“Creating Your Legacy,” At The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Saturday ◊ September 20, 2014
10:30 AM – Noon

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
432 W. Walnut Street
Allentown, Pa. 18101

How will you be remembered?

History comes alive on Saturday, September 20, 2014, with “Creating your Legacy,” at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Arts Alive! is a three event series of behind the scenes cultural tours for members and their friends eager to engage their mind and spirit by rubbing shoulders with the creative process. Tickets $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. Limited availability!

Learn how to uncover your heritage, enshrine your life and create your ultimate legacy!

The Lehigh County Heritage Museum touts itself as a “facility that houses one of the finest historical research libraries in the state of Pennsylvania,” with 6 galleries encompassing 13,000 square feet. The Heritage Museum is one of the Lehigh Valley’s greatest treasure troves; the entire 30,000 square foot facility houses a collection with “more than 35,000 historical artifacts, 80,000 vintage photographs, and nearly 3-million documents.” The Heritage Museum is also home to the caretakers of Lehigh Valley’s history—seven employees are responsible for maintaining the collection’s integrity.

Creating your Legacy, on September 20th, will be led by one of the Heritage Museum’s proud caretakers, Chief Curator Jill Youngken. She was awarded the “History Prize” for outstanding scholarship during her undergraduate education at Moravian College, before completing her Master’s Degree at Rutgers University. Certified in Archival Studies, she has presided over the Lehigh County Historical Society’s unique antiques for 17 years. Youngken began her career at the Historical Society as an educator before becoming the director of the Heritage Museum’s library and archives; her responsibilities now include overseeing the museum’s 3-million historical documents.

Chief Curator Jill Youngken will offer attendees a glimpse into the lives of notable Lehigh Valley natives through rare personal relics. She will show attendees how to uncover their family legacy—and leave one for future generations!

Click Here to
Buy Tickets!
$10 for members / $15 for nonmembers

LVAC-4Lines

Washington/Chestnut St. Park Garden Party‏ In Pottstown

Hi All, 

Hope this note finds each of you in good health and spirits!  Spring is officially here, I’d I like to invite you to the  5th Annual Garden Party held at the Washington/Chestnut Sts. Park this Sunday, May 18. 
 
It will be a morning of beautifying the park with annuals and mulch donated by Colonial Gardens and light refreshments courtesy of Genesis Housing Corp.  Details are below and don’t forget your gardening tools! SHOVELS, RAKES and GLOVES!
 
WHAT: 5TH ANNUAL GARDEN PARTY
WHERE: WASHINGTON/CHESTNUT STS. PARK
DATE: Sunday MAY 18,2014
TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm
 
Hope to See you there! 
Anna, Citizens for Pottstown CPR

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Carbondale Recognized As Top Spot By PA Route 6 Alliance

Map of U.S. Route 6 in Pennsylvania

Map of U.S. Route 6 in Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CARBONDALE, PA – An investment in Carbondale’s rich history, a new hotel and improvements to sidewalks and streetlights downtown helped the city garner top honors from a nonprofit dedicated to promoting tourism along historic Route 6.

The PA Route 6 Alliance named Carbondale as the Heritage Community of the Year, making it No. 1 among more than 20 heritage communities that stretch along the 427 miles of Route 6 in Pennsylvania.

“It’s nice to be recognized for working so hard,” Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor said.

Carbondale began working toward a Route 6 Heritage Community designation in 2003, Mr. Taylor said. The Route 6 Alliance is a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism and economic development along the Route 6 corridor in Pennsylvania.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/carbondale-recognized-as-top-spot-by-pa-route-6-alliance-1.1675579

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Operation Backpack 5K, And 1 Mile Walk

The 5th Annual Operation Backpack 5K takes place on the Schuylkill River Trail, a flat, fast, and scenic rail-to-trail course in Pottstown, PA.

Cash Prize will be given to the top Male and Female Runner. Medals will be given by gender and age group. The course is fast, so it is not unusual to have many personal bests on race day. The event is a great race for competitive runners, and beginners, as well as walkers, both in the 5K and 1 mile. This year walkers will carry a backpack full of food across the finish line.

The event benefits Operation Backpack (or OBP for short). OBP provides food to students in the Pottstown Community whom would go without over the weekend. We work to help homeless and hungry students succeed by addressing the issue of childhood hunger.

Event schedule and times

WHEN? SATURDAY, May 10th @ 9:00am

WHERERiverfront Park, 140 College Dr. Pottstown, PA 19464

Registration:$25.00 Runner/ $20.00 Walkers

Check-infrom 8:00am – 8:55am

Register by May 2nd to get a FREE T-Shirt!!

Registration after May 2nd$30.00 Runner/ $25.00 Walkers

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Union Township Wants Racetrack Developers To Pay For Route 724 Upgrades

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

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

After months of discussing potential traffic nightmares, Union Township supervisors want the developers of a proposed motorsports park to abide by PennDOT-required improvements to Route 724.

The issue arose after representatives from Ethan Michael Inc., developer of the proposed Liberty Bell Motorsports Park, asked to remove a potential campground site from the original land development plan.

The plan was submitted more than a decade ago, and the campground site no longer meets Department of Environmental Protection requirements due to recently identified exceptional-value wetlands.

EMI hopes to continue with the motorsports park portion and potentially revisit the campground plan.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515096

Pottstown July 4th Parade Kicks Off At 10:15

POTTSTOWN — Fourth of July celebrations in Pottstown get an early start with the 28th Annual Pottstown Patriotic 5K Run, followed by one of the region’s best parades.

Registration for the 5K run starts at 7 a.m. and the 3.2-mile race, which snakes through Pottstown’s streets, starts at 8 a.m.

The race starts and ends at The Hill School, and will be held rain or shine.

The parade begins with an airplane fly-over (weather permitting) at 10:15 a.m. and starts off at the intersection of High and Keim streets and ends at High and Manatawny streets.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130703/NEWS01/130709787/pottstown-july-4th-parade-kicks-off-at-10-15-#full_story

Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) Is On The Move!

180933_10150092018677029_7436728_nLike the little engine that could, Sheila Dugan has taken the throttle of the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) and is chugging uphill toward her vision of a revitalized central business district.

Unlike Main Street Managers in the past, this dynamo hit the ground running and is pulling PDIDA into the 21st century at warp speed.  The PDIDA board has been reorganized, assessments are being collected, activities are being scheduled and a new cooperation is being fostered between PDIDA, borough hall, PAID, the TriCounty Community Network and other entities in Pottstown.

Sheila actually lives in Pottstown, is a downtown business owner (she and her husband own Grumpy’s) and her children attend the Pottstown School District.  Sheila is INVESTED in Pottstown (a missing component in past Main Street Managers).

The perception of business owners in the downtown, by the general public, is poor.  Sheila is trying to raise awareness that most businesses downtown are Mom and Pop operations.  In many cases, one owner, one employee.  Trying to “do it all” six days a week from open to close does not leave much time for people to attend PDIDA meetings (or much of anything else).

To combat the time problem, Sheila has come up with an innovative solution – block captains.  The block captains will talk with their assigned business owners and attend the meetings to speak for the group they represent.  The block captains will then convey the meeting results back to their group.  Email is also being used to keep PDIDA members updated, in addition to block captains and meetings.

Sheila has been working closely with the Pottstown Police Department and Borough Manager Mark Flanders toward a solution for the vagrant problem downtown.  Sheila said Mark Flanders and the Pottstown Police Department have been extremely helpful and cooperative in working toward a solution for this problem.  You will see more police officers downtown walking a beat along with other measures that are aimed at making the downtown clean, safe and a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers, arts and restaurant patrons.

PDIDA is also working with the numerous social services agencies in Pottstown.  These agencies will also play a role in managing the homeless and idle population that have been congregating downtown and hampering revitalization efforts.

Sheila works hand-in-hand with Pottstown Area Industrial Director Executive Director Steve Bamford to help market Pottstown and fill empty store fronts with new businesses.  She said Steve Bamford has been great to work with.  Marketing Pottstown is not an easy job.

Another important cooperative effort taking place is between the Pottstown Codes Department and PDIDA.  Every building within the PDIDA zone is being reviewed and code violations are being identified where they exist.  Clean and safe buildings are certainly more appealing to consumers!

Like many organizations, PDIDA has lost a large percentage of its funding.  Sheila said individual and corporate sponsors are desperately needed as well as volunteers.  For example, the PDIDA office downtown needs volunteers to help staff the office.  Sheila is also working on fundraising efforts and is applying for grants to help fund events and projects.

While we are on the subject of funding and budgets, Sheila is Pottstown’s official Main Street Manager but receives only a fraction of the salary the former managers were paid.  This is due to the loss of funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the Main Street Program.  Pottstown is fortunate to have someone willing to take on this herculean task, put in the time, do the hard work and get results on a shoestring budget.

One last thing before I give you a list of upcoming events downtown.  A while ago, one of my readers asked me if the façade program was still in existence.  I emailed the former Main Street Manager, identified myself and posed my reader’s question.  I never received the courtesy of a reply.  I asked Sheila about this during our conversation and she told me that the façade program does indeed still exist and there is still money available.

Some exciting PDIDA events to look forward to include:

June 8 – 2nd Annual Iron Horse, motorcycle show

June 20 – Rumble Downtown (includes Misty May-Treanor and live music).

July 20 – 2nd Annual Sidewalk Sale

October 12 – 6th Annual Riverfest – PDIDA is taking on this event and adding an evening component from 6pm – 8pm which will include live bands, artists, beer garden, a Bike/Art event and a TriPAC show at 8pm. Downtown restaurants will be participating.

Sheila said she is always looking for participants, live music, artists and street performers for PDIDA events.  I will again put in a plug for individual and corporate sponsors.

The Pottstown Visitors Center aka the PDIDA office is located at 17 North Hanover Street in downtown Pottstown.  The phone number is (610) 323-5400.  Sheila Dugan is the Main Street Manager and her direct line is (484) 948-6061.  The website is http://downtownpottstown.org/

Lancaster County Convention Center Has Good Month, But Future Cloudy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County Convention Center finances had a good month in November.

Reserve funds topped $5.6 million for the public meeting center.  And center officials believe this month will also end well.

That means the 20 percent stake of the Lancaster County hotel room tax which has been diverted to the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority will once again be paid to the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

That money, which totals about $900,000 annually, has been going to the center authority since spring when the reserves required under the center’s bond indenture fell below $5.25 million.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/795319_Lancaster-County-Convention-Center-has-good-month–but-future-cloudy.html#ixzz2FhIxkHdZ

Reading Civic Center Venues Performing Better Than Last Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Reading’s two civic center venues are doing far better financially so far this season compared with the first five months of last season, but they still aren’t up to budget projections, the Berks County Convention Center Authority learned Thursday.

Several shows sold out, but attendance at others – among them Alan Jackson and American Idol – was lackluster, Zane Collings, general manager, told the board.

The civic center generally operates at a loss the first five months and did so again this year, he said. The loss was more than the budget projection, but far less than last year, he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=438334

Owner Of ViVA Hopes To Buy Club

The owner of ViVA Good Life-Wyomissing Inc. signed an agreement of sale to buy Green Valley Country Club, if he can get subdivision approval.

Jeffrey D. Hettinger said his company, JMH Inc., wants to buy 14 of the 26 available acres to expand its event operations.

The remaining 12 acres would stay in the ownership of the country club.

If Lower Heidelberg Township supervisors don’t approve subdividing the land, Hettinger said he would not buy the property, but instead would enter into a 10-year lease with the club.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=381091

Thousands Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day In Phoenixville

English: Molly Maguires Pub and Restaurant in ...

Editor’s note:  Can you say cha-ching for downtown Phoenixville merchants.  These kinds of regular events are essential for revitalization.  So what happened in downtown Pottstown for St. Patrick’s Day?  Were there hundreds of people celebrating, dozens or just the usual suspects loitering at the clock tower watching the crickets and tumbleweeds roll down High Street?  You say, “But we don’t have an Irish Pub?”  I say, “We could if someone actively recruited more restaurants and stores to fill High Street.”  Marketing, marketing, marketing!

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. — The streets of Phoenixville were filled with the spirit of the Irish Saturday as thousands donned their green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

The festive mood continued inside of Bridge Street favorite Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant & Pub.

General Manager Neil Bonner said his favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day is being surrounded by good people.

“Everyone comes out just to have a good time and they all get to be just a little bit Irish for a day,” he explained.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120317/NEWS01/120319493/thousands-celebrate-st-patrick-s-day-in-phoenixville&pager=full_story

Downtown Inc Makes Move For Visibility In York City

English: Citizens Bank on the central Square, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Say goodbye to elevator rides and treks down a long green hallway Downtown Inc.

The nonprofit is relocating its office to a former bank building just around the corner from Continental Square. The move means Downtown Inc will have a visible presence in the York City business district that it promotes.

“It puts us right in front of our constituents,” said Director Sonia Huntzinger.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/news/ci_20053959

Foot Traffic Draws New Business To Kennett Square

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Image via Wikipedia

A store owner has moved his store from Delaware to Kennett Square because he likes how vibrant the downtown business community has become.

Mystique, a store that offers men’s and women’s clothing, opened this week at 11 E. State St.

A grand opening is planned for March 2.

Kennett Square is one of the top 10 small towns in the nation, and they have monthly events, which is wonderful,” said Bill McClane, owner of the store. “I really like the mix here with the variety of stores and all the people walking around.”

Read more:: http://business-news.thestreet.com/daily-local-news/story/foot-traffic-draws-new-business-kennett-square-4/1

Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair, October 15 & 16 In Blue Bell

Embrace the beauty of fine craft and hand-crafted works of art, all locally and regionally created, one by one, by over 70 master craftsmen and women.
 

The Fall Fine Craft Fair is the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s most popular outdoor/indoor festival, and is held on October 15 & 16 at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA.  This annual event brings together thousands of loyal art patrons and craft collectors in search of flawless contemporary and traditional crafts…

For more information, click here: http://www.pacrafts.org/fine-craft-fairs/october/

2011 Pennsylvania State Fair Guide

Here it is folks, back by popular demand, the PA State Fair Guide.  This handy PDF file shows Pennsylvania, broken down by region, and all the events taking place this year.  Do not sit home wondering what to do with yourselves this summer.   Get out there and experience Pennsylvania!

Click below for the link to all the info:

http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_24476_10297_0_43/AgWebsite/Files/Publications/PA%20Fair%20Guide_2011v79optiv3.pdf

2nd Annual Race to Shelter the Homeless – Riverfront Park Pottstown!

Wings of Victory Outreach Corp. Presents:

2nd Annual Race to Shelter the Homeless

Money raised will benefit our program for homeless women.

5K Run (3.1 miles) & 1 Mile Fun Walk

DATE:  Saturday, June 18, 2011 – 8:30 A.M.

Moms/Dads with Strollers Welcome

COST:  Minimum donation of $30 required

to receive a tee-shirt.

See details and print registration form at www.WingsofVictoryOutreach.org

Donations may also be made on line.

Lancaster, California – A Community Pottstown Should Emulate

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los A...

Image via Wikipedia

Listed below are the 2009 accomplishments for the City of Lancaster California’s Economic Development/Redevelopment Department.  This is not some wealthy, gated fantasy community.  It is ethnically diverse and economically very middle class.  I listed some demographic info from the city website below the accomplishments (also from the city website).

The accomplishments below are for ONE year – 2009.  The lists for other departments are also impressive.

Will the day ever come when we can expect even a fraction of such results in Pottstown?  I don’t think there has been this much economic development/redevelopment activity here in 10 years, let alone in one year! 

Lancaster, CA had a population of 37,000 people in 1977.  Today, the population is listed at 145,000.  This bedroom community has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse by streamlining the development process (cut red tape) and made local business a TOP priority.  The Lancaster Redevelopment Agency has attracted retail and dining establishments as well as businesses.  The revitalization of downtown Lancaster has been extensive and included façade improvements to existing businesses and the attraction of new business to the downtown.  In 2010, a one mile stretch of Lancaster Boulevard was revitalized which will further economic development in the downtown and beyond.  Lancaster also has an arts community which is helping to drive revitalization.

Lancaster, CA, like Pottstown, is a strong council, weak mayor system of government with a professional manager (like Jason).  I am not advocating that Pottstown try and surpass the population of Allentown.  What I am suggesting is our two communities are not all that different socio-economically.  If this degree of success is possible in Lancaster, CA then revitalization can happen in Pottstown (on a size appropriate scale, of course).  One last thing I will point out is that Lancaster’s city-data crime index for 2009 was 335.2 (Average) compared to Pottstown’s 456.6 (High).  Anything over 450 is considered high. 

