Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. Debuts New E-Zine In Collaboration With Major Borough Stakeholders

Momentum - One Good Things Leads to Another

 

WELCOME TO MOMENTUM, a quarterly publication from Partners for Success, a collaborative of organizations with the common objective of celebrating the stories that make us proud of Pottstown. We salute the residents, business owners, and other stakeholders making Pottstown better every day. In Momentum, you’ll discover stories about business development; recreation and healthy lifestyles; education; and arts and culture.

Founding Partners

To read the first edition, click here:  http://www.paidinc.org/momentum.php

Scroll down to Latest Edition:  Spring 2014 – Download (PDF file)

 

To visit PAID’s website, click here:  http://www.paidinc.org/

 

We give two Roy’s Rants thumbs up for the collaboration between stakeholders and for getting serious about marketing Pottstown to potential businesses and investors.  This is a welcome step forward!

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Upcoming Mosaic Community Land Trust Events

These events are listed on the monthly activity calendars found on the Calendars/Documents/Forms page on their website. This post is providing detailed information on each event.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 5:15 – 8:00 PM

Brookside County Club

850 N. Adams Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

“March into Healthy Eating” Event

The Healthy Woman program at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center will hold a “March into Healthy Eating” event on Wednesday, March 12th at Brookside Country Club from 5:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This event will feature an informative evening of food, facts, and fun ways to eat green. Tickets are priced at $15 per person.

Scott Bailey, Director of Food and Nutritional Services at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center will present “30 Days to Green Your Diet,” and the benefits of adding something green to every meal. In addition, Laura Washington who represents the MOSAIC Community Land Trust Gardens in Pottstown, will present the benefits of buying local and green.

For more information or to register, visit the HEALTHY WOMAN EVENTS page or call (610) 327-7699.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 6:00 – 7:30 PM

MOSAIC Community Land Trust

10 S Hanover Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

Board Meeting

Open to those who wish to learn more or share ideas regarding the MOSAIC Community Land Trust and the Community Gardens in our area.

Please send an email using the “contact us” page on our website to let us know of your plans to attend the meeting: mosaicclt.org

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Saturday, March 29, 2014 – 5:00 – 8:00 PM

MOSAIC Community Land Trust

10 S Hanover Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

Community Garden Social

Please plan to attend this fun and educational event! We will uncover what it is like to be on the land trust board, or a member of one of the MOSAIC’s productive committees!  If you have ever considered volunteering for a non-profit now is the time! There are great things happening (large and small) by way of the land trust that have long-lasting, positive impacts in our community!

Make plans to attend the Social to find out more about the amazing opportunities!

Please send an email using the “contact us” page on our website to let us know of your plans to attend the social: mosaicclt.org

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Friday, April 22, 2014 – 6:00 PM

Pottstown Public Library

500 E High Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

Small Space Gardening Workshop

Learn the basics in household gardening and fresh ideas on how to maximize your small garden space to reap a hearty and healthy harvest through this interactive workshop!

Make plans to ATTEND this FREE event!

Please send an email using the “contact us” page on our website to let us know of your plans to attend the social: mosaicclt.org

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1 Charged In Pottstown Shooting; Details Of Melee Released

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Police confirmed charges Tuesday against a man suspected in Sunday’s early-morning shooting incident as court documents revealed details in the subsequent melee.

Theodore Cosiouse Arnold, 31, of Pottstown, was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder as well as six felony counts of aggravated assault, six misdemeanor counts of simple assault, and other misdemeanor offenses including making terroristic threats, possessing an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person.

Paperwork indicates the charges were filed Sunday, but Pottstown Police Capt. Robert Thomas said Arnold was not in police custody as of yet.

Arnold was arrested in October 2012 in Pottstown for misdemeanor assault charges but those were dismissed less than a month later, a court docket indicated.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140204/1-charged-in-pottstown-shooting-details-of-melee-released

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Pottstown Halloween Parade Planned, Funds Needed

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — With civic groups working to make Pottstown “the place to be” for Halloween, it would be remiss not to mention the event that got it all started — the Halloween Parade.

