30 January 2008

YorkClips 1/30/2008...

Today's news of interest, compiled by YorkCounts
The Guardian Angels are planning a visit to York County next month to see if a local chapter could work, County Commissioner Steve Chronister said Tuesday. They are expected to play a key part in Chronister's $2.5 million crime-prevention plan, which was left out of the 2008 budget approved last week.
Daily Record laments, but expresses hope for future of SAC.
Hicks:  Mum's the word on Guardian Angels.
Council, Downtown Inc. disagree on appointee.
City school board divided on rebuilding plan for Ferguson Elementary.
Hope. Hatred. Admiration. Boredom. People exercising at Leader Health & Fitness in York Township on Tuesday expressed those thoughts when they reflected on President Bush's Monday State of the Union address.
Hanover schools hire interim superintendent.
The smoke-filled bar -- mysterious, inspirational, iconic and, yes, unhealthy -- is about to be snuffed out in Maryland. Tomorrow at midnight the last smoldering cigarettes will be put out in barroom ashtrays across the state, and a part of our culture -- like the milkman, the typewriter, 8-track tapes and the rotary phone before it -- will fade a little further into history.

28 January 2008

YorkClips 1/28/2008...

Today's news of interest, compiled by YorkCounts


The New Hustle is reorganizing in its efforts to help black and Latino males develop educational and social skills they need to become better students and citizens.

York on Guardian Angels' radar.

Police on a quest to fill the ranks, improve diversity.

The Capital Region Council of Government is considering a legal challenge to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy and Hanover Borough has jumped on board.

Construction on the planned expansion to the county's waste-to-energy incinerator is still on pace to begin next year, with the addition going online in 2011, an authority spokeswoman said.

24 January 2008

YorkClips 1/24/2008...

Today's news of interest, compiled by YorkCounts


Crime plan nixed, county tax hike reduced.

A plan to pay Baltimore high school students to improve test scores has caused a split on the school board and drawn the sharpest criticism that Andres Alonso has faced in his first half-year as city schools chief. Mayor Sheila Dixon came out in opposition to the plan yesterday morning, only to change her mind in the afternoon after speaking by phone with Alonso.

Daily Records applauds magnet schools, laments loss of downtown cobbler.

23 January 2008

YorkClips 1/23/2008...

Today's news of interest, compiled by YorkCounts


Commissioners OK smaller tax hike, no money for crime plan withdrawn by Chronister.

Districts would pay for Vida Charter students.

Daily Record wants next senators to be York Countians.

Offer to pay students for scores wins support: Some Baltimore city students approve of proposal to pay them up to $110 to improve performance.

York City Council impressed with treasurer candidates.

Rendell endorses Clinton for President.

HIA December, 2007 traffic up.

22 January 2008

Mar. 1: James DeBord presents to Delta Kappa Gamma

YorkCounts Director James DeBord is the guest speaker at the Sunday, March 1, 2008 meeting of the Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.

The subject of the conversation will be the Metro-York recommendations.

The event begins at 9 a.m. at The Village at Kelly Drive. Cost is $3.50 per person; reservations are due Feb. 20; mail your name, address, city, state and zip with a check payable to Eta Chapter to #407, 1700 Normandie Ridge Drive, York, PA 17408.

YorkClips 1/22/2008...

Today's news of interest, compiled by YorkCounts


Carroll County, Maryland residents loudly told their legislative delegation yesterday that they do not want to rush the creation of a county police department and they want the matter to go to referendum.

A nonprofit central Pennsylvania law firm recently added a family-law attorney with the help of a fundraising campaign from the York County business community. The $311,000 raised by Robert W. Pullo, a retired local banker, and William C. Gierasch, attorney with Stock and Leader, makes up for flat funding from government sources.

BAE hiring blitz begins.

Rendell expects difficult year for state budget.

DePasquale hopes to help students, state with free education initiative.

Hanover schools superintendent takes medical leave.

21 January 2008

Leadership for Diverse Schools featured in York JCC newsletter

The Winter 2008 edition of the newsletter of the York Jewish Community Center features a profile on one Leadership for Diverse Schools participant.

"My eyes were opened through being in this program," says North Hills Elementary fifth grade teacher Michael Headings.

Through a YorkCounts Engagement, Leadership York and the York Jewish Community Center (YJCC) joined forces in 2004 to develop a training program that will prepare York County educators to take a lead role in promoting and embracing diversity in their classrooms and communities.

Read the profile here... and read more about Leadership for Diverse Schools here.

