Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 14, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
I* Hollidaysburg girls edge Guilfoyle
Second of four parts THE SPECTER OF SPRAWL
^ Bryce Jordan celebrates fifth year
I’ve still got the Shuster engine in me. ff
I was a rebuilder
Editor’s note: Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler sat down with retiring Congressman Bud Shuster recently to talk about the powerful politician’s career on Capitol Hill, life after politics, the thrill of victory and the sting of controversy.
What are you most proud of?
I had twin goals and those goals were No. I... to help as many people as I could on a personal basis.
I was surprised that we helped over 300,000 people in 28 years or so. Helping people has been a fundamental objective from the beginning with their individual problems.
The second twin goal was building up our area. So those are the
_ two goals
- that I
accomplished. Beyond that, beyond those two goals, I really never thought that I would have the chance to build America or to be chairman of the largest, most productive committee of the Congress, so to have been able to do that has been an enormous satisfaction. Beyond my fondest expectations, passing TEA-21 [Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century], long and sometimes lonely battle to unlock the highway trust fund, $218 billion to improve America’s highways and transit safety. And the experts say we’re gonna save 4,000 lives a year based on TEA-21 by the sixth year of its life. To have been able to pass AIR-21 [Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century], to do the same thing, to unlock the aviation trust fund, $40 billion to improve America’s aviation system.
It just took effect Oct. I, so we don’t see the results of it yet, in fact, we won’t for a couple of years. It’s gonna take time, goodness knows our aviation system is a mess and to achieve AIR-21 likewise, a battle which battles, in the beginning I
Ebersole joining 9th race
By Ray Stephens Staff Writer
Longtime Blair County Commissioner John J. Ebersole is throwing his hat into the ring to compete for the soon-to-be-vacant 9th District congressional seat.
Ebersole announced his intention by mailing a letter to Republican leaders and others, stating that he believes he has the support of local business leaders and the ability to raise the money needed to run a successful campaign.
The county commissioner joins a list of at least a dozen Republicans who have expressed interest or are expected to express interest in succeeding U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-9th District, who is retiring Jan. 31.
Please see Ebersole/Page A13
had both a Democratic president of the United States and my own Republican leadership against me, but ultimately, I ended up with strong bipartisan support and a vast majority of the Republicans with me, vast majority of the Democrats and on the day the President signed TEA-21 into law, he looked up at me with this huge grin on his face, and I had this compulsive feeling he really thinks this was his idea, which is fine.
Please see Shuster/Page A12Altoona Mirror© Copyright 2001 SUNDAY, JANUARY 14, 2001 $1.50 newsstand
Accidental shooting claims life of one teen
By William Kibler
An 18-year-old Martinsburg boy died late Friday when a shotgun fired accidentally as a friend moved it from a chair.
Dean Hoffman, a student at Central High School, and three friends were in an outbuilding on a Huston Township farm — where they planned to stay overnight so they could hunt the next morning
— when the gun discharged into Hoffman’s face.
Hoffman died instantly, according to farm owner Leon Dell, who employed two of the boys — but not Hoffman.
All from the Martinsburg area, the long-time friends had stayed at the farm along Clover Creek Road, north of Fredericksburg, on other occasions, Dell said.
Please see Shooting/Page A13
► For complete report, please see Pages A9-A11
Mirror photo illustration
Sixty years ago, they were hunting foxes in Allegheny Township. Today, on that same spot, they’re hunting bargains at Wal-Mart.
Stories by William Kibler
Photos by Kelly Bennett
Graphics by Tom Worthington ll
Layout and design by Ray Eckenrode
Sprawl as a social phenomenon
How Blair County grew, and how it’s developed
Life in the city versus life in the suburbs
Arguments for and against smart growth
Nowhere is the effect of the population shift in Blair County more evident than in downtown Altoona and the city's Little Italy section, in Pleasant Valley and on Brush Mountain.
V orty-five years ago on a December L afternoon, you could have walked shoul-I der-to-shoulder with shoppers on lith ■ Avenue downtown beneath the glow of holiday lights.
But if you walked near Goods Lane and Plank Road out in Logan Township, you would have gotten your feet wet in the marshy dark, heard the snuffling of cows and their hooves pulling out of the muck as they walked, and you would have heard the wind whistle through the lattice of the radio transmission tower next to its lonely equipment hut. They call it Plank Road because they once laid planks to keep vehicles out of the mud.
Just a couple of weeks ago, late on a Friday afternoon, with a cloudy sky, snow flurries and a wet sidewalk, you could have walked downtown and brushed shoulders with a total of 20 people in a circuit of the business district.
A couple of hours later, you could have gone to that same intersection of Goods Lane and Plank Road, entered Logan Valley Mall at Applebee’s, near the swamp of 45 years ago, and seen at least five times as many people as you stepped into the warm, bright, white concourse.
Seventy years ago, walking on Eighth Avenue on a Sunday afternoon, you could have smelled the spaghetti sauce cooking, seen entire families with as many as 16 children walking to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and heard the chatter of old people speaking Italian.
But if you headed up Frankstown Mountain, pulled off and turned left, you would have been in the woods, branches scratching your face, tramping through fragrant leaf litter.
A couple of weeks ago, if you walked down Eighth Avenue near Mount Carmel, you’d see vacant lots, shale-covered industrial lots with perimeter chain-link fences and blighted buildings interspersed with homes and businesses.
Then, if you headed up Frankstown Mountain, looked left and drove into the woods, into a neighborhood of outsized houses, a magic kingdom that in time will become our version of the mansion-bedecked hillsides above our industrial cities and towns, where the masters of commerce and industry lived, where the best homes can turn into museums.
The specter of development has changed the face of Blair County. This is a look at the way we are—and the way we were.
The Pleasant Valley Shopping Center was ground zero for Altoona’s suburban retail explosion. But before it became ribbons of asphalt, it wa a horse track.
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