Growing Amish Community Heading West

The number of Amish is growing!  A recent study estimates the Amish population has increased 10% in the last two years.  It is believed there are 249,000 Amish in North America.  In 1992 there were 124,000.  Land in Lancaster County is hard to find and very expensive.  This has forced many Amish to look elsewhere for farmland.

The Midwest is attracting more and more Amish.  Farmland in Lancaster County can cost $15,000 an acre compared to $2,000 – $3,000 an acre in other parts of the county.  That being said, two-thirds of the Amish live in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.  Pennsylvania has the largest population.

Amish families tend to have 5 or more children which accounts for their swelling ranks.  Half of the Amish population is under 18 years old and 85% of young adults remain in the church.

South Dakota is the latest state to get an Amish settlement. 

Go West, young Amish.

15-Year-Old Commits Homicide In York

Children committing heinous crimes seems to be on the rise.  Every day I find these stories.

A 28-year-old University of Pittsburgh law student was gunned down outside a bar in downtown York, while on his cell phone Wednesday night  Apparently, it was a robbery gone bad.  The alleged teen killer was arrested Friday and charged as an adult with homicide, robbery and other offenses.  Police expect additional arrests in this case.

Where do minor children get guns and where are their parents???????

Pocono Raceway Goes Green – Installs Solar Grid

Pocono Raceway gets a big gold star for installing a 40,000 solar panel grid that will provide all the power for the racetrack and additional power for close 1,000 homes as well.  The $15,000,000.00 project was unveiled today and officials are hoping that the final link can be completed by Sunday’s NASCAR race.

The solar grid will eliminate the race tracks $250,000.00 annual estimated electric bill!  It is now the largest solar-powered sports facility in the world.  Pocono Raceway will also benefit from selling the excess power they generate as well as eliminating more than 3,104 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

And by the way, those solar panels were made right here in the USA!

570 Area Code To Get Overlay

Several years ago the northern portion of the 717 area code became 570.  As the supply of phone numbers nears depletion, more phone numbers are needed.  The new 570 area code overly will be 272 and will go into use sometime in 2011.  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted 5-0 to make this change. 

Overlays are the least disruptive way to add phone numbers.  After a trial period, 570/272 area code users will have to start dialing 10 digits instead of 7.  This will require the reprogramming of speed dialers etc…

Ten digit dialing isn’t so bad.  You’ll get used to it.  We did!

York Mayor To Veto Removal Of Residency Requirement

On July 20th, the York City Council repealed the residency requirement for certain city employees.  There are pros and cons for residency requirements depending on how you look at the big picture.  At the July 20th meeting, City Council eliminated the residency requirement by a vote of 3-2. 

Mayor Karen Bracey had requested that the motion be tabled for further study and a survey of city residents be taken.  Her request was denied and the vote proceeded.

Now it appears Mayor Bracey will use her power of veto to stop the elimination of the residency requirement until a survey of city residents can be conducted.

Jersey Shore News

Snooki was arrested in Seaside Heights for disorderly conduct this afternoon.  Of course, the MTV cameras were there to capture the action!  Look for footage in an upcoming episode of Jersey Shore.  

Snooki was publically intoxicated (say it isn’t so) and was arrested by two officers…cuffs and all.  She was looking might disheveled and wearing a shirt that said SLUT as her sun glasses were sliding off her face.  The pictures are mighty unflattering!

I thought they were banned for life after filming Season 1?  Now they are back filming Season 3!

Can I get a fist pump, LOL!

You’re Invited To National Night Out

Date: August 3, 2010
Time: 5 PM until Dusk
Location 1: Chestnut/Washington Street Park, Pottstown

Location 2:  St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – Grace & Franklin Sts., Pottstown  6 – 8 pm

Event sponsored and organized by Genesis Housing Corp, Victory Christian Life Center and CPR.

National Night Out is an annual event designed to strengthen our communities by encouraging neighborhoods to engage in stronger relationships with each other and with their local law enforcement partners. The goal is to heighten crime-prevention awareness, build support and participation in local anti-crime programs, and most importantly, send a message that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors even better. See you there.

For more information visit

Discount Grocer Expanding Into Southeastern Pennsylvania

A new grocery store chain is expanding into Pennsylvania.  Bottom Dollar Food, based in Salisbury, North Carolina operates 28 stores in North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.  Bottom Dollar is as full-shop discount grocer and is affiliated with Food Lion.

According to their website:

“Customers will find Bottom Dollar Food unique because we carry national and private products, and offer outstanding quality in produce, meat and other products. We offer the best prices on groceries in the market and provide our customers a friendly, fun and lighthearted shopping experience.”

