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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4 Years After BP Spill, Questions On Long-Term Health

English: Platform supply vessels battle the bl...

English: Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. Français : Les restes en feu de la plateforme Deepwater Horizon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons that spewed in what would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

Like so many Gulf Coast residents who pitched in after the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, Barisich was motivated by a desire to help and a need to make money — the oil had destroyed his livelihood.

Today he regrets that decision, and worries his life has been permanently altered. Barisich, 58, says respiratory problems he developed during the cleanup turned into pneumonia and that his health has never been the same.

“After that, I found out that I couldn’t run. I couldn’t exert fast a walk,” he said. His doctor declined to comment.

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MOSAIC Community Garden Manager To Facilitate Two Upcoming Workshops

ImageProxy (1)Laura Washington

Environmental Health & Safety Committee

Laura Washington is the Garden Manager for the Mosaic Community Land Trust.  As a certified herbalist, weight and lifestyle coach, and a Level 1 CrossFit trainer, Laura has a passion for organic foods, natural healing and physical activity.  She also serves as a board member for the Pottstown Karate Club.  As a member of the TCN Environmental Health & Safety Committee, Laura conducts organic gardening workshops for the community.  She will be facilitating two upcoming workshops this month.  One will be held on Friday, April 11th at 10:30 am at the Pottstown Seniors’ Center and a second workshop on April 22nd at 6:00pm at the Pottstown Regional Public Library.  “We are proud to have her as a member of the Committee,” stated Robyn Slater, committee co-chair.
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ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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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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Go Away Joe Cool: CVS To Stop Selling Cigarettes

English: Used in CVS/pharmacy to convey brand ...

English: Used in CVS/pharmacy to convey brand identity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pharmacy chain CVS announced this morning that it will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,600 stories nationwide later this year.

The sales will stop Oct. 1 and will cost the company an estimated $2 billion in revenue, but many believe it could be a turning point in retail.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Merlo continued, “As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care through our pharmacists and nurse practitioners.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Go_away_Joe_Cool_CVS_wont_sell_smokes_anymore.html#FA1FbQtbvhW28Awr.99

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A Healthy Living Blog For People Who Are Gluten Free

GF FLAMINGO

Living a gluten free life and enjoying it!

I met the GF Flamingo blogger at iCreate Cafe in Pottstown over the weekend.  She and her boyfriend were enjoying a fabulous meal and soaking in the awesome vibe that is iCreate Cafe.  As one does at iCreate, we all had a great conversation and got to know each other better.

I know gluten is a great mystery to some folks, others think it’s “all in someone’s head” and other have gluten allergies and need to restrict their diet.  I have a good friend who has been gluten free for over 20 years so I have learned a few things about being gluten free, although I am certainly no expert. However, the owner of this blog, NICOLE FIAMINGO, is someone who can help those living a gluten free lifestyle.

What I do know is that eating out is difficult, finding gluten free food that tastes good is hard (and usually expensive) and finding someone who understands you is even harder.

GF Flamingo does restaurant reviews (with great food pictures), talks about living gluten free and offers readers helpful information like meals you can make in under 30 minutes at home. So check out this blog if you are gluten free by choice or out of necessity.  Happy reading!

Website:  http://gf-flamingo.blogspot.com/

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Children’s Gets $5 Million Gift From Giant Food

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia announced Friday a $5 million gift from Giant Food Stores L.L.C. toward the $425 million Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care under construction at the hospital’s University City campus.

The hospital in June received a $50 million donation toward the outpatient center scheduled to open next year from hospital trustee Reid Buerger and his family, which owns a Fort Washington financial services firm.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140125_Children_s_gets__5M_gift_from_Giant_Food.html#DrEDWrbc1bDE3vto.99

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New Pottstown YMCA Director Looks To Add On To Existing Programs, Use Wellness Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — Dan Albert was wearing a light blue button down shirt with the YMCA logo embroidered on the left pocket while he walked around the N. Adams Street building on Thursday.

Albert, who has been employed with the national organization for almost 15 years, started working as the new Executive Director for the Pottstown YMCA on Dec. 2.

And he already has big ideas for the future of the local club.

“I think the beauty of the Y, with having over 800 associations throughout the country, is that we all beg, borrow and steal from each other,” Albert said. “I think what you are going to see, moving forward, is we are really going to be driving change.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131215/new-ymca-director-looks-to-add-on-to-existing-programs-use-wellness-center

Kaleidoscope Angels Wellness Center To Hold Open House In Douglassville

Open HouseKaleidoscope Angels, a center of well-being, located in Douglassville, PA is holding an open house on Saturday, December 8, 2013 from 10:00am until 4:00pm.

Come see their new expanded location and meet all the practitioners.  There will be live music, door prizes, refreshments and so much more.

Punch cards will be available to enjoy a mini-session with each one of their practitioners.  Get your punch card early as supplies are limited.

The center is located at 1056 Old Swede Road, Douglassville, PA  19518

Phone:  (610) 689-3999

Website:  http://www.ACenterofWell-Being.com

Make sure to LIKE them on Facebook :)

Mosaic Community Garden Wins Excellence In Planning And Design Montgomery Award

teacher-lauraThe Mosaic Community Garden, located in Pottstown Borough, received a 2013 Montgomery Award for creative vision, successful collaboration, strong community involvement, and positive neighborhood impact. This popular garden offers an attractive gathering place for residents to grow a variety of produce and learn about healthy living.

To read the entire article and view the pictures, click here to open the PDF file: 2013 Montgomery Awards

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!

