Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto Touts His First 100 Days In Office

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is looking to spur manufacturing, help poor residents open bank accounts and offer free Internet in the City-County Building, according to a report on his administration’s first 100 days.

Peduto reiterated many of the initiatives he has touted since taking office Jan. 6, but he also offered a glimpse of what he is planning among the 63 accomplishments and ideas listed in the 13-page report.

“While we have accomplished a lot in our first 100 days, we have a long way to go to realize our potential as a city poised for greatness,” Peduto said in a statement.

The mayor was in Ontario, Canada, on Monday and Tuesday attending an international bicycle summit.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5953206-74/peduto-report-pittsburgh#ixzz2z0xKUyvg
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Work On Civic Arena Site To Begin In August

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Construction of streets at the former Civic Arena site, now a sprawling parking lot in the heart of Pittsburgh, will begin in August, officials said on Thursday.

It will be the first significant activity on the 28-acre site since crews completed demolition of the arena about two years ago. More than $500 million in redevelopment is planned.

“We’re almost ready to start construction of the urban street grid,” said Mary Conturo, executive director of the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority.

The first phase is expected to cost $9 million and focus on building interior streets on the eastern part of the site, Conturo said. The work is expected to take about a year.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5924203-74/conturo-site-million#ixzz2ybAziPaI
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Greensburg Council Hears Pitch For Westmoreland County Land Bank

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

A Westmoreland County Land Bank brings a chance to remove dilapidated buildings and find another productive use for them, a county official told Greensburg City Council on Tuesday.

“It’s a proactive way to tackle slum and blight in the county,” said April Kobus, executive director of the county redevelopment authority.

Council expects to consider an agreement for the initiative, approved by the county commissioners in December, on Monday.

Greensburg, the county seat, would be an ideal entity to be among the first of 10 municipalities to join the program as part of a multi-phase endeavor, Kobus said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5906334-74/council-county-bank#ixzz2yRzmj4Ms
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Jewelcor Wants To Extend Wilkes-Barre’s Coal Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — What the city can’t do, the owners of the Jewelcor property want to with the extension of Coal Street for development.

Plans are to continue the street west at the intersection with Wilkes-Barre Boulevard by constructing a five-lane roadway, said Joe Lakowski, project manager with Jewelcor Inc.

“We have two potential companies that want to go on the corners,” Lakowski said Friday.

Jewelcor president and chief executive officer Seymour Holtzman and his wife, Evelyn, who own the property, are seeking a construction easement to build the roadway on city property. The easement is listed on the agenda for City Council’s work session Tuesday night.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1304638/Jewelcor-wants-to-extend-W-Bs-Coal-St.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Pottstown Tax Dollars At Work

Editor’s Note:  Former Sixth Ward Councilor, Jody Rhoads posted this fine example of the Pottstown Public Works Department’s keen eye for detail when constructing a “curb cut” aka handicapped access ramp.  Imagine trying to get your wheelchair around the poles. Apparently, this didn’t seem like a flawed plan to whomever constructed the ramp? Really?

 

Jody writes “Here is another one where Pottstown’s Public Works wasted you’re money.  What is wrong here?  West St between Charlotte and Evans. Go look at it for yourself.  These are the type of things that need to come out so people can see what Pottstown and its leadership is really all about.  And I’ll bet no one will raise hell at a Council meeting about this! Leadership thinks this is doing a GOOD job?  This one should go VIRAL!”

Feast your eyes on this engineering marvel!  No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke…

1526409_10201686061139379_8739009307955973678_n

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monroeville Hires Private Investigator To Conduct Internal Probe

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

For the second time in the past year, Monroeville has hired a private investigator to conduct an internal probe of the municipality’s turbulent affairs.

Interim Manager Timothy Little on Wednesday confirmed the existence of a broad and comprehensive investigation that will address, among other issues, recent personnel upheaval that involved his predecessor, the current police chief and several 911 dispatchers who were fired.

“We just want to get to the truth of what occurred here, that’s all,” Mr. Little said.

CSI Western PA is conducting the investigation. Its managing director, Joe Bellissimo, declined comment, citing client confidentiality and the ongoing nature of his work.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2014/04/03/New-investigation-personnel-Monroeville/stories/201404030243#ixzz2xqhYSNG9

Enhanced by Zemanta

11 New Wilkes-Barre Fire Recruits Added

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — While Shirley Cook sat watching her grandson Jeremy being sworn in as one of the 11 new fire department recruits, she had tucked into her purse a black-and-white photo of her grandfather, who was a city fireman in the 1800s.

The photo showed a couple horse-drawn wagons outside the Northampton Street fire station. Cook, 85, of Scranton, pointed to one of the drivers, Reuben Daley, and said, “This would be his great-great-grandfather.”

Cook retrieved the photo from many she has at home and planned to make a copy for her grandson.

