Thursday’s news items – [facebook comments; The River; Columbia as a destination, etc.] – 6/14/2018

from the pages of the chronicles of Columbia …fb passagesLocal facebook pages are lighting up with comments and posts about former borough manager, Norm Meiskey’s remarks at the Monday night council meeting. Columbia Spy‘s article is a comprehensive assessment of his comments.


This is happening on Saturday – And it looks like a great weather day: “Sunny, with a high near 81. Calm wind.” See more at the Columbia Car Show “Thunder on the River” facebook page.

Gee … seems every organization knows the importance of having a facebook page to communicate … except maybe the borough.


At Monday evening’s council meeting, Cleon Berntheizel, chairperson of the community development committee stated that there’ll be an initiative to begin a Columbia retail merchant’s group — because the Chamber’s of Commerce’s focus is too broad to adequately serve Columbia’s retail owner goals. That’s a great idea; decades ago, there was an extremely active and functioning Columbia Downtown Merchants’ Association headed by our friend, the ever-positive, enthusiastic Bill Linkous.

OPINION (and lesson learned): A different time, to be sure; then store owners were banded together for common good. They were in business to do business.

On Tuesday of this week, we thought we needed a gift and thought we’d stop at The Mayfly — we’ve bought there so many times since it’s opening (and since Hinkle’s gift shop’s closing). Alas, we never thought that The Mayfly would not be open for business on Tuesday at 11:00 am.

Admittedly, we did not check online to see whether the store would be open; after all it’s a business in business to do business. Alas it was closed. As a consequence, we were compelled to go across The River and found a nice gift at the John Wright Restaurant (and gift shop).


We searched the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Website and found NOTHING about The River. Contrast that with The Susquehanna River Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (Lewisburg’s Chamber) Webpage.

The River is a destination cause. Columbia’s pride is that! Columbia’s named its park: River Park. Yet the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, which uses as its URL & capitalizes on The River with its promotions — has virtually no information about The River.

Susquehanna Riverlands is one of the sole champions of The River.

river bridgeThe River and The Bridge – SOURCE: Columbia’s Economic Development Strategic Plan

In that plan, one of the key assets for the Downtown Business District is “Contains a major corridor leading to the nearby Susquehanna River.”

Also, “The origin of Columbia Borough is directly linked to its strategic location along the Lower Susquehanna River.”

The plan identified, too: “The Riverfront District will capitalize on the recreational and historical assets of the Susquehanna River … ” and:

  • “The Borough’s setting on the Susquehanna River is a tremendous asset and the genesis for the development of the Borough’s rich character evidenced within both the historic and downtown districts.”
  • “A place of destination for visitors.”

It’s so curious that so many incorporate The River into grant applications to secure federal and state dollars, yet some of the entities relied on to market Columbia as a destination DO NOT.



  1. Regarding the lack of open shops: I noticed that very thing on many occasions, even stood up and told council. How do they expect to draw folks to town when nothing is open? Last year, on one major summer holiday there was nothing open, not even the Crossing building. Couldn’t get a cup of coffee (except Turkey Hill). It was like a ghost town that day. A council member told me that was because it was a holiday. That’s EXACTLY why everything should be open!

  2. We mentioned something along this line to the mayor following a Memorial Day holiday several years ago. As we drove around town – the visitors center was closed. As were other attractions.The mayor’s response? “It’s a holiday.”

    Memorial Day is a destination holiday for many Americans.

    Lancaster County’s visitor’s center is open every day of the week and all holidays except “Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.”

    Economic development depends on providing services … for the Customers … on the Customers’ terms and conditions … on the Customers’ schedule … or the Customers will find someplace else to spend their money.

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