Conference Generates Ideas For Tackling Poverty In Reading

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present)

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fatherless families, a lack of jobs and school dropout rates contribute to poverty and local economic conditions, U.S. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts said Monday.

“Families with fathers and mothers are the best anti-poverty program,” said the Chester County Republican, whose district includes Reading. “Saying these simple things can land you in all kinds of trouble.”

He was speaking at a conference on economic inequality that he organized at Reading Area Community College.

In an interview afterward, Pitts listed some points raised during the four-hour event that he will pursue.

“We will come up with some projects,” Pitts said.

While some of the 75 political, business and nonprofit leaders who participated agreed with Pitts’ points, several made their own arguments for improving the economy in Reading, where the 2012 poverty rate of 40.5 percent made it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131210/NEWS/312109974/1052#.UqeN0fRDsxI

Manheim Township Schools Ban Parents From Eating Lunch With Their Children

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Editor’s note:  What a sad reality.

The Manheim Township School District has notified parents that they will no longer be allowed to visit schools to have lunch with their children, a move it says is designed to “ensure a safe learning environment.”

The new policy was approved by the school board on March 21 and is effective May 1.

The policy was described in a letter to parents dated March 22 and signed by the district’s elementary-, intermediate-, middle- and high-school principals.

The letter stated that an exception can be made by each school’s principal if they choose to participate in a celebration such as National Lunch Week.  The new policy would not allow parents to bring “restaurant food from outside sources” during such celebrations, however.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/831066_Manheim-Township-schools-ban-parents-from-eating-lunch-with-their-children.html#ixzz2OqRwcTCx

Driver Killed In Reading Crash

A city man was killed Thursday when he drove through a red light on Schuylkill Avenue at Buttonwood Street while talking on a cellphone and his car was hit broadside by a work van, authorities said.

Jose E. DeJesus Garcia, 53, who investigators said lived in the northwestern area of the city not far from the crash site, was pulled from the car by a nearby resident as the vehicle caught fire following the 8:25 a.m. accident.  He died before police arrived.

Within minutes, police vehicles, firetrucks and ambulances filled a one-block area that was strewn with mangled vehicle parts.  Firefighters quickly put out the burning car.

City detectives and evidence technicians responded along with patrol officers.  The intersection was closed nearly four hours, slowing commuter traffic on other routes.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=432081

Some Reading Neighbors, Officials Leery Of Liquor License At Perkiomen Avenue Site

The owner of the planned Shop Smart Buy Smarter grocery has spent more than $1 million on the building at 1626 Perkiomen Ave. and wants to open a 38-seat restaurant that’s in the same building but separate from the store.

To do that, state law says he needs City Council’s OK to transfer an out-of-town liquor license to the restaurant.

But city officials and neighbors told council at a hearing Wednesday that they don’t need yet another liquor outlet in the area that’s already got plenty of taverns.

Council plans a vote on the measure May 29.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/Article.aspx?id=385287

2010 Crime Stats For City Of Reading And Metro Berks

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

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Berks County ranked well this year in a national crime report, even as Reading slipped in the ratings compared to last year.

The Reading metro area, which is all of Berks, was the 235th most dangerous of 353 other U.S. metro areas, meaning only 119 metro areas were determined to have been safer in 2010, according to CQ Press. The metro area ranked 232 last year.

Reading was ranked the 33rd most dangerous U.S. city in the study by CQ Press, which based its work on cities with more than 75,000 residents that reported 2010 crime statistics to the FBI.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=355257

Williamsport Ranks Among 25 Safest Metro Areas In U.S.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lycoming County

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A recently released report on crime in American cities ranks the city among the 25 safest metropolitan areas in the nation.

CQ Press, an independent publishing company that releases the report each year, ranked the Williamsport metropolitan area, which includes all of Lycoming County, as 21st in the nation out of 354 metropolitan areas.

The statistics compiled by the company are based on the number of crimes, including homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts, reported to the FBI in 2008.

Read more: http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/572032/DA–Rankings-reinforce-statistics-suggesting-crime-trending-downward.html?nav=5011

Travel And Leisure’s Most Dangerous U.S. Airport List

Philadelphia International Airport

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Travel and Leisure Magazine has come up with a list of the 20 most dangerous U.S.airports; based on their scoring system.  

Philadelphia International came in at number 14.  There have been 50 runway “incidents” at PHL; fourteen of those incidents occurred in the last two years.  There are three problem locations for pilots, according the magazine.  Recently the FAA has made changes to cut down the number of runway issues.

No other Pennsylvania airport made the list.

