Monday, January 02, 2006

79: “Criminal Intent”

Several years ago, Straban Township obtained ownership of a 14 acre parcel of land just off 15 and 30, next to the proposed casino site. A former FCC antenna farm, the Feds put the land up for adoption under the Federal Lands to Parks program. All Straban had to do to take ownership of it, was survey it, plan for its recreational or educational use, budget for its construction for that use, budget for its maintenance for such use, and keep it forever.

Several years ago, WalMart wanted to build a new superstore on the ground proposed for the casino.

Within months of Straban's acquisition of its new park, and Wal-Mart’s announcement to local business leaders (our local business leaders like to keep such things from us, as does BJ Small at the Times), our Strabaddies went hand-in-hand to the National Park Service (the government entity that handled the Straban lands to parks property), to ask for the Feds to waive the codicil that said Straban had to keep the property forever. Seems WalMart needed the 14 acres for its new superstore layout, and was willing to construct a couple of ball fields on another segment of its (Monahan’s) 42 acre parcel. It was proposed as a straight up swap.

It occurred to a number of noses in Adams County that there was a distinctly ugly odor coming from this.

No one asked the questions in public, however, or at least not that the newspapers would publish:

When did the Strabaddies file for the land from the Feds?

When did WalMart first contact the Strabaddies about building there?

You can probably figure out the answer.

WalMart pulled out of the whole deal, and now we are looking at a casino on that property.

But what of Straban's 14 acre Youth Recreation Park, that will adjoin the Casino property? The ball fields are still there. Leagues play on them.

Proposing to plunk down a $300 million casino right beside a youth rec park is criminally negligent. (So is putting a casino next to a nuclear reactor!).

The liability the investors will incur the first time a crime is committed involving the youth park and the casino, or the first time a car load of softball players on their way out for pizza after a game, gets creamed by a drunk coming from the casino, the investors stand to lose every penny they've put up, received in profit, and more. Remember, they charge bar tenders who serve drunk drivers, and hold them liable.

The criminal negligence is not a chargeable offense now.

It will be when that first child is killed, however.

Apparently, (NO) Chance Enterprises investment crew, and Morgan Stanley care not a fig for the people of this community, no matter what Barbara Ernico, Jeff Ernico, or David LeVan say. It shows in their lack of judgement.

It almost shows a criminal intent. The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law [1996. Merriam-Webster's, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated] defines criminal negligence as:

criminal negligence:
A gross deviation from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person that is manifest in a failure to protect others from a risk (as of death) deriving from one's conduct and that renders one criminally liable; called also culpable negligence.

Knowing that risk is present, and ignoring it because you are trying to build an enormous, profit making business does not obsolve the investors of culpability. Neither burying their heads in the sand, nor outright lying about these risks will obsolve a single investor from culpability. Group guilt and responsibility was established at Nuremburg, and today, locally, we have been impacted by the collective crimes of the Rigas Family, who ran the Adelphia Cable system, while pillaging its coffers. Collectively guilty, and held liable.

The investors need to ask themselves a number of questions:

Have we done due diligence?

Are the liability insurance premiums worth it to me?

What will community reaction be to me as a business person if something untoward happens and my investment is involved?

In other words, investors, are you certain you want this casino to be your legacy?

This blogger cannot stress the sentiment enough:

“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.”

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GettysBLOG said...

Protection of those children put at risk by the casino should be wholly and completely borne by the casino if it is built.