~ And Harper & Faust ~
PULL THE PLUG,
Have you ever read an opening sentence in a news article that is this stupid?:
“Lancaster County officials now say they probably did not hold a secret meeting to consider selling Conestoga View nursing home on March 24, 2005, as reported in Monday’s New Era.”
“March ’05 secret meeting in doubt”, New Era, 5-16-06 (click here).
Give it up Jack Brubaker and Ernie Schreiber. You look like the foolish thieves you are. You are a disgrace to journalism. And nobody cares. Everyone knows this is a blatant, unconscionable attempt to divert attention from the convention center and a transparent attempt to make the commissioners look bad. This was posted under that article:
“Leave it alone, Jack. Instead of warming up stale leftovers, try writing a story that means something to your readers. Below are several samples. Feel free to choose any or all of these. You're welcome for doing your job for you.
Revelation: Common Cause urges Governor to investigate LCCCA
Revelation: Serious LCCCA misrepresentations on state grant application
Revelation: PSP/LCCCA never did a feasibility study for $140 million project
Revelation: The PA Historical & Museum Commission sharply criticizes cc plans
Revelation: $6.5 million paid to Stevens & Lee with no indication of work done
Revelation: No traffic impact study done (as required) but permit still granted
Revelation: Majority of public opposes bond guarantees for project
Revelation: The convention center market is down; PSP Presses on
Revelation: Lancaster is disadvantaged as a convention center market
Revelation: Lancaster Newspapers Inc. has destroyed its credibility with bias”
As noted this morning, and posted on the http://www.newslanc.com/ website, Common Cause/PA sent a very strong letter to Governor Ed Rendell requesting an investigation into the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority and state grants for the convention center. It is so important, that I am reprinting the letter in its entirety below. It is time that Mayor Gray pulls the plug. He should also be asking for an investigation of the LCCCA as well.
I owe you a great number of stories. They are backing up on me but they will be coming. Today, these two emails regarding recent stories on this website, the first on the custody battle being profiled on 5thestate.com:
“Becky don’t let Harper bother you with his accusations. I hope you will heal from the things that went on in your life. Don’t you like how the very ones who call you despicable because you have showed them that Sally and Starling are one in the same and liars to boot, are now oh so ready to jump you for being harmed by your family. These are Christians you know on LOL.
“As for Harper my hope is that the next time he puts his stupid camera in someone’s face they cram it up his ass. Imagine the fat creep getting between a man and woman just so he can post something on his site. What a self serving little bastard. I can’t believe that man listened to the jerk.”
And this in on the “EASY WAY TO CLOSE A COLD CASE” article on this website:
“You would not know evidence if it hit you in the face. When was the last time you investigated anything. I didn't know you were a police criminal investigator. I don't know who you are but I see people referring to you in LOL. Most think you should get professional help for you brain problems and after reading your comments on the Faust thing, I agree.
“You say that Shuler bungled the case, well I disagree. You can only go but what the witnesses tell you and the forensic evidence. See as how you are not a trained police professional, I don't think you qualify as a critic. I have been doing criminal investigation for 36 years and I would say that Shuler has a good case. I guess you didn't look at the composite very close. The similarities are good. That is what a composite is all about. But not being a professional investigator, you would not know that.”
GOVERNOR ED RENDELL
May 4, 2006
The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Dear Governor Rendell:
For over a decade Common Cause/PA has periodically engaged in monitoring state grant programs. Our key criteria are:
- State grant funds must be awarded via a system that is fair, competitive, and genuinely open to all qualified applicants;
- Programs receiving grants must clearly meet established and justifiable merit and need criteria;
- Grant recipients must be subjected to rigorous and regular oversight for program performance and accountability of funds’ utilization;
- Selection and administration of grants be void of cronyism and corruption, and,
- All records pertaining to the expenditure and use of public funds must be readily accessible to the public.
One project deserving review to determine compliance with these criteria is the Lancaster County Convention Center Project. This project is troubling on several levels. There have been strong suggestions that the awarding of state grant funds for this project may have been determined more by political influence than demonstrated merit, need or viability of the project. The contention that this project will serve a justifiable and actual public purpose has been seriously challenged. There has been a very disturbing lack of transparency with regard to how this project is being conducted, even to the point of possible violations of the state Open Records laws. Finally, there have been allegations that false information has been presented in documents filed necessary for securing the grants for this Project.
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 Lancaster County 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.
We have been informed that the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA) has paid more that $6 million to a single law firm for “professional services,” despite receiving invoices that are devoid of any itemization whatever. When Board members or the public as to review itemized time sheets which might explain or justify such large expenditures of public monies, they are ignored.
The apparent lack of transparency and accountability regarding this Project have prompted Common Cause/PA to express these concerns to you, and we ask that you instruct the Secretary of Community and Economic Development to (1) conduct a complete review audit of state funding pertaining to the Project; (2) ensure that this Project is in full compliance with all state laws regarding grants, contracting, public input and oversight; and (3) ensure that all applicable public records about this Project be made available in full compliance with state law.
We thank you for your timely attention to this request, and ask that we receive a copy of any report forthcoming from the requested examination.
Barry L. Kauffman
cc: Dennis Yablonsky, Secretary
PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development
Elder David M. Scrive
Rev. Roland P. Forbes
Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine