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Linglestown Gazette: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Save the Date -- Spring Fling this Saturday in Linglestown

The merchants of Linglestown are celebrating the new season this Saturday, May 5, by hosting a Spring Fling.

Everyone is invited and the various happenings and events will be held rain or shine.

You'll be able to enjoy great food, wine and chocolate tastings, music, promotions and demonstrations. This is your chance to take a walk through the newly renovated Linglestown and check out everything the village has to offer.

CLICK HERE for all the details.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Get Kids' Stuff and Pancakes in Linglestown

Attention parents and parents-to-be: The popular sale of highest quality kids consigment clothes, furniture, toys and much more operated by PA Kids Market will once again be held today and Saturday at Linglestown Life. The church is located about 100 yards north of the Linglestown square at 1430 N. Mountain Road.

And, on Saturday, you can start your day by treating yourself to a pancake breakfast at the church that will benefit Boy Scout Troop 68 of Linglestown, 7-9 am, $5 person ($2 ages 10 and under).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I'm peeved at election results

My focus for Tuesday's primary election was on the Republican 15th Senate District race that was thrown wide open a few months ago when longtime officeholder Jeff Piccola decided not to seek re-election.

I put my money on Linglestown's own Bill Seeds, who has served as a Lower Paxton Township supervisor for 19 years. In my opinion, Bill is a true public servant and he – along with a small group of volunteers – worked his butt off knocking on doors in neighborhoods throughout the area.

I hoped for a large turnout of Lower Paxton voters that would propel Bill to an upset victory. (He was a decided underdog in the race for reasons that will be explained below.)

But it wasn't to be.

Per usual, the candidate backed by the Dauphin County Republican Party, John McNally, won the election by a large margin over Bill and Harrisburg resident Josh First. The vote count was: McNally (11,188 votes, 48.4 percent), First (6,027 votes, 26.1 percent) and Bill (5,900, 25.5 percent).

McNally, who headed the county GOP party for several years, called in his chips with local political power brokers, raised a boatload of money and carpet-bombed Republican households with giant-sized postcards.

In a press release, First said McNally outspent him by a whopping 25 to one. And that, my friends, makes my blood pressure go sky high.

Let me be clear about one thing: I have no ax to grind with McNally. What gets me is the political bigwigs that handpick a candidate and then take steps to financially squash the little guys.

I know, that's how the political game is played these days, but it sucks.

For once, I'd like to see a local political party level the playing field by holding an open primary and giving each candidate an equal amount of money. No endorsements, no fundraisers, no nothing.

I'd like to see the party hold voter forums and do other things to give all candidates a chance to communicate their views to voters. Instead of using resources to virtually guarantee victory for one candidate, money could be spent to encourage people to do their civic duty of taking a few minutes to go to a polling place to vote.

Is anyone with me?

In closing, I want to thank Bill and Josh for expending time, money and energy to campaign for public office.

McNally will face Democratic nominee Rob Teplitz in the general election. No matter who wins the seat, it's our job as citizens to make sure the new state senator is held accountable to the people, not to political insiders and power brokers.

Other races of interest in the November election:

11th Congressional District — Republican incumbent Lou Barletta vs. Democrat Gene Stilp

105th Legislative District — Republican incumbent Ron Marsico vs. Democrat Kelly Jean McEntee

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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How You Can Make a Difference Today With 1 Finger

You can put an index finger to good use today by strolling – or driving if you must – to your polling place and voting in today's primary election. And, today, your vote will have more importance than usual because the majority of Pennsylvanians are expected to skip this one.

Please note: If you're a Republican, you most likely will be deciding today who your next state senator will be. (Jeff Piccola is not running for re-election in the 15th District.) The Republican candidates are longtime Lower Paxton Township Supervisor Bill Seeds and two other guys.

For more info on today's primary election, CLICK HERE to link over the a voters guide published by The Patriot-News. Republicans and Democrats in the Linglestown area will vote to nominate candidates for the following offices:

President of the U.S.A.
U.S. Senate
U.S. House, 11th District
State Attorney General
State Auditor General
State Senate, 15th District
State House, 105th District

Monday, April 23, 2012

Backyard News, 04.23.12

Below is a sampling of key actions taken this month by Lower Paxton Township boards and committees. All information was submitted by community watchdog group SWAN.

* The township Planning Commission recommended approval of a Sheetz store on Union Deposit Road where the Your Place restaurant is located. The plan will be reviewed by the supervisors for final approval. And, yes, Your Place will be demolished if the plan gets a thumbs-up.

* The township Greenway Committee has published a brochure of 13 walking opportunities in the township. The longest is the 1.76-mile Darlington Trail at Hocker Park located at the top of Blue Mountain on Blue Mountain Parkway. CLICK HERE to view the brochure.

* The township Parks and Recreation Board reports that the sewer connection required by the state to open Koons Pool this season has been completed.

* Two women were appointed to township boards — Angela Sedun to the Greenway Committee and Patricia Crawford to the Arts Council.

Friday, April 20, 2012

WARNING: World's Most Dangerous Man to Appear Tonight at Roasters

You'll be in danger of dying from being over-entertained if you stop by St. Thomas Roasters coffee house tonight between 8-10 pm.

