Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Random Act of Kindness at Giant

I want to share a wonderful story about a random act of kindness that happened to my daughter's girl scout leader, and their troop. 

Yesterday, my daughter's girl scout troop had a cookie booth.  It was your typical day trying to sell cookies outside of a store, well until the end of the day.  And, little did we know at the time, the events that would transpire the next day. 

We did a brisk business all afternoon.  It was a bit cold and windy, but we all made the best of it.  The girls had fun, making up songs and trying to get customers to purchase cookies.  Even though we were all pretty cold, it was a fun afternoon.

As we were getting ready to pack up for the day, a man and his wife approached the booth.  He was looking for Tagalongs.  Tagalong cookies are these wonderful crispy wafers, with peanut butter, and covered in chocolate.  Unfortunately, we were out of them.  The man wanted two cases (24 boxes).  Quite a large sale for anyone.  The two leaders scrambled, made some calls, and made arrangements to get the cookies.  One of the the leaders would have to meet him the next day to get his order to him, and he seemed fine with that arrangement.

The next day the leader, and her husband, met the man at a Rutters, made the exchange, and everyone went their separate ways.  But that's not the end of the story.

From Rutter's, the leader, and her husband, went over the Giant to do some grocery shopping.  As they were checking out, they just happened to run into the man again.  He told them that he purchased a winning lottery ticket at the Rutter's store where they had just met.  He said he wanted to share the winnings with the girls.  The man explained that he was a former boy scout leader, and then he gave our leader a one hundred dollar bill.  The leader was shocked and couldn't believe how things had worked out that morning.  She hugged him, and thanked him profusely, as her husband shook the man's hand 'till it was about to fall off.'  She couldn't believe what had just happened.

Great people are out there, and they do good things.  I'm so glad that I learned about it, and that my daughter's troop was on the receiving end.  I hope these girl scouts always carry this man's generosity with them, and pay it forward down the line.  It was wonderful that this man was so generous, and that he chose to share his winnings with them.

I don't know if this man will ever see this blog, but I personally want to say Thank You!

Right now, the girls in this junior troop are working on their bronze awards.  They are all giving 20 hours of their time to various charities of their choice.

And another thank you to our awesome troop leaders.  This wouldn't have happened without your efforts.  Sometimes great people come together and wonderful things happen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Cumberland High School's Little Indian Handbook

A few years ago my Mother-in-law passed away.  Among her things we found a 1952 New Cumberland High School handbook called "The Little Indian."  It was the first handbook of it's kind for the former New Cumberland High School.
I've scanned the handbook into my computer so I can share it with all of you.  There is a lot that stands out about this little book.  The first thing is that it was created by ninth graders back in 1952.  There were no computers, meaning no graphics programs, and no desk top printers.  The image of the Indian, the 'Little Indian' logo and the school map, all appear to be original drawings, probably created by students.

Back in the day, the school newspaper was called "The Hi Times," only boys played sports, and there was dancing everyday after lunch.  On page 13, the Activities Calendar is filled with dances, parties, and more dances.  On page 34, The Assembly Schedule shows events such as Trampoline Stars, The Hammerettes, and Royal Scots.  Take a look through "The Little Indian" to discover what kids were doing in high school, and what was expected of them, in 1950's New Cumberland.

I hope you enjoy this peek back into New Cumberland history.  Please leave a comment about what you found interesting, and share the "Living in New Cumberland" blog with your friends.

Hope you enjoyed this peak back into New Cumberland history.  Please leave a comment about what you found interesting, and share the "Living in New Cumberland" blog with your friends.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Save Our Schools

