Posted on January 26th, 2011 30 comments
Posted on January 31st, 2015 32 comments
99.5% SAY “NO!”** This is almost beyond belief. They want to dump even more of our taxpayer guaranteed money into this bottomless pit? They want to take even more city property off the tax role? They want local hotel operators to continue to fund even more competition? They seriously believe adding more rooms will attract larger conventions? Ask any 100 Lancastrians if they believe any of this is a good idea, if any of this will work, or if any of this should be done and 99.5 will say “no”.A comment posted on Lancaster Online under the article, “Downtown Marriott’s owner proposes 96-room, $23M expansion,” (click here).I am also in disbelief! There are so many excellent comments I could quote from the ones posted on LNP’s website and Facebook page – and the above commenter is correct – 99.5 are saying “no!”But I learned the hard way years ago that LNP could care less what the public thinks. They are going to make their money and get their way no matter what. And in the meantime, they will allow the politicians and public officials to do whatever they please as long as they support and make sure LNP gets the money and everything else they want – Commissioner Scott Martin’s family favoritism within the Lancaster justice system is a prime current example of that (see yesterday’s posts on this site).The only way possible to stop them this time is to tell Randall Horst, the chairman of the City Redevelopment Authority, “absolutely not. ” I cannot find a direct phone number or email address for him at the authority. If anyone has either or both, please let me know. If there is no way to contact him through the authority, then it will have to be through his company, the Horst Group (click here for their website and Horst is pictured to the left). I will publish their phone number and fax number on Monday so you can tell him “absolutely not” if I have no other way of contacting him.There will be much more tomorrow and please read the Washington Post article linked to immediately below which is directly relevant to all of this.
* This Washington Post article is so spot on for Lancaster it’s amazing – click here for “Steven Pearlstein: Debunking the conventional wisdom about conventions.”
This is LNP “Business Reporter” Tim Mekeel’s opening sentence in this biased, unethical, slanted and absurd article: “The math is simple” (click here). Why don’t you read the Washington Post article, Tim, and get back to us on that! You’re a hack and a liar!
(Tim Mekeel is pictured left.)
IT’S A GAME CHANGER!
“Marriott owner!” LOL! That would be the name directly above the headline – LNP! But there’s not one other “funny” thing about this. Not one.
Please check back later today!
Posted on January 30th, 2015 8 comments
THE LAWSUIT? HIS CAREER?
THE DA & POLICE
I have never seen or read anything this disgusting and ridiculous in my life. Commissioner Scott Martin gets worried by all the comments under the articles about his sister and sends the Lancaster Newspapers an email. And instead of running it as a Letter-to-the-Editor, LNP has their “investigative reporter,” Gil Smart, do an immediate, totally slanted lead story on their convention center/hotel buddy, trying to tell the public again there was no wrong-doing on anyone’s part (click here).
District Attorney Craig Stedman has a history of favoritism and misconduct in exactly these kinds of situations (more on that tomorrow). And “investigative reporter” Smart doesn’t make a single reference to the lawsuit filed by Martin’s family against the trucker and his company! Couldn’t Smart find it? Doesn’t he think it’s relevant and that the public should know about it?
This morning’s editorial (see the comments under the story immediately below) was about freedom of the press, holding public officials accountable and revolved around President Nixon and Watergate. How many times over how many years did Nixon deny any participation or wrongdoing in Watergate? And there is this from Smart’s blatant propaganda piece:
Nonetheless, said Martin, he respects the jury’s verdict — and hopes the public will now respect his family’s private grief:
“Yes, I am County Commissioner,” he wrote. “But, in this case, I am only a grieving member of a family that tragically lost two of its own. I’d ask that you please allow our family to do just that.”
You’ve had over two years to grieve. Are you grieving because the verdict severely hurts your chances in that lawsuit? Are you grieving because the public found out your sister is a heroin addict and that might hurt your election possibilities? Are you grieving because this whole miscarriage of justice might hurt your future election chances?
If you don’t like the comments that are posted then don’t read them! LNP wants comments! They love social media and Facebook. Are you scared by the comments about people contacting the F.B.I., other media and the State Attorney General’s Office? Is there some reason you wouldn’t want an investigation? The more people who contact these agencies and outside media, the better this situation can be investigated and the truth revealed. Don’t you want that, Commissioner Martin?
Very quickly – there will be much more tomorrow – when LNP reporter Brett Hambright desperately called the Defense Association of Philadelphia yesterday afternoon (see immediately below), he did not tell Brad Bridge that Katie West was Commissioner Scott Martin’s sister. He did not tell him Martin may well be running for the U.S. Congress. He did not tell Bridge the truck driver had been charged and gone through a trial and found not guilty. And Hambright didn’t mention the Martin’s lawsuit against the trucker. Hambright is a liar – and, again, there will be more tomorrow.
Posted on January 30th, 2015 18 comments
* This is Brad Bridge in Hambright’s final addition to the story late yesterday afternoon.
HAMBRIGHT GETS DESPERATE!
After two days of this story being online, and LNP reporter Brett Hambright making revision after revision after revision, it is on the front-page of today’s print edition (click here). The outrage in the huge number of comments under the article and on Lancaster Online’s Facebook page is palpable.
