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Linglestown Gazette: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Linglestown-area weekend happenings

* Devonshire Church, located behind Gander Mountain on Devonshire Road, will hold a Community Car Wash and Chicken BBQ this Saturday, June 2, 10 am to 1 pm at the church parking lot. The cost of a chicken meal is $8 and donations will be accepted for car washes.

Proceeds from the event will help fund summer mission trips to Spain and Honduras.

* Linglestown resident Bill Soles will be playing this Saturday, June 2, at St. Thomas Roasters from 8–10 pm, no cover. Hey, stop by for a cup of java or whatever and listen to one of your own do his thing.

Plus, Bill will be sharing the stage with special guest and banjo player Dave Wible.

Hat tip to Ray Wright for the entertainment tip!

Here's an opportunity to beautify and at the same time help 6-year-old Kadence Shatto fight a rare blood disease.

The folks at Outlooks for Hair this Sunday, June 3, from 1–3 pm will be doing a fundraiser named Kuts for Kadence. All haircuts will cost $10 and all proceeds will go to Kadence and her family.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CD High alums honor fallen vets with new memorial


Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 Memorial Day in Linglestown

CLICK HERE for a photo album from today's festivities sponsored by American Legion Post 272.

Below is a video of the honor guard firing by American Legion Post 272 at the Vietnam Memorial in Koons Park.

Honor guard units to tour area before Linglestown parade

Updated at 9:55 am on Monday, 5/28/12

Starting bright and early today at 7 am, two honor guard units from Linglestown-based American Legion Post 272 began touring the area to do Memorial Day firings to honor those who paid the highest sacrifice while serving in the U.S. military.

Pictured is the honor guard's 7:30 am firing at St. Thomas UCC church at the intersection of Linglestown Road and Wenrich Street.

Some of the firings in the Linglestown area are listed below:

7:00 am ... American Legion Post 272 at flagpole
7:16 am ... Linglestown Fire Hall, north side of road
1:45 pm ... Linglestown Square
2:30 pm ... Vietnam Memorial in Koons Park

The Memorial Day parade will start at 1 pm. CLICK HERE for info.

If you liked this post, please subscribe to Linglestown Gazette to receive FREE email updates. CLICK HERE to join the growing number of Gazette subscribers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial Day parade route returns to Linglestown Road

It's official. The Memorial Day parade in the village on Monday, May 28, starting at 1 pm will return to its traditional route that includes the stretch of Linglestown Road between Balthaser Street and the square. (An alternate route was used in 2010 and 2011 due to road construction in the village.)

There will be a reviewing stand in the parking lot at Koons Park where select units participating in the parade will perform.

Units scheduled to march in the parade include the Central Dauphin High School band, Bishop McDevitt High School band, Capital City Cruisers, The American Legion Riders, Linglestown Civic Association and various fire departments.

Adjutant Allan Gallagher of American Legion Post 272, the parade's sponsor, credited state Rep. Ron Marsico, Lower Paxton Township Supervisor Bill Seeds and township manager George Wolfe for helping to get state approval to temporarily close Linglestown Road.

The parade route is shown below (click on the map to view a larger version):

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Testy times at CD School Board meeting

Updated at 1:30 pm ...

Last night's Central Dauphin board meeting was civil but sprinkled with pointed comments between teachers, Superintendent-to-be Carol Johnson, School Board President Ford Thompson and board Vice President Jay Wenger over the planned 74 teacher furloughs.

Prior to the board approving a preliminary final budget for the 2012-13 school year, Thompson said teachers could have avoided furloughs by agreeing to not take a pay hike.

Wenger and Thompson mentioned multiple times that 18 public meetings had been held on the budget since last September. In my opinion, they don't understand that they did not overtly reach out to the community with information about this year's budget crisis.

By the time The Patriot-News caught up with the story, it was too late for the public to have an impact on next school year's budget.

The most interesting comment was made by Wenger about the public not showing up for 7 a.m. finance meetings. I guess he was trying to offer evidence that he and other board members and administrators went beyond the call of duty to work on the budget.

Wenger made it clear that the district's financial crisis isn't over and the issues that resulted in massive layoffs this year will be revisited next year.

"In the prior four years we have cut approximately $20 million of expenses from the operating budget in an attempt to not get to this point," he said. "We are here and it's not going away."

