Caboose Ride Between Boyertown And Pottstown Brings Hopes Of Local Railroad Tourism

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The brick-red caboose rolled into town, the relic greeting its new home as its wheels ground to a halt on the rails.

“Welcome to Boyertown!” announced Nathaniel Guest, president of the Colebrookdale Preservation Trust, who was decked out in a traditional railroad conductor’s uniform.

The 20 or so passengers who took the hourlong scenic excursion Friday afternoon applauded and then gathered their things.

The recently renovated caboose had just completed its inaugural run from Pottstown to Boyertown on the Colebrookdale Railroad, an almost 9-mile stretch of track that connects the two communities.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140120/NEWS/301209949/1052#.Ut1Qc_Qo6c8

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24th Annual PA Apple ‘N Cheese Festival This Weekend In Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

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

Saturday, October 5th, 2013  10am-6pm

Sunday, October 6th, 2013  10am-5pm 

Juried Crafts • Fine Arts & Photography Show • Quilts
Weaving Demo • Hand-blown Glass • Blacksmith Demo
Chainsaw Carving • Wine & Cheese Tasting
• Continuous Free Entertainment • Wood Turning
Apple Butter Making • Children’s Activities • Cider Pressing
Apple & Cheese Desserts • Apple Displays •Broom Making Demonstration 

 • 40 Palate Pleasing Food Vendors •

Festival Admission

Adults – $5.00

Children 13 – 18 – $3.00

Directions: http://www.paapplecheese.com/directions/index.html

Children 12 and Under – Free

Sun, Music, Beer Brings Crowd To Sly Fox Can Jam Festival In Pottstown

canjam_2013_eventpagelogo_04POTTSTOWN, PA — A combination of perfect weather, lively music and Frisbees brought thousands out to the Circle of Progress Saturday for the annual Sly Fox Can Jam.

“The weather is beautiful,” said Mike Geary. “Great music. Great crowd.”

Crowds gathered in the grass lot next to the Pottstown Sly Fox location where a stage was set up for the acts which came through, headlined by Toy Soldiers.

“We’re big music fans and we really wanted to find some good bands that play music you can enjoy beer to,” said Sly Fox Brewmaster Brian O’Reilly.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/20130929/sun-music-beer-brings-crowd-to-sly-fox-can-jam

Pottstown Municipal Airport Community Day Highlights Aviation ‘Gem’

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — With planes taking off every few minutes, excited children couldn’t stop pointing and calling to their parents as they stood on the tarmac at Pottstown Municipal Airport’s Community Day.

“They’re both plane fanatics,” said Rob Moyzan of his children, who traveled from Jim Thorpe for the annual event.

Moyzan’s son and daughter stood near the gates separating spectators from the runway where varied models of propeller planes taxied by.

Further up the runway, Chris Moyer’s grandson, Hayden, swiveled his head from his position atop his grandfather’s shoulder. He patted his grandfather’s arm every time a plane came roaring by on take-off, shouting, “Look!”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130929/pottstown-municipal-airport-community-day-highlights-aviation-gem

Union Township Wants Racetrack Developers To Pay For Route 724 Upgrades

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After months of discussing potential traffic nightmares, Union Township supervisors want the developers of a proposed motorsports park to abide by PennDOT-required improvements to Route 724.

The issue arose after representatives from Ethan Michael Inc., developer of the proposed Liberty Bell Motorsports Park, asked to remove a potential campground site from the original land development plan.

The plan was submitted more than a decade ago, and the campground site no longer meets Department of Environmental Protection requirements due to recently identified exceptional-value wetlands.

EMI hopes to continue with the motorsports park portion and potentially revisit the campground plan.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515096

Goodbye, Tollbooth: E-ZPass Will Soon Retire A Turnpike Icon

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is moving ahead with plans to convert to an all-electronic toll collection system by 2018, an inevitable nod to technology that will improve the situation for motorists.

Once fully implemented, the 545-mile turnpike’s 76 tollbooths will be a thing of the past.  Vehicles would maintain normal highway speeds as they pass under overhead stanchions equipped with electronic readers, which is what happens now in some E-ZPass lanes.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/goodbye-tollbooth-e-zpass-will-soon-retire-a-turnpike-icon-701322/#ixzz2dTiWEbl9

Dorney Park Plans $8 Million Expansion

English: Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Logo

English: Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom announced today that it plans an $8 million park project, which includes a $4 million water-slide complex nearly seven stories high.

The project is expected to be completed by spring.

The Snake Pit slide complex will feature six body and tube slides, bringing the total number of water slides in Wildwater Kingdom to 26.

