Bloomsburg Middle School Student Wins Writing Contest

Madeline Polhill, a seventh-grade student at Bloomsburg Middle School, won a writing contest sponsored by Scholastic Scope Magazine and had her first line selected as the first sentence for a short story.Scholastic Scope Magazine invited students to create a first line to a short story and submit it for review.

More than 5,000 entries were submitted to the contest. Madeline’s was selected by writer Roland Smith, author of more than 30 novels. He created a short story based on Madeline’s suggestion: “Peering through the window, I caught a glimpse of some piles of old Halloween costumes, three giant plastic flamingoes, and a life-sized sculpture of Napoleon Bonaparte.”

Madeline was also featured as the main character in the story that is published in May 14th edition of Scholastic Scope.

[box type=”shadow”]The full story featuring Madeline can be found and read here as a PDF on the Scholastic website.[/box]

The Latest Buzz from BTE: In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play

At the dawn of the age of electricity, Dr. Givings performs some experimental treatments. Dr. Givings’ wife, Catherine, will soon discover the “shocking” side-effects of her husband’s revolutionary gadget.

On Thursday, 3 May, The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble premieres their latest production: In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play.

At the dawn of the age of electricity, Dr. Givings performs some experimental treatments in his home office on Victorian women suffering from hysteria. Intrigued by what’s going on in the next room, Dr. Givings’ wife, Catherine, will soon discover the “shocking” side-effects of her husband’s revolutionary gadget. In this touching, bittersweet comedy by the author of The Clean House, take a peek at what happens when hysteria becomes hysterical.

“At our current time of vast technological advancement, when women’s health and bodies are so much in the national media discussions, this play asks us to examine the electrifying power of intimacy between two people,” states Director Cassandra Pisieczko in her Directors Notes on BTE’s website. “Meditations on marriage, motherhood, and the longing for personal satisfaction reverberate throughout this piece – as well as the desire to see, and be seen, for who we are as individuals … But underneath it all is a longing to connect, to know and be known on an intimate level – a longing to be not in the next room, but rather in communion with those we love.”

Written by Sarah Ruhl, the play features Anastasia Peterson as Mrs. Givings, Aaron White as Dr. Givings, Nina Edgerton as Sabrina Daldry, and Katherine Nora LeRoy as Elizabeth.

In the Next Room, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2010 offers an examination of sexual topics and is recommended for mature audiences only.

For all others, The Bloomsburg Daily suggests a distraction-free evening browsing the latest Brookstone catalog.

[box type=”shadow”]You may follow other related articles on BTE’s In the Next Room Tumblr Blog.

“Pay What You Wish” Night Thursday, May 3 at 7:30PM

Friday, May 4 at 7:30PM, Reduced Price Preview, $11/General Admission

Dates & Times:

May 3 – May 20, 2012

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7:30PM

Sundays at 3PM

Tickest my be purchased via the following means:

Online at

In Person at 226 Center Street, Downtown Bloomsburg

Over the phone: (570) 784-8181 or (800) 282-0283

Ticket Prices:

$11 Preview

$25 Adult

$20 Senior/Young Adult

$11 Student

$5 BU Student (with ID)[/box]

Photographs by TBD’s Bob Rush:

GC Hartman Students Raise Money for School

G. C. Hartman Elementary School, a part of the Southern Columbia School District, held its first Hartman Hustle today. Students from kindergarten through fourth grade went out and solicited donations in support of their school and then each grade had 15 mins on the High School track to run a far as they could.

The event raised over $8000 that will go into the HART organization, the parent teachers group, and will be used toward student activities.

Principal Joe Shiruinski ran with all four classes and the T-Shirt worn by the participants was designed by student Gina Gratti.

Photographs by The Bloomsburg Daily’s Bob Rush

Dodgeball Raises Money for Students in Need

“What’s better than Dodgeball? It’s the All-Star Sport of Gym Class!” Ben Eshelman laughs happily as he describes the go-to rainy-day sport of Phys-Ed teachers everywhere. For those that know Ben, a Personal Trainer at Bloom Health & Fitness on Old Berwick Road, his excitement is infectious but unsurprising.

“It’s something that’s fun, gets kids and families involved!” You can’t help but notice the energy. Ben’s words bounce, impossible to avoid. “It’s a ball. You dodge it.” He smiles at you as he lets his Zen-like oversimplification of a simple game sink in.

“Yes,” you think. “I get it. I was so wrong before. I dodge the ball. And I have fun.”

