Shop Smart. Buy Local. Shop Pottstown!

Sustainable communities thrive on local support.

 Think community first, and buy locally.

 Say “Yes” to creating thriving small businesses and buy locally.

 The Shop Smart. Buy Local. Shop Pottstown Initiative is open to all employees of the Pottstown School District.

 The Shop Smart. Buy Local. Shop Pottstown Dates are Wednesday, 5/1 to Thursday, 5/31

 Map of downtown merchants, list of names, addresses & hours is included so you have everything at your fingertips to shop & buy local!

 Each merchant will place a sticker on your receipt for every purchase made for the initiative – be sure to ask for this!

 Save stickered receipts and drop them into the jar located in your school’s office.

 Each week, we will tally the total dollar value of the receipts and there will be a graph in the office so you can track your progress and check out how you’re doing against the competition!

 During the month of May the five Pottstown elementary schools will be competing against one another, and the Pottstown High School, Middle School and Administration will be competing against each other to win:

 The first school to spend $250 wins their staff a Buy Local insulated Lunch Bag!

 Students of winning schools – no uniforms for the entire last week of school, uniforms can be replaced by school appropriate attire of choice for the entire week!!

 Teachers/faculty of winning school – the option to wear school appropriate jeans or shorts and sneakers for the entire last week of school!!

Shop Smart. Buy Local. Shop Pottstown!

Pottstown School District May 2012

For further information contact:

Your Buy Local Committee:

Amy Francis 484-256-7678

Mary-Beth Lydon 215-528-2753

PDIDA Office: Sheila Dugan


  Take the WBZH Pledge

go to:

Because I want to help my local community thrive and become vibrant, I pledge to:

 Think local first when seeking out a business to meet my shopping needs for goods or services.

 whenever I can suggest local shopping or dining alternatives to family and friends.

 Purchase local produce and other foods from local vendors whenever possible.

I make this pledge because I understand that buying locally allows more of my hard earned dollars to circulate in my community. As a result, locally owned businesses in my community can survive and grow, which in turn can attract new residents and industry helping make the entire Tri-County area a vibrant and affordable place to live, work and play!

Downtown Pottstown Merchant Directory and Map

Cops: Theft Of Scrap Metal Becoming An Epidemic

Cops: Theft of scrap metal becoming an epidemic

The cases make the news with frequency.

Last month, a thief stole copper piping from a Moosic Street home owned by the wife of the late former Scranton Police Chief James Klee.

There are houses that have flooded when thieves tore out copper piping. A man whose electrocuted body was found under a utility pole in Wright Twp. was killed trying to steal aluminum from power lines.

In November, Dunmore police arrested a Scranton man who twice broke into a PPL Electric Utilities plant on Larch Street to steal copper wire.

Police say that scrap-metal thefts have become an “epidemic” that is hard to fight.

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Scranton Recovery Plan Won’t Meet ‘Soft’ Deadline

Scranton‘s revised recovery plan, which is supposed to be due today, will be late.

But the tardiness won’t mean much, Mayor Chris Doherty said.

“That’s not a hard deadline,” he said.

The deadline was imposed in January by a consortium of wary banks when they loaned the city an $11.5 million tax-anticipation note, because the banks wanted assurances that the city has a viable recovery plan to deal with its historical structural budget deficits and be able to repay any future loans, officials said.

While council members said Thursday a failure to meet the deadline technically could be considered a default, Mr. Doherty said there are no penalties for tardiness and the more important aspects are that the TAN is repaid and progress is made on a recovery plan.

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Lancaster’s Spring ArtWalk Will Be Hands-On

During next weekend’s ArtWalk in downtown Lancaster, you won’t just be looking at the art — you’ll be a part of it.

Community-made paintings will be one byproduct of the hands-on, interactive events offered by several galleries and studios around town Saturday and Sunday.

