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Linglestown Gazette: April 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Backyard News, 04.30.09

This last day of April finds my inbox busting at the seams, so here are a few tidbits to begin the process of clearing out my pile of stuff:

* Gazette congrats go out to the Harrisburg Christian School boys’ track and field team for winning a record-breaking fifth straight Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference title Tuesday at Messiah College. The team is coached by Bob King of Linglestown.

* The house fire in the Colonial Road corridor near I-81 that made big news Tuesday evening has been ruled accidental.

* Earlier this week I mentioned that I wasn’t going to comment on the county judicial race because it's nothing more than a beauty contest. Well, another Lower Paxton resident seems to have the same opinion, and he used some humor to make his point in a letter-to-the-editor that appeared in The Patriot-News.

* Jeff Rodgers of Linglestown, a junior at Dickinson College, is spending this semester studying in Australia. He recently was the subject of a feature article in the college’s newspaper. Jeff is the son of loyal Gazette readers Bob and Jane Rodgers.

* Harrisburg at Home publisher Rob Nease of Colonial Park has had a rash off close encounters with critters, including a dead raccoon and a skunk that was out and about during the daytime. He took the latest one – a deceased baby possum in his yard – to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg to see if it was rabid. Fortunately, it wasn’t. Rob told me via e-mail that Gazette readers can get dead animals tested at the lab that is located across from the Farm Show Complex at 2305 North Cameron Street.

* Don't forget about tonight's BIG event.

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Calling all musicians

Due to a strange brew of circumstances, the stage at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house in Linglestown is in need of musical artists to do their thing this Friday and Saturday evenings.

If you got trashed by Simon on American Idol and are looking for an always-appreciative crowd, give Java Geof a call at (717) 526-4171 to book a show.
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Java Geof is desperate for someone to play a song for him. Call (717) 526-4171 if you can pluck, pick n' grin and strum while singing on tune.

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Golden opportunity for Linglestown groups

Linglestown-area community groups have a chance to participate in what is sure to be the biggest event to be held in the village in recent years, the 91st annual Dauphin County Volunteer Firemen’s Convention and parade on Saturday, June 13. Linglestown Fire Company is hosting the convention this year.

The parade is slated to kick off at 2 pm and will be followed by a community day event at Koons Park. There are two ways community groups can get involved:

1. Enter a float or group in the parade. CLICK HERE to register to participate in the parade. (Skip over the blanks requesting information about fire-fighting apparatus.)

2. Set up an informational display or fund-raising booth at Koons Park. Contact Chuck Hoffer via e-mail to register your group or request more info about the Koons Park activities.

Over 40 departments from throughout Dauphin County and beyond will be in the village!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthday bash at Linglestown tea room

Olivia's Tea Room in historic Linglestown is celebrating its first anniversary, and LTV host checked out the cozy gathering spot. Watch the brief video below for information on special in-store happenings this Saturday, May 2.



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Thursday's BIG event


Team website

Linglestown woman buys cemetery

Alesia Skinner of Linglestown bought Paxtang Cemetery in 2006 with the aim of making a "a very positive impact" in the Harrisburg region. Read a story by Ford Turner of The Patriot-News by clicking the headline above. (map; includes link to glowing reviews)

It sounds like Skinner has turned the cemetery into a cool place to rest your weary bones. I might give her a call to take care of a to-do item that's been on my list forever. Although a mentally challenging task, making final arrangements is a great thing to do for loved ones.
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CLICK HERE to read full-length story.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Linglestown baseball, Monday scores

Pony: Mets 9 – Colts 4 … Starting pitcher Cole Moyer of the Colts (2–2) dominated Mets hitters through two and two-third innings, but he was lifted after reaching his maximum pitch count. Sebastian Collins of the Mets (2–1) then smoked a line-drive double back through the middle with the bases loaded to tie the game at four. The Mets stayed in the game early with a strong starting pitching performance from Erin Delpierre.

Midget: Cubs 8 – Braves 5 … Lesko and Bender had two doubles each, and Hatcher added another double as the Cubs (1–2) picked up their first win of the young season. For the Braves (0–4), Correale homered and singled, and Hess and Wenrich both doubled and singled.
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Scores and news briefs submitted by Linglestown Baseball Association coaches.

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Lower Paxton official receives state award

Gazette congrats go out to Bill Hawk, chairman of the Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors, for being among a select group of local government officials awarded the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence earlier this month. (Patriot-News article)

I learned about Hawk’s honor while chatting with him about happenings at a recent statewide gathering of township officials that was held in Hershey. He identified three key points of discussion during the four-day conference:

– A top Rendell administration official made a pitch for consolidation of municipal governments, an idea that few local officials support.

– The need for state and federal aid to help townships repair roads and bridges. Federal stimulus money is on the way, but Hawk did not know how big a slice of a $30 million pie is earmarked for Lower Paxton.

– Gov. Eddie Rendell’s proposed 1-percent county sales tax that would be used in part to lower county and township property tax bills. Hawk was quoted in a Patriot-News article about the tax.