Then you remember why you’re here in the first place, this high school gym on a Saturday, and that too is Ben. He took the tragedy of a child and created an annual charity event for the benefit of students in need at Central Columbia.

Two years ago, after horrid bullying left a student severely injured at Central, Ben, who also volunteers as a coach in the Central Columbia School District, approached High School Principal Jeff Groshek about the possibility of a charity dodgeball tournament. The tournament of that first year was “more successful than we could ever have imagined,” said Mr. Groshek.

Last year, again wanting to raise money for students in need, Ben organized a second annual dodgeball tournament. With “no specific student in need,” said Mr. Groshek, there was a question of what to do with the money. Central’s solution was to use their Student Assistance Program (SAP), an eight-member group consisting of Mr. Groshek, guidance staff, and faculty at Central that meets twice a week to identify students with possible needs and lend assistance when possible. With the money raised from these annual tournaments the SAP has greater means to assist students than previously.

Money from the fund is not distributed directly. Rather the SAP members make purchases for the students to ensure that the money is used as intended. “This year we know of and targeted four students,” Mr. Groshek explained. “One is unable to purchase lunch and we help him to buy a healthy lunch. There are some who are less fortunate and now they are benefitting directly.”

Because of the dodgeball tournament, the publicity it provides, and the funds provided to Central’s SAP, the program has this year received an outside, unsolicited donation of $800. With that money and the expected revenue from this year’s tournament, plans are being made to continue the financial assistance aspect of the Student Assistance Program well into next year.

“It’s a ball. You dodge it,” says Ben, exited and understated as always. What cannot be understated is the impact that Ben’s simple idea and energy is having on the lives of students at Central Columbia.

[box type=”shadow”]The Bloom Health & Fitness 3rd Annual Dodgeball Tournament will be held this Saturday, 25 February, with team registration beginning at 9:30 AM at the Central Columbia High School Gym. Team Registration is $60 if registered before 24 February.

Registration forms can be downloaded here or obtained at Bloom Health & Fitness and mailed to:

Dodgeball Information Flyer

Dodgeball Tournament Rules

Dodgeball Waiver

Ben Eshelman

C/O Bloom Health and Fitness

1150 Old Berwick Road

Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Phone: 570-412-6643

Fax: 570-784-3610


Geffken Seeks Democratic Nomination for PA House

James Geffken, Berwick Area School District’s Director of Buildings and Grounds, announced recently that he will seek the Democratic Party nomination for State Representative in the 109th District.

Mr. Geffken, 38, a Sugarloaf Township native, is a 1992 graduate of Benton Area School District and a former Peace Corps volunteer, spending two years in Niger. He attended Penn State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Franklin Pierce University as well as a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.

While this is Mr. Geffken’s first attempt at political office, he feels that his employment with the Berwick Area School District affords him the necessary experience to represent Columbia County in the Pennsylvania House.

“To be successful on behalf of a school district, you have to write,” Geffken said. “Whether it is a request for proposal, a bid specification or a grant, one has to take the time to address problems, define solutions and create projects on paper first. Only then can things be quoted, bid, awarded and accomplished.”

Mr. Geffken also takes issue with what he sees as inactivity with Columbia County’s current representation.

“Our current representative seems content to vote on other people’s issues. We need someone who is willing to put in the time to draft documents and legislation that put our issues out there. The people of our region deserve that, and that is what I will do.”

Specifically, Mr. Geffken is concerned with State-funded education and the financing and operation of the Pennsylvania Legislature. “The State University System needs to be fully funded at a level that makes higher education financially accessible to everyone,” said Mr. Geffken. “Money should be redistributed, with the current high allocations to Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln cut back and given equally to the less funded institutions including the 109th’s own Bloomsburg University.”

Regarding campaign finance, Mr. Geffken belives that no candidate for should spend more than half of what that position pays as annual salary. “Anyone doing this is taking too much lobbyist money or does not understand basic math and financial sense.” Additionally he thinks that increasing the size of House districts, thereby decreasing the number of representatives would result in an estimated $10,000,000 savings for Pennsylvania annually.

Mr. Geffken met his wife Abbey in 2003. They have two children Gabriel, age 6, and Avery, age 4.

Mr. Geffken’s campaign can be contacted via his website at or by visiting his Facebook page.

Grandson of Mohandas Gandhi to Speak at BU

Activist, diversity speaker and spiritual leader Arun Gandhi will speak in Carver Hall of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Grandson of the legendary peace fighter and spiritual leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Arun Gandhi will discuss his grandfather’s legacy and their kinship.

