Lancaster Watchdog What's the buzz?
Parking issues Hauling trash Decaying properties Bowmansville-area residents try to figure out the source of humming sound. By Chip Smedley, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents of Bowmansville, a quaint village in the northeastern reaches of the county, report hearing a constant buzzing noise in the sky at certain locations around town.
Theories about the source of the sound include high-tension wires, turnpike traffic noise or the construction of a new meat-processing plant on the outskirts of town. But no one can pinpoint its exact location.
The Watchdog was unable to talk with residents to find out the best locations to hear the buzzing prior to heading off to Bowmansville on Feb. 19 but, figuring the town isn't that big, made the trek anyway.
Eventually arriving (after one directional miscue), The Watchdog stopped at three separate locations in the town, got out of the car, put an ear to the sky and heard -- nothing. The assumption was made that weather conditions -- it was snowing -- might have put a damper on the buzz.
A second trip -- this time to a specified location -- led to the discovery that there was, indeed, a faint buzzing sound in the air. However, The Watchdog, like the neighbors, could not determine where it was coming from.
A call placed to the Brecknock Township municipal offices revealed that the township zoning officer had been notified about the buzz and was investigating its origin. Township staff promised to get back with any information they find.
In a side note, research shows that scientists have determined the earth itself emits a low-level hum as it flies through the galaxy, but the hum is inaudible to human ears. So that's not the source.
Meanwhile, if anyone knows anything about the atmospheric buzz in Bowmansville, keep The Watchdog in the loop. We'll try to get to the bottom, or in this case perhaps the top, of this puzzler.
A reader wants to know specifics about rules pertaining to the handicapped-parking placards that can be hung from rear-view mirrors inside a vehicle.
Noting that a family in the neighborhood passes the placard from car to car, the reader asked two questions: Is the hanging placard assigned to a specific vehicle or a specific driver? Is it legal to pass the placard from car to car?
Interesting questions that can be answered by the state vehicular code.
A copy of the code is on The Watchdog's Christmas wish list. Meanwhile, city police Lt. Todd Umstead comes to the rescue.
The bottom line, he said, is that transferring the placard among vehicles is not legal. It is issued to the vehicle, not a driver.
The code clearly states, "The [transportation] department shall issue one special parking placard of such size and design as the department shall specify, designating the vehicle in which it is displayed as being used for the transportation of persons with disabilities. When parking the designated vehicle, the person with a disability parking placard shall [prominently display the placard] in such a manner that it may be viewed from the front and rear of the vehicle by hanging it from the front windshield rearview mirror of a vehicle only when that vehicle is utilizing a parking space reserved for persons with disabilities."
The signs hanging inside cars are the same, the code says, as license plates that are "issued for vehicles operated exclusively for the use and benefit of persons with disabilities."
A reader wrote in an email, "The residents of Lancaster have been forced into a single hauler trash collection. Why is Central Market not using York Waste like the rest of us?
"I see Edie Dumpsters outside of market."
City Public Works Director Charlotte Katzenmoyer explained, "Our single hauler program is for residential properties (less than five units) only. Commercial properties may opt in if they wish, but for city-owned-and-operated properties, we have built this into the contract and trash there is picked up by York Waste."
However, she added, the operations at Lancaster Central Market are managed by the Central Market Trust.
Katzenmoyer noted that the trust "had opted into our program at one point, but found a better deal with Edie Waste."
In the interim, she said, Edie Waste was purchased by York Waste. Consequently, the haulers are one and the same.
One caller and one emailer raised questions about deteriorating conditions at two properties in Manheim Township.
Contacted about the situation, Manheim Township Manager Mike Rimer asked residents who have concerns about deteriorating properties to call the township code compliance department at 569-6406.
When the call is placed, Rimer said, "We can talk with them, investigate the situation, and address with the owner any property maintenance issues or violations that may exist,'' he said. "This is what we do on a regular basis."n