The equipment has since changed and so has the training that Jeremy Cook and the 10 others will undergo to be able to do their jobs of fighting fires, rescuing people from the Susquehanna River, delivering babies or facing whatever situation they’re presented with on the more than 10,000 runs annually.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1298535/11-new-W-B-fire-recruits-added

Enhanced by Zemanta

U.S. Senator Bob Casey Backs Community Development Funding

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (...

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey wants more money allocated to the Community Development Block Grant program to allow municipalities to decide what projects are most needed and have the funding to complete them.

During a teleconference Wednesday, Casey, D-Scranton, said the Obama administration has proposed cutting CDBG funding by more than $200 million this year. Casey wants the allocation to be increased in 2015.

“CDBG has played an instrumental role in advancing locally driven projects that create jobs and contribute to economic growth,” Casey said. “The cuts proposed in the administration’s budget could limit the ability of municipalities in Pennsylvania to complete economic development projects that are essential.”

He said he’s pushing for Congress to increase the funding.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1298260/Casey-backs-community-development-funding

Enhanced by Zemanta

Gov. Corbett Announces Hundreds Of Additional Projects Due To Transportation Plan

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA – Gov. Tom Corbett today outlined more than 250 projects that will start work this year due to the state’s new transportation plan.

At least $2.1 billion will be invested into the state’s highway and bridge network — about $600 million more than what would have been available without the transportation bill Corbett signed last fall. Overall, more than 900 projects will get underway this year.

“This plan is creating safer roads, bridges and transit systems while at the same time saving 12,000 jobs and creating 50,000 new ones over the next five years – 18,000 jobs are expected to be created this year alone.” Corbett said. “We are putting these transportation investments to work quickly as we strive to build a stronger Pennsylvania both now and in the future.”

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1301350/Gov.-Corbett-announces-hundreds-of-additional-projects-due-to-transportation-plan

Enhanced by Zemanta

Montco Official Says Keim Street Bridge Project Moving Forward

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Not that she needed a reminder that all politics are local, but Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards still remembers one of the first calls she got on the historic night she and Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro made history by being the first Democrats to take the majority in 100 years.

“I’ll never forget one of the first calls I got on election night,” she said March 24 as she, Shapiro and Commissioner Bruce Castor conducted the last of their roundtable meetings around the county, this one at the Lower Pottsgrove Township Building.

“I said ‘hello’ and the voice on the other end said ‘so when is the new Keim Street Bridge going to be finished?’”

The answer, she gave Monday, is that the project is “moving forward.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140331/montco-official-says-keim-street-bridge-project-moving-forward

Enhanced by Zemanta

City Mayor Sues Scranton Redevelopment Authority, And Board Member

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

Mayor Bill Courtright filed suit against a city authority board Monday, seeking to depose and replace a board member with his own appointee.

Former Mayor Chris Doherty illegally appointed Peter Riebe to the Scranton Redevelopment Authority board, Mr. Courtright contends in a lawsuit filed on his behalf by city solicitor Jason A. Shrive.

The lawsuit escalates an ongoing battle between Mr. Courtright and the authority board, which refuses to recognize the mayor’s appointment on Feb. 18 of Timothy Perry as Mr. Riebe’s replacement.

The authority is an independent body that plays a critical role in the city’s redevelopment and blight removal. It has previously argued Mr. Riebe’s term will not expire until next year.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/city-mayor-sues-scranton-redevelopment-authority-and-board-member-1.1660441

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tom Wolf, Candidate For Governor, Speaks At His Pottstown Alma Mater

POTTSTOWN, PA — Hill School alumnus and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf was on campus Saturday morning.

Wolf, a 1967 graduate, was invited to be a part of the school’s year-long speakers series focusing on integrity — the theme for 2013-2014 academic year.

Speaking to a packed house in the Center For The Arts building, Wolf used several abstract ideas to convey how integrity is important in life because, “the real world is the right world.”

He told students that “fairness, inclusion, trust and hope,” were all important in the real world and he came to that realization through his years in business, academia and volunteering with the Peace Corps.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140329/tom-wolf-candidate-for-governor-speaks-at-his-pottstown-alma-mater

Enhanced by Zemanta

Westtown Manager Bob Layman Replaced Abruptly

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

WESTTOWN TOWNSHIP, PA— Abruptly and without explanation, township supervisors have replaced Township Manager Bob Layman.

“We don’t discuss personnel matters,” said Carol DeWolf, chairwoman of the board of supervisors. “We have handled all of this in executive session as we are allowed to.”

Supervisors declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Layman’s departure.

According to the township code “the Manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term by a majority of all the members of the Board, shall serve at the pleasure of the Board, and shall be subject to removal by the Board by majority vote. At least 15 days before such removal, the Board shall furnish the Manager with a written statement setting forth its intention to remove the Manager.”