Born in 1869, Mohandas K. Gandhi was considered the father of his country, India. As the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, Mohandas Gandhi protested against violence in hopes of achieving a political and social balance. His assassination in 1948 led to the country’s mourning.

Arun Gandhi, founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, renders a message of integrity, social harmony and peace. He follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, sharing these lessons around the world. His first book, “A Patch of White,” published in 1949, explains the prejudice filling South Africa. He wrote two more books on poverty and politics in India.

Arun Gandhi is inspired by his grandfather’s words, “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world.” At BU, he will speak on “Lessons Learned from my Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World.”

For more information on this event, which is open to the public free of charge, contact Madelyn Rodriguez, director of Multicultural Center, at

Render Unto Man

The PA House of Representatives passed H.R. 535, a resolution declaring 2012 the “Year of the Bible”. Derek Gittler argues this misuse of Civil Government is an Affront to, and a Violation of, the Conscience of every Christian, Non-Christian, and Non-Theist alike.

On 24 January the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously approved a “noncontroversial resolution” declaring 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania. In its brief twenty-eight lines H.R. 535 manages to pass off vague statement as historical fact, use undefined fear as a rallying cry, tug at the heartstrings of a pathetic patriotism, and provide overly simplistic solutions to self-suggested and non-existent problems. All in all, it is a masterpiece of modern government.

And it would be completely laughable if it were not also offensive to every Christian, every non-Christian, and every non-theist alike. In passing this resolution 193-0 nearly every member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has shown a complete lack of understanding of the absolute necessity for private matters of religion to be always and forever separate from any civil authority for religion’s and liberty’s sake.

This is not to say one’s religious sentiments may not inform a Representative’s character or influence their conscience. Those sentiments most certainly will. What the Representatives may not do is use the power of civil government to promote religion or a specific religion, but that is precisely what the House has done.

Much has been written about Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists, that famous letter which introduced the phrase “a wall of separation between Church & State” into our political discussion. But what of the Danbury Baptists? What of their initial letter? Why would a Christian denomination in a supposedly Christian nation write to the President for understanding and reassurance in the first place?

The authority of State and Federal power were delineated differently when the Danbury Baptists wrote their original letter in 1801. While the First Amendment of the United States Constitution prevented the Federal government from establishing a national religion, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that their own State of Connecticut was under no such constraint. They feared that the establishment of a State church in Connecticut would compromise their own liberty and personal safety. This was a very real fear considering that in their recent history their own State and neighboring Rhode Island were each founded to escape religious persecution in Christian Massachusetts.

The danger they saw, rightly so, was not in religion, but in the combination of religion and government and the power that combination holds. They feared those “who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men — should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order”. Those seeking power would use the cloak of religion, and the moral respect people naturally give it, to decry those with whom they disagree for their own political advantage. In this election year, the evening news is only too full of examples.

It is for the protection of religion, especially for any sect in minority, and for the protection of conscience that in these matters government must have no say and no authority, legal or moral. It is for your own religion’s sake that a separation must be jealously guarded from temporal governmental power.

In matters of private conscience, the Danbury Baptists saw these limits very clearly, that a government must have no voice, “… That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals … That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor …”

The resolution of the Pennsylvania House flies in the face of this principle, explicitly acknowledging “the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.”

“But what is wrong with this?” you may ask. “It doesn’t prevent others from worshiping as they choose.” The problem is not only protection from majority power. The problem is also that for those who do not believe as such, our convictions “we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen.”

Ultimately this resolution of the PA House of Representatives is ridiculous. No government authority can dictate the private conscience of any person. At best this is shallow politics, intended to consolidate power and position by conjuring some vague feeling of goodwill on the part of the people toward their elected Representatives with some mealy-mouthed, insincere appeal to their deepest, most private convictions. How insulting! At worst it shows the Representatives’ blatant disregard and contempt for the varied sources of morality of each individual, whether that person relies on spiritual revelation or daily experience.

Government has not the authority nor the power to determine the mind of the individual. Its only proper use is the protection of the person and property of each, limited in power such that the government itself is not a violator of those rights. That the Pennsylvania House of Representatives took it upon itself to issue H.R. 535 and declare 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” is a gross insult to the private convictions of every Pennsylvanian and every American.

The Christian scriptures instruct us to, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When our government learns that in matters of conscience they have no authority, that they have no right, that in these matters the Government must render unto man, we shall marvel at them.