15 January 2008

YorkCounts E-Newsletter - January 2008

The YorkCounts E-Newsletter
found on the blog at yorkcounts.org
January 2008

In this issue:

Metro-York implementation gains steam

Before and across the holidays – and as 2008 began – YorkCounts volunteer leaders got started on the ambitious task of implementing the Metro-York recommendations.

Each of the eight Metro-York ideas for building a better, stronger community is likely to have a separate implementation committee. Most of them have formed or are forming – and meetings populate the January calendar.

The first official Metro-York follow-up meeting took place January 9 at Penn State York, involving more than 20 educators and other participants – including four area school superintendents, several school board members, state Rep. Bev Mackereth and the chief of staff of state Rep. Eugene DePasquale. This panel, which has become known as the Educational Opportunities Committee, has been tasked with pursuing one or more of the ideas from the following Metro-York education recommendation:

Attack the root problem: a school district can’t succeed when poverty and its related problems are concentrated the way they are in the York City schools.

In York city, 85 percent of public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (which, according to government classifications, means they are living in poverty). Across the country, numerous strategies are being employed to de-concentrate school poverty in a given area, and it’s time that one or more of them be tried here. A task force must be formed to consider, prioritize and plan the implementation of:

  • New academic programming that appeals to parents throughout York County, with the added benefit that it would result in interaction between city, suburban and rural students. Enrollment would always be by choice.

    A “student exchange” could allow individual students from the city to go to school in the suburbs, or those from the suburbs to go to the city, for a limited period of time such as one year. Such a program would broaden academic experiences and, perhaps more importantly, break down the barriers between people.

    A public magnet school could be open to students across York County and could be funded by those districts. It could be located centrally, but apart from any existing schools. Such a school would offer new academic opportunities to children inside and outside the city. It would also ease overcrowding in the suburban districts.

    A public charter school could house a maximum of 49 percent city students and 51 percent non-city students – potentially, the children of parents who work in the city. This school would be located in the city.

    A public school choice program could grant some number of York city kindergarteners admission to other districts’ elementary schools each year. Once there, they would receive special support to stay, holding the other districts harmless financially.

  • An education-based incentive for middle-class parents to return to the city with their children. Scholarships can be powerful incentives. The Kalamazoo Promise is one example. It’s providing four-year scholarships to graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools to colleges in Michigan. The program has dual educational and economic appeal, as the city’s population decline has reversed, housing values have jumped and businesses have relocated to Kalamazoo.

State Secretary of Education Dr. Gerald Zahorchak is expected to address the Educational Opportunities Committee in late January or early February.

Commissioners, others applaud Metro-York

York County Commissioners Lori Mitrick, Doug Kilgore and Steve Chronister unanimously approved a resolution in December commending Metro-York participants “for producing a thoughtful and detailed plan for improvement” and urging “community-wide participation in the conversation about the… future of our community.”

The Board of Commissioners was joined later in December and early January by the boards of PeoplesBank, Wagman Construction, G.A. and F.C. Wagman and Better York in endorsing the Metro-York output.

The resolutions noted that “a guiding Metro-York principle was to identify regional solutions to regional challenges.”

YorkCounts in a statewide context

YorkCounts is drawing attention not only around York County, but also across the state for efforts to sustain and enhance the quality of life in York County.

The Metro-York effort in particular is highlighted in a report called Putting the Pieces Together: Five Case Studies of Regional Cooperation in Pennsylvania.

The report is available online (http://www.renewpa.org/downloads/putting_the_pieces_together_report.pdf) and reviews Metro-York as well as regional cooperation in the Lehigh Valley and in Elk, Cameron and Clearfield counties.

“For the business and civic leaders who constitute Metro-York’s participants,” the report notes, “there is no question that suburban communities must work more cooperatively with the city.”

The document was prepared for and distributed at the Path to Prosperity summit, a statewide event staged in December by the Campaign to Renew Pennsylvania (RenewPA) and IssuesPA – a project of the Pennsylvania Economy League – with support from the Team Pennsylvania Foundation.

Mark your calendars for 2008 summit

The 2008 YorkCounts Summit has been scheduled for Thursday, April 17 at the Yorktowne Hotel. Further details will be available soon, but now’s the time to circle the date.

Governor Rendell is expected to speak at the event, which will coincide with the release of YorkCounts’ Annual Report.

For questions about the Summit, contact the Director of YorkCounts, James DeBord, at (717) 815-6436 or jdebord@ycp.edu.

The YorkCounts E-Newsletter is written by Beau Boughamer. Reach YorkCounts by mail c/o the Center for Community Engagement at York College of Pennsylvania, 605 South George Street, Suite 160, York, PA 17401, by telephone at (717) 815-6430 or by e-mail at yorkcounts@gmail.com. Visit YorkCounts online at yorkcounts.org.