Massive Wind Farm To Be Constructed In Wyoming County

Brazos Wind Farm in the plains of West Texas

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9,000 acres, spanning four townships, will be home to 90 wind turbines in Wyoming County.  This project will be the largest wind farm in Pennsylvania and could be commercially operational in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The read the entire story from the Times Tribune, click here:

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/in-what-could-be-the-state-s-largest-wind-farm-protest-and-promise-emerge-1.1182019#axzz1Tk5f7i8U

Friday’s Storm Causes Widespread Damage in NEPA

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County

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Friday’s wicked thunderstorm carried a punch in Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wayne Counties

The National Weather Service issued a preliminary report that an EF-1 tornado touched down near Honesdale, Wayne County.  There was significant tree damage along Route 6 and buildings were damaged.

In Montrose, Susquehanna County, straight-line winds were responsible for damage from the same storm.  Straight-lines winds are non-tornadic in nature and are sometimes called microbursts or downbursts.

Scranton experiences widespread damage from straight-lines winds Friday evening as well.

Wind speed estimate information should be available Sunday.

Camden Plagued By Fires

Because Camden does not already have enough problems, a string of fires has rocked the beleaguered city this summer.

Here’s a list of where things stand:

June 9th – fire at a former tire-distribution center

June 11th – fire at a former garment factory

June 19th - fire at a former detergent plant (ruled arson, no arrests)

July 5th - fire at a former paint-manufacturing plant (suspect charged)

July 30th – fire at an abandoned warehouse

Any information on the June 19th fire, please call 1-888-283-3473.  There is a reward up to $5,000.

Saturday Silly Humor

This came via email from a reader and it’s too funny not to share.

One Sunday, counting the money in the weekly offering, the Pastor of a small church found a pink envelope containing $1,000. It happened again the next week!

The following Sunday, he watched as the offering was collected and saw an elderly woman put the distinctive pink envelope on the plate. This went on for weeks until the pastor, overcome by curiosity, approached her.

“Ma’am, I couldn’t help but notice that you put $1,000 a week in the collection plate,” he said.

“Why yes,” she replied, “every week my son sends me money and I give some of it to the church.”

The pastor replied, “That’s wonderful. But $1000 is a lot, are you sure you can afford this?  How much does he send you?”  The elderly woman answered, “$10,000 a week.”

The pastor was amazed. “Your son is very successful; what does he do for a living?”

“He is a veterinarian,” she answered. “That’s an honorable profession, but I had no idea they made that much money,” the pastor said. “Where does he practice?”

The woman answered proudly, “In Nevada … … 

 

drum roll please……..

 

He has two cat houses, one in Las Vegas and one in Reno.”

Money cat

Image via Wikipedia

 

Stupid News

Two teenage boys (18 & 19) from Pittston are in a heap of trouble today after stealing………..

wait for it……………….

a parking meter (WTF) on Thursday night at around 6:30 pm (when it was still light out, duh).

They took lugged the parking meter to an apartment (evidently someone noticed this and called the police) and were going to smash it open for the coins inside.  Because there is probably a million dollars in a parking meter in Pittston, right?

These two chuckleheads were arraigned today and charged with criminal conspiracy to commit theft, criminal attempt to commit theft, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.  The older boy was also charged with theft.

I think the gene pool dried up before they dove in.

Downtown Harrisburg Getting Coffee House And Bookstore

A former Starbuck’s at Third and Market Streets in downtown Harrisburg will become the new home of Agia Sophia Coffee House and Bookstore in mid-August.

The new store will offer coffee, tea and other café items, including smoothies and Italian sodas.  Eight Day Books of Kansas City will providing a selection of books on philosophy, history and spirituality.  Agia Sophia is a nonprofit coffee house.  The Harrisburg store will be based on Agia Sophia’s Colorado Springs store.  Agia Sophia, Colorado Springs is rated #1 for atmosphere and coffee according to their website.

To learn more about Agia Sophia, click here:

http://agiasophiacoffeeshop.com/

More Stink Bug News

Everybody’s favorite imported bug does not like the extreme heat anymore than humans do.  This explains why we haven’t seen many of them lately.  But do not get too excited because they are laying eggs and getting ready for the next wave to hatch.  The wet spring (doesn’t that seem like eons ago) produced a bumper crop of stink bugs.

Good news is being reported from fruit growers who were given permission to use a very lethal pesticide to combat the voracious bugs.  The insecticide appears to be helping but it must be sprayed directly on the stink bug, which means the process is more labor intensive.

