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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, April 6, 2011 edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 4/5/17

Walk around town and you’ll likely find something that has benefited from members of the borough’s second-oldest civic group — the Middletown Kiwanis Club.

There are the flower beds at …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, April 6, 2011 edition of the Press & Journal

Posted

75 years of service: Low-key Kiwanis members support kids

Walk around town and you’ll likely find something that has benefited from members of the borough’s second-oldest civic group — the Middletown Kiwanis Club.

There are the flower beds at Kiwanis Park in Royalton — tended by club members; food used by volunteers at Dream Maker Transport to raise money for after school programs; book drives for the Middletown Public Library; and events at Essex House to benefit residents there.

And there is the annual Halloween parade. A lot of people think the parade is a borough-sponsored event, but it’s Kiwanis.

“We’re not making big news in Middletown but we are doing community service trying to help community organizations in a small way,” said Melody Wilson, a club member.

Wilson hopes that work will continue as the local club prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary at a dinner to be held Saturday, April 30 at the First Church of God in Middletown.

Three local divisions of the club from Chambersburg to Reading have been invited to the celebration, Wilson said.

(Anyone interested in attending may send an e-mail to mlaneki@aol.com.)

The club was chartered on March 18, 1936. The only local club older is the Middletown Women’s Club, Wilson said.

Lower Swatara: Student housing plan moves forward (Penn State)

A second developer has won approval from the Lower Swatara Township Zoning Hearing Board to build apartments for 264 Penn State Harrisburg students in a neighborhood near the college’s campus.

The board voted 2-0 on Wednesday, March 30 to grant a special exception to local zoning to GreenWorks Development, the first step in building the apartment complex.

Another apartment complex had received a special exception from the board in December. KGH Properties will also build housing for 264 students next to GreenWorks’ project in the Eagle Heights neighborhood.

The 528 students will get to campus via a new road and sidewalks that would connect the two apartment complexes to Penn State Harrisburg.

Neighbors had complained the complexes would bring traffic, drainage problems and student rowdiness to their neighborhood during the board’s consideration of the KGH project. But neighbors have seemed to resign themselves to the fact that the apartments – in some shape or form – will be built.

One resident, Ron Helwig, who lives on West High Street just down the street from the projects, feared that the hillside neighborhood would one day be dominated by student housing. 

“If you look at the plan five years, 10 years from now, they’re going to want to take over the hill,’’ Helwig told the zoning board before it approved the special exception.

Middletown officials, however, see the projects as a potential boon – a chance to draw more students to the borough’s business district. Middletown hopes to extend Emaus Street, which intersects Union Street in the heart of the borough’s main business strip, to a mall, restaurants and other businesses proposed for the former A.C. Green warehouse at West Main Street across from the two apartment complexes.

A train station also will be built at the warehouse site, though it will not be a building, but a platform with a roof, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Council to citizens: You’ve got 5 minutes

We all know we live in a democracy, but just how that democracy operates is sometimes open to, well, public debate.

In Middletown, the borough council holds a monthly workshop meeting where the agenda is a lengthy string of reports from every department head, a voluminous accounting of borough operations ranging from important financial matters to the number of zapped squirrels that died when they inadvertently interrupted electric connections.

Citizens in the audience frequently stood throughout the meeting to ask questions or voice their opinions about specific items.

But the borough changed the format at its most recent workshop meeting on Tuesday, March 22. Audience members were allowed to speak for five minutes at the beginning of the meeting only, while department heads gave updates on important projects afterwards. 

Councilors still received the voluminous reports, but residents who attended did not.

It was an experiment aimed at streamlining the meetings to focus on items where the council may vote to “enact changes and make policy,’’ said council President Diana McGlone. “It gives us an opportunity to engage with our department supervisors and find out where they are as it relates to a specific project.’’ 

Headlines from the front page

• Teachers say ‘yes’ to pay freeze; Three-year contract calls for increases in co-pays for health insurance, prescription drugs (Lower Dauphin School District).

• Audit outlines lax money controls; Accounting procedures overridden by former superintendent, report says (Steelton-Highspire School District).

• No challenger for D.J. Smith

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