Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto Touts His First 100 Days In Office

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is looking to spur manufacturing, help poor residents open bank accounts and offer free Internet in the City-County Building, according to a report on his administration’s first 100 days.

Peduto reiterated many of the initiatives he has touted since taking office Jan. 6, but he also offered a glimpse of what he is planning among the 63 accomplishments and ideas listed in the 13-page report.

“While we have accomplished a lot in our first 100 days, we have a long way to go to realize our potential as a city poised for greatness,” Peduto said in a statement.

The mayor was in Ontario, Canada, on Monday and Tuesday attending an international bicycle summit.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5953206-74/peduto-report-pittsburgh#ixzz2z0xKUyvg
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Rival Owners Of Philly Newspapers Pledge $77M Bids

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building in Philadelphia, PA. Taken from North Broad and Callowhill Streets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Rival owners fighting for control of Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers have each pledged $77 million to take control of the company.

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are being sold as investors who bought them in 2012 argue over newsroom management and corporate strategy.

Wealthy businessmen George Norcross and Lewis Katz lead the rival factions, and testified at a hearing underway in Delaware this week to determine who can bid at the planned auction.

“There are people interested in this newspaper,” Katz testified Tuesday. “Whether or not they will come forward to bid is, in my mind, still problematic.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/pennsylvania/rival-owners-of-philly-newspapers-pledge-m-bids/article_7565e20e-ce5a-5bfa-9d30-9b3473304f9a.html

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Dunmore May Condemn Homes Where Drugs Are Sold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DUNMORE, PA – Drug dealers who settle in the borough may soon find themselves homeless.

Borough council next month will consider amending Dunmore’s building code ordinance to temporarily condemn homes and apartments where people are selling or manufacturing drugs.

“A one-time zone violation of drug activity on site will result in immediate closure of the property,” solicitor Thomas Cummings told councilmen on Monday. “It mirrors (ordinances) used by other communities in an effort to stem the drug problem which … destroys the neighborhood, destroys the property value and just creates a downward spiral.”

Borough lawmakers were already thinking of doing more to combat drugs when Dunmore police and Lackawanna County detectives found a large cache of drugs and related paraphernalia at a Prescott Avenue home last month.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dunmore-may-condemn-homes-where-drugs-are-sold-1.1668476

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Pottstown School Board To Vote On $125K Electrical Outlet Upgrade

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board’s facilities committee will ask the full board to spend about $125,000 to install an additional 263 outlets in classrooms at Barth Elementary School, the renovation of which was just completed in September.

The much-debated change-order will also replace seven “1950s-era” electrical panels with three modern ones, said Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer, who made the recommendation.

The outlet changes were requested by teachers, who do not believe the older outlets in the building are adequate or in the right locations. Further, they are not comparable with the more modern outlets that will be in the renovated rooms at Lincoln, Rupert and Franklin elementary schools.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140415/pottstown-school-board-to-vote-on-125k-electrical-outlet-upgrade

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Pittsburgh Is Home To The Best Cake In America, Says HuffPost

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We here at Pittsburgh Magazine are not so different from Jay-Z. We’re also all about the cake (cake, cake, cake cake). So we’ve been trumpeting the deliciousness of Prantl’s Bakery to anyone who would listen (that would be you, dear reader) for years. Thankfully, the nice folks over at the all-consuming digital media behemoth The Huffington Post have taken notice, too.

HuffPo’s Taste blog has named Prantl’s burnt almond torte The Best Cake America Has Ever Made. That’s a bold proclamation, made bolder still by the author outright trolling the inevitable New York City comment section mumblywumps right in the lead paragraph.

Read more: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/April-2014/HuffPost-Taste-Praises-Prantls-for-Having-the-Best-Cake-America-Has-Ever-Made/

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Last In Beating Recession

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the race to climb out of recession, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area is dead last among the 100 largest urban areas nationwide.

That is the finding in a recent “Metro Monitor” study by The Brookings Institution that tracked the economic performance of 100 metropolitan areas on four indicators: jobs, unemployment, output (gross product) and house prices. The analysis focused on the change of the indicators during three time periods: the recession, recovery and a combination of both.

During the recovery period, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ranked 100, or last, trailing Little Rock, Ark., (99) and Greater Hartford, Conn. (98).

“In terms of recovery, it has been pretty slow” for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, said Siddharth Kulkarni, a research assistant in Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/scranton-w-b-last-in-beating-recession-1.1667766

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Bucks Entrepreneur’s Raw Foods Flying Off The Shelves

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bucks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bucks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With annual sales of his raw-foods snacks closing in on $20 million and investment experts suggesting that could rise to at least $100 million in the not-too-distant future, Doylestown-based organi-preneur Brad Gruno’s lesson is indisputable:

Mothers have been on to something all along with their “Eat your vegetables!” harping.

Gruno was smart enough to build a business off it – one that started in 2009 with a sales table at a Bucks County farmers’ market and now has shelf space in major markets such as Whole Foods and Wegmans and many specialty grocers.

