Gettysburg Planning Commission will hold town hall to discuss revised zoning map

The Gettysburg Borough Planning Commission has set Oct. 18 as a tentative date for a town hall meeting to discuss a major rezoning it is considering. The meeting will be held in the Charlie Sterner building at the Gettysburg rec park. The new zoning plan will replace the current plan, which dates from 2008 and which doesn’t include many newer uses, resulting in numerous requests for special exceptions. “The new zoning will be a lot easier for the average user to understand and navigate,” said Borough Planning Director Carly Marshall. A major goal of the new plan is to reduce the four current zoning overlays to two, leaving only the historic district and floodplain overlays. The Elm Street and streetscape enhancement overlays would be dropped. The plan includes four residential districts – low, moderate, and high density, and preservation. Other proposed districts include mixed-use commercial, Old Town, and revitalization areas, as well as districts that support institutions, healthcare, and industrial uses. Traffic study for proposed Gettysburg Station apartment complex The commission discussed the scope of a proposed traffic study regarding a planned new development at Stratton and Carlisle Streets, which will include eating establishments, apartment buildings, and retail space. The commission felt the scope presented by the Gettysburg Station applicants did not adequately address traffic concerns that will be generated in the areas of Stratton and Lincoln and Stratton and Water Street. One resident voiced a concern that the new transit station would also change the face of the neighborhood by creating more traffic. Marshall and borough engineer Chad Claybaugh will meet with PennDOT and the project applicants, 501 Richardson Acquisition, LLC, to decide the final needs for the study. Vacation rental variance request Planning commission members voted unanimously to advise the Gettysburg zoning board not to accept a variance use exception that would allow a vacation rental at 44 South Street. Borough Planning Director Carly Marshall explained that when a zoning ordinance requires a variance, the planning commission reviews the request before making a recommendation to the zoning board who make the final decision. That meeting will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. The property was purchased in May, originally to be used by the owners’ son, who will attend Gettysburg College in the fall. However, after learning that would not be possible, the owners, Michael and Christine Villanti of New York, decided to use it as a short-term rental. Before they had even done so, however, they received a cease and desist order stating that short-term rentals are not allowed in the R-2 area. Christine Villanti said their real estate agent assured them the house could be used for short-term rentals. At the planning commission meeting, Craig Sharnetzka, attorney for the buyers, told members of the planning commission that the owners had been misled about the property use in the R-2 Residential District. He added that the property is only 42 feet from a zoning district permitting short-term rentals, so a variance would not alter the neighborhood’s essential character. David Sites, owner of Sites Realty, the listing agency, said that although the property was their listing, it was sold by a realtor from a different firm. “I never met them before settlement,” he said, adding that all of the zoning information was available in the MLS contract sent to the realtor who sold the property. Marshall said that while the zoning board will consider the commission’s recommendation, it will make its decision based on strict state variance guidelines. Only if the zoning ordinance is determined to impose an “unnecessary hardship” on the property, as determined by five specific criteria, will the zoning board grant a variance. The attorney for the owners, Craig Sharnetzka, Eequire, CGA Law Firm, declined to comment on the pending matter. Following the decision, the owners urged the commission to educate local realtors about giving their clients correct information. Charles Strauss, planning commission chair, said they are “supportive” of the realtors in town. He encouraged prospective buyers to visit the Planning Commission website, which he described as a place where zoning ordinances can be found using an interactive map. More information on short-term rentals can be found at https://www.gettysburgpa.gov/planning-zoning-code-enforcement-historic-preservation-environmental-preservation/faq/what-required.

As he leaves LASD, Bigger says tax increases are under control

Superintendent Christopher Bigger gave the Littlestown residents a parting gift at Monday’s board meeting, predicting a 1 to 1.5 percent tax rate in the next three to five years. “We feel really good about that,” he said. The Littlestown Area School District taxes have averaged 2.25 percent over the past four years, in part to fund the current construction project, combining middle and high schools. “Now the project’s up and running. We had the millage in place before the project, and now we won’t need it.” He added that the only addition to the tax rate would be the result of an economic crash or some other crisis. Bigger, who has been the head of the district for the past eight years, will be leaving LASD at the end of November to accept a job as Superintendent of Chambersburg area schools. Board president Dolores Nester said the process of selecting a new superintendent is underway. The board is currently seeking an interim superintendent to serve into the new year. “This is not a good time to be looking for a superintendent,” she said, but added the board is actively seeking resumes to see who is out there. How long the interim superintendent will serve and other hiring matters will be “hashed out in executive sessions,” she said. “We just want the community to know we’re working on it,” commented board member Yancy Unger. As the board formally accepted Bigger’s resignation, Nester said, “The leadership that you provided is unquestionably some of the best in the area. Thank you.” While she saying she was sad he is leaving, Nester said she wanted to focus on all the positive things accomplished with Bigger in the pilot seat. “One of the biggest things was engaging our staff to make sure that we have a trust between the administration, the board, and the staff. That was imperative,” she said. Nester praised Bigger for improving the academics in the schools to the point where people want to move into the area. Thanking the board president for her comments, Bigger said, “You guys stuck to your promise to stay together as a team, and you did. You honored that promise. You functioned as a group, and that’s all any superintendent can ask. As long as you’re functioning as a group, our job’s a lot easier.” In other board business, Nestor reported that staff shortages are still a problem, according to Lincoln Intermediate Unit. “Thirty resignations were accepted last month in the LIU, and they have appointed only six to professional and 14 to support positions, so they are definitely in need of people,” she said. Nestor is the current board president of the LIU, which provides educational services to Adams, Franklin, and York County schools. Unger reported that the Adams County Technical Institute is working to incorporate itself and seeking funding solutions to assist with the creation of a new facility. The board appointed one of its members, Carl Thompson, to serve on the ACTI institute authority. ACTI provides hands-on career and technical education to juniors and seniors in allied health, building trades, computer networking, criminal justice, culinary arts, diesel technology, and early learning. In the Superintendent’s report, Bigger noted that enrollment continues to decline in LASD, with 34 fewer students this year. Those interested in the construction at the new middle/high school building will soon be able to view live action at the site when the district sets up its live stream camera, which will move as the construction sites move. Four board policies were approved with no change: policy 313, evaluation of employees; 317, conduct/disciplinary procedures; 317.1, educator misconduct; and 918, Title 1 parent and family engagement. Board policies can be accessed through the LASD website.

Shutdown inches closer as U.S. House GOP fails to pass defense bill, lawmakers exit D.C.

by Jennifer ShuttSeptember 21, 2023 WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans were unable for a third time Thursday to begin debate on the Defense funding bill, throwing another wrench into Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership tenure. The Capitol. (Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom) The 212-216 vote that rejected the rule for the $826 billion Defense spending measure was unexpected, coming less than a day after House GOP lawmakers gathered in a room in the Capitol basement to broker a path forward. Arizona Rep. Eli Crane and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene switched their votes to oppose the rule after voting on Tuesday to adopt it. Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman both supported adoption of the rule on Thursday after opposing it earlier in the week. Other Republicans voting no included Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, and Matt Rosendale of Montana. The rule would have allowed the House to begin officially debating the bill and voting on nearly 200 amendments. The failed vote led McCarthy to reverse course on the schedule, with many lawmakers heading home for the weekend on Thursday instead of sticking around for votes throughout the weekend. McCarthy had said exactly one week ago, “When we come back, we’re not going to leave. We’re going to get this done.” The update to the House schedule sent around Thursday afternoon said,” ample notice will be given ahead of any potential votes tomorrow or this weekend.” The stalemate and change of plans does not bode well for efforts to approve the short-term spending bill that’s needed to stave off a partial government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. A ‘disaster’ nears: Millions of federal workers’ paychecks would be on hold in a shutdown McCarthy has yet to unify his members amid deep disagreements about how much the federal government should spend and what policy restrictions should be included in full-year bills as well as the stopgap measure. The ongoing dispute has ground the House chamber to a halt as McCarthy searches for a way to unify his razor-thin majority without turning to Democrats to pass a bipartisan bill. Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, a senior appropriator, said Thursday that his fellow lawmakers need to accept the Senate will re-work any partisan bills the House sends over. “Remember, this is all going to go to the Senate, so people don’t need to get real hot and bothered over where we are today,” Womack said. “It’s going to be based on what comes back and whether or not it can get to the floor.” Discussions among House Republicans, he said, are likely to become “heated” once the Senate re-works a short-term spending bill and sends it back to the House for a final approval vote. Infighting and political differences within the House Republican Conference have so far prevented GOP lawmakers from reaching an agreement on their opening offer on a short-term spending bill, which is also called a continuing resolution or CR. Defense spending bill falters Before the Thursday vote, McCarthy had been somewhat optimistic the House could finally approve the rule and begin debate on the full-year Defense spending measure. U.S. House GOP spending bills falter as Congress struggles to avoid a shutdown Greene wrote on X that she switched her vote “because they refused to take the war money for Ukraine out and put it in a separate bill.” The rule approved 184 amendments for floor debate and votes, including one from Florida’s Matt Gaetz that would have prohibited “security assistance for Ukraine.” Crane wrote on X on Thursday that he believes votes “on CRs, omnibus bills and raising the debt ceiling should never take place.” “I’m going to do whatever I can to change the way this place works,” he wrote. Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole, chair of the Rules Committee, switched his vote on Thursday to a no vote after voting yes a few minutes earlier. The procedural maneuver allows him to bring the rule back up for a vote at a later time. The whip count error appeared to be a surprise for Defense Appropriations Chair Ken Calvert, a California Republican; ranking member Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat; and staff — all of whom were seated at the tables on the House floor, ready to lead the debate on the measure. The Republican table held thick white binders as well as a large accordion folder, all filled with paperwork, and the Democratic table was stacked with paperwork as well. It’s highly unlikely that staff would have brought all the materials needed to debate the bill and amendments if they knew the rule vote was going to fail. ‘At least a short-term shutdown’  In addition to strong disagreement among House Republicans about the full-year spending bills, the House GOP Conference has yet to solidify a plan to pass the short-term stopgap spending bill that’s needed to hold off a funding lapse. Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, chair of the Interior-Environment spending subcommittee, said he expects there will be “at least a short-term shutdown” as the House and Senate try to reach agreement on a short-term spending bill. “That’s a lot of work to do in a very short time,” Simpson said. Rep. Scott Perry talking to reporters at the Capitol Sept. 19, 2023 (Jennifer Shutt/ States Newsroom) House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, said Thursday that he hasn’t seen details on any new short-term spending bills that might come to the floor. “I haven’t seen the language of any additional CR,” he said. Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, the top Republican on the Commerce-Justice-Science spending panel, said he’s “hoping the House chaos is set aside.” “I keep saying I’m not voting for another CR again, but I keep voting for them because the outcome is worse with a shutdown,” Moran said. “But this just needs to be resolved in the House. I don’t think there’s a problem in the Senate that would cause a shutdown.” Any short-term spending bill will have to be bipartisan in order to get through the Democratically controlled Senate, where at least 60 votes are needed to limit debate on legislation. That could take more time than lawmakers have before Oct. 1, he said. “Nothing about this is conducive to getting something done quickly, and we’ve got to start with something that’s acceptable,” Moran said. ‘We’re in kind of a desperate situation’ Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said he’s unsure when the Senate would take up a short-term government funding bill since House Republicans haven’t announced what they’ll vote on or when they’ll vote to pass a CR. “The House is a wreck and the speaker doesn’t appear to have a path using his majority to solve a serious national problem, so we’re in kind of a desperate situation,” Durbin said. The House Appropriations Committee has approved 10 of its 12 spending bills for the fiscal year slated to begin Oct. 1, but the House has approved just one of those so far. All of the bills are partisan and written below the spending levels that McCarthy and President Joe Biden agreed to in the debt limit law. The Senate spending panel has approved all dozen of its annual bills on broadly bipartisan votes, though efforts to pass a three-bill spending package halted last week after Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson objected to leaders scheduling amendment votes.  The biggest hurdle for Congress at the moment is gaining support for the continuing resolution that would extend government funding past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. That short-term spending bill is regularly relied on to give the House and Senate more time to negotiate final versions of the dozen annual spending bills. Failing to approve a short-term spending bill before the start of fiscal 2024 on Oct. 1. would begin a funding lapse, leading wide swaths of the federal government to shut down. Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

Conewago Valley school board receives renovation, behavior program updates

The Conewago Valley school board heard updates about the district’s plans for renovations and a newly-implemented positive behavior incentive system during its meeting on Monday evening. Superintendent Sharon Perry updated the board about the district’s eventual building renovations. Earlier this summer, the board decided against constructing new school buildings, opting instead to renovate and add onto existing district facilities. Perry said the administration has met two times with Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, an architectural design company, to begin the planning portion of the project. “This is the time that we look at where we are and where it is that we need to go based upon our student numbers, the projections that we’ve been working through over the course of the past two and a half years, and now we’re working towards that concept,” Perry said. “So by the end of the year, we’re going to have a really great concept that we’re able to present to our community and then we’re looking at bids as early as May or June to begin that process going into year two.” Perry said the district is working to consider all possible factors, ranging from projected student enrollment to safety concerns. “Every meeting we have with administration when we’re talking about curriculum development, when we’re talking about safety, when we’re talking about policies, it’s going to require us to consider some updates to all of our spaces,” Perry said. Strong start to the school year Several administration members told the board they feel optimistic about the way the school year has begun. Matthew Muller, the district’s director of safety and communications, said representatives from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office visited both the middle and high schools to provide students with information about the Safe2Say Something program. The program is intended to help students understand the signs that people may display if they may present a threat, either to themselves or to others, according to the program website. Muller said that among providing other information, the presentation helped students learn how to utilize the program’s anonymous tip line. Several administration members, including building principals and Stephanie Corbin, the director of special education and student services, said the district’s new CHARGE program has also been a success. CHARGE stands for “committed, honest, adaptable, respectful, generous and engaged,” according to the district’s Facebook page, which describes it as a “positive behavior support system.” The program is intended to incentivize good behavior by allowing students to earn tokens they may exchange for rewards. Autumn Zaminski, principal of Conewago Township Elementary School, said CHARGE has been a hit with staff and students alike. The board was shown examples of the program’s tokens. “The kids are just really, really excited and it’s going really well,” Zaminksi said. “It’s amazing how you can hold a token and they are just excited. We just wanted you to be able to see those and see how they’re exchanging (them.)” Christopher Bowman, principal of New Oxford High School, said the high school decided to provide students with a presentation from Rachel’s Challenge. Named after Rachel Scott, the first student to die in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, Rachel’s Challenge is an organization that works to help minimize school violence and bullying. Bowman said the program included training for the school’s FOR (Friends of Rachel) Club. “Our FOR Club in existence for, I think, the last 6 years since the last time we had Rachel’s Challenge in the building, which is a feat in and of itself,” Bowman said. “I know the trainer acknowledged that. It was very exciting to know that that club is still in existence.” Bowman said about 100 new students took part in the training. “I’m happy to report that the trainer reported to us that this was probably, to date, his favorite high school to come and work with and present to, and could not be more excited about the ideas that were generated by our students during that training,” Bowman said. Perry said that despite facing challenges, staff and administration have ensured a smooth start to the school year. “To see how everybody jumps in, helps out, steps outside of their role to offer support and help is just unmatched,” Perry said. “I want to thank the administrative team, our support staff, our administrative supports, our maintenance staff. It has just been a marvel, and I really shouldn’t be surprised, but I never want us to take it for granted because it really is special.” Recognition During the time for honors and recognition, the board noted the achievements of a handful of students. Two students, Idriz Ahmetovic and Israel Felipe, were named as two of five nominees for the Times Area Player of the Week. Felipe was ultimately named Player of the Week. Three students were also noted for being accepted to colleges. One student received $84,000 in scholarship offers. Other business A handful of current policies were updated while three new ones, all pertaining to school security, were approved. Policy 255, “Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care,” was retired since it was made unnecessary when the contents were included in an updated policy. Perry said the board is beginning a four-year policy review cycle. Administrative members are reviewing and updating the policies and receiving input from the district’s legal counsel before the board finalizes any changes. The board also approved a list of substitute teachers and substitute support staff, as well as a long list of volunteers for the 2023-24 school year. During the time for public comment, one individual asked how the schools spent Constitution Day on Sept. 17. The board will hold a study session at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2 and a board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9. Both meetings will be held in the district office. Board meetings are also typically livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel. The board held an executive session before the open meeting.

Carroll Valley proposes reducing chicken coop restrictions

The Carroll Valley Borough Council once again grappled with zoning ordinances about constructing chicken coops and selling lots. Adam and Katlyn Colson approached the borough council in July and asked permission to keep the chicken coop they built in the front of their house because there is no room in the backyard as the ordinance dictates. Colson said she spoke with neighbors to ensure they were okay with the coop, designed to match their house and garage, and its location. It sits behind a large garden, and the entire area is fenced. Many neighbors have attended the meetings in their support. Council president Richard Matthews opened Tuesday’s discussion on the chicken coop ordinance by quoting from the deed of his property, under “restrictions”: “No poultry, horse, cow, sheep, hog, goat or other similar animal excepting only ordinary household pets shall be kept or permitted on the premises.” He added that he did not understand why the borough had ever decided to do something contrary to property deeds. “So my vote on chickens will be, ‘No,’” he said. Council solicitor Zach Rice explained that deeds and council ordinances are two different areas of the law. “The restrictive items in a private deed are not items that the borough would enforce.” He added that a deed is a private tool to enforce restrictions, not a public tool. Borough manager Dave Hazlett suggested a revision allowing spaces to keep the coop other than the backyard. Still, those areas would not solve the original problem because of where the current sewer system is located. Planning Commission chair Richard Wright asked Hazlett if additional language could be added to allow more flexibility without giving residents the right to “just put chicken coops everywhere.” Rice did caution the council about granting ordinance waivers to residents because it can quickly become very political. “This is a very unique community in that we have very unique situations on different lots,” said borough manager Dave Hazlett, adding it would be challenging to come up with language that would fit every unique situation. Wright still asked the council to allow the planning commission to look at putting in additional language to make the ordinance more flexible. Perhaps we should consider not putting in language, but taking out language,” said council member Bruce Carr. “Why can’t you just let people make their own minds up as long as it doesn’t affect anybody else?” A motion to amend the chicken ordinance, removing the conditions of the location and falling back on the underlying zoning district setbacks, brought a three/three split from the council, and Mayor Ron Harris was asked to break the tie. He voted in favor of the amended ordinance, which will be passed back to the planning commission for further consideration. Lot sales In unfinished business, the council looked at guidelines that will allow the process of lot sales to move forward. Council member Kari Buterbaugh asked if there would be any provision for residents who currently own lots in Carroll Valley to have an advantage when purchasing a neighboring lot. Hazlett explained that any lot that sells for more than $6,000 must be advertised and sold through a sealed bid. According to state law, lots appraised at less than $6,000 do not have to be put out for a sealed bid. But they still have to be advertised. Solicitor Rice said there is a provision for swapping a lot with the council, but the lot acquired by the borough must be used for recreational purposes. “So what you’re saying is there’s no way you can show favoritism towards the Carroll Valley resident?” Buterbugh asked again. “Exactly,” replied Rice. “Whether it an exchange or a sale,” he added, “if the fair market value is in excess of $6,000, the answer is ‘no.’” Hazlett said that the document he prepared suggesting guidelines for selling lots was in response to a decision by the council that some of the available lots should be sold. “Every time we talk about it, we spin our wheels exactly the same, so you’ll have to forgive my obvious frustration,” he said. “In theory, the concept of favoritism towards borough residents is perhaps a laudable goal, but in reality, you’re going to have plenty of situations where favoritism to one means discrimination or targeting or adverse impacts on someone else.” When a resident expressed concern about the number of lots to be sold, Hazlett said, “We might have 200 lots, but the reality is we have about four or five that it would behoove us to liquidate because they’re worth significantly more money than others.” The original purpose of selling the lots at one time was to help reimburse the borough for a 20-acre land purchase that will someday be turned into a youth park. After the 40-minute discussion, Matthews said, “We really wore out the broom on that rug.” The council voted unanimously to accept the guidelines for lot sales as presented. Other council business An amendment regarding building setbacks and permitting requirements for home occupation and no-impact home-based business was tabled until October 2023. The borough unanimously passed Ordinance #5-2023, which will authorize the completion of the project to update the borough’s wastewater treatment plant. Estimated at more than $6 million, the project’s expected life, including the existing facilities, will be at least 30 years. Kay Lake Council member Carr noted that Kay Lake has become so overgrown with aquatic vegetation it “could be mowed” and asked if anything could be done to alleviate the problem. Hazlett responded that Kay Lake has had the maximum of chemical remediation allowed. However, he added the borough may seek special permission to add additional chemicals, which they might consider for the spring. He said that the council in 2005 had discussed dredging the lake, but it decided to seek a different resolution due to its cost of about $1.5 million. Later, during the GMS funding solutions report, Matthews asked if the statewide local share account might be a source of funding to clean Lake Kay. The maximum project request is $1 million, and Hazlett said his office had just met with GMS representatives the previous day to discuss possibilities. Lake Kay is one of the 12 projects submitted for consideration, and Hazlett said they are working with GMS to decide which projects will be best suited for such a funding solution. Carroll Valley is currently waiting to hear if they will be awarded the $212,000 funding they are seeking for the trail project. Photo Caption: Faced with the issue of aquatic growth on Kay Lake, Carroll Valley Borough is seeking possible solutions.

Adams moves forward on broadband update

With billions of dollars available from federal and state funds for broadband improvement in rural areas, a recent presentation at the Commissioners’ meeting indicates the Adams County Broadband Task Force has the data, expertise, and enthusiasm to move forward to the next stage of securing broadband for unserved and underserved residents. “I want to thank the commissioners for recognizing the importance of broadband access for everyone and their foresight in creating the task force and conducting the feasibility study,” said Isaac Bucher, task force chair. “I believe that their timing has placed Adams County in an excellent position to maximize the ability to secure funding.” The task force was created last fall, partnering with Design Nine, an award-winning company that designs and manages telecommunications and broadband systems. The first job was to send out a survey to as many county residents as possible to build a database that accurately reflects the area’s internet needs. Bucher called the survey results a “good affirmation” in terms of what they were expecting — the greatest need in the northern part and some in the western and southern parts of the county. The county recieved responses from 2,500 households and businesses. Commissioner Qually, the task force ex-officio member, said that besides the much higher-than-expected response rate, data was collected from throughout the county, not just in the more urban areas. He believes the recent COVID epidemic made everyone aware of how much dependable and equitable Internet is needed. Brady Rodgers, from the Adams Economic Alliance, one of the project’s partners, outlined the study findings and key points from the survey, saying improved fiber is needed for the long term and fixed wireless for the short term. Those needs will be established through a broadband strategic plan, “but,” he warned, “it’s not going to be fixed overnight. It will take time, and we’re going to need community support.” Qually estimates it might be finished in 10 years. Key points from the survey results indicated: The next step, said Qually, is to make the study public. It is posted on the county website, where residents can view it to understand what is at stake. The task force will also be reaching out to stakeholders – schools, the agriculture community, businesses, and the council of governments to get their feedback on how the county’s internet services impact them and where those needs might overlap. A third step is to seek community engagement. “We need the public help with the next step,” he said. “We need to reach out to those who understand the goals and initiatives and can explain to us, in detail, what their challenges are.” Commissioner Randy Phiel said broadband is crucial to the county’s quality of life, education, and economic development and thanked the task force for its hard work. Commissioner Jim Martin praised the task force for its consistent pace and timeliness in moving forward with the study when they did. Qually agreed, adding, “When the funding applications are available, if you don’t have good data to back up your application, you’re going to have a hard time getting money.” In other board business, Children and Youth Services director Sarah Finkey presented a $1,570,370 budget share to the county for the 2024/2025 fiscal year, up slightly from the current budget year. This represents about 18.6 percent of the total budget. “About 80 percent of the budget comes from state funding,” explained Finkey, who added that grants are also procured to reduce the money needed from the county. Costs are associated with emergency shelters, community residential and group homes, foster families, supervised independent living, alternative treatments, child protective services, counseling, daycare and treatment, homemakers and caretakers, information and referrals, life skills education service planning, youth development center, secure residential, juvenile detention and special grant incentives. The data for 2022-2023 indicates nearly 5,000 referrals, of which 73 percent were from child protective services, with 27 percent coming from general protective services. Commissioner Qually said he has learned how incredibly complex the job of children and youth services is as they try to steer away from institutional placements. “Adams County has always been about strengthening the families first,” he said. “We need that.” Commissioner Martin thanked the organization for its diligence in placing the right child in the right situation. “It gives them a chance to build a future that is productive and successful.” ACACC Polling Location Changes Residents from McSherrystown and Bonneauville boroughs will see a change in their polling locations. The permanent changes will include a move from the McSherrystown Senior Center to Delone Catholic High School, 140 S. Oxford Ave., and the Deacon Rich Weaver Parish Center, 12 E. Hanover St., will replace the current location at the Bonneauville Municipal Building.

Slideshow: HGAC Historic Barns Tour, 2023

On a spectacular autumn day last Saturday, six Adams County barns were on display for the public to travel back in time for the annual Historic Barns Tour hosted by Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC).  ( Five of the barns are privately owned and usually not open to the public. Visitors were given the opportunity to drive to each barn and tour the buildings, each of which was built in the 19th Century using hand tools.  Each barn exhibit featured a variety of educational and fun activities, including art displays; demonstrations of woodworking, pottery, brickmaking, timber-framing, tatting, and lace making; visits to cattle and working horses; as well as a variety of music, cider tastings, and farm-raised foods. Civil War living history characters were on hand to recount mid-1800s life during the time period when the barns were built, and The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, in historic dress, demonstrated quadrille dancing to the tunes of Nineteenth Century Parlor Band, the Susquehanna Travellers.   Participating barns included: Round Barn in Biglerville, whose architect Noah Sheely is known for “creating one of the first large commercial fruit operations within the county back in 1878” which later provided the blueprint for other farmers and Adams County’s current thriving fruit industry. Starr Barn in Hanover, built ca. 1840, which won HGAC’s first annual Barn Preservation Award in 2008. The barn is a hybrid of the original historic structure, adapted to include a pottery studio and shop on the ground floor and a residence on the upper floor. Beech Springs Farm Barn in Orrtanna, built in 1867, which won HGAC’s Barn Preservation Award in 2013.  This barn is classified as a Basement Drive-through Standard Pennsylvania Barn and now serves as a wedding and event venue.  Sarah Patterson Barn in Gettysburg, built in the 1830s, is a stone Classic Sweitzer Pennsylvania Barn which had served as a temporary Union field hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. Cornerstone Barn in Gettysburg was built in the 1880s and received the 2020 HGAC Barn Preservation Award. It is a Standard Pennsylvania Barn with a built-up ramp and access to the upper level. The barn is part of the 7 Sky Farm, known for its pasture-raised Hereford Beef Cattle. Stone of Scone Barn in Littlestown was built in the 1820s and received the 2019 HGAC Barn Preservation Award.  It is a brick-end Classis Sweitzer Pennsylvania Barn.   Proceeds of the tour will benefit the HGAC Barn Preservation Project and Grant Program.  Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  For more information, visit the HGAC website:  https://www.hgaconline.org/hgac-barn-tour-2023.

Biglerville High School ranked among top schools in the nation, state

Biglerville High School was recently named among the top 40% of high schools in the country and also ranked highly among Pennsylvania schools. Biglerville stands at No. 3,321 out of nearly 18,000 high schools in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings for 2023-2024. Within the state, the school stands at No. 133 out of 750, according to a news release from Upper Adams School District that cited the report. Principal Beth Graham expressed her pride at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “I’m very proud of our teachers, of our community,” Graham said. “I think it speaks to our dedication to academic excellence and providing a quality education for our kids.” The rankings are based on several factors, including performance on state assessments and how well schools prepare students for college, according to the U.S. News & World Report website. Key statistics included: • 29% of Biglerville High School students took at least one Advanced Placement exam, of which 23% of students passed at least one exam. • 69% of students are proficient in math. • 77% of students are proficient in science. • 78% of students are proficient in reading. • The school boasts an 88% graduation rate. In the news release, Upper Adams School District highlighted the “rich cultural” environment and diversity at the high school, which has a 34% minority enrollment. The district also expressed pride in serving students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who make up 34% of the high school population. The school board and Superintendent Wesley Doll lauded Graham and her staff for their efforts. Vice President Tom Wilson said the community at large should take great pride in this accomplishment. “It’s very impressive, very impressive indeed,” he said. Graham turned to the other principals in the room and said the achievement was a group effort. “This isn’t something that just happens when they get into high school,” Graham said, the path to success begins with “that first day of kindergarten.” Graham said she learned of the ranking via email Sept. 5. She said the high school was ranked highly in the past, though she could not recall exactly when. “We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition, which speaks to the hard work and commitment of our faculty, staff, and administration, as well as the dedication of our students and families to continued academic success,” Doll said in the release. Eighteen newly hired staff who will build upon that success were introduced to the school board. They include teachers at the elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools. Their roles span the subjects of English language arts, science, math, social studies, special education, Spanish, and more. Among the new hires is social worker who will serve the entire district. In other business, Doll said the locker and team room renovation at the secondary campus is on target to be complete in December. The price tag on the estimated $2.4 million project went up slightly Tuesday. The board approved a change order of approximately $9,700 for the demolition of flooring and concrete bases around lockers. Wilson said these areas had been overlooked previously in the original general construction contract. The board Tuesday also voted to establish a fund to pay its portion toward the renovation of the Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School. School districts that send students to Cumberland-Perry for educational training, including Upper Adams, are contributing funding toward the project. Doll previously said how much each district owes is based on a formula that includes the number of students each district sends to the tech school. The district will transfer approximately $787,400 from its assigned debt fund to the Cumberland-Perry renovation fund. The money is expected to be withdrawn in two 50% payments around July 15 and Nov. 1, 2024. Board member Chris Fee was absent Tuesday. The school board will next meet Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. for curriculum, extra-curricular, and business and operations committee meetings. The policy committee will meet Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. The next regular board meeting is Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.

Moms for Liberty: ‘Joyful warriors’ or anti-government conspiracists? The 2-year-old group could have a serious impact on the presidential race

Shauna Shames, Rutgers University Signs in the hallway during the inaugural Moms For Liberty Summit on July 15, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. Octavio Jones/Getty Images Motherhood language and symbolism have been part of every U.S. social movement, from the American Revolution to Prohibition and the fight against drunk drivers. Half of Americans are women, most become mothers, and many are conservative. The U.S. is also a nation of organizing, so conservative moms – like all moms – often band together. Lately, the mothers group dominating media attention is Moms for Liberty, self-described “joyful warriors … stok[ing] the fires of liberty” with the slogan “We Don’t Co-Parent with the Government.” Others see them as well-organized, publicity-savvy anti-government conspiracists. The rambunctious two-year-old group was founded in Brevard County, Florida, to resist COVID-19 mask mandates. It quickly expanded into the Southeast, now claiming 120,000 members in 285 chapters nationwide. Their mission is to “figh[t] for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” By “parental rights,” they mean limiting certain content in schools and having local councils and boards run only by “liberty-minded individuals” – which sounds like rhetoric from the American Revolution. There’s historical precedent in this. Change the clothes and hairdos, and these ladies could look like the conservative white women who opposed busing in 1970s Boston, supported McCarthy anti-communism or blocked integration in Southern schools. Those women also formed mom-based groups to protest what they saw as government overreach into their families’ way of life. But as a scholar of American politics with a focus on gender and race, I also see differences. 21st-century conservatism Moms for Liberty skillfully leverages social media, drawing on a population activated by the 2009-2010 rise of the Tea Party followed by the Trumpian MAGA movement. Mask mandates were the trigger for the group’s formation, but opposition to gender fluidity and queerness has become its bread and butter – more 21st century than 20th. How racial equality is talked about animates its work also, in a distinctly new way. The conservative position on race and government’s role in the past century has pivoted from enforcement of segregation and hierarchy to a kind of social “laissez-faire” – hands-off – position to match the Reaganite view that government is bad. The extreme, hyper-male form of this anti-government, pro-traditional gender-roles ideology took shape as the Proud Boys, a number of whose leaders are now under indictment and sentence for their part in the Jan. 6 Capitol attacks. Moms for Liberty, while not going this far, shares similar beliefs and apparently has ties to the Proud Boys organization and leaders. They don’t march with guns, but their actions undermine and impede local government. https://www.youtube.com/embed/4lBqVPTBQBw?wmode=transparent&start=0 ‘One minute you’re making peanut butter and jelly, and the next minute the FBI is calling you,’ said Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice, testifying in the U.S. House of Representatives about government investigation of her group. New kids in town making themselves heard The group’s roots stretch back to a heated 2020 school board election in Brevard County. Incumbent school board member Tina Descovich, a local conservative activist mom, was challenged by progressive newcomer Jenifer Jenkins. When Jenkins won, the conservative board majority ended. Having lost electorally, Descovich – and the corps of like-minded moms she now represents – began to shift the conversation from the outside. They joined with moms in many red states angered by what seemed fast-moving changes involving race, gender, and sexuality, like the increasing numbers of people identifying as trans, queer, or nonbinary, even at young ages, the vast changes in marital laws and family structure, and changing ideas about whiteness, inclusion, and equity. Moms for Liberty soon found success with disruptive tactics a VICE News investigation called a “pattern of harassment” of opponents that include online and in-person targeting of school board members, parents or even students who disagree with the group. Members in many chapters generate ill will by turning up to school board and other meetings – sometimes to the homes of public officials or teachers – yelling insults like “pedophile” and “groomer” at opponents. For a newcomer, Moms for Liberty has had real victories. It has disrupted countless meetings, forcing local governance bodies to focus on topics important to the group, such as lifting mask mandates and, more recently, removing curricular content that they deem controversial, such as texts on gender identity and racial oppression. The group’s success in getting talked about is perhaps its greatest strength so far, moving it from outside disruptor to political player, at least locally. It has successfully supported many local candidates and book bans. Specific examples of banned books include “Push,” which inspired the award-winning movie “Precious,” and “Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl,” also made into a movie. Disciplining members Despite its many chapters, Moms for Liberty is untried nationally, its total membership is still relatively small, and Federal Election Commission filings show it raising and spending little money. The group lacks control over members, who have publicly embarrassed it. In one case, the Hamilton County, Indiana, chapter quoted Hitler in a newsletter – later apologizing. At another point, an Arkansas member avoided criminal charges for saying, in a discussion about a librarian, “I’m telling you, if I had any mental issues, they would all be plowed down by a freaking gun right now.” These incidents mark the group not only as green, but also as part of the new right wing. Republican-leaning groups used to take a top-down approach to setting agendas and managing people, while Democratic organizations historically cited democracy and equality as both tools and goals, even if it meant disorganization and failure. In the traditional top-down Republican party of yesteryear, Moms for Liberty would likely be marginal. In today’s disorganized, divided, hyperpolarized GOP, it may do quite well – which is not good news for democracy. Out of step, but useful Pro-mom language is sometimes, in the old idiom, the velvet glove hiding the iron fist. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks organized hate activity, labeled Moms for Liberty “extremist.” Its empirical evaluation concluded that the group’s chapters “reflect views and actions that are antigovernment and conspiracy propagandist.” Moms for Liberty is ideologically out of step with the country and more anti-government than most Republicans. The majority of Americans are not in support of lifting mask mandates in the middle of a pandemic or banning books. Among Republicans, there is disagreement over the teaching of controversial topics like racial justice, but book bans find low support. Despite the current bitter political climate, most in the U.S. appreciate government and want it to work. Yet, some media refer to Moms for Liberty as a “power player” – and no wonder when Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis show up to court the group. Moms for Liberty may be fringe, but its members could be of use to presidential hopefuls. Why? The answer lies in some distinctly post-2010 electoral math. These days, only a quarter to a third of voters align with each major party, and less than a third of registered partisans turn out for primaries. So a sixth of each party – a small fraction of the overall population – now selects the nominees. And that sixth is not representative – it is far more opinionated and angry. Moms for Liberty, having organized small, ideological voting armies in swing states, is in the envious position of representing a concentrated and potentially decisive voting bloc. The mom rhetoric may be real, but as a political scientist, I can say confidently that the framers of the Constitution would not endorse this brand of liberty. Book bans are weapons of autocrats, and democracy ends where political figures call each other “pedophiles” in public. Shauna Shames, Associate Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Hospitals plead with Congress to avert $8 billion in cuts in Medicaid funding

by Ashley Murray, Pennsylvania Capital-StarSeptember 15, 2023 WASHINGTON — Healthcare representatives from across the United States are urging Congress to halt cuts to funding that helps hospitals care for uninsured or low-income patients who rely on Medicaid. Hospitals and health systems are asking Congress to avert or delay a forthcoming $8 billion cut to “America’s health care safety net.” (FS Productions/Getty Images) More than 250 hospitals and health systems, including many in Pennsylvania, appealed to House and Senate leadership in a letter Thursday asking the lawmakers to avert or delay a forthcoming $8 billion cut to “America’s health care safety net.” The reduction to the Medicaid disproportionate share of hospital funding is scheduled for Oct. 1, as mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The deadline comes as Congress faces partisan roadblocks to funding the government and renewing a number of expiring federal programs by the end of the fiscal year, or Sept. 30. “Not only does Medicaid DSH ensure access to care for millions of people, it enables our hospitals to provide essential services to their communities, including top-level trauma, burn, and neonatal intensive care. The need for DSH funding is even greater now, as hospital expenses per patient have increased significantly since the pandemic,” read the letter sent by the advocacy organization America’s Essential Hospitals. The fund compensates hospitals that treat a disproportionate number of uninsured patients or low-income patients whose government-provided Medicaid coverage pays a lower rate than private insurance or Medicare. The ACA provision, written under the premise that rates of uninsured people would continue to decrease, requires $8 billion per year in cuts from 2024 to 2027. Higher rates of insurance coverage “have not materialized,” Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, wrote in a statement accompanying the letter. The offices of GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries did not respond to a request for comment on the letter. The impending cuts have also been a concern for senators on both sides of the aisle. Over the last decade, Congress has stopped reductions to the fund that were required under the ACA. In a bipartisan letter from August to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 20 senators wrote that “(c)uts of this magnitude could undermine the financial viability of hospitals, threatening access to care for the most vulnerable Americans.” “It is essential that we continue to protect those who have come to rely on the services provided by Medicaid DSH hospitals. We ask you to act as soon as possible to address the Medicaid DSH cuts to ensure our nation’s hospitals can continue to care for every community,” the senators wrote in the Aug. 3 letter co-led by Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma. Neither Schumer’s nor McConnell’s office responded to requests for comment on either letter. New health coverage data According to Census Bureau data released Thursday, uninsured rates dropped in 27 states in 2022 compared to 2021, with some changes attributed to increases in public insurance. “For seven of the states with lower uninsured rates in 2022, the difference was driven by increased private coverage. For 10 states, the uninsured rate decrease was related to increased public coverage. In three particular states —Missouri, New York, and Virginia — the decline in the uninsured rate was a result of increases in public coverage that outweighed decreases in private coverage,” David Waddington, chief of the Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division at the Census Bureau, said in a press release. Maine was the only state where the uninsured rate increased, up to 6.6% in 2022, from 5.7% in 2021. Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

Adams County Sports Update – September 16 2023

Gettysburg College Read more Gettysburg College Sports High School Sports Boys Soccer September 12 Bermudian Springs : 1 Littlestown : 0Littlestown 0 0 — 0Berm 0 1 — 1 Second half —Berm, Cole Weikert (Landon Oehmig), 25:53. Shots (On Goal) — Littlestown 8 (4), Berm 9 (4).  Corners — Littlestown 0, Berm 2.Goalkeepers — Christopher Meakin, Littlestown (3).  Alan Felipe, Berm (4). Delone : 2 York Catholic : 4The Squires were down 0-1 in the first half and came back to tie it by halftime with an assist by Michael Carter to Angello Salazar. Then, things looked up for a bit as the Squires took the lead 2-1 after a steal by JP Groves dribbling forward and a pop-up goal. York Catholic then scored three in a row to pull away. Eastern York : 1 New Oxford : 4Diego Diaz scored two goals for the Colonials and Corbin Barnes had two assists. Gettysburg : 1 Shippensburg : 0 The Gettysburg Warriors Boys Soccer team emerged victorious at home in a nail-biter against the Shippensburg Greyhounds on Tuesday, thanks to an extraordinary header by Quaide Clark in overtime. The solitary goal, assisted by Wyatt Michael, was enough to give the Warriors a 1-0 win. The match was a defensive showdown during regulation. Gettysburg’s goalkeeper, Jake Bermer, displayed excellent form, making two crucial saves to keep the score level. On the other end of the pitch, Shippensburg’s goalkeeper Zavier Rodriguez was in equally fine form, pulling off an impressive six saves to keep his team in the game. Gettysburg dominated in shots on goal, registering seven compared to Shippensburg’s two.  Corner kicks also reflected Gettysburg’s attacking intensity. The Warriors earned five corners throughout the match, as opposed to Shippensburg’s three, but struggled to convert these opportunities into goals.  The defining moment of the game came when Wyatt Michael delivered a well-timed assist that found Quaide Clark . Clark’s header went into the net, bringing the home crowd to its feet in exhilaration. Littlestown : 0 Bermudian Springs : 1The Bermudian Springs Eagles secured a 1-0 victory over the Littlestown Canners away from home on Tuesday.  The lone goal separating the two teams was netted by Eagles freshman Cole Weikert, with a crucial assist from sophomore Landon Oehmig. Weikert found the back of the net with 25:53 remaining in the second half, capitalizing on a brilliantly orchestrated play that left the Canners’ defense scrambling.  Goalkeepers from both sides were kept busy, with the Eagles making five saves and the Canners close behind with four. Although the Canners had a whopping 12 shots compared to the Eagles’ four, they couldn’t manage to translate those opportunities into goals. The absence of corner kicks for the Canners, contrasted with the Eagles earning five, underscored Bermudian Springs’ dominance in critical set-piece scenarios.  September 14Delone : 1 Hanover : 0The Squires scored in the 1st half with 25 minutes remaining off a free kick by Fernando Salazar to his brother and teammate Angello Salazar. Despite eight other shots on goal by the Squires and due to some excellent grabs in the air by the Nighthawks by goalie Jedi Abell, there were no other scores in the game. James Buchanan : 0 Gettysburg : 1Nic Aumen scored the game’s only goal in the second half at 35:33 for visiting Gettysburg. New Oxford : 3 York Suburban : 0 New Oxford 2 1 3York Suburban 0 0 0 Ist Half: Harvin Flowers, assisted by Israel Felipe. Israel Felipe, assisted by Edgar Garcia. 2nd Half- Braddyn Seiferd, assisted by Israel Felipe.  New Oxford Goal Keeper Owen Ragula- 4 saves  York Catholic : 4 Littlestown : 0Littlestown 0 0 — 0York Catholic 2 2 — 4 First half —1\. YC, Ryland Staub (Christian Ludwig), 19:37. 2\. YC, Kobin Proudfoot (Ryan Oathout, Christian Ludwig), 16:30. Second half —1\. YC, Christian Ludwig, 18:38.2\. YC, Andrew Schuler (Christian Ludwig), 13:17. Shots (On Goal) — Littlestown 4 (1), YC 17 (13).Corners — Littlestown 1, YC 6.Goalkeepers — Christopher Meakin, Littlestown (8). Jesus Martinez-Ruiz, YC (1). Field Hockey September 12Biglerville : 7 Bermudian Springs : 0Ava Peterson led the Canners with four goals. Gettysburg : 8 Central Dauphin East : 0 Hanover : 0 Delone : 7 September 13Gettysburg : 8 Central Dauphin East : 0Field Hockey: Warriors Dominate in 8-0 Victory Over Central Dauphin East  The Gettysburg Warriors secured an 8-0 victory against the Central Dauphin East Panthers on Wednesday at home. It was the second consecutive win for the Warriors. The Warriors dominated from start to finish with 11 corners and 25 shots on goal. Abby Williams opened the scoring for the home team, setting the pace for what would be an unyielding attack. She was followed by Marlee Dwyer, Rachel Williams, Sophia Williams, who scored twice, and Carly Schumacher, who completed a hat trick with three stunning goals in the third quarter.  The Panthers’ goalkeeper, Lea Watkins, made an impressive 17 saves, but the onslaught from Gettysburg proved too much to handle. Gettysburg’s goalkeeper, Bella Cosden, had a quiet game facing no shots on goal. September 14Delone : 1 Biglerville : 12Ava Peterson scored three goals, and Paige Slaybaugh netted two in leading the Biglerville onslaught at Delone. Fairfield : 2 Biglerville : 7 Football September 15 (Click on any game for full results) East Pennsboro 42, Gettysburg 24 Littlestown 42, Hanover 0 Biglerville 19, Fairfield 0 New Oxford 30, Dover 7 Bermudian Springs 44, York Catholic 7 Delone 37, York Tech 20 Girls Soccer September 13New Oxford : 0 Southwestern : 4 NO  0 0 – 0 SW 0 4 – 4 Goals: SW-Maci Shaffer, Carly Louey, Emma Harabin, Ava Wasowicz Shots (Shots on Goal): NO- 0 (0); SW- 21 (13) Saves: NO-Olivia Graham (6), Devin Brame (3); SW-Mckayla Green (0) Corners: SW-9 Girls Tennis September 12Bermudian Springs : 0 Northeastern : 5#1 singles Maarian Khan NE def. Moll Karom 6-0, 6-1#2 singles Lauren Edgar NE def. Amelia Gerringer 6-2, 6-0#3 singles Malissa Fitzsimmons NE def. Greta Haley 6-2, 6-1 #1doubles Sarah Lesher and Frederica Kokoronis NE def. Ava Leatherman and Reese Lighty 6-3, 6-3#2doubles Isabelle Ungrady and Alexis Edgar NE def. Ella Somerville and Rebekah Myford 6-0, 6-3 Exhibition Doubles:Kara Loych and Abigail White NE def. Addie Elliot and Sofia Ruggerie 4-0Elizabeth Seymour and Nadia Payne NE def. Addie Elliot and Sofia Ruggerie 4-3Elizabeth Seymour and Nadia Payne NE def. Ella Somerville and Rebekah Myford 4-1Rachel Theodore and Riley Wilson NE def. Ella Somerville and Rebekah Myford 4-1Greta Haley and Rebekah Myford BS def. Natalie Goodling and Ella Ward 4-2Frederica Kokoronis and Malissa Fitzsimmons NE def. Molly Karom and Amelia Gerringer 6-3Brooklyn Browning and Abby Nagel NE Def Ella Somerville and Ava Leatherman 4-1 Cumberland Valley : 5 Gettysburg : 0Girls Tennis: Warriors Fall to Cumberland Valley Eagles The Gettysburg Warriors Girls Tennis team was bested by the Cumberland Valley Eagles, finishing the day with a match score of 0-5 against their opponents. In the singles division, Gettysburg senior and first position player Carmen Oshunrinade faced off against Cumberland Valley Eagle Riya Srinvas, losing in straight sets with scores of 0-6, 0-6. Junior Auvrie Coscia, holding the second singles spot for the Warriors, struggled against Eagle Pragnya Joshi, also ending with set scores of 0-6, 0-6. Completing the singles lineup, sophomore Parishi Bhanu found herself overpowered by Eagle Pranavi Surapaneni, closing her match with a score of 0-6, 0-6. The doubles categories were equally challenging for the Warriors. The first doubles team composed of sophomores Ava Fair and Wynter Frenette were bested by Eagles Megha Lomada and Riya Datta, with both sets ending 0-6, 0-6. Seniors Molly Heaton and Maja Engl, representing the Warriors in the second doubles match, were unable to secure a win against Eagles Jahnavi Kotapati and Sruthi Anbalagan, suffering a 0-6, 0-6 defeat. Additionally, a district doubles match between Warrior Carmen Oshunrinade and Eagle Riya Srinvas concluded with a loss for Gettysburg, ending 0-8. An exhibition match featured Gettysburg sophomore Alma Zigmic against Cumberland Valley’s Shreya Satheesh, which also concluded in a loss for the Warriors with a scoreline of 0-8. The Warriors are 1-4 on the season. September 13Bermudian Springs : 5 Hanover : 0#1singles: Molly Karom (BS) def. Megan Nawn 6-2, 6-1#2singles: Amelia Gerringer (BS) def. Sophia Rutledge 6-4, 6-4#3singles: Greta Haley (BS) def. Ella Foos 6-0, 6-3 #1doubles: Reese Lighty and Ella Somerville (BS) def. Albany Shue and Elizabeth Valentine 6-4, 2-6, 1-0(7)#2doubles: Ava Leathernab and Addie Elliott (BS) def. Gracie Troup and Autumn Carpenter 6-0, 6-3 District Doubles: Molly Karom and Amelia Gerringer BS def. Megan Nawn and Sophia Rutledge 8-3Exhibition Doubles; Rebekah Myford and Sofia Ruggerie (BS) def. Leah Wildasin and Haley Smith 7-5 Biglerville : 2 West York : 3 Dover : 0 New Oxford : 5Another shutout for the New Oxford girls. Gettysburg : 0 Mechanicsburg : 5 Littlestown : 4 York Catholic : 1 Singles Brianna Meekins (L) vs. Quinn Bubb (YC) 1-6, 6-2, 4-6  L Katie Lookingbill (L) vs. Natalie Doran (YC) 6-4, 6-3  W LilyAnn Barker (L) vs. Marissa Smallwood (YC) 6-4. 6-1 W Doubles Elizabeth Hanna / Lily Johnson (L) / FORFEIT (YC) W Destiny Andrew/Malaina Kowalczyk (L) vs. FORFEIT (YC) W Qualifying Doubles : Brianna Meekins/ Katie Lookingbill (L) vs. Quinn Bubb/Natalie Doran (YC) 6-4 W September 14Camp Hill : 4 Bermudian Springs : 1#1 singles Mia Schreader (CH) def. Molly Karom 6-0, 6-2#2 singles Ava Sachs (CH) def. Amelia Gerringer 0-6, 6-2, 6-4#3 singles Greta Haley (BS) def. Nadia Somers 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(3) #1 doubles Elizabeth Herb and Scarlett Zarcone (CH) def. Reese Lighty and Ella Somerville 6-0, 6-1#2 doubles Anne Gray Sarvis and Alli Dopkowski (CH) def. Ava Leatherman and Rebekah Myford 6-0, 6-1 Exhibition DoublesMelina Lee and Tailyn Tran (CH) def Sofia Ruggerie and Addie Elliott 4-1Sofia Ruggerie and Addie Elliott (BS) def. Eva Bordlemay and Narbada Dahal 6-1 September 15Northern : 5 Gettysburg : 0 Girls Volleyball September 12Delone : 3 York Tech : 0Delone Catholic defeated York Tech 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-22) Delone Catholic JV defeated York Tech 2-0  Gettysburg : 3 West Perry : 0Maya Brainard had 11 assists; Kayla Lew led with five kills, India Mitchell had ten digs; Emily Holtzople had three aces for the winning Warriors. Varsity: 25-23 (Gettysburg)25-18 (Gettysburg)25-23 (Gettysburg) JV: 25-19 (Gettysburg)17-25 (West Perry)13-15 (West Perry) September 14Delone : 3 Fairfield : 0Varsity: (25-15, 25-12, 25-16) Delone Catholic JV defeated Fairfield 2-0 (25-9, 25-14) Gettysburg : 3 Northern : 0Maya Brainard had 19 kills. India Mitchell had ten digs, and Mackenzie Kibler and Sydney DeFoe had six digs each. Emily Holtzople and Alexa Codori both had four blocks each. Kayla Lew led with six kills, and Emily Holtzople had four kills. Sydney DeFoe led with six aces.  Varsity: 25-20 (Gettysburg)25-15 (Gettysburg)27-25 (Gettysburg) JV: 19-25 (Northern)25-27 (Gettysburg)

