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  #121  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2004, 9:47 PM
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Yeah that accident is very sad. That stupid bitch was drunk too. I'm soooo sick of DUIs around here.

Nice to hear about the brewer's fest!!! I sure hope they make that an annual event. From the sound of it, they are going to.

My weekend really sucked, but thanks for asking anyway LOL On the birght side, this weekend is going to be fun at least. I am going back to Hershey Park on Sat. for the 2nd FREE time this year. :carrot:


SMOOTH SAILING

Area commuters to benefit from road work lull

Major midstate road work to brake for summer

Monday, June 21, 2004
BY FRANK COZZOLI
Of The Patriot-News

Commuting is about to feel like an out-of-body experience.

The official arrival yesterday of summer found midstate motorists relatively free of inconvenient, disruptive road work.

Sure, road crews will be out around the region in months to come, but their work order should not lead to the detours and logjams caused by the extensive highway work of the last decade.

One reason? Most of the major projects have been completed.

Nightly and weekend closures of the M. Harvey Taylor Bridge? Done. Repairs to Eisenhower Interchange ramps? Done. Resurfacing on Interstates 83 and 283 on the East Shore? Done. Resurfacing Route 15 on the West Shore? Done.

The Dauphin Bypass? Built. The Winding Hill Interchange on Route 15? Open.

"Many of our major projects have wrapped up or are wrapping up," said Greg Penny, spokesman for the District 8 office of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The only major project uncompleted is the rebuilding and widening of Interstate 81 on the East Shore between the Susquehanna River and the split with I-83.

Even so, work on the main line is expected to be wrapped up before August.

Crews will, however, continue work on a $1.5 million project to replace the expansion dams across the George N. Wade Bridge of I-81.

The work will involve lane shifts and additional ramp closures and will continue through the summer, Penny said.

Work is to begin in September on a $6.4 million project to resurface Route 114 between the Carlisle Pike and I-81 in Silver Spring Twp.

Otherwise, it should be relatively smooth sailing around the capital region.

Not so for Lebanon County: PennDOT is spending $54.6 million to rebuild I-81 between I-78 and Schuylkill County.

Single-lane traffic already has caused weekend delays. Even I-78 eastbound is down to one lane at the juncture with I-81.

It's a similar situation in Franklin County, where crews are building a new Exit 17 along I-81 and widening Route 30 to five lanes between the borough and Fayetteville.

The I-81 stretch between Scotland and the Cumberland County line could go back under the jackhammer this summer as crews repair cracks in the concrete.

In Lancaster County, crews are working at night to resurface Route 283 between Elizabethtown Road and the Salunga exit.

All in all, the good news is that the construction lull should continue through next year.

The bad news, according to Penny: The hiatus won't last forever.

The $85.8 million job to revamp the intersection of Routes 581 and 15 on the West Shore is slated for 2006.

And work on Route 283 between Route 341 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike won't get under way until 2008.

"They may be several years away, but they will come soon enough," Penny said.

For now, commuters can just enjoy the relative peace -- and improved roads and bridges.

"The last 10 years, despite all the traffic jams people have had to endure, have been very good for south-central Pennsylvania," Penny said.
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  #122  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2004, 9:50 PM
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CB would make a KILLING along Rt. 15. On a semi-related note:


Urban designation sought

Cumberland County could receive $1.6 million in grants

Monday, June 21, 2004
BY MATT MILLER
Of Our Carlisle Bureau

WEST HILL - Most of western Cumberland County doesn't look urban, with its cornfields and cow pastures.

Yet the county has passed the 200,000 total population mark, making it an urban zone in the eyes of the federal government.

Cumberland should see its federal community-development grant more than double to more than $1.6 million, and that money can be invested in everything from sewer and water systems to public parks.


But federal regulations require that county commissioners obtain endorsing resolutions from most of the local municipalities before the urban designation is granted.

Commissioner Rick Rovegno encountered some skepticism last week when he asked the Western Cumberland Council of Governments, which represents 17 townships and boroughs west of Carlisle, for that backing.

Most block-grant money Cumberland has received over the years has gone to projects in the more populated West Shore and Carlisle areas, several council members noted.

"Isn't that [new grant] money going to be channeled into the eastern end of the county?" Lower Frankford Twp. Supervisor Tim Lush asked.

"There should be geographic equity," Rovegno said.

Shippensburg and Shippensburg Twp. long have received special annual block-grant allocations, and Newville has received considerable grant money for municipal projects.

Tom Fields, community development director for the county redevelopment authority, said grants, new and old, must be spent on efforts to benefit low- or moderate-income people or to remedy blight.

"There's slum and blight throughout the whole county I'm sure could be removed," he said.

Municipalities that don't sign on with the county's urban designation would be eligible only for money from a $5 million statewide grant pool, Fields said.

"Since we're getting so much more money, there's so much more opportunity for our communities to fund more projects," he said.

Hopewell Twp. Supervisor Curt Myers and Newburg Mayor Susan Stump said their neighboring municipalities have had problems getting federal money for sewer improvements.

They said household incomes in their area are too high for grant requirements.

At least 51 percent of households that would be affected by a project must fall under federal low- or moderate-income guidelines, they said. Fields said those caps are about $21,000 for a single person and $60,000 for a family of four.