To view the article and list, click here:  http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/tls-most-dangerous-us-airports/1

A Petition To Control Blight In Pottstown

If you are interested in building a better Pottstown, please click on the link below and sign the petition to control blight!  The petition will go to the following people:

  • Governmental persons that can control blight in Pottstown, PA! (Pottstown Judges and Pottstown Codes Dept.)
  • PA State House (Rep. Tom Quigley)
  • PA State Senate (Senator John Rafferty)
  • Agency responsible for subsidized housing violations (Montgomery County Housing Authority)

http://www.change.org/petitions/governmental-persons-that-can-control-blight-in-pottstown-pa-prosecute-slumlords-within-the-pottstown-borough-using-pa-state-law-act-90?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=own_wall

Pittsburgh Is Getting Younger – Average Age Of City Residents Falling

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

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Pittsburgh has become an example of reverse brain drain.  The City of Pittsburgh is attracting more and more people in their 20’s and 30’s.  The median age of city residents fell from 35.5 to 33.2 in the last ten years.  (By comparison, the median age of Pennsylvania’s 12.7 million residents in 2010 was 40.1, up from 38.0 in 2000.)  This phenomenon is rarely seen outside the Sun Belt and never in the Rust Belt.  But then again, this isn’t you’re parent’s Pittsburgh, anymore.

The smokey steel city of the 40’s and 50’s is long gone.  Heavy industry has been replaced with education, health-care, robotics, computer technology and other high-tech and green industry.  Pittsburgh is building itself a more diversified economy and consistently ranks high on the list of America’s Most Livable Cities.  The cost of living in Pittsburgh makes it very attractive to young people.

Because of all these factors, and more, Pittsburgh will be hosting the One Young World Summit in 2012.  2,000 young leaders from 160 countries will be coming to Pittsburgh to discuss topics like global health, climate change and micro-economics.  Most of these delegates will be in their 20’s.  This will be the third year for One Young World.  Last year the event was held in London and this year it was held in Zurich.

Pittsburgh beat out Johannesburg, South Africa to host One Young World in 2012.  Other countries that bid for the conference besides South Africa were China, Australia, Peru and Dubai.  Pittsburgh was the only American city bidding to host this event.

 

Scranton Police Department Gets New Crime Fighting Software

Police officer of the United States Park Polic...

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Scranton has purchased new software that will enable their police department to get a better handle on crime.  

For a very low price tag, $6,000, this software will enable police to do crime-mapping, tracking and facilitate anonymous tips from residents.  This sounds like something we could easily do in Pottstown.  The $6,000 price tag is a blip on our $3 million police budget. 

Anonymous tip reporting will get citizens more involved with law enforcement which is something that has been discussed here.  Citizens can get on their computer or phone, from the safety of their home, and report crimes or suspicious activity to the police.  It is completely anonymous.

The software pinpoints crimes on a map by location, type of crime and the time the crime was committed.  In Scranton’s case the data will go back as far as 2003!  What an awesome tool for such a rock-bottom price!  This technology will give police the opportunity to analyze trends and find creative ways to combat crime.

Scranton had a crime index in 2009 of 306.7, which is slightly below the US average of 319.2.  Pottstown had a crime index in 2009 of 454.7.  Scranton falls into the low category.  350 – 699 is considered moderate which is where Pottstown scores.  A score of 700 – 999 is considered high. 

The point of my comparison is that even with a lower crime rate; Scranton is being proactive and spending a few thousand dollars to reduce crime in their city with the use of technology.  It would seem this is something Pottstown should seriously consider.  I bet Scranton PD would give us a demo :)

Statistical information is from City-data.com

Citizen’s For Pottstown’s Revitalization (CPR) – Thoughts For The New Year And Upcoming Events

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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I am pleased to pass on this important information from CPR!

Happy New Year All!!

The start of a new year brings the promise of renewed hope and energy into revitalizing Pottstown.  This momentum  is pushing us towards new possibilities and uncharted territory of growth and progress.  The winter’s festivities brought in an unprecedented number of revelers, proving that Pottstown still has heart and promise.  Despite our many differences of opinion and spirited discourses we ultimately share the same goal; to live in a safe environment.  The way we achieve this goal is to stay involved!  You can now stay in touch with the Pottstown Neighborhood Watch through Facebook- search Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Citizens-For-Pottstowns-Revitilization/143692659014127?v=wall). Please join us at the following events listed below.

January 16, 2011 @ 1PM : Female Safety Clinic (PKC-21 North Hanover St.) Space is limited so please RSPV to  610 327 1321 and leave a message.

February 18, 2011 @ 7PM : Neighborhood Watch Meeting (146 King St. PAL Bldg.) 

March 2011 (Date to be determined) Witness Training by Pottstown Police.      

I hope this new year brings each of you happiness, health and the energy to take back our town!! 
  
Anna Johnson