Sunday, June 17, 2012

Walmart Developers & Local Gov’t Sticking it to Taxpayers!


A front page article in the Gettysburg Times on June 14th lays out a plan for the developers to defer payment on the up to $6 Million infrastructure improvements to roads, water, sewer, and the relocation of power lines on and around the construction site for the new Walmart Project at the US 30/15 interchange.  Named Gettysburg Crossing, the project is expected to house a Walmart Super Store, Kohl’s Department Store, Michaels Arts and Crafts, and perhaps a Lowes or Home Depot type store, along with banks, eateries, and the like. 

Under the plan, the repayment of the cost for these improvements, which will benefit local residents, will be deferred for several years and paid for when the taxes, currently assessed as unimproved, but then to be improved and eventually commercial space, would go up with those changes.  Those increments would be used to pay for the estimated $6 Million infrastructure work, much of it required by PennDot, the rest by Straban Township and various Adams County authorities. 

The repayment deferment would be guaranteed by none other than our old friends, the secretly operating Adams County Economic Development Corporation [ACEDC], and up to $5 Million of the project would be secured by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development [DCED].

According to the article, this “incremental tax financing plan” [ITFP] would not cost the local taxpayers anything, and that covers Adams County, Straban Township, and the Gettysburg Area School District. 

In another article on the subject, this in the Hanover Evening Sun, the spokesperson for the developer said, “Without the $6 Million, this project doesn’t get done.”

The developer claims this project would create up to 600 jobs.

All three County Commissioners came out of the meeting with the developer apparently enthusiastically pumped up by the concept, after voting to send a representative to meet with representatives of the other taxing bodies to decide to approve or not approve the financing plan.

Ahem…let us follow the money…and the facts. 

First, the guarantor, ACEDC, gets its funding from Harrisburg out of the Commonwealth’s General Fund, which gets its money generally from the tax payers.  The rest of the money generally comes in the form of grants and appropriations from the Federal Government, which of course, gets its money from…?...you guessed it...the taxpayers, meaning YOU!

Now let us take a look at ITFP itself.  As the project gets developed, the land use changes from “unimproved” to “improved,” and then, in this case, to “commercial.”  Each change would increase the taxes incrementally.  It is these incremental increases that would be used to pay for the up to $6 Million in infrastructure improvements MADE NECESSARY BY THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT.

The developer, and then the retailers, would have to pay those increases anyway!  So the money from those increases would be used to retire the $6 Million debt from the infrastructure work.  Sounds like the old shell game, doesn’t it?  Well, that is exactly what it is. 

So the developer, with the able and willing assistance of the Adams County Commissioners, the Straban Township Supervisors, and the Gettysburg Area School Board, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the DCED, and the super-secret ACEDC, are shifting the burden of up to $6 Million for this project to…guess who…YOU!  Every one of your tax bills will go up – Federal, State, County, School, Township.  Some of your transportation fees may go up as well. 

Welcome back to the “Adams County/local Township development shuffle!”

According to the 2012 Annual Report by the Walmart Corporation , the world’s third largest corporation generated $444 Billion in sales last year, from roughly 10,000 stores in 69 countries.  That, if our math is correct, averages out to about $44.4 Million per store for the year.  If you think that local government will see a juicy cut of that $44.4 Million from the new Walmart superstore at Gettysburg Crossing, you are sadly mistaken.  They will pay taxes on the same flat rates you pay to local government. 

Here is the rub.  Apparently, there are two developer companies working this project, and they both failed to do their due diligence.  If the developers were worth their salt, they would have had engineers check the roads, survey crews, and the like, and check the township and county and state requirements for development of commercial properties, even to the point, for example of consulting with PennDot over required road improvements.  They also would have made the cost of moving power lines part of their estimate of the total cost of construction of the development.  They did a shoddy job.  And ACEDC, and local governments want to back them anyway, and with YOUR MONEY. 

