All Aboard! $200K Grant Bolsters Plan For Boyertown-To-Pottstown Rail Service

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

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

BOYERTOWN, PA — Progress on the revitalization of the Colebrookdale Railroad these days means more than pulling refurbished passenger cars along the picturesque 9-mile track on the shores of Manatawny Creek.

These days progress is being measured in cars and engines acquired, being fixed up and put into service.

And Wednesday marked another milestone on the railroad’s journey to full service when Executive Director Nathaniel Guest announced last week’s awarding of a $200,000 grant to begin construction of “railroad station infrastructure right here in Boyertown.”

The announcement came after the train — pulling cars packed with more than 70 federal and state legislators, county commissioners and municipal officials of all stripes — arrived at the downtown yard to the applause of a crowd that had gathered to welcome it.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140723/all-aboard-200k-grant-bolsters-plan-for-boyertown-to-pottstown-rail-service

Lancaster Mayor: Advantages Of College Use Of Former Armory Site Outweigh Price

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

When Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology officials came to City Hall and asked the city to sell them the former National Guard armory site, Mayor Rick Gray’s answer was “no.”

The armory was an unexpected windfall for the city, but the city needed it badly.

The buildings which had been used to service military vehicles would become a new maintenance garage to replace the city’s crumbling facility.

But, eventually, college officials persuaded Gray an expansion of the technical school was in the best interests of the college and the surrounding neighborhood.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lancaster/news/mayor-advantages-of-college-use-of-former-armory-site-outweigh/article_1b928054-0646-11e4-b8d3-0017a43b2370.html

Pennsylvania Partners In The Arts News Project Stream Grant Deadline June 20th

ImageProxy (9)The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) 2014-2015 Project Stream will provide funds of up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects. These projects must take place between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015, and each project (a single event or a series of activities) must have a significant public component.

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council has accepted project grant requests from as many as 60 applicants in one cycle; and in the most recent fiscal year, we awarded grants to 24 projects (click HERE to view the awards). Activities successfully receiving PPA project funding have reached a wide range of constituents, from young children to senior citizens, and this year’s projects are engaging audiences in activities that include visual arts exhibitions; photography; musical performances from opera to jazz; documentary film; storytelling and dance.

The deadline for the next round of Project Stream grants is June 20th, so apply today!For more information on the PPA, the criteria and guidelines for applying to Project Stream, and review of the online application process, view the PPA Project Stream Prezi presentation (requires Adobe Flashplayer).

For more information on the PPA visit: www.lvartscouncil.org/programs

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Coraopolis Rallies To Save Train Station

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

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

At first glance, the Coraopolis Railroad Station appears rundown, but a closer look reveals a piece of history that Coraopolis residents have rallied to save.

Named by Preservation Pennsylvania this year as one of the most endangered historical sites in the state, the train station was built in 1895 in Richardsonian Romanesque style based on a design by architects Shepley Rutan and Coolidge.

About eight years ago, four families who wanted to help restore the station bought the building that had been abandoned about 30 years ago and began what came to be known as the Coraopolis Community Development Foundation. The organizers are planning a video, an online fundraising campaign and other efforts.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/alleghenyneighborhoods/alleghenyneighborhoodsmore/5850769-74/station-coraopolis-town#ixzz31nfMKYAL
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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Lehigh Valley Arts Council Presents Pennsylvania Council On The Arts Grant Opportunities

ImageProxy (2)Allentown, PA – Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) is a partnership connecting local artists and nonprofit organizations to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA). PPA re-grants state funds to support a wide variety of local and community arts activities through its regional partners; Lehigh Valley Arts Council is entering its 10th year as the PPA Partner who administers these funds in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon County.

The PPA 2014-2015 Project Stream will provide funds of up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects. These projects must take place between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015, and each project (a single event or a series of activities) must have a significant public component. PPA Project Stream applications are reviewed by an invited panel of Lehigh Valley artists and arts advocates according to criteria provided by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council has accepted project grant requests from as many as 60 applicants in one cycle; and in the most recent fiscal year, we awarded grants to 24 projects. Activities successfully receiving PPA project funding have reached a wide range of constituents, from young children to senior citizens, and this year’s projects are engaging audiences in activities that include visual arts exhibitions; photography; musical performances from opera to jazz; documentary film; storytelling and dance. Visit http://www.lvartscouncil.org/programs for more details on the award recipients and their projects.

Project Stream Applicants, both new and returning, are encouraged to attend one of the May planning workshops which are sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at no charge to the public. Three LVAC Workshops will be held in the region this year:

  • May 6th: Lehigh Valley Arts Council office in Allentown, 4:00 to 5:30 pm
  • May 8th: Sigal Museum in Easton, 4:00 to 5:30 pm
  • May 15th: Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, noon to 2 pm.

Conversations will include a review of the grant application, plans for constructing your narratives and budgets, and expectations for best practices for preparing work samples and supplemental materials. There will be an additional drop-in session for applicants to review their progress on June 3rd, from 11:30 am – 4:30 pm in our office at 9th & Hamilton Streets in Allentown. Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas, plans, and questions.

