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Showdown looms at PSSA gun club (Article)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Apr 6, 2011.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Showdown looms at gun club

    Lawsuit threatens event that brings region $1M

    By Marcia Moore - The Daily Item

    ELYSBURG — Frustration over a land deal stalemate between the Pennsylvania State Sportsman’s Association and Valley Gun and Country Club has the state group threatening to abandon Elysburg, taking one of the largest tourism events in the Central Susquehanna Valley with it.

    “It could be devastating to the economy” if what organizers call the largest state championship trapshoot in the nation leaves Elysburg, former Northumberland County tourism director Kathy Jeremiah said Tuesday.

    Frank Sawicki, chairman of the county commissioners, estimated the economic loss at about $1 million a year if the state sportsman’s association leaves.

    For years, the PSSA and Valley Gun and Country Club in Elysburg have shared the shooting grounds and operations.

    Last month, the PSSA filed a lawsuit in Northumberland County Court alleging the gun club and its officers failed to abide by a January 1995 agreement to transfer four parcels of land to the association. The documents spelling out that agreement are included in the lawsuit.

    The PSSA said more than $550,000 has been paid to the club in the past 15 years under the agreemen, which requires it to pay one cent for every clay target thrown on the grounds and that they evenly split proceeds from any lead reclamation.

    The PSSA has also paid yearly property taxes, which were $4,042 in 2010.

    No legal basis

    Valley Gun and Country Club President John Mushalko Jr. said: “We don’t feel the agreement has any legal basis.

    We’ve done what we feel is our part.” The disagreement came to light in March 2009 when an “unexpected and threatening letter” was sent by the gun club to the PSSA, according to a statement from the state association’s executive committee.

    No results from meetings

    Both sides met several times to try and resolve their differences, without success, before the PSSA filed the lawsuit to obtain title to the property.

    PSSA president Mike Schuler said he believes the election of new officers at the gun club in January contributed to the disagreement.

    No takeover bid

    “It must be clearly stated that it is not, and has never been, the intent of the PSSA to take over the Valley Gun and Country Club or put it out of business,” the executive committee said.

    However, if the PSSA is unable to obtain the title to the property, it will not invest more money on improvements to the shooting fields, trap houses and vendor buildings and will leave the community.

    ‘Big deal

    The potential loss of the PSSA is “a very big deal” to the county, Jeremiah said.

    6,000 visit The PSSA hosts several events throughout the year, including the annual nine-day trapshoot in June that attracts about 2,000 competitors from across the U.S. and Canada, about 4,000 spectators and employs more than 300.

    A 2007 story about the event noted that the prior year shooters had shot at 1.68 million targets at the event.

    “It brings in a lot of money to Northumberland, Columbia and Montour counties,” Jeremiah said.


    http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x1281103329/Showdown-looms-at-gun-club
     
  2. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    So what you have now is a collection of biased personal opinions to add to the vague statement issued by PSSA...nothing new...the same story just different story tellers sensationalized by some uninvolved writer.

    PSSA has to know it will cut its own throat by trying to change locations and build a new facility complete with infrastructure (camping etc) because it won't get any help for the State like Illinois gave Sparta.

    MK
     
  3. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Like many of us, I have no intimate knowledge of this scuffle but you have to wonder how these two organizations could have prospered together for so many years and then allow this ugly ordeal to blossom. But that's life in modern commercial America, it seems.

    Ed
     
  4. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    AverageEd asked, "how these two organizations could have prospered together for so many years and then allow this ugly ordeal to blossom."

    Perhaps this is the answer. It often is.

    "PSSA president Mike Schuler said he believes the election of new officers at the gun club in January contributed to the disagreement..."
     
  5. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    No more "L" line or favored banks-a new location? And the bad news is?
     
  6. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Andy, I know you're not naive enough to think that the preferential treatment regarding banks wouldn't travel to a new location. It's tough to have 50 or more fields without a few of them offering some kind of perceived advantage.

    Personally, I've shot exactly one good score on banks 1, 2 and 3 at Elysburg - a 99 in singles on a real gusty spring day using an ounce of 8-1/2s (because that's all I had left that day). My best scores have come on banks 5 through 11 and I usually tried to get a "split bank squad" for the 200-target events. Accordingly, Elysburg's "buddy system" never bothered me.

    Ed
     
  7. fssberson

    fssberson Active Member

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    This sounds like the NFL and the palyers... how do you split so much money and still not get along?? Que lastima! Fred
     
  8. PA POOCH

    PA POOCH TS Member

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    PSSA has posted their statement/position concerning the land issue on their website. I do wish a legitimate current ranking board member from VGCC would do the same.
    Thanks,
    Rick Jackson
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. My son's future brother and sister-in-law live in Bradford County and they tell me that drilling has become a huge part of the local economy, especially if the well(s) on your property have good yields. Then the royalties can have you set for life.

    Ed
     
  10. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    You PA shooter's may be at crossroad with a great opportunity. Don't let up on either entity.

    Curt - Delaware
     
  11. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Well Ed, you might also ask yourself how many championships are won on banks other than 1-4. I'll betcha few. Now if you've seen the property I've recommended for a look-see, you might change your mind on the need for preferential banks. May or not be available but a local shooter is on the airport board!!
     
  12. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    A shooting buddy of mine and I were just at lunch together and were talking about this rubarb. I told him about the site you are championing and think it would be great. I've driven by it (I think) en route to Bucks County F&G from I-76 and agree with you.