Hawk is seeking re-election to his township post this election cycle.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Linglestown baseball, weekend action

Midget: Orioles 9 – Braves 7 … In a Saturday game, Bailey Herold struck out eight in for four innings for the O's (2–1) and added two singles and two walks at the plate. Kiel Rutter homered for the winners. Christian Correale homered, singled and struck out six for the Braves (0–3).

Midget: Tigers 5– Cubs 1 … In another Saturday make-up game, Austin Barowski led the Tigers (3–0) with three hits, and Aaron Gress and J.T. Fredericks gave up only one run in 6 innings. Centerfielder Jake Grove made the play of the game with his throw to catcher Jordon Sellers that cut down a run and a potential big inning for the Cubs (0–2).

Pony: Owls 12 – Mets 6 … Powered by three shutout innings tossed by the Owls' Athan Graham and a stellar line out grab and double play by Logan Gabrielson in the first inning, the Owls (3–0) outlasted the Mets (1–1) in a make-up game played Saturday.

Pony: Colts 13 – Rams 7 … In a make-up game played Sunday, the teams battled early in the game until the Colts (2–1) pulled away from the Rams (0–3) in the top of the 5th inning. Jonathon Mata and Eric Hironimus turned in outstanding pitching performance, and Mata helped his own cause by smashing two triples. The Colts had a total of 12 team hits.
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Scores and news briefs submitted by Linglestown Baseball Association coaches.

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Lower Paxton home destroyed by fire

The home of orthopedic surgeon Rex Herbert on Olde Salem Road most likely is a total loss due to a fire that broke out early this evening, according to WHTM ABC-27. The smoke was visible in Linglestown, and I drove by the scene on my way to a 7 pm meeting. Fire crews, including Linglestown Fire Company, were still on the scene at 9 pm.

CLICK HERE for coverage by The Patriot-News, and HERE for video from WHTM abc-27.
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WHTM ABC-27 link courtesy of a Q-Tip.

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Get fit at Lower Paxton self-serve gym

M. Diane McCormick of The Patriot-News spotlights Snap Fitness at Patton Place Plaza , the shopping center located behind Dunkin' Donuts on Linglestown Road. (gym's website)

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Around Lower Paxton with B²

Meeting reminders … Stray Winds Area Neighbors, a community watchdog group better known as SWAN, will hold its monthly meeting tonight at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Road, 7 pm. The public is encouraged to attend. … Lower Paxton officials will meet Tuesday, April 28, with Linglestown residents who live in the area of Elmer and Elaine avenues to discuss plans to replace sewer lines that go into homes. The meeting will be held at St. Thomas United Church of Christ, 7 pm. I've talked with a few residents who are disturbed by the township and state environmental officials agreeing to take a shotgun approach to address clear water getting into the sewage system.

New local blog ...
A big Gazette welcome goes out to the Linglestown Women's Club for joining the blogsphere. The club now is listed on the sidebar to the right under "Local Links." They created the blog by accident while trying to submit information to the Gazette about their meeting this Tuesday, April 28, at Linglestown Life.

Big event coming ...
Linglestown Fire Company is hosting the 91st Dauphin County Volunteer Firemen's Association Convention, and the event includes a fantastic parade in the village on Saturday, June 13. Local groups are encouraged to be part of the parade by walking as a group or building a float to display. Also, churches and other public service groups can sell food at the after-parade festivities at Koons Park. Contact Mike Rodkey via e-mail for more details.

Road trippin' ...
I met former Linglestown resident and recent Temple University journalism graduate Brian James Kirk via Twitter a few months ago, and Saturday I traded some words with him at a media conference held in Philadelphia. He's doing freelance work and has partnered with two other Temple grads to start a Web site called Technically Philly that follows the Philly high-tech scene. (Video highlights of media event by James Roxbury of Harrisburg-based Roxbury News; Brian is pictured standing to the left of the presenter.)

I did a presentation on my Backyard News project at the Philly BarCamp.

Random stuff ... Gazette reader John Robinson is still looking for host families for a group of French exchange students that will be visiting the Linglestown area this summer. ... Check back for two new Linglestown TV videos that are being edited and will be published this week. ... Gazette congrats go out to CD High senior Justin Shirk for snagging gold in the javelin competition Friday at the prestigious Penn Relays track meet in Philly. ... I'm working on bringing a benefit concert to Linglestown in late June that would benefit a local food pantry or two. ... My neighbor who landed in Dauphin County prison as a direct result of mental illness is still behind bars. CLICK HERE for more details about what you can do to prevent this type of thing from happening.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Linglestown baseball scores, 04.24.09

Midget: Orioles 6 – Sox 0 … On Friday, Keil Rutter of the Orioles (1–1) hit his first home run of the season, and Bryson Allen pitched three strong innings. The loss was the first one of season for the Sox (2–1).