It is recommended that cracks around windows and doors be sealed up now.  As the weather turns colder the stink bugs will be looking for a warm refuge.  Do not let that be your home!

Merck & Company To Layoff 13,000 In Latest Restructuring Round

Although Merck had a higher than anticipated second-quarter profit, stocks are down 2 percent and a new round of job eliminations is planned that could cut as many as 13,000 from the workforce.

Since 2009, Merck eliminated 12,500 positions but only reduced headcount by 6,000.  The latest round of cuts would bring the total number of jobs eliminated by Merck to 30,000, since 2009.  The workforce will drop from 91,000 (July 2011) to about 80,000.  The job cuts are to be completed by 2015.

Merck makes Singulair, Januvia and Janumet (their three top-selling drugs).  Singulair’s patent is expiring next year which will cut profits as generics hit the market.  Adjusted earnings for Merck came to $2.95 billion, up 9 percent over last year.  Revenue was $12.15 billion, up seven percent over analyst’s projections.

Time will tell what this means for the Lansdale plant.

SEPTA Ridership Hits 22-Year High

SEPTA logo with text

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For the fiscal year that ended June 30, SEPTA‘s buses, subways, trolleys, and trains had about 334 million passengers, up 4 percent from the previous year and the most since 345 million in fiscal 1989.

SEPTA officials credited service improvements, higher gasoline prices, Center City population growth, and a growing use of transit by young adults.

To read the entire article from Philly.com, click here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20110728_SEPTA_ridership_hits_22-year_high.html?ref=twitter.com

Hatboro Selected For New Business Creation/Preservation Program Through Montgomery County

Location of Hatboro in Montgomery County

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Hat tip to Hatboro for having their act together and being selected as the first community in Montgomery County to launch this program!

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
COURT HOUSE, NORRISTOWN, PA., BOX 311, 19404-0311
PHONE (610) 278-3061 FAX 278-5943
COMMISSIONERS: JAMES R. MATTHEWS, Chairman, JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Vice Chairman, BRUCE L. CASTOR, JR, Commissioner

RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY 07/28/11 PR#21-11

Program Launch for Small Businesses to Create and Preserve Employment

HATBORO — Montgomery County launched a new program Thursday to help small businesses create and preserve employment in central business districts throughout the County.

The Small Business Assistance Fund will provide small businesses with loans for up to $100,000 at low interest rates provided they can demonstrate at least one full-time job will be created or preserved for every $25,000 borrowed.

Financing from the program can be used to pay for a portion of the cost purchase land, buildings, machinery and equipment or as working capital for construction, renovations and other expenses that are part of the approved project.

“We see this program helping businesses occupy buildings that are now vacant, employ a few people and thereby improving the customer base for other businesses in the district,” said Ken Klothen, Director of Economic Development for Montgomery County.

The program will draw up to $1 million from the existing Economic Development and Community Revitalization programs to provide the loans. All loans will require approval by the Montgomery County Commissioners.

Hatboro Borough Manager Steven J. Plaugher, Hatboro Main Street Manager Stephen Barth and members of the Hatboro business community joined Klothen for the program launch.

“The Borough of Hatboro is excited to host the unveiling of the Montgomery County Small Business Assistance Fund, and would like to thank the County Commissioners and Ken Klothen for selecting our community to do so,” Plaugher said.

Hatboro is the ideal spot to launch the new program, Barth said. The borough has seen 26 new businesses open in the past six months and borough council, the chamber of commerce and other organizations and community members are focused on its revitalization, he said.

“The Montgomery County Commissioners recognition and support of Hatboro’s revitalization efforts will greatly enhance and spur continuing growth,” Barth said. “We already have ten businesses and investors lined up for the Small Business Assistance Fund.”

A detailed description of the program and application form can be found on the County’s web site at: http://planning.montcopa.org/economicprograms

United States Postal Service Looking To Close Thousands Of Post Offices

USPS service delivery truck in a residential a...

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The United States Postal Service has released its “closure list” but it’s copyrighted and I am not allowed to post it :(  However, I can report that no post offices in the Greater Pottstown area are on the list.

Fourteen post offices in Philadelphia are on the list and a Wayne location.  Those were the only 19xxx zip codes.

Most of the locations are small offices in Central, Northern or Western Pennsylvania.  There are a few exceptions but mostly more rural areas.

