Sunday, June 6, 2010

Columbia Talking Points

There seems to be an awful lot to talk about each day/week in Columbia. In my mind, there is no other small town like it in the United States.At times, one would think our town's population is one million people instead of 10,000 or our town is as big as the state of Texas.
But, we are not.
What I've found is we are a very caring town, who want our town to be successful and one that rallies together when we feel are wronged.
Over the last week or so, I've heard of a lot of issues in our town, some of which I've learned or viewed during my daily rides throughout our town.
So, I have created Columbia Talking Points, so we can open discussion on the issues are town is facing. Comments are welcome.

 * The first point, a sad one today, is the passing of John Murphy, the chief/president of the Columbia Fire Police after a courageous battle with cancer. Gonna be a little different when you see Traffic 8 responding to emergency scenes and not seeing him behind the wheel or out somewhere directing traffic.
My smypathy to his family and I would hope the fire police/borough would recognize Murphy's contributions to the fire police and borough by doing soethingrespectful in his memory.
* Congratulations to the Columbia High School Class of 2010, who will officially become alumni of the high school this week.
* Congratulations to the family of the late Missy Glenn and Dr, Claire Storm, who were honored by the state for their efforts to promote tourism in our town Friday in Harrisburg.

So, with that out of the way, let's talk about the issuues.
1. It is my understanding that a certain person, who has given this town a number of problems within the left few months may have been back in town last week and tried to move in with another person in the lower half of our town in a Section 8 property. The person freaked because she was moving in with a large number of cats, which may or may not have been taken by law enforcement, because she was living illegally and the certain person threatened to call the Section 8 officials, because she already had someone living there illegeally.
My question is, when will Columbia Borough and others take a stand to officially remove this person from our town and end our headaches. We don't need this type of person here. Would another municipality put up with it? Probably not.
2. There was a meeting of borough council's property committee last week, The discussion centered on Safe Harbor "giving" the borough the river front property where a number of local residents have cabins.
If you were a Columbia Borough official at that meeting, it did not go well.
I have to admit at last month's borough council meeting when this issue was discussed, not at length, I was kind of surprised by it. It sounded to me and some others, who were at that meeting, it was in the discussion phase and wasn't close to becoing a reality.
Well, I think myself and everyone else were wrong. It sounds like Columbia Borough is a lot farther along with these talks then was left on.
The cabin owners and others complained to the borough about it. My feeling is that these people need to continue to watch this because if they don't, they ight end up on the outside looking in at their cabins.
3. Sticking along the river, was told Friday that in the last week, when the heavy storms passed through the area, there were two water rescues caused by road flooding because the new parking lot isn't draining properly and two people were trapped in their vehicles.
Who put the parking lot in? Columbia Borough.
4. Still along the river, I've been down to River Park a lot lately. Looks nice and the plans for its future look great. But, there's really nothing down there. The parking areas and paths look good and the new grass.
But, the lights weren't installed on the light poles and it just looks empty.
Again, in talking with an emergency official, there have been two issues down there, which left me shaking my head. One was a couple of weeks ago, there was a water rescue at night, requiring lighting. One of the local fire departments responded to light the area. Apparently, they were ask to take their large vehicle out of River Park because the blacktop was not made for heavy use vehicles and it was feared the parking lot would be damaged.  Interesting.
Along the same lines, another local fire departmment was down at the park filling their engine with water and the chief of the company received an email asking them not to do it anymore.
Again, interesting.
5. Road past the market house the other day, sorry I didn't make it in, but I see the market hours are changing on Thursday, it will now be open until 7 p.m. and Friday until 6 p.m.
I hope that when council finally hires a market manager, they look at the days of the week it is open and get more stands in the facility and move it more toward a farmer's market.
Hearing there is a lot of politics being played down right now and one of the more popluar stands is closing its doors this week because of it.
6. Code Enforcement issues. They are all over town and aren't going away, Some are expected to be exposed at next week's council meeting, many of which you can see without going up and down alleys. Some have been posted on here and more will.
7. In my various rides and even walks around our town, I'm surprised there aren't more complaints about curbs and sidewalks not being ADA accessible and some of those who are need to be repaired.
Our town needs cleaned up in more than one way.

First Hall of Fame inductee

The Columbia High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee et this week to select the 2010 Class of Inductees.
The Hall of Fame Class will be inducted Friday, Sept. 17 during the football game with Daniel Boone.
Over the next week, the inductees will be profiled.
Meet the first inductee, Ken Haverstick.
During Ken’s junior year, the basketball team was 20-2 and was Lancaster County League champs. They lost to Kutztown 48-45 in District 3, Class B final. Kutztown were the eventual State champs. In his senior year, the team was 20-3 and was again Lancaster County League champs. They beat Eastern (Wrightsville) in the District 3, Class B finals, before losing to Montrose in the Class B Eastern State finals.
Ken was captain of his senior team, was named to the first team All-County and received Little All-State Honorable Mention. In his junior year, he had been named to secnd team All-County.

Ken was also a three-year starter for the Tide baseball team.
Ken returned to CHS where he coached vasrsity basketball from 1968-1971. His teams were 28-28.
He was Junior High Basketball coach for 15 years, 1978-1993. His record was 160-109 and his teams won six  Section III championships.
Ken was also on the coaching staff of the 1986-87 CHS boys basketball team which the State Class AA, State championship. He had coached many of the players on that team when they were in Junior High.
Ken was the golf coach for three years in the mid-70’s. One of his players, John Gamby, went on to win the LANCO Gold championship.
Haverstick was also the acting Athletic Director at CHS during the mid-90’s.

Two are honored

The late Melissa Glenn and Dr. Claire Storm were honored in Harrisburg on Friday with the Keystone Society for Tourism Awards. The awards were presnted at the Governor's Mansion on Front Street.

In the top photo with the Glenn family are Laura Cowburn and Bill Kloidt, directors with the Susquehanna Valley Chaber of Commerce. In the bottom photo, Dr. Storm with her husband, Albert.

Sunday's if this is what we want

With the recent storms of the last week in our town, one place pointed out was the site of the former Etzweiler Funeral Home in the first block of North Third Streeet. The building, which was torn down more than two years ago is a huge eysore in our town and nothing is being done to make the owner of the property to fill in the hole. In the recent rains, the hole has filled up with water. Also, the gate on the fence is unlocked and is a safety issue. This is one of several properties owned by David Doolittle that are in need of repair or have been left neglected.

Local firemen are honored

Columbia's Susquehanna Fire Copany was honored at this weekend's Lancaster County Firemen's Convention and Parade, hosted by the Bareville and Leacock Fire Departments. Here is a link:

Red Rose Run features a number of locals

Thw Red Rose Run was held yesterday in downtown Lancaster. Columbia grad Katie Shelley finished second in the women's race. Here is a link to the results:

Smith's score shutout

Smith's Hotel beats Stewartstown in Susquehanna League baseball: