Living in Hanover

Living in Hanover

'Apparently a blog about living in Hanover'

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Friday Fun

I like to laugh so heading out to support the first Standup Comedy night at The Sound Room on Broadway last Friday was a no brainer. I ended up turning the excursion into an exploration of some of my favorite downtown places.

The night started with a beer at Something Wicked. My friend Macy served me a great beer and fellow First Ward Councilman Gerry Funke also stopped in for a drink – don’t worry, that didn’t violate the Sunshine Law!

I headed to The Sound Room next and found the room mostly filled with 15 minutes before the starting time, a great sight to see. My friend Jenn, her son Ben and a friend of theirs also came by. I also saw Diana and her husband, Dan. By the time the first comic took the stage, the room was filled with around 40-some people. Shannon Lanier, the owner of the venue, even had to bring in some extra chairs.

I had a great time, especially considering the $3 cover charge. A guy named Kevin took on the challenge of the Open Mic and had some really good material for his first time doing standup. My friend Beau Bowden put on a nice set and Kayla Ruth had the room laughing for most of her set. Robbie Soto, the booker for the show, closed out with some of his material.

I really look forward to watching this event grow. I especially like their goal of having Improv Night, which I will hopefully be involved with through the improv project I am leading at Hanover Little Theatre. They had a young crowd there which can only benefit downtown Hanover in the long run.

The only real option after the show was to go to Miscreation, so we did that and had a drink., Naturally, I ran into several people I knew. I finished my second drink at the bar and talked with Mark Mathias, one of the owners. They still had a good crowd around 10 p.m., but I decided to head home.

Well, that is until I remembered that I had not been to Timeline Arcade in a while. I had no problem deciding to change that fact and played a bunch of games before heading home.

Don’t miss out on fun opportunities like this. There are Open Mics and other options around town more than you think. Come support Hanover’s talent and grab a bite to eat and a drink while you’re at it.

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Brian March 14, 2016 2 Comments Permalink

My Evening Sun Memories

The Evening Sun is embarking on a project to commemorate the newspaper’s 100th anniversary. I don’t know what all is planned, but I am looking forward to it.

Let me just get it out there – while I can easily admit the newspaper’s faults, I will also defend it most of the time. Working at a small-town newspaper is an animal most people cannot comprehend. The decisions will never be perfect, but they are never made out of malice. That is something I will never believe because I have made those decisions and know the people who do make those decisions, and they are good people working at a thankless job. The paper isn’t perfect, but people have no idea what kind of talent has come through this town and continues to work to cover the news. Just so we’re clear.

That is the place I started my career. It’s the place I met my wife and some of my closest friends. It’s where I grew up in so many ways. So as they mark 100 years of covering Hanover’s news with a look back at significant moments and important people, I’ll share some of my stories from time to time. Names may occasionally be left out to protect the guilty because it’s more about the spirit of the craziness or the job than the details of who did what. But I will name names.

Like the time my good friend Mike Hoover called into the newsroom when I was working in sports. I honestly can’t remember if I answered the phone or someone else did, but I clearly remember what was going on.

He saw lights from his front porch. Lights at the old Antonio’s. Lights at the place that we had heard was being turned into some kind of cool bar. Since he lives just a few blocks away, he was going to see what was happening.

That’s how we found KClinger’s on one of its first nights open. He called back with giddy stories of bottles of beer upon bottles of beer. We had to come over. The owners were really cool. I am pretty sure I did that first night and for a bunch of other nights after that.

KClinger’s certainly had more loyal and passionate fans, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t really love the place. Within a few years of their opening, I had a kid and started to work down in Baltimore, making my time available to go out drinking much more limited. I remember getting samples of  pumpkin beer long before it became a fad. I remember the wall-to-wall people for the Tyson-Holyfield fight. I remember John Clinger adding a sandwich to the menu after I told him about a great meal I had on vacation.

And all that happened because a friend and co-worker used his reporting instincts to check what those lights meant.


Missed Opportunity

I have railed some on Facebook about some of the issues out of Wednesday’s borough council meeting, particularly related to the amusement tax debate and the duplicitousness of Councilman Sonny Eline (especially in the light of his 2011 proclamations about how he wanted to revitalize downtown), but that wasn’t the only thing that happened Wednesday showing the poor leadership on Frederick Street.

I may get some of the details wrong since I had to leave before this item came up so let me know if I need correcting. One of the Miscreation Brewing owners came to talk about the possibility of outside seating for the business on Center Square. The topic had been on a committee agenda earlier in the month, but was not on the council agenda. He spoke during the public comment period at the end.

From what I heard, he needed direction from the borough on what was allowed because it affected their application to the Liquor Control Board. They could go back and amend things in the future, but that cost more money for fees, something every small business wants to avoid, especially in the beginning. Like I said, I wasn’t there so am fuzzy on the details, but the result appeared to be “we need to research this and will get back to you even though you would like an answer now to avoid extra hearing fees in the future, but we can’t tell you now.”

(Again, let me know if I screwed that up, but I have heard this version from more than one person.)

Listen, I know governments can’t always move on a dime. Sometimes research does need to take place, but at the very least some concern about wanting to work in partnership with a business should show through. That’s not the borough way, of course, as Barb Krebs hides behind the huge monitor in front of her at the table so she can avoid actually engaging with the residents she serves.

But it’s not just their lack of customer service that bugs me. It’s that they already had this discussion three years ago and didn’t take any action even though Eline said he didn’t want to limit opportunities like the one Miscreation is aiming for!

The story clearly says there is no open container law in the borough. Unless that has changed (am I wrong?), the borough should have pointed that out to Miscreation and/or offered to work with them on the ins and outs of the existing laws so they don’t run afoul of the LCB.

So why didn’t Wednesday result in, “oh, we have talked about this in the past and here’s what you can do now and here’s what could happen with any possible ordinance and staff is happy to help you out”? If I remember this and can Google the facts in a few seconds, why the hell can’t the people who claim they have our best interests in mind do it?

Brian September 26, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

Weekend Fun Planned

I had a feeling as I looked through Facebook this week that this post – which I hope becomes a regular thing – would be jam-packed. Here are events of note for this weekend. Don’t forget to stop by local businesses in between attending these things for gifts, a great meal or just to show some love. If I missed an event, let me know, and I will add it.

Friday, August 1

  • You have three more chances to see the Acts of Kindness Theatre’s production of Tarzan at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 and are available online.
  • Snyder’s Pretzels is having a Customer Appreciation Sale from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the outlet on Route 116. 
  • There are three choices for music tonight:
    • Randy Z is playing the Bay City deck at 7 p.m.
    • Chasing the Day will play the Taste of Bourbon patio from 6-9 p.m.
    • Bluegrass comes to The Winner’s Circle Lounge with Still Hand playing at 10 p.m.

Saturday, August 2

  • El Rancho, a new restaurant at the old Dutch’s location at ELm and High streets, had a soft opening yesterday, but will have its Grand Opening on Saturday.
  • Timeline Arcade will have music beginning at 8 p.m. A $10 admission gets you free game play and a chance to see  Taneytown’s Hunson Abadeer and two Raleigh, N.C. bands – The Water Between and Six Shots Later.
  • Deep Six will play the Bay City deck at 7 p.m.
  • Off the Record on Elm Avenue will have an Open Mic from 8 to 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 3

  • Codorus Park Summer concert series is First Capitol Brass will play the Codorus Park Summer Concert Series at 7 p.m. at the bandshell. Bring a lawn chair. The York ensemble includes James Hoffman & Lynus Strayer (Trumpets), Jack Mackley (Horn), Jon Moyer (Trombone) and Adrian Strayer (Tuba), who play a wide range of music.

Brian August 1, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

What’s Your Weekend Plan?

This isn’t the busiest weekend in Hanover, but there are a few special events going on. There are also lots of great local businesses to support – get on out and see what Hanover ha sto offer!

  • The Winner’s Circle will host Steph Stewart and The Boyfriends from Chapel Hill, NC, tonight at 9 p.m.
  • “Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings” has two more shows at Hanover Little Theatre, tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $13 for students and seniors for this musical comedy.
  • Catch pro and amateur boxing at the Hanover National Guard Armory tonight at 7 p.m. There will be about eight bouts, including Gettysburg High School grad Terrance Williams.
  • The Hanover Area Arts Guild still has their $99 and Under show going on.
  • Catch the return of the Lyric Band to the Codorus State Park Summer Concert series on Sunday. The 7 p.m. concert at the bandshell will feature soloist Dr. Galen Leitzel on the Alto Saxophone. Bring your own lawn chair.

