17512 Columbia

Archive for the ‘Opportunities’ Category

borough in darkness …

In Everyday Living, In Columbia, Opinions, Opportunities on December 2, 2014 at 5:23 am

This is posted at the “You know you’re from Columbia, PA if … ” facebook page:

“Going through Hellam and Wrightsville last nite I couldn’t help seeing all the Christmas lights in the two small towns, then I came up Locust St In Columbia and nothing, what’s that all about? No one puts lights out on street poles anymore ,so glad some people want to do something for Columbia and decorate our beautiful Tree at the Park. Columbia is bigger then the other two towns and we pay twice the amount in taxes and we can’t light up our main street . Sad !”



Acting Secretary of Education Petitions York County Court to Place York City School District in Receivership, Appoint Dave Meckley as Receiver

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, Opportunities on December 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm

This article at Lancaster OnLine about possible next year’s school tax increases says “Columbia Borough … can raise taxes up to 2.8 percent.” That’s an alarming the possibility given the high increase in 2014-15.

it could happen

NEWS RELEASE – PA Department of Education

Harrisburg – Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq today filed a petition with the York County Court of Common Pleas to place York City School District into receivership and appoint Dave Meckley as receiver.

“For nearly two years, Mr. Meckley has attempted to work with the school board to implement a financial recovery plan – approved by the board in June 2013 – that would ensure students have access to quality academic programs while restoring fiscal stability to the district,” Dumaresq said.  “During this time, the board has consistently failed to follow the recovery plan and the directives of the chief recovery officer.  It is now necessary for the district to be placed into receivership so the recovery plan can to be fully executed for the benefit of the students and to return the district to financial solvency.”

Under provisions of the School District Financial Recovery law, in December 2012, the Department of Education placed the district in Moderate Financial Recovery Status and appointed Meckley as chief recovery officer.

In creating the recovery plan, Meckley worked with an advisory committee, obtained input from the public and met frequently with the board, district and school administrators, teachers and staff to develop the plan.

Since the recovery plan was approved by the board in June 2013, the board has refused to implement the plan as required, leaving the district unable to advance academic achievement and begin fiscal recovery.

Dumaresq noted several areas in which the school board has failed to adhere to the financial recovery plan: taking action that is inconsistent with the plan, not specifically identified in the plan or not directed by the chief recovery officer as being necessary to implement the plan.

Today’s filing is supported by elected officials and business leaders throughout York County.

“The York City School District has failed the students and parents of the city,” said state Senator Scott Wagner.  “The children of York City deserve the thorough and efficient education guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The only option left that will guarantee that education is for the district to be placed in receivership.  I applaud the work that Recover Officer Meckley has done, and I support the petition by Secretary Dumaresq.  I realize that this issue is emotional and complex.  It is time to try another option – change is good and healthy – and can be exciting.”

“Dave Meckley is the right person to address the serious problems the school board refused to tackle,” said state Representative Stan Saylor.  “Dave’s financial and leadership skills are evident to all who know him, and I believe he will take the steps needed to ensure York City students get the education needed to be successful in life.”

“This decision is in the best interests of the current and future students of the York City School District,” said state Representative Seth Grove.  “I am discouraged that school district officials were not able to use the School District Financial Recovery law to resolve the issues holding it back, but I am hopeful that the appointment of Dave Meckley as receiver will set the district on a path to success.”

Meckley, 63, of Spring Garden Township, York County, graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Franklin County, and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Cornell University.

He is president and owner of Strategic Advantage Inc., which he founded in 2001.

He is a former president and chief executive officer of Flinchbaugh Engineering Inc., and currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors.

Active in the York community, Meckley serves as director of Better York and the Children’s Home of York, and is a member of the York County Agricultural Society.

The law requires the court to hold a hearing within seven days of the petition’s filing and to issue an order approving or denying receivership within 10 days of the hearing.

Winterfest … Saturday, December 6

In Everyday Living, In Columbia, Opportunities on December 1, 2014 at 8:12 am


This is posted around town and at the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Website … yet there were councillors who knew nothing about the event. At least, that’s what they stated at last Monday’s council meeting of the whole.

a thin veneer

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities on November 29, 2014 at 6:51 am

Did you happen to see that a number of people in Lancaster protested the grand jury decision in the Darren Wilson case yesterday? – FOX43

[Read more about grand juries here.]

What’s more telling, and disturbing, than the above article, or this one at LancasterOnLine, “Penn Square protest: Michael Brown decision spurs dozens to chant, march, block city traffic” about the protests are the comments following each.So many of the comments reveal that a scratch in the egalitarian veneer shows blatant racism in words and images. Take a look at the “gentler” comments on LNP-Always Lancaster‘s facebook page post about the protest. There’s so much vitriol; so many inaccuracies, and open hatred and sheer misunderstanding about the grand jury decision.

The grand jury decision did not say that the shooter was innocent – the grand jury simply mirrored what had happened in St. Louis County when there were police shootings of citizens.


See this collection of articles for more about the misguided grand jury in Ferguson.

