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A brief history of the Black church’s diversity and its vital role in American political history

Jason Oliver Evans, University of Virginia With religious affiliation on the decline, continuing racism and increasing income inequality, some scholars and activists are soul-searching about the Black church’s role in today’s United States. For instance, on April 20, 2010, an African American Studies professor at Princeton, Eddie S. Glaude, sparked an online debate by provocatively declaring that, despite the existence of many African American churches, “the Black Church, as we’ve known it or imagined it, is dead.” As he argued, the image of the Black church as a center for Black life and as a beacon of social and moral transformation had disappeared. Scholars of African American religion responded to Glaude by stating that the image of the Black church as the moral conscience of the United States has always been a complicated matter. As historian Anthea Butler argued, “The Black Church may be dead in its incarnation as agent of change, but as the imagined home of all things black and Christian, it is alive and well.” As a scholar of Christian theology and African American religion, I’m aware of this long history of the Black church and its contribution to American politics. Its story began in the 15th and 16th centuries, when European empires authorized the capture, auction and enslavement of various peoples from across the coast of Western and Central Africa. Origins of African American Christianity As millions were transported through the “Middle Passage” to the Americas, Europeans forcefully baptized the enslaved into the Christian faith despite many of them adhering to traditional African religious systems and Islam. European slave traders dismissed Africans as “heathenish” to justify their enslavement of Africans and the coercive proselytization to Christianity. In the 1600s, British missionaries traveled throughout the American Colonies to convert enslaved Africans and the Indigenous peoples of the continent. Originally, however, white slaveholders were hesitant to convert enslaved Africans to Christianity because they feared that Christian baptism would lead to the enslaved Africans’ freedom, causing both economic ruin and social upheaval. They widely supposed that British laws mandated the freedom of all baptized Christians, and thus white slaveholders initially refused to grant missionaries permission to instruct enslaved Africans into the Christian faith. By 1706, six Colonies had passed laws that declared that Africans’ Christian status did not alter their social condition as slaves. Consequently, missionaries created “slave catechisms,” modified religious instruction manuals that instructed enslaved Africans about Christianity while reinforcing their enslavement. Over time, evangelical Protestant groups followed suit in their proselytization of the enslaved community, most notably during the First and Second Great Awakenings, the Protestant religious revivals that swept across the American nation in the mid-18th and early 19th centuries. Denominations that form the Black church Both during and after the end of slavery, African Americans began to establish their own congregations, parishes, fellowships, associations and later denominations. Black Baptists founded first the National Baptist Convention USA, in 1895, the largest Black Protestant denomination in the United States. The National Baptist Convention of America International and the Progressive National Baptist Convention were founded years later. The first independent Black denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was formalized in 1816, grew out of the Free African Society founded by Richard Allen, a former enslaved man and Methodist minister, in the city of Philadelphia in 1787. Allen and his colleague Absalom Jones walked out of St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church after white members demanded that Allen and Jones, who had been kneeling in prayer, leave the ground floor and go to the upper balcony, which was designated for Black worshippers. Other Black Methodists founded two other denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1821 and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1870. The Church of God in Christ, the largest Black Pentecostal denomination in the United States, was founded by Charles Harrison Mason, a former Baptist minister, in 1897 and incorporated in 1907. Other Black Christians belong to mainline Protestant denominations. Additionally, there are 3 million Black Roman Catholics in the United States, and a smaller number of African Americans who attend Eastern Orthodox churches. Moreover, a number of African Americans belong to independent nondenominational congregations, while others belong to white conservative evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic churches. Contributions to American politics The Black church has played a vital role in the shaping of American political history. African American churches provided spaces for not only spiritual formation but also political activism. Black churches were spaces where slave abolitionism was envisioned, and insurrections were planned. Black preachers such as Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner were actively involved in attempted and successful slave insurrections in the South During the Reconstruction era, the African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Henry McNeal Turner served as one of the first African American legislators for the state of Georgia. Turner was famous for his scathing critiques of American Christianity and the nation at large. Ida B. Wells was an investigative journalist and educator who wrote extensive accounts of the lynchings of Black people in the South, fought against Jim Crow policies, and advocated for Black women’s right to vote. An active churchgoer, Wells also organized and led Bible study classes for young Black men at Grace Presbyterian Church, a predominantly Black church founded in 1888 in the city of Chicago. Many Black Christians participated in the Civil Rights movement, including Bayard Rustin, an openly gay Quaker, who was instrumental in organizing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963. Despite his contributions to advancing Black people’s freedom, Rustin was pushed to the background by his peers because of his homosexuality. Pauli Murray, the first Black woman to be ordained in the Episcopal Church, was a lawyer, legal scholar, civil rights and gender equality advocate and poet. Murray compiled an extensive collection of laws and ordinances that mandated racial segregation and wrote extensively on women’s rights. An influential institution The Black church is far from monolithic. Its members hold different theological positions and hail from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels and political affiliations. Some African American Christians did not participate in efforts to end racial segregation, fearing violent backlash from white people. Today, Black Christians are divided over other social justice issues, such as whether to support LGBTQ equality. Nevertheless, African American Christians have drawn insights from their experience of enduring racism and their Christian faith to contest racial subjugation and advocate for their freedom and human dignity. Despite the rise of the religiously unaffiliated or “Nones” within the African American community, the Black church, I believe, continues to be an influential institution. Jason Oliver Evans, Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies, University of Virginia This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

ACCOG elects new officers and shares action priorities

The Adams County Council of Governments (ACCOG), which includes representatives from boroughs, townships, and school districts around the county who work together to identify, discuss, and study regional issues and opportunities, has elected new officers. Mount Joy Township Supervisor Terry Scholle was elected president and Carroll Valley Mayor Ron Harris was elected vice president. Patricia Smith, Fairfield Borough, will continue to serve as treasurer, and Daniele Helwig, Butler Township, as secretary. Scholle said he would be making some changes but would continue to have presentations when they can be scheduled. “I will be asking the folks what topics interest them. I don’t want to bring in someone with a topic that few think is important,” he said.  The ACCOG legislative committee has developed a three-tier focus on its concerns. The first tier consists of previous bills introduced and includes expanding broadband access, amending the funding formula for charter and cyber charter schools, waving grant application fees on duplicate applications, increasing funding for mental health, and increasing funding and support for workforce development initiatives. The second-tier concerns are election reform laws, increased infrastructure funding, permitting fees to be charged for commercial requests for right-to-know, and stormwater issues. Included in the third tier are the reduction of health insurance costs to employees, funding for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation projects inside the boroughs, exempting projects under $500,000 from the prevailing wage, permitting local police to use radar/lidar technology, and amending the old school funding formula. Ron Harris, past ACCOG vice-chair and member of the legislative committee, asked why the speed radar concern was relegated to a Tier 3 issue since it saves lives. Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually explained that the concerns were tiered in the order they will be expected to get positive legislative attention. “Do the concerns have a chance of moving? Things may be more important but may not change. That’s why radar is on Tier III,” he said. “The immediate importance is saving people’s lives,” Harris said. “This has been going on for many years. We want our representatives to support our version of the Radar bill.” Bob Gordon, ACCOG Legislative Committee member commented, “The tiers are set up to separate what’s possible and what’s not possible to get done.” In other board business, broadband feasibility study committee member Bob Mauser reported that the broadband survey resulted in 4,000 returns, 2,500 of which were from Adams County. “It will help us as we do the analysis and start to develop formal technical requirements. But this is a long process and is not going to happen overnight.” Harlan Lawson, County Economic Development Specialist, said the survey was part of a state effort that began last fall. “The state process needs to be complete before receiving federal funding and then they need to think about allocating the funding. However they do it, we need to have an argument prepared about why we need the money.” The next ACCOG meeting will take place Feb. 16, 8:30 a.m.

Gettysburg students win contest to select state fruit

The Pennsylvania State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) and the Healthy Pennsylvania Partnership (HPP) has selected 5 students from Gettysburg’s Vida Charter School as winners in its statewide contest to propose a state fruit and a state vegetable. The contest is designed to encourage students to understand the importance of and consume more fruits and vegetables. Contest winners were: First place tie: Essay from Jeenal V. Panchariya of Tracy Elementary School in Erie, PA Artwork with essay from a group project created by Kameryn Gageby,  Johany Zarate, and Maxton Bard of Vida Charter School, Gettysburg, PA Second place Artwork with essay from project of Samuel Stenger from Vida Charter School, Gettysburg, PA Third place Artwork with essay from project of Stanley Yetsko from Vida Charter School, Gettysburg, PA Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc.(HABPI), a non-profit group of volunteers working to develop safe, accessible walking and bicycling trails and paths in Adams County, will present the second and third place winners with bike helmets. SHIP and HPP hope that representatives from the areas where the students live will re-introduce legislation for “Apple” as the State fruit and keep the students posted in a bipartisan effort when the house reorganizes in February.

Auditor: 12 Pennsylvania school districts hid $400 million to pass tax increases

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – A dozen school districts in Pennsylvania exploited a legal loophole to raise millions of dollars in new taxes on the public without putting it to a referendum. In the process, they’ve hidden hundreds of millions of dollars in reserve funds that could cover school costs without raising taxes.  The state auditor has warned that there are potentially more school districts that have done the same. The announcement, made during a press conference by Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, was based on an audit of a dozen schools across the state. “For years, there’s been concerns raised to us from the General Assembly and from residents about school districts who are raising taxes while seemingly having enough money in the reserves to cover any type of budget gaps,” DeFoor said. “For nearly a year, our audit team looked in (to) this practice to see whether school districts appropriately used referendum exceptions to raise property taxes without voter input.” The audit found that the school districts did this repeatedly — collectively, they raised taxes 37 times from 2018-2021.  As a result, though they increased taxes, the districts have $390 million in their general funds accounts “that is sitting unspent,” DeFoor said. The law was meant to be used as an extreme measure for financial hardship. Instead, the school districts have used it as a “regular budgeting tool,” DeFoor said. “These districts found a way to use the law to their advantage so they could always raise taxes,” DeFoor said. “Basically, it’s a shell game.” The following schools were audited, all of which have increased taxes without a public referendum: Abington School District, Montgomery County; Bethlehem Area School District, Northampton and Lehigh counties; Cannon-McMillian School District, Washington County; Hempfield School District, Lancaster County; Lower Merion School District, Montgomery County; Neshaminy School District, Bucks County; North Allegheny School District, Allegheny County; Northampton Area School District, Northampton County; North Penn School District, Montgomery County; Penn Manor School District, Lancaster County; and School District of Lancaster, Lancaster County; West Chester Area School District, Chester and Delaware counties. It’s not yet clear how many more school boards have done the same. “These are just 12 districts; there are 500 in Pennsylvania,” DeFoor said. “It’s not a stretch to say that it’s happening throughout the commonwealth.” The auditor recommended that the General Assembly modify existing law to require districts to use their general funds and surplus funds before asking the Department of Education to issue an exception to a tax referendum. School boards defended the practice to the auditor as pragmatic. They needed to submit a budget by June 30, but would not yet know how much they would receive from the state government by that time. DeFoor suggested that school districts’ fiscal year should be shifted from June 30 to Sept. 30 to avoid such a problem. “We simply cannot allow school boards to use legal maneuvers that take away the voice of our taxpaying citizens,” DeFoor said. Critics noted that schools have built up significant reserve funds for years while increasing taxes. “School districts are flush with cash even as they promulgate a narrative of underfunding,” Nathan Benefield, senior vice president of the Commonwealth Foundation, said in a press release. “Many districts have been stockpiling taxpayer funds for years—increasing their reserve funds far above what’s necessary for a rainy day.” Since 2012, the 500 school districts across Pennsylvania have seen their reserve funds increase by almost 33% to $5.3 billion, Benefield noted, along with $3.6 billion in federal pandemic aid. “The audit confirms that many school districts are not only adequately but excessively funded,” Benefield said. “The state should move to protect Pennsylvania taxpayers from unnecessary tax increases and direct funding towards students—including those seeking alternatives to their neighborhood school. Families, not school buildings, need more resources.”

Kris Webb brings “A Gettysburg Christmas” to Gettysburg

Gettysburg resident Kris Webb has a lot on her mind. Not only is she an artist/stylist and owner of Sixty East hair salon, but from now until December, Kris is immersed in the production of “A Gettysburg Christmas,” a heartwarming family film now being created in the streets, landmarks, and businesses of this quaint, historic town. The premier is set to kick off the annual “A Gettysburg Christmas Festival,” December 1-3, 2023. The two-day festival, which closes some streets to traffic to make room for the ever-growing vendors and crowds, is gaining momentum every year. Kris and Bo Brinkman, the director and screenwriter of “A Gettysburg Christmas,” hope to give the festival a boost with the national release of this feature film, based on a  book by Craig Rupp. Kris was able to spare ten minutes to talk to me while she waited in her car for an order to be filled somewhere in town.  As Kris talks it feels like I’ve just downed an energy drink and it’s beginning to take effect. She starts out by talking about how well the schedule is working, the resilience of the actors, and the great locations. And then she begins to talk about the people of the town and how wonderful they have been. Kris’s voice takes on a delightful bounce as she describes what it feels like to offer opportunities to young people to participate in bringing this story to life.  A girl scout troop that had heard about the filming was given an invitation observe and learn about this popular niche of the entertainment industry. Her day tomorrow includes being shadowed by a twelve-year-old girl who is interested in a future in film production. The producers have hired interns from among Gettysburg College film students as well. But I know that there is a deeper meaning to the lilt in her voice when she talks about her relationship with the film’s director/screenwriter Bo Brinkman. Kris and Bo met while he was acting in the movie “Gettysburg” almost 30 years ago. She and Bo felt an instant connection to each other; could it be love at first sight? They talked easily and found that they both have a deep connection and love for this little internationally-renowned borough. But, alas, like all great romances, their ability to be together depended on traveling to see each other. Bo’s life is based in Texas. As much as they cared for each other, they lost touch and reunited a few times. And then a span of about twelve years went by. In early 2020 Kris had been thinking and feeling that Gettysburg could benefit economically from another big feature film. Kris started to feel something deep inside that she knew she had to follow. “And when you begin to follow that inner guidance, it’s always right,” Kris says with that deeply held determination in her voice.  Kris had been thinking about how the film “Gettysburg” had boosted the economy of the area. She had an idea that it was time for another film that would show off the town and encourage a burst of tourism. She began feeling that Bo could be the one to help her make this happen. But, she didn’t know where he was. And she was reluctant to revisit the feeling of starting and having to end if they got together again.  And we all know what happened next. LOCKDOWN. The urgency returns to Kris’s voice as she tells how intensely she wanted to find Bo to do this project in spite of her resistance. She didn’t know what his production company was working on. All she had was the phone number of his former next-door-neighbor Kelly, whom she had befriended. “I sent Kelly a text to ask that she send an SOS to Bo.” Kelly sent Bo a text, and in a show of good form, the next morning Bo called Kris.  At this point I could say, the rest is history, but Kris went on to say that their reunion was miraculous and that this film could only happen with Bo’s help.  As they renewed their relationship, Kris says, “Something sweet was there. We have always had a connection. It’s a location thing. Long distance has always gotten in the way.” The energy drink feeling kicks into high gear as she talks about how happy she is that Gettysburg has taken Bo and this project to heart. She raves about how different this filming is from previous movie productions. Kris said that usually a film crew will come into a location and take over, much like the soldiers did in 1863, but with fancy cameras and lights instead of guns. She and Bo are protective about using the people who own and work in the shops in the finished film to give Gettysburg the recognition and investment that it deserves. And it will be fun to be in the audience at the premier when the townspeople see themselves. And in the end, Kris’s voice grows a bit more serious as she talks about seeing this project as a way for Gettysburg as a community to get together to create something special for all the world to see. Gettysburgians know that anywhere in the world they travel, people know the name of the town where the deciding battle of the Civil War took place. Kris wants people to see her town as more than just a battlefield. She wants the world to know about the love and dedication that the residents of Gettysburg embody. Bo Brinkman may be available for an interview, but Kris is being protective of his time until the filming concludes. She resists titles, but I’d call her Magical Coordination Fairy. Not only does she look amazing all the times that I’ve seen her, but her presence is sure to help those around her do their best work. Kris Webb, though she won’t take credit, is the key to getting this film out of her daydreams and onto the screen. Her work previous to the actual on-the-ground filming is what has made it run so smoothly. With all the best crew and community members to work with, this film is sure to rise to the heights that Kris and Bo know are achievable. They know it’s bigger than even the two of them.   And from what I can tell, Gettysburg is going to be proud to claim as their own “A Gettysburg Christmas” and the beautiful couple who came together to make it possible. Featured image caption: Bo and Kris [courtesy of Amilia K. Spicer.]

Waynesboro edges Gettysburg in OT on senior night

The Gettysburg Warriors faced off against Waynesboro in a hard-fought battle at home last night. Despite a strong effort by the Warriors, Waynesboro ultimately came out on top in overtime, with a final score of 40-37. “It was a great game on Senior Night,” said Assistant Coach Rick Keller. The game was close throughout, with the Warriors leading by 4 at the half. The Warriors kept it close until the fourth quarter, where 5 foot 7 Senior Slaydon Fisher hit two 3-pointers to tie the game. Team Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Overtime (OT) Final Score Waynesboro Giants 0 9 11 10 7 40 Gettysburg Warriors 5 9 14 2 4 37 The Warriors were led by high scorers Maddie Delaney (10) and Emma Raville (6) Delaney hit 3 big threes in a row in the 3rd to keep Gettysburg in the game and Lydia Florek was clutch on the line in the 4th to send the game to overtime. The Warriors got within 1 in the extra time where they missed the chance to win the game with 4 seconds left when Megha Makkenchery’s layup rolled around the rim forever before finally falling out. Fisher, with 22 points, made the difference for Waynesboro. Next game: Greencastle-Antrim on Tuesday. Featured image: Warriors Diane Martinez, Evelin, Carbajal, Emma Raville, and Lydia Floreck [Jim Bargas]. Photos by Jim Bargas. Click on any image to start the slideshow.

Tour center to be demoed in February

Pictured is an artist's rendering of the new Gettysburg Tour Center building, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

Gettysburg will have a new tour center in 2024. Demolition crews will destroy Gettysburg Tour Center’s store and ticket counter on Baltimore Street in February so construction can begin on a new facility, Felty Investments Owner Max Felty said Friday. The Gettysburg Tour Center has operated in the same spot since the 1950s. The current building was constructed in the 1960s. Felty expects the new building to open in 2024. The current tour center is a manufactured cabin structure. Since first built, it received several additions. The building lacks a foundation and modern amenities, Felty said. The new building will be larger and have greater use of space, energy efficiency, and handicapped visitor accessibility, Felty said. Gettysburg Tour Center owners planned to upgrade the facility in the early 2000s, Felty said. They delayed construction due to The Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center moving from Taneytown Road to Baltimore Pike in 2008. “I feel the timing is right for reinvestment into the business and the town. The positive return of visitation after our worst year ever in 2020 has given me confidence Gettysburg will remain a popular destination,” Felty said. The tour center temporarily operates its retail store and ticket counter out of a temporary space located directly across the street from the construction site. Battlefield Bus Tours will depart from the temporary location and the parking lot across the street. Tour center part of Baltimore Street Revitalization The new Tour Center is part of Gettysburg’s Baltimore Street Revitalization Project. Main Street Gettysburg is seeking a multi-million grant to install curb bump outs, bus shelters, trees, streetlights, benches, trash receptacles, bicycle racks, and parking kiosks. The road will also be repaved and storm water management will be enhanced by improving street drains and installing rain gardens. “Plans for the Baltimore Street Revitalization Project have further inspired me to do my part to make sure that the first thing visitors see as they enter the borough of Gettysburg is a welcoming, attractive building situated to guide visitors to a world class experience when visiting Gettysburg,” Felty said. Main Street Gettysburg is seeking highly-competitive federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability grants to fund the project. Read about another Baltimore Pike property undergoing a transformation

Fairfield school board discusses tax resolution, courses, CPR

Fairfield School District

The Fairfield Area School District Board of Directors will not raise taxes more than 4.8 percent this year. At its meeting on Monday, the board unanimously agreed not to seek approval from voters or the Pennsylvania Department of Education to increase the levy more than the state-approved index. Monday’s action does not guarantee the board will increase Fairfield school taxes, or if they do it will be 4.8 percent. The vote only states any possible tax increase will not be higher than 4.8 percent. Course selection The board unanimously approved the 2023-24 Fairfield Area High School Course Selection Booklet. Beginning next year, the district will no longer offer driver’s education, a Quad Graphics internship or pre-calculus. Kristina Mathews, high school counselor, told the district’s board of directors at its January study session that students can independently take driver’s education through the National Highway Safety Administration at a cost of $74.95 per student. Superintendent Thomas J. Haupt told the board few districts offer driver’s education and finding teachers certified in the subject is challenging. Mathews said enrollment in driver’s education has decreased significantly since Fairfield stopped requiring the class three years ago. Haupt classified the savings in dropping driver’s education as “minimal” and added students have expressed more interest in an independent study. “The technology option is certainly more agreeable to kids,” he said. More students took the class this year than in recent years since the district made it known it would be the last year, Mathews said. Likewise, the district is dropping the Quad Graphics internship due to low enrollment, Mathews said. Pre-calculus will be dropped so the school can offer advanced placement calculus. Mathews said advanced placement calculus is weighted higher than pre-calculus so it helps students earn a higher grade point average. She added dropping pre-calculus is not expected to hinder students’ preparation for the advanced class. CPR Board Vice President Jack Liller suggested every Fairfield Area School District student receive CPR training in light of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffering a cardiac arrest during an NFL game on Jan. 2.  “I don’t think there is anything more important than saving somebody’s life,” Liller said. Haupt told Liller all students are briefed on CPR, but do not receive certification. Liller’s comments Monday continue a conversation he started during a district study session earlier this month. After Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, Liller asked Haupt about the district’s safety protocols. Haupt said the district has eight automated external defibrillators (AED) strategically placed throughout the campus. The district is considering purchasing portable AEDs, Haupt said, to increase response time. District staff regularly change batteries to ensure the AEDs work when needed, Haupt said. “I would have bet dollars to donuts that if we had one, it was out-of-date,” Liller said. “We have eight so kudos to them.” Liller said he also learned athletic trainers are assigned to sporting events where the possibility of injury is high. The board encouraged everyone to become certified in CPR. Haupt said the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association is debating whether all coaches should be CPR certified. Other business In other business, the board: Expressed appreciation to citizens who donated money to fund unpaid lunch accounts. Haupt said the money will be distributed to students who have the greatest need. Approved resignations from Michelle R. Ritter, elementary cafeteria head cook; Misty R. Riley, middle/high school special education aide; Lila C. Phebus, elementary special education aide; Tiffany M. Rhoten, kindergarten teacher; Grant Smith, head girls’ track and field coach Approved the retirement of 36-year employee Judy C. Weikert, driver’s education and physical education teacher. Approved the following hirings: Melisa N. Patrono, long-term kindergarten substitute teacher; Bridget L. Munsee, part-time elementary library aide; Amber L. Toms, part-time elementary classroom aide; Regina M. Knox, part-time elementary classroom aide; Dr. Jennifer Kane, elementary yearbook advisor; Ken Haines and Erica Price, custodians; Christian Hocker, elementary/middle school physical education teacher Read about the Fairfield Area School District changing its meeting structure

“A Gettysburg Christmas” update: Lee Majors is coming to town

Jack McWilliams, studio head of Attic Light Productions, the company overseeing the filming of “A Gettysburg Christmas,” didn’t want to talk about money or cameras or actors right away. He wanted to talk about the people of Gettysburg and just how grateful he is. “I love the way the people have been so open with their hearts,” he said, motioning outside the window of the Gettysburg Hotel lobby, where he graciously sat for a few minutes while filming was going on in front of the Blue and Gray. “Lisa at the Pub is the Rock Star of hospitality,” McWilliams said, waving off my formality. “Call me Jack. I can’t say enough good about Timbrel at Lark. She was so generous throughout our whole time filming there. Everyone has been great!” Jack went on to say how fantastic the turnout for extras has been. They had three thousand responses to our stories and are using sixty local people in the film. Way to turn out, Gettysburg! Aaron and Roger, two of the crew with headsets and some kind of smiling, casual authority had expressed their thoughts about the borough moments earlier on my way to my chat with Jack. “The people have been great! We love it here!” Aaron said, looking at Roger who added with what seemed like surprise, “I’ve been to five different restaurants here and I loved every one of them!!” I didn’t catch their official titles, but once every couple of random moments Aaron and Roger would shout, “Rolling!” which I learned referred not to the movement of the car pulling away, but the fact that the camera was recording what was happening inside the car where Kelley Jackle, Sean Faris, and Bruce Boxleightner were working.    All three of the actors, and both camera and sound operators somehow managed to fit into the midsized, black SUV. I caught a murmur of directions to the actors from a few feet away on the sidewalk as Bo talked to them through the open door between takes. In the brief time I was there, the car made the round trip at least a half dozen times while at least thirty crew members attended to their tasks. Jack McWilliams face lit up as he began to talk about the process of making a film. As a producer, he gets to learn about any of the minute details that he is curious about. Jack gave me a quick tutorial about the colorizing process which I found fascinating. The reason your camera can’t take a movie-quality video has something to do with the fact that a professional film camera records more than the visible portion of the light spectrum. In the colorizing process, the wavelengths that aren’t needed are extracted from the frame. Both the picture and my curiosity are clarified. I imagine Google has more to say about this. Of course, I asked what Lee Majors is like. “He’s very nice,” was the official word. I got a hint that I might be able to sit in the very nice modernized Gettysburg Hotel lobby with the Bionic Man one day soon. Stay tuned…he’ll be here today to begin his filming schedule. The filming stops on Sundays when they all take the day off. Jack couldn’t rave enough about Adams County apples. “I don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow yet. We spent the day at an apple farm on our last day off.” He painted a delightful picture of the surprise of taking a bite of a fresh-off-the-tree apple. As a native of Houston, Texas, Jack is enjoying taking in all the farmland. They will be doing some filming on a farm, “about fifteen minutes north of here,” in a few days. Jack gave another hint about how the filming schedule works, so start looking for big pools of lights while you drive around. They are headed into the evening hours. The rain on the snow on Wednesday delayed their outdoor schedule, but Jack informed me that they’ll be on the square tomorrow. He said spectators are welcome! The filming is scheduled to continue through the end of February. Then on to editing for six weeks. Jack’s company, Attic Light Films, most recent projects include the feature films, “The Lifeguard,” with Kristen Bell, and “My Friend Dahmer,” a story about the high school days of the famous serial killer. “A Gettysburg Christmas” is on track to premiere at the Majestic to kick off our annual Christmas Festival this year. Jack attributes his confidence to the generosity and hospitality of the people of Gettysburg.   I’ll keep in touch. I’ll let you know how it’s going so you have time to shop for just the right Gettysburg Christmas evening wear. Let’s show the rest of the nation just how charming Gettysburg can be!

Music review: Pomona’s Trio at Ploughman Cider Taproom, Jan. 20, 2022

One thing you’re sure to notice when you are at a Pomona’s Trio performance is just how much they like each other. As they float their luscious jazz around the room, taking turns in the lead or improvising a little, they watch each other with obvious delight. Their blend is so well balanced that it takes a moment to separate each instrument from the total sound. Bret chooses the right saxophone to fit the mood of the song that Lisa offers in her rich, full, voice. Her pure tone is the definition of sultry as she paints warm scenes in our minds.  Her “Alice in Wonderland” is both childlike in its simplicity and sophisticated in its delivery. Lisa’s Alice is dressed in a gown of silk and pearls. Marc’s classical guitar, with its soft nylon strings under his talented baker’s hands, underscores the scenes. Marc plays with impressive runs and flourishes all up and down the neck that look effortless. If you’ve enjoyed the bread that he delivers weekly to EC3 Natural Foods, you’ll understand how jazz and bread-making enhance each other. Marc’s the one who brought good bread to Adams County when he started Gettysburg Baking Company many years ago. All that kneading must be what keeps those flying fingers in shape. When he solos, you see heads turning and conversations pausing to take in the relaxing vibe. Friday night in Ploughman Cider Taproom on Lincoln Square in Gettysburg (the “The Taproom” as it’s becoming known among the locals), feels like all is well in the world. The steamy windows and iron radiator heat create an ambiance that is unmatched in town. Attractive, friendly servers keep frosty glasses full of their popular cider. I enjoyed scanning the huge world map on the wall while sipping on one of their non-alcoholic selections, homemade birch beer. “I’ve been a friend of Marc Jalbert’s for twenty years,” Betsy Lower told me. Betsy is one of the owners of Boyer’s Nursery, in operation since 1900. She proudly hosts the trio in their new wine-tasting room regularly as part of their expansion into “agri-tainment.”  Betsy is a fan of Pomona’s Trio for the atmosphere they provide in the busy downtown cider house. She likes the small town corner pub feeling that helps her relax and enjoy the company of friends at the end of a busy week. As bone-chilling winds whip the leaves around the charming brick sidewalks outside, the music of Pomona’s Trio wraps the tin-ceilinged room in a blanket of reassurance that the center of Gettysburg is the place to be.

U.S. hits debt limit and Treasury Department begins ‘extraordinary measures’

by Jennifer Shutt WASHINGTON — The nation reached its debt limit Thursday, beginning the uncertain process known as extraordinary measures, in which the U.S. Treasury Department uses accounting maneuvers to avoid defaulting on the debt. The often-used practice is intended to give the Republican House, Democratic Senate and Biden administration time to negotiate a bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling to a dollar figure or suspend it through a certain date. This year’s debate over how exactly to do that is expected to be especially tense after Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, made promises to several of his party’s more conservative members in exchange for the votes needed for him to hold the gavel. Democrats and the White House are adamant they won’t agree to drastic spending cuts to discretionary programs, which fund the vast majority of federal agencies, or mandatory programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The stalemate could have significant impacts on the global economy, financial markets and the nation’s credit rating the longer it goes. If disagreements about how to address the debt limit last too long, the Treasury Department will exhaust extraordinary measures and the nation would default on the debt for the first time. Manchin gets involved White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday during the daily briefing that the Biden administration is “just not going to negotiate” on the debt ceiling, especially since Republicans voted three times to suspend it during the Trump administration. “So it is essential for Congress to recognize that dealing with the debt ceiling is their constitutional responsibility,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is an easy one. This is something that should be happening without conditions.” West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III, however, is pressing the White House and congressional leaders to begin negotiations, saying during an interview on Fox Business that he’s already spoken to McCarthy about the issue. Manchin noted that Congress could put in place another committee to look at ways to address the rising national debt, though he said lawmakers would hold the line on Social Security. “We’re not getting rid of anything, and you can’t scare the bejesus out of people saying we’re going to get rid of Social Security, we’re going to privatize. That’s not going to happen,” Manchin said from the World Economic Forum winter meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “But we should be able to solidify it, so the people who have worked and earned it know they’re going to get it.” Debt limit reached Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to Congress last week, to inform members the United States would reach its $31.385 trillion borrowing limit Jan. 19. She wrote to lawmakers again Thursday, telling them the country had in fact reached its debt limit and she had begun using some of the extraordinary measures to keep paying all of the country’s bills in full and on time. The accounting maneuvers will likely last until at least early June, but Yellen continued pressing Congress on Thursday to get a deal together sooner rather than later. “As I stated in my January 13 letter, the period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. Government months into the future,” Yellen wrote. “I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.” McCarthy made several concessions to the more right-leaning members of his party in exchange for many of them voting present so that he could become speaker with fewer than 218 votes, a majority of the 435-member House. Among those was not agreeing to a debt limit increase without a budget agreement or “commensurate fiscal reforms.” McCarthy also agreed to several changes to both discretionary programs, which are funded annually through the appropriations process, and mandatory programs, which essentially run on autopilot. He promised to lower discretionary spending for federal agencies by at least $130 billion in order to go back to fiscal 2022 levels as well as working toward “reforms to” the budget process and mandatory spending programs. Such programs include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. ‘Ticking time bomb’ U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-2nd District, the ranking Democratic member on the House Budget Committee, said in a written statement Thursday that “the debt ceiling is officially a ticking time bomb we can’t diffuse soon enough.” Boyle added; “The fact that Republicans are ready and willing to unleash an economic doomsday in their quest to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other vital programs shows just how untethered from reality, and uninterested in governing, the extreme MAGA Republican party has become.” House Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington, a Texas Republican, wrote on Twitter that “the last thing we need to do is give Biden and the Democrats a new credit card.” “We will pay our debts, but we will not enable politicians to bankrupt our country.”

Nominations open for Jim Getty Award

Nominations for Destination Gettysburg’s annual “Jim Getty Spirit of Gettysburg Award” are now open, and members of the community are encouraged to submit names of individuals in the tourism industry that exemplify dedication and contribution to the Adams County tourism industry. The award was established in 2016 in recognition of Jim Getty, an Abraham Lincoln presenter and well-known ambassador of the Gettysburg community. Getty passed away in 2015. The “Jim Getty Spirit of Gettysburg Award” is presented to an individual who has exemplified many of the same qualities of Getty – leadership, dedication, contribution to the community and a true champion of the local tourism industry.  Previous winners include Rick Beamer, general manager of the Dobbin House Tavern; Andy Larson, former owner of Larson’s Quality Inn and a founding member of the Gettysburg Travel Council; Paul Witt, owner of the Quality Inn Battlefield and the Best Western Gettysburg; Nancie Gudmestad, owner of the Shriver House Museum; Terry Fox, Licensed Battlefield Guide and leadership developer; and Jacqueline White, owner of the Dobbin House Tavern. Nominations for the “Jim Getty Spirit of Gettysburg Award” are open to anyone who is a contributor, or has contributed in the past, to the tourism community of Adams County. Visit www.gettysburgtourismworks.com/jim-getty-award.html to submit a nomination, print a nomination form or learn more about the award. Printed applications can be submitted to Karl Pietrzak, President & CEO of Destination Gettysburg, at karl@DestinationGettysburg.com. The deadline to make a nomination is Friday, Feb. 15. The Jim Getty Spirit of Gettysburg Award will be presented at Destination Gettysburg’s Annual Meeting on March 21, 2023. Destination Gettysburg promotes Gettysburg-Adams County as a premier travel destination to benefit and enhance our community by sharing history and creating new experiences.

LASD school lunch deficits approach $22,000; Board welcomes new member Chris Paul

With a looming January deficit of nearly $22,000 for cafeteria lunches, Littlestown Area School District (LASD) Superintendent Chris Bigger reminded parents to bring their accounts current. “We have a lot of people who have account balances in the $50 range,” he said about the more than 500 delinquent accounts. This number accounts for nearly half of the LASD students who eat lunch in the cafeteria. Bigger said he had not seen a deficit this large in his nearly eight years working in the school system. In fact, he recalls nothing larger than $5,000 in any one month. Asked why the problem has escalated this school year, Bigger blamed it on mixed messages from the media regarding free lunches since the Covid pandemic. “For the last two years of the pandemic, all lunches were free,” explained Bigger. He reminded parents that while breakfasts continue to be offered free of charge, lunches are not. The deficit began in October at more than $17,000 and has risen since then. This curve is not unusual according to Bigger, who says the pattern normally is that deficits begin in the fall, grow throughout the winter months, and then decline again in spring. “If people are paying down their balances, there’s no issue,” he added, but reminded parents that those accounts not paid by the end of the school could go to collections. The board approved a cafeteria deficit report along with a breakdown addendum indicating how the deficit has been growing since October. Chris Paul was welcomed as the newest member of the LASD school board. A former LASD alum, football coach, and Littlestown business owner is replacing outgoing board member Yancy Unger. In other business: The board approved the waiver of expulsion hearings for two high school students who were suspended for one calendar year, following an inciting incident Dec. 14. While Bigger couldn’t give details, he said a suspension such as this one is rare for the district and would most likely result from infractions around safety, weapons, or drugs. He gave as an example that something like this could happen if a student walked into a crowded cafeteria and announced they had a bomb in their backpack because of the safety concern that would ensue from panicked students. The two students will have options to continue their education until next December online or at an alternative school. Policy 340, Responsibility for Student Welfare was approved on first reading by the board. The policy authorizes administrative, professional, and classified employees to have the proper oversight of and accountability for students’ welfare. Every employee has a duty to immediately report any incidents, safety hazards, unsafe or dangerous conditions, or violations of district safety regulations to the building principal or other designated employees.” Other draft policies reviewed include 006-Meeings, 137.1-Extracurricular Participation by Home Education Students and 827-Conflict of Interest. With LASD’s new building about to begin construction at the end of the summer, Bigger announced there will be a lot of on-the-ground research conducted to ascertain best practices in already established grades six-to-twelve facilities. “We will go out and visit those schools to basically get some good ideas and bring them back,” he said. “We’ll be focusing on the programming side, not the bricks and mortar. A larger presentation will occur in late summer or early fall to have our ideas vetted and ready to share with you,” he added. Seniors over 65 who volunteer in the LASD buildings in academics or as tutors may receive tax breaks or incentives as a thank-you. “This is an interesting concept, program, and idea,” Bigger said. Income-based, the idea is that volunteers who work on a regular schedule once or twice a week would be offered these tax breaks. “It’s not good to go yet, but we are exploring it,” Bigger added. Dr. Eric Naylor reported on the Health and Safety Plan approved in March 2022. The safety committee, composed of administration, teachers, and staff, meets monthly to ensure academic excellence, student-centered decision-making, the social and emotional well-being of students and staff, and the delivery of an agile and flexible instructional model. “We focus on student safety and review any incidents that may have occurred to make sure our protocols and practices are in place,” Naylor said. He said the committee assesses all buildings within LASD. “We’re pretty comprehensive in what we take a look at,” he added. Committee members must also participate in yearly training to ensure facilities and classroom environments follow safety protocols. “We make sure all classrooms are safe for everyone to go into every day,” he commented. According to committee chair Yancy Unger, the Adams County Technical Institute has approved a comprehensive plan with a feasibility study still in the works. Addressing a comment from one board member, Superintendent Bigger said enrollment has continued to rise at the school of technology, especially among LASD students. “We don’t need more students. We need more seats,” he explained. “We are getting other schools’ seats to accommodate our students.” Students of the month were applauded at the beginning of the board meeting. They include Layne Bernardi, second grade, and Carter Windsor, fifth-grade students from ACES. Brandon, Kabrick, sixth-grade student from MAMS, and LHS seniors Hannah Hitchner and Dylan Smeak were also recognized. Parents are invited to join an established focus group of school employees to look at various calendar formats for ensuing years. Earlier this fall, a school-year calendar with every other Monday off was presented at a staff work session. It created some enthusiasm and concern regarding its possible effect on childcare and length of day. The focus group will look at each type of calendar presented and make recommendations from their findings.   

Kicking off the new year by cleansing your body with a detox diet? A dietitian unpacks the science behind these fads

Taylor Grasso, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Detox diets are often touted as a way to cleanse the body after the excess food and drinks that come with the holidays. These diets promise quick results and can particularly entice people around the new year, when there tends to be a renewed focus on health and lifestyle habits. There are a few different types of detox diets: fasting, juice cleanses, eating only certain foods, using dietary commercial detox supplements or “cleansing” the colon with enemas or laxatives. Most of these diets have a few things in common: They are short-term and aim to eliminate allegedly toxic substances from the body. Typically, these diets include a period of fasting followed by an extremely restrictive diet for a number of days. As a registered dietitian, I have seen clients attempt detox diets and experience a slew of negative side effects, including developing a negative relationship with food. Research shows that there is little evidence to support the use of detox diets and that they are not needed anyway. The body is well-equipped to eliminate unwanted substances on its own, without expensive and potentially harmful supplements sold by the nutrition and wellness industry. https://www.youtube.com/embed/DESCcjSQSKY?wmode=transparent&start=0 Doing a cleanse doesn’t “clean your pipes” – and it may do harm. About toxins What are toxins – and how do they get into the body in the first place? Internal toxins include natural byproducts created by the body during metabolism, such as lactic acid, urea and waste from the gut microbes. External toxic exposures enter the body through eating, drinking, breathing or penetration of the skin. These can come in the form of air pollutants, food or water contaminated with chemicals or heavy metals, household products such as laundry detergent and even beauty products like facial cleansers, body wash and makeup. The body’s built-in detoxification system includes the liver and kidneys, with assistance from the lungs, lymphatic system, digestive tract and skin. Briefly, the liver breaks down harmful substances, which are then filtered out through the kidneys. The digestive tract also expels them through bowel movements. But our bodies aren’t always functioning optimally. That’s why a proper diet and improved lifestyle behaviors, such as increased exercise and sleep, may have a significant – and positive – impact on the body’s detoxification system. Having a diverse microbiome and an abundance of healthy gut bacteria also helps to rid the body of harmful substances. Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and cultured dairy products can benefit gut health. These foods contain probiotics, which are the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Another category, called prebiotic foods, are also beneficial for gut health. They provide nutrition and energy for the healthy probiotics in the gut and are high in fiber. Examples of prebiotic foods are whole grains and fruits and vegetables, particularly bananas, greens, onions and garlic. The potential harms of detox diets Through glossy and pervasive advertising, detox diets perpetuate a quick-fix mindset about weight and body image rather than promote lifestyle changes that are sustainable for a lifetime. Although proponents claim that detox diets and juice cleanses lead to weight loss, improved liver function and overall better health, research shows they have little to no effect. What’s more, they can lead to side effects, including headaches, fatigue, weakness, fainting and irritability. However, studies show there is some evidence that certain foods and spices, such as coriander, may enhance the body’s natural detoxification pathways. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, other foods that may give the body’s own detox system a boost include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, berries, artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks and green tea. Eating adequate amounts of lean protein may also benefit the body’s natural system by maintaining adequate levels of glutathione, the body’s master detoxification enzyme, or catalyst. Glutathione is an enzyme produced by the liver that is involved in numerous processes within the body including building and repairing tissues, assisting in the natural detoxification process and improving immune system function. A handful of clinical studies have shown increased liver detoxification with a commercial detox diet or supplements, but these studies have flawed methodologies and small sample sizes and are often done on animals. In addition, supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as food and drugs are. They can be put on the shelf without full evaluation of ingredients or proven efficacy, except in rare cases in which supplements are tested by a third party. In fact, some commercial supplements have raised so many health and safety issues that the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have taken legal action against the companies that make them to remove their products from the market. Some detox diets and programs can have serious side effects, particularly those including laxatives or enemas, or those that restrict intake of solid foods. These approaches can lead to dehydration, nutrient deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances. In addition, diets that severely restrict certain foods or food groups usually don’t lead to lasting weight loss. Instead, these types of diets often put the body into “starvation mode.” That means that rather than burning calories, your body holds on to them to use as energy. Doing that repeatedly over a long period can lead to a chronic decrease in metabolism, which means that the number of calories you burn at rest may slowly decrease over time. This can make it more difficult to lose weight and balance blood sugar. It can also leave people more susceptible to chronic metabolic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bw43Ldk6tK0?wmode=transparent&start=0 There’s very little evidence that detox diets remove harmful substances from your body. A healthy lifestyle, without the detox diet Focusing on sustainable lifestyle shifts can make a huge difference – and unlike a detox diet, actually work. Number one, eat a balanced diet. Aim to eat mostly whole grains, lean protein choices, fruits and vegetables of many colors, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds. This way, you’re getting a variety of nutrients, antioxidants and a good amount of fiber. Number two, hydrate. For women, the recommended daily water intake by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is 11½ cups; for males, it’s 15½ cups. However, you get about 20% of that total from food, which leaves nine cups for women and 13 cups for men as the daily recommended water intake. This is comparable to 4½ 16-ounce water bottles for women and 6½ 16-ounce water bottles for men. Lastly, move your body in a way that you enjoy. The more you enjoy being active, the more likely it will become a routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes, or 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. Focusing on these types of long-term, sustainable healthy habits is the key to weight loss and overall health and wellness. Taylor Grasso, Registered Dietitian, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

HAPBI honors Jolin’s dedication

Healthy Adams Bicycle Pedestrian Inc. Board Member Eric Meyer, right, honors outgoing board member Tom Jolin for his work on the Gettysburg Inner Loop.