Pony: Padres 14 – Rams 7 … The visiting Padres defeated the Rams 14–7 Friday in a hard fought victory. The Padres (1–2) jumped out to an early 12-3 lead. There was no quit in the Rams (0–2) as they battled back to bring it to within seven, but in the end they couldn't find enough offense to pull ahead.
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Scores and news briefs submitted by Linglestown Baseball Association coaches.

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Mission impossible: Picking county judges

The major byways and intersections in Lower Paxton Twp. these days are polluted with political signs for Dauphin County judicial candidates, and that's because 11 candidates are vying for three bench seats. Three of the hopefuls reside in the township, although please don't vote for them because they live in our municipality.

I'm not going to wade into this race since, in my opinion, it's nothing more than a beauty contest. Why? Judicial candidates are not permitted to give views on issues that might come before them, so they mainly run on their resumes.

Patriot-News reporter Pete Shellem looks at the race in today's issue.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Linglestown baseball scores

**** Post has been updated with Friday scores. -B²

After a wet start to the week, Linglestown Baseball Association action resumed Wednesday with two games. (Team records are shown in parentheses.)

Midget: Sox 9 – Cubs 4 ... Gary Smith of the Sox (2–0) had three strong innings Wednesday on the mound, giving up only one run. He also hammered a home run. The game also saw a rare triple play by the Sox after the Cubs (0–1) had loaded the bases in the 4th inning.

Midget: Tigers 11 – Braves 1 … Aaron Gress and JT Fredericks pitched a three-hitter for the Tigers (2–0) in their win Thursday over the Braves (0–2). Gress, Fredericks and Austin Barowski had two hits each.

Pony: Met 16 – Padres 9 ... On a cold Wednesday evening, the Mets (1–0) and Padres (0–2) braved the elements to play a good baseball game. It was a high scoring affair. The game was nip and tuck early before the Mets broke it open late winning 16-9. Luke McNamara pitched a fine 3 innings in relief, shutting down the Padres.

Pony: Owls 12 – Colts 3 … In Thursday action, Athan Graham of the Owls (2–0) struck out seven Colts (1–1), and provided run support with a bases-clearing double to end the game. Logan Gabrielson knocked in three runs with a sharply hit double in a four-run third.

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LP girl hit by truck recovering

Click the headline above for an update on the 9-year-old girl who was hit by a pickup truck driven by a suspected drunken driver Saturday night in the Pennswood apartment complex off Rutherford Road.
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Map that shows approximate location of the accident.


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Music at Roasters

Are you ready for some FREE live music at the cultural mecca of Lower Paxton Twp.,
St. Thomas Roasters in the historic village of Linglestown? If so, the two acts coming to the coffee house this weekend are sure to make you tap your feet, snap your fingers and drink enough java to float a boat. Wow!

Kicking things off Friday evening is Kent Courtney (pictured) who will be making the trek from Hanover to bring a special show that’s a mix of storytelling and entertaining ballads from days gone by. Please note the special show time, 7–9 pm.

Longtime favorite Just Dave makes his monthly stop Saturday evening at Roasters. Treat yourself to classic songs performed with a ton of heart and soul, 8–10 pm.

As always, if you're entertained while slurping some of Java Geof's fabulous brew, please make the tip jar jingle to help Kent and Dave put some foreign oil in their cars.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lower Paxton community calendar, 04.23.09

Friday & Saturday, April 24–25 … Kids Market at New Hope Church in Linglestown, Friday 9am–7pm, Saturday, 8 am –2 pm. (map)

Saturday, April 25 … Yard sale at Blue Meadows Farm located just north of Linglestown off of Blue Mountain Parkway. (map)

Tuesday, April 28 … The Linglestown Women's Club Annual Covered Dish meeting will be held Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30 pm at the Linglestown Life United Methodist Church. The annual White Elephant Auction will be held following a brief after-dinner business meeting. Contact Ann Horwhat at 652-6849 for more details. (map)



Save-The-Date Events

Saturday, May 2 … Linglestown Fire Co. members Mike Rodkey, Chuck Hoffer and Sean Harp will play in the 4th Annual Dauphin County Police & Fire Hockey Game at Twin Ponds East, 3 pm. Ticket sales and proceeds from a silent auction will go to the American Cancer Society. (map)

Sunday, May 3 … Linglestown Elementary School PTO will hold its second annual Basket Bingo at Linglestown Fire Company’s social hall (brick building). Doors open at 11 am, two FREE early-bird games will begin at 12:15 pm, and regular bingo kicks off at 1 pm. The ticket price of $25 goes toward the Children’s Playground Fund.

Saturday, May 9 … Chicken Bar-B-Q at New Hope Church in Linglestown, featuring the Noll family secret receipt, 10 am–1 pm, $7 day of BBQ. (map)

Saturday, May 16 … Pizza and a Movie Night for Caitlin’s Smiles at New Hope Church in Linglestown. Suggested donation of $7 for adults, $4 for children. (map)

Saturday, May 16 … Keystone Concert Band, conducted by Donna J. Deaven, will perform its first concert of the 2009-10 season Saturday, May 16, at 7 pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Harrisburg. This concert will focus on swing music and you'll hear a few marches. (map)

Thursday, Dec. 31 … First Night Linglestown, a community New Year’s Eve event, will offer indoor activities and an outdoor extravaganza to ring in 2010.

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Arbor Day in Lower Paxton

Lower Paxton Twp. officials and Linglestown Elementary School students and teachers gathered Tuesday at the Friendship Center for the 17th annual Arbor Day Ceremony.

The event included the planting of a "Red Sunset" Red Maple that was donated by Deimler & Sons Construction, a local home improvement contractor, and Andy Brought of the state Bureau of Forestry presented township officials with a Tree City USA flag.



Add some 'ooo la la' to Earth Day

First Impressions Boutique, Gifts & Day Spa in Linglestown is teaming up with the local Dress for Success chapter to celebrate Earth Day and to help disadvantaged women by providing professional attire. Ladies, and possibly men, here's how to repurpose and receive perks:
Donate a "gently worn handbag or scarf" at First Impressions, and you'll receive 20-percent off an accessory item* of your choice! Plus, be sure to enter a drawing for a stylish handbag made out of recycled materials.
First Impressions, the home of fashion divas Candy and Cupic, is proud to be a charter sponsor of Linglestown Gazette.
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* Select from handbags, jewelry, rings and belts. One "thank you" item per person. Cannot be combined with other offers/coupons. Offer valid through Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

News from Harrisburg Christian School

For those of you not familiar with HCS, it's located north of Linglestown off of Blue Mountain Parkway.


* Pictured is HCS 5th-grader Rachael Smith who was the grand prize winner for the Giant A+ Art Contest 3rd-5th grade category. She received a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, a $100 Giant gift card to use for her classroom party, and 100,000 A+ School Rewards Points ($1,000) for HCS. Rachael is pictured with Keith Kohl, Colonial Commons Giant Foods store manager, who came to HCS to present her with her winnings. Giant received over 1,025 pieces of artwork.

* CLICK HERE for HCS happenings compiled by The Patriot-News.

Plant upgrade won't impact LP sewer rates

The wastewater treatment plant located near Hummelstown that serves part of Lower Paxton is slated to get a $24 million upgrade. Township manager George Wolfe told The Patriot-News that Lower Paxton has paid its $14 million share toward the project, and the expense would not impact sewer bills.

Click the above headline to read the article. (Scroll down to bottom of the article for Wolfe's comments.)

More on girl injured by alleged drunk driver

The tragic accident that occurred Saturday at Lower Paxton Twp.'s Pennswood apartment complex continues to get ink in The Patriot-News. Click the headline above to view the article.
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Map that shows approximate location of the accident.


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CD School Board, 04.20.09 meeting highlights

* Several athletic teams and students were recognized for their achievements, including Central Dauphin Middle School eighth-grader Daniel Allegar who recently won the Patriot-News Spelling Bee.

* Acting Superintendent Richard K. Miller Jr. made a presentation on a program offered by Capital Area Intermediate Unit that would allow the district to offer online courses. The program would cost the district $36,000 per year, but it could be funded if it helped to bring back 12 of the 265 students attending cyber schools back into classrooms. The district needs to determine how many cyber students would participate prior to deciding whether to join the program.

* The board approved Honeywell Building Solutions to do a guaranteed energy savings project at West Hanover Elementary School that excluded several items included in the $3 million-plus proposal. A.J. Sallusti was the only board member that cast a no vote.

On a second West Hanover building issue, the board voted to apply for $864,900 from the state to help offset costs to replace the school’s boiler system. Sallusti again voted no.

On a related topic, Board President Kathy Stone and member Jay Wenger said they think a district-wide study should be performed to determine where growth is taking place and how to address schools, like West Hanover, that are over capacity.

B² note: I believe West Hanover is the only elementary building in the district that has not been renovated and expanded in recent years. There is a group of parents monitoring the board’s actions on this issue. CLICK HERE for more on West Hanover school renovations from The Patriot News.

* The Board voted to spend $35,112 over the next year to automate the process for finding substitute teachers to cover sick days and other teacher absences. The administration estimates the technology will save the district over $42,000 because it eliminates two staff positions.
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Meeting highlights are based on notes submitted by Melissa Van Eck, an active member of the West Hanover PTO who is running for school board.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gazette lands grant to start new project

I was informed via e-mail yesterday that my proposed Backyard News service was one of eight projects selected to receive up to $25,000 over the next two years from the New Voices program.

More details to follow ...
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Read press release


Lower Paxton girl hit by pickup in critical condition

Click the headline above for an update from The Patriot-News on a 9-year-old Lower Paxton Twp. girl who was hit by a pickup truck Saturday night.

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Backyard News, 04.21.09

Java deal ... 50-cent iced Dunkin' Donut coffees all day today – 10 percent goes to Homes For Our Troops.

