“We founded:Save Stevens Sites Coalition.Preserve Lancaster’s Historic Treasures.Our message is:It is premature and willful to commence demolition of these historic sites when it is uncertain the convention center/hotel project will move ahead.”
Robert Field in an email yesterday regarding the demolition of the Sevens and Smith buildings.
They will be demonstrating downtown beginning at everyday this week through Saturday, rotating being in front of the Fulton Bank, the Newspapers and City Hall.The group hopes the protests will swell into hundreds of people.Please join them over your lunch hour.
GAG ON THIS
“The litigation also aims to put a gag order on the commissioners, preventing them from ‘communicating an intent to, or taking actions that are…adverse to the project’ and the developers, according to the convention center authority’s lawsuit.”
“Developers of center/hotel sue officials,” today’s Intell, clickhere.
This is America and this is the Lancaster Newspapers trying to put a gag order on a $100 million publicly funded project that will directly benefit them.It is unbelievable.Is this America?
LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY
“We have watched as the Project has ballooned from a $70 million private-public initiative, to one for which the public is now primarily financially responsible, and which has an estimated cost of over $140 million dollars.We have noted with interest the many questions raised by LancasterCounty taxpayers about the project.The questions that most deeply concern us are those that speak to the lack of accountability and transparency in the administration of this project.”
Common Cause’s letter to Governor Ed Rendell, dated May 4, 2006, requesting an investigation into the LCCCA, click here.
RISK NOT JUSTIFIED
“…our findings lead us to conclude that the potential economic benefits are not likely to be sufficient to justify the risks involved…”
PKF Consulting’s Executive Summary on the Hotel/Convention Center, click here.
Meet Us at Penn Square
(by the Fulton Bank)
to - Monday thru Saturday
Show Your Support
Against the Demolition of
the Thaddeus Stevens/Smith Buildings
PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER TODAY...
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
~ Taking it to the Street! ~
THERE IS HOPE
There are about a dozen people in downtown Lancaster right now handing out literature and trying to stop the demolition of the Stevens and Smith buildings.They will meet every day at this week through Saturday.Tomorrow meet them at the monument in Penn Square at noon.They hope to grow their numbers everyday.
There will be much more on this tomorrow and the group they have formed.Yeah!There is hope! Please check back tomorrow.
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
~ Who do they think they are? ~
THE LCCCA & THE PSP!
“The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster (RACL), the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA) and Penn Square Partners (PSP) will file today, in the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, motions for immediate injunctive relief from irreparable harm caused by the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners' failure to honor the County's ‘irrevocable’ bond guarantee made by the Commissioners in 2003.”
This press release and email was just sent by Nevin Cooley, president of the Penn Square Partners, which includes the Lancaster Newspapers as a partner.Please click here for their website and you can read the entire press release and the 23 page complaint (click on the first topic under “Latest News” on the right).
LIP News will not publish again today.Please check back tomorrow as this shocking, divisive, publicly funded, white elephant and disaster of a project continues to destroy Lancaster.And the Lancaster Newspapers are behind it all.
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
This email just in from Lancaster First (click here):
“The LCCCA voted early Tuesday morning, June 13, 2006, to SUELancasterCounty, the LancasterCounty Commissioners, and Molly Henderson and Dick Shellenberger in their official capacities. The LCCCA will also seek temporary and permanent injunctions to block any action that would reduce the LCCCA's ability to fund the hotel and convention center project.
This action is specifically in reference to Resolution 36 and Resolution 37, which withdraws any County guarantee for any future borrowing by the LCCCA.However, action against future County resolutions were not excluded.
LCCCA Solicitor John Esbenshade of Stevens & Lee will NOT be participating in this legal activity, since he also represented LancasterCounty for many years.Instead, special counsel was appointed.
In other words, the LCCCA is suing the very same government body that created them in the first place!”
PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER TODAY
THE LCCCA IS MEETING THIS MORNING AT !
I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU – BUT I’M HAVING A SECOND CUP OF COFFEE TO DEAL WITH THESE FOOLS!PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER TODAY…
~ Urgent ~
TELL THEM "NO"!
There are two interconnected items of extreme importance today.The first is saving Thaddeus Stevens’ residence and law office and the two Lydia Smith Houses.
Randolph Harris, the former Executive Director of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, said by phone last night the best thing people can do is call the Mayor, the Commissioners and the LCCCA.So their phone numbers and email addresses appear below.Harris also said he would be contacting the World Monuments Watch and Fund, a preservation group funded by American Express (click here), to make them aware of this action.LancasterCounty is on their "100 Most Endangered Places" list.
Ross Heterick, Founder and President of the Thaddeus Stevens Society, said by phone that people willing to help should send him an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be able to donate in the future, if needed, the amount you could donate. The Society’s website is here.Heterick lives in Gettysburg where Stevens spent the first 26 years of his life and sent out the “Urgent” email which is linked to in the box directly below this one.
The second extremely important item is that the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA) has announced it will hold a special meeting tomorrow at in the Southern Market Center.The time is correct.They state the agenda is to discuss the CountyCommissioner’s Resolutions Nos. 36 and 37.Please attend if you can and tell them “NO” to the convention center and “NO” to the demolition of the historic properties.
