Saturday, February 23, 2008

EDITORIAL: The 'Problem of Evil' in Lancaster

It is puzzling that the continuing revelations of abuse, greed and likely malfeasance sanctioned by the Power Elite in Lancaster have not caused wide-scale public condemnation and civic actions.

A recent blatant example is the $5 million or more rip off of the public via a bizarre contract clause that 'gifts' half of the proceeds for the sale of naming rights for the publicly owned and funded convention center to Penn Square Partners, developer of the adjoining Marriott Hotel. The Partners are subsidiaries of the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. and The High Group.

In an article in the Feb. 14 edition of The New York Review, eminent historian Tony Judt writes: "Why does the abnormal come to seem so normal that we don't even notice it? Probably for the depressingly simple reason that Tolstoy provides in Anna Karenina, 'There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone around him.'"

In a town where almost all local information is controlled by The Lancaster Newspapers, former benefactors turned predators, and their bed mates WGAL-TV, "the abnormal come[s] to seem so normal." There is no media voice to cry foul.

Thus there are no exploits, be they the Totaro witch hunt, misrepresentations concerning the convention center project, or diversion of $5 million from public to private parties, to which we cannot get accustomed, especially when we see them accepted by everyone around us.

Wake up Lancaster!