Art College Creating Influence In Downtown Lancaster

PA College of Art and DesignThe message taking form this week at North Prince and West Chestnut streets is different depending on where you stand.

From Chestnut, across from the Post Office, the last few letters of the word “influence” are shown.

From Prince Street, across from the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, the letters will form “create.”

“This is what we do inside the building across the street,” said college President Mary Colleen Heil.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lancaster/news/art-college-creating-influence-in-downtown-lancaster/article_a4b8c130-12ea-11e4-bb6b-0017a43b2370.html

York Mayor Kim Bracey: 5 Game Changers That Could Save York (Column)

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

As the 2015 budget season approaches, it is my duty to talk straight about our city’s fiscal challenges and pension legacy costs that have been growing since before the turn of this century. While laying out the dire conditions, leadership requires us to hold out meaningful hope by advocating for bold measures. Long term fiscal game-changers can stabilize our property taxes while enabling us to continue providing quality public services and infrastructure that our people deserve and demand.

At times, I feel like a night watchman of earlier centuries who witnesses a spreading fire and vigorously shouts and rings the bell to alert citizens of the imminent crisis. During the last two city administrations, we’ve been warning of the growing fiscal crisis for 13 years, and we’ve done as much as we can internally to make our budget process transparent, to seek sound recommendations from outside experts, to cut costs, and to be fiscally responsible. The list is extensive.

• In 2003, under Mayor Brenner, our city initiated its first open budget hearings, an annual tradition that continues to this year.

• In 2006, our city was one of the very first in the state to enter the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Early Intervention Program, which provided an analysis of York’s finances by outside experts. Their analysis concluded that York’s financial controls and management were strong but that systemic constraints beyond its control were leading to out-of-control costs. Recommendations included implementing a parking tax, which was done.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/letters/ci_26165619/kim-bracey-5-game-changers-that-could-save

7-1-7 Fest A Showcase For Local Bands

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

An avid music junkie in Lancaster would have no problem getting his daily fix of tunes, thanks to the prominent local music scene.

Whether it’s attending a show at one of the many local venues, or learning about the next up-and-coming bands through social media, central Pennsylvania and, more specifically, Lancaster, has grown into a hub for musicians looking to break through to the next level.

This week, promoter Jeremy Weiss and CIRecords will look to showcase some of the most promising young artists at the fourth annual 7-1-7 Fest.

The event, from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday, will feature 15 area bands on multiple stages at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/entertainment/fest-a-showcase-for-local-bands/article_f38357f0-0b4a-11e4-aea7-001a4bcf6878.html

Spooky Nook Sports To Expand With Hotel And Restaurant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Spooky Nook Sports is adding a hotel and restaurant within its sprawling East Hempfield Township facility.

The 130-room hotel will be independently branded, open to tournament attendees and the public year round.

The 260-seat restaurant will have an American cuisine theme and a family friendly environment.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/spooky-nook-sports-to-expand-with-hotel-and-restaurant/article_a5bb80b8-05e3-11e4-bac4-001a4bcf6878.html

Mountville Man, 21, Shot Outside Lancaster City McDonald’s

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90s

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man was wounded in a shooting Thursday night outside a Lancaster city McDonald’s.

The victim, a 21-year-old Mountville man, was shot in the lower torso about 6:45 p.m. outside McDonald’s at 575 N. Franklin St. by McCaskey High School, police reported.

A “verbal dispute” led to gunshots, according to city police.

The victim underwent surgery and is expected to be released from a local hospital sometime Friday, according to city police Det. Lt. Michael Winters.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/mountville-man-shot-outside-lancaster-city-mcdonald-s/article_681adb82-0304-11e4-b68a-001a4bcf6878.html

Lititz Pike Bridge Opening Next Week

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The good news:  The long-awaited new Lititz Pike bridge will open Wednesday, weather permitting.

The bad news:  The one-lane travel restrictions will simply be switched from the old bridge to the new span.

The single-lane travel will allow for the reconstruction of Lititz Pike’s intersection with Keller and Marshall avenues, project construction manager Mike Sisson said.

The new bridge is not expected to open to its full capacity until late October, after the old bridge is removed, Sisson said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lititz-pike-bridge-opening-next-week/article_bab5a084-0246-11e4-9c0f-0017a43b2370.html

A Tale Of Two Improvement Zones

ALLENTOWN, PA — In the center of this city’s downtown is a Civil War monument complete with a sailor, artilleryman, infantryman and a cavalry soldier.

It is very similar to the one in Lancaster’s Penn Square, but larger.

That’s fitting for a city with twice the population and twice the land area as Lancaster.

And for a city that has experienced proportionally larger swings of fortune.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/a-tale-of-two-improvement-zones/article_f8de6fa0-f277-11e3-8f19-0017a43b2370.html

Lancaster County Tourism: Report Shows Economic Impact

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The tourism industry contributed $2.5 billion to the Lancaster County economy in 2013, supporting nearly 23,700 jobs here, according to a report released Friday by the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Without tourism, and the revenue it generates, Lancaster County residents would have to pay an additional $924 in taxes per household to maintain current levels of government services, the bureau said.

