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Fort Howard Development Fails To Meet Major Milestone Steps

Website taken down as company lets delivery dates expire.

It looks as if the proposed Fort Howard LLC vision of a major development on the grounds of the old Fort Howard Veterans Hospital may have passed with the company’s failure to meet the requirements of the Major Milestone Steps and their Delivery Date as outlined in the project plans and their failure to respond by the due date.

The Major Milestone Steps are a series of projects as outlined in steps A through O and can be viewed by reading the accompanying PDF file listed above.

I contacted the county and spoke to one of the county officials familiar with the project who spoke on the condition of anonymity.   I called the county’s department of licenses and permits and asked if any of the Milestone Steps were met by the developers, Fort Howard LLC. 

The answer was surprising when it was revealed no word from the company regarding some of these benchmarks which were due by the fourth quarter of 2011.  These benchmarks were due as a result of an extension of the process was granted by the VA.

The last blog I wrote on this subject revealed a GAO investigation into the entire VA EUL (Enhanced Use Lease) used to benefit veterans and their medical care, a program not only here in Baltimore, but nationwide as well.

To make matters worse both Congressman Ruppersberger and Senator Mikulski lauded the advancement of the Fort Howard Project while Councilman Olszewski not only did the same but allegedly attending a meeting with the developer and the local union in an attempt to borrow around $10 million dollars as seed money for the project. 

I received information about the private meeting involving the developers and union members, verified it through another source and sent an email to the councilman on June 18th, 2012 asking for a comment.  I did not receive a response.

Meanwhile in the Eagle article comments from our three public officials led us to believe the project was well on its way to becoming a reality.  The sad part, a closer look at the development revealed it was more about a retirement community and less about our veterans care.  According to the census figures the Fort Howard area has around 9,500 residents and over 6,000 signatures opposed the development over numerous issues including the most important one, it was not about the veterans

Other articles showed the same disdain of the project's goals which in my opinion was using the veteran’s plight to obtain a large sprawling retirement community that based on price would have excluded many veterans.

Let’s give credit where credit is due.  Senator Norman Stone and Delegate Sonny Minnick opposed the project on numerous issues.  Councilman Olszewski and county executive representative Bryan Sheppard declined to questions or speak about the development.

The bottom line for me is even if the new short lease is still in effect it should be terminated based on the many of the same reasons of the first failed attempt by a now infamous developer of the original project, Federal Development LLC. The whole concept for the Fort Howard LLC development had more to do with money than the plight of our veterans.

