Friday, April 25, 2014

Two upcoming 5K races: Running for more than fitness

In the running community, you can find people who are running just to stay fit, and they enter races to challenge themselves. Others enter because they can raise funds for worthy organizations. Next month, you have the chance to combine fitness and benevolence and help the Elizabethtown Rotary Club and Hope Community Church's Arm of Hope that helps youths living in the slums in Ghana.

E-town Rotary Club's Mother's Day Run

Course for Mother's Day Run
The Rotary Club is holding its Mother's Day Run at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 11 (Mother's Day, if you hadn't figured that out!). The race will be held on the roads of Masonic Village, where I personally enjoy running because of the limited traffic and the great scenery. By the way, some races market themselves as "fast and flat." Having run many miles at Masonic Village, I can assure you it's not flat, but that should not deter you from running. Take on the hills for the challenge. Use them as a metaphor -- by contributing to the Rotary and running the race, you are helping to others in the community up and over their own hills.

Information is available at the link above, or you can register (online or by downloading a paper application) through Applied Race Management's race page.

Arm of Hope 5K

Hope Community Church in Rheems is holding its inaugural Arm of Hope 5K run at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 24. The proceeds of this race benefit the Arm of Hope Ministry. According to race information, "this ministry provides education to the children of the slums of Ghana West Africa and introduces them to the love of Jesus."

I haven't found a map for this race, but organizers say it's run on a flat course. If you're not up for the hills at Masonic Village, or if you're looking to clock a fast time in a 5K, this might be your race.

You can register for this race online through Applied Race Management's race page.


As I've mentioned before, I've used Elizabethtown's streets and sidewalks to run for the past two years. It seems that the training has caught up with me recently -- I have a pinched sciatic nerve, so as much as I want to run in both of these races I'm not sure I'll be able to. We'll have to see what another visit or two to the chirpractor does.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Artist looks forward to first time at Arts in the Park

Photo courtesy of Arts in the Park
As I noted recently, Arts in the Park is coming up May 10. Rather than just write about the event itself again, I contacted one of the artists to get his perspective.

After having worked in the corporate world for 35 years, Bob Cappelluti now owns and operates Riverbottom Pottery in Harrisburg.

In an email, he said this will be his first year exhibiting at Arts in the Park. Although he's heard that it's a small event, he's also heard that it's it has "folks that really appreciate original artwork from local artists."

From my perspective, that's a really nice compliment about us here in Elizabethtown.

He said he sees regular customers as part of the art show circuit, and he's hoping to add Arts in the Park to that circuit.

Bob Cappelluti
of Riverbottom  Pottery
Cappelluti's calls Riverbottom "a multifunctional pottery studio. We teach classes in wheel throwing, hand building and sculpture. We lease studio space to pottery artists that are looking for a studio to continue their work, we are also the only central PA distributor of all pottery supplies and equipment and we also feature a gallery/gift shop with original artwork and crafts from local artists."

On his website, he says he has "dabbled in charcoals, oils, sculpture and various other media. But it wasn’t until I started working with clay that I found a deep sense of satisfaction. Once you master the fundamentals, the rhythm of the wheel, the transformation of the clay from a nondescript hump, into a piece of art or functional pottery, you develop a sense of pride that cannot be measured. When you understand the clay enough to make it do what you want, rather than letting the clay drive the day, you can express yourself in your pieces, which makes it truly unique and personal."

Cappelluti describes his work as "simple, functional and reasonably priced so that everyone can enjoy. The real sense of accomplishment comes when someone admires your work enough to bring it into their home or share it with a friend or relative as a one of a kind gift."

If you make it to Arts in the Park, make sure to visit Riverbottom, or any of the other artists. A complete list of exhibitors on the Arts in the Park website.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Millstones unearthed, and Elizabethtown turns them into a plaza

A few years ago, when the borough was building the new bridge and the new section of Bainbridge Street, the excavation turned up some millstones at the site.

