Right in Our Own Backyard!!

Oct. 27, 1998

Big news on the Light pollution front. Wagman's very own backyard is now threatened from yet more commercial expansion. Bill Yorkshire first broke the news to the AAAP via the listserver. Here is his original post along with a follow-up from Pete Zapadka announcing a vitally important meeting of the West Deer supervisors.

News from Bill Yorkshire via the AAAP listerver October 26, 1998

For some time now the AAAP has been concerned with the Frazier Mall project, but this one just slipped in the back door

Thanks to this morning's Tribune Review, we have learned that the WEST DEER AIRPORT has been purchased by Sharpsburg businessman, Rocky Ferrone, who plans to turn the sight into an industrial park.

Ferrone's big dreams include moving his printing press manufacturing plant to the location and luring other businesses to build on the 150 acre sight. Ferrone also has an option to purchase an additional 70 acres adjacent to the site, which located one mile south of Wagman. He plans to pour $10 million into the project.

And that's not all . . . Ferrone has been working hand-in-glove with Gov. Ridge, West Deer Township and the Southwest Regional Planning Commission to declare the site a tax-free zone, which would further encourage development.

Some locals interviewed expressed interest in selling their land and making some money out of the project.

We need to address the impact West Deer is going to have on Wagman along with the on-going Frazier Township situation.

Bill Yorkshire

Here is a followup from Pete Zapadka

News from Pete Zapadka via the AAAP listserver, October 27, 1998

Representatives of the club have been invited to attend the meeting of the West Deer supervisors at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the township office on East Union Road, Orange Belt, west of Russellton.

AAAP representatives have been invited to voice their concern over the recently unveiled plans by Rock Ferrone to expand West Penn Airport in West Deer and establish an industrial park.

While the AAAP is not against well-conceived development that will create jobs in the Pittsburgh area ***and*** care for the environment at the same time, it is feared that inefficient night lighting will be installed at the airport and make the Wagman Observatory site useless.

If you can attend -- even just to sit in the audience!! -- please do. Help us save Wagman!!!

Let me, Bob Mickey or Terry Trees know. Help us on the "quick-strike team" preserve the night skies around Wagman Observatory.

Clear and dark skies,

Pete