This letter is intended for Middletown Borough Council.
As an owner of a business in the downtown area of Middletown Borough, I would like to present to council a request for limited parking in front of Kuppy’s Diner on Brown Street. Over the last year, there has been a substantial significant increase in Amtrak train users parking vehicles on Brown and Poplar streets, including private lots behind M & T Bank and apartment buildings on Union Street.
For whatever reason, the parking lot is filled at the train area, and these folks will park anywhere and everywhere there is an open spot. Many vehicles have been repeatedly ticketed for violations that especially become a safety hazard with the heavy volume of traffic being rerouted due to Union Street repairs.
We have vehicles parked and left anywhere from a day to 10 days in front of the diner. This problem has continued to escalate to the point that on a daily basis Brown Street/Poplar Street is almost entirely parked by Amtrak riders due to the “free park” policy in Middletown. These people are not paying into the tax revenue locally or purchasing from downtown businesses.
This is a large economic loss to local businesses who rely on street parking for their customer base to utilize.
I request limited parking from the drive into Citizens Bank lot to the corner of Brown and Poplar streets so patrons wanting to access local downtown businesses can find street parking to do so.
I appreciate your timely consideration in this request.
Please support the downtown businesses so we can all be successful.
(The writer is co-owner of Kuppy’s Diner in Middletown.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 18:41
On behalf of Londonderry Twp., thank you for your donation to the sixth-annual Londonderry Twp. Stars & Stripes Salute. Because of the generosity of individuals and business owners like you, we were able to provide this free community event and make a donation to the Lebanon V.A. Medical Center once again.
Being able to honor the men and women who provide us the freedom we enjoy through this event is a privilege, and we thank you for providing us the opportunity to show them our appreciation.
(The writer is the office manager for Londonderry Twp.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 19:39
I have known and worked with Ken Klinepeter and Greg Wilsbach for their entire careers with Middletown Borough. Both are outstanding men and highly thought of in their respective fields.
I remember when Ken started at the wastewater plant, and when he was promoted to supervisor upon the resignation of Paul McCurdy. Ken is a very intelligent individual, which is the reason he has attained the status he so richly deserves. I’m glad at least Steelton recognizes what an asset they have in Ken.
Greg – what can I say about Greg? He is a truly remarkable young man who started his employment with the borough as a dispatcher in our now-defunct communications center. He did this while furthering his education in the electrical field.
Upon completion of his education, he transferred to the Electric Department, where he proved to be a valuable employee. When Tom Handley retired, Greg became the supervisor. I am sure Ephrata has the same high opinion of Greg as Steelton does of Ken.
Both are exemplary employees and will be sorely missed, especially by those of us who realize their value and capabilities.
Middletown’s loss is certainly Steelton’s and Ephrata’s gain.
I wish both the best in their future endeavors. I know they will be successful.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 19:38
I attended the Middletown Area Historical Society’s “Music Along the Swatara” on Friday, July 18. What a wonderful event.
The music by Strange Foke was in a relaxing and beautiful venue along the Swattie.
Kids of all ages enjoyed food, face painting and games by Members 1st Federal Credit Union and others. Attendance was small, possibly due to a lack of advertising. Future events like these need to be supported by all. It was fun, and for a great cause.
I noticed that the Press And Journal made a nice contribution to the society. Thank you for supporting our community, P&J!
I have driven by the Ferry House and the Liberty Band Hall thousands of times, but never realized that these treasures were in my back yard.
The Ferry House offered ferry service across the Swatara Creek, and was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The Ferry House also served as a fort.
The Liberty Band Hall served as the former Salem Lutheran Church in Oberlin and was moved to Middletown in 1916. The Liberty Band practiced in this beautiful building until 1966.
The flood of 2011 took its toll on these historical buildings. The society is trying to refurbish these structures for all to enjoy once again. I want to encourage everyone to support the society’s efforts.
It is amazing how many true treasures our little town has to offer that few know exist.
