Hot Summer Predicted With Many Hurricanes

Meteorologists are predicting an extremely hot summer that will peak in August (don’t they all, haha) with very high temperatures and above average hurricane activity.

The Gulf Coast hasn’t rebounded from Katrina yet!  They are predicting New Jersey will take a major hit.  The ocean temps off Cape May are already 67 degree which is significantly above normal.  The warm water lends itself to hurricanes.

I have been hearing that we will see 100 degree days etc…. so I see high PECO bills in my future.  Must have a/c!  This could be a drought summer with those kinds of sustained temperatures.  I must say we are off to a very HOT start already.

Pottsville’s Yuengling Brewery To Hold Oktoberfest In Bethlehem

America’s oldest brewery, D. G. Yuengling & Son, will hold the first annual Oktoberfest at the SteelStacks performing arts venue in South Side Bethlehem beginning in 2011.   I can think of another former Bethlehem Steel site that could use an awesome brownfield transformation like the one in Bethlehem.  Hint, hint!

The Pottsville based brewery plans to hold the annual event the last week of September and the first week of October each year in a 130 x 160 foot tent which will be christened the Yuengling Festehalle.  Yuengling will make a new seasonal Oktoberfest beer for the occasion.

Yuengling also plans to sponsor 200 concerts in the Musikfest Cafe which is currently under construction at the former site of Bethlehem Steel.  The cafe will be completed this time next year.  Cream of the crop guitar manufacturer, C. F. Martin will sponsor a lobby in the cafe that will feature photographs of famous musicians playing Martin guitars. 

Martin’s global headquarters and primary factory are located in Nazareth which is located 4 miles north of Bethlehem.

Another Pennsylvania Town Headed Toward Act 47

Just a few short months after the City of Reading was accepted into Act 47, the Borough of Dunmore is teetering on the brink.  Dunmore, which is an adjacent suburb to the City of Scranton, has a population of 14,000 and is on the verge of bankruptcy.  Dunmore has accumulated $14.5 million in long-term debit and is facing an increase in expenditures for 2011 of $550,000.00.

Evidently the Commonwealth has reached out to Dunmore for over a year but those overtures fell on deaf ears.  Many on Council did not even know that help was offered.  Sounds like some Sunshine Law violations, but we digress.

In another interesting coincidence, the City of Scranton is also under Act 47 and has been since 1992!  Dunmore and Scranton are contiguous.

Dunmore’s Council is debating whether or not to go the way of their much larger neighbor and seek protection under Act 47 or come up with their own recovery program.

Pennsylvania Is A Wine And Grape Producing Powerhouse

This is a very interesting set of facts that I stumbled upon while doing my usual internet surfing for stories.

Many people know that Erie County is a big grape and wine-producing area.  What you may not realize is where the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stacks up out of the 50 states for wine and grape production.

This data is for 2007 but is the latest available information on this subject:

Pennsylvania is the 3rd largest juice grape producing state.  Who knew?

Pennsylvania is the 7th largest wine-producing state!

Pennsylvania had 114 wineries in 2007, up from 104 wineries 2005.

Wine, grapes and grape juice contributed $2.35 BILLION dollars to Pennsylvania’s economy in 2007!

So do your part to help the state’s economy and drink some delicious Pennsylvania wine :)

Happy Memorial Day

Wishing all my readers a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. 

Along with our festivities, we should pause for a moment of silence in remembrance of the men and women in our armed forces who gave their lives so we could be free.

Stay cool!

Image(s) courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com

 

BP’s Latest Effort To Stop Oil-Flow Fails!

BP’s latest heavy mud effort to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has failed.  The oil flow was too much for the heavy mud to cap the well.

So until next week, oil will continue to pour in the ocean unabated (18 million gallons and growing).  Next week BP will try a new untested procedure to cap the well.  This procedure involves a robot and cutting of the end of a pipe and placing a cap and seal over it.  It could take 4 – 7 days to complete.

The is now the largest oil spill in US history and growing daily.  The ecological and economic impact of this fiasco will be felt for 50 years!  Up to 40 million gallons of oil could wind up in the Gulf before all is said and done.

The White House stated the leak is enraging as well as heartbreaking.

SEPTA Fares Will Increase July 1st

ATTENTION SEPTA USERS:

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) will increase fares for trolleys, buses and the subway effective July 1, 2010. 

The price of a bus / subway token will increase .10 cents to $1.55 from the current $1.45, the cost of a weekly transit pass will rise $1.25 to $22 from the current $20.75, and a monthly Zone 3 commuter rail pass will jump $12.50 to $155.00 versus $142.50.  Transfers for subway, bus and trolley riders will increase to $1.00.  Currently a transfer is .75 cents.

The vote was divided to increase fares, however, SEPTA representatives  unanimously approved their $300,000,000.00 budget for the coming year.

Harrisburg City School District Approves Budget With Massive Layoffs

The Harrisburg City School District board of control has approved a tentative $136,000,000.00 budget which slashes 137 jobs to fill a $22,000,000.00 shortfall in the budget!  95 teachers, more than 40 support positions, 66 non-certified emergency teachers, 2 assistant superintendents, 1 principal and 10 central office positions.  I think they forgot the partridge in a pear tree.  The staff cuts only make up 1/2 of the $22,000,000.00 shortfall.