"I think Curt brings up a very valid point," Rovegno said. "But that's going to have to be resolved in Congress."

Shippensburg Borough Manager William Wolfe, the council president, said the group should consider hiring a "grant hunter." More government cash is out there beyond the better-known block grant programs, Wolfe said.

"The [Community Development Block Grant] program is not meant to be a cure-all," he said.

Quote:
But federal regulations require that county commissioners obtain endorsing resolutions from most of the local municipalities before the urban designation is granted.
Oh Lord, here we go.
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  #123  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2004, 3:39 AM
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/\ lol. i know...i read this article in the paper on Monday and i remember thinking to myself that if most of the municipalities have to endorse this, then it's gonna a long hard road to urban status. IMO, the western Cumberland municipal govt's should not be bitching about getting their fair share. the added money the county will recieve should go to benefit county projects that will benefit the most constituents. fact is, 85% of Cumberland residents live in Carlisle or point east. most of the county's population lies in areas of giant sprawl-like suburbs closer to Harrisburg. so why should half of this money even reach the western part of the county, when most of the residents dont' live there? it's all politics.

i lived in Shippensburg borough and twp for 2 and a half years when i was going to school there. i like western Cumberland county a lot and it's a great place to live with many benefits...but many of the municapl gov'ts pride themselves on being anti everything. they are slow to change and even slower to accept outsiders opinions...and now they want more money for their troubles. i don't doubt the need for more financial help with western muncipal projects; however, the county should not be bound by the hands on where this money should go.

anyway, i'll stop ranting now. i haven't been able to find info on how many PA counties have urban status??? i'm just curious
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  #124  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 2:12 AM
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I totally agree, Chris.

Quote:
anyway, i'll stop ranting now. i haven't been able to find info on how many PA counties have urban status??? i'm just curious
Hmmm, good question. When I get the chance I will see if I can find the answer.


Here's some cool news and I made a thread about it in the Southern section:

Hershey Expands in VA
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  #125  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 9:19 AM
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sweet
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  #126  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 8:10 PM
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this is really cool...i'm glad to see that college students are taking interest in the city. i might have to go and check this site out.

<b>College students lend a hand at city's art garden</b>

Thursday, June 24, 2004
BY GEORGE WEIGEL
For The Patriot-News

College students -- particularly groups from Messiah College, Penn State University and Elizabethtown College -- have played a hand in a variety of new city gardens.

The latest effort is a kind of arts park on a city-owned lot across from the Pride of the Neighborhood Academy at Fifth and Seneca streets.

Six students from Penn State, Shippensburg and Columbia universities and staff and students from the academy plan to build the park this summer.

The city recently tore down a home on the 20-by-120-foot corner lot.

Jesse Hunting, a Penn State landscape architecture student who had taken a course that included a project in the city's Allison Hill section, recruited five friends to spend the summer converting the lot into a park patterned after Philadelphia's Village of Arts and Humanities.

"The [academy] kids are going to do a lot of the designing," Hunting says. "We're the facilitators."

Hunting and crew have removed the crumbling sidewalk and cleared the lot. They've also lined up donations and help to add new paving, plus they'll coordinate the planting. Kids from the academy will help with artwork.

"We're hoping to get the plantings done by the end of summer," says Cori Thatcher, one of the Penn State students working on the project. "Then we want to hook up with a class or teachers who will maintain it. ... Gardens often aren't maintained. That's one reason we're bringing art into it. We're hoping that brings a sense of pride to it."

The team also plans to help improve a garden next to the Derry Street United Methodist Church and do maintenance on vacant-lot gardens near the Catholic Worker house on Market Street and next to the Shared Ministries building on 16th Street.
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  #127  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 8:12 PM
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more parkland projects in the city

<b>'Phoenix Park' rises from site of old steel mill
Park becomes hands-on project for school </b>

Thursday, June 24, 2004
BY GEORGE WEIGEL
For The Patriot-News

The Phoenix Steel Corp. once operated a steel plant along the Susquehanna River, just south of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation building.

The plant was demolished after it closed in the 1950s, leaving a rubble-strewn, weed-filled lot along what is now the Capital Area Greenbelt.

But the once-blighted lot is now a landscaped "Phoenix Park" thanks to staff, students and parents of the Londonderry School, a private East Shore school of 190 preschoolers through eighth-graders.

The school had been raising money for years for a new building, which was recently completed at 1800 Bamberger Road. Cynthia Hardwicke's art students had raised thousands of dollars selling T-shirts, tote bags and other works of student art.

"It had blossomed pretty well," Hardwicke said. "All the money had been going to the school, but now the kids wanted to do something for the community."

One day the Greenbelt Association's Norman Lacasse visited the school to tell them about the Phoenix Steel site.

"He said, 'There's this site that's nothing but a pile of rubble, and we'd like to do something with it,'" Hardwicke said.

Turning the site into gardens provided an opportunity for hands-on involvement, Hardwicke said.

The school planted trees, installed wheelchair-accessible paths and built nature-friendly gardens.

There's now a hummingbird garden with bee balm, creeping phlox and columbine; a pizza garden of herbs and native perennials; a butterfly garden with black-eyed Susans, liatris, geraniums, purple coneflowers and fringe-leaf bleeding hearts, and a sunflower garden that's eventually to be fronted with a vine-covered pergola.

