Home

UASD discusses potential social worker

Continuing discussion regarding Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) grant funding, Upper Adams School District (UASD) School Board considered the need for a district social worker Tuesday. The PCCD grant recently came out of the state budget, and updates were presented by Superintendent Wesley Doll, who noted with PCCD funding, there are two “buckets” from which the district can spend the money: dual school mental health, and physical school safety at $126,086 each for a total of $252,172. Each bucket has three tiers of guidelines to be followed in order to receive funding and the district has sat down to address which tiers have been satisfied and which still need to be tackled. Within the physical safety bucket, one first-tier aspect the district can address is the installation of athletic field fencing and vehicle barriers, Doll said. Within the mental health bucket, a more challenging aspect to address would be the requirement for a district social worker. “The mental health of children is a huge area we are seeing a need for,” Doll said. A district social worker would address social and emotional concerns, attendance, and home visits. As well as, act as a community service liaison, crisis team leader, and provide family support. Although the district addresses some of these aspects now including additional counselors , “it is not as focused and pinpoint as it could be…there is still a need we are finding within our district,” he said. The $126,086 for mental health bucket is a one time payment over two years and could only be used for salary, not benefits. The PCCD funding could also cover the cost for the purchase of a district vehicle to fulfill job requirements. After the funding runs out, there is an expectation for the district to continue the position unless the board wants to proceed as a pilot program and revisit the position at a later date, according to Doll. The district will not have access to future PCCD funding unless the met tiers are in place. As the board had previously decided not to pursue a school resource officer, UASD still has a need to address student needs, even if the state were not offering to offset expenses upfront, Doll said. The additional district counselors funded through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding are very hands on and are being used to their full advantage. Recent data gathered over a previous September week shows that 157 students throughout the district have checked into the school guidance office for various reasons including social and emotional concern, academic needs,  and post-secondary needs, High School Principal Beth Graham said. “In my opinion, the support of a person that could pull resources for families would greatly be a benefit to the families in our district,” Graham said. Moving forward, if approved the board would decide how to include the position in the budget and the district would pick up the expense around 2025, according to Doll. PCCD would pay the position salary for the first year and anticipating the position to begin in January Fiscal Year 2023, the district would be on the hook for $26,000 in benefits, Business Administrator Shelly Hobbs said. For FY24, the district would still use the PCCD grant for salary, paying around $40,000 for the benefit portion and by Fiscal Year 2025 the district would be fully loaded for salary plus benefits at $108,000. Wilson invited the board to consider if the benefit to the students justifies paying the social worker salary and potentially raising taxes to cover the new position. In the past, the district has added new positions that were worth adding to the overhead of the district, he noted. “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” he asked. The board reached a consensus to continue toward the funding to provide the social worker service with the understanding of the ability to pull out if additional information arises. Technology and career success In other business, technology and career school enrollment for Canners is strong, Doll noted following a recent visit to Cumberland Perry Area Career and Technical Center to see program updates. UASD currently sends 43 students to the tech and career center and are enrolled in 19 different programs, including cosmetology and early childhood education.   In the 2021-2022 school year, UASD had 32 students who earned over 46 industry credentials, according to Doll. Tech and career schools have evolved remarkably over the years and “their collaborations with a number of universities for programs is a stepping stone for our students,” he said.   Through the vo-tech, students are able to get a leg up in more competitive fields, with some gaining internships and promising jobs already, according to Doll. Last year UASD sent 100 students to tour the Cumberland Perry campus and the district looks to continue this to expose students to different types of opportunities. “The future looks bright,” he said .   IT department lauded It was also noted, a citation of recognition was presented to the UASD Information Technology (IT) department as the backbone of support in addressing needs over the summer and into the school year. “They have truly pulled a rabbit out of the hat,” Wilson said. Together, Rita Lai, Anthony Hurkala and department head Josh Cantrell ensure USAD technology is operating smoothly for a 1,700-student body, over 140 staff, and all the connecting pieces including everything from business administration to classroom content delivery. IT is now an essential aspect of education, “it’s not your father’s school,” Wilson said. Football food drive success In other business, a letter of gratitude was presented following a successful food drive hosted by the Canner Football team in support of Upper Adams Food Pantry at Kennie’s Market August 13. Cash and food donations packed into two vehicles pulled in over $1,000 in groceries in two hours, according to Biglerville Mayor and Upper Adams Food Pantry Logistics Coordinator Phil Wagner. “This letter represents what a small district does with community, and what the community does with a small school district. It is the best of who we are,” Wilson said. The board approved technology replacements not to access $105,000 including a battery backup, server replacement and a core switch replacement. A replacement water softener unit was approved for Biglerville Elementary School at an approximate cost of $16,700. Dellinger Horticulture Enterprises, of New Oxford was given a head nod from the board to begin ordering materials in time to build the new greenhouse throughout the school year.   Canner Funds now have a separate line item within the Adams County Giving Spree to fund the new district greenhouse. The board will next meet for a Curriculum and Extra Curricular Committee and Business and Operations Committee October 4, and a regular board meeting October 18.

The Sky this Week, September 20-26

“The Sky This Week” appears every Tuesday. It is written by Ian Clarke, Director of the HatterPlanetarium at Gettysburg College.  The planetarium offers regular educational presentations about thestars and the skies; there’s something for early elementary through adults. Field trip requests arewelcome. NOTE: field trip request form for Fall 2022 is now live, and the schedule of free public showshas been posted. Fall begins this week on Thursday, September 22, at 9:04 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (in Universal Time,that’s 01:04 on the 23 rd ). This is the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, as it goes from thenorthern half of the sky to the southern half. We see it rise due east and set due west; the fall and spring equinoxes are the only dates on which it does this. The days are now getting shorter at their fastest rate of the year, over two and a half minutes of daylight lost each day. As the weeks go by, this pace will slow until the days begin to grow longer once again after December 21. The New Moon also occurs this month, on September 25. For a challenge, try to spot the very thin crescent moon as close as you can to the new moon. The Old Moon, as it’s sometimes called, appears in the east just before sunrise, and the Young Moon appears in the west after sunset. Consult theaccompanying images for a guide.

GASD School Board Rejects James Gettys/Lincoln Elementary HVAC Project

The Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) Board of Directors voted last night to reject a proposed $33,789,000 project that would have replaced the HVAC systems and perform other work at James Gettys and Lincoln elementary schools. The vote effectively delays the project at least a year unless there is an emergency. The business meeting was preceded by a citizen’s statement by Mike O’Bryant, which largely anticipated the subsequent discussion. O’Bryant expressed a particular concern about the inclusion of smart lighting in the project. Referring to the discussion at the last meeting, he observed that there did not appear to be any cost benefit analysis of the project and no indication the equipment is failing. “It’s only the age of the system,” he said. O’Bryant also asked why it was necessary to replace the roofs and ceilings, and whether there was evidence that smart lighting saves money. “It seems that nobody has taken a really hard look at what needs to be done vs. what’s nice to do,” he said. The decision couldn’t be put off. If the project wasn’t approved at this meeting, it would not be possible to sign the contract in time to avoid anticipated cost increases after the start of the new year or to proceed with the project next summer. Board member concerns revolved around the need to replace the HVAC right now and specific items, including smart lighting, included in the project. Board member Tim Seigman summarized the reasons supporting a go-ahead, including the likelihood the project would be more expensive in the future, the availability of COVID-related funds to pay for it, and the fact that equipment needed for the construction was currently available. “We are going to have to do this at some point in time,” said Seigman. “I’m looking at either paying for it now at a lower price or waiting two years and paying double or what we’re paying plus half and wasting more money. That doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said. “You’re not going to get a bond two years from now for that interest rate.” Board member Michelle Smyers, who was critical of the contracting method and source selection at the previous meetings, questioned the need to replace the equipment right now, the inclusion of smart lighting, and the need to approve right now. “I don’t like it when somebody tells me you have to act and you have to act right now,” said Smyers. “Because when someone tells me that I think ‘yeah, I don’t think so.’” Several other members also expressed concern about the scope of the project and inclusion of smart lighting. Director of Facilities Josh Reynolds said it would be possible to remove the smart lighting going forward but that the overall budget would not be changed. “There is no intention after tonight to come back and get another approval for the project,” said Reynolds.” “We will work with (contractor) Trane and their design engineer to get as much scope in the project for that budget number. Reynolds said the roof and the HVAC system were functioning properly now but that the district had always acted proactively to prevent a situation in the future where a system would fail. “If we were to wait a year or two or three and things start to fail, we’ve got two things working against us. One, we’ve got escalation and also we don’t have large equipment we’re going to need,” he said. When the question was called and Hassigner, Al Moyer, Mike Dickerson, and Seigman voted in favor while Hodges, Linn, Ryan Morris, Smyers, and Jeremy Davis voted against. Legislative Committee Chair Amybeth Hodges reported on certain legislative proposals now being considered in Harrisburg.

Photo Gallery: 2022 Adams County Heritage Festival

The 31st Annual Adams County Heritage Festival was held yesterday on a bright sunny day with perfect weather. Hundreds of people came to the Gettysburg rec park to celebrate culture with music dancing, bike rides, food and more. The stage events were hosted by Mark Purdy, Master of Ceremonies, with Bob Ranalli as Sound Technician and Bob Keefer, Stage Manager. Performers included Rodney Yeaple, Bagpiper, an opening invocation by the Very Rev. Father Vasyl Marchak, proclamations by the Adams County Commissioners and Gettysburg Mayor Rita Frealing, followed by the River Rhythm Ramblers, Di Dim Sae and Washington Samulnori (Korean Drum and Dance), Oni Lasana (African and African American stories), and Los Monstros (Latin Fusion). The day also included children’s activities, cultural displays, the annual family bicycle parade, and the passport program where children learned learn about different people, places, and cultures as they had their visa stamped at each booth. The Adams County Heritage Festival was founded by the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, Gettysburg, PA and is presented in partnership with the YWCA of Gettysburg & Adams County. Here are some photos of the event, taken by Gettysburg Connection photographer Jim Bargas. Click on any photo to start the slideshow.

Historical Society’s new home to tell complete Adams County story

The story of the three-day battle of Gettysburg, its aftermath, and President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address has been told thousands of times in hundreds of ways. But the people who have lived in Gettysburg and the other 33 Adams County municipalities for hundred of years, and even the dinosaurs who once roamed here, have stories too. And the Adams County Historical Society is excited to tell them at its new 5,000-square-foot museum on Biglerville Road, Cumberland Township. “There has never been a museum or historic site that truly paid tribute to the story of Gettysburg and Adams County,” said the society’s Executive Director Andrew Dalton. “This is a museum about the people of our community and how they dealt with events of national significance. They were ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.” The museum is part of a 29,000-square-foot facility that, when complete, will include a cafe, reading room, library, climate-controlled archive storage, event space, and conference room. It is currently an active construction site and the realization of a dream the society has had almost the entire time 25-year-old Dalton has been alive. Dalton and Education Director Tim Smith live and breathe the museum’s progress and can describe every detail without notes. “Sometimes I come in here and stop to think this facility could be here in 100 years,” Dalton said. “It’s exciting to think about how many millions of people will come through here.” Construction is expected to be complete in November and a soft opening is planned for February, in conjunction with filmmaker Ken Burn’s Film Festival at the Majestic Theater Feb 10-12. The museum will be an interactive experience featuring videos by filmmaker and Gettysburg native Jake Boritt. Visitors will stand in a recreation of Samuel Gettys’ Tavern on Race Horse Alley, highlighted with audio recreating early 1800s tavern talk. The Battle of Gettysburg is not ignored, but the focus is on how thousands of soldiers descending on the town affected the people who lived here. A 360-degree immersive experience will give museum goers an understanding of what it was like to stand in a home as bullets and cannon balls flew around it. “We sunk the floor so we could have audio of a family hiding in the basement. You are basically in there and experiencing the battle with them,” Dalton said. Adams County life after the battle is highlighted with stories about the apple industry, World Wars I and II, President Dwight David Eisenhower’s Gettysburg home, battlefield preservation, the evolution of tourism, and immigration. One wall is dedicated to people who made a large impact on this town, including former director of South Central Community Action Programs Jean Odom and teacher and battlefield guide Colonel Jacob Sheads. The second floor will house archives, a library, offices, and the Battlefield Overlook Event Center. The event center will be available to rent for special events such as weddings, reunions and other parties. Giant windows present a beautiful view of Barlow Knoll, where fighting occurred on July 1, 1863. “You need to make some means of making museum money besides museum admission,” Smith said. Smith is most excited about expanding educational programming so he can share his love for Adams County history. Dalton and Smith said the construction process has been going smoothly, mostly thanks to the support of many donors. The entire $10.5 million project is almost completely funded, but donations are still being accepted. The society must raise another $1 million by February 2023 to receive a $1 million “all or nothing” match from local philanthropists David and Pauline LeVan. Loring and Jean Schultz, owners of the Farnsworth Inn in Gettysburg, excitedly presented a $5,000 check to Dalton on Sept. 15. “We hope this inspires other people and other local businesses to step forward,” Schultz said.  More information on the Adams County Historical Society, including how to support the campaign, can be found at https://www.achs-pa.org.

Stricklands to sell lot where gift shop stood

A decades-old photo shows a diaper-wearing Julie Strickland wrapped in her father Tony’s arms in the family’s Baltimore Street, Gettysburg souvenir store with a rack of t-shirts behind them. Strickland Enterprises has grown into several stores since then, but their flagship Blue and Gray Gift Shop at 531 Baltimore Street remained the business’ headquarters until a car slammed into it on March 1, 2021. The vehicle exploded, the driver died, and the store burned to the ground. The Strickland family forged ahead with plans to rebuild, but high costs recently forced a difficult decision. A large Sites Realty sign now sits on the 0.10-acre lot at the southern entrance to Gettysburg Borough. The property is listed for $195,000. “All three initial bids came in over $800,000,” Tony said. “It’s incredibly expensive, we never saw that coming.” Julie attributes the high cost to inflation and the borough’s Historical Architectural Review Board regulations. “They want certain windows, they want a certain roof, they want these things that are extremely expensive,” Julie said. “It’s actually harmful when you want someone to rebuild and you make it cost-prohibitive for someone to do that.” Julie said the sale includes the plans for a new building that have been conditionally approved by the Borough of Gettysburg. The Stricklands operate two stores on Steinwehr Avenue and one at The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg. They also have a strong online market, www.civilwarstuff.com, which is run out of their screenprinting business on Hanover Street. One less store to manage will give 71-year-old Tony more time to golf and travel while not feeling like he is pushing too much work off on Julie. Julie can do much of her work remotely, which is convenient but also has disadvantages. “I always liked having my office above a store so I could have my finger on it,” Julie said. “I really miss that aspect.”

United Way kicks off annual food drive

Everyone is feeling the pinch at the grocery store, but some Adams County residents are in extra pain. United Way of Adams County Executive Director Laura McMahon hopes the 16th Annual Bag the Bounty Food Drive will provide some relief. United Way and its partners ACNB Bank, Kennie’s Marketplace, and the Gettysburg Times aim to collect 25,000 pounds of goods this year; a jump from last year’s 17,000 pound collection. “It’s a bigger need now than ever,” McMahon said. The most wanted items are canned fish and meats, canned and boxed meals, chunky soups and stews, canned fruits and vegetables, rice and pasta, boxed cereals, 100 percent fruit juice, cake and muffin mixes, peanut butter and jelly, shampoo and conditioner, bath soap, deodorant, baby food and diapers, powdered/shelf-stable milk, dish and laundry detergent, cleaning products, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Adams County residents can drop off food at the United Way, 123 Buford Avenue, Gettysburg, or one of 40 drop-off locations including ACNB Bank branches and Kennie’s Marketplace stores in Biglerville, Gettysburg, and Littlestown.  The Bag the Bounty Food Drive ends Oct. 31. Collected items will then be distributed to those in need through several local food programs. The National Park Service will contribute about 7,000 pounds of venison acquired through the park’s controlled kill program. Butcher Block in Biglerville processes the deer for free, McMahon said. Local schools will also help United Way reach its goal. Bermudian Springs, Vida Charter School, Montessori Charter School, Fairfield High School and Saint Francis have committed to its students assisting the cause. Other schools that wish to participate can contact United Way Ready to Learn Coordinator Diana Fasnacht at dfasnacht@uwadams.org.

Random acts of kindness and talking to strangers

My husband Athar’s brother and sister-in-law were visiting from Richmond Virginia over Labor Day weekend. Athar’s sister-in-law is Virginia senator Ghazala Hashmi. She had a phone interview on Sunday morning so we got to Lincoln Diner around 10:45.  They selected the diner because they have had breakfast there once before and just loved it, including its setting and nostalgia, so that’s where they really wanted to go for breakfast. Also she was meeting a Democratic volunteer across the street at the Majestic afterwords to go knock on some doors for local candidates. The diner was busy and only free seating was in the back room, the one for eight people where they have two four-person tables put together. The diner normally doesn’t allow you to use that seating unless you have 6 to 8 people in your party. There was a couple behind me and so I turned around and asked them if they wanted to share that seating with us. They agreed. So the four of us sat at one side of the table and the two of them sat at the other end. We had a little conversation; they were from Virginia also.  They got their food before us because they had ordered before us. We were busy talking. When they finished they stood up and thank us for our kindness. I wished them safe travels and do come back and visit us. A few minutes later the waitress came to us and told us that they had taken care of our bill.

Gettysburg Police Dept. faces staffing, diversity challenges

Editor’s note: The is the third of a four-part series about the Gettysburg Police Department.  I thank Chief Robert Glenny and Mayor Rita Frealing for generously spending time talking with me. We value your comments — please leave them below. The Gettysburg Police Department, currently staffed with 11 full-time employees, is facing potential staff shortages in the near future in its quest to keep positions filled and create gender and ethnic diversity in the department. “The current recruitment environment is difficult,” said Chief Robert Glenny. “There are fewer and fewer applications and more and more openings. The number of qualified candidates for law enforcement positions has steadily declined, the pass rate for police academies is down, and the vetting required for hiring new officers is more stringent.” Glenny said in the last round of recruiting there was only one applicant for the posted vacancy, whereas in the past the department used to get dozens. “Officer Eric Wenrick was our most recent hire. It’s hard to get people to apply.  We are so lucky to have him.” Glenny said identifying candidates to fill vacancies is a time-consuming process. “We only get the applications we get. For the last civil service opening we advertised on the PA Police Chiefs website and also nationally at https://www.discoverpolicing.org/. We looked locally, and we also paid to have the ad sent out to sites that specialize in jobs for minorities.” Glenny said the current hiring policies only allow the department to hire people who are already certified as police officers. “These are predominately those folks who put themselves through the police academy,” said Glenny. “They are predominately white males in their 20s.” Glenny said there were several police training academies in the state, with staff appointed by the governor. “You have to go through one of these or else be certified from out of state.” Glenny said the state would reimburse people 50 percent or more to send people to one of the state’s police academies if the borough paid the rest. “It’s not inexpensive,” he said. “You have to pay the salary of the person you’re sending as well as their benefits. We would increase our applicant pool if we paid for it. That would be an opportunity to get some local folks onto the police department.” Hiring for full-time positions in the police department is coordinated by the borough’s Civil Service Commission.  “We have very little involvement; the borough determines who can take the test,” said Glenny. When a hire is needed, the borough posts an announcement and those who apply come to take the certification test as well as a physical and psychological interview. Glenny said after the interviews the civil commission presents the chief with a list of acceptable candidates. The chief can select any one of the top three on the list, but is required to hire a veteran if one is available. “Part-time, we can hire pretty much whomever we want,” said Glenny.  “Everyone since I’ve been here has had a significant background investigation. We did this even before the state required it.”  Glenny said part-time hires completed the same tests as full-time hires. Police Force Diversity Glenny said that at present all the department’s full-time officers are white males, but that there had been female and minority officers in the past, with the last leaving about 18 months ago. Heyser said he knew of three past female officers: Cytha Grissom, Katherine Sass, and Brandi Courtesis. Grissom recently retired as Chief of the Shippensburg University Police Department. Mayor Rita Frealing said there had also been one or more African American officers on the force, including Roosevelt Sistrunk who retired in the late 1990s. Frealing said there was a photo of Sistrunk in the new African American Museum at the Gettysburg Lutheran seminary. Borough Secretary Sara Stull said records showed the borough had hired about 15 female officers over the past 30 years, as well as 4 males who were not of white ethnicity. “We don’t have anyone who speaks fluent Spanish. Officers can take a course on Spanish for officers; we use the [translation] app on the phone. It would be beneficial for us to have a Spanish speaker on board,” said Glenny. Echoing Glenny’s expressed desire for the borough to help pay for certification, Borough Council President Wes Heyser said “A change that the borough and civil service commission need to start to prioritize is hiring personnel who are not trained and sending them to the academy. While this is coming up due to the recurring unavailability of trained personnel, a benefit of this method is that it should offer more opportunities to people of diverse backgrounds to join our police department.” Stull said the department follows civil service regulations and that anyone can apply. “We send our announcements to diversity agencies; unfortunately those sectors don’t apply.” “It’s a dangerous position.  Especially for people with small families and children – it’s a risk.  I’m grateful to them,” she said.

County Commissioners declare September as Hunger Action Month

Saying hunger and poverty are issues of vital concern in Adams County where 8.2% of people are food insecure and one in every nine children do not know where their next meal will come from, the Adams County Commissioners declared Sept. 2022 as Hunger Action Month. The Commissioners thanked the work of the Adams County Food Policy Council for their work combating hunger and providing additional resources for those in the community. The commissioners also thanked the work of South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank for the roles they play in educating people about the importance of food banks to address hunger, raising awareness of the need to devote more resources and attention to hunger issues, and creating food opportunities for citizens in need.

Gettysburg Resident Releases Werewolf Comic Series “Lycan: Solomons Odyssey”

Inspired by his love of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and a fascination with mythology, Gettysburg resident Dennis Robinson has spent the last 5 years producing his own independent comic book series, Lycan: Solomons Odyssey. Supported by 117 donors on Kickstarter, Robinson raised over $10,000 and has just released the first book in the series, titled “Chapter One.” The story of Lycan: Solomons Odyssey follows the world’s first werewolf, Solomon. “Chapter One” explores Solomon’s origins in 8,000 BCE. Robinson said that the first book has “a similar feel to Faust” in which Solomon must “make a deal with the devil” due to a myriad of his own reasons (sorry, no spoilers). The main conflict of the story begins when “essentially, Solomon is put into a very difficult position that he is not used to and, in his desperation, has to make decisions that he doesn’t have a whole lot of time to think about,” said Robinson. “Whether he makes the right or wrong decisions is up to the reader.” Robinson said Lycan: Solomons Odyssey deals with themes of PTSD and addiction while exploring mythology, folklore, history, and religion. “Each book moves around a little bit [and] explores different mythologies, folklores, and religions in different areas of the world throughout time. While the first book takes place in the Arabian Peninsula, subsequent books move to places like Sumeria . . . and while Book four takes place in ancient Egypt, Book five is in Greece,” he said. Robinson said that currently Lycan: Solomons Odyssey is planned to be split into 15 different chapters. He is excited about the release of the second book in which he will introduce some side characters that embody the “sarcasm and dry humor” that he has had fun writing, and has has already scripted out Book 3 which he will continue to write as time moves on and the series picks up steam. Robinson said Book 3 “hits some pretty dark stuff” that he is excited about sharing with his audience. Robinson is also the Dungeon Master (DM) of Botched: A D&D Podcast. He noted that his experience as the DM has aided his own writing process for Lycan. “The dungeon master, for those who don’t play D&D is the one that runs the story.” “The thing that I like about playing and writing for D&D is that … you don’t necessarily have to be constrained to fantasy … I like the freedom of how the game lends to that.” Readers of Lycan: Solomons Odyssey can expect a mix of fantasy and reality that isn’t constrained by the base fantasy aspects of Dungeons and Dragons. Robinson said that D&D helped him practice storytelling and writing the bones of a story before diving straight into it. “Playing D&D is just another form of writing. I’ve always been told that if you’re going to be doing writing, you should practice writing, and the more you practice the better you get. For me, the more I can practice telling a story [as a DM] the better I can get at it,” he said. In the future, Robinson says he has plans for both a science-fiction comic series focused on robot fighting, Real Steel style, and a series that will be “sort of like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign following a paladin that turns into a vengeance paladin.” Robinson is currently independently creating Lycan: Solomons Odyssey with the help of backers on his Kickstarter and Patreon websites. If you are interested in supporting the series, you can go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/worldsmostokayestdm/lycan-solomons-odyssey-chapter-one or https://www.patreon.com/hiveheadstudios. If you are interested in supporting Book 2 when its Kickstarter opens on September 2, you can go to www.lycanbook.com to sign up to the waiting list and donate when it goes live. Copies of Lycan: Solomon’s Odyssey can be found in Gettysburg’s own Four Corners Comics and Games.