Economic Development/Redevelopment Accomplishments for 2009

• Implemented the Lancaster Economic Stimulus Package (ESP), successfully generating an economic impact of over $123 million dollars
• The ESP’s Shop and Drive Program prompted more than $25 million dollars in new auto sales
• Over 5,000 gift cards were issued as part of the ESP’s Shop and Dine Program. More than 400 Lancaster based businesses and over 6,000 citizens participated in the Shop Lancaster program
• Grand Opening of three new restaurants; The Brooklyn Deli, Blvd Express, and Giannini’s in Downtown Lancaster
• Construction started on a $12 million dollar drainage channel enabling the future development of a new Kaiser Permanente facility and the Promenade at Amargosa Creek
• Launched “Destination Lancaster,” a new visitor’s bureau aimed at promoting tourism and supporting businesses within Lancaster and the surrounding Antelope Valley region
• Grand opening of eSolar’s Sierra Sun Tower, a 5MW solar thermal demonstration facility
• Grand opening of the Artist Lofts and Gallery, a 21-unit mixed use project in Downtown Lancaster, representing a $9.4 million dollar investment by Incite Development
• The inaugural “Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix” roared through Downtown Lancaster, garnering more than 20,000 visitors
• Finalized construction plans for $7 million streetscape improvement project in Downtown Lancaster
• Created a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DayStar Farms, Inc. to cooperatively develop the nation’s first solar park
• The University of Antelope Valley was established in Lancaster and will begin to offer Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees at its newest campus, the former Antelope Valley Inn site
• Created new partnership with the Small Business Development Center, Wells Fargo Bank, and the AV Board of Trade to provide free one-on-one counseling and low-cost business workshops
• In conjunction with the County of Los Angeles and the City of Palmdale, hosted the Antelope Valley Enterprise Zone kick-off breakfast
• Launched Mayor’s new home-based business initiative to provide additional education, training and resources for home-based businesses in Lancaster
• Established two Community Neighborhood Impact houses through partnerships with local faith-based organizations
• Implemented ten Neighborhood Revitalization Plans to improve housing and public improvements within the newly designated areas
• Received the 2009 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Promotional Award in recognition of the “Shop Lancaster” marketing campaign. The city also received a Savvy Award from the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA) for its “Shop Lancaster” marketing program

 Race (2006-2008):Number and percentage of:Whites: 86,009 / 56.5 %

Blacks/African Americans: 29,263 / 19.2 %

American Indian/Alaska Native: 1,017 / 0.7 %

Asian: 6,568 / 4.3 %

Native Hawaii/Pacific Islander: 306 / 0.2 %

Some other race: 24,109 / 15.8 %

Two or more races: 4,912 / 3.2 %

Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 55,551 / 36.5 %

 Economic Characteristics (2006-2008):Number and percentage of persons:In labor force (over age 16): 61,103 / 57.0 %

Median household income (2008): $49,494

Median family income (2008): $55,569

Per capita income (2008): $19,273

Percentage of:

Families below poverty level: 17.9 %

Individuals below poverty level: 20.4 %

Mean travel time to work: 31.6 minutes

Lancaster Mayor’s Office Of Special Events (MOOSE) Addresses Lansdale Economic Development Committee

The Lancaster Mayor’s office has a Special Events division.  Their mission is to “host, create and produce special events for the City of Lancaster, promote and market them, and act as a resource to others planning special events”.  MOOSE exists to create excitement and enthusiasm about Lancaster City.

Lancaster hosts seven yearly events for its citizens and visitors, which are a joint effort between MOOSE and the James Street Improvement District.  Lancaster successfully turned around their downtown by identifying an Improvement District and then expanding it.  Lansdale’s goal was to learn from Lancaster’s successes and adapt them to fit Lansdale.

(HINT) Since these people take their show on the road, Pottstown should invite them here and see what they have to say.  Lancaster’s vibrant downtown is the envy of most cities and towns in this state!

MOOSE’s staff:

Jennifer Baker, Director, jbaker@cityoflancasterpa.com
Valerie Paige, Special Events Manager, vpaige@cityoflancasterpa.com

Mayor’s Office of Special Events

120 North Duke Street

Lancaster, PA 17608-1599

(717) 291-4758

MOOSE website:  http://www.lancastercityevents.com/index.html