Friday, December 30, 2005

78: “We Shall Nobly Save…”


At the time, Maryland was a slave state, and Pennsylvania basically a free one, though there were lingering effects of slavery almost up to the Civil War. The last legal slave sale in Pennsylvania took place somewhere between Lancaster and Reading around 1842. It so outraged everyone in the state (well, almost everyone), that the practice was outlawed.

Along the southern border of Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as the Mason-Dixon Line, the Underground Rail Road was in full swing from just after the American Revolution (when we took over control of what happened here), through the American Civil War. During that period, an unknown number of escaped slaves (some estimates are in the tens of thousands, others in the hundreds of thousands), came north to freedom above the Mason-Dixon Line. There were branch lines of the URR in most of the eastern counties along that border with Maryland. From east to west, they are Delaware, Chester, Lancaster, York, Adams, and Franklin Counties, almost all with rich farm soil, though much of Delaware County has been swallowed up by sprawl from neighboring Philadelphia County.

Many slaves escaping to free soil stopped running as soon as they crossed the line and settled into one of those six counties, either too exhausted to run any farther, or ignorant of the Fugitive Slave laws, or both. The Fugitive Slave laws had their basis in the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted in 1789. In Article 4, Section 2 it says:

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Under this law, slave owners routinely crossed the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania, drafted the assistance of a local sheriff and rounded up whatever Blacks met their fancy and took them back to slavery in the South. It was one such raid in 1851 that particularly fired up both sides. It was called the Christiana Riot, and took place on the border of Lancaster and Chester Counties, some few miles above the Mason-Dixon Line. A Maryland slave owner was killed by a group of Blacks resisting their arrest and return to slavery. There is no indication that they were owned by the slave owner, meaning they were likely not his runaways.

Many northern states offered freedom to the runaways. They enacted laws providing protection for them, yet all these laws were struck down as unconstitutional because of Article 4, Section 2. A number of legal cases occurred in the ante-bellum period, but one in particular was the basis of widening the sectional rift between slave and free states almost to the breaking point – Dred Scott. In the Scott decision, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Roger B. Taney, a Maryland slave owner, declared that Scott had no standing to sue in American courts because he was not an American citizen, and as a Black ‘inferior being’, could never become one, therefore, any lower court decisions declaring him free were vacated. Taney’s brief went much farther than that, but needlessly. Once Scott was denied citizenship (something not guaranteed to Blacks until passage of the 14th Amendment in July of 1868), there was nothing else on which to rule. Yet Taney went on excoriating the interference of northern agitators in southern affairs by declaring the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. He made no explanation of how that 'inferior being' quite unfairly counted as 3/5th of a person, was counted in determining Congressional districting, giving an enormous advantage to the south in the early days of the Republic. That advantage was about to disappear with the addition of new states to the Union, hence, secession and civil war on Lincoln’s election.

[Ever since the passage of the 14th Amendment it has been contested in the courts. Some of the most important of these many cases rooted in the 14th Amendment’s clarification of citizenship are the 1883 Civil Rights Cases, which were a set back for Federal protection of civil rights, Plessy vs. Ferguson, an 1896 setback for the intent of the Amendment by upholding de jure segregation (separate but equal), and Brown vs. the Board of Education, a 1954 case that was the watershed of civil rights, though rooted in the field of public education, that reinstituted Federal authority over civil rights as intended by the 14th Amendment by declaring the de jure segregation of schools under the “separate but equal” policy of Plessy vs. Ferguson could not guarantee equal education in public schools. The Brown decision essentially overturned Plessy.]

In the Gettysburg area, as in many other areas along the Mason-Dixon line, many Blacks took up farming. It was likely what they were skilled at doing, and it was the main industry of the area. Others, who perhaps had other skills, such as tanners, carpenters, wagonwrights and wheelwrights, etc., settled on the southwest side of town. There, at the edge of their town, the Blacks built their cemetery. It was tucked away on a western slope, out of sight of the town, but with a grand view of the majestic South Mountain to the west. Here, the cemetery was dedicated as "Lincoln Cemetery - Established in 1867 by the Sons of Good Will for the proper burial of Gettysburg's African American citizens and Civil War veterans.” In 1906, Gettysburg’s older black cemetery was cleared to make way for new buildings, and the bodies were re-interred in the Lincoln Cemetery.

Today, Lincoln Cemetery overlooks the magnificent Gettysburg Borough Recreation Park, in addition to the wonderful mountain view. But today, it is also a near forgotten piece of history, for inside its iron fence lie the remains of many Black veterans of the American Civil War, those who volunteered to fight in a number of Black state regiments, and those who fought as United States Colored Troops. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (brought to fame by the movie Glory) had a recruiting office in Gettysburg. There are veterans of the 54th buried there. There are men who served after the war, in our western campaigns against the Indians, who were known as Buffalo Soldiers, and who served with distinction in the United States Army’s Cavalry. There were Black Army units that went up San Juan Hill next to and in front of Teddy Roosevelts Rough Riders. These men were denied burial in National Cemeteries because of the color of their skin, a policy that existed until all too recently.

Nearly 200,000 men served as USCT. They fought, and bled, and died for the Union during the Civil War, with as much ferocity, tenacity, and courage as the men in the white regiments, and sometimes more, when they were deliberately and repeatedly placed in positions of extreme danger and exposed to the worst effects of enemy fire.

It is time to honor these men. It is time to erect a monument to these men for the monumental efforts they gave in the cause of freedom, and the monumental wrongs they endured in the cause of civil rights.

Abraham Lincoln, the man for whom the Lincoln Cemetery is named, remarked in his annual message to Congress on December 1, 1863:

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free -- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just -- a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.
And so, we have an opportunity now, to carry on what Lincoln so nobly advanced. He came to Gettysburg in 1863 to dedicate the National Cemetery. It is time to rededicate the Lincoln Cemetery, both in his honor, and in honor of those Blacks who so nobly served the cause of Liberty by serving the United States of America.

Let us strive to honor these dead as Lincoln honored their white brothers in 1863. Let us raise the funds, and construct a monument to them on the grounds of Lincoln Cemetery, and a proper, tastefully designed and built propylaeum (entrance) from Washington Street into Lincoln Cemetery.

Let us resolve to do so in time for the Anniversary Week of 2007. Let us resolve this New Year to support the efforts of the Lincoln Cemetery Committee. Let us resolve this New Year to “…nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just -- a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.”