For example, you can step into the paint-flecked shoes of Jackson Pollock, helping to create one of several paintings on the second floor of Tellus360/Gallery360, 24 E. King St., from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Annie Schwartz, of Tellus360, said 11 stretched canvases of various sizes will be placed on the floor, and visitors can take turns dripping various colors of donated house paint onto the canvases, experiencing Pollock’s technique.

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One World Trade Center To Become NYC’s Tallest Building Monday

NEW YORK, NY—  C0me Monday, 1 World Trade Center is expected to become the Big Apple’s tallest skyscraper, when its steel casing surpasses that other famous city landmark, the Empire State Building.

It will reach more than 1,250 feet, just a little past the Observation Deck.

Read more:–20120430,0,1144920.story

Critics Say Nepotism Common In Reading Schools

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around the Reading School District, it has almost become a mantra: “It’s all about who you know.”

While school leaders deny its existence, there is a pervasive perception that the district is wrought with nepotism.

And many current and potential employees have the idea that friends and family members of school board members and administrators benefit unfairly because of their ties to school leaders.

Based on information provided by the district, 28 of 2,200 district employees are related to board members who have served in the past two years. Dozens of other district employees are noted as friends of board members.

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Pottstown’s Tri-County Performing Arts Center Transforms Into Steel River Playhouse

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA  — You might call it their third act.

What began as a small local theater company called Village Productions, and then grew into the Tri-County Performing Arts Center has now matured into the Steel River Playhouse, the name and brand which will adorn the soon-to-be completed facade of Pottstown’s premier arts center.

As anyone who has driven or walked down the 200 block of High Street knows, the front of the former Newberry’s store has been “getting a little work done” for quite some time now.

But now that the appropriate materials have arrived, and a June 15 “grand re-opening” looms, look to see that new marquee finished in a short time, said Marta Kiesling, executive director of the Steel River Playhouse.

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West Reading Gets Grants For Streets Work

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Big changes will be coming to several West Reading streets this summer, thanks to $300,000 in grants from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

According to Dean L. Rohrbach, who manages the borough’s Elm Street program, West Reading will be designated as one of the first Keystone Communities Elm Streets in the state, making it eligible for various revitalization grants through the Elm Street program.

“If we’re not among the first, we will be the first,” he said.

The borough has been approved for two grants: one for $250,000 for public improvements and one for $50,000 to help implement various revitalization programs.

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Reading Schools Budget Fiasco Blamed On Mismanagement

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s easy to see that the Reading School District has some major problems.

A $53 million budget gap. Claims of nepotism and favoritism. Local, state and federal investigations.

But how far does the dysfunction go?

The Reading Eagle has conducted an investigation of the district leadership, looking at issues ranging from finances to contracts to hiring practices. The results show a pattern of behavior that is at best neglectful and wasteful.

Read more:

The 2012 Pennsylvania State Fair Guide

It’s back for another year!  Click on the link to see what’s going on in Pennsylvania this year during fair season.  Don’t sit home and be bored.  Get out there and explore Pennsylvania!

Click here for a PDF file of PA Fairs:

TriCounty Community Network Announces The Addition Of John Hendrickson To Its Board Of Directors

Pottstown, Pa. (April 27, 2012)TriCounty Community Network (TCN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, social and environmental conditions in Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, today announced that John Hendrickson has joined its board of directors.  Mr. Hendrickson currently serves as CEO of Frederick Living, a non-profit retirement community located in Frederick, Pa.

“John will be an excellent addition to our board,” said Jen Doyle, executive director for TCN.  “His experience as the CEO of a non-profit organization will prove invaluable in helping us to maximize the collaboration within and beyond the current TCN membership to impact residents of our local communities.” 

Mr. Hendrickson has been CEO of Frederick Living since 2005 and has served as executive director of two other retirement communities.  For 14 years, he served in progressively responsible positions at Nyack College (Nyack, N.Y.) culminating in responsibilities as associate dean/registrar in 1990.

Mr. Hendrickson serves on the board of directors of the Anabaptist Provider Group, and has also served on the LeadingAge PA (formerly PANPHA) board of directors.  He earned his B.A. in social science from Nyack College and an M.S. Ed in counseling and personnel services from Fordham University.  Post graduate work in higher and adult education was at Teachers College, Columbia University and he also attended Alliance Theological Seminary.  Mr. Hendrickson is a licensed nursing home administrator in the State of Pennsylvania. 

About TriCounty Community Network                 

TCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership-based organization that partners with nonprofits, businesses and community members to improve health, social and environmental conditions.  Serving Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, TCN offers seven key programs: Build Up Youth, C.A.R.E. (Caring in Alternative Residential Environments), Environmental Awareness, Family Literacy, Homeless Services, S.A.F.E. (Supporting Abuse Free Environments), and Workforce Development.  For more information on TCN, visit

Elise Testone Goes Home On American Idol

And then there were five…

America sent Elise Testone home after two less than stellar performances and poor song choices.  Elise was argumentative with the judges as well… a turn off to voters.

According to, their ranking of the final five is:

Phillip Phillip

Joshua Ledet

Skylar Laine

Jessica Sanchez

Holly Cavanagh

Development Group To Buy Abraham Lincoln Hotel Garage

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

The Reading Parking Authority Board agreed Wednesday to sell the parking garage at The Abraham Lincoln hotel to Alan Shuman Development Group, Reading, for $1.05 million.

Authority Executive Director Lawrence H. Lee said the board wanted to sell the garage at North Fifth and Washington streets to whoever was purchasing the hotel, for which the development group has an agreement of sale.

Details on the hotel purchase were not available.

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State OKs $10 Million Loan To Reading For New Sewer Main

Editor’s note:  Every community downstream is thankful!

The state has approved a $10 million low-interest loan to Reading from its PennVest program to help the city build a new 8,700-foot sewer main from the Sixth and Canal streets pumping station across the Schuylkill River and to the treatment plant on Fritz’s Island.

Officials also announced Wednesday that the state has approved a nearly $2 million grant to the Berks County Conservation District to help four dairy farms keep manure from polluting storm water runoff before it reaches local streams.

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8 Administrators Axed In Reading City Schools Purge

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The drama continues!

The Reading School Board without warning Wednesday night fired eight top administrators, including the district’s acting superintendent.

The board voted 6-2 – with James Washington and Frank Denbowski voting no – to fire Dr. J. Drue Miles, acting superintendent.

The board then voted 5-3 – with Denbowski, Washington and Rebecca Acosta voting no – to fire Miles’ two assistant superintendents, the director of elementary education, the director of secondary education, the director of student services, and both the director and assistant director of special education.

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“Come To The Fair!” – Annual Colonial May Fair At Pottsgrove Manor

Pottstown, Pennsylvania – Celebrate spring at the Annual Colonial May Fair held at historic Pottsgrove Manor on Saturday, May 5th from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

This yearly event is a fun-filled day with activities for all ages—games, music, dancing, and crafts. New to the fair this year is colonial conjurer Levram the Great, who will perform colonial magic shows and entertain visitors with pocket magic tricks throughout the day. Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre returns again this year to perform the puppet shows St. George and the Dragon and their brand-new adaptation of the classic Cinderella. They will also provide festive historic music around the grounds during the event. Members of the Tapestry Historic Dance Ensemble will demonstrate authentic country dances and will lead visitors in dances around the Maypole to open and close the fair. 

In addition to the entertainment, a variety of Early American crafters and demonstrators will be on hand to display historic skills and trades and sell their wares. Young visitors can compete in hoop races, play with colonial toys and games, help churn butter, and more! The first floor of colonial ironmaster John Potts’ 1752 manor house will be open for self-guided tours during the fair. Historic foodways expert Deborah Peterson of Deborah Peterson’s Pantry will be demonstrating open-hearth cooking in the Pottsgrove Manor kitchen. Visitors can also shop at the Manor’s museum shop for colonial games, books, and unique gifts. 

