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Articles on this Page
- 07/18/18--21:00: _Habitat Homeowner M...
- 07/19/18--21:00: _Pottstown Students ...
- 07/21/18--21:00: _Fun With Photos of ...
- 07/22/18--21:00: _Hopewell to Host Au...
- 07/23/18--21:00: _Pottsgrove Manor Ho...
- 07/24/18--21:00: _New 'Go Schuylkill ...
- 07/26/18--21:00: _Hopewell Furnace to...
- 07/28/18--21:00: _Montco Fund Helps P...
- 07/29/18--21:00: _Starfest Celebrates...
- 07/30/18--21:00: _National Night Out ...
- 08/01/18--21:00: _Park Funding, Free ...
- 08/02/18--21:00: _New Hanover Wading ...
- 08/03/18--21:00: _Grant Helps Good Wi...
- 08/05/18--21:00: _Ursinus Opens New L...
- 08/06/18--21:00: _Lower Pottsgrove Aw...
- 08/06/18--21:00: _Limerick Supervisor...
- 08/08/18--21:00: _Pottstown Makes Pol...
- 08/09/18--21:00: _At Pottstown High S...
- 08/10/18--21:00: _ArtFusion 19464 Fun...
- 08/10/18--21:00: _Still time to Enter...
- 08/12/18--21:48: _PHS Alum Marks 50th...
- 08/13/18--21:00: _A Storm, A Flood an...
- 08/14/18--21:00: _6-2 Vote Puts McInt...
- 08/15/18--21:00: _NonProfit Day Info ...
- 08/16/18--21:00: _Crowd Questions Pho...
- 07/18/18--21:00: Habitat Homeowner Making a Difference on Walnut
- 07/19/18--21:00: Pottstown Students Getting Summer Slappy Happy
- 07/21/18--21:00: Fun With Photos of Franklin Field Day in Pottstown
- 07/22/18--21:00: Hopewell to Host Author of Ironmaster Biography
- 07/23/18--21:00: Pottsgrove Manor Hosting Living History Sundays
- 07/24/18--21:00: New 'Go Schuylkill Greenways' Web site Launched
- 07/26/18--21:00: Hopewell Furnace to Celebrate 80th Birthday Aug. 4
- 07/28/18--21:00: Montco Fund Helps Preserve 30-Acre Hay Farm
- 07/29/18--21:00: Starfest Celebrates 20 Years Aug. 11th (Or 12th)
- 5:30 pm Gates Open (Solar observing if clear)
- 6:00 pm Kids Corner Educational Activities.
- 7:00 pm Opening Remarks
- 7:30 pm James Aguirre, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania
- 8:15 pm Keynote Speaker Derrick Pitts
- 9:15 Drawing of the Grand Prize followed by Public stargazing through Amateur Telescopes.
- 07/30/18--21:00: National Night Out Set for Aug. 7 at Chestnut St Park
- BB&T Bank
- Hobart's Run
- Birthright of Pottstown
- Laurel House
- Boy Scouts
- Maternal & Child Health Consortium
- Community Connections
- Maternity Care Coalition: Early Head Start
- Creative Health Services, Inc.
- MCIU Early Learning Programs
- Early Head Start (Chester Co Intermediate)
- Mission Kids
Trojan Man loves National Night Out.
- FARM / PDIDA
- Mont Co Sheriff Dept.
- First UMC Pottstown
- Mosaic Community Land Trust
- Genesis Housing
- Pottstown Cluster
- Glocker Realty
- Victory Christian Life Center
- Grace Lutheran & Early Learning
- Women's Center
- Habitat for Humanity
- 08/01/18--21:00: Park Funding, Free Water Ice and A Bridge Closing
- 08/02/18--21:00: New Hanover Wading Through Development Tide
- It proposes 65 homes,
- 27 of them single
- 38 of them twins,
- and the township supervisors had a decidedly lukewarm reaction to it.
- 08/03/18--21:00: Grant Helps Good Will Teach Kids Fire Prevention
- 08/05/18--21:00: Ursinus Opens New Local Scholarship Program
- 08/06/18--21:00: Lower Pottsgrove Awards Police Commendations
- 08/09/18--21:00: At Pottstown High School, Helping Is In Their Blood
- 08/10/18--21:00: ArtFusion 19464 Fundraiser Goes Taco Loco
- 08/10/18--21:00: Still time to Enter Schuylkill Shots Photo Contest
- Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible.
- Only entries submitted through the official contest app on Facebook will be considered.
- Photographs must be in a Facebook-accepted format. Facebook accepts .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .png, and .tif files.
- High quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable.
- Wild & Scenic - Highlight the scenic beauty and wildlife thriving in the Schuylkill
- Splash of Fun– People recreating within, or around, the Schuylkill
- Urban Waters Environment– Highlight creeks, streams, and rivers in cities and towns that border the Schuylkill
- People’s Choice– People will vote and choose their favorite photos from each of the above categories.
- Wild & Scenic — two behind the scenes tours at PDE’s mussel hatchery and exhibit at Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
- Splash of Fun — two tickets to Schuylkill River Greenways’ 2019 Pedal and Paddle event
- Urban Waters Environment — two tickets to the Franklin Institute
- People’s Choice — two tickets to the Academy of Natural Sciences
- $50 gift card
- $25 gift card
- 08/12/18--21:48: PHS Alum Marks 50th Birthday on Top of the World
- 08/13/18--21:00: A Storm, A Flood and Then a Real Snoozer
- 08/14/18--21:00: 6-2 Vote Puts McIntyre in Pottsgrove Vacancy
- 08/15/18--21:00: NonProfit Day Info Found Friday at Coventry Mall
|Tamara Charles and her family will get the keys to 438 Walnut St. tomorrow. She is already making a difference in her neighborhood by heading up an anti-littering campaign.|
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery/Delaware Counties.
When Tamara Charles purchases her Habitat home and receives the keys tomorrow, there will be something noticeable in the window of 439 Walnut St., something that makes her especially gratified.
Tamara is one of the founding members of Pottstown Community Action (PCA), a group initiated two years ago by Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization effort. After working quietly on a mission and logo, meeting with the Mayor and borough council, and connecting with other community leaders, PCA is ready for visibility, and more action.
|Tamara Charles and her daughters clean up their neighborhood.|
“We chose an anti-litter campaign because it’s a way to see immediate improvement in the neighborhood,” explains Tamara. “For our first block cleanup, we removed about 40 bulk trash items. We have a standing offer to residents: get a few neighbors out and we’ll bring the coffee and donuts, supplies and volunteers, and we’ll make sure the trash bags are removed.
“Kids have been helping and we hope to add individuals who need to fulfill community service hours, as well as youth from the school district.”
PCA is also working on building leaders in Pottstown. On July 21st, PCA, in collaboration with Habitat MontDelco is hosting an all-day workshop called “Actively Leading Pottstown Towards Prosperity.” To register go to https://habitatpca.wufoo.com/forms/pottstown-leadership-workshop.
A Spirit of Cooperation
“Since launching a Neighborhood Revitalization zone in 2016, we have remained committed to engaging, empowering, and educating local residents coming alongside them so that they can improve the quality of life within their own neighborhood,” says Marianne Lynch, CEO of Habitat MontDelco. “There’s a lot of momentum now from PCA, local non-profits, businesses, and the Borough.”
“This town has an incredible stock of historic homes and families who have been here for decades. Many residents have a clear vision of what Pottstown can be again and they are sharing that vision with others. I thanks to people like Tamara who are deeply passionate about this place. It’s also due to a wonderful attitude of cooperation that’s prevalent across the community.”
Instrumental in creating collaborations, Habitat MontDelco became a member of Pottstown CARES in 2018, and is working with other nonprofits such as Genesis Housing Corporation, and Mosaic Community Land Trust.
417 Chestnut Street
For its next project, Habitat is collaborating with Genesis Housing and Mosaic Community Land Trust on 417 Chestnut Street, right next to one of the Mosaic Community Gardens in Pottstown. Genesis is providing technical assistance, Mosaic will work with Habitat to provide a homeownership through the community land trust model, and Habitat will complete the full rehabilitation of the home.
“It’s a natural partnership because we have the same goals—to get people into a home, grow their wealth, put down roots and improve their community at the same time,” said Tracy Purdy, President of Mosaic. “From a resource perspective it makes perfect sense; it’s three times the expertise using one-third of the funding.”
About Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties
The mission of Habitat MontDelco is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Habitat constructs homes for affordable home ownership, preserves aging housing stock by completing critical home repairs, provides financial literacy and life skills classes, and revitalizes neighborhoods.
For more information, call 610-278-7710, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.habitatmontdelco.org
|Pottstown students hanging out with Slappy the Mascot.|
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the Pottstown School District.
|A summer cook-out in the shade.|
Students in the Pottstown School District's ISucceed Summer Learning program at Barth Elementary know that summertime is learning time.
Recently they celebrated National Summer Learning Day with a special visit from the Reading Royals mascot, Slappy, and a cookout for middle school students.
Special thanks to Slappy for visiting our Elementary students and to Redner's Market's, Clover Farms Dairy and Unique Pretzels for donating delicious food for the cookout.
When everyone works together for student achievement,we have reason to say Proud to be from Pottstown.
Awesome Photos by Emily Overdorf
Liam Diaz Daliz and Ame're Maxwell, up front, revel in the raindrops during Franklin Elementary School's Field Day while Kristen Granese and Makayla Isaac look to be opting out.
It's a slow time of year, news wise.
Lot's of people are on vacation (including me, technically).
And during the summer slow-down, I usually go back and look through my old emails to see what I might have missed during the hustle and bustle of the school year.
|Derwin Perez and Dorian Phillips in the three-legged race.|
And what I found Saturday was hidden treasure.
It was a simple event, Field Day at Pottstown's Franklin Elementary School.
Normally, I would consider this to be too old for a post..
After all, John Armato sent theses pics to me on June 7, and as we all know, the most important part of "News" is NEW.
But when I opened the email Saturday evening and took a look at the pictures, I knew I had to publish them.
Taken by Media Specialist Emily Overdorf, they really capture the joy of childhood in the simplest way, and are worth sharing if for no other reason than to put the smile on your face that it put on mine.
As with most field Days, this one included "wacky water games," a sack race, ring toss and basketball throw among many others.
But what the photos show it also included is something that happens every day in every Pottstown school building, inclusion and diversity.
Maxwell Daily and Cullen Waite look like they|
could be twins.
One of the wonders of this world is its infinite variety. We are a species of all colors and character, all cultures and cuisines.
What a wonder then that here in a five-square-mile school district, we get to see, experience and learn from so many of them.
And now it is even being reflected in our business district.
At 107 High St., you can try Caribbean fare at The Avenue.
At 232 King St., enjoy your favorite curry or tandoori special at Cuisine India.
Down the road a block at 130 King St., you can try Syrian and other Middle Eastern specials and an all-vegetarian menu at the iCreate Cafe.
If Mexican food is your preference, Pottstown has three restuarants for you: Juan Carlos, at 235 E. High St.; Los Aztecas at 223 Shoemaker Road; or the newest addition, Three Brothers Grill at 1432 E. High St.
And if Asian food is your cup of tea, there are two that stand out in my mind, Sakura, at 204 Shoemaker Road, which has both Japanese and Chinese specialties and Fujiyama in Upper Pottsgrove at the old Halfway House, 1495 Farmington Ave.
Jordan Diehl and Nayeli Martinez-Penate do not seem to mind|
how wet they are getting at Franklin Field Day.