As Halloween-parade lovers may recall, last year’s parade almost didn’t happen when it was revealed that the organizers did not have the fee waiver they thought they had from borough council.

Council eventually agreed to pay half the fee for police overtime services to $2,500, but it was a scramble to come up with the money.

Dick Frantz is the Pottstown Rotary Club’s point man on parade matters and he said the club, which co-sponsors the parade with the Pottstown AMBUCS, hopes to avoid that last minute scramble this year.

Rad more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131006/pottstown-halloween-parade-planned-funds-needed

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

Phoenixville Hospital Furloughs Come On Heels Of $4B Acquisition Deal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

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

Editor’s note:  Thanks for going there, Evan!  I was complaining about this very thing today.  They have billions to spend on buying more hospitals but then turn around and cut jobs.  Makes no sense to me!  You would think the time to buy would be if you were flush with cash.  Now they will own two hospitals in Lancaster once this deal goes through as well.

PHOENIXVILLE — One day after Pottstown Memorial Medical Center furloughed 30 employees for 90 days, The Mercury has confirmed that similar furloughs occurred at Phoenixville Hospital.

Phoenixville Hospital spokesperson Lori Cunningham confirmed Thursday that the full-time equivalent of 24 employees in “clinical, non-clinical support and administrative departments” have been furloughed.

News of the staff reduction occurs at the same time that the company that owns both hospitals, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc., is planning a $3.9 billion purchase of Florida-based Health Management Associates Inc., which also operates hospitals around the country.

Cunningham said the furloughs at Phoenixville, which she described as “not scheduling a small number of employees in various departments,” have “no definitive time line.  As always, staffing is dependent upon patient volume and clinical needs.”

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130731/NEWS01/130739803/phoenixville-hospital-furloughs-come-on-heels-of-4b-acquisition-deal#full_story

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Furloughs 30 Workers For 90 Days

POTTSTOWN — Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has instituted three-month furloughs for dozens of its employees and one of its units will be closed.

“We are implementing furloughs for less than four percent of employees across our hospital.  The furloughs impact both represented and non-represented employees.  Impacted employees are being reassigned to other open positions as possible,” PMMC spokesperson Debra Bennis wrote in an email received by The Mercury at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday.

An email reply from The Mercury at 4:52 p.m. Tuesday, which asked how many employees the hospital has, went unanswered; as did a subsequent phone message asking how many people have been furloughed.

The statement Bennis provided included no information about what departments experienced the furloughs.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130730/NEWS01/130739893/pmmc-furloughs-30-for-90-days#full_story

Third Annual TriCounty Community Career Fair

Wednesday, May 22nd, 10am-2pm

Sunnybrook Ballroom, 50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown

 

Over 80 employers!

 

Special thanks to event sponsors: ExelonEDSIJ.P. Mascaro & SonsLifeSpan,Pottstown Memorial Medical CenterThe Mercury, and the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce.

This event is brought to you by the 

TCN Exelon Nuclear Workforce Development Program

For more information, please call TCN at 610-705-3301, Ext.2.

Cops: Driver Crashes Near Pottstown While Checking On Groceries

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

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

Editor’s note:  I don’t know, maybe a cooler would have been a good idea….

LOWER POTTSGROVE — A driver struck two other vehicles Tuesday night because he was checking to see if the steaks he bought were still frozen, police said.

After the accident, the man fled the scene and ran through the Home Depot parking lot off Armand Hammer Boulevard, according to police.

The suspect was found a short time later with the help of witnesses and family members.

Zsolt Michael Kohalmi, 25, no known address, is accused of hitting two vehicles on Armand Hammer Boulevard around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday then running from the scene, police said.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130328/NEWS01/130329385/cops-driver-crashes-near-pottstown-while-checking-on-groceries#full_story

Dr. Whittaker Stepping Down From Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Post After 38 Years

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN – Although it’s accurate to say that Richard Whittaker will retire at the end of the month after 38 years as an orthopedic surgeon at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, it is not accurate to say he will be taking it easy.

