Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pennsylvania Magazine features Columbia

The current issue (Sept/Oct 2015) issue of Pennsylvania Magazine contains a lengthy article on Columbia.

Smoke and fire on Fourth Friday

Columbia's Fourth Friday celebration featured several galleries, events, and refreshments.  The 400 block of Locust was shut down for the event.

 Several musicians played at various spots along the street.

Some of the music was drowned out by noisy generators used to power food trucks.

 Shortly into the event, a large plume of smoke erupted down at the river.  A few minutes later, fire personnel were called to the scene.

Firemen found more open burning at the Canoe Club.

Caring for Heritage at Columbia River Park

Dozens attended Saturday's Caring for Heritage, a celebration of local history helping area non profits raise funds for their organizations. Participants included The Lancaster Fencibles, Invalid Corp, Susquehanna Gateway Heritage, and Columbia Historic Preservation Society. The event at Columbia River Park included reenactors, demonstrations, sale items, exhibits, and refreshments.

A reencator showed this American(?) Flag he recently bought at Root's Market. Apparently, the 40-something number of stars represent our 40-something number of states, and the 44 stripes represent the original 44 colonies. Would anyone be upset if this "flag" were burned, since it's already a desecration?

 Larry Hoover of Elizabethtown demonstrated bullet-making techniques.

 An assistant lined up the finished products.

 Bullets were made from 700-degree lead.

 Tom Hambleton of Willow Street took over bullet-making duties.

A short clip of the demo.

 Rifles used by Union infantry in the Civil War

 Larry Hoover of Elizabethtown

 Columbia history

Civil War-era belles, one with period sunglasses

Chris Vera, president of the Columbia Historic Preservation Society, gave a thumbs-up after another successful event.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happening this weekend




Former WGAL employee charged with stalking co-worker

A former WGAL employee is facing multiple charges after being accused of stalking an ex-coworker and vandalizing her car.
Bernard W. Gutwald, 56 of Manheim Township, is accused of stalking a female WGAL employee and keying her car on multiple occasions causing more than $1,700 in damage.

Pennsylvanians to get online voter registration

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvanians will soon be able to register online to vote.

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration plans to launch the system Thursday, making Pennsylvania the 23rd state to offer Internet-based registration, officials told The Associated Press.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After debate and discussion, Council votes to extend Market House Trust contract

Columbia Borough Council, at its August 24 meeting of the whole, voted to extend its contract with the Columbia Historic Market House Trust by one year. The contract, which had been set to expire at the end of this year, will now run until December 31, 2016.

The meeting agenda had originally listed an item to "consider approval to send the Market Trust a letter ending the agreement with the trust effective December 31, 2015." After much discussion among councillors and trust members, however, that measure was voted down. Council instead voted five to two on a motion to extend the trust's contract by one year under the current agreement. Council President Mike Beury and Councillor Stephanie Weisser voted against the motion.

During the discussion leading to the vote, Cleon Berntheizel, chairman of the trust, noted that last year the trust had asked the borough for support in applying for a grant and initiating a capital campaign to raise funds for renovations to the inside of the Market House building. These initiatives were to be the start of moving forward with Phase II of the Market House Study of 2005, to which the borough offered its support. He explained that the grant subsequently got held up at the state level. "We are back on for that [the grant] this year. We don't know where that stands," he said and added that the trust doesn't know if they will receive the grant.

Under the guidance of a consultant, Ken Kauffman, the trust had considered converting Columbia's market to a "green farmer's market" with fresh produce and other items, but is now considering a mixed-use market.  The green market proposal called for renovating the market's infrastructure by upgrading the electrical and water systems including additional sinks and refrigeration units. Berntheizel said the proposal for mixed-use is to explore options that could complement the market. "All we are doing is an experiment or just to see what might be the possibilities out there," he said. He added that the trust is not looking at closing the market. "This is just an exercise to see if this makes sense and if there's somebody out there that we can do a mixed use with."

Several councillors noted that the trust had not fulfilled some of the terms of the agreement. Councillor Barry Ford pointed out that the trust had not given adequate notice of its meetings and did not send quarterly reports. He also said the trust had not promoted the market as much as stand holders do.

Trust members replied that meeting notices had been emailed and that quarterly reports and meeting minutes were sent to Acting Borough Manager Ron Miller. Berntheizel said the reason the trust had not done much to promote the market was due to lack of advertising dollars. He said they had asked the borough for funding last year but had been turned down. "If you don't have advertising dollars, you don't advertise," he said.

A stand holder said vendors have taken it upon themselves to advertise, but noted there was quite a large drop in support from the community.  She said several vendors have left, and several who were supposed to come did not.

Jeanne Cooper, vice-chair, said, "I didn't know that we were responsible for advertising.  If any of the landlords on Locust Street are responsible for advertising for any of the people who rent their property, I don't think they're aware of it." She also told council that the trust needs time to work through these things. "Until we get that grant that we can't do the inside, there are so many vendors that we can't get in for a green market." She also informed council of the trust's two meetings a month, on second and fourth Wednesdays.

Councillor Kelly Murphy added that if one in ten households in the borough shopped at the market on a regular basis, council would not need to be having a discussion.

And now the barrier is down

208-210 Locust Street
The wooden barrier that had blocked off this property - and the sidewalk - has been removed.

Unfortunately, there is still no parking near the property.  The meters have been disabled.

Light restoration project on Columbia-Wrightsville bridge earns award

Restoration of the Art Deco lighting on the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville has garnered an historical award.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Council extends contract of Market House Trust

Columbia Borough Council voted tonight to extend its contract with the Columbia Historic Market House Trust by one year. The contract, which had been set to expire at the end of this year, will now run until December 31, 2016.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Caring for Heritage this coming Saturday at River Park

Location: Columbia River Park     Front & Walnut Street  Columbia, PA 17512
Date: August 29, 2015
Time: 8 AM - 3 PM 

The Columbia Historic Preservation Society mailed out over 50 invitations in the beginning of 2015 to Columbia non profits and Lancaster County Historic Society's to participate in either "Caring for Heritage" or "Albatwitch Festival'. Though a few responses to participate in either or both were received, Washington Boro Heritage, The Lancaster Fencibles, Invalid Corp, Gateway Heritage and CHPS will be on hand to show their local heritage. 

CHPS will have sales items, food and local historic displays. This event is for non profits to raise funds for their organization at no charge. So come down and learn and support these groups.

Hot dog, bag of Herr's chips and Turkey Hill Natural drink for $2.25

Thank you,
Chris Vera
Director/ Columbia Historic Preservation Society

3rd Annual Jazzy's Day held at Makle Park

The 3rd Annual Jazzy's Day, a celebration of the life of Jasmyn Smith, was held at Makle Park on Saturday.  The event featured a backpack giveaway, face painting, music, games, basketball, raffles - and new this year, a mechanical bull. The origin of Jazzy's Day and coverage of the first event can be found HERE. Go HERE for an article on Jasmyn's Buddy Bench.

Larry Phiel, Jazzy's grandfather

Lindy Phiel (right), Jazzy's mother

Kids took their chances on the mechanical bull, a new attraction this year.

 Others watched several simultaneous basketball events.

 A bounce house made an appearance.

 Contact info for the bull.

 Lots of balloons.

Meanwhile, at the face-painting table . . .

 Games . . .

 . . . a DJ . . .

 . . . a bounce house . . .

 . . . and balloons - lots of balloons - in Jazzy's favorite colors . . .

  . . . and basketball - lots of basketball!

 The bull was a bit feisty at times.

 Others slid down the slide.

And nearly everyone enjoyed refreshments.