Home › Monthly Archives › August 2011

Immigration Showdown in Harrisburg

It’s going to be a tough few days in the Capitol, as Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Majority Chairman Representative Daryl Metcalfe will be holding two public hearings to focus on the “National Security Begins at Home” legislative package.

Immigration Reform a Must

Metcalfe believes passionately in immigration reform, saying that going to battle against the 140,000 illegal immigrants in Pennsylvania alone could possibly safe tax payers large sums.  He has called an executive order from President Barack Obama “treasonous” and he’s definitely got both sides of the argument coming out in full force.

Prior to the meeting, one staff member joked to the Harrisburg press corps that they should “Bring your flak jacket.”

No Immigration Reform, Say Some

Pro-immigration groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and some state legislators and immigration activities held a press conference before the hearing on Tuesday.  Andy Hoover, the legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania was quoted as saying, “Apparently, undermining the constitution and sabotaging our economy begins at the state capitol. These bills would be a disaster for the commonwealth.”

Time will tell which side wins – but it is certainly going to be an interesting fight and one well worth watching!

Good Riddance to Hurricane Irene

Overall, Harrisburg weathered Irene pretty well, although three men did die in separate incidents as a result of the hurricane.  The men were in campgrounds, campers and a car.  Governor Tom Corbett, who appeared today with Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley and PEMA Director Glenn Cannon, has sent a letter to President Obama requesting federal emergency disaster funds.

In total, 11 counties have experienced difficulties as a result of Hurricane Irene. These include: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Wyoming and Wayne. Fortunately, Mr. Corbett was able to reassure the public that none of the power plants in the area, of which there are four, had suffered “adverse effects” from the storm.

The worst is certainly passed us in Harrisburg, but it is still possible that there will be high flood waters.  Motorists should make sure not to drive through standing water. Drivers should drive slowly and should pay attention to road surfaces that might have been damaged from the flooding and to slippery conditions.

For those trying to get beyond Harrisburg, things seem to be returning to normal.  The mass transit system in Philadelphia which was shut down starting Saturday is not back and running; and the Philadelphia International Airport is also back to full operation.

Let’s say goodbye to Irene..and hopefully keep her friends at bay for quite awhile.

Enjoy a Global Dining Experience

Yes, Harrisburg does indeed have it all.  At Bricco, you will be privy to a world-dining experience.  Take yourself out to International Place, Chestnut Street, for an unforgettable meal that will have you coming back for more.

A Taste for the World

There are many different taste sensations to enjoy at Bricco. From Tuscan-style, to local Penn tastes, with a Mediterranean kick, diners are privy to dishes that hail from Greece, France, Italy, Spain and more, depending on the season.

If it’s a simple pizza you’re after though, rest assured that Bricco can provide, but of course, with something extra – baked in a gourmet wood stove to give it that extra tasty delight. Take in some seafood, or check out the Calamari Fritti and roasted tomato sauce.  If you like the meat, you’ll have to try the Braised Beef Short Ribs or Lamb “Due Sensi.”  And then if you still have a bit of room, don’t skip the restaurant’s “decadent dessert” choices.

“Bricco is a collaboration between the Olewine School of Culinary Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College and Harrisburg Hotel Corporation, managing general partner of The Hilton Harrisburg.”


Violence in Town?

It always seemed that Harrisburg was quite a nice little town, quiet, friendly and safe. But now that may be changing. At least, last week’s events seem to suggest that. But one probably cannot really judge a city on one or two random events of crime which the residents of Harrisburg are hoping the event at the Jonestown Road nightclub was.

Last week police were called to the scene and forced to charge three men from Dauphin County for what seemed like an attack that was unprovoked.  Now, as reported in a recent ABC article, three men face a “felony charge of aggravated assault.”  The men come from Lower Paxton Township, Middletown and Harrisburg and are 21-22 year-olds.  The victim was a township resident aged 24 and was immediately taken to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, treated for head and facial injuries.

Two of the men were sent to Dauphin County Prison with a $25,000 bail.  The third attacker turned himself into the police a few days later.


Get Yourself a Fine Brew at Arooga’s

If you’re up for a fun, relaxing night out, check out the various different Arooga’s in the Harrisburg area.  There you will be served top quality cold brews, yummy food and be privy to awesome sports viewable on more than 100 HD TV screens.  In 2009 Arooga’s was awarded the Harrisburg Magazine Reader’s Poll, ‘Simply the Best,’ and the 2010 Central PA Reader’s Choice Award.

Choose from fresh burgers, sub rolls, wings with homemade sauces, chicken, shrimp, mozzarella, sticks, unique pizza styles and toppings, salads and end your meal with the cookie pizza: chocolate chip cookie pizza with vanilla ice-cream, hot fudge and whipped cream.

Arooga’s definitely makes for a fun, delicious meal out where you can forget about your worries, kick back, take in some sports and top it all off with a fresh cold one.

Harrisburg Fiscal Recovery Plan Review

This week at the Harrisburg City Council, Mayor Linda D. Thompson will be going over her fiscal recovery plan which she introduced earlier this month.  It is a bit like Act 47 that has already been rejected but differs in the sense that it requires additional financial state concessions as well as from Dauphin County and the bond issuer that gave substantial financial backing to the city’s $310m incinerator debt.


Without backing from at least one of these organizations (to cover the $26m leftover debt from the mayor’s plan), Thompson intends to adopt a 2.2 to 2.5 percent commuter tax which would impact all those who commute to the city irrespective of what county they live in.  The EIT would increase for city residents as well – possibly from 1 to 2.5 percent.


Next week Mayor Thompson also intends to hold a public hearing about this plan in the Harrisburg High School auditorium.

Harrisburg’s Gift Shop

For both visitors and residents alike, Harrisburg’s Bare Wall Gift Shop is a must-see.  It’s a very cute store which is home to lots of different gifts ideas. But it is also a place where you’ll be privy to all sorts of interesting conversations.  Some Harrisburg residents have been shopping there for years – others just happen upon it after having walked past it without acknowledging its existence.

Whether its jewelry you’re looking for, cute cards, something to make your little ones smile or a gadget to make working in the kitchen easier, the Bare Wall Gift Shop has it all.  It must have something to it as today it ranks as the second top rated place to visit in Harrisburg.  Store managers Ronn and Bob have a reputation for being extremely helpful too; just ask them for help if you need something particular.

As well as getting something great to take home or give to a friend at the Bare Wall Gift Shop, you will be privy to the latest Harrisburg news from old-timers Ronn and Bob.  It’s for sure become a part of Harrisburg culture.