October 2014 SOSO meeting minutes

Minutes of SOSO Meeting, October 8, 2014

The meeting was held at Bosler Free Library, 7pm

Attending were:

Officer Chris Darhower, Carlisle Police Dept.

Whitney Amato, President

Ann Sheehan, Co-President

Connie Bires, Co-President

Janet Spahr, Recording Secretary

Gay Walker

Julie Vastine, ALLARM Director at Dickinson College

Carmen Mann, Storm Water Coordinator with ALLARM (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring, at The Center For Sustainability Education at Dickinson College)

Police Dept. news:

Officer Darhower said that a new police officer (with prior experience) is joining the Carlisle Police Dept. next week, which will make a full compliment. There are currently 4 officers on restricted duty due to injuries, so the department has been very busy.

Carlisle Police Dept. has a Facebook page: Carlisle Borough Police Department.  Current warrants, arrests and public announcements are listed. Crime Watch: cumberland.crimewatch.com/carlislepd also posts warrants and crime activity in our area.

Re: the Carlisle Borough emergency voice messaging system:

The joint autodialing system has two objectives:

•to be compliant with the “Revised Public Notification Rule for Water Treatment Systems” that requires municipalities to notify residents of “boil”, “do not drink” or “do not use” water notifications within 24 hours; and,

•to meet the needs of the Carlisle Police Department for emergency messaging via telephone.

Borough residents and those consumers of the Borough’s public water system will receive automatic notifications via land line. For those individuals wishing to receive notifications via cell phone, please complete and submit the “Emergency Notification System Opt-In Form” located at the link below:


There is also a notification call system for Cumberland County. To be instantly notified of alerts and emergencies subscribe at


Police are currently looking for a white male with a stocky build who rides a bike. Has broken into the Tree of Life Church on K Street and was seen at Midas on E. High St. trying to break into vehicles.

As a reminder, when calling the police for non-emergency incidents, call 243-4121. For emergencies, call 911.

An issue causing problems with the police radios has been identified so that radio communication between officers and dispatch should be much improved.

14 college students were cited recently for underage drinking at 146 W. High St. Hopefully the citations will deter future similar behavior.

All police officers email addresses are on the borough website at http://www.carlislepa.org/departments/police/staff/    Officer Darhower’s email address is  cdarhower@carlislepa.org

Special Speaker:

Carmen Mann, Storm Water Coordinator with ALLARM, gave a powerpoint presentation re: the Adopt a Storm Drain Campaign.

(Please see the information sheet at the end of these minutes.)

In summary:

Water from the borough’s storm drains goes directly into local streams. Residents need to be better informed about the effects of litter and chemicals in the drains, as major consequences occur to fish, vegetation and the entire stream’s ecosystem. The LeTort is listed as an Exceptional Value Stream but that rating has been challenged. Cleaning around storm drains can help prevent pollutants from flowing into our streams.

Trash and leaves can block the storm drain, causing flooding and standing water. The adopt-a-drain program will provide gloves and compost bags to those who volunteer to keep one or two drains clean in their neighborhood. Here is the link to sign up online to adopt a storm drain:


ALLARM will be in touch with people who sign up through the online form about a lunch day where they will hand out supplies and assign storm drains based on address.

You can also email Carmen mannca@dickinson.edu  if you have additional questions.

Other topics of discussion:

Watering plantings at the tot lot is no longer needed due to the cooler temperatures.

Borough Cleanup Day plans:

Emails will be sent with details on the Breakfast and Trash Pickup on Saturday, Oct. 25th:

8am breakfast at Fay’s; at 9am we will meet the other neighborhood groups and all community volunteers at the square to get gloves, trash bags and other supplies. We will be assigned specific blocks to clean so that the widest possible area can be covered. We will finish by 11am.

Miscellaneous news:

The Elm Street manager job opening has been posted. See http://www.lovecarlisle.com/job-listings/listing/carlisle_elm_street_manager/

Next SOSO meeting:

At the next SOSO meeting on November 12th, 7 pm at the Bosler Library, nominations for SOSO officers for 2015 will be accepted. You may nominate yourself, and are encouraged to do so! There are several positions open, so please consider taking on a position or ask someone you know to consider volunteering. The recording secretary position is open, for instance!