Brian July 18, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Game Over or Free Life?

I noticed something interesting when I looked at the agenda for tonight’s borough Finance and Personnel Committee meeting – a discussion on amendments to the Amusement Tax. So I Googled what that tax covered and saw that the owners of a “coin-operated amusement device” were to pay a $50 yearly tax. (Jukeboxes are a steal at $10 per year.) I immediately thought of Timeline Arcade and the newly-opened Bentzel Amusements. My worries were confirmed when Timeline owner Brandon Spencer chimed in on Facebook

The town wants to change the coin operated amusement device tax law. This would mean that any video or pinball game would be taxed even if it dosnt take money. This would also hurt gamestop and other video games stores. Any game would have to be taxed, even if you play on your cell phone

The wide-ranging ramifications never dawned on me, and I doubt the borough would ever even try to enforce it to that letter, but the reality is that the borough needs money, sees a successful business (or two) and wants to get that money from them.

Now, to be fair, the law was already on the books, and a place like Timeline (where you pay for how long you play and don’t actually put coins in the machine) is in kind of an unintentional grey area because their business model didn’t completely exist when the ordinance was created. I would hope that the amendment would be to create some wide-ranging look at how to assess some sort of tax without being onerous. I sincerely doubt it though.

We know the borough has fiscal issues, but this is not the way to go about trying to solve them. Changing a law and then going to someone who is trying to revitalize downtown and asking for money – if that is the case – really looks crappy. But then what doesn’t from council?

At the same time, they are looking at financing options for a ladder truck which will cost way more than the borough will ever get from Timeline. And let’s not even get into the boondoggle to buy the Tanger Building so that James Holmes Richard Lopez Fire Chief Jan Cromer can have a new office using funds the borough hopes to raise from the sale of other properties.

All this is piled on top of the absurd medical plan for staff that costs taxpayers untold sums and the addition of a Council Treasurer to take over work the old Council Treasurer apparently couldn’t handle (although the salary there hasn’t changed, has it?).

But, by all means, take the money from a local business instead of getting your own house in order. I can’t make it tonight most likely, but please go if you can and ask the borough to focus on bigger issues first. Of course, you won’t get much chance to speak because John Gerken and Brab Krebs really don’t care what we think.

Brian July 16, 2014 5 Comments Permalink

Pick Your Poison This Saturday

The newspaper had a Facebook post yesterday that invited readers to finish the sentence “I wish Hanover and Adams County had (blank).”

I found some of the comments amusing – especially the ones calling for a daily newspaper again – but some fell into a category that just made me roll my eyes. Some people either wanted things that just aren’t going to happen, at least anytime soon, like Wegman’s or asked for things that already existed.

I briefly fell into my default mode of complaining about the complainers (and may do more on that later), but then realized that I could put my time to better use. If you are sitting around wondering what Hanover doesn’t have, you are missing all the great things that Hanover does have. This Saturday is an amazing example. (And if I forgot anything, please let me know – I looked around to try and find everything.)

Main Street Hanover will have its annual Chalk It Up event on Center Square beginning at 10 a.m. If you’re not familiar with this, Chalk It Up provides folks with the chance to spruce up a piece of sidewalk around Center Square. This is for adults and kids alike, a simple activity that brings people downtown. There are roaming mascots and other activities, but the main purpose is just to come downtown and have fun.

William Michael Kirby, a Baltimore-based street painter, will join in the fun and provide an educational program at Guthrie Memorial Library-Hanover’s Public Library later in the day TODAY (Thursday) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

If you’re hungry at anytime, just slip down Frederick Street a little bit where the Hanover Lions Club will hold its annual Chicken BBQ. For $8, you get half a chicken, a baked potato, a roll and applesauce. The money goes to support local charities and vision programs. If you can’t make it downtown, there will be meals available at the south end of town by Auchey’s Greenhouse. We’ll be selling from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

After you check out the chalk art and grab a bite to eat, head on over to Hanover Middle School where the Hanover Rhinos football team will close out the regular season with a 2 p.m. game. It’s Kids Day for the Rhinos so there will be mascots and other fun surrounding the game. Admission is $5 for adults – kids 14 and under are free.

