It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:09 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:37 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 457
Some sad news:
Quote:
Former U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade, an 18-term Republican congressman who was known for bringing federal dollars to his northeastern Pennsylvania district, and who was acquitted in 1996 on federal bribery charges, died Sept. 24 at his home in Fairfax County, Va. He was 85.
and
Quote:
One of his most well-known endeavors, the Steamtown National Historic Site, was also one of the most criticized. The federal government spent more than $70 million to turn an abandoned train yard into a National Park Service site celebrating the nation’s railroad history.

Critics lambasted the project, which sits next to a shopping mall. They noted that the Park Service didn’t ask for the money and that many of the site’s coaches and locomotives had nothing to do with Scranton.

Mr. McDade and local leaders saw the park as a way to bolster Scranton as a tourist destination.

Link to full article in the Washington Post: Joseph McDade, 18-term Pennsylvania congressman, dies at 85


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
It is a little unfair to call out the mall in an article on McDade. When the NPS got involved, downtown Scranton was a wonderfully intact early 20th century downtown. There were some plans (dreams) to preserve it as such.

Blame for the mall lies entirely with a city that had little empathy for its past. Bulldoze was better than preserve.

Steamtown forced Scranton to deal with heritage tourism and much good did come of it (Lackawanna County's investment in the trolley museum and ride is a great example of post-Steamtown development.)

There is plenty more to do. Scranton is a natural place for a museum of labor history.

There is still an opportunity to fully tell the entire story of the area - from iron and coal, to iron leaving, the multiple milestones in labor, and - of course - railroading (gravity, steam, electric). Right now only coal plus steam and electric railroads are well represented. Iron is, but in a very small way.

Tbe fascinating ethnic history of the city is also worthy of interpretation.

When one takes the time to fully appreciate the history of Scranton, a fascinating tale of America becomes crystal clear. There is no question that it is a location deserving of a railroad-themed national historic site... and more.



Rob


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1730
Critics lambasted the project, which sits next to a shopping mall. They noted that the Park Service didn’t ask for the money and that many of the site’s coaches and locomotives had nothing to do with Scranton.

Anybody who reads that would think that SNHS was located next to a Mall, when in fact the mall was built next to SNHS.

"Blame for the mall lies entirely with a city that had little empathy for its past. Bulldoze was better than preserve."

When I was in grad school (at the eponymously named institution) one of my classmates was a city employee and dismayingly related a story about how the fiscal staff of a perpetually distressed city was blissfully unaware of the existence of a multi-hundred thousand dollar bank account until the bank sent an escheatment notice due to inactivity. It's difficult to be empathetic with the past when you are misplacing money.

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/oecd-a ... -1.1694851


Given that there already was a mall nearby (Dickson City) and development activities had already started at Montage Mountain, it was patently ridiculous to locate a mall with competition that the advantage of better access and easier parking. To be fair, the Mall is an example of the foolishness of letting government officials at all levels intervene in commercial markets. There was local, state and federal involvement in the construction cost of $90 million; it was sold two years ago for a little more than $5 million. Many of the outstanding governmental loans (politicians like to call these sorts of expenditures "investments") will never be repaid.

But hey, if your Governor (Casey) gets face time on CNN, it must be a sound investment.

As long as we're considering other potential historic aspects of scranton. I would like to see the Mall preserved as a testament to the foolish belief in statism.

Some of Rock 107's Daniels and Webster bits with the character Jonesy getting a "job with the county" could be played over the loud speaker.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1603
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
He certainly knew a good opportunity when it was presented to him. As totally disappointing as S'town has been from a steam lovers perspective,..... it certainly has achieved its real mission which was of course to create lots of good paying, fulltime, year round jobs for his economically depressed district. And for this he has earned the thanks of the folks in his Pa. district and will be fondly remembered for this and other projects that were enabled by his skills in bringing home " the bacon".

R.I.P.

Ross Rowland


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1730
"it certainly has achieved its real mission which was of course to create lots of good paying, fulltime, year round jobs for his economically depressed district."

