MCCC Students Inducted Into Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society

Blue Bell/Pottstown Pa.—A total of 167 students were inducted into Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Alpha Kappa Zeta (Central Campus) and Beta Tau Lambda (West Campus) chapters of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges, during the fall 2014 semester.  To be eligible for PTK membership, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 and must have completed at least 12 credits. 

The fall 2014 inductees are listed below by area of residence:

Ambler: William Cagney, Renee Campanell, Amanda Ciammetti, Bradley Collings, Anna Colins, Christina Mascuilli, Carlo Pipitone, Kyree Sullivan

Ardmore: Joshua Clair

Audubon: Jenna Gaasche

Bala Cynwyd: Catherine Morroney

Bellmawr, N.J.: Nicole Hacking

Bensalem: Barbara Schick

Blue Bell: Alexander Booth, Johnna Corson, Theresa Jun, Steven Mitchell, Nicole Ragusa

Bridgeport: Irving Galvan, Ronald Quay

Chalfont: Morgan Ewart, MacKenzie Mazak

Cheltenham: Nam Dangvy

Collegeville: Antonio Aloia, Julie Clark

Colmar: Holly Figueiredo

Conshohocken: Jonathan Drozd, Madison Eichert

Douglassville: Adriana Giotti

Doylestown: Christine Bradley

Eagleville: Daniel Buttorff, Lindley Yarnall

East Norriton: Kathryn Hall, Angela Mertz

Elkins Park: Michele Gravel, Eitan Laurence, Bruno Saint-Louis

Flourtown: John Berger

Fort Washington: Nathanael Plaster

Gilbertsville: Brittany Benson, Donna Braner, Kathryn Brown, Robert Brown, Marion Bucci, Maryalice Enright, Glendon Liggett, James Pederson

Glenside: Crystal Nieman

Green Lane: Angelina Sirak, Stephanie Sirak

Harleysville: Michael Covel, Justin Eppley, Virginia Hoffman, Mehdi Hooshmand, Abigail Landis, Jennifer Solomon, Hollie Southard, Amanda Zacharias

Hatboro: Loriann Greger, Chun-Te Li

Hatfield: Rebecca Goodolf, Taylor Jordan, Farad Zaman

Horsham: Stefanie Barszowski, Maria Boggi, Jennifer Goodwin, Ryan Marinelli

Huntingdon Valley: Samantha Smyth

Jeffersonville: Morgan Kerper, Justin Mitchell

Jenkintown: Kelli Dietrich, Sunghee Lee

King of Prussia: Hayme Mikael Morelos

Lansdale: Rabbil Ahmed, Rebecca Booz, Jarrett Faulk, Rachael Grallnick, Teresa Gruber, Mis Kulsum, Ashley Lepera, Jennifer Lieu, Lee Miletich, Doreen Panico, Gregory Regan, Gabrielle Scotti, Ashley Sheely

Limerick: Alexandra Barnes, Lindsey Ridenour

Malvern: Jacob Robertson

Mullica Hill, N.J.: Donna Sulvetta-Student

Norristown: Samantha Barnaik, Mattie Hargrove, Heidi Hunsberger, Joseph Kent, Diahann McIntyre, Caroline Moman, Tarah Organtini, Joanne Ratteree, Sima Seddighi, Eric Shope, Sarina Wang

North Wales: Angelina Barton, Kathleen Cronin, Rebecca Cronin, Robert Pritchard

Oreland: Kelly Maguire, Alexander McDermott, Matthew Will

Pennsburg: Michaela Buckwalter, Autumn Detweiler

Perkasie: Sandra Deiley

Philadelphia: Jillian Rogers, Sheena Santos, Max Woessner

Phoenixville: Brittany Fuller, Kemarie Kurtz, Jessica Loughery, Philip Zhu

Plymouth Meeting: Scott Lukens

Pottstown: Molly Adams, Hector Astacio, Megan Bealer, Michael Carbo, Nick Centofanti, Kristyn Fetterman, Brandi Haas, Tory Hudgins, Leif Hums, Deborah Jackson, Bridget McLaughlin, Christina Miles, Kelly Moorman, Meghan Oberholtzer, Emily Staab