Is RADAR for safety or revenue?

By Tom McCarey Member, National Motorists Association Giving RADAR to municipal police will result in an epidemic of speed traps. Speed limits are not set using highway safety engineering standards. Instead, they are set by local bureaucrats who use their feelings to set speed limits. They think they are so smart that they know which speed is the safest. In their wisdom, 90% of the time the bureaucrats post limits 8 to 16 mph below prevailing speeds [FHwA data]. The result of this is that in driving 90% of our roads you are automatically “speeding” and liable for a $170+ ticket plus points that will increase the cost of your insurance. The proper way to set a speed limit is to do a traffic study to determine the prevailing speed of the free flow of vehicles. The prevailing speed is called the 85th Percentile Speed, the safest speed with the most compliance, a highway safety engineering concept that has been proven effective for 70 years. Posting 85th Percentile Speeds results in less speed differential smoothing the flow of traffic, reducing accidents and injuries. The RADAR lobby doesn’t want you to know that. RADAR promoters are working feverishly to arm municipal police with RADAR guns. The result will be the unfair taking of scores of millions of dollars from drivers who are driving safely and harming no one. The Gettysburg Borough Council should not call for RADAR for municipal police.

Emelda Bailey wins Garden of the Month Award: Colors and Curves

By Deb Steckler The Gettysburg Garden Club, through its Garden of the Month committee, is pleased to present the August Garden of the Month award to Emelda Bailey of 55 Park Avenue, Gettysburg, PA. August is a tough month for gardens in our area. Minimal rain results in plants drying to a crisp. Heavy and windy thunderstorms blow and pound any blooms to the ground.  When driving around the area, the Black-eyed susans are the only cheerful-looking flowers that stand out in August. So the Garden of the Month committee was pleasantly surprised to see Emelda’s Garden when driving through the area. A large row of knock-out roses colored salmon, in various shades of pink and red, worked as a solid color block against the bright pops of orange, yellow, white, and red gladiolus. Emelda and her family moved into their home two years ago. The curvy flower bed was mulched but lacked plants, except a Japanese maple anchoring the end of the driveway. There were also some green bushes in the middle and a large tree anchoring the other end that covered the entire corner of her Tudor home. Emelda decided to accentuate the curves to offset the lines of the house by lining the bed with red brick blocks. She kept the Japanese maple and removed everything else.  The first thing Emelda planted was the knock-out roses because she loves roses. However, it is costly to grow that many roses at once. I pointed out that they will continually bloom, unlike a bouquet that dies, so it is more cost-efficient in the long run. Emelda also added a few yellow variegated hostas lining the sidewalk to the front door. Additionally, she bought several bags of gladioli bulbs of varying colors and planted them.  If Emelda plants something and decides she doesn’t like the location, she digs it up and moves it to a better spot. She also has some white Asiatic lilies planted in front of the roses that offset the sea of pink, red, and orange colors. While Emelda’s Garden lacks a diversity of plant materials to write about, it makes up for this in vibrant colors and contrasting shapes that are visually appealing. I also felt that over time, more plants would start to appear. Gardening is always a work in progress, and I can’t wait to see what Emelda’s artistic eye comes up with next! To nominate your property or someone else’s for the Garden of the Month award, please call or text Deb Steckler at (717) 357-3623 or go to our website at www.gettysburggardenclub.com.

Staffing, attendance, behavior: 7 big issues facing schools this year

By Kalyn Belsha, Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat After surviving two school years “completely veiled in the pandemic,” teacher Kathryn Vaughn says this year is off to a different start. Her stress levels are down. COVID protocols are relaxed. Teachers are feeling hopeful. “It feels a little lighter this year,” said Vaughn, who teaches elementary school art in Tennessee. “It really feels like we’re just kind of back to business as usual.” Many students and educators are returning to classrooms this fall with a sense of cautious optimism. But there are still many open questions after last year’s staffing shortages, student absences, and mental health and behavioral challenges interfered with academic recovery efforts. Here are seven big issues facing schools: First, some reassuring news: Despite what you might have heard, there isn’t evidence of an unprecedented teacher shortage nor an exodus of teachers fleeing the profession. Yet some schools are struggling to staff up — partly for reasons that predate the pandemic. High-poverty schools have long had trouble recruiting and retaining teachers, and the supply of new educators has dwindled over the past decade as fewer people enroll in teacher-prep programs. But the pandemic also has created new complications. Many districts used federal relief funds to add more positions, including tutors and extra substitutes, creating huge demand for a limited pool of workers. Schools also must compete with other employers for lower-wage workers, such as bus drivers and custodians, spurring some districts to hike their pay and offer bonuses. Those hiring pressures are bearing down on Paterson Public Schools, a high-needs district in New Jersey. Some 130 teaching positions remain unfilled, or nearly 6% of the total teaching force, about three weeks before students return, said Luis Rojas, Jr., the district official who oversees human resources. While some vacancies are expected, Rojas said the number has surged as teachers take advantage of the tight labor market. “They understand the demand,” he said, “and folks are jumping around from school district to school district trying to move up the salary ladder and get as much money as they can.” The causes of the staffing crunch are ultimately less important than the effect on students. Schools that can’t find enough teachers might have to raise class sizes, hire less qualified candidates, assign teachers to subjects in which they have limited training, or rely on long-term substitutes — all of which can get in the way of learning. “I would tell you that one is too many,” Rojas said, “when you have a vacancy.” Chronic absenteeism rates rose last year, as quarantines and COVID infections kept students home for long stretches. This year, the CDC is no longer recommending that students quarantine after an exposure. Many think that will help stabilize attendance, though it’s possible other factors could persist, such as lingering student disengagement. In Los Angeles, about half of all students were chronically absent last year. Even without quarantines, 30% of students were chronically absent, up from 19% before the pandemic. “That is just not acceptable,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said last week as he announced a new campaign to boost attendance by visiting student homes. In Detroit, 77% of students were chronically absent last year, up from 62% the year before the pandemic began. There, the spike was especially concerning because the district has long worked to raise attendance. Now, officials are stepping up efforts to get kids to school.   Lisa Blackwell, a district attendance agent, is part of that. This summer, she’s been knocking on doors to talk up her elementary school’s new before- and after-school care options, and explaining to parents the COVID precautions her school is taking. She’s also planning incentives to reward students, like bringing an ice cream truck to school. “I want to focus more so on getting the kids excited to go to school,” Blackwell said. “Maybe that will push parents a little bit more to say: ‘Well, my kid is very excited to be at school, so I as a parent, I’m held accountable to make sure they get there.’” Inside classrooms across the country last year, the crisis in young people’s mental health was all too evident. After many months of social isolation and learning by laptop, some students were prone to outbursts, meltdowns, and squabbles.  “These kids are very anxious,” said Aaron Grossman, a fifth grade teacher in Reno, Nevada. “The uptick in behavior is very real.” The distinct but overlapping challenges of worsening student behavior and mental health were fueled by the pandemic — and the stress, financial hardships, and trauma it caused. Federal survey data from this spring confirmed the twin crises: 70% of public school leaders reported an increase in students seeking mental health services during the pandemic, and 56% said disruptive student misconduct had become more common. Efforts to address both issues have achieved mixed results. Some schools responded to student misbehavior by leaning into restorative practices, which aim for healing over punishment, but others issued more suspensions than usual. Many schools used federal aid to hire more counselors, social workers, and school psychologists, but not always as many were needed. In an April survey, just over half of school leaders said their schools could provide mental health services to all students who require them. Nance Roy, the chief clinical officer of The Jed Foundation, which focuses on youth mental health and suicide prevention, says schools should encourage students to reach out for help and connect them with service providers. “It’s developing a culture of care and compassion in schools,” she said, “where there’s no wrong door to walk through for support.” U.S. public school enrollment held steady last fall, according to federal data released this week. That came after student head counts dropped 2.8% in the fall of 2020, following years of national enrollment growth. Last year saw a spike in preschool and kindergarten enrollment, both of which dropped sharply when many districts turned to virtual schooling. The return of full-time in-person learning, declining COVID safety concerns, and additional family outreach likely helped boost those grades. But enrollment continues to fall among students in other elementary and middle school grades, a trend that could spell trouble for some districts as the extra funding from federal COVID relief packages dries up. The issue weighs especially heavily on school leaders in big cities where the share of small schools has ballooned. Now, some are considering school closures, which can create schools that are less expensive to run and have a wider range of programs, but will mean more disruption for students who’ve faced a lot of it in recent years. “There are really awful tradeoffs,” Shanthi Gonzales, a former school board member in Oakland, California, told Chalkbeat this summer. The road to academic recovery is coming into focus as data rolls in. So far, elementary school students seem to be recovering more quickly than middle schoolers, but students of all ages are still significantly behind where they would normally be on reading and math tests. Katrina Abe, a math teacher in Houston, has seen that. Last year, her eighth graders needed extra help with seventh grade topics like interpreting graphs and understanding rates of change. Those concepts are harder to grasp virtually and without working in groups, which happened if students learned online or missed a lot of class the prior year. This year’s class is noticeably behind last year’s, she said, likely because half of them had three different math teachers in seventh grade. To help, Abe is planning small-group instruction every day and more turn-and-talk time so students can problem solve together. She’s also going to review some fifth and sixth grade standards. “We’re going to just take that slow, depending on their level,” she said. Many schools are offering tutoring and other kinds of academic support, but data on which recovery efforts are working is limited. More than half of public schools said they provided high-dosage tutoring in a recent federal survey — a highly effective strategy — but schools often have trouble staffing and scheduling that support. Some districts have turned to virtual tutoring, but it often doesn’t reach students who need help the most. Meanwhile, educators are keeping their eyes on the larger crop of teens who are behind in credits needed to graduate. Schools have an unprecedented pot of federal money to spend, but many are still struggling to put it to use. There’s a few reasons for that. In some states, money got stuck in red tape and arrived late. Elsewhere, schools are having a hard time finding staff to fill new positions, or hiring contractors to make building repairs. Some districts that have been slow to spend say they’re planning to ramp up spending over time. Indianapolis Public Schools, for example, had spent only 10% of its federal COVID aid as of late June, mostly to avoid staff cuts and buy PPE. But the district says it has budgeted all the money, including to tutor more students. Still, this aid doesn’t always feel like new money. New York City recently gave schools the OK to use $100 million in federal aid that was previously set aside for academic recovery to pay teachers, after announcing $215 million in school budget cuts. This money also has been difficult to track: School district spending plans vary widely in quality and there’s often limited data at the state and federal levels.  But some trends are apparent. When FutureEd, a Georgetown University think tank, looked at spending plans for some 5,000 school districts in June, it found a quarter of federal funds were budgeted for staff, and another quarter were earmarked for academic recovery. Just under a quarter was set aside for facilities and operations, mostly to upgrade heating, ventilation and cooling systems. America’s latest culture wars are being waged inside schools. Seventeen states now ban lessons on racism or sexism, six states restrict teaching about sexuality and gender identity, and 18 states don’t allow transgender students to play on sports teams that match their gender. Peyton, a 12th grader who is part of a support group for Black queer youth in Alabama, said the laws send a clear message to LGBTQ students. “It’s just enforcing that you’re not normal and society does not want you here,” they said. In addition to making some students feel less safe, the laws are limiting what they learn.  Some teachers have curtailed class discussions about the oppression of Black people and Native Americans, and some schools are restricting students’ access to books by or about people of color and LGBTQ Americans. The Biden administration has proposed new rules to protect LGBTQ students, but conservative states are expected to challenge those rules in court. Meanwhile, school districts that run afoul of the new state laws already are facing consequences, and more attacks are likely: Florida’s new law allows parents to file complaints or even sue if they believe their children are taught banned topics. But for every lesson that is challenged, many more will never be taught as schools seek to avoid sanctions and controversy. In a new survey, 1 in 4 teachers nationally — and nearly 1 in 3 teachers in states with curriculum restrictions — said higher-ups told them to steer clear of contentious topics in the classroom. As ​​Andrew Kirk, a high school teacher in Texas, told Chalkbeat: “This chilling effect is already happening.” Jessica Blake contributed reporting. Kalyn Belsha is a national education reporter based in Chicago. Contact her at kbelsha@chalkbeat.org. Patrick Wall is a senior reporter covering national education issues. Contact him at pwall@chalkbeat.org. This story was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education.

GARA will raise fees for most rec park rentals

Citing the need to increase salaries for staff members, the Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) Board of Directors approved fee increases for most of its rentals, starting in 2023. Executive Director Erin Peddigree said rental fees for the assembly room will increase from $50 to $60 per hour with a minimum of 2 hours and that using the kitchen would now be a flat fee of $100. Fees for the meeting room in the Sterner Building will increase by $5 per hour, and there will also be increases for use of the baseball and softball fields. Pavilion rental fees will not change. The board said it was considering different options to bring salaries for current and incoming employees to meet current standards. The board also approved a nondiscrimination policy which they had not had previously. Peddigree said she expected monthly equipment expenses to decrease as a result of the recent purchase of new equipment. GARA considered an informal proposal from the Adams County Farmers Market to jointly apply for grant funding to rebuild the park’s Youth Activity Building or potentially create a replacement structure.  If funds became available the building could be used by the farmers market as well as GARA, potentially as a senior center or for other uses. Peddigree said plans were moving forward for the installation of a bicycle repair station in the rec park. Peddigree said about 120 children were now playing football, and that Soccer Shots and Flag Football teams were also active. The board said it was moving forward on fall activities including a potential Halloween “Trick or Treat Trail” and showing movies in the park.

Murder Mystery Masquerade Gala to Benefit Women and Families

West Point Retreats is hosting a Murder Mystery Masquerade Gala to aid in the completion of the Hanover YWCA recreational center that will provide a space for a community health, a wellness studio, as well as an arts and craft studio. The event, to be held Sep. 3 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Ballroom On Broadway, 1649 Broadway, Hanover, will include a silent auction, wine pull, and dinner theater. For reservations or donations please email West Point Retreats at westpointretreats@gmail.com or call Amanda Serrano at 610-223-2934. West Point Retreats is a local 501(C)(3) nonprofit that supports women and their families. Since 2018 their mission has been to provide a safe, fun, engaging God-driven environment for women and their families in the community, encouraging and cultivating healthy relationships by providing discipleship, support, and inspiration. The organization provides free and low-cost activities to the community as well as food, clothing, and household items.

UASD reviews funding

Upper Adams School District (UASD) Business Administrator Shelly Hobbes presented a high-level overview of district funding to the school board Tuesday. The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency initiates (PCCD) grant recently came out of the state budget, she said. PCCD initiates financial investments in programs to improve an agency’s mission and strategic priorities. Administration of federal and state funding programs is one of PCCD’s core responsibilities.  Previous funding received by the district included just shy of $212,000 of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and $851,000 dollars was received through the ESSER II funds, also known as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act). The district also received $1.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Now with the PCCD funding, there are two “buckets” of which the district can spend the money from: dual school mental health, and physical school safety at $126,086 each for a total of $252,172. “They are very designated on what we can spend those items on,” she said. Each funding bucket has Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three requirements and all conditions of one tier must be met before moving on to the next tier. Each tier includes examples of what the funding can be spent on, Doll said, and the district will determine what is needed and where the money can be targeted. Understanding that every district is different, it is nonetheless recognized that everything in the tier must be completed. There is a very narrow scope of what the district can spend the funds on, and funding is good for 24 months based upon approval date, she said.   As the district looks ahead to planning budgets and what the funding will be used for, 2024 going into 2025 “is going to be a very key year, ” Hobbs said. The district has already begun initial conversations and will continue to meet as a team to discuss and put priorities together. The district has until August 31 to submit applications for the PCCD, and if an application is awarded, the district can begin spending the funds. “The timing isn’t real great with the beginning of the school year, but we will get it done,” Superintendent Wesley Doll said. In other business it was noted, the board approved to support the Canner Funds Board grant proposal to the Adams County Community Foundation with a $30,000.00 contribution from the UASD for the updated Greenhouse Project. This contribution would be paid from the Capital Reserve Fund.  The Canner Fund will also once again participate in the annual Adams County Giving Spree November 3. A mutual separation agreement was approved between the Upper Adams School District and Questeq. Global Data Consultants, LLC will be utilized starting at the beginning of the school year. The board approved the Superintendent’s wage increase including a mutually modified cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 4.2 percent. There was no merit increase based on the board’s evaluation of the 2021 calendar year as per the Superintendent Agreement. The board recognized the guidance and leadership of Doll that has exceeded expectations, particularly driving the district forward through the last few challenging years. “It’s not that you didn’t earn a merit raise, it’s just that it didn’t fit in,”  board member Ron Ebbert said. With the district’s COVID health and safety plan approved, UASD will continue to monitor case numbers and report to the state as they come in. “We’re really looking forward to all the students and staff coming back to us,” Doll said, Masks remain optional and it is continually greatly encouraged to keep sick kids home.   Preparations for reopening school prep have been going on all month and the UASD first day of school is August 24. The school board will next meet for a curriculum and Extra Curricular Committee and Business and Operations Committee meeting September 6, and the next regular board meeting will be September 20.

Art Exhibition “Imprints of Life: Rubbings from Carved Stones of the Han Dynasty” opens on Aug. 31

Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College is pleased to present Imprints of Life: Rubbings from Carved Stones of the Han Dynasty on display Aug. 31 through Oct.1, 2022. Curated by Kolbe Summer Research Fellow Elinor Gass ’24, under the direction of Professor Yan Sun, this exhibition explores the connectivity between an individual’s character and the historical narratives celebrated in Han society. On display are rubbings taken from carvings on architectural components of burial chambers and above ground shrines in the western Shandong Province from approximately the 1st to 2nd century. The ink rubbings in this exhibition are among numerous works donated by Dr. Chester North Frazier to Gettysburg College in the late 1960s. Dr. Frazier collected tomb rubbings between 1922 and 1941 in Peking, where he worked as a physician. The rubbings were carefully folded into his own handmade boxes and organized by his own system. The opportunity to examine these tomb rubbings provides a detailed glance into Han society and philosophy, suggesting the degree to which Confucianism and Daoism influenced funerary, societal, and educational practices in the lives of the elite. An opening reception will be held on August 31, 5:00 -7:00 pm. A Gallery Talk with student curator Elinor Gass ‘24 will take place on August 31, 5:00 – 5:30 pm. All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 10am – 4pm. Public Events: Curator’s Talk: August 31, 5:00 -5:30pm Reception: August 31, 5:00 -7:00 pm Exhibition Credits: The exhibition is supported in part by the Department of Art and Art History and Special Collections and College Archives, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College. About Schmucker Art Gallery: Schmucker Art Gallery offers meaningful and engaging experiences for the Gettysburg College community and surrounding region through diverse art exhibitions and related programming. The Gallery is committed to fostering an enriching environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and inspires dialogue, creativity, and connection. Schmucker Art Gallery is located on the main floor of Schmucker Hall (conveniently located at the intersection of N. Washington and Water streets) and is fully accessible. Free parking is available in one of the visitor parking lots on campus, or free two-hour parking can be found on the streets adjacent to Schmucker Hall. The main entrance is through the quadrangle side of the building. All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 10am – 4pm.

