17512 Columbia

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

Saturday -11/18/17

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2017 at 7:28 am

exgiv final

Looking over the list of participating entities in this year’s EXTRAordinary Give, there are several fire companies, ambulance companies among the 464 participating entities. Wonder why your local non-profit was not in the list? Here are the Complete Rules.

Mount Bethel Cemetery Announced as an Official Location for the 2017 National Wreaths Across America Day | The cemetery will join more than 1200 participating locations across the country on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, to proclaim “I am an American. Yes, I am!” 

Columbia Falls, MAINE, and Columbia, PENNSYLVANIA—December 16, 2017 National nonprofit Wreaths Across America [WAA] announced today that Mount Bethel Cemetery in Columbia, PA will be joining in the effort to support the mission to REMEMBER, HONOR, TEACH, as an official location for 2017.  This is the FIRST year that the cemetery will participate in this national event.

This year, the ceremony, held simultaneously across the country at more than 1,200 locations, will be on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.  Beginning at 12 noon, at 700 Locust Street, Columbia, PA. Master of ceremonies Ed Wickenheiser, will acknowledge seven branches of military service. Included will be the Catholic War Vet color guard, a bugler to play taps and a  21-gun salute.

Mount Bethel Cemetery and Cub Scott Pack 35 plans are to raise enough funds to place 690 remembrance wreaths on the headstones of all the local heroes laid to rest at Mount Bethel Cemetery.  The goal to place a live, balsam fir wreath at the headstone of every veteran buried there and spread patriotism and commemoration for the ultimate sacrifices they made for our country. Mount Bethel Cemetery has veterans from the Revolutionary War and every US conflict up to and including Vietnam.

“Every donation and wreath sponsorship is a meaningful gift from an appreciative supporter who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “We are so grateful to the community of Columbia, PA for participating in our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”

National Wreaths Across America Day is a free event, open to all. For more information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

SOURCE: news release

Columbia Police post outstanding “Traffic Warrants at Crime Watch Page. Mostly, the warrants appear to be parking violations for the street sweeping that may or may not have happened. (NOTE: There’s out-of-date street sweeper information at the Borough’s Website.)


These young Columbia kids will be “charged as adults” for their alleged armed robbery. Read the Columbia Police Crime Watch report here.

Updates at the Crime Watch page include:

  • An overnight hit and run involving 3 parked vehicles in the 300 Blk of Linden Street
  • Found property to be returned

There’s no pause for “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance … it reads this way, with no comma: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” – See this source for further explanation.

evangel210,000 gallons – that’s the reported number – Odds are the number is greater, because American citizens are shielded from the truth by government entities (or flat out lied to) and corporations when bad stuff happens. And pipelines are bad stuff.

Another contentious, and secretive, school board superintendent issue in another town. – WITF


“Pa. couple sues after police mistake hibiscus for marijuana” – 60-some year-old couple “arrested when an insurance agent mistook their hibiscus plants for marijuana.” Following that, police “with assault rifles arrested the couple … and held them for several hours inside a police cruiser” – Lebanon Daily News


Incredible – Astounding – WOW, JUST WOW!

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Lancaster County sure is proving to be a giving place. $6 MILLION AND COUNTING.

Have you made your EXTRAORDINARY GIVE?


Friday – 11/17/17 – EXTRAordinaryGIVEday!

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities, People on November 17, 2017 at 6:31 am


Click here to support the agencies and organizations that are important to you.

While Columbia Borough and Lancaster County have modified property tax millage rates to account for reassessment, there was no mention of the topic at last night’s Columbia Borough School District board of directors’ meeting.

“Here’s how to check if your county property tax bill is changing under reassessment”Lancaster Online


This Thanksgiving, free holiday meals will be served at 18 locations around Lancaster County. Some locations will offer transportation and/or home delivery. Meals are available throughout the county, from Elizabethtown to New Holland.

Click here, courtesy of United Way of Lancaster County’s 2-1-1 service, for a list of locations, dates and times people can celebrate Thanksgiving with a hot meal and warm fellowship. Please note that some locations require advance reservations.

school board meeting photosSeen at last night’s school board of directors’ meeting: clockwise from top – November Students of the Month recognized for their achievements. Vickie Anspach, board of director was recognized and thanked for her service on the school board. Her term is completed. A PowerPoint slide from Dr. McGough’s presentation about his views and direction concerning the District’s Curriculum Plan. There was some contentious discussion among some of the board members about “this curriculum stuff” (according to one director).

“‘Intentional’ teaching has big impact on preschoolers”Futurity

Bon-Ton will shutter stores –  WFMZ-TV

bathrooms closed

Ah, those trusted staffers at the social club | “Former midstate police chief pleads guilty to theft from social club”WITF

Tusks and guns (or let’s let rich guys kill ’em into extinction) | Trump sons’ hunting in focus as US lifts import ban on African elephant trophiesThe Guardian

beeDr. Einstein, we are on that path!

