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Linglestown Gazette: October 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

LP weekend preview, Oct 31 – Nov. 2

Updated at Friday, 10/31/08 at 5:01 pm ...

*** This weekend's BIG EVENT ***

Do breakfast Saturday, Nov. 1, with at the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Linglestown Fire Company (brick building), 7 am–noon, $5 at door, children 11 and under $3I plan to chow down at 7:30 am
Friday–Saturday, 10/30–11/1 ... Fall book sale at East Shore Area Library, proceeds will benefit the library, Friday 10 am–5 pm, and Saturday 10 am–2 pm

** NEW ** Saturday–Sunday, 11/1–11/2 ... Fair Trade Fair at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Road, handcrafts and jewelry from artisans in developing regions around the world will be available for purchase, proceeds help to improve living conditions for the artisans and their families, Saturday 3–8 pm, Sunday noon–5 pm

Saturday, 11/1 ... TurkeyRama Family 1-Mile Fun Run at Friendship Community Center, registration 7-8:30 am, race at 9 am, more info and entry form (PDF file)

Saturday, 11/1
The Central Dauphin High School Marching Band will present its annual KeyNotes Concert, featuring musical highlights from the 2008 season, ice cream social will follow the concert, 7 pm, free admission

Saturday, 11/1 ... Spaghetti at United Church of God, 1211 Fairmont Drive, 4:30–6:30 in the church's social hall, meal includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti, beverage, bread and salad bar, $7 adults, $2 children under 12 years of age

Saturday, 11/1
Game night at Linglestown Life, see ad at bottom of this post

Join the Merchants of Linglestown for holiday season events throughout November!

Click ad for larger version ...


Backyard news, 10.30.08

* In high school sports, CD High's girls' field hockey team continued their winning ways in the playoffs by slipping by a tough Hershey squad 1–0 Wednesday at Henry Hershey Field. The Rams (19-4) will meet two-time defending champ Lower Dauphin (20-2-1) at 3 pm Saturday back on the Milton Hershey School campus for the district title.

* Lower Paxton Twp. police are investigating a purse snatching that occurred Tuesday night outside the Colonial Park Mall.

* Thanks to those of you who tracked down historical facts on Linglestown’s flying Pletz boys. Read the tragic story of their attempt to fly over Blue Mountain into Fishing Creek Valley that is inscribed in the pictured tombstone.

* I received a note from Rob Nease, publisher of HarrisburgatHome.com, about a contest that he is running on his website – a ticket giveaway to see Theatre Harrisburg's "Sound of Music" at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg for the performance on Friday, Nov. 7. Check out the contest page and enter before noon on Monday, Nov. 3 – the winner will be contacted by phone. Thanks Rob!

* On the Election 2008 front, state Rep. Ron Marsico is unopposed on the ballot. This situation frustrates me because I believe no elected official should get a free pass.

As you know, recently I contacted Marsico about a planned dog park in Lower Paxton Twp., and I still haven’t received an acknowledgement to my e-mail and hand-delivered letter. Another Gazette reader and one of my friends had similar experiences.

All this tells me that Marsico badly needs to be challenged in the next election cycle during 2010. Please post a comment if you know someone who you believe would be a good candidate for taking on Marsico.

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Trick-or-treat reminder

Be on the lookout for strangely dressed children roaming around your neighborhood tonight, 6-8 pm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Linglestown history mysteries

* I was in a retail store today that had several historical pictures of Linglestown. One showed the home of the Pletz boys, who are credited with inventing a flying machine in 1828. Please post a comment if you can add to this historical tidbit.

* After reading the answer to this week’s trivia question, Gazette reader Old Pops wants to know what years Linglestown Fire Co. held a carnival at Koons Park. You know what to do if you're in the know – post a comment.


Holden, Gilhooley bid for congressional seat

Democratic Congressman Tim Holden and Republican challenger Toni Gilhooley waged a very civil debate Tuesday evening, a rarity in these days of highly charged partisan politics. In my opinion, both candidates are worthy of serving the residents of the 17th Congressional District, which includes Lower Paxton Twp. It's unlikely that the debate will sway voters one way or the other.

The biggest black mark against Holden is that he has been in office since 1993. Holden said his tenure and committee assignments put him in a position to secure federal dollars for local projects. In the not too distant past, Holden had a hand in securing federal highway money for the planned Linglestown improvement project.

Gilhooley, who is making her first run for a public office, made her case for cutting federal spending and taxes, and called for reform of earmarking, the system that lawmakers use to divvy up tax dollars for local projects. If elected, she plans to regularly conduct town meetings with residents. She is a resident of Lower Paxton Twp.

The Patriot-News and The Paxton Herald have endorsed Holden.
Debate media coverage:

* The Patriot-News didn't send a reporter to the debate that took place somewhere in northeastern PA.

* According to the Pottsville Republican & Herald, the economy was the focus of the candidates' sole faceoff.

* Lebanon Daily News says Gilhooley spent much of the evening attacking Holden’s policies.
WITF video: Gilhooley (QuickTime file)

Holden did not provide a video to WITF


LP mom turns citizen journalist

WGAL TV-8 gave Leigh Nguyen a camera so she could document how current economic conditions are affecting her household.

Nguyen makes references to her religions faith in the piece. She is a member of the same church that I attend, New Hope Church located on Colonial Club Drive.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Backyard news, 10.28.08

* For the record, a Nor’easter passed through Lower Paxton Twp. today. Heavy rain this morning was followed by extremely windy conditions in the afternoon, with some gusts topping 40 mph. I received a report of a power outage in the Grantville area in East Hanover Twp. The season’s first snow fell in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

* Lower Paxton Twp. police are seeking a woman in a debit, credit card theft.

* Everything is set for the Linglestown Gazette food drive that will kick off Monday, Nov. 3, at Amelia’s Grocery Outlet on N. Mountain Road. Proceeds from the drive will benefit the emergency food panty operated by the fine folks at LifePoint Church located along Route 22 in West Hanover Twp.

The first Gazette food drive that was held last April was quite successful. Let’s see if we can top it this time around.

* I’m going to close today by dipping in the archives with a short tale about a honey-do project from hell. WARNING – This story contains some adult language.


Three nail trivia challenge

Gazette congratulations go out to Brian Carl, a village of Linglestown resident and a staffer at Linglestown Life church, for being the first reader to submit a correct response in the Gazette trivia contest #1 – Name the resident, business, group or organization that donated the land now known as Koons Park to Lower Paxton Twp.

Brian credited his father, Harold Carl, for helping him come up with this correct answer:
The simple answer is the Linglestown Fire Company donated the land to the township.

The long answer is, Pete Koons originally owned the land (just basic pasture which he may have used for his livestock business at the time). He donated the land to the Fire Company. Following that, the township wanted the fire company to donate the land, however, at the first meeting it was an item for vote, the vote failed and they chose not to donate the land. As the story goes, the fire company later called a special meeting with the purpose of voting on donating the land again, and this time it passed. One of the stipulations of the donation was that every year, Linglestown Fire Company be allowed to hold their firemen’s carnival on the grounds.

So, Pete Koons to the Fire Company, then the Fire Company to the township.
Gazette reader Charles Hoffer and Sean Harp also successfully completed the trivia challenge.

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ELECTION ALERT – Holden, Gilhooley debate

Congressman Tim Holden, who represents Lower Paxton Twp., is debating his challenger, Toni Gilhooley of Lower Paxton Twp., tonight. Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will broadcast the debate at 8 pm on Comcast channel 74. If you don't have Comcast cable, you can view the debate on WITF TV-33.


Patriot-News: CD faces tough budget decisions

Tough economic times could force Central Dauphin School Board to consider some serious and painful possibilities, ranging from closing an elementary school to increasing some class sizes to corral costs, according to a story penned by Patriot-News crack beat reporter T.W. Burger.

In a related issue mentioned on Linglestown Gazette yesterday, board member Christian Malesic offered a no-tax-increase amendment, but it failed by a 5-3 vote, with Malesic, Justin McShane, and Michael Brehm voting in favor.

Also as mentioned on this blog Monday, the board approved an energy audit of the district's 19 buildings.

Check back later for more stuff on other topics ...

Hat tip to Malesic for calling me Monday with a preview of key agenda items. I had forgotten that last night's meeting was on this week's government meeting schedule.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Backyard news, 10.27.08

* Patriot-News nightlife guru Sara Bozich has spilled the beans (scroll down to end of column) about Troegs Brewing Co. in Harrisburg using coffee beans roasted by Java Geof of St. Thomas Roasters to make a special brewskie. The coffee house is hosting a Troegs tasting event on Thursday, Nov. 20, 6:30–8 pm. Be sure to mark your calendar!

* From The Patriot-News … CD East art teachers give students a chance to express their feelings and learn skills that can lead to jobs. … CD Rams football team upended Lower Dauphin 28–14 Friday night at Landis Field. The win qualified the Rams for the district playoffs. … CD Rams field hockey advanced in district playoffs Saturday by defeating Warwick 4–0 at Hersheypark Stadium.

* Holy Name of Jesus Church is having a Holiday Craft Show on Saturday, November 15, 8 am to 3 pm. Gazette reader and contributor KM is going to sign up to sell stuff there – homemade craft items. If you want to set up a table, send an e-mail to the event organizer to reserve your spot. The cost is $25 for an 8-foot table space – the church will supply a table and two chairs. They get quite a few people through there, said KM.

