Category Archives: NEWS / OPINION

Lower Paxton has new top gun

Lower Paxton Township supervisors voted 4-1 last night to hire Bradley Gotshall, as the township’s new manager. He currently is the manager of Millersville Borough in Lancaster County.

For details, click here for a story by Bill Bostic that was published by PennLive.com. And here’s a link to Gotshall’s resume on LinkedIn.

Bostic did a quick interview with Gotshall following his hiring.

 

 

Where are CD grads now? – Greg St. Clair Jr.

By Anne Long
For Linglestown Gazette

Five years after his graduation from Central Dauphin High School in 2013, Greg St. Clair Jr. has
landed in the National Football League with an internship as a videographer for the Baltimore Ravens.

A lifelong fan, St. Clair grew up going to Ravens games with his father, a season ticket holder
since 1997.

It’s no surprise then that St. Clair was ecstatic when he received word that the Ravens had awarded him the internship.

“I was elated. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it.”

And, he’s fulfilling a childhood dream: to be surrounded by the players he loves and the sport he loves.

“It’s one of my favorite things in this life. I just love all of it: the camaraderie, the strategy, the pageantry … . My first day, I walked into lunch with the production team, and I almost ran into Joe Flacco getting a glass of milk.”

When he’s not bumping elbows with players, he’s shooting and editing footage for the team’s use. Some days he’s out on the practice field with the production crew filming the practices, and then tagging the team members, opponents, and editing the film to help with performance and strategy. Other days he’s editing two of the Ravens TV news segments: Final Drive and Mail Bag.

Hard work plays key role

But getting the opportunity to work with the Ravens was not something that St. Clair stumbled upon. No. In the five years after he graduated Central Dauphin, St. Clair has worked hard and
overcome challenges to follow his dreams.

He attended Stevenson University – a small private school in Maryland – where he majored in accounting. At the time, it was his goal to work for one of the big four accounting firms in the
world. He even interned at Ernst & Young the summer before his senior year of college.

But, St. Clair cherished a love for film and picked up a minor in his sophomore year, hoping to incorporate it into his accounting.

“Once the minor came into play, I figured if I was going to have a focus in the accounting world, I could audit stuff for film companies,” said St. Clair.

Even then, he was losing his original zeal for the accounting life. And, once he completed his internship, he was certain that accounting wasn’t for him.

“It wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.”

He graduated college wanting nothing to do with his major and wanting to focus on the film
industry.

Doing his own thing paved path to NFL gig

“I didn’t want to be an accountant so badly, the only way I could defer it was doing my own
thing,” said St. Clair.

Moving back to central Pennsylvania, St. Clair started his own videography company, PhantomLand Media, and began to pick up weddings, real estate work, and did some promotion for the Central Dauphin High School Drumline while working as an instructor. He also became a certified drone pilot.

“The motivation for the work I do now is because I just don’t want to have to go back [to accounting],” said St. Clair.

With such an incredible work ethic and desire to take every opportunity, it’s no wonder that others started to recognize St. Clair for his talents.

He ended up landing an internship with NFL films, which got him into the sports film industry and had influence in getting this opportunity with the Ravens. His internship coordinator, Dan
Haessler, knew Jay O’Brien, the vice president of broadcasting with the Ravens, and sent him emails on St. Clair’s behalf, knowing that he would be a good fit for his team.

Tough decision pays off

During that time, however, St. Clair had just accepted a job with Driven Media Group, an
advertising agency in the auto industry. In fact, the day St. Clair accepted the job with Driven
Media, he got a message from the Ravens inviting him to apply for the broadcasting internship.

One can imagine this would be a tough decision, but for St. Clair, it was easy. He applied.

“Why not?” he asked. “It’s another opportunity to get back into what I want to be doing, which is the film industry of football.”

Interviewing, however, didn’t go as he thought.

The Ravens planned out an entire morning for him. St. Clair met the production team and Jay O’Brien, and then they had him edit a news segment. After lunch, the plan was to finish up
editing and meet some more people on the crew. However, plans changed. Instead, O’Brien said he would take a look at what St. Clair had done so far and then take him on a tour around the stadium. They finished the day early, and St. Clair left feeling as if he had blown the interview.

He followed up with the Ravens later, and the rest, as we know, is history. St. Clair quit his job with Driven Media and is now interning full-time with the Ravens.

With football season in full swing, he’s hoping to receive more responsibilities, and the future is full of opportunity.

St. Clair has the opportunity to stay on another year as an intern with the Ravens, but after that he’s not sure what he might be doing.

“Finding another job in sports doing something similar, hopefully,” he said.

In the meantime, St. Clair is still running his own videography company, PhantomLand Media.

Check out Greg’s work

You can find his work with the Ravens on their website. And, you can find his videography work at here, on Facebook and YouTube at PhantomLand Media, and on Instagram @phantomlandmedia.
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Photo: Greg St. Clair Jr. is pictured with his fiancee.

 

 

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.

 

 

Longtime LP leader passes away

Longtime Lower Paxton Supervisor Bill Hawk passed away Saturday.

He served as a supervisor for over 20 years and was the board chairman during most of those years. This spring he was elected as president of a statewide association of township officials.

“Hawk was proud that the Lower Paxton supervisors always tried to be a ‘listening board’ whenever citizens had opinions and ideas to share at meetings or during private conversations,” said Bill Bostic, publisher and editor of Linglestown Gazette. “He was a true public servant and a man that I count as a role model. Bill will be greatly missed.”

“Bill’s impact on Lower Paxton has been immeasurable,” said Lowman Henry, chairman of the township Board of Supervisors. “Lower Paxton developed into a major township over his years in office.”