Stay tuned.

GettysBLOG

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Gettysburg, PA 17325

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Friday, December 23, 2005

77: “Kiss It All Good-Bye, Adams County!”


Once again the investors of Chance Enterprises have committed a public relations blunder of epic proportions.

Heaping one more disaster on top of a pile of public relations disasters, Chance Enterprises filed its economic impact study on Tuesday, with the Adams County Commissioners ("The Addams Family"), and the Straban Township Supervisors ("The Strabaddies").

There is a huge difference between facts and assertions. The "report" is full of assertions, very few of which are based on facts, and on Act 71 as it currently exists. Many of those promises of enormous sums of money to be realized by the local County and municipal governments are based on the Act 71 the Chance investors would like to see, and are vigorously lobbying to get enacted.

In other words, at this point in time, the promises of Chance Enterprises are as hollow, and empty as an acorn cap after a squirrel got to the nut.

What everyone needs to understand, including Marc Charisse, editor of the Hanover Evening Sun, is that no, Chance is not “back in the game”.

All the money that is legally promised to Adams County under Act 71 as it exists right now is the $465,000 to be paid to Straban Township, and Adams County’s share of about $12 million, split unequally four ways with York, Cumberland and Franklin Counties. That split is done by population proportion. If Adams share exceeds $1.5, or $2 million, we’ll be lucky.

Here’s the next hard fact that folks need to wrap their brains around: The casinos, all of them, and the legislators, all of them, and the Governor (all of him!), have promised the casino money several times over….the same casino money. You’ve seen them in the newspapers promising millions to schools, millions to social services, millions to communities, and baby, they have all done so in their best “
Elmer Gantry” personae! These folks make snake oil salesmen look like saints.

In a state with no lobbying laws, can you imagine the pressure on the legislators to pass amendments to Act 71? Each investment group for the proposed casinos is lobbying for its own set of amendments. Pressure? The pressure is on them because they haven’t passed the amendments. They stand to lose a good bit of money if they don’t. After all, they are permitted to own a 1% share in a casino, and IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MADE PUBLIC! (If that is not an invitation to graft, corruption and ethical violations, I really don’t know how what is.) Local word has it Terry Punt, our State Senator is one of these.

The amendments would include table games (poker, black jack, roulette, craps), putting Pennsylvanians up to their eyeballs in the business of gambling

The "study" is a stultifying morass of misinformation, and pipedreams. Unlike Chance Enterprises, No Casino Gettysburg has gathered numerous studies putting the lie to the misinformation put out by the casino industry, and their investors. They also have numerous studies, and first person accounts detailing factually how much of an adverse affect casinos have on their communities.

My guess? This "economist" is probably the only one in the country who would take on the job. Nobody else would touch this project with a ten foot pole. This is the same economist who did the impact study promoting the "Disnification" (Disney wanted to build a theme park!) of Manassas Battlefield in Virginia about ten years ago (and it failed due to public pressure, although there is really little left of the Battle sites, where two important and significant Civil War Battles were fought.)

That leads to one conclusion: someone is holding this group of investors together, and its either LeVan, who has a reputation for stubbornness, or Commerce Bank. I'm betting there are some of the more prominent investors from the Carlisle area that would like nothing better than to get clear of this ugly mess called Crossroads whatever (a rose by any other name would stink as bad! Sorry Will!).

Commerce will probably float the construction loans, as their board members already have shares in the casino. No conflict of interest there. This is the same Commerce Bank that has officers from several areas of the state doing time in Federal prisons for buying influence from local government officials. Several others are under investigation. Isn't it a shame we have to rely on the Feds to clean up our corruption here in Pennsylvania?

LeVan was offered the job as front man by the original group of investors (some have dropped out, others have joined, resulting in a bit cozier, more nepotic look), not based on his experience as CEO of Conrail, but based on his experience as the man who broke Conrail up in a giveaway. The investors, once they have inflicted this “crime” of a project on the citizens of Adams County, will head elsewhere with their half-billion dollar buy-outs!

While we oppose gambling in Pennsylvania, it seems that the appropriate place for a casino in this region would have been in the York area. The casinos are targeted for high tourist areas so they don’t have to spend as much money advertising to generate traffic. How much easier it is to place a few billboards, and some brochures in local hotels, and restaurants, and enlist the aid of the local convention and visitor’s bureau to suck traffic away from the legitimate tourist attractions who do advertise!

York would be more appropriate as it sits smack in between two of the highest tourist areas of the state: Gettysburg and Lancaster.

Who should you thank for all of this? Why, thanks Governor Rendell, who has been taking campaign contributions (Lobbying money) from the casino industry for over a decade, and thank the legislators of our General Assembly, who passed this unethical Act 71 in the same, underhanded way they passed the pay raise last summer. And thank your local Adams County Economic Development Corporation which uses tax dollars in private to lure businesses to the area. They were defeated twice on WalMart, so this is their revenge. Don’t forget to thank "The Addams Family", and "The Strabaddies", who have laid down and rolled over like good little puppy dogs, and let the moneyed interests rub their bellies. By the time they are done, Route 15 will be flanked by a two mile wide (on both sides), strip of asphalt, concrete, houses, and commercial/industrial buildings, malls, and campuses, stretching from the Maryland line to Dillsburg.

So most of all, thank Dave Sites, and especially, Bob “somebody’s got to build it” Monahan, who has finally exacted his revenge for the snub he received by losing out on the National Park Service’s new Visitor’s Center plan. Sites, by the way, is in the process of doing to Freedom, Liberty, Hamiltonban, and Cumberland Townships, what Monahan is doing to Straban, and will be doing to Mt. Joy Township – paving them over.

Say good-bye to all your lovely farm land and forests, Adams County, it’s been sold by your friends, neighbors, and elected officials. And they do not give a damn what you think about it. Don’t believe me, then tell me, who asked you if it was all okay? Kiss the fruit industry good-bye, because the amount of development planned by your elected officials from the township level on up, is enough to create a local climate change.

No more Apple Blossom Festival in the spring…no more Apple Harvest Festival in the fall. No more Golden Delicious Apples, Red Haven Peaches, or Bosc Pears. Instead, you can always go to the casino for entertainment, and even maybe win a little cash. That's it, they'll have Apple Days! Get three Apples on your slot and win $1,000!