* I had another adventure buying jeans, this one at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on Allentown Blvd. I insist on trying on jeans before making a purchase since there are more jean cuts made these days than I can count with my fingers. Well, it turns out that Ollie’s doesn’t have a dressing room – a store employee said I could return the jeans within 30 days if they didn’t fit. No way! Instead I tied on the jeans in the restroom, and to my glee the carpenter pants fit!

By the way, the Ollie’s website is packed with cool sound effects.

* My miles-driven total for the one-week transportation experiment called Project No Drive ended Saturday at 120.5. I logged 46 miles Friday in my trusty 1998 Saturn SW1 to attend a concert at Messiah College, and 14 miles running errands Saturday. If you subtract the 46 miles driven for entertainment, my daily average for day-to-day stuff was a little over 10.5 miles.

Analysis: I had hoped to get a lower daily average since I work for pay from my home, but going cold turkey from driving is darn near impossible in a suburban neighborhood. The village of Linglestown and most other Lower Paxton Twp. neighborhoods lack a full complement of businesses and services to be true walkable communities. Plus, the main thoroughfares in the Lower Paxton Twp. are hazardous to walk. Many streets, like Balthaser and Wenrich, don’t have a berm for pedestrians.

There is a ray of hope for pedestrians though – Lower Paxton Twp. is in the very early stages of implementing a greenway plan.

* Follow me, , on Twitter.


Gazette trivia contest #1

CONTEST UPDATE – Contest winner is Brian Carl; second place goes to Charles Hoffer (Tuesday, 10.28.08, 10:38 am)

Koons Park, a 33-acre public park located in the historic village of Linglestown, is the crown jewel of the park system maintained by Lower Paxton Twp.

TRIVIA CHALLENGE – Name the resident, business, group or organization that donated the parkland to Lower Paxton Twp.

To enter, send an e-mail to Gazette publisher that includes your name, address and telephone number. First correct answer wins.

PRIZE – The winner will receive two $10 off coupons good at Bon-Ton department store in the Colonial Park Mall courtesy of citizens group SWAN, and your photo with posted on Linglestown Gazette.


CD school board to discuss taxes

The Central Dauphin School Board is slated to act tonight on a state-mandated referendum that would cap next school year’s property tax hike at 4.1 percent.

Like last year, an amendment for a no-tax-increase budget is likely to be offered tonight, said board member Christian Malesic. He is unsure if the amendment will pass this time around.

"One thing working in the district's favor right now for holding the line on taxes is falling energy and fuel prices," Malesic said.

The board’s finance committee is working on developing a proposed budget for the 2009-2010 school year. Formal review of a preliminary budget by the full school board won’t get under way until May.

On a related issue, the board will discuss and possibly approve an energy savings program recommended by Honeywell. If approved, Honeywell technicians would evaluate the district’s transportation and building operations for ways to reduce costs associated with fuel, electricity, water and trash disposal.

Dauphin County Technical School on Locust Lane retained Honeywell to reduce energy costs, Malesic said.

The board meeting will begin at 7 pm in the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School. The public is welcome to attend.

To review the agenda, go to the board’s Web site – the tax and Honeywell proposals are located under agenda item “New Business.” (Click the + sign to the left of meeting date 10/27/2008, and then click + signs located beside agenda items to review issues that will be discussed.)

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mowing Contest in final days

Lingletown Gazette’s Mowing Contest will end Saturday at sunset, and the winner is going to be showered with an incredible prize package thanks to the Merchants of Linglestown and other area businesses.

I could be spending considerable time behind the mower this week following the rain over the weekend. But to build the suspense to a fever pitch, no mowing-count updates will be posted during the balance of the contest period.

Here are the latest additions to the prize list …

* $10 in gift coins usable at Linglestown Chocolate Cafe and Restaurant

* A gift certificate for a hair cut at Shag, Linglestown's newest merchant

* Free in-studio sitting and choice of an 8x10 portrait at Kelli Wyland Photography

* $30 gift certificate for retail therapy at First Impressions boutique, gifts and spa

* Two $10 off coupons at Bon-Ton in the Colonial Park Mall from community watchdog group SWAN


Lower Paxton community calendar

Monday, 10/27 ... Linglestown Rec Basketball registration at the Linglestown Baseball Clubhouse, Koons Park, 6–8 pm

Thursday, 10/30 ... Trick-or-Treat, 6-8 pm

Thursday–Saturday, 10/30–11/1 ... Fall book sale at East Shore Area Library, proceeds will benefit the library, Thursday 10 am–8 pm, Friday 10 am–5 pm, and Saturday 10 am–2 pm

Saturday, 11/1 ... All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Linglestown Fire Company (brick building), 7 am–noon, $5 at door, children 11 and under $3

Saturday, 11/1 ... TurkeyRama Family 1-Mile Fun Run at Friendship Community Center, registration 7-8:30 am, race at 9 am, more info and entry form (PDF file)

