Jill Bartoli saw the need firsthand as a volunteer donating her time at an overnight shelter in the Carlisle area.
The Carlisle resident remembers the mother who tried to comfort a child who was crying because he had a cold.
“The woman was walking the floor until after midnight,” said Bartoli, recalling how hard it was for most anyone to sleep camping out in the host church.
“There are people caught up in the flood of homelessness,” she said. “NOAH has an ark that can help them.”
Short for New Options for Affordable Housing, NOAH is a coalition of Carlisle area residents who are determined to not only move the homeless into housing, but to connect them with a network of services that help the needy achieve personal independence.
NOAH volunteers will be on street corners in downtown Carlisle and in local shopping centers from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday. They will be trying to raise awareness of the plight of homelessness in the community.
Part of their mission is to raise money to buy and rehabilitate apartment units to house the homeless. NOAH also could use donations to build a fund to head off emergency situations and pending evictions.
“Homelessness is like a downward spiral,” Bartoli said. “Everything keeps going wrong. Once you are caught up in it, it takes a lot of support from a lot of people from different areas to build you back up again.”
The coalition started about a year ago as a group of residents concerned that, while homelessness has decreased across much of the nation, it was on the rise in Pennsylvania. Homeless people are drawn to the Carlisle area because of its role as the Cumberland County seat and the accessibility to social service agencies.
Informal meetings and recruitment efforts last fall led to a community forum in early November on how to mitigate homelessness in Carlisle. Since then, NOAH has incorporated into a charitable organization with a board of directors. Paperwork has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain nonprofit status so that donations to NOAH could be written off as tax-deductible.
NOAH organizers have developed a mission statement and an approach strategy to help the most vulnerable obtain sustainable, permanent housing and independent living. To accomplish this goal, the group has formed teams of volunteers who will serve as mentors and workers lending their advice and expertise toward helping the homeless.
There are teams specializing in health care, legal issues, nutrition and healthy living, child care and early childhood education and transportation and car maintenance. Those interested in volunteering can visit the NOAH website at www.NOAHCarlislePA.org or email either co-chair at Jillsundaybartoli@gmail.com or PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.
“There are not enough ways to get people off the street,” said Carlisle resident Pat LaMarche, an advocate for the homeless. “Our goal is to help the people nobody else can help.”
While there are programs for the needy, there are people who don’t fit within the classifications to receive federal assistance, LaMarche said. The low-wage working poor with bad credit and seniors on minimal Social Security may get on a waiting list for public housing, but are unlikely to get off that list, she said.
In allocating services, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development assigns every person who applies for public housing a level of vulnerability depending on their circumstances. A mother whose child has a learning disability is deemed more vulnerable than a single male or female who is healthy, but lacks the education or training for a higher paying job.
Aside from the working poor, homeless people include women with children fleeing domestic abuse and violence and military veterans and their families at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicide.
In Carlisle, more than 200 people are in homeless shelter programs while another 50 to 70 are sheltered overnight in local churches by Carlisle CARES. Each month, a different church provides floors, and the average stay per individual is four to eight months.
“It’s wonderful the churches are providing some shelter,” Bartoli said. “It’s certainly better than being out in a tent or worse, but it’s not a home. A home is a fundamental basic human need.”
Already NOAH members are engaged in the mission. Realtor Alex Manning of Camp Hill has donated two apartments to homeless veterans and their families. Other members have been gathering up household goods from sales and discarded furniture salvaged from the curbside to channel to Stacie Martins, a caseworker with the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities.
One goal of NOAH is to ease the burden on front-line homeless shelters and caregivers. Martins has a heavy caseload of people to place into public housing and to provide sustainable help.
Craft beer is booming.
The 205 breweries in Pennsylvania produced more than 3.9 million barrels of craft beer in 2016, according to the Brewers Association. Or, to think of it another way, every Pennsylvanian over the age of 21 would have 12.9 gallons of craft beer at their disposal last year.
The boom that put the state first in the nation in beer production has been mirrored in recent years in Carlisle. A decade ago, one brewer existed in the borough.
By mid-2018, the borough will be host to five craft breweries and one urban cidery.
When Market Cross Pub opened in 1994, it took a little convincing for people to try craft beer and imports.
“When we first started here, craft beer and imports were not cool yet. So, we were kind of the new guys in Central PA to bring them,” said owner Ashleigh Goss Corby.
Back then, the pub was owned by Corby’s parents, Jeff and JoAnne Goss. The couple turned to Carlisle’s sister city in England — named Carlisle, naturally — to find a theme and a name for their restaurant. In the center of the city across the pond, there’s a square called Market Cross Square that historically had been a gathering place. Its namesake pub has worked to be the same sort of gathering place here in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
“It was only fitting to create a replica, in a sense of atmosphere, to what our sister city of Carlisle, England, has,” Corby said.