County honors Library Card Signup Month, Latino Heritage Month, Suicide Awareness Month, and 32nd Annual Heritage Festival

It was a morning for proclamations at Wednesday’s Adams County Commissioners meeting as the commissioners gave tribute to the Adams County Library System, Hispanic Heritage Month, Heritage Festival Day, Suicide Prevention Month, and Hunger Action Month. Laura Goss, Executive Director of the Adams County Library, and Erica Duffy, Development Director, asked Adams County residents to sign up for library cards. They also announced the library’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Signature Event, featuring author Sarah Penner, whose best-selling book, “The Lost Apothecary,” will soon become a FOX drama series. The event will also feature a silent auction. Tickets are available by visiting https://adamscountylibrarysystem.square.site/signature-event-tickets. In her comments to the commissioners about Hispanic Heritage Month, Wellspan Health Educator Yeimi Bautista asked decision-makers to consider how their decisions impact the Latino populations here and to “make sure our leaders have a voice.” She said the Hispanic community is very supportive of the suicide prevention task force because, while mental affects everyone, often this population is not sure where to go for help or won’t seek help because of the stigma attached. She said members of the local Latino population are very connected to each other and celebrate that connection from generation to generation. The Adams County Heritage Festival Day on Sept. 17 will celebrate Hispanic and other cultures by presenting foods, information, music, and fun for its 32nd year at the Gettysburg Rec Park. Sponsored by the Interface Center for Peace and Justice, the event will start at noon. Featured bands include Ladies in the Parlor (American roots), Simple Gifts (Eastern European), Cam Sounds and Vibrations (African American music), and Los Monstrols (Latin Fusion). Commissioner Marty Qually read the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month proclamation on the courthouse steps at noon, accompanied by Kathy Gaskin, Health Adams County Director, and Bruce Bartz, York-Adams County Mental Health, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MHIDD). Bartz, who lost his son to suicide, read remarks by Casey Darling-Horan, county administrator for MHIDD. “Suicide must also be measured by human costs. Each number of the statistics represents a lost life, a family devastated, and a community left behind to grapple with the aftermath. It touches all of us.” Bartz said everyone can help by fostering help and non-judgemental communications about mental health issues. The national suicide rate has increased in the last 20 years, and in 2021, someone committed suicide every 11 minutes. Suicide is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. Kathy Gaskin, Executive director of Healthy Adams County, invited people to join the Suicide Prevention Task Force through Healthy Adams County. The task force has trained community members in CPR, mental health first aid training, and other emergency responses. Information about the task force can be found on the Healthy Adams County website. Cards were handed out with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number and a list of behaviors that might indicate a person needs help. The group of about 25 participants, holding bright green signs, walked together around Lincoln Square. September is also Hunger Action Month, in which organizations nationwide work together to prevent hunger insecurity. In Adams County, more than seven percent of the population is considered food insecure, and 42 percent of school-age students qualify for free and reduced lunch programs. The Adams County Food Policy Council and South Central Community Action Programs, Inc. are working together to educate people about the role of food banks in addressing hunger and raising awareness of the need to devote more resources and attention to hunger issues throughout the county. In other board business, Adams County will receive 20 new voting booths and new camera monitoring equipment for the upcoming elections. The total cost is $21,172, which is expected to be reimbursed to the county through the Act 88 elections integrity grant. Adams County Adult Correctional Center According to Commissioner Jim Martin, backup internet service for the Adams County Adult Correction Complex (ACACC) will cost less than anticipated. Speakding of the $4,237 two-year agreement with Comcast. Martin said the modification that will leverage additional service to the existing line “was much less than what we expected,” The ACACC will use nearly $9,000 of commissary funds to pay for 12 50-inch monitors, which will be located throughout the jail to relay essential information to the inmate population. The purpose of the monitors is to reduce the current time and costs consistent with preparing individual documents or other paperwork. These monitors and the programming will be utilized to communicate information to the inmate population, staff, and visitors about various topics. According to Steve Nevada, Adams County manager, effective and accurate communication of programming offered, resources available, assistance information, special events/activities, and where to go for more details significantly impacts facility morale, safety, and security. A project modification for the Transition to Recovery Program Grant will use more than $87,000 in federal funds with about a $29,000 in-kind match from the ACCAC commissary fund to allow a one-year extension to continue the transition to recovery program for those inmates suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD). It will continue the use of Buprenorphine as part of the medication-assisted treatment program. This drug helps reduce cravings and the effects of illicit opioids, enabling the patient to focus on recovery activities, such as counseling or cognitive behavior therapy. County disperses/receives grant funding South Central Community Action Programs will receive $465,000 of the Adams Response and Recovery Funds to provide four affordable housing units on the second floor of the building housing SCCAP’s homeless shelter. The Heidlersburg Area Civic Association and York Springs Fire Companies will receive $250,000 of ARRF funding to provide upgrades to their respective self-contained breathing apparatus systems. These are specialized pieces of equipment that enable firefighters to breathe while fighting fires in extreme conditions. A third distribution of more than $230,000 of Opioid Settlement Funds will be distributed to the county to be used according to the settlement terms. Although the county will receive funds from the settlement for the next 18 years, nothing has been spent at this time. Featured image captions (clockwise from top [Judi Seniura]: Commissioner Marty Qually proclaims September suicide prevention month with Bruce Bartz, Mental Health Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities of York-Adams County. Proclaiming the 32nd Adams County Heritage Festival on Sept. 17 are Commissioner Jim Martin, Bill Collinge, Commissioner Randy Phiel, Janet Powers, Commissioner Qually, and Nancy Lilley. Celebrating Library Card Sign-Up Month are Commissioner James Martin, Laura Gross, Executive Director of Adams County Library, Commissioner Phiel, Errica Duffy, Development Director of Adams County, and Commissioner Marty Qually. September 15 to October 15 is proclaimed Hispanic Heritage Month at Wednesday’s Adams County Commissioners meeting.  

Bermudian Springs school board discusses facilities, security officer policies

By Imari Scarbrough The Bermudian Springs school board discussed policy updates during meetings on Monday and Tuesday, including the addition of a locker room and restroom policy designed to offer more privacy and accommodations. The board held a caucus meeting on Monday evening followed by a regular meeting on Tuesday night. Restroom, locker room policy Policy 711 – “Use of Facilities by Students” is intended to accommodate students’ needs for privacy and for facilities that meet their needs. For the purposes of the policy, a facility is defined as: “Any restroom, locker room, or shower located on district property that allows for an individual to be in a state of undress.” The policy states that the schools will offer facilities for students based on their sex assigned at birth, for students according to their gender identity, and single-user rooms for students who do not want to use the other options. Students would need to stay reasonably consistent with their gender identity, showing, “over a sustained period of time, that evidences that a student’s gender identity is sincerely held as a part of the student’s core identity,” according to the policy. Should any individual student’s need for an accommodation change, Hotchkiss said administration would work with them on a case-by-case basis. Hotchkiss said the policy was written by district solicitor Brooke Say following community feedback during the buildings and grounds meeting in August. “For facilities used based on sex at birth, that indicates that in every educational building of the school district there will be a facility, a restroom, for use by only those individuals whose sex assigned at birth matches the designation that’s outside of the restroom,” Say explained. “There are requirements relative to individuals using that, and then of course there are a few little exceptions to those principles for some basic needs of the district. like custodial and maintenance issues, emergency and medical assistance, natural disasters, etc.” Restrooms appointed for use by those with particular gender identities would also be set. “The policy then intends the administration to designate within a school building restrooms that are able to be used by those who assert a particular gender identity,” Say said. “In many of those situations, the gender identity is going to match that individual’s biological sex. In some of those situations, the gender identity may not match their biological sex.” Say clarified the policy is intended to alleviate community concerns, to provide accommodations for those who need them, and to ensure options and privacy are preserved. “The purpose of the policy is kind of to thread the needle,” Say said. “Hearing the concerns that individuals had that said there might have been some discomfort about accommodating students with a particular gender identity, this provides a designated bathroom where biological sex is recognized and in that sense is protected so that only individuals with that biological sex can enter that restroom.” Board member Matthew Nelson voiced concerns with the policy, saying families may feel “forced” to discuss matters with their children, especially elementary students. Other board members felt that only those who request accommodations would be significantly affected. “Everyone else just does what they normally do,” board member Jennifer Goldhahn said. Dana Nelson, an elementary school teacher with the district, addressed the board on Monday during the time for public comment. Some of Nelson’s comments focused on Policy 711, saying that working to offer students privacy and options is ideal but potentially tricky on a practical level. As an elementary school teacher, Nelson worried that accompanying groups of students to the restrooms would become more difficult, and wondered if older students using alternative restroom options might draw unwanted attention to their choice. During the regular meeting on Tuesday, the board agreed to post the new document, Policy 711 – “Use of Facilities by Students,” for review. Policy updates The board also continued to work on consolidating and updating existing policies, following a recommendation made by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA). Currently, the district has policies under the designations 300, 400 and 500 pertaining to teachers, administration and support staff. Part of the policy update will blend them into general employee policies. The policies have been reviewed by both the PSBA and by a representative of Stock and Leader, which provides the district with legal services. On Monday, Hotchkiss informed the board that if it approved the new Policy 805.2 – “School Security Personnel” the next day, a school security officer would begin work on Wednesday. Hotchkiss said the district would work to introduce the security officer to the students. The board held its second reading and approved the policy on Tuesday, opening the way for the new security officer to start work. The board also approved several updated policies, including Policy 306 – “Employment of Summer School Staff,” Policy 309.1 – “Telework,” Policy 314.1 – “HIV Infection,” and Police 347 – “Workers’ Compensation Transitional Return-To-Work.” Other business The board approved a memorandum of understanding related to the district’s goal of hiring a school psychologist. Hotchkiss said the district is actively seeking to hire a school psychologist, but until one is found, subcontracting provides an immediate solution. While it does not change the way the district is handling the situation, the MOU highlights the temporary nature of the arrangement. “The MOU is our commitment that we are not going to subcontract out permanently bargaining unit work,” Hotchkiss said. “That we’re not, as a district, going to continue to seek contracts and never hire a school psychologist, because our collective bargaining agreement would not allow us to do that.” The MOU allows the district to hire a subcontractor while continuing to look for a full-time psychologist without violating the collective bargaining agreement. On Monday, Goldhahn asked the board to consider offering a voluntary exit interview for staff who leave the district. Concerned about turnover, Goldhahn suggested that employees have the chance to conduct an exit interview with the board in order to help the district learn ways it can improve. Some board members, including board president Michael Wool, disagreed, with Wool saying exit interviews fall outside of the duties of the school board. Hotchkiss said that in many cases, the issue has less to do with Bermudian Springs and more to do with higher rates of employees leaving the field of education. “I can tell you, if I went back and looked I would say– I’m just going to give you a number – almost 50% of the people are leaving education,” Hotchkiss said. “Getting out. Not going to another school – they’re done with education. Some of them are different parts of education. But I can tell you that’s the trend I’ve seen the last year and a half, probably, is that in and of itself.” Say agreed. “It is the most competitive labor market that we have ever seen in schools,” Say said. It can be difficult for districts to retain employees when they have other tempting offers, with some districts helping teachers pay down debt to attract them. “So people are jumping more than ever,” Say explained. “It is a labor market that is increasingly unstable. There are not enough teachers. You’re going to have people jumping to other positions.” Hotchkiss said that in many cases, employees already share with their supervisors their reasons for leaving, and sometimes state them in their resignation letters. During the meeting, several new staff members took the time to briefly introduce themselves. The board held a reception after the meeting to greet the new employees. Hotchkiss said he has been pleased with the state of the new school year. “Certainly with any start you have some hiccups here and there, but I really appreciate the students, the staff, the parents,” Hotchkiss said. “One of my favorite things at this time of the year is, as you drove into night, you can see what makes this place special. There’s just people everywhere and I love that we have facilities now that people are using nonstop. I just want to thank everybody for getting the school year started off to a great success.” The board will hold a caucus meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9. A regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10. Both meetings will be held in the administration building board room and streamed live on the district’s YouTube channel.

CYS employees waive preliminary hearing

Two current and one former Adams County Children and Youth Services (ACCYS) employees, each charged with two counts of child endangerment, waived their rights to a preliminary hearing today in the Adams County Court of Common Pleas. Steven Murphy, 63, of Dillsburg, and Sherri DePasqua, 46, of Dillsburg, told the Honorable Judge Mark D. Beauchat that they had consulted with their attorneys and voluntarily decided to waive the preliminary hearing. The third defendant in the case, Clarissa Kiesling, 44, of Hanover, appeared and waived her right to a preliminary hearing earlier in the day. The arraignment date for the three defendants is Oct. 16, 2023. Defense counsel Jerry Russo, representing Depasqua, said he looks forward to” vigorously defending the accusation that she knowingly endangered the welfare of these children,” adding that there is another side to the story. He said that Depasqua, who has worked with children and youth services for 20 years, was a foster child until the age of six. She and her husband have also been foster parents. Russo said none of the three defendants believe anything they did was wrong. He said his client would plead “not guilty” at her arraignment. Corey Leslie, counsel for Murphy, said the purpose of the hearing  was for Judge Beauchat to determine if enough evidence existed to support criminal charges. He and his client saw more value in reserving cross-examination until they had the opportunity to receive the discovery, including the grand jury testimony. Chris Ferro, the attorney representing Clarrisa Kiessling, was unavailable for comment. Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnet said he was not surprised the preliminary hearing was waived. He said that other than hearing people testify, no new evidence would have been presented at the hearing. According to a statewide grand jury indictment, while ACCYS was supervising a one-year-old girl and her three-year-old sister, the defendants knowingly endangered the welfare of the children by violating a duty of care, protection, or support, including ignoring concerns expressed by service providers and foster patients. At that time, DePasqua served as assistant administrator of ACCYS, Kiessling was a supervisor, and Murphy was a case manager. The indictment said the defendants dismissed concerns out-of-hand and failed to conduct follow-up investigations before returning the children to their mother. “As a result of that homicide investigation and prosecution, it became apparent that several serious failures occurred in the supervision and reunification process of this case. The murder was very likely avoidable if Adams County Children and Youth Services had not violated the duty of care,” said Sinnett. ACCYS obtained emergency custody of both children in February 2019 after the younger child was born with the presence of cocaine, opiates, and THC in her system. The children were placed with foster parents before being returned to their natural parents after a court order on Feb. 27, 2020. The grand jury claimed the three ACCYS employees did not advise the supervising court at that hearing of multiple concerns about the children’s mother’s inability to parent safely. According to the grand jury statement, a protective services referral was made to ACCYS in late May 2020, which stated the mother had been drinking and passed out while at a party with her children. One week later, the youngest daughter received injuries that her mother reported were obtained from a fall. She later admitted to shaking the child. The child died from her injuries two days later. DePasqua and Kiessling have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings. Murphy resigned from CYS in July. At the Adams County Commissioners meeting Wednesday, Chairman Randy Phiel said, “The safety and welfare of our children has been, remains, and will always be paramount.” He declined to give further comment.

Adams County Municipal Election Candidates, November 2023

OFFICE: Borough Council Dale Reichert PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have lived near Abbottstown all my life. I have lived in Abbottstown Borough for 37 years giving me a good understanding about the working of Abbottstown Borough. I have served the last 10 years as a member of Borough Council. I served as the Abbottstown Fire Chief for 18 years and have been a member of the Abbottstown Fire Co,/United Hook & Ladder Company #33 for 43 years. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: With my experience and knowledge of the area, I will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of Abbottstown Borough. Arendtsville Borough OFFICE: Borough Council Madeline Kuhn PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have lived in Arendtsville Borough for 20 years, and was appointed to council in January of 2023. I graduated from Penn State with my degree in business administration, and am currently back in school to obtain my degree in Mortuary Science. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I look forward to being a voice and an advocate for people in the community. I am currently the youngest member on council, and I believe that will help younger members of the community feel that they are seen and heard. Butler Township OFFICE: Supervisor Josh Crider PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I moved to Butler Township 10 years ago from Shippensburg, PA. My fiancé and I own a small farm where we have greenhouses, and a nursery outside Biglerville, PA. From growing up on a dairy farm in Franklin County to working in agriculture for the majority of my career it is the basis for my strong work ethic, responsibility, initiative, perseverance, being a team player, real-world skills, respect, and humility. I have managed our farm operation from inventory, budgeting, purchasing, and manpower all aspects that go into making a good supervisor. I also have experience with local non-profit clubs and sitting in various elected positions. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I began attending Butler Township supervisor meetings four years ago when Butler Township passed eight ordinances in one year. I soon realized that there were some issues with how things were happening. As I continued to attend meetings, I have seen more and more concerns arise that could have a lasting impact on Butler Township.  I have a strong desire to be a part of the change in making things better for all residents in the township. We need to have forward growth but preserve the community for future generations. I plan to make decisions based on what is good for the township and the taxpayers. One of my main goals is to have better communication with township residents. In attending the township meetings, I have seen too many miscommunications and a lack of communication with the residents. This needs to be improved. Another goal would be transparency with the township. Butler Township is involved in a multi-million dollar building project for a new township building this project has been discussed at township meetings and the township has received a $1 million grant the price tag on this project has continued to increase which will be passed on to the taxpayers. With 48% of Butler Township residents over the age of 55, nearing retirement, and possibly on a fixed income, an increase in taxes could be an issue for them.   OFFICE: Supervisor Victor Woerner PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have lived in Adams County for over 58 years with 32 of those years at the same address in Butler Township. I am a U.S. Navy Veteran, a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper, and have over 30 years in law enforcement. I have supervised numerous personnel throughout my career to include enlisted military, active duty police officers, and civilian employees. I currently have the responsibility of managing a local law enforcement agency dealing with budgets, training, and manpower. I believe my experience gives me a strong background to be a competent township supervisor. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: As township supervisor I will provide fair, honest, and transparent representation for the citizens of our township. It is my goal to maintain our rural community, defend against uncontrolled growth, control spending, and not raise taxes. I will work with the other supervisors to seek grants to help maintain and improve our roads and infrastructure. I am committed to listen and learn and be a strong advocate for the residents of Butler Township. Conewago Township OFFICE: Supervisor Averlon Hinds PRIOR EXPERIENCE: As a seventeen-year resident of Conewago Township and owner of a local small business, AVO Soccer Club, I continue to be committed and invested in this great community. Through self-discipline and love of the people, I make decisions daily to get things done and bring satisfaction. Having invested over $40k in the Plum Creek Community Recreation Facility, known to us locals as Plum Creek Park, I have witnessed the incredible spirit the park brings to our people and the squander that current township supervisors have created. When the township supervisors planted hundreds of trees on open fields, Conewago Township lost the revenue that my soccer club and other ancillary businesses could have brought. Instead of proud parents (and taxpayers) lining sunlit fields and cheering their children in this very popular sport, then taking them out for local treats, hundreds of trees failed to grow substantially or generate more revenue. Meanwhile, current township supervisors shirk their duties to improve and maintain properties and services rendered, not alleviating issues like stormwater runoff, public bathroom needs, and police personnel shortages, while simultaneously they avoid transparent, public, and ethical discussion of a supervisor’s elitist lacrosse club contract. Local residents suffer laborious processes just to obtain a fence permit. But I believe in Conewago Township, in our community, and so I continue to donate funding for the electricity of Plum Creek Park.  CANDIDATE STATEMENT: To vote for me is to recommit to a thriving vision of Conewago Township. Our kids deserve to pursue their dreams at Plum Creek Park, whether they’ll play more soccer, more basketball, or swing high on more swings. Our residents deserve efficient decisions, transparency of contract deliberations, and a prioritization of the facilities our taxes pay for. Because when Conewago Township thrives, we all win.  OFFICE: Supervisor Donald Knight PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Current Supervisor / Conewago Township BOS / I am in my 2nd term and have had the pleasure to serve our community since 2012.  CANDIDATE STATEMENT: My continued support to the community, as well as the people of Conewago Township that elected me in 2011 and again in 2017. If fortunate enough to be re-elected, my goals are to work effectively and cohesively with the other members of the board to help keep Conewago Township a community in which people want to reside, raise their families, work and play. As always, I will continue to govern with a common sense approach by which and with the skills I’ve learned while being in leadership and management for over 30 years, and a seat on this BOS for 12 years, as well as be diligent and well informed when making my decisions, for they affect all our constituents.  Conewago Valley Area OFFICE: School Board Director Beth Farnham PRIOR EXPERIENCE: As a current CVSD school director, I take seriously my duty to approve great faculty, rigorous curricula, and enriching resources. Aligned with CVSD’s Vision, Mission, and Beliefs, I too believe in a quality public education for all students that grows them academically, physically, emotionally, and socially in a safe environment full of authentic opportunities to develop many skills in order to become well-rounded individuals. Because I also believe that each person in CVSD has intrisic worth, I embrace CVSD’s recent recommittment to Title IX policy. No student, staff member, or volunteer should be subjected to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, or handicap/disability. With a degree in Biology, French, and Secondary Education, I understand many aspects of the education system from philosophy through policy. In the past few years, have also spent time in school board meetings, successfully lobbying for improvements to health education. Lastly, there is no decision I make as a school board member that does not impact my family. Not only have my husband and I resided in the Conewago Valley School District as tax-payers for over 15 years, but our children are enrolled in CVSD schools. Proud and humbled to serve the Conewago Valley School District, I relish being a Colonial! CANDIDATE STATEMENT: In February’s landmark decision, Commonwealth Court ruled that Pennsylvania’s system of heavy reliance on local tax-payers provided neither a “thorough” nor “efficient” means to education for all students as guaranteed through the Pennsylvania Constitution. In other words, there should be more state funding. As a current school board member, I heed the directives of Pennsylvania School Board Association on advocating increased state funding. As CVSD continues its feasability study, I will keep my constituents informed of decisions that will impact us, especially as tax-payers. I will vote for what makes the most sense for our entire community, though the student benefit is my first consideration. Recently, the CVSD school board provided estimates in increased taxes should an increase take place. You can find that information, for example, on my Facebook page here: A vote for me is a renewed commitment to excellence in public education for our students and our community.Cumberland Township OFFICE: Supervisor Warren Sheppard PRIOR EXPERIENCE: None, but I do have an understanding of small government operations, financial responsibility, and organization. My experience as a business owner and my experience in emergency services has given me insight and knowledge of small government procedures and operations CANDIDATE STATEMENT:  Like I always have done in life I want to continue to serve my community with a mature, common-sense approach. I believe Cumberland Township is a premier place to live. I attend the township meetings as able and personally know most of the employees of the township. With all the new development, our community is growing and increasing in population.  Those that know me, know that I ‘” Tell it like it is ” and that I am able to work, communicate and listen to concerns with integrity. I believe that everything must be thought out thoroughly, but not dragged out. If elected, I would be honored to join the team of current Cumberland Township Supervisors for the future betterment of our outstanding community. OFFICE: Supervisor Shaun Phiel PRIOR EXPERIENCE: For the past 5+ years I have served on the Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors in the capacity of board member, vice chair, chair and on each of the sub committees. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: If re-elected as Cumberland Township Supervisor, my goals are to give needed resources to the staff to serve Cumberland Township residents in the future while continuing the successful financial practices Cumberland Township has had in place for years. I plan to implement more ways to meet the needs of the Township from an urban, agrarian and rural life perspective by listening to Township residents. I am very proud of the addition of Ag Preservation that was added to the budget to help preserve land in Cumberland Township during my time as chair of the finance committee. If re-elected to the Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors I will proudly serve the only Township I have lived in my entire life.  OFFICE: Supervisor Jonathan Arnold PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have lived in Cumberland Township for the past 14 years, residing on my wife’s family farm in the Barlow area. I am a graduate of Shippensburg University where I majored in business. I have been employed by two large and local manufacturing companies including ESAB Welding in Hanover, PA and am currently employed at JLG Industries based out of McConnellsburg, PA where I am chair of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers statistics committee. I am currently the President of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church council in Harney, MD and do volunteer work at St. Paul’s, Flags Across Adams County, and for the Gettysburg Area High School Cross Country team. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am committed to listening and learning from the constituents of Cumberland Township in order to become an effective supervisor. I want to work with our local farmers to ensure that the agricultural land that makes our township so beautiful is preserved but also explore options that promote economic stability that generates revenue in order to lower our taxes. I want to work to improve the township’s infrastructure in order to support the increasing population. At the same time promote road safety by increasing road signs, decreasing speed limits where appropriate, and work with the Cumberland Township Police Department by providing them support and adequate funding in order to more efficiently enforce road safety in our community. The basis of my campaign is preservation, economic stability, and community. By working together and accomplishing these goals we will make a positive difference for the constituents of Cumberland Township!East Berlin Borough OFFICE: Borough Council Robert Larson PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I’ve been a resident of East Berlin borough since 2017 and have had an East Berlin address since 1983. Previously served a 3 year term (1996-1999) on the Board of Directors for the Lake Meade Property Owners Association and a term on the Board of Directors of the Lake Meade Municipal Authority. I am retired (February 2022) after a career in the printing industry where I worked in and also supervised pre-press operations for three different companies over a period of 30 years. I have experience dealing with the public and, keeping the common good as the goal, I believe in fair treatment for all people. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I will make the effort to provide borough residents with sound, effective policies that enhance and promote the well being and prosperity of East Berlin.Germany Township OFFICE: Constable Raymond Shortt PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have held this Office for 18 years CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I will continue to Serve Warrants and perform Peace Keeping duties of this officeGettysburg Area School District OFFICE: School Board Director Alice Broadway PRIOR EXPERIENCE: As a practicing elementary educator, I care about students and the varied needs in our community. I want the public to be informed about public education, and I believe it is important to have professionally diverse representation on the school board that can speak to different facets of the community. I previously served on the GASD school board and am ready to work with all stakeholders to support our schools. I understand how public schools work and how school board decisions impact the students, teachers, and administration in the district.   I believe it is crucial for a school board member to communicate effectively, asking questions about long term planning, and seeking to better understand what responsibilities and projects are being prioritized. I bring a level of experience to this position to understand this balance and have the communication skills necessary to think critically about our resources. I am ready to engage in discussion surrounding the prioritization of programs, and to communicate outcomes of those decisions clearly to the community. I believe that everyone in our broader school community impacts the education of our students and therefore deserves the facts about the challenges facing education. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: If elected, I will do my best to listen, to ask questions, to give voice to underrepresented populations, and to learn from the professional educators who work with our community’s children every day. Supporting our high quality teachers and administrators means treating them like the experts they are in their curricular areas. Public education’s goal is about increasing access to learning, not restricting it. It means funding needed HVAC and facilities projects to maintain a suitable working and learning environment for our schools. It is impossible to run a school without spending any money, however, understanding how larger capital projects are rolled out over multiple school years helps board members vote in an informed way; balancing the amount spent in a fiscally responsible way with meeting the immediate and future needs of the district.  The school board is not the voice of one person, or even nine. It is a body of elected officials who represent an entire community of students, families, teachers, administrators, business owners, home owners, and other constituents. Working together to represent the best interests of that community is difficult work that requires open, honest conversation and the willingness to ask questions to better understand viewpoints that may differ from your own. A school board candidate is a public servant, and should be ready to listen to all stakeholders and take their experiences into consideration. This office is not a place for individual interests. As an educator, I have first-hand knowledge of how important it is to have a leadership team that supports public education and the growth of all students and families. I want to know what issues matter to people in my community, and I want to have more open, honest conversation about how our district’s board can better support the whole community.  OFFICE: School Board Director Elizabeth Blanc PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I am a mom of two children one of whom currently attends school in the district and one who is a future GASD student. This gives me a strong sense of dedication to the district. I have spent a number of years working with children of all ages. I had the opportunity to assist in after school programs, work in daycare, and nanny before having my own children.  I then spent five years working in the House of Representatives. I had the opportunity to sit in on committee meetings, work on legislation and assist state representatives in various activities in the PA Capitol. I was able to have a first hand look at the issues the commonwealth faces, but particularly what our educational system faces. I now work in the Department of Human Services which has given me the opportunity to help the most vulnerable in our community, including families with children. My position allows me to assist families in gaining the tools they need to thrive and succeed. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I want to help our children, teachers, school staff and parents succeed. This means: quality education, safe and comfortable learning environments for all students, an updated bullying/cyberbullying and hate speech policy, a deep look at the impact of book bans on students, teachers, librarians and school expenses, a promotion of college and tech job readiness,  as well as general school expenses and district taxes.  OFFICE: School Board Director Barbara Sonafelt PRIOR EXPERIENCE: My name is Barb Sonafelt, and I am running for Gettysburg School District Director. I am a Cumberland Township resident who has lived here in Gettysburg area for all together 7 years. I am originally from Monroeville PA, where I was very active in the Gateway Schools and the school board, along with the Zoning Hearing Board and the Planning Commission. I am married and have two sons who currently live in the Monroeville area with my three grandchildren. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have three major core beliefs when it comes to school districts. 1\.      You are the parents of your children, not the schools. The schools are to provide a basic education for the children to function in society. As their parents, you are to teach and nurture their religious, political and social beliefs. 2\.       We have to trim our household budgets when necessary, so should the district. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions in our own lives, but we make them. Our elected school directors are there to do the same thing, while using your tax dollars wisely. 3\.      Politics has NO place in the School Board. I am a registered republican but that has no bearing on my decisions involving your children, which is why I am running on both sides of the ballot. There should be NO political agendas in our schools. There should be NO indoctrination, NO social engineering, and NO supporting the latest buzz words, ideas or social schemes that involve the children. NONE! School districts should supply a good solid education and that is all. OFFICE: School Board Director Michael Dickerson PRIOR EXPERIENCE: My name is Michael Dickerson, and I am running for re-election, and will be seeking my 2nd term for the Gettysburg Area School District School Board. I am a proud 1993 graduate of Gettysburg High School, and have lived in Adams County since 1991.   I understand the challenges that face public education, that face our community, that face our children, and specifically our district. I am confident that with my experience as current board member along with the key relationships that I have developed with our community, and our districts support staff and administration I can continue to provide valuable insight into the unique challenges and issues facing our district and help solve them.   Gettysburg Area School District is increasingly being met with challenges that significantly threaten the quality of education and the wellbeing of our children. A major issue facing our district is the continued effort to balance taxpayer contributions with the demands of properly funding public education. It is critical that we provide our students and administrators with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and we must always consider the source of the funding required to do so. I’ll continue to search for creative solutions when faced with economic uncertainty.   If re-elected I will continue to prioritize these issues, work collectively to bring common sense solutions, and to help provide our administrators the tools and support necessary to promote a secure, healthy, and productive environment for our children. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: First of all I feel that is important for everyone to understand and define who an elected officials constituents are. In the case of a School Director, or School Board member constituents are not just the electorate that votes a candidate into office. As an incumbent School Board member, I have always approached every task, every vote knowing that MY constituents are the students, teachers, support staff, bus drivers, administrators, coaches, taxpayers, and residents of the district. It is the job of a School Director take into consideration and weigh all options to ensure the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. If re-elected I will not play politics, I will listen, and I will always do what I feel the right thing to do is for our children, the district, and this community. Please consider my experience, my record, and values when making your vote count on Tuesday, May 16th. Thank you! Respectfully, Mike Dickerson OFFICE: School Board Director Al Moyer PRIOR EXPERIENCE: – 36 years in public education as teacher/administrator – 10 years as a school superintendent – 5 years in higher ed. serving as Ed Leadership Coordinator at McDaniel College (half-time professor/half-time administrator – Currently serving as Acting Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent in the Shippensburg Area S.D. – Assisted the Education Dept. at Gettysburg College – Currently serving on the GASD board – Doctoral Degree in Ed Leadership – Many volunteer positions in the community – – Regional Commissioner for AYSO soccer – – Session Leader at Church – – Assist with local boy scouts – -Co-chaired a state wide PSBA committee on Charter School Reform – -Consultant/board member for Adams County Christian Academy – I have 2 daughters who have gone through the GASD and currently 6 grandkids in the school system CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I pledge to do my absolute best to balance the resources of the community with the needs of the school district. I am a product of public schools and credit my experiences with any success I have had. Every decision I make and subsequent vote will be in the best interest of our student body and community. Thank you! AlGettysburg Borough OFFICE: Borough Council Brian Hodges PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I Love my community, my neighbors, and the downtown Gettysburg businesses. I am a member of the Adams County Chamber of Commerce, Destination Gettysburg, Inns of the Gettysburg Area, a former board member of the Adams Council Arts Council, and a former member of the Gettysburg Zoning Hearing Board. I have lived in Ward 3 with my wife and three children for 17 years. For 18 years i have owned and operated an award winning bed and breakfast in Ward 1. I have first hand experience in dealing with tourism, fiscal responsibilities, budgeting, and marketing Gettysburg. I have direct knowledge with parking issues, taxation, and zoning issues, as well as all the business permits and regulations that are imposed. I believe my experience can help move the community forward with economic development, while trying to ease the tax burden on our local residents. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am pro-taxpayer, pro-business, and pro-police.  During my door-to-door campaign, nearly every resident I encounter feels disengaged with local government. As such, I propose holding town hall forums during my first term in office. It is time to listen to the public, and I plan on doing that.  A long-term vision is needed for borough operations and parking. I hear from our guests and citizens that it is more expensive to park in Gettysburg than anywhere else in the region. Also, the decision to enforce parking meters on Sundays was not business friendly. Instead of being reactionary, we need a commonsense approach. We have a limited tax base given the National Park. With a landlocked municipality, we need to foster a climate that promotes business opportunities and opposes over regulation with the goal of reducing our overall tax burden. Once elected, I look forward to working with Mayor Frealing and Chief Glenny in making our police department the best agency in Adams County. Thank you for your consideration. OFFICE: Borough Council Chad-Alan Carr PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have served on many Non-Profit Boards working together with colleagues for Governance, Policy, Financial Oversight, and best business practices. Prior to being elected to the Gettysburg Borough Council Member At Large position in 2021, I introduced the idea of a Non-Discrimination Ordinance for the Borough of Gettysburg in 2019. This ordinance is inclusive in protecting everyone and is needed because still to this day, there is no Pennsylvania Law that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity/expression in regards to employment, housing, and public accommodations. Helping to create safe inclusive places and bringing people together is what I’ve done for most of my life. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: If elected to Council again to start a new four-year term, I will continue to listen to ideas, feedback, and opinions of Gettysburg Borough Residents, as well as our local business owners and non profit partners. Working together as a team with fellow council members in a bipartisan way is something I am very proud of. I believe communication and being informed is key. I encourage everyone to attend a Council Meeting and see how local Government works for you. We may not always agree, but it’s important for everyone to listen to one another and find common ground. We should all celebrate the things that connect us rather than focusing on things that divide us. I hope to continue bringing people together to help Gettysburg remember that while we are a town based on history, we must look to the future. Let’s get to work. Together. OFFICE: Borough Council Shelley Knouse PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have been an Adams County resident my entire life and am now a property and business owner in downtown Gettysburg ward #2. I currently own a retail business in Gettysburg and I am the Board Treasurer at the Gettysburg Community Theatre. I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and have previously worked in that field as a clinician and also as a manager and director. I also spent 15 years in the construction field assisting in the bookkeeping, Human Resources, fulfillment of government contracts including reading specification manuals, filling out all required government paperwork and acquiring bonds. I also started a partnership in a trucking company and completed all the required record keeping nationally and locally as well as hiring, firing, managing and dispatching. I also assisted in managing a quarry including obtaining and maintaining ATF and DEP licenses. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I feel that I bring a unique skill set to the council as I have a broad and diverse background and am a problem-solver. I am fiscally responsible, time-sensitive, & proactive. I believe that to maintain a viable business, borough, community; that we need to work together in the best interest of everyone and that we all will need to make individual accommodations so that we all thrive. We do not thrive at the extremes, we thrive when we work cooperatively and find feasible, practical, and proactive solutions instead of functioning in a reactive state. I have vast experience working with a broad range of personalities and the skills to facilitate common ground. Lastly, I value relationships and work hard to apply understanding, compassion and forgiveness.Gettysburg Borough Ward 1 OFFICE: Borough Council Kierstan Belle PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Mental Health Worker, Hoffman Homes for Youth Community Ethics Official, Kierstan’s Kids LLC CEO, #Live4Love Inc 2021 Mayoral Candidate Chair, Adams County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Alternate, Gettysburg Borough Planning Commission Member, Wellspan Health Community Advisory Group Facilitator, Gettysburg Borough Community Policing Member, 2nd Chances Study Group (ReEntry) Adams County Team Adviser, Urban Rural Action CANDIDATE STATEMENT: When I’m elected to Borough Council, I’ll help our residents make sense of the community we live in. The borough looks like a welcoming place but still needs to feel like one. If the people living in the borough of Gettysburg can’t profess to belong here, then what’s the point? Everyone needs to feel connected to the place they call Home. The more my constituents learn about their home, the more they’ll continue to care about their home, and strengthen the connection. As a council member, my job is to secure that connection. I’ll be intentional about doing so because I value the people. Through active listening and a creative work ethic, I’ll be a better advocate for the balance of residential and touristic needs. OFFICE: Borough Council Peter Bales PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I received my bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s University in Criminal Justice and went on to pursue a certification in Hospitality Management from Cornell. I have spent the last fifteen years working in downtown Gettysburg in the service industry. Through this work, I have formed valuable relationships with visitors, residents, and employees of Gettysburg; and have a unique view of the economics and business end of the Borough. This has given me the tools in management, and insights into our community that I believe are needed on Council, and I feel it is my duty to offer those to the members of my Ward. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: If elected, my goal will be to represent the interests of the citizens of Ward 1 and to connect the residents to local government. I wish to bring some of the tenants of hospitality into how the local government interacts with the residents; which can seem inhospitable at times. Specifically, I would work to make the Borough a more comfortable place to be employed, parking for employees who work in town is expensive and difficult to manage. I’ve also heard from the community about the difficulties of affordable and reliable childcare services. These are just a few goals that I would address, with the knowledge that the problems that face us today will be different tomorrow, and my strategies will have to adapt constantly in order to be of service.    Gettysburg Borough Ward 2 OFFICE: Borough Council Matthew Moon PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have an extensive background in personnel and project management, and I have served on borough council for 3 years. In that time I have served as the vice-president of the council, chaired the county Overdose Awareness Task Force, and have worked with a Republican colleague to recruit for and staff all of the borough’s 10 authorities, boards, and commissions. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: In the time I have been on council, I have worked to help create and impanel Gettysburg’s Human Relations Commission. Additionally we created a Human Resources Director for the borough staff to help us navigate the employment landscape of the 21st century, which was one of he things I ran on. There is more work to do. We have an ambitious capital improvement plan, which includes a radical redesign of the Baltimore Street corridor. If re-elected, I will continue the work of funding our ever growing public safety needs while working to ensure that every employee is and feels valued in Gettysburg, especially our hard working police and public works teams. There is so much work to do, and I am willing to help. I would appreciate the support of Ward 2 voters.Gettysburg Borough Ward 3 OFFICE: Borough Council ALISHA SANDERS PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have lived much of my life in Gettysburg’s 3rd ward and have been very active as a parent and community member. I have a long history of board service and volunteer experience that has allowed me to meet many, many people with whom I have had the pleasure of serving. For our community to thrive, it’s vital to form such relationships and partnerships to help organizations meet their goals and effect positive changes. Experience: \*AYSO Coach; Board Secretary \*YWCA Board of Directors, Vice President; Advocacy Committee, member \*Lincoln Cemetery Project Association, Board Secretary \*Interfaith Center for Peace & Justice, Board Member \*Third Ward Concerned Neighbors, Committee Member \*NAACP, local chapter \*NOW, local chapter CANDIDATE STATEMENT: A true democracy depends on an engaged citizenry whose voices are heard and whose participation ensures that the government is responsive to their needs. As a member of the board, I would promote transparency by offering time and space to meet face-to-face with constituents. And I would promote healthy civil discussions by seeking to understand the perspectives and concerns of all community members. Local politics is not built for partisanship.Liberty Township OFFICE: Supervisor Johnny Gereny PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I served 30 years in the Baltimore City Fire Department and retired as a Battalion Chief. I Currently serve as the Zoning Officer in Littlestown Borough and certified Building Code Official. I serve on the Boroughs Planning Commission and work with the Borough Engineer and Solicitor in all matters pertaining to Zoning and Building Code. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I noticed in in the majority of jurisdiction’s I have worked in from Baltimore City to Adams County the Public Officials tend to forget they are public servants, a high percentage think the public serves them and forget they serve the public. I have served for many years and I enjoy helping the public navigate ordinances in a positive way. I believe being a good supervisor requires two things; knowing how to solve problems and knowing how to deal with people, and the most important dealing with people. I believe anyone with good “people skills” can do this job efficiently. A good supervisor might not have all the answers but knows how to find them and is willing to seek council/input from others to get the best results. I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for this position to serve. OFFICE: Supervisor Walter Barlow PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have been blessed to service the residents of Liberty for the past 6 yrs. And if re-elected I would contuine to work for all of Liberty in a fair and equity manner. My goals or sample to bring leadership that brings all the community to work together through municipal agreements to better our services to all. Through Road services , Municipal Policing, I’m looking for better ways to share cost to offset the inflation that we deal with each day. I think the way we can all come together is by not letting the party lines divide us but coming together and setting down and coming up with ideas on how we can meet everyone’s concerns and issues as a municipality. I hope that you will place your faith in me for another 6 years to serve you is Liberty Township supervisor I look forward to seeing you at the polls on May 16th God bless them all sincerely Walter an. Barlow CANDIDATE STATEMENT: If we elected I will continue to work hard for the betterment of Liberty Township and all of the surrounding townships to help come up with ways that we can meet the needs of all our residents through agreements and other means the atoms County and Department of Aging to bring services to all.Littlestown Area School District OFFICE: School Board Director Luke R. Knotts PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Worked for the Littlestown Burrough as a code enforcer. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Review contracts for projects and have open bidding. Review school preparedness. Encourage public participation at board meetings. Review curriculum to make sure students are getting the best education. Hold the line on taxes. OFFICE: School Board Director Nick Lovell PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I am a life-long Littlestown resident and served as the Student Representative to the School Board in high school for three years. I am a 2022 graduate of Littlestown High School, and have attended countless meetings as the representative and as a citizen after graduation. As a recent graduate of the district, and former Student Representative on the school board, I believe that I have a unique perspective and understanding of the school district, and the direction we need to go in helping our students succeed. I know firsthand of the challenges that students face every day, as well as the challenges we face as a district. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I aim to be the voice of the entire community, and represent all stakeholders in the district. I aim to take the politics out of education, and unite the community that I love. My goals are: – To advocate for the best interests of our students – To empower parents to be involved in their children’s education – To utilize and develop our world-class staff to foster a culture of education, not indoctrination – To be a responsible steward of the taxpayer – To work together with students, parents, staff, and the community to best represent all stakeholders in the Littlestown Area School District – To re-instill trust in our school board This is why I am running for the school board. I want to see real change made for students of the district and for the community at-large. I hope that I can earn your vote on May 16 and that we can work together to provide Leadership for the Next Generation. OFFICE: School Board Director Fred Miller PRIOR EXPERIENCE: A long Life of learning. Having Common sense CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Make common sense reforms to the district that would make the district A better place to learn and live. Hold the line on Property taxes. OFFICE: School Board Director Duane Sullivan PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Was a sole proprietor of my own business for over 25 years. I know how to manage. I also bring Leadership skills into the board that would allow things to move smoothly. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I would work hard for the students and taxpayers. Give more transparency to the public and stop backroom deals. Have responsible program management of the school’s budget. Eliminate of out-of-control spending. and offer the best education for your children and A safe environment for them to. I give you my word – I will fight for the parents and taxpayers in the Littlestown school district.Littlestown Borough Ward 2 OFFICE: Borough Council Craig Rosendale PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have been a member of the Council for the past three years and President of the Council since January, 2022. From 2000-2008 I was a Commissioner on the Council of Middletown, Maryland. I retired in 2021 from my position as Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer at Frederick Health where I worked for over 34 years. I hold a Masters Degree in Business (MBA) from what is now Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have been working with the Borough staff, our engineers and members of the business community on plans to improve our wonderful Borough Park space. We have been successful in obtaining a major grant from the state of $497,000 that will assist us in beginning this major undertaking. I hope to see this through to a great degree if I am re-elected. I want to seek and encourage some greater community involvement in events held in the Borough to the point where community members take the lead. I also want to propose ways to the Council that we can also positively affect the the physical appearance of a number of areas in the Borough.McSherrystown Borough OFFICE: Borough Council Dan Colgan PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I seek to be re-elected as a member of your borough council to continue the work of bringing consistency and fairness to our Borough. I am a lifetime resident of our community; I’ve grown up and raised my children here. That makes me uniquely able to know 1st hand how we got here and capable of assisting a path forward. In my first term we have had opportunities galore that no other council has had to. The Covid pandemic forced us to move meetings virtually, we transitioned to electronic meetings and back, we had to figure out how to interview and replace retiring employees in a non-traditional way and while the process and struggle wasn’t always fruitful; we have ultimately succeeded in making key personnel decisions which have put the borough on very good footing. During my 1st term we have also improved the handicap accessibility to our borough office and community center and we will continue to look at more along those lines. The past 4 years has taught me that while the agenda of the loudest voices are not always the highest priority; we can all work together to accomplish what needs to be done, as one famous politician explained… “as long as we don’t care who gets the credit” CANDIDATE STATEMENT: We’ve had a long 4 years together and with your support we will simplify our borough code, improve our streets and traffic congestion, and continue to improve our facilities and parks for our children and seniors. For far too long McSherrystown Borough has been a good ole boys network where if you knew someone on the council you got a green light for your project and if you didn’t you could count on delays and trouble. No more. I’ll continue the standardization of policies to make it simple for all residents; while bringing technology in the borough into, at least, the 21st century. Over the past 4 years we have eliminated costs; including our own salaries to make better use of borough funds. We’ll continue in those areas while also looking to provide more resources to our residents and staff alike. in the next 4 years we WILL fight to make sure PennDot hears us in the area of Main St traffic! We must make the moving of traffic through our town a priority for both them and us if we are to ever solve the issue. Eisenhower Dr. Is only one facet of the plan. We must also keep an eye on the ball to assure we are not replacing one soured of the bottleneck with another. Finally we must stand up for our rights as a town in regards to the overdevelopment of our neighboring municipalities.Their tax revenue may increase but resources we have are directly affected by such things in proportion and we see not one dime in revenue from them. I ask for your vote on May 16th,2023 to continue to serve you. OFFICE: Borough Council Danielle Smith PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Most of my work experience has been in the non-profit sector, where state & federal regulations and laws need to be understood and complied with. In non-profits, doing more with less is necessary, because funds can be limited, requiring the proper prioritization of needs over wants, to maintain fiscally responsible operations. I have served on boards and committees in both Adams and York County dealing with recreation, technology, charitable giving, safety & security, operational organization oversight and fundraising. My experience, both paid and unpaid, have prepared me to understand needs of working with the finances, technology, laws, public safety and basic operational needs of McSherrystown Borough. My experience has also provided me with the ability to balance various perspectives, when working collaboratively with others, while considering the the needs of the community and working within the regulatory guidelines & laws which govern the municipal operation.  CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am committed to working with the existing council, staff and the community to rebuild our financial security by replenishing our reserves. The current COO has exceeded expectations with implementing changes and seeking grants to help stop the financial hemorrhaging of the past, however there is still more to be done. I will advocate for greater accountability of the elected officials, by encouraging more eduction – so that elected officials better understand their roles and limitations. Through education, elected officials will have no excuse for not understanding or knowing the laws they swear to uphold. There has been an effort in the last few years to rehab long neglected buildings and structures within the borough. I would like to ensure those compliances and safety needs continue into the future, by working with council & staff on a short term and long term plan for their continued repair and maintenance. Menallen Township OFFICE: School Board Director Neil Weigle PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I grew up attending Upper Adams Schools and graduated from Biglerville High School. My family and I moved back to the Biglerville area in 2018 and both of my children have attended schools in the district. I have been involved in the district as the Varsity Boys basketball coach and as the American Legion baseball manager. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: If elected, I will work to make sure the school board makes fiscally conservative decisions for the school. I will work with the administration to increase accountability and to provide the best education experience possible for every student in the district.Mount Joy Township OFFICE: Supervisor Terry Scholle PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I’ve lived in Mt Joy township for the past 38 years on our family farm and have a strong interest and connection with agriculture in our community. I served on the township planning commission for five years, three of which I was chairman. I have been on the Board of Supervisors for the past six years, vice-chairman the last two years.    My experience in local government is extensive, including:   \- President of the Adams County Counsel of Governments (ACCOG) \- Chairman of township Agricultural Security Area (ASA) \- Member of Board of Directors for the York Adams Tax Bureau (YATB) \- Member of the YATB Tax Appeals Committee \- Member of Adams County Farm Bureau   I hold a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Akron University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. I taught advanced communications and cryptology courses for 21 years for the Department of Defense (National Cryptologic School, Ft. Meade, MD), and taught math, engineering and business courses at York College for 19 years.  CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I will continue to address concerns of the residents of the township and work in the best interest of all.  Work with other municipalities on common items that have overlap with our township Provide guidance to staff to assure timely responses dealing with township matters Continue on our path of fiscal responsibilityMt Joy Township OFFICE: Supervisor Sandra Yerger PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Throughout my life I have worn many hats. My diverse experience has given me a lot of perspective and a deep commitment to our community here in Mount Joy Township. I am a former physical therapist and small business owner. I have experience in both the private sector and with non-profit organizations. I was fortunate to work with the Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol, mentoring the cadet services program for my squadron and working closely with the cadets. Community service is deeply personal to me and in my spare time I have enjoyed volunteering with the World Detector Dog Organization, the Littlestown School District and my local church. Currently, I own and operate a farm in Mount Joy Township. Our community relies on its officials to promote good working relationships who will listen to residents, business leaders and colleagues to achieve the best results. I have attended the public meetings in our community and will rely on my experience and dedication to promote transparency and support the values we share in Mount Joy Township.  CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I truly care about our community’s values and rural way of life. All of these things make Mount Joy Township a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Ensuring that our local government serves its residents and businesses to the best of its ability is my primary goal. This includes operating all aspects of our local government with transparency, integrity, and accountability. Mount Joy Township can eliminate onerous restrictions on our residents and maintain its small town, independent feel represented by officials who are upstanding stewards of taxpayer money, sound business practices and good governance. I believe all of this is possible and necessary to preserve the excellence of Mount Joy Township, and I humbly ask for your vote on May 16th. Mt Pleasant Township OFFICE: Auditor Marcia Wilson PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Current auditor, having served a six-year term and led the audit team in identifying errors, correcting them, and implementing better accounting and business practices. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Continue to move forward with improved and enhanced accounting and business practices in the township. OFFICE: Supervisor Troy Campbell PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Education: Palmyra Area High School; Lebanon County Career & Technology Center; Pennsylvania College of Technology; Maryland Horseshoeing School; Golden Falcon Leadership Camp; and numerous technical, operations, & safety certification programs. Current Employer: Co-owner and operator, Dry Creek Cattle Co. LLC; Owner, Campbell Machine Services, LLC. Past political experience: Appointed as Mt. Pleasant Township Supervisor in March 2023 to fill a vacant seat on the Board. Member, Mt. Pleasant Township Planning Commission. Why run? I am committed to using my knowledge and experience to support the agriculture-based township in which I reside. I am grounded in traditional rural values with strong beliefs regarding personal rights and freedoms. I have worked for large corporate entities and have formed and operated several small businesses. I have leadership experience as an Eagle Scout, a Lieutenant Chief of a search and rescue squad, and a volunteer fireman. I am a member of the PA Farm Bureau and several fraternal organizations. All of these life experiences have prepared me to serve the community in this position. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: Goals if elected: My goal is to be recognized as a Supervisor who will listen to and prioritize the desires of our residents over those of the outside forces that seek to disrupt our heritage and way of life. I wish our township to be recognized by its residents as one that is operated in an efficient and effective manner, taking advantage of programs and technologies (such as broadband) that will support our residents and their goals. I will seek solutions and compromise among the interests pushing for growth through non-agricultural uses of our resources and those wishing to maintain our rural lifestyle.  OFFICE: Supervisor John Hess PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have served on numerous committees at the local, state, and federal level. I am a Member of Adams County Farm Bureau, I served as president of the board for 8 years. I have held other positions within farm bureau. I currently serve on Pa. Farm bureau national legislative committee. Served on Pa. State Soil Conservation Board. Representing the dairy industry on the board. I am currently serving as Regional Council Representative for the Land O Lakes Cooperative. I represent dairy farmers in Southcentral Pennsylvania. I currently attend Gettysburg Baptist Church. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: As a township supervisor I will work to keep the rural look and feel of Mt. Pleasant Township. I will be available to listen to all residents of the township. I will work to be a part of a board of supervisors that does the business of the township, while representing the best interest of the residents. I Thank you for your support.Straban Township OFFICE: Constable Roy Getzandanner PRIOR EXPERIENCE: . CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I am running for election as Constable of Straban Township. I would like to tell you more about myself and why I am running for election: I reside in Straban Township . I enjoy traveling, camping and working. I am self employed as a Licensed Home Improvement Contractor I am a registered Republican and strongly believe in the United States Constitution and our constitutional rights. As Constable, I will always uphold the United States Constitution, and the state laws of Pennsylvania.. I have also volunteered at several events and street fairs in the York and Adams county area. I am running for election as Constable of Straban Township , because I would like the opportunity to make a difference in the community in which I live. Thank you for your consideration. I can be reached at 717-353-0885 or Email royforconstable@gmail.com if you have any questions about me or the office. I welcome the discussionUpper Adams Area School District OFFICE: School Board Director Deb Steckler PRIOR EXPERIENCE: I have 2 children in the school district and have been an active member of the Elementary and Intermediate PTOs. I am the current president of the Elementary PTO. I also have served in many community organizations and feel a connection to the people of Upper Adams. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: While I realize most decisions affecting schools are chosen on the state level, I believe that change starts at the local level. I want our children to have the best education that can be received without being a burden to the taxpayer. I don’t think a “one size fits all” is the best approach and that students need a well-balanced education in academics, arts, and sports. I don’t think standardized testing is the best way to gauge whether a student is prepared for real-world situations after graduation. Students at all levels should be given different opportunities of learning based on their individual needs and skill sets. I believe that I have the best interest of all students and will keep an open mind when making decisions for the district. OFFICE: School Board Director Kay Hollabaugh PRIOR EXPERIENCE: Frequent volunteer at the School District. Strong supporter of school staff and faculty with a keen eye on the needs of ALL students. Business owner most of my life and very familiar with financial management. Leadership roles in many fruit industry-related organizations. Chair of many boards over the course of my life. Familiar with working with legislative and regulatory issues in the agricultural industry. CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I will be a voice for all students – regardless of needs, culture or ethnicity. I will make myself available by whatever reasonable means is most helpful to the constituents.