And in desperation, Hambright went over the top with his lies! You are not a reporter, Hambright; you are nothing more than a public relations shrill for the police and the District Attorney’s office. You are a liar, Brett Hambright, and a disgrace to journalism and everything the press is supposed to stand for in this country.
Please also see the stories immediately below on this site and check back later today.
Posted on January 29th, 2015 9 comments
* Making phone calls this afternoon. LIP News will be back tomorrow morning.
HAMBRIGHT LIES AGAIN! – 2The police did not do their job. The police work for us the tax payers, they do not have the authority to decide who must follow the law. This truck driver was facing serious prison time and was found not guilty of all charges in court by a judge and jury. Why is Katie West not required to live by the same laws? Is it because her brother is a county commissioner? She chose to use illegal drugs before getting behind the wheel in a crash that killed 2 people. Anyone else in this county or in this country would have been sent straight to prison. How can the police say drugs had no role in this? Does this mean all drug users should not be held accountable if they kill a family member? This is a disgrace to all Americans!One of many excellent comments under the LNP story by Brett Hambright, “Police used “discretion” in not charging surviving driver who was on heroin,” (click here).Why don’t you answer the questions, “court reporter” Brett Hambright and the LNP editors?Please see the story immediately below on this site and check back later today.
Posted on January 28th, 2015 34 comments
HAMBRIGHT LIES AGAIN!
LNP reporter Brett Hambright did a follow-up to his trial story and it is so absurd and disgusting and everyone posting under the article knows it’s because she’s Commissioner Scott Martin’s sister – *a fact “strangely” missing entirely from Hambright’s story – click here for “Police used ‘discretion’ in not charging surviving driver who was on heroin.”
DA Craig Stedman tried to ruin a man’s life to protect his fellow Republican Comissioner! And then Stedman holds a press conference trying to restore his reputation and tells us it took six months for a policeman to use “math and science” to charge a killer. Wow! Impressive! Sounds like CSI! I didn’t know police have to know math and science! Except, it turns out it was two surveillance cameras and the police should have been able to figure it out within a week – if not three days!
This is all so unbelievable and I am so disgusted that I will come back to this tomorrow – so I can calm down and not fill this page with profanities. LNP is not a news organization. They are a public relations firm for Lancaster politicians and officials they like and who like them back! Remember, it was Commissioner Scott Martin who worked out their convention center/hotel debt! plan!
* The story was just updated with this final sentence in parenthesis and italics as if it’s a total after-thought:
(West is the sister of Lancaster County Commissioner Scott Martin.)
A FEDERAL LAWSUIT
& A COUNTER-SUIT
There was a lot at stake in that trial. Click here for “WEST et al v. C.R. ENGLAND, INC. et al.”
From the West suit (filed before the not guilty verdict):
From the counter-suit:
& RESIGN RODA!
From the November 13, 2012 LNP article, “Father, son die in wreck,” (click here).
Please see the last update to the story immediately below. LNP reporter Brett Hambright covered this trial for days and never mentioned that Katie West is Commissioner Scott Martin’s sister. This is overt lying by omission and it’s journalistically unethical and outrageous. The public has a right to know!
This is simply unacceptable and unconscionable and LNP Executive Editor Barbara Hough Roda should resign immediately!
Please click here for Hambright’s “VERDICT: Trucker found not guilty in Route 222 crash that killed 2” and check back later today.
Posted on January 27th, 2015 10 comments
WHAT DO THE LNP REPORTERS DO?
Here’s one for you to research. The trial that ended today with the truck driver. Well the other driver, West, is related to Scott Martin. Think it’s a sister or step sister. Wonder if that had something to do with her not being charged for the heroin in her system.
This comment just in regarding the LNP story, “VERDICT: Trucker found not guilty in Route 222 crash that killed 2,” (click here).
Interesting. I remember Scott Martin’s sister being involved in a terrible crash. Are you sure this is the one? It also might explain why they pushed so hard for a conviction! Compare what the truck driver was facing to what Brandon Bleecher is facing! And this is yet another loss for the DA’s office.
And thank you for the research idea! I have enough things to research to keep me busy for a solid year! What do those LNP reporters do all day and why don’t they ever cover the blatant inequalities in the Lancaster Courts and the DA’s office? If this is Martin’s sister, reporter Brett Hambright has an obligation to tell the public!
*** I was alerted to this WGAL piece on Brandon Bleecher by a commenter. Who does he think he is? Start serving his sentence now? No, there’s a legal process to follow! Is this a sick joke? I don’t care how much money his parents have! He killed a man and drove away!
** I just counted sixteen criminal dockets for Green! Sixteen!
* Marvin Green, Jr., the suspect in the Steinman Park robbery has criminal dockets up the wazoo! This is unbelievable! $25,000 cash bail? It should be $100,000 or $250,000!
TWO SUSPECTS JAILED!
Someone tried to rob a friend of mine today at Steinman Park. Thankfully, he was able to hold the guy down while his girlfriend called the police. Wonder if that will be in the paper…?
This comment in from “ellie” yesterday.