Tom Jolin advocates for the Gettysburg Inner Loop with patience, kindness and a smile. If you have spoken to Jolin in the last 18 years, he undoubtedly mentioned the project. The loop is a bicycle and pedestrian path that surrounds Gettysburg with signage, bike racks and road markings. Healthy Adams County Bicycle Pedestrian Inc. (HAPBI) built the path with Jolin as its biggest cheerleader on two wheels. More than 50 people gathered in the Gettysburg Area Rec Park’s Charlie Sterner Building on Jan. 11 to recognize Jolin for his work. “His vision continues to inspire others for continued action,” HAPBI board member Eric Meyer read from a plaque that will hang on Middle Street recognizing Jolin’s work. Former Gettysburg Council President Susan Naugle has volunteered side-by-side with Jolin for years. The council didn’t fully understand bike paths when Naugle took office in 2008 so Jolin attended many meetings to educate them. Thanks to his others’ persistence, the Gettysburg path was started before many other communities understood the value. “The competition is fierce for these dollars now and it has gotten harder and harder to get the money,” Naugle said. Jolin credited his friends and family for Gettysburg Inner Loop’s success. “You feel so rich when you are around nice people,” Jolin said. “You are all such nice people with such giving personalities.” Gettysburg Borough Council President Judy Butterfield wished Jolin well and said that even though his time with HAPBI is complete, his kind demeanor will continue to benefit the community. “Keep smiling,” Butterfield said. Featured image caption: HAPBI Board Member Eric Meyer, right, presents fellow Board Member Tom Jolin with a picture of a plaque that will hang on Middle Street recognizing Jolin’s work on the Gettysburg Inner Loop Project. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes) Learn more about Gettysburg’s latest trail proposal

Beauchat seeks re-election to the bench

District Magistrate Mark Beauchat

Mark Beauchat believes he is a better judge than he was when he took office in 2000. A previous law career mixed with life experiences prepared him to know the law but sitting on the bench for 22 years taught him how to talk to anyone who walks into his courtroom, he said recently in his Butler Township home. “My job isn’t to talk at people, it is to communicate with people,” Beauchat said. “You cannot communicate with people if you don’t understand the person.” The 58-year-old district magistrate will seek re-election this year to serve District 51-3-04, which includes Arendtsville, Bendersville, Biglerville, Carroll Valley and Fairfield boroughs and Butler, Cumberland, Franklin, Liberty, Menallen, Highland, Hamiltonban, and Freedom townships. Magisterial district judges handle traffic cases, minor criminal cases, and civil cases involving amounts up to $12,000. Beauchat says his caseload has steadily increased since he took office, with driving under the influence and computer-related crimes making up the bulk of his work. District magistrates are often the only judge a citizen encounters, he said. He tries to treat them with respect so they have a good impression of the court system. “I love being able to be part of making the community better and safer,” he said. He credits law enforcement officers for their dedication to their profession. “Adams County is blessed by having very good municipal officers and state police troopers,” he said. Judges can cross-file, so his name will appear on the Republican and Democratic Primary Election Ballots.  Anyone seeking to challenge Beauchat must have lived in the district for one year and be at least 21 years old. Nomination petitions will be available Feb. 14 and due March 8. Featured image: District Magistrate Mark Beauchat is seeking his fifth term in office. (Submitted Photo)

Racists defile historic Cumberland Twp. bridge

Racist language covers a historic bridge in Cumberland Township. A cyclist riding over the John Eisenhower Bridge on Water Works Road in Cumberland Township recently found several racist words and a Nazi symbol painted on the structure, Patrolman Ryan Eiker wrote in a press release. The graffiti was reported Tuesday, Eiker reported, and discovered last week.  The graffiti is being treated as criminal mischief and a hate crime, Eiker reported. Anyone with information should contact Adams County Dispatch at 717-334-8101. The FBI defines a hate/bias crime as a committed criminal offense that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.  Hate crimes can carry extra penalties for perpetrators. Cumberland Township will work with Adams County officials to remove the graffiti, Eiker wrote, and with Pennsylvania State Police Heritage Affairs to investigate the crime. The county-owned bridge was constructed in 1886 and severely damaged more than a century later during the flood of 1996.  The township and Adams County partnered with the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee and family of Tim Shields to restore the bridge in 2012. It has been a pedestrian bridge since its restoration. Photo credits: Alex Hayes (bridge sign); Steve Niebler (graffiti).

Apple growers compete for prizes in Harrisburg

Apple farmers from Adams County are displaying their produce at the 107th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. The show will continue this weekend. Entries in the apple category include a long list of fruit samples from numerous growers competing for prizes. The format allows each grower to enter multiple varieties. There are hundreds of submissions and dozens of blue ribbons have already been awarded. The most prestigious award is “Best of Show,” won this year by Cory McCleaf of Cherry Hill Orchards in Lancaster County.  The apple displays allow growers to remind consumers that apples are grown in Pennsylvania and not just in Washington State.  “It is certainly our best opportunity to promote Pennsylvania apples,” said Phil Baugher from Adams County Nursery, Inc. The apple exhibit is managed by the State Horticulture Association of Pennsylvania which represents the horticulture industry, mostly tree fruit and small fruit growers.  The Farm Show has exhibits of many crops, including potatoes, onions, mushrooms, Christmas trees, cut flowers, pork, poultry, and more. Many of the farm animal, dairy cows, steers, hogs, and horses are entered by 4H members and high school FFA students.  These entries are also judged and awarded prizes. The first Pennsylvania Farm Show was held in 1917 and is considered one of the largest indoor Agriculture Shows in the world.

SCCAP’s finances are stable, but many challenges lie ahead.

Megan Shreve, Executive Director of South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP), addressed the state of SCCAP and issues affecting the county in a recent presentation to the members of in a recent presentation to the members of the county’s advocacy group, Democracy for America. Saying SCCAP’s condition is currently very, Shreve said financial stability has improved significantly in recent years, with stable funding for some programs and additional stability provided by the endowment funds received through the Giving Spree. Shreve said SCCAP has also developed a strong management team, relieving her of many duties that were piled on her desk until recently. One challenge includes funding shortages for the Food Pantry. “We receive less funding and are serving more people,” said Shreve. Despite an unprecedented housing construction boom, affordable housing isn’t being built in any quantity, leading Adams County to face a chronic shortage of affordable housing. Adams County’s rental vacancy rate is very low, rental property is very expensive, and many simply cannot find shelter. “We don’t have many Section 8 vouchers compared to the need but even many of those vouchers don’t get used because the patron can’t find housing,” said Shreve. The housing shortage has widespread effects. For example, stays at the Homeless Shelter become longer because residents can’t find housing. It also affects the county’s ability to attract new employers. “Employers want to know that their employees will be able to find housing at an affordable price,” said Shreve. Shreve agreed that as Gettysburg College moves more students into college housing more property could come back onto the rental market, which could ease the rental situation. “We plan to talk to some of those landlords to see if they’ll accept vouchers,” said Shreve. One problem facing some county residents is that as pandemic-related benefits phase out, more signs of poverty, such as homeless shelter and food pantry usage, and renters falling behind on rent, are beginning to crop up. The extraordinary sums made available for rental assistance were an outstanding success but are phasing out. While many tenants and landlords have been assisted by the program, it is possible there will be an increase in evictions. SCCAP also administers the @Home Coalition, which brings together local government organizations, nonprofits, and citizens to discuss solutions to affordable housing, workforce, and transportation. A particular concern is ridership on the Adams County-Hanover Connector. This outstanding service was started by Rabbit Transit largely as a result of advocacy by @ Home. While its users are enthusiastic about the service, ridership has not been adequate to sustain the service once the trial period is completed.

Alcohol use is widely accepted in the US, but even moderate consumption is associated with many harmful effects

Christina Mair, University of Pittsburgh This month, millions of Americans are taking part in “Dry January” in an effort to forgo alcohol for a month and cleanse themselves of the excesses of the holiday season. Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world, including in the U.S. In 2020, nearly 70% of people ages 18 and older in the U.S. said they had consumed an alcoholic drink in the previous year, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Additionally, 24% of people reported binge drinking – defined for women as four or more drinks per occasion and five or more drinks per occasion for men – in the previous month. The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it important changes in alcohol consumption. One nationally representative sample found that while the number of people who reported drinking in the past year remained consistent from 2019 to 2021, the number of people consuming alcohol every day increased from 6.3% to 9.6%. Partially because alcohol is such a commonly used substance, heavily marketed and glamorized in pop culture, Americans’ comfort with and acceptance of its use in everyday life is remarkably high. But should it be? I research alcohol use and the associations between drinking and a wide range of problems. While the rising opioid epidemic has received a lot of attention in recent years, the number of deaths attributable to alcohol each year is on par with the overall number of annual deaths from drug overdose, with both increasing rapidly in the past few years. https://www.youtube.com/embed/2v7W64rmtqQ?wmode=transparent&start=0 Having even one drink a day can have a negative effect on your health. What about moderate drinking? In the past two decades, the idea that moderate drinking may actually confer health benefits has taken hold, backed up by some preliminary and limited evidence. This led to the broad notion in the popular media that a glass of red wine a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But there was one major flaw in many of the studies used to back up the claim that a glass of red wine is good for health. They compared those who drink at moderate levels to people who consume no alcohol whatsoever, rather than comparing those who drink heavily versus at lower levels. There are many reasons why people who drink at moderate levels may be fundamentally different – and healthier – than those who do not drink at all. For example, many people who develop new illnesses unrelated to their alcohol use quit drinking, making the group of alcohol abstainers appear less healthy than those who consume alcohol at low or moderate levels. In 2018, the National Institutes of Health initiated a large randomized control trial – the gold standard for understanding causal relationships – to look into the benefits of moderate drinking. That trial was designed to pick up the heart benefits of consuming one drink a day, but was not going to be able to detect the negative consequences of moderate alcohol use, such as increases in breast cancer. Because of its inability to pick up on known alcohol-related harms and concerns that the study was co-funded by the alcohol industry, the trial was halted after a few months https://www.youtube.com/embed/GySPkogSYLg?wmode=transparent&start=0 A landmark 2022 study found that even low levels of alcohol consumption can be dangerous. Alcohol’s link to cancer and other harms Thanks to lobbying by the powerful alcohol industry, alcohol’s dangers may be underplayed and its benefits exaggerated. There are many well-established problems with drinking even at moderate levels that likely outweigh any potential benefits. Alcohol is the third-leading cause of premature death in the U.S. and one of the leading modifiable causes of death worldwide, while receiving some of the least media and policy attention. Worryingly, the number of deaths attributed to alcohol increased by 25% between 2019 and 2020 – a faster rate of increase than for the percentage increase in all deaths – 17% – in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. These rates increased most rapidly among people ages 25 to 44. The lifetime prevalence of alcohol use disorder – defined as an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational or health consequences – is nearly 30%. In other words, nearly a third of the population has been severely impacted by their drinking at some point in their lifetime. Alcohol use, even at low levels, is linked to a number of cancers, including breast, colorectal, liver and esophagus. Alcohol contributes to approximately 75,000 cancer cases and 19,000 cancer deaths per year. Furthermore, a recent study found that more than 50% of adults in the U.S. are unaware of the cancer-related risks of alcohol consumption. Alcohol also causes a number of serious harms to others, many of them violence-related. These include increased risk of child maltreatment, physical abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual assaults and gun violence. Alcohol-involved traffic fatalities in the U.S. – after several decades of decreasing – ticked up by 14% to 11,654 in 2020. Disparities in alcohol-related consequences The effects of alcohol are not felt equally by all: The most vulnerable among us suffer the greatest consequences. In the U.S., Black and Latino people who drink experience a greater number of social consequences from drinking than white people who drink, particularly among groups who consume alcohol at low levels. These consequences include arguments or fights, accidents and workplace, legal and health problems. In addition, studies show that adolescents who report minority sexual orientation tend to start drinking at younger ages and continue to binge drink more frequently as adults. These differences in alcohol-related problems at the same level of alcohol consumption contribute to disparities in many other health outcomes for these populations. Raising taxes and drinking age could offset harms There are a number of things the U.S. could do to reduce the burden of alcohol consumption through public policy. One proven effective policy includes increasing alcohol excise taxes, which are selective sales taxes on the purchase of alcohol. Other policies that have been shown to be effective include restrictions on the number of stores that sell alcohol, restrictions on hours of sale and increases in the minimum legal drinking age from 18 to 21. While the current minimum drinking age in the U.S. is 21, prior to 1984 the minimum drinking age varied from state to state, with some states allowing drinking as early as age 18. While the alcohol industry often stands against many of these policies and regulations, they are relatively easy to implement. Despite this, in the U.S., alcohol control policies have been in decline over the past several decades, with many states moving to privatize alcohol sales – in direct opposition to what experts know can reduce alcohol-related harms. Privitization, which removes state monopolies on alcohol sales, greatly increases per capita alcohol sales and consumption. Although alcohol plays a pivotal role in American culture, in my view the undisputed consequences of drinking make it unwise to recommend alcohol as a path to better health and well-being. As I see it, the small reductions in cardiovascular disease that are questionably linked to low levels of consumption are hardly offset by the sizable harms of alcohol on individual and population health. This is an updated version of an article originally published on July 9, 2018. Christina Mair, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is set for January 16

man statue under white clouds during daytime

“From The Mountaintop,” the 41st annual Adams County Celebration of the life and work of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will take place at 7 p.m. at Christ Chapel, Gettysburg College, at 325 N. Washington Street. The event will feature two keynote speakers. Mayor Rita Frealing made history in 2021 when she became Gettysburg’s first African American and woman to sit as Mayor. With over 20 years of professional experience, Mayor Frealing has been a key figure in Pennsylvania state and local government, campaigns, and fundraisers. She also served on the Board of the Greater Harrisburg NAACP and was on the Board of the Gettysburg YWCA. A graduate of St. Francis Xavier School and Gettysburg High School, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University and her Law Degree from Dickinson Law School.  Attorney Taurean Moses is the first African American member of the Adams County Bar Association, where he is its Vice President. After graduatingfrom Gettysburg Area High School, Shippensburg University, and Widener Commonwealth Law School, he is currently an Associate Attorney at Law with Entwistle & Roberts, PC, specializing in Criminal Law and Family Law. He is Vice President of the Adams County Human Relations Commission, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Adams County Bar Foundation.  Also featured will be music by the Biglerville High School Jazz Band, Brownsville Church of God Worship Team, Gettysburg Children’s Choir & Chamber Chorale. In addition, the annual “Living The Dream” award in recognition of a community member or group who is living out the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism will be presented, co-sponsored by the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and the United Way of Adams County, is awarded to the winner. Additional sponsors of From The Mountaintop The 41st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration are the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) and Gettysburg College.

Local stars to dance for YWCA, Arts Council

Local stars will shine on the Majestic stage on Fri., Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. during Dancing with the Local Stars presented by WellSpan Health. The annual event is a fundraiser for the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and Adams County Arts Council. Local stars have worked with professional choreographers for months to learn two dances. The teams will be: ·        Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center Executive Director Peter Miele and Denice Staub ·        Feline veterinarian Lisa Wolkind and Bruce Moore ·        WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital President Michael Cogliano, Sr. and Rachel Smith ·        WellSpan Health Educator Yeimi Bautista and Frank Hancock ·        Gettysburg Area High School Principal Jeremy Lusk and Brienna Smith Ernie’s Texas Lunch Owner Ernie Kranias, Professional Dancer Dawn Glass, and Majestic Theater Founding Executive Director Jeffrey Gabel will provide color commentary as judges but the audience will decide the winner. Mark Purdy, former YWCA coordinator of special events and public relations, will emcee the event.  Local tap dancers “The Sequined Sirens,” under the direction of Vanessa Rice, and The Edge Dance Complex Performing Company, under the direction of Brittany Swartz, are featured guests. Tickets for the show are available by contacting the Majestic box office, 717-337-8200 or www.gettysburgmajestic.org. Featured image caption: Pictured are the stars and professional choreographers who will perform in Dancing with the Local Stars on the Majestic stage Jan. 13.

HABPI Announces Public Celebration of Tom Jolin’s Community Service

Gettysburg, PA—Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) invites the community to attend a celebration of Tom Jolin’s 18 years of dedicated service on its Board.  Jolin is a founder of HABPI. The reception will be on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Charlie Sterner Building at the Gettysburg Recreation Park, 545 Long Lane, Gettysburg. Light refreshments will be served.  A long-time resident and dedicated community activist, Jolin has been a tireless advocate for “active transportation,” which includes walking and bicycling. He previously served as Executive Director of the Adams County Housing Authority.  He is also a gifted musician well known for his many performances in the community and beyond.  HABPI is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 2005 to develop safe, accessible walking and bicycling trails or paths in Adams County for recreation, transportation, and improved health. Since 2007, HABPI has worked with community partners to plan and develop the Gettysburg Inner Loop (GIL).  When complete, the GIL will be a 5.5-mile, environmentally friendly, and safe path for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel around the borough. The GIL is about half complete.  HABPI President Eric Meyer said, “it would be difficult to overstate the impact that Tom Jolin has had on our community. We owe him the deepest gratitude for his tireless service.”  Before helping to form HABPI, Jolin served on the Physical Fitness Taskforce for Healthy Adams County.  He realized that a separate organization was needed to promote and develop multiuse trails and infrastructure to make it safer for residents and visitors to walk and bicycle in the county.  Jolin formed partnerships with numerous county organizations to promote active transportation and secure grants and donations for development of trails and infrastructure.   Jolin has worked hard to get residents, especially children, more physically active so they would not fall victim to obesity, a chronic problem in our community and beyond.  His partnerships with the National Park Service’s  Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, the Borough of Gettysburg, and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources eventually led to development of the Gettysburg Inner Loop (GIL) trail system.  Jolin worked tirelessly to help the Borough get the grants needed to create the GIL.   As HABPI’s founding president, Jolin taught other HABPI board members how to secure funding and participated in numerous community events to explain HABPI’s mission and accomplishments. He developed fruitful partnerships with the Gettysburg Schools, WellSpan, Destination Gettysburg, the Robert C. Hoffman Endowment Trust, and Rotary, among others.  He was a frequent participant in meetings of the Adams County Transportation Planning Organization and often met with the Adams County Commissioners and staff of the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, seeking opportunities for active transportation in the county.  Contact: Lex McMillan, lmcmillan49@gmail.com, 610-207-1674

Mayor Frealing honored by Democratic women

Gettysburg Mayor Rita Frealing was honored as an outstanding elected Democratic woman at the annual Pennsylvania Democratic Women’s Federation brunch in Harrisburg in November 2022.  The organization honors currently elected women from across the Commonwealth who are nominated by their local chapter.  Mayor Frealing was nominated by the Adams County Federation of Democratic Women for her past experience at the state level and her current position as the first female Mayor of Gettysburg.  The mayor received her award from PA Federation President Dianne Gregg.

Gettysburg resident Lex McMillan publishes a book about golfing along the Lewis and Clark Trail

Former Gettysburg College Vice President and Gettysburg resident Lex McMillan has published his first book, “Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America,” which chronicles his 40-day road trip along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail during which he learned a lot about U.S. history, interviewed many people, and played 16 rounds of golf. The book explores topics such as the American immigrant experience, our genocidal treatment of the Indigenous People, the rise of the “rural cemetery” movement in the mid-19th century, the meaning of Mount Rushmore, the ghost of sex trafficking in Williston, Montana, as well as deep dives into St. Louis, the two Kansas Cities, and Astoria, Oregon. The Lewis and Clark trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806 which extends from Pittsburg to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. “It’s a well-marked system of roads that parallels the path Lewis & Clark took,” said McMillan. McMillan made the trip in 2017, calling ahead to golf pro shops and asking to be paired with local golfers. On the course, he asked people what they most appreciated about the United States, what they worried about for the United States, and what they would change to make the United States a better country. He also wrote reviews of the golf courses he played. “I took a very liberal version of the route in order to hit some excellent golf courses,” he said. McMilllan said he remembered many comments from his playing partners, including a Canadian golfer in North Dakota who told him the U.S. Constitution “was the most brilliant document in all human history.” His informants also tended to agree that social media exaggerated political differences and created conflict. McMillan said he was inspired to take the trip when former Gettysburg College president Gordon Haaland gave him a copy of Steven E. Ambrose’s book “Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America’s Wild Frontier.” “It was a mystery to me.  I just wanted to take a trip,” he said. “Like all golfers as they approach their next shot, the ‘undaunted courage’ of Lewis and Clark was rooted in hope.  Playing golf along the trail gave me an opportunity to indulge a passion while digging more deeply into the communities along the trail,” McMillan said. “Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America” is published by Path Finder books and is available on Amazon.

Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest during ‘Monday Night Football’ could be commotiocordis or a more common condition – a heart doctor answers 4 questions

Wendy Tzou, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Damar Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, collapsed on the field during a Monday night football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2, 2023. Medical staff gave Hamlin CPR and shocked him with a defibrillator, restarting his heart’s normal rhythm. News outlets immediately began speculating that Hamlin may have suffered from commotio cordis – a potentially lethal stoppage of the heart caused by a strong impact to a person’s chest. The next day, the Bills announced that Hamlin had indeed experienced “cardiac arrest” but did not confirm whether the cause was commotio cordis. Dr. Wendy Tzou is Associate Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and was watching the game when Hamlin collapsed. The Conversation asked Tzou four questions about what may have happened. Her answers are adapted below. 1. What is commotio cordis? Commotio cordis can happen to a person with a normal heart and occurs when a blunt trauma to a person’s chest – often while playing sports – leads to cardiac arrest where their heart stops pumping blood. Commotio cordis typically occurs in children and adolescents. The impact needs to be forceful and occur at a very particular moment in the heart’s electrical cycle. When this happens, the normally well-organized electrical signals that control the heart become chaotic. The uncoordinated electrical pulses cause the heart, and in particular the large blood-pumping chambers called the ventricles, to twitch and spasm in what is known as ventricular fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia. When a heart is in ventricular fibrillation, it is no longer able to pump blood throughout a person’s body, and their organs begin to suffer damage due to lack of oxygen. Heart attacks, abnormal heart or artery structure, and many other issues can lead to ventricular arrhythmia. Regardless of the cause, if a person’s heart stops beating, the result can be deadly. 2. How can a physical impact cause a lethal arrhythmia? A single heartbeat is a very coordinated series of muscle contractions that are all controlled by precise electrical signals. After the muscles in a heart contract, they need to reset and prepare for the next beat. This process, called repolarization, involves moving electrically charged ions to different parts of a cell so that the cell can effectively contract when it receives an electrical signal. If a person gets hit in the chest during the fraction of a second that repolarization is occurring, the impact can trigger some of the electrical signals before the heart is ready. This disrupts the whole system, resulting in a chaotic electrical storm that throws the heart into spasms. https://www.youtube.com/embed/IFIu0QBwM0I?wmode=transparent&start=0 Commotio cordis is just one potential cause of ventricular arrhythmia, where the heart spasms and twitches instead of beating normally. 3. Are doctors sure it was commotio cordis? Although Hamlin was able to stand upright immediately after the impact, it was only briefly. It was clear from the way he collapsed without making any effort to protect himself that no blood was getting to his brain. The fact that he received CPR and a shock from a defibrillator also showed that he was experiencing an arrhythmia or electrical disturbance of the heart. But it is not possible to diagnose commotio cordis from a video alone. The reason many doctors are speculating that commotio cordis was the reason for Hamlin’s heart failure is that it occurred right after he collided with another player and that the impact could have been responsible. But, in most cases, a diagnosis is only made after an autopsy when all other potential causes of arrhythmia have been ruled out. Though more common among among children and adolescents than adult athletes, commotio cordis is so rare that it is hard to get reliable information on the number of occurrences. In a registry of patients who died from sudden arrhythmia in Minnesota, only 224 cases over a 15-year period were caused by commotio cordis. Usually when a healthy athlete experiences sudden cardiac arrest, the cause is one of two more common conditions. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is when the walls of a person’s heart thicken and can cause sudden arrhythmia with no prior symptoms. Roughly 1 in 200 U.S. residents have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A person usually inherits the condition and multiple family members are often affected, so many people are diagnosed well before they begin playing competitive sports. However, some cases do slip through the cracks, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is responsible for about 21% of sudden arrhythmia deaths in athletes. The second most common cause of fatal heart rhythms in athletes are abnormalities in the structure of a coronary artery. These abnormalities are present at birth and can compromise blood flow to the heart, sometimes resulting in issues during exercise. Around 1% of people have an issue with the structure of their coronary artery, and the problem is responsible for about 14% of cardiac deaths in athletes. 4. How can people protect themselves from sudden and fatal arrhythmia? Commotio cordis is a rare occurrence, but does happen in sports including boxing, baseball or football where blunt trauma directly to the chest is common. Appropriate precautions, like using chest padding, are the most effective way to prevent commotio cordis. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, coronary artery problems and other heart problems that may predispose someone to dangerous heart rhythms may be found through screening. Your doctor can offer advice on whether a screening could be beneficial to you or your family members. No matter the cause, if a person’s heart stops pumping blood and oxygen isn’t getting to their brain, time is everything. Call 911 and start CPR immediately to delay the onset of brain damage or death until a defibrillator can hopefully restart the heart’s normal rhythm. Wendy Tzou, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Secretary of Agriculture showcases must-see exhibits at 2023 PA Farm Show

Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined by canine companion Honey Bee, for a tour of the PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center today to showcase new features and returning favorites focused on progress at the 2023 Farm Show. On their tour, Redding and Honey Bee visited some must-see exhibits and encouraged Pennsylvanians to stop by them while at the show. The exhibits included: Conservation and Sunflower Exhibits, GIANT Expo Hall Take a look at how Pennsylvania farmers are protecting our precious soil and water resources, how home gardeners can do their part, and what role sunflowers can play not just as a stunning selfie backdrop, but in protecting our environment. Forrester Farm Equipment LTD Display, GIANT Expo Hall Check out the massive machines, including the New Holland FR Forage Cruiser, that will be on display, and learn about the high-tech farm equipment that helps farmers make progress in both efficiency and conservation. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement Booth, GIANT Expo Hall Stop by the Dog Law Enforcement table at the Farm Show and pick up a dog license application – love your dog, license your dog! Also stop by to see the sweet dogs that will be hanging around. Pennsylvania Hardwoods Exhibit/WoodMobile, Main Hall Learn about Pennsylvania hardwoods and their sustainability and take in their beauty at the refreshed hardwoods exhibit. And don’t forget to check out the fan favorite Pennsylvania WoodMobile to learn even more about the industry’s progress. So You Want to Be a Farmer Exhibit, Main Hall Visit the expanded So You Want to Be a Farmer exhibit in Main Hall for interactive info and fun for all ages. Pick the brains of professionals from the new PA Agriculture Business Development Center, PASA Sustainable Agriculture, Rodale, PA No-Till Alliance and more – your destination to feed your progress! World War II Homefront Window Display, Maclay Street Lobby, and WWII Display, GIANT Expo Hall We cannot make progress without first understanding history. See some WWII homefront posters to get a glimpse of the times, and plan to visit Space #2310 in the GIANT Expo Hall to see a WWII display commemorating the Pennsylvania Farm Show’s role during the war. Join us on Thursday, January 12 for Service Members, Veterans and their Families Day, which will feature the popular Army-Navy Cook-off at 1 p.m., as well as other cooking demonstrations and much more. For an up-to-date 2023 PA Farm Show schedule of events, visit the show’s website. 2023 Farm Show hours are as follows: Friday, January 6: Noon-9 p.m. (Food Court Only) Saturday, January 7: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, January 8: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, January 9: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, January 10: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, January 11: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, January 12: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, January 13: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, January 14: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.   The 2023 Farm Show will feature fun and educational experiences. Here are some of the top activities and stops: Kids can become Farm Show AgExplorers by visiting different stations as part of a unique program that teaches visitors of all ages about Pennsylvania agriculture through fun, interactive, and hands-on learning. If you can’t participate in person, check it out online. Visit the new Ag Immersion Lab, sponsored by GIANT in partnership with the PA Friends of Agriculture Foundation, in the GIANT Expo Hall for fun things for kids to see and learn.  Head over to Destination Dairy in Northeast Exhibit Hall to the Moo U interactive, STEM learning area with hands-on activities for kids with all ages. Families can check out goat snuggling each day in the New Holland Arena! Participate in Meet the Breeds to find out which dog is best for your family. Take a selfie with the sunflowers in the GIANT Expo Hall! Older kids and teenagers can participate in Judge Alongs for cookies, potatoes, floral arrangements, and more to learn about judging processes.  Check out the vendors in the New Holland Arena, where there will be face painting and lots of places to shop. After all the fun, grab a new orange cream milkshake and more delicious PA foods at the food court! Also, as a reminder, a nursing station will be located in the Cameron St. Lobby. Learn more about the 2023 Farm Show, the schedule, and how agriculture is Rooted in Progress at farmshow.pa.go

The First Adams County baby of 2023 has arrived

Wellspan Health has reported that the first baby born in Adams County in 2023 is Sutton Baker, weighing in at 6 pounds 14.3 ounces, and 19.25 inches in length. The birth was yesterday at 11:14 a.m. Sutton is the second daughter of Haley and Clinton Baker of New Oxford. “We’re excited for her to experience life with her siblings,” said Haley. “She was a little bit of a surprise for us.” Sutton joins the Baker’s older daughter, Aurora, who is 3. “She’s very excited to be a big sister,” said Haley. “We hope Sutton will fulfill all of her hopes and dreams. We’re going to do the best we can to help her succeed in life,” she said. WellSpan operates birthing units in their hospitals in Ephrata, Lebanon, York, Gettysburg, and Chambersburg.

Cultural Arts Calendar – January 2023

Dear Gettysburg Connection readers, It is our pleasure to introduce you to Gail Jones, who has volunteered to share with us a monthly roundup of some of the many musical, theatrical, and visual arts events that can be found in our community.  Gail’s goal is to remind us of the offerings in this culture-rich community and encourage us all to get out and support them. Welcome Gail and thank you! Happy New Year!  With the many cultural offerings in our community, why not attend something new this year?  There is nothing that compares with a live performance. Every month this column will highlight several local cultural events available to everybody, many of them at no cost. January 14 at 1:00 p.m. the Majestic Theater presents the opera Fedora by composer Umberto Giordano. This is a live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, and we will have one of the best seats in the house!  In fact, the broadcast host will explain the opera plot, interview a few of the stars, and often shows the backstage crew changing the sets or the costumers working.  These are things one doesn’t get to see very often, and it offers quite an interesting view of all that goes on to bring an opera production to life. Adults $25 – Seniors $23 – Students $17 January 15 at 3:00 p.m. Music! Gettysburg presents the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra Baroque Ensemble at the United Lutheran Seminary Chapel.  In its fifth decade, this organization delivers the best music in the world to greater Gettysburg free!  Plenty of free parking is also available.  This professional orchestra, conducted by Dr. Norman Nunamaker, will present a program specifically selected from Baroque composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel. It is truly remarkable to attend professional orchestra concerts of this caliber several times a year in a town of our size. Free-will offering January 16 at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The Gettysburg Majestic Theater presents the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing broadcast from National Theatre on the banks of the Thames River in London.   British actors are known for their high-quality training, and you may see some actors you recognize from films or PBS dramas. These broadcasts are the next best thing to being there and at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy some popcorn while watching the play. Tickets $21 January 27 at 12 p.m.  Gettysburg College’s Musselman Library will present their first “Notes at Noon” presentation of 2023 in the apse of the library.  Professor of Music Jocelyn Swigger will perform a piano recital showcasing the library’s collection of piano music by women composers, such as Florence Price, and other underrepresented composers.   The library provides free beverages and dessert, so bring your lunch and enjoy some beautiful music on a cold winter’s day.   Free

Paula Mathis wins fall 2022 photo contest

Congratulations to Paula Mathis. who has won the Connection’s Fall 2022 photo contest. Mathis’s photo was of colorful falling leaves. We’ll be featuring some of the runners-up in our Gettysburg Go! newsletters. Mathis wins a $50 gift certificate to the Adams County Arts Council. The Winter 2023 contest is now open — enter up to three photos between now and March 15. It may be a few days before your photos appear after you submit them. See winners of the past contests here. And good luck!

Pennsylvania State Police reminds pet owners of basic needs

tabby cat touching person's palm

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is reminding pet owners that they are required to provide the animals with basic needs, as defined by law, or face potential animal neglect and/or cruelty charges. “Basic needs include the proper sustenance to maintain a healthy body weight, as well as clean, unfrozen water to avoid dehydration,” said Corporal Michael Spada, PSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation Animal Cruelty Officer. “Animals need just as much water in the winter as they do in the summer for their bodies to process food and help keep the natural metabolism working.” Animals must also have access to an appropriate-sized shelter that provides protection from the weather, keeps the animal dry, and allows it to retain its body heat. The shelter must also be clean and sanitary. Veterinary care must be provided for pets in need of medical attention.  According to Title 18, Chapter 55, Subchapter B of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, there are certain requirements that must be met if tethering a dog outside. With the holiday season upon us, animals are often given as gifts and sometimes surrendered to shelters or rescues a few months later. To avoid this, consider the animal’s breed and inherent behavioral traits, its size as an adult and its needs as it gets older, and the costs to care for the animal, including veterinary expenses. All too often, “cute and cuddly” pets are forgotten as they grow and age.  Consider supporting your local shelters and rescues with donations and even adopting an older pet that needs a loving home.  For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.  MEDIA CONTACT:  Corporal Brent Miller, 717-783-5556, ra-pspcomm@pa.gov

County controller not seeking re-election

Adams County Controller John Phillips will not seek re-election in 2023. Phillips became the county’s second controller in 2020. The office was first created in 2012 as Adams County became a fifth-class county. Phillips said he and his wife Kim will relocate to New England after his term ends to be closer to their son, daughter-in-law, and new grandchild. The controller is the county’s bookkeeper, internal auditor, and makes all payments on behalf of the county. “I am indebted to the individuals who first asked me to run for the position, and the voters who trusted me in the role,” Phillips said, “because I am truly enjoying my term in office. In an era when so many levels of government are simply failing to be effective and responsible stewards for the taxpayers, Adams County is the opposite, delivering services efficiently.” Phillips went on to say that “The Controller is in a unique statutory position within county government, simultaneously working with the other elected officials to improve county fiscal management and effectiveness, while holding the mandate to audit those same elected officials and safeguard county funds. The best interest of the County is the essential measure.” Phillips said during his tenure, the controller’s office, in concert with other county departments, and with the support of the commissioners, county manager, county solicitor, treasurer, budget and purchasing department, and chief information officer, accomplished a number of significant goals, including receiving a fourth consecutive national award for financial reporting; correcting compliance and collection issues within the hotel tax program; improving utilization of historic preservation and economic development funds; strengthening policies for capital asset management and fiscal stewardship; cutting costs through implementation of juror debit cards; improving fiscal controls with electronic workflows; implementing electronic bidding to increase the county’s supplier base; and completing the County’s first asset inventory in two decades. In addition, Phillips said, financial system upgrades have been completed to allow implementing a county-wide accounts receivable system for tracking and collection of debts owed to the County, and an updated tax collection ordinance proposed to enhance accountability and cash flow. “These accomplishments are directly attributable to the superb staff of the Controller’s Office,” said Phillips.  “In 40 years of leading organizations within the United States Navy and Lockheed Martin, I have never enjoyed a more dedicated and professional staff, and I thank Deputy Controller Beth Cissel and her team for their commitment to the County and to the taxpayers it serves.”

Main Street Gettysburg receives Keystone Community Grant

(Gettysburg, Pa., December 28, 2022) – Main Street Gettysburg is pleased to announce their award of a Keystone Community Grant in the amount of $50,000.   Main Street Gettysburg applied to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the grant in order to support a local Façade Improvement Program. This is state funding from the Keystone Communities Program. The Façade Grant Program is a financial incentive program to help rehabilitate commercial buildings in the historic district of Gettysburg.  This is the fourth round of the Façade Grant Program administered by Main Street Gettysburg. The first three façade programs provided grants for 26 different projects, distributed $80,000, that incented $276,111.20 total in investments to our historic district.  “Main Street Gettysburg is excited to bring back this generous program to support local businesses in our historic district, “ said Main Street President Jill Sellers. “Main Street Gettysburg received an overwhelming response from local businesses regarding the program. Local interest and support were the driving forces behind the award.” Some of the basic guidelines include: ·     Buildings must be located within the historic district of Gettysburg Borough. ·     Applications must include project descriptions and estimates. ·     Only projects on the application are eligible. ·     Projects must be approved by the Historic Architecture Review Board (HARB)* ·     Projects require a 1:1 match, up to $5,000 ($10,000 total project). The award of the Keystone Communities Grant will provide assistance for the restoration and reinvestment in our historic downtown. Next step is the formal application process, which will begin in January. ABOUT MAIN STREET GETTYSBURG Main Street Gettysburg (MSG) was founded in 1984 as a non-profit organization to unite and lead the Gettysburg community in successful economic- and community-development projects to enhance the quality of life for Gettysburg and Adams County residents. The Main Street Gettysburg mission is to work with community partners for the historic preservation, economic revitalization, and overall enhancement of Gettysburg, and the organization oversees ambitious initiatives and economic-development strategies. Major accomplishments include a 10-year interpretive plan for historic preservation in the Borough of Gettysburg, which resulted in more than $55 million of downtown projects; the $7.5 million Steinwehr Avenue Revitalization Project, resulting in 29 new businesses in a five-year period that offered new jobs, additional ADA improvements and a safer and more beautiful neighborhood with updated infrastructure; the Main Street CARES Program that helped businesses reopen during the pandemic by providing free toolkits with handmade masks; latex gloves; homemade sanitizer; informational posters and social-distancing floor stickers to over 140 businesses; the Baltimore Street Project and the Gettysburg Welcome Center, which are both currently under consideration for federal funding. www.mainstreetgettysburg.org

Illinois will be the first state to eliminate cash bail. Here’s why women led the push for reform

Originally published by The 19th On January 1, Illinois will become the first state in the country to officially eliminate its cash bail system when the Pretrial Fairness Act goes into effect. Under the new system, a person will only be detained before trial if a judge determines that they pose a threat to others or have a likelihood of being a flight risk.  The measure — part of a 2021 omnibus criminal justice reform bill — was the fruit of years of organizing and advocacy work, much of which was led by women in the state who understood that ending money bail is a gender issue.  The cash bail system plays a role in the United States’ growing jail population. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the nation’s jails hold more than 400,000 people awaiting trial, a number that has nearly quadrupled since the 1980s. Many of them cannot afford to post bail. An increasing number of those jailed pretrial are women.  “The rate of female incarceration in jails is rising at a much faster rate than we want it to be,” said Sarah Staudt, a former defense attorney who is now the director of policy for the Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts. “We know that bail reform is necessary in terms of making sure that women who are arrested for crimes and have not yet been convicted have access to freedom while they’re fighting their cases.”  It is also often women — mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, girlfriends — who have to come up with the money for their jailed loved ones, which presents a financial burden. One leader who pushed for the change in Illinois is Tanya Watkins, the executive director of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL). The group, whose goal is to direct grassroots power toward social justice and improving life on the South Side of Chicago, became involved in the fight against money bail nearly a decade ago when leaders realized that many of the people they were working with had loved ones who were in jail because they could not afford to post their bail. “Many of these conversations, particularly the ones that I heard early on, I deeply related to,” Watkins said. “Some folks didn’t do anything, they were still there. Other folks did things to survive. At the same time, there were folks who were later convicted of rape or murder who were bonded out.” Although there were organizations like the Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) that were working to pay people’s bonds so they would not have to wait in jail pretrial, it became evident that this was only a temporary solution. Briana Payton, a policy analyst at CCBF, told The 19th that the organization became deeply involved in the campaign to end money bail, and helped secure plaintiffs for a lawsuit that challenged money bond in Cook County. The lawsuit paved the way for bail reform in the county in 2017. A study conducted afterward by Loyola University found that the change ultimately did not lead to a rise in violent crime.  “I think one thing that’s really powerful about this coalition and the reason that it’s been successful is that there’s been this inside and outside approach to change making,” said Payton, who helped with education efforts around the Pretrial Fairness Act. “We are willing to go through the means and systems that the system has put in place for us to request change, but then we also go into the streets to demand change and to say that is what our communities are demanding,” Payton said.  As Payton noted, the passage of the law came in the wake of the 2020 protests for racial justice, a time when people were looking for substantial change. State Sen. Robert Peters, the sponsor of the legislation, collaborated with various groups as he worked to ensure that concerns were addressed in the legislation.  “My colleagues and I, with input from the Coalition to End Money Bond, the States Attorneys Association, the Sheriff’s Association, and survivor advocates were able to create something that will change lives and reform the criminal justice system for the better. This is our generation carrying the torch for civil and human rights,” Peters said in a statement earlier this month.  Throughout the drafting of the law, it was clear that it would have both racial justice and economic implications, but bill authors also made sure to take gender into consideration, especially when looking at what the elimination of cash bail might mean for victims of gender-based crime.  Staudt, who was involved in drafting the law, told The 19th that advocates who work with survivors of gender-based violence were involved in the process. The Pretrial Fairness Act entitles survivors to be notified when their alleged perpetrator is scheduled for a detention hearing or pretrial release. This way they have time to create a safety plan for themselves.  “We were excited to partner with the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice to center the needs of survivors to ensure safety protections were included in the law,” said Amanda Pyron, the executive director of The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence.  Madeleine Behr, the policy manager at the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) was also deeply involved in shaping the language for the victim portions of the bill and pointed out that survivors of gender-based violence often found themselves detained as well. Noting that “issues of sexual exploitation and trafficking disproportionately affect Black women,” Behr emphasized that money bail would be very helpful for survivors. She said she got further involved in the drafting process to ensure that there were provisions in the law to  support victims.  Although there was little fanfare when the law was initially passed in 2021, as the law is about to go into effect, millions of dollars were poured into an online misinformation campaign that suggested that Illinois was instituting a purge law, and that those charged with serious, violent offenses would be immediately subject to release. The Civic Federation — a nonpartisan government research organization that works to maximize the quality and cost-effectiveness of government services in Chicago — debunked this claim.  The law’s supporters have also contended with recent pushback in the statehouse and among some law enforcement officials based on the potential effect on crime levels. While studies remain relatively small because many bail reform policies have only been in place a few years, a Prison Policy Initiative analysis suggested that, like in Cook County, crime levels stayed the same or decreased in states that loosened their bail laws, including Kentucky, New Mexico and New Jersey. Still, to combat the misinformation, Payton noted that the grassroots effort that helped to get the law passed was needed to further reach the public and explain to them what the law entails.  “Even once it passed, there was a need for education and defense of the law,” said Allie Lichterman, who began working as an organizer with The People’s Lobby, a grassroots organization that works to build support for progressive policies, shortly after the law passed. She was a part of a team of people who knocked on thousands of doors to talk to people face to face about the law. She found that the law received support even in communities where that might not have been expected.  “Even in conservative areas that people think are not going to be supportive of a law like this, if you go and talk to people face to face, and really come to them on a level of vulnerability and understanding and saying that you also care about public safety, and you understand their concerns are coming from a place of safety, that they’re really movable and willing to listen,” Lichterman said. 

County loses addiction recovery house operator

Residential addiction treatment services will soon be on hold in Adams County. The Recovery Advocacy Service Empowerment (RASE) Project, which was operating the county-owned Mercy House, will stop providing services at the end of this month, County Manager Steve Nevada said Wednesday. The county is seeking another provider, Nevada said. “We didn’t anticipate them ending services,” Nevada said. “They just said they cannot continue to operate. They said financially it did not work for them.” Colin Suber, RASE Project director of operations, said the problem began when RASE was unable to find a doctor for its medically-assisted recovery program. The program, Suber said, was expected to help fund the house’s operations. “I was disappointed that this had to happen. I am a person who likes to see things through,” Suber said. “I have always looked at Adams County as a challenge. Unfortunately, they are quite behind in the times when it comes to treatment services.” The agreement between RASE and the county states RASE was to pay the county $24,000 for the first five years of its 10-year lease. Rent was to then increase to $36,000 per year for the next five years. Nevada said he has contacted other providers and hopes services can resume soon. Those receiving services from RASE are being transitioned to other programs, Suber said. The Mercy House Recovery Center is located in a county-owned building at 45 W. High St., Gettysburg. It opened in May 2021 and provides support services to those in need of addiction treatment. The center offers medically-assisted recovery services, a recovery specialist program, counseling for those who recently survived an overdose, and support for family members of those suffering from addiction.  The center has accommodations for five men recovering from addiction. Apartments are single or double occupancy. Residents share bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. Residents must maintain first-shift employment, be on the road to recovery and attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. The Mercy House is a community collaboration, spearheaded by the county owning the building and providing parking and maintenance. It was funded almost completely with donations, including a $55,000 grant from the Adams County Community Foundation. Suber said physical donations made to the RASE Project, such as furniture and beds, will remain in Mercy House. “Hopefully everything that was donated can be reused,” he said.  RASE Project will continue to operate a warm handoff program in Adams County, which provides treatment specialists who respond to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital when an overdose patient checks into the hospital. The specialist provides the patient with treatment options available after they check out from the hospital. RASE will also continue to provide a specialist who will work with the county’s Children and Youth Services department.

Kristin Rice to retire after a long career in the county public defender’s office [Episode 67]

Kristin Rice, Adams County’s Chief Public Defender for the past 11 years, will retire on Dec. 31 to return to her private law practice. Rice has been working at Adams County since 2003. Her office includes three assistants who together handle about 1,000 new cases every year. The team provides legal representation to people, including juveniles, who are facing potential jail time, who are incarcerated, or who are being involuntarily committed due to mental health issues. In this podcast I talk with Rice about how she got into law and criminal justice, the types of cases she normally handles, the joys she has experienced when she made a difference in someone’s life, and the important role that mental health services play in the process. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a few seconds to support us by signing up for our weekly mailing list. Our podcasts are always free, but we could use your support to keep them coming. Our memberships start at just $4.99 per month, about the price of a cup of coffee at one of our local coffee shops.  It takes 5 minutes to become a Gettysburg Connection member.  Would you help out? Please, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. Musical Introduction by Thane Pittman.

Local author shares her book on Christian Nationalism

Orrtanna resident Pamela Cooper-White will lead a discussion on her 2022 book “The Psychology of Christian Nationalism: Why People Are Drawn In and How to Talk Across the Divide” on Friday Jan 6. from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Adams County Democratic Committee Office, 52 Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg. Cooper-White, PhD, MDiv, MA, PhD, LCPC, is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology & Religion at Union Seminary in New York City. For further information please call 717-337-5285.