From just beyond our backyard … Gazette reader Jay Mumper liked the fare at recently opened Billy D’s Ice Cream Shoppe located at the old Hong Kong Ruby in Beaufort Farm Plaza along Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Twp.
"We sampled a number different dessert items - all very good. We also had great service - very courteous and prompt. The menu is fairly extensive for a typical ice cream shop, including baked goods, sandwiches, ice cream, and various coffees. Worth a try as an alternative to the typical ice cream joint."
CD parent workshop attracts small crowd … Gazette reader Eileen Hurley told the Gazette that the parent meeting last week on risky student behaviors was very informative but poorly attended. If you didn’t attend, be sure to check out a Patriot-News story and a Web site dedicated to the dangers of playing the choking game.

Marsicos seek revisions in state gaming laws … For two years, Rep. Ron Marsico has been insisting on changes in the 2004 law that authorizes 14 slots casinos in Pennsylvania. Now he’s getting help from his cousin, Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico. More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Twilight baseball update … According to Linglestown Twilight coach Steve Economopolus, the team begins practice this month for its 50-game schedule that starts in May. Twilight is looking to win the East Shore Twilight Championship for the third year in a row this season. If you are a fan of college-level competitive baseball, be sure to save the date on Friday, May 29, for the team’s home opener against Lawnton.

Steve is the owner of Econ Financial Services on N. Mountain Road, and he gave the Gazette a plug in his firm’s April newsletter. Thanks, Steve!
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Pictured are Twilight players (blue jerseys) celebrating their 2008 championship.


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Government watchdog, 04.21.09

Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors will hold a meeting Tuesday evening, April 21, to vote on a series of business matters, Municipal Center, 7:30 pm. You can view a live broadcast of the meeting on Comcast cable, channel 20.

The agenda includes a vote on a proposed loan guarantee for
Koons Pool, and a series of grant application submissions for parks and recreation projects.

Check the Gazette later this week for a meeting recap.



The township Zoning Hearing Board will hear four cases when they meet Thursday at the Municipal Center, 7 pm.

The only case of some import is a request by United Water Pennsylvania to locate a water storage tank in a residential zoning district within the Autumn Oaks development. The McNaughton Homes project calls for about 300 homes to be located east of Patton Road and west of Parkway West along the base and lower levels of Blue Mountain.

Other hearings on the agenda are on minor residential property matters.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Government watchdog, 04.20.09

* The Central Dauphin School Board will hold a business meeting Monday night at the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School, 7 pm. To view the agenda, click on the plus sign for 04/20/09, and then click on the plus signs to get details about specific agenda items, including downloadable PDF files of documents.

There are several items under New Business, including funding to replace boilers at West Hanover Elementary School, an energy-savings program and a 2009-2010 budget update.

* The school district is looking for a few good citizens to help select a new superintendent.

* The Lower Paxton Twp. Planning Commission will meet Monday at the Municipal Center, 5 pm. No agenda has been posted on the township Web site. The commission, an advisory group of appointed citizens, reviews development plans and issues recommendations to the township supervisors on whether plans meet township land-use regulations.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Opening Day baseball scores, 04.18.09

Below are scores from Opening Day of the Linglestown Baseball Association season. Gazette kudos go out to all the home coaches for submitting scores on a timely basis!

Midget games

Tigers 12 – Orioles 1 ... Aaron Gress led the Tigers by pitching three no-hit innings and smacking a two-run homer. Adam Thorton also went yard with a three-run round-tripper.

Sox 8 – Braves 6 ... On the strength of Steven McNeal's two-run home run in the first, the Sox were able to hang on to an 8–6 victory over the Braves.

Pony games

Colts 10 – Padres 9 ... The Padres went ahead 8-7 in the top of the 6th inning. In the bottom of the inning with bases loaded, Dylan Moyer hit a spectacular game-winning single to right field to bring in the winning run for the Colts.

Owls 10 – Rams 6 ... Evan Zeigler went two-for-two at the plate, scored two runs and struck out four from the mound in the Owls first defense of their 2008 championship. Zachary Peffer provided strong defense for the Owls with two unassisted put outs. Gaige Selvey, Mason Griffiths, and Chris Wright all recorded timely hits in a four-run third inning.

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First pitch tossed in Linglestown

Under sun-drenched skies, Linglestown Baseball Association ushered in its 2009 season at Koons Park on Saturday, April 18.

Read full story with additional photos >>

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Story and photos by Karen Cattabiani

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Lower Paxton postcard


Gazette kudos go out to Emily Purdy for submitting the beautiful custom drawing. Emily, I am humbled by your act of kindness and very impressed with your artistic talents.
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Emily's father, Jay Purdy, gave me the OK to share that Emily is autistic, and I believe she is finishing her high school education this year.

"We like to show that inside there can be great talent and sensitivity hidden away waiting to come out," said Jay via e-mail.

Accomplished musician to do Roasters gig

Friday night’s featured artist at
St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown is Dave Campbell, a professional guitarist who wants to keep his fingers in shape by entertaining all comers to the coffee house that serves as the cultural headquarters of these parts.

Campbell, who grew up in the Linglestown area and remembers when Roasters was Wilson’s Pharmacy, is an awesome finger stylist who plays a wide range of music, including blues, pop, classical and some originals.