Oh, they will get paid for their work whether Gettysburg Crossing is built or not, it is a contract job.  But if the project is not built, they will not get nearly what they would get paid IF the project were completed.  Now we find their projected cost to completion is already $6 Million over budget, so they will lose from that as well.  And every day of delay costs them the rental money they will generate from the retailers once they open. 

In other words, the developers want to pass on the cost overrun to the taxpayers, to save themselves [and their investors] from taking the loss.  They are in a desperate situation as, we are certain, they have more than a few very angry investors!  So they are turning to local and state government to become complicit in what is, in effect, thievery from the taxpayers.   

Finally, the developer has fed local government and the public the dangling worm-on-a-hook of 600 jobs.  Let’s look at this.  By far, the majority of those jobs will be temporary construction jobs, not permanent ones.  Some of those construction workers may very well transition into building maintenance positions with the retailers, but they will be very few.  More of those 600 jobs will go to the existing staff of the current Walmart store [did you think they were just going to vanish?].  That will not leave many jobs to be had when the project is built and the retailers open.  And what jobs are those?  Store manager?  Nope, sales clerk, door greeter, stock person and the like.

The second worm-on-a hook is that these infrastructure improvements will benefit all local citizens.  Well, yes, but no one will be inconvenienced by the lack of those improvements if the project does not get built.  So that is a red herring.   

Don’t bite!

Weak, hollow arguments from the desperate developers, and confusing tax talk from local government are signs this project is in dire straits.

If the developers can’t rework their project contract with the world’s third largest corporate entity to cover their own lack of due diligence, then perhaps the project should wait until another developer comes along and does it right.  One also wonders what other errors were made by these developers, errors that might escape the local authorities in their inspections after the fact. 

You deserve better than this.  You deserve a better developer for this project, and you certainly deserve much better from your elected officials than the “incremental tax financing plan.”

Don’t bite. 

Don’t bite.

Don’t bite.

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 © 2005-2012: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Anniversary Series to start June 26th

Just to let you all know, starting June 26, we will begin posting the Anniversary Essays, a series telling of eight chronological episodes [and one editorial] in the Battle of Gettysburg, as we approach the 249th Anniversary of that great Battle. 

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 © 2005-2012: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wal-Mart and Straban Overreaching Again


Recently, the developer for the new shopping center to be constructed on the northwest corner of the US 30/15 interchange requested that Straban Township exercise the use of eminent domain in order to finalize some land and/or right-of-way acquisitions within the scope of the project. 

While we are in favor of the project, as it has been presented so far, we firmly believe that both Wal-Mart and Straban would be misusing eminent domain in this case. 

First, let us read the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The Fifth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights written by James Madison and adopted in 1791, shortly after the Constitution was ratified, is a sweeping piece of law.  It says that in serious crimes, meaning crimes rising to the level of felonies, you cannot be held without being charged formally in court, nor can you be tried twice for the same crime, nor can you be forced to testify against yourself.  It also says you cannot forfeit your property without due process of law.  Finally, it says that you cannot have your land seized by the Government for public use without a fair price being paid for it.

“No person shall”…[have] “private property”…[]…”taken for public use, without just compensation.”

This Amendment guarantees protection against an over-reaching government, at any level. 
[Note] “James Madison…had a more moderate view [than Jefferson], and struck a compromise that sought to at least protect property rights somewhat by explicitly mandating compensation and using the term "public use" rather than "public purpose", "public interest", or "public benefit".”--[Wikipedia entry on eminent domain, sourced from Bruce L. Benson, The Independent Review, v. XII, n. 3, Winter 2008, ISSN 1086–1653, Copyright © 2008, pp. 423–432.]
Clearly, Madison saw a difference.  The implication is that eminent domain may be used by Government to acquire land for public use, meaning for the public to use, not for other purposes.  The intent was for building roads, public [government] buildings, bridges, and such. 

