Saturday, June 24, 2006

176: “Gettysburg Ups and Downs”


UP…The Housing Market is taking a hit in Adams County. This is good news! It will drastically slow the rate of development.

DOWN…2005 was the second worst year for Adams County in its history. Not only did developer Bob Monahan tear up the landscape at the junction of routes 15 and 30, and then proceed to construct three of the ugliest building you ever saw, but he then sold (conditionally) the old driving range to fellow traveler David LeVan for his casino. Straban township plans to add 2,000 homes in the next few years, something that has Adams County planners a bit alarmed. And the Straban Zoning Committee will recommend how any new zoning will be worded, possibly, but not necessarily taking the County's concerns into consideration. Further, they seem to be totally ignoring the group Concerned Citizens of Straban Township completly. Nice to know the good elected officials in Straban Township are so senstitive to their constituents. In any other country, they'd have all be run out of town on a rail!

UP…Local citizen groups, for holding the feet of their township supervisors to the fire over water and sewer issues for planned development. There is a finite amount of water available to Adams County residents, and every new house built reduces the amount available to each household.

DOWN…Plans to pipe 300,000 gallons per day from the Susquehanna River to Gettysburg are simply ludicrous. First, the pipeline has to be laid. What will this cost the taxpayers? Why is it necessary? Because of all the development. Can you honestly sit there and say, “This is a good thing?” Of course, it never hurts to have water available, but the cost of this project for such a paltry amount of water is prohibitive. And please note, no one is saying what this will cost! Oh, no, the Gettysburg Slimes would never publish that information first. So, who do you think will be using this water? Have you looked at the Crossroads Casino Website and their planned design? Look at that gorgeous lake out front, with the great fountain in it. Is this what you want your tax dollars to go toward?

DOWN…David LeVan and his shill Jeff Ernico, for sticking it to the good citizens of Adams County. Anxious to force all objection to his casino organization out of the way, LeVan is questioning the integrity of two members of the Straban Zoning Board (not everyone is like you, David). Apparently one signed a petition against the casino in church immediately after the casino was announced, and long before any zoning issues arose. Indeed, it was not until last fall that the State Supreme Court struck down the part of Act 71 that eliminated all local avenues of opposition to the placement of a casino by overriding all local zoning ordinances. The boardmember had, at the time of signing the petition, a reasonable expectation of never having to officially act on the matter. The other member’s name appears on a petition against the casino, but claims his wife signed his name without his knowledge or authorization. Both state unequivocally that they are quite capable of rendering a fair decision in the zoning issue. LeVan and Ernico have taken the matter to County Court. Now, by rights, they should foot the entire cost of this enormous waste of time and resources. What really ticks LeVan off the most is that he simply cannot buy enough goodwill where he needs it most.

UP…The Straban Township Zoning Board, who have a golden opportunity to accomplish a number of things. The issue before them is simply this: do current zoning ordinances in place at the location of the proposed casino allow for the use of the parcel as a casino. In other words, is gambling permitted. What they must keep in mind is two things. The spirit of Act 71, as passed by the legislature said this was not an issue, the casino should go in. However, the State Supreme Court struck that from the law, and put the issue back on the table. So here is the zoning board, poised on the brink of thumbs up, or thumbs down for the casino. If they deny, you can bet your bottom dollar that LeVan will sue. The second issue they must keep in mind is child safety. Why is that an issue here? Because immediately next to the parcel on which the casino will be built is a small, 14 acre recreation park containing some ballfields on which local youth leagues play. Allowing the casino next to that park will put the children at risk to all manner of dangers from folks who gamble next door. Those who exit the casino under the influence of alcohol, or losing their money, will tend to be addicted to alcohol and or gambling. Addicts are the primary source of predators. That is, most predators are also addicts to some form of chemical. David LeVan and Barbara Ernico can spout off all they want about how good a neighbor the casino will be, but they cannot guarantee anything about their customers.

DOWN…Bob Monahan will be finding out soon that he has broken the law. To quote the U.S. Department of State:
Title 18 of the U.S. Code, as revised in January 1971, prohibits use of the likeness of the Great Seal or any facsimile in “any advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production” for the purpose of conveying a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the U.S. Government under threat of a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.
Mr. Monahan has plastered the likeness of the Great Seal of the United States all over his Gateway Gettysburg project. This is illegal, and Monahan, who was a member of that department under the Reagan administration, knows better. He should remove the likenesses immediately. A letter is on its way to the United State Attorney in Harrisburg. Frankly, we cannot find any reason whatsoever that a great president like Ronald Reagan would have tolerated a jerk like Bob Monahan in his administration. Wait a minute, wasn’t Al Haig Secretary of State at one point? That explains it.

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