Kefer Named New Pottstown School Board VP

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — The school board elected Andrew Kefer as its new vice president Monday night, filling the post left vacant by the Aug. 19 death of Dennis Wausnock .

But Kefer’s election did not happen without some objections.

Hylton argued Monday, “Since we knew we would need a vice president, it would have been appropriate to bring this up for discussion Thursday since (Ron) Williams had already indicated he would not be at tonight’s meeting.”

Hylton proposed tabling the motion, noting that solicitor Stephen Kalis had confirmed there is no legal requirement that a vice president be appointed immediately.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140826/kefer-named-new-pottstown-school-board-vp

Delays In Rupert Elementary School Construction Frustrate Pottstown School Board

POTTSTOWN — As recently as Aug. 14, Pottstown School Board members were assured by district administrators and construction consultants that renovation and expansion of Rupert Elementary School was on schedule for the opening of school on Sept. 2.

But just four days later, the administration announced that the school would not be ready on timeand students and staff would begin school in the former Edgewood Elementary School at 920 Morris St.

Three days after that announcement, frustrated school board members levied criticism at both the planning and execution of the project.

“To say I am disappointed in the efforts of the contractor is an understatement,” board member Ron Williams said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140822/delays-in-rupert-elementary-school-construction-frustrate-pottstown-school-board

Pottstown School Board Vice President Dennis Wausnock Dies At 77

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — The word most spoken by those reflecting on Tuesday’s death of longtime public official Dennis Wausnock, who served in public offices in the borough for more than 20 years, was “dedicated.”

Wausnock, 77, died Tuesday at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center after a long battle with congestive heart failure.

A U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, Wausnock’s public service included 16 years on the Pottstown Borough Council, where he served as both vice president and president.

He was three years into his second four-year term on the Pottstown School Board, also serving as vice president, when he passed away.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140820/pottstown-school-board-vice-president-dennis-wausnock-dies-at-77

Rupert Won’t Be Ready In Time For First Day Of School

Editor’s note:  Many thanks to Tom Hylton for another boondoggle.

POTTSTOWN — When the newly renovated elementary schools open for the first day of school Sept. 2, Rupert Elementary School will not be one of them.

In a letter sent home to parents Monday afternoon, Superintendent Jeff Sparagana said the Rupert school year will begin in the same place it was held last school year, the former Edgewood Elementary School at 920 Morris St.

“We will keep you apprised of the progress as the Rupert School renovation comes to conclusion and notify you in advance of the plan for the return to 1230 South St.,” Sparagana wrote to parents.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this communication causes as we look forward to a great school year with the anticipation of moving back to the newly renovated Rupert School,” Sparagana wrote.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140818/rupert-elementary-wont-be-ready-in-time-for-first-day-of-school-in-pottstown

Kids Dice Vegetables For Healthy Pizzas And Learn About Nutrition

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — Kid chefs learned that a healthy twist on a traditionally baked dish was surprisingly tasty.

Children of the Oliviet Boys and Girls Club made no-bake pizzas with garden fresh vegetables last week at the Ricketts Community Center.

The youth cooking class is part of a summer nutritional program at the club.

Kristin Robinson, nutrition major at the University of Pittsburgh, is working alongside MOSAIC garden manager Laura Washington this summer to teach the kids about healthy eating.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/20140721/kids-dice-vegetables-for-healthy-pizzas-and-learn-about-nutrition

Eat Fresh At Saturday’s MOSAIC Community Garden Party In Pottstown

teacher-lauraPOTTSTOWN, PA — The local community garden will show how easy vegetable crops can go from the ground to the dining table.

The MOSAIC Land Trust is hosting a garden party at their new 615 Chestnut St. community garden on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

The party will include music, resources on healthy living and fresh vegetables from the garden.

“We are going to do a healthy garden to grill event,” said Laura Washington, garden manager.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/20140716/eat-fresh-at-saturdays-community-garden-party-in-pottstown

Howard Brown Backs Growing Stop The Violence Campaign In Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — A local hoops legend lent his support Monday night to the anti-violence movement that began in the borough a little more than a month ago.

“When I heard about this, it’s just a natural thing for me to want to be involved in some capacity,” said Howard Brown, the Pottstown grad who went on to play basketball at Villanova and internationally. “We’re actually drumming up a lot of residents and former residents to just not only bring awareness but to talk about some of the issues that we do have, to change.”

With a driving rain cancelling plans for a full march, the Stop the Violence campaign moved indoors at the Ricketts Center, where players in the Olivet Boys and Girls Club’s summer basketball league gathered together between games to pose for a picture and show their support of the movement.

A Maryland resident now, Brown is in town for a combine for his basketball agency, iBall United, which will be held over the weekend both in Valley Forge and at The Hill School.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140714/howard-brown-backs-growing-stop-the-violence-campaign-in-pottstown

Coming This Week: A Special Report On Columbia’s Public Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Editor’s note:  I hope folks from the Pottstown School District follow this story.  It’s a smaller version of Pottstown with many of the same issues!

Columbia’s public schools will reopen in late August, reverberating again with the clamor of children.

But overshadowing the back-to-school routine will be difficult questions.

Columbia is a tiny, high-poverty school district struggling to prepare kids for our fast-changing, technology-driven world.

The single-municipality district has the weakest tax base in Lancaster County and the second-highest proportion of needy children. Its taxes are the county’s highest and salaries the lowest. It has too many dropouts. Test scores are abysmal.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/coming-this-week-a-special-report-on-columbia-s-public/article_a2e62f5a-faf3-11e3-83c4-001a4bcf6878.html

Pottstown Residents Speak Up About Recent Violent Crimes

POTTSTOWN, PA — Even before Steven Mitchell was found dead in his car on Jefferson Avenue Thursday night, borough residents were beginning to express concerns about the mini crime wave that has hit Pottstown.

“Pottstown is becoming another Chester, PA,” North Hanover Street resident Dianne Krumm told borough council at its Wednesday night work session.

Since May 30, Pottstown has seen shooting incidents near Brian’s Cafe, a car wash at Wilson and Spruce streets and a man shot in the elbow on Lincoln Avenue, not to mention the attempted robbery of the Wells-Fargo Bank on East High Street.

“I was laying in my bed and I swear I could hear the bullets,” Krumm said. “I want something done about crime.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140607/pottstown-residents-speak-up-about-recent-violent-crimes

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The Unfurling Of Cronyism In The Borough Of Pottstown…

Roy:

We feel this post merits re-posting on our site. We feel the time has come for the good people of Pottstown to say ENOUGH ALREADY! Your presence at the demonstration and meeting tomorrow night is essential if the elected leadership is to see people mean business. The only way to send a message is to show up. 10 people at a council meeting sends the signal that the good people of Pottstown are either okie dokie with the way things are run OR that y’all don’t care. We urge you to make the time to attend the meeting tomorrow night. Share your displeasure with the elected leadership. Demand change. You pay very high taxes to live in Pottstown and deserve to feel safe and secure. Power to the Pottstown people!

Our friends at Golden Cockroach write:

Originally posted on :

Back in March, 2012 the Patch online news conducted a survey of Pottstown.  They asked:

“What Keeps Pottstown From Success?”

Survey said:

Crime — 31 percent
Drug gangs — 2 percent
A high rental to private homeowner ratio — 16 percent
Section 8 — 6 percent
Government — 33 percent
Negative thinking and apathy — 6 percent
The need for a commuter train — 0 percent

* This is not a scientific poll*  In my experience it is an accurate representation.  However, when asked, Pottstown officials repeatedly say the biggest problem is NEGATIVITY AND APATHY among Pottstown citizens… 

as exemplified in the comments of Borough Manager/former Chief of Police, Mark Flanders, in this 2010 article.  These sentiments are not unique to Flanders, they are etched into the minds of local officials.  They are passed down, as a torch, to all incoming leaders until it has become the mantra, the…

View original 1,046 more words

Olivet Boys & Girls Club Summer Camp

June 16th through August 8th
Richard J. Ricketts Community Center, 640 Beech Street, Pottstown, PA  19464

Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Breakfast & Lunch

Ages 6 to 14 (volunteer opportunities available for youth older than 14)
(weekly fee is income-based – $25 or $50 – proof of income is required)

Subsidized families – call your case manager

Olivet Boys & Girls Club (484) 945-1020, Janice Burgess, Unit Director

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Gun Violence Escalating In Pottstown, Again…

Warm weather does tend to bring out the criminal element in Pottstown.  Since May 18th there have been a number of incidents of gun violence reported by the Pottstown Mercury and WFMZ-TV.

Here is a recap of what’s been going on:

Armed robbery at the Gulf Station on High Street on May 18th: http://m.wfmz.com/pottstown-armed-robber-on-the-loose/26046054

Student arrested at Pottstown High School, allegedly robs another student at gunpoint on May 28th: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140528/updated-student-arrested-at-pottstown-high-school

Shooting near Brian’s Cafe (scene of a murder last year) on May 31st:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-late-night-pottstown-shooting-sends-man-to-hospital

Armed robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on High Street (East End) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-high-street-bank-robbed-fbi-seeks-armed-suspect

Police investigating gunshots near Wilson and Spruce Streets on June 2nd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140602/pottstown-police-investigating-gunshots-near-wilson-and-spruce-streets

Police are investigating a shooting in Pottstown on Chestnut Street on June 3rd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140603/updated-man-injured-after-shooting-in-pottstown-video

UPDATE: Police are investigating a homicide on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown on June 5th: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeInPottstown and also the Pottstown Mercuryhttp://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/man-found-dead-in-car-in-pottstown

I think the examples above should be some kind of RED FLAG that there is a problem with violent crime in the borough.  And frankly, these are just the big incidents that I could find quickly to illustrate this problem.  A town of 22,480 (2012) should not have this much crime.

