2010 Harrisburg Cupcake Cup

Background-cupcake

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Like cupcakes?  Are you socially conscious?  Would you like to attend a cupcake bake-off that benefits the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank?  If so, you are in luck!   

This Sunday, October 3rd, the second annual Harrisburg Cupcake Cup bake-off will be held at Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1302 N. Third St., Harrisburg, PA 17102  www.midtownscholar.com   

Admission is 2 non-perishable food items or $2.00, which gets you a coupon for 1 free cupcake from the sampling table (while supplies last).   

Doors open at 2 pm and the judging starts at 3 pm.   

For all the details click on this link www.midtownscholar.com   

UPDATE: 

Here is the 411 on yesterday’s competition complete with pictures.  The event was a huge success by all accounts!  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/10/good_things_come_in_small_pack.html 

Important Meeting Alert!!!!!

If you are sick and tired of the criminal element causing violence in Pottstown and would like to do something to make your voice heard, please read below and mark your calendar for this important meeting!

October 7th, 7:00 PM

Pottstown Diner – 99 W. King St. (corner of King and Rt.100) in the Banquet Room
 
Speaker:  Local Attorney, Adam Sager
 
Mercury Headlines:  

Shots Fired Monday in Pottstown, Two Homes Hit…

Pottstown Man Describes Shooting Home Intruder…

Pottstown Police Seek Info on Brutal Home Invasion…

Pottstown Drug Dealer Convicted of More Crimes…

We all know that this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG

ENOUGH.  We deserve to feel safe, to keep our families safe and to enjoy our homes and neighborhoods without fear.
  
Homeowners, concerned investors, business owners and concerned renters WE CAN take back our neighborhood. Listen to Mr. Sager to find out how civil law can be used to hold criminals and slum property owners accountable for the violence in our neighborhoods.
 
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!
  
DON’T MISS THIS.  If you can’t be there, be sure you send a neighbor on your block. NO, better yet…round up all the good neighbors on your block.  Spread the word and let all of your friends and neighbors know about this meeting.
 
Bring this Flyer with your name printed below and win one of two $25 Wal-Mart gift cards, in time to decorate for Halloween. A random drawing will be held at the end of the meeting.
 
A BIG THANK YOU to our Good Neighbor – The Pottstown Diner for providing us with meeting space and refreshments.  Many Thanks to Attorney Adam Sager for his time, knowledge. willingness and support.  Way to Go Neighbors!!

Muhlenberg Opens Theater And Dance Season With ‘Polaroid Stories,’ Oct. 6-10

Provocative black-box production interweaves
mythology with real stories of homeless youth

Allentown, Pa. (Sept. 15, 2010) – The Muhlenberg College Department opens its 2010-11 mainstage season with Naomi Iizuka’s “Polaroid Stories,” a visceral blend of classical mythology and real-life stories told by street kids. The production will be directed by Zach Trebino, a senior theater major at the college. The play runs Oct. 6-10 in the college’s 100-seat Studio Theatre.

“Every season we choose at least one student to direct on the mainstage,” said Jim Peck, chair for of the department. “It’s an important and longstanding value of the program — that directing students who have shown exceptional promise get the opportunity to lead a project with the full support of the department. Zach’s outstanding record as a director, playwright, and actor made him a great choice for this opportunity.”

“Polaroid Stories” will mark Trebino’s second mainstage directing opportunity. Last fall, he helmed a one-act play, “Ouroboros, which he also wrote, as part of the “New Voices” one-act festival.

“It is wonderful that Muhlenberg affords students the ability to develop what they learn in the classroom,” Trebino said. “This is an opportunity that most undergraduates do not receive.”

Inspired in part by Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” “Polaroid Stories” takes place on an abandoned pier on the outermost edge of a city, a way-stop for dreamers, dealers and desperadoes. The play is their story — heartbreaking and celebratory, all at once. Trebino was attracted to “Polaroid Stories” because of the play’s language.

“The play mixes poetic lyricism with gritty, real, human speech,” he said.

“Polaroid Stories,” journeys into a dangerous world where myth-making fulfills a fierce need for transcendence, where storytelling has the power to transform a reality in which characters’ lives are continually threatened and devalued. Not all the stories they tell are true; some are lies, wild yarns, clever deceits, baroque fabrications. But whether or not a homeless youth invents an incredible history for himself isn’t the point, explains one character: “All these stories and lies add up to something like the truth.”

“The play shows that there is a godliness within everyone, even the most disenfranchised people,” Trebino said. “Everyone has a story worth remembering.”

Muhlenberg’s production of “Polaroid Stories” will be more minimalist than other productions of the play. It will take place in a smaller space than usual and will have fewer set pieces.

“I see the production as occurring in a black box magical fantasy theater,” Trebino said, “where things wonderful and fantastical can occur, and there is magic around every corner.”

Trebino said he takes his vision for the play in part from Jerzy Grotowski’s idea of “poor theatre,” in which the actor is the main arbitrator of the theatrical experience. He is also interested in theater that stems from Greek and Roman mythology. He was particularly interested in “Polaroid Stories,” he said, because the focus is on the female characters.

“‘Polaroid Stories’ turns mythology on its head because it makes female characters the focus,” he said.

Muhlenberg College is a liberal arts college of 2,221 students in Allentown, Pa. The college offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. Princeton ranks Muhlenberg’s theater program sixth in the nation, and the Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

“Polaroid Stories” plays Oct. 6-10 in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. The production is recommended for mature audiences.

Performances are Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 6-8, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 9, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, $8 for youth 17 and under. Group rates and season subscriptions are available.

Tickets and information are available at 484-664-3333 or http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre

Carousel Of Flavor Colossal Success!!

A large crowd of people packed into downtown Pottstown this afternoon for the 7th Annual Carousel of Flavor.  High Street was closed between Hanover and York Streets and the crowd spilled over into Smith Plaza.  About a dozen local restaurants and a dozen local crafters lined High Street for festival goers to patronize.  The sound of live music filled the air as well. 

Pottstown Borough Manager, Jason Bobst was manning the beer tent, Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath was meeting and greeting and Steve Toroney, Council President was enjoying the sights and smells.  I also saw some school board members and former school board members in the large crowd supporting a glorious day in Pottstown!

Here are some pictures of Pottstown at its best for your enjoyment.

Treevenge, Hylton Style

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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Yes folks, another paid utterance from our favorite Shade Tree Czar, Thomas Hylton, appears in today’s Pottstown Mercury.  This pearl of wisdom drips of acid after the last Pottstown Borough Council meeting rendered Mr. Hylton’s precious commission irrelevant with the passage of a new Shade Tree Ordinance that shifts authority for street trees to the Borough Manager.  

We are treated to another Jody Rhoads bashing and the same old tripe that Mr. Hylton bloviates time and again (see also hand waving).   

This will be short and sweet as I have exhausted myself on this subject.  

Tom, you lost.  Go away gracefully and stop making a colossal fool out of yourself.  You aren’t going to change anyone’s mind with your infomercials.  The deed is done dude.  You had your ten minutes before Council.  Obviously they don’t believe your hype either.  

Hopefully Pottstown will become a Tree City, USA and benefit from association with the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.  I think they are qualified to assist us so we can manage without your “expertise” from here on.  

Episcopal Diocese Of Pennsylvania Bishop Implored To Resign By House Of Bishops

Shield of the US Episcopal Church, colors from...

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The House of Bishops (HOB) of the Episcopal Church, USA has just concluded their fall gathering in Phoenix, AZ.  At the conclusion of the meeting (which ended yesterday), the HOB issued a mind of the house resolution calling on Charles Bennison to immediately and unconditionally resign as the bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.          

Charles Bennison was inhibited in 2007 after a scandal rocked his already tenuous episcopacy.  35 years ago, then Father Bennison, failed to report his brother’s sexual relationship with a  14-year-old girl.  A Court of Review recently overturned a lower courts ruling stating the statute of limitations had run out on the case thereby reinstating Bishop Bennison as head of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.  Bennison resumed control of the diocese August 16th.  Since then, an avalanche of protests has been unleashed from all corners of the church.          

