Friday, August 31, 2018


Man cited for setting off fireworks near homes

On 8/29/18 at approximately 5:06pm a Columbia Borough Police Officer was handling a dog complaint in the 800 block of Houston Street when he heard and observed a barrage of firework activity coming from a rear yard in the 100 Block of South Eighth Street.  The fireworks were going off in close proximity to several homes.  The Officer walked to the rear access alley leading to the residence where the fireworks were being set off and saw a man, Geraldo J. Maldonado, Jr. who is known to the Officer.  Maldonado said that he was sorry and that he did not think the fireworks display would be that big.  The Officer notified Maldonado that he would be cited for Disorderly Conduct.  Note:  All parties are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Arrest Date: 
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Case Number: 


Columbia Borough Police Department

Job opening for full-time Property Inspector in Columbia Borough

Go HERE for details.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Construction at Starview Brews to begin mid-September

Construction at Starview Brews, 224 Locust Street, is expected to begin in mid-September. The brew pub hopes to open in December or January.


Columbia man charged after allegedly fighting with trash cans

A 36-year-old Columbia man was charged with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct after getting into a fight with two trash cans, police say.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Curiouser and curiouser: Columbia's parking lot regulations

Questions about regulations for the borough's public parking lots were raised but not fully answered at the August Public Property & Public Works Committee meeting.

A resident told the committee that his car was ticketed recently when it was parked in the public parking lot at the bottom of Locust Street, even though it was registered, insured, and inspected. He also said two vehicles belonging to a neighbor were towed from the lot. He said his vehicle was ticketed for violation of the so-called "48-hour rule" regulating parking in the borough, although there is no sign posted with regulations for the lot. He said he regularly parks there to allow neighbors curbside parking and has done so for years, and was surprised at being ticketed. "There's no precedent for it. None," he said. Currently, there is no borough ordinance regulating parking in public lots but there is one regulating parking on highways and streets. That ordinance states, in part:
"No vehicle, including boat trailers, camp trailers and any like devices, shall be allowed to remain parked on any Borough highway or street for a period longer than 48 consecutive hours. Moreover, when such a vehicle is moved, it shall be moved no less a distance than twice its own length."

The public parking lot at the bottom of Locust Street

Committee members and officials could not definitively state that the ordinance covers parking lots, and Mayor Leo Lutz said a sign needs to be posted at the Locust Street lot. Borough Manager Rebecca Denlinger said the ordinance and signage need to be looked at, also.

When questioned about parking at Columbia River Park, Lutz said the 48-hour rule does not apply there for vehicles with boat trailers, because those vehicles are used in conjunction with the boat ramp and the park is regulated by and was paid for (in part) by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. "They can come from West Podunk and park there every week and no problem," he said. Boaters who camp on the river islands leave vehicles with trailers in an assigned, or "restricted," area for days and even weeks at a time without being ticketed. However, vehicles without trailers that are parked in the restricted area are routinely ticketed by borough officers. It is unclear why officers are authorized to ticket, if Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply there, as Lutz has suggested. There is, however, a borough ordinance that may grant the borough that authority. It states, in part:
"...parking zones or parking places for the exclusive use by vehicles with trailers only at the parking areas designated for the River Park in the Borough of Columbia as said property is described in an agreement by and between the Borough of Columbia and the Pennsylvania Fish Commission dated September 9, 1968, and no vehicle, other than a vehicle with a trailer, shall at any time be parked at such space so designated. "

Columbia River Park. The parking area shown above is for vehicles with boat trailers only, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

After Labor Day, any vehicle may park in the restricted area, not just vehicles with trailers. It is unclear if those vehicles will be governed by the 48-hour rule and be ticketed. At any rate, the borough contradicts its ordinance by relaxing the parking restrictions, since the ordinance states: "no vehicle, other than a vehicle with a trailer, shall at any time be parked at such space so designated."

Man with Columbia address shot and killed by police in York County

A West Manchester Township police officer shot and mortally wounded Logan Montgomery, 29, of Columbia, Lancaster County, in the hallway of a Motel 6 on Sunday after law enforcement said he pulled a gun and fired it.


NAWCC National Watch & Clock Museum Offering Free Admission to Military Families

This year the NAWCC National Watch & Clock Museum is expanding its Blue Star summer program to offer free, year-roundadmission for the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including the National Guard and Reserve. Each summer since 2010, the Blue Star Families organization promotes free museum admission events with museums across America under the Blue Star Museum program, supported by the NEA and the Department of Defense.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Water from underground spring creates headaches for the borough

Water covers part of Grinnell Avenue.

