Push For Tolls On Interstate 80 Accelerates

PennDot and the PA Turnpike Commission have sent additional material to the Federal Highway Administration in an attempt to push through a proposal to make Interstate 80 a toll road throughout the Commonwealth.

PennDot would lease Interstate 80 to the Turnpike Commission who would operate the toll administration.

This idea is being vociferously opposed by PA residents along Interstate 80 (this idea is getting about the same enthusiatic support as turning US 422 into a toll road in our neck of the woods).

I guess Interstate 80 will be another road to avoid if tolls are added.  Between the price of gas and the astronomical tolls it makes traveling very expensive.  When I travel to Harrisburg, it would cost me the same amount for gas as it would for tolls if I were to use the turnpike.  Taking the turnpike doubles the cost of each trip!  I take alternate routes!

I thought that’s what all these gasoline taxes were for??? Silly me!

Pottstown Chili’s To Open Monday 11/02/09


A reliable source confirmed that Chili’s new restaurant in Upland Square is scheduled to open on Monday, 11/02/09. 

There is a sign out front that says In Training.  They are doing their practice runs and people are being invited by invitation only to sample their wares!  One such person alerted me that Monday is the big day! 

So keep your eyes open Pottstown!

Philadelphia Declares Swine Flu Emergency!

Steadily increasing H1N1 cases and ER visits escalating 25% over last year have prompted city officials to declare a health emergency in Philadelphia!

City officials are asking people with mild symptoms to stay away from emergency rooms.

I think it’s a good idea to limit contact during this time.  Maybe a wave might be safer than a handshake?  Who knows.  The list of symptoms are the same as a regular flu so you would have to be tested to be sure.  My understanding is that between the ages of 18 – 65 you are less likely to get H1N1.  Otherwise, be more careful.

Stay healthy!

Two Penn State Students Charged In Freshman’s Alcohol Related Death

The investigation into the death of Latrobe native Joe Dado, who was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell on the Penn State University main campus in State College, has come to a conclusion. 

Two 21 year old Penn State students were charged with giving the underage freshman the alcohol that contributed to his death.  Jennifer Clifford, 21, from the Johnstown area and John Townsend, 21, from the Latrobe area are being charged with misdemeanors.  Townsend and Dado were friends from high school.

Two Penn State Fraternities, Alpha Tau Omego and Phi Gamma Delta, were both charged with one count of selling or furnishing alcohol to minors and one count of unlawful acts relative to alcohol.

Both University and State College police have determined that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol was the contributing factor in Joe Dado’s death.  Dado’s blood alcohol level was .169, more than twice the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle!

Mr. Townsend expressed deep regret over the incident.  Joe Dado’s father declined to comment.

A very sad conclusion to a very tragic event. 

A preliminary hearing is being scheduled for December 2nd.

More Drama For Sarah Palin! Bristol’s Baby Daddy To Pose Nude For Playgirl!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water!!!!

What exactly is posing “au natural” in Playgirl supposed to accomplish for Levi Johnston??  And Levi’s “manager” is totally behind him making a complete fool out of himself. 

One would think a “manager” would have enough sense to realize this is not that way to have any long-lasting career.  Make a quick buck and disappear back into obscurity is more like it.  Enjoy your 15 minutes Levi because that’s about all you are going to get.   The only career option this kind of move leaves someone is to make “movies” of the pornographic variety.   This will be a FULL frontal shoot.  No strategically placed footballs etc… per the “manager”.  Levi is lettin’ it all hang out. 

So many idiots…so little time.

World Champion Philadelphia Phillies 6 – Pathetic Yankees 1

So A-Rod and friends didn’t exactly grind us into the dirt tonight.  Whatsamatta boys?  Havin’ an off night???  Does it usually take you 9 innings to score a run?? 

Guess being over-confident, cockey, arrogant and disrespectful of our Phillies got you a bad case of Karma.  What goes around comes around.  Or in the words of Bea Arthur (Maude) God will get you for that!

Maybe the Yankees should eat some humble pie before they come back tomorrow!  Just sayin’….

Brick House Rolling Out New Menu!

Dave writes:

“This weekend is going to be a blast.  The next 2 weeks are going to be very hectic as well.  We are rolling out our new menu.  Lots of new stuff on there.  We’ll have ribs, a bunch of different apps, a few new salads, and we’re putting baked potatos on the menu.  Make sure you stop in to check it out…”

So stop in and say “howdy” to Dave and his staff at the Brick House for some Halloween fun and to check out the new menu!