Email Marilyn J. Roberts, PPA Coordinator, ppa@lvartscouncil.org or call 610-437-5915 to share your interest in applying for a Project Stream Grant and attending one of these beneficial workshops. Include your organization and/or artist name, preferred email address, and a brief description of the project you are considering as well as your choice of workshop.

Link to the PCA’s eGRANT website after May 1st (http://ppa.egrant.net) to register on the application site and to access news about current PPA grant applications. June 20th, 2014 is the deadline to submit Project Stream Applications to the PCA electronically and to postmark the required forms and supplemental materials to the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.

For more information:
Call: 610-437-5915.
Email: PPA@LVArtsCouncil.org 
Web: http://www.lvartscouncil.org/programs/PPA%20Workshops.html
Attendance: Free, Reservations requested
Location(s):

May 6, 2014 – 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 200 Conference Room
Allentown, Pa. 18101

May 8, 2014 – 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Sigal Museum
342 Northampton Street
Easton, Pa. 18042

May 15, 2014 – Noon to 2 PM
Mauch Chunk Opera House
14 W. Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

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Pennsylvania Partners In The Arts Project Stream Grant Workshops

LVAC-4LinesCalling all artists, community groups and arts organizations!

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council invites you to apply for up to $2,500 from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream to fund arts projects or activities benefiting the communities of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to join us for one of our free PPA grant workshops.

May 6th, 4 PM to 5:30 PM: Lehigh Valley Arts Council (Allentown)

May 8th, 4 PM to 5:30 PM: Sigal Museum (Easton)

Mark your Calendar! The PPA deadline for Project Stream Applications is June 20th, 2014!

Click here for more information: http://lvartscouncil.org/programs/workshops.html

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Steinman Family Foundations Merge, Form One Of The Largest Philanthropic Forces In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Uniting to be a stronger force for good in the community, two Steinman family foundations are now one.

Tuesday, the James Hale Steinman Foundation and the John Frederick Steinman Foundation, operating separately for 62 years, became simply the Steinman Foundation.

The new charitable organization, with combined assets of more than $85 million, will be one of the largest private foundations in the area, certainly the largest in Lancaster County.

The mission of the foundations has always been to improve the quality of life for people who live here.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/steinman-family-foundations-merge-form-one-of-the-largest-philanthropic/article_5105ba3e-aed1-11e3-928f-001a4bcf6878.html

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Wilkes-Barre Details Use Of $2 Million In Funding

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city’s director of Economic and Community Development on Wednesday detailed how his office spent nearly $2 million in federal money throughout the city last year.

The city receives three types of funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Decelopment each year and is required to hold a public meeting to explain how the money was spent in the previous year.

Office of Economic and Community Development Director Kurt Sauer presided over that meeting Wednesday in council chambers. The spending is detailed in a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report, which is available for review.

In 2013, the city received $1,563,671 in Community Development Block Grant funding, $112,690 in Emergency Solutions funding and $264,880 in HOME funding.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1222522/City-details-use-of-$2-million-in-funding

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Church & Dwight To Manufacture Gummy Vitamins In York County, Hire 180 People

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

Church & Dwight plans to construct a new production line for gummy vitamins at its facility in Jackson Township.

A $55 million investment, the new production line will lead to the hiring of approximately 180 people, according to the company.

Construction will begin in January and the line is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2015, according to a news release.

The company will also receive some state funds for the project via the Governor’s Action Team, which works with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_24655737/church-dwight-hire-180-people-manufacture-gummy-vitamins

Reading Fighting Hard For Redevelopment Designation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said his staff knew they were in for a fight if they were going to beat out other Pennsylvania cities for two City Revitalization and Improvement Zone designations.

Today, Spencer said an application for the designation had been submitted and it was time to take the gloves off.

“It was a Herculean task from the start,” Spencer told a gathering in the former Citizens Bank building near the corner of Fifth and Penn streets.

Guidelines for the grants were issued Oct. 31, leaving only weeks to select an authority to oversee the CRIZ program; chose the 129 acres comprising 260 parcels; draw up a redevelopment strategy for the zone; and draft an application. The designation will allow the authority to take state and local taxes generated by properties in the zone and reinvest them in properties in the zone.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131203/NEWS/312029867#.Up5KB7B3uM8

Crane Installs $40,000 Public Art Project In Lancaster

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Workers used a crane this morning to install an “artwork cistern” on the Walnut Street side of the Lancaster Brewing Company building.

The cistern, commissioned by Lancaster city’s public art program, is made of steel and lengths of native wood.

Inside, a tank will hold 750 gallons of rainwater from the brewery roof. The cistern water will be used to support the plants in a rain garden along the street.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/912608_Pictures–Crane-installs–40-000-public-art-project-in-Lancaster.html#ixzz2jKNY9pnh

Construction Of Pottstown Mini-Golf Course Underway

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Autumn may be here and winter may be coming — but so is mini-golf season.

Construction has begun on the course and officials say they hope it may be completed before winter.

The project has been at least three years in the making.