One highlight of Campbell’s musical career that has spanned four decades is accompanying Livingston Taylor when he did a show at the Carlisle Theater.

During these tough economic times, where else are you going to find this kind of entertainment for the price of FREE? That’s right, there’s no cover charge. But, please, try Java Geof’s coffees, teas and fancy drinks. And, be sure to drop a few shekels in the tip jar to help put some petrol in the artist's gas tank. Yes, I said petrol.

Calling all musicians ... If you're looking for a stage and a no-hassle process for booking a show, call Geof Smith aka Java Geof (pictured) at (717) 526-4171 to get on the Music at Roasters calendar. Here are some open dates: April 18, May 1, May 2 and May 30.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

School board hopeful to aid Gazette

Melissa L. Van Eck, a candidate for Central Dauphin School Board, has volunteered to provide notes about goings-on at board meetings. She has attended every school board meeting and workshop since September.

Thanks to a Gazette reader comment, I made connection with Van Eck via a Facebook group comprised of parents with children who attend West Hanover Elementary School.

Van Eck has been endorsed by the Democratic Committee in Central Dauphin School District - Region 3.
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CLICK HERE to view a map of school board regions.

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Village committee meeting canceled

Tonight's meeting of the Village of Linglestown Committee has been canceled because there is no new information about the status of the long-awaited village improvement project.

Township officials are waiting for PennDOT, the state's highway agency, to seek construction bids. The project is tentatively scheduled to break ground this September.
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Click the photo to view an aerial photo that depicts the planned roadway renovations designed to improve traffic flow through the village.

REPORT: Lower Paxton top cop resigns

Click on the headline above for the story from The Patriot-News.

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Koons Pool to get financial help

Koons Pool in Koons Park, Linglestown, is on track to get much-needed financial help.

The pool has received an offer from Lower Paxton-based Centric Bank for an $11,000 loan to pay off debts from last season, and an $8,000 line of credit for pool operating expenses. The township needs to agree to be a secondary loan guarantor, and the supervisors seem willing to do so based on a discussion Tuesday night at their workshop meeting.

The township has been giving the pool annual grants of at least $7,000. Township officials brokered the bank loan as a way to wean the pool off township aid, said Supervisor David Blain.

Supervisor Bill Seeds expressed concern that the pool could face a major expense to comply with new federal safety regulations for pool drains. No one from the pool board was present to address the question.

Koons Pool board member Walter Shatto recently told the Gazette that new equipment and installation costs to upgrade drains are expected to be in the $2,500 range.

The pool is gearing up to open Memorial Day weekend.

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Lower Paxton notebook, 04.16.09

Notes form Tuesday's Board of Supervisors workshop meeting ...

* The township may soon begin charging landscaping businesses and residents to dump yard waste at the township’s Conway Road compost site. Based on discussions Tuesday evening, the season-long residential fee most likely would be in the $15–$20 range and would allow participants to haul away unlimited amounts of leaf compost at no additional cost. The facility operates at a loss, and enacting fees would lessen the hit to the township budget, officials said.

* The township Parks and Recreation Department plans to seek a $250,000 state grant for the planned skate park at George Park. Last year’s grant application was a near-miss, said parks director Brian Leutchford. To date, the township has spent about $30,000 for detailed construction plans.

* Planning for the new Bishop McDevitt High School is moving along. The supervisors may review the plan during their business meeting Tuesday if a road-widening issue can be resolved.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gazette sports roundup, 04.15.09

Let’s play ball … Opening Day for
Linglestown Baseball Association is this Saturday, April 18, at Koons Park, 11:30 am. Greg Mace of WHTM ABC 27, Sen. Jeffrey Piccola and Rep. Ron Marsico are scheduled to be on hand for ceremonies that will precede two Pony games and two Midget games.

Gazette correspondent Karen Cattabiani will be subbing for , who has a schedule conflict. (It's Mrs. B²’s birthday.) Karen did a great job penning several game reports last season.

In-line hockey anyone? …. Lower Paxton In-Line Hockey is holding a "Come Meet the Coaches" session at George Park this Sunday, April 19, 1 to 4:30 pm. Boys and girls ages 6 to 18 can come see what in-line hockey is all about, and parents will learn about equipment needed to play. Plus, there will be scrimmages going on most of the afternoon. Player registrations will be accepted.

In-line hockey is a great non-contact sport, and there’s a great outdoor facility at George Park in Lower Paxton Twp. Check it out!

NOTE: Children who live outside Lower Paxton are eligible to participate.

CD sports … CD Rams boys’ tennis team is battling for a division championship with Cumberland Valley and Cedar Cliff. … CD boys’ volleyball team is undefeated and sits atop the divisional standings with a two-match lead over second-place teams.