The third- and fourth-graders painted a cinder-block wall in floral designs, and the eighth-graders made a mosaic "Phoenix Park" entrance sign.

Potted flowers line the walk that leads to the gardens.

"A set of parents took on the job of mowing, and teachers are taking turns watering," Hardwicke said.

The kids plan to keep making art and raising money for the project.

"Each year we hope to add another feature," Hardwicke said
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  #128  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 8:14 PM
wrightchr wrightchr is offline
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i hope this gets built...more jobs, more trucks off the highway, and more emphasis on rail in this area

<b>Railroad promotes freight-transfer proposal</b>

Thursday, June 24, 2004
BY DAN MILLER
Of Our Carlisle Bureau

CARLISLE - Norfolk Southern Corp. wants a new facility in south-central Pennsylvania where it can transfer freight from trucks to rail cars as part of proposed improvements to its system throughout the Interstate 81 corridor.

Railroad officials have briefed state Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler on the plan, which proposes a mix of public and private money to finance improvements affecting 13 states throughout the I-81 corridor from Texas and Louisiana north to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The improvements would position Norfolk Southern to handle a greater share of the freight load and reduce tractor-trailer traffic on I-81, or at least slow the rate of increase.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Ed Myslewicz said PennDOT supports the concept behind Norfolk Southern's plan, but the federal government "ought to take the lead" in coordinating efforts because so many states are involved.

Myslewicz also said a federal-led effort should "not exclude the possibility of an east-west" corridor along with the north-south I-81 span.

The Norfolk Southern plan envisions nine new "truck-rail transfer facilities" along I-81 between Louisiana and northern New Jersey, with one south or southwest of Harrisburg, said Rudy Husband, company spokesman. The Shippensburg area has been mentioned as a possible site, but Husband said a specific location has not been identified.

Norfolk Southern has freight rail yards in Enola, Harrisburg and at the Rutherford Yard in Swatara Twp. But Husband said Enola is not equipped for "intermodal" freight transfers -- placing truck trailers on rail cars -- and Harrisburg and Rutherford are at capacity.

Moreover, Norfolk Southern needs a separate truck-rail transfer facility closer to the I-81 corridor because that is where "the freight wants to be," Husband added.

The proposal is of particular interest to Cumberland County officials because of the continuing increase of tractor-trailers on I-81. Cumberland County commissioners were briefed on the proposal yesterday during a meeting of the county transportation authority.

Commissioner Rick Rovegno said the board is "intrigued" by the Norfolk Southern proposal, but members need to know much more.

"We realize there is potential there, but we're not anywhere remotely close to the point of having an opinion on whether this is one of the strategies we want to get behind," Rovegno said, adding that the board is looking to the authority to take a holistic view of the county's future transportation challenges.

Heavy trucks already make up 28 percent to 42 percent of traffic on I-81 in Cumberland and Dauphin counties, according to a 2001 PennDOT survey.

Between 1997 and 2001, Cumberland County had 12 fatalities in traffic crashes involving big rigs, more than any other county along the 855 miles of I-81, according to a Patriot-News analysis of federal traffic-accident data.

In the last six months of 2003 alone, 11 people died on I-81 in Cumberland County. All of the deaths involved collisions with tractor-trailers.

Many of the big rigs on I-81 are passing through on the way to and from deliveries in major urban centers throughout the Northeast and Canada.

But the midstate is a major distribution hub. The region has nearly 30 million square feet of space devoted to warehouses and distribution centers, with developers wanting to add millions more, said David Black, president and CEO of the Capital Region Economic Development Corp.

Warehouse developers are attracted to the area because they can reach major Northeastern markets within a day's drive. Yet midstate land and labor costs are lower, and traffic congestion is still not as bad.

A study done for Norfolk Southern projects that under existing conditions, by 2020 freight traffic on urban and rural interstate highways in Pennsylvania will increase by up to 50 percent, with the amount on I-81 higher still.

DAN MILLER: 249-2006 or danmiller@patriot-news.com

Last edited by wrightchr; Jun 24, 2004 at 8:20 PM.
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  #129  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 11:15 PM
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Thanks for the articles, Chris. Yeah, I can't wait to see the new park and the new rail terminal would be nice too. Another related article re: gardening. Things are really turning around here!!!


BLIGHT TO BEAUTY

Residents turn city's vacant lots into gardens

Thursday, June 24, 2004
BY GEORGE WEIGEL
For The Patriot-News

Drive or walk through some of Harrisburg's most economically blighted neighborhoods, and you won't get far without encountering the city version of an oasis.

Scattered among abandoned buildings and trash-strewn vacant lots are gardens -- an urban cornfield here, a patch of flowers there, a brick-paved butterfly garden on this corner, a circle of sunflowers on that one.

Like the first wildflower seedlings that pop up after a forest fire, the patches of life slowly replace broken cinder blocks, old tires, rusting cars and piles of trash.

It may not be a botanical renaissance; for every city lot that has a garden, you'll find 20 others that could use one.

But a grass-roots movement involving Penn State-trained master gardeners, garden clubs, civic groups, church groups, college students, school groups and residents is bringing beauty to blighted areas.

"We're seeing an increase in these kind of activities," says Randy King, spokesman for Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed. "Gardening, cleanup and volunteering in general are all up in the last few years throughout the city."

Pride is at the heart of it, King says. People are tired of blighted neighborhoods and are trying to do something about them.

The city started the effort about 12 years ago with an Adopt-a-Lot program that allows residents or organizations to lease an abandoned city-owned lot for $1 a year.

This year, the city is leasing 30 lots to 24 groups and people. The person or group cleans up the lot and promises to keep it free of debris and litter. The city installs a fence and at times provides donated tools and supplies.

"Typically, the people we work with live on the same street or adjacent to the parcel," says Kathy Toepfer, who coordinates Adopt-a-Lot for the city's Department of Building and Housing Development. "Many of them put in a small garden, either flowers or vegetables. The goal is to transform a vacant blighted lot into something the neighborhood is proud of."

Dumping stops:

You'll find no better example than in the 1200 block of Bailey Street, in the heart of Allison Hill, one of the city's most crime-ridden sections.

"This whole block had dilapidated houses on it," says David Wise, who has lived in this Summit Terrace neighborhood for 50 years. "The houses were blighted, and the kids were going inside them. It was a safety hazard."

Three years ago, the Summit Terrace Neighborhood Association adopted the whole block. The city tore down all 10 houses, planted grass and erected a vinyl picket fence around the site.

"Right away there was graffiti all over the fence," says Wise, the association's president.

Undeterred, Wise, a nongardener retired from Bethlehem Steel Corp., set to work transforming the 60-by-200-foot lot into a park. He bought a gardening book, visited garden centers and, with the help of Leadership Harrisburg Area (a civic group of business leaders), began planting.

Mums and variegated dogwood shrubs now line the front fence.

A burning-bush hedge turns bright red in fall along the back and left borders.

A rock garden of flowering perennials spills down a slope along the property's right border.

At the center of the minipark are island beds that house a butterfly garden and a rose garden with a birdbath.

There has been no graffiti and no vandalism since the plantings went in.

"When you show people you're trying to improve their quality of life, they respect it," Wise says. "They look at it as their own."

That has been the case at practically every garden that has replaced a trash-strewn lot.

Dumping stops. Vandalism disappears.

'It gives you joy':

Susan and Vernon Rudy moved into the 1400 block of Market Street in Allison Hill more than five years ago to set up a home for troubled youths. One of the first things they did was adopt the vacant lot next door and turn it into a series of raised flower beds.

"I'm originally from Baltimore, and this is what we did in the neighborhoods," Susan Rudy says. "I love kids and I love gardening. If you give kids something to do, they'll stay out of trouble."

Buried bricks from the torn-down house made the adopted lot impossible to garden. So, with the help of neighbors and Messiah College students and staff, the Rudys built raised gardens out of recycled wood, tires, brick and plastic kiddy swimming pools.

They have since adopted a second adjoining lot for vegetables and have even added a water garden with a fountain and a giant mural painted on the side of their brick house.

It's all out in the open for all who pass by on Market Street. Yet there's been no vandalism.

"People respect it," says Susan. "It's like a community garden. ... I think people need a garden. Everything is so bright. It gives you joy."

A lesson for children:

A garden can also provide fresh food and lessons to urban kids.

At the corner of Penn and Peffer streets in Harrisburg's Midtown section you'll find cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and assorted other vegetables growing in a 30-by-90-foot lot.

"People used to fix cars there," says Pam Howard-Brown, who gardens the lot with her husband and a few neighbors. "It was mostly gravel and motor oil."

About seven years ago, the Sandy Hollow Arts and Recreation for the Environment group adopted the lot and installed the garden in memory of member Chuck Vuxta.

"A lot of kids have never seen the seed-to-fruit cycle, and Chuck thought that was important," Howard-Brown says.

Now kids in that neighborhood know that potatoes originate underground, not in a bag at the supermarket.

The garden also has a 10-foot strip of native shrubs and perennials so kids can see what plants grow naturally in Pennsylvania.

A few blocks away, kids at the Neighborhood Center of the United Methodist Church learn to plant and harvest veggies in raised beds in the playground across the street at Third and Kelker streets.

They also learn about butterflies and nature in a garden the Venture Club installed last year, one that features a brick-paver walkway, six bird feeders and wildlife-friendly plants such as butterfly bushes, spireas, hydrangeas and clematis vines.

Near Sixth and Maclay, the Camp Curtin YMCA is adding the city's newest post-blight garden -- a "Senses Garden."

"Each corner of the garden is going to have plants that relate to the different senses," says James Lyles, the YMCA's youth program coordinator. "We're hoping people use it for teaching. There are a lot of schools and day cares in this area."

Urban gardens seem to be especially appealing to kids.

Whenever Aguedo Delgado starts tackling a lot, neighborhood kids invariably show up with questions.

"They want to know what I'm doing and what I'm planting," he says. "They usually want to help, too. I've had as many as 16 kids at a time helping with a garden."

Delgado, a carpenter who has worked on farms and vineyards, has planted several lots in the last year in what he calls "guerilla gardening."