Reached at Planet Fitness during a work-out Tuesday, Whittaker enthusiastically laid out his plans for a series of undertakings that few would describe as “retirement.”

Whittaker’s plans mostly revolve around his bicycle.

Himself the beneficiary of a double hip replacement two years ago, Whittaker said he plans to bike 3,000 miles in the coming year to raise money and awareness for a variety of causes, not the least of which is the benefits of orthopedic surgery.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/whittaker-stepping-down-pottstown-hospital-post-after-38-years/1

Pottstown Codes Deptartment Gets Reprimanded By State

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  This made the Mercury’s 2012 Top Stories list…always good to keep the shenanigans in Pottstown on our minds!  Be vigilant!

POTTSTOWN, PA — The state agency which oversees code and inspection functions in Pennsylvania has issued a “formal warning” to the Pottstown Codes office for a number of violations, including allowing inspections to be conducted by personnel not certified to perform those inspections.

In a letter issued Oct. 2, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry informed the codes office manager, Maria E. Bleile, of the results of its complaint investigation.

The letter outlines eight complaints regarding inspections at both commercial and residential properties, ranging from Pottstown Memorial Hospital, to the Salvation Army to four residential properties.

Issues ranged from inspectors conducting “plan reviews” and inspections without the proper certification; to no records of reviews or certain inspections being conducted at all; to missing dates in inspection reports.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121224/NEWS01/121229767/pottstown-codes-dept-gets-reprimanded-by-state

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Awarded Certification From The Joint Commission

POTTSTOWN, PA – Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Joint Replacement – Hip and Knee by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes PMMC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s standards.

PMMC underwent a rigorous on-site survey in July. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated PMMC’s Joint Replacement program for hip and knee for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“In achieving Joint Commission certification, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for joint replacement of hip and knee patients.” says Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and I commend PMMC for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/pmmc-awarded-certification-the-joint-commission-0/1

Pottstown Crash Deaths Focus Shifts To Drug Sale

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, Pa. — The investigation into a Monday night crash that killed two people and critically injured a third shifted Thursday to a downtown store that allegedly sold synthetic marijuana to one of the crash victims.

According to court documents obtained exclusively by The Mercury Thursday, members of Pottstown’s Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 315 and 317 E. High St., which houses a convenience store called the Achi Store.

As investigators were searching Tuesday for Roger Tracey Malloy, 27, of 303 N. York St., Pottstown, the driver in the fatal wreck, authorities learned that one of Malloy’s passengers, 16-year-old Kendall Harper, of Pottstown, had purchased K2, or synthetic marijuana, from the Achi Store, according to court papers filed seeking the warrant.

According to court papers, authorities learned in their investigation that Malloy has been smoking K2 and drinking before the crash occurred.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120525/NEWS01/120529577/search-warrant-for-drugs-served-on-pottstown-store-&pager=full_story

TriCounty Community Network Board Member, Patricia Eltz, To Receive VNA’s 2012 Nursing Champion Award

Pottstown, Pa. (May 7, 2012) – TriCounty Community Network (TCN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, social and environmental conditions in Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, today announced that its founding president and current vice president of the board, Patricia Eltz, RN, MSN, retired community health specialist at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC), will be the recipient of the VNA of Pottstown Home Health & Hospice’s 2012 Nursing Champion Award. 

Ms. Eltz will receive this award at the 2012 Health Care Champion Breakfast being held on May 8 at 7:30 a.m. at the Copperfield Inn at Lakeside.  She is being recognized for her work promoting health care in the community.     

