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Day-Tripping: Two National Parks, Fall Foliage & Fun

Take a day trip with Linglestown American Legion Post 272 …

In just a blink of an eye, a common field in Pennsylvania became a field of honor forever.

Linglestown American Legion Post 272 has graciously extended an invitation for a few Gazette readers to join them on a van trip on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 to that common field in Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93 and its 44 passengers launched this tiny town into the world’s spotlight during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Wall of Names at Flight 93 National Memorial

You’ll stop at the Flight 93 National Memorial visitor center to take in its stunning architecture, explore the exhibit area and Learning Center, and then stroll the ¼ mile walkway to a wall that memorializes those who perished. From the wall area, you can look out over a field and see Flight 93’s final resting place that is marked by a huge boulder.

And there’s more …

After lunch you’ll travel north another 40 miles to a second stop — The Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historical Site. Here you’ll learn about a transportation engineering marvel that was built to get boats on the Erie Canal over a major obstacle — mountains. The stop will include a tour of a house that once was a tavern and a popular stop for rail passengers, an engine house shelter, and a historic bridge.

And if you’re lucky, the hills and dales between Linglestown and our destinations will be ablaze with a palette of fall colors.    

Departure will be from the Linglestown American Legion Post 272 at 505 N. Mountain Road at 9 am sharp, with an arrival time back in Linglestown around 7 pm.

Be sure to reserve your seats ASAP because only 12 spots are available to Gazette readers.

The suggested donation for a non-Legion member is $50, and only $90 per couple. Your donation does not include lunch, but there will be a stop at Hoss’s Steak and Sea House in Somerset. Deadline for reservation is Oct. 16, 2017. Checks should be made out to Linglestown American Legion Post 272 and mailed to:

Linglestown Legion Van Trip
℅ Linglestown Gazette
6204 Elmer Avenue
Harrisburg, PA  17112

For more information, please call Bill Bostic at (717) 512-0722 or send email to LinglestownGazette@gmail.com.

CD Rams pregame – Keys to victory, game notes/videos.

By Bill Bostic
Gazette sports reporter

CD Rams head coach Glen McNamee

CD Rams head coach Glen McNamee’s keys to victory against Carlisle Thundering Herd …

#1 … Defenders need to stick to their responsibilities when Carlisle goes with tricky run/pass option plays.

#2 … Find a way to contain Carlisle’s “electrifying’ senior wide receiver Gavyn Barnes, #3, when he gets the ball off of passes or on kick returns. He’s made several ESPN-highlight quality plays already this season, according to coach Mac.

#3 … Winning the turnover battle could be key in this game. The Rams may need to force a turnover or two to come out on top.

#4 … Avoid physically breaking down in the second half for the third consecutive week. It’s going to be a hot Friday evening at Landis Field, and the Rams need to come into this one with better fitness and hydration than last week at Wilson.
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Sports reporter Bill Bostic

Bostic’s Game Notes — Tonight’s game is dedicated to families with a fallen military hero, referred to as Gold Star Families. Linglestown American Legion Post 272 motorcycle riders will set a flag line for the Gold Star Families when they are brought onto the field at halftime. … Linglestown Gazette’s independent journalist and sports reporter Bill Bostic will be hosting a tailgate at Landis Field prior to the game. CLICK HERE for details. … The Rams are #9 – up from #10 – in Penlive’s Dandy Dozen ranking. … Look for a post-game interview on Facebook Live with Rams assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Sean Rosler.
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Video Links — Pregame chat with the Rams senior tight end and wide receiver Grant Smith, #10. … Get to know Rams wide receiver coach, Jason Easter. … What did he say??? Rams defensive coordinator Sean Rosler goes into Xs & Os overdrive with Gazette sports reporter Bill Bostic prior to last week’s win at Wilson. Whatever he said worked. Yea!

Vote sets stage for changes at Blue Ridge CC

By Bill Bostic

By the slimmest of margins, a longtime country club on Linglestown Road is one step closer to growing homes and apartment buildings designed for seniors instead of grass.

Lower Paxton Township supervisors approved zoning changes Tuesday night for soon-to-be-closed Blue Ridge Country Club that were proposed by the landowner and developer, Lower Paxton-based Triple Crown Corporation (TCC). Board chairman Bill Hornung, Bill Hawk and Gary Crissman gave thumbs up, while Robin Lindsey and Bill Seeds cast no votes.