Bishop Bennison has not responded to the mind of the house resolution (he was in attendance in Phoenix) nor has he responded to Episcopal News Services request for comment.          

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania had been at odds with Bennison over his leadership style and financial excesses for several years before the scandal.  Bennison has repeatedly been asked to resign or retire to which has has always responded no.  TEC Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts-Schori has also weighed in on this matter with limited success.          

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania covers the five county Philadelphia metropolitan area in southeastern Pennsylvania.      

  UPDATE 

Bishop Bennison released a statement late yesterday stating he has no intention of resigning or retiring.  He wants to “work things out” with the Standing Committee and the Diocese.  Bennison is 66-years old which  gives him six more years until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 72. 

Knucklehead Epidemic At Citizens Bank Park

SVG drawing of a baseball.

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WTH is going on in Philadelphia with moronic teenagers running on to the field during Phillies games?  Is there something in the water?  The most recent imbecile was dressed like a Marvel Comic superhero and ran on the field during the 7th inning, only to be tripped by a player.         

His parents are letting him sit in jail.  GOOD, dumbass needs to learn a lesson.  He is lucky he didn’t get tased!         

Philly Gets Two BIG Stimulus Grants

Seal of the United States Department of Energy.

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The City of Philadelphia got some great news this week in terms of grant money received for two projects.    

The Department of Energy awarded Philadelphia a $129 million dollar grant to establish an energy hub at the Navy Yard.  This energy hub will create green technology.  The project is expected to create 1,200 jobs immediately and another 100,000 in ten years!    

The Urban Affairs Coalition was awarded an $11.8 million dollar grant to bring broadband internet access to low-income city residents.    

Way to go out there and get funding!    

York’s Central Market Ranks 8th In USA For Medium-Sized Farmers Market

Farmers-Market

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The White Rose City scores some national recognition for its Central Farmers Market.   

A survey was taken over the summer that received 50,000 responses nationally from farm market shoppers .  York Central Market received 716 votes.  A medium-sized farmers market has 31-55 stands.  There were four categories in this contest, including medium.   

York Central Market is located at 34 W. Philadelphia Street and the hours of operation are 6 am to 2 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.   

For more information click the link below:    

http://www.moxiedm.com/clients/centralmarket/index.html   

Philadelphia Housing Concerns, Landlord Violations And Creation Of A Land Bank

Temple University logo (no text, "T"...

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This should sound familiar to Pottstown residents.  Our big city neighbor to the SE is grappling with many of the same issues that Pottstown is facing: landlords, vacant and blighted properties and gentrification of neighborhoods 

There was a Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods Conference at Temple University yesterday attended by about 300 people and some big investors. 

Subjects like illegal rentals, blighted lots and private citizens having the ability to buy property from the Redevelopment Authority versus that land being sold to developers were discussed.  Another hot topic was creation of a Land Bank so developers can more easily purchase vacant lots. 

The conversation was spirited by all accounts as city residents expressed their frustrations on these subjects. 

Demograhics, Border Development And Low-Income Riverfront Housing

Hopefully,  looking at these figures will help illustrate why Pottstown needs to move away from low-income and Section 8 housing if we ever want to revitalize this community.  Looking at the numbers, we are again at the bottom.  And we wonder why development happens all around us?  Not really!  Welcome to the donut hole.  You can find this information at city-data.com

Pottstown Borough 4.9 square miles  -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $45,941

Upper Pottsgrove Township 5.0 square miles -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $89,145

West Pottsgrove Township 2.4 square miles -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $54,067  

Lower Pottsgrove Township 7.9 square miles -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $65,879

Douglas Township (Montgomery County) 15.3 square miles -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $70,404

North Coventry Township 13.4 square miles -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $65,694

East Coventry Township 10.8 square miles -  Estimated median household income in 2008: $73,497

D Is For Drought!

