Intell, 9-8-05)
“They used the excuse that this will bring a better grade of people up there.Well, I happen to think that every yahoo and his dumb brother is going to run for this job now.Where else can you earn $81,000 base salary at something you don’t know anything about and don’t have any experience at?”
(Ephrata Township committeewoman, Anna Mae Ressler, quoted in the article, “CountyGOP takes aim at ‘payjackers,’” New Era, 8-31-05.
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
The following quote has been officially entered in the “Find the Stupidest Thing Madonna Says Contest!”Full details tomorrow!
“I don’t think we ought to be holding people to, ‘I earned $7.99 an hour doing this job or that job.’ But I think the source of income, and a range, is reasonable to me,' Madonna said."
HIGHER EDUCATION & LOW BLOWS
There is so much news, or so little, depending on how you look at it, that some will have to carry over untilthe weekend for a news, or non-news round-up.
LET THE SUN SHINE IN!
At the very end of today’s Intell article, “County chiefs eye Campbell lawsuit” it says this, “In other project business, the convention center authority will hold a public meeting in Southern Market Center at today.” Just like that.Like all public meetings are held at The article then quotes the board Chairman, Ted Darcus as saying “It’s just a meeting to pay the bills.There’s not going to be a lot of action.”I imagine they did have to pay the bills since they haven’t met in two months.And why wasn’t the agenda for the meeting posted on the LCCCA website?On their website they have a “Public Participation Policy” (click hereand then click on “Read Our Public Participation Policy” on the lower right):“This Authority believes that the right of the public to be present at our meetings and to witness the deliberation, policy formulation and decision making is vital to the enhancement and proper functioning of the democratic process and that secrecy in public affairs undermines the faith of the public in government and the public’s effectiveness in fulfilling its role in a democratic society.”Well, that sounds all fine and good, but then why did you hold your meeting at with two days notice?As was posted here yesterday, that is not acceptable and there will be much more on this issue, the LCCCA and the Sunshine Law here at a later date.
IT DOESN’T LOOK GOOD
I dislike nonsense and blatant lying.Which brings me to Keith Orris, the Secretary of Franklin & Marshall College, and this quote from yesterday’s Intell article, “F&M gets OK to make the way for ‘gateway’ complex,”“Orris said he did not think the project would have a traffic impact on the street because ‘we are not increasing school population.’He backtracked, however, when Stoltzfus reminded him of the grocery store and retail shops.‘Yes,’ Orris said.‘They might have an impact.’”This man is the secretary of a college that is charging more tuition than Harvard or Princeton.Gee, do you think it might have an impact on traffic?Either F&M has done all these studies and plans for a $30 million project without considering traffic or Orris is a liar.Either way, it doesn’t look good for higher education.
DOES IT HAVE LEGS?
Now, while I’m on the topic of higher education, F&M’s G. Terry Madonna’s name made the New Era on Tuesday in the article, “Creighton explores pay hike repeal; Denlinger hits loophole.”The author quotes Creighton as saying, “Terry Madonna made a statement that this (furor) would die out.Then he changed his position and said this has legs, it continues to have legs.”I’m amazed.G. Terry Madonna was wrong and then quickly changed his story?Who could have guessed?I told you several days ago right here that I am available for political commentary and I know if an issue has legs or not.And I don’t even have a Franklin & Marshall diploma.
BETTER THAN LGH
How bad can the Lancaster Newspapers get?There appears to be no end in sight.On Tuesday both the Intell and the New Era did stories about the prison and the 32 women “living” in the gym.Though both of these stories mentioned that city health officials found serious sanitation problems, neither of these articles once mentioned the bacterial infection that made front page headlines two months ago and has killed inmates in other prisons.Don’t you think a reporter would ask the prison warden about that?Isn’t that important?In light of the recent assault and pending lawsuit, and for just downright humanitarian reasons, wouldn’t you ask that?
In the June Prison Board Minutes (click here)there is this regarding the danger of the drug resistant staph infection MRSA, “The danger is when it affects someone already ill or sickly and then it can be very serious.He [Guarini] said prison medical personnel are taking the necessary precautions to detect and prevent the spread of MRSA, whenever it is present and has developed an information sheet for both staff and inmates. We have been informed that our protocol even exceeds that followed at LGH.”I bet LancasterGeneralHospital is thrilled by that reference.The City Health Department, with regard to the 32 women sleeping, eating and using toilet facilities in the gym, had to tell the prison officials to clean the floors daily and find a separate area for meals.But there was not one word in the Lancaster Newspaper’s stories about a killer.
WE ALL CRY FOUL
Finally, I will simply link to this absurd article, “Shaub cries foul over use of ballpark skybox” so you can read the Talkback below it (click here).How low can the Lancaster Newspapers go?
~ The LCCCA ~
First it was a super-secret meeting with Senator Gib Armstrong and the CountyCommissioners.Now the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority has announced that their next meeting is tomorrow morning at This involves millions of dollars of public money.They cannot hold a meeting with two days notice at in the morning. This is not acceptable.This is a blatant attempt to keep out the public and all of the board members should be called on the carpet immediately.
A woman named Brittany answered the LCCCA phone this morning and when asked why it was at in the morning said, “I think that’s probably when they [the board] could all get together.”Well, why not at night?Nonsense.If you’re on a public board you manage to all get together at a reasonable time once a month or you resign.
There has been a comment on the Talkback board that these board members are not paid and are volunteering their time.Who cares?They accepted the position.These positions are supposed to bring prestige.They get their names in the papers, they get to play with millions of dollars and they get to hobnob with the rich and influential in Lancaster and Harrisburg.If this board can’t manage to meet at a reasonable time once a month so the public can execise their legal right to attend the meetings, they should resign immediately.If the project has deteriorated to the point that they are afraid of public input, then they need to pull the plug on the project immediately.This is disgraceful, and possibly illegal, conduct by the board.
Call and tell them this is not acceptable - (717) 399-7630.The website and board member listing is here. Also, grab two cups of very strong coffee and go to the meeting at and tell them what you think of this in person.There is more on the situation at www.lookingatlancaster.comwhere Artie See asks, “Are they intentionally trying to hide their meetings from the public, or at least making it difficult enough to find out about and attend their meetings so fewer and fewer people attend?”There will be more here tomorrow.