TCC has been working with township officials and meeting with the public for over a year to make adjustments to zoning regulations for a planned retirement-style, aging-in-place housing community. The company’s sketch plan (pictured above) includes four five-story luxury apartment buildings, town homes, detached single family homes, a commercial section along Linglestown Road, an assisted-living facility with a memory care unit, and a 30-acre public park.

The idea for the project came from the township supervisors as part of their effort to bring aging-in-place options to Lower Paxton.

The request to TCC came after township officials asked companies that have communities in the area for seniors to consider putting one in Lower Paxton. No one was interested, said Crissman.

The new wrinkle introduced Tuesday by TCC was a restrictive covenant that requires 75 percent of construction be housing, limits the number of dwelling units to a maximum of 370, requires the development plan be consistent with the concept plan (pictured above), and requires 30 acres be devoted to a public park.

“We wanted to provide a level of certainty that the plan that we’ve been presenting is the plan that would get implemented,” said Charlie Courtney, an attorney working with TCC.

TCC will begin to put together a full-blown development plan. Mark DiSanto, CEO of TCC, said it would take three to five months to get a plan ready to submit to the township for review. Once a plan is submitted, it normally takes several months of review by township officials prior to the supervisors getting the plan for final consideration.

If all goes well, a final vote on the plan could happen sometime in the second half of 2018.

Hornung, Crissman and Lindsey were disappointed that TCC plans to only include an assisted living facility but no skilled nursing care.

It’s possible that The Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg could expand or the landowner for Sportsmen’s Golf Club could build senior nursing facility, said Hornung.

Crissman also called for the township and citizens to lobby the state for help with traffic congestion and dangerous intersections in the Route 39 corridor.
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* CLICK HERE for a PennLive story and video about TCC’s planned project at Blue Ridge Country Club.

* Linglestown Gazette plans to hold a town hall in the near future for citizens who are interested in pestering state officials for Route 39 improvements. Watch this Facebook page for details.

Put Wacky Weather Guy to work for you

Koons Pool is closed for the season and Wacky Weather Guy aka WWG and KOONS POOL WEATHER show broadcast weekdays on Facebook Live is available to promote your business, group or special event. You can become the title sponsor for a week, a month or longer periods of time.

What you get as title sponsor:

  • Your name would replace KOONS POOL in the show’s name.
  • WWG would do one report each week from your place of business & you or one of your employees could serve as a guest weather reporter – script is provided.
  • WWG would spotlight your product and services as part of the report.
  • WWG would wear a hat and shirt that features your company logo and/or name – you need to provide the clothing.
  • Facebook updates for the report would include a link to your company’s Facebook page or website.

Basic rates:

    • $30 per week
    • Discounted monthly rate is $100
    • Contact Linglestown Gazette for a quote for a  sponsorship longer than one month

NOTE — Sponsorship revenue is split between Koons Pool and support of local journalism provided by Linglestown Gazette.

Book your sponsorship today by contacting

Linglestown Gazette.

What we’re working on this week …

WEEK OF 9/3/17

Here’s what to look for on Linglestown Gazette the rest of this week, according to independent journalist Bill Bostic.

* Look for a wrap story on CD Rams football team’s tough loss on the road Friday against Manheim Twp.

* I’ll be attending the Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, 9/6/17 to keep up to speed on a plan to develop Forest Hills Commons, a strip shopping plaza behind the Sheetz at the intersection of Linglestown and Colonial roads.

* I plan to keep tabs on a repair job for the traffic light at Linglestown and Patton roads that has been causing backups on Linglestown Road for a few weeks.

Alexis Hartwick

* NEW FEATURE ALERTGazette Sports Chat with CD grad and former CD athlete Joe Gilloway will debut on Wednesday with an interview with former CD Rams basketball and golf standout Alexis Hartwick. The show is sponsored by Ted’s Bar & Grill.

* PLEASE SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM – Linglestown Gazette will launch a fundraising drive to offset expenses to keep you up to speed on what’s happening in your hometown.

Wacky Weather Guy aka WWG

* Linglestown Gazette’s NEWS & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE SHOW will return on Friday if I can book a guest. CLICK HERE to view the most popular episode that features local artist Jessica Singer.

* The services of Koons Pool’s Wacky Weather Guy aka WWG have been acquired by Linglestown Gazette through at least the end of the year after intense negotiations with WWG’s cameraman and agent, Scott. Wacky will return on Facebook Live next week.

* Plus I’ll post other local stuff that I uncover along the way …

HAVE A GREAT WEEK IN AND AROUND LINGLESTOWN, THE CAPITAL OF LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP

One man’s death wish for big-box stores

A slice of life from the Bill Bostic, Linglestown Gazette’s independent journalist

I really, really HATE home fix-it jobs.