His Brad’s Raw Foods product line has expanded from raw tortilla chips made of a dehydrated mixture of fresh vegetables, flaxseed, and buckwheat groats to include seasoned sprouted seeds, dried onion rings, and what is now responsible for 70 percent of sales: six flavors of crunchy kale.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/small_business/20140414_Bucks_entrepreneur_s_raw_foods_flying_off_the_shelves.html#CZoDDDCY6dGf0bOx.99

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10 Men Arrested In Montgomery Township Prostitution Sting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 11, 2014, the Montgomery Township Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau organized a sting operation targeting human trafficking and the commercial sex trade in the Montgomeryville section of Montgomery Township. On this date, officers placed an online advertisement offering prostitution services. In response to this advertisement, hundreds of communications (text messages and phone calls) took place. Each defendant agreed to pay money for sexual services prior to their arrest.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140414/10-men-arrested-in-montgomery-township-prostitution-sting

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Woman Shot In Pottstown; Police Investigating

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  With the warm weather comes increased crime in this neighborhood.  I think it’s time for a plan instead of a band-aid.

POTTSTOWN — A young woman was shot Sunday afternoon, causing Buttonwood Alley between Washington and Warren streets to be closed for several hours due to the police investigation.

Pottstown Police and Goodwill Ambulance responded at around 5:15 p.m. to the home fronting the 500 block of East High Street.

It’s unclear who or where the alleged shooter is.

Patrol officers were unable to comment on the case and deferred questions to Pottstown Police detectives. They did not return calls as of press time.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140413/woman-shot-in-pottstown-police-investigating

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#ARTS: Mobile Technology For Dummies

Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s Professional Development Series offers a technology seminar for arts professionals, “#Arts: Mobile Technology for Dummies,” on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Butz Corporate Center, Ninth and Hamilton streets, Allentown.

Hit the ground running! Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptop, tablet, and smartphone to this hands-on seminar. Presenters will demonstrate how mobile technology acts as a driver for events, products, art sales and website traffic. Arts entrepreneurs and arts administrators will learn how to:

  • Enhance your marketing efforts through social media websites
  • Set up and use an Instagram account
  • Ensure your website is mobile device friendly
  • Adopt e-commerce solutions such as Etsy, Big Cartel and Amazon Marketplace and Mobile Technology point-of-sale devices such as Square, Intuit and Paypal to boost your sales.

Featured presenters, Matt McKernan, President of Mosaic Interactive, an award–winning, interactive and traditional marketing agency, and Steven Leibensperger, graphic and exhibit designer for Crayola, fine artist, and musician will provide both the developer and artist perspective.

The member fee is $25; nonmembers pay $45. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Buy Tickets Today! www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
For more information:  www.LVArtsCouncil.org/ArtsMobile.html

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New Mexican War Streets Grocer Connects With Pittsburgh North Side Neighborhood

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rob Collins believes he has the formula to reanimate a piece of lost history in the Mexican War Streets.

Collins is owner of the Allegheny City Market, a corner grocer that opened in Pittsburgh’s North Side last month in space formerly occupied by Doug’s Market.

Doug’s went out of business in January because of years of declining sales. Collins, however, envisions a more successful outcome.

“There’s no reason this place shouldn’t be a gold mine,” Collins said recently from behind the counter of his Arch Street shop. “It started off really slow, but it’s picking up. The last two days have been really busy.”

Collins, 46, of Manchester has worked in the grocery business for more than two decades. In 2010, he opened Bryant Street Market in Highland Park, which, he said, “is crushing it.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5891864-74/collins-market-streets#ixzz2yp4GTuDA
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Easton Urban Garden, Which Grew 1,400 Pounds Of Produce Last Year, Hopes For Funding Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A once-withering urban garden on Easton’s South Side grew hundreds of pounds of free produce for city residents last year.

The city hopes to build on its success by pursuing a $75,000 federal grant and then matching it with city funds to expand and improve the garden at the Easton Area Neighborhood Center.

The West Ward Neighborhood Partnershiptook over the troubled garden in 2012 and last year, volunteers helped harvest more than 1,400 pounds of vegetables that were donated to Easton residents.

Initial plans call for expanding the farmable land, installing new garden-themed playground equipment, improving the watering system and erecting a fence.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/04/easton_urban_gardens_success_c.html

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PhillyDeals: French Building Firm Chooses Malvern For New U.S. HQ

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Crowe is the top North American executive for Saint-Gobain, the $55 billion- a-year French construction- materials maker that traces its roots to the group that built Versailles for King Louis XIV. Crowe has been looking for a place to build another palace – in Pennsylvania – as Saint-Gobain’s U.S. base and showroom.

To replace the company’s aging U.S. headquarters near Valley Forge, Crowe scouted sites for “an absolutely spectacular building that will incorporate all aspects of what we know as a building-materials company in terms of energy efficiency and a sustainable, open, collaborative workplace,” he tells me. Plus, a research and development center to replace the old labs in Blue Bell.