    Not to nitpick, but aren't all the championships won on banks 5 and 6? That's where the shoot-offs are held, after all. But I know what you're saying. I'm probably just in the minority for not liking the lower-numbered banks better.

    Ed
     
  13. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    The shoot offs are held under the lights most of the time. You don't see the background. And even if they are held during the day, there is no shooting going on at the lower banks, so fewer distractions than you have during the regular part of the shoot.

    And since when do they have vendor BUILDINGS at the PSSA? Have they built some since I moved?
     
  14. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Andy, have you gathered any pricing information, talked with the local government officials, the PSSA? I really like your idea, but then again...I'm not a PA shooter.
     
  15. zinger

    zinger Member

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    From "drhunter" on the previous "PSSA" thread..

    "NOW and as an active B member of the Vally Gun Club, I am aware of an OFFICIAL AGREMENT between the PSSA and VGC, that the PSSA seems to have forgot about mentioning in there Posting on their site, and I am not going to be the one to mention it's contents here, but maybe someone from PSSA better go back and look for this agreement so that they can save themselves some Legal fee's Money that they may well need for the construction of their new facility in BUMf--k. So shooters that like to shoot at Elysburg dont fear just remember "THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO A STORY " And right now you are only hearing PSSA's side. !

    PS. I just may go ahead and request being vote on for A membership at our next meeting. LOL

    it's still obvious it has something to do with being an A membership vs a B membership. If a suit was filed, would the contract become public?
     
  16. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    recurveyarcher, I've contacted the airport land manager and since he only got the job two weeks ago he wasn't a bundle of information. Mentioning a shooter board member seemed to raise an eyebrow. I've also been in contact with a major PSSA representative who wanted to know the exact location of the property. His name will remain anonymous!!
     
  17. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

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    You got to love Ohio and PA shooters. They will fight about anything until they kill it.
     
  18. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Jim, I think Ohio's creation makes PA think!!
     
  19. K80433SC

    K80433SC Member

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    Regardless of the merit(s) of the claims of the PSSA, OR the defense of the Valley Gun & Country Club in this land dispute, one thing remains that simply cannot be disputed.

    All of the favored shooters will "draw" banks 1-4, with most of them being LUCKY enough to get bank 3 - for all of the championship events in singles and handicap. While banks 1-4 definitely have the best shooting backgrounds, the number 3 bank remains the "best of the best". The fact that shoot-offs are held on banks 5 & 6 would substantiate the claim that the FINAL results are decided there, however, the advantage is still set for those to reach the shoot-off in the first place.

    Now - when it comes to doubles, those SAME favored shooters seem LUCKY enough (imagine that) to "draw" bank 10 - on the lower section of the infamous L-shaped firing line. While banks 9-11 have the most consistent shooting background on the lower line, again there is a bank that is the "best of the best" down there. It is bank 10. And the reason the favored are on bank 10 has to do with the afternoon sun being behind them, since doubles events are shot in the late afternoon at Elysburg.

    The same preferred banks 1-4 that they "draw" for singles and handicap now shoot with the afternoon sun coming in from the left (as does the entire top line, in fact), making the doubles targets appear very small and black in color - as opposed to the lower line having the sun behind the shooters' backs, making the targets appear very ORANGE in color.

    Once again...........advantage to the favored competitors. Cut it ; chop it ; slice it ; dice it.......this phenomenon CANNOT be disputed. When one of the best trapshooters who has ever shouldered a gun said that the primary reason he does not attend the PA State Shoot is because it is an UNFAIR tournament, I would say that just about sums it up. Many of you might have heard of this former ALL AMERICAN team captain from Kansas.................

    With regard to the statement by PSSA President Mike Schuler about the election of new officers at the Valley Gun & Country Club playing a role in bringing this dispute to the forefront, I might offer this :
    For "who knows how many years", WHATEVER the agreement or situation at the homegrounds in Elysburg has worked just fine. For "who knows how many years", the PA East and West zone shoots worked just fine. Suddenly - the PSSA gets a new President in 2009, and NOW we have "split" zone shoots - held in September, instead of May - as they had been for "who knows how many years". Not surprisingly, Bradford Gun Club (Schuler's home) is now eliglible for a Zone shoot. Schuler also supports and defends the mindset to keep the aforementioned preferential bank system status quo. He was actually quite adament about continueing this KNOWN advantage, when questioned about it at the 2009 annual meeting of Club Delegates.

    Now - I do not claim to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, however, there seems to be a question as to exactly which "new officers" or executive board mentality has played the larger role in the recent legal dispute over land rights at the Pa homegrounds in Elysburg.
     
  20. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    To expound upon what was posted immediately above, I was speaking with a well-known ATA All-American, Pennsylvania HoF member, many-time state champion and former PSSA secretary about the "perceived" buddy system of bank assignments at Elysburg several years ago. He of course denied the existence of any unfair bank assignments. I suggested that Delaware's method of drawing the location of bank 1 (from which the rest of the bank numbering would follow) just before the first event each day was a good one. His reply was, "I knew there was a reason why I don't shoot there."

    At one time, I had Friday afternoons free, so I would take my squadmates' ATA cards to Elysburg the Friday afternoon prior to the state shoot's Saturday opening day primarily to draw a squad for us for the singles championship the following Saturday. At that time, the PSSA opened three squadding windows at 6:00 p.m. mainly to serve the campers so the next morning's lines would be a little shorter. Each time I did that, I was the first to be waited on at one of the windows. And every time, before I even told the squadder what I wanted, he recited, "There are no squads available on banks 1, 2 and 3 for the entire state shoot."

    Makes you wonder...

    Ed
     
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