Pottstown has a Latin Festival in the fall at Riverfront Park, just recently hosted an event for all peoples and cultures sponsored by its very own Human Relations Commission and just concluded its second revitalized GoFourth celebration in Memorial Park which featured music with every thing from the American pop of Modern Luxe, to the salsa sounds of Hector Rosado and Orchestra Hache.
And at the studios of ArtFusion 19464 on Beech Street, or the gallery at Montgomery County Community College's West Campus, you will at various times of the year, find various forms of art from more cultures than I can name.
Other than this post being a commercial for how awesome and multi-cultural Pottstown is (and it was), it also is to point out that this diversity is driven by and reflected in Pottstown schools.
But don't take my word for it. You can see it in the faces of the children.
In celebration of Hopewell Furnace’s 80th birthday, the leading expert on colonial iron making Daniel A. Graham will present an overview of the iron making that fueled the American Revolution and discuss his new book Samuel Nutt and the French Creek Iron-Works, which has just been released by the Friends of Hopewell Furnace.
Following the program Mr. Graham will be available to sign copies of his works.
The new 124-page book with color illustrations tells the history of Samuel Nutt, the first iron master in Chester County and the second in Pennsylvania who immigrated in 1714 and by 1720 was producing iron.
Daniel A. Graham resides in Montrose, PA. He has published more than 50 works on the following subjects: Mark Bird (the founder of Hopewell Furnace), the Potts and Rutter families, forges and furnaces, Valley Forge, the American Revolutionary War, Valley Forge, Pottstown and Montgomery County.
Established in 1994, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace is the official non-profit fundraising arm of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. A 501(c)3 citizen organization, its mission is to support the preservation, maintenance and programs of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Donations to the Friends may be tax deductible according to the rules set by the Internal Revenue Service.
While at the park, visitors are encouraged to explore the landscape, go into the village, tour the buildings, and learn about iron making and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the park is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off Route 345. For more information visit www.friendsofhopewellfurn.org.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by Pottsgrove Manor
Discover a different history trade or skill every Sunday in August at Pottsgrove Manor.
Colonial ironmaster John Potts’ 1752 manor house will also be open for tours during the day.
These programs welcomes all ages; suggested donation $2 per person. The programs will be held rain or shine.
Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422 near the Carousel at Pottsgrove and Manatawny Green Miniature Golf Course, in Pottstown. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites.
For more information, call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Schuylkill River Greenways NHA.
The next adventure is just a click away. Whether it’s borrowing a bike for an enjoyable ride on the Schuylkill River Trail, renting a kayak for a paddle on the Schuylkill River or finding time for a do-it-yourself excursion; Go Schuylkill Greenways is the place to visit to learn about all these opportunities.
“The Greater Philadelphia Region is rediscovering how beautiful and clean the Schuylkill River has become. There are so many ways for just about anyone to enjoy this incredible natural resource and the trail that runs alongside it,” said Schuylkill River Greenways NHA Executive Director Elaine Paul Schaefer. “This new website will help residents and visitors to the area navigate how to get on the river or trail and take full advantage of both!”
Those that visit GoSchuylkillGreenways.com are first asked to choose their activity. For example, clicking on the “bicycling” icon or text will bring you to a full list of programming available for cyclists. Visitors will learn about the bike rentals available in the area, guided tours and even shuttle options available to transport bikes. There’s also information about paddling on the river and special pedal and paddle events.
Some people may want to experience the Schuylkill River Trail but don’t know exactly where to start. The website features #DIY bike excursions. The do-it-yourself explorations are complete with directions on how to get on the trail, parking details and suggested refreshment and attraction stops.
Site visitors can click the events page for a list of upcoming outdoor recreational activities. Two very exciting events are happening this week on July 26. A group of about 15 people will participate in a Pedal and Paddle from 4 to 8 p.m. at the historic Lock 60 in Mont Clare. The event includes a bike ride and kayaking trip. Then from 8 to 10:30 p.m., there will be a free Movie Night by the River at Fitzwater Station in Phoenixville. The featured film is “Wonder Woman.”
The mission of Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area is to connect people and communities to the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill River Trail whether it though biking, kayaking, hiking or other forms of recreation. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area encompasses five counties: Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia. The trail and river naturally connect these communities.
Schuylkill River Greenways has partnered with local outfitters Take It Outdoors Adventures based in the Pottstown area and Riverbend Cycles based in Whitemarsh Township to create Go Schuylkill Greenways. Take It Outdoors Adventures organizes group kayaking trips and more. Riverbend Cycles is a full-service bike shop and offers weekly community rides. Go Schuylkill Greenways features programming information from these two outfitters as well as recreational activities offered through Schuylkill River Greenways. The vision is that eventually there will be a system of hubs along the entire Schuylkill River where people can easily rent a bike or kayak, stop at a local eatery for a meal, and explore attractions in nearby towns.
The Schuylkill River Greenways NHA, managed by the non-profit Schuylkill River Greenway Association, uses conservation, education, recreation, cultural and historic preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development. www.schuylkillriver.org
|The "cast house" at Hopewell furnace National Historic Site.|
Hopewell Furnace NHS will celebrate Establishment Day on Saturday, Aug. 4. This free celebration is special this year for we celebrate the 80th birthday as a unit of the National Park Service.
Hopewell Furnace became a unit of the National Park Service on Aug.3, 1938 and was originally known as Hopewell Village National Historic Site. In 1985, Congress changed the park’s name to Hopewell Furnace.
Activities will begin at 10 a.m. and continue to 4 p.m. throughout the historic site.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets an early American industrial landscape and community. Showcasing an iron making community and its surrounding countryside,
|A 30-acre hay farm in Lower Salford owned by Donald F. Hemsley has been preserved thanks to funds provided by the township and Montgomery County.|
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by Montgomery County.
