Easton Urban Garden, Which Grew 1,400 Pounds Of Produce Last Year, Hopes For Funding Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A once-withering urban garden on Easton’s South Side grew hundreds of pounds of free produce for city residents last year.

The city hopes to build on its success by pursuing a $75,000 federal grant and then matching it with city funds to expand and improve the garden at the Easton Area Neighborhood Center.

The West Ward Neighborhood Partnershiptook over the troubled garden in 2012 and last year, volunteers helped harvest more than 1,400 pounds of vegetables that were donated to Easton residents.

Initial plans call for expanding the farmable land, installing new garden-themed playground equipment, improving the watering system and erecting a fence.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/04/easton_urban_gardens_success_c.html

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Mapping Poverty: Wealthiest And Poorest School Districts In Pennsylvania

Pottstown School District

24% of children in poverty

Estimated Total Population: 22,617
Estimated Population 5 to 17 years old: 3,560
Estimated number of children 5 to 17 years old in poverty: 861

If you click on this link, you can access a map of Pennsylvania at the bottom of the article and by clicking on your school district, you can see the results as demonstrated above for Pottstown School District:  http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mapping-poverty-wealthiest-and-poorest-school-districts-in-pennsylvania/article_53d4e55a-9810-11e3-8d0a-001a4bcf6878.html

The map is able to be enlarged or shrunk as you see fit (works like Mapquest).  The names of cities and towns are behind the colors, you can see them which will help you find what you are looking for.   Again, make sure you use the map at the bottom of the article, not the one at the top.  Happy hunting!

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DRUGS: The Epidemic Some Choose To Ignore

For some inexplicable reason, the “powers that be” in Pottstown seem to think that ignoring rampant drug use in the borough will make it go away.  As a blogger who posts news from around the state on a regular basis, I see how this problem has invaded the Commonwealth.  Drugs have crept into our smallest and remotest towns.

Drug use and drug dependence seem bring with them crime and violence.  Shootings, stabbings, burglaries etc…  I have made a point of posting articles along these lines so that anyone who reads this blog will see the alarming rise of drug use and drug related violence in our state.   Our Attorney General, Kathleen Kane has been particularly supportive in trying to ferret out drug dealers through various “sting operations” which have taken down a large numbers of dealers around the state.

One drug in particular is making an alarming comeback.  Heroin.  Pottstown is not immune to this trend.

Our story for today comes from a friend of mine who lives in Pottstown.  This person has “walked the talk” by being a public servant for a several years and is also a Mom.

Walking to school this morning, my son tells me he has seen two “thermometers” outside.  I stop, dead in my tracks, red flag warning.   I turn and retrace my steps.  Sure enough, two hypodermic needles are there on the sidewalk adjacent to the cemetery between 6th & 7th streets!  I picked them up and turned them in to the school office.  I did not want a young child walking to school to pick them up thinking they were “thermometers” also and possibly stick themselves.

So our lesson for today is that no matter how hard we wish something wasn’t a problem, it will not make it go away.

Thank goodness this Mom had the sense to retrace her steps and remove the threat, thereby protecting many other children.  Because of the neighborhood our courageous Mom lives in she unfortunately knows about such things.  Honestly, I would not have put two and two together and thought syringe.

So to the “powers that be” I say, “WAKE UP!”

To our courageous Mom I say, “Thank you!”

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Grace Early Learning Center Accepting Applications

glc1

Grace Early Learning Center

660 North Charlotte Street

Pottstown, PA  19464

Phone:  610-323-9435

http://www.gracepreschool.org

Are you looking for full or part-time care for your children ages 2-5?  After 45 years as a 1/2 day high quality preschool program, we are licensed to do full-time care for children ages 2-5 years of age Monday-Friday from 6:30AM – 6:00PM.

Grace Early Leaning Center is currently accepting full-time and part-time enrollment for children ages 2, 3 and 4, Monday-Friday from 6:30AM – 6:00PM.

Call us to set up a tour, and see why students at Grace Early Learning Center are “Learning With Love”.

We are also offering preschool half day enrollment for September 2014, beginning February 1st.

  • 2′s – M/W/F or T/Th from 9:00AM – 11:15AM
  • 3′s – M/W/F or T/Th from 9:00AM – 11:30AM
  • 4′s – M/W/F or Monday – Friday from 9:00AM – 12:00PM (NOON)

Mention this ad to receive $15 off registration fee!

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Pottstown School District Looking For Donations Of Cardio Equipment

The Pottstown School District is in search of any cardio equipment you would be willing to donate to our elementary behavioral support classrooms. Pick up arrangements can be made by contacting David Genova at 610-763-1466 or dgenova@pottstownsd.org

Thank you for your support!