GettysBLOG

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to
NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote,
GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

76: “Publicity Disaster”


She really said it. Really. One has to wonder how someone as socially unconscious as Barbara Ernico is given the responsibility of being the publicity contact for Chance Enterprises, the investment group behind the proposed casino in Gettysburg.

This is what she said:

"The people who make up this county have strong values and a high work ethic - I don't think there's going to be social problems. I could be wrong, sure - but if I am, there's money there to deal with it."
Yep, she said it. “…there’s money to deal with it.”

What’s even scarier is the fact that this woman makes recommendations to the Hoffman Charitable Trust as to where they should give their grant money each year in Adams County – which non-profit, mostly social work based community non-profit organizations, will receive the money from Hoffman, and how much.

So one can readily see where this mentality comes from, because she is used to throwing money around to help cure society’s ills. Obviously she has no concept of the realities of true social work.

But there is another side to this coin. She is talking about dealing with problems that will be caused by the presence of the casino. She can assert all she wants that the casino will not cause social, criminal, or economic problems, but study after study, and first person accounts say otherwise.

The vast majority of the research on casinos says they will indeed cause crime rates to go up, marriages and families to fail in their relationships, and in their finances, and people to become addicted to gambling and alcohol when they live in a community with a casino.

Those are undeniable facts, no matter how many times people from Chance Enterprises lie about it.

Trust your instincts, when Barbara Ernico says, "It's not good enough to just operate a business - we have to be good community citizens, and we will be." , the only interest in the welfare of the people of Adams County she has is to keep them coming in and supporting the casino so she can line her pockets with their money.



On another note, the Hanover Evening Sun ran a quarter page ad for the Casino. Apparently the newspaper does not believe in truth in advertising. There were blatant lies in that ad, including especially the lie that the proposed casino would be two miles from the Gettysburg Battlefield, when, indeed, it will be less than one.

People of Adams County, let’s not allow a bad idea like this casino ruin a whole way of life in the most precious little town in America.

GettysBLOG

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote,
GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 19, 2005

75: “The Nightmare Scenario”


Fiction:
From the Hunterstown Morning Sun, Monday, July 20, 2009

Amber Alert Too Late, Suspect Apprehended

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (AP) – An Amber Alert issued by the Pennsylvania State Police in Straban Township yesterday came just two hours too late for a missing Hunterstown teen. The body of Jessica Anon, 13, daughter of Glenda Anon of Hunterstown, and Philip Anon, of Greenbelt, Maryland, was discovered in a small wooded area along U.S. 15 south of York Street. Witnesses reported seeing a car enter a construction area at approximately 5:00 p.m., one hour and 55 minutes before the Amber Alert was issued.

Jessica was playing softball at the Straban Township ball fields next to the rear parking area of the Crossroads Casino, Resort and Spa, located adjacent to the Gateway Gettysburg complex on U.S. 30 just east of Route 15. Several of her friends saw her talking to an adult male after the game, and then get into his car at approximately 4:50 p.m.

Missy Null, also of Hunterstown, thought Anon was being picked up by her estranged father. “We all figured it was her dad, taking her for a visit,” said Null. “It wasn’t until her mom showed up about 5:30 that things started to look bad. We told her mom about Jessie getting into the car with her dad, and she started to freak. She called Jessie’s dad on the phone and he claimed he was still at work in D.C. Mrs. Anon collapsed, and my friend Janie grabbed her cell phone and called 911.”

Pennsylvania State Police and Casino Security responded to the scene, along with ambulances from Huntertown and Gettysburg. Movement to and from the scene was hampered because of the heavy traffic. A photograph of Jessica was obtained from her mother at the scene, and taken to the local Comcast Cable Corporation building on Baltimore Street east of Gettysburg. Channel 10, the cable system’s local access channel began broadcasting the Amber Alert at 6:55 P.M. The local TV stations in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, and northern Maryland were contacted and the Amber Alert was broadcast for several hours. It was cancelled approximately 10 p.m., about an hour after Jessica’s body was found.

Acting on a phoned tip, State Police began searching the construction area behind the A&S housing project along U.S. 15 at about 7:45. The area, scene of high density construction by A&S Builders for the past two years, is the location of low income housing units clustered at the edge of the last acre of trees in the once wooded tract. Police K-9 units aided in the search. Her body was discovered by a K-9 unit behind a swale, and blocked from view by large construction dumpsters.

Home video shot at the ball field by one of the girls allowed police to get a description of the man, and his vehicle, but no other identifying info was obtainable. Surveillance video from the casino enabled police to get a license plate image and thus were able to put out an alert for a tan older model Toyota, with Maryland tags, belonging to a Fin D’Innocenzia, 34, of Timonium, Maryland. D’Innocenzia was apprehended along U.S. Route 70 at approximately midnight last night, by an alert Maryland State Trooper. He is being held in the Frederick County jail in Frederick, pending charges and extradition to Pennsylvania.

D’Innocenzia’s driver’s license photo was identified by three of the girls from the ball field, and by the two witnesses that saw him driving into the construction area shortly after 5:00 p.m.

FBI agents from Harrisburg are aiding in the investigation because of the apparent interstate nature of the crime.

In an emotional press conference at 2:00 a.m., Sgt. Benjamin Voyd, of the Pennsylvania State Police issued the following statement:

At approximately 5 p.m. this afternoon, Jessica Anon, of Hunterstown was abducted from the ball fields next to the Crossroads Casino, Resort and Spa. Acting on information from her mother, and her friends, an Amber Alert was issued shortly before 7:00 p.m. As a result of the Amber Alert, tips received by telephone resulted in the discovery and recovery of Jessie at about 9:00 p.m. With the cooperation of the security service from the casino, video surveillance tapes led to the identification of the vehicle in which Jessie was abducted as belonging to one Fin D’Innocenzia, of Timonium, Maryland. Mr. D’Innocenzia was identified by two witnesses as the driver of the vehicle seen entering the area where Jessie’s body was found. Mr. D’Innocenzia was also identified by witnesses at the scene of the abduction. We will not comment at this time on rumors that Mr. D’Innocenzia has a record as a sexual predator. Maryland State Police apprehended Mr. D’Innocenzia a short time ago, and are holding him at Frederick, Maryland, pending charges and extradition proceedings. Maryland State Police also inform us that they have recovered Jessie’s baseball glove, and her jersey from Mr. D’Innocenzia’s car.