Roslyn: Amy Tassone

Royersford: Kelley Burris, Michele Taluc-Chance, Aadil Esmail, Gabrielle Fisher, Joanne McDowell-Henderson, Tammy Moyer, Abigail Rutkowski

Sanatoga: Tyler Musser

Schwenksville: Erin Duvinski, Elizabeth James, Jena Polvino, Melissa Rufe, Drew Smyth, Tara Veve, Kathryn Warren

Sellersville: Donna Gastner

Souderton: Myles Menardi, Carly Plawa, Dennis Stone

Spring City:

Stowe: Victor Hall

Telford: Jessica Minguez, Keara Snyder

Warrington: Matthew Shetzline

Willow Grove: Chelsea Baranowski, Dana Fornicola, Perry Jones, Margaret Thompson, Randy Willis

Worcester: Michael Gawbill

Wyncote: Tatianna Devaughn

Zieglerville: James Cox

Healthy Eats Stir Pottstown’s Food Scene At iCreate Cafe

New logo

New logo

Until a few years ago, Ash Khalil ate meat.

Learning the health benefits of a nutrient-rich diet made of mostly plant-based foods inspired him to open the iCreate Cafe in Pottstown in 2012.

Those who visit the cafe often describe it to others as a mix of vegan, vegetarian and in some cases gluten-free menu musts, with strong Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences in many of the dishes.

Khalil is an eight-year survivor of kidney cancer and said not once did his doctors ever talk to him about the foods he ate and how they might have impacted his health situation.

See more at: http://readingeagle.com/money/article/healthy-eats-stir-pottstowns-food-scene-at-icreate-cafe#sthash.yi5Oznyg.dpuf

Twelfth Night Tours At Pottsgrove Manor

12th Night Tours 2_212x124_thumbFriday, November 28

Enjoy a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor, decorated with greens and holly for the Yuletide season. Learn about traditional English celebrations of Twelfth Night and how they differed from our modern Christmas celebrations.

Date: November 28, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Time Details: Tours are offered during regular museum hours: Tue.Sat.: 10am-4pm; Sun.: 1pm-4pm. Tours begin on the hour; last tour of the day begins at 3pm. Closed Dec. 24, 25, 31, and Jan. 1.
Location: View Facility Pottsgrove Manor
Address: 100 West King St., Pottstown, PA 19464
Contact: 610-326-4014
Email: Email
Cost: $2 per person suggested donation

MCCC Honored For ‘Environmental Impact’ In Pottstown

Wind Turbines: Four, 25-foot wind turbines in front of Montgomery County Community College’s Schuylkill Riverfront Academic & Heritage Center in Pottstown are part of a Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Wind Turbines: Four, 25-foot wind turbines in front of Montgomery County Community College’s Schuylkill Riverfront Academic & Heritage Center in Pottstown are part of a Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Pottstown, PA —Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned the 2014 Environmental Impact Award for its “green” approach to business during the Tri County Area Chamber of Commerce’s economic development luncheon last month.

According to the Chamber, the award is presented to businesses that are taking a “green” proactive approach for a more sustainable business environment. MCCC is the fourth environmental award recipient since 2009.

Guided by a Climate Commitment Action Plan and Advisory Council, MCCC is working toward the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050—a pledge made in 2007 as a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Areas of focus include education, transportation, energy, facilities and overall best practices.

While many of MCCC’s sustainability initiatives are implemented across all locations, the College’s West Campus in Pottstown boasts several unique—and visible—green elements, namely wind turbines and a green roof.

In April, the College installed four 25-foot vertical axis wind turbines outside its Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center at 140 College Drive, adjacent to Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill River. Each turbine produces 1,000 watts of energy, for a combined 4,000 watts—enough energy to power the parking lot LED lighting. More importantly, the turbines are providing real world teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty around alternative energy.

The wind turbines at West Campus, along with solar panels at the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, are part of a Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc. Collectively, through a broad series of self-funded energy conservation projects, MCCC will see 19 percent energy savings—and more than $6 million in cost savings—over the next 15 years.

Green RoofThe West Campus’ Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center also features the College’s first and only green roof. Installed in 2011, the roof features 13 different varieties of plants that were selected specifically for their growth, strength, and absorptions properties.

