This just in to the newsroom: Mayor Gray found a $20 bill in his desk drawer probably dating from the Smithgall administration.Insiders say he excitedly said, “Put this in the convention center fund, Pat.We only need $19,999,980 more!”
Wow! Please check back often for updates on this developing story!
Days until Mike Sturla is voted out of office – 104
This box will remain at the top of my site and be counted down until the happy day when his sorry butt is sent packing.Rent a U-Haul and prepare to pack, Sturla.
This was posted under the "Officials race to find dollars to fill center budget gap" thread:
“Once this funding race is over, regardless of the outcome, I would like to see all of the participants submit to a urine and/or blood test. I would not be at all surprised to find a "doping" scandal right here in LancasterCounty. (I'm not talking about steroids, either.)”
What a hoot.Somehow I think most of them will end up in jail!
NO HOPE FOR PROJECT
My web-host’s website was “down” all morning – meaning I could not get in to administer this site.It does not happen often.Please check back tomorrow forthe article: “NO HOPE FOR PROJECT!”
~ It’s A Legitimate Question ~
IS GRAY BEING
It just doesn’t add up.He’s a very smart man.A man I once believed had integrity and decency.He’s a man who would not accept campaign donations when he ran for judge several years ago.
He promised before the election that he would have a committee look into the viability of the convention center.Within twenty-four hours of being elected, he took nasty and cheap shots at those opposed to it.He refused to “participate” in the PKF Consulting study.
This is a proposed project that would use the public’s money to the tune of $100 million to benefit the extremely wealthy private sector.The public does not want it.That was confirmed by a Fox43 poll months ago.The unscientific poll on the WGAL website is currently running with 65% of the voters saying they want this project to come to an end. They want it to be over with.
There are very good reasons. The Penn Square Partners want the public to pay for it.The PKF study says it will not succeed.Convention centers are failing all across the country.The convention center will not “revitalize” downtown Lancaster in any way.It’s a losing proposition all around.
So why is Mayor J. Richard Gray continuing to push and push for this white elephant?Why?A number of people are beginning to speculate that someone has leverage over him – a nice way of saying he is being blackmailed.There just isn’t any other logic to it.It doesn’t make sense.It’s a legitimate question.
I posted the following on reportertalk.com the day the “dead” project was revived for the fifth or sixth time:
"Oh my. It all turned out to be a hoax again. Yes, this white elephant that the Lancaster Newspapers, yes the Lancaster Newspapers, have a 44% interest in, is still alive. It was all a trick. And our bow-tie wearing mayor, a man I had respect for many years ago when he was a defense attorney, is obviously being blackmailed. The diligent search for the source of that blackmail is now being undertaken by multiple investigative reporters not employed by the Lancaster Newspapers (they don't know what the term means)! I am making calls as I type. Do check back later...”
Artie See also speculates about it in his article, “The Two Faces of Mayor Gray” (clickhere).It’s a legitimate question.
IS IT SO?
On Sunday, I posted “This ain’t about a convention center folks!”The next morning the Intell editorial was “It ain’t so.”It amused me and of course the editorial wasn’t about the convention center but Floyd Landis.The editorial says:
“The fact that Landis tested positive for testosterone -- and not another substance -- gives us reason to believe he did nothing wrong. It's a natural hormone and it would surprise no one that a male athlete who pedals up and down the Alps for a living might just have a bit more of it than the average guy.”
Oh my, guys.That’s really a stretch and why didn’t he ever test positive before? I would like to believe him, too - but my gut is getting in the way.We’ll find out Saturday.
IS MAYOR GRAY BEING BLACKMAILED?
CHECK BACK LATER TODAY…
~ It’s All About Gambling ~
“Of course they do Artie, that’s what this whole convention center is about. Ask any insider, back room dealing politician and if they told you the truth, they would tell you that they want you to buy them this C.C. so that they and their friends can make a mint off of gambling.
Posted on Talkback under the article “Closest casino to cost $310M.” A link is provided below.
Yup, that’s the answer.That’s why they won’t give up no matter what.The public doesn’t want it.The PKF Consulting study says it will fail.They are millions over budget. Convention centers around the country are failing.But they just have to build this one to “revitalize” Lancaster.
Yup.What do an exhibition hall and a casino have in commom?A giant room with no interior walls.Yup.
They don’t care that they didn’t do a traffic study.They have no intention of having tractor trailers streaming through downtown filled with convention booths and materials.Nope.
Parking.They aren’t all that worried.They don’t need that garage just yet.They have to get their gaming license and then as business builds they’ll worry about that parking.They probably expect a lot of bus business as well.Just like to Atlantic City but these will be heading to Lancaster.
