~ Volcanos and Towers! ~
Marvelous Marv and Hawkeye Hawkes, welcome to Math and Composition Class 101 at the Lancaster Newspapers.
You two seem to have a problem coordinating your stories and numbers. This is making the PSP look very bad and that doesn’t make the owner of the Lancaster Newspapers happy. Do you understand, boys? Always remember, he is your employer and pays your salary.
Now, Marvelous, you stated this in your Sunday News column, “Playing local Fear Factor”:
“If - the big ‘if’ – the project were to be built and turn out to be a huge disaster, the taxpayers would be on the hook for $1.3 million a year for 32 years, which comes to just more than $40 million.
“…The worst-case scenario would cost each person in the county $2.46 a year, each person in the city $24.44 per year.
Hawkeye, on the other hand, says this in his today’s Intell column, “You don’t need to be an expert to know how you feel”:
“County taxpayers are on the hook for $20 million in debt only if revenue from the tax on hotel rooms falls 29 percent and never recovers.
“…But if the worst did happen, the annual cost to county taxpayers would be $1.2 million for 34 years, or about $10 each from a family of four. City residents bear a greater risk because the city has guaranteed a $12 million bond.”
Gentlemen, I am confused. Your numbers do not match. How much will the city folks have to pay, Hawkeye? Why does Marvelous say $2.46 a year from each person in the county and you say $10 each from a family of four? Is that annually, bi-annually or forever, Hawkeye?
I have never liked math in journalism, gentlemen. The less our readers know, the better. Can we go back to talking about huge erupting volcanos in Pequea Township and the Eiffel Tower and the City of Lights? Now, that’s just good fun and distracts the readers from those nasty mathematical calculations.
Also, try to use the word “revitalization” more often in your columns. It’s a wonderful genetic term with little or no meaning but sounds just great when you use it.
PEOPLE WITH VISION
And you haven’t been using the “people with vision” line lately. Let’s go back to that. Marv, you’re using the “naysayer” line again and that might backfire. Let’s refer to them as “people without vision.”
Hawkes, can we leave Al Gore out of the discussion? You know the owner of the newspapers is a Republican. He doesn’t like that Gore guy one bit. And it’s the volcanos that are causing global warming, everyone knows that.
I KNOW HOW I FEEL
I’m glad you’ve finally taken a stand, Hawkes. People will no doubt toss your old columns in your face and say, “but what about on February 28, 2006 when you said,”
“I’m confident PKF will provide an eminently reasonable and trustworthy opinion. …Why project supporters aren’t cooperating with the consultant is beyond me.”
Tell them you were on drugs for your backbone problem, Hawkes. Tell them the PKF people actually had no idea what they were doing.
That “famous” column of yours from January of this year, “Of deaf ears, dumb strategy and blind faith” might be harder to explain. Remember you said this:
“Maybe if we ignore our critics, backers of the embattled convention center seem to think, they’ll just go away.
Maybe feisty citizens such as April Koppenhaver, Victor Capecce and Robert Field will stop asking good questions we should be able to answer, but don’t.
Maybe civic watchdogs such as Ron Harper, Jr. will stop seeking records we probably should be making available to the public.
Maybe County Commissioners Dick Shellenberger and Molly Henderson will overlook the significant anger among voters against the convention center and stop trying to kill the project.
And maybe if we pretend maverick Convention Center Authority members Jack Craver, Laura Douglas and Deb Hall don’t exist, they’ll slink back into their holes.
Then we’ll be able to push through our plans – oblivious to our failure to build, within a community we profess to love, a strong consensus of support for a publicly owned, $137.8 million hotel/convention center and its attendant risks to taxpayers.
Ignore and conquer. What a dubious strategy.”
DESCENT INTO MADNESS
Blame it on the drugs, Hawkeye. You’re almost fifty aren’t you? You want a pension don’t you? Tell them it was a momentary descent into madness brought on by the drugs you take for your backbone problem.
Finally, boys, stay away from math and numbers in your columns. You’re making the PSP and the Lancaster Newspapers look like idiots and thieves. Stick with revitalization, vision, volcanos and towers.
Class is dismissed. Send that Schreiber fellow in on your way out.