Instead of adopting a city-owned lot, Delgado targets privately owned lots in Harrisburg that are blighted and abandoned.

"I don't ask questions, I just do it," he says. "It'd be crazy for someone to get upset at me for cleaning up their lot. I keep it simple. I don't build anything. I just clean it up real good and plant vegetables and flowers."

One of Delgado's projects is an urban cornfield at the corner of 16th and Park streets. Another is a sunflower circle and flower beds at the corner of 15th and Walnut.

"It was a jungle there for the last three or four years," says Lucy Woolfork, who lives across from the sunflower circle. "People used to say, 'How can you stand to look at that?' But Aguedo has made it beautiful."

As with Wise and Rudy, Delgado has found that once he clears and plants a lot, it doesn't get dumped on.

"I'm more concerned about groundhogs than people," he says. "It's a mentality. If you have a vacant lot and no trash cans, people just throw stuff on the ground. If you give them a dirty atmosphere, they treat it like a dirty atmosphere. But if you clean it up, most people respect that."

Some projects have been spearheaded by groups, such as Penn State-trained master gardeners; civic groups (Harrisburg Young Professionals, Venture Club, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and more); college students and, in one case, a suburban private school.

"We've been very fortunate to have good relationships with Penn State and Messiah, Elizabethtown and other colleges that are ready and willing to do basic cleanup," Toepfer says. "We've also had a lot of area nurseries who have made donations and been very supportive of the efforts."

The key to outside efforts, though, is that someone in the community has to take responsibility for maintaining it. As any home gardener knows, an untended garden quickly reverts into a weedy mess.

"We always encourage a connection to the community," Toepfer says. "For sustainability, it makes a big difference."

Delgado tries to get people in the neighborhood to take over the gardens he plants so that he can move onto another blighted lot. When that happens, gardens seem to have a way of lifting a neighborhood's morale like few other improvements.

"You can definitely see in some areas where it takes on momentum," Toepfer says.

And it's the kind of a momentum that can spur other improvements, Wise says.

"One of the problems in a city is overcrowding," he says. "You just have too many people per square foot. There should always be land set aside for open space. Regardless of how poor you are, it's human to want to observe nature and hear birds singing."
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  #130  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2004, 11:17 PM
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Yes, I love these darn cows.

Reed offers place for CowParade herd

Thursday, June 24, 2004
BY KELLY BOTHUM
Of The Patriot-News

Don't fret over the thought of CowParade Harrisburg 2004 being put out to pasture soon.

Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed has a place for those fiberglass bovines that are in need of a public home.

The Cowmons.

Reed announced the creation of the Cowmons yesterday as a place where painted cows can be placed on long-term or short-term display after being sold Saturday at the CowParade auction.

The Cowmons will be at select sites in Riverfront Park, City Island, public spaces downtown and in Reservoir Park at the National Civil War Museum.

Of the 136 cows created for the CowParade, 111 were on display in the city from April through June. Forty-six cows will be auctioned Saturday at the Farm Show Complex.
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2004, 9:48 PM
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A really cool event that draws a lot of people.

Harrisburg rocks to Millennium's beat

Conference music to city's ears

Friday, June 25, 2004
BY KIRA L. SCHLECHTER
Of The Patriot-News

Welcome to Harrisburg, Millennium Music Conference musicians: You have now entered "the Austin, Texas, of the Northeast."

At least for the weekend, anyway.

The 8th annual edition of the conference, with headquarters at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Harrisburg, started yesterday and runs through Sunday.

Like Austin's granddaddy of all music conferences, South By Southwest, the Harrisburg conference attracts both bands and music fans. The conference also brings business income -- several million dollars' worth -- to the area.

For musicians, the business portion features mentoring sessions and panels dealing with all aspects of the music industry. Showcase concerts at clubs across the midstate feature nearly 350 bands performing original music on 30 stages.

The tattooed, pierced, and T-shirted masses began gathering at the hotel as registration began yesterday.

A small group congregated at the first-floor desk of the hotel, while upstairs, several musicians browsed the trade show. A good-sized bunch filled a meeting room for an early seminar titled "Music Business Boot Camp."

Fliers advertising upcoming shows littered tables. And Red Bull energy drinks seemed to be everyone's beverage of choice.

Conference co-founder John Harris, who provided the Harrisburg-Austin analogy, said the Harrisburg event benefits everyone involved.

"The benefits for the city are that the hotel's sold out and all the people that come from out of town create economy," he said. "We think moving to the better weather (past conferences were held in February) might increase the opportunity for more people to travel and come visit us."

The Crowne Plaza Hotel is completely booked, said senior sales manager Jessica Wolfe in an e-mail.

City spokesman Randy King said Millennium has been "a major boost to the city's tourism economy," adding it generates several million dollars in revenue during its weekend run.

"It fits in perfectly with the mayor's goals of attracting young people back to the city," King said.

Beth Lynn O'Brien, marketing/event/tourism coordinator for Harrisburg Hello, the Downtown Improvement District, said music fans make a night out of attending Millennium showcases.

"They're going to eat and they're going shopping and they're doing all of the things we want them to do when they end up in the city," O'Brien said.

For the clubs that host showcase concerts, Millennium is a chance to do something different, Harris said.