Photograph by Wyoming_Jackrabbit. Used under a CreativeCommons license

Complete Transcript: Dan Knorr’s Speech Announcing Candidacy for PA Rep.

Good evening, everyone, and thank you so much for attending tonight. I have invited you all here – family, friends, colleagues, leaders of our community, and businesspeople – because I have a very special announcement.

For the past six years, I have been given the opportunity to lead the Town of Bloomsburg in a way few people have. In 2005, the people of this community – open-minded, hungry for a new direction – took a chance on a young man who thought he had the slightest idea of what he was getting into. I learned from some great mentors, I lost a friend when “Chip” Coffman passed away, and in 2007, I was entrusted with the position he had left behind, that of mayor. I cannot express to you how amazing, fun, challenging, exhausting, frustrating, and wonderful this opportunity has been. I have found myself stuck in the middle of heated neighbor disputes…and I have shaken hands with the third most powerful man in the United States government. I have cherished every day of these past six years.

By 2011, I thought I pretty much had it down. We had had two, consecutive surpluses, were investing in our parks and local businesses, and completed a comprehensive blueprint for the next decade. I had my share of parking complaints, of course, but that goes with the territory.

But in the fall of 2011, the lives of people across our region were upended in the flooding of Tropical Storm Lee. That flood spared my home, but it changed my life.

Politicians are often tempted to think we have power. We levy taxes, we enact laws, we settle disputes, and we grant permits. But in September of 2011, I was humbled by real power. There are no words for how helpless I felt when a third of the town I have a duty to protect and serve was covered, swiftly and silently, by our waterways. I was helpless as people were driven from their homes. I was helpless as people lost everything.

As the flood crested, I began to think about what would come next. What could I possibly say to give any hope to the community? How could I even think to inspire our town, or to get them back on their feet? It seemed an impossible thing. As it turns out, it was also unnecessary. As the waters receded, it was this community that inspired me.

I was inspired by the bravery of people who faced the destruction, shed their tears, and started mucking out. I was inspired by the legions of volunteers, residents and students, who selflessly helped their neighbors. I was inspired by organizations that we take for granted in better times – the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, AGAPE, and so many others. I was inspired by an entire county that, while deeply wounded, came together and built hope for the future.

That flood changed me. It changed how I see our community – its strength is far deeper than anyone could have imagined. It changed, for me, what it means to be a public servant; that we aren’t here just to answer the occasional complaint or to pose presenting checks but to harness and lead the incredible, positive potential of our communities and the lives that make them up.

It changed what my expectation is of our leaders. The people of this county are resilient, enduring, and hard-working. They deserve leaders who honor that by bringing their best to bear, as well. They deserve leaders who want more, who are energized, and who will not slack in their drive to make our county better. They deserve leaders who are not late in arriving to the call for action.

And that brings me back to tonight.

Today, we have a State Representative who is not giving his all. After 8 years, he has grown complacent, he has grown comfortable, and he has lost what little fight he started with. I have seen what the people of our county are capable of. They deserve better, and I’m here to say, it’s not good enough.

In 1995, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law granting automatic raises. The salary for a lawmaker at that time was $47,000. This year, it will top $80,000, an increase of over 74%. Over the same period of time, the state’s median household income has only seen a 40% increase. No votes are required for this raise, there is no discussion, no yes, no or abstention is heard. An automatic raise is given to lawmakers again and again and again regardless of performance and regardless of economic conditions. It’s not good enough. It’s not good enough to have a State Representative who makes a show of giving back some money while never making any serious attempt to repeal this ridiculous statute at the heart of the problem. We need a State Representative who will not rest until the exponential growth in legislative pay is halted and, once more, accountable to a vote. We need a State Representative who isn’t afraid to stand on the floor of the House and tell his colleagues that they are being greedy and that they are wrong.

At 9.9% on every single dollar earned, Pennsylvania’s corporate tax income rate is the highest – not close to the highest, not in the top five, but the very highest – in the nation. We are not competitive with other states. We are not attracting opportunity or encouraging investment, and we are losing people to other parts of the country that are. It’s not good enough. It’s not good enough to have a State Representative who is not actively seeking ways to increase Pennsylvania’s competitive advantage. We need a State Representative who will fight to bring our taxes in line with those of other states so that we can have a future that is not held back by the government and not stunted by a regressive level of taxation. We need a State Representative who recognizes that being first in the nation in prosperity is not compatible with being first in the nation in taxes.