Saturday, 11/1
The Central Dauphin High School Marching Band will present its annual KeyNotes Concert, featuring musical highlights from the 2008 season, ice cream social will follow the concert, 7 pm, free admission

Saturday, 11/1
Game night at Linglestown Life, see ad at bottom of this post

Monday–Friday, 11/3–8 ... Linglestown Gazette food drive at Amelia's Grocery Outlet, proceeds benefit an emergency food pantry

Wednesday, 11/5 ... The Central Dauphin High School Concert Bands will present a Veterans Day Concert, 7 pm, free admission

Friday, 11/7 ... St. Thomas Roasters coffee house presents the music of Antonio Andrade, 8–10 pm, no cover

Sunday, 11/9 ... December Radio Concert at New Hope Church, 6 pm, $12 admission, call the church office at 545-3400 for more info

Join the Merchants of Linglestown for holiday season events throughout November!

Click ad for larger version ...


Friday, October 24, 2008

LP, Linglestown weekend happenings, Oct. 25–26

Continuing ... Last weekend for old-fashioned hayrides at Koons Park sponsored by Lower Paxton Twp. Parks and Recreation and Paxton Area Jaycees, Saturday and Sunday, 6–8 pm, cost is $2/person

Saturday ... Christmas Expo at New Hope Church, 584 Colonial Club Drive, small businesses and direct sales companies will be featured, 9 am to 2 pm,

Saturday ... Chicken pot pie, corn soup and bake sale at Calvary Assembly of God, 4699 Earl Drive, 11 am to 4 pm

Sunday ... "When Faith and Politics Collide" sermon series continues at Linglestown Life, one-half block north of the square in Linglestown, services at 8, 9:30 and 11 am

Check back for upcoming events.


Music at Roasters

The stage at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house in the historic village of Linglestown will come alive Friday night with the sounds of Second Look, 8–10 pm, no cover.

I searched for info on the band or artist but came up empty. If you stop by tonight, please post a comment with your take on Second Look.

Check back for a preview of other weekend happenings in the Linglestown area and throughout Lower Paxton Twp.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Backyard news, 10.23.08

* Big news out of Linglestown – several merchants in the village have launched a new Web site. Please check it out, and be sure to click the “Promotions” link for some special discount offers.

* Sticking with the theme of new things, Linglestown Fire Company has erected a new sign and high-tech message board. Nice job!

* Two Lower Paxton Twp. officers have been declared heroes.

* In news just beyond our backyard, a longtime Hersheypark thrill ride bites the dust.

* Linglestown blogger KM has launched a gardening experiment.


Project No Drive: Tip drops milage count

Today’s Project No Drive update is a bit of a puzzler since my miles-driven count dropped by two miles. Yes, I said dropped. Now that I your attention, let’s unpack this mystery.

All the credit goes to Gazette reader and Patriot-News beat reporter T.W. Burger. He read yesterday’s update about me giving a friend a lift, a trip that put 47 miles on my trusty 1998 Saturn SW1. Burger wrote:
But wouldn’t it sort of average out some way? Yes, YOU drove 47 miles, but your friend DIDN'T.
I mulled over the suggestion a bit and concluded that Burger was onto something. Here’s what I finally came up with based on his idea:
I planned to drive 25 miles to play tennis with my friend in Grantville. We bagged tennis due to cool, windy weather conditions, and instead I drove him to get a job application at a state office building on Cameron Street. So, I'll only count 25 of the 47 miles – 22 miles will be credited to my friend.
OK, I now have 22 miles to burn. And today I piloted my car 20 miles during two trips – one to attend an ARRP meeting and the other to run a series of errands, including buying a pair of deep-discounted jeans at Boscov’s at Colonial Park Mall.

Summary: Miles driven dropped from 62.5 to 60.5.

I mentioned buying jeans because I despise shopping for jeans in a big way. Check out this B² tidbit from my personal archives to find out why.

AARP rocks!

I had a pleasant time visiting with the Lower Paxton AARP Chapter today. There were about 50 members in attendance at the group’s monthly meeting at Colonial Park United Church of Christ located next to Best Buy on Devonshire Road. The gathering featured a concert by The Telephone Pioneer Band. Special thanks to Betty for making me feel like I belonged there.

The chapter sponsors trips, holiday dinners, volunteer projects and much, much more. The next meeting is on Thursday, Nov. 20, at noon – members are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch to munch on prior to the meeting that will start at 1 pm.

I'm there!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Backyard news, 10.22.08

* Notes from Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors:

– Larry Robenolt, co-owner of First Impressions boutique, gifts and day spa, formally petitioned the township for improvements to Raspberry Lane, which is the alley that runs behind shops and homes on the south side of Linglestown Road. Robenolt and other merchants hope the alley will provide improved access to stores during the upcoming village improvement project. To learn more about the project, CLICK HERE for archives.