People are afraid.  People should expect more for their extremely HIGH TAXES.  If the Pottstown Police Department is overwhelmed then by all means call Harrisburg and ask for some help.  HINT:  Kathleen Kane’s Office for starters.  There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  Maybe “keeping a lid on the powder keg” needs to be replaced with a better strategy?????

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Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. Debuts New E-Zine In Collaboration With Major Borough Stakeholders

Momentum - One Good Things Leads to Another

 

WELCOME TO MOMENTUM, a quarterly publication from Partners for Success, a collaborative of organizations with the common objective of celebrating the stories that make us proud of Pottstown. We salute the residents, business owners, and other stakeholders making Pottstown better every day. In Momentum, you’ll discover stories about business development; recreation and healthy lifestyles; education; and arts and culture.

Founding Partners

To read the first edition, click here:  http://www.paidinc.org/momentum.php

Scroll down to Latest Edition:  Spring 2014 – Download (PDF file)

 

To visit PAID’s website, click here:  http://www.paidinc.org/

 

We give two Roy’s Rants thumbs up for the collaboration between stakeholders and for getting serious about marketing Pottstown to potential businesses and investors.  This is a welcome step forward!

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Pottstown School District Adopts Proposed $60M Budget That Raises Taxes 2.9 Percent

POTTSTOWN — With a 7-2 vote at its May 15 meeting, the Pottstown School Board adopted a $59.9 million proposed budget that would raise taxes by 2.9 percent if it is adopted unchanged as a final budget in June.

Board members Ron Williams and Thomas Hylton cast the only two votes against the proposed budget, which increases spending 5.6 percent and would increase the annual tax bill by $81.91 for the owner of a property assessed at $73,670 — the borough’s median assessment.

Board member Amy Francis said, “This is a very difficult decision for me because, like every other taxpayer, I am at the end of my rope, but I also feel we have a responsibility to get the job done that we started with the renovations at the elementary schools. We can’t do one without the other.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140521/pottstown-adopts-proposed-60m-budget-that-raises-taxes-29

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Pottstown “Chopped” Culinary Competition Winners Create New Sandwich For Local Eatery

On March 17th, 11 Culinary Art Students were asked to create the next Grumpy PHS Sandwich – The Chopped Challenge II began.

The secret ingredients, which all needed to be used and were judged upon were: Goat Cheese, Cherry Preserves, Potato Chips & Pork.

The students were judged by Superintendent Jeff Sparagano, Principle Jeff Hartman & Grumpy himself.

The categories were, presentation, taste, use of all ingredients. They were also watched in the kitchen – and teamwork was a must!

The winners, though every one did a great job – were Keelan Warren & Isaiah Robinson.

Their sandwich – “THE TROJAN BBQ”.

The kids did a great job and having some real life experience is an awesome way to learn. The kids were a little stunned when we met them and told them that Grumpy’s has one oven, no fryer and is for the most part a one man show – Thursday, May 15th, they saw exactly how it works! The kids all received a t-shirt with the Chopped Challenge on the back, the year and Trojan BBQ – to remember the moment. As the winners, Keelan & Isaiah were also given a bag of culinary goodies including cook books, tools of the trade and $50 each.

Keelan had the pleasure of working with Grumpy two summers ago, he obviously learned what Grumpy’s tastes are and his expectations, because despite the blind taste test, HE was the winner!

Chef Jackie Mathais is an excellent asset to the school as well, helping these students understand the process of great creations in the kitchen!

Last year was the first year of the competition. Grumpy wanted to show support of the Culinary Arts Program in the schools and for every sandwich sold, he will donate $2 back to the program. Last year, close to $200 was donated from sandwich sales. The teachers use the funds to help the students be able to afford uniforms and such that are hard to do sometimes due to economics.

Grumpy’s is engaging the students with real life experiences and the reality that the TV shows are not always what it’s truly like to work in the kitchen. The Trojan BBQ sandwich will remain on Grumpy’s menu for the next year.

Grumpy’s is located at 137 E High St., Pottstown, PA 19464. Phone: 610-323-1232.

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