Columbia County’s largest employer is Bloomsburg University. The continued health of the State System of Higher Education is central to our local economy and a lynchpin to our success. Yet despite this importance, there exists no legislative caucus for representatives of host districts. It’s not good enough. It’s not good enough to have a State Representative who is not working, cooperating and coordinating with other PASSHE representatives on our common interests. We need a State Representative who is willing to go that extra mile, to reach out and build these necessary partnerships, who knows that we can’t go it alone. We need a State Representative who knows how to build relationships and is willing and able to find consensus.

The Marcellus Shale formation, and the ability to successfully extract natural gas from it, has rightly been described as an economic game-changer. With it, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to be a serious provider of this precious resource that we use in our homes, in our businesses, and for electricity generation. But we have to be careful, and we have to be smart. The environmental ruins of our state’s coal heyday are all around us. The companies, the industry and the wealth are gone, but our mistakes are with us still. This history cannot be allowed to hold us back, but we do have to learn from it. But our State Representative is ignoring those lessons, and it’s not good enough. We need a State Representative who will fight for measures like financial bonding that would actually cover the true potential costs of plugging, reclaiming, cleaning up and restoring gas drilling sites. We need a State Representative who will make sure that Pennsylvania taxpayers reap the benefits of this resource and not just the unmitigated costs. We need a State Representative who understands that the opportunities of the present need not require the sacrificing of our future.

These are just a few examples, but they speak to what is a larger problem. Our State Representative is coasting. In 8 years he hasn’t authored a single piece of notable legislation. He’s collecting his salary, he’s staying safe, he’s keeping his sword clean, and he’s not rocking the boat. Moving inexorably and with the utmost care toward his pension, the status quo is his friend.

But my friends, it’s not good enough. You deserve energy, you deserve passion, and you deserve effort. You deserve better representation!

So tonight, I am here to tell State Representative Millard that it’s just not good enough. Tonight, with my friends and family around me, I am announcing my candidacy for State Representative of the 109th Legislative District.

In the weeks and months to come, this campaign will be taken to every corner of our district, partnering with citizens and organizations throughout Columbia County, reaching voters with our message that they deserve better, more vigorous representation, and that there is an alternative. We don’t have to settle. Our district can have a representative who leads on the issues that matter to us, a representative who wants to do more than just show up, and a representative with a proven track record of fiscal conservatism, open and fair government, and a willingness to find common ground.

I want to be that representative, and I am so excited to be embarking on this experience. But I cannot do it alone, and even if I could, I wouldn’t want to do it alone. I would love to have you all be a part of this. So tonight, please feel free to stay to enjoy some wine and company, and before you leave, let us know how you would like to participate in this effort. If you would, take a moment to see John Karas, our Finance Director, to fill out a campaign support form. It’s very straight-forward, and it will let us know who you are and how you would like to be included. Maybe you’re able to participate through volunteering your time – there’s a box to check for that. There are also boxes for levels of financial participation if you’re able. Or perhaps you’re willing to have a sign placed in your yard – there’s a box for that, too. There are several ways to be a part of this, and we’re going to need them all.

So finally, let me again thank you so much for taking the time to come this evening. It absolutely means the world to me. I truly believe that we can change this district and this state for the better, and I hope you’re looking forward to doing so as much as I am.

Thank you!

Mayor Knorr Declares PA State Rep Candidacy; Criticizes Rep Millard as “Complacent”

Last night, among a group of forty-five to fifty family members, friends, and supporters, Bloomsburg Mayor Dan Knorr announced his intent to stand for election and represent Columbia County and the 109th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Speaking at Balzano’s Corner Gathering in Bloomsburg, Mayor Knorr spoke of his experience as a Bloomsburg Town Council Member, as Mayor, and the events and reflections that led him to declare his candidacy for State Representative.

“In 2005 the people of this community … took a chance on a young man who thought he had the slightest idea of what he was getting into,” said Mayor Knorr of his past experiences. “I learned from some great mentors. … By 2011 I thought I pretty much had it down. [Bloomsburg] had two consecutive surpluses … and [we] completed a comprehensive blueprint for the next decade.”

Past accomplishments, however, were not the focus of Mayor Knorr’s decision to run for State Representative. Instead he reflected on the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm Lee and how the community’s reaction affected him. “But in the fall of 2011 the lives of people across our region were upended in the flooding of Tropical Storm Lee. That flood spared my home, but it changed my life.”