Do pipelines leak? | “Keystone pipeline shut down after spilling 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota”TheHill

vent du nord

good point len.jpgWhat’s “visioning” you ask | ‘Instead of having a picture in your mind of what you want to see manifest in your life, you get internally still and quiet so that you are able to see the vision that comes to you.” – Huffington Post


Thursday – 11/16/17 – Part II

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, People on November 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

Congratulations to the Columbia folks who participated in the Semper Fi 5K last Saturday – Here’s the list of the finishers’ times.

  • Jordan Haberstroh – First in group
  • Charles Leader – First in group
  • Jay Rhoads – First in group
  • Emily Gambler – First in group

market page one

Columbia’s got another LNP – Always Lancaster page one news item. With quotes from the usual suspects.

The County’s commissioners “voted to lower the rate from 3.735 mills to 2.911 mills” and not to increase taxes for 2018, according to an article in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster. The reduction in millage is in response to the countywide recent property reassessment.

At the same time, the hospital formerly known as Saint Joseph’s and Lancaster Regional Medical Center is now owned by UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) and it’s proposing to pay less “in lieu of taxes” money to the city of Lancaster.

hands acrossLook for this Columbia agency ad in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster.

POLICE LOG: Manheim Township: Gregory R. Butzer, 36, of Columbia, was charged with the theft of $29.98 worth of items Nov. 5 from Walmart, 2030 Fruitville Pike, police said.

Those smarmy overpaid “elected public servants” | “Audit shows the PA legislature has a $95 million surplus” WITF

“Change in Parking Tickets and Quick Tickets payment” Columbia Borough Website

From a letter-to-the editor in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster, “By a vote of 54 percent for and 46 percent against, Pennsylvania voters approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would allow the General Assembly to pass a law to authorize school boards to decide whether to exempt residents from property taxes. Greedy, moneyhungry school boards?”

The Great American Smokeout – Thursday – You can do this!


Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event. Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

“About 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 15.1% in 2015), cigar, pipe, and hookah – other dangerous and addictive ways to smoke tobacco – are very much on the rise. Smoking kills people – there’s no ‘safe’ way to smoke tobacco.

“Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.” –

“Almost 70 percent of adult smokers want to quit smoking, according to a U.S. national survey. Conventional quit-smoking treatments, including counseling and medication, can double or triple the chances that a smoker will quit successfully. Some people also try complementary health approaches to help them kick the smoking habit. In one survey of people who visited a tobacco cessation clinic, two-thirds said that they were interested in trying complementary approaches.” – Learn more about QUITTING NOW here.



Thursday – 11/16/17

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2017 at 5:23 am

do the work

“In 1885, Leonard Huxley, published The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley, a memoir of his distinguished zoologist father. Included in this is T. H. Huxley’s account of a meeting of the X Club, which was a gathering of eminent thinkers who aimed to advance the cause of science, especially Darwinism:

“Talked politics, scandal, and the three classes of witnesses – liars, damned liars, and experts.

true today

spy surveillance

Where’s the truth (or the lies) in the conversation about the number of spy cameras in Columbia?


The Extraordinary Give starts at midnight tonight – Your contributions will be matched when you make donations to the agencies that “do good” in Columbia and across the county.

The countdown to the 2017 Extraordinary Give is on! On November 17, 2017 donations will be accepted at this site from 12 midnight – 11:59 PM as part of Lancaster County’s largest day of online giving. On that day, every dollar donated will be stretched by at least $500,000 from the Lancaster County Community Foundation,our Presenting Sponsors Rodgers & Associates and the S. Dale High Family Foundation, plus our generous community partners, to support the causes you care about!”

20 mittens

When you want to exclude the universe from your personal / non-government facebook page, you can. You can set up a group that excludes “outsiders” from seeing your posts and information.

A “closed group” is the digital version of communications incest or xenophobic thought.

“When you create a Facebook group you can make it Open, Closed or Secret. In an open group anyone can join and everything is viewable by everyone online, including search engines. In a closed group, admins must approve members and only group members can see posted content. Secret groups are, of course, secret. They are off the grid, don’t appear in members profiles, and only reveal information to members. That’s right, anyone on Facebook can now create their own private Darknet right from their profile page.” – PC Magazine

You can set standards and conditions for commenters on your facebook page. So you can block or remove comments. In essence, you can censor what appears on your page.


BUT if you are a government agency using a facebook or social media platform, the rules are different because of that pesky First Amendment.