According to park officials, the remaining $4 million will go to park improvements, including upgrading and adding more seating.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=504985

The 10th Annual Performing Arts Summer Camp At Steel River Playhouse

Picture 577Summer Camp 2013

Begin planning today for Summer 2013!

The 10th annual Performing Arts Summer Camp for Grades 1 to 12
Three Sessions (Take 1, 2 or all 3)
  • July 8th – 19th
  • July 22nd – August 2nd
  • August 5th – August 16th

For detailed information about Summer Camp 2013, CLICK HERE.

To register for Summer Camp 2013, CLICK HERE. 

To apply for Counselor in Training for Summer Camp 2013, CLICK HERE.

Tax On Airline Flights Could Increase

The cost of flying might be going up, but this time it’s not the airlines raising prices.

The Obama administration has proposed raising the taxes on air travel by about $14 per flight, a move airlines strongly oppose.

Higher taxes are needed to help reduce the deficit, pay for improvements at the nation’s airports and add thousands of new immigration and customs officers to reduce wait times to process foreign visitors, the administration says.

Airlines say higher taxes will backfire and hurt the economy.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/la-fi-travel-briefcase-20130527,0,2840007.story

Wheel Mill: One Man’s Vision Turns Pittsburgh Warehouse Into Indoor Bike Park

This place is so new, you can smell it. Walk into the low-slung warehouse on Hamilton Avenue in Homewood, and the effect is immediate: Fresh-cut lumber, a little bit of sweat, a flash of motion — hey, did that kid just pop a wheelie?

Locator map with the Homewood West neighborhoo...

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

A year ago, this building was stuffed with city equipment and impounded cars, 80,000 square feet of space that officials never quite knew how to handle.

Where Harry Geyer is standing?  That’s where the Pittsburgh Public Works Department used to dump their junk, something the 40-year-old has to laugh about now, surrounded by the loops and whorls of his creation.

This is the Wheel Mill, a massive indoor bike park the Lawrenceville entrepreneur has built almost single-handedly, a testament to his twin loves of mountain biking and sustainable construction that he hopes will resonate with the city’s cyclists.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/wheel-mill-one-mans-vision-turns-homewood-warehouse-into-indoor-bike-park-688207/#ixzz2TqmN5KRG

Met-Ed To Invest $116 Million

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

The Metropolitan-Edison Co. plans a $116 million expansion of its electrical infrastructure in 15 counties, including Berks, the utility said Thursday.

In northern Berks, the FirstEnergy subsidiary will spend nearly $10 million to improve service and capacity for future growth in an area now serving 40,000 to 50,000 customers, according to Scott Surgeoner, Met-Ed spokesman.

On Thursday, workers tackled the upgrade at the Northkill substation along Route 183 in Jefferson Township. The project in Berks should be completed by June.

The area includes everything within the parameters of Route 183 north from Route 222 to Interstate 78, east to Route 61 and south to Route 222.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=468434

Pottstown Regional Recreation Post Could Wear Many Hats

POTTSTOWN — Sometimes things just fall into your lap just when you need them.

Just one day after members of the Pottstown School Board and borough council brainstormed about ways they can work together to cut costs and market Pottstown to a broader region, an opportunity to do just that for free was again presenting itself.

During their first joint meeting of the year on Feb. 25, members of both Pottstown boards echoed a common lament, the need to market what Pottstown has to offer to a wider audience, to better coordinate and add to major events and the need for additional funding help from outside sources and the surrounding townships.

On Tuesday, the Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Committee heard about an opportunity being developed over the last year with the help of the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation to do many of those things at a ridiculously low cost.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130304/NEWS01/130309833/pottstown-regional-rec-post-could-wear-many-hats#full_story

Bern Section Of Schuylkill River Trail To Be Built

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s taken nearly five years to get to this point, but a half-mile walking trail along the Schuylkill River in Bern Township will be built by summer.

“It will be nice for people to get out on the trail,” Bern Township Manager Brian Potts said. “It’s picturesque in the summertime. It’s a nice location. Hopefully, people will enjoy it.”

The idea for the trail started in 1996, as Bern officials began working on a comprehensive parks and recreation plan. Potts said the trail was discussed again in the middle of the last decade, but Bern officials seriously began work on the project in 2007.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=453648

Brecknock Township Receives An Unlikely Inheritance

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It started when Brecknock Township suddenly found itself the owner of a mansion, secluded on a 47-acre wooded lot off Fitterling Road in the township.

A lawyer from Oregon, executrix of the will of a man they knew little about, Philip T. Buxton, called in 2011 to say Buxton had left the township the house and land to use for a park.  The only stipulation was that it be named for him and his late wife, Jane.