According to the security force at the casino, D’Innocenzia was asked to leave the premises about 4:20 p.m. because of panhandling and drunken behavior. Surveillance video shows him getting into his car and driving through the parking area, toward the access road to the ball fields. A shift supervisor at the casino security office made the decision to end surveillance once D’Innocenzia’s vehicle exited the casino property and entered the public thoroughfare leading to the ball fields.

We would like to thank the FBI for helping to get things established across the state line, and the National Park Service law enforcement staff for assisting in the investigation and providing volunteers for the search.

Voyd refused to entertain questions from the media.

Phone calls to David LeVan, president of Chance Enterprises, the group of out of town investors who built the casino, were not returned. Mr. LeVan was vacationing on his ranch out west. Mrs. Barbara Ernico, the investor who stepped into the duties of publicity specialist for Chance, at first refused to speak to reporters. Later she issued the following statement:

Chance Enterprises no longer has any connection with the Crossroads Casino, Resort and Spa, having sold its interest in the facility several months ago to Wynn Resorts, Ltd., owned by Steve Wynn. Chance Enterprises regrets the unfortunate events of yesterday but sees no connection between the acts of an obviously deranged individual, and Chance’s former casino.
When reached for comment, Mrs. Ernico said, “It would have happened even if we hadn’t built the casino.”
The Adams County Commissioners issued the following statement to the press:

We regret the death of a Jessie Anon. We are appalled that the casino has brought this level of crime to the Gettysburg Area. We were against the casino from the start, thinking it was a bad idea, and very risky socially. Our hearts go out to the Anon family.

The Straban Township supervisors also issued a statement:

We deeply regret this unfortunate incident, and wish to express our deepest sympathy to the Anon family. We would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, the National Park Service and the Maryland State Police for their able assistance in bringing this episode to a conclusion so quickly.

The Supervisors feel that had the state legislature listened to our pleas for an increased cut from the casino, Straban Township would have had its own police force to deal with this situation, and the outcome might have been different for Jessie.

Former township supervisor Jay McDannell refused to comment.

Formal charges are expected to be filed by the Adams County District Attorney’s office by the end of the day tomorrow, but extradition hearings may begin before that, as the FBI is filing interstate flight charges against D’Innocenzia in Federal Court in Harrisburg this afternoon.

In an article in the Hanover Evening Sun, Sunday, December 19, 2005, Mrs. Ernico, speaking as the publicity person for Chance Enterprises, made the following statements:
"It's not good enough to just operate a business - we have to be good community citizens, and we will be."

"I don't think you are going to see an increase in problem gambling, and that's the same for divorce, suicide, prostitution, child abuse and crime - including organized".

"Ultimately, if we allow people to drive drunk or cause other problems - it affects our reputation. We can't, and we won't allow that to happen."

"The people who make up this county have strong values and a high work ethic - I don't think there's going to be social problems, I could be wrong, sure - but if I am, there's money there to deal with it."

A memorial service for Jessica Anon will be held at the Hunterstown Church, Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. No information on funeral arrangements have been made yet, pending release of the remains from the County Coroner.
End fiction.

How do we keep this nightmare scenario from coming to pass? How do we save Jessie's life?

GettysBLOG

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to
NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote,
GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

74: “Santorum for U.S. Senate”


We use the occasion of the 214th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, to warmly and heartily endorse Senator Rick Santorum in his campaign for reelection to the United States Senate.

We endorse Santorum for these twelve reasons:

  1. First, and foremost, Senator Santorum has gone on record as opposing the proposed casino in the Gettysburg area. He was the first politician of national stature to do so, and indeed, did so long before many state and local elected officials (a few of whom still have not come out in opposition!).
  2. Senator Santorum has proven over his previous two terms in the Senate, that he, indeed, has the “right stuff” to represent Pennsylvania in that august body.
  3. As a recent retiree with first-hand knowledge of Pennsylvania’s Welfare system, this blogger has seen first-hand the success of Senator Santorum’s work in crafting the Welfare Reform legislation of the mid-1990s. It worked immediately when instituted, and has continued to achieve results in getting people from welfare to work, not just in Pennsylvania, but across the nation.
  4. As a retiree, GettysBLOG is very pleased with the caring work Senator Santorum has done on Social Security, and we further endorse his Social Security Guarantee legislation.
  5. As a homeowner, GettysBLOG appreciates Senator Santorum’s stand on taxes, and his goal of reducing the personal tax burden of every citizen.
  6. As a proud (and moderate) Conservative, GettysBLOG shares Senator Santorum’s philosophy of smaller, more efficient government, and eliminating wasteful spending practices such as pork-barrel projects, from Congressional habits – in other words, it’s not more government for the buck, it’s more government value for the buck.
  7. GettysBLOG is pro-preservation, be that Pennsylvania’s Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields and historical locations, or simply Adams County’s farmland. GettysBLOG is not anti development, he is anti-runaway development. GettysBLOG would rather see three times the spending on redevelopment than on new development. Senator Santorum’s Farmland Preservation Program successfully moves toward these ends.
  8. Senator Santorum has worked hard to ban the heinous and unnecessary practice of partial birth abortions.
  9. Rick Santorum has emerged as a leader in the national Republican Party, serving as one of the more reliable advisors to President Bush, and to Congressional leadership. He has gathered seniority now, and has become one of the most respected leaders in Congress.
  10. Rick Santorum is an unabashed compassionate conservative. He has explained his philosophy in print, and in the media. It is a philosophy that cares for people, yet still requires personal responsibility.
  11. GettysBLOG likes his style, and his message, and we adore the way he disarms and dismantles the left’s ugliness and lies currently being hurled at the President.
  12. Finally, GettysBLOG notes that when Senators are seen on TV, they are on talk shows, and doing sound bites for the evening news. One rarely sees the hard working Santorum in these venues. The images one sees of Santorum is walking out of the White House after a meeting with the President, or walking with ordinary folks of his constituency, with his coat and tie off, and his sleeves rolled up.

We encourage our readers to become more familiar with Senator Rick Santorum and his message at Rick Santorum.com.

In May, and again in November, vote Rick Santorum for United States Senate. Hard working, steady, centered, experienced, and clearly a leader.

GettysBLOG

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 09, 2005

73: “Not Good Enough!”


Chance Enterprises, the secretive group of investors behind the proposed slots parlor at Gettysburg, has reportedly taken the advice of a member of the Adams County Chamber of Commerce to take “Gettysburg” out of their proposed casino’s name. In an announcement today, the group reported that they have changed their proposed casino name from “Gettysburg Gaming Resort and Spa”, to “Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa.” A rose by any other name….