This Indianapolis Star article reports: “Gov. Mike Pence was hotly criticized in 2013, when IndyStar reported that constituents suspected their comments were deleted from the governor’s official Facebook page because they were critical of Pence and his views on gay marriage. Pence later apologized.

“Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard was similarly blasted last year when citizens complained that their critical comments were deleted from his Facebook page. In Brainard’s case, the Facebook page was for his re-election campaign and therefore under his own control. But a government Facebook page is different and should be considered a public forum, experts and city officials say.”

Are there government entities that remove or block comments? Most certainly there are. Can a court find those kinds of governments guilty of abridging someone’s First Amendment rights? Of course.

This article at a law firm’s Website, “Five Tips for Moderating Public Comments on Government Maintained Social Media Pages, is good guidance. This is one of the tips: “Respect the right to free speech—including unfavorable criticism. – Speech may not be disfavored because it offends.  A federal court in Virginia recently held that a county supervisor violated the First Amendment by deleting public comments from her Facebook page.   The court explained that “the suppression of critical commentary regarding elected officials is the quintessential form of viewpoint discrimination against which the First Amendment guards.  By prohibiting [a citizen] from participating in her online forum because she took offense at his claim that her colleagues in County government were unethical, she committed a cardinal sin under the First Amendment.”

Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 18, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM for the Columbia Historic Preservation Society’s Benefit Auction.

School board of directors’ meeting agenda | tomorrow evening

In Education, Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opportunities on November 15, 2017 at 5:51 am


Wednesday – 11/15/17

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia on November 15, 2017 at 4:44 am


It’s top of page one news in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster. The Murphy’s getting deserved recognition for their latest revitalization project. In the article, Don Murphy said, “We’re trying to make Columbia the booming town that it once was. It’s starting to pay off. There are more good things to come.”

Another LNP – Always Lancaster: “The unofficial winners are: — Fred Thomas, 42 votes, a two year term on Columbia Borough School Board” as a write-in candidate.

cedc pic

The promise – the reality! The above photo is the cover photo for the Columbia Economic Development Corporation’s facebook pagethe most recent post there is from May 9, 2017. Some development. Even more telling is that in the above “what-if” rendering, only the non-CEDC property is being developed – the one on the extreme left. The one being developed by a private developer!

Equally telling: the non-changing CEDC Website.


“Post-9/11 U.S. war costs will soon top $5.6 trillion | The average American taxpayer has spent $23,386 on these wars since 2001”Futurity

vietnam 67“When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

“They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason.” – Ernest Hemmingway

import notice

REVISION: “Parking Tickets and Quick Tickets will no longer be accepted at the window at the Borough Office located at 308 Locust Street, Columbia Pa.  All tickets must be mailed or put in the drop box located outside the Borough Office to the right of the entrance door.

“Should you wish to contest a parking ticket, wait for a citation in the mail, then you may plead not guilty and go before the Judge at the Magisterial District Judge’s Office.

“Should you wish to contest a quick ticket, submit your request in writing to the Borough Manager along with the required $100 appeal fee within 15 days of ticket date.

“The drop box at the borough office is located on the front of the borough office just west of the entrance to the offices. A picture is attached showing where the drop off box is.”

Columbia Police Department Facebook page

This picture shows where the drop off box is.

“This is Trump’s America now.” | A banner of pride for The Daily Stormer’s webmaster. – From this Atlantic Magazine article, “The Making of an American Nazi.”

Do “spy cameras” age? You bet they do, especially when they’re not maintained! | In Los Angeles, many of the cameras, originally installed in 2005, are now broken. – Los Angeles Downtown News

Many Lancaster County municipalities welcome renters.Lancaster Online [The features of these “luxury” apartment residences.]

“The Department of Community and Economic Development is offering grant opportunities through the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE). PIPE provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural gas distribution lines to business parks, existing manufacturing, and industrial enterprises. Projects supported by PIPE grants serve to connect businesses, industrial sites, municipalities, and residents to natural gas to ensure they benefit from having access to Pennsylvania’s abundant, low-cost energy source.”


“Slow Growth for State Personal Income Persists in 2017”Route Fifty




interesting post at Columbia Spy | about the borough’s spy cameras

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Opinions on November 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Here’s what’s Columbia Spy shared from last night’s council meeting about Columbia’s Spy cameras:

“Fisher asked if he could get a list of camera locations in the borough, and the mayor replied, ‘No.’ Later in the meeting, the mayor said the borough has ‘exactly 50 cameras’ but ‘there is no list.’ According to him, if the borough had a list of cameras, it would be considered public property and would have to be made available through ‘Right-to-Know,’ He said the borough does not have to create a list just to satisfy such a request. He said no list exists because of covert cameras being used in investigations.”

Interesting that there’s a investment in spy cameras but there’s no inventory of them. What kind of entity/business/government keeps acquiring things but doesn’t keep track of the resources purchased?