Rather than discard them, the borough decided to incorporate them into the design of the intersection. It really turned into a nice spot for downtown.

Because they were an unexpected discovery, the borough didn't have any money  budgeted to add any historical information about the millstones. This year, that finally happened -- along with the borough's receiving a Lancaster County Urban Enhancement Fund grant awarded by the Lancaster County Commissioners and Lancaster County Planning Commission. The plaza was designed by Derck & Edson Associates.

And thanks to Jeff Kinsey, who is the borough's assistant director of public works, and his dad, Robert, historical markers have been prepared.

The Kinseys spent their free time researching the millstones and the mill that was on the site. They worked with local historians Patsy and Lloyd Reed and Nancy Groff to research and compile the history of the grist mill that once stood there. Patsy Kline also provided a graphic depiction of a typical grist mill of the era.

At 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, the borough will hold a ceremony to acknowledge the completion of Millstone Plaza, including the construction of decorative walls and pavers, display of unearthed mill stones, and most recently, the installation of interpretive history signage. The public is invited to attend the ceremony. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MoviE-town's new owner makes significant upgrades in theaters, property

Photo courtesy of
Last December, Room One Corp., which owns the Cocoaplex Cinemas in Hershey, placed the winning bid in an auction for MoviE-town. For $1.325 million, Room One bought a seven screen theater that was sorely in need of maintenance and upgrades. This included interior and exterior painting, paving the parking lot, repairs to light poles and upgrading the projection of movies to all digital.

It was a year before that one of my Twitter followers tipped me off that MoviE-town was for sale for $2.2 million.

In coverage of the auction, LancasterOnline reported that Room One bought MoviE-town from Metro Bank, which had foreclosed on the theater in 2013.

Just last week, I saw an announcement on the marquee that all of the screens have been upgraded to digital projection. So I contacted Heather Sweeney, the operations manager for The Town's Theaters, which is the management subsidiary for Room One. She agreed that the digital upgrades, and other investments, ensure movies will be shown at MoviE-town for a long time. There will be a grand reopening for VIPs by invitation only on May 10. 

Sweeney graciously answered some questions about the upgrades.

Chronicling Elizabethtown: What are your plans for showing movies in Elizabethtown?
Heather Sweeney: We plan to continue to show the most recent films available to the market. With an additional 7 screens added to our family, hopefully we will be able to see more film that is sometimes released on a limited basis or only to megaplexes of 14 or more screens. All screens are now in a crisp, defining digital HD presentation.

Why make the commitment to theaters that in some cases compete with Cocoaplex?
The Town’s Theatres is committed to the family based community. Elizabethtown is a small family based town that doesn’t currently offer too much recreationally and we are dedicated to keep their current movie theater alive and ready to serve the public.

I know there's a move in the industry to switch to digital projection at theaters. What are the benefits? Any downsides (except for the investment to switch)?
Some benefits include less maintenance, lower electric costs, lower payroll costs, lower shipping costs and a clear, crisp picture every show. 35mm film would often have issues that may have decreased the presentation quality for the rest of the film's run. Downsides, in my opinion, would be that managers like myself that projected 35mm film for 18 years miss the interaction with the booth equipment. The cost is extremely high to convert to digital as well. When you require parts for digital they often need to be made to order and are more expensive than 35mm parts. Projector bulbs need to be changed more frequently and cost $800 each.

What differences will movie audiences notice with digital projection?
Clear, crisp, defined presentation every time. Digital sound that utilizes every speaker in the auditorium, every show.

Have all of Movi-E-town's theaters been upgraded to digital projection?
Yes. Even the pre-show intermission ads are a digital presentation.

What other upgrades are you making in Elizabethtown? (Personally, I hope you pave the parking lot.)
Renovation items include: parking lot paved and lined, interior and exterior paint, roof repairs, seat and carpet cleaning, concession stand upgrades, additional games in the arcade, a new digital marquee.