Interesting;

Fifty people (FY15) is "lots" and with several being subject to furlough is full-time.

Here is the FY17 Budget Request- also called The "Greenbook".

Stea is at or about page 179. Statue of LIberty/Ellis Island has a FTE of 72 and no locomotives.

https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17 ... ebsite.pdf

It's kind of disturbing when the elderly start to lose command of basic facts and the ability to apply reasonable context-it makes you wonder about their cognitive health.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:33 am
Posts: 7
Why can't we get through a thread about something Regarding Steamtown without Ross making some snide comment. What has his recent contributions been? I have never seen someone of the older generation behave so much like an immature kid. This forum is a great asset to preservationists, as well as full time railroad operations. This is a tool we as an industry have, to be able to share knowledge across the world. I appreciate all Ross's efforts in the past, but all he is doing by making these remarks is showing what kind of bitter, petty person he is. If you have nothing relevant to share, please save the snideness for another group that might enjoy it as it's getting old here.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 234
Hey Supe - the statistics and link are great. Thank you. The ageist comment at the end of your post not so much.

Mr. Rowland - You obviously have very strong opinions about STEA. Some appear based in your fundamental political philosophy about what the federal government should be involved in and what it should leave to private enterprise. Being that this is a rail preservation board it is likely best that we leave it at that.

Another source of your disdain for the Park Service's management of the Scranton facility appears to come from your vast storehouse of rail-related knowledge and experience in running rail-related excursions. That aspect of your view on STEA is relevant to this board and deserves fleshing out. A few questions:

1. You have described yourself as a close personal friend of F. Nelson Blount. Around June of 1963, Mr. Blount established the Steamtown Foundation for the Preservation of Steam and Railroad Americana. During the mid to late 60s, you were an up and coming successful businessman and yet, up until 1967, it does not appear as if you were ever on the Board of Trustees. Were you ever offered a position on the Board by Blount? If yes, why did you not take it? If not, why not?

2. Mr. Blount died on August 31, 1967, apparently leaving his family and business with an appreciable debt and the Foundation underfunded. By the spring of 1968 you were already pitching the Golden Spike Centennial Limited, which ran using the Foundation's own NKP 759 for motive power. Evidently, you had a close business relationship with the Foundation at the time as you were able to secure the use of one of their locomotives for this extensive excursion. Did you try to step in and use your storehouse of business knowledge, being a successful Wall Street commodities broker, to help your late friend's Foundation find its way in a difficult time?

3. During the 1970s, Steamtown Foundation continued to struggle while you were planning and operating the Freedom Train. During this time, were you able to help or advise the Foundation at all?

4. In the early 1980s, the Foundation started looking for an alternate site that would bring their operation closer to a larger market. Did you use your business acumen to advise your old friend's Foundation in selecting and securing a new site? If so, what guidance did you provide?

5. After the move to Scranton, the Steamtown Foundation continued to flounder. They had piles of debt and the move was not the magic bullet they had hoped for. Congressman McDade arranged the government bailout. At the time of the transfer to the Park Service, it does not appear that you were a Trustee of your old friend's Foundation. When you became aware of the plan for the transfer of the Foundation's collection and the site to the Park Service, what was your alternate vision based on your Wall Street success and your experience operating high profile excursions? Given your disdain for Government involvement in rail preservation and excursion operations, you must have had a solid business plan in mind that could have avoided the government bailout of the Foundation. Did you present your plan to anyone? If so, what was the outcome?

Thank you.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1730
@Scranton Yard:

"The ageist comment at the end of your post not so much."

It was not an ageist comment-it was an observation based on experience with multiple older relatives. Among the first things you notice with people whose cognitive skills are falling prey to age and (that) infirmity is obsessive behavior, an inability to contextualize and residing in the past.

I don't make light of it, or wish it on anybody. The scariest part of the diagnosis function with respect to age is the positive second derivative.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:47 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 234
superheater wrote:
"It's kind of disturbing when the elderly start to lose command of basic facts and the ability to apply reasonable context-it makes you wonder about their cognitive health.


