Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lancaster nonprofit introduces healthy eating habits to Columbia students

Students at the Taylor Campus of Columbia Middle School are getting some help in learning how to keep fruits and vegetables front and center. 

Grieving Columbia woman saves toddler on the side of a road: 'I feel like I breathed my mom’s last breath into that boy'

                        Alexis Allen

Alexis Allen buried her mother on Sunday. The next day, she felt her mother's presence as she saved the life of an unresponsive child on the side of a western Lancaster County road.

Fire causes $260,000 in damage to 4 Columbia row homes; 12 residents displaced

A two-alarm fire displaced 12 people and caused $260,000 in damage to four row homes Wednesday in Columbia.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Power of the Dark Side - How to Hide Your Browsing History From Your Snooping ISP

Time to turn to the Dark Side?

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted to repeal rules preventing internet service providers from selling customers’ web browsing and app usage data without explicit consent. The Republican-controlled Senate passed the same bill last week, which means the only obstacle that remains is a signature from President Trump, a Republican—and the White House has already signaled he will do so.

Your ISP can already track your online activity, but with the passage of the bill, ISPs will also be able to collect and store your data and sell the information to advertisers and data mining companies, who could use it to build an almost complete profile of you.

Fortunately, you can help keep your private information private by going to the Dark Side - the so-called "Dark Web." Doing so involves using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Tor software, both of which can shield your personal information from prying eyes. More information on these options can be found HEREHERE, and HERE.

26th annual Arbor Day celebration at Glatfelter's - Friday, April 28

The Columbia Borough Shade Tree Commission and the Columbia Tree Society will conduct their 26th annual Arbor Day celebration at Glatfelter Memorial Field, on Friday April 28, 2017 starting at 6 p.m.

Carl Glatfelter, Secretary-Treasurer of the Glatfelter Memorial Foundation, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Father Stephen Kelley of Holy Trinity Catholic Church will offer the invocation and benediction. Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz and Columbia Borough Council President Kelly Murphy will give remarks. Rick Hartlieb of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry will present Columbia with its 25th consecutive National Arbor Day Foundation “Tree City USA Award."

Several borough residents will be recognized for their work with the Commission in 2016. Cash prizes will be awarded to second grade students from Our Lady of the Angels School and Park School for their winning entries in the Arbor Day coloring contest.

Musical selections will be played through out the ceremony by the Stu Huggins and George Keyser.

Boy Scout Troop 35 will serve as the Honor Guard, and Frontier Girls Troops 191 and 202 will assist in the distribution of programs.

The annual ceremonial planting of the tree will be in memory of Phil Glatfelter, who served as secretary-treasurer of the Glatfelter Field Foundation since 1960. Mr. Glatfelter passed away last October.

Columbia High School Senior Gabe Grove will recite Joyce Kilmer’s poem "Trees" during the program. Gabe is the son of Christopher and Alegra Grove. While studying at Columbia High School, Gabe was the captain of the baseball team in his junior and senior years. He was a member of the National Honor Society for four years, serving as secretary of that organization his senior year. He is also president of his class and was a College Ambassador. He also served as Host to CHS’s first NCAA meeting where a discussion on how to increase a student’s chances of becoming a collegiate athlete was held with former and current NCAA student-athletes. This past summer, Gabe attended the F&M College Prep Course, where he took several classes and participated in discussions with other students from across the US. The seminar included traveling to other college campuses for 3 weeks.

Gabe hobbies are hanging out with family and getting in more “baseball.” He plans to attend Kutztown University in the fall.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held under the large pavilion located next to baseball field # 5.

Members of the Columbia Borough Shade Tree Commission are Amy Evans- Chairman, Mark Zeamer –Treasurer, Josh Birk- Secretary, Ron Fritz, and Amanda Hawn.

Vision Van, Free Exams for Children in Columbia this Saturday

The Vision Van is coming to Family First Health on Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. The event provides free eye exams to children of Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville. If it is found that they need glasses, they are able to pick their frames on-site and the finished glasses will be mailed to them in two weeks.