New round of COVID-19 booster shots on the way after CDC recommendation

by Jennifer Shutt, Pennsylvania Capital-Star WASHINGTON — Americans older than six months should get an updated COVID-19 booster this fall, according to a recommendation the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended Americans should get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. (Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images) The vaccine should be available by later this week, the CDC said in a statement. “We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19,” said Director Mandy Cohen. “CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones.” The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to approve the updated booster shots, followed by a written statement from Cohen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved an updated booster from Moderna and one from Pfizer. The CDC noted in its announcement that protection from previous COVID-19 vaccines and boosters wanes, and that vaccines lower the likelihood of contracting long COVID. The CDC’s recommendation didn’t come with any plans to get shots in arms from the Biden administration, which ended the public health emergency for COVID-19 earlier this year. Uptake of COVID-19 shots has dropped since vaccinations were first approved in the final weeks of 2020 and initially rolled out by the Trump administration. While more than 270 million people, about 81% of the country, got at least one dose of the original vaccine, that number dropped to just 56 million people, or about 17% of Americans getting the bivalent booster that was approved last year, according to CDC statistics. The CDC noted in its announcement Tuesday that many Americans can still get the booster doses for free, even though the public health emergency is over. “For people with health insurance, most plans will cover COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. People who don’t have health insurance or with health plans that do not cover the cost can get a free vaccine from their local health centers; state, local, tribal, or territorial health department; and pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program also may receive the vaccine from a provider enrolled in that program.” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a written statement that everyone eligible should “get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones.” “Following the Biden-Harris Administration’s launch of the largest adult vaccination program in our nation’s history, COVID-19 vaccines saved millions of lives, kept countless people out of the hospital, and provided peace of mind for the country.” Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John Micek for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

Adams County Sports Update – September 12, 2023

Gettysburg College Read more Gettysburg College Sports here High School Sports Boys Soccer September 7 Fairfield : 1 Littlestown : 2 Littlestown 1 1 : 2; Fairfield   1 0 : 1 Goals, First half: Littlestown, Dempsey Miller (Matthew Denault), 38:18.  Fairfield, Victor Garazo (Ciaran Phelan), 17:20. Goals, Second half: Littlestown, Gavin Lee (Leo Guzman), 2:45. Shots (On Goal) — Littlestown 14 (6), Fairfield 16 (10).   Corners — Littlestown 1, Fairfield 4. Goalkeepers — Christopher Meakin, Littlestown (9). Jude Willock, Fairfield (4). September 9Bermudian Springs : 1 West Perry : 0 Pequea Valley : 2 Biglerville : 4The Biglerville Canners defeated Pequea Valley 4-2 on Saturday. The Canners displayed a strong offensive performance, recording nine shots on goal and six corner kicks. Rodrigo Beltran-Lua, the team’s goalkeeper, contributed with three critical saves.  Jesus Salazar-Raclas scored twice for Biglerville—once in the 24th minute and again in the 88th minute.  Manuel Morales-Garcia added to the tally with a successful penalty kick in the 34th minute, and Anthony Cervantes netted a goal in the 52nd minute.  Despite determined opposition from Pequea Valley, which scored two goals and saw five saves from their goalkeeper, Jaiden Mayer, Biglerville was able to sustain their lead throughout the match.  Field Hockey September 11Delone : 0 York Tech : 1 Football September 9Gettysburg : 50 Boiling Springs : 14Gettysburg 50, Boiling Springs 14 James Buchanan : 21 Biglerville : 19James Buchanan 21, Biglerville 19 Girls Tennis September 8Boiling Springs : 0 Southwestern : 51 singles Kayley Skibicki (SW) def. Molly Karom 6-0, 6-1 2 singles Lily Smith (SW def. Amelia Gerringer 6-0, 6-0 3 singles Ahsiana Basit (SW) def. Greta Haley 6-2, 6-1 1 doubles Kloey Batchellor and Bryn Sheridan (SW) def. Ella Somerville and Addie Elliott 6-0, 6-1 2 doubles Sierra Salazar and Deeley Nice (SW) def. Rebekah Myford and Sofie Ruggerie 6-0, 6-0 Exhibition Doubles: Sarah Davies and Madi Colvin (SW) def. Sophia Ruggerie and Addie Elliott 4-0; Hailey Cook and Angelina Amador (SW) def. Sophia Ruggerie and Addie Elliott 4-1; Greta Haley and Amelia Gerringer (BS) def. Liv Thornton and Gabie Lemaire-Hahn 4-3(6) September 11Biglerville : 2 Kennard-Dale : 3 New Oxford : 5 Red Lion : 0Single matches:1. Anya Rosenbach def Alexis Lakatosh 6-1 6-02. Allison Horick def Laken Kelly 6-0 6-03. Kaelyn Balko def Riley Watson 6-0 6-1 Doubles Matches:1D. Alex Wolf and Joslyn Loss def Makaila De Velde 6-1 6-42D. Emory Millar-Kellner and Kylie Wampler def Gabby Linnell and Olivia Platt 6-0 6-1 Girls Volleyball Gettysburg : 0 Spring Grove : 39-25 (Spring Grove)19-25 (Spring Grove)18-25 (Spring Grove) Maya Brainard had 10 assists; Kayla Lew had 6 kills; Maya Brainard had 9 digs; India Mitchell had 8 digs. 

Bigger says farewell to LASD

Littlestown Area School District Superintendent Chris Bigger spoke with emotion about how hard it will be to leave the community he has served for eight years. “It’s really hard, harder than I thought,” Bigger said. “But it was a calling to try to help more students.” He was referring to his new post as Superintendent of Chambersburg Schools, a district with 10,000 students. Reflecting on the borough of Littlestown, he said, “The strength of the community is their tendency to rally around students and other community members in need.” He gave as an example a recent fire that displaced four LASD students and recalled the tremendous amount of support provided by the Littlestown residents, including goods, money, and services. “It just happens. There’s no asking. They just do it. It is a home-town family school,” he added. “That is what makes them great. And it makes it easy to work here because of that.” Bigger also praised the community for being very open to discussing topics when there is an issue or concern. “Nobody’s out for ‘right or wrong’. They’re all about what is the best the best solution for students.” He sees one of his strengths in his current role as bringing open meetings to the public and making everything available online, even staff presentations. Bigger began at LASD in March 2015. Recalling his eight-year tenure with the district, Bigger said, “We agreed that we would work as a group, and we did that. Our common theme has been that while we’ve disagreed on things, we still had full board support for improvements.” Bigger added that keeping everyone student-focused was the way to their success. “We prioritize students whenever we have decisions. Whether it’s the board, myself, or administrators, students are our reason.” The superintendent is proud of the capital projects developed to upgrade the facilities. After five years, the board recently approved the funding of a new building that will combine middle and high school students. Construction began this fall. During the last work session, the board discussed new graduation requirements, including college and career readiness options. Bigger said the community has embraced this new philosophy. “Let’s make sure when we shake a student’s hand that they have something of value in their hand, whether it’s transferable college credit, AP courses, a Career Technical Education (CTE) certificate, or job apprenticeships.” The challenge with these new requirements, said Bigger, will be to provide opportunities students will be interested in, especially in the CTE certificates and apprenticeships. With the future of LASD in mind, Bigger said he would give the new superintendent this advice: “Spend time getting to know the community and the people before making any decisions or actions. Find out the heartbeat of the community and their values and align the improvement efforts to that and you can’t go wrong.” And what will be that person’s greatest challenge? “Acceptance of change is a challenge for the community and this board.” He added that the recent influx of new people has changed the community dynamics. “We have to accept other cultures, other people. We have to have that open mind. The reality of the modern community is that it’s evolving and changing.” As Bigger considered his next venture into education, he said he is looking forward to his new position and cited staffing and parent partnership as two of education’s biggest challenges in the present day, no matter where one is located. Bigger said his number one concern will be hiring and retaining quality staff in all positions. Partnering with parents and families to grow the support for public education is another. “We need the parents to help set good routines at home for homework, sleep, food, and diet. We need them to do these things. We cannot do that without them. We’ve been asked to for years, and we know it’s not working,” Bigger said. Bigger said he will be departing with many treasured memories. Perhaps his favorite is when a Littlestown resident did a fly-over during graduation as the National Anthem played. “It was just really neat for the kids and the community. I’m not suggesting it was a Thunderbolt plane,” he said smiling, “but I am a little bit.”

Adams County Sports Update – September 9, 2023

Gettysburg College Read more Gettysburg College Sports High School Sports Boys Soccer September 7 Littlestown : 2 Fairfield : 1First Half  Littlestown, Dempsey Miller (Matthew Denault), 38:18.  Fairfield, Victor Garazo (Ciaran Phelan), 17:20. Second Half  Littlestown, Gavin Lee (Leo Guzman), 2:45. Shots (On Goal) — Littlestown 14 (6), Fairfield 16 (10).  Corners — Littlestown 1, Fairfield 4.Goalkeepers — Christopher Meakin, Littlestown (9). Jude Willock, Fairfield (4). September 8Northern : 4 Gettysburg : 0Northern 1, Gettysburg 0 (JV) Field Hockey September 7Gettysburg : 0 Greencastle : 5 Football Hamburg : 48 Fairfield : 28Hamburg 48, Fairfield 28 Littlestown : 33 Annville-Cleona : 21Littlestown 33, Annville-Cleona 21 September 8Biglerville : James BuchananThis game was suspended in the second quarter and will be made up on Monday, with James Buchanan leading 6-0.  Gettysburg : Boiling SpringsThe game was suspended due to weather conditions in the 2nd quarter with Gettysburg leading, 21-7. It was scheduled to resume on Saturday.  Greencastle : 35 Delone Catholic : 21Greencastle 35, Delone 21 New Oxford : SouthwesternThis game will be played on Saturday.  Susquehanna : 17 Bermudian Springs : 7Susquehannock 17, Bermudian Springs 7 Girls Tennis September 9Southwestern : 5 Bermudian Springs : 0Matches:#1 singles Kayley Skibicki (SW) def. Molly Karom 6-0, 6-1#2 singles Lily Smith (SW def. Amelia Gerringer 6-0, 6-0#3 singles Ahsiana Basit (SW) def. Greta Haley 6-2, 6-1#1 doubles Kloey Batchellor and Bryn Sheridan (SW) def. Ella Somerville and Addie Elliott 6-0, 6-1#2 doubles Sierra Salazar and Deeley Nice (SW) def. Rebekah Myford and Sofie Ruggerie 6-0, 6-0 Girls Volleyball September 8Waynesboro : 3 Gettysburg : 2Games:17-25 (Waynesboro)25-23 (Gettysburg)24-26 (Waynesboro)20-25 (Waynesboro) India Mitchell and Maya Brainard led with 19 digs each, Kayla Lew put up 16 digs and Sydney DeFoe had 11 digs.Maya was busy with 19 assists on the night. Emily Holtzople led in in kills with 8.Alexa Codori had 5 blocks on the night. JV:Games:18-25 (Waynesboro)18-25 (Waynesboro) Golf September 6 Northern Dominates Mid-Penn Golf Match; Waynesboro Follows Close Behind Northern High School’s golf team continued their impressive season by taking first place in the latest Mid-Penn Colonial Division tournament, hosted by Big Spring. With an overall team score of 334, Northern extended their season record to an impressive 28-2. Waynesboro trailed closely, finishing second with a score of 343 and a season record of 27-3. Top individual performers included Tyler Fortney of Waynesboro, who shot a 74, followed by Northern’s Logan White and Garrett White, who carded a 77 and 81 respectively. In a notable achievement, Greencastle’s Cooper Swam and Shippensburg’s Mason Fogelsonger both tied for fourth with scores of 83. Swam’s performance helped Greencastle secure the fourth position overall with a team score of 355. Gettysburg and James Buchanan had middling performances, finishing with team scores of 388 and 396, while the home team Big Spring rounded out the bottom with a score of 405. Season Standings: 1. Northern: 6-0 (28-2)2. Waynesboro: 5-1 (27-3)3. Shippensburg: 4-2 (20-10)4. Greencastle: 3-3 (13-17)5. Gettysburg: 2-4 (12-18)6. James Buchanan: 1-5 (4-26)7. Big Spring: 0-6 (1-29) Upcoming events:

Gettysburg Area School District opens coaching positions

The Gettysburg Area School District will open all head coaching positions each season. Currently, the district has all winter coaching positions posted on its website. Superintendent Jason Perrin wrote in an email Friday that district and board leadership made the decision. Previously, the board approved coaches for one year and renewed the agreement annually.  “The district is committed to providing quality athletic programs and coaches for our student-athletes. This provides quality applicants with the ability to express an interest in our district,” District Communication Coordinator Becci Leathery wrote in an email. “As with all professions, there are fewer applicants for all roles within our organization. This enables us to remain aware of quality people who may assist us in the future.” The district is not requiring current coaches to reapply for their jobs, High School Principal Jeremy Lusk wrote in an email to staff. “Please know that we fully expect our coaches to remain in their positions,” Lusk wrote. “The new practice that we were informed of allows interested individuals to apply.” Similarly, Leathery wrote the district is committed to retaining quality coaches. “Posting the positions does not equate to replacing coaches who continue to do an excellent job for our district,” she said. Public thoughts on coaching positions The Connection asked readers their thoughts on the decision. The majority of those who offered comment expressed opposition and concern. “Couldn’t time be better spent writing policies that don’t exist, and reviewing the system to see what else may be missing, rather than wasting people’s time to apply for jobs that will likely not truly be opened,” John Hartzell said. Ken Kime Jr. supports the district’s decision. He pointed out the agreements are only for one year. “Frankly, any job that is contractual should be open at the end of the term. If all we went by is the status quo, mediocrity follows,” Kime said. A current coach, who asked the Connection to withhold his identity, is concerned about the effects on students. “It disincentivizes any head coach to do off-season work if they will be constantly reapplying and competing against other applicants year after year,” he said. “Not to mention the instability it creates in the program.” Anne Cherry fears the decision will make Gettysburg less attractive to coaches. “Nobody is getting rich coaching high school sports, so why throw another wrench into the works,” Cherry wrote. “Who is going to want to work here?”

IRS is using $60B funding boost to ramp up use of technology to collect taxes − not just hiring more enforcement agents

Erica Neuman, University of Dayton The Internal Revenue Service is getting a funding boost thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in 2022. The IRS has relied on technology for decades, as this 1965 photo taken in its Philadelphia office shows. US News & World Report Collection/Marion S Trikosko/PhotoQuest via Getty Images That legislative package originally included about US$80 billion to expand the tax collection agency’s budget over the next 10 years. Congress and the White House have since agreed to pare this total by about $20 billion, but $60 billion is still a big chunk of change for an agency that until recently had about $14 billion in annual funding. I’m a tax researcher who studies how the IRS uses technology and how taxpayers respond to the agency’s growing reliance on it. While the number of IRS enforcement personnel will surely grow as a result of additional funding, I think that the agency can get more mileage out of emphasizing technological improvements. Making enforcement more efficient The IRS plans to use most of these new funds to step up enforcement and improve customer service for taxpayers. There’s been plenty of conjecture about what the added enforcement will look like and no shortage of fearmongering about the tens of thousands of new agents the IRS might hire. Often left out of this discussion is the fact that the agency’s staffing was cut by 22% between 2010 and 2021. Much of the agency’s hiring spree will replace these labor shortages rather than fill new posts. Further, the IRS expects over 50,000 of its employees to retire within five years. The agency aims to hire 20,000 people over the next two years, of which one-third will work in enforcement. But IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel has indicated that better enforcement won’t just rely on more tax agents and auditors. He released a plan in early 2023 promising that “technology and data advances will allow us to focus enforcement on taxpayers trying to avoid taxes, rather than taxpayers trying to pay what they owe.” And U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo has said that “the IRS is going to hire more data scientists than they ever have for enforcement purposes,” with the goal of using data analytics in audits. At least initially, the agency was aiming to increase its spending on enforcement by 69%, from about $6.6 billion in 2022 to $11 billion in annual spending projected through 2031. Technology, including the electronic filing of tax returns and a growing portfolio of online tools, transfer work from agents to computers. Online tools include the IRS’ digital scanning program, which expedites the processing of the roughly 1 in 5 federal tax returns that weren’t filed electronically in 2022. Werfel says the IRS workforce is becoming more efficient by ramping up its reliance on technology to provide services for taxpayers and spot tax cheats. The IRS has tapped one form of data analytics or another to select people and companies to audit since the late 1960s. As early as 1986, it had researched ways to use artificial intelligence to improve how it selects its auditing targets. At the same time, outdated technology is hampering the Internal Revenue Service’s effectiveness. It relies on a 60-year-old computer system to maintain and process data. That undercuts its technological agility and customer service. 3 sources of data When the IRS collects better data, its ability to use data analytics to make predictions about noncompliance improves. Beyond data reported on tax forms themselves, like 1099s, the IRS has three main sources of data it assesses to learn more about taxpayers. 1. Past tax returns The IRS’s National Research Program collects data to support what it calls “strategic decisions” to better enforce compliance. The program first relies on its vast stores of taxpayer data, including prior audit results, to develop an expectation of what a given tax return may include, like a tuition tax credit for a taxpayer with a history of claiming the child tax credit. Filed returns are compared against those standards to identify potential outliers. Outliers aren’t necessarily dodging taxes or misrepresenting their tax liabilities, but big departures from the norms can indicate a higher likelihood of mistakes or evasion. 2. Publicly available data The IRS relies on publicly available data associated with each tax return when it’s building a case for an audit. The data, which is available to anyone who wants to find it, has increased tremendously with the rise of social media and the growing role of the internet for commerce and advertising. A social media presence can alert the IRS to a business with potential income in a way that the agency could not have identified before the internet emerged. This includes methods that might surprise you. As far back as 2010, for example, IRS training materials instructed agents to use a band’s social networking sites to compare musicians’ reported income with their likely income from their past performances. IRS training materials instruct agents to predict musicians’ gig income based on the number of shows a band advertises through its social media posts. People make all sorts of financial information public today, including their side hustles and Venmo ledgers. The IRS can access and use this data like anyone else. 3. Third-party data The IRS can also buy data. For example, a 2020 government contract with the company Chainalysis is described, perhaps clumsily, as a contract for “pilot IRS cryptocurrency tracing.” This type of contract gives the IRS information related to otherwise untraceable income sources so that agents can detect underreporting. What has changed in recent years is the volume of data it can access, which has skyrocketed. Sometimes, widespread underreporting results in legislation which requires third parties to report income information to the IRS, rather than requiring the agency seek it out. Recent legislation includes requiring third-party payment agencies like Venmo, PayPal and Uber to issue a 1099 tax form to anyone making over $600 on the app in one year. These 1099s are issued to taxpayers – and the IRS. Similar legislation was recently proposed for cryptocurrency transactions. What might change What does this increase in IRS spending on technology mean for taxpayers? When the IRS detailed how it wanted to use the new funds in April 2023, it emphasized improving taxpayers’ experiences and increasing compliance. By using chatbots to respond to taxpayer questions, providing online portals for real-time processing, and letting taxpayers respond to notices online, the IRS could substantially decrease the time taxpayers spend corresponding with the agency or waiting on hold while attempting to speak to a staffer. Technology-boosted enforcement could help the agency collect more revenue to fund government programs. And the agency also hopes to use data to make paying taxes less onerous for the majority of Americans who follow the rules. For example, when a taxpayer has a child or experiences another kind of life change that will change their tax status, the IRS wants to gain the ability to proactively notify people about the consequences – whether it’s paying more, owing less or getting a new tax credit. Most people want to pay what they owe, no more and no less. I believe the IRS intends to make good use of its new funding to help people do just that. Erica Neuman, Assistant Professor of Accounting, University of Dayton This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Adams County Democrats encourage canvassing for local candidates

The Adams County Democrats will host a series of Saturday sessions to help people learn to canvass. Canvassing is the process of soliciting votes for political candidates, usually by going door-to-door or making phone calls. “I’m passionate about canvassing because data suggests it’s the most effective way to help candidates,” said Gettysburg College Political Science Professor Douglas Page, who will be providing the training. Page said that although people were sometimes reluctant to canvass, it can make a difference for candidates. “You have to put yourself out there,” he said. “Wearing your politics on your sleeves can be intimidating.” But Page said people canvass to make a difference. “People are tired of being angry about what’s going on and they want to help,” he said. “People who canvass may find it cathartic and feel a sense of accomplishment.” Page will instruct people about canvassing in sessions to be held from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on each Saturday until the Nov. 7 election at the Adams County Democratic Committee headquarters, 24 Chambersburg St., Gettysburg. Click here to sign up for a canvassing session In addition to the training, people who want to canvass for Democratic candidates will receive materials and addresses. The canvassers then go to neighborhoods, usually in pairs, to talk with residents. “We give people lists. They go out and do it on their own time,” said Page. Page said another alternative is to make phone calls for your preferred candidates. “If you have a cell phone you can use your phone,” he said. Page said canvassing did not guarantee a candidate would win a race. “But we’re moving the needle,” he said. “We try to make people as comfortable and familiar with the process as possible.”

Adams County Sports Update – September 7, 2023

Adams County Sports Update: September 7, 2023 Gettysburg College See more Gettysburg College Sports here High School Sports Girls Tennis September 5 Biglerville 4, James Buchanan 1 The Lady Canners posted their 1st team win of the season with a victory over James Buchanan. Palmyra 5, Gettysburg 0 The Gettysburg girls’ tennis team hosted a formidable opponent in Palmyra on Tuesday afternoon and, despite their best efforts, Gettysburg couldn’t clinch a win in any category. September 6 Kennard-Dale 4, Bermudian Springs 1 #1 singles Katie Hayward (KD) def. Molly Karom 6-1, 6-2 #2 singles Rhylinn Webb (KD) def Amelia Gerringer 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 #3 singles Jadyn Davidson (KD) def. Greta Haley 6-7(9), 6-2, 6-2 #1 doubles Reese Lighty and Ella Somerville (BS) def. Jordis Seymour and Maya Phoebus 6-2, 6-2 #2 doubles Cherish Pereira and Seija Burkins (KD) def. Sofie Ruggerie and Bekah Myford 6-0, 6-3 Exhibition Singles: Addie Elliott(BS) def. Samantha Schaefer-Sauder 5-2 Bermudian Springs 3, Dover 2 Due to excessive heat and a much later starting time of 6pm, and given that the teams are in different divisions, a decision was made to use a 10-pt tiebreaker to determine each of the matches. #1 singles: Marissa Tako (D) def. Molly Karom 10-7 #2 singles: Amelia Gerringer (BS) def. Alivia Murren 10-4 #3 singles: Emilia Bubb (D) def. Greta Haley 10-4 #1 doubles: Reese Lighty and Ella Somerville (BS) def, Peyton Stoke and Shea Moore 10-7 #2 doubles: Rebekah Myford and Addie Elliott (BS) def. Savannah Jackson and Kayla Mabeus 10-6 Exhibition Doubles: Addie Elliott and Rebekah Myford (BS) def. Juliana Colamanno and Dhanushi Malewania 3-1 Girls Soccer September 5 Biglerville 3, Littlestown 2 (OT) Dallastown 3, New Oxford 0 Goals: D-Kiersten Kessler (1st half – 13:23, free kick), Kiara McNealy (1st – 25:56, corner kick assist from Gabrielle Kurzmiller), Kiara McNealy (1st – 36:07, assisted by Gabrielle Kurzmiller) Shots (Shots on Goal): NO- 2 (1); D- 18 (11) Saves: NO-Olivia Graham (5), Devin Brame (4); D- Lindsay Lehman (1) Corners: NO-1; D-4 JV Score: Dallastown 5, New Oxford 0 Boys Soccer September 5 Littlestown 2, Biglerville 0 Second half — 1. Littlestown, Gavin Lee (Dempsey Miller), 20:51. 2. Littlestown, Ian Welty (Leo Guzman), 14:14. Shots (On Goal) — Littlestown 10 (6), Biglerville 21 (8). Corners — Littlestown 1, Biglerville 5.Goalkeepers — Christopher Meakin, Littlestown (7). Rodrigo Beltran-Lua Jr., Biglerville (3). September 6 Delone 4, Fairfield 3 With two minutes remaining, Ethan Sevison passed the ball with the outside of his foot over to Nolan Kruse who popped it in for the game-winning goal making the final 4-3.  Delone’s JP Groves was named Player of the Game. New Oxford 4, Dover 0 1st half: 1 goal, Own goal by Dover assisted by New oxford Marcos Lua 2nd half – 3 Goals, scored by #19 Brady Nailor assisted by Diego DIaz; Goal scored by Israel Felipe assisted by Diego Diaz; Goal scored by Iban Garcia assisted by Ayden Julius New Oxford Keeper Owen Ragula made 6 saves Northern 4, Gettysburg 0 JV:  Northern 1, Gettysburg 0 Colonial Division Golf Match #5 September 6 Northern solidified its position at the top of the standings with a team score of 334, led by Garrett White’s 81 and Logan White’s impressive 77. Although Waynesboro’s top player, Tyler Fortney, finished with a sparkling 74. Fortney was the match’s top finisher. Shippensburg and Greencastle landed in the middle of the pack with scores of 350 and 355, respectively. Cooper Swam and Mason Fogelsonger tied for 4th, each with a score of 83. Zachary Sentz of Gettysburg stood out with an 89, tying for 11th place overall, while Abram Stock of James Buchanan carded an 84. Field Hockey September 5 Biglerville 7, Hanover 0 Biglerville 2, Hanover 0 (JV) September 6 Bermudian 11, Fairfield 0 Littlestown 2, Delone 1 Girls Volleyball September 5 Delone Catholic 3, York Catholic 0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-23) Delone Catholic 2, York Catholic 0 (JV) (25-11, 25-19) September 6 Gettysburg 3, James Buchanan 2 26-24 (Gettysburg) 25-22 (Gettysburg) 22-25 (James Buchanan) 26-28 (James Buchanan) 15-10 (Gettysburg) Maya Brainard had 25 assists on the night along with 3 aces and 8 digs. Sydney DeFoe and India Mitchell had 15 digs each. Sydney DeFoe had 8 kills. Emily Holtzople and Alexa Codori had 7 blocks each. Mackenzie Kibler had 10 digs and five aces. Emily Holtzople and Alexa Codori had 6 kills. Kayla Lew had 5 aces on the night. JV: 16-25 (James Buchanan) 18-25 (James Buchanan) Boys Cross County September 5 Gettysburg 22, Big Spring 36 Gettysburg 19, James Buchanan 44 Gettysburg boys beat BS 22-36 and beat JB 19-44. The Warriors were led by Gavin Cole (12), Luke Breighner (11), and Owen Clapsadle (11). Girls Cross Country Gettysburg 18, Big Spring 39 Gettysburg 16, James Buchanan 47 Warrior girls beat BS 18-39 and beat JB 16-47. Four Gettysburg runners crossed the line together for first place: Lily Arnold (11), Winter Oaster (12), Samantha Campbell (9), and Beatrice Russell (10). The meet was pushed back until 6:00pm due to extreme heat. Upcoming Events

Fifth Annual Overdose Awareness Walk

Community members gathered in support Thursday Aug. 31 as they participated in the fifth annual Overdose Awareness walk to remember loved ones lost and those who still mourn. Sponsored by the Coalition for Overdose Awareness and Recovery, the group gathered at the Adams County Courthouse and proceeded to the Gettysburg Rec Park, where several speakers addressed the issue of addiction. “From birth to death, we rely on each other to better understand our world, and we need each other to better know ourselves,” said Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually. He spoke to the problem of childhood trauma often derailing people from who they were meant to be and preventing them from achieving their goals. “All of us need help getting back on track,” he added. Not getting that help can lead to destructive paths, he suggested. Nicholas House representative Matthew Love shared his story about growing up with addiction and losing his mother to an overdose at a young age. Nicholas House is a sober living residence located in Gettysburg that provides services for those recovering from addiction. Pastor Brenda Walter, Fairfield Mennonite Church, shared her experiences working with Children and Youth Services in the early days and said she is thankful for the many more available resources today. “Walk alone, and you’ll fail,” she said. “Walk together and together we soar.” She added she was very grateful for the youth in the community who are showing people how to be loving, helpful, and nonjudgemental. Andrea Dolges, Executive Director Center for Youth and Community Development. She praised the unsung heroes who work every day to combat the death of loved ones – law enforcement, treatment providers, and first responders. “We need your help. It requires that we’re willing to save lives, that we’re ready and there to save lives.” She added that the community must be willing to take action together as a coalition to make positive changes in Adams County. A multi-ethnic, multi-generational group of about 75 people participated in the event, where free Naloxone kits were available. Naloxone is frequently delivered through a nasal spray and rapidly reverses an opioid overdose by restoring normal breathing in overdoses of opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine. The coalition meets on the third Tuesday of each month through Zoom or in person at 233 West High St. The group prioritizes: Increased access and utilization of naloxone to save lives. A continuum of care available from early intervention through sustained recovery for every person in Adams County. Reduced supply of available opioids in the county. Information on signs of a substance or opioid use disorder, treatment options, and recovery programs available in the community.

Board retains Gettysburg Area High School tennis coach

A large crowd gathers to share thoughts on the Gettysburg Area High School tennis coach.