Hey Supe - given that Mr. Rowland's criticisms of STEA have been remarkably consistent for about as long as he has been posting to this board, I'd say that your concern for his cognitive health, while no doubt genuine and sincere, is unfounded. I'm looking forward to his very coherent responses to my questions so we can all gain a greater understanding of the history of the Steamtown Foundation and if or how his experience with the Foundation over the years has shaped his views of the current state of the operation in Scranton.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:22 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 173
I'm not too familiar with the politics involved, but the only reason I went to Scranton was for Steamtown.

CD


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:37 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I'm not too familiar with the politics involved, but the only reason I went to Scranton was for Steamtown.

CD


The politics of both preservation and economic stimulus were fascinating to watch from my front row seat in Scranton during the late 1980's. Really, the entire story of Steamtown post-Blount is incredible (as is the diverging trajectory of Blount's Green Mountain Railway (GMRC)).

Local and state politics/economics played roles since Steamtown USA's early years. Remember, Blount didn't find a stable home to run steam on until he formed the GMRC on state-owned trackage (trackage the neighboring Vermont Railway wanted nothing to do with, but later coveted as the GMRC turned into a stable freight and passenger operation post-Blount). Both lines were groundbreakers in the railroad field, operating unwanted rail lines taken under-wing by a state. What NY couldn't do with the NYO&W nor PA with the L&NE, Vermont did with the Rutland. If you don't know the stories of Jay Wulfson and F. Nelson Blount, they are worth looking into. There are ties to early (1950's) rail preservation with both men.

Can we have that discussion here? I sure hope so.

Part of the issue with Steamtown threads is that you have five RYPN regulars who don't veer too far from their core beliefs, so every thread turns into Groundhog Day.

It's kind of like RYPN Gilligan's Island. Everyone has their specific role (myself, included) and there's not much varation in character from episode to episode.

I am the eternal optimist who got reinvolved with Steamtown after a 25 year hiatus. I appreciate Steamtown for what it is and am helping in a very small way towards what it will be. I have no time to worry about what it isn't or hasn't been. Steamtown was a needy non-profit that required a new home. They found that home in a city desperate for economic stimulus. The private Steamtown Foundation and the city could not afford to build upon the dreams they had. McDade found a way to make something out of a (literally) deteriorating situation.

And that something is a pretty cool place.

Rob

_________________
The long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we're going, but where we want to go. B. Phillips


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:01 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I'm not too familiar with the politics involved, but the only reason I went to Scranton was for Steamtown.

CD


Same here, twice, 4 people, 2-3 nights stay at local hotel + food, film, and gas each time. Loved it both times.

Seems to me that Mr. McDade's plan worked in getting tourism to Scranton!

Isn't that what it all boils down to?


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:13 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 188
Location: Suffolk, UK
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I'm not too familiar with the politics involved, but the only reason I went to Scranton was for Steamtown.

CD


Ditto, though was actually more impressed with the Electric City Trolley set up than the Steamtown side of things. They do however compliment each other well.
Stayed a couple of nights in a City Centre hotel (albeit one fraying round the edges a bit!) and spent $$ in local restaurants and shops whilst staying there too.
Otherwise, not a place that would pop up on the average European tourists radar...

_________________
My Flikr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/72399068@N08/sets


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:26 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Strasburg, PA
junior wrote:

Seems to me that Mr. McDade's plan worked in getting tourism to Scranton!

Isn't that what it all boils down to?

That depends on the tax dollars spent per tourist dollar brought in. If Steamtown costs $2 (or $10) for every $1 brought into the local economy , then the answer is not so much.

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: U.S. Rep. Joseph M. McDade passed away on Sept. 24, 2017
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:55 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
McDade was known as "jobs Joe." He was an old school representative in that he fought for his district. He wasn't motiviated by moral outrage; he wasn't out to change the world. He worked both sides of the aisle and he got things done. He even ended up with his own bribery scandal (the details of which sound quaint compared to the current day scandals). A true old school rep.

_________________
The long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we're going, but where we want to go. B. Phillips


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], LeoA, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 31 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: