Pottstown Meeting Monday Will Help Chart Montco’s Future

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Your opportunity to help shape the future begins at 7 p.m. Monday at the Steel River Playhouse.

That is when and where a contingent from the Montgomery County Planning Commission will be on hand to get input from you, the public, as preparations are made to write a new comprehensive plan.

Assembled every dozen or so years, the county comprehensive plan guides development and policy decisions on elements of day-to-day life that range from transportation to recreation; from the economic development to the preservation of natural resources; from housing to health.

The open meeting at the playhouse is the first of four to be held throughout the county “to find out what people want,” said Brian O’Leary, section chief of county planning for Montgomery County.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131115/pottstown-meeting-monday-will-help-chart-montcos-future

Mt. Airy, 3 Local Towns On ‘Best Places’ Lists

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

Several local towns and a Philadelphia neighborhood got kudos in the Money magazine’s annual round-up of “Best Places to Live.”

Chester County‘s West Goshen is No. 10 on the main list, which this year focuses on “small towns,” with 10,000 to 50,000 people. No surprise there, since West Goshen made the Top 25 on the last two “small towns” lists, in 2011 and 2009.

West Goshen Township has a lush, suburban feel, with quiet, tree-shaded residential areas, lovely parks, and a full slate of community activities,” Money summed up.

Horsham was No. 34 this year, off a little from No. 31 in 2011, while Ardmore, No. 45 in 2011, failed to made this year’s Top 50.

No. 1 was “one-time summer resort” Sharon, Mass.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Mt_Airy_3_local_towns_on_Best_Places_lists.html#sV1lv9l4Th0LvM1I.99

Report: NEPA Economy Is Turning Around

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)

The 2013 annual report by The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development indicates Northeastern Pennsylvania is showing signs of an economic turnaround.

The eighth annual Indicators Report, to be released and discussed at a forum Thursday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, tracks the region’s performance on an array of categories, including demographics, public safety, jobs and the economy.

“The annual Indicators Report serves as a yardstick for measuring growth and trends in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Patrick Leahy, Wilkes University president and chairman of the institute, which is a partnership among Keystone College, King’s College, Luzerne County Community College, Marywood University, Misericordia University, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, The University of Scranton, and is owned and managed by Wilkes.

Reports covering more than 120 indicators for Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, as well as statewide data, will be discussed next week.  And reports from the institute’s five task forces also will be provided to show data on health and health care, jobs and the local economy, education, housing, transportation and land use.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/523150/Report-NEPA-economy-is-turning-around

The 10 Richest Zip Codes In Philadelphia

English: Sam Austin House in Chestnut Hill His...

English: Sam Austin House in Chestnut Hill Historic District on the NRHP, in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At 5 East Chestnut Hill Ave. (equivalent to 8801 Germantown Avenue – the cross street) Coords40.078285,-75.210675 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re continuing to go through Pew Charitable Trust‘s 2013 state of the city report for Philadelphia (see our previous lists of the 8 most diverse neighborhoods and 15 largest private employers).  Today, we’re looking at the richest areas.

According to Pew, these are the 10 zip codes with highest median household incomes:

1. 19106 (Center City-Society Hill): $93,222
2. 19118 (Chestnut Hill): $80,950

To see the rest, click here:  http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/The-10-richest-zip-codes-in-Philadelphia.html

Pennsylvania: Life Is Good, Despite Some Concerns

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A majority of Pennsylvanians back the gun control measures endorsed by the White House, and nearly as many support the National Rifle Association proposal to put armed guards in schools.

On pocketbook matters, angst is growing.  A majority have a negative view of Pennsylvania’s economy, and satisfaction with family income fell 10 percentage points from last year, according to The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College 2013 Pennsylvania Quality of Life survey.

John Geist, a 62-year-old from South Whitehall Township, is a Pennsylvanian who falls into both categories.

Geist used to consider himself middle class, but he was laid off when his company outsourced and had to settle for another manufacturing job earning substantially less.  It was the second time in his life he’d lost his job through no fault of his own.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-quality-of-life-poll-guns-20130216,0,6655627.story

Study: Pennsylvania Income Gap Grew During The Last Decade

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PAPennsylvania‘s richest citizens pulled away from the state’s poorest during the go-go 1990s, and that trend continued as the bottom began to drop out of the economy, a new study concludes.

Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, the annual incomes of the richest fifth of state households grew by 7.2 percent, or $11,190, to $269,400 while the poorest fifth saw their average income fall nearly 8 percent, or $1,907, to $23,000.

Income inequality also grew between upper and middle-income families in the state. Middle-income families saw their earnings rise by just 1.9 percent between the late 1990s, compared to 7.2 percent for the richest fifth and 11.2 percent for the richest 5 percent of households, the study concluded.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-income-disparity-20121116,0,7043436.story

Census Shows Continued Economic Suffering From Recession

Map of the 21 counties of the State of New Jersey

Map of the 21 counties of the State of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The typical New Jersey household’s income dropped again last year, the fifth consecutive decline, according to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Not surprisingly, as incomes fell, the ranks of the poor rose.

“The latest federal statistics show there are more people in our state struggling in poverty than during any period in half a century,” says Melville D. Miller Jr., president of Legal Services of New Jersey. “That can cripple the development of our children and our state’s economic and social future.”

The latest Census estimates put the median household income in the state at $67,458. When adjusted for inflation, that was 3.4 percent less than in 2010 and 8.1 percent less than in 2008, the first full year of the recent recession. It’s also less than the actual, unadjusted, median incomes for the prior three years and only slightly above 2007’s actual median income of $67,035 — $72,666 in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars.

Read more: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/09/20//

U.S. Census Numbers: Allentown Economy Lagging

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Syreeta Redcross of Allentown takes care of her five children on her wages at a local logistics company.

The pay is relatively low, so the 28-year-old often has to scrape to afford the basics — like diapers for her kids. She relies on subsidized day care to be able to hold down a job at all.

Redcross stopped by the PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley job fair on Wednesday looking for a better-paying job.

“It’s very challenging,” she said. “It’s a struggle out there.”

Redcross’ struggles are far from unique, according to findings released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-census-poverty-20120919,0,1785692.story

Lady Gaga Crushes Rivals In 2011 Music Earnings

Lady Gaga towered over other female musicians in 2011, heading a list of top earning women with an estimated $90 million in income, according to a http://www.Forbes.com survey released on Wednesday.

The “Born This Way” singer and performance artist made more than double her nearest rival — country/pop artist Taylor Swift — thanks to multiple endorsement deals and an estimated $1.3 million nightly gross ticket sales from her concert tour.

Read more: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45674944/?ocid=ansmsnbc11

Reading: The City Of Last Resort

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

Image via Wikipedia

The last place Marisol Carrero wanted to wind up was back in Reading.

She knew it would only lead to a scene like this: Her hunched over a waiting-room coffee table, filling out the most generic of job applications for a temp agency.

Forget a career. She just needs work.

Click here to read the entire article about the current state of Reading, Pennsylvania: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/10/post_263.html