That's because Frank Cotolo, will be on stage doing another edition of his locally famous live music and comedy show.

Only stop by if your heart can handle the danger, intrigue, quips, tunes and caffeine buzz that Frank will be serving up tonight at Roasters. You've been warned — he's dangerous!

Of course, there's no cover charge. Yes, it's a free night of spine-tingling fun and frivolity.

Plus, the baristas at Roasters will be on hand preparing Java Geof's world-class craft coffees for your palate's pleasure.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

8 Ways to Spring Into Spring With Style in Linglestown

The historic village of Linglestown will be abuzz with fun and frolicking on Saturday, May 5. You don't want to miss it!

Click on the banner below for details.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to make Linglestown your hometown

It's simple. First, turn off your computer, TV and smartphone about 6:30 pm today, and then make your way to the Linglestown Fire Hall to attend the Linglestown Area Civic Association meeting at 7 pm.

Some great community events are in the works, and your help is needed to make them become a reality.

CLICK HERE to view the meeting agenda.
For breaking news about Linglestown, Lower Paxton Township and CD schools, follow the Gazette on Twitter. Do it now and stay in the know! CLICK HERE to get this free, no-strings-attached service.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Backyard News, 04.15.12

Updated on Monday, 4/16/12, at 5:45 am with link to Patriot-News article about Monday's CD school board meeting.

B² update … I’m still kicking despite the look of Linglestown Gazette over the last week or so. My time earmarked for this blog has decreased due to a new project and the looming tax due date. (FYI, updating the Gazette is a hobby that currently produces no revenue.)

Many people rely on the Gazette to publish local news and community event info that aren't available elsewhere on the Internet. For now, I intend to continue doing this as time permits.

Please consider doing a couple things if you enjoy reading the Gazette:

1. Sign up for a FREE email subscription to Linglestown Gazette so you are automatically notified when new stuff is posted on the blog. Again, it’s FREE! CLICK HERE to subscribe.

2. Sign up for the Gazette’s Twitter page to get notifications when new stuff is posted on the blog –AND- for breaking news about Linglestown, Lower Paxton Township and CD schools from The Patriot-News and local TV stations. And, yes, this is another FREE service. CLICK HERE to sign up.

Big meeting on tap … CD school board is scheduled to meet Monday evening, April 16, at 7 pm in the Lecture Hall of CD East High School. (If a large crowd shows up, the meeting might be moved to the middle school next door, according to The Patriot-News.)

Next year’s school budget that calls for massive teacher cuts is one of the items on the agenda. CLICK HERE to review the agenda. (Click on the link for the meeting in the upper, left-hand corner of the page.)

I submitted a request to speak about the budget during the public-comment portion of the meeting.

CLICK HERE for a preview of the meeting published Monday morning by The Patriot-News.

Village shopping updates … The Linglestown merchants are gearing up to host a special event called Linglestown Spring Fling on Saturday, May 5. To find out about how to spring into springtime with style, CLICK HERE.

Speaking of merchants, Gazette correspondent Q sent me a note about a nail place that opened in the space in the square that formerly was Shalyn’s Hair Studio and a craft place that located across the street. Please leave a comment if you know anything about these newbie businesses.

LP watchdog … There’s a backlog of reports in my inbox about Lower Paxton Township meetings from community group SWAN.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Fire damages Linglestown apartment building

Linglestown, Colonial Park and Progress fire companies responded to an attic fire at a small apartment building on Blue Grass Avenue located near the Turkey Hill convenience store.

My wife and I spotted the fire trucks while on a walk to Amelia's Grocery Outlet to get a free copy of The Paxton Herald.

The arrow in the photo below points to one of the holes opened in the roof by firefighters. Click on the photo and map to view larger versions.

According to The Patriot-News, a construction worker was injured in the fire. CLICK HERE for more details from Linglestown Fire Company.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Is it necessary for CD to ax 74 teachers?

Like many school districts in Pennsylvania, Central Dauphin is scrambling to find a way to keep the district solvent.

School administrators last week called for up to 84 employees, including 74 teachers, to lose their jobs and a 3.3 percent property tax increase to address a budget deficit and possible bankruptcy by 2015.

Based on a letter received by this blog from community activist Eric Epstein (pictured below), the justification for axing so many teachers is unclear, especially when there's no recommendation to reduce the number of district administrators.

Epstein wants district administrators to detail where over $1.5 million in recommendations for savings and revenue generation identified by Central Dauphin Task Force committees will be implemented or realized in the 2012-13 school budget.

The task force was modeled after one in West Chester, Pa., that found $3 million in either cost savings or revenue generation in the district's 2010-11 budget without furloughing dozens and dozens of teachers, according to Epstein.

With all this said, it's important to note that cutting teachers is a big-ticket item for reducing costs because the state pension system has started to jack up contributions from CD and other districts statewide. CLICK HERE for a recent story by The Patriot-News that mentions retirement costs near the end of the piece.

CLICK HERE to read Epstein's letter.
Related links:

Update on CD's budget struggles published Monday, 4/2/12, by The Patriot-News.

Patriot-News columnist Nancy Eshelman says public schools crisis makes her blood boil.

— The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 16, 7 pm, the Lecture Hall of CD East High School.