– The supervisors agreed to lend $421,435 to Paxtonia Fire Company 34 for enlarging and refurbishing its headquaraters.

– The supervisors approved a plan submitted by Community General Osteopathic Hospital for an oncology center and a maintenance building.

* Here’s a news item that you won’t read anywhere else. The First National Bank of Marysville, which recently opened a branch in Linglestown on N. Mountain Road, has applied to merge with Halifax National Bank. The consolidated bank’s new name is slated to be Riverview National Bank. By the way, has anyone opened an account at FNB of Marysville?

* In sports, CD Rams field hockey team topped Mechanicsburg 4–0 Tuesday in the first round of the district playoffs. Next up is Warwick at 11 am Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium. Three cheers for the Lady Rams!

* Just for kicks, I joined AARP after I turned 50 in July. I might attend a meeting of the Lower Paxton AARP Chapter tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 23. Check back for a report on this B² adventure. Hey, you only go around once in this life.

* Project No Drive went bust today. I chauffeured a friend who was in need of a ride and put 47 miles on my trusty 1998 Saturn SW1, causing this week’s miles driven to jump to 62.5 miles. And, early this evening I hoofed it into the village to meet with a merchant.

* Linglestown Life is sponsoring a fun event for kids of all ages, and that includes AARP members like me.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Backyard news, 10.21.08

Updated at 10:01 pm ...

Attention all bloggers, podcasters and video bloggers – There are rumblings on the Net about a podcamp coming to Harrisburg early in 2009. Kewl!

* I received word today that the Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors will take a final vote on the revised plan for the Estates of Autumn Oaks on Nov. 3, 2008.

* The prize package for the Linglestown Gazette Mowing Contest grew by leaps and bounds over the last 24 hours. Check back for details.

*** UPDATED *** Project No Drive update: Today I rode a bicycle about five miles to attend a meeting at New Hope Church. Normally I would have used my trusty 1998 Saturn SW1 for this trip, but I stayed loyal to this green experiment by allowing enough extra time to make the trek with my two-wheeler.

I did drive my car 11 miles to attend tonight's Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors meeting at the Municipal Center on Prince Street. The project has been under way for three days, and I've logged 15.5 miles behind the wheel.

* Last but not least, the readership of this blog has grown to a point that it can offer value as an advertising medium for local businesses. I’ll be announcing a dirt-cheap ad program later this week.

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Campaign pollution

I hate to say it, but the campaign for the state Senate seat that represents Lower Paxton Twp. has turned into a pissing match between longtime Republican incumbent Jeffrey Piccola and his Democratic challenger Judy Hirsh of Susquehanna Twp.

The candidates have traded highly negative campaign mailers in recent weeks, and they apparently continued their childish squabbling last night in a debate held in Derry Twp.

Ugh times infinity ...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Backyard news, 10.20.08

Updated at 9:34 pm ...

* In case you’re spending too much time in front of a computer monitor or cell phone screen, below is a reminder that fall colors are starting to appear throughout Lower Paxton Twp. With last night’s hard frost, Blue Mountain could be at peak color during the next week or so. Please post a comment if you know the type of tree that is pictured below – it’s located across the street from the Gazette newsroom.

* The season ended over the weekend for the two Linglestown Colts youth football teams that qualified for post season play (game scores are listed below). Congrats to all Colts players, coaches and parents for another great season!

Pee-Wee division: Carlisle 13–Linglestown 7

Pony division: Mechanicsburg 7–Linglestown 0

* Linglestown Fire Company is holding not just a raffle but a SUPER RAFFLE that has a blow-your-mind list of prizes. For purchasing info, stop by the firehouse or call 545-6801.

* The pile of loot the winner of the Gazette’s Mowing Contest got bigger over the weekend thanks to the fine folks at First Impressions boutique, gifts and day spa, located a few doors west of St. Thomas Roasters at 5943 Linglestown Road. Mowing 28 will happen this week, and it looks like the final number will be 29 or 30 when contest ends on Nov. 1.

* I received word today that Koons Pool will soon launch a Web site to keep everyone informed about plans for the 2009 swimming season.

* Project No Drive update ... Today I drove 0.5 miles, from a meeting in the village to the Gazette newsroom – my daughter dropped off my trusty 1998 Saturn SW1 so I could attend another meeting. As it turned out, I didn't make the second meeting. I walked to St. Thomas Roasters around noon and separately walked into the village for the aforementioned meeting.

* B² tech tip ... iGoogle has revolutionized Web surfing for me. Here’s what I’ve got on my personalized home page – Twitter, Gmail, Google Reader, Harrisburg weather, and Google News feeds for Linglestown, Lower Paxton and Sci/Tech.

Hey, if I can set up this gizmo, so can you.

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B² editorial: Citizen activism pays off big time

I’ve been impressed with the interaction of township officials, a housing developer and citizens in dealing with a controversial plan called the Estates of Autumn Oaks, a 91-unit luxury housing community on the slopes of Blue Mountain.

