Thursday, April 30, 2015

New signage at Columbia Antiques

Columbia Antiques at Third and Walnut . . .

The tables are turned - and ready

Tables have been moved onto the deck of the Trail Services building in preparation for Friday's event.

Locust Heights pool is not open

Despite rumors to the contrary, Locust Heights swimming pool is not full of water, and it is not opening. The facility was recently bought by St. John's Herr Estate.
(The photo above was taken this morning.)

For part of the back story on the pool, follow this link:

Work continues on bypass project

Work continued today on the Route 441 bypass project.

Sprucing up for the big event

Borough workers cleaned up River Park this morning in preparation for Friday's Trail Services Building opening .

Here's the schedule of events:

New flags at Brucekie's

Several new American flags appeared recently at Brucekie's garage near Second and Mill.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Meeting of the Whole April 27, 2015

Agenda (Click for larger view.)

Quick summary of meeting highlights:

Present: Councillors Ford, Murphy, Smith, Beury, Weisser, and Barninger; Acting Borough Manager Ron Miller, Finance Manager Georgianna Schreck.
Absent: Mayor Lutz and borough solicitor

Presentation by Daisy Pagan regarding management of Northwest River Trail Services Building:
Daisy Pagan of Perfect Settings stated (regarding building rental):  "It's about quality not quantity." She said it could be rented every weekend, but there are "enough fire halls" to cover other events.  She has her own list of caterers that she would use.  She suggested that she and the borough split rental fees 50/50.  She attended the meeting with a 3-year contract in hand, stipulating $9,000 a year over the course of the contract, plus a commission on each event. 

Jim Cox of Chiques Rock Outfitters spoke regarding the River Park:
Cox began by thanking the police department for apprehending a man that crashed into his vehicles on Lancaster Avenue.

He wants to install a vending machine for bait and miscellaneous items related to fishing and boating.  He has to have electricity and a cement pad to do so.  If the borough approves, he will need a permit to proceed.  

He also presented an offer to the borough regarding the cleaning of the restrooms in the Trail Services building.  He offered to clean them twice a day on Saturdays and Sundays, if the borough does not raise his rent for space in the park.  The borough custodial staff will clean them on weekdays.  

Claire Storm was present and spoke about a letter she hand presented to the office for council:  
Council knew nothing about the letter.  They believe it may have gone to Jeff Helm.  Claire requested use of the Trail Services Building on August 16th for a church picnic (St. Peters).  She requested a timely answer.  

Mary Loreto discussed Avenue J:
Mary Loreto stated that she had spoken to Mayor Lutz on the phone, and he suggested that Avenue J could be divided, with half given to each property bordering it: 120 and 106 South Second Street.  She also stated that the Mayor proposed dumping stones in the alley.  She proposed closing the avenue at each end (South Second Street and Bank Avenue).  She suggested that Ron Miller could apply for a grant for necessary improvements such as exposing the original bricks.  (Jim Smith implied that grants are hard to come by anymore.)  She added that Chis Vera, president of the Columbia Historic Preservation Society, plans to take walking tours down Avenue J.  She also stated that there is plenty of on-street parking along South Second Street, although some residents have argued that parking is a problem. Council President Beury suggested enough time has been spent on the matter.  Several residents of South Second Street were also present and voiced opinions.  Councillor Barninger stated that no more than two council members may go to Avenue J at a time or else it has to be advertised. Beury said he does not want to take away anyone's rights, in regard to the parking space in back of 120 South Second.  No one from that residence was present at the meeting.  Ash Alley presented a bit of confusion for some members of council.  Only two council members stated that they actually walked both Avenue J and Ash Alley and not necessarily at the same time, as was discussed at the March meeting.
Columbia Borough Police patrol Avenue J on Tuesday afternoon.

Columbia River Park - May 1 Schedule

Click for larger (and sharper) view.

Columbia teacher negotiations hit another roadblock

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Recently, the name of this site changed from "Columbia PA 17512" to COLUMBIA SPY.


Because . . .

  • It's shorter and easier to say "Columbia Spy" than "Columbia PA 17512" when someone asks the name of the site. It's also easier to remember.
  • Similarly, it's easier to say instead of when asked the site's URL (web address).
  • Columbia Borough is steeped in . . . HISTORY.  "Columbia Spy" has a certain archaic yet appealing ring to it, connected as it is to the original publication, "The Columbia Spy." The name of this site is a tribute to that former publication. It's much too good and evocative a name to be left sitting forgotten on the shelf of history, gathering dust (even though issues of the original can be retrieved digitally).
  • Last and probably least, this site's logo/avatar looks a lot like one of the spies in the cartoon "Spy vs Spy."

Accident near Prospect Road and Route 462 causes power outage

(Photo by Owen Shirk)

Several thousand residents are currently without power as a result of a vehicle accident with entrapment at 4040 Columbia Avenue, which occurred at about 11 this morning.

Raising the flagpole at Trail Services

Sunday at noon, Mayor Lutz (in the white cap) helped raise a flagpole with other workers at the Trail Services Building at  Columbia River Park.

Group effort

Plumb bobs at the ready

Holding on

A video of the flagpole raising

Arbor Day observance on a cold and windy day

A large crowd defied the chilly winds on Friday at the 24th annual Arbor Day observance at Locust Street Park, which included music by Stu Huggins and George Keyser, recognition of coloring contest winners and other award recipients, and an appearance by Smokey the Bear.  Emily Anderson, a Columbia High School senior, read the Joyce Kilmer poem, "Trees," and a tree was planted in memory of Jeff Fortna.