My MO is to put off doing these testy tasks until my wife, Barbara, rightly cracks the whip. There’s been a lot of putting off this summer because Barbara has been out of town caring for her sister who had a liver transplant. She’s back now and yesterday was my official catch-up day. I made a list of crap to buy and headed for one of the big-box stores in the area.

One item was a basic doorknob. Easy enough, right? WRONG times infinity.

The big-box store didn’t appear to have a basic, no-frills doorknob. There wasn’t a store associate to found — no surprise there — and I selected a knob that looked like it would do the job. Unfortunately, I spotted a problem when I unpacked the knob from its plastic home — one of the screws needed to attach one side of the knob to the other was nowhere to be found. It turns out that the human or machine that packed the item had wrongly put a third wood screw in the box instead of the correct screw. I guess you could say I was SCREWED big time.

I forged ahead despite the missing screw and ran into another problem — the insides of the doorknob were too big for the hole in my door. This discovery began an epic meltdown. My first moves were to grab a towel to cover the knob and then beat the hell out of it with a wrench that was close by in a vain effort to force it into the hole. When that didn’t work, I went for heavier artillery, a hammer, and repeated the process. This resulted in the knob acquiring a new look that rendered it unreturnable to the big box.

Mind you, my childish hissy fit by this time had devolved into angry outbursts about modern retailing that were sprinkled with a healthy dose of profanity. Barbara and our two dogs thankfully gave me a wide buffer area to act like a jackass. I ripped the parts out of the door and with great satisfaction threw the big-box not-so-basic doorknob into the trashcan at a speed that would get the attention of pro baseball scouts. Man did this feel good!

This episode is stupid, I know. But, stupid things happen when you stupidly lose your cool in a big way.

My next move was golden though. I headed to my neighborhood hardware store, Hornung’s Hardware.They had basic doorknobs and one of the store’s answer guys was johnny on the spot to help me select wood screws that I needed to do the job. Why didn’t I try Hornung’s first?

Did I tell tell you that I HATE home fix-it jobs?
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I noticed Bill Hornung, owner of Hornung’s Hardware in Linglestown, has started offering life advice in Facebook status updates that also include updates about specials at his store. CLICK HERE for the one he posted on Labor Day.

This article is NOT an advertisement for Hunung’s Hardware. It is a true slice of life. With that said, it is an example of what can be done for businesses that support local journalism. Contact the Linglestown Gazette on Facebook or at linglestowngazette@gmail.com for sponsorship info.

Lower Paxton officials on hot seat with Blue Ridge plans

Editorial by independent journalist Bill Bostic

Lower Paxton Township supervisors face a decision next month on an issue that has attracted significant attention on Linglestown’s section of private, social media website Nextdoor.com.

Lower Paxton-based Triple Crown Corp. (TCC) has proposed a revision to the Residential Retirement Development (RRD) provision of the township’s zoning regulations at the behest of the township supervisors, who want more housing in the township that allows folks to “age in place.”

If the zoning changes are approved, TCC plans to file a plan for a mixed-use retirement-style community at what is now Blue Ridge Country Club located on the western edge of the township along Linglestown Road. It most likely would have about 350 housing units, some commercial lots along Linglestown Road and a 30-acre park that would be earmarked for the township to develop. Housing options would be luxury apartments and single-family and town homes, and an assisted care facility with a memory-care unit. Most of single-family and town homes would feature stepless entrances, single-floor living, wheel-chair accessibility and low maintenance.

TCC looked at the RRD and concluded that the regulation was a key factor in why developers for the most part have not pursued retirement-style housing in Lower Paxton. Only two developments used the current RRD and both were not very successful, according to TCC. The only one that I’m aware of is located along Union Deposit Road across from the Central Dauphin School District’s bus garage.

The revised RRD regulations that the township supervisors are tentatively scheduled to review on 9/19/17 have been developed over the last year with significant public input. TCC has revised the proposal numerous times to address input from elected and volunteer township officials and the public. To be fair, there is no way anyone can accuse TCC of crafting the proposal in isolation.

It’s also important to point out that TCC’s revised RRD has been unanimously approved by township, county and regional planning commissions each time it has been reviewed.

Is this a perfect ordinance? No.

Is it an improvement over the current one? I’d say a hundred times yes.

Is it a good fit for Blue Ridge Country Club? That question is hard to answer because there are folks making good arguments for and against it. Heck, the supervisors are split on the issue as evidenced by their rejection in May of TCC’s first proposal by a 3-2 vote.

