Thursday, March 23, 2017

Columbia man sworn in as ORCA animal cruelty officer

Jeremy Robinson, 28, of Columbia, who served as a humane society police officer with the Organization for Responsible Care of Animals about six years ago, was recently sworn in as the organization's second badged officer, joining John Kondravy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Defends property tax reform bill | Letters To The Editor

School property tax elimination would not shift the tax burden onto regular, hardworking citizens. 

Route 30 reopen after report of shots being fired

Route 30 has reopened after police investigated a report that occupants of one vehicle shot at another vehicle during rush hour, according to Springettsbury Township Police.

What are those basketball things on the wires near Columbia?

What are those basketball-like structures on wires beneath the Route 30 bridge over the Susquehanna River at Columbia? 

Police raising concerns about "narcan parties" offering drugs and antidote to users

Q&A: Preparing for retirement, software engineer Mitch Cooper opens comic book shop in Columbia

The shop at 477 Locust St. is also a bet that such a retail store can be successful in the borough, which is trying to bolster its downtown.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Family Movie Night at the Library Wednesday

Columbia School District Food Service Staff recognized

Members of the food service staff of the Columbia Borough School District were recognized at last week's school board meeting. The staff served breakfast to a record number of students this year.

Every borough student is eligible for a free breakfast at the school they attend. The service is provided by the Community Eligibility Provision offered by the PA Department of Education to school districts with a high percentage of students who qualify for free breakfast.  Former PA Senator Mike Brubaker (far right) represented the Hunger-Free Lancaster County Coalition and participated in the recognition.

About Town

 So, does that mean America has gone to the dogs? In the current climate, one could make that argument.

There's another one of those C-130s.

 Little libraries have been popping up around town. That's a good thing.


 State Police on the hunt

 Covered by LASA

 Word to the wise - Don't trespass!

 One could also run or bike.

 No it's not a barrier on Locust Street, it's another huge truck coming through town. So that bypass was built . . . why?

 There it goes!

 How much is that . . . well, you know.

 That's right - we bad!

 The woods are on fire! Not really, just a winter sunset.

 New bike rack at Columbia Crossing. Thanks, Lancaster Bicycle Club!

 Roller ready to roll

 Kingfisher at River Park

 He was looking for minnows.

 Sez who?

 There it is - a replacement bench for the one damaged during tree cutting last year.

 Theocracies are never a good idea.

 Here's another little library.

 Sometimes a doorway is just a storage space.

 Don't you hate when you open the door and find a pile of bricks?

 Pole dance

Work done, time to rest

Columbia claims two noted poets on World Poetry Day

Today is World Poetry Day, and Columbia can claim two noted poets as its own: Lloyd Mifflin and Dean Young.

                         Lloyd Mifflin

Lloyd Mifflin reportedly wrote more sonnets than Shakespeare, and was considered America's greatest sonneteer. He was born on September 15, 1846, in Columbia, and died here on July 16, 1921. More on Lloyd Mifflin can be found HERE.

                         Dean Young

Dean Young has written several volumes of poetry. He has received many awards and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He was born in Columbia in 1955 and graduated from Columbia High School in 1973. More on Dean Young can be found HERE.

DC, Marvel superheroes highlight titles at newly-opened Cooper's Comics & Collectibles in Columbia

Cooper's Comics & Collectibles, which features DC and Marvel superhero comics, has opened in Columbia.

Columbia Spy's article is here:

Career Fair today at the Library

Local media representatives, scholars discuss trust, transparency and 'fake news'

"What happens at local government levels impacts life more than what happens in Washington, but media tend to ignore municipal coverage," Lambert said.

Fortunately, Columbia does get municipal coverage thanks to local news sites.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pre-School Pals at the Library - Monday, March 20

Meetings for the Week of March 20, 2017


Columbia School Board looks at continuing ELANCO shared services agreement

At Thursday night's Columbia Borough School Board meeting, director Cole Knighton made a surprise motion to renew the ELANCO shared services agreement with Columbia Borough School District. Other directors appeared to have been blindsided by the motion, the wording of which met with opposition.

Specifically, Knighton said, "I'd like to make a motion to renew the shared service agreement between Columbia Borough School District and ELANCO School District for a period of five years, contingent upon mutually agreed terms which the Columbia Borough School District and ELANCO boards will work to resolve through their solicitors."  The motion set off a chain reaction of discussion.