Slideshow: Low temps don’t stop Santa runners

Christmas is centered on traditions, so the thermometer reading 6 degrees at 8 a.m. on Dec. 24 could not stop dozens of people from gathering at the Gettysburg Area Middle School for the town’s annual Santa Run. The run, organized by local resident Jen Daniels, is designed to bring people together and help others. Participants come bearing canned goods or monetary donations for the Gettysburg soup kitchen. Daniels shared a few words before the start, including a birthday shoutout to her father, Ken, who turns 82 on Christmas Day. The crowd then charged north on Baltimore Street and stopped at the Adams County Library for a group photo. Most wore layers to escape the cold but the Gettysburg Area High School wrestling team donned their skin-exposing singlets. Runners then forged their own path, with most choosing to loop around Lincoln Square and return to their warm cars at the middle school. Braver, or possibly crazier, souls traversed around Spangler’s Spring for a 3-mile excursion. A small group huddled into Gettysburg Eddie’s afterward for some holiday cheer. Anyone who missed the run but still wants to support the Soup Kitchen can do so at https://www.gettysburgsoupkitchen.org/

Gettysburg Hospital Nurses Brittany Mizenko and Kristina Morton receive Esther G. Little awards

Brittany Mizenko aspires to teach. Kristina Morton wants to provide the best care possible. Their shared passion for helping people along with their current pursuit of furthering their nursing education helped them both earn the 2022 Esther G. Little Nursing Scholarship from the Gettysburg Hospital Foundation. The scholarship was established in 2007 by local philanthropist Esther Little. The scholarship supports those pursuing an education in nursing with the intent to serve the local community. In 2021, Little passed away at age 96, after decades of giving to Gettysburg and surrounding communities. Like Esther, Brittany and Kristina have demonstrated philanthropic qualities outside of their healthcare roles. Brittany held various roles at local EMS departments and still maintains an EMT certification, while Kristina serves her community as a borough council member and is active in recreation programs. What sets them apart is the “why” behind chasing careers in healthcare. For Kristina, a CT technologist at WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital, her inspiration goes back to her mother’s cancer care journey. “When I was a senior in high school, my mother was going through chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer and the staff that supported her care journey at WellSpan York Hospital were incredible,” said Kristina. “I wanted to be one of those staff members that helped families get through a tough time and make the difficult times just a little more bearable.” Kristina is currently enrolled in the nursing program at HACC Gettysburg Campus and hopes to eventually obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She says the scholarship will help her focus more on her studies and afford her schooling. “This has allowed me to cut back on my part-time job and spend a lot of time and energy on my schoolwork. I feel this will make me a better nurse as I will have a better understanding and foundation of knowledge,” she said.   Meanwhile, Brittany has worn many hats as a clinical nurse including various roles across the Emergency Department at WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital. In addition to her primary nursing responsibilities, Brittany is a triage nurse, a student mentor, pharmacy/flu champion for the emergency department, and participates in several systemwide shared-decision committees. “It means a lot to be awarded this scholarship,” Brittany said. Brittany is currently working toward her master’s degree in nursing at Wilson College. Her goal is to become a clinical instructor at a local college in addition to being a nurse.   “I hope to continue to serve members of our great community for many years to come as well as share my knowledge with new nurses at our hospital and students who are learning to become nurses,” she said. Featured image caption: Brittany Mizenko (from left) and Kristina Morton are this year’s recipients of the Esther G. Little Scholarship. The scholarship was established in 2007 by local philanthropist Esther Little and supports those pursuing an education in nursing with the intent to serve the local community.

Music, Gettysburg! Christmas Offering Sunday at 7 p.m.

This festive concert, one of the most popular in the Music, Gettysburg! season, will feature the Gettysburg Children’s Choir singing classic Christmas favorites, old and new, under the leadership of director Matt Carlson.  Also performing in the concert will be the Ben Jones Brass, Teresa Bowers, and Jonathan Noel. Narrators will include President Guy Erwin and Theresa Smallwood of United Lutheran Seminary, as well as the Majestic Theater’s Jeffrey Gabel, plus a special virtual appearance by the pastor of the Lutheran church in Bethlehem. The theme this year is “All Earth Is Hopeful,” and the readings and music will explore how different cultures from around the world celebrate Christmas with hope. Come prepared to add your voice to assembly singing of several Christmas carols during the delightful program of a little more than an hour of music.  About Us Music, Gettysburg! is a premier concert series featuring international, regional, and local musical artists for the greater southern Pennsylvania region. Concerts are free and open to the public. Support for the series comes from the United Lutheran Seminary and also directly from businesses and individuals. All concerts (unless specifically noted) take place in the chapel of the United Lutheran Seminary at 147 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, PA.

Gettysburg author invites readers into her world

Hannah Meeson wants everyone to meet the characters who have lived inside her head for more than 30 years. “I think about them every night before I go to bed, even to this day,” the Gettysburg author recently said. Meeson, who writes under the name Hannah Rae, first started spilling her world onto paper one sleepless night in fourth grade at the advice of her librarian mother. Sebastian, Lucy and Bert were born that evening and became her closest friends. “I also worry that I will be single forever because nobody will ever compare to Sebastian Porter,” she said. The world first met Meeson’s characters through her 2015 book “Just Whistle.” They were featured in 2016’s “Like a Flip Turn” and took a break from the literary world while Meeson focused on her cut-paper art. They returned in “The Way Back,” published this fall, which Meeson considers her “way back” to writing. The print copies of Meeson’s novellas bring her talents full circle with the covers featuring her art and the pages her writing. “The Way Back” tells the tale of Jonny, a man who has the ring and the girl but cannot get Piper off his mind; Ansel, Piper’s father who worries about his daughter’s choice; and Jane, Piper’s cousin who heads west for her cousin’s wedding. Meeson believes there is a bit of her in all of her characters, but her relationship with the story is much deeper. In her book, Ansel Ferguson and his wife, Sophie, painted the horizontal slats of their Oregon barn a different color. In real life, Meeson and her friends painted fence posts on her Colt Park property to spice up the wood. Meeson’s biggest goal as a writer is to welcome as many people into her world as possible. “The Way Back,” she said, is designed for the non-reader.  “It knew it needed to be high-interest, short, and fast so I could hook people who otherwise might not read something I would write,” she said. She also wanted people to read it as soon as possible so she skipped query letters to publishers and self-published. Meeson’s ultimate goal is to become a famous author who can take all of her friends to a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. “The Way Back” includes characters from Meeson’s other books, but readers do not need to complete the other two to understand the story. “I am not a fan of series; I view it as such a commitment,” she said. Meeson’s return to writing has been prolific. Her next book, “Running Through the Words,” launches in January and she updates her blog, www.heyheyhannahrae.com, daily. “I just cleaned the bathroom sink today and I feel so accomplished. It has been at least a week and a half (since I last did that), I never used to be like that,” Meeson said. That’s OK, she said, sharing her characters’ adventures is more important. “I have my document pulled up on my computer at all times,” she said. “There are times if I don’t write, I just play the same scene in my head over and over again.” Writing also helps with her day job, a Biglerville High School English teacher. “I feel like I am modeling that hard work pays off,” she said. “It also reinforces why it is important to write.” “The Way Back,” “Just Whistle,” and “Like a Flip Turn,” are available at www.Amazon.com. Featured image caption: Hannah Meeson, who writes under the name Hannah Rae, recently published “The Way Back.” (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

Oxford Road (Route 1015) bridge replacement to begin in Straban Township

Harrisburg, PA – PennDOT announced today that a bridge replacement project on Oxford Road (Route 1015) in Adams County is expected to begin next week. The bridge spans Conewago Creek between Sharrer Mill Road and Plum Run Road, about a half mile north of Route 394 in Straban Township. Weather permitting, work will begin Monday, December 19. The bridge will be closed. A detour will be in place using Route 394, Route 94, and Route 234. This project consists of bridge replacement, minor approach work, guide rail updates, and other miscellaneous construction. Work is expected to be completed by July 10, 2023. Lobar Site Development, Inc., of Dillsburg, PA, is the contractor on this $2,112,479 project. Motorists can check conditions on major roadways by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website. Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties at www.penndot.gov/District8. Information about infrastructure in District 8, including completed work and significant projects, is available at www.penndot.gov/D8Results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at www.projects.penndot.gov. Follow PennDOT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

2023 Adams County Municipal Elections

2023 Adams County Municipal Elections Will you share your opinions about the 2023 elections and the candidates in a letter to us? Our 20,000 monthly readers want to hear from you. Please submit your letter here or email us: mail@gettysburgconnection.org. The next Adams County elections are the muncipal primary to be held on May 16, 2023, and the Municipal General election to be held on Nov. 7, 2023. County positions available in the 2023 election are commissioner, district attorney, register and recorder, county controller, prothonotary, and coroner. About half of the seats on every school board, borough council, and township board of supervisors will also be open. Some terms ending in 2023: Adams County Controller: John Phillips – Adams County Commissioners: Randy Phiel (R) +Marty Qually (D) + Jim Martin (R) + Adams County Magisterial District Judge Mark D. Beauchat + Conewago Township Board of Supervisors Don KnightEugene Zeyn Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors: Steve P. Toddes Shaun A. Phiel + Gettysburg Borough Council: (Ward 3)              John Lawver (Ward 2)              Matt Moon + (Ward 1)              Wes Heyser – (At-large)           Chad-Alan Carr + Gettysburg Area School District: Michael Dickerson Al Moyer + Timon Linn AmyBeth Hodges Tim Seigman Upper Adams School District: Ron Ebbert – Chris Fee – Mikel Grimm Cindy Janczyk James Rutowski – Tom Wilson – += Candidate has indicated they plan to re-run for the office in 2023 – = Candidate has indicated they will not re-run for the office in 2023 See who’s already announced their candidacies. IMPORTANT DATES FOR THE 2023 PA STATE ELECTION CYCLE February 14 First day to circulate and file nomination petitions March 7 Last day to circulate and file nomination petitions March 8 First day to circulate and file nomination papers March 14 Last day to file objections to nomination petitions March 22 Last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions May 1 Last day to REGISTER before the primary May 9 Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot May 16 Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted mail-in and civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8:00 P.M.)  May 16 MUNICIPAL PRIMARY  May 17 First day to REGISTER after primary May 23 Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 P.M. on May 15)  August 1 Last day to circulate and file nomination papers August 8 Last day to file objections to nomination papers August 8 Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated by nomination papers August 14 Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated at the primary October 23 Last day to REGISTER before the November election October 31 Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot November 7 Last day for County Boards of Elections to receive voted mail-in and civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8:00 P.M.)  November 7 MUNICIPAL ELECTION November 8 First day to REGISTER after November election  November 14 Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 P.M. on November 6)  Voting in person? Find your polling place here. Click here to request a mail-in ballot. Mail-in ballots can be mailed or dropped off in the elections office on the first floor of the county courthouse at the corner of Baltimore and Middle Streets in Gettysburg. The office said the drop off box in the courthouse lobby would be available but no date was given for its availability. A guide to the candidates will be posted before the elections. Adams County Office of Elections and Voter Registration Adams County Democratic Committee Adams County Republican Committee

Slideshow: Saint Francis Xavier Run at the Rock

Saint Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Gettysburg, held its 10th annual Noreen Neitz Memorial Run at the Rock on Saturday, Dec. 10. The 5K, 10K and 1-mile run are held in memory of Noreen Neitz, former parish youth minister. Neitz passed away on July 10, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. The Run at the Rock takes its name from Noreen’s invitation for youth to “join us at the rock” for activities at the parish campus on Table Rock Road. Click here for race results

Commissioners Phiel, Martin seek fourth term

A large crowd gathered in the Dobbin House’s Abigail Adams Ballroom Friday morning to listen to what has become quadrennial Adams County tradition – Jim Martin and Randy Phiel announcing their candidacies for Adams County commissioner. The pair of Republicans first took office in 2012; if successful, the term that begins in 2024 will be their fourth. Martin and Phiel told supporters they have enjoyed their run and hope to build upon their successes. “Is commissioner a full-time job?” Phiel asked rhetorically. “It is what you make it, but for Jim and I, it is a full-time job plus. I believe the proof is in the achievement.” Phiel touted a long list of accomplishments, including opening the historic courtroom for commissioners meetings, installing a digital emergency radio system, consolidating tax services from four offices to one, paying off debt, supporting the Adams County Economic Development Corporation, reducing the number of tax appeals, consolidating the planning office, converting the former Herff Jones plant in Cumberland Township to the Adams County Human Services Building, supporting the treasurer’s office serving as tax collector for municipalities that cannot fill the position, maintaining a high bond rating, restructuring the veterans’ affairs office, intervening when the former owner of Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens misappropriated funds and was unable to complete burials, converting the former Mercy House convent into an inpatient and outpatient treatment center for substance abusers, donating $1 million to the Adams County Historical Society, supporting land preservation, adapting to election law changes, opening the law enforcement training range, spearheading a broadband internet initiative with Franklin County, and distributing American Rescue Plan Act funds. The commissioners are also working to attract a Pennsylvania Ag Discovery Center to the county and open a new childcare center in Straban Township. Phiel said he and Martin work well together because he focuses on “big picture” while Martin excels at details. Martin said of all of the accomplishments Phiel listed, he is most proud of the radio project and Human Services Building. “These two things really had a dramatic impact on me and put a kick in my step,” Martin said. “That kick is still there.” Other Republican leaders joined the pair at the podium to express their support, including Rep. Dan Moul, Rep. Torren Ecker, and Misty Ann Wagner-Grillo from Congressman John Joyce’s office. “We have been working as a team for many, many years for the betterment of Adams County,” Moul, who has been in office since 2007, said. “The fact I got re-elected last time tells me the people want this team to stay together.” Ecker noted the size of the crowd and called Phiel and Martin “the central glue that keeps us all together.” “This room kind of embodies what I think Adams County is all about,” he said. Former Franklin County Commissioner G. Warren Elliott, a 45-year friend of Phiel, served as event emcee. He praised Phiel’s “honesty and diligence.” “What he exemplifies as a friend is the same person he is as a county commissioner,” Elliott said. Election info County positions available in the 2023 election are commissioner, district attorney, register and recorder, county controller, prothonotary, and coroner. About half of the seats on every school board, borough council, and township board of supervisors will also be open. County Elections Director Angie Crouse said nomination petitions will be available in early February. The primary election will be held May 16 and the General Election is Nov. 7. Featured image caption: Republican Adams County Commissioners Jim Martin, left, and Randy Phiel are seeking re-election in 2023. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

Berm elects Wool and Chubb

The Bermudian Springs school board elected a president and vice president during back-to-back caucus and regular meetings on Monday evening. During the caucus meeting, the board reviewed the agenda for the shorter regular meeting. Soon afterwards, the board reelected Michael Wool as its president during the regular meeting. “Thank you, everyone,” Wool said. “It’s an honor to serve with all of you.” Daniel Chubb replaced Matthew Nelson as vice president. The board also approved the resignation of David Orwig, the district’s athletic director, effective June 30, 2023. Orwig will retire at the end of the school year, according to Superintendent Shane Hotchkiss. WellSpan will provide athletic services The board approved a letter of intent serving as an agreement for WellSpan Health to provide athletic services to the district from Jan. 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023. According to Hotchkiss, WellSpan would accept $13,750 to provide those services until the end of the school year. Hotchkiss said there is a possibility the district could enter into a longer-term contract to have two athletic trainers at the district. Apple visit Bermudian Springs hosted an event called Building Momentum on Dec. 1 at the suggestion of Apple executives, according to assistant superintendent Shannon Myers. Myers said she and Hotchkiss met with the executives in September after the high school was named an Apple Distinguished School. After the Apple representatives suggested it, the district invited representatives from other school districts to visit both the middle and high school last week. About 35 to 40 representatives from districts in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia visited the schools. Myers said the experience could help other districts make plans to better use technology. “A school district that (the Apple executives) met with just kind of shared their experience from a very positive standpoint and said that Bermudian has a great story and should be proud,” Myers said. “Another school district commented that they wished they could bottle the culture of BSSD and bring it back to their district. So it really was a nice opportunity for building administrators and for Dr. Hotchkiss and I to really kind of showcase we’ve done a tremendous amount of work in our buildings.” While the event might have been beneficial for other districts, Myers said it was also an opportunity for Bermudian to collect feedback from its guests to learn what it can focus on improving and what areas it is strong in. Other business Two board members, Jennifer Goldhahn and Ruth Griffie, expressed interest in participating on the district curriculum council. The board discussed the pros and cons of having a school board member attend curriculum council meetings. “With something as essential as curriculum, I think there should be board members present during its development,” Goldhahn said. “We’re not there to bug anybody or be any kind of– ‘chilling factor’ was a phrase that was used before. We’re there to learn, to observe. This is our kids’ curriculum. This is what they’re learning. We should be involved.” Griffie said she recalled serving on the curriculum council in about 2000. Hotchkiss said that when he started at his role in 2008, no board members served on the curriculum council. He told the board he would look into what changes were made and when. During the time for public comment during the regular meeting, one parent addressed the board to suggest adding a selection of “patriotic and educational books” in the elementary school library. The parent said the books were selected by a group named Moms for Liberty. The speaker also addressed recent controversy involving the school’s flag policy. The individual said the district should “consider promoting” the one flag hanging in all of its classroom that “represents all of us,” referring to the American flag. The board will hold a caucus meeting at 7:00 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9. A regular board meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. Meetings are held in the high school auditorium and are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube page.

CVSD athletes prosper; Asst. Superintendent resigns

After less than a year in the role, Conewago Valley’s assistant superintendent will resign to take a job elsewhere. During the school board meeting on Monday, the board approved Dr. Robert Walker’s resignation, effective at the end of the day on Feb. 16. Walker was given the job of assistant superintendent in Conewago Valley on March 14. According to Superintendent Sharon Perry, Walker is slated to become the next superintendent of Red Lion School District. During the meeting on Monday, Perry said she appreciated Walker’s contributions to the district. “Much time and effort has been committed for Dr. Walker’s transition to our district, and I believe that administration would agree that the impact has been felt,” Perry said. “Thank you very much for the leadership in terms of our communication, of our curriculum, and getting us moving in the right direction.” Looking ahead, Perry said she is optimistic about several projects within the district: “We are making wonderful progress on our strategic priorities thus far this year,” Perry said. “We’ve been in communication about the upgrades of our facilities through our feasibility study, so we look forward to contributing additional information for the board and community’s consideration next month. Also, with health and wellness, we are well on our way with our health and wellness committee.” Perry also pointed out the eagerness of Matthew Muller, currently the principal of New Oxford Middle School, to take on his new role overseeing district safety on Jan. 23. Muller said he is creating a district-wide safety team that will assist teams at each building. Some team members include first responders. Honors and recognition The board applauded a long list of staff and students for a variety of achievements. Laura Hartlaub, a kindergarten teacher at Conewago Township Elementary School, was mentioned for being named the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year for Conewago Valley. High school and middle school career counselor Joe Connolly was recognized by the board for being named as the Educator of the Year for Conewago Valley during the Shippensburg University Superintendent Study Council luncheon, according to the board agenda. RyLee Hough, a high school student, was praised for being named the New Oxford High School Rotary Student of the Month in November. Many other students were recognized for athletic achievements, college acceptances, and for scholarships they have been awarded. The full list of staff and students named on the board agenda for recognition is available on pages 9 and 10 of the meeting’s agenda.. Other business Athletic director Doug Wherley told the board that the district has seen a significant increase in athletic participation this year. At the high school level, there are 140 student athletes, an 11.5% increase from last school year. The middle school has 90 athletes, representing a 9% increase from the same time last year. “Our numbers are definitely trending in a positive direction,” Wherley said. The board’s student representative told the board the student council’s Feed a Friend fundraiser was “very successful” this year, raising $1,851.50. Donations were given to New Hope Ministries. During the time for public comment, one parent addressed the board with concerns about the district’s sex ed program. The parent felt the program includes gaps and misinformation and recommended the free curriculum, Rights, Respect, Responsibility Education. Before holding the regular meeting, the board held its reorganization meeting. Both the board president, Edward Groft, and the vice president, Jeffrey Kindschuh, were unanimously reelected to their positions for another year. The board also unanimously elected Board Secretary Lori Duncan the Earned Income Tax Collection Agency representative for 2023 and heard an overview of board rules and policies. The board will hold a committee of the whole study session and voting meeting at 7:00 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9. A regular board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16. Meetings are held in the district board room and are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

Totem Pole’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ opens Friday at The Majestic

Totem Pole Playhouse in association with Gettysburg Community Theatre will present Thunderbird Limited’s original adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” by Carl Schurr and Wil Love on Dec. 9 at 7:30 pm at Majestic Theater, 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325.  The production will run with limited performances until Dec. 18.  Featuring 34 actors, young and old will grace the stage in a myriad of characters.  The production will be directed by Totem Pole’s artistic director, David Hemsley Caldwell. The Pineapple Group of Chambersburg presents this production and Destination Gettysburg along with Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium serve as marketing sponsors. Once again the show will be a family affair with five sets of siblings joining each other on the stage. Gettysburg sisters Kalia and Liliana Hoedemaker will portray the Fezziwig daughters. Orrtanna sisters Mia and Phoebe Kauffman will join each other on stage as Belinda and Martha Cratchit while their older sister, Ruby will take on the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past.  McConnellsburg brothers Elliott and Jasper Wakefield will each portray Dick Wilkins at a different age. This will mark Elliott’s seventh production of “A Christmas Carol” adding the role of Belle’s husband to his list of characters.  Jasper will take over his brother’s role of Peter Cratchit and Dick Wilkins as a boy.  Chambersburg’s brother Liam and sister, Alice Spang will join the production again this as Sled Girl and Fezziwig Party Guest.  Liam, along his best friend Isaac Bucher of Orrtanna will share the role of Tiny Tim this year.  Layla & Mya Camacho of Shippensburg, who appeared in “The Sound of Music” this summer will portray Belle’s daughters. Taking on the coveted role of Ebenezer Scrooge is Bill Eissler and Richard Sautter of Gettysburg will portray Jacob Marley for the first time this year, Scrooge’s deceased business partner.  The three spirits taking Scrooge on his journey of redemption will be portrayed by Ruby Kauffman (The Ghost of Christmas Past), Christopher Kauffman (The Ghost of Christmas Present) and Luke Lyman (The Ghost of Christmas Future.) Bob Cratchit, the loving father of his poor but happy family is portrayed by Shippensburg resident Luke Reed. Taylor Whidden serves as the loving & protective wife, Mrs. Cratchit. Taking their places around the poor but loving Christmas table are Donovan Ohler (Matthew), Jasper Wakefield (Peter Cratchit/Dick Wilkins as a Boy), Mia Kauffman (Belinda), Phoebe Kauffman (Martha) and their beloved Tiny Tim shared by Larkin Bucher and Liam Spang. Adam Wennick will take on the role of Fred and Lamplighter #1, Scrooge’s faithful & patient nephew.  Amy Decker of Lancaster portrays Fred’s wife.  Thomas Trgovac of Chambersburg & Catherine Blaine of Gettysburg take on the roles of the jolly Fezziwigs.  Belle will be portrayed by Bailey Hovermale. Chambersburg mother Laura Sponseller joins her daughter Emmeline at the Fezziwig party and in other roles. Rounding out the cast will be Reia Hogan as the Juggler and Fiddler, Eleanor Hogan as the Baker’s Wife, and  Jayla Wheeler, as Fan. Michael Krikorian (Charity Man #1/Old Joe/Party Guest), Luke Lyman (Caroler/Young Scrooge, Lamplighter #2/Ghost of Christmas Future), and Adam Wennick (Lamplighter #1/Fred/Fezziwig Guest).  Maxwell Owens who has been in the production for many years and first played Tiny Tim returns again this year to portray Boy Caroler, Scrooge as a boy and Turkey Boy. Joan Crooks returns as the Laundress and Ayanna G. Hess joins the ensemble. Ryan B. Gibbs will serve as the production stage manager.  Anna Hanson of New Jersey will serve as assistant director. James Fouchard, who designed the original set for this adaptation in 1987 at Central Center in Chambersburg, is the set designer of this current production as well.  Majestic Theater’s Technical Director, Jonathan Stiles, is serving as lighting designer for the show.  Joshua Zietak, production technical director of Totem Pole Playhouse serves in the same position.  Serving as choreographer of the festive and spirited Fezziwig Dance is Chad-Alan Carr, founding executive/artistic director of Gettysburg Community Theatre.  Cyd Tokar, veteran of Totem Pole Playhouse serves as Property Designer. Terrence Sherman’s original music of the 1987 production will be used for this production.  Original Costume Design was by Patricia M. Risser. Steven Zumbrun serves as Musical Director. This year’s performances are scheduled for Dec. 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 10, 11, 17, and 18. Ticket prices range from $34 to $40 for adults and $20 for students (age 18 or younger). School matinees and group bookings may be scheduled through the Totem Pole Playhouse box office by calling 717-352-2164, option 1. Funding for the Adams County school matinees & Franklin County Middle school matinee has been generously donated by the following: Adams County Community Foundation, Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Endowment Trust, The John R. Hershey and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation Inc., Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc., Patriot Federal Credit Union, Rice Family Foundation, Truck Mounts of Greencastle, The American Legion Auxiliary Burt J. Asper Unit #46, Chambersburg, Brandale, LLC, SunnyHill Properties, Brim Builders, Bill & Wanda Beeler. To purchase tickets call the Majestic Theater Box Office at 717-337-8200 or online at the Majestic Theater website www.gettysburgmajestic.org.  Featured image caption: Totem Pole Playhouse’s production of “A Christmas Carol” opens Friday at The Majestic Theater in Gettysburg.