The plants help to reduce the amount of rainwater that goes into the storm system, thus protecting the surrounding waterways from excessive runoff. When saturated the plants absorb CO2 and release oxygen, thus helping the College advance toward its goal of carbon neutrality.

In addition to the wind turbines and green roof, West Campus sustainability highlights include two 240-volt electric vehicle charging stations in partnership with ECOtality, a recognized leader in the research and development of advanced energy systems specializing in alternative fuel campuses; a Segway program for Public Safety officers; and an increased emphasis on bicycle accessibility

To learn more about the College’s Sustainability Initiative, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

Hazleton PA and Pottstown PA By The Numbers

Reading the City of Hazleton’s 2015 Proposed Budget got me thinking about spending and waste.  These two towns are a good comparison because of population, ethnic diversity, demographics and even physical size.  Pottstown’s budget is more than 4 times are large as Hazleton’s, so here are some numbers to ponder courtesy of http://www.CityData.com:

 

Population:

Hazleton (2012) 25,224

Pottstown (2012) 22,480

 

Races:

Hazleton -

  • White alone – 14,580 (57.9%)
  • Hispanic – 9,717 (38.6%)
  • Black alone – 422 (1.7%)

Pottstown -

  • White alone – 15,377 (68.7%)
  • Black alone – 4,147 (18.5%)
  • Hispanic – 1,785 (8.0%)

 

Physical size (land area):

Hazleton is 5.97 square miles

Pottstown is 4.83 square miles

 

Crime rate - U.S. average = 296.6:

Hazleton (2012) 306.3

Pottstown (2012) 434

 

Police Department size:

Hazleton – 38 officers, hiring 10 new police officers built in the $9.3 million proposed budget (they think they have a crime problem).

Pottstown -46 officers, (they don’t think they have a crime problem)

 

Unemployment:

Hazleton – July 2013, 12.8%

Pottstown – July 2013, 6.7%

 

Population density:

Hazleton – 4,222 people per square mile

Pottstown - 4,655 people per square mile

 

Municipal Budget:

Hazleton – $9.3 million (2015 Proposed budget)

Pottstown - $44.8 million (2015 Proposed budget)

 

Cost of living index:

Hazleton - 95.3 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

Pottstown - 103.7 (near average, U.S. average is 100)

 

Average home value:

Hazleton – $93,389 (2012)

Pottstown - $134,796 (2012)

 

Average rent:

Hazleton - Median gross rent in 2012: $631

Pottstown - Median gross rent in 2012: $762

 

Estimated median household income:

Hazleton – $30,492 (2012)

Pottstown - $41,864 (2012)

 

Registered sex offenders:

Hazleton - there were 10 registered sex offenders living in Hazleton, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014

Pottstown - there were 49 registered sex offenders living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014

ArtFusion Show Highlights 5 Local Artists

Pottstown, PA - ArtFusion 19464’s latest show titled “5” is a showcase for five talented local artists: Kristen VonHohen, Bob Hakun, Dora Siemel, Jeanne Petrosky and Dennis Guzenski. Each artist creates unique three-dimensional art pieces in different mediums from clay and glass to handmade paper and rusted metal. The show opens November 4 and runs through November 15.

ArtFusion will host a reception on Friday November 7 from 6-8pm where guests can meet and talk with each of the artists. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. RSVPs to 610-326-2506 are appreciated.

Kristen VonHohen is a local artist residing in Gilbertsville.  Her passion in ceramics was formed in Boyertown High School’s art program in the early 2000s.  She went on to attend University of the Arts in Philadelphia, earning a BFA in Ceramics.  Kristen focuses on hand built structures and enjoys experimenting with forms and shape.  In this show Kristen’s latest work incorporate fusible glass in the finished pieces, creatively combining two completely different elements to create new works of art.

Dora Siemel’s sculpture medium is clay. She has her own studio in Green Lane, Pennsylvania. All her pieces are hand built and fired to between cone 4 and cone 6.  The colors come from any combination of glazes, oxides, paints and waxes. Since each piece is made individually, no two are exactly alike. She does, however, make “families” that have the same general characteristics.  Some of her pieces incorporate “found” objects and others marry her love of fiber and crochet with her clay sculptures

Bob Hakun says of his work:  “I collect old discarded common items: some natural, some man-made. I look for old pieces that show the graphic effects of aging: the beauty and harshness of the breaking-down over time of all things into what they came from. I look for pieces that are burnt, broken, rusty, crushed, bent, stained and cracked (and sometimes smell bad). Sometimes the final art piece will seem to tell a story or convey a message about something, but it will not be clear as to what that message really is. It is open to interpretation by the viewer.”

Jeanne Petrosky has always loved creating. She studied painting, drawing, sculpture, etching, graphic arts, and pottery. In 1987, Jeanne met a woman at a party who made paper. Having always loved paper and fiber, the first thing out of her mouth was “I’d like to try that.” The connection to making paper was immediate.

Dennis Guzenski has always loved drawing. Dennis’ fine art career evolved from the world of decorative arts. He came to painting by way of many different careers including painting the exteriors of Victorian homes.  His growing interest in learning many new decorative painting and designer wall finishes eventually turned into a business.

Jeanne and Dennis met in 2002, beginning a journey of partnership, and collaborations in the studio. The fine art of Jeanne Petrosky and Dennis Guzenski is now a completely collaborative effort. Their bold approach to papermaking has won them numerous awards. They are published in multiple books, and their work can be seen at the country’s most acclaimed shows. At first glance, Jeanne and Dennis’s art is color. Upon a closer look the viewer starts appreciating the nuances, the subtlety and the expansiveness in the simplicity, seeing the interplay of color and texture within the form.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

MCCC’s West End Student Theatre And Theatre Arts Program To Present The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Drama, ‘Rabbit Hole’

Photo caption: Montgomery County Community College’s West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program will present “Rabbit Hole” on Nov. 13, 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. in the College’s South Hall Community Room, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The cast includes Myasia Bynum, Carly Watson, Ron Quay, Sarah Koch, and Andrew Miller and is directed by Tim Gallagher. Photos by Sandi Yanisko.

Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College’s West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program are proud to present “Rabbit Hole,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by David Lindsay-Abaire. Show dates are Thursday-Saturday, November 13, 14 and 15, at 7 p.m. All performances will be held in the College’s South Hall Community Room, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, call 215-641-6518 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. or visit http://www.mc3.edu/livelyarts.

“Rabbit Hole,” the 2007 winner for the Pulitzer Prize, is a bittersweet drama about finding hope in the lowest moments of life and the paths taken to return to the light of day. It tells the story of Becca and Howie, two young parents who could be anybody’s neighbors in a typical suburb, until the accidental death of their four-year-old son tests everything about that life… and their marriage.

“There is no manual for mourning. How or when do you restart/redefine your life in the face of loss?  Becca and Howie are grieving the death of their son in very different ways. A terrible accident has uprooted their lives and created a wedge between them. Ultimately, this play is a journey home…a defiant, funny yet delicate journey home,” says director Tim Gallagher. This production contains adult themes and language.

Directed by Gallagher, assisted by Rianna Isbell, and stage managed by Desiree Humes, the cast includes Myasia Bynum, Carly Watson, Ron Quay, Sarah Koch, and Andrew Miller. The production is designed, produced and presented by the students of the West End Student Theatre, which includes

Anthony Romano, Alex Hollowell, Nicole Corsey, Jeffrey Chernesky, Sarah Robbins, Freddy Ortiz, Joseph Donley, Lexi Lyon, Allie Johns, Sherry Smith, Edston Detrich, Sarah Robbins, under the guidance of Gallagher.

MCCC To Host ‘Color Blast’ Exhibit In Pottstown

Pottstown, PA— Montgomery County Community College continues its 2014-2015 fine arts season with the exhibit “Color Blast,” which opens on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown. A “Meet the Artists” reception is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit, which continues through Dec. 12, and the reception are free and open to the community.

“Color Blast” features the vibrant artwork of three artists, who are brought together through this exhibit and their shared enthusiasm for color:  Valley of Peace Burke of Long Island, New York; Lois Schlachter of Spring Mount, Pennsylvania; and Patricia Wilson-Schmid of Lederach, Pennsylvania.

While color unites the exhibit, each artist has her own distinct style and personality, as reflected in the art.

Working as both an artist and a registered cardiac surgery intensive care nurse, Valley of Peace Burke reinterprets the visual elements of the medical world into an artistic expression that explores the interwoven relationship between body and spirit. She believes and portrays the body and mind as “sacred and whole.”

“Color is healing. It carries life and beauty into the world. I have spent most of my life near the sea and am influenced by the elements of nature. These elements are also internal, as the human body is a microcosm of the earth,” she says.

This multi-faceted artist has studied oil painting under Judy Dupic in France and has traveled and painted throughout England, Ireland, Italy, Mongolia and Spain. In addition to her nursing degree, she also is a master of oriental medicine and acupuncture physician. Her great-grandfather, Joseph A. Burke, was composer well-known to the Philadelphia area during the 1920s-40s, and his songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, among others. Valley is pleased to be exhibiting in the Philadelphia area where much of her family resides.

As an abstract artist, Lois Schlachter is in love “with the line, handsome vibrant color and a comfortable composition” and describes her work as simply “fun.” Working directly from her hand to the canvas, she lets her imagination direct her as playful and colorful images emerge.

“I feel that acrylic paint gives me the brilliant and intense color that I love,” she says. “I use color to navigate the viewer’s eye across the canvas providing an avenue to discover one fun spot after another.”

Schlachter is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and The University of the Arts, formerly Philadelphia College of Art.  She will be exhibiting approximately 40 acrylic works on canvas in a variety of sizes, all of which were created in the past 15 years.

For artist Patricia Wilson-Schmid, her style spans the range from representational to abstract, based upon her feelings when she views and interprets her subjects. Like her co-exhibitors, color profoundly impacts her work.

“As I paint from my emotions, the act of painting is who I am,” she says in her artist’s statement. “It is a line, a color, a shape, or an effect of light that inspires me. My spirit than directs me through the painting. Time embellishes my approach. In the end the paintings and I have traveled through much effort and feeling. Color is the vehicle by which I express my feelings. It is a part of who I am.”

Wilson-Schmid enjoys working in oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastels and has been painting since 1962. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and has taken post-graduate courses at Temple University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Institute and Montgomery County Community College. She has exhibited her work at various galleries and shows throughout the tri-state area, as well as in juried international online exhibitions hosted by Upstream People Gallery.

The show is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information about the exhibit or the gallery, contact MCCC Galleries Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or hcairns@mc3.edu.

For the more information about upcoming exhibits and activities, like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts, and visit our website at http://www.mc3.edu/arts/fine-arts.

Help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of the Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.

Judges Affirm Rejection Of Hazleton Area International Cargo Airport

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County

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

A Commonwealth Court panel dealt another blow Thursday to a proposed international cargo airport in the Hazleton area, as it upheld Schuylkill County Court’s rejection of a special exception for the facility.

In a 19-page opinion, the panel affirmed county Judge James P. Goodman’s determination that Gladstone Partners LLC, Pittsburgh, had not satisfied the necessary conditions for a special exception.

“The application as submitted did not meet the objective requirements of … (the county zoning ordinance),” President Judge Dan Pellegrini wrote in the panel’s opinion.

As a result, barring a successful appeal by Gladstone Partners to the full Commonwealth Court or the state Supreme Court, plans for the airport have ground to a halt.

Read more: http://republicanherald.com/news/judges-affirm-rejection-of-airport-1.1776451

Colebrookdale Railroad Unofficially Opens With First Public Ride

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Boyertown, PA – Stepping through a rock-strewn railyard in Boyertown, families lined up to board the historic train that made its unofficial debut on the Colebrookdale line Saturday.

Beginning with a 10:30 a.m. departure for the first train, hayrides on the “Secret Valley Line” offered by the Colebrookdale Railroad drew in patrons of all kinds.

They were treated to a two-hour ride in a train used in 1869 through a valley of scenic fall foliage and other natural and historic attractions, travelling from Boyertown to Pottstown through Colebrookdale and Douglass (Berks) townships. Throughout the ride, historical narration was provided by train workers to give context to the sights along the way.