The development proposed by McNaughton Homes was nearly signed, sealed and delivered in early August. But last-minute appeals by residents of Centennial Acres, the development that borders the Estates of Autumn Oaks, convinced a majority of Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors to delay approving the plan even though the township’s engineering firm said that it met or exceeded all regulations. The residents objected to the location of storm water facilities and feared the new development would worsen existing flooding problems.

Fast-forward to mid-October and a resolution to the citizens’ concerns appears to be in the works. The revised plan, which probably will be tweaked a bit more based on citizens’ comments offered last week, appears to be much improved over the one that was nearly enacted a couple months ago – a pair of storm water detention ponds will be pushed back from the property line of Centennial Acres, and the design of the ponds has been changed to prevent water from seeping into ground. I expect the supervisors to approve the plan during their meeting on Monday, Nov. 3.

Gazette kudos go out to …

– McNaughton Homes for their willingness to meet with citizens and to act on their suggestions.

– Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Hawk for working with all parties involved in the dispute.

– Citizen watchdog group SWAN chairman Eric Epstein for assisting with negotiations and retaining an engineer to review the development plan.

– Centennial Acres residents who took the time to school themselves on the technical issues in play instead of merely crying the blues.

The moral of this story: The key to good government is a vigilant citizenry.

Be vigilant by attending local meetings:

Tonight ... SWAN citizen watchdog group meeting, Epiphany Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm. The meeting agenda includes a discussion of the Estates of Autumn Oaks, and Bill Hawk, chairman of the Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors will be attending.

Tuesday, Oct. 21 ... Lower Paxton Twp. board of supervisors meeting, Municipal Center, 425 Prince Street, 7 pm – meeting will be televised on Comcast cable channel 20. (meeting agenda)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Being frugual in Linglestown

Linglestown blogger and Gazette contributor KM has some tips for celebrating a frugal Christmas.

Speaking of frugality, today marks the start of a new Gazette feature that I'm calling Project No Drive. The goal of this project is too see if I can radically cut down the number of miles that I drive in my trusty 1998 Saturn SW-1.

Today I drove a total of four miles to attend a worship service at New Hope Church.

On the alternative transportation side, it was a beautiful day for a walk, and I made a trek from my home near Koons Park to Paxton Square Shopping Center to do some early Christmas shopping. I used a backpack to carry home my purchases. The trip requires crossing busy Route 22, and I found a safe place to cross – the traffic light at Hoffman Fordland that has a pedestrian button and a crosswalk.

Check back daily for Project No Drive updates.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekend backyard news, 10.18.08

* Dan and Katy Pratt, a young couple from Mechanicsburg, provided musical entertainment Friday evening at St. Thomas Roasters. They performed a good-sounding set of Christian and cover songs, along with a few original tunes.

* Koons Park was a busy place Saturday morning. Preparations started before dawn for a youth football playoff game.

Roofers were hard at work finishing a job on the salt storage dome and ripping off the roof on the maintenance building next to the main pavilion.

Finally, a crew from the Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association were preparing to plant a rain garden next to the salt storage dome. The garden is one way the association is working to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Apparently storm water that drains from the park eventually reaches the Paxton Creek and ultimately the bay. The plants in the garden are supposed to filter out pollutants that get washed into the soil from the dome and parking lot. Another benefit of the garden is that it should increase the amount of water runoff that percolates into the water table.

* Friday’s edition of The Patriot-News included some stuff about life in Lower Paxton Twp.

– LP officials find a creative way to pledge allegiance to the flag.

– Comcast cable TV is no longer the only show in town as LP and 20 other midstate municipalities are about to get fiber optic service, or FiOS, TV from Verizon. CLICK HERE for a Q&A about Comcast and Verizon services.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

LP, Linglestown weekend happenings, Oct. 17–19

Updated Friday, 10.17.08 at 4:41 pm ...

Pumpkin Patch at Linglestown Life

Continuing ... Old-fashioned hayrides at Koons Park sponsored by Lower Paxton Twp. Parks and Recreation and Paxton Area Jaycees, 6–8 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 26, cost is $2/person

** NEW ** Friday ... Music at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house features a group called The Pratts, 8–10 pm, no cover

Saturday ... Indoor flea market at New Hope Church, 584 Colonial Club Drive, 8 am-noon

Saturday ... Linglestown Colts Pee-Wee playoff game vs Carlisle, Koons Park, 11:30 am, admissions charge $2 adults, $1 students

** NEW ** Sunday ... New sermon series begins at Linglestown Life, one-half block north of the square in Linglestown, services at 8, 9:30 and 11 am

Sunday ... Take-out chicken BBQ at Colonial Park Fire Company, 10:30 am until sold out

Sunday ... Linglestown Colts Pony playoff game vs Mechanicsburg at Susquehann Twp. High School, 1:30 pm, admissions charge $2 adults, $1 students

Sunday ... FREE Spook-tacular at Koons Park sponsored by Lower Paxton Twp. parks department, kids ages 1–12 are invited to search for candy-filled eggs at the park. Don't forget your costume, a flashlight and a treat bag.