Thank you and it did make the paper – click here for “Suspect detained after trying to rob couple in Lancaster city park.” You have very brave friends! I’m surprised the paper hasn’t reached out to them for their story – I guess for the same reason they say “Lancaster city park” instead of Steinman Park! This will make the LNP reporters even less likely to leave their office now and Gil Smart reportedly called ahead for security to meet him for his walk from the parking garage to his cubicle this morning.
Bail was increased for Brandon Bleecher who allegedly hit and killed Chuck Leayman and then drove away – click here for “Suspect in fatal hit-and-run of pedestrian in custody; bail raised.” This site will cover his case carefully as Leayman was the much beloved movie critic for the Lancaster Independent Press for years.
Have you ever seen weathermen and women backtrack so fast in your life? Last night they were drawing leaves and hooks on maps and talking about (gasp!) “sinking air” and the dreaded “inverted trough” that kept the snow away and made them all look like fools! Why do they call it a “trough?” Maybe because my freezer and refrigerator are bursting with so much food I won’t have to shop for weeks! Thanks, weather people!
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 26th, 2015 4 comments* I have run out of time today – but this afternoon came this sad story – click here for LNP’s “2 bodies found in East Hempfield home, not believed to be homicide.” There are very few details except, according to the story, DA Stedman has already ruled out a “gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning.” And this story immediately brings to mind the deaths of Darryl Morton and Judy Cora which took the coroner six months to determine it was carbon monoxide poisoning that killed them.And in a story that is always on my back burner to cover, Darryl Morton’s sister, Sonya Morton, was a guard at the Lancaster County Prison who was fired after over 20 years of service and in a federal lawsuit filed against the prison and county officials states her firing was racially motivated.And the two very recent prison suicides have been all over the news lately with an LNP live chat this morning and this afternoon the news that two guards have been fired as a result of the suicide investigations.I will come back to all of this tomorrow.
JENNIFER TODD LOOKS
OUT A WINDOW! WOW!
The overnight snowfall wasn’t too bad afterall. [sic]
The opening sentence to today’s LNP online weather story (click here).
There’s nothing like having a grammatical/spelling error in your opening sentence! At least we can’t complain about LNP reporter Jennifer Todd’s eyesight. Apparently she looked out the window and made that insightful discovery. That is more effort and investigation than most LNP reporters put into their stories!
And people are getting testy after the huge build-up to this as for now non-storm! This comment immediately below the story pointing out yet another error:
In your paragraph that begins, “The system is expected to bomb,” the correct word is “affect,” not “effect.”
Can you even imagine using the word “bomb” in a weather story? That is over-the-top and just too ridiculous for early in the morning! And it looks like the real “bomb” is the storm as Todd now reports Lancaster is expected to miss the “big storm punch!”
But this weather means I can stay in and watch the “LNP Safety Forum” again as there are some extremely important revelations and statements that need to be reviewed.
The “permanent box” involving all the unsolved murders and Police Chief Sadler’s outrageous conduct is back at the top of this site. And so begins another week.
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 25th, 2015 9 comments
I’D RATHER SHOVEL SNOW!
Part 1 will drop 2 – 4″ on LanCo (thru noon Monday), then an addition 1 – 3″ is possible w/ Part 2 (Mon PM into Tue AM). Storm total: 3 – 7″
Eric Horst today on his Twitter account (click here).
Yes, since Eric isn’t doing a live chat with LNP today, I thought I’d bring it to you straight from the Horst’s fingers!
There is a terrible story unfolding – but WGAL – remove the absolutely disgusting racist comments under it and ban the posters (click here for, “Police: 1- year-old child assaulted, killed in Lancaster”). They do it over and over again. It is their only purpose and they are probably both the same person as “Martin Riggs” on the official Lancaster Klan Forum.
Robert Field over at NewsLanc.com takes an “in-depth” look at Gil Smart’s column today (click here for, “Is Gil Smart proposing we lock the door behind us?”). LOL! I’ll sum it up faster – it’s incredibly stupid and (gasp!) self-centered! Do not waste any of your life’s minutes you can’t get back! I’d rather shovel snow than read that senseless crap!
Stay safe and warm and please check back tomorrow.
BEFORE THE SHELVES EMPTY!
The b-word is being thrown around – no, not as in balls but as in blizzard – so an eggs, milk and bread run is mandatory! I will try to be back this afternoon!
Posted on January 23rd, 2015 16 comments
* Click here for the LNP article, “Books and movies collected to honor Chuck Leayman,” and here for the Dispensing Company’s Facebook page as they are honoring Chuck tonight.
Have a wonderful and safe Friday night and please check back tomorrow.
MAYOR GRAY HAS $7,745
& HE WANTS TO HIRE YOU!
Excerpts from a lawsuit filed by Douglas and Lisa Bleecher against a couple involving a real estate purchase.
Their son, or Douglas’ step-son and nephew (you read that correctly), Brandon Bleecher, 23, has been charged with the vehicular homicide of Chuck Leayman and was released on $20,000 unsecured bail despite having two previous hit-and-runs. And yes, there is also a major money trail!
From today’s front-page story in the print edition, “Lancaster’s NRA defense fund tops $7K,” (click here).
Have you ever read anything this absurd in your life? Does anyone at the Lancaster Newspapers have a brain?
