Wednesday April 13, 2016 SoSo Meeting

Wednesday April 13, 2016 SoSo Meeting
-January 2016 meeting minutes were approved
-Butcher Family Tot Lot clean-up scheduled on 4/16 as well as the installation of our park’s Little Bosler Free Library, which is a read and return system. More information on the program can be found at:

Chris Varner, the Elm Street Manager’s report:
-has gloves and supplies for neighbourhood clean-ups, prefer to have different neighbourhood groups on different days since he can’t be in more than one place at once
-Plans to relaunch the Three Minutes Thursday initiative for neighbours to spend a few minutes every Thursday picking up trash in front of their homes in order to keep our neighbourhoods looking clean. People can post pictures of themselves picking up trash on LoveCarlisle’s Facebook each week to enter a drawing for a $10 giftcard
-On Friday May 20th at Biddle Mission park they are teaming up with United Way for a Take to the Street night with games and an outdoor showing of “Inside Out”. There are tentative plans to do other movie nights depending on how this event goes. It is expensive ($570) to pay for licensing fees and it has been hard to find sponsors.
-Home Tweet Home has been sponsored by Howard Hanna Real Estate this year and they are planning on having second graders in the borough help paint the 1500 bird houses. There will also be a painting event at CALC.
-Carlisle won the Strongest Town competition. Hear Chris Varner and Brenda Landis on the podcast at:
-The Elm Street program loses its state funding at the end of June 2016. Chris is looking into alternative funding

Officer Andy’s police report:
-Officer Andy VanVolkenburg and Officer Simon Jackson were promoted to Corporals, but Officer Andy plans to continue to act a as community liaison
-Issues such as privacy were discussed at the Public Safety Meeting on body worn cameras. Some preliminary guidelines include not filming inside a home without permission, unless it is park of an active chase
-A trial run of the Taser cameras is planned. The goal is to equip every officer by the end of the year. The Department of Justice grant pays for the cameras, but not for the cost of data storage and equipment upkeep
-Chris Varner pointed out that there are statistics stating that there is a 60% drop in the use of force when police wear body cameras and 90% of the time cameras support the police officer in a dispute. It was speculated that the cost of litigation may decrease with the use of cameras
-Officer Andy states that the Carlisle police has a good records of winning most of the cases against the department, except for one involving the use of a Taser against a diabetic having a seizure
-Three new police officers were hired, including 2 new graduates. Their training is expected to be complete by August, which means that the Carlisle Police force should have its full complement of 31 officers
-Alleys such as Conway and Mooreland have had episodes of someone checking cars to see if they are unlocked and then robbing the open vehicles. There are not been any recent home burglaries.

Connie Bires, SoSo co-VP and Borough Council member:
-The borough council is having Carlisle’s water and sewer lines checked and fixed, some are from 1917! Residents will be offered to have their lateral lines checked as well, but they will be required to pay for any fixes that are needed
-Connie offered to look into the process for naming the alley next to the Butcher Family Tot Lot that runs parallel to School Street and is between Chestnut Avenue and  Walnut Street
-There is a Borough Council meetings scheduled for 4/14/16 at 7 PM
-Carlisle Borough receives an annual allocation from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Community Development Block Grant Program ( Carlisle Borough is discussing having the unused money from prior year reallocated.

Butcher Family Tot Lot:
-Discussed work day. Connie will bring plastic bags and take leaves to the compost facility. Whitney will pick up donuts and coffee and will email Andrea to confirm when the mulch is being delivered.
-Whitney to email Andrea about installing an information bulletin in the park using SoSo’s grant money that we received from the Borough Council last year.
-Stephen Hughes is still interested in ordering window decals to help brand the neighbourhood and to promote community unity

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 Quarterly SoSo Meeting

The Next SoSo meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at
7 PM at the Bosler Memorial Library in a meeting room

The agenda items include:
-Police crime/safety report and police updates
-Planning for the April 16th Butcher Family Tot Lot work day
-Discussion of how to spend our $250 grant from Carlisle Borough
Our grant application allows us to use the money to:
1. Purchase a little Bosler library to place in the Butcher Family Tot Lot
2. Fund the neighborhood clean-up
3. and/or purchase an information bulletin board to place in the park
-Discussion of the purchase of window decals to help brand our neighborhood

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January 13, 2016 SoSo Meeting