“We are thrilled that VNA is honoring Pat with this prestigious award,” said Jen Doyle, executive director for TCN.  “She believes in giving back and making a difference in her local community.  This is evident in her efforts to coordinate the TriCounty Health Partnership (TCHP) and her vision that led to TCHP and the Tri-County Interagency Consortium to merge in 2005 to create TCN.” 

Ms. Eltz chairs the TCN board’s Personnel Committee and also serves on the Executive, Finance and Board Development committees.  As a community health specialist at PMMC from 1995 to 2010, she developed PMMC’s Community Education program to encompass the greater community and heighten awareness of available services.  Her contributions to the community are endless.  Some examples include: implementing and obtaining funding and support for Community Dental Services (a dental service for the working poor); obtaining more than $1 million in funding and support through grants for both PMMC and TCHP; and promoting wellness and improved health in the Pottstown area utilizing education, prevention and early detection techniques.

Ms. Eltz received her post master’s certification in nursing administration from Villanova University, her master’s in community health nursing from West Chester University, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York, and her RN from Reading Area Community College.

About TriCounty Community Network                 

TCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership-based organization that partners with nonprofits, businesses and community members to improve health, social and environmental conditions.  Serving Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, TCN offers seven key programs: Build Up Youth, C.A.R.E. (Caring in Alternative Residential Environments), Environmental Awareness, Family Literacy, Homeless Services, S.A.F.E. (Supporting Abuse Free Environments), and Workforce Development.  For more information on TCN, visit www.tcnetwork.org.

Pottstown Celebrates Young Children Community Event

Smokey the Bear

Smokey the Bear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A community celebration for families with young children will be held on Saturday, April 21 at the Freedom Valley YMCA at Pottstown (724 North Adams Street) from 1:00-3:00. Activities will include a petting farm, moon bounce, Pipper the Clown, Smokey the Bear and over 30 community agencies with games and resources.

PEAK, Pottstown’s school readiness initiative, is partnering with Pottstown Memorial Medical Center

for this community outreach event. All families with young children are invited to attend.

PEAK is a partnership between Pottstown School District and community early learning programs and agencies seeking to prepare children and families for success in kindergarten. For more information, contact 610-970-6655 or visit www.peakonline.org.

 

Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Charity Ball

By now many of you have seen the advertisements for Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Celebration.  One component of this month-long celebration is a Christmas Costume Ball for charity.  The event will benefit PMMC’s pre-natal clinic.  The ball will be held at the Elk’s and there are only 225 tickets being offered for $40 per person or $70 per couple.

This all sounds wonderful and certainly donating to charity is always great.  The Borough of Pottstown made a $4000 donation to help defray the cost of entertainment.  An 11 piece band has been hired for the event.

The borough’s donation was made using money from Pottstown Area Rapid Transit’s promotions line item in their budget.  This was done at the discretion of the Borough Manager and did not go before council.  Councilor Rhoads asked about this at last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting as councilors were unaware of this donation when contacted before the meeting.

I am wondering how this donation promotes Pottstown Area Rapid Transit?  Do we expect to gain new riders for PART from those attending the ball?  Are there not better ways to have used this money to encourage people to “Take PART”?  A few well placed ads in the Mercury would have reached more people.  I suppose the other thing that puzzles me is why this money was not used toward the Pottstown 4th of July celebration that tens of thousands of area residents enjoy each year?  Would we not have gotten more “bang for our buck”, if we are trying to promote PART, at a huge event rather than a ball for 225 people?

If our goal was not necessarily to promote PART, but rather to give to charity, should this money have come from another source?  Hint: Tom Hylton likes to donate money.

$4000 is a blip on the transit budget for PART.  However, considering the fact the economy is trashed and we keep raising taxes and fees for services, should we not be better stewards of public funds? 

Public figures are just that, public figures.  People watch the decisions you make and follow your example.  Food for thought: Was this donation the best use of money from the transit budget?  You may want to consider that possibility if a similiar situation arises in the future.

