Author Archives: Charles Zinn

Charles Zinn

About Charles Zinn

Charles Zinn is a 2018 graduate of Harrisburg Christian School and will be studying communications at Geneva College.

SWAT car, Mission BBQ headline Night Out event

By Charles Zinn
Linglestown Gazette summer intern

Have you ever wanted to see an armored SWAT car up close?

That is one of the pieces of equipment Lower Paxton Township officials are bringing to the annual National Night Out at George Park, so now is your chance.

The National Night Out is a celebration held across the nation where people from the community can come out to meet local first responders who help protect and keep them safe.

“There’s going to be some technical stuff there,” said Lower Paxton Township Police Corporal Walt Cook, the officer spearheading the event. Beyond the SWAT car, he highlighted some of the new wrinkles coming in this year, including horses and a helicopter.

However, Cook wanted to make sure people understand that none of these things will appear for certain. Due to the nature of their emergency services work, they may not arrive if they receive a call.

“That’s all mission pending. I’m not going to say it’s happening until its flying over us,” he said regarding the helicopter.

Leigh Ann Urban, the township’s communications manager, also shared some information she knew. When asked about food and entertainment, she said Mission BBQ will be there to distribute food, and that would be it.

“It’s not meant to be a concert. It’s to promote community,” Urban explained.

As always, there will many community groups and businesses with information tables to get citizens in the know about their programs and services.

National Night Out at George Park this Tuesday, August 7 from 5 – 8 p.m. The park is located about a quarter-mile south of Paxtonia Elementary School along Nyes Road.

 

 

Policing fireworks in LP is a work in progress

By Charles Zinn
Linglestown Gazette summer intern

The July 4th holiday is over, but some people are still in a booming holiday mood over their new toy authorized by a new state law – aerial fireworks.

While many people appear to love celebrating nearly a month after the July 4th holiday, citizens in some parts of Lower Paxton Township have been disturbed by fireworks on a near nightly basis.

The novelty might be rubbing off a bit in recent days, but it will likely rev up again as Labor Day nears.

The state law allows Pennsylvanians to legally buy consumer-grade aerial fireworks, but it did include a few regulations. The primary one disallows fireworks being fired within 150 feet of an occupied structure.

And on the local level, it’s a violation of Lower Paxton’s noise ordinance to set off fireworks after 10 p.m.

One hotbed of fireworks activity since July 4th has been Colonial Park. Most spots in this densely populated suburban neighborhood do not have enough space between homes and businesses to legally launch fireworks.

Yet nightly fireworks shows were happening through July 22, according to one resident.

It got so bad that he called the Lower Paxton Township police three times during one evening for assistance in tracking down the perpetrator. Police were unable to crack the case.

Lower Paxton police are aware of this issue, but Adam Kosheba, the township’s public safety director, last week did not want to give an official statement on how the township will enforce state and local laws.

In the meantime, Gazette readers can try to pinpoint as best as possible the location of suspected illegal fireworks activity and call 911 for assistance.
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Related article: ‘It was like a war zone’ with fireworks being shot off, police to issue citations (York Daily Record)

 

 

LP dodges big stink over mammoth trash containers

By Charles Zinn
Linglestown Gazette summer intern

Lower Paxton Township officials most likely are patting themselves on the back based on what’s happening in neighboring West Hanover Township.

Why?

Well, taking out the trash is harder these days in West Hanover Township, according to some residents who showed up at a recent township supervisors’ meeting.

Residents of Country Manor Farms, a 55+ mobile home community located along Old Route 22 behind Aroogas, aired their problems with large trash containers that are now required to be used under the township’s new trash-hauling contract with Waste Management. They said the trash cans are too big for them to haul to the curb.

“Everybody here is all senior citizens and they have a hard time pulling them out,” said Helen Marriott.

Some residents of other housing communities in the township have also expressed a dislike for the new containers.

The containers are designed to work with trucks equipped with automated side loaders.

Lower Paxton Township recently considered going with Waste Management’s large trash bins but opted against them when residents and some township officials were concerned about their size.

“People say the cans are too ugly, too big, and won’t fit in their garage,” said Daniel Rosario, West Hanover Township’s manager.

When asked about senior citizens being unable to pull the cans to the curb, Rosario said residents can fill out a form to obtain an exemption from the curbside requirement.

However, that procedure doesn’t seem to be working for at least one resident.

“They promised they would come up and pull them to the road, which they did not do,” Marriott said.

Rosario said the rationale for the township-issued containers came about because the old system wasn’t working.

“The problem is people are not following the ordinances,” he said.

Some citizens did not put lids on their trash cans and this resulted some days in trash flying everywhere and litter collecting in neighbors’ yards. Township officials decided to agree to have a standardized trash can with an attached lid to help keep the litter to a minimum.

In response to complaints, the township plans to have a workshop meeting on August 13 to discuss possible changes to the contract with Waste Management.