After the motion was made, the board remained silent for almost 10 seconds, until director Barry Ford seconded the motion for discussion. An additional 15 seconds passed before director Charles Leader said, "We're in process. I don't know how we can do this." Leader was referring to the process of evaluating the contract.

Knighton cited a previous meeting when the board seemed to be in agreement on renewal.  Director Kathy Hohenadel pointed out that the wording of Knighton's motion failed to state that the two boards are going forward with discussions, but rather included time parameters that the boards have not agreed upon. "I think we're jumping the gun," she said.

"I think it would be nice to let ELANCO know where we stand," Knighton said. Ford asked if it would be better for the Columbia board to say that they would like to enter into negotiations with ELANCO to extend the agreement.

Leader reiterated his previous point, "I don't see how we can do it. We're just starting to discuss this." Leader said he needs data and more discussion among people. Ford agreed, saying there needs to be more discussion. Director Vickie Anspach also agreed, citing the need for more data and discussion. Hohenadel said the length of the contract cannot be determined at this point, because the contract has to be mutually agreed upon by both boards.

Board President Keith Combs said the Columbia board is willing to continue with discussion on the agreement. He said members of the administration are happy with it. Combs said that in the past, new hires have used Columbia as a stepping stone, without providing adequate direction. "We are going to pursue extending the agreement; we just have to work out the details," he said. Leader said it was fine that Combs talked to the administrators about the agreement, but that he also needs to talk to the staff.

At Hohenadel's request, Knighton repeated his motion but left out the five-year time frame.  Leader said, "That wording doesn't seem right to me." Hohenadel asked for the motion once again, and Knighton read it. Leader pointed out that the board was already following the procedure stated in the motion and asked why it was needed. Knighton explained, "It makes it public. It makes it official."  Hohenadel said the action could be accomplished simply by making an announcement rather than a motion.

At the board's request, board secretary Deb Smith read the current motion: "A motion to renew the shared service agreement between the Columbia Borough School District and ELANCO, contingent upon mutually agreed terms between the Columbia Borough School District Board and the ELANCO Board and worked out between their solicitors."

Dr. Robert Hollister, acting superintendent, said, "I think you do need to get something on the official record, because that will also open the door, because the Eastern Lancaster County School Board hasn't discussed this, per se." He also said evaluation should be part of the motion.

Knighton pushed for urgency, saying, "We're running out of time. June 30 is going to come quick." June 30, 2017 is the deadline for renewal. 

There was a brief discussion to add wording to the motion, specifying "evaluation." Without an amended motion being read, a roll call vote was nonetheless taken, with Leader being the only "no vote." Iris Garrido was not present, due to her recent resignation. 

After the vote, Hollister said that although the June deadline is approaching, there is no pressure to make a decision immediately. He said the service agreement could be extended, if necessary.

During the citizen comments portion of the meeting, resident Frank Doutrich asked why the board isn't considering other opportunities besides the shared services contract with ELANCO, such as school merger. While Doutrich acknowledged a merger may not be the best option, he said that the board has an obligation to look at other options.

Prehistoric Archaeology at CHiPS today

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Iris Garrido resigns from School Board

Iris Garrido 
[Columbia Spy file photo]

School Board director Iris Garrido has resigned from the Columbia Borough School Board, it was announced by Board President Keith Combs at Thursday's meeting. The effective date of the resignation was not specified, and no reason was given for her departure. Garrido served on the board since September 2016.

Combs said that anyone interested in applying for the vacant seat should send a letter of interest to the District Administration Center by April 3, 2017.

Columbia Crossing to host "Harnessing the Wind" this coming Saturday

Susquehanna Saturday: Harnessing the Wind 
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with family friendly programming for all ages. Suggested donation of $2

41 Walnut Street, Columbia, Pennsylvania 17512

Susquehanna Saturdays present fun hands-on activities for all ages on a variety of topics that explore nature, history, and culture. March's theme -- “Harnessing the Wind” – explores how wind is a force that can cause movement, motion, and power, and how to use this force in our everyday lives. Create a sailboat, make something fly high into the air, and discover how a turbine moves and uses wind to create energy with LCSWMA. This program is sponsored by Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. This hands-on educational program is available anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., while supplies last. 

All Susquehanna Saturdays are free for all ages, but a suggested donation of $2 per participant is appreciated. Proceeds benefit the operations and programs of the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center and Susquehanna Heritage. Columbia Crossing is at 41 Walnut Street, Columbia, PA 17512. 

Biggie the cat at the library Thursday, March 16 at 1 p.m.