"Obviously, the things that have been going on in downtown Harrisburg, they all have a lot of business now anyway," he said. "This means they could have more. ... [And] some of the clubs on the West Shore that may have suffered a little bit ... [are] going to have maybe some more business."

Matt Eisenhower, manager of Gullifty's Downstairs in Lower Allen Twp., has hosted showcases for all eight years of the conference.

"I get to see 18 different bands from different areas that I've never seen, never heard," Eisenhower said. "It gives the club a little more edge on the music scene, because we've always pretty much been the home of original music."

And it's good for business overall, too, he said.

"I don't have to pay for any of the bands and we get to charge a small cover ... so it does help," he said. [And] it probably does, in a way [attract new customers] -- the people that don't usually come to our place come out for the music conference."

Conferences like Millennium can help musicians "if they keep their eyes and ears open," said Jim Speece, singer and guitarist for the Reading band Cloud Party.

They've played showcases at the conference every year since its inception; they performed at Angelina's Ristorante in Wormleysburg last night.

"Most panels and the like frankly cover familiar territory, but occasionally, especially for newer bands, one can learn something worthwhile," Speece wrote via e-mail.

He called the showcase concerts "generally irrelevant, but fun to do."

"Showcasing is good because it's a gig, usually a fairly well-attended one, and you can show off your stuff," he wrote. "We do them because they're fun and we get to play with new bands and for new fans in new places and ... for some of those people we know who come to Millennium every year. ... For us, it's a bit like a party."

O'Brien of Harrisburg Hello thinks Millennium helps unify the midstate.

"It doesn't just focus on downtown -- it's the region as a whole," she said. "We often wish it would be looked at as the Harrisburg metropolitan area ... as opposed to West Shore vs. East Shore, downtown vs. midtown. The caliber of this event kind of clumps us into the Harrisburg metropolitan area and I think it's beneficial to the region."
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  #132  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2004, 4:02 AM
wrightchr wrightchr is offline
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sweet...nice post Dave. how is your job going?
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  #133  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2004, 3:06 PM
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The job is :nuts: SOOO much to do and so many big things going on at the same time. But hey, it's better than being bored I guess. I'll update you in a few, Chris (I got your PM), and thanks for asking.

Some more good news for the area:


Hershey cancer center sought

Project could bring 2,500 jobs by 2012, lawmakers say

Saturday, June 26, 2004
BY JAN MURPHY
Of The Patriot-News

Some 30 midstate lawmakers are pressing for state money to build a cancer institute at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

In a letter to Gov. Ed Rendell, the lawmakers asked for the release of $30 million in state money approved last year for the project, which supporters said would create more than 2,500 jobs by 2012 and draw nearly $88 million in research funds.

"The project is of paramount importance to the economy of central Pennsylvania, and of equal importance to meeting the health care needs of the numerous medically underserved communities between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh," the letter stated.

Rep. Bruce Smith, R-Dillsburg, chairman of the midstate lawmakers' caucus, said this project ties in with the $7 million annually the medical center receives from the state's share of the national tobacco settlement. That money goes to pay for cancer research and other projects to advance medical science.

The 155,000-square-foot cancer institute to be built on the hospital's Derry Twp. campus is estimated to cost $60 million. It is expected to take at least three years to plan and build once state money is secured, said Dr. Darrell Kirch, chief executive officer of Hershey Medical Center and dean of the medical school.

Rendell will consider this request along with others he receives for capital projects, said Rendell's Press Secretary Kate Philips.

In part, money for this project hinges on the Legislature passing a bill to raise the debt ceiling for the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Budget Program by $700 million. Lawmakers may deal with this legislation in the coming week.

Kirch applauded the midstate legislators' support. He said they understand the economic benefits the region would reap as well as the need for more space at the hospital for additional beds to treat patients.

But building the cancer institute is especially important for those afflicted by the disease and their families.

"If you think about our location, we really represent the only source of highly sub-specialized research-oriented cancer care in central Pennsylvania," Kirch said. "If we're unable to provide that, it forces patients and their families to go as far away as Baltimore, Philadelphia or even further, Pittsburgh or Rochester to get that care."

He added: "There are few illnesses as difficult for a patient and their family as cancer and it makes it so much harder to deal with that if they have to leave home to get care."

Rep. Patricia Vance, R-Silver Spring, considers money for this project a priority.

She is particularly disturbed that the state can find money to pay for Penn State's proposal "to build two law schools -- when it is questionable that we need two -- and we don't release the money for a cancer center," she said. "I think we ought to get our priorities in order."
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  #134  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2004, 4:50 PM
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Vacant building eyed for offices

Institute seeks home in Shippensburg G-MAN

Sunday, June 27, 2004
BY DAN MILLER
Of Our Carlisle Bureau

CARLISLE - An international steam institute in the heart of Shippensburg?

Could happen, if Duaine Collier's dream for the now-vacant property at 9-13 E. King St. comes true.

Collier, a Shippensburg businessman, hopes to build a four-story, 20,000 square-foot office complex on the site last home to the Gingerbread Man restaurant and bar.

The second floor would house the institute; described as a teaching and research arm working with people involved in aspects of the steam industry.

Collier wants to develop the institute with Shippensburg University. The university's physical plant uses a coal-fired steam heat system.