Traffic issues on Linglestown Road are the chief concern of those who don’t want TCC to get the go-ahead to continue working on their Blue Ridge project. Without getting deep into the weeds on this issue, please note that the township supervisors rejecting TCC’s proposal over traffic congestion could land the township in court. For more information on this issue, take 15-20 minutes to view my interview with Fred Lighty, the longtime chairman of the Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission. (Skip over my opening comments and start watching when Fred shows up.)

The township supervisors are the ones on the hot seat. They sent TCC down the path toward redeveloping Blue Ridge as an “aging in place” housing community. TCC was not given a guarantee of anything, but the supervisors willingly worked with TCC as the company spent significant time and money crafting a revised RRD with the help of a ton of public input.

It will be interesting to see what the supervisors do on 9/19/17. I don’t envy the spot they’re in but that’s what they signed up for when they sought the office.

The question before the township supervisors and those who care about the fate of Blue Ridge is whether or not we are going to make a move toward bringing “aging in place” housing opportunities to our community.

If the consensus is yes, the supervisors better grab this chance and immediately start an all-hands-on-deck effort to address traffic congestion on Linglestown Road. The supervisors approving TCC’s revised zoning regulations and then letting others pursue ways to calm traffic congestion issues is unacceptable.

NEWS & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE SHOW featuring LP public servant Fred Lighty, 7/21/17 (Episode #5)


This show was recorded at Spring Gate in the Village in Linglestown, which is available to be rented for special events. Be sure to check out all the great things happening at Spring Gate Vineyard & Brewery located in the Paxtonia/Colonial Park area of Lower Paxton Township.

Topic guide:

26:47 – 22:45 Intro to Linglestown Gazette’s approach to providing local news and community info

22:44 – 3:15 Interview with Fred Lighty, Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission chairman – topics covered include public service, proposed development at Blue Ridge Country Club & how citizens can get involved in updating the township’s Comprehensive Plan

3:14 – 0:00 Quick look at the week ahead in Lower Paxton Township

Show links:

Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission (See second listing)

9-question citizen survey on issues related to an ongoing update to Lower Paxton’s Comprehensive Plan (Scroll down to see first survey question)

Dauphin County Comprehensive Plan

Regional Growth Management Plan by Tri-County Regional Planning Commission

How to contact Lower Paxton Township officials:

* Township supervisors’ voicemail — (717) 724-8327

* Email addresses to use for submitting written comments about the proposed zoning changes related to Blue Ridge County Club:

  • George Wolfe, township manager: gwolfe@lowerpaxton-pa.gov
  • Planning and Zoning Department: amitchell@lowerpaxton-pa.gov

Archives:

Episode #4 – Interviews with Polly Murphy & Wacky Weather Guy

Episode #3 – Plan for Central Dauphin High sports reporting unveiled, 7/7/17

Episode #2 – Show features interviews with Anthony Cristillo, owner of The Fat Man Clothing Co., and Aaron Smothers, the Gazette’s first volunteer community reporter, 6/30/17

Episode #1 – Debut show from Pittsburgh, 6/23/17

Sign up to help with Gazette’s promotional video

To get more info or to volunteer to portray a “disappearing” journalist, please contact the Gazette by sending email to linglestowngazette@gmail.com -or- contact the Gazette via Facebook.

Date:  Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Time:  11:45 am until 12:15 – 12:30 pm

Location:  Spring Gate in the Village in the village of Linglestown, Pa. (Map)

What you will do:  You will not act per se or have to say a word. You will be supplied with a prop by the Gazette that will make you look like a journalist — it could be a reporter’s notebook and pen, a videocam, a microphone, a point-and-shoot digital camera or a tablet computer. The scene will have 3 or 4 people lined up across a stage. The edited version of the video will show journalists disappearing one by one to denote the lack of community reporters, sometimes called beat reporters, in Lower Paxton Township and Central Dauphin School District.

What to wear:  Business casual outfit (request a call if you need more info)

How many are needed:  3 or 4

After the shoot, participants are invited to grab a bite to eat and drink at St. Thomas Roasters.

Gazette launches weekly show on Facebook Live

Below is a link to the Linglestown Gazette’s first News & Lifestyle Magazine Show on Facebook Live.

The show is just under 30 minutes long. That may seem long, but it’s a magazine show, not a quickie YouTube video. You taking the time to view all or parts of the show will help you connect with your community and find out what in the heck is going on.

You can watch it from start to finish or use the guide below the to go directly to specific topics.