Montgomery County has added another farm to its growing list of farms permanently preserved under the Montgomery County Farmland Preservation Program.
The Hemsley Farm, which would not qualify for state funding due to its size, was able to be preserved because of increased county funding for farm preservation.
|The Hemsley farm house.|
“We are very pleased to be able to use our additional farmland funding and to partner with Lower Salford Township to preserve this 30-acre farm,” said Val Arkoosh, Chairwoman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “The county recognizes its farming heritage and supports our local farming businesses, which provide healthy, local foods and conserve our prime agricultural soil.”
The preservation of this farm helps to implement the future land use vision in Montgomery County’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision.
Visit http://www.montcopa.org/FarmlandProgram for more information on the program, the county’s local food initiative, and a list of 2018 farmer’s markets in the county.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the ChesMont Astronomical Society
The region's annual opportunity to get a guided tour of the heavens rolls around for the 20th year Saturday, Aug. 11, thanks to the ChesMont Astronomical Society.
If the entire weekend is washed out, the back-up weekend is Aug. 18 and Aug. 19, although Keynote Speaker Derrick Pitts will not be available on those dates.
The program will feature speakers, astronomy presentations, and activities for kids.
10 ChesMont Astronomical society members will set up their
to focus on 10 different celestial objects for easy
viewing by visitors.
The highlight of the evening is 10 Object Row. 10 of society members' telescopes will be focused on a different deep sky object so the public gets a variety of astronomical objects to look at.
Admission and parking is free. Donations are greatly appreciated and needed to support the event.
This year's keynote speaker is Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer, Franklin Institute Science Museum
Pitts is currently the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute.
He’s also been a NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2009 and serves as the “Astrobiology Ambassador” for the NASA/MIRS/UNCF Special Program Corporation’s Astrobiology Partnership Program.
One of his most recent honors is an appointment to the outreach advisory board for the world’s largest telescope, the new 30-Meter-Telescope at Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
He has been named as one of the 50 most important African-Americans in research science.
For more than two decades, Pitts has hosted award-winning astronomy radio programs for
Philadelphia’s two public radio stations and created signature astronomy television programming for PBS.
One of the highlights of his career was meeting President Obama and his family when he
was invited to participate in the first-ever White House Star Party.
Dr. Pitts is a graduate of Germantown Academy St. Lawrence University, and has received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from La Salle University and Rowan University College of Mathematics and Science[
His twitter handle is @CoolAstronomer and his motto is “Eat, breathe, do science. Sleep later.”
|A recent National Night Out event in Pottstown's Chestnut Street Park|
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by Genesis Housing Corporation.
Genesis Housing Corporation and the Victory Christian Life Center have announced that this year’s annual National Night Out Community Block Party will be held at the Chestnut Street Park at Washington and Chestnut Streets in Pottstown on Tuesday, Aug.7 from 6 to 8 p.m. (Rain or Shine).
The event is designed to promote neighborhood spirit, community partnership, law enforcement and residents for a safer Pottstown at a free community block party filled with family fun, music, games, info and food.
Come see Pottstown’s own Dragon Boat and try out the rowing equipment.
The Phillies Fire Company is bringing a fire truck and will be providing a water spray demo.
Come spend a little time with your neighbors, local firefighters, Montgomery County sheriffs and Pottstown police officers. Have fun with children’s games and activities.
Join with Mosaic Community Land Trust and Pottstown Community Arts creating sidewalk chalk drawings.
Be a part of Pottstown’s National Night Out to learn about services available in the area.
This year’s participating groups include:
Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has served Montgomery County as a community housing development organization (CHDO) and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and the education of consumers on housing and financial issues.
For more information about Genesis Housing Corporation, our programs and housing counseling classes, please visit our website at www.genesishousing.org, email at email@example.com, visit us on Facebook or call 610-275-4357.
West Pottsgrove became the fourth of eight towns to enjoy the presentation from the Pottstown Regional Recreation Committee Wednesday.
Regional Recreation Director Michael Lane and Craig Colistra, program officer with the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, outline the position's accomplishments over the last five years.
Chief among those was obtaining $1.6 million in grants out of $1.9 million sought. West Pottsgrove's share of that grant money is about $140,000, much of it spent in Murgia Park, all for an investment of about $25,000 over five years.
Lane, who was also recently certified as a playground inspector, surveyed the township's three playgrounds for free and recently submitted suggestions for upgrades and safety improvements, some of which the public works department has already begun work upon, said Township Manager Craig Lloyd.
A project of six of the eight towns that comprise the Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee, the regional recreation effort here has been declared by the state to be the "most collaborative" it has helped fund in Pennsylvania.
but with that state funding going away in August, 2019, and the health and wellness foundation committing to picking up 50 percent of the cost, the township's share may go up to about $8,000 a year unless East Coventry and New Hanover also decide to join up.
|Grosstown Road bridge construction in November, 2017.|
Police chief Matt Stofflet also announced that the police will make their second round of offering free water ice to township residents on the Kona Water Ice truck on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 7, so keep an eye out for the truck.
(Read about the first round by clicking here.)
Also, Lloyd announced that the recently opened Grosstown Road bridge over Mantawny Creek will
be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24 to put the finishing touches on the bridge, including paving, pavement marking and guardrails.
|The new Grosstown Road bridge after it was opened to traffic.|
The bridge opened to traffic in December.
The meeting also ran on a bit longer than normal as the commissioners went into closed-door executive session to discuss personnel.
When they came out, they voted unanimously to accept the resignation of police secretary Ruth Smith, as well as to hire an additional part-time officer. They also voted to advertise both positions.
And now, without further ado, here are the Tweets from the meeting.