-Minutes from the October 2015 meeting were approved

Officer Andy’s Police Report:
-Arrests were made and 2-3 illegal guns were removed from the street after the police worked overtime following the gun play in the East Side in November
-There were several burglaries in our neighborhood recently, particularly on Conway, Parker, and along dark alleys. They were mostly break-ins in unlocked cars, but there were houses that were entered with the residents at home and purses were stolen off of kitchen counters. Officer Andy cautioned residents to keep their cars locked with all valuables out of sight and to keep their homes locked, especially at night when it is easy to see into them.
– Three new police officers were hired to replace 2 retiring officers and one who became a state trooper.
-In November, the police started using the drop cameras, typically placing them for 1-2 weeks in each location. They are monitoring the alley near the library for possible drug activities and on West Chapel to help the Millers. The Millers have suffered from trespassing on their property and noise disturbance. People speed down the alley behind their house, jump over their wall, and are smoking marijuana in the courtyard behind their home. The cameras will have censor bars recorded over the film that points into residents’ windows, but not over their yards. Local shop owners may be allowing the cameras to be placed in their store windows facing the street.
– The police chief is planning to host a public meeting for the neighborhood groups to get public feedback on the use of body cameras and the privacy issues associated with their use.  Officer Andy will give notice for this meeting on The money has been approved for body cameras for all Carlisle police officers to wear at all time and are expected to be in use by the end of the year. The police are planning on getting new car cameras as well; the cameras will be purchased from either Taser or WatchGuard. The cameras will record constant video, but audio only when activated by the officer. The audio will automatically pull in data from 1 minutes before and 1 minute after the record button is started/stopped.
– The temporary speed mats on West Penn Street did not have much effect. There was discussion about the possibility of adding stop signs by Memorial Park and the YMCA due to near misses of children darting into the streets. The process for adding a stop sign is arduous and often is not considered until after someone is hit, though it could potentially be streamlined once Home Rule goes into effect. Placing fencing around play areas is also an option.

Michael Heyser’s from Zoning/Code Report:
-The new snow ordinance is in effect. A 4 foot wide walk-way on the sidewalks must be cleared within 24 hours of a snowfall. He states that a good effort will be respected if the full 4 foot area is unable to be cleared and that warnings will probably be issued for 1st time violators. However, he states that it is usually rental properties from the same problem landlords that tend to be the repeat violators. Residents are advised to find someone to take care of their snow removal if they will be out of town in the winter.
-A preliminary plan is in effect for the old Tire and Wheel site. The plan is to place work force housing (housing in which the developer gets tax credits in exchange for building housing that is affordable to low to moderate income families for 15 years) and an office building and to connect B street through to Spring Road. The proposal is going before the borough council

A clarification from councilwoman Connie Bires:

A preliminary plan has been proposed by PIRHL, a developer from Ohio, to build “workforce housing” -only rental units – on the newly zoned mixed use 10-acre property. The developer needs to receive low income tax credits which are then sold to acquire funding to build the units which must be rented at below-market rates for at least 15 years. The zoning requires a certain amount of open space and commercial construction also. Carlisle Borough staff and council envision both B Street and C Street going through this property; PIRHL’s plan shows only B Street. Information about the proposal was shared and discussed at the January 2016 West Side Neighbors meeting. On January 28 at the 5:30 Planning Commission meeting in Borough Hall, the plan will be discussed.

Grant Money
-A discussion of what to use the $250 grant awarded from the Carlisle Borough last year occurred. The grant application proposed putting our grant money toward the little Bosler library in the Butcher Family Tot Lot, the neighborhood clean-up, and/or an information bulletin board in the park.
-Stephen Hughes proposed using the money to buy home window decals to help identity SoSo members and to improve the visibility and unity of SoSo members. The idea will be proposed and discussed on and an electronic vote of voting members will occur. Stephen states the decal can be purchased for $0.40 each if enough are purchased. It is unclear whether this would qualify as a valid use of the grant money.

