Residents Of Homewood Search For Alternative To Demolishing Houses

Locator map with the Homewood North neighborho...

Locator map with the Homewood North neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Homewood‘s sense of place is eroding so fast that 184 homes have been razed since 2011 and another 232 are condemned. Residents are torn. They value the building stock that attests to better days, but blight is outpacing opportunities to save what’s viable.

Just in time for the neighborhood’s biggest investment in decades, Operation Better Block staff began a door-to-door campaign to motivate hundreds of residents to face this crisis by helping to plan housing strategies.

“Demolition was the only recourse people thought we had,” said Jerome Jackson, executive director of Operation Better Block. Even if it is, he added, people need information to be comfortable with that.

A neighborhood advocacy nonprofit since 1971, Operation Better Block initiated a resident-driven plan for the use of vacant land and buildings two years ago in a test area of 46 parcels near Pittsburgh Faison K-5. The school was a crucial reason to strengthen that area, which is also near the East Busway and the ripest area for investment.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/residents-of-homewood-search-for-alternative-to-demolishing-houses-706527/#ixzz2h3n9teMY

Prince Harry Tours Storm-Damaged New Jersey Shore

English: A view of the boardwalk in Seaside He...

English: A view of the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey north of Casino Pier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. – Britain’s Prince Harry toured two New Jersey shore communities devastated six months ago by Superstorm Sandy, viewing some of the damage that remains but also walking on a rebuilt boardwalk and shaking hands with construction workers who have been racing to get the resort towns ready for the summer.

In Seaside Heights, where the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore” was taped, he walked down the rebuilt boardwalk with Gov. Chris Christie and both took part in a game of chance, throwing perforated plastic balls into holes for stuffed animal prizes, which they handed over to children.

The two came within sight of a roller coaster that the storm sent plunging into the Atlantic Ocean and which became a defining image of the storm that struck in late October.  A crane was in place to begin demolition of the amusement ride.

In both Seaside Heights and Mantoloking 10 miles north, his first stop, the prince shook hands with police, fire and other emergency personnel.  Harry also greeted construction workers who have been working on rebuilding Seaside Heights’ famous boardwalk, now about two-thirds complete.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation_world/20130514_ap_princeharrytoursstormdamagednewjerseyshore.html

Jersey Shore Rentals Up, Down Due To Sandy

Picture 052NEW YORK — Superstorm Sandy shifted the sands of the New Jersey shore‘s summer rental landscape, where some resort towns are suffering lasting effects of the barrage and others are, as they say, cleaning up.

Summer rentals are a backbone of the tourist season along the 127-mile stretch of coastline and barrier islands, where vacationers flock to the beaches and boardwalks that are convenient to New York and Philadelphia and more affordable than the celebrity-studded Hamptons on New York’s Long Island.

Some 59 million people visited the Jersey Shore last year, according to state figures.

In Ocean County alone, which is one of the four shore counties and boasts of 44 miles of coastline, the population typically doubles in the summer months to 1.2 million.  In some of its small towns, the population grows ten-fold in the summer, according to county statistics.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/mc-jersey-shore-sandy-summer-rentals-20130419,0,2941227.story

Motor City Lessons For Reading

City officials were shocked, saddened, thankful and relieved by their three-day bus trip to Detroit that began Nov. 13.

The fast-paced tour, paid for entirely by two local foundations, was to see what progress the Motor City has made in its own painful recovery, and what efforts there might work in Reading.

As Detroit’s Big Three automakers declined, tax revenues dropped and more than half its 1.8 million residents moved out. The city had to cut services such as fire suppression and police from large sections of the city.

But now, with help from foundations and businesses, it’s making numerous coordinated moves to rebuild.

Reasd more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432745

Cedarville UMC Pork & Sauerkraut Dinner January 1, 2012

With so many natural disasters continuing to occur around the world and the need for assistance ever-increasing, Cedarville United Methodist Church has chosen to reach out to an area that has slipped out of the current headlines but continues to be in need.

The Central Gulf Coastof the United States was devastated in 2005 by the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  Today, the people in that area are still hurting and there continues to be much work that needs to be done. Gulfport, Mississippi will be the destination of Cedarville’s 2012 Adult Mission Trip.  In Gulfport alone there were 29,970 homes that were destroyed, 3,600 sustained major damage and 1,800 had minor damage.

To help in our mission of sharing the love of God in ways that make a Christian difference, we are raising funds thru a Pork & Sauerkraut Dinner on January 1, 2012.  Worship service will be at 10:00 a.m. on January 1st The meal will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and all are welcomed to either or both.  Dinner tickets for Adults are $8.00 and Children under 10 are $4.00.  Advanced dinner reservations are being taken by contacting (484) 944-4751 and tickets will be sold at the door.

Fire Damaged Building On High Street Being Rebuilt!!

It is very exciting that the hole in the 200 block of High Street is disappearing.  Almost two years ago a huge fire damaged Lastic Furniture and several other adjacent businesses.  This created an unsightly gap in the middle of downtown Pottstown.

At first it appeared as though the rebuilding had begun.  Then it stalled for what seemed like an eternity.  I was afraid it was another economic casualty but lo and behold the phoenix rises!  A nice new building is filling this space in our downtown. 

I cannot stress enough the importance of not allowing the downtown to resemble Beiruit!  Kudos to the owners for honoring their commitment to rebuild in downtown Pottstown! 

Further down High Street another burned out building is runder construction as well.  Great signs of progress for Pottstown.  People are still willing to invest here.  As long as that is the case, don’t count us out!