Parks, Free Water ice and Bridge Closings
|A developer's concept for how to fit 65 homes, 27 single homes and 38 twin homes, on property off Rhoads Road opposite Liberty Bell Drive and Courtside Avenue. The original proposal was for 39 single family homes.|
It's unclear if it yet has a name, all too often in memoriam of what it destroys, but here's what we do know:
Specifically, Supervisors Chairman Charles Garner said he is not fond of cul de sacs and recommended instead, a "loop road." He said he would like to see the original proposal of 39 single family homes.
Supervisor Kurt Zebrowski, who also sits on the planning commission, said the closely packed proposal did not match the arrangements of the surrounding neighborhood. "It's like you're putting a city in the middle of a suburban development," he said.
Speaking of cities, it was announced last night that the massive New Hanover Town Center project, initially proposed at 852 homes and 210,000 square feet of commercial and office space on 209 acres off route 73, may be getting a little smaller -- by 82 units.
That same project is also seeking a variance from the township's zoning hearing board, to be allowed to have 58 fewer parking spaces than the 952 the zoning ordinance requires.
Without a plan before them -- the last one was submitted in February -- "it sounds like its a cart before the horse situation," said Garner. The other supervisors agreed and voted to send the township solicitor and any other staff required to the zoning meeting in opposition to the variance request.
And then there it Trotter's Gait and its ever-energetic attorney Joe Clement, whose attempts to wrangle agreement out of the supervisors has prompted Garner to initiate something he calls "the Joe Clement Rule," which serves to ensure the minutes indicate no agreement on anything without a vote.
In fact, a court stenographer suddenly appeared when Clement took his turn before the supervisors, evidently to take minutes that are hard to misconstrue.
Specifically, Trotter's Gait calls for the construction of 29 single family homes on a 13.5-acre lot near it's sister development, Pacer's Gait, which calls for seven single family homes on six acres both off Dotterer Road.
Discussion had to do with two relatively simple matters; a storm sewer extension through wetlands, and what defines a healthy woodland and would Trotter's Gait disturb it.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the issues involved, Clement kept the discussion going for nearly 40 minutes, including naming the many members of his family who are part of the development company.
Thankfully, two additional developments items on the agenda, Hanover Green and Hanover Preserves, were removed at the beginning of the evening, so we all got home at a reasonable hour.
Without further ado, here are the Tweets from the meeting:
Homes and Parks Focus of New Hanover Meeting
Firefighters would rather prevent a fire than fight one.
Now, thanks to a check for $1,940 from FM Global insurance, members of the Good Will Fire Company can help teach young children how to prevent disaster.
Rusty Layre, a career firefighter with the company, applied the grant “after I heard about it from some other firefighters. We want little kids to know a fire is not something that just happens and they can learn how to prevent them.”
The money will pay for “fire prevent packets” for younger children, ages 3 to 7, said Good Will Chief Kevin Yerger. they include coloring books, crayons, book parks, all of which focus on different fire prevention and fire safety lessons, like conducting escape drills and not playing with matches, lighters or stoves.
“At FM Gobal, we strongly believe in the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” Michael Spaziani, assistant vice president of the company and manager of its fire prevention grant program, said in a press release.
“Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent those organizations working to prevent fire from being as proactive as they would like to be,” Spaziani said. “With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”
Visit www.fmglobal.com/fireservice To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, and other resources for the fire service.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by Ursinus College.
Strengthening its commitment to access and affordability for students, Ursinus College has established the Abele Foundation Scholars Award, which provides financial assistance to students from low- and middle-income families from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
The first eight scholarships were awarded to seven incoming first-year students and one continuing student.
Funded with generous support from Will Abele, a 1961 Ursinus graduate and member of the Ursinus board of trustees, and the Abele Family Foundation, the Abele Foundation Scholars Award provides high-achieving students with demonstrated financial need $10,000 in financial aid after all other gift aid has been awarded to each student.
The aim of this pilot program is to increase access and affordability of an undergraduate liberal arts education. In addition to the $10,000 in financial aid, the scholars receive funding for “startup” costs such as the purchase of a laptop or required books; academically enriching pursuits such as internships, summer courses, or academic conferences; and assistance with student debt upon graduation.
“My wife, Joan, and I are thrilled to assist these talented students as they pursue an Ursinus College education that prepares them to be leaders of the future who live the values of integrity, persistence and empowerment and who understand the importance of paying it forward to others,” Abele says.
Abele scholars will be expected to maintain consistent academic progress; become an active member of the college community by participating in on-campus experiences and internships; and attend programs sponsored by the Abele Family Foundation.
Consistent with the values of the Abele Family Foundation, the scholars will have expressed interest in the U.S. constitution, the economy, history and government of the United States through coursework in these three disciplines.
“One of Ursinus’s top priorities is to attract and retain the best students for our institution,” President Brock Blomberg says. “It is our goal to not only bring them to our college, but to provide the academic support and guidance that allows them to flourish during their four years here. We cannot achieve that without taking bold steps to increase access and affordability so that we can offer the best and brightest students a clearer pathway to Ursinus. This is yet another innovative way that Ursinus is ensuring that any student who wishes to attend Ursinus not only has a means to do so, but will thrive while here. I extend my sincerest thanks to Will and Joan and the Abele Family Foundation for making this pilot scholarship program possible.”
Named as one of the nation’s “Colleges that Change Lives,” Ursinus College is a highly selective, residential college with 1,500 students that is widely recognized for its Common Intellectual Experience. The tree-lined, 170-acre campus is located 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia in Collegeville, Pa.
A deceptively light agenda for Monday's Township Commissioners meeting gave way to an unannounced ceremony honoring police officers for four major investigations in recent months.
Despite the absence of a previous announcement, there was no shortage of family and well-wishers on hand to laud their achievements.
Here is a breakdown:
May 7, Landis Store Robbery
|From left, Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Michael Foltz, Det. Daniel |
Kienle, Officer Scott Burnick and township commissioners
Earl Swavely Jr. and Ray Lopez.
