Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Memorial Day Thoughts

They lie in rows of white crosses, or white stones, often stained by the decades or even centuries of weathers. The contrast with the green grass is stark, clean, almost pristine.

Many of these fields are in foreign lands near where they fell.

Sometimes they lie in unmarked fields or hillsides that once were the scenes of the combat in which they fell, unnoticed, and alone.

Some who rose to great deeds that were witnessed, or high rank, are memorialized in stone and bronze monuments.

Many are in simple graves in cemeteries around the nation for which they served. Often, little of no mention of their service is evident.

From long before this was even a nation, they served the ideal of the New World's promise that

"... wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are uppon us.",
as John Winthrop wrote in 1630, drawing on a parable from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

The ideals of Freedom and Justice referred to in Winthrop's sermon written on board the good ship Arabella, were then drawn upon by the Revolutionaries, such as Samuel Adams, John Quincy Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Monroe, and so on. They applied the thoughts of Philosophers John Locke, and Michel Montaigne on the God-given rights of the common man.

They devised a document that would validate the sacrifice of 4,435 Patriots with the immortal words,

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
Those words would inspire more patriots, eventually totalling 1,190,109 deaths in the service of the country during wartime over the next 235 years.
[http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004615.html]

On this Memorial Day Weekend, take a flower to a cemetery and place it on a grave that has a US Flag flying on it. Better yet, take a bunch, and spread them around. And while you are there, say a small private word of thanks to those you so honor. They will hear. Oh yes, they will hear.

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“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.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2010: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things Change

There is a wonderful 1988 movie starring Joe Mantegna and the late great Don Ameche, called Things Change. It was a subtle comedy that took a poke at mobster films, and the connection between The Mob and Las Vegas. To get from where the film started to its uproarious conclusion, things changed.

Time is measured by change. We look at a clock and every tick of the second hand, and the minute and hour hands, is a change. We measure it in different types of changes. Mostly we tend to remember times past by certain events, as most assuredly the recent snow falls will mark the first two months of 2010.

Several years ago there was an effort by local entrepreneur and philanthropist David LeVan to impose upon the rural character of the Gettysburg Area, a casino full of slot machines. His application for a license was denied for a number of reasons: public opposition, proximity to gambling establishments in other states, and a financual plan that failed to impress the state gambling board. [We refuse to call it gaming as that connotes sports and other non-wagering gaming events, whereas gambling calls it what it is, wagering money. And remember, the house never loses.]

So, in the years that have passed, we have awaited Mr. LeVan's next attempt to impose his will on the people of Adams County.

He has not disappointed those expectations. More than a year ago, he floated a trial balloon involving a casino license with a sulky racing track south of Littlestown on land owned by the Hanover Shoe Farms. The trial balloon turned out to be a lead balloon.

Now we have a new effort to gain a license, and while some things have changed, others have not.

This effort involves the tentative purchase of the Eisenhower Inn complex on Emmitsburg Road near its interchange with US 15, an ideal location for such an enterprise as the resort stipulation for the license is already there as is the access to a major Interstate.

What has not changed is this: it is too close to the Battlefield, it is too close to the already existing casino at Charlestown, West Virginia, and the likely location of Frederick, Maryland for a casino there in the not-too-distant future. The increased use of the facilities there will mean increased use of the local water table, something already at the maximum.

Mr. LeVan flouts his philanthropy, and points to his financial support of Battlefield restoration. Yet he does so without showing the least bit of understanding of the reverence, honor and respect the Gettysburg Battlefield engenders. Pumping money into its restoration with one hand while insulting it with the other is exactly what Mr. LeVan does. Repeatedly. Respect, honor and reverence have no price tag with a $ in front.

Mr. LeVan, no amount of your philanthropy will ever be a measure of your respect, honor and reverence toward the Gettysburg Battlefield. Indeed, you seek to cheapen the idea of the Battlefield by using its natural attraction to the public to line your pockets. In the end, all you are about is lining your pockets.

Mr. Levan has courted political and press allies since his failed attempt in the past. Promised advertizing revenues certainly got the attention of the Gettysburg Slimes last time, and now have reached the less financially strapped Hanover Evening Sun. Print newspapers are selling their souls to stay alive. These two newspapers are perfect examples.

Not in trouble financially, you say? No layoffs? No reduction in print size to save pages? No reduction in ink to save costs? Not in trouble financially? Surely you jest.

Politicians in Gettysburg Borough and in Cumberland Township [where the proposed site is located] are like those old cartoon characters with big eyes, and a $ sign in each eye. Certain promises have been made, or inferred that each municipality will get a cut of the pie that will be the casino's revenues.