The report, prepared by international firm Tourism Economics, was released Friday (with an accompanying video) at a legislative breakfast the bureau hosted at Eden Resort.

It paints a picture of a vital local industry — and one that depends on a coordinated ongoing marketing effort to thrive.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/lancaster-county-tourism-report-shows-economic-impact/article_add789f0-e80a-11e3-a040-001a4bcf6878.html

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Lancaster General Hospital Makes Becker’s List Of 100 Great Hospitals In U.S.

Becker’s Hospital Review is pleased to announce its 2014 list of “100 Great Hospitals in America.” Each of following institutions has a rich history, strong credentials and a growing focus on how to best care for patients in an era of reform. These organizations have played home to some of the greatest medical advancements in U.S. healthcare history, and they are also the bastions of their respective communities — serving the roles of academic hubs or local mainstays.

To develop this list, the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team conducted research, considered nominations and evaluated reputable hospital ranking sources, such as U.S. News & World Report, Truven Health Analytics’ 100 TopHospitals, Healthgrades, Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, The LeapFrog Group, and several other resources.

Click here to see the list in alphabetical orderhttp://www.beckershospitalreview.com/100-great-hospitals-2014/full-list.html

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Best & Worst Cities To Work For A Small Business

Editor’s note:  Several Pennsylvania metro areas fared well on the list.  Pittsburgh (26), Philadelphia (33) and Lancaster (38).

Continuing WalletHub’s theme of small business-related releases in honor of National Small Business Week (May 12-16), this study sought to identify the cities that are the most and least friendly to employees of small companies.

There is no shortage of commentary on the best and worst cities to start a small business, after all, and with such companies employing about 47% of the private workforce in this country, paying more than 40% of the private payroll, and creating more than 60% of the new jobs added over the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it bears asking what opportunities exist for the roughly 12.3% of people who are currently either unemployed or marginally attached to the labor force, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More specifically, WalletHub’s used 10 different metrics – ranging from net small business job growth and industry variety to hours worked and average wages for new hires – to evaluate the state of small business in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  We then ranked the cities based on their overall attractiveness for job seekers.

Read more: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-to-work-for-a-small-business/3768/

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Washington Post Ranks McCaskey Among State’s “Most Challenging” Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Student test scores are often used to evaluate schools, but The Washington Post thinks test participation is also worth measuring.

The national newspaper last month published its list, “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” which scores schools based on the number of students who attempt college-level exams.

McCaskey High School in the School District of Lancaster ranked 20th on the listing of the most rigorous high schools in Pennsylvania.

No other Lancaster County schools made the list. The nearest school that did was Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/washington-post-ranks-mccaskey-among-state-s-most-challenging-schools/article_098fc76a-d949-11e3-9a57-0017a43b2370.html

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Mapping The Data: Minimum Wage Of $10.10/Hour Would Benefit 21% Of Workers In Lancaster County

Editor’s note:  This is a more in-depth article than the one below with some excellent graphs and charts showing all 67 counties in Pennsylvania and what the impact of raising the minimum wage would mean by county.  Well worth the read!

About one in five workers in Lancaster County would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a new study shows.

That 21 percent amounts to 49,099 workers here, according to the Keystone Research Center study.

The research is being cited by a labor and community coalition, Raise the Wage PA, which will hold a rally in Penn Square at noon Thursday.

Lancaster County rates somewhat worse than the statewide figure of 19 percent and the urban-area figure of 18 percent, says the study.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/mapping-the-data-minimum-wage-of-hour-would-benefit-of/article_9ae665b4-d63a-11e3-88f4-0017a43b2370.html

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The 10 Most Exciting Small Cities In America

Picture 569Editor’s note:  Lancaster is number 4!  We agree!

Not everyone can live in Oakland, CA. But after the Movoto Real Estate Blog named it the Most Exciting City in America earlier this year, it seemed like everyone in the Bay Area was thinking about giving it a shot. For some people, though, big cities just aren’t their thing. They enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living in a smaller city–but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to have fun.

With that in mind, and given the fact that we’ve been looking more at small cities and suburbs lately, we decided it was time to look at excitement on a smaller scale. We set out to apply our mathematical methods to ranking the Most Exciting Small Cities in America–places that might be scaled down in size, but where people can still do some really big things.

What did we find? We’re sure the passionate citizens of New Jersey will be happy to learn that their very own Hoboken, NJ took the (flashing, noise-making, spinning) crown of excitement after our results had been tallied.

The birthplace of baseball–a sport whose degree of excitement varies depending on who you talk to–headed up a diverse top 10 of miniature metros.

Read more: http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/most-exciting-small-cities/#ixzz30R5pVbwz

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The Lancaster Food Scene, ‘Totally Happening’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

LANCASTER, PA – Amish buggies and all-you-can-eat buffets. Those are the images that have long defined Lancaster County for most outsiders – with the added bonus of outlet shopping.

