November SOSO Meeting Minutes

Minutes of SOSO Meeting, November 12, 2014

The meeting was held at Bosler Free Library, 7pm

Attending were:

Carlisle Police Officer Andrew Van Volkenburg

Michael Heyser, Borough Codes

Whitney Amato, President

Connie Bires, Co-President

Ann Sheehan, Co-President

Antonia Hyde, Treasurer

Janet Spahr, Recording Secretary

Dave Sheridan

Minutes from the October SOSO meeting were approved.

Our treasurer reported $705.00 in our account.

Police Department News:

There have been two “Distraction Style” burglaries in Carlisle in the past few months. One occurred near Home Depot a couple of weeks ago, where a person posing as a tree trimmer distracted the homeowner outside while a second and possibly third person went into the house to rob valuables. Central PA has been getting hit regularly in this way. Please beware of anyone claiming to be a tree trimmer or utility worker (suggesting there is a water leak or something to get you out of the house.)  White SUV’s, fake badges and bright vests are typically part of the ploy.

Theft of items in cars is way down in the borough.

There has been a squatting issue in vacant houses in the Mooreland area. One on Belvedere, one near Mooreland school. No malicious damage has been done. is the new website for the police press release system. Photos of most wanted, arrests, etc. are featured.

The borough police dept. is still getting used to the call system and new record management system.

When making a call to borough Police, you may still use the 243-5252 number.

If you want to talk to a dispatcher but do not need an officer, press 3.

If you are reporting an active crime that needs an officer respond to the scene, press 1 or 2.

Codes Department News:

A new public works director for the borough started his new position this morning. He worked previously with a private engineering firm, and has civil and environmental engineering experience. The former director was let go 4 or 5 months ago.

The house at 139 W Pomfret St. was condemned last January when pipes burst and the interior was flooded. Last month a plumber replaced pipes. There is now electricity, heat and plumbing and the owner may be able to move back in soon.

The building along the alley behind borough hall which the owners had wanted to tear down is now much improved under new ownership.

Other business:

Since there have been no urgent issues facing our neighborhood, and attendance at SOSO meetings is low, we voted to switch to meeting quarterly.

If an issue comes up which requires extra attention, a special meeting will be called.

A motion was made by Ann to postpone SOSO Officer nominations until the next meeting, Wednesday, April 8th. All were in favor, motion passed.

Officer Nominations:

The current SOSO President, Co-Presidents and Treasurer are willing to maintain their positions for another year. The Recording Secretary position is open. Stephen Hughes needs to be asked if he is interested in continuing as Membership Secretary. Anyone wishing to nominate or be nominated for ANY of the positions is welcome to submit such names at the April 8th meeting.

The Home Rule Charter will be signed next Tuesday.   It will be on the ballot in May 2015 primary election.

The April 8th meeting will include discussion on the Home Rule issue. There will be a representative from the Government Study Commission present.

There was a request to SoSo members to leave their porch lights on overnight if possible. People walking after dark can easily trip and fall on narrow and uneven sidewalks. Our neighborhood engineer says that running a 7-watt bulb around the clock for an entire year would cost about $5, so leaving one extra light on is not a big expense. Also, lighting helps to deter crimes.

There was discussion about the expenses for the Block Party, which exceeded the previously approved $200.00.  A motion was made by the treasurer to maintain the prior authorization for a total of $200.00 towards the block party expenses. Motion was approved.

It was suggested that we invite a HARB member to speak at a future SOSO meeting. Mike Heyser will pass along an invitation to the HARB

Meeting adjourned.

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Hello SoSo Members!

Just wanted to send around a quick update of some of the highlights of the November 12, 2014 SoSo meeting.

A motion was passed to delay officer nominations until the SoSo April 8, 2015 meeting, which will be the next time that SoSo meets. There will be no meeting in December, January, February or March. The April 2015 meeting will be a special one because in addition our usual neighborhood police update and to accepting nominations for officers, we will also have a representative from the Government Study Commission there to discuss the Home Rule Charter, which will be on the primary ballot in May 2015. We are hoping for a good turn out, so everyone please mark your calenders now.

Also, we wanted to put out a request to SoSo members to leave their porch lights on overnight if possible. Especially now that it is getting dark earlier and earlier, there are more and more people walking around after dark and the extra light helps prevent tripping and falling over the often narrow and uneven sidewalks. Our neighborhood engineer says that running a 7-watt bulb around the clock for an entire year would only cost about $5, so leaving one extra light on is not a big expense. Also, lighting helps deter crimes. Officer Andy reported that there have been a couple of break-ins with people squatting in vacant for sale homes. So please keep an eye on any empty properties nearby and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Thanks to everyone who helped with SoSo events and meetings this year and please start thinking of what we would like to do as an organization going forward.


Whitney Amato, SoSo President

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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: 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    Officer Darhower’s email address is

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  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

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 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:

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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
Mel Beaver
Shari Minnich, ESNA,
Curtis Hetrick, ESNA,
Matt Yanos, SoSo,
Whitney Amato, SoSo,
Lissy Weirich, ANCA,
Brenda Landis, West,
Sharon Harron, SoSo,
Kate McGivney, SoSo,
Marilyn Keener,
Donna Hale,

– 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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