Take a step back in time this holiday season, and tour some of York’s oldest homes in the Avenues neighborhood, set aglow with festive lights, beautiful décor, food, music and hodgepodge of holiday traditions.
Nine Avenues neighborhood homes will open their doors and spread some holiday cheer to the public next weekend for open house holiday home tours on Saturday, Dec. 6.
Developed in the 1800’s, by a Civil War solider, the York County Avenue homes were some of first homes developed outside the core of downtown York. Shortly after the neighborhoods initial development, it became well known for it’s very fashionable Victorian and prairie style mansions and architectural design to love.
Every year when Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station shuts down one of its reactors for maintenance, several thousand workers flock to Peach Bottom Township in south York County.
The workers pour money into local businesses, but there aren’t nearly enough hotel rooms.
Peach Bottom Township’s one hotel, the Peach Bottom Inn & Restaurant, stays booked, but thousands more outage workers drive to hotels in Aberdeen or Bel Air in Maryland.
Meanwhile, some area businesses and residents have tapped into the need for lodging by renting campsites and rooms.
Some say the region could do more to capitalize on the workers’ need for lodging and other needs. But with little else driving people to the region, others say that south York county is already doing all it can.
York’s budget woes have set off a scramble to find ways to save positions in the departments that could face the deepest losses — police and fire — and triggered a whirlwind of questions about what would happen to the city if a balanced budget can come only at the cost of cutting public safety personnel.
Mayor Kim Bracey‘s budget, which she introduced Tuesday, would cut 46 positions in the police department and eight fire-fighting jobs, and would cut the city’s work force from 412 employees in 2014 to 315 next year, documents show. Bracey said she was faced with few options and asked community partners, legislators and the county for outside help.
As of Friday, “no one has knocked on the door,” she said.
She has called for union concessions. Bracey said she will meet with fire union President Fred Desantis on Monday, and the city already is in negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police. Police union president Mike Davis said he is “committed” to reaching an agreement before the end of the year.
Hours after York Mayor Kim Bracey outlined her proposal to dramatically reduce the city’s work force, including deep cuts to public safety forces, in order to close an anticipated $7 million budget gap, public backlash began.
“I’m ashamed for the city,” said James Waughtel during public comment at a City Council meeting Tuesday night, calling the potential loss of police and fire personnel “extremely devastating.”
Members of the fire union also lined the council chambers to listen as Bracey presented her plan to council members.
Exel will close its parts-supply operation in New Holland at year-end, idling all 97 workers, a notice filed with the state says.
The 300 Diller Ave. operation is being shut down because Exel’s contract to provide parts to CNH Industrial is expiring.
CNH Industrial has decided to bring that activity in-house, said Exel spokeswoman Lynn Anderson.
Exel is trying to place the affected workers at another Exel facility in York, she said.
A twice convicted York City drug dealer is back in prison after York City narcotics officers raided his home Thursday and seized nearly $24,000 worth of raw heroin, according to police.
“That’s a significant amount,” city Detective First Class Andrew Shaffer said.
Plus, that heroin likely would have been “stepped on,” or cut, he said, which could as much as double its value. The $23,900 worth of heroin was all “raw,” or loose, meaning it still needed to be bagged, Shaffer said.
“Five years ago, we just didn’t see raw heroin like that,” he said. “And we see it constantly now.”
York may not be known for its oysters, but according to the York County Heritage Trust, it hasn’t always been that way.
“When they were doing the restoration of the Colonial Complex, they found oyster shells in the ground surrounding the buildings,” said Melanie Hady, director of marketing and public relations at the trust.
“There was obviously some trade going on between our area and the Chesapeake Bay area.”
In tribute to that historic link, the trust is celebrating its 40th annual Oyster Festival 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Florida economy was hammered during the financial crisis as tourism slowed, real estate prices plummeted and jobs disappeared, but the state has crawled back and continues to see heavy net migration into nearly every Sunshine State metro. People are chasing jobs with three Florida metros ranked among the 10 places expected to have the fastest job growth over the next three years and seven among the top 25. Naples leads the way with a projected average annual rate of 4.1%. Unemployment peaked in Naples in January 2010 at 12.2%, but was just 5.4% last month and is expected to stay low. Joining Naples among the top spots for job growth are fellow southern Florida locales Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie.
Editor’s note: How refreshing to see that there are efforts being made to introduce children to foods other than chicken nuggets and pizza. Great step toward changing a culture that has spawned a childhood obesity epidemic.
Second-grader Tyler Keely thought the pomegranate seeds he popped into his mouth tasted like another fruit altogether.
“It tastes like apple juice but in a gummy,” he said.
Tyler and his classmates at Mount Wolf Elementary School paused their normal classroom lessons this week for a visit from cafeteria manager Wendy Garman, bearing sample-size cups of pomegranate seeds, which she described as looking like “ruby red kernels of corn.”