I attended the public hearing held by the West Shore School District (WSSD) in regards to the proposal to close either New Cumberland or Lemoyne Middle School.  I had never attended such an event, but with all three of my children being affected by this potential decision, I thought it was a good time to start.
Mr. Thomas Burnheimer, Director of Pupil Services, WSSD
The meeting was hosted by Thomas Burnheimer, Director of Pupil Services for the WSSD.
Mr. Burnheimer was joined by several of the administrative staff, including Dr. Jones, Director of Secondary Education, who addressed a lot of the questions.  Mr. Burnheimer was the person in charge of pulling together this study that was requested by the school board.  He started off the meeting, trying to lighten the mood with comparing the meeting to a party.  Basically stating that when you have a party, you try to please everyone with the menu items, but there is always going to be someone there who does not like what you are serving.  Not sure if it was just me, but it I thought it was more like a funeral in there than a party, and nobody likes a funeral.
Slide from the presentation to close a middle school.
Mr. Burnheimer then went on to explain the committee process, the study they conducted, and then showed a presentation of the proposal to close the middle school.  That presentation can be viewed at this link WSSD Demographics update relating to middle school closure.  After the presentation, he opened the floor to questions from the crowd.
There was  a crowd of approximately 400 people attending the meeting with about 45 people asking questions or making statements.  The meeting lasted 3 hours.  The overall theme of the statements, and questions from the audience was to keep both schools open. The audience suggested the school district to find another way to cut spending.  The schools should be the last source of cuts.  Suggestions from the participants included
  1. Raising taxes
  2. Close and sell the Administration building, placing administration in the schools.
  3. Cut administrative staff
A parent asking a question of Mr. Burnheimer.
Money was not the only issue aired at the meeting.  Many parents were concerned about the impact on the students, staff, and community.  There were several parents attending whose children do not attend either of the affected middle schools, but will be shuffled between Allen and Crossroads middle schools.  Their issue was, why are their kids schools be changed if they don't attend either Lemoyne or New Cumberland?  They all wanted their children to stay put in the schools they are presently attending.  I think we all want that.

Specific concerns regarding the impact on the children included:
  1. Length of bus ride
  2. Emotional affects
  3. Class size
  4. Overcrowding of remaining middle school buildings
  5. Course offerings
  6. Extracurricular activities changing or being eliminated
  7. Quality of Education
  8. Students getting 'lost in the shuffle'
  9. Reduction of teaching staff

Overall, it was a informative evening.  I wanted to attend because I was curious as to what the rest of the community was thinking, especially those in our neighboring community of Lemoyne.  There was a little of pitting the two schools against each other, but for the most part, speakers stayed away from those types of statements.  It seemed that the people who attended, and spoke just wanted to have a say in this decision.  I want to personally thank those of you who got up to speak.  I am not a public speaker, and I was glad that there were so many people who were willing, and able to get up to the microphone to air their concerns.
Members of the news media in attendance at the hearing.
If you were unable to attend, and would like to have some input in this decision, you still can.  To submit your comments online, click this link, Online comment form WSSD middle school closure.  If you prefer to send comments via the postal service, click this link Print out comment form WSSD middle school closure.

Don't delay, please submit your comments today.

All related information and links are provided at one central page here:

Monday, January 14, 2013

District Considering Closing New Cumberland Middle School

Recently, the West Shore School District (WSSD) announced that it was going to close one of the four middle schools in the district.  The two under consideration for closure are New Cumberland Middle School and Lemoyne Middle School.  The school district is holding a public hearing about this proposal on Wednesday, January 16th at 6:00 p.m. at Cedar Cliff High School.  As of right now, I am unsure if the hearing will be streamed live on the web, but usually these types of meetings are.  Check the West Shore School District website on the day of the hearing to see if it will be streamed live on the web.

The findings of the WSSD's Demographics Committee study on this matter was presented at the most recent school board meeting on December 20, 2012.  You can view that presentation at this link  Please note that the presentation takes place at 14:13 in the video, it's actual run time is only about 15 minutes.  If you want to skip over the actual board presentation and just view the powerpoint presentation itself, you can click here


In the meantime, take a look at the aforementioned presentation about the closure, get to the hearing, and contact the school board members to let your voice be heard.

Email addresses for West Shore School District Board Members 

Region 1 Representatives 
(New Cumberland, Wormleysburg, Lemoyne, Lower Allen Township Precinct 4 & 5)

M. Todd Ambrose 

Ronald Candioto (Board Vice President)

Frank Kambic

Region 2 Representatives
(Lower Allen Township Precincts 1, 2, 3, & 6, Fairview Township Precincts 1, 2, & 4)

Dr. Anthony Tezik (Board President)

Kelli Williamson

Gayle Russell

Region 3 Representaives
(Fairview Township Precinct 3, Newberry Township Precinct 1 & 3, Goldsboro, Lewisberry)

Judith Crocenzi

Denise Grover 

Brian Guistwhite

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We're Number 1!