It’s even worse when that entity is a government entity spending citizen money.

In Lancaster, everyone knows where the surveillance cameras are positioned.


At the Website, it states: “Camera Map -Did you ever wonder where our cameras are? Would you like to know if there are safety cameras in your neighborhood? Find out now by clicking Here

In Lancaster, “The Lancaster Safety Coalition is non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that is ‘owned’ by the community. To ensure our future existence we rely on the generous support of the residents and businesses of the City of Lancaster.”

In Columbia, the cameras were purchased with funds from grants or taxpayer funds. Either way, people outside government provided the funds for government to use to protect citizens.

Elected public servants who are paid by citizens are not dictators, though some act like dictators. (See NOTE below.) They are responsible to the citizens they are elected to “protect and serve” … transparently!

Citizen requests to know where the 50 cameras are are valid requests that should be granted … without a right-to-know submission.

That’s just more arrogant disdain for the citizens served.

NOTE: All dictators come to the end and their citizens do not remember them kindly!


Tuesday – 11/14/17

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia on November 14, 2017 at 8:22 am

An amazing associate passes – Joseph Thomas WillyLancaster Online

food bank adSee the half-page ad from the Columbia Food Bank in today’s LNP – Always Lancaster?

A citizen asks: Does Columbia have a curfew? If it does why is it not being enforced, I see children my children’s age out at all hours all of the time.” – Comment (actually comment and responses) from the Columbia Police Department facebook page.


“The Columbia Borough Police Department in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corp League and Red Rose FOP Lodge# 16 is in the midst of collecting toys for the 2017 Toys for Tots drive.” – Columbia Police Department CrimeWatch page.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” – First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Except when citizens try to protest against political corruption in Harrisburg.

Need another reason to protest the criminality in Harrisburg? How about gerrymandering?

tue thur rising tide



Tuesday – 11/14/17

In Everyday Living, Government, In Columbia, Lists, Opinions, Opportunities on November 14, 2017 at 6:48 am

thought bubbleThoughts …

about last night’s council meetingColumbia news, views & reviews was unable to attend last night’s council meeting due to a previous engagement. So we have no definitive account of what transpired. Citizens will be able to get reporting about some of what transpired by visiting Columbia Spy; watching for reports in upcoming issues of LNP – Always Lancaster; waiting a month or so to read the “official minutes” from the meeting; getting secondary accounts from persons who attended the meeting or tertiary accounts from those who “heard” about what may or may not have happened from someone who “heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend … .”

Here are the official minutes from the October council meeting.

About “write-in” candidates …


All the ballots for local offices in Columbia in last Tuesday’s election are now officially recorded at the Lancaster County Board of Elections. In spite of social media clatter about write-in campaigns and the dislike of local politics, there was no “write-in” wave of candidates strong enough to “throw the rascals out.”

Mounting a “write-in” challenge is more than just an announcement post at a social media site – it really does take concerted effort. To defeat the two-party machine that controls all politics, it takes hard work and a real plan.

Here’s one strategy that shows a blueprint: “The health of our communities depends on the leadership of politicians and business owners. The more voices that participate, the better our communities are. This blueprint shows how to run a successful campaign to help you move your ideas into action.

“By voting for a write-in … candidate … , you will send a message. Your vote will be a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the current electoral system and in conventional candidates, demonstrating that the two-party system does not give Americans enough options.” – This is from an out-of-date Website about national elections,

If you’re a voter … it’s a real good idea to become engaged in community.

  • Go to public meetings at the borough and school district.
  • Volunteer for open positions in government.
  • Walk about the community and see what is happening and what isn’t.
  • Make suggestions to and ask questions of the persons who are serving as elected public servants.
  • Be informed about who is seeking office; check them out here: https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets.aspx 

Lowered tax millage in ColumbiaColumbia Spy reports that the millage rate for Columbia property owned will be reduced to account for the county wide reassessment. Remember that the County’s reassessment guide stated: “The taxing bodies will have to adjust their millage rates down in proportion to the increase in taxable assessment in each individual district when they set their new budgets, beginning with the 2018 County/Muni taxes and the 2018-2019 School taxes.”

In a Columbia news, views & reviews article from last April, this is posted:

“But there are many who are quite concerned and perplexed about the inconsistencies they’ve heard in reassessment numbers. Anyone can access the County’s Property Tax Inquiry website (http://lancasterpa.devnetwedge.com/) to look at the current property tax assessment and compare it to the 2018 reassessment rate.

“Columbia news, views & reviews looked at a sampling of several properties in the borough and found the reassessment percentages quite inconsistent.

reassessment“Click here to download the above graphic as a .pdf to enlarge, share and or print.”