The brewery connection started in 1999 when Market Cross contracted with Whitetail Brewing Co. in York. An open fermentation system brought over from England in 1933 was installed in a garage out back of the restaurant, bringing to life another part of the Goss’ dream for their pub.
“My father and mother knew that they wanted to have a brewery here from the beginning whenever we opened the English pub. We just needed the space for it,” Corby said.
Ultimately, Whitetail Brewing failed. Out of that failure, Market Cross had the opportunity to buy out the equipment and start Market Cross Brewing in 2002, more than a full decade before the next microbrewery would come on the scene in town.
In September 2014, an old garage became the unlikely setting for a new entry on the microbrew scene when Molly Pitcher Brewing brought a revolutionary theme to its new taproom.
“Being a Carlisle brewery with Molly Pitcher being such a renowned Carlisle heroine, it really was a good fit,” said Mike Moll, operations manager at Molly Pitcher Brewing. “It was totally coincidental that we ended up beside the cemetery. We just found a space that was available, and it just happened to be right next door.”
Next door is 10 E. South St. On warm days, the garage door is open, offering a glimpse of an often busy taproom and brewing tanks to passersby.
Moll met co-founder Zach Ziegler in 2013 through a mutual friend who owned a restaurant and was interested in brewing beer. That opportunity fizzled out, but Moll and Ziegler took the ball and ran with it.
Four years later, Moll and his co-partners, Brandon Bear and brewer Tim Fourlas, are working on moving the taproom to a new location and expanding the brewing capacity at its current location.
“We came to market pretty fast as far as getting a small business up and running, and our success has come a lot faster than we expected it,” Moll said. “Our business plan never put us this far ahead of the game in three years of being open.”
Moving to a new location addresses some of the limitations of the current taproom, like its finicky air conditioning and single bathroom, while keeping the taproom’s identity and the vibe to which its core customers have become accustomed. Moll is confident the new Molly Pitcher digs will match or exceed what they have now.
“We’ve learned a lot as we’ve grown over the three years as well to know what to take with us and what to leave behind,” he said.
The new location is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018.
Across town, Matt and Susan Dunn have taken their visual identity from a later period in American history, though the origins of the name Desperate Times hit much closer to home.
“The actual meaning behind Desperate Times came from 2008 when we lived in Florida, and Matt lost his job due to the downturn in the economy,” Susan said. “He was in land development. We had to move, and, for us, it was desperate times.”
A graphic artist added the prohibition-era look that has become the trademark of the brewery.
The Dunns put more than six years of planning and education into the preparation for opening of their brewery at an old John Deere dealership next to the Carlisle Fairgrounds in November 2016.
Matt added onto skills developed while home-brewing with classes at the Siebel Institute in Chicago as well as at the American Brewer’s Guild in Vermont. A beer industry consultant helped the couple with their business plan, and the concept of a brewhouse was born.
It’s hard to imagine how Desperate Times might have worked out if it had moved into the location it had originally pursued.
“We had a developer for two years who was going to buy the Tyco building right down the road, and he pulled out about a week prior to closing. So he called Bill Miller Sr. from Carlisle Events and asked him if he knew anybody, and that’s how we got this building,” Susan said.
Somewhere between the three established breweries in the borough and the two establishments planning to enter the market in the near future is Rhone Brew Company at 419 E. High St.
Owner Jeremy Rhone started as an amateur winemaker and, two years later, decided to try brewing beer. The hobby quickly grew into something bigger, and, in May 2016, he opened a store offering supplies for homebrewers, winemakers and smaller breweries.
“The store also offers the area’s only brew-on-premises station, which is where the customer can book an appointment to come in and run our brew on premises system in the back so they can make their own beer,” Rhone said.
A taproom is planned for the site, but that project is behind schedule. In the meantime, Rhone has been building a following for about two years on social media and in person by attending beer festivals and participating in nonprofit events and fundraisers with his own specialty brews.
A look at their Facebook page shows just how busy Rhone and company have been at fundraisers for veterans, the Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties and Project SHARE, among others. Facebook is also the primary way he keeps people up to date on the construction of the taproom. That kind of exposure is key to being successful when the taproom does open, and it helps Rhone zero in on the beers that are most popular among his fans.
“We have people that constantly stop in here because they are hoping the taproom is open,” Rhone said. “They have heard people talk about our beers. We have people that follow us to the different events that we go to in order to get our beers.”
As 2017 enters its last quarter, craft beer connoisseurs will have two more options in town, one of which introduces the latest trend in the beverage industry.
Graffiti mars the walls of the former Carlisle Arts Learning Center at 19 N. Hanover St. thanks to some kids who had found their way into the building while it was vacant, but Dave Hamilton looked beyond it to see the future of Burd’s Nest Brewing.
