23rd Annual Pottstown Rumble: A Glorious Weekend For Pottstown

I say kudos to the Pottstown Rumble organizers for another successful tournament.  For a large event that draws several thousand volleyball players from across the United States and probably several thousand spectators, it runs like a well oiled machine.  The Rumble is one of the biggest events that is hosted in the borough and probably the most well run.  I think it draws a great group of people.  A very well-behaved group from what I have observed over the years and today was no different.

I think the cooperation between the borough and the event organizers was apparent.  From the PART trolley shuttling people between venues, the folks at Parks and Recreation and the powers that be in borough hall, it seemed as though everyone was on the same page.  I even noticed Pottstown Police Officers walking around.

This event has put Pottstown on the sports world map and is a favorite venue among players.  Memorial Park looked great.  The music was a nice mix and had high energy.  The sun was shining.  Vendors had lines of people waiting to buy food.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

The Rumble showcases the best things about Pottstown.  One vendor said to me they wished there were several more big events during the year like this one. It’s a nice infusion of cash into the local economy. That’s always a positive thing.

So hats off to another great Pottstown Rumble!  Feeling Pottstown Proud.

Century III Mall In West Mifflin Slides Into Retail Abyss

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

Jay Natale had a good year in 1979.

The Steelers won the Super Bowl. The Pirates won the World Series. And Natale opened a sporting goods store in the new Century III Mall in West Mifflin.

“The first year was unbelievable,” Natale, 70, of Elizabeth said, recalling a mobbed grand opening at the mall. “We hit the jackpot on that one.”

The jackpot lasted for nearly 20 years.

Since then, the mall has spiraled downward, losing customers, retailers and property value, which drained hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes from West Mifflin and its school district.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6235359-74/mall-century-iii#ixzz34oyENfeX
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Mt. Lebanon Church Channels Hollywood With ‘Fault In Our Stars’ Screening

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

It was like Oscar night and prom rolled into one.

Thursday night, men and women of all ages gathered at the Galleria of Mt. Lebanon in anticipation of the night’s main event: a screening of the film “The Fault in Our Stars,” adapted from John Green’s best-selling teen novel. Wearing dresses and suits — or, for a fancy few, gowns and tuxedos — most of the filmgoers, more than 300, chose to go Hollywood.

But for many of these attendees, the film had added significance in their community. The evening, which began with a gala-style red carpet event before the screening, was organized and planned by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon — which was used as one of the film’s set locations. In the movie, main characters Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort), two teens who meet during a cancer support group that is held within the walls of a church.

Lisa Brown, the church’s communications director and its children’s ministry director, said she fondly remembers when the film was being shot at the church in fall 2013. As the church is near the neighborhood schools, teenagers would arrive on set in order to meet Mr. Green and the film’s stars after classes ended, oftentimes dodging police officers. Ms. Brown said she wanted to capitalize on that excitement.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/2014/06/06/Church-channels-Hollywood-with-Fault-screening/stories/201406060103#ixzz33y9fXUKQ

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Montgomery County Community College To Host ‘The History Of Montco: A Documentary’

Joe and Sean 1

Photograph: Montgomery County Community College Alumni Joseph Sapienza, Philadelphia, (left) and Sean King, North Wales, will be sharing their video, “The History of Montco, a Documentary,” on Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m. at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—As part of its yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) invites the community to the premier public screening of “The History of Montco: A Documentary,” on Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The screening is free of charge—everyone is welcome. Light refreshments will be served. To RSVP, call 215-641-6324 or email dyerkey@mc3.edu by June 18.

The documentary is directed and produced by MCCC alumni Joseph Sapienza, Philadelphia, and Sean King, North Wales, who began the project a few years ago while they were students at the College.

“The documentary really began as a one or two minute news package on the construction of College Hall,” King says. “After looking through some photos, we decided to expand the project to cover more of the history of Montco. From there, it snowballed into a feature length documentary.”

The video starts in Conshohocken, where the College opened its doors in early October 1966—almost two years after it was officially established on December 8, 1964. Through interviews of current and former faculty, staff and administrators, King and Sapienza captured the spirit and tenacity of an ever-evolving, growing educational institution that has become the alma mater of more than 55,000 alumni.