Spring Butcher Family Tot Lot work day
-It was proposed to have a work day to clean up the park and to put in new plants. It was suggested to pick a weekend day in April after April 15th (tax day).
-Andrea from Parks and Recreation will be contacted regarding any request about what to and where to plant to prevent Public Works from mowing over our plants

Goals for SoSo in 2016
-Plan to review and update the bylaws at the April 13, 2016 SoSo meeting
-Plan for the use of the $250 grant money
-Nextdoor has replaced Googlegroups and no further SoSo information will be distributed via Googlegroup
-A vote approved the discontinuation of paying for, opting to keep the free
– Whitney agreed to be placed as a lead for Nextdoor in order to have a back-up lead in case Stephen Hughes is unable to perform his duties

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015 SoSo Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 SoSo Meeting Minutes

SoSo and Nextdoor Business Memberships:

There was a discussion on whether or not to allow SoSo business memberships and whether or not to allow businesses to post advertisements on Nextdoor.  The debate was whether it was important to help businesses feel like they’re part of the community by involving them versus having businesses vote against the interests of the group.  The general consensus on next-door was then members prefer not to have a lot of advertisements cluttering up the space.  Officer Andy states that there is a special law enforcement membership on Nextdoor, and it was speculated that there may be an option already built in for businesses. It was decided that more information was needed. The consensus was also to have guidelines for businesses. The preference was to allow postings about political events in Carlisle, but not to allow political discussions. There were not enough voting members present for a forum, so a vote was not taken.


Officer Andy’s community police report:

He discussed the Dickinson forum on off-campus housing.  He states that attendance was low, but he attributes it to sending the invite at the last minute.  He states that Dickinson has been making this an annual meeting, but there is concern that this year it should have been held earlier in the school year.  Some residents at the meeting expressed concern that the meeting was just sugar coating and that the college was no enforcing any real penalties on students living off campus who are destructive or disruptive. If they are available, Dickinson Public Safety will respond to police calls on off campus parties to help identify students, many who try to pass off fake IDs to the police, and to report back to Resident Life. This year on Homecoming weekend 2 of the large flower pots on S. Pitt St were smashed and there have been noise complaints and littering of Solo cups on North College Street. Many private landlords make a lot of money renting houses to large groups of students. The houses tend to be in poor condition and the landlords issue high security deposits knowing that the students are going to be destructive. The landlords do not play a role in controlling student behavior in their properties.

Officer Andy also announced that are now security cameras in the parking garage and the police also have drop cameras that they are able to move to different locations as needed.  There is consideration of putting one on the first block of W. Chapel Avenue. Cameras have to have a line of sight, be out of easy reach, and if they aim at a second story home window then that portion of the image is blacked out. The police have the options to hide the cameras or to draw attention to them as a deterrent. There was a question as to whether there is consideration for placing a camera in the Butcher Family Tot Lot due to the recent assault and robbery in the park, however Officer Andy stated that the victims and the perpetrators knew each other, that it was not a random act. Discussion on where to place the drop cameras will be discussed at the 10/27/15 Carlisle Neighborhood Alliance (CNA) meeting.

The police grant to purchase body cameras was approved 2 weeks ago. The Carlisle police have to decide what company to purchase the cameras from and whether they are going to have a local server or outsource the data storage. Use of the cameras will be based on existing case law and good practice policy guidelines. The district attorney has stated that in certain circumstances the police can enter a home and record secretly. Video can also be recorded without audio.  Recent national events, such as in Ferguson, have caused a political and public push for body cameras.  Police officers are in favor of body cameras as they help save the officer 98% of the time and they also provide evidence.


Upcoming National Elections

There was also a request to post a reminder on Nextdoor for the November 3rd election and to also direct members to sources for information on candidates on the ballot.

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October SoSo Meeting Agenda

The next SoSo meeting will be on Wednesday, October 14th at 7 PM at the Bosler Memorial Library.

The Agenda is as follows:

-Approve Minutes from July’s meeting
-Community Police Report
-Discuss whether to allow business membership/SoSo Membership Criteria
-Rules for Nextdoor
-Fall Clean-up and any other matters we would like brought up at the Carlisle -Neighborhood Alliance meeting at the end of the month
-Open for any additional business

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2015 SoSo Neighborhood Party!

2015 SoSo Neighborhood Party!
When: Saturday, September 12, 2015
Where: Butcher Family Tot Lot
Time 4-7 PM
What to Bring: a dish to share, a chair or blanket to sit on, and your own dinnerware if you want to be green
This is a fun, causal event to bring people out to socialize with their neighbors. All are welcome!
We will be providing subs and wraps and non-alcoholic beverages.
You are encouraged, but not required to RSVP on Nextdoor to help us get a headcount so we know how much food to order
Thanks and hope to see everyone there!