After issuing a bulletin for the suspect, Burnick and Det. Seg. Joe Campbell developed a link between their suspect and the vehicle in which he had escaped. When they approached his home, he drove away and after a brief pursuit, they called it off out of concern for public safety.
but the suspect dumped evidence during the pursuit. With the help of Det. David Kienle, the suspect was arrested.
Here is a video of Chief Foltz describing the incident.
June 20, Meth Lab at Rolling HillsAt about 3 in the morning on June 20, Sgt. Scott Weidenhammer and Officer David Slothower responded to a report of a methamphetamine lab at Apt. 135 of the Rolling Hills apartment complex on Buchert Road.
|Sgt. Scott Weidenhammer with his commendation.|
They saw enough suspicious activity to ask permission to enter and conduct a search.
Once inside, they encountered a haze and distinct odor identified as precursors to a methamphetamine manufacturing facility. They arrested those inside and evacuated the building, calling in the state police to conduct a chemical search.
They seized drugs and six suspects.
Here is video of Chief Foltz describing the incident:
June 3, Turkey Hill RobberyPolice responded to a report of an armed robbery at about 11:20 p.m. on June 3 at the Turkey Hill convenience store at East High Street and Rupert Road.
There, they found a female clerk who had been shoved aside as a thief stole cigarettes and food items before fleeing the store.
Sgt. Robert Greenwood and Officer Matthew Musselman searched for the suspect, but were unsuccessful. They then obtained a photograph of the suspect from the store's security video and Det. Daniel Kienle used facial recognition software the develop a suspect, who later confessed.
Here is a video of Chief Foltz explaining the crime and arrest:
July 3, Turkey Hill Robbery
Chief Foltz, left, Det. Deniele Kienle, Sgt. Timothy Walters
and township commissioners Earl Swavely Jr. and Ray Lopez.
When police arrived they found she had a severe wound to her hand. She had been slashed by a man who was armed with a large knife and demanded cash from the register. He cut her, took the money and ran off.
Sgt. Timothy Walters arrived and ordered a search, and after viewing the surveillance video, immediately recognized the thief, which quickly led to the man's arrest.
In other less dramatic business, the commissioners approved a 4,950 square-foot storage building at the Limerick nuclear Generating Station and a 2,696 square-foot clubhouse at the Spring Valley Farms project, now under construction.
The board also took time to note, with regret, the passing of David Updegrove, a longtime volunteer wit the Sanatoga Fire Company, as well as the local historical society. They also thanked the police and firefighters who organized and undertook the honor procession down High Street that marked his passing.
And now here are the Tweets from the meeting:
|A site plan for an earlier version of Limerick Town Center. Under the preliminary site plan approved last night, the town homes at the top of the triangle have been re-arranged, but the scale of the project remains the same.|
A township supervisors meeting of less than 30 minutes nevertheless saw two votes of great importance.
The first was the approval of the preliminary site plan for the Limerick Town Center project. a large development which will alter one of the township's busiest intersections for many years to come.
And the second vote was the closing on the deal to sell the town's sewer system to Aqua PA, netting the township more than $70 million.
Limerick Town Center
Obviously pleased, developers from Ridge Swamp Associates LLP quickly thanked the supervisors and fled the meeting before anything changed.
|This photo shows the more recent arrangement of the town homes.|
In addition to the townhomes and the 308 senior units — comprised of a mixture of independent living, assisted living and “memory care” units — the plan also calls for three retail buildings that have 32,000 square feet of space on the first floor, with apartments above.
The project was made possible by changes the supervisors made at the developers’ request to the township zoning code to allow the three uses on the same parcel, said Robert Brant, the attorney representing the developers.
In exchange, the developers agreed to extend Lewis Road through the property to Swamp Pike, thus allowing northbound drivers to avoid having to make a right turn onto Ridge Pike and then the very sharp left onto Swamp Pike, and vice versa.
However, the plan now includes a traffic circle, for the intersection of Swamp Pike, Lewis Road and the proposed new road, Arcadia Drive
The first phase of the project to be built will be the senior living building, followed by townhouses and then finally, the commercial, Brant said previously.
$75 Million Sewer System Sale
As for the sale of the sewer system, it comes about after years and years of discussion.
The township took over operation of the sewer system from the Limerick Sewer Authority in 2008 in what might be described as a hostile take-over and following a protracted fight between the two.
Limerick Township Municipal Authority was created by the Limerick supervisors in 1966 and operated as an independent municipal authority.
The current Limerick Township Seal, which hangs in the
temporary offices on South Limerick road.
Mega Projects and Sew
Photos by Evan Brandt
Newly hired Police Chief Mick Markovich, left, and Borough Manager Justin Keller, right, pause for a photo with Pottstown Borough Council President Dan Weand.
It may have taken longer than it should have, but borough council finally got its act together enough to agree on contracts for two of the most important posts in borough government last night.
After starting its meeting by going into closed-door executive session to discuss "personnel," council returned and announced it would be adding two items to the end of the agenda.
Not that anyone was surprised.
It was common knowledge that Interim Borough Manager Justin Keller and Interim Police Chief Mick Markovich were both destined to have the "interim" removed from their nameplates at the first meeting in August.
It just took council some time work out the details of two contracts which are, according to Solicitor Charles D. Garner Jr. almost identical.
Both contracts expire on Dec. 31, 2019.
The salaries for both contracts are retroactive to the first of the year. Keller will be paid $107,000 per year and Markovich will be paid $110,000 per year.
Because Markovich has more years with the borough, he will receive five weeks vacation while Keller only gets three.
Both get 12 sick days, as well as a borough vehicle to drive and the same health benefits and pension that every other borough manager gets, according to Garner.
Hired two years ago this month as assistant borough manager, Keller became interim manager on Jan. 1, with the retirement of the man who hired him, former borough manager Mark Flanders.