The Gettysburg Area School Board voted 6-2 Tuesday to retain a high school tennis coach whose employment has been the focal point of three meetings. At their meeting on Aug. 21, the Gettysburg Area School District’s Board of Directors voted to remove David Yates from the administration’s list of recommended hires. Yates, who is transgender and identifies as Sasha, has been the district’s boys’ and girls’ high school tennis coach since 2018. Yates’ reinstatement as the girls’ coach first appeared on the Aug. 7 agenda. Boys play tennis in the spring, so Yates’ appointment as their coach has not yet come before the board. Last school year, administrators received reports that Coach Yates had changed in a girls’ locker room. Gettysburg Area High School Principal Jeremy Lusk said after the meeting that Yates understood the concern, and complied with a request to change in private.  “It became a non-issue,” Lusk said. Board members Kenny Hassinger, Michael Dickerson, Al Moyer, Tim Seigman, AmyBeth Hodges, and Jeremy Davis voted for Yates’ reappointment Tuesday. Michelle Smyers and Ryan Morris opposed the motion. Timon Linn was absent due to a medical emergency that occurred at the Gettysburg Area Middle School before the meeting, Hassinger said. Public comment Hassinger, who serves as board president, announced at the beginning of the meeting that he was enacting a clause in the board’s public comment policy that gives him permission to reduce the normal time limit of four minutes per comment. Hassinger gave each speaker one minute to share thoughts and limited the comment period to 30 minutes. The policy alteration caused many commenters to speak quickly. Some were cut off before finishing. Hassinger warned those who refused to stop that they could be removed from the building. Hassinger issued the same threat to audience members disrupting speakers. A staff member controlling the microphone turned it off at times when people continued to speak after being told to stop.  “We are grown adults in here, and we better start acting like it,” Hassinger said. At the Aug. 21 meeting, two people spoke in opposition to Yates. Several more took to the microphone on Tuesday. Common themes used to oppose Yates included concern about her changing clothes in a student locker room and how the speakers feared that the incident could put students in harm’s way. Other speakers, including many current and former tennis players and their parents, expressed appreciation for Yates’ positive influence on tennis players. Some of Yates’ supporters acknowledged adults should not change clothes in a student locker room but added the board does not have a policy prohibiting it. When asked after the Aug. 21 meeting, Superintendent Perrin said the district does not have a policy pertaining to bathroom or locker room use. Vote  Prior to the vote, Hassinger chastised members of the public for commenting on the issue without having all the relevant information. By law, the school district is prohibited from commenting on personnel matters. Hassinger said Yates’ employment was in question because of her bathroom usage. He stressed the fact that Yates is transgender is irrelevant. “The narrative got rewritten, maybe that’s the school board’s fault, maybe it’s the administration, maybe it is where we are as a society,” Hassinger said. Dickerson concurred. “As a society, it is not helpful to paint with a broad brush when you do not have all of the facts,” Dickerson said. “As you guys point out, discriminating against people and making accusations can be harmful.”  Smyers has been a vocal opponent of the district employing Yates. Tuesday night, she defended her “First Amendment rights” and pledged to defend others’ rights. “I am not a schoolyard bully, I am not anti-LGTBQ, I am not a transphobe, I am not a homophobe, I am not a fascist,” Smyers said in response to some of the commentors. Athletic director resigns Moments before the majority of the board welcomed Yates back to the district’s athletic staff, they said goodbye to their athletic director. Casey Thurston first joined the GASD staff in 2007 as a head girls’ basketball coach and teacher. She was promoted to athletic director in 2018. After the meeting, Lusk said Thurston had been supervising the girls’ tennis team while the administration waited for the board to act on Yates’ employment. He also credited senior Tristan Smith for assisting Thurston. Lusk said the athletic director job will be posted on the district’s website on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Thurston’s resignation is effective Sept. 29. In the interim, other administrators and staff will handle Thurston’s responsibilities. “Casey’s integrity is beyond compare,” Lusk said. “She will do the right thing at every turn, even when it is hard. I am going to miss her more than I can put into words.”

Adams County Sports Update – Sep. 2, 2023

Gettysburg College See more Gettysburg College Sports here High School Football Click on any game for details September 1: New Oxford 38, Gettysburg 20 September 2: Boiling Springs 21, Bermudian Springs 14 September 2: Susquehannock 28, Littlestown 27 August 26: Lancaster Catholic 28, Delone Catholic 21 August 27: Eastern York 32, Fairfield 0 September 2: Susquenita 42, Biglerville 7 Girls Tennis Sep. 1: Gettysburg (h) 0 Carlisle 5 Gettysburg suffered a series of losses against Carlisle. In singles, Carmen Oshunrinade lost 1-6, 1-6 and Auvrie Coscia fell 2-6, 0-6, while in doubles, Ava Fair and Alma Zigmic were defeated 0-6, 0-6, and Molly Heaton and Lillian Pigeon lost 1-6, 1-6. Sep 1: Littlestown 4, Biglerville 1, In singles, Littlestown’s Brianna Meekins lost against Biglerville’s Payton Plank with a scoreline of 0-6, 0-6. Katie Lookingbill secured a win against Kiersten Englebert with scores of 6-3, 6-4, and LilyAnn Barker beat Alyssa Vaughn 6-0, 6-2, tilting the singles balance in favor of Littlestown. In doubles, the Littlestown pair of Elizabeth Hanna and Lily Johnson dominated Nicholette Morus and Lani Wherley from Biglerville, scoring 6-1, 6-0. The second doubles match was forfeited by Biglerville, contributing another win to Littlestown’s tally. Overall, Littlestown showed a strong performance, winning four out of the five matches played. Boys Soccer September 2: Littlestown 0, Eastern York 3 Eastern York’s Noah Brady was the standout player, scoring all three goals with assists from KJ Lavetan and Hunter Brady. Eastern York 20 shots with 15 on goal, compared to Littlestown’s 2 shots, none on target. Corner kicks slightly favored Littlestown with 6 against EY’s 3. Littlestown’s keeper Christopher Meakin made 12 saves. New Oxford 4, @ York County Day 0 Girls Soccer New Oxford 5, York Country Day 0 Goals: NO-Aubri Dahler (1st half – 11:39, assisted by Camryn Miller), Wrena Wentz (1st – 28:55), Aubri Dahler (1st – 29:38, assisted by Wrena Wentz), Harmony Costley (1st – 39:45, assisted by Rylee Stevens), Avery Lincoln (2nd – 4:32, assisted by Camryn Miller & Aubri Dahler) Shots(Shots on Goal): NO-21(12); YCD-2(2) Saves: NO-Olivia Graham (1), Devin Brame (1); YCD- (7) Corners: NO-10 Cross Country Friday September 1: Enos Yeager Invitational (2.3 miles.) Participating teams: Chambersburg (home), Greencastle, Carlisle, Northern, Big Spring, Waynesboro, Shippensburg, James Buchanan, Gettysburg, and Shalom Christian Gettysburg top finishers: Boys: Gavin Cole 13:27Owen Clapsadle 14:00Luke Breighner 14:07Brody Hebert 14:13 Girls: Samantha Campbell 15:54Lily Arnold 16:35Winter Oaster 16:41Beatrice Russell 17:09 Upcoming High School Sports Events Featured image caption: Gettysburg High School Field Hockey [Jim Bargas]

National Senior Centers Month – Discover Yours!

Last month our office received a letter from a senior center participant expressing her gratitude for the center she attends and especially for the manager who is in charge there. The writer shared that she feels “blessed to be around people in her age group and safe knowing (the staff person) is knowledgeable about the needs of older adults.” She talked about enjoying the exercise and art classes as well as the outings and special events. It seems appropriate to share this story in September which is National Senior Center Month, a time to highlight senior centers and how they contribute to the health and well-being of a community. Senior centers provide support and encouragement to older adults, offer a place for them to gather with others, and discover their unique interests and talents. That’s why the theme for Senior Centers Month 2023 is Discover Yours! The centers in Adams County work hard to provide a variety of programs for the people who attend, giving them the chance to learn new things and enjoy different experiences. Center participants can attend monthly chef presentations, sing-alongs, and painting classes thanks to a collaboration with the Adams County Arts Council. Several centers have a relationship with their local garden club – the club members lead programs or help with improving the outside appearance of the center. Senior Centers are fortunate to have dedicated volunteers delivering meals, leading exercise, yoga, crafts, and educational programs. Center participants give back to their communities by coordinating the local home-delivered meals programs and assisting with the efforts of organizations such as Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, and the United Way. Centers are open to adults aged 60 and over who live and function independently and would like to be part of a social community. Each day is different and fun, but a successful center requires a partnership between the manager, the members, the volunteers, and the local community. Adams County currently has senior centers located in Biglerville, Fairfield, Littlestown, McSherrystown and York Springs. (We are seeking a location for a center in Gettysburg.) The centers are partially supported by the Adams County Office for Aging, Inc. (ACOFA) ACOFA provides a part-time staff person (manager), transportation to and from the center through a contract with rabbittransit, and lunchtime meals. Each center raises funds to cover operating and program expenses. In addition to fundraising events, money for the center’s programs comes in the form of donations from civic and local government organizations, as well as businesses and private citizens. Volunteers are always needed to help with fundraising, meal delivery, serve on center advisory boards, and assist with daily activities. For more information about senior centers, please call the Adams County Office for Aging, Inc. at 717-334-9296 or visit our website at http://acofa.org/

Waves of strikes rippling across the US seem big, but the total number of Americans walking off the job remains historically low

Judith Stepan-Norris, University of California, Irvine and Jasmine Kerrissey, UMass Amherst More than 323,000 workers – including nurses, actors, screenwriters, hotel cleaners and restaurant servers – walked off their jobs during the first eight months of 2023. Hundreds of thousands of the employees of delivery giant UPS would have gone on strike, too, had they not reached a last-minute agreement. And nearly 150,000 autoworkers may go on a strike of historic proportions in mid-September if the United Autoworkers Union and General Motors, Ford and Stellantis – the company that includes Chrysler – don’t agree on a new contract soon. Striking members of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in New York City in 1958. AP Photo This crescendo of labor actions follows a relative lull in U.S. strikes and a decline in union membership that began in the 1970s. Today’s strikes may seem unprecedented, especially if you’re under 50. While this wave constitutes a significant change following decades of unions’ losing ground, it’s far from unprecedented. We’re sociologists who study the history of U.S. labor movements. In our new book, “Union Booms and Busts,” we explore the reasons for swings in the share of working Americans in unions between 1900 and 2015. We see the rising number of strikes today as a sign that the balance of power between workers and employers, which has been tilted toward employers for nearly a half-century, is beginning to shift. Millions on strike The number of U.S. workers who go on strike in a given year varies greatly but generally follows broader trends. After World War II ended, through 1981, between 1 million and 4 million Americans went on strike annually. By 1990, that number had plummeted. In some years, it fell below 100,000. Workers by that point were clearly on the defensive for several reasons. One dramatic turning point was the showdown between President Ronald Reagan and the country’s air traffic controllers, which culminated in a 1981 strike by their union – the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization. Like many public workers, air traffic controllers did not have the right to strike, but they called one anyway because of safety concerns and other reasons. Reagan depicted the union as disloyal and ordered that all of PATCO’s striking members be fired. The government turned to supervisors and military controllers as their replacements and decertified the union. That episode sent a strong message to employers that permanently replacing striking workers in certain situations would be tolerated. There were also many court rulings and new laws that favored big business over labor rights. These included the passage of so-called right-to-work laws that provide union representation to nonunion members in union workplaces – without requiring the payment of union dues. Many conservative states, like South Dakota and Mississippi, have these laws on the books, along with states with more liberal voters – such as Wisconsin. As union membership plunged from 34.2% of the labor force in 1945 to around 10% in 2010, workers became less likely to go on strike. Wages kept up with productivity gains when unions were stronger than they are today. Wages increased 91.3% as productivity grew by 96.7% between 1948 and 1973. That changed once union membership began to tumble. Wages stagnated from 1973 to 2013, rising only 9.2% even as productivity grew by 74.4%. Prime conditions In general, strikes grow more common when economic conditions change in ways that empower workers. That’s especially true with the tight labor markets and high inflation seen in the U.S. in recent years. When there are fewer candidates available for every open job and prices are rising, workers become bolder in their demands for higher wages and benefits. Political and legal factors can play a role, too. In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal enhanced unions’ ability to organize. During World War II, unions agreed to a no-strike pledge – although some workers continued to go on strike. The number of U.S. workers who went on strike peaked in 1946, a year after the war ended. Conditions were ripe for labor actions at that point for several reasons. The economy was no longer so dedicated to supplying the military, pro-union New Deal legislation was still intact and wartime strike restrictions were lifted. In contrast, Reagan’s crushing of the PATCO strike gave employers a green light to permanently replace striking workers in situations in which doing that was legal. Likewise, as we describe in our book, employers can take many steps to discourage strikes. But labor organizers can sometimes overcome management’s resistance with creative strategies. New economic equations Between 1983 and 2022, the share of U.S. workers who belonged to unions fell by half, from 20.1% to 10.1%. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t reverse that decline, but it did change the balance of power between employers and workers in other ways. The “great resignation,” a surge in the number of workers quitting their jobs during the pandemic, now seems to be over, or at least cooling down. The number of unemployed people for every job opening reached 4.9 in April 2020, plummeted to 0.5 in December 2021, and has remained low ever since. Meanwhile, many workers have become more dissatisfied with their wages. The strikes by teachers that ramped up in 2018 responded to that frustration. U.S. inflation, which soared to 8% in 2022, has eroded workers’ purchasing power while company profits and economic inequality have continued to soar. Technological breakthroughs that leave workers behind are also contributing to today’s strikes, as they did in other periods. We’ve studied the role technology played in the printers’ strikes of the 1890s following the introduction of the linotype machine, which reduced the need for skilled workers, and the longshoremen strike of 1971, which was spurred by a drastic workforce reduction brought about by the introduction of shipping containers to transport cargo. Those are among countless precedents for what’s happening now with actors and screenwriters. Their strikes hinge on the financial implications of streaming in film and television and artificial intelligence in the production of movies and shows. Working conditions, including health and safety concerns and time off, have also been at the root of many recent strikes. Health care workers, for example, are going on strike over safe staffing levels. In 2022, rail workers voted to strike over sick days and time off, they but were blocked from walking off the job by a U.S. Senate vote and President Joe Biden’s signature. Time and again, when the conditions have been right, U.S. workers have gone on strike and won. Sometimes more strikes have followed, in waves that can transform workers’ lives. But it’s too early to know how big this wave will become. Judith Stepan-Norris, Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of California, Irvine and Jasmine Kerrissey, Associate Professor of Sociology; Director of the Labor Center, UMass Amherst This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

There’s lots of kayaking ahead

Even though it’s September, plenty of good kayaking days are still ahead this year.  Unfortunately, the launch area at Long Pine Reservoir, close by in Michaux State Forest, is closed until next season. But for those determined to enjoy this lovely mountain lake, there are ways to reach the water. The fishing dock offers a quick downhill access, while the bridge farther down the short arm of the lake requires shlepping your boat through the woods. By next summer, we should have a decent parking and launch area there, as well as much-needed bathrooms. Long Arm Reservoir, south of Hanover is especially beautiful in the fall, and its launch area is well equipped with a porta-potty and handicap parking close to the lake.  Opossum Lake, west of Carlisle has several launch areas, one with bathrooms, and is great for birding and wild berry picking in summer. York, PA offers two adjacent reservoirs south of the city, Lake Redman and Lake Williams.  Redman is more interesting from a birding standpoint, but Williams features a kayak launch, which holds your watercraft steady while you get into it, a feat no matter where you put in. Two nearby State Parks are obvious choices.  Codorus, east of Hanover, with large Lake Marburg, can be overrun on weekends with pontoon boats, not to mention motorboats that create unwelcome waves.  During the week, however, it’s a great place to explore, using different launch sites.  The sailing area, with bathrooms, offers good access to the upper end of the lake, while the Black Rock launch, best for the far end, has no facilities. Gifford Pinchot State Park, east of Dillsburg, boasts a large lake unfortunately clogged with weeds in summer.  The chief attraction there is Beaver Creek, accessed from Mooring #1 near Rossville, featuring an inviting shaded paddle a long way up the stream.  In the fall, after hunting season begins, Pinchot’s Lake is divided into well-posted Hunting and No Hunting areas, which unfortunately is not the case at Codorus. Creeks and rivers offer additional possibilities, but only if you have two cars and can park one downstream. The Yellow Breeches Water Trail, divided into three sections, begins in South Middleton Park near Boiling Springs and terminates at the Susquehanna.  But the middle 10 ½ mile section, from Messiah College to Yellow Breeches Park, is most free of hazards and more likely to have acceptable water levels. In summer, the Conodoquinet, west of Carlisle, is frequently too low to kayak easily. The Monocacy, in Maryland, is another possibility, although it’s difficult to find good access to the water. The Conococheague, south of Chambersburg, offers a pleasant and calm trip in kayak or canoe, once you have found a good access point.  Locally, Marsh Creek and Rock Creek frequently suffer from low water levels, but please do not try to navigate them after a storm, as sharp rocks and swift water can make for a treacherous experience.  One more waterway is the Susquehanna, with recommended launching south of Columbia off Route 441. Birding there on the Conejohela flats can be rewarding, but no more so than acres of yellow lotuses, calm water, and numerous islands.  An avid Adams County kayaker has lots of options for venturing out on the water. Cloudy days and gentle winds are optimum if you want to avoid heatstroke and hard paddling. Autumn days are often ideal, so you shouldn’t even think of putting that kayak away till November. 

Dallastown Triumphs Over Bermudian in a Gritty Field Hockey Showdown

A determined Dallastown High School field hockey team secured a 2-0 win against Bermudian Springs in both teams’ first match of the season at Dallastown on Thursday evening. The first goal was netted by Dallastown’s Pantano, who found the back of the net with 14:04 left on the clock in the first quarter. A beautifully timed assist from Schneider paved the way for Pantano, helping Dallastown secure an early lead. While the Eagles fought valiantly, creating two corners and taking two shots at goal, Dallastown dominated the statistics with 15 corners and 14 shots. Bermudian’s goalkeepers, Addie Madara, and Kimberly Claeys, put on an admirable performance, making 8 and 3 saves respectively. An additional defensive save was credited to the Eagle’s Leah Talkington, highlighting the team’s defensive efforts against an aggressive Dallastown offense. Dallastown solidified their victory with a second goal, this time from Markel, with 11:53 remaining in the third quarter. The goal, assisted by Beach, put the outcome of the match beyond any reasonable doubt. Dallastown’s goalkeeper Rieder also played a significant role, making 2 crucial saves during the match to keep the clean sheet. The JV match resulted in a close 1-0 win in favor of Dallastown during a 7 v 7 clash, signifying a positive start for their junior team as well. *Statistics: Bermudian 0, Dallastown 2; Berm Corners: 2, Dallastown Corners: 15; Berm Shots: 2, Dallastown Shots: 14; Berm Goalie Saves: 11 (Madara – 8, Claeys – 3), Dallastown Goalie Saves: 2 (Rieder); JV Score (BS 1st): 1-0 (7 v 7); Division Record: Bermudian 0-1, Dallastown 1-0

GARA wraps up a successful summer season

The Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority’s (GARA) Executive Director, Erin Pedigree, reported on the following park activities during the months of June through August: The Farmers Market has seen overwhelming success at its new location at the rec park, featuring special activities such as Civic Engagement Day, a Homesteading & Green Living Expo, the Farmers Market Fairy Festival, Kids Day, and Young Entrepreneurs Day.  GARA is working with the Farmers Market team to plan a collaborative event in October in time for the Halloween holiday. Other successful events included the hosting of Soccer Shots, baseball tournaments, the Library Fun Fest, a chamber mixer, Juneteenth celebrations, the A Gettysburg Fourth event, the first Get Out and Skate event, National Night Out, and the Sunday Music in the Park series. The Gettysburg Area Skate Park committee held a fundraiser that was successful despite a rainy day. The committee will continue to work on the design and budget for a new skate park this summer. Another skate park event to raise funds will coincide with the Halloween Farmers Market event planned for October. Upcoming summer events include the God on the Ground event on August 25th and the Overdose Awareness Walk on August 31st.  The Best After School Program is hosting a Parents Night Fundraiser in September. GARA has been chosen as the host organization, with all proceeds from the event going to the rec park. Other upcoming events include the 2023 York/Adams Heart Walk on September 9 and the continuing Country Line Dances held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. GARA will participate in this year’s Christmas Festival, featuring a craft show inside the Christmas Market hosted by the Farmers Market on Saturday, December 2.  Plans so far include the return of characters from the movie Frozen (Anna and Elsa), as well as a Christmas photo booth. The date for GARA’s Day in New York City bus trip is set for December 9, 2023. More information on how to register will be forthcoming. In other business, Vice Chairman Steve Toddes’ appointment to the GARA Board was set to expire in May 2023. His term as Cumberland Township Supervisor ends December 31, 2023. Upon the board’s request, Toddes agreed to stay on as GARA Board member until the end of his term on the Cumberland Township Board of Supervisors.  The Cumberland Township will appoint a new member to the GARA board at that time. The full agenda of the meeting and previous meeting minutes can be found at GARA Meetings and Holidays.

College Student seriously injured on Washington St.

A first-year Gettysburg College student was seriously injured this morning in an accident at about 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Washington St. and Lincoln Ave. in Gettysburg. According to a Gettysburg Police release, the 18-year-old female was crossing Washington St. at the intersection of Lincoln Ave. when a 2008 Toyota van operated by a 78-year-old Gettysburg resident struck the pedestrian who was reported to be in the crosswalk.  The woman was transported by Adams Regional Emergency Medical Services to WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital and then flown to a trauma center in York. Gettysburg Fire Company, Gettysburg Fire Police, and Gettysburg College Campus Safety assisted at the scene.  Police investigation is continuing. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash and has not yet spoken to the police is asked to contact the police department through the Adams County Emergency Service Dispatch Center at (814) 334-8101 Gettysburg College released a statement saying the college was providing extended hours of counseling and wellness services for members of the college community.

Fairfield Area School District to alter policy focused on unstable students

Fairfield Area School District logo

Fairfield Area School District’s Board of Directors is closer to making it easier for pupils who face hardships to graduate from high school. At their work session in August, Superintendent Thomas J. Haupt presented an updated policy on how to care for unstable students. Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Act 1 of 2022 necessitated Fairfield’s changes. The biggest change, Haupt said, is broadening the policy to include students who face “instability.” Act 1 defines a student facing instability as one who is experiencing homelessness; an adjudication of dependency, delinquency, or court-ordered services under a voluntary placement or custody agreement. Previously, Fairfield Area School DIstrict was required to enroll such students within five days of their request. The waiting period, Haupt explained, gave the district time to acquire a student’s records from his or her previous school. The district must now enroll them immediately, even if records are not accessible. The new policy, which the board will vote on in September, also relaxes other district rules for students who experience instability. The district cannot penalize those students for defying the dress code, Haupt said. It must also adjust graduation requirements to help students achieve that goal. Normal attendance rules are also void for unstable students, Haupt said. Technology The district is changing the process for students to receive their own electronic devices. Nicole Zepp, coordinator of instructional technology, told the board every student will receive a Google Chromebook this school year. The district replaces Chromebooks every five years, so students will receive a new device in first, fifth, and ninth grades. Kindergarten students will receive used Chromebooks, Zepp said. All students are responsible for the care of their Chromebook, Zepp said. Parents can purchase insurance to help reduce replacement or repair costs. The district is also giving the parents who purchase the insurance the option to pay for an inexpensive repair, such as a new power cord, outright to avoid the deductible. Zepp said the district offers mobile hotspots to students who do not have reliable internet at their home. Last year, one student borrowed a hotspot. The district is also working on enhancing wifi capabilities in the outdoor areas of the district campus on Fairfield Road. When that project is complete, Zepp said, district residents will be able to access the internet from parking lots and sports fields.

Purple Paws Pet Walk

The Adams County SPCA in partnership with YWCA Hanover SafeHome is inviting everyone to participate in the first annual Purple Paws Pet Walk. This event will be held at the Gettysburg Rec Park, 545 Long Lane, on September 24 from 1-3 p.m. You are invited to bring your leashed dog to walk with you. There is no cost to participate, but donations are gratefully accepted. All donations will be split between the two non-profit organizations that are hosting. We welcome sponsorships from businesses. Our purpose in walking is to raise awareness and educate the public about the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. YWCA Hanover SafeHome helps assist victims with housing, clothing, legal advocacy, and other services. The Adams County SPCA assists with taking care of victims’ animals offering boarding, spay/neuter and vaccinations. Other community organizations will be present at the walk to offer other types of assistance. Years of research support the idea that there is a direct link between acts of cruelty to animals escalating to violence against humans, including children and elders.71% of domestic violence victims report that their abuser also abused or neglected animals in the home. 43% of those who commit school shootings have also committed acts of cruelty to animals. Working together to show that help is available, we can make a difference. Please join us in this effort on Sept. 24.

Sweeter than Sap: From Easy Bake to Infinity

There’s a new kid in town and she is a force to be celebrated. Sara Ann Parrish has opened a new bake shop that is music to our ears and envelops all our senses with happiness. The shop, which offers freshly baked cakes and pastries is called “Sweeter than SAP,” and is located at 52 York St. Gettysburg. The name could derive from “Sweeter than Super Awesome Pastries” or “Sensational Awesome Person,” but in fact, it comes from Sara Ann Parrish’s initials. “This is all her,” says her mom, Heather, with not just one tear of pride shimmering in her eyes. “People think it’s my business, and that breaks my heart, because she has known what she wanted to do since she was about eight. We just offered her emotional and moral support.” Sara doesn’t reveal anything but excitement about her venture. She sparkles as she talks about offering the Gettysburg community delightful, mouthwatering baked goods to go with the cups of coffee in their hands. Strolling and exploring, tourists broke into smiles as they walked in the door and looked around at the brilliant white walls and comfortable bench seating all around. Sara’s grandmother, in a beautiful jewel-tone blue, said she “couldn’t be more proud to share her excitement.” Sara said she got her start with an Easy Bake Oven, the toy that bakes actual food with the heat of a lightbulb. She decided to spend her last two years of high school at Adams County Tech Institute, in culinary arts. She then went on to Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island for her B.A. degree in Business. “They called her The Cake Dealer in high school because she would put pieces of cake with icing in plastic cups and sell them to other students for three dollars each,” her mom chuckled. And now, at the age of twenty-three, with only her own money and a loan from the Small Business Administration, Sara has opened her sunny shop that formerly housed Noteworthy Music. The old-world feel of that shop has given way to lovely pastel pink pillows that provide a backrest for the built-in benches that were handmade by Sara’s brother. “Sara sewed all the cushions and pillows for the shop as well,” her mom boasts. “This is all her success! She ordered all the equipment and even assembled the tables herself.” Keirsten, one of the servers, wears soft pink to accentuate the color scheme. “Dad, do you want any of those?” asks young Jack, looking eye-level at the treats in the showcase. He walks the length of the case as his eyes get bigger. The Lake Heritage family ooh and ahh as they try to choose between donuts and cupcakes.” “Can we eat it here?” Jack asks as he hops up onto a bench. His mom happily agrees. “Those cinnamon rolls smell so great,” Tara says, “I saw [the shop] on social media and wanted to check it out.” “I heard about it from someone over at Waldo’s and so I came to try the red velvet cake cookies and the honey buns,” Douglas offers. Another young woman said she followed Sara here from the Marketplace on Littlestown Pike. Sara beams as she talks about her hopes for the future. “I want to continue to make everything from scratch. I hope that I’ll be able to expand to a bigger place somewhere, but I want to keep this shop here as well,” she said. Selena, one of the shop’s smiling servers, nodded her support. “It’s gonna happen,” she said quietly. Heather knows her daughter has high expectations for herself. She says that Sara’s determination is the key to her success. “I’m so happy that she proved to the community that she could do it on her own.” The proud mom enthusiastically stood out on the sidewalk in a birthday cake outfit to draw notice to the shop. Her emotional and moral support for her daughter is obvious in the way her tears of pride stream down her smiling face. Community support for this shop seems like a no-brainer. It will be a multi-sensory pleasure to help this young woman make it in this great American small town. Many generations to come will delight in her very welcome presence.

Charity Lawson led ‘The Bachelorette’ her way — changing the franchise’s narrative on race in the process

Fans of the long-running franchise credit Bachelorette Charity Lawson, only the fourth woman of color to be franchise lead, for the season’s success. Originally published by The 19th Your trusted source for contextualizing the news. Sign up for our daily newsletter. As the 20th season of “The Bachelorette” comes to a close, many fans are celebrating not only the milestone anniversary, but what viewers and critics have largely agreed upon to be a wildly successful season of a reality TV juggernaut that had found itself behind in ratings and grasping how audience expectations were changing.  For many viewers, the credit largely belongs to this season’s Bachelorette herself, Charity Lawson. Lawson, in addition to being resoundingly praised for being the platonic ideal of a franchise lead, is also notable because of her race. She is Black, the fourth woman of color to ever hold the position and only the second monoracial woman to have done so since Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, held court in 2017. Lawson’s season is also the first without series creator Mike Fleiss acting as showrunner — he exited the entire franchise just before news broke that he was being investigated for racial discrimination in casting and production. Experts on both “The Bachelorette” and the way in which Black women are treated in reality television environments say that Lawson’s season signals a notable change. For years, “The Bachelor” franchise has faced intense criticism over its long history of leaving contestants of color on the periphery of the program. It has often subjected them to interactions with racist contestants and made edits that often pigeonhole cast members of color into filling stereotypes that serve the narrative of the White cast members’ quests for love. Danielle Lindemann, a sociologist at Lehigh University and the author of “True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us,” says that the cultural influence and import of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” is not to be minimized. “It’s one of the first things people think about when they think of reality television,” she said, occupying a core place in the reality television landscape for over two decades.  But the show’s historic lack of diversity has long been noticeable, and its unease with contestants of color has become a central element of the show itself. “‘SNL’ has mocked this with skits where they have a woman come up and say, ‘Well I’m Black and I have short hair so goodbye’ — there’s been this idea that a woman of color couldn’t possibly be a serious contender on the show, couldn’t be anything other than a lurker in the background,” Lindemann said. And that’s just one of its shortcomings in diversity, she added. “It’s typically been a very White, middle class, heteronormative show. It’s a show that’s easy to point to and say, ‘This is really retrograde. This is really behind the times.’” Victoria Price, a former co-host of “The Blckchelorettes” podcast, says that for her, one of the most notable aspects of Lawson’s season — including the casting of Lawson herself — is the way the show seems to have finally moved beyond the colorism that has long plagued it, not only casting a dark-skinned Black woman as a lead but many dark-skinned Black men as suitors for her as well. Seeing Lawson cast is something that Price said that she “didn’t think I would see because of the European beauty standards in America that say the darker the skin, the less desirable you are and the less deserving of love you are — especially in the media, where that often gets taken to mean the less of a full human you are.”  Seeing a woman like this being cast as the lead — a role held up to represent the ultimate standard of conventional beauty and romantic love by the show — is even more striking given the men who Lawson has been able to date on the show. She says Black fans of the show like herself have often commented that when it comes to contestants pursuing either the Bachelor or Bachelorette, “if they’re not passing the paper bag test” – a form of skin tone comparison that is shorthand for widespread colorism in America  – “then they’re not going to make it past week two or week three because this show only prefers to see lighter skin or biracial people getting to experience love stories within the show.”  The way Lawson has conducted herself throughout the season — the kinds of choices she has made in moving throughout her season and the edit she has gotten by the show’s producers — has left Price struck by how “nice and refreshing it is to see a Black woman finding love and making her own choices. To me, it feels like Charity is really running this season. In the past, a lot of the times, the show has been running The Bachelorette.”  In the past, Price said, “This show has failed immensely at letting people of color be fully fleshed out humans with intricacies and with amazing attributes — and also with maybe some not-so-amazing attributes.” That is, Price said if people of color have even gotten substantive air time. When contestants of color are not being reduced to stereotypes, Price said they have often existed solely to provide reaction shots or to fill the “friend” role to White characters who turn to the Black cast members for help in talking about the central storylines of the show — storylines that frequently have nothing to do with anyone who is not White.  Especially since the uprisings following the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, The Bachelor franchise — “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and soon “The Golden Bachelor” as well — has not only been called to account for the way it has handled diversity through its casting — but begun to make some progress in showing that it can exist in a different way. For many longtime observers of the Bachelor Cinematic Universe, this has never felt stronger than through the casting of Lawson.  “This season is exactly the one I have been asking for for the last few years,” said Emma Gray, the co-host of “Love to See It,” a podcast about reality dating shows and the role they play in reflecting the current cultural and political climate. “I didn’t want a show full of emotional trauma where we are spending all of our time thinking about how these contestants and leads’ mental health has been decimated by the show. I wanted tiny drama, I wanted silliness, I wanted joy, and I wanted a beautiful love story that we could connect to, and where we have left Charity up until the finale is a strong, beautiful woman who has two men and two love stories that you can really buy into. I think that is incredible. That is something that is traditionally not guaranteed for any lead on this show, and certainly not a lead of color.”  Gray points to the way that Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, has very publicly discussed her criticism of how her season as lead was edited and presented, chipping away at the validity of the relationship Lindsay had with her final pick and eventual husband, Bryan Asuelo. Gray calls Lindsay “an absolutely iconic lead” while also stressing that “the show did not do right by her” — including casting an “overtly racist White man to date her.”  It’s why Gray sees Lawson’s season as so notable in its normalcy and lack of mistreatment of its lead of color — but also makes her think about the “Black and Brown leads and contestants who have been caused a lot of pain in order for us to get at this more progressive moment.”  “It’s absolutely shameful that it has taken this long for the show to show basic respect to people who put their lives on hold, who do this job that makes a lot of people a lot of money,” Gray added.  Brandy Monk-Payton is an assistant professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University whose scholarship focuses on race and representation on television; she also co-hosts the “B.A.P.S. in Paradise” podcast on all things Bachelor Nation. For her, watching Lawson’s unquestionable success as Bachelorette this season has felt “complicated.”  She calls Lawson an “ideal Bachelorette in the sense that she clearly knows what she wants and is performing in such a way that is very graceful”; the first ever Bachelorette, Trista Sutter, called Lawson “classy” on last week’s “Men Tell All Special,” a word frequently used to describe Lawson by the men who competed for her love this season. This word, Monk-Payton said, “gets at this question of respectability of Black women and specifically how [Lawson] understands her performance on the show as a Black woman.” Compared with past Bachelorettes of color, Monk-Payton said she has felt “a concerted effort to, at least on-camera, remove real explicit references to race.” She said that despite a few conversations towards the end of the season when Lawson was meeting people’s families where she discussed having grown up as one of the few Black people in a predominantly White suburb, the way her race has figured into her identity “has really been minimized.”  Looking at reality television across the board, Monk-Payton said that very often, Black women’s identities are often reduced to a kind of sport where they get to perform very specific kinds of cultural roles — which also means they are granted only certain, specific opportunities to be vulnerable. “The ways that she was vulnerable feel very circumscribed. She didn’t necessarily divulge anything that would rupture a particular kind of image of her as cool, calm and collected. It’s not that she needed any trauma or crisis, but I think there’s something to be said about the kinds of vulnerability that go into the complexity of representation.” By performing the way an “ideal” Bachelorette should perform, Monk-Payton said, Lawson has also been granted access into the canon of past Bachelorettes who have been minted by the franchise as models of success; she said she feels Lawson already being ushered into the ranks of franchise star and elder statesman currently filled by former — all White — cast members. “It feels like Charity, who is incidentally a Black woman, has returned this show to its ideal sort of conception about what a Bachelorette and what a leader is. She has done that quite successfully and, in some ways, has also erased her race.”  Whether spoken about or not, though, race has nevertheless been one of the defining aspects of this season. Of Lawson’s final four suitors, three were Black men — all of them dark-skinned Black men, and one of them an immigrant from Nigeria. During the Hometown Date episode, where the show’s lead visits the families of her final four men, Lawson’s version of this episode featured the most monoracial Black families — and Black people — that have ever been seen in a single episode of the show.  Price points out that typically people of color on the show are biracial — especially the ones who make it far enough on the show to have the lead meet their families. “For all Americans to have to watch these Black families together in these beautiful homes and see that they are very similar to the way that their family would operate at home was, I think, a really huge step for this franchise because I think a lot of people in America don’t think that that exists.”  Monk-Payton also took note of the racial composition of Lawson’s final four — and the way their race was, and was not, discussed on the show. “With her final four, this is the first time the show has gone to three Black households for Hometowns, and that was never remarked upon,” she said. “It wasn’t even in the discourse. It was just a naturalized thing, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But we are clearly at this moment where we can have a dark-skinned Black Bachelorette, and her top four can be mostly dark-skinned Black men — so I do think we are light years ahead of where this show started.” Price contrasts the way Black families have been represented on Lawson’s season with Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor,” when he was the franchise’s first Black Bachelor. James is biracial, and the White mother who raised him became a key character on the season and James’ father — from whom he had been estranged for years — was brought on without James being told, forcing James to confront his largely absentee Black father on national television totally unprepared. “We got to see their tumultuous relationship play out on television, which was extremely violent and just so hurtful for the Black community because it was perpetuating this stereotype that Black fathers aren’t present, and it was violent and triggering that they did that on national TV. So for them to go from that as the last time we really got to see a Black family, and it was a Black broken family, to this season where we get to see so many examples of what Black families look like is honestly one of the best things that this franchise has ever done.” For Price, the significance of Lawson’s season doesn’t end there though.  “I think this show has been afraid of giving Black love a platform because they think that its viewers will think it’s turning into BET or VH1 or something like that,” Price said. “But this is now showing that we as Black women are equally deserving of love and are able to exist in this space that is created for a White audience and we can come in and exist in it and thrive — because that’s what we have been doing our whole lives.”

High School Girls Tennis: Spring Grove edges out Gettysburg in season opener

The Gettysburg Warriors girls’ tennis team, playing without the benefit of their usual coach, squared off against the Spring Grove Rockets on a lovely afternoon at home this afternoon, showcasing their skill, tenacity, and sportsmanship. The final score of the season opener was 3-2 in favor of the Rockets. The Warrior’s ace singles player, Carmen Oshunrinade, emerged victorious after a tight face-off against Spring Grove’s Kaycee Cook. Both sets went in favor of Oshunrinade with identical scores of 7-5, 7-5. Gettysburg’s Auvrie Coscia faced a tough opponent in Maggie Weirich, who dominated the court, handing Coscia a 4-6, 0-6 loss. Warrior Parishi Bhanu fought valiantly but eventually fell to Mary Smith, 5-7, 0-6. In doubles, Warriors Ava Fair and Wynter Frenette displayed coordination and strategy to clinch a 6-2, 6-3 win over Spring Grove’s Vida Rosas and Namie Harris. In the other doubles match, Rockets Riley Whittredge and Madison Dunmeyer bested Gettysburg’s Alma Zigmic and Molly Heaton with a 3-6, 3-6 scoreline. Off the main court, in an exhibition match, Gettysburg’s Kalia Hoedemaker gave the home crowd something more to cheer about, securing a 6-2 win over Cara Smith. Next up for Gettysburg:  At Mifflin County, Thursday 4:00 p.m. Featured image caption: The Gettysburg Warriors Girls’ Tennis team. L to R: Nicole Shirley, Lillian Pigeon, Parishi Bhanu (hands on knees), Kalia Hoedemaker, Carmen Oshinrunade (hands on knees), Molly Heaton, Auvrie Coscia (hands on knees), Alma Zigmic, Ava Fair, Wynter Frenette, Tristan Smith (boys team player, girls team manager/coach).  Photos by Jim Bargas: Click on any image to start the slideshow.

Medicaid’s Great Unwinding

In March 2020, when the pandemic was in its full fury, the federal government took emergency measures that prohibited states from removing people from the Medicaid program. In exchange, the states were given increased federal Medicaid funding. More than 23 million people were added to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Enrollment Program (CHIP), reaching 95 million at the end of March 2023 (Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF). But on April 1, 2023, the emergency provision of continuous enrollment ended and what has been called “the great unwinding” of people on Medicaid began. This means that states could once again apply their own rules for Medicaid eligibility, which vary considerably. States have been able to disenroll people who no longer qualify or who face barriers to completing the renewal process. Nationally, millions of people are expected to lose this critical healthcare insurance coverage for low-income families. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have reported disenrolling over 4.8 million Medicaid enrollees as of August 17. The disenrollment rate ranges from 72% in Texas to 8% in Wyoming. Pennsylvania’s rate is 33%. Ineligibility is tied to a state’s income level requirements. Among those disenrolled nationally, however, 71 percent were terminated for procedural reasons due to not completing the renewal process. (Source: KFF and the Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker) In Pennsylvania, as of last May, about 44 percent of those terminated were for procedural reasons, and 56 percent were determined ineligible. Unfortunately, many people on Medicaid are unaware of the implications of the Medicaid unwinding (or even that it is happening) and some may have unknowingly lost coverage. Everyone who has benefited from Medicaid needs to check on their status. Pennsylvanians who no longer qualify for Medicaid may be able to enroll in one of PENNIE’s programs. (PENNIE is Pennsylvania’s own healthcare exchange on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If you need advice regarding your status or help re-enrolling in either Medicaid or PENNIE, please call the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) at 877-570-3642.

Gettysburg Area School Board pulls recommendation to rehire tennis coach

Sasha Yates stands outside the Gettysburg Area Middle School on Aug. 21. Yates has yet to be reinstated as the district's tennis coach. She is a transgender coach.

The Gettysburg Area High School girls’ tennis team is beginning its fall season without an official coach. The district’s school board again decided not to act on a recommendation from its administration to reinstate Sasha Yates, who has coached the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams since 2018. The boys’ tennis team is not affected because they play in the spring sports season. At the Aug. 21 meeting, the Gettysburg Area School District’s Board of Directors voted to remove Yates from the administration’s list of recommended hires. Yates, who is transgender, was listed on the agenda by her legal name of David. She has been the district’s tennis coach since 2018. A vote on Yates’ reinstatement was first considered at the Aug. 7 meeting when board members Michelle Smyers, Timon Linn, and Al Moyer voted not to reinstate Yates as a coach. Board President Kenny Hassinger, as well as Tim Seigman, and Jeremy Davis voted for Yates to be named coach. Michael Dickerson abstained and AmyBeth Hodges and Ryan Morris were absent. At Monday’s meeting, Dickerson recommended the board remove the discussion of Yates’ contract from the agenda. Linn and Hodges opposed the agenda change. The others, excluding Hassinger who was absent, supported Dickerson’s motion. Because state law does not allow public discussion of personnel issues, it is not publicly known why Yates’ candidacy is seen as unacceptable to some board members. Dickerson said in an interview after the meeting that he suggested the board pull the administration’s recommendation so members had time to digest the abundance of public comment.  After the meeting, Superintendent Jason Perrin said he was unsure if the administration would recommend Yates for a third time. The board next meets on Sept. 5. Public comment The board moved Monday’s meeting from the district administration building to the Gettysburg Area Middle School Auditorium due to an anticipated large crowd. Thirty people, most of whom supported Yates, addressed the board. Steve Carbaugh told the board his daughter saw Yates in the girls’ bathroom in April. Carbaugh said he addressed his concern with High School Principal Jeremy Lusk. Carbaugh claimed Yates later changed clothes in the women’s locker room with the girls’ soccer team. When asked after the meeting, Perrin said the district does not have a policy pertaining to bathroom use. John Wega expressed concern about Yates being reinstated as a coach. Wega cited a National Institutes of Health study that states 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide. Chad-Alan Carr, a member of the Gettysburg Borough Council and chair of Gettysburg Pride, agreed with Wega’s data but claimed the suicides are due to the students not having a strong support system. Carr, who is gay, shared that he considered suicide as a teenager but a strong mentor convinced him to live. Paul Kellett, a Freedom Township supervisor and parent, agreed. “If you are concerned about protecting kids, have role models they can look up to,” he said. Alexandra Escalera said she believed the core of the issue is not Yates’ qualifications or performance as a coach. Escalera encouraged the board to clarify what she referred to as “the bathroom issue.” Numerous others told stories of Yates’ mentorship on and off the court.  “Coach Yates is one of a very, very few people who got me through that high school experience,” Chelsea Zimmann, GAHS Class of 2021, said. Janet Riggs, chair of the Gettysburg Borough Human Relations Council, acknowledged fear of a lawsuit. “Discrimination based on gender identity could, and should, lead to a claim against the school district,” Riggs said. Tennis coach’s response When asked for comment after the meeting, Yates turned the attention to the tennis players. “My kids do not have a coach,” Yates said. “This should solely be about the student-athletes.” When asked who was coaching the team, Perrin said “a plethora of individuals.” Dickerson acknowledged the team is not receiving the support it would from Yates. “They might not be up to Coach Yates’ caliber, but they are qualified to cover practices,” he said. Featured Image: Gettysburg Area High School’s most recent tennis coach, Sasha Yates, stands outside the district’s middle school following the Aug. 21 board meeting. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

Adams Electric donates first aid kits to Cumberland Township Police Department

Adams Electric Cooperative employees have donated 12 Individual First Aid Kits (IFAK) to the Cumberland Township Police Department. The kits, normally worn as a backpack, contain essential life-saving materials, including bleeding control and major wound treatments. The police department is looking to expand its officers’ individual equipment, including providing external bulletproof vests with Level III plates (hard armor), which are typically used in active shooter-type incidents, and individual first aid kits to attach to each vest. Featured Image Caption: Accepting the donation are, from left, Cumberland Township Manager Dave Blocher, Patrolman Ryan Eiker, and Chief Matt Trostel from Adams Electric CEO/General Manager Steve Rasmussen, Communications/Member Relations Coordinator Kami Noel, and Purchasing/Work Order Coordinator Tasha Sanders.

Coalition for Overdose Awareness & Recovery prepares for Aug. 31 walk

Although its name has changed, the goals of the Adams County Coalition for Overdose Awareness and Recovery have not. Formerly the Overdose Awareness Task Force, the coalition’s goal is to increase naloxone availability to save lives, reduce the stigma of addiction, and bring hope to those who suffer from addiction and those close to them. “Any overdose death is a tragedy in Adams County because each of our residents matters–as a family member, community member, and person.  At this time, the group has decided that ‘coalition’ is really a better term for where we are headed, but we will continue our strong partnerships with community agencies including law enforcement and county agencies,” said Andrea Dolges, Executive Director, Center for Youth and Community Development. Gettysburg’s fifth annual memorial walk will take place Aug. 31 at 6 p.m., beginning at the Adams County Courthouse and ending at the Gettysburg Rec Park’s Firemans’ Pavilion where local individuals and community representatives will speak to the issue. The event will mark International Overdose Awareness Day which focuses on creating a better understanding of overdose, reducing the stigma of drug-related deaths, and creating change that reduces the risk of harm associated with drug use. While the annual walk is a memorial to those who have lost loved ones to drug addiction, this year’s emphasis will be on those left behind, including grieving family and friends, healthcare and support services employees, and first responders, who are often left alone to bear the burden of the crisis. “We’re saying, ‘we see you’ and we can get through it by being together,” said Lisa Lindsey, Data & Prevention Specialist at the Center for Youth & Community Development. Free Naloxone kits will be available at the event. Naloxone is frequently delivered through a nasal spray and rapidly reverses an opioid overdose by restoring normal breathing in overdoses of opioids including heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine. The statistics in Adams County for 2022 were five overdose deaths, a dramatic improvement from the prior two years of 17 and 15 deaths respectively. Naloxone has been credited internationally with reducing overall overdose deaths. Dolges believes that Adams County continues to be supportive of its people. “This is really a grassroots effort, supported by leadership, to empower the community to help people struggling with substance use which is a symptom or result of other issues affecting our neighbors.  A person isn’t an addiction and people can move on and be productive members of our community.” Dolges emphasized that addiction is a disease or an indicator of something traumatic that has happened in a person’s life. Coordinated by Lindsey, the coalition meets on the third Tuesday of each month through Zoom or at 233 West High St. The group prioritizes: Increased access and utilization of naloxone to save lives. A continuum of care available from early intervention through sustained recovery for every person in Adams County. Reduced supply of available opioids in the county. Information on signs of a substance or opioid use disorder, treatment options, and recovery programs available in the community.

