Elizabethtown Area School District Intermediate School Road and Traffic Concerns

Citizens in Mount Joy Township and Elizabethtown Borough are concerned that the Elizabethtown Area School District school board and administration are rushing to develop the Bear Creek property into an intermediate 4th through 6th grade school.  The process for developing this proposed school location does not adequately take into consideration the rural characteristics of the roads and intersections, and regional traffic that will be greatly affected by this large district-wide school.  The following information details potential problems with existing roads and intersections, and the potential high cost and complexities of making improvements to handle the traffic that will surely be generated by buses, faculty, staff, service contractors, and parent drop-offs.

Without recognizing these problems and developing a plan for remediation, the school will inevitably be constructed, and the problems will accumulate and will need to be resolved after the fact.  If Mount Joy Township, Elizabethtown Borough, and the school district do not recognize the potential for these problems, then the cost and traffic aggravation will ultimately be passed along to the citizens of Mount Joy Township and Elizabethtown Borough.  There is a need for regional planning for such a large inter-municipality project.  As a minimum, this fast paced process must be paused so there is time to study the regional implications and make the correct regional decisions. Money may have been spent to develop the site plan to this point, but continuing this potentially flawed process can be more costly than starting over in the right direction.

 

Questions that need to be considered and answered include:

-The proposal calls for 100% of the traffic access to the school to be via Sheaffer Road.  If the Bear Creek tract must be used, why is the school not connected to High Street to allow the natural flow of school traffic to this site?

-Why is the borough not included in the traffic impact studies and car counts?  Who decided which intersections and level of study would be conducted?  Let’s get this process right, so that the correct answers are found.

-Why is the school not located among the other existing main school campus buildings to share in existing amenities? These items include:

—Ability of students to walk to school (students now walking Grades 3-6 will now need to be bused)

—Middle school student utilization of the sports facilities without the need to be bused.

Shared school zone and police monitoring of traffic

—Sharing of bus resources for extra curricular activities.

Who is paying for the engineering and reconstruction of the problem roads and intersections? The potential problems are listed below.

-What is the scale and scope of sidewalk construction that will be needed in a 1 mile walking radius of the school?  Is it safe not to put sidewalks on these roads, and risk students walking along roads that do not have shoulders? Who pays for sidewalks: the school district, Mount Joy Township, home owners?

The concerned citizens are not against the plan to construct a new intermediate school.  The plan needs to be carefully reviewed and evaluated for cost and complexity before approval is given to begin construction as the plan currently exists.  Alternative school locations or High Street access to the school needs to be studied, and may in fact be less costly and have less of a traffic and cost impact on the School District, Borough and Mount Joy Township.

Lancaster County College Showcase Soccer Tournament

Being recruited to play college soccer is not an easy process. A player must convince a coach to come watch him play, play well in front of them, and then have the merits to get into the college. Most coaches don’t have the time or money to come see all the players that contact them. But recently this process is being made easier thanks to Greg Morales.

Morales has come up with the concept of hosting College Showcase Tournaments where a local soccer club will host a youth soccer tournament (typically only ages 15-18 are invited) at the same time that they host a college soccer tournament. This way college coaches can travel less and see more players at one time.

Over the weekends of April 12th and 13th and 19th and 20th the Hempfield Soccer Club of Lancaster County will host a men’s college showcase and a women’s college showcase respectively.

“I was there checking out some of the local players,” Elizabethtown College head coach Arthur Roderick said. “I just love the atmosphere of these tournaments.”

It also gives college coaches the ability to play for the first time with their new team for next season.

“It’s tremendous for us,” University of Pennsylvania head soccer coach Rudy Fuller said, “to be able to see all these young, talented players in one area, while being able to coach my team, really saves on travel and makes life much easier.”

There is another side to this equation that coach Fuller did not even think about.

“I wanted to create an opportunity where the kids can be seen by the colleges and the colleges can be seen by the kids,” Morales said. “We’re almost reversing the process. My pitch to the kids was this is your chance to go see the college coach.”

And thus far it was a major success with both players and coaches.