Red Cross going door-to-door with free smoke alarms - May 19

Two-alarm Fire on South Ninth

Units from about half a dozen departments responded to a dwelling fire on South Ninth Street, near Avenue W, shortly after 2 p.m. today. A neighbor told Columbia Spy that flames were initially visible coming from the structure but everyone got out safely. Personnel worked for over two hours fighting the fire.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Flint moves to permanently take care of lead problems, while efforts in Lancaster still stalled

Percentage of Columbia children tested for lead who had elevated blood levels: 20-25%

Even miniscule amounts of lead can cause serious mental and emotional problems in children and can increase the chances they could end up in prison.

A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that 8 percent of children under the age of 6 in Pennsylvania had seriously elevated levels of lead in their blood, 5 or more micrograms per deciliter.


                     Edward G. Knee

Edward G. Knee, 40, of Brogue, was employed by Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens in Columbia and is charged with one felony count of theft by deception.

Anyone with information regarding Knee's whereabouts is asked to call Columbia police at 717-684-7735.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Coach won't confirm or deny, but his Facebook post announced resignation last week

Columbia Spy received the following information last week from a reader. The message shown below reportedly appeared recently on the Columbia High School Football Booster Club page on Facebook, announcing the resignation of Columbia's head football coach, Anthony Sottasante. Sottasante is the owner and operator of Parma Pizza & Grill in Spring Garden Township, York County. He is charged with failing to pay a total of $68,961.07 in sales, employer withholding and personal income taxes between 2013 and 2016. The total includes $58,181.68 in state sales tax, $2,108.39 in employer withholding tax and $8,671 in personal income tax, according to a press release from the PA Attorney General's office.
Columbia Superintendent Robert Hollister announced the resignation in a March 27 LNP article, although Sottasante refused to confirm or deny it. 

I regret to inform everyone that I have resigned as the head football coach at Columbia High School. This was and is a very difficult decision but I feel it is the right decision based on the fact that I don't have the time available to meet the daily demands of a head coach.
I appreciate all the assistance from the booster club, parents, and the community that was given during my time with the Tide.
I wish the players, program, and community the best of luck and believe this team has developed into a group that will do great things in coming seasons. I want the players to know that they will always have a special place in my heart and I will consider them my players forever. I will continue to support the players in any way possible. I will be following you and will be your biggest fan next season. Good luck.
Win All Day Long.
Coach Sottasante

Columbia High School football coach resigns, charged with failing to pay nearly $70K in state taxes

Anthony Sottasante, 47, was charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced March 9.

Suspects arrested at CVS for prescription fraud

The suspects were arraigned and committed to Lancaster County Prison.

Book signing at the library on Wednesday

Cynthia Martinez, a local author, will be signing (and selling) copies of her book "Midnight Horror Tales" on Wednesday, March 29, at 6 PM here at the Columbia Public Library. Cost of book is $5.40

Meetings for the Week of March 27, 2017

Two Borough properties up for review

The Lancaster County Planning Commission will review a proposed request for certification of 301 N. Second St. as blighted property.

 The Lancaster County Land Bank Authority will review a resolution authorizing acquisition of 551 Avenue H.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Columbia School District overspent by three quarters of a million dollars

The Columbia Borough School District exceeded its general fund budget appropriation by $732,000 in the last fiscal year, according to a 2015-16 Audit Report from Sager, Swisher, and Company. Mike Reiner, a partner in the accounting firm, announced the finding when he presented the report to the school board at its March meeting. When a resident questioned where the money went, Keith Ramsey, acting business manager for the district, said the majority of the overspending was due to a doubling up of transportation costs. The district moved from one carrier, IU13, to the Hempfield School District. Due to the way the IU bills through the transportation subsidy, the cost for the previous year was contained in the figure, essentially making it a double expenditure, according to Ramsey. Going forward, such costs will be only those of Hempfield.

The report also showed a budget of $20,700,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year, with expenditures of $21,400,000.

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