Overall, Burd’s Nest will have a modern industrial look. The front area will have a coffee shop feel that will be inviting enough to entice people who are walking down the street to come in. Progressing back the hallway, Hamilton points out where the brewing tanks will be located behind glass but still in full view of the guests at a minibar.
The back of the long building will be a bit of a fun zone.
“You’ll be able to play corn hole. We’re trying to source some old-school arcade games,” Hamilton said.
Burd’s Nest is working sustainability into its business plan. Tables and posts will be fashioned from scrap metal and the corrugated metal planned for the walls will come from a recycling plant.
“Our goal is to have everything completely done renovationswise so when the equipment comes in, we’ll just be able to start brewing,” he said.
At the moment, Hamilton is brewing on a small system out of a garage in Gardners, but has been working on getting his beers into the public arena since 2014. His first attempts at brewing came in 2013 when he was trying to figure out what to do after college.
“I honestly just didn’t know what I wanted to do. Coming out of college, I had a friend that worked at Roy-Pitz down in Chambersburg. Obviously, as a college kids, we liked beer so that was kind of the attraction. It was just beer,” he said.
Chad Kimmel, on the other hand, has been working on his plans for Grand Illusion Hard Cider, which will be located at 26 W. High St., for some time.
“This has been an idea that has been fermenting since 2009,” he said.
He learned about the wine industry in a program at Harrisburg Area Community College, and had the idea to open a winery.
When hard cider started to rise in popularity, Kimmel looked at cider’s relationship to wine, his own abilities and interests and the resources of the region given its proximity to Adams County and its world-class orchards.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is kind of a no-brainer,’” Kimmel said.
Kimmel said his hard cider production company will be licensed as a winery, and should be awarded in early October. Cider will be fermented, kegged and bottled onsite with juice from producers in Adams County based on specified recipes.
In addition to 15 ciders on tap, Grand Illusion will feature five Pennsylvania craft beers and four or five craft cocktails made from Pennsylvania distilled spirits.
The theme for Grand Illusion is inspired by turn-of-the-century magicians, and the decor will reflect the grandeur, colors, mystery and allure of Victorian-era magicians. Kimmel, though, has a more colorful way of describing the look for which he is striving.
“It will be like the Munsters meet Edgar Allan Poe and Johnny Depp from Alice in Wonderland,” he said. “We really want to produce a great product, but also give customers an incredible experience, one they haven’t had before.”
The cideries concept, particularly featuring ciders on tap, is on the upswing.
“It’s certainly gaining in popularity. Cider bars are growing dramatically. Less than a year ago, there were only a handful throughout the United States. Now, I’ve kind of lost count,” Kimmel said.
But, what can Carlisle expect after cider?
Microbrewery owners looked almost unanimously to one potential answer.
“I’m sure within a year or two or three years time, there’s going to be a distillery downtown,” Kimmel said.
There are two distilleries in the region. Gettysburg’s Mason Dixon Distillery opened in July 2016, and features rum, vodka and whiskey. Midstate Distillery opened Harrisburg’s first distillery since Prohibition in January 2016 at the former Smith Paint building on Cameron Street. Midstate also produces rum, whiskey and vodka, including its Iron & Ice Vodka which is named after the Walnut Street Bridge that was partially destroyed in 1996.
“Distilleries are going to be the next one. I’ve already seen that come up. That’s kind of popping up in more populated areas. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw something coming through the line in this area,” Corby said.
What follows distilleries, though, is anybody’s guess.
“Once you add something like a distillery to this area, you can’t ask for much more. You have everybody’s bases covered from a craft product perspective,” Moll said.
“What other type of alcohol is there? What other vice can people do?” Corby asked with a laugh.
With so many options on tap, what are the best bets at the borough’s breweries? The brewers have the answer.
“Our Hop Blossom IPA is a favorite for sure,” Dave Hamilton said.
The brewery’s website describes the IPA as a light beer with smooth body and little malt flavor. It has the flavors and aromas of pine, passion fruit, flowers and citrus.
Grand Illusion has yet to hold an event at which all of its cider has been available, which makes it hard to pick one as the most popular. Still, Chad Kimmel has a pretty good guess based on the events he’s done.
“Street Magic and Hypnotic Blue have been our most popular, although people love them all,” Kimmel said.
Street Magic is described as the “cider-baby equivalent” of what would happen “if a handsome IPA met a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.” Ripe grapefruit, lime and green apple complement the citrus and floral notes provided by two varieties of hops.
Hypnotic blue is a blueberry-lavender cider that offers a pleasant sweetness and a light berry fruitiness; it finishes with a shy but confident touch of English lavender.
Oktoberfest has been the most popular among customers since it came out. Oktoberfest is described on the brewery’s website as a “smooth, rich German lager that starts with some malty sweetness then ends dry.”