While visitors can’t try the food cooked in the colonial kitchen, they will be able to purchase food during the event, including a variety of tasty baked goods from the Milkman Lunch Co. and Cake Shoppe of Pottstown.

A donation of $2 per person is suggested for this event. Visitors are asked to park at the Carousel at Pottstown building, 30 West King Street. Visitors can also stop in to the Carousel and see the progress that is being made there. Pottstown’s restored trolley will be giving FREE rides during the fair between the “First Saturday” activities downtown, the Carousel at Pottstown, and Pottsgrove Manor. Handicapped parking is available in the museum’s parking lot.

Pottstown Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks and Heritage Services Department. For more information, call 610.326.4014, or visit us on the web at

Cupcakes: Small Treats Are Fueling A Big Business

Wikipedia cupcakes, an in-kind donation by Geo...

Wikipedia cupcakes, an in-kind donation by Georgetown Cupcake before being devoured by Wikipedians. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who would have thought that something as diminutive as a cupcake could be such a huge business trend?

All over Lancaster County, cupcake bakeries are popping up like spring flowers.

And some of their cupcakes are even decorated with flowers, as well as fruit and other accents.

Cupcakes have been around since the 19th century, when “cup” cake referred to the quantity of ingredients, such as a cup of butter, two cups of sugar and three cups of flour.

Saucony Creek Brewing Co. Opening In Kutztown


Bryggerhus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since the age of 13, Kutztown native Matthew L. Lindenmuth, 31, has been a leading player in the world of action sports.

As a champion inline skater and snow boarder, Lindenmuth made regular appearances as an athlete and commentator in ESPN’s X Games.

In 2008, he became a founding partner of Humanity Snowboards, Rialto, Calif.

His career is proof that Lindenmuth learned how to follow his passion and make dreams come true.

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Muhlenberg Woman Beaten By Daughter With Meat Tenderizing Mallet

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

Editor’s note:  Nothing says I love you Mom like a couple whacks with a mallet!  WTH!

A 79-year-old Muhlenberg Township woman was beaten by her 55-year-old daughter with a meat tenderizing mallet in the daughter’s Lehigh County residence, state police said Tuesday.

Teresa Kauffman was taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital, near Allentown, for injuries suffered in the attack early Monday morning in the Lower Macungie Township home, investigators said.

A hospital spokeswoman said Kauffman was in fair condition Tuesday.

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MOSAIC Community Land Trust, Pottstown – Registration April 28, May 5, May 12

Pottstown, PA, 4/23/2012 — Mosaic Community Land Trust is holding registration and orientation for new members of its community garden at 423 Chestnut Street on the following Saturdays: April 28, May 5, and May 12 from 9 AM to 12 PM at the garden.  On May 5th gardeners will be able to choose the plants they would like in their own plot, and the plants will be delivered to the garden on May 12, which will be a day for planting.

There are plots still available for this season.  Plot rates are $25 for households with incomes below $30,000; those with incomes above this level will pay $50.  Groups and organizations can plant a plot for a flat $100.00 season fee.  In addition to offering families a safe place to grow healthy, organic food, this fee includes the choice of plants, water on-site, the use of Mosaic tools, workshops, and advice from experienced gardeners.  Children are welcome and the garden is available for field trips for students.

To apply and register for your plot or to set up a field trip, please contact Sue Repko at 609-658-9043 or or Mary-Beth Bacallao Lydon at

MOSAIC Community Land Trust was established in 2011 and is a registered 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit organization. MOSAIC Community Land Trust provides permanently affordable housing and healthy living choices to people of modest means, and through education and participation, creates a vital community with a focus on arts and culture to stabilize neighborhoods and improve the quality of life in Pottstown.