The website states that Pottstown has been identified as a location for one of the new stores in the Philadelphia Region.  1400 North Charlotte Street is the address listed for the new store (The Shoppes at Ringing Rocks – formerly Rickel’s Home Center and ShopRite).

The news release states stores will start opening this fall.  If all 21 projected stores do open, the chain will have almost doubled their number of stores.  Bottom Dollar Foods opened their first store in 2005 in High Point, North Carolina.

If you would like to see an actual flyer, click on the link below.  This is for the Gaithersburg MD store, 07/28/10 to 08/03/10:

More Disturbing News In Today’s Mercury

I read about another incident of road rage this morning.  What the hell is wrong with people?  If you are going to ride someone’s bumper, you run the risk of your car getting hit with anything the car in front of you kicks up.  Then you follow someone into a Wawa parking lot and threaten them with a baseball bat?  To make matters worse you say you have a gun! 

Fortunately, the perp was drunk and had impaired reflexes.  The victim was not hit. Getting whacked in the head with an aluminum baseball bat would leave a nasty mark!  Thankfully, the gun threat was made up.  When the State Police pulled this piece of work over, he got a DUI along with assault and whatever else they can throw at him.  GOOD!

Another upstanding citizen from Exton tried to murder a Phoenixville resident.  19 years old and you’re trying to whack people?  Are the Soprano’s casting again or what????? 

Yesterday, a story appeared about a 29 year-old pervert driving around Pottstown, buck-neeked in his Dad’s car, whilst kneading his noodle in front of little girls.  I think you are a.  Old enough to know better.   b.  Pretty creepy using your Dad’s car to commit a sex crime..  c. In need of some serious counseling.

What is this world coming to?  Makes my head hurt!

Cool Website For Susquehanna Valley Events!

For those readers in the Susquehanna Valley, here is a great website for regional entertainment and dining.  From Lock Haven to Danville and Williamsport to Harrisburg plus everything in between.  They even cover north of Williamsport.

If you live in other parts of Pennsylvania and have a cabin in the area or are looking for some in-state vacation ideas, day-trips, weekend fun or anything in between, you should check this out. 

Click on the link below to get connected:

Beaver Stadium Turns 50!

Growing up in North Central Pennsylvania, you can’t help but be a Penn State fan.  Question: Why is the sky is blue and white?  Answer: God is a Penn State fan.

My Dad was a Penn State alumni and Joe Pa’s name was said with reverence.  A big thrill for me was when our high school band participated in Band Day at Beaver Stadium.  Standing on that field, in front of that many people, was a rush!  I can’t drive by Beaver Stadium without looking at it.  It certainly stands out but even after all these years, it still makes me look.

So happy birthday Beaver Stadium.  Hopefully the Nittany Lions will have a banner season to commemorate your big 50.  After all, it is Happy Valley!

Ellen Is Leaving American Idol!!!!!!!!

Boy oh boy, that didn’t take long!  Ellen said she didn’t feel is was the right fit for her.  She didn’t like hurting people’s feelings and her schedule became more hectic etc….  Wonder if Simon leaving had anything to do with it?  I will be hard pressed to watch anymore unless something magical happens.  Could it also have something to do with Ellen starting her own record label???

Nigel Lythgoe, who is awesome IMHO, is being wooed to come back.  If you watch So You Think You Can Dance, Nigel is a great judge.  He won’t blow smoke up your dress but he can be very complimentary, when warranted etc…  I would definitely tune in if Nigel came back!

Randy “you’re pitchy dawg” Jackson is still under contract…ugh…. Kara is year-to-year but she is ready for Season 10….don’t like her at all.  No Simon and no Ellen.  That sucks for viewers.

FOX better pull a rabbit out of their hat pronto!


***Blog Changes***

First of all, many thanks to all my readers for taking the time to visit Roy’s Rants.  We are approaching the one year mark the end of August and that is pretty exciting.

Including this submission, there are 615 posts on this blog.  That translates to 31 pages of information.  It occurred to me that as the blog changes and develops (along with grows) it will become harder for readers to find older posts. 

If you are new to the blog, you may wish to go back to the beginning or you may be someone who has certain areas of interest and only want to read posts pertaining to specific subjects.

Another change that has occurred is that the blog is not primarily a Pottstown blog, but has branched out to cover events in many other parts of the state.  My readers from Lancaster, Scranton, Pittsburgh  etc… may only be interested in coverage of events for their region.  Trying to sift through 31 pages is rather daunting.  I know as I just did that to makes all these changes.

I have added and removed categories, which appear on the right side of the blog and at the bottom.  Many cities were added so that posts pertaining to those areas now fall under that category.  Example:  Harley Davidson posts will now be found under York. 