The line follows the Ironstone and Manatawny creeks and passes by the village of Pine Forge.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141018/colebrookdale-railroad-unofficially-opens-with-first-public-ride

Pottsgrove Football Team Volunteer Was 1 Of 2 Shooting Victims

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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

Washington Township, PA – State police are investigating the deaths of two young men whose bodies were found early Friday in the front seat of a car parked in an isolated wooded area near Barto.

Both appear to have died of gunshot wounds, police said.

One of the men found, Stephen Mixon, 27, of Walnut Ridge in Lower Pottsgrove, was a volunteer coach with the Pottsgrove High School football team and the retail manager of the Schuylkill Valley Sports store in Audubon.

The other man in the car was Joseph McCullough, 20, of Eighth Street in Pottstown.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141017/pottsgrove-football-team-volunteer-was-1-of-2-shooting-victims

Pottstown Zoning Board Approves Variance For iCreate Cafe

iCreate Zoning Supporters

Front row: Left, Peter Dolan, Esquire, Right, Ashraf Khalil

POTTSTOWN, PA – Wednesday evening the Pottstown Zoning Board heard testimony from iCreate Cafe owner, Ashraf Khalil, regarding his request for a zoning variance to operate a cafe and computer training center at 130 King Street, Pottstown. The neighborhood is zoned TTN or Traditional Town Neighborhood.  After receiving a violation notice from the Pottstown Codes Department in August, a hearing was originally scheduled for September 17th.  However, Mr. Khalil’s attorney, Peter Dolan, requested a continuance to adequately prepare his case. The hearing was rescheduled for October 15th.

A large group of supporters gathered in the 3rd floor council chambers to hear the evidence be presented. After Mr. Khalil’s sworn testimony and some clarification questions from the board, the meeting was opened to public comment. More than a dozen people were allowed to speak in favor of iCreate Cafe and Mr. Khalil.

After the public testimony, the board met in Executive Session.  After a short recess, the board returned to the council chamber and rendered their verdict for Mr. Khalil and iCreate Cafe by allowing the variance.

First of all, we thank the Pottstown Zoning Board for being open-minded and seeing the value of this niche market small business that draws customers from all over the Delaware Valley and beyond.   Based on the passionate testimony made during the public comments, it’s obvious this is a very special place.

Secondly, we feel now that Pottstown is getting serious about economic development and tourism (by developing a Tourism District and leveraging all the attractions that surround Memorial Park and the Western Gateway) having a highly rated locally owned restaurant within walking distance is a win-win.  If you want people to come to Pottstown and “spend the day” they will need to eat.  They are not going to want fast food or chain restaurants.  They are going to want something they cannot get at home.  iCreate Cafe is the total package when it comes to something you cannot get just anywhere.  From the unique decor to the vegan/vegetarian food with a Middle Eastern flair, it’s far from ordinary.  Add a chef/owner with the gift of hospitality and you have a winning trifecta.

This was a great victory for small business and for Pottstown.  If Pottstown could attract more unique restaurants like iCreate and some funky boutiques so people could do some shopping while they are visiting, you would have yourself a destination.

Congratulations to Ashraf Khalil and iCreate Cafe.  We wish you much success.

Website: http://www.icreatecafe.org/

Tourism District Proposed For Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA – Officials are hoping that as the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, a collective effort of the borough’s revitalization efforts will result in greater sums of grant money and tourist dollars.

Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. outlined a plan to borough council Tuesday that would see the many attractions clustered near Pottstown’s western gateway joining together in pursuit of funding and marketing.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, theColebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail,Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“There are some in place, some underway and some nearly ready,” Bamford told The Mercury Friday, referring to the state of the various sites.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141014/tourism-district-proposed-for-pottstown

Sustainability: Pottstown Eyes Environmental Balance

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA – As any farmer can tell you, use any resource faster than it can be replaced — be it wood, water, money or patience — and eventually it will run out.

To put it simply, it’s not sustainable.

And where does that leave those who come after you?

Recognizing a responsibility to maintain a sustainable balance and to ensure resources are available to future generations, Pottstown may soon become the third municipality in Montgomery County to adopt a “sustainability plan.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141012/sustainability-pottstown-eyes-environmental-balance