Madison’s intent, which was clear to those who ratified the Bill of Rights, did not include taking property for commercial purposes.  Indeed, Straban exercised eminent domain several years ago when taking a strip of land from a local property owner when it wanted to widen the intersection at York Street and Granite Station Road.  The argument there was that the homeowner would have to relocate his septic system at some great expense, and Straban was unwilling to pay for the land AND the inconvenience to the homeowner.  While the township had the right to do this since it was for ‘public use’, it was wrong in not compensating the homeowner enough for the additional expense involved.

Here, we have the giant corporation with the third highest revenues in the world, Wal-Mart, refusing to pay the asking price of the landowners involved in the construction of the infrastructure [roadwork – including changes to the on/off ramps between US 30 and US 15, traffic signals, electrical lines, gas, water, and sewer lines]. 

In other words, this is being done so that Wal-Mart, and the developer, and the other retailers and real estate management companies involved, can build their money-making shopping center at a reduced price.  

The difference is that in the first case, only the taxpayers/public benefit from the taking, but in this case, while the taxpayers/public would benefit, they would only do so if the major benefactor, the retailers, did not build here.  Ergo, since there is no need to take the land unless the project is constructed, it is done solely for the benefit of the developer,Wal-Mart, the other retailers and the investors.

Otherwise, the work would not be done, or not be done as extensively as Wal-Mart requires.  Indeed, much of that section of Shealer Road, which crosses York Street just west of the US 15/30 interchange, was rebuilt recently at taxpayer expense. 

God forbid that Wal-Mart slip to fourth place!

[Now they want to rewrite the tax load on the project so they can better afford it!  Boggle!] 

Imagine that you want to build a house on a small lot, but in order to put a driveway in, you need to have a small slice of your neighbor’s land.  Under the interpretation that Straban is using, you, a member of the ‘public’ can ask the township to take the land by eminent domain for you, getting it at a reduced price from what the neighbor wanted.  That is "public purpose", "public interest", or "public benefit".  Not what Madison [or the Framers, or the country that ratified the Bill of Rights] intended.

Here we get into a short discussion if what ‘just compensation’ is.  Just compensation is a fair price for what you wish to sell or buy.  Compensation could mean trading one small strip of land for another.  But 99% of the time it means cash value.  If you want to sell your home, you set an asking price.  If it is close to the market value of the property you will likely get a buyer to pay that price or something around that price.  If it is too high, you will not sell your property.  If it is too low, you will sell the home fast, but you will not get what you think is the true value. 

But if someone comes to you and asks to buy your home when you are not prepared to sell it, then the value goes up, and it goes up to a point where both the buyer and seller agree is worth it to each.  If you are the buyer looking at a property worth $200,000 if it were on the market, you would likely approach the owner with an offer significantly higher than that to make it worthwhile for the owner to uproot himself and his family from the property.  If it is a property that has been handed down over succeeding generations, the value to the owner will be much higher. 

Where eminent domain comes in to play in just compensation is to fix a price the owner is unwilling to accept because the government has made a decision that there is a limit to the value of the property.  The government does not care about generational farms, or even the fact that you will be inconvenienced by the sale, and maybe forced to move. 

Well, perhaps the government should care.  The word ‘just’ should cover that caring. 

If the government comes to me and tells me I have to move because in three years an 8-lane Interstate Highway will cover the ground I live on, I will expect a higher than market price from the government because of the fact I must move [which is expensive], and buy another home to live in [which may or may not be more expensive but likely will be more so]. 

If John Smith knocks on my door one night and says, “I’d like to buy your house and property”, and I have not thought about it all, but considered leaving it to my children, then I would have a realtor suggest a market price and I would really look for an increase over that price, perhaps as much as 40% higher.  If it is important to Mr. Smith, he will pay the price.  Fair is fair.  Just is just. 