That came as a surprise to township officials.

“We were very happy to be the recipients of it,” said Jeffrey M. Fiant, supervisors chairman.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=450358

The Ninth Annual Carousel Of Flavor Restaurant Festival – Pottstown

Date : Sunday, Sept 30, 2012 from noon to 4 p.m.

100 Block of High Street, Pottstown in front of Borough Hall

Expanded wine and beer garden this year! Over 4,000 attended last year.  Featuring live bands, crafters and a clown for children of all ages.

If you have any questions regarding the Carousel of Flavor, please contact the Chairpersons:

Jill Burbank (610) 970-0624 or email CarouselofFlavor@hotmail.com

For access to forms, click here: http://www.pottstowncarousel.org/events.htm

5 Great Cities For Gen Y’ers

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)

Editor’s note:  Pittsburgh made the short list!

BOSTON (MainStreet) — With mobile phones, mobile computingFoursquare and GPS, “Generation Y” seems like it’s always on the move — but where should its 20- and 30-something members be moving to?

Move Inc.(MOVE) , parent company of Realtor.com and other relocation-oriented Web sites, recently assessed dozens of U.S. cities for everything from nightlife to average apartment rents to find five great places for Gen Y’ers to live. Also called millennials because they’ve come of age since the year 2000, Gen Y’ers are young adults in their 20s and early to mid-30s.

“We’re finding that millennials look at buying homes differently than baby boomers do,” Move’s Julie Reynolds says. “Where baby boomers look at homes more as investments, millennials see housing as more of a lifestyle option. More millennials are living closer to where they work, closer to the central part of towns and focus on cultural activities and other things to do other than just work.”

So Move assessed cities for such things as parks, museums, professional sports teams and other recreational offerings.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/5-great-cities-for-gen-yers/11615700

Month-Long Performing Arts Camps At Muhlenberg Give Young People A Taste Of The Stage At Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

Allentown, Pa.  — Every summer, Muhlenberg College plays host to dozens of young performers, participants in two month-long arts education programs that are part of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre program. Covering grades 6 to 12, the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs run July 2-27, and enrollment is still available in both.

Camp Imagine, now in its 14th year, gives middle schoolers a daily experience in drama, vocal expression and movement. About 60 participants rotate through the three activities, learning from Muhlenberg College students and alumni — and from each other. At the end of the four-week session, the ensemble presents a world premiere showcase performance, developed over the course of the program.

Founded in 1999 as a program to supplement the arts curriculum in the Allentown School District, Camp Imagine was originally conducted on site at Harrison-Morton Middle School. The camp has since both expanded and moved to the state-of-the-art performance facilities on the Muhlenberg Campus.

“We found that one of the most important aspects of the program was giving the students a chance to experience the college campus environment,” says Charles Richter, a Muhlenberg theater professor who helped found Camp Imagine. “Many have gone on to study the arts in college — and study other things in college — in part because they came to Camp Imagine.”

Camp Imagine remains free to Allentown School District students, and many other students benefit from full and partial need-based scholarships. The program participates in the District’s free lunch program, and provides free daily busing to and from all four ASD middle schools.

Camp Imagine runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, July 2-27, and a showcase on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m.

Camp Imagine’s sister program, the Performing Arts Workshop, is now in its fifth year. The Workshop gives high school students — many of them alumni of Camp Imagine — a chance to extend their performance training through intensive workshop performances taught by professional performers, as well as master classes with Muhlenberg faculty members.

The Workshop runs 1:30 to 4:30 daily, July 2-27, with a showcase Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m.

“The objective of both programs is to use the arts as a means of helping young people to nurture their passions and enhance their social and communication skills,” Richter says. “And also to build self-esteem, concentration, and confidence — all of which help them in the performing arts, in school, and in life.”

And it’s working. Parents of participants consistently report that their children are more independent, more self-confident, better able to focus on tasks, and better at cooperating and collaborating within their families.

“The best thing was that my child, who is usually negative, was positive, upbeat and excited,” wrote one parent. “He came home one day and said, ‘I asked my teacher if I could do this a certain way. The teacher said that not only could I be loud, silly and different, but that they encouraged me to be! It’s the first time that everything I do at school is right. There is no one saying, Don’t! Stop! Wrong!’ This camp was a very positive experience in my child’s life and for our family.”

Enrollment is still available in both the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs. Tuition for Camp Imagine is $365 for non-Allentown School District students. Tuition for the Workshop is $465. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available for both programs, based on financial need.

More information and enrollment forms are available online at www.muhlenberg.edu/camp, or by calling 484-664-3693.

Pittsburgh Expects 2013 Completion For Point State Park Fountain

It will be another spring before the fountain at Point State Park bubbles up again.