“This was the first college soccer game I have ever seen,” Jamie Godel, an under-17 LANCO (Lancaster County) soccer player said after watching Penn State University beat Columbia University 2-0. “It was cool to see where I dream of playing one day.”

Godel only helped his chances this weekend of one day playing college soccer as he scored a goal against York United. LANCO went on to defeat York 2-0.

“I’m just hoping one of the scouts out here saw it,” Godel said.

With Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, Temple University and Towson University just some of the local schools in attendance at this event Godel can only hope he left an impression on some of the schools.

As for Morales, his tournaments are opening up doors for both players and coaches that were never there before.

“It’s just amazing that this has never been done before,” Morales said. “I just happened to be the guy who decided to pursue it.”

Etown Little League Baseball Opening Day

“Without the hard work of the volunteers and coaches, who put in countless hours teaching our children the game of baseball, there would be no Little League,” Elizabethtown Boys Club (EBC) Vice President Brian Schoenberger said during his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2008 EBC Little League season.

This season more volunteers than ever were needed as the league grew from 220 players to 295 according to first-year commissioner Rick Martin.

“I am most proud of all of the volunteers who donate their time, which allows the Etown Boys Club be able to teach all of the children who are lined up on the field the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and teamwork” Martin said.

“It’s exhausting work trying to get nine 5-year olds to understand the game of baseball,” Tigers assistant coach Frank Cross said, “but at the end of the day, when you see how much fun the kids are having, it is a neat experience.”

The EBC league has 25 different teams in three different age groups. The T-ball league (ages 5-6) has ten teams. The minor leagues (ages 7-9) also have ten. The major leagues (ages 10-12) have five teams. Every single player and coach involved in the league lined the field April 12th to take part in the opening ceremonies at Wenger Field before the games got underway.

This year for the opening ceremonies the main attraction for most of the players was a giant, blue river monster named Rascal. Rascal is one of two mascots for the Harrisburg Senators, a minor league team in the area, and most of the kids either mobbed him or ran away from him when given the opportunity.

“My favorite part was jumping on Rascal,” Mike Mungro, a 7-year old player for the Indians, said.

Also in attendance for the opening ceremony was Elizabethtown Fire Company, whose sirens went off in celebration while Elizabethtown Councilman Phil Clark threw out the first pitch of the season.

One of the highlights of the day took place during a major league game between the Yankees and Red Sox when the Yankees turned a double play in the fourth inning to stop the Red Sox from scoring and eventually going onto a 8-7 victory.

The regular season will last until June 14 when the playoffs will begin.

“Today was a great success,” Martin said. “I just hope the rest of the season the children will have fun, learn the game of baseball, and show good sportsmanship.”

Etown Student and Faculty Win National Awards

Eric Woltkamp (pictured above on the left), a senior Communications major at Elizabethtown College, received a national award for his video project “Bored”. He won third place in the Broadcast Education Association video competition in the Music Video category, and was honored at BEA’s national convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can see the sequel to Eric’s award winning video on YouTube.

Dr. Kirsten Johnson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at Elizabethtown, was honored by BEA for a paper she wrote. Her paper titled “Increasing Perceived Credibility on Citizen Journalism Web Sites” won second place in the Communications Technology division. She presented her paper at the convention.

Black Gryphon Introduces New Menu

The Black Gryphon restaurant on 54 Mt. Gretna Rd celebrated the entry of spring with the introduction of our Spring menu. We are featuring seasonal salads, “wachos”, veal, beef tenderloin, sea bass, lasagna and much, much more on our Lunch and Dinner menus. Come in and experience a relaxing atmosphere, happy hour features Wednesday-Friday from 5-7 pm and our very own Chocolate Hot Wings!

Visit our website at www.blackgryphon84.com to learn more about our menus, kid’s menus, desserts, weekly features and our live monthly entertainment. Also, join us for our Happy Hour for $1 off drinks and 1/2 price small plates with a 2 drink minimum (at the bar only). Experience our all you can eat Fish & Chips on Wednesday nights and our all you can eat fresh spaghetti with our very own family sauce recipe on Thursday nights.

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Citizen Journalism