Pottstown Cluster Of Religious Communities Announces Holiday Food And Toy Program

Join us for our Annual Holiday Program December 16, 2013- December 20, 2013

Annual Holiday Food and Toy Program

Each year the Pottstown Cluster holds its annual Holiday Food and Toy Program.  We offer a Holiday meal for 200 families and toys for over 400 children in the Pottstown area. We try to meet the needs for as many families as possible so each year that number increases. Your support and generosity will make this another successful year.

Additional Volunteers will be needed Friday December 13th through Friday December 20th, packing and distributing groceries and Holiday boxes, if you have a small van we need someone to help pick up some food donations; sorting toys and helping clients shop.

If you would like to donate or organize a drive, we are in need of unwrapped toys for children 16 years and younger for the Toy Program – just some suggesstions…..gift cards, educational toys, books, coloring books/crayons, DVDs, games, dolls, puzzles, sleeping bags, sports items….as long as they are age appropriate.  Have fun shopping!

Be part of our Adopt a Family program.  You can sponsor one family that is on our waiting list with a meal and presents.

For the Food box we still need eggs, butter, pie, milk and rolls.  However, we do not have the room to store these items so please drop them off December 17th.

If you have any questions, please contact Victoria Bumstead, Volunteer Coordinator

VBumstead@PottstownCluster.org or call 610-970-5995

Happy Holidays to eveyone!!!

Report: 25% Of NJ Struggling To Make Ends Meet

Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A new report claims one-quarter of New Jerseyans are living in poverty.

The study released Sunday by the Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute concludes that more than two million people in New Jersey are struggling to meet their basic needs.  Their numbers have increased since the beginning of the economic recession by more than 300,000.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20130908_ap_b7f29f63ccbe4989a7e751fe8f4d067d.html#MIgPiDRtQXohdeUL.99

Search Warrants Filed In Sherman Hills Shooting Of Two Children

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Search warrants filed in Saturday’s shooting of two children in the Sherman Hills apartment complex suggest the father was upset that two men were inside the mother’s apartment in Building 328.

According to the affidavits, William Cash known as Junie, was visiting Diana Page and was allowed inside the apartment through a rear sliding glass door.  As Cash entered, a man exited the front door.

Cash asked Page what was going on in which Page did not respond.  Cash then asked his cousin to go outside and tell him what was going on inside the apartment.

As Cash was talking to his cousin, two men approached him from behind saying,  “Yo come here bro,” the affidavit says.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/782750/Search-warrants-filed-in-Sherman-Hills-shooting-of-two-children

Related Story - 2 Girls Critical, No Arrests After Shooting

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/781467/2-girls-critical-no-arrests-after-shooting

Americans On Food Stamps

English: Logo of the .

English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of people using food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased by an average of 13 percent a year from 2008 to 2012.  House Republicans dropped funding for food stamps from a new version of the farm bill.  Voting takes place Thursday.  Read related article.

Click here to see map of US with 2012 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation levels by state: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/food-stamps/

Kids’ Well-Being Slipping In Pennsylvania, Nonprofit Says

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The well-being of children in Pennsylvania is 17th best in the nation, but that’s down from 14th a year ago, according to a study released today.

A lack of gains in health care and early learning caused the slip, according to the study by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore nonprofit for helping children.

The best-ranked states: New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. The worst: Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico.

It’s a warning sign that Pennsylvania was one of only five states to fall three or more spots, said local professionals who deal with children.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=486933

YWCA Tri-County Area Summer Outdoor Camp

June 24th through August 30th

Fernbrook Access Park in North Coventry

A Full Day School-Age Care Program

For Ages 6 to 12 -   $155.00/week

Transportation Provided

Subsidized families - call your case manager

YWCA Phone – (610) 323-1888, Renee Spaide, Child Care Director

Workshop For Fathers

Dare To Be The Best, a free, interactive workshop for fathers.  Participants will be supported in being the best parent they can be through father-child interaction, case management, education, and advocacy. Information about community resources, services and programs will be available.  The workshop will be held on six consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning May 16:30–8 p.m. at Family Services’ Pottstown Office, 1976 East High Street, Pottstown. 

Pre-registration is required.  Registration deadline is Friday, April 26.

For more information or to register, contact Rob Gaskill at610-326-1610 ext. 239 or rgaskill@fsmontco.org.

Driver Killed In Reading Crash

A city man was killed Thursday when he drove through a red light on Schuylkill Avenue at Buttonwood Street while talking on a cellphone and his car was hit broadside by a work van, authorities said.