 

 

How Koons Park’s July 4th fireworks show came to be

By Charles Zinn
Linglestown Gazette intern

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun with fireworks.

Tonight marks the 15th consecutive year Linglestown Fire Company has had a hand in putting on a spectacular fireworks celebration at Koons Park to mark the Fourth of July holiday.

While these fireworks have been a huge tradition for folks who live in Lower Paxton Township, most people don’t know how they began.

Dan Crum, the deputy fire chief, pointed to outstanding support from the Lower Paxton Township community as the volunteer fire company’s motivation for starting to do the show.

“We wanted to host an event to support them,” said Crum.

The fire company staged the first fireworks show at Koons Park in 2003. All the funding for the show was taken care of solely by the fire company during the first few years. Lower Paxton Township began to provide financial assistance around 2008, according to Terri Bauknight, the township’s parks and recreation director.

Nowadays, the cost of the fireworks is split between Linglestown Fire Company and Lower Paxton.

With the history of the Koons Park Fireworks complete, all that is left for you to do is come out to the show that starts at dusk. And be sure to arrive in Linglestown well in advance of the first rocket being fired to get a parking spot close to the park.

 

 

You’re invited to a shindig!

By Charles Zinn
Linglestown Gazette intern

Here’s a great way to extend the July 4th holiday into the weekend!

Trinity Presbyterian Church located on Locust Lane across from the vo-tech school, is throwing their 3rd annual shindig this Friday, July 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. – and Gazette readers are invited!

Here’s the building to look for to attend the shendig.

All ages are welcomed to enjoy free food and fun lawn games followed by the 1970s movie “At the Dumpling Gang” that will be shown at dusk.

“There will be lawn games like nine square in the air, bocce ball, corn hole, spike ball, and several other yard type games,” said Mike Wolcott, the youth and family Pastor at the church.

The menu includes includes summer classics like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Wolcott further encouraged people to bring lawn chairs and blankets as the movie will be played outside.

“It was a fun time,” said Rachel Skinner, one of the members of the church who attended last year’s shindig. “A lot of people came, a lot of people from the community were invited.”

If you’re looking for something to do this upcoming Friday evening, head out to Trinity to enjoy fun games and free food with your neighbors across the community!

Rt. 39 traffic woes subject of corridor study

By Charles Zinn
Linglestown Gazette summer intern

There’s growing concerns about traffic congestion on Pennsylvania Route 39 with major development projects planned in the corridor in Susquehanna and Lower Paxton townships.

With help from community activist Eric Epstein, Dauphin County officials launched a corridor study about a year ago by contracting engineering firm Herbert, Rowland & Grubic to work on the project.

Earlier this week an open house was held in South Hanover Township’s municipal building to provide the public with a status report on the study and to gather suggestions from citizens.

Route 39 map was used to gather public comments and suggestions on various sections of the corridor,

“We’re looking for public input on certain areas and certain locations that there is particular capacity issues,” said Jacob Long, a HRG staff member who works in the firm’s traffic department.

Having the public weigh in with their opinion can further help HRG find out about the capacity of Linglestown Road, he said.

“The purpose of [the open house] is to identify whether or not the existing zoning and the projected future land use makes sense for the long-term for the corridor,” said Tim Staub, a land-use planner at HRG.

The aim of the study, which also includes Route 743, is to come up with a punch list of suggestions for local and state officials that would help maintain a reasonable traffic flow through the corridors. The recommendations most likely will include road enhancements and zoning changes.

“We didn’t want them changing Linglestown,” said Joe Murphy, a Linglestown resident who spearheaded the formation of the Lower Paxton Township Historical Commission earlier this year. “Our biggest concern was whether they were going to cut into some of the historical areas.”

He added that it was his fear that they would continue to change Linglestown Road into a four-lane highway, similar to Route 22.

Bill Minsker, another Linglestown resident, supports the use of roundabouts to smooth out the traffic flow at intersections along Route 39.

“I see many, many places where roundabouts would be much more efficient than traffic lights,” said Minsker.

Epstein, a Lower Paxton Township resident and Central Dauphin school board member, was surprised at the number of people at the open house who expressed interest in having a pedestrian path and bicycle lane along Route 39.

He’s unsure how township officials in Susquehanna, Lower Paxton and West Hanover townships will use the study to coordinate land use and transportation.

With all of this going on, Eric Stump of HRG, the manager of the corridor study, said the next step is to confirm all land uses and look at different alternatives with the zoning, both with the existing zoning and with the comments given by the public.

Stump said there will be another public meeting in October or November, and he expects the study most likely will wrap up sometime in the first half of 2019.

He hopes local officials will use the corridor study to help acquire grants and other funding that would be needed to implement recommendations.
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Charles Zinn is a 2018 graduate of Harrisburg Christian School and will be attending Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., this fall.
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For additional information on the Route 39 corridor study, CLICK HERE for a story published by PennLive.com.