CVSD School Board discusses safety and security updates

Conewago Valley School District took another step towards hiring a school security officer during the school board meeting on Monday evening. The board approved a job description for the school security officer (SSO). During the time for public comment, one individual questioned why the district would hire an SSO instead of looking into having police officers offer security. “The biggest reason the board would like to see the SSO is the fact that we will have control over what they do,” board president Edward Groft said. “If we bring somebody in from the outside, we do not have the control. If we bring the police in, they control when and where and how things are going to happen. This will be a person that is an employee.” Groft added that hiring an SSO would also add consistency for the district staff and the students. “If we bring police in from outside and this officer is here today or even for the school year, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be here next year,” Groft said. “But if we bring somebody in that’s hired by the school, when they’re here next year or the next year there’s going to be some continuity. You can expect who you’re going to be dealing with and things like that. Even the kids are going to be looking forward to seeing the same person.” Additional safety updates are also being completed. Matthew Muller, director of district safety and communications, said staff would have training this week on emergency management, emergency preparedness, and threat assessment. Additional training to discuss situational awareness and other topics will be held later this year, according to Muller. “We’re pretty excited about that,” Muller said. All employees will be issued a parking tag as well as branded badge reels or breakaway lanyards in addition to their identification, according to Muller. Parking tags have been issued before, but after reviewing the results of a risk and vulnerabilities survey completed in the district earlier this year, the decision was made to ensure all employees have parking tags to make it easier to know who is on campus, according to Muller. Muller said in addition to about 740 responses received for a recent district safety survey, another 500 individuals participated in a communications survey. The community seemed to be interested in receiving text updates and in seeing apps offered, according to Muller. Christopher Bowman, principal of New Oxford High School, said he is also concentrating on safety and communications. In addition to completing safety drills, the school will work to communicate with both students and staff. “We also have a class meeting with all of our classes to go over expectations and get information out to them,” Bowman said. “We also do have some starting activities for the year, so we have a detailed plan that’s already shared with our staff. Our bell schedules are laid out on the calendars for both our faculty and for our students on the NOHS students’ Google Calendar, so we’ll review that with our students on the first day just to make sure that they know what to expect every day moving forward.” Academic updates Conewago Valley’s elementary school principals greeted the class of 2026 ahead of the new school year. Autumn Zaminsky, principal of Conewago Township Elementary School, and Christopher Cobb, New Oxford Elementary prinicipal, recently visited incoming kindergarten students. Cobb said most districts in the area do not hold kindergarten visitation and said it is a “special tradition” in Conewago Valley and “a great way to welcome our students.” Zaminsky said the elementary schools are setting the students up for success early. “The other thing we’re looking forward to is just kicking off the year with the focus on academics,” Zaminsky said. “We’re going to be utilizing the reading specialists, math specialists, gifted teacher and school psychologists to dig in and provide assessments for our students so that way we can really meet the needs for all learners.” Cobb said the addition of a token reward system in the schools will also help students. In addition to using math as they earn and save tokens, Cobb said the CHARGE program – which stands for, ‘committed, honest, adaptable, respectable, generous and engaged’ – will also encourage students. Dr. Brad Sterner, assistant superintendent for the district, said about 20 new teachers participated in the induction program this year. The teachers are a mix of newly-graduated and experienced teachers, but all of them were able to take a bus tour of the district for the induction program. “The purpose of taking a tour wasn’t just for our new teachers to see what our school district is, but really to understand where our students are coming from and seeing the vast variety of developments that we have, the municipalities that we have,” Sterner said. “So we went on a tour around the entire district perimeter. We also stopped by every school building and the principals greeted us as we got off the bus.” Conewago Valley staff have been busily writing and updating the curriculum, according to Charlie Trovato, director of curriculum for the district. Trovato said staff worked over the summer to write the math curriculum. The district is also working on its overall curriculum framework and a curriculum guidebook that should be shown to the board later this year. Other business Stephanie Corbin, the director of special education in Conewago Valley, said the district has about 45 new kindergarten students enrolling from the IU preschool program. Corbin thanked the board for agreeing to develop a new autistic support classroom. “It was desperately needed and it is filled and we are working hard to get that teacher in there and getting things done,” Corbin said. With the new school year beginning, Corbin said staff is working to ensure students’ supports and services are in place, IEP and 504 meetings are set and other processes are in place for students. The board approved the hiring of several employees, including adding an assistant athletic director at the high school and an assistant girls’ volleyball coach. The board held a brief executive session before the meeting in order to discuss personnel, according to Groft. The board will hold a study session at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11. The next regular meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18. Both meetings will be held in the district board room. Meetings are also live-streamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

How to make homes cooler without cranking up the air conditioning

Jesus Lizana, University of Oxford; Nicole Miranda, University of Oxford; and Radhika Khosla, University of Oxford Temperatures around the world are soaring. Both California’s Death Valley and China’s Xinjiang region have seen temperatures climb above the 50℃ mark. A blistering heatwave is also sweeping across the Mediterranean, causing temperatures in parts of Italy, Spain, France, and Greece to exceed 40℃. Air conditioners often become the default solution when temperatures rise. Jose Miguel Sanchez/Shutterstock In the future, the impact of scorching temperatures will extend beyond traditionally warm regions. In fact, our new research indicates that if global temperature rise increases from 1.5℃ to 2℃, countries at northern latitudes like the UK, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland will face the greatest relative increase in uncomfortably hot days. During uncomfortably hot weather, people seek ways to cool down their homes. Air conditioners often become the default solution when temperatures rise as they provide fast and effective relief from scorching heat. But air conditioners consume a lot of energy. Many also use refrigerants called fluorinated gases that have high global warming potential when they leak. Unrestrained usage of air conditioners in the future will result in increased emissions and further global warming. So it’s important to know the recommended steps to keep your home cool in the face of rising temperatures without causing the climate more harm. Block the sun Buildings can be protected from too much heat by creating a barrier between them and the sun’s rays. There are different ways to achieve this, ranging from reflective and ventilated roofs to external window shutters and awnings. Research one of us worked on in Spain found that using external window shutters can reduce cooling needs (the thermal energy required to keep people comfortable) by up to 14%. Even something as simple as painting your roof a light color can reduce indoor temperatures. Research in very hot cities in Pakistan found that, by reflecting the sun’s energy, this approach can reduce cooling needs by more than 7%. Another effective technique is to make use of the shade provided by tree canopies. Research in Melbourne, Australia, has shown that trees covering buildings in shade can lower the surface temperature of walls by up to 9℃. Use natural ventilation One effective way to cool down a poorly ventilated building, is to open windows when the outside temperature drops. This lets warm air escape and invites cooler air in. But additional features, such as ventilation chimneys and roof vents, can be incorporated into building design to further assist airflow. These features are often found in hot and arid climates, particularly in the Middle East. Historically, buildings in this region made use of tall, chimney-like structures called wind catchers that capture cool prevailing winds and redirect them into homes. Ventilating a building with cool air at night can also keep it cool for longer during the day. Buildings can also be “cross ventilated”, where a fresh breeze enters through an opening and exits through another on the opposite side. If necessary, this can be promoted by incorporating inner courtyards – a design that has been used for centuries in warmer climates to keep buildings cool. Our previous research found that inner courtyards can reduce the total amount of time in which we need to take measures to cool down (known as indoor discomfort hours) by 26%. Cooling beyond temperature control Our perception of coolness is not solely determined by temperature. Factors like humidity and air speed also play a role in how comfortable we feel. That’s where fans come in handy, whether they’re on the ceiling or standing on their own. By combining fans with air conditioning, it’s possible to raise the thermostat setting from 24℃ to 27℃ and still feel cool. This simple adjustment can reduce household energy consumption for cooling by more than 20%. Centralised air conditioning systems also often end up cooling us down more than necessary or even waste energy by cooling empty rooms. But we can tackle this by combining more relaxed cooling settings, like raising the thermostat, with personal cooling devices such as desk fans, cooled seats or wearable thermoelectric coolers. These devices allow people to have more control of their immediate cooling needs without having to cool down an entire space. When air conditioning still remains necessary, choose units with a high efficiency rating using refrigerants with low global-warming potential. To figure out how efficient they are, there’s an indicator called the energy efficiency ratio (ERR) – you’ll want to pick a unit with an ERR that’s close to or above four. When designing or adapting buildings, it’s essential to consider the overall heating and cooling demands. For example, maximising ventilation can prevent overheating during summer, but minimising ventilation can help reduce the need for heating during winter. The key is to find solutions that work well together and can be adapted easily so that the cost of installing energy-intensive air-conditioning systems can be avoided or reduced. This approach will allow people to stay comfortable during hotter temperatures, without compromising the climate further for future generations. Don’t have time to read about climate change as much as you’d like?Get a weekly roundup in your inbox instead. Every Wednesday, The Conversation’s environment editor writes Imagine, a short email that goes a little deeper into just one climate issue. Join the 20,000+ readers who’ve subscribed so far. Jesus Lizana, Marie-Curie Research Fellow, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford; Nicole Miranda, Senior Researcher and College Lecturer in Engineering, University of Oxford, and Radhika Khosla, Associate Professor, Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Upper Adams set to begin school year with full teaching staff

One week before the start of school, Upper Adams School District is fully staffed with teachers, coaches, and bus drivers. “I just want to take a moment to thank all the administrative team and central office staff who have worked tremendously to make sure that we are fully staffed,” Superintendent Wesley Doll said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Among the new staff are 17 teachers across the elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools, plus a social worker who will serve the whole district, according to Joseph Albin, UASD director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The new hires are the result of staff leaving for a variety of reasons, Albin wrote in an email. “As with all school districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Upper Adams was not immune to retirements and opportunities for some current staff members to seek positions closer to their home or look for career advancement,” he wrote. The newest Canners include five elementary school teachers, one at the intermediate school, four at the middle school, and five at the high school, plus two new hires who will serve both the elementary and intermediate schools. The district was still seeking to hire another instructional assistant and one to two personal care assistants as of Tuesday, according to Director of Student Services Brad Showers. The school board regretfully accepted the resignation of middle/high school Assistant Principal Nathan Becker, who is heading to South Western School District. With his absence, the board moved Assistant Principal Jared Mummert from the intermediate school to the middle/high school assistant principal position. The district will seek applicants for a new intermediate school assistant principal. Heading into the new school year, all students will be able to continue getting free breakfast across the district. On average last school year, about 832 students got free breakfast each week at the high school, 343 students per week at the intermediate school, and 935 students per week at the elementary school, Business Administrator Shelley Hobbs said, citing data tracked between September through February. In other business Tuesday, Doll acknowledged the construction scene outside the board meeting room. A brick wall had been knocked down to make way for renovations to the locker and team rooms at the secondary campus. Ladders, tools, and mounds of dirt filled the space. Heavy demolition recently took place and concrete is expected to be delivered this week, according to Doll. He said a barrier will be installed to separate students from the ongoing construction. Hallway floors are expected to be cleaned in preparation for the first day of school Aug. 23. Doll said contractors have been working “non-stop” at an impressive rate. Renovations are projected to be complete near winter break. Additionally, the board settled on a plan to pay its portion toward Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School renovations. School districts that send students to Cumberland-Perry for educational training, including Upper Adams, are contributing funding toward the project. Doll said how much each district owes is based on a formula that includes the number of students each district sends to the tech school. Upper Adams’ contribution is expected to be approximately $787,400. This week, the board considered different types of payment plans. Members agreed to pay the sum in full without financing. Gerald Walmer, Chris Fee, Cindy Janczyk, and James Rutkowski were absent Tuesday. The school board will next meet Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. for curriculum, extra-curricular, and business and operations committee meetings. The policy committee will meet Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. The next regular board meeting is Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

California leads 20-state coalition to block bans on some gender care for minors

By Kenneth Schrupp | The Center Square  California Attorney General Rob Bonta, left, speaks during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday, May 1, 2023. Adam Beam / AP Photo California attorney general Rob Bonta is leading a coalition of 20 states opposing what they describe as “anti-transgender” laws in Tennessee and Kentucky blocking children from undergoing medical procedures that are given to enable minors to live with a gender identity different than that noted on their birth certificates, such as puberty-blocking hormones and gender change surgeries.  In their amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in L.W. v Skrmetti, a case combining lawsuits against Tennessee’s SB 1 and Kentucky’s SB 150, the coalition wrote the laws preventing hormone access to minors “single out transgender minors for discriminatory treatment.”  “Gender-affirming care is safe, medically accepted, and empowers transgender people to lead healthier, happier lives,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Blocking access to gender-affirming care only serves to marginalize already vulnerable people and put their lives at risk. Kentucky and Tennessee’s laws are part of a growing assault on LGBTQ+ rights nationwide, driven by ignorance, bigotry, and partisan politics.”  While a federal district judge issued a preliminary injunction against SB 1 due to a potential violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, the injunction maintained SB 1’s ban on gender surgeries for minors. Just a week later, a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the preliminary injunction, noting the exceptions for continuing care of pre-existing minor patients and those with congenital defects, precocious puberty, disease, or physical injury. The case, combined with a similar case challenging a similar law in Kentucky, now faces the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Bonta-led coalition, which includes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington argues restricting transgender people’s access to gender-changing medical procedures significantly harms transgender teenagers. In support of this, they cite a 2020 study finding teenagers seeking “gender-affirming treatment at later stages of puberty are five times more likely to be diagnosed with depression and four times more likely to have anxiety disorders than adolescents who seek treatment in early puberty.” Meanwhile, lawyers supporting the ban echo the Tennessee Senate’s official findings that some treatments for gender dysphoria “can lead to the minor becoming irreversibly sterile, having increased risk of disease and illness, or suffering adverse and sometimes fatal psychological consequences,” continue to cite lack of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of gender-changing medical procedures, and growing evidence of potential harm for children in their defense. At home, in California, Bonta is investigating a local school district for civil rights violations because the district requires that parents be told if their child is involved in violence, talks about suicide, or asks to be called by a different name or use different gender-segregated facilities or programs than what is on their birth certificate.  Kenneth Schrupp Reporter

Bermudian Springs discusses security officer, updating district policies

The Bermudian Springs school board approved last-minute details during its meeting on Tuesday evening as the board prepared for the start of the 2023-24 school year. The board held a caucus meeting on Monday followed by a regular meeting on Tuesday evening. It spent a significant amount of its time Monday discussing upcoming policy changes. According to Superintendent Shane Hotchkiss, the board’s legal counsel, Stock and Leader, as well as the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), recommended that the district consolidate its board policies. Currently, district policies 300, 400 and 500 relate to professional staff, support staff, and administrators, respectively. Hotchkiss worked with PSBA to consolidate the policies into ones with more global language, taking the opportunity to update old policies during the process. Stock and Leader are still reviewing the revised policies, which Hotchkiss presented to the board in a shared Google folder. Initially, Hotchkiss proposed that the board complete a first reading in August, then a second reading and adoption in September, allowing the adoption process to go quickly. Outdated policies would be retired once the new ones were in place. Board member Jennifer Goldhahn suggested spreading the policies out over a longer time period to review them more carefully. Hotchkiss committed to bringing a handful of short policies to the board for a first reading in September, at which point the board can decide which to review for a first reading in October. The policy review prompted the board to discuss its guidelines for avoiding nepotism. The policy Hotchkiss pulled up during the meeting stated: “No person shall be employed who is related to any member of the board, as defined in law, unless such person receives the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the board other than the member related to the applicant, who shall not vote.” Goldhahn pointed to the current board policies 303 and 404, which read similarly. At the end, policy 404 adds: “The policy of the board shall be that spouses of board members and district administrators shall not be employed in the Bermudian Springs School District.” Policy 404 was adopted March 14, 2006 and last revised on Jan. 13, 2015. Board members debated how to interpret the policies, particularly in the case where a teacher is employed prior to their spouse joining the board. Hotchkiss further said decisions about whether a school board candidate is eligible to run – including in cases where their relative or spouse may be employed in the same district – falls under the authority of election law rather than that of the school district. He also noted that employees cannot be terminated for having a spouse on the board. During the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, the board also approved a new document, School Board Policy 805.2, which outlines policies for school security. Hotchkiss reminded the board that the policy will not go into effect until the board approves it during a second reading in September. The administration will then be able to bring in an armed school security officer into the district. Curriculum council, committee The board ironed out details surrounding its new curriculum committee. The committee was formed this year to allow board members who requested it have a closer look into the curriculum development process. Goldhahn and board treasurer Ruth Griffie currently serve on the curriculum committee. Initially, Goldhahn and Griffie had expressed interest in joining the district’s curriculum council but ultimately instead formed the new committee. Providing clarity for the committee’s role, Hotchkiss said it can serve as an information “conduit” to streamline curriculum details to the board. Goldhahn and Griffie will meet with Shannon Myers, the district’s assistant superintendent. Goldhahn and Griffie will hear what curriculum plans and updates Myers plans to present to the entire school board. Goldhahn and Griffie will ask questions and suggest areas the board may need more clarification on. Josh Korb, the district’s assistant superintendent, will also be offered the opportunity to meet with the curriculum council, according to Myers. Personnel On Tuesday, the board accepted several resignations and approved the hiring of multiple staff members. Two extracurricular contracts were also approved. Wendy Cutright was hired as the junior high head cross country coach and Douglas Speelman was hired as the varsity assistant football coach. Ten teacher mentors were also approved, each with a stipend of $400. During the caucus meeting on Monday evening, Hotchkiss had alerted the board about incorrect job listings posted to the popular job posting website Indeed. The district posts job listings through a tool on its website but Indeed has pulled the data and generated salary estimates that do not match the actual salaries offered for the position, according to Hotchkiss. This has caused confusion when interested applicants have read the job listings with faulty salary estimates. “For us, we had like eight positions and they were all wrong,” Hotchkiss said. While the district has requested that the listings be removed from Indeed to reduce confusion, some were still posted at the time of the meeting, according to Hotchkiss. During the time for public comment on Tuesday, one parent, Amy Leatherman, reflected on the time her children have enjoyed in the school district. Leatherman also encouraged teachers to make time for themselves during the busy school year. The board will hold its next caucus meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11. The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12. Both meetings will be held in the administration building board room and live-streamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

Adams County Elections and Voter Registration Office Relocates

The Adams County Board of Elections and the Adams County Commissioners is pleased to announce that as of Monday, August 7, 2023, the Adams County Elections and Voter Registration Office has officially moved to a new location in the Adams County Emergency Services Building at 230 Greenamyer Ln., Gettysburg. This strategic relocation marks a significant step forward in enhancing our services to the community and streamlining our election operations. The Adams County ballot drop box will remain in its current location inside the main doors of the Courthouse next to the security station.  The decision to move was driven by the desire to better serve the citizens of Adams County. The new space offers ample room for our dedicated staff to efficiently carry out their essential election-related responsibilities, ensuring a smooth and seamless voting process for all residents. One of the primary benefits of the new location is the provision of free parking for the public. We understand that accessibility is of utmost importance to our community members, and this move allows us to offer a more convenient experience for voters who visit the Elections Office for registration, inquiries, or any election-related matters. “This move allows us to further enhance our services and operations, ultimately providing a more efficient experience for the community as they engage in their civic duties.” said Angie Crouse of the Adams County Elections and Voter Registration Office. Commissioner Chairman Randy Phiel noted that “In the past several years it is a well-known fact that the requirement for additional election resources and election security has dramatically increased.  Moving the elections office will help address both those issues while enhancing the customer experience.” Commissioner Jim Martin shared, “With the relocation of the Adams County Election and Voter Registration Office the congested flow of high-volume foot traffic will be mitigated.  This will allow more privacy and personal attention to those that need detailed interaction with county election and registration staff.   Commissioner Qually, added, “During this past presidential election, our election staff performed at a high level during an incredible challenging election cycle.  With their current space challenges in the courthouse, they need more space to better serve the public.  While I love having their office at the courthouse, this move will help election staff and the public have a more streamlined election process.” The Adams County Elections and Voter Registration Office remains dedicated to upholding the democratic principles that are the foundation of our nation. With this new location, we are better equipped to carry out our vital responsibilities, ensuring fair and transparent elections while promoting civic participation among our residents.

Contacting your legislator? Cite your sources – if you want them to listen to you

Daniel E Bergan, Michigan State University If you’re going to write to your legislator, do your homework on the issues. digitalskillet/ iStock / Getty Images Plus Suppose you have an issue you are really passionate about – taxes, gun control or some other important policy. You want to do more than vent on social media, so you decide to write an email, place a phone call or even draft a letter to your state legislator expressing your views. As a citizen, I would praise your sense of civic responsibility and willingness to express your opinion. As a scholar, I would encourage your efforts – they’re more consequential than many people realize. I teach communication and public policy at Michigan State University and study how constitutents’ communication with lawmakers affects public policy decisions. In my previous research, I analyzed – with their permission – the efforts of coalitions working to get citizens to contact their lawmakers in support of major legislation in New Hampshire and Michigan. I conducted a rigorous evaluation of the types of contact constituents made, the messages they conveyed and the behavior of lawmakers both before and after receiving those communications. The results showed that communications from constituents can have a large impact on how legislators vote. For example, emails from constituents encouraging policymakers to support smoke-free workplace bills in New Hampshire increased state legislators’ support on critical votes by an estimated 20 percentage points – a substantial effect. But a lot of people don’t bother to contact their elected officials, thinking it’s not worth communicating with them. In today’s polarized political environment, is it possible to get through to policymakers from the other side? Discounting opposing views Some work, including my own mentioned above, suggests that policymakers are responsive to communications from the public. But research has also shown that policymakers engage in what’s called biased reasoning, writing off communications from constituents who do not share their policy views. For instance, political scientists Daniel Butler and Adam Dynes asked state and local policymakers in two online surveys to evaluate a hypothetical communication from a constituent. Policymakers were randomly assigned to evaluate a letter that either supported or opposed a controversial policy and then rated the hypothetical writer letter on various characteristics. The authors found that policymakers rated hypothetical constituents who disagreed with them as less knowledgeable about the topic. This discounting of constituents who disagree on policy could explain why policymakers tend to have biased perceptions of public opinion, believing the public’s attitudes to be more in line with their own positions than polling suggests. Is there a way to prevent lawmakers from writing off constituents’ perspectives? Do your research In recent work with political communication scholars Hillary Shulman and Dustin Carnahan, I sought to develop strategies to limit policymakers’ discounting of constituents’ opinions. We asked a national sample of elected local policymakers – among them city council members – to evaluate a hypothetical email writer randomly assigned to express support or opposition to raising the minimum wage. The survey was fielded by Civic Pulse, which specializes in samples of elected officials. This study was similar to the Butler and Dynes study described above. But we added two randomly assigned conditions – what we called a “read” condition in which the writer expressed having “read a lot about” the topic, without any specific detail, or a “cite” condition in which the writer summarized and cited a study supporting their position. We anticipated, based on research on biased reasoning, that providing clear evidence that the constituent is knowledgeable about the issue would prevent biased discounting of constituent opinion. Policymakers in our study were asked to evaluate to what extent they thought that the constituent understood the issue, was representative of the community, and was sincere and held their position strongly, and whether they thought the communication was a form letter rather than a constituent-intitiated communication – and therefore presumably more likely to be written off. How to not be written off The results confirmed previous findings that policymakers indeed discount the opinions of constituents with whom they disagree. When policymakers read an email expressing an opinion that differed from their own on raising the minimum wage, the email writer was rated lower across all five dimensions. However, if the email writer provided evidence that they knew about the issue – citing research supporting their position – policymakers were more likely to perceive that the email writer understood the issue. The effects of citing evidence are stronger than simply stating that one has read about the issue. My own work suggests that a constituent expressing an opinion to an elected official can influence the official’s vote on the issue. But just writing to an official is no guarantee that the constituent will persuade the official or have the issue resolved in the way they prefer. Our study is important in identifying a way constituents can avoid being written off. We also found that there are no downsides to providing evidence supporting one’s position. You might expect that when provided with unambiguous evidence that a disagreeing constituent understands the issue, policymakers might direct their efforts to discounting other constituent characteristics, rating the constituent as less sincere or less representative of the community. We did not find any evidence that this happened. When faced with evidence that their constituent knows the issue well, policymakers are less likely to discount their opinions. How to be heard The practical results are clear: When communicating with a policymaker, especially one with whom you disagree, you want to stop them from discounting your opinion. One way to do this is by citing quality evidence to support your position. While this advice seems straightforward, it did not appear in guides we surveyed created by citizen groups like the Sierra Club, ACLU or Christian Coalition. When contacting a policymaker about an issue, be aware that they may discount your opinion if they disagree. But note also that carefully crafted communications can convey your position without being written off – and could improve how accurately the policymaker understands public attitudes about public policies. Daniel E Bergan, Associate Professor in Communication & Public Policy, Michigan State University This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

“Barbenheimer:” No one is above the law…not even Barbie

This summer’s cinema blockbuster season has been hyped as the saving of the big screen, and all indications are that this hype is coming true. Because I love the cinema, it’s what I’m hoping for. The passion with which Hollywood writers and actors are picketing while their strike appears to have no end matches the passion with which I show up at the theatre. Judging from all the pink at the concession stands, a lot of other people feel this way too. Being with an audience is a singular experience that can only be described as the purest of peer pressure. An empty theatre says as much about me as a packed house. The movies I choose to see give me conversation material and belongingness. They show my place in the mainstream. And when a hush falls over the crowd, or the place erupts in laughter, I share the shivers and the joy. When I sit in a darkened theatre, with surround sound, I expect to be black-hole-engulfed in a story that will take me the full spectrum of feeling and make me leave my popcorn alone and forget to open my Twizzlers. If it’s a story that can give me a reason to believe that I could do that, then I’m all in. And the ultimate black hole is 3D. But that’s for another day. Let’s dive into “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” the mononymous films that somehow ended up showing side-by-side this summer. I did “Barbie first, opening weekend at the Gettysburg Majestic, and because Oppenheimer Director Christopher Nolan emphasized the importance of the full IMAX experience, I saw Oppenheimer at an IMAX theater in Frederick. I couldn’t agree more. It was good to separate the two by twenty-four hours because they each deserve the afterglow of having seen a really good film. Not only were the precipitating events historic, but one could argue that seeing these films could alter the course of, if not the world, at least our conversation moving forward. We are all a part of the whole story, and each of these stories is about a singular event that changed our world forever. Co-founder of Mattle Inc. and inventor of the Barbie doll Ruth Handler thought about the lack of adult dolls and brought forth Barbie. American physicist Robert Oppenheimer thought about making a nuclear bomb, which blew up two cities in Japan and propelled us into a cold war. Both were thinking about a world they would like to create. Neither could see the future. Only in hindsight can we see how one person’s imagination can change the way people think. Directors Nolan and Gretta Gerwig have taken us on a journey both backward and forward. They’ve stretched our perceptions and given us some great conversation material. Barbie wakes up every day in a delightful mood. But one day she realizes something is different. And in the course of the day, Ken has some realizations, too. And they do it in the most hilarious way. Barbie is such a fun movie that I don’t want to spoil any of it for you. You’ll see your old Barbie, and if you didn’t have a Barbie, you’ll be able to take part in the conversation about how Barbie messed us all up and made men have way too high expectations for us. Or the one about how Ken is just Ken. Or is he? He gets fingerprinted, too. But Weird Barbie upstages them all at times. I’m glad she gets her moment of fame. She’s so cool. Oppenheimer wakes up in cold sweats and is tortured for the rest of his days. Not only by his mind but also by the investigation that hounded him after WWII. Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Oppenheimer made me wonder how the actor’s mental health is now. I can’t imagine playing that part and not being affected by it personally. Interesting note: Someone I know whose word is impeccable and unquestionable said that Oppenheimer came to Gettysburg frequently in his later years. The rumble in the floorboards the IMAX produces brings you into the room where it happened. The tension created by the wait for the detonation that we all knew was coming is part of Nolan’s genius. The dissonance created by the relationship between Oppenheimer and Matt Damon’s General Groves as they grapple with the decisions they are making causes me anxiety just writing about it. When you meet someone their brain doesn’t show, their body does. When you drop a bomb, the victims’ ideologies aren’t affected, their bodies are. Both of these films ask us to feel something we haven’t before. And know something about how much control we have over our own course in history. We don’t live in Barbieland and we don’t want to drop any more bombs either. What these films did for me, besides being highly satisfying nights at the theatre, was make me think about how I can make a difference. It’s time to do something about this. Change my perspective. Change my world. If these films do one important thing, it is to show how one person can affect so much. It really is a small world after all. In only one weekend we can have some fun, learn some history, and move forward looking at ourselves and our world a little more clearly. No more rose-colored glasses. Pink eyewear and porkpie hats are the way to let the world know you’re a little bit wiser now.

LASD approves 53.5 million-dollar construction project

After five years of discussion and deliberation, the Littlestown Area School Board unanimously approved a $53.5 million project combining the middle and high schools to form a Grade 6 through 12 complex. Construction is planned to start in September and finish at the end of 2025. The design increases the size of the current high school building to accommodate an additional 400 students who will move in. The middle school, built in 1932 and considered beyond economic repair, may be sold. “Wow. It’s been a long five years,” said LASD board president Dolores Nester. “I think we are finally going to have a building that is good for the students. Our students deserve this,” she added. Superintendent Chris Bigger said the process of planning for consolidation forced the district to think about its programming, which will include new graduation requirements for the class of 2026, more electives for middle school students, and more college, university, and business partnerships. “This has been no short-term project. It’s been the most detailed, arduous, challenging process I’ve been through, but we’re setting up for the next 50 years,” he said. He praised the RLPS Architects company for their meticulous work in all areas, especially for bringing in bids that were $200,000 less than anticipated. The overall plan chosen by the board will consist of general, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical construction plus more than $8 million in soft costs, which Randy Blaydon, RLPS project staff, described as “all associated costs that aren’t bolted to the actual structure.” He gave, as examples, design costs, project contingencies, permit fees charged by the municipality and county, inspections, and others. In addition to the building renovation, the district will include: One citizen spoke against the expenditure, saying it would be too burdensome on the taxpayers in the area, already facing hardships following COVID. “These citizens in Littlestown cannot afford this loan.” He said he was worried that the increase in the taxes during the next ten years would not be possible for Littlestown residents and that some could potentially lose their homes over it. “The total annual payment for facilities via bonds is $3.8 million and will remain constant. The total cost of salary and benefits is $27.3 million and will increase annually by 2-3%. Keeping all five buildings open would cost significantly more money in staffing, maintenance, and therefore taxes,” he added. Very few classrooms will be changed during the first year of construction. Once the new additions are completed, the high school classrooms will move into the new spaces while the older classrooms are renovated. The middle school students will move into the high school in year two of the construction when renovations are complete in 2025. The board also approved a recommendation to adopt bond resolution parameters for the secondary school project that will allow the school district to borrow the money for the project and authorizes the refinancing of the 2015 loans of $20 million, which could save the district money over the life of loans. “We probably would be saving about .5 of a percent,” said Brad Remig, managing director of PFM Financial Advisors. “Only if we can save hundreds of thousands of dollars will I suggest we do it.”

Two Adams County Children and Youth Services employees charged with felonies

Two current and one former Adams County Children and Youth Services (ACCYS) employees were charged yesterday with felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The indictments came after a three-year investigation into the death of a 15-month-old girl on May 31, 2020. The child’s mother was charged with the death of her daughter and pled guilty to third-degree murder. Pennsylvania State Police handled the investigation and the charges were brought after a review by a statewide grand jury requested by Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett. According to the indictment, while the one-year-old girl and her three-year-old sister were being supervised by ACCYS, the defendants knowingly endangered the welfare of the children by violating a duty of care, protection, or support, including ignoring concerns expressed by service providers and foster patients. The indictment said the defendants dismissed concerns out-of-hand, failed to conduct follow-up investigations before returning the children to their mother. and failed to advise the supervising court of multiple concerns about the children’s mother’s inability to parent safely. “As a result of that homicide investigation and prosecution, it became apparent that several serious failures occurred in the supervision and reunification process of this case. The murder was very likely avoidable if Adams County Children and Youth Services had not violated the duty of care,” said Sinnett. Adams County Solicitor Molly Mudd said the two ACCYS staff members have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings and that ACCYS will continue its mission to protect children and provide resources to families in need. “We ask the public to keep in mind that these staff members are entitled to a presumption of innocence and that a grand jury does not necessarily see exculpatory evidence or hear the other side of the story during its deliberations,” she said. ACCYS obtained emergency custody of both children in February 2019 after the younger child was born with the presence of cocaine, opiates, and THC in her system. The children were placed with foster parents before being returned to their natural parents after a court order on Feb. 27, 2020.  According to the grand jury statement, a protective services referral was made to ACCYS in late May 2020 regarding the mother drinking and passing out while at a party with her children. One week later, the youngest daughter received injuries that her mother reported were obtained from a fall. She later admitted to shaking the child. The child died from her injuries two days later. Featured image caption: Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett announced that three arrests were made charging youth services employees with endangering the welfare of a chitld. 

Ever-larger cars and trucks are causing a safety crisis on US streets – here’s how communities can fight back

Kevin J. Krizek, University of Colorado Boulder Retractable bollards can be used to signal priority areas on streets for smaller vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. Eugene Nekrasov/Getty Images Plus Deadly traffic incidents have declined in most developed countries in recent years. But in the U.S. they’re becoming more common. Deaths in motor vehicle crashes rose more than 33% from 2011 to 2021. Since 2010, pedestrian deaths nationwide have climbed a shocking 77%, compared with a 25% increase in all other types of traffic fatalities. Light trucks injure pedestrians more severely than passenger cars in crashes, and the size of cars and trucks sold in the U.S. continues to swell. Some current models, such as the Toyota Rav4, are one-third larger than they were 15 years ago. Based on my experience researching urban planning and street design for the past three decades, I know that U.S. cities are primarily vehicle-centered rather than human-centered. Rules established in the 1920s govern how people use vehicles in public streets, and other governmental controls tell manufacturers how big those vehicles can be. Today, these sets of rules have created public spaces where it is safer to be inside a vehicle than outside. The U.S. has not moved as quickly as other countries to prioritize the safety of people outside of cars, especially as cars have grown larger and heavier. As a consequence, Americans are paying the price in lives lost, skyrocketing public health costs and reduced mobility. https://www.youtube.com/embed/TaqKfuf-Y48?wmode=transparent&start=0 Large SUVs and trucks increase the risk of ‘frontover’ accidents, in which drivers strike someone in the vehicle’s large front blind zone. Larger, heavier and deadlier Data clearly shows that since 2008, cars and trucks sold in the U.S. have been continually getting bigger. The Department of Transportation’s corporate average fuel economy standards have constrained overall gasoline consumption but have also led to an increase in vehicle size. That’s because these standards have two sets of rules: one for cars and a looser set for light trucks. As a result, automakers have built more sport utility vehicles and light trucks, as well as cars designed to meet light truck standards, like the Subaru Outback. For almost a decade, they have increasingly moved away from producing small cars and sedans. Modern auto showrooms are dominated by sport utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks. According to 2022 data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, three-quarters of new vehicles produced in the U.S. are light trucks. Those large vehicles create severe safety hazards on neighborhood city streets for children or adults who might be walking or cycling. Because these vehicles are taller, they are more likely to strike people at higher points and produce head or neck injuries rather than leg injuries. Their larger frames worsen visibility for drivers, especially when a vehicle is turning. As a result, transport agencies, journalists and public safety advocates are increasingly identifying large vehicles as a significant impediment to creating communities with safer streets. A slow federal response Until now, the U.S. has not enacted regulations that require car manufacturers to consider the safety of anyone outside of cars. Now, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing to add information to its crash test ratings measuring how well cars protect pedestrians in crashes. For example, bumpers and hoods could be redesigned to bend more easily and absorb more energy if a vehicle strikes a person. But as currently proposed, pedestrian safety would not be factored into the overall five-star safety rating. A vehicle could receive a failing grade for protecting pedestrians yet still earn a five-star safety rating overall. People deserve to safely travel on public streets and in parking lots. In my view, the quickest and most effective way to tackle car bloat is to transform social expectations for the shape and size of vehicles. Several European cities show how this kind of shift can happen. A time for local action Amsterdam and Copenhagen are widely viewed as models for using public space in ways that prioritize people – but they weren’t always that way. Starting in the 1970s, grassroots movements in both cities pressed officials to reduce the dominance of cars and make streets safer for the public. These movements initially were slow to catch on but gained support over time. Today, similar initiatives are moving forward in cities across France and Germany. Even traditionally car-centric European cities, such as Brussels and Ghent, are increasingly adopting human-focused policies by designating where cars, especially large cars, can and cannot travel. As a visiting professor in the Netherlands, a Fulbright scholar to Italy and a lecturer across Germany and Poland, I have seen the benefits of these initiatives close at hand. I’ve also learned that it will require public action to create support for such changes in the U.S. The goal is to modify the design of neighborhood streets and parking areas in ways that prioritize pedestrians, bicycles and new forms of personal transport like microcars. Federal survey data shows that nearly half of trips that Americans drive are shorter than four miles (6.5 kilometers). Ideally, people can be discouraged from using large passenger vehicles for most of this type of travel. https://www.youtube.com/embed/pcVGqtmd2wM?wmode=transparent&start=0 The 38,000 residents of Peachtree City, Ga., can drive registered golf carts on an alternative network of car-free paths around their community. What communities can do Streets and roads are local public spaces. Therefore, local officials and citizens have important roles to play in mitigating escalating car size in their community. Some policymakers are proposing to rein in large vehicles through tax policies, such as weight-based registration fees. But measures like this won’t avert the emerging safety crisis in the near term. Rather, I believe this kind of broad cultural shift requires collective action, starting at the local level with street design reform. In my view, communities seeking to discourage the predominance of oversize vehicles and encourage use of smaller, lighter and slower vehicles could consider taking such steps as: How would such steps make people safer? Ask communities around Boston, which have cut several accident-prone four-lane roads down to two lanes each, reducing traffic speeds and crashes and creating more green space. Or those in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, which has used parking lots and street space to augment a network of more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) of paved paths for walkers, bikers and registered golf carts. Repurposing space in streets and parking areas requires city governments and residents to emphasize the public right of way and view street space as a place to devise solutions. There is ample evidence that doing so will make U.S. communities safer. Kevin J. Krizek, Professor of Environmental Design, University of Colorado Boulder This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Adams Commissioners approve a facelift for Sachs Covered Bridge’ invite Comcast to upgrade broadband services

More than $15,000 worth of wood, paint, fire retardant, and elbow grease will be applied to Sachs Covered Bridge in early August, thanks to the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania. Theodore Burr (1771-1822) was an inventor who created the arch truss bridge design, familiarly known today as the Burr truss. The National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges contributed $5,000 for needed wood repairs; the PA chapter is providing the rest for the paint, the painters, and the fire retardant to cover the bridge’s interior. A transparent liquid, the fire retardant will be sprayed on the inside of the bridge, from floor to roof, and should last about 15 years. Since most covered bridge fires start on the inside of the bridge, this is an important step. “On behalf of the community, we really appreciate you doing this,” said Commissioner Randy Phiel, who described the fall bridge scene as a postcard image. “I am passionate about Sachs Bridge said Society president Robert Kuether. It has not been painted since 1996. The non-profit group was formed to promote interest and active participation in preserving and restoring the remaining 209 bridges in Pennsylvania. Each year, it sponsors a fall Covered Bridge Safari. This year it will take place in Vermont. For more information about the covered bridge society, contact http://tbcbspa.com/index.htm. Also known as Sauk’s Covered Bridge, the 100-foot bridge over Marsh Creek was declared “Pennsylvania’s most historic covered bridge in 1938 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. On July 1, 1863, it was crossed by the Union Army heading towards Gettysburg and, four days later, was crossed by General Robert E. Lee’s retreating army after the Union victory. Designed as a town truss-covered bridge, it consists of wooden beams crisscrossed to form a lattice. The cost to build it in 1854 was $1,544. A plan to replace the bridge in 1960 was rejected eight years later when Cumberland Township officials voted to close it to vehicular traffic. In 1996, it was severely damaged by flood waters and carried almost 100 yards downstream. It was repaired by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association for about $600,000 and rededicated the following year. Open only to foot traffic since 1968, it is one of four covered bridges in Adams County and a favorite site for visitors, weddings, and the ghosts which are said to haunt it. Broadband Task Force Update The Adams County Broadband Task Force, charged with investigating the best ways to bring the internet to underserved and unserved areas of the county, issued a formal letter of support for Comcast’s application to the Capital Funds Broadband Infrastructure Project. Commissioner Phiel said it would be the best way to move forward. Commissioner Martin agreed. “It’s very logical to give them this level of support. They already have a lot of infrastructure in place,” he said. “Our broadband task force goal is that every house and every business have access to affordable high-speed internet,” said Marty Qually, ex-officio task force member. He added that the county received letters of application from three providers but that Comcast was chosen because of the number of county residents it already serves. “The task force believes we should support one application,” Qually said later. “Instead of the county applying for funds, it makes more sense to partner with Comcast and help them with their application. The county will provide Comcast with the task force’s map and survey results to help with that process. “But,” cautioned Qually, “people have to be patient. This is an expensive infrastructure.” Qually explained that the results will be made public once the task force has obtained and reviewed the Broadband feasibility study. “We anticipate receiving the study and completing our internal review this fall.” Recently, the federal government provided Pennsylvania with $1.15 billion in funding for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) plan. The state seeks input from residents, businesses, and organizations to develop a five-year action plan that expands internet across the Commonwealth. Qually said the task force and staff will review the plan to confirm that it prioritizes and addresses rural broadband challenges. The county task force has begun to develop its own broadband strategic plan and will ask for input from businesses and residents to assist in targeting broadband and other grant applications. What exactly will county-wide access look like? Qually said that speeds of 25/3 megabits per second (Mbps) were once considered high-speed. However, new funding programs require speeds of 100/20 Mbps, allowing for more devices on a system at once and more data to be sent. He added that these speeds would allow someone at home to work remotely at the same time another person on the same system is attending remote classes. A spokesperson for Comcast said, “We are continuously looking at opportunities to bring our state-of-the-art products and services to more consumers and businesses, including Adams County, for which this Pennsylvania Broadband Infrastructure Program application applies. While we are unable to comment on specific details or plans at this time, Comcast remains committed to serving unserved and underserved communities across our footprint.” Once the grant process is complete, more specific information may be forthcoming. Featured image caption: Members of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society present a check for applying paint and fire retardant to Sachs Covered Bridge.

Adams County Farmers Market excels in its new location

The Adam’s County Farmers Market, held Saturday mornings at the Gettysburg rec park, is much more than parsley, peaches, and posies. On a recent visit, one could find all types of fresh produce and fruit, of course, plus offerings of fresh flowers, crafts, meats, honey, and mushrooms. There was also jewelry, games, a live band, tasty food outlets, baked goods, homemade jams, jellies, pickles, and fresh bakery items. Even a parrot named Romeo showed up, although, admittedly, he was on a visitor’s shoulder. This is the first year the market has been located in the Gettysburg Rec Park, after moving from its downtown location, and Farmers Market Board President Kathleen Glahn said sales have improved by 33 percent. As children played games on the rec park lawn, shoppers gathered to chat, and Littletown’s Heads or Tails Experience played their energetic pop music with plenty of original tunes. One booth provided information about a York Spring farm where horse-drawn implements help with the planting and cultivating. A Lebanon company offered homemade spirits, and, at another booth, homemade mead and wine were on display. Few visitors left the site without something fresh for the table or the ride home. Noting continued growth in the number of vendors and vendor satisfaction, as well as the success of the new location and growth of the market’s food-assistance food programs, Market Manager Reza Djalal said “We are the best market in our region. We are on the nuclear fusion level of farmers market development.” Djalal said the market season was only half over and a variety of future events are planned, including Civics Day, Kids Day, Young Entrepreneurs Day, Vendor Appreciation Day, a VFW Chicken BBQ Fundraiser, Milkshakes at the Market!, Gettyburg Quilt Guild Demonstration, National Famers Market Week, and many Music at the Market days. Founded in 2008 to increase farmers’ market vendor services while helping develop food assistance resources for the community, the Adams County Farmers Market has operated an open-air, direct-to-consumer farmers market every year from May through October in historic Gettysburg, PA. The Healthy Options food program offers educational activities and vouchers for the Adams County Farm Fresh Markets from June through October and at Kennie’s Marketplace from November through April. The program is now overseen by Claudia Agular, hired in April as a part-time coordinator. Piloted in 2011 with 24 families, it has now expanded to 165 families and 75 senior citizens. Djalal said the market is hoping to create a hard-top structure for the market in the future. “It’s an ongoing, living conversation,” Djalal said, adding that there appears to be a lot of enthusiasm for the idea. He said it could become a reality in three to five years, with potential funding coming from private campaigns, a capital campaign, and grants. “It’s something that would enhance the Gettysburg Rec Park,” he said In 2020, the Farmers Market received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS due to the number of community-driven programs and initiatives developed over many years, mirroring what farm markets are doing in metro areas. The organization has historically partnered with many other Adams County-based nonprofit organizations to help promote, administer, and expand food assistance resources. For more information, www.acfarmersmarkets.org.