It is simply not good enough. Changing the name does not reduce the affront, the assault on heritage, the ugly imposition of an ugly industry in an area known for something far more noble than one armed bandits, drunks, and gambling addicts. What they need to do is to move their location. Preferably out of Pennsylvania, but failing that, at least out of Adams County. The stink is still the same!

In other news…

Still another good buddy of our Governor has come out of the woodwork at the eleventh hour to announce a proposed free-standing slots parlor across the highway from the Limerick Nuclear Powered Electric Generating Station in Montgomery County. Nice touch. “Fast Eddie” and his friends first want to put one next to the Gettysburg Battlefield National Military Park, now another of his buddies wants to put one about ten miles from Valley Forge. The Guv has already gone on record as thinking it not a good idea to build a casino near a heritage area. One mile from Gettysburg, and ten miles from Valley Forge. Nice friends you’ve got there, “Fast Eddie”.

Hey, Guv! You DO know what Valley Forge is all about, don’t you? I know pols from Philly have trouble once they go outside the city limits –just ask John Perzel how much a cow-milker earns in Lancaster County! But this is simply too much. Obviously, “Fast Eddie” Rendell runs with the wrong people. I simply don’t think much of his friends, and their willingness to sully our nation’s heritage. Frankly, I don’t think much of the Guv, either. He takes too much money from the gambling industry, and has become indebted to them politically – at your expense and mine, certainly not at his. Politicians don’t risk their own butts, they risk yours and mine.

And finally…

It’s really time to put an end to this silliness about the casino, so here’s a question for "The Strabaddies", "The Addams Family", the Adams County Economic Development Corporation, and the Adams County Chamber of Commerce, and the owners and editors of the Gettysburg Times:

How many of you will publicly state you were against the Gettysburg casino when the local police departments are forced to issue their first Amber Alert, after some newly-fleeced, alcohol soaked casino customer walks through the parking lot, targets a young girl playing softball on the Straban Township ball fields next to the casino, and takes off with her in his car, heading God knows where? How many of our "Community Leaders” will make sure they get their face time on TV, and their quotes in the papers, declaring “I was never for the casino, but they built it anyway!”

I ask this using the word “when”, not “if”.

No one is paying attention to the children. No one is speaking out.

Where has moral courage gone this December, 2005?

In the 1930s, as Nazism was rapidly spreading through Germany, no one dared speak up. One Lutheran minister, Pastor Martin Niemoller, wrote, afterwards,

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."

Indeed, in an area where physical and moral courage was an ordinary virtue by more than two hundred thousand men for three days one July 142 years ago, today’s leaders have shown an utter lack of moral courage, a lack of willingness to stand alone or in a group against a wrong. These are your next door neighbors, folks, the lady down the street, the man in the next block, the young store owner who sells you your Christmas tree lights, the nice man who holds the door open for you on Sunday at church. They lack the moral courage to speak out. They see a group like No Casino Gettysburg, a David taking on the Goliath of LeVan, Ernico, and Commerce Bank, the Pennsylvania legislature, and the Guv, et al, and they sit by and watch. Except for the No Casino Gettysburg group, and the recently surfaced Concerned Citizens of Straban Township, no one will speak up.

And when that Amber Alert is issued, they will cluck their tongues, and wag there fingers, and say, “I was always against the casino…”

I will wait to see them, Lucy Lott, Tom Weaver, Glenn Snyder, and "The Strabaddies". I want to see their sound bites on Channel 8 news, where they claim they knew all along the casino was going to be a problem, and didn’t want to see it here, but were powerless to stop it.

I will wait to hear their lies…

To the people of Adams County, one piece of advice: stop electing these greedy people!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to
NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote,
GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

72: “Things That Go Bump In The Dark!”



What shuns the light of day? Only things like rats, roaches, bats, and nocturnal scavengers, and things long associated with darkness that humans consider evil.

So, why does Chance Enterprises shun the light? Are they to be categorized with the above? Why the insistence on operating in secret?

Economic impact studies won’t tip anyone’s hand to a competitor in the Poconos. There is little, if any risk of anything Chance Enterprises has been legally doing that would surprise or inform any competitors for one of the two stand-alone licenses for slots parlors in Pennsylvania.

Trust your gut instincts on this, it isn’t a fear of “tipping their hand to the competition” that causes them to conduct secret meetings.

It’s tipping their hands to the opposition.

Here are some of the ramifications to their actions late last week in holding largely secret meetings with the Adams County Commissioners, the Adams County Chamber of Commerce, and attempting to do the same with the Straban Township Supervisors.

  • They place these public officials in a position where they violate the Pennsylvania Open Meetings (Sunshine) law, in spirit, if not in fact.

  • By doing so, they make the elected officials look exceedingly bad, and worse: complicit and conspiratorial.

  • They drive support away and alienate the populace further by acting in secrecy and subverting the public right to know what is going on in their community. It gives the impression of illegality, corruption, and worse.

So, what can possibly be so secretive that Chance Enterprises continually shoots itself in the foot and falls farther and farther behind the Public Relations fight with No Casino Gettysburg?

Allow your instincts to have free rein here. Or, take a break from things and go watch an old Bogart movie on AMC or something.


------------------------------------------------------------------

At the regularly scheduled meeting of the Straban Township Supervisors (affectionately referred to here as "The Strabaddies" ) last night, "The Strabaddies" essentially stated the petition presented to them by Concerned Citizens of Straban Township asking them to pass a resolution opposing the construction and operation of a casino in Straban Township was questionable. 645 signatures were gathered from Straban Township residents. Township Solicitor Walton “Big Wally” Davis indicated there were 4,500 residents of the township, in an attempt to belittle the numbers provided by CCST.

A check on the website of the United States Census Bureau indicates Straban Township’s 2004 estimate stood at roughly 4,900, and with continued population growth, it likely exceeds 5,000 persons now. It is unlikely that CCST (Concerned Citizens of Straban Township) garnered signatures from non-adults. According to the United States Census Bureau, households generally contain almost two children in a household that is almost 4 people in size, per its 2002 statistics. And that is children under 18. If you include those between 18 and 21, the number goes up. A safe estimate would be that roughly half of Straban Township’s populace is of voting age, then.