For more information you can simply click on the Pottstown Brick House link under blogroll.  It’s on the right side of the page.

PMMC Board Of Directors Meeting Visited By Union Representatives And Members Tonight

Tonight’s Board Of Directors Meeting for Pottstown Memorial Medical Center had a larger than normal audience.  The meeting was held in a classroom at the Chestmont Professional Building, across from the hospital. 

Dozens of hospital workers, union officials and press packed the small room while PMMC CEO John Kirby presented the board with a power point presentation outlining the growth and changes at the hospital.

Dr. Whitaker, Chairman of the Board, allowed comments and questions from the audience regarding the benefit changes being proposed by CHS (the owner of PMMC).  One hospital employee passed a petition of support for the union workers to the Board of Directors and asked if anyone would sign it as a show of solidarity to the employees of our community hospital. 

John Kirby answered all the questions that were presented.  He deferred discussing most talking points due to the ongoing contract negotions process that was already in place. 

The meeting was fairly short and we were thanked for our time and interest in attending by Dr. Whitaker.  The meeting was adjourned. 

There was a brief rally in the parking lot to discuss any impact tonight’s visit may have made on the board.

The contract negotiations are continuing but without much success.

Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas was there to show her support for hospital employees.  Doug Pike, Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives 6th Congressional District, was also in attendance to show his support for hospital workers.

I was able to snap a few pictures, despite the darkness, to capture the moment for my readers.

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Another Restaurant Chain Struggles

Restaurant chain Max and Erma’s has filed for bankruptcy.  The closest location to Pottstown is in Oaks, near the Regal Cinemas.  They are a fairly small chain and mostly regional but the economy is hurting the restaurant business overall.  Around here, trying to eat out on the weekends still involves a wait!  Personally, I have cut back but the wait times seem just as long!

American Idol Fest At American Music Awards

This year’s AMA’s will be worth tuning into if you are a fan of American Idol!  Not one but 4 Idol alums are performing!!

Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry will be performing this year!  What a powerhouse line up!

The AMA’s are on November 22nd so tune in and check out your favorite(s).

Muhlenberg College Presents Bat Boy: The Musical

A Review of Bat Boy: The Musical

By Roy Keeler

I attended my first Muhlenberg College production Friday night, October 23rd, as a reviewer for Bat Boy: The Musical.  Unfortunately, I have never attended any events at Muhlenberg before.  The campus was easy to find and I had no trouble parking.  Directions on the college website were excellent.

I read that the Theatre Arts Department is the number four ranked undergraduate theatre program in the United States by The Princeton Review 2009 so I had certain expectations based on this fact.  Otherwise, I was not sure what to expect.

Bat Boy is playing in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion.  The Pavilion, from the outside, is modern and impressive.  I eagerly made my way to the box office and picked up my ticket.  After a brief wait the doors opened and I was able to find my seat.  The theatre itself is very nice with comfortable seats, clearly marked rows and seat numbers.  The seating is stadium style which allows for unobstructed viewing.  My seat was in the orchestra section, row G, seat 15.  Dead center stage.

While we waited for the show to begin I browsed through the program and had a chance to look around.  I think the set is imaginative and fits the story very well.

The “Sheriff” made a few comments about cell phones and without further delay we began.  At the time I didn’t understand who the Sheriff was but that became clear in a few minutes.

The story takes place in Hope Falls, West Virginia, population 500.  The time is the present. Without going into too much detail the basic premise of the story is Bat Boy is found by Rick, Ron and Ruthie Taylor in a local cave.  Bat Boy is more animal than human at this point in the story and he bites Ruthie when the Taylor kids try to “make friends”.  Rick and Ron subdue Bat Boy, take Ruthie to the hospital and turn Bay Boy over to the Sheriff.  The Sheriff takes Bat Boy to Dr. Parker, the local vet, to be “put down”.

Bat Boy is put in a cage until Dr. Parker returns home.  Mrs. Parker and her daughter have their own ideas about what to do with Bat Boy.  Bat Boy starts out as a “pet” and ends up becoming part of the family.  The story progresses from there but you will have to go see Bat Boy to find out what happens!