It's clear to me that the solution to the school funding crisis is going to involve state lawmakers taking action. What's happening in CD is taking place across the state. 

On a related issue, the board appears to do most of its heavy lifting during their mysterious, behind-closed-doors executive sessions held before each public meeting.

I attended the last three board meetings and none of them had a vigorous debate among members on an agenda item. The only board members that speak on issues are Thompson and occasionally Wenger.

Moving forward, a group of citizens needs to come together with the goal of forcing the board to let the sun shine on their activities and to engage the public on important issues. That will require school officials going beyond posting information on the district's website and merely meeting state requirements for public notice.
Related links:

WHTM abc27 — CD approves teacher cuts, pink slips sent to wrong employees

The Patriot-News — CD School Board approves proposed budget with furloughs, tax hike

CD website — Budget information


Monday, May 21, 2012

How to keep tabs on Lower Paxton officials in less than 10 minutes per month

You've probably heard of the saying "all politics are local" that was uttered by the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O'Neill. Well, in our part of world you can't get any more local than actions taken by Lower Paxton Township officials.

But how can you keep track of what our township elected officials are doing?

I know few Gazette readers take the time to attend township meetings or watch them on TV. Truth be told, most of the meetings are over-the-top boring unless you're a freak like me who digs the minutiae of the inner workings of government.

Heck, downsizing at The Patriot-News has resulted in limited coverage of township affairs. For the most part, they only publish press releases submitted by our police department.

And, you're not going to get township news from The Paxton Herald, which specializes in editorials and sensational news tidbits.

Fortunately, there is a way to keep an eye on Lower Paxton affairs on the Internet courtesy of the watchdogs affiliated with Stray Winds Area Neighbors, better know as SWAN.

Two SWAN members — Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson — attend most township meetings and file reports that give a brief description of the goings-on. CLICK HERE to read the latest SWAN newsletter.

Undoubtedly, the presence of Watson and Ted at meetings has helped to keep township officials on the straight and narrow. Thanks for your service!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend Backyard News, 05.18.12

* Linglestown Village Market opens for the season this Saturday, May 19. It's located one mile east of the Linglestown square, across from the Blue Moose Bar & Grille.

* Linglestown Women's Club and several groups, businesses and residents worked together to plant 101 plants in barrels and pots in the square's roundabout.

* Sterling Koch will be playing the best of the steel guitar blues this Saturday night at St. Thomas Roasters in Linglestown from 8-10 pm.

* Chicken BBQs will be held this Saturday, May 19, at New Hope Church and Epiphany Lutheran Church.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Colonial Crest news debuts on the Gazette

My source tells me that big happenings are in the works in Colonial Crest, which is roughly located on Colonial Road between Linglestown Road and the I-81 bridge.

* Colonial Crest Association (CCA) is hosting a Fundraiser at Stauffers of Kissel Hill (SKH) on Linglestown Road, Saturday, May 19, starting at 9 am until 3 pm. CCA be selling hotdogs, sausages, beverages and baked goods.

* Epiphany Lutheran Church (ELC), 1100 Colonial Road, is hosting a plant sale and chicken barbeque/bake Sale on Saturday, May 19, from 10 am until 2 pm. The chicken barbecue and bake sale supports ELC youth group's upcoming trip. The plant sale supports Camp Hebron, which is not affiliated with the Lutheran Church, but which is a ministry supported by some of our members and which provides valuable resources and services to many in our area.

Monday, May 14, 2012

CD continues to generate bad press

This post was updated Tuesday, 5/15/12, at 7:28 am ...

I'm starting to get the impression that Central Dauphin School District officials have been contracted to produce a course on how to generate a steady flow of bad press.

While teachers and parents are still reeling from layoff notices going out to 74 teachers and 10 other staff members, Central Dauphin High School administrators and the school board took a zero-tolerance approach to an alcohol-related incident that happened at the prom.

CLICK HERE for the story from The Patriot-News, and HERE to read the back story as told by a parent of one the punished students.

In a follow-up story Tuesday, The Patriot-News reported that one student was cited for underage drinking, and then the district opted to punish everyone who was in the company of the offending student.

If you liked this post, please subscribe to the Linglestown Gazette to receive FREE email updates. CLICK HERE to join the growing number of Gazette subscribers.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Backyard News, 05.11.12

* Lower Paxton might get a third roundabout at the sharp "X" intersection at Nyes and Devonshire Heights roads, reports The Patriot-News. The design would be similar to the two in Linglestown and is estimated to cost $2.5 million. The next step is a meeting with area transportation officials.