Block Party update:

The Block Party is Sunday, October 12, at 3pm at the Butcher Family Tot Lot. Any help to set up at 2pm would be appreciated. There will be live music. Please bring a food dish to share, drinks, something for the grill for your family, tableware (think green to cut down on waste) and chairs…and tables if you have them!

Minutes from the September meeting were approved.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes update:

-After the meeting, Stephen Hughes was contacted and he agreed to coordinate the breakfast for the October 25th cleanup. Emails will be sent to all carlisle-soso@googlegroups.com recipients.

Additional Minutes update:

-The Center For Sustainability Education at Dickinson College is a separate organization from ALLARM, and should not have been included in Carmen Mann’s attendance description.

-The initially listed link to sign up for ALLARM’s Adopt a Storm Drain Campaign was old and was changed to the correct, newer link.

Adopt a Storm Drain Information Sheet

The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) is starting a campaign to keep the storm drains of Carlisle clean! By cleaning around storm drains in your neighborhood once a week, you can help prevent pollutants from flowing into our local LeTort Spring Run and help keep the streets from flooding.


What are storm drains?

Storm drains are found on urban and suburban streets at curbsides, often at corners or along the curb. They drain rainwater and snowmelt off the streets to help prevent flooding. Water entering a storm drain is usually sent into the nearest waterway, untreated.

Why do we need to adopt them?

Storm drains often get clogged with debris. This is an especially prevalent problem during the fall due to leaf debris. Storm drains need to be clear so that when rainfall occurs we aren’t left with flooded streets and excessive standing water. Cleaning the storm drain also helps keep some pollutants like trash and sediment from going into local streams.

The Campaign

ALLARM is launching the Adopt a Storm Drain Campaign in order to address some of these problems. Volunteers would be responsible for going out to whatever storm drain they decide to “adopt” once a week and making sure it is clean of any debris that might be blocking it. ALLARM would provide any supplies needed for storm drain cleaning, including gloves and borough bags. The Campaign has an online signup sheet for any volunteers interested! We will be in contact with volunteers as to when supply distribution will be.

The signup sheet can be found by clicking on this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18dreTjTHWUw9pdS25k0fKmwTMaLZR3VgGhMhGS_bO6U/edit?usp=sharing

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October 8th 2014 SoSo Meeting

Just a reminder that the next SoSo meeting is this Wednesday October 8th at 7 PM at the Bosler Memorial Library. We will have a special guest speaker. Carmen Mann, a stormwater coordinator for the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) at Dickinson College, will speak about launching the Adopt a Stormdrain campaign. This is her organization’s plan to work with neighborhoods in Carlisle to get volunteers to help clear stormdrains by their homes and in their neighborhoods to help with things like preventing flooding.

We will also finalize any plans for the Sunday October 12th SoSo Neighborhood Block Party in the Butcher Family Tot Lot.

Also on the agenda is discussion on the fall neighborhood clean up & breakfast, which is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, October 25th.

Thanks and hope to see everyone at the meeting!

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September 2014 SOSO Meeting Minutes

Minutes of SOSO Meeting, September 10th, 2014

The meeting was held at Bosler Free Library, 7pm.

Attending were:

Officer Chris Darhower, Carlisle Police Dept.

Whitney Amato, President

Connie Bires, Co-President

Antonia Hyde, Treasurer

Stephen Hughes, Membership Secretary

Janet Spahr, Recording Secretary

Dave Sheridan

Gay Walker

Annie Oiler

Minutes from the June SOSO meeting were approved.

Police Officer Darhower asked if anyone had concerns. Stephen asked if the Carlisle police dept. had a crime scene “cover” of any kind to keep an outdoor crime scene from the view of the public. The officer said that different options were available, with the county team having *many* effective options.

The S. Middleton Twp. recent homicide incident was discussed. The state police are in charge of the investigation.

