Monday, December 15, 2008

LETTER: Lancaster Newspapers should support TRRAAC's request

The Sunday News, also the Intell and the New Era, should publicize the need for an independent study of alternative rail yard sites, as NewsLanc is urging in its latest 'Watchdog' commentary. The editors of all three newspapers received a written request for an investigatory story as recently as last month, and nothing came from this request.

It is not just the residents of School Lane Hills and Barrcrest who are incensed by the heavy-handed, undemocratic way that F&M’s president, John Fry, and second-in-command, F&M vice-president Keith Orris, have conducted this entire affair. There are many citizen whose lives are not affected at all by the rail yard move, who nonetheless are critical of the secrecy surrounding the early planning stages. Agreements were made between F&M, LGH and Norfolk-Southern behind closed doors. There were also meetings with Governor Rendell and Senator Armstrong, who obtained 10 million of state taxpayer money to fund the controversial project. (At the same time, they reduced the funding of other worthwhile community services including the Lancaster Public Library.)

No attempt was made by the corporation partners to consult with citizens and to ask for their ideas and opinions. This was not done even though the School Lane Hills and Barrcrest homeowners, several years ago, specifically had asked to be included in the early planning stages. Their request, as did this recent request for a newspaper investigation, was ignored. The only response was silence.