STATE COLLEGE RIOT OF MARCH 23, 2001

By Julian Heicklen

Published in Centre Daily Times, April 26, 2001


 




There was a riot in State College after the Penn State-Temple basketball game. The State College Borough Council (SCBC) believes that alcohol and pizza consumption contributed to the riot and is considering measures to curb these activities. Thousands of people consume alcohol and pizza every night in State College. Riots occur only if there is some criminogenic activity, like arts festivals or Penn State athletic events. The police expected and planned for a riot that night, not because alcohol and pizza were being consumed, but because of the basketball game. If the SCBC really is interested in preventing riots, it would prohibit criminogenic activities. However, the SCBC is interested in curtailing behavior of which it does not approve. Alcohol and pizza consumption are such behaviors.

The SCBC does not approve of big-breasted sexy women. Thus it discouraged Hooters from opening a restaurant. The SCBC is trying to prevent the Mormons from building a church, because Mormons are "bad neighbors."

Forty percent of the residences in State College have been declared historical monuments, so that the SCBC can have more control of residentsí property. Apparently zoning restrictions are insufficient. To repair these properties, the owners must get permission from the State College Historical Resource Commission, the State College Design Board, and the SCBC.

A disdained group is students. Thus building heights have been limited to four floors in downtown State College to drive the students, and the businesses which service them, into the surrounding townships. As the businesses leave, Penn State University will purchase the land, thus eroding the property tax base. Property taxes will increase, thus forcing the economically challenged (another group in disfavor with the SCBC) to leave.

The SCBC is a classic example of totalitarian government. If you prefer freedom, contact the Libertarian Party to run for elective office. Do not rely on your neighbors to do this. They like totalitarian government.