If you don’t see your city or town, check under Pennsylvania or the closest big city near you.  If you live in Lititz, see Lancaster.  If you live in Montgomery County, other than Pottstown, check Norristown/Montgomery County.

When the blog was initially created, categories were added because I suspected those would be things I would post about.  In some cases that did not occur.

I hope this makes your experience better and saves you time and frustration so that paging backwards is only an option if you want to do that.  I may have missed a few posts along the way due to the scope of this project but for the most part, 95%+ posts should be easier to find now.

Thanks for your support!

Fuel Spill At Philadelphia International Airport

Okay, this is getting ridiculous!  A tanker truck overturned at the Philadelphia International Airport and spilled fuel all over the runway in front of Terminal F.  All commuter/regional flights have been halted until the spill is cleaned up.  The amount of fuel spilled is undetermined at this time.

You just can’t make this stuff up folks!

Tony Hayward has not been spotted near the airport!

Oil Spill Closer To Home Threatens Harrisburg Water Supply

A tanker truck carrying over 7,000 gallons of fuel had an accident near Clarks Ferry.  Almost all the fuel in the tanker spilled near the confluence of the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers, north of Harrisburg. 

The tanker, owned by Nittany Oil Company of State College, swerved to avoid another vehicle exiting the Clarks Ferry Truck Stop parking lot.  The other vehicle pulled out in front of tanker.  The tanker rolled over and only an inch of fuel remained in the tanker after the accident.  About 7,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel spilled into the Juniata River, creating a “minor” fish kill.  I suppose it’s only minor if you aren’t one of the dead fish.

The fuel spill has spread 8 – 10 miles down river, which is causing Harrisburg to consider shutting off a water intake valve from the Susquehanna.  A boom has been placed on the river to contain the spill.

This sounds eerily familiar.  Fortunately, Tony Hayward is not involved in the cover-up clean-up.

Follow The Money Trail – Pennsylvania Beats Nevada For Gambling Tax Profits

According to research compiled by the Morning Call in Allentown; Pennsylvania wins first prize in the amount of revenue collected from gambling taxes. 

Okay, that’s Jim Dandy….what did we do with the $1.1 BILLION dollars collected from our 9 casinos in 2009?  Did we make origami? 

This money was supposed to help with property tax relief and a host of other things.  Instead, we pretend we have $850,000,000.00 from the federal government in our 2010/2011 budget and our state unemployment compensation fund is bankrupt.

What the hell?  Am I missing something here?  That’s a HUGE chunk of money.  What did we spend it on?  Root beer floats and pork projects?

Inquiring minds would like to know!

Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Fund Is Belly-Up!

I am just a harbinger of good cheer today, aren’t I!  People need to know what the Sam Hill is going on with our state government.

Although Pennsylvania actually has an employer contribution for unemployment benefits, which should have been enough for a rainy day, we have still borrowed $3 billion dollars from the Federal government to pay unemployment benefits to out-of-work Pennsylvania residents.  The states pay the first 26 weeks of unemployment and the federal government picks up from week 27 forward. Oh and that $3 billion dollars was borrowed in the last two years!

Two problems with what should have been a great idea (employer unemployment contributions): 

1.  The amount employers pay into the unemployment fund hasn’t changed since dirt was discovered.

2.  Unemployment benefits have been increasing to make up for inflation.

When our new governator is elected and takes office in January, he or she will have this $3 BILLION dollar bill that will be due to the federal government.  Of course, we have no money to pay this bill….I’ll gladly pay you next Tuesday for a hamburger today… And this is rich… these billions of dollars borrowed from Uncle Sam aren’t built into the state budget either…much like the Medicaid money we are spending but don’t have yet.  STOP THE MADNESS!

The federal government will start to charge a penalty fee to businesses in Pennsylvania since we have no money.

A solution was proposed to help make this fund solvent again by 2017 but it was ignored.  Instead, our elected officials stick their heads in the proverbial sand (like an ostrich) and do nothing.

Food for thought!

Pennsylvania State Worker Layoffs Still Looming On The Horizon

Looks like no state layoffs this week according to our illustrious governor Ed Rendell.  Governor Rendell had targeted 700 jobs to be furloughed last week but that number may be less due to attrition.  What a difference a week makes?

Why are layoffs looming on the horizon (you might ask yourself) after we approved a state budget on time, no less. It seems we counted some chickens yet to be hatched to the tune of $850,000,000.00 dollars.  Opps!  We bad.  We included this amount in the state budget for Medicaid assistance even though Congress has not approved the money at this juncture.

Don’t be surprised if this money is not forthcoming and then watch the ants scramble.

It’s time for a leadership change!