That was the message Thursday about progress on the $9.6 million fountain renovation, which began in late 2011, part of a $35 million makeover of the entire park.

If the weather stays mild, flooding remains minimal and the construction work proceeds smoothly, park manager Matt Greene said he is “cautiously optimistic” that water will return to the fountain in spring 2013. The fountain was shut off in April 2009.

“So far, so good,” Mr. Greene said as he surveyed the tip of the Point.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/city-expects-2013-completion-for-point-state-park-fountain-636861/

RAILROAD EMPLOYEES PITCH IN TO CLEAR PATH TO RIVER FOR RESIDENTS, HIKERS & PADDLERS

Duncannon, PA Norfolk Southern Corporation employees will be donating their time as part of the company’s spring volunteer day starting at 9:00am on Saturday, May 12th improving river access points in the Borough of Duncannon, a town whose heritage has long been tied to region’s greater transportation network as a hub community for canals, ferries, rails and trails.  Volunteers from the company’s Enola Diesel Shop will be pitching in with assistance from Borough workers and local Fire Department to help improve a pedestrian and recreational pathway to the river under the railroad arches in advance of a town-wide event with a theme of getting out-of-doors. 

“The river arches represent the physical connection between our historic downtown, the Appalachian Trail footpath and the Susquehanna River Water Trail”, said Borough Councilman, Jack Conrad, “The Borough is pleased to collaborate with the Norfolk Southern volunteers on this important project that further positions Duncannon as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts.”

“Many of our employees live in Perry County and recognize this rail line for the beautiful scenery of the Susquehanna Water Gaps,” said NSCorp. Enola Diesel Shop Senior General Foreman, Archie Glace.  “We’re happy to help improve local access to the river under our tracks and strengthen ties with the communities where our people live and work.”

Employees participating will be using railroad equipment and sweat equity to scrape sediment and resurface the floor of two river arches near the Borough’s business district.  The arch-ways receive heavy use from recreational paddlers and pedestrians accessing scenic views of the broad river and surrounding forested ridges.  In times where local governments are feeling the squeeze of funding cuts to state and federal programs, the Norfolk Southern group’s collaborative efforts with the local community will maximize resources towards improving public safety for pedestrian access following damage from last year’s flooding, helping prevent future erosion, and enhancing the appearance of the river access points.

This upcoming downtown beautification and recreation-based volunteer effort was coordinated with assistance from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Duncannon’s Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee in preparation for Duncannon’s upcoming Appalachian Trail CommunityTM designation celebration being held downtown on Saturday, June 2nd.   The river access improvement suits the intent of the Appalachian Trail Community TM program in bringing greater awareness of the area’s outdoor recreation opportunities to residents and visitors and in highlighting the connection between the health and abundance of the region’s natural assets and the economic vitality of local communities.

About Duncannon Appalachian Trail CommunityTM Advisory Committee
The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee (DATC), comprised of local officials, Trail Angels, Trail to Every Classroom teachers, business owners, and representatives of non-profit organizations , Trail clubs and the Susquehanna Rovers Volksmarch Club, represents a collaborative effort with the mission of supporting projects and programs that bring the historical, cultural and environmental richness of the Appalachian Trail and surrounding landscapes to the lives and livelihood of the residents of the greater Duncannon area.  For more information on the upcoming A.T. Community designation celebration, visit http://www.duncannonappalachiantrailcommunity.com/

About Norfolk Southern Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products. http://www.nscorp.com/

Contact:
Kim McKee                                                                                             
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel. 717.258.5771 x208
Fax. 717.258.1442
Email: kmckee@appalachiantrail.org
Web: www.appalachiantrail.org

Michigan And Ohio To Cooperate On Lake Erie Algae

Lake Erie from satellite 2007. Photograph cour...

Lake Erie from satellite 2007. Photograph courtesy of NASA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Officials in Michigan and Ohio promised closer cooperation Wednesday in the quest for solutions to massive algae blooms in Lake Erie, a deadly threat to fish and a turn-off for tourists.

Delegations from both states, including their top environmental protection officials, agreed to push harder for reductions in phosphorus discharges from farms, waste treatment plants and other sources while sharing ideas and supporting research. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pledged technical and financial assistance.

“We all agreed that while more research is needed, that shouldn’t be a barrier to taking action now,” said Susan Hedman, chief of the EPA’s regional office in Chicago. “It’s absolutely clear that we need to reduce nutrient loading to the western end of Lake Erie.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/ap/618886_Michigan–Ohio-to-cooperate-on-Lake-Erie-algae.html#ixzz1r8KLtV1j