So, 645 signatures is a much stronger number compared to 2,500 residents of voting age, than it is to 4,500 residents (of all ages) as posed by “Big Wally”. This blogger’s calculator puts it just over 25% of those people living in Straban who are of voting age. Considering that only about 30% of registered voters voted in the recent election, 645 signatures takes on major significance.

"The Strabaddies" have stated they will be taking their own “survey”. Sadly, they appear to be in no hurry to do so. Citing postage costs, and their own meeting schedule, they do not believe the survey could be completed before February.

645 of their fellow citizens and constituents, willing to sign a petition to get them to act against a project they have curried from the start, is apparently not enough to inspire a sense of urgency among "The Strabaddies".

The good citizens of Straban Township deserve better.

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.



Sunday, December 04, 2005

71: “Candidate Announces Opposition to Slots”


It’s way too early to issue an endorsement in the campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania next year, but this blogger will present campaign information about worthy candidates as they appear.

Jim Panyard is the first. Here is a candidate who could get this blogger’s vote. That said, there are some issues that do not fit personally with this blogger’s views, such as holding the line on state spending, but they are close. Frankly, the state civil service employees deserve a better treatment than they have had at the hands of “Fast Eddie” Rendell. Most of the rest of the issues are a fit.

Primarily, the willingness to repeal the gaming bill, Act 71 of 2004 is very impressive, and tickles GettysBLOG’s heart. It’s a bill that has already brought problems with the law that are nothing to compare to what is coming, and what has not been exposed yet. That needs to be accomplished next year as early as possible, and certainly, action must be taken before licenses are granted. One method would be to have the legislature amend Act 71 to put a freeze on the issuance of licenses for one year, to give the legislature time under a new governor to gather the votes for repeal. And make no mistake about it, we mean full repeal.

Take a peek at Jim Panyard at his website. Click here: http://www.panyard4gov.com/. See for yourself.



36 W. Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717)-791-9950 or (717) 571-7898
http://www.panyard4gov.com/


December 5, 2005


PANYARD FIRST GOVERNOR CANDIDATE
TO BACK SLOTS REPEAL EFFORT

(HARRISBURG, PA) Jim Panyard today became the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to call for the repeal of Act 71, the state’s new slot machine law, and endorse efforts to repeal the measure.

“The efforts of State Rep. Paul Clymer (R- Bucks County), conservative lawmakers, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Pennsylvanians Against Gambling Expansion and others to repeal the slots measure should be applauded and supported by thoughtful Pennsylvanians,” Panyard said.

Clymer and others are to hold a press conference tomorrow to announce their intentions to repeal the slot machine gambling law, which would bring 61,000 slot machines to the commonwealth.

When he announced his candidacy for governor on Sept. 29, the retired CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, said he would never sign any expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania into law and, if the opportunity presented itself during his term as governor, he would sign a repeal bill.

“I think since the bill was passed on a Sunday morning, under cover of darkness, just like the recently attempted pay grab by the General Assembly, the citizens of Pennsylvania have awakened to how much this potential scarring of the state will mean to vested interests and how little it will benefit property taxpayers,” Panyard said.

“Slot machine gambling is only the foot in the door for major, unsavory interests. Since the measure has passed, news accounts of federal investigations of potential suppliers, the background of the state Gaming Commission’s Executive Director, the failure to sell licenses at fair market value, the meager potential property tax cuts for property owners and the fact that 80 percent of the state’s 501 school districts want no part of it, have been sending a clear message to citizens,” Panyard said.

“Add to that, the fact that tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians becoming gambling addicts will result in bankruptcies, broken homes and divorces, enforcement problems and suicides, and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out Act 71, if it stays, will scar Pennsylvania forever,” Panyard said.

“I find it hard to believe that Pennsylvanians are willing to risk the lives and futures of their friends and neighbors for the promise of a potential, one-time $200 property tax cut,” Panyard said.

“I salute all who will be involved in the repeal effort and will do whatever I can to be supportive of their efforts. If they fall short, we will try again as soon as I am sworn in as governor,” Panyard said.

Panyard’s announcement was another first in his campaign that has been filled with them. He has been the first candidate in the GOP field seeking the nomination through the May 16 primary to:

- Formally announce his candidacy
- Endorse a Lieutenant Governor candidate (State Rep. Mike Turzai of Allegheny County)
- State that he is 100 percent Pro-Life, with no exceptions
- Call for a freeze on state general operating spending for his four year term
- Promise all of his meetings as governor, aside from security and personnel matters, will be open to a member of the news media.
- Promise he will roll back Executive branch salaries to their year 2000 levels
- Pledge never to sign into law any pay raises for state officers during his term in office
- State his opposition to “same sex” marriage, civil unions and paying benefits to cohabiting couples
- To end “corporate welfare” in Pennsylvania

“I remain curious about my opponents’ positions about these and most other issues. The voters probably are wondering, too,” Panyard said.

“The passage of the slots legislation was another example of the New Monarchy – the governor, the courts and the legislature – doing as they please, without any checks or balances in the decision making process,” Panyard said.

“My goals are to overthrow The New Monarchy, end “business as usual” in Harrisburg and bring principled governance back to our state,” Panyard said.

30

There is much to like about Jim Panyard. It will be interesting to see if any of the other candidates stand up to the gaming money. This blogger is listening.

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

“Arrogance is a fool’s disease!”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 02, 2005

70: "Casablanca Redux"



Everybody knows the movie Casablanca. Filmed in the early days of World War II, it is famous for many of its wonderfully written lines, its music, and the romantic triangle between Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman, and Humphrey Bogart.

Bogey plays tough guy and expatriate American Rick Blaine, who “fought on the losing side in Spain”, and lost his nightclub in Paris…and Ilsa (Bergman), when the Germans marched into the city in 1940. Blaine has opened up a nightclub, Rick’s Café Americain, in the north African town of Casablanca, waypoint for people escaping the Nazis in Europe and fleeing to America, or England, by way of Lisbon, Portugal.

One of the greatest movie lines anywhere has local police inspector Captain Renault (Claude Rains) ordering Rick’s place shut down at the order of the local Nazi bad guy. The dialogue goes like this:

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

Some folks think it was America’s greatest film. It won Oscars in 1942 for Best Picture (Producer Hal Wallis), Best Director (Michael Curtiz), and best Writing/Screenplay, and was nominated for five more Oscars, including Best Actor (Bogart), Best Supporting Actor (Rains), and a wonderful musical score by the great composer of film music, Max Steiner.