The previous casino attempt was accompanied by what was an open bribe by LeVan, made to the Borough Government in exchange for its positive support and testimony before the State Gambling Board. The Borough gratefully accepted it. Shame on them. Ten years of financial mismanagment must come to an end. Accepting bribes to sell your souls is not the answer.

Cumberland Township is a financial black hole where taxes increase by the hundreds of percent. The Cumberland Township supervisors have their own little feifdom going that allows them to raise taxes at will, spend the money on developing their own site [which already out sizes and out facilities any and all municipal sites in the county], and bending the law to make any and all development as easy as $1, $2, $3!!!

They are about to pass an ordinance allowing gambling in the township. They say they must do that because it is an allowed use for townships, under the law. What they will not tell you, and will try to convince you otherwise about, is the plain fact that it does NOT have to be allowed in the township. They do NOT have to permit gambling in Cumberland Township.

By rights, they should put the gambling question on the ballot in the township for the May Primary election. Then they should proceed with a decision on allowed use based on the results of that question. If the question draws a majority who say NO to gambling in the township, then they should not allow it. If the township cites a provision of the state gambling laws that require it to accept a casino in the township, that law has not been seriously tested in court. It is fundamentally unconstitutional for the state to determine what a township MUST do when that action may conflict with the majority wishes of the citizens of that township. Would you want a Nuclear Waste Dump in the township if it meant a million dollars per year to the township budget? And no one will force that on you. No one has the right to force that on you, no person, nor any government entity.

We dare the Cumberland Township Supervisors to put the casino question legitimately on the ballot for May.

The state Gambling law was passed in the identical fashion as the last state pay raise for its legislators -- after midnight, when no one was watching, and with no public posting in advance. Many of those legislators, including our own here did not survive the next election.

There is much wrong with that law and it needs to be fixed. No municipalities are truly better for having a casino in their midst, financially, or morally. There has been no reduction anywhere in the real estate taxes that were to be relieved by the casino money, indeed any money has been hijacked to pay for other programs, and the current effort to pass legislation to add table games gives homeowners short shrift. This bill adds insult to injury by ignoring the homeowners.

About the Battlefield, casino supporters will say that the men gambled here during the Battle. This is true. It is also true that Little Round Top, in the years after the Battle, was the location of small casinos and brothels.

That is where the supporters of casinos stop. What they do not tell you is of the way the Veterans who fought here reclaimed the land over a half century span, so it could be preserved, monumentized, and left for people to revere, contemplate and honor, and to learn from it. Veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg began returning here in 1868 and placing markers indicating where they fought, and holding dedication ceremonies when they erected monuments. It became a place of reverence. Little Round Top was reclaimed from the prostitutes and the gamblers by those Veterans reaching into their meager pockets and buying up 12 foot squares of land, one at a time. Eventually they were successful in driving out the irreverent interlopers.

Now we have a new irreverent interloper. His name is David LeVan.

Next up: Economics of the Casino vs. Adams County statistics.

Please note: comments will be accepted only for four days, and only if they are legitimate comments. Ad hominem attacks will not be permitted, nor will foul language. Comments are not a place for debate, either. We reserve the right to not post any comments we deem to be inappropriate.

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“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.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2010: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gettysburg Park Rangers to Appear in Classroom Broadcast




Gettysburg Foundation
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325
 
Gettysburg Foundation News Release:
 
Gettysburg Park Rangers to Appear in Classrooms via Broadcast

Schools, broadcast stations invited to register for free, national satellite broadcast

Gettysburg, PA. —Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation will offer “Big Deal at Gettysburg: The Value of Historical Places” on Feb. 12, 2010 at 1 p.m. EST. The free, hour-long, national satellite broadcast will be available to schools and broadcast stations, which can receive the show on C Band or KU Band and air it when it is most convenient and beneficial to teachers and viewers.

Gettysburg National Military Park’s 2004 satellite broadcast reached more than 10 million school students nationwide and received a Telly Award honoring the best local, regional and cable television programs.

Viewers of this year’s broadcast will follow business executive Elizabeth Hoover’s journey (along with her teenage son) as she tries to secure key Gettysburg properties for her firm. But will she leave Gettysburg understanding that historic value sometimes trumps property value? Elizabeth’s journey will take her to the historic Spangler Farm, the Gettysburg Railroad Station, the David Wills House and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery as she rediscovers a battle, and a speech (“The Gettysburg Address”) that shaped a nation. The broadcast is designed to be shown in three segments (approximately 20 minutes each) with online discussion questions and activities for each segment - available at http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/. The broadcast and accompanying lessons were designed in accordance with the National Council for Social Studies curriculum standards and themes.