 Members of Scout Troop 35 recite the pledge

 Smokey and friends

 Coloring contest winners Zachary Detz, Bailey Finegan, and Breanna Young

Friends and family of Jeff Fortna planted a tree in his memory . . .

 Scouts braving the cold

Shade Tree Commission Chairman Bill Kloidt, Jr. and a well-known celebrity

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Litter Letter Project

Columbia Borough will launch a project next week that seeks to send a message through art. The letters PRIDE will be displayed at Columbia River Park this summer.

The project is inspired by The Litter Letter Project which began in Louisiana by Rachael Hatley, who back in 2013 used it to build a one-word message to her community. More information can be found at

The idea has since spread to other states. Columbia Borough will be the first in Lancaster County to use the concept with the hope this will inspire the PRIDE in Columbia residents and increase awareness of the need to recycle.

A special thank you to Butcher along with Chris Bongart and Chas Snyder, of Garage Boyz Powder Coating, who donated, created and constructed the 5-foot tall letters out of steel bars and chicken wire for the Borough.

On Friday, May 1, 2015, the public will get its first chance to contribute to the project at the River Park Trail Services Building Dedication and Celebration. Help fill the letters by bringing bottles and jars with lids. Make sure you bring your camera to get a picture taken with the letters. Send the picture to the Borough at . It will get posted on the Boroughs website and may get posted on the litter letter project website for all to see.

Also, for those that bring recyclables to the event  on Friday, they may enter a drawing to win a free visit to the Turkey Hill experience.

Borough Offices: 308 Locust Street, Columbia PA 17512 |Phone: 717-684-2467

Columbia Tree Society 24th Annual Arbor Day Celebration

 6 p.m. on Friday, April 24, at Locust Street Park . . .

Fourth Friday Celebration April 24, 2015

Highlights for April:

Join us for Columbia’s Shade Tree Commission will be celebrating their 24th Annual Arbor Day Ceremony.  Activities will occur at Locust Street Park beginning at 6pm. 

Art Gallery Weavings, Ink in Wrightsville is featuring "A River Runs Through Them" from April 24 – June 6, 2015. 

Garth Gallery Studio & Frame Shop is presenting its Annual Abstract Show. 

Susquehanna Center for the Creative Arts is presenting “The Figure – An Interpretation”. 

Through the Fire Artists Studio is showing works from Jerry King Musser, Janette Toth-Musser, and Mathew Jakeilski. 

The Historic Mount Bethel Cemetery is presenting artwork from students of the Columbia School District and Homeschooled students. Artwork will be in the caretaker’s cottage. 

Bootleg Antiques & Oddities is having wine tasting and moonshine samples along with musical entertainment by The Bootlegger’s Gang. 

Salem United Church of Christ on 324 Walnut Street Columbia, will be offering a way to relax in prayer and gather with others for Evening Compline. Service will begin after 9pm.

Go HERE for more information.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Laptop stolen from computer shop

On Tuesday, April 21, a Dell Vostro E6400 laptop computer was stolen from Columbia Discount Computers, 23 N. Fourth Street, about 2:30 p.m. The laptop has a dead battery and no power cord. The suspect is shown here in stills taken from a security camera at the store.

Anyone with information about this theft should call Columbia Borough Police at 684-7735.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

River Park Celebration and Dedication Friday, May 1

Columbia Borough, Columbia Historic Preservation Society, Rivertownes PA USA and Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce are proud to announce a celebration of the newly finished River Trails Building located at Front & Walnut Street, Columbia, PA.

First to start this celebration on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM-1:00 PM is the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape Summit. This is an RSVP event with Keynote Speaker  Julie Fitzpatrick Assistant Director / Special Projects Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.
Second is a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m.  Afterwards, the public can tour the facilities that include kitchen, information desk, modern restrooms, and deck that overlooks the riverfront. This 2 million dollar project is to guide visitors to the beautiful flowing hills of Chiques and the attractions in the Columbia area.

Our final event in the evening runs from 4 to 8 p.m. and is for the general public to explore Columbia's past and future in many facets. Visitors can enjoy lectures by Jack Hubley (Nature Program for All Ages), Randolph Harris (Origins of the Underground Railroad), William Whipper portrayer (Richest Black American and famous Abolitionist), Lydia Hamilton-Smith portrayer (Thaddeus Stephens personal friend and Abolitionist) and Mike Acord, Susquehanna Fish & Tackle (Fishing the Susquehanna).

We will also have a presentation on boating safety, bicycle demonstrations, home composting and kayak demonstrations. A Civil War recruiting officer defending the bridge, and other Civil War era soldiers.  Also: special guest Tom Hermansader, Art Flows in Columbia, a drawing experience, and a riverfront demonstration on the Susquehanna River.  And: live music, food trucks, an alpaca farm and the start of Columbia's Litter Letter Project.

Watch for another email blast for more information.
Please note: River Park will be closed for boat trailers on this day. All parking will be directed by Columbia Fire Police  to the field next to River Park.
Borough Offices: 308 Locust Street, Columbia PA 17512 | Phone: 717-684-2467

A cage for recyclables

Just seen at River Park.
Letters about five feet tall that spell "PRIDE."
The start of Columbia's "Litter Letter Project."