Holly Fletcher

One of our employees was pulled over Tuesday night by town police. She was told that her license plate was “dead.” This law-abiding citizen had recently bought the car she was driving and had decided to keep her original license plate. She had all of her paperwork, including up-to-date registration, but was still found at fault. The officer, who was being nice and only gave her a warning, said he could have given her a fine, taken the plate off her car right then and there, and had her towed. Ouch.

So, how does a license plate suddenly become dead and how does the car owner not know it’s dead? After calling PennDOT, she was told that her plate is among some of the older registration plates that are being systematically replaced. According to information she found online, among these are passenger plates that start with the tag configuration D, E, F and truck plates that start with Y. But don’t worry, her new plate is “in the mail” and she’ll be receiving it “soon.” She was told that her plate was marked inactive (“dead”) by PennDOT’s computer on Monday. And she just had the rotten luck of being pulled over by police on Tuesday, for no other reason than her plate was expired.

Did PennDOT send out a letter, alerting motorists that they could potentially be driving with defunct plates? Or issue a memo to law enforcement to let them know that certain plates were being reissued? Or tell car dealerships to inform car buyers to just get a whole new plate and avoid getting pulled over by the cops? More importantly, why was it marked as a “dead tag” before her new plate was even issued?

As of this writing, she cannot drive her vehicle – the vehicle she’s had for only a month – the vehicle she is lawfully paying insurance on – the vehicle she is making car payments on – the one that is sitting in her driveway until her new plate arrives.

Friday afternoon update: She got her new plate! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check my license plate ...

Jim Hale

If you are in front of me at a four-way stop with no other vehicles present, please do not pull out and then stop for no reason.

A timid driver did that to me the other day on High Street in Gettysburg. How timid was this driver? After beginning to pull out, he or she stopped twice before finally mustering the courage to cross Washington Street.

When you pretend to start and then suddenly stop, you create the danger that I will hit you from behind. If that happens, it will be utterly and absolutely your fault.

Even if I don’t hit you, you will have made me slam on my brakes and just about suffer a heart attack.

And don’t get me going about drivers who simply fail to understand how a four-way stop works. It’s not hard. Go in the same order as you stopped. If there’s a tie, right-of-way goes to the vehicle on the right.

And when multiple vehicles are present, do not wave at people to tell them to go ahead of you unless you have a good reason. Ignoring the rules causes confusion. Your excessive politeness is dangerous. Good driving is all about being predictable.

Never, ever surprise your fellow motorists, especially by stopping pointlessly after you’ve already pulled away from a stop sign.

Learn. To. Drive.

Hannah Pollock

Late June is the beginning of the off-season for the NHL. It’s been a long season of competition, drama and great hockey since the home openers back in October. This season was not so great for my Flyers, but management has made coaching staff and player changes that I think will benefit Philly greatly in next year’s playoff race.

A couple weeks ago, the St. Louis Blues became this year’s Stanley Cup Champions, marking the official end of the hockey season.

As a hockey fan, the off-season is rough.

There’s no games to watch and basically all we have to hold us over until next season is the draft and development and training camps for our favorite teams. The Philadelphia Flyers’ Development Camp started recently, so this Philly fan has something to watch.

One of the interesting storylines coming out of camp this past week is the invitation of Carson Briere, son of beloved former Philly center Danny Briere.

Briere told reporters he had nothing to do with his son’s invitation on Wednesday, “It was out of the blue, I didn’t expect it.”

Needless to say, the name “Briere” brings smiles to the faces of Flyers fans. It’s exciting to see what the next generation could bring to the game.

No matter how camp turns out for the young Briere, this Flyers fan is glad to see that name back in the orange and black.

Charles Stangor

I’m marking a personal anniversary this week: I’ve been writing in Saturday’s Reporter’s Notebook section for a year. I barely missed a week, which means I’ve done about 50.

The writing has been fun for me. It’s given me an opportunity to think about myself, to think about my community, and to interact with a lot of people.

I’ve tried to mix it up a bit – science, literature, music, local concerns, and some politics. Well, you name it, I guess it’s all on the table for me.

I’ve tried various writing styles (well at least to me they seem to be varied). Some have seemed more, and some less successful.

I’ve tried to keep a positive tone, even when things are bugging me.

I’ve done many I’m personally happy about, but nothing pleases me more than comments from my friends and neighbors.

To me, the reporter’s notebook is a great format. I enjoy writing shorter pieces. I edit and cut a lot, and when I’m finished about half of what I started with is gone. That’s still enough for a notebook.

Many thanks to the Gettysburg Times for providing us reporters the opportunity to regularly share our thoughts with you.

I’m pretty worried I won’t be able to keep coming up with new ideas, but I’m going to try.

I guess we’ll see where we are in June 2020.

Thanks again to the all of the Times’ readers – you make the paper possible.

Michael Cooper-White

In the course of my career I was involved in the closure or consolidation of a half-dozen organizations. Saying a final goodbye to a cherished entity that has served hundreds or thousands of people over many years is sad and painful.

Given that personal experience, I have great empathy for all those who faced the recent reality that a critical local entity called Survivors can no longer survive.

The need for providing support and services to victims of sexual and domestic violence is greater than ever. It’s been reassuring to see news reports that agencies in neighboring communities will carry on Survivors’ work until more permanent solutions can be put in place.

But there’s a real loss in Survivors’ inability to continue. Clients served, many of them reeling from trauma, will have to adjust to new conditions and care-providers. Faithful, hard-working staff members wonder where their paychecks will come from in the months ahead.

Board members and other volunteers who gave heart and soul to a cause they care about deeply may wonder if they could have done more to save the organization. Harsh criticisms may be heard, often from groups or individuals who don’t have complete information.

As when a person dies, an organization’s demise can be met with a variety of responses. We can wallow in anger, sadness and grief—all appropriate and natural emotions. Fingers can be pointed at those deemed responsible.

But the legacy of a beloved entity will best be preserved, and a pathway to a healthy future created if there’s widespread gratitude for all that was accomplished during its life.

So, I say a profound “thank you” to all those who invested themselves in the work and witness of Survivors over the years. Thank you for caring especially for vulnerable women and children, sometimes at personal risk and often at personal sacrifice.

Moving forward, we must all work together to ensure that victims and survivors of abuse and violence can survive and ultimately thrive in the years ahead.

Alex J. Hayes

Finding quiet is often difficult for me. I live a busy life. I love my life but every few weeks, I just need a couple of hours to chill. Reading is a great way to relax, although I have been working on David Itzkoff’s biography of Robin Williams for more than a year. Most of my reading is done by listening to audio books while mowing the lawn, walking the dogs or driving.

Last week, I was at my brother’s camp with my wonderful nieces. There were also five other children there, making a total of seven. All very well-behaved children, just not quiet children. That’s OK, children are not meant to be quiet — they should run, play and laugh.

Still, adults need quiet. So I drove to a bar. Usually not where someone goes for respite, but Union County is not a populous place. I sipped on two Miller Lites and read a few chapters about the comic legend’s complicated life.

It was great, and I was fully recharged for many more hours of playing cards and other forms of fun with the young ones.

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