Fairfield school board changes meeting structure

Fairfield School District

The Fairfield Area School District Board of Directors is changing how it does business. Beginning in January, the board will hold one study session and one business meeting each month. The board previously held two business meetings each month. Board President Jennifer Holz said the change will “allow the board more time to absorb and deliberate information that has been presented.” Study sessions will be held on the second Monday of the month at 6 p.m. and board meetings will be held on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. The board will not meet in July and hold only one meeting in November and December. A complete schedule is listed at www.fairfieldpaschools.org. Board meetings and study sessions are live-streamed on the district’s YouTube page, a link to which is available on the district website. During its annual reorganization meeting on Dec. 5, the board unanimously voted to retain Holz as president and Jack Liller as vice president. Board Secretary Lauren Clark was absent. Audit Kevin Stouffer of Smith Elliott Kearns & Company, LLC presented “an unmodified audit opinion” for the 2020-21 financial year to the district’s board. “We feel the financial statements are materially correct and can be relied upon,” Stouffer said. Stouffer told the board its revenues and expenditures are comparable with other districts in the region. “I think everything is in there within a percent or two amongst the different sources,” he said. Stouffer recommended the district assign someone other than the preparer to review bank reconciliations. He also noted the district was missing about two months of supporting documentation for credit card transactions because a previous business manager took the documents home and never returned them. “We recommend you fine-tune that process to keep all support related to the credit card transactions on-site. Do not allow them to be taken off-site,” he said. The board unanimously approved the audited financial statements. Liller commended Business Manager Tim L. Stanton for preparing the audit. “I look forward to when you can start doing forward work instead of cleaning up messes of prior people,” he said. Other business The board also approved the following hires: Noel R. Robinson, full-time high school learning support teacher; Mike Ball, head boys’ middle school basketball coach; and Owen Phelan, assistant middle school boys basketball coach. Ball resigned as assistant high school basketball coach. Superintendent Thomas Haupt expressed appreciation to the Fairfield AmVets Post 172 for donating $500 to the Stars of the Knight Chamber Singers. The group recently performed at the post’s Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration. Holz noted the Fairfield Youth Basketball League donated $1000 to the girls and boys basketball teams in appreciation of the students’ assistance at youth basketball camp. “They were thrilled with the volunteers and student volunteers, they just did a bang-up job,” Holz said. The board’s next meeting is a study session on Jan. 9 beginning at 6 p.m.

Slideshow: Sgt. Mac Foundation preps wreaths for graves

More than 100 volunteers gathered in the Giant parking lot Friday morning to assemble 16,000 wreaths which will be placed on veterans’ graves at Quantico National Cemetery on Saturday. The Sgt. Mac Foundation Wreath placement began in 2006 shortly after Gettysburg native Sgt. Eric McColley was killed in February 2006 along with seven fellow Marines and two airmen when two Marine CH-53e helicopters collided off the coast of Djibouti, Africa. The following Christmas, Eric’s parents John and Susan, took wreaths to undecorated graves of service members who were buried near McColley in Quantico National Cemetery. It was formalized the next year and was expanded to Gettysburg in 2008. The Sgt. Mac Foundation decided not to place wreaths on graves in Gettysburg this year because the National Park Service would not allow a short ceremony at the cemetery’s rostrum. Click on any photo to start the slideshow.

Toys for Tots short of gifts

Toys for Tots needs everyone’s help to fulfill Christmas wishes. The Adams/Hanover chapter is short of gifts for newborns to 2 years old and children 10 to 14 years old, coordinator Chris Bunty said. Bunty said Toys for Tots supports 760 families directly and 12 organizations.  “Last we served about 600 families, so we are seeing a 15-20 percent increase from last year,” he said. That amount is expected to increase as the Dec. 4 deadline to register for the program nears. Bunty said “anything that makes noise,” is an excellent gift for the younger bracket while the older children appreciate items such as basketballs, soccer balls, curling irons, hair dryers, and makeup. Gifts designed for autistic children are also in need, he said. Toys can be dropped off at Toys for Tots headquarters, located at the Gettysburg Times Office, 1570 Fairfield Road, or one of the dozens of dropboxes located throughout the area. Those who do not have time or the ability to shop can donate money online and Bunty and his elves will go shopping. A complete list of dropbox locations and a donation link are available at https://gettysburg.toysfortots.org. Families in need of toys can register for the program through the website, Bunty said. Toys will be distributed on Dec. 17. Featured image caption: Volunteers sort toys Thursday night at Toys for Tots headquarters, located inside the Gettysburg Times building on Fairfield Road. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

New office to serve Adams County sexual assault victims [Episode 66]

A new non-profit is focused on helping sexual assault victims in Adams County. Pennsylvania Coalition of Rape hired Atle Walter in September to open Adams County Sexual Assault Services. Walter and her colleague, Emily Uleau, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to care for victims at any stage of their trauma. “We try to meet the client where they are at and provide the needs they want to be provided with,” Walter said. “We never force anything on anyone because everyone is always at different stages.” Walter and Uleau will accompany victims to the hospital or police station. They can also connect them with free legal information, counseling, food, and shelter. Services are available at any point in a victim’s recovery process, even a decade later. All services are free and confidential, Walter said. “We work with them and follow up with them to make sure they are getting everything they need,” Walter said. Walter encourages everyone to call her, even if they are unsure they want to report their assault to the police. “We are there to be a helping hand,” she said. Friends or family members of victims can also call Atle for advice. “The best thing you can do is just support them as much as possible,” she said. “Encourage them to talk to somebody, encourage them to seek professional help whether through us or a counselor. Just being a friend they can rely on day-to-day is super important.” PCAR is also working with local school districts to provide sexual assault prevention education. Walter said she was drawn to work with victims since she learned such a career existed and has been in the field since 2014. “I really like helping people. Every time I get to talk to somebody and help them with what they are going through, that really keeps me going,” she said. Anyone seeking help for themselves, a friend or a family member who is a victim of sexual assault can call PCAR’s 24/7 hotline at 1-888-772-7227. Learn more about Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape by listening to the entire 20-minute interview with Walter. Featured image caption: Atle Walter is the direct services supervisor for Adams County Sexual Assault Services.

Choral Society to perform at Seminary Friday

The United Lutheran Seminary’s Church of the Abiding Presence will fill with holiday sounds Friday evening during the Gettysburg Choral Society’s annual Christmas concert. Thirty-two auditioned singers under the direction of John McKay will present “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” at 8 p.m. in the chapel on the United Lutheran Seminary campus. Performing in the chapel is a first for the society, Manager Julie Strickland said. “Since we started, it has been our dream to sing here,” Strickland said. “It is probably the best place to sing in Adams County.” Attendees will hear holiday favorites such as “Carol of the Bells” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” The society’s Flute Flock will add to the festivities by performing three numbers. The evening will end with an audience sing-a-long, during which attendees can launch into the holiday spirit by belting out “Away in a Manger,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Joy to the World,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” The Gettysburg Choral Society was formed in 2017 and includes members from surrounding counties. The chorus is open to all singers ages 18 and above who match the specific needs of the chorus and demonstrate vocal competence. Prior choral singing experience and the ability to read music are a requirement. Auditions for next season will be held in February, Strickland said. More information on the Gettysburg Choral Society can be found at www.gettysburgchoralsociety.org.

Gettysburg Garden Club Christmas Greens and Gourmet Gifts Sale is Saturday

That special time of the year is fast-approaching and the Gettysburg Garden Club will hold its annual Christmas Greens and Gourmet Gifts Sale at the Gettysburg Fire Hall, 35 North Stratton St. on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Checks, Credit Cards, and Cash are accepted. Proceeds benefit the Lincoln Square Flower Gardens and scholarships for Adams County students majoring in horticulture-related fields. The sale includes a wide range of high-quality handcrafted arrangements, each made by a Gettysburg Garden Club member. We will have wreaths, swags, candles, and large to small table arrangements. All decorations have natural greens from the yards and farms of club members and the community. In addition, our delicious gourmet selections for humans, dogs, and cats will return with the same taste that customers enjoy each year. So please join us and spread the word. Though the sale ends at 2:00 p.m., we wouldn’t want you to miss any of your favorites. We suggest arriving early and browsing through our wide range of selections.  Contact Joan Horak, at 717-357-5615, or visit the Gettysburg Garden Club Facebook page for additional details. The Gettysburg Garden Club is a 501(c) (3) organization affiliated with the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania and National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Uniting to Prevent Targeted Violence program seeks members

A group of concerned citizens from Adams, Dauphin, Franklin, and York counties, Uniting to prevent targeted violence, will hold meetings over the next 18 months to discuss and seek ways to reduce targeted violence. The group is seeking citizen members to be involved in its work. Targeted violence refers to violence that is premeditated and directed at specific individuals, groups, or locations. Perpetrators select their targets to achieve specific motives, such as the resolution of a grievance or to make a political or ideological statement. The violence follows ideologicial, generational, religious, racial, and cultural divides. “Target violence is based on perceived identity,” said Adams County program coordinator Chad Collie.  “The goal is to build a strong group that can work at mitigating targeted violence.” “If we get real about it we’ve had some close calls,” said Collie. “The Ku Klux Klan has campaigned in GBG; Black Lives Matter has been on the Gettysburg Square. I hope and pray that we don’t see violence in this region again.  But it could very well happen. We never know where things can pop up. Our goal is to reduce risks by helping people understand.” The group will include a mix of liberal and conservative participants from each county, partnering with local organizations including Mediation Services of Adams County. Collie said the group has “a common focus to work with people who have very different opinions and perspectives,” and that the focus would be on building relationships, planning for action, communication, and taking action. “It doesn’t take a lot to build a group of people if you start with a group who want to make a difference,” said Collie. If you are interested in joining this project or have questions or want more information you may: Check out our FAQ! Attend an Information Session on Zoom on November 17 @ 5:30 pm ET and/or December 8 @ 5:30 pm ET (email our Chief of Staff, Logan Grubb, at logan@uraction.org for a meeting invitation and Zoom link), and/or ​Email your program questions to our Chief of Staff, Logan Grubb, at logan@uraction.org. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships.

GARA approves 2023 budget

The Gettysburg Recreational Authority (GARA) board of directors has approved the 2023 budget. The budget includes increases for staff salaries; $20,000 for building upgrades; support for out-of-area bus trips; and $7,000 in equipment repair.  The board approved the budget with the caveat that it may need to be amended. Saying a positive relationship with the school district was important, the board discussed the need to include a member who represents the Gettysburg Area School District.  “It kind of hurts that we don’t have the school district here,” said Board President Steve Niebler. The board will create a list of contacts to assist with the search. “A retired teacher would be perfect,” said Executive Director Erin Peddigree. Peddigree said the south end restrooms had been closed for the winter season and all sports activities were finished for the rest of the season. “We’re still pretty busy in October,” she said. Peddigree said the parking lot lights had been repaired and upgraded. Pedigree said the roofs on Weikert Field and the amphitheater need to be repaired and that she had requested quotes from two roofing companies to perform the work. She said water leakage was detected but no mold had been seen and that the expected cost was $5,000 to $7,000 for each structure. Peddigree said a team of students from the school district’s tech program had visited to look at the project and that the Optimist Club of Gettysburg had donated $1,500 toward the work. Requests have been received to reopen the park’s baseball press box. Peddigree said the scoreboard was still operative and that Little League had asked to make use of it for their games in the future.  Peddigree said results from the Giving Spree will be announced in mid-December.  Peddigree said the 2022 Sports Hall of Fame Dinner had gone well. Returning to a theme they have discussed before, the board considered the need to keep the historic baseball plaques on display in the Assembly Room.  The building still houses plaques going back to the 1930s that are taking up space and only a few visitors seem interested in the old plaques.  Peddigree said very few people came to see the plaques. “We had maybe 5 people this year,” she said. A suggestion was made to limit plaques displayed to the past three years and move legacy plaques to different locations, for instance the new welcome center or to the respective schools where players came from.  The board suggested images of the plaques could be uploaded to their respective websites with links to GARA website.  The board will discuss the issue further. The board approved a $2.2 million grant proposal to Adams County in partnership with the Adams County Farmers Market. The funds would be earmarked for parking lot painting, installing park gates, benches and trash bins in the park. Peddigree said the proposal also requested funds to renovate the Activities Building.  Phase 1 would cover repairing existing structures; Phase 2 would cover permits and architect services; and Phase 3 would be used toward the actual building renovation.  Niebler said he had read part of the grant proposal. “It was the most excellent proposal I have ever seen. It’s really very, very well done. A professional job,” he said. Peddigree said GARA had also applied for a Star Grant from the Adams County Arts Council to fund summer concerts, repairs to murals, and other needs. A surprise retirement party was held for former maintenance employee Steve Williams. “He talked about the whole history of the rec park; as long as he had been alive; everything that has happened here in his lifetime – all 70 years worth. It was really neat,” said Niebler. GARA has announced a part-time position to replace Williams. Peddigree said she had shared a report about park activities with Gettysburg Borough which has budgeted $75,000 to GARA for the 2023 budget. Peddigree said GARA’s income was good from reservation requests in 2022, with  people coming in from areas including Gettysburg and New Oxford, and as far as Hanover. GARA also received $10,000 from private donations. Peddigree said she was in talks with the Gettysburg Tour Company to arrange for three different bus trips: one in the spring (beach); one in the summer (perhaps Harpers Ferry and casinos); and one in December (New York City). Peddigree said a Trick or Treat event that would include a Movie in the Park event around Halloween was planned for next year. The board approved the 2023 calendar of meetings. Meetings are typically held on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the Sterner building. There are two exceptions due to holidays in 2023:  January 9th and February 13th. The next meeting will be on Jan. 9, 2023. The board also discussed and approved the current financial report. Board Chair Steve Niebler asked Treasurer Max Laing to investigate financial products for investing GARA funds.  The board thanked Peddigree for an excellent job and the great appearance of the park.  It was particularly emphasized that she had gone above and beyond her duties.

The post-election review designed to give Pa. voters more confidence in the results, explained

This article is made possible through Spotlight PA’s collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy. A person approaches the table and picks up a 10-sided die. She rolls. Four. The next roller in line takes her turn. Seven. The unusual die, shaped like an elongated diamond, may seem a curiosity except to those who use it most: “board gamers and elections officials,” Jonathan Marks, Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary of state, said. But the rollers, employees of the Pennsylvania Department of State, are not casting their dice to determine their next move in Dungeons & Dragons. Instead, they are generating a long, random number that will determine the course of Pennsylvania’s 2022 risk-limiting audit. A risk-limiting audit is a type of post-election review designed to give statistical confidence that an election outcome was accurate. This year is the first when all 67 counties are required to participate in one of these audits before certifying their election results. The math used to conduct the audit is available to the public, though practitioners agree it is hard to understand. Elections officials who have used it said the audit took time to understand but they now have confidence in it, and they hope it will give the public more confidence as well that election outcomes are accurate. What is a risk-limiting audit? As the result of a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, the state was required to implement risk-limited audits statewide by 2022. But despite the contentious origin, many administrators will now tell you they are a fan of the process. “At the core, it is a test to confirm that the margin of a race was not overstated,” Marks said. “What we like about risk-limiting audits from an election administrator perspective is … number one it is efficient, and one of the other benefits is it is adaptable. And that is really the big key for me.” Under Pennsylvania law, counties have long been required after each election to perform an audit of 2% of all ballots or 2,000 ballots, whichever is fewer. But that style of audit has its limitations. For example, an election administrator could choose to only examine ballots from one precinct. While that review could uncover a problem with that specific precinct or the ballots cast there, it won’t reveal much about the election as a whole. A risk-limiting audit, on the other hand, is specifically designed to check the margin of a race to ensure that the reported winner actually won. It is also “adaptable.” If a race has a closer margin, the algorithm requires that more ballots be checked to ensure the outcome was correct. If the margin is wider, fewer ballots need to be checked. The 2% audit is also only a local audit and not a statewide one, meaning each individual county is performing its own audit that has no bearing on other counties, while the risk-limiting audit is a statewide endeavor that looks at contests as a whole. “I think county elections officials like it because it only requires them to do as much work as necessary to confirm the outcome of a contest, whereas with a fixed percentage you’re doing the same amount of work irrespective of the facts about that election,” Marks said. “In one county [2%] may be more than enough, and in another county, it may not be enough.” One fan is Jeff Greenburg, Mercer County’s former longtime elections director and now senior adviser to The Voter Project, a Pennsylvania nonprofit focused on voting access. Greenburg ran one of the state’s first risk-limiting audits in 2019 as part of a pilot program. “[Getting] a 95% confidence level might mean you only need to count several thousand ballots across the state,” Greenburg said of how the adaptive portion works. “Logically, it doesn’t make sense. That’s one of the questions I remember asking the state back in 2019. ‘How do I explain to people if I count 2,000 ballots versus 200, how do I explain to them that 200 ballots is actually giving me a better number than the 2,000?’ And that’s where the math comes in.” After going through the process, Greenburg recognized its value, and the Department of State working group he was a part of recommended that the Pennsylvania legislature make the risk-limiting audit statutorily required. The legislature has yet to take up that recommendation. Only 15 states currently perform risk-limiting audits, and only three of those statutorily mandate the process. How does it work? A random 20-digit number, called a “seed,” is generated by rolling 20 separate ten-sided dice numbered zero to nine. This was performed on a live webcast by Department of State employees on Nov. 17. At this point, uniquely numbered batches of ballots from all counties have been cataloged in the state’s risk-limiting audit software. The seed is then entered into the risk-limiting audit algorithm to determine which ballots need to be checked. Mark Lindeman is policy and strategy director of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan elections technology organization that helps states including Pennsylvania perform risk-limiting audits. He said while generating the seed number is completely random, once that number is known, anyone could double-check the work. Since the algorithm is open-source, meaning it is available to the public, anyone could use that information and the seed to ensure that the batches the algorithm dictates be counted were actually the ones counted. Lindeman said this also prevents any administrator from knowing ahead of time, and possibly manipulating, which specific batch will be counted. Once the batches are known, counties begin their part of the process: a hand count of the ballots in each designated batch to ensure the outcome was accurate. The number of ballots in a batch varies by county, depending on how administrators organize ballots. “The audit math is tolerant of small discrepancies normally observed in hand count audits,” Lindeman said, like if a ballot is miscounted by a machine due to a stain on the paper. “Small errors in the machine count would have no bearing on the outcome, but large discrepancies that raise doubts about the outcome could make it necessary to conduct further auditing or potentially further investigation, including a full recount.” This year, the Department of State selected the governor’s race for the audit. Since the margin of victory between Attorney General Josh Shapiro and state Sen. Doug Mastriano was very wide — nearly 15% — few batches had to be checked to ensure accuracy. Nonetheless, all counties must be prepared to perform the audit, since it is unknown which batches will be selected. A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of State said that the seed dictated that 25 batches be selected, which accounted for 10,209 ballots. These batches were spread across seven counties. In Chester County, one of the state’s largest, elections administrator Karen Barsoum recruited six teams of three auditors each, with at least one Democrat and one Republican on each team. Barsoum organizes her ballot batches by precinct and vote type (mail, in-person, etc.) ahead of the post-election period to ensure a smooth audit process. The teams had seven different pieces of paper in front of them — each representing one of the choices in the gubernatorial race, including write-in votes and instances where voters selected zero or more than one candidate. “At the beginning, it is unclear how long it will last,” she said of her system Friday morning, just moments before the audit was scheduled to start. “It depends on how many batches the seed tells us to grab.” For Chester County, it didn’t last very long. No batches from the county were selected by the algorithm. “We’re disappointed,” Barsoum said with a somewhat dejected but contently resigned smile. She had seemed to be eager to implement her well-organized, color-coded system. “We were all ready to go.” The counties that were selected have until Friday to upload their results. Marks, the deputy secretary of state, understands that the risk-limiting audit will take time for people to understand, but he hopes it will provide Pennsylivians with at least some measure of greater confidence in the process. “I’m not deluding myself into believing that doing [risk-limiting audits] is necessarily going to convince every skeptic,’’ he said. “But I am hopeful over time, as people see it work and people see it in action, that they’ll understand it. That is certainly my experience.” WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundationsand readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.

Christmas 2022 comes to Gettysburg

The Christmas Tree on the Gettysburg Square was lighted this evening and Santa arrived at his shanty on the square. Our photographer Jim Bargas documented the event, which was sponsored by the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association. Children who can’t visit Santa in person are encouraged to drop off their letters to Santa at mailboxes located in Artworks, 30 York St. and Best Western Hotel, 301 Steinwehr Ave. Children will receive a double-sided postcard, with a holiday drawing that can be colored, from Santa acknowledging their letters. Santa’s Shanty Hours for the 2022 season are listed below:11/25 : 6pm-8pm11/26 : 10am-2pm & 3pm-7pm11/27 : 12-4pm12/2 : 5pm-8pm12/3 : 10am-2pm & 3pm-7pm12/4 : 12-4pm12/9 : 5pm-8pm12/10 : 10am-2pm & 3pm-7pm12/11 : 12-4pm12/16 : 5pm-8pm12/17 : 10am-2pm & 3pm-7pm12/18 : 12-4pm12/22 : 5pm-7pm12/23 : 5pm-7pm​

Why is turkey the main dish on Thanksgiving?

