Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EDITORIAL: New Era rail yard article shameless

A Dec. 30 lead story is headlined "Rail move set to go, but legal battle looming.
F&M says work to begin mid-January. Opponents eye injunction to stop it."

The article mentions neighbors concerns about the release of friable asbestos upon the excavation of the dump, but then uncritically publishes F&M's response.

It is only in the last two paragraph that the article addresses the other major TRRAAC issue: Alternative locations have not been properly evaluated. (In a report several weeks ago, the New Era didn't even mention the location issue.)

We note the artful phrasing:

"F&M's Web site also addresses the two alternative sites proposed by TRRAAC that would move the relocated rail yard farther east, away from residential areas.

"Those sites, the Web site says, 'were considered even before TRRAAC came into existence, and both sites were rejected because they failed to meet the important design criteria ... and project goals.'"

They cite "F&M's Web site". What about TRRAAC's web site that discusses the matter in detail and at length?

As a feeble excuse, the article says "TRRAAC's president, Dan Gillis, and other TRRAAC officials were out of town for the holidays and unavailable for comment this morning."

TRRAAC has posted on its web site and sent out press releases stating its concerns about the choice of this location rather than others. The Sunday News has published a column by TRRAAC setting forth its concerns. TRRAAC hardly needs F&M's public relations representatives to speak for them!

We believe that F&M and LGH are and have been unwilling to allow a nuetral third party evaluation of the merits of relocation to other potential sites. Hopefully either the courts or a government agency will step in to correct the matter, or LGH will re-evaluate its blind support of F & M's president John Fry and order an independent evaluation.

It is newspaper propaganda like this on behalf of F&M and LGH, fellow members of the Big Five as is the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc., that confounds and alienates many subscribers and advertisers.