Art Exhibition “Confuse the Issues: Art, Text, and Identity” opens in this month

This fall, Schmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College presents an exhibition of text-based works by significant artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Elizabeth Catlett, Deborah Dancy, Nekisha Durrett, Guerrilla Girls, Glenn Ligon, Carl Pope, Jr., Faith Ringgold, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems. Confuse the Issues: Art, Text, and Identity is on view from August 31 through December 10, 2022. An opening reception will be held on August 31, 5-7pm. A Virtual Gallery Talk with artist Deborah Dancy will take place via Zoom on October 5pm https://gettysburg.zoom.us/j/9991200186. An in-person Gallery Talk with artist Nekisha Durrett will be held on October 28 at 5pm with a reception to follow until 7pm. All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesdays – Saturdays 10am – 4pm. “Confuse the Issues: Art, Text, and Identity” features text-based works by prominent contemporary artists of color who demonstrate the power of language. “Not only are the words central to the compositions of each photograph, sculpture, and print,” says Shannon Egan, gallery director, “but they also provide expressions of identity, declarations once marginalized, reflections on history, and calls to action.” In reading both the linguistic and aesthetic narratives in the works on display, a viewer encounters stories that are at once critical and inclusive, verbal and visual, personal and political. The artists use assertive poetry, dynamic admonitions, and a clear naming of victims of police violence to question white privilege and incite change. The exchange of words in this exhibition may confuse the issues; nevertheless, the art speaks and demands that voices are heard. Many of the artists included in the exhibition examine issues related to Blackness and African-American identity. For instance, Hank Willis Thomas, whose neon sculpture Pitch Blackness / Off Whiteness, on loan from the Art Bridges foundation, blinks on and off, alternating between sets of words: “off-white” and “pitch-black.” Read with the suffix “-ness,” the words in the sculpture not only signify a somewhat perilous “pitch black” space, but also the allusion to Blackness as a racial signifier. Carl Pope, Jr.’s prints draw their language from a range of literary and popular sources and allude to the twentieth-century typography of ephemeral flyers, advertisements, and picket signs. Pope described The Bad Air Smelled of Roses as “an Afrofuturist project that is a never-ending essay about … blackness and its correspondences in American culture.” Echoing the spirit of protest and the language of advertising in Pope’s prints are the Guerrilla Girls’ posters, the anonymous artists’ activist group dedicated to fighting discrimination of race and gender in the art world. This print, created in 1989, draws attention to the absence of women artists and artists of color in most major collections and arts institutions. Glenn Ligon and Deborah Dancy evoke historical narratives and the legacy of slavery in their works. Ligon’s suite of prints titled Narratives cites the frontispieces of nineteenth-century autobiographies of enslaved people, but here the select words are loosely drawn from the artist’s own life. Dancy’s poetic fragments appear similarly to be of the past, as they are inscribed upon antique silver trays and decorative mirrors. One mirror, for example, tells the story of the inequities of domestic labor and frustratingly limited recourse for the “three noiseless servants” who “polished rage.” Like the text of the other artists in the exhibition, Dancy’s language is often transgressive and demands that the reader/viewer consider historical fissures, generational trauma, and resilience. Nekisha Durrett calls profound attention to the stories and lives of Black women murdered by law enforcement with their first names carefully perforated on the surfaces of magnolia leaves. Each leaf, presented in an exquisitely crafted, illuminated wood box, exemplifies both a delicacy and resistance to being violently discarded. Durrett, inspired by the #sayhername movement, explains, “This work centers the experiences and activism of Black women throughout the women’s movement, [which] has historically excluded women of color. This erasure from mainstream discourse is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago, especially for those positioned at the intersection of race and gender.” Carrie Mae Weems also considers notions of individual and collective identity in her photograph from her series focused on Eatonville, Florida, the oldest Black incorporated town in the United States, founded in 1886 and home to the Harlem Renaissance writer and anthropologist Zora Neal Hurston (1891-1960). Like Hurston, Weems is a trained folklorist and storyteller who is drawn to voices of the vernacular, both textual and photographic. For these artists included in Confuse the Issues, language is read, seen, and understood as a complex articulation of identity. Even with the works’ clarity of form and content, the artists often acknowledge the failure of words to convey a greater totality of rage, restriction, and injustice. In James Baldwin’s words, “No true account really of black life can be held, can be contained, in the American vocabulary. As it is, the only way that you can deal with it is by doing great violence to the assumptions on which the vocabulary is based.” As seen in this exhibition, the artists make both space and words their own; in some instances, the works literally fill the gallery with light and reflection, and for others, the works offer impassioned testimonies and, drawing again on Pope’s posters, an imperative reminder of the “urgent need to find radical solutions.” Public Events: Opening Reception: August 31, 5:00 – 7:00 pm Virtual Gallery Talk with Deborah Dancy: October 19, 5-6pm https://gettysburg.zoom.us/j/9991200186 In-Person Gallery Talk with Nekisha Durrett: October 28, 5pm, with reception to follow until 7pm Visiting Artists’ Biographies: Nekisha Durrett currently lives and works in Washington, DC where she creates bold and playful large-scale installations and public art that aim to make the ordinary awe-inspiring while summoning subject matter that is often underrepresented or overlooked in visual culture. She earned her BFA at The Cooper Union in New York City and MFA from The University of Michigan School of Art and Design as a Horace H. Rackham Fellow. Durrett has exhibited her work throughout the Washington, DC area and nationally. She was a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s prestigious Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and was featured in The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today exhibition. Recent installations include: Up ‘til Now, a freestanding, solar powered sculpture that evokes the history of Washington, DC’s landscape and architecture; “Messages for the City” in collaboration with For Freedoms in Times Square, New York; and a wall mounted public sculpture in the Liberty City community of Miami, Florida made in collaboration with conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas; and a permanent in the newly renovated Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington. Durrett is currently in production on a large-scale, permanent sculpture in Arlington, VA. Deborah Dancy is a multimedia artist, whose paintings, drawings, digital photography, and small sculptures play with the shifting intersection between abstraction and representation. She has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Yaddo Fellowship, The American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Artist and Writers Creative Arts Fellowship, and the National Endowment of the Arts NEFA award. Her work is in numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; 21C Museum; Baltimore Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Art; the Boston Museum of Fine; the Montgomery Museum of Art; the Spencer Museum of Art, the Hunter Museum of Art; Vanderbilt University; Grinnell College, Oberlin College Museum of Art; Davidson Art Center; Wesleyan University, and The United States Embassy Harare, Zimbabwe. She is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts NYC, Robischon Gallery, Denver, and Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta. Exhibition Credits: Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the following Gettysburg College departments and programs: Africana Studies, English, and Public Policy. With special gratitude for the support of Dr. Deborah Smith P’11, P’13, the Michael J. Birkner ’72 and Robin Wagner Art and Photography Acquisition Fund, and Special Collections and College Archives, Musselman Library, Gettysburg College. About Schmucker Art Gallery: Schmucker Art Gallery offers meaningful and engaging experiences for the Gettysburg College community and surrounding region through diverse art exhibitions and related programming. The Gallery is committed to fostering an enriching environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and inspires dialogue, creativity, and connection. Schmucker Art Gallery is located on the main floor of Schmucker Hall (conveniently located at the intersection of N. Washington and Water streets) and is fully accessible. Free parking is available in one of the visitor parking lots on campus, or free two-hour parking can be found on the streets adjacent to Schmucker Hall. The main entrance is through the quadrangle side of the building. All events are free and open to the public. About Art Bridges Art Bridges is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of over 190 museums of all sizes and locations to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection represents an expanding vision of American art from the 19th century to present day and encompasses multiple media and voices. To learn more about the Art Bridges, follow the hashtag #ArtBridges on social media and visit www.artbridgesfoundation.org.

It’s Back to School Time – 1896, That Is!

On Sunday, September 18 between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Mt. Joy Township will host a re-opening of “Mud College,” the little 1-room 153-year old red brick schoolhouse, along Baltimore Pike between Gettysburg and Littlestown. Originally one of seven one-room schoolhouses scattered throughout Mt. Joy Township, The Pleasant Grove School was built in 1869. It served the educational needs of students’ grades 1st – 8th until 1949, when one-room schoolhouses began their phased consolidation. In 1951, at public auction, the schoolhouse, complete with interior furnishings, (and exterior outhouse) was purchased by Walter Crouse for the purpose of holding alumni reunions for his own kin, friends and any and all who had ever attended this quaint, beloved little school. After nearly 50 years of reunions, family members, in 2001, donated the schoolhouse to Mt. Joy Township, with the stipulation, The School Building and its contents be preserved as an example of a one-room rural school house for the edification, use and enjoyment by this and future generations of persons living in and visiting the Township of Mount Joy, Adams County, Pennsylvania. Soon thereafter, a celebrated living history program, “A Day in A One-Room Schoolhouse” was developed based on one successfully established in Virginia. Primarily aimed at 4th and 5th graders, the curriculum, through proficient, period-clad docent teachers introduces young “scholars” during a full day’s immersion into what school was like in 1896. Each student assumes the persona of an actual classmate who attended “Mud College” which further personalizes the experience. The program has attracted not only regional participation but has seen attendance from a number of neighboring states. In 2011, the schoolhouse was named to the National Historical Register of Historic Places. At 12:30 pm there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by docent led tours of the schoolhouse. A local historian and author, Elsie Darrah Morey will offer her 2002, book, The Pleasant Grove School “Mud College” and personally sign all purchases. Throughout the schoolyard will be various displays to enjoy along with light refreshments. Live music by the” Dixie Mix” will play from 1-2 pm. Plan to come on out (4084 Baltimore Pike) with family and friends for a fun, educational “back to school” afternoon of a distant era! The event is free and expanded, directed parking will be provided. For more information call or visit mtjoytwp.us.

Time to Remember Loved Ones and End Overdose

Local communities, including those in Adams County and around the world, are coming together to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create a better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use. This year the Adams County Overdose Awareness Taskforce will host the 4th annual Overdose Awareness Walk on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 6 p.m. The walk will begin at the Adams County Court House on Baltimore Street and will end at the Fireman’s Pavilion at the Gettysburg REC Park at 545 Long Lane in Gettysburg. At the Gettysburg REC Park, we will hear from local individuals and community representatives. Free Narcan will also be available. People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises – one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2019. Early statistics and anecdotal evidence for the 2021 calendar year show that the situation is becoming ever-more critical, exacerbated in many areas by the pandemic decreasing the tolerance of people who use drugs and disrupting both services and the drug supply chain. For more information on this event or the Adams County Overdose Awareness Taskforce, please call Lisa Lindsey at 717-338-0300 x 109. Visit their website at www.overdosefreeadams.org. They are homed at the Center for Youth and Community Development offices located at 233 W High Street in Gettysburg

Rotary Welcomes Japanese Exchange Student

The Rotary Club of Gettysburg recently welcomed a Japanese teenager to Gettysburg. Maya Ito is from the City of Taitouku, within the Tokyo Province, in Japan. The 17-year-old will begin her senior year at Gettysburg Area High School next week. She plans to play on the high school tennis team this fall and will be looking for other opportunities to be a part of the Gettysburg community while she is here. Ito comes to Gettysburg through the Rotary Club of Gettysburg Youth Exchange Program. Thomas and Florence Jurney and their daughter Claire of Gettysburg are her host family. The Jurney’s son, recent Gettysburg Area High School graduate Quentin, is an outbound Rotary Youth Exchange student who is in India for this school year. Ito will likely stay with one or two other host families during her stay in America, but additional families are needed. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a host family should contact Rotary Youth Exchange Coordinator Eric Gladhill at ebg@csdavidson.com.

Gettysburg Community Theater Presents “James and the Giant Peach”

When I was asked to write a story on Director/Choreographer Linden Carbaugh’s rendition of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach at the Gettysburg Community Theater, I knew I would be in for a treat. But I never imagined how much I would enjoy myself, or the emotions it would touch within my own heart. The story concerns James Henry Trotter (admirably played by Chase Bowman) as a seven year old orphan who is left lost and alone after the death of his loving parents. One night, in the realms of his imagination, he remembers and longs for his parents and the love he once knew.  But shortly after falling asleep, James is abruptly awakened by the orphanage’s Matron (Taryn He) bursting through the door and informing James he must go live with his two evil Aunts, Spiker (Tessa Trax, who excellently portrays the spoiled, lazy, and materialistic qualities of her character), and Sponge (Audrey Trax, the brains of the operation who plots to get rich quick in every move they make), effective immediately.  Neither James nor the two aunts seem to be very happy about the new arrangement, but Spiker and Sponge never let a good tragedy go to waste, devising a plan to put him to good use in their “no good” maniacal schemes. James is realizing that this is not going to be the “happily ever after” he was hoping for when a mysterious stranger (Kai Dittrich) appears out of nowhere, offering him a magic potion of slithering crocodile tongues — and potential freedom.  Just as it seems it has all gone wrong, something peculiar begins to happen, and a giant peach begins growing on a barren tree. Spiker and Sponge cook up new schemes to get rich quick, and punish James by making him sleep outside to guard the tree. In the middle of the night the peach (and the magic) grow and James suddenly finds himself inside the peach, nose to nose with a giant spider (Andi Athanasakis) who is actually quite gentle and compassionate, Grasshopper (Caden Miller), a wise-cracking centipede (Mikey Athanasakis), Ladybug (Sarah Rice), and a shy and timid earthworm (Theo Gageby) who later overcomes her fears.  Jame’s initial concerns of being eaten by the new characters are soon replaced with the realization that they all share a lot more in common than he ever could have imagined. As James and his new friends ponder the great meaning of life, love, and loss within the peach, they suddenly find themselves rolling downhill towards New York City, through a certain world-famous chocolate factory, out to sea, and off on a great new adventure.  Through this adventure they will face their fears, find friendship, compassion, and incredible courage, as well as something none of them had ever known – freedom. Technical Director Michael Connelly and the show designers showed their knack for bringing the stage to life, making the audience feel they are part of each and every scene, with the use of clever costumes, visual aids, light settings, sound effects, and an assortment of props.  Music Director Mary George brought the period songs, from the 1930s (and sometimes 1960s) to life. The cast uses a unique technique in which they sing to mimic the sound of the insects they played. Despite making it a bit difficult to make out some of the lyrics, the technique added a “Remarkouslyfantasmarific” quality to each character. Linden Carbaugh`s playful choreography had members of the audience grooving right along with the cast members. Favorites of mine were Grasshopper’s song reminding James of his parents’ love, Spiker and Sponges`s duet “I got you,” and Earthworm`s “Plump and Juicy.” The large screen backdrop made me feel as if I was right there in the peach with the cast members. The entire crew and cast did an exceptional job bringing this play to life and poured their hearts into everything they did, leaving me so glad I came. The show continues next weekend. If you’re looking for something entertaining and family friendly, I give James and the Giant Peach two thumbs up, and absolutely recommend you go see it. Featured image caption: Chase Bowman plays the title role in James And The Giant Peach this weekend at Gettysburg Community Theatre. Tickets may be ordered online in advance. Photo courtesy of Blayne Miller. 

On Eagles’ Wings

It’s been six months since he died.  It’s time to move on, to pull myself up by my invisible bootstraps.  Time to make a new bucket list, to embrace my new reality; do my best to make the most of each and every day.  Years ago one of my counselors asked me, “What would you do if there were no limitations or restrictions placed on you? Money, family, education, location, gender, race, etc. were not an issue?”  I couldn’t answer her question then and I’m having difficulty now. It’s so much easier to find reasons for why not, than giving myself permission to at least try.   Giving my imagination free reign stretches all of my daring to be different muscles.  Making a bucket list forces me to confront my fears as it’s somehow easier to keep on doing the same old things than stretching my wings and learning to fly. I am reminded of a meditation  in which an eaglet asks the older eagle “How far can I fly? How high can I fly? How long can I fly?”  to which the veteran eagle tells the youngster, “no one can tell you how high or far or long you can fly.  You will have to determine that for yourself.” Even though I am an “old” woman ( old being relative), I am also a baby eagle.  I, too, am learning to fly.  What do I want for my remaining days?  How far do I want to go into the world?  How can I make the best use of my remaining days?  How can I bring joy and meaning to not just myself but to my family and friends?  I resonate to the older eagle’s summation that  no one else knows your potential or your passion. You alone can answer that.  The only thing limiting you is the edge of your imagination”     Each day opens the door to new opportunities.  Each ending brings new beginnings.  Happiness doesn’t just happen.  We are responsible for our own happiness since it is our perceptions that shape our reality, not the other way around.  I am the one who’s saying to myself  “I can’t.”  I am the one who is creating barriers and limiting my possibilities.  Looking ahead, I can see that the greatest danger facing me is permitting my seemingly urgent and everyday fears to crowd out what is truly important and possible.

Adams County Planting Partnership Offers Free Native Trees and Shrub Seedlings

The Adams County Planting Partnership—an initiative of the Watershed Alliance of Adams County and the Adams County Conservation District—has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to distribute nearly 13,000 free native tree and shrub seedlings to Adams County residents who request them. More than 30 native tree and shrub seedling species are available while supplies last, and the deadline to request seedlings is August 23. Adams County residents may place their requests online by visiting the Watershed Alliance website at AdamsWatersheds.org or the Adams County Conservation District’s website. The seedlings will arrive in early September and will be available for pickup at the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Rd., Gettysburg, on Sept. 8-10. The seedlings, once planted, will eventually grow into trees and shrubs that capture stormwater runoff that can pollute local streams, as well as remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Watershed Alliance of Adams County is dedicated to enhancing and protecting the water resources of Adams County. For more information about the Watershed Alliance, visit AdamsWatersheds.org The Adams County Conservation District works to promote voluntary conservation and good stewardship of Adams County’s natural resources. For more information about the Adams County Conservation District, visit //AdamsCounty.us/Dept/Conservation/Pages/default.aspx.

Gettysburg Bicycle Ride to Benefit Trail Development

On Saturday, October 1, Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc (HABPI) will host its 7th Annual Ride for Trails to raise money for trail development in and around Gettysburg. Three different routes are being offered to accommodate riders of all experience levels: 12 miles, 25 miles, and 40 miles. All rides begin at the Gettysburg Rec Park, 545 Long Lane, and travel through the Gettysburg National Military Park and over picturesque Sachs Covered Bridge. The longer rides also wind through the quiet country roads to the south of Gettysburg with a rest stop halfway through to recharge. All rides end at the Rec Park, where a free lunch is offered to riders beginning at 11 a.m. The 25 and 40 mile rides will be “show and go,” where riders can depart on their own schedule after check-in, which opens at 8 a.m. The 12-mile ride, which departs at 9:45 a.m., will be guided by HABPI members at a leisurely pace. Pre-registration and additional details on the ride are available at https://habpi.redpodium.com/habpis-ride-for-trails-2022 . Pre-registration is just $35 and is open through noon on Sept. 30. Those who register by Sept. 5 will receive a free Ride for Trails t-shirt. Registration on the day of the event is $40. If you are unable to ride with us, please consider making a donation to HABPI via the registration link above or by check made out to HABPI and mailed to 523 Moritz Rd., Orrtanna, PA 17353 (attn. M. Bramel). Proceeds from the event will support HABPI’s work to develop and maintain trails for biking and walking as well as to promote safe bicycling and walking for the health, recreation, transportation, environment, and economic benefit of the community. For more information about HABPI, please visit www.habpi.org.

Adams County Commissioners honor Children and Youth Services employees

David James, Esq. Was honored for 45 years of service to the children of Adams County as Guardian Ad Litem at the meeting of the Adams County Board of Commissioners yesterday. Commenting briefly to thank the Board, James said he missed working with kids, but would gladly exchange his formal suit for golf shirts and slacks for the rest of his natural life. He spoke passionately about helping children and praised those present for their work with the Adams County Children and Youth Services taking care of children “who have nothing, or less than nothing.”  Also honored for her service with Children and Youth Services was Teresa Polvinale, who has dedicated 20 years of service as a program specialist. The ACCYS director, Sarah Finkey, thanked both for their years of dedication and service. In other commission business, Casey Darling-Horan, MSW, County Administrator for the York/Adams Mental Health–Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Program, presented information regarding the 2022-2023 Human Services Development Fund Block Grant Program. The program provides services to about 15,000 clients throughout the two counties who need support and assistance with services for developmental delays. Commissioner Jim Martin said he was expecting the funding to increase, reflecting the growing mental health needs in PA. Darling-Horan said the program has been flat-funded, indicating no increase, for the past 11 years. She added that it might mean “looking at how we prioritize need” in the future. Other Business *The Multi-County Broadband Feasibility Study will be going ahead without Cumberland County. The Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with Franklin County to provide more equitable internet availability in underserved areas of both counties. Design Nine, Inc was recently awarded the contract for the Multi-County Broadband Feasibility Study for about $100,000. Franklin County will bear half the cost of the study.  Design Nine, Inc., a Virginia based company, has worked with several PA counties, seeking to improve broadband service, rural areas. *A recommendation to approve an agreement for housing Adams County juvenile detainees and emergency placements at the York County Youth Development Center was heard from Sara Finkey, Administrator of Adams County Children and Youth Services. The rate of housing is $375 per diem. *The Board of Commissioners approved a recommendation from Angie Crouse, director of the elections and voter registration to apply for funds from the Election Integrity Grant Program, which would provide more than $365,000 to Adams County for eligible election costs. Senate Bill 982 was signed into law July to allow counties to adopt to security and personnel requirements. *The Department of Emergency Services will receive improved network infrastructure for its 911 Computer-aided Dispatch from Appalachia Technologies, LLC, of Mechanicsburg, PA. The company will provide technical support outside of regular business hours at a cost to the county of $32,857.80 Featured Image Caption: Lifelong Gettysburg resident, David James was recognized for 45 years of service to the Adams County Children and Youth Services. Front row, from left, Commissioner Jim Martin. Commissioner Randy Phiel, David James, Esq and Commissioner Marty Qually. [Judith Cameron Seniura]

Fireplace Gifts Opens its Doors in New Oxford

A new store, Fireplace Gifts, has opened on the square in New Oxford. The New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce was on hand on Thursday, August 11, to help owners Bryan and Diana Lewis celebrate their new venture. Fireplace Gifts is located beside the New Oxford Post Office at 6 Center Square. In addition to items made by Fireplace Gifts, the shop also features handmade goods from multiple local vendors, including Desert Rose by Geri, JS Woodwork, PR Creations, Reign Creations, Sewing by Pat, LukaLou Creations and Sun Kissed Tootsies. From jewelry to candles to hair bows, the shop features products for all ages and is open daily, except Wednesdays. “The New Oxford Chamber is excited to be a part of the continued growth of the small business community in town, and we hope to welcome even more businesses over the next few years,” said Membership & Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Smith. “We wish the Lewis family much success with their new store.”To learn more about Fireplace Gifts, visit fireplacegifts.com or stop by in person.

Hiring Event to be Held at Human Services Building

The hiring event “Helping Families Secure Employment” will be held from 10:00am to 2:00pm on August 22nd, September 12th, October 17th, November 14th, and December 12th. The location is the Human Services Building, Room 13 & 14 & 15 525 Boyds School Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325. What to Expect from this Event: Meet with CareerLink representatives to discuss employment opportunities and services available for career development and eliminate current barriers. Meet with partner employers who are offering on the spot hiring. Learn about various services offered in Adams County What You Are to Bring: Valid Drivers License or Photo ID Copy of your Birth Certificate Copy of your Social Security

Addressing Gettysburg is Offering a Free “Get Out of Your Car Tour”

Summer may be coming to an end, but Addressing Gettysburg is still goingstrong! Rally Around the Addressing Gettysburg Colors for this month’s FREE “Get Out of theCar Tour!” Park at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial to meet up with the tour group. The tour will start at10AM, and we will be joined by a Licensed Battlefield Guide who will lead us in the footsteps of Rodes’ Division during their action on July 1, 1863. This is our fourth tour of the year, and eachone is growing in popularity and attendance. There’s simply no better way to see and experience Gettysburg than to walk the grounds where it all took place. Led by Licensed Battlefield Guides, our FREE Get Out of the Car Tours take you places where you’ll have the vantage point of those who fought there – up close, and amid thesurroundings that they saw on those fateful days in 1863. For further information, and how to register for a tour, please visit this link:https://www.addressinggettysburg.com/get-out-of-the-car-tours/While these tours are free, registering provides the organizers and guides with a head count priorto the event. Addressing Gettysburg is committed to bringing the historic reality of the Battle of Gettysburg,and the experiences of the soldiers and civilians to the masses in a comprehensive, immersiveand entertaining way. History is NOT boring!

The Sky this Week, August 8-14, 2022

The moon, now almost full, dominates the night sky. After the full moon, August 11 at 9:36 p.m. it begins the waning half of its monthly cycle. If your calendar says the full moon is the 12th that’s because it’s going by Universal Time, which is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and thus into the next day. As nice as a full moon is to enjoy it drowns out a lot fainter objects in the sky. That is bad news for this year’s Perseid meteor shower (peak August 11-12) because the moonlight will hide all but the brightest meteors. What can you see this week besides the moon? Planets of course! Saturn rises first around 9:00 PM; look east about an hour after that for this yellowish point of light. (You need a telescope to see the famous rings.) Jupiter rises at 10:30 and Mars around 1:00 AM. If you are up in the early morning hours you’ll see these three planets stretched in a line from Mars in the east to Saturn in the southwest. Jupiter will be by far the brightest and Mars will look reddish. Fun fact: the planets are always roughly in a line, because the solar system is fairly flat (at least the major objects, like planets). Astronomers call that line in the sky the ecliptic. The planets may not be right on it, but they are always close by. Think about it this way, the ecliptic is the plane of our solar system as seen in the night sky.

The Adams County Library to Host an Evening with Alafair Burke

Join us for a fun evening while supporting your local library! The Signature Event is the Adams County Library’s largest annual fundraiser. This year, New York Times best-selling author, Alafair Burke will be our special guest. The event includes a keynote from Alafair Burke, a New York Times bestselling author, a book signing opportunity, V.I.P. champagne reception, mixer catered by Hindle’s Catering and a silent auction. A limited amount of V.I.P. tickets are available. V.I.P. Tickets include: a private champagne reception with Alafair Burke, an autographed copy of her latest book, a catered mixer, keynote by Alafair Burke, two adult beverages, silent auction, and additional book signing opportunity. Click Here to Purchase V.I.P. Tickets Standard Admission includes: a catered mixer, keynote by Alafair Burke, 2 adult beverage tickets, silent auction, and book signing opportunity. Click Here to Purchase Standard Admission Tickets More about the author:  Alafair Burke is a New York Times, Edgar Award nominated author of twenty crime novels. Published in more than twenty languages, her books have been featured on “Best Book” lists including the Today Show, Entertainment Weekly, People, O (Oprah Magazine), The Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. In addition to the standalone novels that have earned her a reputation as “a virtuoso” of domestic suspense, she authors two series. In addition to her own work, Alafair also co-authored the “Under Suspicion” series with Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark.