This past Saturday morning, I started my day by checking out the local news.  I perused the websites of the local newspapers and TV stations.  I looked for stories about New Cumberland to share with the community on my social media pages, New Cumberland News on Facebook and NC17070News on Twitter.  Well, I did find a news item about New Cumberland on  The headline read, 'New Cumberland budget holds line on taxes, fees.'  I scanned the article and found out that our taxes were being kept at 3.9 mills.  After that, I came across another story about Lemoyne having to raise their taxes.  I read through the article for more details, and found out that they were raising their tax rate from 2.1 mills to 2.3 mills.  That's when a bell went off for me.  Something didn't seem right.  I went back over to the article about New Cumberland and double checked the millage rate.  Yes, I had it correct, the article stated that New Cumberland is keeping the tax rate here at 3.9 mills.  Huh?  Lemoyne's current tax rate is 2.1 mills, soon to be 2.3, and ours is 3.9 mills?  Seems like a big difference between two neighboring towns. 

On a side note, I just to make sure I'm being clear, and want to again specify which tax I am talking about.  All property owners pay a county, municipal and school real estate tax.  The specific tax that I am talking about is the municipal tax, and that money goes to the borough in which one  owns property.  Also, a little information about what exactly a 'mill' is.  I found the following definition on the Cumberland County Website:  "A mill is a way to express tax rate.  One mill equals one thousandth of a dollar.  One mill is expressed as .001.  The tax is computed by multiplying the millage rate set by the taxing body times the assessed value of the property."  Here is the link to the page where I found this definition: .

After discovering the difference in tax rates between our town and our neighboring town of Lemoyne, I decided to do a little more digging.  I wondered what residents in other West Shore and Cumberland County municipalities pay in taxes.

I did an internet search which took me to the Cumberland County Website.  There I found a page entitled "Property Assessment Forms and Resources."  Under the heading 'Real Estate Tax Forms' I found the file 'Current Real Estate Millage Rates.'  I clicked that title which opened the PDF file 2012 County and Municipal & 2012-2013 School Tax Rates.

This file offers a great deal of information about tax rates in Cumberland County.  Looking at ONLY the Real Estate Municipal column, I saw that New Cumberland has the highest Municipal Tax Rate in all of Cumberland County.

That's right, we're number 1 (drum roll, please) in municipal real estate taxes.

Listed below are the top 10 highest municipal tax rates in Cumberland County.
3.9 mills        New Cumberland
3.065 mills    Wormleysburg
3.058 mills    Carlisle Borough & 2nd, 3rd, 4th Annex
3.022 mills    Camp Hill
2.6 mills        Shippensburg Borough
2.58 mills      Mechanicsburg
2.434 mills    Newville
2.1 mills        Lemoyne (To be raised to 2.3 next year)
2.1 mills        Shiremanstown
2.05 mills      Lower Allen & L.A. Annex/Shire

Now, when you combine New Cumberland's municipal tax rate with the school tax and county tax, we fall lower on the overall list.  The West Shore School District, which serves New Cumberland and other municipalities, has one of the lowest school tax rates in Cumberland County at 9.3 mills. 

The view the entire 2012 County and Municipal & 2012-2013 School Tax Rates file, please click this link:

I encourage you to visit the Pennlive articles at these links:

New Cumberland Budget holds line on taxes

Lemoyne homeowners to see 9.5 percent increase in taxes next year

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down

I've come up with a list of things in New Cumberland that I think deserve a "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down."  Yes, it's a spin off of an idea in the newspaper, but they never seem to cover New Cumberland.  So, I thought I would put my own spin on things.

THUMBS UP to school being back in session.  It was a great summer, but it's time to hit the books again!  Additional Thumbs Up to all the great teachers and support staff at our local schools.