Credit card fraud has been extremely high in our area. Officer D. said, “DON’T USE BANK CARDS”, as it is difficult to recover money stolen from them. Use credit cards instead, as credit card companies cover loss from theft. Restaurants seem to be a particularly high risk for debit card fraud, so use cash as much as you can. Life Lock credit monitoring is good at catching thieves and is recommended by Officer D. If no one will be touching your card except yourself, that is the best time to use it. If you have had trouble, contact credit monitoring agencies to report fraud.

Dickinson College freshman have been partying and causing problems. The police have been giving warnings and will be giving citations now that warnings have been given.

The 243-5252 Carlisle Police phone number, prompt 3, is used for a specific officer from 7am to 11pm. Use the county #, 243-4121, Cumberland County, for a non-emergency number. Any emergency should be 911.

The block party has been rescheduled for Oct. 12th. Receipts for expenses may be handed in to the treasurer for reimbursement. Annie Oiler motioned to authorize to give $200.00 for block party expenses.   Stephen Hughes seconded, and all approved. Whitney will email all voting members to see if it is approved by the simple majority of respondents.

Treasurer’s report: $686.13 in our account.

SOSO’s annual grant submission is still pending from the borough.

The three borough neighborhood groups met for a social event on August 14th.

A new Elm Street manager has not been chosen.

Fall clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, Oct 25th, 9-11am for the whole community. We won’t pick up any electronics, as they need to be disposed of in a special way.  The business district is not included in the clean-up, as business owners are to take care of cleaning their own properties.

Carlisle Neighborhood Alliance:

The CNA will begin having monthly mtgs again, 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:30, at Borough Hall. Whitney Amato will be the representative for our group, but if anyone else would like to attend, all are welcome.

It was suggested that for next month’s meeting, invitations to Steve Bloom and Jill Bartoli could be sent. It was noted that a Meet The Candidates Night will be held by the 912 Group on Oct. 23rd at the Friendship Fire Co on Spring Road, 6pm. You may submit a question at that mtg. We decided not to have a SOSO candidates night since this event is already organized.

The League Of Women Voters usually has a similar event.

Pink x’s on the sidewalks: Some Carlisle homeowners are cutting trees down in order to solve the problem of roots pushing up their sidewalks. We need to have the residents educated by Park & Rec Dept. in order to avoid having trees removed in order to repair sidewalks. Andrea from Park/Rec Dept will be invited to attend our meeting by Whitney.

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September SoSo Meeting Agenda

For meeting on Wednesday, September 10th @ 7 PM in the Bosler Memorial Library

-Discuss SoSo Block Party
-Decide whether to ,and if so which, politicians to invite to our October Meeting
-Discuss Neighborhood Trash Pick-up

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Community Meeting Minutes

Community Meeting Minutes

On Thursday August 14th at 6:30 in the Biddle Mission Park, members from various community organizations met. The meeting was led by Laura from Elma Street.

It was attended by:

Laura Beaver, ESNA lebocean@embarqmail.com
Mel Beaver
Shari Minnich, ESNA, deminnich@aol.com
Curtis Hetrick, ESNA, cbhetrick@embarqmail.com
Matt Yanos, SoSo, matthew.yanos@gmail.com
Whitney Amato, SoSo, amato.whitney@gmail.com
Lissy Weirich, ANCA, lweirich@pa.net
Brenda Landis, West, landisb@dickinson.edu
Sharon Harron, SoSo, srharr@ship.edu
Kate McGivney, SoSo, kgmcgi@ship.edu
Marilyn Keener, mhk@mkeener.com
Donna Hale, donna@1stuccofcarlisle.org

- New Elms Street Manager: funding is being sought to hire a new Elm Street Manager to replace Eddy Kaplaniak who left last year. Funding will probably come in the form of a 2 year grant and from the Borough. The person would split his or her time between doing work for the borough and Elm Street work, with the minority of his or her time going to the Borough. The Elm Street Manager would write grants, be involved in the factory redevelopment, and would be available to assist neighborhood groups and to aid in coordination between them. Laura believes that there is still available funding to improve downtown facades and that the new manager could help to coordinate that as well. She requests that the various groups consider what tasks they would like to see the new manager perform.

- Neighborhood Parks: Notes were shared about the various neighborhood park improvement projects. Brenda’s group has piloted a community garden project in the Heberlig-Palmer Park. They have planted vegetable gardens and fruit trees, and the food is available for anyone to pick and eat. In March they had a work day with 100 volunteers including the Dickinson Football team.