Yup.It’s all about gambling.
It hit me when I read Saturday’s front page New Era article, “Closest casino to cost $310M,” (clickhere).Why in the world did they have a reporter write this article and why put it on the front page? The article says the casino will be built in Grantville, “about 40 miles northwest of LancasterCity.”
Yup.Lancaster Countians don’t want to travel that far to gamble.Lancaster can have it’s own casino and a nice Marriott for out-of-towners to stay in while they come to gamble and go see an Amish buggy.It can become a gambling mecca!
And look – their casino is going to cost $310M – so ours will be half of that.Hey, that measly $150 million is looking like a swell deal.
Yup.Then Helen Colwell Adams writes the front page Sunday News story, “They’re in the money.” It was not posted online. She states twice that they received the Pennsylvania state gaming board’s finances after the Sunday News requested them “under the Right to Know Act.”
Hmmm.Why in the world is the Sunday News so interested in the state’s gaming regulatory board and its spending?They’ve never investigated anything but yet they made a request for the board's finances through the Right to Know Act?What’s going on here?
Then she says, “But no casinos have been licensed yet, so until license fees and taxes on slot machines begin to flow, the board is living on money borrowed…”
In other words, you better license a casino in Lancaster to get some money flowing.Then she describes Sen. Gib E. Armstrong as follows: “a leading opponent of expanded gambling.”Says who?
Her final sentence is a quote from that same anti-gambling Gib, “They just think they have a cash cow but unfortunately there’s no cash coming out of it yet.”
Yup.Better license the Lancaster casino to get that cash flowing quickly.
This isn’t about a convention center, folks - this is about a casino in Lancaster.It’s that simple.
And it isn’t going to happen, Gib.
OPEN THE DOORS
And Mayor Gray, you better open those meeting doors. This is public money.No more closed door meetings, Mayor Gray.You folks don’t have anything to hide, do you?You don’t have a card up your sleeve, do you?
HOW LOW WILL THEY GO?
This low – please click here for today’s Intell article, "The High road to success."Please read the “Talkback” under it.There is not one mention in this article about the convention center!I wonder what the exact date of that 75th anniversary is? This is low as you can go – I think.
PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW
“HIT ME” IS COMING LATER TODAY…
THIS AIN’T ABOUT A CONVENTION CENTER, FOLKS!
Please check back tomorrow…
~ Put Them All In Jail! ~
(Today the Talkbackers speak.)
What is wrong with these so called leaders in Lancaster? Virtually ALL of the convention centers in this country are having financial difficulties and most are an economic drain to their community not an economic revitalization engine. The only winner in this deal is Penn Square Partners.
Gib is putting forth the idea of suing an elected official because the official is doing their job as they perceive it. Can the taxpayers sue Gib for his years of highjacking money for pet projects? Can we sue Rendell, Sturla and Perzel for the years of public monies going to their pet projects? Hey Gib, in that cluttered room you call a brain, you finally may have hit on something worthwhile.
Two out of three legally elected commissioners actually did what most citizens expect. They looked out for the best interests of LancasterCounty taxpayers ... and now a State Senator is advocating that they get personally sued for doing their sworn duty! WHO EXACTLY IS WORKING FOR WHO?
The Convention Center Authority and Penn Partners all were willing to consider going after the commissioners for legal fees that resulted from them challenging the project.... Can we now go after them for the $30 million they wasted on this project?
ARROGANCE AND GREED
Let's be perfectly clear about one thing: the single biggest obstacle to this project has been the arrogance and greed of its promoters. Like demanding a convention center without including the public in their decision. Like the secretive nature of the project. Like demanding more and more from local taxpayers. Like changing a reasonably-sized project into an overly expensive white elephant. And the last straw was demanding excessive taxpayer contributions and guarantees for a "private" hotel project. The LCCCA and PSP have no one to blame but themselves for their problems.
This project has long ago left the realm of "the good of the community" to become strictly ego driven. If PSP wants the citizens to bear the financial onus of failure, let us vote on it. America is still somewhat of a democracy.
As a county resident that was born and raised in LancasterCity, and who regularly enjoys market, the varied restaurants, and not as often as my wife would like, a night at the Fulton, I have to say what draw would a convention center have for me on Penn Square? Or for that matter any other city or county resident. That being said, why would I want to gamble future tax dollars on something that the "private" investors do not want to put their money where their egos are?