Located along High Street, west of Manatawny Creek and adjacent to the former Pottstown Metal Weld building, now home to the Carousel at Pottstown facility, the mini-golf course is meant to complement the carousel and be an attraction for users of the Schuylkill River Trail.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/20131014/construction-of-pottstown-mini-golf-course-underway

Wilkes-Barre Heralds New Garage, Bus Station Cameras

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Mayor Tom Leighton and city officials gathered at the Intermodal Transportation Center this morning to herald the recent installation of security cameras throughout the complex.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news//877135/WB-heralds-new-garage-bus-station-cameras

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Applies For Grant To Expand Service

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AVOCA, PA — The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport has applied for a $575,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help expand service and market the airport.

The application was filed this week with the FAA’s Small Community Air Service Development Grant program.

The grant would be used toward a nearly $1.2 million initiative that includes enticing airlines to add flights to leisure and business destinations not currently offered out of Northeastern Pennsylvania including Tampa, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington and Las Vegas, said Barry J. Centini, the airport’s director.

Money would be used to help subsidize the airlines, could go toward landing fees and other offers making flying in to and out of the area more attractive, Centini said.  Additional money would be used to amplify marketing efforts for those airlines and existing airlines.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/792704/Avoca-airport-applies-for-grant-to-expand-service

Reading Police Pulled From The Citadel

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

City police officers have been pulled from their stations at the Reading Citadel intermediate high school while the school district figures out how it’s going to come up with the money to pay for them, district officials said Wednesday.

“We don’t have coverage in the building,” school board President Pierre V. Cooper told fellow board members at the end of their meeting.

“The police are circling and in the area, and they can be there at a moment’s notice,” Cooper said.  “But they are not in the building.”

The two officers stationed at the Citadel, who also serve the high school, were at the school for the first day but were reassigned to regular city patrols later in the week, Dr. Carlinda Purcell, superintendent, said after the meeting.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=505051

Reading Officials Anticipate Announcement Of Funding For Downtown Project

Picture 533Reading officials are hoping that a visit Wednesday from the state’s community and economic development secretary will result in millions of dollars in grant money to build a thriving business district downtown.

City officials are anticipating that the state has accepted the city’s application to be designated as a Keystone Community, which would provide access to economic development-related funds.

They say they haven’t been given the final word, but city officials said state Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker is coming to Reading to make an announcement Wednesday.

“We’re hoping that’s part of the reason why he’s coming,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said Monday.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=502229

Reading / Berks Crime Summit Initiatives Still Moving Ahead, Leaders Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

More than six months after a meeting of 100-plus public and private leaders put a sharp focus on curtailing crime in Reading and Berks County, initiatives spawned at the Jan. 18 crime summit remain active.

One of them, the formation of a joint law-enforcement intelligence committee, is a topic that Berks District Attorney John T. Adams did not want to discuss in detail, other than to say that meetings have been held.

But Adams and others provided progress reports on other crime summit initiatives.  They were cobbled together during the unique gathering at Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing, that involved federal and state lawmakers, Gov. Tom Corbett, county officials and leading business people.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=500295

Laura Bush Foundation Grant To Barth Elementary Is Only One In PA

First Lady Laura Bush observes a fifth grade m...

First Lady Laura Bush observes a fifth grade math class at Lovejoy Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Barth Elementary School has received a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, the only school in all of Pennsylvania to receive a grant from the former First Lady’s foundation.

Principal Ryan Oxenford was recently notified of the award.

In 2013, the foundation awarded over $1 million in grants to schools to update and diversify their library book collections.

“This is an incredible opportunity to expand the resources in our library.  The grant approval could not have come at a better time with the unveiling of our newly renovated library this fall,” said Oxenford.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130705/NEWS01/130709680/laura-bush-foundation-grant-to-barth-is-only-one-in-pa

Bus Route From Reading To Lebanon Might Be Ready Soon

English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsy...

English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, July 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BARTA bus passengers might be able to catch a ride to Lebanon by the end of summer.

The agency said Monday that it’s working with Lebanon Transit to throw together a makeshift Reading-Lebanon bus route to fill a service gap that will result when Bieber Tourways discontinues its Reading-Lebanon-Harrisburg route next week.

The two transit agencies already were developing plans for a Reading-Lebanon route, and the route proposed Monday would be a temporary measure to keep service between the cities alive while details of the permanent route are being worked out.

“What we’re trying to do now is just for the interim,” BARTA executive director Dennis D. Louwerse said. “The longer study is going to tell us if this is really going to work in the long run.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=487181

Support For ‘Secret Valley’ Rail Line From Boyertown To Pottstown Picks Up Steam

Plans for a tourist excursion railroad on the eight-mile Colebrookdale line between Pottstown and Boyertown are moving forward and picking up support, most recently from a team of 40-or-so volunteers to got together to do a clean-up along the route.

Last weekend, the volunteers, led by the Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars and folks in Montgomery County’s ARD program performing court-ordered community service, picked up trash along the right of way.

Berks County Subway provided lunch for all volunteers, and the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation provided water.

J.P. Mascaro & Sons provided two dumpsters.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130617/NEWS01/130619394/support-for-secret-valley-rail-line-from-boyertown-to-pottstown-picks-up-steam#full_story