There will be much more on all of this tomorrow.Please contact the following people by phone or email and tell them “NO” to the demolition of the historic properties and “NO” to the convention center:
Please note the “I WANT MY VOTE BACK” T-shirt above and other merchandise is available here. I am not involved in any way with the sale of these items – I am simply passing on their availability and the frustration with Mayor Gray they represent.
~ Save Lancaster! ~
“Thaddeus Stevens was a principal sponsor/writer of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He pioneered free public education in Pennsylvania. He helped fugitive slaves escape the bondage of slavery. He empowered LydiaHamilton Smith --a black woman -- to become an important businessperson. Now his properties are to be demolished. Sick.”
Posted on Talkback under the article, “Rear demolition to continue on historic S. Queen buildings,” yesterday’s New Era (click here).
It is extremely sick and this can’t be allowed to happen.Please read the article and the Talkback below it.This must be stopped.Artie See has posted an “Urgent Message from the Thaddeus Stevens Society” on Looking At Lancaster, click here.Click here for the Thaddeus Stevens Society website.I will have an update on this story Monday and I will also find out what the public can do to help.We have to stop this now!Save our history, heritage and the City of Lancaster.Please.
~ And Stevens & Lee ~
"I was astonished"
INVESTIGATE THE LCCCA!
“I was astonished when I read today’s paper.Our invoices are much more detailed than that.”
That was the response of a Lancaster attorney reached this morning by phone who is currently doing work for the City of Lancaster regarding construction flaws in the Lancaster Police Station.He said his firm’s invoices have a date and the activity being charged for such as research, preparing pleadings, phone calls and conferences, etc., with the number of hours each is being billed for.
$6 million dollars in public funds and all the invoices say is for “professional services rendered?”This is beyond totally unacceptable.This is outright theft.
Why haven’t the Lancaster Newspaper reporters called other attorney’s to find out their billing practices?Why don’t they ask Mayor Gray?He’s an attorney.Why aren’t the Lancaster Newspapers screaming for an investigation into how $6,000,000 in public money was spent?
“…the information the three board members want is not for public viewing because of attorney/client privilege.”
Today’s Intell article, “High plans to bid on contract for center project,” and saying the above was stated, but it was not printed as a direct quote, by the LCCCA’s “special counsel, John Fenningham of Fenningham, Stevens & Dempster LLP (click here for their website).As of this morning, the article was not yet posted online.
Unbelievable and absolute garbage. Who is this man?He is saying the board members or the public can’t see what they’re paying for?Two attempts to reach him this morning for comment were unsuccessful.Who is the man and why is he jeopardizing his reputation?What do his firm’s invoices look like?How much is the LCCCA paying this attorney and why?
“’They’re our records and we’re paying for them.They should be made available at our request.’”
LCCCA Board member Deb Hall quoted in yesterday’s Intell article, “Authority members want audit of legal fees,” (click here).
Damn right they should.This is the most ridiculous, outrageous and illegal situation I have ever seen.
“Hall said she, Douglas and fellow board member Jack Craver are ‘willing to go to the attorney general’ of Pennsylvania to ask for an investigation, a suggestion that met with applause from the audience.”
This morning’s Intell article, “High plans to bid on contract for center project,” referenced above.
It’s well past time.Bring in the state attorney general, and as one Talkbacker suggested, the PA Auditor General's Office of Special Investigations.Investigate the LCCCA, the PSP, Stevens & Lee and the Lancaster Newspapers.
Don’t let the LCCCA spend one more cent until a full investigation has been completed.Stop this madness.
PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
CHECK BACK LATER…
~ Because You Asked, Marv ~
The LCCCA meets tonight at in the Southern Market Center
WHY WE OPPOSE
“Construction would be paid for with about $35 million in private money and more than $100 million from public sources. City and county governments would be at risk for tens of millions of dollars in construction debt should the project fail.”
“Authority members want audit of legal fees,” today’s Intell, click here.
That, Marv, is one of the many reasons the people of LancasterCounty are against the hotel/convention center.Did you read that, Marv?Let me repeat it in case it didn’t sink in, Marv.“City and county governments would be at risk for tens of millions of dollars in construction debt should the project fail.”
Have you read the PKF Consulting study, Marv?The Lancaster Newspapers certainly never printed the whole report let alone providing a link to it. But it is available a number of places, Marv, and one of them is here.
It says, Marv, the project is very likely to fail.So that’s $100 million of the public’s money up in smoke.What do you think about that, Marv?Do you think that will revitalize Lancaster?Do you think that’s a good way to spend $100 million dollars of public money, Marv?
Have the Lancaster Newspapers printed one word about Common Cause’s letter to Governor Ed Rendell asking for an investigation into the LCCCA, Marv?I think this letter very nicely sums everything wrong with this disaster and the investigations that should be initiated into the LCCCA, PSP and the Stevens & Lee law firm.
The letter is so important and sums up the situation so well, I am reposting it (click here).If you have not read it, please take the time to do so.Have you read the letter, Marv?
Artie See takes an excellent look at you, Marv, in his article, “The Most Desperate Man of All,” click here.And NewsLanc has this very interesting pictorial on their site, “The 1965 Destruction of North Queen Street:A Look into Lancaster’s Future?” (click here).
Please attend the LCCCA meeting tonight at in the Southern Market Center.Say “no” to the hotel/convention center project.Kill this white elephant now!Save Lancaster.
Marv, please go read the AP Code of Ethics which includes this sentence, “It means we avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action,” click here.What do you think about that, Marv?