COMPLICITY Some genius wrote of this moribund project that it is a "project of vision." This is the kind of mind we deal with from proponents. Ignoring that these centers fail all over the country -- big, medium, and small centers -- somehow Lancaster with poor air and road access, limited attractions, no public support, and ridiculous financing will succeed is patently absurd. This was a project for Dale High to erect a monument to his power and influence. It wouldn't have come close to getting built but for the complicity of the Lancaster Newspapers.
As a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, I found this aspect of the project most objectionable. The Newspapers sold the community out for its 44% stake. If that is not a conflict of interest, there are no conflicts of interest. I am not a hotelier and do not have a vested interest in killing this project, but from my vantage what the project sponsors have done has been sickening. I look forward to supporting a plan that makes sense for this great community that doesn't require taxpayer guarantees. Before we bury this project, let us not forget the insane spending of the LCCCA board. The consultants and lawyers riding this gravy train should be held accountable. I'm going to do my small part to see that happens.
Please check back later today…
~ And Trolls & Gay Hookers! ~
“LancasterCounty Commissioners Dick Shellenberger and Molly Henderson are taking definitive action to STOP this rape of the taxpayers. They need our support on this specific issue NOW! “
This is from Lancaster First’s website.Please click here for their emails and phone numbers of the elected officials involved in the convention center. Please contact these officials and tell them “NO” to the hotel/convention center project.Please tell Dick and Molly you support them.
“Would you like to see the Convention Center project come to an end.?”
This is the question in WGAL’s current and unscientific poll (click here).As of today, it was at 66% yes, and 34% no.Did you hear that Mayor Gray?
Lanco Yokel has two excellent new articles here.Artie See asked, “The End? Or Just Another Deception?” click here.
It turned out to be just another deception.A cheap trick.I am too disgusted to say anything more today.Please check back tomorrow for a round-up of the week's events including the CC, Floyd, Hawkes and more on trolls!
CLEARING THE AIR
Briefly speaking of trolls, the men’s rights nutjob posted this on the Talkback board yesterday:
“Becky, I am not the Narc. I do not have a sign-on to Reportertalk. (Another poster told me about the post there.) Hope this clears that up for you.”
Now, that is just downright enjoyable.My response:
“Nutjob, I am the Queen of England.(Another poster told me you didn’t believe that.)
Hope this clears that up for you.”
If you think you have writing talent, and you ever, ever type a paragraph that is as bad as this one from Jeff Hawkes’ Intell column yesterday – you have no talent.None.Trust me.
“One summer I read Irving Wallace’s novel, “The Man.”I read lots of other books that are lost to memory.It was time well spent.”
And speaking of columnists (I use the term lightly) and because it’s Friday I thought I would link to “Dr. Fraud Gets Smart!” (click here).I wrote this shortly after Smart started his Sunday column with this sentence:
“So, suppose I was a gay hooker.”
What a hoot! I'd rather not. Please check back tomorrow.
(I don’t know why that line is up there and the font is all messed up (well, that I do know why but I don't have time to fix it! - I apologize). The joys of the web!
It was a trick. Nothing more than a trick. Mayor Gray, how dare you hold a closed door meeting?It’s publicmoney.How dare you?Hawkes, you’re a nasty jerk. Gib and Sturla, you're toast. Please check back later today…
“Soon Every Town in America Will Have an UnusedConvention Center” (click here).
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
How Dare You?
“We all agreed this project is too important to Lancaster City and County to just walk away from it without exhausting all our resources,’’ said Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, spokesman for the group.”
“An emergency meeting is underway at City Hall with representatives of Penn Square Partners, Lancaster County Convention Center Authority, the city Redevelopment Authority, city Mayor Rick Gray and other interested parties, discussing the fate of the project and of the South Queen Street site. A final decision may come within days.”
“Over $30 million has already been spent on the Penn Square project by the developers and the county convention center authority, officials said. This includes costs for design and planning, promotion and demolition.”
Lancaster New Era developing story – posted online here.
Pull the plug, Mayor Gray.The public can’t wait anymore days.Pull the plug.Please check back later today or tomorrow for the result of this all important meeting.Seven years.No more games from the PSP.No more money wasted.Pull the plug.Go to Plan B.
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
“I was an adolescent in that in-between stage where hair was growing on my legs, but I was too young to get a job.”
“Pssst.Kick it, Molly!Just to be sure!”
Please check back later today…
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
Bulletin: Penn Square Partners likely to pull plug on downtown project Lancaster New Era
Published: Jul 26, 2006
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - Faced with mounting costs and prospect of extended legal delays, the developers of a proposed convention center and hotel in downtown Lancaster said this afternoon that they most likely will drop the project.