POTTSTOWN BOROUGH CHANGES BANKS

The Pottstown Borough and Authority will begin using Susquehanna Bank, High and Hanover Streets effective with any payments made on July 01, 2010.  This change in banking services will afford the Borough increased savings each year through reduced banking charges and fees as well as increased interest earnings.

EFFECTIVE JULY 01, 2010

FOR WATER, SEWER, TRASH PAYMENTS

For more information:

http://www.pottstown.org/PDF/BankChange%20for%20Water-Sewer-Trash%200810.pdf

Muhlenberg’s 30th summer season continues with ‘Spelling Bee’ musical

Allentown, Pa. (June 29, 2010) — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre will celebrate cerebration with the second mainstage production of its 30th season: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” The musical comedy runs July 14 through Aug. 1, in the Dorothy Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance.

Telling the story of six adolescent outsiders who compete for the title of Putnam County Spelling Bee champion, “Spelling Bee” won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and was nominated for Best Musical and Best Score. The New York Times called it “effortlessly endearing.”

The show includes guest spellers from the audience each night, including a “celebrity guest speller” for each performance. Notables will include Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski, National Public Radio host Neal Conan, and Morning Call columnist Bill White. [A complete list appears below.]

“The show is highly unpredictable,” says Bill Mutimer, the show’s director and choreographer. “On any given night, the direction it goes depends on the guest spellers and the choices that the cast makes. It has a kind of madcap, improvisational energy.

“But at the same time,” Mutimer continues, “the show lets you sympathize with these six vulnerable kids, going through a really tough time in their lives. I mean, who would choose to go back to their middle school days? So it’s awkward and endearing and hilarious, all at once.”

“Spelling Bee” tells the story of six unfortunate pre-teens who try, as spelling bee contestants, to wrench a moment’s dignity from the awkward misery of their pubescent lives. William Barfée — it rhymes with “parfait” — played by Gabriel Martinez, has one working nostril and a magic foot that helps him with his spelling. Leaf Coneybear (Andrew Clark), is the child of hippie parents and doing his best to cope with their low expectations for him. Marcy Park (Jessica Anne Cox) speaks six languages but can’t meet a boy in any of them.

Olive Ostrovsky (Emily Spadaford) is the mousy but courageous young ingenue, whose mom is at an ashram in India, and whose dad is working late as usual. Chip Tolentino (Joe Spiotta) is last year’s champion, struggling with his hormones and his powers of concentration. The pigtailed Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre (Anna Gothard) is up on current events and burdened by her two dads’ expectations.

“It has been a beautiful process getting in touch with my inner 10-year-old child,” Gothard says. “‘Spelling Bee’ reminds me of the wonderful innocence that children possess — which I forgot I once possessed as well.”

The adults in the room include Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Patrick M. Brady); comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney (Matthew S. Walczer), who consoles those who get the ding; and moderator Rona Lisa Perretti (Traci Ceschin), reliving her own bee glory.

The show features a score by William Finn, Tony Award winner for “Falsettos,” and a book by Rachel Sheinkin. Ken Butler is the musical director for the production, Matthew Allar designs the set, Lex Gurst designs costumes, John McKernon designs lights, and Paul E. Theisen Jr. designs sound. Julia Korzeniewski is the production stage manager.

The celebrity guest spellers for the production are:

- Amy Burkett, host of “Tempo InDepth” and senior vice president of production on PBS39, July 14

 – Randy Helm, Muhlenberg College president, July 15

- Mark Stutz, director of visual and performing arts for the Parkland School District, July 16

- Neal Conan, radio journalist and host of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” July 17

- Rebecca Walz, development and public relations director for WDIY-FM, Lehigh Valley community public radio, July 18

- Randall Forte, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, July 21

- A.J. Irvin, actor, award-winning New York cabaret performer, and Muhlenberg alumnus, July 22

- Brooks Joyner, Priscilla Payne Hurd president and CEO of the Allentown Art Museum, July 23

- Michael Fegley, director of marketing, Fegley’s Brew Works, July 24

- Joan Barber, actor, singer, and voice teacher — played Katisha in the original 1981 Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre production of “The Mikado” — July 25

- Sharon Lee Glassman, president of Civic Theatre of Allentown and former Emmaus High School teacher and director, July 28

- Myra Yellin Outwater, Allentown Morning Call theater columnist, July 29

- Ed Pawlowski, mayor of Allentown, July 30

- Ellen Baker Ghelardi, executive director of the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, July 31

- Bill White, Allentown Morning Call columnist, Aug. 1.