Jose E. DeJesus Garcia, 53, who investigators said lived in the northwestern area of the city not far from the crash site, was pulled from the car by a nearby resident as the vehicle caught fire following the 8:25 a.m. accident.  He died before police arrived.

Within minutes, police vehicles, firetrucks and ambulances filled a one-block area that was strewn with mangled vehicle parts.  Firefighters quickly put out the burning car.

City detectives and evidence technicians responded along with patrol officers.  The intersection was closed nearly four hours, slowing commuter traffic on other routes.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=432081

$1,000 German Club Donation Starts Pottstown Halloween Parade Fund Drive Off Right

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The cheers for the German Club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first day of fund-raising to pay $2,660 in borough costs for the Oct. 24 Halloween parade netted a whopping $1,125, just short of the halfway mark, on the very first day.

Way to go Pottstown.  The biggest contribution came from Pottstown’s German Club, which donated $1,000 to the cause.

Read entire article: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121011/NEWS01/121019814/-1-000-german-club-donation-starts-pottstown-halloween-parade-fund-drive-off-right

Chester To Get First Supermarket In A Decade

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Image via Wikipedia

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A southeastern Pennsylvania city will soon be getting its first supermarket in more than a decade, the project of a nonprofit organization best known for collecting and distributing emergency food aid, officials said.

Philabundance announced Friday that it had purchased a mostly vacant building in Chester that housed the city’s last supermarket before it closed in 2001.

In about a year, the organization says it hopes to open a new 13,000-square-foot “Fare and Square” grocery store. Bill Clark, the group’s president, says it is believed to be the first supermarket in the country operated by a food aid group as a nonprofit venture.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/article/20120301/NEWS01/120309982/se-pa-city-to-get-first-supermarket-in-decade

Allentown Wins National Award For Fighting Childhood Obesity

The future of the city’s fruit-and-vegetable green cart is no longer followed by a question mark.

Allentown took home a first-place national award — and a $120,000 grant — for the program, securing its immediate future fighting childhood obesity.

Six cities were honored nationally. Allentown was the only city in Pennsylvania to win recognition for the award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Beverage Association.

“More than 40 percent of our kids are either overweight or obese,” Mayor Ed Pawlowski said. “We are tackling that problem head-on.”

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-obesity-prevention-award-20120118,0,2108514.story

Camp Wanna-Be Fit: Outdoor Summer Camp

Camp Wanna-Be Fit

Outdoor Summer Camp Fun!

Youth Ages 7 to 10

June 20 through August 26, 2011

9 AM – 3:30 PM Monday through Friday

Fernbrook Access Park in North Coventry

 Children may be dropped off at the YWCA between 6:30 and 8:15 AM. 

At 8:30 AM, a bus will transport the staff and children to the park for the day, returning to the YWCA at 3:45 PM. 

Children can be picked up anytime from 4 PM to 6 PM.

Rate:  $155 weekly

Subsidized Families Welcome!

Call YWCA at 610-323-1888 to Register

 

What Are The Odds???

Every week, my girlfriend and I go out for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.   Usually a cheap meal on Friday and a nicer meal on Saturday. 

Friday we went to Arby’s on Shoemaker Rd. for our fast-food meal.  All was going well except there was this hyper kid running around like a nut while we were waiting for our order.  The restaurant wasn’t busy.  There were tons of empty tables but, of course, they had to sit right behind us with spaz-boy.  The kid is jumping up and down on the seat, batting at the light fixture etc… while the parents are doing squat to stop him.

As usual, I finished way before Dawn.  While I am talking to her as she is eating, she makes this face, lays down her sandwich and says “I can’t eat any more”.  Wanna know why?????  Because spaz-boy hurled all over the table, the floor, the seat etc… She had taken one bite of her sandwich.  We went back to her house so she could finish her meal.

Saturday night we had a coupon for Friendly’s on Shoemaker Rd.  They have some new menu items and we decided that sounded good.  They seat us in front of a family with two children.  We order.  We get our soup.  Dawn takes about three bites, lays down her spoon and says “Not again”.  Wanna know why???  The one kid hurled all over the table.  God pity the people who were directly across the aisle.  They couldn’t finish their dessert.  So the mother stands up and announces that she is going to the restroom to wash the “puke” off…..  OMG did you really have to say puke while people are eating all around you.

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So they left and the staff cleaned up the mess pronto.  Dawn was fortunately able to eat after that.  I had my back to it both nights.  She said this wasn’t as bad as Arby’s, the night before, thankfully since we hadn’t even gotten our entrees yet!

Can you even believe the luck?????  Be afraid.  Be very afraid!