THUMBS UP to New Cumberland Borough Council.  Ever since I moved to the area, I could never figure out why Trick or Treat was not on October 31st.  Finally, Borough Council has decided that the kids can dress up in their costumes and Trick or Treat when the rest of the country does...on Halloween!  Please continue this tradition in the coming years.  Thank you!

THUMBS DOWN to the vandals who struck at Neato Burrito.  They smashed windows on the building and van, as well as their neon sign.  Neato Burrito is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandal(s).  Send tips to

THUMBS UP to the friends of Matthew Streeval, the man who died in the fire on Fourth Street on August 14.  Through donations and a charity event, they have been raising funds to take care of his final arrangements.  Matt was fortunate to have such great friends.

THUMBS WAY DOWN to Pennsylvania American Water and the paving company they hired to repair Bridge Street during their pipe replacement project.  I don't have to tell you that riding down Bridge Street is a lot like traveling on a dirt logging road.  And, now I'm hearing that PennDOT is not paving Bridge Street until Fall 2013.  PA American water needs to step up and fix this problem immediately.  Maybe if the water company hears from New Cumberland residents, they might speed things up.  If you would like to contact them, you could contact their customer service at 1-800-565-7292 or email  Going through customer service isn't always satisfying, so I did some digging and found the original press release about our water pipe upgrade.  This press release is available to the public, as is the name and contact information of the PR guy at PA American water.  Click the link below to see that press release.   Click here for the link to the PA American Water Press Release about Water Pipe Upgrade in New Cumberland.
THUMBS UP to the New Cumberland Apple Festival.  After last year's cancellation, they've regrouped and decided to move the location to Bridge Street.  Borough Park is a wonderful location if there's no rain, but the risk of cancellation due to flooding puts a lot of stress and financial burden on the volunteers and vendors.  Thumbs up to the organizers for thinking outside the box and coming up with a solution.  The 26th New Cumberland Apple Festival takes place on Bridge Street between Third and Sixth Streets on Saturday, September 29 from 9am until 3pm.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's River Rescue Carnival Time Again!

This blog was originally written for the 2012 New Cumberland River Rescue Carnival.  I've been seeing a lot of visitors coming to this page for information.  So here is the basic information and links to more information about the 2013 New Cumberland River Rescue Carnival.  Please be sure to check out the blog entry I wrote and photographs I took of the 2012 carnival.  Have fun at the carnival!

2013 New Cumberland River Rescue Carnival Information

July 31, 2013 thru August 3, 2013
Beside Hillside Elementary School
6th and Brandt Avenue
New Cumberland
Hours 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
Food starts at 5:00 pm.  Rides start at 6:00 pm
One thing you can depend on happening every summer is the New Cumberland River Rescue Carnival.  By late July, the rides start showing up in the field below Hillside School.  As soon as those ride trucks show up, my kids start bugging me about when we are going.  Each day, as we drive by on Brandt Avenue, we take notice of the progress made, and eagerly await our chances of winning a gold fish or a stuffed animal.  The thought of funnel cakes, fries and ice balls make our mouths water.  We can almost hear the laughter of the children and the buzzing carnival rides.
This year the carnival takes place Wednesday, August 1 through Saturday, August 4.  The food stands open at 5pm.  The rides open at 6pm.  Everything closes down at 10:30pm each night.  The carnival is open rain or shine, but will shut down in the event of lightning.  Wristband night is Wednesday, 8/1, and the cost is $15.  On Thursday, 8/2, you can get a strip of tickets for $15, and rides will only require one ticket instead of two.  The carnival is located in the field below Hillside School, along Brandt Avenue and Beacon Hill Road.
In the meantime, take some time and a few dollars, and head over to the River Rescue Carnival.  You are sure to have fun, riding the rides, playing the games, and running in to some old friends you probably haven't seen in a while.  And of course, the proceeds go to support New Cumberland River Rescue.  They are loyal and diligent in their service to our community.  Last September, during the big flood, they went above and beyond the call of duty for New Cumberland, and other mid state communities.  Please, show your appreciation and support by attending their carnival.

NOTE:  Please be sure to check out photographs from the 2012 Carnival on our 'Photographs 7/2012-12/2012' page.  The link is above this entry.  Thank you.