And there is ample truth to feed the cliches along the tourist honky-tonk of Lincoln Highway, where faux windmills spin over signs touting shoofly pies, and seniors come by the busload to gorge on bargain smorgasbords of brown-buttered noodles, gloppy gravy platters, and dry roast chicken.

But there’s another, far more sophisticated food culture finally sprouting through Lancaster’s famously fertile earth. From the Italian red corn and fraises des bois strawberries blossoming on Tom Culton’s farm of rare heirloom wonders in Silver Spring, to the whole-animal cookery at John J. Jeffries restaurant, a thriving beer culture, a bustling historic Central Market, and a growing downtown scene of food artisans, there is a palpable new excitement here when it comes to the pleasures of the table, and the drinks beyond.

“Lancaster is totally happening now,” says Andrew Martin, who in December opened a rye distillery called Thistle Finch in a rehabbed old tobacco warehouse. Set back on an obscure downtown side street, and marked only by a black-painted bird on the building’s exterior, a speakeasy-style bar open three nights a week pours cocktails with the spicy but smooth white liquor made just feet away in Martin’s handmade copper still.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20140424_LANCASTER___TOTALLY_HAPPENING_.html#U7t2kvepWf8Xyclv.99

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Two Arrested After Stabbing At Park City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

A male shoplifting suspect took off running through the Boscov’s department store at Park City Center Friday afternoon after cutting a loss-prevention officer on the hand, Lancaster city police said.

His female accomplice bolted as well, city police Officer Marc Shaffer said.

Police have charged Noel H. Israel-Negron, 35, of the 600 block of Columbia Avenue, with retail theft, robbery, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and criminal conspiracy.

Kriste L. McManus, 40, of the 600 block of Market Street, Marietta, was charged with retail theft, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/two-arrested-after-stabbing-at-park-city/article_1927c53c-c1a3-11e3-9783-001a4bcf6878.html

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Planner: Despite $90 Million Cost, Route 222 Widening Not A Return To Big PennDOT Projects

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Friday evening, just as it is most evenings, traffic was backed up as drivers coming from U.S. 30 waited to merge onto Route 222 in Manheim Township.

Friday morning, just as it is most weekday mornings, the Route 222 traffic backed up merging onto U.S. 30.

The situation is nothing new to PennDOT.

With additional money coming from the new state transportation law, state Transportation Department officials will soon begin looking for ways to address the problem.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/conestogavalley/news/planner-despite-million-cost-route-widening-not-a-return-to/article_de7c88b6-bc32-11e3-a1a1-001a4bcf6878.html

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Warmer Weather Might Be Here To Stay In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

It might be time to put away the shovels and to prep the lawn mowers.

Spring-like weather looks to be settling into Lancaster County for the foreseeable forecast.

Starting Friday, AccuWeather’s extended forecast doesn’t show daytime temperatures falling out of the 50s for 10 days.

For today, temperatures should reach the mid-40s. Overnight Thursday, temperatures will fall back into the low-30s with winds around 10 mph.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/warmer-weather-might-be-here-to-stay-in-lancaster-county/article_9b92e53e-b59f-11e3-98f2-0017a43b2370.html

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‘Affordability Gap’ In Lancaster County Widens For Renters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The typical renter in Lancaster County is finding it harder to afford a basic apartment here, a new study shows.

The so-called “affordability gap” in Lancaster County has hit a record high, according to the latest report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The gap is the difference between the average renter’s hourly wage and what he needs to earn to comfortably afford the basic apartment.

According to the coalition, the average renter here earns $11.78 an hour.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/affordability-gap-in-lancaster-county-widens-for-renters/article_01bfb1ee-b39c-11e3-aa3f-001a4bcf6878.html

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Lancaster City Restaurant Week: Starts Monday, Check Out The Offerings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster City Restaurant Week begins Monday and customers will have a variety of restaurants and price packages from which to choose.

Participating restaurants vary from casual to upscale to a pop-up event at Commonwealth on Queen.

Miesse Candies will also be represented as POUR, Character’s Pub and The Pressroom Restaurant will all be incorporating the chocolatier’s products into their Restaurant Week offerings.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lifestyle/lancaster-city-restaurant-week-starts-monday-check-out-the-offerings/article_1674afb0-b129-11e3-9f44-001a4bcf6878.html

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Video – Happy Lancaster, PA

Happy Lancaster – Inspired by Pharrell Williams “Happy.”

Lancaster is Happy! Special thanks to featured dancers – Franklin & Marshall Dance Department, Heads Up kids, Mayor Rick Gray, Cylo and Lancaster Barnstormers, the Infantree, Iron Hill Brewery and Lancaster Central Market for putting up with our shenanigans and helping celebrate our extraordinary community!

Lancaster County Community Foundation – http://www.lancfound.org