There are these stories and LNP’s criminal lunch to get to! Wow!
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 22nd, 2015 3 comments
THIS TAKES FAMILY
TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!
Brandon Michael Bleecher is the son or step-son of Douglas Michael Bleecher, one of the inventors of “NeverWet” for the Ross Technology Corporation in Leola (click here). Brandon Bleecher, 23, was arrested and charged with the vehicular hit-and-run homicide of Chuck Leayman (see below) and he was released on $20,000 unsecured bail despite having two prior hit-and-runs and no valid drivers license (click here).
There will be more tomorrow as this story has unbelievable and truly bizarre twists and turns.
Posted on January 22nd, 2015 No comments
* I do not want to detract from Ross’ beautiful tribute, but there have been some shocking developments regarding Brandon Michael Bleecher, who was arrested for Leayman’s hit-and-run death and released on $20,000 unsecured bail. Please see the comments under the story immediately below this one – “BRANDON BLEECHER CHARGED” for those developments.
CHUCK LEAYMAN -
A PERSONAL TRIBUTE
As I want to remember him, Disneyland, circa 2001. He is holding my vintage Disneyland stamp book I’ve had since I was a kid and which we brought with us that fun day. Photo by Ross Care.
I first met Chuck Leayman when he was working at the wonderful old Barr Hurst bookshop on Orange St. in the 1960s. When our first conversation turned to movies we instantly knew we were kindred spirits.
Strangely enough, Chuck was a fan boy and horror movie buff at the time. His favorite film was and remained Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. But his knowledge of cinema was vast and included the 1950s Hollywood films with which he had grown up and the new “foreign” films which merged in the 1960s, especially those of Godard. I was pleased to introduce him to MGM’s movie musicals and classic Disney animation which also became two of his favorite genres.
He had an impressive library of film books and current magazines quite unusual for what was available in Lancaster in those pre-internet times.
Though I was a musician I had ambitions to write film criticism and Chuck edited my first published pieces. He was an incredible, meticulous editor and I started to urge him to begin writing himself.
When the Lancaster Independent Press began publishing in Lancaster in 1969 I started reviewing for it and finally got Chuck to alternate weekly film reviews with me. He was, as usual, reluctant, but once he started he was a dedicated and prolific contributor reviewing both films and theater. And so for a peak period in the ‘70s Lancaster readers were getting Film Quarterly quality writing in LIP every other week or so.
It was a great and innovative era for film and LIP movie reviews were picked up by alternative presses across the country. Once browsing in a Zurich bookstore I came across a comprehensive bibliography of international reviews of the films of Ken Russell in book form and several of Chuck’s reviews were included.
When I started writing for Cinefantastique, a popular journal of horror and science fiction, I again urged Chuck to contribute and so many of our pieces moved into internationally distributed publication.
Editing and criticism were not his only literary talents. For my musical version of Through the Looking Glass I asked Chuck if he thought he might come up with lyrics that would suggest the droll whimsy of Lewis Carroll’s poetry.
He did and my favorite lines are from the witty lyrics he created for “Feasting and Fun”, a character song for the imperious Red Queen:
“To queens may be uttered never a nay,
For their pleasures and tempers won’t brook it.
Once a dear kinsman he said to me “No”
And his head from his body I took it.”
Later a pop song that we wrote together was used a musical version of Gibran’s The Prophet which was developed in Lancaster by Heartlines Inc. and ultimately produced at Philadelphia’s Annenburg Center.
For several years, while he was working at the campus book store, Chuck also ran the Franklin and Marshall film series, taking it over from Sid Wise. He mixed both popular current choices with some quality films that had never been seen in the Lancaster area.
Around that time Chuck also met Harry Benshoff, a student with a similar avid interest in film. For several years Chuck was both friend and mentor to Benshoff who is now a Professor of Media Arts at the University of Texas and the author of several award-winning books on the horror genre and LGBTQ studies.
Chuck and I had a lifelong mental and emotional rapport which was unlike any other in both our lives, and which continued after I moved to California. I cannot believe that it has ended too suddenly and prematurely. In a volume of A. E. Housman I searched for a poem that this tragic occasion called to mind:
When he’s returned I’ll tell him – oh,
Dear fellow, I forgot:
Time was you would have cared to know,
But now it matters not.
I mourn you, and you heed not how;
Unsaid the word must stay;
Last month was time enough but now
The news must keep for aye.
Excerpt, A. E. Housman, XLII A. J. J. – More Poems
I will not forget……..
Chuck Leayman’s Lancaster Independent Press film reviews may be found on microfilm in the Special Collections of the Franklin and Marshall Library, Lancaster, PA. For more info:
Posted on January 21st, 2015 43 comments
Charles D. Leayman
* LNP has finally issued a correction to their Sunday editorial (see below on this site). This is on today’s editorial page:
UPDATE ON CHUCKHello Becky –
First of all I was amazed to find this site online. Secondly, however, it is due to searching for items on the tragic issue of Chuck Leayman in Lancaster.