To register to receive the satellite coordinates, schools and broadcast stations can visit http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/ and click on the satellite broadcast box on the homepage. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Heidi Myers at 717-338-1243 or via email at programs@gettysburgfoundation.org .

The broadcast is made possible through generous gifts to the Gettysburg Foundation, the nonprofit partner of the National Park Service at Gettysburg, from Bob and Marion Wilson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and the Winnick Family Foundation. The production is a program of the Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center, made possible by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

The Gettysburg Foundation is a private, non-profit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg. The Foundation raised funds for and now operates the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, which opened in April 2008. In addition to operating the Museum and Visitor Center, the Foundation has a broad preservation mission that includes land, monument and artifact preservation and battlefield rehabilitation — all in support of the National Park Service’s goals at Gettysburg.

For information about the Foundation, about visiting Gettysburg, or how you can become a part of the history of Gettysburg through your contribution, visit http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/ or call 877-874-2478 or the administrative offices at 717-338-1243.

Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American History. Information is available at www.nps.gov/gett.

END
Experience Your AmericaTM

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.
-------------NPS-------------

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“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.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2010: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

GNMP and Wills House Events for January & February

Here are upcoming events at the Park and the David Wills House for January and February, 2010:

Beginning Jan 10
Perspectives on the Battle - Gettysburg National Military Park Winter Lecture Series. This series of free, one-hour programs begins at 1:30 p.m., in the Ford Education Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Additional lectures will take place on January 10, 16, 23, 24,30; February 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28. For more information call 717-334-1124 x 8023 or go to

http://www.nps.gov/ner/customcf/apps/eventcalendar/events/gettevent13246795.html


Feb 5
Book signing with Author Matt Pinsker at the David Wills House. Admission fee. For information call 866-486-5735 or visit

http://www.davidwillshouse.org/events_programs/index.htm


Feb 27
An Evening with the Painting – From 5 to 7:30 p.m. Learn about the history and conservation of the Cyclorama painting, including an opportunity to spend time viewing the Cyclorama. Call 877-874-2478 for tickets or visit

http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/events/gettysburg_cyclorama_painting_program.htm

Gettysburg Foundation

Come experience Gettysburg at the new Museum and Visitor Center, featuring the newly restored Gettysburg Cyclorama. You won't believe your eyes.


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

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“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.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2010: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Park Seminar: “Gettysburg: The Aftermath and the End of the Campaign”

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100
Gettysburg, PA 17325
717/334-1124 phone
717/334-1891 fax

Gettysburg National Military Park News Release
For Release:

Registration Now Open for the National Park Service Seminar “Gettysburg:The Aftermath and the End of the Campaign”

Gettysburg, PA. Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation are proud to present the 2010 Gettysburg Seminar, to be held in Gettysburg on April 10-11. The theme of the seminar is the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg and the end of the Pennsylvania Campaign. Presentations will provide seminar participants with a variety of subjects from the experience of Robert E. Lee's retreat to the Potomac River, to the enormous job of caring for the wounded, an evaluation of the generals’ decisions, and the cleanup of the battlefield.

The 2010 Gettysburg Seminar will begin on Saturday morning with a series of lectures to take place in the ballroom of the historic Gettysburg Hotel on Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg. The lectures will be followed with a variety of battlefield walking tours and bus visits to important sites relative to the aftermath of the battle and campaign.

Saturday night's social will begin with "An Evening with the Painting: The Gettysburg Cyclorama," a guided presentation about the famous cyclorama painting of "Pickett's Charge" given by Licensed Battlefield Guide Sue Boardman, followed by "Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire," a living history presentation featuring the voices of those who experienced the battle and its aftermath, first hand. The personalities presented will include: Henry Eyster Jacobs, who was an 18 year old Gettysburg College student at the time of the battle; Sallie Myers, a Gettysburg school teacher at the time of the battle; a composite character representing a Confederate soldier; and Almira Russell Hancock, wife of Union General Winfield S. Hancock.

The seminar will conclude on Sunday in the ballroom of the Hotel Gettysburg with a final series of lectures focusing on the experiences of soldiers and civilians in the horrific aftermath of the battle.

The registration fee for the Gettysburg Seminar is $90 per person and the seminar is limited to 240 participants. For a complete schedule of lectures, field programs, and presenters and to register go to the park’s website at:

http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/2010-gettysburg-seminar.htm

Information is also available by calling Park Ranger Evangelina Rubalcava at (717) 334-1124, ext. 3251.

END

Experience Your AmericaTM

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

-------------NPS-------------

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“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.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2010: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.