* There is interest in getting the Lower Paxton Historical Society active again. Contact Jay Purdy for more info at thepurd@comcast.net.

* New Hope Church of Linglestown will hold its annual chicken BBQ on Saturday, May 19, 10 am – 1 pm. Convenient drive-thru is again available. Menu includes half chicken, baked potato, roll, drink and dessert for $8.

* CD High School Alumni Association will dedicate the new Veterans Memorial at the high school on Wednesday, May 30, at 7 pm. Please RSVP by May 16 by email to CDHSalumni@verizon.net or call 541-0220.

Get down and boogie Friday evening at Roasters

Once again you have a chance to boogie to the sound and fury of Frank Cotolo when he returns Friday evening to the stage at St. Thomas Roasters, a mecca of java and live music located in the heart of the Linglestown square, 8–10 pm, no cover.

Be there or .

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Did you catch the big event last weekend in Linglestown?

Santa Maria steak expertly grilled by the folks at Linglestown Village Market was one of the attractions at the Spring Fling hosted by the Linglestown Merchants' Association last Saturday.

When I made my way into the village during the afternoon, the sounds of Linglestown-based band Timeless (pictured) were coming from the porch at St. Thomas Roasters.

Tina Robenolt, president of the merchants group and co-owner of First Impressions Boutique, Gifts & Day Spa, said the event attracted a good flow of visitors to the village.

CLICK HERE to view other photos from the Spring Fling.

Photo of the steak was submitted by George Gallion.

Monday, May 07, 2012

No surprises at CD board meeting

NO SURPRISE #1 ... Carol Johnson, the district's assistant superintendent, was hired to be the head honcho for a four-year term starting July 13, 2012, with a compensation package to be determined later.

CLICK HERE to see an acceptance speech that she delivered following the board's hiring vote.

NO SURPRISE #2 ... School board president Ford Thompson attempted to explain why the public was excluded from participating in the search for a new superintendent.

CLICK HERE to see Thompson's explanation of the hiring process.

NO SURPRISE #3  ... The board made decisions on tax settlements, a mystery settlement and furloughs of teachers and other staffers without providing details on the issues under consideration.

Georgia Smee, a teacher and co-president of the Central Dauphin teacher union was unaware that a vote would take place on furloughs and learned during the meeting that Johnson plans to meet with union officials to discuss furloughs on Tuesday.

Please take three minutes to check out community activist Eric Epstein's take on tonight's meeting.

Related links:  Central Dauphin School District ... Patriot-News article ... WPMT Fox 43 video ... School employee furloughs (No administrative positions are being eliminated.) ... CD teachers dealing with planned furloughs


5 Reasons CD Residents Should Be Having Sleepless Nights

Hello. Does anyone give a rip about this stuff?

#1 REASON:  Tonight's school board meeting agenda indicates that a superintendent will be hired without first seeking input from the public. (The meeting starts at 7 pm in the Central Dauphin East High School auditorium.)

This out-of-the-blue agenda item is disturbing when the current superintendent is still on the payroll even though he's not working as the superintendent. (He's been assigned a special project and works in a rental office.)

CLICK HERE for breaking news on this issue from The Patriot-News. (Hat tip to community activist Eric Epstein for taking time to stir up some dust on the likely hiring of Carol Johnson to succeed Dr. Gonzalez as superintendent.)

#2 REASON:  The school board and top school administrators plan to cut 74 teachers and 10 other employees and up the property-tax rate by 3.3 percent to balance next school year's budget.

#3 REASON:  If current trends continue, another significant tax hike and more teacher cuts will be needed to balance the district's 2013-14 budget.

#4 REASON:  The district relies too much on The Patriot-News to get word out about important issues.

The newspaper only sends a reporter to cover meetings, which means many important issues that happen behind the scenes never show up in print or on PennLive. For instance, the board's infamous "meetings before the real meetings" should be investigated by a journalist.

#5 REASON:  There's been limited public outcry over the proposed teacher cuts. Heck, parents in a Somerset County district went wacky over talk of 11 teachers getting the ax!


Thursday, May 03, 2012

Yard sale this Saturday

Head to Blue Meadows Farm development Saturday morning for their annual community yard sale.

Hat tip to Q.