Local governments, like Straban and Cumberland Townships, that play the “development shuffle pyramid scheme” game, exercise eminent domain to ease the path of developers so they can generate more taxes down the road.  But let’s look at this for a moment…who pays for the property acquired by eminent domain?  Well, if it is part of the development land, then the developer must re-pay the township.  If it is part of the infrastructure, as listed above, then the taxpayers pay the price. 

But wait!  There’s more!  Who pays for the process of exercising eminent domain?  Legal costs, filing fees, and the like can go pretty high, especially if the property owner does not agree to the price offered and the fight goes to court.  And once again, the taxpayers pay the price. 

In this case, the world’s third highest revenue earning corporation is refusing to pay to inconvenience a landowner so it can go in and in one year make a profit on that store that is a hundred times or more than the difference in price between what the owner wanted and the price set by the township under eminent domain.  And you are paying taxes to do this.   

So, Straban township is robbing Peter [the landowner], to pay Paul [Wal-Mart, developers, other stores, and investors], and billing you for the tools used in the robbery! 

If that is not over-reaching government, what is?  James Madison is spinning in his grave. 
"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."
We look at the words, “… governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” and we are struck by that word again: “just”. 

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines ‘just’ as [F. juste, L. justus, fr. jus right, law, justice; orig., that which is fitting; akin to Skr. yu to join. Cf. Injury, Judge, Jury, Giusto.]
1.             Conforming or conformable to rectitude or justice; not doing wrong to any; violating no right or obligation; upright; righteous; honest; true; -- said both of persons and things.
2.             Not transgressing the requirement of truth and propriety; conformed to the truth of things, to reason, or to a proper standard; exact; normal; reasonable; regular;
3.              Rendering or disposed to render to each one his due; equitable; fair; impartial.

It is a word that goes deep into English language’s Proto-Indo-European roots.  It has likely been a word to describe a sense of rightness, and fairness about a matter, or person, or event almost as long as the word has existed.  Look at the definitions above: not doing wrong to any; upright; righteous; honest; true; reasonable; to each one his due; equitable; fair; impartial. 

Ask yourself, “How does what Straban Township, Wal-Mart, the Developer and the other investors and retailers are doing fit the word “just?”  Everything about the definition says it is a two way street, not tilted in favor of the government or those the government is representing [which begs another question…why is Straban going to represent the developer and Wal-Mart, and NOT its constituency?  This is clearly a conflict of interest, if not misplaced interest to start with!]

Here we have a clear conflict between the interpretation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and the founding document of our Nation, the Declaration of Independence, which lays out the specific causes that compelled the Founders to rebel against the King’s government, and what defines a just and free society: “…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;…”. 

Unalienable rights cannot be taken away or abridged by any person or government.  ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ is generally taken to mean the ownership of property.  “…to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;…” means just what it says, that government power is given by the people, and it must be ‘just’ and ‘fair’, honest’, and ‘equitable’, and ‘righteous.’

Tell Straban Township to abstain from eminent domain.  And tell the Wal-Mart developer to stop whining and pay the price.  Whining really does not sit well, particularly when done on behalf of the world's third largest company!  They complain about the necessary changes the township requires, and they complain about the tax burden for infrastructure which they claim will benefit everyone.  They forget it will benefit their clients, Wal-Mart and the other retailers the most, and would not be required if their project did not exist. 

So tell Straban to tell the developer to shut up, stop whining, pay the owners what they want, and pay the taxes on time.  It’s all part of the risk of doing business, and that is the investors’ risk, not the township’s and not the residents’ risk. 

And if Straban doesn’t listen, “…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.”

That would happen in November.  


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 © 2005-2012: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What Gettysburg Escaped


Way back in May of 2005, we wrote in this space about ‘The Strabaddies”, a name we coined to describe the Straban Township Supervisors serving at that time.  At that time, Straban Township was formulating an enormous revision to their zoning, with huge decreases in farmland and comparable increases in land zoned for commercial business and industry.  You can read the original post [clickhere].