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Minutes of SOSO July 7, 2015 Meeting (non-approved draft)

Minutes Of Carlisle SOSO Meeting

July 7, 2015

The meeting was held at Bosler Free Library, 7pm

Attending were:

Whitney Amato, President

Connie Bires, Co-Vice President

Ann Sheehan, Co-Vice President

Antonia Hyde, Treasurer

Stephen Hughes, Membership

Janet Spahr, Recording Secretary

Carlisle Police Officer Andrew Van Volkenburg

Matt Yanos

Chris Varner, Elm Street Manager for Carlisle

Dave Sheridan

Minutes of last meeting, April 2015, were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: account balance is $828.13

Officer Andy gave police update.

Fatal accident on Walnut Bottom Rd. on Saturday, July 4. 29yr old female was killed. Cause of this one car accident is unknown. Driver survived.

Shooting on N. East St. & East North St.  One arrest was made. Police were within 2 blocks when the shooting occurred. The people involved knew each other. A rifle and handgun were on the person arrested. No one was hurt or injured.

A dispatch mtg. was held on Wednesday, July 1st. A lot of bad publicity due to officer concerns and public complaints. The new system has been in place nearly a year now. The police dept. biggest complaint is that there are times that they are in danger more than with the former dispatch system. Call takers send to dispatchers, and some info is lost due to the “middle man”. For instance: A federal agent who was in Carlisle for a mock trial was at the G Man when a fight began. Shots were fired outside the bar. The dispatcher neglected to report that shots were fired and that there was on off-duty officer on the scene, which added a huge amount of danger to the situation. Better training is necessary. 1,500 calls per month from Carlisle have been added to the system, and no new employees have been added (and none planned to be hired in the future.)

2 dispatchers are handling 19 municipal police departments plus sheriffs, etc. Address the county commissioners with concerns about the situation.

7am-11pm is when calls are taken at the Carlisle Police Dept.  (Some calls are still dispatched from the station, in fact.)

Chapel Ave. vandalism issues in the block between Hanover and Pitt Sts. were discussed. Temporary cameras may be installed. Suggestions were made for a speed bump or one way traffic.

Loud car on 100 block of S. Pitt St. was discussed.

Grant application for $250.00 from the borough to SOSO for the year was delivered.

Chris Varner, Elm St. manager, spoke. The Elm St. area (College to East, High St. to A St.) is not within the SOSO boundaries. Elm street project examples: street lights & park planning.  60% of Chris’ time is in Elm St. area, but other neighborhoods can apply for help. DCA acts as the financial sponsor.  105 bird houses to be placed this Saturday.  In future, they will be put up in the spring, taken down in December. CALC partnered with them to paint them. Next year they would like to expand into other neighborhoods with larger bird houses. 20 volunteers needed at Biddle Mission Park at 8am this Saturday.

Smaller projects:

Little Free Libraries. (Holds 25 books, sponsored by Bosler Library.) Take a book, leave a book. Five are planned for so far, decorated by CALC. Cost is approx. $85.00 each. It was suggested that one be placed in the Butcher Family Tot Lot.

Dickinson Clean Up Day: planning session to plan projects for them is July 15th.Dickinson College freshman students will do clean up projects on Friday, August 28th, 1:30-4pm.

Carlisle Urban Redevelopment projects take up the other 40% of Chris’ time. They will be doing carpentry skills training, and making raised beds for Heberlig Park.  Purpose is to help secure employment for “young people of color”.

Chris is coordinating My Brother’s Keeper.

Next Carlisle Neighborhood Alliance mtg. is Wednesday, July 29th, at 6:30pm at John’s Hideaway on N. College St.  SOSO members are welcome to attend.

SOSO decals for windows available for 40 cents each if our group would like to order some. Chris said that the DCA has been talking about doing neighborhood “branding” also.

Saturday September 12th is possible date for SOSO neighborhood party at the Butcher Family Tot Lot.  Need trash containers and someone with a grill. Stephen and Whitney have 3 tables total.  4-7pm. Bring chairs and a dish to share along with your own place settings. Ann Sheehan will talk to someone about music from the Farmers Market. Need volunteers to set up and tear down. Stephen may have a canopy to loan. Face painting and organized children’s activities are optional if someone will organize them. SOSO money can buy drinks. Drink coolers are needed (Stephen & Janet each have one.)

Election of Officers

Dave Sheridan made the motion to reelect the current slate of officers, minus the recording secretary who wishes not to be reelected. Motion seconded and passed unanimously.

Annie’s husband is willing to pull up the dead shrubs at the tot lot. The message from the group to him was, “that would be much appreciated!”

Next mtg. is Wednesday, Oct 14th, 7pm, at Bosler Library.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50pm.

Respectfully submitted, Janet Spahr

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