Here is a link to the list but it appears to be in no particular order.  I copy pasted into Excel and sorted by zip code or alphabetically to make it easier!

http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/expandedaccess/states/pennsylvania.htm

Manhattan’s High Line Park – 7 Acres In The Sky

What do you do with an abandoned elevated railroad that runs 1.5 miles through the heart of Manhattan?  Turn it into a 7-acre urban park, of course.

Watch this amazing video about the creation of an oasis in the middle of the nation’s largest city.  It goes to show what community involvement and a desire to preserve the past, in a way that benefits present and future generations, can do.

For more information about this amazing space, click here: http://www.thehighline.org/

Pennsylvania’s Two Big Cities Rank High On Urban Vitality Index

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

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The Creative Cities International’s “Vitality Index,” has listed our two biggest cities as number eleven and twelve on their list of the top 35 U.S. cities.  The index measures such things as demographics, cultural offerings and recreational amenities, such as parks and trails; as well as conducting surveys of neighborhood life, attitudes and atmosphere.

Pittsburgh ranked number eleven and Philadelphia ranked number twelve.

To read all about the survey, click here:

http://www.creativecities.org/VI%20exec%20summary%20071811.pdf

UK Singer Amy Winehouse Found Dead In Her North London Apartment

This is very sad news but yet hardly unexpected.  The 27-year-old singer has made more headlines recently for her drug and alcohol problems than she has for making music.  Another tragic end to a talented musician.  Amy won twenty-eight awards, including five Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best New Artist, all in 2008.

Is There Life After Borders? In Pennsylvania, YES!

By now most people know Borders is going, going, gone in the very near future.  The departure of Borders from many malls has book lovers everywhere scrambling for a new place to buy books.

Books-A-Million is looking to fill that void, at least in some Pennsylvania locations.  Recently Books-A-Million opened a new store in a former Borders Express at Coventry Mall, Pottstown.  I also noticed in my last trip to Park City Center, Lancaster that Books-A-Million had opened a store there too.

Now Books-A-Million, a Birmingham, Alabama based bookseller, is trying to acquire eight more locations in Pennsylvania (there are currently five PA stores).  One site under consideration is the soon to be vacant Viewmont Mall Borders store in Dickson City.  According to the Times Tribune, the Dickson City Borders is Lackawanna County‘s only general-interest bookstore.

You can imagine that the Viewmont Mall management and Lackawanna County book lovers are waiting with bated breath to see if this deal goes through.

To check out Books-A-Million’s complete list of locations from their website, click here: http://www.booksamillion.com/storefinder?id=5114383831772

With the demise of Borders, Books-A-Million will become the nation’s second largest book retailer.

Jakes’s Wayback Burgers Opens At Upland Square

Hamburger

Image via Wikipedia

If you live in the Pottstown area and enjoy a freshly made, hand-formed burger and real milkshakes in a “Route 66 burger joint” atmosphere, then you should head over to Upland Square on Route 100 and lay a lip on some “comfort food” sooner than later.

Jake’s is next to Petco and owned by a Lower Pottsgrove couple, Darryl and Linda Hendershot.  The Upland Square store is the 30th location for the franchise.

The Wayback Burger chain started out in Newark, Delaware as a single restaurant in 1991.  It is now that is expanding into several states.  Fortunately for our area, Pennsylvania was one of those states.

Check out their website and menu.  I assure you that it will entice you to head over to Upland Square!

website: http://waybackburgers.com/menu/

voice: 484-300-4246

Pennsylvania Turnpike Tolls To Increase Again In 2012

Pennsylvania Turnpike Bristol/New Jersey Exten...

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Yes, you read that correctly.   The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is raising tolls 10 percent for cash paying customers in 2012.  The increase does not apply to E-Zpass customers.  Tolls increased in 2011 as well, 10 percent for cash payers and 3 percent for E-Zpass users.

This is the Turnpike Commissions way of gently urging everyone to use E-Zpass…

Top 20 States With Toxic Air List

Yet another list, but not a good one.

Which states have the most toxic air?

Ohio leads the pack, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida.  The leading culprit in these states is power generation facilities that are coal and oil-fired.

Electricity generation and chemical processing were the top two offenders for dangerous emissions that cause ailments like asthma and cancer.

Other states rounding out the top 10 are:

Kentucky, Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina.

The bottom 10 states are:

South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa

Urban Gardening In Philadelphia Teaches Kids Life Skills

This story could be repeated in Pottstown.  The Mosaic Community Land Trust will be doing a community garden here in Pottstown and these great results could be replicated in our own community.

Watch the short but inspiring video:

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/green/Kids_Grow_as_Their_Garden_Grows_Philadelphia-126047298.html