One of the things we mentioned was an earlier fight to defeat a Wal-Mart Distribution Center off US 15 at the Hunterstown Road Exit.  Here is what we mentioned:

“The Strabaddies” have learned their lessons the hard way, however, having been dealt defeat on a Wal-Mart Distribution Center near the Hunterstown exit of US 15, and defeat of a Wal-Mart Superstore on the 42 acre lot where the new Casino is planned. Under cover of the gathering storm of protest over the planned Casino, "The Strabaddies" sneaked their new land use plan past the public on a Sunday, one day before they were to vote on it at a meeting, where it was, of course, approved.”
In that fight, a good friend wrote several letters to the editor in the local papers, one of which laid out the ramifications of the toxic chemicals spilled and leaked by the many trucks, on the paved lots surrounding the warehouse terminal, and what would happen to the water of a sudden thunderstorm.  The predicted result would be a sudden massive toxic injection of contaminants into the headwaters of Rock Creek, and other streams in Adams County.  Shortly after that appeared, the Wal-Mart Corporation withdrew their plan.  We believe it happened far too soon after our friend’s letter appeared for that to have had an effect.  Nevertheless, our friend received two intimidation visits by retired cops.  One attempted to break into his home at 5 AM and was confronted, and after a call to 911, nothing was done.  He wanted to press charges but was told the DA’s office did not want to prosecute. 

We wanted our readers to see what they escaped from with that fight.  Below is a photo from Google Earth of a section of I 81 just south of Harrisonburg, Virginia.  This is what Wal-Mart, and the Strabaddies, wanted to put along US 15 off Hunterstown Road.


The small things around the building are semi rig trailers.  The vehicles you see on I 81 at the top and the bottom of the image [left of the warehouse] are full tractor trailers. 

On a recent trip south along that highway, we drove past this facility.  It was jaw-dropping to see the size of it.  You can clearly see this in Google Earth from an altitude of 21 miles, although the place name of a local town starts to obscure the northern part of it. 

People need to remember these fights and that the people spoke with a loud voice and were successful at driving off unwanted development.  Casinos, Wal-Mart Warehouse, Wal-Mart Superstore, all driven off.  All bad ideas for this area.   

So is the chicken warehouse.  As long as development friendly [actually over-friendly] townships keep fostering “growth” like that you must remain vigilant to control them.  They care little what development happens because it just means money for the township coffers to meet their budgets.  But in reality, the ‘development shuffle’ that they play is nothing more than a pyramid scheme.  For example, they need more money to maintain roads, so they bring in a small industrial facility and tax it, slap fees on it, and require all kinds of expensive permits, so they can maximize the funds they add to the township coffers.  And they repave and rebuild the roads [only to have the sewer authority dig them up and then poorly patch them].  But the truck traffic to the new plant wears the roads ever faster, so they invite in another housing development to pay the taxes to maintain the roads, and this puts a strain on the sewer lines, so the new roads get dug up for sewer work, and the sewage treatment plant needs an upgrade.  So they zone someone’s farm commercial so they can build a shopping mall, and the whole cycle starts all over again.  Often they can claim they have held the line on real estate taxes while increasing their budgets.  Often as not, they increase taxes anyway. 

That is the ‘development shuffle’, all in the name of ‘growth.’

Here is a simple concept.  Growth does not need to happen.  Stasis is a state where folks are comfortable, and which allows personal growth through the stability of taxes and fees.  Growth is NOT inevitable, nor is it infinite.  Growth does not have to happen, but if it does, it marches the world toward that time in the not so distant future where there simply is no more room for growth.  Long before that happens, the earth will run out of natural resources, and long before that happens the earth will run out of food.  Then all growth will stop.  
   
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 © 2005-2012: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Simple Question


It is a simple question, really.  It is raised here today in two instances. 