Local candidates for public office needed

The Adams County Dept. of Elections and Voter Registration has indicated that there are vacancies on the November ballot for several local positions: Mt. Pleasant Township – 4-year term to complete a resigned supervisor’s term Germany Township – 2-year term to complete a resigned tax collector’s term Bendersville Borough Council – 4-year term for borough council due to a resignation from the ballot Upper Adams School Board – 4-year term due to a supervisor’s resignation from the ballot Individuals willing to run for these positions as either Republicans or Democrats are encouraged to contact their party’s committee by Aug 10: Adams County Democratic Committee Adams County Republican Committee

Seven-story mixed-use apartment complex in Gettysburg clears zoning hurdles

The Gettysburg Zoning Hearing Board approved a height ordinance and three variances sought by developer Tim Harrison at Wednesday’s continuation of a meeting that began in June. The approvals will allow 501 Richardson Acquisition LLC to move one step forward in creating a seven-story 186-unit apartment building, including retail space and a restaurant. Located between North Stratton Street and Carlisle Street near the train tracks, the property has been at the heart of public concern. At issue is whether the complex will create traffic patterns that might be considered a threat to the community’s health, safety, and welfare and whether the building’s presence will fit in with the historical nature of the borough. The board approved two special incentives — moving the current transit center with public restrooms, and allowing a public pedestrian-bicycle trail through the property – that allowed Harrison to build above the current 48-foot maximum height limit. A third incentive regarding internal parking was not approved. Board member Darren Glass said that while the plans for the parking plan were interesting, “we did not feel like it was really and truly internal in the way that the ordinance suggested.” According to the 2018 zoning regulations for the property, the approved incentives allow the developers to build to 72 feet high, plus another 12 feet for rooftop mechanicals. The board said it had met twice in executive session since its July 12 meeting to discuss the request and to get advice from zoning board solicitor Matthew Teeter on legal matters. Following the approval of the variances, the board allowed public comment. Walter (Mickey) Barlow, Chair of the Liberty Township Supervisors and property owner on Stratton Street said that across the US, there exists “an arena of corruption that takes place at even the lowest levels to permit things like this to come about.” But after being challenged by project solicitor Kurt Williams Barlow said he was not accusing the developer of corruption. Gettysburg Borough Council President Wesley Heyser later said he was “disheartened by Barlow’s comments,” which suggested corruption at some level of borough politics. Heyser said he was present in 2018 when the ordinance allowing taller buildings in this area of the borough was passed. Heyser said other multi-story buildings have been allowed in the borough in the past two decades and that the decision-making on this property took more than 18 months to deliberate before it was voted on and approved. Commenting on the zoning hearing, Teeter said those involved in the decision-making process were not of one mind. “This is a difficult situation. Everyone has different views on it, even on the board,” he said. Teeter praised the hard work of the board members and added, “The board felt constrained, and I think rightly so, that it has to apply this ordinance.” Requests from the applicant for two set-back exceptions were found to be unnecessary because the board determined the applicant’s plans as presented did not require a variance. A request for a special exception to the height rule to allow the new transit center to be built 2.5 inches less than the required 24-foot minimum was also approved. In delivering the final approval, board member John Butterfield said the zoning board would allow the applicant to construct a mixed-use building of up to 72 feet in height with some clarifications and conditions: Teeter said a written decision should be available within the week and sent to the applicants and all objectors to the matter and that the decision could be appealed if there are legal grounds. In closing, Board President Rodger Goodacre added, “This meeting is just part of the process. Further public comments can be made during planning commission meetings. Carly Marshall, Gettysburg Borough Director of Planning, Zoning and Code Enforcement, outlined the subsequent phases of the project: “It’s difficult to speculate how long the approvals process will take,” said Marshall. “This is a large project with a lot of interrelated review components that vary in complexity.  They could apply to the Planning Commission at the same time they apply to HARB, or they could wait for the HARB review to be completed before they apply to the Planning Commission.  We most definitely have several months left in the review process, but I wouldn’t want to speculate on the time frame.” she said.

Gettysburg Goods brings artists together

Timbrel Wallace and sign artist Marty Mummert stand near some of Mummert's signs that are for sale in Gettysburg Goods. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

Gettysburg will forever be known as the town that changed the course of the American Civil War, but an emerging group of artisans also desire to grow its reputation as a cultural mecca. A local businesswoman, Timbrel Wallace, is helping them to achieve their dream. Wallace’s new store, Gettysburg Goods, solely features items made by the people who live and work in historic Adams County. Gettysburg Goods latest Wallace venture Wallace and her husband Scott began their life as downtown shopkeepers 12 years ago when they opened Lark – A Modern Marketplace. Lark, now on Lincoln Square, is located inside a former home that was built in 1885. The building rests on the foundation of one of the first homes built on the Square in 1799. Here shoppers can find almost anything, including home decor, whimsical socks, books, puzzles, treats, and practical items such as earbud cleaning kits and tick-removing tools. The Wallaces then opened Nerd Herd Gifts & Games on York Street, a fun spot with a giant chessboard and cornhole games outside its entrance. Being owner-operators gives the Wallaces the opportunity to talk to their customers about their shopping habits. They first heard a desire for more men-centric gifts, which led to the opening of Oh Man! Guy Gifts for Everyone in 2021. The next calling centered around more items made in or featuring Gettysburg. When a storefront opened up at 19 Lincoln Square, adjacent to Lark, Timbrel saw it as an opportunity to meet another need. “It just made a lot of sense for us to lease the space,” she said. Bringing people together Timbrel already had connections with many local artisans, such as fiber artist Joh Ricci and sketch artist Erin Brown. Jams made by Kathy Glahn of Wild Juniper Farms were a natural fit, as were signs by Marty Mummert. But she still needed to fill a store, so once she secured the space, she hung a note on the door describing plans for the business and invited artists to contact her if they wanted to be a part of it. The response was strong, and Wallace now has a waiting list. “I think it is a great way to get Gettysburg merchandise out into the world,” she said. Art comes in many forms, even the liquid variety. The space Gettysburg Goods occupies was recently the home of a local winery, and the Wallaces’ landlord did not want to remove the bar. Timbrel saw that as an opportunity for Mason Dixon Distillery to open a tasting room. “Yianni (Barakos, Mason Dixon owner) partners with the National Park Service by growing grains on their land. Having him in here is another way for everyone to work together,” Timbrel said. And working together is what Timbrel is all about. She believes the Lincoln Square district is strong because many entrepreneurs create partnerships with each other. She is excited to add more people to the collaborative efforts through Gettysburg Goods. “Gettysburg is not stale,” she said. “These artists are excited to share their pieces with the world.” Featured image caption: Timbrel Wallace and sign artist Marty Mummert stand near some of Mummert’s signs that are for sale in Gettysburg Goods. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

English language learners at 2 Upper Adams schools qualify for more support; shortages loom

Low English proficiency among English language learners at Upper Adams School District led the Pennsylvania Department of Education to flag two schools for additional support. Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, the replacement for the No Child Left Behind Act, Pennsylvania must identify subgroups within schools that face academic and student success challenges. Examples of subgroups include race, disability, and the economically disadvantaged. Upper Adams intermediate and middle schools qualified for additional support due to the English language proficiency levels within the English language learner population, according to Joseph Albin, UASD director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Test scores, such as Keystone Exams and an English proficiency exam, inform the state’s assessment of schools, Albin said. Schools designated by the state as needing additional support are placed into one of three federally designated categories. Upper Adams Intermediate School qualified for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), while the middle school qualified for Additional TSI (A-TSI). Several factors affect the ability of English language learner students to succeed, Albin said, such as financial needs, language proficiency, and absenteeism. Some English language learners are away from school for long periods at a time. “Depending on the situation, they go away sometimes weeks, months at a time, then they come back,” Albin said. To combat these barriers and get UASD students performing at the level the state says they need to be at, administrators developed solutions with the Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) over the past few months. They created strategies to benefit English language learners and the student population as a whole, Albin said. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the state enables intermediate units to work with school districts that have TSI and A-TSI designations. UASD and LIU educators developed action plans to meet new goals for the 2023 to 2024 school year. These were outlined at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Details can be found on the UASD Agenda Manager website. At the intermediate school, one goal is for each teacher to implement differentiated instruction in small groups of four to seven students per unit, Assistant Principal Jared Mummert said. The second goal is to reduce disciplinary logs by 20%, Mummert said. As for the middle school’s goals, Principal Shane Brewer said math and English language arts teachers will implement at least one pre- and post-assessment per unit plan. The second goal is to decrease incident reports by 25%, Brewer said. At the intermediate school, TSI comes with one year of added support, Albin said. A-TSI, at the middle school, falls under a four-year plan. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that the school board approve TSI and A-TSI plans by Aug. 31, according to Albin. Staff will ask the board to vote to accept these plans next month. Locker room renovation to extend into first semester Students participating in fall sports and physical education will need to adapt next school year as locker and team room renovations are completed at Biglerville High School. The estimated $2.4 million project got underway this week. At Tuesday night’s meeting, sheets of plywood covered the hallway outside the boardroom to protect the floors.  Superintendent Wesley Doll said the renovations are slated to be complete around holiday break. The school board approved contractors’ bids at a special meeting July 11. Coaches will coordinate athlete use of Pitzer Gym team rooms during the North Gym area renovation, Principal Beth Graham wrote in an email. As for physical education, Graham said teachers are planning activities that would not require changing facilities. “Our coaching staff will play a crucial role in coordinating and monitoring the use of these team rooms, ensuring that our student-athletes are well-prepared for practices and games,” Graham wrote in an email. “We are committed to providing a seamless experience for all students, whether they need changing facilities or not.” Staffing struggle The school board approved the hiring of seven new teachers, six transfers and two resignations Tuesday, but Doll said they need more staff. “We are really in desperate need of trying to find people to help our teachers,” he said, specifically instructional assistants. There are three such positions open at the high school that received no applications as of Tuesday, according to Doll. The district is also seeking a junior high field hockey coach and cross country coach. The next school board committee meetings will be Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m., and the next regular meeting is set for Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.

Using green banks to solve America’s affordable housing crisis – and climate change at the same time

Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Tufts University; Bethany Tietjen, Tufts University, and Seth Owusu-Mante, Tufts University Green banks are starting to draw attention in the U.S., particularly since the federal government announced its first grant competitions under a national green bank program to bring clean technology and more affordable energy to low-income communities. Retrofitting apartment buildings for energy efficiency and solar power can boost affordable housing and climate protection. AP Photo/Steven Senne But installing more solar and wind electricity generation isn’t the only way green banks can help. Massachusetts is launching an innovative new green bank that could become a model as states try to manage two crises at once: lack of affordable housing and climate change. While most green banks focus on clean energy, the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank is specifically designed to boost the state’s stock of sustainable, affordable housing. It comes at an opportune time: States can now tap into billions of dollars in new federal funding for green banks under the Inflation Reduction Act. So what exactly is a green bank, and how might it work for sustainable housing? What is a green bank? Despite the name, green banks aren’t traditional banks. They function more like investment funds with a mission to promote sustainability. Green banks are public, quasi-public or nonprofit entities that use public funds to encourage private investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure. By using innovative financing strategies, green banks can lower the risks for private investors to support projects, which reduces the amount of public money needed to reach government goals like expanding renewable energy or, in this case, affordable housing. Green banks across the US The U.S. had about two dozen green banks operating in early 2023 in at least 18 states and the District of Columbia – most of them focused on accelerating the transition from fossil fuel use to clean energy. And more were being developed. In 2022, those banks used US$1.51 billion of public money to mobilize $3.12 billion in private investment. Since 2011, they have brought in a total of $14.8 billion. Each bank is slightly different. Connecticut’s was the first state-run green bank in the U.S. It started with a renewable energy focus but expanded to include sustainable infrastructure, climate resilience, water, waste and recycling projects. Michigan created a nonprofit green bank called Michigan Saves that provides financing for energy efficiency. Hawaii’s state-run green bank boosts solar energy use. At the local level, Maryland’s Montgomery County has been financing rooftop and community solar, energy efficiency and electric vehicle charging infrastructure through a green bank since 2016. Finance New Orleans is a particularly instructive comparison – the 40-year-old housing finance agency recently transitioned to a climate-oriented business model to finance energy efficiency, stormwater management and green infrastructure projects for homeowners, businesses and local governments. A green bank for sustainable housing The new Massachusetts Community Climate Bank is solely dedicated to climate-friendly and resilient affordable housing to meet the goals of the state’s Climate Plan for 2050. That might include upgrading insulation and windows in older housing complexes to make them less leaky on hot and cold days, transitioning to electric household appliances such as heat pumps or adding solar panels and electric vehicle chargers. Residential buildings are one of Massachusetts’ largest sources of greenhouse emissions, accounting for 19% of the total. Making housing more sustainable would cut those emissions and also help cut emissions in other sectors. For example, rooftop solar panels can reduce the demand for electricity from natural gas-fired power plants, allowing the state to close the plants or run them less often. The challenge is that the finance industry tends to view new technology and low-income households as risks. Green banks are able to use public money to “de-risk” such investments. For example, they can lend at low rates to private or local lenders on the condition that they lend money at affordable rates for customers to electrify their heating. Other financial instruments include loan guarantees, securitization and co-investment. Massachusetts’ green bank started with an initial $50 million in state funds, but it expects to grow by attracting both private investors and federal funding. The timing is strategic. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress in 2022, includes funding for green banks. Among other commitments, it creates a $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, $20 billion of which is earmarked to be awarded to nonprofits to invest indirectly in green projects through other local financing entities – including green banks. Lessons from green banks around the world The Climate Policy Lab at Tufts University, where we work as researchers, studies green banks around the world. We have found that by following a few foundational principles, green banks can increase financing for climate priorities while remaining financially viable and without creating housing debt that owners can’t pay back. These organizations should: The Massachusetts green bank has a sector-focused mission that targets a market gap. Its focus on affordable housing could be clarified even more by tying it to the state definition of disadvantaged communities. The New York Green Bank does this by aiming to have $100 million – about 35% of its total – invested in green housing to benefit disadvantaged communities by 2025. Focusing the Massachusetts bank’s climate mission will involve some tough decisions. For example, Connecticut’s Green Bank supports gas appliances above-defined energy efficiency thresholds, but there is an argument for leapfrogging gas entirely to support the electrification of heating and cooking instead. What else should green banks prioritize? Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is important for curbing future climate change, but communities will also have to adapt to the climate impacts ahead. The fact that the Massachusetts green bank is dedicated to affordable housing is already one adaptation. People who have homes are far more protected from climate impacts than those who do not. And if those homes are powered by clean energy with lower utility bills, low-income residents can more easily afford to cool their homes in extreme heat waves. Green banks could also fund climate resilience, such as adding green spaces around buildings for natural cooling. Research shows that affordable housing in the United States is often in highly vulnerable locations, such as those at risk of flooding. The Connecticut Green Bank, for example, is piloting “Property Assessed Resilience,” which allows homeowners to borrow for flood protection upgrades and benefit immediately from increased property valuations and reduced insurance premiums. They can repay over decades through modest increases in their property tax bills. Focusing on the scarcity of affordable housing can reduce both emissions and socioeconomic inequity simultaneously. In our view, that is the holy grail of climate policy. Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Research Fellow, Climate Policy Lab, Tufts University; Bethany Tietjen, Research Fellow in Climate Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and Seth Owusu-Mante, Research Fellow in International Development, Tufts University This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Go See “The Sound of Freedom”

“The Sound of Freedom,” now playing at Gettysburg’s R/C Gateway Theater 8,  is the story of Tim Ballard, a former government agent who embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia. The plot centers around Ballard’s Operation Underground Railroad, though some commentators have questioned its accuracy. There are reasons people resist seeing a film like this. We want very much to believe that nothing bad happens to children. We want very much to believe that adults would never think of doing something as horrific as stealing children from their families to sell as sex slaves. So now we really don’t want to see this film. Hang in there with me, though. I saw this film, and I think you can too. The spontaneous applause at the end was an indication that it is a story that ends, not happily ever after, but with a certain sense of satisfaction and not a small tug of responsibility to screenshot the information at the end and make that contact to see where your support can go. The Sound of Freedom is a white-knuckle tale. After rescuing a small boy from traffickers, he discovers that the boy has a sister. Because of agency red tape, he quits his job and, with the clear, loving encouragement of his wife, the father of seven children sets off to find the girl. With great sensitivity and incredible self-control, Jim Caviezel portrays the agent’s passion, skill, and confidence in his ability to complete the task he had set for himself. The ingenuity with which he gains the trust of those with the information he needs is very impressive. Gaining entrance into the deepest jungle encampment is hair-raising. Each of the child actors gave a performance that reached right into my deepest heart of hearts. None of the children was on the screen for more than a moment, and I’m sure that behind the camera, there was plenty of fun to make up for the emotions they were asked to portray. This film is important. You are brave enough to see it. I know you are.

WellSpan Properties to acquire Oak Lawn Gardens land parcel; County honors correction professionals

Adams County Commissioners approved an agreement to sell an unused portion of Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens to WellSpan Properties, Inc. at Wednesday’s meeting. Commissioner Randy Phiel said he was happy to see the end to “the tragedy and angst this issue has caused our community for the past ten years. The County will use the profit from the sale to form a board of trustees to oversee the continued care and maintenance of the cemetery. Trustee members include Ron Hankey, John Phillips, Crissy Redding, Harry Hartman, and Cindy Shultz, with Phiel as a non-voting member. Adams County acquired the Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens property in December of 2021, with the ultimate goal of transferring the cemetery portion to a non-profit organization for the care and maintenance of the cemetery. Since the County acquired the property, the unused portion was subdivided from the cemetery. In February of this year, the lot was rezoned from institutional to mixed-use. In 2021 Cumberland Township purchased the property for $1 through eminent domain and sold it to the County for the same price. Since then, many community volunteers have cared for the property. “Through the cooperative efforts of the County, Cumberland Township, and many dedicated volunteers and community members, Oak Lawn has been able to turn a new page. The sale of the unused portion of the property will go a long way towards funding the long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery,” said Phiel. WellSpan Properties can purchase five acres for $350,000 or all of Lot 2, about 9.8 acres, for $500,000. The company has up to nine months to decide whether to move forward with the purchase. “While no final determination has been made at this time related to this property, WellSpan Health continually evaluates opportunities now and for the future in Adams County,” a spokesman said. In other board business, July 16 to 22 has been proclaimed Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week in Adams County, with the theme “Stronger Together.” Gale Kendall, Chief probation officer, said, “I am honored to speak on behalf of the Adams County Department of Probation Services to shine a light on the important work we do for the community in celebration of Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Week. I am blessed to be working with such committed, compassionate, driven team members.” The corrections professionals honored work with adults and youth who have been convicted of a crime. Home contacts, drug testing, assuring counseling sessions are kept, and helping them with housing and employment are some ways they assist them. Kendall called it “demanding but essential work to help change the trajectory of the lives of these individuals.” However, she cautioned that the justice system could not do it alone and asked community members to help by supporting people in the justice system, addressing the stigma, and supporting agencies that work with justice-involved people. “This is one of the most unrecognized but most valuable services in the county,” Commissioner Phiel said, “and at the end of the day, I hope you realize the extremely important contributions you make to your community.” Commissioner Martin thanked them for “helping the community flourish, one individual at a time, by helping that person make better decisions. It’s something that’s greatly appreciated.” Commissioner Qually acknowledged the challenges they faced in a job where they are not always aware of their successes. “You help lay the groundwork to help people get better.” The board approved the following recommendations: A Radiation Emergency Response Fund grant award (with no county match) of nearly $17,000 to the Adams County Department of Emergency Services to improve response capabilities to PA nuclear power plant accidents or incidents. IT department licenses for remote review and management of technology issues on County and court devices ($6,355) and an annual maintenance agreement of a document management system ($13,360). Purchase of the conservation easement for the Apple Valley/Donaldson Farm in Fairfield for 99.7 acres at $1,827 per acre for Ag Land Preservation. Remodel of the treasurer’s office for about $33,640. A copier for the new Voter Registration office at the Department of Emergency Services ($8,260). Approve the rejoinder of Franklin Country as a voting member into the Susquehanna Regional Transportation Authority, of which Adams County is a member.

FDA approves first daily over-the-counter birth control pill, Opill – a pharmacist and public health expert explains this new era in contraception

The progestin-only pill Opill could be available in early 2024. Lucas Berenbrok, University of Pittsburgh and Marian Jarlenski, University of Pittsburgh On July 13, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drugmaker’s application for the first daily over-the-counter birth control pill for people seeking to prevent pregnancy. Kwangmoozaa/iStock via Getty Images The pill, called Opill – the brand name for the tablet formulation of norgestrel – is an oral contraceptive containing only progestin hormone, which helps prevent pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus, preventing ovulation or both. Opill was initially approved by the FDA for prescription use in 1973. Its approval for nonprescription use may spark other manufacturers of prescription-only birth control to follow. This highlights the importance of pharmacies as destinations for health care and pharmacists as facilitators of contraceptive care. Opill is expected to be available through pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores and online retailers in early 2024. The FDA’s approval of an over-the-counter birth control pill can further expand options for people seeking hormonal contraception to all 50 states and U.S. territories. This expanded access could be a significant development in the post-Roe era as individual states further restrict women’s access to abortion. Prior to the FDA’s approval of this pill, many U.S. states have allowed pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraception. The process begins with a pharmacist consultation to screen patients for eligibility, collect a medical history and measure blood pressure. If the patient qualifies, the pharmacist can provide a prescription to the patient; if not, the pharmacist refers the patient to a physician. We are a pharmacist and a public health expert. We see the move toward over-the-counter birth control as an important step toward accessible and equitable reproductive health care for all Americans. Even though this product will be over-the-counter, pharmacists will play an indispensable role in that effort. The FDA’s approval of the first-ever over-the-counter daily birth control pill means that people could soon get them from the same aisles as aspirin, eye drops, or condoms. Making birth control more accessible With more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, pharmacists are the most accessible members of the healthcare workforce. Nearly 90% of Americans live within 5 miles of a pharmacy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacies have provided testing, vaccination, and treatment for millions of people in the U.S., proving their worth in supporting and sustaining initiatives that are important to public health. Traditionally, hormonal contraception – also known as birth control, or when taken orally, “the pill” – has only been accessible after a comprehensive medical evaluation by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. But in 2016, California and Oregon changed their legislation to allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control. That quickly expanded to 20 states, plus Washington, D.C., that now allow pharmacists to prescribe some form of birth control, whether it be the pill, patch, ring or shot. However, the move toward over-the-counter birth control is important because it will lessen some of the known barriers to birth control, especially if the products are offered at an affordable price point. These barriers include the inability to pay for medical office visits required to obtain a prescription, lack of insurance to cover the cost of prescription birth control, or lack of access to pharmacist-prescribed contraception. Over-the-counter birth control can also reduce access barriers by preventing the need for a scheduled appointment with a primary care physician during work hours, the need for a pharmacist to be present to dispense prescription birth control, or the need to travel long distances to access these professionals. But it is important to note that over-the-counter access to hormonal birth control does not replace the importance of regular office visits or discussions about reproductive health with physicians. The use of contraception was illegal in the U.S. from the late 1800s until the 1960s. Addressing remaining barriers Even in states where pharmacists are currently allowed to prescribe birth control, over-the-counter hormonal birth control can make a difference. For example, if state policies do not create payment pathways to reimburse pharmacists for their time to counsel and prescribe, pharmacists may choose not to participate in prescribing birth control. Additionally, pharmacist availability and time may be limited and more restricted than the hours a pharmacy is advertised as open to the public to sell over-the-counter birth control products. Finally, there are notable cases of pharmacists who have denied patients access to emergency contraception, also known as the “morning-after pill,” and prescriptions for medication abortion on the grounds of moral, ethical, and religious beliefs. For instance, in 2019, a pharmacist in Minnesota denied a patient emergency contraception, citing personal beliefs. As a result, the patient drove 50 miles to gain access to the medication. Ultimately, a jury found that the pharmacist did not discriminate against the woman by denying to fill her prescription. This precedent suggests that pharmacists who object to the use of reproductive medications may further choose not to participate in prescribing hormonal contraception even when permitted to do so by state law. Individuals may also choose not to stock over-the-counter birth control when it becomes available. Pharmacist ‘conscience clauses’ Notably, many states give pharmacists autonomy when dispensing medications. Currently, 13 states have laws or regulations known as “conscience clauses” that permit pharmacists to refuse to dispense a medication when it conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs. The American Pharmacists Association also recognizes an individual pharmacist’s right to conscientiously refuse to dispense a medication; however, the organization supports a system to ensure patient access to medications without compromising the pharmacist’s right of refusal. In other words, pharmacists are encouraged to “step aside” but should not “step in the way” of dispensing or selling medications that conflict with their personal beliefs. Some states with conscience clauses legally require pharmacists to refer patients elsewhere when they decline to dispense a medication for ethical and/or moral beliefs. In addition, company policies may require pharmacists with objections to arrange for another pharmacist – who does not have objections – to provide the medication and care requested by the patient. However, some states do not require a system to ensure this patient access, as the American Pharmacists Association suggests. Pharmacist conscience clauses are unlikely to interfere with over-the-counter birth control availability at large pharmacy chains, supermarkets, and mass merchandisers due to top-down decision-making structures of these organizations. However, national pharmacy chains have recently faced complicated legal and political situations when it comes to offering prescription abortion pills in the post-Roe era. Ongoing legislation seeking to reduce abortion access in the post-Roe era across the U.S. only increases the importance of patient access to contraception. Geographical spatial analyses have found that people of low socioeconomic classes and of color disproportionately reside in contraception deserts, which are areas with low access to family planning resources. These contraception deserts could be reduced or eliminated altogether now that retailers may sell over-the-counter hormonal birth control at an affordable price. Pharmacists’ role in providing contraceptive Although patients may seek and purchase over-the-counter hormonal birth control at locations other than community pharmacies, when patients come to a pharmacy, pharmacists can help them understand how to use the product correctly, safely, and effectively prior to purchase. Pharmacists are trained as medication experts and acquire unique knowledge and skills of self-care products and nonprescription medications. When a pharmacist feels it is necessary, they can refer patients who do not qualify for over-the-counter birth control use back to their primary care providers for further evaluation and care. In our view, pharmacists can positively contribute to the safe, effective, and accessible use of contraception across the country. This is an updated version of an article originally published on Oct. 28, 2022. Lucas Berenbrok, Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh, and Marian Jarlenski, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, University of Pittsburgh This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Gettysburg Zoning Hearing Board hears public comments

Local residents were given the podium yesterday as the Borough Zoning Hearing Board met to consider three variances on the proposed multi-use, three-building restaurant, apartment building, and retail space on Carlisle and North Stratton Streets. The proposed development, consisting of an 8,000-square-foot retail area, a restaurant, and a 186-unit apartment building, is a 501 Richardson Acquisition, LLC project by Developer Tim Harrison of Staten Island, NY. Harrison is making use of a special exception that allows extending the building height from the allowed 48 feet to 72 feet, plus an additional 12 feet for mechanicals. A requested variance seeks to permit the seven-story building to be constructed without building step-backs as outlined by the ordinance, but using a smaller overall footprint, and a second seeks to permit the new Transit Center, also part of the project, to be less than the 24-foot minimum building height. Continuing the meeting that began June 28, Borough attorney Matthew Teeter began by announcing that five residents had been granted party and interest status. Two of them were present and allowed to present evidence. Brian Hodges, local businessman and resident, said he did not believe the applicant had met the 12 general criteria required for the special exception to increase the height of the building from 42 to 72 feet. Hodges said he had evidence that the proposed building, allowing for more apartment units, would have an adverse effect on traffic. “There’s a high probability that the quantity of apartments, retail, and commercial space on this lot in this location will generate traffic patterns that propose a substantial threat to the health, safety, and welfare of this community.” He asked if any traffic studies have been done and was told, “no.” The attorney for the project, Kurt Williams, asked Hodges if his statement concerning the negative effect of increased traffic was based on any studies he had commissioned. Hodges responded, “No. I just work on York Street. I see it every day.” “I personally am disappointed the borough didn’t ask for a traffic study,” said board member Michael Birkner. Without that, he added, there is not enough evidence to support that the extra apartments in the buildings would not be a threat to public safety. Local business owner Linda Atiyeh asked who was bearing the cost of moving the transit station and was told by Harrison that the project would be covering the costs. She asked about the total of the state grants applied to the project, which Williams objected to as irrelevant. “I don’t know that the financing of the project or the profitability of it has anything to do with a special exception,” Teeter responded, agreeing with the other counsel. After returning from a break, board member Rodger Goodacre opened up the meeting to public contents but cautioned, “In terms of decision-making, only sworn testimony can be actually be considered as evidence in terms of decision making. But, public comment is, of course, valuable and necessary.” Wesley Heyser, Gettysburg Borough Council President , said “The proposal which I have seen from Mr. Harrison fits well within the parameters that were set by the Borough of Gettysburg.” Lois Starkey, former Gettysburg business owner and 35-year resident of Adams County, urged the board to look at the proposal carefully because she doesn’t believe it is complete and that hardship, one of the criteria for a special exception, has not been demonstrated. “I don’t believe the developer has made a good argument for completely changing the character of our community,” she said. Starkey added she is not against the development of a multi-use commercial property, “but I don’t believe the Borough or this board or even the planning commission have done their due diligence.” Planning Commission chair Charles Strauss said the commission studied the application very carefully. At that meeting, it appeared that the application met the conditions for the special exception and the zoning variances. However, it would be up to the zoning hearing board to conclude finally that that was the case.” Strauss, who served on the borough council when the current ordinance was passed, said he was not in favor of it then. “However, the ordinance is the law that governs our borough.” Gettysburg College student Charles Demarco agreed that due diligence had not been followed. As someone who has worked closely with both planning and zoning boards in New York, he said “The fact that there was no traffic study done by the borough or the applicant is very alarming to me. Demarco added that traffic on Stratton Street is already very heavy and that adding 500 more cars will worsen matters. A second college student, Ziv Carmi, agreed that a traffic study should be considered before the project is completed. “As a bicyclist, I have had to deal with very heavy traffic and have sometimes been afraid.” Janice Ford said she lives about two blocks from “our upcoming debacle.” She asked if the decision regarding the request for variances had already been made. “It’s not a done deal,” responded board member Birkner. “There are issues that the applicant will be discussing with the board.” Ford said she opposed the variance, which would give the developers the right to demolish the existing transit center and build another. “We are merely following the ordinance as it has been written to meet the requirements for the height special exception,” said Williams during closing arguments. Concerning the step-back exception, Williams said the developer is seeking to construct the buildings 30 to 35 feet from the property line to allow more green space, more sunlight, less shadow, better transitions of building height in the area, and better circulation patterns to make it more attractive and livable. “We feel this more than meets the intent of the ordinance,” he said. In terms of the variance request concerning the height of the new transit center, which is six inches less than the ordinance requires, Williams said the request should be considered a “de minimis change,” which means too trivial to merit consideration. “We think the variances that we’re asking for are quite minimal and indeed improve the project over what it would be if we followed the ordinances to the letter,” said Williams. He said many of the issues raised during the past two meetings are land development issues, which will be the next phase the project will enter after clearing the current hurdle with the zoning board. Under the purview of the borough and planning commission, it will include traffic mitigation, police and fire protection, stormwater controls, and other issues. Birkner asked how they (the zoning board) could know if the design of the buildings would honor the scale and streetscape of the surrounding properties as noted by the ordinance. Solicitor Teeter said it is an issue that the board can discuss in its deliberations. “We are in the process of agreeing to support or deny this request without even knowing what these buildings are going to look like. We have a historic town with a particular built environment, and if we just keep pushing this forward without knowing what we’re getting, then we’re headed for a potential problem,” he said. Williams explained that the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) would be the entity that approves the design of the project. “We’re going to have to put a heck of a lot of faith in the HARB that you’re going to do right by Gettysburg,” Birkner countered. Following an hour-long board executive session, Goodacre said, “I’d like to report the board had some fairly in-depth discussions, and we’re going to need additional legal advice that will require some research on the part of the solicitor. He said the board would likely be ready to vote on the matter by the next meeting of the zoning heard board, July 26, 7:00 p.m.

Carroll Valley passes trailer ordinance

After months of debate and discussion, Carroll Valley passed Ordinance 3-23 regarding trailers at Tuesday’s borough council meeting. Nicknamed the “trailer ordinance,” at issue was the number of trailers that could be parked on a lot and the definition of trailered vehicles versus self-powered recreational vehicles. Section 201 covers the parking and storage of recreational vehicles, boats, and travel trailers. The ordinance also modifies the definition of no-impact home-based businesses regarding the storage or staging of commercial products, materials, or equipment in excess of those normally associated with residential use. According to the new ordinance, residents may park three travel trailers, boats, and trailers on their property if no portion of the vehicle is located within any public right-of-way on or above any public sidewalk or easement or within building setback distances as specified in the respective zoning district. A fourth may be permitted if the lot is equal to or larger than two acres. All areas must be kept trimmed and trash free and prevent the leakage of fuels or lubricants. Vehicle registration and inspection should be kept up to date. “Well, since I was the one that was so adamantly opposed to this increase in number of trailers, I will say this much. I will be voting ‘yes’ because this requires full compliance with the provisions in Section 1405, which are an improvement over where we were,” Council President Richard Mathews said. Council member John Schuber added, “We batted this around for a long time. I’m very happy to get to this point and have some kind of peace within the community on this issue.” Borough manager David Hazlett was charged with enforcing the new ordinance. In other board business, Carroll Valley has acquired a lot on Crestview Trail bequeathed by a Maryland resident. Hazlett advised the council to consider approving the lot donation. “It looks like a decent lot and may have resale value,” he said, adding that it was near the sewer extension and would require little expense in providing a roadway. Council member Dave Lillard agreed.”Somebody’s donating us a lot, and it looks like it has some resale value. So, I’d say, ‘Let’s go for it.’” Council member Bruce Carr said he opposed acquiring another lot because they tend to be like heirlooms – things of little value that are difficult to dispose of. The council voted to approve the donation of the lot, with only Carr dissenting. Hazlett said the office had been inundated by people asking to buy lots and hoped the council could discuss this issue at the August meeting. June’s meeting raised the topic of selling some of the borough’s undeveloped lots. Mathews said that the borough is updating the information on undeveloped lots in the area and is only considering selling five or six if it is feasible. He said Carroll Valley needs a process and that selling any lots would have to be done selectively. Hazlett told the council he was working on the process. “I’m in the final stages of how it’s sold. I’m good with the evaluation process.” He added that the current issue is: “Do we use an auctioneer, do we use a real estate agent, or do we try to do it ourselves? That’s the last piece of it.” Recently, the borough had to pay about $3,700 in back taxes on five lots to keep them from being included in the county’s fall upset tax sale that auctions off properties that have defaulted on taxes. It could cost the borough additional expenses. Hazlett said the back taxes had been paid under protest, and the borough seeks to be reimbursed when the matter of the properties’ tax-exempt status is determined. The borough and county conflict seems to be more procedural than legal, said borough solicitor Stephen Corccorese. The borough has been encouraged to file an appeal and has done so. County manager Steve Nevada said that municipalities often believe that the lots they own are tax-exempt because they are tax-exempt. That’s not the case, he explained. The property must be used for public service. “The statute says municipalities are tax exempt. The county says you have to come out and prove it,” said Mathews. “We should have filed the application for exempt status,” he added and said that they would do that in the future, including the lot just acquired. Mathews said Carroll Valley is updating the information on unsold lots, many of which are used for passive recreation such as bird watching or hiking. Other uses include erosion control, stormwater management, wetland and floodplain protection, drainage, and as a possible sight for a water tower in the future. “We are not in the business of selling lots,” he added. The Chicken Coop Adam and Katlyn Colson are a young couple who recently moved to Carroll Valley. They asked the borough for permission to keep the chicken coop they have built in the front of their house because there is no room in the backyard as the ordinance dictates. Colson said she spoke with neighbors to ensure they were okay with the coop, designed to match their house and garage, and its location. It sits behind a large garden, and the entire area is fenced. After making the request, five of the couples’ neighbors spoke to the council, asking that they be allowed to keep the coop, described as attractive, thoughtfully constructed, and imposing no nuisance. The couple owns eight chickens, which are apparently very friendly, according to the neighbors’ testimony. Lillard asked what the process would be to grant an exception to the couple. “We can’t consider it tonight because it was not on tonight’s agenda, Mathews explained. Hazlett added that the process now is to consider the request and make a decision. “If you want to give them a relaxation of the rules, that’s within your purview as Borough Council.” The matter will be heard at August’s meeting, and in the meantime, Mathews suggested that all council members go by the home and see the enclosure. “I just have one thing to say,” said Carr. “Katlyn and Adam, it’s just a shame you weren’t here a year ago when we worked on this ordinance. It was more fun than you should have in half a day. Hazlett also had something to say about the seven-page chicken document. “I broke my own rule. I’m still sitting here, and I swore I wouldn’t be sitting here with a chicken conversation going on,” bringing a burst of laughter from the attendees. The next council borough meeting is scheduled for August 15 at 7:00 p.m. Featured image caption: Carroll Valley residents Katlyn and Adam Colson ask for a special exception to the chicken ordinance at Tuesday”s meeting.

Gettysburg nixes “Franklin Funnel” but approves making Racehorse Alley one-way

After months of discussion, the Gettysburg Borough Council approved creating a construction design for a project that would make Racehorse Alley run one-way from Washington St. to Buford Ave. The alley currently allows two-way traffic but requires vehicles to drive on private property in order to pass. The decision was made quickly after the council extensively discussed but then rejected what was the highest rated-option in their prior traffic study, the so-called “Franklin Funnel,” in which the alley would have run one-way from Washington St. to Franklin St. and one-way from Buford Ave. to Franklin St. When councilmembers Judie Butterfield, John Lawver, Chris Berger, and President Wes Heyser voted against the “funnel” option, the councilmembers went back to another option, the “Oneway west with contraflow lane and additional right of way,” which they said had been ranked second in terms of benefits in the traffic study. This option would make Racehorse Alley one-way from Washington St. to Buford Ave. but allow a “contraflow” option for bicycles to go both ways. Still to be determined would be the status of existing parking spaces on Racehorse Alley and some right-of-way that would need to be obtained. The vote for approval was 6 to 1 with Lawver dissenting. Lawver said he voted against the Franklin Funnel plan because he had concerns regarding traffic flow on Chambersburg St. at Franklin St. Gettysburg Police Chief Robert Glenny said he agreed that there would be more backups at that corner if the funnel plan was implemented. Glenny said the police used the alley when Chambersburg St. was busy. Heyser also expressed disapproval of the funnel plan and said it would be difficult, due to state regulations, to easily change the project back to two-way if the project didn’t work out as expected.   Noting that Healthy Adams Bicycle Pedestrian Inc. (HABPI) had supported changes to the alley and paid for an initial design, Heyser said he didn’t think changing the alley was going to create a “bicycle-pedestrian oasis.” I really don’t see it,” he said.  Heyser also said he did not think the argument that the alley would be safer after the changes held water. “After this is over there are going to be a lot of people who are upset,” said Heyser. “The complete lack of public input has been striking,” he said. Councilmember Chris Berger said he was against the funnel plan and in favor of the approved one-way plan. Council member Chad-Alan Carr said he was in favor of the funnel project and had heard primarily positive feedback from the public. He said he thought the project would beautify the town. “The fact remains that the alley should not be a cut-through. That’s not what they are made for,” he said. The borough said given constraints on the use of grant money, construction on the project would likely begin next year The borough also approved a recycling development and implementation grant in the amount of $306,895 from the PA Dept of Environmental Protection for the development of recycling in the borough.

COVID learning loss driven more by school and community factors than household ones, research finds

Kalyn Belsha, Chalkbeat Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering public education in communities across America. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter to keep up with how public education is changing.   Learning losses stemming from the pandemic were driven more by factors in student’s communities and school districts than in their homes, new research finds. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office Just as COVID hit some communities much harder than others, schools across the U.S. suffered disparate academic losses in the wake of the pandemic. But new research points to a surprising finding: Students within the same district seemed to experience similar academic setbacks, regardless of their background. In the average district, white and more affluent students lost about the same amount of ground in reading and math as Black and Hispanic students and students from low-income families. To researchers, that suggests that factors at the school district and community level — like whether students received quality remote instruction and whether communities experienced a strict lockdown — were bigger causes of test score declines than what was going on in students’ homes. “Where children lived during the pandemic mattered more to their academic progress than their family background, income, or internet speed,” a team of researchers wrote in a report released Thursday. The report offers some insight into why school districts experienced a wide range of academic losses during the pandemic. Citing pre-pandemic evidence that learning loss can persist for years without major interventions beyond normal instruction, it also points to the need for more intensive academic recovery efforts in some places. Those findings come as many schools are under pressure to reach more students with extra help like tutoring, and school leaders are trying to figure out the best ways to spend the limited COVID relief funding they have left. But the report doesn’t get much closer to providing an answer to a key question that has evaded researchers: Why did school districts that stayed remote for similar lengths of time experience very different academic losses? Thomas Kane, a Harvard professor of education and economics who co-authored the study, says that’s likely because researchers haven’t found a way to reliably measure factors that may have had a big impact, such as the quality of instruction students received. “It’s like the suspect that we couldn’t find and question,” he said. The team included researchers from Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, and Johns Hopkins universities, as well as the testing group NWEA. Together, they looked at data from 7,800 school districts in 40 states, focusing on reading and math scores from state and federal tests for students in third to eighth grades. Then the team looked to build on earlier research released last fall that found academic losses were steeper in districts that served larger shares of Black and Hispanic students and students from low-income families, and in districts that stayed remote or offered a mix of in-person and virtual instruction for longer. This time, the researchers looked at several more factors that they thought could have had an effect on students’ math and reading scores during the pandemic.  These included whether students had access to the internet and a device at home; school staffing levels; whether residents had trust in their local institutions, like schools; employment rates; COVID death rates; anxiety and depression rates; and the degree to which COVID caused social and economic disruptions in a community. (To identify those disruptions, the research team looked at how often people did activities such as shop for groceries, eat at a restaurant, or socialize with people outside their homes, using a combination of cell phone, Google, and Facebook survey data.) The team found that student test scores fell more, especially in math, in places where families saw their daily routines more significantly restricted — a finding that held true even in places where schools closed only for a short time. Math losses also were greater in counties that had higher death rates from COVID. Meanwhile, learning losses associated with remote instruction were smaller in places that reported greater trust in their local institutions, perhaps because parents supported their local school district’s pandemic decision-making.  Math learning losses stemming from virtual learning were bigger in places where adults reported higher levels of anxiety and depression and in communities that had higher employment rates. In those cases, researchers wrote, parents may not have been as able to support their kids when they were learning from home. Still, the additional factors explain only a “little bit” of why academic losses varied so much in places that stayed remote longer, Kane said. And they don’t explain why high-poverty school districts that serve more students of color lost more academic ground when they stayed remote for longer. That may be because researchers haven’t yet found a way to measure some of the most important factors. The team wasn’t able to look at community COVID hospitalization rates, for example. They also couldn’t take into account the quality of remote instruction students received or what policies districts set for student attendance and engagement during remote learning. Remote instruction varied widely, especially early in the pandemic. Some schools required students to attend classes on live video for several hours a day, while others gave students more independent work.  In some places, teachers received little training on how to teach students virtually. In other places, teachers had to juggle students who were both at home and in front of them — a setup that often left parents and students more dissatisfied with the instructional quality. “In some schools, remote instruction was a watered-down version of in-person instruction,” Kane said. “In other places, there was just much less of an expectation that classes would be covering the usual grade-level standards online. We just don’t have a direct measure of the quality of remote/hybrid instruction and the level of expectations.” The researchers also found evidence that in the decade leading up to the pandemic, when districts saw big dips in test scores — perhaps because there was a strong flu season or a weak teaching team that year — their students tended not to recover as they progressed through later grades.  That suggests, according to the researchers, that it will be difficult for students to recover from the pandemic unless their schools take “extraordinary” measures, like expanding summer school and tutoring many more students. Chalkbeat previously reported that in many of the nation’s largest districts, fewer than 1 in 10 students got any kind of tutoring earlier this school year. “When there is a disruption, it’s not like they know how to hurry up,” Kane said. “They will proceed with their lesson plans and instruction. It’s easy to resume learning — it’s very hard to accelerate it.” Kalyn Belsha is a national education reporter based in Chicago. Contact her at kbelsha@chalkbeat.org. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools. This story was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education.

Gettysburg Presbyterian Church says goodbye to Rev. Lou, Nyiri family

The Rev. Lou Nyiri leads a group of children through Gettysburg Presbyterian Church as they tell the congregation "God loves you."

