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     Disney's recent surprise decision to abandon Manassas, VA,
as the site of Disney's America was based largely on the
recognition that the company's "family-friendly image was being
threatened by environmentalists, historians, and community
leaders."  Disney Board Member, Robert A.M. Stern:  "There's a
lot of money going into Disney's America and when you invest that
much in a project, the image of people standing around with
picket signs on the day you open doesn't sit well."  The board,
led by Disney Chair Michael Eisner, reached the decision
unanimously "after less than an hour's debate" (Spayd & Farhi,
     PRAISE FOR EISNER:  Richard Moe, president of the National
Trust for Historic Preservation and an opponent to the project,
characterized Disney as "patriots" for their decision.  Moe:
"It's never easy for a company to reverse its position on such a
highly visible issue.  It's a sign of great courage on Michael
Eisner's part to do this and I commend him for it" (WASHINGTON
POST, 9/30).
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