The Van Wyck News

Volume 5 Number 12
A Voice for Freedom           28 September 2013
Agenda 21 and Lancaster County
          A reader sent me mail a few days ago asking whether or not Agenda 21 was coming to Lancaster County. She was concerned about the Connect Our Future operation (see details to the right) and the various rewrites to the County Comprehensive Plan and their potential impact on property rights.* She is right to be concerned.
          The Charlotte region, of which Lancaster County is a part, is the fastest growing region in the country right now, with population expected to double over the next 25 years. Connect Our Future is a regional organization set up to plan regional activities, such as where the main roads, railroads, freight terminals, airports and such regional facilities needed to support the anticipated growth should go. Lancaster County has committed to redo its Comprehensive Plan over the next year or so in an effort to become better positioned for the future, this even though the Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan was updated in January 2013.
          All this planning activity normally takes place behind closed doors, with the local government shown and expected to approve the result at the end of the process and the public expected to acquiesce pretty much after the fact. Occasional opportunities are sometimes provided for the public to gain some insight into the process, such as the Connect Our Future workshop on 3 October (story to the right) and the joint County Council - Planing Commission meeting on 8 October at 5:00 PM in the County Administration Building to discuss the scope of the County Comprehensive Plan revision project.
          Organization, communication and the Freedom of Information Act are the tools required to keep the public informed and able to act. The meetings are generally open to the public and the documents are generally public information. All that is required is people willing to go to the meetings and publish the results,  to obtain, analyse and publich the documents and others to read and act on the information. After all, if they were planning to run the railroad through your back yard or build a steel mill two streets over, wouldn't you like to know in advance and maybe do something about it? Send me mail and use the Subscribe link if you want to stay informed.  
           *Agenda 21 is the name of the proceedings of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio De Janerio, Brazil in June 1992. A copy of the proceedings of that conference may be found here. The subtopic of the conference was Sustainable Development, but what gave the name its pejorative status was the tone set by the proceedings that because the United Nations had decided that sustainable development was right and proper, all governments had an obligation to impose it on their citizens, by force if necessary. In the United Stated, where property rights are protected by the Constitution,  an expansion of land use regulation authority by states and local governments has given some meaning to the 'imposition by force if necessary" portion of Agenda 21, and the words have come to symbolize the arbitrary exercise of governmental authority over property rights.

Feeding the Hungry
     Donations to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for food.  The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the agencies serving the needy in Lancaster. If you have food that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.
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Library Woes
    County libraries have for many years provided an important community service as places for community groups to meet for free, often into the evening when the library itself was not open. With the retirement of Richard Band the Library system now has a new director and it seems that use of the library meeting rooms after hours will not be permitted after 1 January 2014.  It is not clear whether this is a personal preference of Rita Vogel, the new Director of Libraries or some kind of long ignored liability insurance requirement. People are working the problem; if you would like to help or just be in the loop send me mail and use the Subscribe link below
     The Lancaster News is running an on-line poll that may be accessible to some of you. Click on this link, scroll down to the bottom right and vote to keep the meeting rooms open.

Connect Our Future
     Connect Our Future is an organization developing a regional plan for the large growth foreseen for this area in the next few years. Connect Our Future will host a local workshop on 3 October 2013 at the Carol Ray Dowling Building at USCL. The focus of the workshop will be to obtain citizen input as to where in Lancaster County different forms of growth should occur. There is no charge, but citizens must sign up to participate. Multiple times are available. Brochure.

CDC Schedule
Tuesday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. Crime Watch and Community Club Meeting
Thursday October 3, 7:00 PM Bluegrass at the Community Center
Saturday, October 26, 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (volunteers time) Halloween (times may vary) 4:30 p.m. games, 5:30 p.m. hotdogs, 6:30 p.m. candy walk
Saturday, November 30, 9:00 a.m. Put up Christmas Lighting Poles and chili
Tuesday December 3, 7:00 PM CrimeWatch and Community meeting, put up Christmas decorations
Saturday, December 7, noon, Van Wyck Christmas Parade and Candy Toss. 2:00 PM put out candles and globes for Lighting the Way.
Sunday, December 8, 4:30p.m. Lighting Of The Way