Sunday’s news items [back to school; obituaries; letter-to-the-editor; school board truancy & more] – 8/18/2019

back to shcool

School begins tomorrow Notes from the schools • “Park Families: Our first day of school begins at 8:05 am on Monday, Aug.19. Cherry St. doors open for breakfast at 7:30 am. Students not having breakfast at school should arrive between 7:50 and 8:05 am. I am excited to meet everyone and am looking forward to a great year.” • Taylor: “This is just a friendly reminder that Monday, August 19 is the first day of school! We look forward to seeing everyone for breakfast at 7:30 am. The school day begins at 8 am. See you all on Monday!” – School District Website

What’s news at school | An LNP – Always Lancaster article in today’s issue enumerates these as new at Columbia Schools: “• ‘Drop everything and read for 5 minutes’ in every school building weekly.  New initiatives: Best Buddies, Rachel’s Challenge, Benchmark, Student Assistance   Program, art club, esports, Link Crew, restorative justice practices, personalized learning.  Expanded computer science program.”

Obituaries | James A. Lewis, Sr., 67, of Columbia and George L. Schmitt, Sr., 84, of Columbia and a local radio personality, Kelly West, 67. – Lancaster Online

Letter-to-the-editor | busts on Senator Aument’s sincerity and God claim – Lancaster Online

Being a public servant is not easy | Each of us tends to be critical of the people who hold elected public servant positions … at all levels of government. Except at the state and national levels where the compensations are extremely lucrative, the neighbors and co-workers and others you know who hold local positions of office (councillors, school board of directors, boards and commissions) volunteer for these roles or receive a pittance in exchange for the time, criticism and effort they expend trying to fill these roles to the best of their abilities. Columbia news, views & reviews has written on this topic several times over the years; most recently, this opinion was posted on the last day of 2018. 

“The elected public servants you vote into office have their hands full.

They read … a lot.

They observe … a lot.

They listen … a lot.

They take verbal beatings … a lot.

And they attend a bunch of meetings … a lot.”


OPINION: tossing softballs | We were taken aback at the Columbia School Board of Director’s meeting on Thursday by noticing that the seated directors who asked questions of the four applicants for the “two-that-morphed-into-three” vacant director vacancies asked questions that appeared to be spur-of-the-moment, impromptu ones: “What are your qualifications?” “What’s your style” of three prompted choices and the director role takes a lot of time for meetings, will you be able to  make the meetings?

Columbia news, views & reviews  looked at the Columbia Borough School District’s meeting minutes for 2018 and 2019 to find out the meeting participation attendance of the school board of directors. Here’s the attendance record according to those minutes.

Food distribution | “Mark the Date. Food Truck Wed. 9am at the VFW on Manor Street. No id or income verification all welcome.”facebook post

oss ribbon cutting

Welcome to Columbia | The ribbon cutting for the new OSS Health location in Columbia is at the Chamber’s facebook page. The mayor, borough manager and chamber of commerce director attended to welcome the new business to Columbia. This news release appeared at Columbia news, views & reviews on Saturday, August 10: Susquehanna Valley Chamber Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate Opening of OSS Health ColumbiaYork-based OSS Health will celebrate the opening of their new office location at 548 Chestnut Street, Columbia on Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11:30 am. Light refreshments will be served.”

now that's a crowd

That’s a crowd! | “Hong Kong protests continue as organizers call for peaceful rally”The Los Angeles Times [And here’s the view from Hong Kong – The South China Morning Post]



  1. Brian,Wow! Thank you for reposting your article on public service and the challenges it brings. I’d forgotten about that post; was very honest, thought provoking, and informative. I hope your readers take the time to open the post and reread it in its entirety and take time to reflect not only on their elected leaders and election candidates but also on themselves and their personal actions and interactions with others.One quick reminder to all as well: those who hold publicly elected positions (especially at the local level) are PEOPLE too with human feelings and faults. And we are your neighbors too. And we absolutely seek out and need public input, remembering that most people hear the message better when it is openly discussed and not yelled from a soap box or podium.Regards,Kelly.

  2. Appreciate your making time to comment. Public service at the local level is an awesome responsibility, especially since everyone who performs in an elected capacity or a volunteer capacity in any sense, takes on an inordinate toll in time and emotional investment.

    Seldom is anyone who volunteers or seeks office knowledgeable in the total spectrum of challenges that will confront her or him. That’s why so much time has to be devoted to reading, listening and attending meetings. Persons who will not read, listen or make the commitment to attend meetings may want to reconsider seeking public office.

    We agree that all of us have faults and feelings; we must also respect that the dedicated persons holding public office or volunteer roles will take the additional investment of learning as much as possible about the issues and maintaining a personal position that conveys the conviction of the person to “make things better” than they found them.

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