The climactic airport scene near the end of the movie, where Rick forces Ilsa to go on the plane to Lisbon with her husband the freedom fighter(Henreid) is one of the most magically romantic moments in cinematic history. He then walks off into the desert with Captain Renault, saying, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!” as the credits roll.

Let’s play a little game, shall we? Let’s pretend for a few moments that we are back in 1942, now, and that Rick has made it back to the US and now wants to open up his “café” here in Pennsylvania. He’s not quite sure how to go about it because the laws are tricky here.

This is the US of 1942, a year into the US involvement in WW II, and quite a while before any good news started coming in. Housing is cheap, maybe $1,000 for a two bedroom house on a nice lot, with 5% interest.

One day, he’s at an affair in Harrisburg, and over dinner, he gets to talking to a local builder (Let’s bring Sydney Greenstreet in to play this role). Greenstreet talks to him and suggests he build his café right across from his latest project, on the main drag going into Gettysburg. A week later, Greenstreet introduces him to a banker (how about Peter Lorre as the banker?) The three of them arrange financing for Rick, and things start to look up. Greenstreet informs Rick, however, that he must get a license to sell liquor at his establishment and liquor licenses are expensive and hard to get. There is a lot of competition for them, but they can be bought for the right price. And they are like gold, because liquor is a high profit item, and nearly everybody partakes.

Lorre visits Rick again a week later, and during the conversation lets him know that he can supply some investment money help to Rick if he needs it. Rick, of course, has committed all he had left to the building project, and doesn’t have two nickels to rub together for a liquor license. Lorre says, 'leave it to me'. Within a week, Rick has three new partners and an infusion of cash, enough to get his liquor license and a steak dinner. The following week, as Rick’s place is nearing completion, Lorre shows up with the names of two local people who will sell him a liquor license. Lorre confides in him that he had to put some pressure on them to sell (he had his bank buy both their mortgages, and threatened foreclosure), and he had to apply some grease to the local township guys to clear some local laws about moving a liquor license between municipalities. This Lorre accomplished by floating two of the supervisors home equity loans at 3% interest.

Finally, Lorre went to the state Capitol to meet with a state Senator on the tourism board, who was also the powerful chairman of one of the major legislative committees. Lorre offered to refinance his house at 1% interest, and to refinance it on the basis of an appraisal of S5,000, when the senator had bought it less than 60 days earlier for $2,000. The senator then called his friend on the state Liquor Control Board, and referred him to Lorre, as well. Rick’s license was approved five days later.

Everybody was happy, everybody made money. It was the “American Method” of doing business. The only downside to the whole deal was that Rick had three partners, all of whom were stockholders in Lorre’s bank.

When Rick passed away in 1985 at the age of 70, he had bought out two of the investors, but never could get the third one to sell. So he left his ¾ share of Rick’s Café to the heirs of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Lazlo, of Prague, Czechoslovakia, one quarter share each, and one quarter to any heir (need not be legitimate) of Louis Renault, of Nice, France.

We could make a movie out of this story, and maybe call it the sequel to Casablanca. But what do you think would be a good name for this film? Can’t use “A Night In Casablanca”, the Marx Brothers did that one.

Feel free to post your ideas for a title for the film in the comments section below.

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

“Arrogance is a fool’s disease!”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in May! Before you vote,
GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Breaking news!


This just in:

The meeting tonight scheduled between the Straban Township Supervisors and the representatives of Chance Enterprises, the group of investors behind the proposed Gettysburg Casino, Spa and Resort, has been opened to the public. Originally scheduled as a closed, private meeting, the Township finally gave in to intense public pressure and made the meeting an open one in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law.

In the face of investor Barbara Ernico’s somewhat contradictory statements Tuesday, that "This is a courtesy to the township people and their elected leaders.”, and "We're trying to be up-front with people and listen to what they say.", the meeting remained closed to the public until late yesterday, when the press was notified that the meeting would, indeed, be open to the public.

There was some attempt to frame the announcement that the meeting was open to the public all along, but this was not the case. The two groups, Concerned Citizens of Straban Township, and No Casino Gettysburg hired a Harrisburg Attorney to go to bat to get the meeting opened. (For details, see essay # 67: A Champion Arises – either click on the title or scroll down this page to see it.)

Ms. Ernico is the “misambiguous” spokesperson for Chance Enterprises. She has replaced the Pittsburgh Attorney and Public Relations Specialist John Brabender, of the Law Firm Brabender Cox, who moved on to be the PR representative for Senator Santorum’s campaign, and MTR, the West Virginia based corporation that runs Mountaineer Track and Resort. MTR is vying for the Pittsburgh based stand alone Casino, and/or one of the two non-anchored stand-alone casinos in Pennsylvania.

Non-residents are encouraged to come to the Straban Township Municipal Building at 1745 Granite Station Road …wait….

Hold the phone!

This just in:

The meeting scheduled for 6 PM tonight has been canceled. In an apparent act of fear of confrontation with the public, Chance Enterprises, who requested the meeting, has canceled it.

But wait there’s more!

Chance Enterprises IS going to meet, starting at 12:30 PM today, with the "The Addams Family", (Adams County Commissioners) and the Chamber of Commerce! In an attempt to sneak past the public, they scheduled these meetings as unannounced, though the "The Addams Family" claims they are open meetings.

Stay tuned folks, as the saga continues while these out of town investors keep up their effort to smear indignities on the hallowed name of Gettysburg by building a casino here.

It should be obvious to all that, like cockroaches, Chance fears the light of public exposure.

Of all the investor groups vying for slots license in Pennsylvania, Chance is the only group with no announced backer from the casino industry. Harrah’s, for example, is such a company, as is Trump, and those two seem to be the winners for the stand alone anchored casinos in Philadelphia. (Harrah’s is trying to get the investment laws changed to allow them to own more than one casino.)

What is different about Chance Enterprises that they feel the need to operate in secrecy?

Did somebody leave some dead fish lying around here? Is that what that smell is? I thought it was Chance Enterprises and their buddies "The Strabaddies", "The Addams Family", and the Gettysburg Times.

Details at 11!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!"
--GettysBLOG

GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

“Arrogance is a fool’s disease!”

Please remember to donate your time, talent and funds to NoCasinoGettysburg either at their office or website.