The Rev. Lou Nyiri and his wife, Candace, arrived in Gettysburg weeks after earning their Master of Divinity degrees from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1996. For 27 years they have been fixtures in the Gettysburg community, especially at Lou’s work, Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. Friends packed the church’s worship area on Sunday, July 9, to say goodbye to the Nyiri family, including son Alex. They will soon relocate to Michigan, where Lou will serve as senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham Michigan. During his final sermon as the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church’s associate pastor, Lou led children through the worship area and had them remind attendees of a simple, but powerful, message: “God loves you.” The youngsters followed their bow-tie-wearing pastor as they paraded up and down the aisles shouting those encouraging words. Lou recalled the church’s personnel committee asking him in 1996 if he could commit to five years. He said he could, with the understanding that sometimes life changes unexpectedly. He stayed much longer and appreciated those who supported him and his family. During his time in Gettysburg, Lou led 25 youth work camps that traveled to many places throughout the country. He also guided teenagers as the church’s Sunday evening senior high fellowship group director. Lou Nyiri beyond the church Many Gettysburg residents who do not belong to the Presbyterian Church know the Nyiri family. Lou served the community beyond his church’s walls as a member of the Lions Club, Adams Rescue Mission Board of Directors, Adams Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and Gettysburg High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  In 2019, he supported the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and Adams County Arts Council by participating in the organizations’ annual joint fundraiser, Dancing with the Local Stars. Lou and his instructor Linda Neiswender won over audiences by waltzing to “That’s Amore” and hustling to the theme from “Star Wars.” Lou and Neiswender were crowned champions.  Family support Lou expressed appreciation for the many ways the church supported his family. He recalled his 23-year-old son, Alex, needed to spend the first six weeks of his life in the hospital. “You were a great and loving church family,” Lou said of that difficult time. Candace was also a constant presence in the church community. A Presbyterian pastor herself, Candace led many women’s retreats for the Gettysburg congregation. “Candace is the most spiritual person I know,” Phyllis Dowd, the church’s former director of Christian education, said. Moving on  As the Penn State fan and his family move to Michigan, they will take with them many memories and lifelong friendships. Friends spent more than two hours Sunday lauding the many contributions Lou, Candace, and Alex gave to the church and the Gettysburg community.  Lou’s final message to his congregation was to never change. “Be God’s people you already are. Don’t stop doing what you do,” he said. Featured image caption: The Rev. Lou Nyiri leads a group of children through Gettysburg Presbyterian Church as they tell the congregation “God loves you.” (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

Fairfield school district approves tax hike

Fairfield Area School District logo

Fairfield Area School District property owners will incur a 4 percent tax increase this year. The school board unanimously voted 8-0 to approve the 2023-24 budget. Board member Kelly Christiano was absent. The plan includes $21.2 million in revenue and $22.9 million in expenditures. During May’s workshop, Business Manager Tim A. Stanton told the board of directors that a tax increase is necessary to keep pace with rising costs.  Stanton referred to himself as a “fiscal conservative and taxpayer advocate” and acknowledged tax increases are rarely popular. If the board did not increase taxes, Stanton said, the district would struggle. The board is allowed to increase taxes 4.8 percent without seeking voter approval, Stanton said. The average property owner’s tax bill will increase by about $72. The 4 percent tax increase will generate $385,000, Stanton said. Stanton said he believes incremental tax increases are necessary every year to avoid a large increase after years of flat revenue. Stanton said he recommended no tax increase last year because he was new to the district and did not have a strong understanding of its budgetary needs. Stanton said Fairfield Area School District has the lowest property tax millage rate in Adams County. The district will soon enter into negotiations with the teachers’ union and he suspects wage increases will be necessary to maintain high-quality educators. Stanton also defended his proposal by explaining the need for a strong savings account. The district currently pays for three bonds that were opened prior to Stanton’s arrival and interest rates are an added cost that Stanton believes can be avoided in the future.  Superintendent’s salary increased The board voted 7-1 to increase Superintendent Thomas Haupt’s salary. Board member Candance Miller cast the lone dissenting vote. Haupt now earns $166,416. The district hired Haupt in October 2021 and he began his duties in February 2023. He was previously the superintendent of Millersburg School District in northwestern Dauphin County. Football coach resigns The board, without comment, approved the immediate resignation of Head Football Coach Jake Johnson. The coach’s departure comes before he even saw the Knights play one game on the gridiron. The district hired Johnson in March to replace Jason Thurston, who resigned last fall after five seasons with the team.  Several parents and program supporters told the board in May that Johnson announced at a meeting he was going to recommend the district end the program. Haupt told the board that Johnson does not have the power to cancel a season. Fairfield has struggled to build a football program since it began in 2004. The team has had only two winning seasons since its inception. Last year, the Knights canceled its Week 3 game against Hamburg when injuries prevented them from fielding enough players.

Adams County assessed property value is close to $10 billion

Adams County Director of Tax Services Daryl Crum told the commissioners on Wednesday that the total county-wide assessed property value is close to $10 billion. Crum said the county tax base includes 45,131 taxable parcels, of which about 72 percent are homes ( properties with dwellings having less than four units and located on less than 10 acres). Crum said $1.2 billion of the total assessed value must be deducted from the tax rolls for parcels that are tax-exempt, including government buildings, schools, churches, battlefields, and others. He said that tax-exempt property status is determined by process established by state tax law. Applicants must pass a five-prong test. “Just because the parcel owner has established non-profit status doesn’t mean they are immediately exempt,” he said. All Adams Count property owners have a right to file a property tax appeal in writing from any real estate assessment on or before 4:30 p.m., Aug. 1, 2023. Crum said these appeals may take place online or in person. “We began the Zoommeetings during Covid, and they have been very successful,” Crum said. Crum said there are about 100 appeals annually. The county per capita tax of $5 is assessed on 76,826 Adams County residents over 18. This tax was initially established, Crum said, as a way of taking away some of the burdens of taxes paid by property owners. Support specialist lauded Loretta Weaver, a webmaster and IT department support specialist, was honored by the commissioners and county staff on her departure after twenty-one years of service to the county. “No one has done it as well as you,” said IT department CIO Phil Walter. “We are losing the official voice of the IT department,” he said, adding that Weaver’s pleasant personality and helpful demeanor have set the tone for everything they’ve wanted in the department. When asked to comment on her career, Weaver gave kudos to others she shared workspace with. “Every single one of them has been great,” she said. “It has been my pleasure to work for the county for 21 years.” Commissioner James Martin noted her solid interpersonal skills. “I appreciate the good years you gave us,” he said. Tax jobs hard to fill As the county tax office takes on the role of tax collector for Germany township, Commissioner Randy Phiel wants to assure everyone that the county is not seeking to take over tax collection services. “The smaller municipalities simply are having trouble getting someone to run for that office,” he said. Phiel added that additional county staff may be needed if the trend continues. In other board business, the board approved a $7,215 service agreement with AL Fence Company to build a 66-foot-long safety fence around the perimeter of the glass recycling site at the county Department of Emergency Services building. “This is good for Adams County and good for recycling,” said  Phiel. County manager Steve Nevada said the site is not open yet, but when it is, it will likely be accessible twice a month. All glass dropped off at the site must be clean. Shatter-proof resistant window film will be attached to the ground floor windows of the Adams County Courthouse, excluding the historic courthouse. PA Window Tint will provide the service. The total cost to the county is about $18,000, which will be paid for with grant funds from the administrative office of the Pennsylvania Courts. Featured image caption: The county commissioners honored Loretta Weaver, IT department, for 21 years of service.

Rotary celebrates a successful year

Rotary Club of Gettysburg officers for the 2023-24 Rotary year.

The Rotary Club of Gettysburg celebrated another year of service to the community during its annual picnic Monday, June 26, at the Lake Heritage Community Center. Rotary is an international service organization with more than 46,000 clubs across the globe. The Gettysburg club, founded in 1920, has more than 70 members.  President David Kushner told those in attendance that many changes occurred in the club over the past 12 months. The year began with Mike Hanson as president, but a move to Delaware forced Hanson to resign. “I went to president-elect training in February and had the opportunity to talk to the Rotary International president. He asked how long I had been president and I said ‘since 7:30 this morning,’” Kushner recalled of the board meeting that was held the day of his training. Rotary honors members Hanson, a longtime club member who served two terms as president, returned to Gettysburg Monday for the picnic. He thanked the club for its support, especially through his life transition. Kushner thanked Hanson for his leadership and gave him a plaque for his work. Kushner also presented tokens of appreciation to the following members for their work: Eric Gladhill, youth exchange; Ashley Andyshak Hayes, scholarship chair; and Alex J. Hayes, club secretary. Past President and Past District Governor John Kramb awarded the evening’s highest honor. The club’s board recently named one of its annual scholarships the Robert Gough Education Award. Gough is a 47-year Rotarian who joined the Gettysburg club in 2005. He previously served the Rotary Club of Upper Marlboro, Md. Officers installed Past President Ken Farabaugh administered the oath of office to the following 2023-24 club officers: Kushner, president; Todd Orner, secretary; Anthony Spangler, treasurer; Mike DeShong, New Oxford liaison; Pete Miele, board member; Ralph Serpe, philanthropy chair; Chris Glatfelter, community service chair; Anna-Mae Kobbe, foundation chair; and Doug Newell, club services chair. Board members who will serve but were unable to attend the picnic are: Larry Redding, immediate past president; Chris Kimple, international services chair; and Thomas Powell, president-elect. Rotary needs members Kushner noted the club does a lot of work in its community including distributing dictionaries to students, awarding scholarships, volunteering at community events, and hosting international exchange students. Kushner encouraged Rotarians to recruit more members so it can enhance its work. A Gettysburg Fourth! The Rotary Club of Gettysburg’s biggest fundraiser is A Gettysburg Fourth!, in partnership with Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority, Destination Gettysburg, and Gettysburg Fire Department. The event will begin 4 p.m., July 4 at the Gettysburg Rec Park. It will include food, music, bingo, a cash raffle, and more to celebrate America. Fireworks will begin at 9:20 p.m. Featured image caption: Rotary Club of Gettysburg officers for the 2023-24 Rotary year are, from left: Anthony Spangler, treasurer; Mike DeShong, New Oxford liaison; Pete Miele, board member; Ralph Serpe, philanthropy chair; David Kushner, president; Todd Orner, secretary; Chris Glatfelter, community services chair; Anna-Mae Kobbe, foundation chair; Doug Newell, club services chair; Ken Farabaugh, past president.

Ukrainian native connects homeland to Gettysburg

Natalie Raymond, right, packs items collected for Ukraine aid.

Boxes full of clothes, blankets, sheets, scarves, and gloves fill Natalie Raymond’s garage in Cumberland Township. The items are also filling her heart. About a year after the Ukraine native’s mother died in a Polish nursing home, Raymond channels her grief into energy to aid her homeland. When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Raymond’s mother was living amongst the destruction. Relief workers transported her to Poland. In Gettysburg, Raymond anxiously waited for updates while feeling powerless. Friends rallied around her and she was eventually able to travel to Poland. Her mother died and Raymond returned to Gettysburg heartbroken. Meanwhile in neighboring Emmitsburg, Maryland, retired McDaniel College professor Catherine Bodin began collecting items for Ukrainians in need. Churches, The Seton Center, law offices, and The Town of Emmitsburg signed up to help.  “We don’t actually know how many bags or boxes there were but they overflowed the collection boxes in the Leesburg airport when I went!” Bodin said. Bodin contacted Raymond, who was still processing her mother’s death. She patiently stayed in touch while giving Raymond the space she needed. One day, Raymond remembered an important lesson from her mother. “My mom would never sit, she would say ‘We need to do something,’” she recalled. Raymond’s first mission Raymond has a long history of following her mother’s advice. When Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Raymond believed music could connect her people with the United States. She emigrated here in 1999 at the age of 38 and began a music exchange program between the two countries.  She returned to her homeland often with American musicians. In America, Raymond promoted Ukranian music through newspaper and magazine articles, lectures on college campuses, and journal pieces. She treasures a scrapbook of memories from those years, including a letter from Microsoft founder Bill Gates touting her efforts. “I wanted very much to connect both countries in a special, professional, musical way,” she said. “I considered myself the musical ambassador between Ukraine and America.” A new focus Almost 25 years have passed since Raymond began her initial mission. Her passion to connect America and Ukraine is just as strong but now everyday items are needed more than music. Since Russians began attacking Ukraine in February 2022, 9,083 civilians have died and 15,779 have suffered injuries as of June 18, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Raymond’s new mission is assisting Bodin with her relief efforts. The items they are collecting have a practical purpose, but Raymond believes they also give Ukranians hope. “They still have lives, they deserve this,” she said. “If we help them, they know they are not alone.” Friends living in Ukraine tell Raymond they live in a constant state of fear and stress as they watch the fighting unfold. They fear for their lives and their country’s culture. “They don’t know if they will wake up tomorrow,” she said. “If they do, they don’t know what they will need.” How to help Ukraine aid Raymond and Bodin have shipped many items to Ukraine and are storing boxes full of supplies. They are working with Meest-America, a freight-delivery service that specializes in shipping goods to Ukraine. “Meest” is Ukrainian for bridge. Meest has shifted its focus to helping Ukraine since the invasion began, according to a New York Times article. Right now, donations to cover shipping costs are Raymond and Bodin’s biggest need. Those wishing to help can do so by mailing checks payable to Meest Shipping to: EOPCC Fundraising, attn. Ukraine effort, P. O. Box 291, Emmitsburg, MD 21727—0291.

Cumberland police begin medical marijuana training

Cumberland Township Chief Matthew Trostel gave an update on the police department’s activity during the previous month at the June Board of Supervisors’ Meeting on Tuesday. The report included police vehicle dispositions, department staff training, as well as positive communications received commending his staff and the department for exemplary handling of various incidents.  The Cumberland Township Police Department recently received a $25,000 grant from the Pennsylvania DUI Association to support “emerging issues that law enforcement faces or will face related to the enforcement of the Medical Marijuana Act (MMA).” Under this grant, Chief Trostel and Officer Ryan Eiker, the designated certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) for the department, arranged for an in-depth training session this week on the MMA and related issues facing law enforcement. The program was attended by ten law enforcement personnel, and praised by attendees as having been hugely helpful and informative.  Additional training is being scheduled.  Chief Trostel further reported that sufficient donations were received to enable the purchase of a speed trailer, a visual notification tool that can be used at big events and as a reminder to drivers to mind their speed, as well as collect data of various times in traffic time cycles, speed ranges, etc. to analyze best time frames and locations for use of the trailer.  Trostel said he plans to spend some of the remaining donation funds to purchase additional bullet-proof vests for his officers who currently have to share vests. Township Manager David Blocher reported on the huge success seen so far upon the rollout of The Savvy Citizen platform to the community.  Blocher encourages residents who had not signed up yet to do so, as the app has proven to be useful in several instances already.  Blocher further reminded the board and attendees of the newly established township newsletter, The Cumberland Township Dispatch, which can be accessed at Cumberland Township News or via the Savvy Citizen App. Public Comments Several residents addressed the board during the meeting. Leon Reed of Gettysburg spoke about his concerns regarding the shortage of affordable housing and health services to the elderly that accompanied an aging population in the area. Frank Fitzgerald voiced his concerns about the long-standing water issues for his and many other properties and the lack of adequate stormwater management between adjacent properties. Derek and Ann Roden and Joshua Kinard, members of the planning committee that is working on upgrading the Gettysburg Skate Park (see also this story), addressed the board and requested funding for the project. Cumberland Township helps support the Gettysburg rec park with an annual donation. The team confirmed the township would have no responsibilities with respect to maintenance and management of the site but emphasized that the current conditions at the skate park were unsafe and the improvement would benefit Cumberland residents. Information on other discussions, including Farmland Preservation updates, subdivision and land development plans, and other engineering projects, as well as bills/budget approvals; numerous requests for project extensions, waivers, and motions regarding legislative/regulatory amendments, agreements, and adoptions of resolutions presented at the meeting can be found in the Regular Board Meeting Agenda here:  Cumberland Township BOS Agenda June 27, 2023.

Spring and summer season in full swing at the Gettysburg rec park

At the Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority’s (GARA) June board meeting, Executive Director Erin Pedigree was able to report on a number of successful activities during the months of May and June including the following: The Adams County Farmers Market reports that it has seen a noticeable increase in visitors since it moved to its new location at the Rec Park.  Customers have commented on the great layout and accessibility, and vendors reported being pleased with both the location and the resulting increase in business. The Adams County Library FunFest in early June was also hugely successful, with an estimated 4,000 folks coming through to participate.  Little League season is over but softball season and Girls Fast Pitch activities will continue through the end of August. The library storywalk has had great reception and seems to attract folks of all ages. This month’s book displayed is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” presented in both English and Spanish. Planning for the renovations of the Skate Park is in full swing and has already reached the money-raising phase.  On June 24th, the planners will hold a “Get Out and Skate Late” event from 4–7 pm, which will feature live music and skating demonstrations.  GARA continues to contribute to the maintenance of Lincoln Cemetery by mowing, weed-whacking, and, on holidays, placing flags at the graves. Cemetery managers received a grant of $2,000 which will be used toward cleaning existing gravestones and purchasing a ground penetrator to find some of the older graves that have sunken (some underneath the road) and perhaps place markers for unmarked graves.  The Summer Concert series will kick off on June 25th with the band Vertigo Vultures as its first act and will continue every Sunday through August 15th. Blueberries from the Kiwanis Club Blueberry Sale will be ready for pickup on June 30th at the rec park. Proceeds will benefit a variety of local charities. Plans for the 4th of July Celebration are underway, which will include activities for kids; music; food trucks; fireworks; a cash raffle; a beer garden, and much more. GARA is planning a Day in New York City bus tour this year on December 9th.  More information on how to register will be forthcoming. Since the board meeting did not meet a full quorum, certain business matters were postponed to next month.  The full agenda of the meeting and previous meeting minutes can be found at:  GARA Meetings and Holidays.

Gettysburg most welcoming city in U.S.

Gettysburg has just been recognized as the “most welcoming city in the United States” by Booking.com, the third-largest travel website in the world. The honor was announced at Thursday’s Adams County Council of Government (ACCOG) meeting. “This is the result of over 240 million traveler reviews on Booking.com that led to naming Gettysburg at the top of that list,” said Carl Whitehill, vice president of Destination Gettysburg. “It says a lot about our destination, our residents, and what we do here,” he added. Land Conservation Clarified In other ACCOG business, three Adams County specialists were on hand to explain the sometimes confusing land preservation process in the area. Mark Clowney, Senior Planner-Rural Development, Ellen Dayhoff, Administrator of the Ag Land Preservation Program, and Sarah Kipp, Conservation Director, described how their organizations mesh to provide the best outcome for land conservation in the county. Adams County is one of only three counties in the state to have an established Agricultural Security Area in every township, encompassing over 107,000 acres of farmland. “What it was designed to do is basically protect the land-owner,” said Clowney. He specifically noted protections against eminent domain claims and local ordinances that might affect day-to-day farming practices. “It is also a prerequisite for getting into the state or county land preservation program,” he added. Applications to the ASA program may occur anytime throughout the year. The Adams County Agricultural Land Preservation Program (ALPP) has been part of the State Farmland Protection Program for 33 years, offering protection against development through the protection of conservation easements. It currently has 194 farms under its umbrella, encompassing 24,650 acres. The average amount paid for an agricultural conservation easement in the last two years was $2,692 per acre. “A conservation easement is a deed restriction on a property that restricts its use to agricultural purposes,” Dayhoff explained. “This is something we want to work with municipalities on,” she added. They are glad to present information at local meetings if requested. Responding to a question about solar farms, Dayhoff said, “Solar farms are not permitted.” She added that farms could use solar panels only for operational purposes. The Land Conservancy of Adams County works closely with the ALPP. Since its inception in 1995, the non-profit organization has protected 13,065 acres of farmland, historic land, and open space on 183 properties. Kipp explained that no county money supports the non-profit organization, “but we use the same tool the county uses to preserve open space.” While the ALPP focuses only on farmland, the Land Conservancy was created to preserve other types of open space, including woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife habitats,” she added. They will also consider farmland that may not qualify under ALPP guidelines. New Election Office A new site for the county election office will open in August at the Emergency Services Building on Greenamyer Lane. “Elections are a totally different animal than they were two or three years ago, especially with mail-in ballots,” Commissioner Randy Phiel said. “In this facility, we’ll be able to store records, ballots, and voting equipment,” he added. At present, they are stored in separate locations outside of the courthouse. Phiel hopes the new location will also be more convenient for the voter than parking in the more congested downtown location. Broadband Update According to George Mauser, Vice Chair of the Adams County Broadband task force, the broadband survey results distributed earlier this year should soon be available. “There is not enough government money to solve all the problems in Adams County,” said Commissioner Marty Qually, the task force’s ex-offio member. He noted that the upper part of the county is particularly underserved. “Students are driving to free Wi-Fi hotspots at schools to make sure they can download their homework. That’s just absurd,” he added. The current Broadband Infrastructure Program offers grant money geared toward under- and un-served areas. “This program is not geared to spur economic development, but we’re hoping that future rounds of funding will,” Qually said, adding more information regarding the broadband issue will be available in August. Fire bans and Fireworks ACCOG members had questions about whether or not to include fireworks in their fire ban ordinances and whether or not to mandate a fire ban at all in some cases. Commissioner Phiel said it is up to the municipalities to write fire ban ordinances that reflect their particular area’s needs, but that in his experience, fireworks are often included. ACCOG president and Mt. Joy resident Terry Scholle said they did not create a fire ban ordinance because, without a police force, there was no way to enforce it. “It’s kind of a moot point,” Scholle said. “We don’t have one because we don’t have our own police force.” He said he called the state police to see if they would enforce such a ban and was told “no.” Where’s Arendtsville? An Arendtsville representative said she is concerned that Arendtsville is now called Biglerville, and the confusion is growing. She called the county for clarification and was told that “basically, Arendtsville doesn’t exist.” That confused the 27-year resident, who entered her address into the ESRI Geo database. It came up as Biglerville. “Arendtsville still has its own post office. Arendtsville still exists,” she added. A postal investigation is supposed to be conducted through the state representative’s office. Adams County planning director Sherri Clayton-Williams also plans to look into it. ACCOG meets monthly with county jurisdictional and school leaders, legislative representatives, county officials, state police representatives, emergency services, and Destination Gettysburg. The next meeting will take place July 27, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. at the Emergency Services Center, Greenamyer Lane. Featured Image Caption: The faces of land conservation in Adams County: From left, Sarah Kipp,  Land Conservancy of Adams County; Ellen Dayhoff, Ag Land Preservation Program and Mark Clowney, Agricultural Security Areas.  

Gettysburg’s Lincoln Cemetery among 13 PA African American cemeteries to receive assistance

Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds and Preservation Pennsylvania are pleased to announce grant awards to 13 African American cemeteries to assist in their ongoing preservation efforts as part of an African American Cemetery Stewardship Program funded by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF) through the National Trust for Historic Preservation with support from The JPB Foundation (NTHP) and The 1772 Foundation. Selected grantees will work with a professional consultant who will help each site to develop a plan to assist the cemetery stewards with prioritizing maintenance, interpretation, and preservation needs. The consultant will also assist with identifying and preparing specifications for priority tasks that address key cemetery needs. Cemeteries receiving a direct grant will undertake the most needed preservation or conservation work. Board members of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds will work with cemetery stewards and consultants to create a collaborative effort to ensure the long-term preservation of these important sites. Lincoln Cemetery, also known as Good Will Cemetery, is located between South Washington Street and Long Lane, adjacent to the Gettysburg Rec Park, and within walking distance from the Soldiers National Cemetery. The following cemeteries will receive assistance: African Union Church of South Coventry (Chester County)Byberry Township African American Burial Ground (Philadelphia County) Eastern Light Cemetery (Blair County)Green Lawn Cemetery (Delaware County)Lincoln Cemetery (Adams County)Lincoln Cemetery (Dauphin County)Lindley Hill Cemetery (Chester County)Mount Vernon Cemetery (Franklin County)Payne Chapel AME Church Cemetery (Washington County)Thornbury AME Cemetery (Delaware County)Union Cemetery (Centre County)Zion Hill Cemetery (Lancaster County)Zion Union Cemetery (Franklin County) This funding will support the growth of the African American Cemetery Stewards Network, a program of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds. The network is a great resource for anyone undertaking the preservation and maintenance of these precious places in Pennsylvania. Over one hundred African American cemeteries have been identified in Pennsylvania, telling an underrepresented part of our history. These sites are also the final resting place of Black veterans, including many of the 8,612 Pennsylvania men who served with the United States Colored Troops. These cemeteries are threatened by underfunding, development, and changing demographics. The grants will provide direct assistance, offer training and technical assistance to the larger community of cemetery stewards, help build public awareness, and identify additional funding to preserve this heritage. Pennsylvania Hallowed Ground, in partnership with Preservation Pennsylvania, is one of 33 organizations to receive a total of $3 million in grant funding to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscapes that represent African American cultural heritage. With more than $80 million in funding, the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places. Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds Chair Barbara Barksdale, Mindy Gulden Crawford, Executive Director of Preservation Pennsylvania, stated, “We are honored that this grant will help us assist African American cemeteries in Pennsylvania and to have Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds as our strong partner,” ABOUT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE ACTION FUND FROM THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATIONNow in its fifth year, the Action Fund has supported 160 places through its National Grant Program for a total investment of $12.4 million. This year’s list further demonstrates the beauty and complexity of African American life, and includes historic sites tied to Black arts, culture, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, sports, medicine, education, religion, and social justice. These often-overlooked places hold aspects of history that must be protected—and used to draw inspiration and wisdom for the benefit of all Americans. To learn more about this program, visit savingplaces.org/actionfund. ABOUT THE 1772 FOUNDATION “Pennsylvania’s African American cemeteries are deserving of this assistance from the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds and our partner Preservation Pennsylvania. The hallowed grounds that cradle our ancestors will be preserved for future generations to visit, research, and honor.” The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic assets to future generations. ABOUT PRESERVATION PENNSYLVANIA Preservation Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s only private statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people protect and preserve the historic places that matter to them. Preservation Pennsylvania was established by the Commonwealth’s General Assembly in 1982 as the Preservation Fund of Pennsylvania, a statewide revolving fund to assist in the acquisition and rehabilitation of historic properties. Since then, Preservation Pennsylvania has grown into its role as a private, nonprofit membership organization with a statewide mission to protect and preserve Pennsylvania’s irreplaceable historic places. ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA HALLOWED GROUNDS The mission of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds https://pahallowedgrounds.orgis to honor, interpret, and preserve African American cemeteries and the burial sites of Civil War African American Sailors and United States Colored Troops in Pennsylvania. PAHG connects and builds the capacity of stewards of these cemeteries and burial sites and supports conservation, documentation, education, and training. Working collaboratively with other groups and organizations, PAHG provides tangible encounters with memory and enriches the public understanding of history. For more information, contact PAHG@pahallowedgrounds.org

Upper Adams passes school budget without tax increase

Upper Adams School Board unanimously approved the fiscal year 2024 budget Tuesday with three new educator positions and no tax increase. Business Administrator Shelley Hobbs presented a final budget with expenses at $34,470,792 and revenue at $33,102,741. The majority of the $1.3 million difference will be covered by the district’s unassigned fund balance. Approximately $2.5 million will remain in the unassigned fund balance, according to Hobbs. The unassigned fund balance, akin to a rainy day fund, is there for unexpected expenses and can be used to help balance the budget. Board member Chris Fee attended Tuesday’s meeting virtually. Included in the budget are positions for an elementary special education professional, secondary math professional, and secondary building substitute for a total of $187,170. The budget also allocated $20,000 for new band uniforms and nearly $12,000 for cyber insurance. Also Tuesday, the board approved wage increases for certain staff that include a cost of living adjustment of 3.68%, plus merit increases. Thirty-two support staff, 10 building administrators and the business administrator will see raises for the 2023-2024 school year. Support staff raises represent an increased cost of $48,872.79 over the 2022-2023 school year, according to the board’s meeting agenda. Building admin raises, which do not include the superintendent, represent an increased cost of $58,052.77 over the 2022-2023 school year. The business administrator will receive an additional $2,500 for increased duties as director of transportation. In other business, the board accepted a bid of $198,375 from Heidler Roofing for the next phase of roof repairs to Biglerville High School. The work will be completed over the summer, according to school officials. Renovations to the locker rooms and team rooms at Biglerville High School are delayed as the district seeks plumbing bids for the second time. Representatives from RLPS Architects, who are overseeing the bid-seeking process, said Tuesday the district received bids for three out of four construction services needed for the project. Bids for general contractor, mechanical and electrical were received, but not plumbing. RLPS representatives Rich Dropik and Ed Althouse, who called into the meeting, said they have been in communication with contractors and expect to receive plumbing bids the second time around. They did not know why contractors did not bid on plumbing in the first place. The board stopped short of approving bids for general contractor, mechanical and electrical, but agreed to send a notice of intent to award bids to East Coast Contracting, Inc.; Frey Lutz Corporation; and Mid-State Mechanical and Electrical, LLC, respectively. The vote for bid approval is expected to occur at a special board meeting July 11 at 6 p.m., when RLPS anticipates it will have at least one plumbing bid in hand. The renovation is projected to start July 17, pending board approval. “I don’t have a problem with recommending approval of these,” Board Vice President Tom Wilson said. “But these three contractors need to understand this is not final approval for the project. It’s still contingent upon us receiving a compliant bid for the plumbing work, which meets the technical specifications as well as the overall fiscal constraints that we have for this project.” The board will have its regular meeting July 18 at 7 p.m. There are no scheduled committee meetings in July.

Juneteenth Parade in Gettysburg

Two years after President Biden signed an executive order making Juneteeth a national holiday, Lincoln Square in Gettysburg became the gathering place for the third annual Juneteenth Parade. With some attendees some holding signs, and some accepting buckets and drumsticks from local musician Ricky Czar, a growing number of people gathered to hear Mayor Rita Frealing read her proclamation declaring the holiday. Her heartfelt reading was preceded by young Chosen Shahid, who led the crowd in the singing of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Chosen’s mom, Blessing Shahid, was the day’s organizer, giving direction to the crowd while pushing a stroller and leading the parade in a beautiful swirling purple dress. Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery and commemorates June 19th, 1865, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and they were free. Granger’s message came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And according to Mama Gail Steward-Clouden, resplendent in white for this holiday, “It wasn’t all about the celebration. There was some anger there that it took two years.” As the crowd left the square, the first stop was at the home of one-time Gettysburg College Janitor Jack Hopkins, whose family fled Gettysburg in the days before the battle to avoid being taken into slavery by Confederate soldiers. LaRock Hudson and Mama Gail captivated the crowd with that story before leading the parade to the AME church. At St. Paul’s AME Church, on the corner of Washington and Breckenridge streets, the historical plaque that commemorates the rich history of the African American community and the contributions of many of its members was read out loud. As the parade moved through the streets, the bucket drummers drummed and the chant of “Juneteenth-Freedom Day!” resounded through the buildings as passing motorists honked and waved. Smiling Gettysburg borough police officers stopped and directed patient drivers at the intersections affected by the parade marchers. Elmer Shelton gave a brief talk at the corner of High and Franklin Streets about the Colored School, used during segregation, which no longer stands on this site but is now a beer mart. Alisha Sanders, candidate for the Gettysburg Borough Council seat from the 3rd Ward and a teacher in the Gettysburg Area School District, addressed the crowd in front of the Lincoln Cemetery on Long Lane, a burial ground that was segregated for people of color. Sanders explained that what looks like a field inside the iron-fenced enclosure is actually unmarked graves. The adjacent alley still covers some ancestors’ final resting places. A plan is in the works for the gate to be unlocked on special occasions for people to enter the grounds and learn more about the history of this sacred place. At the rec park, vendors with beautiful flowers and colorful clothing and jewelry were set up outside, while food and entertainment lured folks into the colorfully decorated and wonderfully aromatic indoor event space. While the commemoration and celebration may last one day, appreciation can last a lifetime and there is still work to be done. But today, Jubilee! See you same time, next year!!

HGAC names Barn of Year and House Preservation awards for 2023

Each year Historic Gettysburg Adams County presents awards to dedicated property owners who believe, as HGAC believes, that there is beauty and value in architectural history and who have invested hundreds of hours of hard work into preserving the past HGAC’s Preservation Committee, chaired by Curt Musselman, is responsible for choosing a Barn Preservation Award winner, and the House Preservation Award Committee, chaired by Kendra Debany, selects a house winner. For 2023, The Barn of the Year award went to Sherry Rogers and Clifford Frost for the extensive work done on their barn on Mount Hope Road, near Fairfield. The House Preservation Award went to David and Cynthia Salisbury for their restoration work on the Scott Farmhouse, located at 320 Scott Road in Freedom Township. The Rogers-Frost Barn is a circa 1860 extended Pennsylvania Barn constructed by William Culp, brother of Henry Culp of Culp’s Hill fame. The barn was plundered twice by Confederate troops in the summer of 1863 on the way to Gettysburg. When Rogers and Frost purchased the barn in 2014, the barn needed extensive repairs to failing timbers and masonry. The barn siding and louvers were damaged and deteriorating. With the help of contractor Hugh (Sam) McKinney, Rogers, and Frost, over eight years, methodically addressed significant threats to the barn’s existence and completely restored the barn.   The Scott farmhouse was built in 1869-70 by Civil War veteran George Washington Scott. The Salisburys purchased the structure in January 2017 and immediately set to work restoring the farmhouse back to its original beauty. They successfully accomplished all of their goals, the most complicated being the removal of the changes made to the house through the years. In addition, they restored the kitchen, sanded and refinished all of the floors, stripped and repainted all of the doors and door hardware and removed an overgrowth of shrubbery and vines and tall pine trees surrounding the house. The Salisburys and Rogers and Frost received bronze plaques from HGAC recognizing their indefatigable preservation work at HGAC’s annual meeting on May 24. The Adams County Barn Registry was created by HGAC in 2005. Barn owners can request to have their barn added to the registry at no charge. Once a request has been made, a team of HGAC volunteers will survey the barn. The survey includes measuring the barn, taking photographs, and documenting the barn’s architectural details. All information is entered into the Barn Registry database. A copy of the survey report is given to the barn owner. Once a barn is registered, it becomes eligible for HGAC’s Barn of the Year award. Barn owners on the registry are also eligible to apply for the Barn Preservation Grants given each year by HGAC to help barn owners in their repair and stabilization projects.

Fairfield football program’s future concerns parents

Fairfield Area School District logo

The future of the Fairfield football program was in the spotlight during June’s board of education study session. Several program supporters told the board that the district’s new coach, Jake Johnson, had announced at a meeting the night before the board meeting that he would recommend the district end the program.  The district hired Johnson in March. He replaced Jason Thurston, who resigned last fall after five seasons with the team. Fairfield has struggled to build a football program since it began in 2004. The team has had two winning seasons since its inception. Last year, the Knights canceled its Week 3 game when injuries prevented them from fielding enough players. Parent Corrine Higgs told the board Johnson is frustrated by the lack of participation in off-season workouts. Higgs, whose son is entering his junior year, said she wishes Johnson communicated more with parents. “My son is not yet a man and I still can use the time I have left to teach him and guide him in regard to honoring his words to coaches, teammates, and coworkers; but what I do not know about I cannot control,” Higgs said. A grandmother said her grandson participates in three sports and did not have time to exercise with the team during the off-season. Another speaker told the board the practices are optional per PIAA rules so Johnson should not consider them mandatory. The board listened to the citizens’ concerns but did not respond. Later in the meeting, Superintendent Thomas Haupt said parents who have concerns should contact Athletic Director Andrew Kuhn. Haupt said district leadership, not the coach, has the authority to decide on a program’s future. District aims to fix athletic program ‘neglect’ The district’s athletic struggles were further discussed later in the meeting when Kuhn presented the state of his department. Kuhn proposed replacing team uniforms every five years, but board members expressed concern that replacement may be necessary more often.  Board Vice President Jack Liller suggested the district fundraise for uniforms. Haupt said he did not believe that proposal treats teams equitably. “I think if we are really going to run scholastic sports programs as a district, then we should support them as a district,” Haupt said. Kuhn noted his five-year proposal is flexible depending on team needs, using the example that baseball pants may have to be replaced more often than volleyball shirts. Haupt and Kuhn, who are recent additions to the district administration, noted the athletic program has been neglected for the past several years. Kuhn said he is working to return a sense of pride to Fairfield athletics by updating record boards, adding storage space, and purchasing digital scoreboards.

Proposed Commercial/Residential complex on Carlisle Street in Gettysburg moves forward

A plan for a 186-unit residential/commercial development on the 2-acre parcel behind the Gettysburg Transit Center between Carlisle and Stratton Streets will be considered by the Gettysburg Planning Commission on Tuesday evening. The public is invited to attend. The proposed project includes two three-story buildings with 8 apartments each in addition to a 7-story building with 170 units.  The units will include a combination of studio, 1-bedrooom, and 2-bedroom apartments. The proposal also includes retail and restaurant space. The project also includes parking and a proposed extension of the Gettysburg Inner Loop bicycle-pedestrian trail. The developer is also purchasing the existing Rabbit Transit Center site on Carlisle St. The Transit Center would be relocated to Stratton Street. The proposal, from Landcore Engineering Consultants of Philadelphia, is requesting a special exception for two issues related to building sizes. The developer is requesting that, rather than having a setback on upper floors as required by current zoning, the entire 7-story building be built on a smaller footprint.  According to the application, this provides the benefit of additional green space while the upper stories of the building would remain in the same location. The developer is also asking for a variance to allow a lower (one-story) minimum height for the relocated Transit Center, saying a 24-foot building as currently required “would not be in character of the surrounding properties.” The property, which has been vacant since at least 2001, was extensively developed by the Adams County Industrial Development Authority before being sold to the developer in 2021. The 7-story building would be centered on the site with as much separation as possible from streets and existing homes. The proposal will also be considered at a Gettysburg  Zoning Commission meeting to be held on June 28 and will be considered by the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) at its July meeting. Borough councilmember Matt Moon said the developer had been “extraordinarily respectful of the borough’s wishes.  He has peppered the project with Christmas presents for the borough including infrastructure improvements,” he said.

The 19th’s fellows reflect on the meaning of freedom in honor of Juneteenth

Originally published by The 19th Rebekah Barber, Katherine Gilyard, Daja E. Henry, and Ashaki “Nzingha” Thompson-Hall are 2022-2023 Frances Ellen Watkins Harper fellows. Explore their work. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared that as of January 1, 1863, “all persons held as slaves” within the Confederacy “are, and henceforward shall be free.” But it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that Gen. Gordon Granger and his Union troops rode into Galveston, Texas, to enforce that freedom. Though the newfound and hard-fought-for freedom was lifetimes more than a day late and a dollar short, it was still celebrated.  By the next year, the commemoration of the day all enslaved Americans were granted their independence had been dubbed “Juneteenth.”  “Black people have always been involved in the fight to make our own American lives, demanding something of the country that stole so much from us. That fact is, by folktale and firm record, key to the Juneteenth story,” Time magazine Race and Identities senior correspondent Janell Ross writes in her 2021 article on the holiday’s significance. In 2021, the efforts of people like Lula Briggs Galloway and Opal Lee, often referred to as the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” to get official recognition of the holiday paid off. President Joe Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, cementing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.  While the observation of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, started in small gatherings in Texas, its evolution into an annual honoring for Black Americans across the country continues today. This year, 161 years later, the 19th’s fellows reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth, freedom, and remembrance.  To me, celebrating Juneteenth is both an act of remembrance and a call to action.  I honor women like Susie King Taylor, who endeavored in a lifelong pursuit of freedom for both herself and others. Born enslaved in Georgia, she learned to read by attending secret schools run by free Black women. She joined the United States Colored Troops as a laundress but also served as a cook and nurse, cleaned and tested weapons, and taught soldiers how to read. After the war, she advocated for poorly treated veterans and opened schools to equip people with tools for liberation. Taylor did not stop after gaining her own freedom or after the war ended. She never received a dime for her service, but worked until her dying day to ensure that others would see true freedom too. That’s what Juneteenth means to me. It is a reminder that liberation is a continuous process.  Not only is the fight continuous, but it is one in which we must remain vigilant. While Juneteenth became a jubilant celebration for many of the newly freed, there were also many who remained in bondage or faced the violent wrath of their former owners. Texan Charles W. Brown’s former owner shot him in the chest and left him for dead after delivering the news of his freedom. Tennessean Catherine Riley was beaten unconscious with a club when she tried to retrieve her child from their former owner. Brown and Riley lived to tell their stories. Many didn’t.  That is why I do the work of storytelling, of amplifying the voices of those affected by injustice.  Juneteenth’s aftermath is a reminder that there are still people out there who benefit when we don’t know what power we have and will do anything to keep it that way. — Daja E. Henry, editorial fellow  When I think about Juneteenth, I am filled with pride — pride for my people and pride for my ancestors who fought so that I might be free.  Like Ms. Opal Lee, “the grandmother of Juneteenth,” who called upon us to address existing disparities like homelessness, health care access, and climate change, I also see Juneteenth as a call to action.  I am filled with a commitment to speak out against modern-day slavery, which is still legal under the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution: mass incarceration. I am reminded of how Black people are incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of White Americans and that Black women are incarcerated at nearly 1.6 times the rate of White women.  Nearly 160 years after the abolishment of chattel slavery, Black people are also still underpaid. In 2020, Black women earned only 58 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men. Because the work of Black people continues to uphold the economy in many ways, as many of us enjoy this day off, it will be disproportionately Black workers and other workers of color who will have to work to keep this country running.  As the nation celebrates this federal holiday, it is increasingly important that the history behind Juneteenth not be lost. We must heed  Lee’s call to continue fighting against disparities in all forms. In the words of Audre Lorde: “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” — Rebekah Barber, editorial fellow I am very lucky to have been raised in a household that valued and honored the history and legacy of African-American activists and leaders. Growing up, it was the norm to attend lectures from the likes of Nikki Giovanni and Ntozake Shange. I had the honor of meeting Frankie Muse Freeman in high school and I learned about the work she did to end legal racial discrimination in public housing in St. Louis. My childhood consisted of formal and informal curriculum sessions that centered our stories.  When I think of these positive environments, I am delighted to know that millions of Black children will understand the importance and relevance of Juneteenth. One of the ways that I learned about the history of my ancestors was through storytelling events at local libraries and festivals. It was so exciting to sit and gather with other young children and listen and learn about the people who never knew me, but chose to love me.  I think as a professional writer, I want to honor my inner Black child by continuing to share the stories of those who came before me. I want to share the stories of my peers and elders. What makes us feel free? What legacies and gifts are we excited to share with the next generation? I am excited to investigate these narratives and share them with the world.  As Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts wrote in “Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration”: “You hand us the fatback of a pig, and we use it to make savory greens. You hand us a fledgling radio station, and we turn it into a media empire. … We are alchemists. So our ability to transform our lived experience — even the ones plagued by trauma — is the very reason why we should internalize our acceptance and release ourselves from any obligation to be something other than who we are, individually and collectively.” — Nzingha H., audience fellow For me, right now, Juneteenth means the chance, the honor, and the duty to remember.  To remember how much Black folks’ survival has depended on the limits or grace of White folks’ hate. And what that continues to mean for us today. For the past couple of months, my reporting has landed me brain-deep in the history of the 1921 Tulsa massacre. The burning of America’s Black Wall Street, one of the most consequential events of racial terror and displacement in American history, isn’t truly unique or exceptional in its horrors because the nightmare has been toured across the country and American history before 1921 and through today.  That reporting journey has reminded me of other atrocities, like that of Fannie Lou Hamer’s torture at the hands of Mississippi police that left her permanently disabled. Or that of Ida B. Wells’ friend Thomas Moss, whose slaying in the People’s Grocery Lynchings spurred her work as an anti-lynching crusader.  I remember because Black folks haven’t always been allowed or encouraged to.  In 2018, the Equal Justice Initiative opened to the public a memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, “dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”  “The nation’s first,” the description reads. Whether they meant it as a boast or indictment, I’m uncertain.  I have been intentional in spending time with violence and its afterbirth, learning of the loss, of the taking, of the mandatory resilience required of Black folks, of what I find myself bewildered to call hope.  As we mark Juneteenth and all it means, it’s something I’m striving to hold space for. — Katherine C. Gilyard, editorial fellow

Conewago Valley school board approves budget, passes resolution supporting free school meals

The Conewago Valley school board approved its final 2023-24 school budget and supported a statewide push for free school meals during the board meeting on Monday evening. The district’s $75,377,800 budget for the 2023-24 school year was tentatively approved on May 8 but finalized during Monday’s meeting. The budget maintains a 1% income tax, 0.5% tax on real estate transfers, $5 per capita tax per person, and 5% amusement tax, all unchanged from last year. A real estate tax of 15.6691 mills will generate about $35,874,635 for the district, according to the summary provided by the district. Occupation taxes will generate about $60,000. “School Meals for All” The board passed a resolution supporting Pennsylvania Senate Bill 180 and PA House Bill 180, “School Meals for All.” If approved at the state level, free meals will be offered for all students regardless of family income. The district’s resolution states that “the past few years have highlighted just how much families rely on school meals to keep their children fed,” adding that universal meals help not just students but teachers and schools. “… Multiple studies show that students with access to free breakfast have improved attendance rates, better attendance in school, improved participation rates, fewer behavioral incidents, lower suspension rates, and better health outcomes,” the district’s resolution states. Conewago Valley experienced an increase of 164% in breakfasts served each day compared to the amount served before Pennsylvania offered free breakfasts to all students in 2022-23. In the resolution, the district also argues that making families go through the process of documenting their financial need is “burdensome” and that districts should not face debt collection for unpaid meals. Families currently must pay $21.25 per week, or $765 per year, to maintain daily school breakfasts and lunches for each student they have enrolled in the district, according to the resolution. “With universal school meals, that money is able to be spent on other essentials or spent in the community, thus helping local businesses thrive…” the resolution argues. In Conewago Valley alone, the district estimates $2,902,410 would be kept in the local economy if the bill is passed. The resolution further states that offering universal breakfasts and lunches would “remove the stigma” free meals are associated with and remove the district’s financial burden of higher food supply chain costs from families. It would also allow the district to allocate more principal, teacher, and school food service staff time to other duties instead of spending it on paperwork for free meals. PA Senate Bill 180 was sponsored by Pennsylvania Senator Lindsey M. Williams. It was referred to the education committee on March 9. PA House Bill 180 was sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Emily Kinkead. It was referred to the education committee on March 23. Other business The board approved hiring new staff members, including a new assistant principal and curriculum director. Christen Manari was approved as the new assistant principal of Conewago Valley Intermediate School. Manari will begin on July 1. Charles Trovato was hired as the district’s director of curriculum. Trovato bill begin work on Aug. 14 or when released from a previous position. Dr. Brad Sterner, assistant superintendent for the district, summarized the district’s progress with its math and library science curricula writing. Sterner said the teachers and curriculum leaders involved will work on writing curriculum this summer. Dr. Sharon Perry, the district’s superintendent reflected positively on the past school year. “Everything that we set out to do this year we’ve done and then some,” Perry said. “We are well-aligned to our comprehensive plan, so all of our actions the board is taking, our administrators are taking, and the direction that our teachers are taking: we’re seeing the impacts of those decisions based upon the activities our children and how they’re growing academically and physically, emotionally and otherwise.” Perry also expressed relief with the “normal” school year compared to other recent years affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. “I couldn’t be more proud to partner with the district and to see the growth and achievement of the district throughout this very normal-feeling year this year,” Perry said. “That’s quite enjoyable that we’ve been able to bring back the majority of our activities. It has, I believe, further strengthened our resolved understanding how important it truly is to provide these wonderful experiences for our students.” Two individuals spoke during the time for public comment. One asked about a club using school facilities while the other questioned reading material and discussed the Bible. Before the meeting, the board held an executive session to discuss personnel matters. The board will hold a study session at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 10. A regular board meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

Carroll Valley Council explains borough lot sales; honors Patrolman Seth Reed

At Tuesday’s meeting, some Carroll Valley Borough council members expressed concerns that residents didn’t get preferential treatment regarding purchasing lots being sold by the borough. “This whole thing is crazy for the people of Carroll Valley,” said council member Kari Buterbaugh. “I’ve been waiting for borough lots which I was told would not come up for sale now coming up for sale. Why is it we aren’t giving benefit to the people of Carroll Valley (to have) first rites of refusal?” she asked, later adding her worry that developers were eager to buy up “every lot in the borough.” Borough solicitor Zach Rice explained that according to statute, any borough property over $6,000 could not be sold to anyone other than the highest bidder after the appropriate notice. He said the statute does not allow the council to limit the pool of interested parties to just borough residents. Council president Richard Mathews asked whether a homeowner could purchase an adjacent borough lot without going through a more formal purchase process. Rice reiterated that any property appraised at $6,000 or more had to follow the legal statute. “That requirement goes away if we’re talking about a property appraised at less than $6,000,” Rice added. Borough secretary John Schubring felt the board should represent the residents’ wishes regarding lot sales. “Could we also have a period where citizens of Carroll Valley could let us know their concerns or interests in a particular lot or opposition to any lots being sold?” he asked. Rice suggested that the council could informally inform residents that they plan to sell certain lots and invite public feedback. However, once the borough officially decides to advertise the sale of a lot or lots, legal obligations arise that “you do have to comply with.” He said he would look into some of the questions and suggestions made by council members and get back to them. Patrolman honored Carroll Valley Patrolman Seth Reed was given a Life Saving Award for outstanding performance and prompt action in saving a human life. He received a round of applause for his actions. On May 15, Patrolman Reed found an unconscious male lying next to a lawn mower and quickly had dispatch call for an ambulance to the scene while he provided first aid to the man, later identified as Wellington Carter. Carter was transported to the hospital and treated for a medical emergency. He later said he had been lying alone for over an hour without assistance and was grateful Officer Reed had found him. Chief Clifford Weikert, currently seeking to hire another police officer, said it is challenging to find applicants to fill the police vacancy within the borough. “We’ve gotten a couple of applicants, but not many,” he said, adding that it is a country-wide problem. “We’re going to keep grinding away at it, and hopefully, if we’re lucky, we’ll get somebody like Seth. Trailer ordinance amended An amendment has once again been made to “trailer ordinance” after being considered and debated for nearly six months. At issue is the number of trailered vehicles that can be kept on a property under two acres. With so many definitions of trailers, RVs, campers, and other work and recreational vehicles, the challenge has been defining what constitutes a trailer. Solicitor Rice recommended that the ordinance be written to include a list of vehicles as examples but include the phrase “includes, but is not limited to.” By doing that, the borough could create a list of examples but not exclude other items that might arise later. After discussion and revision, the ordinance will be advertised and sent to the Adams County planning office for comments or recommendations. The ordinance could be back on the July agenda. The public has spoken More than 60 area Fairfield kindergarten students experienced democracy firsthand when they visited the Carroll Valley municipal building recently. After a presentation by borough manager David Hazlett, the students were allowed to vote on which candy would be offered following lunch. Each child was given a ballot, voted for their favorite, and submitted it to the ballot box. “What if I don’t get the candy I voted for,” asked one concerned young citizen. “Well, that is how democracy works,” explained Hazlett, wearing his judge of elections hat. After the votes were counted, Sour Patch Kids won by a landslide, according to assistant borough manager and pollster Gayle Marthers. As fascinating as the voting process proved to be, the kindergarten students were also excited to hear about the job of a police officer, view a cell and a patrol car, and then proudly pledge to serve as junior police officers for the Valley. Following the ceremony, they all received their badges. Featured image caption: Carroll Valley Patrolman Seth Reed was given a Life Saving award at Tuesday’s council meeting. From left, Mayor Ron Harris, Reed, Brittany Reed, and Police Chief Cliff Weikert. 

