Archive for the ‘Opportunities’ Category
At last night’s council meeting of the whole, there were some surprises and some non-surprises in store for the half-dozen or so citizens who witnessed the nearly 3 and 1/4 hours of democracy in action. From the time the borough president brought the meeting to order at 6:01 to an abrupt and surprise end at 9:13 pm, it was one of those “sausage-making” deals that folks as von Bismarck envisioned.
All the councillors except one was in attendance, someone said the missing councillor went to see the Jerry Springer Show. The councillor could have saved money and time.
The mayor, too, was absent from the meeting. He may have known that he was going to be the topic of a blistering attack from the council president near the end of the meeting.
The agenda is replicated below; all but one of the items were passed. Can you guess which was not? More on that later.
Since the meeting’s duration was so extended, Columbia news, views & reviews has had insufficient time to review the notes from last night’s meeting at this writing. Further, an early out-of-town meeting does not allow much time this morning.
Columbia’s citizens will have to rely on the observations of those who attended the meeting – the handful of citizens, the elected officials, a journalist corresponding for the daily newspaper – for summarized versions of what transpired. It is for this reason that we have recommended, and will continue to recommend, that citizens make time to come to the assemblies that are the council meetings.
And the agenda item that did not receive an approval from the councillors last night was Item II, 12, c. It was noted that the listed item should have been listed as the “LCPC (that’s Lancaster County Planning Commission) Planning Review of SALDO; the Zoning Ordinance and the Official Borough Map.” This seemingly innocuous line item slowly led to an explosion of discussion. More to come.
As one councillor and a former councillor in the gallery allowed, SALDO has been on nearly every council agenda for years. Here are some Columbia news, views and reviews citings:
On July 6, 2011, Columbia news, views & reviews posted this following a council Legislation and Public Property committee meeting: “S.A.L.D.O. (Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance). According to the Borough of Columbia Website: “Compliance with Chapter 190, Subdivision and Land Development. If an application under this chapter would also be regulated by the Borough Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (“SALDO”), then any permit or approval under this chapter shall automatically be conditioned upon compliance with the SALDO. See the definitions of “land development” and “subdivision” in the SALDO. For example, if an applicant applies for a single-family detached dwelling on a proposed new lot, the construction permit for such dwelling shall not be valid until after the lot is granted final subdivision approval and the lot is officially recorded by the County Recorder of Deeds.” The topic was tabled for further committee review.”
On June 11, 2011: “The majority topic of the nearly two-hour meeting was about the ‘official map.’ We will have more insight and detail about ‘official maps’ in future article postings, but the following narrative is according to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code … ”
On June 23, 2011: “Columbia family-owned business speaks to concerns with borough’s official map project. Tim Sahd spoke before the Planning Commission at the Monday meeting. Here is the text of his comments concerning his objection to having the family-owned business properties listed on the map. At the meeting, several citizens appeared to speak to the issue of the borough’s processes and intents surrounding the ‘official map.’”
On November 23, 2011, we said this: “The official map currently is under consideration in the purview of Council’s Legislative Committee pending the posing of questions to legal counsel. Helm commented that this is ‘democracy in action.’”
60 to 70 people filled the Columbia Borough meeting room earlier this evening to hear and learn more about the Historic North End Gateway project. Below is a youtube video by the architect, Douglas Charles Phillips.
Double whammy: “You’ll be paying even more for service, yet your access to all sorts of websites may be limited or blocked outright.”In Everyday Living, Government, Opinions, Opportunities on March 3, 2014 at 5:47 am
How much time do you spend online?
What if everything about the way you use the Internet is about to change just to feed the greed of corporate behemoths like Comcast and Verizon?
A recent court ruling would permit a handful of near-monopolistic Internet providers to censor and constrict what you do online.
In January, a federal appeals court struck down “net neutrality.”
Here’s what that means:
- Corporations like Verizon and Comcast can now slow down or even block any website or online service — for any reason.
- The big Internet providers can now create fast lanes for websites and consumers who can afford to pay more — with slow lanes or even traffic jams for everyone else.
This is a double-whammy for anyone who uses the Internet for news, shopping, entertainment, civic engagement, whatever.
You’ll be paying even more for service, yet your access to all sorts of websites may be limited or blocked outright.
Add your name to the RootsAction petition if you don’t think Verizon and Comcast should be allowed to decide which websites you can visit and then charge you even more for restricted service.
“JOE-4-OIL Heat Program” – “free heating oil to people in financial need who can’t afford to pay their heating bills”In Everyday Living, Opportunities on February 26, 2014 at 3:00 am
“The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, in partnership with Citizens Program Corporation, began in 2005 in response to decreased oil supply resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Dwindling oil supply led to steep increases in fuel costs, which in turn affected some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the United States. At the time, the tightening of resources available through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) placed additional burdens on family budgets already stretched thin. With the pivotal support of its shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), CITGO was the only oil company to respond to the crisis.
“Today, the program assists low-income families often forced to choose between heating their homes, buying groceries, or filling a prescription. In October 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that households heating primarily with heating oil are expected to spend an average of $2,124 this winter season, an increase of $218 over the previous winter.
“Since its creation, the program has helped more than 1.8 million people keep warm. (’05-’14).” – SOURCE: citgoheatingoil.com
How about that? Bet their citizens like the transparency; the exchange of ideas and the open communication.
“The Manheim Borough Police Department is proud to introduce our mobile app. The app is IOS and Android based. When you install this app on your smart device please enable ‘push notifications.’ With push notifications enabled will be able to provide you with important emergency information as well a traffic concerns within the Borough of Manheim and Rapho Township.”
Armed with a mobile phone and several of “poo bags” we walked the dog about the downtown yesterday. Here’s some of what we saw.
Looking at the sidewalk from where we took the above picture we spied some of the omnipresent dog “doo-doo.” Columbia’s sidewalks must look like Sochi’s without the roving dogs. Maybe the borough ought to insist that all dogs be licensed and have proof of a doggie DNA registry!
Due to the recent inclement weather, the Passport to River Towns program will be extended until March 2, 2014, with the prize drawing now scheduled for March 10, 2014. The original press release detailing the program is shown below.
The public is invited to travel to the river town area of Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville to shop, dine, and visit during the Passport to River Towns program. Quaint antique shops, interactive museums, cozy eateries, and shops located off the beaten path are among the venues highlighted in this initiative coordinated by the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce. A variety of local businesses have signed on as program vendors and are busy designing Passport to River Towns benefits for the participating public. This program, which showcases participating businesses in the region by designating each as a travel destination for passport holders, will run on weekends beginning Friday, January 17, 2014, and ending Sunday, February 16, 2014. Paperwork which accompanies the passport will verify hours of operation for each venue. Some businesses may be closed on Sundays, while others may extend their offers throughout the week.
Passport to River Towns offers participants specially-designed discounts or promotions awarded only to holders of an SVCC program passport. When visiting participating venues, simply show the Passport to River Towns document, get a destination ”stamp”, and enjoy the program benefit offered at that locale. Program benefits will vary by location. Discover some hidden gems of the region when you visit.
Program benefits extend beyond the on-site promotions. Those who manage to receive an approved vendor stamp from each participating business may enter their completed passport in a prize drawing. The drawing for these prizes will be held at the SVCC Visitors Center on Monday, February 24, 2014. Completed passports must be submitted by the Friday before the drawing to qualify for entry.
The price for each passport is easily recouped in the discounts and benefits of the program. At a cost of $5.00, Passport to River Towns is an affordable opportunity to enjoy a day out with family or friends. Passports are currently available for sale at Read the rest of this entry »