Costco mystique casts tantalizing spell

"I can't believe this," said Neil Greenbaum, waving the newspaper at his wife. "They're starting another big push for this stupid Hamilton Crossings scheme in Lower Macungie Township."

"Coooostco," said his wife.

"Who in his right mind would offer tax incentives so someone can throw up another shopping center, in a booming suburban community, along a bypass designed to reduce traffic congestion? Competing with nearby shopping centers that provided their own financing? It's insane." He stood. "You want more coffee?"


"When the Lehigh County commissioners rejected this ridiculous scheme last year, I was so grateful that someone could see past the fancy stores and really think about the wrongheadedness of that kind of corporate welfare in a community where development already is booming. But now the new county executive wants to hold a pep rally next week to get it back on track?"


He filled his cup and sat back down. "I know he's calling it an informational meeting, but it's obviously designed to pressure the commissioners into reversing their decision. Seems really inappropriate to me. If these people want to develop on the Hamilton Bypass and the zoning fits, we can't stop them, but taxpayers sure shouldn't have to put up any money for it."


"I'm not the only one. The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission thinks it's a terrible idea, too. I'm going to email a couple of the county commissioners to ask them to stick to their …"


He looked at her more closely. "Martha, are you OK? You look strange. Almost haunted."


"Your eyes aren't even focusing. And … is that drool on your chin? Martha, speak to me!"


"I'm calling the doctor."

Moments later, he had their physician on the phone.

"Doctor, thank you for taking my call."

"No problem. Can you describe her symptoms?"

"She's just staring into space and drooling, moaning, 'Costco.' I've never seen her like this. Is it a stroke?"

"No, it's nothing like that."





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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