Public hearing for Community Development Block Grant program

The Adams County Commissioners held a public hearing prior to their regular meeting yesterday regarding the 2023 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Applications are available for funds that may be used to benefit a variety of activities, including water and sewer systems, streets, housing rehabilitation, emergency housing assistance, recreation and community facilities, new public services, historic preservation, removal of architectural barriers, blight removal, economic development, and administration and planning. The 2023 CDBG block grant allocation includes more than $320,000 for the county, about $130,000 for Gettysburg Borough, and just over $100,000 for Littlestown. Although the purpose of the hearing was to allow citizens to understand the eligibility criteria and solicit input on possible activities to be included, only one organization – Community Media of South Central PA – took advantage of the opportunity. The non-profit community media group aims to inform citizens about news and events in and around the community. “We have been serving the community for 35 years,” said Ceo/Founder/President Raymon Gouker. “We want to capture our neighbors and ourselves at the moment where we do great things in the community, and we want to become part of the block grant program to continue our service.” He said that if their organization is eligible for the funds, it would be used to upgrade the studio and equipment. “We’re a viable part of the community. There is no organization inside or outside of the community like us. We want our community to become the best it can be.” “Your organization provides a great service to the community,” said Commissioner Randy Phiel. “It’s only a question of if it meets the guidelines.” The approved projects must benefit low to moderate-income persons, remove slums or blight, or meet an urgent community need. Past projects have included municipal water and sewer line replacements, ADA-compliant curb projects, and fitness membership scholarships. Projects must benefit eligible populations, including abused children, the elderly, people with disabilities, or migrant farm workers. Applications must be received at the Adams County Office of Planning by July 28, 2023. All applications may be submitted either by mail or by email to dduvall@adamscountypa.gov. Broadband of the past In other business, Commissioner Marty Qually took advantage of the light agenda to read an excerpt describing the installation of telephones in the county 75 years ago. Commissioners Phiel and James Martin recalled the “party line” era in which lines were connected, and would-be callers had to wait their turn to use the wall-mounted telephone devices. They recalled the frustration of people who talked too long and some who would dial “0” to aggravate a caller who took too long to complete their conversation. Qually reported that 28 percent of county residents had telephones at that time, one of the highest averages in the nation. “They used the phone to do business, call the hospital, and everything else,” he said. “Now we’re looking at broadband. We’re just expanding a different type of business.”

How can I have tennis elbow if I don’t play tennis?

 Special promotional content provided by Thomas A. Little, MD. Unfortunately, you don’t have to play tennis to develop tennis elbow—sometimes all it takes is a weekend of yardwork! Tennis elbow is a lay term orthopedists use to describe chronic pain on the bony bump on the outside of your elbow joint. The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis, which is a misnomer, because while the suffix -itis implies inflammation, tennis elbow is a case of degeneration. Which leads to another question: Why is the outside of my elbow degenerating? The simple answer is overuse. Let me explain: Any time you squeeze or lift an object (like a tennis racquet … or a rake or a jar of pickles), you activate the muscles on the back side of your forearm (where the hair is). As it happens, gripping an object isn’t just about what you do with your hand. Those gripping muscles actually have their origin in your forearm and elbow. Try making a fist with your wrist extended downward so that your fingers point toward the ground—pretty hard to tighten a fist, isn’t it? To make a strong fist or to grip an object, you need to flex your wrist slightly upward—which is done by the muscles on the back of your forearm. (If you want to feel these muscles in action, place your left hand on your right forearm, then make a fist with your right hand. You’ll feel those forearm muscles tighten. Then try holding that fist while you flex and extend your wrist up and down—you’ll feel the forearm muscles tighten when your wrist flexes upward and lengthen when your wrist extends downward.) The long and short of it is that every time you grip something with your hand, your forearm muscles are active. Those muscles attach to the bony bump on the outside of your elbow (your lateral epicondyle). When those muscles get overworked or too tight, their attachment to the bone can start to degenerate, causing the pain we call tennis elbow. The best way to prevent tennis elbow is to be aware of when you’re doing a lot of gripping or lifting and take plenty of breaks to rest and stretch those forearm muscles. Here’s a good stretching routine for preventing tennis elbow: Straighten your right elbow, then use your left hand to bend your right hand and fingers up toward the sky as far as you can (flexing your wrist upward), then hold for a good 30 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch on the underside of your forearm. Then use your left hand to bend your right hand and fingers toward the ground (extending your wrist downward), and hold for 30 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch in the muscles on the top of your forearm. Repeat these stretches with your right elbow bent, then repeat all four stretches on your left arm. If it’s too late to prevent tennis elbow and you’re already in some pain, these stretches can still really help. So can massaging the tight, overworked muscles on the back of your forearm—not the bony spot on your elbow where you actually feel the pain. Physical therapy and sometimes a steroid injection can also help, but as in most cases when it comes to chronic overuse injuries, resting and stretching are usually your best first option.

Happy Father’s Day!

by Jeff Cann Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are possibly the lamest holidays in my house. We tend to under-celebrate all of those “Hallmark” holidays—Valentine’s Day, for example, is usually a pair of greeting cards purchased separately at Rite Aid on the morning of, and if not sold out, I always spring for a box of Russell Stover assorted creams. I never know it’s Boss’ Day until well after lunchtime, and by then, it’s much too late to do anything meaningful. I dash out for a scratch-off lottery ticket. On Mother’s Day for my wife, I invest more money, if not much thought. Because it’s early May, we always visit a Garden Center for perennials or a bush. Not to point fingers at my wife, but Father’s Day isn’t much better. A six-pack of Brew Dog non-alcoholic beer and a box of Good & Plenty candy is a typical gift. Honestly, we’re not cheap or lazy; those holidays just never caught steam in our household. Recently, in a library committee meeting, we discussed how to better market our Honor and Memorial Book donations. In the parlance of the library, this refers to books you can purchase and dedicate to someone in your life—a memorial book for a loved one who is deceased or an honor book for someone still living. I blurted out, “Oh darn, we just missed Mother’s Day,” thinking that buying a book to honor a wife or mother would be a slam-dunk marketing sell. Rita suggested Father’s Day instead. “People always tell me they never know what gift to buy for their father.” Everyone loved her idea. An honor book donation, typically thirty-five dollars, creates a lasting legacy for the life of the book. Imagine telling your father, grandfather, husband, son, or friend that on the inside cover of a library book, we’ll affix a ‘bookplate’ indicating that the book was purchased in his honor. In addition, we’ll follow up your donation with a letter to your honoree letting him know about the donation and which book was purchased. We frequently hear from prior recipients how exciting it is to check out a book with its own bookplate inside the front cover. When you fill out our online form to donate, please include a topic area so you can be sure your honoree will enjoy the book. These topics might be as general as ‘Best Sellers’ or as specific as ‘Baseball,’ but sorry, we no longer honor specific book recommendations. Don’t wait; Father’s Day is right around the corner! Visit adamslibrary.org/memorials-honor-books today, and you can cross ‘buy an awesome Father’s Day gift’ off your to-do list. Jeff Cann is Finance Director of the Adams County Library System

Slideshow: Brass Band Festival wrapup

The 2023 edition of the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival was a resounding success from June 7-11. The rain held off just long enough for all five days of our concerts and events to take place in delightful summer weather. We were all concerned about air quality due to Canadian wildfires, but it gradually improved during the weekend. Thousands of listeners from the Mid-Atlantic States were in attendance to enjoy the glorious sound of brass bands, community bands, jazz groups, and the unique Taps Tribute performed in the Gettysburg National Military Park.   92 golfers participated in the TUBA OPEN benefit at the Carroll Valley Resort on Thursday morning …. a perfect day for golf! That evening, a benefit jazz concert and dinner catered by Biggerstaff’s was sold out and featured the Brubeck Brothers Quartet.  Listeners enjoyed lively music at various sites around the borough on Friday evening, and then spent two afternoons enveloped in the glorious sounds of brass at the United Lutheran Seminary!  A dozen brass bands from seven states offered concert marches, patriotic music, opera overtures, film score arrangements, and traditional British band fare … much to the delight of the audience. This free event was organized by the GBBF Steering Committee in partnership with the Lutheran Seminary, Music Gettysburg! Concert Series, and Destination Gettysburg.  We are sincerely grateful to the ULS for the use of the pavilion, our many volunteers and individual donors, and the Gettysburg Lions Club.  Grant support was provided by the Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Trust, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Adams County Arts Council.

LASD moves forward on 2.75 percent tax increase; High school lunch opportunities upgraded

The Littlestown Area School District Board of Directors finalized the agenda for their June 19 meeting, including seeking approval of the proposed 2023-2024 school year budget. The proposed budget includes revenues of $37,997,336 and expenditures of $39,168,514, which would pull $1,171,178 from the fund balance. The budget includes a 2.75% local tax increase, with 2.2% attributed to the middle and high school consolidation project and .55% to operations. “Schools are not inflation-proof,” said District Superintendent Chris Bigger. He added that the cost of transportation, fuel, charter schools, health care, and escalating building expenses was the cause of the increase. The middle/secondary consolidation project will include adding 60,000 square feet to the front of the high school and a new kitchen extension on the back. New classroom additions will be designed around science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The gold gym and main entrance will be renovated as well. The tentative completion date is the summer of 2025. On the same agenda, the finance and budget committee will recommend approval of the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion to reduce approved property owner taxes by an average of about $261. The board is also expected to approve the collection of taxes by the Adams County Treasurer’s office, which is filling in for a tax collector vacancy in Germany Township. The current budget will also include the last year of ESSEER Covid emergency-relief funds providing the district with $800,000 for staff and services in the Level-Up school-based mental health program. LASD has partnered with Cognitive Health Solutions to provide a certified school psychologist next year, ($149,0000), a behavior specialist ($128,000), and a mental health therapist and counsel ($128,125). Services will include coordination and documentation of all referrals, contacting parents to obtain consent, and maintaining all documents in a secure HIPAA-compliant format ($5,500). School Lunch Upgrades If the thought of school lunches conjures up a vision of students shuffling in line holding their trays while food service workers slop great piles of mystery nutrients on their plates, think again. “It’s not a line,” said Bigger. “It’s more like a food court.” He was describing the self-serve options that will predominate when the new Biglerville High School cafeteria is reconfigured. Other food-service options have also been added. Corn-husking/shucking to provide staff and students with student-grown cobs of sweet corn in October, Tater Tot stations, Johnny Appleseed Day, Discovery Kitchen, and food service staff dressed like heroes are all ways that Brenda Davidson, LASD senior director of dining services, described as special food days last year. “Discovery Kitchen helps our kitchen become a classroom and offers the students the opportunity to taste something different,” added Mike Polash, spokesman for Chartwells, the food service agency that partners with LASD. This year, the new food to taste was chocolate hummus, served with strawberries. “The students seemed to like the strawberries best,” Davidson said. Next year, Discovery Kitchen will be in operation again, and a new venture, Global Eats, will be the focus in October, allowing students the option of tasting different foods from around the world. Davidson sees new opportunities such as made-to-order salads, sandwiches, and hot food sandwich stations that will encourage students to take advantage of school lunches. The breakfast focus in the fall will be to expand available items, possibly offering smoothies and yogurt. Currently, about 47 percent of students buy lunches at school This number is down from last year when lunches were free due to COVID recovery grants. The change to paid lunches resulted in lower free breakfast numbers, even though breakfast remained complimentary. Polash said that if each building can keep the participation rate for free breakfast at 20 percent or higher, it will mean a per-pupil state reimbursement at the lunch level. He added that free breakfast might also be important to the 41 percent of the students who currently qualify for free and reduced meals. “Who knows if they leave home without breakfast?” he asked.

Exciting Living History at the Daniel Lady Farm

This post is sponsored by the Daniel Lady Farm For living history enthusiasts, and those just looking to experience a beautiful and historic Adams County Farm, plan to attend the 160th Battle of Gettysburg Anniversary Event or one of the other events happening at the farm in 2023. The Historic Daniel Lady Farm, occupied by CSA Major General Johnson’s Division during the battle, is spread over 146 majestic acres of southern Pennsylvania countryside. This large 10-year living history reenactment will feature full-scale battles, cavalry skirmishes, artillery demonstrations, civil war medicine, sutlers, period music, and a living history village to entertain and educate all ages! The extensive 10-year 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is being held June 30, July, 1 & 2, 2023. The daily battles will feature thousands of troops, a large contingent of cavalry, and 50 thundering artillery pieces. The Friday afternoon reenactment features Buford’s Stand – The First Shot as General Heth attacks General Buford’s cavalry entrenched on Seminary Ridge. On Saturday, the feature event will be Rolling Thunder-from the Wheatfield to the Valley of Death, a day that produced more than 9,000 casualties. Sunday afternoon will feature Kempers Assault During Pickets Charge, a day that ended up being the turning point in the Civil War. All three days there will feature two all-day Living History Activity Tents with a variety of continuous programs. Attend a civil war religious service on Sunday morning. Besides the featured battles there will be skirmishes and numerous other living history activities and programs, including tours of the historic barn and house. The barn was a significant Confederate hospital and the stone house was Confederate General Johnson’s Headquarters during the battle. It was the staging area for the Confederate attacks on Culp’s & East Cemetery Hill. Tours of the house and barn are available to event patrons with admission. The Daniel Lady Farm will also host the 1st Annual Gettysburg Brewfest & Trail 5K Run/Walk. This event is a 3.1-mile trail run and walk in the morning followed by a beer and cider sampling festival in the afternoon with musical entertainment, food vendors, and barn and house tours. For more information on this event go to www.gettysburgbrewfestandtrail5k.com or www.danielladyfarm.com for other events the Daniel Lady Farm will be hosting in 2023. The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association owns the farm, hosts the events, and all proceeds go towards preserving the farm. Bring the whole family to the large 10-year, 160th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg on June 30, July 1 & 2, 2023, where history books come alive before your eyes!  To experience the ground shake from the 50 big guns, hear the pounding of horse hooves, the clashing of swords, smell fresh gunpowder, view bloodstains in the barn and house, and hear the piercing rebel yell, go to www.danielladyfarm.com or call 717-398-2026. Food and beverages will be available during event hours.

Gettysburg Library will move near the YWCA

The Adams County Library System (ACLS) will purchase a property on Fairfield Rd. at the west edge of Gettysburg from the United Lutheran Seminary to house a new, modern, library facility. The property is located between Route 116 and the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County. The new facility will replace the Gettysburg branch of the ACLS, currently located at the corner of Baltimore and High Streets in Gettysburg, The property includes the seminary’s Aberly, Heiges and Stuempfle Halls. The seminary will continue to use and maintain those three buildings through June 30, 2024, while they renovate Baughman Hall, which will meet the Seminary’s future housing needs. ACLS said it had explored several possibilities for a new Gettysburg branch with the goal of finding a location that could expand library services, provide adequate space for programs and meetings, and provide ample parking while remaining walkable. The library said the Seminary location met each of these requirements. “The new building is needed to meet the needs of a library in the 21st century, making it possible to anticipate and adapt to changing interests, services, and delivery methods for the county,” said ACLS Executive Director Laura Goss. “There is no additional capacity available at our current site and so it is more cost-effective to build a new library due to the inefficiencies of the 1914 structure.” The new “headquarters” library will include flexible space that will accommodate current and future needs, including a single level for easier access and efficient use of staff, expanded areas to accommodate traditional library use, use of technology, and expanded educational programs/activities for all ages.  In addition to being the largest branch, the headquarters building also supports the five additional branches with administrative services and support for materials, movement of collections between buildings, and technology. Goss said the ACLS will conduct additional studies to further clarify community needs and capacity for a new building. “Both ULS and ACLS believe the plans for a new library at this location will help create a welcoming western gateway to Gettysburg and will benefit both institutions and the entire community,” said Goss. Featured image caption: Approximate location of the property that will house the new library. The numbered buildings on the property are Aberly, Heiges, and Stuempfle Halls.

Slideshow: FunFest, 2023

The Adams County Public Library FunFest 2023 was held on Friday in the Gettysburg Rec Park. The FunFest serves as the kickoff of SummerQuest, the library’s summer learning program. SummerQuest attempts to deal with the seemingly intractable “summer learning loss” that affects many school-age children. The SummerQuest program encourages children to take advantage of library programs, including leisure reading and other activities. Educational research finds that summer learning loss is serious and widespread. One study found that the average student lost 17-34% of the prior year’s learning and that students who suffered learning loss one summer were more likely to experience it again in future summers. Another study concluded that gaps between lower and higher-income students increased over the summer, as middle and upper income tended to have more access to reading resources. With its annual crowd of several thousand kids and their parents, the FunFest is also an opportunity for other vendors offering summertime programs for students to hit their market and organizations such as the YWCA, Girl Scouts, Headstart, VIDA Charter School, the Arts Council, and various summer camp operators displayed their wares. Other nonprofits not specifically engaged in activities for kids – Destination Gettysburg, SCCAP’s Gleaning program) Every exhibitor provided an activity for children. The festival included an all-female DJ crew playing current hits, face painting, and a wealth of opportunities to sample Adams County’s rich population of food trucks. Based on the FunFest, it appears that Adams County kids will have plenty of beneficial activities this summer – and it seems they’re in a mood to capitalize on these opportunities Click here to sign up for SummerQuest.

‘If you want to die in jail, keep talking’ – two national security law experts discuss the special treatment for Trump and offer him some advice

Thomas A. Durkin, Loyola University Chicago and Joseph Ferguson, Loyola University Chicago Former President Donald Trump on his airplane on June 10, 2023, two days after his federal indictment. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images Lawyer Thomas A. Durkin has spent much of his career working in national security law, representing clients in a variety of national security and domestic terrorism matters. Joseph Ferguson was a national security prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where Durkin was also a prosecutor. Both teach national security law at Loyola University, Chicago. The Conversation U.S.‘s democracy editor, Naomi Schalit, spoke with the two attorneys about the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump on Espionage Act and other charges related to his retention of national security-related classified documents. The word “weaponized” has been used by Trump, his supporters and even his GOP rivals to describe the Department of Justice. Do you see the Trump prosecution as different in any notable way from other Espionage Act prosecutions that you’ve worked on or observed? Durkin: Obviously, it’s different because of who the defendant is. But I see it in kind of an opposite way: If Trump were anyone other than a former president, he would not have been given the luxury of a summons to appear in court. There would be a team of armed FBI agents outside his door at 6:30 in the morning, he would have been arrested and the government would be immediately moving to detain. So the idea that he’s being treated differently is true – but not from the way his supporters seem to be arguing. Ferguson: What you have is a method, manner and means of pursuing this matter and bringing it forward to indictment that actually completely comports with the deepest traditions and standards of the Department of Justice, which would normally consider all contexts and the best interests of society. If Trump were your client, what would you advise him to do? Durkin: The first thing I would do is show him a guidelines memo, which we typically create for every client to help them understand the potential consequences of the charges. Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the consequences for Trump under this indictment are serious. My quick calculations indicate that you’re talking about 51 to 63 months in the best case and in the worst case, which I’m not sure would apply, 210 to 262 months. Whether he wants to roll heavy dice, that’s up to him. But those are very heavy dice. Ferguson: I might pull media statements that he has made in the last couple years and explain to him how they have complicated the ability to defend him. I’d put on the table to him that I need to see every statement that he is going to make in the political realm about this before he makes it. I’d tell him he’s otherwise basically hanging himself. I’d tell him: If you want to die in jail, keep talking. But if you want to try to figure out a way that brings about an acceptable resolution – a plea deal that opens the door to a lighter jail sentence than what the guidelines threaten and, possibly, even no jail time – you need to turn it down or at least have it screened by your lawyers. Are there specific things he might say between now and a trial that could deepen his trouble? Ferguson: No question about that. And people should understand that the things that he said already are being used as evidence of intent. From now on, the repetition of them constitutes new admissible evidence. It’s not like, “Oh, I’ve already said it, so I might as well keep saying it.” That does not mean that he cannot offer the broad brush characterization, “I’m being wronged. This is the weaponization of law enforcement and the justice system against me, and I will be vindicated,” however imprudent I might think that was. But anything that goes beyond that, and into the actual particulars, referencing the documents themselves, will just make it worse. The Trump indictment provides extensive details of what was said and done. Do you take those as true, or as allegations that need to be proved? Ferguson: Both. They are technically the allegations that need to be proven, but when you’re speaking at that level of granularity, these are things that actually exist in proof, the proof that is to come. The government basically raises the bar when it provides this form of granularity. The federal government is a risk-averse enterprise when it comes to these matters, so nothing is put in the indictment unless it exists in actual fact. Durkin: If you’re defending someone, you treat the allegations as true. Can you imagine a situation with all of the facts laid out in this indictment but where they would not indict? Durkin: No. Ferguson: That’s why we both say that in fundamental respects, this isn’t different from other national security cases. These cases work from the premise that this is a fundamental compromising of the interests of the United States. And those are the cases that the government pursues tooth and nail. With so much in the public domain, and with so much of the defendant himself speaking to all of this, it almost puts the government in a position of saying, “Well, OK, if we have to, here we go.” Durkin: There’s only one reason the government could not bring this case, and that’s fear of violence or an attack on the republic. Once you do that, then you might as well close the Department of Justice and forget about any rule of law. Trump knows a lot of state secrets. An angry Trump in prison has risks. If he were found guilty, what does incarceration look like for him? Durkin: I can tell you what it would mean to anyone else. They’d be put in a hole in the wall in maximum security at Florence, Colorado, and they would apply what’s called “Special Administrative Measures.” Several of my terrorism clients have had those imposed on them. There’s a microphone outside their solitary confinement to monitor anything that they say, even between prisoners. Their mail is extremely limited. Their telephone contact is extremely limited. And that’s what would happen to anyone else similarly situated. Ferguson: Trump’s insistence on keeping talking about this creates a record that would justify isolation in maximum security on the basis that “We can’t trust this man not to continue to talk. We can’t trust him not to further share these secrets with people who may wish to do harm with them. The only way to avoid that is to put him in isolation in supermax where he doesn’t get to talk with people, except under these extremely closely monitored circumstances, certainly isn’t in a general population situation, gets to take a walk in a courtyard for one hour out of the 24 hours of the day, and the other 23 hours, leaving him mostly without human contact.” Is there a specific line he could cross that would force the government to seek to detain him prior to trial? Durkin: I predict that if he keeps it up, and especially if he keeps suggesting or threatening violence, that the government will be put in a position where they don’t have a choice but to try to move to detain him. In the real world, that’s what would happen if it was anybody but him. Normally, you can’t be threatening this type of stuff without being put in detention. Ferguson: The smart play here would be for a judge to put him under a gag order that instructs him on what he may and may not say publicly. That’s already been done by a New York judge in the other pending criminal case against Trump. This would be a complicated exercise in balancing First Amendment rights with national security interests. Thomas A. Durkin, Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Loyola University Chicago and Joseph Ferguson, Co-Director, National Security and Civil Rights Program, Loyola University Chicago This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Former Gettysburg pastor marks Golden Jubilee as Catholic priest

Father Bernardo Pistone processes into the Mass celebrating his Golden Jubilee as a priest.

Father Bernardo Pistone loved the people of Saint Francis Xavier Gettysburg when he served as the parish’s pastor. Almost a decade has passed since the Italian native moved from here, but several of his former parishioners traveled to Lancaster on Sunday, June 11 to return the love. Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, where Pistone now resides, held a Golden Jubilee Mass to celebrate his 50 years as a Catholic priest. The man of honor himself celebrated the Mass with the assistance of several other priests. “Thank you all for being here today. I very, very much appreciate your presence,” an obviously humbled Pistone told the congregation. The homilist made the Mass extra special for those from Gettysburg. Father Jonathan Sawicki served at Saint Francis from 2008-2012, first as deacon and then as parochial vicar. Sawicki is currently the Diocese of Harrisburg’s director of vocations and pastor of Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Steelton. Sawicki credited Pistone’s passion for caring for the marginalized. While at Gettysburg, he was one of the co-founders of Manos Unidas Hispanic American Center. Before he was transferred to Gettysburg in 2002, Pistone served at Saint Mary’s in Lancaster. Parishioners there gave him a monetary gift as a sign of appreciation. He used the funds to buy Saint Francis a van to transport people to Mass. “Bernie Pistone was Pope Francis before there was a Pope Francis and he is more Pope Francis than Pope Francis,” Sawicki said. Sawicki recalled the advice Pistone gave him as a young priest, including not sitting behind a desk waiting for people to come to him. Pistone’s ability to connect with his flock allowed him to learn what they needed, such as a major restoration at St. Mary’s, the establishment of the San Juan Bautista mission, and a new parish school at St. Francis Xavier. “These places stand as examples of how a spiritual father anointed with the oil of gladness will share that anointing for generations to come,” Sawicki said. “He would give you the shirt off his back.” Sawicki recalled how Pistone, while serving in Gettysburg, remained connected to family and friends from his previous assignments. Sawicki believes Pistone’s relationships kept him grounded and improved his ability to serve people. “Father Pistone, thank you for your ‘yes’ to our Lord. May God grant you many more years of serving as a priest of Jesus Christ,” Sawicki said. Pistone’s story The Pistone family moved to America from World War II-ravaged Italy when Pistone was a young man. His father cleaned the floors of the local Catholic school in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood so his children could receive a Catholic education. Pistone became a Catholic brother in 1961. In 1964, a priest told him he “had the brains” to become a priest, so Pistone entered the seminary and received his high school diploma. His older brothers helped to pay for his tuition until he learned that the Diocese of Harrisburg would cover seminarians’ tuition.  Bishop Joseph T. Daley ordained Pistone on May 19, 1973. He served at Saint Joan of Arc, Hershey (1973-74), Saint Mary’s, Lancaster (1974-79), Cristo Salvador, York (1979-1987), St. Mary’s and San Juan Bautista, Lancaster (1987-2002); and Saint Francis Xavier, Gettysburg (2002-2014).  “The church for me, because I am so aggressive, or so workaholic, or so stupid, or put all of those things together, people have responded beautifully,” Pistone said in a 2014 interview. “From my perspective, being a foreigner made me aware of how blessed I was to be in America and I think that colored me from year one.”

HGAC Barn Art Show and Sale announces prize winners

PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding and his wife, Nina, were among the barn art patrons who perused the collection of fine art pieces and photographs of barns, past and present, at the 15th annual Historic Gettysburg Adams County show and sale that opened with a reception at the Gettysburg G.A.R. Hall Friday. Fifty artists from Pennsylvania and surrounding states exhibit their works at the event, which will continue until 4 p.m. Sunday. Thirty percent of the sales will go to the HGAC Barn Preservation Project and Grant Program, which has provided more than $76,000 for repairs to 48 Adams County barns since 2013. In addition, long-time Gettysburg photographer Darryl Wheeler displayed a collection of his own past photographs of barns that no longer exist. Titled “Gone but Not Forgotten,” the pictures are a reminder that without help, many of the county’s existing barns could realize the same fate, said Bob McIlhenny, event coordinator and director of development for barn preservation. Prizes were awarded in fine art and photography, selected by judge Tony Cervino and patrons and artists attending the reception picked the People’s Choice and Artists’ Choice awards. Winners included: First Place, Fine Art, Jaci Rice of Weirton, WV, “Grey Before the Blue,” sponsored by Monica Oss and J. Jay Mackie Second Place, Fine Art, John McNulty, Camp Hill, PA, “McClure’s Gap Road Barn.” 1st Place, photography, Andrew Muenzfeld, Gettysburg, PA, “Barns and Bales,” sponsored by David and Cynthia Salisbury 2nd Place, Photography, Dawn Whitmore, Fredericksburg, VA, “Beasely Homestead,” sponsored by ACNB Bank. People’s Choice Award, the late Jim Lauritsen, “Trostle Barn.” Artists’ Choice Award, Paul W. Flury, “The Dream.” Paul Mangan, event chair in charge of artists relations, hosted the event and reminded people that without barn preservation, the barns could be lost “through fires, accidents and sometimes intentionally. Once they’re gone, they never come back. So what we’re doing here is just a small effort to do what we can to save these iconic structures and all of the stories they hold for future generations.” The preservation project and grant program have documented 400 of Adams County’s almost 1,500 barns. The process includes photographing the inside and outside, taking measurements, creating sketches, and trying to establish when the barn was built. Once it is documented, the owners are presented with a special plaque. More information about HGAC and the barn preservation program can be found at HGAConline.org. He said the word was sent out to artists in January, and this year, for the first time in the history of the exhibition, the barn preservation project reached its goal of having 50 artists represented. Some artists, such as Andy Muenzfeld, 1st place photography winner, donate all of the profits from the sale of their art to HGAC. Menzfeld, who currently has an exhibit on display at the Adams County Arts Council, said this was the third time he donated his art to the cause.

32nd Annual Peace Camp concludes

The 32nd annual Peace Camp, sponsored by the International Center for Peace and Justice, wrapped up its week on Friday. The camp was held at the VIDA Charter School and was attended by about 75 students, junior counselors, and counselors. The week included sessions on identity, belonging, service learning, mediation, and community change, as well as a trip to the Gettysburg College Planetarium and the Adams County Historical Society. “We kept them busy and I think they had a good time,” said counselor Lili Rosenberg, daughter of camp director Melissa Rosenberg. “We did walking field trips to Waldo’s, the college planetarium, and the new historical society.” Rosenberg, completing her sixth year at the camp, first as a camper and now as a counselor, is now studying at Wilson College. There were also large rations of playground activities and crafts, including tie-dye. But the camp had a serious side as well. Jan Power and Mary-Kay Turner from Mediation Services discussed “Playground Mediation.” The session drew high marks from the campers and counselors. Camper Abraham Posner said he enjoyed helping settle some scraps. “Usually they’re fighting over small things and you can figure it out.” Camper Helena agreed it would work. “Sometimes you just figure out how everyone gets at least some of what they want.” “At the start of each day, we said what we will do to be kind today,” said camper Konrad. He also liked that, “when you walked to each table, there were lots of activities to do.” Camper Hailey mentioned that tie-dye was “one fun activity.” But the campers agreed it wasn’t all studying conflict resolution. Sana said she enjoyed playing outside while Zoe enjoyed the snacks and said the planetarium was “really cool.” Hailey thought it was nice to see the new Historical Society after driving past so many times “on the way to soccer.” Pete enjoyed “going outside, the soccer and basketball,” while both Helena and Zoe enjoyed the tire swing. Director Rosenberg, back from a run for 15 pizzas and starting the job of gathering everyone for their end-of-session photo, smiled saying “We keep them busy. We emphasize mediation and how to be kind, but there are a lot of fun things too. The smiling campers agreed. Featured image caption: Top row: Pete, Sana, and Helena; Bottom row: Konrad, Zoe, and Hailey.

The Inevitable

The chipmunk that lived in the downspout behind my back porch died last week. Tommy murdered it. Does that sound hyperbolic?  Do cats commit murder? If he had any intention of eating it, I would say he killed it, but eating wasn’t part of the plan. He offed it for sport. He dropped it on my bedroom floor and howled until someone (my wife, Susan) came to witness his kill. Chalk an outline, dispose of the corpse. I’d call this murder first-degree. Tommy’s been stalking that bugger for a month. Susan was upset about the death. She said she wished we did something to prevent it. I say the chipmunk had it coming. Tommy caught it and brought it into the house twice before. Both times, my daughter found it running around, trying to escape, so she rescued it. How do I know Tommy brought it in? Roz doesn’t play with critters, she eats them. Roz would have shredded it. A few days before the murder, I saw Roz guarding the downspout, eyes glued to the opening. The chipmuck scampered through the garden behind her. After all these warnings, all these close calls, the chipmunk should have moved away from our house. That little guy had to know his days were numbered. On Wednesday and Thursday, the skies above Gettysburg were filled with smoke. I could smell it when I left my house. I saw it in the dimness of the sun, the grayness of the sky. Wildfires burn in Canada pumping smoke into the northeastern United States. Millions of hectares (whatever those are) have burned in Canada, an area the size of Maryland. Yes, Maryland is a small state, but it still takes five hours to drive across. That’s a lot of trees. I can’t remember the last year when wildfires weren’t a major news story. Recent years: California, Colorado, Australia, Canada. Year after year we watch in shock as neighborhoods burn to the ground and terrified senior citizens outlast the flames by hiding in their swimming pools. The swampy wooded area behind my house is bone dry. Do I need to worry about a wildfire consuming my neighborhood? Is it just a matter of time? I don’t own a pool. Humans, like our chipmunk, have an enormous capacity to deny our inevitable fate.I live with a distinct feeling we’re all marking time. Waiting for the hammer to drop. Overbuilt vacation cities line the outer banks of North Carolina awaiting the hurricane that will erase miles of coastline. Since it last erupted in 1980, people have built homes directly on the dried lava flow on Mount Saint Helens, ignoring the fact that it’s an active volcano. Throw in megacities San Francisco and Los Angeles with their long overdue earthquakes. And the population of the entire southwest continues to expand despite its drying rivers and aquifers. New Orleans, Miami, New York. These cities are all temporary, susceptible to storms and sea level rise. Americans must be the most optimistic people alive. Over the past month, everyone in my family has discussed the folly of a chipmunk setting up house under the hopeful gaze of two cats. There was only one way this could end. The only surprise is how long it took those cats to kill the chipmunk. Eventually, all the catastrophes listed above will occur. Some sooner, some later, but as we learned from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, as soon as the ground dries, the rebuilding will start.

Climate change is getting expensive

Climate change is getting expensive, and not addressing it has begun to cost us in significant ways. Climate change denialists, including many of our own local elected representatives, continue to repeat their talking points about jobs and freedom and so forth, but the bill for climate negligence is coming due, not only at some point in the future but also right now. Thanks to the fires in Canada, in recent days you can smell that fact in the evening air. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires, and heat waves are all hard to ignore. Right now smoke from the more than 100 wildfires burning across Quebec and Nova Scotia in Canada is giving our sunsets in Central Pennsylvania a new look even as our local fire chiefs warn of “dry lightning” and a “red flag” risk of wildfires in our own corner of the world. As I write this on Wednesday, June 7, the air quality, according to the app on my phone, is “unhealthy for all groups” including, I suspect, most Republicans. The reality of extreme weather events is evident to those who live through them. But to others they can sometimes seem a little bit unreal. One way to measure their impact, and document their reality, is by toting up their costs in dollar terms. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been doing just that through its National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). NCEI has been studying “billion dollar” extreme weather/climate disaster events over recent years and looking for trends. They’ve been careful (and transparent) about what is included as a “cost.” According to the NOAA website, these costs include physical damage to buildings and material assets within the buildings; lost physical assets such as vehicles and boats; damaged manmade infrastructure of all kinds; agricultural losses including crops, livestock, and commercial timber; and wildfire suppression costs. Not included, however, are losses of natural capital and environmental degradation, mental or physical healthcare costs, and “business interruption costs.” Nor is the value of human lives lost estimated in economic terms. “Therefore,” the website continues, “our estimates should be considered conservative with respect to what is truly lost.” Even framed conservatively in this way extreme weather/climate disaster events are very expensive, and as the NOAA website makes clear the number of events costing more than a billion dollars has been growing rather dramatically in recent years. Since 1980 when the survey begins the US has experienced 355 extreme events costing more than a billion dollars each (in constant 2023 dollars) for a total of more than $2.540 trillion. Serious business for sure. What is most striking, however, is the way the number of these events has increased over the years in association with rising temperatures. In the decade beginning in 1980, there were 33 such events. In the 1990s there were 57. During the first decade of the 21st century, there were 67. By the 2010s, that number had increased to 131. The average per year from 1980-present has been 8.1 events. During the last five years, however, the average increased to 18 per year. In the first months of 2023—January to May 8, we have already experienced “7 confirmed weather/climate disaster events costing more than a billion dollars” according to the NOAA website. While it’s true that we have contributed to the problem by placing a lot of our housing and infrastructure in harm’s way whether in areas vulnerable to wildfires or too close to rising sea levels, it’s also pretty clear we have a trend here that we better pay attention to. The costs of not acting to address climate change and the global warming that comes with it have grown dramatically and most likely will continue to do so.

From Pancakes to Pilots

Tessa and Phil Walter saw a roadside sign Sunday morning as they drove along Route 30 west of town, so they came to the hangar at Gettysburg Regional Airport for a pancake breakfast. As they paid for their meals, a gleeful shout went up and they found they had helped the Gettysburg Barnstormers top a record 1,000 breakfasts served at their twice-a-year two-day “Fly in! Drive in!” Pancake Breakfast. “It’s an honor,” said Phil, who works for Adams County as an IT specialist, “We haven’t been here before. We thought it would be fun to bring our toddler.” Tessa, the owner of a local luxury picnic business, had to work hard to keep the little one’s attention on breakfast and not the big screen a few feet away for which young people were lining up to try a flying simulation program. Since they began serving breakfast in 1998 at Gettysburg Regional Airport, the Gettysburg Barnstormers, Chapter 1041 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, have used the funds raised to award scholarships to young people to attend EAA Air Academy summer camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They spend a week there, among around ten thousand pilots who fly in for the event, getting an immersive introduction to flying, making lifelong friends, and discovering their future. When the scholarship recipients return, they give a presentation at the next Chapter 1041 meeting to share what they learned. Some go on to become licensed pilots. According to Henry Hartman, Chapter President, thirty-five young people between the ages of twelve and eighteen have been sponsored to attend summer camp in Oshkosh since 2005. Eleven of those have earned their Private Pilot Licenses, and four fly for commercial airlines. Henry added, “Twin girls that we sponsored last year for the EAA Air Academy are both now Student Pilots under the Ray Aviation Scholarship program.  Our Chapter has, so far, sponsored 5 student pilots through the Ray Scholarships which are made available through EAA.  We have also provided flight training funding to 4 other young people.” Another popular program at the airport is Young Eagles Day, coming up on July 8 this year. Children ages 8 to 17 can register to come to the airport and get a free 15-20 minute ride in a small-engine plane, a certificate for their flight, and a log book to record their air time. They also take a tour of the airport with a pilot available to answer questions. More information is available on the Chapter 1041 website, chapters.eaa.org. Meanwhile, as sausages sizzled, small planes were landing and taking off on the runway, while those in attendance walked among those parked, talked to pilots, and perhaps dreamed of taking the controls. “My dad has that white and red one over there,” said a young teen watching a plane take off, “He’s going to teach me to fly it.” The smile on his face and the twinkle in his eye said to this reporter that he already knows how, he just doesn’t have the license yet. “You can get a license to fly a plane before you’re old enough to get one to drive a car,” said pilot Dave Speranza with a chuckle. He’s been a member of the Gettysburg Barnstormers for ten years, after seeing one of their signs on the side of the road for the pancake breakfast. Small children climbed in and out of a bright red plane with the word “experimental” in bold letters on the side. EEA member Phil Roth explained that “experimental” means that the aircraft is fully functional but was hand built from a kit. He pointed to the back of the hangar where sections of unpainted wings and fuselage wait to be assembled into a machine that flies. “The airplane goes through inspections along the process, just like a commercial builder; it just still has to be called experimental,” said Roth. “The whole goal of this breakfast is for kids to learn about flying and to raise money for scholarships so we can send kids to summer camp,” Roth said with a smile, “It’s about the kids.” The chapter’s website chapters.eaa.org reveals their mission statement: “To encourage sport aviation, support the growth of EAA, safety in aviation, encouragement and education of our youth for the development of an area within aviation dedicated to flying, friendship and fun.” The friendship and fun is evident from the smiles and conversations among the volunteer workers, flipping pancakes, stirring scrambled eggs, and making sure people knew regular from decaf. Wendy Clark, Chapter Secretary, happily stated, “It’s the camaraderie. We’re like a family.” Her words were echoed throughout the room by other members who were easily recognized by their aprons printed with aviation maps of Gettysburg Regional Airport. One aproned member, Carolyn Van Newkirk, enjoys working among the tables to chat with the people and drum up enthusiasm for flying. Van Newkirk delighted in talking about her decades-long participation in the annual all-women Air Race Classic. To find out more about this challenge, go to airraceclassic.org. This year’s 2,685 mile race starts in Grand Fork, North Dakota and ends in Miami. Chapter member Doug Laptook educated this reporter about the Women’s Army Service Pilots in WWII; Googleworthy as well. As a father of four daughters, he has a lot of heartfelt things to say about what women have endured as pilots and what they can accomplish, both in the air and on the ground, civilian and military. The Gettysburg Barnstormers meet on the first Monday of the month, except holidays, at the airport. The meeting is open to the public. The next Fly in! Drive in! Pancake Breakfast will be on September 23rd and 24th. Watch for the roadside signs! They seem to be the way most people have found a new kind of adventure they might have missed out on otherwise. And you sure want to witness Floyd’s Fabulous Flying Flapjack Machine! Really…a rotating griddle! It’s very cool. And by the way, breakfast was great!!