I have wondered how long it would take before we started talking about water problems with this hot, dry summer!

Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties are under drought warning.  Chester and Delaware are under drought watch.

We are being asked to conserve water between 10% and 15% under a drought warning.

All of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are being asked to conserve water!

Harley-Davidson To Stay In Wisconsin

Harley-Davidson got its way again.  Just as in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin offered Harley-Davidson millions in tax credit to stay in Wisconsin.  Workers there accepted the new contract, much the same as the one recently accepted in York.

Click on this link to read to Governor’s statement:

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site515/2010/0917/20100917_034732_copier@ydr.com_20100917_160941.pdf

York City School Superintendent Fired Without Cause… Sound Familiar??

Sharon Miller, Superintendent of the York City School District was fired without cause at Wednesday night’s board meeting.

Six board members voted yes, while three other board members voted no.  The emotional meeting had threats of legal action and accusations of racism.  Miller is white, all the yes votes came from black school board members.  Her replacement is black, which further fueled accusations of racism. 

At YorkDispatch.com Laszlo posted:

“$300,000 to pay off a Superintendent who has had 2+ years of satisfactory evaluations, when just two months ago 44 positions were eliminated and 24 teachers laid off partly due to financial constraints and a desire not to raise taxes.”

Reminds me of the Myra Forrest debacle over at Owen J. Roberts SD a while back.  I think there needs to be more protection for school superintendents so these “You’re fired! We don’t like the color of your hair this week.” dismissals can be avoided.  People should not be randomly fired.

This move will cost the York City SD $270,000 plus a superintendent search when they had a perfectly good one.

For some facts about the district:

http://www.ycs.k12.pa.us/district-mainmenu-71/district-facts-mainmenu-177.html

U.S. Census Department: 1 In 7 Americans Live In Poverty And Other Glum Economic News

Harrisburg City And Authority Move Forward In Debt Crisis

Some positive and forward momentum was made last night when the Harrisburg Authority added a needed sixth member to make a quorum.  The Authority has not had a quorum since May!  Evidently Mayor Linda Thompson finally got her nominee approved after several months of lobbying.

Harrisburg City Council also approved making a one-time $3.3 million dollar payment on the incinerator debt via a budget transfer.  Where did this money suddenly come from you ask?  Ed Rendell, governor deluxe, basically gave Harrisburg money they would be receiving throughout the year in a lump sum.  As you recall, the two bank accounts the debt payment was to come from had less than $2.00 between them.

There is still much division between Mayor Thompson and council on how to proceed with a long-term incinerator debt strategy.  Harrisburg owes $288 million dollars!

Also Scott Balice Strategies is tapped to be hired with state funds to help Harrisburg out of their current financial black hole.  Everyone on council is not on board with this decision and the City Controller said he will not sign off on paying Scott Balice Strategies until council votes in favor of the hire.

One member of council tried to make a motion to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to investigate filing for Chapter 9.  However, the councilor was told his motion was inappropriate as it was at the end of the meeting.  The meeting was quickly adjourned.

Sounds like Harrisburg isn’t out of the woods yet!

Welcome to Pottsamucil – The Home Of Low-Income Senior Housing

Top Ten Things Found In Pottsamucil – (I know, I stole this from Letterman)

10. Instead of sneakers hanging from the telephone wires…we have dentures 

9.   Prune juice in public water fountains

8.   Blue hair rinse and Metamucil gift packs with the borough seal on them available at Wal-Mart and other fine retailers

7.   Every day is Senior Citizen Discount Day in Pottsamucil

6.   Every store has motorized scooters available for senior patrons

5.   Handicapped parking spaces account for 50% of all borough parking spaces

4.   Lawrence Welk plays over the loudspeakers downtown for shoppers to enjoy

3.   Pottsamucil Aluminum Walker Club – Creakin’ For A Cause

2.   Seniors Ride on PART for .50 cents every day

1.   Instead of banners there are Depends hanging from the lamp posts on the Hanover Street Bridge welcoming you to Pottsamucil.