Why would a local businessman attempt to locate a business in an area where he is clearly not wanted? 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

We ask this question in reference to David LeVan’s attempts to locate a casino close to the Battlefield here, and we ask in reference to Hillandale, a large corporate chicken products company, which through a front man with no experience wants to place a 60,000 chicken warehouse on the site of a former turf farm on Mummasburg Road, less than a mile and a half from the Eternal Peace Light Memorial.   

If you faced a large group of irate neighbors who opposed your effort to locate a business in their neighborhood, would you ignore them and go ahead anyway? 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

In the case of the chicken warehouse, it would not have a retail side to it, so local opposition can be ignored.  But why would you do so?  Clearly, the project is a nuisance one, and one with health implications.  Clearly, your neighbors do not want that kind of an operation in that location, and face it, it IS too close to town, and too close to the Battlefield.  It will affect business in both. 

In the case of the casinos, local opposition played a much bigger role in licensing approval than LeVan expected, and twice his efforts were defeated by the state Gambling Commission, which didn’t like his projected business model the first time and liked the one in Nemacolin a whole lot better the second time.  In LeVan’s case, he could care less that there is a strong opposition…he cares little for anything beyond his own pocket, and his own ego-pride.   Undoubtedly, the local casino project is just shunted off onto a siding while traffic clears in the other direction, then it will be full steam ahead with round three [we do not count the abortive attempt to create a sulky race track in Littlestown in conjunction with the Hanover Shoe Farms outfit, and with LeVan attaching a casino to it].

So, we are still faced with the question, ‘If you faced a large group of irate neighbors who opposed your effort to locate a business in their neighborhood, would you ignore them and go ahead anyway?’, concerning the chicken warehouse.  

For those who care about animal treatment, this is a one man operation, almost completely automated, and the manure which filters down to a conveyor belt under the chickens is stored in a warehouse until a contractor comes to remove it “once or twice a year!” {Gads, can you imagine driving those trucks?  Or even worse, being stuck in traffic behind them?]   

Additionally there is the health risk…so many chickens so close upwind from a heavily populated area could be vulnerable to the bird-flu viruses [avian influenza], which are easily transmitted to humans.  Yes, the chicks are vaccinated, but I want to see a guarantee that there are no missed chicks in the vaccination process.  I want a guarantee that all the chicks get the same dose and it is sufficient to ward off avian influenza in its many forms.  I want a guarantee that no new version of avian influenza will evolve on Mummasburg Road at this chicken warehouse.   

Why on God’s Green Earth would anyone subject so many people to such a risk? 

For the same reason the casino project will never go away as long as LeVan is alive:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Civic awareness and civic responsibility are no longer priorities in American corporations, large or small.  For example, the second proposed casino was to be located next to a toxic waste site, and in an area where the increased water need would require a new supply.  Marsh Creek can surrender only so much water before it begins to dry up in the summer-fall dry season.

LeVan didn’t care.  Nor did he care about the proximity of the Battlefield to his casino.  Based on his example, why should Hillandale care about its proximity to the Battlefield? 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

For Cumberland Township, the money derived from taxes and fees from the casino would have been a boon to a township saddled with so much public non-taxable land.  For the Township, there is little to be gained financially from the Chicken warehouse. 

Why, then, would they even consider approval, especially in the face of such opposition?

We await further developments on both these issues.  For the casino, we watch the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which is considering two bills that may affect the area.  One is a buffer bill that would prevent any casino from operating within ten or fifteen miles [still up in the air?] from either Gettysburg Battlefield National Military Park or the Flight 93 National Memorial Park near Shenksville in western Pennsylvania.  The other bill would strip Philadelphia of one of its guaranteed casino licenses which remains unused, and put it out for auction at a hefty price.  We hope the first passes and the second fails. 

For the chicken warehouse project, follow GettysBLOG and the new and inspired blog about the chicken warehouse issue, Gettysburg Battlefields At Risk.

The key to both is the chickens and the casino is:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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 © 2005-2012: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.