Troy Bickham, Texas A&M University Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskidsus@theconversation.com. Why did turkey become the national Thanksgiving go-to dish? Gianna, age 10, Phoenix, Arizona Have you ever wondered why Thanksgiving revolves around turkey and not ham, chicken, venison, beef or corn? Almost 9 in 10 Americans eat turkey during this festive meal, whether it’s roasted, deep-fried, grilled or cooked in any other way for the occasion. You might believe it’s because of what the Pilgrims, a year after they landed in what’s now the state of Massachusetts, and their Indigenous Wampanoag guests ate during their first thanksgiving feast in 1621. Or that it’s because turkey is originally from the Americas. But it has more to do with how Americans observed the holiday in the late 1800s than which poultry the Pilgrims ate while celebrating their bounty in 1621. Did they or didn’t they eat it? The only firsthand record of what the Pilgrims ate at the first thanksgiving feast comes from Edward Winslow. He noted that the Wampanoag leader, Massasoit, arrived with 90 men, and the two communities feasted together for three days. Winslow wrote little about the menu, aside from mentioning five deer that the Wampanoag brought and that the meal included “fowle,” which could have been any number of wild birds found in the area, including ducks, geese and turkeys. Historians do know that important ingredients of today’s traditional dishes were not available during that first Thanksgiving. That includes potatoes and green beans. The likely absence of wheat flour and the scarcity of sugar in New England at the time ruled out pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. Some sort of squash, a staple of Native American diets, was almost certainly served, along with corn and shellfish. A resurrected tradition Historians like me who have studied the history of food have found that most modern Thanksgiving traditions began in the mid-19th century, more than two centuries after the Pilgrims’ first harvest celebration. The reinvention of the Pilgrims’ celebration as a national holiday was largely the work of Sarah Hale. Born in New Hampshire in 1784, as a young widow she published poetry to earn a living. Most notably, she wrote the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” In 1837, Hale became the editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book. Fiercely religious and family-focused, it crusaded for the creation of an annual national holiday of “Thanksgiving and Praise” commemorating the Pilgrims’ thanksgiving feast. Hale and her colleagues leaned on 1621 lore for historical justification. Like many of her contemporaries, she assumed the Pilgrims ate turkey at their first feast because of the abundance of edible wild turkeys in New England. This campaign took decades, partly due to a lack of enthusiasm among white Southerners. Many of them considered an earlier celebration among Virginia colonists in honor of supply ships that arrived at Jamestown in 1610 to be the more important precedent. The absence of Southerners serving in Congress during the Civil War enabled President Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. Turkey marketing campaign Godey’s, along with other media, embraced the holiday, packing their pages with recipes from New England and menus that prominently featured turkey. “We dare say most of the Thanksgiving will take the form of gastronomic pleasure,” Georgia’s Augusta Chronicle predicted in 1882. “Every person who can afford turkey or procure it will sacrifice the noble American fowl to-day.” One reason for this: A roasted turkey makes a perfect celebratory centerpiece. A second one is that turkey is also practical for serving to a large crowd. Turkeys are bigger than other birds raised or hunted for their meat, and it’s cheaper to produce a turkey than a cow or pig. The bird’s attributes led Europeans to incorporate turkeys into their diets following their colonization of the Americas. In England, King Henry VIII regularly enjoyed turkey on Christmas day a century before the Pilgrims’ feast. Christmas connection The bird cemented its position as the favored Christmas dish in England in the mid-19th century. One reason for this was that Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” sought redemption by replacing the impoverished Cratchit family’s meager goose with an enormous turkey. Published in 1843, Dickens’ instantly best-selling depiction of the prayerful family meal would soon inspire Hale’s idealized Thanksgiving. Although the historical record is hazy, I do think it’s possible that the Pilgrims ate turkey in 1621. It certainly was served at celebrations in New England throughout the colonial period. Hello, curious kids! Do you have a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to CuriousKidsUS@theconversation.com. Please tell us your name, age and the city where you live. Troy Bickham, Professor of History, Texas A&M University This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Mary Furlong, activist and educator, dies

Rukhsana Rahman once asked a Peace Corps volunteer why there were so many former Corps volunteers from Gettysburg. “Mary Furlong,” was his answer. Diocese of Harrisburg Speech and Debate judges asked each other during an April competition how they got involved with the program. “Mary Furlong,” was almost everyone’s response. Furlong was a great connector, educator, bibliophile, friend, and activist. Her recent death shocked her community, which stretched from McSherrystown to Malawi. “Mary’s knowledge was encyclopedic, her wisdom was boundless, her humanity had no limit and her thirst for understanding and empathy was never quenched,” Nathan Hockley, former student and Delone Catholic High School Class of 1991 alum, said. Hockley is one of the dozens of students Furlong kept in touch with long after they left the halls of the McSherrystown Catholic school where the Iowa native taught from 1965 to 2000.  Furlong was an Adams County icon, easily recognizable at events related to social justice with her short hair, glasses, and bright smile. If there was ever an idle moment, Mary had at least one book with her to bide the time. Furlong taught English and political science and coached Delone’s speech and debate team. She pushed her students to think globally and make a difference wherever possible. “Mary made sure that before you made an argument, you understood the other position,” Hockley, who attended national speech and debate competitions under Furlong’s tutelage, said. “Because of that, students gained this ability to understand empathy and to see the world and other people differently. The view was no longer myopic, the view became global.” David Colgan, who attended Delone in the mid-1990s, said Furlong brought topics to the classroom other teachers in southcentral Pennsylvania often ignored, such as Kurdistan, Tibet, the women’s movement, and the Native American experience. “She really broadened the horizons of everyone in the class. She didn’t teach from traditional textbooks,” Colgan said. Some of Furlong’s students, such as 1974 graduate Dana Sauers, returned as colleagues. “She built confidence into me as a student and new teacher. She challenged me to research, travel, attend and present at local, state, and national conferences, which was unusual for faculty of Delone at that time,” Sauers said. Erin Elliot, Delone Catholic Class of 2002, remembers being excited when she was assigned to Furlong’s World Studies class her freshman year. Many of Elliot’s family members attended Delone and learning from the revered educator was a family tradition. Young Elliot enjoyed the class but didn’t work as hard as others. Even so, she attempted to take a higher-level class the next year.  “She looked at me dead on and said ‘You didn’t have the grades,’” Elliot said. “She made you earn your stripes.” Elliot understood and strove to be better. “I went to an all-women’s college for women’s studies because of Mary,” Elliot said. The two remained friends for the next 20 years. While her main mission was teaching others, Furlong never stopped learning and growing herself. While employed at Delone, she received two Fulbright awards to study Islam in Malaysia and Ghana, sparking a lasting interest in interreligious dialogue. Furlong was a proud liberal Catholic who always desired to learn more about those who had different views.  “She really respected people from all non-hateful political backgrounds,” Colgan said. She belonged to Annunication of the Blessed Virgin Mary in McSherrystown but often attended Masses in Baltimore and Washington D.C. because she believed they incorporated more joy in their worship. When she retired from teaching in 2000, Furlong’s contributions to the local community and the greater global community were just getting started. In 2001, she traveled to Zambia to train teachers in Zambian Open Community Schools. At the time, public education in Africa was floundering. In 1992, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had advised most African nations to reduce public funding for education and health care, and teachers were not being paid. Furlong stayed in Zambia for two and a half years to train teachers. She also raised money from family and friends to pay for the education of 62 girls. The education funding cuts were ultimately reversed in 2002 in the wake of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. Upon her return to the United States, she worked with African and Caribbean students at Neumann University near Philadelphia. Within two weeks, she was recruited by a group of Jesuit priests for her next mission: serving as the program coordinator for an HIV/AIDS program in Kabwe, the capital of Zambia’s Central Province. The program, funded by the Catholic Medical Mission Board, provided food and education for teens and farmworkers in the rural area. In a 2015 interview, Furlong called her three-and-a-half-year term with the program “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life.” “In the town I was in, I was assisting the only program funded by both Global Fund and PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief),” she said. “We were the basic counseling and testing for the rural province for two years.” Furlong had experience with HIV education and tracking in the 1980s in Adams County, working with Haitian farmworkers, but the obstacles she faced in Zambia were unique. Major funding for HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment did not reach African countries until the early 2000s with the establishment of the Global Fund. Doctors experienced in diagnosing and treating HIV were limited, and Furlong found herself working to counter widely held myths about the disease, such as the concept of “sugar daddies;” some men who suspected they had HIV believed that if they had sex with a virgin, they would be cured. Also, since Kabwe sits near the Great North Road, which connects major African cities, Furlong and her colleagues also reached out to sex workers and truckers to stem the spread of HIV. Back home, Furlong continued to push herself and assist others. She became involved with Explore Your Future, an interactive workshop series that helped people envision the next phase of life. “I was inspired by her rare combination of superior intellect, curiosity, activism, personal warmth, humor, and caring for and acceptance of others,” trainer Kathy Silks said. She also worked as an Adams County Courthouse tipstaff employee and volunteered at the Eisenhower National Historic Site.  One of her greatest joys was keeping in touch with former students, and continuing to challenge them. It isn’t known how many notes Furlong wrote to former students and other contacts around International Women’s Day, March 8, but comments on Facebook from recipients referring to them make it safe to guess she annually penned at least dozens of personal messages. “Every year was different and she directed it to something she thought would be personal to the receiver,” Hockley said. Furlong is the adoptive mother of two biracial children. She adopted her oldest daughter, Rachael, at age 7 from an orphanage in Oklahoma, though she faced some pushback from the local Catholic social services organization. “(They) would not take my application as they didn’t believe in single-parent homes,” she said in 2015. “(I) adopted her through Lutheran Social Services in York, but ironically they worked with the Diocese of Oklahoma Catholic Social Services,” she said. Furlong’s second daughter, Judy, was raised in a foster home in the Bronx and then Rye, N.Y., before being adopted. Funeral services had not been announced as of Wednesday morning, but Furlong fans expect a large turnout to honor their beloved educator. “Adams County needed her, she brought a sense of normality to things that were extraordinarily complex,” Elliot said. Parts of this story originally appeared in a 2015 Gettysburg Companion article by Ashley Andyshak Hayes.

Thanksgiving Gratitude

brown wooden board

Dear Gettysburg Connection Readers. Our reporters John Messeder and Leon Reed have taken a moment during this Thanksgiving week to write about the many ways they are thankful. I have joined in with a few thoughts of my own. Would you take a moment to do the same? Please send your message of gratitude to mail@gettysburgconnection.org or add it as a comment below. Thanks and happy holidays. On Being Thankful, by John Messeder “Here we go again,” Granddaughter Kass said one Thanksgiving mealtime as I prepared to “say Grace.” She knew I didn’t normally subscribe to the pre-formatted version of my childhood: “Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord, amen.” Past are the days when Mr. and Mrs. and Four Little Messeders sat every evening at the dinner table. This branch of the family now sits mostly in the living room and watches TV while we eat. On the other hand, now there are only two of us – except for Thanksgiving and the occasional visit from one or two of the offspring. When those opportunities do arise, we sit around the large table, and on special occasions, such as this one, I tend to ramble a bit about a few of those things for which I am most grateful. I had the privilege of helping raise two babies to become pretty OK adults. There were times when we joked that one of them, or his parents, might not live to see his next birthday. He and we did, and his three young’uns – my first three grandchildren, have turned out very well, indeed. The other became a teacher – a calling second only to parenthood. Her children are the thousands of middle schoolers to whom she helps pass on the tribal lore. I sit at the table beside a special lady who, after more than 20 years, still allows me to sleep indoors when it rains. There is the aforementioned slightly disrespectful granddaughter, who turned two the day her grandma and I went on our first date. She’s 20-something now, grown into a fine partner for the young man she has attracted to our menagerie. I’m thankful I can enjoy walking barefoot in the snow rather than being forced by lack of a pair of shoes. I’m thankful that I live where I can travel freely in relative safety, where there is no roadblock at the state line asking for, “Your papers, please.” I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to visit other cultures, experience that all of us bleed red when we’re cut, and wish at the end of a day for a relaxing beverage and someone warm with whom to share it. I’m thankful I live in a nation which, for all its foibles, is an envied destination for millions of people who would happily live here with at least a chance to provide their children with freedoms and opportunities we take for granted. I’m thankful for so many of my brothers and sisters who have volunteered to serve on distant battlefields so that I may stay home and enjoy turkey dinner about which they can only fantasize. I’m thankful for medical providers who chase away the cancer, help us through heart attacks, and generally extend our tenure on the planet. I’m thankful for readers who continue to think my mental meanderings are worth reading, even though some readers occasionally disagree with what I have set down. I remind myself of these things from time to time, and especially on this holiday, remind myself not to feel too sorry for me when things don’t go as I’d like. I don’t plan to leave any time soon, but my time here has not been, I hope, and barring a few errors, in vain. I hope you all have your own list to ponder before the time arrives to give gifts to all those who are part of your own infinite memory-beam of starlight and memories. Leon Reed John Messeder expressed his thanks and I thought I would too. I’m thankful for three kids who all turned out to be better people than me. I wish I could claim more credit for the way they turned out but I regularly marvel at what fine people Sam, Steve, and Casey have become. I’m thankful that they all have found life partners who are loving and caring. I’m thankful for my five grandchildren and the wonderful job their parents are doing of raising smart and kind people. I’m thankful I finally found my way to Gettysburg, an ideal small town environment and the perfect place to pursue my passion for history. I’m thankful for my life partner and spouse, Lois. We are in that happy situation where we often have exactly the same thought and when one says “Do you remember that time …,” that the other one knows exactly what they’re about to ask. I’m thankful for the many new friends I’ve made since we moved here. I’m thankful that we’re still healthy enough to do some traveling and that we have so many happy memories of exciting places we’ve been. I’m thankful to live in a town with such a vibrant non-profit sector, to SCCAP, CARES, the@ Home Coalition, Habitat, the Land Conservancy, the Gettysburg Foundation and its outstanding children’s museum, and many other non-profits that make Gettysburg such a caring town. I’m thankful for my political brothers/sisters at DFA, Will, Jeff, Jeanne, Judith, Lasco, Tony, Elmer, Tom, Bill, and many others who give me hope. I’m grateful to Jack Melton, Ted Savas, Chris Mackowski, and the other people who publish my occasional blatherings. I’m thankful for the countryside, the fruit belt and the beautiful land along South Mountain. I’m thankful for Harry Hartman and Charles Stangor, for publishing better newspapers than we probably have a right to expect and for allowing publication of a wide variety of opinions in their pages. Charles Stangor I’ve been a big believer in the power of gratitude all my life and that is perhaps why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. To list everything I’m thankful for would take many, many more words than I will write here. I’m thankful to be alive on this beautiful fall morning and to be able to read the ways that my colleagues are themselves thankful. I’m thankful to be able to share local news with each of you and to know how many of you are thankful that I do it. And I’m thankful for my friends and family who make my life complete. Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you. Alex Hayes “What are you thankful for?” is a question that makes most children’s eyes roll on the fourth Thursday in November. Youngsters usually rattle off “Mom, dad, the dog,” when they really are thinking “how much green bean casserole do I need to eat before Mom allows me to beeline towards dessert? I find value in reflecting on the question as I mature, especially when life’s problems become much deeper than “How many gifts can I circle in the Sears Wish Book before I am told to stop?” Those simple, abrupt answers I gave as a child still hold true today. Mom and Dad are no longer physically at our holiday feast, but memories of those meals we shared remain strong. All year, I work to carry out the lessons they taught me – hard work, honesty, and kindness.  Those values have led to a happy life and I am thankful. I am most thankful for a wonderful wife who challenges me to be better and is patient when I falter. Ashley’s laughter brightens the most difficult days. I am still baffled by how I got so lucky, but am forever thankful for my life partner. The dogs, Toby the Golden Retriever and Callie the Black Lab, know nothing but unconditional love. Every day when I come home, they run around in circles with excitement. Later in the evening, they demand I pet them. I know no better way to calm down than by petting a beloved animal. I most likely never said I was grateful for my brother as a child. We were 18 months apart and more often opponents than teammates. Decades later, I am genuinely grateful for his friendship and the love he brought into our family through his wife, Colleen and daughters, Katie and Peyton. My nieces have introduced me to TikTok, field hockey, and bracelet making. I never knew I needed such knowledge in my life but tapping into a teenage mind is a great way to escape from adulthood pressures. I am hitting that stage of life in which seeing friends is harder than it was 20 years ago. We are all busy, many have children, and some live on the other side of the country. However, as I mature I realize that true friendship is not measured by the number of Friday and Saturday nights in a row we spend together but instead if we can pick up the phone or visit in person after months of silence and still pick up where we left off. And finally, I am thankful for Gettysburg Connection readers and Chuck Stangor for giving me the opportunity to share my words. When I left full-time journalism earlier this year, I never imagined again having a space where I could share our community’s stories. You keep reading and I will keep writing. Happy Thanksgiving, all! Judith Cameron Seniura When we moved to this area about four years ago, I was amazed and disappointed at the lack of females in leadership positions I encountered in my day-to-day life. After all, this is not the future I envisioned when I burned my bra nearly half a decade ago. So I am thankful that since I revived my earlier career as a freelance writer, I have been able to get out into the community in Adams County and meet some women who do outstanding work in their roles as leaders of government and non-profits. Here, in no particular order, are some of the women I’ve been pleased to make acquaintance with:  Patricia T. Smith, President of Fairfield Borough Council  Molly R. Mudd, Esquire, Adams County Solicitor  Paula V. Neiman, Chief Clerk, Adams County  Pat Smith, Treasurer of Adams County Association of Governments  Danielle Helwig, Secretary of Adams County Association of Governments  Cindy McGrew, Founder, and CEO of Operation Second Chance  Rebecca Van der Groef, LSW, Chief Executive Officer, Hoffman Homes  Judy Hogan, Chair, Liberty Township Planning Commission Chair  Wendy Peck, Liberty Township Secretary/Treasurer  Jennifer I. Holtz, President, Fairfield Area School Board  Robin Fitzpatrick, President, Adams Economic Alliance  Katy L. Hileman, Warden, Adams County Adult Correctional Complex  Sherri Clayton-Williams, Director, Adams County Office of Planning and Development This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I look forward, with gratitude, to meeting more women working to make this county an equitable place to live and raise our daughters and sons. After all, the future knows no gender. Mark Purdy Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday, helps me to live in the moment. I think we all struggle with that sometimes, worrying about what’s happened and what’s next. But a Thursday – a Thursday! – in the otherwise unremarkable month of November seems particularly designed for us to appreciate the day for what it is, because that’s all there’s time for. There’s preparation involved, sure, but nothing like the hype that is to come. Today, it’s one and done. I will be looking around in gratitude for where I am, the people I’m with, and what I am able to do. This day stands alone, proudly. Happy Thanksgiving.

Pop-Up Holiday Market Scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd

The Adams County Farmers Market, in partnership with Waldo’s & Co. will be hosting a holiday pop-up market in conjunction with A Gettysburg Christmas Festival– Two local nonprofits, Waldo’s & Co and the Adams County Farmers Market, will once again be partnering to host the event titled A Pop-up Holiday Market in conjunction with A Gettysburg Christmas Festival on Saturday, December 3rd, from 10 am-4 pm at 108 N. Stratton Street in Gettysburg. The event will take place in the parking lot off Stratton Street, where the Adams County Farmers Market is held during the regular market season. Visitors to the event can expect a wide variety of offerings and a festive atmosphere to get into the spirit of the holiday season. Over 40 vendors have signed up to participate with products ranging from hand-thrown ceramics, textile arts, woodcrafts, screen-printed designs, and many other items that would make for perfect holiday gifts. Farmers who regularly participate at the Adams County Farmers Market will also be present at the event with loads of seasonal produce, gift baskets, and more. Waldo’s & Co and the Adams County Farmers Market make for a perfect partnership to bring this special event to life. “The talented creators from Waldo’s bring really unique artwork to display, and the farmers market vendors bring delicious seasonal treats,” said Market Manager Reza Djalal. “Together, the two groups make for an outstanding event that we are really proud of, and shoppers really love.” A Pop-up Holiday Market is part of Main Street Gettysburg’s larger A Gettysburg Christmas Festival event, which will feature a variety of programs and activities all weekend long. Artists and creators at Waldo’s have been hard at work preparing for this special event. “Choosing local art for holiday gifts supports the dreams and hard work of makers in the community,” said Rebecca Muller, board member for Waldo’s & Co and coordinator for the holiday event. Part of the mission of Waldo’s & Co is to foster the success of low-income artists in the community, and this event helps achieve that goal by providing an affordable venue for artists to showcase their talent while building brand awareness and making sales. The Adams County Farmers Market will be moving to Gettysburg Rec Park starting in 2023, making A Pop-up Holiday Market the last scheduled open-air event to take place at the Stratton Street location. “We’re excited to work with Waldo’s to make use of this space one more time,” continued Djalal. “There’s going to be a whole lot of festivity!” For more information about A Pop-Up Holiday Market, visit the Waldo’s & Co website at www.waldosandco.com/events. For more information about A Gettysburg Christmas Festival, taking place from December 2nd to December 4th all throughout Gettysburg, visit Main Street Gettysburg’s website at www.agettysburgchristmasfestival.com.

Adams County Housing Authority Seeks Landlords for voucher program

Adams County Housing Authority (ACHA) is seeking new landlords to participate in its Housing Choice Voucher program and is offering signing bonuses. The program is the federal government’s major method for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. The program is sometimes referred to by its old name “Section 8.”  Families or individuals with vouchers are able to select their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, mobile homes, and apartments. ACHA has been allotted 620 vouchers and around $3.1M in funding for assistance payments. “We hope the bonuses will be an incentive for new landlords to participate so we can increase the number of available rental units for our voucher clients,” said ACHA executive director Stephanie McIlwee. The grant from Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency allows for a one-time $500 signing bonus when a landlord enters into a new contract with the housing authority. Currently around 510 households in the county are using vouchers with around 180 property owners participating. To help increase participation, the voucher program has added a preference for households who will lease-in-place with their vouchers. Applications submitted in this category will be selected from the waiting list more quickly, usually within 60 to 90 days. LcIlwee said the preference has encouraged new landlords to join the program. “Landlords are willing to take a chance when they already know the tenant, and they know the tenant is struggling to pay rent,” she said. The voucher family pays around 30% of their monthly income towards their rent and ACHA pays the difference directly to the landlord. If a tenant’s income should decrease, the housing subsidy would increase. McIlwee said the voucher program was incredibly helpful to both participants and landlords when the Covid pandemic caused layoffs. “Even when a tenant lost wages, the landlord still received the full monthly rent as the subsidy amount increased,” she aid.

Wellspan will not reopen Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop

Wellspan Health has confirmed that it has no plans to open the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop that was on Lincoln Square for many years. According to a hospital spokesperson, “WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital has made the difficult decision to end operations of the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary thrift shop following a three-month period of considering potential relocation options that yielded no suitable sites.”

County executives asked to help distribute broadband service surveys

Adams County Economic Development Specialist Harlan Lawson asked for help to distribute a survey that will help accurately pinpoint which areas of the county are unserved or underserved by the internet. “We are trying to fill the gap that exists in internet availability, especially outside of our boroughs,” he told members of the Adams County Council of Governments (ACCOG) at their monthly meeting Thursday. A feasibility task force created in September developed the online and print survey that will also be delivered randomly by post. “We’re relying on as many people as possible to help us to get this out. It is a very important part of this plan,” Lawson added. Lawson’s comments were made during an instructional broadband presentation, covering the terminology, explaining required broadband speeds, and describing the delivery system. Providing service to the individual customer, he said, “is the challenge.” He stressed that it is crucial for anyone who completes the survey to provide their name and address. Lawson said the accuracy of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maps could be improved with this data, which means the county might obtain more money for the infrastructure. The feasibility study is being conducted in partnership with Franklin County. The contractor is Virginia-Design Nine Inc. The study’s goal is to provide solutions to spotty internet coverage in the county. Providing data that indicates a need for better internet service allows the county to apply for the cost of doing the work to resolve the issue.   In other board business, Adams County Commissioner Randy Phiel reported that no tax increase is expected at the county level this year and that it is “fiscally in very good health.” He gave a shout-out to the staff and department of directors for the difficult decisions that had to be made to achieve this goal. The tentative 2023 budget can be found on the county website, www.adamscounty.us. The commissioners also announced American Rescue Plan Act Funds are being allocated to local municipalities, fire departments, and emergency medical services providers. Distributions are based on liquid fuel revenues lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly $600,000 will be awarded to municipalities. Fire departments and emergency service providers will receive $250,000. $5 million in ARPA funds is still available for large-scale, high-impact projects. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 21 with a minimum cost of $250,000 per project. Pending committee review of the applications, award recipients will likely receive funding for the projects within the first quarter of the new year. ACCOG president David Bolton announced that no candidates had been nominated from the boroughs to serve on the ACCOG executive committee. Bolton will be stepping down and replaced by vice-president Terry Scholle.