Hopefully the GAO investigation, the embarrassing report of the current treatment of our vets in our own backyard will do more than just annoy our political leaders but will hold them accountable for their actions and force them to uphold their oaths to serve the citizens they represent including our vets.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MC January 29, 2013 at 06:21 PM
There's that man crush you have on Fred Homan coming out again. You know, if you dressed a little better, he might even go out with you.
Buzz Beeler January 29, 2013 at 07:27 PM
MC, going back through your comments it appears you are a company man. Now I was responding to Gene's comment concerning my use of sources. Fred Homan is the classic example of why. Why don't you read the Blake case to refresh your memory. There are many more such as this one. http://perryhall.patch.com/blog_posts/cluster-fred-homan-needs-to-go I could go on about some of his exploits and how he handled them by firing the person but I won't go into the explicit details. The crux of the matter would be how long do you think the jobs of those in the county would last if Homan new I was talking to certain people. I know first hand what it is like to stand up and be heard. I think they call it retaliation and retribution. I will never expose people to what I went through. I was once threatened with (I won't mention his name) a civil suit over libel and my response was - bring it on - and we can all learn about the real truth behind the actions of our government officials. If these officials don't like the truth then don't create situations where their actions question the bounds of it. Actually I thank Homan for his generous pension and giving me a chance to practice my second love, writing the truth. Trust me MC there is a lot more out there, much more.
MC January 29, 2013 at 09:18 PM
You're just a bitter old man with a Fred Homan man crush. It is quite pathetic.
Buzz Beeler January 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM
MC, I may be old but I write the truth, as much as it may disturb some. The only pathetic thing about the issue is the number of lives he has impacted and keeps on getting away with it. That goes right back to leadership at the top.
Steve January 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Just tell the truth Beeker. You made it up. ....and the Feds aren't investigating the project. You made that up too.
Buzz Beeler January 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Normally I would not respond to you but since you asked and to make sure I show the folks just how you lack any knowledge of anything, read it and weep. http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-11-00002-74.pdf This investigation includes the whole process including Fort Howard. Don't bother me again with your ill-informed questions but rather learn how to read. I wrote about this before. This audit does not include the GAO coming to Baltimore to conduct their own investigation regarding Fort Howard.
Steve January 30, 2013 at 01:04 AM
That's an audit of the whole system which is routinely required. It's a far cry from an "investigation" Pinocchio.
Buzz Beeler January 30, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Please read very slowly. Look for the word, if you can find it, it's spelled INVESTIGATION! Related to AUDIT Synonyms: inspection, check, checkup, examination, going-over, look-see, review, scan, scrutiny, survey, view Related Words: analysis, assay, close-up, deconstruction, dissection; exploration, investigation, probe, research, study; inquisition, interrogation; once-over, perusal; recheck, reinspection, resurvey; observation, surveillance, watch; checkout, test-drive, trial run
Kongo January 30, 2013 at 01:55 AM
The Stank does an awful lot of weeping as it is. Don't torment him too much, Buzz.
Buzz Beeler January 30, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Kongo, I'm trying to encourage him to read. He read that entire audit in record time. Isn't he amazing!
Buzz Beeler January 30, 2013 at 03:33 AM
It seems that our friend Steve can't take the truth when he is pointed out as one who knows absolutely nothing but yet continues to run his mouth. Where did you go Steve?
Buzz Beeler January 30, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Frank, if you are going to quote me do it right and not as you have because you GOT IT WRONG! My remark read, "I was once threatened with (I won't mention his name) a civil suit over libel and my response was - bring it on - ..." Frank's quote concerning my comment; '"I was once threatened with a civil suit over my libel and my response was - bring it on..."' I did not use the words MY LIBEL, they are your misquoted words. Get it right!
Steve January 30, 2013 at 04:56 PM
"On the the other hand the anonymous people allowed on Patch is wrong, these people hide behind being anonymous & talk out their butts. " Gino, Maybe you missed that the crux of the article was based on a "Condition of Anonimity"
Billy Madison January 30, 2013 at 09:26 PM
It seems to me that Beeler comes on this "blog", makes a bunch of shit up and then spends the next two days defending what he made up. This site is crap, his reporting is crap and the half ass information that comes out of it is crap! Stop making up sources Beeler...Shall we go back to all of your articles and show the trail of misinformation? I feel like this reporter has your number Beeler... http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81826654/
Buzz Beeler January 31, 2013 at 02:11 AM
Billy, your very first comment I see. You are real avid reader of Patch I presume. Read all the articles and have documentation to back up your amateurish claims? I love this claim: "I feel like this reporter has your number Beeler..." Reporter? Who do you write for? There is no record of you on Face Book or Google. You must have a very deserve audience. Billy Madison is a character out of a Adam Sandler movie. Brilliant choice of names. Where is the crap? Name it? Point it out? I have more much more and this goes to the top. By the way this is video evidence. I don't think when our founding fathers wrote "We the people", meant we were stupid. I am waiting to hear about the misinformation on this and other articles. I have been doing this for a long time and learned get it right the first time. http://www.buzzbeeler.com/articles Now I will await your reply and don't forget the name of the publication you write for. By the way I don't defend anything, I simply explain to the folks questions they have. Can't wait to hear from you and don't forget your documentation.
Steve January 31, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Well, maybe instead of all this guessing resulting in the usual conspiracy theories you should have called the Developer directly.
David Robert Crews January 31, 2013 at 09:39 AM