- Volunteers: There is a Dickinson student on the Borough Council who may be able to help recruit volunteers from Dickinson. There was a discussion about the feasibility of getting regular Dickinson volunteers, like having students clean a different area every month. It was also suggested to seek volunteers from other groups, such as social organizations like the Elks and the Moose clubs. Community groups were encouraged to compose a list of projects for students to do.

- Community Clean-Up: ALLARM is looking for people/groups to adopt storm drains. There is also a push to get downtown businesses to clean and weed the areas around their stores. The group decided to hold the fall clean-up on October 25, 2014 from 10-noon with a rain date of the following Saturday, November 1, 2014. The plan is to meet at the church on the square where the farmer’s market is held in the summer months and then to push out from the square to begin cleaning. Groups are encouraged not to clean around the businesses, but rather to focus on the residential areas. Bags and vests will be supplied by the borough. It was advised that volunteers shouldn’t pick up electronics since they can’t be disposed of by the borough.

- The idea of having a map downtown of the neighborhoods and points of interest and/or streetlight flags marking each neighborhood was discussed. The midtown area in Harrisburg uses neighborhood markers. Brenda thought that researching and designing a map may be a good project for students at the Harrisburg Technology Center, and then it would only cost money to do the printing. It was agreed that this would be a good project for the new Elm Street Manager to coordinate.

- Carlisle Neighborhood Alliance (CNA) was meeting the 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 P.M. in the basement offices of the Borough Hall.

- Laura Beaver serves as the Elms Street Representative for the DCA. The DCA publishes an annual newsletter, which was distributed at the meeting. Incorrect contact and meeting information about the neighborhood groups was noted. Laura hopes that an Elm Street Manager would be able to better keep track of the neighborhood groups.

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Minutes of June 11th SOSO Meeting

Meeting was held at Bosler Library, 7:00pm

Attending were:
Whitney Amato, President

Connie Bires, Co-President

Ann Sheehan, Co-president

Stephen Hughes, Membership Secretary

Janet Spahr, Recording Secretary

Matt Yanos

Gay Walker

Dawn Flower, Borough Councilwoman

Robin Guido, Borough Councilwoman

Katherine McFarland

John Rogers

Susan Rogers

Annie Oiler

Lisa Brousse

Minutes from May meeting were approved.

Whitney read an update from our treasurer, Antonia Hyde. SOSO’s new account is now active at Orrstown Bank. A balance of funds was not given. The balance reported in our account on May 14th was $691.14.

Borough Councilwomen Robin Guido and Dawn Flower were special guests at the meeting. They have both served on council for 2 1/2 years.

Robin Guido is surprised at which issues become “hot bed” issues and which don’t. Mobil food vendors have been given trial permission to operate near warehouses.  They are still not permitted downtown.  

A developer is proposing a high density apartment complex behind Giant. Seven Gables park land will not be built upon. No drawings have been shown yet to council. A pavilion and recreation space is is reported to be included in this development plan. The developers will be presenting their plan to council after the planning commission approves their plan. It was noted that the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan is very basic and should be improved.   

Regarding the two largest sites available for development in the borough: The IAC site owners have been very open to hear what residents desire at their site. No decisions have been made as to how it will be developed. The Lear site is currently looking for a buyer/developer.

Dawn Flower chairs the Employee Relations and Community Participation  Committee.  She suggested that residents attend committee meetings in order to get in on discussions earlier than when issues come to vote at Council meetings.

The borough burning ordinance update was discussed. The police and codes officers now have more “teeth” in addressing complaints.  Flues and chimneys are required on all burning devices. Burning trash and leaves is still not permitted.

Tot Lot discussion:

The damaged shrubs and trees have been reported to police each of the 3 times since the new landscaping has been installed in the Tot Lot. Robin Guido is chair of the Park & Recreation Committee. Annie Oiler requested more signs in the park re: no smoking and dawn to dusk rules. Andrea Crouse from the Park & Rec. department said through an email to Annie that she is concerned about “over signage” but will check into it.  West Side neighbors are getting cameras from a community block grant. (They are eligible due to having a higher number of low income residents.)  Andrea Crouse wrote that a water fountain would be very expensive to add to the tot lot, but she gave no dollar amount. A small pavilion may be possible but we need to decide on the size we want. No one has volunteered to take charge of adding further amenities to the tot lot. It was suggested that a high school student might take on the building of the pavilion and we would only have to pay for materials. 

