Friday, June 13, 2008

News, Views, a New Look and a New Poll Feature

Welcome to the new look GettysBLOG. Please bear with us while we make a few tweaks and add a few features. And please stop by regularly to participate in our polls. We will try to have a poll up weekly.

Today's "News and Views" takes on a cinematic theme. Enjoy.

"The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight"
This item from today's Harrisburg Online was no surprise to us.

"A group of GOP State House Members called for the resignation of State Gaming Board Chairwoman Judge Mary D. Colins and the other Board Members because the group claims the Chairwoman "lied" about the amount of money coming to resigned Executive Director Anne Neeb...last month, the Board said Neeb would receive $60,000 in salary until the end of her contract in September, but now the Board says she will get an additional $60,000 consulting contract...the Board says no one is resigning..." Harrisburg Online

Nope, no surprise there. Anne Neeb left her last job in Louisiana just ahead of a probable corruption indictment over expenses she claimed. Is there an indictment from Pennsylvania around the corner for Ms. Neeb? Certainly some very questionable events have occurred since Neeb took over at the Gambling Commission. Two of the licensees are in trouble: our old friend Louis DeNaples has been stripped of his ownership at Mt. Airy for alleged perjury in testimony before the commission, and the owner of a City of Pittsburgh licensee is likely to default on his plan for the casino in that city because of financial woes.

These blunders by the Gambling Control Board are inexcuseable. These potential problems should have been sniffed out by Neeb and others at the Board. To paraphrase Hamlet, "There is something rotten in the state of Pennsylvania", and the Gambling Control Board is it.

Gettysburg Area School District [GASD] is planning on instituting an historically high tax increase, in no small part thanks to the boondoggle they call New Warrior Stadium. What was originally planned to cost $3 million, now will cost $8 million, and that is before the usual 50% markup during construction. For that much money one expects a facility on the scale of Hershey Park Stadium. What could possibly be a reason for such extravagance? Granted, the yuppies control the school board, but this is wretched excess. Why not spend the money promised by the Foundation to expand the current Warrior Stadium into a better facility, with locker rooms for home, visitor, and officials, decent bathroom facilities on both sides of the field and concession stands at each end.

That way, the scene of past glories on the gridiron for Warrior Football will remain the scene of future glories. Facilities will be there for the team to use for practice, and if the school district has dreams of hosting big playoff games, they'll have a venue to do just that. It will be a faster fix, and a better, more suitable fit. It will reduce the tax increase, and more importantly, it WILL NOT ENCROACH AND THREATEN THE WETLANDS BEHIND THE HIGH SCHOOL, as the current plans do. Current plans call for pathways through the wetlands for fans to traverse! That is absolute lunacy!

GASD taxpayers need to stongly express their views about this. In the meantime, please express yourself in our feature poll at the top right of the page!

"Crude Impact"
A developer in Straban Township is trying to shoehorn 800 homes onto a little over 300 acres. That is an ugly, small plot development, what they call "High Density Housing". First, in today's economy, and today's housing market, who in their right mind will build 800 new homes? This kind of profligate development is what got us into the current housing bust! The question is: why in the world would a municipality even entertain something like this since, like the proposed casino in Pittsburgh, it is likely to sit moldering unused, becoming an eyesore, and eventually costing enormous sums of tax dollars to resolve the failure of the development down the line. Your supervisors and zoning people, especially in Straban, Mt. Joy, Butler, and Cumberland Townships are not doing their jobs! Their failure is your future tax hikes to clean up failed development.

Elected officials in area municipalities that are allowing their townships to become bedroom communities for D.C. and Baltimore, or the malls to cater to those commuters, need only look to the gas pump the next time they fill up to see this is an idea of yesterday, not of today, and not of tomorrow.


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