Nanticoke Resident Plans Community Garden

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

NANTICOKE, PA – Rebecca Seman wants to see the Nanticoke area community growing.

Mainly vegetables, but she’d like to see people grow some flowers, too.

About a month ago, Seman started the Greater Nanticoke Area Community Garden initiative with the idea of getting area residents interested in sustainable farming. She also wants to organize events to improve the community, including a cleanup and flower-planting at Patriot Square Park this Saturday.

“It’s just something I’ve kind of always wanted to do,” Seman said. “Lately I’ve seen a lot of places around the country are trying to become more sustainable. I’d like to see that in Nanticoke.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/nanticoke-resident-plans-community-garden-1.1682779

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Organic Gardending Worshops To Be Held In Pottstown

laura-washingtonLaura Washington, Garden Manager for the Mosaic Community Land Trust in Pottstown will hold two organic gardening worships:

  • April 11, 2014 at 10:30am – Pottstown Area Seniors’ Center, 288 Moser Rd, Pottstown

  • April 22, 2014 at 6:00pm – Pottstown Regional Public Library; 500 E. High Street, Pottstown

These free workshops are presented by the TCN Environmental Health and Safety Committee.

To register call 610-705-3301, Ext 2

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Stability Spurs More Growth In 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)

Slow and steady wins the race: It works for the tortoise, and it seems to be working for Pittsburgh.

The latest annual “Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow” report by PittsburghTODAY found that Pittsburgh continues to make modest economic progress after years of decline.

PittsburghTODAY is a nonprofit part of the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social & Urban Research that tracks the region’s progress compared with 15 other areas of similar size, geographic and demographic makeups.

Doug Hueck, program director for PittsburghTODAY, highlighted data regarding population growth, unemployment levels and housing appreciation rates as examples of the city’s revival.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/22/Stability-spurs-more-growth-here/stories/201402220041#ixzz2u57osImH

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Land Trust Acquisition To Boost Preservation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The North Branch Land Trust is about to preserve a 3,000-acre parcel of some of the finest forest land in Pennsylvania.

And, eventually, the goal is to protect an entire mountain ridge and create a protected forest that will run from Mocanaqua north to Crystal Lake and a connection to existing state forest lands.

It will be the North Branch Land Trust’s most significant move in its 21-year history of saving and preserving parcels of varying size. When acquired, the 3,000 acres will boost to 15,000 acres the total land mass preserved via the trust.

One sidelight to the success of the land trust is its support of the trails system being developed in the Delaware and National Heritage Corridor. The land trust is playing a role in extending a trail from Mountain Top to Oliver Mills in Laurel Run Borough and then around the mountain to Northampton Street in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/land-trust-acquisition-to-boost-preservation-1.1619488

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Highest-Ever CO2 Levels Killing Coral Reefs

This image depicts all of the areas that the M...

This image depicts all of the areas that the Millenium Coral Reef Landsat Archive covers. Red dots indicate coral reef data at the website: http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi/landsat.pl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people are by now familiar with the Keeling curve, a graph showing the steady increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere measured over decades by the Mauna Loa Observatory, the world’s longest-running CO2 monitoring station.

The research, started by renowned climate scientist Dave Keeling in 1958, is considered one of the pillars of the scientific consensus that human activity is the main driver of climate change. This year, the data revealed a troubling milestone: CO2 concentrations had passed 400 parts per million for the first time since the dawn of human civilization.

Less familiar, but every bit as troubling to climate scientists, is a parallel slope on a different track of climate data: the increase of CO2 in the world’s oceans, which has been climbing almost in lockstep with the Keeling curve. The rising carbon level is cranking up ocean acidity with astonishing speed—probably 10 times faster than at any point in about 50 million years, according to scientists.

Among other concerns, scientists are now increasingly worried that the acidification of the oceans is likely to cause one of the first abrupt, severe and probably irreversible consequences of global climate change: the loss of tropical coral reefs.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Loss_of_Tropical_Coral_Reefs_May_Be_1st_Irreversible_Climate_Consequence.html#FGL2gFlgtb5lKOZc.99

Pennsylvania Climate Plan, Recommendations Released

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s climate action plan arrived just in time for Christmas, but it’s already a year late.