Before trying the arils, or seeds, the students saw pictures of where the fruit grows in Arizona and California, and passed around a whole fruit and one that was already sliced to see the inside.
With so many farms just a short drive from downtown York, organizers of this year’s Farm to City Dinner say there’s no excuse for not eating locally grown food.
For the second year in a row, three local nonprofits are teaming up to show how easy and affordable it can be to support local agriculture.
At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the Horn Farm Center is joining York County Buy Fresh Buy Local and the Healthy World Café in closing off North Beaver Street in York for an afternoon feast, complete with wine and music, showcasing area farms through a sampling of their meat and produce.
At $65 a plate, organizers said it’s cheaper than similar dinners held in other cities; and they noted that purchasing produce and other food from local farms doesn’t have to break the bank.
If you name it, they will come.
Sonia Huntzinger, executive director of Downtown Inc, said that’s the theory behind York’s recent push to brand pockets of its 26-block downtown business district, creating a patchwork of neighborhoods that will each offer something different to regional visitors.
In the last two years, the nonprofit, which promotes revitalization of the city, has partnered with grassroots groups to demarcate several sections, including Royal Square, the Market District, Beaver Street and the latest, Weco.
The growth in destination branding, as the strategy is called, has coincided with Downtown Inc’s “Who Knew” campaign, a YouTube ad effort that highlights shopping and eatery options with the goal of bringing more foot traffic into local businesses.
York City Police released more details Friday about an operation this week to arrest people facing drug charges.
Since Tuesday, 11 people have been taken into custody, according to a press release.
The alleged drug deliveries occurred during the past two weeks in the areas of Maple and Duke streets and Pine and Princess streets.
Fall is here, and that means its time to begin thinking about the season’s fruits, vegetables and decorations.
Fresh-picked apples are available from mid-August through mid-November. And while pears and watermelons should be around through the first part of October, you probably won’t find corn, beans and tomatoes after the middle of September.
Pumpkins and gourds are now out in full force, along with other fall decorations including Indian corn, hay bales, corn stalks and mums.
York County has a wealth of locally owned markets and stands where you can find fall fruits, vegetables and family activities.
With gang-related violence in York City continuing to claim lives, city police on Tuesday said they are partnering with a federal agency to take violent gang members into custody.
More than 100 York City Police officers and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the sweep, said Chief Wes Kahley.
At a Tuesday news conference, he said he could not release specific information — including the number of arrests so far — because the criminal investigation is ongoing.
The walls of Tutoni’s in York are covered with chalkboards — one displaying cuts of a pig, another showing different types of cheese — each with a description of where the food came from.
The pork loin, for example, was once a Heritage pig that roamed free on Rettland Farm in Adams County.
Bright green arugula leaves, one chalkboard says, were grown in the greenhouses of Brogue Hydroponics in Chanceford Township.
Soft, silky mozzarella was made at Caputo Brothers Creamy in Jackson Township.
A world map stood out among hundreds of motorcycles in front of Harley-Davidson‘s York Vehicle Operations.
Pins marked hometowns of bike enthusiasts who had traveled to visit the manufacturer’s annual open house.
John Minor pushed a pin through Hartford, Wis., a closer ride than two open house guests who made the trip from India.
Thursday marked Minor’s first visit to the Harley-Davidson factory in Springettsbury Township.
Clement Alleyne moved to West Jackson Street in 1984.
“It was nice, but it needed work,” he said.
Some 30 years later, it was definitely due for a change, Alleyne said.
With the help of several community partners, a $1 million improvement project has repaved the streets, updated lighting and added water-retention flower beds. Utility companies Columbia Gas and York Water have also replaced antiquated pipelines in the community.
When Alex Chiaruttini was looking for the perfect little black dress to take with her on an overseas trip, she found it at Indigo Bleu, a recently opened boutique on York’s West Philadelphia Street.
The 43-year-old environmental attorney and Springettsbury Township resident said she doesn’t shop at malls and prefers shopping at downtown York boutiques because their owners know Chiaruttini’s style and what she might like.
“It’s more fun than shopping online,” Chiaruttini said Wednesday evening while shopping with a friend at Elizabeth & West Fashion House, another downtown York boutique.
Wednesday was the second day of York’s annual Boutique Week. Downtown Inc. and a committee of downtown merchants launched the event in 2012 to give shopkeepers a chance to show off their merchandise and attract new customers. The week includes a fashion show Friday evening at Central Market. Boutique owners like Zarah Brooks, owner of Indigo Bleu, say they offer their customers a more personal experience and different merchandise than can be found at a mall.
A majority of York City Council members said they are willing to consider authorizing a new tax in 2015 that would reach into the pockets of many more people.
The distressed pension earned income tax — more commonly known as the commuter tax — has been on the city’s menu of revenue-generating options for the past several years.
But, so far, city officials have been able to balance York’s budgets without wading into the controversial waters of taxing commuters’ earnings.
That might change next year.