Mini-Mowing Contest winners declared

I did my best to put off the first lawn mowing at Gazette headquarters, but I started picking up vibes Easter Sunday from Mrs. B² that the time to git-er-done was at hand. My trusty Honda push mower started on the first pull Monday, April 13, and I toured the yard in record time. Prize winners for the Mini-Mowing Contest were revealed in a video and are listed below:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Beth Stewart, a reader from my hometown of Dillsburg, told me she used a complex set of algorithms and flow charts to come up with her guess of April 13. She will receive great prizes from three Linglestown merchants – $25 gift certificate for First Impressions Boutique, Gifts & Day Spa, 50-percent off any service at Shag hair salon, and a free studio sitting and photos at Kelli Wyland Photography.

2ND PLACE: Lisa Rundle, a Blue Meadows Farm resident, was a day off with her April 14 guess. Her near-miss guess earns her a $10 gift certificate at St. Thomas Roasters coffee house and a coupon for a free massage and discussion with a doctor at Homza Chiropractic Wellness and Rehab.

3RD PLACE: Rose Baker of Linglestown snagged third place, winning some loot in a tie-breaker with another entrant who more or less guessed April 11 (more on this in a second). Her prize package is the same as the one for second place.

CONSOLATION WINNER: Longtime Gazette reader and B² neighbor Scott Starr submitted the correct date, April 13, but indicated that the 13th was a Saturday. (Saturday was April 11.) Scott, Scott, Scott! The rules committee relegated him into a third-place tie with Rose, and he lost the tie-breaker drawing. Never fear, Scott, you're not going away empty-handed. You've earned a Roasters gift certificate and a free Homza massage.

Gazette thanks go out to the Linglestown merchants for filling up the prize bin, and to all readers who entered. It pays to visit the Gazette!
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By the way, gets called a "dork" by his camera operator in the contest wrap-up video. I'm now accepting applications for a new crew member.

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HELP WANTED: Citizen reporter needed

I’d like to do a better job of covering Central Dauphin School District, specifically school board meetings.

Currently, the school district only gets occasional mentions in The Patriot-News even though every meeting has something that should be made available to the public. After all, the district’s tax bills put a major dent in most household budgets.

Please e-mail B² if you attend meetings and would be willing to jot down a few notes. Volunteer reporters would NOT need to write articles, just pass along info. And, I’d endeavor to provide some non-cash rewards for the help.

The next board meeting will be held Monday, April 20, in the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School, 7 pm.

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Backyard News, 04.15.09

Today’s Top Story …

Bow-wow good times coming to Lower Paxton

Work to install fencing at Happy Tails Dog Park has begun, and park officials told the township supervisors Tuesday evening that the facility at Kohl Memorial Park should be available for use late next week.

The park will have separate areas for small and large dogs, and only dogs that have been spade will be permitted to mix it up with their four-legged friends.

The Lower Paxton Dog Park Association has raised over $12,000 to offset costs associated with setting up the park. The group expects to receive a $10,000 state grant in the near future.

A “leash-cutting” ceremony will be held to officially dedicate the park on Saturday, May 23.



Community news …

* Harrisburg Christian School middle school and high school students will participate this Thursday, April 16, in the school’s annual Day of Service. CLICK HERE to view the long list of groups that will receive a helping hand.

* Central Dauphin High School Ram Band cordially invites the community to see the artistry, pageantry, and precision of nearly three dozen of the finest Winter Guard, Twirling, Indoor Percussion, and Dance Teams from Pennsylvania and Maryland performing at the 2009 Indoor-RAM-a TIA Indoor Competition this Saturday, April 18, in the Central Dauphin High School gymnasium, 1 pm.

* Defending state javelin champ Justin Shirk, a CD High senior, will be the top seed at the prestigious Penn Relays that will be contested next week in Philadelphia.

* State Rep. Ron Marsico is pushing a bill that would put the state police in charge of enforcing the state’s slot-machine gambling laws.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

UPDATE: Mini-Mowing Contest, 04.13.09

Is this the update when finally mows his yard for the first time this season, or will he try to procrastinate at least one more day? Watch the video to find out.



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Weekend burglaries reported in Lower Paxton

Lower Paxton Township police are investigating several business burglaries reported during the holiday weekend. Click the headline above to view a news brief from The Patriot-News.

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Backyard News, 04.13.09

This week’s key government meetings …

Tuesday, April 14 CD School Board will conduct a workshop session to review the proposed 2009-2010 budget tomorrow in the Lecture Hall of Central Dauphin East High School, 5–6:30 pm. The public is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, April 14 Lower Paxton Twp. supervisors also will hold a workshop session tomorrow, Municipal Center, 6 pm. The agenda has several items related to parks and recreation programs, including a proposed loan and line of credit offered to Koons Pool by Centric Bank.

Thursday, April 16 Village of Linglestown Committee, the group responsible for planning the village improvement project, is tentatively scheduled to meet at Linglestown Fire Company (brick building), 7 pm.

News links … The air inside Cantone’s Southern Italian Restaurant appears to be smoke free, according to The Patriot-News. The Colonial Park eatery has the distinction of being the only licensed liquor establishment in the greater Harrisburg region to be fined under the state’s 7-month-old indoor smoking ban. … Geisinger Health Systems has opened a specialty clinic in the medical building in the village of Linglestown that formerly was used by a Pinnacle Health Family Care practice (next to Gordon’s Hearing Aid Lab). More details are available from The Patriot-News.

