Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hundreds helped by "Hands Across the Street" program

258 people stood in line at Vision Church this morning to receive free food from the "Hands Across the Street" program. The food, which included various flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, chicken tenders, and cake, was donated by Americold in Mountville and is estimated to have helped 644 people in the households of those who signed up, according to organizer Lori Flick. The program is almost 100% volunteer.

Ken Kramer and son Jan of JanMichael's Art and Home Store provided the truck, and with the help of several volunteers, loaded up half a dozen skids of food in Mountville, and unloaded them in the church parking lot at 291 South 4th Street. Those receiving food were not required to show identification or proof of income.

"Hands Across the Street," which is overseen by Columbia's Presbyterian Church, also partners with the Sunsnappers and the Lions Club to help the community. The church leases the building on South 4th, where a downstairs shelter capable of housing 25 people is located. The shelter operation is estimated to cost $70,000 and is funded through donations.


This morning (Thursday, May 30) at 9 a.m. "Hands Across the Street" will be handing out free ice cream, chicken tenders, ice cream cakes, and yogurts at VISION CHURCH, 291 South 4th Street. Free to anyone in the community.

Five pallets of food will be distributed to anyone. No income restrictions apply. No identification needed. All are welcome.

"Hands Across the Street" partners with Sunsnappers and the Lions Club to provide food to the community.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Columbia's Flying Ace: Lieutenant John Knox MacArthur

Columbia History - Did you know?

Columbia's Flying Ace: Lieutenant John Knox MacArthur 

Did you know a World War I flying ace was born in Columbia? It's true. Columbia's Flying Ace, Second Lieutenant John Knox "Mac" MacArthur, who was credited with six aerial victories and was his squadron's first ace, was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania on January 14, 1891. His family lived here for a time and attended Columbia Presbyterian Church, where he was baptized.

Knox received the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action near Luneville, France on June 13th 1918. According to  MacArthur and three flying companions, "outnumbered and handicapped" by their presence behind German lines fought "a large group of enemy planes, bringing down or putting to flight all the attacking party while performing an important mission."

He became the 27th Aero Squadron's first ace after scoring his fifth victory on July 17, 1918.

On July 20, 1918, MacArthur and two other pilots were forced down when they encountered a storm during a mission. Newspaper reports in 1919 claim MacArthur died in a German prison camp. However, his Wikipedia entry states that he was wounded and captured by the Germans and taken to hospital where he died of his wounds. He was 27 years old. MacArthur is buried in the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware.

MacArthur was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and was made a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor.

Lancaster Newspapers "The Scribbler" column (date unknown) about MacArthur
[Photo provided by James R. Settle II]

In more recent years, "The Scribbler," a regular column in Lancaster Newspapers, laid out information on MacArthur that was discovered by Robert Kramer of Columbia.  According to the article, John Knox MacArthur was the first son of Charles P. and Mary W. MacArthur. The family lived at 303 Chestnut Street and attended the Columbia Presbyterian Church at 360 Locust Street, where John was baptized. They later moved to Harrisburg and then Buffalo, New York.

John became a civil engineer like his father, then enlisted in the US Army Air Service in Buffalo during World War I. After being shot down on July 20, 1918, MacArthur reportedly died in a German Hospital on August 9. At the time this article was published, Kramer was trying to find more information about the local years of John Knox MacArthur.

[Thanks to James R. Settle II for discovering this story.]

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Columbia taxpayers to be hit with another tax hike, this time from the school board

Columbia taxpayers will soon be paying more in school taxes.  

According to the Lancaster Online "School briefs" shown below, the Columbia Borough School Board recently approved an increase of 2.5% as part of its 2019-20 budget.  Although the article incorrectly states that the current millage is 25.63, the other figures shown are basically correct.  The current millage, as shown in the millage chart below, is actually 25.8163.  

Columbia Borough already has the highest school tax millage rate, as well as the highest overall millage rate (municipal, school, county) in Lancaster County, at 36.7273 mills.