I knew this was going to come to be with Fort Howard LLC, as I did early on with the previous developer Federal Development LLC. Neither one is run by anyone with any known success in completing such a project as they each proposed for the Ft. Howard VAMC property (both plans being nearly the same in proposed scope and size), and neither show financial ability to do so. I've done research on the principals of each, and will post on Patch about them when my work is ready. I, as does nearly every writer who does stories like Buzz Beeler's blog here, sometimes receive anonymous information - which is then checked on to be verified by a different source. In most of these situations, revealing an anonymous source puts that person at risk of having bad things happen to them. If revealed, some know they will be fired from their job, others could be threatened with harm and/or be harmed. That harm could be to them, their family, friends and/or property. This is common knowledge - worldwide. We - including the 6,000 petition signers & maybe you - are for a veterans use project of reasonable size. We are against a huge development that will turn Ft. Howard into a crowded town full of frustrated residents, employees, park visitors, multiple companies' and government supply delivery drivers, etc.. We are protecting everyone involved - including veterans and non-vets who would move to Ft. Howard not realizing the troubles they'll face in such a potentially overpopulated place.
Buzz Beeler January 31, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Thanks David. People seem to forget that money rules all and finding the trail of that money or lack thereof is not as easy as they think. There is so much that goes on that I don't write about. They don't understand like the one above who said just call the developer. Sure! You think for one second he is going to be honest or even acknowledge me. I saw how honest they were at the community meeting. We'll get right back to you on this. Or we will have all the answers in 30 days. The community never heard from them again. They forgot to tell you about the infrastructure issues like water, electricity and traffic and who was going to pay for this. And for our ill-informed friend I did try and contact them with no reply.
Happy Gilmore February 01, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I wouldnt answer an email or phone call from Beeler. His ill attempt at writing usually involves misquoting people or false information.
Steve February 01, 2013 at 06:48 PM
"I, as does nearly every writer who does stories like Buzz Beeler's blog here, sometimes receive anonymous information - which is then checked on to be verified by a different source. In most of these situations, revealing an anonymous source puts that person at risk of having bad things happen to them. If revealed, some know they will be fired from their job, others could be threatened with harm and/or be harmed. That harm could be to them, their family, friends and/or property. This is common knowledge - worldwide." ....and some people use the cloak of anonymity to just make stuff up and create these patently absurd conspiracy theories.
Buzz Beeler February 01, 2013 at 08:57 PM
I love these first time commentator's that claim I misquote of use false information when they are the epitome of fake, false or misleading. Happy ( not so much now) show me an example of my false information or where I misquoted someone? In fact I never quoted anyone in this blog. I get it right the first time and my record shows that. How's your slap-shot or golf game? What happened to the reporter Billy Madison, the so-called reporter, (more precisely the name of a movie character) who was going to show all of my mistakes. You are allowed more than one comment on this site.
David Robert Crews February 02, 2013 at 09:17 AM
More people publicly espouse stuff they made up than ever has been or will be espoused as anonymous info to investigating writers. You can see it everyday on TV. But it is common knowledge - all around the world - that "some people use the cloak of anonymity to just make stuff up." Which is why anonymous info needs to be verified someway. And the fact that nothing has been accomplished towards beginning construction on the development project on Ft. Howard VAMC property shows me that Buzz's anonymous Baltimore County source told the truth. I - along with many others - don't need to read a blog to know that Ft. Howard Development LLC has failed to do what they said they would. We've witnessed the lack of action. Buzz's blog informs others who don't know about it. In November 2010, the VA announced their choice of Ft. Howard Development LLC as the new contractor for the project http://www.maryland.va.gov/publications/newsreleases/2010/11-22-10_FtHowardDeveloperSelected.asp . Here it is 2 1/4 years later and all that has been done towards meeting requirements of the Major Milestone Steps is that grandiose plans were made and published on the Ft. Howard Development LLC website. A website that has been taken down from the Internet; and nothing by Ft. Howard Development LLC comes up in searches - which indicates they ain't gonna do anything more to complete the project. There are no "conspiracy theories" in Buzz's blog, just published proof of what many of us know.
Buzz Beeler February 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Again, thanks David. We are dealing with people who have no clue as to what constitutes factual information. That is why the use fake names and make wild claims. What they fail to realize is that if I libel someone I can be sued. That is why I always tell these people to study Watergate. If Woodstein [sic] (nickname) would have published the names of their sources Watergate would have lasted one day. I even quoted one of them in an interview on the subject. They make claims (run their mouths) and never back them up. Actually they have no clue as to what is going on. I attended the meeting with my editor at the time and we heard directly from the developers and what they promised the community and what they were going to do. I obtained a government three-ringed binder on the entire project. I posted as a PDF file showing the bench marks they had to meet. Everything they told the community was not true. The promised to have other meetings and a report on the traffic concerns in 30 days which never came. They promised to reveal how the infrastructure upgrades would be done and that never happened. After the meeting they disappeared. Then I got word of the GAO audit and investigation into the VA's operation of these EUL's and posted that. I would describe them as ill-informed. We are wasting our breath with these no nothing types who are shown to be wrong time after time. Like I said look at who we are dealing with.
Steve February 02, 2013 at 02:37 PM
As opposed to disgruntled, grumpy, old Farts that spend the rest of their waning days believing in conspiracy theories. Was "Your Editor" the same person who accompanied you to your tilting at windmills expedition to the SAO's Office? What a Maroon!
Buzz Beeler February 02, 2013 at 04:04 PM
His name is Ron Cassie who is now I believe is at Baltimore Magazine. http://dundalk.patch.com/articles/fort-howard-deal-could-be-signed-in-3-weeks Explain you theory on the conspiracy after reading Ron's article Mr. Armstrong. I am working on a blog on he subject which will include you and your comments. It deals with the law and how it's applied.
Steve February 02, 2013 at 04:19 PM
"I am working on a blog on he subject which will include you and your comments. It deals with the law and how it's applied." I really don't know how you can humanly possible make yourself look like a bigger fool than you already have. I am looking forward to it. It should be interesting. Make sure you run it by Ronnie first!
Kongo February 02, 2013 at 04:30 PM
"I really don't know how you can humanly possible make yourself look like a bigger fool than you already have." says the Stanker. Well, Stanker, he could always try to imitate you. ROTFLMAO
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alishajohn, take your spam and put it where the sun don't shine.
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