Yes, we were partners for a time. We eventually became steadfast friends (which is what we should have been in the first place) and we remained in close contact after I left Lancaster for California about 15 years ago.The prognosis for Check is not good but there is no official news release as yet. You can probably investigate for yourself or I can notify you when a news release is official. Chuck’s only close relative, his sister, is handling this.I settled out here on the coast not far from Lamar and Sally Hoover. We were in contact for awhile until Lamar passed on and Sally left the area. If you are by any chance in contact with Sally you might let her know about Chuck.Thank you for the mention online. I’m still writing and am currently working on two books about film and music. And I just had a wonderful performance of my Rock Mass which was written way back in Lancaster. And I LOVE California! However, I’m still somewhat in shock over the current developments in Lancaster.Best,
Thank you, Ross. Please keep us informed. Brandon Bleecher, 23, has been arrested and charged (click here).
Posted on January 20th, 2015 16 comments
** The police have released surveillance photos of the Saturn Ion which hit and critically injured Chuck Leayman who is reportedly on life support (click here).
If you have any information on this car, please call the police:
The vehicle could have possible damage to the front bumper, hood, windshield and driver’s side mirror.
Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers is featuring the photographs on its Crime of the Week poster and is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information about the hit and run.
Police ask anyone with information to call them at 735-3301.
Tipsters also may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 322-1913 or anonymously text LANCS plus your message to 847411 (TIP411).
* Chuck Leayman was one of those brilliant and stalwart people who helped keep LIP going for several decades. He wrote hundreds of insightful movie reviews that were a staple of the paper. I believe that for some of those years he was the partner of the equally brilliant Ross Care, who did much for Lancaster’s theatre and music. This is awful news about Chuck. Let us hope that he is able to make a full recovery.
My brother on Chuck who was the pedestrian involved in the awful hit-and-run (click here).
Please get well, Chuck. And Lancaster City Police – let’s make an arrest! When I became the editor of LIP, I made a lot of changes – but one thing I knew from day one was I would never change or edit any of Chuck’s movie reviews. Ever. And I never did.
LNP NEEDS TO CLARIFY!
The above appeared in Sunday’s LNP editorial, “NRA lawsuit against City of Lancaster enabled by bad lawmaking in Harrisburg,” (click here).Your very own reporter, Daniel Nephin, posted this on your Facebook page yesterday under the editorial, LNP!I will now ask the question for a third time (click here): Has a law firm offered to defend the NRA lawsuit against Lancaster pro bono or not – and if so – why is the Mayor requesting donations from the public for a “legal defense fund” to do the exact same thing?
LNP needs to clarify or correct their error immediately. This is totally irresponsible journalism and directly impacts taxpayer’s money and “donations!”
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 19th, 2015 5 comments
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
“THE POLICE DID DO IT!“
Christopher Paul Guido called me today and said a police officer did beat him and give him all those bruises – and re-broke his jaw – even though he never resisted at all. And all of his charges arising from this incident/arrest were nolle prossed (dropped by the prosecution) in October of 2014.
On April 12th of last year, I ran the below picture and story (click here for the original). There will be much more tomorrow.
Who beat Christopher Paul Guido? What reporters, editors and newspapers in this country run a booking photo like this without asking who assaulted him? It seems fairly obvious in this case that it was the police and that is a crime.
Guido is not charged with resisting arrest – a common cover for police brutality – and he’s not charged with assault either. So the police are not alleging that he put up a fight or resisted when arrested. And there’s not a mention of how he got all the bruises, scrapes and the fat lip in the police press release (click here). So how did his face get this way? And why isn’t anyone at the Lancaster Newspapers asking? Why isn’t Mayor Gray asking? Why isn’t the Chief of Police asking? Do the Mayor and the Chief condone police brutality?
Would it be okay if the police had done this to Peter Sturla, the son of House of Representatives Member Mike Sturla, when he was arrested twice? Oh, that’s right – the Lancaster Newspapers didn’t even report those two arrests.
Posted on January 19th, 2015 1 comment
** LNP brought some Black community leaders into their Board Room this morning for their meeting with Michelle Bernard. Isn’t that special?
* LNP Executive Editor, Barbara Hough Roda, pulled the race card in this morning’s Martin Luther King Day breakfast. Yes, she said her daughter is an Asian American (click here)! This woman is a disgrace!
[If you are getting an “!” on this site where the video should be – you can view Bill Maher here. ]
Posted on January 18th, 2015 12 comments
*** The crime story has overshadowed this morning’s post below about LNP’s editorial. But it remains a serious question that needs to be answered as soon as possible: Has a law firm offered to defend the NRA lawsuit against Lancaster pro bono or not – and if so – why is the Mayor requesting donations from the public for a “legal defense fund” to do the exact same thing?
LET’S LOOK AT YORK!
LET’S LOOK AT READING!
** …Two, to keep on saying that Lancaster is not safe really degrades our police department, and really belies the statistics – the honest statistics, not some thing about the national crime rate in comparison with Keokuk, Iowa. We’re talking about let’s look at York, let’s look at Reading, let’s look at Harrisburg. Four years ago Mayor Smithgall said, “Oh, Lancaster isn’t as safe as Harrisburg.” He’s not saying that now, because the crime rate, it’s definitely, for violent crime, higher in those other cities. Police officers, if you look at the number of police officers, we have … [Gray was cut off by the moderator for running out of time]
Mayor Gray from LNP’s transcript of the October 23, 2013 mayoral debate (click here).