Sunday ... Gospel concert at Linglestown Church of God by Elvis impersonator Brad Crum, 6 pm, free will offering will be taken

-- Upcoming events --

Monday, Oct. 20 ... Linglestown Rec Basketball registration at the Linglestown Baseball Clubhouse, Koons Park, 6–8 pm

Monday, Oct. 20 ... SWAN community group meeting, Epiphany Lutheran Church, 7 pm

Thursday, Oct. 30 ... Trick-or-Treat night in Lower Paxton Twp., 6-8 pm


Sewer project drags on in Linglestown

The sewer-line replacement project happening east of the historic village of Linglestown along Route 39 is progressing slower than expected and most likely won’t wrap up for another three weeks.

Work on the project has been slowed due to PennDOT only allowing the contractor to close a small section of the road from 9 pm to 5 am, said Lower Paxton Twp. sewer department spokesman Jim Wetzel.

According to a Gazette reader, the contractor has shut down the road prior to 9 pm a couple times this week. The early road closure is happening either because PennDOT altered the road-closure permit, or the contractor is jumping the gun to quicken the pace of work.


Backyard news, 10.16.08

* The Village of Linglestown Committee meeting scheduled for tonight has been canceled. According to committee member Bill Minsker, the village improvement project, which is sometimes referred to as the square project, remains on track to go out for bids in November. Also, Lower Paxton Twp. has wrapped up the legal work to pave Blackberry Lane – the alley behind Chocolate Cafe – from Blue Mountain Parkway to Linglestown Life church. (village project archives)

* Verizon expects to fire up its brand spanking new FiOS TV service in Lower Paxton and other midstate communities by the end of October.

* The Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association is planning to begin work on a large rain garden at Koons Park in Linglestown this Saturday, Oct. 18, 9 am to noon. More info is available in the association’s fall newsletter. (Hat tip to Kim Mumper for submitting this item.)

* Linglestown Fire Company is offering a specialized vehicle license plate to its active firefighters.

* Lower Paxton community activist Eric Epstein digs into whether taxes are patriotic in the kickoff post for a new blog called Capitol Domes sponsored by Central Penn Business Journal.

* Judy Hirsh is desperate – Jeff Piccola raises his own pension, then makes us pay. These negative headlines are courtesy of campaign fliers that landed in my mailbox from the state Senate candidates seeking my vote. I’ll give the state Democrats credit for making Piccola look like a crook. On a serious note, Piccola and Hirsch will debate on Monday, Oct. 20, 7:45–8:45 pm, at the Derry Township Municipal Building, according to Hirsh's website.

* The pile of loot the winner of the Linglestown Gazette Mowing Contest will walk away with is getter bigger and better by the day – latest addition is a photography package gift certificate from Kelli Wyland. She specializes in family, children and pre-natal photography, and is one of the owners of Olivia’s Tea Room in Linglestown. Mowing count stands at 27.

* Mark your calendar for the Linglestown Gazette Food Drive at Amelia’s Grocery Outlet, Nov. 2–8.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Learn how to mix faith and politics

Most people try to avoid mixing faith and politics, but Linglestown Life will wade into both topics in anticipation of the presidential election with an upcoming sermon series entitled When Faith and Politics Collide.

* Pastor George Reynolds will talk about the Separation of Church and State in the opening message on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 8, 9:30 and 11 am.

* Civility will be the key element the following week, Oct. 26, in a message entitled Right, Left or Somewhere in the Middle.

* The Sunday prior to the election Pastor Reynolds will ask Would You Vote for Jesus? The focus will be on Jesus' platform and whether he would be a good candidate to elect as president.

This is a series that will challenge everyone to examine how the issues of faith challenge us to be engaged as citizens of the Kingdom of God who live in this earthly kingdom.

The church is located at 1430 N Mountain Road, one-half block north of the square in Linglestown.

Plans for new McDevitt HS in LP outlined

Architects and engineers presented preliminary plans Tuesday night for a new Bishop McDevitt High School that will be built on an 86-acre site in Lower Paxton Twp.
Source: The Patriot-News

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Backyard news, 10.14.08

* Below are headlines from tonight’s combined workshop meeting of the Lower Paxton board of supervisors and planning commission. Additional meeting notes will be posted later this week.

– Supervisors give OK for planning to proceed on a proposed business improvement district for the Route 22 corridor between Colonial Park Mall and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. Linglestown and Paxtonia are not part of the mix at this time.