The show is the second mainstage production of Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre’s 30th season. The season also features Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado,” which played June 16 through July 3, and the children’s musical “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” which continues through July 31.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” plays July 14 through Aug. 1, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. While not explicit, the show does deal in part with the turbulent inner life of the pubescent boy, and so is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Ticket prices for July 14-17 are: regular admission, $32; seniors, $28; full-time students, $18; children, $13. Prices for July 18 through Aug. 1 are: regular admission $38; seniors, $34; full-time students, $20; children, $15.

The Trexler Pavilion is located at 2400 Chew Street, Allentown. 

Tickets are available from the box office, in person or at 484-664-3333,  484-664-3333 or online at http://www.summerbroadway.org.

2010 Pennsylvania State Fair Guide

Do you enjoy fairs?  Pennsylvania has over 100 fairs each year!  Click on the link below for access to the 2010 Pennsylvania Fair Guide.  The guide has tons of great information and the map is broken down by region.  There is also a list, broken down by month, so you can see at-a-glance which fairs are going on now and what is coming up.  Enjoy!!

http://www.repmoul.com/Display/SiteFiles/54/CaucusFiles/2010PAFairGuide.pdf

here is another website with a comprehensive list as well if the above link isn’t working:

http://www.pennsylvania-mountains-of-attractions.com/pennsylvania-fair.html

CNN Icon Larry King Will End His 25 Year Run This Fall

Larry King, a staple at CNN for a quarter of a century will end his Larry King Live show this fall.  Mr. King has recently seen his ratings slip and was involved in a messy and very public martial kerfluffle with wife number 7.  The 76-year-old King will still do CNN specials from time to time but he is tired of the daily grind.

King stated he would like to see Ryan Seacrest be his successor, however, it is not certain that Larry King Live will continue and the show could be replaced with other programming.  That would be a decision for the CNN brass.

All things come to an end but Larry recently was added to the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest-running show, on the same network in the same time slot.  Not a bad way to go out.

Rendell And Legislature Come To Budget Agreement

This is news!  Pennsylvania will have a budget on time for the first time in years!  The new budget will be $28 BILLION dollars.

Overall spending was increased less than 1% and no increase in sales tax or state income tax.  Guess Harrisburg finally got the message!

Pennsylvania is expecting to receive $2.7 billion in federal economic stimulus money.  Without this money further cuts and tax increases would be necessary.

Spending was increased for healthcare and education.

Agriculture, conservation & natural resources, labor and industry, environmental protection, libraries, the governor’s office, state parks and state health care centers had their budgets cut between 6.9% – 11.7%.

The new fiscal year starts tomorrow, July 1st.

Local Fundraiser For Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

The Civic Theatre of Allentown is hosting a comedy benefit fundraiser on Saturday, July 3rd.  Doors open at 8:15 pm (show starts at 9:00 pm) and half of the evening’s proceeds go toward clean up in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you want to do something to help and haven’t figured out how, here is an opportunity.

More information:  http://www.civictheatre.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=115&Itemid=135

York County Benefits From Maryland’s Northern Migration

For whatever reason, Marylanders are crossing the Mason-Dixon Line and moving into southern York County.

According to the US Census Department, during the last decade housing units increased in York County by 12.8%.  Northern migration from Maryland was a substantial part of that gain, according to Steve Snell, executive director of the Realtors Association of York & Adams Counties.

I wonder what is luring these people out of Maryland?  The adjacent Maryland counties are Hanford, Baltimore and Carroll.

Montgomery Mall Getting New Stores And Improvements

For our readers who shop at Montgomery Mall, good news is on the way for you. 

Mall Management has announced the following enhancements or new additions coming to the mall:

1. JC Penny is renovating their 158,000 square foot anchor store.  Part of the renovation will include a Sephora Cosmetics Boutique.

2. Crazy 8, a subsidiary of Gymboree will open a new store.

3. Body Central, a juniors clothing and accessories store will open a new retail site at the mall.

4. Subway is coming to the food court.

5. China Max is coming to the food court.

6. An Atlantic Book store location is opening.

7. A new AT&T store is coming soon.

8. Weight Watchers is opening a store in the mall.

The Friday evening concert series will continue again this year.  Music starts at 7 pm in various locations around the mall.

http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=847

Four People Slaughtered In Northampton By Paroled Murdered

Police described the scene as a slaughter with blood on the floor in puddles and all over the walls.  Four people were butchered in Northampton, a normally quiet suburb of Allentown.  Three residents of the home and a good Samaritan neighbor were allegedly murdered by Michael E. Ballard.  The 36-year-old Ballard had a brief relationship with one of the victims after being paroled in 2007 for a murder he committed in 1991!  Could be why the relationship was “brief”!