The draft document — an update of a 2009 plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the state — comes out of the Department of Environmental Protection. It’s based on workplans recommended by a 15-person committee representing industry, government and nonprofits.

The legislation that required this report said the update should have been issued at the end of 2012.

The latest climate action plan proposes expanding natural gas distribution pipelines to give more Pennsylvanians access to the fuel. It also advocates encouraging operators of coal mines to capture some of the methane vented into the air before, during, or after mining activity.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/environment/2013/12/20/State-climate-plan-recommendations-released/stories/201312200062#ixzz2o2UTDBS7

State To Undertake $500,000 Cleanup Of Pottstown Plating

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  This is great news!

POTTSTOWN — The state is stepping in to make sure a half-million-dollar environmental cleanup at a closed plating facility in the borough gets completed after the bankrupt owner stopped work.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday it would take over the removal of hazardous materials left over at the former Pottstown Plating on South Washington Street at the intersection with Industrial Highway.

The company, which performed electroplating, opened in 1950 and closed in 2009 just before going bankrupt, according to the DEP.

When the DEP inspected the site in 2009, it found a number of environmental issues that needed to be addressed and the company’s owners hied a contractor to removed hazardous waste there.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130918/state-to-undertake-500000-cleanup-of-pottstown-plating

‘Code Orange’ Issued As Air Quality Expected To Be Poor Today

The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an orange air quality action day for ozone on Thursday, July 18, for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130718/NEWS01/130719364/-code-orange-issued-as-air-quality-expected-to-be-poor-today#full_story

PENNVEST Approves $28M For Harrisburg Sinkhole, Water Treatment Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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

HARRISBURG – Nearly $28 million in loans was approved Tuesday morning to fund sinkhole repairs and water treatment upgrades in the capital city.

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority board unanimously approved financing applications from the city and The Harrisburg Authority at its meeting Tuesday.

The Harrisburg Authority is getting $26.9 million; the city, $900,000.

The city’s loan is conditional on transferring ownership of infrastructure to The Harrisburg Authority.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/pennvest_approves_28m_for_harr.html#incart_river_default

A 16th-Century Method May Revolutionize Mine Drainage Treatment

A technology dating to the 16th century and built with PVC piping available at any Home Depot or Lowe’s soon will be used to enhance and possibly revolutionize the treatment of abandoned mine drainage, still Pennsylvania’s biggest water quality problem.

The technology, called “trompe,” an old French word meaning trumpet, is a water-powered air compressor with no moving parts.  It has been adapted and developed by Bruce Leavitt, a mining hydrologist and professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University, to provide enhanced aeration of polluted mine water, which speeds the cleanup process.

Use of trompe technology is especially applicable to the hundreds of mine discharges flowing out of the Pittsburgh coal seam in Western Pennsylvania, said Mr. Leavitt, during a walking tour of a trompe-enhanced passive treatment system on the North Fork of Montour Run in Findlay, 2 miles south of the Pittsburgh International Airport.

“Trompe can reduce the size and cost of passive treatment systems for mine drainage,” he said, “And it can take a treatment system that’s not working, or not working well, and clean the water better.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/16th-century-method-may-ease-mine-drainage-692917/#ixzz2X9Sy6uym

Reading CIty Council Awards $5.35 Million Contract To Rebuild Fritz’s Island

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

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

Reading City Council voted unanimously Monday to award a $5.35 million contract to design the rebuilding of the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Fritz’s Island.

“It’s taken us awhile to get here,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said. “We’re on the way to making some good progress.”

The contract was awarded to York-based RK&K Inc., the winner after the city weeded out six other firms during what Managing Director Carole B. Snyder called an extensive review process.

Public Works Director Charles M. Jones and plant manager Ralph Johnson said the rebuilding project is expected to cost about $101 million.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=471552

Suburban Areas Becoming More Convenient, City-Like

English: Text that accompanies the ULI logo.

English: Text that accompanies the ULI logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past two decades, suburban areas have been making a slow transition from car-dependent to people-oriented design, with more options for walking, cycling or public transportation, according to Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization.

ULI recently published a report, “Shifting Suburbs: Reinventing Infrastructure for Compact Development,” detailing how this change is mostly driven by generation Y, who favor the convenience of urban-style living in more densely populated areas.

The U.S. population is expected to increase by 95 million in the next 30 years, and most of the growth will occur in suburban towns, which makes smart suburban land use essential to growth. But redeveloping these areas is harder in practice than in theory, according to the report.

Read more:   http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/Suburban_areas_becoming_more_convenient_urban-like.html

Michigan And Ohio To Cooperate On Lake Erie Algae

Lake Erie from satellite 2007. Photograph cour...

Lake Erie from satellite 2007. Photograph courtesy of NASA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Officials in Michigan and Ohio promised closer cooperation Wednesday in the quest for solutions to massive algae blooms in Lake Erie, a deadly threat to fish and a turn-off for tourists.

Delegations from both states, including their top environmental protection officials, agreed to push harder for reductions in phosphorus discharges from farms, waste treatment plants and other sources while sharing ideas and supporting research. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pledged technical and financial assistance.

“We all agreed that while more research is needed, that shouldn’t be a barrier to taking action now,” said Susan Hedman, chief of the EPA’s regional office in Chicago. “It’s absolutely clear that we need to reduce nutrient loading to the western end of Lake Erie.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/ap/618886_Michigan–Ohio-to-cooperate-on-Lake-Erie-algae.html#ixzz1r8KLtV1j

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

Metropolitan Philadelphia Air Quality Alert!

...AIR QUALITY ALERT IS IN EFFECT FOR TUESDAY, JULY 12...

THE DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION HAS ISSUED
A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT TUESDAY FOR THE PHILADELPHIA
METRO AREA.

A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT MEANS THAT AIR POLLUTION
CONCENTRATIONS WITHIN THE REGION MAY BECOME UNHEALTHY FOR
SENSITIVE GROUPS. SENSITIVE GROUPS INCLUDE CHILDREN...PEOPLE
SUFFERING FROM ASTHMA... HEART DISEASE OR OTHER LUNG
DISEASES...AND THE ELDERLY. THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION CAN
BE MINIMIZED BY AVOIDING STRENUOUS ACTIVITY OR EXERCISE OUTDOORS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GROUND-LEVEL OZONE AND FINE
PARTICLES...

Gulf Oil Spill Panel Findings Leaked!

GULF OF MEXICO (May 16, 2010) An oil containme...

Image via Wikipedia

Here is an article about the leaked findings from the presidential panel on the BP Oil Spill Disaster:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40956664/40777506

Pittsburgh Building Comprehensive Growth Plan With Participation From Thousands Of Residents

Duquesne University's view of the Pittsburgh s...

Image via Wikipedia

Pittsburgh is establishing a comprehensive growth plan to “right size” the city after years of population loss.  Year one has already been completed with thousands of residents taking part in helping to shape a way forward for Pennsylvania’s second largest city.

This plan, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will focus on the following areas in order:

Open spaces and parks – wrapping up

Cultural heritage and preservation – up and running

The next ten have yet to be started:

Transportation

Public art

Design

Energy

City-owned buildings

Infrastructure

Economic development

Housing

Education

Zoning

Land Use

The Pittsburgh planning department is enthusiastically seeking participation from city residents!  The cost of this long-range plan is $2.3 million dollars.  Cities are not required to submit comprehensive plans but they can opt to do so.  Only a handful of cities have done this.  Pittsburgh is once again being a leading innovator in their approach to managed growth and sustainability.

These components were not accidentally chosen.  Open space is first because vacant land use will influence every other category on the list.  Pittsburgh has 5,500 acres of open space.   Half is parks and 14,000 vacant lots make up the rest.  Pittsburgh realizes that green space has an impact on property values.

These meetings last two hours and are held on various nights and in several locations around Pittsburgh to maximize citizen involvement.

Pittsburgh is consistently ranked as one of America’s most livable cities.

Pottstown Noise/Nuisance Ordinance

This kind of ordinance is what was being discussed at the meeting Thursday evening.  Using this ordinance to file civil suits against property owners who rent to criminals.  Illegal activity usually has noise associated with it.  Gunshots come to mind.

We already have a tool in place that can be used by average citizens to fight back against undesirable neighbors.

Read and familiarize yourselves with this!

http://www.pottstown.org/PDF/Code_of_Ordinances/pdffiles/NoiseOrdinanceNo2058.pdf