Bloomsburg Town Council Tables Plan to Close Parking Lots for Block Party

Parking lots in downtown Bloomsburg will be open under normal enforcement this weekend after Town Council voted unanimously to table a plan devised to deter visitors for this weekend’s Block Party. The Town had announced that metered parking spaces in the lots would be closed from midnight to 6 p.m. on Saturday. A number business people and the Chamber of Commerce expressed concerns about the potential negative impacts on downtown businesses in getting Council to reconsider.

Several businesses in the downtown have special events this weekend. Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble has two daytime performances and its annual Taming of the Brew event in the evening. At least two businesses have promotional events that are set nationally. As the details of the Town’s plan were finalized and businesses notified the first week in April, there was little time or opportunity to adjust.

A Press Enterprise article on April 9 reported that the Chamber offered a compromise of midnight to 8 a.m. for closing the lots. While Chamber president Fred Gaffney did suggest that Council consider a shorter period of time so that metered spaced would be opened up for the start of business on Saturday, a specific timeframe was not presented by Gaffney. The Chamber recognizes that the bars in the downtown are allowed to be open until 2 a.m., and that customers and employees would need additional time to get to their vehicles.

The Chamber renews its pledge to Town Council to work proactively with them on this and other issues that impact businesses. We first learned of the plan to close the lots in late March, and the specific details were not known until last week. Discussing issues at committee meetings and workshops well in advance allows time for careful consideration, and for getting input from stakeholders. We are eager to be a part of this process.

Below is information from the Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University on other Block Party weekend restrictions:

Bloomsburg University and the Town of Bloomsburg will implement the below initiatives to increase safety and security related to the annual spring event known as “Block Party.”

 SpringFest – Bloomsburg University’s annual SpringFest, an on-campus, non-alcoholic event, will be moved from Upper Campus to the Academic Quad on Lower Campus this year in an effort to increase participation, visibility, and ease of access to University students.

 Residence Hall Visitation Restrictions – Bloomsburg University will temporarily restrict overnight guests in the residence halls to one visitor per student for the evenings of Friday, April 12, Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, 2019. A professional security company firm will assist in managing guest registrations and enhance front door security. Parking for these guests will be provided in the Blue Lot & the Orange Parking Lots.

 Parking Restrictions – Bloomsburg University will prohibit all parking at the Lightstreet Road Parking Lot and the ATM Parking Lot. Parking on campus will be restricted to persons attending events on campus. Additionally, temporary parking restrictions will be in affect at the First Street (Green) Parking Lot to permit-holders only from 12:00 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2019, through 12:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2019.

The Town of Bloomsburg and Bloomsburg University also ask all participants to keep in mind:

 Neither the Town of Bloomsburg nor Bloomsburg University endorse the Block Party event, and a large police contingency of both uniformed and plainclothes officers will be present.

 Town and University Police both have a “zero tolerance” policy for all violations during Block Party weekend. Parents and Bloomsburg University will be notified of all arrests, and university students will be subject to discipline for violations under BU’s Code of Conduct.

 The Town of Bloomsburg requires permits for social gatherings of 150 or more individuals. Students are reminded that they can be held responsible for ordinance and crimes code violations that occur on property they lease or control.

 The Town of Bloomsburg prohibits open containers of alcohol in public rights-of-way.

 Hosts are responsible for what takes place on the property and risk fines and University sanctions for any violations.

Welcome PinPoint Local

More than 400 businesses and organizations belong to the Chamber to receive benefits and support efforts to strengthen their businesses and our region. Increased membership allows us to offer additional programs and benefits, have a stronger voice in advocacy and be involved in more activities and initiatives in our communities. The Chamber welcomes its newest member, PinPoint Local, to help us fulfill our mission.

PinPoint Local is national digital marketing company that offers search engine optimization services (SEO), website design and hosting. It has numerous franchisees around the country, including one of its newest in Bloomsburg. Ioulia Lee, a longtime Bloomsburg resident and veteran IT and website design professional, is the local franchise owner. She can be reached at 570-784-1321 or by email.

Precautions to Take for Spring Seasonal Allergies

From ChamberChoice

Mold growth blooms inside and outside after spring rains. When flowers, trees, weeds and grasses begin to blossom, allergies will follow. Spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites, so be sure to:

  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
  • Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
  • Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
  • Vacuum twice a week.
  • Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
  • Make sure the rugs you do have are washable.
  • Change air filters often.

Travel Training

From rabbittransit

Learn how to use the Fixed Route or Paratransit service with free travel training by rabbittransit. Increased mobility through bus service can bring passengers increased independence, lead to a more active lifestyle, and can enhance quality of life. Travel training eliminates feelings of isolation and the need for passengers to rely on others for their travel needs. The goal of travel training is to meet the specific transportation needs of passengers.

Travel training is geared to those who are unfamiliar with public transportation but wish to travel. Anyone who needs assistance in using public transportation, either Fixed Route or Paratransit service, is eligible for this service. Travel training is designed to do the following through hands on training:

  • Plan trips to various destinations
  • Learn to read and understand route maps and schedules
  • Demonstrate how to get to and from your bus stop
  • Learn how to pay fares and purchase tickets and passes
  • Learn how to get on and off the bus safely
  • Learn to use the lift and/or kneeler to board buses with a mobility device
  • Locate and transfer to other buses at Transfer Center
  • Travel safely, independently and confidently while riding the bus

To get started, contact rabbittransit at (717) 846-RIDE (7433) or 1-800-632-9063 and request travel training.

Chamber Welcomes 2019-20 Board

The Chamber 2019-20 fiscal year began on April 1, and with that, the 2019-20 Board of Directors began its year-long term. There are a minimal number of changes on the Chamber board this year, as just two members depart and one new member comes on.

Joining the board as the new chair of the Foundation of the Columbia Montour Chamber board is Tom Kapelewski of SEKISUI SPI. Departing the board are former Foundation board chair Harry Mathias, who is retiring at the end of the school year as the superintendent of the Central Columbia School District, and Vic Klein, former chair of Columbia Alliance for Economic Growth, which was dissolved earlier this year.

The board expresses its appreciation for both Harry and Vic’s service.

2019-20 board officers are:

Karen Wood, Chair, Service 1st Federal Credit Union
Dan Knorr, Vice Chair, Bloomsburg University
Denise Stone, Treasurer, Key Partners Realty
Mark Gardner, Immediate Past Chair, M&T Bank
Fred Gaffney, President