UASD moves to supporting tech and career center improvements

Upper Adams School District (UASD) School Board voted on Tuesday to contribute their share to finance improvements necessary to Cumberland Perry Area Career and Technical Center. Justin Bruhn, Administrative Director of Cumberland Perry presented plans for the center’s facility improvement and expansion project.   Enrollment for the career and tech center has skyrocketed 41 percent since 2011, leaping from 900 students to about 1,300 students, he said. This enrollment growth also includes a waitlist of 300 students through the past year, “And frankly I don’t think that’s something that should happen to students,” Bruhn said. Planning for the next generation of career and technical students from 13 school districts, Cumberland Perry is focused on improving and expanding its current program capacities, Bruhn said. “I would say every seat is getting more and more competitive,” he said. Future infrastructure improvements look to modernize the career center’s very dated current building located at 110 Old Willow Mill Road, Mechanicsburg, to allow for this influx of interest, he said. Cumberland Perry currently has 22 programs and looks to prioritize expanding offerings to ensure all students are provided an opportunity to reach their full potential. “Whatever study you look at for career and tech ed, you’re going to find the student benefit,” Bruhn said. Planned expansion of current programs include areas such as culinary arts, technology and automotive, as well as adding an emergency management program in addition to the criminal justice program, he said.   The project’s total estimated cost structure is $23.5 million. UASD’s percent share would be 3.396 percent with a principal share of $817,415; the financing would come out to $65,400 yearly for 20 years, he said. Figures are estimates until financing is finalized, according to Bruhn. Recounting success stories of students in the various programs to the board, Board President Tom Wilson said “We are sending our young men and women to a quality career and technical center.” Superintendent Wesley Doll noted Upper Adams students are always excited during lunch before they head off to Cumberland Perry and are obviously committed and very proud of the work they do. The career and tech programs give students something to do after high school, and “students are realizing it opens a lot of doors for them,” Bruhn said. Acknowledging the district has an obligation to prepare students for their best possible future, the board unanimously approved funding its portion of the improvement project.   Once the 13 districts give approval, the ball will start rolling for work to start on financing, Bruhn said. The next steps of the project will be the authorization of the Cumberland Perry joint operating committee to prepare the final design and bid documents. Tentative construction is anticipated to begin in April 2024. In other business the board said a survey regarding stakeholder communication is available on the district website at upperadams.org. The survey is available in both English and Spanish to all members of the UASD community and will be open through Dec. 5. The board will next meet for a regular session Dec. 6.

Volunteers hope to enhance FASD football program.

Fairfield School District

Fairfield Youth Football Coach Jake Johnson told the district’s board of directors at its Nov. 14 meeting there are a large number of youngsters living in the district who are interested in the sport. Johnson fears the students’ enthusiasm could diminish if the district does not incorporate a middle school program. “The majority of those players are coming from Fairfield,” the eight-year coach said when Board Vice President Jack Liller asked if students in Johnson’s program live within the district. Johnson told the board a middle school program would give ninth-grade players the opportunity to play on the middle school team, preventing them from being forced to play older students who are larger and stronger. The program would also be better equipped to prepare students to play at the varsity level than the youth football program. “We want successful student-athletes across the board,” Johnson said. Fairfield Area High School began its 2022 football season with 19 players. Injuries forced the team to cancel its Sept. 9 game against Hamburg. Johnson said the youth football program currently includes 13 seventh graders and 8 sixth graders. Participation by younger students show those numbers are sustainable, he added. The board took no action, but seemed willing to discuss the possibility of a middle school program with Johnson. Dress code District Superintendent Thomas J. Haupt told the board a review of the district’s dress and grooming policy concluded with a determination that no changes are necessary. The policy was last reviewed in 2018. The district also reviewed the guidelines that accompany that policy, Haupt said, and made changes for the first time in 10-15 years. The guidelines were created with student input, Haupt said. “They indicated they liked that it is no longer, in their view, more geared towards what females cannot wear,” Haupt said. “It is more general neutral.” Haupt said building administrators, not teachers or staff, will be responsible for enforcing dress guidelines. The new guidelines will go into effect after the Thanksgiving holiday, he added.

Hi-tech research pinpoints where Lincoln stood while delivering his Gettysburg Address

Hundreds of people passing through the National Cemetery in Gettysburg at around 2:00 p.m. on Remembrance Day, 2022 (Nov.19) were curious what a small group of people were doing with a spool of red, white, and blue ribbon on both sides of the fence separating the National and Evergreen cemeteries. As one member of the group explained to a group of curious Boy Scouts, “You are the first people since the day Mr. Lincoln gave his speech to see exactly where the president stood to deliver that speech.” That insight is the result of a decade’s work by former Disney animator and Lincoln buff Christopher Oakley, his  “New Media” students at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, advanced software that allowed a fresh look at six photographs taken the day of Lincoln’s speech, a variety of high tech tools, and the street smarts of civil war, photography, and technology experts. Oakley had announced his findings the previous day at the Lincoln Forum conference at the Wyndham Hotel. Previous “guesses” about the location included the site of the present-day Henry Bush Brown Lincoln monument near the rostrum, the site of the present-day Soldiers’ National Monument, and various locations in Evergreen Cemetery. In recent years, a rough consensus emerged that the speaker’s platform was located somewhere in Evergreen Cemetery, probably near the present-day fence. Finding Lincoln’s location wasn’t the original goal of Oakley’s “Digital Lincoln Project,” which he started in 2013. His first project was to create a realistic digital Lincoln “and bring him to life reading the Gettysburg Address.” The effort to find the speaker’s platform spun out of this project. “We started with the written record and then turned our attention to the six known photos of the event,” said Oakley. “They are rich with detail and lots of information,” said Oakley. Then the team identified the exact location from which the photos were taken, to allow triangulation. Four were taken from two locations in the cemetery, one was taken from the second floor of the Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse, and the sixth was taken from the location where the Quality Inn is now located. Oakely said the research also involved 3-D modeling and some old fashioned sleuthing. Oakley’s team concluded that the platform was much larger than prior researchers had thought, was shaped like a trapezoid, and straddled the boundary between the cemeteries, with most of the seats in Evergreen but with the speakers standing in the National Cemetery. They also concluded that the people on the platform sat in a semicircle, not straight rows. Saturday’s walking expedition included myself, as well as Jennifer Schuessler, a New York Times reporter who wrote a front page article about Oakley’s announcement in her publication, an archivist from the Library of Congress, several of Oakley’s photo research collaborators, and a few conference attendees who were simply interested in the project. The group set off from the Quality Inn and stopped at each of the photo locations to view the photo(s) taken from that spot and discuss how the information helped pin down the location. They wound up at the site of the platform and used the ribbon to mark its dimensions. Along with the few curious spectators who joined them, they then took turns posing at “the spot.” When asked if it really mattered where Lincoln stood, Oakley described the experiences of his students.  “At first, almost none of them were interested in history; they joined the program for the technology. But as we got deeper into the project, they all became interested in history.” “When we came to Gettysburg to familiarize everyone with the site and take reference photos, I noticed that as we got closer to the site, all the normal horsing around stopped. By the time we got to the site it was complete silence: the kids thought they were on hallowed ground. Knowing you are standing on the spot where Lincoln actually gave the speech ignites the imagination and transports you back.” Featured image caption: Oakley (left) with Leon Reed at “the spot.”

Christmas Festivities scheduled at the Gettysburg Rec Park

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, and the Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) is joining in on the holiday cheer! The Gettysburg Rec Park will be a part of A Gettysburg Christmas Festival being held throughout Gettysburg on Dec. 2 through 4, hosting activities held throughout the weekend for all ages. Below is a list of dates and activities. The rec park, located at 545 Long Lane, is also offering parking for the weekend and will be a stop on the shuttle service offered on Saturday Dec. 3. For more information please visit gara-recpark.info or agettysburgchristmasfestival.com. Friday December 2: Holiday Bounce House; 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. Fireman’s Pavilion Saturday December 3:               Holiday Bounce House; 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m; Fireman’s Pavilion Holiday Craft Fair; 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.; Charlie Sterner Building  Christmas Trolley : 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Fireman’s Pavilion Ice Princesses and Santa’s Elves; 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Charlie Sterner Building Sunday December 4: Holiday Bounce House; 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ; Fireman’s Pavilion Holiday Craft Fair; 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.; Charlie Sterner Building Christmas Trolley : 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Fireman’s Pavilion

On Being Thankful

“Here we go again,” Granddaughter Kass said one Thanksgiving mealtime as I prepared to “say Grace.” She knew I didn’t normally subscribe to the pre-formatted version of my childhood: “Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord, amen.” Past are the days when Mr. and Mrs. and Four Little Messeders sat every evening at the dinner table. This branch of the family now sits mostly in the living room and watches TV while we eat. On the other hand, now there are only two of us – except for Thanksgiving and the occasional visit from one or two of the offspring. When those opportunities do arise, we sit around the large table, and on special occasions, such as this one, I tend to ramble a bit about a few of those things for which I am most grateful. I had the privilege of helping raise two babies to become pretty OK adults. There were times when we joked that one of them, or his parents, might not live to see his next birthday. He and we did, and his three young’uns – my first three grandchildren, have turned out very well, indeed. The other became a teacher – a calling second only to parenthood. Her children are the thousands of middle schoolers to whom she helps pass on the tribal lore. I sit at the table beside a special lady who, after more than 20 years, still allows me to sleep indoors when it rains. There is the aforementioned slightly disrespectful granddaughter, who turned two the day her grandma and I went on our first date. She’s 20-something now, grown into a fine partner for the young man she has attracted to our menagerie. I’m thankful I can enjoy walking barefoot in the snow rather than being forced by lack of a pair of shoes. I’m thankful that I live where I can travel freely in relative safety, where there is no roadblock at the state line asking for, “Your papers, please.” I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to visit other cultures, experience that all of us bleed red when we’re cut, and wish at the end of a day for a relaxing beverage and someone warm with whom to share it. I’m thankful I live in a nation which, for all its foibles, is an envied destination for millions of people who would happily live here with at least a chance to provide their children with freedoms and opportunities we take for granted. I’m thankful for so many of my brothers and sisters who have volunteered to serve on distant battlefields so that I may stay home and enjoy turkey dinner about which they can only fantasize. I’m thankful for medical providers who chase away the cancer, help us through heart attacks, and generally extend our tenure on the planet. I’m thankful for readers who continue to think my mental meanderings are worth reading, even though some readers occasionally disagree with what I have set down. I remind myself of these things from time to time, and especially on this holiday, remind myself not to feel too sorry for me when things don’t go as I’d like. I don’t plan to leave any time soon, but my time here has not been, I hope, and barring a few errors, in vain. I hope you all have your own list to ponder before the time arrives to give gifts to all those who are part of your own infinite memory-beam of starlight and memories.

Battlefield Preservation Association purchases land, will gift to Park Service

The Gettysburg National Military Park will soon have more land thanks to the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association. The association recently purchased 50 acres of land across the road from the Historic Daniel Lady Farm on Route 116, Hanover Road, in Straban Township. Melvin Crouse, the land’s previous owner, valued preservation over development. “I didn’t want a strip mall or condos to be built on such beautiful land,” said Mr. Crouse. “I know Kirk (Davis, GBPA president) and the GBPA will take excellent care of the place”. Crouse has been a longtime friend of the association and allowed it to use the land for event parking. “We were approached with an amazing opportunity,” Davis said. “With the help of several principal people at Members 1st Credit Union, we were able to make it happen.” Research done by GBPA shows that a large part of the property was part of the Lady Farm during the Battle of Gettysburg. The acquisition also includes Wolf Hill, a key location for the battle. Adjacent to Culp’s Hill, Wolf Hill was where Major General Edward Johnson arranged his men for battle in a ravine that continued to Benner’s Run. General Johnson used the Daniel Lady Farm as his headquarters and it was a Confederate Field Hospital during the battle. Founded in 1959, the GBPA has contributed about 200 acres to the National Park Service. The Daniel Lady Farm was purchased in 1999 with the intention of donating it and the 150 acres around it to the park. The GBPA spent the next several years restoring the house and barn only to find out the National Park Service could not accept it because it was not contiguous with the park’s borders. The GBPA chose to maintain the property, giving tours and eventually holding events to pay for the necessary expenses. Under Davis, the GBPA was able to obtain the property between the Farm and Benner Hill which now makes it contiguous The purchase of the Crouse property will help complete the story of the battle at Culp’s Hill and the contribution of the Daniel Lady Farm. “Unfortunately, the National Park cannot accept property with any encumbrances,” says Davis. “We are very grateful to re-enactors and the public who participate in our events and fundraisers. That is even more important now that we have a mortgage that needs to be paid before we can start the turnover process.” The next large event scheduled to be held at the Lady Farm will be the 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg on June 30, July 1 and 2, 2023. Tickets to that event and a list of all GBPA events can be found on the Events page of gbpa.org or danielladyfarm.com. Donations can also be made online or mailed to GBPA, P O Box 4087, Gettysburg, PA, 17325. Featured image caption: Partners stand at the former Crouse property on Route 116, Hanover Road, Straban Township.

Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary To Sponsor Holiday Greens Sale

The Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary is happy to announce they are once again able to sponsor the Holiday Greens Sale.  This event will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Friday, December 2, from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The event will be held in Comm. Rooms B&C at WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital. Please see below and the attached flier for additional details. Proceeds from the sale benefit projects to improve the Patient’s Experience through the Hospital Auxiliary. Continued support of the Auxiliary’s sales is greatly appreciated. Feel free to invite your family and friends to this event.

The Shared History of the Musselman Family and the Adams County Fruit Industry

Nearly everyone, it seems, has heard the name Musselman and knows it is associated with food processing. Fewer know that there were two Musselmans involved, Christian H. Musselman (1880-1944) and Ivan Z. Musselman (1886-1963). And almost no person living today has heard about the third Musselman, Christian’s father, John Musselman (1858-1931). It was John who truly pioneered fruit processing in Adams County – not once, but twice.  This unorthodox complexity will be sorted out as part of a presentation by Phil Roth, I.Z. Musselman’s grandson, to be held at 3 p.m. November 19th at the National Apple Museum in Biglerville. In any case, it is factual, beyond any doubt, Mr. Roth will state, that Christian High Musselman (C.H.), shown here with wife Emma, was the principal Musselman who powered forward the fruit processing industry in Adams County. It was C.H. who had the energy, the discipline, and the extraordinary executive ability to make it happen. His apple processing business – and, by association, the fruit growing industry – was the chief contributor to Adams County’s economy in the first half of the 20th century. At the time of his death in 1944, the C H Musselman Company was one of the largest – if not the largest – apple processing organizations in the world. Indeed, says Mr. Roth, C.H. Musselman rose to the opportunity, the right person in the right place at the right time.  Phil Roth was born and raised in Adams County, has been a fruit grower himself, and has recently been involved in providing materials and information to the Adams County Historical Society for inclusion in a tribute to the apple industry that will be part of the Historical Society’s soon-to-be-completed new building. His Apple Museum presentation will be part of a day-long open house celebration of the Biglerville Historical Preservation Society, to which all are invited.

HABPI Earns Grants for Creating a Trail to ACHS Facilities

Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) has taken the lead in an effort to create a safe, multiuse biking and walking path from the Borough of Gettysburg to the new Adams County Historical Society Facilities on Route 34 (Biglerville Road). A feasibility study for the best location and design of the trail is being conducted by C.S. Davidson, Inc., the borough engineering firm. The study is underway with numerous meetings with major landowners. Once the possible route locations have been narrowed, a public meeting will be held to get public input, especially from nearby homeowners. The trail study is being funded by a grant from the Robert C. Hoffman Endowment Trust. Once the study is completed, C.S. Davidson, Inc. will create a Trail Master Plan. This plan will analyze costs and considerations for at least two possible routes. The Master Plan will provide data that is needed to apply for grants to design and construct the trail. The cost of the Master Plan is being paid by HABPI and a matching grant from the South Mountain Partnership (SMP). HABPI is a nonprofit organization based in Adams County whose mission is to develop safe, accessible walking and bicycling trails and paths in Adams County. The photo below shows the awarding of the SMP grant. L to R: Julia Chain, South Mountain Partnership Program Manager; Sarah Kipp, HABPI VP; Tom Jolin, HABPI Board Member; Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of PA DCNR.

Flyer posted in the Gettysburg College student union draws national attention

A flyer posted in the Gettysburg College student union last week announcing an event that never took place has put the college in the national news. The flyer asked people who were “tired of white cis men” to come paint and write about their feelings at an event to be held last Saturday. Editor’s note: “Cis” refers to “cisgender,” a term used to describe a person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth. It is not the same as “straight” or “heterosexual” which refer to being attracted to members of the opposite sex. The college distanced itself from the flyer and the event was canceled as the news about it went viral. The story was carried by Fox News, The Washington Examiner, the New York Post, and other news and social media outlets. The college said the event was created as part of a student project, that it did not endorse the event, and that it had asked the student “to restructure their project.” According to a story in the campus newspaper, The Gettysburgian, a student involved in the project said the event was created in part to draw attention to what they perceived as racist and homophobic events that had occurred on campus this semester. “In any community of our size, there will be a wide range of views. That creates a fertile educational environment, but it also means that there will be occasions where views expressed are controversial or inconsistent with the values of the community. That is inherent in the freedom we give to our students to find themselves and to express themselves,” said the statement from the college. Featured image: Gettysburg College student union [Gettysburg College]

Seeing through caregiving

In view of November being National Caregivers Month, I respectfully submit the following letter.  My Sweet Donna has dementia.  In the last five years this condition has progressed to where I am unrecognized.  But I don’t need Donna to know who I am.  My reward comes when I am told, “You are the nicest man I ever met” or “You helped me so much today”. Yes, caregiving is a 24×7 endeavor.  Yes, you need to find resources and ask for help.  Yes, to cope you must develop skills.  And no, I don’t think everyone can do this.  But I can.  What I’ve discovered is this is a situation where “You grow or you go.”  Therein, however, lie the “hidden gifts”. I would never think of yelling angrily at Donna today.  I used to think addiction was the only disease you could be yelled at for having.  But that’s where I started.  So, I overcame believing the lie that everyone is entitled to sporadic bouts of anger and these are justified by life’s conditions, because anger is so destructive to Donna.  Then I find I’ve overcome that behavior everywhere. I no longer have to be right, judge others, or always be in charge.  Everything I’ve done to help Donna has benefited me across the board.  Today, I am happier and more at peace.  I’m a 72 year old dog learning new tricks! Here’s another hidden gift – I used to be quite a time traveler, constantly projecting future scenarios (so I’d always be prepared, right?) or just plain living in the past.  Today, for the first time in my life, my head is where my body is.  I’m finally “on location” and that presence I experience has skyrocketed my availability quotient.  I’m now & here.  That used to be one word, nowhere.  Did I play a lot of games in my relationship?  I didn’t think so, until the games died for lack of another player.  How about, “I got you now you SOB”?  Counting the score?  Thinking, “All I do for you”?  I used to think and ran my whole life on the premise that happiness came from achieving the “I wants”.  Today, that’s a red flag.  One of my brothers lost his son to addiction.  He has taken that tragedy and created a life purpose of being there for others, especially his wife and daughters,”his girls”.  When I first heard that I thought, “that’s great for you brother, I’m so glad you’ve found this special purpose.”  I was happy for him, but I didn’t get it.  Sometimes, I think it’s all about “seeing”.  If I can’t see it, then I just don’t get it.  But once I  see it, I’ve got it – forever.  I got to see the real joy that comes from service to others.  The “I wants”, the anger, the fear have all just slid off of me.  I even figured out that behind all of my anger was fear.  The question is not, “What are you mad at?”, rather it’s “What are you afraid of?”  That puts something completely different up on the table.  Fear?  I get that.  I’m a little scared everywhere.  Today, as opposed to when I was a kid, I’ve got tools to help me.  “Take my hand little man” I say to the child inside myself.  I can help you today.  And when I ask for help, things change, instantly.  If the bottom line is quality of life, then we’re hitting a home run here.  What could take me out is the associated stress or “friction”. A group of Generals in our Armed Services were attending the US Army War College in Carlisle where an instructor demonstrated the old adage that plans disintegrate after the first shot fired by showing … a Wile Coyote cartoon.  Let go of your confidence in through planning and try to see the value of living a day at a time.  My difficulties are not my failures but my process. Some people measure their lives in their accomplishments.  Some people measure their lives in their sacrifices.  I’ve learned to measure my life in moments.  Featured image caption: “And stay silly (it’s an art!)”

7th SpiriTrustTurkey Trot 5K Open To All

After trotting on their own for two years, Spirit Trust Lutheran – The Village At Gettysburg – is opening its Turkey Trot to the community again this year. On Saturday, November 19th, they will host a 5k “race” at 8:30 a.m, followed by a “waddle” at 9:00 am for those who just want to get out for a walk that morning. Please bring shelf-stable food to be donated to local pantries as your entry fee. Strollers and dogs on a leash are fine. Spirit Trust residents and team members, please sign up at the receptionist; community members, please email your name, phone number, and preferred email address in case of cancellation. Prized will be awarded to the first-place male and female runners, and door prizes will be awarded from all entries and posted prior to the beginning of the “waddle.”

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas at the Eisenhower Home 

Tis the season! Eisenhower National Historic Site is happy to share that once again, we will deck the halls, throw some tinsel on the tree, and bring the Eisenhower home alive with the spirit of the Christmas season! From Thursday, December 1, 2022, through Saturday, December 31, Eisenhower home tours will resume for the holiday season.  The Christmas season was a favorite time of year for the Eisenhowers. Mamie Eisenhower celebrated all holidays, but Christmas was her time to shine with decorations and warm festivities. In this spirit, the staff and volunteers of Eisenhower National Historic Site will once again decorate the Eisenhowers’ Gettysburg home this December. Decorations will include several original Eisenhower Christmas decorations on display at the farm and the nativity scenes at the Museum and Visitor Center.  Holiday tours of the Eisenhower home are available by reservation and shuttle bus only. Shuttle buses will depart the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center at 11 am and 2 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. On Saturdays, shuttles will depart at 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 2 pm. Note: no shuttles or house tours will run December 22-25, and only two tours, 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm, will be offered on December 31. Call 1-877-874-2478 to reserve tickets.  No home tours will be offered Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, though the grounds of Eisenhower National Historic Site remain open 7 days a week, with limited parking on-site. Please be aware that winter weather may impact operations, so check the weather forecast and the park website and social media channels for updates to conditions before visiting.