What’s Lost In Gaining An Hour

Time change at the end of Daylight Saving Time...

Time change at the end of Daylight Saving Time Nederlands: Tijdsverandering aan het eind van de zomertijd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At 2 a.m. Sunday, by arbitrary human decree, time will stand still for one hour.

While this rare interstice of being and nothingness offers great opportunities for philosophical musing – Who knows where the time goes? Does anybody really know what time it is? And is time really on our side? – a price must be paid for messing with the universe.

For with this annual lapsing of daylight saving time comes a constellation of ill health effects, from the mildly uncomfortable to the nearly nightmarish.

Studies have found that on the Monday after the time changes, more people kill themselves, hurt themselves on the job, and lose money in the stock market.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131102_What_s_lost_in_gaining_an_hour.html#lcw8rvcBfCelIK9p.99

MRSA Infections Puts Eagles Game In Question

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have smaller problems than the Philadelphia Eagles this week — as in microscopic problems.

The persistent, contagious and nasty skin infection MRSA has struck a third Buccaneers player. Two players were diagnosed in August, kicker Lawrence Tynes and offensive lineman Carl Nicks. Nicks recently has had a recurrence of his infection. The third player is Johnthan Banks, according to NFL.com.

MRSA is a strain of staphylococcus bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics. Infections are common in hospitals, prisons, farms, and athletes.

Various media outlets are reporting that the National Football League Players Association and the National Football League are investigating and will advise the Buccaneers on whether or not to play Sunday’s game, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-philadelphia-eagles-tampa-bay-mrsa-outbreak-20131011,0,4035586.story#ixzz2hWQbW39Z 
Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook

PMMC To Consolidate Business Office, Move 30 More Jobs Out Of Pottstown

POTTSTOWN, PA — Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has confirmed that business operations for the hospital and several others owned by Community Health Systems will be consolidated in Easton, moving 30 jobs there.

Hospital spokeswoman Debra Bennis provided the following statement after The Mercury contacted her seeking confirmation of a tip: “Providing patients with quality health care while operating an efficient organization is one of our top priorities.  To keep hospital resources focused on our patients, we are moving our business office functions to a centralized, external office in Easton.  This transition will also enhance operational efficiencies through technological advances for scheduling appointments.  All 30 affected employees are being offered a position with the central business office or another area of our hospital. We value these individuals and appreciate the professionalism they bring to our organization.”

A business office worker who contacted The Mercury, and whose name has been withheld, said the office workers were gathered into a meeting Sept. 11 during which the hospital’s CEO and CFO informed them of the change.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130919/pmmc-to-consolidate-business-office-move-30-more-jobs-out-of-pottstown

Reading Hospital Joins Alliance With Six Others

The Reading Health System announced Wednesday that it has joined an alliance with six other health systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a move officials say could lead to better and more affordable care for patients, improve hospital operations and reduce costs.

The alliance, AllSpire Health Partners, is not a merger, officials stressed.  Reading Hospital will remain locally governed and managed.

The seven health systems include a total of 25 hospitals with a service area of more than 6 million people.  The systems have a combined revenue of $10.5 billion, and AllSpire touts the partnership as the largest health care consortium in the country.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=512676

Bradford Hospital Opens Beds To Online Addicts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting McKean County

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

Think of it as “digital detox.”

Bradford Regional Medical Center on Monday opened a four-bed program to treat those suffering from Internet addiction.  It is believed to be the first such hospital-based facility in the country, although private and out-patient programs were around before “friend” became a verb.

“I think this is a fairly new field, and certainly there is nothing to compare it to at this point,” said Kimberly Young, the psychologist who created the cognitive behavioral therapy program at the McKean County facility, about 3 1/2 hours northeast of Pittsburgh.

“There is a learning curve for all of us.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/hospital-opens-beds-to-online-addicts-702709/#ixzz2eXdNt1zs

Pottstown Takes Aim At $27M In Medical Costs For Retired Police

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — Facing a potential liability of as much as $27 million for medical costs for current and future retired police personnel, the borough is finally beginning to set aside money to cover the costs, as a financial review and several audits have recommended.

At its Sept. 4 meeting, council was briefed on the proposal to set aside $250,000 per year for what the council agenda labeled opaquely as “OPEB,” which, according to Borough Manager Mark Flanders, stands for “other post employment benefits.”

The official vote will occur at Monday night’s council meeting, which begins at 7 and is the meeting at which the public is allowed to comment.

These potential costs are not retirement payments, but rather represent medical benefits for retirees, both current and future.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130908/NEWS01/130909553/pottstown-takes-aim-at-27m-in-medical-costs-for-retired-police#full_story

Healthy Ways To fight Truancy In Reading Aired

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

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

There are students in the Reading School District who accrue 10 absence excuses from a parent and 40 from doctors in one school year.

So health care officials were urged Friday to be on the lookout for such students and not to feel pressured to issue them absence excuses.

Students are allowed to return to school without such notices, but the absences will be recorded as unexcused, said Anne Fisher, supervisor of the school district’s nurses.

“They don’t need a note to come back,” she said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=509416

Savings Slow In Reading Purge Of Insurance Rolls

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city had budgeted savings of nearly $900,000 this year by purging its health insurance rolls of ineligible employees, dependents and police retirees.

It also budgeted a contingency fund of $980,000, if the purges didn’t go as planned.

They haven’t.

Managing Director Carole B. Snyder said the city has seen little savings so far because the police retiree purge got bogged down in arbitration and in complex evaluations that may not be complete by year’s end.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=505866