Before hiring him permanently, council altered the borough manager ordinance, removing the provision that required Keller to live in the borough. Although he had lived in the borough, Keller now lives in Audubon.
While pleased to have the position made permanent, Keller said he has been doing the job for several months and is now focused on increasing revenues and trying to lower costs for next year's budget.
That will be a tall order given that the mid-year adjustments Keller reported to council last night mostly included cost increases.
Markovich replaces former chief Rick Drumheller, who retired last month, 18 months earlier than he had previously planned.
Markovich's appointment comes only a month after was named interim police chief and by-passed Police Captain Robert Thomas, who, at least according to previous borough practice, many thought would get the job.
Markovich said becoming a chief of police had always been one of his career goals, "I just didn't think it would happen so soon."
"I'm excited to lead this department and to be of service to the borough," Markovich said. He said he hopes to "re-allocate some of the staff to the busier times, and to the downtown business district."
Other plans, he said, he will share when they are ready to be announced.
Congratulations to both and good luck.
Now, if they can just find a fire chief .....
Here are the Tweets from the meeting:
Two New Chiefs
When it comes to life saving blood there is no substitution for the real thing.
The Pottstown High School students and staff who took part in the end of year blood drive know that every unit of blood donated can be used to help save three lives.
The spring drive, which is done in partnership with the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, resulted in the collection of 44 units,which went to our local hospital where it was used to save lives.
|Student Aaliyah Palmer gives her all.|
Carol Graves, Miller-Keystone's Donor Resource Representative noted that once again this year PHS
was a member of 100 Club.
That's the name used to recognize those who donate more than 100 units of blood during the year.
Johnson added, "knowing that what we are doing is helping people in need gives us one more reason to say Proud to be from Pottstown."
|Arraya Graves-Butler, Onjelay Nixon, Destinie Harris, and Rachel Martin are thanked by Trojan Man after they donated blood to help save lives during the spring blood drive at Pottstown High School.|
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by ArtFusion19464
ArtFusion 19464’s annual beef and beer fundraiser is Saturday, Aug. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m at the facility at 341 Beech St.
Each guest will receive one complimentary door prize raffle ticket.
ArtFusion 19464 is also running two special pre-event raffles.
Tickets are $10 each, and they will sell a maximum of 100 for each prize, giving great odds of winning. The winner will be chosen during the fundraiser on Aug. 18.
ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located in a new facility at the Beech St. Factory in downtown Pottstown.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
Nature photographers, there is still you have until Aug. 31 to enter a photo contest with the Schuylkill River as your subject.
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary works to preserve the health and beauty of all water in the Delaware Estuary, including the Schuylkill River.
PDE is proud to announce its second Schuylkill Shots photography contest to anyone who wants to enter. Go wild! Show off your photography skills and capture the beauty of the Schuylkill.
How to Enter:
To be considered, entries must include the town where the photo was taken and by whom**
Entries will be accepted until Aug. 31.
Photos should be taken in areas where the Schuylkill River or related streams flow — Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Schuylkill counties, and part of Philadelphia.
Photo submissions will be sorted and judged into the following categories:
PrizesThere will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner for each of the three contest categories, and one “People’s Choice” winner from each category.
3rd Place — all categories
All entrants are responsible for obtaining any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of their photograph. This includes any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant, material that is subject to the rights of third parties, and any people who appear in the
The Schuylkill River is an important source of fresh water to the Delaware Estuary. The river and its related streams flow through Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Schuylkill counties and part of Philadelphia where it serves as a source of drinking water to more than 1.5 million people.
|Photos Courtesy of John Armato|
Pottstown High School alum Gentry Khile Brownie, Class of 1986, reached the top of Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro to mark his 50th birthday.
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by John Armato.
Pottstown High School graduate Gentry Khile Brownie used some of his Old School Trojan Tough Pottstown Pride to achieve a lifelong goal.
|Gentry Khile Brownie, right, on top of Mount Kilimanjaro with his fellow climbers.|
Like most people, I woke up wondering if I should build an ark.
Unlike most people, I had to get out there and take photos, although I failed to get anything as good as freelance photographer extraordinaire Tom Kelly II, or even some of our readers.
But after hours of running around, taking flood photos in Pottstown and down along route 724 in Chester County, I had to load them all into the computer (not an easy job at The Mercury I'm afraid) then write a story or two, all before getting to the council meeting at 7 p.m.
Long story short, I got to the council meeting late, but frankly, I could have skipped it all together.
So as I put together the Twitter round-up from the meeting, I thought, why not treat my faithful readers to some of the Tweets from BEFORE the meeting which were, by their very nature, much more exciting?
Here are the flooding Tweets and, YAWN, the meeting Tweets:
A Flood and then a Snoozer
Photo by Evan Brandt
Pottsgrove School Board Vice President Robert Lindgren, right, enjoys himself swearing in the board's newest member, Tina McIntyre, center, while her son Mason, holds The Bible for her.
Usually, a child follows in his or her parent's footsteps, but sometimes it's the other way around.
Last night was witness to one of those rare occasions when, from among of five very qualified candidates, the Pottsgrove School Board voted to appoint Tina McIntyre to fill the vacancy left by last month's resignation of Matt Alexander.
McIntyre, in addition to being a St. Pius X High School graduate and an accountant, is also the mother of Mason MacIntyre, who for two years served on the Pottsgrove board as a student member.
"She's going to have to learn to eat dinner earlier," he acknowledged with a laugh Tuesday after the board vote.
McIntyre's relationship to a former member was more than coincidence. It may have provided the tipping point to her appointment.
Allow me to explain.
In addition to McIntyre, four other candidates applied for the post. They were Rick Rabinowitz; Jody McMahon; Andrew Korman and Mark Jorgensen.
McIntyre, who lives on Mock Road, is an accounting specialist with United Phosphorus Inc. in King of Prussia.