Layman served the township for 11 years.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140330/westtown-manager-bob-layman-replaced-abruptly

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wilkes-Barre City Council Adopts New Rules On Public Input

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Against limited but vocal opposition, City Council on Thursday night imposed new limits on how people can address the body of elected officials during public meetings.

By a 4-0 vote, council amended ordinances on its rules and procedures, moving public speakers farther away and behind the rail separating council from the audience and requiring them to sign in before the start of the meeting.

Before the vote, several speakers who regularly attend the meetings urged council to reconsider. They suggested pushing back the start time so more people could attend and warned council about the consequences of approving the changes.

The new rules go into effect in 10 days. But had they been in place Betsy Sumers said she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak. She arrived after the 6 p.m. start and beyond the new signup deadline because her sales job required that she be in the Allentown/Bethlehem area.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1287433/W-B-council-adopts-new-rules-on-public-input

Enhanced by Zemanta

Many Fees For Pennsylvania Vehicles Set To rise On April 1

Several state vehicle-related fees will increase April 1 for the first time in 17 years, with a second group of fees slated to rise July 1.

The increases are mandated by Act 89, the transportation funding legislation that was approved by the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett in the fall.

“It’s important to note that Act 89 represents an investment in Pennsylvania’s future: increasing public safety, driving commerce, creating jobs and providing reliable funding for our transportation needs without leaving the bill to our future generations,” Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1277003/Many-fees-for-Pa.-vehicles-set-to-rise-on-April-1

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pa., N.J. Lawmakers Launch Effort To Rein In Delaware River Port Authority

English: A shot from the Pyramid Club of the B...

English: A shot from the Pyramid Club of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at night. First posted at: Brozzetti Gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Republican legislators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are planning a coordinated effort to change the Delaware River Port Authority and alter its federal charter.

Bills will be introduced in Harrisburg and Trenton to prohibit economic-development spending by the DRPA, give Pennsylvania’s governor the same veto authority over DRPA actions now held by New Jersey’s governor, and require state Senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointments to the DRPA board in Pennsylvania, as is now done in New Jersey.

The bills would also:

- Require a two-thirds majority of the board to approve any toll increases on the DRPA’s four toll bridges;

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140326_Pa___N_J__lawmakers_launch_effort_to_rein_in_DRPA.html#b3cTW5MXkkoRHgws.99

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wilkes-Barre, Other Pennsylvania River Towns Hit Hard By Flood Insurance Rates

HARRISBURG, PA — Jeff King had put his house in Wilkes-Barre up for sale for $90,000 last year, put off by the city’s struggles with crime and the desire for a better school district for his four children, when he got a surprise: The prospective buyer discovered that her annual flood insurance premium would be $7,015, higher than 12 months of mortgage payments.

Even though President Barack Obama signed a law Friday to ease the sharpest premium increases for policyholders receiving subsidies from the National Flood Insurance Program, King is resigned to never selling the house, which is about a mile-and-a-half from the Susquehanna River. The writing, he said, is on the wall.

“Any educated buyer is going to stay clear from a home in the flood area,” King said.

Across Pennsylvania, with an estimated 86,000 miles of creeks, streams and rivers, the premium increases could deliver a gut punch to the state’s legion of old river cities and towns still struggling to recover from the loss of their industrial core.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/w-b-other-river-towns-hit-hard-by-rates-1.1655882

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pittsburgh City Council Members Air Doubts About Land Bank Legislation

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A letter that four Pittsburgh City Council members sent to 30,000 Pittsburgh residents called a land bank proposal “predatory” and promoted a meeting set for Tuesday evening to discuss potential alternatives.

The letter, dated March 18, is signed by council members R. Daniel Lavelle of the Hill District, Darlene Harris of Spring Garden, Theresa Kail-Smith of Westwood and Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze. It went to residents of their council districts.

A proposal from Councilwoman Deb Gross of Highland Park would establish a city land bank as a way to transfer vacant city-owned or tax delinquent properties to homebuyers and developers.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5823332-74/council-bank-community#ixzz2wvfQp8P8
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bethlehem Developer Gets First Approval For South Side Complex

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A developer looking to build stores, offices and apartments across from the former Bethlehem Steel Corp. site got its first green light from Bethlehem officials today.

BethWorks Renovations needed the Bethlehem Planning Commission’s permission to build its proposed 111 apartments in two buildings, instead of three as originally proposed.

All three buildings were originally slated to host a mix of retail, offices and apartments, but company officials have since decided it would make more sense to separate the offices and apartments, said BethWorks’ Rob de Beer. All three buildings will still have retail space on the first floor.

BethWorks, which is co-owned by lawyer Michael Perrucci, is permitted to build up to 115 apartments on the three lots but needed variance approval to have them only in two buildings, de Beer said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/03/bethlehem_developer_gets_first.html

Enhanced by Zemanta