If you have already registered, the Hanover Athletic Boosters have their golf tournament at Hanover Country Club on Saturday as well.

Then you can rest up for the evening activities. You have two choices, just a stone’s throw from each other. Hanover Valley Presbyterian Church will have its first Open Mic night from 8-11pm at 133 Carlisle Street. They will have coffee and music for anyone interested in joining the fun. They plan on continuing Open Mic nights on the second Saturdays of the month.

Just an aside here, but there is a cool Open Mic culture seeming to grow downtown. Reader’s Café has one tomorrow night (Friday, May 9) and the Hanover Hub has had a bunch, but is on an events hiatus this summer. I haven’t been to any, but I know that they do well, especially with the younger crowd (who apparently has nothing to do if you read the people in the comments on the Facebook post which inspired this post, but I digress).

If an Open Mic is too quiet for your tastes, just head up the street to Timeline Arcade for their Back to the 80s event, which also begins at 8 p.m., but runs until 2 a.m. They will have a DJ and Taco Camino will have food for sale so you can eat, play games and dance all in one place. Tickets are $20, but get you unlimited gaming as well as all the entertainment. There is a discount if you were 80s clothes (oh, I wish I could still fit in my 80s clothes, but that’s another story for another day).

EDIT: There is also a Cabaret at Virgilio’s (on Elm Avenue) on Saturday starting at 8:30! A bunch of talented teens will perform. Tickets are  $5 and there is a $10 food cover. Call the restaurant at 630-9600 for reservations and ask for the cabaret.

And none of this even begins to discuss all the regular things available downtown – the Ron Schloyer Art Show at the Hanover Area Arts Guild, sales downtown for Second Saturday, including the Clark’s Shoe Warehouse Sale, and food at the Hub, the Famous, the Lucky Spot, Reader’s, Warehouse,  Texas Hot Lunch, etc., etc., etc. Plus South Western has its Prom on Saturday.

So my answer to the question the newspaper posed is the same here as it was there – for more people to take advantage of the things that already exist in Hanover and spend less time worrying about what we don’t have.

Sure, there is always room for more (except a bank – God forbid another bank open because that is apparently the worst thing ever, another story for another day again), but let’s not pretend that there is nothing to do. This Saturday is particularly packed, but if you look around hard enough, you will realize that you can easily complain about not being able to do everything instead of finding nothing to do.

Brian May 8, 2014 4 Comments Permalink

Odds and Ends

Things I have noticed around town over the past few weeks that bear mentioning. What do you see happening in Hanover?

  • The work in front of the Giant on Baltimore Street is an Advance Auto Parts. A little sign went up the other day. So they will go head-to-head with Auto Zone just a couple of doors down
  • Baltimore Street Family Restaurant, right next door, seems to be closing. There is a For Lease sign up that says the owner is retiring. Since that location has been one diner/restaurant or another for a long time now, I wouldn’t be surprised if a new one sprouted up.
  • A friend told me that a local microbrewery had moved into the old Moose building on Frederick Street right by the Clark’s store. Anyone have more info on that?
  • Speaking of Clark’s, the spring warehouse sale starts Thursday.
  • I saw a sign for a new Mexican market along High Street, near the Merchandiser building.


Brian April 29, 2014 9 Comments Permalink

Busy Weekend

This weekend has plenty of activities for pretty much everyone. Here are a few – share your others in the comments or on the LIH Facebook page.

  • Hanover High School presents ‘Dracula‘ in a special intimate setting with only 150-200 seats available for each performance.
  • The Hanover Area Historical Society will host a special Halloween event this weekend in conjunction with Emmanual UCC on Broadway. Ghost tours of Hanover will start at the Neas House on 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The tours, led by Richard Gladfelter,  will conclude at Emmanuel UCC for stories told by Henry McLin and ghostly music by Don Horneff on the organ (Friday and Saturday only). The event is free, but a donation of $5.00 per person is requested.
  • This weekend is the third anniversary for the Carriage House Market. Stop in for all kinds of great specials.
  • Timeline Arcade will have special fun for those who show up to play games in costume on Saturday.

What else is happening in Hanover?

Brian October 25, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

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