Kinky Thompson has been another popular beer, especially among retail outlets. The pale ale is named after an “unprofessional Prohibition enforcement agent,” who was shot and killed by law enforcement while he was intoxicated and belligerent.
Regulars will also be excited about another popular brew that will be back in draft soon.
“Our New Deal Double IPA that we have in bottles right now, we had on draft when we first opened. And people ask us everyday when we’re going to bring it back on draft, and we’re bringing it back on Nov. 10, which will be the year anniversary of being open to the public,” Matt Dunn said.
Ashleigh Corby Goss described Market Cross Pub’s most popular brew, Old Yeller IPA, as a “well-rounded IPA with the appropriate amount of hops to keep you satisfied throughout the entire glass.”
The recipe was so well liked that the brewmaster adapted it to a double IPA, dubbed Mama’s Double D in honor of Goss’ mother, JoAnne Corby.
Goss also said that a seasonal brew, Excalibur Imperial Stout, is so popular that fans have traveled from Maryland to grab a pint when it is released each November. The seasonal offering is described on the Market Cross website as “full-bodied, malt-dominant with hints of chocolate, licorice, oatmeal and honey.”
“Our Billy Haze IPA is our best selling beer, so much so that its difficult for us to keep in stock,” Mike Moll said.
Moll described Billy Haze IPA as a New England-style IPA featuring juicy, fruit forward hops.
Like Grand Illusion, it’s hard for Jeremy Rhone to pinpoint a preferred brew, but he said he is looking forward to the opening of the brewery and taproom that will offer him the chance to find out.
“The beers that we do release at events around the south-central Pennsylvania area, however, are always very well received, and there’s no shortage in demand for them,” Rhone said.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump promised Americans “the largest tax cut in our country’s history.” But for low-income households, Trump’s plan would amount to crumbs.
The poorest would get an average tax cut of about $60 a year, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. Middle-income families would get about $300 on average.
“There’s no significant benefit for low-income families,” said Elaine Maag, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center. “It’s important because when low-income families get money they tend to spend it, putting it right back into the economy. High-income families tend to save it.”
Republicans have backed a budget resolution that would enable Congress to pass a tax package that could add up to $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
The Tax Policy Center’s analysis says most of the tax cuts would go to the wealthiest Americans. For example, the top 1 percent — families making about $700,000 a year — would get an average tax cut of $129,000. Tax breaks targeting the wealthy include lowering the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, and doing away with the federal estate tax, which is only paid by people who inherit multimillion-dollar estates.
Congressional Republicans dispute that their plan would ultimately help wealthy families more than it would help the middle class. They said the plan unveiled by Trump and GOP leaders last week is incomplete. The plan would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, but it doesn’t include the income levels for each tax bracket.
The plan would also increase the $1,000 child tax credit, but it doesn’t say by how much. Those details are still being worked on.
“There is simply no way for TPC or anyone to deliver these kinds of specific estimates with the information provided in the framework,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
“To get their estimates, they filled in blanks with numbers from other proposals, added a pile of exceptionally pessimistic and biased economic assumptions, and came up with a tax plan that, for all intents and purposes, is their own,” said Hatch, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.
The Tax Policy Center says it filled in the blanks by taking numbers from a tax blueprint released by House Republicans. For example, the analysis assumes that the child tax credit would increase to $1,500.
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah want to increase the child tax credit to $2,000. Rubio says doubling the credit is the best way to target tax relief for low- and middle-income families.
The main provisions that would affect low-income families are increasing the child tax credit and raising the standard deduction from $6,300 to $12,000. This would be partially offset by eliminating the $4,050 personal exemption.
Also, the lowest tax rate would increase from 10 percent to 12 percent, but the plan doesn’t specify the income levels for each tax bracket.
In the Tax Policy Center’s analysis, low-income families make less than $25,000 a year. That puts them in the bottom 20 percent of households.
An analysis by the conservative Tax Foundation noted the plan’s lack of details. Nevertheless, it found only modest benefits for low-income families, increasing their annual incomes by an average of less than 1 percent.
The liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities argues that if adding to the national debt leads to spending cuts, low-income families could be worse off.
“By increasing deficits and debt, the tax cuts would intensify pressure, likely in the next several years, for steep budget cuts in programs that help low- and middle-income families,” wrote Sharon Parrott, a senior fellow at the center. “Most low- and middle-income children and their families would likely lose more from these budget cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.”
One reason the poorest families wouldn’t get much of a tax break is that many don’t pay federal income taxes. About 44 percent of U.S. households pay no federal income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center. Most of these people pay other federal taxes, including payroll taxes.
However, when it comes to the income tax, most low-income families receive tax credits that are greater than the amount of taxes they owe. They receive the tax credits in the form of a tax refund, even though they paid no taxes.
Maag said this would not change under Trump’s tax plan.