For Gazette readers, the most important segment is the one from 16:28 – 6:47 on what is happening with local journalism in Linglestown, Lower Paxton Township and Central Dauphin School District. Please watch it.

CLICK HERE to view the show.

Topic guide:

0:00 – 28:43 … Intro to Linglestown Gazette’s News & Lifstyle Magazine Show on Facebook Live

28:44 – 25:52 … Tribute to Pittsburgh’s Fred Rogers of children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”

25:53 – 23:08 … A Linglestown mom, Christina Ziser, is trying to find a kidney donor

23:09 – 21:43 … Lianne Snyder, sister-in-law of Gazette journalist Bill Bostic, had successful liver transplant surgery

20:26 – 16:37 … Update on proposed retirement-style community at Blue Ridge Country Club

16:28 – 6:47 … Where are the local news reporters? How Linglestown Gazette will serve the greater Linglestown area, Lower Paxton Twp. & CD School District

6:36 – 4:37 … First volunteer reporter submits news tidbit to the Gazette

4:38 – 1:50 … Koons Pool updates

1:44 – 0:35 … Why a lot of news isn’t showing up on the Gazette

New social network is perfect companion to Linglestown Gazette

If you want more local gossip and community news about the Linglestown area and Lower Paxton, a free private social network called Nextdoor is something you need to check out – now.

The page for our area, Nextdoor Linglestown, has been growing like crazy in recent months because your neighbors are finding out about lost pets, getting tips on who to hire to power wash their deck or paint a bedroom, learning what doctors and dentists are top notch, and receiving alerts when a bear is roaming around a neighborhood.

This online community takes sharing the latest at the fence with your neighbor and puts it on steroids. Seriously!

Plus, folks are using it to sell household items and their services. Heck, I found a great person who did a wonderful job taking care of my beloved dog when I recently took a vacation.

All you need to get started is to sign up for a free log-in. Yup, it’s free. CLICK HERE to join Nextdoor Linglestown, and then be sure to share it with your friends and family who live in your neighborhood.
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Disclaimer – Linglestown Gazette receives no compensation for promoting Nextdoor. And if you’re curious, CLICK HERE to learn how Nextdoor makes money.

CD, LP ballot set for fall election

A small number of voters in the Linglestown area made their way to the polls Tuesday for the primary election to nominate Republican and Democratic candidates for the fall vote.

For Lower Paxton’s two seats on the Board of Supervisors, Republicans Lowman Henry and Chris Judd will face Democrats Jacob Kreider and Catherine Scheib.

For school board, Eric Epstein topped Richard Mazzatesta in both the Republican and Democratic races for a four-year term to represent a region that runs along Lower Paxton’s western border. Odds are good that Epstein secured a second term on the board Tuesday.

There also was a race in the same area for a two-year seat, and Eric Mock and Richard Mazzatesta will face off for this spot in the fall.

For the school board seat that represents most of Lower Paxton, Justin Warren and Pamela Pertillar won nominations for the fall election.

LP supervisors race contested on GOP ballot

Editorial by Bill Bostic, publisher of Linglestown Gazette

Two seats are up for grabs on the Lower Paxton Twp. Board of Supervisors this election season with Supervisors Bill Seeds and Bill Hornung opting to not seek re-election.

Fortunately, three solid candidates are on the Republican ballot in Tuesday’s primary election. The two Democrats in the race – Jacob Kreider and Catherine Scheib – will get on the fall ballot as long as no one mounts a last-minute write-in bid .

Best known among the Republicans is Lowman Henry, who previously served as a township supervisor and county commissioner. Beyond being an experienced local official, he has been actively involved with the Colonial Park Rotary Club, including serving a term as president and leading club’s effort to erect a clock in the Linglestown square.

Chris Judd and Timothy Pramik, the other Republicans on the ballot, don’t have the Henry’s experience in township affairs, but both have been involved in the community. Judd is finishing his stint on the Central Dauphin School Board and Pramik has been a firefighter with Colonial Park Fire Co. #1 for 47 years.

Judd has teamed up with Henry on the campaign trail and both of them have been endorsed by the Dauphin County Republican Party. Meanwhile, Pramik appears to be banking on support from the firefighting community and is being aided by some of the same folks who helped state Sen. John DiSanto win his seat last fall.

Henry’s experience in public office and civic affairs would be a valuable addition to the board. I’m not in a position to endorse either Judd or Pramik because I haven’t talked to either one of them.

CLICK HERE for more information from PennLive’s voters’ guide about the Republican candidates.