An LNP analysis of FBI Uniform Crime Data found that in 2013, the latest year for which comparative figures are available, Lancaster had the fourth-highest crime rate among more than 50 third-class Pennsylvania cities — higher than York and Reading (figures for Harrisburg were not included in the FBI’s data).
From Gil Smart’s Sunday News article today and linked to below.
* “When I’m out on First Fridays, I ask people, ‘Do you feel unsafe?’ ” Gray said. “And they say ‘no.’ If you look at downtown Lancaster, and to a lesser degree the neighborhoods, more people are out and about — and the more people that are out, the less likely (crimes) are to occur.”
From today’s front-page article by Gil Smart, “Lancaster crime rates down, despite recent surge in violence ,” (click here).
So twelve times a year, Mayor Gray asks people if they feel “unsafe” on First Fridays and the people say “no.” Is this a joke Mayor Gray and Gil Smart?
WHY IS A “LEGAL
DEFENSE FUND” NEEDED?Pennsylvania, as The Associated Press has reported, prohibits municipalities from enacting ordinances that regulate the ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of guns or ammunition.Gray contends that Lancaster’s lost-or-stolen ordinance is legal — and worthwhile enough that the city will defend it against the NRA lawsuit (a law firm has offered its services pro bono).From today’s Sunday News editorial, “NRA lawsuit against City of Lancaster enabled by bad lawmaking in Harrisburg,” (click here).As sure as the sun comes up every morning, I knew the Sunday News’ editorial would back Mayor Gray and his 2009 city ordinance under which no one has ever been charged (see the story immediately below). But read this carefully – LNP is stating a law firm has offered its services pro bono – so why has Gray established a “legal defense fund?”Is this an error by LNP? A Philadelphia law firm is handling a different matter in this pro bono according to Mayor Gray – fighting the state law that was enacted that allows the NRA to sue Lancaster.But has an (unnamed) law firm agreed to defend Lancaster against the current NRA suit for free, and if so, who are they and why has Gray established a “defense fund” and a website to take donations (click here)?LNP, the Mayor and City Council need to clarify this immediately!
Posted on January 16th, 2015 18 comments
** A couple of notes for today:
—- ABC-27 is reporting the following (click here for the full story):
LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board has filed a new set of charges against a Lancaster County district judge who was suspended two years ago for dismissing her own parking tickets.
The complaint filed against Judge Kelly Ballentine of Lancaster alleges she failed to pay sales taxes collected at her business, Walk-In Style Fashion Footwear, from 2009 to Oct. 2012, and that she continued to sell merchandise at the shop after her business license was revoked.
—- The latest message from Mayor Gray on the City website includes this (click here for the full text):
We do not take this lawsuit lightly. We recognize the drain this will be on City resources and City taxpayers. At the same time, we believe that standing by this ordinance is the right thing to do. We are responsible for the safety of those City taxpayers – a responsibility we intend to fulfill.
Please see this morning’s post and quote immediately below – and also understand that I have no time for the NRA or gun right’s nuts – but I believe Mayor Gray and City Council should be doing so many other things to protect the safety of the public and this “legal defense fund” is not “common sense” and it is an absolute waste of taxpayer money. And as a commenter mentioned here, the donation website does not indicate how much has been raised – and it absolutely should! So, I will be putting in monthly Right-To-Know requests for the amount raised, the amount spent and to whom.
—- How seriously do Lancaster County Judges take “straw purchases” of guns anyway? Remember this, “Man used fake name in gun buys because ‘didn’t want mother to know?'” According to the article, Kevin Zarbailov, who tried to hire someone to buy him a gun – twice – received a sentence of three months in jail. But – get this – there are these very recent entries on both of his dockets (he was scheduled to begin serving his sentence on January 9th):
12/30/2014 Crystle, Herbert Moss [Defense Attorney] Petition For Reconsideration of Sentence
01/06/2015 Crystle, Herbert Moss Motion for Re-Sentencing
01/06/2015 Ashworth, David L. [Judge] Order Granting Motion for Re- Sentencing – Sentence Vacated – Pre-Sentence Investigation Ordered
So his three month sentence has been vacated and there is no indication of when he will be re-sentenced! Judge Ashworth sentenced him on December 24th and vacated his own sentence on January 6th? What is going on? I will follow up on this!
* UPDATE – 1-17-2015 – This excellent comment sums up the situation perfectly and was posted on the Lancaster Online website under the article, “Lancaster creates legal defense fund for NRA suit,” (click here):
They don’t even enforce the law. They have had zero arrests and zero convictions. How useful is the law? They can’t enforce the law because they weren’t legally allowed to pass the law in the first place…Mayor Gray and the staff of the newspaper know this too. If they prosecute one person the law will be thrown out in court so they sit back and pretend they did something to make a difference.
*** BREAKING NEWS ***
THE MAYOR IS INSANE!
Mayor J. Richard Gray is senile and insane! He has a police force that can’t solve any murders or crimes despite having more surveillance cameras than any other city the same size and a Police Chief whose ex-wife has written a book saying he beat her for years – and he wants your money for a “legal defense fund” for a window dressing law that conflicts with the Pennsylvania State Constitution! Mayor Gray compromises the safety of the people of Lancaster every single day!