Call for County Exhibitors for Heritage Festival’s Passport Program

Plans are underway for this year’s 31st Anniversary 2022 Adams County Heritage Festival. It is to be held on Sunday September 18, 2022, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Gettysburg Area Rec Park. Initiated by the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, and now co-sponsored by the YWCA, the festival has grown tremendously over the past three decades. The festival continues to be a joyous celebration of the ethnic diversity and cultural heritage found within Adams County through food, music and the arts. The festival is looking to expand on the Passport Program. Did you know that we have citizen neighbors who come from dozens of countries all over the globe: from Austria to Zambia? The Heritage Festival is looking for Cultural Ambassadors to join us in showcasing the diverse heritage right here in Adams County! Volunteers are needed to participate and asked to set up an exhibit table for their country. Ambassadors need not be foreign born to participate. Many people have had extensive experience serving or working in other countries and are most welcome to share their enthusiasm and knowledge. Ambassadors are responsible for setting up a “Show and Tell” type display. Some suggestions include a flag, map, artifacts, books, art and craft pieces, clothing, games or other pertinent items that represent a specific culture. Children receive a Passport booklet which they get stamped for every country booth they visit! They can travel around the world in four hours without leaving home. Their horizons are expanded as they learn a little bit about other places around our globe. Adults, too, find the booths and Ambassadors to be an engaging learning experience! Cultural Ambassadors in the past have found others that speak their language or who have visited their country and new friendships are formed. The Heritage Festival is a unique opportunity to share our diversity and celebrate our humanity right here in Adams County. Applications may be obtained by contacting ipowell@msmary.edu and are due by August 29. They may be scanned and returned via email to ipowell@msmary.edu or mailed to Heritage Festival P.O. Box 3134, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Gettysburg Police seek assault suspects

On Friday, July 29, 2022, at approx. 1:50 a.m., officers of the Gettysburg Police Department were dispatched to a reported robbery in progress in the first block of Carlisle St. An officer responded to the area and located an assault victim who reported being chased and beaten by two suspects. This was an assault not a robbery. The victim, who was on his hands and knees at the time officers arrived, was bleeding from the head and face area. EMS was summoned for the victim. The area was canvassed by responding officers and departments. Officers also viewed video footage from the area. Through video of the area, interviews of witnesses, and investigation, the suspects were identified as 20-year-old Trenton Howard of Gettysburg and 21 year old Taylor Rojo of Gettysburg. Arrest warrants were obtained for both suspects charging each with several charges the most serious of which is Felony Aggravated Assault. The assault appears to be in retaliation for an incident between the victim and Howard earlier in the day. Both suspects are still at large and wanted by police at the time of this release. Anyone having information about this incident or the whereabouts of the two suspects is asked to contact the Gettysburg Police Department through the Adams County Emergency Services Dispatch Center at (717) 334-8101.

Gettysburg Borough Police Department to Host their National Night Out

The Gettysburg Borough Police Department will be hosting their annual National Night Out event on Tuesday August 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event will be held in front of the municipal building at 59 E. High Street. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Sailors of the USS Gettysburg (CG-64) United States Navy will be on hand and the municipal building will be open during the event for public tours. Mayor Rita Frealing will be welcoming visitors into the building and her office. A dunk tank sponsored by the Mason Dixon Distillery will be on site and occupied by a randomly selected Gettysburg Borough Police Officer. HD Entertainment will be providing DJ services for the event.  Confederate Trails will be providing horse drawn carriage rides. Gettysburg Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit will be on hand. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the Lucky Truck and Cafe 82. Other agencies, businesses, and organizations set to attend include Bendersville Police Department, Gettysburg Fire Department, Center for Youth and Community Development, Next Gen Ministry, Gettysburg Times, Adams County Head Start, Main Street Gettysburg , Representation from the office of Senator Mastriano, Pathstone Corporation, Gettysburg Presbyterian Church, YWCA Gettysburg, Adams County Probation, Members 1st Bank, Hanover YWCA, Constable Association, ACNB Bank, and Boy Scout Troop 73. National Night Out helps make neighborhoods safer, more caring, places to live and enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more. Attendance is free and we hope to see you there.

It’s Mosquito Season in Adams County: How to Stay Safe from West Nile Virus [Episode 63]

PLEASE SPONSOR THIS PAGE This week’s podcast is a reposting of an interview I did during the Fall of 2019.  It’s relevant now as the summer rains fall. Warmer weather brings more mosquitoes and more West Nile Virus. Please stay safe and please enjoy the podcast. In this episode I talk with Stephanie Summers who is Adams County’s Mosquito Borne Disease Control & Conservation Technician. Her job is to keep an eye on disease-causing insects in the county, including mosquitoes and ticks. Stephanie talks about how to the county helps keep these insects under control and how you can stay safe from Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. Here are some web links you may find useful: Adams County Conservation District PA Department of Environmental Protection U.S. Center for Disease Control Information on Lyme Disease U.S. Center for Disease Control Information on West Nile Virus  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Information on Choosing an Appropriate Insect Repellent

Gettysburg National Military Park details Little Round Top closures

A $13 million rehabilitation of Little Round Top began on Tuesday, July 26 at Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP). The Little Round Top area of the battlefield will be closed for approximately 18 months while the National Park Service improves infrastructure and updates the experience for visitors.   Closures During the 18-month rehabilitation project, the following will be closed to all visitation and traffic:    The entirety of Little Round Top as described as the area that borders Wheatfield Road to the north, Crawford Avenue to the west, Warren Avenue to the south, and Sykes Avenue to the east.    Roads in their entirety: Sykes Avenue, Warren Avenue, Wright Avenue.    Hiking trail in its entirety: The trail that runs parallel to Sykes Avenue, located on the east side of the road, from Wheatfield Road on the north end to just past Wright Avenue on the south end.    During the rehabilitating, the following will be closed to all vehicle traffic:    South Confederate Avenue will be closed to all vehicle traffic just south of the picnic area.     South Confederate Avenue will be open to all pedestrian (walk, hike, bicycle, Segway) traffic from just south of the picnic area to near the four-way intersection with Warren Avenue, Sykes Avenue, and Wright Avenue. All pedestrian traffic will be required to turn around at this intersection. Walkers and hikers will also be able to proceed on the many hiking trails around Big Round Top, to Devil’s Den, and to the Slyder and Bushman farms. As always, bicyclists and Segway riders are not permitted to ride on any unpaved surface.    Auto Tour Detour    Due to the length of the project, and the roads affected by the closure, the park has created an updated Auto Tour detour. This map is available on our website and in paper format at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center information desk. This paper map will also be distributed throughout the Gettysburg, PA area through Destination Gettysburg and Main Street Gettysburg affiliates.    Importance Results of a 2017 Gettysburg NMP Visitor Study emphasized the importance of Little Round Top to visitors. The report showed that 90% of park visitors go to Little Round Top during their battlefield visit.   “This closure will allow the necessary improvements to be completed in a safe and timely manner. The result of this project will help prevent further damage to this iconic location while increasing access and improving the visitor experience,” said park Superintendent Steven D. Sims. Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects, and interprets the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and their commemorations. The project will provide the maximum possible level of access to, and interpretation of, key battle and commemorative features, while ensuring the protection and stewardship of this highly significant site.    The scope of the rehabilitation project will address 1) overwhelmed parking areas and related safety hazards, 2) significant erosion caused by heavy visitation, 3) degraded vegetation, and 4) poor accessibility. The high volume of visitation is a significant contributing factor to the deterioration of the landscape, resulting in a degradation of important natural and artificial defenses, and historic topographic features of the battlefield. The rehabilitation of Little Round Top will reestablish, preserve, and protect the features that make up the battlefield landscape and that are essential to understanding the three-day battle that occurred at Gettysburg. This rehabilitation project will also enhance the experience of visiting the hill, with improved interpretive signage and new trail alignments, allowing visitors to immerse themselves into the historic landscape.    Project Website    The Gettysburg National Military Park website (https://www.nps.gov/gett) has a dedicated section for the Little Round Top rehabilitation project. These web pages include the Auto Tour detour map, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), a project timeline, links to Little Round Top virtual content, and photo albums. More content will be added as it becomes available.    Cost    The overall cost of the project is $13 million ($11 million for construction and $2 million for re-vegetation). The project has been funded through a mix of private and federal funding. The staff of Gettysburg National Military Park would like to thank the following: John Nau III, Gettysburg Foundation, American Battlefield Trust, and the National Park Foundation.    We appreciate your patience as we work to complete this pivotal rehabilitation project.

Gettysburg Area Education Foundation Hosts 4th Annual “Night at the Totem Pole Playhouse”

Gettysburg Area Education Foundation (GAEF) is hosting its 4th Annual GAEF “Evening at the Totem Pole Playhouse” Wednesday, August 10th at 8:00 PM with “Footloose The Musical!” There will be a pre-show reception for all ticket holders in the Totem Pole’s big tent beginning at 6:45 PM. “We are very pleased to be able to continue this event as our community eases into the ‘new normal’ after a two year break due to COVID-19,” said GAEF Executive Director Todd Orner. “This year’s show, ‘Footloose The Musical’ has a special connection to GAEF’s very first in-person fundraiser. In October 2008, GAEF hosted Kevin Bacon and The Bacon Brothers band at Gettysburg’s historic Majestic Theatre. GAEF is committed to enhancing student educational, social and cultural experiences through community support. All proceeds from the event will benefit the students of Gettysburg Area School District (GASD). The 4th Annual “Night at the Totem Pole Playhouse” is GAEF’s only in-person fundraising event scheduled this year.” GAEF provides fundraising assistance to all GASD organizations and staff including at least $3,000.00 in direct grants and access to GAEF’s “Giving Hub” crowdfunding solution. GAEF also arranges grants for financial assistance to Gettysburg Area High School (GAHS) students enrolled in career and technical education classes to help cover registration and entry fees as well as travel, hotel, and meal costs for attending regional, state, and national competitions and conferences. Financial support for these grants is provided by the Larry R. and Janet M. Redding Designated Endowment Fund held by the Adams County Community Foundation.

Library System Tech Needs for the Future

by Ryan Huffman, Library Computer Systems Director Technology can be unpredictable–not only in the way it works (or doesn’t) but in where it is headed. Fortunately for me, the library system is focused on providing basic technology needs to patrons before investing in the latest and greatest gadgets, so we don’t necessarily need to be able to predict the future of tech trends but we do need to keep up with what’s current and that’s not always an easy mission by itself. One element of that mission is maintaining the current conditions. Did you know the average life-span of a desktop computer in a business setting is about three to five years? Computers are certainly capable of lasting longer and quite a few in the library system have been around longer than that but the industry recommends planning for replacement after about five years. Hardware failure is one aspect to this lifecycle but obsolescence in both hardware and software are important factors as well. When a new operating system or the latest version of a software is released, if the existing hardware cannot support the new features, new hardware is required. Perhaps you’ve run into this with a smartphone you’ve been hanging on to for years and suddenly software updates are no longer available. With over 100 computers in the library system alone (not including peripheral hardware, mobile devices, and other devices), maintaining the current conditions can be a task all on its own. The other element of keeping things current is adding new technologies in order to provide the patrons and library staff with the right devices to meet their current needs. With the ubiquity of network connected devices, networks require upgrades for better cabling and newer hardware allowing for faster speeds. Improving cabling infrastructure in an older building like the one in Gettysburg can be time consuming and expensive. Newer “smart” network switches and devices make it easier for me to maintain networks at six branches around the county. The pandemic the last few years has caused the industry to pivot toward video conferencing–a change that might have happened eventually but probably not at the rate it did. Suddenly the bare minimum in terms of at-home technology came to include a stronger network connection, a passable video camera, and a reliable microphone if we wanted to interact “face-to-face” with our friends and coworkers. It has been a great example of how suddenly an industry can be turned on its head. Another, less instantaneous trend is the emergence of mobile devices. While computers and laptops undeniably have a place and a purpose, some tasks can be achieved more efficiently with a tablet. Their smaller size makes tablets ideal for some library programs. They take up less space and require less cabling when used as a quick access library catalog. They facilitate an easy way to make a donation to your local library or pay a fine. Updating library technology to include more modern technology like tablets would make it easier for patrons to find what they need and easier for the library staff to do their jobs more efficiently. So maybe you won’t run into the latest and greatest virtual reality technology at your local branch of the library any time soon but you will find we are constantly maintaining and reevaluating our technology needs to determine how the Adams County Library System can best serve the needs of the county.

Casa de Cultura gives over $56,000 in scholarships to 34 local students

leer en español Winners of this year’s Beatrice and Sigfried Lowenthal Scholarships for First and Second Generation Immigrants and their families gathered on the Gettysburg College campus on Wednesday evening to celebrate the awarding of over $56,000 in scholarship money to 34 first-generation students. The event, hosted by the college’s Casa de Cultura, included an award ceremony followed by a communal meal. The winning students included those just starting their college experience as freshmen as well as those finishing their degrees. Assistant Director for the Center for Public Service Brenda Reyes-Lúa congratulated the students and distributed the awards. The scholarship is funded by the Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) Foundation and the Mexican Consulate’s Mexican Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) Becas program and administered by Casa de la Cultura. Applications for next year’s scholarships will be available next May on the Casa de Cultura website.

Casa de Cultura entrega $56,000 en becas a 34 estudiantes locales

read in English Los ganadores de las Becas Beatrice y Sigfried Lowenthal de este año para inmigrantes de primera y segunda generación y sus familias se reunieron en el campus de Gettysburg College el miércoles por la noche para celebrar la entrega de más de $56,000 en becas a 34 estudiantes de primera generación. El evento, organizado por la Casa de Cultura de la universidad, incluyó una ceremonia de premiación seguida de una comida comunitaria. Los estudiantes ganadores incluyeron a los que recién comenzaban su experiencia universitaria como estudiantes de primer año, así como a los que terminaban sus títulos. La Subdirectora del Centro de Servicio Público Brenda Reyes-Lúa felicitó a los estudiantes y repartió los premios. La beca está financiada por la Fundación Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) y el programa Becas del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) del Consulado de México y es administrada por la Casa de la Cultura. Las solicitudes para las becas del próximo año estarán disponibles el próximo mes de mayo en la página web de la Casa de Cultura.

UASD considers greenhouse updates

Upper Adams School District (UASD) opened discussion regarding Biglerville High School’s outdated greenhouse July 19. Biglerville High School Principal Beth Graham presented overviews regarding the district’s greenhouse, which for the past three years, has been held together with collision tape, she said. Prior to COVID-19, the district began work with experts to take a look at the grounds. Challenges and issues arising of the existing greenhouse include tears and weakening to the decades old covering which only had a life expectancy of three to five years, she said. “You go out and look close enough, you can see those repairs,” she said. The fencing around the greenhouse was installed after the greenhouse construction and there is approximately six inches between the base of the structure and the fence to actually get around it. “Which makes it nearly impossible to do a major repair on it and even maintain the weeds and stuff around it,” Graham said. The aged heater in the greenhouse also does not keep a constant temperature, according to Graham.   At their functionality, greenhouses provide an optimum growing laboratory experience for kids to highlight what industries are utilizing and students are able to produce crops, analyze soil, and nutrients, identify pest control and market what they grow, she said. UASD students have previously been able to produce poinsettias in the autumn to be sold at Christmas, she said. With the inconsistency with the green house, the crop growing schedule had to be adapted around the outside environment. “Which doesn’t provide students with the experience of a true climate controlled agricultural experience,” she said. The current greenhouse structure has also prohibited the expansion to curriculum like hydroponics, growing without soil, and aquaponics, which utilizes fish to fertilize plants, according to Graham. With an updated greenhouse, UASD can improve the climate zone to utilize potentially four different climate zones in the same space. An updated greenhouse would provide students a modernized agricultural experience with climate control and indoor farming to produce products from beginning to end, she said. Transforming the structure into a more permanent structure would also allow students the ability to produce crops with the potential to be utilized in the cafeteria such as a farm to table set up. “There is also a satisfaction of the kids being able to start, finish and see their projects through and then ultimately share that with the community,” Graham said.  Canner Funds have begun pursuing grants and with the board’s approval, would look to support the initiative financially, she said. The board will next meet August. 2 for a Curriculum and Extra Curriculum meeting and a regular board meeting August 16.

Little Round Top will close for 18 months on Tuesday

The Gettysburg National Military Park will close Little Round Top on Tuesday. The closure affects all roads that lead to the site and will be in place for about 18 months. The closure is to allow renovations that will address crowding, accessibility, safety, erosion, and degraded vegetation. The Devil’s Den area has also been closed for rehabilitation since March 21 for erosion and safety issues. According to the park service this area is expected to reopen in September. Read more: The closure may affect tourism and businesses but there is still much for visitors to do in and around Gettysburg. Park Communication Specialist Jason Martz said a major focus of the Little Round Top project is the small parking area that has become a safety hazard for visitors. He said the work will create a safe area for people to unload from tour buses and a “space where cars and people can coexist peacefully.” The renovation will add crosswalks and create better ADA accessibility. Martz said the renovations will also enhance the visitor learning experience. “We will be adding more interpretive signs and more gathering areas for large groups. We will be giving people a better experience through all these improvements.”

County honors Controller’s Office

The Adams County Commissioners have recognized the Controller’s Office and its dedicated staff for receiving their 4th consecutive Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Award of Financial Reporting Achievement for fiscal year 2020.   The Controllers Team, led by Controller John Phillips and Asst. Controller Beth Cissel, consistently strive for excellence. This award is one tangible example of those efforts. Commissioner Randy Phiel said the county had formed the Adams County  Financial Team with the Controller, Treasurer’s Office, Budget Office, and Commissioners Office all collaborating to increase budget, accounting, and investment efficiency. “We are very proud of the results and the efforts all these offices have made to receive professional recognition. Congratulations to our Controller’s Office,” said Phiel.

Local Authors to Discuss Patton’s Third Army at World War II Museum

Local authors Lois Lembo and Leon Reed will discuss their book, A Combat Engineer With Patton’s Army: The Fight Across Europe With the 80th “Blue Ridge” Division in World War II at 1 pm Saturday, July 30. The talk will take place at the new museum, World War II American Experience, located along Mummasburg Rd., just west of town. The book tells the story of the 80th Division’s advance across France, the division’s mid-December gallop north to Luxembourg to close off the German offensive in the Battle of the Bulge, the relief of Bastogne, the Spring 1945 offensive and discovery of the first concentration camps, and occupation duty in Bavaria. The book is heavily based on a trove of letters written by Sgt. (later Lt.) Frank Lembo, a squad leader in the 305th Engineer Combat Battalion, to his fiancé, Betty Craig. In his letters, Frank commented on the war, the engineering work, as well as the commonplace events of GI life. The authors also made use of the original typescript copy of the B Company diary as well as other reports by the engineers, unit reports, and combat memoirs of other soldiers to create a narrative that combines the personal experience of a single soldier, the work the engineers performed, and the story of the advance of Patton’s Third Army across Europe. “I loved working on this project,” said Lembo, who is the daughter of Frank and Betty Lembo.”Dad would never talk much about his experiences, but the letters made his life in the army so vivid. And through the letters, it’s almost like I’m able to get more time with my parents.” “It’s a fantastic story,” said Reed, who is Lois Lembo’s husband. “Frank Lembo wrote beautifully and was an incredibly astute observer of the events going on around him. And he had a heck of a war: a behind enemy lines mission gone bad that earned him a Silver Star and the relief of Bastogne, for example.” We’re thrilled to have Lois and Leon as some of our first speakers,” said Jody Wilson, the new museum’s director of outreach. “We have a tremendous collection of hardware, but we also want to tell the stories of the everyday soldier. Combining the work of the engineers with the drama of Patton’s advance makes Frank Lembo’s story is a great one for us to tell.”

Local School Superintendents Discuss School Safety

According to statistics from Education Week, 2022 has already seen 27 school shootings with injuries and deaths in the U.S., with 83 people killed or injured. The grim tally includes the deaths of 24 children. School superintendents in the country’s 130,000 public and private schools are entrusted every school day to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for approximately 55 million elementary and secondary students. To learn how local districts meet the challenge, Gettysburg Connection talked with Littlestown Area School District Superintendent Christopher Bigger, Bermudian Springs School District Superintendent Dr. Shane Hotchkiss, and Gettysburg Area School District Superintendent Jason Perrin. “Safety has been a priority for many years; even prior to my tenure,” said Perrin. “We utilize a continuous improvement model, meaning we are always looking for reasonable and sustainable ways to maximize safety for our school community. We utilize external audits completed by third party vendors and by the PA State Police to assist in our improvement efforts.” The Pennsylvania Public School Code (Act 44) requires school districts to appoint school safety and security coordinators, establish mandatory school safety training for school employees, and establish standards for school police, resource officers, and security guards. Following Act 44, each district takes similar approaches to their daily safety procedures including both “hard” and “soft” techniques. On the “hard” side, districts have only a single point of entry to each building, require ID for entry, use security cameras, and hold evacuation and emergency protocol training for staff and students. But there is also a “soft side” that involves a focus on the mental health of students and faculty, as well as simply getting to know the students within the district.  “The power of Littlestown safety is in the number of counselors and support staff we have,” said Bigger. “These prevention safety measures can allow us to know and intervene before something happens.” Bigger said Littlestown has a licensed social worker, licensed mental health therapist, and a psychologist that assist in providing daily assistance. “We contract services through Cognitive Health Solutions to provide the program and staffing using ESSERS federal COVID dollars,” Bigger said.  “Students referred to the child study team in each building are analyzed for level of need and assigned an intervention based on staffing.  Sometimes the classroom teacher or the school counselor implements a strategy.” Bermudian also has growing resources related to mental health. “We have a school counselor in each of our buildings and a counselor that moves between the middle and high school,” said Hotchkiss.  “Additionally, we have had a substance abuse counselor for quite some time and have expanded her role in our district to include all buildings.” Bermudian additionally began utilizing Care Solice last year, which ensures that communities can reach reliable mental health services no matter the circumstances. As for the “hard” side of safety, Hotchkiss said Bermudian uses the “ALICE” program, provided by a third party, for safety training. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. “We use ALICE as a tool. These are options and strategies for students and staff to utilize in an emergency,” said Hotchkiss.  “We revisit these drills and practices during faculty meetings.” ALICE training includes modules appropriate for different grade levels, using storybooks, hands-on activities, worksheets, and other methods. The curriculum provides language and concepts to facilitate learning about stranger danger, assault, abduction, and abuse at an age-appropriate level. Each district also works within the state’s youth violence prevention program Safe2SayPA. The program, run by the state Attorney General’s office, teaches children to recognize warning signs and signals, especially on social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something before it is too late.” Hotkchiss said the program allows students to anonymously report unsafe and potentially dangerous activities, and helps students and staff to be diligent and observant, and to ask questions. Bigger recalled how a large change in security measures occurred in Adams County following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “Post Parkland is when Adams County became much more conscious and consistent,” he said. “When Uvalde happened, we asked ourselves if we were still being consistent.  We keep trying to get better every year.” Bigger said Littlestown is as “as prepared as possible to react in an emergency,” and has employed a school resource safety officer since 2018. “The officer leads staff training, follows through on safety improvements, and leads efforts to ensure student, staff, and family compliance with safety procedures,” said Bigger.  “Since the hiring of a safety officer, our safety efforts have increased substantially, and we are maintaining the efforts deployed. For example, when we are required to perform safety drills the officer will coordinate the drills and then evaluate for improvement efforts.” “I think in trying to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning, while providing security and safety, we are in a good spot,” said Hotchkiss. “I believe all of our current efforts are both reasonable and sustainable in a public school environment,” said Perrin. “We will always review our protocols and make adjustments as warranted to mitigate safety concerns.”