Collier said an understanding has been reached with the university on the proposal. But university spokesman Pete Gigliotti said only, "We've made no commitment at this point."

The steam institute would also support one of Collier's businesses, the Shippensburg Pump Co. The company makes products used by the steam industry, and its client base would provide international exposure for the steam institute, said Christopher Gulotta, executive director of the Cumberland County housing and redevelopment authorities.

The first floor would be the new home of Edward's Mercantile, a coffee/tea and gift merchandise store now on the south side of East King Street.

The third and fourth floors would be leased to Shipco-Shippensburg Pump Co., Bidel Printing House and Collegetown, a real estate management company. All are business interests of Collier's. He plans to move his accounting and technology departments for all three businesses into the new downtown offices. This will allow production to expand at his other business locations.

The proposal is getting nods from the Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority.

"Downtown projects can be costly and more complicated than stand-alone projects due to their visibility," said Kevin Duffy, executive director of the Shippensburg Chamber. "It is always a plus when local entrepreneurs like Duaine choose to reinvest in the area, particularly the downtown. Certainly it is a business decision, but it is this kind of leadership that makes a difference in the community.

The county redevelopment authority supports Collier's project and has applied for a $250,000 state grant on its behalf.

"This is consistent with our plans for Shippensburg; the development of quality retail on the first floor and redevelopment of the upper floors for better quality residential or office space," Gulotta said. "This is exactly the type of project we were talking about cultivating in downtown Shippensburg."

The project should eventually bring 21 new full-time jobs: four at Edward's on the first floor and the rest from Collier's businesses.

Collier's firm owns the building. He is putting together a $2.1 million financing package to pay for the project. Besides the $250,000 from redevelopment, Collier is seeking a $1.225 million taxable bond through Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority, $500,000 from the Capital Region Economic Development Corp.'s Tech Corridor enterprise zone loan fund, and a $100,000 loan from Shippensburg borough.

The project will be good for Shippensburg because it puts a vacant downtown property to use, Collier said.

"Shippensburg is our home. It's been good to us," he said. "We're not taking up vacant farmland but using existing areas in our community to meet the needs of our companies."

Collier hopes to start construction in April and finish by April 2006.
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  #135  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2004, 3:47 PM
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sweet...thanks for the articles dave. both the cancer institute and the new building in Ship will be great additions to both communities. 2,500 jobs would also have a huge impact on the economy. the old G-man was condemed and razed a few months ago i think. the land is a prime location downtown and i'm glad to see that a new lowrise building will take it's place. the town still needs a few more bars/restaurants...there are very few for a college town of it's size. Ship has about 8,000 students, many of whom live within walking distance of downtown.
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  #136  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2004, 9:34 PM
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And they need a Wendy's.


Lemoyne, Mechanicsburg to get Civil War markers

Monday, June 28, 2004
BY MARY KLAUS
Of The Patriot-News

Between the boom of a cannon and the soft voice of a historian, Camp Curtin Historical Society officials this weekend announced plans for two monuments to commemorate the West Shore's role in the Civil War.

"For years, all people heard about was Gettysburg," Robin G. Lighty, society president, said yesterday at the society's Civil War Days at historic Fort Couch in Lemoyne. "But the Harrisburg area was a major target for the Confederates. Had they succeeded, history would have been changed."

He said the society next summer will erect a 10-foot black granite slab at Fort Couch, where the original Civil War earthwork fortifications remain, and a 10-foot granite obelisk with bronze tablets on Trindle Road east of Mechanicsburg.

The obelisk, near the John Fenstermacher law firm property, will commemorate Confederate Brig. Gen. Albert G. Jenkins, the Confederate occupation of Mechanicsburg and the Confederate advance to Camp Hill, Lighty said.

Jenkins was the commanding officer of the advance units of the invading Confederates in late June and early July 1863.

"When Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was marching north in a full-scale invasion of Pennsylvania in June 1863, Harrisburg was a tempting target," Lighty told Civil War Days visitors. The event also featured a Union infantry and artillery encampment, firing demonstrations and lectures.

He called Harrisburg "a major hub for vital railroad lines that ran east-west and north-south, moving men and supplies to Union armies; a productive city that generated clothes, equipment and supplies for the Union; the home of Camp Curtin, the largest Northern training camp of the Civil War, and a depot for tons of supplies. It was also a Northern state capital."

Lighty said Union engineers planned defensive positions to protect the city: Fort Washington at the western end of today's Market Street Bridge and Fort Couch in Lemoyne, which is the only public site where part of the once extensive defenses are still visible.

"The Confederates got as close as Mechanicsburg," Lighty said, adding that they also made it to York and Wrightsville. "If Lee hadn't recalled 15,000 troops from Carlisle the week before the Battle of Gettysburg, Harrisburg could have been taken easily."

He said Lee's army also had been heading to Harrisburg in 1862 but withdrew after the Battle of Antietam.

Lighty said the Mechanicsburg monument will cost about $40,000, and the one at Fort Couch $25,000. The money will come from donations and fund raising, he said.

