Pottstown – Crime vs. Revitalization

Pottstown had a murder this week.  Based on information found in the newspaper, the home is owned by a company in Exton.  Enough said.

I have been quiet about crime lately because I feel it falls on deaf ears.  However, if we think people don’t investigate crime rates before deciding to relocate to a specific community we would be naïve.  That goes for business as well.  We keep talking about how Pottstown is going to revitalize but it’s not happening.  A great big problem aka the elephant in the room is the crime rate and the horrible reputation this community has in the outside world.  Yes, life does exist beyond the borough lines and people do pay attention to what happens here.  An UGG BOOTS ban in the Pottstown Middle School made the national news.

Pottstown’s crime rate went up drastically between 2009 and 2010.  Our city-data.com score rose from 456.6 to 535.6.  The U.S. average is 319.1.  Pottstown’s crime rate is significantly higher (BAD).  As a matter of fact, it was higher than many of the largest cities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2010.  Yes, you read that correctly!

City                                Population       Crime Index

Allentown, PA             118,032 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 476.5 (2010)

Bethlehem, PA              74,982 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 236.1 (2010)

Lancaster, PA               59,433 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 519.4 (2010)

York, PA                        44,718 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 582.4 (2010)

Scranton, PA                76,089 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 275.4 (2010)

Philadelphia, PA      1,526,006 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 567.7 (2010)

Pittsburgh, PA             305,704 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 411.3 (2010)

Erie, PA                      101,786 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 347.4 (2010)

Reading, PA                 88,082 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 548.3 (2010)

Harrisburg, PA              49,528 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index – 721.6 (2010)

POTTSTOWN, PA         22,377 (2010)    City-Data Crime Index535.6 (2010)

I find this evidence both appalling and disgraceful.  Pottstown was the 74th largest municipality in Pennsylvania as of the 2010 census.  We should not have higher crime than six of the major cities in this state.  We are below Philadelphia and Reading, but not by much! Harrisburg is evidently in a class by itself!

My point being, this information is very easy to find.  Millions of people use sites like City-data.com to research communities before moving to or investing in them.  So borough leadership, what exactly is the game plan to correct Pottstown’s out of control crime problem?  Ignoring the problem is not a solution!

Somebody better get a clue, like yesterday!

Before Fire, 15 Lived In Reading Home With No Water, Toilets

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

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The city has placarded as unfit for human habitation a fire-damaged row home in the 800 block of Greenwich Street.

The placarding is for damage from the Monday morning fire, but city codes manager Ron Natale said Thursday the home must remain vacated until numerous issues are resolved.

The home, filled with trash and mattresses, was an illegal rental, with no working toilets, no water service and no kitchen facilities, Natale and other city officials said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=362692

First Friday In Lansdale Moves Forward With New Leadership

Location of Lansdale in Montgomery County

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LANSDALE, PA  – The committee to run the borough’s First Friday festival, formed earlier this week over coffee, has only three members and is just beginning to formulate a plan.

That’s according to Charles Booz, whose family owns the Chantilly Lace Florist at 29-31 West Main Street.

Booz said the fledgling committee, which includes himself, Ellen Foulke – manager of the Lansdale Business Center – and his mother Margie, plans to meet with the borough’s parks and recreation and public safety committees next month to find out what is required to hold the event.

Read more: http://thereporteronline.com/articles/2012/01/27/news/doc4f233e4302e5e074103950.txt

Online Retailers Hoping Congress Acts As PA Delays Enforcement Of Sales Tax Law

HARRISBURG — Out-of-state retailers will not collect sales tax on goods they sell online to Pennsylvania residents until Sept. 1, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

The clarification in the Pennsylvania tax law has spooked several advertisers into terminating their agreements withPennsylvania publishers in December.

As retailers adjust to the newly interpreted tax law, state residents must track the 6 percent sales tax on the goods they purchase and declare that amount on their 2011 tax return forms, according to the state tax code.

Opponents of the new law, which originally was expected to go into effect Wednesday, said the state will lose more than $22 million in revenue, because Internet companies won’t do business here.  (NO KIDDING!)

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/montgomery-news/story/online-retailers-hoping-congress-acts-pa-delays-enforcement-sales-tax-law/1

Pottstown Murder Victim Identified

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

(UPDATE 11:49 a.m.) POTTSTOWN — The identity of the woman found dead inside her 424 Cherry St. residence this morning has been confirmed by sources as Alicia Schmidt.

Sources say investigators still do not have the suspect in custody.

Read more: http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2012/02/02/springford_reporter_valley_item/news/doc4f2ac49bda6a3096207572.txt?nstrack=sid:16092949|met:300|cat:0|order:3

Roseanne Barr Joins Race For The White House

Editor’s note:  Some people will do anything for attention!

Having just had her Lifetime show “Roseanne’s Nuts” canceled, actress Roseanne Barr has a little extra time on her hands. And to fill the void, she’s come up with a new plan – she’s running for president.

The actress announced on Thursday (Feb. 2) that she will seek the Green Party’s presidential nomination. Barr explains that she’s a big supporter of the party and is discontent with the existing political landscape.

“The Democrats and Republicans have proven that they are servants — bought and paid for by the 1% — who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people,” Barr says.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/zap-roseanne-barr-joins-race-for-the-white-house-20120203,0,1356352.story

Brunish’s Celebrates 75 Years In Pottstown

Editor’s note:   Congratulations to the Brunish family for their achievement!

POTTSTOWN — There aren’t a lot of businesses — large or small — that can say that they’ve been in operation for 75 years.  Even fewer can say that four generations of family members have kept the operation growing.  An even smaller number can say that their little corner grocery store is known around the world.

One store in Pottstown can say all that and does so with pride: Brunish’s.

Located at 577 Lincoln Ave., Burnish’s began operating on Feb. 13, 1937, and soon will celebrate 75 years in business.  The original store was located at 569 Lincoln Ave., but two years later, in 1939, it moved to its current location, which Brunish’s has called “home” ever since.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120203/FINANCE01/120209812/1010/brunish-s-celebrates-75-years-in-pottstown&pager=1