NO Casino Gettysburg
Box 3173
Gettysburg, PA 17325

or contact them via the phone at 717-334-6333.

Thank you for donating!

Remember in November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005, GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

69: “Public Corruption, Part 2”


News Item: Pa. top gambling regulator accused of pay padding in La.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005
PHILADELPHIA -- Pennsylvania's highest gambling regulator was accused of falsifying attendance records and collecting pay for hours she didn't work while executive director of Louisiana's gambling control board.

Anne L. Neeb, now executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, denied the allegations yesterday, calling them retaliation because she had reported possible corruption by Louisiana officials to the FBI.

A report yesterday by Louisiana State Inspector General Sharon B. Robinson alleged Neeb missed 208.5 hours of work that she was paid for. Neeb later submitted leave adjustments for 152 hours of the missed time.

The report asked Ms. Neeb to refund $2,700 for 57 hours it said she didn't work. Ms. Robinson said the matter was referred to the East Baton Rouge Parish District
Attorney's Office.

"There is no truth to these allegations. They are completely false," Ms. Neeb said. "This is nothing more than continued retaliation against me by people angered by the fact that I voluntarily reported possible gaming corruption at the highest levels of the Louisiana state government to federal law enforcement officials."

She said she couldn't detail that investigation or who was involved.

Ms. Neeb was hired in July for the $180,000-a-year Pennsylvania post.

Amazing. First we were treated to three attorneys, employed by the new Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board creating two separate incidents of public drunkenness and brawling in Harrisburg. One of the attorneys is the head of security for the PaGCB.

If these latest allegations are true, then Pennsylvania has hired a corrupt official to help regulate an industry known for its corruption, and corrupting influences. If these allegations are not true, and this is retaliation for her reporting to the FBI of “…possible gaming corruption at the highest levels of the Louisiana state government…”, then we are talking about the Governor of Louisiana, Katherine B. Blanco. Perhaps someone can check to see who the governor’s campaign contributions came from. GettysBLOG is willing to advance the theory that as a Democrat running for office in 2003, Ms. Blanco received financial backing from the gaming industry, the same folks who contributed to Governor Ed “Fast Eddie” Rendell’s campaign for governor. Louisiana has an enormous gaming industry.

All this serves to point out that legalized gambling is rife with inherent problems - problems that create graft and corruption wherever it goes. Many times it goes undetected. Other times it does not. Sometimes it is detected and the public, enamored of the money that flows in front of their noses, turns a blind eye.

Obviously, just because State Government controls the industry it is not necessarily exempt from such problems. Pennsylvania has already been struck by corruption in the gaming industry and not one citizen has put a coin or token in a slot machine and gambled in Pennsylvania yet. Because the legislature created a part of the Gaming Control Act (Act 71 of 2004) that in essence forces the creation of Pennsylvania companies that will become middlemen in acquiring the slot machines for the casinos of the state, more than one lobbyist has become embroiled in ethics violations by jumping into the slot machine purveyor business. Some of our legislators have already gotten in legal trouble over land deals centering on proposed casino sites.

News Item: Group wants Sunshine on casino meeting

From the Hanover Evening Sun

By CHARLES SCHILLINGER
Evening Sun Reporter
Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Straban citizens group entered the limelight last week to bring an upcoming discussion between township supervisors and a potential slots casino developer into the sunlight.

A closed-door meeting planned for Dec. 1 between Straban Township supervisors and Chance Enterprises - the organization proposing a casino near routes 15 and 30 - would be in violation of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, according to the group Concerned Citizens of Straban Township.

"Any time a developer or somebody involved with a project meets with the supervisors, it really should be held as a public meeting," said Timothy Hamm, co-chair of the local group. "This case particularly, since it is a very controversial subject."

Barbara Ernico, an investor for Chance Enterprises, said they asked for the meeting to review information on the proposal.

"This is a courtesy to the township people and their elected leaders," Ernico said. "We wanted to provide (the supervisors) with information and get their feedback before moving forward."

She indicated Chance would be starting a large public-relations campaign soon and the information presented to the supervisors would be released as part of it. Investors also are willing to talk to the citizens group in the future to discuss concerns, she said.

"We're trying to be up-front with people and listen to what they say," she said.

The citizens group had no plans to show up at the Dec. 1 meeting, but Hamm said they hoped the supervisors canceled it. He said they're not sure what action the group will take if the supervisors hold the meeting.

"We at least wanted to indicate our position on them having the meeting," he said.
The citizens group plans to submit a petition at the supervisors monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5.
(To read the remainder of the article, click on this link: http://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_3262385 )

Indeed, if Chance is "...trying to be up-front with people...", and if Chance is trying to provide "...a courtesy to the township people...", then they should have no reason to hide behind closed doors.

One wonders what "The Strabaddies" (the Straban Township Supervisors) have to hide. One wonders what Chance Enterprises is hiding. Chance Enterprises has been hiding since they made their first announcement of the proposed casino at Gettysburg. To this date they are the only investment group not to disclose the name of their gaming partner/casino management firm (the big money from Las Vegas). What are they hiding?

One need only visit their website to see how they distort the truth and outright lie to sugar coat the bitter pill they are attempting to force down the throats of Adams County’s citizenry. And they are doing this with the complicity of "The Strabaddies", "The Addams Family" (aka the Adams County Commissioners), and our local legislators and business leaders. Promises of dollars to salve the wound of a morally bankrupt predatory industry, they even have the gall to claim they will replace lost Federal Welfare dollars! Hello!!?!?! Welfare dollars were reduced because of the corresponding reduction in welfare cases due to the booming economy! Chance Enterprises continues to crow about the jobs they will bring to the area when Adams County always ranks in the top five counties for lowest unemployment rate in the state. Usually, Adams has the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Chance Enterprises promises to provide millions of dollars locally. This is not true. The money will be spread, according to a formula based on population density, among York, Cumberland, Franklin, and Adams County. Care to guess which county will get the least share? That’s right: Adams. The investors behind Chance Enterprises continue to lie through their teeth to get their way here.

The Straban Township Supervisors, and the Adams County Commissioners are complicit in these lies. They do nothing to refute them. They are the elected representatives of the people of this area, and are responsible for protecting them. Frankly, they are doing a poor enough job they should be run out of office. One gets the impression the Concerned Citizens of Straban Township may be keeping that option open. If not, they should. Their township supervisors have done them dirt.

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt

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