“Small circle of friends”

In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities, People on November 28, 2014 at 8:05 am

Oh, look outside the window
There’s a woman being grabbed
They’ve dragged her to the bushes
And now she’s being stabbed

Maybe we should call the cops
And try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun
I’d hate to blow the game

And I’m sure
It wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Ridin’ down the highway
Yes, my back is gettin’ stiff
Thirteen cars are piled up
They’re hangin’ on a cliff

Now maybe we should pull them back
With our towin’ chain
But we gotta move and we might get sued
And it looks like it’s gonna rain

And I’m sure
It wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Sweatin’ in the ghetto
With the colored and the poor
The rats have joined the babies
Who are sleepin’ on the floor

Now wouldn’t it be a riot
If they really blew their tops?
But they got too much already
And besides we’ve got the cops

And I’m sure
It wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh, there’s a dirty paper
Using sex to make a sale
The Supreme Court was so upset
They sent him off to jail

Maybe we should help the fiend
And take away his fine
But we’re busy reading Playboy
And the Sunday New York Times

And I’m sure
It wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Smokin’ marihuana
Is more fun than drinkin’ beer
But a friend of ours was captured
And they gave him thirty years

Maybe we should raise our voices
Ask somebody why
But demonstrations are a drag
Besides we’re much too high

And I’m sure
It wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

Oh, look outside the window
There’s a woman being grabbed
They’ve dragged her to the bushes
And now she’s being stabbed

Maybe we should call the cops
And try to stop the pain
But Monopoly is so much fun
I’d hate to blow the game

And I’m sure
It wouldn’t interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends


neighbors are talking fire service consolidation

In Everyday Living, Lists, Opportunities on November 27, 2014 at 8:16 am

mountville fd The president’s message on page two of the Mountville Fire Company’s FALL/WINTER 2014 newsletter is about fire service traditions, the decline of volunteers and, yes, consolidation of human and equipment resources.

Mountville Fire Company No. 1 has recently entered into “preliminary talks” with West Hempfield Fire and Rescue; Hempfield Fire Company; Rohrerstown Fire Company and East Petersburg Fire Company to consolidate resources to build a formidable fire fighting organization.

The aggregated area covered by these separate entities is significantly greater than 2.7 square miles.



fuzzy math to lower personal property taxes

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities, People, Uncategorized on November 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm

At Monday night’s meeting, a local business person suggested that a one percent increase to the Pennsylvania State sales and use tax would obviate the need to have or increase personal property taxes to pay for schools.

While not a fiscal giant in any sense, here is our quick look at that suggestion.

additional 1 percent sales tax

We calculate that adding one percent to the current sales tax application would generate about $128,000,000 dollars of new revenue. If all of that revenue would be “contributed” to the Department of Education for redistribution back to the school districts across the state, it might represent an estimated 2.32 percent increase for each school, ostensibly. Here’s the education breakdown in the 2014-2015 budget.

That would assume that all businesses collect the tax, report the tax and send the tax revenue to the state. Most likely, you, too, have seen businesses not charge tax nor give you a receipt showing the tax paid for purchases you’ve made. Here’s the sales and use tax stipulations that businesses in Pennsylvania and Columbia are supposed to follow.

That would assume that all the money would be used for property tax relief by redirecting the funds to the school districts.

school spendingSOURCE: openpagov.org

That would assume that the school systems would not add more expenses to use these “windfall” revenues. We tend to see folks who get new money continue to find new ways to spend new money. There seems to be no accounting for getting money without examining or allocating funding for future resultant expenses predicated on the ones embraced. There just seems to be finding new ways to spend and no consideration for “future costs” such as maintenance, salary and benefit increases, unplanned expenses, etc. If you keep spending there’s never enough money.

That would recognize that the increased “new revenue” is overstated because folks buying stuff in Philadelphia and Allegheny County already pay at least 7% sales tax.

States’ new budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago — often far less.”

There are those who have climbed aboard the “increase the sales and use tax and expand the taxable items” bandwagon. The Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition’s proposal shows the expanded tax scenario and also includes a “modest increase in the state income tax from the current 3.07% to 4.34%.” That’s a 41% increase, incidentally.

And all this might provide relief as long as there’s continued employment and spending and younger Pennsylvanians stop moving out of Pennsylvania.

Oh, yeah, last December, Pennsylvania’s sales tax and income tax revenues were under expectations.

And this Harrisburg Patriot-News article shows the kind of results when revenues don’t match the “rose-colored lens” optimism that only those in governance see when they spend other people’s money.


In Everyday Living, In Columbia, Opportunities, People on November 26, 2014 at 5:12 am
November’s Fourth Friday at …
Jonal Gallery/Alverta Arts Shop
located in the historic Mount Bethel District in Columbia Borough at 653 Locust Street, Columbia, PA 17512
Join us this Fourth Friday, November 28, 5-9pm for part two of TRANQUIL VISTAS …and more”
featuring the multi talents of York County artist, Judy Markel

Meeting of the whole agenda – November 24, 2014

In Everyday Living, Government, History and Heritage, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities on November 25, 2014 at 5:47 am

side oneagenda side one

side two

agenda side two

The council meeting of the whole agenda contained a lengthy list of items and topics. Click on the box below to continue reading this article. Read the rest of this entry »

“The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster” – ProPublica

In Everyday Living, Opportunities on November 23, 2014 at 5:45 am

” … the charity cares about the ‘appearance of aid, not actually delivering it.’”

rc disaster

“In 2012, two massive storms pounded the United States, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hungry or without power for days and weeks.

“Americans did what they so often do after disasters. They sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Red Cross, confident their money would ease the suffering left behind by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. They believed the charity was up to the job.

“They were wrong.

“The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR.

Click here, of on the above graphic, to read this ProPublica report in its entirety.


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