"In the last five years, people seem to have more of a local connection to the Civil War," Lighty said. "They seem more aware of skirmishes in Camp Hill, Hampden Twp. and Mechanicsburg. The monuments will serve to remind people of this area's role in the Civil War."
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  #137  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2004, 4:25 AM
wrightchr wrightchr is offline
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lol...yes they do need a wendy's

great post Dave...i read this in the paper today. there is a state historical marker at 31st and Market Street in Camp Hill that commemorates the furthest point north east that the confederate army reached during the civil war. these monuments will be great additions to the regions historical significance. pretty interesting stuff...i love history
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  #138  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2004, 10:12 PM
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Yes, history is good.

Some more good news for the region!!!


Regional jobless rate among lowest in state

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BY TOM DOCHAT
Of The Patriot-News

The unemployment rate last month in the Harrisburg region dropped to 3.5 percent.

The Harrisburg region -- Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and Perry counties -- typically has the second- or third-lowest jobless rate in the state, but it was tied in May with the Lancaster and State College regions for the lowest rate in the state.

In April, the Harrisburg-area unemployment rate was 3.6 percent. In May last year the rate was 3.8 percent.

The York County unemployment rate in May was 4.3 percent. The rate was 3.7 percent in the region that consists of the Harrisburg, Lancaster and York areas.

The statewide unemployment rate in May was 5.1 percent, and the national rate was 5.6 percent.

Nonfarm jobs in the Harrisburg region totaled 370,900 in May, an increase of 3,700 from April and 200 more that a year earlier. The number of goods-producing jobs last month increased by 600 from April, but are down by 300 from May 2003.

The average manufacturing hourly wage in the region last month was $15.01, compared with a statewide average of $15.06.
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  #139  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2004, 2:16 AM
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hmm....it's time for my occasional thought of the day....while seeing fahrenheit 9/11 (which you MUST SEE) at midtown yesterday (had to get there 2 hours early to finally get a seat....i've tried 4 times) i was thinking...that empty lot next to the theater needs to be fixed. there's a vartan sign that says "build to suit"...anyways my dream: They clear the weeds and create a public plaza with a central fountain, possibly a restaurant against the neighboring townhomes.....if only i had some extra millions....
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  #140  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2004, 10:01 PM
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I really want to see the movie, harrisburger. I agree on your vision too.

Some interesting news:


State gives city police control of bars' noise

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
BY JOHN LUCIEW
Of The Patriot-News

Cue that Second Street soundtrack.

Owners of downtown Harrisburg bars and restaurants have once again gotten the OK to plug in their outdoor speakers to provide what they say is ambience for al fresco dining.

"It's a melodious addition to the sidewalk scene," said Rick Galiardo, co-owner of Mars, NOMA and Zephyr Express.

The reprise of outdoor music comes after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board voted unanimously yesterday to hand back noise enforcement of downtown bars to the Harrisburg police.

The city's noise enforcement gives downtown bars broader latitude on outdoor music, which is barred under the stricter PLCB rules.

The change, which took effect immediately, will be in place for one year.

The time frame was less than the open-ended period the city had originally sought, but longer than the 60-day trial the PLCB approved last summer.

Still, Mayor Stephen R. Reed said the one-year time frame has advantages.

"We are pleased," he said. "We think the abbreviated nature of the enforcement period is a good thing, in that it helps serve as an additional deterrent to the license holders' potential abuse of the privilege."

To extend the enforcement beyond a year, the city would have to apply for another exemption and the PLCB would have to approve it.

While outdoor music is returning to Restaurant Row in time for the height of the outdoor dining season, it is coming back over the objections of some downtown residents.

At a PLCB hearing this month, several residents testified about too much noise, too little sleep and plenty of frustration in trying to get the city police to do something about the noise. They criticized yesterday's decision.

"Today, the LCB is sending the city back to summer school and giving them another year to get it right," said Tom Leonard, a downtown resident.

"I'm glad it's not a permanent change," he said. "It puts the bar owners on notice, and it puts the city on notice."

However, PLCB Chairman Jonathan H. Newman proclaimed his faith in Reed to control the situation.

"We believe that municipalities know best on these types of issues," he said.

While PLCB enforcement can threaten a bar's license, city police usually can do little more than issue summary citations carrying fines of $100 to $200. This lack of enforcement muscle is another complaint of some residents.

As for how loud is too loud, Harrisburg's noise standard is relatively simple: if music is plainly audible 50 feet from its source, it's a violation under the city's noise ordinance.

Last summer, Harrisburg issued just one citation and one warning during the 60-day trial. But city officials could not be specific on the number of complaint calls received.

At the PLCB hearing, residents' chief complaint seemed to be the bass-heavy Techno music they said was invading their homes, particularly on South and Locust streets.

Reed promised to step up enforcement this year. "Downtown restaurant and nightclub owners should be put on notice that starting this weekend they will face citations for any noise violations," he said.

For their part, bar owners said they will tread lightly.

"The music is just background," said Tony Magaro, owner of Fisaga. "You can't even hear it off the sidewalk."

Galiardo said he even brought in a sound technician to recalibrate the bass on his indoor sound system, eliminating noise problems at Mars. As for his outdoor speakers, they're strictly for a touch of atmosphere, he said.

"If there was a problem, I feel we fixed it," Galiardo said. "Music isn't really the issue anymore. It's the other noise associated with having large crowds in one place. It's bottles crashing and voices of people."
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