After years of preparation, hard work, research, and the desire to make their idea a reality, they completed an entertaining, informative movie that is a testament to their accomplishments and to the story about the college.

“It was a long process. We started pre-production in July of 2011 and the film didn’t go into editing until the summer of 2013,” Sapienza says, recalling the many hours of research, interviews, recording and editing.

The movie is about two hours long. During the intermission, Sapienza and King will be available to answer questions about the process of creating the Montco documentary.

Sapienza began his studies at Montgomery County Community College in the winter of 2010 in the Film and Video program. In fall 2012, he then transferred to the Film and Television program at Drexel University earned his bachelor’s degree in May 2014. With films, one of his favorite subjects is documentaries, especially documentaries involving history. For his senior project at Drexel, Joe produced a history documentary about the coal town, Centralia, and its ongoing underground mine fire. Following graduation, he started an internship with NFL Films.

King studied Communications at Montgomery County Community College, focusing on Journalism. While he was at the College, he was involved in numerous campus activities, including the Communication Arts Production Group and Montco Radio. After graduating in 2012, he started studying History and Political Science at Arcadia University, focusing on contemporary American history and politics. When he completes his bachelor’s degree, King plans to pursue a job in government.

For more information about Montgomery County Community College’s 50th Anniversary, visit http://www.mc3.edu/50.

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Blockbuster Movie Could Make 2014 Pittsburgh’s Best Year For Film, TV Production

A blockbuster movie just approved for a multimillion-dollar Pennsylvania film tax credit could make 2014 Pittsburgh’s biggest year yet for film and TV production — as long as the project stays on track after losing its star.

Actor Will Smith backed out of the title role in “Brilliance” on Thursday as Legendary Pictures learned it had been awarded a $19.5 million tax credit by the Pennsylvania Film Office, putting the movie’s cost somewhere around $100 million.

“If the level of interest continues, this is setting up to be the biggest year we’ve ever had,” said Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. She declined to comment on “Brilliance.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6202360-74/film-pittsburgh-tax#ixzz33J7wDHXV
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Tours To Show Off Different Facets Of Pittsburgh

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)

A decades-old Pittsburgh transportation company is adding to its repertoire a series of tours exploring the city’s quirky and eclectic side, from its famed slaw-and-fries sandwich to a Hill District home once rented by Pirates great Roberto Clemente.

Pittsburgh Tours and More, a division of Pittsburgh Transportation Group, also will offer a look at Western Pennsylvania’s Amish life and silver-screen locations, as well as stops at breweries where patrons can wash down local history with a cold pint.

“This provides another way to spotlight the city,” said Sherris Moreira, director of Tours and More. “We saw there was a need in Pittsburgh.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6084363-74/pittsburgh-tours-tour#ixzz32BuqKqrt
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Survey Good News For Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Larry Newman, executive director of the Diamond City Partnership, Friday released limited details of an online survey that asked respondents to assess the downtown.

While Newman wouldn’t give specifics, citing an unfinished analysis of the data, he did say he was pleased with what he has seen so far and that was good news for the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association.

“We’re thrilled with the results,” Newman told about 50 members of the association at a breakfast meeting at the Westmoreland Club. “We received thoughtful opinions and insights and we learned what it takes to bring people to the downtown — their likes and dislikes.”

Newman said the success of the downtown is like a four-legged chair — organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. He said the downtown business group is the promotional leg that offers events and activities to draw people.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1366375/Survey-good-news-for-Downtown-W-B

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Video – Happy Lancaster, PA

Happy Lancaster – Inspired by Pharrell Williams “Happy.”

Lancaster is Happy! Special thanks to featured dancers – Franklin & Marshall Dance Department, Heads Up kids, Mayor Rick Gray, Cylo and Lancaster Barnstormers, the Infantree, Iron Hill Brewery and Lancaster Central Market for putting up with our shenanigans and helping celebrate our extraordinary community!

Lancaster County Community Foundation – http://www.lancfound.org

Shirley Temple, Iconic Child Star, Dies At 85

Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The...

Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The Little Princess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WOODSIDE, CA (AP) — Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.

Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died at her home near San Francisco.

A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America’s top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1186586/Shirley-Temple-iconic-child-star-dies-at-85

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Groundbreaking Set For Reading Hotel And Convention Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Albert R. Boscov was excitedly making and receiving countless phone calls in his Exeter Township office Monday after getting word that the last of the financing for a downtown hotel and convention center was finally in place.

He immediately began making plans to break ground Friday at 11:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Penn Street across from the Santander Arena.

“It’s been a long wait but we got it,” Boscov said.

The renowned retailer has been working on the block-long, four-star hotel, which will cost at least $56 million, since 2007.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131217/NEWS/312169896/1052#.UrDeuPRDsxI

Century III New Owner Seeks To Reverse Vacancy Trend With New Theater

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The owner of Century III is betting that a movie theater could help revitalize the struggling West Mifflin mall.

Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, which bought the mall in May, said it is negotiating with two national chains with a Pittsburgh-area presence to open a first-run movie theater with stadium seating in Century III. Shawl L. Pryor, senior vice president of real estate, won’t name the companies because no lease has been signed.

Contending with a high vacancy rate, about 32 percent, and low foot traffic, the 34-year-old mall needs an entertainment component as part of its revitalization, Moonbeam said.

“We believe that it’s a very important aspect of why people go back to the mall. It’s not just to buy clothing anymore,” Moonbeam Chief Executive Officer Steven Maksin said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5157496-74/mall-iii-century#ixzz2nGz6riE4
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Affleck To Play Batman In ‘Man Of Steel’ Sequel

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOS ANGELES, CA (AP) – Ben Affleck will don Batman’s cape and cowl.

Warner Bros. announced Thursday that the 41-year-old actor-director will star as a new incarnation of the Dark Knight in a film bringing Batman and Superman together.

The studio said Affleck will star opposite 30-year-old Henry Cavill, who will reprise his role as Superman from “Man of Steel.”  The movie will also feature “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Diane Lane as Martha Kent.

The big-screen DC Comics superhero mash-up was first revealed by director Zack Snyder at last month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/movies/20130822_ap_4931ce2116f14802865d8b8dbfe506a4.html#A6uOEpT5icKfzKJ8.99

Phoenixville Prepares For Big Bike Race Crowds

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

PHOENIXVILLE — On the heels of West Chester’s successful Iron Hill Twilight Criterium, Phoenixville is ready for huge crowds for its own race, the Chesco Grand Prix Phoenixville Criterium.

“Last year there were hundreds of people,” said Borough Councilwoman Jen Mayo, who is set to volunteer in support of the race again.  “This year, we’re expecting much more.”

In its second year, the race will bring bikers from across the region and country, according to borough council meetings on the planning.

Mayo said planning for the event has gone on for almost a year, starting shortly after the inaugural race was held.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130709/NEWS01/130709442/phoenixville-prepares-for-big-bike-race-crowds#full_story

‘Man of Steel’ Takes Flight With $125 Million Debut

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Man of Steel” leaped over box office expectations in a single weekend.

The Warner Bros. superhero file earned $113 million in its opening weekend at the box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.  The retelling of Superman’s back story earned an additional $12 million from Thursday screenings, bringing its domestic total to $125 million.  Original box-office expectations for “Man of Steel” ranged from $75 million to $130 million.

“They finally got the Superman formula right,” said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.  “Superhero movies really are the bread and butter of the summer box office.  The fact that ‘Iron Man 3’ has the biggest opening of the year so far and ‘Man of Steel’ has the second biggest opening of the year just proves that.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/605571/Man-of-Steel-takes-flight-with-$125M-debut

‘Fast & Furious 6′ Fuels Record Weekend At Box-Office

The exhaust smoke hasn’t even cleared, and already Hollywood can brag about its biggest money-making Memorial Day Weekend ever.

Hollywood Reporter hit the accelerator with its gushing, declaring the expected four-day take of $316 million to be “absolutely monumental,” leaving previous late May holiday weekends choking in its dust.

“One of the biggest weekends of all-time!” writes Paul Dergarabedian.

