Monday, May 02, 2005

05: “Casino Royale flush! Part 1 – The Insult”

I suppose it was only a matter of time before things would come to a head. Recent newsprint articles in the Gettysburg Times and the Hanover Evening and Sunday Sun discuss the proposed construction and operation of a “Casino and Spa Resort” adjacent to the currently under construction Convention Center Complex, at the US 15 and US 30 interchange.

The somewhat shortsighted perspective of some members of a Gettysburg preservation group actually point up the major problem with this new effort. The member said, in effect, that the casino would attract more visitors here for the history. Hello? They will decidedly not be coming here for the history. They will be coming here to gamble. They will be coming here to enjoy the spa part of this development. The problem with this kind of short-sightedness is that it does not face the reality of how this will go down. The Casino and Spa will be built, the masses will come, for a while, and then they will learn that Gettysburg essentially rolls up its sidewalks at night, and there will be nothing to do for entertainment. With the Battlefield closing at sundown, there will be nothing to do except eat or go to one of the nearly 20 movies screens in the area. Or go somewhere else. The member mentioned that all Atlantic City has is gambling and the beaches. Well, that is not quite correct. Nearly all of the casinos in Atlantic City have live entertainment shows, top stars, and so on, that headline their casinos nightly. Gettysburg’s casino and spa will not have that, unless they plan to include it as part of the casino package. Even then, it will likely be limited, and of much lesser quality than what you can see in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, or Branson City.

It is wrong for Gettysburg to build a casino here, for so many reasons, some of which conflict politically with the political powers that are pushing this effort. The Republicans control the politics in Adams County. In pushing for the casino, they will be faced with voters who have already expressed themselves with overwhelming decisiveness that their values do not include hosting a casino. But, if you enjoy dancing, re-read the newsprint articles from the past week and see what the County Commissioners and the Straban Township Supervisors (“The Strabaddies”) have to say. Shuffles, two-steps, and some downright waltzing going on there.

In polls conducted by the local legislative representatives, more than 2/3 of the people polled (eligible voters) said “NO” to gambling in Adams County. The difference between then and now is that the figure of $10 million is being waved in front of the faces of Adams County voters.

What a despicable insult. Values are values, and they are NOT for sale at any price, unless, of course, you happen to be a politician or a developer in Adams County.

It is wrong to advance the casino project because it is wholly and completely out of step with the character of Adams County. Between “The Strabaddies”, and the Adams County Commissioners, no parcel of green is safe from being dug up, blasted, moved around, eminent domained, macadamized, built upon, or otherwise obliterated. Even articles in the paper that point to increased flooding (not just the risk of flooding, but actual occurrences of severe flooding) due directly to increased development, will stop these folks from paving this agricultural ground over. Apparently, some of them see Adams County as some future megalopolis, home to millions of people, most of whom work elsewhere.

“The Strabaddies” recently released a map of future plans for their enormous township. A township that at one time was almost 100% agricultural, and now is less than 60% agricultural. Their map makes no effort to hide their nefarious plans to pave over that remaining 60%.

To be continued in:

06: “Casino Royale flush” Part 2 – That 42 Acre Tract Again!

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