South Mountain Audubon Big Spring Bird Walk

On Saturday, July 30, the South Mountain Audubon Big Spring Bird Walk will be held in Newville, PA. Meet at 7:30 am for the walk that is free and open to the public. The route is relatively level along a road that follows a creek. We will meet in the parking area where Big Spring Road intersects with Springfield Road, just outside of Newville. After meeting, we can place vehicles at various parking areas along the road for those who do not wish to do the entire walk and so that we can carpool back to the starting point. Bring water and a snack, if needed. Be aware there are no restroom facilities here. There is a Sheetz at the intersection of Routes 233 and 11. This is a good place to use the restroom and get a snack before joining the walk. Directions: From Pine Grove Furnace State Park – Take Route 233 North (Centerville Road) for 9 miles to the intersection of Route 11/Ritner Highway. Turn left onto Route 11. (Turn right onto Route 11 if leaving from Sheetz.) In about 1.5 miles, turn right onto Log Cabin Road. Follow Log Cabin Road to a T intersection. Turn right and then a QUICK left to remain on Log Cabin Road. At the next T intersection with Big Spring Road, turn left and the parking area will be on your left.

Gettysburg Connection launches summer fund drive to fund a new journalists

Gettysburg Connection believes every Adams County resident deserves free, timely, and trustworthy local news.  Our stories are written by local writers, who we pay a fair wage for their contribution. This summer, we have an opportunity to add one or more awesome and experienced journalists to our small but mighty team. We need these writers to share more of the stories that matter most to you! It’s an opportunity that we should not pass up – but we need your help to make it happen. Will you take a minute and give? Please consider becoming a Gettysburg Connection member or making a contribution to help us grow our newsroom. Every dollar shows your support and helps us in our mission. Sincerely, Chuck Stangor, Publisher

Slideshow: Pomona’s Trio

It was a great evening to hear Pomona’s Trio on the Arts Oasis stage on the square in Gettysburg. The weather was warm but not hot and the truck and motorcycle traffic was minimal. The group plays jazz standards and originals. Here’s a slideshow of the evening. https://www.facebook.com/PomonasTriohttps://www.facebook.com/AdamsCountyArtsPloughman Cider Taproom

Gettysburg Choral Society holds auditions

The Gettysburg Choral Society, Inc., a regional chorus of volunteers, will hold auditions on Monday, August 8th from 7-9 P.M. and on Monday, August 15th, from 7-9 P.M. Auditions are by appointment only and will be held at Trinity United Church of Christ, 60 East High Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Singers, at least 18 years of age, who read music, have experience singing in choral groups, and agree to adhere to the rules governing the choral society are encouraged to audition. All vocal parts are welcome to audition, but there is a particular need for tenors and basses. The audition is relatively simple. Each person will be asked to sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and will be evaluated for range and voice quality. There is no need to prepare any music. Everything needed for the audition will be furnished. To schedule your audition, please text or call our director, John McKay, at (717) 476-1054, or email him at zoemckay@aol.com. Additional information about The Gettysburg Choral Society may be found at: Facebook.com/gburgchoralsociety. The fall rehearsal cycle begins on September 12th, culminating in a Christmas concert on Friday, December 2nd, 2022. Rehearsals are held each Monday evening at Trinity UCC in Gettysburg, from 7-9 P.M.

Cumberland Township Planning Commission votes against water tower project

The Cumberland Township Planning Commission voted unanimously last evening against a request from the Gettysburg Municipal Authority (GMA) for a zoning change that would have allowed a 170-foot-tall water tower off Fairfield Rd. The planning commission’s vote is advisory to the township supervisors who will make the final decision. A standing-room only crowd of about sixty citizens appeared at the hearing with dozens speaking against the project and only one in favor.  The crowd broke out in applause when the decision was announced. The commission said they had received letters of opposition from national history-oriented groups including the American Battlefield Trust, The National Parks Conservation Association, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Preservation Pennsylvania. Deputy Superintendent Kristina Heister said the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Eisenhower Park had also weighed in against the proposal. Gettysburg Foundation President Wayne Motts echoed the same sentiments. The proposed zoning change would have allowed “essential” structures of up to 175 feet high in the township’s residential zones. The current maximum height is 35 feet. A letter from the Adams County Office of Planning had previously called the 175- foot height “arbitrary” and cautioned that the township should “prevent any type of essential service from standing out to a large degree from the existing landscape or disturbing the visual integrity of the battlefield landscape.” Bret Shaffer, an attorney for the Red Oak Lane advocacy group which opposed the tower, introduced an engineer’s report offering an alternative to the proposed elevated tower using a ground storage tank and pumps, and other speakers also explored alternate possibilities. The advocacy group has collected 87 signatures from Cumberland Township residents who opposed the tower. A second petition at Change.org had 105 signatures. The township supervisors will consider the proposal at a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday July 26 at the Cumberland Township Municipal Building at 1370 Fairfield Road. Written comments can be sent to the Board of Supervisors at that address.

Pennsylvania has a new child care tax credit. Here’s what you need to know.

By Kate Huangpu of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf has approved a new, permanent child care tax credit that will allow families to claim thousands of dollars in benefits. The new tax credit was created as part of Pennsylvania’s new $45.2 billion budget, which Wolf signed into law in early July. Wolf and lawmakers also allocated over $140 million to a one-time expansion of a property tax credit for low-income and older Pennsylvanians. Here’s what you need to know about these credits and how you can access them: The Pennsylvania child care tax credit What does it do? Modeled off of the federal Child Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Program will return up to 30% of child care-related expenses that filers claim on their federal return. This program is meant to support working families by lessening their tax liability. A total of $24.6 million went into the program, which is now a permanent fixture of the state’s tax code. Who is eligible? People who have one or more dependents and fall under a certain income level are eligible. For people who care for one dependent, expenses claimed cannot surpass $3,000. For those with two or more dependents, it cannot surpass $6,000. The percentage of expenses that can be credited will vary depending on income level, but that detail has yet to be determined. Per a state House budget committee representative, the rules will be similar to those for federal returns. Married couples with up to $150,000 in annual income or a single filer who made half that were eligible for the full amount of the federal tax credit in 2021. How is it claimed? This credit can be claimed when filing state taxes beginning in 2023. The rebate will be subtracted from the total amount of taxes owed to the state. If the amount credited is worth more than the amount of taxes owed to the state, the rebate will be refunded to the filer. The (temporary) boost for property tax relief What does it do? This one-time allocation temporarily boosts the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Under the current program, eligible Pennsylvanians receive rebates ranging from $650 to $975 depending on whether the filer is a renter or homeowner. The year’s budget uses $140 million in federal stimulus money to expand payments for one year by 70%. If a person already received $975 from the program last year, they will get an additional $682.50. Who is eligible? The program benefits Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widowed people older than 49, and people with disabilities age 18 and older. Homeowners with annual incomes under $35,000 are eligible, as are renters with annual incomes under $15,000 (certain types of income are excluded). How is it claimed? Anyone who received a property tax or rent rebate during the 2021 tax season is automatically eligible for the additional rebate. Pennsylvanians can still apply for the 2021 rebate program and obtain the 70% bonus rebate until the end of this year. However, the bonus rebate will not be available for those applying to next year’s rebate program. Correction: A sentence has been updated to note that the 2021 tax rebate program is still accepting applications. WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundationsand readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.

ACAC Launches Healing Arts Program

The Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) has successfully completed its first two sessions of a new Healing Arts Program; an eight-week curriculum designed to facilitate social connections and teach healthy coping mechanisms for stress reduction through practice of a variety of arts mediums. Board certified music therapist, Amy Kalas Buser, MM, MT-BC, facilitated a program for the autism support classroom at Biglerville High School. Board certified art therapist, David Mitchell, MA, ATR-BC, LPAT, facilitated a women’s group at the ACAC’s Arts Education Center. Students in both groups were visited by a different guest artist each week. Guest artists engaged students in painting, weaving, yoga, creative writing, drum circles, instrument improvisation, and theatre exercises. The women’s group concluded with a culinary arts class and celebratory meal. The Healing Arts Program was well received by students and teachers alike. “I thought the Healing Arts Program was amazing and perfect,” said BHS student Leah Watson. “It was calming and fun. I loved it.” “We are thrilled with how the program is taking off,” said ACAC Executive Director Lisa Cadigan. “We have been contacted by area schools to facilitate professional development sessions for their teachers and staff to give them a sampling of the program, so they can bring it into their classrooms or consider teambuilding sessions for themselves. This is a program that can benefit everyone.”  Each arts experience is tied to a larger social emotional goal based on the needs of students in the group. For example, BHS students spent the first two weeks working on social communication skills through writing raps, building empathy through lyric analysis of songs, and developing group cohesion by creating a painting project together. The Women’s Group opened each week’s session with a meditation and centering exercise and group discussion before beginning an art project to address themes including “Surviving and Thriving,” “Growth Through Adversity,” and “Finding your Community of Support.” The program is funded by the Community Development Block Grant and the Anne and Philip Glatfelter III Family Foundation. Plans are underway for new groups to start eight-week sessions this fall. If you are interested in participating in the Healing Arts program, or if you know of a group that would benefit from an eight-week session, please contact Kylie Stone, Outreach and Events Coordinator, Adams County Arts Council. Featured Image: Facilitated by music therapist Amy Kalas-Buser and painting instructor Fabio Carella, Biglerville High School students in the autism support classroom rotated around their classroom to contribute to group paintings while listening to music, fostering collaboration and teambuilding during their first week of Healing Arts.

Destination Weddings abound in Adams

Adams County is a popular destination for wedding ceremonies, largely due to its widespread appeal for many different audiences. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues A wedding at Hauser Hill Event Center [Lindsey Ford] “Adams County is built for tourism, so we are fully equipped for people to come from all over the place to explore the battlefields, the history of the town, and our robust agribusiness,” said Round Barn Events LLC Manager Jessica Knouse. “We not only have venues on the more traditional spectrum, but we also have unpretentious, newer, outdoor options. There’s something for everyone.” For couples seeking to host their wedding at an upscale, indoor location, the Federal Pointe Inn and the Gettysburg Hotel are two possible options. The Federal Pointe Inn, a location that has been open for nearly ten years, hosts approximately twenty wedding groups each year, with many couples choosing to spend their honeymoon at the boutique hotel. According to Owner Pete Monahan, “We’re historic, unique, and upscale. One of our amenities is a pub that our wedding groups can use before and after the wedding so they don’t have to leave the hotel. We also offer tea and scones every afternoon and our rooms are larger than most hotels.” Another prominent feature of the Federal Pointe Inn is that it offers historic areas for wedding groups to take pictures. “It photographs really well,” said Monahan. “We just had a wedding where we hung the bride’s dress from a chandelier and the photographer took a picture. The chandelier made a beautiful shot.” At the Gettysburg Hotel, couples also appreciate the unique and historic indoor space to host their weddings. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues “In 2000, we acquired our Grand Ballroom space, which was originally the Gettysburg National Bank and was still operating as a PNC Bank at the time,” shared Catering & Events Manager Megan Wherley. “The space was transformed into our beautiful ballroom, keeping the iconic, historic elements, including the original hand-painted and gold inlaid 28-foot ceiling with a Grecian border, as well at the impressive and formidable bank vault.” Additionally, the Gettysburg Hotel offers amenities that are popular with their wedding guests. Wherley said, “One of the biggest benefits to our couples is that we do all of their personal decorating for them. All they need to do is bring the decorations to the hotel before the wedding, then we go through it all and set up everything.” When the couple returns before the wedding, “they get a grand reveal of the space, seeing the ballroom for the first time with flowers in place, candles lit, and champagne poured, ready for guests to enter and be amazed,” said Wherley. At the end of the night, the Gettysburg Hotel staff takes the decorations down as well, allowing couples to pick up their decor in the morning. “Our venue is really a one-stop location,” said Wherley. “We provide all catering, alcohol, guestrooms, tables, chairs, linens, napkins, house centerpieces, setup and teardown and even the wedding cake. We have an extensive preferred vendor list who can provide any services that we do not offer in house. Beyond that, we have guestrooms on site, a Starbucks, and our award-winning restaurant, One Lincoln. Our goal is to provide a stress-free wedding planning experience.” For those couples who prefer scenic outdoor locations with indoor options, the Historic Round Barn, Hauser Hill Event Center, and Gettysburg National Military Park are three of the many picturesque locations in Adams County. The Historic Round Barn began hosting wedding events in 2007 for family members associated with the barn. It has since hosted nearly 200 weddings and strives to maintain the original family-oriented concept. Manager Jessica Knouse said, “There’s a lot of flexibility because we’re family owned. We do one wedding per weekend, so we are very focused on one couple. We don’t rush people on setting up or tearing down. They can have any vendors they prefer because we don’t have restrictions on vendors.” Knouse believes that guests typically choose their location for weddings because “they want to get married, but they don’t want to be in a banquet room; they want a more homey and comfortable feel. Our venue is unpretentious, uninhibited, and laid back. We’re on a farm so people can drive right up and unload.” Additionally, she shared that “One of the biggest selling points is that we have a huge inventory of decorations that people can use at no additional cost so that they don’t have to buy decorations they’ll never use again.” Another scenic outdoor venue is the Hauser Hill Event Center. It began as the Hauser Estate Winery which hosted weddings but remained open to the public. It has since rebranded to the Hauser Hill Event Center and is only open for weddings and private events. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues “It is such a beautiful property for weddings with stunning views in every direction,” said Event Coordinator Mindi Wood. “If they want an outdoor ceremony, we have a deck and a terrace for outdoor seating. Using tents, people can also enjoy the gorgeous views and be outside for the reception.” Wood, a former wedding photographer with 25 years of photography experience and 30 years of wedding planning experience, has an eye for detail that she believes is helpful for events. “It is important to me that every detail is carried out and that the day goes smoothly. I care about people and I want them to just enjoy the day and not have to worry about anything,” said Wood. “Hauser Hill is so beautifully decorated inside and outside that the couples really do not need to do much except show up, and that is my goal,” said Wood. “We also are very flexible with the table arrangement, times for the events, and we are handicap accessible and dog friendly.” Finally, couples who are interested in hosting their wedding at the Gettysburg National Military Park are able to do so at the park’s amphitheater on West Confederate Avenue. The location has a seating capacity of approximately 50 people on benches. However, couples may bring additional seating for larger crowds. “People can use that area via a Special Park Use permit which can be found through the park’s website,” said Special Permit Coordinator Pam Neil. Neil also noted that “there are living history encampments in the wooded area adjacent to the amphitheater itself on the weekends.” For those interested in the history of Gettysburg, Neil believes “the soldiers would certainly make an interesting backdrop.” Because Adams County is home to many different wedding venues, there are options available to all couples, whether they wish to be married under the 1920’s chandeliers at the Federal Pointe Inn, under the stars at the Hauser Hill Event Center, or anything else in between. View our complete list of Destination Wedding Venues “Adams County is the perfect wedding destination because there’s something for everyone,” said Wherley. “Foodies will find lots of unique dining options. Historians can enjoy the battlefields, museums, downtown walking tours and period shops. Nature lovers can hike the trails with plenty to explore.” Featured Image Caption: A wedding at Hauser Hill Event Center [Lindsey Ford]

NASA Reveals Webb Telescope’s First Images of Unseen Universe

The dawn of a new era in astronomy is here as the world gets its first look at the full capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). The full set of the telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data, which uncover a collection of cosmic features elusive until now, released Tuesday, are available at https://www.nasa.gov/webbfirstimages. “Today, we present humanity with a groundbreaking new view of the cosmos from the James Webb Space Telescope – a view the world has never seen before,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “These images, including the deepest infrared view of our universe that has ever been taken, show us how Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions we don’t even yet know to ask; questions that will help us better understand our universe and humanity’s place within it. “The Webb team’s incredible success is a reflection of what NASA does best. We take dreams and turn them into reality for the benefit of humanity. I can’t wait to see the discoveries that we uncover – the team is just getting started!” NASA explores the unknown in space for the benefit of all, and Webb’s first observations tell the story of the hidden universe through every phase of cosmic history – from neighboring planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe.  “This is a singular and historic moment,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “It took decades of drive and perseverance to get us here, and I am immensely proud of the Webb team. These first images show us how much we can accomplish when we come together behind a shared goal, to solve the cosmic mysteries that connect us all. It’s a stunning glimpse of the insights yet to come.” “We are elated to celebrate this extraordinary day with the world,” said Greg Robinson, Webb program director at NASA Headquarters. “The beautiful diversity and incredible detail of the Webb telescope’s images and data will have a profound impact on our understanding of the universe and inspire us to dream big.” Webb’s first observations were selected by a group of representatives from NASA, ESA, CSA, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. They reveal the capabilities of all four of Webb’s state-of-the-art scientific instruments: SMACS 0723: Webb has delivered the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe so far – and in only 12.5 hours. For a person standing on Earth looking up, the field of view for this new image, a color composite of multiple exposures each about two hours long, is approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length. This deep field uses a lensing galaxy cluster to find some of the most distant galaxies ever detected. This image only scratches the surface of Webb’s capabilities in studying deep fields and tracing galaxies back to the beginning of cosmic time. WASP-96b (spectrum): Webb’s detailed observation of this hot, puffy planet outside our solar system reveals the clear signature of water, along with evidence of haze and clouds that previous studies of this planet did not detect. With Webb’s first detection of water in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, it will now set out to study hundreds of other systems to understand what other planetary atmospheres are made of. Southern Ring Nebula: This planetary nebula, an expanding cloud of gas that surrounds a dying star, is approximately 2,000 light years away. Here, Webb’s powerful infrared eyes bring a second dying star into full view for the first time. From birth to death as a planetary nebula, Webb can explore the expelling shells of dust and gas of aging stars that may one day become a new star or planet. Stephan’s Quintet: Webb’s view of this compact group of galaxies, located in the constellation Pegasus, pierced through the shroud of dust surrounding the center of one galaxy, to reveal the velocity and composition of the gas near its supermassive black hole. Now, scientists can get a rare look, in unprecedented detail, at how interacting galaxies are triggering star formation in each other and how the gas in these galaxies is being disturbed. Carina Nebula: Webb’s look at the ‘Cosmic Cliffs’ in the Carina Nebula unveils the earliest, rapid phases of star formation that were previously hidden. Looking at this star-forming region in the southern constellation Carina, as well as others like it, Webb can see newly forming stars and study the gas and dust that made them. “Absolutely thrilling!” said John Mather, Webb senior project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The equipment is working perfectly, and nature is full of surprising beauty. Congratulations and thanks to our worldwide teams that made it possible.” The release of Webb’s first images and spectra kicks off the beginning of Webb’s science operations, where astronomers around the world will have their chance to observe anything from objects within our solar system to the early universe using Webb’s four instruments. The James Webb Space Telescope launched Dec. 25, 2021, on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America. After completing a complex deployment sequence in space, Webb underwent months of commissioning where its mirrors were aligned, and its instruments were calibrated to its space environment and prepared for science. The public can also view the new Webb images Tuesday on several digital screens in New York City’s Times Square and in London’s Piccadilly Circus beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT and 10:30 p.m. GMT, respectively. The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. NASA Headquarters oversees the mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages Webb for the agency and oversees work on the mission performed by the Space Telescope Science Institute, Northrop Grumman, and other mission partners. In addition to Goddard, several NASA centers contributed to the project, including the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and others. For a full array of Webb’s first images and spectra, including downloadable files, visit https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images Featured Image Caption: This landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth. Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI Learn more about this image. Lee esta nota de prensa en español aquí.

More oversight for Pennsylvania nursing home staffing agencies in the pipeline

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Health care service agencies, which supply nursing homes and others with temporary staff, could deal with more oversight and regulation if a bill continues to advance in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Price ceilings that would have capped what staffing agencies could charge, however, were removed from the legislation. House Bill 2293 would apply a number of requirements for agencies to register with the Department of Human Services. Among them would be verification employees are properly credentialed; background checks; ownership disclosure; and pay a $500 annual registration fee. It would also require agencies to carry malpractice insurance and establish a complaint process. “State agencies do not have oversight of supplemental health care service agencies,” Rep. Tim Bonner, R-Grove City, wrote in a legislative memo. “Recognizing the increased role that these agencies play in the day-to-day operations of nearly 700 nursing homes and 1,200 assisted living residences and personal care homes, we must ensure they are operating in a manner that supports the long-term care sector and high-quality resident care.” The bill passed in the House, 198-2, on July 1 and awaits action in the Senate.  Pennsylvania has relied on agencies to recruit staff during the pandemic. In January 2020, 6% of certified nursing assistants, 8% of licensed practical nurses, and 5% of registered nurses came to nursing homes and assisted living facilities through staffing agencies, according to quarterly data from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  By October 2021, those numbers had jumped, respectively, to 14.6%, 17.4%, and 11.5%. That reliance on staffing agencies is relatively high, but in line with other states in the Northeast. Nursing homes have high staff turnover rates; one study found that “mean and median annual turnover rates for total nursing staff were roughly 128% and 94%, respectively.”  When nursing homes struggle to hire long-term care workers, they rely on staffing agencies to fill in the gaps. And rates for those short-term workers can be much higher. The bill has attracted the support of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, an advocacy group for long-term care providers, which has been critical of health care service agencies. “It’s oversight and accountability, that’s the most important part of the bill,” said Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the PHCA. “There’s no oversight and accountability in Pennsylvania over staffing agencies.” Shamberg framed it as a victory for bringing agencies in line with other organizations in health care. “This really puts guardrails around what they can do, how they can operate,” he said. “It really ensures that we’re all operating on a level playing field.” Shamberg noted that staffing problems grow from low Medicaid reimbursement rates. “Medicaid reimbursement rates in Pennsylvania have remained stagnant since 2014,” he said, while costs have gone up. “Everything is driven by Medicaid reimbursement,” Shamberg said. “Our stagnant Medicaid reimbursement rate hasn’t allowed providers to truly invest in their staff.” Transparency for staffing agencies isn’t totally missing. “Anyone can go look (at CMS data) and see how many hours any given nursing home in the country had contract staff, so this idea of having some sort of registration – I’m honestly not sure what the idea, what they’re even trying to pretend the idea is,” said Markus Brun Bjoerkheim, a postdoctoral fellow in the Open Health program of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. One portion of the bill, removed when it was in committee, would have capped maximum rates charged by staffing agencies. Bjoerkheim warned against such policies. “If we’re going to cap these rates, then some patients aren’t going to be cared for,” he said. In April, Pennsylvania was down 30,000 workers in nursing homes since the start of the pandemic, as The Center Square previously reported. 

Pennsylvania Senate bill would give voters say in abortion, voter ID

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – A late-night Republican push for a constitutional amendment declaring no right to an abortion has caused controversy. The resolution would also change elections to require voter ID, raise the voting age to 21, and allow gubernatorial candidates to pick their running mate for lieutenant governor, rather than have two separate races. Senate Bill 106 would amend Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution to read: “This Constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.” The amendment would be a way to avoid a veto from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who has promised to defend abortion as long as he serves as governor. During a session on Friday debating the bill, Senate Republicans argued that voters deserve a choice on abortion law. The amendment, which would need to be approved by voters, would allow “voters to decide whether taxpayers should be required to pay for abortions,” said Sen. David Argall, R-Berks/Schuylkill. “We have no choice but to turn to the constitutional process to give the voters a say.” Democrats strongly disagreed with the amendment popping up late Thursday night for a vote.  “This is a straight-up attempt to change the constitution of Pennsylvania to deny women the right to control what happens with their own bodies,” said Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia. The amendment would “make them second-class citizens,” he said. Some Democrats, however, embraced the idea of letting voters decide as a way to subvert politicking in the General Assembly. “I’m a yes on this bill because I’m tired of the demagoguing,” said Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Bethlehem. “Let the voters reject this, let them deliver a message once and for all: a women’s right to choose deserves protection.” The voter ID amendment raises the voting age and requires valid proof of identification, but also provides an ID at no cost to the voter once their identity is confirmed. “Showing ID is not a controversial topic,” said Sen. Mike Regan, R-Cumberland/York. “This amendment is the first step to protecting our voting system … there is no justification not to do this.” The bill passed a Senate vote, 28-22, and heads to the House. Both chambers are majority Republican.

