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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 672
Mark Jordan wrote:
From Facebook today:

"Today, the McCreary County Heritage Foundation Board informed Sam and me that Heritage Foundation has elected - effective immediately - to terminate all negotiations for our purchase of the Big South Fork Scenic Railroad. We are disappointed in this development, but we're not giving up. As a result of this development we are postponing the previously scheduled live feed. Stay tuned for more information.
-Diana"

Also check out http://www.bsfsry.com



The locals just will not let that little pike succeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:18 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 168
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Lincoln Penn wrote:
Mark Jordan wrote:
From Facebook today:

"Today, the McCreary County Heritage Foundation Board informed Sam and me that Heritage Foundation has elected - effective immediately - to terminate all negotiations for our purchase of the Big South Fork Scenic Railroad. We are disappointed in this development, but we're not giving up. As a result of this development we are postponing the previously scheduled live feed. Stay tuned for more information.
-Diana"

Also check out http://www.bsfsry.com



The locals just will not let that little pike succeed.


Amen, and if that's the case, they just won't let themselves succeed either.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:39 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 7
"Thanks for all the money, labor, and time you've invested - now go !@#$ yourself."

That pretty well sums up Kentucky rail preservation as a whole.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 367
It is my understanding today that the "new" owners have been ordered off of the property (after investing $175,000) and required to return control of the web page to the McCreary Co Heritage Foundation (MCHF). As of this morning, the "old" web page is up, unmodified since 2016. I'm sure the Facebook page will follow suit shortly.

So far no reason has been given.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 168
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
FWIW, I have a letter to go out in Monday's mail to the Stearns city fathers.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 672
tom moungovan wrote:
FWIW, I have a letter to go out in Monday's mail to the Stearns city fathers.


With all due respect Tom, there are is no Stearns "city,", therefore there are no "fathers."

Stearns is an unincorporated place in McCreary County, KY, meaning (at least in KY) there is no mayor or city council or aldermen or city manager or any city organization at all. The Stearns community comes under the administration of McCreary County, which is headed by a County Judge-Advocate, which is sort of a county executive.

The McCreary County Historical Foundation is a separate entity, though I do not know what their legal standing is as far as who owns what or who has say over what. One member of the foundation board owns just about everything in and around Stearns.

This not the first time (though it may be the last) that the Foundation sought "outsiders" to try to breathe life into the railroad, then booted them at the first sign of progress or even change. The pattern is that the railroad goes bankrupt or nearly so, then seeks outside help, which it then rejects.

Help arrives in the form of more aggressive new management and an infusion of new capital, changes are made, enthusiasm builds, and things start to look up. As soon as that happens the board bands together to boot the "interlopers" out, revert to the practices and people that took them over the cliff in the first place (but with which they have a much higher comfort level), and become astonished when it teeters on the edge of oblivion again.

The cycle then repeats itself. New blood and new cash are brought in, improvements are started, excitement builds, etc., etc., etc. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Unless and until the Foundation board itself is replaced or awakens to it's own self-destructive path, nothing will change. The resentment toward new people and new ideas in that part of Appalachia is almost palpable and goes a long way toward explaining why that county has been mired in poverty and the permanent welfare culture for many generations and shows few signs of ever changing.

It has been said that McCreary County is the econonmicaly poorest county in KY, if not in the entire USA in terms of per-capita income and employment. It has "enjoyed" that ranking for many years now.

I wonder why that might be?

As others have said, it is "Welcome! Bring money, leave it here and then get the hell out!"


Last edited by Lincoln Penn on Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 168
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Lincoln Penn wrote:
tom moungovan wrote:
FWIW, I have a letter to go out in Monday's mail to the Stearns city fathers.


With all due respect Tom, there are is no Stearns "city,", therefore there are no "fathers."

Stearns is an unincorporated place in McCreary County, KY, meaning (at least in KY) there is no mayor or city council or aldermen or city manager. Stearns comes under the administration of McCreary County, which is headed by a County Judge-Advocate.

The McCreary County Historical Foundation is another entity, though I do not know what their legal standing is as far as who owns what or who has say over what. One Board member of the foundation owns just about everything in and around Stearns.

This not the first time (though it may be the last) that the Foundation sought "outsiders" to try to breathe life into the railroad, then booted them at the first sign of progress or even change. The pattern is that the railroad goes bankrupt or nearly so, then seeks outside help.

Help arrives in the form of more aggressive new management and an infusion of new capital, changes are made, enthusiasm builds, and things start to look up. As soon as that happens the locals band together to boot the "interlopers" out, revert to the practices and people that took them over the cliff in the first place (but with which they have a much higher comfort level), and become astonished when it teeters on the edge of oblivion again.

The cycle then repeats itself. New blood and new cash are brought in, improvements are started, excitement builds, etc., etc., etc.

Unless and until the Foundation board itself is replaced or awakens to it's own self-destructive path, nothing will change. The resentment toward new people and new ideas in that part of Appalachia is almost palpable and goes a long way toward explaining why that county has been mired in poverty and the permanent welfare culture for many generations and shows few signs of ever changing.