There are two acts with a short intermission.  The intermission ends in an unusual way when some of the characters walk back onto the stage and other characters come down the aisle through the audience.  There is no formal end to the intermission or beginning of the second act.  It is funny and strangely appropriate.  Nothing about this production is ordinary

Bat Boy is a horror musical.  I was not at all familiar with this production and was not sure what to expect.  I was not the only person who felt this way.  During intermission several people around me were talking and stated they had similar feelings.  After watching the first act they were discussing how the story really draws you in and that the music is “catchy” and something you would be humming for days (I still am).

One of the funniest things about Bat Boy is the use of males to play female characters (think Benny Hill or Monty Python). Several cast members have multiple parts and watching them transition in and out of different characters/genders is hysterical and very well done.  Nick Flatto and Gabriel Martinez are absolutely brilliant.  While Bat Boy is very funny, it carries a message of tolerance and acceptance that comes through loud and clear.

The lead characters are excellent actors and superb vocalists.  Jeramie Mayes as Bat Boy, Denise Ozer as Meredith Parker, Eric Thompson as Dr. Parker and Leah Holleran as Shelly Parker are all to be commended for their outstanding performances.

The minor characters and the ensemble do a fantastic job as well.  Erik Fiebiger, as Pan, delivers a powerful vocal performance.  I was disappointed he only had one number.

The music is challenging and the cast rises to the occasion.  The orchestra is first rate!  This is a professional quality production that flows seamlessly from scene to scene.  The cast seems to be enjoying themselves which adds to the campy fun.

The costumes, lighting and choreography are excellent.  The Directors and Production Staff are all deserving of high praise for the attention to detail that make this production a big success.

I highly recommend this musical as a great way to enjoy the Halloween season and see a quality theatrical production in the Lehigh Valley.  Area residents should take advantage of having this gem in their backyard and support the arts at Muhlenberg College.  I give Bat Boy thumbs up!

Many thanks to Shawn Proctor, Marketing Director for allowing me to attend and review Bat Boy.

This production is recommended for mature audiences over age 14.

Muhlenberg College is located at 2400 W. Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18104.

For more details:

Voice: 484-664-3333

Website: http://www.muhlenberg.edu/depts/theatre/2tickets.html

Michael Jackson Portrait By Andy Warhol Up For Sale

Andy Warhol, one of the leading figures in pop art, did a silk-screened portrait of Michael Jackson in 1984.  This portrait is being auctioned off by Christie’s in New York City starting on November 10th and is expected to fetch any where from $500,000 to $700,000.

Jackson’s portrait would certainly make an awesome addition to the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh (Warhol’s hometown).  If you travel to Pittsburgh and enjoy modern art, a trip to this museum is a great way to spend some time.  I am looking forward to my next trip!

The Andy Warhol museum is located at 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Voice (412) 237-8300.  Website: http://www.warhol.org

Angels Stayin’ Alive In Play-offs

In a major nail-biter the Angels beat the Yankees 7-6.  Literally down to the last pitch with Yankees on every base, two outs and only a one run lead, the Angels managed to hang on tonight when Nick Swisher hit a pop up out to shortstop Eric Aybar!

So now it’s 3-2 in the series and we have to wait a little longer to see who the Phillies are up against.  That’s okay, it gives our boys a nice rest so they are ready to kick butt and win us another World Series!!!!!!

Go Phillies!

Pottstown Leadership Shoots Taxpayers In The Foot Again!

When the Urban Land Institute said Pottstown has a leadership vacuum they just weren’t kidding now were they!!!

This $61,000 gift to West Pottsgrove for example is beyond embarrassing people.  What the hell are we paying taxes for??  We might as well have a big bonfire in Smith Plaza and throw money into it for cryin’ out loud!  West Pottsgrove has a GIGANTIC cash reserve from the landfill.  I think they can pay their sewer bill!  This kissy face nonsense is ridiculous.  They owe the money and they should damn well pay it!  Borough homeowners wouldn’t get any deals I bet!

We keep taxing people to death and wasting money like there is no tomorrow while the fine residents of this community sit and watch in horror at the antics in City Hall!  Some people need to get fired and voted out of office.  ENOUGH!  We demand accountability!

It’s amazing the state doesn’t come in here and take over.  Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic excuse for management and leadership.   We don’t know what happened for four years!  Is there group amnesia over at City Hall!?!?  That must have been one hell of a party since nobody can remember what happened!

The inmates are running the asylum!  God help us!