Time to Remember Loved Ones and End Overdose

Local communities, including those in Adams County and around the world, are coming together to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. Observed on the 31st of August every year, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) seeks to create a better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use. This year the Adams County Overdose Awareness Taskforce will host the 4th annual Overdose Awareness Walk on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 6 p.m. The walk will begin at the Adams County Court House on Baltimore Street and will end at the Fireman’s Pavilion at the Gettysburg REC Park at 545 Long Lane in Gettysburg. Light refreshments will be provided and free Narcan will be available. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one and would like to share a picture during the event please contact Lisa Lindsey at acsaprevention@cfygettysburg.com or call 717-338-0300 x109. People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises – one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2019. Early statistics and anecdotal evidence for the 2021 calendar year show that the situation is becoming ever-more critical, exacerbated in many areas by the pandemic decreasing the tolerance of people who use drugs and disrupting both services and the drug supply chain. For more information on this event or the Adams County Overdose Awareness Taskforce, please call Lisa Lindsey at 717-338-0300 x 109. Visit their website at www.overdosefreeadams.org. They are homed at the Center for Youth and Community Development offices located at 233 W High Street in Gettysburg.

National Park Service Awards $926,674 to Extend Protected Land at Gettysburg Battlefield

The National Park Service’s (NPS) American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) awarded $926,674.18 in Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to protect an additional 4.64 acres of Civil War battlefield lands at Gettysburg. These projects build on more than a decade of collaborative conservation in which the American Battlefield Trust has partnered with other nonprofit organizations, the NPS, and state and local governments to preserve one of our nation’s most iconic battlefields. The awards are made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which reinvests revenue from offshore oil and natural gas leasing to help strengthen conservation and recreation opportunities across the nation.  “These grants to state and local governments represent an important investment in public-private conservation efforts across America,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “They support partnership efforts that thoughtfully consider the needs, concerns, and priorities of communities inextricably connected to these unique places and stories.”   In the months following the July 1863 battle at Gettysburg, local advocates purchased parts of the area known as Culp’s Hill to protect the battlefield and set aside land for those who died in action. By century’s end, the Gettysburg Memorial Association, a non-profit organization chartered to protect the battlefield and commemorate Union forces, turned over many of these acres and monuments for inclusion in the federally managed Gettysburg National Military Park. The NPS stepped up to steward the park in 1933 and, for nearly a century, has worked with partners to protect, interpret, and restore the battle’s most significant sites of military encounters and support operations.    Since 2015, the American Battlefield Trust has matched NPS ABPP awards totaling $3.69 million to protect nearly 95 acres at Gettysburg. The two grants awarded today support the Trust’s on-going efforts to protect lands adjacent to the park, including tracts on Culp’s Hill, that enhance NPS’s commitment to safeguard the Battle of Gettysburg’s landscapes and memories. As we approach the battle’s 159th anniversary, the protection of Culp’s Hill looks back to the earliest preservation efforts at Gettysburg and forward with our collective dedication to what President Abraham Lincoln described as “the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”   NPS ABPP’s Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants empower preservation partners nationwide to acquire and preserve threatened battlefields on American soil. In addition, the program administers three other grant programs: Preservation Planning, Battlefield Interpretation and Battlefield Restoration Grants. Financial and technical assistance support sustainable, community-driven stewardship of natural and historic resources at the state, tribal and local levels.   Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are available on a rolling basis. To learn more about how to apply, head to NPS ABPP’s website. For questions about NPS ABPP’s grants, contact the program at e-mail us. 

Trap, Neuter, and Release programs help reduce feral cat populations

Whether you love or hate cats, there is no question that feral feline populations should be kept under control. Feral cats can create a variety of problems relating to the health and safety of the animals and humans. Advantages of limiting the number of feral cats include a population that does not increase, reduced danger to humans, fewer cat fights, and better health of the cats. “Trap, Neuter and Release is the safest and most economical method to deal with the situation for the community and the cats,” said Stephanie Baum, president of the Gettysburg nonprofit Forever Love Rescue. Baum said many cat lovers feed feral cats, but they can quickly become overwhelmed financially and emotionally with the increasing number of felines to care for. “An outdoor female cat will have three to four litters each year. In each litter she will give birth to four to six kittens,” said Baum. “That could be twenty-four kittens a year from one mom.” “Kittens can get pregnant at four months, so by the time the mom cat is on her third litter of the year, her babies are already getting pregnant themselves.” Baum said research from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), showed feral cats have a life expectancy of only two years compared to indoor cats that can live up to sixteen years. Baum said she has been participating in TN&R since 2015. “Typically, we try to treat fifteen to twenty cats every two weeks,” said Baum. Baum focuses on the program in Gettysburg but has colleagues who work in other parts of Adams Vounty as well as in Franklin and Cumberland counties. Baum said right now is the perfect time to get feral cats some help, and urges anyone who knows of a cat who needs treatment to reach out to her via email at foreverloverescue@gmail.com. If the cat is in Gettysburg  the treatment will be free, thanks to contributions to the program from the borough. “Reaching out is the only way to ensure these cats are healthy and safe,” said Baum. The TN&R program begins when a resident reports a problem. The cat is first trapped, usually by the person who reported the needy feline. The cat is then transported to Baum’s facility where the team cares for the animal before surgery. In addition to neutering, each cat is given a rabies vaccine, flea and tick treatments, and any other additional medicine needed for the cat to live a fulfilled and healthy life. “Whatever we can do in the time they are at the clinic, we get done,” Baum says.  Each cat’s left ear is clipped during the procedure to show it has been neutered. After surgery the cat is monitored until it is safe for release. Females may stay up to three days while healthy males are normally released the day after surgery. “We bring the cats back to where they came from to create a healthy group of cats that live in the environment,” said Baum. “The animals are now free to live a healthier life.” Baum said some of the cats in the program become eligible for adoption rather than release. “If we get a super friendly cat we figure out if we have room at the shelter for them. Then if the caretaker thinks it’s a good idea, we try to take in the cat.” Gettysburg’s cats are treated at Nobody’s Cats Foundation just outside of Camp Hill, and the cost is normally $40 each. Alternatives to catch and release include “catch and remove” where trapped animals are moved to new homes in other areas and “catch and kill” in which the cats are euthanized. But Baum said there is not enough space or resources to care for all of the cats that would be removed and killing them is inhumane. Baum recalled a favorite memory surrounding the program, when a caretaker reached out months later saying “These cats are happier, healthier, and friendlier than they have ever been. Before, I had a bunch of feral cats that I just took care of. Now I have pets.” If you would like to help, Baum and her colleagues are always in need of monetary donations, food, litter, treats, toys, and puppy pads.

Boris Johnson’s messy political legacy of lies, scandals and delivering Brexit to his base

By Garret Martin, American University School of International Service Boris Johnson, the now outgoing prime minister of the United Kingdom, had wanted to follow in the footsteps of his idol Winston Churchill and be remembered as a leader of consequence. He aspired to greatness and desired to stay in office longer than the 11 years enjoyed by Conservative icon Margaret Thatcher. It wasn’t to be. Instead, on July 7, 2022, Johnson announced that less than three years after becoming prime minister, he was resigning and would remain in office only until a successor emerged. It marks a stunning repudiation of a leader who had delivered Brexit to his supporters and scored a major electoral mandate a mere two and half years previously. The scandal that brought his downfall wasn’t Johnson’s first. Indeed, throughout his career – and time in office – Johnson has been regarded as a political Houdini, skilled at political survival and endlessly able to rebound from mishaps. But even he could not overcome the succession of scandals in recent months, not least “Partygate,” which involved revelations around his government’s repeated and brazen ignoring of its own COVID-19 lockdown rules. In the end it was his handling of a tawdry affair involving the promotion of a member of parliament accused of serious sexual wrongdoing that proved the final straw. That scandal precipitated a rash of cabinet resignations that made clear Johnson could no longer rely on the support of his own party. Yet, Johnson’s legacy will not be confined to the scandals. His tenure coincided with major challenges in the U.K. Some, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of war in Europe, were not of his making. Others, notably Brexit, were of his own hand. First came Brexit Boris Johnson and Brexit will forever be inextricably bound. Johnson had long been a prominent political figure before Britain’s exit from Europe came to dominate U.K. politics. Aside from serving as a member of parliament, he was also the mayor of London as well a well-known media personality. Throughout, Johnson, a fiscal conservative by nature, developed a reputation for being polarizing – witty and charming to some, but dishonest and untrustworthy to others. He was long talked of as a future prime minister. But it was the 2016 Brexit referendum on whether the U.K. should remain in the European Union that eventually propelled Johnson to power. He became the face of the Leave campaign, at times taking liberties with the truth to make his case for exiting the EU. While he did not become prime minister immediately after the U.K. public opted to exit the EU, his time would come three years later. When Prime Minister Theresa May resigned in summer 2019, weakened by major divisions over how to implement Brexit within the Conservative Party, Johnson seized his chance. He promised to “Get Brexit Done” and to end the major deadlock in British politics over what sort of relationship the country would have with the EU. On that front, he delivered. The December 2019 election was a resounding success for Johnson, earning a substantial majority for the Conservative Party and enabling him to force through his vision of Brexit. His brand of populism, charm, disregard for rules and effective communication not only shored up the Conservative base in that election, but also helped attract many traditional left-wing Labour voters, securing a clear mandate for his party. With that victory in hand, Johnson was free to complete the formal departure of the U.K. from the EU on Jan. 31, 2020. Later that year, after tumultuous talks, his government negotiated the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU – defining the future relations between the U.K. and its European partners. Brexit was and remains very divisive in the U.K. But neither supporters nor opponents would deny how consequential that decision was, and it could not have happened without Johnson’s involvement. … then the pandemic Any hopes that Johnson could bask in the glory of Brexit came quickly crashing down within weeks of it becoming a reality. The start of the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the situation for the U.K. Johnson and his government fumbled its initial pandemic response, acting slowly and in a lackluster manner – Johnson himself was absent for some of the crucial meetings called to discuss the pandemic in its early days. According to a government report released in October 2021, the government’s decision to delay a strict lockdown allowed the virus to circulate widely and caused many thousands of additional deaths. And it nearly killed Johnson himself, who spent a week in the hospital in April 2020. While Johnson recovered from his own bout with the virus, his government also managed to steady the ship. It introduced a series of stringent lockdowns and restrictions in the following year and presided over a successful vaccination rollout. But these same COVID-19 restrictions would also ironically highlight one of Johnson’s main character traits: a disregard for rules that would eventually lead to his political undoing. … and on to the lies Prior to becoming prime minister, Johnson was no stranger to controversy and to a delicate relationship with the truth. The Times newspaper, where he once worked as a reporter, sacked him for inventing a quote. And in 2001 he lost his senior position in the Conservative Party for lying about an affair. Yet despite many setbacks usually of his own doing, Johnson had an uncanny ability to rebound, leading former prime minister David Cameron to liken him to a “greased piglet” who could not be caught. His time in office was in keeping with precedent, littered by multiple scandals that continually led to questions about Johnson’s credibility. That included, among other unfavorable stories, that Johnson had received a secret undisclosed loan to pay for the costs of the renovation of his private quarters at 11 Downing Street, beyond his public allowance; or the reports of a close ally in parliament breaking lobbying rules by accepting payments from companies he was promoting. Yet, those paled in comparison to the repercussions from “Partygate.” The revelations in late 2021 and early 2022 that Johnson and his government had been repeatedly breaking COVID-19 restriction rules over the course of a year – including many alcohol-fueled parties and accusations that Johnson lied to Parliament over his attendance at some gatherings – shocked the U.K. public. This scandal led to Johnson’s approval rating plummeting in 2022. It also, slowly but surely, resulted in Johnson losing the support of his own party. The war in Ukraine gave him temporary reprieve, and he narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence in early June. But he was now vulnerable. His latest scandal, which surfaced when it became apparent Johnson was lying about what he knew about the transgressions of another close ally in Parliament, Chris Pincher, was the final nail in his political coffin. Deserted by most of his allies, Johnson had to accept the inevitable. A second act? Churchill famously lost the parliamentary elections in the summer of 1945, shortly after leading the U.K. to victory in World War II. Ousted by an electorate wanting a break with Churchill’s old-world policies, and a different post-war Britain, he was still able, six years later, to return to office. Such a second act seems unlikely for Johnson. Yes, he delivered on Brexit, and his supporters will remember that. But his chaotic departure, leaving his country and party very divided, as well as the legacy of his scandals, will be extremely hard to shake off – even for a “greased piglet.” Garret Martin, Senior Professorial Lecturer, Co-Director Transatlantic Policy Center, American University School of International Service This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Featured Image Caption: Will Boris Johnson be back? The chances may be slim. Carl Court/Getty Images

Residents fight proposed 160-foot-tall water tower along Fairfield Rd.

A group of Cumberland Township residents are hoping to prevent the Gettysburg Municipal Authority (GMA) from building a 160-foot tall water tower along a scenic area on a vacant property on the west side of Fairfield Rd. The property is on the corner of Herrs Ridge Rd. and Red Oak Lane. Local resident Susan Paddock said the tower will alter the character and property values of the neighborhood and be visible from historic districts, land trust preserved properties, as well as many areas in the Gettysburg National Military Park including Little Round Top. GMA Utilities Manager Mark Guise said the tower is needed to provide sufficient water pressure for new developments in the area and that the site had been chosen because of its elevation.  Guise said the new houses on Herr’s Ridge Rd. are at higher elevation. Paddock said she felt the tower was unnecessary given needed water storage could be provided with a ground storage tank and water pumps. Guise said GMA currently uses a booster pump to reach houses at higher elevations. Construction will require the township to change its zoned height limit for essential service structures from the existing 35 feet limit to a proposed 175 foot maximum. The group has hired an attorney to represent their concerns. A water storage facility was originally scheduled to be built on Aqua Drive within the newest area of Cumberland Village, West of Herrs Ridge Rd.  But that site was too close to the Gettysburg Airport. Although it has no jurisdiction in the decision, the Adams County Office of Planning & Development reviewed the proposal. The county said justification should be given for choosing a maximum height of 175 feet and that if there is no particular justification for choosing 175 feet recommended there be no maximum height for essential services. The county also recommended the township conduct a viewshed test to determine visibility of the new structure and “prevent any type of essential service from standing out to a large degree from the existing landscape or disturbing the visual integrity of the battlefield landscape.” GMA serves about 4,400 residents in Gettysburg Borough and parts of Straban and Cumberland Township. The Cumberland Township Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the proposal at their meeting on July 14 at 7:00 p.m. and the township board of supervisors is expected to hold a public hearing before making a final decision sometime this month. The neighborhood group encourages concerned citizens to send their comments and attend the public meetings. Comments can be sent to the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors or the Planning commission by calling 717.334.6485 or mailing to 1370 Fairfield Rd., Gettysburg PA 17325.

Philadelphia’s Jim Kenney: ‘I’ll be happy when I’m not mayor’

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – A moment of frustration for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has led to two city councilmen to call for his resignation. Kenney’s comments came after a shooting incident where two police officers were injured during the city’s Fourth of July celebration on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. During a post-midnight press conference, he spoke about the stress and concern brought by large events in the city. “I’m concerned every single day. There’s not an event or a day where I don’t lay on my back at night and look at the ceiling, and worry about stuff,” Kenney said. “So everything we have in the city, over the last seven years, I worry about. I don’t enjoy (the) Fourth of July, I don’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention, I didn’t enjoy the NFL draft – I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. So it’s – I’ll be happy when I’m not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff.” “You’re looking forward to not being mayor?” a reporter asked. “Yeah, as a matter of fact,” Kenney said. The 63-year-old has been mayor – the 1.6 million population city’s 99th – since January 2016, and elected city representative since he was 32. In each of the general elections of 2015 and 2019, the Democrat captured 80% or more of the vote. He’s term-limited. Kenney has been criticized during his tenure for a lack of leadership or visibility in city affairs. The mayor’s comments angered other elected leaders who have disagreed with him in the past. “Philadelphia is in a crisis and needs a mayor who wants the job and all its responsibilities,” City Councilman Allan Domb wrote on Twitter. “It is beyond time for @PhillyMayor to resign for the good of the city and its residents.” Nor was Domb the only council member to call for Kenney’s resignation. “We are all exhausted by the level of gun violence in our City,” Councilman Derek Green tweeted. “However, our City needs someone now with the passion and vision to lead us forward. Resign.” Both Domb and Green are expected to run for mayor in 2023. After the press conference, Kenney focused on gun violence in the city. “We will continue to do everything we can to combat our city’s gun violence – including taking a record number of guns off the streets – but we are fighting an uphill battle. We are pleading with lawmakers to help us stop the flow of guns into our city,” he tweeted. “I love this city, and as Mayor, there’s nothing more I want than to help solve this problem and keep our residents and visitors safe.” Kenney isn’t the only city official to face calls for resignation. State Republicans have focused attention on District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing a resolution last week to form a committee to investigate and impeach Krasner over rising rates of crime in Philadelphia. The city has seen a significant increase in murder in recent years.

Adams County Planting Partnership

The Adams County Conservation District is excited to announce this fall we are partnering again with the Watershed Alliance of Adams County and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to supply over 10,000 free native trees and shrubs to Adams County residents. The only stipulation to request free trees and shrubs is that you be willing to share where your trees will be planted and include before and after photos of your planting. To request your free trees and shrubs through our online order form visit www.adamscounty.us/Dept/Conservation/Pages/Programs.aspx. The order deadline is August 23rd, and the pick-up dates are September 8th, 9th, 10th at the Adams County Conservation District Pole Building, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg. Trees and shrubs will come in a variety of sizes. Most will be approximately 1-3 feet tall potted in a 3’’ x 3’’ x 9’’ pots. A five-foot tree shelter and a two-foot shrub shelter, stake, zip-ties and bird-netting will be supplied with each tree and shrub. We make every effort to fulfill requested species and amounts; however, due to availability and ordering stipulations we cannot guarantee exact requests. If a selection is sold out, orders are placed on a first-ordered basis or partially filled. Once we receive our order confirmations from the nurseries, we will email your confirmed species list and pick-up details in the last week in August. Planting labor must be organized by the person requesting the trees and shrubs. Planting projects should be completed by November 1st. This year’s native tree species being given away include: Basswood (Tilia Americana), Birch, River (Betula Nigra), Hawthorn (Crataegus Phaenopyrum), Maple, Red (Acer Rubrum), Maple, Sugar (Acer Saccharum), Oak, Chestnut (Quercus Prinus), Oak, Swamp White (Quercus Bicolor), Paw Paw (Asiminia Triloba), Pine, Eastern White (Pinus Strobus), Plum, American (Prunus Americana), Redbud, Eastern (Cercis Canadensis), Sassafras (Sassafras Albidum), Serviceberry (Amelanchier Canadensis), Sycamore (Platanus Occidentalis), and Tulip Polar (Liriodendron Tulipfera). This year’s native Shrubs species being given away include: Buttonbush (Cephalanthus Occidentalis), Dogwood, Red-Osier (Cornus Stolonifera), Dogwood, Silky (Cornus Amomum), Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis), Ninebark (Physocarpus Opulifolius), Viburnum, Arrowwood (Vibernum Dentatum), Viburnum, Nannyberry (Viburnum Lentago), Willow, Sandbar (Salix Exigua), and Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana). If you’d like to be on our e-mail distribution list, please call Sarah Spencer at 717-334-0636 or email sspencer@adamscounty.us.

Anchor House Rides for Runaways

About 100 bicycle riders and support team members will arrive in Gettysburg, PA  on Tuesday, July 12 for the 44th annual Anchor House Ride for Runaways. The annual cycling event, rated one of the top multi-day charity bike rides by Bicycling Magazine, raises funds for the homeless, abused and runaway youth and families served by Anchor House, a multifaceted social services agency headquartered in Trenton, NJ. The riders and support crew will arrive at the Quality Inn on July 12  beginning at 1:00 p.m., having traveled 74.6 miles from Leesburg, VA.  Early on the morning of July 14, the group will continue its 500-mile journey back to Trenton, NJ, with a 67.6-mile ride to Lancaster, PA. The Ride attracts a variety of riders from New Jersey and more than a dozen other states. They range in ability from amateur bike racers to new cycling enthusiasts and in age from 18 to 72. “I ride each year because I can combine my love of cycling with a desire to help the most vulnerable people in our community: the young people who come to Anchor House for help,” said Laura Carlson, a 10-year Ride for Runaways veteran and co-chairperson of the volunteer committee that organizes the event. “We have a wide range of interests and abilities on the Ride, but we all have one thing in common: we want to help kids.” Founded in 1978, Anchor House serves at-risk and homeless youth and families in central New Jersey and is part of a nationwide system of runaway shelters. Programs offered by Anchor House include an emergency shelter for young people ages 8-18; a transitional living facility, the Anchorage, for high school students; a supervised apartment living program for young adults; a street outreach program for homeless youth; and a variety of counseling programs for at-risk youths and families. “The Ride for Runaways is a key part of our success,” said Kim McNear, executive director of Anchor House, Inc. “The Ride began in 1978 to make the opening of Anchor House possible and it has been a constant source of funding and community-building ever since. Without the Ride for Runaways, we would not have been able to grow our programs to serve a wide range of young people.” The Ride For Runaways starts in Charlottesville, VA, and will visit Culpeper and Leesburg, VA; Gettysburg, Lancaster and Lansdale, PA, before ending July 16 at Quaker Bridge Mall, outside of Trenton, NJ. For more information on Anchor House, visit www.anchorhousenj.org. The Ride’s website is www.anchorhouseride.org.

Gettysburg Celebrates Independence Day 2022

The Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority (GARA) hosted its 2022 A Gettysburg Fourth! community Independence Day celebration yesterday. The weather was warm but not hot, the humidity was lower than might have been expected, and thousands of people filled not only the rec park itself but also the neighborhoods surrounding it.  Hundreds of cars parked on W. Confederate Ave. to take in some of the best available views as a crescent moon appeared in a deep blue sky. The event brought community and businesses together to celebrate America’s freedom from the British Colonies, the signing of The Declaration of Independence, and the common bond Americans have shared ever since. The event started at 3:00 p.m. and included Bingo in the Charlie Sterner Building as well a field full of food trucks including Steinour Kettle Corn, Rita’s Concessions, Ferrera Foods, Schopf Brothers, Food Adventures, Kona Ice, Dairymen’s Milkshakes, Ziggy Donuts, and Sentzable Catering, to name a few.   Owners and employees alike worked tirelessly to feed the hungry crowds funnel cakes, hot dogs, fried Oreos, deviled fried eggs, milkshakes, Kona Ice, lemonade, kettle corn, sandwiches, and more. Participants were entertained by two local bands, The Jalopy Deluxe and Schizophonic, who set the mood for the events of the day and evening.  Ciders, wines, and beers were available from Fourscore Beer Company, Ploughman Cider, and the Adams County Winery. Gettysburg Police Department Officers Douglas Fishel and Terry Dewitt were in attendance, keeping a careful watch to ensure safety, while greeting families and handing out official police department stickers. The officers were happy to take a few moments from their busy day to answer questions from inquisitive children.  When 7-year old Josie Weaver of Gettysburg asked, “ Do you have to catch the bad guys?” Fishel earnestly responded, saying “sometimes, when I have to, but I would much rather spend my time out here talking to nice people like you and your family, and all the other nice families out here today.” A bit after 9:00 a single firework lit up the sky, and excitement, pride, anticipation, and admiration filled the air.  Those in line to get food or drink quickly got back to their chairs and blankets to enjoy the moment with friends and family.  Squeals of glee young children alerted all those nearby that it was almost time. At 9:20, the first high pitched whistle of fireworks went up.  Bursts of red, white, blue, green, and purples soon filled the sky, followed by the smoky trails left behind. With each concussion, explosion of color, scream of excitement, and crackle or boom of the fireworks, you could feel the pride in our country and the pride in our community grow deeper. The event was everything promised, including an extra-long fireworks finale. A Gettysburg Fourth was made possible by GARA, Destination Gettysburg, and dozens of volunteers.