Click here for LNP’s “Lancaster creates legal defense fund for NRA suit” and here for the website pictured above set up to take your donation! This is an unbelievable outrage!
Tell Mayor Dick to resign!
Posted on January 16th, 2015 15 comments
*** Waiting for Mayor Gray’s press conference! Have a great Friday night and please check back tomorrow.
** Look carefully at this screen shot just taken from Lancaster Online! Someone is taking the NRA’s money!
* Besides Gray and Graupera, Barbara Wilson, council’s public safety chair, and other council members are expected at the 4 p.m. news conference.A second big occasion today! Gee, could Mayor Dick be grandstanding – again? Click here for LNP’s “Lancaster mayor, council to respond to NRA’s lawsuit” and see “LISTEN UP!” and the comments under it immediately below on this site!
AMBULANCE ON STANDBY?
The “live chat” is the talk of the day (click here)! Get your coffee, soda, sandwiches, snacks and popcorn ready! I’ll see you at LancasterOnline.com at exactly high noon! I wonder if LNP will have an ambulance on standby?
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 15th, 2015 9 comments
Sometimes, the best thing to do is listen. Mayor Gray was on Smart Talk radio and the two segments are below. Several items:
— No one has ever been charged under Lancaster’s ordinance.
— There are two “fights” going on:
1. Lancaster is challenging the law that was enacted to prevent such local ordinances and is allowing the NRA to sue the City. According to Gray, this is being handled pro bono by a Philadelphia law firm.
2. There is the very recent NRA lawsuit against the City and Gray states two citizens have offered to donate legal funds to help fight it and hints that he might put out a public plea for donations.
What do you think?
* UPDATED 1-16-15 – The “Sound Clouds” have been taken down as they were interfering with the loading speed of this site. You can listen to Mayor Gray on Smart Talk radio here.
Posted on January 15th, 2015 11 comments
** Mayor Gray has a “message” up on the City website about the NRA lawsuit – click here.
* CORRECTION – Palmer Brown no longer works for LNP as I incorrectly stated in yesterday’s piece. I apologize for the error and best of luck to Palmer.
FIVE ARRESTS IN 2014
,,,and a white man who tried to disarm an officer and lived to talk about it!
I posted this on December 30th with the above picture of Zachary Keifer who reportedly committed suicide in the Lancaster County Prison (click here). What a terrible irony. Today’s LNP article about this second suicide in the prison is here.
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 14th, 2015 30 comments
* 1-15-2015 – Palmer Brown is no longer employed by LNP. I apologize for the error.
MILKING A STORY OR
COVERING REAL NEWS?
Following LNP’s huge announcement today, this is what their editorial staff is doing this afternoon according to LNP reporter Ryan Mellon’s Twitter account:LNP milkshake test happening now. Staffers taste test 4 vanilla shakes from area restaurants and Farm Show. Pick favThat is not going to keep you in business, LNP! What is wrong with these idiots?The reaction to LNP’s moving their printing operation out of downtown Lancaster has been fast and literally furious.Palmer Brown, a leader in their digital team went on the People Of Lancaster’s Facebook page early this morning to explain further (why there and not on LNP’s own Facebook page which he runs remains a mystery although the official LNP line was to simply repost sections of their letter over and over again in response to comments):A new press would cost millions without an ROI. Ink on paper is going away.
It is extremely unfortunate for those who work in production and with the press. Good hard working people who are mostly the victims of technology.
From a business view it is a sensible decision by LNP to sub out the production and printing to the Patriot News. They have a newer high capacity press that sits idle a lot. Over the next two years there will be (a more) rapid deceleration in print news consumption. To the point where it will no longer be viable. Best to let someone else eat the cost of that press.Hmmm… You are saying in two years there will be no print edition at all. If they vastly improve their content – for example – not having milkshake contests and covering police brutality – would the print edition stay viable longer? And why did the Patriot News shell out huge bucks for a press that you are saying will not be used at all in two years? Was that another huge John Kirkpatrick misstep and failure?And the new press sits idle a lot because the Patriot News is only printed three days a week because of Kirkpatrick who is now the new LNP President. As a commenter to this site said today:Things at LNP hit a fast, slippery slope when they hired this Kirkpatrick fool. All of a sudden LNP starting printing pieces from the Patriot and York Dispatch (both of who Kirkpatrick has ties to, business or romantic-wise).Then the stupid re-branding and layout. Now this.That guy should be chased out of town with torches.Let’s not forget to chase Robert Krasne, their new Publisher, out of town with torches as well!There will be much more on this tomorrow!
** “Always Mechanicsburg!”
* “To our readers: LNP to be printed at state-of-the-art facility in Mechanicsburg,” (click here).
HER FACE LOOKS FAMILIAR
Noemi Lausell’s mugshot from November of 2011.
Is there a Noemi Lausell and a Naomi Lausell in Lancaster or are they the same woman? Are they sisters? Naomi Lausell is featured in today’s front-page story, “Mother of prison suicide victim: 20 minutes passed before anyone found son” (click here).