PMMC Strike A No Go

CHS finally realized that people in Pottstown aren’t completely without sense and made a reasonable offer to SEIU members.  The offer was overwhelmingly accepted, thereby avoiding a planned three day work stoppage in protest of unfair labor practices by Community Health Services of Brentwood, TN.

Glad this has been put to bed.  The contact is for five years so let’s hope they don’t try and pull the crap again.  This is a union town and people weren’t born yesterday.  You can’t pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.  These tactics are CHS’s modis operandi.

Very shady people.  Maybe someday we can get their hooks out of our hospital and our town!

Candlelight Vigil Held Tonight At St. John’s UCC Pottstown For Union Workers

The long drawn out union negotiations at PMMC are wearing down the hard working staff.  A candlelight vigil was held at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Pottstown this afternoon at 4 pm.  Hospital workers, union representatives, Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas and the press gathered to pray for a settlement and support each other during this difficult time.

Community Health Services of Brentwood, TN bought PMMC a few years ago and has transformed our caring community hospital into a “profit center”.  CHS has failed to show up at three of the last four bargaining sessions.  The contact has been extended twice already so the union voted overwhelming to go on a three day strike in December to protest unfair labor practices by CHS. 

While most of the country is in a recession, CHS is making record breaking profits and for the 3rd Quarter of 2009, their profits increased a whopping 13%.  CHS is trying to take away worker pensions and replace them with a 401K and has not made any indication of what, if any, matching contributions would be.  Also, CHS proposes to drastically increase employee health care contributions.  In the case of part time employees their out of pocket contributions would increase 400%!

Many workers spoke as well as union leaders.  A letter from US Senator Bob Casey (D) was read showing his support for the union and the hard working PMMC employees.  Two nurses from the Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area) came in support of hospital workers.  They briefly spoke saying their hospital was recently purchased by CHS and they are having similar difficulty in negotiating with CHS.  They wanted to show their solidarity to the workers in Pottstown.

Channel 6 was also there and interviewed several key people.

The attached pictures hopefully put a human face on the struggle to get fair and equitable treatment for our hospital workers.  These are Pottstown area people who are trying to get a fair contract from a corporate giant who evidently cares little for the Pottstown community.

Rev. Karen Creasy, Pastor of St. John’s UCC lead the service which included a Litany for Solidarity and candle lighting.  Participants prayed that God would loosen the hard heartedness of those at CHS and PMMC.

There are two more bargaining sessions before the strike deadline.  November 24th and November 30th.

PMMC Workers To Hold Candlelight Rally On Thursday, November 19th

 

Join other PMMC workers and our families at a

Candlelight Vigil for 

Fairness at Our

Community Hospital

Together workers at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center are taking a stand for our patients, our community, and our future. We are united for a fair contract that allows us to best serve our community and to take care of our families. Together, we believe it is absolutely essential that our employer, CHS, come to the table to bargain with us in good faith.

Join us as we come together at a Candlelight Vigil.

St. John’s UCC

Corner of Price and High Sts. in Pottstown

Thursday, November 19

4:00 PM

For More Information Call

Stephen Jones at 570-460-5832

PLAN TO ATTEND AND BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

CHS Continues To Drag Feet On PMMC Negotiations – Strike Threatened

I have been watching this situation unfold and am not surprised it has come to this.  CHS has done some good things at PMMC by bringing in more doctors, expanding services and buying new and better equipment. However, their treatment of the staff is poor. 

I know a number of staff members at the hospital and attended the Sunnybrook Rally and the Board of Directors Meeting.  I feel I have some perspective on this situation as an outside observer.  Workers are stressed out and the proposed contract is beyond unfair. 

If CHS were struggling financially and needed the workers to make concessions to keep the doors open, I would feel differently.  What I see is another corporate giant worried about increasing their bottom line, not the people who work to make PMMC profitable. 

Mr. Kirby isn’t making PMMC profitable all by himself.  The other 1100 people who work at the hospital contribute to that success as well.  There is no I in team!