Let’s spare a few words for ‘Silent Cal’ Coolidge on July 4, his 150th birthday

By Chris Lamb, IUPUI A woman sitting next to President Calvin Coolidge at a dinner party once told him she had made a bet that she could get him to say more than two words. “You lose,” replied Coolidge, who served as president from 1923 until 1929. During a White House recital, a nervous opera singer foundered through a performance before Coolidge. Someone asked him what he thought of the singer’s execution. “I’m all for it,” he said. Coolidge was so taciturn that he was known as “Silent Cal.” Three U.S. presidents – all of them Founding Fathers, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe – died on July 4. Only one was born on July 4. Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, 150 years ago, on July 4, 1872. He died in January 1933. Getting to know Coolidge Fireworks rarely followed Coolidge during his political career. Coolidge was balding, 5-foot-9 with a slight build, and he could walk into an empty room and blend in. He rarely smiled or changed expression. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, described Coolidge’s dour expression by saying he looked as if “he had been weaned on a pickle.” Such a description would not have offended Coolidge. “I think the American public wants a solemn ass as a president,” he said, “and I think I’ll go along with them.” Best known for a laugh or two The 30th president remains a footnote in the history of U.S. presidents. Coolidge was preceded in the White House by Warren Harding, whose administration was one of the most corrupt in U.S. history. Coolidge was succeeded by Herbert Hoover, who was in office when the country fell into the throes of the Great Depression, which began with the crash of the stock market in October 1929, several months after Hoover took office. Coolidge is probably best known for his contributions to books of political humor. I included him in a 2020 book I edited, “The Art of the Political Putdown: The Greatest Comebacks, Ripostes, and Retorts in History.” Coolidge, a Republican who believed in small government, low taxes, morality, thrift and tradition, rose quickly – but quietly – in Massachusetts politics, where he became president of the state Senate in 1914. While serving in this capacity, two senators got into a bitter exchange of words in which one told the other to go to hell. The recipient of the remark demanded that Coolidge take his side. “I’ve looked up the law, Senator,” Coolidge told him, “and you don’t have to go.” Coolidge was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1919. He soon earned a national reputation for being decisive by firing striking police officers in Boston and ordering the state militia to bring calm to the city after the strike had left its inhabitants vulnerable to violent mobs in September 1919. Warren Harding, the Republican presidential nominee in 1920, chose Coolidge as his running mate. Harding and Coolidge won the election. Coolidge then became president when Harding died in 1923. Early in his term, in December 1923, Coolidge spoke to Congress and pressed for isolation in U.S. foreign policy and tax cuts. He believed in small government and also benefited from the country’s strong economic position in the early 1920s. This helped his popularity rise, and he got more than 54% of the popular vote in the 1924 election. A genius for inactivity If it was Coolidge’s decisive action that brought him to national attention, it was his inaction as president that defined his presidency and won him the admiration of political conservatives. Newspaper columnist Walter Lippmann wrote this about Coolidge in 1926: “Mr. Coolidge’s genius for inactivity is developed to a very high point. It is a grim, determined, alert inactivity, which keeps Mr. Coolidge occupied constantly.” Historians, however, praise Coolidge for presiding over low inflation, low unemployment and budget surpluses during every year of his presidency. He kept the country at peace and restored confidence in the government after the scandal-plagued Harding years. But being president and taking daily naps still apparently left Coolidge with a lot of free time. Coolidge reportedly liked to press the alarm buttons in the Oval Office, and when the Secret Service agents ran into the office to see what was wrong, he would be hiding. Coolidge decided not to run for reelection in 1928. When reporters asked him why, he answered with characteristic succinctness. “Because there’s no chance for advancement,” he said. If Coolidge had been reelected, he would have suffered Hoover’s fate of being president during the Depression. His political timing was as good as his comic timing. Social critic H.L. Mencken once speculated on how Coolidge would have responded to the collapse of the stock market and the collapse of the nation’s economy. “He would have responded to bad times precisely as he responded to good ones – that is, by pulling down the blinds, stretching his legs upon his desk, and snoozing away the lazy afternoons,” Mencken wrote. And yet the iconoclastic Mencken had this begrudging praise for Coolidge. “There were no thrills while he reigned, but neither were there any headaches. He had no ideas, and he was not a nuisance.” When American writer Dorothy Parker, who, like Coolidge, could say much with few words, learned that the former president had died in 1933, she replied, “How could they tell?” Chris Lamb, Professor of Journalism, IUPUI This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Featured Image Caption: President Calvin Coolidge stands with members of a nonprofit group called the Daughters of 1812. Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Children of Gettysburg 1863 – Living History Presentations Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 1-3, 2022

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 1-3, 2022, visitors to the new interactive adventure for young historians can interact with living historians from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Officers for the Union and Ladies for the Union will encamp in the side yard of Children of Gettysburg 1863, 451 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg. Guests can learn about Civil War officers who commanded and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, featuring firstperson impressions by the Officers for the Union. The Ladies for the Union will gather in a “ladies salon” setting, demonstrating unique home craft skills of the era, such as bobbin lace, hand sewing and making bandboxes. They will display the period’s home remedies, medical practices and children’s toys. The Ladies will discuss the importance of the home front during the Civil War, support and aid for the soldiers and the effect the war had on families and communities. Visitors are invited to join us for a special feature Saturday, July 2, with a talk presented by candlelight at 8 p.m. in the Officers for the Union’s encampment in the side yard. The Officers encourage audience questions and will discuss their role before, during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. Living historians will provide details about military life and elements of the officer’s personal life they portray. The living history presentations in the side yard of Children of Gettysburg 1863 are free and open to the public. Ticket holders to Children of Gettysburg 1863 can experience hands-on history through the stories of the children, teens and young adults who lived in and around Gettysburg during and after the 1863 battle. Designed for families and children (grades K-5), the interactive adventure takes families on a journey through galleries of interactive exhibits and experiences that provide a history-based setting for creativity, discovery and learning. Children of Gettysburg 1863 is open daily in summer, 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and offers adventures every 30 minutes, with the last daily ticket time at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for children and youth (ages 12 and younger) are free with a ticketed adult (ages 13 and older). Visit GettysburgFoundation.org or call 877-874-2478 for information and tickets for Children of Gettysburg 1863 and the experiences, exhibits, tours and events offered by the Gettysburg Foundation.

Public Comment Period for ONWARD2050, Adams County’s Draft Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) – Open Now!

The 30-day public review & comment period for the Draft Adams County 2022-2050 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), ONWARD2050, is now open. ONWARD2050 identifies the county’s long-term transportation needs and strategies for improving the transportation network.  It also lists the projected future funding allocations for highway, bridge, safety, and active transportation projects for the next 28 years. Comments will be accepted via phone, mail, or email until 4:00 PM on Monday, July 25th, 2022. Additional details may be found in the full Public Notice, such as:   ·         How to submit a public comment ·         Locations where a paper copy of the documentation can be accessed and reviewed ·         Details for the public information meetings on July 13th, 2022​  ​To review the Draft Plan, survey results, interactive mapping, and more, visit the ONWARD2050 website.

The 12th Annual Race Against Poverty Nets $31,500 for SCCAP’s Support Circles Initiative

After months of planning and two years of being virtual, this downtown 5K was back in person on June 3rd. Participants were excited to be back in person; overall, there were 555 participants, including children and adults. The Race Against Poverty gives members of the community a chance to run through the heart of the borough, while taking a stand as a community against poverty that impacts many of our own and limits full potential. The evening included not only the 5K, but Kids Races and a block party, with various community organizations, the music of a DJ, a balloon artist and food. There were trophies awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in various age categories, fastest running duo and the brand-new traveling trophy for the fastest team. Not to mention there were many door prizes up for grabs for participants of all ages. This year taking 1st place Overall running the 5K with the fastest times were Dustin Adams, 33 of Shippensburg (17:45.9) and Amanda Balzer, 27 of Bethel Park (19:43.6). The winner of the shiny new traveling trophy was the team from Mercury Endurance. They will hold onto the trophy until next year’s race on June 2nd, 2023, where the new winner will be awarded the trophy. Another new addition for this year, was the renaming of the Kids Races to Raber Runs for Kids. This change was made to honor Jon Raber, former Circles Coordinator and Race Director. Jon was an integral part of The Race Against Poverty, and the race committee wanted to honor his commitment to the race. Jon now resides in Peru with his family. Together participants, race committee members, various community partners, Support Circles and SCCAP took on The Race Against Poverty as an opportunity to take a stand together against the poverty. All proceeds will go directly to continue the work of Support Circles. 1 out of 4 Franklin County families cannot meet basic living expenses without the help of assistance programs. Support Circles is a collaborative effort working to build relationships that inspire and equip our community to overcome poverty. Through this initiative, we are seeing community members move into long term stability as their dreams become reality! Support Circles work to empower families to break the cycle of poverty and build long-term stability, so they no longer need to rely on assistance. Support Circles is one of many programs that are a part of SCCAP, which serves 17,000 families each year in Franklin and Adams Counties. SCCAP is driven by their mission to empower, engage, and cultivate community action, creating innovative and effective solutions to end poverty. SCCAP has been serving Franklin and Adams Counties since 1965 and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To learn more about SCCAP or make a donation please visit www.sccap.org. All donations are tax deductible.

Greg Fuller wins spring 2022 photo contest

Congratulations to Greg Fuller who has won the Connection’s Spring 2022 photo contest. Fuller’s photo was of the the Rowan Artillery (CSA) on the Right Flank of the Army of Northern Virginia. Fuller won by one vote in a very close contest among 26 photo entries. We’ll be featuring some of the runners-up in our Gettysburg Go! newsletters. Fuller wins a $50 gift certificate to the Adams County Arts Council. The Summer 2022 contest is now open — enter up to three photos between now and August 31. It may be a few days before your photos appear after you submit them. See winners of the past contests here. And good luck!

112 unit apartment complex proposed for Willoughby Run property

The long history of the property that was once the Abraham Spangler Farm and later the Gettysburg Country Club is taking a new direction with a proposed multi-building, multi-story apartment rental complex at 730 Chambersburg St., on the corner of Route 30 and Country Club Lane. The plan for the Residence at Willoughby Run, proposed by Trone Rental Company of Hanover, would include 8 buildings, each between one and three stories high, across the entire property. The main entrance would be onto Country Club Lane.   The 14.5 acre property, which has recently hosted Sydney’s Restaurant as well as public swimming pools and tennis courts, was purchased in November 2020 by the Trone Family Trust for $800,000. The stone “lower clubhouse” still houses the Gettysburg Day Spa. According to a document provided by the National Park Service, the parcel is significant to first day Gettysburg 1863 Civil War Battle action and is within the “legislated boundary” of the Gettysburg National Military Park.  The NPS expressed concerns about fencing, retaining walls, light pollution, and storm water management. The land use plan will be considered by the Cumberland Township Planning Commission at its July 14 meeting before going to the Board of Supervisors for discussion and potential approval. The construction plans will be submitted later with the building permit application.

Pa. House Republicans want to block state funding for the University of Pittsburgh over fetal tissue research

By Stephen Caruso of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — A proxy fight over abortion led by state House Republicans jeopardizes hundreds of millions of dollars in tuition assistance for Pennsylvania college students. At issue is public funding for Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities — Lincoln University, Penn State University, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Last year, the state allocated almost $600 million to these four institutions. Most of the money subsidizes in-state tuition for Pennsylvanians. On Monday, the state House voted 108-92 to approve an amendment that would require the schools to swear under oath they do not “engage in research or experimentation using fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion” to receive state funding. The move is the culmination of years of pressure from opponents of abortion access, who have argued since at least 2019 that Pitt’s funding should be axed for research conducted using tissue obtained from aborted fetuses. The vote complicates budget negotiations as GOP lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf try to complete the process before the June 30 deadline. In recent years, the number of Republican representatives who support blocking Pitt’s funding has steadily increased. Legislative rules make blocking the funding fairly easy. Two-thirds of lawmakers must agree to fund educational institutions not under the complete control of the state, like Pitt and Penn State. That means the defection of 68 Republican representatives — just over half of the caucus — is enough to prevent Pitt from getting taxpayer dollars. In May 2021, one anti-abortion activist advised lawmakers at a public hearing to “exercise all of the oversight authority that is available to you” to ensure that “crimes … are not being perpetuated in Pennsylvania by an unaccountable taxpayer-funded abortion industry.” Under pressure from lawmakers, Pitt hired a law firm to conduct an independent review of its research practices. Released in December 2021, the review found that the 31 studies using fetal tissue since 2001 had all been “conducted in compliance with federal and state laws.” Those laws, for instance, ban financial compensation for fetal tissue and require researchers to be approved by an internal university board before they begin their research. Despite the findings, multiple Republican lawmakers, including top leaders, faced political attacks from anti-abortion groups for voting for Pitt’s funding. Some lost their primary this year. Insiders have noted that multiple factors could be contributing to the opposition to Pitt’s funding, including former university chancellor Mark Nordenberg’s stint as chair of the state’s redistricting commission, which produced a state House map that will likely reduce Republicans’ majority, and an overall distrust of higher education institutions. But on the floor Monday, state Rep. Jerry Knowles (R., Schuylkill) focused on the tissue research when he offered his rider to the funding bill for the four state-related universities. He described a 2020 study that involved the grafting of fetal skin onto lab rats to analyze hair growth, before telling lawmakers that a vote for the amendment would be supported by influential groups that oppose abortion access, including the Pennsylvania Family Council and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. “My goal is not to stop the funding,” Knowles said. “As a matter of fact, I want to help Pitt get themselves out of a problem they have created for themselves.” While the amendment may have won the backing of many state House Republicans, the research ban does not appear to have the same level of support elsewhere in the Capitol as lawmakers try to put the finishing touches on the state’s budget. In an email, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R., Westmoreland) said that the chamber needs to review anything that comes from the state House first. But generally, “the Senate does not believe that students and their in-state tuition status should be held hostage to research grants established by” the National Institutes of Health. “Any such issues can be addressed outside of the budget process,” spokesperson Erica Clayton Wright added. Wolf also signaled his opposition. His spokesperson, Elizabeth Rementer, said the ban would “jeopardize important funding that supports tuition assistance, education and research at a world-class university.” The spending plan, due under state law by June 30, has been delayed by conflicting priorities between Wolf and legislative Republicans, as well as differences among GOP lawmakers. The exact funding levels for the universities and dozens of other items, from basic education to human services, are still under negotiation. As of Wednesday, talks were ongoing. Despite pessimism among Capitol sources early Tuesday, Ward said in the afternoon that “we’re getting to a good spot.” More action is expected Wednesday. Still, the funding for the state-related universities remains a stumbling block. The bill to approve the universities’ funding — without the research ban — passed the state Senate 44-5 earlier this month, comfortably above the two-thirds margin needed. All the dissenters were Republicans, including GOP gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin). This year, the state Senate combined funding for the state-related schools into a single bill, rather than the separate bills seen traditionally. That tactic is commonly used in the legislature to muscle through politically unpopular options — in this case, Pitt’s funding — with less controversial measures. The hope is that the good outweighs the bad, and swings some votes from no to yes. The state House voted to add the research ban amendment Monday, but the bill awaits a final vote by the chamber. While the amendment only needed a simple majority to be approved, the bill needs two-thirds of lawmakers to back it — meaning Democrats will have to get on board. At a Tuesday news conference, Democratic legislators from western Pennsylvania said they will not support the legislation. “I do believe that individuals are entitled to their own views and personal beliefs around abortion,” state Rep. Sara Innamorato (D., Allegheny) said. “What they are not entitled to do is to spread misinformation in the name of them and stop life-saving and life-sustaining research.” WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundationsand readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.

Across Pennsylvania, police funding and more health services unite parties

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – As murders have risen in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and public safety has garnered more political attention, Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans have suggested different solutions, some big and some small. On public safety funding, however, both parties are aligned, at least for some level of increase. The most contentious areas have been gun control and related restrictions.  While action on the local and state levels has attracted Republicans and Democrats to fund police departments, grow anti-violence community efforts, and provide health care-related aid to those struggling with addiction, guns remain a contentious policy area. Philadelphia’s new budget, for example, includes $184 million for violence prevention measures and an extra $30 million for police above last year’s budget. The General Assembly may also increase spending for policing, given the public safety hearings held by the Senate Majority Policy Committee in the spring. Those hearings focused on staffing problems for police and drug-related crime, as The Center Square previously reported. Republicans have not shied away from an emphasis on funding police departments, but they have also proposed changes that are concerned with the well-being of prisoners. In addition to funding increases, Republican efforts have taken the opioid crisis more seriously. Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has proposed legislation to increase the penalty on drug dealers for overdose deaths and improve Pennsylvania’s reporting requirements for where overdoses happen. He has also proposed more funding for faith-based recovery programs. Other Republican proposals would increase penalties for evading arrest on foot and eliminate medical co-pays for prisoners. Democrats’ efforts have focused more on guns, though police funding has either held steady or increased on the local level. Pittsburgh’s police budget, while not increasing as much as in Philadelphia, is seeing aslight increase over 2021. Democratic legislation has prosed a reporting requirement for lost or stolen guns, regulation of 3D-printed firearms, and waiting periods on firearm transfers. Democrats have also proposed a “red flag” law that would temporarily suspend an individual’s access to firearms and allow municipalities to regulate guns, something state Republicans have opposed. Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey has urged the General Assembly to take more action on gun control and released a “Plan for Peace” to create emergency services hubs, an overdose response unit, and expand violence intervention programs. In Philadelphia, Sen. Art Haywood, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia, has called upon Mayor Jim Kenney to provide more funding for community groups to reduce gun violence. The bipartisan efforts to provide health services to those struggling with addiction and mental health services, while less contentious than gun regulation or police funding, may come from a growing recognition of reality. As The Center Square previously reported, the Department of Corrections is “the largest provider of services in terms of institutional care in the commonwealth,” Secretary of Corrections George Little told the Senate Appropriations Committee in February. Providing more services before Pennsylvanians enter the criminal justice system at all may be politically wise and financially frugal. That can shape what local and state politicians prioritize in budgets.

Anti-abortion pregnancy centers will likely outlast the age of Roe – here’s how they’re funded and the services they provide

By Laura Antkowiak, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Experts predict increased economic hardship now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. Three-quarters of abortion patients in the United States have incomes that place them below or just barely above the federal poverty line of US$26,500 for a family of four in 2021. The inability to afford a child ranks among the most common reasons women give when they explain why they are ending a pregnancy. The anti-abortion movement is often criticized as caring little about these matters. But as a political scientist who has studied the intersections of abortion and social welfare issues, I became intrigued by a large but little-known subset of anti-abortion activists who claimed to support women during pregnancy and after childbirth. My 2020 book on this “pregnancy help” work indicates that the anti-abortion movement does provide support to low-income families, even if not in the way its critics might prefer. The ‘pregnancy help’ movement This work mostly occurs within the anti-abortion movement’s own charitable organizations. Participants in this “pregnancy help movement,” according to Margaret Hartshorn, the former president of one such organization, strive to make abortion “unwanted now and unthinkable in future generations” by ensuring “that no woman ever feels forced to have an abortion because of lack of support or practical alternatives.” People in the movement run maternity homes, adoption and social service agencies, charitable medical practices, hotlines, support groups and aid networks. However, the core institutions of their movement are pregnancy centers. Pregnancy centers typically offer free pregnancy tests, sonograms, counseling and promises of material support in the hopes of persuading women to carry unintended pregnancies to term. The first ones began to open in the U.S. in the late 1960s. They outnumbered abortion providers at least as early as 2013. A July 2018 directory listed 2,740 U.S. pregnancy centers. Lehigh University sociologist Ziad Munson writes that such outreach involves more people, volunteer hours and organizations than any other type of anti-abortion activism. Based on my interviews of pregnancy center leaders and review of various movement communications, these organizations are mostly funded by individual donations, commonly raised through banquets, walks, races or church-based collections of money and goods. Some anti-abortion groups like Focus on the Family and the Knights of Columbus give them grants. Pregnancy centers typically aren’t affiliated with specific churches, though they often frame themselves as ministries modeled on Jesus Christ’s love for people who are hurting and marginalized. In 13 states as of 2021, pregnancy centers could apply for funding from state-run Alternatives to Abortion programs. As of March 2022, as many as 19 states may have directed a proportion of “Choose Life” license plate proceeds to pregnancy centers. An Associated Press investigation of fiscal 2022 state budgets found that 12 states funded pregnancy centers, providing US$89 million. Centers can also apply for select federal grants. According to a report on U.S. pregnancy center services by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion think tank, 17% of U.S. centers received some public money in 2019. By comparison, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides abortions and other reproductive health care services, reported receiving about $618 million – or 38% of its revenue – in government grants and payments for services in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. U.S. pregnancy centers in 2019, also according to the Lozier Institute, performed more than 730,000 pregnancy tests and met with nearly 1 million new clients. For perspective, the U.S. recorded 3.75 million live births that year. In 2017, the most recent data available, just over 860,000 abortions were performed. A new peer-reviewed study of pregnant women who were searching online for an abortion provider – suggesting they may be more internet-savvy, older and more socioeconomically advantaged than U.S. abortion-seekers generally – found that at least 13% of them visited a pregnancy center. Pregnancy center aid Anti-abortion advocates paint pregnancy centers as the compassionate alternative to abortion. Abortion-rights activists describe them as threats to public health that advertise deceptively, offer few health care services and infuse their counseling with misinformation and emotional coercion. My research did not attempt to assess the quality of counseling provided by the centers. Rather, I focused on broadly understanding and describing the movement and measuring the extent of help they provide to needy families. Similar to data I collected in 2012, a 2019 report by the Lozier Institute claimed that 94% of centers provided material aid. The report credited U.S. pregnancy centers with distributing about 1.3 million packages of diapers, 690,000 packages of wipes, 2 million baby outfits, 30,000 new car seats and 20,000 strollers. They valued these goods at nearly $27 million. I also found pregnancy centers provided personalized help in navigating community resources for housing, health care, creditor mediation and domestic violence recovery. Activists told me that helping families meet their material needs was integral to their missions, greatly needed, and simply “Christian” or “pro-life.” Available data suggests that the women who use these centers tend to be under 30 and unmarried. My research also noted that pregnancy centers were increasingly tying material aid to participation in their parenting programs. Another trending service they offer is ultrasound imaging. Leaders I interviewed felt that offering a medical service could increase centers’ credibility and that viewing an image of their fetus would inspire clients to “choose life.” Trained nurses overseen by an often off-site physician “medical director” usually perform the scans, but otherwise, critics correctly assert that most pregnancy center staff lack medical training. Interviews of 21 pregnancy center clients over a period between 2015 and 2017 led medical sociologist Katrina Kimport of the University of California, San Francisco to conclude that “low-income women can find these centers to be meaningful and appreciated sources of free emotional support, pregnancy-related services and material goods,” even if the women ultimately needed more economic resources than centers could provide and sometimes struggled with program requirements. Kimport continued: “Although these centers have been rightly criticized for disseminating scientifically inaccurate materials and employing potentially deceptive practices, the policy debate about their legitimacy needs to be more nuanced.” Pregnancy help in a post-Roe America Pregnancy center volunteers and employees I surveyed in 2012 overwhelmingly agreed that pregnancy centers would remain needed if the federal right to abortion was overturned. Centers are already most numerous, my statistical analysis of location data found, where public opposition to abortion is highest, abortion rates are lowest and abortion providers are the most scarce. Some anti-abortion leaders are calling the movement to follow the fall of Roe with increased aid to low-income people, some of which would flow through pregnancy centers. The kind of aid pregnancy help groups offer won’t begin to cover all costs of childbearing, or solve larger socioeconomic problems. Many women inclined toward abortion likely don’t see anti-abortion pregnancy centers as desirable service providers. Still, they attract anti-abortion activists who appear to take seriously what one interviewee called the “consequences to a choice for life.” In my view, they could potentially participate constructively in a conversation about poverty and childbearing in a post-Roe America. Laura Antkowiak, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

UASD approves final budget, no tax increase

Unanimous approval from the Upper Adams School District (UASD) school board set the final 2022-2023 budget rolling with a zero percent tax increase June 21. The grand total for projected revenues is at $32,199,823 and expenditures at $33,781,639, according to Board treasurer Susan Crouse. The deficit will be covered by $520,000 from the assigned debt fund, $60,000 from the assigned Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) fund, and slightly over one million dollars from the unassigned fund, she said. The total variance is $1.5 million, according to Crouse. The final budget 2022-2023 was approved with a real estate tax rate of 15.63 mills which represents a zero percent increase. The updated budget assumes the district will receive an additional $200,000 in basic education and at this point the district has not heard anything regarding that funding from the state, she said. The final budget contains the most recent updates including contract negotiations settlements with all salary’s updates, and the transition of the autism classroom from the Intermediate Unit to UASD. Noting the extensive process undergone to have a comprehensive budget for the good of the whole district, Board President Tom Wilson praised the work undergone by all. This budget process that the administration has presented to us this year has been systematic, thorough, and built on itself… This process is orders of magnitude better than what we used to have,” he said. Hearing budget briefings since November, the board has done its due diligence in asking the right questions and driving closer look at certain aspects, according to Wilson. “I think we have a product here that we can all be proud of,” Wilson said. In other business, the board recognized the years of dedicated work of two esteemed retiring district officials and wished them the best moving forward. Director of Student Services Anne Corwell was applauded for her dedicated service during her last school board meeting before moving on to other opportunities. Upon coming aboard UASD, one of the first tasks Corwell undertook was setting up the consortium with two other school districts for special education thereby not only reducing the cost but providing essential continuity to students, according to Wilson. “She has always kept the needs of her students in the forefront,” he said. Corwell figured out how to provide quality services for the district and at a lower cost than expected, Wilson said. Board member Ron Ebbert noted Corwell as an asset to the entire district and has been known for always obtaining solutions, which he considered “a very rare quality.” A certification of recognition was presented to District Solicitor Robert McQuaide for his 40 years of UASD commitment. “It’s been an honor” McQuaide said. The UASD school board will next meet July 19 at 7 p.m.