Linglestown slated for sewer project … Lower Paxton is gearing up to replace sewer lines that run from sewer mains in streets to private residences in the neighborhood on Elmer and Elaine avenues (formerly known as St. Thomas Manor). The project is included under an agreement between the state's environmental agency and Lower Paxton to repair the township's leaky sewage-collection system.

The development, which includes the Gazette newsroom, was constructed about 50 years ago, and several properties will be extremely difficult to replace the entire private sewer line. For instance, the line at the Gazette newsroom enters the basement underneath a sunroom that was added to the home a few years ago. Hmmm!

Backed up big time … My inbox is swamped and my to-do list is very long, so please bear with me if you submitted an item to the Gazette in recent days. I hope to get caught up this week.

Also, for those of you competing in the Mini-Mowing Contest, B² did not mow over the holiday weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Bunny spotted in Linglestown

Linglestown TV tracked down Hip Hop the Easter Bunny making the rounds in the historic village Saturday. His visit was sponsored by
The Merchants of Linglestown.

The video is the first one shot with the new videocam purchased with the help of several Gazette readers. You'll see an "Evaluation Copy" watermark throughout the video because I used a trial version of editing software. I went with a low-quality video setting to keep the file size down.



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Friday, April 10, 2009

Backyard News, TGIF edition, 04.10.09

Lower Paxton Twp. news … The supervisors met Tuesday evening, and below are highlights from the session:

* Tara Mead of Knollwood Drive continued her quest to get the township to address a longstanding noise issue caused by a next-door teenage boy who insists on loudly revving cars and playing a car stereo at high volume levels. Police are aware of the problem but have not issued a citation against the noisy neighbor. Mead indicated that she and her husband have retained a lawyer and may file a lawsuit against the neighbor.

“When you’ve called our police department has responded,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Hawk told Mead following her testimony.

Mead recommended that the township consider adopting portions of a noise ordinance on the books in Susquehanna Twp. to strengthen the one used in Lower Paxton.

* Lower Paxton will celebrate Arbor Day on Tuesday, April 21, at the Friendship Center, 1 pm. Linglestown Elementary students will participate in the program that includes planting a tree.

* The supervisors voted to designate the township as the lead agency in an electricity-purchasing program with other municipalities. The joint effort was launched as a way to reduce energy costs when the state’s caps on electricity rates end in 2010. As the lead agency, Lower Paxton officials will sign documents on behalf of all participating municipalities.

Call for help ... Central Dauphin School District is seeking volunteers from the school community to assist in the selection of the new superintendent of schools. CLICK HERE for details on how to get involved in the search. (See center column under “TO THE CORE.”)

Linglestown note … The finishing touches on the new municipal parking lot located behind the former Chocolate Cafe appear to be finished – installation of two light standards and painting of parking-space lines. Lower Paxton installed the lot to offset parking spaces that will be lost in the square as part of the planned village improvement project.


Mini-Mowing Contest update …
I didn’t mow my yard today in recognition of Good Friday. This year's inaugural mowing likely will happen soon.

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Linglestown case spotlights problem with PA law

The Thursday edition of The Patriot-News ran an editorial that called for Pennsylvania to bring its mental health legislation up to speed. I say “amen” to that. Below is a comment that I posted on PennLive in response to the editorial:

Based on a case in my neighborhood, this editorial makes excellent suggestions.

A household in my East Shore neighborhood had dealings with the judicial system about a family member that refused to take medications to treat a mental illness. Eventually, the uncooperative family member ended up living in the family's home alone – the spouse opted to live at another location. End result: The sick family member ended up in jail.


The individual displayed odd behavior and became a nuisance to her neighbors. I helped her out as much as I could, but the situation spiraled out of control over time.


I suspected that this would happen. It was clear to me that warehousing this person in a home was a terrible way to deal with the situation. What a tragedy!

To help avoid messy situations like the one described above, please take two minutes to e-mail state Sen. Jeff Piccola and ask him to seek passage of Senate Bill 251.

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UPDATE: Mini-Mowing Contest, 04.09.09

Is Linglestown TV host going to mow his grass on the first day following the entry deadline for the 2009 Mini-Mowing Contest? Watch the video to find out.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Jammin’ free tunes to keep you groovin’

Yes, it’s time to update what’s happening this week on the music scene at St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown.

Friday night’s entertainment is one of the all-time favorite performers in recent years at the coffee house, the man who is affectionately known as Mr. Entertainment,
Frank Cotolo (pictured). Frank and his accompanying guitarist, son Jack, serve up good stuff every time out.

Music continues Saturday night with the artistry of Marie Smith.

Free tunes will waft through Roasters both nights 8–10 pm, and, as always, there will be plenty of coffee, tea and goodies to keep you in the groove. No cover charge, but please consider dropping some green in the tip jar for the artists.

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