Noemi Lausell was featured on this site in November of 2011 – click here for “LANCASTER POLICE – OUT OF CONTROL!” and here for “TASERED AND BEATEN!”
Please check back later today.
Posted on January 13th, 2015 12 comments
FOLLOW THE MONEY!
Please provide all monies paid to Lancaster Attorney Jeffrey Conrad of Clymer Musser & Conrad P.C. for his work as a court appointed defense attorney in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas for the 2013 to 2014 year.
This request was emailed to the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas today on their Right To Know/Rule 509 Request Form.
Brittany L. Porreca was sworn in as a Lancaster City Police Officer today by Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray according to the police website (click here). She’s female and lives in the city so that’s a very small start to diversifying the police force to reflect the community they serve. There will be more later on this but two thoughts for today:—- Doesn’t anybody dress up for anything any more?
—- Is she taking the oath in a hallway or what? What kind of room is that?
CONRAD, AGAIN – AGAIN!
What kind of lawyer with a private practice takes on multiple and basically welfare cases of defendants who already have enough evidence to convict them? I can maybe understand if he was taking on multi millionaire types who were just as guilty looking but this makes no sense.
This comment in about attorney Jeffrey Conrad under the story immediately below.
Excellent question! I don’t know when he has time for his private practice but he is certainly earning a lot of taxpayer dollars and his “clients” deserve a capable and dedicated defense.
And, of course, LNP “court reporter” Brett Hambright completely ignores the issue even though he has seen Conrad in court twice in the last week as the court appointed attorney for two possible death penalty cases. And on top of that, we know that the former prosecutor who briefly ran for the District Attorney’s office is now in very tight with DA Craig Stedman.
What the heck is going on?
Please click here for more on Stedman and Conrad and check back later today.
Posted on January 12th, 2015 1 comment
CONRAD, AGAIN!What do you get when a website only has one writer who has a terrible cold? Well, very little as you can see. What do you get when a newspaper has over 80 people on their editorial staff? A simply unbelievably awful headline like this:And yes, this is court appointed defense attorney Jeffrey Conrad again! (click here and the headline on their website has been changed but it’s still dreadful). And it looks like he’s doing a lousy job for this client. This is his second representation of a potential death penalty client within the last week – Thomas Moore being the first one.I received this email today with a link to the story:Conrad again. Is he the only criminal attorney left in Lancaster?This is simply outrageous and I will file a Right-To-Know request.So what do you do when you’re feeling poorly? Surf nonsense and fun on the web. My new favorite go to guy for sports and now, joy of all joys, the Golden Globes, is none other than (gasp!) LNP reporter Keith Schweigert.From his Twitter feed:Great Moments in Entertainment Journalism: Guliana Rancic does a shot of George Clooney’s tequila live on TV for some reason.And:We interrupt my NFL tweets to bring you a Golden Globes update: Julianne Moore got it going on. In related news, my wife has the remote.And:Somebody get George Clooney’s new wife a cheeseburger. Stat.Speaking of which, did you see Amal’s picture all over the net this morning? LOL! You have to love it!From a friend on Facebook there is this gem – “Missing woman unwittingly joins search party looking for herself,” (click here)And finally, this is also courtesy of an LNP reporter’s Twitter feed. Nothing, I repeat nothing, has made Chris Christie a more hated politician than the “hug!” If I weren’t so sick, I’d rant and rave and cuss for a full minute.Oh, well…back to serious news tomorrow.
Posted on January 11th, 2015 7 comments
SAFETY IS PRIORITY?
LANCASTER: Two people walking in an alley behind 26 S. West End Ave. on Tuesday were threatened when an unknown make and model black vehicle pulled up with four males in it. One of the males pulled a handgun and threatened to shoot.
LANCASTER: Someone broke into a building in the 1000 block of Dillerville Road and ransacked it, but took nothing, sometime early Thursday.
LANCASTER: A garage door was damaged and a vehicle broken into in the 600 block of Hamilton Street Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Nothing was stolen.
From today’s Police Log (click here).
And yet, Mayor Gray tells us:
“Be confident that safety is priority in Lancaster,” (click here).
Gil Smart ignited a “Twitterstorm,” Katelyn Smith is proud of a thing or two and Ron Martin and Janelle Stelson get burned by Stern! Wow!
Posted on January 9th, 2015 22 comments
WORK, WORK, WORK?
Do journalists bother with verifying claims anymore or do they just print whatever cops tell them to?
This question was posted under the WGAL-TV story, “Man charged with threatening lives of 3 Lancaster police officers,” (click here).
I know the answer to that question! They just print whatever the cops tell them to! WGAL and LNP have been doing it for years – and that’s why there’s so much corruption in the Lancaster City Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office!
In another six sentence WGAL story, note that they repeat the same thing three different times – and twice in their headline just for good measure – click here for “Police still work to solve 2 Manheim Township murders – Authorities work to find answers in deaths of Xavier Garriga, Jonathan Santiago:”
… The police chief says his detectives work these two murder cases everyday…
… police continue to work the streets.
… In the meantime, detectives work the cases the best they can everyday.
Okay, we get it, WGAL! Are there any editors at the station? Ummm…why don’t you tell us exactly what the police are doing everyday to solve these two murders from June?
Please check back later today.