Keeping Up with the Friends of the New Oxford Library

By Mary Lou Berg, Friends of the New Oxford Library President The Friends of the New Oxford Area Library (NOAL) have been very busy this past year. Our purpose is to provide help and support for the NOAL in any way possible. We provided a helping hand, financial support, as well as beautification of the library and the pergola. We do this by fundraising and membership dues.  Over the past year a great deal of work has been done on the pergola in front of the library, including repairs, replanting, and mulching, to make the area a bright spot for those who want to read or just sit quietly and enjoy lunch.  The annual Adams County Library System Summer Book Sale Bonanza will be held July 28 through 30, at the Redding Auction Service, 1085 Table Rock Rd., Gettysburg. The Friends of the NOAL are sponsoring a “Food Adventures” food truck as an additional opportunity for fundraising again this year. Come enjoy the food and purchase books, DVD’s, CD’s and much more at great prices.  The Friends also had a presence at the New Oxford August Festival this past year. It was a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community.  Every year the Library has many summer programs, to which members donate generously. These donations, raised entirely by fundraising and membership dues help to provide opportunities for our youth during the summer, both for fun and learning.  We held a fundraiser at the Gettysburg Perkins Restaurant in April and are planning another one in the fall. It is a great opportunity for the community to support the Library and enjoy great food.  A “Get to Know Your Librarians” night was held to introduce the community to our new librarians. Popcorn and the movie Peter Rabbit helped our youngest patrons enjoy the evening.  As a member of the New Oxford Chamber of Commerce, the Friends hosted a Chamber Mixer at the Library in June. It was wonderful to see the community come together to support our community’s many small and larger businesses. It was a wonderful time with good food, networking, and laughter enjoyed by all.  We will be holding a fundraising event at Sweet Frog in Hanover on July 14th, 2022. Sweet Frog has been a wonderful supporter of the Library. Just walk in and say it’s for the Library and a portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to our Friends group at the NOAL.  Keep an eye out for future activities at the Library. All branches of the Adams County Library System post activities at the individual library branches. They are also posted on our web page, What’s Happening at Your Library? You can access this at newsletter@adamslibrary.org. We welcome you to join us at our monthly board meetings. We meet the third Wednesday of every month from 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm in the New Oxford Library. If you are interested in becoming a member the forms are available at the front desk in the library.

Gettysburg Hospital Thrift Shop will close

The Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop on Gettysburg Square will close in its current location as of August 31. Future plans are still up in the air. “WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital and the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary have made the difficult decision to end the lease of the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop located at 10 Lincoln Square in Gettysburg, effective Aug. 31, 2022,” said Wellspan Communications Director Jason McSherry. “Hospital and auxiliary leaders are currently discussing future options for the thrift store and we will share more details as they are finalized,” The shop has been a gathering place for Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary volunteers and community shoppers since the 1920s and has provided important services to the community. Thrift store employees said the shop was closing because the rent had increased substantially. Regular local visitors to the shop, including countless college students, thrifty shoppers, and tourists, have found bargains in the store’s “gently used clothing.” The shop’s eclectic selection, from board games to kitchen appliances to Christmas decorations to men’s and women’s clothes of every age and style, created a unique shopping experience for customers and brought in a revenue stream for the hospital. The relaxed atmosphere has created a hub of community interaction, and the large display windows have provided a look into the past. According to its website, the Gettysburg Hospital Auxiliary has donated over one million dollars to support the hospital, including donating equipment to the hospital, helping refurbish the hospital’s maternity wing and nursery, supporting health initiatives, redecorating the hospital lobby and common areas, and creating the meditation room at the WellSpan Adams Health Center. The Auxiliary also awards an annual $2,000 scholarship to local students pursuing careers in health care.  Auxiliary volunteers also operate the gift shop in the Gettysburg hospital.

Roe v. Wade: Pennsylvania law protects abortion; bipartisan effort to change looms

By Anthony Hennen | The Center Square (The Center Square) – The future of abortion in Pennsylvania is an open question, as current state law protects it but both parties would like to change the law. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The court ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that no Constitutional right to abortion exists and the regulation of abortion “is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” as described in the ruling’s syllabus. The Supreme Court argued that Roe v. Wade decision was an error “without any grounding in the constitutional text, history, or precedent” that overstepped the court’s bounds at the expense of state legislatures. “Abortion presents a profound moral question,” the ruling said. “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. The court overrules those decisions and returns that authority to the people and their elected representatives.” What that means for Pennsylvania remains to be seen. About 31,000 abortions were performed in Pennsylvania in 2017, according to the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute. The commonwealth had 43 facilities providing abortions that same year. Current state law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks unless the mother’s life or health is endangered.  Republicans praised the ruling for respecting state authority. “Today’s Supreme Court ruling reestablishes the authority of states to regulate abortion. The ruling once again makes clear it is the authority of individual states to establish laws that are in the best interest of their residents,” Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre/Mifflin, said in a statement. The Abortion Control Act remains in effect, which “places firm restrictions on abortions … including a ban on all late-term abortion procedures,” Cutler and Benninghoff said. “This ruling presents a necessary opportunity to examine our existing abortion law, and discussions around possible changes are already underway.” Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf called the ruling a “dismantling.” “First and most importantly, it is critical that everyone understands that abortion services are available and unharmed in Pennsylvania by today’s Supreme Court action,” Wolf said in a press release. “Nonetheless, I am deeply disappointed in today’s Supreme Court opinion and the impact this decision will have nationwide. The right to bodily autonomy – and privacy as a whole – is under attack in this country. We must do more to protect the rights of women and pregnant people in every state across the country that doesn’t have a governor willing to wield their veto pen.” The split between the Republican-led statehouse and the Democratic-controlled governor’s seat has had a meaningful effect on abortion before. Wolf has vetoed three anti-abortion bills passed by the General Assembly as governor. The upcoming election for governor could determine whether state law changes.  “This is a tough day. It’s a sad day. It’s an angry day for a lot of us,” Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro said. He has pledged to veto any bill that would limit abortion and expand access to reproductive care. “Once the repeal of Roe v. Wade is official, I am calling on the General Assembly to hold a vote on the Heartbeat bill,” Republican nominee Doug Mastriano said, referring to a bill he introduced that would ban abortion if a heartbeat is detected. “The time is now for action to protect the rights of the unborn.”

U.S. Supreme Court sweeps aside New York’s limits on carrying a gun, raising Second Amendment rights to new heights

Morgan Marietta, UMass Lowell With its decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen on June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court has announced that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right. The core argument of the decision is that gun rights are to be treated the same as other hallowed rights like the freedom of speech or freedom of religion recognized in the First Amendment. For most of the history of the court, Second Amendment rights have been seen as distinct, more dangerous and thus more open to regulation. Now, the majority of justices has invoked a major change, with implications for many rights and regulations in American society. The case To get a license to carry a concealed firearm in New York state, a citizen had to show a “proper cause.” In practice, this meant that a local licensing official had to agree that the person had a “special need,” such as facing a current threat or recurring danger. California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey also employ similar standards, known as “may issue” laws. Many other states instead have a “shall issue” regime where local officials must issue a license to carry a concealed firearm as long as the person does not have a disqualifying characteristic, including a felony conviction, mental illness or a restraining order against them. In the case just decided by the Supreme Court, two applicants living in upstate New York, Robert Nash and Brandon Koch, were denied unrestricted concealed carry licenses because they had no special need other than personal protection. They insist that law denies their constitutional rights. The history of Second Amendment rulings For most of American history, the court ignored the Second Amendment. The first major ruling on its meaning did not come until the 1930s, and the court did not address whether the amendment recognized a fundamental individual right until 2008 in the landmark D.C. v. Heller. That ruling, written by the famously conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, recognized a right to keep a firearm in the home. How far the right extended into public spaces was not clear. Scalia wrote that “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” That meant “longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill” or “prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons” were “presumptively lawful.” ‘A fundamental right’ The new ruling establishes that the gun right recognized by the Second Amendment is a fundamental right like any other and must be accorded the highest level of protection. Its inherently dangerous nature does not mean that the right is interpreted or limited differently. Justice Clarence Thomas – perhaps the most conservative justice on the court – wrote the majority opinion. In Thomas’ view, we do not need to ask prior permission of a government official to exercise a constitutional right: “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officials some special need.” Thomas concludes that the Bill of Rights – including the Second Amendment – “demands our unqualified deference.” This means that a local government may regulate but not eradicate the core right, including the ability to carry a concealed firearm. Any allowable regulation demands a compelling state interest, with convincing evidence of the need and effectiveness of the regulation. The constitutional case for stronger regulation The dissenters were led by Justice Stephen Breyer, who opened his dissent with the number of Americans killed with firearms in 2020 – 45,222. His longstanding view is that the Second Amendment deals with a more dangerous right, and thus it is more open to being regulated. In Breyer’s view, the majority’s ruling “refuses to consider the government interests that justify a challenged gun regulation.” Breyer concludes that “The primary difference between the Court’s view and mine is that I believe the Amendment allows States to take account of the serious problems posed by gun violence … I fear that the Court’s interpretation ignores these significant dangers and leaves States without the ability to address them.” New reading of the Constitution The majority’s view of the Second Amendment is part of a dramatic shift in the court’s understanding of the Constitution. That shift reflects the recent arrival of a conservative justice, Amy Coney Barrett, increasing the previous majority of five to a supermajority of six justices. The new supermajority, all nominated by Republican presidents, insists that the Constitution is not a living document that evolves as the beliefs and values of society shift. That was the longtime perspective more influential on the court since the rights revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, but now held by only a minority of justices. The conservative majority believes the Constitution should be read in the original fashion of how the text itself would have been understand by those who wrote and ratified it. This is often called “originalism.” The ramifications of this shift are just becoming clear. Beyond this gun ruling, the effects will continue to be seen in decisions on abortion, religion, criminal justice, environmental regulation and many other issues. As a close observer of the Supreme Court, I believe the briefest way to describe the change in the court’s understanding of rights is that the explicit protections in the Bill of Rights – such as free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press – will be given greater weight and deference, while the additional protections outside of the Bill of Rights, which have been recognized by the court over time – abortion, privacy, same-sex marriage – will not be accorded the same protection and respect. The originalist reading means that the enumerated rights of the Amendments, including the Second Amendment, are not up for majority rule. They are core, established rights. But other public debates on issues outside of the scope of the Bill of Rights – including abortion – are matters left to the decisions of state legislatures. This is a dramatic shift in the meaning and application of the U.S. Constitution. The state of gun regulation The ruling by the new majority does not insist that states adopt the most unrestricted standards for concealed-carry that states like Maine or Texas have. Only the states with the most restrictive gun laws, including California and New York, will be forced to change policies. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a separate opinion to highlight that “the Court’s decision does not prohibit States from imposing licensing requirements for carrying a handgun for self-defense.” He emphasized that, “properly interpreted, the Second Amendment allows a ‘variety’ of gun regulations.” The majority opinion specifically states that concealed carry of firearms in sensitive places can be regulated: “We can assume it settled” that prohibitions on concealed carry in sensitive locations, including historically allowed ones such as “legislative assemblies, polling places, and courthouses,” as well as other “new and analogous sensitive places are constitutionally permissible.” This likely includes government buildings, stadiums, churches and schools. ‘Alter American law’ This landmark ruling on the meaning and application of the Second Amendment changes the law in several states that would prefer to impose greater restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms. More broadly, it announces a major shift in how the court will understand the nature of rights under the Constitution. The liberal justices in the waning minority believe that the new approach is changing American constitutional law “without considering the potentially deadly consequences.” The new majority sees the Constitution and Bill of Rights in a more uncompromising light that will alter American law in the coming years. Morgan Marietta, Associate Professor of Political Science, UMass Lowell This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Fourcorners Comics and Games in Gettysburg Supports the Community and the Adams County Library System

This post is republished from an original story from Sept. 2020. Fourcorners Comics and Games co-owners Holly Krichten and Arthur Sanchez have been selling comic books, manga, board games, cards, and other entertainment in Gettysburg for the past six years and supporting the Adams County Library System at the same time.  The couple started the shop at 42 Baltimore Street in Kritchen’s hometown in 2015. “We’ve wanted to open a comic shop for a while,” said Sanchez. “The idea of opening a comic book store was always in the back of my mind.” Sanchez researched the area in order to find a proper starting place. “It has been a challenge since day one. You have two people who have a vast knowledge, but it isn’t exactly in shop owning,” said Sanchez. “It was kind of just a dream and we weren’t sure if it was going to work out. Every new thing that we tried was a learning curve,” said Kritchen. Sanchez and Kritchen said they learned to adapt to difficulties and move forward from the very beginning and that customer service is the most important part of any business.  During the pandemic, most of the comic book publishers halted their publications, forcing comic book fans to wait for their stories to continue, and creating difficulties for the shop. “We’ve taken the years of struggle and hard work we’ve always done, and applied it to this particular situation,” said Sanchez. “Here’s the reality with the comic book store: It’s a lot different than other shops because we have periodicals that come out on a weekly basis.”  “We knew that if we just did something every day or tried to keep selling what we had in the store that was still available the business would not have to close,” said Kritchen.  Sanchez said he was thankful tourists were still visiting Gettysburg. “Our community is what helped us make it through the shutdown.” Krichten and Sanchez said they advertise through a newsletter and a live video feed on a weekly basis, and hold numerous giveaways. “There’s a free comic book day, where we give out hundreds and hundreds of comics for free and  raise money for the Adams County Library,” said Sanchez.  During the pandemic they held the free comic book day online over the span of three months and donated any tips they received to the Adams County Library. Looking forward, Sanchez and Kritchen said they do not want to expand — rather, they want to be able to purchase the building they are in and devote as much time to the shop as possible. And they would like to increase their internet presence.  When they think about their business, for which they and a part-time employee devote far beyond normal work hours, there is a huge sense of pride. “We worked and gave up quite a bit of our lives,” said Sanchez. “We have a community that supports us and we’re able to give towards our community.”  

Top Pa. lawmakers have tentative deal to ban private money, increase funding for county election offices

By Stephen Caruso of Spotlight PA Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters. HARRISBURG — Top Pennsylvania lawmakers have struck a tentative deal to get private money out of election administration. The exact language is still being written, but the compromise, agreed to in principle in a private meeting Wednesday of the General Assembly’s top lawmakers on election policy, would increase state funding for county election offices, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations. Such an increase would counteract the potential loss of private foundation funding, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing negotiations. A total of 23 Pennsylvania counties received at least $16.5 million in funding from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit financed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, in the lead-up to the 2020 election, according to NPR. The funding, much of which went to Democratic-leaning counties outside Philadelphia, helped them purchase equipment, pay staff, and administer early voting with mail-in ballots. While local election officials celebrated the assistance as filling necessary funding gaps — particularly to implement the state’s newly passed mail-in voting law, Act 77 — Republicans have made eliminating it a top priority, arguing it creates an “appearance of corruption.” “The Pennsylvania Constitution states that ‘elections shall be free and equal,’” state Sen. David Argall (R., Schuylkill) said in an April statement after a hearing on the grants. “Selectively funding elections in certain counties with private donations violates this clause and raises the specter of outside groups influencing election outcomes.” Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has not been informed of the details of the proposed deal, state Sen. Sharif Street (D., Philadelphia) said Wednesday. Street, the ranking Democrat on the Senate State Government Committee, met with his three counterparts — Argall, state Rep. Seth Grove (R., York), and state Rep. Scott Conklin (D., Centre) — Wednesday morning to discuss the plan for roughly 50 minutes. He declined to discuss specifics of the bipartisan proposal but argued it would “make it easier and better for Pennsylvanians to vote.” “We’ve all been working together for some time,” Street said. “And we just thought we’ve reached a moment where we’re hoping to get something done.” Negotiations on the exact totals were still ongoing, the sources said. Two added that the ban may only be temporary, lasting a year and allowing lawmakers to revisit the policy — and additional funding — in 2023. The proposal, if finalized, would also need to be presented to each individual caucus for approval before it could be passed and sent to Wolf’s desk. A ban was already included in the omnibus election bill Wolf vetoed at the end of budget talks last year. A standalone bill banning counties from accepting outside funding passed the Senate in April by a veto-proof 37-12 margin. It is now in the House Appropriations Committee awaiting further action. The deal does not address a number of issues that county elections officials have hoped to see resolved before the 2022 election, in particular giving counties time to open and count mail-in ballots before Election Day — also known as pre-canvassing. WHILE YOU’RE HERE… If you learned something from this story, pay it forward and become a member of Spotlight PA so someone else can in the future at spotlightpa.org/donate. Spotlight PA is funded by foundationsand readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results.

Juneteenth celebrates just one of the United States’ 20 emancipation days – and the history of how emancipated people were kept unfree needs to be remembered, too

Kris Manjapra, Tufts University The actual day was June 19, 1865, and it was the Black dockworkers in Galveston, Texas, who first heard the word that freedom for the enslaved had come. There were speeches, sermons and shared meals, mostly held at Black churches, the safest places to have such celebrations. The perils of unjust laws and racist social customs were still great in Texas for the 250,000 enslaved Black people there, but the celebrations known as Juneteenth were said to have gone on for seven straight days. The spontaneous jubilation was partly over Gen. Gordon Granger’s General Order No. 3. It read in part, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” But the emancipation that took place in Texas that day in 1865 was just the latest in a series of emancipations that had been unfolding since the 1770s, most notably the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863. As I explore in my book “Black Ghost of Empire,” between the 1780s and 1930s, during the era of liberal empire and the rise of modern humanitarianism, over 80 emancipations from slavery occurred, from Pennsylvania in 1780 to Sierra Leone in 1936. There were, in fact, 20 separate emancipations in the United States alone, from 1780 to 1865, across the U.S. North and South. In my view as a scholar of race and colonialism, Emancipation Days – Juneteenth in Texas – are not what many people think, because emancipation did not do what most of us think it did. As historians have long documented, emancipations did not remove all the shackles that prevented Black people from obtaining full citizenship rights. Nor did emancipations prevent states from enacting their own laws that prohibited Black people from voting or living in white neighborhoods. In fact, based on my research, emancipations were actually designed to force Blacks and the federal government to pay reparations to slave owners – not to the enslaved – thus ensuring white people maintained advantages in accruing and passing down wealth across generations.. Reparations to slave owners The emancipations shared three common features that, when added together, merely freed the enslaved in one sense, but reenslaved them in another sense. The first, arguably the most important, was the ideology of gradualism, which said that atrocities against Black people would be ended slowly, over a long and open-ended period. The second feature was state legislators who held fast to the racist principle that emancipated people were units of slave owner property – not captives who had been subjected to crimes against humanity. The third was the insistence that Black people had to take on various forms of debt in order to exit slavery. This included economic debt, exacted by the ongoing forced and underpaid work that freed people had to pay to slave owners. In essence, freed people had to pay for their freedom, while enslavers had to be paid to allow them to be free. Emancipation myths and realities On March 1, 1780, for instance, Pennsylvania’s state Legislature set a global precedent for how emancipations would pay reparations to slave owners and buttress the system of white property rule. The Pennsylvania Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery stipulated “that all persons, as well negroes, and mulattos, as others, who shall be born within this State, from and after the Passing of this Act, shall not be deemed and considered as Servants for Life or Slaves.” At the same time, the legislation prescribed “that every negroe and mulatto child born within this State” could be held in servitude “unto the age of twenty eight Years” and “liable to like correction and punishment” as enslaved people. After that first Emancipation Day in Pennsylvania, enslaved people still remained in bondage for the rest of their lives, unless voluntarily freed by slave owners. Only the newborn children of enslaved women were nominally free after Emancipation Day. Even then, these children were forced to serve as bonded laborers from childhood until their 28th birthday. All future emancipations shared the Pennsylvania DNA. Emancipation Day came to Connecticut and Rhode Island on March 1, 1784. On July 4, 1799, it dawned in New York, and on July 4, 1804, in New Jersey. After 1838, West Indian people in the United States began commemorating the British Empire’s Emancipation Day of Aug. 1. The District of Columbia’s day came on April 16, 1862. Eight months later, on Jan. 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the enslaved only in Confederate states – not in the states loyal to the Union, such as New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri. Emancipation Day dawned in Maryland on Nov. 1, 1864. In the following year, emancipation was granted on April 3 in Virginia, on May 8 in Mississippi, on May 20 in Florida, on May 29 in Georgia, on June 19 in Texas and on Aug. 8 in Tennessee and Kentucky. Slavery by another name After the Civil War, the three Reconstruction Amendments to the U.S. Constitution each contained loopholes that aided the ongoing oppression of Black communities. The Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 allo