The accused was involved in a minor car accident, shortly after committing the alleged crimes.  Ballard was covered with blood and told an off-duty state trooper he just killed everyone.  He was driving a victim’s car in an attempt to flee from the police.

Mr. Ballard will be sent to the Northampton County Jail without bail after he is released from St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill.  This could be the first quadruple homicide in the county’s history according to Northampton District Attorney John Morganelli.

Central Dauphin School District To Vote On Budget This Evening

The Central Dauphin School District is voting to approve their $154 million dollar budget this evening.  They are moving $919,000.00 from a health care reserve fund to balance the budget.  No tax increase is anticipated.  The possibility of some layoffs still exist.  That will be determined at the end of the summer.

The Central Dauphin School District is the 13th largest in the state and the largest school district in Dauphin County.  The district operates 2 high schools, 4 middle schools and 13 elementary schools.  Enrollment is 11,750 according to the district website.  The district employs 960 teachers and over 400 other staff members and administrators..

An Example Of A Path For Pottstown

Oil City, PA is remaking itself into an Arts Community.  Something that Pottstown says it would like to be.  This community, which is half the size of Pottstown and in an economically challenged part of the state, is putting its money where its mouth is. 

Like Pottstown, Oil City was once an industrial community that has lost much of its industry.  Unlike Pottstown, it is much further away from a major city (90+ miles to Pittsburgh and 60+ miles from Erie).   The median household income in Oil City is $29,060 vs. Pottstown’s $35,785.  The household income for Oil City is $36,149 and Pottstown comes in at $45, 734.  Despite these challenges, Oil City is determined to reinvent itself to bring life back into the downtown and attract business.  Oil City offers relocation incentives to artists, and I really do mean financial incentives, to entice creative people to relocate there, start a business and buy a home.

Recently, our illustrious Zoning Board flatly denied a creative couple a variance to buy a home and operate two businesses out of said home.  A retail store and a by appointment only tattoo business.  Evidently we are too highfalutin to permit a by appointment only tattoo business in this “burg” so we said, “Nope, don’t want your kind in these parts.”  Thereby losing property taxes, the opportunity to fill a vacant home and discouraging artists from coming to Pottstown.  This couple heard Pottstown was the place to be, the bee’s knees etc…. Guess we showed them, didn’t we?  Wonder what they will tell their creative friends about Pottstown now!

What would Oil City do (WWOCD)?  Take a gander at their relocation incentive package and see for yourselves!

http://www.artsoilcity.com/relocationincentives.htm

I hope somebody on Council or in Borough Hall reads this incentive plan and checks out their website.  It would be time well spent!

Pottstown Rumble Organizer Squashes Rumor About Event Leaving Pottstown

The Mercury did a good thing today by making sure the world knows those stupid rumors about the Pottstown Rumble leaving our fair city are untrue!  They are not going any where according to organizer Ken Kaas.

This is an awesome event for Pottstown.  If you have never attended, take a walk through Memorial Park this weekend and check it out.  Amazing athletes competing for $22,000.00 in prizes.  You can watch any of the matches by just standing on the sidelines and staying out-of-the-way.

Over 2,000 people have signed up!  These kind of events are exactly what Pottstown needs.  The people who come here really enjoy it, say good things about Pottstown (unlike some residents) and it brings money into town!  A win-win if ever I saw one!

Kudos to the Mercury for their positive promotion of The Rumble!

For more information:

Voice: 610-367-2279

Internet: http://www.pottstownrumble.com

Admission is FREE!

Local Phillies Fan Who Was Tasered Gets Probation

Seventeen-year-old Steven Consalvi, from Gilbertsville, made the national news when he got tasered for running onto the field at Citizens Bank Park during the 8th inning of a Phillies game.  His father, Wayne Consalvi, owns an auto repair shop in North Coventry Township and was interviewed by the local media regarding the incident.

Steven received 80 hours of public service and is on probation for six months.  I think this young man is fortunate to have escaped without more serious charges.  Hopefully he learned his lesson and others will think twice before doing something like this.  It may seem like the “cool” thing to do at the time but the consequences far outweight the “thrill”.  Fortunately, this sentence should not mess up his permanent record.