She is a 1990 graduate of the former St. Pius X Catholic High School in Lower Pottsgrove and received a bachelor’s in business administration from Kutztown University.
Rabinowitz, who lives on Lee Drive, was a board member who ran unsuccessfully for reelection in November.
He is an executive recruiter for Nationwide IT and worked for two other recruiting forms previously.
Rabinowitz holds a degree in political science from State University of New York at Oswego and an MBA in technology and e-commerce from West Chester University.
McMahon, who lives in Anthony Wayne Drive, is a language arts teacher at Owen J. Roberts High School and an adjunct professor at Delaware Valley Community College.
No education or prior work experience was listed for McMahon.
Korman, who lives in Gilbertsville Road, is a project manager with Suburban Water Technology.
He holds a bachelor’s in journalism, specializing in broadcast news, from West Virginia University.
Jorgensen, who lives in Yeager Road, is director of quality and food safety at AIRGA USA LLC in Radnor.
He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and holds an MBA from Lehigh University.
And here are the Tweets you've all been waiting for:
McIntyre Chosen from Among 5 for Pottsgrove School Board Vacancy
Blogger's Note:The following was provided by the Foundation for Pottstown Education.
A coalition of 26 area non-profit groups will be set up for an event at the Coventry Mall Friday to let people know what they do and how they can help.
The even, from noon to 6 p.m., coincides with national NonProfit Day.
This will also be a kick off for the 2018 TriCounty Community Network’s (TCN) Amazing Raise.
The non-profits will have a table set up displaying their organization’s mission and activities.
The action begins at 12 noon with wrap up at 6 p.m.
The tables will be located at the Mall’s Center Court outside of Kohl’s Department Store.
Each group will also have a drawing for a prize.
Winners will be selected at the end of the event.
National NonProfit Day is a day set aside to recognize the nonprofit sector and the work performed by these capable organizations their staff and volunteers.
This year will be the second Amazing Raise spearheaded by TCN as a way to help local nonprofits raise not only much needed funds but awareness of the goals and missions of these organizations.
During the inaugural 2017 campaign, more than 20 organizations raised $104,766. A matching pool has been established to match the donations raised by the nonprofits on a prorated basis.
Sponsors who would like to donate to this matching pool are encouraged to contact Holly Parker, Executive Director of TCN by calling 610-705-3301 or by visiting TCN’s Amazing Raise website https://tcnetwork.org/the-amazing-raise/
Haphazard Photos by Evan Brandt
It was standing-room-only at Thursday night's public hearing on the Phoenixville School Board's plan to buy 29.5 acres off Hare's Hill Road for $4 million and the possible home for a new elementary school.
Roughly 50 people, many of them from East Pikeland Township, packed into the Phoenixville School District's meeting room Thursday night to hear about the plans for the $4 million purchase of 29.5 acres off Hare's Hill Road -- and to question those plans.
The red line, barely visible in my crappy photo, shows the
borders of the property the school district wants to purchase.
It's eventual plans for the property are an additional elementary school.
Ten years ago, a Wal-Mart was proposed for the site and it is currently approved for 79 town homes under a court decision, said Superintendent Alan Fegley.
The land, across from the Kimberton Meadows subdivision, is currently fallow and not used for any purpose.
He said the district looked seriously at nine other properties, all of which were less desirable for a variety of reasons including not having water, sewer or electricity; being on unimproved roads; or even having unacceptably high purchase or renovation prices.
He said East Pikeland officials steered school officials toward this parcel, saying they would prefer it to be developed as a school, rather than more housing. The township planning commission even adopted a letter endorsing the move, said Fegley.
|Image of 622 Hare's Hill Road from Google Earth|
Current forecasts show that beyond the next five years, the district could have 350 to 500 more students to educate in all grades.
"Heaven forbid we wait four years and suddenly find we need to build a new school and prices are higher and there is no land available," said board member Eric Dougherty, chairman of the board's finance committee, which has recommended moving forward with the purchase.
Should the enrollment surge not materialize, the district can always sell the property, said Fegley.
The district hopes to partially offset the purchase price and cost of building a new school by selling some of its other properties, including the old East Pikeland Elementary School, worth between $4 million and $6 million; the kindergarten center, estimate to be worth $4 million and a residential property on Hallowell Avenue, valued at $350,000.
Some arsenic has been identified in the soil on the site, a contaminant Fegley said the district has experience dealing with and is common on former agricultural sites. He said old photographs show an orchard located on the site.
The board is awaiting the results of a more extensive environmental review of the property but anticipates a vote to purchase the property to come next month, said School Board President Lisa Longo.
The audience listens to an explanation for the purchase of
property in East Pikeland Township. Thursday night.
Longo said more housing developments means more tax revenues, and economic development incentives that phase in increased tax revenues over 10 years are coming on line, meaning the purchase and construction "would not necessarily mean a tax increase."
The board increased the tax rate for the coming school year by more than 3 percent in May.
Another East Pikeland resident, Dan Sidlo, won applause when he said the school district "must learn to live within your means."
He urged the district to take another look at the 61-acre Technical College High School property on Charlestown Road in Schuylkill Township, but Fegley said that is located on the wrong side of the district from where the growth is occurring; that the asking price was too high and added it is not a good road for school bus traffic.
Several resident, including John Mraz, said traffic on Route 724 is already terrible and questioned the wisdowm of putting a school there and adding more school bus traffic to the road.
Mraz also accused the board of lacking transparency with the public since this is the first the public was made aware of the possible purchase.
Longo said the law allows the board to discuss potential real estate purchases behind closed doors in "executive session" because "if everyone knew we were looking at properties, the prices would rise because they figure the taxpayers will pay for it."
"By being proactive, we are having great negotiations with the current land owner. By getting land early, we're set for down the road," said Fegley.
Phoenixville Schools to Plan for Growth With $4M Land Purchase