There is an abundance of history in Middletown. We need to support the society’s efforts to let these landmarks tell the stories of days gone by.
(Editor's note: The Press And Journal presented the Middletown Area Historical Society with a check for $520 – $10 for every new subscription and $5 for every renewal – as part of a fund-raising promotion in June. The Press And Journal presented the check to the society during "Music on the Swatara.'')
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 20:41
Click here to view David Rhen's letter to Middletown voters.
Please print this letter in time to get to the voters of Middletown Borough.
It seems that members of the current Borough Council like to make statements at the 11th hour that are either vague or factually inaccurate. Here are a few examples:
• Dave Rhen, chairman of council's Public Safety Committee, recently mailed a letter through out the borough. In one statement, Rhen says, “I know all too well the problems associated with the Borough's Police Force.” Rhen held hearings in 2011 dealing with police corruption. The only people speaking to police wrongdoing were those who had been arrested by the police. The media covered those hearings but nothing was ever reported on the news. Dave Rhen and crew went to the District Attorney and Attorney General with their tales of corruption. They were told that there was nothing criminal going on. Rhen is the one who has given our Police Department a black eye with his unfounded accusations of corruption. He even urged more civil law suits against the Borough. Has Middletown been sued more than other police departments?
• Rhen's statement that the police force was “Virtually unmanaged for most of the past two decades.” Rhen was on council three different times – 1984, 2001 and 2010. So Rhen has been on council for at least 12 years while all this so-called mismanagement was happening – and as chairman of the Public Safety Committee, what did he do to correct it?
• Let's talk about police overtime. Again I quote Rhen, who said police “have cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in unbudgeted overtime expenses.” You slashed a budget item to an unrealistically low amount, then say it is the police force's fault that overtime is over budget. If overtime is truly over budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars, then it is poor budgeting on the part of the Borough Manager and Borough Council. Several police officers have retired/resigned and the positions have not been filled. So there are less officers to fill the same number of shifts, making the only alternative overtime. The national average is 2.3 full time officers per 1,000 residents. Middletown has 13 full time officers for just over 9,000 residents – 2.3 x 9 = 20.7. How safe do you feel?
• Rhen states, “Borough Council has been taking major steps to modernize and professionalize the Police Department.” What steps, and how much did it cost? Remember, this council says the borough's broke.
• Rhen states, “Police dispatch has been moved to Dauphin County's 911 system, which will hold officers more accountable for their whereabouts and actions.” The dissolution of our dispatch center is the reason that none of us can contact the police officers or get copies of reports. County 911 has no control over our police officers and does nothing to hold them accountable – they only dispatch the calls.
This council has appointed three police chiefs in the last two years. I certainly hope they get it right soon. How much did they spend to buy each of those chiefs out of their contract?
How much will the quest for accreditation cost us taxpayers?
Rhen states, “Excess overtime has been curbed.” Do you notice that dollar amounts are never quoted. If they saved us so much money why not tell us how much?
• Now, Bob Givler's $63,000 payout: If Mr. Givler was dedicated enough that he didn't use the leave available to him, then he was entitled to get paid for it when he retired. Unlike police chiefs who get their contract bought out when we want them to move on.
Do you see how easy it is to be mislead by vague statements? They make statements without backing them up with any facts.
What axes do these people have to grind with our Police Department? Is it that several of them or their family members have been arrested?
Let me tell you something about our police department. In a 2010/2011 study done regarding the Communications Center the statistics showed our Police Department made more criminal arrests than departments more than twice our size. The study was made part of the public record and previously listed on the borough's website.
I'm not sure why our candidates have not asked this question: How could this council take us from a surplus of funds to financially distressed in less than two years?
Dave Rhen was sure willing to make accusations about Bob Givler but doesn't say what Mr. Curry is going to do or what he is about, other than he has no ties to the Police Department. What does Mr. Curry know about running or overseeing a police department?
Mary L. Hiester
(The writer is a former president of Middletown Borough Council.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 23:00