Water from an underground spring is creating headaches for residents and borough officials alike, according to a discussion at the August Public Works & Property Committee meeting. Currently, water is continually being pumped from a property at 11th Street and Grinnell Avenue onto those streets. Water empties from a sump pump outlet pipe onto 11th, then trickles around the corner to Grinnell Avenue, where it flows and spreads out, covering part of the street. According to Mayor Lutz, neighbors have complained about the ever-present water, and some claim to have slipped on it. Public Works Director Ron Miller said that the street was recently so slippery due to algae in the water that the highway department had to power wash it. Lutz said the source of the water is a spring under the house.

Water empties from a sump pump outlet pipe onto 11th Street.

According to Miller, the issue was originally a dilemma for the borough, since the source of the water is on private property. He said the borough can act, however, because of the resulting conditions created on a public street. Miller proposes installing an inlet at the intersection and adding a 10-inch pipe along a four- to five-foot wide grass strip running next to the sidewalk on Grinnell Avenue. The pipe would then connect to an existing inlet at 10th Street. Residents whose properties abut the sidewalk would first need to allow an easement. The project - if all goes well - will be completed before cold weather sets in and the water freezes. Miller said costs can be kept under $10,000 so that the borough manager can approve the project without sending it to council. The project would likely be contracted out due to the department's already heavy workload.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

About Town

This week's photos from around Columbia...

 A face from the past

 "Temporarily immortalized" on the mural at Eastern Drillers

 Work in progress

 Contact info


A wider view

The finished project will look something like this.


Knox box

 Since the passage of the key lock box ordinance, businesses are beginning to comply. Looks like this building at Front and Bridge has had a box in place for some time.

 Even though there's no roof.
Here's a few more around town:

Even the judge has one.


 That fence on Heritage is bent again.

 Time for another fix.

Oh wait, someone already tried a fix.


Some date stones from around town...


 Hands across the pillar

 Some of Columbia's vintage architecture


 One the 300 block of Chestnut: two more examples of Columbia's unique architecture, here and below:


 On the first block of South 2nd: Patch City

 Continuous seam - on and on and on

 Achtung! German soft pretzels. Das ist gut!

 Non-matching pair

 New lights at Rotary Park

 Don't be.
Let your freak flag fly!

 Second breakfast

 Fixing up, sprucing up

 Air BnB on North Fourth


 Spraying down town square

 Red-tail biding his time

 All the flags are a-flyin'.

 Out on Grinnell Avenue...

 Water is continuously being pumped from a basement on 11th Street. The house was built on a spring.

There's the pipe leading from the sump pump. The borough plans to install an inlet and a line along the street to channel the water.

 Apple thief

 Gold pebble with a green cross on a concrete pine cone...ok...whatever, this is Columbia after all. Anything goes.

 Old School thermometer

 Shot glass
(Peerless Hardware)

 Down at the bridge plaza

 Serve it at home.
Well, why wouldn't you?

 Hole in the highway

 Yep, they dug this up, too.

In a hole under a tent

 A rehabbed house with two apartments and no available parking? How did this get through?

One meter is paid. The other isn't.
How would meter enforcement handle this?

 Stone house

 The Amvets is relocating, but the building is for sale.

 La Voz: news for your head and a seat for your behind

 What could go wrong?

 Progress at the animal shelter

 This wheat field on Ironville Pike was finally cut down this week after growing all summer.

 Sprayin' 'em down!

 So that's how they get the mud off the steps.

 Good job!

 A reminder

 Good quote

 3rd & Cherry

 Another one in the "What could go wrong?" department: A gas fixture along the curb, unprotected, with this flimsy tubing

Anyway, right across the street, there's this plaque at what is now a church.

 Mourning doves on the rails

 Speaking of rails . . .

Norfolk Southern keeps running these oddball machines up and down the tracks.


 Fence down!
(Behind Hotel Locust)

 Another door to nowhere -
(See last week's "About Town.")

 It's still there.
(See last week's "About Town.")

 Abandoned aspirations

 One of a chorus of many this time of year

Under the bridge

 Someone threw together these materials for support.

Sections of I-beams . . . and blocks of wood?

 The words "slapdash" and "ramshackle" come to mind.

That bridge rehab project can't come a moment too soon.


 Google tells us this is a northern flicker, a type of woodpecker.

The dock is used for many things

 Fishermen - Please don't cut and run. Wildlife gets caught up in this stuff.

 Aladdin's lamp on the 300 block of Locust?

 And now this is a tripping hazard.

Over on the 500 block of Walnut

 Residents are expected to walk on these boards to get home. And if you have physical limitations, too bad!

 Well, that was damned careless.


 New lines on Commerce Street

 2nd gear?

 68 - a troubled year in America

 These will be coming down in the historic district as people move out (new edict).

 Missing cap in Avenue G

 Caught in the act

Overhead cargo

Biker rally