“It changed how I see our community – its strength is far deeper than anyone could have imagined. It changed, for me, what it means to be a public servant; that we aren’t here just to answer the occasional complaint or to pose presenting checks but to harness and lead the incredible, positive potential of our communities and the lives that make them up.”

Continuing with this theme, Mayor Knorr reserved harsh criticism for Mr. David Millard, the current PA Representative for the 109th District and Columbia County. “Today, we have a State Representative who is not giving his all. After 8 years, he has grown complacent, he has grown comfortable, and he has lost what little fight he started with.”

In his candidacy speech, Mayor Knorr cited several areas in which he sees Representative Millard as not adequately representing Columbia County, including salaries for elected representatives, high corporate tax rates which Mayor Knorr blames for holding back economic growth, a lack of partnership among the State Representatives and their communities which host the Universities of the PA State System of Higher Education, and responsibly developing the natural gas resources of the Marcellus Shale formation.

“In 8 years he hasn’t authored a single piece of notable legislation,” said Mayor Knorr of Rep. Millard. “He’s collecting his salary, he’s staying safe, he’s keeping his sword clean, and he’s not rocking the boat. Moving inexorably and with the utmost care toward his pension, the status quo is his friend.”

After making his prepared remarks, Mayor Knorr spoke with members of the local media including the Press Enterprise, WHLM, and The Bloomsburg Daily. At that time Mayor Knorr was asked about what impact he thought he would have as a Freshman Representative as opposed to Rep. Millard who has the experience of serving Columbia County for eight years. “When you’re in a political position, you are your own boss,” said Mayor Knorr continuing his theme of active representation. “If you really want to push the envelope you can do a lot. If you want to sit back, not be controversial, you can do that. It is up to the individual how active you want to be. You have to choose to be active. Rep. Millard is not choosing to be active.”

[box type=”shadow”]A complete transcript of Mayor Knorr’s speech and candidacy announcement can be found here.[/box]

Bloomsburg High School Drama Prepares “Beauty” for Caldwell

As 2012 begins, the Bloomsburg High School Drama department is once again beginning preparations for its Spring Musical.

As 2012 begins, the Bloomsburg High School Drama department is once again beginning preparations for its Spring Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The March production however, in addition to maintaining the high standards for which the students are well-known,faces additional challenges this year. The September 2011 flooding caused extensive damage to the high school’s auditorium. All 705 seats were lost along with all the flooring. The school district is in the process of cleaning and repairing the auditorium, but unfortunately due to the time needed for set construction and rehearsal, repairs to the facility will not be completed early enough for the drama department to present their production in their traditional home.

All the world might be a stage, but Bloomsburg High School Drama needed a place to perform. After much discussion and planning Assistant Director Kate Levan reported that the students have found a welcoming, if temporary home. “This year the Bloomsburg High School Drama Department will host our spring musical at the Caldwell Consistory,” said Mrs. Levan. “For those of you that just know it was the large building near our beautiful fountain, let me enlighten you. The Caldwell is a massive square footage piece of Bloomsburg history that encompasses a 600 seat auditorium complete with stage and lights.”

“With the total support and enthusiasm from the men of the Caldwell as well as the Superintendent of Bloomsburg School District, we are in full planning for our March presentation of Beauty and the Beast. This timeless tale of love will come to life in the setting of Caldwell, which I think is a perfect venue.”

Caldwell Consistory Theater
Caldwell Consistory Theater

Unfortunately this change of location does come at additional cost to the drama department, specifically the rental of Caldwell’s facilities. “We are looking for support from our community as well. We are forever grateful for what our community has given to us in the past and are hoping for that same showing of help for this year’s production,” said Mrs. Levan. “Mainly we would love to cover our rental cost for Caldwell, which is very reasonable for the amount of time we will be calling their space our home.”

“As we strive for our usual standard of top quality musical productions, our student cast of 75 is excited and ready to perform for their town and outlining areas. Many of our own students have endured their own loss in some way with the flood, but they are ready to come together as a cast and classmates to entertain our community.”

The production is planned for Thursday through Friday, March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, with a “Beast Feast” dinner in character planned before the Friday evening show and Saturday matinee.

The production of Beauty and the Beast will be directed by Tim Latsha.

Ticket Prices are being determined and will be released soon. Look for news and updates here in The Bloomsburg Daily as preparations move forward.

[box type=”shadow”]If you would like further information on how to make a donation, or how you can help please contact Assistant Director Kate Levan at 570-784-1151, or by email at[/box]