It has been said that McCreary County is the econonmicaly poorest county in KY, if not in the entire USA in terms of per-capita income and employment. It has "enjoyed" that ranking for many years now.

I wonder why that might be?

As others have said, it is "Welcome! Bring money, leave it here and then get the hell out!"



My use of the term "city fathers" was meant sarcastically. In my letter, I referred to them as the Foundation. Your other remarks are certainly well taken and somewhat also fit another steam pike in Appalachia.

Thank you for the information.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:01 pm
Posts: 7
While I have my own issues with a KY tourist operation farther north, I can understand the attitude. Folks in the Appalachians have the history of being exploited by those from the big city, extracting resources and having a colonial attitude. Most are very tired of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 672
It will not be very long before they will be seeking another patsy to pull them out of the ditch, and will do the same thing to them.


Last edited by Lincoln Penn on Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 672
scwillis51 wrote:
While I have my own issues with a KY tourist operation farther north, I can understand the attitude. Folks in the Appalachians have the history of being exploited by those from the big city, extracting resources and having a colonial attitude. Most are very tired of it.


But most of that ceased generations ago when the mines closed (which were locally owned, in this instance) and the timber industry (also locally owned) was left flat on it's back by the takeover of the entire area for inclusion in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

It has been replaced by whistling in the dark, waiting for the mines to reopen (fat chance) and waiting for the sawmills and planing mills to restart (even fatter chance).

What has happened here over the last 15-20 years is to run the place into the ground, beg for outside help, then after the outside help invests 6-figure sums and starts to turn things around, kick them out (with threats), bring back the ones who got it in trouble in the first place, and start back downhill as a business again.

This exact scenario has repeated itself at least 3 times. Each time, persons who invested great amounts of time, money, and energy into the place are told to get off the property, possibly offered a pittance to cover maybe 15% of what they sank into the property or simply told to get out with no return of invested money, and the same old people with the same proven, repeatedly-failed ideas and methods regain control and re-start the slide.

I won't say I wish them ill, but this cycle of repeated failure by the same faces each time deserves to finally fail once and for all.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:39 am
Posts: 4
From the Big South Fork Scenic Railway Facebook Page:

With all due respect: an open letter to the McCreary County Heritage Foundation Board of Directors
Diana and I offer to reopen negotiations and then complete the purchase of the Scenic Railway, AND, in addition, we offer to purchase the entire downtown Stearns business area, including the Depot, in order to restore all of it to what it used to be.
There must be a fair appraisal and the price must be right for each party, and this would have to happen FAST. Tourism season is upon us.
Upon purchase, the first thing we would do is rebuild the restaurant at the west end of downtown, on the same foundation and with a similar interior/exterior as it had before it burned. Simultaneously, we will restore the other structures, repair the sidewalks, and so on...
If the deal is done, we pledge to put at least $300,000 into the restoration of the properties, in addition to another $300,000 in restoring the railroad. (Over the past four months, we've already invested over $175,000 into the railroad, based on a memorandum of understanding.)
You have a board meeting tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, and Diana and I are offering to appear to make a presentation of what we would do.
The people of McCreary County deserve no less, then for us to be heard.
As the visible and much appreciated preservationists of this county's wonderful heritage of coal, timber, and trains, we are thinking this proposal would be of high interest to you.
Yes?
Let's get past the bickering, get the deals done, and then work together to assist McCreary county's revival.
I am a small-town guy, and I personally understand rural poverty. I come from a low-population county of far upstate New York, Lewis County, stricken with similar problems as here.
The people here have suffered long enough. Economic development is the key to opportunity for our young people
We ask that you invite media to the meeting tomorrow.
You know how to reach us. We're waiting for you to invite us. If we don't hear from you, and we thus don't appear at your meeting tomorrow, this offer will be off the table permanently, as we will be moving on to other ventures.
Sam carpenter
Diana Bybee


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1033
Location: Pacific, MO
I have to wonder what in the hell is wrong with those folks? They will reach a point where everyone will just say "tough stuff" and let them die. Is that what they want?
A lot of smaller towns (mine included) seem to have an element who will fight change at any cost.
I hope things work out.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 905
A friend of mine refers to such folks as "B-52's." They want everything like it was Before 1952.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:37 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 604
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Diana and Sam...There is a small town in central Pennsylvania that has a nice little railroad just begging for folks like you with a vision and a goal to resurrect it ....Orbisonia PA.


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 Post subject: Re: Big South Fork Scenic Railway Purchase
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:03 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 7
It's not a situation related to McCreary County, it's the whole state of Kentucky. The entire mantra of business there is how badly can you screw the other guy on any sort of business deal. Playing nice and trying to work constructively with these people isn't going to get you anywhere. There's a reason the state is a total economic hole in the ground. The last positive economic change was the building of the Toyota plant in Georgetown and that happened nearly 40 years ago and the local politicos STILL mention it in their re-election commercials because it's the last thing that happened that wasn't a negative impact.

If you've got the cash - buy up the historical societies debt (or a major controlling portion), foreclose, take the place over and run your own game without them. If you're going to do business in Kentucky, co-operation and constructive business practices aren't going to do it. You're going to have to screw them over - it's all they understand.


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