today’s news … Tuesday, June 25, 2013

today’s news and information gleanings from here and there!

Quote for today“They might not know that half of Americans don’t own a smartphone, one-third lack a broadband connection and one-fifth don’t use the Web at all.” – Extracted from this New York Times opinion column: “Our schools, cut off from the Web.”

  • 0624 council meeting of the whole0001Click on the above picture to see an enlarged version of the agenda from June Council “meeting of the whole” – 11 citizens were in attendance at last night’s meeting which began at 6:03 pm and ended at 9:22 pm. The entire council, mayor, borough manager and borough finance director met to discuss the agenda items and other topics. Columbia news, views & reviews will have more details on the topics discussed tomorrow.
  • On “rain gardens” and tree removal in the borough – There was considerable discussion about the rain gardens at the River Park at last night’s council meeting. Seems there’s consternation about what’s a native plant and what’s a weed. Both are growing in the park’s rain gardens. One councillor suggested that someone ought to get on the computer to get more information. Here are some sites with more information about the “hows” and “whats” of rain gardens: watershedactivities.com; Octorara Native Plants; RainGardenManual. If you have an interest in rain gardens and lending a hand in maintaining the rain gardens, you may want to get in touch with one of the councillors. A homeowner related his tale of dealings with the borough’s codes department and the Shade Tree Commission beginning nearly a year ago and ending with the Commission’s removal of two trees in front of his Chestnut Street home. Among the issues in the resultant discussion were: Should the homeowner be made aware of the Commission’s decision to remove trees? How should that notification be made? Should the homeowner be made aware of the charges and costs? Should the homeowner have a “scope of work” to know the processes and requirements? Should the homeowner be allowed to secure multiple bids from qualified contractors? Should the Commission be required to secure multiple competitive bids as well? Why would the Commission direct work to one contractor? Borough executive, Sam Sulkosky, stated that Boroughs are not required to solicit competitive bids on work costing less than $10,000 but that he has advised the Commission to solicit competitive bids for large tree removal and accompanying scope of work. Here is another municipality’s EXAMPLE OF SCOPE OF WORK FOR TREE REMOVAL
    • Cordon off work area with barricades and barrier tape, unauthorized personnel will not be allowed within this secure area.
    • Contractor shall use all appropriate and necessary Personal Protection Equipment in accordance with all OSHA regulations.
    • Contractor shall be required to obtain any necessary permits in accordance with law.
    • Remove hazardous tree #4, 20’ Black Acacia down to ground level; chip limbs, haul away  wood and debris, stump grind to 6″ below ground level.
    • Chips and stump grindings can be dumped on unimproved areas as designated by the jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction maintenance will spread chips and stump grindings.
    • Disposal of all other tree material, logs, wood, limbs, and related debris shall be in accordance with all Federal, State, City, County laws and regulations.
    • Thoroughly sweep work area at close of removal operation.

    NOTE:   Contractor to notify USA Dig prior to any stump grinding.

     

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