Friday, October 20, 2017

Columbia resident runs for school board as write-in candidate

Hello, my name is Rebecca Young and I am running for a seat on the Columbia Borough School District School Board. I have served and volunteer in our community for over 20 years. From coaching our youth in CBAA Cheerleading to being a Youth Pastor that helped impart over 52 teens and I'm still connectedwith many of them as adults with families of their own.

Why run now for our School Board? I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and the community at large, encouraging an open dialog. I believe being a part of that board impels us to take input from all groups and weigh all the facts before making a decision.

A Board member is a trustee of the community that elects him or her. We must be an extension from the school to the community and be willing to collaborate with all members of the community. A school board member must build public understanding, support and participation.

What are my commitments? My commitments are to be a board member that will center on serving all of the children in the community, where no one child is more important than another. We are a diverse community and I want to celebrate that diversity. Our schools are here to serve the educational needs of all the children. Our children/teens are too vital in our community to not give them our all to be successful individuals who will be excited to give back to their community.

As a mother of four children, I learned firsthand how powerful good schools are in nurturing and supporting students. Having a child with ADHD and High Functioning Autism has shown having that support is second to none. Good schools are more about students who feel accepted, safe and know they are important to all of us than just numbers.

At the same time I recognize the need to balance the demands of our future generation with the challenges of our elderly generation. Our elderly have worked hard in their lives, given time, money, and wisdom to us all. Their challenges need to be answered as well. I will weigh every decision against this balance. I promise!

No doubt that there are many challenges facing the Columbia Borough School District and our community as a whole. Instead of standing on the sideline and simply critiquing the decisions that are made, I am choosing to be part of the solution. 

I would be honored with the opportunity to serve the taxpayers of this borough by working with the community, business owners, and administration in finding the resources we need to meet our financial and academic challenges. By listening to all of you, I firmly believe that change can happen in Columbia. For this reason, I am asking for your support and votes because IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE! 

Get out and vote for this change by writing in REBECCA YOUNG for BOTH the two-year AND four-year school board seats. 

Thank you for your valuable time!

Susquehanna water shuttle would link Lancaster, York counties by boat

As early as next summer, a public water shuttle could be carrying visitors across the Susquehanna River between Columbia and Long Level in York County.
If successful, the shuttle — probably using pontoon boats — could be expanded to transport visitors between Columbia and Wrightsville, and on a longer loop to include the Blue Rock Heritage Center in Washington Boro.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

PA Education Department Farm-to-School Grant Inspires Healthy Eating, Supports Pennsylvania

Students at Park Elementary School in Columbia BoroughSchool District are expanding their palate and taste buds with locally grown produce thanks to a farm-to-school mini-grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Don Murphy - Making Columbia great again, one building at a time

Don Murphy

Don Murphy wants to make Columbia great again. To that end, he and wife Becky, through their company Cimarrron Investments, recently completed an agreement with the Hinkle family to buy the famed Hinkle's restaurant in downtown Columbia. Along with the real estate, he also purchased the Hinkle's name. The investment is a move he hopes will save what many consider the heart of Columbia. The Murphy's, through their company, already own several landmark historic buildings in the downtown.

Columbia Spy sat down with Murphy at his Walnut Street office on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming changeover.

"The restaurant is a viable business," he said. He explained that his plan is to update the restaurant "just a little bit," but not enough to lose the historic, small-town atmosphere. He wants to enlarge the kitchen space, which he describe as "tight," and upgrade the equipment. The dining area will also be expanded to include individual tables that customers can push together for larger groups. He might also add a private area for lunch meetings where the current pharmacy is located.

Referring to the catering business that operates out of the basement, he said, ”They're doing a lot more catering in the last year or so.” He is looking to expand that operation further in the basement due to the large amount of space available there and promote it more vigorously.

The Murphy's have retained two long time managers/chefs of the restaurant, Mr. John Sipe and Ms. Robin Ortman as proprietors of the restaurant. Sipe and Ortman have established their own business whereas they will lease the restaurant from the Murphy's. "They will lease the restaurant from us," Murphy said. Current employee Tom Davis will also play a major role in the operation, mainly in office and IT duties. Murphy plans to to set up an LLC (limited liability company) for them.

Murphy also cited the dedication of the Hinkle's employees and wanted to work fast to keep as many as possible. "We needed to act quickly to retain the staff," he said.

He believes there is no time for delay in getting the business up and running again after its upcoming October 25 shutdown. After a four-day transition period, the restaurant will reopen on Monday, October 30.

"I didn't want it to close for a month or two and then have to reopen because then it's like stale bread," he said. During the transition, CVS, which bought the pharmacy operation, will finish packing up and removing pharmaceuticals. Due in part to state regulations, the word "pharmacy" must be removed from the Hinkle's building as well as any signs associated with the business. The shutdown will also allow staff to be "hired back" in the new entity, get vendors back on board, and beef up the inventory again.

Murphy said employees were "ecstatic" upon hearing the news that the restaurant will continue. Customers were happy as well that the restaurant - a favorite place for dining and congregating - will reopen.

"It's an icon," he said.

Murphy agrees to acquire Hinkle’s Restaurant - Restaurant to remain open!

Columbia, PA, October 18, 2017   

Local Real Estate Investor and developer Don Murphy and his wife Becky have agreed to purchase the restaurant and real estate from the Hinkle Family for an undisclosed price.   The Murphy's, through their company, Cimarron Investments already own several landmark historic buildings in downtown Columbia.  

Mr. Murphy said he began discussions with the Hinkle Family immediately after they announced earlier this month that they were closing their pharmacy and restaurant located at 261 Locust Street.  "We have been working diligently to structure a deal to keep the iconic restaurant intact and retain as many of the amazing dedicated employees as possible" says Mr. Murphy.  The Murphy's have retained two long time managers/chefs of the restaurant, Mr. John Sipe and Ms. Robin Ortman as proprietors of the restaurant.  Sipe and Ortman have established their own business whereas they will lease the restaurant from the Murphy's. The Murphy's also acquired the name "Hinkle's Restaurant" as they felt it was extremely important to carry on the legacy of the Hinkle's brand that so many locals and visitors to downtown Columbia have come to recognize over their 124 years of operation.  

The current business will close as planned on October 25th for a transitioning period of four days and reopen at 7:00am, Monday, October 30th.  Mr. Murphy said his future plans are to renovate the restaurant, expand the kitchen and increase seating by adding additional dining space.  Current catering services are planned to be expanded as well.  He also hopes that this latest acquisition will help enhance the downtown and that maintaining this location is a key element in the revitalization of Columbia.

Columbia set to become first Lancaster County municipality to zone for medical marijuana businesses

Columbia is on track to become the first municipality in Lancaster County to zone for medical marijuana businesses since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana last year.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Highway department adds crossing lines at busy intersection

The Columbia Borough Highway Department painted two sets of crossing lines at the intersection of North 5th and Chestnut Streets today. One set spans Chestnut, from the clock plaza to the opposing sidewalk, running north and south. The other set runs east and west across North 5th. Previously, no crossing lines existed at the intersection.

Thanks Highway Department!