The search, extended by the recession, took Saint- Gobain six years. The company plans to announce this week that it has picked a potentially spectacular fixer-upper, an $80 million-plus expansion of the once-innovative but now-rusted and vacant complex built in 1969 by the former National Liberty Life Insurance Co. on 65 acres north of Malvern, close to the new State Route 29 ramp from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140413_PhillyDeals__French_building_firm_chooses_Malvern_for_new_U_S__HQ.html#2pYscMdh5kLGVKze.99

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Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Turnaround Complete, Owner Patel Says

Kiran Patel says the days of turmoil at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh are finally over.

“The city and people at large want to see this property not as an eyesore,” Patel, the hotel’s owner since 2011, said this week.

Nearly $15 million in renovations were completed in January, adding three floors to the front of the building, more meeting space and a pool with a breathtaking view of the Fort Pitt Bridge and the Point.

But getting there was not easy. Patel, a Tampa physician and businessman, had to navigate the hotel out of bankruptcy, manage union unrest over a new contact, and complete the renovation project that was stalled for at least two years under the previous owners.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5924249-74/hotel-patel-wyndham#ixzz2yj4m6ho8
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Retailer Coldwater Creek Files For Bankruptcy

Women’s clothing chain Coldwater Creek has filed for bankruptcy and plans to liquidate its operations.

The Idaho retailer — which has Pittsburgh-area stores in Ross, Monroeville, Mt. Lebanon, Cranberry, Grove City and Erie —announced that it plans to start liquidation sales in early May. The company’s most recent quarterly report listed 343 traditional stores, 36 factory stores and 7 spas.

Coldwater Creek said it has been reviewing its options for the past six months and considered many options, including a sale of the company. But the company wasn’t able to find a buyer or a source of enough capital to turn the business around.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/04/11/Coldwater-Creek-files-for-bankruptcy/stories/201404110175#ixzz2ygqJfoxg

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Two Arrested After Stabbing At Park City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A male shoplifting suspect took off running through the Boscov’s department store at Park City Center Friday afternoon after cutting a loss-prevention officer on the hand, Lancaster city police said.

His female accomplice bolted as well, city police Officer Marc Shaffer said.

Police have charged Noel H. Israel-Negron, 35, of the 600 block of Columbia Avenue, with retail theft, robbery, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and criminal conspiracy.

Kriste L. McManus, 40, of the 600 block of Market Street, Marietta, was charged with retail theft, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/two-arrested-after-stabbing-at-park-city/article_1927c53c-c1a3-11e3-9783-001a4bcf6878.html

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Allentown Hockey Arena Sees Milestone As Concrete Slab Is Poured

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown hockey arena construction saw another milestone today as more than 30 trucks worth of concrete were poured for what will be a 17,000-square-foot ice floor.

A total of 315 cubic yards of concrete were poured today, and the next major step will be making the ice itself, which will occur in the summer.

“This took a great team effort,” said Jim Brooks, co-owner of the Phantoms hockey team that will start its 2014 season at the PPL Center in September.

“There’s not too many 10,000-seat venues in the world, let alone the United States, and even less that have ice-making capabilities,” Brooks said. “It’s very difficult to pull off.”

Read more:http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/04/allentown_hockey_arena_sees_mi.html

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Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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Experts: Excess Sugar Consumption Leads To A Host Of Diseases

Editor’s note:  All things in moderation.  Interesting article.

(MCT) Dr. Robert Lustig’s YouTube lectures about the dangers of sugar have raised a few eyebrows in recent years and even drawn some criticism.

But the pediatric endocrinologist’s proclamations are supported by research his team has done at the University of California, San Francisco, with steady confirmation from other scientific studies linking sugar with chronic disease and early death. Among his points are:

1. Sugar is poison.

2. Sugar is sugar and unhealthy in any form.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/Experts_Excess_sugar_consumption_leads_to_a_host_of_diseases.html#sPl0fOcS1xjBS5DE.99

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Pottstown School Board Leery Of Offer To Refurbish Light Poles

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Members of the Pottstown School Board showed little interest Thursday in an offer to refurbish the poles that hold up the lights at Grigg Memorial Stadium.

Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer told the board’s facilities committee meeting Thursday that he had been contacted by a company that had read in The Mercury about the board’s decision to take down the lights at the stadium for safety reasons.

The company — 18th Century Restorations on Coventryville Road — made a similar offer in 2012 and estimated the cost at that time to refurbish the poles and lights to be $60,000.

According to the 2012 quote, which Kripplebauer shared with The Mercury, the work would involve “fabricating new hardware” for the poles and attaching 42 metal straps to keep them in place, as well as epoxy and caulk for cracks in the poles, along with other work.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140411/pottstown-school-board-leery-of-offer-to-refurbish-light-poles

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