“Bill made sure the township grew in an orderly fashion. He touched every facet of life in Lower Paxton over the last 20 years, and he was supportive of the effort to develop George Park and worked to assist the township’s first responders.”

Township Supervisor Chris Judd remembered Hawk in a Facebook post: “Politics can harden the heart, but I don’t know anyone who could detect an ounce of cynicism in Bill over his many years as a civic leader.”

No funeral plans were available at the time this update was published.

The township will have to fill Hawk’s seat during the next month or so. Contact the township office if you want to apply for the position.

 

 

Citizens call for new light on Locust Lane

Staff Report

Tim Murphy, a resident in the Locust Lane corridor, reports that a large crowd attended Tuesday night’s Lower Paxton Township supervisors’ workshop to call for a traffic light at the intersection of Locust Lane and Fairmont Drive near the vo-tech school.

An updated traffic study is needed to convince PennDOT of the need for the light, according to Murphy.

The supervisors agreed that a light is needed. And Yingst Homes, the developer of the Union Station housing community located south of the intersection along Fairmont Drive, also wants the light and will pay for the traffic study, reported Murphy.

Fourteen accidents in the last two years and the poor sight distance due to the skewed intersection should also carry some weight in expediting the approval and installation of a traffic light, he said.

Murphy filed the report on a Facebook group called Neighbors of Lower Paxton. This is a closed Facebook group but new members are added upon request.

 

 

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.

 

 

Wegmans coming to East Shore?

By Bill Bostic

Linglestown Gazette summer intern Charles Zinn has gotten to the bottom of the ongoing controversy over Wegmans adding a second store in our area. In short, it’s not happening anytime soon.

A Wegmans official in the public relations department said there are no plans for building a Wegmans on the East Shore, unless you count the Lancaster area as part of the shore area.

Not only that, but the rumor that Wegmans doesn’t build stores within a 50-mile radius of each other has been debunked.

Here are the main criteria that must be met for a second store to be added to an area like the Harrisburg region:

1. The site must be large enough to accommodate a big-box store and have adequate parking, which requires a huge lot.

2. The location must be easy to find and get to.

3. When it comes to population density, the company looks for a high volume of people, both for customers and the employees that will serve them.

The East Shore at a minimum doesn’t meet #3 because out-of-towners don’t consider the Susquehanna River to be a dividing line when figuring out population density. The store on the West Shore counts folks on the East Shore as potential customers.

So, get used to driving the 25-30 minutes it takes in light to moderate traffic to get to Wegmans in Silver Spring Township for the foreseeable future.
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Charles Zinn contributed to this story.
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Photo from The Carlisle Sentinel

 

 

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.

 

 

Another CD tax hike is in the works

Central Dauphin’s school board is on a course to adopt a property-tax hike for the sixth consecutive year.

CLICK HERE to get up to speed with a report filed by independent journalist Bill Bostic for PennLive.com.

School board members Richard Mazzatesta, Eric Esptein and Justin Warren said earlier this week that the board will discuss in June ways to reduce the proposed 2.8 percent tax increase.

The key meeting on this issue is scheduled for June 11, which is the only time the board will be in one room prior to gathering on June 25 to take a final vote on the nearly $200 million budget for the 2018-19 school year.

The Gazette will attempt to do a video interview with Mazzatesta and Epstein soon after the Memorial Day weekend to discuss the budget. They have been lobbying the board to hold the line on the tax rate this year.

 

 

CD East High dedicates sports complex gateway

The Central Dauphin School District community gathered Monday to dedicate a new gateway to a 14-field athletic complex on the CD East High campus.

The gateway is named after David Alexander, who was a member of the school’s first graduating class in 1964 and went on to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He served in Vietnam, where he lost his life in service to his country.

The project was fully funded with private money, said Ford Thompson, president of the Central Dauphin School Board.

Marty Gruver, a classmate of David’s at East High, spearheaded the project that took several years to take shape.

In addition to the gateway, David’s memory lives on with an annual award given to an East High male senior athlete.

Marty gives a brief backgrounder on David and the sports complex gateway in the video below.

 

 

Lower Paxton to assess new environmental fee

By Bill Bostic
Gazette editor & independent journalist

The impact of federal clean water regulations is about to take a chunk out of every property owner’s wallet in Lower Paxton Township – and there’s nothing local officials can do stop this environmental freight train.

The Lower Paxton township supervisors have retained a financial consultant to sort through options for addressing stormwater runoff, and Tuesday they approved spending $65,000 for the consultant to help create a stormwater utility fee to fund a remediation program.

It looks like property owners will have to cough up between $128 and $192 a year after the fee is enacted.

The township’s consultant has agreed to conduct public information meetings to explain the proposed environmental fee and to field feedback from citizens.

The money will be used to reduce the amount of runoff material that drains into the Paxton Creek and eventually the Susquehanna River. If this environmental program works, stream water will be cleaner which in turn will help to make the waters in the Chesapeake Bay healthier.

CLICK HERE for a story by independent journalist Bill Bostic about Tuesday’s vote and HERE if you want to dig into the nitty-gritty details of this issue.

Managing stormwater runoff and the potential high costs associated with the environmental initiative have been lurking around for years. Digging through the archives of Linglestown Gazette produced a link to an article published in 2011 by The Patriot-News.

Lower Paxton isn’t the only municipality dealing with this environmental headache. Many other communities in the Susquehanna River watershed are impacted too, and some of them have already established a stormwater utility fee or raised property taxes.

CLICK HERE for a PennLive article published a year ago that looks at how nearby communities are confronting this situation.