Write-ins Votes Cast for Primary Election - Columbia Borough Council

Write-in votes cast on Democratic ballot:

Write-in votes cast on Republican ballot:

This Week at the Library

Columbia Borough Meetings - Week of May 27, 2019

Friday, May 24, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

Columbia Spy endorses Columbia Borough Council Candidates for Change and has a message for incumbents

To the Candidates for Change: Columbia Spy thanks all of you for hard work and your commitment to fiscal responsibilty and transparency. You have shown courage in standing up to the relentless mud-slinging by the incumbents. We want voters to support you on Tuesday. We heartily endorse all of you!

To Columbia Taxpayers (and Voters): Please remember that incumbents Kelly Murphy and Cleon Berntheizel voted to raise your taxes 21.2% unnecessarily to fund their special interest schemes. If you signed a petition in December and January (which, by the way, council ignored) please vote for Candidates for Change. Even if you didn't sign a petition, vote for the Candidates for Change. Things can still be changed for the better. You have a choice and a voice. But you must vote.

To the Incumbents: We don't know if you should be called the "tax and spend" candidates or the "fear and smear" candidates, but either way, you should be ashamed of yourselves, that is, if you have any shame left.

You have run a disgraceful, mudslinging campaign against those with better ideas than yours, because you know you have no provable ideas for Columbia's future.

You have touted your 12 years of experience as an example of your "wisdom," but it only means you have been in office too long and must go.

You say you have a vision for Columbia and you are "moving the town forward," but the only thing we see are crazy pie-in-the-sky ideas that will cost taxpayers and could ultimately bankrupt the town.

We are appalled at your reckless spending and careless use of taxpayer funds. Remember the $650,000 you wanted to GIVE to a private developer last year, until your own solicitor had to slap your fingers and tell you no? We do. You are not fiscally responsible. Instead, you are profligate with our money and are not fit to continue on Borough Council.

You also ignored the will of Columbia taxpayers by dismissing their petition containing over 1,160 signatures that was presented to you. Instead, you chose to abandon your own citizens and raise our taxes to help an out-of-town developer.

Remember the secret vote that you took in November that the District Attorney's office had to warn you about? We remember.

Remember Cleon's late night Facebook rant against citizens, further showing his scorn for taxpayers? We remember.

For these and many other reasons, we heartily DO NOT endorse you, Kelly Murphy and Cleon Berntheizel, and your companion candidate Michael Shomody.

We hope voters "remember" YOU on Election Day.

Never vote a straight party ticket - and how to write in a candidate's name

An explanation of why you should never vote a straight party ticket, plus directions on how to write in a candidate's name are shown in an article at Columbia News, Views & Reviews HERE. See below for sample ballots of both parties:



Just a thought . . .

 We don't advocate any sort of violence and we certainly don't want anyone going to this extreme, but we do want a borough council that's responsible with our tax money - instead of spending it on personal agendas  and special interests.

3 of the Candidates for Change explain why they are running for Columbia Borough Council

You can watch the videos HERE.

PA Voting Guide shows you where and how to vote in Tuesday's election

Tuesday, May 21st, is Pennsylvania's Municipal Primary Election Day.

Find your polling place and other information about voting by going HERE.

Columbia Borough taxpayer explains why he is part of the Columbia Concerned Citizens Association

Candidate Sharon Lintner explains why she is running for Columbia Borough Council

Citizens hear about Columbia Borough Council's "unlawful and disgraceful actions" at Sunday's CCCA meeting

Former Borough Manager Norm Meiskey talks about the "unlawful and disgraceful actions" of the current Columbia Borough Council
[Video by Farm Fresh Media]

About 40 people attending Sunday's meeting of the Columbia Concerned Citizens heard about the "unlawful and disgraceful actions" of the current Columbia Borough Council. The meeting was led by former Borough Manager Norm Meiskey, who listed the offenses:

Norm Meiskey's letter to the residents and taxpayers of Columbia listing the "unlawful and disgraceful actions of the current Borough Council"

More information is available at the Columbia Concerned Citizens website HERE.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

About Town 5/19/19

This week's photos from around Columbia (along with some "Columbia Borough Election Commentary")

Junior Councilman Robert Misciagna got an award from the PA State Association of Boroughs at this week's Borough Council meeting. He's currently running for a seat on the Columbia School Board as a write-in candidate on the Democratic ticket in Tuesday's primary election. Write him in, but spell his last name accurately: Misciagna.  
We like Robert.

 The political signs are out in force. Here's one.

 Here's another one. Yay Sharon!

 This lady turned to stone awaiting a response from Borough Manager Rebecca Denlinger. Denlinger must have told her, "I'll get back to you."

 Still waiting

 There's that sign again!

 And here's that one again. The incumbents are up in arms about her running for office, because they're scared of her. So she must be doing something right! Go Sharon!
Vote for Sharon on Tuesday.
We like Sharon.

 Probably the incumbents's response to the question, "Will you stop your wasteful spending?"
We don't like the incumbents: Kelly Murphy and Cleon Berntheizel.
Don't vote for Kelly and Cleon.

 And on that note, it's time to take out the trash!

 Recently seen at Front and Bridge

 It basically notifies drivers to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

 Unfortunately, there's no crosswalk.

 Yep, that's broken glass, just off Bridge Street.

 The pregnancy center is moving to 462 Chestnut Street.

 Jimmy Jones of the highway crew weeded and cleaned up the clock plaza at 5th & Chestnut.

 We like Jimmy Jones.

 This thing will bow to you as you pass.
Some borough officials bow to businessmen as they pass.
We don't like borough officials.

 Two-wheeled skateboard. Is this a thing?

 Vulture watching over a soon-to-be bankrupt town.
But there's still time to save it!
Vote for the Candidates for Change: 
Sharon Lintner, Heather Zink, Howard Stevens, Tanya Minnick. 

 The "Elders" are in town.
(Some people will understand what that means.)

 Attention, Borough Officials: This is the Columbia Animal Hospital. It is located at 4081 Columbia Avenue in WEST HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP.

 Attention, Borough Officials: This is the Columbia Animal Shelter.
It is located at 265 South 10th Street in COLUMBIA BOROUGH.
Learn the difference.

 We like the new sign.

 Speaking of signs, this appears to be a new one.

 And here's that ghost sign.

 Impression of Impressionism?

 Shadows of the past

 The side of Hotel Locust
Council recently wasted another $10,000 of taxpayers' funds for a study on this building and nearby areas.
Sounds like this study will be ignored, just like  the others.

 Never noticed those shingles before.


 Still no signs of life?

 He'll make an appearance when he needs your vote.
"We don't like Do-Nothing Dave."

 Boarded up - sort of

 Is it?



 Business ventures don't always work out.

 We just hate to see our town ruined by Council's poorly thought-out "ideas."
We like Columbia.

 Here's an unplanned renovation to a house's exterior.

An out-of-control vehicle at 430 Walnut Street reportedly hit the side of the house, causing exterior and interior damage.

 Church windows

 Coming soon

 Movin' on down the tracks

 More on the way

 About that pedestrian crosswalk sign: Looks like it got run over and pushed aside.
We hope no pedestrians get run over and pushed aside.

 On second thought, maybe she's waiting to hear some honesty from Council.
Don't hold your breath, Stone Lady!
We don't like Council (most of them, anyway).

 What are those signs at 421 Chestnut?


Fender guitar
We like Fender guitars.

 The Columbia Mini-Mart on the first block of North 4th

According to the lady in charge there, it'll be open by the end of the month.

 Down at the mural
We like the mural.

 Work continues there.

Artist Cesar Viveros and friend making sure it's getting done.
We like Cesar Viveros.