today’s news … Thursday, October 17, 2013

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

Quote for today…  “The radicals who tried to hijack America didn’t understand one very basic thing. While most Americans don’t like big government, Americans revere our system of government.” – excerpted from Robert Reich’s column: Americans Don’t Like Traitors to Our System of GovernmentAlterNet

NOTICE – NOTICE – NOTICE … a reader called to inform us that the comments have disappeared from the Website. We have communicated this to WordPress. Here is the response: “Hello all. There have been reports of comments not appearing in the ‘recent comments’ widget box. We are aware of the problem and are working on it. There are also reports of the comments widget ignoring the display limitation. That is being looked into as well.” Columbia news, views & reviews apologizes for this (hopefully short-lived) inconvenience and interruption.

  • SHUTDOWN ENDSAfter holding the nation hostage again, the clowns in downtown Clowntown “voted late Wednesday to reopen federal agencies, call hundreds of thousands of civil servants back to work and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit.” – The Washington Post
  • VOTE THEM OUT: Cut the drama and self-serving interests. GET RID OF THESE TRAITORS NOW!

Additional notes from Monday night’s Council meeting:

  • Columbia’s “Mardi Gras” Halloween Parade is slated for Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 pm
  • There’ll be a joint meeting with the borough council and the school board. The meeting was announced in a legal notice earlier this week: “scheduled Joint meeting of of the Columbia Borough School Board and the Columbia Borough Council for Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the School District Administrative Office.” Indications are the borough wants to influence the school board to buy into a L.E.R.T.A. plan for the borough. Several of the councilors and citizens restated that the school district’s high property tax is an obstacle to attracting new business.

“The Pennsylvania Local Economic Revitalization Act [Act No. 1977-76 as amended] known by the acronym ‘LERTA’, authorizes local taxing authorities to exempt improvements to business properties in designated deteriorated areas from real property taxation for a period not to exceed 10 years on a schedule of up to 100% exemption annually. LERTA offers a potentially viable and effective tool for local governments to revitalize economically deteriorated areas and to increase job opportunity as well as (ostensibly) increasing tax revenues … “ – Applied Government Studies Center

  • During a discussion about the school’s being taken over by the state or being absorbed into an adjoining district, the borough’s solicitor provided a lucid historical perspective about the restructuring of county schools into jointures almost 50 years ago. He pointed out that other boroughs (Manheim) with strong football feelings and traditions agreed to aggregate into districts. This PittsburghLive source states: “In 1963, the Pennsylvania legislature ordered all county school districts to develop plans to consolidate more than 2,000 districts in place throughout the state. Most of those districts operated between municipal lines. Some districts were small — operating community-based elementary schools but sending students to neighboring district’s high schools. Consolidation plans were submitted and approved throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, said Jim Buckheit, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Some were hashed out in court. In some cases, districts did not merge at all. But the 1963 legislation essentially left Pennsylvania with the 501 school districts in place today.”
  • The executive director of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) spoke briefly to share the CEDC’s support of a L.E.R.T.A. tax abatement plan. She announced a CEDC-hosted “business reception” would be held at the Turkey Hill Experience on November 13 from 4:30 to 7:00 pm. An invitation appears at the CEDC Website. 

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