We now have a rain barrel (donated by Antonia) at the rear of a neighbor’s lot adjacent to the tot lot that is used for watering the plants.

It was suggested that Borough Council make public announcements that police are going to be more closely monitoring parks between dusk and dawn.  If fines are given more often for disregarding park rules, and citations published in the paper, it may discourage further similar incidents.

The Rental Ordinance discussion: 

The main weakness in the ordinance is that the Codes Department needs to push harder on enforcement. Council has recently given the Codes Dept. a directive to do so, hopefully improving quality of life in the borough.  The Rental Ordinance *has* resulted in improvements, according to Dawn & Robin. Councilwoman Linda Cicconello suggested at the last council meeting that residents make a list of problem properties and send it to her. Dawn & Robin suggested to send such lists to the Codes Dept., with Linda copied.  Issues such as high weeds, trash, structural deficiencies, over-occupancy, etc. should be reported to the Codes Dept. Report criminal issues to the police department.

There has been some non-compliance in property owners registering their properties/conforming to the Rental Ordinance. 16 properties have not registered and will be cited. A problem with the tenant/occupant reporting surfaced early: some tenants need to keep their address off of the borough’s public website. The borough has recognized that, keeping access to that information non-public. Landlords have been reporting their tenants names satisfactorily. 

Other discussion:

Property values continue to decline in Carlisle. The number of private homeowners is dropping compared to rental properties. 

Question as to whether “branding” the neighborhoods in the borough is a good idea. There has been talk of doing that by DCA but it has not been followed through. 

Neighborhood groups are invited to have a common booth at First Friday on August 1st. The booth would have representatives from each neighborhood, and passersby could be made aware of the groups and invited to join. Brenda Landis from West Side Neighbors is organizing it, and emails will be sent closer to the time to ask for volunteers to take turns at the booth. Glenn White may be helpful in planning a future 1st Friday that would have the theme of neighborhoods. 

Re: having a party with all the neighborhood groups on a Wed. in August: the other groups have not responded.

Stephen Hughes brought up a membership issue. Currently, there are two levels of membership: Assoc. membership, which is free.    Voting membership, which is $5.00.  There are some businesses within SOSO’s boundaries which might like to be members, but the owners do not live within SOSO boundaries. Perhaps a new membership level might be established: a Business Membership, where the member would not have voting membership but they could get monthly advertisements on our googlegroup emails by paying a membership fee.

The annual Neighborhood Block Party is still on for September 6th. Gay Walker is chairing, and Whitney Amato and Ann Sheehan volunteered to help organize. Expect emails with details closer to the time.

Contact Janet Spahr for additions and/or corrections to these minutes, please.

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Agenda June 11, 2014 Meeting

Agenda Wednesday, June 11, 2014 SoSo Meeting
at 7 PM in the Bosler Memorial Library Meeting Room B

This will probably be the last SoSo meeting until September, but it is a special one. We have invited the members of the Carlisle Borough Council to our meeting. Councilwomen Dawn Flower and Robin Guido have very kindly agreed to attend. They will give a brief overview of the role of borough council, and they will be available to answer questions from SoSo members. Please take advantage of this chance to get up close and personal with your local elected representatives.

Also on the agenda are a brief treasury update on the status of the SoSo bank account, a short follow-up discussion on our plans to meet up with our fellow neighborhood groups this summer, a discussion as the whether SoSo would like to gather and submit to council a list of “problem properties” in our neighborhood as was suggested by Councilwoman Linda Cecconello at the May 28th meeting on the status of the rental ordinance, and a brief discussion on business membership.

A good turn out would be greatly appreciated to demonstrate the strength of our organization and to provide a good welcome to our councilwomen.

-Whitney Amato, President of the South of South Street Neighborhood Association (SoSo)

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