Indeed, BoxOfficeMojo.com gives the previous champ as Dec 25-27, 2009 (led by Avatar), with a distant $259.9 million in total domestic ticket sales. Then again, add in the the $58.3 million from Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, and the comparable four-day total becomes an unsurpassed $318.2 million.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20130527_Fast_Furious_6_fuels_record_weekend_at_box-office.html#L7vC5qrcf6jQuktw.99

Pittsburgh Native Zachary Quinto Revels In Spock Role

English: Zachary Quinto greets a soldier's dau...

English: Zachary Quinto greets a soldier’s daughter on the phone following a screening of Star Trek at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one point during “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Kirk fumes, “Sometimes, I just want to rip the bangs off his head.”

But Kirk doesn’t do that, which is a good thing considering the amount of time consumed by the workday ritual of transforming Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto into Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human with a high-maintenance look.

By the time the movie finished shooting, the makeup artists had shaved a whopping 30 minutes from their application of the signature swooping ears, angled eyebrows and other facial flourishes.

Not a big deal? It started as 3 hours and 15 minutes — plus another 30 minutes in hair — so even an extra half-hour can be a luxury when you have to report to the set 2 1/2 to three hours ahead of everyone else who may be arriving at 6 a.m.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/movies/pittsburgh-native-zachary-quinto-revels-in-spock-role-687961/#ixzz2TZUrYou9

Penn Cinema Partner Plans York Theater

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

Cinema entrepreneur Penn Ketchum is heeding the advice of 19th century American newspaper editor Horace Greeley.

“Go west, young man.”

Ketchum, managing partner of Penn Cinema, intends to develop a small, luxury two-screen movie theater in York city.

But he said Friday that he has no intention of going south into Lancaster city and doing the same kind of project there.

Ketchum’s $750,000 venture in York was disclosed Thursday by York Mayor Kim Bracey in her State of the City address.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/848107_Penn-Cinema-partner-plans-York-theater.html#ixzz2T2FcRToY

Amato Revs Up Downtown Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — Businessman and former dragster driver Joe Amato told his story Friday morning to about 100 people gathered at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Executive Management Forum at Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in the city’s downtown.

And it was his $5 million downtown investment Amato talked about most.  He revealed that Judd Shoval of Kingston is moving his business — Ambit and Shoval — to the theater complex on East Northampton Street and that only three other retail spots remain vacant.

Shoval did not return messages left on his cellphone and at his business.  will release more information on his plans next week, Amato said.

“Downtown Wilkes-Barre has a pulse,” he said.  “It has a sense of direction.  More than 400,000 people go to the movies every year and use the parking garage.  We have to get them outside to the street and patronize the businesses there.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local/465584/Amato-revs-up-downtown-W-B

Comcast Plans To Hike Rates, Start Charging For Adapters

Comcast Building new

Comcast Building new (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the spring of 2010, Comcast Cable required Lancaster and Elizabethtown subscribers of the “expanded basic package” (channels 25-78) to get digital TV adapters, and the first two adapters were free.

The cable provider, however, never said the adapters were free forever and, effective March 1, Comcast will charge Lancaster-area subscribers $1.99 per digital television adapter or digital transport adapter.

The price remains unchanged for “limited basic” (channels; 2-7, 9-13, 20-24 and 96) customers, who can get up to three adapters at no additional cost. The DTA price is unchanged.

The company previously charged subscribers $1.99 a month for each adapter beyond two.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/809857_Comcast-plans-to-hike-rates–start-charging-for-adapters.html#ixzz2Jf6eUFDP

Blockbuster To Close About 300 Stores In U.S.

Blockbuster said it will close about 300 of its U.S. stores in the coming weeks, thinning the once ubiquitous video rental chain’s bricks-and-mortar presence.

The closures will result in the loss of about 3,000 jobs and leave the company with about 500 stores in the nation, said John Hall, a spokesman for parent company Dish Network Corp. in Englewood, Colo.

Last week, Blockbuster’s British unit entered into administration, a version of bankruptcy, and said it would close 160 stores there, according to the administrator, accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/la-fi-blockbuster-stores-20130122,0,3591989.story