A Nutter Idea…Think Dumber Than The Soda Tax

Michael Nutter

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Our favorite mayor, Michael Nutter, has come up with another ludicrous idea on how to rip-off Philadelphians to fill city coffers.   See link below for more details. 

http://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/city-to-charge-for-blogging/    

TWO HUGE THUMBS DOWN for this lame-brained scheme.    

More Cheery Economic News

Maryland state welcome sign, along Interstate ...

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Bankruptcies are on the rise in a big way.  Maryland, which ranks 21st out of 50 states for bankruptcy filings, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people filing for bankruptcy since 2007, when the recession began.

In 2007, 11,200 bankruptcy cases were filed.  In 2008 the number increased 46% and in 2009 the number again increased 36% for a total of 29,000 Marylanders filing for bankruptcy.  This statistic includes business and personal filings.

Nationally, bankruptcies increased 20% last year.  1.6 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in the fiscal period ending June 30, 2010. This compares to 1.3 million filings for the same 12 month period ending June 30, 2009.

In October 2005 bankruptcy laws were changed due to people abusing the system.  These recent figures have returned to levels prior to the 2005 changes.

Pennsylvania’s Oldest Resident Dies

Agnes Wetzel, of Bethel Park, has died of pneumonia.  Agnes lived to the rip old age of 110!  She was born in 1899.

Agnes lived with her daughter Bette and was remembered as a kind, gentle person.  Agnes was also reported to be a very good cook.

Longevity runs in Agnes’ family.  Her mother lived to be 98 years-old.

Bad Economy Is Good For Harrisburg Area Community College

Ever since the economy nose-dived in 2008, enrollment at Harrisburg Area Community College has increased dramatically.

In 2008 enrollment at HACC’s 5 campuses was 19,866.  Last year enrollment hit 22,529.  This year enrollment is expected to come in at 25,000 students!

Community college offers students a close to home and much less expensive educational alternative versus going to one of Pennsylvania’s universities and staying in a dormitory or apartment.  The cost per credit hour and the ability to avoid paying for room and board, on top of tuition, is economically achievable for many students.

Montgomery County Community College has also experienced an enrollment boom from the bad economy.  Our own West Campus here in Pottstown continues to exceed enrollment expectations.

Pottstown Parking Enforcement

At the last Borough Council meeting it was announced that the Police Department has hired two part-time “Parking Enforcement” officers.  Here we go again….

It is hard enough to attract people downtown to patronize businesses without adding over zealous parking police into the mix.  Parking downtown is not for the faint of heart to begin with thanks to Mr. Hylton’s back-in diagonal parking.

Parking downtown should be FREE!  Parking at the mall is free.  Why do you think people go there instead?  If we are trying to attract shoppers and restaurant patrons downtown this is an ass-backwards approach IMHO.

The small amount of money this generates, to cover the cost of two part-time people and a few thousand dollars into borough coffers, is a drop in the bucket compared to what customers will spend downtown on goods and services.

Bad idea.  Boo hiss!

John Potts Park

A few years ago, I remember a Mercury article with artist renderings and a map of John Potts Park which was to be created here in Pottstown.  The park was going to connect Memorial Park with the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River Trail.  I believe it also would include the Carousel and MCCC West campus as well.

The recent availability of funds for the Promenade is one more step in this direction.  The more projects like this we can get completed the more attractive Pottstown will become.  The new intermodal transportation center, the Mrs. Smith’s Foil project, the Reconnections project with North Coventry, Riverfront Park, MCCC West’s new parking lot and rehabilitation of the old PECO building into an environmental center, the Carousel and eventually John Potts Park are going to be a crown jewel for Pottstown.

I have a visual in my head of all this and look forward to the day when it becomes a reality.  The pieces are falling into place.  If we are patient long enough, good things happen.

Pottstown Promenade Project

There has been talk about this project recently which prompted me to do some research.  The Promenade project has been on the books for some time, however funding kept it from becoming a reality. 

PennDOT recently opened up their coffers and we are getting almost a million dollars to complete this project.  I could not remember specifics on what the project entailed except that the name does infer certain things.

I found this information after doing to internet surfing:

Pottstown Promenade – was conceived as a pedestrian and bicycle link between Downtown Pottstown and the Montgomery County Community College. The promenade is expected to be constructed in 2005, and will connect Hanover Street to the bus stop facility adjacent to the community college with a link to Riverfront Park and the River Center at Pottstown.

Personally, I think this is a great idea because it addresses quality of life issues in an urban area.  Green space is important if we are trying to attract middle-class people to Pottstown as taxpaying permanent residents.

The revitalization of Pottstown hinges on projects like these and the ability to attract new residents, business and industry.

Kudos to Jason Bobst, Borough Council and everyone involved for making this project a reality.