– Diocese of Harrisburg outlines plans for a new high school campus at the intersection of Spring Creek and Page roads. School officials propose closing the section of Spring Creek Road that borders the campus.

McNaughton Homes nears agreement with residents on the layout of a 91-unit luxury housing development on the slopes of Blue Mountain. Citizen watchdog group SWAN chairman Eric Epstein and LP board of supervisors chairman Bill Hawk have played a key role in negotiations with McNaughton.

* Beware of a possible scam at gasoline pumps. According to a Gazette reader, a middle-aged woman with a maroon-colored car has approached multiple motorists for a monetary handout because she had just run out of gas. At least one of the incidents took place at the Sheetz store on Linglestown Road.

* In news from just beyond our backyard, East Hanover Twp. residents have sued township officials over a zoning approval that clears the way for planning to proceed for a new shopping center near the intersection of Routes 39 and 22.


Monday, October 13, 2008

LP supervisors to discuss key issues at workshop

Updated at 7:01 pm ...

Several key items are listed as agenda items for Tuesday night’s workshop meeting of the Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors at the Municipal Center, 425 Prince Street, at 6 pm.

Topping the list is a continuation of talks regarding the Estates of Autumn Oaks, a 91-unit luxury housing community proposed by McNaughton Homes on the slopes of Blue Mountain in the area of Patton Road. You may remember form earlier posts that residents of the Centennial Acres are concerned that storm water runoff from the planned development could exasperate existing flooding problems.

Another big item of discussion, especially for Linglestown merchants, is a proposal by the township Planning Commission to create three business improvement districts in the township.

One thing not listed is a follow-up discussion on a request by the group operating Koons Pool for a $5,000 township grant to offset the pool's budget deficit.

There are a couple abbreviations used on that agenda that are foreign to me – SALDO and LOSAP. If you know what this code language means, please post a comment.

Workshop meetings are not televised but the public is welcome to attend. The meetings are held once a month and feature in-depth discussions of issues before the township. The supervisors usually do not vote on issues during these meetings.

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CD school board meets tonight

The Central Dauphin School board will meet tonight in the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School at 7 pm.

CLICK HERE to view the meeting agenda for 10/13/08 – click the + sign to the left of today's date, and then click the + signs beside each agenda item to view a detailed list of discussion items and presentations.


Two Colts teams set for playoffs

In youth football action, Linglestown Colts varsity football teams played their last regular season game Sunday at Carlisle. Game scores are listed below along with Colts team records shown in parentheses.

Colts Pee-Wee 0 – Carlisle 26 (2–1 conference, 2nd place; 6–2 overall)
Colts Pony 26 – Carlisle – 20 (1–2 conference, 3rd place; 6–2 overall)
Colts Midget 0 – Carlisle 24 (0–3 conference; 2–6 overall)

Keystone Midget Football Conference
playoffs begin this weekend, and Linglestown Pee-Wee and Pony teams have qualified for the tournament.

In a rematch of Sunday's contest, the Pee-Wee team will battle Carlisle at Koons Park on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 11:30 am.

On Sunday, Oct. 19, the Pony team will take on Mechanicsburg at Susquehanna Twp. High School at 1:30 pm.

Admission fee for each playoff game is $2 for adults and $1 for students (ages 12–17), free admission for children under 12.

Submitted by Eileen Arnold


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Early taste of fall

First in a series of occasional posts about day trips from the Linglestown area ...

My family took a trip over the weekend to the northern tier of Pennsylvania to snap some photos of fall foliage. I refer to myself as an "accidental photographer." Below are two of my accidents.

Tree tops in Colton Point State Park, located on the west rim of the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania in Tioga County.

View from a vista located near Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County. This photo shows why this area of the state is referred to as the Endless Mountains Region.

Bonus tourism tidit ... Be sure to stop by the historic Forksville General Store for a bite to eat if you ever take a drive to Worlds End State Park. The owner, Big Mike, is a transplanted Philly guy who bought the store about nine years ago. He kiddingly told me that he found the place after making a wrong turn on the Schuylkill Expressway. Big Mike is a notable sax player, and he does a dinner show every Saturday evening on a small stage in the store’s dining room (reservations are required).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gazette meet-up attracts readers

From my vantage point, a good time was had by a half-dozen or so Linglestown Gazette readers who showed up Friday evening at a meet-up event held at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house in the historic village of Linglestown. It was especially nice to meet longtime readers and contributors Harry and HarrisburgatHome.com publisher Rob Nease. A big hat-tip to all who attended!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mowing count rises

The grass is green and growing fast these days, and mowing #27 this season came only five days after the last one.

For the uninitiated, there's a Mowing Contest sponsored by Linglestown Gazette that is winding down – it will end on November 1.

I'm still accepting contributions from businesses for an amazing prize package that will be awarded to the winner. This is an easy way to get some low-cost publicity. Send an e-mail to B² to be part of the action.