Staff cuts are expected to come from the most recently hired according to Rich Askey, President of the Harrisburg Education Association.

The Harrisburg School District has 8000 students and 1200 faculty and staff.  There are 15 schools in the district.  Harrisburg High School has a very high drop out rate (21%).  Harrisburg City School District is consistently ranked at the bottom of Pennsylvania’s 498 school districts.  In 2009 the district was ranked 496th!  The district is in Corrective Action II, 7th year.

Things could be much worse!

Huge Idol Finale Tonight! Will Simon’s Departure Overshadow The Winner?

There is so much in store on tonight’s American Idol finale!  Many guest appearances from past season contestants and winners and special guest stars like Hall & Oates, Chicago, Joe Cocker and Janet Jackson.  Even Miss Paula Abdul is slated to pay a visit to send Simon on his way.

I hope that Simon’s farewell doesn’t take away from the winner.  Not that Simon doesn’t deserve the mother of all send-offs but whoever wins will have to share the spotlight with Simon.  It seems like there should have been a special farewell show dedicated to Simon after the competition is over.  This is a lot of pack into one two-hour show!

American Idol Showdown

Last night’s American Idol contestants, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, held their own in the last round of competition.  I tend to like Lee better personality wise but looking at them musically they are about evenly matched.  You may like one better than the other, or like one style better than the other, but at this point in time I would not say Crystal is breezing into victory as predicted earlier in the season.  Lee has certainly been the most improved contestant this season and is “in it to win it”. 

Whatever happens, they can both hold their heads high and say they gave it their all.  Good luck to Crystal and Lee!  You are both winners in my book!

Philadelphia Pretzel Factory Give Away

The Philadelphia Pretzel Factory will be giving away a new product for you to try tomorrow, May 24th, between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm.  The new cheesesteak pretzel is here!  Hit up the Philadelphia Pretzel Factory and try a new cheesesteak pretzel tomorrow, at participating locations. 

The nearest Philadelphia Pretzel Factory is at 1432 E. High Street in Pottstown.  I do not know if they are participating, however, the Norristown store is participating.  If you live or work in the Norristown area, they are located at 132 W. Main Street, near the Montgomery County Court House.  It sounds like all stores in the area will have the new item but you may want to check first.

Senior Follies At The TriPAC

If you are looking for something to do Sunday afternoon, look no further.

The Tri-County Performing Arts Center, in downtown Pottstown, is hosting their second annual Senior Follies tomorrow!

Enjoy the many musical, dramatic, and comedic antics of our performance troupe for older adults!  Recommended for ages 4 through adult.

SENIOR FOLLIES  (May 23, 2010)
Sunday – 3:00 pm
ADULTS: $12
STUDENTS/SENIORS (65+): $10
CHILDREN (12 & under): $8
$2 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more!

http://www.villageproductions.org/index.htm

What’s Wrong With This Picture???

A homebuilt airplane crashed while trying to land at the Wakefield Virginia Municipal Airport.  The plane, a Long-EZ, is a fuel-efficient, long-range plane.  The pilot was (sit down again) 80 years old!  WTH!!! 

Should this person even be driving a car, let alone flying an airplane by his lonesome?  Unfortunately, the Hollidaysburg, PA native was killed but this could have been worse if the plane would have struck a building etc…

Just sayin’….this seems rather dangerous letting an octogenarian zoom about the stratosphere, unsupervised.

Gulf Oil Spill, One Month Later

So guess what??  BP still has not contained the gushing oil that continues to pour into the ocean for a month now!  The oil is moving its way inland and up the delta of the Mississippi River.  Now Florida is possibly threatened.  BP says it could be (sit down please) August until this thing in capped but “not to worry” because BP COO Doug Suttles is optimistic that the Gulf “will make a full recovery.”  Well thanks Doug - we can all sleep better knowing that.  Did you call Dionne Warwick and the Psychic Friends Network to get that info Doug????  Y’all have lost all credibility with me.

There has been a lot of finger-pointing and blame game but nobody, including the US Government, has done anything remotely close to stopping the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.  IMHO this is an environmental disaster of epic proportions and the US Government should be diverting any and all resources necessary to shut the oil off!  Tell BP to go back to Britain.  We’ll fix it ourselves and send those knuckleheads the bill!

Somebody better light a fire under some one or some thing before it’s too late.

Full recovery my patoot!

Dr. Lindley Tapped For Top Job At PSD

In a surprise move (wink), the Pottstown School Board gave Assistant Superintendent Reed Lindley a promotion to Superintendent of Schools last night.

Have to say I saw this coming, based on different thing I picked up on, so there was no point in me attending last night’s meeting.

We certainly wish Dr. Lindley well in his new position and hope that he and the BOE can move PSD forward during these turbulent economic times.  There is much work to do and much at stake.

Good luck Dr. Lindley!