In Everyday Living, Government, History and Heritage, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities on April 16, 2014 at 5:59 am
Jodi Ross, town manager of Westford, Mass., and Joseph Targ, its fire chief, could learn little when a train derailed there this year. Credit Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times
by Jan Mouawad | The New York Times
“Jodi Ross, town manager in Westford, Mass., did not expect she would be threatened with arrest after she and her fire chief went onto the railroad tracks to find out why a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailed on a bridge in February.
“But as they reached the accident site northwest of Boston, a manager for Pan Am Railways called the police, claiming she was trespassing on rail property. The cars were eventually put back on the tracks safely, but the incident underlined a reality for local officials dealing with railroads.
“‘They don’t have to tell us a thing,’ Ms. Ross said. ‘It’s a very arrogant attitude.’
“American railroads have long operated under federal laws that shield them from local or state oversight and provide a blanket of secrecy over much of their operations. But now a rapid rise in the number of trains carrying crude oil — along with a series of derailments and explosions — has brought new concern about the risks of transporting dangerous cargo by rail.”
Click here to read this New York Times article in its entirety.
In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia on April 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm
Council president Michael Beury called the Monday night council meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The entire council, the mayor, solicitor, police chief, borough manager and borough finance officer were present. Additionally, there was a contingent representing the Red Rose Lodge #16 of the Fraternal Order of Police, two members of the Columbia Police Department and about a half-dozen or so citizens.
The meeting concluded at 8:53 pm.
Two Columbia police officers, Officer Austin Miller and Sergeant Jim Jacobs, received meritorious action commendations from police chief Jack Brommer for their actions in helping evacuate people from a working house fire on Manor Street earlier this year. Officers from the Red Rose Lodge #16 of the Fraternal Order of Police also bestowed the Peer Award to Officer Miller for the same incident. Sergeant Jacobs received his award for his actions in the evacuation and for assisting fire fighters at the scene by manning a line.
Part time Columbia police officer and United States Air Force Reserve Chief Master Sergeant Ortiz presented an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve certificate to Chief Brommer. This awards program is “designed to recognize employers for employment policies and practices that are supportive of their employees’ participation in the National Guard and Reserve. All employer recognition and awards originate from nominations by individual Reserve component members.”
In Everyday Living, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities, The Susquehanna, Treasures on April 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm
Sunday’s bright sunshine gave everyone opportunity to be outdoors. At the River Park, there was lots of activity. Several Chester County fire departments’ were exercising their swift water rescue teams in the Susquehanna. Noticed that one of the trailers had a license plate; one didn’t.
Noticed another person with an off-lease dog in the park. Wonder if the Borough is culpable if an off-lease dog attacks another dog or a person? The signage is there; but if there’s no enforcement, might that constitute culpability? The capstone on the wall has been replaced. Noticed an incredible number of cigarette butts near the water again. Here, again, there’s no enforcement though the sign at the park entrance states “NO LITTERING.” Eventually, these cigarette butts will leach or wash into the River.
Anomalies abound. Evidently, you can get codes variations to have soda machines and motorcycles on the sidewalks of Columbia. Seems ironic to have all the blue painted signage extolling someone to “KEEP OUR RIVER CLEAN” and “PROTECT OUR WATER” when there’s organic matter, cigarette butts and trash serving as flotsam at nearly every grate.
In Everyday Living, In Columbia, Opinions on April 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm
Did you look at the mapping at LancasterOnLine that identifies the non-taxable property around the county?
Do it seem logical that all the land wrapping the THE and convenience store property at Third and Linden Streets is non-taxable?
In History and Heritage, In Columbia, Opinions, Uncategorized on April 11, 2014 at 5:30 am
today’s news and information gleanings from here and there!
Quote for today… “Who reads them?”- “Harrisburg woman, whose mother and disabled brother each had $100,000 invested” with now deceased and disbarred attorney who stole the life savings of his investors in this Harrisburg Patriot-News article.
- Indeed, who reads them! Does anyone read the little classified notices usually printed in the back pages of a publication of general circulation? Long-standing federal and state government laws recognized that the public has a right to be notified of certain government and government related actions. The publication of “Any advertisement, notice, statement, report, resolution, ordinance, or abstract of the same, required by law, rule, order or decree of court, by resolution of any board of directors, shareholders or officers of any corporation or unincorporated association, or any government unit to be printed and published for a valuable consideration in a newspaper.”
- What if legal notices were posted online? Well, there are proponents of that. They cite cost savings for government. They cite increased “audience reach” if someone has access to a computer. They cite convenience and more. Legal-Notice.org, for instance, keeps a running “log” money that would of “would have been saved dollars by saying ‘If this site were designated as an “Official”, free, publication outlet for public notices, small businesses and taxpayers would have saved this amount since our inception.’”
- Anyone who’s attended council meetings has heard councillors question whether a discussed action item “has to be published” or a borough manager or mayor bemoan the cost of legal advertising. If anyone thinks that telling citizens about government actions is expensive, wonder whether they’ve considered the cost of not telling citizens?
- The Columbia Borough School District has published a LEGAL NOTICE in today’s Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era soliciting proposals for the “Taylor Elementary Paving Project.” Kudos to the School District because information about that proposal is shown at the School District’s Website.
- And anyone who’s meandered around the pages of a non-transparent, non-citizen-focused government Website knows full well that information that ought to be known and accessible is not. For instance, does it not make sense for governments to publish their own legal notices on their own Websites right now? Why don’t they? There’s no real cost to do that.
- Shining “sunshine” into Medicare payments: This extract – “A disproportionate share of the payments went to a small cadre of doctors and providers” – from an article in the Harrisburg Patriot-News points out some medical payment irregularities.
- There’s a column in today’s Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era about the bad decision to run a natural gas pipeline along the western part of the county. The columnist identifies the potential risk to the Susquehanna River. He asks, whether the pipeline could “be moved to the east.” Isn’t a potential pipeline leak environmentally catastrophic no matter where it is?
- We wonder … why the photos in some local media of the two “teens facing trial for home invasion” in West Hempfield Township show two “nice portraits” rather than the mug shots that others arrested for misdeeds get. We’re not alone, LIPNews asks the question, too.
- Need examples? Just look at these mug shots that The Morning Call publishes.
In History and Heritage, In Columbia, Opinions, Uncategorized on April 2, 2014 at 5:15 am
today’s news and information gleanings from here and there!
Quote for today… ” … a ‘pass the trash’ legislation working its way through the state House.”- Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico talks about school district’s not being forthright when providing previous employer knowledge about former employees with misconduct activities in this Harrisburg Patriot-News article.
- How much money do these organizations have and who watches the funds? Appears there’s quite a bit of money coming in and the controls are lacking.
- Stumblebum: a clumsy or inept person
- “art affection Atos” … c’mon fix this! “affection Atos” or “aficionados”?
- “Seven people were injured in a single-vehicle crash on Lincoln Highway in Hellam Township on Tuesday night.” – The York Dispatch
- Keep kicking that can – “Lower Paxton Township’s total indebtedness before the newest bond issue is $93.2 million, of which $77.7 million is sewer authority debt.” – Harrisburg Patriot-News
- Letter to the editor writer in today’s Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era rebuts Shirley McBride’s letter of a few days ago.